2:00PM Water Cooler 6/10/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, I’ll add a little bit more on our exciting election in a bit! Later: Done. –lambert


“Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan was in Washington this week to convince lawmakers of the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. His message: Failure on the part of the U.S. to ratify the deal could be “very dangerous” to America’s standing in the Asia-Pacific region” [Politico]. “‘What is at stake is American credibility [as in, for example, Vietnam], and there are many leaders in Asia that have gone out on a limb to support the TPP,’ he said Thursday afternoon at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ‘If having marched everybody up the hill, you march down now, it would have been better if you never even started on this journey. Getting it passed now is absolutely crucial.'” More from BalakrishanL

[BALAKRISHNAN:] Frankly, my sense of it is at an intellectual level everyone knows it makes sense, it ought to be done. No one seriously argues with me against it at an intellectual level,’ he said. ‘Yet I know as a politician this is one of those things that people hope gets done but without their fingerprints on it, without having to pay a political price for it. But in life everything meaningful, everything significant does require effort and there is a price to be paid.”

Obama, as a lame duck, doesn’t have to pay the price, and in fact can cash in, assuming grateful “leaders in Asia” will pimp their local oligarchs for contributions to Obama’s Presidential Library (an inherently corrupt institution that should be outlawed and replaced by public archives at the Library of Congress, IMSNHO). Or possibly other reputation laundering efforts.



UPDATE “Fresh Intelligence: America Expands Its Role in Afghanistan, But Obama Thinks Hillary Can Handle It” [New York Magazine]. “To war-war is always better than to jaw-jaw.” –Not Winston Churchill. And then there’s this:


As readers know, generally URLs are generated from a post title written by the reporter, and when an editor changes the post title, the URL generally remains the same. Here we have a case of that, and an interesting insight into the hive mind of what Thomas Frank calls the 10%: (1) More troops in Afghanistan is in no way problematic, (2) and Clinton (“Hillary”) is, as we used to call Bush, a war-time President. It’s also worth noting that the editor just made up the “Obama Thinks Hillary Can Handle It” part. It’s pure pom-pom waving. There’s nothing in New York Magazine’s abstract of the Reuters exclusive that suggests this, and Reuters doesn’t even mention her. Churchill also said “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies,” but we might ask ourself what war is really being fought here, and who is the “her” being protected by lies.

“The future of Sanders’ political movement” [Defend Democracy]. Very focused on process. As readers know, I think a critical issue is not process but platform, and the policy details matter less than universality, and everybody (as it were) singing from the same page in the hymnal, albeit with complex harmonies. In fact, the left should have a song, an anthem. A singing congregation cannot be beaten, as Martin Luther knew. And IIRC, the French had one, post-1789.

“Why Hillary Clinton and Obamacare Will Not Solve the Health Care Crisis” [Truth-out].

The Clinton campaign, prompted by Sanders’ strong showing and her relationship with the drug and insurance industries, declared war against single-payer this year. Her allies — establishment economists and so-called “left-leaning” (industry-supported) think tanks — promptly followed her lead. These efforts, as Adam Gaffney explains in the New Republic, were attempts “to kill the dream of single-payer,” a “cherished policy goal of the left.”

There is more that divides liberals and the left than unites them.

“Where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton stand on 2016’s key issues” [Guardian]. Genre piece…

Our Famously Free Press

“It was yet another election day slap in the face for Californians on Tuesday: Hours before voters were to cast ballots that one presidential candidate promised would upend the race, the media declared that the race was actually over” [Los Angeles Times]. Anecdotes from voters on AP’s election eve call.

“AP’s Clinton ‘Victory’ Story Breaches Journalism Ethics and Public Trust ” [Common Dreams].

UPDATE I didn’t run this video, which was making the rounds on Twitter, because I wasn’t sure of the provenance. Now the provenance looks good, so here it is:

“Secret win.” Well, er…. Snopes concludes:

It is true that the Twitter video’s claims checked out. The campaign’s e-mail was sent out after the 6 June 2016 call by Associated Press, and the embedded image was ambiguously titled “secret-win-V2-060416c_02.png” But “V2” implied at least two versions of the graphic existed, another of which might have shown an entirely different outcome to the 7 June 2016 primaries.

(Yves ran a link to a story from Wall Street on Parade about this in Links, but I’d like to get this completely on the record). Without knowing AP’s internal file naming conventions, it’s impossible to know whether this shows collusion between the Clinton campaign and AP, or not. If I were running a deadline-driven news organization, it would be worth it to me to prepare graphics for multiple possible outcomes, and in that case “V2” might indeed be a Clinton win, and “V1” a Sanders win. It’s a pretty sloppy naming convention, though, because it’s not self-documenting, and it’s also prone to a fat thumb typing “2” for “1.” Readers, just on the off chance: Have any of you ever worked for AP, and do you know what the file naming conventions are?

The Voters

Krugman: “[L]ike it or not, horizontal inequality, racial inequality above all, will define the general election” [Paul Krugman, New York Times]. “[R]ace-based political mobilization cuts both ways. Black and Hispanic support for Democrats makes obvious sense, given the fact that these are relatively low-income groups that benefit disproportionately from progressive policies.” I never thought I’d hear a “progressive” call for “race-based political mobilization” as a strategy before, but this has been a wonderfully clarifying election. In a way, one might see Krugman’s “horizontal inequality” as the reactionary backlash of a panicked and corrupt political class to Occupy’s 1% vs. 99% vertical framing.

“Black voters and the 2016 primaries, Part 3: Turnout for what” [Carl Beijer]. ” If a majority or even a plurality [of Black voters] voted for [Clinton] in the primaries, it might make sense to argue that this indicates some kind of significant mandate. As it stands, only a tiny handful of black Americans are voting either way. This could say more about things like barriers to participation in the primaries than it says about what black Americans want, though other polling suggests that they, like most Americans, simply have little confidence or interest in national politics – or that they want even more from their candidates than either Sanders or Clinton were prepared to offer.”

“This month, after the primaries are all over, some Sanders supporters will try to answer the question of what’s next at an event called the People’s Summit in Chicago. The mission of this gathering: to figure out how to turn Mr. Sanders’s momentum into lasting change. One of the attendees will be a digital strategist named Winnie Wong. After working with the Occupy Wall Street movement, she helped start the grass-roots group People for Bernie, and has been credited with coining the hashtag #FeelTheBern. She said she saw a connection between the Occupy movement and the Sanders campaign” [New York Times].

The Trail

I’ve seen Obama looking happier:


“Hillary Clinton’s team is moving to shore up an area where she urgently needs help — the campaign has hired Bernie Sanders’ director of student organizing to serve as her national campus and student organizing director” [Politico]. Not clear how this fits with “race-based political mobilization.” Perhaps they could be asked.

“For better or worse, Clinton’s running on Obama’s economy” [MarketWatch]. “Clinton herself has said things aren’t so hot. She said earlier this year that if elected, she’d put Bill Clinton “in charge of revitalizing the economy.” You mean it needs a jumpstart? After eight years of the guy whose endorsement she’s been dying to get? … Bottom line: this is still her election to lose. Demographics, the electoral college, 4.7% unemployment and $2.40 gas all work in her favor. The election will likely come down to seven swing states — Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire. Obama won all of them four years ago and will campaign heavily for her now. But his 2012 margins were often razor-thin.”

Lambert here: 2012 was dull as ditchwater because the body language of the Obama campaign showed he was never behind. But we often forget that Obama struggled to put McCain — McCain! — away in 2008, until the collapse of Lehman put him over the top. We can argue about whose election this is to lose, but we’ll know soon enough. I think what is clear is that there are more imponderables this year than at any time since… Since… I don’t know when, and I doubt very much that history has stopped throwing us curveballs. Massive gaslighting (as in Bush’s 2004 election), election fraud (as in Florida 2000, Ohio 2004, and the 2008 Texas Democratic caucuses), and an October Surprise (playing to Clinton’s putative strength in foreign policy): All these are possible, even likely, leaving aside the dogwhistling and scandals. And that’s before we get to the fragility of a European system where political and financial risk are very closely coupled, and an increasingly crappy economy here.

“Predicting election outcomes at this point–with all the variables ahead–can be a loser’s game. But prediction markets at the moment tilt heavily toward Mrs. Clinton winning in November. One site, PredictWise, which amalgamates a wide array of data–from betting sides to polling averages–now gives a 73% likelihood to the Democratic candidate prevailing in the fall” [Wall Street Journal, “Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump: A Look at the Numbers”].

“‘It’s easy for Democrats to attack Mr. Trump,’ Turner said. ;You don’t get any brownie points from me and other progressives for getting into a Twitter war with Mr. Donald Trump. That’s easy.'” [The Hill].

“All the times Warren served as Clinton’s attack dog” [Politico]. Warren wasn’t looking for brownie points from Turner, however.

“The latest Clinton endorsement? Joe Biden (sort of)” [Los Angeles Times].

“Republican Senator Susan Collins Says She Might Support Hillary Clinton” [New Yorker]. As I’ve been saying, Clinton wants moderate Republican votes.

“A Republican’s praise for Hillary Clinton’s nomination” [AL.com]. “Will I be voting for Hillary? No way. Will I get home tonight and talk to my daughter about her? Yes.”


A lot of the California votes aren’t counted. Here’s a chart:

And here’s an image:

(Those are mail-in ballots.)

UPDATE “Finally today, the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan offers us response to concerns about the seemingly huge number of Provisional Ballots cast during Tuesday’s primary” [Bradblog]. A summary, and you can listen to the podcast.

Voter Suppression, Election Fixing, and Fraud

New section. Readers, charges of election fraud are often the first to be hurled by partisans after a close loss, even though they are most incendiary charges that can be made in a democracy, since they discourage political engagement by voters, leading ulitimately to a death spiral. However, as I wrote yesterday, the pattern of voter suppression in the Democratic primaries just past, using low-tech, opportunistic methods at the precinct level, is so pervasive that I think we have to consider the possibility that there may be even worse going on, or to come. So I’m starting this section with some trepidation. I ask you to keep the quality of commentary and links Naked Capitalism-excellent, and that means staying focused, providing lots of sourcing, using your critical thinking skills, proffering no digital “evidence” without clear provenance and a chain of custody, and not citing to sources that would make the blog look bad (to, say, a Democrat oppo researcher [*** cough *** Alex Jones *** cough *** and suchlike]). Don’t say “watch the video”; that’s assigning work; give a quote or a ideally a transcript. If you’re speculating, label your speculations as just that. And if I violate these best practices, you call me out. –lambert

“[Los Angeles] It’s not some grand conspiracy, but it’s grand theft nonetheless. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ voters will lose their ballots, their rights, by the tens of thousands” [Greg Palast] . “There are a mind-blowing 4.2 million voters in California registered NPP [No Party Preference] – and they share a love for sunshine and Bernie Sanders. According to the reliable Golden State poll, among NPP voters, Sen. Sanders whoops Sec. Hillary Clinton by a stunning 40 percentage points.” And this is important: “The Sanders campaign was spending time talking policy at giant rallies instead of educating their voters on how to vote. In the rat maze called the American voting system, the painfully amateur Sanders campaign never provided a vote-guiding map.

“Google searches for Hillary Clinton yield favorable autocomplete results, report shows” [MarketWatch].

For example, SourceFed noted in a video on Google’s own YouTube service that typing “Hillary Clinton cri” on Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing suggest phrases that link Hillary Clinton to crime. Similarly, typing “Hillary Clinton ind” on Yahoo and Bing suggest phrases that link Hillary Clinton to the possibility of being indicted as a result of her email records.

On Google, however, typing “Hillary Clinton cri” results in suggestions for “Hillary Clinton crime reform” and “Hillary Clinton crisis.” Similarly, a search for “Hillary Clinton ind” brings up suggestions on Hillary Clinton and Indiana, independents and India, and not indictment.

At this point, the foily among us will remember that Google’s Eric Schmidt has funded a “stealthy startup” working on Clinton’s behalf (“The Groundwork”). Here is Vox’s debunking of the SourceFed video.

Stats Watch

Consumer Sentiment, June 2016 (preliminary): Consumer sentiment is holding on to its big surge [Econoday]. “And there’s acceleration this month in the current conditions component…. Expectations, the second component of the report, did slip but not severely, down 1.7 points to 83.2 which outside of May is still the best reading since August last year. Strength here points to strength in income expectations, especially the outlook for the jobs market.” And: “Better than expected” [Econintersect].

ETFs: “Buffett has said that “investing is simple, but not easy.” He has also said that “the most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect.” By that he meant the ability to stay disciplined, ignore recent events and returns, and adhere to your well-thought-out plan'” (FDR, then, like Keynes, would have made a fine investor) [ETF.com] “For investors to be successful, they must understand that, in the market, even 10 years is a relatively brief period. No more proof is required than the -1.0% per year return to the S&P 500 Index over the first decade of this century.” The policy implication is that “investing for retirement” as public policy a scam; the time frame is simply too long, unless you’re lucky. Now, investing for dynastic purposes is another thing; Buffet’s father, after all, was also an investor.

Employment Situation: “Forecasters have sharply lowered their expectations for job growth in the coming year… That is the third consecutive month of lowered expectations for the jobs outlook… If their forecast proves correct, it would be the worst year for job growth since 2010” 2010? Is this a recession call? [Wall Street Journal, “WSJ Survey: Economists Sharply Lower Estimates of Job Growth in the Next Year”]. “‘The economy right now is navigating this period where there’s going to be lower growth overall and lower profit margins,’ said Brian Bethune, an economist at Tufts University.” Whenever you hear “the economy,” ask “whose economy?” In most cases, the answer will be “Not yours.” However, there’s always a silver lining: Jobs for economists won’t be going away any time soon; they’ve invested too much in their credentials for that.

Shipping: “Week 22 of 2016 shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) contracted according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. The improvement seen last week evaporated, and was likely due to the a holiday falling into different weeks between years” [Econintersect]. Oops.

Shipping: “Giant warehouses are springing up across the country as surging online sales send retailers scrambling to find space to house products destined for delivery to customers’ homes. Much of the construction is happening in the South, where land and labor are cheap. New warehouses can top one million square feet and contain hundreds of thousands of different types of items” (with handy map, sadly not at the county level) [Wall Street Journal, “Where Are the Warehouses?”].

The Fed, a rare comment from the blogger: “This Bloomberg article highlights the problem with the Fed’s communications strategy. The concept of transparency made some sense at the height of the financial crisis when we first visited the zero bound. Nearly eight years later the FOMC would do markets a favor if it did not tell us what it is doing and just let markets figure out what policy actually is. This would make for more prudent risk taking and would lesson the possibility of bubbles” [Across the Curve]. Also, we have the I Ching, haruspication, etc., all of which are cheaper and just as effective!

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 69, Greed (previous close: 79, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 77 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 9 at 12:54pm. Huge drop!


“A Beginner’s Guide to the Many Investigations Involving Mayor Bill de Blasio” [New York Magazine].

“A California public water district that earned a rare federal penalty over what it described as “a little Enron accounting” loaned one of its executives $1.4 million to buy a riverfront home, and the loan remains unpaid nine years later although the official has left the agency, according to records and interviews” [Los Angeles Times].

“A negative culture almost always organizes itself around secrets that must not be revealed. When that culture is deeply entrenched, trying to reveal what’s hidden can be like taking your life in your hands. The shocking demise of New York’s Healing Arts Initiative emphasizes the need for nonprofit boards and executives to reinforce the inherent culture of their organizations and consciously build habits of integrity and vigilance that become part of that culture” [Nonprofit Quarterly].

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

“The FBI has ramped up its use of sting operations in terrorism cases, dispatching undercover agents to pose as jihadists and ensnare Americans suspected of backing the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL” [Business Insider]. “ritics say that the FBI’s tactics only serve to entrap individuals who would never have committed any violence without the government’s instigation. ‘They’re manufacturing terrorism cases,’ Michael German, a former undercover agent with the FBI who now researches national security law at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.” Remember: The first one to propose violence is always the cop. And if I were foily, I’d remember that we’ve already seen how Nevada “journalist” Jon Ralston manufactured a story that Sanders supporters were violent, and put that in the context of the hive mind of our political class preparing future sting operations, say in Philly and/or Cleveland.


“But power prices in California fell to their lowest level since at least 2001 last year, and in 2016 so far are trading even lower. The low price of natural gas, thanks to the fracking boom, is largely responsible. But renewables also depress spot prices because those prices are determined by the cost of the fuel source, which for wind and solar is zero” [Reuters].

Class Warfare

“Inspired by Genius: How a Mathematician Found His Way” [Scientific American].

the spirit of Ramanujan does not require finding the next Ramanujan. We would be super lucky to do that, but if we make opportunities for 30 talented people around the world who are presently working in an intellectual desert, or are subjected to inelastic educational systems where they’re not allowed to flourish—or if we can provide an opportunity for someone to work with a scientist who could be their G.H. Hardy—then this initiative will be successful.

This is a beautiful interview, well worth a read.

News of the Wired

“Two leaded bronze artifacts found in northwestern Alaska are the first evidence that metal from Asia reached prehistoric North America prior to contact with Europeans, according to new Purdue University research” [EurekAlert].

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants (600px minimum, please). Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (Diptherio):


Readers, I’m running out of plants! Whether your intentions are artistic and/or documentary and/or amusing, you know what to do…. I’ve liked the creativity of plant videos, fungi, stumps, triptyches, and so on, but if your tomatoes are doing well, send them along too!

* * *
Readers, Water Cooler will not exist without your regular support. Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. If you enjoy what you’re reading, please click the hat!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Water Cooler on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Enquiring Mind

    The TPP item made me visualize the following: Obama walks into a room clasping a grenade and tells the stunned audience that they have to pass TPP so that he can put the pin back in. That would seem to say “After all, it is too late in the program to turn back now, the costs of delay are too high and did I mention that there is no alternative!”

    If some of his intention with the legislation was to blunt Chinese influence and to develop more productively a relationship with non-Chinese southeast Asian nations, then why couldn’t he be more honest about it with himself and the citizens that he purports to lead? There is a type of legislation that could be crafted to facilitate that, without all the sops to special interests, just not in the current environment.

    1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

      It has nothing to do with blunting Chinese influence, that is the reddest of herrings.

      We’re also trying to pass the TTIP (with extra anti-BDS language, just to draw in some Israel-firster support).

      China has nothing to do with the TTIP. It’s all about making national governments subservient to multinational corporations. Period.

      1. Andrew Watts

        Multinational corporations are merely an extension of empire. The history of France in Africa fosters numerous examples. Particularly after the former colonies were granted independence.

        China has it’s own geopolitical trade agreement that it’s negotiating with the same countries as the US. I don’t mind the TPP negotiations continuing, as long as it doesn’t pass, as it provides political leverage and concessions to these countries who are caught in the middle.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Interesting notion, that post-supra-national corporations are “an extension of empire.” Sure looks to me that has it just backwards. Or at least that the two categories are pseudopodia of the same pathogenic amoeba. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naegleria_fowleri

          Also slightly curious why NC was offline for much of the day. The aluminum foil in my hat is quivering, for some reason…

          1. Andrew Watts

            Multinational corporations have never been “post-national”. The Dutch East India Co, one of the world’s first multinationals, wielded state powers but at the end of the day was only an extension of Dutch empire in the East. Modern day legal gimmicks like the arbitration courts have simply replaced the violent extortion wielded by the old European powers. Mostly due to the fact that the liberal bourgeoisie are cowards who can’t stand the thought of getting their own hands dirty. (ie: drones)

            I don’t buy the whole national sovereignty argument. First of all I’m not a right-winger and second because these countries are neither free or independent of foreign powers. They might get an opportunity to choose their master in East Asia though.

      2. Enquiring Mind

        A casual review of available literature indicates otherwise. For example, see the following from The Diplomat about Asia-Pacific matters.

        I was referring to the TPP and perhaps your third sentence was to say that China has nothing to do with the TTIP, either.

        I’m no fan of the ISDS and other provisions, and don’t like the process or the policies in either agreement.

  2. Jim Haygood

    “Investing for retirement as public policy [is] a scam; the time frame is simply too long, unless you’re lucky.”

    Ten years isn’t “the long term” for a perpetual institution such as government or an endowment. Social Security, for instance, offers 75-year projections, corresponding to roughly three generations.

    Dimson, Marsh and Staunton (authors of the 2002 book Triumph of the Optimists) publish an annual update through Credit Suisse. It shows that, in every country for which records exist (many of them going back to 1899), equity returns beat bond returns by a large margin over the past 116 years.


    Virtually the only exceptions occur in wars or revolutions, when markets are closed down or expropriated.

    That every pension fund in the U.S. (bar Social Security) invests in equities reflects a universal consensus that pension funds should position themselves to benefit from economic growth though equity ownership.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To benefit from economic growth through equity ownership….

      Investment strategy –

      We can all benefit from population growth through limited-resource ownership.

      Fact: More people will make water more precious.

      Fact: More humans means more trees need to be cut down to grow food.


      We then construct our craazyman portfolio accordingly.

    2. reslez

      Of course, wars and revolutions are basically inevitable over a time period as long as 116 years, which raises the question of why such an argument is made. And the answer is: to fill the pockets of people who sell stocks.

    3. Socal Rhino

      But haven’t life insurers invested more in fixed income over that period to ensure that widows and orphans get the funds?

    4. zapster

      Except for the disturbing habit of fund managers to strip their clients’ assets, a problem that just never comes up with SS. Oddly, other nations, such as Chile, that have tried what you suggest end up with no pensions at all.

    1. Emma

      Thanks to trailblazing Nina Turner:


      who proposes taking action to ensure things like single payer are not iced out by signing the following:


      And before it’s also iced out again from Youtube, check out the trailer for the movie ‘Clinton Cash’


  3. diptherio

    Actually, today’s plant is from diptherio. I forget to sign emails with my handle…and Jeff isn’t even my christian name…too funny :-D

    When I was walking along the trail and saw this mushroom thing, I at first thought someone had tossed an orange peel aside, but upon closer inspection, it was a strange looking fungus (aren’t they all?) growing around the base of…some sort of sage, I’m guessing…not really a botanist…

    1. Roger Smith

      I get those in parts of my front yard, close to my house, which faces dead north and blocks a lot of light. They are very strange indeed!

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Fixed; I had confused one male name beginning with “J” for another!

      Readers may find it re-assuring, however, that I don’t make any mental connection at all between handle and email address. Or not re-assuring!

      1. diptherio

        Don’t worry about it, my mother has been known to call me “Mandy,” which is the name of our female black lab…who’s been dead for about 15 years…I mean, you and I haven’t even met in person…and yes, it is reassuring to know that you’re not pulling a mental NSA on us ;-)

  4. Anon

    So, DC is the home of the last primary. Of course, I’ll go out and vote, in spite of how conclusive things sound right now. At the same time, this gives me a rare chance to do my part and be on the ground. I’ll report back here with my experience as to how it went.

    On a side note, I’m seriously considering leaving the D party – after all, what have they done for me lately (not even to speak of ever)? Also, given the rash of endorsements coming out now, how will the e-mail hairball/tar baby/server-shenanigans play out now?

    1. hreik

      i left the D party just a few hours ago. The confluence of: CA, Slow-walking the email investigation, my suspicion of electoral fraud by the D’s, Warren’s support and finally PBO’s support for $hillary crossed my line…. so I divorced the party. I live in a closed primary state but the way things are now, I’m not interested in voting in any primaries… I’m too disgusted. And I wanted to send a message.

    2. Steve C

      But Obama’s friends with Jay Zee and Beyoncé. And did you see he had Bryan Cranston in the Oval Office the other week? And the media now loves Hillary. How could you think of leaving such a cool bunch?

    3. Otis B Driftwood

      When I try to leave the Democratic party online by clicking on the “change registration” link on my voter profile, I get this admission of absolute incompetence:

      http://www.sos.ca.gov – SSL Connection failed
      Error code 29
      SSL is not supported

      Kinda sums up the whole election season for me. Musta been set up by HRC’s email server guy.

    4. jrs

      good go out and vote. Sander’s is campaigning on DC statehood in DC. It should happen. DC is ridiculously deprived of representation.

  5. diptherio

    I ask you to keep the quality of commentary and links Naked Capitalism-excellent, and that means staying focused, providing lots of sourcing, using your critical thinking skills, proffering no digital “evidence” without clear provenance and a chain of custody, and not citing to sources that would make the blog look bad (to, say, a Democrat oppo researcher [*** cough *** Alex Jones *** cough *** and suchlike]). Don’t say “watch the video”; that’s assigning work; give a quote or a ideally a transcript. If you’re speculating, label your speculations as just that. And if I violate these best practices, you call me out. –lambert

    And this is why I love NC. Who else tells their commenters to call them out? You rock, Lambert.

    1. Ian

      Heard an interview between Alex Jones and Noam Chomsky roughly a decade ago. They were getting along fine with Chomsky’s and Alex’s points complimenting each other until it got to the issue of Gun Control on which Chomsky respectfully disagreed. Alex almost immediately goes on a rant about how Chomsky is a shill and a plant to represent the Empire type talk.

  6. Elliot

    I thought the ‘secret win’ photo bit was interesting because, as I read on my Twitter feed, the Clinton campaign sent out emails with that pic, and the date was 6/3; whatever the AP’s naming conventions are, the Clinton campaign had that photo in advance. Do you think the AP sent copies of ‘secret win v3’ to the Sanders campaign?

    I may be morbid but I find the rush by Hillary supporters to blame Trump on Sanders supporters being insufficently grateful for Hillary’s so called REAL plans both sad and funny. Sad because they clearly aren’t reading even Hillary on what Hillary actually does/accepts funding for, and funny because they think that Sanders supporters would support Hillary if we read what Hillary actually does…

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I asked for those emails contemporaneously, and never got one. What’s your sourcing on that? Twitter isn’t good enough.

      Let us remember the famous story — I’m summarizing how I see it, and it’s not ironclad — of how Karl Rove saved George W. Bush’s bacon on Bush’s (putative) Texas Air National Guard duty* that helped him avoid going to Vietnam.

      Rove planted true information in false form (the famous “fonts” story). Then, when the false form was discredited — by a Rove operative, which touched off a media firestorm — the true information was discredited as well. (This was the story that took down Dan Rather. The blogosphere had done immense work advancing this and then Rather went and feel for this… thing).

      So, do you think Brock is dumber than Rove? Not capable of doing anything Rove did? I don’t. And

      NOTE * Which it’s highly dubious he performed; Gary Trudeau offered a $10K reward for anyone who witnessed him doing it, and nobody stepped forward.

      1. sd

        Old history. There was a core group of volunteers who had spent years working on the AWOL story, slowly getting documents via FOIA. The ‘source’ for the forged documents in Rather’s report was already well known to the volunteers for being very dodgy. Rather’s producer did a terrible job, all she had to do was send an email to vet the source. She didn’t. So either it was deliberate sabotage or incompetent arrogance on her part. And as far as I know, she never contacted the volunteers.

      2. allan

        It’s widely believed that Brock is the love child of Rove and Donald Segretti. DNA test video at 11.

    2. August West

      This story broke on Bernie Reddit.? I saw it on Tuesday and thought of posting but, like you Lambert, I wasn’t sure it was ligit. The initial comments on Reddit from people who supposedly worked in advertising/ media were that this is very common in the industry to have these graphics made already. It made sense to me so I didn’t think much of it.

      1. reslez

        It doesn’t tell us anything new. We already know corporate media heavily supports Clinton. We already know Clinton gives dictation to reporters. Hints of an explicit tie — a file name — sort of pale compared to what we know already.

    1. ambrit

      What if Francis learning that is putting the “Fear of Mammon” in him?
      I don’t know but if he might be being blackmailed for something from the Argentine Period. Or, things are now so bad in the Curia that he really fears for the continuance of the Church.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        John Paul II and Ratzinger had universal control of appointing Bishops for 30 years. This is unheard of. It’s bad.

        1. ambrit

          Is there a seminary in or near a polity called Avignon in America? That might be where this is leading.
          I do remember the Banco Ambrosiano scandal. This could be worse?

  7. hemeantwell

    I never thought I’d hear a “progressive” call for “race-based political mobilization” as a strategy before, but this has been a wonderfully clarifying election. In a way, one might see Krugman’s “horizontal inequality” as the reactionary backlash of a panicked and corrupt political class to Occupy’s 1% vs. 99% vertical framing.

    Thanks for the report. I’ve stopped reading PK but this is wonderfully clarifying of the political options the DLC wishes to make available to us. The incrementalism he argued for against Sanders will be made a certainty if the struggle for a dwindling pie share is racialized. In effect, he’s encouraging the same divisive tactics white elites have been using for centuries.

    (Importing black strikebreakers in the 1919 Chicago steel strike is one of the examples labor historians often refer to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steel_strike_of_1919)

    1. Another Anon

      “race-based political mobilization”, another way of
      “divide and conquer”. This time of the 99% by the oligarchs.
      This I think will not work, this will incense Trump supporters
      and make him more attractive to many Sanders supporters.
      Trump really needs to rip this up.

  8. craazyboy

    “Secret win”

    hahahaha. Team Blue Dress once again pulls trigger on “polish pistol.”

    I fear I may tire from overuse of my new catchphrase someday. But not yet.

  9. timmy

    As to the integrity of our electoral process, perhaps Robert Caro’s account of LBJ stealing the 1948 Senate election in Texas should become required reading in our secondary schools and universities. Particularly since LBJ personally documented the fraud with a photo and later gave it to a journalist. This isn’t speculation.

    The account should include Caro’s remark that the 51 electoral votes that JFK received in Illinois and Texas in 1960, and which provided JFK his electoral margin of victory over Nixon, could be localized to margins achieved in over night hours in both Chicago and in South Texas and that skepticism of the validity of that election outcome was justified.

    1. Carolinian

      Caro went soft on Lyndon in his last book. Here’s hoping he hangs in long enough to give a full account of the Vietnam era in his next. By then–with the reign of Hillary in full cry–it will all seem like deja vu.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      It should indeed.

      One likes to think that the rot was confined to little pockets like East Texas and Chicago, and hadn’t metastasized everywhere.

      1. Watt4Bob

        Court House Over White House
        Chicago and the Presidential
        Election of 1960

        Edmund F. Kallina 1988


        The book details the Illinois recount and the fact that it wasn’t turning up enough votes for Nixon. The National party pulled out and left Illinois States Attorney candidate Benjamin Adamowski with only $25K to fund what was a very expensive recount that may well have changed the States attorney race, but for lack of funds.

        (see Table 7-2 page 164, Nixon had picked up only 1,779 votes during an initial discovery recount, but Adamowski
        had picked up 8,048 )

        The judge who controlled the recount, insisted that the recount would be accomplished with 20 teams of counters, so as to speed the process, and the candidate, who was responsible for the cost, and his lawyer insisted on a less expensive team which meant a slower resolution.

        The judges rulings and the candidates lack of funds conspired to put an end to the recount.

        It is not at all clear that Nixon and the Republican National Committee quit the recount so as to avoid being seen as sore losers, it may well have been the cold calculation that continuing the recount would result in their being seen as sore losers, twice.

  10. Uahsenaa

    So, yesterday I watched the HBO documentary about Bev Harris (of Black Box Voting) called Hacking Democracy and after reading the reports written by the computer security experts at Johns Hopkins and Stanford who appeared in the film, I actually don’t think it’s possible to be foil-hatty enough. The memory cards for voting machines are so ridiculously easy to hack, and the tabulation software is even worse, as simple as changing a field in an Excel file. Add to that how county election boards are so paranoid of not having their counts certified of being caught making an error that they go to great lengths to hide even the most minor shenanigans. In one part, Harris finds original signed voting machine printouts (which are required to be kept for 22 months in CA) had been tossed in the trash, which showed vast discrepancies with the printouts she had been provided by the county. And the examples go on and on.

    Then there’s the recently revealed phenomenon of fractional votes, all of which is preceded by rampant purges of voter rolls for spurious reasons, voter suppression, blatant disenfranchisement, provisional balloting, and so forth. The only thing that makes it tin-foily is the widespread unwillingness to actually investigate it.

    And I can actually understand why it isn’t. Elections are held by individual counties, of which there are over 3000 in the US, so to get a sense of what is going on, you would need to camp the dumpsters of thousands of different places all over the US. Who’d want to do that when you can make six figures penning incoherent thinkpieces about how scary brown people are and why they (and anyone within a mile radius of them) need to be blown to kingdom come.

    1. JohnnyGL

      I watched that fairly recently, too.

      Apparently, a lot of those old machines are still in use.

      Why don’t more candidates challenge them? Do they think the cases are unwinnable in court? Or do they prefer not to rock the boat too much?

      1. Uahsenaa

        My guess is a slew of reasons: challenging an election after the fact would be seen as sour grapes, so you’d have to overcome quite a bit of skepticism; local and national media almost immediately stop paying attention once the election has taken place; it takes money to hire a team of lawyers with the specialized knowledge needed to litigate such an issue; it takes time, and the further you get from a media declaration of “winner,” the steeper the hill is you have to climb to bring it all back; people running for office quite often don’t want to deal with the burden anymore…

        …and the big one, the very people you’re accusing of fraud are the ones who maintain control over all the evidence you need to prove it. It’s like police departments investigating themselves. No one’s surprised when it turns out they find no evidence of wrongdoing.

        As for unwinnability, with the exception of the Supreme Court, there is a real unwillingness on the part of judges to intercede where they might have real impact on an election. The most infamous recent example is the case in New York, which was basically tabled until after the primary, rendering it effectively moot. Imagine someone going on MSNBC tomorrow calling for that suit to go forward. They’d be treated like a crackpot.

        So, the best we can get, it seems, is damning revelations after the fact.

  11. craazyboy

    “Buffett has said that “investing is simple, but not easy.”

    yeah, first you have to get a job and pay off the mortgage and student loans.

      1. craazyboy

        I did that once already. I got the CA mortgage paid off in 1995 and then shoveled all my disposable income into stocks. Just in time for the 1998 Asian Crisis (one pick was a ten bagger that deflated to a 2 bagger), then on to the dot com bust which I mainly avoided, but kicked myself for not shorting, then on to the more general slow moving crash beginning in mid 2000 and finally culminating in DOW 8000 when Bush went into Iraq.

        Got a little twitchy about things after that. Had more of a bond orientation since. And here we are.

      2. Jim Haygood

        After its worst crash in history, it took the Dow Jones Industrial Average 25 years to recover to its Sep. 3, 1929 level of 381. But this doesn’t consider dividends, which were large in the 1930s and 1940s.

        On a total return basis, including reinvested dividends, the Dow recovered its 1929 level in August 1945. (Source: Global Financial Data. Strangely, Dow Jones only publishes total returns from Sep. 30, 1987.)

        However, this 16-year recovery period was for a 100% equity investment — not a prudent policy, then or now.

        Now consider a 50/50 portfolio of stocks and 10-year Treasuries, rebalanced whenever either portion falls below 45% of the total portfolio. This portfolio exceeded its Aug 1929 high water mark in Nov 1935, a recovery period of slightly over six years. By 1954, when the Dow index finally reached its 1929 level, the 50/50 portfolio had more than quadrupled in value.

        Point being, even the catastrophically awful 1932 worst case was survivable by investors who stuck to a disciplined balanced portfolio.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          Point being, even the catastrophically awful 1932 worst case was survivable by investors who stuck to a disciplined balanced portfolio. So you are guaranteeing a future of Golden Era-scale economic returns again? First we reinvigorate our manufacturing sector by ramping up for WW3! Then we make sure we are the only country left with a functioning (formerly) advanced economy! What could go wrong?

          1. craazyboy

            Nothing really. Hillary’s emails are really a brilliant Fusion Power Machine design that she and Victoria Nuland have been working on for ten years now. The really clever part is they connected it to a superconductor rail gun and it can shoot a black hole over Russia, first sucking in all of Russia’s nuclear ICBMs, then Russia itself. Next, China will never know what hit them. America can then go on becoming more and more exceptional, and this will be recognized by high frequency trading computers, resulting in upward stock prices.

  12. Jim Haygood

    Stick a fork in the Fed, they’re done:

    U.S. households’ long-term inflation expectations, a measure tracked closely by policy makers, fell to a record low this month in data going back to 1979, according to preliminary results of the University of Michigan’s June survey of consumers released Friday.

    In a speech on Monday, Yellen said “the indicators have moved enough to get my close attention,” adding that “if inflation expectations really are moving lower, that could call into question whether inflation will move back to 2 percent as quickly as I expect.”


    Today, German 10-year bunds closed at a yield of 0.02%, while Japan’s 10-year govie yields -0.17%. Likewise, the U.S. 10-year note is poised to close at a three-year low of 1.64%.

    What’s it mean? A global economy that’s dead in the water. To raise rates against this dull-gray backdrop would be the biggest mistake since the Fed’s spectacularly catastrophic October 1931 rate hike, which is what made the Great Depression “Great.”

    1. Andrew Watts

      The Fed’s rate hike in ’31 was meaningless compared to the collapse of the European banking system and Japan’s invasion of Manchuria. Before the Japanese invasion people expected China and it’s ongoing development to bailout the world economy.

  13. PeonInChief

    I wept when I found out that our local Sanders group didn’t know what people should do with their vote by mail ballots if they hadn’t mailed them in on Monday.

  14. local to oakland

    Re the Trump v Clinton what should Sanders supporters do question…. this year for me it’s about foreign policy. I was already strongly anti TPP. But the Victoria Nuland for sec state rumor and the confrontations re Ukraine has this child of the cold war very nervous.

    I have no data, just guesses based on what evidence I can see. I want a leader who can imagine what a war with Russia would look like, even if we ‘won’. I would take McCain over Clinton for that reason and I disagree with him on every possible domestic issue. I would accept 99.5 percent of the set of all possible not Clinton candidates.

    Unless the email scandal blows up into an indictment, we have Trump as the alternative. I don’t like that he is my alternative, but unlike 2000, I don’t feel safe voting third party. If Clinton wins, I may see whether I can find a way to be an expat for a while.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The best way to hand one’s fear is to confront it and be pro active.

      That means we ask ourselves questions like, ‘how do we survive global warming?’

      Scenario planning like.

      In this case, we ask

      “How we do position ourselves to help bringing about a better world under a Trump presidency?”

      Because opportunities will be there (in any crisis) for people to act…as he clashes with and smashes the establishment.

      Don’t fret.


      “Look beyond the lesser of two evils.”

  15. Take the Fork

    *”I never thought I’d hear a “progressive” call for “race-based political mobilization” as a strategy before, but this has been a wonderfully clarifying election.”*

    I’ve warned about the increasing racialization (or, if you’re colorblind, tribalization) of our politics before, but the clarity is refreshing.

    I would argue that Progressive and DNC elites have been calling for just this sort of mobilization for a very long time, it’s just that they’ve always pretended (and maybe even believed) they were calling for something else, perhaps because race in their belief system is and can only ever be a “social construct.” Of course, maybe they were just lying. How would Ockham have sliced it?

    An anti-white rainbow coalition might indeed lock the GOP out of the White House and continue to do so in certain coastal state legislatures – but this will only accelerate the dynamic we see now in places like California, which is ethnically cleansing itself. The problems with the CalPERS system has been discussed here before. But I don’t remember a discussion of where that pension money gets spent, but a whole lot of it is in Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Texas, etc. A similar “Half-Backer” phenomenon is taking place in Florida, with major consequences in the country west of North Carolina’s Research Triangle – although in Florida the GOP still has a solid lock on the state legislature.

    The danger as I see it is what happens when the GOP, or whatever comes next, becomes a different kind of movement, not of the right, but of the white. A racially-based and unapologetic alternative right is growing in Europe and in the US. No amount of tolerance training is going to put this genie back in the bottle. Of this trend Trump is a symptom and not a cause – although I don’t think many people understand this yet.

    Post-modern rhetoric aside (even in their divided condition) self-identifying whites remain – by far – the strongest “tribe” on this continent. This is probably not clear if you live in NYC or LA or SF. Does Newton’s Third Law work for politics? To actually push for a race-based mobilization in the present circumstance is probably going to be violently self-defeating.

    Unless your ultimate aim is “Divide and Conquer.”

  16. Elizabeth Burton

    “In the rat maze called the American voting system, the painfully amateur Sanders campaign never provided a vote-guiding map.”

    Not true. I belonged to several Sanders Facebook groups, and there were thousands of people phone-banking and knocking on doors doing just that in California. They were sharing social media memes that gave clear instructions on how NPP voters should ensure their votes were counted. They were doing this, as far as I know, until the polls closed. It was the same with every primary and caucus. So, with all due respect to Mr. Palast, his radicalism is running away with him there.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think ‘amateurs’ is a term of compliment, much like citizen politicians and anti-establishment.

      If Mr. Palast has specific recommendations to improve his campaign, we do well to look into them.

      It’s not so bat that he calls it amateur.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        Not my point. I’m saying the amateurs did as much as they could, and blaming the campaign for lack of voting process information is a cheap shot. The bureaucracies responsible for voter registration should be providing that information, and they didn’t. Indeed, there were reports of registrars being given totally false information to pass on.

        As citizens, we can address the issue of how voter registration is being handled, and that’s where an national-scale investigation needs to happen. It’s our tax dollars, after all, that are paying the people who are supposed to be informing voters how to vote, and if they aren’t doing it, why are we still paying them?

        1. Roger Smith

          Exactly, voting is the basic practice. It is up to the campaigns to get their views out not to try and instruct as many people on how to vote as possible, like some Amazing Race style farce. I want to smash my head into the table when I read people making comments like: “Well they should have known [about various ballots]. It isn’t that hard.”

          There should not even be more than one ballot!

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Good point.

          The bureaucrats and inefficient government workers responsible – they should have known the new voters and independents wanting to vote in the CA Democratic primary, given what has happened in all the other states.

          This is not saying the private sector could have done better, though the D party being a private organization should there is no guarantee that they will do better, and likely worse). That won’t stop the D party from complaining, though, if they have to pay for it.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      But we have to look at results, and in California, the results are that a lot of people were confused.

      The Sanders campaign was like an attack that unexpectedly broke through enemy lines. Amazingly, it never outran its supply lines, because (as it were) materiel was consistently airdropped via the amazing fundraising operations, but it was surely improvisatory in a lot of ways, including ballot access issues. No reform is possible there; the entire system must be ripped from the hands of the parties, and hand-marked paper ballots counted in public substituted.

      1. sd

        California voter here. We are registered NPP (No Party Preference) This was our first year as VBM (Vote by Mail). In the past, we always got Voter Guides with detailed information about voting well in advance of the election that usually includes a post card on the back for Absentee or Vote by Mail.

        This year, the guide came later than usual and it came WITH the NPP VBM ballot. But before it arrived…

        Because I hadn’t received the Voter Guide, I started to get worried about our voter registrations, so I went online, checked status and found information about NPP and VBM. The website instructed to print out an application to apply for the Democratic Party ballot for VBM. We printed them out, filled them in and sent them by mail from the Post Office.

        A few days later, I went online to check again. The LA County voter information was slightly different than the CA voter information. The application was also different. But since both directed the ballot applications be sent to the LA County Registrar, I didn’t worry about it.

        At the time, the information about NPP VBM was not easy to find. It took multiple searches before finding the appropriate application for party specific primary ballots for VBM NPP.

        We had two other issues. One member of the household is registered VBM NPP (and has been for years) but received a Democratic Party ballot without asking – so it appears their registration has changed.
        Another person registered to vote in 2013 but never received any voter information. So re-registered at a voter drive, and got a voter registration card in the mail several weeks later.

  17. Jp

    Obama gives Clinton his mailing lists, but as I see it the real value is Act Blue’s list. I wonder if that came up in yesterday’s White House meeting.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Contrasts that with Sanders’ list.

      Basically, a list of $27 donors is a list of the 99% – you can find it in the phone books.

      1. hunkerdown

        Is it a small enough portion of the 99% on that list that they can be kicked hard, maybe felonized? That is, can Farmer Hillary damage organizational capacity through “law” enforcement?

  18. jawbone


    Working URL for de Blasio New Yorker article. Comes up as not found for me (using Chrome on iMac).

    A biographer of Andrew Cuomo wrote that he was a bully as a kid and has continued to be a bully whenever he feels he can get away with it or needs to attack “opponents.” Somehow I cannot get over the thought that much of what’s being done stems from the NY Corporatist Dem governor.

    It’s been amazing to me to see the never ending commercials on NYC broadcast TV –which I notice during news broadcasts– about how de Blasio’s polices for increasing affordable housing in NYC are, according to the actors in the ads, killing landlords’ profits and construction workers and repairmen’s jobs.

    I think there may be more of these ads than the ads attacking the mayor for not creating each and every privately funded charter school proposed for the city.

    1. Pt

      When the Silver indictment came down I said it was Cuomo getting rid of one of the thorns in his side AND it was paving the way to eliminate rent stabilization in NYC. I also remember others just waiting until it was Andy’s turn to do the perp walk. But it hasn’t happened and instead two of the three men in a room have been indicted AND tried and now the talk turns to di Blasio, not Cuomo. And not surprising at all is that di Blasio believes in public education (not grift) and that there needs to be affordable housing including in popular neighborhoods. And Cuomo believes in every neoliberal funding program for politicians there is.

  19. Benedict@Large

    I’d be kind of surprised at an October Surprise in foreign policy favoring Hillary. Obama’s legacy is on the line here, and I suspect the Libya fiasco burned Obama’s last favor up for her in that arena.

    1. Pat

      I don’t see any October surprise favoring Hillary. Whose in charge – the Dems. The economy crashes, the Middle East blows up, there is a significant terrorist attack, it all comes back to Obama and the woman who is his heir. Except for something personal about Trump, they are all losers for her.

  20. dingusansich

    Come November, It will almost surely be Trump or Clinton. If the Donald wins with a Republican Congress, get ready for Trump Tammany on the Potomac. Trump’s words are empty, but what we can infer, from ample evidence over decades, is that Trump is, to be fair and not to put too fine a point on it, a petty, shallow, immensely greedy, predatory, self-aggrandizing, habitual liar. Life is uncertain, but through the bullshit and bluster we can be pretty sure of this: Trump will do what profits Trump. That is his single overriding principle, his prime directive, his orthodoxy, his religion.

    And please don’t confuse his primaries roadshow with what he’ll do in a Washington studio. The Donald got hit ratings not because of a slogan on a red hat but because of a certain bad-boy ‘tude, the jaw-dropping chutzpah to sneer “You’re fired!” to the Republican Party and its shibboleths. Give him residuals on cruise missile footage and he’ll gin up enough war to slake even hardened swingers like Kagan and Nuland. And with a Tea Party and Paul Ryan-led Republican Congress to cut deals with, watch out below. Institutional Democrats will feign outrage while churning out fundraising letters and blame the party’s left wing.

    Though nauseating to contemplate, it is arguably better in this egregiously lose-lose cycle to wish for a Clinton presidency with a Republican Congress. Suppose Republicans hamstring a Clinton administration with myriad investigations, shun collaboration on “entitlement” “reform” for fear of Tea Party backlash, and reflexively jawbone against warlike incursions if only because Hillary favors them. Best case: a one-term dynastic extension ending in disgrace and disavowal, degrading the power and credibility of rice-bowl Democrats and giving the Sanders of 2020 an opening on prepared ground.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Vous avez raison, as our French comrades say.

      This only works for the ‘beest if she chooses for attorney general a complete ethical nonentity, along the lines of a Janet Reno / Alberto Gonzales / Eric Holder (hmm, are we detecting a pattern here?).

      Wonder who that would be. Let’s call the bar association for a reco: give us the worst you got.

      1. Mark P.

        For the record: Eric Holder was unfortunately not a complete ethical nonentity, but in fact while at Covington & Burling was one of the primary legal intellectual architects responsible for working out mortgage bond securitization in the first place.

        Hence, he was arguably the biggest villain of the Obama administration, ahead of T. Geithner or Lanny B.

        1. crittermom

          I, myself, have a particular distaste for the fact Eric Holder had a closed door negotiation with Jamie Dimon while ‘working for the govt’, resulting in a fine so low (respectively) for Chase Bank that Jamie received a bonus of $18.5 million for his ‘good negotiating’.
          Chase Bank stole my beloved ranch, so it’s admittedly personal for me.

          I had been hoping there would be more about Holder returning to his corner office after his stint in the govt, since I’d foolishly thought there was a law against his former employer holding a position for him.
          Apparently I was mistaken, & it sickens me to see that revolving door so well used.

          Yes, I must agree that Holder was not a complete ethical nonentity. He certainly did his share of damage when given the chance.

    2. local to oakland

      Maybe. But he’s in real estate and profits from peaceful world wide tourism. Bombs explpding in New York harbor would not be in his economic interest. I’m crossing my fingers that he can employ competent subordinates, which judging from the server fiasco, Clinton has issues with. We all have to read the tea leaves as best we can.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Actually, I think there’s only one thing that matters, and that’s that the left end up as an independent power center, distinct from liberals and conservatives or (with some overlap) Democrats and Republicans, respectively. The latter two are different flavors of neoliberalism; the left is not.

  21. Lee

    Race based political mobilization was also recently trumpeted as the way forward by Markos Moulitsas at Daily Kos. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/03/02/1494621/-A-real-liberal-revolution-starts-with-communities-of-color

    “You do not build a liberal movement by bringing together white people, then hoping that people of color come along for the ride. You start with those communities of color.”

    Well, yes and no. Whites, as currently defined, still represent >70% of the electorate and the working class, of whatever race, gender and so forth represent an even greater percentage of the electorate. The failure of Dems to pick up and wield the cudgel of class politics in addition to addressing the special oppression of minority groups and women is reaching the limits of its mass appeal IMHO.

    As a side note, if you haven’t read Markos Moulitsas “I got mine” post you might find it interesting and to some extent explanatory in understanding his often scurrilous antipathy toward Sanders’ class message. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/12/21/1461170/-I-was-a-lucky-one-achieving-the-American-Dream).

    On a personal note: I remembers groups with which I was affiliated in the 70s who took the position that the African American lumpen proletariat was the vanguard of the revolution. Things often ended tragically and in tears.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      To be fair, I think we need a much more empathetic notion of class(ification?). After all, people can’t experience the world through anything other than their identity. If a cop a shoots you because you’re black, then a lecture on how class is the real driver isn’t going to be helpful or persuasive or, for that matter, the truth. But if the cop is that way because the Police Department is running a law enforcement-for-profit operation for the municipality, which needs the money because they’re in debt to the bankers, and they need the money because the tax base collapsed, and that’s because private equity stripped the town of its factory, which also took away the job of the uncle of the guy who got shot. Yeah, got yer social construction right here. And surprise, the vertical counts too.

  22. sd

    From the Entertainment world…

    Norman Lear Calls Donald Trump “The Middle Finger” Of America, Talks “Golden Age” Of Diversity On TV – ATX TV Festival

    A chat about the new, more diverse American TV family (think Fresh Off The Boat and Black-ish) took a turn to politics Friday at the ATX Television Festival in Austin. Norman Lear made the room roar with laughter when he said he views “Donald Trump as the middle finger of the American right hand,” a comment that came after fellow panelist Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal interrupted the conversation on diversity with one word, yelling, “Trump!”


    Added Lear: “We have a common identity as human beings. We humans are capable of whatever another human is capable of. Just know that there is nobody that is so foreign to human beings from you, that you don’t recognize the common humanity.”

    1. sd

      Los Angeles alone…

      County Los Angeles
      Vote By Mail 275,972
      Provisionals 256,326
      Other 24,021
      Remaining 556,319 (unprocessed ballots)
      Last Update 6/10/2016 3:21 p.m.

  23. Monist Lisa

    Makana’s “We Are The Many” is a strong contender for a movement song. There’s also his “Fire Is Ours”, which is explicitly a Bernie Sanders anthem. But the former is especially strong and still directly on point. Both videos could be powerfully updated with more images of rallies, voters, and the putative nominees.

  24. August West


    This is pretty obvious quid pro quo. For this to come out at a time when Hillary is not trusted is pretty damning.

    What gets me is this little nug:

    “About six months after Fernando resigned from the State Department advisory board, he was invited to attend a White House State Dinner, honoring the British Prime Minister. And this summer Fernando will serve as a super delegate at the Democratic National Convention. According to Chicago media reports, he has committed to supporting Clinton.”

    I guess with the Clintons everything is for sale, I shouldn’t be surprised.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Thanks for the Clinton Foundation timeline.

        Amazing that with with vast resources the Republicans couldn’t construct a coherent narrative of Benghazi, and yet here are two coherent narratives, both on Clinton Dynasty grifting.

  25. Jess

    Just saw on the FDL page on FB that since she endorsed the Hildabeest, Warren’s likes are coming down by some absurd rate, a thousand every 7 seconds or something like that. Here’s the FB post with links:

    In the last 2 hours, Warren’s Senatorial FB Page ( https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethWarren/ ) has dropped from 1,530,552 down 443 likes. Her regular FB Page ( https://www.facebook.com/senatorelizabethwarren/ ) has dropped from 2,191,376 down 1012 likes….

  26. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Warren as VP is the classic kind of mistake I would expect Hilary Antoinette to make.

    Love the quote above, to people who say they are voting for Hilary: “I’m voting for Trump because he’s a man”.

  27. crittermom

    Regarding all those ballots yet to be counted in CA…
    “He has told me that L.A. County generally is able to verify and include about 85 to 90 percent of provisional ballots in their final certified results.”

    That response by Dean Logan on the Bradcast regarding all those untallied ballots didn’t satisfy me.
    Perhaps this election has made me too cynical?

    ‘generally’…’85-90%’ Not exactly comforting words when speaking about something so important.

    I have to wonder if the final figure of those votes counted will still come in at around 85-90% for this election?

    This election more than any other has really opened my eyes & raised my level of mistrust to new heights.
    I always had a degree of skepticism regarding our election process, but it’s been blown sky high now.

    But that’s not really a bad thing at all. Just disheartening, to be faced with such ugly truths.

    1. Gaylord

      I have been a voter in CA for the last 5 years with the same address. This time, I didn’t receive a sample ballot, so I checked online and my registration could not be verified, so I phoned the Registrar of Voters about a week before election day. They said they had the wrong address — the street was South instead of North (why or how that happened, I can’t imagine because the South address doesn’t even exist), so I corrected it. I checked online the day before the election, and my registration still could not be verified. I called again and found that they had the wrong city, even though my address could not be in any other city! They assured me I would be on the roster at the polling place location which I ascertained.

      On election day, when I went to the polling place, my name was nowhere to be found on the roster! So, I had to get a provisional ballot. THIS IS VERY FISHY! Remember, I have been voting for the past 5 years without a problem. I smell a rat.

  28. Cry Shop

    “But power prices in California fell to their lowest level since at least 2001 last year, and in 2016 so far are trading even lower. The low price of natural gas, thanks to the fracking boom, is largely responsible. But renewables also depress spot prices because those prices are determined by the cost of the fuel source, which for wind and solar is zero” [Reuters].

    Now that’s another fallacy coming out of Reuters. There are no free rides, just less damaging ones.

  29. different clue

    Lambert Strether,

    Believe it or not, I have off-and-on thought about a Lower Class Warfighter song for solidarity-expressing and political-economic combat teambuilding. I just haven’t been able to think of many words. Just a few words, and a choice of two titles: We Shall Undermine . . . or We Shall Overthrow.

    ( To the tune of We Shall Overcome)
    We shall undermine,
    We shall undermine,
    We shall undermine each day….
    Da da dummm dum dee doo <——– ( you see what I mean by not knowing all the words)
    Da dum dum dee. < ———————-( and again is shown my lack of knowing what words to write.)
    We shall undermine each day.

    (it goes on . . . ) We shall not be sold, we shall not be sold, we shall not be sold no way.
    We shall not be bought, we shall not be bought, we shall not be bought to-day.
    We shall overthrow, we shall overthrow, we shall overthrow some day.
    If others can write good words for the other parts of each section, feel free to use this initial song-stub.

    1. aletheia33

      i really like we shall not be sold and we shall not be bought.

      how about we shall save the earth
      we shall save our children
      we shall stand together
      we shall end the robbery
      we shall jail the bankers
      we shall not be thrown away
      we shall provide for all of us

      the old ”we shall not be moved”
      and ”we shall overcome”
      were also pretty darn effective in my opinion.

    1. ambrit

      Edwardian ‘Pearls’ of wisdom, is it?
      For a more Traditional take on that see Frankie Howerd in any of the original episodes of “Up Pompeii.”

  30. Cry Shop

    PPACA / ACA –

    Over the past two years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has lost more than $400 million on our ACA business. This is largely because our ACA customers continue to be older and less healthy and use more expensive health care services than the federal government anticipated.

    Last year, the sickest 5 percent of our ACA population paid $108 million in premiums, including their government subsidies. We paid out a staggering $1.29 billion in claims for the same customers.

    Moaning about consumers gaming the system, but then pulls out this Interesting math. $1.29B – $108M ≈ +$400M

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Since the system is gamed from top to bottom, I find it hard to work up as much outrage as this CEO. Maybe he could save a few sick and old people personally by giving up his golf club membership.

      1. bob

        Golf club? Singular?

        How crass. What if the greens are bad on that ONE? It happens, and it’s not pretty.

        People dying? Not at my clubs, we pay well to keep those people out.

  31. Hobbs

    Lambert, totally OT, but where do I send a plant pic to you?? I just looked everywhere for an address but can’t find one.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      See the paragraph right above the plant, it gives the link for my contact form. Contact me, and I will send you my address, to which you may send your images.

Comments are closed.