2:00PM Water Cooler 6/13/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“‘I think Obama will go to [Clinton] and say, ‘I want to get it done and don’t get in the way,” said Bill Reinsch, a trade policy fellow at Stimson Center, a nonpartisan think tank. ‘My guess is she will go along. … I don’t think she’ll say no” Not while she’s facing the possibility of indictment, no [Politico]. “At the same time, TPP could be the trade-deal-that-must-not-be-named when Obama and Clinton barnstorm the country. ‘My guess is when he campaigns with her, they’ll talk about something else,’ Reinsch said.” Unless somebody asks them about it. One more reason the Democrat Party would rather just cancel the convention and move on.

“Google has just lent its support to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an Obama administration policy priority facing significant hurdles in this fraught election year” [ReCode]. If Google runs true to form, it’s going to be harder to find TPP information now than it already is. Not that I’m foily.

“Companies get big enough to influence the USTR to advocate for closed room deals that favor them. And Google is big enough to play that game. This public support of the TPP is a part of that game, but it’s unfortunate. The company could have and should have taken a stand on this, noting the things that are important in the TPP, but also being honest about the disastrous IP section and other problems in the agreement (such as the corporate sovereignty provisions that will almost certainly come back to bite Google and others)” [TechDirt]. “There are good trade agreements to be made. And they can focus on things like protecting a free and open internet, and creating important safe harbors for communication and innovation. But the TPP is not that agreement — and it’s disappointing that Google has decided to jump on board, rather than highlight the very clear and very real problems of the TPP.”

“The White House Exaggerates the Benefits of the TPP to the Open Internet” [Council on Foreign Relations]. “[TPP] could help promote an open internet because it encourages cross-border information flows, bans data localization policies, and offers a means to challenge censorship and filtering as barriers to trade. However, the TPP signatories can continue to block, filter, or censor cross-border information flows by relying on TPP’s broad exceptions. Moreover, the TPP says little about users or how to enhance their welfare online except to protect privacy. If the United States really wants to promote Internet freedom in its trade agreements, it should include language related to the regulatory context in which the Internet functions. By incorporating language to encourage interoperability, free expression online, the rule of law, and due process, trade diplomats can justifiably make a case that these rules safeguard digital rights.”



“Trump, Clinton and the Future of US-Vietnam Relations” [The Diplomat]. “Since World War II, the United States has been the purveyor of global public goods, such as developing international institutions, maintaining the freedom of the seas, promoting democratic values, and serving as an off-shore balancer to international conflicts.” So, cui bono? Public goods for private benefit being the definition of corruption.

“Does Hillary Really Have the Foreign-Policy Advantage?” [The Atlantic].

“Obama says the border fence is ‘now basically complete'” [Politifact (2011)].

Resolutions of the West Virgina Democratic Party State Convention (pdf).

Orlando Mass Shooting

UPDATE “Orlando shooter’s imam is pro-Trump” [The Hill].

“Three of the most contentious questions in American culture and politics — gay rights, gun control and terrorism — collided in a horrific way in an Orlando nightclub early Sunday” [Karen Tumelty, WaPo]. “[I]t happened in a gay club, just two weeks shy of the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, and on a weekend when cities across the country, including Washington, were holding gay pride festivals. It was perpetrated during the holy month of Ramadan by an American-born man whose family originally came from Afghanistan. During the attack, he reportedly made a 911 call pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. He did it with a handgun and an AR-15.” Ticks all the boxes, doens’t it?

“President Barack Obama says there’s no clear evidence that the shooter at an Orlando nightclub was directed to conduct his attack or part of a larger plot” [Business Insider].

UPDATE “Exploiting Orlando” [The American Conservative]. A tweet collection with a gloriously self-cancelling last paragraphy. Speaking only for myself, tweets from people facing death isn’t the kind of pr0n I prefer, dreadfully sincere youth heart-tuggingly hugging each other by candlelight isn’t the kind of pr0n I prefer, and the hot takes of our political class are not the kind of pr0n I prefer. Snarl.

UPDATE “America’s gun problem has everything to do with America’s masculinity problem” [Quartz]. “Everything”? I dunno. Where I grew up, the ultimate masculine “role model,” as we say, was the scholar. Right or wrong, that’s blown away now, and not for reasons for which identity politics can give an account.

UPDATE “Omar Mateen bought guns used in Orlando gay club massacre from Florida store owned by retired NYPD officer” [New York Daily News]. That explains the T-shirt, I suppose.

UPDATE “Omar Mateen and Rightwing Homophobia: Hate Crime or Domestic Terrorism?” [Informed Comment]. Useful corrective on “domestic terrorism.”


“When RealClearPolitics talked to current and former lawmakers and Capitol Hill staffers about the leadership styles of Clinton, Pelosi, and Wasserman Schultz, the response often heard was: Just concentrate on Clinton and Pelosi” [RealClearPolitics]. I’m very happy to see a corrupt election fixed like Debbie “Taking One for The Team” Wasserman Schultz thrown under the bus making a soft landing on K Street, but shoving one hack through the revolving door doesn’t exactly constitute a political revolution, does it? Granted, Rome wasn’t burnt in a day.

“New Hillary Scandal Checks All the Boxes on the Clinton Controversy Bingo Card” [Slate]. Ka-ching.

The Voters

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

Google Autocomplete Revisited [Social Strategy].

“Sanders voters in California look for concessions from Clinton, but most will support her — if reluctantly” [Los Angeles Times]. Even the ones whose votes were suppressed?

“Clinton will have to work to sway Sanders’ millennials” [Detroit News].

“Georgia Democrats seek DNC tickets for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution].

“Bernie Sanders should stop scheming” [Seattle Times]. Moar unity! (And who’s funding Sanders challenger Al Giordano, anyhow? The challenge in the upstart’s home district is a classic Democrat Party ploy.

The Trail

“[W]hy did Obama endorse Clinton when Sanders’s body, politically speaking, was still warm?” [WaPo]. This: “[Obama] also knows that the longer a rump Sanders faction is left on its own, the longer it will take to focus on what he believes to be the real enemy: Trump in the White House.” Making Sanders the real enemy. But then you knew that.

UPDATE True, this:

Now, anyhow. We used to have a candidate who delivered hour-plus “white papers with elbows” on policy, to cheering crowds in the tens of thousands, who would chant the good lines. Fortunately, that candidate has been suppressed. Alice in Wonderland:

Here one of the guinea-pigs cheered, and was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court. (As that is rather a hard word, I will just explain to you how it was done. They had a large canvas bag, which tied up at the mouth with strings: into this they slipped the guinea-pig, head first, and then sat upon it.)

`I’m glad I’ve seen that done,’ thought Alice. `I’ve so often read in the newspapers, at the end of trials, “There was some attempts at applause, which was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court,” and I never understood what it meant till now.’

So, like that.

UPDATE “Clinton Calls For ‘Common Sense Gun Safety Reform’ After Orlando Massacre” [Talking Points Memo]. Because “common sense ______ reform” has received the Good Focus Grouping Seal of Approval™….

UPDATE “‘This is a moment for Republicans, Democrats and Independents to work together as one team. The American team. And it’s a time for statesmanship, not partisanship,’ [Clinton] said on MSNBC ” [Wall Street Journal, “Hillary Clinton Bets the Political System Works”]. I’ll just leave this here. From 30,000 feet, identity politics, as practiced by Democrats, makes that impossible even taking “multiculturalism and diversity” as unproblematic. I just can’t figure out if it’s hypocrisy or Orwellian doublethink.

Voter Suppression, Election Fixing, and Fraud

“Confessions of a Hillary Shill” [Reddit]. I wish this were better attested. Readers?

UPDATE “California Counts Millions Of Provisional And Mail-In Ballots, Counties Flip For Bernie And Nine More Superdelegates Drop Clinton” [The Inquisitr].

The Hill

“The number of executive orders by every U.S. president” [Daily Dot]. Obama has issued surprisingly few.

“Exclusive: Obama administration not pursuing executive order to shut Guantanamo – sources” [Reuters]. What a shocker.

Stats Watch

No interesting stats today. Carry on with your beach reading!

Employment Situation: “Which Labor Market Data Should You Believe?” [New York Times]. The unemployment rate vs. the (new) “Labor Market Conditions Index.”

Shipping: “Demand [for air cargo] in general has been flat, but the bigger problem has been pricing: the rapid expansion of passenger fleets has added big amounts of cheaper bellyhold space to the market” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “South Korea’s president calls for ‘bone-crushing’ shipbuilding restructuring” [Splash247]. “‘If we don’t carry out a bold restructuring by downsizing the overgrown workforce… and cutting costs, the future of not only the shipbuilders but also the whole economy will be in jeopardy,’ [South Korean president Park Geun-Hye] warned.”

Shipping: “As Maersk Line Goes, So Goes The Container Shipping Industry” [James Sands, Seeking Alpha]. “[M]any in the industry are seeing anywhere of around 12 major shipping lines becoming the future for shippers to choose from once this pricing war ends. This is not just a fact of losers exiting the industry, but also of vessel sharing alliances, VSAs. In other words, there are going to be fewer choices for shippers once this pricing war comes to an end; and pricing power will be in favor of the carriers rather than customers as is the case today.”

Shipping: “Major U.S. retail container ports are anticipating import cargo volume to be mostly down during the summer, but they should see a significant uptick just prior to the winter holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released last week by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates” [Progressive Railroading]. Makes sense, assuming no strikes.

Housing: “Real estate inventory is extremely low in this current market. This has allowed the market to put upward pressure on prices even though sales volume is low. The idea of real estate correcting has once again been washed away from the cultural psychology. Home prices, the media, and house horny shoppers have once again turned real estate into a no lose proposition” [Dr. Housing Bubble]. “Once again we are in uncharted waters here. In the last bubble, we had record home sales, record home building, and record buying. This all actually makes sense from a ‘market’ perspective. Today, what is happening doesn’t. What you have is acceptance that this is a rigged system. If prices are soaring, and inventory is tight, you would assume that builders would be out in force like last time. Yet builders don’t believe the market. If they are building, it is in large part for renter households (because they believe income figures – they already got burnt last time chasing hype)…. The market right now is driven by hype and prices are set at the margins. Frothy markets can remain frothy for a long-time.”

“Silicon Valley’s Audacious Plan to Create a New Stock Exchange” [Bloomberg]. “[Eric Ries has] assembled a team of about 20 engineers, finance executives and attorneys and raised a seed round from more than 30 investors, including venture capitalist Marc Andreessen; technology evangelist Tim O’Reilly; and Aneesh Chopra, the former chief technology officer of the United States.” For “long term” investment, unless it turns out to be a bait-and-switch.

Self-driving cars and the trolley problem [Vox]. “[M]oral behavior, in the real world, has much less to do with first principles than with wisdom, perceptiveness, and self-possession…. The way self-driving cars will be made more ethical, in practice, is the same way they’ll be made more safe, efficient, and effective: by improving their sensors, communications, and learning.”

“Microsoft to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion; LNKD shares jump 47%” [CNBC].

The Fed: “A ‘New Normal’?” [Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond]. Betteridge’s Law. Because innovation:

On balance, there is reason to be sanguine about the prospects for future technological innovation. There is also reason to celebrate recent innovations that may not immediately appear as fundamentally transforming as, say, the development and widespread use of automobiles during the middle part of the 20th century, but that have still brought great gains to millions of Americans and billions of people worldwide, gains that arguably are not fully captured in many standard measures of well-being. It would be rash to attempt to predict with precision the pace at which future innovation will take place or how important those innovations will be, but it would also be premature to say that America’s best days are behind us and that future generations will not live much better than we do today. In the next section, we will raise several policy issues that might be addressed to help provide an environment in which innovation can continue to occur and economic growth can be robust. We acknowledge that some of these ideas may be difficult to achieve politically [one can only wonder why] and that some could have adverse economic consequences for segments of the population [but then you knew that]. Insofar as the latter is true, policymakers may wish to consider ways to compensate those who are made worse off [which never happens].

Like the Bourbons….

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 58, Greed (previous close: 63, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 80 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 13 at 11:58am. Still dropping!

Our Famously Free Press

UPDATE “Guns? Terrorism? Hate crime? Media go to their corners in reporting on Orlando.” [Margaret Sullivan, WaPo]. “Is there any way out? Or does the public simply have to bring a large helping of skepticism to its media consumption and assume that much of what it’s hearing is driven by politics?” And maybe by owners?

Police State Watch

“St. Louis police secret settlements total $4.7 million” [St Louis Post-Dispatch].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“History of Juneteenth” [Juneteenth.com].

“Black Lives Matter Pasadena Organizer Convicted of Felony ‘Lynching’ Charge” [Pasadena News Now]. How does that work?

“Making Freedom in Colonial Antigua: An Interview with Natasha Lightfoot” [African American Intellectual History Society]. This is fascinating.

Class Warfare

Gin and Tacos [Facebook]. Reads like the South Carolina fire-eaters in 1860, but in class, not regional terms.


From a professor of political science.

University of Connecticut professor Peter Turchin has described [the] problem of ‘elite overproduction,’ the process by which a growing number of elites got thrown into competition over a proportionally shrinking number of trophies. He says that phenomenon didn’t just help bring down the Roman Republic; it also contributed to the onset of the American Civil War, along with countless other historical calamities” [International Business Times]. “For proof, look no further than the 2016 presidential campaign. As America has become more unequal over the last few decades, the top echelon of politically active billionaires and multimillionaires has grown. Classic elite overproduction.”

“But the aspect of Hamilton’s life [Miranda] celebrates — the self-making entrepreneurialism of the American dream — cannot be fully understood without including, indeed without highlighting, Hamilton’s insistent and emphatic inegalitarianism. Hamilton and his contemporaries understood these seemingly contradictory positions as two sides of the same coin. Ignoring one side, as Mr. Miranda has done, obscures their connection both then and now” [New York Times].

“The Supreme Court has ruled that people should be jailed only when they refuse to pay, not when they can’t, and in theory safeguards protect the indigent. In practice those safeguards are chimerical, and the poor are routinely jailed for being poor. The way forward is to curb these fees, end the use by courts of private collection companies that add their own charges to the debt, and limit court debt to some percentage of a person’s income” [Nicholas Kristof, New York Times].

“One problem with the obscenity of using ‘poverty porn’ to raise money is that it works. These images do not aim to tell the truth; they sell a product. Besides its profitability, these images work as tourist brochures. As Lindsay Murdoch wrote in a previous article, ‘Orphanages are often run as businesses, the children being the assets.'” [Nonprofit Quarterly].

News of the Wired

“Is Particle Physics About to Crack Wide Open?” [Scientific American]. “Hints of an unexpected new particle could be confirmed within days—and if it is, the Standard Model could be going down.”

“The Venmo Request: A New Wrinkle in Modern Dating” [The New Yorker].

“Can sludge-like color deter smokers? The psychology behind advertising” [CNN]. Not after the ISDS suit for lost profits!

“Mongolia will become a global pioneer next month, when its national post office starts referring to locations by a series of three-word phrases instead of house numbers and street names” [Quartz]. To a data geek, this is extraordinary.

“HBO is ruining ‘Game of Thrones'” [MarketWatch]. The show has outrun the book, and the made-for-TV version didn’t kill off Arya, and turned Vaerys into a “kindly uncle.” So WTF?

“Rae Sremmurd’s June/July 2016 ‘The FADER’” [The Undefeated]. Fun music criticism. Don’t understand a word of it, but the writing style is tasty!

Unfortunately, I had stopped listening to popular music just before hip hop broke through, so I’m stuck with 70s punk and reggae. This hip hop classic has contemporary relevance:

“Suckers, liars get me a shovel.”

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (b1whois):


From the Rainbow gathering in the Stanislaus Forrest in California.

* * *
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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Take the Fork

    Are the WVa Young Dems aiming to complete the shift of the state into the Republican column?

        1. Emma

          Talking ‘green’ matters…….give a tip of the hat and wag of the tail to Rosario Dawson.
          She, like most other Bernie Sanders supporters, fully supports the inclusion of Jill Stein, the Presidential nominee of the US Green Party, to be included in national polls.
          Rosario Dawson requests we all help encourage a more worthy form of democracy in the US by signing the following:

          1. fresno dan

            like the “wag of the tail” and anything that reminds people that WE DO HAVE more than two choices!!! Send a message that you are dissatisfied with the choices your being force fed.

      1. Take the Fork

        Did you read the whole thing, or did you just think it was clever and post it?

        Hemp’s awesome. Big fan of hemp.

        And getting shed of Wasserman-Schultz? Doubleplusgood.

        But there are some non-starters in there. Especially on the voter ID and housing.

        WVa, despite all the anti-White stereotypes and slurs proffered by the Media, remained solidly Democratic long after the rest of the South and Appalachia went solidly Republican. The last 8 years this has changed, but registered Democrats still outnumbered Republicans by almost 2:1.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Yes, I read the whole thing. The hemp platform was the most obviously good idea. Though Medicare for All was pretty good, too.

          Not sure what your problem with housing is. Or with Voter ID (which is a Republican voter suppression scheme).

          1. Take the Fork

            And I agree with you on both.

            But i’s not what my problem is – it is how these will play in WVa, not in Connecticut or California.

            Don’t know how you do your politics, but they way I learned it, it’s the art of the possible (and the compromise), as well as war by other means. To win, you want more and not less support. The more non-negotiable points you have, the more fragile your coalition becomes.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Juneteenth was a vernacular holiday in Texas during the 1960s, universally observed in the African-American community.

    As the Juneteenth site notes, “On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official [Texas] state holiday through the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator.”

    A couple of years ago this historical marker was placed in the port city of Galveston, where the news first arrived:


    Too bad somebody didn’t tell them not to shout in all caps.

  3. ambrit

    Re. the antidote: It’s good to know that the Rainbow Family is still a going concern.

    1. MtnLife

      The Gathering in southern VT this year. I’m thrilled. Haven’t made it Home in a while and this one lands practically at my doorstep in this trying year.

    1. Roger Smith

      Newer-bie here, thanks for that link! It is a way more detailed version of something I mentioned when I through together a rough idea of what I thought a progressive gun platform could look like.

      Great read.

    2. jgordon

      If exercising the rights listed be the Constition cost money, well they wouldn’t be rights then, would they?

      But you do bring up a good point. Why is it that our entire society is predicated on the assumption that we externalize the costs of running our systems onto something or someone else? I daresay that if fully counted and paid for all the costs our lifestyles have on the earth then we’d have less than nothing.

      1. reslez

        If exercising the rights listed be the Constition cost money, well they wouldn’t be rights then, would they?

        Clearly the government should subsidize gun purchases for all Americans so that exercise of the Second Amendment isn’t limited by money. /s

        1. jgordon

          No. I think the government, and the corporations/private power structures that control the government, are already doing enough as is. The problem with these large institutions is that are at the wrong scale for indefinite survival, much like dinosaurs were at the wrong scale. Pushing them to do even more would only quicken and worsen the downward spiral that we’re on. People will do well enough to just be left alone to acquire and keep their own weapons, even as the decaying power structures become even more desperate and dastardly as the struggle to maintain their failing grip on power.

            1. cwaltz

              I’m far from a libertarian……..however, he does have point. Those of us unfortunate enough to have had to live in bad neighborhoods know that the best way to protect yourself isn’t waiting for someone else to show up to defend you.

                1. tony

                  Depends on what you are deterring. If it’s a burglar, yes. If it’s the police, an assault rifle is the king. Why do you think Reagan supported gun restriction in California?

                  1. Yves Smith

                    Moreover, what is the justification for killing someone over property? I lived in NYC in the bad old days when renting in a non-doorman building was a virtual guarantee that you’d be robbed at some point. I know lots of people who were robbed, including a woman who had a guy come up behind her when she was opening her building door and forced her to let him into her apt. He just took her stuff. And BTW, having a gun in that scenario would have done her no good. If you are really worried about personal safety, you need to take a course that teaches you to injure the other guy first. “Self defense” is not an adequate response if someone really wants to hurt you. The ones that are good start with the assumption that you are smaller, slower, and weaker than your assailant.

                2. pdehaan

                  I live in São Paulo, with a crime rate higher than most cities in the world and my ‘bairro’ is frequently targeted. My deterrents are:
                  – Very easy to break into my house. It has no security cameras, electric deterrents or Fort Knox like appearance. Somehow I feel that thieves will think that if it’s not well protected, there’s probably not much to get.
                  – I don’t own/keep stuff with very high monetary value. My most cherished valuables are my music collection, books, pictures and guitars. I wouldn’t be too upset if they take my TV, or camera, etc.
                  – I keep a ‘handy’ sum of money in the house, just enough for the eventual thief to be happy enough to be on his way again without wanting to take his/her frustration out of me or my family.

                  So far I’ve never had an intruder break into my house, unlike quite a few of my neighbours with all sorts of fancy security systems. Time will tell, but so far it has been working out for me.

            2. jgordon

              I’m not a libertarian. Thanks. An actual libertarian would have a number of ideological problems with the statement I made above.

  4. Cocomaan

    Well the article on cliodynamics is sufficiently terrifying.

    One note: they specifically cite (book title: SPQR) Sulla doubling the number of representatives in the Senate as being one of the factors which put the republic at risk because, allegedly, it increased the number of elites within the society. I think that actually gets the cliodynamics tack wrong (see this: http://peterturchin.com/blog/2016/04/19/donald-trump-as-an-elite-aspirant/), because Turchin specifically cites the fact that the number of decamillionares has increased while the number of federal representatives has stayed the same. Which makes competition over remaining spots that much more ferocious. I feel like the Sulla example in the IBT confused a few things.

    Interestingly, when was the 435 member US House of Reps decided and set into stone? Why, 1929 of course! (http://www.thirty-thousand.org/). Anyone remember what happened after that?

    I, for one, have been saying that we need more representation in the lower house. One representative per fifty thousand people is decent, much better than ~800,000 per representative. But according to author Mary Beard, it’s one of the factors which led to the downfall of the Empire*. I’ll tell you this: if more representation leads to our downfall, maybe we needed to sit down and catch our breath for a minute.

    * Note that I think the idea of more representation leading to elite fatigue, or whatever, is a little disingenuous, because it implies there isn’t a monied class. Cicero and the rest of the equestrian class is the counterexample.

    1. pretzelattack

      i think we need more horses in politics, and fewer horses’ asses. less damage.

  5. Jim Haygood

    Excellent graphic showing states sized in proportion to electoral votes:


    Note how tiny is the intermountain west … and how gigantic is the I-95 corridor from D.C. to Boston.

    From this graphic, you could get the illusion that it’s all quite predictable. But in landslide years, the partisan swings are always much larger than was expected.

      1. Fool

        ^makes me wish there was an upvote mechanism on NC. But yeah, if there’s one thing the great minds at NC and Wu Tang Financial believe it’s that you really got to protect your neck.

  6. Jomo

    On ” Black Lives Matter Pasadena Organizer Convicted of Felony ‘Lynching’ Charge”, what complete and utter stupidity and abuse by the state. How much was the bill the black woman skipped out on – $12, $15? And for that you have about 20 cops and their cars and equipment risk a riot to arrest the perpetrator and then prosecutors have a jury trial and you incarcerate someone (not the thief) for over a year? The expense to the taxpayer is easily over $100,000. But “justice must be done”! “Lynching”, really? The BLM organizer is clearly the one who got “lynched” (and I’m not using the definition in the CA penal code).

    1. TK421

      Of the six states that ban for-profit charters, three are the best performing in the country; Texas, by contrast, has the highest percentage of for-profit charter schools in the nation, and, maybe unsurprisingly, some of the worst-performing too.

  7. Jim Haygood

    Karma strikes again:

    Moody’s Investors Service said Monday that it was reviewing Microsoft Corp.’s triple-A bond rating for a possible downgrade, following the technology giant’s bid to buy LinkedIn Corp.

    Moody’s said that although buying LinkedIn could provide meaningful benefits to Microsoft’s cloud-based services platform, funding the acquisition entirely with debt will increase gross debt to 2.0 times EBITDA.

    If Microsoft’s rating is lowered, Johnson and Johnson would become the only company that Moody’s rates with a Aaa rating. MSFT slumped 2.4% in afternoon trade.


    I cancelled my LinkedIn account after they bombarded me with phony emails, using names stolen from my contacts.

    LinkedIn’s corporate ethics seem like a perfect fit with Microsoft, which has been shoving Windows 10 down peoples’ throats with can’t-say-no updates.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      What I wondered was: Is LinkedIn’s data structure designed for easy interchange, is their data clean, and were these factors taken into account in the acquisition? I’m guessing the answers are no, no, and no.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Good point! (Some big-time short is after Facebook, too; can’t come soon enough, so far as I’m concerned, though any foolish activist who used it as an organizing tool had better get their data out….)

    2. Arizona Slim

      I feel fortunate to have a machine that can’t run Windows 10. Processor’s too old.

      And, after this machine dies, I’m getting a Mac.

    3. Cry Shop

      Had a Linkedin account but found the discussions on their social media mostly feel good rubbish by insiders so quit visiting. Then Linkedin were putting out the word that they were heading toward being the “Uber” of HR, and upon that I closed my account. I’ll be damned if I’m going to help anyone trying to increase job insecurity.

  8. LizinOregon

    Regarding the Kristof column on debtor’s prison, I wonder how long it will take for his BFF Hillary to fix this after the inauguration? My vote is for “never” while neo-liberals like Kristof keep pretending to care.

  9. Donald

    I used to read Giordano’s blog for a short time, but grew tired of his ego.

    As I recall, he was an Obama fan, but hated Clinton. He blamed her for supporting the Honduran coup but back when I read him he seemed to absolve Obama. However, in the following link he seems a bit angry at both


  10. dk

    “Confessions of a Hillary Shill” [Reddit]. I wish this were better attested. Readers?

    Well, it’s credible to me because it fits with patterns I have seen repeatedly in politics (working for campaigns).

    But really, it’s not credible, because there is no specific evidence given.

    But I think that means something else: if the state of discourse is so degraded that one cannot surely trust any source (even with some evidence and attribution), then one is left with having to judge matters by one’s own rationality and conscience. Not the easy road, but the honest one. Stand alone, and find out who else stands as you do.

  11. Kim Kaufman

    “UPDATE “America’s gun problem has everything to do with America’s masculinity problem” [Quartz]. “Everything”? I dunno. Where I grew up, the ultimate masculine “role model,” as we say, was the scholar. Right or wrong, that’s blown away now, and not for reasons for which identity politics can give an account.”

    Some see the ultimate masculine “role model” as being very, very rich. With lots of eff u $$.

    1. TK421

      I keep seeing people linking gun murders to masculinity. But when I use the old search engine to provide dozens of examples of women who have shot people dead, they go silent. Funny thing.

        1. TK421

          How can discussing which kinds of people commit crimes be a derailment in a discussion about which kinds of people commit crimes?

    2. aab

      Toxic masculinity is a serious problem. But stigmatizing all masculinity, as if it is your biology at fault, and not a lethal ideology that primes you to gain status and security only through hierarchical dominance via violence and control to enable rapacious exploitation, is misleading and probably isn’t going to work out that well for most of us. All those men are still going to exist, in a culture swimming with guns, that promotes violence and submission of the weak to the will of the strong, with no jobs or other, more peaceful ways to survive and obtain security, dignity and status.

      But it will supposedly help Hillary Clinton get elected warmonger-in-chief, so it’s all good, right?

      1. B1whois

        I agree with not stigmatizing male masculinity, and I am female. I guess what I’m concerned about this allusion in place of behavioral descriptions.

  12. Ranger Rick

    “By incorporating language to encourage interoperability, free expression online, the rule of law, and due process, trade diplomats can justifiably make a case that these rules safeguard digital rights.”

    What a load of crap, if you’ll pardon my language. TPP extends copyright to life + 75 years, removes fair use as a legal defense, and kills the safe harbor provision. TPP is the death of Web 2.0. It also prohibits countries from passing laws requiring data from their citizens be stored in that country.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Could the sovereignty surrendertrade treaties become the issue that the Sanders movement could rally around to maintain its momentum?

  13. rich

    Deleted official report says Saudi key funder of Hillary Clinton campaign

    Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly said Saudi has enthusiastically funded Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign

    Saudi Arabia is a major funder of Hillary Clinton’s campaign to become the next president of the United States, according to a report published by Jordan’s official news agency.

    The Petra News Agency published on Sunday what it described as exclusive comments from Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman which included a claim that Riyadh has provided 20 percent of the total funding to the prospective Democratic candidate’s campaign.

    The report was later deleted and the news agency has not responded to requests for comment from Middle East Eye.

    It is illegal in the United States for foreign countries to try to influence the outcome of elections by funding candidates.

    The Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs has re-published the original Arabic Petra report, which quoted Prince Mohammed as having said Saudi Arabia had provided with “full enthusiasm” an undisclosed amount of money to Clinton.

    “Saudi Arabia always has sponsored both Republican and Democratic Party of America and in America current election also provide with full enthusiasm 20 percent of the cost of Hillary Clinton’s election even though some events in the country don’t have a positive look to support the king of a woman (sic) for presidency,” the report quoted Prince Mohammed as having said.

    The US Federal Election commission reports that over the past two years Clinton has raised a little more than $211.78m. Twenty percent of this sum is $42.35m.


    1. Archie

      Those 28 missing pages of the 9/11 report keep getting more expensive every election cycle. Ain’t blackmail grand?! And for such a good cause!

    2. Jim Haygood

      CGI onna roll!

      Less than half of the projects undertaken by the Clinton Global Initiative have been completed, according to a list posted Monday.

      The Clinton Global Initiative, which is holding its glitzy annual meeting in Atlanta this week, operates by convening powerful CEOs and nonprofit heads and encouraging them to pledge to philanthropic projects called “commitments.”

      But the report showed fewer than half of those commitments have been completed since 2005, with roughly a third underway and more than 200 others “stalled” or “unfulfilled.”

      According to the report, the Clinton Global Initiative received an all-time low number of commitments in 2015, the year Hillary Clinton launched her presidential campaign


      In USA, 409 scammers become billionaires:

      Greetings, I am Madame Hillary Clinton. You were referred to me as a person I can trust for important confidential business deal involving $20.8 million blocked account at the World Bank …

      1. redleg

        I’d say that THE main project of the CGI is incomplete, because there’s still money in the world yet to be laundered and stuffed into the Clinton’s slush fund.

    3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      This has a nice circle of through-the-looking-glass completeness to it: the beheading anti-women Saudis fund terror, and they also fund the “Because I’m a Woman” candidate, who in turn pushes Permanent War policies to ensure new terror recruiting proceeds apace. Watch the money flows: from oil revenues to jihad back around to military needed to fight jihad (said military which also happens to be the biggest consumer of oil), well-greased by K street and Wall St.
      #Winning! For arms billionaires, lobbyists, MIC, and medieval monarchies, #Losing! for everyone else.

  14. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Obama using the threat of indictment to keep Clinton “on the reservation” with respect to the TPP.

    I hadn’t thought of that diabolical angle. Seems quite probable.

    1. tegnost

      No, she is and has been in favor of the tpp but just can’t say so. Enough eleventy dimensional chess already.

      1. tegnost

        notice how they bury bernie over the weekend and now obamas making hillary do tpp….please.

    2. aab

      Yeah, what makes you think she has ever been OFF the reservation? She helped negotiate it. It was initiated while she was Secretary of State. She loved NAFTA. She’s never identified ONE specific thing about TPP she doesn’t like. It’s the “gold standard,” remember?

    3. John Wright

      The best case for Hillary is to have Obama front run the TPP in the Lame Duck session.

      Her well heeled donors will be pleased and she can “oppose TPP” during the run up to the election.

      She can still say she opposes it and pull the play from Obama’s election campaign playbook on NAFTA, oppose it during speeches, while quietly sending Austan Goolsbee to reassure this was just politics.


      “The denials were sweeping when Senator Barack Obama’s campaign mobilized last week to refute a report that a senior official had given back-channel reassurances to Canada soft-pedaling Mr. Obama’s tough talk on Nafta.”

      And a think tank gets in the press for this ridiculous statement ““‘I think Obama will go to [Clinton] and say, ‘I want to get it done and don’t get in the way,” said Bill Reinsch, a trade policy fellow at Stimson Center, a nonpartisan think tank. ‘My guess is she will go along. … I don’t think she’ll say no”

      Getting in the way is probably not Clinton’s idea as it will tick off wealthy donors.

      Obama will tell HRC she can be the TPP good cop while he is the bad cop, and HRC will tell him to be sure he gets it done during the lame duck session so she doesn’t have to take a real stand while in office.

      Clinton will be putting the pressure on Obama, not the other way around.

  15. Tom Stone

    I’m a Real Estate Broker in Sonoma County.
    Over the last 24 hours there have been 64 new listings (53 residential) for Marin and Sonoma Counties combined.
    That’s a number I expect to see in mid December, not at the peak of the selling season.

    1. aletheia33

      thanks tom stone, very interesting. please report back when you see what this is about.

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      Greetings from Alameda County, Tom. After taking a gander at the county-by-county election results in California, and noticing a distinct difference in the voting in Sonoma versus Napa, can you guess where I’ll be going henceforth on my trips to wine country, and which overhyped county I will avoid?

      The wine is actually better in Sonoma anyway. Feel the Zin!

  16. tegnost

    Too expensive to make lateral moves in the region or something else? oops, to tom stone

      1. craazyboy

        Rosenberg is fun. Permabear, but an extremely well documented one.

        Now I got a 106pg report on everything that is messed up in the world as of 2016.

    1. jgordon

      To professionals that’s a clear sign that he had some kind of institutional backing and training behind him. That, and the incredible effectiveness of his techniques. Armchair quarterbacking from unknowledable amateurs aside, it is not easy or natural to kill people in situations like this. Managing to kill fully half of the, astonishingly large, number of people shot is both a heinous and staggering feat. We have absolutely not idea yet about full scope of this operation–but I can safely say at this point that the idea that this guy was a lone, deranged gunman is utterly ludicrous.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I’m not sure why a trained gunman (5 years at G4S with an employee award) can’t also be a self-hating gay. I find the irony attractive.

        That said, I grant that “lone gunman acting alone” is a little shopworn at this point, and if you follow “self-radicalized” “lone wolf” to its logical conclusion, then the only answer is for the national security state to track everybody at all times. Then again, “the most persistent principles of the universe were accident and error”…

        1. Alex morfesis

          Think you may have nailed it…many reports that he was a regular there and one person telling orlando sentinal they were communicating for a year via an lbgt app…also the imam said something that at the time seemed directed to lbgt in general, but now…what he said was the door was open to gay people at the mosque…maybe he was talking about the shooter….
          If he was a regular, then it is possible he knew some of the people he shot…a little less random…and how did he get past the armed off duty police officer at the front door ? There has been no statement that he shot or killed any law enforcement…

      2. JTMcPhee

        Jr, are you a ” professional?” Of what profession? Is there a reason for the makeweight drumbeat of “it’s clearly ISIS”?

        1. jgordon

          Yes. I’m a Marine veteran with plenty of military anti-terrorism training (that’s basically a requirement for all Marines; it’s not special) and I currently work in security in Florida. I am very familiar with the licensing, training, and type of work that people in security do here. Also we get standard training in how to handle active shooter situations, and I’d bet that G4S has some of the most extensive and thorough training in that regard. (I’m also willing to bet that this guy signed up for every optional course in the book on active shooting while he was in G4S). I can absolutely assure you that the magnitude and “success” of this incident is completely, jaw-droppingly stunning. There is something else going on here that hasn’t come to light yet.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            “something else going on here that hasn’t come to light”

            That’s a little vague. Presumably the same training that would be given to an individual would take place in a larger operational context, for which there would be also training (including more players). Presumably you could reverse engineer a plausible “something else” from that training?

            1. jgordon

              Honestly I have thought of that in the past–like damn. If the bad guys knew this stuff, it could be ugly. It’s also one of the reasons I look askance at people who think mass shootings are a valid reason to ban firearms; in truth they’re overall a pretty ineffective way to go about committing an atrocity.

              Anyway, in short–yes. Getting trained in how to prevent something also incidentally means being trained in how to do it. I’m certain a lot of that was going on here, and I’m also certain that this was one of the major things that attracted Omar to getting employed by G4S. I’m convinced that this guy was incredibly cold and methodical. Not quite the deranged nut people are making him out to be.

                1. jgordon

                  Oh, I see. Let’s call it intuition from an INTJ then. You might have some familiarity with that. Not necessarily right, but not often wrong.

              1. low integer

                It’s also one of the reasons I look askance at people who think mass shootings are a valid reason to ban firearms

                Is one of the other reasons that you love guns? (I have read your posts detailing the joys of gun ownership so there is no need to answer. I also know that without fail, anytime guns are mentioned at this site you will be there to defend them, or more precisely, attribute any problems involving guns to anything but guns)

                I think you overestimate the physical difficulty of pulling something like this off. He was not fighting against armed opposition. Psychologically, well that is a different story, however clearly Mateen was of the mindset that his actions were a valid choice.

          2. Jim Haygood

            How did they ring “cool, calm” Mateen on his cell phone to negotiate?

            Had him on speed dial?

          3. optimader

            I can absolutely assure you that the magnitude and “success” of this incident is completely, jaw-droppingly stunning

            Search on Pulse Nightclub interior images.
            It’s the ubiquitous dark overcrowded dance club -in the middle of the night, no cover.. Once inside with an AR-15 it would be a devastating shooting gallery unfortunately.

            This sort of scenario is what occasionally gives me pause when standing in big clstfk airport security queues. Anyone /w anything could walk up.

        2. jgordon

          As to why it is ISIS? Well it’s somebody. This is not something that a lone deranged gunman could pull off. There’s some kind of organization, state, something, in the mix somewhere.

          1. JTMcPhee

            …and I thought I was a CT poster child… but of course one can never be cynical enough to keep up with all the reasons that a person just wanting to live a decent life needs to have to make sure they don’t sleep well at night, knowing all the “rough” and “smooth” men (and of course women, too, estrogen is no guarantor of decency) that are out there, armed with training on maneuver=and-fire play, the other kind of FIRE play, keys to the Code vaults, misanthropy, lycanthropy. anthropophagy, coprophagy…

            And my training I have to admit was pretty minimal back in 1966 — Very Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training, and then OJT in-country, and then “riot control training” to go shoot hippies and yippies at the ’68 Dem Convention… But I would bet that just being able to change magazines quickly in a nicely bland state of dissociation, and a little combat course time, where the targets are all soft and squealing and packed together, would let even a minimally trained and qualified and professional mis-something kill a lot of people. How much training and what external support did Anders Breivik have? or Tim McVeigh?

            I guess one thing we all can be sure of, in the age of nothing means anything and everything is attended by Churchill’s deeply ranked bodyguard of lies, is that us mopes, manipulated like the stinging ants manipulate the aphids and strip them of their nectar and eat them when they get hungry, will never know…

            I do find it interesting that someone actually mentioned “Bilderberg” in a comment maybe earlier today. But it does not matter. The Few have figured out how to run things to provide themselves almost inexhaustible floods of self-pleasure. The species does not have any kind of central organizing principle that leads to its long term survival, and “we” are so very inventive when it comes to ways to kill, retail and wholesale. And “Call of Duty — Double Black OPS” is so much damn FUN, isn’t it? Like the Phoenix guys in vietnam, who could sneak into a hooch full of sleeping “gooks,” cut a throat or two to “eliminate an enemy combatant,” to the great service of the Empire and its corporate rulers and beneficiaries, and never wake the other gook-mopes in the hooch…

            We need to take pride in our work — providing “security” for our betters, who will pay us well for our loyalty, until we maybe see the main chance and cut their throats too… hey, it worked for the Praetorian Guards, all in the great anomic war of all against all. Love us some “Game of Thrones” and “West Wing” and all that, too, and of course “The Sopranos,” and “Breaking Bad,” and those motorcycle gang and prison TV series…

            But maybe there’s hope…? https://youtu.be/TgGngBampYg

            Nah, “Hope,” says the Greeks, was the last and worst plague on humanity that escaped from Pandora’s fateful cask…

            1. VietnamVet

              NBC hints that the death toll is due to the wounded being killed in the three hours before the SWAT entry. I agree he was a trained Lone Wolf. Patrick Bahzad has posted good articles on Islam Terrorism 2.0:

              This is not happening in isolation nor are they wild conspiracy theories. The attacks are a result of the America’s quarter century war in Iraq with Sunni Muslims. Wahhabi Islam has declared war on the West. But, since the Gulf Monarchies who support this radical religion are an integral part of Wall Street and the donate millions of dollars to politicians including Hillary Clinton, this is not acknowledge. The war against the Islamic State will continue for decades. Blame instead is placed on AR-15s and the corporate media shames Americans for not being kindhearted. This is a purposeful diversion to prevent the building of secure borders and to continue the dismantling of sovereign states. Western neo-liberal rulers have no intention of forming an alliance with Russia and China to eliminate the Islamic State. Instead the Cold War 2.0 has reignited. There is no intention to secure peace for mankind.

              1. Felix_47

                And no intention of making peace with Iran…..our natural ally in the area since they feel as threatened by Sunni radicals as anyone. Ever notice that they don’t seem to have Sunni terrorist attacks?

          2. Gaianne


            I get you. The easy explanations are usually the wrong explanations. It takes thought and care to discern the truth. Facts don’t hurt either, but I can’t imagine we will get many of those.

            If it looks like a professional operation, it probably was a professional operation. Not certainly, but probably. That should be the starting point of any investigation. Amateurs rarely think everything through–even when they try–because that is hard to do. That’s where real training shows, in the absence of glitches that won’t show up in theory, but only in practice, and that get corrected through real experience. So you think about who might have done it and why. Who would be capable? Who would benefit. And look for facts, which never seems to be a strong point. Wonder why that is.

            To the larger point: A government as corrupt as ours–national or state, take it either way–will never do anything for the security of its citizens. Security theater is another matter, and we will see plenty of security theater, but it is just that–theater: You are not protected in any way, nor are you meant to be–the elites really just don’t care.

            This is why our discussion of guns is so useless: Guns don’t make you safe, but arguing about guns distracts from the real issue, which is that you are in fact–and through no fault of your own–responsible for your own security, and figuring out how to arrange your own security is a hard problem.

            People still think it is sufficient to blame somebody, and demand new legislation, but that is just more theater.


            1. low integer

              figuring out how to arrange your own security is a hard problem

              Are you suggesting that widespread gun ownership does not complicate this matter? Should someone who does not want to own a gun get one anyway to ensure that they don’t fall behind in the civilian arms race and compromise their security?
              If everyone owned a gun then perhaps there would be peace, due to equal and opposite forces cancelling each other out, but if this was the case, wouldn’t the result be the same if no one owned guns?

              1. Gaianne

                Guns are weapons of attack, not tools of defense.

                Defense is a hard problem. It has never been a matter of owning a lot of guns. Guns are for attack, or counter-attack. But contrary to what people think (and Hollywood movies may be at fault here) counter-attack is rarely possible. Defense is about those things that keep an attack from happening, or making it less effective.


  17. ewmayer

    Re. “The number of executive orders by every U.S. president” [Daily Dot]. Obama has issued surprisingly few. — Probably too busy persecuting/prosecuting whistleblowers and forcibly, erm I mean ‘robustly’, spreading American-style Democracy & Freedom™ around the world. Not enough hours in the day to be as virtuous as one would like!

  18. Amateur Socialist

    Thanks for the link on Venmo wrt “who pays” for last night’s date. It made me laugh a bit as I remembered my stock phrase in those situations, especially when/if I wanted to go out again:

    Let’s make this simple, it was my idea and I picked the place. If you want to pay, ask me out and you pick.

    I acknowledge the situation may have been easier to begin with since I was (mostly) dating people of my own sex. So at least we didn’t have that historical burden to wrestle with.

  19. rich

    U.S. court skeptical of lawmaker immunity in trading probe
    Mon Jun 13, 2016 | 4:21 PM EDT
    By David Ingram

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal appeals court fired skeptical questions on Monday at a lawyer for a U.S. congressional committee and a former staffer who argued that Congress is immune from having to cooperate with an insider-trading investigation.

    During a hearing, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals appeared to lean in favor of forcing Congress to comply at least somewhat with two subpoenas from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The case is a test of how far securities enforcers may go to police the murky world of “political intelligence,” in which firms seek to gather and sell information for traders.

    In court papers, the SEC said it believes a congressional staff member at the time, Brian Sutter, “may have been a source” of an early leak to a lobbyist at the Greenberg Traurig law firm, who then passed the information to a Height Securities analyst, who in turn alerted clients.

    Lawmakers and their staff are not immune from prosecution under insider-trading laws.

    But Sutter and his former employer, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, refused to comply with subpoenas for documents and testimony.


    membership has its privileges….so far?

    1. polecat

      Sutter and the Committee members should be clapped in irons, frog marched into jail cells and locked up until they produce the documents subpoenaed !!

      If it were one of us, we’d be breaking rocks….for years!

      Fuck these crooks!

  20. marym

    California ballot count status
    Clinton 2,128,194 55.7%
    Sanders 1,653,416 43.3%
    Uncounted Total 2,423,607

    Today 4:48 pm
    Clinton 2,152,042 55.7%
    Sanders 1,678,414 43.4%
    Uncounted total 5:04 pm (PDF) 2,303,639

    According to the PDF many counties haven’t reported since Wed. or Thurs.

    1. ahimsa

      reporting as of Monday June 13, 2016, 6:30 p.m
      Hillary Clinton 55.5% (-0.3%) 2,211,141 (+270,561 since elec. night)
      Bernie Sanders 43.5% (+0.3%) 1,734,317 (+232,274 since elec. night)

      The percentage difference is shrinking (now 12%) as they process more ballots, but the actual vote difference (now 476,824) seems to be growing since the close of counting on election day.

  21. MichaelC

    Will either trump or Hillary dare to march in the NYC pride parade this year after each ones shameless exploitation and distortion of a homophobic pshychoth’s massacre of innocents dressed up by them as Islamic terrorism solely for each ones political advantage?
    I think neither would have the
    chutszpa or the courage to attempt it, but I do have faith that they both have the hubris to believe marching would buy them some votes.

    Hillarys oportunism in this homophobic massacre is appaling. Her I love the gays mask will never, ever fit on her face again.

  22. allan

    Why Microsoft, With $100 Billion, Wants a Loan for LinkedIn

    Microsoft Corp. has enough cash to buy LinkedIn Corp. four times over. So why is it taking out a big loan to pay for its latest purchase?

    Maybe because it’ll lower the technology giant’s tax bill.

    Microsoft will avoid having to pay a 35 percent tax rate to repatriate cash from overseas accounts. While it’s true that Microsoft has more than $100 billion in cash and cash equivalents, most of it is parked offshore. Bringing home any of it to fund the proposed $26.2 billion purchase, announced on Monday, would generate a tax bill.

    That’s not the only benefit of borrowing. The company could also deduct interest payments, thus lowering its future U.S. tax bill. So by financing the bulk of its purchase with debt, Microsoft could legally sidestep roughly $9 billion in U.S. taxes this year, and save millions more in the years to come by using interest deductions to reduce its taxable income.

    An AOL-Time Warner style merger that probably wouldn’t happen without ZIRP.
    When it blows up, just call it karma.

    1. craazyboy

      “While it’s true that Microsoft has more than $100 billion in cash and cash equivalents, most of it is parked offshore. Bringing home any of it to fund the proposed $26.2 billion purchase, announced on Monday, would generate a tax bill.”

      Which implies MSFT has made no money from US sales. Sure. This is quality Bloomberg reporting.

      Plus they should really talk to a corporate tax accountant too. Tax books and physical location of money are two different things. Then quarterly reports are another.

  23. Plenue

    I always feel a sense of disappointment when people gush over Game of Thrones. It’s real name is A Song of Ice and fire, and people who engage in that archaic hobby called reading have know about it since the 1990s. Now I understand the smugness of the person who brags about knowing about a band back when they were playing out of a garage.

    Game of Thrones is also a terrible name for the series as a whole. ‘A Game of Thrones’ was the name of the first book, nothing more. One of the central themes of the entire story is that all the idiot power players are endlessly fighting with each other while ignoring literally existential threats. The war for power is literally a game in relative terms, while the over-arching theme of mere survival against the looming menace is of epic, saga-like proportions. In a thousand years no one will care which House won the throne in the end, but any survivors shivering in the cold will remember that their ancestors failed to unite and stop the ice-zombies. The ‘Game’ basically doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

  24. allan

    Illinois keeps potential Obamacare premium hikes secret

    More than half of the states have disclosed just how much higher their health care premiums could be next year under the Affordable Care Act, and some of the potential increases are jaw-dropping.

    But Illinois residents won’t get their first look at proposed 2017 premiums until Aug. 1, and that has consumer advocates frustrated.

    Insurance companies had to submit rate plans for Illinois in April, but the state doesn’t require the proposals to be made public upon filing, according to the Department of Insurance. In addition, the director of the department considers health plan filings confidential and exempt from Freedom of Information requests.

    Insurance Department acting Director Anne Melissa Dowling declined to be interviewed for this story.

    L’etat d’Illinois, c’est moi.

  25. Fiver

    Greenwald has an important piece up at the Intercept.


    A little poking around reveals some very serious questions as to just what went down in Orlando, from the history, makeup and operations of the security company the accused man worked for (the outfit’s directors is a ‘who’s who’ of powerful ex-intel, ex-military, ex-security industry wise men) to one piece over at Global Research by Anthony Cartulucci similar to Greenwald’s, dealing with facts on the ground vis a vis the FBI in Florida and terror.

    How many more of these human time bombs have been set?

  26. tony

    I find that most modern rap is simultanously boring and obnoxious. The bickering about “masculinity” is nothing more than image, of how members and aspirants of the elite should look like. Jaden Smith and Kanye West are millionaires, Young Thug just seems to be obsessed with the markers of wealth.

    Early Ice-T was actually interesting. It was full of intelligent social commentary and struggle. The only modern rapper I like is Immortal Technique, who challenges the dominant idiology:


    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yeah, I don’t care much for the bling (or, more precisely, the class markers of bling). But Public Enemy are great. They remind me a lot of Parliament Funkadelic.

Comments are closed.