2:00PM Water Cooler 6/14/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

I added a few updates… There’s too much happening! –Lambert


“It’s no secret that the agriculture community is one of the biggest supporters of the languishing Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, and today it gets a high-profile opportunity to try to build some momentum for the pact — courtesy of a hearing set by House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert” [Politico].

“Cracks are finally emerging in the grossly imbalanced, plurilateral talks on a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) being pursued by 23 countries, after the European Union and several other members voiced concern about the overall quality of the latest revised offers and the exclusion of Mode 4, maritime transport, and sub-federal categories among other sectors, [according to] several trade envoys [Bilaterals.org].



“Gun Debate on Hill Unchanged by Orlando Killings” [RealClearPolitics]. Until Democrats stop taking money from private equity firms that own gun manufacturers (Cerberus owns Remington) and stop using the State Department to make arms deals for them, all this is mere virtue signalling. Shouting on the House floor? Dear Lord.

CLINTON: “And I will make sure our law enforcement and intelligence professionals have all the resources they need to get the job done” [Hillary Clinton on Orlando (transcript), Time]. There speaks the candidate of the credentialed 10%, eh? Because, over the last fifteen years, the cars on the gravy train for these “our professionals” haven’t been full to the brim. And because they have such a great track record.

“Clinton breaks from Obama, calls Orlando attack ‘radical Islamism'” [Politco]. “Radical Islam” is a shibboleth that conservatives have been demanding that liberals pronounce. And Clinton did. So, apparently, conservatives can pull her right. And yet, we’re also constantly told that Sanders pulled her left. Hmm.

UPDATE “The near-certain Democratic candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has reacted more soundly. Her comments on the Orlando shooting have been strong but temperate. She decried the attacks, but did so without making America look more hateful or without stirring up more hate as Trump did” [David Rothkopf, Foreign Policy]. But as we have seen, Clinton, not Trump, advocates airstrikes on Syria, and “accelerated” ground force. How is that “temperate,” given the known reality of blowback?

UPDATE “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Call for Bombing ISIS After Orlando Shooting That ISIS Didn’t Direct” [The Intercept]. Based on current evidence, the Intercept is wrong. First, in his major policy speech, Trump didn’t call for airstrikes or “accelerated” ground forces in Syria. In hers, Clinton did. Second, here’s the quote the Intercept uses to support it’s headline: “We’re going to have to start thinking about something.” Granted, Trump’s rhetoric is bellicose. But Clinton’s rhetoric is both bellicose and, as is her wont, complete with concrete plans for action. I prefer jaw jaw to war war, thank you very much.

Orlando Mass Shooting

“What if Donald Trump is exactly what people want after the Orlando shooting?” [Chris Cilizza, WaPo]. “Just as his campaign appeared to have lost momentum in late 2015, the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., happened in rapid succession. Most pols’ reactions were to offer sympathy and support for the dead and wounded while insisting that good will always be stronger than evil in our world. Trump? He proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. That plan was greeted by the political world with reactions ranging from eye-rolling to outrage. Politically speaking, however, it worked. Trump experienced a surge in the polls that he never relinquished.” Cilizza then goes on to question whether people really want “empathy” from their political leaders. It’s a good question, and one that was only answered by FDR with his “fireside chats”, but only partly. The other part? The concrete material benefits delivered to the suffering by the New Deal. I don’t see either today’s chats or concrete material benefits on offer from either presumptive Presidential candidate, but absent that, Trump’s “Our nation stands together in solidarity with the members of Orlando’s LGBT Community” will have to do; Cilizza seems not to have read Trump’s speech.


“Cigna-Anthem Deal: Connecticut Gov. Malloy Signs Secrecy Bill That Could Shield Insurance Information From Public Release” [International Business Times]. Malloy is co-chair of the Democrat platform committee. And Medicare for All isn’t on the table. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Senate and House

“Democrats’ surprising strategy to win the Senate: Be boring” [Politico]. Let me translate: DSCC prepares to throw another election. Politico goes on: “[Democrats are] intentionally playing it safe and boring, figuring their elections will mostly be a referendum on Trump and that animosity toward the real estate magnate will put them over the top in key swing states… Most Democratic candidates are hewing to their talking points this year with almost robotic discipline. Questions about their party’s own struggles are answered with platitudes about their problem-solving acumen and their opponents’ affinity for Trump, the Koch brothers or GOP leaders.” Politico relies on Napoleon’s maxim: “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” If the Democrats had a Napoleon, that might make sense. I’d proffer a domestic alternative: “You can’t beat something with nothing.”

The Voters

UPDATE “Most Americans don’t view Hillary Clinton’s presidential nomination as “historic” [Vox]. “Overall, far fewer people appear to think it’s a big deal that a woman was nominated for president than you might expect. … After Clinton became the presumptive nominee last week, the media widely referred to her nomination as ‘historic.’ Even Clinton’s harshest critics in the press seemed to buy that shared premise. (A good example via Fox News: ‘Hillary’s historic nomination isn’t a victory for women, it’s a betrayal.’).” So the political class is out of touch. Film at 11.

But for whatever reason — perhaps a long and drawn-out primary fight, hyperpolarization in American life, or general dislike of Hillary Clinton — Americans just aren’t feeling the historic nature of the #ImWithHer movement.

The Trail

“One key backer says Bernie won’t give [the Sanders mailing] list to Clinton. ‘He doesn’t want to hand it over to Wall Street,’ said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United” [BuzzFeed]. That speaks well of Sanders.

“Bernie has run a populist campaign and the campaign is not over,” RoseAnn DeMoro, the executive director of National Nurses United, told BuzzFeed News. “The campaign’s in its nascent stages, really. He’s sitting on the greatest populist list in the history of this country. And he wants to use it for populist reasons.”

Knowing how the Democratic nomenklatura works — Hi, Neera! [waves] — they’d probably cross-reference the list with their employees, and… Well, they wouldn’t fire them. They’d have “conversation.” About “opportunities.” Elsewhere. Hey, kidding! (Though I couldn’t help but notice that this Shadowproof link was at the top of Bing search results, but buried in Google results, which were full of dupes.

UPDATE “Sanders To Address Supporters Via Video Live Stream Thursday” [Talking Points Memo]. “‘He will speak directly to supporters about how the revolution continues,’ campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said in an email to TPM.”

UPDATE “What’s next for Bernie Sanders?” [The Hill]. All the sourcing is Beltway pundits and Clinton supporters, but nothing at all from the Sanders campaign, not even a leak.

UPDATE “The campaign’s top brass says that Sanders wants reassurances from Clinton [at their meeting later today] that she will not inch back to the center-right during the general election” [ABC]. Irony is not dead.

UPDATE “And [Sanders is] convinced that if she ever released the transcripts of her speeches to the financial industry, she would put herself in the same big league as Joe DiMaggio when he was fronting for the Bowery Savings Bank. On camera the Yankee Clipper as pitchman asked: ‘Is there anyone who couldn’t use a bundle of cash?'” [Counterpunch]. No duh!

UPDATE This is a thing: “Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Stash” [Facebook].

“Clinton, Warren, and the Vice Presidency” [Robert Kuttner, HuffPo]. “Warren will get the nod if and only if Clinton decides that Warren will make a major difference in November. Would Warren take the job? Yes.” Kuttner doesn’t give a source for that. But he’s plugged into the Democrat nomenklatura. Trial balloon?

“The Obama administration starts work to save Clinton” [Ed Rogers, WaPo]. Rogers is a member of the Republican nomenklatur, so this is foreshadowing on both Clinton’s privatized server and the Clinton Foundation: “There is certainly more to come. It will be interesting to see just how bold the actions of the Clintons and their agents in the administration become as we get closer and closer to November and whether the media will eventually sit up and take notice.”

UPDATE Volatility voters theory makes the mainstream [Yahoo Finance]. “As [James] Surowiecki sees it, ‘the danger is, for those people who really support Trump, when they hear ‘he’s risky, you don’t know what he’s going to d’ they say ‘well that’s better than what we’ve been living through for the past eight years.'” Exhibit A: Case-Deaton mortality figures. From there, go to labor force participation. Then go outside and look at your crumbling infrastructure.

Clinton Email Hairball

UPDATE “Russian government hackers broke into DNC servers, stole Trump oppo” [Politico]. But hackers didn’t break into Clinton’s privatized, homebrew server, the one in the basement of her home. Alrighty then.

Stats Watch

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, May 2016: “The small business optimism index rose 0.2 points in May to 93.8, slightly extending April’s 1 point bounce back from 2-year lows but remaining well below the 42-year average of 98” [Econoday]. And: “The Index of Small Business Optimism rose two tenths of a point in May to 93.8, a negligible increase showing no real enthusiasm for making capital outlays, increasing inventories, or expanding” [Econintersect].

Retail Sales, May 2016: “Consumer spending proved to be the biggest surprise of April and is at least a pleasant surprise in May. Retail sales rose a very solid and better-than-expected 0.5 percent with strength evident, though to a less degree than in April, through the balance of the report” [Econoday]. “Consumer spending proved to be the biggest surprise of April and is at least a pleasant surprise in May. Retail sales rose a very solid and better-than-expected 0.5 percent with strength evident, though to a less degree than in April, through the balance of the report…. The strength in the report is centered once again in nonstore retailers where sales, reflecting big gains for ecommerce, rose 1.3 percent on top of the prior month’s 2.5 percent surge. Year-on-year, nonstore retailers lead the way with at 12.2 percent pace. Restaurants, a key discretionary category, continue to show strength with an 8 tenths gain on the month and a year-on-year rate of 6.5 percent…. Strength is definitely the theme of this report, one that ultimately reflects strength in the labor market and which is pointing squarely to another strong month for total consumer spending in May.” However: “Retail sales improved according to US Census headline data. Our view of this month’s data is significantly more negative, There was a decline in the rolling averages” [Econintersect].

Business Inventories, April 2016: “The strength of April now includes business inventories where strong sales limited the build to only 0.1 percent” [Econoday].

Shipping: “Although more than half of those surveyed have never used same-day shipping, a growing number say offers of free shipping “greatly” impact their ordering decisions. Over half of shoppers said they browse products online based on the available shipping methods, the survey said” [Wall Street Journal, “Online Shoppers Want Delivery Faster, Cheaper, Survey Shows”]. “The survey results underscore the big and growing role that shipping holds in the competition for e-commerce, a factor that is pressuring margins for retailers as they cope with the high cost of delivering goods to homes in a timely manner.”

Shipping: “The Federal Aviation Administration proposed a $350,000 fine on the e-commerce giant for allegedly shipping prohibited hazardous goods by air,” [Wall Street Journal]. “[T]he FAA also says it was one of two dozen incidents in recent years involving Amazon, suggesting ‘a history of violating’ hazardous materials regulations. With Amazon investing in air operations and its delivery networks likely to get more complicated, the company will be under greater pressure to get its fulfillment workers trained in handling dangerous goods.” I can think of other ways for Amazon to seek that goal than treating its workers better.

Shipping: “In its website posting, the FAA alleges that on October 15, 2014, Amazon offered to United Parcel Service (UPS) a package containing a one-gallon container of ‘Amazing! LIQUID FIRE,’ which the US aviation regulator describes as “a corrosive drain cleaner” for transportation by air from Louisville, Kentucky, to Boulder, Colorado” [Air Cargo News]. “In its statement the FAA said: ‘While being transported, some of the Liquid Fire leaked through the fiberboard box. Nine UPS employees who came into contact with the box reported feeling a burning sensation and were treated with a chemical wash’… In its statement, the FAA said that Amazon “has a history of violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations. From February 2013 to September 2015 alone, Amazon was found to have violated the Hazardous Materials Regulations 24 other times”.” As Amazon builds up its own freighter fleet, leaking Amazing! LIQUID FIRE isn’t a good look…

Shipping: “Third annual National Forklift Safety Day slated for June 14.” That’s today! [DC Velocity]. “Washington-based ITA represents manufacturers of lift trucks, tow tractors, rough-terrain vehicles, hand-pallet trucks, and automated guided vehicles in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The organization promotes international standards development, advances engineering and safety practices, disseminates statistical information, and holds industry forums.” So when is National Forklift Driver Day? In the U.S., Canada, and Mexico….

Shipping: “Baltic beckons back break-away brokers” [Splash247]. “The Baltic Exchange says it will engage with the newly formed panellist group Competitive Ship Brokers Limited (CSBL), comprised of some panellists opposed to the Baltic’s proposed acquisition by the Singapore Exchange.”

ETFs: Handy chart of changes in ETF gold holdings, 2005–2016 [ETF.com].

Honey for the Bears: “Fear has once again gripped markets with peripheral spreads melting down. As I noted at this hour yesterday I follow Italy and Spain in the 10 year sector versus US to gauge sentiment. By that metric markets are less than festive this morning. Last Thursday morning I had clocked 10 year Spain versus US at 29 basis points (Spain rich to US). That traded at 15 basis points at this time yesterday and rests at 5 basis points today. There has been a similar move in Italy. Last Thursday that spread as 40 basis points and yesterday it sat at 28 basis points. This morning that spread is 16 basis points.” [Across the Curve].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 48, Neutral (previous close: 55, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 81 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 14 at 12:17pm. Another big drop, and a transition to neutral territory from greed.

Class Warfare

“The typical American couple has only $5,000 saved for retirement” [MarketWatch]. In other words, the typical American is one high medical deductible away from total reliance on Social Security. And if you don’t think a Grand Bargain to cut Social Security isn’t still on the table in the Beltway, then you don’t understand the power of the FIRE sector.

News of the Wired

UPDATE “A panel of federal judges upheld the government’s net-neutrality rules Tuesday, handing a major victory to the Obama administration in its efforts to step up oversight of cable and telephone companies that provide broadband service.” [Wall Street Journal, FCC’s Net-Neutrality Rules Upheld by Appeals Court”]. Here’s the text of the decision.

UPDATE This 2015 classic from Matt Stoller: So here’s what I think the net neutrality fight means. First, it is the reemergence of populist politics into the industrial sector” [Naked Capitalism]. “Second, the entities who emerged in this populist movement included a whole host of small businesses, internet businesses that have become attuned to power and the need for democratic processes to place checks on authoritarian threats that come from private monopolies.” Right on both counts, and applicable to the insurgent campaigns on left and right.

“Behold the new name of OS X: macOS. And because this is a new version of OS X/macOS, too — and Apple decided to stick with its California names — this new version’s full name is macOS Sierra” [TechCrunch]. I’ve used Macs for hours a day for many years. And every upgrade of OS X since iOS UI idioms started creeping into it has been slightly worse; making my workflow slightly less efficient, making my machine slightly less stable, violating stable Human Interface Guidelines in favor of random cuteness, and in general treating my desktop, dedicated to productivity, as if it were a swipe-friendly consumption device like my (two, thank you very much) iPads. So this name change fills me with fear.

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


The sun came out today! It’s 60°F!

Readers, I got a ton of pictures from you all! Thank you so much.

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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 use the dropdown to choose your contribution, and then click the hat!


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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. nippersmom

    Lambert, I’d be more than happy to send you some of our heat. Right now, it’s 89 but “feels like” 97 (and it’s only the middle of June).

      1. nippersmom

        It would be a win-win. You’d save on heating oil, we’d save on our air-conditioning bill. If only I knew how to make it work…

  2. Alex morfesis

    Lambert…be nice to google and the mystery $hillary search results…just because the lawyer handling the defense for her sycophants with the emails is the same one who was hired by the ftc to “act like” she was conducting an investigation into anti trust issues on google…come on now…there are only about 50 thousand lawyers who could have handled that for the ftc…the fact she is helping hinder an investigation on the emails long enough to get past the coronation in philly…dont be so foilly…it is just a small town…look there is andy and barney…and goober and gomer too…

  3. Bill Smith


    Judge links Clinton aide’s immunity to ‘criminal investigation’ (disclosure of agreement not in the public interest)

    Who is the target? And why?

    They keep saying there is no deadline in the investigation. Forgetting about conspiracy theories…. At some point – like before the election shouldn’t the public be told what is going on? Isn’t that like in the public’s interest?

    1. Emma

      Of course not.
      We must simply recognize and accept that one can email classified security-level government info, in emails, on unsecure servers, to recipients with unsecure servers, thousands of times, but keep a speech given in public at Goldman Sachs top-secret.
      If you’re having a hard time understanding these two differences in approach, then take a course in logic…
      While the FBI carries out its investigation, and Hillary runs for POTUS because she is the lesser-evil in a self-defeating self-fulfilling ‘we only have 2 choices’ prophecy, and nut-jobs run around with semi-automatics, the CIA is probably running around like a headless chicken hunting down the Goldman Sachs speeches because Hillary velvet-gloved them onto ‘Ghost Air’ with a one-way ticket to the public library of some other country which practices freedom of speech……

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I love the fact that the only emails Obama insisted remain classified were the ones from HRC on the TPP.
        Dead ambassadors paraded through the streets, details of new drone strikes and agents are fine…but our Manchurian-in-Chief has his eyes on the real prize.

  4. voteforno6

    Re: The Obama administration starts work to save Clinton”

    Mr. Rogers has part of the story, I think. Obama will not allow Clinton to be indicted – that much is certain. However, it is in the FBI’s interest not to do so, as they will have a President owing them a huge favor (some may call it blackmail). The Republicans won’t press the issue before November, either, as they clearly don’t want Trump to be elected. I wouldn’t be surprised if they come out guns blazing afterwards, though. They’re probably looking at using this to hammer the Democrats in ’18 and ’20, when it could really hurt. That is, unless they can “convince” Trump to drop out before then.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Also fascinating that the HRC campaign moved to new digs…in the same building as Loretta Lynch, two floors down.
      So above-the-law fascism can proceed apace without any pesky delays as they coordinate their next steps.

    1. Roger Smith

      dididididdddddidiidii…….”Amazon drone caused a local home to burn down this morning after crashing into its roof while carrying a container of LIQUID FIRE. The black box shows that the drone had been feeling depressed at home due to mounting frustration on the job as it felt it was about to get terminated for not meeting its delivery quotas. Investigators have not yet ruled out suicide.”……diididiidiidiididididididdddidi….

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Between a self-driving car and a human driver, automatically it’s the latter’s fault.

        Between a drone and a house, we can infer, from above, the blame should go to the house.

        1. Jay M

          it is high time that some corporation disrupted all those nagging safety rules that prevent corrosives, flammable or explosives to be casually shipped by a business
          meanwhile, remove your shoes, comrade

  5. Jim Haygood


    Bill Clinton said the work and structure of the Clinton Foundation will change if his wife, Hillary Clinton, is elected president.

    “There’ll clearly be some changes in what the Clinton Foundation does and how we do it, and we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it,” the former president told Bloomberg Television’s David Westin at a Clinton Global Initiative event Tuesday in Atlanta.

    Clinton didn’t detail how the foundation might evolve or what planning was being done.

    “You have to be careful to avoid actual or potential conflicts of interest,” Bill Clinton said. “We’ll think very clearly about it and we’ll do the right thing.”

    Hillary Clinton said in an interview on MSNBC in March that the answer would be “complete transparency” about donations.


    “We’ll do the right thing” … to triple revenues in our first year in the White House.

    Help me, I’ve fallen on the floor laughing and I can’t get up.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Bill Clinton: “You have to be careful to avoid actual or potential conflicts of interest.”

      I think that’s just the best quote EVAH. Thank you!

      1. Jim Haygood

        Any normal candidate would pledge to put their foundation in a blind trust — plain and simple.

        But grifting don’t work without the personal touch.

        The Clintons can’t take a break from their foundation, for the same reason an embezzling bookkeeper can’t take a vacation from her job.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > The Clintons can’t take a break from their foundation, for the same reason an embezzling bookkeeper can’t take a vacation from her job.

          Ha. I’ll remember that one. (And so much more effective and memorable than remarks about cankles, etc.)

          1. Jay M

            He’s wondering if the thing will scale with wife POTUS
            He entered village life as the disgracefully downscale Guv of Arkansas, (though Winthrop gave it a touch of class)
            Grift for which we need our Tacitus to describe

        2. LizinOregon

          This retired auditor from Arkansas just snorted her first martini of the evening. It is the best analogy evah!

      2. Alex morfesis

        But since bill is never too careful…Lord forgive me…I have sinned again…and again…and again…

      3. Pavel

        Er… what are multi-million dollar donations from Goldman Sachs, Big Pharma, Big Ag (including evil Monsanto of course), and most topically the Saudis and Qataris to a future president anything other than potential conflicts of interest?.

        Does plain English mean nothing to the Clintons?

        1. Roger Smith

          Nope, they are lavish elites, not plain folk. Rules are beyond them, and heck! They’ve got historical support on that one.

  6. allan

    The best way to rob a bank company is to own one. A small one:

    U.S. Appeals Court Endorses SEC Rules for Small Offerings

    A U.S. appellate court on Tuesday upheld a Securities and Exchange Commission plan that allows small companies to sell stock to big investors without satisfying tough disclosure rules.

    Qualified investors may buy up to $50 million in securities from certain companies without first seeing detailed financial data that everyday investors would expect in a public offering.

    Such rules were envisioned in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 as a way to stimulate investment in smaller companies. Officials in Massachusetts and Montana objected, though, saying the SEC standard could harm the public. …

    The court brushed aside arguments that the federal standard hindered states’ ability to protect everyday investors. …

    The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. And to think that some people actually badmouth Congress for being a cesspool of do-nothing criminals waiting for the revolving door to open their way. Not so. They get things done.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Note that “qualified investors” means “Qualified Institutional Buyers” and “accredited investors” (individuals with $1 million net worth ex-residence or $200,000 annual income).

      Incredibly, investing has a two-track class structure in which many offerings (such as hedge funds) cannot be shown to poors, no matter how sophisticated their education and experience.

      In other words, only rich folks are gonna get hurt by dodgy offerings.

  7. Softie

    “The typical American couple has only $5,000 saved for retirement”

    To be worried about your “retirement” is the ruling ideology of our time. Fuck it. You’re supposed to be in fear so that you will have to “invest” for your retirement. This is exactly what the Wall Street slaughterhouse wants. You’re supposed to be constantly in fear of this or that. That’s how they rule the First Estate today.

    1. Peter Pan

      I’m surprised that most citizens aren’t suffering through PTSD from the multi-directional attack of 24/7 fear mongering from the MSM.

      1. RW Tucker

        They are. Mortality is getting more popular. The rates of suicide and death-by-overdose or eating are way, way up.


        If the trend holds, it shows that people are more or less terminating their own existence rather than getting washed with this crap from the media.

        We need to teach people to tune out and minimize exposure to advertising. It’s toxic.

        1. FreeMarketApologist

          Kill your TV, turn down the radio, and think carefully about your remaining news and entertainment sources. Decide what YOU want, and not what OTHERS want for you.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I do mostly that.

            I look at my mother, and internet and smart phones are alien to her. And I think about how I don’t agree, very much often, with new technologies, and ask myself, will a day come, when I am no longer a rugged individual, and need the kindness of strangers whose world is alien to me as well???

            Self driving car – no.
            Surveillance cell phone – no
            tracking body implant – no

          2. Aumua

            Block as many ads as you can online too, I say. Block the ads, block the trackers. The commercialization of the Internet is one of the great Dragons of our time. This site has the correct model.

            1. Softie

              It’s not just as ads. It’s also all the people who are in your life, and they are going to demand you to care this or fear that, unless you live in solitude.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Do they not ‘fear’ that the sheeple don’t react to that news by fearing, but by getting mad?

    2. clinical wasteman

      It also foists on workers a vested interest in asset price inflation, i.e. ‘something to lose’ should we stop feeding the financial market maw. That’s why they made it 98+% compulsory in the UK. There’s still an option to ‘opt out’ of automatically handing part of your wage over to fund managers every month, but it’s so well hidden on the government e-forms that few of my co-workers are willing to believe it exists.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hunger is something to be felt.

      No need to fear it (vs. feeling it). Worry about lunch, or rather, experience the lack of it, as it is around 12:16 pm here. Feel the hunger pangs.

    4. Arizona Slim

      I believe that people should be investors because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to.

      Quoting Joe Nocera: Investing is a talent that most people will never have.

      1. Softie

        How can people become the investors, such as Warren Buffett, who can perfectly marry their business interests with the US government by installation of the key governmental figures? In other words, how can individuals become fascists financially?

      2. jrs

        Take that up with the FED and ZIRP, pushing everyone into the stock market.

        It’s important to look by age for retirement savings, even a relatively successful 20 something that doesn’t live at home and finds decent work isn’t likely to have much, but they look at a somewhat older demographic at least (32-61).

        “How long does $5,000, or even $50,000, last? Until the first big medical bill?”

        Well if the medical bills are that bad for 50k to be nothing, might as well ask how long does 500k last, oh just 10 medical bills … Houston we have a problem right there.

        1. Softie

          So all of people’s former rights are now turned into “investment”. Now people have lost their former rights, what they have or don’t have is “investment”. This is precisely what Francis Fukuyama meant when he said that this eproch “was the end of history” back in 1992.

      3. Charger01

        Bingo. And Joe would know- he’s in deep and doesn’t have much extra time left. His personal article about investing his 401k is articlate. The John Oliver video about investing is hilarous and simple. Go Bogle- index your investments and check ’em once a year. Fees mean everything.

  8. voteforno6

    Re: Democrats’ Surprise Strategy

    This makes sense, to make it all about Trump…that’s what Clinton is doing. I got a phone call from the Hillary Victory Fund last night, and the pitch was all about beating the evil Trump, and also helping other Democrats. I suggested to the woman reading the script that Clinton should go back to Wall Street, as they have a lot more money than I do.

  9. Lambert Strether Post author

    I was still reeling from the Trump post last night, so I added a bunch of updates. The net neutrality decision under Wired is especially important, as is the material on Sanders’ upcoming meeting with Clinton and the future (if any) of the Democrat Party.

  10. Steve C

    Senate Democrats are repeating the “party about nothing” strategy that worked so spectacularly for them in 2002, 2010 and 2014.

    “Don’t be afraid of us. We’re not scary. We don’t believe in anything. It’s OK.”

    Because nothing inspires confidence like spinelessness.

    They want Republicans to control Congress. That way they always have an excuse for everything being crap. And it’s better for the donor class.

    1. curlydan

      Confirming Matt Taibbi’s column from last week that the Democrats will learn nothing from Sanders.

      As Bob Dylan sang,
      “Too much of nothing
      Can make a man ill at ease”

    2. lyman alpha blob

      With Clinton openly courting ‘moderate’ republicans, how in the holy hell do they think this strategy is going to work? Do they honestly think republicans will hold their noses and vote for Clinton and also vote for the Dems downticket too?!?!?

      This practically guarantees that Clinton if elected rather than jailed would have to contend with a republican Congress that hates her guts. I can hardly wait!

      1. DG

        I guess getting elected is Job 1! After all, they are the meal ticket for the hangers on and half of Obama’ administration.

        Once elected, the Clinton’s expect to be fending off non-stop Repub attacks. That’s a given. Their genius lies in playing victim while scamming the country – it’s gonna be a long 4 years for their defenders!

      2. Charger01

        Moderate Republicans are a fantasy. They’ve been trained for 20 years to hate the Clintons. Not even Bob Dole can shake off the Teflon Don.

  11. BDBlue

    I shudder at what further destruction Apple will cause to iTunes’ desktop application. Every update the thing becomes worse and worse. It’s almost useless now. I had the first gen iPod and I would gladly go back to that and its version of iTunes for music to escape the current iOS. Note to Apple, what good is having music if you can’t find it? I don’t want Apple Music, quit trying to turn my iPod into a streaming device for your crappy music service and let me find the damn songs I own.*

    * And I stress own because I still buy almost all of my music on CD and rip it so that if I decide next time to ditch my iPod for an Android device I can take all of my music with me.

    1. ProNewerDeal

      I like the free software foobar2000 dot org, on a Win laptop. Perhaps such a non-Apple “media player” software exists on an iOS laptop. Perhaps even the “generic media player” VLC is better for playing music than a crapified current iTunes? Best wishes in finding an alt software.

      1. BDBlue

        I can play it on my laptop, but am stuck on my iPod. I don’t believe Apple has a app in its App Store that is an alternative to iTunes for playing music on my iPod (or phone). I’d love to be wrong about that.

    2. clinical wasteman

      I would also stress ‘own’ because if you’re not careful this can easily happen to music you made, i.e. for which you own such copyright as you decide to apply.
      Old, strictly desktop & never web/store-connected iTunes on oldish Mac still seems to work for backup storage/playback, but I know a few other musicians who have lost access to their own work on copyright grounds, and plenty with Phones/Pads and thus also accounts/automatic upgrades who can no longer find what they thought they had ‘saved’.
      Meanwhile the lack of other ‘flat’ (i.e. gimmickless) cross-platform storage/playback-only options for music production (apart from Soundcloud, which has its own spurious copyright lockout issues) is a scandal all of its own.

      1. redleg

        You have to actively fight to post your own original music (as both a performer and writer) on major media, and fight to keep it there. Or hire someone to do it for you.

        The best platforms seem to last about 4-5 years before they get acquired by a major or bankster and you have to fight them for your music. Or hire someone to fight them for you. Soundcloud had been the best one since mp3.com but they are signing the dreaded “agreements” with major labels that leaves independent artists looking around for new options.

        The worst part of the business part of the music business is that it takes more time dealing with distributing your music than making the music, from concept to production.

        Rant over. Rock on.

    3. Roger Smith

      They want to own your usage pattern, not to have you own music. Why have the consumer pay once for a song when you can charge them monthly for the rest of their lives??

      The worst part about the Ipod was that it destroyed the competitive market for Mp3 players. It was the winner and caused competitors’ lesser models to tank… After all was squared away, Apple tanked its good models (and software) as well, leaving no good alternatives (other than android phones and microSD storage, which still does not allow for easy cataloging, or better yet, Chinese Ipod Classic hacks that have better batteries and flash memory instead of solid state–and more space!–Ebay).

      Now you are stuck with sub-par ITunes software and a choice of mp3–iphone–watch hybrids that max out at 64gb or some pitiful amount of space.

      1. BDBlue

        Destroyed is right. I loved my original iPod, now I shudder at looking at the screen (although not as much as I shudder at trying to play music on my iPhone, I stopped upgrading my iPod iOS a couple of times back so it’s not quite as bad). I buy CDs now, in part, just to spite them. Bitter am I.

          1. polecat

            I’ve never owned, or used, an I shite device, or any MP3 like tech for that matter…….I get obtain my music from CDs, occasionally on YouTube, and……….those dinosaurs of yesteryear…… VINYL RECORDS!

        1. Pavel

          I remember buying the first iPod back in the first Apple Store in Palo Alto… it revolutionised my very peripatetic life. Though I still have a huge collection of CDs I ripped to disk (at much higher quality of course).

          Now the emphasis seems to have gone from downloading “purchased” (ha!) iTunes music — try passing those songs on to a friend or survivor! — to streaming it. Presumably Apple understands that Millennials don’t believe in owning anything* so that’s their new focus. I watched 2 hours of the WW Dev Conference yesterday and it was the worst one ever, about 60 minutes just demoing new emojis…

          Anyway, on my iPod Touch I now use a little app called Ecoute, very minimal and highly recommended. No ads for Beats or Apple Music or whatever its now called.

          *I hope that isn’t a slur on Millennials… Most probably don’t have any money to buy things or the desire… it is a Spotify and Netflix existence along with Kindle, thus no books, CDs, or DVD collections. I wonder if my nieces & nephews have ever even bought a newspaper!

    4. myshkin

      I’m glad it’s not just me who finds storing and accessing itune files and loading them on an ipod a trip to down the rabbit hole. I’ve been wondering why the much lauded intuitive Apple hardware software interface is nearly unusable.
      Never an Apple fan but as noted other MP3 devices have largely disappeared. The BBC has a treasure of free downloadable In Our Time podcasts, IOT with Melvyn Bragg, on a range of topics that cover math, science, philosophy, history and culture. Trying to load them on ipod is discouragingly difficult.

    5. Lexington

      Since you’re ripping your own music anyway why not get something like the the FiiO X1 and declare independence from Apple’s prison ecosystem for good?

    6. YY

      CopyTrans works a treat on iPods. Juice or gPodder are much better for podcasts. The big however is that the platform is better if PC.

  12. fresno dan

    “Clinton breaks from Obama, calls Orlando attack ‘radical Islamism’” [Politco]. “Radical Islam” is a shibboleth that conservatives have been demanding that liberals pronounce. And Clinton did. So, apparently, conservatives can pull her right. And yet, we’re also constantly told that Sanders pulled her left. Hmm.

    So….dems will demand that repubs attack “radical Christianism “???
    Most will understand that this individual below cannot speak for a whole denomination of a religion. If people would think, maybe they will apply that level of understanding to other religions as well…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Pulling Hillary left?

      After the Seelow Heights was taken, the path to the bunker was wide open…no more divisions to stop the march.

      “Where is the army to stop her rightward movement?”

      What’s next is not going to be pretty for the people of that city.

    2. Vatch

      I think there’s a strong case for saying that Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Ben Carson, and Michele Bachmann are radical Christianists.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        As it so happens often, people will debate the meaning of ‘radical.’

        Has it not been said the Jesus himself was a radical, a revolutionary or a radical revolutionary?

        1. fresno dan

          It is easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle, than to enter through the gates of heaven

        1. Vatch

          Very interesting. From the article:

          Clinton has championed federal funding of faith-based social services, which she embraced years before George W. Bush did; Marci Hamilton, author of God vs. the Gavel, says that the Clintons’ approach to faith-based initiatives “set the stage for Bush.”

          So much for the First Amendment!

    3. Jim Haygood

      “Saudi Arabia” is a handy euphemism, to avoid having to say “Radical Islam.”

      Saudi Arabia’s powerful deputy crown prince flew to the United States on Monday for meetings with U.S. President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Saudi media reported.


      Mr President … Radical Islam is here to see you. He says the bin Ladins asked him to tell you Hello.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Protocol requires the vice president to meet with their crown prince, not their deputy crown prince to meet with the president.

        Unless their deputy crown prince ranks the same or higher than our commander in chief.

    4. jrs

      Hmm radical Islam, I guess it’s supposed to have a different definition than fundamentalist Islam, which is basically what U.S. foreign policy has supported for many decades (like Wahhabism). Or do the two overlap? Someone should ask Hillary and the right-wingers (but I repeat myself).

    5. tgs

      It looks like ‘islamism’ had nothing directly to do with the Orlando massacre. RT is reporting people from Orlando saying that the shooter was gay and was a regular at Pulse (and was regularly drunk there as well.) He also had anger management problems to put it mildly. Bombing Syria or wherever else is not going to prevent a tragedy like Orlando.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Oh no, people who know about these things are just sure this was a Big Operation, obviously our State Security Panopticon is plumping itself up on that basis…

  13. NeqNeq

    She decried the attacks, but did so without making America look more hateful or without stirring up more hate as Trump did

    When Trump came out saying he wanted increased surveillance of Muslims, every Tom, Dick, and Harry (and Clinton, Sanders, etc) howled “Racist! Xenophobe!”

    Evidently racism is not about semantic content but, rather, mere syntax.

    I wonder if she would have said the same thing if there were more primaries in the pipeline.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We need someone or something to stop the rightward migration during the general election phase, more so than the primary phase.

      But a promise has been made.

          1. jgordon

            What, are you asking Clinton to say she won’t go even more right wing after the convention? Easily done! What other lies from Hillary will you and Bernie require in exchange for your support?

          1. jgordon

            Well OK. That’s a nice theory but not all the LGBT people out there are going along with it. I’m grinning whenever I see these kinds of statement; each one is another little wedge driven into the coalition.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I want things to be tripolar, not bipolar. Conservative, liberal, left (where conservatives and liberals are subsets of the neoliberal consensus, and the left is not). So I don’t want an Overton Window, but, as it were, an Overton Prism. Either way, I think that’s the most important outcome of this election, far more than Trump (presumptively) vs. Clinton (presumptively).

        Sanders meeting with Clinton tonight is very important in that context. We shall see (which is another thing that’s making me cranky, besides the cold weather).

        1. katiebird

          We stumbled into a live Bernie thing about an hour ago — it didn’t sound like he is anywhere close to endorsing her or giving up. He was emphatic about his platform issues. And his intent to change the direction of the Democratic (sic) party.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Not sure what they will talk about.

            Party platform? Isn’t that just verbiage?

            Running more independent candidates or progressive candidates, with directing funding from the 99%? He doesn’t need Hillary or the D party to do that. In fact, a new party will be really nice.

            Ask Hillary the leopard to change her spots? Abandon neoliberalism spots? Good luck with that.

            Keeping a promise?

            Well, you got him there….a need to make a non-endorsement endorsement.

            “Stop Trump!!!!”

            1. Pavel

              He can call for concrete changes in the Democrat primary process:

              — end to superdelegates
              — a standardised primary system used by all states (fancy that!)
              — a clear schedule of debates in all regions and throughout the primaries
              — campaign finance reform!

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Those are good ideas.

                Can the deal be signed in blood?

                “I will never agree to TPP.”

  14. ProNewerDeal

    Lambert/NCers, what is your take on Assange’s claim that he will publish a Wikileaks article/document set, that will make H Clinton indictable.

    Do you think H Clinton will actually be indicted before the July D convention, or before the Nov election?

    1. voteforno6

      If it happens, it’ll be before the convention, though I still doubt it. Obama won’t allow it, and there is too much institutional resistance to Trump both among Democrats and Republicans to allow an indictment to throw the election to him.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And what will happen between the leader of the revolution and Hillary?

      Is it going to be fatman and the little boy?

      Or will there be a negotiated surrender?

  15. allan

    DNC hack: I’m so old that I remember this story:

    Sanders campaign sues DNC over loss of access to voter database

    … The DNC suspended Sanders’ access to the party’s voter database after four of the Vermont senator’s staffers accessed data belonging to rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign. …The database contains nationwide information about voters, and the breach took place after NGP VAN, the technology company that runs the database that helps set campaign strategies, experienced a technical glitch on Wednesday, The Washington Post first reported. As a result, data the Clinton campaign had been collecting about supporters and voters they were targeting was exposed, according to the DNC. …

    Inquiring minds want to know whether NGP VAN was responsible for the security of the systems that were glitched hacked by Russia (allegedly). The DNC needs to be put on notice that many of us are willing to vote for a party that is corrupt or incompetent, but not both.

    1. Roger Smith

      Hey! I am not alone! Remember when young’ins….

      I feel like someone tried to let the DNC know about these vulnerabilities before but… I cannot seem to… remember…

      Must have been a dream.

  16. Carolinian

    Would Warren take the job?

    Apparently she said so herself when asked about it during that Rachel Maddow interview. Indeed one might question Warren volunteering like that but then Yves did say she was pushy.

    1. polecat

      so..what i really want to know…..does Pocahontas Liz run through the woods barefoot, or in deer skins…….as she vaults forward, brushing the pathfinder to and fro, on her way to the next potemkin village?

  17. Plenue

    I was recently looking at computer components for my new machine, and stumbled upon this:

    “Auto-Extreme Technology
    Industry-only 100% Automated Production Process
    All ASUS graphics cards are now produced using Auto-Extreme Technology, an industry-exclusive, 100% automated production process that incorporates premium materials to set a new standard of quality. Auto-Extreme Technology ensures consistent graphics card quality as well as improved performance and longevity. This new manufacturing process is also environmentally friendly, eliminating harsh chemicals and reducing power consumption by 50%.”

    Foxconn firing 60,000 employees was just the beginning; now other companies are jumping on board the robot bandwagon. Also note the subtle dig at the recently replaced meatbags. The human workers weren’t ‘consistent’ enough.

  18. Jim Haygood

    First the hackers punked the DNC … now they’ve penetrated Texas, hijacking illuminated billboards along I-30:

    “As we stated earlier in the past… Trump is a little bitch,” a member of the group tells Newsweek. “Hillary is worse. Barrett Brown is a legend. Hillary should be in prison for her actions most definitely.”


    At this rate, looks like we’re about three weeks away from complete breakdown, with cities aflame, tracer rounds blazing across the sky, and billboards proclaiming anarchy.

  19. Roger Smith

    Update on Sanders campaign plans via the Hill

    Sanders said he will do everything he can to make sure Trump does not make it to the White House. He said Sunday he wants to learn about what kind of platform Clinton will be supporting and then will determine his next steps.

    “After we have that kind of discussion and after we can determine whether or not we are going to have a strong and progressive platform,” he said, “I will be able to make other decisions.”

    1. nippersmom

      I would hope Sanders realizes that whatever Clinton says, the Dems will not have a “strong and progressive platform” when it comes to actually acting on it (which is what matters). On the other hand, if she refuses to even embrace any significant part of the progressive agenda on paper, that gives him all the “justification” he needs for a third-party run. (In my opinion, the actions of the DNC already negate any need for justification, but he may want something policy-related to point to.)

      1. Roger Smith

        I agree. Hopefully this is all show and final confirmation for mounting an offensive. She wouldn’t even debate with him and is at Obama’s heel over TPP, the only thing she might have agreed to block (until she “felt it was better laid out”). There is no way he can think the Democrats actually care.

      2. Jeff W

        I would hope Sanders realizes that whatever Clinton says, the Dems will not have a “strong and progressive platform” when it comes to actually acting on it (which is what matters)…

        My guess—or maybe my hope—is that Sanders realizes that even what is stated in the party platform will not, in any case, be “strong and progressive” and that the disparity between what he is asking for and what the Democratic Party is willing to do will be transparently obvious, even as he does everything he can do to make sure Trump does not make it to the White House. In other words, “everything he can do” may not include characterizing, or even thinking of, the “lesser evil” as, in any way, good.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Do you remember the 2012 Democratic platform?

          Me neither.

          It’s like the two pages of safety warnings with new appliances that nobody ever reads: just a way for policy wonks to “make a difference” in the footnotes to the appendix of history.

    2. inode_buddha

      I don’t see the point of it when it is well-known how trustworthy she is. I’ll say it again: If she wins the presidency, watch for her to pull hard right in Feb regardless of anything she may have said 6 months ago.

      1. JTMcPhee

        But gay rights, after a fashion, not to include the other-than-2nd-Amendment Bill of Rights rights, panopticon but maybe some abortions, so “rights,” right? And “women in power, and what’s Big Dog’s title again?

  20. Anon

    Admittedly, quite belated, but work picked up the flow all of a sudden, so here I am to talk about my voting experience.

    I got there a little after 12:30 and with it being the middle of the day, it was pretty empty. The folks at the counter were pretty young and had iPads to cross-reference voter registration. A quick signature and a request for a paper ballot and that was that. Oddly, or not, there was a 3rd person in the Presidential column – one “Rocky” Roque De La Fuente (no idea who this is).

    I wish I could’ve had some harrowing story about fraud or blatant corruption to tell the commentariat about, but there wasn’t any in the roughly three minutes or so that I was there for. Maybe there was craziness in the morning; I can’t say. On the other hand, dcblogger will probably come by to share how it went for them.

    1. Steve C

      I voted early at Judiciary Square. There were two or three other voters there. I asked for a paper ballot, which still is counted electronically. Felt the Bern. Went smoothly.

  21. Kim Kaufman

    ““Cigna-Anthem Deal: Connecticut Gov. Malloy Signs Secrecy Bill That Could Shield Insurance Information From Public Release” [International Business Times]. Malloy is co-chair of the Democrat platform committee. And Medicare for All isn’t on the table. Coincidence? You be the judge.”

    They also wouldn’t let Bernie put the head of the Nurses’ union on the platform committee. I don’t believe in coincidence when $$$ is involved.

  22. ewmayer

    UPDATE “The campaign’s top brass says that Sanders wants reassurances from Clinton [at their meeting later today] that she will not inch back to the center-right during the general election” [ABC]. Irony is not dead.

    That would actually be a promise she could keep in classic fingers-crossed-behind-back “why inch rightward when you can leap in that direction?” Clintonian fashion.

  23. Vatch

    Knowing how the Democratic nomenklatura works — Hi, Neera! [waves] — they’d probably cross-reference the list with their employees, and… Well, they wouldn’t fire them. They’d have “conversation.” About “opportunities.” Elsewhere. Hey, kidding!

    They can already find out who has given at least $200.00 to the Sanders campaign from the FEC web site. That site also lists many of the people (not all of them) who donated less than $200.00. The mailing list would provide the Democratic establishement with more information and extra convenience, but they already have access to a lot.

  24. marym


    Glitch believed to be based in mobile app erases some D.C. voters’ party affiliation

    Voters reported multiple problems in casting ballots in the District on Tuesday, raising the possibility that technical issues could mar a citywide election for the second year in a row.

    An unknown number of D.C. voters who went to the polls discovered that their party affiliation had changed — without their authorization.
    In a statement, Terri Stroud, acting executive director of the D.C. Board of Elections, blamed the problem on a technical glitch that seemed to be rooted in the board’s new mobile app.

    1. Vatch

      They’re supposed to test the app before they use it! The end users are not responsible for quality control; the Board of Elections has that responsibility.

  25. JCC

    Regarding the article “The Bruenig Firing” and the “weaponization of feminism” at shadowproof.com, good article, and it’s showing up all over the place recently. Here is an example from Medium where Michael Arnovitz is basically saying that anyone who questions HRC’s veracity or legitimacy is sexist, uninformed, and obviously – and ignorantly – a Trump supporter.

    Thinking About Hillary – A Plea For Reason.

    After reading the article all I could think was, “How much did her campaign pay him to write this tripe?”.

    tripe: 2. Slang. something, especially speech or writing, that is false or worthless; rubbish.

  26. Procopius

    Clearly I’m a step behind. Why do we have to start bombing ISIS? I thought we were already bombing ISIS except when we were resupplying them. Do we even know where they are, so we can drop bombs on them? Are we going to drop barrel bombs, since those are supposedly an order of magnitude worse then general purpose 500 lb. dumb bombs? Are we going to admit that bombing ISIS means also bombing thousands of innocent people who live in the neighborhood? Life is too short, there are too many questions which will not be asked, much less answered.

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