2:00PM Water Cooler 6/23/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“The Rock Against the TPP roadshow — which has already generated buzz in Rolling Stone and Billboard — is a nationwide concert series going on throughout the summer.” [Eyes on Trade]. “Audiences at the free shows will be treated to performances by Tom Morello, activist and guitarist of Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave and Prophets of Rage; Evangeline Lilly, advocate and actress best known for Lost and The Hobbit; the infamous political punk rock group, Anti-Flag, and many more…. The first show is July 23 in Denver, Colorado. Other locations after that will be announced — check www.RockAgainstTheTPP.org regularly to see if a city near you is added to the list.”

“The European Commission failed to get trade on the agenda of a meeting of European leaders next week after a range of countries opposed adding a full-scale trade debate to summit schedule, POLITICO Europe’s Florian Eder and Hans von der Burchard report” [Politico].



“Bernie Sanders: Here’s what we want” [WaPo]. Finally! An answer to “What are your demands?” Sanders writes:

As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want.

It’s really not hard.

“Hillary Clinton’s Message: Yes, the Economy Is Messed Up. But I Can Fix It.” [New York Times]. Because it takes a professional:

In an economic policy speech on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton gave this message: I alone am the candidate who knows how to turn those underlying frustrations into actual policies that might make things better. She offered herself as someone who would not merely vent voters’ anger, but respond to that anger by pulling the levers of the federal bureaucracy and creating legislation that can be scored by the Congressional Budget Office and just maybe pass a Senate committee.

It’s as if I hire a (licensed and credentialed) plumber to fix a leak, and when they’re done, I’ve got a maze of pipes all over the place, and more spraying water then I’ve ever seen in my life. So, after I put down the buckets, the plumber demands additional billing because only they can fix the problem. After all, they created it! Shaking my head.

“Lending to Poor People Didn’t Cause the Financial Crisis” [Barry Rithholtz, Bloomberg]. “Two of Donald Trump’s economic advisers, Lawrence Kudlow and Stephen Moore, have revived an idea about the source of the financial crisis that really should have been put to rest long ago…. What’s so wonderful about their article, which is an attempted take down of the Clintons, is that they miss the very obvious ways Bill Clinton’s administration did contribute to the financial crisis. But doing that would have been at odds with their anti-regulatory philosophy.”

“[Clinton] never attempted to pinpoint particular policies to explain the performance gap. All she said was that the US economy does better under Democratic presidents. That is 100% true” [Project Syndicate]. In other words, Clinton is parsing words successfully, as is her wont. And whenever you hear “the economy,” always ask “Whose economy?” And in answer we re-introduce (MMT economist Pavlina) Tsechervna’s famous chart:


Our Famously Free Press

“Hillary Clinton Just Delivered a Profound Economic Speech” [Time]. I’m just dropping the headline here as a marker that the press seems to have worked out that shameless sycophancy is the way to Clinton’s heart, if any. Note the URL: This, in Time’s hive mind, is news, and not opinion.


UPDATE Interview with Obama [Bloomberg]. Quite some get. Obama on how he’s going to cash in his future career plans:

What industries would you think about going into?

[OBAMA:] Well, you know, it’s hard to say. But what I will say is that—just to bring things full circle about innovation[*]—the conversations[**] I have with Silicon Valley and with venture capital pull together my interests in science and organization in a way I find really satisfying.

Satisfying like speculation in cattle futures is satisfying…

* Silicon Valley bullshit tell.

** Democrat bullshit tell.

The Voters

“It was universally agreed [at the People’s Summit] that activists should continue their struggles without paying any attention to the complaints of the Clinton campaign, which may argue grassroots mobilizations challenging Clinton must be put on hold until after Trump is defeated so they do not weaken their campaign” [ShadowProof]. Why not match bold movement action with similarly bold action in the electoral arena?”

The Trail

“Trump Enters Clinton Attack Mode” [Politico]. And the subhead: “Can he reframe 25 years of anti-Clinton invective for a new generation?” First, the answer is not “Yes,” but “Hell yes!”; that’s exactly what the Obama campaign did in 2008, if anybody remembers the vile misogyny of that campaign (now helpfully erased by goodthinking liberals). Second, wrong question: Both Clinton’s privatized email server and corruption at the Clinton Foundation are new, not 25-years-old: They are new both institutionally, and in the breathaking audacity and staggering incompetence with which they have been executed.

“More than 50 business executives, including several longtime Republicans, will endorse Hillary Clinton for president on Thursday as her campaign seeks to capitalize on discomfort with Republican Donald Trump” [Wall Street Journal, “Some GOP Business Leaders Are Backing Clinton”]. The endorsements reflect continuing unease among some Republicans with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee despite his romp through the primary contest.” Translation: The left can go pound sand; the Democrat Party has the constituencies it really wants. Ka-ching.

“Things to bring to a House sit-in: iPhones, snacks and pink-striped pillows” [WaPo]. But not Milk of Magnesia for the tear gas, it would seem. When I think of what the people in Tahrir Square, or Plaza do Sol, or Syntagma Square, or the state capitol occupations, or Occupy proper, or Carré Rouge, or #Ferguson went through, and then I see powerful political figures — sitting on a plush red carpet! — appropriating the “sit-in,” a tactic of the powerless, to try to move a bad bill as a piece of political theatre in an election year, I throw up a little in my mouth. Seldom has virtue signalling among our professional elites been as shameless or disgusting.

“The Clinton Campaign Seems To Think Pennsylvania Is In The Bag” [FiveThirtyEight].

“Can Hillary Clinton Turn Red States Blue?” [The Atlantic]. She sure can if she picks a Red State moderate like Tim Kaine [snicker]! Continues HoHo’s wistful thinking from yesterday.

Stats Watch

Leading Indicators, May 2016: “Skewed by a since-reversed rise in jobless claims, the index of leading economic indicators fell 0.2 percent in May” [Econoday]. “Except for the interest rate spread, which once again is the biggest positive and one largely reflecting Fed accommodation [***cough*** manipulation ***cough***], the other 8 components show virtually no change.” But: “The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S declined this month – and the authors warn ‘volatility in financial markets and a moderating outlook in labor markets could pose downside risks to growth'” [Econintersect]. “The market (from Bloomberg) expected this index’s value at -0.1 % to 0.3 % (consensus 0.2 %) versus the -0.2 % reported.”

Jobless Claims, week of June 18, 2016: “Strong and welcome strength is the signal from jobless claims which are at historic lows and trending lower. Initial claims fell a very sharp 18,000 to 259,000” [Econoday]. “Initial claims are putting in their best showing since the early 1970s while continuing claims are at their best since 2000 (which for the latter is the beginning of the series). But that’s history. More immediately, today’s results suggest that May’s 38,000 payroll gain very well may prove an outlier.” And: “It looks like there was a little week-to-week noise over the past two readings, and the state-by-state data suggest that it occurred in California (which accounts for by far the most claims of any state)” [Amhert Pierpont Morgan, Across the Curve]. “While Chair Yellen and the FOMC were clearly spooked by the May employment report, there has not been very much corroborating evidence of a shift in labor demand. Rather, to the extent that job growth is slowing, it is most likely because the supply of available and qualified workers has dwindled.” But: “Low levels of claims typically coincide with ongoing job creation. But hiring slowed in May, with employers adding just 38,000 jobs, the weakest gain since September 2010. Average monthly job growth over the prior three months was 116,000, a sharp slowdown from the growth of 219,000 averaged monthly over the prior year” [Wall Street Journal, “U.S. Jobless Claims Fell as Labor Market Shows Resilience”].

Household Income: “According to new data derived from the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS), median annual household income in May 2016 was $56,853, $514 (or 0.9 percent) lower than the April 2016 median of $57,367.” A statistically significant decline [Econintersect]. Best economy ever!

Chicago Fed National Activity Index, May 2016: “May was a weak month based on the minus 0.51 result for the national activity index, one that drives the 3-month average to a minus 0.36 level consistent with below average growth” [Econoday]. “Production, not employment, is by far the weakest component in May, at minus 0.32 and reflecting contraction in industrial production and factory utilization…. The readings in this report are broadly but not deeply negative.” And: “The economy’s growth declined based on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) 3 month moving (3MA) average – and remains well below the historical trend rate of growth (but still above levels associated with recessions)” [Econintersect].

PMI Manufacturing Index Flash, June 2016: “Activity this month is moving higher from a cycle low in May for Markit’s U.S. manufacturing sample” [Econoday]. “Key components all are accelerating including new orders, backlog orders, production and also employment. Special strength is being registered in new export orders where growth is at 2-year high and likely reflecting the benefits from this year’s decline in the dollar. Price data are showing life with raw material costs rising, in part due to steel, and selling prices showing the strongest increase since January. But the sample is still managing inventories tightly… [T]he manufacturing flash is pointing to modest traction for a factory sector that has been stumbling so far this year.”

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, week of June 19, 2016: “Consumer confidence readings have been mostly solid but the comfort index has been lagging. Yet not so in the June 19 week with the index jumping a very strong 2.1 points” [Bloomberg]. “Strength in confidence ultimately boils down to strength in the jobs outlook. ”

New Home Sales, May 2016: “New home sales fell a severe looking 6.0 percent in May but the annualized sales rate, at 551,000, is second best of the cycle” [Econoday]. “Trends right now in the housing market do not appear to be red hot but only moderate, which perhaps is a positive for an often boom-and-bust sector.” Whoa, the spin! But: The series suffers from methodology issues, and “the quantity of new single family homes for sale remains well below historical levels” [Econintersect].

Shipping: “In May 2014, Amazon shipped two boxes containing multiple 1-gallonjugs of a corrosive rust stain remover from Plainfield, Ill., to Davenport, Fla., the FAA said. Workers at a FedEx Corp. sorting facility in Lake Wales, Fla., discovered that the product, called Rid O’ Rust Stain Preventer Acid, had leaked through one of the cardboard boxes. The next month, Amazon sent a box containing a 19-ounce container of Simple Air EZ Green,a flammable gas used to clean heating and air conditioning systems, by air from Whitestown, Ind., to Glendale, Calif., the FAA said” [Wall Street Journal, “FAA Levies Two More Fines on Amazon”]. I’m thinking of ordering a propane weed whacker, and I’ve been wondering whether I could order a tank of propane to go with. Looks like the answer is yes!

Shipping: “Some of the most significant investment triggered by the expansion of the Panama Canal has been taking place in a quiet corner of South Carolina, some 200 miles from the coast. The changes in the countryside surrounding Greenville and Spartanburg, where rolling hills and farmland have given way in recent years to massive warehouses and industrial parks, show how the prospect better access to overseas markets is redrawing the supply chain landscape. WSJ Logistics Report’s Erica E. Phillips writes that several million square feet of warehouse space is under construction in the area, business that will add to burgeoning growth in the region known as The Upstate” [Wall Street Journal]. And you can bet there are no pesky unions!

Shipping: “The U.S. Census Bureau reported last Tuesday that May retail sales climbed 2.5 percent from year-earlier figures, and 0.5 percent sequentially. Yet May’s overall gain masked divergences in retail activity that impacted the trucking segment in different ways, according to [Thomas S. Albrecht, transport analyst for investment firm BB&T Capital Markets]” [DC Velocity]. “For example, e-commerce’s year-over-year sales growth of 12.2 percent, the highest recorded so far this year, would mostly benefit parcel and less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers because they handle a disproportionate amount of online shipments, Albrecht said in a note last week. Truckload carriers, by contrast, would be adversely affected by a 5.8-percent drop in department store sales, as demand for apparel sold through brick-and-mortar retail channels was pushed lower, in part by the growth in online traffic. Spending on health care and restaurants, both of which rose briskly year-over-year in May, would not move the needle much because neither category is dramatically freight-specific… The dichotomy would explain why truckload executives are waxing pessimistic about market conditions even though total retail sales appear relatively solid, Albrecht said.”

Shipping: “What will today’s referendum in Britain on membership of the EU mean for shipping?” [Splash247] If “sanity” does not prevail, and “the lunatics take over the asylum, and the sort of rabble rousing, anti-foreigner, anti-immigrant, backward looking, Poujadist sentiment which the Leave campaign have summoned up since they discovered that their economic case does not fly, and which has already led one mentally unstable right wing fool to murder his much admired member of parliament, finds support with more than half the voting population of Britain, then the implications for shipping are, as with all disruptive events, rather better. Our industry thrives on chaos. We might be about to get a good dose of it.” Volatility voting…

“During the 12 months ending June 30, the number of people leaving California for another state exceeded by 61,100 the number who moved here from elsewhere in the U.S., according to state Finance Department statistics. The so-called ‘net outward migration’ was the largest since 2011, when 63,300 more people fled California than entered” [San Jose Mercury News].

“China industrial investment slowing amid tepid demand: Deputy minister” [Futures].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 73, Greed (previous close: 57, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 50 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 23 at 12:17pm. UK betting parlors a leading indicator?


“[Regulatory] capture happens when special interests have shaped policy in ways that advance industry interests rather than statutory intent” [RegBlog]. “Understood this way, capture is not a binary situation, but rather exists on a spectrum, ranging anywhere from weak, to intermediate, to strong. In strong cases of capture, policy is effectively crafted and implemented by industry. In other cases, capture manifests itself in agency policy being pushed in an overly industry-friendly direction at the expense of statutory intent, but to a lesser extent than with strong capture. In still other instances, capture may be weak, such as with medical device regulation at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today.” Hmm. Would Roy Poses agree, on medical devices?

Health Care

“Striking nurses highlight violence they suffer on the job” (in the ER, from patients) [Workday Minnesota (Will)]. “In the current contract negotiations, Allina has refused to address non-economic issues like workplace violence while insisting nurses move off of MNA health insurance plans and accept what the nurses say are inferior, more expensive plans.”

“Feds will use tax penalty data to find uninsured millennials” [Seattle Times]. As enforcement slowly clamps down…

“Conservatives consider [the PPACA] the very embodiment of government overreach. On the other hand, many liberals support a single-payer system and pass the ACA off as a sellout to powerful interests. When it comes to assessing the law, Americans are caught in an echo chamber in which the din of party elites and activists drowns out their positive personal experiences. And that is troubling” [The Hill]. Beltway harrumphing and chin-stroking. As we have seen, Americans prefer single payer to any other solution; liberals sold them out; and the left does not “pass off” ObamaCare at all.


“What Permaculture Isn’t—and Is” [Toby Hemenway]. “Humans are a problem-solving species. We uncover challenges—How do we get food? How do we make shelter? How do we stay healthy?—and then we develop tools to solve those problems. Permaculture is one of those tools. For the last 10,000 years, agriculture and the civilization it built have been the way humans attacked the problems of meeting basic needs. … [O]ur industrial civilization of seven billion is chewing up ecosystems relentlessly. We are learning that without healthy ecosystems, humans—and everything else—suffer. So we cannot focus solely on the problem, ‘How do we meet human needs?’ but must now add the words, ‘while preserving ecosystem health.’ Rafter Ferguson has offered that question as a definition of permaculture.” Well worth a read.

“Why Dwarfism?” [Sapiens]. “Both the Liang Bua and Mata Menge hominin fossils are evidence of “insular island dwarfism” among hominins. I should note that “dwarfism” in this context does not refer to the congenital disorder, achondroplasia, of a single individual but to an evolutionary phenomenon in which, over generations, body size is reduced in a population of organisms. For island dwellers over a certain size, body size can reduce significantly over time—and often quite quickly, in as few as 2,000 to 3,000 years.”

“Rainbow Family Lays Groundwork for Its Massive Vermont Gathering ” [Seven Days].

Class Warfare

On meritocracy: “The collapse of the banks in 2008 and the piss-poor level of political debate and journalism all show that the rich and successful don’t have much merit” [Stumbling and Mumbling]. This is a great argument:

The economic case for meritocracy is that the most demanding jobs must be done by the best people, those most able to do them. But what if these jobs are so demanding that nobody can reliably do them – that the span of control is so wide as to exceed anybody’s cognitive skills? In such cases, the solution isn’t meritocracy, but to deconstruct “top jobs” to make them less demanding. Diversity trumps ability. Ways of doing this might include: decentralizing management to make firms less dependent upon “leaders”; using rules or automatic feedback processes rather than “judgment”; simplifying organizations for example by breaking up banks; introducing proper institutions of deliberative democracy rather than relying upon politicians’ initiatives; and so on.

Rice bowls were made to be broken. And in a society with a decent system for public provision of services — avoiding the tendentious, neoliberal “safety net,” since life is enough of a tightrope without them adding to it — a broken rice bowl would only be about ego, wouldn’t it?

“For the first time, America is no longer No. 1 for super-rich” [MarketWatch]. “The wealth of high net worth individuals in the Asia-Pacific grew by 10% or almost five times North America’s 2% growth for high net worth individuals (HNWI) last year, according to the World Wealth Report released Thursday by Capgemini, a global consulting, technology and outsourcing service. There was a big drop from North America’s 9% HNWI growth rate the year before, dragged down by poor performance of U.S. and Canadian equities. The World Wealth Report covers 71 countries, accounting for more than 98% of global gross national income and 99% of world stock market capitalization.”

“Hardly anyone recognizes–whether politicians, public intellectuals, government policy makers, police or social workers–that focusing on the offender is dealing with only half the problem. We need also to deal with the many and varied ways in which society inadvertently creates the opportunities for crime that motivated offenders exploit” [Schneier on Security]. Schneier labels this recognition “situational awareness,” which is an interesting frame.

“Why Radical Libertarians Are the New Communists” [Evonomics]. “Radical libertarianism assumes that humans are wired only to be selfish, when in fact cooperation is the height of human evolution. It assumes that societies are efficient mechanisms requiring no rules or enforcers, when, in fact, they are fragile ecosystems prone to collapse and easily overwhelmed by free-riders. And it is fanatically rigid in its insistence on a single solution to every problem: Roll back the state! Communism failed in three strikingly similar ways. It believed that humans should be willing cogs serving the proletariat. It assumed that societies could be run top-down like machines. And it, too, was fanatically rigid in its insistence on an all-encompassing ideology, leading to totalitarianism.”

News of the Wired

“The Rule of 72” [Better Explainer]

“Robert Plant testifies he can’t read music or remember the ’60s. Verdict: Still a rock star.” [WaPo]. Seems legit.

“Mir Spacecraft: Worst collision in the history of space flight” (video) [BBC]. Saw the movie Gravity recently…. Will GPS be forever? Quite possibly not.

“Russia Actually Lights Rockets With an Oversized Wooden Match” [Popular Mechanics]. From the country that did not bring you the F-35…

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


This is not a very exciting picture, but it is exciting to me; my straw came today, and I’m going to sheet mulch everything, including the weeds that are unweeded because I got such a late start. Everybody’s complaining about their late start, though, including the driver who dropped off the straw, so perhaps it’s the two weeks of miserable rain and cold. Or something economic?

Readers, if you want to send me some videos of plants in whole systems (bees and blossoms, for example, or running streams) — I can use them to practice with FFmpeg and hopefully post them. Because of download times, they’ll have to be measured in seconds, rather than minutes. Thank you!

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

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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. ambrit

      In reproductive virtual physiology I believe it’s referred to as “foreshortening.”

  1. jo6pac

    Bernie, in what do we want it’s nice little list you have there but you left out endless war?

    Voting Green myself.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Never forget: Sanders’ record on Foreign Policy– while light years better than that of neocons like HRC– is quite shoddy. He is the lesser evil.

          1. JohnnyGL

            It’s not his strong suit, certainly. But he knows it is not a strong suit, which is actually quite important. It’s not Hillary’s either, or Trump’s. But both of them THINK it’s a strength for them.

            Bernie’s instincts generally lean towards restraint, which is most important.

            He also did get better on the trail as the campaign went on.

            1. Arizona Slim

              Indeed he did. I went to three of his events (two in Tucson and one in Phoenix), and his third event (March 18 in Tucson) was the best.

            2. nippersmom

              Absolutely true. I especially appreciated his speech on Israel. I find it appalling that the war criminal is campaigning on- and being touted by her followers for- her foreign policy “experience”.

            3. Steve in Flyover

              The reality is that all of these guys lean on career diplomats and researchers for their info, and recommendations for policy decisions.

              I’d trust Bernie to get rid of the current Republicrat crop, find the guys nobody listened to but made the right calls, and put them at the top of the decision making process.

              Seems like the current State Department has more war-mongers than the Pentagon.

              1. steelhead23

                Even better – find and hire diplomats who believe in diplomacy. Given that 50 so-called diplomats recently petitioned the prez to go to war in Syria, it seems that even diplomats succumb to exceptionalism.

            4. Emma

              “It’s not Hillary’s either, or Trump’s. But both of them THINK it’s a strength for them.”
              Yes……with Trump and Clinton, it’s indistinguishable antimatter, isn’t it?! It’s simultaneous flatulence and it’s a STINK on democracy! So……”If you have a problem (clearly 12 million voters (and counting…..) do…..), if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire…the A-Bern instead!”

  2. jrs

    It’s best not to make fun of the iPhones, and the pillows and the snacks as that is playing into a common elite narrative and will come back to bite real true protest and resistance movements. Remember that elite and their spokespeople mocked Occupy which was a real protest movement because some Occupiers had iPhones so they were “hypocrites”. They couldn’t possibly legitimately object to corrupt capitalism, inequality, and bankster bailouts because they had iPhones!!! Or so they propagandized.

    So if one sits on carpet or has a pillow or an iPhone it doesn’t mean the protest isn’t real. Not everyone who takes part in a protest is perfectly healthy so some people need snacks and pillows, and most everyone owns a phone these days.

    However of course THIS protest isn’t real. Pure spectacle. Half of congress is millionaires, and they aren’t class traitors either, they are millionaires governing in the interest of an even richer elite who buy and sell them. They routinely pass legislation that screws over the rest of us and fight for nothing that really matters. They sit-in to protest “guns” but not corporate dictatorship (TPP), or poverty, or the destruction of the environment or the wars they vote to fund. In fact even when they have a majority they claim they don’t. That is why them and their sit in is as fake as Trumps hairpiece. Congresses approval rating can not fall to fractional digits fast enough.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      It’s the powerful appropriating the tactics of the powerless that is the key point. And the absence of Milk of Magnesia, rather than the presence of iPhones, is my point.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Also they weren’t sitting in to protest guns; they were sitting in to protest the Repubs’ refusal to pass an expansion of the Bush era no-fly lists, which are (thanks to Obama) evidence-free, due process-free and completely biased against Muslims. So it’s barfworthy on so many levels.

    3. craazyboy

      I think the real litmus test is if the cops are protecting the “protestors” or loading them into paddy wagons.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          OVER THE LINE!



  3. DJG

    Floating vice-presidential names: Tim Kaine!

    Does that mean that Joe Lieberman is not available?

    John Kerry is looking vice-presidential, but then he is always looking vice-presidential in a sententious sort of way.

    Only a great nation, surviving on past years of thrift, can afford such people.

  4. different clue

    These Rock against the TPP shows would be a fine place for information-volunteers to be able to tell any attendee who wants to know the details . . . which Officeholders voted which way on various aspects of TPP . . . specifically on Fast Track. The info-vols could help any interested people find out who are the Trade Patriots as against the Trade Traitors. Perhaps also offering material on what the difference is and how to tell and what it means. Also, addresses, links, etc. to various groups working on studying these Trade Treason Agreements and getting out all the detailed information about them.

    Because at least some of the people attending these concerts would like to know about things they can learn and things they can do beTWEEN protest concerts. Maybe not many, but maybe just enough.

    1. jrs

      Good idea. But knowing how your congressperson voted is just the first level of sophistication (and then where is one’s line in the sand? Is one prepared to make the trade agreements THE litmus test on whether to vote for them, even support the opposition party etc.? You can say primary instead, which is good although it’s pretty much over for this year, but I’m betting a lot of people run unopposed as far as primaries)

      The next level of sophistication is confront the reality that a lot of the “good congresspeople” who voted against Fast Track as opposed to the “bad congresspeople” who voted for it are really no such thing but a much more cynical systemic operation where those in safe seats take the fall to get just enough votes to get Fast Track passed while those in risky seats appear virtuous.

  5. jgordon

    On libertarianism: “It assumes that societies are efficient mechanisms requiring no rules or enforcers, when, in fact, they are fragile ecosystems prone to collapse and easily overwhelmed by free-riders…”

    First, I think most libertarians are tiresome idiots. Anyone who doesn’t recognize that it’s always select private interest groups who control government power has something wrong with his head.

    Second, I think most people fail to realize just how fragile and makeshift this thing called “society” is. Indeed all societies are prone to sudden collapse at unpredictable moments (like Fukushima–it was supposed to be impossible), and relying on society to provide all food, all energy, and all security is a strategy that inevitably results in quite unpleasant hardships at some point–either for the individual or his descendants. Also, this idea that if we just force people to rely on society for all their needs then it will be shored up and sturdy (outlawing front yard gardens, confiscating weapons)–is false; it’s like sending armed guards out to the life boats and shooting anyone who tries to flee as the Titanic is sinking.

    Right. Normalcy bias. What is this strange human quirk that makes us think that we’re special and different for all those other primitive societies that history flushed down the toilet? Like 200 years from now historians aren’t going be poring over old records (whatever few scraps of paper records they can find) by candlelight trying to figure out what made us such delusional morons.

    1. Praedor

      I don’t expand it into a long description. Libertarians are, quite simply, greedy selfish jerks.


      Their motto: I got mine, so fuck you!

      Their most tiresome and repellent aspect is their worship of “private property” as if it is a natural imperative and that EVERY single square centimeter of surface area of Earth MUST become owned by someone. No more public land, no more public parks, no more commons, no more wildlife (wildlife becomes property).

      I DESPISE their greedy, selfish black hole souls.

      1. cwaltz

        I always find them amusing because most of them see themselves as more deserving and gifted than greedy and selfish. Their desire to grab everything that can’t be pinned down for themselves seems to me to be more likely to cause societal collapse than concepts like sharing and cooperating.

        I also find those that worship the Paul clan perplexing. I can not understand how anyone thinks that soulless organizations whose main character lists change from year to year and whose main purpose is to profit belong unregulated while people who actually do have consciences and have to deal with the consequences of their choices in eventuality belong having their choices limited based on the Paul family’s personal convictions on issues like reproduction or marriage. It’s jackass backwards.

      2. ira

        Slight amendment to the definition of a libertarian: Now that I´ve got mine, let´s change the rules so that if you can´t get any, fuck you!

    2. cwaltz

      It will be “individuals” that will destroy the social contract of “society” and I have little to no doubt that when it occurs that part of what drives our demise will be their greed and inability to recognize that others also have rights.

      I’d say we’re flirting with WW3 right now because the rich think they should be allowed to own anything and everything that isn’t being defended with the military might of our own government. Sure they’d rather see if they can buy off governments but coups are also efficient for leaders that won’t bow down to the interests of the 1%. (see-Ukraine also Syria)

  6. John k

    61k more fled Ca…
    Lots are finding they can afford to retire if they sell in Ca, take their equity to Az or Fl, or maybe Mexico, and buy for cash. Many are not happy about the move, but crappy savings/jobs mean crappy choices.

          1. B1whois

            On my way out right now, 5 months into doing 7 months in Uruguay to confirm the choice. Plan is to leave US for good next year.

    1. Carolinian

      Good luck to them if it’s AZ. A Phoenix friend says she walked her dog the other day at 5 am and it was 95 degrees. They are having a record heat wave with highs hovering around 120. 5 people have died (all hikers). North American habitable space–much of it not all that habitable to begin with–may be shrinking.

      1. craazyboy

        I’ve been rooting for the heat waves recently. It’s like a force field dome which protects us from invaders!

        ‘Course no rain ever. So the good times will come to an end – and it’s eastward we all go.

      2. jrs

        Yea it’s been darn unpleasant without A/C hot in Cali recently, but it’s been BE CAREFUL NOT TO DIE hot in AZ. But the rents and housing is cheap or something.

        And who wants to take bets on the FL real estate being underwater? Uh I mean literally under the sea, not just the figurative “underwater”.

  7. different clue

    Pat Lang at SST has put up a new post about material revealed about the Clinton Foundation Family of Foundations. I am just a lay observer, but one thing I think I see is how very well engineered and cleverly protected from legal danger the Clinton Foundation really is. Colonel Lang himself referred obliquely to that in a paragraph of his short commentary. I will copy-paste that small paragraph here.

    “As an old spook I have a hard time imagining a smoother way to launder money. If one were doing that – 1. The money would go to a Canadian donor. 2. The Canadian would make a privacy protected contribution to the Canadian charity. 3. A benevolent contract would transfer the tax free money to the US foundation. 4. After that …”

    The other thing I think I notice is that huge swaths of the Establishment all gave money to this Family of Foundations. So any legal threat to the Clinton Foundation would be a legal threat to hundreds of natural-person members of the OverClass. As well as their public face/ public front bussinesses and institutions. So they are all united in killing off any attempt to prosecute any Clintonian for anything having anything to do with any aspect of the Clinton Foundation. So I would expect actual prosecution of any Clintonian for anything to be very unlikely.

    Here is the link.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      So the Clintons have corrupted a large enough fraction of the political, professional, and business class to achieve impunity. Third World stuff. Reminds me of this image of Louise Philippe as a rotting pear, except here the rot is the top 10% or 20%….

      1. polecat

        That should be a fish head those chaps are hugging! ……a rotting, stinking fish head…..

      2. fresno dan

        “Hillary Clinton’s Message: Yes, the Economy Is Messed Up. But I Can Fix It.” [New York Times]. Because it takes a professional:

        In an economic policy speech on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton gave this message: I alone am the candidate who knows how to turn those underlying frustrations into actual policies that might make things better. She offered herself as someone who would not merely vent voters’ anger, but respond to that anger by pulling the levers of the federal bureaucracy and creating legislation that can be scored by the Congressional Budget Office and just maybe pass a Senate committee.

        Doesn’t that just BEG THE QUESTION: Why wasn’t all this knowledge shared with Hillary’s good buddy, President Obama?
        She didn’t share??? Hmmmmm….

        He didn’t pay any attention to her because she is
        A – a woman
        B – white
        C – an idiot
        D – all of the above
        E – none of the above

        Or is she saying that it is some kind of Schrodinger’s Cat** economy where it has both high unemployment and low unemployment, but it takes Hillary to collapse the wave function into 1999???

        **Any Novel wining physicist/economist can succinctly explain how this works….

        “…might make things better.”

            1. fresno dan

              June 23, 2016 at 5:23 pm
              LOL – I think you have just proven how “string” theory REALLY works…I nominate you for an economic prize in multiversal quantum economiphysics….

              1. polecat

                I just wish she would beam to the 0-verse…where she belongs..

                …and yank Buba with her!

                1. ambrit

                  As in “The Story of ‘O'”verse?
                  That lot belong in a novel by D H Lawrence, or Sacher-Masoch; “Hillary in Furs.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          “I alone…”

          That sounds like the song from Phantom of the Opera, “I alone could hear the music. Then, at last, a voice in the gloom…”

      3. Steve in Flyover

        I don’t think the Clintons have corrupted anyone who wasn’t already corrupted.

        Their claim to fame is figuring how to get away with it, while convincing the wretched refuse that they are “one of them”.

        A type not uncommon among the upper middle class professionals, who want to be part of the 1%/old money class, and aren’t afraid to screw over/rob/lie to get there, and are able to justify it in their minds

        Bubba/Hillary took care of the banksters from 1992-2000. And they took care of him from 2000-present.

        My question is, how much are the 1%ers who are “below the radar”/not public figures getting away with?

        Is this the best the Democrats can do? Become Rockefeller Republicans? Put up a known sleazeball, whose “experience” is mainly botching things?

        Clinton vs. Trump. I think I’ll change my name to “Noneof The Above”, and get my name on the ballot for President. I’m no brain surgeon, but I’m convinced that I can do better than either of these two crooks/boneheads.

    2. grayslady

      Yuck! Every time I read about the Clintons and how slimy they are I feel that I need to rush upstairs and take a long shower.

  8. John k

    Brexit… Media decides to not do exit polling…
    Avoids embarrassing discrepancy between exit polls and reported result… Just sayin…

    1. none

      Apparently hedge funds did their own exit polling so they’d know how to bet on currency moves before votes were officially reported.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Banks are the only ones allowed to do exit polls for the vote. Everyone’s watching the GBP to get a sense of where those are at. Brexit now at 6/4 with Paddy Power. It was 9/1 this morning. Holy s*&t. Get your Remain money in quick, those odds won’t last.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Sorry, press can’t *publish* exit polling while the polls are open. So people look to the banks and the pound to get a whiff of the real time data the banks are seeing and reacting to.

            1. Kurt Sperry

              There’s craazyman’s ten bagger–well, nine bagger, right here. One dollar on Brexit would’ve bought you nine just yesterday. Assuming Leave holds on.

  9. Vatch

    Thanks for the article on the Rule of 72. It’s useful for people who need to save for retirement, and it’s also useful for people who need to live on the Earth. From the article:

    By the way, the Rule of 72 applies to anything that grows, including population. Can you see why a population growth rate of 3% vs 2% could be a huge problem for planning? Instead of needing to double your capacity in 36 years, you only have 24. Twelve years were shaved off your schedule with one percentage point.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Heard this morning on the local public radio: Chinese population in America grew 3% over a recent 12 month period.

      “Can we reduce it to 2%?”

      1. Roger Smith

        Definitely. I mostly expected never to hear about it from her after Sabar’s findings were published. Honestly her unwillingness to hear anything about his research and the sensational aspects his discoveries took on made me think she might have been involved (or more likely so-wanting to prove her hypothesis that she willingly looked past holes).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Haven’t read the recent story on Jesus’s wife.

      This is the question I have been wondering for a long time – Did he and his wive have children? Did they become the progenitors of the kings of France, or stone-throwing dispossessed people of west bank, worshiping the wrong god, needing to be shown the way by exceptionally caring believers of the New World?

      “You might be carrying his divine DNA, but you need to be saved by us.”

      I am not sure, but is that ironic?

  10. timbers

    “In an economic policy speech on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton gave this message: I alone am the candidate who knows how to … create legislation that can be scored by the Congressional Budget Office and just maybe pass a Senate committee.”
    That’s a big relief. See, she IS on our side after all. Scored by the Congressional Budget Office. Asking for anything else is just whining.

    1. edmondo

      I thought Bill was going to be in charge of the economy?

      Step 1: Pass TPP. (Look how well NAFTA worked out!)

    2. EGrise

      Because we all know that a positive CBO score is the magic key to getting anything through the House and Senate.

      I too feel relieved. The adults experts will be in charge!

  11. ambrit

    If the Three Stooges are any indication, we’re in a lot of trouble.
    I imagine you’re thinking of this gem from 1940: “A Plumbing We Will Go.”
    See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeKR3rZdPlM
    Be warned, lots of racialist “humour” here. The 1940’s were quite Anti-PC.
    I see a branding opportunity for “The Three Economists.”

  12. Schnormal

    “Seldom has virtue signalling among our professional elites been as shameless or disgusting.”

    Yes yes yes. It’s also yet another example of needless complication as a cover for corruption.

    I was happy to hear that Alan Grayson is trying to revive the assault weapons ban, but then I read the transcript of his interview this morning on Democracy Now!, and he also doubles down on the No Fly list.

    I thought Vince Warren made a hell of a lot more sense:

    VINCENT WARREN: Yeah, there very well may be hundreds of people that are on that list that should not have guns. I don’t disagree with that. What we have to be clear is about none of us sitting here know who those people are. The people that are on the list likely don’t know who they are. And if we want to keep those hundred people from killing folks, why don’t we just tighten our gun control laws without doubling down on hysterical 9/11 policies? We can get to those people that shouldn’t have guns, but we shouldn’t do it through these policies.

      1. Schnormal

        Oh bummer, really? I so loved his Republican Approach to Healthcare Presentation.
        (Sorry, gotta run, no time to find the link)

        Thanks for the heads up — will try to read up on him some tonight

        1. JohnnyGL

          Grayson worked hard to push for Audit the Fed (I think he sponsored) and was an early voice against the rush to war in Syria to knock off Assad in 2012 after the kitchen-sarin gas attack.

          If he’s going to get important stuff like that right, I’m happy. He’s certainly not perfect, but he’s good enough and he threatens the Dem party elite.

        2. vidimi

          he’s a mixed bag. he’s good on some issues, but he also runs an off-shore hedge fund which he uses to pimp his congressional representation.

      2. Schnormal

        Yeah I don’t get what the problem is with Alan Grayson; he lives large but definitely seems a net positive:

        — He’s anti-war
        — He endorsed Bernie
        — Went to Bronx Science
        — Supported the Audit the Fed bill
        — During an interview he referred to a Bernanke advisor who had lobbied for Enron as a “K-Street Whore”
        — George Will called him “America’s worst politician”
        — He says it like it is and doesn’t back down
        — He can beat the DINOs

        Some weirdness, but not really by Florida standards:
        — His second wife, Dena Grayson, whom he married just last month, is a medical doctor and biotechnology entrepreneur. She is also running for his congressional seat, which opened up when he decided to run for senate.
        — Since 2009 Grayson has run what he calls a “friends and family” hedge fund. He supposedly volunteered to fully pay back the losses of Bob Poe, an investor and campaign contributor who coincidentally is running for Florida’s 10th congressional district, right next to the Graysons’

  13. DJG

    Wowsers. Obama and “his future career plans.”

    Is he signaling? Is he already in talks? How petty can he possibly be? He’s supposed to be President of the U S of A and titular head of the Democratic Party, and he’s already all kissy-face with Marc Andreessen? Career over all?

    [Corollary: If the Democratic Party is the graveyard of reform movements, and if current-stage feminism is all about career, then feminism has just ended.]

  14. Vatch

    “Hillary Clinton Just Delivered a Profound Economic Speech” [Time].

    If she had expressed unequivocal opposition the the TPP and TTiP, and support for restoring Glass Steagall and for regulating credit default swaps, I would have been very intrigued. Instead, she provided us with some empty platitudes.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Same reaction.

      More jobs [applause], more infrastructure spending [applause], fairer income distribution [applause], less regulatory burden [applause], easier credit for small businesses [applause], free college [applause].

      All standard boilerplate, deserving of 5.5 point agate type for its (lack of) importance. Where is the free beer, for instance?

      1. Darthbobber

        I believe she also has favorable things to say about mom and apple pie. And if that isn’t just profoundly profound in the profoundest of ways, I can’t imagine what would be.

          1. EGrise

            Apple maggot pie and everyone* has to take a bite.

            *everyone = anyone worth less than $1M

      2. craazyboy

        Favorable CBO scoring [applause].

        Which reminds me. Paul Ryan just had a campaign financing meeting with Apple. My suspicious mind says watch for a corporate tax holiday on repatriating “offshore profits” to sneak thru the lame duck session.

      3. Steve C

        Repudiation of TPP without her trademark wiggle room and deniability would be enough for me. But that alone would require a personality transplant.

    2. neo-realist

      Also nothing from HRC about increasing SS payments, nor promising not to cut it or to enter into “Grand Bargains.”

  15. Carolinian

    Re Upstate SC warehouses. Plus we have our own 1 million sq ft Amazon warehouse for easy access to Rid ‘O Rust Stain Preventer Acid. I could drive over there and pick it up myself but they won’t let you do that.

  16. Jim Haygood

    Stocks, comrades: the closely-watched S&P 500 index finished less than one percent below its record high set 13 months ago.

    This is another indicator that’s not consistent with recession. Stocks have given some false positives, but always have declined before a recession started.

    Last time round was an Oct 2007 peak in stocks, followed by recession starting in Dec 2007 as stocks were already headed downhill.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I will be smarter the next time by indexing – my funds are like 10% below their highs.

  17. no one

    Re: “Hillary Clinton’s Message: Yes, the Economy Is Messed Up. But I Can Fix It.”

    So many levels of implausibility here. So she’s running against Obama’s record? And he is endorsing her?
    What would she (and Bill) do that Obama has not been doing for the past seven-plus years? If she had any good ideas, wouldn’t Obama be implementing them now?

    1. Steve C

      Neither Obama nor Clinton are interested in good ideas. Obama has spent seven years burying them. OTOH, he is friends with JayZee and Beyoncé and he’s so smooth. So we got that going for us.

      1. tegnost

        All of her good ideas are in the goldman speeches, but the republicans and esp. the donald and sanders are obstructing her ability to release the transcripts…can you believe how mean those people are?

  18. Steve in Flyover

    “sophisticated technologies to detect hazardous materials……”

    No “tracking” needed. All you need to do is have Hazmat items flagged by your ordering system. LMAO. BS for the wretched refuse/dumbazz general public.

    Us small fry have to jump through all kinds of hoops (FedEx training, dedicated hazmat shipping tools/materials) for FedEx to accept our hazmat shipments. Is Amazon a certificated hazmat shipper? I’m guessing not.

    What’s really going to be fun is the pizzing contest between FedEx and Amazon. At some point in time, the FAA is going to ask FedEx why they are still accepting packages from a uncertified shipper known to be shipping undeclared hazmat.

    Or if the wrong type of hazmat (say “mercury”, in any quantity) leaks under the floor of an airplane (or they can’t prove that it didn’t), and they end up scrapping the airplane because of it.

    And then there are the pizzed off customers who will order $15 worth of hazmat drain cleaner, accompanied by the $350 bill from FedEx for hazmat overnight shipping.

  19. marym

    Exclusive: Prominent GOP Neoconservative to Fundraise for Hillary Clinton

    A prominent neoconservative intellectual and early promoter of the Iraq War is headlining an official campaign fundraiser for Hillary Clinton next month, Foreign Policy has learned. The move signals a shift in the Clinton campaign’s willingness to associate with prominent Republicans and is the latest sign of how far some GOP defectors are willing to go to block a Donald Trump presidency.

    Spoiler altert – it’s Robert Kagan

    1. craazyboy

      I wonder if Hillary will finally get to meet Vicky at the fundraiser? They could be good girl friends.

      1. edmondo

        They could go weapons shopping together, go out to lunch and split a country or two, and even drink a little Dom Perignon and make obscene phone calls to Vladamir on the hotline Hil’s office.

    2. sgt_doom

      Not as eye-opening as the de Rothschilds’ fundraiser in Martha’s Vineyard awhile back, but still enlightening.

      Roll Call of HRC’s endorsers:

      The Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, Henry Kissinger, Robert Kagan, Charles Koch, the head choppers of Saudi Arabia, the government of China and probably the oligarchs the world over!

        1. craazyboy




          1.a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful:

          “a conspiracy to destroy the government”

          synonyms: plot · scheme · plan · machination · ploy · trick · ruse ·

          •the action of plotting or conspiring:

          “they were cleared of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice”

          synonyms: plotting · collusion · intrigue · connivance ·

  20. MtnLife

    Rainbow update: Gathering is going well. The energy is strong already. I’ve been in about 4 days total now. Out to do some work. Rangers have been surprisingly friendly – even members of the ICT were waving and smiling. Seriously, 8 tickets total? Saw that happen in a 3 hour span in Wyoming. Water quality is probably some of the best we’ve ever had. Dinner is being served to all in main meadow now so people are fed daily without having to work or be fortunate enough to be nearby when someone yells “free food in the woods!” There is one bar of LTE reception just above main meadow if one needs to keep in touch with Babylon. Parking will be unpleasant later on. They have set aside one side of the road as parking for 12 mi on the main road (6 mi either side of the gates) as well as off all the side forest roads. Space inside will also be at a premium once more arrive so if you’re coming, come early as possible.

    Lambert, while I may not have the $ to fund your water cooler, if you have any interest in coming I would happily pick you up at the bus or train station in Brattleboro and ferry you in as my “donation”.

  21. Plenue

    “From the country that did not bring you the F-35… ”

    Reminder that the F-35 can’t even fire its cannon, and won’t be able to for years, because that software simply hasn’t been written yet. It shouldn’t be hard to just use some kind of direct electrical or mechanical connection between the trigger and the firing mechanism, but nope. It simply MUST be high-tech and snazzy.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve read about that problem in a few places and I’m still trying to work out what sort of software it needs to fire a cannon. Generations of fighter pilots seemed to do fine without software. I’m assuming it has something to do with aiming and its integration into other weapons systems (the one in the helmet thats so heavy it will break the neck of the pilots if they have to eject). but it still seems a bizarre reason for a delay.

    2. sgt_doom

      Also, it must use foreign visa workers to code the software — always a must where Lockheed Martin or another other government contractor is concerned.

      1. OIFVet

        I like ‘hangar queen’. It is also quite fitting, given that the maintenance hangers will be its domicile 99% of the time.

  22. PlutoniumKun

    Scncheier on security and ‘situational awareness’:

    I’m surprised to see this described as something new. Trying to design crime out of buildings and streets has been pretty central to most architecture/planning/urban design programmes since at least the 1980’s. And of course huge resources have gone into many different types of security. As one obvious example, cars are far harder to steal than 30 years ago, which has greatly reduced most types of car thefts – the exception being highly organised professional thieves. I don’t doubt that one key reason for the much discussed drop in crime in the 1990’s was that it simply became harder for thieves then thanks to more secure buildings and vehicles.

  23. none

    Can someone give a quick tldr about whether brexit is good or bad? I saw Larry Summers was opposed to it so I figured it must be good. But now I see the UK conservatives are supporting it, not so good.

    1. sgt_doom

      Their “conservatives” frequently end up really more liberal than our so-called “liberals” here, so the vernacular isn’t always applicable.

      Brexit would be the best thing for the workers of the UK (which is why the sheeple will probably vote against it) while staying would be the best thing for their banksters — in other words, the City of London Corporation is against Brexit!

    2. aab

      There was something here about it a while ago. I think Yves’ point is that there are lots of procedural and structural problems and disentangling will cause a lot of pain, because Germany and the big banks will want to inflict a lot of pain, so other countries don’t follow.

      Basically, it’s complicated. Britain has a better deal than other countries in the EU. Leaving puts the Tories even more in the driver’s seat to shred and sell the people and assets of the country. BUT leaving also hurts Goldman Sachs the most, apparently, and weakening the EU could be for the greater good. Kelton apparently said there’s a progressive case for Leave.

      Watching from the sidelines, I’m sorta Leave, mostly on a long term “greater good,” emotional basis. But Corbyn, who I respect, is campaigning for Remain (along with Larry, although for entirely different reasons having to do with worker protections).

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      The novelist Frederick Forsyth had an op ed in the Daily Express a few months back that was devastating. He found some writings documenting the thought processes of the EU founding group that coalesced around Jean Monnet, and here’s the money quote:

      The whole group was mesmerised by one fact. In 1933 the Germans, seized by rabid nationalism, voted Adolf Hitler into power. Their conclusion: the people, any people, were too obtuse, too gullible, too dim ever to be safely entrusted with the power to elect their government.

      People’s democracy was flawed and should never be permitted to decide government again if war was to be avoided. Real power would have to be confined to a non-elective body of enlightened minds like theirs.

      In the 70 years since, the theory has never changed. It remains exactly the same today. The British Cabinet has power and may delegate that power to a wide range of civil servants: police chiefs, generals, bureaucrats. But it itself remains elective. The people can change it via the polling booth. Not in the EU. The difference is absolutely fundamental.

  24. Vikas Saini

    Re Regulatory Capture. Not sure what Roy would say, but I’d say the entire health care ecosystem operates in a way that enables regulatory capture because its reductionist science framework, a baleful legacy of Flexner, is embraced and turbocharged by the medical industrial complex. Getting an approval for a narrow target, whether drug or device, with minimal testing for off-target or late-to-appear harms is then that much easier. Controlling the paradigm/narrative is a much more elegant force multiplier!

  25. fresno dan


    nce the shooting at an Orlando nightclub last week that left 49 people dead, reports have emerged that gunman Omar Mateen frequented the gay club, used gay dating apps and had gay lovers.

    But the FBI has found no evidence so far to support claims by those who say Mateen had gay lovers or communicated on gay dating apps, several law enforcement officials said.
    Several Pulse regulars have come forward in the days since the shooting, claiming to have seen Mateen at the club or to have been contacted by him on the gay dating apps Grindr, Jack’d and Adam4Adam.
    Some of those who have claimed to be in contact with Mateen before the shooting continue to insist that the gunman seen in the photos released after the shooting is the same man who visited the nightclub before the shooting.

    Kevin West, 29, a Navy veteran and Pulse regular, said Mateen messaged him on Jack’d and also said he recognized him entering the club on the night of the shooting. After the attack, West turned his phone and app passwords over to police and FBI investigators. He said Mateen didn’t reveal his name, but he recognized him from the photo Mateen had posted on the app, which matched one of the gunman released after the shooting.

    On Thursday, he dismissed federal investigators’ doubts.

    “No one is lying about him being on there,” West said of the gay apps, adding that “once you have the app and delete your profile, it’s gone.”

    Fascinating to me simply from the standpoint of how we know truth. And maybe, what we want the truth to be.

  26. JerryDenim

    “…the number of people leaving California for another state exceeded by 61,100 the number who moved here from elsewhere..”

    So net California immigration at negative 61k? God I wish that was a significant number but in a state with almost 39 million people that’s about one-tenth of one percent. Probably within the margin of error for census numbers. Much to my disappointment California seems enduringly popular with people despite the ridicously inflated real estate prices, the traffic, the sprawl and the crowds. As crowded and as expensive as it is, it’s still hard to beat the weather and the geography.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is that per month?

      61,000 a month would be 1 million in 15 months.

      Even at 61,000 year, it doesn’t say anything about the composition of who is coming and who is leaving.

      Are those coming mostly of people with looted cash?

    2. Take the Fork

      Even if the total population change was zero – it would be significant if the people leaving have money and are taking their money with them, and if the people arriving have little or none, and less by way of knowledge, skills and abilities.

    3. Waldenpond

      It’s beautiful. I check in with NW national parks. Just spent time going to Yosemite. Getting there, Yosemite and Glacier Pt and getting home…. traveling along rivers, creeks, staying by lakes…. it is really nice.

  27. ewmayer

    o Re. “The Clinton Campaign Seems To Think Pennsylvania Is In The Bag” [FiveThirtyEight]. — A request: would it be possible to change the attribution of posts from 538 to “Nate Silver Blog” to make clear which unbiased genius pundit is behind them?

    [Yeah, yeah, I *know* 538 is a “polling aggregation site affiliated with Nate Silver’s blog”, but no reason for NC to respect the classic arms-length scammery there, is there?]

  28. Jim Haygood

    Well, there she goes again:

    Former Secretary Hillary Clinton failed to turn over a copy of a key message involving problems caused by her use of a private homebrew email server, the State Department confirmed Thursday.

    Let’s get separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible,” Clinton responded to Abedin [on Nov 13, 2010].

    The email was not among the tens of thousands of emails Clinton turned over to the agency in response to public records lawsuits. Huma Abedin provided a copy from her own inbox after the State Department asked her to return any work-related emails.

    Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon declined to say whether Clinton deleted any work-related emails before they were reviewed by her legal team.

    Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said the November 2010 email cited in the inspector general audit was one of several work-related emails that his group identified that Clinton sent or received but later failed to turn over the State Department.


    We were discussing this here months ago — that the FBI and State should ping Hillary’s correspondents for their end of email exchanges. Now it’s finally happened. As anyone who knows the Clintons knows, it confirms that Hillary deleted inconvenient messages before turning over her “vacuumed” records.

    When Mundanes conceal documents, it’s called “obstruction of justice.” It usually brings prompt criminal charges, since it particularly pisses off judges who view it as a subversion of the justice system.

    The new “fallback position” from HilLIARy:

    “Secretary Clinton had some emails with Huma that Huma did not have, and Huma had some emails with Secretary Clinton that Secretary Clinton did not have,” Fallon said.

    1. tegnost

      This election is worse than The Young and the Restless…. I’m expecting some key player to fall down and get a comactic amnesia that will be incurable until late january. How they can get away with this is, well, hmmm…. how bout if we just refer to our relationship as “asymmetrical”

    2. curlydan

      Jim, Jim, Jim… HRC didn’t delete that email. Her _legal team_ did. I’m sure she would have turned it over if she personally had reviewed the 50K emails. I’m sure she’ll just have to let someone on her team go for that oversight.

  29. anon

    First two Brexit areas reporting, Newcastle and Sunderland. Both showing higher leave votes than polls predicted. Sterling drops 3 pence on the news.

    1. tegnost

      If it’s leave the scots are going to be p.o’ed, what with how they voted to stay for access to the EU, now they’ll be stuck with a pile of cornish pasty’s and no brioche. How much haggis can they sell in england…

  30. Scotland

    No mention of this years Gathering prompts some comment as the effort was made to include the fringe. I’d like to suggest that this event is the closest the US comes to holding a Holy Festival and annual pilgrimage. While one Gathering was enough for this marginal hippie, enough cannot be said about how diverse, inclusive and personally challenging they are. If sassafras and tofu were recognized as cosmic personifications as the native cultures of their origin realized what could it hurt anyway. One of these years the collective consciousness is bound to escape the confines of something less than transcendent. Namaste :)

  31. Propertius

    “During the 12 months ending June 30, the number of people leaving California for another state exceeded by 61,100 the number who moved here from elsewhere in the U.S.,

    That means that, in another 50 years or so, California might be a reasonable place to live.

    1. polecat

      yeah….if you’re into wearing a still suit 24/7…….

      on a related matter…anyone know if SHIA-HULUD are indigenous to the Southwest ??

  32. Jay M

    I was quite surprised that if all the ice melted then LA would be reduced to Palos Verdes, Baldwin Hills and wait . . .Signal Hill! Talk about walking back property values. Talk to the cephalopods, dude, they have clear title. rocket science thinking (Have a little bud ranch in the hills that might subsidize the water lots)

  33. Jim Haygood

    Brexit ain’t the end of the world.

    Spoos bought 15 min after the US open tomorrow are more likely to end the day up than down, with probability of about 2/3.

    This is a classic short-term panic reaction. Hold steady and carry on.

      1. Waldenpond

        Back to remain…50.18 to 49.82, about 12.8 million votes in so far. Quite a few Scotland and London areas still out which should be remain. @Marksoutof100 is still predicting leave. I have no idea who he is, I just saw leavers respond positively and remainers groaned. He doesn’t think the remain numbers are strong enough.

        1. Jim Haygood

          From the Guardian’s live blog [typed ‘bong’ at first]:

          City traders are bracing for a massive selloff when the London stock market opens at 8am.

          The futures market is indicating that the FTSE 100 index of blue-chip shares will plunge by 480 points, a drop of around 7.5%.

          That would wipe around £120bn off the Footsie, which is home to many of Britain’s biggest companies.

          Buy with both hands: stocks on sale!

          Nothing that terrible is gonna happen.

          The EU died … but a beautiful flower bloomed on its grave.

      2. Waldenpond

        Most think it’s over. Limited areas of London left, seems impossible to pick up the numbers.The Guardian is upset. Predicting market losses. The remains are blaming each other. I imagine Scotland will want a vote to leave the UK as they voted for remain.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Then the Hang Seng Index might offer a bigger bounce … though you’d have to buy it on the close over a long weekend.

        “It’s the end of the world as we know it … and I feel fine.”

          1. Jim Haygood

            Pound sterling, comrades: it’s on sale.

            The UK’s not going out of business. Get in on the ground floor! :-)

              1. Jim Haygood


                We’re revisiting July 2012’s lowest yields in U.S. history.

                Needless to say, the Yellenites’ idle rate hike fantasy is off the table for this year.

                J-Yel’s sidekick Stanley Mellon Fischer has been consigned to a budget pet kennel for the summer, with no bacon-flavoured dog biscuit treats.

                In the remote event that the FOMC does an emergency quarter-point cut, even I will head for the hills.

                1. abynormal

                  i don’t remember a DOW FUT -800 without a daily dive. what am i talking about…those days are such a blur

          2. abynormal

            Update 11:38 PM: According to ITV, (BBC & SKY) it’s all over: Leave has won the referendum.

  34. Jim Haygood

    Where are the MMTers when we need them? UK has currency sovereignty.

    Print steady and carry on!

    The good times aren’t gone for good. Hell, they may just be starting.

    Better set up border defenses against francophone wetbacks:

    Oui, je suis ‘leaver’ comme vous …

    [intended as reply to abynormal]

    1. abynormal

      yeah, we’re blow’n the feed. i gotta be out of the house by 9:30a into deep traffic…hate i’ll miss the bell volatility.

      now let’s see how the PIGS will do it…

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Are you saying it’s a small step forward for a sovereign state, but a giant leap backward for the big government of the EU?

      Take note, establishment and status quo.

      Trump vs. Hillary – this round goes to the Orange One (not to be confused with Orangutan – I say this, because one time, I confused the former NBA player Olajuwan with A Large One).

  35. Buttinsky

    BBC calls the win for Brexit, with a lead of almost 800,000 votes at this hour (52%-48%).

    1. Jim Haygood

      Meanwhile California’s county workers continue struggling — against daunting odds — to count the results of a primary election two weeks ago.

      Profiles in courage!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s hard to count when so many Californians are leaving.

        While the difference was 61,000, the people who left are more than that…among them, I assume were former vote counters.

      2. Buttinsky

        Officially, 664,941 ballots still “unprocessed” here in California.

        They say the Brexit process will take about two years. Check back with us then.

    2. Take the Fork

      Hold on to yer Lucky Charms: Martin McGuinness just called for a referendum on a United Ireland!!!

      Was Sinn Fein planning a rope-a-dope all along?


      Erin go bragh, mofos…

      1. Jim Haygood

        “Everything is possible now, my brothers!” — S. Hussein

        But having an honest election count helps …

  36. abynormal

    Nikkei just reported that at 13:15 local time, Japan’s finmin Taro Aso will hold a press conference: crickets chirping EX PO SURE

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Japan’s Nikkei index has slumped by 7%, a loss of over 1,100 points. That is its worst one-day fall since March 2011, when Fukushima was hit by a devastating earthquake that triggered a tsunami and a nuclear disaster.”

      Urgh … Japan is too nasty even for me to buy.

      Paul Singer … your call, bro.

      1. abynormal

        we may be getting ahead of ourselves…global mkts are on FIRE
        if this doesn’t slow or bounce someone may fold under pressure…for ‘the good of the state’, of course.

            1. abynormal

              omg do we know each other teehehehe
              my days of dancing around widow makers are long gone

              RISK IS ABYNORMAL

  37. meeps

    Thanks for the Toby Hemenway piece. He places paradigm shift into context as edge effect– effectively, in my opinion:

    “…in the early days of any new paradigm, the boundary between the new paradigm and the tools—mental and physical—needed to articulate and solve it is blurry.”

    It’s a helpful perspective because edges are diverse interfaces, encompassing both ‘sides’ of a boundary plus a unique set of conditions where there is overlap. Even the political landscape, degraded as it is, can be viewed as holding tremendous possibility from this frame of reference.

    Hear ye, Berners and dissidents with heavy hearts and cynical dispositions! Find ye an ecotone with a favorable microclimate…

      1. Take the Fork

        “For what shall it profit Merkel, if she shall gain a million Mohammedans, and lose forty million Englishmen?”

        Farage, 6:23

  38. Fiver

    Brexit was a referendum on globalization as experienced by a great many people – and I for one am pleased to see the comfortable class that runs things on behalf of the wealthy and corporations stupefied in the face of a democratic two thumbs down on an obviously failing status quo.

    The coverage on US mainstream television is just wild. The ‘exit’ side is portrayed as dumb and hateful – period. Just as it is impossible for the mainstream to believe there are millions of people who are anything but stupid who support Sanders and who will not be frightened into supporting Clinton by the elite’s Armageddon is Trump.

    I don’t think the immediate financial hit is going to be allowed to go very far – that’s coming once Clinton is safely elected. Whether or not Cameron remains – and he could call an election and resign, effectively sending the question back for a ‘better’ vote – London has 2 years to undo this as per the time frame set for exit, and will likely attempt to re-calibrate with the EU on some important issues, then re-put the question. Or they could contrive an emergency, if that’s what it took to make London whole.

    You can feel The Management’s fingers slithering over the buttons. If there is a God, one of those buttons removes Clinton (the Law button), Sanders is the nominee and he not just wins, but takes both Houses with candidates willing to sign a public pledge to support a dozen very specific, very good things. End US regime change/outright destruction wars on all the countries whose refugees have flooded Europe, for instance (note: I just heard the infamous professional dissembler Christiane Amanpour on CNN call for the US to take out Assad, because Brexit is Syria’s fault).

    Do you want to hear a scary, scary story kids? It’s about a horrible, dumb giant Trumpus who wants to pull a Breaksit on all the good kids who did all the right things and got all the good jobs and made all the money and all the rules and are always the boss – and what Trumpus does is he makes those good kids, kids just like you and me, he makes good kids have to think about a whole horrible world full of the not-good kids the good kids have not tried to communicate with or otherwise have anything to do with since whenever they/we dumped them losers along the way.

    I recall Yves ventured some time back that the City of London could well be the centre of the next financial crisis – there were certainly some very big bets that went wrong and some others that paid off huge. I don’t think this is the kind of shock that does it and am very curious about Yves’ views.

  39. Gaylord

    Will there be a “domino effect” in other EU countries? I think this has been brewing for a long time.

    1. Ignacio

      Today I see several papers and leaders like Hollande asking the UE (who exactly?) to introduce changes…
      Mr Schauble, ironically, says that Europe is not in good shape. It is crystal clear that current EU commanding technocrats (Junkers, Dijsselbloem, Tusk, Draghi…) are completely unable of good reaction. Dissatisfaction is guaranteed.

  40. Fiver

    Cameron gone – or so he says now. He was a despicable man, whose deep embrace of US neocons using NATO foreign policy and neoliberal corporate legal theft policies to bind the world’s commerce and banking systems marked him as a very useful junior partner for the US, a la Blair.

    1. low integer

      In case anyone’s intersted, here’s a transcript of what is being described as his resignation statement, as reported by the Guardian:

      “There can be no doubt about the result. Across the world, people have been watching the choice that Britain has made. I want to reassure those markets that Britain’s economy is fundametally strong. I would also reassure Brits in European countries and EU citizens living here that there will be no immediate changes in your circumstances. There will be no initial change in how we can travel, how our services and goods can move. we must now prepare for a negotiation with the EU. This will needed to involve the full participation of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments to ensure all parts of our United Kingdom are protected and advanced.

      Above all this will require strong, determined and committed leadership. I am proud and very honoured to have been the prime minister of this country for six years.

      I have always believed we need to confront big decisions not duck them. I fought this campaign in the only way I know how, to say directly and passionately what I think and feel, head, heart and soul. I held nothing back. I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside the EU. I made clear the referendum was about this and this along not the future of any single politician, including myself. But the British people made a different decision to take a different path. As such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction. I will do everything I can as prime minister, to steady the ship in the weeks ahead, but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to the next destination. This is not a decision I have taken lightly but I do think it is in the national interests to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required. In my view we should aim to have new prime minister by the start of the Conservative party conference in October, delivering stability will be in important and I will continue in post with my cabinet for the coming months. The cabinet will meet on Monday.

      The negotiation with the European Union will need to take place under the next prime minister, and the new prime minister takes the decision about whether to trigger Article 50, the legal process of leaving the EU. I will attend the European Council next week to explain the decision the British people have taken and the decision I have taken.

      I love this country and I feel honoured to have served it. And I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed.”

  41. vidimi

    I alone am the candidate who knows how to turn those underlying frustrations into actual policies that might make things better.

    dream big!

  42. Roger Smith

    CNN is practicing for their Trump wins story already…

    “Brexit: How Did It Happen?”

  43. vidimi

    re the stairway to heaven lawsuit,

    there’s a reason why randy california never sued for copyright infringement while he was alive and that’s because he too took the riff from a 300-year old folk song.

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