2:00PM Water Cooler 5/11/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.



“O.K., it’s easy to pick on Donald Trump’s foreign policy…. [I]f I were critiquing Trump’s foreign policy views it would not be on inconsistency, hypocrisy or lying. It would be that he shows no sign of having asked the most important question: What are the real foreign policy challenges the next president will face?” [Thomas Friedman, New York Times]. Readers, those of you who came in late may have missed how The Moustache of Understanding justified the Iraq war, post facto:

You should really listen to it all, just to show how insane “The Blob” is, but the (NSFW ) climax is at 2:45.

“Trump’s proposals are likely to run into direct conflict with the Fed’s monetary policy. More government spending and lower taxes would generate more demand for goods and services. This would add to inflationary pressures, raising the question: How would the Fed respond?” [Narayana Kocherlakota, Bloomberg]. “Right now, the Fed is sending conflicting signals.”

“Sanders: Clinton’s Medicare Buy-In Proposal ‘Not Good Enough'” [Bloomberg]. Medicare as “public option,” where people can buy-in at a certain age. How pleasant to see the “public option” being deployed as a fallback defense against single payer yet again; the career “progressives” who pushed it in 2009 — while simultaneously suppressing single payer advocacy — have a lot to answer for.

“Ultimately, [Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander] called for a fundamental restructuring of our economic system through the guarantee of jobs to all who wanted to work” [Review of Social Economy (2008)]. Alexander was the first African-American woman to earn a PhD in economics.

The Voters

“In multiple polls conducted by Manta, a social-networking site for small-business owners, Trump has repeatedly come out on top. In a survey asking about both major parties’ fields conducted at the end of February, Trump won with 34 percent, double that of Hillary Clinton, who came in second with 17 percent. OnDeck, an online lending platform specializing in loans to small businesses, found last month that 37 percent of its small-business-owner respondents felt Trump was the most likely candidate in either party to keep their interests in mind” [Salon]. “When the Center for Public Integrity analyzed Donald Trump’s filings at the Federal Election Commission, it determined that the largest source of “identifiable” donations to Trump’s campaign—after those who described themselves as retired—came from people who self-identified as the heads of small- to medium-sized businesses.”

“Why 2016 made a mockery of Nate Silver” [Ryan Cooper, The Week]. “[A]ll but the most stone simple journalism requires engagement with normative questions. I strongly suspect that Silver, understandably horrified by Trump, ended up doing the political equivalent of talking his book, predicting things that he wanted to happen rather than thinking with a clear head. This is the exact same problem with most gut-check political reporters, except they usually camouflage their own views by putting them in the mouth of a taxi driver or some other service employee.”

Our Famously Free Press

“Many people believe that what you see on Facebook represents some kind of data-mined objective truth unmolested by the subjective attitudes of fair-and-balanced human beings. None of that is true” [Farhad Manjoo, New York Times]. “[M]ost of the stories Facebook presents to you are selected by its algorithms, but those algorithms are as infused with bias as any other human editorial decision. ‘Algorithms equal editors,’ said Robyn Caplan, a research analyst at Data & Society, a research group that studies digital communications systems. ”

“Facebook’s news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation. Imposing human editorial values onto the lists of topics an algorithm spits out is by no means a bad thing—but it is in stark contrast to the company’s claims that the trending module simply lists ‘topics that have recently become popular on Facebook”” [Gizmodo]. This story is being framed as “suppressing conservative voices,” but thinking of Facebook as a newsroom makes more sense, IMNSHO. If that were explicitly Facebook’s role, which it isn’t.

West Virginia

“Sanders defeated Clinton among women, independents, and West Virginians anxious about their economic wellbeing, according to exit polling” [RealClearPolitics]. “Worries about jobs and the economy dominated Democrats’ concerns in West Virginia, where unemployment is 6.5 percent and where a third of Democratic voters Tuesday said someone in their household works in the embattled coal industry, according to exit polling.”

“A third of those who voted in West Virginia’s Democratic primary say they plan to back Trump in November, according to NBC News exit polls. Sanders won those voters by a wide margin” [NBC]. “Change” (Trump or Sanders) vs. “more of the same” (Clinton).

“[The message] — that the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination is effectively over — isn’t getting through to Democratic voters. Despite an insurmountable delegate gap, Sanders coasted to victory, yet again” [Good Morning America]. “Clinton’s struggles among core Democrats continue. Economic anxiety and frustration with the status quo drove voters to Sanders –- the alternative, at least in this state on this night, to the person they viewed as continuing Obama administration policies.” The dogs won’t eat the dog food…

The Trail

“Hillary Clinton: A woman and candidate with seriously complicated woman issues” [WaPo]. Treats the Lewinsky matter as Bill Clinton’s “philandering,” and as “infidelities,” adopting the Republican framing of the time.

I don’t agree. Clinton was the President, Lewinsky his intern. Clinton, by entering into a dalliance with Lewinsky as her institutional superior, abused his position, and her; a classic case of the use of public power for private benefit. Clinton’s corrupt behavior was much more like Representative Mark Foley (who abused House Republican pages) or Denny Hastert (who abused his students), then the behavior of Gingrich or Livingstone, who were merely adulterous. Funny how all the feminist talk about “power imbalance” vanishes when it’s time to drag Clinton over the finish line.

I added a link to the following material on the Clinton Foundation here because “the story is out there,” as we used to say during WhiteWater, and even if FOX is the source that mainstreamed it, that just means it comes a different tank from other venues, so far as I’m concerned. “Notes on the continuing crisis” [Charles Ortel]. Ortel doesn’t have the scent of a denizen from the right-wing fever swamp, but maybe that just means I’m insensitive or the piece needs debunking on a higher plane. Readers?

“Dems brush off polls showing close Clinton-Trump race” [The Hill]. “‘It’s a little early in the process for people to wrap their heads around the idea that Donald Trump could have the nuclear launch-codes,’ said another Democratic strategist unaffiliated with the Clinton campaign, Evan Stavisky. ‘As the election comes closer, that suspension of disbelief will end.'” I dunno about that. The hawkish Clinton has supported war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and a coup in Honduras. Do we want an itchy trigger finger next to the button?

“Joe Biden: ‘I Would Have Been the Best President'” [Good Morning America]. The circling shark shows a fin…

“What could be in the taxes that Trump has vowed not to release” [Francine McKenna, MarketWatch]. “Analysts anticipate a maze of real estate transactions showing losses and licensing profit left offshore.”

[Jack Blum of Tax Justice Network USA] says guesses that the Trump tax returns take full advantage of offshore arrangements to defer income from licensing his name. “His name could become a trademark owned by an offshore shell company in a tax haven and the shell would license its use. That income would remain untaxed until repatriated,” said Blum. “Imagine the name of a U.S. president being the property of an offshore shell!”

“Donald Trump and the Invention of Charismatic Finance” [The Atlantic]. Interesting article on Trump as a hotelier, compared to Paran Stevens, Statler, and Hilton.

“There is also strong evidence that most traditional public opinion surveys inadvertently hide a segment of Trump’s supporters. Many voters are reluctant to admit to a live interviewer that they back a candidate who has adopted such divisive positions” [New York Times]. “An aggregation by RealClearPolitics of 10 recent telephone polls gives Clinton a nine-point lead over Trump. In contrast, the combined results for the YouGov and Morning Consult polls, which rely on online surveys, place Clinton’s lead at four points. Why is this important? Because an online survey, whatever other flaws it might have, resembles an anonymous voting booth far more than what you tell a pollster does.” An interesting twist on landline vs. cellphone. And I’m 100% sure this happened in Maine with LePage, who was elected twice (though I don’t have any data other than anecdote).

“And to make creative choices, [Trump] writes: ‘I try to step back and remember my first shallow reaction. The day I realized it can be smart to be shallow was, for me, a deep experience'” [CNN]. So meta. And very similar to Clinton’s focus on wonk-friendly fine-grained detail.

“Trump Campaign Says Selection of White Supremacist Delegate Due to ‘Database Error'” [New York Magazine]. Uh-huh.

Clinton Email Hairball

“FBI’s Comey: I feel ‘pressure’ to quickly finish Clinton email probe” [Politico]. “In response to another question, Comey said he wasn’t familiar with the term ‘security inquiry’ that Clinton and her aides have used to describe the ongoing probe. Comey said he considers the work agents are doing to be an ‘investigation.’ … However, he passed up the chance to repeat a reporter’s characterization of it as a “criminal” probe.”

Stats Watch

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of May 6: “Falling mortgage rates stirred up some mortgage activity in the May 6 week, with purchase applications for home mortgages up 0.4 percent and refinancing up 0.5 percent from the prior week” [Econoday]. “Stirred up”?

“[Macy’s] expectations for profits are now lower because people just aren’t shopping in malls the way they used to” [Business Insider]. The Bangor Mall is “anchored” by Macy’s… And Sears. In a slow-moving crisis, things correllate slowly.

“China is still a major buyer of global assets. What changed last year is the risk appetite of those investing abroad, with private investors replacing the central bank as the buyer of these assets” [Liberty Street].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 63, Greed (previous close: 65, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 57 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 11 at 11:49am. Puttering along.

Dear Old Blighty

Latest elections: “Labour lost seats in Scotland, lost seats in Wales and lost seats in England. The very special case of London aside, these elections were awful for Labour” [Guardian]. UK readers?

“Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t got an ‘antisemitism problem’. His opponents do” [OpenDemocracy]. This was the pre-election scandal, IIRC.

Imperial Collapse Watch

“War crimes” [Geographical Imaginations]. Dense discussion of the US air strike on the MSF hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Class Warfare

“Growth of income and welfare in the U.S, 1979-2011 [NBER]. “The major consistent findings include what in the colloquial is referred to as the “hollowing out” of the middle class. According to these estimates, the income of the middle class 2nd and 3rd quintiles increased at a rate of between 0.1% and 0.7% per annum, i.e., barely distinguishable from zero. Even that meager rate was achieved only through substantial transfer payments. In contrast, the income of the top 1% grew at an astronomical rate.” Astronomical.

“The Fed Made the Poor Poorer” [Narayana Kocherlakota, Bloomberg]. “[T]t seems that the poor would have been better off if the Fed had done more to support asset prices — and particularly home prices. In other words, inequality rose because monetary policy was too tight, not because it was too easy.” What, the Fed has a triple mandate now? Inflation, unemployment, and asset prices?

Nike’s Phil Knight releases biography: “To cut to the chase, the real secrets of creating a fortune are not genius, leadership, risking your own money, or lots of hard work. They’re chutzpah, who you know, and luck. And the greatest of these is plain old luck. Oh boy, is it luck” [MarketWatch].

“Social Reproduction Beyond Intersectionality: An Interview” [ViewPoint]. “When one attends to the social reproductive relations, it becomes clear that – despite the equalizing impulses of capitalist value extraction – all labor-power is not the same. Certain workers, indeed increasingly so, are more vulnerable to heightened oppression than others – not due to any difference in the ways in which capitalist laws of accumulation operate, but because oppressive relations beyond the workplace mediate the social reproduction of labor-power, ensuring not only that workers arrive at capital’s doorstep, but that they do so embodying varying degrees of degradation or dehumanization.”

News of the Wired

“Cancellation of subscriptions to 2,116 Springer journals” [Université de Montréal]. Spring’s bundling model for journal sounds a lot like cable’s.

“I would no more urge everyone to learn to program than I would urge everyone to learn to plumb” [Tech Crunch]. On the “Learn to Code” movement.

* * *

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 (MR):


Roots, mon.

* * *

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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. Pat

      While Lambert obviously has bragging rights on all this, I think it has been clear from the beginning that:

      1.) Clinton does not understand or care why voters are flocking to Sanders, she is just annoyed at it and them. She wants them punished for inconveniencing her, NOT rewarded. Beatings, please.
      2.) Any moves to the left so far have been done grudgingly and in as small a manner as possible. She point 1.
      3.) Running as a liberal alternative to Trump is foreign to her nature, her politics and her own personal best interest. There are far fewer speaking engagements, mega donations to the Clinton Foundation, and dare I say it a much smaller Presidential Library for someone who has to occasionally give the rabble real value and not just lip service. And see point 1.

      1. Synoia

        Precisely. Which is why I personally, and it appears many others, have the following priorities:

        1. Bernie
        2. ABC – Anyone but Clinton
        3. Emigration (I prefer Africa on the Plateau, but, by spousal imperative, Southern Europe will work as well).

        The I can watch the fireworks from afar, because if Clinton, fireworks there will be.

        1. Carla

          Far be it from me to tell you what to do, but if you can’t stomach voting for Trump and haven’t made it out of the country before the election, please consider voting for a 3rd party candidate who is on your state ballot. This is simply to help 3rd parties retain ballot access. If no one votes for their candidates, they lose it. And I think we may really need some additional parties SOON.

        2. Sam Adams

          Lucky you have an out by spouse. Nobody wants the born and bred Americans settling in thier countries…

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Just acknowledging that there will be no “grudging moves to the Left” in anything but Hilary’s word salad. Actual policy adjustments will = zero.
        She already said “I didn’t demand anything from Obama in 2008”, so Bernie should not be able to demand anything from her.

        1. Pat

          Mind you an eight year senator with little or no foreign policy experience was a no brainer choice for Secretary of State. And then they were such pals, that Barack helped her fund raise to pay off her campaign debt to the tune of millions. But no, she didn’t demand anything….for any of her supporters.

      3. JustAnObserver

        Slight modification to #1. She doesn’t care *therefore* she will never make the slightest attempt to understand.

  1. Brindle

    Good to see Biden poking his nose ( fin ) into the news—makes me hopefully think that he knows something in the email FBI investigation is not going well for Clinton.

    1. jgordon

      I’ve been hearing that Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee. Any confirmation/refutation out there?

      1. Pat

        Just speculation from conspiracy nuts like me. I’ve believed for a while now that if Clinton looks to be a liability – either from the email hairball OR because her negatives are so great she could lose – that the Supers will throw the convention into contention and steer it toward Biden. And the polls this week probably make that a reality. The PTB both in the party and in general are going to start putting a different thumb on the scale. Be prepared to see more and more of Uncle Joe going forward.

              1. B1whois

                Perhaps you could point out where the linked article gives us information about Joe Biden, because I’m not seeing it. However, I do notice that “the blob” makes an appearance here as well. Different blob though.

                1. tegnost

                  Sanders has the momentum and just as with bloomberg, biden represents the same things sanders supporters are against, so just another status quo candidate, will make a lot more money as a lobbyist if he does not run because he’s favorably viewed “in those circles” and losing would crush his potential elder statesman status. Not a good choice for us, and not a good choice for joe…

      2. Roger Smith

        From where? I cannot imagine that flying with the Clintonite Dem. Establishment and definitely not Sanders and his supporters.

        How could he even possibly win? Is there some sort of brokerage type process like what the RNC has?

        1. Pat

          No one is going into the Convention with the nomination sewn up with pledged delegates. All that has to happen is that the Super Delegates who have declared for Clinton, put the brakes on her campaign. Yes it will be a rebellion. But after losing umpteen straight primaries, and coming into the convention with only a small lead both in votes and in delegates over Sanders, and maybe not even that, the Super Delegates could become all so concerned about her inability to seal the deal even in her own party and throw it to multiple ballots. The only question is really going to be how to herd the Clinton delegates to Biden. Still I’m pretty sure if the choice is Biden or Sanders most of Clinton pledged delegates are going to mistakenly blame Sanders NOT their candidate and the money men who run the party and go with Biden.

          1. Roger Smith

            So all of the pledged delegates for Clinton from the primaries would simply have to revote for Biden at the convention? It is as simple as that? No money spent, no campaigning, zero popular votes?

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Yes, see 1968, Humphrey, and the Days of Rage.
              So the nation ends up with The Village Idiot as president, much as the Roman Senate supposedly ended up with a horse named Incitatus as Senator.
              (At least they also got the handsome front end of the animal whereas we would just get the end that emits the used oats).

            2. Pat

              After the first ballot, they are free to vote how they choose. Or depending on the world, etc, how they are told to choose. And yes,afaik, there is no rule that the winner ever had to be on a primary ballot.

            3. NotTimothyGeithner

              Its closer to wishful thinking. It would be an epic disaster. Even Hillary supporters would feel cheated. Democrats tried this in October, but Biden only hurt Hillary despite universal name recognition. He’s a nothing.

              Anita Hill, Bankruptcy, Iraq, the Patriot Act, franking, the gaffes, Biden’s age. They would crush him over time, and Obama isn’t being brought up by voters. Obama’s time is done. Biden would be lead to outrage.

              1. Pat

                Wishful? Not on my part.I don’t find Biden much more appetizing than I do Hillary even if I find he has better sense of the public’s position than Clinton does for the most part (see gay marriage). He is still a neoliberal corporate hack. I’m not going to be herded there either.

                Here’s the difference between now and October, in October the target was Bernie. Now it would be Clinton, they would want to take out. I’m pretty damn sure that everyone would feel cheated, but if our Overlords are happy and think they have a winner watch them do it.

            4. tegnost

              Clinton dropping out for Biden would be a boost for sanders, sports tip, when you see the other team imploding, cheer them on

              1. CraaaaazyChris

                … also a big boost for Trump. Remember how for months we were chattering about the Republican clown car? Now it’s almost showtime and we’re contemplating Biden, Hillary and Bernie running around with the big red noses and rainbow wigs! The three stooges, live in Philly this July!

        2. jgordon

          Yeah I can’t imagine it resulting in a positive outcome for the party (like I care anyway). But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to try it. Sanders is unacceptable to the people who count, and it looks like Clinton is terminally compromised at this point, what with Russia having the entire contents of her email server and all. To the perverse thinking of the Democratic apparatchiks Binden probably looks like a stellar alternative. I heard this from a Jim Rickards interview. He spoke as if it were already a done deal.

      3. aab

        Cenk Uygur reported that Democratic insiders were telling him it’s already set — if Clinton has to drop out, her delegates will go to Biden and the supers will ram it through. Nothing on the record, and I don’t know how well-connected he is to the kind of people who would really know. But that’s what he said he was told by numerous Democratic party sources at the parties around the WH Correspondents Dinner.

        1. Mike Mc

          As a caucus captain for Sanders in my state which he carried, as a rank-and-file Democrat since 1984, as the parent and stepparent of six Millennials, lemme tell ya – it’s either Clinton or Sanders.

          If Hillary is indicted or otherwise compromised, it will be Bernie or President Trump. The millions of voters – and donors – who’ve kept Bernie in the race will never accept Beltway Biden. Efforts by Democratic Party insiders to select anyone other than Clinton or Sanders will make the current GOP dysfunction look like a church social. I remember 1968 pretty damn well and so should the Democratic leadership.

          1. aab

            You may never see this reply, but I hope you’re right.

            The election theft in New York was so obvious, so extreme, and the media blackout so complete it absolutely crushed me. That is what leads me to believe that they’ll do it. The controlling leadership seems completely committed to retaining power by any means necessary. The pretense of democracy is being shredded daily.

            I am quite fearful that they actually see demonstrations goaded into riots and violence in Philadelphia as a positive, to consolidate her support with Republicans. I don’t think it would achieve that goal, but it could certainly achieve the goal of killing and maiming thousands. I prefer your point of view. Again, I hope you are right.

    1. Vatch

      Montana has an open primary, so any registered voter can vote for Bernie Sanders on June 7. The deadline for regular registration expired on May 9, but late registration is still possible:


      Q. What are the deadlines for the close of regular registration for the federal primary and general elections?

      A. Regular registration closes 30 days before any election. Late registration begins the next day, and ends at the close of polls on election day (except from noon until 5:00 p.m. on the day before election day). Late registration can only be done at the county election administrator’s office or the location designated by the election administrator.

      1. Daryl

        Wonder if Trump sealing the Repub. nomination will help Sanders in the open primary.

        1. jgordon

          I don’t think there were many Cruz voters our there who suddenly feel psyched about voting for Bernie now that Cruz is out. On the other hand I could imagine those voters going with Hillary.

  2. Unorthodoxmarxist

    Corbyn looks to be entirely hobbled by a Labour establishment completely opposed to him and any leftward movement. His attempt to keep the party as a big-tent organization will either end in his defeat or having to take a more radical move by purging the organization of its neoliberal, Blair-ite wing. Unfortunately this will mean cleaving most of Labour’s parliamentary wing from the party.

    Until that happens I don’t see much hope for Corbyn and the left within Labour.

  3. JohnnyGL

    “Sanders: Clinton’s Medicare Buy-In Proposal ‘Not Good Enough’”

    If you water down coffee, you just end up with dirty water!

    So glad to see this limp, half-hearted proposal get swatted immediately.

    1. ProNewerDeal

      Can somebody summarize H Clinton’s CURRENT health insurance policy?

      Apparently there would be a Medicare Public Option for those aged 55-64, & an ACA Public Option for those aged 18-54? Am I understanding this correctly?

      Why not just have one Medicare Public Option for the aged 18-64 (the premium could be partially actuarially based on age)?

      Why should I believe H Clinton? H Clinton & her hacks like Prof K constantly brag about her being “experienced, wonkish, knows the details”, & dismissive of Sanders as a lightweight. Yet AFAICT H Clinton is a Trump Jr in terms of continual flip-flopping, & NOT specifying detailed policies, albeit not as extreme of a flip-floppa or lightweight as Trump.

      If the BigMedia was not useless, perhaps they would have a subject matter expert like a Public Health Prof or PHNP physician comment on H Clinton’s latest flip-flopped policy, as opposed to some pundit bloviator gasbag like Bob Beckel.

      Thanks in advance for any reply

      1. cwaltz

        I suspect Medicaid is favored for exactly the reasons Republicans say it is. Medicaid funding requires state sharing the costs. Our Republican lite leadership is still focused on decreasing that deficit and they can do that by shifting costs.

        Nevermind that having 50 different systems is wasteful and needlessly complex.

        1. ProNewerDeal

          Are you saying that H Clinton’s “ACA Public Option” for the 18-54, for those above the 138% FPL income level, would be paying a premium & receiving Medicaid?

          1. cwaltz

            I believe that it’s entirely possible that it would be another expansion of Medicaid rather than an expansion of Medicare.

            Our great and wonderous leaders, as it is, have been trying to do everything they can to do destroy the popularity of Medicare. They said it in 2008- a single payer system like Medicare is a non starter. I believe them.

    2. katiebird

      I was watching a pre HCA Senate Hearing in early 2009. Max Baucus was asking about the possibility of opening up Medicare to some degree. And he asked what the amount would have to be for A Person to buy in…. According to my memory, it was in the range of $7,200/year. Which is pretty unaffordable for multiple family members. If they really really required full buy in. And would supplemental & Prescription policies be available?

      Whatever the buy in amount would be… Medicare wouldn’t work for families unless it was restructured and expandd.

      We need Bernie. Not Hillary’s puny plan

    1. katiebird

      Meanwhile half of everyone has worked in a job where they couldn’t forward a work email to home email without getting swatted down. And I’ve known people who were written up for sending those joke emails around using office email. …. If someone decided to conduct Library business off a home server? Crazy.

      I honestly think the whole idea is a sign of mental instability.

      1. Steve in Flyover

        Never mind whether she had or didn’t have secret material on the server. Why did she decide to operate her own private server to begin with?

        Knowing the Clinton track record, it was probably there to hide stuff she didn’t want Republicans or Joe Q Public to see. And/or to muddy the waters regarding disclosure.

        Any delay in disclosing the truth helps her. Especially if she can push it back past November. That way, her supporters can continue their fantasy that they aren’t supporting the biggest crooks ever to sit in the White House (when judged by $$$$).

        And of course, if she’s elected, all of this will disappear……..

        1. Synoia

          Why did she decide to operate her own private server to begin with?

          She was afraid of being Snowdon.

    2. DJG

      Ranger Rick (and noting Katiebird’s astute observation): I’m all in favor of a package deal of pardons: Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden.

      Think Obama the Merciful will go for it?

    3. Toske

      Conflating a private server with unclassified government servers? Please. The latter can’t simply be totally or partially wiped as soon as a subpoena is received.

  4. Seas of Promethium

    “The message — that the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination is effectively over — isn’t getting through to Democratic voters.”

    Kneel, voters!

  5. Goyo Marquez

    FWIW out here in the tiny state of California, whose voters are not as important to the Democratic Party as the voters of Mississippi, Alabama, or South Carolina, my first grade teaching wife was presenting a writing assignment about opinions to her first grade, all Mexican-American class.

    She used as an example of “opinion,” voting for president. When she mentioned Trump her students all booed. Someone asked who she was going to vote for and when she said Bernie the whole class cheered. She was very surprised they were even aware of Bernie’s existence.

    1. RP

      Everyone under 35 gets it.

      Third Way Neoliberal Hawkish Republican-Lite Austerity has run it course (and all but the rich into the ground).

      The future of the United States is democratic socialism. All that remains is to see how hard the outgoing oligarchy will fight to maintain their ill-gotten gains.

      Hoping for a Moscow 1991 moment. Not holding my breath.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Everyone under 35 who extracts themselves from their self-absorbed Instagram-addled existence long enough to turn up and vote. So far nationally that equals around 20% of them.

        1. aab

          That’s just mean. If it is an accurate count of this year’s primaries AND caucuses, you are aware that the Democratic Party has aggressively suppressed the votes of the young because they know they’ll vote for Bernie, right?

          And if you’re basing that assertion on the last election cycle, they had little affirmative reason to vote.

          I’d like to see the link, in any case.

      2. Christopher Fay

        Hoping for a Moscow 1931 or Russian officer corps 1939 moment. Standing by waiting to cheer.

    2. #feelintheberninwi

      Bravo to their parents!
      And thanks to your wife:)
      I think your votes are tremendously important. I’m waiting for you all in California to give Bernie a yuge victory.

  6. alex morfesis

    Ortell needs to get out more often…not to be an apologist for the $hillaryus and company money funnel commonly known as the Clinton Foundation, but his argument about UK laws…the UK does not even regulate the term “foundation” and sadly, the conversion of funds by the $hillary krewe is double a ball compared to most major american “charities”…and though we know it is bad in the US, it is much worse around the globe, and yes, especially europe, where foundations are allowed to have private “returns”,,,

    not that I want to wake up in 2017 and hear her taking the oath of office…

    but “Goodwill” prosecutes shoplifters…shoplifting “used” items is probably not something some afluenza teenager does for kicks…items that have been “donated” and most people probably falsely believe are “given” to needy people…

    the Red Cross “still” has a messed up blood system that no one chats about…all these years and billions of dollars later…

    most large functioning american charities go around “promoting” and “educating”…certainly not getting funds into the hands of the needy…

    He is also wrong about the idea that the board of directors are the ones who go around glad handing…so, he either has a rather sophomoric idea of how foundations and charities actually work in america, or he is playing dumb…none of which helps draw out facts…

    these funds will be used to help,,,


    these funds will be given to…

    it sounds the same, but in the non profit world they mean different things…

    c.a.r.e. and all the global childrens networks based on religious grounds…are the funds going to the “adopted” family or used to pay for photo ops of parishioners and others handing out used clothes when much more could have been sent just by shipping it instead of paying for staff and photographer and crew to be “pictured” handing it out…

    by all means Ortell, dig into the $hillary Grifter foundation, but with useful facts, not wild sounding and off base questioning of how a foundation or charity “operates”,,,one would be hard pressed to find one that actually functions as one imagines…and forget the “ratings”…those are no better than transparency international forgetting that Seimens corporation (and the A-O) exists…

  7. diptherio

    NCers will appreciate this poster:


    Feeling Sad and Depressed? Are you anxious? Worried about the future? Feeling isolated and alone? Maybe you have Capitalism.

    1. curlydan

      Take two Bernies and call me in the morning. Side effects may include hope for the future and an increased sense of humanity.

  8. Benedict@Large

    I recall Friedman on Oprah during the run-up to the Iraq War. He was OK with it, but he wasn’t too such of the people who would be running it (referring to Bush and Cheney). I guess by this interview he had gotten the bubble idea down, so the messiness that followed? Meh.

    One thing I did get from the clip is why these interviewers get paid so much. If I had been the interviewer, I swear I would have been laughing so hard I’d have needed a diaper. Seriously, these people can keep a straight face over a bubble killing a million people who didn’t have jack to do with 9/11? That’s padded cell territory.

  9. Higgs Boson

    Professor Mustachio: “We hit Iraq because we could.”

    “We could’ve hit Saudi Arabia.” But we didn’t. Care to explain why?

    “We could’ve hit Pakistan.” They have nukes. The USA never attacks with anyone who has nukes. Look at North Korea. Why haven’t we whipped out some “regime change” on them? Because they would let loose with the nukes.

    1. polecat

      Thomas Friedman….another “GURU’ in black attire……….blech!!!

      If I don a black sport coat, shirt (collared,or not),and pants……..and place my hands in the foreword prayer postion, looking extremely pious while spewing utter bullshit………does that mean that I can get in on some of those super cool gig tubmans??………acquiring minds want to know??

      as an aside:
      ….Lambert……perhaps you or Ives could add another heading to links or water cooler…..

      maybe label it ‘good guys wear blackened hearts’…….

    2. shinola

      Well, “hitting” N. Korea would likely risk direct conflict with its neighbor – you know, China. Perhaps not such a good idea.

      From an historical POV, China probably prefers maintaining a divided Korea.

  10. grayslady

    “Hillary Clinton: A woman and candidate with seriously complicated woman issues”

    The WaPo article refers to Rand Paul’s description of Bill Clinton as a “sexual predator,” and the referenced article quoting Paul tries to make Paul’s accusations out to be spurious. Unfortunately, Rand Paul’s description mirrors the experience of a young friend who met Bill Clinton, unexpectedly, a few years ago. My friend spent approximately an hour with Clinton, in purely social circumstances, and described him as, and I quote, “slimy.” According to my friend, Bill Clinton commented on every young woman’s anatomy, followed by suggestive sexual remarks. Ever since I heard this first-hand story, the thought of Bill Clinton back in the White House has been intolerable.

    I’m not suggesting that Donald Trump is an individual whose presence in the White House is more acceptable. Both men would be a complete embarrassment to the country. It doesn’t matter to me how Hillary chooses to manage the situation with Bill or his babes. Rather, it tells me that she has no respect for herself, and I’m tired of being offered candidates who have major psychological issues–whether it’s George Bush with his daddy insecurity, Barack Obama becoming livid when criticized, or Hillary Clinton willing to forgo her self respect for money and power. It’s Bernie or bust for me. Enough is enough.

    1. Jess

      A few years back one of my acquaintances in the entertainment industry related a story about Clinton visiting some mutual friends of my acquaintance in Miami. Seems he had a couple of hours to kill before an event. He suggested to the family’s college age daughter that they ride around Miami in his limo looking at the sights…while she gave him a blow job.

      Class guy all the way.

      1. perpetualWAR

        He suggested she give him a blow job? Or was this the college gal’s idea?

        I know someone who met both Clinton (she described him as an “ass”) & W (who she described as clueless but very respectful.) I thought her comments very interesting.

        1. Jess

          He suggested, or rather requested, the blow job. The coed was appalled, told her parents, and, if I recall the story correctly, they terminated all further contact with the Clintons.

    2. Anne

      I have felt for some time now that Hillary’s climb up the ladder of power has been about prevailing over her husband in the only way she could – that it’s the reason for all the high-dollar speeches (see? I can make just as much money as you can!”), her run for the Senate, and the 2008 and 2016 runs for the WH (“Really, Bill, I’m better than you are”).

      I would really prefer a president who wasn’t using public office to play out whatever dysfunctions and deficiencies he or she has – individual or group/family counseling would be a better way to handle that than believing that the acquisition of money and power will be the answer to all that is missing from their lives.

      Given their history, these are two really damaged people who need to find a way to fix themselves that doesn’t involve things that affect my life.

      Not to mention that the idea of Bill Clinton back in the WH, in any capacity other than as a dinner guest, pretty much makes my skin crawl. I am more repulsed by Hillary’s suggestion that there will be a policy role for her husband.

      I guess I just can’t stomach the idea of the old Clinton gang getting the band back together to visit the same old crappy policies on the country yet again – only this time, probably with more war!

      1. gonzomarx

        I’m pretty sure the Clintons are the model for the Underwood’s relationship in US version of House of Cards

    3. ScottW

      Lambert’s characterization of Bill’s sexual interactions with an intern is precisely correct. Having worked in employment law, I can assure you any CEO of a company doing what Bill did to Monica would be let go. There is no defense for an affair with an intern–none. There are some excellent accounts of how Bill interacted with Monica and it is a premeditated, intentional abuse of power in a business relationship. Consent is not a defense because of the power imbalance.

      Add to that lying to the public and only a man sitting as President could hold have kept his job. Had Bill been kicked out of office, Hillary would not have been Senator, Sec. of State or the presumptive Dem. candidate. It is kind of like letting Bush get away with war crimes, torture, etc. It leads to another Bush–oops–the Republicans appear to have been smarter in jettisoning Jeb.

      1. LizinOregon

        I am pretty sure Gingrich’s girlfriend (now wife) was on his staff so he belongs in the first group. Small point and not in any way to dispute the argument that Bill Clinton is a sexual predator. We all saw that in action in the early days in Arkansas.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        Thank you. When I slip the shiv in, I want the subject’s heart to stop.

        The moralizing and the pearl clutching fail, both on grounds of general human frailty and “Two words: Lucy Mercer.”

        The Clintons being lucky in their enemies, moralizing is the tack that the Republicans took.

        1. bayoustjohndavid

          “When I slip the shiv in, I want the subject’s heart to stop.”

          I understand that, but that doesn’t excuse misleading exaggeration:

          “I don’t agree. Clinton was the President, Lewinsky his intern. Clinton, by entering into a dalliance with Lewinsky as her institutional superior, abused his position, and her; a classic case of the use of public power for private benefit. Clinton’s corrupt behavior was much more like Representative Mark Foley (who abused House Republican pages) or Denny Hastert (who abused his students), then the behavior of Gingrich or Livingstone, who were merely adulterous. Funny how all the feminist talk about “power imbalance” vanishes when it’s time to drag Clinton over the finish line.”

          There was certainly a great power imbalance, and Clinton did commit an offense that could get most executives fired. However, Lewinsky was a college graduate in her twenties, not a high school student like Hastert or Foley abused. Also, although she was in intern when she first met Clinton, she was a paid federal employee for almost the whole time she was at the White House.

          I certainly don’t want to defend Clinton; hell, I wouldn’t call the above a defense. But when exaggeration reaches a certain, we should all call bullshit, even on people we respect and mostly agree with. The use of the word “intern” combined with comparison to people who abused minors is getting pretty close to, if not reaching, that level, IMO.

          1. Yves Smith

            You apparently didn’t read what employment lawyer ScottW wrote:

            Consent is not a defense because of the power imbalance.

            This was not about her age.

            I saw the same thing happen on Wall Street with partners and analysts (college students) and new MBAs (similar age to Monica). No way could they say no without there being consequences.

            1. bayoustjohndavid

              Not trying to the kind of troll that always has to get the last word in, but I acknowledged that Clinton did something that could get him fired, as well something that could lead to lawsuits in private business. Lambert compared him statutory rapists, or worse.

              She was a very junior, very young employee and there’s no excuse for Clinton actions. That said, “intern” strikes me as a loaded term to describe an adult who was a paid employee for most of the time she knew Clinton. So what if the press accounts of the time and subsequent accounts have all used it? It’s still somewhat misleading.

              She was an intern for the first month or so. That means the problem of needing a family that can support you while you take an after-college internship if you don’t have Ivy League credentials (or some kind of connections) and want to get ahead in the meritocracy goes back at least twenty years. That’s strictly an aside, more thinking aloud something that hadn’t occurred to me before that anything else.

    4. pretzelattack

      hear, hear. i was an ardent defender of bc back during the impeachment days; i confess i didn’t realize how bad he was, and his republican tormenters were so appalling–family values advocates like denny hastert. i should have learned from bob shrum’s campaign strategy that the only democrat likely to be elected would be some dino slimebag like clinton.

      no more neoliberals, no more neocons, no matter what team’s jersey they wear.

  11. grizziz

    I would predict that if Bernie became President his likely congressional cohort would box him so tightly that a Medicare buy-in would appear as a crowning achievement. Bernie might have a great platform, but down ticket Democrats do not look like they are ready to change their rice bowls.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Except, down ticket Dems are nobodies. Let them try. One of the reasons Democratic elite have sworn fealty to Clinton is they know she is a crook who won’t rock the boat, but no one will challenge get the President of their own party. It will be too late if there is a President or even nominee Sanders. Hillary can barely fill the stage behind her, and she is way more popular than Congressional Democrats.

    2. Roger Smith

      And if they did, those people will be gone in 2018. If Sanders wins he will most likely run an expanded version of what he did in his first term as mayor, spending the first year supporting independent city council members who could help him pass proposals.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The specter of a Sanders rally for a primary challenger where Sanders doesn’t even acknowledge the incumbent will terrify every incumbent.

    3. m

      Doesn’t Bernie know this, he said he needed our help (average citizen) to get things done. He probably knows they are all crooks. Health insurance, trade agreements, tax dodging, etc…

    4. mk

      Bernie will use the power of the people to pressure their representatives to support Bernie. As I expected Obama to do, but Obama was more worried about getting Republican support, team of rivals and all that.

    1. polecat

      same reason they like Rush, B. Crystal, b. O’Reilly, R. Maddow, L. Odonnell, C Mattews …ad infiniitum

      because many people don’t use the brains they were born with…….they’re passive dolts!

  12. pdehaan

    It’s a little early in the process for people to wrap their heads around the idea that Donald Trump could have the nuclear launch-codes

    Right, how convenient to ignore Hillary “no option off the table” Clinton’s track record and threats.

  13. Watt4Bob

    Everyone should learn to code

    This is the root of one of my current favorite rants.

    IMNSHO, the crapification of the internet, and by extension, the rest of the IT universe is driven by the forces of credentialism and careerism.

    Those following the ‘path’ as it were, are no longer brilliant, self-motivated odd-balls following their own curiosity, they are young careerists who mistakenly think they are following the money.

    The Tech Crunch article is a “Must Read” in my book, as it explains quite clearly that the “What must be done”, and Why” of the project is much more important than the “How”.

    Years ago, I put a young Java programmers nose out of joint when I explained that knowing what must be done, was more important than knowing how to do it.

    I was project managing an important job, and had hired him as half the programming team.

    It became apparent that he thought himself superior to me because he was skilled at the then very much in-demand Java language, and he bristled somewhat at what he interpreted as my arrogant style of direction.

    That was until I pointed out that I was the one who was responsible for “doing something”, I knew what that “something” was, and I was the one who knew why it required a Java programmer, and an RPG programmer to be successful.

    IOW, without people who know what must be done, and why, there are no jobs for the folks who know how to do “it” but don’t know what “it” is, until told.

    This was a highly intelligent guy who was fascinated by the realm of IT, but was also chasing an illusory vision built on ego gratification that was destined to be dashed because if he continued on the path he was on, he would always work for someone else.

    This guy was smart enough to figure out that I was right, and he quit programming, as a “career path”.

    This was over ten years ago, and conditions in the industry have done nothing but go down-hill since then.

    Smart young people have continued to chase careers in programming that they hope will bring them wealth, and fame, but they tend to believe that the path leads through acquiring the latest, and most popular credentials, which list is subject to fads and an incredible amount of hype.

    The people managing these deluded credential-chasers are themselves, greedy, short-sighted careerists, who believe programmers are interchangeable like lego pieces, and who will abuse the people they hire, and get away with it because the people they hire are hungry for successful projects to build their resumes.

    All of this has resulted in an internet polluted with bloated, poorly performing cut-and-paste websites, insecure infrastructure, and costly project failures.

    On top of this situation, or in the background, depending on your favorite perspective is the fact that the internet is basically funded by ad revenue, and that revenue is not at all guaranteed. (From the Evonomics website )

    I’m starting to believe what the Archdruid has been saying about the internet I’m summarizing here;

    When the internet eventually fails to pay for itself, it’ll go away.

    1. RMO

      That seems kind of in accord with my experiences trying computer science for two semesters. Some great people in the classes but as a whole the classes had a much higher percentage of complete jerks than the other fields I’ve been educated in (music, accounting and aircraft maintenance). By “jerks” I mean people who seem to have little or no empathy for others, seem to be the sort who would like Ayn Rand’s writing and tended to have no respect for their fellow students and teachers (especially the female students and teachers). I got no grade lower than an A in any of the computer science classes but I found I really hated writing code and could tell that as the tasks became more complex I was having more and more trouble envisioning the code in my head – I figure that I could have completed the degree but I would have been one of those people with a piece of paper saying they are qualified but who are unable to turn out anything but mounds of terrible code that cause headaches for everyone else. I suspected that programming may not be my thing when I had to use a goto statement to make a C++ program work by the deadline:-)

      1. Cry Shop

        The art changes with the times, but not the human.

        Similar experience with Engineering School in the mid 70s, when Engineers were better paid and more honored than business majors. My first year in ChemE we had 180 students, but by the time of my sophomore year, the class on ethics and the dawning light that licensed professional engineers could not in those days shelter their professional liability through a corporation finished what the advanced maths had started, and our class size was down to 48, and we graduated 24. The Ayn Randian’s of those days headed off into accounting and business management, where they destroyed what little good there was in American Corporatism.

        The one good thing about STEMs recently being such a (relatively) crappy career pay choice for USA students is the American students I see when I visit my alma mater have a passion for what they do. Now, how long that passion lasts in the real world of US corporations is another issue.

        Unfortunately, many professors in US Universities, who came from my time and a bit later, prefer overseas slave labour for grad students, the one’s who will never complain about any double dealing or flexian abuse of public resources for private gain.

    2. JustAnObserver

      As a long ago CTO of my then company put it. The only important questions that need to be asked & answered are

      “What Problem are we trying to solve and why ?”

      Everything else follows from that, including the how.

    3. portia

      when I read “everyone should learn to code” I did not think it meant as a career. I learned MSDOS when it as called “programming” and it was good for my brain. I go to coding learning sites for fun. it also helps me understand platforms of programs I am using. so I think it is like playing an instrument, good for stimulating learning areas in my brain.

      1. JustAnObserver

        To my mind the difference between “programming” and “coding” is summarized by the title of a famous (& difficult to read) book by Edgar Dijkstra (spelling ?):

        Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs

        Unless you get those right (the what ? in Wat4Bob’s comment) no amount of coding is going to produce anything more than bug filled nonsense.


        Without the ability to code in at least one language you’re never going to be able to see if your Data Structures model your universe usefully and whether your Algorithm actually works.

      2. Watt4Bob

        You sound like an intelligent, well adjusted person.

        I hope you understand that your take on the subject sounds a lot like mine.

        I think the “everyone should learn to code” meme is now being touted as an actual ‘option’ for people displaced by outsourcing due to globalization, as such, it’s part of the skills-gap mythology.

        This country is not short on skilled programmers, it’s short on corporations willing to pay good American programmers what they’re worth.

        They’re conning kids into spending money they don’t have, to acquire skills necessary for a job they’re possibly not suited for, in order to compete with people from other countries holding h1b visas, and making half the pay they should be making.

        1. inode_buddha

          Whether you make a living at all in this country has everything to do with who you know, not what you know. Just speaking from hard experience.

          If my manager wasn’t the son of the Founder, he would have been a night manager at the local grocery store or something. Probably the Produce dept.

          As it is, he’ll be damned if he sends his kids to school for any liberal arts because they have to make a living. Never mind that the highest-paid guy in our department is making less than $20 an hour with decades of experience. This is in NY, BTW.

  14. gonzomarx

    Wasn’t that bad for Corbyn, some loses with Tories doing worse but the Labour right are really pissed that Corbyn didn’t lose more councils and are trying to make the best of it with the help from the Guardian as per usual. The Guardian writer and weekly columnist Jonathan Freedland trailed the ‘antisemitism problem’ before it became a thing, he has form in this regard.
    Their chatter 6 months ago was that these elections would be make or break for Jezza but that’s now shifted to the EU referendum. Ultimately they know that with the party election rules as they are no challenger has a hope with the membership till Corbyn has been totally discredited.

    Labour in Scotland are a basket-case, years of taking for granted the Labour vote lead to a complete collapse during the indy referendum. Don’t share a stage with Tories, people may not be able to tell you part. I think most people know that who ever was leader they wouldn’t be able to stop the rot so Corbyn gets something of a pass.

    this is slowly building up steam….
    Tory election expenses: police announce investigation

    PMQs: David Cameron confronted over Conservative election fraud claims

    1. polecat

      I was perusing Z hedge, where they’ve put up a post which links to the Hill.com….stating that the Clinton campaign had received some $75,000 in contributions….from Dept. of JUSTus employees ………No conflict of interest there..right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Ain’t Life Grand……

  15. DJG

    Trump and the poll of small businesses. To put Trump in perspective, it may be time to talk about Pierre Poujade. From the French Wikipedia entry:

    Pierre Poujade est un homme politique et leader syndical français, né le 1er décembre 1920 à Saint-Céré (Lot) et mort le 27 août 2003 à La Bastide-l’Évêque (Aveyron). Il a donné son nom au poujadisme, mouvement qui réclame la défense des commerçants et artisans et condamne l’inefficacité du parlementarisme tel qu’il était pratiqué dans la IVe République. Le poujadisme peut surtout se définir comme une rébellion sectorielle érigée en vision du monde puisant dans le répertoire de la révolte contre les « gros », le fisc, les notables et le rejet des intellectuels au nom du « bon sens », des « petites gens ».

    Poujade had much humbler origins. And he ended up supporting Francois Mitterand, a Socialist from red Burgundy. Yet Poujade gave Le Pen (Papa) a start. Ironies of history.

  16. Dave

    “West Virginia voters” are also, Ohio voters, Indiana voters, Western Pennsylvania voters, most of Virginia Voters and on down to the Tidewater.

    44% of the Sanders voters have said they will vote for Trump if the lobbyist Superdelgates insert Hillary onto the ticket.

    Hi Bill.

  17. steelhead23

    I find it depressing that the GOP appears more concerned by the specter of a Trump presidency than does the Democratic Party. What, you say? The Speaker of the House is pointedly withholding his support as is a large fraction of the GOP establishment. And what have the Dems done to stop Trump? Nothing. I am talking specifically about the superdelegates who have mostly committed to Mrs. Clinton, while poll after poll show Bernie faring better against Trump than Hillary. That is, if the Democratic Party is indeed focused on defeating Trump, the superdelegates have to support the proven winner, Senator Bernie Sanders.

  18. NeqNeq

    Good on Montreal for dumping so many Springer titles!

    More and more large (ish) schools are scrapping the overpriced subscriptions and I am interested to see what the longterm fallout will look like. Will they (Springer, Elsevier, etc) drop prices, titles, or merge into larger entities?

    One route which I often see pushed is the open source journal. As much as the “open source” title sounds good in the propaganda, I hope they do not become the trend as they merely transfer the costs from the “consumer” to the “producer”. The grifters still get to grift.

  19. allan

    ‘I had to wear Pampers’: The cruel reality of processing cheap chicken

    A new report by Oxfam America, an arm of the international anti-poverty and injustice group, alleges that poultry industry workers are “routinely denied breaks to use the bathroom” in order to optimize the speed of production. In some cases, according to the group, the reality is so oppressive that workers “urinate and defecate while standing on the line” and “wear diapers to work.” In others, employees say they avoid drinking liquids for long periods and endure considerable pain in order to keep their jobs.

    Bon appetit.

    1. Watt4Bob

      For thousands of years butchers were priests who made sure the food they processed was safe to eat.

      During the period when meat-cutters were respected professionals, making union wages, you could order your eggs runny, and burgers rare.

      Now it’s your fault if you die from food poisoning, because you failed to burn your food to a crisp before eating it, because now we’ve progressed to the point where you have to presume that every piece of chicken is smothered in salmonella, and every piece of beef is tainted with e coli. .

      1. cwaltz

        Some of the Atrios regular posters live in an alternate reality. They sincerely seem to be under the mistaken impression that you can ignore independent voters, and malign supporters of another candidate during a primary and then they’ll still be obligated to vote for you during the general election. It’s delusional.

        1. aab

          Numerous first wave Democratic/”left” web sites turn out to be filled with elderly Team Blue cheerleaders. I guess I’m a dope, because this has surprised me. I knew I was further left than places like Lawyers, Guns & Money, but both front pagers and commenters seem to be determined to ignore thundering hordes of inconvenient facts.

          I went back to LGM last week out of curiosity, and found myself in a long thread in which numerous long term commenters were agreeing that since Hillary is a terrific campaigner, she’ll make mincemeat out of Trump, no problem.

          I realize that mainstream news sources are doing a lot of manipulation and suppression, but how can you watch even one debate and actually think that? How do they explain the elderly socialist giving her a run for her money? I honestly don’t understand how such supposedly well-informed people can actually think that.

        2. pretzelattack

          loved eschaton for a long time, an absolute haven during the iraq war runup, just as buzzflash was (and the late very much lamented mwo).

        3. Pat

          I think of it as the last stages of grief and denial. Maybe because it took me about eight years to accept that yes, the corporately owned Democrat was the norm not the outlier. That it wasn’t just pandering to polls, but that popular policies were regularly thrown under the bus because big money had purchased them. I now recognize all the knee jerk reflexive responses to the obvious. People do not like accepting that they have been taken in, used, conned, and worst of all been complicit in making their lives worse (something that can be said for partisans of both parties).

          Pretty much the only reason I might want a Clinton Presidency is to slap a few heads and say “snap out of it” and “we told you so”. But similar to the only real substance abuse recovery coming because the addict has reached bottom, political partisans have to get there on their own. And America doesn’t really deserve Clinton…or Trump.

  20. meeps

    Thanks, Lambert, for posting Social Reproduction Beyond Intersectionality: An Interview

    A more constructive dialogue about human migration needs to be had, IMO. I think this has the potential to elevate the conversation.

  21. allan

    Pew study sees a shrinking middle class in major US cities [AP]

    In cities across America, the middle class is hollowing out.

    A widening wealth gap is moving more households into either higher- or lower-income groups in major metro areas, with fewer remaining in the middle, according to a report released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

    In nearly one-quarter of metro areas, middle-class adults no longer make up a majority, the Pew analysis found. That’s up from fewer than 10 percent of metro areas in 2000. …

    Middle class adults now make up less than half the population in such cities as New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Houston.

    That sharp shift reflects a broader erosion that occurred from 2000 through 2014. Over that time, the middle class shrank in nine out of every 10 metro areas, Pew found.

    `Sharp shift’? `Broad erosion’? `nine out of every 10′?
    Sure sounds like activist journalism. There must be another side of the story, AP.

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