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2:00PM Water Cooler 6/7/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

TPP/TTIP/TISA

“TTIP talks should be suspended, say 40%of Luxembourg residents” [Luxembourger Wort].

“More than 450 groups on Monday called on Congress to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership if it comes up for a vote this fall, saying the trade deal would allow fossil fuel companies to contest U.S. environmental rules in extrajudicial tribunals” [Reuters]. “Congress is expected [by whom?] to vote on the TPP after the Nov. 8 election during a lame-duck session.” (Notice how a lame-duck session vote quietly became the conventional wisdom.)

“The American Cancer Society is urging Congress to support the TPP for one reason: because it offers limited protection for tobacco control regulations from a uniquely corporate-friendly trade mechanism known as the investor-state dispute system (ISDS). Multinational tobacco corporations have invoked ISDS to challenge effective public health protections like requiring plain packaging for cigarettes to discourage marketing to youths” [HuffPo]. “But the TPP’s proposed fix is tantamount to a half-dose of antibiotics: relief if any is likely limited and short lived, while the surviving infection can mutate to roar back more powerfully.” Clever deal-cutting by Obama, though, very much akin to making a deal with Big Pharma on ObamaCare.

“[T]he Obama administration still hasn’t given Congress a draft statement of how it plans to implement the agreement, something it’s required to do 30 days before submitting the pact for a vote” [Politico].

2016

Policy

“In attack on Trump, Clinton accidentally admits drone killing of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki may have been a war crime” [Salon].

Money

List of Trump donors [Wall Street Journal, “Who’s Who: Meet the Super PACs Backing Donald Trump”]. Seems thin, to me. Readers?

Corruption

“Paul Ryan rips Donald Trump’s ‘racist’ comment on judge in Trump University case” [MarketWatch]. Trump’s attempt to browbeat a judge in a case where one of his businesses is involved is an obvious use of public office (his Presidential run) for private gain (a favorable, hence profitable, verdict for him). And yet, oddly, this aspect of completely open corruption goes unremarked by our famously free press. One can only ask why.

“8,491 pages raise more flags about Bondi’s Trump money” [Orlando Sentinel]. Note the focus on Bondi and a quid pro quo for dropping a Trump U case, not Trump’s corruption of public office on the trail, which is completely open.

“Judge Curiel was appointed to the bench in San Diego in 2007 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican. President Obama nominated him to the federal bench in late 2011, and he was confirmed by the Senate” [The New York Times]. What I’m not getting is (a) why couldn’t Trump buy his way out of the investigation, as he apparently did in Florida, and (b) if Trump knew this California case was on the way, did he truly think it would pose no barrier to his nomination? Did he even think he would be nominated? Then again, to be fair, Clinton’s corruption hasn’t gotten in her way, so why should his?

California

“Sanders Dismisses ‘Presumptive Nominee’ Nod as ‘Rush to Judgment’ ” [Seven Days]. Sanders is far too kind, as usual. We’re seeing blatant election fixing by AP (as “nod” in the Seven Days highline backhandedly acknowledges). The story is an anonymously sourced survey of superdelegates, and there exactly one thing that’s new about it, and that is the timing: Election Eve. The press has injected itself into the story in the largest possible way. This stinks to high heaven (not to mention being illegal in more civilized countries).

The astute Jake Tapper didn’t say anything explictly, but then he didn’t have to:

(For those who can’t see the GIF: “It’s Chinatown, Jake.”) And here’s how the AP story played on the front page of the Times:

This is a Judy Miller-level crapfest of corruption. And will anybody who didn’t think that AP knew this would happen report to the kindergarten room? Thank you!

“In San Francisco, Berniecrats lash out at media for calling nomination for Clinton” [WaPo]. “Berniecrats,” WaPo? In a headline? And calling on election eve, one might add.

The Trail

Strengths and weaknesses of Trump v. Clinton [CNN]. Highly selective.

“Trump has held steady to the course that brought him to victory in the Republican primary: keeping his organization small and top-down, holding large-scale rallies, and shrugging off traditional campaign features such as data, polling and fundraising” [RealClearPolitics]. “His style has likewise remained static: He has remained laser-focused on his core issues from the primary, such as immigration, but he has not fleshed out other policy. Meanwhile, rather than soften his rhetoric, Trump has hardened his attacks on perceived adversaries.” In other words, Trump is disciplined; Beltway types of both parties insist he is not. Now, you can argue that Trump’s management approach won’t scale; on the other hand, it’s not clear that any conventional approach will succeed. Remember Orca, the debacle that the Republican flavor of campaign tech brought down on Romney? And if I were Trump, I’d think back to what the Democrat Party did to McGovern, back in the day, and consider the Iron Law of Institutions. There are rice bowls at stake! Polling in the next few weeks may show whether the critique of the political class is a whirligig powered by its own wind, or driven by more organic forces.

“Although Trump is running nearly even with Hillary Clinton in national polls, the Vegas bookmakers remain optimistic about Clinton’s chances. The online betting site PaddyPower.com currently puts the odds of Clinton winning at 1 in 2, with Trump at 7 to 4. Bernie Sanders is a 20-to-1 long shot” [Sacramento Bee]. “But I wouldn’t bet against a Trump victory. Here are five reasons why….”

“The electoral college has a “Blue Wall” (Ron Brownstein’s phrase) of 18 states where Democrats won six of the last six presidential contests, totaling 242 electoral votes. That’s a hell of a likely head start to 270″ [Los Angeles Times].

“Report: Bill Clinton May Have Encouraged Donald Trump to Run for President” [Vanity Fair]. From 2015, but relevant today. Not to be foily, but:

“Liberty House’s experience confirms many things we already knew or suspected about at least some of Trump’s donations to veterans’ charities. The vetting of Liberty House was so brief as to be almost nonexistent, at least as far as we can see; the Trump campaign wanted the award to be part of a political event; the money donated to Liberty House was not only not Trump’s, it never even passed through Trump’s foundation” [Nonprofit Quarterly].

Clinton Email Hairball

“State Dept. Promises to Release Clinton [TPP] Emails on Day That Literally Doesn’t Exist” [Lawnewz]. “Charlotte W. Duckett, from the U.S. Department of State, replied to Mr. Sirota that his “new estimated completion date for you request is November 31, 2016.” To be clear, November has 30 days (30 days has September, April, June and November.) That day doesn’t exist.” Ha ha. What a classy way to say “F*ck you”; “You’ll get your emails on the First of Never.”

“FBI Reveals ‘Additional Details’ About Clinton Email Probe in Secret Declaration” [Vice]. “The FBI is seeking permission to file a second, secret declaration in US District Court in Washington, DC describing its search for documents related to the bureau’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. The declaration is to be submitted in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the bureau by VICE News.” This issue isn’t going away.

“FBI asks to make new secret filing in Clinton email case” [The Hill]. “The filing would be the second secret declaration issued as part of the FOIA lawsuit, which was launched by Vice News journalist Jason Leopold.” The issue, as I understand it, is whether State conducted a “reasonable search” of Clinton’s mail. Since the FBI has (some fraction of recovered) email from Clinton’s server, they can cross-check this claim.

Stats Watch

Productivity and Costs, Q1 2016: “Productivity remains a key weakness of the economy and is especially evident during the low output of the first quarter” [Econoday]. “Output during the quarter rose 0.9 percent but the increase was outmatched by a greater increase for hours worked, up 1.5 percent. Not only did hours exceed output, compensation rose at the same time, up 3.9 percent to lift unit labor costs by 4.5 percent.” But: “I personally do not understand why anyone would look at the data in this series as the trends are changed from release to release – and many times significantly between the preliminary and final release” [Econintersect]. On the other hand: “[T]hough there seems to still be a consensus among Street economists and market participants that wage growth remains sluggish, in reality, wages have finally begun to move higher in earnest. The anecdotal and survey evidence has been pointing to rising wages for a while, but the data were slow to fall into line. Now they have” [Across the Curve]. Can’t have that.

Gallup US ECI, May 2016: “Americans’ confidence in the economy was flat in May with the economic confidence index averaging minus 14 for a second month – a seven-month low” [Econoday]. “Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy remains negative, although recent weekly readings of the index could mark a turning point.”

Employment Situtation: “The sharp May hiring slowdown revealed in Friday’s employment report took a lot of people — including me — by surprise. It shouldn’t have. Things have actually been on the downswing for the U.S. labor market for months, according to the Federal Reserve’s Labor Market Conditions Index” (from yesterday, see here) [Bloomberg].

labor_market

“This went from bad to worse but they don’t seem to pay much attention to it” [Mosler Economics]. Compare from Water Cooler of 6/3/2016:

jobs

Real Estate: “CoreLogic’s Home Price Index (HPI) shows that home prices in the USA are up 6.2 % year-over-year year-over-year (reported up 1.8 % month-over-month). Last month’s 6.7 % year-over-year gain was revised downward to 5.5 % [revisions to previous months lately have been significantly downward so I would not take the 6.2 % to the bank]. CoreLogic HPI is used in the Federal Reserves’s Flow of Funds to calculate the values of residential real estate” [Econintersect].

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/t-mobiles-legere-why-were-213504433.html

The Bezzle: “‘Auto [loans] is clearly a little stretched, in my opinion,’ the JPMorgan Chase CEO said Thursday morning, speaking at the AllianceBernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York. ‘Someone is going to get hurt'” [CNBC]. Added Dimon: “We don’t do much of that”

Shipping: “In 2002, the average hourly wage for a warehouse and distribution center worker in the U.S. was $10.31, according to Atlanta-based staffing firm ProLogistix, which on a weekly basis employs about 12,000 people in industrial facilities nationwide. By 2012, that same hourly wage had risen, on average, by a measly 15 cents. During the same period, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the federal government’s broad measure of the direction of consumer prices, had climbed about 22 percent” [DC Velocity].

Shipping: “Technology shift bringing an end to shipping cycles” [Splash247]. From shipowners forum at Posidonia.

Shipping: “A preliminary investigation shows a failure with a bolt that fastens the rail to the railroad ties caused the [Columbia River] crash, said Justin Jacobs, a Union Pacific spokesman. A final report to the Federal Railroad Administration will be submitted sometime this week” [Oregon Live]. (Note: This story has interviews with trailer park residents near the crash. So I could have filed this under Class Warfare, eh? Even if/though half the trailer park residents are Hispanic.

The Fed: “Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Monday that interest rate hikes are likely on the way because “positive economic forces have outweighed the negative” for the United States now that risks from earlier this year have diminished” [Futures].

The Fed: “Bottom Line: The May employment report killed the chances of a rate hike in June. And it was weak enough that July no longer looks likely as well. I had thought that, assuming a solid May number they would set the stage for a July hike. That seems unlikely now; they will probably need two months of good numbers to overcome the May hit” [Tim Duy’s FedWatch]. “The data might bounce in the direction of July, to be sure. Hence Fed officials won’t want to take July off the table just yet, so expect, in particular, the more hawkish elements of the FOMC to keep up the tough talk.

The Fed: “Although this recent labor market report was, on balance, concerning, let me emphasize that one should never attach too much significance to any single monthly report. Other timely indicators from the labor market have been more positive. For example, the number of people filing new claims for unemployment insurance–which can be a good early indicator of changes in labor market conditions–remains quite low, and the public’s perceptions of the health of the labor market, as reported in various consumer surveys, remain positive” [Janet Yellen, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System].

“Remittances refers to money that emigrants send back to their country of origin, and in the context of global capital flows, they are a big deal” [Conversable Economist]. “Remittances are about the same size as flows of private debt and equity. And while remittances haven’t grown as fast as foreign direct investment, it has risen much more steadily and without the peaks and valleys.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 80, Extreme Greed (previous close: 80, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 75 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 7 at 12:35pm. The important psychological barrier of 80: Cracked!

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

“In a stunning twist in a long-running Medicare fraud case, both the Miami U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI stand accused of spying on a defendant’s lawyer by illegally and secretly obtaining copies of confidential defense documents” [Florida Bulldog].

“Clinton and Obama are wrong about Snowden — he was ignored after sounding alarm directly to the NSA” [Salon].

“The Obama administration is seeking to amend surveillance law to give the FBI explicit authority to access a person’s Internet browser history and other electronic data without a warrant in terrorism and spy cases'” [WaPo].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods” [Pro Publica]. So, systemic racism from the FIRE sector, right? Major contributors to the Clinton campaign, oddly, or not.

Class Warfare

“Cooperation emerges when groups are small and memories are long, study finds” [Phys.org]. “The work suggests one possible advantage of the human’s powerful memory capacity: it has fed our ability as a society to cooperate.”

“[E]xecutive pay decisions made inside corporate boardrooms have an enormous impact in the outside world. Outrageous pay gives top executives an incentive to behave outrageously. To hit the pay jackpot, they’ll do most anything” [US News]. “We can’t rely on shareholders to call a halt to all this. Few shareholders, after all, have any long-term commitment to the corporations whose shares they hold – or to the communities where these corporations do business. aOnly the public can protect the public interest, and this public interest – in matters of corporate executive compensation – demands that we start setting limits on top executive pay.”

Remember Charles Murray? Author of The Bell Curve? [Charles Murray, Wall Street Journal, “A Guaranteed Income for Every American”]. “Replacing the welfare state with an annual grant is the best way to cope with a radically changing U.S. jobs market—and to revitalize America’s civic culture.” Sounds legit.

“Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia is a landmark white supremacist text that serves as a canonical work for the establishment of US whiteness” [Truthout]. “The time has come not to seek access to farcical social constructs used to oppress, but instead to seek liberation through rejection of such.” All true. Oddly, or not, the neoliberal thought collective is never framed in terms of “watch whiteness work.”

“Moving houses in childhood increases suicide, death risk” [Medical News Today] (study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine from Danish data). In other words, a “flexible labor market” (“Why don’t they just move?”) puts sellers of labor power at differential risk as opposed to the owners of capital.

This is the iconic photo of 20% protesters against “corruption” in Brazil, via Glenn Greenwald:

Who, in that picture, is more likely to have moved their family?

“This book analyzes a possible future era when software emulations of humans (ems) dominate the world economy” [Slate Star Codex]. Swell.

News of the Wired

“Where Did Twitter’s Extra Characters Come From?” [Wired]. Twitter’s new data format. It’ll be a total mess in less than a decade, guaranteed, like all proprietary data formats.

Why did consciousness evove? [The Atlantic]. “The Attention Schema Theory (AST), developed over the past five years, may be able to answer those questions. The theory suggests that consciousness arises as a solution to one of the most fundamental problems facing any nervous system: Too much information constantly flows in to be fully processed. The brain evolved increasingly sophisticated mechanisms for deeply processing a few select signals at the expense of others, and in the AST, consciousness is the ultimate result of that evolutionary sequence. If the theory is right—and that has yet to be determined—then consciousness evolved gradually over the past half billion years and is present in a range of vertebrate species.”

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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:

rose

I know Beach Roses are invasive, but nevertheless…

* * *
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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.

188 comments

  1. Jess

    Lambert — Some reason that the second half of these links is set up as centered, rather than flush left? A little harder to read, and — knowing virtually nothing about tech — wonder what other gremlins might be lurking or related.

      1. edmondo

        Now that the coronation is over, even Lambert wants to curry favor with The Queen

        1. Lee

          Perhaps, like Dilbert creator Scott Adams, he is afraid for his life if he doesn’t support Clinton. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jun/7/scott-adams-dilbert-creator-endorses-hillary-clint/

          “This past week we saw Clinton pair the idea of President Trump with nuclear disaster, racism, Hitler, the Holocaust, and whatever else makes you tremble in fear,” Mr. Adams wrote. “Her new scare tactics are solid-gold persuasion.

          “And obviously it would be okay to kill anyone who actively supports a genocidal dictator, including anyone who wrote about his persuasion skills in positive terms. (I’m called an ‘apologist’ on Twitter, or sometimes just Joseph Goebbels).

          “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,” Mr. Adams argued. “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.

  2. diptherio

    When you fill out a survey to determine whether or not you are clinically depressed, they specifically ask you if you’ve moved in the last 6 months (iirc) because moving is known to cause depressive symptoms. So this isn’t really news. Everybody who’s had to move knows how disorienting and difficult it can be (unless you really hate the place you’re leaving). Multiply that by childhood and then raise the sum to the power of poverty and the result is a lot of tragedy and darkness. The math is really pretty basic, when you think about it.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think some people want us to celebrate job mobility – that people are moving all over the place to find work.

      The Schegen agreement – that’s good for Eurozone GDP.

      Just keep on moving.

      1. Roger Smith

        Exactly, the inno. model revolves around shorter term jobs and constant mobility (upward they’d say!) which is why it doesn’t work for most people. Then they are old “tough luck” when they expect a consistent, secure position. “This is the new age!” Get with the program or DIE.

  3. Jim Haygood

    “This is a Judy Miller-level crapfest of corruption.”

    In a screed titled “Bernie Sanders and the politics of paranoia,” MarketHype’s D.C. bureau chief dispenses the post-AP party line from our corporate press lords:

    Sanders supporters have convinced themselves that somehow the race was stolen from them, a view neither the candidate nor his aides have done anything to dissuade.

    This despite Clinton receiving more votes than Sanders as well as the support of the superdelegates — the party elite — who matter in determining the winner.

    But that’s not new for the Sanders campaign. A typical speech yields an array of bogeymen: the fossil-fuel industry, Wall Street, Washington lobbyists, the insurers, pharmaceuticals, “billionaires,” and on and on.

    The broader Sanders narrative is that an array of forces are conspiring to hold the average person down.

    http://tinyurl.com/zvfvssc

    Superdelegates vote on July 25th. Calling the outcome seven weeks before they vote is like calling the general election in mid-September, based on who’s ahead in the polls. It’s absolutely bogus.

    “Peak Hillary,” comrades: we’re already on the downslope of that landfill mountain. Watch and see.

          1. polecat

            ….what about Strap-ons?? ……I mean….the Clintons…they just cling to everything…like the cheap tools that they are…..

            I hope they break soon !!

        1. Code Name D

          We are sorry. But the lubrication option is no longer available for this attachment. To express our apology for this inconvenience, we have added extra grit instead.

          Have a nice day.

          1. tegnost

            We are sorry, but the lubrication option is banned for this attachment. You will be fined by the IRS if you remove the enhanced grit. We make no apologies because you are an inconvenience. You must submit the used appliance in order to vote.
            There, fixed it

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              Actually, no. It’s banned by the Intellectual Property agreement you signed when you purchased the device (or implicitly signed when you turned the device on, touched it, or looked askance at it from afar).

      1. JustAnObserver

        We can only hope it goes as well as the average software installation … with the email server scandal serving as the BSOD.

      2. Roger Smith

        I don’t have enough BS-RAM on my system for that. Though I imagine I will get nice little reminders every time I turn on my computer… like I do about Windows 10!

    1. allan

      Life After Bernie [NYT]

      Which might as well be titled, I have come to praise Sanders, not to bury him.

      The Times seems to have quite a few of these post-Bernie pieces pre-positioned.

    2. redleg

      The “more votes” argument is bunk.
      The vote tally does not count caucus states.

      1. Roger Smith

        But Nate Silve….! Yea never mind.

        A proportional measure of caucus votes alone would still not model every structural advantage Clinton had. She’d be toast if this was a legitimately run election.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        Exactly. Adding:

        1) If the caucuses are representative, than Sanders popular votes in those states should be factored in;

        2) If they are not, (a) you can’t blame Sanders for playing by the (rigged) rules and (b) we should abolish them, which many in the Sanders electorate wish to do (along with deepsixing other anti-democratic features like closed primaries and superdelegates).

    3. No one special

      It’s interesting that the Times started with a slightly-smaller-than-Men-Walk-On-Moon headline Monday night and progressively shrank the headline to the point where — at my last glance — the story has vanished from the front page of the website.

    4. EmilianoZ

      Comrades, never forget what the mainstream media have done on this fateful day. Let this day live forever in infamy. Never forget. Never forgive.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          First, it will be oral.

          A few hundred years later, several written traditions will be consolidated and a new faith is born.

      1. Rick Cass

        We must never forget, but I fear that many of us will. Just after the Labor Day cookout.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          By then we will all go back to watching football games on TV.

          And a few people will think they know better than hundreds of millions of Americans. And they may in fact know more. And they will decide to do what the rest can’t or won’t, because ‘people are too ignorant.’

          Or there is a more democratic way – we educate ourselves to stop watching TV. I think that’s the first step to any revolution.

      2. different clue

        Are there any mini-MSM outlets which did not help to catapult the propaganda? Did the McClatchy papers run this in any other way than the usual “AP Feed”? If McClatchy did not build big false stories around it, perhaps McClatchy should receive peoples’ newspaper purchase bussiness.

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sounds like divorce time.

      “Irreconcilable differences.”

      The fight might be over who gets custody of ‘low information’ voters,.

    6. Poohkah Harvey

      Greenwald at the Intercept has a great synopsis:

      “This is the perfect symbolic ending to the Democratic Party primary: The nomination is consecrated by a media organization, on a day when nobody voted, based on secret discussions with anonymous establishment insiders and donors whose identities the media organization — incredibly — conceals.”

      “That the Democratic Party nominating process is declared to be over in such an uninspiring, secretive, and elite-driven manner is perfectly symbolic of what the party, and its likely nominee, actually is. The one positive aspect, though significant, is symbolic, while the actual substance — rallying behind a Wall Street-funded, status quo-perpetuating, multimillionaire militarist — is grim in the extreme. The Democratic Party got exactly the ending it deserved.”

      But remember the fat lady (e-mails, Goldman-Sachs speeches, and now TPP communications) hasn’t sung yet.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If you don’t say you will walk away from an abusive relationship, it will not get better.

        In fact, many say even if you threaten to do so, it will still not get better. That is to say, it’s better to just walk away now, threats are useless.

      2. thoughtfulperson

        When W said it I was offended, but to be accurate, it’s the Democrat party, and it’s far from “democratic”…

      3. crittermom

        Wow. Greenwald stated it perfectly.

        Earlier today I received an email with a survey from Progressive Turnout Project.
        I answered the questions & was disgusted when I saw the last one. It asked whom I would like to see as VP & Bernie Sanders was on that list. But not Hellary.

        I was glad that question left room for “another choice” with what I used as a comment section.
        I was able to tell them exactly what I thought of the Demon party & their ‘survey’.

        It hit a nerve & I didn’t hold back when I told them they were obvious Hellary supporters by putting Bernie’s name in their choices for VP but not Hellary’s.
        I then enlightened ’em as to why voter turnout has been low, citing their bias as a perfect example, & said I’ll let Bernie pick his VP when he wins.

        Still fuming, I then contacted them through their website & got even nastier.

        I finished by telling them I hope Bernie switches to an Independent & wins so he/we can whip both parties a big ‘birdie’. (I said it all here much nicer than I did in my letter to them)

        Sorry. After losing my home to the banksters & then seeing what has happened in this ‘election’, I admit I am now one p*ssed off ol’ lady! (64) Hmpff!

      1. crittermom

        I already did send another donation to Bernie after my rant to Progressive Turnout about their survey.

    7. tgs

      For weeks the pundits on CNN have been saying, ‘Sorry Bernie, it is about the math’ and then they go on illegitimately calculate the math using a number, the super delegates, who should not be counted yet. Of course the system has been corrupt for a long time, but I think it is significant that they no longer try to hide it. I wonder if any of the liberal pundits will even mention it.

      Probably not since they all believe that Hillary is the only thing that stands between us and the Trumpocalypse.

      1. craazyboy

        The AP has done a good job of documenting how the “election” was won. You just ask the Super Delegates who the winner is. What could be less confusing than that ?

  4. Mbuna

    Re: why did consciousness evolve? That’s one hell of a presumption to say that it evolved at all, and where is the basis for such a presumption- just another presumption. The asking of such a question itself illustrates why humanity is in trouble. The fact is, not everything can be explained to the rational mind, period. More and more people refusing to accept that fact by default presumes that the egoic separate self is somehow senior to the universe and the death of all separate entities proves that this is not the case. I suggest studying some Zen texts for a better and realistic perspective on consciousness.

    1. James Levy

      OK, I’ll bite: who ever said that the individual consciousness is “senior” to the universe? What does that even mean? How does the death of separate entities prove anything about consciousness, other than the fact that all evidence suggests that it passes away like everything else? And are you saying that the consciousness of a paramecium is the same as that of an elephant? A bee perceives the universe in the same way as an orangutan? Have you ever spent time with a severely retarded person? Is their consciousness identical to your own?

      Oh, and if things can’t be explained to the rational mind, isn’t it just as presumptuous to assert that it can be explained by the irrational mind?

      1. Jagger

        other than the fact that all evidence suggests that it passes away like everything else?

        Actually no. The only evidence that we have concerning death and consciousness, the accounts of near death experience, supports the concept of consciousness surviving death. Of course, near death accounts are “subjective” evidence, acceptable in court, but not acceptable or reproducible by science. And people can argue all day long whether those subjective experiences are actual reality or not, but it is the only evidence we actually have of people technically in the death process and reporting an experience. Their accounts support the survival of consciousness beyond the death process. That is the only evidence we have.

      2. Mbuna

        No, all the evidence suggests is that “you” the apparent separate self is what passes away. Consciousness does not. Your suggestions are merely an attempt to add attributes to that which has none. As I said, try reading some Zen texts to at least point yourself in a deeper direction.

    2. optimader

      The fact is, not everything can be explained to the rational mind, period
      In my experience, when I read/hear “The fact is” it is usually a preamble to a fallacy.

      Just because “everything” has not yet been explained at this point in time is not a basis to claim there is anything that cannot be explained sometime in the future…. sorry follow the Venn Diagram

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That reminds me of the logical fallacy, argument from authority.

        The opposite is argument from no authority – no one has authority.

        That is, everyone should doubt, therefore, everyone is.

        And by the way, I am skeptical everything can be explained to the rational mind.

        1. optimader

          I am an inveterate skeptic as well, but I submit to well demonstrated theory and whatever follows on to more accurately supplant it.

          A good illustration of the fragility of claiming opinion/theory as fact. is Mbuna’s assumption as fact…death of all separate entities proves..

          Well known to marine biologists, divers and transdifferentiation researchers, I submit for your consideration, one Turritopsis dohrnii –better known colloquially as “immortal jelly fish”.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turritopsis_dohrnii which is capable of reversing it’s age to a more immature state.

          Turritopsis dohrnii, the immortal jellyfish, is a species of small, biologically immortal jellyfish[2][3] found in the Mediterranean Sea and in the waters of Japan. It is one of the known cases of animals capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after having reached sexual maturity as a solitary individual. Others include the jellyfish Laodicea undulata[4] and Aurelia sp.1.[5]

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2633984/
          Transdifferentiation, Metaplasia and Tissue Regeneration

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Interesting jellyfish. (Thanks, by the way. I love information like that).

            The way the human brain works (or worked), it should not surprise us that some will come believe in capturing the animal’s immortality by eating it.

            The same brain that produces the rational mind – that fact itself is, er, miraculous.

    3. Daryl

      The fact that consciousness can literally be turned off via electrical stimulation of the brain is a compelling reason to study it like this. There is plenty of evidence that consciousness arises in the brain, an evolved structure, and none whatsoever that it continues without the brain.

      1. reslez

        It strikes me that those sorts of questions are generally asked by people who lack common sense. A red vs blue state divide! (Not to include inode_ in either group, who may just be facetious.)

    4. NeqNeq

      So I will take a different track and say that Mbuna is merely stating what many in the cognitive/neuroscience community to be the facts of the world (albeit clumsily and perhaps without intention). I call that community the Churchland School (after Paul and Patricia Churchland. It includes other theories than the Churchlands and is agnostic to the details).

      Consciousness evolving already assumes there is a “thing” in the first place. However, it is argued, consciousness is merely an illusion…on par with the Muller-Lyer of Herrman Grid illusions. It would be conceptually odd to suggest that illusions go through an evolutionary process because illusions are not biological entities. Therefore, to say “consciousness evolved” is to misapply the concept of evolution or to conflate an illusion with the organic matter that ‘perceived’ (to use a turn of phrase) it.

      1. reslez

        Human consciousness generally seems purposed for self-promotion. Most of the human cognitive biases relate to “bigging up” oneself in the eyes of one’s social unit. Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite by Kurzban goes into this more. If consciousness were some sort of trait of general intelligence I doubt you’d find so many biases (self-deception and mental propaganda among them) cutting the exact same direction.

      2. Jeff W

        I’m not sure if “illusions” are the same as seeing a “copy” of the world but here is what BF Skinner had to say:

        Those who believe that we see copies of the world may contend that we never see the world itself, but it is at least equally plausible to say that we never see anything else.

        In other words, at least one aspect of consciousness is us seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting whatever is around us. So when we touch sandpaper, we’re feeling the sandpaper, not an illusion of it; when we taste jalapeño peppers, we’re tasting the jalapeño pepper, not experiencing a copy of it. Organisms sense different aspects of the world—bees see ultraviolet patterns in flowers that we do not which might guide them to nectar; bats echolocate with sounds that are beyond those of human hearing—and those abilities evolved just like other aspects of the organism. In that regard, consciousness did evolve and yet it is not a “thing.”

      3. StudyphysicsFFS

        Check with any resonance physicist like Dr Richard Allen Miller who spent his career studying energy waves…
        “We are hallucinating 24/7 our reality”, especially when you consider quantum mechanics and all matter is just vibrating energies at different frequencies.
        Its all perception by our rather weak 5 senses. There are other animals with much stronger senses on this planet that are literally experiencing a completely different reality.
        So no, a Bee and an orangutan perceive the universe totally differently.
        Box…time to get out of it.

  5. Goyo Marquez

    FWIW-
    Wife and I just voted the Bern in Imperial, California, a small agricultural town near the Mexican border. Think I’m verging over into slight paranoia, though.

    After 36 years as Republicans we’d registered as No Party Preference, so we could vote for Bernie. Somehow we’d been signed up for always vote by mail. When the mail ballot came, no presidential ballot. Called local registrar of voters said we could turn mail ballot in at our polling place, on election day, get a real ballot, and request a Democratic ballot to vote for Bernie.

    Got to the school where we vote and they had scheduled their end of the year assembly for this morning, so their was no parking. Hmmmm…

    Dropped my wife off so I could look for a space. They’d moved the polling place from where it had been for the past 20 years, so it took a bit of work to find it.

    As I walk in the door I hear my wife, usually pretty meek and mild, angrily exclaiming, “NO I DONT WANT NO STINKING PROVISIONAL BALLOT GRINGO… I WANT MY VOTE TO COUNT.” Okay….

    Anyway, chalk up two votes for Bernie. As we walked out I’m pretty sure I heard somebody whispering, “Damn hippies,” Okay… well they were at least thinking it.

    1. Anne

      You can only imagine how many people won’t cast a presidential vote because they didn’t get the presidential mail-in portion of their ballot, and how many whose votes won’t count because they were given a provisional ballot instead of the Democratic ballot they are entitled to as NPPs.

      These kinds of tactics should help people understand how fearful the power structure is of what the people will say through their votes, and encourage them to register and vote in every election. Instead, it seems to make people feel there’s no point, why bother?

      As an aside, here In Maryland, because polling places are usually in schools, schools are closed on election day. If turnout is high, you can still have problems with parking and lines, but at least you don’t have a school full of kids and staff and such. More ways to discourage voters, it seems.

      1. Kokuanani

        My husband & I participated in early voting in Maryland. It was really well-run. It lasts for an entire week. Most polling spots are community centers [at least in our county], and there’s plenty of parking, no lines. Just a ton of super-eager senior citizen volunteers guiding you to sign-in, the voting booths, and the contraptions that eat your completed ballot.

        The fact that it lasts a week means you can remind yourself and actually get it done. Of course we were long ago gerrymandered into a district that elects a repulsive DINO, but what can you do?

        1. Anne

          I voted early in the primary – there was a new early voting place so close to home it made all kinds of sense to do it when it was super easy. No lines, I was in and out in 10 minutes. Will do it again in November, for sure.

          For a number of years, I was an election judge in my precinct; let me tell you, that is not an easy day. It starts in the pre-dawn and doesn’t end until close to midnight. The best part about the training is that it’s all focused on making sure people can vote, not finding ways to send them away without voting. I like that we’ve gone back to paper ballots – way too many problems with the electronic version.

          1. Kokuanani

            I’ve been an election judge too, and it was a crummy job, because we weren’t allowed to leave the voting location AT ALL. The timetable was about like yours. I think we got paid $15.

      2. thoughtfulperson

        Why might someone feel “why bother”?
        Well, remember in 2000, instead of a recount, the court declared W the winner… If they can’t win by cheating they win by installation…
        Perhaps some feel that given the level of fraud, dirty tricks etc, with no consequences, why bother?
        Personally I’ll vote just as an annoyance, but I don’t expect that if I ever had an opportunity to cast a significant vote it would be accurately counted.

    2. curlydan

      Yuck. Situations like yours were discussed on Democracy Now this morning:

      ROSE AGUILAR: … If you’re a no-party-preference voter, there’s no president on your ballot. You have to request a Democratic ballot. So you either had to call in, or, you know, if you’re vote by mail, you had to do it in advance. But right now, what you can do today if you live in California, you need to take your ballot, if you’re a vote-by-mail voter, take your ballot into the polling place with you and ask for a crossover ballot. If you’re not vote by mail, go early and ask for a crossover ballot, because we’re really concerned that these polling places are going to run out of ballots, because so many people, hopefully, will be requesting a Democratic ballot to vote for president.

      http://www.democracynow.org/2016/6/7/will_decision_to_call_race_a

      A lot of voters may get Californicated today..

      1. jrs

        Well actually there was no problem with the situation described above, that’s how it’s supposed to work, it’s not a case of voter suppression or anything like that (ok no parking doesn’t help nor does moving a polling place from where it had been in prior elections, but most of the rest was exactly how it was supposed to go). NPP get a ballot without a presidential selection and have to ask for a Dem ballot at the polls or had to ask for one ahead of times if they wished to vote by mail. I did this, I saw someone else in the 10 minutes or so I was at the polls doing the same (yes an independent asking for a Dem ballot).

        1. Goyo Marquez

          Well… Being offered a provisional ballot in exchange for your mail in ballot is wrong.

          And having a two step registration process to vote by mail seems a bit vote suppressive. Particularly in our case where the time for requesting the mail in Democratic ballot had expired by the time we received our absentee ballot.

        2. Roger Smith

          Whether or not it is seen as the SOP is meaningless. This convolution is suppression. There should be one ballot that everyone gets, period.

        3. Jeff W

          NPP get a ballot without a presidential selection and have to ask for a Dem ballot at the polls or had to ask for one ahead of times if they wished to vote by mail. I did this…

          I did it also (and, in fact, stated the fact, at least twice, if not more, in bold on this very blog, that one had to do so). The requirement of having to ask for a party ballot when you are a no-party-preference voter may not be “voter suppression” in the sense that it is necessarily contrived in order to suppress the vote of NPP voters wishing to vote for candidates affiliated with a particular party—but it does obviously suppress that vote, as many NPP voters will not ask for, and will not know to ask for, a Democratic party ballot when, in fact, they want to vote for one of the Democratic party candidates.

          The NPP ballot in California could, conceivably, include all the candidates that an NNP voter is able to vote for (i.e., in this primary, American Independent, Democratic, and Libertarian candidates but not Republican ones) as opposed to the way it is now, with none of them, and avoid the confusion inherent in that additional “ballot selection” step by eliminating it completely, with no more additional ballots being printed.

            1. Jeff W

              I don’t but perhaps one of the other more “California election-savvy” of the commentariat might chime in.

              Just to be clear about the way the procedure is supposed to work: you get a provisional ballot not because you want to exchange your NPP, no partisan-candidate ballot for a candidate-enriched party one; you get a provisional ballot because you did not bring the ballot you got in the mail with you to exchange. It’s “provisional” in the sense that the provisional ballot counts provided that you did not previously send your ballot in to be counted (having your ballot with you shows you did not). That’s what election officials need to check.

              I would surmise, if it is any consolation, that, if there is anything Sanders can do to get the provisionals counted, his team probably has that already all in place. They have not sat around passively, waiting for events to happen.

          1. crittermom

            Jeff W, your simple solution of including all the names on a ballot sounds like a good one.
            Sure would be nice if ‘those in charge’ contemplated & perhaps implemented common sense in their decisions, but that’s probably too much to hope for. It sounds like as you stated, that it was contrived in order to suppress the vote of NPP’s.

            I have to ask if this has been the standard procedure in previous elections, regarding NPP voters? If so, for how long?

            1. jrs

              The open primary has only been around since 2011 in California (and only the Presidential candidates required requesting a party ballot).

              Therefore there has never been any test of it in previous elections as Obama ran unopposed in 2012. Before NPP voters couldn’t vote in the Dem presidential primary period.

              1. Jeff W

                jrs

                The open primary has only been around since 2011 in California (and only the Presidential candidates required requesting a party ballot).

                No, I think that’s not quite right. What’s been around since 2011 is something called “Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act” which does not apply to Presidential contests (and some others).

                California’s current “modified” closed primary system for Presidential elections—what’s “modified” is that NPP voters can vote in a party’s primary election if that party authorizes it (which it does on a per-election basis) and the NPP voters are given notice by the Secretary of State—has been around since 2001. It seems likely that this procedure has been around since the 2004 Presidential election.

                crittermom

                It sounds like as you stated, that it was contrived in order to suppress the vote of NPP’s.

                No, I said that, although it did have the effect of suppressing the vote of NPPs, it was not necessarily contrived to do that.

          2. jrs

            It could but I wonder what the law on this actually is and if they were just obeying the law. California voters directly passed an open primary law and I wonder if the text of that referendum had these caveats or if it was not in the text of the law and just a decision by well the party bigwigs (out of obvious self-interest in that case of course).

            1. Jeff W

              Well, I checked the electoral law in California and it looks like that’s what’s being followed. For example, California Election Code §3006(c) says

              The application shall inform the voter that if he or she has declined to disclose a preference for a political party, the voter may request a vote by mail ballot for a particular political party for the partisan primary election, if that political party has adopted a party rule, duly noticed to the Secretary of State, authorizing that vote.

              The election law very much contemplates that each party is running its own separate primary that, if it so authorizes, an NPP voter may vote in.

              That said, I am not so sure that a “blanket ballot” for NPP voters of the type I’ve suggested would violate a party’s “freedom of association.” A party can still keep NPP voters out—that’s what the Republican party did in California—but there might not be a constitutional requirement that it be allowed to say “You get to vote for our slate of candidates or nothing”—which is, in effect, what the party ballot does. (Sure, the party would prefer that but I’m not sure there is a principled rationale for it.)

        4. crittermom

          Oops. This was in response to jrs:
          Did you read the link curlydan provided?
          Apparently there WAS a problem voting in CA, with many thousands not asking for a Dem ballot so therefore not able to vote for president because they didn’t realize they needed to ask for that ballot & used the ones they’d received as NPP’s, which had no provisions to elect a president on it.

          That will hurt Bernie.
          The way this entire ‘election’ has gone so far absolutely disgusts me.
          Nothing democratic about any of it. The word “election” has become a misnomer. Just like “democratic”.

          1. jrs

            I would attribute that to not understanding the rules frankly as those are the rules for the California SEMI open primary. Which will get into a discussion of the rules should be simpler. Maybe, and maybe Bernie’s campaign should have done a better job in educating people in that case as well.

            I just don’t think this qualifies as election fraud, that term is being used too loosely if that’s what qualifies (now if it turns out there aren’t enough ballots etc. so people can not even get (non-provisional) ballots, then yes THAT will be election fraud …).

            By the way in California if you didn’t trust this process for no party preference (even though just having to ask for a ballot is the process working) you could re-register as a DEMOCRAT until 2 weeks or so before this election. Compare that to New York where you had to register last fall. A complaint about California having a semi-open rather than a 100% open primary is not election fraud either.

            Not that they should be an example, but unlike the Dems, the Republicans didn’t even allow anyone who wasn’t registered Republican to vote in their Presidential primary at all. But again you could reregister until a couple of weeks ago.

            1. Jeff W

              I agree with all of this.

              I think that Bernie’s campaign did a good job of educating voters. His campaign’s web page of “How to Vote for Bernie Sanders in California” is very clear that, if you are an NPP voter, you have to request a Democratic Party ballot (that is how I knew it needed to be done, although maybe not exactly how to do it)—but it could have done a better job with the alternative case scenario, i.e., if you are an NPP voter who wants to vote for Bernie and you do not receive a ballot on which you can, here is, precisely, what you do.

    3. M.Black

      At my polling place here in San Francisco I was surprised to see that they had chosen this day to do construction work on the entrance to the building. It didn’t really prevent anyone from entering, but because of the workers and equipment there was a partial obstruction that made me think for a second, Am I at the right place?

      I don’t know if this was ongoing work, but even if it was, a little paranoia strikes me as a healthy reaction under the circumstances.

    4. nowhere

      Similar experience in Contra Costa county. I got a Democratic Party ballot but it was put into a Provisional Envelope and dropped into a blue bag.

      1. crittermom

        You should report that to the Bernie Sanders voters hotline in your state.
        I was given the # for the one in my current state of NM in an email from “New Mexico for Bernie” yesterday, reminding me to vote & asking me to report any problems at the polls to them (I early voted at my county office).
        CA has a “California for Bernie” that probably has such a #, as well.

        While telling of it on here is good, taking action is even better. (Are ya looking up the # yet?)

  6. redleg

    Re. Hairball
    Pagliano is supposed to produce the immunity agreement to the court today in the civil case.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          For good TV drama, in another world, she would have divorced Bill and married Barry, to live happily ever after.

    1. redleg

      I guess we wait until Friday to find out if the thing remains sealed.

      I can’t believe that people so blatantly corrupt can be so richly rewarded go unpunished for so long.

  7. Jim Haygood

    Today, July crude closed at a new 2016 high, over 50 dollars a barrel.

    Think fifty dollah” — DONE.

    1. Clive

      I daren’t ask about the Craazyman drek (sorry, high risk asset) portfolio. I will probably have to eat several helpings of Humble Pie.

      1. Jim Haygood

        As of today’s close, Craazyman Fund is up 6.05% since its Mar 2nd inception, versus a 4.02% gain in its benchmark (50% AGG, 50% SPY).

        Junk bonds and emerging market stocks both are up over 8% since purchase, whilst our beloved pet rock has gained but 0.17%.

        A weak dollar benefits both emerging markets and gold (priced in USD). Last Friday’s weak employment report gave the dollar a brisk downward shove.

    2. hidflect

      Instead of a fund, how about an online campaign for everyone to demand physical delivery of their gold from the COMEX? I nominate May 1, 2017. That should have the dual effect of ending the commodity fraud and making a killing for anyone holding the yellow stuff.

  8. NeqNeq

    And will anybody who didn’t think that AP knew this would happen report to the kindergarten room? Thank you!

    Indeed! Regardless of how the vote pans out, such a publication is bound to sharpen the drama going into the convention. It could be the base (or at least a reference) for at least another 3-4 more articles. Since its so “controversial” those tack-on articles will probably get a larger number of eyeballs too…I wonder how much more ad revenue those eyeballs can generate.

    And all of that doesn’t even consider the blog posts!

    1. JM

      Anyone with a brain can smell the fix in this call for Hillary. The establishment will do anything and everything to protect their interests but that doesn’t mean they always make intelligent moves. Seeing as I was sick today, I had the chance to watch 3 hours of coverage on MSNBC and it was appalling. Hosts and guests kept switching from “nominee” to “presumptive nominee” never clarifying at all. There were no Bernie surrogates except Shaileen Woodley who did a fantastic job (at times looking at a notecard and NOT taking the bait on answering what Bernie will do later. She called out the AP for voter suppression AND she kept her cool when the female host asked her straight up “do you understand how the process works”). I was floored though I shouldn’t be. On Trump coverage was non stop negative with hosts frequently interrupting Trumps surrogates and would say a phrase then ask the surrogate to repeat it. Over and over and over ad nauseum. All 3 hosts did it. I might as well have been watching Fox News.

      1. crittermom

        “Anyone with a brain can smell the fix in this call for Hillary.”
        The problem is, too many fail to engage their brains.

      2. JeffC

        We’ve given up watching MSHRC at our leftish, Bernie-contributing house. Fox News has actually fairer coverage of the Democrat nomination race, sad to say.

  9. James Levy

    Looking over the Trump material I was struck by information in an article in the New York Review of Books. Trump clobbered his pygmy Republican opponents because he was strong and clear on three points: 1) build the wall; 2) deport the illegals, and 3) ban the Muslims. The data is pretty overwhelming that these three points, enunciated clearly and without modification, were music to the ears of millions of Republican voters. They were the issues that got him the ear of the voters and separated Trump from his adversaries, who might dog whistle all three but couldn’t bring themselves to just come out with it (and looked weak and confused when they tried to say, “yes, but” or “not everyone” or “perhaps not”).

    When Trump sticks to these three themes, he keeps the rank and file Republican voter on side. So he has been smart not to stray too far afield from these winning (at least among Republicans) talking points. The question is, can you win a presidential election on this plus insults and mudslinging (pace, folks, I know a great deal of the mud is real and deserved)? I don’t know, but if Trump is forced by the electorate to answer hard questions about a variety of topics (tariffs, dollar policy, taxes, Israel, Social Security, balancing the budget, etc.) I feel he is in for trouble. My guess is that it will be Hillary’s weaknesses that will sink her, but that Trump is in for a few tough months himself (and will find an angry and even more deeply divided Congress when he tries to steer the ship of state come next January).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      He might fudge a bit to

      1. a wall around Washington DC
      2 require companies to immediately hire Americans to replace illegals currently working for them.
      3. ban Americans from Muslim countries.

      That will make him less unacceptable, and thus, more dangerous.

  10. sd

    So, I really don’t want to go all conspiracy theory or anything but something occurred to me. Back in 1992, there was a bad recession and Clinton 1 rode on that wave in to the White House. I feel as if history is rhyming. Which raises the question – coincidence or conspiracy?

    Just putting it out there. I find when I put fears into words, it’s easier to debunk them.

    1. James Levy

      If the economy slips as badly as I think it might (although they may delay the crack-up the way they delayed the S&L meltdown, till after the election) it would redound negatively on the President, and Clinton can’t run away from or denounce Obama and have any hope of winning in November because her only base of support are die-hard party loyalists and blacks, and they love Obama. The recession hurt Bush, but more’s the point his lethargy and complete alienation from the reality of the recession killed him (and not knowing what a grocery store checkout scanner was and failing to get his ass down to Florida after Hurricane Hugo certainly didn’t help).

      1. neo-realist

        Most Blacks like Clinton, not all:)

        However, if Ted Cruz were the GOP person, I would have been tempted to dislike her less.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Officially, that recession ran from July 1990 to Mar 1991, according to the NBER.

      As usual, both the starting and ending dates were announced with a lag. NBER declared in April 1991 that a recession had begun (after it was already over). So the fact of recession was on the table during the 1992 campaign.

      Owing to a slow recovery, the NBER didn’t declare the Mar 1991 ending date until Dec. 1992 — the month after the election.

      It’s unlikely that the U.S. is in recession now, and even more unlikely that the NBER would announce it this year.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It seems to me that it has been slow since early March or so.

        Will there be a Summer or October surprise from the Chinese economy?

    3. Isolato

      Bill Clinton won because Ross Perot took 20% of the vote, and a good deal of that was proto tea party types and libertarians, though I also voted for RP. His case is a textbook example of how the R&Ds deal w/insurgent voters. RP’s main issue was a balanced budget…within a few years the R&Ds had delivered because they NEED those 20%. Third party movements in this country are subsumed by one or both parties. The Tea Party is an example, George Wallace is another. Hillary Clinton and the Dems are aleady less corporatist on the face of things because of Bernie Sanders.

      1. flora

        Good point about Perot’s 20%. However, Perot’s 2nd big issue was NAFTA and trade deals that would move jobs out of the US and weaken the economy for most workers. Neither the R or D’s thought it was important to follow Perot’s lead on trade. They passed NAFTA and now want to pass TPP. They also started dismantling the New Deal safety nets in the name of balanced budgets (which they had wanted to do for a long time) and said they were responding to the Perot movement. The R & D’s only do what they want to do. They’re happy to make hay using insurgencies as PR cover when expedient.

      2. human

        Slick Willie won because he was a young, charismatic type with experience running against the (failing) establishment HW and the untried businessman.

        Elections should be messy. This meme that somebody won or lost because of another candidate is what elections are all about. Duh.

      3. crittermom

        “Hillary Clinton and the Dems are already less corporatist on the face of things…”
        On the face, only. When she speaks from the other side of her mouth that all disappears. I’ve no doubt the Goldman Sachs speeches would prove that.
        She will never change from the $hillary that she is, only out for herself.

  11. different clue

    I hope there are some intelligence-gatherers-for-Sanders reading these posts and threads. That way, if they see any good ideas or advice or suggestions here, they can bring it back to the Sanders movement for evaluation and swift or leisurely action . . . as indicated.

    About the Lame Duck vote for TPP, TTIP and etc., a good reason to have it Lame Duck is so that any officeholders who vote for it can be somewhat safer than otherwise from being voted out in next election. Also, it is their chance to audition for multi-million dollar rewards in the private sector “later” for voting in favor of the private sector’s TPP “now”. That way, losing their next election won’t matter anyway, because they will have pre-prepared a multi-million dollar bed of roses to land in.

    So how could all the different movements and groups who make up a loosely-identifiable Economic Patriot Community organize to reach out and touch the Forced Trade Agreement supporters through space and over time? Well . . .first they would have to be real movements, lasting longer than a single election or a single leader. If they can achieve that, then they can figure out what to do with their coherency and longevity.

    I think such movement-of-millions coherency and longevity could be used to organize and sustain long-range boycotts. Boycotts of what? Boycotts of every bussiness, group, etc. which hires any former officeholder who supports or supported any of the Forced Trade Agreements. Announce ahead of time the existence of a Hit List and all the names of all the Trade Traitor officeholders or recently-ex-officeholders on the Hit List. Announce a boycott of every organization which employs or associates with any name on the Hit List. Announce that the aim of the boycott is to torture every such organization into firing or dis-associating from any hired or associated-with name on the Hit List. And maintain the multi-million-member follow-through and persistence to ACTUALLY boycott every such entity till it fires or disconnects from every such name it hires or connects with from the Hit List. And if any such entity will NOT fire or disconnect from any Trade Traitor it hires or connects with, boycott that entity until it is exterminated from existence and wiped off the face of the earth. The word for that is :”extermicott” and I wold like to see the word “extermicott” and the philosophy behind it enter the Trade Patriot movement of movements.

    The Sanders movement could be an adopter and practitioner of this approach of following the Trade Traitors around with Roving Boycotts after they leave office, if the Sanders movement thinks this is a good idea. That is why I hope Sanders has intelligence people reading these threads, so that they can see this idea and at least be able to decide if they want to adopt and adapt it, or not.

    1. inode_buddha

      Agreed RE trade traitors. Also following the election I would participate in a movement to oust any and all Clinton delegates, not just from their positions but from politics. Regardless of how the elections go, these are things that Sanders supporters can be doing constructively afterwards.

  12. Josh

    For those who can’t make it through innumerable paragraphs of Charles Murray complaining about lazy teenagers and whatnot, if you look at the details in his op-ed ($13,000 per person per year, $3,000 of which must be paid toward health care, elimination of all other payments), he’s pretty clearly using the idea of basic income as a way to gut Social Security and Medicare.

    1. jrs

      Yes and people on the right often argue for basic income for those purposes but people on the left (not the fake left) argue it from a whole different perspective and it’s not the same argument nor very likely to be at all the same proposals when you get down to actual details (but hey what do details really matter?). Some hybrid of guaranteed income and job proposals might work.

      I don’t ever see a world where everyone is employable in some formal job, but of course we don’t have that now and we won’t, even if jobs were more readily available.

    2. JustAnObserver

      $10000 @ 40hrs/week, 50 weeks/yr => $5.00/hr.

      Neolib generosity knows no bounds.

      1. tegnost

        nice free marketeering there, their product is too expensive for people to buy so instead of lowering the price or raising wages, they want the government to give money to the consumer/citizen and require them to spend it buying the free marketeers crapified product in order for the free market to work.

    3. Plenue

      Putting that big point aside, he’s arguing that the government should give people money. Welfare doesn’t magically become not-welfare just because you don’t call it welfare. Are there seriously right-wingers out there who would support government money being handed out if we just called it something else?

  13. DrunkPiano

    Would the AP story be worst for Clinton than for Sanders? Sanders voters are more informed, more outraged (now) and should get out to vote. But if you’re a Clinton voter, you may think it’s all well and done for her and stay home, wouldn’t you?

    1. hunkerdown

      Think beyond your own next move. I know it’s Unamerican, but please try. What does the machine do then?

  14. Indrid Cold

    re: consciousness

    They keep trying to reduce psychological phenomena to physical states, which is based on a paradigmatic assumption that was reached without any real proof.

    1. reslez

      Probably because they can induce psychological phenomena via physical states. No proof? Try electromagnetic stimulation, brain damage in specific regions, etc. Correlation isn’t causation, but the reverse certainly is.

      1. Jagger

        Try electromagnetic stimulation, brain damage in specific regions, etc. Correlation isn’t causation, but the reverse certainly is.

        The problem is that are at least 2 theories of consciousness that are both supported by that causation-correlation link. Both dualism and emergent theory predict the same causation-correlation links which we see. From available scientific evidence, we have been unable to eliminate either theory. So still wide open for debate.

  15. LarryB

    I don’t understand how Congress, the Senate in particular, can simultaneously say that there should be no vote on a Supreme Court nominee until “the people” get a chance to speak, and think that a lame duck vote on TPP, et. al., is legitimate. I mean, I expect a certain amount of hypocrisy from Washington, but this strains the boundaries a bit.

    1. WJ

      I think it’s because the Supreme Court is what is supposed to distract “the people” from paying attention to what the powerful really care about, which is TPP. So, at least until we’re all replaced by robots, it’s important that we all believe that there’s a huge amount at stake in the Supreme Court nomination.

      It’s a beautiful, almost nostalgic summation of the purpose and effect of Cultural Politics. Ah, remember those halcyon days? From morning to night we enjoyed endless debates about Abortion, the Ten Commandments, Christmas, Gay-Rights, Kwanzaa, Affirmative Action, the Second Amendment, Black History Month–yea, even Constitutional Interpretation–blissfully unaware that our chosen heroes were fighting with, and not against, our despised villains all along! Ah! the 1990s! I swoon!

  16. WJ

    Longtime reader, occasional commentator here.

    Just want to say how much I have come to appreciate the small isle of sanity Naked Capitalism represents; internet news and commentary is increasingly reducing to a vapid corporate wasteland punctuated by exotic conspiratorial fauna. This site is in my opinion the single best resource for coming to grips with actuality on the internet. Also, got to say that the regular commentators here are awesome–far superior on the whole to those on any other site I’ve come across. So Fuck Yeah Naked Capitalism!

    Also, I predict that Clinton will win California but in such a way that will be obvious to everybody that she stole the state. But nobody will care, and in two weeks we’ll all be talking about something else.

    I also predict that Sanders will be brought to heal by the Democratic Party before or at the Convention, thus betraying the aspirations of his many millions of admirers.

    I hope I’m wrong on both counts; I only wish I had some reason to believe so as well.

  17. Elizabeth

    I just got back from voting in Cali – (SF). I asked for a democratic ballot since I’m an NPP and got one. The neighborhood I live in is pretty conservative, but I’ve seen a lot of Bernie signs, so I’m encouraged. There were no lines at the polling site – so maybe all the HRC voters decided not to come out today. One can hope. I was fuming mad last night (still am) when the announcement came that HRC has “clinched” the nomination. I hope the Democrat party burns to the ground.

    Go Bernie!

    1. Jim Haygood

      Nice double entendre! (as in “rounding up” to the next higher number)

      Sure, I trust some unknown journo named Alan Fram to decide the presidential nomination by counting tally marks on his coffee-stained, dog-eared steno pad.

      A subpoena for that pad would exert a wonderfully bracing effect on young Alan, the AP’s soi-disant election steward.

  18. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Billmon Tweet

    Sure, Trump’s behavior doesn’t prove he’s a Clinton ringer, but nothing about it is inconsistent with him being one.

    Gotta admit, I’m starting to get a queasy feeling that this may be more fact than “foily.” Or to put it as Yves does, Trump may not really want the job.

    For anyone paying the smallest bit of attention, the differences between Bernie and clinton are massive and fundamental. Which leads to the conclusion that the REAL “election” may have already occurred, and it was called “the democratic primary.” And the republican won.

    The voter suppression that everyone has been expecting occurred right out in the open with “closed” primaries, voting role purges or unexplained “errors,” provisional ballots and chaotic, coin-toss-decided caucuses. The superdelegates stood by to provide the status quo’s thumb on the scale, if necessary.

    And this hijack was hiding in plain sight, and was “legitimized” very simply as “the rules.”

    At some point, you gotta wonder–with all those obvious clinton targets, why is it that when The Donald takes a shot, he points the gun at himself?

    1. jrs

      Because he’s not even a good politician? And a good politician is hardly an ethical human being, but if he drowns in his narcissism attacking judges what can anyone say, he’s not even playing the political game very well (unless there are enough people who can’t wait to get another shot of racial hate flung out randomly, rather than any substantial criticism of Clinton for all her obvious problems).

      I kept hearing people were waiting for Trump to finally take on Clinton rather than the clown car. Still waiting are we? Even though the clown car is no more. It may be a long wait. I would like to be wrong, it wouldn’t make Trump good, but at least it would provide a few useful sound bites among pure 100% stupidity from here to November if Bernie doesn’t prevail today.

    2. Pat

      I’m not so sure he does. Keep in mind that this is still the election season that saw the Republican nominee for President vanquish the dynasty, the great Latino hope, the moderate, and the Tea Party Evangelical. And he did it while pointing out that Bush didn’t keep us safe, that being a POW isn’t all that, saying nasty sexist things complaining about a Fox anchor, and pretty much ripping the tissue paper that shrouded many Republican policies off. And we were told repeatedly by the same people predicting his demise now that he was toast. Yet he is now closing in on Clinton in polling in SAFE states. Meanwhile he has called the sexism thing bunk, pointed out some of Bill’s sexist failings, and whenever they point a figure at him makes sure to point back at her and Bill from their ties to a for profit diploma mill college to the fact that her policies at State have been disastrous. And he isn’t going to let the email thing go, he may not have found the right phrase for it yet but at some point he is going to hit on something that includes the criminal, negligent, careless, stupid etc he has already used in a readily clear way. This is just beginning. It is going to be nasty and ugly and even the corporately owned media is not going to be able to protect her, or themselves.

      If Trump truly begins to falter in a real way in this, and no I don’t think he has so far anymore than Clinton ‘won’ the Democratic primary media trumpeting aside, I’m pretty sure it will be because as Yves is predicting he realizes he really doesn’t want to be President. That will be the moment he stops bringing a machine gun to a knife/machete/chain fight.

      I don’t think even cynics like me are going to be able to believe how bad it gets.

      1. inode_buddha

        IMHO Trump is the wrecking ball that the establishment D party needs. And yes, the wholly-owned mainstream media too. I’m wondering how they are going to dodge this. Does Hillary think she can go all the way to November without a debate?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The Democrats expected or prayed that a Hispanic wave and young women would rescue them because…that part hasn’t really been explained. They really don’t have a strategy beyond “Hillary” and relying on the brain trust that ushered in the GOP congressional majorities and lost to Shrub.

          The election is far beyond the expectations of anyone in the elite of the Democratic Party.

    3. optimader

      It has always been a possibility Trump never expected to be even money on being the next POTUS.

      At the same time, I am pretty confident Trump would not do anything without some derivative personal benefit. At this juncture, how does Trump benefit by soiling himself purposefully by taking a premeditated dive for HRC?
      Much better off taking the job and doing what he will, which could include a resignation on some matter of principle. There are plenty of those n the wings.

    4. jsn

      It’s starting to look that way to me too.

      As I think Yves or Lambert put it somewhere, Trump has been running a “Spring Time for Hitler” campaign and appears, like The Producers, to have surprised himself at his own success.

      But his electorate wants him to take on the establishment. As a developer in NY, he IS the establishment and the kinds of positions that got him the nomination will do his plutocratic self real harm. If on the other hand he signs on to the GOP grift, he’s robbing himself of his ability to state the blunt, obvious, humiliating establishment truths that he rode to where he is.

    5. thoughtfulperson

      The Democrat primary has been quite anti-Democratic. Too bad we don’t have outside election observers available to keep an eye on the process.

      Have to admit the thought that Trump is just there to get Clinton installed has crossed my mind. I doubt we’ll know – that sort of thing is not put down in writing.

      I do like those Clinton’s at Trump’s wedding photos though.

      Well, looks like we’ve got the lesser evil vs the less effective evil. As for me, I’m not voting evil this time around…

    6. grayslady

      Trump likes to win. He likes the process, like all deal makers. That doesn’t mean he wants to govern. I think it’s absurd to believe he’s a ringer, because even three or four years ago I doubt anyone establishment could have predicted how truly anti-establishment the whole electorate would become. I also think he’s a possibility for doing a Sarah Palin and bowing out of the job mid-way through. He’s avoided responsibility by bouncing around, but, as Harry Truman said, the buck stops with the President. I can’t see Donald wanting to be held accountable for his failures.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Have Bill, Shrub, and Barry been held accountable? It seems like a low risk job.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          It’s that disruptive, technologically innovative buck. It never stops anywhere. Developed somewhere within the ivy league because necessity.

  19. readerOfTeaLeaves

    With all due respect to Yves, who has used her MBA well, this article is an absolute gem:
    http://evonomics.com/want-to-kill-your-economy-have-mba-programs/

    I recall an interview with Jim Rogers (formerly of Quantum Fund IIRC) some years ago saying that in the early 1960s, the US turned out 5,000 MBAs per year. By 2012, IIRC it was 100x that many. That’s a lot of rice bowls at business schools being filled by students loading up on debt, being taught by people who are not actually in business themselves.

    We have too many MBAs, and a sinking economy to show for it.

  20. Jess

    Voted just about two hours ago here in So Cal beach community. Neighborhood is a mix of those who bought when homes were under $100K, those who bought later at $350-$550K, and more recent additions who paid between $800K and $1.4 mil. Poll worker said morning turnout was heavy, been steady the rest of the day. Had a fair number of NPP who forgot to bring (or never got) their mail-in ballot, so they had to vote provisional. Met at least two young, first-time voters who gave off a very Bernie vibe.

    Interesting note: my polling place is a local school but the library room set aside as a polling place is only accessed by a gate on the side of the school. In all past elections there were plenty of signs out front with arrows directing people to the polling site entrance. There were also sawhorses with “Reserved Parking For Voters Only.” This time no reserved parking signs, no signs on the front of the school, and only one small sign at the entrance gate. One lady, first time voting in our precinct, had to ask me how to find the polling place. And only two poll workers instead of the normal 4-6. On the way out I remarked to one lady about the lack of signs and shortage of staff as, “Looks like a little voter suppression to me”. She nodded ruefully and said, “Un-huh”.

  21. petal

    I know it’s silly and small, but the homemade ABC (anybody but clinton) sign went up in my car’s back window this afternoon. Thank you Yves, Lambert, and commentariat for this beautiful place. My sanity would have been gone a long time ago otherwise. Cheers.

    1. Archie

      It is not silly or small. It is your statement of principle and it is empowering. Again, don’t fear petal, you have plenty of company on your side.

    2. EmilianoZ

      It is not silly or small, it is a necessity, a patriotic duty, a duty to the world if war with Russia is to be avoided. The prospect of Nuland as secretary of state should be enough to make any sane person hope for the crushing of the big $Hill. Russia commands the highest degree of respect.

      1. petal

        Thank you, guys. I really do appreciate the support! I reckon the next one will be a “Don’t blame me, I voted for Bernie” sign. A former colleague, a well-off doctor originally from a country in Europe starting with G and ending in y, excoriated anyone(and called them stupid) thinking of voting against HC in the general. He had the nerve to call the US a meritocracy, etc etc. It burned me and I think helped galvanise(along with the AP) my decision to put the sign up. I can’t donate to Bernie as I may be losing my job shortly, but I will fight against HC and her policies, and vote against her cronies. The NH state primary is September 13th. I’ll definitely be there. It’s personal.

  22. QTR

    “In attack on Trump, Clinton accidentally admits drone killing of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki may have been a war crime” [Salon].

    Lots of Salon commenters loudly taking umbrage at the idea that the killing was intentional. They are ignoring (probably willfully) what the Obama Administration themselves actually said. The Administration, when buttonholed about the the reason for the strike, replied that “He [Abdulrahman] should have had a more responsible father.” That is impossible to reconcile with the “collateral damage” defense.

    If, as the Administration’s defenders want to claim, the junior al-Awlaki was killed in a strike targeting someone else who coincidentally happened to be in the coffee shop where he was meeting up with his friends (in fact, the man in question was not in that coffee shop at the time, and indeed was killed the same day in a separate strike in a different part of the country) then his father would have no meaningful connection to the event and the Administration’s quip would make no sense.

    Ergo, the Administration’s claim can only be taken to mean that Abdulrahman himself was the target of the strike and thus the Administration did indeed commit a war crime.

  23. RUKidding

    I voted by mail in CA last week. I knew I had to request a D ballot to vote in the D primary, so I had that advantage. Voted for Bernie. Not seeing many signs for any of the POTUS race. It’s all most local stuff.

    I was pretty taken aback last night when the race was called for Clinton. Yeah: thanks for letting MY vote count! Good grief. The PTB really want Clinton, don’t they?? And this doesn’t seem say something to the intense Clintonistas? Apparently not. I’ve been lectured to by quite a few impassioned Clintonistas lately even though I’ve said nary a word about my preferences. The impassioned and angry speeches about Bernie are really not nice, and none of them seem to realize that what they’re advocating for is not true democracy but some sort of/kind of totalitarian thing.

    It’s all about how Bernie has “no right” to keep on running, and he should just concede to the Inevitable now for the Good. Of. Everyone!!

    Egad.

    1. jrs

      In Los Angeles the only bumper stickers I see are for the Bern, ok I saw a grand total of one for Hillary, and one for Trump. So Hillary and Trump may indeed be tied in this bluest of states! But many stickers for the Bern, the only lawn signs I’ve seen that aren’t local are also for the Bern. That’s why they don’t want us to vote.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Same thing is happening here in Tucson. Bernie stickers and yard signs everywhere. Hillary and Trump? I hardly ever see those.

  24. sd

    Didn’t expect to see this…

    What presumptive nominee? California Democrats still have some things to say
    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-california-voters-president-20160607-snap-story.html
    By Evan Halper, Kurtis Lee and Melanie Mason, LA Times, June 7, 2016

    It was yet another election day slap in the face for Californians on Tuesday: Hours before voters were to cast ballots that one presidential candidate promised would upend the race, the media declared that the race was actually over.

  25. voteforno6

    So, Charles Pierce mentioned that Hillary had Kevin Johnson introduce her at one of her rallies. She’s the person that’s fought for women and children all her life, rubbing elbows with a corrupt pedophile, who’s also married to Michelle Rhee. Stay classy, Hillary.

    1. Amateur Socialist

      There was a genuinely scathing profile of Johnson in the last Baffler. He is a genuine scumbag who adopted the Clinton Inc scam of intersecting graft with “charity” during his administration as Sacramento’s mayor. s

      1. Amateur Socialist

        As Pierce observed in his piece: “Can’t anybody in the Clinton campaign do a google search on these people?” heheh

  26. ewmayer

    Re. November has 30 days — the mnemonic trick I was taught in grade school was to make both hands into fists and bring them together at the thumbs, then looking at the double-long row of knuckles that results, treating each knuckle and each gap between 2 knuckles as month, and ignoring the dip between the 2 index-finger knuckles resulting from the touching fists. Now start at the leftmost knuckle (opposite direction works, too :) and enumerate the months. Each knuckle means the month has 31 days; each dip means 30 days (or less, in the case of February). The 2 index-finger knuckles represent July and August, the 2 consecutive 31-day months of the calendar.

    1. cwaltz

      30 days hath September.
      April, June and November
      All the rest have 31 except February.

      That’s how I learned it.

  27. allan

    The emerging narrative:

    Democrats who refuse to support either Trump and Clinton are sanctimonious purists whose irresponsible perfectionism might doom the country to a tacky dictatorship.

    Republicans who refuse to support either both Trump and Clinton are, per NPR, principled patriots who put country above party.

    1. cwaltz

      Meh. Another tired meme they trot out each election cycle in hopes of making those darn hippies fall in line.

      One of these cycles it ain’t gonna work. I suspect it may be this one.
      Those darn kids don’t care if the Democrat establishment think they are dorky purists.

  28. Jim Haygood

    Premature victory celebration kicks off in half an hour at ‘beest HQ in Brooklyn.

    By the time final Cali tallies roll in, ‘beest HQ will have gone dark. Conveniently …

  29. steelhead23

    Lambert, You simply must view John Oliver’s take-down of the debt collections business. Masterful, funny, and downright sickening. Then he does something kind of wonderful. Must see.

  30. Seb

    If I understand correctly VICE’s FOIA request is an attempt to force the FBI to reveal the nature of its investigation by suing the Bureau for the grounds on which they conducted their ‘reasonable search’ of her email server.

    The FBI want this information filed secretly because its release could harm their investigation (even the headers of emails sent after the initial probe started could compromise it) and they’re working on a “security referral for counterintelligence purposes”.

    Doesn’t that imply that 1) the investigation is criminal in nature 2) it has become criminal after the initial probe and 3) its criminality is a national security risk?

  31. Plenue

    “Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia is a landmark white supremacist text that serves as a canonical work for the establishment of US whiteness”

    I’d say this is relevant (lyrics are NSFW): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-ZblMfZpuw

    The two best lines imo: “You let freedom ring but never picked up the phone” and “This ain’t Louisiana; man; I ain’t buying it”.

  32. reslez

    Uber and Lyft abandoned Austin, but it could be a blessing in disguise for ride-sharing apps

    Uber and Lyft’s departure left an immediate and visible hole. In a commuter-heavy city with infamous traffic problems, ground transportation options like ride-sharing are much more than a convenience. They’re practically a necessity.

    So… Austin underinvested in public transportation and were left in the lurch when unicorn startups threw a hissy fit at some pretty brain-dead regulations (background checks on drivers after a noticeable uptick in sexual assaults by rideshare drivers). One of the replacement apps is local and non-profit… sounds good to me, but then when I need a ride I, you know, call a cab.

    An app that calls you a cab is not a revolutionary use of information technology. What’s revolutionary is the way Uber’s founders stomped all over local codes and regulations that other companies are required to obey, in order to build monopoly power in a local market, in order to engorge themselves with personal wealth.

    1. Amateur Socialist

      Yes Austin underinvested. Democratically unfortunately. 2 separate bond issues to improve transit failed one by a hair margin but the more recent one pretty decisively.

      And credit where it’s due, Austin voters rejected an insanely expensive campaign mounted by Uber and Lyft trying to get the regulations rescinded. One I somewhat cynically believed would be successful, the services were pretty popular in this tech centric city.

      The next fight will probably be over house sharing regulation. My old neighborhood was getting noticeably thick with houses obviously being used by transient temporary “residents”. Affordable housing was already crazy tight here and then landlords figured out they could get 3-5 rents on a place at a time.

  33. Cry Shop

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/sweeping-overhaul-of-nations-chemical-safety-laws-clears-final-legislative-hurdle/2016/06/07/85df0654-2cc2-11e6-9de3-6e6e7a14000c_story.html

    Important legislation, with lots of conflicts that will reverberate for a long time, but after reading the article there is almost no useful information in it, mostly its about personalities in public office. Even the critics names are mostly kept out of the report. It’s mostly a paean to “more transparent regulation” that is anything put transparent to the public, just like reading the article is mostly a great frustration.

  34. tony

    The American Cancer Society seems to be run by people who benefit from cancer. For MDs it’s a good money maker, and for the leadership it’s a cushy job in the society.

  35. fajensen

    “Moving houses in childhood increases suicide, death risk” [Medical News Today] (study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine from Danish data).

    One wonder if they cleaned the data before making conclusions. In Denmark, we have what we call “nomadic families”, families who are generally dysfunctional and move a lot between decrepit houses owned by some of the worst landlords. Often there is substance abuse and serious child abuse in the pattern as well.

    This abuse can go on for years because the family “survives” by moving to a different region of Denmark when the regional social services become aware of the problem.

    Moving “works” / “cleans the slate” because the current assessment of the region is not necessarily transferred between the regions, partly because of incompetence, partly because the region who finally acts will get stuck with the costs for the rehabilitation of the children so there is the suspicion of some degree of “collusion” between the regions on not “reporting” problem people.

    The point is that children in the nomadic families will generally have had a really shitty childhood, which generally leads to substance abuse, mental health problems and overdose / suicide later in life.

    If they didn’t clean the data for the dysfunctional nomadic families, the results would be skewed.

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