2:00PM Water Cooler 5/9/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, thanks for another sparkling discussion on Friday! I should travel more often!


“[A] video which reveals the procedures requested by the EU in order for the interested parties to gain access to the top secret TTIP documents. The video shows the unprecedented secrecy that engulfs the whole operation” [Failed Evolution].

“Three years after the beginning of negotiations, events protesting free trade agreements have become part of everyday life in Germany. In cities and towns, thousands of events are being held to express opposition to deals like TTIP, CETA, as the recently negotiated agreement with Canada is called, and TISA, an international deal covering trade in services” [Der Spiegel]. Many good examples.

“Hillary Clinton has signaled that if she is elected president in November she would oppose a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord during a lame-duck session of Congress, sharpening her differences with President Obama as he is ramping up his sales pitch on behalf of the deal” [WaPo].

“Clinton’s statement that “we need a fundamental rethink of how we approach trade deals” is a strong statement, going beyond simply opposing TPP. “It is critical that we address labor protections and ensure that human rights are protected, as well as health, environmental, and consumer safety issues in any new trade agreements,” [Clinton] said” [Dave Johnson, Campaign For America’s Future]. “These are important distinctions that show her position is now clearly on the side of those opposing not just TPP but the way our trade agreements have been used to move jobs out of the country, drive down wages and break what power working people once had in the economy. She has not left herself wiggle room on a TPP vote, and she did not hedge herself between the interests of workers and those of the “donor class” and trade policies have not worked for working people.” I like Johnson, but that interpretation seems more than a little credulous to me.

“The final three presidential candidates — Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump —have all leveled harsh criticism against President Obama’s trade agenda” [The Hill]. So, Clinton joins the crowd. And anyhow, when Clinton did so much to push TPP as Secretary of State, why should Obama’s Presidential Library be the influence-peddling vehicle, as opposed to the Clinton Foundation? Where’s the justice in that? Not that I’m cynical.



Trump emits key MMT talking point:

Now the only candidate who’s lagging on MMT is… Clinton. Exactly as with TPP. Maybe she’ll evolve….

“The Clinton campaign is still trying to figure out exactly what Sanders wants in exchange for rallying his supporters to her side. In recent weeks, he’s suggested that Clinton can’t expect them to just fall in line, but he hasn’t enumerated exactly what he believes would draw them in. He hasn’t said which of his policy positions is most important for her to adopt or at least shift closer toward, or what other moves she could make that would satisfy him” [Bloomberg]. Sanders voters are not “fans.” They’re policy oriented, which is why Sanders has been able to cut across identitarian siloes. Now, how Clinton puts skin in the game on Sanders policies while at the same time seeking money from Republican funders is an open question, though in my view already answered: She’ll go with the money, and if that takes doing a Sister Souljah on Sanders and his voters, so be it.

“The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 — or AEDPA — was signed by Bill Clinton in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing. While it has been mostly absent from the recent debates over the crime policies of the ’90s, its impact has been no less profound, particularly when it comes to a bedrock constitutional principle: habeas corpus, or the right of people in prison to challenge their detention” [Portside]. Which is important, given, say, the Innocence Project.

“Poll: 6-in-10 oppose bills like the North Carolina transgender bathroom law” [CNN]. Which Cruz tried to make a centerpiece of his campaign when it was in its death throes, and apparently Trump doesn’t care about one way or the other.

“‘There’s nobody left’: Evangelicals feel abandoned by GOP after Trump’s ascent” [WaPo].


Boehlert = Media Matters which, sadly = Brock.

So Trump and Clinton are peas in a pod. Is that Boehlert’s point?

“Facebook Confirms it Will Sponsor Trump’s Republican National Convention” [Fortune]. “But according to a statement by Facebook’s Erin Egan, the company’s continued support is not about endorsing a platform, but instead about facilitating ‘an open dialogue among voters, candidates, and elected officials during the conventions.'” Odd. Facebook doesn’t seem to want an open dialog on anything else.

The Voters

“Yet hard-fought presidential races come down to small margins in swing states. The difference between losing 97% of black women and only losing 90% could prove decisive” [Kimberley Strassel, Wall Street Journal, “A Republican Party Playbook to Win in November”]. “The rub is that winning over even those 7 percentage points will require an all-out, aggressive campaign—the likes of which no modern Republican presidential candidate has waged.”

“The Democrats Are Built to Win” [Peter Beinart, The Atlantic]. “Never before in modern American history have the political parties been as polarized along racial lines as they are right now.” A paean to identity politics (“identitarianism”?).

“In nearly every state in the nation, autonomous grassroots organizations began campaigning for Sanders months before his campaign established any official presence on the ground. Ranging from state-level organizations such as Illinois for Bernie and Team Bernie NY to city and even neighborhood groups, they brought together thousands of volunteers—many of whom had never participated in electoral politics—to work together toward a common goal” [In These Times]. “Now, those organizations are beginning to build coalitions with labor, socialist parties and progressive groups to set a post-election agenda for the political revolution. To that end, National Nurses United, which endorsed Sanders, is organizing a People’s Summit on June 17 in Chicago, while the People’s Revolution, a group founded by former Occupy organizers, is hosting a People’s Convention in Philadelphia two days before the Democratic National Convention in July. As with any project to unite the Left, however, these efforts must first grapple with long-standing divides around tactics and priorities.”

“The year of the hated: Clinton and Trump, two intensely disliked candidates, begin their face-off” [WaPo]. Hated by everybody except the political class, who hate Sanders, unlike the dull normals.

“Clinton’s wonky policies of fine-grained complexity contrast with rivals’ grandiose ideas” [WaPo]. Yeah, “grandiose.” Like Medicare for All; those Canadians are floridly delusional. And tuition-free college! You know how Germans are; volatile. The article is actually interesting on theories of change:

“Clinton has called out Trump for relying on mass rallies instead of one-on-one conversation with people” [AP]. Clinton has been spectacular at reframing weaknesses — here, an inability to draw large crowds — as strengths. This seems different from 2008.

“Misperceiving Bullshit as Profound Is Associated with Favorable Views of Cruz, Rubio, Trump and Conservatism” [PLOS One]. Apparently, the Bullshit Receptivity Scale (BSR) is a thing. And the article is dated April 29. Not April 1.

And speaking of bullshit: “Labor leaders, progressive groups and Democratic operatives told Reuters in interviews that they took seriously Trump’s appeal with white working-class voters and were studying how to respond to his promises to create jobs and negotiate better trade deals” [Reuters]. Need scare quotes round “labor leaders” and “progressives,” no? See the TPP section above for more.


Polling: Real Clear Politics poll of polls; HuffPo poll of polls.

“East L.A. Latinos tell Hillary Clinton to deport herself from the neighborhood” [Fusion]. Incredibly, some viewed Clinton’s mariachi band as pandering. “”Latinos were protesting outside, and Hispanics were inside [with Hillary Clinton],” said [Herbert Siguenza, who was demonstrating outside and is one of three members of the Latino/Chicano comedy troupe Culture Clash], who said the label Hispanic was a more conservative ‘government establishment term’ assigned to people of Spanish-speaking countries.” Hmm. Readers?

The Trail

“[David Brock’s] Correct the Record, a super PAC coordinating with Clinton’s campaign, is spending some $1 million to find and confront social media users who post unflattering messages about the Democratic front-runner” [Los Angeles Times]. “The plan comes as Clinton operatives grapple with the reality that her supporters just aren’t as engaged and aggressive online as are her detractors inside and outside the Democratic Party.” On the Twitter, look for an egg and “pragmatic” in the bio. The hash tag: #MillionDollarTroll.

“On the heels of his Indiana victory Tuesday, Sanders is well-positioned for wins in the upcoming West Virginia and Oregon primaries” [Politico]. “‘We’re going to stay in until the last vote is counted, and that will be in the [June 14] primary in Washington, D.C.,’ Sanders said in an interview Wednesday with NPR’s Steve Inskeep.” I think it would be hilarious if Sanders won D.C., not least because that would be an organizing feat valuable not just this year, but for years to come. Think about it.

UPDATE “Sanders supporters sue Nevada Democratic Party” [Las Vegas Sun (MR)]. “The plaintiffs, who missed the deadline to file for party election, allege the party kept the deadline secret in violation of the party’s delegate selection plan, which calls for full notice of deadlines and application procedures for party office.” I can’t speak to the merits of the case, but if the Clinton campaign is serious about reaching out to Sanders voters, they’ll resolve this — and the New York mess, as well — rapidly and in a transparent manner.

Clinton Email Hairball

UPDATE “The FBI will be interviewing Clinton in the coming days” [ABC]. “Law enforcement sources tell ABC News that so far they are not aware of any evidence indicating criminal wrongdoing. The FBI’s upcoming interview with Clinton, who is well coached on the issue, is unlikely to change that.” Good wrapup. But:

The State Department’s inspector general concluded two months ago that Secretary Colin Powell and aides to Secretary Condoleeza Rice handled classified information on private email accounts. At the time, both secretaries made arguments similar to those of Secretary Clinton — that the information was being over classified.

Having an email account is different from having an email server. Controlling your data means you can delete it, which Clinton did to 30,000 of her emails.

Stats Watch

Labor Market Conditions Index, April 2016: “Employment has been the economy’s central strength but has not been in the positive column for the labor market conditions index which remains in contraction for a 4th straight month” [Econoday]. “Still, this is an improvement from March… The index, experimental in nature, is a broad composite of 19 separate indicators and, as yet at least, is rarely cited by policy makers. ”

Employment Situation: “American employers signaled their caution about a sluggish economy by slowing their pace of hiring in April after months of robust job growth” [AP]. “At the same time, companies raised pay, and their employees worked more hours — a combination that lifted income and, if sustained, could quicken the U.S. expansion.” But: “The chart shows the year over year and ongoing deceleration that in general began when oil capex collapsed” [Mosler Economics]. “Nor will there be a reversal until after deficit spending increases- public or private- and I see no evidence of that happening.”

Employment Situation (from Friday): “Friday’s US payroll data were a little soft but well within any reasonable person’s confidence interval” [Socgen, Across the Curve]. “Markets meanwhile, rely on this precarious combination of data – weak enough to keep the Fed in easy mode, but not so weak as to heighten fears of global economic slowdown. Worse, risk sentiment is increasingly sensitive to statistically irrelevant gyrations in the data. …. Friday’s data were just about within the range of outcomes that keeps markets balanced but if a mere 50k ‘miss’ is enough to make everyone nervous, it’s just a matter of time before we see a bigger shock and more volatility.”

Banking: “The shock resignation of Lending Club founder and chief executive Renaud Laplanche on Friday capped a grim few days for marketplace lending” [Euromoney]. ” As well as reporting its first quarter numbers, Lending Club announced that the sale of $22 million loans to a single investor ($15 million in March and $7 million in April) breached that investor’s express instructions and – shockingly – certain personnel at the firm were aware that the sale did not meet the investor’s criteria. Three senior managers at the firm have now either resigned or been fired.”

Banking: “The financial crisis has been a cash cow for central banks. They are turning record profits, bolstered by income from their bulging asset and loan portfolios and, more recently, from charging banks for making deposits” [Wall Street Journal, “Windfall for Central Banks Fuels Political Pressure”]. Hmm. Seems like incentivizing banks for financial crises might be a bad thing?

Banking: “In [Mervyn King’s] decade-long tenure, which ended in 2013, the Bank of England became, and remains, the most trustworthy institutional narrator of events in global finance. It’s the one place on the inside of global finance where employees don’t appear to be spending half their time wondering when Goldman Sachs is going to call with a job offer. For various reasons, they don’t play scared. One of those reasons, I’ll bet, is King” [Michael Lewis, Bloomberg]. Review of King’s book….

Banking: “It is not every day you read a book about global finance by a banker who quotes Lenin approvingly on page two” [Financial Times, ‘The City’, by Tony Norfield]. Another review.

Banking: “The U.S. is now in its eighth year since the Wall Street bank collapse of 2008 and most members of the general public believe the bailouts are long finished. That’s a fallacy” [Wall Street on Parade]. “Then there is the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet which pre-crisis stood in the neighborhood of $800 billion and today stands at $4.5 trillion. Making up the bulk of the assets on the Federal Reserve’s books are the U.S. Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae that the Fed sopped up from markets choking on the stuff during the crash.” Part of the Big Shitpile, as Atrios used to call it. “Holding the rest of the country hostage to make Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein happy can only, inevitably, usher in the next crash and bailout and permanent loss of confidence in the U.S. financial system.” Apres moi….

British humor:

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 60, Greed (previous close: 60, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 69 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 9 at 11:49am. The doldrums.


“The names of more than 200,000 offshore companies found in the Panama Papers leak are being made accessible to the public Monday through a searchable database.” [Chicago Tribune]. At 2:00PM EDT!


“Combined with erosion caused by loggers and now-rising seas, since 1955, about 90 percent of [Isle de Jean Charles] original land has sunk” [Nonprofit Quarterly]. “As such, the residents will be the first “climate change refugees.” The Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated the town a $48 million grant for the resettlement, which is part of part of $1 billion set aside to help communities living under the threat of rising sea levels.” Somehow I think Miami will need more. Makes you think that maybe all the globalist squillionaires who bought Miami real estate weren’t so stupid after all, doesn’t it?

The Jackpot

“An unprecedented number of workers at Hanford have been exposed to dangerous chemical vapors since Thursday, April 28. In one week’s time a total of 47 people either sought medical attention after suffering symptoms due to chemical vapor releases or as a precautionary measure” [King5]. “Workers sickened by the sudden release of toxic gasses at Hanford has been a problem for nearly 25 years, but those familiar with the nuclear site cannot remember so many people falling victim in such a short period.”

Class Warfare

Zeitgeist Watch: “Economic anxiety” seems to have entered the lexicon, as a shorthand for why people might, for example, oppose trade deals. When you hear it, think “class warfare.”

“American consumers aren’t what they used to be — and that helps explain the plodding economic recovery. It gets no respect despite creating 14 million jobs and lasting almost seven years. The great gripe is that economic growth has been held to about 2 percent a year, well below historical standards. This sluggishness reflects a profound psychological transformation of American shoppers, who have dampened their consumption spending, affecting about two-thirds of the economy. To be blunt: We have sobered up” [Robert Samuelson, WaPo]. “A bad outcome would be a vicious circle of rising saving and falling returns, leading disappointed households to save even more.” Says the guy who also wants to cut Social Security!

“Fights on planes 400% more likely when there’s a first class section” [Boing Boing].

“However, De Montfort University may have resolved such intractable issues by charging staff to use its new staff common room.” [Times Higher Education]. Why stop there? Lee Jones comments: “Just another step in the conversion of academics from salaried professionals to self-financing subcontractors.”

“The housing situation in Metro Vancouver has reached a crisis point. As this report lays out, the city has become one of the least affordable places to live in the developed world, and the crisis shows little sign of abating. The standard measure of housing affordability is an average house price to average income ratio of around 3 or lower. A ratio over 5 is considered ‘seriously unaffordable’. Vancouver currently sits at 11-13, depending on the measure” [Vancouver’s Housing Affordability Crisis: Causes, Consequences and Solutions (PDF)].

More purges in the newsroom:

News of the Wired

“Boaty McBoatface will live on as [a remotely operated sub-sea vehicle], polar research vessel’s official name [RRS Sir David Attenborough] revealed” [Splash247]. I’m a hawk: “Boaty McBoatface” should be the name of the vessel, and “Sir David Attenborough” the name of the remotely operated vehicle.

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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 (Phil H):


Phil writes:

Recent high winds snapped off the top of a tree a few feet above ground level. The tree had died a few years ago & has smallish bracket fungus growing on the stump. The bits of greenery in the foreground are wild rose (Rosa multiflora) just leafing out. The roses are a weed here in our part of Ohio. Photo taken early last month, April 2016.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. rich

    Main culprit in drug addiction epidemic has ties to Clinton campaign, family foundation

    Internal documents reviewed by the Los Angeles Times indicate that Purdue Pharma was more concerned about revenue than making sure its drug was being used responsibly. A memo written in 1996 advising sales representatives to get doctors to prescribe higher doses of OxyContin was headlined, “$$$$$$$$$$$$$ It’s Bonus Time in the Neighborhood!”

    The deceptive marketing campaign from Purdue Pharma almost came to light in 2004 when it was sued by West Virginia for the excessive payments it was making to the company through state programs. Revealed in the case was the fact that the drug’s central claim that it could relieve pain for 12 hours was a hoax.

    The judge found that patients were supplementing their OxyContin with other painkillers to bridge the gap between doses and that Purdue could have stopped this by being honest about its drug.

    “Most of the patients in the clinical trials required additional medication, so called ‘rescue medications,’ that accompanied their 12-hour OxyContin dose,” the judge wrote in his 2004 ruling. “Plaintiff’s evidence shows Purdue could have tested the safety and efficacy of OxyContin at eight hours, and could have amended their label, but did not.”

    Purdue was represented in the case by Eric Holder, who would years later serve alongside Hillary Clinton in the Obama administration. Holder agreed that Purdue would give $10 million to West Virginia to be spent on programs to alleviate drug abuse.

    In return, all the evidence uncovering Purdue’s dangerous marketing of OxyContin remained sealed and despite the judge’s opinion that Purdue should amend its labeling of the drug, nothing was changed.


    1. Beth

      Thanks, rich. You may be interested in reading about Perdue Pharma in Dreamland by Sam Quinones. It tells of Perdue sales (including in southern Ohio) from the 80s on. Perdue pushed OxyContin as being non-additive for pain. The company watched all newspapers in the areas where sales were high and threatened to sue anyone who implied that Oxy was addictive. The FDA did not require tests before it was approved. The Sackler Brothers have accolades for their charitable donations to Harvard, and others.

      War on drugs?

      Sacklers vs El Chapo. Legal vs illegal. U.S. vs Mexico. Same result.

  2. Socal Rhino

    Years back had a Cuban girlfriend explain to me rather energetically that “Hispanics” are not an ethnic group, and Cuba, for example, was home to folks from a wide variety of countries of origin in Europe and elsewhere. Thought of that when Mrs. Rhino and I saw the play the Spelling Bee, in which a definition of the word “Mexican” was cited a person from the Dominican Republican, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Columbia, etc.

  3. Tertium Squid

    Good heavens, look at the picture of Brock on “Be Nice to Hillary” – he looks like a photo mashup of Bill and Hillary!

    1. portia

      yeah, what happened to him–he looks ill.
      How can these paid Hillshills completely miss the irony that they would not be online “correcting the record” (lol) if their palms were not being crossed with silver, while these commenters making sure people understand exactly who Hillary is (I am one of them) are volunteering their time out of deep concern. Hillz had more protesters outside her gym event in CA than supporters inside, it looks like.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      And isn’t this –

      …a super PAC coordinating with Clinton’s campaign….

      – supposed to be illegal?!?!?

      Evidently not if you’re a Clinton though. Supposedly there’s some loophole that allows it but the article doesn’t mention what it is. Why do I doubt the FEC will be looking into it any time soon?

      1. perpetualWAR

        Completely unlawful.

        But, hey, a Florida appellate court just ruled that a fictitious entity can sue and be sued……as long as that fictitious entity was a bankster.

  4. Savonarola

    Two things – the AEDPA was indeed a sea change in habeas corpus. It imposes a one-year statute of limitations on claims. That fact alone gets rid of the vast majority of all claims before they are made: the federal court need not even consider if the underlying claim has merit, because it is procedurally barred.

    There are two outs: one of them is a “credible claim of actual innocence.” Of course, what it takes to substantiate that claim takes a lot more than one year, in general. You are literally relegated to either deciding to file early enough to be within the statutory deadline or filling out your case in most real instances. Remember, you only have one shot at this. Any subsequent attempt is also procedurally barred.

    Second “Hispanic” is actually almost offensive – at least to me. So many upon whom the term is applied are not from Spain, nor is Spanish even their mother tongue. Latino is actually better. Hispanic has the shadow of conquest in it somehow, to me. People from the Spanish speaking world are all races, all colors, vastly different cultures and nationalities – Hispanic literally whitewashes that.

    1. uahsenaa

      People from the Spanish speaking world are all races, all colors, vastly different cultures and nationalities – Hispanic literally whitewashes that.

      this x100

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        So therefore “Latino”? I’ve gotta say, from a purely mechanical standpoint, “Hispanic” is easier because it’s not gendered, like Latino/Latina.

        1. ewmayer

          No great difficulty here – use the M form when referring to a mixed-gender (or non-specified gender) lot, F form only when referring to a specifically female collection of people. E.g. Spanish for a unspecified-gender “my children” is “mis hijos”.

          Of course that does introduce ambiguity, thus a clarifying “tienes hijas, o solo hijos?” may be needed. Just normal kinds of conversational conventions a non-natuve speaker needs to get used to.

        2. craazyman

          Not so fast. What about Herspanic?

          We’ll have to think of something else.

          Even “Spanish-speaking” doesn”t work because you might see somebody from Helsinki visiting New York and reading the warning signs inside the subway cars out loud. That would be confusing. They’d be “Spanish-speaking” but only temporarily. But even that’s confusing since if you’re Spanish speaking but asleep you’re not speaking Spanish at all until the next day.

          it’s not easy to tell people apart in ways that make sense.

        3. hunkerdown

          Latinx is one gender-nonspecific spelling that has some currency within radical communiities.

        4. Alex morfesis

          Neither hispanic nor Latino…blame los cubanos…they dominate media ownership and play an oversized role in doninating the latspanic agenda…

          mexicans are the most pushed back of the bus and largest group in usa…different sets…some have been here so long they hardly can speaks spanish..others came thru pre 1980…largest group is post 1980’s…

          puerto ricans are us citizens so they had and have had different experiences…many coming between 1960 and 1990…

          Dominican wave 1980 -20005 pushing thru new york city via the charlie rangel express who handed off section 8 housig vouchers to the new arrivals…disrupting the black community he claimed to represent…

          central americans and columbians rushing thru the gates from 1990 to date…

          Cubans have had it the easiest, despite their constant complaints of having worked union city sweatshops…because every cuban had some giant finca…two days on horseback to get from one end to the other…

          tuvo beach…


          In cuba I used to be a german Shepard….

        5. Kim Kaufman

          Hispanic is of Spanish descent, i.e., the conquerers, and also white and historically the ruling classes of Central and South America as opposed to the Indians or natives who were made into lower class. And there have been other peoples who migrated there like Chinese, Africans, etc. Latino is much more inclusive of all Spanish speaking peoples although I guess that includes Portuguese (Brazil) as well. Hispanic is probably used on U.S. census counts to count “white” people as opposed to Indians which has its own category.

    2. wbgonne

      Sadly, the statute of limitations is a relatively minor aspect in how AEDPA eviscerated the Great Writ of habeas corpus. The statute is an abomination of hurdles, obstacles and landmines that appears to have been drafted by a committee of blood-thirsty savages so engorged by vengeance and hate that they abandoned reason and coherence, leaving a semantic playground for their equally cruel counterparts in the present federal judiciary. The bottom line is this: since grants of certiorari on direct appeal are exceedingly rare, and with habeas corpus gutted under Clinton, there is almost no oversight of state courts by the federal judiciary in criminal justice. Which just goes to show that local rule truly is the new way … unless, of course, you are trying to prevent someone from extracting carbon fuel for profit and poisoning the drinking water in your well.

    3. tommy strange

      It’s been Latino since I’ve been in SF (1985). Hispanic is east coast…but that has changed too now hasn’t it? Never had a white friend, brown etc, use the word Hispanic in SF. People would laugh.

      1. participant-observer-observed

        Ditto for LA, hombre!

        I suspect if we scratch the surface we will find a split correlating with uncritical propaganda consumption of Papal Manifest Destiny Doctrine a la Queen Isabella and “Hispaniola” branding.

        Ricoeur (and Chomsky) pointed out the difference between the labelling of communications and the meaning messaging embedded therein. Yet qualitative research methods designed to illuminate such salience is pooh-poohed albeit gaining ground w social media and big data now. Put that in your pipe and smoke it David Brock!

  5. nippersmom

    The Democratic Party just cannot seem to grasp that for many Sanders supporters, there is quite literally nothing Clinton can say that will induce us to vote for her. Even when she does pander evolve her position to one more in line with our views, we don’t trust her. Her record speaks volumes, and we don’t like anything it says.

          1. Chromex

            c’mon. there will be some token “Amendment” that will allow Clinton to “change” her position . This has been done so often it does not even qualify as a trick

            1. participant-observer-observed

              22 and never blindly blue?

              When adding the idea of Bill back in the White House with Clinton Foundation romper room = brand usa, the series likely will go exponential:


              1. participant-observer-observed

                Without Bernie Sanders shadow white house, trump romper room vs Clinton foundation romper room is minor branding variation…which will hate on American Muslims the least while bombing Muslims abroad the most? Tricky ethics!

                Trump should start reading Persian history and start reciting Rumi poetry….that would creep out HRC’s Saudi backers of Zion!

    1. harry

      Ok, so what you are saying is your prospect list isnt worth 100 cents on the dollar. But its worth something right? HRCs team wants to endorsement cos they peddle in vote trading and identify politics. Thats how they do business. The only question is the price.

      I think they have some magic beans they will offer in exchange for Bernie’s worthless endorsement. Come on, magic beans, AND a peek at next weeks GOTs episode. You know you want it Bernie!

    2. JohnnyGL

      Sanders laid out his demands to her campaign in an interview with The Young Turks within the past month or so. He basically spouted off the entire platform he’s been pushing. The whole thing sounded like an obvious non-starter for her. But, I’m sure it was sincere from him.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe she gives up, stops bothering people and starts dating Republicans.

      1. John k

        She’s been in bed with them for years, big O just one of many.
        And a secret admirer of W.

  6. voteforno6

    RE: Clinton reaching out to Sanders “fans”

    The Clinton campaign and DNC may try, but I’m not sure how well they’ll succeed. They’re gearing up for their dream campaign – they get to run on identity politics, against a dangerous, nutty, racist, sexist pig. They will make this all about identity politics, thinking that this election is about one thing, when it’s actually about something else.

    1. Veri1138

      As DWS put it…

      “Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials (only Right thinking Party kommissars) don’t have to be in a position where they are (held accountable) running against grassroots activists (i.e. Progressives and too-Liberal Democrats),” Wasserman Schultz calmly explained.”

      Bold is for clarification. That’s a direct statement from DWS. The writing is on the wall for Progressives and too-Liberal Democrats. That and Clinton apparently seeking traditional Republican cash and voters. Democrats began poaching Big Money Donors from Republican Business Party leaders years ago.

      In other words, Progressives and too-Liberal Democrats are only needed for votes and then they can STFU, GTFO, and return to their rat warrens until needed for votes, next election.
      DWS was only Hillary for President 2008 campaign co-chair.

      1. ahimsa

        A comment on superdelegates:

        As I understand it(and this has also been stated publicly by DWS), the function of superdelegates only comes into play and should only come into consideration after all the primaries have been completed. The whole idea is that the candidates compete to gain a majority of pledged delegates through the primaries and afterward, if the pledged delegate race does not provide a clear winner (in 2008, Clinton argued that this meant a lead of under a hundred pledged delegates), the work of the superdelegates ensues. Although, as you rightly point out, they would see their role to simply push an establishment candidate over the line and ahead of any impertinent grassroots movement.

        The DNC have actually explicitly stated that superdelegate counts should not be reported after each primary. However, and perhaps more significantly, they have not discouraged the superdelegates from publicly stating their support in advance of the convention.

        What I find most galling is that many superdelegates stated their support for HRC so early, before the respective primaries and even before some of the other candidates had entered the running. This completely inverts their role, giving their support undue prominence at the outset and during the race, thus establishing their preferred candidate and enabling the MSM to report a misleading narrative of a clear favourite.

        A simple solution could have been to forbid superdelegates from publicly stating their official support for any candidate before the convention. On the flipside, if other potential candidates had not been dissuaded from declaring the candidacies, Bernie might never even have entered the race and achieved as much as he has!?

        1. Jen

          On the plus side, now that we know who they are, and that many are either current or aspiring office holders, we can go after them as well. I recently received an invite to my congresscritter’s local private fundraiser. She’s a Clinton superdelegate. She has also, at least historically, seemed to understand that as a democrat in the house, she’s entirely disposable. I politely informed her that she’s not getting my money, or my vote, if she fails to represent the will of the primary voters in Philly. The delicious irony is, of course, that the only reason I would show up on their donor prospect list is all those donations to Bernie.

    1. TedWa

      That’s only tangible debts, they can never repay us for the laws that were bent to their will ever since the bailouts, for a continuous and possibly never ending bailout. I wish I could rob a bank for $100,000, get caught and only have to pay a $1,000 fine and never have to admit guilt. Sure would be fun…

      Thanks for that link dcblogger. It’s what I suspected but didn’t know there were 707! institutions bailed out.

      1. participant-observer-observed

        It’s even more then you consider university endowments blown in Gfc that are now costs put made up with student loan debts.

    2. perpetualWAR

      Just think how many TARP funds wouldda been needed had the Fed and Freddie/Fannie not purchased all the banks toxic mortgages.

      Boggles the mind. That was $40 mil every month indefinitely. Not certain if that is still going on or how much toxic crap was dumped.

      Whoopie! What a bargain AND they still get the house when they kick the deadbeats out.

      1. crittermom

        (Gone yesterday so jumping in late on some great watercooler discussions)
        Chase took my home while I was current on HAMP pymts on a $140,000 mtg.
        Freddie Mac paid Chase $50,000 more than I owed on my home (fees added on by Chase).
        Freddie Mac then sold my home IMMEDIATELY on the open market for only $65,000 (half of what I was actively paying).
        Freddie Mac obviously isn’t concerned about any profits on their end.
        They lost, I lost, & Chase won–big time.

  7. no one

    The issue with so-called trade agreements has gone way beyond the labour, health & environmental issues that Clinton claims will be be of concern to her. The issue with the TPP, TTIP, CETA and all the other corporate agreements floating around is sovereignty: our right to enact our own laws. If these agreements do not allow democratic governance and protect our right to govern ourselves, they could have the most enlightened rules in the world (they won’t of course, but that’s another issue) and it still would be corporate oligarchy. What is it about self-government that Clinton doesn’t get?

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      “protest events against the TTIP have become features of everyday life in Germany”
      I’m so glad the American public is also so committed and aware on this issue, after all America is the one foisting this monstrosity of corporo-fascism on the world. The huge, everyday protests in NYC, Chicago, Miami, LA, SF, and Seattle are a testament to just how much Americans care about themselves and the rest of the planet.
      /sarc off

    2. Freda Miller


      “The UN Human Rights Council’s Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Professor Alfred de Zayas, has called on the UN General Assembly to refer the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion.”

      De Zayas said, ‘The citizens of all TPPA countries should demand a revision of the TPPA’s investment chapter as well as the abolition of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) regime, as both are an affront to democracy, justice, national sovereignty and “the ontology of the State as the protector of the public interest’.”

      I think this is a great victory. Will the MSM cover this story? I am still amazed at how many people I talk to about the TPP have never heard of it.

      1. portia

        virtually no one I talk to has heard of it. The only person I heard was concerned was someone who spoke up a couple of years ago at a coffee meeting with Peter Welch in my town in VT. But then the people I know have “lives”. lol. I mean, kids, jobs, etc. And one whose father is in the State Leg. What the hell? It is one of the important issues in this election, and it bums me out no end.

        1. polecat

          All Right ! ……Lets hear it for even greater future non-news consolidation…..


  8. dcblogger

    lots of news items today about how Sanders’ proposal will add to the deficit. Clearly the memo went out.

    1. Anne

      You mean the deficit that only matters when looking to kill any chances for much-needed policies and programs? That deficit?

      From what I’ve seen, Clinton’s people are working the media hard, on a number of fronts, to make sure no one will give a crap when Sanders wins more primaries by decent margins. The best way being, of course, just not even mentioning his name or seeking his comments on anything.


      1. EGrise

        That’s what I cannot get past. The deficit hasn’t stopped us from giving free money to banks or bombing the hell out of people who never did us any harm, but universal health insurance? Break out the smelling salts!

        One of the few bright spots in an otherwise fairly grim election is the (increasing) number of people I read and speak to regularly who aren’t fooled by that sort of hypocritical crap any more.

      2. cwaltz

        You silly, deficits don’t count when it comes to starting wars and when it comes to providing tax breaks for billionaires. They do count when it comes to social programs like food stamps and social security, you know the programs that don’t necessarily benefit the 1%. Get with the program. (tongue firmly in cheek)

        The rules, conveniently enough are why we can’t have nice things.

        1. local to oakland

          This. TARP proved that with phone calls to Congress 99 percent against.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It may be late, but it’s still worth it, for Sanders, to bring in MMT to discuss his proposal and the deficit.

    3. curlydan

      yes, I saw that on Yahoo! Finance. An picture of angry Bernie and $18T added to the deficit. But Yahoo Finance has an anti-Bernie headline near daily-or maybe that’s their little daily FU to me. This one was just bigger and angrier looking.

      1. polecat

        but hey …Marissa is still smiling, so it’s all good…for a silicon ho, right?

    4. Buffalo Cyclist

      Given that the MSM and Pundit Class uniformly supported the costly Iraq War, the deficit hysteria is really quite rich.

      1. cwaltz

        Oh if only it had been limited to Iraq……..(see Libya, Ukraine,etc, etc)

        We’re apparently really into funding democracy everywhere but here. Here, we can have people waiting at polls for hours or inexplicably have people change parties or removed from the rolls to save money.

  9. Anne

    “The Clinton campaign is still trying to figure out exactly what Sanders wants in exchange for rallying his supporters to her side. In recent weeks, he’s suggested that Clinton can’t expect them to just fall in line, but he hasn’t enumerated exactly what he believes would draw them in. He hasn’t said which of his policy positions is most important for her to adopt or at least shift closer toward, or what other moves she could make that would satisfy him” [Bloomberg].

    Really? It’s that hard to figure out? Where’s Captain Obvious when you need him?

    I hate this game Clinton’s playing. Hate it, hate it, hate it. On so many levels, I don’t even know where to begin.

    I hate that she’s trying to make Sanders the fall guy for what we all know is coming: she doesn’t want to have to look interested in the policies that drew people to Sanders – she just wants their votes and their money. And if she doesn’t get their votes, no sweat: she can just make nice with Republicans. That’ll teach us to turn our backs on a Clinton, right?

    I hate that she’s not even going to stick by her “evolved” policies for longer than it takes to get the nomination, because, as we all know, “bringing the country together to get things done” means finding out what the GOP wants and giving it to them.

    I hate that she’s so clearly and unabashedly using the media to do her work for her. Bernie Sanders? Who’s he? No one, if you watch network news; he doesn’t exist anymore.

    At this point, if I’m Bernie Sanders, what I want Clinton to do is something anatomically impossible.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If Trump was ever filmed with, say, Snowden, it would be big news, no matter what or why they were there.

      It’s the same with Sanders and the Clinton people.

      You have to ask, why are they together, that, is talking or negotiating?

    2. Roger Smith

      The Clintons are absolute disgusting trash and how this whole election is going down is infuriating. She is a first rate clown who will claim success sticking it to the average citizen just like her husband did. These people have zero sense of compassion or morality. You might as well put a pair of socks in the oval office. It would be less damaging.

      1. nippersmom

        Wasn’t the Clintons’ cat named Socks? I’d much rather have the cat in office than any of the (allegedly) human members of that family.

      2. John Wright

        A commentator in the New York Times alleged Hillary Clinton is a “well-connected mediocrity” rather than the highly qualified presidential timber asserted by many of her supporters.

        I am somewhat surprised that in this identity driven election, some hay has not been made of how blacks were encouraged to support Clarence Thomas because he was black.

        Did that work out well for his black supporters?

        Didn’t George Bush the elder declare Clarence Thomas is “the best man for the job” a bit like the assertions that Clinton is greatly qualified for the job of President..

        Will HRC’s female Hilbots be slated for a similar degree of buyers remorse, that blacks should have for the Clarence Thomas appointment, as they watch HRC back away from her perfectly calculated campaign promises, cleave to the wealthy elite in trade and environmental policies and then send the Hilbot children to foreign wars?

    3. hyena

      “what I want Clinton to do is something anatomically impossible.”

      If a hyena can do it, Hillary can do it.


      I’m releasing all copywrite on that one. Trump can use it.

    4. jhallc

      “He hasn’t said which of his policy positions is most important for her to adopt or at least shift closer toward, or what other moves she could make that would satisfy him” [Bloomberg].

      Why in the world would Bernie prioritize his policy positions before the convention? That would just provide ammunition for Clinton/surrogates to hammer him with. Why don’t they ask Hillary for hers? Here’s my list.

      #1.) Maintain Wall Street/Corporate $$ conduit to campaign/Foundation flowing.
      #2.) Keep the MIC in business (see Middle East, Honduras, North Africa).
      Oh and.. can’t forget
      #3.) Women and Children

      1. portia

        Why do they need Bernie’s input is what I want to know, except to reinforce $hillary’s candidacy. All of a sudden, it’s what does Bernie want. As long as he is in a “support” position. ugh. They want him to appear to have lost the nomination at this point and have thrown his support to her, to demoralize his supporters, IMO.

        1. Yves Smith

          Agreed, This is part of creating yet more headlines that treat him as over.

          But Clinton may be afraid he opposes her, or does the equivalent by criticizing her on positions that fall short of what he has said she needs to do to get his support. They want to negotiate him down and then gag him. Na ga work, but the effort is pretty shameless and is another symptom of the bubble in which her campaign resides.

          1. portia

            good luck gagging him. you are right, they are in a bubble. I would be very surprised if he capitulated. he knows the game all too well.

        2. Veri1138

          By including Sanders positions in with the party platform in no unambiguous terms, Clinton would be trapped when she turns her back on the party platform.

          She needs a fall person. A person where she can say, “We tried this and his/her ideas did not work.”

          Republican obstructionism will be very important. She will always be able to point at Republicans and blame them for her non-existent or mediocre efforts on behalf of the “little people”. She would even sabotage Progressive efforts behind the scenes if she could.

          And that requires a fall guy or woman. After Republicans block any half-hearted measure by Hillary (including her own sabotage of Progressive efforts), she’ll be able to say, “See? I told you so.”

          You have to destroy people’s hopes & dreams in the most believable manner, possible.

          You have to discredit the leaders of the opposition. One way is to adopt the opponent’s agenda, sabotage it, and say it didn’t work.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            LOL “trapped” LOL
            LOL “turns her back” LOL
            The entire Democrat juggernaut has backed up the financial wheelbarrow to Wall St and Big Pharma and Big War so they can turn their backs on each and everyone else.
            “Debbie: “we don’t want our candidates having to trouble with any grass-roots activists” like, um, you mean the actual PEOPLE who live on the grass, who vote, and who you supposedly REPRESENT?
            Hilary will have ZERO problem telling Bernie and anyone else gullible enough to give credence to any syllable emanating from her mouth anything he wants to hear and IN THE VERY NEXT MEETING taking concrete action that is completely to the contrary.

            1. crittermom

              Agree with your comment on all points.
              Hellary is never “trapped”. She will at best make some lame comment like she did regarding Wall St, (“I told them to stop that”) when she goes back to her ol’ self & sides with the money, saying something like, “I tried my best”.
              I’d rather shoot myself in the foot than vote for her.

              Then again, that’s about the same thing, isn’t it?

  10. uahsenaa

    I can somewhat explain this:

    Hispanic – Spanish speaking, so would include Iberians as well as the peoples of Latin America (though sometimes does not include Spanish speaking Filipinos, oddly)

    Latino/a – Spanish speakers from Central/South America, former colonial subjects; friend of mine regularly refers to her Iberian colleagues, jokingly, as the conquistadores

    Chicano/a – originally synonymous with Mexican-American, though it has class overtones as well (working class/poor); more and more recently is used (re: Chicano Studies) as a term for people who maintain a kind of cross borders, Anglo-Latino identity

    1. Vatch

      Wouldn’t Latino/a also include Portuguese speakers from Latin America? Maybe even French speakers….

      1. uahsenaa

        Brazilians definitely, but outside that, you get into “depends who you ask” territory. I once met a whitey-white Argentinian with a German last name who insisted she was not Latina, despite having been born and raised in SA.

        I was trying to make a point about intra-Spanish-speaking populations, which are extremely diverse and quite often resent being lumped in with one another.

      1. portia

        even I have always been asked my lineage, and I am white. why, I don’t know. Polish-American, it seem to matter to some people.

    2. dk

      Good summary.

      At least in NM, Hispanics are not automatically immigrant/immigration-reform friendly. Many families lived on this land before it was part of the USA.

      Also, “Mexican” implies mixed Native American – Iberian heritage. Not PC of course but the sort of thing to keep in mind when one hears arguments over the terms by members of the groups.

  11. cnchal

    Vancouver’s housing crisis – right at the top

    Before proceeding, the issue of ‘racism’ should be addressed. This report puts a lot of the blame for the housing crisis on foreign buyers, and buyers from China in particular. It does so because this is where the evidence points, not because of some anti-Chinese animus. The problem is that the money is foreign, and that it is sufficient to seriously distort the housing market, not that it is Chinese money.

    No price is too high when paying with loot.

  12. JustAnObserver

    Memo to the DNC, MSM, etc.:

    Those who would make Sanders impossible make Trump inevitable.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The African Americans voters in the South were critical in making it impossible, so far.

      It would be presumption to say it’s the White Man’s burden to overcome that.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        “The” = “Some.”

        That goes for a lot of discussion on this election.

        Adding, a political machine delivered the votes. That’s what they are designed to do!

        1. JustAnObserver

          cf. Hillary lobbyists writing the Atlanta mayor’s anti-Sanders rant.

    1. Vatch

      Yes! Tomorrow, May 10, is the semi-closed West Virginia primary. To vote for Bernie Sanders, one must be registered as a Democrat or registered as unaffiliated.


      Does my political party matter in the primary election?

      As a voter, your political party makes a difference when you vote in the primary election because it determines which ballot you may receive. If you are registered with one of the four recognized political parties (Democratic, Libertarian, Mountain, or Republican), you may only vote that party’s ballot or the non-partisan ballot. If you are registered with any other party or with no party, you may ask the poll worker for one of the recognized party’s ballots, or they will give you the non-partisan ballot.

  13. Bethany

    It’s sad that it had to be Trump to make the MMT quote. Now everybody thinks it’s a nutty statement. The responses to the tweet are uniformly “Trump sure is crazy to say that! Hasn’t he heard of hyperinflation??”, showing that most are ignorant of how economy works.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sanders even has prof. Kelton on his team, but under utilized, it seems.

      1. RMO

        I can’t read Krugman’s articles anymore but I wonder how (or if) he’ll deal with this. He’s been saying for years essentially the same thing with regards to debt and deficits not being a real restraint on spending for governments that issue their own sovereign currency.

    2. JohnnyGL

      No such thing as “bad publicity” for MMT, since that’s better than NO publicity.

    3. John k

      If sanders started it he would be branded as a dangerous nut. Trump is perfect to start the conversation, maybe time for Bernie to add to the chorus…
      Trump and sanders economic positions pretty close, not good for Hillary if this point becomes known.

      1. MED

        read a lot about MMT from here with Sanders. Not much about Trumps; something like a two tier system one for exports and the other for state only. Then I read something that dollars don’t leave the states even internationally all wire transfers from one US bank to another US bank. So if Apple has million of dollars over seas, they really have few “Pesos” or “Yaun” which they what millions of dollars.

  14. ira

    Re: Hispanic

    ‘Latino is the preferred nomenclature.’ Having lived in Spanish speaking countries (Perú and, now, Spain) for the last 17 years, I can say that I’ve never heard the term ‘hispano’, except as part of ‘hispanohablante’ (ie one who speaks Spanish), and even then it’s not frequently used.

    Certainly, I never heard the term ‘hispano’ in Latin America at all. The people (in addition to specific nationalities, ie ‘Peruano’, ‘Colombiano’, ‘Argentino’) are ‘Latinos’, the name of a radio station for example (in Perú) is ‘Frecuencia Latina’, and the continent they live in is ‘America Latina.’ In Latin America, ‘America Latina’ is much more frequent than ‘Sudamérica’ (South America).

    In Latin America, ‘America’ is not the U.S.A. but all of the Americas, and it is used that way. In Spain, on the other hand, ‘America’ is the U.S.A, and ‘Americans’ are ‘americanos or ‘yanquis’.

    Finally, ‘spanish’ (the language) is ‘español’, especially in Latin America; in Spain it is ‘castellano’ (ie ‘castillian’), and with good reason — in Spain there are four official languages (in addition to other ‘unofficial’ ones): castillian (what we know as ‘spanish’), basque, catalan, and galician.

  15. Nick

    Re the polls on the Cali primary:

    Based on the fact that all of the polls are exclusively based on likely voters and many of the people that Bernie draws are precisely unlikely voters, I actually think that I’m going to try find an online gambling site where I can bet on this and place the first wager of my life on Sanders winning California.

  16. VT

    Re: Vancouver

    These discussions in the MSM are nothing short of surreal. A market that’s at minimum 200% overvalued described with a straight face as a long-term problem and not as an implosion waiting to happen.

    It’s somehow just a given that the laws of supply and demand will remain forever in abeyance. These people can’t possibly believe the drivel they’re writing.

    1. craazyboy

      Canadians better hope it’s all Chinese full cash purchases and not Canadian banks making million or two c_dollar loans for Vancouver log cabins.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        c_dollar, that’s new to me. I hear: CAD, loonies, nuck bucks, funny money and pesos del norte. Whatever you call them, they’re not worth much right now. The Vancouver RE market has been a hot mess since the seventies, and it’s gotten a lot hotter and messier since then. The end of the Hong Kong lease sent a tidal wave of hot money and refugees to the area.

    2. Synoia

      My mother in law bought an old 2 level 1600 sq ft house in about 2005, and just sold the east van house for 1.1 million.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “Only a sustained grassroots movement on the left can combat the militant complacency of the liberal elite and usher in a new progressive era.”

      It’s not clear to me why the Democrat Party would pay for somebody to deliver that message. Please explain.

        1. EGrise

          The hat in question:

          The Democratic party has already released a brand new hat with a brand new slogan for 2016, and it perfectly captures this self-satisfied complacency: “America Is Already Great.”

          More evidence that the Dem elite’s preferred strategy is being against someone rather than for something.

          ETA: And how f***ing tone-deaf is “America Is Already Great” anyway? Reminds me of one of Mitt Romney’s “zingers.”

  17. allan

    Chance of “transportation Armageddon”? 25 percent says study [AP]

    A new study says there’s a 25 percent chance the 106-year-old rail tunnel into New York City will have to close for repairs before a new one is built.

    That would cut rail traffic into and out of the nation’s largest city by 75 percent at peak times and could lead to … a “transportation Armageddon.” …

    The existing Hudson River tunnel was damaged during 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. Amtrak officials have said its two tubes eventually will have to be closed to repair damage.

    It’s really too bad that the sky high interest rates of the last 7 years have prevented spending on critical infrastructure.

    1. Yves Smith

      Oh this could be hugely interesting. Wrecks Wall Street, makes housing cheaper…..for like a decade, so you’d have to have confidence to take advantage of them….

  18. Paul Tioxon

    Hispanic is a term invented by the Republican National Committee, under Richard Nixon to create a comparable republican “Negro voting bloc” as dependable for them as African-Americans are for dems. This is why on official government forms and established into law, seemingly over night, an entire grouping of people from various backgrounds, nations, classes etc, were labeled with the term “Hispanic” as if Puerto Ricans, natural born US citizens and Mexicans had anything in common other than Spanish as a language and the Roman Catholic Church.

    The laws against discrimination in housing, jobs, lending, voting etc, which African-Americans had to fight for tooth and nail for over a century after the Civil War were unceremoniously granted wholesale to an entire group, the Hispanics. It was hoped that this similar gift from the republicans to the “Hispanics” would result in voter loyalty in the same high percentages and unshakable taken for granted status as African-Americans by democrats.This condescending and repugnant perspective by republicans, that they would too have a bought and paid for constituency in their pocket to pull out during elections to even the odds that African-Americans gave to the dems. Tax forms, employment forms, loan applications, anything that had to do with identifying yourself as an identifiable member of this group with the possibility of a grievance, know that the gift of identity politics was granted by your good friends in the republican party that had your back against those pesky Black Power types that kept screaming for all of the government goodies.

    Of course, you had to actually do something for the group you were hoisting as a new ethnic type, and not just for the Cubans who were annually promised, “Next Christmas, in Havana.” Of course, a democrat is actually making good on that promise, this Christmas, in Havana, courtesy of Obama. Looks like it just has not worked out as well for the republicans to get some low ethnic group on the totem pole. Certainly not the illegal aliens with their anchor babies, the bankrupted Puerto Rico with its population fleeing in numbers reserved for Middle East war victims, and all of the rest, Brazilians, Central Americans, Columbians all lumped to together like mystery deli meat into one happy family of Hispanics. And then repeatedly demonized and insulted and harassed by ICE, well, they are hardly going to vote for republicans in any great numbers. Who knows, there may some fresh, new idea out there waiting to be hatched by the republican think tanks, the home of original thinking for market based economies world wide!

      1. Paul Tioxon


        “The term Hispanic was adopted by the Census Bureau on their forms in 1970 and it was used for the first time in the 70s by Government agencies seeking to classify people of Spanish origin. Not all who speak Spanish are content with the Hispanic classification, especially those in the Caribbean and Central and South America. As you know, Brazilians, who do not speak Spanish, are Latinos, but Portuguese who share the Iberian Peninsula with Spain may not want to be called “Latino” or “Hispanic.” And the U.S. Department of Labor also allows people to self-designate as a Hispanic, if they are Portuguese, and it cannot be contested.”

  19. timbers

    It’s sad that Republicans, Sarah Palin, and Trump can skewer Paul Ryan and his Republican orthodoxy better than Obama & Hillary & Co, Inc.

    But that they do….and showing of his tat is a nice touch that will gobs of votes.

  20. Jim Haygood

    Brazil’s impeachment hairball:

    Complicating matters, the leader of Brazil’s senate said late Monday that it would reject the lower house’s move to annul the vote, and that the senate would hold its impeachment vote later in the week, as scheduled. It’s unclear how this will ultimately impact the impeachment process.


    Issue maces and motorcycle chains to members of both houses, and let the survivors prevail.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Your choice is between Rousseff and a couple of criminials. Choose wisely! :)

    2. pdehaan

      This is the first time I’ve really been confused by the situation. I mean, the annulment came totally out of the blue. I don’t believe for a moment it’ll stick, but this is yet another odd curveball in the craziest saga I’ve ever witnessed up close.

  21. Praedor

    “Poll: 6-in-10 oppose bills like the North Carolina transgender bathroom law”

    I doubt that number holds up in North Carolina or the other deep deep red bible crotch of the country.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      I agree. if Sanders were no longer a real concern for Hill and the DNC they wouldn’t keep going after him, they just ignore him instead. My suspicion: they want Sanders gone most of all in case an indictment or the like happens. If Sanders is still in the race if and when that other shoe drops, it will be hard to keep him from the nomination and worse still, he could win.

      1. JustAnObserver

        The fact that now Trump is the Rep nominee (do I have to say presumptive anymore ?) actually IMHO makes the whole private server thing much more dangerous for Ms. Clinton. Imagine the fun the Donald would have playing the DC insider corruption card, all the way up to the Pres.

        There isn’t a Rep alive – pro or anti Donald – who wouldn’t be cheering themselves hoarse from the sidelines. The perfect thing to unite the Repugs. And, in amongst that cheering throng, would be the many many Dems of the not-Hillary-ever,no more bloody Clintons, persuasion.

        1. John k

          Lots of reps don’t really like trump, but they hate hill. They will vote.
          Lots of dems don’t like hill, these are young unes… Many will stay home, and some of those that do vote will pick trump.
          Hill gets the warmonger bankers to go with her neoliberal elite seniors… Luckily there’s not that many (I hope).

  22. Praedor

    “People’s Revolution, a group founded by former Occupy organizers, is hosting a People’s Convention in Philadelphia two days before the Democratic National Convention in July. ”

    We can write this one off, no question. It will be a mushy mess like Occupy (“NO LEADERS!” and its “platform” will contain EVERYTHING and so contain nothing -“Equal rights for foot fetishists! Equal rights for the tri-gendered! Only veganism! No rules!”). It will also use that obnoxious “people’s microphone”. Waste of time unless you are into drum circles, patchouli, Zeta Reticulans and naive idiots.

    1. jrs

      Well the no leaders thing is maybe because leaders get identified, get at best co-opted, at worst killed. There was an plot to kill local Occupy leaders as it was. Even though there is something darkly humorous about trying to kill the leaders of a leaderless movement. But the plot itself is no joke, it existed even though all we ever got was a heavily retracted document about it. So you want leaders … hmm … I question the wisdom of that strategy.

      1. Milton

        I’m not questioning your response but I ask that you cite your source for such a serious accusation as a plot to kill Occupy’s leadership.

  23. ScottS

    Makes you think that maybe all the globalist squillionaires who bought Miami real estate weren’t so stupid after all, doesn’t it?

    Funny, I had almost exactly this thought this morning. If the ocean levels rise, the ocean front-dwelling rich will still own the land and get some compensation from the government, and will probably build floating homes a la Union Lake.

  24. rcthweatt

    Never been to sea, have you? Thought not. Sending a crew out on RRS BoatyMcBoatface is like naming your brat Mortimer Snerd and sending him to elementary school. … the abuse, the humiliation, oh, the humanity.
    Of course, it’s already too late ..”Attenborough? Don’t you mean…?”

  25. allan

    Uber drivers, if employees, owed $730 million more: U.S. court papers [Reuters]

    Drivers who worked for ride-hailing service Uber [UBER.UL] in California and Massachusetts over the past seven years would have been entitled to an estimated $730 million in expense reimbursements had they been employees rather than contractors, according to court documents made public on Monday.

    The figure was calculated by attorneys for drivers in a class action against the company, based on a standard rate for mileage reimbursement set by the U.S. government, and on data provided by Uber. Uber disputes the idea that drivers would ever be entitled to that reimbursement rate. …

    That’s just CA and MA, mind you.

    But who are you going to believe, pragmatic progressive David Plouffe or your lying eyes?

  26. John k

    Dem elites and ‘professionals’ are no different from rep elites/pros, except they pay lip service to minorities. Elites of both parties should merge into a (corporate) representative (Corp-rep?) party, then everybody else can be in a little peoples’ party (LPP)

  27. allan

    Theater shooting victims can’t cite federal security memo [AP]

    Victims of a deadly shooting at a Colorado movie theater can’t show jurors a federal security memo, dated months before the attack, warning theaters that they could be targeted by international terrorists, a judge ruled Monday.

    That dealt a blow to the case against Cinemark, which victims argue should be held accountable for not doing more to prevent James Holmes’ 2012 rampage. The victims argued Cinemark never shared the U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo with theater managers, failing to put them on notice to bolster security. …

    In the civil case, plaintiff’s attorneys twice scheduled depositions of Holmes, hoping to interview him about his plans for the shooting and why he targeted the theater. But the depositions were canceled because Holmes was transferred to different prisons, first to another location within Colorado and then to an out-of-state prison that officials have repeatedly refused to reveal.

    The shining city on a hill.

    1. dk

      Wow. Thanks for posting.

      It’s a power imbalance when information sharing isn’t a two way street. On the one hand, a general public is expected to accept penetration of encryption we might use to safeguard valuable and completely legitimate information, on the premise that investigative law enforcement agencies may need to know in order to provide promised protections against violence; on the other hand, these same agencies eschew transparency for their own activities, to the extent of invoking secrecy without a non-secret reason given. In this case, one wonders whether other interests can hide behind that shroud. It would be costly if businesses which provided venues (of any kind) might be liable for failing to act on warnings.. from the investigative agencies claiming to provide exactly such warnings.

      Such businesses might protest if too many uneventual warnings are issued (leaving aside the substance and quality of the warnings), and it’s costing them to react (or exposing them to liability if they don’t).

      Of course, this situation is not a clear demonstration of anyting beyond an interplay of factors (absent, well, information!), but one could wonder why the investigative/law enforcement agencies wouldn’t want to make the effort to be helpful to members of the public they claim, and swear, to protect.

      The privacy exposure risks of individuals seems to be getting less weight.. even though there are more individuals than there are businesses. Of course, a little disclosure could embarass me for even thinking such a thing.

  28. meeps

    Thanks for posting: Vancouver’s Housing Affordability Crisis

    “All of these studies predict higher housing prices as a function of limited developable
    land; however the economic models underlying them also predict higher than average wages in these cities relative to other cities. This is because workers will have to be compensated for higher housing costs if they are not to move away, and because businesses will have to become
    more productive in order to stay alive/profitable in the national market. Yet, as we have seen, Vancouver does not have such high incomes. This means that one of the only ways higher prices could be seen on a continuous, long-term basis is through the importation of ‘demand’ from elsewhere.
    What this amounts to is an ‘un-coupling’ of housing prices from incomes, precisely what we have seen in Vancouver,…”

    And, “The trouble is, absent a price correction, it’s basically impossible to get back to affordability:
    unless incomes jump substantially, which is always easier said than done,…”

    The truth hurts, but there it is. I sincerely hope people in metropolitan areas [not just Vancouver] move swiftly to fix this, or the ‘pain’ of an underwater mortgage will feel like sweet release compared to what’s coming.

    1. meeps

      “The middle class has been hollowed out. With nowhere else to go, the city’s citizenry has pushed inland, filling up acreage in the east and to the south. Residents in need of space—elderly boomers, immigrants, young families—have settled in formerly pastoral areas…”

      Some people would prefer this option [I’m one of them] as long as opportunity moves along with the population. People shouldn’t be expected to commute back to service the cities that pushed them out. It’s not financially or environmentally sane. Investment in the outlying areas is desperately needed.

    2. Lumpenproletariat

      I really wish otherwise legitimate publications like the Walrus spent less time sourcing opinions from compromised sources like realtors and FIRE industry types.

      People may be priced out right now, but the inevitable and impending bust will be much worse. You could argue that the all-cash foreigners will be fine, but they’re still not representative of the average buyer. And it’s occurred before. Communism-averse HK residents were blamed for blowing up Vancouver housing prices in the late 80s/mid 90s. Then prices crashed.

      When you watch/hear Vancouver (or Toronto, etc.) media, you are inundated with ads for home equity loans , overpriced low down payment “affordable” new developments, bankruptcy trustees, and subprime car loans. These ads certainly are not targeting ultra wealthy all-cash buyers. Really doesn’t bode well for those projections of infinite housing price increases.

  29. TedWa

    I take heart in knowing that Bernie Sanders said that although these primary elections are closed for the most part to independents, that the general election has no such voting restrictions. It wouldn’t matter at all if they switch parties on you when you’re not looking or the other heinous deeds they’ve been up to – to control results.

    Take it all the way Bernie !!

  30. Cry Shop


    The fundamental flaw in Obama’s argument is concerned citizens are not politicians. Concerned citizens, including graduating university students, should not worry themselves with compromise, as if they are elected leaders.

    “Once you’ve highlighted an issue and brought it to people’s attention and shined a spotlight, and elected officials or people who are in a position to start bringing about change are ready to sit down with you, then you can’t just keep on yelling at them,” Obama suggested.

    ie: Shut up and sit down after Daddy has decided.

    1. Kokuanani

      Boy, he’s REALLY got a thin skin, doesn’t he? That “yelling” really bothers him.

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