2:00PM Water Cooler 5/25/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“In November 2014, Polish support for TTIP stood at 73 percent, only to drop to 66 percent one year later. In the Czech Republic support levels stood at 62 percent of Czechs in favour of TTIP in November 2014, and then plunged to 49 percent twelve months later.” [BorderLex]. “Public opinion in former communist EU member states is on average much more supportive of TTIP than the rest of the EU. TTIP signals closer ties with the United States, something that is key to national security in the eastern flanks of Europe. TTIP will likely lead to more imports of liquefied natural gas from the US, thus improving energy security in the region. TTIP also signals modernity and jobs. Economic studies back up popular opinion. A study by the World Trade Institute released in December 2015 estimates that Lithuania would be among the biggest winners of TTIP among EU member states, gaining 1.6 percent in economic output thanks to the deal. Slovakian exports could surge by 116 percent, so the study.”


The Voters

“There is no doubt that Americans want major changes in the way government operates, and they see Mr. Trump as much more likely to change business as usual in Washington. But this does not necessarily translate into support for his overall approach” [Wall Street Journal, “Clinton Is Still the Favorite”]. “Hillary Clinton represents continuity, while Donald Trump represents change: advantage Trump. But Mrs. Clinton represents security while Mr. Trump represents risk: advantage Clinton.”

“Those of us who do economics for a living turn to it to answer all the big social questions. To explain the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, we reflexively blame stagnant incomes that have left voters angry and frustrated. Lately, though, I’ve come to question this approach.” [Wall Street Journal, “It’s Not the Economy, Stupid”]. “For all the shared prosperity, the 1960s was not a period of social tranquility or political cohesion. John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. A year later the Republican Party nominated its most conservative presidential candidate ever, Barry Goldwater. From 1965 to 1968, race riots hit Los Angeles and major northeastern cities. In 1968, Lyndon Johnson declined to run for re-election, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated, Vietnam war protests disrupted the Democratic National Convention, and Richard Nixon became president by prying white southerners from the Democratic Party. For many Americans, economic prosperity could not change the feeling that the world was coming apart.”

“Two of the three largest gender gaps on record – 11 points in 1994 and 10 points in 2012 and 2014 – occurred in two of the worst years for Democrats nationally. This happened because Democrats performed horribly among men, winning just 42 percent each time” [Real Clear Politics]. “Democrats won the female vote in almost every election in the past 20 years (2010 is the sole exception, when Republican narrowly won among women).” 2010?!

“A Letter to a Bernie-or-Bust Voter” [Salon]. “I get it. I was just like you once.” Shorter: Grow the **** up!” If there is one Beltway genre I loathe above all others, it’s the “Letter to _____” format. The condescension drips from the headline, and then just oozes all over everything as you read on. This is a splendid example of the type. #Messy


“21 Questions For Donald Trump” [David Cay Johnston, National Journal (2015)]. Trump and Guistra. Oh, wait…


Chris Matthews seems to be going off message:

The Trail

“Clinton has a new weapon against Trump: Elizabeth Warren” [WaPo]. So the giant sucking pit of need that is the Clinton campaign has managed to deploy the Democrat Party’s best explainer on economic issues as a low-road attack dog.

Harry Reid: “I think we should just kind of lay off Bernie Sanders a little bit” [The Hill]. So Democrat internals on appealing to “moderate” Republicans say that’s not gonna work after all?

“”People forget that Hillary Clinton flew to New Hampshire, endorsed Obama and started campaigning for him very quickly. And so the question is how quickly Bernie will do that,” [Obama’s 2012 campaign manager Jim] Messina added” [The Hill]. And people erase that Clinton cut a deal with Obama in Denver before she did that, and as a result became the Secretary of State and the annointed candidate of the Democrat Establishment in 2015. So where’s the deal now?

To be fair, I like the idea of “a truce” (ending on November 8) between Sanders and Clinton a lot, and in fact when Clinton says “I think what brings us together is Donald Trump. I think that’s what brings us together” (from the transcript of her recent interview with CNN) she’s essentially proposing a truce, too. And Sanders, in his inimitable fashion, is fighting Trump by supporting down-ticket Democrats like Canova (Obama supports Wasserman Schultz) and getting some reasonable people on the Democrat Platform committee, as opposed to scumbags like Neera Tanden.

” Bernie Sanders lists Hillary Clinton criticisms he doesn’t raise” [Sacramento Bee].

Bernie Sanders, responding to Gov. Jerry Brown’s concern about a “scorched earth” primary hurting Hillary Clinton, said Tuesday he has avoided hitting the likely Democratic nominee on “major, major areas” – and then proceeded to list them.

“I’ve been asked 5 million times about the emails, and I haven’t said anything,” Sanders said in a brief interview before a rally here. “I’ve been asked about the Clinton Foundation, didn’t say anything. Bill Clinton’s personal life? Never said a word.

“So I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that I am running a scorched earth policy.”

Sanders was responding to Brown’s apparent criticism of Sanders over the weekend, when he said, “I don’t think anybody should be seeking the Democratic nomination with a scorched earth policy.”

Ask a question, you get an answer. And a superb example of paralipsis, albeit induced, from Sanders!

“Hillary’s summer of scandal” [Politico]. And it’s only May….

Clinton Email Hairball

“State Dept. watchdog: Clinton violated email rules” [Politico]. (Clinton supporters in three, two, one: “But everybody does it!”). Some of the choicer details:

“Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary,” the report states. “At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”…

Clinton and her top staff did not cooperate with the investigation, which was requested by current Secretary of State John Kerry. She, her former chief of staff Cheryl Mills and top deputies Jake Sullivan and Huma Abedin are among those who declined interviews. Kerry and his predecessors Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, however, did interviews.

Sure is odd who testified and who didn’t.

Stats Watch

PMI Services Flash, April 2016: “Recent signs of strength in the economy do not include the PMI services index which slowed by 9 tenths to 51.2, only slightly above breakeven 50 to indicate monthly growth, but slowing growth, for the bulk of the nation’s economy” [Econoday]. “Growth in new orders, hit by weakness in investment spending, continues to slow and is among the weakest readings in the 7-year history of this series. Respondents in the sample say clients are unwilling to commit to new projects. Backlog orders are in outright contraction for the worst reading in two years.”

International Trade in Goods, April 2016: “The nation’s goods deficit widened to $57.5 billion in April vs a revised $55.6 billion in March, results that point to a widening for the overall trade deficit which will be reported next week” [Econoday]. “But the results do point to improvement in cross-border demand with exports up 1.8 percent in the month and imports up 2.3 percent. Exports of industrial supplies rose 5.1 percent reflecting in part higher prices for petroleum-based products. But exports of autos show special strength, up 4.5 percent, with exports of consumer goods up 1.0 percent. Foods also show strength, up 4.4 percent in the month. Exports of capital goods remain soft, at only plus 0.3 percent.” But: “The advance trade report for April yielded a much smaller than expected goods deficit of $57.5 billion. The trade gap had narrowed sharply in March, as both imports and exports of goods fell sharply. The presumption was that this reflected the timing of Chinese New Year, so estimates for April called for a significant backup as imports (and to a lesser extent exports) returned to more normal levels. However, trade flows remained restrained in April” [Amherst Pierpont Securities, Across the Curve].

MBA Mortgage Applications, May 20, 2016: “Purchase applications for home mortgages revived in the May 20 week, increasing by 5 percent from the prior week, while refinancing activity managed to post a gain of 0.4 percent despite slightly higher rates” [Econoday].

FHFA House Price Index, March 2016: “Home-price appreciation had been flat but now appears, after yesterday’s very strong new home sales report and today’s FHFA house price report, to be trending higher” [Econoday]. Not that I’m foily, but I can’t help but put this wealth effect-y result in the context of the 2016 election. “You never had it so good!” Then again, if a substantial portion of the appreciation goes to private equity owners, and if much of the remainder is concentrated in already-doing-just-fine-thank-you blue zips, the effect may not be as great as its manipulators, if any, imagine.

Real Estate: “So far in 2016, Chinese companies have purchased or are buying 47 U.S. properties worth $9.3 billion, according to deal tracker Real Capital Analytics. That makes them the most active foreign buyers in the U.S., with more than double Canada’s $4.2 billion worth of deals” [Wall Street Journal, “Chinese Investors Pour Money Into U.S. Property”]. “By contrast, for all of last year Chinese investors did 71 U.S. deals worth $6 billion.”

ETFs: “[T]he biggest outflow was seen in the iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Eurozone ETF (HEZU), where 6,250,000 units were destroyed, or a 7.7% decrease week over week” [Forbes]. “And on a percentage change basis, the ETF with the biggest outflow was the First Trust Taiwan AlphaDEX Fund (FTW), which lost 50,000 of its units, representing a 25.0% decline in outstanding units compared to the week prior.” I’m putting this here, even though it looks like it was generated by a bot (which the author bio does not disconfirm) because people who worry about such things worry about ETFs so I’d like to track them. Can readers supply more sources that aren’t behind a paywall? Or use the contact form? Thank you!

Shipping: “Singapore Exchange wins race to take over Baltic Exchange” [Splash247]. “For SGX, which has seen derivatives trading become enormously popular, the acquisition would be a huge coup. Its last attempt to buy an overseas exchange, the ASX in Australia, failed in 2011.” And: “the Baltic said that most of the structures of the institution would remain the same for at least five years following any sale” [Splash247]. The Baltic Exchange produces the famous Baltic Dry Index….

Shipping: “US container exports grow but far from blossoming” [Journal of Commerce]. “U.S. containerized exports rose in the first quarter of the year for the first time after declining for six successive quarters. Nevertheless, first-quarter growth of 3.2 percent is far from remarkable as it is compared to a very weak base in the first quarter of 2015. Exports for the full-year are expected to grow 1.3 percent compared with a previous forecast of a 1.5 percent decline. Looking forward, the trade will continue to experience headwinds through the rest of the year as global demand continues to be very weak, and the adverse effects of the severe U.S. West Coast port congestion in early 2015 continue to be felt in the form of waning trust from Asian buyers.” Note “headwinds” as an airplane metaphor, a sure sign of bullshit. From actual, measurable congestion, we go to “Waning Trust,” the Confidence Fairy’s sketchy brother-in-law, I suppose.

Shipping: “April saw the region’s airlines carry 24.2m international passengers, a 4.8% increase compared to the same month last year, on the back of continued strong regional demand” [Air Cargo News]. “By contrast, said [Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA)], air cargo demand was ‘flat,’ with volumes in freight tonne km (FTK) terms similar to those registered in the same month last year.”

Shipping: “Seven types of counterparty: part three” [Splash247]. “A few years ago at the annual dinner of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association I found myself sitting next to an eminent Greek shipowner – so eminent, indeed, that his family name is to be found in the law reports of shipping cases as long ago as 1921 – who happily informed me that his hobby was litigation!”

The Bezzle: “Ethereum is the Forefront of Digital Currency” [Medium]. A brilliant combination of technical brilliance and puffery. This caught my eye. Here is one reason for investors to back Ethereum over Bitcoin: “Developer mindshare is the most important thing to have in digital currency.” In other words, exactly as with Uber, political risk drives valuation.

The Fed: “Yellen likely to wait until key June 6 speech to signal Fed path” [MarketWatch].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 72, Greed (previous close: 63, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 54 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 25 at 11:40am. Feet jammed on the accelerator. Zoom!


“[S]ection 220 of Delaware’s corporate law, which can compel locally incorporated companies such as Domo to open up their books to shareholders. The law, little known in Silicon Valley, is a potentially valuable tool for thousands of tech workers who received stock awards to join fast-growing startups, as well as other small investors, who now question their shares’ worth” [Wall Street Journal, “Startup Employees Invoke Obscure Law to Open Up Books”]. I smell business model…

Our Famously Free Press

America’s decline:

“Facebook is making some big changes to Trending Topics, responding to conservatives” [WaPo]. That was fast!

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

“Facebook is not only watching, but also listening to your cell phone. It all starts with enabling your microphone feature in your settings. Once you do, choose your words carefully” [News10]. One more reason smart people have dumb phones.

“Google aims to kill passwords by the end of this year” [Guardian]. “Android users will be able to log in to services using a combination of their face, typing patterns and how they move.” So that’s the operational definition of identity. Swell.


“[T]oday, there are signs that the promise of the great dam has run its course” [Econintersect]. “But today, there are signs that the promise of the great dam has run its course…. what is perhaps the most egregious failure for a system intended to conserve water, many of them lose hundreds of billions of gallons of precious water each year to evaporation and, sometimes, to leakage underground. These losses increasingly undercut the longstanding benefits of damming big rivers like the Colorado, and may now be making the West’s water crisis worse.”

The Unsettlement

“Greek port workers will strike again tomorrow for 48 hours, protesting privatisation of the country’s top two ports. Unions have warned of further strikes too” [Splash247].

“A Revolution of Values: Five Ways to Address the Value Gap” [Progressive Army].

Guillotine Watch

“Why Are So Many People Dying on Everest?” [Bloomberg]. I’ve read Into Thin Air, so the answer is there are enough people for whom the $74,000 per person fee is pocket change to fund a small industry of tour guides, who exploit the Sherpas to service the whacky aspirations of their clients. Meanwhile, the sacred form of Sagarmatha is clothed with frozen corpses, frozen shit, and discarded oxygen bottles, a splendid metaphor for our times. Next question.

Class Warfare

“Rise of the robots: 60,000 workers culled from just one factory as China’s struggling electronics hub turns to artificial intelligence” [South China Morning Post]. The workers and peasants can’t be happy about this. Then again, I imagine they can just join the service economy.

“Networks offer many benefits for tackling wicked problems, in contrast to traditional hierarchal organizational approaches. Perhaps foremost, they can be formed as a “co-owned” space by stakeholders in the system—in this case, the food and agriculture system” [Nonprofit Quarterly]. That’s true, but let’s also remember that hierarchies are, by definition, networks with certain structural constraints. For example, I would bet anything that the participants at this Clinton Foundation event concieve of themselves as participating in a network, when the sycophantic markers of a hierarchy couldn’t be more clear to an outside observer.

News of the Wired

“Concordian Economics, Part 1: Introduction” [Econintersect]. Interesting, if true. Seems like the economic equivalent of intergrating gravity into the Standard Model.

“Unethical Research: How to Create a Malevolent Artificial Intelligence” [Federico Pistono, Roman V. Yampolskiy] (original PDF). Skynet!

“In Kampong Cham, a near-fatal ordeal for accused sorcerer” [Pnomh Penh Post]. Sad.

“The equations of love” [Nature]. “Clearly, the arts are superior when it comes to capturing the depths of love. Yet disarmingly easy maths powerfully captures the underlying drivers of stable alliances and transient dalliances.”

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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 (Dan):


Speaking of “a permaculture-y type of photography that sets plants in the context of whole, dynamic systems”…. How about beetles? Worms? Ants? Fungus? Readers?

* * *
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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. local to oakland

    Re the android change to get rid of passwords…. I’ve thought for a while that smart phone manufacturers, and tech firms were often clueless as to the needs of elderly and disabled users. My hand tremor makes their proposed method of security useless to me. I’m not so typical, but a lot of people get Parkinsons as they age. They won’t swipe or type predictibly either.

    1. alex morfesis

      oh well…so much for my android phone…life changes…startac redux and a netbox to carry along with me for some tablet to carry around…it will probably be better for my eyes anyway…guess will unwind from my gmail too…yahoo once was google…and now…google looks like it will become myspace…or the globe(TGLO)…or aol…

      get rid of passwords…how sad…

      life goes on…

    2. reslez

      iOS and iPhone have terrible usability compared to desktop OSes. You’re presented with a screen of graphical icons and no consistent way to manipulate them, nor are you shown what methods to manipulate them exist. If you grow up with the technology or spend hours on end glued to a screen like an aimless teenager you’ll eventually pick up those things… sometimes.

      Apple, and to a large extent Google, went for “slick” over “useful”. And now a billion smart phone users can barely interact with their devices. It’s a TV consumer mentality as opposed to a PC user mentality… consider how much easier it is to input your own ideas and creativity into a desktop via keyboard/mouse as opposed to pecking on a glass screen. They certainly don’t design around use cases outside of “white, male, twenty-something with 20/20 vision and video game reflexes”, much less disabilities.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        So you’re saying Apple and Google don’t really want their users to be productive and creative?

        (iOS can’t even manage copying and pasting text reliably. It’s just amazingly poor. I love the tactility of it, and it’s great for photos and drawing, but for serious work? Nah.)

        1. reslez

          Creativity is OK and permitted… to an extent. 140 character slogan-ese is OK. Olde timey filters on pics of whatever you just bought is OK. Expressing complex ideas? Not so much. It’s much easier to feed advertiser-approved “content” to a compliant consumer base. Advertisers understand TV. TV is easy. But you can’t engage in a discussion with a television set. Whenever corporations try to communicate with actual people we immediately spot their inability to relate and respond on a human level.

          The visionary thing about the internet is the discussions it fosters, not just between producers/consumers but between citizens themselves. More and more people access the internet solely through mobile devices. As this happens we’re losing our ability to participate in the discussions geeks thought would occur when the internet became pervasive. Many, many people learned HTML and basic coding in the early days of Netscape and IE. How do you teach yourself to code on a cell phone?

          Cut and paste is my personal #1 peeve. Makes it almost impossible to communicate more than a sentence or two. And it’s been terrible for a decade plus. (Maybe someone has a techie solution, but when it’s not built in it might as well not exist.)

          1. bob

            I still like BB. They have keyboards and the trackball/button, as well as a few other key button. Copy/paste is easier than on any other “handheld” I’ve ever used.

            The classic come in two models, with camera and without.

            I don’t understand the mockery they get. The phone is solid, and works well. I can’t attest to how it tweets, or facbooks. But it is very good at communication. Much better than any other phone I’ve seen.

            It is bigger and heavy, but those are relative terms these days, and you get a keyboard….

  2. Jim Haygood

    In a LawNewz article about a federal investigation of parallel contributions to the Clinton Foundation and Virginia Gov. McAuliffe’s 2013 campaign, McAuliffe’s response starts with “This has nothing to do with the Clinton Foundation.”


    Which would have been entirely sufficient, if that were the case.

    But then McAuliffe goes on for twelve (12) more run-on sentences, repeating “foundation” four times. He even invokes tangential, wholly irrelevant accounts of Clinton’s good works with “young women businesses” in Malawi.

    Sounds like a confession, both of intertwined fraud and of hot nights on the Lolita Express, en route to cherchez les femmes d’affaires in Africa.

    McAuliffe runs a visa-peddling mill called GreenTech with Hillary’s brother Tony Rodham. It’s amazing this scam wasn’t busted years ago. Now the cockroaches are scurrying as the kitchen light is turned on.

    The Clintons and their dirtball accomplices like McAuliffe are a Mount St Helens of erupting scandals. Watch the top blow off this summer!

    1. Pavel

      One would have thought that millions of dollars over the years would be enough… but no, for the Clinton Crime Family (and all its hangers-on) there is always one more grift. Visa peddling, Honduras contracts, post-earthquake Haiti “aid”… always something odd going on there.

      1. Rhondda

        Libya’s Clinton Stacking Function (CSF) was a grift, as well. That’s what she was talking about with Blumenthal and Drumheller, neh?
        Yeah, sure….rat lines and laundering weapons to send to Syria/ISIS and gold backed Dinars and who knows what else…but there was also money to be made!

        VICE: Nearly a third of all the emails she received on the security and political situation in Libya during her tenure as Secretary of State came from Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton associate who was not formally employed by the State Department. He was on the payroll of the Clinton Foundation, bringing in $10,000 a month as a consultant, while pursuing his own business interests in Libya. Blumenthal’s emails to Clinton now have been made public in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed by VICE News.

        Clinton’s correspondence reveals that Blumenthal regularly sent her intelligence-cable-style updates on Libya that cited anonymous sources who claimed to be close to the country’s political elites.

        These briefs were prepared by Blumenthal’s business partner and former CIA operative Tyler Drumheller, a consultant with plans to take advantage of economic opportunities in a post-war Libya. Both Drumheller and Blumenthal worked with a Libyan company called Osprey, a start-up that hoped to profit off medical and military contracts in the chaos after the war.

    2. different clue

      Why would any of these Clinton Scandals necessarily erupt at all? If they are being contained and coverupped for now, it is to assist the Democratic Inner Party get Sanders disposed of and off the field.
      And unless the Overclass Governators are afraid that Trump would beat Clinton, why would they want these scandals to ever surface at all? Clinton is their Obama 2.0. Her role is to defend and extend Obama’s good work for the Overclass.

      Now, IF the Governators feel concerned that Trump would win, THEN they would release all the Clinton Scandals to try and strip Clinton of her nomination and replace her with Biden or some other plausible placeholder. Till then, they will hold the scandals in ready reserve in case they are needed to force a candidate transplant.

      So tell me again . . . WHY would the scandals necessarily erupt at all?

      1. Ulysses

        The Overclass Governators have tremendous power, true, but they are not yet able to completely determine when, or if, a scandal erupts. This has been true ever since the rape of Lucretia, in Rome, before the Republic.

      2. jawbone

        Biden or some such place holder?

        Because? They would never, never EVER turn to Bernie.


    3. Katniss Everdeen

      …..Clinton’s good works with “young women businesses” in Malawi.

      Maybe clinton should run for president of Malawi, but those “young women” might present a problem for our man billy.

  3. Pavel

    Re: the Hillbot defence of the Hillary email hairball: I guess the Every other Secretary of State did it! defence doesn’t sound so plausible when the other former SoSs agreed to be interviewed by the IG and Hillary and her team refused.

    The Rethugs are already having a field day over this (as they should be) and Team Clinton is relying on its old excuse. I don’t think it’s going to go over so well this time, not least with Scorched Earth Trump on the other side.

    1. s

      I would like to see the signature line she used in her emails. That is, did big donors to her foundation get a thank you singed Hillary R. Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State. That would be graft, plain and simple.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Every other Secretary of State did it!

      Kinda like Bernie Madoff equating himself with petty shoplifters — why didn’t he get community service too?

      The ‘beest is going to regret her stonewalling response.

      1. Optimader

        That remains a pretty remarkable state of denial position for an Attorney at Law to cough up.
        Calibrated to antagonize me thinks because it surly doesnt have much casestudy law to back it up as a defense position… So why say it??

  4. fresno dan

    “[T]oday, there are signs that the promise of the great dam has run its course” [Econintersect]. “But today, there are signs that the promise of the great dam has run its course…. what is perhaps the most egregious failure for a system intended to conserve water, many of them lose hundreds of billions of gallons of precious water each year to evaporation and, sometimes, to leakage underground. These losses increasingly undercut the longstanding benefits of damming big rivers like the Colorado, and may now be making the West’s water crisis worse.”

    I had read an article about beavers in Nevada (yes, Nevada had beavers, and they were reintroduced). In a parched area, in a few short years was regenerated into a lush (i.e., natural) habitat.

    In a number of western states, water rights include run off – you can’t keep the water that falls on your land. And with the history of not understanding nature, in the desire to get every drop, things that actually make an area drier and deplenish the aquifer are undertaken.
    Not to mention that it really doesn’t make too much sense growing cows in deserts….
    But rest assured, I am sure our government will move heaven and earth to make sure squillionaires have millions of gallons of water for their desert pools at cut rate prices…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Every exit is an entrance.

      Water evaporated turns up elsewhere…just not where Not-So-Sapiens want.

      Will this limit population growth or economic growth? Not without making existing population (those not rich enough) miserable first.

    2. steelhead23

      The benefit of water storage reservoirs is to store water when it is plentiful and demand low (e.g. spring snowmelt runoff) and releasing/distributing it when the natural supply is low and the demand is high. The problem in the Colorado basin is that each signatory to the Colorado River Compact is bound and determined to collect its share, leading to excessive storage capacity, excessive evapotranspiration losses, etc. The worst is Glenn Canyon due to the hot dry desert and the porosity of the sandstone canyons it occupies. Glenn Canyon should go.

      1. steelhead23

        BTW – David Brower regretted the compromise that led to Glen Canyon Dam as his biggest mistake.

  5. Jim Haygood

    July crude, comrades: it closed at $49.56/bbl — another new high for 2016.

    Think fifty dollah …

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Personally, I like it at $30.

      But many jobs depend on it being $50 or higher, and there are jobs waiting for it to be @ $20 also.

  6. diptherio

    there are enough people for whom the $74,000 per person fee is pocket change to fund a small industry of tour guides, who exploit the Sherpas to service the whacky aspirations of their clients.

    Uh…not quite. Many of the tour guides are Sherpas and have done quite well for themselves. In general, Sherpas are better off financially than many other Nepali ethnic groups….

    Oh, by the way, Sherpa is an ethnic group, not a job description. It’s the porters and to a lesser extent the climbing guides who get exploited, some of whom are Sherpas, but many of whom are not….just sayin’.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is being a climbing guide riskier than usual?

      I will never qualify for that job.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I should have said “exploit Sherpas.” I wrote in haste.

      As for “done quite well for themselves,” sure. Labor aristocrats are still exploited.

      1. optimader

        I should have said “exploit Sherpas.” I wrote in haste.
        Whos to say how a Sherpa should earn a living?

          1. participant-observer-observed

            Some years ago some local Sherpas got arrested for allegedly assaulting a Russian helicopter pilot for bringing cargo materials for expansion construction of the cargo airport above Namche Bazar.

            Locals did not want another passenger airport north of Lukla, since they believed it would hurt the economy of the to-be-bypassed areas. It was never built.

            Sustainable environment is a way of life in Solukhumbu, with mother nature the supreme regulator!

    3. RUKidding

      You are correct about Sherpas being an ethnic group and not a job description. That drives me a bit crazy, too.

      Seems to me that the Nepali govt should go talk to the Peruvian govt. It’s a hugely different thing to hike the “Inka Trail” (there again, nearly every trail in Peru is an Inka Trail, but for the sake of this comment, most people think that it’s THE Inka trail that gets them from one end of the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu) than to climb Everest. Yet both are popular tourist destinations/hiking routes that are financially lucrative for their respective countries/governments.

      Peru seriously limits the number of hikers on the classic Machu Picchu Inka Trail, while also strictly enforcing limits on what the guides and porters can carry. Every porter’s pack has to be weighed before the group is set loose on the trail. Peru is better off financially than Nepal, but still…

      Peru is also doing a good job at marketing other “Inka” trails to many other destinations… of which there are many in that lovely country. Ditto for Nepal.

      Hope Nepal can figure it out. I have climbed a ton of mountains but have never ever been interested in Everest. Just not my thing. That said, I fail to see how anyone could want to do it these days with the insane conditions that prevail there. It’s sheer unmitigated stupidity. But Darwin’s law applies equally to the wealthy & well connected, as it does to the rest of us.

      Duly noted that, these days, we rarely hear much about the multiple deaths each Everest climbing season. It has become so common as to not raise eyebrows anymore.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        When faced with many who claim to have reached the Everest, ask how many of them have climbed the world’s shortest peak?

        Who is the oldest child?

        Who is the world’s youngest senior?

        Who is the tallest midget?’

        Who is the shortest giant?

        Who is the poorest rich person?

        Who is the richest poor person?

        Who is the smartest idiot?

        The stupidest genius?

        So asks the Zen Man of No Rank.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      I assume he meant the tour organisers, the western (and sometimes Chinese companies) who get the cash and then give it to the Sherpas.

      The Sherpas are very well paid by local standards, however, there is only work for a small elite. And most of them are expected to support extended families on what they earn, so they are under huge pressure to work dangerous routes and times.

      The alternative model is the Bhutanese model. They ban all high mountain climbing. Instead, they have developed a trekking industry in which all tour companies must use local homesteads, restaurants, guides, etc. It is a much more successful model for high altitude tourism than the free-for-all in Tibet and Nepal. And they protect their mountains and have far fewer deaths as a result (just an occasional trekker dying of altitude sickness).

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Everest: PC nanny state run amok, to its unbelievable, last, final, and utmost ridiculous conclusion. Now we’re having to listen to calls that ascending the highest mountain in the world must somehow be made “safe”.
        As if mandatory bike helmets was not enough…or ingesting substances that may harm you or make you feel euphoric. Can the PC police just please back the F off already.
        (Spoken as someone who once did the longest and hardest rock climb in the world, and believe me RISK was the main reason that was an accomplishment and not just a Disneyland ride).

    5. participant-observer-observed

      Actually, it’s both: Typically “Sherpa” with capital “S” indicates the ethnicity while “sherpa” the high altitude load-slinging, chai-tea cooking, tour guide service laborer.

      Part of the fees also go to cover sherpa recovery of dead bodies or rescues of the still alive, insurance for Nepali workers, etc.

      There is also a well-documented issue of wealth arrogance leading some climbers to think they can do without a guide or expedition group, who then endanger themselves and others when it turns out they knew a lot less about the mountain and its temperamental risks than they thought.

  7. allan

    Privatizing health records Down Under:

    Telstra wins contract to manage [Aussie] health records [SMH – video component is auto launch]

    The Turnbull government is pushing ahead with plans to place sensitive medical records under corporate management and will announce on Thursday that Telstra Health – a division of Telstra – has been awarded the contract to manage a new national cancer screening register from next year. …

    The novel foray into medical information management by the telecommunications giant could be unpopular with patients raising concerns about privacy and security, and even raising questions over the extent of legal protection under Australian law if data is stored or transmitted offshore. …

    Whiners. You can’t make a neoliberal omelette without breaking some privacy eggs.

    1. low integer

      Everything the LNP (or should I say the Turnbull Coalition Team?) touches turns to shit. Turnbull has shown himself to be a worse person than Abbott imo. Abbott sucked bigtime but there was a certain honesty in the way he was so dishonest; he was just dumb and ideologically driven, though clearly his ideology stunk. Turnbull is an archetypal hollow and dishonest 0.01%er, who needs to lunch at exclusive gentleman’s clubs during his election campaigning as he is obviously so ill at ease amongst the public that he needs time to recover in his natural environment, where he can temporarily revert to his smug and entitled true self.
      It is also interesting how much bad legislation they are ramming through, even though an election has been called. This will be a disaster like all their other scams. LNP are scum.

  8. diptherio

    DictationBridge is a free, open source dictation solution for blind computer users. It allows a blind user to dictate their writing, and then get it echoed back to them as they dictate (which is important when you can’t visually check the dictation). It’s a really cool project, and very important for making computers accessible for the visually-impaired, as the currently available version costs over $2000. I did an interview with one of the team members:


    1. ilporcupine

      That should be convenient for whoever is listening to the open mic on the cellphone!

  9. diptherio

    Any Ursula K. LeGuin fans in the house?

    My country came together in one revolution and was nearly broken by another.

    The first revolution was a protest against galling, stupid, but relatively mild social and economic exploitation. It was almost uniquely successful.

    Many of those who made the first revolution practiced the most extreme form of economic exploitation and social oppression: they were slave owners.

    The second American revolution, the Civil War, was an attempt to preserve slavery. It was partially successful. The institution was abolished, but the mind of the master and the mind of the slave still think a good many of the thoughts of America.


    1. Softie

      Here is Howard Zinn’s verdict on the 1st revolution:

      “The Founding Fathers found that by creating a nation, a symbol, a legal unity called the United States, they could take over land, profits, and political power from favorites of the British Empire.”

      Here is what Howard Zinn had to say about the 2nd revolution:

      “Behind the secession of the South from the Union, after Lincoln was elected President in the fall of 1860 as candidate of the new Republican party, was a long series of policy clashes between South and North. The clash was not over slavery as a moral institution-most northerners did not care enough about slavery to make sacrifices for it, certainly not the sacrifice of war. It was not a clash of peoples (most northern whites were not economically favored, not politically powerful; most southern whites were poor farmers, not decision-makers) but of elites. The northern elite wanted economic expansion-free land, free labor, a free market, a high protective tariff for manufacturers, a bank of the United States. The slave interests opposed all that; they saw Lincoln and the Republicans as making continuation of their pleasant and prosperous way of life impossible in the future.”

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Zinn 4 Da Winn!

        A People’s History Of The United States changed the way I looked at History.

        Columbus rape and pillaged Native Americans???


      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The latest estimates show that there were likely more native Americans at the time of the arrival of Europeans than there were Europeans in total. Often living in more sophisticated and interconnected societies.
        98% gone from smallpox, diptheria, TB etc etc

  10. Ranger Rick

    The Clinton email thing just keeps getting better and better. Not only did they all know she had a private email server, they knew it was getting hacked. Guccifer getting dragged across the Atlantic for unrelated reasons is starting to look very interesting given what he says he saw on that email server.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Let’s hope her email thing is no longer a ‘No Go’ zone.

      No more appeasement!!!

    2. JohnnyGL

      I gotta figure if the State Dept IG is saying she flat-out broke the rules and compromised national security….that puts some pressure on the FBI, no?

      1. Ulysses

        Yep. One likely scenario is that TPTB are trying to put this story behind them before the California primaries– the IG report gives the Feebs a chance to announce that they found “serious errors in judgement, but nothing intentionally criminal” in the behavior of Madame Secretary. Some underlings may also be thrown under the bus, if deemed necessary to make this an “old story.”

        1. JohnnyGL

          FBI has to claim a scalp to save face on this one. How can anyone take national security seriously between HRC and Petraeus?

          Maybe they’re hoping she’ll lose the election….and they’ll roll on her, then?

          Otherwise, there’s going to be a LOT of very bitter people working in the national security world.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            More likely that people of all stripes all across the DC, Wall St, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley echo chambers are closing ranks against the rank “outsider” D. Trump. Hilary gets a free pass.

    3. Pavel

      “They all knew” she had her private email server… except President Obama himself, who professed only to learn about it after the fact. This is from a right-wing source I believe but the quote speaks for itself:

      President Obama confirmed Saturday that he learned about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email as secretary of state through the news.

      “When did you first learn that Hillary Clinton used an email system outside of official business while she was secretary of state?” CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante asked Obama during an interview on Saturday.

      “The same time everybody else learned it through news reports,” Obama said, confirming something White House press secretary Josh Earnest hinted at, but did not confirm earlier in the week.

      Obama: I First Learned About Hillary Emails ‘Through News Reports’ [VIDEO]

      Can they not tell the truth about anything? Or is Obama simply completely oblivious as to what is going on?

      1. dk

        Sounds credible to me. Not saying it’s true, just that it’s quite possible.

        The second-third tiers are more often than not the true operating decision-layer of powerful hierarchies. On the principle of “don’t tell them what they don’t need to know”, which translates to let’s not make more work for ourselves, we’re already managing this (which is the power fantasy of absolute power) and/or don’t want Fearless Leader to lose faith in us.

        This same insulating mechanism of staff may also protect Hillary in the FBI probe, since you can’t have intent (criminal or otherwise) when you’re clueless in the first place.

        BTW the code word for this kind of need-to-know (as in: need-to-not-know) insulation is “loyalty”. Loyal staff keep the leader’s hands clean, in the formal sense of direct knowledge, and thereby undermine the principle of buck-stopping responsibility. And of course, at the higher levels of power, falling on one’s sword for the Leader (who is, of course, just a figurehead proxy for the supporting interests) is usually non-fatal, and usually rewarded in the next career phase.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          More likely that Hilary didn’t report to Obama, she had other people to answer to

    4. ian

      I keep coming back to the fact that, illegal or not, the email server demonstrated stunningly poor judgement. I mean, what was she thinking? And how could this _not_ come back to bite her if she ran for president?

      1. different clue

        It can bite her all it wants. But if all it has are rubber teeth, it won’t hurt her very much. And if highly placed figures in government and media pull its real teeth out and give it rubber dentures, then it won’t hurt her much by biting her. Yes, the governators do not have total power, and they may have missed a tooth or two. In which case, it will hurt her by “just that much” if it bites her. She is still their Obama 2.0-of-choice, and they will do all they can to limit the damage.

        Colonel Lang offered the provisional prediction that if Justice Department deciders decide not to prosecute Clinton for lawbreaking connected with this circumvention of clear rules and channels for keeping secure stuff secured (if indeed the FBI investigators conclude that prosecutable things were done), then many lower-level FBI and other Law Enforcement type people will leak and reveal EVERYthing they have found out.

  11. Nick

    I hope that MSNBC clip goes viral. That is exactly the type of thing that, between 5 pm and 8 pm PDT on June 7th, will very likely convince any remaining Clinton supporters who are in line or on their way to vote to not do so, and will make Sanders supporters trudge through hell and high water to vote for him.

    The MSM is like one big, massively corrupt organization that not only lacks an internal affairs division to investigate improprieties and irregularities, but is so stacked with yes men that when the noose starts tightening they all just say how cozy it feels. Well, I for one look forward to watching them fall on their own sword when the results for California come in as a landslide for Bernie.

      1. Nick

        Brilliant! And that’s exactly what she’s doing. She’s trying to bury a thriving campaign. And I just can’t see any way for her to come back from this at all, let alone gracefully, if Sanders does exceptionally well on June 7th and gets nominated. She’ll be the laughing stock of the world.

    1. sleepy

      The clip also completely ignores the D.C. primary occuring a week after the California one.

      1. jrs

        I feel really sorry for DC. I know what can a bunch of poor minorities expect from this “It was Never All That Great To Begin With” country. Staggered elections might be ok, but why should DC be dead last even beyond California and New Jersey? Because they are poor and minority and thus have no representation in Congress? (if they were a rich white enclave they would have successfully petitioned for that by now) Messed up.

    2. jrs

      I though calling the media calling an election before all the votes were in was illegal. It certainly seems to be on more local issues, they really have tended not to do that.

      1. different clue

        No, it has been LEgal for years. It has led to much bitterness in California, where potential voters watched the network news, saw that “X” had already been forecast to win the election, and decided not to come out and vote at all. Leaving many downticket people un-voted-about at all.

  12. C

    “A Letter to a Bernie-or-Bust Voter” [Salon].

    While I do enjoy (yes sarcasm) the return of the #I-blame-Ralph-Nader meme I can’t help but feel that this is a particularly poor example of the trope.

    The author starts by listing his opposition to Gore based upon NAFTA and his dependency on big money. The author then turns to list Bush’s failures on Iraq, Katrina, Guns, etc. Everything but NAFTA and the economy. He then concludes that Gore would likely have been better on the economy. He makes no discussion of Katrina or others. Then he turns to defending Clinton despite being an unlikeable wonk.

    There are basically three problems with this. First, his criticism of Gore on economic grounds was well founded and while you do have to make tradeoffs on policy saying he would likely be better does nothing to guarantee that Clinton will be.

    Second, Clinton backed the Iraq war, I say again, Clinton backed the Iraq war as well as the Patriot act, enhanced “free trade” deals and others. Thus most of the author’s (entirely valid) criticisms of Bush apply to her as well. Her problem is not that she is an “unlikeable wonk” but that she has consistently taken the wrong position often with disastrous results (e.g. Libya). If this was supposed to convince me to support her the author would have done better to pick areas in which she could be trusted like…

    Third, this article falls into the same trap of ignoring, one might say belittling, voters such as those in California who have yet to vote by telling them that their vote in the primary does not matter. (Honestly if I lived there I’d vote for Sanders out of spite alone). In effect it pushes the same memes that have been running the whole race (see below) which is that we must anoint Clinton now, or passively accept, for fear of worse not hope of better.

    Clinton 2016: Vote fear not hope!
    Clinton 2016: This time she’ll be different!
    Clinton 2016: Don’t vote for what you believe in!

    1. DJG

      C: I’m glad that you read that “letter,” which is also making the rounds on FacetoBook. I won’t. I went to U.S. high school many years ago, so many years ago that I then enrolled in the University of Knossos. All of my life I have wanted to escape U.S. high school. So when I read about these “advice to the young ones,” I’m always reminded of how varsity students (invariably young men who wanted to “major” in business and then breed) were held in such high regard for their vaunted varsity wisdom. What could possibly go wrong with putting the high-school-junior mindset into a column for an on-line magazine?

    2. jrs

      “But here’s the thing: In the eight years that followed, I was reminded again and again that George Bush and Al Gore were not carbon copies of each other. Bush was a disastrous president.”

      Look forward not back my friend. Look forward not back! Obama says so!

      “He cut taxes on the rich while failing to curtail spending, turning the $280 billion surplus he inherited from Clinton into a $6 trillion deficit.”

      Didn’t Obama reauthorize those tax cuts? I am beginning to think the first rule of Dem apologists is we do not talk about Obama.

      “and refused to comply with international climate treaties.”

      Obama hasn’t been good on that either. Oh yes … the first rule … It’s an amazing loss of a full 8 years of time, completely down the memory hole. Of course to admit that the Obama administration actually existed is to admit it was W’s 3rd and 4th term.

      1. different clue

        The Bush Tax Cuts had a Natural Sunset provision in them for 10 years after passage. Obama and Boehner conspired together to MAKE the otherwise-due-to-sunset Bush Tax Cuts permanent.
        Because Obama WANTed them to be permanent. So they are the Obama Tax Cuts now. Or at best the Bush-Obama tax cuts.

        There must be an easy-to-say way to put together parts of Bush’s and Obama’s names. Not Bushobama or Bushbama or something. Those are too hard to say. How about ” Obusha”?

    3. fresno dan

      May 25, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Nice analysis – it is an astounding aspect of humans to coalesce around a team, clique, or brand and simply ignore factually reality. On the REALLY important issues, Hillary and Bush are indistinguishable.

      And Hillary is not qualified….because she makes poor decisions AND her worldview has been shown time, and time, and time again to result in disaster.

  13. Pat

    Gotta love all the people trying to push the Clinton Titanic over the line. Apparently 538 and others are saying that NJ is the state that is going to win it for Clinton. Well yes it is a closed primary, but is not sealed like NY. So all those polls of likely Democratic voters mean diddly. Having just read up on it, apparently “unaffliated” voters can declare their affiliation at the polls, and new voters had until May 17th to register. IOW, those much vaunted independent voters can screw up their scenarios once again.

    And I’m not even going to deal with the fact that the Supers have until the moment they cast their vote to actually change their mind. See between the coming primary loses AND her probable continued plummet in the polls I fully expect there to be an exodus ending the Clinton is the nominee meme leaving egg on the face on all the news outlets who spread the propaganda which I will enjoy.

    I wish I thought it meant it would be Bernie, but he is not going to win the nomination in pledged delegates either, and without that he is not going to be the nominee. If I had any spare money I would be betting on Biden to lose against Trump (yup, I think the Dems are going to sacrifice two of their regulars to Trump having learned nothing from the Republican primary season.)

    1. different clue

      Find and read pro-Clinton blogs. If I get the correct “feel” of the commentariat, they will consider any Sanders nomination-win to be a repeat of the Reid-Pelosi theft of the nomination from Clinton and the gifting of it to Obama in 2008 . They will feel cheated again and they will vote their vengeance. In such a scenario, Clinton telling her supporters to vote for “Sanders against Trump” would have no more effect than Sanders telling his supporters to vote for “Clinton against Trump” if Clinton gets the nomination based on majority of the Superdelegates.

      The division between the two support-bases feels to me like it is very real.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        No moat necessary.

        “My administration and the legal system is the only thing between you and pitchforks.”

  14. Synoia

    Ethereum is the Forefront of Digital Currency

    And you write scripts (look likes “C” programming) to do things in Etherium.

    And we know that all programmers (who actually write scripts, or code, do so perfectly, without error at every attempt.

    The big question is never “how do I write the code?”, but “how do you test it fully?”

    If you want to see a large meeting come to a complete stop in IT, just ask the question “How do we Test this?”

    When Etherium includes a simulator and test environment, which runs tests, but never competes the action or transaction, and can prove this under many different scenarios, many of which are currently undefined, and some probably will be undefined until an incident, then Etherium is a liability waiting to happen. Aka Litigation Futures.

    1. JustAnObserver

      … and we know from every bit of complex software ever written that *no matter what level of testing* before release there will always be bugs remaining to be found by the PoorBloodyUser (TM). Some of these bugs will open security holes and become welcome mats for hackers.

      Which brings me to the thing that drives me nuts about this sort of thing Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether etc. etc. The idea that with a sprinkling of blockchain magic powder the need for a level of trust in your counterparty vanishes and due diligence is no longer required; the various monster hacks against bitcoin exchanges *should* have put paid to that but seemingly haven’t. Etherium seems to be even worse since I now have to trust that for some arbitrary number of shared machines out there running the Etherium VM *none* of them have been compromised (cf. the innumerable holes in the Java VM that Oracle mostly ignores).

      Finally I’d predict that what happened with BitCoin will also happen to the Ether “currency”. With in a short number of years all the coin mining will migrate to a couple of giant Mining collectives in China, probably the same ones “mining” BC.

      Maybe over time all this will get sorted but in the meanwhile who wants to have their long term contracts subverted by a bunch of Romanian hackers ..

      1. ChrisPacific

        Not to mention that the legal system isn’t nearly as mechanistic as claimed in many cases (for example, try to come up with a algorithmic representation of fiduciary duty).

        Put another way, all they are really talking about is writing contracts in pseudocode. There is nothing special about the technologies in question that make this possible. Lawyers could do it today if they wanted to. Why don’t they? Answer that question and you will have a better idea of the obstacles facing this kind of approach (and even, dare I say it, reasons why it might not be a good idea at all).

        The ‘advantage’ that they were claiming in the last article I read was that automated contracts allows for automated enforcement of penalties, but that is an incredibly fraught area. The example I read was shutting off someone’s car ignition if they were late on loan payments, but what if it happens during a medical emergency, or when they are in a particularly remote spot without the necessary supplies/equipment for a long stay?

    1. Pavel

      hi Carolinian
      just to say as a longtime Nabokov fan I enjoyed that NYT piece… the book describes an American landscape long lost in so many ways. I guess a few remnants remain.

      I recommend his “Pnin” for another now-nostalgic view of the 1950s academic life (based on Cornell or Wellesley, where VN taught).

    2. different clue

      If she feels guilty about that she should stop. She should feel secure in her duty of building up her power in the Senate . . . and using that power.

  15. jrs

    RE Elizabeth Warren: while there are rational reasons to fear a Trump presidency it just reads as so sold out.

    I mean you can criticize Trump without being sold out, but how can you make a statement like this without being sold out:

    ““Donald Trump is worried about helping poor little Wall Street?” Warren asked. “Let me find the world’s smallest violin to play a sad, sad song.””

    Uh are you aware of Hillary’s relationship to Wall Street? It doesn’t take much, google Bernie Sanders, you may have heard of such an obscure Senator who likes to discuss the issue from time to time.

    “Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown — because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap,” Warren said. “What kind of a man does that? Root for people to get thrown out on the street? Root for people to lose their jobs? Root for people to lose their pensions?”

    Hate the game and not the player. Ok the players are none to nice either but the problem is the game.

    ““You know what happened in the Great Recession. Donald Trump said when he was talking about the possibility of a housing-market crash before the Great Recession, he said, ‘I sort of hope that happens,’ ” Clinton said. “He actually said he was hoping for the crash that caused hard-working families in California and across the country to lose their homes.””

    Well quite frankly Miss Clueless, so were a lot of younger Californians who wished to be first time homebuyers and who saw it as their only way to buy property, because they could not afford property at 2008 levels (it is up at those levels and beyond again by now). See Boomers who bought years ago wanted housing prices to stay up but this was a direct conflict of interest of Gen Xers who needed it to come down if they were ever to buy thier first homes. There was a generational conflict. I mean I know the Hillary campaign can’t hear the screams of anyone under 46 apparently but … nonetheless. Now the millennials are just screwed. Not only is housing up in the stratosphere again so no young person can get in on buying a home almost, but the powers that be have managed to completely wreck the rental market as well. At least in 2008 rents weren’t so crazy, only home costs were. But you’d rather talk about people losing their homes but never even mention THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH. Noone can hear the screams of those under 46 or so except Sanders.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Nice to see Clinton pushing the “Trump profited from the housing crash” line. It might actually work for a 24-year-old forced to live in their parents’ house, since they would have been 16 when the crash happened, and not aware of the factors behind the crash, like Clinton donor Goldman Sachs. Perhaps their parents can explain. Then again, The Big Short did a pretty good job, if you’re cynical realistic enough.

      So funny to see Clinton try to leverage “low information voters.” I’m so old, I remember when liberals were part of the reality-based community!

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        No kidding on goldman. Trump may have rooted for and profited from it, but the likes of gs and dimon engineered it, kept the lion’s share of the “profit,” and then gave clinton the loose change they found under the couch cushions for protection. Oh, I mean “speaking fees.”

        Which she is/was more than happy to provide.

        1. Pavel

          Speaking of “speaking fees”… here is the list of HRC’s fees from 2013-2015. It was posted at the NY Post and referenced at Liberty Blitz and thence Zero Hedge (and elsewhere, I presume). Read it and vomit:

          Here’s how much Hillary Clinton was paid for her 2013-2015 speeches:

          4/18/2013, Morgan Stanley, Washington, DC: $225,000
          4/24/2013, Deutsche Bank, Washington, DC: $225,000
          4/24/2013, National Multi Housing Council, Dallas, Texas: $225,000
          4/30/2013, Fidelity Investments, Naples, Fla.: $225,000
          5/8/2013, Gap Inc., San Francisco, Calif.: $225,000
          5/14/2013, Apollo Management Holdings LP, New York, NY: $225,000
          5/16/2013, Itau BBA USA Securities, New York, NY: $225,000
          5/21/2013, Vexizon Communications Inc., Washington, DC: $225,000
          5/29/2013, Sanford C. Bernstein and Co. LLC, New York, NY: $225,000
          6/4/2013, The Goldman Sachs Group, Palmetto Bluffs, SC: $225,000
          6/6/2013, Spencer Stuart, New York, NY: $225,000
          6/16/2013, Society for Human Resource Management, Chicago, Ill.: $285,000
          6/17/2013, Economic Club of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids, Mich.: $225,000
          6/20/2013, Boston Consulting Group Inc., Boston, Mass.: $225,000
          6/20/2013, Let’s Talk Entertainment Inc., Toronto, Canada: $250,000
          6/24/2013, American Jewish University, Universal City, Calif.: $225,000
          6/24/2013, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Company LP, Palos Verdes, Calif.: $225,000
          7/11/2013, UBS Wealth Management, New York, NY: $225,000
          8/7/2013, Global Business Travel Association, San Diego, Calif.: $225,000
          8/12/2013, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Las Vegas, Nev.: $225,000
          9/18/2013, American Society for Clinical Pathology, Chicago, Ill.: $225,000
          9/19/2013, American Society of Travel Agents Inc., Miami, Fla.: $225,000
          10/4/2013, Long Island Association, Long Island, NY: $225,000
          10/15/2013, National Association of Convenience Stores, Atlanta, Ga.: $265,000
          10/23/2013, SAP Global Marketing Inc., New York, NY: $225,000
          10/24/2013, Accenture, New York, NY: $225,000
          10/24/2013, The Goldman Sachs Group, New York, NY: $225,000
          10/27/2013, Beth El Synagogue, Minneapolis, Minn.: $225,000
          10/28/2013, Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago, Ill.: $400,000
          10/29/2013, The Goldman Sachs Group, Tuscon, Ariz.: $225,000
          11/4/2013, Mase Productions Inc., Orlando, Fla.: $225,000
          11/4/2013, London Drugs Ltd., Mississauga, Canada: $225,000
          11/6/2013, Beaumont Health System, Troy, Mich.: $305,000
          11/7/2013, Golden Tree Asset Management, New York, NY: $275,000
          11/9/2013, National Association of Realtors, San Francisco, Calif.: $225,000
          11/13/2013, Mediacorp Canada Inc., Toronto, Canada: $225,000
          11/13/2013, Bank of America, Bluffton, SC: $225,000
          11/14/2013, CB Richard Ellis Inc., New York, NY: $250,000
          11/18/2013, CIIE Group, Naples, Fla.: $225,000
          11/18/2013, Press Ganey, Orlando, Fla.: $225,000
          11/21/2013, U.S. Green Building Council, Philadelphia, Pa.: $225,000
          01/06/2014, GE, Boca Raton, Fla.: $225,500
          01/27/2014, National Automobile Dealers Association, New Orleans, La.: $325,500
          01/27/2014, Premier Health Alliance, Miami, Fla.: $225,500
          02/06/2014, Salesforce.com, Las Vegas, Nev.: $225,500
          02/17/2014, Novo Nordisk A/S, Mexico City, Mexico: $125,000
          02/26/2014, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Orlando, Fla.: $225,500
          02/27/2014, A&E Television Networks, New York, NY: $280,000
          03/04/2014, Association of Corporate Counsel – Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.: $225,500
          03/05/2014, The Vancouver Board of Trade, Vancouver, Canada: $275,500
          03/06/2014, tinePublic Inc., Calgary, Canada: $225,500
          03/13/2014, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, Orlando, Fla.: $225,500
          03/13/2014, Drug Chemical and Associated Technologies, New York, NY: $250,000
          03/18/2014, Xerox Corporation, New York, NY: $225,000
          03/18/2014, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Montreal, Canada: $275,000
          03/24/2014, Academic Partnerships, Dallas, Texas: $225,500
          04/08/2014, Market° Inc., San Francisco, Calif.: $225,500
          04/08/2014, World Affairs Council, Portland, Ore.: $250,500
          04/10/2014, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc., Las Vegas, Nev.: $225,500
          04/10/2014, Lees Talk Entertainment, San Jose, Calif.: $265,000
          04/11/2014, California Medical Association (via satellite), San Diego, Calif.: $100,000
          05/06/2014, National Council for Behavioral Healthcare, Washington, DC: $225,500
          06/02/2014, International Deli-Dairy-Bakery Association, Denver, Colo.: $225,500
          06/02/2014, Lees Talk Entertainment, Denver, Colo.: $265,000
          06/10/2014, United Fresh Produce Association, Chicago, Ill.: $225,000
          06/16/2014, tinePublic Inc., Toronto, Canada: $150,000
          06/18/2014, tinePublic Inc., Edmonton, Canada: $100,000
          06/20/2014, Innovation Arts and Entertainment, Austin, Texas: $150,000
          06/25/2014, Biotechnology Industry Organization, San Diego, Calif.: $335,000
          06/25/2014, Innovation Arts and Entertainment, San Francisco, Calif.: $150,000
          06/26/2014, GTCR, Chicago, Ill.: $280,000
          07/22/2014, Knewton Inc., San Francisco, Calif.: $225,500
          07/26/2014, Ameriprise, Boston, Mass.: $225,500
          07/29/2014, Coming Inc., Coming, NY: $225,500
          08/28/2014, Nexenta Systems Inc., San Francisco, Calif.: $300,000
          08/28/2014, Cisco, Las Vegas, Nev.: $325,000
          09/04/2014, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, San Diego, Calif.: $225,500
          09/15/2014, Caridovascular Research Foundation, Washington, DC: $275,000
          10/02/2014, Commercial Real Estate Women Network, Miami Beach, Fla.: $225,500
          10/06/2014, Canada 2020, Ottawa, Canada: $215,500
          10/07/2014, Deutsche Bank AG, New York, NY: $280,000
          10/08/2014, Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), Chicago, Ill.: $265,000
          10/13/2014, Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, Colorado Springs, Colo.: $225,500
          10/14/2014, Salesforce.com, San Francisco, Calif.: $225,500
          10/14/2014, Qualcomm Incorporated, San Diego, Calif.: $335,000
          12/04/2014, Massachusetts Conference for Women, Boston, Mass.: $205,500
          01/21/2015, tinePublic Inc., Winnipeg, Canada: $262,000
          01/21/2015, tinePublic Inc., Saskatoon, Canada: $262,500
          01/22/2015, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Whistler, Canada: $150,000
          02/24/2015, Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women, Santa Clara, Calif.: $225,500
          03/11/2015, eBay Inc., San Jose, Calif.: $315,000
          03/19/2015, American Camping Association, Atlantic City, NJ: $260,000
          Total: $21,667,000

          Here’s the Full List of Companies & Organizations That Paid Hillary Clinton From 2013-2015

          But…but… Hillary Rodham Clinton, Superwoman that she is, won’t allow herself to be influenced by these donors and benefactors once elected president. God forbid such an insinuation!

          1. Nick

            Her standard fee appears to be 225k, I wonder what those paying extra got? Was it just more time or maybe more access?

            1. Jagger

              I wonder what those paying extra got?

              Those were the rubes they were able to gouge for a little bit more.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            A long, long time ago, the prowess of a deity was judged by how many made offerings at his/her temple.

            So, for example, Ishtar might be deemed more powerful, if she had many more worshipers at her shrine than say, Marduk did at his.

            1. aab

              I realize this is not a Naked Capitalism thing to do, but this wins today’s Internet, as far as I’m concerned.

          3. ChrisPacific

            Yes, we can rest assured that she is not going to sell us out to corporate interests and defend entrenched power structures just because she is receiving money from all those donors. She is going to sell us out to corporate interests and defend entrenched power structures because she really, truly, passionately believes that it is the right thing to do! The money is purely incidental.

            1. Alex morfesis

              $hillary won’t be selling out the little people…to sell out is to have once cared…since she never cared, she is not selling out the little people…she was never in their corner….

              1. NYPaul

                You people have it all wrong. She wasn’t the groveling, corrupt, money hungry, slug she’s been portrayed as being. She was using all those speaking engagements as a, “teaching experience.” You see, Its been calculated that Bill’s fee for a speech was $250,000, and, Hillary’s was $235,000. To show she was in the vanguard for the quest to bring women’s pay up to that of men, her fee was only 6% less than Bill’s. The average for women nationwide is much less.

                See what, “Fighting for You,” can mean? That’s progress, baby!

          4. Jagger

            Wow, I haven’t seen anything else so simply and explicitly reveal the core reality of Hillary.

            Someone needs to go post this list of speeches and fees at Daily Kos and every pro-Hillary site that you can find….

    2. MichaelC

      I don’t think she’s shilling for Hill.

      She’s anti trump whether it’s bernie or Hillary so I don’t read her disgust as support for Hillary.

      He’s revolting, she’s revolted. Now that he’s the presumptive she’s speaking her mind, not taking sides IMNSHO

      1. jrs

        No she is shilling for Hill. Warren is a sellout.

        The points Warren is making EXACTLY mirror a Hillary t.v. ad. Taibbi (he doesn’t mention Warren but the Warren article and the points she is making and this – it’s the exact same points):


        Hillary and Warren singing from the same song book, coincidence, synchronicity, Warren just overly receptive to the influence advertising, you tell me ..

        I say a darn good case can be made that Warren has sold out to the Hillary campaign.

        1. Carolinian

          Good link. And if Warren gives Hillary a ringing endorsement then what you have been saying about her will be shown to be true. She must know that Hillary represents everything Warren has been crusading against.

          1. aab

            Warren has been mirroring Clinton strategy and talking points on Twitter for weeks. She’s working with Schumer to raise money for corporate candidates (also some good guys, like Merkley — but he’s neutered if Schumercrats win their seats).

            I can totally see the Democratic establishment thinking Biden/Warren can replace Clinton. I will certain work personally to remind Sanders voters that Biden was instrumental in making student loans nondischargable, and has endorsed Wasserman-Schultz, while removing Warren from the Senate and stashing her in the VP pen would weaken any hope of progressive legislation passed.

            Six months ago, I would have thought that while Warren is both less progressive and more cautious than I would like, she would never do such a thing. Now it seems more likely than not. Putting her at the top of the ticket would be worse, as far as I’m concerned. I do think that would effectively herd a lot of Sanders voters, although not necessarily enough, and I no longer trust her.

  16. optimader

    “State Dept. watchdog: Clinton violated email rules” [Politico]. (Clinton supporters in three, two, one: “But everybody does it!”).…. like doping and the Olympics! .. oh wait..

    I say, then everyone else should be prosecuted on merit.. Clinton can be the template prosecution.

    1. DJG

      optimader: After all, Cllinton is very eager for Edward Snowden to come home, man up, and stand trial. Later, she can share a cell with Chelsea Manning.

      1. optimader

        imagine sharing a cell with HRC… I don’t even want to share my country with her.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          You can’t avoid sharing the planet with her though.

          That’s why we are all in one big prison.

          No escape…from this rock.

          1. optimader

            mmmm. I’ll wait her out? AlI can do is my little part to see that she spends more time with her granddaughter, stewing in her own unfulfilled vitriol.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Only Clinton can stop Clinton.

      Still, all those $27 donations have not gone to waste.

      And don’t forget save some (more) for the general election.

      1. Pavel

        Biden must be having sleepless nights… and consulting or conspiring with his aides as I type.

        This thing ain’t over yet. Not until the FBI Lady sings.

        1. cwaltz

          I almost wonder if he would agree to be her VP since there’s a very real possibility she’ll be impeached

  17. allan

    Pollution From Canadian Oil Sands Vapor Is Substantial, Study Finds

    The amount of pollution created by vapor from Canada’s oil sands, which contributes to climate change, ranks on par with most major cities in North America, according to a new study by the country’s environmental regulator that was published on Wednesday. …

    In recent months, the government, under the leadership of the new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has reversed course on global climate change. While the country’s economy depends heavily on resources like the oil sands, Mr. Trudeau has made climate change a priority on his agenda.

    Stephen Harper, don’t let the door …

  18. allan

    Citigroup Fined in Rate-Rigging Inquiry but Avoids Criminal Charges

    Citigroup on Wednesday became the latest big bank accused of trying to manipulate global interest rates, a reminder of Wall Street’s wide-ranging abuse of power in these markets.

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a federal regulator that oversees Wall Street, announced $425 million in penalties against Citigroup, covering two overlapping cases.

    And yet Citigroup faces no criminal charges. In an unexpected move, the Justice Department confirmed on Wednesday that it had closed its investigation into Citigroup and some of the other banks suspected of manipulating an interest rate benchmark commonly known as the Isdafix.

    Part of the administration’s legacy-building push in the final year.
    Why only damage the rule of law when you can totally destroy it?

    1. Anne

      It’s worth trying to parse the logic of the author concluding that Clinton’s drop in support is due to Sanders’ supporters defecting to Trump, without any discussion of Sanders’ numbers.

      It really makes no sense to blame her drop in support on Sanders’ supporters moving over to Trump. Show me that Sanders is losing millennial support and I might buy that it’s going to Trump, but that doesn’t explain the fall-off in millennial support (what little she had) for Clinton – where is that going?

      I think this is just more of the media effort to kill support for Sanders through a not-very-well-disguised use of smoke and mirrors.

      1. aab

        I read that piece in the middle of the night, but I thought it was addressing what people will do in case of Trump vs. Clinton. Not that people are abandoning Sanders, but that if they can’t have Sanders, they’ll pick Trump.

        This is what my little corner of Twitter would suggest, as well.

        Basically, Clinton alienated the left thinking she could get Republicans. That failed, as Trump is very effectively consolidating his party behind him (voters, not billionaires). So now she can’t get Republicans and she’s not getting Sanders voters back and has no path to the White House. That’s what I got from the various data pieces I read last night. Which would explain why BEFORE the IG report came out, Harry Reid was changing his tune and Pelosi started being nice, and they gave Sanders more platform seats, etc. Not that they’ll stop stealing primaries and let Bernie have the nomination, if they can stop it. But they also see that the S.S. Clinton is going down and taking all their rice bowls with them if they can’t figure out a good life raft.

        1. different clue

          What if neither Democratic nomination-seeker’s base would vote for the “other” Democrat if the “other” Democrat got nominated? Could it be that whichever Democratic nomination-seeker ends up being nominated will also be defeated by a bitter mass-vengeance-vote of the “nomination-loser’s” base? Leaving the Democratic general-election-loser’s name and memory tarnished and reviled?

          It that is the future . . . a Trump victory no matter which seeker the Democrats nominate, then we have to ask ourselves . . . . which Democrat would we rather see destroyed? And which Democrat’s base would we rather see stripped of power and influence over the Democratic Party machinery and resources?

          1. aab

            I think the current polling probably reflects fairly accurately that enough Clinton supporters would back Sanders for him to beat Trump. They are party loyalists generally, after all, and tend more to be authoritarian followers. I can’t see the media being willing and able to put their thumbs on the scale for Trump the way they did for Clinton. So Sanders’ numbers would inevitably rise. Trump isn’t going to be able to go after him the way he could everybody else he has dealt with.

            What interests me is the problem that might be developing between the needs of the Democratic party establishment and Clinton’s donors. This is just speculation, but I can see a possible tension between pragmatists (real ones, not what Clinton means when she uses the word) who realize they need to ditch Clinton to survive in some form, and entities like Comcast who don’t want to deal with sunk costs, etc. Apparently MSNBC, for example, is continuing to misrepresent the IG report. The party might need the news media to start reporting the actual news, to help migrate those Clinton supporters away from her. What happens if Comcast, et al., don’t help out?

  19. Katniss Everdeen

    [Wall Street Journal, “Clinton Is Still the Favorite”]. “Hillary Clinton represents continuity, while Donald Trump represents change: advantage Trump. But Mrs. Clinton represents security while Mr. Trump represents risk: advantage Clinton.”

    Interestiing discussion of the use of the words “risk” and “risky” in reference to a political opponent on Meet the Press this past Sunday. The consensus was that the “risky” characterization connoted “change,” the opposite being status quo. (wsj euphemism: “continuity.”)

    Also included was a video montage of presidential losers, beginning with george h. w. bush, who used this semantic strategy and, well, lost.

    Panelist Joy Reid of msnbc agreed, except just not this time. Predictably. Because hillary.

    The repub “strategist,” Alex Castellanos, who posited this rhetorical theory of use of the word “risk,” just grinned. And said nothing.

    Castellanos was, apparently, responsible for the “risky” strategy of one of the losing candidates. He said that invoking the danger of change was exactly the feeling it was intended to convey. Sounds “risky” when so much of the electorate is hungry for change at almost any cost.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From China: With crisis or risk (or danger), there is also opportunity.

  20. Pavel

    Zero Hedge just brought up my favourite HRC Scandal… the first and still most blatant:

    We can only assume that among Trump’s next digs at Hillary he will take on her unprecedented cattle futures trading record. Recall:

    Hillary Rodham Clinton was allowed to order 10 cattle futures contracts, normally a $12,000 investment, in her first commodity trade in 1978 although she had only $1,000 in her account at the time, according to trade records the White House released yesterday.

    The computerized records of her trades, which the White House obtained from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, show for the first time how she was able to turn her initial investment into $6,300 overnight. In about 10 months of trading, she made nearly $100,000, relying heavily on advice from her friend James B. Blair, an experienced futures trader.
    In a 1998 article, Marshall Magazine, a publication of the Marshall School of Business, sought to frame the trading, the nature of the results, and possible explanations for them:

    These results are quite remarkable. Two-thirds of her trades showed a profit by the end of the day she made them and 80 percent were ultimately profitable. Many of her trades took place at or near the best prices of the day. Only four explanations can account for these remarkable results. Blair may have been an exceptionally good trader. Hillary Clinton may have been exceptionally lucky. Blair may have been front-running other orders. Or Blair may have arranged to have a broker fraudulently assign trades to benefit Clinton’s account.

    In a fall 1994 paper for the Journal of Economics and Finance, economists from the University of North Florida and Auburn University investigated the odds of gaining a hundred-fold return in the cattle futures market during the period in question. Using a model that was stated to give the hypothetical investor the benefit of the doubt, they concluded that the odds of such a return happening were at best 1 in 31 trillion

    –Trump Accidentally Reveals His Next Attack On Hillary

    If Hillary loses, that will be the most expensive $100,000 profit in history.

    1. Archie

      Yes, this is the first point of evidence I use on various forums to challenge Clintonistas. Of course there are many others but this is the most egregious example I think.

  21. Optimader

    And so the question is how quickly Bernie will do that,”

    and so the question before that is should Sanders put Party endorsement before integrity?

    Personally i think not, particularly when it is a party organization that starkly rejects him, even to the point of actively undermining his campaign, seemingly in every possible way.

    Agree with Sanders or not, it seems beyond the pale how he has been treated by a Party organization seeking his endorsement of a weak and corrupt preordained candidate.

    Personally i will loose some respect for the guy if he endorses HRC, particularly If he will presumably not be looking for political table scraps in return.

  22. voteforno6

    Re: Clinton Email Hairball

    That story…is not good for her. Not only did she not seek guidance, her support staff were told to drop it when they raised concerns. Clinton’s staff said that they had approval from State legal staff, but they apparently lied about that as well. On top of all that, none of them cooperated with the OIG, while all of the other Secretaries did.

    And don’t get me started on the “they all did it” defense. I’m pretty sure they didn’t set up their own servers. More than likely they used Gmail or some service like that, which is a heck of a lot more secure and reliable than the Clinton homebrew setup.

    1. Pavel

      I was interested to read the NYT’s “5 Key Points From the Report” — pretty blunt and scathing:


      * Hillary Clinton should have asked for approval to use a private email address and server for official business. Had she done so, the State Department would have said no.

      * She should have surrendered all of her emails before leaving the administration. Not doing so violated department policies that comply with the Federal Records Act.

      * When her deputy suggested putting her on a State Department account, she expressed concern about her personal emails being exposed.

      * In January 2011, the Clintons’ IT consultant temporarily shut down its private server because, he wrote, he believed “someone was trying to hack us.”

      * The State Department began disciplinary proceedings against Scott Gration, then the American ambassador to Kenya, for refusing to stop using his personal email for official business.

      –Hillary Clinton Is Criticized for Private Emails in State Dept. Review

      Not really a great take-home message for the Hillary fans, especially the first point, which seems to contradict HRC’s oft-stated “it was permitted by the State Dept”.

    2. voteforno6

      I went ahead and skimmed through the OIG report, in particular the section on Powell’s use of private email, and it was just as I thought. He used an email address provided by a commercial ISP and, on top of that, he had a separate PC set up in his office to use that email (which could be done at the time, given the appropriate waiver). So, for those Clinton defenders that said that what Powell did was just as bad, there are a few points to consider:

      – Powell did not set up a server at his home. He used a commercial ISP for his private email. The email systems at commercial providers are more secure, and a heck of a lot more reliable than sticking a homebrew server in your basement.
      – The Department was aware of his use of private email. They had to have been, since they helped set it up in his office. Per the article, Clinton’s people took steps to prevent discovery of her private system within the Department.
      – The claim was made that State’s legal staff signed off on her use of that server, yet the OIG could find no evidence of that. If any such approval had been given, there should’ve been some record of it. This might be as close to calling Clinton a liar as the OIG can get.

      I’m tempted to dig through the OIG report, to see what other nuggets are there, but I’d like to get some sleep tonight. I’m left wondering: why did she do this? Is she so private, that she will go to all this trouble to hold on to all of her communications? That doesn’t bode well, since it indicates that her own private desires override what should be her responsibilities as a public servant (and this is the most benign interpretation, I think). Other reasons…I can only speculate.

      1. Bill Smith

        At the time Powell was SOS the DOS email system didn’t go outside the government. That is Powell, could not email non government people from his DOS email account.

        Things have changed since then.

      2. Yves Smith

        1 . Her preening sense of entitlement: “Rules are for little people.”

        2. Clinton Foundation business, too hard for her to parse “personal” versus State, too easy for her to screw up.

  23. CM

    Re: Clinton’s email hairball….

    If you step back and look at all the moving pieces, Hillary Clinton is in trouble. While it is highly likely she will still win the nomination (we’re still in America folks), she is now incredibly vulnerable. The public response will be one of further docking her numbers on trustworthiness and it is not a jump to think many people who have been otherwise on the fence will interpret the findings as breaking a crime. Now, add to these 2 things that are being reported on: (1) Clinton did not appoint a Inspector General during Clinton’s time at the helm; and (2) Debbie Wasserman Shultz responding to a growing chorus of calls for her firing.

    Clinton is pinned in. If DWS resigns, it will be pushed as an admission of guilt. Even if she does not resign, the combination of narratives are: (1) Hillary avoided appointing a person who would directly watch over her department; (2) she did so to engage in questionable, if not illegal, actions; (3) these questionable actions also extend to the Democrat’s primary. How she gets out of that pin is not clear to me. And Trump is going to hammer the drums day and night.

    Also, was anyone else perplexed that the Clinton campaign spokesman’s response completely reinterprets the findings of the report, without addressing any of the main criticisms?” I don’t get it. When it is clear to a first grader that rules were broken, you absolutely cannot not come across as sincere in your apology. If there is one thing that will politically unite the 80% it is in their exhaustion of other people (er…citizens) who are no more special than them breaking rules and getting away with it. Something tells me the Clintons are going to mishandle this badly.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” Inside the Clinton bubble, there are no problems. Hence, the campaign continually attempts to inflate the bubble (see, e.g., Elizabeth Warren). But every bubble pops. In the long run…

    2. HotFlash

      Hillary avoided appointing a person who would directly watch over her department;

      I don’t know the particulars of the DoS IG, but Inspectors General for State are appointed by the President and confirmed by Congress. For all I know, the Prez may usually rubber-stamp a candidate suggested by the SoS, but in any case, it is his problem. Unless, he has made appointments that Congress wouldn’t confirm — and for sure that has happened in other cases, perhaps this too? Anybody know? Can’t find in Wikip or the IG SoS website.

      Ahaa! Found this at wsj: Joseph Schmitz: Obama’s Inspector General Negligence
      “The president was on notice at least by 2010 that the State Department was impaired by a lack of IG independence.”

      Here’s the current guy, Steve A. Linick, other interesting links at this IG-SoS website to dept mandate, reports, other interesting stuff, etc.

    3. Pat

      It reminded me of Sarah Palin claiming she was cleared of all ethics violations when the real story was much messier than that. Mind you no one was interested on playing with that. Clinton’s problem is that one of the people currently running against is NOT going to ignore that report nor is he is going to ignore her spokesman misrepresenting the report. And his megaphone is much better and bigger than she has ever dealt with.
      It was a truly stupid move on her part.

      But it was truly stupid to use a private server in order to avoid Freedom of Information requests. Her response to one that she had no emails is going to come back to haunt her as well (thanks, Guccifer!) Let’s be real when you are traveling non stop it is hard to remember to take your actions to sell influence using the Clinton Foundation to private email better to just keep everything ‘private’.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘It was a truly stupid move on her part.’

        Hillary has an irremediable case of ‘tin ear.’

        Even Bill’s ridiculous “I didn’t inhale” is about five levels above her feeble ability.

        Hillary would have claimed, “Everyone was smoking it, including former cabinet members. But there are no lab tests to prove it was cannabis. I was told it was oregano, and I have witnesses who will confirm that this is just a conspiracy hatched by my political enemies who slipped this unknown substance into my purse … plus the agents who burst in didn’t have a warrant, and didn’t ask permission to search my purse. So their testimony is pure hearsay and blah blah blah blah …”

        1. different clue

          I wish we could change the spelling of “lawyer” to “loyer”. That would make it so easy to say things like “liars lie and loyers loy”. “That’s a big fat loy.” “What a loying loyer.”

  24. CM

    I also love the response to today’s IG report by Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo. He accuses the IG of bias and then concludes this is a “nothingburger. Josh Marshall, a PhD in AMERICAN HISTORY, saying that the SOS’s deliberate attempt to hide her correspondence amounts to nothing.

    How can I not interpret that as TPM is now a full on mouthpiece for the Dem establishment?

    I have to say, in comparison to what else is out there, Naked Capitalism is by far and away the best, and most trustworthy, politics-economics-finance blog out there.

    1. Jess

      “How can I not interpret that as TPM is now a full on mouthpiece for the Dem establishment?”

      Now? You’re just getting around to noticing that? Most of the rest of his here have known that Josh Marshall was in the tank for the Dem establishment since the ACA “debate”.

      But glad you noticed.

      1. sd

        Last time TPM was worth reading was when Marshall was covering the firings of the US Attorneys under Bush. I don’t think he’s covered anything of worth since then.

    2. voteforno6

      He also said that Powell did pretty much the same thing. That is extremely dishonest of him. Marshall has run his own website for years now. He has got to understand the difference between getting service from a commercial provider, and setting up your own server at home.

    3. Buttinsky

      On the first post this morning about the OIG report, I noted that at least Clinton would not be able to accuse Obama’s State Department of being part of a “vast rightwing conspiracy.” Never underestimate the shamelessness of the Clintons. In a CNN interview today (sorry, I don’t have the link) Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon in fact suggested there was “anti-Clinton bias” in the State Department’s OIG.

      Seems Josh Marshall, indeed, got the talking points memo.

  25. Propertius

    One more reason smart people have dumb phones.

    One more reason why smart people don’t FaceBorg.

  26. Alex morfesis

    $hillary has no capacity to multitask…not saying she is dumber than dumb…that was gore v bush…but noticed she cant focus when too many things are happening…videos of her cutting off aids trying to whisper in her ear while she is reading something…or doing something…
    At first thought she was just being obnoxious…but since she has not had an open press event in six months…what gives…is she losing it ?

    Dear fearless leader…Ike was remembered well in many ways because he basically pushed nixon to the curb for the benefit of the nation…when tricky dick squawked that dead people voted in chicago, ike reminded nixon that one might also question how jfk could have lost california…

    considering the facts…your victory laps will be for naught if you are followed by $hillary or el donaldo…

    man up…feel the bern…

  27. john gleason

    “[S]ection 220 of Delaware’s corporate law, which can compel locally incorporated companies such as Domo to open up their books to shareholders.” It takes a “law” for (owners ????) shareholders to look at his/her/its own books?

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