2:00PM Bastille Day 2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Zhou En Lai (apocryphal) on the impact of the French Revolution: “Too soon to tell.” On the other hand, the provincial peasants who burned all the land records, contracts, and deeds, and all the tallies of rents and fees, experienced immediate and concrete material benefits from the end of feudalism. From their perspective, it wasn’t too soon at all. Same for the millions in this country who want, and voted for, a new New Deal.

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“Skepticism continues to grow about the ability to get the TPP deal through Congress before President Barack Obama leaves the White House… ‘I don’t see, with both major candidates for the presidency against it, how it’s going to come up. I think that’s a big issue,’ said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), a free-trade supporter. Even after the election, ‘I personally think it’s very unlikely,’ she said. Ayotte and Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) were all noncommittal on TPP when asked this week. But the door is slightly ajar for a lame-duck vote, based on comments made earlier in the week by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. And that’s heartened trade boosters in the administration and business groups that are pressing for approval of the deal now. Note that TPP also has the benefit of Trade Promotion Authority working for it, allowing the deal to get an up or down vote, without amendment” [Politico]. “‘It’s premature to write off TPP in 2016. Politicians are right now distracted by the upcoming conventions but at an appropriate time this fall we believe there is a window for securing congressional passage of TPP,’ said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” “Distracted.” Pesky voters! I’ll believe TPP is dead when the lame duck is actually over and the new administration explicitly drives a wooden stake through its heart. And there are a ton of bad ideas in Washington that seem impossible to kill, like the Grand Bargain. I wouldn’t be surprised if “trade deals” were one such. And if you look at the wiggle room in the AFL-CIO-worded plank in the Democrat platform, it’s ginormous.

“Trade negotiators in Brussels are proposing new loopholes on a G20 pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies within a decade, in the latest leaked TTIP proposals seen by the Guardian” [Guardian].



Charles Koch: “‘I’m sure [Trump’s] a fine fellow underneath.But when you look at our guiding principles, you see that his guiding principles are, in many ways, antithetical to them” [CNBC]. Like that’s a bad thing?

“[A]lthough [the Democrat] platform will contain a few positions long advocated by many in the civil sector, and some mention is made of movements and even individual organizations among our field, there is no specific language on supporting the civil sector or the role of nonprofits and philanthropy in our society” [Nonprofit Quarterly]. Because markets.

“Robert Reich described the [Democrat] platform draft as providing ‘a relatively easy way for so-called mainstream and centrist Democrats to make progressive Democrats feel included without really changing the status quo or ruffling feathers on Wall Street.’ Platform language, he said, is ‘still just rhetoric.… It reveals the current limits of what is acceptable political discourse inside the party'” [The Nation]. I prefer to regard rhetoric as terrain. There is such a thing as “just rhetoric,” but if you think “the narrative” has power, then rhetoric is how that power is engaged.

“Thomas Dunne Books told The Associated Press on Thursday it will publish Sanders’ ‘Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In.’ The book is scheduled to come out Nov. 15, a week after election day. It will include both his policy ideas for the future and reflections on his surprisingly strong run in the primaries” [AP]. That’s good, but there are matters — more important than the electoral — that need attention now–

A summary of Sanders’ Conference Call to His Delegates Tonight [Caucus99 (hreik). This summarizes a Reddit thread here.To me — readers, you know my priors here — this is the critical point:

#5. Said that within the ‘coming weeks’ he will announce successor organizations to his campaign with the sole purpose of continuing the “political revolution” and promoting progressive causes and candidates in all fifty states. Does not want the energy of the progressive agenda to wither away. Said he will remain as figurehead of the movement, and that he will run again for his seat in the Senate in two years.

“Coming weeks” should be before Labor Day and if possible sooner. I know the Sanders team is small, stressed, and that this is hard work, but my view is that standalone left “entities” constitute victory in this campaign, and they are a fitting home for the famous Sanders list, which will give them institutional force. I hate the word “pivot,” but this pivot is essential. My $0.02!

Jill Stein, opening sentence of the lead: “Millions of hearts were breaking Tuesday….” [The Hill]. I think we discussed this trope recently…

Sadly, Sanders is one of a long line of true reformers that have been undermined by the Democratic Party. Each time a progressive challenger like Sanders, Dennis Kucinich or Jesse Jackson has inspired hope for real change, the Democratic Party has sabotaged them while marching to the right, becoming more corporatist and militarist with each election cycle.

Last I checked, the Kucinich campaign didn’t raise $250 million dollars from small donors. Every establishment reaction has begotten a stronger left action. The slogan that “we can’t have a revolutionary campaign inside a counter-revolutionary party” is equivalent to saying that the French Revolution didn’t start in the Estates General. But of course it did. Institutions are not static; they change. That’s what a revolution is for.

Jill Stein: “If he saw that you can’t have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party, he’d be welcomed to the Green Party. He could lead the ticket and build a political movement” [Politico]. Again, historically false, for reasons given.


“Silicon Valley investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel will speak on the fourth night of the Republican National Convention” [The Verge]. “Details on Thiel’s appearance are slim, but he has notable billing. He’ll speak on the last night, alongside former football player Tim Tebow, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Republican Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, and Trump.” Ugh. Tebow is as washed up as Gingrich.

“Anti-Trump delegates are hoping to use the rules process to unbind all of the delegates to the Republican National Convention, in hopes of unseating the party’s presumptive nominee next week. Priebus, who has been openly critical of the unbinding effort and has predicted its failure, is looking to broker a compromise to minimize the acrimony, as he seeks to keep the focus of the week on party unity” [Time]. Maybe the anti-trump delegates should consult with the Parliamentary Labor Party?

“Shivers have gone through the Cleveland activist community since law enforcement officials began knocking on their doors as tens of thousands of visitors prepare to come to town. The Cleveland FBI’s office said in a statement that the visits were part of their plans with state and local law enforcement to prepare for the convention by “working collaboratively with members of the community” [Los Angeles Times]. Just remember that the first one to propose violence is always the cop.

The Voters

Poll: “Mrs. Clinton’s six-percentage-point lead over the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, in a CBS News poll last month has evaporated. The two candidates are now tied in a general election matchup, the new poll indicates, with each receiving the support of 40 percent of voters” [New York Times]. ” 67 percent of voters say she is not honest and trustworthy. That number is up five percentage points from a CBS News poll conducted last month, before the F.B.I. released its findings.”

Poll: “Republican incumbent senators have solid leads over Democratic challengers in the key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today” [Quinnipiac].

Polls: “Yesterday brought us a whopping 10 battleground state polls, and four more NBC/WSJ/Marist polls (!!!) are set to be released first thing tomorrow morning. The good news for Donald Trump? He’s narrowed the gap: Ohio is tied; Florida is no longer trending in Hillary Clinton’s direction; and this all makes it much harder for rebellious GOP delegates to dump Trump at the convention” [NBC]. ” But here’s the bad news for him: These polls — which mostly show Clinton either ahead or tied in these battlegrounds — were all taken during or after Clinton’s roughest week of the general election, with FBI Director James Comey’s rebuke over her emails. So you could view these battleground numbers as a floor for Clinton, while Trump is still unable to break 40% in many of these states. (Indeed, look at the high undecided numbers; voters moved away from Clinton, but they didn’t move toward Trump.)

Very good news for emergent parties.

[T]hese polls also come as Team Clinton has been outspending Team Trump over the battleground airwaves by a 40-to-1 [!!!] margin.

It’s like the Clinton campaign is a burst hot-air balloon into which air is being constantly pumped.

“Nearly half of millennials supporting Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders are thinking about backing a third-party candidate, according to data and local discussion on Yik Yak, a location-based social network” [The Hill].

UPDATE Big bump for Trump on Nate Silver’s election forecast [FiveThirtyEight].

“We are the left” [Medium]. “We call upon progressives to acknowledge that all politics are identity politics.”

The Trail

“I will be making the announcement of my Vice Presidential pick on Friday at 11am in Manhattan. Details to follow” [@RealDonaldTrump].

I wouldn’t put it past Trump to pick Gingrich as Veep. But Trump’s a casino operator, and he should be able to see that Gingrich is a walking casino implosion (via):


UPDATE “Donald Trump’s Campaign Signals He Will Pick Mike Pence as Running Mate” [New York Times].

UPDATE “It’s a strange week when Trump lectures a Supreme Court justice on what’s ‘highly’ inappropriate,” and many legal experts say he’s right” [Los Angeles Times]. The whole year has been like that, and it won’t let up.

Stats Watch

Jobless Claims, July 9, 2016: “Summer retooling in the auto sector doesn’t appear to be underway yet, a special factor that may be distorting adjustments for jobless claims which are very low right now” [Econoday]. “Most of the readings in this report in fact are extremely low which, given the time of year, is a reason for methodological caution.”

Producer Price Index (Final Demand), June 2016: “Last month’s producer price report showed initial signs of pressure and is followed this month by greater evidence of emerging and very welcome price strength” [Econoday]. “The rise underway in energy prices is of course a major feature right now of inflation, up 4.1 percent in this report following a 2.8 percent rise in May. But it’s a gain for services which is a highlight of today’s data, up 0.4 percent in the month which if extended in future months would be the foundation for wider reflation that Federal Reserve policy makers are hoping for. Another foundation may be finished goods where prices, lifted by trucks and cigarettes, jumped 0.8 percent following May’s 0.5 percent rise. Finished services, boosted by gains for security brokers, also show strength, at plus 0.5 percent, as do food prices which are up 0.9 percent.” But: “The Producer Price Index year-over-year inflation is insignificantly in expansion. The intermediate processing continues to show a large deflation in the supply chain” [Econintersect].

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, July 10, 2016: “Brexit doesn’t seem much of a concern at all, at least for American consumers as the consumer comfort index is up a very sharp 1.2 points” [Econoday]. “Honey, Theresa May named BoJo, the poet, as foreign minister. Don’t you think we ought to be buying the cheaper brand of barbecue sauce?”

Gentlemen Prefer Bonds: “The bond market is telling us that Milton Friedman’s 1969 thought experiment — freshly-created money appearing in people’s bank accounts, known as helicopter money — may be closer than we think” [Bloomberg]. “Psychology tells us that the five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. For those mourning the death of growth and inflation, acceptance of the current order increasingly looks like welcoming money from the sky.” Not sure about that five stages of grief narrative. Maybe Mr. Market has his own special way of grieving?

Gentlemen Prefer Bonds: “A zero-coupon perpetual bond would be revolutionary. ‘The hurdle to such extreme helicopter money measures [in Japan] is likely very high since they appear to be at odds with the spirit of Article 5 the Fiscal Law, which prohibits the BoJ from directly financing the deficit,” wrote [Morgan Stanley’s economist Takeshi Yamaguchi]” [Across the Curve].

Shipping: “The U.S. Department of Transportation reported this week that demand for freight transportation services fell by 0.3% between May 2015 and May 2016. In June, demand for for-hire trucking rose faster than the supply of trucks rose, but it was only the fourth time in the last 19 months that the market saw such an improvement” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “A National Retail Federation forecast on Tuesday said the midsummer and early fall months, which encompass ‘peak season’ in the transportation world, will be close to flat or negative compared with last year. The Global Port Tracker report, released monthly by NRF and research firm Hackett Associates, estimated import cargo across the nation’s major ports would be up 1.4% year-over-year in July, then down 2% in August and down again 2.6% in September” [Wall Street Journal, “Largest U.S. Ports Enter a Peak Season Expected to Be Weak “].

Shipping: “The European Commission (EC) has failed to tackle the problem of price fixing among carriers because it has not made its agreement with container lines legally binding, the European Shippers Council (ESC) has said” [Splash247]. Who did the negotiating? Lanny Breuer?

Brexit: “Among major European negotiations since the early 1950s, only 1958’s Treaty of Rome took less than 24 months, according to Morgan Stanley. The Lisbon Treaty took 94 months from the formal start of negotiations to taking effect” [Bloomberg].

The Bezzle: “Here are the winners and losers as the foreclosure crisis slogs into extra innings” [MarketWatch]. “In contrast, several states are still dogged by foreclosure activity well above pre-recession levels, including Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, New York, and Indiana. ”

[RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist] said the judicial, or court-supervised, foreclosures showed how ‘broken’ the process had become. ‘The root issue that created the dysfunctional foreclosures processes was sloppy and improper documentation on the part of the banks,’ he said. In non-judicial states, ‘it wasn’t an issue because there wasn’t oversight,’ Blomquist said. But because in judicial states courts are getting bogged down with complicated foreclosure cases, the national distressed property overhang from the crisis is ‘in extra innings,’ he said.

It isn’t “states” that are “dogged,” but people. And especially for them, the crisis isn’t a game.

The Bezzle: “Google faces a new antitrust attack from European Union regulators who allege the search engine skews shopping results in its own favor and unfairly restricts rival online advertising platforms” [Bloomberg]. “Adding to an antitrust complaint over Google’s Android smartphone software in April, the EU said it has “a broad range of additional evidence and data” that Google systematically favors its own comparison-shopping service in its search results and that smaller rivals lose traffic when they appear lower down in results. It rejected Google’s argument that its chief shopping search rivals are Amazon.com Inc. and EBay Inc.”

The Bezzle: “South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) has said it may file a damages suit against Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) due to the yard’s ongoing $4bn-plus accounting fraud scandal” [Splash247]. $4 billion?! That’s a lot of money!

The Bezzle: “A Russian captain was sentenced to eight years, nine months jail in Greece this week for smuggling millions of contraband cigarettes while five Ukranian crewmembers were handed six and a half year sentences” [Splash247] “Investigators found more than 66m Libyan cigarettes onboard, and reckon the Mesogio was the mother ship in a large Russian smuggling operation with other smaller vessels likely planned to take consignments from it.” With rates at rock bottom and no work, what’s a captain to do?

“McDonald’s Blocks Porn Viewing at Its Restaurants” [MarketWatch].

“Endogenous money theory, which is usually associated with the Post-Keynesian school of economics, has long told us that central banks do not control the supply of money in the economy. Instead the amount of money is determined by the demand for money which, in turn, is determined by the demand for credit. This idea, however, leaves out what is actually a rather important component: counterfeiting….” [Philip Pilkington, Econintersect].”Of course, endogenous money theory is not at odds with the counterfeiting of money — after all, why would anyone counterfeit if it were not for their demand for money — but it is rarely discussed. I assume that the reason for this is that endogenous money theorists think that it is a small-scale phenomenon. But this is simply not the case; when one looks into it, it is actually extremely widespread. In Britain, for example, some 1% of banknotes are counterfeit, while one in thirty-three pound coins are fakes. That is an enormous number, so why aren’t economists more aware of this?”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 89, Extreme Greed (previous close: 86, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 69 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 14 at 2:00pm. Still bumping against the psychological barrier of 90….

Imperial Collapse Watch

“How a modest contract for ‘applied research’ morphed into the CIA’s brutal interrogation program” [WaPo]. “Brutal interrogation program” is one of the many circumlocutions for torture. These are horrible human beings, and all have impunity.


“Analysis of ant colony behavior could yield better algorithms for network communication” [MIT Technology]. “Random walk.” Hmm.

Class Warfare

“Musical preferences seem to be mainly shaped by a person’s cultural upbringing and experiences rather than biological factors” [Nature]. Indeed!

Interesting article on immigration from [Fabius Maximus]. I grabbed this chart:

Three-year moving average of the wages of male, non-Hispanic high school dropouts


Waves of immigrant arrived in 1980 and 1995. From “The Wage Impact of the Marielitos: A Reappraisal“, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, in press.

News of the Wired

“In the world of geographic information systems, [Null Island] is an apparition that serves a practical purpose. It lies at ‘zero-zero,’ a mapper’s shorthand for zero degrees latitude and zero degrees longitude. By a programming quirk introduced by developers, those are the default coordinates where Google maps and other digital Global Positioning System applications are directed to send the millions of users who make mistakes in their searches” [Wall Street Journal, “If You Can’t Follow Directions, You’ll End Up on Null Island”]. Crapification in the world of software engineering.

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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 (petal):



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

Adding, thank you for your contributions during the rapid and successful Water Cooler Mini-Fundraiser. It remains only for me individually thank those who sent contributions via physical mail! Now, let me if I can find a physical pen; I don’t think I have any, anymore….

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


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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. dcblogger

    Naked Capitalism ran this link a few days ago, but I am reposting because on the 100th anniversary of The Great War this is newsworthy:
     The United States and NATO Are Preparing for a Major War With Russia
    Massive military exercises and a troop buildup on NATO’s eastern flank reflect a dangerous new strategy.

     Now, however, Secretary Carter and his aides are seriously thinking about—and planning for—conflicts that would involve another major power and could escalate to the nuclear realm.

    we are ruled by fools

    1. Punxsutawney

      These people are so secure in their belief of invincibility that they may succeed in getting most all of us killed.

      Or in the wreckage that follows, it may make those that survived wish we were dead. What’s the old saying, “It’s the lucky ones that died”. And the idea of a NATO admiral as VP chills me as well.

      I’m not a military expert by any means, but common sense tells me that there is no way to win a land war with Russia, and if we were winning, the nukes would come out. All because Putin won’t play the Global Oligarch game. He plays his own.

      1. Praedor

        There is no way to win a war with Russia, period. Russia, like the US, WOULD resort to nukes as soon as it looked like they were going to lose. Additionally, Russian military doctrine has always included nuke weapons as NORMAL military tools in any large conflict. They do NOT see then as a necessarily “last ditch” weapon to prevent defeat. Now the US/NATO is also coming to believe this for themselves (with “modernization” of nuke bombs in Europe to make them more “usable” in a conflict because their yield can be dialed down to Hiroshima, or smaller, power).

        The instant a nuke is used it is all over and an actual conflict between the US/NATO and Russia WOULD see nukes used fairly early.

  2. Roger Smith

    We are in a highly volatile time where trust in our ever militarizing police forces is running low, what kind of law would be good to pass in this environment? Michigan has the answer!

    MSP to do roadside drug testing in five counties under new law

    Should my county be “selected” (which I am betting on since it is urban, but the police aren’t profiling or anything, swear!) and should I run into one of these stops, I will adamantly refuse to be subjected to this nonsense. They can call a judge and get a warrant if they want to enter my car to get me out. In fact, I should buy a pocket sized version of the constitution. When they ask for my license I will just hand them that instead, ask them if it looks familiar.

    1. Roger Smith

      I wonder if the test will pick up traces of carcinogens from the Flint River water.

      1. Gareth

        I think we can expect a large percentage of false positives, like the people who eat a poppy seed bagel and test positive for opiates in urine tests. Will pseudofed test out as meth?

        1. clinical wasteman

          Yes Gareth, it can! I can say this confidently thanks to several hours’ detention plus cavity search at Auckland (NZ) airport based on just such a (sniffer dog-enabled) false positive. A delightful ending to a 30-hour flight. Going on 10 years ago now, so they’ve probably found a way to make the positives even falser since then.
          Upon my grudging release (apology ha ha ha! They were considering keeping me overnight on the grounds that my London postcode at the time was Brixton), I was told by a family member that I narrowly missed out on starring (nonconsensually) in a popular reality TV show shot right there in the border dungeon.

      2. neo-realist

        If you’re black, the risk of resisting such an exam may be your remains in the Flint River if not hanging in a cell Sandra Bland style.

    2. armchair

      Can’t we handle this with sewage monitors and smart-toilets? I was reading about the smart house of the near future in a dreadful Atlantic article, where toilets will monitor our waste to let us know when a health crisis is looming. Of course, you could (and they would) add drug testing to the smart toilet functionality, and simply have it clamp you down when you’re doing the deuce.

      1. AnEducatedFool

        A lot of Bernie supporters are hoping that Nina Turner will run against Brown in 2018. If Sanders is serious his supporters need to attack the “left” even more than moderate Democrats.

        I am happy to hear that Killer Mike will not vote for Clinton. I take the polls that 80+% of Sanders supporters will vote for Clinton with a giant grain of salt. It must be a poll of registered Democrats.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Yes, it is. Overall supporters – probably more independents than Dems – come out around 50-50.

          It’s still a long way to November, though.

        2. Roger Smith

          I agree, those reports do not reflect the sentiment I have seen. I will be interesting to see Stein’s national boost in polls once this is measured. Imagine if Sanders’ network pushed her to15% and the debates. Clinton will be furious.

          1. Jen

            FWIW, responded to the first of what will no doubt be many pollsters last night. They didn’t ask about Stein, just Clinton, Trump & Johnson. I answered: none of them.

            1. cwaltz

              I think those polls are rigged to give the advantage to Clinton by splitting the conservative vote.

              It’s interesting to me because FOX News had Stein on. I wonder if their intent was to cause some mischief on the left.

              It’s funny I keep wondering if the bias was always so apparent and I was just young and not jaded or if they’ve just become more blatant.

              1. GlennF

                Good news for Arizona voters. Jill Stein will be on the ballot even though she missed the filing deadline. The Republican Sec of State decided not to challenge the court filing by the Green Party and this allowed the name to then appear on the ballot. I think Republicans and many Democrats believe that if a voter votes for the Green candidate then that takes a vote away from the Democrat candidate. Nader in FL in 2000 dispelled that. Those who vote Green would not have voted at all if they didn’t have the Green choice.

                1. AnEducatedFool

                  Many of the people who will vote for Stein were not able to vote in 2000. The entire millennial voting bloc was unable to vote in the election. Many of them would have voted for Sanders in the General Election regardless of politics and many more would have gone Democratic if someone not named Clinton was running this cycle. The Green Party will benefit from a generational shift in American politics which has absolutely nothing to do with the activism of the Green Party.

              2. AnEducatedFool

                Johnson is pulling equally from Clinton and Trump if not more from Clinton. Many of the people who are voting for Trump will never vote for Johnson based on his free trade stance. Clinton on the other hand is very vulnerable to Johnson’s positions since Johnson has a chance to pull Rockefeller Republicans or moderate Republicans/Democrats that Clinton needs to win.

                Polls that have all 4 candidates are interesting. It appears that Stein is pulling from Johnson BUT a recent poll had Johnson gaining at 11% while Stein climbed to 6%. If memory serves both Clinton and Trump were hovering around 40%. I would absolutely love it if Stein runs a real campaign in the Northwest and is wins those states which is possible based on the #s put up by Sanders.

                1. TheCatSaid

                  I would love it even more if there were more Green Party & other parties & independents running and winning local elections. What about Kshama Sawant’s party, Socialist Alternative?

    1. heresy101

      Fun, Fun, Fun. Too bad Sanders was so politically correct about Clinton; Johnson has her nailed in his right-wing perception of reality:
      “She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital; and as I snap out of my trance I slap my forehead in astonishment.
      How can I possibly want Hillary? I mean, she represents, on the face of it, everything I came into politics to oppose: not just a general desire to raise taxes and nationalise things, but an all-round purse-lipped political correctness.”


      1. cwaltz

        Nationalise things?

        Is he smoking crack?

        They want to privatize, not nationalise. See: contractors operating for defense, charter schools, our health care system of choice, etc, etc

        We should be so lucky to get some programs that are meant for the common good and nationalized like public banks that operate out of the post office.

        1. sid_finster

          Don’t talk nonsense. HRC will indeed nationalize many things, such as Wall Street bankers’ losing trades. The Fed (I know, technically a private entity) and Treasury will backstop those.

          But the bankers are free to keep the winners.

          Hey, the markets will soar on the news so it must be a great idea!

          1. cwaltz

            The Fed was the original blueprint for public private partnership. It’s come to mean the public gets shafted and a select from the tippy top get to rake in the dough. Just ask Jamie Dimon.

  3. pretzelattack

    re the medium story. marissa johnson once supported sarah palin? she’s the “left” in what universe? and where’s the evidence people said what is claimed? sounds like the propaganda about chair throwing in nevada. all politics is identity politics, sure, what happened to class.

    1. hunkerdown

      We are the left, they cry, in a Sir Bob Geldof-inspired pledge of allegiance to neoliberalism and co-optation.

      Class is an identity. Is that their invitation to throw that axis of intersection into the ring, I wonder.

    2. Gareth

      I was at those insane leftist meetings, referred to in the article, in the late 1960s, the worst being the SDS convention of 1969 in Chicago. Three days of frenzied identitiy baiting during which it was determined that the biggest pigs of all were the white working class males (yes that’s me) because they were racist, sexist and worst of all failed to lead the revolution as Marx and Lenin propheisied. Next in line were white men in general, of course. Black people were the true revolutionary vanguard because they were oppressed twice over, especially black women who were triple oppressed and black lesbians who were quadruple oppressed. Black transgendered would have taken the jackpot with a five-bagger had it been a subject at the time. Since black revolutionaries were the true vanguard, but needed their own separate organization, it fell upon the Black Panther party to choose which faction of white upper-class revolutionary wannabees should lead SDS. They came down on the side of the Weathermen, who were clinically insane (too much LSD) and were led by people who I believe to this day were FBI and CIA plants.

      The experience of that insane conclave cured me of wanting to be a part of any leftist organization for a few decades. In my opinion identity politics is great way to neutralize the left –just look at how effectively the Clintoons used it– and is probably included in some FBI or CIA handbook on the subject. And it’s so damned easy. Any beginner can do it.

      Is it not yet possible to hold class, race and sexual politics simultaneously in the mind?

      1. JTMcPhee

        Too bad there ain’t no “identity” that equals some common organizing principle based on enough but not too much for everyone.

        But of course if the past is prologue and there ain’t no change in the major axes of human behavior (lustsex and killingdeath), it’s just a wimpy nice thought… Never to become “policy,” in the face of rampant MOREism…

      2. Arizona Slim

        It’s a variation on the holier-than-thou theme. Call it more-oppressed-than-thou.

        And it’s why I also stay away from leftist groups.

        1. Ulysses

          Sad to report I saw far too much of this in Occupy, as well. I think that it’s fine to struggle against the sort of indignities that high bourgeois people suffer when they’re “othered” on account of sexual preferences, race, creed, etc. Yet it really galled me to see an actual multi-millionaire, who happened to be lesbian, lecture an actual homeless, hungry ex-steelworker that he “didn’t understand what it meant to be oppressed.” This to a man who experienced sleeping in a tent as a real upgrade to his standard of living!!

      3. Michael

        “Intersectionality” is the way out of all of this.

        Well, actually, compassion is. But Intersectionality is a good way to think about compassion.

        1. AnEducatedFool

          How long did it take PhDs to learn that it is possible to be part of an oppressed class while also holding privileges?

          Its just embarrassing.

          I can overlook that obvious problems in economic theory because they are meant to bolster the dominant economic forces.

  4. Anne

    It’s Trump-Pence

    Gov. Mike Pence is dropping his re-election bid in Indiana to become Donald Trump’s running mate.

    IndyStar has confirmed that Trump plans to announce Pence as his selection for vice president, ending a weeks-long vice presidential casting call during which Trump vetted a handful of high-profile Republicans.

    Trump’s national campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said “a decision has not been made.” A formal announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday in Manhattan.

    “Confirmed” with whom, one wonders?

    Anyway, the combo sounds like “Tuppence.”

    1. jrs

      Ah well Gingrich would be more interesting as well as know how to get things done in DC and so something would get done (whether it would be good I can’t say, Gingrich does have a streak that could start big programs even FDR style, even if much of what he supports would be ridiculous of course). Trump/Gingrich would make things interesting.

    2. Elizabeth Burton

      I wonder how much the voters in Indiana paid Trump to get Pence out of the state.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        I know a libertarian leaning Republican in Indianapolis who is jubilant that Trump (whom he despises) is taking the idiot governor away from there.

      2. Christopher Fay

        We have an inkling idea of how much finance paper trading companies and Saudi are paying to get Hillary into the White House. Didn’t a Saudi recently say they bought 20% of Hillary?

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Trump-pence or Trunce is closer to Trounce than Tuppence.

      But Trounce is not the same as Trounced.

      1. lezmaz

        Trumpence? DrumpPfennig? Pennytrumple? TrumpO’Shilling?

        Trump/Pence: Make America’s change again?

  5. Synoia

    Mrs. Clinton’s six-percentage-point lead over the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, in a CBS News poll last month has evaporated. The two candidates are now tied in a general election matchup, the new poll indicates, with each receiving the support of 40 percent of voters

    Honest Hillary scores an own goal. Trump was rewarded for this by just being there and not speaking.

    1. cwaltz

      Even worse for Hillary is how she is polling in places like Florida.

      Last week was an awful, terrible no good very bad week for Clinton but I suspect it isn’t going to get better specifically because the GOP is forwarding their perjury charge to the FBI.

      The GOP is going to make lots of hay out of her trustworthiness on everything from TPP to national security.

      1. Pavel

        Via Zero Hedge I just watched a scathing, damning questioning of Lynch by some Republican. She repeatedly refused to answer straight questions e.g. Is it legal or illegal to lie under oath.

        Disgraceful. I’m at the tipping point where I want to see Trump win just to see the backside of all these corrupt and disingenuous and incompetent Dems. Though of course the Repubs aren’t any better I suppose…

        Lynch and Comey between them have destroyed the last few shards of what remained of the rule of law in the USA.

        Watch the video here (about 3 mins):

        As example to this, Loretta Lynch refused an entire line of questions from Rep. Jason Chaffetz about whether or not it was hypothetically legal or illegal to retain classified information.

        Despite the straightforward nature of this questioning, Attorney General Lynch refused to even acknowledge whether or not it is illegal to lie under oath.

        Wow. This is stonewalling of epic proportions.

        Zero Hedge: Loretta Lynch Ducks 74 Questions From Congress: “Avoiding Appearances Of Impropriety Or Protecting Hillary?”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          They have to get everyone on their team on Hillary’s Ark, because a flood is coming for the Democrats.

          Hope it’s a strong ark.

          1. sid_finster

            I hope that ark leaks like a sieve and I hope that they made the thing out of depleted uranium.

            1. John k

              Love it.
              Of course, bomb grade stuff sinks almost as fast, granted there would be other issues…

        2. JTMcPhee

          Call them corrupt incompetent Dems and wish them away, but the wings of our national Gong Show are packed, stuffed, with more of the same, waiting their chance in the limelight, and the inevitable motions of Empire in human-space ensure a steadily growing supply..

      2. edmondo

        The irony is all so much more delicious knowing that – not only will she lose – she loses to a certifiable maniac. Who says that Dog doesn’t have a sense of humor?

    2. AnEducatedFool

      The Comey non-indictment/indictment was brushed away by the Dallas shootings who are now all white according to TIME magazine. If the shootings do not happen then it is possible that Clinton would have fallen further since Wikileaks finally released the documents they promised.

      Clinton was saved by a lone mass shooter despite video evidence of multiple shooters. It is not surprising that a conspiracy theory of Clinton’s involvement already surfaced. The worst part of this theory is that people can actually believe it since its well the Clintons.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Got a link to the video evidence of multiple shooters? They’re often part of the original story… and just as often it doesn’t pan out (chaos, confusion, echoes).

        1. AnEducatedFool

          The video evidence was aired live. I’m not going to go search through videos w/ my 3 year old around. There is the video of an armed man coming up behind a police officer and putting a bullet through the police officers head. The arguments are that the office was taking cover from sniper fire. I have not followed this as closely as I would have in the past. I am just aware of the conspiracy theory.

          I have not waited for the NY Times or WaPo to write an article about what happened that day. Nor will I trust an agency that blew up a suspect instead of waiting them out for hours or a days. I also do not think that Clinton sent in a team of assassins that day but I do think its quite sad that its not something I would toss away immediately. The Clinton’s do not care if Americans die…their war record speaks for this.

          If I ever run into an old Ranger friend of mine I’ll ask him what he thought about these events. I put little trust in Corporate Media.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Dallas II…something about Dallas…but at least, this time, the tinfoil hat people are not dragging the Cubans or Russian defectors into this.

    3. uncle tungsten

      Wanna make Hellary’s run fun? Drop a leaflet in millions of places like letterboxes, handouts. On the leaflet is one of the Secretary of State’s hacked emails to Blumenthal. (get one from wikileaks or even the Wapo page)

      Header goes something like: The FBI wont go after Hillary for leaking this but they will go after you for having it as you are fair game and she is royalty. Or some such.
      The Dem convention would be a great place to start and then the whole of Philly. Watch the tide turn against that scheming banshee.

      While on the subject of email hacking spare a thought for Gucciffer. Comey has given Hellary the get out of jail free pass but what is the bet he goes after Gucciffer’s throat.

      Why is Comey so coy about this prosecution just now? Would it look ugly?

  6. Tertium Squid

    In Britain, for example, some 1% of banknotes are counterfeit, while one in thirty-three pound coins are fakes. That is an enormous number, so why aren’t economists more aware of this?”

    Do you remember some years ago the news that North Korea was running a sophisticated counterfeiting operation in billions US dollars?

    Outrageous at the time, but it seems so quaint today, small-ball compared to operations that steal trillions of virtual $$$ without having to manufacture anything.

    And they’re trying to get rid of physical money anyway. The more fakes the better in that case. “Look at all the fraud we’re protecting you from.”

    1. JTMcPhee

      Seems to me there’s maybe 4 quadrillion “notional value counterfeit dollars” out there in velocityofmoneyspace. Let us not throw stones from glass houses…

    2. LifelongLib

      IIRC the Founding Finance writer William Hogeland said that during the Revolution the British tried to ruin America’s economy by flooding it with counterfeit money. Instead it made America more prosperous because economic activity was being hampered by lack of money and the counterfeit acted just like the real thing.

  7. JSW

    As Steve Sailer has repeatedly pointed out, Miami was going through a huge cocaine-fueled boom in the 1980s, without which high school dropout wages would likely have been depressed even further.

    From Wikipedia: “In the 1980s, Miami became one of the United States’ largest transshipment point for cocaine from Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru.The drug industry brought billions of dollars into Miami, which were quickly funneled through front organizations into the local economy. Luxury car dealerships, five-star hotels, condominium developments, swanky nightclubs, major commercial developments and other signs of prosperity began rising all over the city.”

  8. allan

    More ACA p*rn from Illinois: Obamacare company shutdown leaves customers in a lurch, facing higher costs

    Those lucky-duckies who are actually able to find another policy between now and the end of the year will have to start from scratch meeting their deductibles and out of pocket costs for the year.

    Also too, trying to find new providers when their old ones are not in the new network.

    Also too too, I’ve been told by someone dealing with this that insurance brokers who used to help empowered consumers victims shop on the exchanges have started to charge for their services.

    How will these 50,000 people vote in November? Or will they even bother?

    1. grayslady

      Even sadder, IMO, the company in question was the only Illinois insurance co-op. It was started after Obamacare went into effect. Their rates were reasonable and they had one of the better networks for patients.

    2. nowhere

      The final blow came a few weeks ago when the co-op received a $31.8 million bill from the federal government. The company owed that amount to other insurers under a complex formula in the Affordable Care Act, which aims to keep premiums stable by balancing risks among insurers. The company couldn’t afford to pay the bill.

      Acting Insurance Director Anne Melissa Dowling tried to intercede on the company’s behalf by suspending the payment until the co-op received more than $70 million in promised federal assistance.

      Hmm…seems they aren’t meant to succeed.

      1. Pat

        Can’t have some fly by night group more interested in healthcare than profits succeed. And how better to help them fail by requiring them to donate to other companies who are all about the profit.
        Even if there was more to it then just that “risk sharing”.

        1. jawbone

          Huh. “Risk sharing.”

          Is there also profit sharing?

          But Obama’s health insurance plan was always intended to be a “profit protection plan” for the Bigs of healthcare, for-profit hospitals, PhRMA, especially the insurance industry. Big Insurance knew its overcharging for health insurance would certainly lead to single payer.

          Any endeavor remotely connected to healthcare was intended to have its profits protected. Any increases of insurance preiums would have to be paid and the IRS would be muscle to make people keep Big Insurance profitable.

          Co-ops were never intended to survive. They set a bad example, revealing how much the Bigs were scewing the people.

          It was not intended to be healthcare and healthcare protection for the people.

  9. NWO Lizard Man

    The collapse of the Soviet bloc is another counterexample to “can’t have a revolutionary campaign inside a counter-revolutionary party,” and a much closer parallel. But no one here is a member of the Estates General. No one here is a member of the Politburo. You’re not crooked enough. You’re not compromised enough for blackmail. The terminal paroxysms will have nothing to do with you. Realistic roles for us nonentities include Solzhenitsyn’s “Don’t believe them, don’t fear them, don’t ask anything of them,” or the recourse to rights and rule of law of the Charta 77 dissidents. That way you get the benefit of the outside world’s legal and institutional support. The development aid you get is invisible to the media but quite direct: lately, Maina Kiai took up the white man’s burden to bring benighted third-world pismires into the light of civilization:


    The outside world’s more highly-developed civil society also can help US dissidents, who can’t organize their way out of a paper bag because decades of rigged elections have infantilized them. Human rights education and internationalism from below – people are doing this now, inside the media cone of silence. Who needs Bernie Sanders and his F-35s?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’d love it if we could get international observers for the 2016 balloting in November. Or…. even domestic ones. IIRC something of the kind was tried in the Democrat California primary, but I’m drawing a blank on the organization and the success of the effort.

      I wonder if there will be exit polls in the general?

      1. bezoff

        One of the Carter Center’s primary functions is to monitor elections in other countries, presumably because they aren’t “advanced” as the U.S. Yet according to Jimmy Carter and confirmed by his grandson, our elections cannot be observed because they lack the minimum standards necessary to do so. It has to do with the thousands of independent jurisdictions, non-overlapping procedures and various transparency issues.

        Our upcoming elections will happen in the dark as usual. Even the raw exit polls will not be released by Edison Mitovsky. We are required to accept the results by faith, which I admit, is not a strong point of mine.

  10. Steve in Flyover

    “……I still feel feel it is a good thing to give some (“some”? How many is “some”? Who decides who “some” is?) of the poor and huddled masses…….a chance to experience the incredible opportunities that our exceptional country has to offer.”

    Fortunately, we don’t share a border with China. If we did, the native born 99% would really be screwed.

    As an up-close observer of the current immigrant situation out here in Flyover, my albeit limited sample of one illustrates that the benefits of our current policy are over-rated (and the benefits overwhelmingly go to the top 10%), while the costs are vastly under estimated. Paid for, as usual, by the schlubs in the bottom 80%.

    Teaching immigrant students Spanish before you can start teaching them English. Local budgets screwed, to pay for services. Auto collisions with uninsured immigrants. Threats/Extortion to move jobs to Mexico (or hire illegals in place of locals/union members in Right to Work states), if the native borns don’t bend over and take the pay and benefit cuts.

    As I’ve noted repeatedly, if the people crossing the border were doctors, banksters, business executives and politicians, the Great Wall of Trump would have gone up a long time ago.

  11. Tom Stone

    Here’s hoping Judge Sullivan will require HRC to testify in the FOA lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch. Having her take the fifth would be howlingly funny!
    And it would likely be her best choice.

    Judge Sullivan has not been amused by the testimony to date and unless TPTB bring a lot of pressure to bear it seems more likely than not that he will require her to appear.

    1. edmondo

      Perhaps if Bill “just happened” to be at the same airport as Judge Sullivan and wanted to talk about the grandkids…..

      1. nowhere

        It would probably be a chance encounter near the judge’s home, and then his pets start losing parts. Just subtle enough…

  12. fosforos

    “Musical preferences seem to be mainly shaped by a person’s cultural upbringing and experiences rather than biological factors” I would be enormously surprised if people endowed with true pitch and the other purely biological factors making up musical talent did not exhibit an *overwhelming* preference for Classical music.

  13. cocomaan

    The greatest danger to HRC’s campaign, and I haven’t seen it talked about much lately, is simply people staying home on election day. One gets the feeling that enthusiasm runs very weak, even among lifelong Democrats.

      1. Jason Ipswitch

        And me.

        I loathe Trump (he couldn’t pay me enough to vote for him) but I don’t know if I can make myself vote for Clinton to stop him or not. Right now I figure I’ll be voting Johnson as a far lesser evil or Green as a pure protest maybe.

    1. steelhead23

      Please vote. Vote for whomever you perceive best represents your views – be it Sanders, Stein, or Mickey Mouse. There are other issues to be damned serious about on your ballot. Just ignore the two clowns on the top of the ticket.

      1. hunkerdown

        Why are you so invested in my or anyone else’s vote of confidence in the oligarchic system? Shouldn’t you earn that?

      2. jgordon

        I am incensed that you failed to list Trump in there! I may not know exactly what Trump’s views are, or even if he has views at all, but I damn well know that he best represents what the American people believe in!

    2. Waldenpond

      I can completely ignore candidates and still need to put in plenty of time on legislation. Looks like CA has an actual marijuana legalization bill not a corporatizing marijuana bill. Another group dropped their bill to lessen confusion. I haven’t seen the text, just the summary and it looks decent. I want to make sure the regulatory regime is weak enough.

  14. Oregoncharles

    “The slogan that “we can’t have a revolutionary campaign inside a counter-revolutionary party” is equivalent to saying that the French Revolution didn’t start in the Estates General. But of course it did. Institutions are not static; they change. That’s what a revolution is for. ”

    True enough on its face, but this denies 30 years of history, during which every effort by progressives to “retake” the Democratic Party only moved the party to the Right. Yes, Sanders came far and away the closest, and deserves credit for that. That’s mainly because The People are sick and tired, and the “major” parties aren’t major any more, either one of them. But in fact, he failed, and a neocon/neoliberal Democrat is in danger of losing to Donald Trump.

    I predicted that the Democrats would cheat, if necessary, to keep him out, and they did. Was it necessary? Not if he only got 45% of the Democratic vote, the number you’ve mentioned. He actually did far better among “independents,” including emerging party members, a lot of them Greens, thus proving that independents are now well to the left of Democrats – the political map has been upended. That was a major contribution, too, that I haven’t seen pointed out much.

    And again: to his immense credit, he stirred the pot, very, very thoroughly. With a lot of help from Donald Trump. The remaining question is what the rest of us make of the resulting opportunity. He’s only a sheepdog if his supporters choose to be herded.

    Was the revolution successful? Too soon to tell. But I sincerely hope this is NOT the French Revolution.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      No, it doesn’t, as addressed in the post. “Last I checked, the Kucinich campaign didn’t raise $250 million dollars from small donors. Every establishment reaction has begotten a stronger left action.”

      I understand the GP party line on this. It is at best incomplete.

      1. Plenue

        How do you square your apparent belief that the Democratic Party can be reformed with your repeated wishes for it to go the way of the Whigs?

        1. lambert strether

          I think the Dem Party splits, as do the Whigs, because they couldn’t need the issues of the day, abolition.* The Whig losers left politics. If the Dems split, as I hope, the losers would leave. Dem assets would be seized in a hostile takeover, including lists, ballot access, statutory support, remaining brand identity.

          * Today, class warfare.

  15. Unorthodoxmarxist

    You cannot build a revolution within a counter-revolutionary party. The role of the Democratic Party has been, at least since the last decades of the 19th century, to herd the left into a box and keep it there to be used as the ruling class sees fit.

    This is not just the Democratic Party’s strategy, but an adaptation of all mass bourgeois parties after the inclusion of the working class to the vote. At various points where the conditions for political class struggle have been ripe, the Dems have moved to co-opt that base and either eliminate it through force or absorb it. Lawrence Goodwyn’s work on the Populist movement and how it was destroyed when it made a deal with the Democrats highlights the first instance of this; but later Marxist writings on the Popular Front in the 1930s (and the anti-war movement of the 60s) show this in a more modern form.

    The problem relates as much to the class that is in control of the party apparatus (and economy) as it does the structural problem with political parties in general as related by Robert Michels in his 1911 work Political Parties: they create an ideology and small clique of leaders to led. The Sanders “revolution” has dragged a lot of people into a Democratic Party that will now command their attention for downticket races that will turn them into reliable Dem voters spewing out Dem talking points. They are going to look at a ballot and vote Dem and that will be the extent of it. They will think Zephyr Teachout is a radical (or Bill De Blasio, etc.) and electing her will upend the system. Very few of them will organize for or support Greens (or other independents) because of this.

    This is the pattern of (Henry) Wallace, Jesse Jackson, Dennis Kucinich, and now Bernie Sanders. Bernie just happened to campaign at a moment when the old political alignments are breaking down. The party apparatus and the hold it has over voters is still incredibly strong.

    If Bernie had thrown his lot in with Stein, or the Greens, or even run as an independent he may indeed not have gotten $250 million or to debate Hillary during the primaries. He may have done so during the general election debates, though, and he would have had the chance to tell millions of voters that the Democratic party apparatus needs to be smashed alongside the Republican. He’s instead cast his lot in with a wretched political party apparatus, and squandered this chance.

    I think it’s also important not to compare this to the Estates General. Tensions in France had reached a boiling point by the time it was called in 1789 (after a century without). It was also the equivalent of a legislature, and we are talking about the dynamics of political party membership (which did not exist in modern form at that time). It is also important to remember that the radicals in the Estates General all took the Tennis Court Oath to bind themselves together against the king and political establishment. A similar Oath in 2016 would have seen Bernie spurning Clinton and the Democrats, leading a mass walkout to join the Greens and perhaps forming their own political party.

    1. grayslady

      Thanks for stating this so cogently. I disagree here and there (FDR was too venerated at the time for Wallace to have mustered an effective challenge when Truman was seen as the FDR legacy candidate), but I do agree on the weak-tea Estates General and the eventual corruption of anyone who runs as a Dem. Those who try to buck the Dem system are eviscerated.

    2. cwaltz

      It’s funny you mention the debates during the GE, he might well have NOT had the opportunity to debate her since last year the Green Party candidate was arrested for attempting to participate in the debates.

      Johnson and Stein actually now have a lawsuit to participate in those debates by the way.

      Personally, I think the lawsuit would have been easier if they all were hosted on public airwaves. It think nowadays though that a lot of TV has been privatized for the cable entities.


    3. Darthbobber

      Of course, to date going the independent route has been not one whit more successful than the “push the Democrats” strategy. As could be expected in a nation with a presidential rather than a parliamentary system.

      The idea that anything about the Greens adds up to, or ever did add up to, a “revolutionary movement” doesn’t match my experiences with them in three different states. They are an incoherent, steaming mess.

      And it says something about the supposed grassroots nature of the Greens that Stein could just offer Sanders the Green Party presidential nomination as if it were her personal property to dispose of, and not raise a peep of protest from other Greens by doing so.

      Of course they’d have let Sanders parachute in as their nominee. That’s what they did with Nader, a man who’d never had a damn thing to do with them before. This is apparently the national “strategy”, find the closest thing you can to a celebrity and try to piggyback on that.

      Given the truth of a significant fraction of this analysis of the Democrats, one might at least consider the possibility that one among the many reasons for lack of a “revolution” in this country is that a very heavy majority of the population have never preferred that path.

      1. inode_buddha

        The Greens have all the structure of baby poop along with the same color. Have to admit that I do like them tho, they’re just massively ineffective.

      2. Kurt Sperry

        Given the Greens excellent platform, their seeming willingness to be taken over, their ballot access footwork they’ve actually gotten off their asses and done and the demonstrability that the Dems will do whatever they feel necessary up to and including electoral fraud to resist any takeover, they are the obvious vehicle for a left movement to manifest and start messing with the duopoly kayfabe.

        What’s the alternative? Trump? Please.

      3. jrs

        I don’t think Stein actually did just offer him the nomination, it would have to be caucused at the Green convention I think. I think she just offered him the ability to try for it.

      4. mcdee

        I worked on a Green Party campaign in 08 for Public Regulatory Commission in New Mexico. The district was about the size of a western US congressional district. It was heavily Democrat (the Repubs didn’t field a candidate). The GP candidate started out awkwardly, got much better as the campaign progressed and got over 40% of the vote. Extremely good for a minor party. After the election, no follow up. The candidate disappeared, the organization disintegrated and in the following spring there was not a single GP candidate anywhere in the state for local office. They are more like a club than a political party. They are getting a lot of attention now because they are there and have ballot lines. For a lot of us (former) Bernie supporters there is an added bonus of showing the wretched Rahm Emmanuel that “we do too have somewhere else to go.” BTW the Dem who won that PRC election later went to prison on drug and corruption charges.

        1. TheCatSaid

          “After the election, no follow up. The candidate disappeared, the organization disintegrated and in the following spring there was not a single GP candidate anywhere in the state for local office. They are more like a club than a political party.”

          1. Ulysses

            “After the election, no follow up. The candidate disappeared, the organization disintegrated and in the following spring there was not a single GP candidate anywhere in the state for local office. They are more like a club than a political party.”

            That is their typical pattern, yes. Here in the Empire State I have a lot of personal respect for Howie Hawkins, who is a genuine actor in the struggle for workers, but the rest of the people I’ve met in the state GP are mostly unimpressive.

    4. Plenue

      “The Sanders “revolution” has dragged a lot of people into a Democratic Party that will now command their attention for downticket races that will turn them into reliable Dem voters spewing out Dem talking points. They are going to look at a ballot and vote Dem and that will be the extent of it.”

      That may be the plan from the DNC’s point of view, but I suspect it isn’t going to work out that way. I wasn’t supporting a Dem, I was supporting Sanders. He caved, and I’m gone. That is the extent of my support for the Democrats. And there’s nothing they could ever conceivably do to win me back. And I’m far from alone in that position.

      1. Steeeve

        Likewise, although I wasn’t supporting the Dems or even Sanders necessarily – I was supporting a platform that I mostly agree with. Sanders appeared to be someone who would actually fight for those issues. I was reluctant to support the Dem party, but figured it was worth a shot to support the effort. Transforming the Dem party from the inside = uphill battle. Starting a movement from mostly scratch = uphill battle.

        1. sd

          Exactly. I was supporting the policies and frankly, the honesty. If another candidate comes out in support of those policies, I will consider them.

      2. Ulysses

        “I wasn’t supporting a Dem, I was supporting Sanders. He caved, and I’m gone.”


        1. jawbone

          I was thrilled to have Sanders to vote for in the NJ Dem primary. It’s the first vote I’ve cast in years which I did joyously.

          But I was supporting his clearly laid out plans, not just him. He was a good messenger, but the message was the most important thing about his run.

          And it’s that message, improved as much as it can be, which should be what people work for and work to keep the organization for, work to grow it, work to solidify it, and then work to take over the Dem party. By sheer numbers. It will not happen by 2018 or 2020 or maybe even decades, but it will happen.

          As Lambert said, the Dems may split, and I think they’re now closer that the Repubs to splitting. But there must be a viable organization for the actual left to go to, to merge with.

          Please note the number of times “work” appears. Given how people have to have two to three jobs to get close to what used to be middle class, or even lower middle class, that will not be easy. They’re already working overtime, with little reward. But, hey, the unions did it about a century ago.

          So, it’s replace the Dems or take over the Dem aparatus without the Corporatists.

          Can we do that?

    5. lambert strether

      This is a splendidly cogent argument — Thank heavens! At last! — with which I disagree. For some reason I missed this one and answered the later one, and now I’m tied up. I’ll get back.

    6. Waldenpond

      The opportunity was good for breaking the duopoly. Few candidates on the D side, a person with a consistent history instead of a blank slate, voters fed up with establishment parties. A legitimate strategy to run in an established party (media attention brings awareness and money) and then switch/split. Some of Sanders people attracted admiration, hopefully some of them are willing to break off.

      1. Mike Mc

        Join us! http://brandnewcongress.org/home

        Initial meeting in our deeply red state’s largest city (a Blue Dot like Austin or Madison) very promising. LOTS of Sanders supporters (I was one of several precinct captains who helped deliver our leg. district for Bernie in our state caucus), good representation from women and minorities to boot.

        More Republicans open to this sort of message than you might expect, thanks to SIXTEEN YEARS of ineptitude from the GOP at every level of government. Trump voters are as pissed at the GOP as they are at Hillary, and while this election may seem like the Apocalypse, it’s not. Our republic survived Nixon, Reagan and two Bushes so let’s prep for 2018 mid terms at the Congressional district level.

        THAT’S how the GOP and Tea Party managed to infect our body politic – run for everything from school board to dogcatcher and on up – so get on board.

  16. Lee

    “UPDATE “It’s a strange week when Trump lectures a Supreme Court justice on what’s ‘highly’ inappropriate,” and many legal experts say he’s right” [Los Angeles Times]. The whole year has been like that, and it won’t let up.”

    It is also a year that produced such unexpected long-shot underdog out-performers as Corbyn,Sanders, Trump, Brexit, not to mention soccer teams Leicester City, Iceland, and Wales. I look forward to more of same.

  17. Uahsenaa

    Lambert, I say this as a fellow rhetoric nerd, but your Estates General analogy doesn’t hold water.

    First, it was an assembly made up of three parties, not a party in itself, two of which were openly hostile toward and suppressed the third, and the clergy and nobles certainly had within them their own hostile factions. It was that third, with a few noble hangers on, that formed the general assembly. The clergy opted out entirely and supported the monarchy. In other words, the NA formed directly from a fracturing of the three estates. I suppose if what you meant is Sanders as a wedge to fracture the Dems, then sure, in that limited sense it works.

    However, our polity is made up of a number of parties and non-governmental institutions that engage in political activities. It’s not an apples to apples comparison. And I would argue that, worded slightly differently, Stein is correct. There’s no need to foment a revolution within a counter-revolutionary party. It seems to like that tack might work with Labour in the UK, due largely to the bumbling stupidity of the Blairites, but our political system is more thoroughly rigged at all levels (voter suppression, electronic ballot rigging, anyone?) that reforming the Dems seems like a waste of time, when there are alternatives.

    That said, we’ll see what comes out of this in the way of non-party affiliated groups, but for now, people whose political dander was riled want someone to turn to and for many, the Greens are a ready made solution, if a less than ideal one. I would also argue that the Greens can be taken over and made competent in a way that the Dems cannot be made to give up their Wall Street allowances.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “I suppose if what you meant is Sanders as a wedge to fracture the Dems, then sure, in that limited sense it works.” That’s one thing I mean. I don’t mean to suggest that the French feudal structure maps directly to our own. The other thing I mean is that revolution doesn’t drop from the sky. There is no other place for new institutions to grow than within the shell or husk of the old ones.

      “I would also argue that the Greens can be taken over and made competent in a way that the Dems cannot be made to give up their Wall Street allowances.”

      Based on my own experience, that’s unlikely, and I’m not sure how the GP will feel about being “taken over.” The unlikeliness is one reason I find current events so concerning. (The other is that the Sanders campaign was in some ways a “strength of weak ties” demonstration. A $27 contribution is a lot more of a contribution than hitting a like button, but it isn’t the same as organizing, either. I think the key here is how many organizers make the switch, and the usual campaign machinery like GOTV, databases, and so on. I haven’t seen data on that, don’t even know where to look.)

      Note that my definition of victory is not electoral; I’m careful to say left “entity” because there is so much more to be done over the long haul than electoral politics.

      Adding… Back to organizational capacity: Not clear to me how the GP scales up without hiring from the same class of (more or less) mercenary professionals that are already, well, part of existing institutions…

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        1789 had three groups: the landed aristocracy, the priesthood, and everybody else. After the rivers of blood the first two didn’t fare too well. I’m all for it, let’s roll the tumbrils.
        If you want to split further you might map the untouchable aristocracy (the .01%) and the regular aristocracy (the 1%), it was only when the 1% decided they too were getting completely screwed by the .01% that things really got going. I don’t think we’re there yet, close, but not yet. 4 years of HRC should do the trick nicely.

      2. cwaltz

        I think the definition of win changes as the options change.

        A somewhat hostile takeover isn’t completely negated until the convention. However, the fact that Sanders endorsed tells me the Democratic insiders may very well be more averse to being “taken over”(even though there is a very real chance Clinton will lose they are stubbornly backing her over him.)

        It might have been nice to have a candidate with the practice navigating DC that Sanders offered, I’m willing to settle though for a candidate that doesn’t start WW3 or a candidate who will not round up all the brown people and make them wear some sort of identifier to appease the angry but ready to wet their pants folks on the right side of the aisle who worry that every brown person is a terrorist.

        Sometimes you have to settle(and the Clinton supporters thought Bernie supporters couldn’t be pragmatic. Look how wrong they are. Many of us are all sorts of pragmatic)

        1. Anne

          I think what we’re all just so sick of is having to settle. Over and over and over. “The best we can do” that we’re left with – again – is really just so pathetic. But also so predictable – it’s what happens when election after election the bar lowers to the minimal standard of “better than the other guy.”

          Yes, and I’d prefer a swift kick in the shins to having needles stuck in my eyes, but why the hell are those the only choices I get?

          When I think about the kinds of people who will staff a Trump administration, I want to pack my bags; it’s not that I think the people Clinton would choose would be orders of magnitude better – I mean, Loretta Lynch, protector of Clinton and HSBC? – but you know whoever Trump would name as AG would be unacceptable AND probably insane.

          I think what just frosts my cupcakes is the Hobson’s Choice we keep being asked to make. The shaming that we keep being subjected to, the burden of being responsible for disaster that keeps being placed on our shoulders. I mean, WTF?

          Sometimes I just have to step away to save my sanity, and my blood pressure! It’s hot as hell here, and so humid that going outside is like stepping into dog breath – maybe that’s working on me, too.

          I’m as pragmatic as the next person, I guess, but I don’t like it.

          1. dots

            I think the only smart move we can make is to organize now. The climate alone is starting to feel like the “Nothing” from the Never-ending Story and the official default position of ignoring it won’t fly much longer.

            Early June, there was a report that went out on new research suggesting climate sensitivity models have been under-estimating the situation far more than we realized. If this is correct, we are going to need all sorts of pragmatism and no more denial. I think there’s a whole lot that can be done, but we need to find greater will to do it.

            New research: climate may be more sensitive and situation more dire

        2. different clue

          If a President Clinton show signs of being more likely to start WW3 than a President Trump, then would the more pragmatic choice be to vote for Trump in hopes of lowering the chances of WW3?

          (Though if one of the outcomes of a nuclear war with Russia because of Clintonite arming of the neo-nazi Banderite regime in Kiev with lethal aggressive weapons would be a “nuclear winter”, then perhaps we should vote for Hillary “Nuclear Winter” Clinton in order to get the Global Warming problem solved. Because Nuclear Winter would solve Global Warming, at least for a while.)

          1. cwaltz

            President Stein would ALSO prevent the start of WW3 and she won’t be rounding up people based on their nationality and make them wear armbands.

            Clearly, she’s a much better option than Trump or Clinton and the point is to vote for the BEST candidate that you are given.

            1. different clue

              Stein won’t be in a position to prevent anything at all, because she will not be President this election. One of the Big Two is going to become President. If neither one is more likely to start WW3, then neither one of them needs to be voted against more than the other one. In which case I would be free to vote for Stein for the natural fun of it. If that really WERE my idea of a good time.

              But if one of the Big Two would be measurably MORE likely to start WW3 THAN the OTHer one . . . then my survival-impulse would lead me to vote aGAINST the Big Two candidate MORE likely to START WW3. And the most eFFECtive vote aGAINST the brand name candidate MORE likely to start WW3 would be a vote FOR the other brand name candidate LESS likely to start WW3. And Stein is not relevant to my survival-voting calculations here because too many other people share my dismissal of Stein and the Greens as being a dilettante candidate for a dilettante party to ever think of Stein and the Greens as even being important enough to bother voting for OR against.

              1. cwaltz

                The reality is none of them are President now, all of them can lose and all of them can win so my vote is not based on the premise of winning or losing.

                Again, you are supposed to take the BEST candidate and vote FOR them. That’s not Trump.

                I reject the idea that a third party can’t win. They can win. They just need enough voters to vote for them. Eventually we WILL hit a tipping point and all of a sudden what you see is impossible will suddenly become possible(once upon a time a Senator couldn’t win the WH either, until one did.)

      3. John k

        One hope is that shill loses, causing dem hierarchy to be weakened and easier to be taken over in 2020. Long shot because best case a few progressives win, but far too few to overpower bank loving dems in safe seats, which in fact is most of them. Taking over dems can only be done from below, granted things might be worse in 2020, plus maybe voting sex might be over.
        Second hope is start a new party. Assuming a surge of progressives bolt green, and remembering greens under 1% historically, taking over can be assumed, newly green progressives would have the votes. Clearly better to start with a historically dysfunctional structure than no structure… And the dysfunction makes it easier to take control.
        Plus, these hopes are not mutually exclusive. More green progressive votes makes it more likely the capable workers that got sanders as far as he got will consider coalescing with the greens after the election, especially reflecting how Msm work with neolibcon to stuff progressives… This will be no different in 2020.
        Being in Ca, I planned to write in Bernie, now thinking green.

    2. Tom Allen

      Wouldn’t a US parallel to the Estates-General of 1789 be a Constitutional Convention? It certainly seems much more plausible that revolutionary (or reactionary) change could occur through one of those than through the ordinary workings of Congress, the White House, or the Supreme Court.

  18. NeqNeq

    re FBI ‘community outreach’ in Cleveland

    No mention of the actual questions asked, just the lawyer role-plays. Is that normal? Seems weird, unless they (activists) think optics are not in their favor on the issue. Anyone with experience have insight?

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      If it’s anything like OWS then it’s a knock on the door by two guys in suits who tell you it would be a bad idea to plan on attending any rallies. That’s what my NYC friend reported, scared him witless. All he had done previously was blogging and walking through the OWS park.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I don’t answer the door unless I’m expecting someone. It works for me, and it can work for you.

      2. LifelongLib

        So he has to be scared because he exercised his freedom of speech and (sort of) freedom of peaceable assembly. What Constitution were these guys preserving, protecting, and defending?

  19. Alex morfesis

    Boris is the new varoufakis…germany and france already on script in prosecuting him in the court of public opinion…

    sadly for them…unlike hellas, the “you-kiss-stanis” have their own currency and a few leftover nukes in the barn…

    The city of london certainly is in a position to outflank the Euro…the french have kept economic control of its colonies via its treasury and the african franc…but the brits allowed their former direct wards to run off and create their own scrip…(there is profit in trading/preying on weaker currencies…)

    however…a british pound taking on the same position as the U.S. dollar has with countries using it as the local currency can certainly create financial gearing opportunities…

    well…considering the continued economic hold various legacy firms have kept over the commonwealth/empire, there is certainly room for some of them returning to the london pound…

    and worse for the eu…the pound could be a dual track currency for those who might want to slip away from the euro…

    a transitional currency for greece (spain ? Italy ? ) while a return to a former currency or new currency takes place…

    The eu has been a wonderful excuse for those in power in the uk to blame for internal misleadership and my continued thought is the uk stays and never triggers art 50…

    I say that as both sides take their positions on the pre notice negotiations…

    pm may sticking to the we need to “know” (ie negotiate) first where we are going…

    with eu screaming uk must sign a robosigned blank poa and blank indorsement…before negotiations can begin…

    If both sides stick to that script…no brexit…

    and as for boris…he likes his drynx blended…not shaken…

    Blonde…james blonde

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I read it a little differently, sometimes Occam is best: perhaps the May faction really has done their homework and they see the wisdom of Brexit. They see that last year EU trade with countries with no trade deals whatsoever exceeded $1.4 trillion. They know that Brexit aligns with centuries-old British strategy to try and keep The Continent divided. They know the EU really wants (what’s left of) North Sea oil. They see that Brexit-geddon in the markets is containable. May also sounded pretty darned conciliatory in her speech to the social forces tearing Britain apart, if she can jawbone the chavs and keep them out of the streets it will make her program much easier to implement. I can’t see the appointment of Boris as 11-dimension chess, I think sometimes things just are what they are.

      1. John k

        Tories were divided. Country votes, and most Tory districts vote leave. It would stupid politics to buck half the party, your own voters, and the country, too. Further, if Scotland leaves, English vote is far more overwhelming.
        Beyond simply seeing what is writ on the wall, may might have previously calculated most would vote remain… Many thought that, especially given Msm, which Londoners read. She probably thought she was, with Cameron, leading the parade, suddenly realized she was at the wrong end.
        I think they will get out, and without too much trouble. Trade deals are easy when you’re importing more than you’re exporting, everybody desperately wants that to continue. Very bad for euroland, end of which will be most bad for Germany.

  20. Pelham

    Is there any real reason to believe that the Sanders movement will develop into anything significant and lasting? I doubt it. For one thing, Democratic turnout in this contested primary season was actually down about 20% — while the GOP turnout was up more than 60%. So even with the energizing effect of an insurgent candidate and enormous Sanders crowds, the left appears oddly lacking.

    And moving ahead, what are the chances that a left movement will maintain the kind of focus on income inequality and economic stress that Sanders managed? My guess is that all that energy — such as it is — will dissipate itself over the usual hodgepodge of multi-culti, identity issues that have repeatedly failed to really fire up and animate a broader electorate, even if they eventually accept the basic ideas, such as legalizing gay marriage and marijuana. It will be a menu of organic kale and arugula when the public craves — and deserves — red meat. But maybe there is no such thing as leftist red meat.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      We will have to see how the plans described in the conference call to Sanders supporters work out. I thought they were sensible, worth a read, and do not conform to the GP party line of sheepdogging.

    2. cwaltz

      It was down 20% – is that including or not including all the votes they threw out to ensure a status quo Hillary victory?

      I’m pretty sure it was not including.

    3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      The Left will assume their traditional position, which is supine, ready and willing and happy to receive the blows from all new angles. Tossed a few crumbs like LGBT rights while the New Boss’ jackboot presses their necks, please ma’am, may I have some more? And since the next war will be fought by robots not their kids and grandkids as cannon fodder, nothing life-threatening until the radioactive cloud circles around from the Baltic and peppers their organic kale and arugula. Spicy! Just bring a Geiger counter to your next poetry slam or school bake sale and you’ll be OK.

    4. Alex morfesis

      Organic kale and arugela with some balsamic and mustard is quite tasty…

      As to left, right or squared…

      Eleanor Roosevelt was into communitarianism…

      The sandmam was as close to her vision of a successful america as anyone has been for a long time…

      his message resonates not because he invented anything new here…

      he just pulled out the old hymnal book that had gathered dust in the choir room on the bottom shelf…

      But the bake sales and the driving of the bus and all the little details that make for a successful life and community…and the little details matter…it is not for the one on the pulpit to do and be all things…

      The bonhomme richard was actually an old vessel, the duc de duras, from the failing french east india company…the same company whose questioned liquidation led to the april 5th, 1794 “liberation”(from their human hosts) of denton, fabre and the rest of the not ready for prime time revolutionaries in paris…

      So it is not the cards you are dealt…it is how you play them…

      And it is not the proposition but your disposition…

      It is what it is for now…

      Has john paul jones insisted his patron, ben franklin, get him a brand spanking new vessel that he could show off to his neighbors, he may not have gotten the chance to scarf up 16 merchant vessels on his way to taking the serapis…all he asked for was something that moved fast…fast being a relative term as sailboats didnt exactly move across the waves they do in hollywood films…

      It is not time to strike the colours…

      it is time to take the serapis and let the bonhomme richard sink to the bottom of flamborough head…

      where she still hides despite various attempts to find her and her iron ballast…

    5. JohnnyGL

      “For one thing, Democratic turnout in this contested primary season was actually down about 20% — while the GOP turnout was up more than 60%. So even with the energizing effect of an insurgent candidate and enormous Sanders crowds, the left appears oddly lacking.”

      — Actually, with 13M votes, Sanders got more primary votes than any Democratic candidate other than Clinton this year (with around 17M) and Obama and Clinton in 2008 (who had about 17M each). So that’s more than Obama ’12 (albeit uncontested), Kerry ’04, Gore in 2000, etc.

      Keep in mind, that’s in spite of the serious of evidence of electoral fraud, active voter suppression by state level Democratic Parties in states like NY and CA, also with a media blackout, TV debates getting buried at odd times, and then cancelled in CA, and then endless pundit/media declarations of “race is over, race is over”. With all that taken into consideration, who knows what his possible ceiling really was?

  21. Fred

    “Just remember that the first one to propose violence is always the cop.”

    I don’t remember President Obama saying this in Dallas.

  22. Fool

    Carl Beijer’s annotations via Genius on the We Are the Left piece were on point (can’t link though — requires the chrome extension).

    There’s something so foul in the media culture right now. What’s striking is that the signers weren’t even the usual suspects with ties to Brock/MMfA (Filipovic, Marcotte, et al.). It’s like they intentionally brought out the B-team to broadcast “We’re the Left. Now say ‘uncle’.”

    Peter Dao’s piece from 8 years ago is illustrative. The growing centrality of social media since 08′ has really enabled the top-down flow of political messaging that he talks about.


    1. hunkerdown

      “Put genius.it/ in front of any URL to annotate and read other Genius annotations on any page on the Internet. You don’t need to download anything!”

      We Are The Left, notes. Works in Firefox for me.

    1. Alex morfesis

      Well…before you try to correct the sage of maine, you might ask why the financial times chose to forget to mention that “chas” was the ambassador to saudi arabia during the saddam 1 war..and that his good buddy dr k is quoted as saying he does not actually remember it but if “chas” 40 years after the fact, who may or may not have been trying to sell a book at that time, says it was so…then it must be so…

      since they are such good friends…

      zBiggy zberzerker says nice things about “chas” when chas wrote his 2013 book on china….

      Friends of dr k & zbiggy zberzerker are not usually given a free pass on “the truth” by most awake adults…

      Dig a little deeper…on “chas”…

      you might be right…but I doubt it…

  23. Optimader

    McDonald’s Blocks Porn Viewing at Its Restaurants” [MarketWatch].

    “I know it when i see it “-Potter Stewart
    So this includes most network affiliated streaming news content right?

  24. Anon

    Odd that there’s no mention of RBG apologizing in Water Cooler today, as seen here:

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg Regrets Remarks

    What a crazy time; I can’t figure out if I should be optimistic that people are stepping up and giving opinions or shocked. Given the events of the past year, I have coined a law known as Anon’s Law:

    “If people at the top of the income ladder and the punditry class are scared of something, then it’s probably a net gain for the rest of us.”*

    *Not enough evidence yet to form a conclusion.

    1. cwaltz

      It was discussed in the morning thread.

      I still stand by my theory that she was possessed by the spirit of Antonin Scalia(who never knew when to keep his mouth shut or bothered to worry about who he’d offend. Bias, schmias as far as Scalia was concerned.)

      1. aab

        I wasn’t hanging out here much today, and I didn’t see the apology. Thank god. I read numerous people who I thought had more honor cheering her going openly partisan in a Presidential election; John Nichols, for one. I can’t believe things are now so bad that it hasn’t occurred to these people that doing a Bush vs. Gore from the Democratic side is no better, and after that disgusting display from the Attorney General in front of Congress, we don’t need more evidence of how there’s no actual respect for law in the justice system rubbed in our faces. It’s like they actually want the country to burst into flames. They can’t ALL have boltholes in New Zealand.

        I have always respected Ginsberg. I’m glad I can continue to do so.

  25. Cry Shop

    “Jill Stein: “If he saw that you can’t have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party, he’d be welcomed to the Green Party. He could lead the ticket and build a political movement” [Politico]. Again, historically false, for reasons given.””


    New parties have arisen and old parties have died in the US, but the two non-democratic party system is the low energy stable state of this system. A one party state seems to be the low energy state in places like China, Japan; etc. where as Italy is pure chaos. Beyond the surface are they all that different? It’s possible to throw over an existing party, but very quickly the powered interest will find their way to corrupt any structure that comes about. However on Bastille Day let’s celebrate there are other options. Maybe we’ll evolve into them under the stress of Climate Change… maybe.

  26. dk

    I prefer to regard rhetoric as terrain. There is such a thing as “just rhetoric,” but if you think “the narrative” has power, then rhetoric is how that power is engaged.

    I regard narrative as terrain, too, but it’s a mental terrain. It’s not a physical reality, it’s a model of that reality.

    One of the limitations of narrative is that it is tightly coupled with language. Even if one makes up new words/terms for things, one is still operating within a semantic environment; the behaviors of terms in the semantic space do not necessarily match the behaviors of items in physical reality. Also, and what I think Reich was getting at, having language is only an initial stage to implementation; the narrative has to be realized.

    And from an activist perspective, narratives are generally very good things to have, but they’re not absolutely required for action. Also, some particular narratives may appear satisfying, but may be impossible to implement/render in reality. Perhaps most importantly, reality keeps iterating/permuting/evolving, it doesn’t become static just because our narrative ended.

    1. skippy

      Seems Colonialism does not fade with time… funny that…

      Disheveled Marsupial…. guess turning an entire region in to a huge open air Abu Ghraib has psychological consequences down road…. might necessitate an increase in red mist missions…

    2. Aumua


      What can you say about it? It sucks. And the response is going to be all wrong. Completely fucking wrong. And so it goes on..

      1. jrs

        Oh it will be wrong. There are a lot of protests against austerity going on in France now, what do you want to bet they use cracking down on terrorism, which of course seems to be becoming a real problem there (to a degree it’s really not the U.S.), to crack down on the protests against austerity? It’s true they will lose their country (the French right is right on that). What the EU doesn’t destroy the reaction to terrorism will.

        And it was one of the few countries that tried to maintain a decent quality of life and actually had some political sense. Not to endorse The West ™ period, but for the people living there it was certainly the better parts of the west and it will lose all that and become neoliberal and repressive to the core.

        Blowback for imperialism – but most of the imperialism it is blowback for is PRIMARILY U.S. imperialism. France has a pretty dirty history with it’s empire, but I don’t think it’s a very direct cause here. So if anything should get the blowback it’s the U.S.. But then again should even we? We don’t seem to have a functioning democracy in the U.S., so whoever the heck our so called leaders are they don’t represent us and that’s not easily changed.

      1. Aumua

        Excuse me but to hell with that site. Here’s one that doesn’t scream at you for daring to surf without javascript and with an ad blocker. Telling me I’m “interfering”. You’re damn right I’m interfering.

        Edit: I put a link in here, not sure why I can’t see it?

    3. low integer

      I’m going to take this opportunity to concede that jgordon had a stronger point in equating automobiles to guns than I gave him credit for at the time. This is not to say that I now agree 100%, however it was wrong of me to write that it was an an intellectually dishonest argument and I apologize for this.

      1. cwaltz

        You get points for apologizing and recognizing that many things can be a weapon with a little ingenuity.

    4. cm

      You’re awfully vague — I’m assuming you refer to Nice? Can we win a fight when we’re too scared to name the enemy?

      Ob: Trump just got another boost.

      Ob2: Religion of Peace!!!!!!!!!

        1. cm

          Nice. I’m sure you agree that females are sub-human. They should not be allowed to drive, nor show their faces in public. Right?

            1. cm

              You said Pogo, implying the enemy is us. I declare the enemy is Isis and radical Islam (which hasn’t been stated in this thread).

              Isis sees females as sub-human.

              Do you disagree?

              1. Aumua

                Well I don’t.. not disagree.

                You really don’t have to explain yourself, it’s perfectly obvious where you’re coming from in your first post.

                1. Aumua

                  Sure. My conviction is that we’re past the point here where pointing fingers is really useful. Maybe it was, at some time. I don’t know.

                  Rest assured when I say the enemy is us, I don’t mean the United States. I mean the Human species.

  27. different clue

    ” Just remember that the first one to suggest violence is always a cop.”

    What if all ( I mean ALL) the protesters and gatherers at a demonstration or a protest were drilled in the following procedure: As soon as anyone proposed violence, all the protesters right around him/her would point their fingers at him/her and chant in unison . . “cop . . . cop . . . cop . . . cop . . ” etc. All in unison, all together. And as protestors next to the “cop cop cop” chanters heard the chant, they would all stop whatever they were doing, point towards the center of the chant-zone, and join in chanting cop cop cop.
    And keep up the pointing and chanting for as many minutes or hours as needed for the first suggester of violence to slink off from the parting and chanting and pointing crowd . And phone-cam the whole thing the whole time.

    Of course that wouldn’t work for black bloccers or police in blac bloc disguise.

    1. mk

      I participated in the WTO battle for Seattle protests, no one “proposed” violence, the violence that occurred by non-police was caused by individuals with their own agendas outside of the protesters. They did their property destruction and left, they didn’t hang around waiting for people to respond.

      Prior to the week of protests, there was a week of training where we learned to chant certain things at particular times. When the police would turn violent, protesters would chant “the whole world is watching”, and the newly formed Independent Media Center people were there with their cameras. (of course we learned much more than that.) This did nothing to stop police violence against non-violent protesters or to curtail the violence against them once they were arrested and in jail.

      1. different clue

        In a situation like that, I wonder how violent police would react if the crowd started chanting:
        ” Smile! You’re on Candid Cellphone.”

  28. sd

    Hillary Clinton Gives First ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ Interview In 8 Years To Discuss Latest Attack In France

    Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called into Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, marking her first interview on the program in about eight years (since the 2008 Democratic primary) to talk about this evening’s attack in Nice, France. The driver of a tractor trailer truck broke through barriers to mow down at least 80 Bastille Day celebrators in the seaside resort at about 10:30 PM local time.

    Seriously, Clinton is campaigning via Bill O’Reilly?

    1. ambrit

      It must be part of her “United Front” strategy. The Democratic and Republican parties formally join hands to defeat the forces of godless Communism. (Barry Goldwater must be spinning in his grave.)

  29. different clue

    Since the post on major food corporations attriting and degrading democracy is now dead from old age, I thought I would copy-paste an interesting comment about how to respond to the DARK law (once it becomes law) here. Especially because it outlines what might be an effective way to undermine it . . . which would make it appropriate to a Bastille Day thread. So here goes . . .

    “Walker • 4 days ago
    I am trying to get people to plan for when the sellout GMO labeling law goes into effect — what we do is that, at the checkout, ask the cashier to scan each item that uses a QR logo instead of plain English. For each item. Every time.
    And when it comes up that, yes, it’s got genetically tampered ingredients say “Ok, I don’t want that. Set it aside.”

    A tiny fraction of Americans using the labeling schemes in busy supermarkets against itself will soon have the Grocer’s Association begging for a do-over on this phony labeling law.”

  30. Wade Riddick

    With regards to counterfeiting, most of what you see in the derivatives market is the creation or false value. How is that functionally different from counterfeiting? Perhaps we shouldn’t just think about currency but also about counterfeit credit instruments. If you rig LIBOR and then sell derivatives based on that number, isn’t that also counterfeiting? Countries, pension funds and counties who bought these funds didn’t get the value that was claimed and often suffered horrid losses (e.g., Greece, Montgomery County, Ala.; etc.)

    This system of manipulation is also used to fixed prices in the commodities market. Commodities with derivatives trading on them have risen in price much faster than those without. Then companies borrow money against the artificially raised prices of metals in warehouses. Isn’t that counterfeiting?

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