2:00PM Water Cooler 5/10/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“‘My position on trade has always been that I don’t support free trade. I support fair trade,'” Shuster, R-Pa., said in a statement. ‘After reviewing TPP, I do not believe that it is good for the people of the 9th Congressional District and for our country'” [Herald-Mail].



“The Obama administration is honoring Henry Kissinger today. It shouldn’t be.” [Vox]. Inocculating Clinton?


UPDATE “[Clinton] has raised more contributions from executives in the financial services industry than all other candidates combined. That’s about $4.2 million in this election cycle” [Fortune]. “More than 500 contributors who gave more than $200 to Republican candidates earlier in this election cycle, are now giving money to Clinton rather than the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.”

“[T]here is an unbiased explanation for Wall Street’s tilt toward Hillary: Equities on average have produced markedly better returns when the incumbent political party wins the presidential election” [Marketwatch].

“Mr. Trump, who by the end of March had spent around $40 million [!!!!!!] of his fortune on the primaries, has said that he may need as much as $1.5 billion for the fall campaign, but that he will seek to raise it from donors rather than continue to self-finance” [New York Times]. “While Mr. Trump’s continued feud with the Republican establishment was likely to cheer his supporters, his intense need for money to run his general election campaign suggests the degree to which he will rely heavily on the party’s existing infrastructure.”

The Voters

“In a new survey of American military personnel, Donald Trump emerged as active-duty service members’ preference to become the next U.S. president, topping Hillary Clinton by more than a 2-to-1 margin. However, in the latest Military Times election survey, more than one in five troops said they’d rather not vote in November if they have to choose between just those two candidates” [Military Times].

“Despite an agreement to require more polling locations in the wake of March’s voting fiasco, the [Arizona] House of Representatives failed to bring a bill that would bring those changes to a vote in the final hours of last week’s session” [Arizona Central]. Althought the bill had a Republican sponsor. Lots of horrid detail in on the vote, too.

“Which Women Support Hillary (and Which Women Can’t Afford To)” [The Nation]. Maslow’s heirarchy…

Our Famously Free Press

“How Digital Media Made Money Pretending To Shame Donald Trump Over A Taco Tweet” [International Business Times].

“A depressingly accurate 29-word description of the dismal state of our politics” [Chris Cilizza, WaPo]. Here it is (Cilizza’s quoting his boss, so…):

What has taken hold is an alternate reality, a virtual reality, where lies are accepted as truth and where conspiracy theories take root in the fertile soil of falsehoods.

Because the press are innocent bystanders! Like with Iraqi WMDs. Or closer to home, coverage of the Crash of 2008.

Today’s Primaries

“West Virginia is considered favorable territory for Bernie Sanders. … Though Nebraska’s results are non-binding, if the electorate resembles the pro-Sanders crowd in March, he’ll have another result to tout on what could be a rough night for Clinton” [CNN].

The Trail

“A Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday showed Clinton and Trump running neck-and-neck in three states that could be pivotal in the outcome of November’s election – Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania – with Sanders holding an edge over Trump in each of them” [Reuters]. “Clinton had 43 percent support to Trump’s 42 percent in Florida and Pennsylvania, while he drew 43 percent compared to her 39 percent in Ohio, the poll found. Sanders edged Trump by 2 percentage points in Florida and Ohio and 6 percentage points in Pennsylvania, the poll showed” (original). Margin of error territory! “Said pollster Peter Brown: “This election may be good for divorce lawyers. The gender gap is massive and currently benefits Trump. In Pennsylvania, Clinton’s 19-point lead among women matches Trump’s 21-point margin among men. In Ohio, she is up 7 points among women but down 15 points with men. In Florida she is up 13 points among women but down 13 points among men” [Political Wire].

“During the recess last week, the Democrats followed home some of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents, with Mr. Obama giving regional television interviews and the group Americans United for Change driving around billboards to urge action on the [Merrick Garland] nomination” [New York Times]. I’d hate to think Obama picked Garland just to stick it to the Republicans in an election year (and hand out some walking around money to Americans United for Change).

“Democrats see Clinton and Warren as dream team” [The Hill]. But then there is this extremely fun series of paragraphs:

One former senior Obama administration official said Warren was a “royal pain in the ass in the White House” when she worked as an assistant to the president and special adviser to the secretary of the Treasury for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The official said Warren developed a reputation as “wanting her way, wanting all of it” and “expecting to be treated as senior staff.”

Asked if Clinton could have gotten those impressions of Warren from her time in President Obama’s Cabinet, the former official added, “Oh, I don’t think you need to be a Cabinet secretary to know that Elizabeth Warren is a challenging soul.

‘Hillaryland hopefully will not feel so desperate to unify the Sanders base that she’d bring on Warren,’ the former official said. ‘I would be shocked if [Clinton] picked her.'”

“So desperate.” Ouch.

“Clinton’s strategy here is to bet that voters grow weary of the Trump drama and antics. What was fun now turns sour, six months to the date from Election Day.” [Time]. “This is a strategy that may be especially well-tailored to suburban white women, even if they’re conservatives.”

UPDATE “‘If we broke up the big banks tomorrow,’ Clinton asked, ‘would that end racism?'” [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone]. “Logically, it was an odd thing to say. After all, lots of things worth doing, even political things, won’t ‘end racism.’ But from a practical point of view, Clinton’s gambit was brilliant politics. It effectively caricaturized Sanders as a one-note candidate too steeped in attacking billionaires to see the problems of people down on Main Street. And the line fit in a tweet, making it perfect for rocketing around the Internet.” And:

When Hillary Clinton used that line about breaking up the banks not ending racism, she opened a door for Bernie Sanders to talk about all of this. He could have talked about Wall Street not just as a symbol of international greed and corruption, but in terms of a more peculiarly American kind of ugliness.

He could have begun with subprime and plausibly traced all the way back to 40 acres and a mule, explaining the modern problem of wealth inequality as (among other things) a still-extant failure of the Civil Rights movement, an ancient wrong still not corrected.

But he didn’t. Sanders I believe fundamentally sees the Wall Street corruption issue as a matter of class, i.e., rich vs. poor. He never found a way to talk about the special edge the financial sector brought/brings to the exploitation of nonwhite America.

I agree. And the “special edge” is very evident not only in the foreclosure crisis that Taibbi writes about, but in law enforcement for profit as in Ferguson. (I’d also argue that this is what intersectionality ought to enable, when not vulgarized by identitarians.)

“Facebook denies allegations of bias against conservatives” [MarketWatch]. If Facebook was biased against conservatives, I wouldn’t have to keep swatting down right-wing memes in my newsfeed.

“How Republicans Can Still Say No to Trump” [American Conservative]. Convention shenanigains.

“Donald Trump’s primary run left him with few friends among evangelical leaders, who are now weighing sitting out the general election entirely. But there is one way, they say, to win them back: picking a vice presidential candidate socially conservative enough to compensate for Trump’s many heresies” [Politico].

UPDATE “Make no mistake. Those who support Trump, no matter how reluctantly, have crossed a moral boundary. They are standing with a leader who encourages prejudice and despises the weak. They are aiding the transformation of a party formed by Lincoln’s blazing vision of equality into a party of white resentment” [Micheal Gerson, WaPo]. After Nixon’s Southern Strategy? Is Gerson demented?

Stats Watch

JOLTS, March 2016: “The JOLTS report offers upbeat news on the economy with job openings jumping to 5.757 million in March from February’s upwardly revised 5.608 million, boosting the job openings rate 1 tenth to 3.9 percent” [Econoday]. “The quits rate is unchanged at 2.1 percent to indicate that workers are showing limited inclination to shift jobs. Similarly, employers are showing limited inclination to cut jobs as the layoffs rate fell 1 tenth to 1.2 percent. The labor market, despite economic slowing, remains the nation’s chief strength.” And: “The BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) can be used as a predictor of future jobs growth, and the predictive elements show that the year-over-year growth rate of unadjusted private non-farm job openings improved from last month” [Econintersect].

Wholesale Trade, March 2016: “March was a healthy month for inventories in the wholesale sector, up only 0.1 percent at the same time that sales jumped 0.7 percent to keep the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at 1.36” [Econoday]. And: “The headlines say wholesale sales were up month-over-month with inventory levels remaining at levels associated with recessions. Our analysis shows an improving trend of the 3 month averages AND inflation adjusted data is now positive” [Econintersect].

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, April 2016: “The small business optimism index rose 1 point in April to 93.6, ending a string of declines and bouncing back from the 2-year lows set in March. But small business owners are still quite pessimistic, citing the poor economy and the political climate as the two main reasons for not expanding” [Econoday]. And: “It was a relief to see the Index turn up, ending a long string of declines. However, it’s still down from December 2014 when the Index hit an expansion high of 100” [Econintersect]. And: “Basically, an increasing number of small businesses are hiring, and more and more small businesses are growing frustrated about their ability to fill positions.” [Bloomberg]. Near-miss click-baity headline: “This Is One Paragraph That Should Make American Workers Very Happy”

Oil: “This should be the time of year when the frac sand mines that dot western Wisconsin are buzzing with activity after a seasonal winter slowdown” [Eau Claire Leader-Telegram]. “Instead, most of the facilities in the once-booming sand mining sector sit dormant, with skeleton crews occasionally stopping by to ensure the lights are still working and groundwater runoff is properly contained.” Big hat tip to Jodi K for this real economy tidbit!

Shipping: “E-commerce giant Amazon will double the size of its airfreight fleet after it signed up to lease another 20 freighters, this time from Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW), which it will also invest in” [Air Cargo News].

The Bezzle: “Federal authorities are investigating the market-making arms of Citadel LLC and KCG Holdings Inc, looking into the possibility that the two giants of electronic trading are giving small investors a poor deal when executing stock transactions on their behalf” [Reuters].

The Bezzle: “Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has been under investigation for its tendency to buy tried-and-true, inexpensive medications only to hike the prices sky-high. The company is something of a poster child for out-of-control pharmaceutical pricing. Should it surprise us, then, that the nonprofit investment fund for University of Texas, whose endowment stands at $24 billion, was invested in the firm, albeit indirectly through hedge funds ValueAct Capital Management LLC and Viking Global Investors LP?” [Nonprofit Quarterly].

The Bezzle: “Until we address all the factors that led to Theranos’ rise and its downfall, this will happen again. Launch, hype-cycle, demise. Launch, hype-cycle, demise. Again and again. One the biggest catalysts for this cycle? Dumb money” [Fast Company]. “The influx of dumb money in health care might seem perfectly harmless: Sometimes we need to throw spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks, right? But in Theranos’ case, the company’s blood-testing technology was intended to be used on real patients to ‘diagnose hundreds of diseases.’ If Theranos had been vetted by a biotech firm, it’s doubtful that the company would have gotten away with not having a peer reviewed study.”

“Meet the site that is like Uber — but for tractors” [WaPo]. “It couldn’t come at a better time: 2016 is expected to be the least profitable year for American farmers in more than 10 years” Popular Mechanics].

“When we sort the S&P 500 by market capitalization from largest to smallest, we find that only three stocks (Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +1.60% Apple Inc. AAPL, +0.47% and Google parent Alphabet Inc. GOOG, +1.28% GOOGL, +1.22% ) comprise 10% of the index’s total value” [Marketwatch].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 62, Greed (previous close: 60, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 605 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 10 at 1:02pm. B-o-r-i-n-g.

Health Care

“If we take as our starting premise that everyone should be able to afford decent health care—something that literally everyone agrees with—then the most obvious solution is single payer or one of its close cousins, such as we see in every other advanced economy in the world. But … markets!” [James Kwak, Baseline Scenario]. “”Not just Republicans, but also most Democrats are convinced that markets must be better, because of something they learned in Economics 101. Health care is one of the best examples of economism—the outsized influence that the competitive market model has had on public policy, even in areas where its lessons patently don’t apply.” Cf. Rule #1 of “Neoliberalism Expressed as Simple Rules,” now inside the Overton Window, albeit at the far left side.

“[Research] published in the BMJ on Tuesday, shows that ‘medical errors’ in hospitals and other health-care facilities are incredibly common and may now be the third-leading cause of death in the United States — claiming 251,000 lives every year, more than respiratory disease, accidents, stroke and Alzheimer’s” [WaPo].

“Physicians and hospitals must intimately collaborate or care does not get delivered. At the same time, hospitals and physicians directly compete in surgery, imaging, and other ambulatory services. In this relationship of simultaneous competition and interdependency, the borderline between hospitals and physicians is fraught both with economic conflict and moral/legal risk” [Health Affairs]. “Conflict with physicians over contracts, practice prerogatives, and scope of professional practice poses one of the single most significant career threats to hospital administrators. Hospital executive colleagues have commented to us that half or more of their job is “political” — managing the diverse economic interests of their medical staffs. One confessed that there is nothing more dispiriting in his job than fighting with physicians over money.”


“Flint mayor diverted water-crisis money to political PAC, suit says” [CNN]. Eesh. I would like for this one not to be true. Detroit-area readers?

“Water crisis shut down many thermal power plants in India: Piyush Goyal” [Financial Express].


“Strange seaweed rewrites history of green plants” [Nature]. “A mysterious deep-ocean seaweed diverged from the rest of the green-plant family around 540 million years ago, developing a large body with a complex structure independently from all other sea or land plants. All of the seaweed’s close relatives are unicellular plankton. The finding, published today in Scientific Reports1, upends conventional wisdom about the early evolution of the plant kingdom. ‘People have always assumed that within the green-plant lineage, all the early branches were unicellular,’ says Frederik Leliaert, an evolutionary biologist at Ghent University in Belgium. ‘It is quite surprising that among those, a macroscopic seaweed pops up.'” From the The Green Algae Tree of Life project.

“Jellyfish never stop. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, they move through the water in search of food such as shrimp and fish larvae, on journeys that can cover several kilometers a day” [Scientific American]. “They are more efficient than any other swimmer, using less energy for their size than do graceful dolphins or cruising sharks.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

This is not a parody:

As Archie Bunker said: “You can never buy beer, you can only rent it.” So Budweiser’s move is quite appropriate for a financialized United States.


“Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education took the rare step of cutting off federal student aid to two for-profit college chains, each accused of deceiving the Department and their own students. Now the Department has denied an appeal by one of the schools, Computer Systems Institute (CSI!), and done so with a bit more, shall we say, emphasis than usual” [Republic Report]. “Just for example, the Department uses a term not often applied in higher education in referring to two individuals whom CSI claimed were major employers of its students; the Department calls them ‘grifters.'”

“Charter schools have been using waivers to get out of teaching comprehensive sexual health classes, state mandated hiring and firing practices, substitute teacher policies and many other rules. Who’s watching? Nobody” [Colorado Independent].

“A nonprofit group created by close advisers to Mayor Bill de Blasio to push his political agenda, using unlimited contributions from donors, has stopped raising and spending money and is in the process of shutting down” [New York Times].

“The newest group of potential outlaws in the fashion industry is not made up of tax evading Italian design houses. Instead, it is a slew of big-name brands and famous bloggers teaming up for promotional purposes that are consistently choosing to blatantly disregard the provisions of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Act” [The Fashion Law].

“National Park Service (NPS) rangers won’t be decorated with corporate logos à la NASCAR drivers, but the agency’s plan to allow advertising-like recognition of donors, including a beer maker, flirts with making national parks resemble ballparks” [WaPo].

Guillotine Watch

“5 years after Sandusky, Penn State has learned nothing. Zilch. Nada” [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News]. Everything wrong with our university system here, including powerful, overpaid, and corrupt administrations.

Class Warfare

“The recession ended seven years ago, but persistent joblessness and underemployment marred the economic expansion that followed. A growing body of research suggests the economic trauma has left financial and psychic scars on many Americans, and that those marks are likely to endure for decades” [Wall Street Journal, “The Recession’s Economic Trauma Has Left Enduring Scars”]. Reparations, then?

“In colonial America, ‘the very style in which one formed letters was determined by one’s place in society,’ writes historian Tamara Thornton in Handwriting in America: A Cultural History. Thanks to the rigorous teachings of professionals called ‘penmen,’ merchants wrote strong, loopy logbooks, women’s words were intricate and shaded, and upper-class men did whatever they felt like” [Atlas Obscura].

“Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates — who has established himself as the country’s preeminent author on African-American issues — has purchased a spectacular three-story home at 207 Lincoln Road in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens” [New York Post]. “The landmarked Brooklyn brownstone sold for its full $2.1 million asking price. Coates used an LLC, Ellen And William Craft Excursions, to purchase the home.”

News of the Wired

“The LMFDB is an extensive database of mathematical objects arising in Number Theory” [LMFDB]. “Welcome to the LMFDB, the database of L-functions, modular forms, and related objects. These pages are intended to be a modern handbook including tables, formulas, links, references, etc. to very concrete objects, in particular specific L-functions and their sources.” You’ll like this, if this is the sort of thing you like.

“Ten ways to tell you might be sitting next to an economist” [The Economist]. “9. He only relaxes when the plane reaches 35,000 feet because then it’s in ‘general equilibrium’.” As I’ve said: Watch out for airplane metaphors!

“What the researchers found was that when imagining stealing an item, participants showed much more activation in the lateral orbital frontal cortex of their brains. Among other things, this part of the brain is associated with feelings of moral sensitivity and it was much more active when test subjects were thinking about stealing physical items than it was for intangible items such as digital files” [Torrent Freak].

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (Phil H):


Phil writes:

Stump ringed by several root suckers that have grown into trees themselves. Think the tree is a Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), but not sure since didn’t think to ask at the time. Photo taken on a trip to Sutton Hoo burial mounds in England late last month, April 2016.

Seems very meta to me… And thanks to Phil for his portfolio of stumps!

* * *

Readers, Water Cooler will not exist without your regular support. Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. If you enjoy what you’re reading, please click the hat!


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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. rich

    ‘Kleptocracy Tour’: London sightseeing with a difference
    AFP | May 10, 2016, 07.58 AM IST
    London, May 10, 2016 (AFP) –

    A black bus winds its way through some of London’s most expensive neighbourhoods for a sightseeing tour with a difference — a guided visit around luxury houses bought by shady international tycoons and officials.

    The “Kleptocracy Tour” was set up by anti-corruption campaigner Roman Borisovich, who aims to expose dirty money fuelling the high-end London property market and the teams of British “enablers” who make it happen.

    “The idea behind the tour is to attract public attention to the fact of massive money laundering through properties in London,” Borisovich told AFP on the tour this week, ahead of an international anti-corruption summit being hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron.

    With a group of British lawmakers, campaigners and media on board, the bus drove past prime London real estate — from mansions in leafy, gated complexes to hotels to luxury pads in tourist hotspots.

    “The UK has become Monaco with fog,” he said, after addressing the bus tour.

    The leaks “reveal a kind of fundamental truth that was hidden in plain sight — that the global rich stopped paying taxes a long time ago”, Harding said.


      1. Optimader

        A bit of a Bermuda Triangle this guy is hustling, based on the typically superficial Reuters pablum anyway.

        What does Denny Hastert have to do with Chicago corruption? He was a child molestor from out in the sticks in Yorkville Il >50 miles west of Chicago in corn country.

        Regarding illinois govenors
        Dan Walker was convicted of S&L loan fraud resulting from his later activities when he was a private citizen, i dont believe he lived in Chicago?

        Geo Ryan was from kankakee, il and his conviction was related to a state level commercial drivers licence fraud case.

        Blago was from chicago, but he was too stupid to even make any money trying somehow to sell bho’s senate seat. Really nothing to do with chicago corruption other than he prefered living at his hone rather than in springfield il

        Otto Kerner was also from chicago but his conviction IIRC was related to State level race track licensing fraud whike he was govenor and living in Springfield.
        . Again like the aforementioned, not Chicago corruption perse — all State and Federal offenses.

        So maybe the guy has a good “Chicago Corruption” tour, but based on the Reuters article i’d be asking for my money back.

  2. dcblogger

    Clinton’s strategy here is to bet that voters grow weary of the Trump drama and antics. What was fun now turns sour, six months to the date from Election Day

    because that strategy worked so well for Jeb!

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      Hillary has nothing else she can do except wait, hope and pray. It’s all too painfully obvious to her that she is despised throughout most of the demographic groups of the electorate. Her advisors shrewdly calculate that the more time she spends actually being seen and speaking her nonsensical mind, the more the people realize she is merely a consummate fraud. Plus she may health problems, and she’s spending some time with her lawyers.

      1. Tony S

        The Democratic Party has never really cared whether it wins or not — when they DO happen to win big, as they did in 1992 and 2008, they quickly punt the ball back in the next midterm. Large Democratic majorities create uncomfortable expectations from the public, expectations that might offend Wall Street. It’s much easier for the Dems to be in the minority (or a bare, obstructable majority) and shrug their shoulders and say, “Well, we tried, but those nasty Republicans keep blocking us and there’s nothing we can do.”

        Meanwhile, when the Republicans get THEIR majorities, the D’s are all to happy to curl into balls and let the GOP have its way. Plus, Dem elites prosper more under Republican economic policies.

        A Hillary candidacy is a huge loss for the American people, but it’s a win-win for the Dem elites. If she gets destroyed in the general (and I’m fairly sure she will) the Dem elites will still get their Goldman Sachs money and lobbying jobs. So the party putting forth an unappealing, scandal-plagued candidate for the general is just part of the plan.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          I think if HRC loses the general in 2016 (presuming she is the candidate in the general), it may finally prompt some direct challenge to the DP apparatus/functionaries. They will have done everything to grease the skids for her and she will have lost to a reality TV star. That is the kind of loss that prompts takeovers or party splits. And Sanders will have motivated a large number of people not beholden to current functionaries.

      2. James Levy

        Citing Clinton as a “consummate fraud” is Trumpite projection. What she is, is, a dangerously out of touch, unimaginative, entitled person without the whit or wisdom to deviate from the neoliberal and American triumphalist/exceptionalism script composed 25 years ago. This makes her a terrible choice for President.

        Trump is a blowhard who really doesn’t know what he’s talking about and contradicts himself endlessly. He may prove less terrible than Clinton. Time may tell. But to think that he won’t wear out his welcome when America looks him over carefully is wishful thinking on your part. It could easily be “the devil you know”. Again, we have no reason to believe anything either of these people say. If you are a praying man, I’d start.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          I didn’t know somebody was going to parse my post in this manner. I just said “consummate fraud” because it sounds good. Of course Hill is not a consummate anything. You’re right about Trump. I like people like that, and so do many other of my fellow Americans.

        2. TK421

          You have characterized her accurately; but she spends a lot of energy pretending to be the opposite, and is thus a fraud.

        3. aab

          I think that is HIGHLY unlikely. The more she is seen, the more she is loathed. Even if Trump doesn’t manage to keep his more disgusting thoughts to himself, there’s an audience for that, and he’s at least entertaining and occasionally says true things, and if you’re seeking change — which most of the electorate clearly is — he would be the only game in town against Clinton. I’m one of the many pissed off leftists prepared to vote for him in order to a) end the Clintons’ reign and b) at least force the D elite to pretend to be Democrats a bit in opposition. And frankly c) I’m pretty confident she’s the Greater Evil regardless. My opinion was quite radical a few months ago. The outrageous displays of corruption on the part of Clinton, the DNC, D leadership and the media are bringing more and more people to my position. Anecdote not data, but I now read nice, far tamer people daily writing, “I was prepared to vote for her in November, but now I’m thinking of voting for Trump just to show them!”

          He has already consolidated most of the Republican electorate. The Republican donor class Hillary was pursuing seems to be turning to him as well. Clinton’s opening salvos on attack messaging are absolutely terrible. She is just a terrible, terrible candidate to be in this situation, on top of all her other negatives. She can only win if she can steal swing states.

          Americans never come home after tasting the delights of transgressive Paree, do they? You start thinking, say that Reagan fella ain’t half bad, and it’s game over.

      1. jrs

        I wish one of them was running for President at this point. It would be a better choice than we will likely get. Kim 2016.

    2. Roger Smith

      Exactly. You meant he strategy everyone has been playing for months? United State’s citizens watch garbage on TV year round, EVERY year. They won’t get tired of the drama.

  3. Jim Haygood

    Marketwatch’s beer expert Jason Notte just wrote on Cinco de Mayo about how Constellation Brands is making a fortune with imported Mexican beer, including Grupo Modelo brands which it acquired from Anheuser Busch in 2013.

    Latinos regard ‘America’ as comprising all of the western hemisphere. Anheuser Busch’s flat-footed rebranding of Budweiser as ‘America’ (= USA) is calculated to offend not only latinos, but also political independents who reflexively reject the Depublicrat cartel’s electoral kabuki show as representing anything admirable about the U.S.

    I give Budweiser’s Belgian boneheads about six weeks to bring back “Classic Bud,” as Mexican beer imports continue kicking their sorry brew to oblivion.

    1. Steve in Flyover

      Are Mexican beer imports increasing because of quality/price, or by the huge influx of Mexican beer drinkers?

      All of the millenials around here are drinking regional/craft beers, made by locals

      1. Jim Haygood

        Constellation noticed that:

        With the former Grupo Modelo brands succeeding and the revenue piling up, Constellation decided to see what it could do with craft beer as well. In November, it announced plans to buy 20-year-old San Diego brewery Ballast Point for a staggering $1 billion.

        Like Heineken, Constellation Brands saw a few more similarities between Mexican and craft brands than just market share and growth. Untappd, a free mobile app that allows users to “check in” the beers they’re drinking, has 3 million users who tend to favor craft beer brands.

        However, Untappd sent over data from the last year showing that even with those craft leanings, Corona Extra was checked in nearly 205,000 times compared with 222,000 for Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA.


        *pops the top on another Bitter American*


        1. Kurt Sperry

          I was driving through Seattle last week and saw a beer delivery truck from A-B Inbev all painted up in the livery of some Mexican beer brand I’d never heard of, Montejo or something. It said “since 1909” so A-B are apparently doing acquisitions of small established Mexican breweries. To my taste buds burned down to smoking nubs by local IPAs, Mexican beer generally tastes within spitting distance of watery corporate US beer. I’ve been amazed how well received Corona has been in Italy for the last ten years or so it’s become quite common, but Italy hardly has a worthy craft beer culture. I tried some Italian attempts at microbrewing in Tuscany and Veneto recently but cannot say I was much impressed. I had a local micro in Milan that was actually decent a few years back, but have no recollection of the name or who brewed it.

          1. drexciya

            Craft brewing might not be so big in Italy, but they’ve got a number of internationally well-regarded brewers. I’ve met a number of them at a prominent beer festival in The Netherlands, which says something.

            I think Corona and the like are just pushed heavily in the supermarkets. In The Netherlands we see craft beer come up in the supermarket, which is a good development. The large brewers are getting nervous.

        2. Rhondda

          Well, at least around here, Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA is nearly $15 a six pack. 222,000 is a lot of check ins for such an expensive beer, I’d say. And damn it is delicious! One of my absolute faves. But ah, I have given up beer in order to be more healthy. And I am seeing many positive results — so none for me, thanks.

      2. jhallc

        When I traveled to Ixtapa in the 70’s/80’s I discovered “Negra Modelo”. Couldn’t get it here in the states. Much better than anything I had tasted in the US and way better than Corona, XX or Tecate. Generally there wasn’t much choice for dark beer available in bottles back then. Although Lowenbrau Dark was an option.

        1. B1whois

          Negra Modela is available in California, all the way up to Sacramento at least.
          Also, I echo what Jim haywood said: latin Americans do not appreciate the usurpation of the word “America”. I am known as an “united statesean”, and our country is pronounced oosa (usa) here in Uruguay, not that there is a single place here, that i know of, to buy budwieser anyway. (You can’t even buy Bud here, it’s called flower, LOL marijuana joke.)

    2. cyclist

      One irony is that A-B fought to bar the Czech brewer in Budvar from labeling their superior product ‘Budweiser’ in the US, where it is sold as ‘Czechvar’. I was surprised to find that the Budvar brewery is still a nationalized enterprise, as I thought there was a push to privatize it (most likely selling it off to a foreign multinational). The other famous Czech brewery, Pilsner Urquell, is owned by SABMiller.

      1. polecat

        Who in the AB marketing Dept. forgot to add the word ‘PISS’ in the label ??….

        Idiots !

          1. low integer

            Seems a bit English to me. I believe the appropriate phrasing/pronounciation in Australia is:
            “Wanna tinna piss maaate?”

  4. bowserhead

    Does everyone one realize that if Trump flips Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio red, while holding the states Romney won in 2012 (very likely), he is going to win the general election? Does that make you die-hard Sanders supporters more sympathetic to Hillary’s plight? I suspect not. Just askin’.

    1. dcblogger

      nope, because any candidate who thinks she can win by calling Trump Dangerous Don and just waiting for him to implode will lose the general election.

    2. Massinissa

      Hahahaha. ‘plight’.

      Anyway I think it would be better if Trump won. (Though I wont vote for him). So no?

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        I put up a Bernie bumper sticker. Then I put a Hillary for Prison bumper sticker right under it. Once (or should I say if) she officially gets the nomination, I will place a Trump bumper sticker under the “Hill for Prison” one, perhaps. I think Trump is a peacemonger compared to Hill.

          1. James Levy

            I’d guess not. The last polls of the office corps I heard about talking to some officers as West Point found that 93% of them identified as Republicans and 4% as Democrats. They have also been fed a steady diet of “Hillary is a feminazi” and “Hillary is a liberal” for years. People here can’t or won’t believe it, but millions of Americans have had Rush and Hannity and a dozen others tell them that Clinton was a “radical” since 1991 and have bought it hook, line, and sinker.

            1. Massinissa


              Funny that so few people remember how many people in the 90s believed that nonsense. Its not that different now, actually. Just with less Black Helicopters specifically.

              1. local to oakland

                With respect, my neighborhood has seen its share of helicopters on patrol since the Wall Street crash. I have no reason to think a Clinton govt will be better than Obama in that regard. (nor Trump neither, sadly).

              2. Bubba_Gump

                We already have plenty of black helicopters flying around here in DC — yes, seriously. I see them from time to time, and it’s not a trick of the light.

                I assume it’s in the same vein as the convoys of black Suburbans with flashing lights and men with large guns alert at open windows. We have plenty of those running up and down the GW parkway out to Langley.

                I’d like to see them all in gold.

            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              First, I said a majority of the military, not the officer corps.


              The Republican front runner Trump was the most popular candidate in a subscriber poll that closed Monday morning, with 27 percent saying they would back the business mogul if the election were held tomorrow. Sanders, the independent Vermont senator, was a close second at 22 percent, besting Trump among Navy and Air Force respondents. (See the service-by-service breakdown below.)

              I don’t think Limbaugh thinks a lot of Sanders…

              * Granted, not a “scientific survey.” But given the givens, I’d say any support at all for Sanders is remarkable.

              1. polecat

                Why does anybody STILL listen to what that gasbag Limbaugh has to say !! …..I just don’t get it…..

              2. cwaltz

                It’s not really that remarkable. I spent a decade in the Navy and met more than my fair share of liberals. It isn’t advertised because the military is supposed to not be advocating support for politics or politicians but actually going out and seeing the world can make you more supportive of liberal policies.

              3. MojaveWolf

                I know a lot of (mostly lower level enlisted, tho some staff NCO & officers) Marines who I speak to on a regular basis, and you’d be really surprised how popular Sanders is. The military is not the monolithic bastion of conservatism a lot of leftists think it is. That said, Trump is the clear 1st choice among Marines I’ve spoken with, probably by more than the 5% in the article referenced above.

                I have heard zero state any support for Hillary but I have heard people say they would be embarrassed to serve under her.

                Among retired military I’m acquainted with, very close tween Bernie &
                Trump, maybe a slight preference for Bernie but I’m biased and everyone knows my bias. A retired Army special forces friend who moved out of the country back in 2011 ***hate hate hated*** the Clintons. Especially Bill but HRC got some too. Of course he hated nearly all politicians. No longer in touch so dunno who he’s pulling for now. Do know some retired military who are for Hillary too.

          2. Kurt Sperry

            If I’m US military, the last thing I would want would be a neocon CinC sending us off on more losing campaigns in some god forsaken hell.

            1. cwaltz

              Historically it’s the conservatives that have gutted benefits for the troops. They are real big on giving DoD contractors whatever they want less so with insisting the Pentagon keep it’s promise to retirees.

        1. Massinissa

          IMO just put up a Vote for Cthulhu sticker under the Hill for Prison one. If you put a Trump sticker up people might think you were serious :P

          1. ambrit

            Sorry, but, I’ve been told that the ‘Inner Circle’ has been chanting “Ia, Ia, Hillary, Beltway wgah’nagl fhtagn!”,” lately.
            The Dread Lord will appreciate your support.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t see why it would. (a) Sanders consistently polls better than Clinton against Trump, and (b) if Clinton didn’t think she could win, it was irresponsible of her to run. However, (c) there’s still time for her to drop out, clearing the way for the better candidate, for the sake of the party.

        1. Massinissa

          I cant tell if youre being sarcastic or not. I assume the smily face means youre being sarcastic?

          1. bowserhead

            Yes, being sarcastic. I am also obsessed with handicapping this race. As of today,
            I now believe the anti- Hillary voters ( i.e. Repubs for Trump + “Die-Hards” for Sanders)
            constitute a majority of the electorate. Thus, unless Hillary makes a deal with Bernie for
            whatever policies he demands in addition to the VP slot, she is going to lose the general election to Trump (possibly in a landslide) as the blue vote in the 12 or so swing states
            will be thoroughly diluted by the defection of the die-hard Sanders voters. Course, would
            Hillary keep any promises to Bernie? Very doubtful.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      How much did David Brock pay to ask that question? Just askin’.

      But hey if enough of Brock’s republican friends vote for her it won’t be a problem. Maybe he can sheepdog them into her camp, especially after mommy Bush just explained how dear Bubba the old con-artist is to the Bush family.

      Never cast a ballot for a republican which is why neither Trump nor sHillary will get my vote.

    5. PNW_WarriorWoman

      Apparently she’s got it all covered and Dem elites are comfortable and happy that this is going to be easy-peasy. because Math and we should all just go home and vote for her. What? Are you worried? I suspect so. Just asking’.

    6. flora

      I’m voting against neoliberals and neocons. If it turns out that Trump is the only anti-neolib and anti-neocon in the general then I’ll vote for Trump – or write in Bernie. Hoping I can vote for Bernie as the Dem candidate.

      1. jrs

        If he’s still anti-neolib and anti-neocon by then which is anyone’s guess (eliminating federal minimum wages is pretty neo-lib). I don’t think the flipping started nearly this early with Obama although of course the signs were there.

        1. Ian

          Apparently he seems to be warming up to the idea of a minimum wage increase, on top of which he’s got a snazzy 1 Trillion dollar infrastructure spending campaign stolen from Bernie’s platform. He keeps pivoting left and Hillary keeps pivoting right and who knows.

    7. RUKidding

      Why’s it “Hilary’s plight”? What’s she doing about it? Sitting on her thumbs and waiting for the Trump-implosion has been a losing strategy thus far. Why should I have confidence in yet another gormless politician who plans follow a clear failure of a non-strategy. Wow. Way to use the “lesser of two evils” guilt trip.

      Not buying what’s being sold.

      1. Steve in Flyover

        Hillary and the Democrats underestimate the amount of gut-level hate there is out here for her and her lying-while-getting-knobbers from a 21 year old husband. There just isn’t any “fixing” pervs like that, especially when they can get away with it.

        Of course, with all of the stupid s##t out so called leadership is pulling nowadays, I’m convinced that these a-holes, nor this country can be embarrassed by crap like this anymore.

        Can’t wait to see what kind of s##t will hit the fan in the newly renovated, condo-ized Lincoln bedroom with that goofy looking doofus in charge.

        I can see it now……….

        Bill: “Yeah, I’ve decided that I deserve to bang all of the eighteen year old interns who happen to be hotties. What is anybody going to do about it ?? I’ll just lie about it, dare you to prove it, and accuse you of being witch-hunters when you do. “

    8. nippersdad

      “…sympathetic to Hillary’s plight?”

      Always the victim….! We should all have the kinds of problems that she has (self inflicted), and the ability to endlessly buy our way out of them as well./s

      The mere fact that this is even a possibility is about as severe an indictment of the modern Democratic Party and its’ political apparatchiks as could be found. Your suspicions are well founded. Sanders or Stein for me; let the chips fall where they may.

    9. Roger Smith

      Why the onus always on Sanders’ supporters? Hillary’s plight is her own damn weakness. When you accept that you can become more sympathetic to Sanders supporters.

    10. nippersmom

      Why should I sympathize with Hillary’s “plight”? When the hell has she ever sympathized with mine, or that of any one else who isn’t a profit vector for her? I’m more concerned about the plight of the American people if that war criminal should happen to lie and cheat her way into office.

      1. Roger Smith

        Hey she has sympathized! Did you not hear when she said, “It is okay that you are uninformed and stupid! I will still work for you!”

        I’ve never felt more wanted.

    11. John k

      Plight… Couldn’t be happier to hear it.
      Fl and Oh we’re very close… Add Va and any other little one and the dems elite, meaning those that went advocated Shill In the primaries, have elected trump, who is their own lesser evil vs. Bernie, who would have broken many elite rice bowls.

      Consider its not just Bernie supporters staying home or voting trump. Blac voters turned out en masse for O, not so many for the greater evil.
      So look at close states with a large amount of blacks in the rust belt and eastern seaboard.

    12. cwaltz


      The solution would be for Clinton supporters to jump on the Sanders train since he actually beats Trump.

      It’s the “pragmatic” thing to do. Don’t be a pie in the sky idealist.

    13. aab

      Die hard Sanders supporters are fully prepared to cheer that. None will switch to Hillary. None. I guarantee that. Or Biden, should they make the switch-out at the convention.

      I’m sure there are people who voted for Sanders who will buy the scaremongering and vote for Hillary. But while someone like me would never, ever have voted for her, there are a lot of softer folk who would have, if not for her brazen and repulsive behavior in the campaign.

      We have been warning the leadership not to do this. There’s plenty of numerical evidence to back us up. If they chose to do it anyway — blatantly showing that they care more about their personal grift than the party or the country — it’s on them. I get people on my Twitter feed every day trying to shame me. All “die hards” do. Their rudeness, bullying, lies and lack of any decent argument just allows us to practice our response and harden our resolve. Anybody saying “Bernie or Bust” really means it.

  5. Steve in Flyover

    One of the big drivers for new corporate/business aircraft sales over the past 20 years is “Fractional Ownership”, in which you buy (typically) 25% of a new aircraft, for which you are guaranteed 200(ish) hours of flight time a year.

    (Of course, the fractionals sell the shares at full retail, while they get a big discount on list by buying 25-50 aircraft at a time. Also not mentioned is the fact that a lot of these airplanes fly 1000 hours/year, but the owners are only contracturally receiving 200 hours. Where does the missing 200 hours go? I’ve got a pretty good idea……. )

    One of my “get rich” ideas has been to apply the same principle to sports cars. Not too many people out here in Flyover choose/can afford (say) a $60K Corvette. A bunch of people could justify spending $15K, drive a beater three weeks/month then driving a new Corvette for a week.

    1. Synoia

      Not too many people out here in Flyover choose/can afford (say) a $60K Corvette.

      Have you looked at the price of a loaded full sized pick up recently? About $60k. That’s what fly-over country buys.

      1. Steve in Flyover

        Yeah, it’s crazy. Get 75 miles away from a major metro, out here in flyover, and $60K can almost buy a house.

        Of course, that is an MSRP price. Several guys I know have bought new trucks with stickers around $60K. The reality is that the “out the door” price is 20-25% cheaper.

        And yeah, $45K is still ridiculous. So is $17-18K for an 8 year old F-350 with 125K miles on it, which seems to be the “going” price for a decent one.

        A truck has always been a better value proposition out here in BFE. A lot of people actually need and use them. A truck used for business can easily run up 20K miles/year. Resale is always a lot higher than a price-equivalent car.

        Used to be I’d buy a new car every 4-5 years, pay it off in four, then drive it for six more years, and get rid of it at the 120K mark. (My job is “on call”, so I can’t afford to deal with/stop and fix beaters, either myself, or by taking it to the shop). I’m not so sure that plan is the optimal anymore. It sure isn’t an optimal use of my time.

        Like many other things, what worked financially 20-30 years ago may not work today. From what I’m seeing, you optimize your resale value by trading at the 50-70K/3-5 year old mark. That’s the kind of car/truck a dealer can sell in a hurry on their used lot, and they seem to be motivated to give you a decent number to get it.

        Just traded a 2013 Dodge Challenger on a 2015 leftover Challenger R/T. Was in and out in under an hour (including test drive). They seemed really motivated to A) sell the leftover 2015 with a big discount off sticker, and B) make me a pretty decent offer on my trade.

    2. JustAnObserver

      Hi Steve,

      In my days as a glider pilot we did a similar thing. Very few could afford $100K+’s worth of hitech German plastic so we used to form ownership syndicates, typically 3 or 4 people, with defined flying “days” and equal share of all the costs.

      1. RMO

        That seems to have become less common in my club over the decade and a half I’ve been flying. Currently we only have two 2 person syndicates (SZD-55 and DG-202/17). The rest of the pilots who bought a ship instead of flying the club aircraft seem to prefer buying an older one that they can afford by themselves to getting something newer and better by splitting the cost. Their are three members who have new gliders but they are wealthy enough to have bought them outright, the rest of us are flying a Libelle, ASW-15, ASW-15B, ASW-19, Phoebus C, K-6E, Grunau Baby, Fauvel AV-36, Standard Jantar 1 and ASW-20. The club has a Grob Twin II, Standard Astir III, DG-300, DG-505/20 and L-23 so there’s plenty available for non-owners too.

  6. Alex morfesis

    Yes $hillary…breaking up the big banks would probably lead to a wave of events which would terminally end racism as we know it…it might be replaced by hate-ism…but racism as we know it would melt away…

    Redlining by financial institutions and adding in gaslighting by processing high interest loans to individuals who qualify for mainstream interest rates is a despicable racket…a buzzsaw you could not survive if you had been born into that economic reality…

    1. Steve in Flyover

      A little properly applied income redistribution might help.

      As it is now, middle/working class whites haven’t had a meaningful raise/COLA adjustment in 20-25 years. While costs, including taxes/user fees/the list goes on continue going up.

      In the meantime, they have seen enough to know that all of these calls for “income redistribution”, “free tuition”, “living wages”, etc, etc. etc. won’t be paid for by the top 1-10%ers. They will just hide/move their money elsewhere. It’s going to come out of THEIR pockets, one way or the other.

      Until you get the top 10%ers to pay their “fare share”, getting the caucasian wretched refuse to buy in to these “progressive” programs is just flapping gums.

      And that’s why I support Bernie Sanders. He’s the only guy who seems remotely interested in straightening out this state of affairs.

  7. Synoia

    Jellyfish never stop. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, they move through the water in search of food such as shrimp and fish larvae, on journeys that can cover several kilometers a day.

    I understand. That’s why I always feel stung by Wall St.

    1. Emma

      Not ‘Down Under’!
      Here’s a “Good on ya, mate!” to Bruce doing the right thing by Sheila (for a change….).
      Admittedly Aussie right-wing PM Turnbull sets an encouraging example with a third of his cabinet made up of women. Still, it doesn’t really represent the make-up of the Australian population but he’s definitely a step ahead of his brethren leaders elsewhere…..
      Makes you wonder what President Trump will do? Follow tradition? Ie. Just like MIT does having all these men talk about ‘progress & confusion’ in macroeconomic policy: https://mitpress.mit.edu/progressandconfusion
      LOL !
      Or will President Trump simply get radical? Oh yeah! President Trump gets real progressive and selects women to his cabinet. Except it’s women to talk over whilst pulling funny faces the way Rob Reiner so respectfully did to Kellyanne Conway recently as Bill Maher looked on in ‘Realtime’?

      1. JTMcPhee

        There’s women, and there’s women. Is Turnbull bringing on Nulands and Thatchers, or Warrens and Soong Kyis? X chromosomes in both strands of DNA is not much of a test of anything largely useful to us mopes…

        1. Emma

          Simply need mould-breakers, not code-breakers.
          Why be a bad guy when you can be a good woman like Elizabeth Warren who breaks the mould.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Bolsonaro is the Martin Shkreli of Brasilian politics. He’s great for the political class to have around because his outlandish statements deflect attention away from the blatant graft practised by the vast majority of Brasilian pols. I suspect this is what the NYT wants from running this story now: to path the runway for whichever grafter (eg Temer, Counha) will undo the social programmes put into place over the last decade and return Brasil to the Washington Consensus.

      Temer, Counha and Bolsonaro combined couldn’t muster 10% of the vote while Lula lurks in the background with over 50% approval. So the NYT would love to paint Temer (Goldman Sachs’ choice) as the most adult in the room.

      1. Emma

        Wasn’t it Paul Valéry who said “Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them.”

        Therefore, I wish all the Bernie Sanders for President supporters the very very best of incredibly credible ‘YUGE’ luck. They need it!

        Otherwise I intend launching a ‘Titatorship’!
        I will call upon ‘tits n’ tots’ of the world to unite and transform the world for the better!
        Beware, we are fast approaching ‘tits n’ tots in tanks’ time!!

        1. JTMcPhee

          We welcome our new Gyno-Overlords! Which portfolios will the Tots be holding, can I ask?

          I’ve been so happy to see how powerful women have proven at least as adept as my defective-Y mates in running things. And how about those legendary Kurdish women warriors? Gives the females of America something to shoot at, eh? http://www.recoilweb.com/girls/page/2/

    3. TK421

      Praise for torturers and military dictators

      Is that worse than praise for Henry Kissinger?

  8. dcblogger

    There is no occasion to support Trump. If you can’t stand Hillary fine, groovy, vote for Jill Stein, she is anti war and pro single payer.

      1. JerseyJeffersonian

        Well, Truthout defended themselves in a letter appended to the Counterpunch post.

        I used to follow Truthout pretty religiously back in the day when W was Pres, and on into the days when Obama slithered on to the scene. They did a pretty good job of smoothing the way for Obama early on, laying down the “Aspirational Presidency” stuff; i.e., he is “black” and that counts as an Unqualified Good, and how dare leftists (as opposed to gatekeeping liberals) overlook that undoubted Unqualified Good in their criticisms of what Obama actually DID.

        After one too many of these fawningly adulatory posts, I just stopped following their output. For some unaccountable reason, I react badly to having smoke blown up my ass, particularly when my own insights and information gathering don’t square with the party line, and I am basically told that I am some sort of closet racist, for fuck sake, for forming such opinions in the first place. (I voted for Cynthia McKinney, btw, both black and a woman, so that line of crap would never fly with me.) I didn’t buy Obama’s flim flam in 2004, because the signs were there that should have let you know that he was going to govern as the opposite from what the starry-eyed Hopey Changey acolytes preferred to believe. And so it proved.

        Maybe the reality lies somewhere between Mr. Pilger’s account, and that of Truthout; we may never know. But I think the possibility must be entertained that Truthout may be all attack-doggy to an extent, but then they assess where that might leave them should Hillary be the nominee, and their words come back to haunt them by leaving them open to the charge that they were among the “fucking retarded”, particularly should Hillary not win. Perhaps there is a little bit of the trimmer (from one who trims the sails when the wind shifts) in them after all, since it’s what, 16 years ago, and still – still – we have to listen to Nader’s voters being pilloried for what the Supreme Court did. And with that lesson in mind, particularly with the bloody-mindedness of the Clintonite Faithful to think on, mayhap it was considered to be time to trim the sails, me hearties.

    1. Waldenpond

      If a person believes Clinton will create greater poverty, it would be immoral not to do everything to defeat her. If a person believes Clinton will slaughter more people abroad, it would be immoral not to do everything to defeat her. I think it was Ian Welsh who wrote that the status quo is a couple billion dead from climate change and a possible extinction event. It would be immoral not to defeat Clinton after selling fracking to the world.

      I will do everything I can to reduce the number of mutilated, fly ridden rotting bodies I can…. if she will kill more, it would be immoral not to vote for Trump. Just have to wait and see what noxious and putrid have to say in the general.

      1. Massinissa

        Heres the thing, though. Im not convinced Trump wont do the same things. And if I vote for him, and he does, isnt the blood on my hands?

        Blood on my hands if I dont vote for em, blood on my hands if I do vote for him… Goddamn it, theres no perfect answers here. Im just going to try keeping my hands clean with Stein.

        But you know, if you want to vote for Trump, thats fine and all, but be prepared for the consequences. I dont think “Well, he might NOT have killed lots of people” will really be a great excuse if he does. But honestly I dont know, theres no good answers.

        1. aab

          The problem with your strategy is yes, you keep your hands clean. But one of those two people is going to run the country. You’re basically opting not to participate in the Presidential election by voting for Stein. Given what a dumb show and charade our elections have been revealed to be, I can’t claim that you’re doing something terrible. The marginal impact of any one real vote is limited. These manipulated, often uncounted or switched votes are massively less meaningful.

          But they do seem to have some actual power. Manufactured or fraudulent they may be, but the ruling class still relies on them to keep the populace in line, justify its wars and pumping of money to its cronies. It doesn’t seem to quite be at a Harlem Globetrotters/Washington Generals level yet. They aren’t quite agreeing ahead of time who gets what when.

          And this year seems particularly significant. Even if Trump rules as a typical Republican, the mere fact that he ran by repudiating its core beliefs means something. People are finding others who also see that the Emperor has no clothes, on both sides of the divide. That’s empowering. Collective action matters, even if votes don’t particularly. And people finding out they’re not alone is step 1. The elite has set up this “lesser of two evils” situation. This year, actually voting lesser of two evils could bring real good. Because Trump is unquestionably the lesser evil. Still probably evil, no question. But even if he goes back on all his leftish policy positions while keeping his racist incitement, the Ds will have to fight him, at least a tiny little bit. But more importantly, it should do real harm to both parties’ corrupt control. Purging the Clintons is good for the planet, in my opinion. And how much longer will corporations and banks flood the Democrats with money if they control NOTHING? Nothing in Washington, almost nothing in the states.

          I don’t want to vote for Trump. I want to vote for Bernie. But I have reached the point where I feel like voting for Trump against Clinton would be doing my patriotic duty. Because you’re right, there are no good answers in this situation. But if the only way to escape a trap is to gnaw off my leg, I’d like to think I’d have the guts to do it. The blood either Clinton or Trump spill won’t be on my hands. I’m doing my best to stop them.

          1. perpetualWAR

            Then vote for Bernie and let Massa vot for Stein. We all need to follow our own beliefs and vote for the person who we believe can best run this country!

            1. aab

              I agree up to a point. And I recognize that asking for people to vote for someone actively repellent because it has the potential to do great good in other ways is a big lift.

              My basic point is that if one views casting a vote as something moral, this may be a situation where the moral choice is the unpleasant choice. This isn’t just the usual game of two horrid candidates, please pick your poison. Picking one could result in a cleansing of the system. The other will not. So if you refuse to choose in this case, you may be giving up an opportunity to achieve something positive in the long run.

              I understand what I’m arguing is superficially close to “If you vote Nader, Bush is your fault” which is obviously nonsense. It is the parties responsibility to appeal to voters. But this system is so rigged that we aren’t being given a choice. I’m not saying it would be Massinissa’s fault if Hillary Clinton is elected. (At least, I don’t mean to; I come here late at night, so forgive me if that was implied.) I’m arguing the opposite: this could be an opportunity to bring positive change, even if it’s personally distasteful and in the short run negative.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Why was she not the first choice from the beginning?

      Instead of ‘not as bad’ (less of two evils), here, are we talking about ‘not as good?’

      1. cwaltz

        I prefer Sanders to Stein. I prefer Stein to Clinton or Trump.

        I’m voting for the candidate on the ballot that most aligns with my position and I refuse to vote for someone simply as a preventative measure against the “evil” other.

    3. John k

      Not so fast.
      What if trump is one vote short, and you voting for stein elects shill? And you know this means 8 years?
      But if shill goes down the progressives take back the dem party in 2020?

      1. Massinissa

        I am sick and tired of this nonsense. Voting for third party is voting for third party. Period.

        I vote FOR candidates, not against them. Im tired of both sides of the aisle being all “Oh but the OTHER guys are SO MUCH WORSE! Our terrible candidate wont be THAT bad!! Only 90% as bad!!!” Screw all of this. Its manipulation.

        1. jrs

          Yea what if the future is unknowable? I mean at this point we’re lumping calculations of unknowableness upon on unknowableness. Clinton will automatically lead to 8 years of Clinton etc.. How do we know that. IT seems there is some real tendency of incumbents to be reelected but … a lot of events could happen between that.

          The eleventy demensionalness just doesn’t matter. So take your best bet with someone who seems decent and even with the best shot we can’t entirely predict how they will govern.

      2. cwaltz

        If it elects shill then I guess Trump wasn’t as a good a candidate as many thought.

        If your candidate is good then people will vote FOR them, if they aren’t the best you can hope for is enough might be tricked into voting against the other guy.

      3. inode_buddha

        Wow, I so totally mis-read your first line in a very punny way. I could have swore it said

        “Not so Faust”

        (ref Faustian bargain, US elections…)

        OK, time for some sleep…..

      4. meeps

        The problem with this reasoning is that a vote for Stein elects $hill. Votes for $hill elect $hill; any assignment of blame rests there.

        1. MojaveWolf

          Ever since before the first primary, I have been openly talking about Sanders to my Dem &
          Republican friends & acquaintances, going way to back when people were still saying “Who?” or “How can you vote for a Socialist?” And inevitably, from back in 2015 to as recently as last weekend, people (only Trump supporters now, I know of ZERO local HRC supporters, the Dems & Indies are overwhelmingly Bernie, plus the last few weeks I’m wearing my Bernie cap & shirt as much as possible but even before then the only HRC supporters I knew in the whole state were one couple in San Diego; the HRC supporters in the rest of the country are no longer in communication with me & visa versa as a means of preserving the friendship for a possible future time) would ask me “If he doesn’t win who are you going to vote for?”

          And I keep saying “I hope he does or we are all screwed. I cannot stand either Trump or Hillary. Hate them both. If they steal the nom from him I hope he runs 3rd party, or we are all screwed. That said, I would rather Trump won than her. At least he didn’t cheat to win.”

          Followed by: “So who are you going to vote for if Bernie is out of it?” “Green”

          Followed by, from Trump supporters now, “That’s like voting for Hillary.” Response: “That is exactly what Hillary supporters say. Voting Green would be like voting for Trump. You can’t both be right.”

          Followed by, “Well, I guess that will have to do. Thank God you’re not voting for Hillary.” (notably, no HRC supporters ever said any version of this last part; they were all just “but Trump scaaaaaary” & seemed shocked when I say I find HRC equally so, perhaps moreso and start talking about trade agreements and her seeming desperation to start a war with someone, anyone).

          Seriously, guys, voting Green or ANY 3rd party is NOT voting D or R., and it makes more sense than not voting because it gives a sense of the mood of the country and maybe just maybe this time if Bernie runs 3rd party or all of his people flock to the same candidate, given the universal dislike of both Trump & HRC, we can shock the world with a 3rd party candidate, even one with limited political charisma (sorry to Stein supporters; I mean no offense, I like her but if she pulls off some kind of miracle it’s going to be the message & the awfulness of the opponents, not her personal delivery, that carries the day; which of course should be what carries the day all the time, charisma doesn’t give people jobs or keep the world inhabitable, and policy does, but my faith in the American electorate understanding that fact is…. limited).

          A vote for 3rd party is just that. It’s vote to say the hell with both the main alternatives, and try to build something else.

          And aaaaaallll that said, latest reporting aside, it’s still not over. The polls showing Cali close are utter garbage. And the HRC/DNC people know it or they wouldn’t be pulling their latest stunt of calling the election before anyone votes tomorrow.

          Truly, the Hell with all of them. Already cast my vote for Bernie; dropped it off at the local library this afternoon. And Stokes, as the only Berniecrat running for Senate.

          And that said, if by some supernatural occurrence in November I could be sure my vote for Stein wouldn’t matter, and my one vote in Cali would somehow decide the race for Trump or Clinton and my failing to vote would decide it for HRC, well, I damn sure ain’t voting for Ms. Cheat2Win.

      5. bowserhead

        That’s not logical. Voting for Stein is more likely to elect Trump, particularly in the 10+ swing
        states since the total potential blue vote for Shillary will be diluted.

        1. nippersmom

          Speaking for myself, I was never “a potential (blue) vote for Shilllary” although I am more likely in general to vote for a Democrat than Republican. I think the same can be said for many Sanders voters.

  9. neo-realist

    Re the reparations for financial and psychic scars from the recession, that was Obama’s bold legislation for free community college, wasn’t it not? 40 credits and a mule?

  10. Jsba

    On Flint Mayor: I live in MI (not Flint). The source of the allegations appears to be an Earley (the Emergency Manager) appointee, and supposedly occurred way back in February. Those two things make my skeptical alarms go off.

    That being said, I don’t really know anything about the Mayor (never saw a point in learning since the elected municipal government is null and void in EM situations). So even if the allegations are not complete fabrications, it might not be as bad as it sounds; or it might be just as bad as it sounds.

    Lots of really wild and egregious corruption here in the mitten (and I say that after living in both NY and RI). We’re in the midst of a month-long barrage of Detroit Public School principals getting arrested for taking bribes from vendors and all kinds of shady stuff. Of course, that fits neatly into the thinly veiled racist narrative of “these majority black cities are incapable of governing themselves” that has been the justification of egregious corruption at the state level (e.g. the EM law, which was overturned by referendum and then reinstated by sneaky parliamentary procedure).

    That narrative also only works by ignoring all urban history in the state since WWII (redlining, white flight, destruction of thriving black neighborhoods for urban renewal, etc. etc.). And being intimately familiar with such situations of compounded neglect, discrimination, and white bourgeois chauvinism, I am very open to entertaining the idea that things like DPS principals accepting petty bribes does not straightforwardly equal “stealing from innocent children!” Taking time to look into things on the ground, and being sensitive to historical and social dynamics, often dissolves such easy (and politically useful) accusations of wrong doing.

  11. Stephen V.

    There’s a name for that root sucker activity! Quite important economically to our forebears:

    In southern Britain, coppice was traditionally hazel, hornbeam, beech, ash or oak, grown amongst oak or sometimes ash or beech standards. In wet areas alder and willows were used. These coppices provided wood for many purposes, especially charcoal, which before coal was economically significant in metal smelting…
    [snipped from:

  12. nippersmom

    What has taken hold is an alternate reality, a virtual reality, where lies are accepted as truth and where conspiracy theories take root in the fertile soil of falsehoods.

    Sounds like a description of WaPo in general, and Chris Cilizza’s so-called “reporting” in particular.

    1. Jess

      “Sounds like a description of WaPo in general, and Chris Cilizza’s so-called “reporting” in particular.”

      Hit that nail right on the head. Cilizza is just another card in a deck that includes Jonathan Alter, Richard Wolfe, little Ezra, E.J. Dionne, Tweety, Lawrence O’Dious, Maddow, Wolf, Bobo, and Agent K.

  13. Jim Haygood

    Craazyman Fund attracts envious critics from the doom-monger brigade:

    The high-yield bond party might be over or soon will be, strategists from BlackRock and Bank of America Merrill Lynch argue.

    The main reason, according to the strategists’ respective research notes, is that the sole force behind the junk-bond rally was the rebound in commodity prices, headlined by oil futures’ 20% April gain.

    But as the commodity rally appears to be losing steam, there is little left to support the high-yield, or “junk,” market, the strategists maintain.

    In fact, the energy and materials sectors have disproportionately contributed to the junk bond market’s performance overall, said Richard Turnill, BlackRock’s global chief investment strategist, in emailed comments.


    Meanwhile, the Thomson Reuters equal weight commodity index is up 1.36% today. The brokers bark and snap at the wheels, but the commodity caravan rolls on.

  14. Tom

    @Lambert- Re: “If Facebook was biased against conservatives, I wouldn’t have to keep swatting down right-wing memes in my newsfeed”. Bet this is a culture war type misunderstanding. I.e. identity politics as something being stressed by liberals aka Hillary. Also promoted by the Zuckerman types. That is conservatives being riled by socially liberal memes on facebook and you paying attention to the real things. This all tired culture war stuff always reminds me of the fact that the only free debate in the rubber stamp East German parliament was about abortion in 1974.
    Just like the US congress in 2016.

  15. Carolinian

    Re the Press (and other things) this is an excellent interview with Robert McChesney.

    at its peak in the 1960s and 1970s, mainstream journalism had certain strengths including a commitment to factual accuracy — even if decontextualized — and there were considerable resources to cover communities. Dissident social movements got more of a hearing than they had at other times. It was commercially lucrative.

    Two great developments in the past 40 years have reduced commercial journalism in the United States to the shriveled and pathetic corpse we see today. First, was concentration of media ownership, or what Ben Bagdikian famously called the “media monopoly.” Hundreds of independent commercial media companies consolidated into a couple of dozen much larger firms over the last three decades of the 20th century. In a more monopolistic environment, these firms could cut back on resources for journalism without fear of losing advertisers or market share. And that is exactly what happened. The 1990s was a period of tremendous profitability for news media corporations, but it was also a decade where cutbacks in the number of reporters commenced in earnest. And this was before the internet was anything more than a hypothetical threat to “old media.”

    The emergence of the internet in the past 15 years has accentuated and made permanent what monopolization had begun. The business model of commercial journalism is dead. […]

    The dreadful coverage of Sanders on the centrist or even “liberal” channels CNN and MSNBC has been the source of endless frustration. The term “double standard” barely begins to capture the polar opposite treatment of Hillary to Bernie. Hillary people and advocates abound and her position is treated like the official position and her eventual nomination is taken for granted as the natural and proper and necessary course of events. There is a complete lack of interest in pursuing any actual journalism concerning her fundraising, her incredible corporate shakedown speaking tour that put $21 million into her personal bank account from 2013-15, or the links between her conduct as secretary of state and the Clinton Foundation. The corporate media/NPR are her true firewall, and the protectors of the realm.[..]

    In our book, John and I argue that rejuvenating an independent news media is a public policy issue of the highest magnitude. It is a cornerstone of the democratic infrastructure that a self-governing society requires. As we have written about at length, the framers of the US Constitution — while they were far from proponents of democracy in many regards — fully understood that creating a free press was mandatory for a free society and job one for a government dedicated to self-government. We must return to their wisdom posthaste.

    Shorter him: go NC. And there’s further discussion of how technology may be making Capitalist ideology obsolete.


    1. ekstase

      “For society as a whole it would mean that as automation proceeds, the benefits could be shared.”
      This links to a great article. There was an idea, promulgated in sci-fi and elsewhere, that technology could lead us to a world of real fulfillment, providing us with basic neccessities so that we could evolve into something higher, as we were supposed to do. And amidst all the mess that we’re in, the real possibility of equality and freedom for everyone, is making the desire to have more than others, to be unequal, begin to look like a disease. We don’t need this anymore, if we ever did. Maybe there is some evolutionary push behind this, and it is not “just” idealistic.

    2. B1whois

      I find this link much more informative than the RNN interview linked yesterday. Thank you

  16. Nick

    An article in the NYT about Hillary tacking left and proposing an expansion of Medicare.


    No questioning of how much it would cost, no condescending spin about how it wouldn’t work in “reality,” just touting the benefits of the plan.

    I also suspect that she would hold on to this plan about as tightly as Obama held on to the public option.

    I am SOOOO looking forward to Bernie wiping the floor with her in WV tonight and then in Cali in June.

  17. Matthew Saroff

    One note: Nixon’s southern strategy wasn’t Nixon’s.
    Barry Goldwater created it in 1964, and as the godfather of the conservative movement, he should be specifically named and shamed over it.

    1. makedoanmend

      Who get’s the credit?

      The one who thinks up the crime, or the one who executes it?

      And does the victim care?

      Maybe a lot of people can share the credit. Maybe everyone can share the credit by six degrees of association.

      Maybe we say that’s a really bad idea? Don’t do that anymore – you’re giving me a bad name?

      amen from a high pulpit (selfy sarc)

    2. Massinissa

      If Goldwater had ‘done the southern strategy’, how did he lose in one of the biggest routes in American presidential campaign history? Even most of the southerners didnt like the man.

  18. JTFaraday

    “As I’ve said: Watch out for airplane metaphors!”

    Somebody tell Ta-Nahesi Coates! Just because he hit the jackpot doesn’t mean he can’t crash and burn.

    Also, whatever is Budweiser thinking?

  19. ekstase

    “Congressional appropriations for the Park Service fell 8 percent, adjusted for inflation, from fiscal years 2005 through 2014,”

    If Mother Nature had wanted us to look at trees, she wouldn’t have given us America©-flavored Budweiser.

    1. jrs

      No it’s Hillary Clinton beer it comes in an AmeriCan’t (have nice things) and it’s very watered down.

  20. Jess

    The Guardian has this up:

    A Silicon Valley billionaire who is one of the top libertarian mega-donors in Republican politics will be a delegate for Donald Trump.

    Peter Thiel, who was a cofounder of PayPal and owns a substantial stake in Facebook, is on the ballot in California as a Republican delegate for Trump in the San Francisco-based 12th congressional district. Thiel’s name was on a list submitted to the California secretary of state’s office by the Trump campaign as an approved candidate.

    Can’t wait for Lambert’s comment.

    1. JustAnObserver

      Before Mr. Strether gets in I’ll just point out that Peter Theil is one of those goldbugging hyperinflation hysterics who’s been predicting the death of the $$ since Ayn Rand was in diapers (it seems). Calls John Galt a socialist wimp.

  21. allan

    Pragmatic progressive Andrew Cuomo goes Sgt. Schultz: I know nuzzink!
    Ladies and gentleman, I give you the current Governor and former Attorney General of the Empire State:

    Cuomo Says He Knew Little About Former Associates’ Troubles and Business Dealings

    It’s been reported that subpoenas from the US Attorney in a federal probe of the Cuomo Administration cover over two dozen companies doing business with the state, and several of Governor Cuomo’s top staff. But Cuomo says his understanding is that it focuses on just two people who the governor has cut ties with. …

    Cuomo says he also did not know of lobbyist Todd Howe’s long history of financial troubles and a felony conviction for writing a bad check, saying the two were not really close friends.

    1. Alex morfesis

      Time to issue andy his own iron cross, 4th grade…such a hero…(obscure hollywood made up prop for sgt- john banner- in stalag 13)

  22. Tenar

    For those of you who’ve been following the Nuit Debout movement in France:

    The French government announced today that it will attempt to pass its controversial labor reform law by force. 71% of the French population is opposed to the law and it looks like the government will face a no confidence vote in the parliament this Thursday.


    Nuit Debout jumped into action immediately following today’s announcement and Thursday should be a big day of action against the law. While the “socialist” government’s actions are utterly depressing, it’s really inspiring to finally see the people here wake up and say enough is enough, or as the French have been tweeting #OnVeutMieuxQueCa.

    P.S. This is my first time posting on NC (I’ve been a little nervous to jump in considering how smart the commentariat is), but I’m a huge fan and come here every day. Lambert, your water coolers are so refreshing and informative, so thank you! I’m still on a student budget, but once I’m able to I will definitely leave you a tip!

    1. flora

      This is interesting. I wonder if the labor reform law is part of a stealth pro-TPIP campaign. And I wonder how Holland’s heavy hand will benefit LePen’s National Front as well as benefit the Nuit Debout movement .

    2. JerseyJeffersonian

      Welcome, and thank you for sharing this information. Jump on in, the water’s fine.

  23. John k

    If shill gets the nom, it’s really important that she lose, Clearing the way for a progressive to win in 2020. Hopefully the Dnc will be ripe for takeover, too.

  24. allan

    Trick question: does the quote below refer to

    i) Bernie Sanders
    ii) Donald Trump
    iii) James Comey, or
    iv) Bill Clinton ?

    “There is a frustration that he is playing by different rules, but there is a belief that it has got to catch up with him,” said one person close to the Clinton campaign, adding that there was no consensus over the best response.


      1. bowserhead

        c’mon…it’s Trump. Clintonistas can’t figure him out:-) Watch him eat away those formerly
        blue swing states.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Can’t have a revolution without breaking some rules.

          Conformists follow rules; non-conformists don’t.

          That’s why I guessed the quote referred to Sanders.

  25. knowbuddhau

    About that “depressingly accurate 29-word description… What has taken hold is an alternate reality, a virtual reality, where lies are accepted as truth and where conspiracy theories take root in the fertile soil of falsehoods.”

    As I’ve become more and more aware over the last few years, of the effects of about a century of large-scale propaganda programs, and especially their more recent weaponization and targeting against us civilians, I’ve been looking forward to the moment when no US official could open their mouths without blatantly self-contradicting. Have we hit peak propaganda?

    I like your “as ifs.” The problem with psyops is that relying overmuch on them makes an enemy of the truth itself. The least little thing that contradicts them has to be met with all the force an empire can bring to bear. Thus the war on whistleblowers etc.

    Likewise, they can’t be acknowledged by the perps themselves. The various organs of the Mighty Wurlitzer orchestra can’t now say, ‘Yep, you’ve caught us, we’ve been lying the whole time.’ They should, but of course they won’t.

    I doubt there’ll be any reckoning short of collapse. If I were given to prayer, I might say something like, “Dear Lord, send us another couple thousand Brother Bernies!” But with a moniker like mine, I’ll just keep hoping we can deliver ourselves.

  26. Ebr

    The “Uber for tractors” is about as bad an idea as it sounds. How are they going to handle ‘surge pricing’ as when you need a tractor…everyone needs one at the some time…

    If farmers do end up using this company, and paying surge pricing, then we have a good data point on how unhealthy the rural economy is, that farmers can’t afford to buy their own tools

    1. Charger

      This already happens at co-ops and other associations. Equipment is purchased on essentially credit or the expectation of yield on the upcoming harvest. Big ticket items are 250k+ easily. An easy example:
      Lots of people have huge trucks to get the harvest out in wheat country, that equipment is idle 80-90% of the year, however when the harvest is on! It’s 24/7 until the job is done.
      This dynamic plays out with combines and heavy repair mechanics as well.

  27. aj

    RE: Troops prefer Trump

    This is from an active military friend who leans progressive:

    “From having talked with some fellow service members about this very subject there is a distinct lack of trust in HRC within the military. The email issue is huge because soldiers/sailors/airmen are constantly reminded about how careful we have to be even with PII let alone classified material. If someone had one Top Secret email on an unclassified medium they’d be toast…..she looks like she’s going to skate by despite having hundreds of classified emails on her personal server.

    Also, the Clintons have a history of not supporting the military. I’ve heard some horror stories from co-workers that had friends working in the executive branch during Bills term and they to a man say that HRC was awful to them.

    So, I think this is as much of condemnation of HRC than it is a blind backing of Trump.”

    1. Ian

      Great, a General Election run completely on contempt, disgust and fear of both candidates and how badly each one will run the US and the World into the ground from each side. Sadly both sides will have very valid cases and a lot of material to work with.

    2. jgordon

      I’ve been seeing from a lot of sources today that the Russian Federal Intelligence Bureau has 20,000 Clinton emails that they hacked from Clinton’s server and they’re debating on whether or not they want to release them.


      So… Biden vs. Trump then? Damn, I can’t stop laughing. This is just too rich. The media has been frantically pushing that kind of a criminal to be president, and plenty of Americans are just blithely going along with it. Looks like it’s going to backfire though. Poor neocons and neolibs. Looks like they’re not going to have someone in the bag for them this time around.

      1. John k

        If so, Russians get to pick our president.
        For Bernie release before dem convention, if trump, after.
        They hate shill, so if they’ve got them were going to see them well before nov.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Hillary will win a Nobel Peace if she wants to work with the Russians.

          Obama did Cairo.

          She will do Moscow.

          “I look forward to a joint US-Russian mission to send men and women to Mars. We will go boldly into space, because we are humans, deserving another chance.”

          1. jgordon

            Well the only problem is that the US no longer has a space program. Would Russia really be willing to give the US some credit when they’ll be the ones doing everything?

        2. JTMcPhee

          Maybe they might do a better job than we USans are doing? Not, in reality, that it matters a flying Fokk who the nominal titular head of state is. In reality. Really, truly.

    3. TsWkr

      I heard the exact same thing from a marine. The fact that Clinton has been able to remain viable while service members would be finished if they handled anything improperly has brought about a lot of resentment.

  28. John k

    There would be plenty of money for progressive/infrastructure uses if Corp income was calculated by taking US sales divided by the corp global sales, and multiplying times global net income.
    CA used to do that, was pushed/forced to change, great to resurrect that approach. Somebody tell Bernie.
    Can’t remember how/why CA was forced to change…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The trick, then, to get around that, for those with little global sales, is park their US income globally.

      Or move the parent corporation to a more friendly country. Then, global net income stays abroad.

      1. John k

        Companies like to brag about their net income, no matter where they are located.
        The point is to assume if 40%of a company’s sales take place in country, 40% of profits take place here. You just need three widely published numbers, local sales, global sales and global profits, companies cannot manipulate such that all profits happen to take place in a low tax area like Ireland.

    1. allan

      I’m sorry, but you simply have to get with the neo-liberal program.
      The current headline/subhead in the Washington Post reads

      Trump cruises to win in West Virginia’s Republican primary
      On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton may have found a purpose to the races that she is expected to lose this month: to connect with working-class white voters who may be crucial in a general-election battle against Trump.

      Who is this Sanders of which you speak?

      1. ekstase

        I thought silence was golden. Maybe not when you’re supposed to be a journalist. He just keeps winning and the news reporting looks more and more insane. Maybe that’s the way it has to happen

    2. Jim Haygood

      Hillary, March 2016:

      “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

      That’s no way to make friends in West Virginia.

      “I can’t be responsible for every undercapitalized entrepreneur in America,” Mrs. Clinton said in 1993, responding to charges that her health plan would bankrupt businesses and cut employment.

  29. different clue

    Lambert Strether,

    Since “identitarian” is a very newly-coined word, and not yet an accepted term of art, it is not too late to come up with something shorter. Can we have something like “identyan” or something equally short? How many people would work to prevent “identitarian” from ever becoming a word?

    1. Massinissa

      Identitarian has a nice ring to it, and reminds me of those crazy ol’ Libertarians.

  30. different clue

    Lambert Strether,

    The lack of multi-colored blotches on the tree trunks’s bark makes me question whether it is a sycamore. The smooth grayness of the bark makes me think “beech”. The heart with initials carved into the bark on one of the trunks also says “beech”, since carving initials into beechbark was a traditional practice.

  31. Adam Eran

    Blue dog “D” Ami Bera’s father pleads guilty to election fraud.

    Bera so consistently votes with R’s he might as well be one, but local D’s cobbled together formal support for him.

    Oh yes, and before this, he plaigarized corporate talking points to excuse his vote for TPP fast track. That was just before he voted for the Dark Act (forbids GMO labelling mandates).

    He’s declining to seek labor support (after labor leaders met with him and read him the riot act), and still can’t bring himself to decide what to do about TPP.

    As a “favor” for his constituents, he’s sponsored a “Budget workshop” put together by Pete Peterson’s Concord Coalition. Peterson is one of the squillionaires leading the charge to privatize Social Security.

    Thomas Franks says Clinton worked out that privatization deal with Newt, but his troubles with Monica Lewinski popped up, and he had to shelve the plan.

    Franks’ YouTube presentations about his latest (Listen Liberal) are priceless, BTW.

  32. Cry Shop

    Penn State
    If something as abhorrent as child molesting monsters can enjoy the level of effective support & protection, even proactive suppression from both the powers of a University Administration as well as a significant part of the alumni, then the whole of that part of society deserves condemnation. It’s not just this university, a supposed beacon of civilization; think about how easy it has been for every administration in cahoots with K-street to extend protection to the Timmothy Geithners , the Dick Chenneys , the Jeffrey Immelts and the Bush Families of this nation.


    We know that Bill Clinton was recorded on the log of a private yacht, as sailing to a private island, where underage girls were provided, sometimes against their will. It’s only the overseas media that covers this event, apparently in the USA it’s considered to blase to be news, or too close to home for even his worst enemies to use it against him. Says something about the whole of society.

  33. allan

    Staples and Office Depot End Merger Plan After Judge Blocks It

    A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a $6.3 billion proposed merger of Staples and Office Depot, dashing another huge deal and handing the Obama administration one more antitrust victory.

    Another pay-off from the administration’s recent 8th year anti-trust itch.
    Too bad they didn’t start 7 years ago.

    `A bad day’s when I think what might have been.” – Paul Simon

  34. Cry Shop

    “It couldn’t come at a better time: 2016 is expected to be the least profitable year for American farmers in more than 10 years”.

    If so, then it’s probably a manufactured bad year by the firms who’ve gotten a lock on agricultural products distribution. There are extensive crop failures in India, China, South East Asia and large sections of East Africa do to drought, flooding and other acts of extreme weather. Why discourage farmers in this market, one could ask. It could not be that agricultural land in the USA, Ukraine, etc. has become the prime interest of many private investors and sovereign funds with strong connections to Wall Street?

  35. amousie

    I’m curious. Watched network tv last night. NBC, ABC & CBS. Not once did they break into programming for an important announced about the West Virginia primary. Nothing on Bernie’s win. Now that Trump is presumptive, apparently the primary season is really over. Not that I’m surprised but that’s pretty damn blatant.

    Did anyone out there see a breaking news segment during the night?

    I didn’t turn to CNN, FOX news, etc. so I don’t know what they carried last night.

  36. mk

    UPDATE “Make no mistake. Those who support Trump, no matter how reluctantly, have crossed a moral boundary. They are standing with a leader who encourages prejudice and despises the weak. They are aiding the transformation of a party formed by Lincoln’s blazing vision of equality into a party of white resentment” [Micheal Gerson, WaPo]. After Nixon’s Southern Strategy? Is Gerson demented?
    Really?!! How about black voters that support HRC? Are they also crossing a moral boundary?

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