2:00PM Water Cooler 6/16/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, thanks once more for your help on the Water Cooler Mini-Fundraiser! –lambert


“Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said the Obama administration for the first time appears to be willing to meet his demands on TPP” [Politico]. “Bipartisanship. n. 1. Get ready for another vile piece of jobbery.” More: ‘Let’s put it this way, this is the first time that they’ve been willing to say they want to meet the needs that I say they’ve got to meet,’ Hatch told reporters Wednesday shortly after speaking by phone to President Barack Obama. ‘They know this isn’t a matter of me being stubborn, this is a matter of getting it done right.'” Hatch shows the left how to negotiate with liberals: “[They need to become] willing to say they want to meet the needs that I say they’ve got to meet.” Let’s just hope the Sanders camp understood this when they had their full and frank exchange of views with the Clinton camp. We should know tonight!

“The Obama administration is facing pressure from a number of groups opposed to the deal and – like the case in most free trade agreements – will have to make a number of side deals with internal stakeholders to garner sufficient support to get the legislation through Congress” [Al Jazeera]. Somebody should ask Clinton what side deals would be acceptable to her (and Clinton Foundation donors).



The Voters

“‘Politico-economics’ (a.k.a corporatism) is our present form of government, even of organizing our entire societies, and it’s the very thing people protest against when they vote for Trump and Le Pen (and against Cameron when they vote for Brexit). This would seem to put the claim that Trump is a fascist on its head. Trump is the reaction to fascism as defined by Mussolini, as are le Pen and Orban and Wilders and the others, even as they are accused of being fascists themselves” [The Automatic Earth]

Bringing us to….

Our Famously Free Press

Sanders: “The media is an arm of the ruling class of this country” [HuffPo]. I don’t know if classes have arms. But this image is helpfui:



“In the 2012 presidential contest, Las Vegas Sands Corp. LVS, -1.43% was the No. 1 contributor to federal elections as measured by OpenSecrets. The grand total of $52.9 million in that election cycle — all but $2,000 of which went to Republicans and other conservative candidates — was a high-water mark, when outspoken CEO Sheldon Adelson promised to spend ‘whatever it takes’ to defeat President Barack Obama. What’s more, the Adelson Drug Clinic — a nonprofit Las Vegas rehab facility founded by Adelson — donated an additional $42.1 million that same election cycle” [MarketWatch]. Quoting MarketWatch here because “outspoken CEO Sheldon Adelson” has buried within it the idea that money is speech. I used to think liberals didn’t buy into that, but now I’m not so sure…


“The Senate began discussions on legislation to ban firearm sales to the hundreds of thousands of people on U.S. terrorism watch lists after a gunman who had been on such a list killed 49 people at a gay nightclub on Sunday” [Reuters]. I may have missed some of the political theatre on this, but isn’t there bipartisan agreement that the watch lists are good, when they’re terrible?

The Trail

UPDATE “Bernie Sanders and the Terms of Surrender” [New York Times]. Like so much else this year, it’s wonderfully clarifying to see the Times editors open the kimono — yes, I know you can’t unsee that — and shift to open advocacy from reporting. The last time they did that was on WMDs, and we know how that movie ended. Anyhow: “Sanders will speak to his supporters via videoconference tonight at 8:30 p.m. Eastern from Burlington, Vt. He still hasn’t endorsed her, and he’s still pushing hard for his policies. But what kind of leverage does he have?” Here is the link to sign up for the Sanders live feed tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m; although the form says you need to put in a mobile number, I put in my landline, and it went right through. And whatever Sanders is going to say, it’s certainly closely held.

“Hillary Clinton: Something Wicked This Way Comes” [Black Agenda Report].

Hillary Clinton has done what many think Donald Trump might do as president. She has supported right wing deportation policies of immigrants south of the United States’ manufactured borders. She has started and supported imperialist military campaigns that have destroyed countless lives.

If Trump is the “Boogey Man,” then Hillary Clinton is evil in 3D. She is real and her actions are wicked. Do not vote for her simply because she is a woman. There have been many evil women throughout history, just as there have been evil and wicked men.

UPDATE “In Trump’s speeches, lines of ethnic strife are always present but forever being rearranged—suddenly drawn, then erased, and then drawn again. The pattern shows an intellectual habit of Trump’s—ethnic essentialism, in which individuals are blurred out in favor of the groups to which they belong” [The New Yorker]. Oddly, or not, the bien pensant New Yorker scribe doesn’t mention the “intellectual habit” whereby liberals brought us #BernieBros (smearing Sanders supporters who were women and people of color, blurring out individuals in (dis)favor of groups).

UPDATE “Trump’s blunders are compounded by the fact that he doesn’t have many GOP officials or prominent surrogates to defend or promote him. His campaign infrastructure is lacking to the point that it’s causing real concern among party members, especially candidates who would rely on that network for their own races” [Real Clear Politics]. And if you read the must-read report on the Trump rally in Links this morning, you saw that “concern” (a word in the genteel Beltway lexicon that translates to “hair on fire”) is not misplaced.

I don’t put much stock in the Republican and Democrat establishments circling the wagons against an insurgent — again, wonderfully clarifying — but the Republican convention looms as a hard deadline. Will Trump even be able to find a VP, besides the horrid and toothsome Newt Gingrich, or Chris Christie, bloated with cheapjack corruption? How will the Convention be funded, if major donors pull out? If the Republican establishment stages a coup, what’s Plan B? A comeback by Little Marco, who now says he wants to run for the Senate? Lyin’ Ted Cruz, who’s holding dinners and thrusting his jaw out again? Low energy Jebbie? Romney, a proven loser, and rightly, after the Orca and 47% debacles? Could they bring Bob Dole back from the dead? Meanwhile, can Trump counterpunch and bring Clinton’s unfavorables in line with his own? Yes, if the giant sac of pus that is the Clinton email/Clinton Foundation scandal finally bursts… But only if our famously free press reports it! What a year this has been…. [UPDATE I should have added zombie-eyed granny starver Paul Ryan to the list of potential Republican golpistas. My bad!]

Clinton Email Hairball

“The Coming Constitutional Crisis Over Hillary Clinton’s EmailGate” [Observer].

Any inquiring mind will want to know how Hillary Clinton is so certain she cannot be indicted over EmailGate, since the FBI’s investigation remains open. Similarly, it deserves to be asked why Obama felt it appropriate to endorse Clinton to succeed him in the White House while the FBI continues to investigate her, since any Bureau referral in the matter will wind up on the desk of the attorney general, Loretta Lynch—who works for President Obama. The White House insists this is no way taints the case. However, since Obama is a constitutional lawyer by background, he cannot fail to see how this creates a serious conflict of interest.

I’d call it a “legitimacy crisis,” not a “Constitutional crisis.” But don’t worry. The liberals will power their way through.

Stats Watch

Consumer Price Index, May 2016: “Whatever pressure may be building in import & export prices or even producer prices, it has yet to give much of a boost to consumer prices which rose only 0.2 percent in May. Core prices, that is prices excluding food and energy, also came in at plus 0.2 percent” [Econoday]. “It’s the trend that counts most and the trends for consumer prices are still flat, not yet reflecting the recovery in oil prices. This report does not lift the chances for a rate hike at the July FOMC.” I just love “Open Market Committee.” Totally unproblematic! It’s the committee that keeps markets open! Back to stats: “The major influence on the CPI was energy prices” [Econintersect]. ” inflation does not correlate well to the economy – and cannot be used as a economic indicator.”

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, June 2016: “The consumer comfort index fell a sharp 1.1 points in the June 12 week to 42.1, reflecting weakening confidence in the economic outlook” [Econoday]. I’m starting to get the feeling that whoever ends up holding the Presidency bag this coming November will wish they had never been born (absent the emergence of an FDR, which our misrulership class was determined to prevent). Of course, as a Maine bear, those are my priors!

Housing Market Index, June 2016: “Improvement in traffic is a big plus in this report, hinting at a new source of acceleration for home builders. The new home market has been solid but has been held back by lack of first-time buyers as well as constraints in the construction sector that are limiting new building” [Econoday]. “Hinting.”

Jobless Claims, week of June 11, 2016: “Claims data rattled a bit in the latest report but are still trending in the right direction — which is down” [Jobless Claims]. But: Rolling averages statistically unchanged [Econintersect].

Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, June 2016: “The Philly Fed’s headline index, which is a measure of general sentiment based on a single question, can often read much differently than the assessment of actual conditions. And this is the case for the June report where the constructive looking 4.7 headline doesn’t match the details which are almost uniformly negative” [Econoday]. “New orders, at minus 3.0, are contracting for a second month while contraction in unfilled orders, at minus 12.6, is deepening. At minus 2.1, shipments are in a third month of contraction. Employment, at minus 10.9, has been in contraction for the entire year. The sample appears to be destocking and delivery times are shortening, both indications of weakness. The only signs of actual life in this report are in prices… [D]oes not confirm the strength of Wednesday’s Empire State report and will not lift the outlook for what is a very flat factory sector” [Econintersect]. “This is a very noisy index which readers should be reminded is sentiment based. The Philly Fed historically is one of the more negative of all the Fed manufacturing surveys but has been more positive then the others recently.” And: “The key forward-looking indicators all moved in the wrong direction, with sentiment on new orders (down from -1.9 to -3.0), employment (from -3.3 to -10.9), unfilled orders (down from -8.6 to 12.6) and inventories (down from 2.5 to -9.9) all weakening, while the hours worked sub-index remained firmly in contractionary territory in June. Capital expenditure intentions also weakened, falling to 4.0 from 23.6. Sentiment on business activity 6-month hence also weakened, falling to 29.8 from 36.1. The disconnect between the details and the headline number is due to the fact that the headline index is not a composite of the sub-indices (as is the case of the ISM index is), but the result of a separate survey question [!!] [TD Securities, Across the Curve].

The Fed: “The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and signaled it still plans two rate increases this year, saying it expects the U.S. job market to strengthen after a recent slowdown” [ETF.com]. “Still expects.” Question: Is the Fed so toothless they can’t even goose the economy before an election?!

The Fed: “In her post FOMC news conference yesterday Ms Yellen sounded as though she was channeling the secular stagnation theories of the fellow whose job she took, Larry Summers” [Across the Curve]. Answer: Yes. Hence Clintonian excrementalism?

The economy: “Despite the successes, it’s tough out there for the average middle market company. They’re besieged from all sides, and growth is a slow, hard slog: In the five-plus years since 2011, the average middle market firm increased the number of its employees by 8.7% and its global revenues by just 6.9%, which is nothing more than the rate of consumer price inflation over the period. And that slow-growth average middle market firm defines the most successful segment of US enterprise!” [Wolf Street]. “A fitting description of the troubled real economy in the US and globally.” Good read on American firms equivalent to the German mittelstand (which is not the “middle class” (and I have a vague memory is a forest metaphor, as of a “stand” of trees, the mittlestand being neither the tallest nor the smallest (but I can’t find a link))).

Shipping: “California gateways are providing glimmers of an ocean-borne rebound as companies gear up for the peak shipping season. The Port of Los Angeles reported a 15% jump in its container imports last month, WSJ Logistics Report’s Erica E. Phillips writes, giving the nation’s biggest port the busiest May in its history. Long Beach and Oakland also reported that imports expanded in May, and that volume reached the highest level since last August. That’s a relatively typical seasonal turn but welcome growth at ports that were coping with backlogs last year” [Wall Street Journal]. “Big questions still remain over the trans-Pacific shipping market, including worries that retailers aren’t yet convinced that there’s enough demand to speed up the flow of goods later this year.” When Quinn the Eskimo gets here, everybody’s gonna jump for joy…

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 47, Neutral (previous close: 51, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 79 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 16 at 1:09pm. Mr. Market suffering from angst…

Health Care

“Yes, Obamacare Premiums Are Going Up” [NYT]. Film at 11. “[T]he Kaiser analysis seems to me another sign that we’re a long way from having a stable individual market.” Let me translate: “Stupid proles, pay our trained professionals until we fix the mess we created!”


“Modern mussel shells much thinner than 50 years ago” [Phys.org]. “Shells collected by Native Americans 1,000 to 1,300 years ago were also 27 percent thicker than modern shells, on average. The decreasing thickness over time, in particular the last few decades, is likely due to ocean acidification as a result of increased carbon in the atmosphere.”

“North Dakotans on Tuesday soundly rejected a law enacted last year that changed decades of family-farming rules in the state by allowing corporations to own and operate dairy and hog farms” [Reuters].

“Virtual Power Plants Get Around Solar Power’s Intermittency Problem” [MIT Technology Review].

The Unsettlement

“[U]nknown hackers have been defacing Texas Department Of Transportation (TXDOT) electronic message boards lately” [Hack Read]. Screenshots: “This hack took place in May 2016 when several traffic signs were defaced with messages like ‘Donald Trump is a shape of shifting lizard’,’Free Barrett Brown’ and ‘Hillary for Prison.'” I’m so old I remember the “Freeway Blogger” — who was not digital.

“Bookseller’s testimony has ‘blown apart’ Beijing’s ‘lies’ on the missing publishers, says Amnesty” [Hong Kong Free Press]. In China, this is a big deal: “Lam returned to Hong Kong on Tuesday and said that mainland police offered to release him if he returned to China on Thursday with a hard drive containing a list of customers from the Causeway Bay bookstore he founded. He instead gave an account of his ordeal at the Hong Kong legislature. His shop was known for political gossipy titles banned on the mainland – most customers are mainland Chinese.”

Class Warfare

“Tipping in America is out of control and I just can’t take it anymore” [MarketWatch]. Too lazy to find the link, but the restaurateur who started simply paying his servers a living wage and abolishing tips altogether discovered that was a hard core of 20-30% of his customers who wanted to tip because they enjoyed the sense of control. Rather like (liberal) Neera Tanden, who isn’t satisfied with policy dominance and $340K a year as a CEO, but demands deference from unknown bloggers as well.

“H.P. Lovecraft’s Monster Drawings: Cthulhu & Other Creatures from the ‘Boundless and Hideous Unknown'”” [Open Culture]. Like this portrait of my favorite candidate for 2016:


And I don’t want to go all deterministic, but this sentence leaped out at me:

Read enough of Lovecraft’s middle-class east-coast professional narrators’ mortal struggles for the words to convey what he called ‘the boundless and hideous unknown’ that suddenly confronts them, and you start to wonder what these creatures actually look like.

Indeed! Nightmares of the professariat at Miskatonic U….

“We all portray different characteristics of ourselves in different situations. The way I speak with my son is much different than the way I communicate with my coworkers. The things I tell my friends are different than what I tell my parents. I’m much more guarded when withdrawing money from the bank than I am when shopping at the grocery store. I have the ability to use multiple identities in multiple contexts. But when I use the web, I can’t do that very well” [Firefox]. Intersectionality hits the tech world…

“I asked my nan why she used ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and it seemed she thinks that there is someone – a physical person – at Google’s headquarters who looks after the searches. “She thought that by being polite and using her manners, the search would be quicker” [Guardian]. LOL, but not, when we remember the children of well-to-do parents in Silicon Valley who interact with voice apps like Siri as if they were slaves, since those apps do not incentivize for being humane. To be fair, these children are having their future life chances enhanced. Given the givens.

News of the Wired

” ‘Astronomy of the 21st century’: LIGO spots gravitational waves again” [Christian Science Monitor]. The World These Days reminds me of one of those SF novels where the premise is a clean and beautiful discovery in the lab, but the plot involves the world outside….

“Should We Sequence the DNA of Every Cancer Patient?” [MIT Technology Review]. Betteridge’s Law….

“New Device Sold on the Dark Web Can Clone Up to 15 Contactless Cards per Second” [SoftPedia].

“Why Philosophers Should Care About Computational Complexity” (PDF) [Scott Aaronson].

I argue that computational complexity theory — the field that studies the resources (such as time, space, and randomness) needed to solve computational problems — leads to new perspectives on the nature of mathematical knowledge, the strong AI debate, computationalism, the problem of logical omniscience, Hume’s problem of induction, Goodman’s grue riddle, the foundations of quantum mechanics, economic rationality, closed timelike curves, and several other topics of philosophical interest.

That sounds nifty, but papers with (one-letter, Greek and/or italic) symbols in them make my eyes glaze over. Does anyone care to translate? Anyhow, don’t we have markets to solve these problems?

* * *

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):


b1whois writes: “Another from the Rainbow gathering in the Stanislaus Forrest in California.”

I forgot to ask what the “Rainbow gathering” is, last time…

* * *

Readers, if you enjoyed what you read today, please use the dropdown to choose your contribution, and then click the hat! Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. Water Cooler will not exist without your regular support.


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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. TVC15

        Yet their persistent desire to control the water supply continues especially in Maine. Noticed in my local central ME newspaper today, “Mark Dubois, natural resources manager for Nestle Waters North America, said they want to research possible springs on the Rumford Water District’s property in Rumford.” I bet they do. Another fine upstanding corporation looking to privatize a natural resource. Mainers please stand up.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      And this just in. The City Council of Philadelphia just passed the sugar drink tax. Soda, diet soda, teas, energy drinks, etc will now be taxed to provide the funding for public pre-schools as part of the public school system. The corporate beverage guys spent a small fortune on TV, radio as well as other ads against this, lobbied hard with the Teamsters, whose drivers and warehouse workers felt threatened in some way and still lost. Round 2 may be an attack in the courts against the authority of government of city to tax these items. Let’s see it the courts will intervene against the will of the people’s elected council and mayor.


  1. Carolinian

    Moon of Alabama says the Wash Post DNC hack story was an obvious fake or rather based on an implausible version of the facts. He cites the Guccifer material talked about here yesterday.


    The nut

    One wonders if the Washington Post scaremongering about alleged Russian cyber abilities was coordinated with that NATO announcement.

    To even think of such conventional retribution for a cyber attack is lunatic. No cyber attack is ever attributable with any certainty. The U.S. National Security Agency, as well as other state sponsored entities, would have no trouble to fake a “Russian cyber attack”. If one lone hacker in the U.S., where Guccifer 2.0 seems to reside, can do such how much more convincing would any intentional, government sponsored fake be?

    1. different clue

      And here I was hoping it was the Russians . . . and that they would give all the Trump Oppo material to Team Trump in order to help shape the Election Battlespace in Trump’s favor.

      Should I now believe that reports of Russia having all the Clinton Emails are also a fake? And here I was hoping that the Russians would release them all in time to burn Clinton all the way down to the ground . . .given that the Obama Administration will permit NO indictment, Ever! Ever! Ever!

      1. jgordon

        Was this mentioned yet on NC?


        ZH is hosting some files the alleged hacker Guccifer 2.0 leaked. One of those appears to be the entire, authentic Trump opposition research file. The hacker says that he is not affiliated with the Russian government, and that he has giving the rest of the stuff he looted to Wikileaks–which will soon be released with plenty of time before the election. The confidential donors list and secret document from Clinton’s time as Secretary of State looked real interesting.

      1. neo-realist

        More like the Russians are a bunch of sh*t stirring b*stards interfering with national elections.

        1. different clue

          That would be the patriotic reaction in normal times. But if Clinton is the more likely to cause WW3, and Putin would like to get Clinton taken off the board to lower the chances of WW3 and raise the chances of a genuine alliance between America, Russia and China to exterminate every last trace of jihadism from the surface of the earth, then Putin’s :”Russia First” patriotism for Russia might also be good for America also.

            1. different clue

              Text screens on the internet are a poor place to try doing irony or snark or sarcasm or snarkasm or any such thing. People would be better off to not even try doing such things on texted screens.

              Snark is often not detectable or deflectable on the internet.

      2. different clue

        Actually, if Putin releases all the emails in time to get Hillary de-nominated; it could well be WW3 avoided or averted or prevented. Given that it is Clinton which wants to pursue the myth of Russian Aggression and wants to make NeoNazi Banderazi Nuland the Secretary of State.

  2. Take the Fork

    “The media is an arm of the ruling class of this country”

    Classes may or may not have arms, but the actually existing human beings who own the screens and control what does nor does not appear on them sure as hell do.

    How about a graphic that gives us names and faces ? That way we can better celebrate their diversity…

    1. steelhead23

      Exactly. It would make interesting reading to know the individuals who own the most media stock.

    2. sd

      There used to be an online tool that charted the relationships between organizations & individuals. I have, unfortunately, forgotten the name/site. It may not be around anymore. It was particularly useful as no-bid contracts for the “reconstruction” of Iraq came to light back around 2004/5 and could be used to follow who was who in the various astroturf organizations.

      So for instance, you could enter the names of two organizations and it would show you there intersections as well as how they connected to tother organizations.

  3. polecat

    That hideous creature depicted sure looks like it’s wearing a lumpy multi-K priced potato sack……

    …Nice tentacles though…..

      1. Roger Smith

        I love this… except for the terminology error. A Meteorite is a meteor that makes it passes the atmosphere and actually strikes the Earth. I was ready to buy stickers until I realized it… total bummer.

        1. Massinissa

          Its a Meteor right now because it wont become a Meteorite until after its elected.

  4. Schnormal

    Oh look, another Orwellian story from WNYC (from last week, sorry. I can’t stand listening to NPR anymore; I only caught it because someone posted it to reddit).

    The NYC Board of Elections has “returned” those purged voters to the Brooklyn voter rolls (oh wherever did they go? They must be here somewhere. Let’s check behind the curtains.) Just in time to vote for honest hillary in the general. How conveeeeeeenient

    The city Board of Elections has reinstated purged Brooklyn voters after mistakenly removing more than 120,000 voters from the rolls in the run-up to the New York presidential primary in April.

    “Excellent,” said John Flateau, the Brooklyn Democratic Commissioner. “Exclamation point,” he added.

    The BOE then promoted two admins to clerk positions, after more than doubling their salaries. Heckuva job, commish. Exclamation point.

          1. Schnormal

            Sorry, I’ve lost track of who is running that show. The petition seemed legit tho’

        1. allan

          Schneiderman will get to that right after he asks the court to vacate the National Mortgage Settlement. Besides, he has much more important matters to deal with. Hot off the press:

          A.G. Schneiderman And Tax Commissioner Boone Announce Guilty Plea Of Brooklyn Auto Body Shop Owner In Tax Fraud Case

          Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Boone announced today the guilty plea of John Sbrigato, the owner of Brooklyn auto body shop Brighton Collision, Inc., for committing sales tax fraud.

          The AG is all that stands between the law-abiding citizens of NYS and the law of the jungle.

    1. pretzelattack

      hey it could’ve happened to anyone. they were multitasking, they just lost track. just ask choicepoint.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I think the maneuver of putting the voters back on the rolls is supremely elegant. Bush never did that, after Florida 2000. That really shows the difference between the two parties.

        1. John k

          But they’ll vote the shill warmonger and corruption ticket in November, best let em vote now.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Any memo containing the subhead “Operationalizing [sic] the Strategy” can be safely 86ed.

        That’s no way to catapult the propaganda.

      2. jgordon

        That is a truly beautiful link. I can’t wait to share it with my (former) Bernie supporting friends. Whenever it starts to look marginally possible that HRC might claim the presidency after all, something new comes out.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        I read the first Guccifer 2.0 page in Diptherio’s Imgur image. The language seems curiously off, just a hair off, as if the speaker knew American (political and business) English well but was not a native speaker (hmm):

        * “Outside of the mainstream” No. “Outside the mainstream” or “Out of the mainstream”

        * “Use specific hits to muddy the waters” No. Hits are specific by definition.

        * “There are two ways to approach the strategies mentioned above.” This is simply not top-drawer consultant-ese. One does not “approach” a strategy, though one might “implement it.” “Mentioned above” is something an undergraduate might write.

        Puts me in mind of what happened to Dan Rather… Granted, I don’t want to read too much into the subtle lack of literacy; we are, after all, talking about Democratic strategists….

        1. vidimi

          i had the same impression. i was reading the text in a russian accent in my mind’s ear.

  5. Sam Adams

    Re:“Jo Cox dead: Latest updates after Labour MP dies after being shot”
    If I were a conspiracy nut, I’d say the death is rather conviently placed in the run-up to Brexit vote.

  6. James Levy

    Trump’s point about Kuwait “paying us nothing” is simply wrong: the costs of US Gulf War I (as opposed to Iran-Iraq Gulf War I) were largely paid by the Saudis, Kuwaitis, Germans, and Japanese. His notion that he can simply extort money from foreign countries is bizarre. It certainly flies in the face of his non-interventionist statements. How does he think he’s going to get it? Talk to them sternly? He’s buying into a variant of the “indispensable nation” paradigm; without us, they are all defenseless, so we can charge them tribute. Well, if they are all defenseless, then they have nothing to fear from one another. And if they are not, then they can defend themselves. Right now I don’t see a single credible example of a nation that needs America’s protecting–not Israel, not the Saudis, not the Germans, not the Japanese, not even Taiwan. The offensive military capacity and logistical back-up (forget about the financial strength) to wage big-time cross-border wars of conquest just aren’t in evidence right now. And no major state has fought that kind of war since Korea. There are no longer cadres or institutional memories about how to do it within a time frame that civilians and financial markets will tolerate.

    It’s nice that Trump wants to deflect the costs of balancing the budget from social programs. It’s dumb, though, to think it’s smart to balance the budget at all. What’s plane is that this is not a plan. This is a goofy idea generated in a vacuum. It is the wishful thinking of someone who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Better than the neocon agenda? Certainly. Realistic? Not even slightly.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “It’s nice that Trump wants to deflect the costs of balancing the budget from social programs. It’s dumb, though, to think it’s smart to balance the budget at all. ”

      True. Begging the question, surely, of why those nice liberals, who know what they’re talking about, think “deflect[ing] the costs of balancing the budget from social programs” is oppo?

      1. James Levy

        That’s easy: because they are idiots who buy into the Washington Consensus and want to be taken for Serious People inside the Beltway. You’re not getting a defense of the DNC outta me.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          And for this to be oppo, they must also believe that Trump doesn’t buy into the Washington Consensus (which would be one reason they think Trump isn’t serious.). Right?

      2. different clue

        Yes, as James Levy said . . . those nice liberals consider it “oppo” because they know how very deeply all the other nice liberals like themselves are opposed to it.

        1. Ivy

          Shades of Pauline Kael’s “nobody I know voted for him” sentiment. That appears to be more prevalent inside the Acela Corridor/Washington Consensus Venn Dysfunctionagram.

    2. Ed

      Trump’s argument is that the US has an unfavorable trade balance with just about every other country on Earth. The “make them pay for it” really means enacting tariffs.

      1. James Levy

        But if you want to hold the world reserve currency, with all the benefits which accrue from that, you need to run balance of payments deficits. It’s axiomatic. I do not believe Trump understand the political economy of the hegemony which he so fervently wants to hold onto.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The question we wonder is, is there enough global reserve currency in the whole world right now to facilitate international trade, without running up more trade deficits?

          (So much so that they come back to be ‘parked’ in US Treasuries or finance drug deals).

          How much deficit is necessary in relation to world trade? 1 to 1 ratio? 2 to 1 ratio? Do we know? Is there no limit?

          (Maybe we have run up too large a total cumulative trade deficit already and there is enough for world trade)

          And how much of trade deficit is to due to the global reserve currency’s obligation to facilitate international trade, and how much of it is privileged (unearned) spending (to buy up the world by printing it)?

          1. polecat

            How much ‘world trade’ do humans need before the whole planet is stripped mined and raped……. polluted and devoid of a large fraction of the biosphere for….stuff ?? That’s the real question IMNVHO…….

            1. jgordon

              Exactly. This is the inconvenient fact that the Keynesian stimulus cultists like to ignore: their little economics experiment is poisoning and stripping bare the earth. This monetary system is like a loaded gun and humans are at the collective maturity level of three year olds. Oh, sure this system is beautiful in theory just like a Colt .45 is beautiful. And then humans get ahold of it and bam!

            2. Carolinian

              Related: a long and thoughtful piece.


              Localization does not mean eliminating international trade, or reducing all economic activity to a village level. It’s about shifting the power from transnational corporations to democratically accountable entities, including nation states. At the same time we need to build up regional and local self-reliance. It’s about reclaiming power over our lives while simultaneously shrinking our ecological footprint.

        2. different clue

          Maybe a President Trump would Heighten those Contradictions and make them Visible for All to See. Whereas a President Clinton would merely take Submarine America to Crush Depth.

        3. jgordon

          Having the world’s reserve currency is like being a diabetic who’s force fed sugar constantly. So much the better when it finally goes bust and we get to learn what discipline means again.

        4. Left in Wisconsin

          Agreeing with MLTPB, there is nothing axiomatic about the size of our trade deficit. IIRC, the USD was the world reserve currency in the 1980s and 90s when the trade deficit was (nearly) an order of magnitude smaller.

    3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Again, James, you’ve selected “Realistic” over “Better”.
      Seems we have done precisely that for far too long.
      The “realistic” thing in 1776 would have been to simply appoint a new committee to try and negotiate slightly better terms with the Crown.

      1. James Levy

        I have no more firm idea than you do how much “better” a Trump presidency will be than a Clinton one. He is talking balancing the budget, which is dumb, and he doesn’t understand how the dollar functions, which is ignorant.

        And I make no such selection. I refuse the two flavors offered me by the legacy Parties and choose to vote for a third party candidate.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Sorry, I misinterpreted your comment “Better than the neocon agenda? Certainly”.
          That sounded a lot like you said “better” to me

        2. Yves Smith

          No, he has never said he is balancing the budget. He does whinge about debt, but then he proposed a debt buyback at a discount as part of a ramble about spending a lot. The Beltway went nuts, and obscured that he seemed to be saying that deficit spending was a no-lose proposition. Either nothing bad would happen or if Treasuries went down, he’d buy them at a discount. The wee problem with that is that would happen only if we got a lot of inflation, so you would not want to monetize then…unless you bought only from foreign holders.

          The point was he was groping toward MMT-type thinking. But he hasn’t gone back there, I believe.

  7. Watt4Bob

    I think people should give up thinking that the FBI investigation of HRC and her email server may lead to indictment.

    What people don’t understand is that while the FBI is part of the DOJ, it also functions as a political secret police that routinely gathers dirt on politicians and other powerful individuals and organizations so as to have leverage with which to ‘influence’ those whose behavior bothers TPTB.

    You may remember the effort the FBI put into influencing MLK to kill himself so as to avoid the discomfort experienced by J. Edgar Hoover and friends during the fight for civil rights by Black Americans.

    What I’m saying is that far from leading to an indictment, the FBI’s efforts in investigating HRC’s illegal server are more likely to lead to increased ‘cooperation’ by any future Clinton administration with any of the FBI’s BFFs.

    So the question is not when will indictments be coming, but who is powerful enough to exert pressure on HRC through their influence on the FBI?

  8. ambrit

    Poor Lovecraft. He didn’t really fit in with the ‘Ivory Sepulcher’ crowd. Too much of an outsider.
    What’s fun is watching the co-option of Lovecraft by later entertainment trends. Oh, Batman and the Arkham Asylum come to mind. Not just the Sauk City crowd.

    1. Unorthodoxmarxist

      Lovecraft was a racist in the worst sense of the word. No sympathy here for his outsider status:

      “It is a fact that Lovecraft was a racist. In his private letters he expressed prejudices against immigrants, blacks, Jews, women, and homosexuals, among other groups; he subscribed to the racialist scientific theories of his day; he sometimes expressed sympathy and approval for racist organizations such as the Confederate States of America, the Ku Klux Klan, and Nazi Germany, though not necessarily their policies; and some of his racist and racialist views found expression in his writing, most notoriously in stories like “The Street” and “Medusa’s Coil,” as well as the notorious poem “On the Creation of Niggers.” These are the facts, which are neither hidden nor denied by scholars who study Lovecraft’s life and fiction. It is also true that these materials form the minority among Lovecraft’s creative output, and should be understood in the context of his time.”

      from: https://factsprovidence.wordpress.com/moore-lovecraft-comics-annotation-index/american-dread-alan-moore-and-the-racism-of-h-p-lovecraft/

      1. ambrit

        Oh my. So a man who lived in a time when racism was the social norm was racially biased. Well, don’t look now but many of the worlds cultures today are racist in nature, including our own.
        Really, the best description of Lovecrafts’ persona would be ‘atavist.’

    2. Massinissa

      To add to what Unorthodox was saying, heres a fun fact: Turns out my favorite lovecraft story, called Shadow over Innsmouth, about half-human half-fish people, was a metaphor for his horror of miscegenation between the ‘races’.

      1. Plenue

        No, he was a racist at one time. His attitudes clearly changed after he spent a significant amount of time living in New York City. His treatment of The Shadow over Innsmouth, and the way he buried it rather than immediately publishing it, show he has rather embarrassed by it and saw it as a step backward in his writing. He obviously understood the implications of it (to claim it was intentional metaphor is simply wrong) more than anyone else.

        The modern fashion of caricaturing Lovecraft and throwing him wholesale under the bus, as if his attitudes were static his entire life, is irritating at best.

        1. Massinissa

          And your evidence for all of this is where exactly? It is true he softened on some groups like Jews as he got older, but his views on Irish Catholics, German immigrants and African americans never did. If I am wrong I would appreciate you mentioning your sources.

          And can you definitively prove he didn’t publish Innsmouth because of its racism, and not some other reason? It was very common for him to view much of his writing negatively. IMO, if he thought it was too racist he would have never published it period.

          I’m sorry but you havnt exactly backed up your claims with sufficient evidence. If you cited sources, then I shall admit my wrongdoing and apologize.

          1. Take the Fork

            Yeah, I’m not too sure about that, either. I think Lovecraft was not so cool racially, to paraphrase El Duderino.

            But on the other hand, does it really matter? Lovecraft wrote some pretty awesome stories in some pretty awful Poe-etic prose. As Henry Miller is said to have said about the greatest French writer of the 20th century, Céline: “I don’t care whether he is a Fascist or a Democrat or a shit-house cleaner. He can write.”

            1. polecat

              Everyone should be perfect…pristine….with nary an unkind thought… right??


  9. Take the Fork

    On Jo Cox:

    One person is tragically murdered in England, and political campaigning is suspended.

    Forty-Nine people are tragically murdered in America, and the political campaigning goes to 11.

    I tell you: we’re not yet halfway through 2016 and I can’t wait for this year to be over.

    1. MtnLife

      More or less correct. That may be the founding ethos but it draws people from every walk of life. Nearly every single religious group is represented. I’ve seen dirt poor road kids mixing it up with movie stars as equals. If you have a belly button, you are Family. It’s most amazing aspect is that it becomes a whole alternative society in the middle of nowhere that prays for peace on the 4th (the conclusion of which sparks a massive party). It’s probably the only working libertarian socialist society. Yes, there are some sketchy people there as it is a place to be anonymous (few people use their real names) and everyone gets fed for free. The amount of amazing, open, loving people is mind blowing. My wife and I go to practice primitive skills like an adult day camp and love the community. If this election cycle, hell, our entire planet, has gotten you down this place is a recharge. This movie was made at the Gathering in Wyoming (’07 or ’08, can’t remember) and gives a good introduction to the Family. Even playing it in the background and hearing that many people say “I love you” over and over will lighten your day.

      I’ll be heading in this weekend for a day or two, finishing my last projects at work, then staying for the last week or so. It’s just north of Manchester, VT – a short drive for all you nor’easters and City folk. Hope to see you there Brothers and Sisters!

        1. Take the Fork

          Have a good time and please remember this ancient wisdom: set, setting & dosage. And please set a good example and pack out your trash. Rainbow gatherings have become notorious for the amount of garbage they leave behind on our public lands.

      1. different clue

        As long as new people are drawn to the Family and the Gatherings, then the Vision lives.

  10. Fred

    “Our Famously Free Press”

    Conveniently left out were Pravda on the Hudson, aka the NY times, whose largest individual owner is Carlos Slim richest man on Earth. Then there is the other Oligarch owned paper, the Washington Post – Jeff Bezos.

  11. Socal Rhino

    Reading the entire paper will require a little time but briefly, even if it is logically possible to compute an answer, if the number of steps required scales up much faster than the question, it might as well not be possible. e.g., if I could write an algorithm but it would take the entire history of the universe to date to step through it, it’s of no actual use. This may have implications for philosophical questions.

      1. Tyrone

        Yes, it does. The line of argument of this paper is not new, and some earlier work along this line concerns market design and game theory. It is now known that many models economists have used to argue for why markets work well are not reasonable, because these models require agents that are independently able to solve problems that are difficult to solve on computers. For example, it has been argued that the concept of Nash Equilibrium is not a good model because computers are unable to compute Nash Equilibrium in most settings. (There are some specific games where Nash Equilibrium CAN be computed on a computer.)

        The policy implication is that existing economics theory on markets and game theory is largely not realistic, and that if we would like to develop improved policies and markets then market structures will need to be simplified and information asymmetries reduced through regulation. As you can imagine, simplification and regulation are not very popular ideas within economists. So there has been strong push back against this line of argument, with economists arguing that engineers and computer scientists do not understand the intricacies of economics.

  12. inode_buddha

    Lambert — got some plant pics, can’t ID these flowers properly. Tried reaching you via the link but no joy?

  13. ProNewerDeal

    By chance does anyone have a link to an article that catalogues all the voter supression H Clinton & her surrogates (like NY & RI Governors limiting polling hours, DNC leader D Wasserman Shultz scheduling the limited amount of debates at obscure times, etc) did in this 2016 Primary election to specifically decrease the Sanders vote or increase the H Clinton vote?

  14. Jim Haygood

    McShame goes all wingnut on 0bama:

    According to the Washington Post, McCain answered a question about the debate over guns and blamed Obama for the [Orlando] shooting.

    “Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures,” McCain reportedly said.


    Arizona’s raging flake is up for re-election this year, and is vulnerable.

    Nothing wrong with running against 0bama. But 0bama can be criticized for murders he actually IS “directly responsible” for, without making up Rube Goldberg chains of causation for the Orlando tragedy.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      O said Orlando was “an act of pure hatred” but cannot seem to fathom where that hatred could be coming from. The Orlando gunman on his 911 call said “I just want America to stop bombing my country”. Cause and effect?
      Violence begets violence. Wouldn’t it be great to watch Peace begetting Peace instead?

      1. polecat

        ‘Who’s’ country?? ….. Which country??….

        …the guy was a naturalized U.S. citizen, was he not?….so forgive me if I seen somewhat confused….

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Born in the US, I believe.

          My country, when or if he said that, might have been America or another country.

          A clue to his mental state or thinking.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      This was all over morning joe yesterday a.m., with the esteemed plagiarist mike barnicle proclaiming that suggesting that barack was somehow “complicit” in the Orlando terrorism was TREASON, and the ever plugged-in hosts assenting.

      Oh, wait. That was Donald Trump they were talking about. Apparently, he made a similar comment. And it was TREASON I tell ya, when HE said it. mccain can’t do treason. It’s a rule.

    3. jrs

      Playing from the trump playbook (the shooting is all O’s fault), it probably won’t play well.

    1. no one

      Given the doubts about Trump’s conservative credentials, as evinced by the approbation of the Republican establishment, and the fact that Clinton is the most conservative Democrat nominee since FDR, it seems possible that the two national parties have switched their respective candidates. She, a Republican trying to pass herself off as a Democrat. He, to the extent he has a philosophy, a middle-of-the-road Democrat (the party that contained the Southern Democrats until they died off).

    2. sd

      A touching tribute….

      The deeper explanation is that Gensler is a financial-policy unicorn-a deregulator turned reformer.

      …what an incredibly insular group they are.

  15. Lee

    Re: Sanders speech RSVP. Perhaps I’m being paranoid but I find the request for my mobile phone number off-putting. I made up a number and sent a message stating my opposition to giving the Sanders contact list to the DNC.

  16. DJG

    On tipping. I believe that this was the first of the series of blog posts by Porter.


    I can’t find the article that analyzed the power dynamic. It turned out that a social scientist had indeed studied customers and found that a third or so believed that tipping, which is after the fact, somehow controlled their experience.

    All in all, I’m reminded of a great rule of life: If you are ever with anyone who starts mistreating people in service, get yourself far away as soon as you can. (I also apply this rule to people who think that they are entitled to free samples at farmers markets. Anyone that ignorant of how hard farmers have to work is not worth knowing.)

    1. DJG

      I’d add that my Italian friends can barely figure out the U.S. system of tipping. Admittedly, tipping went into a swift decline in Italy about twenty years ago. In the north, it now exists in only the most rudimentary forms–you leave a couple of euro on the table after dinner so that the wait staff can buy a drink.

      And service has not declined at all. There’s that thing about having a permanent job, feeling respected, maybe being a part owner, and working in an honorable profession.

      So: Some of the mixup about tips is that tourists in the U S of A are baffled by the various tip tangos (bar tender? hair cutter? taxi driver? tip jar in a grocery store? and so on).

  17. allan

    Worried About “Stigmatizing” Cluster Bombs, House Approves More Sales to Saudi Arabia

    The House on Thursday narrowly defeated a measure that would have banned the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, but the closeness of the vote was an indication of growing congressional opposition to the conduct of the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing coalition in Yemen.

    The vote was mostly along party lines, with 200 Republicans – and only 16 Democrats – heeding the Obama administration’s urging to vote against the measure. The vote was 204-216.

    How’s that Peace Prize working for you, Nobel Committee?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Grand mal cog diss:

      Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met on Tuesday with CIA Director John Brennan, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in Virginia,.

      In an exclusive interview, Brennan said that “the Saudis have become among our best counterterrorism partners” over the last 15 years.


      Good thing the “28 pages” haven’t been released yet, about the role our arsonist-fireman Saudi “allies” played in 9/11.

      1. allan


        Fixed it for you.

        I love the vote in the House. 16 brave Dems agreed, or were forced,
        to be today’s designated Rotating Villains™.
        For which the DCCC and KSA-associated lobbyists will amply reward them.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Today’s Rotating Villain™, tomorrow’s shish-kebab.

          Gives “volte-face” a whole new meaning.

      2. Steve C

        Kayfabe. The Democrats always provide just enough votes for the thing they loudly oppose. I’m sure Pelosi was whipping for it so the Drmocrats could be on record supporting the ban while assuring its defeat.

    1. meeps

      Google translates “middle aged stands” to “im mittleren Alter steht”

      Not a German speaker, so that’s the best I can offer. (:

    2. grayslady

      Stand most commonly means “level” in German and mittel is “middle” so not sure why the idea that the reference comes from horticulture. Mittelstand is literally “mid-level” or “medium-sized” businesses.

      1. meeps

        Thanks, grayslady.

        The level of the tree canopy, perhaps? Maybe Lambert will chime in if I’m way off base here.

    3. JerseyJeffersonian

      Careful with the spelling; it is not Mittlestand, but rather Mittelstand. Makes for a difference. Wikipedia has a pretty good entry on the German Mittelstand here:


      Note the salient distinguishing characteristics of Mittelstand:

      The latest English publication on Mittelstand firms by Prof. Bernd Venohr, Prof. Jeffrey Fear and Dr. Alessa Witt highlights that: “These companies are predominantly run by classic “owner-entrepreneurial families” (Unternehmerfamilien) seeking to sustain the business by instituting a core ideology of longevity, conservative long-term financing, and operating practices.”[5] The Mittelstand acts as a counterpoint to a singular focus on shareholder value and dispersed investor-orientated shareholding [My emphasis].

      The aspiration is sustainable, yet adaptable, private enterprise. Basically, to my mind, the philosophical and practical ideal of a Mittelstand firm yields the polar opposite from the crapifying behavior of most publically-owned corporate structures that flourish under the regime of American-style finance capitalism with its endemic short-termism that leads to under-investment in basic research and development, employee/manager training and involvement in product development, and toward the asset-stripping practices of a piratical upper management.

      1. cyclist

        Indeed. On a recent trip to Germany I was impressed by the apparent investment in the plants of small to medium sized firms I would see in small towns (primarily in Rhineland-Pfalz, Baden-Wurttemburg and Bavaria). Where I come from (NE US, outside the Washington-NYC-Boston nexus), small towns might be surrounded by tumble-down brick mills or a tin shed with a lot full of pickup trucks, where you know people are getting paid barely enough to survive, and being told they should be glad for that.

        Most of the plants one sees in Germany have an office/engineering part that is often gleaming glass and steel and possibly a well maintained plant with a certain sense of permanence. It looks like some serious investments have been made. And the workers don’t look like they are one step away from being on the street. Non-scientific observations, but those are my impressions.

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        the crapifying behavior of most publically-owned corporate structures that flourish under the regime of American-style finance capitalism

        It’s not just the publicly-owned ones. PE owners are often/usually just as bad or worse.

  18. Russell

    As far as a fiat currency as the reserve currency of the world, the US is lucky that all others are worse than the US Dollar. Whatever it is actually based on. I thought it was the Petrodollar there long as Oil was the King.
    (King Cotton was still a big sign up in Green City when I was growing up. It was the King Cotton Hotel, and it looked like a good place to stay.)
    Mexican crime leaders have finally hit the jackpot with heroin all the time everywhere, which will come back once the chemists kill off the stupid junkies going for Pentyl. FENTYL however, they use it to make you dead to the world. You use it for fun? It just makes you dead.
    But anything addicting like tobacco is great for steady income. Cash flow is what you want.
    Food, Clothing Shelter. Food seems to be up to me. Shelter is known to be way up there. leaving clothes stitched together anywhere like Haiti the Clintons can make a call to keep Labor costs low.
    What did Ban Ki Moon get for his reputation by giving Haiti to Bush Clinton (Foundation?) The Haitians, well, so goes Haiti, so goes the West is what I say. They even have mobsters selling whatever clean water there is. Elites have all the deeds and want the poor to stay in the streets, in the gutters so they can watch them die talking a language nobody else uses till on TV they get to French!
    All the French colonial possessions with Napoleon’s sharia law, they get corrupt. Human nature is not compatible with Codes.
    How much does another nations economy get skewed when pallets of US cash get delivered to the ruling elites? I want to know.
    So, far as I am concerned it looks to me that if you want to keep hold of Reserve Currency Status for your currency your bankers and the people looking over their shoulders to make sure they do things in an ethical manner create an atmosphere of trust.
    Meyer Lansky Financial Engineering is what the US Wall Street and their London friends are known for. How long will the rest of the world love those guys? What if the EU gets a Central Bank that loans to governments?
    What if the Euro is made to work?
    My currency the Insurodollar inspired as right down to the last thing standing, human capital, coldly calculated in aggregate on insurance actuary tables for internal to the nation usage to print money coming out to the Insurance company bank of the nation, seems to make sense to me.
    Personally I see it as a workable scrip on outposts of the Moon, way station with water, on the way to Venus & Mars.
    You want a currency that works in outer space now, don’t you?
    Of course I think workers ought to be as free and mobile as corporations with money in their mouths and out of their hands to themselves for political campaigns buying time on the TV networks they own.
    VICE arose from youtube, which I have a channel on too. Sometimes I’m just fooling around. I can make an electric guitar now. It is my stick like an AR 15 only different.
    I of course do love myself and my wife and the cats.
    We are Spartacus. We are Cats! Outdoor Cats.
    I find I have a fenced in model what all with a nation of airports. Do not make a flag. It will take over your life.

  19. rjs

    re: “The major influence on the CPI was energy prices.”


    the energy index, up 1.2% in May, is 6.82% of the CPI
    the shelter index, up 0.4%, is 33.17% of the CPI

    thus rising rents had slightly more impact…

  20. John k

    The last time they did that was Wmd’s…
    They’ve been substituting advocacy for the news for at leastthis election cycle.
    Along with the Washington post.

    Speaking of Wmd’s…
    Somebody should ask the Goldwater/Goldman golden girl under what circumstances she would use nukes.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Any countries that don’t pony up to help the Clinton Foundation definitely are eligible.

      Whereas Saudi, Kuwait and Qatar are on the “good guys” list.

      Be generous, be safe.

      (Drinking game: try saying “Goldwater Goldman golden girl” eight times in ten seconds. Then take another chug when you fail. Do not attempt this in Saudi Arabia.)

    1. Buttinsky

      Thanks for keeping everybody posted, marym.

      The numbers represent a narrowing of the gap between Clinton and Sanders from 12.4% to 10.7%.

      The “provisionals” have barely budged since election day (they started out at a little over 700K). You’d think a lot of those would be Sanders votes, but they are “provisional” and I wonder how many will actually get counted at all. But then I wonder about the accuracy and honesty of the counting in its entirety. Open, honest and fair elections doesn’t seem be something America is much interested in.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Thanks. It means 23.4% of the votes remain uncounted.

      As they say in México … quizás mañana.

    3. marym

      5:43 pm
      Clinton 2,433,870 54.8%
      Sanders 1,966,740 44.3%

      No further updates since 5 pm to the uncounted report

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If Sanders gets all (as in 100%) the remaining 1,300,000 votes, final result may be something like

      Sanders 3,200,000 (appr. 55%)
      Clinton 2,400,000 (appx. 45.%)

      That is, the reverse of the current result, meaning, approximately,

      Clinton 206 delegates
      Sander 269 delegates

      (I reverse the numbers I get by googling ‘2016 primary results California)

      With that, Clinton still has over 50% of the total pledged delegates.

      For Sanders to win, the super delegates would have to over ride the popular vote, people’s will.

  21. Skippy

    Just for the shenanigans….

    “Three elements combine to make the Institute unusual, if not unique: it has the independence of being entirely self-financing, with no subsidies from the government or other sources; the action research orientation places it between, but not in, the worlds of academia and consultancy; and its range of disciplines include anthropology, economics, organizational behavior, political science, psychoanalysis, psychology and sociology.

    The ideology of American foundations was created by the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London. In 1921, the Duke of Bedford, Marquess of Tavistock, the 11th Duke, gave a building to the Institute to study the effect of shellshock on British soldiers who survived World War I. Its purpose was to establish the “breaking point” of men under stress, under the direction of the British Army Bureau of Psychological Warfare, commanded by Sir John Rawlings-Reese.

    Tavistock Institute is headquartered in London. Its prophet, Sigmond Freud, settled in Maresfield Gardens when he moved to England. He was given a mansion by Princess Bonaparte. Tavistock’s pioneer work in behavioral science along Freudian lines of “controlling” humans established it as the world center of foundation ideology. Its network now extends from the University of Sussex to the U.S. through the Stanford Research Institute, Esalen, MIT, Hudson Institute, Heritage Foundation, Center of Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown, where State Dept. personal are trained, US Air Force Intelligence, and the Rand and Mitre corporations. The personnel of the corporations are required to undergo indoctrination at one or more of these Tavistock controlled institutions. A network of secret groups, the Mont Pelerin Society, Trilateral Commission, Ditchley Foundation, and the Club of Rome is conduit for instructions to the Tavistock network.

    [Editor, Tim Aho’s note: See Watch Unto Prayer report on The Heritage Foundation founded by Paul Weyrich with funding from Joseph Coors, who also founded and financed respectively the Moral Majority and Council for National Policy.]”

    Disheveled Marsupial… MPS just an appendage… chortle…

  22. Cry Shop


    “The Giving Institute” (and Ritholtz) mis-label giving to “non-profits” as “charitable” giving. The report aught to be called “Americans (and Corporations) dodge taxes more than they ever have before”.

    I assume that most of the readers here agree that SCOUS was full of it when they declared corporations human, and legitimized whole-sale purchase for one’s own interest national, state, and local governments as charitable acts suitable for tax deductions.

    1. inode_buddha

      I largely agree with his ideas, but not sure about my own vote now. I really can’t get myself to warm up to Clinton AT ALL given the history. I will be very surprised if this election really changes anything at this point. However he did say that the movement will continue quite strong for some time, and that gives me hope. I do agree about becoming active, regardless of the parth the DNC or anyone else may take.

      1. katiebird

        Luckily, he didn’t ask us to vote or even support her. I haven’t heard anything from her through the Primary Campaign to change my mind about the horrors of her years as SoS.

    2. allan

      I thought it was great. He’s still negotiating, and not just with Clinton:

      We must defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership and make certain that that bad trade deal does not get a vote in a lame-duck session of Congress.

      That’s clearly directed at Obama, Reid and Schumer.
      You want endorsement? Sign this. And if you pull a fast one, there will be consequences.

      1. Steve C

        Much of it was an implicit indictment of Obama. A bracing laundry list of all the ways things suck and are getting worse.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think if he wants to openly direct that at Obama, Reid and Schumer, he might want to think about going all the way and resign from the Senate.

        1. Skip Intro

          That’s not all the way, he needs to commit seppuku. On national TV. Bill? Bill Clinton is that you?

    3. MsExPat

      Feels like he is preparing his troops for the big cave. It certainly felt like the wrap up to the endgame.

      While I understand where he is coming from, and I respect and cherish his work so far, I can’t help feeling disappointed, particularly as my home town, Hong Kong, has seen such a tremendous act of individual courage today–political and personal bravery of a very high order against overwhelming forces.

      At this point Sanders has little to lose by mounting a third party challenge. And I hate that he’s buying into the Vote Hillary because Donald Trump argument.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Hope that’s just a modified limited hangout on Bernie’s part till something shakes loose.

        Trump may well be evil. But Hillary is the more effective evil. For instance, Trump is not going to appoint Victoria Nuland as Secretary of State.

    4. sd

      I liked the speech. He danced at the edges of supporting Clinton, which made me slightly queasy…my worry, what happens if Trump takes Sanders policy list and runs with it?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If that is all that matters, you go with the guy who is running for the White House with that policy list, assuming the guy will do what he promises.

        1. sd

          Trump is a political unknown, so the idea that I might hear Sanders policies tumble out of the mouth of Trump feels like the makings of a mind f*ck. Of course, that’s much more likely than Clinton embracing even just one of Sanders policies. She’s not going to change her spots.

      2. John k

        Why is this a worry? What is more important, the person, or the policies?
        I have never listened to any political candidate closer to my beliefs than Bernie…
        I will celebrate and support anybody that campaigns on Bernie’s policies.

    5. dots

      Loved hearing the call to get out and run for office. Essentially we need to keep up the momentum for real bottom-up change.

    6. EGrise

      Interesting that he did it on a webcast rather than on TV or radio. To reach his younger audience to be sure, and also to escape MSM shenanigans, but I wonder if it was also a part of the bargaining process: “I had (x number) of viewers at the start of the live stream, and after that the video was shared (y number) of times. That’s the length of my reach. So what have you got, Madame Secretary?”

  23. inode_buddha

    Just got done watching Bernie’s webcast. I hope there is a transcript someday. I will say that it was quite moving (to me anyway) but I still don’t trust Clinton as far as anything. Not sure what I’ll do, but his comments about being a long-term movement and getting involved are well taken.

      1. jrs

        “During this campaign, we won more than 12 million votes. We won 22 state primaries and caucuses. We came very close – within 2 points or less – in five more states. ”

        15% of the California vote is still uncounted as of today.

      2. inode_buddha

        Thank you *very* much, (I am severely hearing impaired, the webcast was fun but difficult)

      1. inode_buddha

        So, he didn’t endorse and he didn’t drop out. The man has true grit and has earned my respect. This is quite possibly the first and last time a politician has done that.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think he’s stuck.

          How is he going to stop Hillary’s noeliberalism (he’s not stopping Hillary the person)?

          Divine intervention (emails) the only prayer?

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            He personally isn’t.

            The missing piece, however, is who organizes the grass roots (since I don’t think the Sanders campaign has the organizational capability to do that). NNU?

            And who owns the list?

            1. aab

              I think people are missing some of the pieces in what he did. He didn’t just not endorse. He gave no ground, signaled no one else should, called the party leadership corrupt, said they let the Republican wins seats and lost ground all over the country, and we’re an oligarchy. He reminded listeners that the vast majority off Millennials back him. Then he told them to run for elections all over the country and had people sign up on the spot.

              I thought it was about as clever and tough as he could be, under the circumstances, which are obviously bad. Some superdelegate was apparently interviewed today complaining about how they’re all being threatened with primaries if they stick with Clinton. I didn’t watch the interview, but it seems to me this is the best possible play Bernie had. He made it pretty clear, I thought, that state parties and lower level elected officials will do better backing him and getting money and energy going forward. It may not work — in fact, honestly, I think nothing will work other than Putin figuring out some way to force Obama’s hand or Comey not playing games. But it’s worth a shot, and meanwhile he’s laying the groundwork for an actual organized leftist movement in a way that hasn’t been possible before. Only organizational scale would protect people from the HUAC-type suppression she’s obviously gearing up for.

              And he builds out his list. No way is he giving that data to Clinton. I did the sign-up, because despite all my fears, I couldn’t resist. Will you run, what other types of activism are you up for, what’s your background — that part is key, and not part of normal, amateur grassroots organizing, as far as I remember. That database just got much more useful, whoever he shares it with. I’m guessing it goes to close allies like NNU and Brand New Congress, but who knows.

              It sure sounded to me like he will run independent if Clinton gets the nomination. The rest of the messaging makes no sense otherwise. He won’t be holding her hand at the podium, that’s for sure. Of course, she doesn’t want that anyway.

    1. katiebird

      Somehow I’m both let down and enthused. I am VERY glad he didn’t endorse Clinton.

      I just got off the phone with my dad (he’s 95) and he’s furious about the emphasis on the platform — he thinks it’s a waste. But (I think) it seemed like a sort of test… like Sanders saying, we’ll see how Hillary does on Platform and Democratic Leadership decisions — then I’ll decide about endorsing. Maybe I’m dreaming.

      I haven’t been to look at his website for the win idea. Is he planning to LEAD a 50 State Strategy?

      Oh — And he didn’t drop out!! So. That’s good.

      1. Anne

        I feel like he is making it harder for Clinton to move to the right, where she clearly wants to be, but I wonder how long he can withhold an actual endorsement; I’d really prefer that he never endorse her, but, barring outside events that take over, pretty sure the Democratic leadership goon squad is going to get out the baseball bats and threaten his committee assignments.

        I hope he tells them to take a flying leap.

        1. katiebird

          I do too. … He has promised for months and months to go all the way to the convention. And I think he means it….

          Do you think anyone on the leadership good squad is worried about the email? Could that be making them hold off with the baseball bats?

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Barring outside events, how does he go about stopping Trump?

          It’s a non-endorsement endorsement, unless we know some ways to stop Trump without Hillary.

          1. Skip Intro

            A ‘non-apology apology’ is not an apology. A ‘non-endorsement endorsement’ is not an endorsement. Supplying your own alternative to reverse his meaning is quite a stretch.

      2. Skip Intro

        There was a hint of ransom note to the speech. A list of demands that we know will not be met. This is very much the opposite of a concession, though I expect to see a big push from Brock’s team to paint it that way…

  24. Archie

    Hugely disappointed in the Bernie address. Can’t even gather my thoughts at this point but playing small ball politics and establishing a long game to change is really not a reasonable option at this point in time. Hope for change and eternal optimism that the body politic can overcome all the corruptness of the Democrat party is the height of folly. I need a stiff drink.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      People know what I want; a standalone left entity. So I’m disappointed not to hear that.

      Yes, the Democrat Party is “where movements go to die,” but OTOH “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” I don’t know what not not playing “small ball politics” means to you. Running as an independent? Running as a Green? Storming the Winter Palace?

      1. Kim Kaufman

        Bernie is doing what Bernie has been doing for 40 years or more. He’s definitely pushed the ball… somewhere. He’s not going to give up his senior seat on Finance/Budget Committee to run nowhere with the Greens. Let the next gen figure out where else to go.

        1. Archie

          Ok Kim, I’m a newbie so shame on me. Good luck with that chairmanship too. It’s Hillary’s party now and he said too many nasties during the primary. Is that so hard to see?

          1. Kim Kaufman

            Yes, Chuck Schumer may eff him over. But he’s going to stay fighting in the senate as long as he can. The more they try and dick him around, the more he’ll call them out. It’s a losing game but it’s the only game he’s going to play. He’s not going to run third party. He’s going to try and get his supporters to organize.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              If Schumer is going to kick him off the committee, it’s better to resign first and go run third party.

      2. Archie

        There was no endorsement but there was no flat out rejection of the Democrat party either. Yes, he did criticize them and there was a lot of talk about what we know has to be addressed and what is wrong with the Democrat party. But it was pretty clear to me that the revolution at the local levels should take place within the framework of the Democrat party. That is what I mean by small ball politics and it will never, never amount to a hill of beans within the Democrat party, imo.

        I’m getting old Lambert and I have been pissed off for a long time. Bernie speaks a lot of truth, but not the ultimate truth about our current dilemma. He did say that TPP must not be voted on in a lame duck session on which I concur. Saying it and accomplishing it are completely different things; so we’re left to be optimistic that somehow that will happen just by popular will. Meanwhile, the neo-liberal assault continues apace on dozens of other fronts. I guess we’ll all just have to pick them off one at a time as well.

        Anyway, I see the Democrats as the main perps in that assault and Bernie must know that. Just once in my life I want to hear a politician speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and politics be damned.

        1. jrs

          Making stopping the TPP the political focus of the next 5 months (rather than defeating Trump) would be a lot saner.

          Trump himself may or may not stop the TPP but he’s not trustworthy. But if political focus was actually shifted to stopping it …

        2. Patricia

          I hope he’s not just looking for a Tea Party for Dems.

          We’d have a chance against the worst of climate change if we mobilized as we did for WWII, as Bernie once said. Most of our problems can actually be served through that central issue.

          Without leadership in the White House, we have a tiny chance if citizenry mobilized on national scale from the outside.

          But he seems to be talking the long slow slog of becoming school-boards, mayors, state legislatures, and remaking the Dem party. Of course those things need to be done, but if they are our focus, the climate will roll over us before we’re half-way there.

          1. Patricia

            He’s not finished yet. Maybe we’ll see a sense of urgency at the convention.

            I will check out the People’s Summit.

            1. Archie

              Yes Patricia, I too hold out hope for the convention and all events leading up to and including those fateful days. I’m bi-polar: eternally optimistic and nihilistic. But I will never let the bastards grind me down.

              1. Patricia

                Yup, they will get absolutely nothing from many of us. Small comfort, maybe, but works for me.

          2. katiebird

            He did start as a Mayor … so he’s not asking for something he hasn’t done himself. It kind of makes me feel like I’m slip-sliding through time though.

            1. Patricia

              Oh, yeah, he’s been on the road for a long faithful time, and honorably. But we don’t have time for the long road anymore.

              OTOH, if it is now impossible for us to mitigate much re climate change, we need to face it and work on preparing for it together…if we do mean that we want to focus on our collective good.

              After all, wouldn’t such clarity/focus influence how a school board member works? City/town planning?

          3. different clue

            That may be the tragedy of our situation. An insurgent group cannot conquer positions which are beyond its power to conquer. If a Newer Deal Insurgency only has the power to conquer some school board seats and city council seats and so forth, those are at least little beachheads to secure now and perhaps break out of later. And such little conquests give their little conquerors training and knowledge in how to build and gather strength and conquer positions. Perhaps such knowledge can be built out from to conquer bigger positions from greater strength. And so on.

        3. jrs

          Ok sometimes something can be done via the city council and so on. Screw engaging in the state level. Ok California is already completed Dem dominated, while the policies are better than Texas, we don’t have much to show for it. The state level is every bit as much out of our hands in any decent sized state (maybe not Vermont but like I said any decent sized state) as the Fed gov.

          1. B1whois

            I thought he was very clear that he called the movement to engage deeply in current democrat party structures. Force the party to live up to its old name while we’re at it. All it takes is for the people to show up, and to engage in the existing political structures. If the people answer his call, they can demand a livable future and planet. I believe that anything less will lead to environmental collapse more quickly. I can answer this call, but millions more will be needed.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              He has never been a Democrat saved the last few months (not sure if it has been over 12 months).

              Why the sudden obsession?

              Can people answer his call running as independents or third party?

              1. different clue

                Those who would rather do that can certainly do that. Its a big country with a big enough population to support several different theory-action groups all pursuing their separate courses of theory-action, and comparing notes and results from time to time.

      3. EmilianoZ

        Yeah but what he advocates is tantamount to the overtaking of the Dem party by the young and the working class. It wasnt a bad speech. The proof is that it has already been buried by the Guardian. Their headline is about Oprah endorsing the $Hill.

        1. Pat

          Anything but a full throated endorsement of Hillary Rodham Clinton calling her the most qualified person he has ever seen and demanding that his followers immediately kiss her ring and swear fealty was going to be ignored, down played, or out right blasted by the media. Burying it actually shows more concern then belittling and insulting it.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Yes. As I keep saying, to liberals the left is the real enemy. So if Sanders isn’t endorsing Clinton, and is insisting on a platform with any number of items on it that are anethema to liberals, then they cannot tell themselves they’ve achieved victory. For in fact they have not.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          That’s how I saw it.

          I also saw it as answering the question “What are your demands?” And I don’t think the DNC Democrat Party can possibly answer them. So Philly should be interesting.

          Also, on Trump: Sanders says “Defeating Trump is the main priority for the next 5 months.” That’s not long. More importantly, he himself would be the first to say that the “political revolution” is bottom up, not to down. So if you, personally, or even the organization you belong to doesn’t want to make that your priority then don’t. However (1) Sanders has given you cover (especially for Democrat types who think he can “deliver” voters) and (2) Sanders has given you a frame (the best way to defeat Trump is to work on climate change). It think both of those are good.

          If we think of the Sanders platform as a set of wedge issues between liberal and left, than Sanders has, if anything, driven the wedge deeper. I think that’s a good thing.

          1. ChiGal

            He sounded the same clarion call he always does, and it was invigorating and affirming. He will not change, nor should he. This is no longer about a horse race for Bernie.

            But, as to the movementI would have liked some more direction, structuring. I was underwhelmed on that score.

          2. Kim Kaufman

            I agree. Saying “no” to TPP tonight was a real poke in the eye to Obama and Hillary. I think he’s really going to drive that home at the convention.

        3. ambrit

          Right idea about the Guardian’s spinning of the contest. (Oprah who? The Princess of Yazoo?)
          What’s curious is that Sanders had to make a point about something, the future stewards of the Democratic Party, that should be obvious to all. It suggests a disconnect between the party nomenklatura and the ‘real’ world.
          He may have toned down his rhetoric to smooth the waters a bit. The Stop Trump call fell somewhat flat. No concrete examples of strategy or tactics for that were put forward. He did say that Trump must be stopped, but he did not specify by whom. He also mentioned strong differences in policy between himself and Clinton. Not once did I hear him say “Hillary.” Mentions of her were uniformly formal and ‘proper.’
          It almost was a standard Sanders Campaign speech.
          He’s nobodys’ fool. All of his options were left open.
          A perusal of his negotiating methods within the Senate could shed some light on this moment in political history.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Sanders also said, of anti-Trump efforts: “And I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time.”

            “I personally” as opposed to, say “I, in close cooperation with Secretary Clinton…”

            “Begin my role in that process” as opposed to, say “immediately consult with the DNC…”

            “In a very short period of time” as opposed to, say “Monday.”

            And no endorsement. I’d say Sanders kept his cards pretty close to his chest.

            1. ambrit

              Cards close to his chest and wore sunglasses to boot!
              He’s playing the long game, and I would not be surprised if he has his campaign staff kriegsspieling counters to various H Clinton ‘stabs in the back’ scenarios.

        4. Skippy

          Wellie what did you think Soros would do when he has Carlyle group tapping him on the shoulder…

          Disheveled Marsupial… Hillery is the PE candidate…..

      4. Skip Intro

        Announcing an independent run would be premature. He is still lobbying superdelegates and issuing reasonable demands everyone knows cannot be met… i.e. campaigning. Using what so many seemed to expect to be a concession to underline the failures of the DNC under the current regime, and call them out on their scheme to push TPP through the lame-duck session was a great tactical move. Everyone is so eager to parse every bit for a concession, that the message can penetrate before they realize they just heard another visionary stump speech.

  25. Kim Kaufman

    Just listened to Bernie’s speech. He only said that he will work to defeat Trump. He did not endorse. Then gave a whole long list of things we need to work for – and get. If we want change, get involved, stay involved. Run for dog catcher! Keep going. Don’t give up… it’s not about me. It’s about all of us working together for change.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Most — all? — of which would cause a lot of tooth-grinding in the Clinton camp (such a shame). I noticed that he first said “universal health care” but then “Medicare for All.”

    2. inode_buddha

      I do have to agree with him on that point. It’s a long game, and I am impatient for results, after living thru the last 30 yrs of accelerating to the bottom. We didn’t get into this shit overnight, and we probably won’t get out overnight either. He does give hope by referring to the young and the workers (I’m a bit older worker)

  26. optimader

    She has supported right wing deportation policies of immigrants south of the United States’ manufactured borders

    And what differentiates the US borders as “manufactured” from other sovereign borders?

  27. optimader

    ok maybe I am thick…

    …I argue that computational complexity theory — the field that studies the resources (such as time, space, and randomness) needed to solve computational problems ..

    How is randomness a “Resource”?

    resource is anything that is used to satisfy human needs. Typically resources are materials, energy, services, staff, knowledge, or other assets that are transformed to produce benefit and in the process may be consumed or made unavailable.

    Perhaps in the constriction of a Random Improbability Drive??

    From this I extrapolate that the paper is BS

      1. Optimader

        Falling in the geek tarpit for a moment, my recollection from those system engineering classes i took faaak, 30+ ago !?! is that a truly random number cannot be engineered because by definition it is deterministic. It has a finite correlation coefficient. Cryptographic systems using pseudorandomness will eventually fall prey to quantum computing hacking

          1. nowhere

            Shor’s algorithm pertains to certain classes of encryption (RSA), not all (Symmetric-key algorithms).

              1. nowhere

                NSA Switches To Quantum-Resistant Cryptography

                The NSA remarked that “The AES-256 and SHA-384 algorithms are symmetric, and believed to be safe from attack by a large quantum computer.”

                According the NSA, the following isn’t safe to use:
                ECDH and ECDSA with NIST P-256
                RSA with 2048-bit keys
                Diffie-Hellman with 2048-bit keys

    1. inode_buddha

      Randomness is very scarce in a functioning computer. It is used (among other things) to encrypt the connection with your bank, for example. A string of numbers that can be predicted is a string of numbers that can be manipulated. Randomness is essential for online security. And yet is is very difficult to properly express randomness with a machine that only has two states (binary).

    2. low integer

      I think the ability to computationally simulate randomness, not randomness itself, is considered the resource.
      This passage kind of gets at the distinction:

      One example is pseudorandom generators (see Goldreich [64]): functions that convert a short random “seed” into a long string of bits that, while not truly random, is so “random-looking” that no efficient algorithm can detect any regularities in it. While pseudorandom generators in this sense are not yet proved to exist there are many plausible candidates, and the belief that at least some of the candidates work is central to modern cryptography.

  28. crittermom

    I just watched Bernie’s broadcast, as well.

    I felt let down. He’d said he would talk about his future plans, but what I heard was that he did his best to get the movement started but it isn’t gonna happen this election & we must pick up the ball from here.

    Most of what he said was just going over the things he’s been pushing for, which we already knew, which is why we support him.

    When he spoke of talking about those things with $hillary I found myself saying out loud, “Don’t believe her if she said she wants the same things as you!”

    I will vote for those Bernie endorses for other positions, but cannot vote for $hillary.

    When Bernie spoke of fracking, big banks, income inequality, TPP & the rest of it, to me it was like a checklist (& always has been) of all those things $hillary is in favor of because they fatten her bank account.

    No, he didn’t endorse her.
    But sadly, I felt it was close to a concession speech.

    When (if?) the CA votes are all finally counted, if Bernie won could it make enough of a difference to earn him the nomination?

    Regarding that, when I checked the stats regarding the counting of those votes, I saw a notation saying some 400,000 votes had ‘disappeared’ from the tallies so far?
    Any more on that?

    I’ll soon be 65. I’m the poorest I’ve ever been in my life after trying to do everything ‘right’ & getting taken by the banksters. Since that time in 2011 my life has not improved & I don’t know if I can survive another 4 or 8 years like this.
    I had SO badly wanted to see the change actually happen in the whitehouse THIS election.
    I’m just not getting any younger…

    1. jrs

      15% of the California ballots remain uncounted as of today, however I don’t even know what the total% breakdown is for Bernie and Hillary are as of today. But the reason Bernie couldn’t win the nomination is probably the same as ever: the superdelegates.

      We must make our political focus of the next 5 months defeating Trump says Bernie. Uh kinda screw that. I don’t like Trump, I’m not voting for Trump, I think those supporting him are badly misguided, but why not try to make for instance a push for local higher minimum wages the focus of the next 15 months? It’s likely a much better investment of time and energy. As our any number of still alive political causes (unlike Hillary versus Trump which may as well be a mortuary it’s so dead of any useful potential).

      1. Skip Intro

        I think Bernie’s chances of getting the nomination are better than they ever were. They’re not high, they never were. We have almost a month to let the ‘reality’ of Hillary settle on the TV-believers, and the polls start to scare the dems… This was always part of the calculation. It was always about convincing the establishment that Bernie could save the party, albeit by giving millions of disempowered Americans another brief hit of hope from the extravagantly corrupt political system, to demonstrate the viability of democracy.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      See Chin Up from Links today.

      I know what you mean about not getting any younger, but I also feel that I can do my best for those younger than I am, even if I do not live to see the results. Whoever said doing the right thing depended on seeing the results in one’s own lifetime?

      I don’t mind the Sandernistas taking down Trump and getting credit for it (and assuming the Republican golpistas don’t replace him). Five months is not long.

      1. ambrit

        I’m worried about the GOP having “un golpe” too. If that should happen, the Republican Party, at the least will have abandoned any positive reputation it ever had. That would signal the full transformation of American politics into Banana Republic Follies.
        I fear that the marginalization of Sanders, and, more importantly, Sanders’ constituency, has already begun. No joint press conference after the Clinton/Sanders meeting is a bad sign. Clinton is showing no affirmation of Sanders movement. This all feels similar to old Soviet politics, say, from the 1930’s.

        1. inode_buddha

          Speaking as a former republican (1985-2005) they’ve already lost their reputation and turned the country into a Banana republic. Made a lot of money doing it, too.

          1. ambrit

            I was too partisan in my condemnation. The New Democrats were fully complicit in the corruption of the American body politic during that period. I should have said that the ‘Current Elites’ have spurned the harsh affections of Dame Integrity. The Neos are not just a party or movement. They are the sickeningly slavering psychopomps of expediency. Just remember, it doesn’t have to be a one way trip.

            1. inode_buddha

              Indeed :D I recall during Clinton’s presidency, having a YUUGE “wtf??” moment when he started passing various right-wing policies…. and then I suddenly realized, and I figured out the game, the con as it were. One of those slowly sinking feelings in your gut, sickening like a slow-motion train wreck and there’s nothing you can do about it cuz we’re all being dragged along for the ride

      2. julianne

        The Sanders supporters would not get credit for beating Trump. If anything, the current Democrat Party would market it as a validation of their ideology and electoral approach of “coming demographics change” leading to super majorities in the future. It would only serve to empower the marginalization of Sanders supporters.

        What would empower Sanders supporters would be to get credit for beating Clinton. Even if that leads to a Trump presidency. At some point, the left will need to affect electoral politics and be able to electorally punish those that are not reflective of their priorities.

        1. cwaltz

          I agree.

          I cant bring myself to pull the lever for him but I will certainly not be lifting a finger to stop someone from voting for him and understand voting for him as a strategy.

        2. mparry

          Yes. This is exactly the problem.

          Thus the huge effort by the current Dem party to depict Trump as fundamentally different from and more dangerous than more orthodox Republican political figures, despite the fact that people like Walker or Cruz or Cotton are in many ways harder-right figures whose greater political professionalism means that they’d be more likely to find ways to push the worst parts of their agendas through. They need Sanders supporters to buy into the idea that there’s a special need to defeat Trump, that makes this year different from all other presidential election cycles past and future.

          If we don’t buy that, we have to ask ourselves, If not now, when? And that’s a question that doesn’t have an answer the Party loyalists are going to like.

      3. crittermom

        Oops? I just deleted my response & couldn’t get it back.

        Thanks for the suggestion Lambert. I did read it & appreciated it.

        What you said was also very good, about wanting to leave something better behind.

        I, too, have wanted to do that so it was a good kick in the rear to encourage me to get back to pursuing ways to get a children’s book I wrote using my wildlife photos published.

        It teaches, using a critter, that bravery (which is a ‘biggie’ to kids) is really about being willing to try. I combined my two biggest loves, kids & critters, in an attempt to leave some good behind.
        After months of editing, it’s time to contact a former ‘neighbor’/photographer from the area of my former home, who had always encouraged me to publish my photos. (He has several books out)

        I’d tried to put together a coffee table book I’d envisioned for a few years, but it involved all the photos of where I used to live & I found it far too painful to continue.

        I then hit upon the idea of a children’s book this year & it flowed together effortlessly.
        Now is the time to seek a mentor & pursue my dreams of leaving something better behind in more ways than one, & my time to try creating some good in a bit of a more lighthearted way.

        1. low integer

          As a fellow photography enthusiast, it is great to read that you have held on to your passion for photography. Don’t let go of it!

        2. nowhere

          That’s an inspiring story (as a part-time photographer, myself) and it’s awesome that your project was so enjoyable and positive.

      4. jrs

        Doing the right thing may not depend on results in one’s lifetime.

        There are those who hope politics will relieve their personal suffering though especially that which was directly caused by the political economy (ie not their bad marriage so much – that’s kind of on them, but the economy stupid!!! the job market, the rising costs etc.). And they will have a long long wait indeed I’m afraid. To “vote your interests” is oftentimes to not bother to vote at all, as it may not be within anyone livings lifetime.

    3. katiebird

      I had SO badly wanted to see the change actually happen in the whitehouse THIS election.
      I’m just not getting any younger…

      Me too. And as I said above, my 95 year old dad is REALLY let down.

      (Still hoping the email thing isn’t a sick joke)

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      Adding, I don’t agree it was a concession speech. (A concession speech is a genre, just like a victory speech. If Sanders had wanted to deliver one, he would have.)

    5. Archie

      “He’d said he would talk about his future plans, but what I heard was that he did his best to get the movement started but it isn’t gonna happen this election & we must pick up the ball from here.”

      Yeah crittermom, that’s one of the things I was left with too. To me he had kind of a fatalistic tone but reiterated what we all want to change and encouraged us all to have a stiff upper lip and carry on, so to speak. The problem, as I see it, is that this election is a historical inflection point that I have not experienced since the late 60s. I never thought Bernie would win, but he clearly identified with all of us “downtrodden” (and we come in many, varying degrees) and so I felt (hoped?, fantasized?) that he would at least champion that cause without compromise. Championing change within the Democrat party is a compromise, imo.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Championing change within the Democrat party is a chimera.

        If that’s the strategy, the battle is lost before it begins.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Sounds like Don Quixote.

          I am hoping he can be a Moses…Let my people go (to another party).

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Not just him.

        Did his best.

        We must pick up the ball from here.


        Would he consider doing something if there is no immediate chance of success?

        Why not drop out now that the primary phase is ove and there is no visible path to victory? Resources can be better used to stop Trump. Well, the answer may be that we are not just fighting for that. We have a longer term goal.


        What about starting a new party? That would a be a longer term goal, beside the now-drifting-away shorter term goal of get the nomination.

        Did he do his best? (Has he done his best? Is it over?) What would be worth it for him to give up his senate seat? If it can lead a new party (perhaps not immediately effective this year, or perhaps it will be), would that be his ‘donation’ to a noble cause, a great campaign?

        If we all must pick up the ball from here, surely someone can step forward to retain his Vermont senate seat. And he can really take on/go after the DNC, and the establishment, unlike now, when he has be ‘nice’ to them (can’t even call Obama weak).

        1. different clue

          Why is stopping Trump so very important? If a President Clinton is more likely to cause a war with Russia than Trump would be, why is Trump the one to be stopped?

  29. Lambert Strether Post author

    Some headlines on the Sanders speech, from our famously free press:

    Bernie Sanders Does Not Concede Democratic Nomination to Hillary Clinton

    Bernie Sanders says Democrats’ top task is defeating Donald Trump USA Today

    Sanders Says He Will Work With Clinton to Transform Party AP [***ahem***].

    The Clinton people hate it, so that’s a good sign:

    Bernie Sanders Officially Announces He Will Run for President Forever Slate (which of course is exactly what he did not say. “Historians will look back….”)

    And before the speech:

    Why doesn’t Bernie Sanders know he’s asking the DNC to do something it has no power to do?
    Jonathon Capeheart, WaPo

    1. tegnost

      Didn’t watch, did the senator actually say he would work with what’s’ername to transform the party? or is this just more AP making the storyline…

      1. B1whois

        Definitely worth watching for yourself. The AP link posted by Lambert above (which goes to abc website) is a useless summary, and Sanders absolutely did NOT say he would work with HRC at any point on anything that I can remember. Did not happen.

        1. tegnost

          Thanks, I had hoped he didn’t say such a thing. I got a lot from watching trumps speeches so I will watch bernie, too, rather than get the version with the fake lemony smell. Had to ask because that headline is everywhere (being a.p. and all)

          1. aab

            I haven’t read this thread but Bernie basically said he’s happy to work with Mrs. Clinton to institute his entire platform, get all her cronies fired, and cut off her donors. He then mentioned that the current Democratic Party lets Republican win seats and that (unspoken but implied: under Clinton and Obama) the party has lost power at the federal as well as state level. IIRC, he explicitly called the Democratic leadership corrupt and that we are currently an oligarchy.

            I thought is was an amazing speech. It was rhetorical jujitsu. He made it clear he will concede nothing, that any elected superdelegates would do better with him leading the party, and that he’s going to organize progressives to run for every level of office in America from top to bottom. It was inspiring, a threat and a bribe to different factions at different points, yet hung together as one message.

            Now I will read what you guys think.

            1. dots


              I must have received a different link for the speech though… Perhaps the campaign was AB testing his message?

              1. dots

                Aab’s summary made me go back and read the transcript because I couldn’t remember the speech being that packed but it was, far more so, than I realized from just listening to it. I think that’s because it’s so easy to feel as if nobody else is willing to acknowledge the true shape of things for most of us.

                It’s not an accident that Bernie has come this far. There’s real change in the air.

            2. JaaaaayCeeeee

              aab, I took it exactly as you did. Bernie magnified his leverage from earning delegates by introducing his /win webpage and pointing out his voters are the future Dem pary.

              The anger of media and Clinton supporters was confirmation to my eyes on twitter was confirmation to my mind. So was the HRC fury on twitter.

              If Clinton wants to do anything but sell voters out, Bernie’s obstinacy gives her a chance to keep the $$ and regretfully tell donors she needs to win so she went with some Bernie policies.

              1. aab

                Yeah, but you know she won’t. She doesn’t want to. I love the touch of hiring a sell-out from SEIU as temporary DNC Chair. Corruption, deceit and submission. It’s the Clinton way.

                I spent an enjoyable evening with my family, so I missed all the hostile reaction.

    2. different clue

      Maybe he DOES know. Maybe he wants to make it VISIBLE and PLAIN to the audience out here in Media Land as well.

  30. ambrit

    This point in American political history is a seminal moment. Sanders just said in his speech something very like “A spectre is haunting America.” The “very important people” who ignore the warning signs will have cause for regret when they look back on today. (Those who can look back.)

    1. Optimaddr

      The “very important people” who ignore the warning signs will have cause for regret when they look back on today…
      Not the ones that feel no empathy or remorse…. Just say’in…

      1. ambrit

        I imagine that those ‘people without souls’ will regret backing the wrong horse in this race. But, more accurately, as you say, that cohort will have no feelings at all.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Seen on the internet:

      “Bernie’s speech comes as the NBA finals get down to the near-wire with the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers facing off in what could be a clinching Game 6 for the defending champions.”

      Hoops, comrades: let’s keep our priorities straight.

      Elections are transitory; whereas when it comes to NBA finals, “The moving finger writes, and having written moves on. Nor all thy piety nor all thy wit, can cancel half a line of it.

      1. Optimader

        By having essentially no interest in professional sports i wonder how much cumulative time i have preserved for doing those oh so satisfying things i enjoy that have absolutely no social or personal redeeming merit?… Oh wait….

        1. ambrit

          Learning to ‘rise above’ competition, even vicarious competition, is a major step towards enlightenment. If you could teach that trick to politicians now…

  31. Zzzzzz

    Met my nugatory expectations: half-assed demands that the DNC will crap on; and evinced no clue that there’s more to civil society than electoral politics.

    Nothing has changed. Not gonna lift a finger till I know, Do you meet the minimal standards of the civilized world? Specifically, The International Bill of Human Rights. The UN Charter. The Rome Statute. These are tantamount to prinuzhdenie k miru and they will destroy both parties and the regime.

    So No, Dems, you too, Sanders. Fuck you, go lose.

    1. Josh

      Besides the part of the speech where he specifically talked about the importance of work done by teachers, doctors, nurses, engineers, etc outside of politics in creating a better society?

      The idea that Sanders is a craven sell-out for refusing to issue a clarion call to firebomb the houses of government never ceases to amaze me.

      1. Skip Intro

        Indeed, at a certain point purity police become indistinguishable from provocateurs.

        1. different clue

          Purity trolls gonna troll.

          Purity jerks gonna jerk.

          Purity assholes gonna hole.

      2. jrs

        Sanders himself may do what he can. Sanders the man and candidate is ok, maybe just ok but still better than usual.

        The fact that there hasn’t been any good legislation passed from a progressive (or really ANY) perspective in over 40 years is kind of a problem though isn’t it? That (not anything particular about Sanders) is the reality that would lead anyone to be frustrated and probably the more rational people to give up most conventional politics. Because that’s a horrible truth.

    1. MsExPat

      Well that’s the thing. If Sanders comes out moderate then he gets slammed anyway by the liberals and MSM.

      He really has nothing to lose by leading the movement out of the Democratic Party and laying the foundation for a third party in this election cycle. If Trump wins, the Democratic Party and MSM will blame Sanders for it matter what he does.

      Lambert–no way will the Dems give him credit for helping a Clinton win, even if he raises 200 mill and mobilizes tens of millions of followers. As you keep saying they hate Bernie more than Trump.

    2. crittermom

      allan, I think I disagree with you on Bernie endorsing $hillary. He had said he would & he’s a man of his word.
      He talked of how more Democrats need to be elected in govt because there are too many Republicans.
      He will encourage folks to vote Democratic to keep Trump out & unless our hopes are realized that would mean voting for $hillary.

      I do think he will hold out as long as possible, trying to leverage $hillary to the left for any good he can get out of her before doing so. Not sure he’ll succeed, since I don’t trust her to ever keep her word.

      I’m wondering how he will……retaliate? (not correct word, but at a loss), if she goes back on any word she may give him?

      1. Kim Kaufman

        I don’t think he ever said he would endorse her. I think he said he would support the nominee. He will be supporting her in his own way – I think he thinks she can only win the votes of his supporters by giving them something to vote for. It’s the winner’s job to unite the party – not the loser’s. If she wants to pander to Republicans, that’s on her.

      2. allan

        If it comes to that (say, TPP rammed through in a lame duck session after the election),
        Sanders’ only leverage at that point will be to say to his supporters,

        `I tried my best to work within the Democratic Party. I negotiated with the Party in good faith, on your behalf, and was given firm commitments by it’s leaders. They have now gone back on their word. The Party is unfixable and we need to work on a new progressive structure in this country.’

        I think that would inflict serious, long-lasting damage on the Party.

  32. WJ

    From Guccifer’s datadump, “Election Plans,” note tone of these two excerpts that outline the HRC election message:

    1. “It’s not enough that corporations are raking in record profits and that CEO pay is through the roof, your family needs to be able to get ahead too. You need to have a little more so you can worry a little less. We’ve got to make being middle class mean something again in this country. (You should be able to have some savings you know you can fall back on, put money aside for retirement, pay off your student loans, start a small business, be able to give your children choices for their future.)”

    Note that normal rhetorical usage sets us up to hear “It’s not enough…..” as a lead-in to a further, even more awful and offensive example, but HRC means “it’s not enough” in a different sense. Her tone seems to critique the “record profits” and “CEO pay,” but on closer inspection it’s entirely given that up. Instead, the message is: “the rich are unbelievably, disgustingly rich! But you should have a little too, to pay off your loans to the rich!”

    2. “Well, too many of our policies are built for yesterday instead of tomorrow. The oil companies, the pharmaceutical companies, the hedge funds — these guys have already made it. We’ve got to focus on solutions for the new challenges we face.”

    Here, we encounter three standard (if well-deserved) bogeyman: “the oil companies, the pharmaceutical companies, the hedge funds.” To list these three kinds of business in succession is inevitably to lead us to expect some damning critique of them, of the country that aids and abets them, etc. But no, instead we hear this flat revelation of the supremely obvious: “these guys have already made it”. (So?……) And then we turn away from the bad guy/bogeyman rhetorical frame altogether. The passage really does read as though focusing “on solutions for the new challenges we face” is code for, let’s not worry about whether life sucks for you now *because of* high corporate profits and executive pay, oil companies,” and all the rest; instead, let’s just admire them for “getting theirs,” and do our best to get you a bit of your own! So you can pay your debts on time! :)

    The document is filled with this odd tonal self-underminings and contradictions; really fascinating from a criminal psychological point of view.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I have a dumb question. Is the Guccifer 2.0 stuff authentic? Yeah, I linked to that tweet… But maybe I shouldna.

      Are we 100% certain it’s not some weird disinformation campaign? Did anybody look at the fonts? (joke)

      1. Yves Smith

        It’s got fundraiser spreadsheets that look VERY VERY authentic. Plus it would have been denounced as fake long ago if it were, as opposed to getting the WaPo to say the DNC could not possibly be held responsible for being hacked by a Russian state actor BEFORE he leaked.

        1. Buttinsky

          Yes — neither Wikileaks, the alleged recipient of all the DNC docs, nor CrowdStrike, the DNC’s forensic IT contractor, has denied the authenticity of the docs. Wikileaks posted the Guccifer 2.0 link on Twitter without refuting the hacker’s claims and in a Washington Post article yesterday CrowdStrike said they were reviewing the docs. And both would seem to have an interest in quickly calling out any hoax.

  33. Kim Kaufman

    Of note: Bernie’s speech appears nowhere on HuffPo’s front page. Numerous stories on Trump, including “W swoops in to rescue GOP.” As if…

  34. Zzzzz zzz

    Strawmanning, equating customary international legal standards to firebombing houses, check.

    Neoliberal reduction of individuals to their occupations, check.

    ‘Purity’, bog-standard DNC pejorative, check.

    Party cultists in their intent avoidance of peremptory norms and the supreme law of the land never cease to amaze me.

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