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2:00PM Water Cooler 5/31/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

2016

Policy

“Why did the Clinton campaign say earlier this month that Trump’s statement that he plans to partially default on the national debt could work? (And, yes, that, as the NYT mentions today, is what the Clinton campaign said.)” [Angry Bear]. “Risky,” operationally, translates to “Yeah, this could work.” And so: “[S]ince the Clinton campaign limits its responses and campaign rhetoric to focus-grouped buzzwords and clichés, and “risky” seemed the most apropos of the words and phrases on the be-sure-to-use list, ‘risky’ it was.”

The Voters

“Who will lead the progressive movement after Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren? Here are 6 who could.” [WaPo]. Including Zephyr Teachout. I can’t imagine why Clinton hasn’t endorsed her [snort]. “Special place in hell,” and all that.

“This Is What the Future of American Politics Looks Like” [Politico]. ” This year, we’re seeing the end of a partisan realignment, and the beginning of a policy one.” Maybe. I’ve had productive discussions on single payer with the guys with beards in the woods.

“Still. Polls currently give Trump 40 percent or more of the vote in much of the country. It’s far from impossible that he might win in November. Are the vicious, brainless masses really as numerous as that?” [Clive Crook, Philadelphia Inquirer]. “It seems unlikely. … What seems most important is that they think they’ve little to lose in smacking down politics as usual. They’re tired of being ignored and want that understood. Washington is broken, incapable of action, and apparently content to stay that way, so why not declare, in unmistakable terms, that enough is enough?” Voting for Trump, or Sanders, is a volatility play. Voting for Clinton is a stability play. Which do voters want more?

“The ‘privilege’ that these working class whites are looking to defend is middle-class factory jobs paying between $15 and $30 an hour” [Truth-out].

UPDATE The normally acute Atrios (a) assumes that there’s more that unites us than divides us and (b) points to the tightening polls as a reason to think Sanders shouldn’t exercise leverage [Eschaton]. Some might urge that neither proposition is true, and further urge that if the left (as opposed to the liberals) is ever to have a place in the Democrat Party, it’s now or never. They might further urge in the fight against fascism, if fascism is be, it’s the left that’s been in the, er, vanguard. Always.

Money

“Clinton Broadens Money Network as Trump Gets Started” [Bloomberg]. “Since the beginning of 2016, Clinton’s campaign added 125 major fundraisers to its list of “Hillblazers,” supporters who have helped pull in at least $100,000 for her presidential campaign. As of April 30, they had already raised a combined $41.2 million, roughly one-fifth of her war chest.”

Nearly all of the recruits are new to presidential fundraising on such a large scale: 114 of them were not among the bundlers disclosed by Clinton in 2008 or by President Barack Obama in either of his campaigns. They include executives from Fortune 500 companies, private equity firms, tech companies, and the entertainment industry. Also among them is an array of people from the Democratic Party establishment: lawyers, lobbyists, members of Congress and state legislatures, one sitting governor, and a handful of professional fundraisers, including one who also raised money for the Clinton Foundation.

It’s a big club. And you ain’t in it.

“The Price of Public Money” [The Atlantic]. “The Presidential Election Campaign Fund used to give political unknowns a fighting shot. Now $300 million sits in the fund—and no one wants anything to do with it. ”

“[T]he biggest money of all, in both Republican and Democrat politics, comes from giant hedge fund billionaires” [Full Measure]. “Which candidate is getting the most support from small donors? It’s far and away Democrat Bernie Sanders.”

Corruption

“Hillary Clinton Won’t Say How Much Goldman Sachs CEO Invested With Her Son-in-Law” [The Intercept]. “The decision for Blankfein to invest in Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law’s company is just one of many ways Goldman Sachs has used its wealth to forge a tight bond with the Clinton family.”

Our Famously Free Press

“The tone of American political coverage for some time hasn’t matched the reality of what voters have been going through. Even as America lost its manufacturing base and tens of millions of people were put out of good jobs, the campaign story for years remained the same weirdly celebratory soap opera. Every four years, we whipped up audiences into a lather over the same patriotic fairy tale of political athletes engaged in high-stakes rhetorical combat while chasing the ultimate power prize, the White House” [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone].

The problem with this shorthand is that while it may accurately describe something, it’s not the politics of the United States. There are not six basic groups of Americans, all of them healthy, polite, dressed in thousand-dollar outfits, and speaking against picturesque backdrops in perfect, poll-tested sound bites.

America instead is a place where a huge plurality of the population is underemployed, pissed off, in debt and barely keeping their heads above water. A good 15 percent or so are not even doing that well, sitting below the poverty line, living in homes without adequate heat, sanitation or food. That portion of America doesn’t appear anywhere in campaign coverage, not even as background.

It would have made more sense to have different labels. If there was a Poor Peoples’ Party, A Disappearing Middle Class Party, and a Minimum Six-Figure Income Party, and all of them were described as legitimate and reasonable options in the press, people would have no problem pulling levers for the candidates who actually represented them.

Very much like Madison’s concept of factions driven by property interests.

“538 Sacrifices Integrity to Go After Sanders on Independents” [FAIR]. “I put it to you that if your headline is “Sanders Isn’t Doing Well With True Independents,” then concealing the fact that he has a net favorable rating among those voters of +7 percentage points, compared to his opponent’s -15 percentage points, is an attempt to deceive your readers.”

The Trail

“Sanders: I’m Heading to the Convention Even If Clinton Sweeps Calif., NJ Primaries” [ABC]. In basketball, you play to the buzzer…

“Refusal in Bernie Sandersland to accept reality is really unreal” [Seattle Times]. Splendid genre piece.

“If Clinton Implodes, Democrats May Turn to Biden and Warren” [National Review]. Nobody seems to remember Kerry (not even me). Was 2004 really that much of a disaster? (I mean, besides rolling over after what looked very much like election fraud in Ohio?)

“Now, in 2016, I have three words for Democrats: Winter is here. Your party is now locked in a fierce civil war, the populists are at the gate and there are more bloody battles in store” [New York Post]. The tone is a bit gleeful… “In one corner is the Hillary Clinton wing of the party, represented by the liberal establishment in the Acela Corridor. These are the left-of-center party leaders interested only in preserving power. In the other is the Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders wing that rose to prominence on the backs of the radical Occupy Wall Street protest movement.” Wrong on Warren, wrong on Occupy. Sloppy!

“More voters switched from Democrat to Republican affiliation than the other way around during Ohio’s March 15 primary, records show” [Toledo Blade]. “In Lucas County, more than 4,000 voters who previously identified themselves as Democrats cast ballots as Republicans, while a little more than 1,000 Republican voters cast ballots as Democrats.” Somebody with a bit more time than I have now could do the arithmetic and see if this cost Sanders the state.

“Tom Fiegen wants to bring the Bern to Iowa’s Senate race” [Des Moines Register]. Any Iowa readers with details on Fiegen?

“The Strolling of the Heifers” (Brattleboro, VT June 3-5 [Strolling of the Heifers (Re Silc)]. Will Sanders attend?

Clinton Email Hairball

“Clinton’s Email Claims Vs. State Department Inspector General’s Findings Compared” [CBS]. Not good for Clinton.

“John Podesta sent email to supporters about Hillary Clinton’s email server” [CBS]. “The report confirms Secretary Clinton’s email account was well-known by many State Department officials throughout her tenure, and there is no evidence of a breach of her email server.” Ugh. “No evidence of a breach” is lawyerly parsing. There is evidence of attacks; see above. A successful breach could leave no evidence! UPDATE This Buzzfeed post has Podesta’s original letter, in all its glory; he certainly works hard for the money. Enjoy!

More Podesta: “The secretary has once again acknowledged this was a mistake. If she could go back, she’d do it differently” [Daily Mail]. Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement. But how many cycles?

“Maria Cardona On Clinton Email Scandal: ‘No Ulterior Motives Here,’ ‘Nothing Nefarious'” [RealClearPolitics]. That may be a reason for Obama to pardon her, but it’s not a defense against a charge of gross negligence. (Cardona is a “Democratic strategist and contributor to CNN’s Spanish language station.”)

Stats Watch

S&P Case-Shiller HPI, March 2016: “Indications on the fundamental health of the consumer are suddenly building rapidly and include solid gains for home prices” [Econoday]. “The monthly gains, however, did not translate to acceleration for the year-on-year rate in March. Home-price appreciation is central to household wealth especially when wage growth is low.” No. Wealth is capital. Capital and wages are not comparable. And: “The way to understand the dynamics of home prices is to watch the direction of the rate of change. Here home price growth generally appears to be stabilizing (rate of growth not rising or falling)” [Econintersect].

Consumer Confidence, May 2016: “Consumer confidence slowed in May in what is, however, a mixed report that includes some positives” [Econoday]. “The assessment of the jobs market is mostly lower but not entirely. In a negative, those describing jobs as currently hard to get rose 1.6 percentage points to 24.4 percent but April’s 22.8 percent was unusually low and a likely outlier. Looking at the future assessment of the jobs market, more see fewer jobs ahead.”

Personal Income and Outlays, April 2016: “April was definitely the month of the consumer as consumer spending surged 1.0 percent for the largest monthly jump of the economic cycle, since August 2009” [Econoday]. “The spending gain reflects strength in vehicle sales, which boosted durable spending by an outsized 2.3 percent in the month, and also reflects price effects for gasoline as spending on nondurable goods rose 1.4 percent. Spending on services, which is a bulwark of this report, rose a very solid 0.6 percent in the month.” And: “The data this month showed significant expenditure growth. The expenditure year-over-year growth rate increased as much as the income growth rate decreased. This is a good start for 2Q2016 GDP if one considers GDP as a good measure of the economy” [Econintersect]. But: “Yet another pretty good April release that I suspect will be reversed in May, as has happened with several other data series. And the increased spending on gasoline due to higher prices coincided with a reduction in the savings rate, as April spending outstripped income. And note that March’s +.1 was revised to 0 with this April number also subject to revision” [Mosler Economics].

Chicago PMI, May 2016: “Businesses in the Chicago area are reporting slowing conditions with the PMI down 1.1 points to a sub-50 contractionary reading” [Econoday]. “A key indication of overall weakness is sharp contraction underway in inventories which are at their lowest point since November 2009. The decrease in inventories points to caution among businesses which apparently do not see demand improving.” And: “Below expectations” [Econintersect]. And: “The underlying tone of this report was very weak, and it mirrors the disappointing performance in other regional indicators such as the Philly, Empire and Richmond Fed PMI, suggesting that the US manufacturing sector recovery may be stumbling again” [TD Securities, Across the Curve]. And: “Speaking of firmer April releases that reversed in May, here’s another example” [Mosler Econonomics].

Dallas Fed Mfg Survey, May 2016: “The Dallas manufacturing production index fell into negative territory” [Econoday]. “New orders also fell back into negative territory. After popping up 6.2 in April after four consecutive declines, new orders dropped…

State Street Investor Confidence Index, May 2016: “Investor risk appetite abated in May” [Econoday].

Shipping: “The amount of oil carried on US railways has increased 40-fold in the last eight years” [Vice] “Most of the time, those cars travel through rural areas, but often they pass through industrial sections of cities, often in poor, predominantly black areas. According to critics, no matter where these trains travel, they’re inherently dangerous.”

Shipping: “Airfreight demand picks up but prospects look bleak” [Air Cargo News].

Shipping: “Panama Canal Fever Sweeps Globe Again as New Era in Trade Nears” [Bloomberg]. “The debut coincides, fortuitously, with a surge in U.S. natural-gas production that has shale outfits suddenly seeking out new export markets. The deeper channels will be able to accommodate the kind of massive tankers that transport liquefied natural gas.”

Honey for the Bears: “First-quarter earnings season is close to over, and the numbers it’s produced are as gloomy as they have been since the Great Recession.” [MarketWatch].

The Fed: “The Message From the Flattening Yield Curve” [Across the Curve]. “US Yield Curve: Global Yellow Light?”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 75, Extreme Greed (previous close: 75, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 63 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 31 at 12:39pm. Breaking through the ceiling to Extreme!

Health Care

“Capitalism and Obamacare: The Neoliberal Model Comes Home to Roost in the United States – If We Let It” [Hampton Institute].

Our Famously Free Press

“Peter Thiel Does the Impossible! [Politico]. ” Nobody’s ever sympathized with Gawker before.”

Corruption

“The man who seduced the 7th Fleet” [WaPo]. “Fat Leonard.”

News of the Wired

“Capsula Mundi aims to help you turn into a tree after you die” [Treehugger (Re Silc)].

“My Adventures in Going Viral” [New York Times].

“An Incredible Machine That Amazingly Sorts Random River Stones By Their Geological Age” [Laughing Squid].

* * *

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 (joe6pac):

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

20 acres of mustard (with a foreground of soil).

* * *
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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.

161 comments

  1. rich

    Inside Uber’s Auto-Lease Machine, Where Almost Anyone Can Get a Car

    Xchange may be key to Uber’s continued expansion as it tangles with Lyft in the U.S. and a bevy of competitors abroad. Uber announced a partnership with Toyota last week to finance even more cars. This year, Uber said its financing and discount programs, which include Xchange, will put more than 100,000 drivers on the road. That requires dipping into the vast pool of people with bad or no credit.

    In a deal led by Goldman Sachs, Xchange received a $1 billion credit facility to fund new car leases, according to a person familiar with the matter. The deal will help Uber grow its U.S. subprime auto leasing business and it will give many of the world’s biggest financial institutions exposure to the company’s auto leases. The credit facility is basically a line of credit that Xchange can use to lease out cars to Uber drivers.
    Xchange caters to people who have been rejected by other lenders.

    Before joining Uber, Chapin was a Goldman Sachs commodities trader. He oversees all of Uber’s auto-financing efforts, including a partnership with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and vehicle-purchase discounts.

    Xchange isn’t intended to be a moneymaker, said an Uber spokesman. But it has plenty of critics who accuse the company of looting the pockets of its drivers. The program is plagued by a lot of questions that surround other subprime lending programs aimed at risky borrowers with bad credit.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-31/inside-uber-s-auto-lease-machine-where-almost-anyone-can-get-a-car

    hmmm…loss leader?

    1. Jason

      How long before Uber begins paying its non-employees with UberDollars, which they can use to pay the UberMechanic when the obligatory UberGas damages their car?

      Uber’s desired end-state is probably getting exclusive ownership of their drivers’ (destructively) scanned and uploaded minds. (Cf. the gogols of Hannu Rajaniemi’s The Quantum Thief, inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s Dead Souls.)

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Hey another Rajaniemi fan! – never run into one before.

        If the ingrate drivers don’t like being gogols, send them to the Dilemma Prison!

      2. sgt_doom

        Oh man! I couldn’t stand that book (The Quantum Thief) — sorry, but Iain Banks’ The Player of Games is what real science fiction is all about!

        (And S.M. Stirling’s book, Drakon is what real SF classics are all about!)

        1. craazyboy

          Yeah, I got the feeling he was trying too hard. The book did seem to suffer from what I call “Magic Wand Syndrome”. Pseudo quantum stuff became the plot device that made anything work. But I think he was or is a string theory physicist, so writing a book was probably a difficult transition to make. The quantum mechanics involved would be mind boggling.

          I like the “Culture” series too, but my library has spotty coverage on those so I’ve only read a couple.

          For epic space opera, I’d nominate the Alastair Reynolds “Revelation Space” series.

    2. jrs

      wow this wins the “what could possibly go wrong?” award of the day, or the month, or maybe the year.

  2. allan

    “Who will lead the progressive movement …”

    3. Kamala Harris

    Nice try, WaPo. In three words: housing settlement charade.

    “Hillblazer”

    Sounds like a name for the A-10 replacement.

    1. grayslady

      Agree. Kamala Harris is about as leftist as Tammy Duckworth.

      BTW, where are the men on this list?

      1. Steve C

        I don’t care if they’re women, men or unspecified as long as they’ll lead for a change. But not, as Allan said, Kamala Harris. Another Obama. Attractive but as compromised and phony as they come.

    2. Jim Haygood

      We’re the Hillblamers.

      Expect us.

      (We do not endorse the radical Hillblazers, who advocate “Torching the Witch.”)

  3. Jason

    Voting for Trump, or Sanders, is a volatility play. Voting for Clinton is a stability play. Which do voters want more?

    IMHO, there’s volatility, and then there’s pouring a bunch of gasoline over yourself and lighting a match. Trump looks far too much like the latter for me.

    1. jrs

      how is voting for Sanders a volatility play anyway? I mean for the 99s? Social democracy (the little that would get through congress) is now volatility. This is nonsense. I mean I suppose the powers that be see it that way (any tiny diminishment in the absolute rule of neoliberalism is to them, and thus they are in a panic), but why should we buy into it?

      1. jsn

        Sanders would need to install Bill Black at DOJ, Warren Mosler at the Fed and Stephanie Kelton at Treasury to even hope to become effectual by the end of the third year after spending the first two of his administration in a pitched institutional war against the other two very corrupted branches of Govt.

        It’s a volatility play, but one that would be worth all the risks.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The Judo play would be to let the other guy bring forth volatility (use their energy) and, then, later, swoop in to implement one’s program.

        2. neo-realist

          Sanders would need to install Bill Black at DOJ, Warren Mosler at the Fed and Stephanie Kelton at Treasury to even hope to become effectual by the end of the third year after spending the first two of his administration in a pitched institutional war against the other two very corrupted branches of Govt.

          He needs the election of a critical mass of progressive/populist congresspersons to have those individuals installed in those positions–which may take a few election cycles and a strong Sanders movement for those appointments to happen.

          1. jsn

            Agreed, that’s what my three year time line was about: Sanders enters office in a constitutional crisis because Republicrat majorities in both houses are horrified the troth wont be slopped adequately. Their problems is, Sanders will not need to lie and Clinton is doing a great job just now of prepping that wing of the Deep State that Sanders will need to support him.

            As a Sanders Administration begins to put its hands on the levers of real power, all kinds of houses of cards will start to collapse and few in the electorate will see that as Sanders fault.

            It’s a long shot, but so has been everything else that’s happened this year politically.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        For the Democratic courtesan class, a 74 year old “socialist” from Vermont is challenging the Clinton machine and the entire Democratic Party, even the msm. Vast portions of the Democratic party are effectively nothing more than parasites.

        If Hillary had run as an issues candidate even if they trite, she would would have wrapped this up six months ago when no one could gain traction. Besides exposing the Democratic party for how vile it actually is, has David Brock or one of Hillary’s slogans actually helped improve her chances of becoming President? Where will MSNBC be without Trump to drove ratings? Their core audience is dying which likely explains the Clinton Administration auditioning.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s a gamble.

          The socialist either attacks, weakens her so much that he wins and saves us all, or he weakens the D nominee, but does not stop her completely (who then, in a weakened state, loses to Trump).

    2. jsn

      When you’re already covered in vegetable oil and its already burning, the gasoline doesn’t really look that scary.

    3. Indrid Cold

      I have read a lot about the whole nazi phenom and it seems pretty clear that when the ‘mainstream’ (working for finance and industrial interests) political parties (including the SPD- the supposedly socialist party that in large measure gave us WW1) assumed that the fringe parties like the communists and the fascists could not seriously challenge them, what with their domination of the media of the day. People voted for fascists and communists to stick a thumb in the eye of the aristocracies of the day in the same way many people will vote for Trump if Bernie gets cheated.
      I remember someone recently saying that Republican voters have got sick of year after year being told who to vote for by dweebs in bowties, suspenders and $12 haircuts so they voted for the one guy who gave voice to their frustrations. Instead of the frustrations of some religious nuts in southern Kentucky or some real estate interests or oil barons.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        When Jeb’s sheepdogs started to claim Trump wasn’t a real conservative and whine about how Trump was conning people despite Trump largely just being a placeholder in lieu of a “none of the above” option, this was the moment when Republican voters decided to strike back. Then Elder Mittens came to give everyone a lecture.

    4. redleg

      I think the volatility play assessment is at least partially true. The best outcome of this election IMNSHO is to obliterate the establishments of both parties.
      Bernie does this for the Dems (and happens to agree with my priorities), and Trump is doing so already to the GOP, with the chance that he could humiliate Clinton in the general.
      I would like nothing more than to see the Clintons humiliated, as long as George Clinton isn’t one of them.

    1. Pat

      Utterly depressing. Amazing that anything to do with Rhee has survived the disaster of her term, but then most of the people deciding who is in or out regarding the education of children in America anymore have little interest in actually educating children. When your goal is getting rid of the expenses, like having honest to god teachers, so more money can be siphoned off it makes doing anything that educates kids impossible. But you do need to keep some around so you can blame them for your failures until you can get the last dime.

      God, there are so many but Rhee and her husband really do need to be near the start of the line to be put in stocks in the town square if we can ever wrest control from the hoards of grifters and oligarchs.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        What will they do next – robot teachers*?

        *the first such courses will most likely be robotics and AI classes. What could be better than having robots teach humans robotics.

  4. petal

    It doesn’t look like he will be at Strolling of the Heifers, from what I can find. He was there last year, and it was listed beforehand. Would be nice if he did go and surprise people, though.

    1. Barmitt O'Bamney

      Attendance would just invite more human wave attacks from the animal rights nuts.

        1. Barmitt O'Bamney

          No, I have not had the pleasure. PETA has his scent now though, and will surely be panting after any fresh opportunity to dash themselves against Senator Sanders’ Secret Service detail, however distant or hostile the venue for them. If the occasion is even halfway topical (and domesticated livestock on parade equals 100% relevance) they will probably be lying concealed near grassy knolls, library windows, culverts, fire escapes, etc., ready to discharge their soy milk moo-i-cide vests and make some headlines, the dumber the better.

    2. aletheia33

      he usually strolls in the stroll, and the people shout “bernie! bernie!”
      of course, vermont people feel winning california should be a higher priority activity for him this saturday.

      some great photos of him at earlier strolls are here:

      http://www.strollingoftheheifers.com/bernies-coming/

      btw, virtually all elected officials in vt are very accessible, because the state’s population is so small. it’s one of the things that makes the state such a great place to live. (though, like any other u.s. state, not always so great for nonwhites.) come and try it for yourself!

      1. Archie

        It really is a great time, and there’s the gallery walk the night before. I suppose if you’re from an urban area, you might think it’s lame. I have pictures of him from last year, but alas, will be missing this year’s event.

  5. craazyman

    I had no idea mustard came from plants. I thought they mixed it up in a food processing facility someplace from a bunch of sauces.

    What about ketchup plants? Where do they grow? And are they red? bwahaha

    1. jo6pac

      Ketchup plants are growing next to the house and there green now but turn red later.

      How about ears of corn?;)

    2. craazyboy

      Ketchup plants are sorta yellowish-green, but they mix in red food dye so consumers can distinguish it from mustard. They picked red because we already had green pickle plants.

    3. DJG

      Mustard, explained:
      `Ah, well! It means much the same thing,’ said the Duchess, digging her sharp little chin into Alice’s shoulder as she added, `and the moral of that is–“Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.”‘
      `How fond she is of finding morals in things!’ Alice thought to herself.
      `I dare say you’re wondering why I don’t put my arm round your waist,’ the Duchess said after a pause: `the reason is, that I’m doubtful about the temper of your flamingo. Shall I try the experiment?’
      `He might bite,’ Alice cautiously replied, not feeling at all anxious to have the experiment tried.
      `Very true,’ said the Duchess: `flamingoes and mustard both bite. And the moral of that is–“Birds of a feather flock together.”‘
      `Only mustard isn’t a bird,’ Alice remarked.
      `Right, as usual,’ said the Duchess: `what a clear way you have of putting things!’
      `It’s a mineral, I think,’ said Alice.
      `Of course it is,’ said the Duchess, who seemed ready to agree to everything that Alice said; `there’s a large mustard-mine near here. And the moral of that is–“The more there is of mine, the less there is of yours.”‘
      `Oh, I know!’ exclaimed Alice, who had not attended to this last remark, `it’s a vegetable. It doesn’t look like one, but it is.’
      `I quite agree with you,’ said the Duchess; `and the moral of that is–“Be what you would seem to be”–or if you’d like it put more simply–“Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.”‘
      `I think I should understand that better,’ Alice said very politely, `if I had it written down: but I can’t quite follow it as you say it.’

    4. yasha

      Mustard plants? Must be newfangled GMOs. The real stuff comes out of 1000 island dressing refineries, where crude dressing is broken down into mustard, ketchup, mayo & pickle relish.

    5. sleepy

      The pic reminds me a bit of driving through Saskatchewan–fields of dayglo yellow canola growing alongside bright blue flax. Miles and miles of it made my eyes vibrate so much I had to put on the sunglasses.

  6. jsn

    “The ‘privilege’ that these working class whites are looking to defend is middle-class factory jobs paying between $15 and $30 an hour”

    And I’ll bet if you asked politely, they would be willing to share them with anyone that was qualified so long as there were enough for everyone who wanted to work.

      1. jsn

        I figured out MMT in 2010 by essentially having nothing else to do for a few years.

        Since I got it through my head “we” can afford to employ whoever wants to work, I’ve been asking people this question. When asked personally I’ve never had anyone say no. I think once in a group, its easier to engage in exclusion when individually you wouldn’t.

        Which I guess is just another way of framing the “collective action problem”.

        1. jgordon

          And if you give everyone on the planet a middle class living standard, then the ecology and biosphere will collapse immediately instead of collapsing relatively more slowly over the next few decades. What’s the point of work anyway if everyone is working towards asinine goals? At this point in our society’s evolution it’d be far better for the future habitability of the planet if most people just stopped working entirely and became bums.

          1. P Walker

            When people don’t have a middle class income, they deforest the surrounding areas, then turn to dung when they can or garbage (very popular fuel in places like urban centres in the third world). Many children spurred on by high infant mortality rates which leads to even more environmental degradation and inconsistent food availability. Next thing you see is yet another war over limited resources, where we get to supply one side with weapons for use against the other (in return for deals on what natural resources they have lying around), leading to more social problem that spur migrations of large numbers of people and wars that wash over borders. And so it spirals out of control.

            We have to redefine what it is to be “middle class”.

              1. jsn

                ++
                But you won’t get there by treating most people poorly.

                Drown Madison Avenue in Grover Norquist’s bathtub and most Americans, I’ll wager, would be happy to live a simpler life working less hard and with greater community engagement, all of which bring down our collective carbon foot print.

                Cooperation is the path to real efficiency, not “markets” which can’t price any reality irreducible to cash nor diktat which must bear the steep cost of coercion.

        2. tony

          I have heard plenty of people say no. Usually becoming aggressive. It is usually a person with a Master’s degree defending his privileges. Occasionally it has been a very stupid person.

          In discussions with Americans, they start talking or implying about black people, how black people won’t work and/or how terrible it is to work with them.

          1. jsn

            So my older brother is NRAed up to his ears and manages land in South East Texas, he grew up thinking Jim Crow was a righteous thing and was pissed in high school when it fell apart.

            Even talking to him, when I talk him into imagining his “black friend”, he ends up agreeing people who want to work should have work and should be paid adequately for doing it.

            Get away from generalizations and people tend to become more decent. This, of course, excludes Master’s candidates, particularly MBAs or economists with deep investments in agnotology.

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        In my experience, yes for factory jobs (when jobs really were plentiful), though there was always hierarchy in who got what jobs within the factory. (Black workers always got the really hot, really heavy jobs.) Not so much for construction jobs, where nepotism was/is a much bigger deal. But perhaps that is a function of the inherent volatility/instability of construction.

    1. Indrid Cold

      “And I’ll bet if you asked politely, they would be willing to share them with anyone that was qualified so long as there were enough for everyone who wanted to work.”

      I think that’s true today. But at the height of the union movement, big parts of it pandered to and exacerbated racist sentiment. The communist party did a lot to organize people along explicitly anti-racist lines, but anything they touched was doomed anyway for other reasons.

      1. Ulysses

        “But at the height of the union movement, big parts of it pandered to and exacerbated racist sentiment.”

        This is true, and shameful. Yet all of the onus is not only on the unionists. The capitalist industrialists knew precisely what they were doing, in 1917, when they brought in people of color as scabs to take over the jobs of striking workers in East St. Louis. The predatory rich have always played workers against each other– using racial or religious differences to keep them divided.

        One of the reasons that MLK Jr. was demonized by those in power was that he was making such good progress in integrating the U.S. labor movement.

        http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/02/all-labor-has-dignity-martin-luther-king-jrs-fight-for-economic-justice/71423/

          1. Ulysses

            The communists were always exemplary anti-racists in theory, yet in practice they often had difficulty actually working together with large numbers of real African-Americans to accomplish change:

            “At the outset of the Third Period, the rigid communist orthodoxy dictated by the Comintern required the party to attack other, more moderate organizations which also opposed racial discrimination. During the late 1920s, the CPUSA denounced the NAACP and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters as “class enemies” or “class collaborators”. Although local leaders worked to modify this hard line in practice, factional infighting and changes dictated from abroad often undid what progress had been made, both in practical work and in relations with other groups. For example, the national party repudiated much of the work done in Harlem in opposing evictions because the party leader most associated with that work had been expelled, along with Jay Lovestone. The latter had briefly sided with Bukharin in his conflict with Joseph Stalin, an issue that few residents of Harlem cared about.”

            (From Wikipedia)

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              I’m not sure that is “in practice.” I’m more comfortable with a theory of class as a driver than anything else (“class enemies,” “class collaborators”) but that doesn’t mean I’m actually comfortable. Maybe they got the theory wrong, and practice followed from that. (They were, after all, if nothing else disciplined.)

  7. NeqNeq

    “Home-price appreciation is central to household wealth especially when wage growth is low.” No. Wealth is capital. Capital and wages are not comparable.”

    Do people tend to convert wage$ into wealth$? I know its been awhile since most people saw real wages go up, but I seem to recall wealth$ go up last time we had sustained wage growth….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Household wealth is an aggregate number.

      You can have higher household wealth without neither home price appreciation nor wage growth.

      All it takes is (more) wealth inequality through re-distribution or non-distribution (of any GDP growth).

      1. NeqNeq

        The first two sentences are fine and good, but the third makes me worry that we do not agree why 1 & 2 are true propositions.

        Regardless, it would require showing that certain descriptive statistics no longer describe households and household wealth in order to falsify the proposition”House price is essential to household wealth especially when wage growth is low”.

      2. NeqNeq

        My reply from yesterday seems to have been eaten so reposting:

        I can agree with statement s 1&2, but your third statement makes me worry that we don’t agree why 1&2 are (probably) true.

        Ultimately it doesn’t matter because, inside of the context of the quote, you would need to show that the descriptive statistics we have about household and household wealth no longer describe household s and household wealth in order to falsify the quoted line. Merely stating the quoted section is false, or offering an irrelevant proposition as an argument, is not sufficient (IMO…maybe others have different standards).

    2. Praedor

      I hate that entire fantasy that home appreciation is “wealth”. No. A mortgage is DEBT. A BIG ONE that lasts a long time. The home appreciation “wealth” is in the form of another LOAN (home equity loan). A DEBT tacked onto your already substantial mortgage. The ONLY way home appreciation (which is always temporary and ephemeral) becomes wealth is when you sell the home, but then that usually just gets rolled over into a more massive debt (a bigger, more expensive house, ie bigger MORTGAGE DEBT.

      That bogus idea that a home is wealth or an investment is the lie behind every real estate bubble or debt bubble and inevitable crash.

  8. allan

    Whistlerblower: Realtor says he was targeted after calling out unethical practices [Globe&Mail]

    One of Vancouver’s top realtors has been voted out of what he calls the “insiders club” after speaking out about unethical practices and lax penalties in the city’s frenzied real estate market. …

    It is another glimpse at unprecedented tensions and power struggles inside Vancouver’s real estate industry, which is under intense scrutiny. Bidding wars, out-of-control prices and flipping by speculators have led to an outcry from clients who suspect they are being ripped off. The practices of at least one brokerage firm, New Coast Realty, are under investigation by the provincial regulator. A government-initiated advisory group is expected to recommend an overhaul of industry rules and practices within weeks. …

    1. polecat

      ………oooooo… ooooo0o…. o0000.. 00000000… O…….. Q…………… oooooo……..

  9. polecat

    Goldman Sachs/Clintons…….tight bond…..

    ….that’s what Suckers (both types) are for !!……

  10. fresno dan

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/magazine/which-rock-star-will-historians-of-the-future-remember.html?_r=1

    As economists say, assume a planet with a civilization….
    So, will any rock anthem in 300 years be remembered?
    If so, which one?
    Which rock band will be remembered?
    Greensleeves was written – played- ?500? years ago?
    On the other hand, how many songs from the 1920’s are known? 1930’s (other than Somewhere Over the Rainbow?)
    Oh, and I don’t know what the fuss about The Beatles is, but than, I really am not much of a music listener, although by random happenstance I have developed a fondness for French cafe ballets of the 1950’s…

    Of course, the Archdruid will say people living in 300 years will not be able to wrap their heads around electricity, never mind amplifiers…

    1. polecat

      …but they will most definately have the wandering ‘Elbus’………..the troubadours of their time…..

        1. redleg

          A non sequitur would be “Hairway to Steven” by the B#tthole Surfers.
          Best album title ever.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Elvis will be remembered long after the New York Times is as defunct as the New York World-Telegram (gone for 50 years and already nearly forgotten).

    3. nobody

      Some other songs from the 1930’s:

      Strange Fruit, Brother Can You Spare A Dime, Blue Moon, A Fine Romance, I’m In The Mood For Love, Cheek To Cheek, As Time Goes By, Body And Soul, I Can’t Get Started, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm…

    4. HotFlash

      I have developed a fondness for French cafe ballets of the 1950’s…

      I am confused!! Perhaps spellcheck metamorphised your “ballads”?

    5. Mark Alexander

      Just considering Gershwin, there are plenty of songs from the 20s and 30s that are still widely known and performed.

      I don’t know about the survival rate of rock music, but some classical musicians are playing Keith Emerson’s piano concerto and string quartets, and also some arrangements of music he did for ELP, so maybe his music will survive a while longer.

  11. Thomas Williams

    I am looking for easily read numbers on the health of the real economy. Specifically, I’d like to find GDP/GNP – etc type statistics which removes FIRE sector numbers. It would be ideal if these stats were kept on a monthly/quarterly annual basis.

    This economy feels like it is actually shrinking and I’d like to know by how much.

    Anyone know where I might look? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler? Anyone?

  12. Pat

    So I see that from an article at WaPo that the usual media subjects are twisting themselves into pretzels trying to make it seem that the latest polls showing Clinton’s diminishing or non-existent lead over Trump is inaccurate. Because they don’t count the huge percentage of Sanders voters who will be coming home to Clinton.

    Silver, Todd, etc are all pointing out this puts her back up eight whole points above Trump. Funnily enough I didn’t see anyone in the article pointing out that she lost that much of a lead between the beginning and the end of the month. Then there is HOW alienating the Clinton campaign is to Sanders voters if they are seeking to get them to vote for her….

      1. JohnnyGL

        “But then Todd and Chinni took into account the fact that a sizable chunk of people supporting Sanders are now saying they cannot back Clinton. These are the “Sanders-only voters.” They took the additional step of assuming that Clinton wins back 70 percent of those voters.”

        Where’s the analysis of how Sanders’ 10 point lead over Trump grows when he gets 70 of Clinton’s voters?

        On another note….check this out…

        “And we’ve seen this before: As Todd notes in his video presentation of these numbers, in 2008, Barack Obama picked up three points against John McCain in NBC polling after Clinton surrendered in the primaries.”

        These jokers at WaPo think she’s going to get TWICE the bump that Obama did after Clinton dropped out?????

        My shoot-from-the-hip estimate is that 40% go to Clinton, 20% go to Trump, and the rest go with Libertarian, Green, or tune out completely.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The real problem is outside the primary universe. Obama and his minions pushed a narrative that ACA would work out and he would be a different person in his second term. People who can’t give $27 are the real problem for the Democrats.

          Fear is a terrible motivator for the down trodden. Sanders and the hooplah surrounding him are a sideshow to the real problem which is the Democrats are a party of fear and now broken promises. Plenty of people won’t participate if the Democrats offer up Hillary. It’s estimated 1996 was the lowest black turnout, and minorities didn’t rush to rescue the Democrats in 2010 and 2014 despite the GOP being awful. Whining about Trump won’t help.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I forgot to add, but Bill was never very popular. Much of his reflect was due to Gingrich shutting down the government. Loyalist Democrats don’t care, and many are desperate to justify their defense of the Clintons over the years.

            Hill significantly under performed Gore in NY in 2000 against a replacement candidate too extreme for Peter King. She already managed to lose to an empty suit.

            Partisans don’t like to admit their celebrities aren’t always good, but the Clintons have a history of not being very good for the Democratic Party. Right now, they have the 1992 election as a sign of the political acumen outside of Washington when an inch bent despised by his base faced a strong third party challenge.

            While Democratic loyalists discuss Sanders supporters merely voting for Hillary, they miss the main point which Bill ushered in the GOP congress and destroyed the Democratic Party at the state level despite an array of incompetent goons and monsters for villains. Denny Hastert was a pedophile. The simple reality is the Clintons are not well liked and never have been.

            1. Jim Haygood

              “Denny Hastert was a pedophile” … while “Bill” did 15-year-olds on the Lolita Express.

              Villain vs. villain!

  13. Benedict@Large

    The jailbird’s lament:

    “If I could go back, I’d do it differently.”

    1. Roger Smith

      Pretty sure there are folk and country ballads that we can assemble into a nice going away playlist for her.

      Yep, got it. We will make sure to tell your kids you love them.

      1. sleepy

        If she is indicted or otherwise forced out of the race, lord only knows the books that will be written:

        “She Cared Too Much”

        subtitled:

        “Focused on Others, She Neglected Her Own Needs”

      1. tony

        Overpopulating due to patriarchy, failing to build strong, cooperative states, failing to take care of their environment going back to the desertification of the fertile crecent. Starting wars, failures of diplomacy.

  14. diptherio

    “Capsula Mundi aims to help you turn into a tree after you die” [Treehugger (Re Silc)].

    Anybody every read the Ender’s Game sequel, Speaker for the Dead? I always wanted to be one of those “piggies”

    1. craazyboy

      I read all of them. The trees were bitchy females. You shouldn’t hug one. It would be dangerous.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      My high school once paid Orson Scott Card to come talk to us about writing stories.

      Enders game had me fooled until the end.
      Speaker for the Dead was aight.

  15. dcblogger

    it was just a question of time before this hashtag hit twitter: #ImWithHerServer

  16. justsayknow

    Queen – We Will Rock You probably.
    But most certainly Sir Mix-a–lot I like big butts

  17. rjs

    Mosler Economics says “And note that March’s +.1 was revised to 0 with this April number also subject to revision”

    i was a little puzzled by that too…the March revison was from $12,526.6 billion annually to $12,526.5 billion…February was revised higher, from $12,513.9 billion to $12,522.9 billion

  18. Tom

    Regarding the Podesta email, the girl can’t help it. Every time Clinton (or her surrogates) makes another statement about her emails, she riskes creating new problems for herself.

    The Podesta memo includes this sentence:

    “Had Secretary Clinton known of any concerns about her email setup at the time, she would have taken steps to address them. She believed she was following the practices of other Secretaries and senior officials.”

    A May 30, 2016 USA Today article includes this paragraph:

    “Warning No. 2: Two months later, the assistant secretary for diplomatic security sent a memorandum on cybersecurity threats directly to Clinton, warning of a dramatic increase in efforts “to compromise the private home email accounts of senior department officials” in a likely attempt to “gain access to policy documents and personal information that could enable technical surveillance and possible blackmail.” The memo to Clinton warned her that some personal email accounts had already been compromised and had “been reconfigured … to automatically forward copies of all composed emails” to the hackers.”

    As long as Clinton continues to make assertions about the situation that are easily debunked, she does herself no favors. I’m starting to think Clinton isn’t all that smart.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Did she even read any memorandums at all?

      Is this a case of total incompetence if she read ‘personal email accounts had already been compromised?’

      Did she really want hackers or the world to know how her Foundation worked?

      My tin-foil hat, as an agent, prompts me to ask, is this an attempt to shift from evil to incompetence?

    2. cwaltz

      All of our corporate overlords are not nearly as smart as they believe themselves to be.

      I’d say half the problem in this country is that the financially powerful believe their own hype about people succeeding on their own merits.

    3. TomD

      It’s not about intelligence. She is surrounded by sycophants and cronies, used to the truth being what she says it is. She is probably not even able to understand why what she did was wrong.

    4. sid_finster

      She and her surrogates are just making it up as they go along.

      Once an excuse is formulated, her enablers run with it until it is debunked. At that point, a new excuse is formulated ad infinitum until the news cycle changes and the MSM is distracted by something else.

      That’s been the Clinton MO since at least 1992. The Lewinsky cigar fiasco provides some sterling examples. Remember”perjury isn’t really perjury if it concerns sex”?

    5. sd

      I’m actually suprised that no one has yet leaked any hacked Clinton emails to Wikileaks.

    6. optimader

      Clinton isn’t all that smart.
      my contention for a long time. Personally I think she is a over zealous idiot that believes her own press releases. What has she EVER gotten right? Seriously. She is one of those people that can be pumped up with information which although she can regurgitate it , she is incapable of synthesizing it to a logical and reasonable conclusion. “Folks, Bill will handle the economy” =( I really don’t have a fkn idea…)

  19. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    OK so it’s just a placeholder, kinda important in my view:
    The US is fomenting a nuclear World War III.
    Our supposed opponent is clearly begging to talk about it instead of being forced down this path by broad and multi-lateral belligerent US provocations: through new missile installations in Romania, new shock troops to retake Crimea stationed in Bulgaria, severe economic sanctions justified by fabricated culpability for the downing of a civilian airliner, comparing the Russian leader to Hitler, trillion-dollar new investments in “battlefield” nuclear weapons, just to name a few.
    This is :
    A. Just a cute way to get what we want and won’t be a problem
    or
    B. Utterly and completely terrifying and the threat of nuclear war should be drowning out every other distraction to the world’s attention.
    or
    C. We think it’s A but miscues and automatic hair trigger system responses could make it B in the blink of an eye

    1. steelhead23

      Ans. B, but it is even scarier. Read the piece Lambert posted under corruption. Basically, a Singaporean businessman infiltrated the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet. Knew ship movements and even got them to go to ports where he had more control so he could bilk the Navy. Now, this is bad, all on its own, but how can we know that Mr. Francis was also doing business with the Chinese, feeding them intel and compromised sources? The U.S. military is too large and too dangerous. From folks cheating at ICBM stations to sailors getting free hookers for blabbing or looking the other way, to the idiotic rhetoric emanating from our leaders, things are getting a bit scary.

    2. Ranger Rick

      The biggest loose cannon on the nuclear front is North Korea, followed closely by India and Pakistan. Israel too, if you believe the “Samson Option” myth — will they nuke themselves if the Palestinians get the vote?

      You can talk about “US provocations” until you’re blue in the face but bear-baiting isn’t the most likely nuclear exchange scenario. Not by a long shot.

      1. bdy

        Suggesting that anyone’s cannons are looser than ours is kinda silly when nobody else has ever shot one.

  20. MikeNY

    Zephyr Teachout is running for the seat in my home district — just got the first mailing this week. The primary is at the end of June. I didn’t know and was pleasantly surprised…

  21. different clue

    Regarding the National Debt Partial Default Trump Plan, when the Clinton campaigners said “risky”, I don’t think they meant to dogwhistle “operationally possible” to “all the right people”. Or indeed, to any of them. I think they just trust that “risky” means “scary” and will mean “scary” to the rest of us . . . we, the dogs . . . who get to vote about the dog food in November. Ooooo . . .risky . . . scary . . . Risky Scary Trump. Don’t risk voting for Risky Scary Trump.

    Assuming Clinton becomes the nominee . . .which Presidency is more dangerous? Risky Scary under Trump? Or 4 or maybe 8 years of Brezhnevian Stagnation under Clinton? ( If she doesn’t create a nuclear war with Russia). Under which scenario would the Sanderbackers have more room to move?
    Think carefully . . . because if indeed the Sanderbackers would have more room to move, survive and build under Brezhnevian Stagnation Clinton than under loud exciting Riots In The Streets Trump, then
    Clinton might be the one to vote for . . . with all due distaste.

  22. Anne

    Jerry Brown endorses Her Get-It-Done-ness:

    On Tuesday, June 7, I have decided to cast my vote for Hillary Clinton because I believe this is the only path forward to win the presidency and stop the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump.

    I have closely watched the primaries and am deeply impressed with how well Bernie Sanders has done. He has driven home the message that the top one percent has unfairly captured way too much of America’s wealth, leaving the majority of people far behind. In 1992, I attempted a similar campaign.

    For her part, Hillary Clinton has convincingly made the case that she knows how to get things done and has the tenacity and skill to advance the Democratic agenda. Voters have responded by giving her approximately 3 million more votes – and hundreds more delegates – than Sanders. If Clinton were to win only 10 percent of the remaining delegates – wildly improbable – she would still exceed the number needed for the nomination. In other words, Clinton’s lead is insurmountable and Democrats have shown – by millions of votes – that they want her as their nominee.

    But there is more at stake than mere numbers. The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has called climate change a “hoax” and said he will tear up the Paris Climate Agreement. He has promised to deport millions of immigrants and ominously suggested that other countries may need the nuclear bomb. He has also pledged to pack the Supreme Court with only those who please the extreme right.

    The stakes couldn’t be higher. Our country faces an existential threat from climate change and the spread of nuclear weapons. A new cold war is on the horizon. This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other. The general election has already begun. Hillary Clinton, with her long experience, especially as Secretary of State, has a firm grasp of the issues and will be prepared to lead our country on day one.

    Next January, I want to be sure that it is Hillary Clinton who takes the oath of office, not Donald Trump.

    Sigh.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “[Sanders] has driven home the message that the top one percent has unfairly captured way too much of America’s wealth.” — Gov. Moonbeam

      Since the Clintons are among those one percenters, evidently their epic grifting is what Gov. Moonbeam means by “Hillary knows how to get things done.”

      He’s looking forward to sharing in the loot.

      1. polecat

        Mr. Brown is a disgrace to California…he needs to wear the cone of shame……permanently!

    2. jrs

      Yea sigh. General election has supposedly begun before his own constituency (Californians) have even voted. Adding insult to the injury of voting last.

      What are “existential threats” like climate change to these people but things to scare the children into voting the corporate party line? Is it a reason to stop fracking? Not to Jerry Brown for sure, oil and gas interest are just too powerful. But these sellouts put their mouth where their money is for sure (and certainly never vice versa).

      The real issues including climate change are why we want Bernie, Bernie, Bernie so badly in that he represents the only possibility of change there. Why we can’t vote for someone taking money from the fossil fuel industry like Hillary, or support those doing their bidding otherwise (Jerry fracking Brown).

    3. jrs

      Btw do we still think it’s too extreme to believe that all the powers that be are in conspiracy with each other? Yes there are other possibilities. But is it really that far fetched to suspect it’s all agreed to at a Bilderberg meeting? Afterall they sure march in absolute lockstep, without deviation.

      Whatever happened to the new world order anyway?

    4. different clue

      I remember during the runup to election 2008, I suggested to a workplace colleague at work that I was thinking of voting for McCain/Palin. I had felt that America was reaching a Hit Bottom moment and only McCain/Palin could take us there. If the time had come to fly the Plane of State right straight into the side of the mountain, McCain/Palin were the people to fly it there.

      My colleague talked me out of it. He got me to vote for Obama on the grounds that my judgement on McCain/Palin was truer than I knew. McCain “wanted to make a mark on history” and would blow the world off its axis to make that mark.

      I think I am having ” must Hit Bottom” thoughts again, but stronger this time. If Clintonism is to be well and truly discredited, it has to be given a chance to play all the way out. And the only way I can think of to do that is to elect Clinton or whatever severed head is bolted onto Clinton’s headless body after the Convention. The risk is nuclear war with Russia. The benefit would be 4 or 8 years of Brezhnevian Stagnation and further 1% enrichment through 99% impoverishment so clear and so total that that Bidenoidal Obamacratic Clintonism itself is rejected in a mass national vomitathon.

      If Clinton is replaced with a Plan B Transplant before the election, millions of Clinton voters will vote for Trump or stay home out of bitterness at being betrayed yet again. So a candidate not-Clinton can not win the election. And if Trump gets elected, the Pelosi-Bidenoid Clintonite Obamacrats will pretend that all the follow-on problems will have been caused by a President Trump, and they may well get elected later by offering to rescue us from the problems that electing them in 2016 would have spared us from all along.

      Whereas if Clinton herself stays the nominee and then gets elected, the Clintonite-Democrat rot and decay will become so undeniable as to discredit DLC Third Wayvyism its own self, and burn the Clintonite Obamacrat party all the way down to the ground.

      Such is becoming my political reverse-psychology thinking lately. America has to Hit Bottom, and it has to Hit Bottom under the leadership of the people who put America on a Hit Bottom trajectory. And Clinton is uniquely suited to provide that leadership.

      1. Pat

        Well I can remember moments in the last seven years when I was treated to the “This wouldn’t be happening if Hillary were President.” “Hillary wouldn’t have stopped by that.” etc…etc…etc… So you are probably right that if she isn’t elected we will never see the end of the Clinton myth, because the conned are unwilling to accept they were taken in.

    5. Peter Bernhardt

      At the end of the day and while the sun sets on a long and partially distinguished career, Brown, like many establishment Democrats lets us know he was never really a progressive. An establishment phony, like many other Democrats in this state. He’s been a dud as a governor. And so this comes as no surprise.

      FWIW, he’s been conspicuously silent on a big issue here in the Bay Area – shipping coal through the port of Oakland.

      Backstory, if anyone is interested: http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Developer-planning-Oakland-coal-shipment-an-ally-7116423.php

      Moonbeam indeed.

  23. allan


    Valeant’s Former C.E.O. to Receive $9 Million Severance

    J. Michael Pearson, the former chief executive of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International who departed in early May during a series of investigations into the company’s business practices, will receive a $9 million severance payment and continue working as a consultant through 2017, Valeant said Tuesday. … under the agreement, Mr. Pearson will also receive more than $83,000 a month through the end of this year and $15,000 monthly in 2017, plus expenses and health insurance benefits, to help the company make the transition to a new chief executive and handle the host of legal investigations.

    No comment required.

  24. Cry Shop

    Permaculture / Gaia: Dude, stop pooping in my flour

    There’s a very good reason why non-industrial agriculturalist compost(ed) their waste streams, where as industrial and septic waste streams are pumped directly onto fields. Glyphosate in urine (yesterdays links) is just the tip of ye olde iceberg.

  25. Susan Nelson

    Fiegen is a one-term state legislator, who has run for the Senate
    unsuccessfully before, in 2010. He and Bob Krause were beaten by Roxanne
    Conlin, who lost to Grassley. Both of Fiegen and Krause are running again, along with State Senator Rob Hogg (pronounced Hoag), and former Lt. Governor and Agriculture Secretary Patty Judge.

    Hogg’s emphasis is on environmental issues, especially climate change. His district in Cedar Rapids was hard hit in the 2008 floods, which energized him on that issue. He works on a lot of other issues, and has a strong progressive record. Almost every Democrat in the state legislature endorsed him when he got into the race late last summer, and they stuck with him when Judge got in.

    Judge is a favorite of the Farm Bureau, and not a fan of regulating in any way that displeases them. For example, she has called for voluntary controls on the nitrates that are fouling Iowa rivers, an approach that has not worked. As the LG, she and then-Governor Culver managed to tick off labor unions, who are mostly with Hogg. Judge jumped in after the Garland nomination at the behest of the DSCC, who sensed weakness in Grassley.

    Fiegen is an odd duck, who talks interminably if he shows up to speak at your meeting, and frequently refers to the details of bankruptcy cases he has handled. I am not sure I would want my lawyer to do that. He claims now to be “pro-choice” but is a devout Catholic, the claim is recent, and he still thinks a pregnancy should be carried to term after 20 weeks. He is clinging tightly to Sanders this time, trying to persuade the left side of the base to back him. His tweets are more about Sanders than about Fiegen. He has also latched on to the fight over a controversial hog processing plant in Mason City, and has inserted himself into the opposition campaign. He has no money, and I do not know whether he has a campaign organization. There
    is no way he could beat Grassley, who is a wily and practiced politician who will make short work of Fiegen. He would also dispatch Krause with ease. Bob has run a cartoonish campaign, with video lectures that include cookies, which is all I will say.

    Judge has a campaign staff, has raised a lot of money and has some high-profile endorsements from current and former politicians who are all in for Clinton. She generates very little enthusiasm among activists, who do not like her record on agriculture, environment and labor. She is the only one that has run statewide, but she lost her last election.

    Hogg might have a shot at beating Grassley. He has run a positive campaign, generated a lot of grassroots support, and has a significant GOTV effort going on. He has not matched Judge in fundraising, but–Farm Bureau. Many Iowa politicians, including the ranking Dems in the Iowa House and Senate, did not appreciate the DSCC big-footing this race without so much as consulting them, and closed ranks behind Hogg. My Facebook “friends” include a lot of activists who are for both Clinton and Sanders, but almost all are for Hogg. Fiegen has some of the Bernie or Bust folks, and people who appreciate his efforts against the hog plant. Krause has some veterans. I don’t know who Judge has because all her mentions are negative.

    The primary is next Tuesday.

  26. Beth

    RE: “The man who seduced the 7th Fleet” [WaPo]. “Fat Leonard.”

    Is it just me? Fat Leonard bribed the Navy brass. So, give us the names of the Navy brass he bribed. That’s the information we need. Those are the people we need to prosecute.

    Oh, our justice dept only prosecutes non-citizens. Fair enough.

    1. Jason

      Don’t worry. The brass in question will doubtless be “punished” by being forced into their civilian careers a few years early, with slightly less shiny pips on their uniforms and appropriate reductions in their post-facto bribes. (Imagine their shame at having yachts ten or twenty feet shorter than those of their un-caught colleagues.)

  27. uncle tungsten

    Email hairball is such a delightful term but for Hillary it is really email hemorrhoids. Guccifer will now receive a ‘get out of jail free’ card and go back to his family in Romania and all will be forgiven. UNLIKELY!!

    The word is out. The Hillary Clinton campaign is about to crash and burn. You can sense it in the strange shift in ‘reporting’ at msnbc. It started with the sudden talk of dumping Wasseman-Shultz, then accelerated after the Democrat appointed OIG report denouncing Clinton’s email hustle and her numerous inventions, then the FBI chief repudiated Clinton’s desperate attempt to redefine their Investigation as a “security review”. The FBI pointed out that it does Investigations, being in their name and all and that the term ‘security review’ was not in their lexicon.

    Here are a few reasons why Clinton is kaput:
    -She failed to carry out her oath of office to act in the interests of the United States,
    -She tried on an email hustle that lead to leaked emails and reports which at all times are confidential. They don’t have to be marked ‘secret’ they are confidential.
    -She recklessly endangered the national security of the United States.
    -She recklessly compromised the intelligence gathering systems of the United States,
    -She repeatedly and systematically undermined the United States by refusing to hand over her Sec State documents to John Kerry following her departure,
    -She used unauthorized people to assess and then erase the records of the United States Secretary of State,
    AND THEN She hustled the United States people and misled many of them to support her campaign for US President. The Clinton hustle is over. Bernie Sanders will win

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Two interesting tech people in the mix, aren’t there:

      1) Guccifer, with his plea deal (and in exchange for what?)

      1) Pagliano, with his (suspiciously Grand Jury-less… or not?) grant of immunity.

      * * *

      To the Democrat Establishment, the real enemy is not Trump, but Sanders. I think, absent an indictment, they’d rather drag Clinton over the finish line line at the convention, and then pray Trump implodes by November, rather than nominate Sanders. (They can talk themselves into hating Trump, or seeming to, but their hatred for Sanders is deep and real.)

      Hence, a Clinton loss is not necessarily a Sanders win; the Establishment would try to swap in a Biden and/or a Kerry and/or a Warren, or even a dark horse like Sherrod Brown (although Reid would have to be persuaded to risk a Senate seat in the later two cases). And how would that happen? A sudden medical problem for Clinton, so she has to spend more time with her family? With the guarantee of a pardon from Obama, if it comes to that?

      To put this another way, the Democrat Establishment can only throw Clinton under the bus if they have a replacement for her, a Plan B, and not Sanders. “You can’t beat someone with no-one,” as the saying goes. The #NeverTrump people had the same problem; no candidate was willing to step forward (and AFAIK, Kristol hasn’t come up with one). So, who?

      1. sd

        Establishment Dems are closing ranks in a way that has really only been hinted at in the past. If they had had their way, there would not have been any significant competetition at all.

  28. wat

    I remember Kerry on PBS in the thick of the ’04 campaign, and I had no idea at all what he was talking about. Intellectually I felt I had eaten a pink slime and spam salad dotted with wilted bits of coleslaw.

    1. sd

      Kerry lead the investigations into Iran Contra and BCCI. I’ve always wondered what happened to THAT Kerry.

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