2:00PM Water Cooler 7/11/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“‘With the amendment, the platform lays out a clear, high test for judging trade agreements, including whether they raise wages, create good-paying jobs, and enhance our national security,’ Clinton’s senior policy adviser, Maya Harris, said in a statement. ‘She believes that the TPP fails the test that is now laid out in the platform as a result of this amendment'” [Politico]. So in other words, if Clinton invents a national security reason, it’s open season on working people? I mean, as if it isn’t always?



“[Bill] Clinton changed the rules of political speech-making for cash. He would push not just corporate hosts but also nonprofits and universities to pay fees well beyond what they were accustomed to. His aides would turn what had been a freewheeling format into tightly scripted events where every question from the audience was screened. He and Hillary Clinton would become so skilled at churning profits out of their lectures that they would net more than $150 million from speaking alone after he left the White House” [Los Angeles Times]. And: “There were other worries, too, like a limo ride. Who would the president ride with? It so happened that one of the Mondavi Center’s big donors, Angelo Tsakopoulas, is also a whale for the Democrats, so his name emerged. Organizers could not recall whether that limo ride happened. ” No, I wouldn’t imagine they would have been able to.

UPDATE And then there’s the Clinton Foundation:

Good for Michael Hudson!

The Voters

Bayh to run for the Senate again [CNN]. Help me. Note that Bayh is a deficit hawk, and one of the 13 Dems to vote for the Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action [gag; spew] that started the whole mess. And kept running the same scam. So a cynical view would be Dems are setting themselves up for a grand bargain.

The Trail

“Bernie Sanders, Set for Rally With Hillary Clinton, Says Campaigns Are ‘Closer and Closer'” [New York Times]. “The event, confirmed in a news release put out by the Sanders campaign on Monday morning, could do much to appease Sanders supporters who remain skeptical of Mrs. Clinton as she heads to the party’s convention July 25-28 in Philadelphia.” It “could,” yes. I think it would be remarkable if it did. The appearance is in Portsmouth. Not in Unity.

I failed to find a “news release” put out by the Sanders campaign; it’s not on the Sanders site as of this writing. Here’s the tweet on the Clinton campaign:

“Join…. for a campaign event… to discuss” doesn’t include the word “endorse,” as Roll Call points out, so we’ll just have to see. I have to say I’d enjoy the picture of Clinton doing a slow burn as Sanders fails to emit a sufficiently sycophantic profession of ritual fealty. But we’ll have to see.

“Sanders to Join Clinton Tuesday in New Hampshire” [Seven Days]. “The Democratic presidential campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton confirmed Monday morning that the two will campaign together Tuesday in Portsmouth, N.H. Citing unnamed sources, multiple news organizations have reported since late last week that Sanders is expected to endorse Clinton at the unity event. His campaign did not respond to several requests for comment.” This would imply that Democrat insiders do not believe the Trump campaign is imploding; otherwise, there’s no immediate incentive.

“Highlights for Activists from the New Democratic Platform” [Nonprofit Quarterly]. Incidentally, I don’t buy the argument that the platform is “just a piece of paper.” For one thing, when Obama’s faction insisted on inserting language in the 2008 preamble about how important it was that the Republicans be a functioning, bipartisan party, that was a huge honkin’ clue stick about where Obama was coming from, that played out (assuming good faith) in the multiple policy debacles of 2009-2010. For another, the platform language matters if people say it matters (and use it to “hold her feet to the fire,” as the saying goes.

“The Insider Posing as an Outsider Trying to Get Back on the Inside” [Nomi Prins, TomDispatch]. Excellent review of the state of play of the Trump campaign, and the players. (The text is a lot less tribal than the headline.)

“‘I think he’s trying to campaign as a racial healer,’ [Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin] said on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’ ‘I think that has been part of his message, if you watch what he said this week, you know he talked about how devastating it was for Dallas, how we need to respect our law enforcement, how we need to pray for those who are killed and those who are injured. I think that is his intent; I trust him with his words, and I think we all need to move towards being compassionate, loving, healing, but yet also respecting our law enforcement” [Politico]. Fallon auditioning for Veep? I’ve gotta say I like Jodi Ernst’s resumé better: She castrates hogs!

“Why the Clinton America sees isn’t the Clinton colleagues know” [Ezra Klein, Vox]. Have fun!

Clinton Email Hairball

“Overall, 56 percent disapprove of FBI Director James Comey’s recommendation not to charge Clinton, while just 35 percent approve. Similarly, 57 percent say the incident makes them worried about how Clinton might act as president if she is elected, with most very worried about it. Just 39 percent feel the issue isn’t related to how she would perform as president” [ABC]. Presumably, the Clintons knew something like this would be the price. And the price is a good proxy for the value of what’s in the “private” mail Clinton’s lawyers deleted for their client.

Stats Watch

Labor Market Conditions Index, June 2016: “Not even Friday’s surge in payrolls could lift the labor market conditions index out of the negative column, coming in at minus 1.9 for June for the 6th straight negative showing” [Econoday]. (The Fed’s research department has created a labor market conditions index (LMCI) based on 19 labor market indicators. It is not an official report. However, the monthly publication is carefully noted by Fed Chair Janet Yellen and has gained market attention.)

Labor Market: “The household survey is more telling at turning points in the economy, [David] Rosenberg asserts [in Barron’s]. And this measure’s six-month growth rate dipped below zero, which has happened only two other times during the current expansion. With corporate capital-goods orders shrinking at a near 10% annual rate over the past six months, it’s unlikely employment will reaccelerate, notwithstanding last month’s pop. ‘I can assure you that this will not be covered in the business media,’ he says. On that score, Rosie, you’re proved wrong here” [Across the Curve].

Emploment SItuation (last week): “Employment Situation Report is a Monthly Statistics Lesson” [The Big Picture]. “I am told by some folks that we obsess over the monthly payroll data as an early warning on any upcoming recession. This belief is, in my opinion, incorrect. We are more likely to see a recession coming in other data before NFP. The yield curve and earnings and therefor stock prices will give you the heads up before payrolls do.”

Shipping: “‘Shipbuilding output of around 103m dwt in 2016 is at least 30% above the underlying demand for new ships,’ [Dr Martin Stopford of Clarkson’s Research] pointed out [Splash 247]. “Stopford also questioned whether the cuts are in capacity or prices. ‘Don’t rule out some big price cuts,’ he told Splash.”

Shipping: “Transportation companies stayed out of the [putative] U.S. employment surge in June, as trucking and rail operators slashed thousands of jobs, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday.” [Wall Street Journal, “Truckers, Railroads Slashed Jobs in June”].

G-20: “Excess industrial-production capacity is a global issue that has depressed international commerce and harmed workers, trade ministers from the Group of 20 industrial and developing nations said Sunday after meeting in China” [Wall Street Journal, “G-20 Says Industrial Overcapacity Has Put Dent in Global Trade”].

G-20: “Global economy ‘grim’ and G20 must step up to fix it: China” [Reuters]. China’s trade minister Gao Hucheng:

“Global trade is dithering, international investment has yet to recover to levels before the financial crisis, the global economy has yet to find the propulsion for strong and sustainable growth.

“In the current circumstances, the international community expects the G20 to show leadership in resolving the prominent problems we are facing and inject impetus for recovery and growth”

Chorus: “You first!”

The Bezzle: “Musk hints at top secret Tesla masterplan: tweet” [Reuters]. How Nixonian.

“Pokémon Go is proving more addictive than Tinder and Snapchat” [MarketWatch].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 82, Extreme Greed (previous close: 76, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 71 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 11 at 12:41pm. We’re really crankin’ now!

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Death in Black and White” [Michael Eric Dyson, New York Times].

“A Closer Look At Police Killings This Year Debunks A Big Myth About Community Violence” [HuffPo].

Class Warfare

“[T]he increase in labor costs during the recovery from the 2007-09 recession has been smaller than that from the 2001 recession. And, the increase in total hours worked and total employed persons has been larger during the recovery from the 2007-09 recession than from the 2001 recession. Hence, the aggregate data cast doubt on the proposition that an increase in labor costs due to labor market regulations has been the reason for the slow recovery from the 2007-09 recession” [Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis].

“‘Hacking’ the brain: Silicon Valley entrepreneurs turn to fasting and ‘smart drugs'” [San Jose Mercury News]. So awesome:

Employees at San Francisco startup Nootrobox don’t eat on Tuesdays.

The weekly fast isn’t an extreme money-saving move by a scrappy, bootstrapping company. Instead, Nootrobox team members swear withholding food for 36 hours — they stop eating Monday night — improves their workplace focus and concentration.

“We’re actually super productive on Tuesdays,” co-founder and CEO Geoffrey Woo said. “It’s hard at first, but we literally adopted it as part of the company culture.”

“We adopted.” Pretty amazing. Capital literally starving labor, and all wrapped up with a pretty start-up bow! Wait a minute, let me do a quick scan for “innovative.” A-a-a-n-d here it is:

Known by insiders as “biohacking,” the push for cognitive self-improvement is gaining momentum in the Silicon Valley tech world, where workers face constant pressure to innovate and produce at the highest levels.

Elevator pitch: “Uber for water and crusts of dry bread!”

“Given that the case for worker democracy is obviously so much stronger than the case for a referendum, how can anyone who favoured having a referendum oppose worker democracy?” [Stumbling and Mumbling]. “My point here is a simple one. Worker democracy should – to say the least – be on the political agenda. That it is not is yet further evidence that politics is systemically dysfunctional.”

“The Tale That Might Be Told” [The Power of Narrative]. A classic.

News of the Wired

“Japan’s first VR porn festival closed down due to overcrowding” [Ars Technica]. Just a few dozen…

“Activists Cheer On EU’s ‘Right To An Explanation’ For Algorithmic Decisions, But How Will It Work When There’s Nothing To Explain” [TechDirt]. Interesting from the “code is law” angle.

“The mysterious syndrome impairing astronauts’ sight” [WaPo]. Might interfere with the Mars mission. The downside: We can’t put all the squillionaires in a tin can and shoot them out there. The upside: I’m not sure homo sapiens deserves to get off the planet. Take care of the planet we’re on, perhaps, however belatedly?

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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 (Paul S):


Paul S writes: “The Cazneaux tree. Harold Cazneaux was the Ansel Adams of Australia. He photographed this river red gum in 1937 and titled the image, ‘The Spirit of Endurance.’ This photo from 2015 shows little change from then, in keeping with the great longevity of the species.

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, that I have finally finished thanking readers for their PayPal contributions during the rapid and successful Water Cooler Mini-Fundraiser. Now I must thank those who sent contributions via physical mail! Adding, to me, a reader’s reality is their handle, and even more their actual comments. I don’t mentally connect handle to email, let alone to contribution. So if I’ve snarled at you, take comfort that all are snarled at without fear or favor!

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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. L

    From the Vox article: “Why the Clinton America sees isn’t the Clinton colleagues know”

    Just to save you the time the take-home message (emphasis mine) is:

    The answers startled me in their consistency. Every single person brought up, in some way or another, the exact same quality they feel leads Clinton to excel in governance and struggle in campaigns. On the one hand, that makes my job as a reporter easy. There actually is an answer to the question. On the other hand, it makes my job as a writer harder: It isn’t a very satisfying answer to the question, at least not when you first hear it.

    Hillary Clinton, they said over and over again, listens.

    To its credit the article does probe a bit into the obvious followup question: Just whom does Hillary Clinton listen to?

    Most of the choice examples are from Washington insiders. People who are already firmly within the beltway and are entrenched in its power structures. The positive examples come from “policy wonks” who remember getting emails with questions. The negatives, and to the author’s credit they are real, include people like Sid Blumenthal.

    But ultimately none of the people cited are actual voters, homeless vets, or middle class persons struggling to make ends meet amid expensive adventures in Libya and god-awful trade deals that she cannot address. So while she may govern by listening and may be willing to listen to marginally powerful, but still well-connected wonks, shat doesn’t seem to pierce the larger bubble that defines her decision-making. Nor do they present any compelling evidence that she has learned from the mistakes that they cite (Iraq and Libya) both of which are ultimately blamed on her being misled by other people. That is not the strongest selling point.

    1. Brindle

      When i saw that the Bud Fox of beltway journalism, Ezra Klein, was the author I initially decided to pass but then clicked—what a waste of several minutes of my time–creating a story where there is none. I looked up synonyms for “vacuous”: silly, inane, unintelligent, insipid, foolish, stupid, fatuous, idiotic, brainless, witless, vapid, vacant, empty-headed—-that’s fairly descriptive of the article..

        1. Archie

          yeah, i’m with you pretzel. i skip a lot of main stream turds with opinions these days. to do otherwise is a form of masochism, imo. how can anyone still not believe their lying eyes when they look at what really is happening all around them? worldwide no less!! to not acknowledge it is just irrational, or even naive. the center is not holding in the widening gyre and we need to find and associate with those voices that see things with open eyes. ezra klein ain’t one of them.

      1. ian

        Kleins whole shtick is telling you why up is down, white is black, and everything you think you know about something is wrong. I don’t waste my time with him any more.

    2. Anne

      There is great value in listening; one of the things that has been said about Sanders is how well he listened to the voters. He heard their concerns; he had policy that addressed their issues, he validated their opinions. He energized them, made them believe the power to change had not been bankrupted by selling it out to corporations for pennies on the dollar.

      I have no doubt that Clinton listens: isn’t that one of the things one expects in exchange for large contributions? So, while it’s all well and good for Ezra Klein to give us the warm and fuzzy examples of her listening skills benefiting the downtrodden, I must have skipped over the parts where her generous ear resulted in benefits to her corporate donors and wealthy individuals; surely, there had to have been at least one time when she listened to Lloyd or Jamie or maybe even Henry.

      Perhaps I am afflicted now with terminal cynicism, but I mostly read/skimmed Klein’s piece with the suspicion he had been tasked with humanizing and emo-washing Clinton’s public image, tarnished as it has been by most people’s belief that she is driven by ambition and greed and a desire to one-up and emasculate her husband. I suspect that in Hillary’s world, revenge for all of Bill’s indiscretions is besting him in the political arena in which he is an acknowledged master (although I think some of the shine is coming off that trophy).

      Oh, well, that’s time I will never get back, but it’s good to know my cynicism isn’t entirely without basis.

    3. HBE

      I think I threw up a little reading that. I knew it would be bad but I thought I could pull a few chuckles from it, wow was I wrong!

      “This is not a profile of Hillary Clinton. It is not a review of her career or an assessment of her campaign.” um ok keep telling yourself that ezra.

      “And winning allies is how Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination.” WTF ezra your facking bubble must be made out of steel!

      “Clinton’s effort to find broad consensus can turn her speeches and policies into mush.” really that’s why they are mush?

      I thought it was a pure propaganda piece (and it is) but by the end I think he actually believes it himself. A combination of full on tribalism, painful cognitive dissonance, and a bubble made of battleship steel.

      If it didn’t hurt my head so much to read such idiocy it would be absolutely hilarious. Try to read the whole thing without shaking your head and whispering “what?!?!? The Fack?!??” to yourself. Its the ezra challenge, have fun!

      1. Peter Pan

        Clinton engages in selective listening, which is why she’d never listen to me.

        I engage in selective reading, which is why I didn’t read the article.

      1. nippersmom

        I remember reading that article. Really puts the lie to her claim that she made her decision based on “the best information (she) had available at the time,” too. No, Hillary, as usual you just didn’t want to be confronted with or confused by the facts. Refusing to listen to your own constituent gave you plausible deniability to pursue the course of action you would have chosen anyway.

    4. Carolinian

      Being the diligent pupil who takes lots of notes of course she listens. The bigger question is does she think? The track record suggests that HRC’s decision making powers are what we have to worry about. Even if one assumes that the Clintons were always just in it for the grift, the chaotic quality of their first go round had a lot to do with the contemptuous press coverage and focus on one petty scandal after another from Travelgate to Monicagate. The email mess is just the latest example of how they roll. Mayberry Machiavellis indeed.

      But seems she does like flatterers so maybe Klein will get that West Wing job.

        1. Carolinian

          Not mine. Lambert used it not long ago. It goes back to the Bush administration (but works well for the Clintons).

    5. Christopher Fay

      But she’s never had a job where she had to govern. She’s been wife, legislator, speech giver, donation recipient. Never a job where she had to govern.

  2. Pat

    I love how that statement on the TPP doesn’t include ‘decrease the trade deficit’ as a goal. Mind you no trade agreement we have seen has been promoted as increasing the trade deficit, but they have. And call me crazy, but if there is any national deficit that should really be worrying it is the trade deficit. Part of the reason our trade policy fails is it is largely not about trade. I know that is a shocker to those here.

    National security can pound sand as far as I am concerned, making most of our citizens poorer and more insecure (and more dependent on foreign made goods and foods) so that a bunch of people can pretend that this makes us safer thousands of miles from us is really not good for our National Security. Riots at home and all. Not to mention that the corporate magnates this is really about enriching give zip regard to national security and if it will enrich their personal bottom lines will lead a flotilla to the South China Sea for the Chinese.

    There is so much manure in that statement that one statement puts the pile over your head.

    1. Tom_Doak

      But these agreements would never be agreed by both sides if it was going to increase the trade deficit for one country considerably, and reduce it for the other country. They are only going to be agreed upon if they increase success for the class that is pushing the trade agreement in both countries … and others who are not directly involved are the losers.

      Others like you and me, that is.

      1. John k

        The deficit exists because se foreigners want to save in us financial assets. If we import fewer goods they would buy Less stuff from us to maintain their preferred accumulation of nfa… Do we want them to stop buying our treasuries, equities or real estate?

        It’s not the trade deficit that matters but the fiscal deficit. Not enough cash in avg person pockets to buy goods on offer, much less the goods that would be made at full employment. Our trade deficit helps jobs elsewhere, but we need much higher deficits to compensate for our citizens plus others desire to save, our growing population, plus the desired 2% inflation.

        1. Pat

          I don’t agree, but neither one of us is happy. They are fixated on the deficit at least when it comes to cutting out everything you seem to want the deficit raised to do, unless most American citizens become Military industrial contractors. Mind you that might be the answer to getting money to them, disguise them all as versions of Raytheon. Nope, they are fine with higher deficits for war but not for the American citizenry.

          Of course your premise is not entirely correct – unless it is a knock off, Americans are still largely paying full cost for all those products no longer made in the USA. I mean now that a large portion of Oreos are made in Mexico not Chicago is anybody seeing a big price drop? Nope the difference is that there is more profit for a company that was already massively profitable and a whole lot of Americans are unemployed. And you can figure out how they no longer can buy the not so lower priced products for yourself.

    2. TheCatSaid

      Every country that is promoting a trade agreement claims it will increase exports for their country, but no one looks at the impossibility of this being true for everyone.

      However all sides keep falling for the story. Wilful self deception–by those in power, if not by those who suffer from the consequences.

  3. Tertium Squid

    As online video surges, publishers turn to automation

    The level of human intervention before publishing is up to the clients. They can be hands-on from the start, making edits, adding original material and using the tools to speed things along. Or they can let the machines do almost all the work — betting that it will be good enough for viewers — or, at least, for advertisers.

  4. Pat

    Oh, and I think the Clinton camp may be really really surprised by the number of Sanders supporters who do not blindly follow Sanders regardless of his endorsement (lukewarm or glowing). The truest thing Sanders ever told them was that Clinton had to earn the support of his supporters, he couldn’t just hand them to her. Frankly, any self respecting person who supported her should have had misgivings at the response to that, because she obviously respects them so little that she does consider a commodity she can trade.

    I appreciate every thing Bernie has done at this time. He will do what he thinks he has to do, considering his promises at the beginning of this process. But in some ways I’m going to enjoy like hell as Clinton and her sycophants begin to realize that they have to earn his voters support and they can’t do it without real change. In my case, if Clinton wants me to vote for the Democratic nominee in November, she needs to resign for the sake of her health and hand her super delegates to Sanders.

    1. Massinissa

      Even if she were to resign at the convention she would probably nominate someone who is not sanders to be her nominee.

      1. Pat

        In which case, in all likelihood, I would still not be voting for the Democratic nominee. (There is always the minuscule chance she could pick someone who isn’t a neoliberal hack, but I think I have a better chance of winning millions in the lottery than her resigning and/or backing someone who despises neoliberal policies.)

    2. jsn

      It has been wonderous watching the Overton Window inch left for the first time since Nixon created the EPA and I too am deeply grateful.

      Bernie has been pretty humble about being the messenger of incipient change rather than its creator, but the status quo mongers can’t seem to keep the ground beneath their own feet anymore, much less sustain the NeoLib con on any kind of majoritarian scale. Now all they can do is suppress and ignore checks and balances of all kinds until the tide finally swamps them.

      Bernie, it seems to me, may be the last chance for this to be a non-violent change, although violence threatens to overtake us already.

      1. jrs

        If Bernie can move the Overton Window and if that matters then perhaps the like of a Trump can too and for the most part (with a few exceptions) not in a way most of us would like to go in.

        Yea focusing on the Bern is certainly most positive than focusing on Trump etc..

        1. jsn

          Trump appears to be against war with Russia…

          A Trump presidency will be resisted tooth and nail by the “bipartisan” excementalist: he will be ineffective. It may be four years of watching the world as it is figuratively burning around us, but it won’t be an atomic blast.

          Clinton’s foreign policy excrementalism has gone from being a mere authorizing voter for Iraq to actively causing wars in Ukraine, Syria and Libya, the next obvious “increment” that she and her surrogates like Victoria Nuland seem to have in mind is Russia, which can only look like something other than suicide if you are entirely surround by sychophants and have been for decades.

          1. aab

            Trump apparently forced GOP to remove pro-TPP language from the platform, as well as removing an anti-same sex marriage plank. I’m sure there’s still a lot of nonsense in there about the bible, but it’s interesting.

            Trump/Flynn, I’d actually start to feel good about voting for, as it would suggest he really is serious about preventing the looming war with Russia. So I’m sure the VP will be Pence, because oligarchy. Sigh.

            Anybody know if it’s true that Jill Stein is connected to Werner Erhard?

      2. Epistropy

        I, for one, do not understand the almost cult-like following of Bernie Sanders. He is an opportunist just like everyone else in Washington. I would have thought the “I’m an Independent, but running as a Democrat” and “Enough of the Emails” and no doubt his soon to be confirmed endorsement of HRC would be enough to expose his true nature to anyone.

        Some of his policies are worthwhile ones, but why not follow the policies, not the man? HRC is not going to adopt his policies – no way – no matter what she says. Surely Sanders must know this too.

        Who can know what HRC hears, much less listens to? We can be certain, however, that what she says in front of large public audiences, on national television and in front of Congress is often not what she has heard, nor what she has seen, nor what she has experienced. In other words, she lies – as does her husband – its a matter of record.

        1. Yves Smith

          You are off base in both your characterization of Sanders and his supporters.

          Sanders is the antithesis of an “opportunist”. He is a public official who has held the same political positions his entire career, which is the antithesis of opportunism. His net worth is a mere $528,000, which likely consists manly of his net worth in his house. $520,000 in cash isn’t enough to finance a comfortable retirement for a couple, particularly in this era of ZIRP.

          And his followers are not “cult-like”. I’ve had personal experience with cults (Goldman is a classic cult; people who leave voluntarily even to comparable or more successful job postings, regularly say it takes them over two years to get over the belief that they’ve failed by leaving Goldman) as well as with several people who were members of bona fide cults (EST, other New Age cults; people who grew up in religious sects that were cults and escaped as adults). Your remark isn’t just hyperbole, it’s simply wrong. Among other things, people are attracted to Sanders’ message, and not his . He is not a stellar speaker. And as one reader put it, he has all the charisma of a Jewish uncle telling you to take your feet off the coffee table. That is an exaggeration but not by much.

          Politics has protocols and parties have rules. Bernie would have gotten nowhere running as an independent. And have you bothered looking into how hard it is to get ballot access?

          It’s easy for armchair purists to be critical. And they don’t get anything done. Sanders has done an astonishing job but all you can do is attack him and his supporters.

          While your critical comments on Clinton are in order, reflexive cynicism is just as blinkered a view of the world as the Panglossianism of the Acela corridor denizens.

          1. Epistropy

            Dear, dear – is anything I have written indefensible? You cannot argue that there are not cult-like followers – at times bordering on the irrational.

            If Bernie were a man of principle he would have run as an Independent. This has been done many times before on many sides of the political spectrum. I agree that he would have had a harder time of it, but what has he achieved now? HRC and the Democratic Party are not going to adopt any of his platform no matter what she says – we all know what that is worth.

            I happen to like some of the policies of Sanders but I have never had any illusions as to his true nature. This statement could also be applied to HRC and Trump for that matter.

            Policies, not personalities, are what matters.

            Personal attacks on those who dare question your view with ‘ists’ (armchair purists) or other derogatory labels will not win you any arguments, Yves.

            1. pretzelattack

              to start with, you implied that sanders is an opportunist. you never bothered to support that, but continue insinuating that it is true–“i have never had any illusions as to his true nature”.

              you also refer to “the almost cult like following”, implying that at least a significant percentage of sander’s supporters are not supporting him because they like his policies, but because of his enormous personal charisma or his spellbinding rhetoric. again, no evidence, but you switched to claiming that possibly a supporters might exhibit cultlike behavior.

              you repeat that if he had principles he would have run as an independent, ignoring the points about why that would not have been nearly as effective in getting his message out there and garnering support for his policies.

              what has he accomplished? this hasn’t played out yet, but he has galvanized a movement of people that are appalled by the us being transformed into a banana republic, and in a very short time.

              1. Epistrophy

                OK – points well taken. But can you not see that he is severely damaging, not just his principles, but his very integrity, to endorse a candidate not of his political party, and that, in my and many others view, is as likely to be a prisoner as the President? Does this action not throw his millions of supporters under the bus?

                This situation reminds me very much of the, now effectively defunct, Liberal Democrats who, when finally afforded real power in UK Parliament, proceeded cast their constituents to the dogs, by discarding their most important platform policies (ie tuition fees and proportional representation). That is why they have effectively ceased to exist as a political force in Britain.

                1. cwaltz

                  I think he’s been pretty clear that a) He had to promise to endorse to run as a Democrat to begin with.
                  b) he knows that many of us won’t follow his lead unless HER POLICY matches what he wanted. He understands he his supporters are not focused on him but on his message.

                  I think the ones who will see him as really damaging his message are the ones who expected him to be some sort of white knight(the cult like people.) Most of us are just going to shrug and power on with thinking for ourselves…..even if Bernie tries to tell us means tested college is better than what we have.

                  So I really think the damage is a YMMV depending how invested you were in Bernie winning.

          2. Fiver

            But the problem is (and equally with respect to Lambert’s reiteration that Sanders is only ‘keeping his word’) that Sanders deliberately activated a tremendous desire for, impulse towards, and critically, belief in a real, not farcical, possibility of engaging directly the core issues of authenticity in the democratic process and integrity in the character of the individuals who govern. For doing so he won the admiration and respect of many tens of millions of people (he would’ve absolutely clobbered Trump) and I can assure you, hundreds of millions globally at minimum.

            The simple fact is that what transpired over the past several months, culminating in a Clinton nomination and a Clinton criminal waver runs so completely counter to the core identification as ‘supporter’ of those who seriously supported him that the values equation cannot be reconciled.

            It certainly hasn’t been ‘purists’ who’ve traded away, given up, sold out, cashed in or otherwise handed over the keys to this planet’s future’s killers over the last 3 decades – they were the ones who said each and every time: ‘Don’t do it. Don’t give it away. Don’t let them get away with it. Stop them. Join together and stop them.’ while a parade of increasingly useless, corrupted, illegitimate, empty and deadly combinations of elite power made war on all.

            What the US does over the next 5 years is of world-historic import and consequence far beyond anything since WWII – in truth, far, far more important than that war itself. I believe Sanders, once confronted by the antithesis of his own projected persona presented him by Power, had the opportunity to deny Power its homicidal, ecocidal plans. Such an opportunity is very, very rare. I think he could have made big history for the US and world – but of course, being a ‘purist’, one can only expect a great man or woman to emerge on occasion, and it appears King used up the US allotment for the last 60 years.

            Is Sanders better than most? Of course. By a long shot. But there are now millions of lives, and it will soon become tens of millions, put at existential risk with each year that passes that the people do not rise to meet the immense problems we’ve allowed money and power to create.

    3. dale

      I’ve never really understood how a candidate, especially one running on integrity, could switch his or her position from anti-corruption and join the most corrupt candidate in the race. It doesn’t raise the corrupt candidate and only lowers (negates completely?) the honest candidate. There is no winner, it seems, in such an agreement. And there is still the possibility that Trump could win against this tag team.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        If you never understood, then you never paid attention. Sanders always said he would endorse. There was no “switch.” Did you not read the label on the package?

        I see this line over and over again, and I’m sick of the dishonesty and tendentiousness of it.

          1. Archie

            fwiw dale, I get where you’re coming from and I too see the incongruity you mention. time to move on.

        1. YankeeFrank

          But there is a switch, whether you or Sanders want to acknowledge it or not. Just because he may be willing to bridge that massive gulf and betray many of the things he’s stood for during this primary doesn’t mean its not a massive gulf and a betrayal, regardless of what he promised he would or wouldn’t do beforehand. One of the reasons so many people flocked to Sanders was because they felt his rhetoric wasn’t mere rhetoric but backed by heartfelt positions. This differentiated him significantly from politicians like Obama and Clinton who say lots of things they really don’t mean. Regardless of what he may have said early on, once his campaign picked up steam and took on a life of its own it became bigger than just Sanders. He owes more to those that backed him than to endorse Hillary, regardless what he said at the outset. So no, it IS a big switch, and many Sanders supporters will read it that way if he does endorse her.

          Oh, and Lambert, you really should try harder to restrain your testiness. dale’s comment doesn’t at all deserve such an over the top response.

          1. aab

            I believe he’s required to endorse her as a condition of running in the primary. How and when he does it matters, though.

            Supposedly, the “joint rally” tomorrow is something the DNC was able to trap him into — if he doesn’t appear with her, given that she’s in the delegate lead, they can ban him and his delegates from the convention. It will be interesting to see how he handles it.

            A lot of people are arguing that he has a potential “get out of endorsing free” card because she stole the primary. The problem with that logic is that it is not legally proven, while he may have signed a legally binding agreement to enter the primary.

            He’s in a difficult position. But we are all free actors. I doubt they’ll let Bernie people into the event. If they do, they’ll be used as a photo prop to “prove” his supporters are flocking to her, as per Peter Daou. I wish people would just mass outside the event with their backs to it. Hard to misrepresent that.

            1. polecat

              conditional of what? ….getting screwed out of votes, because of malfeasance & corruption on the part of the DNC and the Clinton camp….!!!

              Come on…pull the other one!

              1. aab

                I’m not sure I understand you. My point is that he agreed to endorse the party’s nominee, as a condition of running in the primary. I believe (but do not know for sure) that this was a legally binding agreement.

                That would mean he HAS to endorse her in some fashion, or be in violation of the law. Obviously, he could decide to violate the law as a protest — he’s done that before. But it wouldn’t make any sense to do that BEFORE the convention. So they can keep squeezing him, with the assistance of the corporate media, until the convention.

                I think we’re in agreement that the primary was stolen. But there is no legal ruling at this time that supports us. So he has no legal standing to refuse to endorse.

                Lambert has been arguing something else: that he’s a man of honor who believes in keeping his word. That’s a separate argument.

                1. Treadingwaterbutstillkicking

                  Is there some kind of legally enforceable contract here? Aren’t these just voluntary membership organizations? Can’t people opt to leave at any moment? I’ve not seen or heard of any contract other than his verbal word and I can’t imagine anything actually being enforced in a matter that would end up in litigation giving Bernie’s lawyers possibility of discovery thus allowing the curtain to be flung open exposing the Wizard and all the DNC machinery hiding back there.

                  These are the same people plotting to put in Biden if Bernie could’ve pulled it out with all the shenanigans they pulled (He probably would’ve needed a 65-35 super majority or more, who knows…) and he’s expected to keep his word.

                  I think Bernie has more leverage than even we give him credit for and I also think that he has enough first hand knowledge and maybe even documentary evidence of what’s really happened to him, so much so that he likely can’t sleep at night from the recurring nightmares and post traumatic flashbacks.

                  (Imagine seeing that woman’s face up close from on stage. Only feet from you. Lying. Sneering. Cackling. That horrible fake dismissive chuckle repeated endlessly in an eery Satanic way. Ugh)

                2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  “He agreed to support the nominee as a condition of running”
                  Or else what? He would get a spanking by DWS? Maybe Hil would come and tell him to “cut it out” like she did to Wall St?
                  As if he had no choice.
                  He could very easily have waited a few weeks, gone to the convention and given a few fiery speeches before capitulating.
                  Or better yet, after getting rolled in Orlando, just boycotted.
                  The man went from pretty high in my estimation to pretty low indeed. A very sad and ironic end to a great career, the ultimate man of principle trips on his own laces at the finish line.

                  1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                    “…I’ll pick up my guitar and play…
                    Just like yesterday,
                    Then I’ll get on my knees and pray,
                    …we won’t get fooled again”

              2. Lambert Strether Post author

                Needs to be an iron-clad case the press will accept and/or Sanders can present without any gotchas.

                There’s no such thing, one’s personal beliefs aside.

              3. cwaltz

                In order to run as a Democrat(something he has stated he did in order to actually get coverage for his policies…you know the things he’s been fighting for in Congress for years now like single payer) he had to promise to support the primary winner.

                It really isn’t that complicated or nefarious.

                He didn’t run as a third party because then he’d have had to waste time trying to get on the ballot in all the states, or felt he’d be left out of public debates on policy. Now you can disagree those things would have happened but based on past experience I think his thought process has validity to it. The price of running as a Democratic nominee was an agreement that he’d support the primary winner. It sucks. Most of us agree. However, we can wrap our brains around what his “price” was to actually participate as a Democratic nominee.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            Testiness, forsooth. Don’t try me. You haven’t seen me when I’m testy.

            There is no “betrayal.” Sanders ran as a Democrat and said from the beginning that he’d endorse the Democrat candidate. (I’d love it if he’d created the wiggle room to break the deal, but I don’t think he has; I’d also love it if Clinton came out of it all saying “another endorsement like this and we are undone.”*) All this “massive gulf” and “heartfelt” and “betrayal” stuff was baked in from the start; this moment was always going to come if Sanders lost. So there’s no point whinging that what was to come, has come.

            Life, sadly, often presents us with consequences that are tragic no matter which choice is made: In this case, endorsing corruption vs. breaking a promise. Deal. Politics ain’t beanbag.

            As for “regardless of what he may have said early on,” I can’t believe I’m hearing that immediately after this discussion of “betrayal.” Suppose I wrote, approvingly, of Clinton that “regardless of what she said early on….”; I can hear the cries of pain and outrage now!

            Finally, the significant issue is the Sanders list, one of the top lists and fundraising tools in the business. If Sanders gives the list up, that would be a betrayal, since it would mean he is no longer an independent institutional force in the party. (I mean, the list is why Senators are slapping him on the back when he returns to the Floor, not because they like him….)

            NOTE “Then I never paid attention…” I don’t find my reaction to that over the top at all. There’s really no good reason to ask readers to plow through comments posted without paying attention to the subject matter at hand; in fact, encouraging that would destroy the comments section. It amazes me that I even have to say this.

            * Imagine Sanders campaigning for the fracking ban and single payer in Colorado, and winning!

            1. TheCatSaid

              Sanders has spent a lengthy and successful career in politics by understanding how to leverage various interests to move things forward constructively. Assuming he hasn’t changed his spots, doing meaningful deals shouldn’t be a surprise. (A give-away would be a surprise and disappointment.)

              An “endorsement” can mean many things. The how, the what and the timing are crucial parts of what is being “said” or “accomplished” by any such “endorsement”.

              1. YankeeFrank

                Gawd. I could never do what he does. I’d eventually bring a shotgun in and blow the heads off all the corrupt stooges he has to deal with to get a tiny deal done that actually helps people.

            2. YankeeFrank

              All I know is you can’t throw around all the high-minded principle the way Sanders did and expect people to NOT take it seriously. Whatever promises he made before people knew who he was is irrelevant to the thing he said once they got to know him. The question about betrayal matters because there was pre-2016 Sanders and post. Pre was a guy who got a few little things done here or there over decades in Congress while carrying water at crucial points for a thoroughly corrupt system.

              My problem with him is that, like so many others, its now clear he doesn’t really believe the things he says. Once it became apparent he could actually win this thing he should’ve changed his game from the small ball he’s used to playing to something more ambitious. Perhaps that was teaching an old dog too many new tricks, I don’t know. But he created an extremely powerful and meaningful rebellion, one he apparently still doesn’t realize the power of. The moment he endorsed Clinton his list became largely worthless because the people who fiercely supported him (and funded him) will never vote for Clinton and will no longer follow him.

              You are equating a stupid promise made to a corrupt gang of insiders to the promises he made to the people on the campaign trail. They are not equal. So yes, he can “betray” the betrayers and NOT endorse her. Some promises are worth more than others.

      2. Christopher Fay

        Are you talking E Warren is the anti-corruption and Hillary as more neolib government, oops, more corruption?

      3. Stormcrow

        I believe that Sanders was subjected to so much voter suppression and general dirty dealing that he would reasonably be exempt from any pledges he may have made to endorse the eventual nominee, presumably now Clinton.

        I sent him a message that might speak for many of his supporters, but apparently to no avail.

        I will be extremely dismayed if (as predicted) you endorse Clinton next week. It will be a gross betrayal of your supporters and of everything you accomplished. This is no joke.

        A vote for Clinton will be a vote for war, quite possibly WWIII.

        It will be a vote for Goldman Sachs.

        It will be a vote for further depredations of the environment, at a time when we have virtually no margin for error.

        These items are only the begnning.

        I believe that you would have a real chance of winning if you teamed up with Jill Stein and the Green Party.

        Both Trump and Clinton fall below any reasonable standard of acceptability. Trump is indeed terrible while Clinton is really no less so. They are ony terrible in different ways. Trump might just avoid getting us into a war with Russia, though he is too unpredictable for anyone to be sure. The Clintons are at least as corrupt as Nixon if not more so. The Democratic platform means little or nothing. Clinton will disregard it at the first chance she gets.

        Bernie, if you care about your program and your supporters, and your country, and your entire career, the very least you can do is to refrain from endorsing one of the worst Democratic presidential nominees in history.

        After all the hopes you have raised, how could you dare to betray us in that way?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Yes, but your belief is not relevant. We all have beliefs. What you need to show is how the Sanders campaign can actualize your beliefs and turn them into a political statement that voters will accept (and the political class won’t be able to do it’s “pulling the wings off flies” thing with). I don’t see a way, and the time to prepare the way for that would have started weeks ago; I haven’t seen anything from the Sanders campaign on it at all.

          I think your belief is reasonable. That doesn’t mean that your case is strong enough to stand the rigors of a presidential campaign.

          1. Stormcrow

            Well, whether a Sanders/Stein ticket would be strong enough to withstand the rigors of a presidential campaign is, in my opinion, imponderable. We’ll never know if it’s not tried.

            I think Sanders surprised everyone, including himself, about how well he actually did in the primaries. I think he could surprise us again given the negatives surrounding both Trump and Clinton. He would have an enthusiastic base.

            If your point is that this outcome has many factors against it, well of course. I think the looming crises are so desperate and severe, however, that it’s worth a try. I think both Trump and Clinton spell doom.

            Yes, it would have been much better if he had moved in that direction earlier if that’s what he was going to do. It’s late but not absolutely too late. Your Realpolitik is fine as far as it goes, I would say, but is not everything.

            In any case, Sanders will lose a lot of credibility if he endorses Clinton. Let’s hope he will do it in a merely pro forma way.

        2. dk

          Bernie does have a real chance of winning as a Green; it’s extremely slim but if turnout was low for all other candidates, it’s numerically possible.

          But during the campaign, the MSM forgets all about awful Hillary and goes all out on that un-American socialist traitor. And if Hillary beats a Green Bernie, she comes to the office with less visible tarnish, replaced with hero-gleam. Likewise for Trump… let’s just keep in mind that Bernie is the candidate that the Big $$$ power players hate and fear the most. Faux-populist Trump beating vero-populist Bernie would make him that much more of a Republican hero.

          But let’s say Bernie wins it.

          And then what? A president from a party with NO SEATS in Congress? Frozen out and ignored by BOTH sides of the aisle? Not to mention roundly discredited in advance by the MSM? Oh yeah, that’s a winning formula… one king and maybe a handful of pawns on the chessboard, against every other black and white piece, that’s how we want to play the next round?

          Just think it through. Who is the most dangerous player in this game? Clinton and the gang that keeps shooting itself in yet another of its centipede feet? Trump and the Gotterdammerung of the angry white Republican men? Oh please. These people are running for a semi-symbolic seat in a compromised government. When the election is over, regardless of the outcome, the Big $$$ will keep pushing TPP/TTIP, the militarists will keep trying to prod Russia and China into an excuse to spend money on war, industrialists keep dragging their feet on retooling for sustainability (more robots though!), the payment processing industry will keep pushing to end physical currencies, privatization of education/health/identity/media will continue to be an ongoing effort by those various players, and you know this list is much longer.

          It doesn’t strictly matter who is in the presidential hot seat, these folks have no compelling reason within their world view to change course, and they won’t. Whoever becomes president this year (well.. next year) is facing political, economic and environmental turbulences bigger than any in our planet’s past (and that’s saying something). What we do not want is to put our best player in the hot seat to be beaten like a pinata by the press from all directions, and blamed for everything that happens. It’s poetical, romantical, a dream of glory, and suicidal. It’s short term gain for long term disaster. Most of all, it’s a gift to the opponent.

          No. We want a puppet in that hot seat, a puppet that owes us. The DNC/Dems biggest weakness is that they are stuck with the Left; they can ignore them but they can’t actually kick them out of the room… they sell their donors on their promise to steer and placate the Left. Which makes them, in this scenario, the Judas goat. And when you’re going after a large predator ($$$), you really want that Judas goat to be, well, somebody who’s already damaged and unsalvageable anyway. But not your best hunter… goat… ykwim.

          And if Bernie runs as a Green and loses, he goes back to the Senate not as a Dem power broker but as a defeated fringe candidate, with no leverage on the actual winner, and no leverage within any significant party. The grassroots tasks remain, but the movement will have lost credibility and position that was within its grasp.

          An aggressive Senator Sanders under a Clinton presidency is not only the most likely outcome, it’s actually the best available scenario. Next up, shift state legislatures away from the Tea Party and get some traction before the 2020 redistricting.

          1. Stormcrow

            You raise many weighty points. I find them all to be cogent. It could be that no matter what happens, even if Sanders were to run and win, we are well and truly screwed.

            Whether a Sanders loss after a vigorous campaign would mean nothing but a loss of credibility for the movement, however, is not a clear to me as it seems to be to you. It could help to bring about the break up of the Democratic Party, for example, which might be an outcome devoutly to be wished. Especially if the Republican Party also breaks apart in its own way. Again I think we are looking at imponderables. Maybe none of it would work out well, however. Relative to what? A Clinton presidency is unlikely to be immobilized in its foreign policy and its corporate toadyism.

            Yes, an aggressive Senator Sanders under a Clinton presidency may be the best we can get. There would still be other things to do, as you say. But in the end we would be looking at Sanders as little more than the mouse that roared. Sad.

      4. uncle tungsten

        I recall Saul Alinsky here and can see that Bernie Sanders is absolutely within the Democrat Party and appears to have amassed a huge following that is readily on call for the agenda he espoused.

        There are so many disruptive and advocacy tactics that can easily be deployed from within the machine and therefore easily be promoted or simply covered by the MSM because they happen within the machine.

        Consider the cost of his endorsement. He attaches his campaign momentum to the Democrat campaign momentum if he is canny (and I have no doubt of that). He continues to promote the people’s policy agenda without it being diluted by some idiotic switch to the Greens. He continues to contrast a progressive future with a regressive present in the Democrat establishment.

        Alinsky’s ‘rules for radicals’ is worth a read by all right now. Consider the tactics including that one here about Bernie supporters turning up and turning their backs. People turning up and throwing soft shoes at Hillary. People turning up and placards saying dump Trump vote Bernie at every Hillary rally chance. Bernie is not obliged to endorse these actions but Clinton has to manage the message.

        Always operate outside of the comprehension of the other side (or similar) I have used it often and it seriously confounds the enemy especially when there is no identifiable leader to appeal to to have the tactics stop. Good Luck.

    4. cyclist

      I too can appreciate what Bernie has accomplished, but will never vote for Clinton. I’m going to look for a Bernie bumper sticker that is large enough so that it can have a Jill Stein bumper sticker placed over it at an angle but still be recognizable.

    5. Arizona Slim

      Count me as a Sanders supporter who will NOT vote for Hillary.

      I distinctly recall voting for her husband because I thought we would get national health insurance in this country. Well, guess who fouled that one up. And I’ve never forgotten that.

      So, no, Hillary. You haven’t earned my vote.

      Medicare for All!

    1. edmondo

      So the Democratic Party that Bernie was going to “move to the left” will be represented by Hillary Clinton and Evan Bayh? Was Joe Lieberman unavailable?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Is the concept of splitting the Democrat party too hard to grasp? Sanders and Sanders voters own the future of the party and policy; the more the Clintons do the Third Way thing, the better, so far as I’m concerned. It’s gonna work, until it doesn’t, and its running on fumes already.

        1. edmondo

          Splitting the Democratic Party? Oh I get it. Bernie gets to own the platform that no one will ever look at again in three weeks. The neo-liberals get all the seats at the deciding table. Seems fair to me.

          The Democratic Party needs to be broken up into a million pieces and put out the trash.

          Hillary, Evan Bayh, Patrick Murphy. Ugh Why not vote for the real Republicans? At least they wanna kill us faster than the slow bleed the Dems prefer.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            If you help put the platform in the trash and never look at it again, that will certainly help. I say two pieces, you say a million. Since you’re clearly using hyperbole, care to clarify your meaning?

          2. Pat

            The reason these cancers started running and still can run is because it seemed to be working. Republican lite got campaign donations and the rubes still voted for them as they either lied or were supposedly slightly better. As more and more the ‘rubes’ show they get that they aren’t any better, and don’t vote for them, the campaign donations will no longer roll in. (It will take more and more losses before the message reaches the moneyed classes, think of the millions wasted on Jeb for instance.)

            Let’s see if Clinton can win, Bayh can win, unfortunately Murphy and Van Hollen probably can as can Schumer (which autocorrect just accurately changed to schemer). Slowly but surely the voters are saying no, you aren’t lesser, you just have different PR. And someone like Sanders reminds people what their candidates should be saying, especially Democratic ones. Speeds up the process of their being the losing choice.

      2. susaniniowa

        Ssshh. Don’t give Joe any ideas.

        If I lived in Indiana, I would vote R to keep that sanctimonious and economically illiterate buffoon out of the Senate. At least with a Republican you would avoid “bipartisan” support for cutting Social Security.

        1. mn rebel

          Ron Wyden (Azzhole-OR) would still jump in to screw the working person. After all, it’s what Dems do.

        2. TheCatSaid

          If they could convince Richard Lugar to come back, that would be worth it for his expertise in foreign policy & disarmament. (If only his wife weren’t entrenched in Big Pharma.) I wonder if he is being considered for any positions. Trump could benefit from his wisdom in some areas.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Move over Donald Clinton and Hillary Trump because the worst person in the country is running statewide in Indiana.

      My guess is Team Blue dumps money into this race and gets 45% of the vote. Since Bayh’s issues were always corporate toadying and whining about spending, I’m not sure how he is going to go up against a Republican who champions those issues and is the author of the REINS Act, but then again, Bayh is also an idiot who would be selling used cars If his dad wasn’t a good Senator.

      1. Pat

        Now is the time, I mean with coattails like those from top of the ticket candidate Clinton. Obviously someone like that that people love and trust and cant wait to vote for is going to sweep corporate hack Republican wannabes into office all over the country. It was only that others didn’t have the vision of a Bayh to figure that out.

        I love that Vox thinks that Bayh is a throwback to a much more conservative Democratic Party. Throwback. Ha.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That’s her slogan: We want Bayh. We want Bayh. Bayh, Bayh.

          Hillary, Hillary, Bayh, Bayh.

          Bayh, Bayh, Hillary, Hillary.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          “Evan Bayh, he made Joe Biden look like a great choice for Vice President.”

          This is the nicest thing I can say.

    3. DJG

      Come on, Dr. Bob:

      Evan Bayh
      Tim Kaine
      Where’s Harold Ford?
      Feel the excitement of moderation.

    1. Yves Smith

      I had a report from someone in Italy that nothing of the kind was happening (and this is an economist who has been all over the banking mess). You don’t expect a bank run to go from zero to empty ATMs in one day, which is what would have to have happened for the story to be accurate.

      The only thing that has changed over the weekend is the Die Weit story this weekend. I don’t see any evidence that that got outside the financial blogosphere. No re-reporting even in the financial MSM.

      A one line claims with not details and no support, not even a quote from a local, does not look credible. This smells like someone who is short European banks (late) trying to spur more worry. If he is right, it is more likely to be coincidence if he does happen to be right.

      The problem is depositors are not set to be bailed in under the new rules but bondholders are, so that includes a lot of small depositors who were suckered into buying bonds and told they were the as good as deposits. So some of these people could be yanking deposits not realizing that that is not where their risk lies.

      1. BillC

        A quick look at on-line editions of several Tuesday morning Italian papers of widely differing viewpoints indicates nothing of the sort. Today’s banking-related headlines, generally below the fold, report Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale execs now joining with Italian PM Renzi, campaigning hard for suspension of EU bail-in rules.

    2. I Have Strange Dreams

      That is infamous gold-pumper Martin Armstrong’s blog; not worth the paper it isn’t printed on. He “predicted” $20,000/oz gold last year.

    3. Skippy

      Armstrong still cranking out opinions even after be caught out a criminal…. wheeee…

      Criminal conviction

      In 1999, Japanese fraud investigators determined that Armstrong had been collecting money from Japanese investors, improperly “commingling” these funds with funds from other investors, and using the fresh money to cover losses he had incurred while trading.[9] Assisting Armstrong in his scheme was the Republic New York Bank, which produced false account statements to reassure Armstrong’s investors. In 2001, the bank agreed to pay US$606 million as restitution for its part in the scandal.[10]

      Armstrong was indicted in 1999, and was ordered by judge Richard Owen to turn over a number of gold bars, computers, and antiquities that had been bought with the fund’s money; the list included bronze helmets and a bust of Julius Caesar.[11] Armstrong produced some of the items, but claimed the others were not in his possession; this led to several contempt of court charges.[12] Armstrong was jailed for seven years for contempt of court, until judge Owen was removed from the case and Armstrong reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.[13] Armstrong pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced to five years in prison.[14] He was released from Federal custody on September 2, 2011.[15] – wiki

      Disheveled Marsupial… hay his – Econnomic Confidence Model – model is right up there with the Bible Code …

  5. Take the Fork

    “A common retort to movements against police violence has been “Well, what about black-on-black crime?” — a phrase that originated in the 1980s and has been used to cite black people as the problem instead of poverty, poor educational opportunities, proximity and other factors that spike crime rates in all communities despite racial composition.”

    Well, what about it? Still no answer.

    The paragraph is not the point of the article, but it statement fails to provide any support for its claim. Are poor white and Asian communities prone to the same relative level of crime “spikes”? I doubt it. I haven’t found any evidence to support this. And this ought to become even more clear once we have several years of data separating white and Hispanic crimes.

    My guess is we’ll see the same racial breakdown in the US that clearly exists on the global scale: mestizo and African communities are nearly everywhere more prone to violence than European and Asian.

    What if the symptom is the problem? What if it is crime that produces poverty?

    I know the Birkenstock-and-brie crowd doesn’t want to hear that – it reverses the premises of the entire movement. But given Marxism’s woeful track record, maybe a reconsideration of premises ought to be considered.

    What if, God forbid, essence precedes existence?

    1. Patricia

      There are indications that banking fraud is particularly a white crime. Maybe a reconsideration of premises ought to be considered. What if, God forbid, this is true? What if essence precedes existence?

      Stick a fork in it.

      1. Synoia

        How could banking fraud be otherwise? How many black people go to a Ivy League college, enter the banking sector and rise to senior management?

        What do you want to achieve:
        1) Equality of dishonesty across races?
        2) Equality of employment among races in Banking?

        How does (2) not lead to (1), or a set of fall guys?

        1. Patricia

          Just trying to show a different criminal propensity where it lies among the different colors, to the absurdity of Fork’s premise. Even if there was something to any of these vulnerabilities-by-genetics, they could not be seen/understood until the more prominent causes were under management, highly unlikely since we humans are not much for egalitarianism.

          There is another kind of crime that seems to be perpetuated by whites more than others: child sexual abuse. So, you know…..snark, yeah

          1. Synoia

            I’m using the conventional meaning….

            Perhaps “claw their way” could replace “rise,” – violent enough but does not emphasize the ruthless, unethical behavior…

            I’m at a loss for a precise expression…any suggestions form others int he crowd?

            1. Christopher Fay

              Claw their way is start as long as the picture is clawing over the backs of fellow bankers to get to the top. There’s a huge pile of people, don’t be at the bottom, and their are great prizes if you get to the top for a while.

      2. Christopher Fay

        Criminal DNA is smart DNA, of course it is going to mutate in unexpected ways. Knowing of several eastern Massachusetts democrats, I would say the criminal DNA has lodged widespread into lawyer genes.

        As Lambert asked, anybody know of any lawyers who got disbarred from practice for passing fraudulent mortgage docs?

    2. jrs

      “mestizo and African communities are nearly everywhere more prone to violence than European …”

      yea those Europeans, they only slaughtered a whole continent that was North America … (and of course did plenty of slaughtering on their own continent as well). They are just SO peaceful.

      Oh sure you are going to argue some qualitative different between war/conquest and murder within one’s tribe. There is a difference perhaps and maybe qualitative, but it’s NOT a moral one, and it is not about “proneness to violence”. Newsflash starting wars (right up to the present – a few white people made the decisions and 100k Iraqis died as a result) and conquest and putting people in ovens and gas chambers and so on IS violence. Whitie sure as heck doesn’t have any moral high ground to stand on.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        This. It seems brown violence is mano-a-mano, whereas white violence is institutional- and nation-scale.
        Exception might be Rwanda, but even that pales when compared to King Leopold’s fun and games.

        1. Synoia

          Dingan’s assault on the Tswana. Come to mind.

          Dingan – Zulu. Action – Depopulate the countryside, killing the males and enslaving the women and children.

          I always believe the Zulu African Blacks. However I must be mistaken, and Dingan was from Europe.

          Oh and the Hutus and Tutsis are also so peaceful…

      2. Int

        Jrs, I often wonder how people reconcile the fact that over 750,000 Iraqi children died as results of sanctions against this country for over a decade. Yet people keep repeating this nonsense about how only something like 100000 Iraqis died as a result of the war. A war that totally devasted the infrastructure (remember shock and awe campaign) and state appartus of the country.
        Kind of like last weeks report released stating only about 60 some civilians have met an early end due to drone strikes.
        Other than that, we seem to be in agreement.

    3. jrs

      As far as the claim (and we’d have to limit it so as to be nearly meaningless – yea but war doesn’t count as violence etc. even though in reality it does – ask anyone who has seen war) I don’t even know if it’s true, so for things I don’t know I don’t just accept them at face value because someone asserts them in a comment somewhere. But I do know that there is plenty of evidence that marginalized populations everywhere have been found to develop traits that many argue are genetic (as if there was that much genetic variation in humans anyway – mostly we all have the same DNA, although perhaps only white people have Neanderthal DNA, not sure about that).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s interesting that the (victorious) Roman myth was that they descended from a ‘loser’ race – the Trojans.


        Now, the opinion is that the Europeans and Asians inherited some ‘loser’ Neanderthal genes, but not (stay at home) Africans.

        The loser genes make them superior?

        Or perhaps it’s not the loser genes, but those pot melting different genes that make them better (that explanation ought to please diversity advocates – yet, it is still not right to eat your defeated victims,,,in order to gain, digest, incorporate what qualities that admirable in them).

        Or more likely, we are all the same (and thank God we can put an end to those cannabalistic rituals).

        1. DJG


          Or else it was the amazing Roman sense of humor. Another “loser” episode in their history: The sibyl offered nine books of prophecy to the king, Tarquinius Superbus, and he refused her high price. She burned three and offered them at the same price. Then another three, and offered them at the same price. Tarquinius Superbus, who not so coincidentally was the last king of Rome, bought the three.

          The Romans: When they weren’t decorating the house of Saturnalia, or running around the city walls for Lupercalia, well, they were good at losing. And they learned from it.

        2. Plenue

          The myth was victorious? As opposed to what, the Romulus and Remus story? Both were accepted, even though they were mutually contradictory. Some writers expended effort to hammer them both together into some kind of single coherent narrative. The Aeneas story was always a Roman attempt to create for themselves a connection to Greek tradition. The British later did the exact same thing with the Brutus myth.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Sorry, that was awkward writing. I meant the Romans who were victors and subjugated Greece, probably made up the story about they themselves were earlier victims of Greece.

            The myth was not victorious.

      2. Int

        Neanderthal genes are minimal in Homo sapiens and are found in most African as well. Except for a tiny African population that does not have any Neanderthal.

        Also these minute genetic differences are not responsible for political or social behaviors. These extrapolations are complete trash and utterly unscientific. Perhaps read a book or two on genetics.

    4. Massinissa

      Or maybe, just maybe, the symptoms really ARE symptoms. What a revolutionary idea!

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A comprehensive explanation would have to include or account for

      1. the fact that there are powerful economic/financial/manufacturing countries in Asia and Europe, but not in Africa (except some resource rich nations) and what impact that has on Asian/European Americans succeeding here

      2. the success in gaining wealth and power by the African American political/entertainment/athletic/academic elites has not trickled down within the community

      1. TheCatSaid

        And Colonialism. Not to mention that the Colonial powers helpfully introduced corruption to their vassal countries.

    6. tony

      When black people kill black people, someone usually goes to prison. When cops kill, no one is held responsible.

      Even more, cops go around the streets armed in their patrol cars, given the right to kill. That creates a constant state of terror similar to what the KKK did. Like the KKK, the police don’t actually kill all that many people, but the fact that they can and will kill you for any reason at all is terrifying and more meaningful than criminals killing each other.

        1. tony

          Young men killing each other. Usually refers to criminals killing each other. Stay out of the game, and it’s not such a big deal.

          Besides, at least the state does not pay their wages and tries to prosecute them.

    7. dk

      If crime produces poverty, then it must also produce wealth (unless perhaps the crime is burning money).

      So if we are going to detect crime, let’s look at where the wealth is; we might even find enough evidence to convict.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If ‘crime produces wealth,’ then crime does not produce poverty, if poverty is the opposite of wealth.

        Isn’t there a quote about all wealth or great fortune is produced by theft?

        1. ira

          Graham Greene in his novel about Haiti, “The Comedian´s”, wrote ´“It is astonishing how much money can be made out of the poorest of the poor with a little ingenuity.”

      2. polecat

        well…..crime does seem to pay…for the ‘White Shoe Boys’… of which Eric ‘JUST THEM’ holder, as well as Franklin Raines, are members there of………’

        there is no barrier to greed and corruption where supposed ‘race’ is concerned……


    8. Aleric

      This is racist bullcrap. Groups which are systematically oppressed display higher levels of social dysfunction. Look at Koreans or Burukumin in Japan, or Cambodians in Thailand – or Irish in Colonial America. Exact same pattern, exact same psuedo-scientific theories from the master class on why they deserve it.

      When is this clown going to be banned?

      1. Plenue

        “When is this clown going to be banned?”

        Hopefully never. He can serve as an example of how NC doesn’t engage in censorship to remove dissenting opinions. Of course I’m sure someone would claim idiots like Take the Fork are only allowed through because they make the other side look bad.

        1. Yves Smith

          He is getting banned because he engaged in a series of ad hominem attacks trying to bait the commmentariat into engaging with him, since the response to his prior displays of bigotry didn’t satisfy him. Self important individuals who use the comments section to advance their pet cases can go get their own blogs and see what it takes to develop an audience rather than trying to exploit ours.

          1. Christopher Fay

            Lambert and Yves seem to be on patrol against poor quality responses and gratuitous postings the last few days. I feel some testiness. So I have been trying to improve what are typically one sentence drive bys.

    9. Binky

      Crime does produce poverty. White people are the police and make the laws; by definition you are criminal based on your skin tone, hair color, eye configuration, the shape of your head, etc.
      When it was politically useful, the Irish were also definitional criminals, and every stereotype mentioned was applied to them. When it became important that the Irish be “white” they were slowly elevated politically as a counterpoint against darker colored peoples in the US and I assume the Commonwealth.
      I often wonder whether it isn’t the fact that white people are meaner than any other people, due to the seasonal privation of their high latitude abodes, that makes them, say, load up in a boat and invade neighboring territories burning and murdering and pillaging. A good base on Lake Ladoga might have stopped the incursion into civilized Middle Eastern empires and saved everyone a great deal of trouble. They say you can train white people to be less violent, murderous, thieving, cruel and perverse but only if you raise them from infants…..

          1. Christopher Fay

            I think that it is on N C that I read Irish Americans weren’t considered full time whites until after the 2nd World War. My Irish American father who moved from Medford to Westboro Massachusetts in the early 1960s said the attitudes were old Yankee and slightly prejudiced against outsiders, Irish Catholics. He was also the first catholic or Irish catholic member of the Woods Hole Golf Club in the late 1970s, mild habitual racism

            1. Plenue

              Irish were for a long time considered the ‘niggers of Europe’, and that bigotry followed them to the Americas. On top of facing general persecution simply for being Irish they also suffered from uniquely anti-Catholic bias alongside other groups like Italians and Poles. Their very loyalty was held to be suspect: they were viewed as being first and foremost loyal to their Papal ‘king’ in Italy.

              The entire concept of the ‘white race’ that one encounters among white supremacists is ahistorical. White people have a long history of viewing other white people as just as alien and worthy of hate as anyone of another skin color. I can only assume Neo-Nazis have never watched a gangster movie, which tend to be filled with groups of Dagos, Micks, Polacks, Kikes, and WASPS all mutually hating each other.

              Oh, that’s right, I forgot, Poles and Jews aren’t considered properly white, despite being, you know, white. I’m pretty sure Italians are suspect as well, despite being literally Romans. Suffice it to say that bigots aren’t know for their coherence.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > “I often wonder whether it isn’t the fact that white people are meaner than any other people, due to the seasonal privation of their high latitude abodes”

            Well, I dunno…

      1. optimader

        When it was politically useful, the Irish were also definitional criminals

        Arent we still?

        combine with german and you have defintionally criminal and holds a grudge.

        1. optimader

          Interestingly, a vendor/ buddy of mine, very interesting to talk to about this stuff.

          Originally from Ghana, “high school” in Zimbabwe, college/grad school in the US. .

          He said the African tribes were intensely vicious with each other. Along come the slave traders and they had an opportunity to get paid for what they traditionally did for free. Mucho Gusto
          That said, any worse than mediaeval European white folk preying on eachother. maybe not so much..That’s why they needed castles, right?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            People can be jerks when they have the opportunity. The basic difference is the European powers had incentive to build sturdy and cost effective deep ocean going craft (I think the larger junks were too expensive to ever risk on the ocean) which multiplied their potential forces through resupply and rapid deployment when the silk road went belly up.

            The Chinese had an empire to maintain, and African powers had vast frontiers to guard. The Americas didn’t have wheat or rice and lacked horses which maybe put them at a bit of dead end. Hinduism really binds people to the subcontinent along with geography.

            Many other empires were essentially bound by the potential messenger system, and many were pretty good. They just couldn’t keep going. The countries on the main parts of the silk road didn’t need an alternative to the silk road as much as they needed to maintain what they had.

            The large empires outside of China were fleeting or revolved around a main river valley or the Mediterranean where resources and messages could be rapidly moved. Modern Egypt’s borders are essentially the distance horses can travel from a reliable water source until they can’t.

        2. polecat

          well… that means i have two strikes against me …at least ‘historically’ speaking…….

          1. polecat

            In and earlier time, i and Mine could have been tried and convicted of some trivial offence, sent to a squalid hulk…….to await transportation to the antipodes!

            never to be heard of again……

            …and yes, there were Americans who were also’transported’ to Austalia…

    10. William Kohler

      Hot take there, brother. Think we could scientifically confirm this racial propensity to violence by, say, measuring the size of their skulls?

    11. I Have Strange Dreams

      “What if ?”

      What if you stopped spouting nonsense? Would reading a few books help? Would reading some of the literature available help? What if you read some studies on crime, poverty and race? What if you knew what Marxism meant? What if Birkenstock are really comfortable and brie tastes delicious?

      What if, God forbid, you pulled your goat-shit-for-brains head out of your rectum and engaged with reality?

  6. abynormal

    WoW. Lambert, maybe you should tap on that fear meter? are we still 3min. to midnight on the doomsday clock??

    In 5-billion years the Sun will expand & engulf our orbit as the charred ember that was once Earth vaporizes. Have a nice day. ~Tyson

  7. optimader

    I stand behind my conclusion that the Lynch-Clinton meeting (the one at the airport that is, not the one she had w/ HRC, sigh) was a set up so that she could “recuse” herself publically from the “professional process” of deciding whether or not to indict HRC.

    Something that has been bugging the heck out of me on this has been my understanding that the FBI Director DOES NOT MAKE A PROSECUTE/NO PROSECUTE DECISION.

    So, the notion (assumption) that it is in Comey’s brief to bury this is WRONG right out of the box.

    I spent Saturday w/ my frmr F-agent buddies and was asking them about legalities of this smokescreen. Admittedly they are not enthusiastic fans of the FBI, but this one has blown them away it is so unprecedented/bad/lazy/wrong.

    This is NOT Comey’s call, and any punditry that implicitly accepts that it is, IS WRONG WRONG WRONG.

    . Comey and whomever the professional hand off is to at DOJ all the way up to and including Lynch are presumably in direct violation of their Oaths as a minimum if this is not pursued..

    …But the public may not always understand that the FBI does not have the job of deciding who should, or should not, be prosecuted for crime. It was created to do investigations – period. When it finishes one of its probes, it can and usually does make recommendations, but someone else has the job of deciding what to do with the results of those investigations – an actual prosecutor…

    The so far accepted premise that preserving a person from felony prosecution because they are a presumptive POTUS candidate somehow preempts the US Constitution leaves me speechless. I’ll be the first to admit that I am cynical, but this one amazes me.

    1. Jane

      What I found really strange was Comey’s statement at approx. 1:36 in the TRNN video (emphasis added):

      I do not see evidence that is sufficient to establish that Secretary Clinton, or those with whom she was corresponding, both talked about classified information on email and knew when they did that it was something that was against the law.

      Did they discuss classified information and not talk about the criminality of what they were doing at the same time or did they never discuss classified information, in which case, why would it matter if they knew or didn’t know discussing classified information in private email was against the law?

      And lastly, I’m not a lawyer but I always thought “ignorance of the law” was not a valid defense; so, if they did discuss classified information in emails, even if they didn’t know it was a against the law, wouldn’t they still be open to criminal charges?

      1. YankeeFrank

        You are correct. Ignorance of the law is not a defense. Nor is ignorance that what you are doing is actually illegal. Comey did the exact opposite of what prosecutors and police do when trying to indict someone — he narrowed the scope of potential wrongdoing to a single statute and interpreted every fact and act in the manner most beneficial to Clinton. AND he is not even supposed to be doing things he did like looking up precedent to see how others were prosecuted in similar situations — that is the job of lawyers in the Attorney Generals office. This whole exercise was just the latest egregious example of two-tiered justice for the powerful versus the rest of us and we the people are about ready to revolt.

    2. tgs

      Well said, but one point – she did not recuse herself. She said that she would listen/defer to the recommendations of the FBI and prosecutors.

      By not recusing herself, she retained the right to step in if someone ‘chucked a wobbly’ as the Aussies say.

      1. pretzelattack

        it’s an excellent article. what kind of floors me is that he still intends to vote for clinton. cause, trump. but the analysis is great.

    3. ahimsa

      Isn’t Lynch effectively abdicating the duty of her office and role of AG by publicly stating in advance that she will blindly accept whatever recommendations are made to her.

      And secondly, (I haven’t seen this raised anywhere): Is there a legal argument to be made that as Clinton exclusively conducted her official electronic correspondence through her private e-mail account on her private e-mail server, that she in effect surrendered that account into government property? I.e. that everything on the server became de facto government property, including the “private”?

  8. MsExPat

    From the LA Times article about Bill Clinton:

    Despite the soaring costs, event organizers say the speeches did not drain the budgets of the community colleges or university, which used a combination of ticket revenue and scaling back their spending on other speakers and performers to keep Clinton from breaking the bank.

    Well, of course they’d say that. But the idea that educational institutions were blowing big bucks to cover, for instance, the Big Dog’s $700 dinner for two at the Fairmount (expensed to UC Davis) while the same institutions can’t pony up to pay their adjuncts a wage that will allow them not to live in the back of their cars makes me ill.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Does that explain the decline of something like 50% in educational or college spending since the 70’s?

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Well, it is scaling back their funding “on other speakers and performers.” So, you know, probably giving individual poets and musicians and artists who don’t make very much the shaft so Clinton can ride in his limo.

      “We’ll just cut $5000 out of the English Department’s activities budget. They’ll never notice it.”

      Probably nothing that helps with marketing was cut; just educational functions. Honestly, it’s like Perot’s “giant sucking sound,” just upward.

  9. shinola

    From the NYT article “Death in Black & White” by Michael Eric Dyson:

    “…the greatest privilege that exists is for white folk to get stopped by a cop and not end up dead when the encounter is over.”

    Even this WASP can’t disagree.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Does it matter if the cop is a black cop or a white cop?

      What about color-blind robot cops?

    2. Uahsenaa

      I rarely find Dyson convincing whenever I read his work or hear him speak. He gets the basic facts mostly right… mostly… but he’s such a terrible communicator that he’s unlikely to convince anyone who doesn’t already agree with his premises.

      Case in point, your quote. It’s set up as if you can take for granted that any given run in between an African-American and the police is likely to result in death. This simply isn’t the case. The instances of outright assassination are horrific and have rightly spurred protest, but the mechanics of police brutality in the US are more akin to death by a thousand cuts, the frustration and fear that builds from a lifetime of encounters with police that never rise to the level of deadly threat but nevertheless consistently threaten one’s basic liberty. It’s the threat of always having to be watched or under guard, how, in my town, the black kids playing basketball at the rec center downtown always have a few ICPD trolling about the building, whereas none are to be seen at the one on the east side of town, when there’s a swim meet or the white girls are playing volleyball. It’s how in the morning the mostly white parents taking their toddlers to the park never see a police car, yet the black and brown kids playing there in the afternoon see one pass every few minutes. It’s how cops stop black and brown kids on the thinnest of pretexts or no pretext at all, and god forbid they should assert their rights only to get hauled in on charges that get immediately dismissed. It’s how prosecutors have been shown to consistently overcharge AAs in order to railroad them into pleading out to a lesser charge. It’s how polite Midwestern whitefolk talk in code about that “dangerous Chicago element,” which basically means black people.

      And to add insult to injury, when black and brown communities actually need the police, sometimes they just don’t show up or only an hour after the 911 call was made. They have no way of knowing, if they go to the police for help, whether their own backgrounds will become a subject of investigation over and above the threat they mean to report. Poor and working class blacks bear the full brunt of how local governments have tried to plug their budget shortfalls through excessive citations. Everything about the situation breeds mistrust, and it’s a mistake to point to one especially violent instance as emblematic, because even if all the cops who murder black folk were tried and locked up, even if all these assassinations were ended, the problem of brutality would persist.

      1. clinical wasteman

        Yes to every word! Perfect formulation of something that should be obvious but is so often overlooked.

      2. cwaltz

        It also defies factual data.

        Not every death by police officer is an AA person. White is not necessarily a protection since of the 965 deaths last year, 60% of them were white.

        That means for 579 people being white wasn’t exactly a protection or a privilege.

        1. Int

          So you are basically saying that, in all honesty, the 12 year old child in the park with a bb gun would have been shot dead in less than 3 seonds of leo arriving on the scene, even he was white. Clearly not, only the most hardcore apologists of state, police violence would insist the outcome would have been the same if the boy was white. Thats white privilege. Black folks get shot down at like something like 20 times the rate of their white counterparts. Thats white privilege.
          Make no mistake about it, working class white folks are not safe from unjustified state violence. However if you cant see the difference you are just being willfully blind.

          1. cwaltz

            No, what I am basically saying is that 579 people who were shot and killed by cops were white.

            If I wanted to write crap based on imaginary land crap(where an imaginary person was a different color and then the imaginary outcome was imaginarily different) then I would have done so. I didn’t, I spoke to factual data.

            There is no white privilege for 579 of the 976 people who died last year. They are just as dead as their AA counterparts.

            Personally, I think YOU are the one being willfully blind since you are the one insisting we ignore the fact that 579 people who died by cop were indeed Caucasian.

            1. Int

              I clearly stated that white workin class people arent safe from state violence either.

              The case of the 12 year boy certainly is not imaginary, it was barely two years ago.

              The whole point is young black men and boys are killed at far higher RATES than their white counterparts. Be it at the hands of white cops , or black cops.

              Having white skin does afford certain amount of priviledge when confronted by leo. For example, young black boys and men are seen by leo as being much older and more dangerous just on first impressions. And are treated accordingly, by white cops and black cops.

  10. Subgenius

    Re. Intermittent fasting – in my experience this is actually a very good thing to do. I am surprised more people haven’t realized it.

    1. MtnLife

      I second that. A good fast boosts your immune system. Timing it right is important. I’ve also used pretty much every supplement in that article except GHB to deal with chronic Lyme issues. I’ve seen the racetams have huge positive effects on autistic/learning disabled kids (those who have little to lose, not recommending them for your honor student). I personally love the Russian pharmaceuticals for extended physical work – there is a reason they are all banned from the Olympics.

      1. Yves Smith

        You don’t dare use GHB now! It’s a schedule 1 drug in the US. My endocrinologist was ripshit. He said it produced a very high quality sleep , way better than any sleep medication, and was out of your system in 4 hours. He described long form how Big Pharma created a huge scare campaign about it being used as a date rape drug to get it criminalized.

        1. TheCatSaid

          If GHB’s such a useful drug why would Big Pharma want to criminalize it? What am I missing?

    2. optimader

      I had two (2) Starburst from the bowl on the reception desk for lunch, does that count?

    3. jrs

      If you fast anyway, including at work, periodically or just occasionally from time to time, it might initially seem cool to be able to do it with support and encouragement from all your coworkers as part of the job.

      But work being what it is and quite compulsory by it’s very nature, and not everyone who just needs a @#$# job a fasting devotee, I’m afraid I have to agree it is cultish. And of course there are groups that shouldn’t fast period, pregnant women or people with specific health problems, so discriminatory as well.

      1. Yves Smith

        I also wonder how many of these people who were fasting at work were using caffeine to suppress their appetite, which will of course improve your concentration.

    4. aletheia33

      it can work for many people, but for some people it can mess up the way their bodies convert food to energy. one thing that happens when you fast is that your system turns to the adrenals to compensate for the diminishment in energy. that can give you a great adrenaline high and you can be very productive, for a short time.

      probably fasting one day a week is ok for most people, but it requires careful attention to diet and other healthy habits all the week round, which can be a big challenge to stick with. and depending on the preexisting condition of your adrenals, fasting can make preexisting adrenal exhaustion (often undiagnosed until you become completely unable to work) worse, to the point of physical breakdown requiring a long recovery.

      so, since most people are overly stressed in their daily lives nowadays, fasting, even intermittently, is not something to undertake without a doctor’s guidance.

      and age can be a factor. young people can get away with much more of this kind of thing than people with older bodies, i.e., after age 40, unless you are in unusually good physical shape.

      source: conversation with an experienced alternative health practitioner and my personal experience.

      observant mormons fast one day a week, and some observers think that is part of why surveys find them healthier than other groups in the u.s.

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      It’s one thing to fast on your own. It’s quite another to fast because your boss tells you to (and then covers his dominance game up with “we adopted it” as part of “our” “company culture”).

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Thanks for the Spirit of Endurance.

    Whoever can endure longer, is victorious.

    That should be Hillary’s motto.

    And the tree reminds me of another one, a lone tree – like this one – in the middle of a desert in southern Libya, One tree in a vast desert. The story goes that, in the 70s or thereabout, one night, a drunk truck driver, of all places and gin joints in the world, ran over it.

    Talk about luck (or bad luck) and finding needle in the haystack.

    1. JustAnObserver

      Ahh that brings back memories.

      A fact known to all glider pilots who’ve ever had to land out is that a tree in a field exerts a strange form of psychic gravity. So that no matter how you position yourself for landing, however good your circuit control, no matter where in the field the tree actually is, you will *inevitably* end up heading towards it as you touch down.

      Your best bet of avoiding it is, probably, to actually point yourself at it :-).

      1. Christopher Fay

        No, when you aim right for it, you are sure to hit it. Analogous to my golf playing, try to aim, miss. Try not to aim, still miss.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Only upward mobility for that guy.

      He (or it) doesn’t waste much at all on lateral moves (dumb moves only animals do).

      “Why can you be more like a tree,” complains the mother to her kid.

  12. RootieKazootie

    Robert Reich recently posted a conversation on Facebook he had with an acquaintance who is one of HRC’s advisors. This person castigated Reich for recent statements he made re: the Democratic Committee’s failure to add language condemning the TPP. The most telling part of the conversation:

    ACQ: “But you know why (they won’t adopt that language). The Party can’t take a stand opposite the President’s. He’s the leader of the Party, for chrissake. And he wants the TPP.”
    RR: “Yeah, because he sees the TPP as a way to limit China’s economic influence. So he made a Faustian bargain with big global corporations who want more protection for their foreign investments. But he’s wrong. The TPP won’t crimp China. Global corporations will give China whatever it wants to gain access to the Chinese market. The TPP ….”
    ACQ: “Look, it doesn’t matter what you or I think. The President wants the TPP, and the Party isn’t going to oppose him.”
    RR: “You mean Hillary won’t oppose him.”
    ACQ: “Hillary won’t, and Debbie [Wasserman Schultz] won’t, and neither will Nancy [Pelosi] or Harry [Reid] or Dick [Durbin] or Chuck [Schumer].
    RR: “But it’s terrible policy. And it’s awful politics. It gives Trump a battering ram. Obama won’t be president in six months. Why risk it?”
    ACQ: “They don’t see much of a risk. Most Americans don’t know or care about the TPP.”
    RR: “But they know big corporations are running economic policy. They think the whole system is corrupt. Believe me, Trump will use this against Hillary.”
    ACQ: “He can’t. She’s inoculated. She’s come out against the TPP.”
    RR: “But it’s her delegates who voted not to oppose it in the Democratic platform. Her fingerprints are all over this thing.”

    1. Yves Smith

      As Lambert pointed out in his write up of Trump’s speech in Bangor, Maine, he didn’t have to explain what the “TTP” was. The audience knew it was a pending and presumably bad trade deal. That’s more than enough to work for Trump and against the Dems.

    2. aab

      Unsaid by the “Democratic Party insider”: that the TPP is bad for the country. Because that is irrelevant, apparently.

      Also evaded here: Hillary has already come out against LOTS of Obama policies and actions.

  13. grizziz

    Nootrobox: Hillarious! Cannot wait for the shake out on this one. It is Yves that pointed out that cult is a great business model. Introducing exhibit A: here is a place, pardon me, a start up where they expect their customers to be aware enough of their mental deficiencies that they will buy Nootrobox’s chicken feed called Nootropics and actually feel better about themselves. I can’t wait for their marketing slogan, “Got Stoopid?”
    I can only hope that they offer an employee discount on that chewable coffee so as to lessen the hunger pangs. I’m sure the boys in the C suite are doing blow to stay one step ahead Nootropic infused brain trust from conspiring to capture the intellectual property rights and turning the operation into a multi-level marketing scheme.

    1. Pat

      Let me check, um, yes, it is an election year.

      Let me check again, yes it is still unlikely that there will be a fully Democratic Congress in 2017. There are going to be votes to repeal ACA, but that’s about it. Well that is unless Trump wins. Then it is probably going to be fun to watch what the Republicans do – keep their voters happy or the owners.

    2. Synoia

      The foreign (Canadian) based health care insurer will fill an ISDS complaint against the Public Option (A Government Supported Entity), complaining about lost profits.

      Under TPP the US will loose, and then privatize the Public Option GSE, which will be swallowed up by Cigna.

      And the looting will continue, as corporation move jobs out f the US claiming the cost of health insurance, and continually sick employees make then noncompetitive.

    3. aab

      But, but…I enjoy your comments!

      IIRC, you were tracking the California counting. Do you know what’s going on with the lawsuits? I’m trying to figure out worthwhile sources for tracking the legal angles. It seems like we’d need some kind of consent degree, state by state, if we want a valid count in the fall.

  14. ekstase

    “The upside: I’m not sure homo sapiens deserves to get off the planet.”

    Who among us deserves to get off the planet? And who would be in charge of those decisions? Perhaps it’s list-making time.

    1. polecat

      I don’t want off planet !! …….I kinda like the one I’m on……

      It’s many of my fellow primates that i wish would leave…….for good!

  15. Pavel

    Wow, scathing report on HSBC and Eric Holder’s “too big to jail” decision a few years back, via Wolf Richter’s excellent blog (which I know you follow, Yves :):

    Approximately three years after its initial inquiries, the Committee finally obtained copies of internal Treasury records showing that DOJ has not been forthright with Congress or the American people concerning its decision to decline to prosecute HSBC.

    These documents show that:

    * Senior DOJ leadership, including then-Attorney General Eric Holder, overruled an internal recommendation by DOJ’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section to prosecute HSBC because of DOJ leadership’s concern that prosecuting the bank would have serious adverse consequences on the financial system.

    * Notwithstanding Attorney General Holder’s personal demand that HSBC agree to DOJ’s “take-it-or-leave-it” deferred prosecution agreement deal by November 14, 2012, HSBC appears to have successfully negotiated with DOJ for significant alterations to the deferred prosecution agreement’s terms in the weeks following the Attorney General’s deadline.

    * DOJ and federal financial regulators were rushing at what one Treasury official described as “alarming speed” to complete their investigations and enforcement actions involving HSBC in order to beat the New York Department of Financial Services.

    * In its haste to complete its enforcement action against HSBC, DOJ transmitted settlement numbers to HSBC before consulting with Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control to ensure that the settlement amount accurately reflected the full degree of HSBC’s sanctions violations.

    * The involvement of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority in the U.S. government’s investigations and enforcement actions relating to HSBC, a British-domiciled institution, appears to have hampered the U.S. government’s investigations and influenced DOJ’s decision not to prosecute HSBC.

    * Attorney General Holder misled Congress concerning DOJ’s reasons for not bringing a criminal prosecution against HSBC.

    * DOJ to date has failed to produce any records pertaining to its prosecutorial decision making with respect to HSBC or any large financial institution, notwithstanding the Committee’s multiple requests for this information and a congressional subpoena requiring Attorney General Lynch to timely produce these records to the Committee.

    * Attorney General Lynch and Secretary Lew remain in default on their legal obligation to produce the subpoenaed records to the Committee.

    * DOJ’s and Treasury’s longstanding efforts to impede the Committee’s investigation may constitute contempt and obstruction of Congress.

    –Wolf Richter: ‘Congress: “Too Big to Jail: Inside the Obama Justice Department’s Decision Not to Hold Wall Street Accountable”’

    Can you say “Banana Republic… I thought you could!”

    NB: Attorney General Holder misled Congress concerning DOJ’s reasons for not bringing a criminal prosecution against HSBC.

  16. JerryDenim

    You’re on a roll today Lambert with your hilarious snarky commentary. Making your employees forgo food and meal breaks and having the nerve to laud it as “bio-hacking” and innovation. My god. Are there no limits to the B.S. people are willing to swallow from these silicon valley ass-hats?

    Excellent catch on the Clinton TPP “national security” loophole. I think you’re on to their M.O. It’s always about the loopholes and the lawyerly parsing with them. Everyone keeps saying HRC renounced the TPP. I never it. I heard her say she “was against the TPP as it is written now” meaning change a semicolon or two and declare the TPP amended for the better, yellow hardhat, blue-collar appropriate pant suit, speech in front of factory-looking workers in a factory-looking setting- Mission Accomplished baby!

    Ironic that the Clintons now want to hype the Chinese as a national security threat necessitating hold-your-nose trade agreements when all the Clintons wanted to do in the 90’s was convince everyone the Chinese were harmless cute, cuddly, friends who deserved our very latest and most advanced spy satellite and nuclear ICBM technology, even though the State Department, the Pentagon, and Congress did not agree. Now the Clintons are worried about the Chinese. Funny how times change. Back then it was Johnny Chung and Bernard Schwartz, who exactly is writing the checks to the Clinton foundation on behalf of the TPP I wonder?


  17. Stephen Gardner

    The bio hacking BS that Nootrobox is pushing sounds more like a technique used by cults. I worked at a startup back in the mid eighties. My opinion then was that the reverence that most employees were expected to show for the charismatic CEO bordered on cultish. This company takes that cultish the approach to a new level. Talk about drinking the corporate koolaid!

    1. hunkerdown

      Nootropics were a pretty big deal in the early-1990s futurism circles. Mondo 2000 wrote of them frequently; the founder recalls, perhaps ruefully: (acceler8or)

      I was using 4 Piracetam a day, washed down with a Choline Cooler and 4 cups of coffee a day. Clearly, I liked feeling awake and the Piracetam worked for that purpose — until, after a couple of years, it started having the opposite effect. As to whether I accumulated any generalized intelligence increase, well… recalling some of my decisions during those times, I doubt it.

      I muse that Nootrobox’s exit strategy likely involves being wrapped up in Ray Kurzweil’s napkin and taken back to Mountain View in his pocket. Or being eaten by GNC.

      And “No otro box” sounds just a wee bit jealous.

      That said, the single best thing most Americans could do for themselves that would lead to a less complicated health outlook and more days of better life is calorie intake reduction.

  18. skippy

    As see on Teevee the other day… our new PM Turnbull admonishingly stated…. that as a “Grown up Democracy” it was silly in this day and age we should have to wait 8 days for an election outcome… no matter how tight the race….

    Disheveled Marsupial…. Que the MSM on a plethora of articles about miscalls… oops… mean modern ™ miracles of technoilligical electronic voting…

  19. clarky90


    Full: Donald Trump Speech on Veterans’ Reform (7-11-16)

    The speech starts at 12 minutes.

    Trump speaks about being the law and order candidate. He says that his priority is to make America Safe Again, safe for every single citizen (not just safe for Hillary and her pals). He talks about making the inner cities (like Chicago, where I was born), safe for the poorest people.

    He addresses the shooting of police in Dallas and of black people by police. He emphasized the importance of mental health care for veterans. He said that veterans should be first in line for jobs. I wonder if Micah Xavier Johnson, a veteran, had had easy access to mental health care after he had returned from Afghanistan? and had had easy access to a well paid, full time job or occupation after he left the military? would the shootings in Dallas have happened? When you drive people crazy, they go crazy.

    1. clarky90

      In the Veterans Reform speech, Trump said that when HRC was interviewed by the FBI, for three hours (Fourth of July weekend) about her emails, she was not under oath. She was not under oath. Is this extraordinary?

    2. John k

      Doonesbury on sun pointed out that trump has been on both sides of many issues. Hopefully he is now pivoting to a place that the bottom 60% can support.
      Also, he has been raising the anti hill rhetoric now that Bernie will clearly not be his opponent… And many more will start paying attention with the conventions at hand.
      Msm maybe shocked at how well he does in swing states.

  20. PQS

    Hacking the brain. With vitamins, offlabel drugs, IV infusions, woo-sounding supplements, and fasting. Good grief. What’s wrong with good old fashioned cocaine or speed? And I bet everything on Schedule I is cheaper, to boot. Ah, but the supply chain is locked up. Now I get it.

  21. robnume

    Yes, the VR Porn story sounds about right. What else do you expect from folks who are “dating” a “fembot” and are truly convinced, in their heart of hearts, that these fembots are real and who also, believe that they are in a real relationship!

    1. sd

      Safe sex. It could relieve a lot of tension where people are isolated or sequestered from the ability to engage in sexual relations. (Prison, oil rigs, outposts, military, etc)

  22. nothing but the truth

    ” Wait a minute, let me do a quick scan for “innovative.”

    i won’t go there to the cheesy one about “whats the meaning of life”, but, looks like we have lost the idea of what is important in life. really, what is life for? just pretentiousness and fakery to get an IPO?

    We have all been forced to turn into intellectual prostitutes, just some trick peddlers, hoping, just hoping against hope to get onto the bubble and cash out before it bursts.

  23. human

    Is there any update on Arthur Silber? Has anyone been to see him? Truly one of the most considered voices ever.

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