As Clinton Looks Vulnerable, Event Risk Favors Trump (and Sanders)

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When Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, you could almost hear the glee from Camp Clinton. Lambert called the tweets from her supporters “giddy”. The pundits saw Advantage Clinton in her presumed lock on women, blacks, Hispanics, as well as the divide of red versus blue states working in her favor.

Yet the body language sent a different message. Clinton operatives quickly placed calls to big traditional funders known or suspected not to be keen about Trump, timing that looked a tad desperate. And a Clinton-aligned Super-PAC announced a $91 million advertising campaign against Trump, starting now and running through the election. Again, the sense of urgency seemed odd, since swing voters typically don’t tune into elections till after Labor day, and make up their minds in the final weeks.

Today, the tenor of media coverage has shifted. Despite the Clinton campaign having officially bypassed West Virginia, the magnitude of Sanders win is a reminder that Clinton will be forced to keep fighting through the California primary, putting her in the difficult position of having to message to the left so as to be able to win his voters, when she’d really rather be campaigning to the center-right to attract Establishment money and “moderate Republicans.” And given her history of policy flip-flops, opportunistic shifts of position between the primary and general election campaigns will play into the “Crooked Clinton” Trump messaging and the suspicion and anger and distrust among many Sanders voters about dismissive treatment and straw-manning by the Clinton-boosting media and election dirty tricks.

On top of that, a new Quinnipiac poll showed Trump in a “dead heat” with Clinton in three swing states, Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. A New York Times article a mere six days ago, The Electoral Map Looks Challenging for Trump, that all pegged as being in the Democratic ledger. Even a five point polling improvement by Trump showed Florida and Ohio going over to Trump, but not Pennsylvania. The Times five point gain also showed North Carolina going for Trump. North Carolina was not included in the Quinnipaic poll. But if Trump can win it along with the three states that Quinnipiac listed yesterday as in play, he has an electoral college majority.

The pundits have been too eager to dismiss Trump because he’s transgressive, undisciplined, uses a low-educational-level patter, and is just plain gauche. But the elites and even the top 20% have become so remote from the rest of the country as a result of rising inequality and media fragmentation that people outside of the Acela corridor and the tony enclaves of major cities might as well be from a foreign country. And having done lots of consulting work overseas, the classic mistake of Americans is to reject information that people who aren’t like them have different tastes and act on them. Worse, they tend to assume that The Other will of course come around to liking what they like once they’ve really experienced it (recall how often Campaign Clinton has gone on the barmy assumption that Clinton just needed to be “reintroduced,” when she is already one of the best-known figures in America?).

I confess to having underestimated Trump. I was sure the Republicans would take him out before he got very far. But I had no idea how unappetizing a candidate Jeb Bush was, nor that the party had no credible alternative once his campaign collapsed. Even so, I had also mistakenly assumed (again following conventional wisdom) that Trump would top out at 30% to 35% of the Republican vote. I now know better.

But even with Trump now having established that he’s a real threat, orthodox commentators seem unwilling or unable to see him or his followers clearly. They stereotype them as white male yahoos, when the vote totals alone say his support has to extend beyond rural America. There’s also a tendency to stereotype his base as lower income (as in losers buying into Trump as an aspirational candidate), when surveys are mixed and some suggest that they might be better off than Clinton or Sanders voters. From FiveThirtyEight:

The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data. That’s lower than the $91,000 median for Kasich voters. But it’s well above the national median household income of about $56,000. It’s also higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, which is around $61,000 for both.

For Sanders backers, the fact that the media consistently downplays that Sanders has always outpolled Clinton against Trump, often by large margins, is maddening. And it’s made worse by the fact that Clinton’s unfavorable ratings keep rising with more exposure. The Quinnipiac poll found that Clinton’s net unfavorable ratings are now on a par with Trunp’s.

Moreover, Clinton is more exposed to event risk, as in developments that one can foresee as having reasonable odds of taking place and will dent her campaign:

Continued weakening of the economy. Despite all the cheerleading, first quarter GDP numbers were vastly weaker than expected in January, and the latest job figures were far enough below expectations as to put the Fed’s rate increase plan in question. The latest reading from Saudi Arabia is even more of a hawk on keeping oil prices low to (among other things) discipline US frackers. That means another leg down of oil prices is likely, and with that comes more losses of high-paying jobs, more bankruptcies, and more energy loan/junk bond distress. Clinton has firmly tethered her record to Obama’s, so she will be tarred if it decays going into the election.

Market turmoil. Most observers seem to forget that Sanders’ big rise in the polls occurred in the first two months of the year, when global markets and Wall Street nosedived. Clinton is strongly identified with Wall Street, and it going wobbly reminds voters that financiers wrecked the economy for fun and profit and no one was punished. Worse, the lack of real reform means they can do it all over again.

E-mail hairball. Hillary has the FBI investigation as well as private suits in play. The State Department having a “dog ate the files” moment with its former employee, Brian Pagaliano, who also set up her home server, may have a second shoe drop. Even though Clinton cheerily says that she is looking forward to putting this behind, her, the stonewalling with the Judicial Watch suits means the e-mail scandal will still be in the news well into the summer, and potentially into the fall.

Health. Hillary has had at least a mini-stoke and has been having fainting spells since at least 2009, when she broke an elbow. She also appears to have gained a lot of weight and one wonders if that is the result of stress or difficulty managing her medication.

Mind you, Trump has his own set of event risks:

Trump. Trump is his own biggest risk. So far, his gambler’s sense of what he can get away with has paid off, like attacking George Bush over 9/11, a criticism the Republican orthodoxy was convinced would sink him. But he’s also made gaffes that cost him in a serious way and had little upside, like his too-obvious menstrual cycle cheap shot at Megan Kelly and his failure to disavow white supremacist David Duke.

Trump University. The trial is set for the summer and Trump will testify. It’s not going to reflect well on him, and it remains to be seen what if anything Trump can do in testimony or otherwise to limit the damage. But while the Clinton team will be sure to make use of this regardless, it’s likely to get less extended media play than Clinton’s e-mail transgressions.

So even though Americans are on course to be saddled with a lose/lose election, at least it will be an entertaining ride up through the denouement. Stay tuned.

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  1. Pavel

    Stumbled on this via Hacker News and it might be of interest… first two ‘grafs as follows.

    Evonomics: Trump-Sanders Phenomenon Signals an Oligarchy on the Brink of a Civilization-Threatening Collapse:

    The media has made a cottage industry out of analyzing the relationship between America’s crumbling infrastructure, outsourced jobs, stagnant wages, and evaporating middle class and the rise of anti-establishment presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Commentators are also tripping all over one another to expound daily on the ineffectual response of America’s political elite – characterized by either bewilderment or a dismissal of these anti-establishment candidates as minor hiccups in the otherwise smooth sailing of status-quo power arrangements. But the pundits are all missing the point: the Trump-Sanders phenomenon signals an American oligarchy on the brink of a civilization-threatening collapse.

    The tragedy is that, despite what you hear on TV or read in the paper or online, this collapse was completely predictable. Scientifically speaking, oligarchies always collapse because they are designed to extract wealth from the lower levels of society, concentrate it at the top, and block adaptation by concentrating oligarchic power as well. Though it may take some time, extraction eventually eviscerates the productive levels of society, and the system becomes increasingly brittle. Internal pressures and the sense of betrayal grow as desperation and despair multiply everywhere except at the top, but effective reform seems impossible because the system seems thoroughly rigged. In the final stages, a raft of upstart leaders emerge, some honest and some fascistic, all seeking to channel pent-up frustration towards their chosen ends. If we are lucky, the public will mobilize behind honest leaders and effective reforms. If we are unlucky, either the establishment will continue to “respond ineffectively” until our economy collapses, or a fascist will take over and create conditions too horrific to contemplate.

    (My emphasis.)

    The author goes on to cite the “Signs of Falling Times”… sound familiar?

    Rigged systems erode the health of the larger society, and signs of crisis proliferate. Developed by British archaeologist Sir Colin Renfrew in 1979[2], the following “Signs of Failing Times” have played out across time in 26 distinct societies ranging from the collapse of the Roman Empire to the collapse of the Soviet Union:
    1. Elite power and well-being increase and is manifested in displays of wealth;
    2. Elites become heavily focused on maintaining a monopoly on power inside the society; Laws become more advantageous to elites, and penalties for the larger public become more Draconian;
    3. The middle class evaporates;
    4. The “misery index” mushrooms, witnessed by increasing rates of homicide, suicide, illness, homelessness, and drug/alcohol abuse;
    5. Ecological disasters increase as short-term focus pushes ravenous exploitation of resources;
    6. There’s a resurgence of conservatism and fundamentalist religion as once golden theories are brought back to counter decay, but these are usually in a corrupted form that accelerates decline.

    Interesting piece, well worth the full read. I confess I’d never visited the site before; they describe themselves as follows:

    We’re a collaborative enterprise of pioneering people and organizations on a mission.

    A revolution in economics and business is taking place. Orthodox economics is quickly being replaced by the latest science of human behavior and how social systems work. Evonomics is the home for thinkers who are applying the ground-breaking science to their lives and who want to see their ideas influence society.


    Our goal is to communicate a new economic paradigm—a synthesis of behavioral, complexity, ecological and evolutionary science—to a general audience and influential individuals and organizations.

    1. Skippy

      John B. Fullerton is the founder and president of Capital Institute,[1] “a collaborative working to explore and effect economic transition to a more just, regenerative, and thus sustainable way of living on this earth through the transformation of finance.” Through the work of Capital Institute, regular public speaking engagements, and university lectures, John has become a recognized thought leader in the New Economy space generally, and the financial system transformation challenge in particular. John is the author of Regenerative Capitalism: How Universal Principles And Patterns Will Shape Our New Economy[2].

      John is also a recognized “impact investment” practitioner as the principal of Level 3 Capital Advisors.[3] Level 3’s direct investments are primarily focused on sustainable, regenerative land use, food, and water issues. Through both Capital Institute and Level 3, John brings a unique theory and practice approach to financial system transformation.

      Previously, John was a managing director of JPMorgan where he worked for over 18 years. At JPMorgan, John managed various capital markets and derivatives business around the globe, then shifted focus to private investments and was subsequently the chief investment officer of LabMorgan through the merger with Chase Manhattan before retiring from the bank in 2001.

      Following JPMorgan, and after experiencing 9-11 first hand, John spent years embarked on more entrepreneurial ventures as an impact investor while engaging in deep study of our multiple interconnected systemic crises that led to the founding of Capital Institute, officially launched in 2010.

      John was a member of the Long Term Capital Oversight Committee[4] that managed the $3.6 Billion rescue of the distressed hedge fund in 1998. He is a co-founder and director of holistic ranch management company Grasslands, LLC,[5] a director of New Day Farms, Savory Institute, and the New Economy Coalition,[6] a trustee of the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, and an advisor to Armonia, LLC,[7] the UNEP Finance Inquiry, and Richard Branson’s Business Leader’s initiative (“B Team”).[8] In spring 2014, John was nominated and became a member of Club of Rome.

      John writes the “Future of Finance” blog,[9] which is widely syndicated on platforms such as The Guardian,[10] The Huffington Post,[11] CSRWire,[12] the New York Society of Security Analysts’ blog,[13] and other publications. He has appeared on PBS Frontline,[14] and been featured in pieces by the New York Times,[15] Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal,[16] Barrons,[17] WOR radio, Real News Network, INET, Think Progress, The Laura Flanders Show on GRITtv,[18] and The Free Forum Show with Terrence NcNally.

      John received a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

      Disheveled Marsupial…. file under evangelical philanthropy in the vein of B. Gates and Buffet et al…. oops… a la Andrew Carnegie’s essay “The Gospel of Wealth”

        1. Skippy

          I thought –

          “a collaborative working to explore and effect economic transition to a more just, regenerative, and thus sustainable way of living on this earth through the transformation of finance.”

          – pretty much summed it up…. homo economicus seeks new venture…

          Disheveled Marsupial…. they’ll probably call it an – enlightenment period – cough same stuff under a new guise thingy….

    2. Schofield

      The trick is to recognize that an oligarchy is like an aggressive sociopathic virus that makes use of co-operation but doesn’t want to be bound by it to others as a fundamental life disposition.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Speaking of stumbling, I looked up “ACELA” to try to find some context. The Free Dictionary article is a treasure trove of bits that display almost every part (even a simulacrum of the way the Pentagram “funds” things, cost plus whatever) of the dysfunction that is whatever one might want to call “the system” us mopes live under — All that money for quicker rides for the Fokking Elite, sort of quicker except for the mandatory speed reductions in many areas:

      Despite billions of dollars in investment, Acela Express’s fastest schedule between New York and Washington, D.C. was 2 hours and 45 minutes in 2012. $450 million was allotted by President Barack Obama’s administration to replace catenary and upgrade signals[30] between Trenton and New Brunswick, which will allow speeds of 160 mph (257 km/h) for twenty miles sometime after 2016; 170 mph (270 km/h) was reached on this track on December 20, 1967 by the U.S.-built UAC TurboTrain[31]

      A focus on top speeds may be misplaced since the Acela speeds have most greatly been affected by restrictions in slower sections, i.e., below 60–80 mph (100–130 km/h). These stretches are frequently over older bridges, which require reduced speeds.

      But wait! There’s more! on Branding! and a little further down, this gem:

      The Acela trainset is a unique train designed specifically to satisfy specific U.S. governmental rolling stock requirements. This includes a requirement to be able to collide with a freight train at speed without collapsing, which necessitates that the passenger cars be built with massive amounts of extra steel and weight.[42] These requirements are significantly different from anywhere else in the world, including countries that have a highly functional high speed rail network that use modern signalling and computer controls to emphasize crash prevention. Most manufacturers who bid on the Acela were unable to meet these requirements, bringing up cost and complication for the manufacture of the trains, and requiring manufacturers to make significant engineering changes to its standard designs. In the end, only three qualified bidders remained: ABB (Swedish manufacturer of the X 2000 train), Siemens (manufacturer of the German ICE), and a consortium of Bombardier (manufacturer of the LRC trains) and Alstom (manufacturer of the French TGV).[43] These specifications are not a result of specific Northeast Corridor track conditions. (except that the likelihood of freight-to-Acela collisions might have something to do with the actual signaling systems and “track conditions…”)

      Bleed, bleed, bleed us dry, as long as you are flying high… So can I feel a little schadenfreude if an Acela smashes up? I guess it depends who’s on board… but the Really Important Predators have their private jets and high-speed helicopters to, as Sir Topham Hat’s rail lines on the Island of Sodor, powered by loyal if occasionally foolish and non-compliant Thomas the Little Blue Engine and his hermanos, “take the people where they want to go…”)

    4. Synoia


      If we are unlucky, either the establishment will continue to “respond ineffectively” until our economy collapses, or a fascist will take over and create conditions too horrific to contemplate.


      If we are unlucky, either the establishment will continue to “respond ineffectively” until our economy collapses, or a Totalitarian will take over and create conditions too horrific to contemplate.

      There is little difference for the average person if the Totalitarian is of Fascist or Communist persuasion. Dissent is an offense against the state, the secret police are the secret police, jail is jail, and execution leaves one dead.

      1. jrs

        The chances of a Communist taking over the U.S. are less than the chances of me winning the lottery tomorrow, really non-existent. F-ism is possible, ok populist f-ism of a Trump (or much more extreme) style is possible, the American state of course is quasi f-ist as is.

      2. Alan Bickley

        A variety of fascism is far more likely than communism. Imposition of the latter has always required schooling, study groups, analyses of history, etc. Ordinary people acting on their gut instincts are easily drawn to the strongman Social media with everyone angrily denouncing the intelligence and character of everyone else is the Petri dish in which fascism thrives.

    5. Nathanael

      Something a lot of people don’t seem to understand: fascists aren’t so bad compared to extractive aristocrats, which is what we’re suffering from now. Italy under Mussolini was considered pretty decent until they got into World War II. Pinochet and Franco and Peron all randomly murdered lots of innocent people with their thug squads, but they still have supporters because the garbage got collected, the electricity worked…. you get the idea. (Hitler was not a typical fascist, and Tojo wasn’t a fascist at *all* — the Japanese imperial military *were* extractive aristocrats.)

      The *better* alternative to extractive aristocrats is socialism. If the aristocrats prevent socialism from happening, people will, in desperation, turn to fascism, because fascism is *objectively preferable* to the extractive aristocrats. Fasicism calls for massive jobs programs and construction of infrastructure.

  2. Larry

    Without the party rules like Superdelegates in place, without closed primaries, without states with voter registration rules that make it difficult for the casual or new voter to get registered to vote in a primary one wonders if Clinton would even be the nominee. I would say the party rules have done their piece in this election cycle of keeping party control out of the hands of the unwashed masses. And if not for disfunction on the Republican side, it seems highly unlikely that a candidate as despised as Clinton would even stand a chance at the election.

    1. bowserhead

      >nd if not for disfunction on the Republican side, it seems highly unlikely that a candidate as despised as Clinton would even stand a chance at the election.<

      She does not stand a chance. The Trump voters + "Die-Hard" Bernie-ites (i.e will not for Clinton) constitute a majority of the electorate. Think about that. It completely dilutes the Democratic vote in the swing states.
      She is toast due to the number of hard-core Bernie voters who will vote for "someone else"

      1. Larry

        You could absolutely be right on that account. They’re both so unlikable that it will come down to who has the lesser amount of gaffs throughout the campaign. This post features Trump’s testimony in Trump U as potentially very embarrassing campaign problem. While Clinton’s email issue is problematic, I simply cannot see senior DoJ officials bringing a justifiable hammer down on Clinton for this. Rather, I imagine Clinton is negotiating power to the officials who hold her fate in their hands.

        I still see Trump as running out of fumes with regards to policy and electability. Trump has to motivate a great deal of people who have sat on the sidelines in the last few elections while Hillary can court traditional dems, wannabe liberals, and more mainstream Republicans.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Did you make the same observation last June?

          Who are “mainstream” Republicans? Robber Baron Mittens? Paul Ryan of the Paul Ryan budget? Bobby Jindal? He hates Trump. Senator Graham? The msm likes him, bit the msm is despised.

          Hillary’s problem isn’t a scandal, but her horrible record. Iraq, Wall Street, willingness to throw any group under the bus.

        2. nippersdad

          One has to wonder if the Trump U problem has legs, though. Trump’s playing the system for his own gain is one of the things his voters like about him. This is one of the things that makes his base distinct from Sanders’, it does not appear to be a moral issue for them. They are thrilled when he says that he knows the establishment is corrupt because he has bought them all; same with the bankruptcies.

          This is the diehard Lotto crowd, and they are putting in their dollar just for the entertainment value of seeing Trump embarrass those they hate. Policy seems to be the least of their concerns at this point.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Her real problem is Democrats are terrible voters. They need to have their handheld and don’t grasp every vote matters. Plenty of people won vote because everyone they know is voting for the Democrat, so it’s in the bag. David Brock won’t drive anyone to the polls or do the hours of work needed to make sure people in high rent areas are actually registered.

        Appealing to the debt isn’t going to fix this, even if every Sanders voter votes for Hillary.

      3. washunate

        “Die-Hard” Bernie-ites (i.e will not for Clinton)

        I would quibble a bit with that framing; it’s more an inside baseball fight within Dem party politics from the Clinton camp to smear Sanders supporters than an actual, real-life circumstance of widespread opposition to Clinton. Remember, a year ago, Sanders had single digit support in polling; opposition to Clinton is really a distinct phenomenon from the votes Sanders has received in the primary.

        People who are active enough in party politics to engage the primary process by actually voting/caucusing for Sanders this winter and spring are mostly, in aggregate, going to either enthusiastically or grudgingly embrace Clinton if she is the Dem nominee. Sanders himself has certainly positioned things that way; his campaign made the strategic choice to be kind and courteous rather than openly run against the establishment machine politics. I think that was a strategic miscalculation, but that’s just an opinion. What’s done is done, and by saying nobody cares about the damn emails and that Clinton would make a much better President than any Republican and most importantly not taking on the party insiders at the state and local levels endorsing Clinton in droves last summer and fall, Sanders clearly set the expectation that he was playing ball, not turning over the tables.

        Rather, the interesting question are the Dem-leaning independents who didn’t (or couldn’t) bother voting at all. It takes 10+ million votes, give or take, to win the nomination. It takes 60+ million votes, give or take, to win the general. I give Clinton about 90% odds of winning the GE. But if she fails, it will not be due to Sanders primary voters. It would be due to a much larger group of independents who are completely done with the establishment two party system.

        1. portia

          it’s more an inside baseball fight within Dem party politics from the Clinton camp to smear Sanders supporters than an actual, real-life circumstance of widespread opposition to Clinton.

          I must disagree. given a clear choice, Hillary is seen for what she is, despite the DNC’s desperate effort to convince people there is no choice, which is what they always do–this is why Dems are terrible voters, IMO. I hear a lot of “why bother” from people, no participation where they do not feel included. Hillary is widely disliked as a dishonest, warmonger Wall Street shill, make no mistake about that. Bernie’s sustained record in Vermont shows that he is the genuine article, and he is seen as a better choice. And it is many more than the Independents that are done with the Dems, and the DNC and their vote suppression and election fraud shenanigans.

          1. washunate

            Hillary is widely disliked as a dishonest, warmonger Wall Street shill, make no mistake about that.

            I am in agreement with you there. But from what I know, that is a view more outside the party (or at least, outside the subset of the party that is engaged enough to participate in the primary process) than it is amongst Democratic primary voters themselves.

            Is there a specific set of polling or some other source you have in mind for thinking that Sanders voters will vote against Clinton en masse in the fall? I’m open to considering just about any possibility with evidence, especially given how absurdly long our election cycles last; anything is possible. I just don’t see the evidence for that right now, and I think it’s far more likely Sanders endorses Clinton than he publicly calls for his voters to not vote for Clinton.

            1. portia

              Sanders would not tell his supporters not to vote for Clinton. he did say once that it was her responsibility to convince his supporters to give her their vote. He may feel that running as a Dem, it is his duty to support the Dem nominee, but not before a good fight to the finish. He says he will do “anything in his power” to keep Trump from being elected. that is not exactly telling his supporters how to vote.
              I personally, from being on DailyKos for years, know that there were, before Kos’s purge, many longtime Dems who filled the rec list with diaries criticizing her. There are still some left. Many left in disgust earlier. I only know from anecdotal experience that many Dems did not become New Democrats, and their party loyalty is not dependable. If you look at the demographics of the vote in NY State, for example, you can see that Clinton took a few choice counties, while 50 counties went to Bernie. this has happened all over the country. So I don’t see where you think the majority of Dems are so hot on Clinton.

            2. Yves Smith Post author

              Voting en masse against Clinton includes not voting at all. That’s the most likely form of protest, not bothering to vote because the choices are so distasteful.

              1. Peter Bernhardt

                Or voting Green. I know, it’s quixotic you will all say, but the only hope I have left is to push along the viability of a progressive third party. What if Jill Stein did get a significant percentage of the vote? Would it inspire qualified and talented progressive leaders to run as Green candidates? Sumpin’s gotta give.

                And I’ll also officially end my 30-year status as a registered Democrat after the California primary.

                I have to wonder how many other people in my situation have also had the scales fall off their eyes this election season (judging from some downstream comments, I’m not alone!). I’ve been disenchanted with the two-party system for awhile now, but this is the tipping point for me.

                1. Pookah Harvey

                  There is nothing quixotic in voting Green. If they can get enough Sanders supporters to give them 5% of the vote they can get matching funds. This will greatly increase their ability to get their message out and put more pressure on the Democrats to swing left.

              2. washunate

                I look forward to more on that line of thinking, especially after the conventions. It will be really interesting Yves to see if you use NC to advocate (or at least legitimize) an active anti-Clinton stance (and the pushback you receive from that might be revealing, too), especially since I assume (hope?) there are quiet readers and relationships you have with people in important positions in DC. Clearly people are upset about what financial fraud and warmongering has done to the country (and world), and that spans parties, ideologies, and geography.

                I’m used to being the lefty progressive outcast in Dem party circles, but maybe my radar is way off on this particular matter and there really is a broad sense among Sanders primary voters that they are not going to support Clinton no matter what.

                Personally, I’m not pressuring in any direction. I’m interested in seeing wherever you want to take things. What NC has done so well is sticking to the facts wherever reality leads. Good luck as you contemplate how to address the next few months.

        2. sharonsj

          I’ve been a registered Dem for 50 years and I cannot bring myself to vote for Hillary or Trump. For me it’s Bernie or nothing. Hillary is just more of the same and Trump is a no-nothing wild card. If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination then it’s time for bodies in the street or nothing will change.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Ah and there is the real poison of Barack…he silenced the opposition to Permanent War, health care giveaways to Big Insurance, expanded spying, expanded drones, Bush’s third and fourth terms.
            Normalized all of the above so you could not oppose them any more because he’s black and the label on his collar says “Dem”.
            So there will be no blood in the streets…and no change. Not until everything changes, four years of Hilary should do the trick.

            1. thoughtfulperson

              Exactly OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL. I’m a registered Dem of 35+ years, and after ’12, and effectively a 4th Bush term, I could not see myself voting for Dems again, moving Independent. I did not vote for Dem Senator. I was not going to vote Dem again, but maybe Green this year, when Sanders came along. I hate all that lesser evil stuff, but Sanders does have a better chance than Stein.

              In reply to others, I can’t see why someone who has been a Democratic voter would switch to Repubs though. The establishment/elite Democrats (JP Sachs De mo crats), are no different from the Repub/ Trump stuff. They share social circles, the Clintons having attended Trumps latest wedding and Trump is a Clinton Foundation donor…. Does anyone really think that Trump will behave much differently then Clinton? Both have neocon advisors… etc etc

            2. Knute Rife

              The DLC has been at this for 30 years; Obama was just the coup de grace. That’s why the DLC shut down in 2011: It had become the DNC.

          2. Jess

            Got you beat; I’ve been a registered Dem for 52 years. And I absolutely will not vote for Hellary. In fact, I’m one of those who will vote for Trump if Bernie is not the nominee.

        3. Kris

          You could not be more wrong. I am one of the “Bernie or Bust” diehards and I will never, ever vote for Hillary Clinton and her neoliberal, war-mongering, corporatist policies. And I do not fit the supposed Sanders “demographic” – and I have no doubt there are plenty of us who do not: I am not a millenial but a baby boomer; I am a woman and a feminist; I am educated; and I am not struggling financially. Bernie – and even more, the movement that has arisen behind him – stands for the only real change this election could possibly produce to turn back the awful anti-worker, anti-civil liberties, and pro-military intervention policies that the last 3 decades have seen. What really makes me angry is how hard it is to hold the line, let alone win advances for peace, global prosperity, economic fairness, and a safety net that everyone in this rich country deserves. Almost every American is in favor of these rights and has been for years, yet our country’s policies keep ratcheting rightward. Enough!

      4. yeabutt

        Until things change they will remain the same. A Bernie supporter who will not be voting for Clinton. Refuse to be vote for the lesser evil. Things will change under the rumpster, then we’ll get down to changing things for the better.

      5. Nathanael

        Basically Clinton’s only chance in the general election is if Trump somehow manages to damage himself repeatedly, and enough, to drop his popularity below Clinton’s in Ohio and Florida.

        Clinton has no ability to campaign. So it’s all about whether Trump destroys his own campaign or not. If he doesn’t destroy his own campaign, he beats Clinton.

        Much better if California votes Bernie by overwhelming margins and Bernie is the nominee, since Bernie trounces Trump easily.

  3. Doug

    An anecdote regarding Trump’s relatively higher median income: A friend told me his father — a well established physician — is an active Trump supporter because the father deeply believes he and people like him have been screwed by the political elites.

    It’s perhaps worth putting this anecdote in the context of the growing awareness that it’s not the 1% but rather the .1% or even .01% who benefit most from current arrangements — an extension/corollary of which is that there is growing income/wealth inequality at the top which, when added to crumbling infrastructure, environmental degradation, etc etc … mean that even folks like this physician are now part of the precariat.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think this is an important point – we talk about both the 1% and their 20% or so enablers – but plenty of people on reasonably good incomes are feeling pain. If you live somewhere like SF or NY, you need a huge income (or to have inherited property) to be able to have what might be turned a ‘normal’ middle class life of a decent sized house in a good neighbourhood and a car and money to send your kids to a good school.

      I can’t find the link now, but there was an article I read a few months ago written by a wealth manager – he said he has clients earning mid 6 figure salaries – top lawyers, doctors, etc., – who are in despair that they can’t manage what they considered the ‘nice, above average’ lifestyle of their doctor/lawyer parents. When they crunch the costs of health, schooling for their kids, a big house in a good area, a decent pension, they are finding that even earning 3-400K a year for the 20 years or so of their prime is not enough for the lifestyle they were hoping for. You can of course call it greed, but these people were brought up expecting that if you worked hard, got to Harvard, did all the right things, you’d have the lifestyle you read about in the NY Times on sunday. But they have found they are still way behind their peers who just inherited a business or some property. In their way, these people are just as discontented as blue collar types who lost their jobs to Mexico. And they are much more dangerous to the establishment.

      1. allan

        Yes. Even at the 95th percentile, families have been treading water since the late 90’s.
        There is a chart in this article from The Economist, although the data stops three years ago.
        There are other data sets out there, which I can’t seem to find this morning, which include the last few years and show only slight income growth since the crisis even at the 99th percentile.
        It’s all going to a subset of the top 1%. In other words, the mega-donors Clinton is now courting.

        Edit: here is another chart that includes a finer grained look at the very top of the income distribution:

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Just do the math on sending kids to college. 2 kids X $50,000 X 4 years = $400,000 after tax. And that’s before sending them to private schools, or fancy summer camps, or special tutoring to makes sure they get in to one of the top schools. The worst is the next tier or two costs just about the same without giving the same career/networking (ugh) bennies. How do you save enough for a decent retirement on top of that if you are just in a normal upscale job?

        1. weinerdog43

          Not to mention post graduate degrees. PhD; JD & MD add substantially to that mountain of expense.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              Compassion’s a bitch, ain’t it? But so often it seems to play a big part in getting anything done that is worthwhile doing.

            2. joey

              polecat, you don’t get it. The fact is that upper middle class is already being extinguished, largely due to the massive education bubble caused by the banks being allowed to never let school loans be bankrupted away, which in turn is trapping the middle class below the upper middle and the lower from the middle etc. only the elite can afford tuition.

              Just because you’re jealous of someone’s income doesn’t mean that their upward mobility isn’t just as fragile as yours due to the income disparity between the elite and the traditional upper middle professional class.
              Don’t you find it at least somewhat ironic that doctors can’t afford to send their kids to medical school at today’s prices?

              1. joey

                And I forgot to mention that the corporatization of healthcare is causing the rising cost of medicine to go to wall street while physicians are relegated to the role of factory worker.

                1. participant-observer-observed

                  Not only that, but professional student loan indebted grads from USA have to compete with immigrants from all over the world who got their education nearly tuition free!

                  1. Nathanael

                    Smart Americans are getting their education abroad where the tuition is cheap. It’s the sensible way to get ahead. I have been telling people headed for college for several years, if you don’t get a full-ride (no-loan) scholarship, go to a foreign university. Learn enough foreign languages that you can apply to several. Nobody’s listening though.

              2. polecat

                I’m in no way ‘jealous’ of their income!

                I believe many of these ‘upper middle class’ people could care less about how their lessors fair…….to be worrying NOW about their own plight, without any regard for the greater portion of their fellow citizens in the lower classes having to deal with at least 8+ years of financial & governmental policy skullduggery, seems disingenuous at best in my view!!

                I and my family have but a fraction of the assets and perks these folk have, but we ,so far, are trying to maintain some resileance.

                1. cwaltz

                  I believed the upper middle class proved it back when this administration suggested that they do away with the tax free savings vehicle for college and instead institute a plan that would allow ANY kid to go to college for a year.

                  The whining was so loud that the administration dropped the proposition like a hot potato. Heaven forbid Biff or Buffy have to attend a community college like the riff raff.

              3. Lambert Strether

                I don’t get the jealous/envy meme at all. I certainly don’t want to be rich, since so far as I can see they don’t represent humanity at all well.

                And yes on the irony, but that’s not the same thing as envying a doctor’s middle class lifestyle. I would like a sufficiency, and the wolf away from my throat. That’s not the same as envy at all.

                1. Anne

                  I think it’s less about wanting to be rich, and more about just wanting to be able to go to bed at night and not lie there worrying about how you’re going to pay the bills/pay for college/be able to move out of Mom’s and Dad’s house/save for retirement/afford to ever retire. There are still a fair number of people who just want a freaking job, for God’s sake.

                  It’s not that people want a big house or a fancy car, or a bigger TV or any of that stuff – it’s what rich people don’t have that they would also like to not have: the stress and the fear that never goes away.

                  1. Nathanael

                    Our idiot overlords have, by use of college loans, corporatization of medicine, and so on, made sure that even the upper middle classes have constant stress and fear. They may be collecting $400,000/year but with $1,000,000 in student loans which can’t be eliminated even in bankruptcy, they are one medical catastrophe away from homelessness.

                  1. polecat

                    I’d like to know, that i and my loved ones would be able afforded humane treatment in the event of a medical crisis, without being bankrupted and/or swindled into treatments or therapies that are less than effective. I would like to know that my young adult daughter has a decent future in this country. I’d like a government that is accountable to the public it supposedly serves, with minimal graft and corruption.

                    So far I know nothing ……..except for who the venal, hypocritical, punks, and their enablers are that run the show !!

              4. jrs

                No. I don’t think the way to help say the middle class is to help the upper middle class (but if they want to join in solidarity with all workers who work for a living they are welcome – but I think most people who reach those heights don’t believe in solidarity so much as they believe in meritocracy and that ideology is no friend of the working class – it is used to pit worker against worker and blame them when they fail).

                I believe the way to help the middle class is to help the precariat! Raise the minimum wage! Unionize Uber! Then at least when middle class people fall out of their middle class careers they will have some net so they too are less precarious. This is what I believe is in the interest of the middle class (but most of them too believe in meritocracy so …)

              5. sharonsj

                Oh, boo hoo, a doctor can’t afford to send his kids to medical school. Meanwhile, 650,000 people go bankrupt every year because they can’t afford their medical bills. But you don’t see those financially strapped doctors objecting, do you?

                1. Nathanael

                  The doctors are (a) not actually getting the money from the medical bills; it’s going to the Medical Corporations and Hospital Corporations and so on, and (b) charge a lot because they’re trying to pay off their gigantic student loans, which are not dischargable in bankruptcy.

                  Now maybe you see what’s going on here… the actual upper class has managed to turn doctors into wage slaves too.

              6. cwaltz

                I suspect polecat gets it better than you think.

                The excessive whining about how the people at the top of the food chain can no longer afford to vacation in Europe, send their kids to private schools, and have nice things comes of as incredibly entitled.

                There is a portion of the population that not only can’t afford vacations, they can’t afford to take a day off when they are sick. There are kids out there that don’t have parents that can’t afford to contribute money to a tax defered college savings plan(and by the way it was the spoiled upper middle class who thwarted getting rid of these to ensure the people at the bottom would get the same chance as their kids to attend college.)

                If you get tax breaks for your housing, tax breaks for your kids college costs, tax breaks for your retirement savings, then it comes off as incredibly whiny when you claim that not enough attention has been paid to your financial plight.

                Meanwhile those at the bottom can’t afford ANY of those things because they really are suffering and to add injury to insult they really have faced CUTS to the programs that help them rent apartments, pay for childcare until their kids can go to public school, or pay for food(something just a tad more immediate than retirement.)

                1. flora

                  I agree. But I think it’s also true that the entire 99%, from poor to affluent (but not the .1% top) are economically running scared in this neoliberal dystopia. Not saying all fears are equal. But I think everyone ,1-99%, is fed up with running scared.

                  1. cwaltz

                    I’ve had the advantage/disadvantage of going up and down the economic food chain so I do understand that it is hard when a lifestyle you’ve been accustomed to is no longer financially feasible. It’s not easy to realize you can no longer afford to vacation or have a 3000 square foot house in the “right” neighborhood.

                    However, there is a YUGE amount of difference between the worry one has over no longer being able to afford to put money into a 401k and worrying over how you are going to be able to afford this week’s groceries.

                    Part of the problem is equating one with the other is like equating no longer being able to afford steak with no longer being able to afford the can of cat food. In one case the substitution principle can apply(it completely sucks to no longer afford to eat what you like) in the other you’re going hungry because there are no more options.

                    I guess I’d probably have more sympathy if the impression that some of these people didn’t give wasn’t obliviousness to how financially blessed they are in many respects to have options even if those options may not seem palatable to them.

                    I say this as someone who right now would consider myself middle class, not poor. We have nice things and I know we’d have to give some of them up if my spouse were to lose employment.

                    1. thoughtfulperson

                      I do think that the fact that there appear to be expanding fissures between the acela class members is very important (in fact, I believe I’ve seen some article here that said there was even more inequality between the 0.01 and 0.1, and lower groups than between the 1% and below).

                      They key here is that as the lower levels of the upper classes are disenchanted with their lot, they may start to question the system etc as everyone else may already be doing. At that point we may start to see some rather impressive changes. Just look at the Sanders campaign. Would anyone have thought it possible even 4 years ago? Maybe, but certainly not 8 years back.

                    2. Nathanael

                      Yep, thoughtfulperson.

                      I think student loans — not dischargeable in bankruptcy — are one of the stupidest things ever done by our idiot overlords, the 0.1%ers.

                      They took a bunch of *very intelligent*, *highly educated* people, who generally came from *well-to-do backgrounds* with lots of free time, who are of *prime revolution-organizing age* (20-something) and put them in a position where they (a) cannot make enough money to pay off their loans, and (b) are in constant fear of losing a job, having no income, and *still* having the damn loans weighing on them. (When this happens, they go directly into black-market off-the-books work, by the way.)

                      This is a class of people who traditionally form the core of revolutions, and the 0.1% are making it impossible for this class of people to tolerate the existing system. Stupid, unless the 0.1% *want* their heads chopped off.

                2. redleg

                  That is how the top 0.01% keep the next 20% or more in line – they point at the bottom tiers and say “you don’t want to be like *them*, do you?”
                  When the top 5% (doctors, lawyers, etc.) are feeling the pain and despair like the rest of us are, rapid changes are inevitable and soon.

            3. Kris

              The economic situation (wealth, healthcare, retirement, lifespan, privacy, safety, ability to make choices in life) has become so unequal and morally repugnant in this country that I think everyone from the 0-99% can find common ground, and that it is imperative that we do so if we want change. The top 5-20% ( or even the top 50%) certainly do need to start realizing how incredibly lucky and wealthy they are, not only compared to their neighbors in this country but across the world. But that is no reason we cannot agree that the increasingly vast majority of wealth being concentrated in a tiny set of hands is the worst of all possible systems, and that we must reverse this to levels that most of us (meaning a vast majority of the citizens) can live with. There is a very clear divide coming down the road: either we share and decide things as equals regarding the shrinking natural resources of this world, or a small group of elites takes everything they can, barricades the doors behind them, and leaves the rest of humanity to starve and burn. Even if they “succeed”, it will be only temporary; their own children and grandchildren will eventually meet the same end (maybe this is a good way to define the time horizons of sociopaths). But for normal people, this path is the definition of insanity, and will mean the end of civilized life.

        2. Roquentin

          Higher education is close in the running for the biggest scam in America, an appropriately corrupt institution for the society we live in.

          I’m in my early 30s and have never cleared more than $50k in a year, pre-tax, and I’ve held on by the skin of my teeth in NYC. The future is bleak, and I don’t even go to sleep and dream of a lifestyle like that. Truth be told, I don’t even want it and generally am more comfortable in quasi-working class settings anyways.

          I realized the extent of this when I went on a recent Tinder date with a woman who worked in a commercial bank, lived in the UES, and had almost never ventured out of Manhattan. Even if we somehow could have gotten past the massive disparity in income, I didn’t even want to be there. I’ve sort of resigned myself to the whole family and kids thing in all likelihood not happening for me.

          When I dream at all, I dream of a little co-op out in Long Beach, provided Global Warming doesn’t make the ocean reclaim it, so I can spend my twilight days in the sun. Most days, even that seems out of my grasp.

        3. JohnnyGL

          Also, recall that some of the biggest supporters of the stronger “Volcker Rule” were members of the CFA institute. There is/was a skirmish between the professional classes, like CFAs who at least tepidly supported real reforms and who believe in a non-kleptocratic vision of how the financial industry should work. There’s a lot of folks outside the financial industry that see it as a united monolith, but it isn’t. It’s too big to be one.

          Also, some of these professional class types (many of whom understand risk quite well) know that our society creates big downside risks than even skilled people…like themselves…can fall into. All it takes is a cancer diagnosis to ruin a career and a family life.

        4. Yves Smith Post author

          You don’t get it.

          College is the ticket to higher income, even if it’s close to not worth the cost in many cases. It is also the ticket to social legitimacy and better marital partners. This is why it is so important to parents.

          When I went to college (mid 1970s) it was possible for middle middle class people who were careful with their budgets to send their kids to Ivy League schools, and for lower middle class kids to go debt free on work-study (and they had student loans back then, and they were a screaming bargain when you compared interest rates to inflation, particularly since consumer interest was tax deductible back then….but pretty much no one took them except people going to grad school and then not many).

          Look, due to a falloff in my brother’s business and a God awful court settlement by a non-matrimonial judge he got by virtue of bad luck of the draw ($80K a year alimony for life to his ex, when my brother was not a super high earner, and child support on top of that), my nieces who have grades, scores, and outside stuff that mean they qualify for good, and maybe even top schools, are looking at going into the military. West Point is the best they can do. They were hoping to get into places like Stanford (which probably was better than they could do) with colleges like Duke, Wesleyan, and Bowdoin as fallbacks, and now they are looking at military service.

          1. Peter Bernhardt

            I followed you by a few years and I paid for college through work study, Pell grants and scholarship. My parents could not afford to help, but I managed to get a post-grad degree without assuming crippling debt.

            My children could not have possibly done the same. Thankfully, my wife and I were able to help them avoid the trap the majority of young people now face. They cleared the college gauntlet relatively debt free.

            But now my son, just a few years out of school, is working to pay the loans his partner accumulated to get her degree. And it’s crippling their ability to get a start in life.

          2. Tyr81

            Two of my kids are heading into firefighting/EMT. Portable skills. Maybe even port them right out of the country.

      3. jrs

        I wish they could have perspective on how much worse so many others have it. But if they did, and were able to take a wide perspective and not just their own narrow worries, even if they still did worry at night then … they would be different people and they would probably vote for Bernie Sanders as the best choice rather than Trump and vote for down ticket candidates who were at least as close to social democrats as we can get …. and well the rest would be history.

        1. cwaltz

          Trump’s motto- Vote for me if you can no longer afford to vacation in Europe annually.

          (rolls eyes)

    2. Vatch

      Yes! When I criticize the oligarchy in discussions with friends, I never refer to the top 1%. I always refer to the top 0.01% (although the top 0.1% are almost as bad as the 0.01%), because they’re the ones with real power. The 0.01% also have immunity to financial problems that lower level one percenters don’t have. Yes, the one percenters have it better than the rest of us, but few of them have any real power.

      Most one percenters will experience real problems if they become unemployed. People in the top 0.01% typically have a financial cushion that will last more than a lifetime.

      1. portia

        Most one percenters will experience real problems if they become unemployed.

        You know, this boggles my mind. Unless problems means adopting a different living style. I know all about this–I was never wealthy, but I understand that economic status determines who you associate with and where you live. If you are in the 1% and always living on the edge, you are up the creek. It seems to me that someone in the 1% must spend most of what they earn to keep up appearances in that strata. It’s a kind of slavery in itself, and dooming if you drop off the map.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          It is certainly true that many high earning people can get into real financial problems if their incomes take a knock back to a level which the rest of us would still consider a hell of a lot of money. But it often comes down to investments and commitments. I know a very highly paid financial guy who was virtually penniless for about three years because a combination of a divorce (his wife had a very good lawyer he admitted ruefully), one bad investment at the wrong time in property, and a drop in his level of bonuses left him living in the sort of shared house some students would turn their noses up at (to be fair, he was never complained and was quite funny in describing his predicament). He only just hauled himself out as the economy came up.

          I’m not suggesting we feel sorry for people like him, but in reality its hard to be really rich if you are dependent on your own earnings, even if those earnings are very high. The people swanning around in lamborghinis and have five houses almost invariably inherited at least some of their wealth (the rest are mostly corrupt). Thats the real scandal.

          1. portia

            in reality its hard to be really rich if you are dependent on your own earnings, even if those earnings are very high.

            This comes down to a question of values and expectations, IMO. In my experience, it’s harder to be really poor and have to depend on the really rich to give you full value in wages. To ensure the lifestyle of the “really rich”, the value of the wage earner suffers interminably. A manufactured sense of greater value in the mind of the “really rich” is necessary to support this. This leads to all sorts of abuses, like one of my employers said “if I give you a raise, you will just spend it on your cats”. Another one was, “you aren’t a man with a family to support.” These conditions are not imposed on the “really rich”.
            Another employer objected to my lifestyle–I lived off-the-grid in a cabin in the woods. This may seem OT to you, but it illustrates how absolutely ridiculous the complaints and travails of the “really rich” really are.

        2. Nathanael

          “It seems to me that someone in the 1% must spend most of what they earn to keep up appearances in that strata. It’s a kind of slavery in itself, and dooming if you drop off the map.”

          Most of them do, yes.

          The college loans are a huge part of this — most of the 1%ers who are under 40 have to burn money on these debts constantly and it doesn’t even help keep up appearances.

          Another part is the ridiculous housing markets in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and the other “tech hubs” (thanks to “no new housing” policies which have been in place for 50 years) — your $400,000/year salary is mostly going to pay for your tiny apartment, and the remainder of your income means you live worse than someone with a $100,000/year salary in Peoria.

          If you aren’t in the million-dollar-a-year club, your position is generally quite precarious. There are exceptions (those with very high assets but extremely frugal lifestyles, those with steady high salaries in *cheap* housing markets, etc.) but they are not typical — and actually, they are almost always in a situation where all their friends are poorer than them, so they tend to recognize what’s going on and be liberal too.

    3. Waldenpond

      With technology, their jobs are outsourcable. Individuals can see doctors in other countries for a fraction of the cost over skype and have meds dispensed from a machine.

      Law/punishment could be a fraction of the cost. Enter the infractions on a form, scan in and the computer prints out the fine for your records after deducting the funds from your account…. Not much need for lawyers or judges anymore or could be done for a fraction of the cost over a screen.

      1. jrs

        I wonder if these doctors realize people already go see doctors in other countries because it is all they can afford if they want medical care period? Can they even grasp that level of financial desperation that so many fellow citizens live in? Those who do grasp it push for single payer I guess. It doesn’t work well to see a foreign doctor for a right now emergency obviously, but for some medical issue where one has more time …

  4. Ddf

    “the classic mistake of Americans is to reject information that people who aren’t like them have different tastes and act on them”. Not just Americans: the mainstream medias, including the FT, ignored Grillo’s strong polling in the 2013 Italian general elections precisely for that reason.

    1. Corsomagenta

      interesting to note that just the other day Grillo’s party, the 5 Star Movement, which he created only a few years ago as a renegade, anti-establishment force, polled as the number 1 party in Italy. 5SM just barely edged out the Democratic Party (PD), a bastion of cronies and dinosaurs with roots going back to WW2. Not a big lead, but still a remarkable achievement for a comic!

      A well educated, analytical comic, who, by the way, was the only public person in Italy to call BS on Parmalat’s illogical balance sheet a few years before we discovered that the massive cash accounts were fabricated with cut and paste letterhead and a xerox machine.

    2. fajensen

      And Swedes too!

      A recurring issue of contention at work is that some of my Swedish colleagues will propose something they all agree on, then it is explained to them why this is a bad idea and what is really needed instead, then they go on and on and on ….

      They really think that the problem is either; that they didn’t explain their great plan / project well enough or that other people do not understand it properly.

      This Ignorance combined by Arrogance leads to enormous amounts of wasted effort on useless things (software) that nobody needs or wants. It gets very tedious after a while.

  5. Roger Smith


    I have recently started wondering if Clinton’s strange, umbrella-ish, North Korean dictator inspired garb was consistently worn to hide some sort of apparatus or other evidence of poor/failing health.

    I can see wearing those outfits sometimes, sure whatever. But every single day or appearance? Even she has to know how awkward they look. And if it was a weight issue, those outfits aren’t helping. What is the real story behind them?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I’ve had others say the same thing. I’ve noticed her getting up onto podiums and into chairs with difficulty, and wonder if she has a body or leg brace of some sort.

      1. RUKidding

        I’m super active/athletic, but as I progress in my “golden” years, I’ve had to really work on my balance, despite over 40 years of a pretty regular yoga practice. These issues with getting up on podiums & out of chairs reflects loss of balance, loss of agility that comes all too quickly once one enters one’s sixties. I doubt that Clinton has much, if any, time for working out, which is unfortunate.

        If she’s put on some weight, then it makes it that much harder. The only way I stay ahead of the curve now is really really watching what I eat (both quality and quantity), a very strict exercise routine, and continuing yoga and similar.

        If Clinton’s on any meds – some of which may not be unusual or indicating a serious health issue – they can often increase the chance of weight gain, no matter how strict you are with diet and exercise.

        I have no idea if she’s ill or not, but some of what I’ve witnessed looks a lot to me like old age creeping in. It’s clear that Sanders and Trump have managed to avoid the worst of that, fwiw. Could just be genetics. The campaign trail is grueling. I can’t imagine doing it.

        1. Peter Bernhardt

          And then you have Bernie Sanders, who at 74 is as energetic and vigorous as a man half his age. Luck of the genes, I suppose.

      2. Foppe

        Going solely by the look of Hillary’s face (which — and I intend this purely observationally — contains quite unhealthy amounts of fat), she looks to me (esp. considering secondary issues such as stress) ripe for a major cardiac (or other arterial) event. And because Bill’s health advisers (who have gotten him to switch to a new baseline of a low-fat vegan diet.) have likely made the same point, I must say that I find Hillary’s choice to continue to consume something that’s interchangeable with the Standard American Diet puzzling, esp. given that she’s bound to know how much Bill’s benefited from this (after his own issues with heart disease). (Granted, Bill looked a bit gaunt lately, but that may also be due to stress.)
        As for join pain and the like: they are secondary issues, the primary cause of which is (also) the consumption of animal protein (which causes inflammation) and sat fat consumption.

    2. JaaaaayCeeeee

      You both could be reading too much into Hillary Clinton’s looks/health. Okay genes, a sedentary lifestyle, expensed quality but still empty calories and fat, all might be telling a story of someone who may be no average joe in her lust for world domination, but perfectly average from shape to knuckles (look) to knees/hips and risk factors.

      With her shape Hillary Clinton can’t wear business suits, even her 2008 pantsuit version anymore, because the jackets are too short and fitted, nor Cindy McCain/Teresa Heinz soft suit (and look like Albright?), nor a slightly high waist like Vanna White or Michele Obama. That leaves dress for success color and long jackets, which doesn’t look bad if it’s both thin and flowing like her December debate. But dress for success texture can be bulky, stiff, and not flow in motion, fine for sitting at conference tables, which require little more than a head shot and is more comfortable in pants.

      1. polecat

        Parker to Ripley : “Hillary…she’s a robot….SHE”S A GODDAMN ROBOT!!”

        with apologies to R. Scott………

    3. fresno dan

      I think we’re forgetting that Hillary is 68. We have a lot of propaganda that 70 is the new fifty, (all those commercials with old codgers playing golf and softball – where are all the people in wheelchairs in nursing homes?) probably mostly contrived for the point of raising the retirement age, as well as all those investment firms that want to tell you that you have to invest for another 30 years because you will live to 100. Undoubtedly, there have been improvements in morbidity and mortality – at the margin. There are still plenty of people who die in their sixties, seventies and won’t make the eighties.

      Hillary’s dad died at 51 (of a stroke) and her mother at 92.

      Genetic characteristics are not necessarily evenly distributed in offspring. Hillary may live as long or longer than her mother, but on the other hand, that isn’t as sure thing as if she had been born a Bush…

      Has Hillary had a cerebral accident or not?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        She passed out in the Middle East. She may have gotten a concussion. Reports not at all clear. And I have no idea if she’s has a previous one or not. The research is now pretty definitive that 3 concussions = later cognitive impairment.

        The reason it appears pretty likely that she has had at least a mini-stroke is that she is on coumadin, which is a very powerful blood thinner that takes a fair bit of supervision to manage the dosage, particularly for someone like her (stress levels affect dosage). It’s not prescribed casually. Lambert has also detected a change in her speaking patterns since 2008 (he watched her then closely). He has repeatedly caught her not able to pull a campaign talking point tag phrase and instead substituted something approximate.

        1. roonie

          She has spent a lot of time on Martha’s Vineyard. There is a lot of lyme there. Lyme can mimic almost any disease cause headaches, poor balance, joint pains, etc. And it’s hard to diagnose. Aging is tough on anyone, and compound it by the lack of sleep and crummy diet on a campaign trail, and it could also explain a lot.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    I think this is a pretty good call – like so many, 6 months or so I thought Trump could have no chance, even as a nominee – his support (I thought) was too narrowly based. But its pretty clear from the polls quoted by Yves, and others I’ve seen – that Trump has a surprisingly wide support base – lots of people on reasonable incomes, and a fair percentage of non-whites too. If he is smart and tones down the rhetoric, he could well round up a lot of ‘I don’t like Trump, but I dislike Clinton even more’ type votes. I also think that the so called ‘moderate’ Republicans are far less in number than everyone (including the Dems) assumes – just look at Jebs numbers. I think far more Republicans will rally to Trump than is assumed, and the establishment Reps may get a lot of egg on their face if they try to undermine him. It may have been otherwise if Clinton was more likeable (even Bill managed to charm a lot of ideological opponents) but she isn’t.

    FiveThirtyEight has an interesting take on third party candidates (although note of course how they ignore Sanders, just as they ignored his victory last night). Its clear that its gradually sinking into the mainstream that Clinton is deeply flawed, and might not even win against Trump. I wonder has there ever been an election with two such weak and disliked and divisive candidates. There must surely be scope for a ‘none of the above’ candidate. Sanders best chance of course is that ‘something happens’ within the next 2 months to undermine Clinton, although I think its pretty clear now that the FBI won’t do anything before a nomination.

    But on a wider point, its a harder thing to identify, especially as I’m writing as a non-American, but I do seem to detect an increasing level of hysteria among Clinton supporters. By ‘hysteria’ I mean a sort of ‘fingers in ears, go La la la loudly when anyone points out the mistake you are making’ hysteria. There seems a real prospect of a complete disaster, of Trump becoming president entirely by default. I do wonder if there is a secret default plan, perhaps drafting in Biden at the last moment using the excuse of a divided convention and a ‘sick’ Clinton?

    1. Brindle

      —” If he is smart and tones down the rhetoric, he could well round up a lot of ‘I don’t like Trump, but I dislike Clinton even more’ type votes.”

      From my interactions with people from different economic and cultural strata there is a different reaction towards Trump and Clinton, with Trump there is a lot of “what a jerk” ‘he’s an a**hole” —with Clinton it’s more “I don’t trust her” or I can’t stand her”. I’d say Hillary’s negatives are more viscerally felt than those of Trump. Not good for Clinton.

      1. JohnnyGL

        People hate things Trump SAYS.

        People hate things Clinton DOES.

        The latter have much more staying power.

    2. Waldenpond

      Cenk Uyger of TYT was at a Washington dinner recently (last week?) and he was told that if Clinton is indicted that Biden will get her delegates. If a candidate implodes the party can hold a convention any time they want and select anyone they want. I imagine they will stick with Biden for the length of the general.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Can I just lament what the End of Empire feels like, in a country full of smart and brave and talented people we get to choose between a criminal old woman, a blowhard television creep, and the Village Idiot.
            I should mention that I believe Bernie is the real deal and I just absentee voted for him in CA. The ballot procedures and my back and forth with the registrar are not to be believed.

            1. Jess

              “in a country full of smart and brave and talented people we get to choose between a criminal old woman, a blowhard television creep, and the Village Idiot.”

              Love that summation of the situation.

            1. Knute Rife

              They’re so remote from reality, I don’t think that has even crossed their minds.

  7. Vikas Saini

    The income stratum supporting Trump makes sense as it mirrors similar movements, notably in the first half of the 20th century. Anxiety about falling behind, resentment about those below and anger at those in authority not caring even while the wealthy take care of themselves.

  8. Gaylord

    TPTB will do whatever is needed to get Hillary elected so she can usher in the final stage of imperialist corporate crime by tweaking TTP et al and pushing them through, along with a host of neoliberal agenda designed to destabilize Latin America, Eastern Europe and the BRICS in order to take control of banking and wealth extraction worldwide. I think Trump is the Trojan Horse in the Republican Party, intended to be a “spoiler” nominee whose candidacy will later be fouled by some means. He’s doing his best to make himself unelectable, but most likely there are contingency plans to take it over the top.

  9. oho

    For NC readers who like predicting/play-betting on current events (like Trump v. Clinton), check out gjopen dot com

    It’s an academia-sponsored, crowd-forecasting site.

  10. Pavel

    John Stauber over at CounterPunch bemoans Bernie’s lack of guts:

    Yes, Bernie had an incredible opportunity to change his mind, bolt the party, and run outside it. Perhaps if he had any idea how successful his appeal for votes and money and crowds would be, he would have done exactly that last year when he announced and threw in his lot with the Dems. But he chose his strategy then: to be a Progressive Champion and influence the Party, and to not fall into the abyss of being 2016’s Nader, forever wrongly tarred and loathed by liberals for causing that millionaire hall monitor Al Gore to lose so grandly.

    Bernie made it clear at the first debate that he would handle Clinton gently, mocking those who were raising absolutely serious concerns over her brash and outrageous behavior of ToxicSludgeIsGoodForYouprivatizing her emails as Secretary of State, and then getting cute about it. No, Bernie, we are not sick and tired of hearing about Hillary’s email abuse, and ironically this scandal is now your best hope for winning the nomination, given the Theft-By-SuperDelegates and the alignment of the establishment Dems against you. But Obama has behaved like Bill and Hillary’s houseboy ever since he beat her in 2008, and he has made it clear that her abuse of government secrets and privilege is no big deal, so she can count on him to pull her butt out of that fire.

    Perhaps Bernie is having some second thoughts about his decision to play it safe and support Hillary, but that is late at night and in the privacy of his home and bathroom. No frigging way does he have the gonads now to bolt the Dems.

    CounterPunch: Can the FBI Save Bernie?

    1. Roger Smith

      I think Stauber’s take is a bit to wishful. Sanders would have been completely ignored as a third party candidate. He would probably have had to face ridiculous legal hurdles as well such as the ones thrown at Nader as well, due to his campaign and funding successes.

      Running Democrat gave him a ticket advantage in many ways, protection, and forced the media to show him in debates and talk about him (not that it has been a lot, but it would have been zero).

      1. washunate

        Agreed, I think it was a strategic choice, not a lack of guts. I happen to disagree with that choice; I wish Sanders had chosen a more comprehensive critique of the whole Dem party machine. But what Sanders has done is amazing in the scheme of things. He has no obligation to do more; that’s our job.

        1. RUKidding

          Ditto to both of you. Sanders running as Third Party would have gotten to nowheresville fast. Doing it this way was a strategic and wise decision. It’s just unfortunate that he’s been ignored, suffered through an ongoing media blackout and continuing lies and misinformation being broadly spread about his financial platforms, etc. But Sanders knew that would happen. He’s no fool.

          I think Sanders, frankly, would do much better against Trump than Clinton will. All these people who say “but but but we HAVE TO vote for Clinton bc only she can beat Trump” are delusional and in denial. Too bad.

          1. Left in Wisconsin

            It’s just unfortunate that he’s been ignored, suffered through an ongoing media blackout and continuing lies and misinformation being broadly spread about his financial platforms, etc. But Sanders knew that would happen. He’s no fool.

            I agree with most everything in the previous posts on this thread, but the meme that Bernie has suffered from MSM media blackout needs to be counterbalanced with the obvious fact that the internet has changed many things, most importantly in this context that people have multiple, easily available alternative sources for getting information. This blog, for example!

            IMHO, it is impossible to imagine Bernie doing as well as he has done if the (not disputed) MSM media blackout were really that consequential. In addition to the fact that people can hear about Bernie and get news from other sources, there is also the additional secondary consequence that people begin to understand the political role of the MSM (“the mask of objectivity”) and thus become increasingly politicized themselves. In fact, I would argue that it is at least open to debate whether the MSM blackout has done more to help Bernie than to hurt him.

          2. Minnie Mouse

            Sanders is squeaky clean on trade, Clinton is filthy dirty on trade and extremely vulnerable to Trump on trade, If Trump has the discipline to take her to the cleaners on her entanglement in the top secret TTP negotiation process and not concerned about running afoul of GOP orthodoxy on trade (likely true) and to stay clear of personal insults and identity politics (likely not true) he could win an issues campaign.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Can I just say how very pleased I am that I moved to Australia after Bush was appointed the second time. I get to vote my conscience (Green Party), and because it’s a parliamentary system, the Green vote has an actual impact on policy, because of the way coalitions are formed and because of something called “preferences” (votes roll over from your party to the one they have selected as their partner to assist with power sharing).

        2. JohnnyGL

          Some of these critics really want a hero who’s pure to cheer for. It’s not that simple. It never is.

          Perhaps the most important accomplishment of Sanders so far is to “sharpen the contradictions” among those who want a sincere left opposition vs. regular Democrats.

          Anti-HRC protestors are now emboldened and stuff like this is happening regularly. This didn’t take place 9 months ago. She will get NO honeymoon period post-election, even if she wins.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Last week, she spoke in East LA. Long story short: Her attempt to capitalize on Cinco de Mayo flopped.

            There were protesters in the audience at the community college that hosted her. And there was quite a crowd on the streets.

          2. JeffC

            If Hillary is inaugurated on January 20th, she will indeed get a honeymoon, because she won’t be impeached until the 23rd. The 21st is a Saturday.

        3. fresno dan

          The fact that Sanders has been as successful as he has been is truly unprecedented. Sure, in ’68 the dem challenger ended the career of a sitting president that had won just 4 years earlier a historic landslide, but VIETNAM – but today, the party nominee of a sitting president getting such a serious challenge, when Hillary supposedly completely and without deviation represents the dem establishment, when by all rights this nominal democratic candidate should not have had ANY impact at all, speaks volumes.

          To me, the issue is corruption. Trump spoke of it. Bernie constrained himself – he apparently thought it was unwise in pointing out all of Obama’s appointees are responsible for the lack of prosecution of the banks, as well as so many other things.

          1. Nathanael

            Bernie actually went ultra-polite. Tactically brilliant.

            If Hillary Clinton manages to honestly win the Democratic nomination, more or less (i.e. win the pledged delegate vote without counting the stolen Nevada delegates and with enough of a margin that shenanigans in other states wouldn’t really have affected the result), Sanders will probably simply say “I endorse the Democratic candidate”, focus on the party platform, and then leave it at that and say that he needed a break. Totally the right tack to take, since if he actually stumped with Hillary, that wouldn’t go over well.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      What would running as an independent have accomplished? Sanders did not start out with any fire in the belly to expose Hillary. That is something he gained over time as he went across the country and realized how deeply people depended on him as a last hope. And as he compared that ocean of honest direct hope combined with anguish to Hillary’s scheming and conniving, he finally realized he had to take the gloves off (for him at least) no matter the consequences. None of that would have happened as an independent.

      As an independent Bernie would have been even more invisible than he was. He might have inspired crowds, but there would have been no coverage of the events at all – a complete blackout, there would have been no debates, no story line at all as the primaries unfolded. Bernie would remain largely unknown except to those of us who follow such events closely.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Criticisms like this are easy in hindsight. I think Sanders, given his position as something of an ‘outsider’ had little choice but to play nice – and given how much of the electorate finds mud slinging a turn off, it was a very reasonable decision. Where he suffered was in the lack of a proper field – there was no one candidate willing to throw dirt at Hillary, in the way the Republicans formed a circular firing squad.

      1. Code Name D

        But for many, this wasn’t hindsight. They called it in advance and said that Sanders was making a mistake by not being more aggressive against Clinton. I know because I frequently defended Sander’s current approach against its critics very early on in the race. Now that the numbers are in, I think they do have some backing for their position.

        The concern is and still remains that if Sanders had gone more aggressive, he might have alienated voters that are still more loyal to the Democratic Party and not done as well. He also wanted to avoid the “Dean Scream” where he might be branded as an old attack dog.

        We may never know who is right on this.

        Personally, I think Sanders made other mistakes not being talked about. For starters, he fell into a deep rut, using mostly the same stump speech through-out his campaign. He should have diversified his speeches, expanded with more material and either cover new issues or older issues with greater detail.

        He was also quite poor in his oratory, the art of giving great speeches. FDR was a master orator; we are still quoting his speeches today – many of which are relevant today. “We have nothing to fear – but fear itself.” He needed more art and poetry in his speeches, biting satire, stories, jokes, even silence can be a powerful tool to get attention. Sander’s speeches needed to go viral on you-tube to get the attention he needed.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          I think there is a tendency to assume that a candidate is capable running a variety of campaigns and can pick and choose among strategies. For Sanders, I think that is much less true. And as we can see from HRC, who seems to run a new campaign weekly, malleability has downsides, too.

          I watched the first 10 minutes or so of Sanders’ speech last night and it was indeed the same speech from six months ago – I annoyed my wife by reciting parts of it in time along with him. But the crowd loved it. And the crowds aren’t shrinking.

          Every candidate has strengths and weaknesses. In my view, Sanders has proven to be a much stronger campaigner than I ever would have imagined. His weaknesses, such as they are, are part of the package. Perhaps next time, we will have multiple candidates seeking the social democratic vote and we can choose among various good options.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Bernie can just rail at “corruption” and that subject is as deep and as wide and as all-encompassing as he ever needs to go. But he needs to stop talking like he just wants to improve the lot of the fast food worker who has three part-time jobs and is still struggling. The system is slowly starving all of us…and Americans don’t really want to hear about “the poor”.

        2. Brooklin Bridge

          All excellent points. Also true, we will never know. There were distinct advantages to starting out as he did with the so called high ground yet it was so frustrating at the same time. His speeches did turn almost mechanical, always the same message to a fault.

          Yet look at the crowds he generated and continues to generate. Truly amazing. I’m positive he will never be the same because of this experience. I’m going to send him money because I assume he needs it now especially if he hopes to accomplish anything at the convention. Anything he can do even just to highlight the hypocrisy and corruption of the DNC, will be worth every penny.

    4. Knute Rife

      Yeah, because schism runs work so well in US politics. Think “John Anderson 1980.”

  11. allan

    Donald Trump’s Plan to Raise Taxes on Rich: Just Kidding

    The 1 percent can breathe a small collective sigh of relief.

    Hillary Clinton’s platform contains many new taxes for the wealthy, and in recent days it seemed that Donald Trump might be moving in the same direction. When asked Sunday on “Meet the Press” about taxing the rich, Mr. Trump said: “For the wealthy, I think, frankly, it’s going to go up. And you know what? It really should go up.”

    He now says he wasn’t talking about the current income tax rate for people in the highest bracket, which is 39.6 percent. …

    And what if Mrs. Clinton says she is the fiscal conservative and he is not? “But she’s not going to get the economy going,” Mr. Trump said.

    Trump is running as a Keynsian, while Clinton is running as a deficit hawk.
    After 7 years of austerity, is it a wonder that Trump’s message is selling?

    1. Schofield

      With reference to the above comment and to this one Bernie Sanders should have the balls to run on his own now that The “Loose Cannon” Donald has shown how to “disguise” the Post Keynesian MMT argument to the Monetary Illiterates, “I’ll bring down the National Debt by buying it back at lower value now that treasury bond face values have fallen.”

      See Appendix 2:-

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      Trump is running as a Keynsian

      Trump is running as a salesman trying to clinch a sale: “What ideology do I need to support in order to get you into this vehicle today?”

    3. Nathanael

      Trump is in a very particular position. As a real estate developer, his companies have been paying the full 39.6 percent rate — most other businesses get massive massive tax breaks and pay much less. I suspect he will deliberately sock it to the other business sectors because he’s resentful that they’ve been getting away with lower taxes than HE got.

  12. Nick

    I’m surprised by the level of anti-establishment support for Trump among well-off and well-educated people (like the physicians) just because I would have assumed that they would see Sanders as a more rational choice. [As a side note, this should speak volumes about how our educational system (and consumer culture in general) is structured; it’s all about getting ahead and focused on competition – compassion and rational analysis have no place in a race like that.]

    Both are anti-establishment, but Trump seems to tap into some sort of deep-seeded schadenfreude among people who are fairly well-off but nonetheless have trouble keeping up with the Joneses (the 1% who are bitter that they are not in the 0.1%). They seem to be more intent on being “defiant” and breaking the system, than on being constructive and backing a candidate who is looking to improve the situation.

    It strikes me as being an example of people who are willing to shoot themselves in the foot so long as the pain inflicted upon the counterparty is exponentially worse.

    1. bowserhead

      >Trump seems to tap into some sort of deep-seeded schadenfreude among people who are fairly well-off but nonetheless have trouble keeping up with the Joneses (the 1% who are bitter that they are not in the 0.1%). They seem to be more intent on being “defiant” and breaking the system, than on being constructive and backing a candidate who is looking to improve the situation.<

      oooh….ya got me…..but we need to break these war-mongering "elites" who have sold us out for 30 years whether they be Democratic or Republican. I am indifferent whether we break them with Bernie or we break them with Trump so long as we break them. I think this is called pragmatic realism. I'd vote for Camille Paglia over Hillary in a heartbeat if she were running….interesting journey for an old white guy, wouldn't you say?

      1. Nick

        You’re doing a good job of proving my point for me.

        But Trump wants to “bomb the s— out of ISIS” making him a warmonger too, so why not simply support Bernie?

        And if Trump wins the white house, the focus won’t be on moving to the left, it will simply be on getting another democrat into the white house.

    2. fajensen

      It strikes me as being an example of people who are willing to shoot themselves in the foot so long as the pain inflicted upon the counterparty is exponentially worse.
      When one is never allowed to win or even participate, spoiling and griefing* becomes a rational strategy.

      People don’t necessarily vote for Trump, Le Pen or Brexit because they think it is the right choice, they do it precisely because it is the only legal way to inflict some embarrassment and pain onto the elites as illustrated by million-dollar propaganda drives on how “the wrong outcome” will cause gravity to stop working and WE ALL DIE BY THE LITTLE HANDS OF TERRORIST HAMSTERS or something.

      In the case of the EU we all know by experience that the EU will carry on on the same track regardless, still, it exposes the hypocrisy of the whole circus and rubs their face in it.


      1. Nick

        “When one is never allowed to win or even participate…”
        That’s a misguided “wash your hands of the situation” strategy. Why not vote for the left instead? Or better yet, get involved in your community. You’ll teach the establishment a much bigger lesson.

        And Le Pen and Trump are more aligned with business and the establishment than you might think, they just also happen to tap into a deep-seeded sense of cynicism. And make no mistake about it, cynicism means that they have won and you truly believe that nothing can be done about it. Well something can be done about it, it just requires involvement.

        1. fajensen

          Why not vote for the left instead?

          Because – there is no “left” left. The left lost their last marble in the 1980’s, their response to the emerging right-wing nationalists was, incredibly enough, to go all in with the uncompromising exact opposite of whatever the nationalists were thinking – thereby embracing racism, discrimination against women, general backwardness and stupidity as acceptable “values” to have in “minorities”, who, per the left “thinking” are too stupid and set in their ways to ever improve or change, so nothing must ever be expected of “brown” people.

          The “opposition” by the left is so unrelentingly retarded that if the left ever learns that Le Pen went to the toilet they will insist that we keep it all in!

          Loosing support over their stupidity and inability to think for themselves, the left became “responsible”; “responsible” means: supporting or at least never question neoliberal policies and war-mongering. It was thus not the right who privatised public companies and gutted wellfare, it was the social democrats!

          Never Mind, In my opinion, “the critical fight” is not even along the “left” or “right” – it is between what Eric Fromm called “Life Furthering” and “Life Destroying” ideologies. The “Life Furthering” people are found in hacker spaces, on the difficult side of the “War on Drugs” and generally outside of politics. Authoritarians vs. Non-Authoritarians is another one.

          These lines of disagreement are not captured in our democratic process – if one is guided by Ideology, one votes for one’s party and let “him” do “his” thing, if one is guided by Principles (I’m with the Life Furthering / Non-Authoritarian BTW) one may vote for a party, but, that party will have to change it’s vote on a case-by-case base according to what the Principles say. This does not sit well with the ways we do government here.

          It might lift your spirit to know that one party, “Alternativet (the alternative)” seems to be getting some of the Danish protest vote now – and – they seem to be driven by principles, which makes them look “random” in their behaviour. I am on still the fence with those guys (they could be idiots too or become brain-chipped and subsumed into “responsible policies” as has happened many times in the past), but, *all* the “protest” is not going to the nationalists at least.

          Well something can be done about it, it just requires involvement.

          That, and perhaps the willingness to go to jail for many, many years. The only, shall we say, non-kinetic way of hurting the elites are by leaking their documents. Rip off their offshore accounts, et cetera.

          They somehow still fear democracy, that’s why they need TTIP and TISA to allow 3 lawyers to veto decisions made by elected parliaments. This says that the best expert advice that they can buy say that, probably, democracy could be revived ;-)

  13. ScottW

    I heard pro-Democrat, pro-Hillary pundit Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC comment in January that the problem with Hillary is her polling numbers never improve and only get worse. That is certainly the case with almost every primary outside of the South. Her supporters brag she cannot be harmed by Donald’s smears because everyone knows everything about Hillary. But that is also why her favorability/trustworthy numbers can never improve–people’s opinions are set in stone.

    That is why I suspect her ads will become increasingly more negative than usual because she can only gain support by increasing voter disdain for Trump. But when you are disliked as much as Hillary is the negative ads suddenly turn into an endorsement for voting Trump.

    It’s going to be an awful campaign season if it is Donald v. Hillary.

    1. JaaaaayCeeeee

      It’s going to be ‘race to the bottom’, as Clinton and Trump campaign to make voters hate each other. Rovian doubt sow, Gingrichian strength tackle, Brockian pearl clutch over logical fallacies, harp on perceived weaknesses, fear monger about each other, with more aspirational versus policy based campaigning than ever. This will take the United States down faster than GWBush, ugh.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      To me, the perception of Hillary is important. Is she a known war monger? A known Wall Street hack? To the less informed. Obama was seen as fighting the good fight but except for mean Republicans. This narrative has worn thin. How does this work for Hillary? How do people react upon learning she is a hawk or seeing arch Republicans embrace her?

      Hillary has only been on primary ballots for most Americans. Most of the Democratic base hasn’t voted. Does that mean they are turned off or don’t care about the nominee? Given wage stagnation and rising costs of Healthcare, rent, etc, I believe there is a huge problem Democrats aren’t facing. If Hillary was tolerable, I think she would receive a ground swell of end the primary and start the general campaign support, but she hasn’t.

      1. Knute Rife

        The DLC candidates have skated on the “fighting the good fight but for” charade for 30 years, and Obama has finally driven it into the ground. I don’t think Clinton will be able to milk any more out of it.

    3. Jeff W

      Her supporters brag she cannot be harmed by Donald’s smears because everyone knows everything about Hillary.

      I’ve never understood that particular line of argument. Even if “everyone knows everything” about a candidate, one can still like that person even less than before in the context of a campaign.

      Seeing Clinton in debates with Sanders definitely made me like her less (and I did not particularly dislike her before). It wasn’t even Bernie’s punches, pulled as they were, that did it so much as her tone-deaf, oblivious responses.

      Trump will mock her mercilessly—in the way that he mocked Jeb Bush, at least some of his comments will hit the mark—again, as with Bush (e.g., how “safe” did George Bush keep us, if 3000 people died in 9/11?), and Clinton’s only response will be “Well, you’re worse than me!”

      Yeah, it’s going to be an awful campaign season.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        Her supporters brag she cannot be harmed by Donald’s smears because everyone knows everything about Hillary.

        I’ve never understood that particular line of argument. Even if “everyone knows everything” about a candidate, one can still like that person even less than before in the context of a campaign.

        It’s worse than that. The argument is that, because her negatives are so high, everyone must know everything about her. But of course they don’t, as The Donald will no doubt demonstrate. And the more they learn, the lower her negatives go. Which, interestingly, does not (yet?) seem to be the case for Trump.

        1. Jeff W

          The argument is that, because her negatives are so high, everyone must know everything about her.

          That might be true but I think the argument is something more like she’s been under attack so long, there is nothing more to find out in terms of scandal.

          But I guess, from my point of view, what people find out more and more is what a lousy politician she is and each appearance, each campaign event is a new instantiation of that. Is there a ceiling below 100% in “unfavorable-ness” in that case? It doesn’t seem like we’ve reached it yet.

          Which, interestingly, does not (yet?) seem to be the case for Trump.

          My working theory right now is that Trump is being assessed along a different axis than Clinton is—in effect, a “non-politician” axis—and so he can “get away with¨ a lot more.

          In a sense, it turns some of his would-be negatives into positives (for some people)—his “fearlessness” (to use Elizabeth Drew’s term), his day-to-day changing of positions, his lack of positions, his complete disregard for “the rules” is taken as evidence not of his lack of suitability for the office but of his “not being a politician” and therefore more of what people (who support him) want. Again, when you see Clinton, it confirms, yet again, what a “politician”—and a bad one—she is; when you see Trump, it confirms, yet again, that, whatever he is, he is not that.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Hilary’s “tonedeaf, obvious responses” are very closely calibrated and focus-grouped and I suspect they work.
        All she has to do is toss out a focus-word salad and the poor overworked drone does not need to do any cognitive work to sort out their Pavlovian choice.
        Reminds me of the Far Side cartoon:
        What the master says: “What a good dog you are Rover, when we get back we’re going to feed Rover some nice dinner”
        What Rover hears: “Blah blah blah blah blah blah Rover blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Rover blah blah dinner”

        1. Jeff W

          Hilary’s “tonedeaf, obvious [sic] responses” are very closely calibrated and focus-grouped and I suspect they work well.

          I am sure they are closely calibrated and focus-grouped—and I totally get the word-salad, low cognitive-load rationale—but I’m not so sure they work, at least with some portion of the population that she has to win over. I think that’s part of her problem of not being a “natural politician.” (My own reaction is almost one of personal affront—i.e., you’re expecting me to accept that as some kind of legitimate response and then you want me to vote for you? But I might be some kind of outlier in that regard. Obviously large percentages of voters in the Democratic primary have done just that.)

          Those types of responses might work against a candidate that is even more robotically on-message (e.g., Mitt Romney) but they pale in comparison to Trump’s take-no-prisoners approach (e.g., Jeb Bush: “My mom is the strongest woman I know” Trump: “She should be running!”) which, I suspect, lots of voters find “authentic” on some level. They highlight some of what people really dislike about Clinton—as Graydon Carter, riffing off of Vanity Fair’s Sarah Ellison, said “[Y]ou’d need to apply the famous Turing Test to see if any authentic human ‘Hillary’ can be distinguished from the machine version that has been in development for more than three decades”—and, by contrast, some of what people like (to the extent there is anything) about Trump.

          Side note: my niece works in sales for one of the largest telecommunication companies in the country. (You can guess which one.) With no prior sales experience, she is often near the top in sales monthly in the country; on occasion, her sales are several times better than the rest of her team (maybe half a dozen or more people) combined. I doubt she would regard herself as any sort of “sales genius.” Recently, I asked her what she thought her secret of success is. She said, in effect, she tosses out the script that the company gives her and actually listens to what people say and responds to it with “logic.” I’d surmise that that script is as finely honed as any response of Hillary’s and maybe it works better than absolutely nothing but it doesn’t work better than real, human communication that is responsive to the situation. (And none of that means I am ascribing “logic” to any of Trump’s responses.)

        2. fajensen

          Hilary’s “tonedeaf, obvious responses” are very closely calibrated and focus-grouped and I suspect they work.

          Calibration only works if the focus groups are diverse enough to genuinely test the statements.

          From what I read on the net about The House of Hillary and from the email scandal dissent it not tolerated, professional advice by the best experts is ignored if Hillary doesn’t like it. The world has to adopt to Hillary, the other option is unthinkable.

          How did “the women card” get released? Not only is it loaded up with anti-female stereotypes, the “bennies” provided by the card are exactly what Hillary’s policies has done for women!

      3. yeabutt

        Agreed the rumpster is going to beat hell out of her in the debates, while she clutches her pearls and shouts, “Oh dear!”

      4. paintedjaguar

        “everyone must know everything about her”

        Patently untrue. The Clintons have gone to lengths to obscure a lot of their dealings and a lot of stories about them are over twenty years old and will be brand new to many voters under thirty. For instance, probable insider trading in their Arkansas days and Hillary’s harsh personal attacks against Bill’s various bimbos.

  14. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Event risk includes “unknown unknowns”, to quote Rummy.

    Use your imagination. One example:

    The migrant crisis finally blows up Europe with several eastern European countries (Hungary, Poland?) scheduling votes to leave the E.U. rather than bend to Brussels idiotic quotas. Or maybe they just cut to the chase and leave without a vote.

    1. Pavel

      More likely to my mind is a stock market crash of 10% to 20%, plus or minus a USD crash of the same degree in the traditional “crash month” of October. Then POOF goes Obama’s “revived economy” (even though it’s already a bunch of BS) and Trump will have a field day.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Stawks are unlikely to sell off hard, investors have nowhere else to go and all the Fed does is sell the VIX futures and the algos and HFTs buy automatically.
        We’re moving from debt-based money to equity-based money, people just don’t know it yet.

    2. Synoia

      Austria and Hungary. The Austro-Hungarian empire had a 600 year history of fighting the Ottomans.

      One cannot overcome one’s history.

  15. Brooklin Bridge

    It should be noted that all these tricks (to use a weak term to cover so much corruption and foul play) of Hillary and company are working. There may indeed be serious consequences; the Sander’s campaign may truly start a movement, the veil of establishment legitimacy is certainly coming off for many who follow these events closely, but overall, the corporate owned and operated Clinton campaign is succeeding in putting yet another snake pit of NeoCon war mongers anad NeoLiberal economic policy thieves into the WH.

    Trump is being reborn as we speak. There will be little left of his “progressive” feints by November. If he does manage to beat Hillary, the phenomenon will have value, but will be cold comfort all the same. The risks and issues such a loose canon will bring to the WH are in many ways equally terrifying though in a different manner, as four years of Hillary.

    Having said that, I don’t see how Bernie could have done anything significantly differently. The country is waking up, but no where near as quickly or as thoroughly, particularly as thoroughly, as needed given the truly overwhelming resources aligned against it. Gaius’ article on the shameless loading of the Democratic Convention in Hillary’s favor is a good case in point.

  16. David

    In modern elections people vote against, not for, candidates and programmes. The 2012 French Presidentials, for example, were a contest to see whether the anti-Sarkozy vote was bigger than the anti-Socialist vote. It was, just. Similarly, people are confusing liking Trump with voting for Trump against Clinton. If you don’t want Clinton as your President, then voting for Trump is the only way to stop her. Trump represents and incarnates a mood: his personal qualities are relatively unimportant.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Modern elections, if that is indeed the way they work and in fact regardless, are not having much positive result and Hollande is an excellent example. He has done irreparable damage in the service of the corporate overlords. Moreover, any “message” the French might have wanted to send to whoever – and it should be noted the French have a long history of such votes – have been utterly lost. They find themselves in a truly epic neoliberal swamp right now, with no way out.

      Trump may have some value as a protest against the status quo, but probably not all that much that will be remembered six months after the election, and it would be almost insane to imagine there will be no consequences to deal with regardless of a his or hers win.

      I am personally so opposed to Hillary that I would consider a vote for Trump, but I have no illusion that is going to really send any meaningful message to anyone. It’s more like Russian roulette. There is no clear choice here. A Sanders write in has merit. So does a vote for the Green party as Vatch or one of the NC comentariat has expounded upon. But all of these choices are anything but ideal.

  17. flora

    Great post. Thanks.
    If Hillary wins the nom and loses to Trump the neolib DNC establishment will blame the loss on a ‘weak candidate’ or on Sanders supporters, not on their own failed establishment Dem policies.

    1. voteforno6

      They’ll probably blame it only on Sanders supporters. The establishment can never fail, it can only be failed.

    2. RUKidding

      Absolutely. The UniParty elites mantra: never take any responsibility for any failures; blame it on someone/thing else. Take all the credit for any successes; never give credit to someone/thing else.

      Hence, they never learn. But why should they? They always make out like bandits. Win? Lose? Who cares? I’m off to my off-shore account to count my filthy lucre. Sucks to be you!

  18. Ishmael

    The Federal Reserve and everyone in Washington is doing everything they can to keep from reaping what they sowed but as someone else said we are in the backend of the hurricane. There are numerous other issues. This economy is just barely on life support. All you have to do is look around. SME’s failing right and left. Could have major blow ups in a number of South America countries (the challenger in Venezuela was assassinated the other day). What if not thousands or tens of thousands started pouring across the border is happening in Europe. What if the number of migrants in Europe also climbs ten-fold. What if a major European bank fails (can you say Italy). All of these would blow down the new house of cards like a mild breeze and with it goes the status quo and Hitlary. I would still not be surprised if for some way or another Hitlary is replaced (indicted or health) and Biden not inserted. Biden has his failures but his dislike factor is minuscule compared to Hitlary.

    1. Dave

      “SMEs” Society of Mechanical Engineers?

      Oh, you mean “Small and Medium Enterprises”?
      Ishmael, this can be a better educational forum for citizens if the insider terms are dropped. Thanks

  19. JGG

    Received 11 May, 2016.
    And without even a trace of irony:

    Action needed (voting rights)

    Minnesota DFL Party
    The 2016 elections could not be more important, James.

    Everything is at stake, from state houses all the way to the White House – and with Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee, those stakes couldn’t be higher. But at a time when a handful of votes could change the course of our country, millions of Americans are barred from the ballot box – and not by accident.

    Right now, Republicans are pushing extreme, deliberate voter suppression laws through legislatures and courthouses across the country. Their goal? Silence votes they don’t like by slashing early voting and requiring unnecessary identification.

    DFLers know that protecting every American’s right to vote is not optional – it’s essential. We need to act now to defend voting rights ahead of the critical 2016 election:

    Add your name now to stop voter suppression and make clear that Republicans can’t rig their way to victory.

    Republicans count on low turnout so much that they’re manufacturing it. They know that when Democrats show up, we win big – and 2016 will be no different.

    Free and fair elections are not a suggestion, no matter how much Republicans act like they are. DFLers need to live our values and speak up before it’s too late. Victory in November depends on it.

    The party of Trump doesn’t get to make the rules – the Constitution already did that. Click here to take a strong stand with the DFL and against unfair elections.

    Thank you for standing up for every voter,

    Ken Martin
    Chair, Minnesota DFL

    This email was sent to

    Paid for by the Minnesota DFL Party, Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

  20. portia

    Very informative, thanks. About that coming crash, one wonders if the financial system will be propped up until after the election for $hillary.

  21. voteforno6

    I don’t know how Clinton can lose this. After all, they’ve got this great hat:

    America is Already Great Hat

    Also, all the cool kids are running around referring to Trump as “Drumpf.” There’s no way that he could recover from such a withering attack. I guess mocking someone’s ethnicity is fine, if they’re German. After all, they’ve already had their President – all he had to do was help win World War II, which still made him far less qualified than Hillary Clinton is right now.

    God, this elections already sucks, and we haven’t even hit rock bottom yet.

  22. alex morfesis

    both trump & sanders are probably shocked at how close to the white house they have gotten…maybe they won’t need the fbi…maybe shillary will do a fran tarkenton…and throw away the super bowl…


    she could borrow dick chaneys pacemaker take the second spot and still be her evil self…let bernie run the show for one term and he agrees to resign towards the end of his first term…for health reasons…it is not a perfect deal but this whole mess is beginning to feel like the ending of reservoir dogs…

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The Clintons are glorified grifters. Despite dominating the Democratic party, they are running on “experience” and four more years of Obama. What are they? 16 years on, there isnt much if a demand for the Clinton era to return. There arent books being written. There are no movies about Southern Governors undoing the New Deal from within the Democratic Party. White House is the only path to legitimacy for them. Can you imagine Queen Hillary building homes in Haiti on a Habitat trip?

      Bad Presidents are often forgotten, and it drives Clinton Inc wild that they will be seen as little more than grifters.

  23. Thebell

    The premium increases on the exchanges is also going to put Dems at risk. At this point it seems certain many will be over 10%. And the people who have to feel the full increase are those without premium subsidies, the income range that Trump is doing well in.

  24. Blurtman

    “The pundits have been too eager to dismiss Trump because he’s transgressive, undisciplined, uses a low-educational-level patter, and is just plain gauche.”

    Hilarious snobbism and appalling bigotry.

  25. Dave

    Such long posts.

    I’ll just quote the home made signs I’m seeing around Los Angeles.

    “Bernie in June or it’s Trump in November”

    “Sanders on June 7th, or President Trump in January”

    (June 7th is California’s Election Day)

    “Billionaire’s can’t buy Bernie”

    1. Arizona Slim

      Here in Tucson, we have a great Bernie sign at the corner of Speedway Boulevard and Euclid Avenue. Home-made by a guy who’s a major supporter of the Bern.

      Among other things, the sign says, “F@ck the status quo.”

      1. Dave

        Saw one in Phoenix. A cartoon man facing away from the viewer in front of what looked like a bank with Greek columns. He held up both arms. On his right floating in the air above his middle finger was “Trump”, on his left was “Sanders”.

      2. redleg

        I saw that as a tourist last month. The kids were asking what I was cheering about.

  26. Dave

    “Moreover, Clinton is more exposed to event risk, as in developments that one can foresee as having reasonable odds of taking place and will dent her campaign:”

    “Continued weakening of the economy”

    Hmmmm…Does that mean that we can help Bernie by
    holding-off on all non-food purchases,
    paying cash for everything practical,
    emptying our house of unwanted items that others could buy in thrift stores, until after the election?

    Spring cleaning for Bernie!

  27. nat scientist

    In an anti-establishment election, the Democrats get crushed running the establishment queen against the reality TV master of the media click. Hillary can count on the obliged-in-place Democrats and what’s left on the settlers who get by begging for what crumbs they collect in the status-quo, past-the-expiration date, war economy.

  28. Cry Shop

    Don’t forget to add Bill Clinton. Who wants to have a rumored if not convicted statutory rapist as First Gentleman?

    Even if Clinton was a winning football coach he might have trouble getting enough people to save his skin. He gives me the same vibe as Bill Cosby, arrogant self-centered prick who thinks he’s being a perfect gentleman. Age may finally be curing his libido, but it would not surprise me if Trump has video stashed somewhere of Bill’s more youthful times when the Hill in Hill-Billy was busy in Washington. This isn’t the Philippines, or is it?

  29. Angry Panda

    First, I have a bit of a different read of how Trump wasn’t stopped. If you think back to the past electoral cycles, what tended to happen for a while now for either party is that a clear favorite is established by February-March, at which point people either surrender (in part as their money dries up) or get stomped into the ground one on one. Obama-Clinton in 2008 was, if you recall, at the time thought to be a once-in-a-lifetime exception precisely because it kind of was.

    But this time around, one, there were too many people reaching for the pot, and two, most of them refused to surrender for a long, long time. In part, both are the logical consequences of Citizens United and its like, since now anybody with a “pet billionaire” (or anybody who is a billionaire’s pet) can one, get in, and two, stay in the game for a long, long time.

    Remember that all Trump was in the first couple of months of the primaries is the guy winning with 35% (on average), because there was a pile of other guys each with 5%-10%-20%. He lasted long enough to get a delegate lead and dig in, and the rest is history. I am not sure if this happens in a 1990s or early 2000s style primary where it’d be him vs. one guy (even Bush III) from Super Tuesday onwards. In fact, Trump flamed out the last time because the last time the primary season ran along “classic” lines. But this time happens to be different, and it also helps that the RNC people weren’t competent enough to realize what they had to do and when they had to do it. Ergo, Trump-ola. Trumpapalooza. Trumpicacious trumpocity. [Please pick Sarah Palin as VP, please pick Sarah Palin as VP, please…]

    But whatever. On topic. I think the battle lines between Clinton and Trump are pretty clear. I also think that Trump’s act does have a limit on its appeal. Furthermore, I think it will be interesting to see if a lot of people just drop out (e.g. Sanders voters, if he is not nominated), because you basically would have two “negative” candidates going at each other. Low turn-out equals much hilarity in swing states on election night…

    …so that, to me, is actually a pretty big event risk. In fact, I have no idea how this will play out at all, given that I don’t think we’ve had a negative-on-negative election in the past generation, at least. As for the others – Trump being Trump and Clinton’s FBI thing I would dismiss out of hand – the former won’t affect Trump’s core voting audience, while the latter, I am sure, the current White House will clamp down on if it gets too far. The economy…it’s been weakening for years. Maybe it blows up this fall, maybe the next one, maybe the one after that…hard to predict if it will play at all, in other words, beyond what’s already been made evident in the primaries. And I won’t speak to heart attacks and such, because they’re both old, and I’m sure they both have medical histories. So yes, VP choices for either will be important.

    Beyond that, particularly in a low voting scenario (which the current polls are highly unlikely to capture), I suspect things will come down to execution. Here, I have to give moderate advantage to Clinton’s people, just because I’ve seen Trump’s people screw up (as in, send-the-form-in-three-days-late types of mistakes) too many times already, and he also strikes me as the kind of manager who likes chucking older experienced pros for younger and cheaper go-getters (with predictably disastrous results). But maybe I’m wrong. It’s not like either would be good for the country, I don’t think, so this is more of a “who would win in a fight between a whale and an elephant” kind of a hypothetical.

    1. bowserhead

      Har…even Trump realizes that Sarah Palin is too stupid to be considered for anything:-) Don’t get your hopes up.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      The e-mail scandal is not under the White House’s control. I can’t even keep track but there are at least two private suits going. The judges in both clearly pissed with Clinton side, they’ve thumbed their noses at discovery. Judges tend to throw the book (as in cut the party zero slack) to parties that defy the authority of the judiciary. But they have to go carefully to do that so that their counter-measures survive appeal.

      This means:

      1. The private suits limit the Administration’s ability to bury this. And you assume that Obama is on Clinton’s side. He hasn’t endorsed her! He called Libya, which was her doing, his worst decision. Obama is trying to play this to minimize damage to him, not her. If the private suits find dirt, he can’t engage in a cover up. That hurts him to help her when is not going to do that.

      2. The private suits will drag out past the conventions. They’ll probably still be live after Labor Day, which will not help Clinton

      3. The FBI has been leaking like crazy. If they find dirt and the DoJ does not act on it, it will be all over the Wall Street Journal.

    3. fajensen

      [Please pick Sarah Palin as VP, please pick Sarah Palin as VP, please…]

      I think he would rather pick Lisa Ann. She played Sarah Palin in some documentary.


      Trump is a somewhat smart guy, absolutely smart enough to pick people smarter than himself. People who can carry the load for him and doesn’t leave too many messes for him to clean up.

      About the first thing one learns when becoming a manager is that everyone you pay has to be much better at their job than you are. The second thing is to believe in it.

  30. nat scientist

    “Slavery Days” (Do You Remember the Days Of Slavery) – Burning Spear

    Remember Richard Nixon was a NY corporate lawyer who had the secret plan to end the Vietnam War?
    In 1968 after LBJ couldn’t face the draft-aged public, the Dems went for the Establishment man Hubert Humphrey and got creamed with Wallace skimming more Independents from Nixon than from Humphrey
    The only way to beat an anti-establishment candidate is with a real one, not a fake TV-invented one.

    1. TheCatSaid

      Good question. Sanders’ campaign got dinged by FEC (some of his many contributors had gone over their $2700 limit; and some monies returned/spent weren’t explained). No word however on what kind of letter the Clinton campaign might have received. Her tactic of routing big donors through the DNC seems like a blatant transgression of the rules but I haven’t seen even a wrist slap so far.

    2. redleg

      The billion dollar question: what happens to The Foundation should Her Royal Clinton become president?
      Nobody in the press, MSM or alternative, AFAIK, has asked that very important question.

  31. T

    Regarding observations & questions about H. Clinton’s health above, a family member with access to sources of information beyond my own said there was an assassination attempt in Iran in Dec. 2012. On a flight to (or on landing) a secret meeting in Iran, one of the SEAL team members assigned to protect her had some kind of vision about the serious harm she would later do to the world as president. He took matters into his own hands and shot her. The other members of the SEAL team then killed him. His death was later said to be by suicide in Afghanistan.

    As truth is often more unusual than fiction, it’s hard to know what to believe. Personal friends have first hand experience of far more unusual situations than this particular narrative, so I try to keep an open mind. So far, many things I thought were too outrageous to be true have turned out to be true, and this one seems a possibility.

    When I searched for anything that might back up this event, I found a few reports from external sources that do support that an unusual event in that time frame in Iran. (As one scrolls down they get more grounded. None of them mention an assassination attempt, though a range of questions are raised.) The reports here are exactly the kind of stories I’d expect when a serious unexpected event has to be quickly covered up and made to look uninteresting.

    Regardless of the accuracy or not, I am sure the public was never told the actual nature or source of Clinton’s health issues.

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