2:00PM Water Cooler 5/17/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“The reality is that there is a very good chance that what would be the biggest bilateral trade deal in history — and one among two of the world’s biggest economies — has missed its political moment” [Financial Times, “The TTIP has missed its political moment”]. “[T]he most likely looming scenario is of the talks entering a deep freeze, or becoming something akin to a relationship that — despite both sides’ vivid dreams — is stuck on a perpetually awkward first date.” Awesome, and we have European activism to thank for this.

“TTIP: Jeremy Corbyn says the best way to fight the controversial trade deal is to stay in Europe” [Independent]. Corbyn: “I want to see a Europe that is a unity of people of the left of people in TUs and progressive organisations and social organisations actually collectively working for a better standard of living and not accepting this idea that big business can run Europe, or accepting this idea of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership which essentially franchises corporations at the expense of national governments.”

“Both while the agreement is being ratified and once it kicks in, Europeans are likely to blame Americans for any lowering of consumer, health, and environmental standards, particularly in sensitive areas such as food safety. Americans, in turn, are likely to blame Europeans if they experience job losses in the automotive sector” [Bilaterals].

“For example, the TPP will essentially cancel out the flexibility the governments of Mexico and Peru have to limit patent evergreening by not granting additional patents on modifications of existing medicines. It will also require member countries to grant patent term extensions beyond the already required 20 years, which will further delay affordable generic medicines from reaching patients” [Doctors without Borders]. “In Peru, specifically, the TPP will put an end to existing public health safeguards included in the 2007 May 10/New Trade deal, which gives Peru the flexibility not to grant patent term extensions beyond the already required 20 years”

“The AFL-CIO and four Colombian unions said in the complaint [to the US Department of Labor] that since the U.S.-Colombian trade deal took effect in 2011, some 99 Colombian workers and worker advocates were killed as they tried to exercise their rights. Six workers were kidnapped, and 955 death threats were received, the complaint said” [Reuters].

“TPP: A Strategic Imperative – A Conversation with Admiral Michael Mullen” [The Atlantic Counci].



“The unified message coming from both the Clinton and Obama camps is that incrementalism is the only possible path forward and [insert one here: BernieBros, The Kids Today, The Left, Naderites, Silly People Who Never Vote] just don’t understand this iron law of politics and should be laughed at. The other message is we would have had the progressive Nirvana if only The Left turned out for midterms” [Eschaton]. “As for the first bit, well, incrementalism towards what? … As for the second part, I’ve never seen any evidence that The Left (either as an organized (hah) group or just people on that part of the political spectrum) fails to turn out for midterms and that’s why Dems lose. … What I see every midterm election cycle, and comment on every time, is that the Democrats are determined to run elections about nothing.”

“When Bernie Sanders called for “Medicare for All” to replace Obamacare, he was met with objections that it would be too expensive. But that is because of a confusion between government expenditures for health care, and total expenditures, which include employer and individual out-of-pocket costs” [Marcia Angella, Boston Globe, “How to provide Medicare for all”]. Good editorial. I pulled that one quote out because the serious damage career “progressives” inflicted on the heatlh care debate — and by extension on every citizen who can’t get decent heatlh care today — was two-fold: First, sucking away all the oxygen from single payer with the so-called “public option,” as we’ve often discussed, and second the focus on governnment spending only, as expressed by CBO estimates. And more on the “public option”:

Hillary Clinton recently called for a public option in Obamacare (an idea scuttled in 2009) that would permit people in their 50s and early 60s to choose either Medicare or private insurance. The problem with that proposal is that private insurance companies would woo the healthiest people in that age group, and leave the sickest to Medicare. Medicare would then be subsidizing the for-profit insurance industry, and there would be little or no savings. It is much more efficient for everyone in an age group to be enrolled in Medicare, so there couldn’t be that kind of “cherry picking.”

So given that the “public option” could send Medicare into a death spiral, that makes the name pretty Orwellian, no? Just another neoliberal privatization scam from Clinton! Angell really nails that one.

“On a range of issues, Mr. Trump seems to be taking a page from the Sanders playbook, expressing a willingness to increase the minimum wage, suggesting that the wealthy may pay higher taxes than under his original proposal, attacking Mrs. Clinton from the left on national security and Wall Street, and making clear that his opposition to free trade will be a centerpiece of his general election campaign” [New York Times]. “As Mr. Trump lays the groundwork for his likely showdown with Mrs. Clinton, he is staking out a series of populist positions that could help him woo working-class Democrats in November. But in doing so, he is exacerbating the trepidation some Republicans already feel about his candidacy at a moment when the party typically rallies to its nominee.”

“The Donald vs. the Blob” [Foreign Policy]. “The Clinton campaign has already assembled a “massive brain trust” of policy wonks and former government officials, including Michèle Flournoy, Nicholas Burns, Madeleine Albright, Jake Sullivan, Derek Chollet, Tamara Wittes, Phil Gordon, Michael McFaul, and many, many more. As befits a former secretary of state, former senator, and former first lady, her foreign-policy machine is the living embodiment of the mainstream Foreign-Policy Establishment.” In words, everybody responsible for the mire we and the rest of the world are up to our necks in. then again…

UPDATE “Donald Trump to meet with Henry Kissinger, GOP’s foreign-policy eminence” [WaPo]. Like Clinton. Unlike Sanders.


“Years of financial distress have left the A.F.L.-C.I.O. desperate for cash” [New York Times].


” ‘Clinton Cash’ doc set to stir up controversy as it debuts at Cannes” [MSNBC]. Breitbart, ugh, since they’re known video fakers. That said:

But what complicates matters for Hillary Clinton’s campaign is that the book resulted in a series of investigations last year into [conservative author Peter Schweizer]’s allegations by mainstream media organizations from The New York Times and CNN to The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, many of which did not dispute his findings — and in some cases gathered more material that the producers used in the film. More recently, some information uncovered in the Panama Papers has echoed some of Schweitzer’s allegations in the movie and book.

And if that’s what MSNBC says…

“Clinton Does Best Where Voting Machines Flunk Hacking Tests: Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders Election Fraud Allegations” [Counterpunch]. Where’s the smoking gun, though?

Nevada Debacle

“At the state convention this weekend, the final step in the process, Sanders supporters hoped to secure the lion’s share of the remaining 12 delegates. Instead, the delegate allocation rules were abruptly changed and Clinton was awarded 7 of the 12 delegates. State party chair, Roberta Lange, told caucus-goers that the “ruling by the Chair is not debatable; we cannot be challenged and I move that…and I announce that the rules have been passed by the body” [Salon]. And so to the “violence” question: As readers know, I’m an advocate of strategic non-violence. From a tactical standpoint, I think throwing chairs — if chairs were indeed thrown; is there video? — isn’t well-thought out. However, if we ask “who threw the first punch?” it’s the Nevada Dems re-allocating the votes. And if the ensuing chaos — and it’s hard to imagine that wily old bird, former boxer and master of the deke Harry Reid, who owns the Nevada Dems, didn’t forsee the outcome — means that establishment Dems don’t have impunity to switch votes around so their preferred candidate gets the numbers they want, I find it hard to regret that outcome. Remember when the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee gave Clinton votes to Obama in 2008? They got away with it then. Why now?

“160516 Letter DNC RBC NVDemsConvention” [Scribd]. If you’re looking for signs that establisment Dems want Sanders and his supporters out of the party, it’s hard to find a clearer indication than this. And I have to assume Reid signed off on it.

Nina Turner:

“Michael Briggs, a Sanders campaign spokesman, said, ‘We do not condone violence or encourage violence or even threats of violence.” He added that the campaign ‘had no role in encouraging the activity that the party is complaining about. We have a First Amendment and respect the rights of the people to make their voices heard'” [AP]. So far as I know, there’s no evidence of who actually made the phone calls the Nevada Dems are complaining about.

UPDATE “‘I hope Senator Sanders would understand that he is not only damaging his own reputation and standing, but also doing harm to the Democratic Party, unless he encourages his supporters to be more genteel in their protest,’ said Don Fowler, the Democratic National Committee chairman from 1995 to 1997” [Politico].

UPDATE 4:00PM EST “Sanders Statement on Nevada” [Bernie 2016]. Sanders not backing down:

“Within the last few days there have been a number of criticisms made against my campaign organization. Party leaders in Nevada, for example, claim that the Sanders campaign has a ‘penchant for violence.’ That is nonsense. Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence. Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals. But, when we speak of violence, I should add here that months ago, during the Nevada campaign, shots were fired into my campaign office in Nevada and apartment housing complex my campaign staff lived in was broken into and ransacked.

“If the Democratic Party is to be successful in November, it is imperative that all state parties treat our campaign supporters with fairness and the respect that they have earned. I am happy to say that has been the case at state conventions in Maine, Alaska, Colorado and Hawaii where good discussions were held and democratic decisions were reached. Unfortunately, that was not the case at the Nevada convention. At that convention the Democratic leadership used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place. Among other things:

    • The chair of the convention announced that the convention rules passed on voice vote, when the vote was a clear no-vote. At the very least, the Chair should have allowed for a headcount.
    • The chair allowed its Credentials Committee to en mass rule that 64 delegates were ineligible without offering an opportunity for 58 of them to be heard. That decision enabled the Clinton campaign to end up with a 30-vote majority.
    • The chair refused to acknowledge any motions made from the floor or allow votes on them.
    • The chair refused to accept any petitions for amendments to the rules that were properly submitted.

“These are on top of failures at the precinct and county conventions including trying to depose and then threaten with arrest the Clark County convention credentials chair because she was operating too fairly.”

The Voters

UPDATE “Yet to dismiss vulgarity as a tool for fighting the powerful, to say that being mean is ‘ridiculous,’ is to deny history, and to obscure a long and noble tradition of malicious political japery. In fact, ‘being mean’ not only affords unique pleasures to the speaker or writer, but is a crucial rhetorical weapon of the politically excluded” [Current Affairs]. See above at “genteel.”

Oregon, Kentucky

“Clinton leans on Democratic loyalists to gain upper hand in Kentucky primary” [WaPo]. Kentucky is a closed primary.

“Still, the only recent survey in Oregon shows Clinton leading Sanders by a wide margin. The DHM Research poll, conducted for Oregon Public Broadcasting and Portland’s Fox affiliate, shows Clinton ahead 48 percent to 33 percent. Like Kentucky, Oregon holds a closed primary” [Fortune].

“Sanders trailing Clinton heading into Kentucky and Oregon primaries” [Raw Story].


Clinton taps Christina Aguilera, John Legend, Ricky Martin, and Stevie Wonder for fundraising concert, with some tickets priced at only $45 to appeal to youth [Daily Mail]. Not sure the lineup appeals to youth, however. Did the campaign really think it would?

The Trail

“[Sanders] is not Hillary Clinton circa 2008. He is not going to be made secretary of state. At 74, he can’t expect to launch another campaign in four or eight years. And so what incentive does he have to do what Clinton did — drop out and endorse the winner four days after the last contest? What pressure will he feel to go to the convention, move to suspend the roll call, and nominate his rival by acclamation?” [Yahoo Poltiics]. And does Sanders even want to go back to Senate? Not sure where the solution spaces of the two factions overlap here.

“Is Sanders 2016 Becoming Nader 2000?” [Poltiico]. Betteridge’s law applies, given that Nader didn’t 45% of the vote, including future youthful voters. Anyhow, that’s up to Clinton, isn’t it? She can either decide Sanders has leverage and find a solution space, or (in my view the likelier outcome) throw Sanders and his voters under the bus and go for moderate Republicans.

“The Clinton campaign seems to be subtly tapping into her conservative past in the hopes of appealing to anti-Trump Republicans in the general election” [Emma Roller, New York Times]. I don’t think it’s subtle at all; I documented three Sister Souljah moments yesterday, directed at gay activists, #BlackLivesMatter activists, and left Democrats. (Remember that the DNC line is that Trump is the source of all evil, so it’s pretty remarkable, or not, to hear Blue Dogs saying they can work with the guy.)

UPDATE Speaking of electability:

“[T]here are now more than enough uncommitted superdelegates sitting on the sidelines to push Clinton over the nomination finish line. If they all supported Clinton today, the Democratic primary race would effectively be over” [Bloomberg]. And they haven’t.

“The Romney-Kristol cabal is Hillary Clinton’s fifth column inside the Republican Party” [Pat Buchanan, Real Clear Politics].

Stats Watch

Consumer Price Index, April 2016: “A nearly 10 percent monthly jump in gasoline costs drove the consumer price index 0.4 percent higher in April but outside of this, pressure is not building” [Econoday]. “The key right now for the inflation picture is wages, where gains have been limited and are not pressuring selling prices. The headline aside, this report will not revive whatever chances there are for a June FOMC rate hike. …. Apparel prices, which continue to decline despite the lower dollar and higher costs of imports, have been a major factor all year behind the lack of pressure.” Give those Bangladeshis and Cambodians a goddamned raise! Have J-Yel lean on the ILO…

Industrial Production, April 2016: “An upward swing in utility output pulled industrial production 0.7 percent higher in April in a report that on balance, however, shows only modest strength at most” [Econoday]. Vehicles up, business equipment weak, consumer goods up, mining ugly, with “no lift whatsoever yet from the rebound underway in oil prices.” (Do any readers know whether frack sand is stockpiled?)

Housing Starts, April 2016: “Housing starts and permits picked up in April but the pace is moderate” [Econoday]. But: “Be careful in analyzing this data set with a microscope as the potential error ranges and backward revisions are significant. Also the nature of this industry variations from month to month so the rolling averages are the best way to view this series – and the data remains in the range we have seen over the last 3 years (although permits is at the low end of the range). The slowing of building permits continues to be to softness in multiple family dwellings” [Econintersect].

The Fed: “The hawks and the doves at the Federal Reserve often fail to see eye-to-eye, but either the consensus is shifting at the Fed or the hawks are gearing up to challenge the ruler of the roost, Chair Yellen. Feathers are definitely ruffled, as the hawkish rhetoric over the last week or so has been extraordinary in my view and seems to be ratcheting up in intensity with each successive wave of speakers” [Amherst Pierpont Securities, Across the Curve]. “while it is tempting for a hawk like me to surmise that the thinking of the entire Committee is evolving in a significant way, it may just be that there is a silent dovish majority and the policymakers who we are hearing from are speaking out because their views are not being validated at the FOMC table.” Why don’t we just crowd-source the decision on the Twitter? Would that really be worse?

Shipping: “Tonnage ordered at South Korean shipyards falls by 94% during Q1” [Splash247].

“Billionaire Soros Cuts U.S. Stocks by 37%, Buys Gold Miner” [Bloomberg]. “Soros, who built a $24 billion fortune through savvy market wagers, has warned of risks stemming from China, arguing its debt-fueled economy resembles the U.S. in 2007-08 at the onset of the global financial crisis…. Soros’s former chief strategist, billionaire investor Stan Druckenmiller, is also bullish on gold.” But not, apparently, on platinum…

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 57, Greed (previous close: 60, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 65 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 17 at 12:06pm. Jimmy Carter speed limits, style of thing.

Our Famously Free Press

“While some observers are still concerned that the Murdochs will drag the National Geographic brand down-market, the TV network is undergoing a radical makeover in the opposite direction. Fox is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to reinvent it as a more highbrow destination—a kind of HBO for science and adventure programming” [Bloomberg]. Readers, can this be true?

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

“Telephone metadata is densely interconnected, easily reidentifiable, and trivially gives rise to location, relationship, and sensitive inferences. In combination with independent reviews that have found bulk metadata surveillance to be an ineffective intelligence strategy, our findings should give policymakers pause when authorizing such programs.” [Stanford News].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Morgan State University assistant professor Lawrence Brown pointed out that the federal policy of redlining—that is, the drawing of maps by the Federal Housing Administration and its predecessor, the Home Owners Loan Corporation, to identify areas where loans should not be made by coloring them in red—explicitly drew on the pseudo-science of eugenics” [Nonprofit Quarterly]. “Studies of several cities’ redlining policies and color-coded maps, including Asheville, North Carolina’s and Baltimore’s, point to the explicit eugenics-based thinking behind the redlining theories that deemed some neighborhoods, or rather the inhabitants of some neighborhoods, as undesirables.” Which is so damn discouraging, since Home Owners Loan Corporation was a New Deal program (and was what HAMP should have been, modulo the racist component).

“This guidebook helped African Americans find a hotel along segregation-era Route 66” [Los Angeles Times]. The Green Book. In living memory, let us remember!!


“Today, more than 1,000 residents and 70 partner organizations from around the Midwest region protested at BP Whiting Refinery, demanding that hazardous fossil fuels stay in the ground and that the Midwest Region accelerate a just transition to 100% renewable energy” [Futures].

Class Warfare

“A Pew study found that the size of the middle class fell in virtually all parts of the country between 2000 and 2014. Nine out of ten metropolitan areas showed a decline in middle-class households…. In a related study, Pew also found that the median income for middle-class households fell by nearly 5 percent between 2000 and 2014. Their median wealth (assets minus debt) declined by 28 percent after the housing market crisis and subsequent Great Recession” [Robert Eskew, Campaign for America’s Future]. “Battleground electoral states like Indiana and Michigan saw the greatest decline in middle-class incomes, a finding that may help explain this year’s widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo among some voters.” 28% is a big number, and after a screw job like that, I might be inclined to burn it all down, no matter what bad names I got called in the process. Conceptual sloppiness of “middle class” aside.

“Economic Models Must Account for ‘Who Has the Power'” [Mark Thoma, The Fiscal Times]. “If we want students to come away from these courses fully equipped to understand issues such as those that have fueled the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, and to be able to evaluate the merits of the solutions they have proposed, discussions of the power relationships that come with departures from pure competition must be a central part of the education they receive.”

“The economic source of the current anger” [Jared Bernstein, WaPo]. “There’s nothing wrong with America that a lot more, good jobs couldn’t at least partially solve.” Bernstein posts this chart, which is worth a periodic look:


So who creamed off those gains?

“How certain liberals permanently erase the working class” [Matt Bruenig]. The class predicament of Gramsci’s organic intellectuals.

“[S]omething happens in this discussion of working-class anger. Sullivan, like others tackling the subject, moves from an analysis of the ‘working class’ to an analysis of the “white working class,” gliding between the two as if they’re synonymous.” [Jamelle Bouie, Slate]. Yep. And not just Sullivan. The entire political class.

TSA whistleblower Drew Rhoades on security delays: We had enough resources. We just mismanaged them” [KARE]. “And one of the factors, he claims, is trouble in TSA’s highly-publicized ‘PreCheck’ program. But when the new North Checkpoints opened at MSP, Rhoades says TSA foolishly set aside four of the 10 lanes for PreCheck. ‘We don’t have the demand. We don’t’ have the numbers to justify four PreCheck lanes,’ Rhoades said.” Whoever would have imagined that a program where citizens could pay for better treatment from “their” government would backfire?

News of the Wired

“Twitter to Stop Counting Photos and Links in 140-Character Limit” [Bloomberg]. @jack finally does something right.

“The blockchain is a threat to the distributed future of the Internet” [Las Indias in English]. Key paragraph:

The concrete use of the blockchain to register all the movements of a market—rather than each company doing their own, independently—and having a sort of autonomous notary is a easy game for big banks and centralizers.

An easy game because the viability of the system depends on “mining,” an industrial activity based on infrastructure. This is easy to verify when you look at the way that two Chinese “mines,” Antpool and DiscusFish/F2Pool, hoard more than half of the blocks created by the bitcoin blockchain. This basic design reveals the big lie of Bitcoin. But it also puts any blockchain product in the custody of whoever has big infrastructure and manages to attract large-scale capital. A concrete case is the Ethereum project.

So that’s the answer I was looking for on Ethereum.

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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 (Portia):


* * *

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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. diptherio

    I was a little late getting it together this week, but here’s episode no. 3 of my Economics for the Rest of Us podcast:


    This week we dive into NAIRU and the paradox of government agencies explicitly working to keep wages down. I tried to take everyone’s suggestions into account.

    Once again, I’m eager for feedback (Norb, I would like to take you up on your offer, if I ever get my sh*t together enough to take advantage of it). And if anyone would like to get together telephonically so we can record an actual conversation, as compared to what I’m doing now, please let me know.

    Thanks all!

    1. participant-observer-observed

      Great news to hear about this! What a good idea!

      It would be great to get a summary report of the TPP/TTIP activism in Europe and Asia.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Clinton Email Hairball:

    Judicial Watch asked a judge on Monday to order Hillary Clinton to face deposition under oath about her role in creating the secret email account she used as secretary of state at the State Department.

    Judicial Watch had previously won the right to question her top aides, but the group says it now wants to question Mrs. Clinton herself about her decision to use a non-State.gov account to conduct all of her official business.

    “Mrs. Clinton’s testimony will help the courts determine whether her email practices thwarted the Freedom of Information Act,” Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch’s president, said in a statement after his group filed the request with Judge Royce C. Lamberth.

    Judge Lamberth is one of two judges who have granted Judicial Watch discovery — a rare procedure in open-records cases, and one that’s only approved when a judge finds evidence of “bad faith” on the part of the government in answering an open-records request.

    In the other case, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has allowed depositions of top Clinton aides, but said he would decide later if Mrs. Clinton needs to be deposed, based on what is learned from her assistants.


    If their motion is approved, Judicial Watch will be laser-focused on Hillary’s directives to Bryan Pagliano, her IT guy. How is it that four years of Pagliano’s emails got wiped not only from Hillary’s private server, but from the State Dept’s secure server too? [“None dare call it conspiracy.”]

    Hillary’s attorney will advise her to take the Fifth. But it would look bad politically. Thus, she will likely lie — both because she is incapable of not lying, and also because it’s politically necessary.

    Depositions are to the Clintons as silver crosses are to vampires: mortal threats.

    Deliver us, Judge Lamberth, from evil.

      1. Kim Kaufman

        Attorneys Rip Into FBI For Withholding Emails Surrounding Clinton Private Server Investigation

        by Rachel Stockman | 5:53 pm, May 17th, 2016

        “Attorneys for Vice News reporter, Jason Leopold, filed a document in court yesterday that pretty much rips into the DOJ/FBI’s reasoning for withholding emails in relation to their FOIA lawsuit. Leopold is seeking correspondence between the FBI and Clinton referencing the Clinton email server.”


        1. mk

          Interesting comment

          Dennis Freeland • 11 hours ago

          Look this is all blown out of proportion by rabid anti HRC loonies. Obviously she hasn’t done anything wrong; for a start she is a Clinton, and would a Clinton lie to you ? So apart from, maybe …

          Setting Up The Server
          (18 U.S. Code § 1031(a)(1)) “executes, or attempts to execute, any scheme …to defraud the United States”
          (18 U.S. Code § 1343) Defraud U.S. Government by using email
          (18 U.S. Code § 371) Conspiracy to commit any offense against the United States

          Operating the server / Using the email – Security violations
          (18 U.S. Code § 798(a)) Making classified information available to an unauthorised person
          (18 U.S. Code § 1924(a)) Retaining classified information – retaining documents or materials at an unauthorized location

          Managing the records stored
          (18 U.S. Code § 641) Conversion of government records
          (18 U.S. Code § 793(d)) Causing “Classified Information” to be transmitted an unauthorised person
          (18 U.S. Code § 793(f(1))) Losing classified information – to an unauthorised party
          (18 U.S. Code § 793(f(2))) Failing to report loss of , or access to, classified information
          (18 U.S. Code § 2071(a)) Removal of public records
          (18 U.S. Code § 2071(b)) Deletion of public records

          Not co-operating with an official inquiry
          (18 U.S. Code § 793(d)) Failing to deliver records upon demand (to Congress)
          (18 U.S. Code §1505) Obstructing Congressional investigation by refusing to deliver requested documents
          (18 U.S. Code § 1519) Destruction or alteration of public records to obstruct or impede an investigation

          And depending on email content (we haven’t seen all the content yet)
          (18 U.S. Code § 610) Coercion of Government employees to vote in a particular way
          (18 U.S. Code § 872) Employee of the United States attempting an act of extortion
          (18 U.S. Code § 873) Demands against a threat of informing (or not informing), for any violation of any law
          (18 U.S. Code § 880) Receiving proceeds of extortion
          (18 U.S. Code § 201(b)(1)) Bribing (or attempting to) a public official (includes anyone acting in an official function e.g. a juror)
          (18 U.S. Code § 953) Private correspondence influencing officials with foreign governments
          (18 U.S. Code § 201(b)(2)) A public official guilty of bribery (or soliciting)
          (18 U.S. Code § 201(b)(3)) Offers anything of value to influence testimony under oath
          (18 U.S. Code § 201(b)(4)) Seeks or accepts anything of value to influence testimony under oath
          (18 U.S. Code § 227) Member of Congress (Or USPS “etc”) attempting to influence employment decisions of private entity

          But apart from those few little details of 200,000 offences of up to two dozen laws, with penalties of 174 years incarceration, and permanent disqualification from holding office, you anti Hillay folks are just trying to make it loook worse than it is.

    1. Bill Smith

      Will the aides depositions be videotaped? When? If the aides don’t refuse and give the depositions, will the tapes be directly released or will they have to be leaked for the rest of us to see them?

      Coming at it from a different angle: Assuming the Russians did do what is claimed, that is, hacked her server after Guccifer did. Why would they release any copies?

      Depending on what she says in any deposition, would the emails in Russian hands be more useful to blackmail the sitting president of the United States? Or if not blackmail at least embarrass her and the United States at a later date when they need a leg up?

      Maybe they have the 20 or so emails that were so top secret that not even redacted versions were released? And who knows what was in the 30,000 emails she deleted as being personal.

      1. sleepy

        If Putin had the emails, and a sense of humor, he would release them tomorrow. Bonus points if he also issues an apology to Hillary for not being a good sport about it.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I just hope he is choosing his moment, he has a “devil he knows” in Hilary and two he doesn’t, hopefully he is calculating which he would prefer. Waiting is the right move, wait until Hilary steals the nomination, then release to a worldwide group of journos a la Panama Papers.
          Not that it will make any difference but fun to see her squirm even a little.
          And per the above, I don’t think depositions are a threat to the Clintons in the slightest, in our Age of Impunity they know they have the new droit du seigneur (complete protection from the law of the land).

          1. TK421

            Putin is looking at three American candidates, two of whom are unstable, belligerant warmomgers. To maximize his country’s safety, he should undermine the one of those two that stands in the way of the peaceful third.

        2. different clue

          If Putin has the emails, then he would want to hold them in reserve as a source of blackmail material against a President Clinton. But that won’t work unless Clinton becomes President. Of course only Putin knows if Putin has the emails. But if he does, KGB logic would dictate holding them secret for now.

          He wouldn’t blackmail President Clinton for money. He would blackmail her into cancelling DC FedRegime support for the neo-nazi Banderite coup regime currently occupying the Kiev government . . . . and into dropping support for various other destabilizing DC FedRegime programs meant to Regime-Change the Putinists out of power in Russia.

      2. fresno dan

        Bill Smith
        May 17, 2016 at 3:29 pm

        First, we don’t know that it is true (i.e., Russians hacked the account). It could be a disinformation campaign from the Russians (for any number of reasons) or the vast right wing conspiracy to stick it to the Clintons. I don’t care for Clinton, but that doesn’t mean every bad thing said about her is true.

        But if it were true, what course of action would Putin really want to follow???
        1. I would imagine he would want to keep it secret – there may be useful stuff but not nearly as useful if its known that is is compromised.
        2. If Clinton was stupid enough to use a system that the commies were able to hack, why would Putin want to alert Clinton to that fact? Or the US government???? If she did it as SoS, maybe she will do it as POTUS…Keeping the Russian hacking secret would be a high Putin priority.
        3. Now we get to the real Le Carre, was Clinton allowing herself to be hacked to spread disinformation? Clinton could try this ruse to protect herself… “It was a counter espionage operation!”
        4. If I were a russki, I would never initially believe that an American secretary of state would use an unsecure email system, and that any such information from an insecure system was disinformation – but it would be evaluated – you never know.
        5. If Putin really did have real hacked information, I imagine his first option under current circumstance that he (Putin) has such information would be to try to make it look that the Russians DO NOT have any such information. I would suspect back channel leaks that they tried but failed – but that may appear than that the Russians are hiding a successful hacking for what should have been an easy system for them to penetrate. Therefor, the Russians may say that BECAUSE the system was so easy to penetrate that instead the Russians would say that they would never trust the validity of information from such an insecure system. The Russians could also say they never tried because they considered it a waste of their time trying to penetrate a US SoS email communications.
        6. The best thing Putin could do is to have no comment. Most of the US government really has no idea of what REALLY happened. Everything that has to be changed to protect “assets” even if there were no security breaches gives Russian intelligence an opportunity…
        7. The Chinese leaked the Russian hacking story….

    2. Jim Haygood

      More on the other civil case from a Time article headlined, “Why A Civil Case Could Hurt Hillary More Than the FBI”:

      Two close Clinton aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, will testify under oath this month and next Judicial Watch announced today. [Judge Sullivan] said earlier this month he may force Clinton herself to testify after the first round of interviews is completed.

      The judge has limited the group to a narrow line of inquiry designed to answer a simple question: why did Clinton set up a private server and use it for all her work e-mails as Secretary of State?

      Clinton may have violated civil law if she intentionally thwarted FOIA or the Federal Records Act. Requiring sworn testimony in FOIA cases is unusual, Judge Sullivan conceded, but he said there was a “reasonable suspicion of bad faith“ on the part of the State department.

      The State department offered to get Clinton a State-issued Blackberry with Clinton’s identity masked for work emails. But when a State official informed Huma Abedin that the work phone would be subject to FOIA, she responded that the arrangement “doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

      Sullivan also was exasperated … that the officials responsible for handling the FOIA request didn’t know about the private server, but that Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills, who had helped set it up to begin with in 2009, did know about the FOIA request.

      When Hillary left the department, she was obligated under the Federal Records Act to turn over a copy of all her work documents to the State department, something she only did 21 months later when the server’s existence became known.

      In the Judicial Watch case, Sullivan has threatened to subpoena Clinton’s server and any copies of its contents that have been recovered so that State can inspect them for any work documents.


      Not mentioned in the Time article, but cited in a linked JW page, is that Judicial Watch will depose the notorious Bryan Pagliano, IT guy extraordinaire, on June 6th.

      Is young Bryan gonna perjure himself to save Hillary’s sorry hide? Not bloody likely, unless Hillary phoned him and warned, “See ya in Fort Marcy Park, Vinnie … errrr, Bryan.”

        1. Jim Haygood

          He’s been given some immunity from criminal prosecution. The scope and conditions of his immunity will dictate what he does.

          As one example, if his immunity is predicated upon cooperation, then he may need to talk. It’s complicated, and the details aren’t public.

          Pagliano taking the fifth is easy to twist into “Hillary’s server expert sticks to Clinton code of Omertà”. But I’ll try to come up with something snappier by June 6th. :-)

          1. optimader

            Isn’t it the case that once given immunity, one cannot plead the fifth. With immunity one cant self incriminate..

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Pleading the fifth can be done at any time. It’s a constitutional right, but why would the FBI offer immunity to someone pleading the fifth? To get immunity, one has to confess to a serious crime and undertake the threat of perjury. The “immune” have already incriminate themselves. If they don’t deliver the goods in open court, the FBI or whoever deals with the case will hammer the witness with the crime they have committed to and perjury. If one hasn’t confessed, why would one need immunity?

              The FBI won’t railroad the idiot girlfriend of mob Goomba because many times they are victims. The FBI will seek out other idiot girlfriends in the future to testify, and they won’t want to be seen as villains. People who know better will get hammered by the FBI of they don’t cooperate.

              1. optimader

                this is my general sense of it. not sure of the legal nuance. I thought with immunity you are in contempt of court , at least, for not answering questions once liability is eliminated.?


                ,,But even if a witness invokes the Fifth Amendment privilege, a prosecutor can override the privilege by giving the witness immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony.

    3. Pavel

      ‘What, like with a cloth or something?’. Clinton chuckled? ‘Well, no. I don’t know how it works digitally at all.’.

      Those words will come to haunt her, methinks. If they don’t already.

    4. Keith Elder

      Regarding losing those emails, the CIA Inspector General’s office is having similar problems:

  3. diptherio

    Lambert, glad to see a link from the Las Indias Collective. Those guys/gals are da bomb! We’ve printed a number of English translations of their books, which can be downloaded for free here (although donations are appreciated and go directly to the guy – not me – who did the translation):


    The first three books on the page: The P2P Mode of Production – An Indiano Manifesto; The Book of Community; and the Book of Abundance are all by the Las Indias Collective. Good stuff from people who live what they talk about, which is always refreshing.

  4. Katharine

    Interesting about the primary predictions. Tyler Pedigo is calling both states for Sanders, Oregon with a wide margin. We’ll see.

    The establishment Dems don’t want to kick us out half as much as some of us want a new party that really IS democratic.

    1. Waldenpond

      Oregon had until April 26 to register/change, Ky Dec 31. Dec date too challenging so I go with Or yes, Ky no.

      1. Waldenpond


        I don’t have cable so I watch election returns on TYT. Ky and Or coverage will be members only tonight.

  5. Left in Wisconsin

    For those arguing yesterday that class is not (partly) constitutive of identity, I offer Matt Breunig:

    Doctor Vox wonderfully underscores a point I’ve been making for years now: liberal discourse politics ensures a permanent erasure of the lower classes. This is so for two reasons:

    1. Lower class people, almost by definition, cannot engage in The Discourse. They do not have the education, credentials, or jobs necessary to do so.
    2. Upper class people (broadly construed) can engage in The Discourse, but if they do so as a partisan or advocate of the lower classes, they are dismissed because they are not themselves lower class. This move is the one Doctor Vox goes for in his tweet.

    Based on my observation, I would add a third point: working class people who do try to engage the discourse from a working class perspective are invariably dismissed as low-grade thinkers. And, unfortunately, this seem to be as true for left intellectuals as non-left ones.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I’ll add a fourth point: the “working class” and “lower class” labels subdivide, demean, and diminish the shared interests of the huge majority of citizens who “work”.
      We need to delineate instead into two groups: “those who drop by the post office once per quarter to pick up their dividend checks on their way to the beach house” and all of the rest of us.

      1. hunkerdown

        Unfortunately, actual interests don’t quite fall so neatly. As long as the salary class defines itself as meritorious “keepers” through generic management of the wage class, there’s not much solidarity to be had. The trouble with the middle layers of a trickle-down system is that they drink from the top.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Maybe delineate according to who owns the means of production?
          Americans may have some stocks in their 401(k)s…but 85% of stock market gains go to 5% of the population.

        2. Darthbobber

          I know the Archdruid loves to refer to wage and salary classes as if they actually were classes in some meaningful sense. But the temptation should be resisted. As of 2014, about 56.7% of the workforce received wages, 43.3% salaries. And the great majority of that 43.3% don’t define themselves as “keepers” or have any role whatsoever in managing the waged employees. They talk to customers, they hack through actuarial tables, they cold call delinquent debtors, etc, etc, etc. Only a fraction of that group are sufficiently compensated or sufficiently responsible for running anything to stand apart as a meaningful subgroup.

    1. Isolato

      Sadly PM has proved an enormous disappointment for WA State as has her colleague Maria Cantwell. BOTH voted to advance the TTP when their votes really counted. The “mom in tennis shoes” has morphed into the insider’s insider, responsible for keeping the Dems in line but she cannot really name a significant accomplishment in her 4 terms. Make a great VP as the comparison to a pitcher of warm spit is apt.

      1. neo-realist

        It’s even sadder in WA State that there has been no interest from progressive dems or greens in running against Murray or Cantwell. I guess as long as the High Tech gravy train keeps rolling through the Puget Sound and the software engineers and web designers are working, most people don’t really care about what TTP is or what effect it could have on their sovereignty—-unless or until it happens?

        1. Isolato


          I live in Rick Larsen’s district and I actually offered $50k to jumpstart a challenge to him from a progressive. Crazy me. No takers. So we get his craven apologies for the apocalyptic rumbling of the war machines on Whidbey and the lickspittle support of Boeing right or wrong. We cannot build our future on the prospect of war.

  6. sleepy

    Regarding yesterday’s post on the failures of reconstruction resulting in things like the “Memphis Massacre” where at least 40 blacks were murdered and a good chunk of south Memphis burnt down, I grew up in Memphis. This cartoon appeared daily on the front page of section 2 of the local daily, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, which at that time had a circulation of c. 250,000 and home delivery as far south as Jackson MS, until I was a senior in high school in 1968. It was a big city daily that had won a pulitzer.


    When viewed in the lifetimes of individuals, like me, that’s not so long ago. While I was a teacher and kids talked about slavery as if it happened in 3000 BC, I always reminded them that for my 1918 Mississippi Delta born mom, every black person she knew who was over 63 when she was 10 in 1928, was a former slave.

    And this was a woman who had a pc on her desk and regularly used email until shortly before she died. Not ancient.

  7. neo-realist

    Nowadays, the key for a black person to book a hotel is to do it online if at all possible, print out the documentation of booking and payment and when checking in, having the documentation of proof of booking and payment to show the front desk clerk. That way the Hotel can’t turn you away when they see your black/brown face by saying we don’t have anything or we can’t find you when (fraudulently) looking for your reservation in the computer.

    1. RUKidding

      I stayed in a hotel in a large US city recently on a business trip. It was my observation (possibly subjective but not by much) that the two younger (than me – probably in their 30s) AA women ahead of me got asked a lot of questions and the reg process seemed rather detailed and slow moving. At one point, I happened to lean with my back against the counter – a ways away from the registration process – and the clerk IMMEDIATELY asked if he could help me! I was so embarrassed and said: on no no, these women are here FIRST.

      Geez. When I got the desk, my process seemed to go thru much faster. It was not a good experience.

      1. Steve in Flyover

        There are all kinds of reason that they could have been delayed

        Do they have a credit card? Try registering at a hotel, or buying an airline ticket without one. Were they looking for their names in the “Frequent Flyer/Guest” program? Were they checking their room options/choices?

        OTOH, if you are a suit that is giving off the body language that he is getting ready to walk, you can get all kinds of immediate help.

        1. reslez

          Sure it’s possible, but the person who was there found it uncomfortable and strange.

          I don’t know why, whenever I see someone recount this sort of anecdote, people jump out of the woodwork to downplay the witness. Is it impossible to believe racism exists? Is it possible you yourself encounter it in daily life and downplay it the exact same way? I don’t know — I wasn’t there either, after all — but I wonder about these things. And certainly for the two ladies who went through the experience, they too must have wondered.

    2. hidflect

      There’s no escape from this kind of thing for black people. When I was living in Japan, my friend was the son of the Ghanaian Ambassador. When we wanted to catch a taxi, he’d have to hang back behind a bush or lamppost while I flagged one down and then he could come running over once I opened the door. We tried our best to make it a laughing situation but mostly it was depressing.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Maybe we should all just wear burqas, head to toe, both sexes. I’m semi-serious. I’m remembering, possibly somewhat incorrectly, that the only way orchestras can give female players a fair hearing at auditions is to have them play behind a screen so they cannot be seen.

        1. RMO

          Some orchestras have instituted blind auditions. The results have generally been increased hiring of female and non-caucasian musicians.

  8. Bev

    And if that’s what MSNBC says…
    “Clinton Does Best Where Voting Machines Flunk Hacking Tests: Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders Election Fraud Allegations” [Counterpunch]. Where’s the smoking gun, though?

    The Smoking Gun is that Sanders can PROVE HIS WINS WITH REAL EVIDENCE of open, public hand/head counts in caucuses and in open public hand counts of paper ballots.

    Review Richard Charnin’s work below:

    Sanders PROVABLE WINS are at about 65%

    Clinton CANNOT PROVE HER WINS, and Sanders CANNOT PROVE HIS LOSES because EVIDENCE HAS BEEN REMOVED by e-voting machines (faulty by design to Man-in-the-Middle attacks on purpose) and EVIDENCE HAS BEEN HIDDEN by e-scanning machines owned by the abusive, extreme right-wing.

    Sanders NOT PROVABLE Losses percentages are about 43%

    So, it is that all voting machines are designed for insider hacking.

    It is the difference between EVIDENCE AND NO EVIDENCE SYSTEMS. Everyone can understand what removing evidence means; it means election Fraud and Theft.

    Read Richard Charnin’s work at



    Democratic Primaries: Election Fraud Probability Analysis
    Richard Charnin
    May 5, 2016


    Election Fraud: Response to Joshua Holland
    Richard Charnin
    April 29,2016

    Last week, actor and activist Tim Robbins tweeted on the exit poll discrepancies . And the media presstitutes went after him with a vengeance

    The meme was created by Lee Camp…


    My Response To Being Attacked By Josh Holland In Raw Story Concerning #ExitPollGate
    Lee Camp

    Lee Camp’s #ExitPollGate is an important meme because it promotes the significance of Unadjusted Exit Polling as the only INDIRECT evidence of election fraud which was made necessary when DIRECT evidence was removed. Adjusting Exit Polls to adjust/change who is actually winning elections, is more criminal than the crimes of Watergate. But, it is still a good meme. Media go along with Adjusted Exit Polling which is adjusted to match machine results as acceptable so that the machines can stay and have complete say over our democracy. Media, you need to become heroic and do your jobs.

    It is so plain and simple. Smoking gun indeed…rather A Smoking Forest Fire.

  9. grayslady

    Just out–Bernie’s statement on Nevada debacle (from the News section of his website):

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday issued the following statement:

    “It is imperative that the Democratic leadership, both nationally and in the states, understand that the political world is changing and that millions of Americans are outraged at establishment politics and establishment economics. The people of this country want a government which represents all of us, not just the 1 percent, super PACs and wealthy campaign contributors.

    “The Democratic Party has a choice. It can open its doors and welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change – people who are willing to take on Wall Street, corporate greed and a fossil fuel industry which is destroying this planet. Or the party can choose to maintain its status quo structure, remain dependent on big-money campaign contributions and be a party with limited participation and limited energy.

    “Within the last few days there have been a number of criticisms made against my campaign organization. Party leaders in Nevada, for example, claim that the Sanders campaign has a ‘penchant for violence.’ That is nonsense. Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence. Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals. But, when we speak of violence, I should add here that months ago, during the Nevada campaign, shots were fired into my campaign office in Nevada and the apartment housing complex my campaign staff lived in was broken into and ransacked.

    “If the Democratic Party is to be successful in November, it is imperative that all state parties treat our campaign supporters with fairness and the respect that they have earned. I am happy to say that has been the case at state conventions in Maine, Alaska, Colorado and Hawaii where good discussions were held and democratic decisions were reached. Unfortunately, that was not the case at the Nevada convention. At that convention the Democratic leadership used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place. Among other things:
    –The chair of the convention announced that the convention rules passed on voice vote, when the vote was a clear no-vote. At the very least, the Chair should have allowed for a headcount.
    –The chair allowed its Credentials Committee to en mass rule that 64 delegates were ineligible without offering an opportunity for 58 of them to be heard. That decision enabled the Clinton campaign to end up with a 30-vote majority.
    –The chair refused to acknowledge any motions made from the floor or allow votes on them.
    –The chair refused to accept any petitions for amendments to the rules that were properly submitted.

    “These are on top of failures at the precinct and county conventions including trying to depose and then threaten with arrest the Clark County convention credentials chair because she was operating too fairly.”

    Note: I see Lambert was posting this just as I posted it.

        1. Vatch

          Funny you should mention that…..

          The Nevada State Democratic Party is known by the acronym NSDP, which is disturbingly similar to another acronym, NSDAP.

        2. Ché Pasa

          She’s reminding me more and more of Lady Thatcher.

          “There is no alternative.”

          At least Nixon went to China.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I don’t think Sanders can save the Democratic Party.

      Never should have joined. It refuses to be used as a tool to help the working people; to think otherwise is quixotic.

      Remaining dependent on big money…

      1. RUKidding

        OTOH, I agree with you. OTOH, Sanders couldn’t do it without remaining within the bounds of the “establishment.” At least at this stage, I think – I could be wrong – that Sanders could have never gotten as far along as he did without remaining affiliated with the D party. A real, crying shame, but there’s far far far too many citizens who simply will not countenance, nor pay any attention to what is misleadingly called “third” parties.

        As much as the US media put up a huge black out curtain over the Sanders campaign, he would’ve gotten NO notice if he had run as a third party. I feel he did the right thing. And it’s drawing attention to a lot of huge issues that some of us have discussed for years. Now others are seeing the issues for the first time. I don’t know how well citizens will remember and really “get” what’s happening, but it’s been one way of drawing attention.

        I knew this “violence” crap about the NV caucus was most likely a lie. I have heard lie upon lie, upon lie, upon bold-faced lie about Sanders that I figured that’s what this is. Sadly, a lot of leftie blogs are publishing the big LIE as if it’s gold-plated truth. I haz a sad.

        Thanks NC for shining the light!!!!

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Yeah, one of one blogs I regularly go to, Balloon-Juice.com, has taken an unfortunate turn into pro-Clinton territory.
          This latest NV debacle is OF COURSE the Bernies fault. Why can’t his supporters fall in line behind DWS and the DNC!

          Usually, I’m just a lurker on BJ and enjoy their posts, but they have taken a real nasty attitude toward Bernie and his supporters. So I waded into the murky waters and let my flag wave for all to see! I was called a
          needed to “put on my big boy pants,”
          fuck off,
          go vote for trump
          Hired plant by the Bernie Campaign

          And they did not take too kindly when I reposted a link from NC.
          I believe their general readership tends to be older, more elitist professionals and retirees, but of course I could be wrong.

          Anyways! GEAUX BERNIE!

          1. RUKidding

            Hate to say it but Balloon Juice was always a giant Clintonista place, or at least, that’s the way it seemed to me. Much like DailyKos. The hatred towards Sanders on those 2 sites is out of control, and both sites have been shouting that Sanders should get out of the race and let the Empress do her thing for ages.

            I’m looking at some other sites that tended to be a bit more objective with a bit more rational discussion happening. 2 sites, in particular, have just gone full metal jacket against Sanders vis the NV debacle. Calling him out, saying his latest press release is a dodge, that he’s “ruining” things and similar stuff.

            I’ve heard a number of reports about the NV thing, and I don’t think it’s quite that clear that the Sanders’ supporters were solely responsible for whatever happened.

            Unfortunate but often an outcome of close races, such as this one has been. My annoyance is with the very very slanted reporting – when any happened – about Sanders. Lots of lies happening in the media. Too many D voters still watch MSNBC (barf) or listen to NPR and think they’re getting “objective” reporting. Not by a long shot.

            1. aab

              Balloon Juice is Team Blue. Cole is now to the left of the rest of the front page and his commentariat (or was, when I finally gave up completely), which is interesting, since he’s a former GWBush voting Republican.

              I don’t think they’re all rich. But they are old, and precisely the base Clinton is holding on to: people getting their government money, so shut up you kids with your free college radicalism.

              I will repeat again, the Sanders supporters at the Nevada Convention this weekend did nothing wrong. They never threw a chair. One guy picked up a chair and put it down. Properly credentialed delegates were waiting to be processed, when Roberta Lange started counting heads and calling votes BEFORE the deadline for registration — a half an hour before. She then never let them be heard by the credentials committee, never had a quorum, etc. Sanders delegates booed. They used their words. Isn’t that how America is supposed to work?

              The misinformation about this is astounding — and I was prepared for it. Philadelphia is going to be nightmare. I am very afraid for the people going to protest. But I also don’t see how this helps Clinton. I don’t see them simply suppressing all information. I presume they’ll do what they did with Nevada — manipulate the information and pretend the protesters are violent young thugs who deserve to be shot by police. But then all those moderate Republicans she is courting will stay Republican. I don’t see them crossing over to the party in chaos. Even if they buy Hillary’s narrative, she can’t keep her people in line. Isn’t that how reactionaries think?

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                “I will repeat again, the Sanders supporters at the Nevada Convention this weekend did nothing wrong. They never threw a chair. One guy picked up a chair and put it down. ”

                Got the link to a video on that? Should be out there, since AKAIK the Sanders people smartly recorded everything.

          2. Kurt Sperry

            Good to know. One thing I’ve loved about this election cycle is how Bernie’s candidacy has smoked out the conservadems who put on prog airs. It’s brought things into nice high relief and exposed the frauds who basically are down with Republicanism as long as it has another name affixed to it and who aren’t honest enough with themselves to admit it and insist on being taken seriously as lefties in spite of their right wing views. It has certainly exposed the media for the useless propagandizing tools of the establishment they surely are and made it obvious to anyone with multiple functioning brain cells that Clinton is basically GW Bush in a gold pants suit, just as Obama was basically GW Bush in blackface. They pitch to a different audience demographic but underneath the superficial branding it’s all the same sh*t sandwiches and authoritarianism and worship of greed.

            Add Balloon Juice to the growing list of right wing frauds standing in the way of any progress in the US by occupying the space that actual progressives need to advocate their cause from.

          3. hidflect

            Ha! I just deleted Balloon Juice from my bookmarks yesterday after years of holding. The lurch to into The Clinton Zone sickened me.

      2. cwaltz

        The problem with “saving” someone, is that ultimately it all boils down to whether or not THEY wish to be saved.

        I would guess, based on what has been seen, that the Democratic Party is perfectly happy being the corrupt money machine that it is.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          the Democratic Party is perfectly happy being the corrupt money machine that it is


          The Democratic Party is 1. a vote-seeking coalition of disparate interests and 2. an apparatus of functionaries. Given that Sanders is coming from outside the party, it is no surprise that virtually all of the current functionaries feel no need to accommodate him or his voters. But the party has not been challenged in the way Sanders has challenged it since 1972. The issue is: can the apparatus be taken over? One thing Sanders and supporters need to do is try to take over state party apparatuses (apparati?). Will there be resistance? Of course. So what?

          1. aab

            We need information that’s easy to distribute to regular people on how to do this. I have no idea, and I’m a pretty well-informed person — just not about party functionaries. The Progressive Caucus in California, for example, is apparently a useless veal pen. So I never bothered to finish the application.

            One positive, I think, is that because Clinton has starved the state parties to further own election — going back many cycles, apparently, but ESPECIALLY this year — they should be pretty weak when she crashes and burns. So many of these insiders are lashed to her, and she and Bill have so successfully thwarted ALL upstarts from the center, that it ought to make it easier to move in on these hollow shells run by disoriented courtiers. But that’s just a guess.

          2. cwaltz

            They’ve been trying to “reform” the Democratic Party since at least 2006.(Ned Lamont vs Lieberman)

            I’d hardly call that never been challenged.

              1. cwaltz

                or you lose until you realize that your playing the game with a corrupt money machine wiling to cheat(see NY, AZ, NV) and then choose a different route.

      3. vidimi

        the thinking that he could achieve the kind of notoriety and support he currently enjoys and have given such a voice to a movement without the apparatus of the democratic establishment is itself quixotic.

    2. nippersdad

      I have read that statement several times in different places now, and it always looks like something is missing at the end. There is no closure, so to speak. I wonder what went unsaid.

      1. grayslady

        I suspect that what was unsaid is: “This is in response to the inflammatory letter to the DNC Rules and Bylaws co-chairs authored by Bradley Schrager, General Counsel for the Nevada Democratic Party.” See Lambert’s reference above to Schrager’s foot-stomping letter.

    3. Buttinsky

      I think Sanders’s statement indicates he’s been paying attention to the last 48 hours. It’s clear the Democratic Party establishment has declared war on him. I just happened to see that Harry Reid has denounced Sanders supporters at the convention, amid a lot of DNC-inspired TV coverage of the Nevada debacle that seems aimed at making it out to be the greatest civil disturbance ever to befall American politics.

      I can’t help but wonder if there is a Sanders supporter in the country who doesn’t understand now that they are being not just thrown under the bus, but run over a few times as the bus makes its way over to the Mitt Romney-Charles Koch side of town.

    4. reslez

      Sanders’ side has video of the caucus being stolen. Are there videos of this alleged chair throwing where no one was hurt?

      What do we weight as more grave, the death of the democratic process in front of multiple outraged witnesses or injury done to a chair? Cable news goes with the chair.

  10. fresno dan


    “Bernie Sanders can make history in Tuesday night’s Kentucky Democratic primary. No, he can’t clinch the Democratic presidential nomination, nor is he likely to score a big win that convinces superdelegates to switch their allegiances en masse. But if he can beat Hillary Clinton in Kentucky’s Clinton County, he will have defeated Clinton in all nine of the Clinton Counties in the United States.”

    Irony – thy name is Clinton county…
    do residents of Clinton counties know something the rest of us don’t???

    1. Jim Haygood

      Yeah … that all of those counties were named for historical figures — perhaps even honorable ones — and not for a contemporary pair of grifters.

      Reminds me of a Chinese visitor who was genuinely surprised that Garfield, N.J. would be named for a cartoon cat. Had to explain that Garfield was an ex-president too.

    2. Ivy

      Those voters in the nine Clinton County are saying that they are at DeWitt’s End due to all the DNC shenanigans.

  11. Steve in Flyover

    “Sp who creamed off those gains?”

    As an employee of an aerospace company 1979-1999 whose almost total focus was on the civilian/non-DOD market, I can identify a few.

    -Management and Wall Street……through various mechanisms to put the “wretched refuse” in their place. Like the company officers loaning company money to themselves at below market rates to buy company stock, knowing that they were in talks to (eventually) sell the company.

    – OPEC………how can you call ANY market a “free market” when the cost of one of the essential components of a modern economy is determined by a producer cartel?

    – Environmental regs
    – Safety regs
    – Employment regs……..
    Compliance with requiring (among other things), the hiring of legions of “non-productive” personnel. Yeah, you can make the argument that these were a societal benefit. Unfortunately, the costs weren’t borne by the general public. They were taken out of the paychecks of the guys least likely to have an avenue to bitch/vote with their feet
    (which, when you get right down to it, is “US Spending and Taxation Policy, 1980-Present) .

    -Other “cost shifting…..elimination of pension plans. Health care plan cost transfers. Elimination of training programs.

    And now the latest “Industry-government partnership”, whereas the cost of R&D, tooling and facilities are paid for by Industrial Revenue bonds, which are paid for by the income taxes of the employees.

    As illustrated in “History of the World, Part I”

    For some, “It’s good to be the King……”

    For the peons, “………you look like the pi$$-boy………”

  12. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Great thread, Lambert. Thank you!

    Nina Turner: its nice to hear someone take the high road. Damn refreshing.

    I just can’t fathom how Millenials are going to turn out in November for a candidate, Dem or otherwise, that they perceive as having stolen votes and locked up the nomination via super delegates, IOW ‘cheating’ and ‘manipulating the rules’. More evidence that the DNC and its beneficiaries (aka, Barbara Boxer) are committing institutional suicide.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      They’re not going to turn out anyway, we’ll be lucky if we get 30% of the under 30’s. Maybe if they just made voting an add-on to the Instagram app, roust them from their self-absorption for the briefest of moments.

      We could build on the huge anti-TPP rallies that took place in SF, LA, Chicago, Boston, and New York (/sarc off)

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        As a Milennial myself, I’ve always thought that on Election Day the United States should celebrate. I’m talking about a huge holiday along the lines of Independence Day and New Years.

        But then again this would only help poor working class people ….

        1. readerOfTeaLeaves

          I’m sure that you meant that humorously, but wow… 8^0

          Last week, I was talking with a young medical care provider. He’s 30. He loves his field, and he can make a living, but he basically has a mortgage in terms of college debt for his PhD. Has it opened opportunities for him? It has.
          But at a cost that emotionally and health-wise is a terrible burden.
          I have no clue whether he reads Instagram, but he is most definitely voting in November.

          And I could tell you more stories like that.

          Meanwhile, as I walked out of my precinct caucus, I got to chatting with a young mother of two. She and her husband have been ‘under water’ on their house for years, and are *maybe* coming up for air after a very traumatic, drawn out ordeal. And they still have their house — after working multiple jobs and trading childcare in order to (barely!) hang on to their house. There’s no way in hell they’ll be ‘reading Instagram instead of voting’.

          For the most part, the people that I talk politics with are affluent and have done well in their lives. If the affluent are as pissed off and disgusted as the people that I know, then a whole lot of people will turn out — OR they will write in third party, if all they’re offered are Trump vs Clinton.

          I always enjoy your comments, so frankly I’m a bit shocked to see such a smarmy comment that is insulting to the smart younger voters that I know and talk with — they are incredibly engaged, pissed as hell, and waking up to the fact that they’ve been lied to (Bush, Iraq), screwed (global warming, economy, student debt), and expected to pay for other people’s parties — political, economic, and environmental.

          They may be reading Instagram, but I’m pretty damn sure they will also fit in time to vote.
          And it won’t be for Hillary or Trump.

          1. aletheia33

            agree with your observation of the millenials. mine has been the same. i am continually amazed at their gumption, resourcefulness, and stamina, when i feel like if i were them i would just want to resign myself to utter defeat. given what they are up against.

              1. different clue

                Question: How many of the young people you met at Zucotti Park and etc. were 25 or younger at the time they were there?

                Reason for question: If they were 25 or younger at the time of Zucotti, they would have been 17 years old or younger at the time of Obama v McCain election of 2008 . . . i.e. . . . too young to have voted in that election.

                Reason question is relevant: If they were too young to vote as of 2008, and they are supporting Sanders now, then the meme being directed against them on certain Clintonite blogs that they are repeating the loving-a-cardboard-messiah aGAIN just as they did with Obama beFORE . . . is falsely targetted against them in deliberate error.

                So. . . a worthwhile study would be . . . how many Zucotti marchers were 25 or younger at time of Zucotti, and how many of those under-25-at-Zucotti marchers THEN . . . are Sanders supporters NOW.

            1. aab

              Chiming in, as well. My kid is 19, and SHE IS AWESOME. Her friends are awesome. A huge portion of my Bernie-backing Twitter pals are are millennials, and they continue to talk to me even after they find out I’m an Old-adjacent white lady. Hundreds of thousands of them have worked like demons to get Bernie elected, both when it seemed like a foolhardy dream and now when it is clear the party is determined to steal the nomination by any means necessary.

              The Democratic elite trick is to blame voters for not voting. That’s bullshit. Voters don’t vote when they are given nothing to vote for. The people of all ages who have been willing to stand in lines for hours, reregister numerous times because their registration is being wiped or switched, wait patiently in caucuses for up to 18 hours (sometimes with no food or bathroom breaks) as the Clinton people try to discourage them into leaving so they can do a different, final count — those people are showing that if you give people someone and something to vote FOR, they will crawl over glass to vote. And given that the majority of Bernie’s voters continues to be people under 40 (although it’s not as unbalanced as Clinton and the media would like you to believe), it is indisputably the case that young people are voting in large numbers — that would be larger without the suppression tactics.

              So, please, enough with the Instagram sniping.

              1. ambrit

                I’ll add to that the demographic that Phyllis and I are part of: Highly Stressed Oldsters. This seems to be the first major election where a significant number of older people are coming face to face with the literally murderous results of the Neo-Liberal Doctrine. Our demographic is no longer solidly “Middle Class.” That status earlier lulled the older cohort into a false sense of ‘belonging’ to the Status Quo. Now events are making it clear that the 1% have no compunctions about ‘sacrificing’ everyone else for the elites benefit. Class warfare can be a b—h when one side feels that it has nothing to lose.

              2. readerOfTeaLeaves

                Awesome comment.
                My Twitter feed is aflutter with smart, hilarious 140 character commentary these days.

                The DNC is committing institutional suicide by manipulating the rules and the votes for Hillary. And at this point, I’m ready to wash my hands of them and say “Good riddance.”

                (Making a calendar reminder to donate to Wasserman-Schultz’s opponent again later this week….Lambert, I’ll tip the hat for you after election season… making a second calendar reminder for late November… 8^)

                1. different clue

                  On the other hand, one could study how the Teavangelicals spent 30 years conquering the Republican Party from below and within . . . and decide to endure the 30-40 years of boring tedium needed to do the same to the Democratic Party. Of course it will be harder in the case of the Democratic Party because the challenge-mounting analogue of the Teavangelicals will receive zero support from billionaire donors and spin mills.

  13. TheCatSaid

    Lambert, re: voting machine / election hacking, you asked where are the smoking guns.

    Here’s a start–a major report “Fraction Magic” being released by BlackBoxVoting.org. The first 5 parts are on the website already. The final installment should be out any day, and I’m concerned about what it will reveal. The code changes and documentation shown in the first 5 parts of the report are absolutely horrifying.

    Regarding smoking guns, this is only scratching the surface. There are smoking guns from all over the country, from both main political parties, going back many years. Often, local election rules prevent actual evidence from being examined.

      1. B1whois

        What an unexpected comment, as both my experience and my research indicate that “human form”, or for that matter physical form, is not a nevessary part of the definition. Facts and scientific evidence are included as well.


              1. cm

                This is the second time I’ve seen you do a smarmy comment rather than reply in an insightful fashion.

                In this very thread you made the comment “This is politics,not science” while referencing something in the identical fasion that Bev did — how exactly is that not an “assignment?”

                How is your reply to B1WhoIs different from Bev’s reply to you?

                1. Yves Smith

                  You are out of line in general in attacking him (commenting here is a privilege, not a right, and I don’t take well to attacks on site admins) and in particularly for piling on in defense of a violation of our written Polices, which you have apparently never read.

      2. Bev

        A smoking gun can be self evident logic:
        from comment above

        The Smoking Gun is that Sanders can PROVE HIS WINS WITH REAL EVIDENCE of open, public hand/head counts in caucuses and in open public hand counts of paper ballots.

        Review Richard Charnin’s work below:

        Sanders PROVABLE WINS are at about 65%

        Clinton CANNOT PROVE HER WINS, and Sanders CANNOT PROVE HIS LOSES because EVIDENCE HAS BEEN REMOVED by e-voting machines (faulty by design to Man-in-the-Middle attacks on purpose) and EVIDENCE HAS BEEN HIDDEN by e-scanning machines owned by the abusive, extreme right-wing.

        Sanders NOT PROVABLE Losses percentages are about 43%

        It is the difference between EVIDENCE AND NO EVIDENCE SYSTEMS. Everyone can understand what removing evidence means; it means election Fraud and Theft.

        Read Richard Charnin’s work at

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I’ve seen Charmin’s work, and one person’s “self-evident logic” is another person’s far-fetching. Somebody should also calculate the odds of a fraud of this magnitude occurring over time without one single whistleblower coming forward. I’m guessing they’re pretty low. For example, robosigning was a fraud of equivalent impact, at least, and whistleblowers came forward.

          1. Bev

            Meet Whistleblower Clint Curtis who testified before Congress:

            Clinton Eugene “Clint” Curtis (born 1958) is an American attorney, computer programmer and ex-employee of NASA and ExxonMobil. He worked for Yang Enterprises (YEI) until February 2001. He is notable chiefly for making a series of whistleblower allegations about his former employer and about Republican Congressman Tom Feeney, including an allegation that in 2000, Feeney and Yang Enterprises requested Curtis’s assistance in a scheme to steal votes by inserting fraudulent code into touch screen voting systems.


            Uncounted – Clint Curtis: Million Dollar Programmer


            “Mr. Curtis,” said the questioner at the U.S. House Judiciary Committee proceedings, “are there programs that can be used to secretly fix elections?”

            And so begins the story of Clint Curtis – computer programmer, Floridian, Republican – who was asked by the company he worked for to create a vote-rigging software prototype that he assumed would be used to try and “catch” would-be fraudsters. It was a standard “opposition research” assignment – or so he was told. The truth, of course, was something completely different and weaves into a tangled web the 2000 Presidential Election debacle, a now-sitting U.S. Congressman, and the number one threat to our national security – electronic voting.


            — ReThink Review
            Brave New Films

            Jonathan “DJK” Kim’s review of the documentary ‘Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: the Clint Curtis Story’.

            ‘Murder, Lies’ explores the true story of Clint Curtis, a software engineer who was asked by a Florida legislator in 2000 to write software to hack voting machines. Curtis becomes a whistleblower, turning his life into a political film noir where the first victim appears to be American democracy. In true noir fashion, the scheme to steal the 2004 (and 2008) elections using electronic voting machines deepens and widens — involving threats on Curtis life, the suspicious suicide of a citizen investigator who might have learned too much, and a trail that might lead to the White House. Journalist/blogger Brad Friedman (http://bradblog.com/) interviews the principals and leads us through this chilling story of democracy derailed.

            Please go see ‘Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: the Clint Curtis Story’ before the election. And when you go to the polls to vote this November, bring your video camera to record any irregularities!

          2. aab

            Does the audit observer’s testimony to the Chicago Board of Elections count? It’s on video, and no one disputed her statement that she watched workers erase Sanders votes and switch them to Clinton. This is on video.

            Does the testimony of the poll workers in Arizona and New York count, where they testified to a variety of suppressive tactics at polling places that were ONLY directed at Democratic voters and were unlike anything they had ever seen or been asked to do in decades of polling place work? This is also on video.

            There’s more. That’s just off the top of my head. Seriously, Lambert, because I respect you and know you have more experience than I do at investigating and analyzing this sort of thing — don’t those people count as whistleblowers?

          3. TheCatSaid

            Unfortunately a comment I posted yesterday with a number of specific examples never appeared.

            Suffice it to say there are numerous examples of hard evidence of numerous kinds–videos, photos, documents, whistleblowers. That doesn’t mean there are prosecutions. Local power structures can exert great influence on what does and doesn’t happen.

            That’s no different than NC exposes in the sectors of finance–the crimes and frauds are richly documented, but virtually no prosecutions have resulted.

            Our election systems have been broken for many decades (or more), it’s just that the mechanisms have changed to keep up with developments in technology and local political power structures. The voting machines alone provide a multitude of vulnerabilities, and privileged access by strategic contractors (e.g., LHS in New Hampshire).

            If you care at all about the integrity of policies–financial, environmental, economic or politics in general–than you would do well to become better informed as to the mechanisms by which many decisions are controlled (election administration, election systems and procedures, state laws governing circumstances under which voting/election materials can be examined–or not, usually–and that’s just the tip of the iceberg).

            We are still fed propaganda about how postal voting increases voter turnout (it doesn’t). There is nothing in the MSM about the vulnerabilities of chain of custody of postal ballots. (This is just one of many things Bev Harris discovered by in-depth on-the-ground investigation, in cooperation with other election integrity groups.)

            This area is something about which I educated myself starting in 2004. I played a small role in a citizen-led group that eventually got voting machines thrown out in Ireland. Ireland happens to have one of the better election/vote counting systems in the world. There are still some weak links (ballot boxes being transported by police car to ballot counting centers, sometimes without observers), but compared to the many more weak links in the US it’s remarkable.

    1. Bev

      Thank you so much, so very, very much TheCatSaid. The Dog Howled: I looked it up. Here comes more Evidence of Fraud. Hopefully, it can be mitigated before California. Bev Harris’ last chapter of how to mitigate is to come. Fast. Hopefully.


      Fraction Magic – Part 1: Votes are being counted as fractions instead of as whole numbers
      By Bev Harris May 12, 2016

      1 – Summary –
      This report summarizes the results of our review of the GEMS election management system, which counts approximately 25 percent of all votes in the United States. The results of this study demonstrate that a fractional vote feature is embedded in each GEMS application which can be used to invisibly, yet radically, alter election outcomes by pre-setting desired vote percentages to redistribute votes. This tampering is not visible to election observers, even if they are standing in the room and watching the computer. Use of the decimalized vote feature is unlikely to be detected by auditing or canvass procedures, and can be applied across large jurisdictions in less than 60 seconds.

      GEMS vote-counting systems are and have been operated under five trade names: Global Election Systems, Diebold Election Systems, Premier Election Systems, Dominion Voting Systems, and Election Systems & Software, in addition to a number of private regional subcontractors. At the time of this writing, this system is used statewide in Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Utah and Vermont, and for counties in Arizona, (upcoming) California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. It is also used in Canada.

      Part 1: Votes are being counted as fractions instead of as whole numbers

      Part 2: Context, Background, Deeper, Worse

      Part 3: Proof of code

Part 4: Presidential race in an entire state switched in four seconds

      Part 5: Masters of the Universe

Part 6: Execution capacity – coming –

      Part 7: Solutions and Mitigations – coming –


      I hope Part 7 of Bev’s research comes out before California.

      Californians look this up now. Get rid of Evidence Removed/Hidden voting machines owned my the extreme right pushing both parties further and further right. Tabulating machines are also a big part of the problem.

      Demand Evidence of hand counted paper ballots counted in precinct on election night and posted to the wall of the precinct to undo tabulating adjustments.


      Chris Hedges
      Welcome to 1984

      Much of the left, Nader argues, especially with the Democratic Party’s blatant rigging of the primaries to deny Bernie Sanders the nomination, grasps that change will come only by building mass movements. This gives the left, at least until these protofascist forces also give up on the political process, a window of opportunity. If we do not seize it, he warns, we may be doomed.

      1. TheCatSaid

        Bev, thanks for posting those titles & links. I hope the last installments come out soon. I was agog to see Ben’s bio and learn how he got involved (resulting from being skeptical IT person based in Memphis, who was approached by 4 candidates who were certain their elections had been stolen–e.g., their vote counts were going down over the course of election night vote counting. He was skeptical so started exploring whether/how what was observed might be possible. When he linked up with Bev Harris lots more came to light, as they had an actual voting machine and actual real election results & code to examine.)

  14. August West

    What gets me about the media coverage of the NV debacle is that, true to form, the MSM is only discussing the “violence” coming from the Bernie camp. They are interviewing Roberta Lange but not asking or reporting on why people became upset in the first place! It’s maddening. Bernie has brought in a lot of young voters who are so enthusiastic and they haven’t been exposed to the kind of nasty politics that older voters have experienced. The poor young voters are shocked and upset when they find that rules aren’t followed, and are quickly realizing that our political process in the US is NOT democratic. What makes me sad is that many may give up and I strongly feel that this enthusiasm for progressive ideas must be continued for the down ballot votes and future elections! Don’t give up young people!!! Also Hills doesn’t seem to give a shit if she discourages hordes of young people from becoming democrats or even caring about who becomes president. Sigh.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      So far as I can tell, the only actual “violence” is the chair throwing, for which I have yet to see a clip.

      The rest is just yelling. One of the most effective landfill meetings we ever had included a lot of yelling. People who were accustomed to a lot of deference didn’t like that much, and so what?

      1. B1whois

        The reporting reminds me very much of the reporting surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement,where people are justifiably outraged and expressive of such, and the mainstream media coverage s always the same, focusing on the anger and not the cause. Even with occupy, which generally was very peaceful, mainstream media wasn’t interested in their concerns, just confused that they didn’t prevent Solutions already. So this is not just about presidential politics, #Dismiss and #Demonize is a consistent feature of our current media coverage of social unrest in response to establishment actions and policies.

        1. jrs

          When they aren’t violent they are smelly hippies who don’t bathe. But violence SO WHAT? I mean I think that needs to be the attitude of viewers. Not to condone or advocate violence but Sander’s campaign can not possibly control everyone’s behavior can it? Just like Occupy couldn’t control what ever Occupy sympathizer would do. And in something like Occupy you’d often suspect FBI etc. infiltration if their was violence.

          1. August West

            “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” JFK

    2. meeps

      Pertaining to one sided reporting of violence, I never read anywhere that Bernie’s NV campaign office was fired upon.

        1. TheCatSaid

          That was news to me, too. I chalked it up to MSM’s persistent efforts to keep the Sanders campaign as invisible as possible.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Neither did I. However, the Sanders camp might not have wanted this publicized; I mean, what next? Copycat shootings? That said, I’m sure the statement was carefully vetted by the campaign, so I’d assume witness would come forward if need be. And all the kidz these days carry cell phones, so there’s probably video.

    3. Pat

      I’m really getting beyond pissed that this is continuing. The thing is there is too much evidence that it is bull shit. Yeah it may gain them some traction in California (and you know that is what they are going for), but I’m going to be a cynical optimist that the videos blow up the pile on and turn it for Sanders. And that like so many stupid choices, it back fires on Clinton.

      I don’t see any way to the nomination anymore, but I’m now hoping that the theft of it (and yes I do think it is a theft), that the clearly unfair, corrupt, democratic process alienates so many people that the Democratic Party breaks.

  15. participant-observer-observed

    Anyhow, that’s up to Clinton, isn’t it? She can either decide Sanders has leverage and find a solution space, or (in my view the likelier outcome) throw Sanders and his voters under the bus and go for moderate Republicans.

    That decision appears to have already been taken. Now it remains to see Sander’s political acumen (Jane has already mentioned plan B in the past) and if there are any further splits. Social media comments suggest Clinton is throwing a good percentage of life long Democrats along w Sanders independents. The remaining question is what the numbers turn out to be.

    1. JustAnObserver

      The Democratic Party’s nomenclatura have clearly made the rice bowl decision that no matter how she wins and what part of the voting public she triangulates to (barf) their rice bowls will remain filled. She could go all the way to a full Koch endorsement & they wouldn’t care; just complain it wasn’t the finest Basmati.

      They clearly haven’t started (or are incapable of) asking about the rice level if she loses.

      1. different clue

        Even if she loses, the Wall Street Democrats will say that was an acceptable risk for making sure Sanders was kept un-nominated. Those Wall Street loyalist Democrats who make sure that the risk of Sanders winning was prevented by preventing Sanders from getting nominated and therefor running will be suitably rewarded for their loyalty and their usefulness. How much does an iron rice bowl really cost, after all?

    2. Buttinsky

      Agreed. Nevada, if nothing else, is proof the die has been cast, and there will be no “solution space.”

      Of course, it doesn’t make any sense. Lying about working towards unity is not hard in and of itself — well within Hillary’s mendacious wheelhouse — and requires only the occasional sop. The only explanation for such open warfare would seem to be a kind of crazed vindictiveness among the Clintonites for Sanders’s having not already folded. Gore Vidal once remarked, in the context of a bitter Eleanor Roosevelt who never forgot or forgave the Democrats who hadn’t supported her son for public office, that a good memory in politics is not always a good thing.

      Let’s see now what Sanders and his supporters do with their memories of this campaign.

      1. sleepy

        Politically the Clintons remind me of a dealmaker who makes a favorable deal, but still isn’t happy unless someone is cheated out of one more nickel.

        The odds are good that she wins the nomination regardless of what should have happened in Nevada, but her operatives still felt the need to stick it to their opponents, just for fun I guess.

        I knew years ago that I would never vote for a Hillary presidency, but I think a lot of Sanders supporters, particularly the young ones, don’t really have a visceral negative memory of the Clintons but just like Sanders policies more.

        But at this point, I suspect they are developing that visceral dislike as they see her campaign giving them a big middle finger. As more and more repubs are realizing that they can actually beat her with Trump, the less likely her push to the–further–right will gather many repubs into the fold. And more and more Sanders supporters will not support her.

        1. Buttinsky

          Good points. We are all witnessing a breathtaking exercise in contemporary American politics on this one.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          I think many younger voters have a visceral distaste of Iraq and triangulation. Obama was protected because he was the first love for so many. MacNamara can be pure evil, while JFK stood up to the generals and advisers he promoted to his inner circle. Biden didn’t excite anyone outside of DC when he made noises even though he’s so closely tied to Obama. Why don’t the kids love Biden? The cult of personality protects Obama, but it won’t protect anyone else. Sanders isn’t relevant. The distaste of Clinton and Clinton Inc were already out there.

    3. hidflect

      Hillary’s a bit like Moses. She proceeds messiah-like dividing the party like the Red Sea as she goes, only for it to come crashing back together behind her in fury and chaos.

  16. john k

    I posted most of this late yesterday, is it ok to post again? I’d like to hear what people think would be the best prospect for a progressive candidate running as a Democrat in 2020:
    a) Shill wins and runs again in 2020.
    b) Trump wins and runs again in 2020.

    Sanders represents honesty, a fight against corruption, unnecessary wars, and racism.
    Shill represents corruption and wars, at best neutral on racism.
    How could somebody that would vote for Sanders in a primary vote for Shill in the general?

    Because Trump? I contend he is against wars, bad trade deals, maybe neutral on corruption, and a racist, though not so more than most reps, particularly southerners, though more outspoken. On these bases she is clearly the greater evil. How can a Bernie Bros vote for a corrupt warmonger?
    Because she is a woman? Granted, but this is a racist argument.

    And what about 2020? A progressive would find it even more difficult to unseat a sitting dem president. OTOH, if Trump is as bad as is feared, a progressive will have an opportunity in 2020.

    1. aab

      All other issues aside, I think the best hope for 2020 is a Trump win in 2016. It will throw the Democratic Party into disarray. It will be harder to keep the courtiers in line, because there will be a much thinner stream of rice for the bowls. Schumer, Murray, etc., will be fine. But everybody below them? Goldman Sachs is not going to pump money into losers who hold no control in the Federal government and very few states.

    2. Strangely Enough

      a. Think this primary is getting ugly? Imagine a primary against an enthroned monarch.

      b. Would they fire up the inevitability machine? Third time’s a charm.

      The Democratic party appears irredeemably corrupt. Certainly at the top.

    3. Pat

      I’m not sure a real liberal or what I consider an old school Democrat would have a chance in the current party regardless of what happens in November. Clinton loses to Trump, the Dems are going to blame Sanders although the scenario where she loses before November (either at the convention or because of events soon after) and it becomes a Biden run there is some chance Clinton could get some of the blame she/they so richly deserve. She wins, and the strategy of pissing on the DFHs becomes even more ingrained. About the only thing that will screw that up is if the left suddenly becomes the New Tea Party and primaries almost every friggin’ Democrat up for reelection in 2018 and the favored nominees for Republican or retiree seats AND wins most of Primaries AND the generals. IOW, unless there is a hostile take over and the regulars grow to fear the progressive voters we are just going to watch them condescend, lie, shit and steal. The Republicans will be in disarray no matter what, but there is no space for liberals there despite the fact that we share common ground on trade and increasingly single payer.
      So the real question is can disaffected liberals channel the goals of the various movements that push them and that obviously share common interests and build a new party that has enough traction to gain some semblance of power in 2020. It doesn’t have to be the Presidency and won’t be. But it must include a fair amount of state and local positions AND enough Congressional slots to screw with the majority, as in there is none for either of the two major parties. Is it possible to do this in four years? At least not without a thirty year history of existing under a different name and a billionaire or two backing them. But that doesn’t mean that eight or twelve, if we have that, aren’t possible.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Without Hillary’s celebrity, they would have to lie non stop to get out of Iowa and New Hampshire. The campaigns would be races to the left. If Obama was more genuinely popular, there would be a line of serious candidates.

        Plenty of thugs such as Mark Warner would have gone to Iowa and been laughed at. Rahm Emmanuel made trips to Iowa and New Hampshire and met a grand total of three people. Hillary is the only candidate who might be able to get away without offering a progressive platform to advance.

        1. Pat

          Oh, it would happen. The one thing that has worried me about BOTH Democratic candidates seeking the nomination is the depressed turnout. They’d just win with only 20% of the registered Democratic voters actually voting. Sad thing is that the DWS and Clinton faction would prefer that.

          Just as they were happy in 2010 and 2014, they would love to watch people stay home. And would count on the higher Republican negatives to carry the one office they are counting on. And none of them believe that will happen if they start espousing commie notions like universal health care and kindergarten, no child left hungry or adult either or ….

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The depressed turnout is a serious issue. The optimistic scenario is Sanders, not having the 3 years of media speculation that Obama did, is still simply an unknown to the 630 news crowd.

            Hillary is a real problem for Democrats. The demand do to rally around the flag are the working. Just to be clear, the nomination race is delaying the general election contest. This is an easy argument to make, but no one is buying this. General election poll modeling is based on past turnouts, but the last three cycles have been fear based for the Democrats. It’s not working very well. Obama did better after making promises. When he broke those promises, he began his lame duck presidency.

            Fear of Trump has been going on for months now. It’s wearing thin in the absence of an alternative, and “Bill Clinton” isn’t an answer to crushing health insurance payments.

            The Democrats might be in trouble with Sanders, but fear mongering, appealing to “moderate” Republicans, and bland identity social cues didn’t work in 2014 even where Hillary campaigned.

      2. different clue

        When the Goldwaterites lost in 1964 they didn’t tell themselves that if they didn’t win in 1968 they would go home and sulk forever. They told themselves they would work to conquer the Republican Party for as many decades as it took to conquer the Party.

        So if Liberadicals and New Deal Restorationists don’t win in 2020, will they take inspiration from the Goldwaterites’ example? One hopes so.

  17. Massinissa

    You know how some people here used to insist that Sanders was a sheepdog?

    If he was a sheepdog, would the Dem elite be trying to kick him down quite so hard? It should be apparent to everyone now that, at the very least, Sanders is not some kind of tool of the Dem elite. At least not yet, could be turned into one somehow after the primary if he decides to campaign for Clinton even after being treated this poorly.

    1. JustAnObserver

      Personally if I were Sanders now, after all the ugly DNC Wassermanning has fixed the convention Tamanny style, I would politely bow out citing the strains of a long campaign on a 74 year old. Sorry Hilly but you’re on your own now.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Or he could spend time bootstrapping the Sanders Foundation to carry the ideas of his platform forward.

        “I can’t imagine a better way to help the Democrat Party.”

        1. ambrit

          He’ll have to focus on a ‘legacy’ movement. He’s toast in the Senate. The Clintons, and the DNC in general have shown a ruthlessness and a petty mindedness that extends way into the ‘afterlife.’
          I still think that Trump would be widely viewed as a political genius if he merely offered a cabinet level post to Sanders if the DNC screws Sanders at the convention, which seems likely. Sanders for Secretary of HHS in a Trump administration?

          1. Yves Smith

            I disagree vehemently. He’s now a monster fundraiser. That is a huge source of power in Congress. He can tell his loyalists which progressives to back in 2018 races and they’d get enormous support from out of state donors. Sanders would have Warren-like status, someone with their own funding base who didn’t have to play nice with the party. Actually more than Warren since she still wants to be an insider power player, which constrains her, while Sanders has always been an outsider but will be in the unusual position of having clout.

            1. ambrit

              I’ll semi counter that with the observation that Sanders runs the risk of being framed as promoting a cult of personality. This smear won’t sit well with the younger and more idealistic members of his base. If it weren’t for Johnson, the Kennedys ‘Movement’ might have died a’ borning. Who will be Sanders LBJ if he gets kneecapped by the DNC? Another ‘wild card’ is if Sanders ‘mailing list’ is hacked and either co-opted or intentionally degraded through ‘dirty tricks.’ (Fake appeals to Sanders base to support questionable candidates can really muddy the waters.) Finally, if the DNC gets stroppy, Sanders really is left with a form of ‘scorched earth’ strategy. Then, we are facing a generational struggle, which, I must admit, is exactly how the Religious Right gained control of many Southern State governments. No easy answers.

  18. Jim Haygood

    With half the vote counted, Bernie is slightly ahead in Kentucky. And he’s sweeping eastern Kentucky.

    Who would’ve thought that folks in the hollers would take umbrage at Hillary boasting that “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business”?

    So they’re giving her a Harlan County rabbit punch. That’s where you spread your index fingers and poke your opponent in both eyes at the same time.

  19. Lambert Strether Post author

    As of now, Eastern Kentucky is all in, Western is not, and it’s Sanders at 46.8% and Clinton at 46.4%.

    8:01PM Clinton pulls ahead 46.7%/46.6% but back immediately to Sanders 46.6%/46.5%

    1. Jim Haygood

      Unfortunately, big chunks of Louisville and Lexington are not in. And those cities lean toward the ‘beest.

      If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d say those urban areas are waiting for the provinces to report, then to decide what ‘adjustments’ are needed. ;-)

        1. Jim Haygood

          With 93% of precincts reporting and Bernie holding an 0.1% lead, still 22% of the urban precincts in Jefferson County (Louisville) remain unreported (source: NYT).

          Just saying that if someone wanted to do some tampering, urban districts are the place to do it, because that’s where the big numbers are. And best to wait till late, after knowing the smallest adjustments needed to tip the scales.

          Let’s watch.

        2. Jim Haygood

          9:14 pm: Bernie leads 46.6% to 46.3%, with 95% of precincts reporting.

          9:15 pm: 131 precincts from Jefferson County are reported. Count flips to Clinton leading 46.9% vs 46.3%, with 99% of precincts reporting.

          Freak of nature, I tell you. Freak of nature.

          1. Pat

            I do find it odd that the urban areas are the last to report. That said, Clinton is stronger in urban areas than Sanders for the most part. In a just world for elections we would have a means that triggers hand recounts. It isn’t just this one or Illinois or NY. It has been several in the last decade.

            All of that said, she wasn’t supposed to have to fight for Kentucky. They shouldn’t have had to pad the vote if they did. At some point the Boxers and Deans have to notice how many times the scale has to be rigged…

            1. Jim Haygood

              As you mentioned, early results in urban Jefferson County were tilted toward Clinton.

              Probably no ‘adjustments’ were necessary. But it sure looked like 135 precincts were being strategically held back until the final moments, just to make sure.

              So far, AP appears to have held off calling a winner in Kentucky, though Hillary has proclaimed herself the victor.

            1. Roger Smith

              I wondered about this option on ballots in the primaries in general. Who is other? it just seems like a way to take points away from “other” candidates running. Namely the insurgents.

  20. fresno dan


    I don’t know if this article was in the links already – it is a couple of days old…

    “We’re getting to the point where there aren’t really any good options left,” he said. “The system is broken. Maybe its time to blow it up and start from scratch, like Trump’s been saying.”

    Krystal rolled her eyes at him. “Come on. You’re a Democrat.”

    “I was. But that was before we started turning into a weak country,” he said. “Pretty soon there won’t be anything left. We’ll all be flipping burgers.”

    “Fine, but so what?” she said. “We just turn everything over to the guy who yells the loudest?”

    Setser leaned into the table and banged it once for emphasis. “They’re throwing our work back in our face,” he said. “China is doing better. Even Mexico is doing better. Don’t you want someone to go kick ass?”

    “That doesn’t really seem like you,” she said, and for a few seconds she stared back at him, as if examining someone for the first time. The spices were alphabetized on the shelves. The family schedule was printed on the wall. Theirs was a happy home, a stable home.
    “You said it always evens out,” she told him.

    “Maybe I was wrong,” he said, but now his voice was quiet.

    “You said things just have a way of working.”

    “Maybe not,” he said, because with each passing day he was seeing it more clearly. The town was losing its best employer, and all around him stability was giving way to uncertainty, to resentment, to anger, to fear.
    I have a friend who can’t get a job, and is at the age that although it isn’t economically advantageous, having to retire maybe the only option. Lost jobs before, and every new job paid less… Needless to say, his American orthodoxy of greatest country, work hard, etc., has suffered mightily….
    It is a tough, tough thing for people raised to believe that you are the captain of your soul and the master of your fate that maybe, maybe you not nearly as in control as you thought…

    1. Waldenpond

      Yep. Two family members and several friends.. same thing. Young people with lower wages and hours, older layed off, peek working years men layed off, we have two neighborhood households where the cars are home all day, and we have two neighbors whose houses needed to be painted several years ago and one house who couldn’t afford to top their trees had pge over a couple days ago to cut limbs that had fallen on the lines and in another neighbors yard. When huge branches break, it reminds of icebergs calving.

  21. meeps

    “And does Sanders even want to go back to Senate? Not sure where the solution spaces of the two factions overlap here.”


    “She can either decide Sanders has leverage and find a solution space, or (in my view the likelier outcome) throw Sanders and his voters under the bus and go for moderate Republicans.

    Agreed. The factions are mutually contradictory; the solution is infeasable. A Clinton nomination is not optimal and going for moderate Republicans is exactly what she’ll do because, for all intents and purposes, she’s a Republican.

  22. dk

    Re: telephone metadata … Law enforcement and national security agencies are trying to achieve something more complex than just identifying individuals. They are trying to predict particular kinds of crimes; and specifically “terrorism”, which is to say violent action or threats thereof, and sabotage (which would include hacking but there seems to be some misunderstanding about that term, e.g. Aaron Swartz).

    The Stanford News article (and other articles about this) give examples of easy post hoc correlations of known factors, but predicting specific behaviors is much harder. For example, while many lone actors (Dylann Roof, Robert Dear, the Tsarnaevs, etc) rant on social media before they act, perform research, and purchase weapons or hazardous materials, this doesn’t distinguish them from the many other trolls who (so far) have done little or nothing of such significance. If the actor is more circumspect, metadata analysis may be even less relevant.

    So while communication metadata analysis is great for scenarios like product or political advertising, where false positives aren’t costly, it’s just too coarse a tool for law enforcement. And that’s before misapprehensions the enforcement agencies and law makers may have, about what constitutes terrorism (peaceful protest, whistleblowing), or crime in general (financial instruments so complex they become intrinsically fraudulent).

    Naturally, enforcement agencies and law makers see opportunities for publicity and polarization, and security product vendors see opportunities for inflated claims about complex but ultimately imprecise/ineffective analytics and high volume collectors of data with at best marginal utility or relevance.

    So articles like this do more to confuse and cloud the issues than they do to explain the goals and challenges.

    1. Yves Smith

      No that is just plain false. Stop spreading pro-surveillance propaganda. Snowden himself debunked the idea that metadata, and indeed the entire data hoovering exercise was even remotely productive in identifying threats. Other intel and security experts agree.

      What it is good for is old FBI style intimidation and surveillance: if someone becomes a Person of Interest (which includes people with views the officialdom does not like) it’s trivial for them to pull together a dossier on that person from what they’ve already collected.

  23. dk

    Re: Ethereum, DAO, etc, these are great vehicles for fraud. They offer transparency(via ease of automation) for some functions, but little or none at all for others (product quality, variations in fulfillment criteria and verifications, edge/unspecified cases and changes to underlying factors, compliance issues). I think they do cut into the business models of law firms. But the Ethereum FAQ goes on and on about force of law, while completely ignoring the potentials for abuse of the service/product.

  24. tony

    Democrats do run on something: Conservativism. The Republicans promise radical policies and rush into the future, while the Democracts promise to slow them down.

    1. sd

      Radical Republican policies run into the past, like 17th century past. There’s absolutely nothing futuristic about their ideas.

    2. Ché Pasa

      Correct. Democratic Party is conservative-status quo; Republican Party is radical reactionary; indeed, it is the US equivalent of an Institutional Revolutionary Party.

      Both are rightist politically; there is no US political Left in a classic sense.

  25. tony

    Neither is there anything futuristic about bank regulations, full employment, democratic governance or social democracy.

    Future promised by both parties looks the same, apart from a few identity issues. Dems just promise to enact the policies with some moderation.

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