2:00PM Water Cooler 6/21/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Congressional leadership has all but ruled out a [TPP] vote before the November elections, leaving a potential lame-duck session as the only time for consideration of the deal” [Politico]. “As of now, the White House still hasn’t sent Congress a draft statement of administrative action detailing how it plans to implement the trade pact. Under fast track, the White House must submit the draft action plan, along with the final legal text of the agreement, at least 30 days before sending Congress the implementing bill.” The Senate goes into recess on December 3, 2016. 30 days from December 3 is November 3 — just before Election Day, November 7. And the Senate is in session for 12 days (total) in October and November. Obviously, the pros think they can get this done, but it looks tight, there’s plenty of time for constituents to share their views with their Senators, and TPP could be an election issue. If I were Clinton, I’d want to fuzz over the advent of that “draft action plan” as much as possible. And if I were Trump, I’d be demanding a date certain for it. (Of course, Republican Senators who were planning to sell out would have a sad, but is that such a bad thing?)



“Mrs. Clinton was serving as a senator from New York when Congress approved the $700 billion bailout in the final months of the Bush administration. She voted in favor. ‘I think that the banks of New York and our other financial institutions are probably the biggest winners in this,” she said in 2008, ‘which is one of the reasons why, at the end, despite my serious questions about it, I supported it'” [Wall Street Journal, “Where Clinton and Trump Stand on Wall Street”]

The Voters

“Are Black Voters Invisible to Democrats?” [The Nation]. C’mon, let’s be fair: Not when they are there to used as firewalls. “What you won’t see in the announced plans on the left is any money for making sure that black voters turn out in large numbers in the first national election of the post-Obama era. While Priorities USA has said it will spend some of its $5.3 million set aside for radio ads on black radio and an undetermined amount on digital ads targeting African Americans, there are no funds specifically targeted for the proven and effective grassroots, person-to-person work required to get people out to vote. While there is at least a modest, albeit also underfunded, program to mobilize Latino and immigrant voters, the left and its donors have failed to fund anything comparable among African Americans.” Or anyone!!!!!!!! At any time!!!!!!!!!

The Trail

“Trump’s decision to fire Lewandowski, who has been with him since the beginning of his campaign, came after a weekend meeting with his children in which they pushed for the aide’s ouster, according to a source close to the campaign. Daughter Ivanka Trump has been seen as a driving force behind the effort. Her husband, Jared Kushner, who advises his father-in-law on policy, also clashed with Lewandowski, according to the source” [RealClearPolitics]. In kayfabe terms, Trump is now a heel. But kayfabe enables startling reversals: Trump needs to become a face. I’m not sure how he does that, short of rescuing a baby from a burning building. But perhaps Ivanka can help. And then there’s this: “‘Donald Trump is going to be Donald Trump,’ says Boris Epshteyn, a New York based-Trump surrogate, arguing that the campaign changes illustrate the candidate’s ability to make tough management decisions. ‘[He got this far] by being himself and trusting his instincts, so you’re not going to see him change.'” So, a surrogate at last!

And this from Trump:

Polling: RCP aggregates says Clinton up 1 in PA and up 2 in Ohio (important swing states) [RealClearPolitics]. I grant the Clinton campaign can spend money like water, but the results, so far, have been disprortionately poor, have they not?

[Wall Street Journal, “Hillary Clinton to Rally House Democrats at Capitol Hill Meeting”]. Well, that should give the 20K+ operatives who run the political parties a thrill; the rest of us, not so much. The story: “While the majority of House Democrats supported Mrs. Clinton during the primary, a handful backed Mr. Sanders and are working to make sure their liberal ideas, such as a significant increase in the minimum wage, will be embraced by the party.” WSJ is confusing liberals with the left, a common category error in the political class.

Guccifer 2.0

Readers, as you know I’m always skeptical of digital evidence, arguing that “digital evidence is not evidence” absent a chain of provenance to a known and trusted creator; digital material is too easy to fake. And I’m old enough to remember — summarizing the chain of events very tendentiously — that evil genius Karl Rove settled the controversy over Bush’s (Vietnam War-evading non-)service in the TANG (Texas Air National Guard) by (1) feeding CBS news true information (2) in discreditable form, and then (3) arranging for it to be discredited (by an Atlanta blogger named Buckhead, in a post that blew up from nothing to utter dominance in a single news cycle, an amazing achievement). So Rove used faked true evidence to impeach the story and saved Bush’s bacon. (The CBS reporter, Dan Rather, was later fired, along with his reporting team.) So if I look at Guccifer, I’m seeing steps (1) and (2), and I worry about step (3). That is, if we suppose that the information on Clinton corruption is true, but the form is discreditable, and then imagine it is discredited, Clinton’s reputation would be laundered, at least until the impeachment hearings begin. That is, a sponsor at the DNC or from the HillaryLand would take on Rove’s role in the TANG play from Rove’s playbook. Too foily? Perhaps. Arguing against the TANG replay theory: (a) The Guccifer documents would take a lot of time and effort to create. But the Clintons have motive, a lot of money, and the ability to launder payments. (b) One release would be sufficient to bait the trap, so why then several? But who said you had to catch a fish in only one cast? (c) The DNC has neither confirmed nor denied the validity of the Guccifer releases, plural, so silence means consent. But see point (b). (d) The Clinton-dominated media have not gone full-throttle to denounce them, so they are suppressing the story. But see again point (b). Arguing for it: (a) The DNC and the Clintons have both shown themselves to be utter f*ckups technically on multiple occasions; it’s entirely plausible that they got massively hacked. Or (b) the hackers, having failed in an attempt to get the DNC to buy back its own data in exchange for silence, have sent a message to others in the political world that they have also hacked, with this release. It really is like a LeCarré novel, isn’t it? That said, some links:

“We still don’t know who he is or whether he works for the Russian government, but one thing is for sure: Guccifer 2.0—the nom de guerre of the person claiming he hacked the Democratic National Committee and published hundreds of pages that appeared to prove it—left behind fingerprints implicating a Russian-speaking person with a nostalgia for the country’s lost Soviet era” [Ars Technica]. Or a person imitating such a person, yes. “Of course, it’s still possible that the Russian fingerprints were left intentionally by someone who has no connection to Russia, or by a Russian-speaking person with no connection to the Russian government, or any number of other scenarios. The abundance of plausible competing theories underscores just how hard it is to accurately attribute attacks online and how perilous it is to reach summary conclusions. Readers are once again advised to keep an open mind…. But given the house of mirrors surrounding this entire episode, the evidence should be thoroughly investigated before anyone reaches that conclusion.”

“The DNC has not yet confirmed or denied the authenticity of the leaked documents” [Washington Examiner].

“Two independent research firms have confirmed an assessment by the Democratic National Committee that its network was compromised by Russian government hackers” [Ellen Nakashima, WaPo]. That’s the lead. But the farther down in the story you read, the more Nakashima’s stenographic certainty dissolves. The last sentence: “It is also possible, researchers said, that someone else besides the Russians were inside the DNC’s network and had access to the same documents.” So we don’t really know anything, then, do we?

This is delicious, if true. Clinton’s “standard requirements” for her appearances:

My attention was caught not so much by the executive jets, but by the horridly smarmy language from the Clinton staffers: “I look forward” to “working closely with you” on “this opportunity” (for the Clinton Foundation to insert its sucking mandibles into the body of your organization, presumably). And “share” “the standard requirements.” Note also the Beltway Subjunctive: “The fee for this type of event would be…” Always “would be.” Never “is’!

And this is devastating, if true. The Twitterer is with the Young Turks:

Here is Guccifers link to that “database,” an Excel spreadsheet. I don’t have Excel, so I can’t look for the metadata. Readers?

Stats Watch

A second day without interesting stats. The livin’ is easy…. And a lot of angst from rail and trucking. Readers, any anecdata?

Shipping: “A slump in the U.S. freight market is getting deeper and starting to take a toll on transport providers. The closely-watched Cass Freight Index for May showed its biggest year-over-year decline since 2009 and edged up just 1.3% from April, WSJ Logistics Report’s Loretta Chao writes, a poor signal that suggests a summer slump may be forming. Werner Enterprises, Inc., the country’s fifth-largest truckload carrier, says the weaker demand is hitting its earnings… The company cites the weak demand but says driver pay and “difficult” negotiations with shipping customers are hurting. [Wall Street Journal]. “There may not be much help in the pipeline: Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd. says its talks with big shippers suggest they expect this year’s peak season to be flat or down this year compared to last year.” So containers are (seasonally) up at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, but as so often the peak will disappoint? Apparently so.

Shipping: “A year-long pullback in U.S. business inventories will likely continue through the rest of 2016 as retailers and manufacturers remain cautious amid uncertain demand and the prospects for higher interest rates, according to a report on U.S. logistics” [Wall Street Journal, “Inventory Pullback a Drag on Logistics Spending]. “The inventory pullback has roiled the logistics sector. It has hit transportation companies hard since they are holding expensive assets that they added between 2011 and 2014. Lighter volumes have led ship operators and trucking companies to slash their prices, eating into profit margins. The trucking industry has 75,000 to 80,000 more trucks than companies need to move goods, said Marc Althen, president of Penske Logistics.”

Shipping: “[T]he Cass Freight Index, which tracks freight moved by rail and truck, rose just 1.3% in May from the previous month, and was down 5.8% from a year earlier. The reading was the lowest for May since 2009, and the biggest year-on-year drop since that year” [Wall Street Journal, “Freight Market Bracing for Summer Slump”]. “Retailers typically begin ramping up orders in the spring ahead of the back-to-school rush. The relatively small uptick in freight volumes measured by the index indicate sluggish economic growth and high inventory levels are reducing retailers’ shipping needs.”

Shipping: “Canadian Pacific expects second-quarter revenue to decline about 12 percent compared with the same 2015 period, the railroad announced this morning” [Progressive Railroading]. “The reasons: lower-than-anticipated volumes in bulk commodities such as grain and potash, the ‘unexpected and devastating wildfires’ in northern Alberta and a strengthening Canadian dollar, CP officials said in a press release.”

Supply Chain: “The tailwind of low inventory carrying costs that U.S. businesses have enjoyed in recent years came to an end in 2015, and carrying costs are likely to prove a tougher challenge should the cost of money become dearer” [DC Velocity]. Note elite airline flight metaphor: “Tailwind.”

Honey for the Bears: “Gut-wrenching gyrations in financial markets early in the year helped summon the specter of a new recession. Now, warning signs are coming mostly from the U.S. economy itself” [Wall Street Journal, “Economic Gauges Raise Specter of Recession”]. “Hiring is slowing, auto sales are slipping and business investment is dropping. America’s factories remain weak and corporate profits are under pressure. All are classic signs of an economic downturn, and forecasters have certainly noticed.” Lambert here, opining: As readers know, I’m a Maine bear, so I have priors. That said, my recollection of what I felt in last winter and spring was that the elites were talking themselves into it — like the Fat Boy in Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers who says “I wants to make your flesh creep” — and we in the 90% were bumping along on the bottom, New Normal-style. As we say in Maine: “Depression? What Depression? We’ve always been depressed!” But real economy stuff, like the employment conditions, and containers, and trains, and trucks, and goods on the shelves, and making stuff, seems more sketchy now. Whether sketchy enough to affect the election, I don’t know. Perhaps enough voters will have embraced the suck. Readers with more than vague intuitions, thoughts? Key stats that you watch?

The Fed, Yellen Testimony: “As late as April, the labor market situation was viewed as rock solid, even as growth concerns were substantial. Now, the situation has flipped. The growth outlook is back on track, by and large, but the May employment report threw Yellen and the FOMC for a loop. In the most ironic passage of the testimony, Yellen asserts that “it is important not to overreact to one or two reports,” but this is almost certainly what the Fed has done in the wake of the soft May payroll figures. Yellen acknowledges that “several other timely indicators of labor market conditions still look favorable,” so the Fed thinks that the labor market is still in good shape, but the level of confidence is sufficiently low that I suspect the June employment report will be one of the more important ones in a long time” [Amherst Pierpont Securities, Across the Curve]. “She concludes with the construct that she fleshed out on June 6 that structural headwinds (global drags, subdued household formation, and meager productivity growth) may be depressing the equilibrium interest rate for the economy. The Fed’s view is that these headwinds will lift gradually, which argues for gradual rate hikes and the Fed adjusts policy to track changes in the equilibrium rate.” “Headwinds….”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 67, Greed (previous close: 62, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 50 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 21 at 12:25pm. No change.

Health Care

“Medicare is About to Get Even More Complicated” [HuffPo]. Well, that’s neoliberalism. Phishing equilibria for fraudsters, and jobs for the 10% ‘splaining the complexity that should never exist in the first place.

Our Famously Free Press

“According to data published in the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report last week, there is a generational divide when it comes to news consumption. While the large majority of those who grew up with the internet see it as their most important news source, those who relied on the TV news for a daily news fix for decades still tend to prefer the television over online news sources” [Econintersect].


“It is sobering that discussions about regulatory capture now include the subject of criminal prosecutions. The last group of public officials one would expect to be influenced by special interests would be federal prosecutors. Nor are prosecutors normally thought of as akin to regulators enforcing policy. They enforce criminal laws” [RegBlog].

Class Warfare

” [T]he correct diagnosis is that in the US, populism is rooted in the failure of globalization to deliver palpable benefits to its working class, in Russia, it is rooted in its crony capitalism and inability (or unwillingness) of the West to include Russia as an equal partner, and in China, it is rooted in an inadequate political system. Once we see the correct cause of the problem, we can begin to try to solve it. Otherwise, the sickness of populism, which for all problems blames globalization and foreigners, in the three major powers that control 98% of all nuclear weapons in the world, is indeed a cause for major concern” [Global Inequality].

News of the Wired

“But he does good work” [Violet Blue, Medium].

“If you ever doubted ‘anti-terror group surveillance tools’ should always be called titled ‘group surveillance tools,’ New online ecology of adversarial aggregates: ISIS and beyond. Science, 2016; 352 (6292): 1459 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0675 by N. F. Johnson, et al., puts those to rest” [Another Word For It]. NC readers will have noticed that was what the Democrats’ heroic gun control filibuster was really about: Watch lists with no due process protections.

Alert reader Nik sends in some links on my speculation that radio could be used for the Decentralized Web. One answer is: We already use radio for the Internet; it’s called “cell phones.” But mobile is Anot, in its insitutional structure, decentralized. And here is Reddit: Would it be possible to transmit High Speed Internet over FM Radio Waves? Nik comments: “So all in all, it seems like the prospects are limited, but not impossible?” Readers, thoughts?

“Solar-storm: A serious security exploit with Ethereum, not just the DAO” [Medium]. “[W]hen an Ethereum contract talks to another contract, it can lose its own program control and state.” Rather like robosigning!

* * *

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 (bobk):


Bobk writers: “Smoking’ smokebush, Chicago.”

Adding, thank you readers for last week’s rapid and successful Water Cooler Mini-Fundraiser. I’m still writing thank you notes!

* * *

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.


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

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Vatch

    Here is Guccifers link to that “database,” an Excel spreadsheet. I don’t have Excel, so I can’t look for the metadata. Readers?

    This is only a small part of the list, but it’s the biggest donors.

    $25 million +

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation *
    Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) *
    Fred Eychaner *
    Frank Giustra, The Radcliffe Foundation
    Nationale Postcode Loterij *
    The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

    $10-25 million

    Stephen L. Bing
    Tom Golisano
    Government of Norway
    The Hunter Foundation *
    Kingdom of Saudi Arabia *
    The Victor Pinchuk Foundation
    Cheryl and Haim Saban & The Saban Family Foundation *
    The ELMA Foundation
    Theodore W. Waitt

    $5-10 million

    S. Daniel Abraham
    Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi
    Susie Tompkins Buell Fund of the Marin Community Foundation *
    C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Inc. *
    Commonwealth of Australia, DIICC *
    Elton John AIDS Foundation
    Government of the Netherlands
    Irish Aid
    J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation *
    John D. Mackay
    Denis J. O’Brien *
    Michael Schumacher
    State of Kuwait
    The Coca-Cola Company *
    The Rockefeller Foundation
    The Swedish Postcode Lottery *
    The Wasserman Foundation *

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Sure, that’s the data; I looked at it. And all I saw was some text in some spreadsheet cells. That’s easy to create; I’ve done it myself!

      What’s the data’s provenance? Metadata might help with that. Did you actually read the preamble to the section?

      1. Vatch

        Yes, I did read it. I didn’t quite understand what you were asking, but since you said that you don’t have Excel, I thought I’d help. Why did you say that you don’t have Excel if you were able to read the file?

        1. Lambert Strether

          Because I was using Pages, where (so far as I can tell) Apple helpfully hides the metadata from me. In any case, I’d want to Export it to look at the data itself.

          1. Indrid Cold

            I haven’t gone under the hood in years, but you used to be able to use nitty gritty text editors to get into meta data. It’s not only Apple that ‘helpfully’ hides stuff these days. It’s like the stripping the urls of their www and http. They just wanna help. That’s all.

          2. Alex morfesis

            Jeremy walton brinster…he has written some policy pieces on middle east…at least learned something new on my research for lets and time dollar local currencies from his birth notice posted by his grandparents…major grocery stores were accepting scrip in trenton area in 1991 & bouncing back 5% to his religious organization….

            Have not looked too deep into the data, but I am leaning towards your theory of karl rove bushing dan rather…

            Feels like someone trying to show that baksheesh is everywhere…so I am going to go way outside the box and am betting someone tied to lula in brazil…or the french…is guccifer2

            The data seems to be obtainable perhaps from various open and semi-open sources.. But then again…no one ever accused $hillary and her sycophants of being brilliant or subtle…

            Will ceases never wonder…

            Can we hit the reset button on this election…

            keystone kops vs. Stalag 13

      2. Bill Smith

        Is any of this data or of the contributors to the HRC presidential campaign in other files reported to the government for someone to cross reference?

        1. Emma

          Who cares?! Who cares about Russian hackers either?! Hillary Clinton doesn’t. It’s about power make-out sessions. Hillary already has her sights set on Saudis with heat-pump dollars. So the Podesta Bros call her Saudi friends for funny-money because it’s better than hackers From Russia with Love. And Classified Intel, or Maternity Suites with private chefs for all Moms of America. But not for Chelsea. When Hillary orders that Caesarian-Sunday call, she really is a cut above Super-Mom, isn’t she?!

          The Saudis funded the construction of the Clinton Library anyway, and help keep the Clinton Foundation afloat. And unlike most Americans, Hillary appreciates Saudis know-how to raise things in style…. You’ve just gotta have ‘whoretiness’ and that means there ‘aint no mountain’ sinister enough. Maybe the Podesta Bros & ‘Ruin DNC’ should hang out more often with Hip-Hop Hillary and the Saudis.

          This way Hillary can learn what ‘Fighting for Us’ really means. She might make ‘Easy Choices’ instead. She might demand the minimum wage be raised to $15 instead of that pragmatic $12 she wants. She might simply keep Facebook baby free. She might become the Creator of the Big Bang right-wing hippy-theory. And that last suggestion is no cold dark matter…..

      3. ProNewerDeal

        Lambert, with libreoffice dot org free & open source spreadsheet software Calc, you can likely open & read that Excel document.

        1. redleg

          Second that. Price is right too- it’s either free- or donor-ware. And it works perfectly.

        2. JeffC

          Agree re LibreOffice. I’ve used it for years to read the occasional file in any of the usual MS Office formats. Have even built the odd spreadsheet.

      4. Charles Peirce

        all this information is on the foundation website, including with the same asterisks shown in the Excel.


        i would argue this favors your analysis that this is a TANG-style maneuver.

        also, as a Russian speaker, i would note that Guccifer 2.0’s wordpress posts were not authored by a Russian-speaker.

        1. ocop

          Good catch. For me this specific file doesn’t quite set off the tinfoil/TANG-radar…. no more scandal than we were already aware of…but I wonder if its part of an internal vetting process by the DNC just to aggregate whatever is publicly available.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Google gives this link on Jeremy Brinster, but his LinkedIn profile seems to have been taken down.

          Jeremy Brinster | LinkedIn
          Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – ‎Research Associate at Democratic National Committee – ‎Democratic National Committee
          View Jeremy Brinster’s professional profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world’s largest … Jeremy Brinster. Research Associate at Democratic National Committee.

          1. perpetualWAR

            “His LinkedIn profile was taken down”

            Well, isn’t that a simple acknowledgement from TPTB that they knew someone would get around to looking at the metadata?

        2. sd

          Breibart (I never ever imagined linking to a Breitbart article…let alone reading one.) So, does this feed the TANG theory…?


          Track-change comments featured inside the document contain the names “Lauren Smith” and “Jeremy Brinster,” both of whom are listed as former or current DNC research staffers.

          1. redleg

            Complicating this is that the document allegedly came from the DNC. It could prove both authenticity and that it was planted.

        3. Dikaios Logos

          Jeremy Brinster’s Linkedin profile saying his was at the DNC seems to have been deleted. His (I’m assuming) Twitter and Instagram are protected, not sure if that was always the case.

          1. Indrid Cold

            I’m just imagining Jeremy being dropped into a piranha tank as HRC sits in her chair “You know the penalty for failure in this organization, Number Ten.”

    2. grizziz

      Almost forgot about that Ukranian oligarch Victor Pinchuk. I think it was a John Helmer piece that pointed out Pinchuk was angry at the Clinton’s because he had given $14m while the Clinton’s said they only received $11m. I guess somebody took 20% off the top to help grease the wheels of progress in neoliberal style.

  2. grayslady

    Regarding the Hillary contract, I’ve seen that information before. Can’t remember where it was leaked, but I remember items such as the presidential suite, the private aircraft and all incidental costs for her aides needing to be included. Someone who is this out of touch with reality should never even hold office, much less the highest office in the land.

      1. jgordon

        If you fear/hate HRC enough you could always vote for Trump. Personally I think she’d be a threat to the survival of humanity as president–so yep, Trump.

    1. Carolinian

      It was a WaPo story a couple of years ago on her speaking contract for a college appearance. I don’t have the link but you can google it up.

      As for Lambert’s speculations re Guccifer, you’re so foily you’re like the Michael McKean character in Better Call Saul. If the whole thing is a set up (run by Rove who probably is by now working for Hillary) then who is the fall guy? The Russians? Already the villain du jour. Trump? Ditto that.

      I’m not following the angle.

      1. Charles Peirce

        we are the fall guy. these cave shadows will lead anti-HRC folks to tilt at windmills, thereby discrediting future legitimate leaks or accusations.

      2. Lambert Strether

        “Better Call Saul” sounds like it would be a fine basis for a show on Rovian ratf*cking — for which I provide the precedent. Can the Democrats copy a successful play from the Republican playbook? I don’t see why not.

        1. Carolinian

          It’s a great show. BTW you prompted me to look back at the Dan Rather affair and there were strong suspicions that Roger Stone was involved. Since Stone is a Trump pal, although no longer with his campaign, any dirty tricks CT should perhaps be pointed in his direction–operating strictly freelance of course. This sort of thing seems a bit subtle for the Clintons.

    2. petal

      Is this the one you were thinking of? The $300,000 special for UCLA?

      “The documents show that Clinton’s representatives at the Harry Walker Agency exerted considerable control over her appearance and managed even the smallest details — from requesting lemon wedges and water on stage to a computer, scanner, and a spread of hummus and crudité in the green room backstage.”

      1. sd

        Fwiw….this is standard procedure with handling celebrities which, is ultimately what Clinton is.

        Travel, hotel, green room, entourage, acceptable gifts, amount of time available for photos, publicity, meet and greet, right down to what brand of water to provide and whether or not it has ice cubes…its cut and past SOP.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Which is why dealing with celebs is about as enjoyable as walking barefoot over broken glass.

        2. For Fawkes Sakes

          This is not your standard celebrity rider, not by a long shot.

          Most riders do not demand a Gulfstream 450 or higher as transport. They do not demand advance hosting of aides. They do not require presidential suites. If they do have demanding contracts, you can be certain they will earn that money back for the hosting organization, for the most part. HRC does not have the celebrity cachet of Beyonce or…I dunno, Beiber. She’s not going to sell tickets. She won’t get butts in the seats. There is no immediate ROI, like there would be with an actual celebrity. They don’t get their due until she gets her crown.

          This is the rider of a very entitled woman of privilege who expects to be treated very well, if you hope her to later treat you and your interests very well.

          1. sd

            Disagree, its pretty standard. There is really nothing unusual here. How big the jet is, who the private jet is expected to carry and what kind of limousine will be picking them up….If a jet gets “borrowed” even those details get worked out.

            Like I said its cut and paste. It’s only unusual to anyone who hasn’t been exposed to celebrity travel arrangements before.

            1. jgordon

              That was the point. It may be standard for an actual celebrity because of the immediate payoff. With HRC the payoff is corruption.

              1. sd

                I am not trying to argue about whether it is correct or ethical. I am simply pointing out that as far as celebrity travel goes, it’s just par for the course.

                Is it appropriate for a former politician and states person is an entirely different discussion.

                Government job “sacrifice” > Private Sector Payoff = Corruption

            2. aab

              Show one other ex-Secretary of State who would get this. Show me one ex-First Lady. That’s the point. This isn’t about the past, or the present. It’s about the future. The future they believed she would control.

              Hummus and water temperature may be normal in a contract with a person who is going to deliver millions of dollars of profit to you. But then, how exactly is this ex-Secretary of State, ex-First Lady, “not sure if she’ll run for President again” woman supposed to be delivering that profit to you? At the time she was doing this, she was supposedly a retired public servant who was running a charitable organization.

              It is astounding how much the Clintons have normalized corruption in our government.

          2. Otis B Driftwood

            She won’t put butts in the seats, but she will put political favors in your pocket. Too bad the quid pro quo isn’t written into these contracts, too. But that’s the genius of the Clintonian graft, after all.

      2. redleg

        Is the Gulfstream the modern equivalent of a Palanquin, or was that on a different page?

    3. Peter Pan

      Well, I’m copying this contract and sending it to the CIA just in case they decide to subject me to rendition.

    4. optimader

      Pretty much believe Yves posted it here w/ regard to contractual requirements for a HRC speech? I think it was down to beverages available at a certain temperature….Definitely had the GS transpo and then some other executive jet deration. Presidential suite..

      1. fresno dan

        I remember reading about a rock star who specified green m&m’s – supposedly to make sure they were reading every line of the contract.
        Of course, you and me know green m&m’s are an aphrodisiac, so the rock star has all the “stamina” for all the groupies who show up. The McGuffin of “reading every line of the contract” is just disinformation to protect rock stars’s virginal reputations…


    5. Jagger

      I am curious what were the fees for previous Secretaries of State (Rice, Powell, Albright) when giving a speech?

      What are the fees for today’s Secretary of Education, John King, Jr, when he gives a speech?

      Do all the various cabinet secretaries charge fees to give a speech?

      What are these Hillary speeches? Are they policy speeches related to her job? If so, how can she charge them for doing her job? And if they are not part of her job, where did she find the free time to do speeches when she is suppose to be devoting herself to the enormous Secretary of State job? Maybe the Secretary of State job over the last 8 year was less demanding than I thought or maybe she is just a great multi-tasker.

      Stinks to high heaven from my viewpoint but maybe this is standard operating procedure for the President’s Cabinet.

  3. Anon

    Hey Lambert and fellow Water Cooler folks! Hopefully, everyone is having a great Tuesday. The first thing on the docket is this tweet from Scott Adams, one of a few people that saw Trump gaining momentum early on, which quotes a CNN article on Clinton:

    Scott Adams’ Tweet

    It seems as if she’s more cognizant of her health than people realize or alternatively, her health is on a (slightly) faster decline than I had imagined. Most of us knew about the stroke, but for the first time in a long while, it will come down to who her VP pick is.

    Finally, strangely, or not, there seems to be complete radio silence on the gentleman who attempted to assassinate Trump (it’s Breitbart, I know, but…):

    Police: British Man Tried to Kill Donald Trump at Vegas Rally

      1. Anon

        A very important caveat, as taken from Scott Adams website:

        So I’ve decided to endorse Hillary Clinton for President, for my personal safety. Trump supporters don’t have any bad feelings about patriotic Americans such as myself, so I’ll be safe from that crowd. But Clinton supporters have convinced me – and here I am being 100% serious – that my safety is at risk if I am seen as supportive of Trump. So I’m taking the safe way out and endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

        That was written at around the time of that one rally where the rallygoers got attacked or something. What an interesting time we live in!

        1. craazyboy

          That was a satirical piece. Note he said “endorse”. I also saw a recent interview where he said he doesn’t vote because no one has his politics (didn’t mention what they are) and he doesn’t register either to keep a low profile.

          So take that as a “weak” endorsement.

          1. Yves Smith

            Adams’ whole worldview is based on cynicism. I think it’s in keeping for him to praise Trump for his technical moves (ability to win in certain situations) without necessarily approving of substance.

    1. Carolinian

      WaPo suggests Trump assassination attempt wasn’t a story because the perpetrator was incompetent and because Trump didn’t choose to talk about it. Really?


      Elsewhere in the distinguished rag they offered a story a few days ago criticizing Sanders for still keeping Secret Service protection. This has prompted questions both about the story’s factual assertions and the Post’s poor coverage of Sanders in general.



      1. pretzelattack

        they’re mad at sanders because he is still acting like a candidate, instead of begging for crumbs from the clinton campaign.

      2. jawbone

        The BBC was running with the story, maybe bcz the kid is British. Much was made of his finding a target shooting range so he could learn how to shoot….

    2. aab

      I don’t get how this is meaningful. That’s what most Presidential candidates say about their VP pick. It’s actually weaker than the other main line: “My VP will be my partner with his own portfolio.”

  4. Bill Smith

    “New Guccifer memos indicate DNC held database of 25K Clinton Foundation donors (waiting 4 DNC response)”

    Is this a violation of some rule/regulation or just shows that the Clinton Foundation was just another arm of the HRC Presidential Campaign as was the DNC?

    1. Christopher Fay

      No, Hillary for president and the DNC are an arm, a wrist, a middle finger, of the Clinton Foundation. When all our piggy banks, 501Ks, social security locked trust funds, community chests are in the Clinton Foundation treasure chest, then we have security.

  5. steelhead23

    Steve Phillips piece in Nation makes the assumption that lefties want to “keep Trump out of the White House and reclaim control of the Senate,” wholly ignoring the fact that registering African-Americans to vote for Hillary Clinton is a bus too far for most lefties. Instead, the Nation should be chiding us for not getting minorities interested in voting Green. Yes, we have work to do – but not the job Phillips wants done. I say, let the Republicans go apoplectic over Donald Trump – lefties should focus on true lefty candidates and policies.

    1. Lambert Strether

      The whole Nation piece is unmitigated bilge. The Democrat Party should be registering the unregistered year-round, election year or not, as a basic party function. They should also, on request, simply pay and arrange for voter IDs in states where Republicans are running that scam. They should have been doing this since the Florida felon’s list fiasco in the year 2000 and yet sixteen years later they are not.

      What this shows is that the Democrat Party wants an expanded electorate no more than do the Republicans, although as usual there’s a veneer of liberal goodthink over their non-performance (or performance, given that failure to register new voters allows the existing Democrat power structure to reproduce itself).

      1. mcdee

        Many years ago in California I worked on a voter registration drive run jointly the the LA county labor federation and the local Dems. The goal was to take back a state assembly seat that had gone Repub in the previous election. We registered a lot of people and the seat flipped. The Dems haven’t done that sort of thing for a long time. Makes you wonder if the Dem PTB really want to win or just maintain institutional control

        1. jawbone

          Seems PTB among Dems feel just fine with holding only the executive branch. It makes ruling as a
          sorta moderate Republican so much easier, having to deal with Republican House and Senate.

          Having Dems win once again would make it more difficult to keep making nice little sorta socially liberal judicial appointments.

          Worked for Obama.

      2. different clue

        This kind of rolling ongoing voter registration and mobilization effort might be the kind of thing that the Sanders volunteer and donor base could do and could pay for doing. If the Sanders movement were to do this, would they register such people as Democratic Party members in the hopes that if introduced to the Democratic Party through the Sanders Movement, that they would enter the Party as committed SanderMovers? Or would the Sanders Movement want to get such people registered into all different sorts of parties, just to help them learn how to register, be registered, stay registered, learn things, and vote based on what they learn?

        1. Arizona Slim

          Here in Tucson, Sanders volunteers made quite the effort to get people registered as Democratic Party members so they could vote in the primary.

      3. Feelin the Bern in WI

        Lambert is totally right. I see this in my state party. Party efforts to register? Nil. Can’t get anyone interested in this. Raise $$ YUP, that is all they want to do.

        We have a voter ID lawsuit in process. I often think they are ignoring registering because they want bad sh_t for this lawsuit. Gets us no where for the election in the fall or toward building a base. I’m seeing lots of good people ready to let their Democratic Party memberships go. I’m seriously thinking of joining them. There are lots of decent non party people working on registering. I can hang with them and actually accomplish something.

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      The Nation sucks. Truly. I won’t be renewing my subscription. The Joan Walsh dreck they’ve published recently sealed the deal.

  6. hunkerdown

    You don’t need Excel to pull metadata from OOXML files. Just a command-line unzip program.
    $ unzip clinton-foundation-25k.xlsx docProps/core.xml
    $ xml_pp docProps/core.xml   # XML pretty printer (for clarity here; cat works just fine)
    <?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″ standalone=”yes”?>
    <cp:coreProperties xmlns:cp=”http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/package/2006/metadata/core-properties” xmlns:dc=”http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/” xmlns:dcmitype=”http://purl.org/dc/dcmitype/” xmlns:dcterms=”http://purl.org/dc/terms/” xmlns:xsi=”http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance”>
      <dc:creator>Brinster, Jeremy</dc:creator>
      <cp:lastModifiedBy>Brinster, Jeremy</cp:lastModifiedBy>
      <dcterms:created xsi:type=”dcterms:W3CDTF”>2015-02-12T22:05:54Z</dcterms:created>
      <dcterms:modified xsi:type=”dcterms:W3CDTF”>2015-02-18T23:26:32Z</dcterms:modified>

    1. diptherio

      Yeah…I opened it up with Libre Office and clicked “Properties” under the file menu…easy-peasy

    2. Anon

      While I wait for my message to escape moderation queue (too many links, perhaps?), here’s what Jeremy Brinster gets us, according to Google:

      Apparently, the first result goes to a LinkedIn profile that no longer exists, but according to the subheading on the Google Results page, it says that he is a Research Associate at the DNC in Philadelphia. The 2nd link in the Google results takes us a protected Twitter account, so no help there. The 6th result takes us to an OpenSecrets page where it says that a Jeremy Brinster received about 40k over a short period of about five or six months.

      This is all publicly available information gleaned from the first page of Google – I did not use any illegal or questionable means to obtain this (limited) information.

      1. hunkerdown

        Oh, neat, research assistant at WINEP, according to Google and a number of papers at their web site in which he is acknowledged.

  7. disgruntled observer

    using exiftool gives me:

    ExifTool Version Number : 9.46
    File Name : clinton-foundation-donors-25k.xlsx
    Directory : .
    File Size : 50 kB
    File Modification Date/Time : 2016:06:21 19:52:09+01:00
    File Access Date/Time : 2016:06:21 19:53:32+01:00
    File Inode Change Date/Time : 2016:06:21 19:52:15+01:00
    File Permissions : r——–
    File Type : XLSX
    MIME Type : application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet
    Zip Required Version : 20
    Zip Bit Flag : 0x0006
    Zip Compression : Deflated
    Zip Modify Date : 1980:01:01 00:00:00
    Zip CRC : 0xa458f7aa
    Zip Compressed Size : 378
    Zip Uncompressed Size : 1556
    Zip File Name : [Content_Types].xml
    Application : Microsoft Excel
    Doc Security : None
    Scale Crop : No
    Heading Pairs : Worksheets, 3
    Titles Of Parts : Sheet1, Sheet2, Sheet3
    Links Up To Date : No
    Shared Doc : No
    Hyperlinks Changed : No
    App Version : 14.0300
    Creator : Brinster, Jeremy
    Last Modified By : Brinster, Jeremy
    Create Date : 2015:02:12 22:05:54Z
    Modify Date : 2015:02:18 23:26:32Z

    1. Tircuit

      Likely a legit doc, but beware that fake metadata can be typed in just as easily as the data in cells.

  8. Jim Haygood

    “Readers with more than vague intuitions, thoughts? Key stats that you watch?”

    A simple recession model that I maintain uses the yield curve, capacity utilization, and initial claims for unemployment as inputs. On average, it signaled the seven recessions since 1970 as they started. It lagged an average 3 months on the first four, while leading by an average 4 months on the latter three recessions (beginning in 1990, 2001, 2007). There were no false positives.

    “R-word” reached its most recent peak in March 2016. Since then, it has fallen about one-sixth of the amount needed to trigger a recession signal. Its indicators are “dead in the water,” but not plunging decisively as they do in a full-scale recession.

    A couple of other indicators are not part of “R-word,” but are worth watching. One is real (inflation adjusted) retail sales (RRS). RRS reached a new high last week, as shown in Doug Short’s chart. Whereas in recession, RRS drops with a thud.


    Another indicator is the recently introduced (May 2014) labor market conditions index (LMCI), which incorporates 19 underlying indicators. As shown in the bottom chart in this post, LMCI has stalled since Dec 2015, but is not plummeting the way it does in flat-out recession.


    Best guess is that the economy is wavering here, but could still go either way.

  9. Synoia

    Would it be possible to transmit High Speed Internet over FM Radio Waves?

    Yes and no and look out for creeping libertarianism.

    Optical Carrier, OC, has a speed designated by a OC number. OC-1 is 50 Mbps, OC-192 (960 Mbs). The carrier for Optical carrier is visible light, with a frequency range of 400 Thz to 800 Thz (Terahertz, or 10 to the power 12).

    Gigabit fiber is approximately OC-192. The lowest frequency which could carry a Gigabit per second is twice (Nyquist Limit) the bit rate, or 1.92 Ghz. (Giga is 10 to the power 9).

    FM radio is at approximately 100 Mhz (Mega is 10 to the power 6). Thus maximum speed is limited to 50 Mbps.

    In addition the radio spectrum is anti-libertarian, and actually communist. The Government centrally controls frequency allocation, and in a diabolical international plot of communism, frequency control is administered by the UN, through the CCIR (Consultative Committee of International Radio).

    For the internet to become a distributed radio network we’d need a frequency at about 5 GHz (there is one used a little by WIFI).

    Would could build a mesh of WIFI routers, and such a scheme has been proposed, and the network could be distributed and without central control.

    We have a name for such a system,”The Commons” and a word of caution, “anarchy”. We also have a name for controlling anarchy, “rule of law.”

    Rule of law presupposes some form of central control and enforcement, to “manage” individuals who would hog the commons, and to maintain the commons. While the commons can be distributed, rule of law (and network management, budgets and maintenance) are centralized.

    What is being asked is another version of libertarianism, and being from the UK, and having read much of its history, I’m a firm believer in rule of law and the consequences in deciding to live under a system of rule of law, and consider the concept of libertarianism utter bullshit, and its proponents guilty of just another attempt at feudalism.

    Whether the system be a network or a society, it needs governance and rule of law.

  10. TK421

    I don’t know if anyone has addressed this already, but I’m reading about Hillary criticizing a speech by Donald and she’s saying “he wants to take us back to where we were before the Wall Street crash.” But isn’t that what she wants to do by putting Bill Clinton in charge of the economy?

  11. Synoia

    Would it be possible to transmit High Speed Internet over FM Radio Waves?

    No. Not because of network limitation, but because of Managing any network (or any system) .

    I had a big post written on this and it got swallowed by the NC Swamp monster.

    Now I’m feeling grumpy and you can have the short version.

  12. Paul

    Re: Decentralized Web, not sure if this fits the bill, but interesting:

    “Take the European HAMNET, for example. That’s a four-thousand-node high speed data network covering a large part of continental Europe and providing full IP connectivity at megabit speeds. It connects to the Internet—ham radio owns 16 million IPV4 addresses, believe it or not—but is independent of it, doing its own robust and flexible routing. If the Internet was to go away, HAMNET would still be running. The same’s true of nearly all ham radio infrastructure. When everything else fails (power, comms, roads), ham radio is still there. These days it can even be a full-fat digital medium.”

      1. jgordon

        I wish we could go back to the dialup internet. It was so much better than this crap we have today.

      2. hunkerdown

        Not if nodes and users can be patient and smart. Torrents pay for their trespasses by doing the laudable task of conditioning people to deferred gratification. :) Latency is going to suck.

        40MHz of microwave bandwidth is enough to run one channel of point-to-point 802.11ac at 180-200Mbps. A good directional antenna at a reasonable power under a suitable radiotransparent decoy feature would raise no eyebrows or frequency counters.

        For comparison purposes, 54Mbps backbones were the stuff of 1991, and 155Mbps pipes to the customer were first sold in 1997, with no information as to quality of service. But they didn’t really have anycast CDNs back then, either. Or Netscape.

        1. inode_buddha

          *ahem* they very much *did* have NutScrape back in 1997, I was streaming music via RealPlayer on linux at the time.

    1. Synoia

      When everything else fails (power, comms, roads), ham radio is still there.

      Really? Ham Radio does not need power? That’s news to me.

      One can only run on propane for just so long.

        1. ambrit

          You might be old enough to remember all those Saturday Matinees with Prop Agit WW2 films featuring the brave ‘defenders of freedom’ CQing the Allies over the airwaves with a hand cranked generator powered radio.
          Apropos, Steely Dan, “King of the World”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ay8tPN8Rys

      1. JCC

        For a couple of weeks, literally, after Katrina there was one Parish southwest of the city of NO whose only communications went through Amateur Radio.

        I personally own a radio that is capable of doing voice, digital, and CW comms on only 5 watts of output power on a solar cell and a motorcycle battery for many hours a day for many days in a row. With this setup I’ve communicated with others from CA to NY,SC, GA, FL, TX, SD, some Canadian Provinces, and more. When I was in NY, it was the same going west, + Europe. It’s HF (high freq.), so not fast, but reliable and with very inexpensive power needs.

        So, of course it needs power, but not nearly as much as people think it needs and a whole lot less than a home computer, router, cable modem, monitor, and the power needed to operate our present internet and cell infrastructure.


        Katrina is only one small example, devastating typhoons, earthquakes, and other natural disasters have relied on amateur radio for years for initial emergency commo when the infrastructure has failed. When everything else fails ham radio has proven, over and over again, that it’s still there. Worldwide.

        You don’t have to believe me of course, but you could use any source you trust to lookup up examples of this truism.

        At higher frequencies, more data can be carried, not internet speeds, but easily fast enough for small photos and text, and often that is all you need, and it takes very little power to do it.

        Here’s an example of what’s been being built out for a few years now:


  13. Buttinsky

    “What you won’t see in the announced plans on the left is any money for making sure that black voters turn out in large numbers….” Or anyone!!!!!!!! At any time!!!!!!!!!

    One of the peculiar things to turn up Guccifer 2.0’s second set of documents was a 5-page “Wyss Foundation Democracy Strategy Discussion Memo,” which begins:

    Unmarried women, youth, and people of color – low-income populations who tend to be reliably progressive on economic and women’s inequality issues—do not participate equally in the democratic process. They are not registered, don’t turnout, and drop-off in non-presidential years. Since elected officials respond more to their voting constituents, policies are more conservative than the preferences of the young, unmarried, of-color majority. If low-income people voted at the same rate as high-income people, it would be easier to achieve the Foundation’s policy goalsand it would ensure that the victories lasted beyond the foundation.

    The memo then sets out a strategy for getting more people registered and motivated to vote. Looking online, the best I can surmise is that the Wyss Foundation is primarily interested in conservation issues.

    My first thought upon reading the document was that someone at the DNC must be thinking, “How the hell did that get in there?”

  14. craazyman

    The Bird

    I’m not sure how much credibility this has as a news report — but I heard a radio interview where a paranormal phenomenon reporter interviewed a man who said he was part of the Apollo program.

    He said when Apollo 11 landed on the moon, there were humanoid reptilians up there standing out of camera range as “welcoming party”.

    That may be shocking just by itself — just to imagine that in your mind sort of destabilizes your entire perspective on the Apollo program and the moon landings and candidly all of reality — but this is what really shocked me, what I’m about to say. This is what I found so hard to believe I almost lost complete confidence in the veracity of this news report.

    The man being interviewed, who said he had first hand knowledge of these events, said the reptilian humanoids “FLIPPED THE BIRD at Neil Armstrong!” I could almost believe reptilian humanoids were up there off at a distance watching. But it seems utterly ludicrous to me that they would have flipped the bird at Neil Armstrong. That’s so juvenile and so rude. If they wanted to intimidate him, why not just stare at him. Unless it was their way of saying “hello”. I hadn’t thought of that until now, but that might be plausible.

    It’s hard to know what to believe when you read stuff and hear stuff. You almost have to be there. It’s hard to be standing on the moon, at least for most people. So you have to imagine a situation and sort of say to yourself “Does that sound reasonable?” I’m not even sure if reptilian humanoids have middle fingers! That would be a fact worth investigating before jumping to conclusions.

      1. craazyman

        It could be why Neil Armstrong sort of bungled his line “That’s one small step for ???, one giant leap for mankind.”

        He stumbled right when he said “a man” or “man”. It was hard to tell what he said.

        That’s probably the moment he looked up and saw the middle finger.

        Most people would have frozen, so it’s to his credit as an Alpha Male that he composed himself enough to finish the sentence.

        1. craazyboy

          I think the moon lizard guy was just signaling to Neil, “I ordered the pizza.” Nothing to make a big deal about.

          1. craazyman

            maybe they thought he was the pizza delivery guy.

            that’s probably when they flipped the bird, when they realized he didn’t have any pizza with him at all and he was ignoring them.

    1. Vatch

      Maybe what we call flipping the bird is actually a benevolent mudra in the reptilian humanoid culture.

      1. pretzelattack

        seems like it would be some kind of compliment, maybe, or a humorous insult–maybe reptiles regard birds the way the clinton campaign regards millenials.

    2. fresno dan

      Well, geckos only have 4 fingers, so there would be no middle finger. And geckos are the most human like of the lizards (I said “like” with regard to temperament and morality – not “who most appear like a human,” e.g., Mark Zuckerberg) as they can talk, drive miniature cars, and pick up their own miniature luggage at airports. They also have a refined British like politeness that makes it hard to accept that they would behave so rudely.

      So the only logical conclusion is that Mark Zuckerberg and friends flipped off Neil Armstrong on the moon.

    3. TK421

      There’s no telling what a middle finger means to our reptiloid friends. After all, a thumbs up sign is a friendly gesture in the US but a rude gesture in the Middle East.

    4. samhill

      The man being interviewed, who said he had first hand knowledge of these events, said the reptilian humanoids “FLIPPED THE BIRD at Neil Armstrong!”

      I heard they turned, dropped their pants and earthed him.

    5. redleg

      That’s not what Jack Schmidt says, and he loves (-ed, it’s been many years) talking about what it was like there.

  15. inode_buddha

    Hrmm. According to this google search, Jeremy Brinster is a Department Member of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy, military and security studies. He is also a Research Associate at the DNC…. folks, I think we’re onto something here. Some clinton foundation and mideast arms deals???

    1. Jim Haygood

      Winep — the pro-Israel think tank. Lovely.

      So young Jeremy is a Lobby foot soldier, helping Killary Cakewalk structure her neocon jackal gov that will make the Bush admin look like the Rainbow Family.

  16. openvista

    Still skeptical of the metadata. How do we know that the author of that file didn’t Google for some low level DNC operative first and then change the user name field in Excel preferences to Jeremy Brinster before saving? We need independent confirmation as a *starting point*.

    1. Yves Smith

      I know people who are pretty expert on this stuff, and there are layers of metadata that cannot be wiped. But you have to access to spook-state tools to get at it. That would seem to suggest to me that tampering could also be detected by people with access to those tools.

  17. Fool

    Lambert — I think you’re right about these DNC / Clinton Foundation hacks being some Rovian trickery. For one thing, there’s nothing new in them. Second, even in the “clinton foundation vulnerabilities” document, I couldn’t help but notice that the most incriminating stories weren’t included, and the words “Colombia” and “Honduras” don’t even show up once. Strange, because I always thought that the Colombia deals was the most obvious smoking gun (or the biggest “vulnerability” as far as the DNC would be concerned).

    1. Yves Smith

      1. The documents, aside from a few, have not been leaked yet. Even the few that have been leaked (a script on how to guide a donor through how to give $1 million, even though donations of that size are not large are not legal), do not reflect well on the DNC. And the where is the Trump oppo? All that has been leaked on that front is oppo METHODS, which also does not make them look good.

      2. The big files went to Assange, who has said he regards denying the Presidency as extremely important. Wikileaks asked volunteers to download 88 GB of files recently as protection. It’s not certain, but people speculate that that is the DNC material.

      3. Guccifer 2.0 said he had only DNC files, not Clinton Foundation files.

      4. The noise about a Russian hack was in the WSJ and other MSM. You don’t say you’ve been hacked and blame a state actor unless embarrassing materials are coming out, or the hack is so extensive as to be embarrassing.

      5. I looked at some of the donor information. This is NOT stuff the DNC wants on the Web. Those donors will be very upset. You don’t burn your money sources for a PR stunt.

        1. Yves Smith

          Well of course it will be “Russian hackers” whether they were or not. Assange has repeatedly said that he regards Clinton as a dangerous warmonger. Anonymous has also made strong statements against Clinton. So she has a lot of opponents in the hackavist community.

          1. Yves Smith

            Whoops, sorry, responding to stuff in the backstage and had seen that this was in connection with Water Cooler, and this was some of the news of the day.

            This is one of those rare cases when I am going to disagree vehemently with Lambert. He’s analogizing to the Dan Rather case, when that was as fake SINGLE DOCUMENT that Rather failed to verify.

            Guccifer has already released tons of records that would be difficult to invent. Having done client work, I can tell you Lambert is implicitly way underestimating the time it would take to create any of these documents, and the oversight and review that would be involved. This isn’t hundreds of man hours. It’s thousands. And of skilled people, not dweebs.

            More important, what’s the motive? The stuff that Guccifer has posted is not flattering to them. Some of it would really piss off donors. There’s been no serious Trump oppo in this. The point of something like this if a trick would be to leak stuff that looks insider-y but is not harmful (whether actually inside or not, a leak can make public domain information that was ignored suddenly of interest(. and damaging info about Trump. The point of leaking any Trump info would be to give speculative material play, material that Clinton or her surrogates couldn’t use credibly. With Kos running stuff like “Trump was given a Hitler book by a friend back in the 2000s and kept it at his ‘bedside’ which turns out to be a “bedside cabinet” is serving to insinuate that Trump read Hilter in bed. With stuff like that on the Innertubes, why the need to invest to get marginal stuff in play? The loyalist sites are already happy to flog it.

            There’s no upside to the Clinton campaign in these leaks, none. Despite the “state actor” claims, it raises big questions about their security. And the fact that they ran to the media with the Russia claim BEFORE the leaks were made suggests they were worried.

            And some would take even more time than that. The private jet logs would need to tie to Hillary’s actual travel schedule and jet service (you can track private jet travel via an FAA database). Now having said that, that is one record that does look bizarre. The costs are way too low.

            There’s no upside I can see from this and there’s way too much work and cost involved.

            1. Buttinsky

              I agree with you. I’m no IT forensics expert, but I never had any reason to doubt the authenticity of the Guccifer 2.0 docs. There’s so much stuff there that looks easier to steal than create. And I expect that to be even more true when the Clinton Foundation stuff gets published… by someone.

              As I noted below, my only caution comes to the sourcing of these “Russian” hack stories. I posted a link above that explains some of the difficulty in identifying hackers. But it’s like the whole Clinton camp knows the shit’s about to hit the fan and wants to get some kind of defense out there, or at least “muddy the waters” (to invoke a now documented DNC tactic) by making the story one about dangerous Russian government hackers rather than Clinton shenanigans.

              In any case, I’m curious to see the Clintons’ countermove as the hactivist evidence starts to pile up. A diagnosis in Philadelphia of some terminal illness that will kill Hillary in 8 years, making the presidency her dying wish?

            2. redleg

              The DNC and Clinton have been awfully quiet since the first leak.
              Contrast this with the “Sanders hack” a while back where they were blowing air horns and shooting off fireworks minutes after the “leak” was revealed.

              Funny how NOBODY is bringing up the “Sanders hack” now that it’s crystal clear that they had at least one resident hack for at least a year.

              1. Code Name D

                Hmmm. I nearly forgot about that. Maybe Sanders got caught in a hacking free-for-all? Maybe the staffer he fired was a bit more involved than we thought.

        2. Jim Haygood

          From the article:

          The U.S. Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency are all involved in the investigation of the theft of data from the political parties and individuals.

          The FBI has been careful to keep that investigation separate from the review of Clinton’s use of private e-mail, using separate investigators.

          Well, of course. The former investigation is aimed at pursuing hackers like Guccifer to the ends of the earth, extraditing and charging them.

          Whereas the latter investigation of those responsible for posting top secret documents on an unsecured private server is aimed at protecting the malefactors.

          Enrollment in the Justice Department’s Pre-Check program for trusted transgressors is by invitation only.

          1. redleg

            The hacking pretty much puts whipped cream and a cherry on top of a gross negligence email case for indictment. It shows the risk in flashing neon lights.

      1. Fool

        I guess time will tell who’s right. But it seems to me at this point that the leaks are almost meaningless, if the documents are merely “embarrassing” or make Clinton / the DNC look bad or some donors get huffy, unless they present sufficiently indisputable grounds for indictment. And by “sufficient” I would imagine something worse than anything we have seen yet — for which, currently, it looks unlikely that she gets indicted. Indictment is what stands between her and the throne. Otherwise, this is just more smoke, and the Clinton campaign runs on smoke.

  18. Code Name D

    I think Lambert is right to be skeptical of Guccifer 2.0. There is plenty here that just doesn’t smell right with me as well.

    First, what has been leaked thus far has been of the “confirm what we already know” variety in regards to a specific subject – the primary. If the leeks were real, they should give us something we don’t already know regarding a span of subjects. For example specific details on voter suppression, or spread sheets that offer insights into payola, communications to state level party officials regarding down ticket “fund raising,” or just insights into the inner workings of the party.

    Second, the “confirms what we already know” information can still be forged. Some of the “leaked” data includes opposition research and hints at campaign strategies against Sanders and Trump. But Democratic campaign strategy in general is hardly a mystery, and HRC is even more predictable than most Democrats. An observant eye can easily read her strategy and fabricate e-mails hinting at “strategies to come.”

    Now we seem to be getting some hard numbers regarding campaign donations. Interesting, it’s hardly earth shattering. And are we truly certain this information can not be gathered by other means? And if this is some sort of counter-intel operation, it would be no small mater for this data to be provided for the purpose of being leaked.

    I also can’t help but raise an eyebrow with how this came out literally days after Putin announced he had a copy of HRC’s server data from when she was Secretary of State. Suddenly DNC announces its servers were hacked by two Russian agents? Or that we are even talking about Guccifer 2.0 a rip on the original Guccifer who also claimed to have hacked HRC’s privet SOS server. Coincidences like that already have things rather ripe as it is.

    1. Buttinsky

      Well, to be fair, the Putin “announcement” was an anonymous secondhand report, not exactly a press conference. But, yes, Assange/Wikileaks have been hinting for days that they have the dirt on Clinton. The curious thing was that Wikileaks posted the first Guccifer 2.0 announcement on Twitter, but said nothing about his claim that he had given the DNC docs to Wikileaks. I suspect that was simply genuine uncertainty on their part about docs they couldn’t at that point be sure they’d received or from whom.

      What I’m getting a whiff from is coverage that has no want of well-placed “sources.” Bloomberg just reported that the Clinton Foundation itself has also been hacked. Regardless of the origins of the hacks and their purpose, I can see this being spun into a defense of Hillary Clinton’s unsecured server as Secretary of State. “You see, even the most stringent levels of cyber-security wouldn’t have protected her from those ruthless and sophisticated Russian hackers.”

    2. Yves Smith

      He hoovered from the server. And the document which is the script of how to guide someone who wants to give $1 million (which is a violation of campaign finance rules) is pretty damning.

      Guccifer is a hacker, not a campaign or political expert. The overwhelming majority of the day to day business of a campaign is donkey work. Finding the seriously damaging material in a year of communications and documents generated by hundreds of people is vastly more than a single person could begin to do with five years of man effort. Your expectations are utterly unreasonable. You expect Guccifer to get the material and deliver you a pretty report on the bad stuff too?

      I spent a few hours on the Wikileaks file of Clinton e-mails, which was searchable across the database, doing some keyword serarches. It was unproductive. All it did was tell me how toadying her staff was to her. I’d have had to have spent the better part of days to have found anything, and I might not have found anything looking for specific targets. And I sure don’t have time to read 30,000 messages.

      Putin never announced that he had a copy of HRC’s data. Stop making that up. We ran a post saying that Russian sources said they had it and it might be released. People in comments argued that the underlying source was a junk site that runs all sort of fake Russian propaganda. Others said this could still be directionally correct since Russian intel agencies compete with each other, and it’s pretty much certain that lots of state actors hacked the Clinton home-brew server. They could conceivably be trying to pressure for the docs to be leaked, or alternatively, a group that thinks it would be bad for the Russians to leak them could have planted the story to get Putin to pressure whoever has it to keep it under wraps.

      The only certainty here it Putin did not say that and there would be no upside for him to say that. Hacking a SoS server would be depicted as a monstrously hostile act. Look at the brouhaha about the (clearly false) claim that North Korea hacked Sony, a mere private company. North Korea was sanctioned (not the biggest sanction but the point is that the US felt a mere hack of a private company with no security/defense implications whatsoever merited official action).

      1. Code Name D

        Putin never announced that he had a copy of HRC’s data. Stop making that up. We ran a post saying that Russian sources said they had it and it might be released. People in comments argued that the underlying source was a junk site that runs all sort of fake Russian propaganda. Others said this could still be directionally correct since Russian intel agencies compete with each other, and it’s pretty much certain that lots of state actors hacked the Clinton home-brew server.

        Thanks for the correction. I must have missed that part of the conversation.

  19. Schnormal

    Yes, there’s all kinds of weird summertime fuckery going on.

    This morning Yves linked to yesterday’s Vanity Fair story, “Wall Street Threatens to Abandon Clinton if She Picks Warren.” More than two dozen news outlets ran that story yesterday; I believe they’re all based on Ben White’s article in Politico.

    Anyway the whole story stinks. I feel like we’re all getting played by a bunch of PR carnies.

    The whole point is just to get the words “Clinton” and “Wall St Angry At” in the same headline, to make it sound like there’s some sort of friction under all the gallons of cash lubricant. Its entire purpose is to defuse as many Bernie supporters as possible before the convention, after which Clinton will put enough space between herself and Warren to drive a fleet of Brink’s trucks through.

    It’ll be interesting/depressing to see what role Warren plays at the convention.

    1. Christopher Fay

      Lap dog, yapping furiously for thirty seconds, then looking adoringly at her master

    2. Escher

      1) For all people talk about this, I have a hard time believing Warren wants to play second fiddle to Clinton, but

      2) that she endorsed Clinton says a lot (and not in a good way).

    3. Code Name D

      The thought I had was that this story is a plant. Make it appear Clinton has to pick between Warren and Wall Street. That way when she picks Warren, she gets to claim she is standing up to Wall Street. And of coarse the Sanders voters would magically move over to her side.

      It also gets Warren out of the Senate and puts her in a position with basically with zero political power.

      The only downside would be if HRC were to drop dead or be assassinated. It’s possible that’s a bridge too far for the establishment.

  20. Ian

    I have a question. The TPP is fast tracked so it is a simple up down vote, but there are certain conditions that have been stated to be met for support off of the various players that clearly won’t be. Are there any procedural delays that can be utilized to kill it in the lame duck session, or is it simply just getting enough support and a up-down vote?

  21. peter

    I have a question, I have heard that using the triple parentheses around a name like (((-))) is being used as a method of identifying people or things as Jewish. I saw two instances of this today one in an Instagram pic and the other as the first comment. Am I incorrect?

    1. Christopher Fay

      The first comment is a data dump from Guccifer II. There are no triple parentheses

    2. craazyboy

      I just heard that too. So now either triple parentheses or a yamaka will do it. Times are tough.

      1. ambrit

        So, now it’s to be “The Protocols of the Elders of (((Zion)))” is it?
        This almost rises to the level of satire. Imagine all of the extra typing a committed anti-Semite will now have to do. It might be a tactic for a cyber ‘War of Attrition.’ If you can’t shut them up, wear them down.

    3. aab

      From what I understand, white supremacist use the triple parentheses around Jewish names to call attention to them. So supporters of Israel started doing it in solidarity on Twitter — people like Neera Tanden, as well as lots of probably well-intentioned civilians. Because of people like Tanden, I associate with genocidal intentions in both directions, and it gives me the creeps. I wish progressives would figure out they’re being played on this issue and drop it, because then it would practically vanish from my TL, except for inside quote boxes.

      At least one progressive Jewish Bernie supporter objects to this as an act of solidarity, and has put up three brackets of swastikas around her own handle as a protest. It’s startling every time I see it. It definitely points up the empty gesture of doing the hug-like mimicry of the supposedly liberal Clintonian types.

  22. Escher

    > those who relied on the TV news for a daily news fix for decades still tend to prefer the television over online news sources

    The idiot box driving Clinton’s dominant support among older voters? I’ve read dumber notions lately. But I suppose this is overdetermined, as so many things are.

    1. Otis B Driftwood

      So the margin steadily shrinks, and now is just under 10%. With over 500K provisional ballots yet to be counted, Sanders could dent this substantially. As I’ve repeated ad nauseum, in my county of Alameda, Sanders numbers have grown substantially as these ballots get counted, but I can’t for the life of me account for where Clinton support is centered.

      1. ahimsa


        So the margin steadily shrinks, and now is just under 10%

        Percentage lead, yes, but the lead in votes is not shifting – still ~440,000 after election night. I.e. post election night the votes are splitting 50:50.

        LA reportedly processed some (looks like ~70,000) provisonal ballots yesterday (without finishing processing the vote-by-mails ???), and there was still no significant change to Clinton’s lead in votes.

        (Note: the offical unprocessed-ballots-report refers to not just Dem votes.)

  23. Jay M

    decline in real goods shipments:

    Werner Enterprises, Inc., the country’s fifth-largest truckload carrier, says the weaker demand is hitting its earnings… The company cites the weak demand but says driver pay and “difficult” negotiations with shipping customers are hurting. [Wall Street Journal]

    can we consign this with the amount of underwear men are buying as a barometer of the economy?

    oh, the fact that it is non-tangential is significant?

  24. kimsarah

    “30 days from December 3 is November 3 — just before Election Day, November 7.”
    New Year’s Eve Barry wouldn’t stoop so low, would he?

  25. RootieKazootie

    I guess when Hillary ponders the phrase, “greatest good for the greatest number” she thinks it means dollars, not people.

Comments are closed.