2:00PM Water Cooler 7/13/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Back to the present…


“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doused the Trans-Pacific Partnership in another bucket of cold water when he said on Tuesday that the deal’s chances for coming up this year are ‘pretty slim'” [Politico]. “‘With both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates opposed to the agreement, it’s probably not the best time to be considering the agreement,’ he said at a press conference, adding that he hasn’t made a decision on whether to bring the TPP up for a vote in 2016.” But: “”We believe as we get closer to the end of the year, and the risks of walking away from TPP become more evident … that the sense of urgency that comes with that choice will provide the opening to get it done,” [White House National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes] said.” So an October surprise in the China Sea could benefit multiple players! Not that I’m foily…

UPDATE “Headed into Tuesday, the big question on trade will be how far GOP Platform Committee delegates flip-flop on free trade. In 2012, the party formally called for enacting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. On Monday, delegates in a subcommittee stripped from the party platform draft language opposing passage of the TPP in the congressional lame-duck session this winter” [Wall Street Journal].

UPDATE “What is most surprising is that President Obama is making TPP the legacy of his last term in office when [via ISDS and “lost profits”] it so obviously risks the signature achievement from his first term: bringing down the cost of and expanding access to health care” [Joseph Sitglitz, Medium]. “Surprising.”



“When I am President Clinton’s Chief of Staff, all of my underlings will be required to have Keep It Simple, Stupid tattooed visibly. I don’t mean the rhetoric and politics. I mean the policies. Stop the tremendous burden required to qualify for measly help that should just be universal anyway. No plans to set up tax incentives to encourage behavior to nudge blah blah. Pre-K? Make it happen. Free public universities? Make it happen. Health care? If we can’t get rid of our stupid insurance system, at least reduce it to push a button, pay your bill, go see a doctor” [Eschaton]. In other words, if the Democrat base wasn’t the credentialed 10% who need a jobs program sorting the worthy from the unworthy, everything would be jake.

If you can bear it, this is an hour-long speech from Clinton on foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations from 2015:

I’m just thinking that the only plausible narrative on Benghazi I’ve ever heard is that we botched an arms smuggling operation for Syria we were running of our Libyan consulate. Truly the Peter Principle in action…


UPDATE “[Sanders, the] underdog progressive [sic] ran on the idea that corporate money was hurting American politics and refused a super PAC. According to his campaign and filing disclosures he raised almost $225 million and received more than 8 million contributions, most of them small, averaging around $27 apiece” [ABC]. Odd that’s not part of the narrative, either from our political class or from Sanders detractors.


“Philly airport workers threaten strike during DNC” [Crains Business Review]. SEIU, therefore wired into the Democrats, to the extent labor can be. Worth a shot!

“Wall Street shuns Trump’s Cleveland convention” [Politico]. Not so Clinton’s Philly convention. Odd.

UPDATE “Donald Trump’s Republican opponents aim to clear the path for a different nominee by rewriting the rules of the national convention.” With excellent infographic [Wall Street Journal, “How Trump’s Nomination Could Still Be Stopped”]. Sounds like fun!

The Voters

Jesse Ventura: “When I look at the two-party system, you have corporate Republican and corporate Democrat. If you want a good explanation, talk to Tom Morello, the guitar player of Rage Against the Machine. He did a great job on Bill Maher a couple of weeks ago, explained that when Hillary gets elected, all you’re going to do is get the corporate Democrat; nothing changes. The revolution dies with her. And I agree with that. That’s why people are going with Trump, because he’s not an insider. Now, is he going to sell out and become an insider? Probably” [Esquire].

Our Famously Free Press

“I hope Hillary Clinton wins all 50 states and the Democrats take the presidency, the House, the Senate and, effectively, the Supreme Court” [Thomas Friedman, NYT]. For those who came in late, Matt Taibbi has what I consider the must-read article on Freidman, but Eschaton has very high quality material as well. And here is the essential video:

They don’t call this man The Moustache of Understanding for nothing!

UPDATE Ezra Klein’s “Understanding Hillary,” annotated [Genius].

Sanders and Clinton

“Now, the 13 million Democrats and independents who voted for Sanders in the primaries need to join forces with Clinton’s backers in service of a larger and more essential goal. For all the differences between Sanders and Clinton, they have so much more in common with each other than with the presumptive Republican candidate, Donald Trump, who is intemperate and intolerant and a danger to the United States” [Editorial Board, WaPo]. “Trump’s continuing efforts to divide and to bully, his cynical racial politics, his crude taunts, his know-nothing approach to the issues and his repeated reliance on untruths have shown him unfit to serve as president of the United States.” Smearing 45% of voters in the Democratic primaries as racist and sexist Bernie Bros was totally not bullying. And do I hate that fingerwagging “need to.”

“Awkwardness is the hallmark of these two candidates, who deliver their applause lines with all the subtlety of tanks shelling their own supporters. Sanders said he was proud to stand with Clinton, but if that was his happy face, you’d hate to see him angry. Clinton thanked her introducers as if she were denouncing them for all to see” [Richard Wolfe, Guardian].

The Trail

“New swing-state polls released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University show Trump leading Clinton in Florida and Pennsylvania — and tied in the critical battleground state of Ohio. In three of the states that matter most in November, the surveys point to a race much closer than the national polls, which have Clinton pegged to a significant, mid-single-digit advantage over Trump, suggest” [Politico]. Survey of the various polls, and strengths and weaknesses of each. Bottom line: They call them battleground states because that’s what they are. Of course they’re close.

“Elections come down to a handful of key states, and many marquee senate races are being fought in states where the top of the ticket is close. Secretary Clinton’s vulnerabilities among Rust Belt voters are a major liability in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and in must-win New Hampshire, a recent Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald poll had Clinton and Trump tied in the state where she lost to an avowed socialist by 22 points” [RealClearPolitics]. Same as above in different words. Seems to me that if Clinton isn’t pulling away, then voters haven’t heard something from her that they really need to hear, and it’s not Clinton reintroducing herself to the voters for the umpteenth time. My guess is that political risk will be on through Labor Day, after Labor Day, until November 7, after November 7, through the lame duck, and after the inaugural, when, if Clinton wins, the House Republicans (assuming they retain control) will probably impeach her, for which they have a solid case. Even factoring in “Events, dear boy, events,” it’s hard to see, even before factoring in the effect of emergent parties, how even a significant plurality of citizens will regard the outcome as legitimate. Dear Lord, we’ve got Supreme Court justices hitting the campaign trail!

“Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump has withered to 3 percentage points, signaling their battle for the White House has become too close to call heading into the two major-party national conventions, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll” [McClatchy]. Swing state polls are far more important than national polls. So how does the vote stay this close? I can just hear the Democrat nomenklatura saying that’s because voters are stupid, but that clever appeal amour propre hasn’t worked real well for them, has it?

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ): “Well, I just don’t think he can get there. I don’t think that there’s much worry of a Trump presidency if he doesn’t change. I want a Republican in the White House, but he can’t get there, in my view, saying the things that he’s saying. And we wouldn’t want him to get there if he continues to say the things that he’s saying. So I hope that he changes, I do. It’s not impossible for people to change their views and change their tone. But some of these views have to change. I mean, he’s got to turn some 13.5 million votes to 65 million votes, and you can’t get there just with Republicans—even if every Republican got behind him and had a unified conference” [Vanity Fair].

Mike Pence, auditioning for Veep: “Trump understands the frustrations and the hopes of the American people like no other American leader in my lifetime since Ronald Reagan” [WaPo].

“Nearly half of voters in a recent survey said they had seen TV ads supporting Donald Trump in the last week [Wall Street Journal, “Many Voters Think They’ve Seen Trump Ads On TV — But He Hasn’t Run Any”]. “There’s just one problem: His campaign hasn’t aired any, and his friendly super PACs have run very few.” It’s GENIUS! Trump spends no money on TV, and it’s as if he spent as much as Clinton!

Excuse me while I throw up a little in my mouth and grab for the brain bleach:

First, this implies that Sanders supporters are not driven by policy; that they cheered the applause lines in 45-minute “white paper with elbows” because Sanders was a charismatic figure. Second, it implies Sanders voters are authoritarian followers seeking a leader; that they’ll switch to the Greens because they want a different leader. Third, the faux sympathy — ? — is infantilizing and nauseating. If I want sympathy, I can vote Democrat:

democrat mommy

Stats Watch

Import and Export Prices, June 2016: “Outside of an upward price surge for petroleum and a gain for foods, there’s not much pressure to be seen in the June import & export price report.” [Econoday]. “There are some signs of life in this report, but none that point to a breakout into consumer prices which remain stubbornly weak and a major risk for policy makers. A new challenge for prices is the post-Brexit jump in the dollar which will pull on import prices in the July report.” But: “Trade prices continue to deflate year-over-year – although the rate of deflation again declined this month” [Econintersect].

Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations, July 2016: “Increases underway in fuel prices aren’t giving inflation expectations much of a boost, neither at the consumer level nor, as indicated by the Atlanta Fed, at the business level where year-ahead expectations, at only 1.7 percent, are down” [Econoday]. “Lack of inflation, held down in part by low wage growth, remains a central risk for the economic outlook and a chief concern for policy makers.”

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of July 8: “prospective home buyers remained complacent” with comparisons distorted by holiday week [Econoday].

Tax Revenues, June 2016: “Not a good sign when tax revenue growth decelerates like this” [Mosler Economics].

Shipping: “Retailers are leasing warehouse space at a record-setting clip, as e-commerce drives companies to locate closer to population centers and keep more products on hand to meet customers’ speedy delivery expectation” [Wall Street Journal, “Retailers Lease Warehouse Space at Record Pace”]. “Firms leased 70.1 million square feet of industrial space in the second quarter of 2016, the most in over 30 years of data and up 6% from the same quarter last year, real-estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield Inc. said in a report Monday. In a separate report, brokerage CBRE Inc. said warehouse availability declined for a 25th consecutive quarter to 8.8%. Retailers have been renting warehouses faster than developers can build them, as they race to build infrastructure to fulfill surging online orders.” Ordering picture hooks the other day would have taken me a three-hour bus ride because my local hardware store closed. So I ordered them online and my picture hooks will arrive, packed in a cardboard box, on a UPS truck. And none of the money from the transaction will stay in my town. None of it. How does any of this make sense? Am I missing something?

Shipping: “Less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers, struggling with weak demand for industrial traffic and perhaps facing another round of price wars, have turned to the so-called final mile of delivery services, a competitive and specialized discipline, in an effort to build a sustainable revenue channel” [Wall Street Journal]. “It will likely take LTL carriers out of their comfort zone. Working the “final mile,” defined in today’s marketplace as deliveries to a consumer’s residence from a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer, means serving a segment largely unfamiliar to LTL carriers. It means dealing with more hyper-connected and demanding end customers than LTL carriers, in their relatively limited forays into residential deliveries, are accustomed to encounter.” Uber for LTL!

Shipping: “The airline industry debate over the limits of economies of scale appears to be done, and smaller won. Airbus Group SE says it is slashing production of A380 superjumbos, as the European plane maker copes with a persistent failure to get significant orders for its double-decker flagship” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “UPS has formed a partnership with medical alliance Gavi and robotics firm Zipline to explore the use of unmanned aircraft to deliver vaccines to remote locations in Rwanda” [Air Cargo News].

Retail: “Vermont has 31 Dollar General stores, twice as many as it contained three years ago, and more than any other New England state. Colorado, which has a population eight times that of Vermont, also has 31 Dollar General stores” [Seven Days]. ” Roughly 70 percent of the 12,400 Dollar General stores nationwide are located in communities with fewer than 20,000 residents. Their primary customers, according to statements from the publicly traded company, are low- and fixed-income Americans desperate to keep their spending in check.”

Brexit: “‘The concern is this,” [Foreign Seretary Jeremy Hammond] said. “If a future treaty between the UK and the EU 27 is deemed to be a mixed competence, it will have to be ratified by 27 national parliaments. I think I am right in saying the shortest time in which that has been done in any EU treaty is just under four years, and that is after taking into account the time it has taken to negotiate” [Guardian].

Brexit: “Barclays have release their latest economic forecasts and the standout figures can be found in their slashing of the UK’s expected quarterly growth figures” [PoundSterlingLive]. “A recession is defined by two consecutive quarters of negative growth, a criteria that will be met if analysts at the UK bank are correct.” But is “talking your book” performative speech in the vuigate?

Chexit: “[A] nascent efficiency drive in China has taken a back seat to short-term concerns about growth and employment. The problem is likely to drag on for years, and the concerns are spreading beyond basic commodity markets. China is sitting on the world’s largest pile of corporate debt as a share of GDP, with some $1.3 trillion coming due in the second half of this year. Some $24.7 billion of that is among the most toxic, owed by rust-belt producers that have less cash than short-term debt, and analysts warn that shocks from a large wave of defaults in China could ripple through global markets” [Wall Street Journal]. But where does China exit to, you ask? Exactly.

Honey for the Bears: “investment in equipment and software across the entire equipment leasing and finance industry would grow a “sluggish” 0.9 percent in 2016. The latest forecast is down from the 2.7 percent growth that [the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation] announced in the Outlook report’s second-quarter update released in April” [Progressive Railroading]. “The slow growth in business investment is due to a combination of slow growth in the global economy, a contraction in trade, heightened political uncertainty and low commodity prices, they said.”

The Bezzle: “For >95% of startups, however, technical diligence is a waste of time for a more fundamental reason: in today’s world of SaaS tools, APIs, and cloud infrastructure, most startup ideas don’t have significant technical risk. That means technical resources are rarely the cause of success or the reason for failure” [CodingVC].

“‘[Treasury] Secretary [Jack] Lew noted that the U.S. economy continues to perform in a stable, steady way in the face of headwinds from the global economy,’ a U.S. Treasury spokesperson said in an emailed statement after Lew met bank and financial services executives in London. ‘The Secretary added that looking forward, it is important that leaders work together to promote shared economic growth using all tools available – monetary, structural, and fiscal'” [Futures]. First, note the elite aircraft metaphor: Headwinds. Second, at this point I’m highly allergic to the generic word “leaders.” It’s airport bookstore business section-level jargon. “Leaders” conflates persons in authority with fundamentally different responsibilities and forms of accountability! A CEO (not elected) and a President (elected), for example.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 85, Extreme Greed (previous close: 87, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 69 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 13 at 11:41am. Pulling back from the psychological barrier of 90….

Dear Old Blighty

“Whatever happens now, one thing is certain. The Labour coup has suffered a shattering defeat – but the party has survived. The question now is: will they retreat with dignity and reach harmony with the members they have so let down, or drag the party one step nearer the edge of oblivion?” [Defend Democracy]. The latter, obviously. The Iron Law of Institutions is in play.

UPDATE Or not. A UK reader throws his email over the transom:

Dear Members,

Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) have ruled that all Constituency Labour Party (CLP) meetings are to be cancelled until after the leadership election. The only meeting that may be held are nomination meetings once the leadership contenders have been announced.

Unfortunately my hands are tied and I am cancelling this evenings CLP meeting. However I and a few others will still be at Andover Central Club at 7:30 for a drink and a chat. There will be NO agenda, Chair or voting – this will be a social event.

Thank you to those who have responded with either confirmation or apologies, it is good to have people wanting to be involved in the local party. Once we have a date for the Nomination meeting, I will let you know.

Kind Regards,

Cllr Andy Fitchet
Chair, Andover and North West Hants CLP

Has the Parliamentary Labour Party brought over some Democrat strategists!?


“Detailed analysis of human waste from city sewers theoretically can be used not only as an early-detection system for infectious-disease outbreaks, like the flu, but also as a way to discover antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a pressing concern for public-health specialists. Doctors recently discovered a germ with a gene resistant to colistin, an antibiotic often used as a last defense against infections, in a urine sample from a woman in Pennsylvania” [MarketWatch].

Guillotine Watch

“In 2015, CEOs in America’s largest firms made an average of $15.5 million in compensation, which is 276 times the annual average pay of the typical worker. While the CEO-to-worker compensation ratio is down from 302-to-1 in 2014, it is still light years beyond the 20-to-1 ratio in 1965” [MarketWatch].

Class Warfare

“In today’s labor market, the unemployment rate drastically understates the weakness of job opportunities. This is due to the existence of a large pool of “missing workers”–potential workers who, because of weak job opportunities, are neither employed nor actively seeking a job” (lots of charts) [Economic Policy Institute]. Both Eric Garner (loosies) and Alton Sterling (CDs) were “missing workers”; that is, they were working, just in System D (the second-largest economy in the world. I mean the Third World. Oh, wait…

“A new study finds that roughly 26 million Americans remain “too poor to shop”. The study, performed by America’s Research Group, found that about 26 million Americans work on average two or three jobs at a time which, when added together, nets just shy of $30,000 in annual income. All while supporting anywhere from two to four children” [Defend Democracy]. Sorta makes you wonder who all this innovation in shipping and warehousing is really serving.

“Vast quantities of fresh produce grown in the US are left in the field to rot, fed to livestock or hauled directly from the field to landfill, because of unrealistic and unyielding cosmetic standards, according to official data and interviews with dozens of farmers, packers, truckers, researchers, campaigners and government officials” [Guardian]. We’ll haul it away rather than give it away….

“Southern Slaveholders and the U.S. Military in the 1850s” [Matthew Karp].

News of the Wired

“NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Sends First In-orbit View” [NASA]. “This color view from NASA’s Juno spacecraft is made from some of the first images taken by JunoCam after the spacecraft entered orbit around Jupiter on July 5th (UTC). The view shows that JunoCam survived its first pass through Jupiter’s extreme radiation environment, and is ready to collect images of the giant planet as Juno begins its mission”


“We show that in many data sequences – from texts in different languages to melodies and genomes – the mutual information between two symbols decays roughly like a power law with the number of symbols in between the two. In contrast, we prove that Markov/hidden Markov processes generically exhibit exponential decay in their mutual information, which explains why natural languages are poorly approximated by Markov processes. We present a broad class of models that naturally reproduce this critical behavior. They all involve deep dynamics of a recursive nature, as can be approximately implemented by tree-like or recurrent deep neural networks” [Arxiv.org]. This sounds like it would be interesting in the context of the propagation of narratives, now, and for good reason, prominent in the zeitgeist. If only I could translate it into English!

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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 (CG):


GG writes: “I’m not sure what plant is shown in the attached photo but I suspect it’s an aloe variety. Taken today in the back country of Sedona, AZ. That speck to the right of the flower and above the rounded rock formation is a honey bee.”

I only see bumblebees now…. Still, everything’s getting pollinated!

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

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

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


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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. Aumua

      That’s the one that tequila is made from. It has the worms in it. Source: I lived outdoors, in and around the town of Sedona for 4 or so years.

  1. dingusansich

    Question for the commentariat: Why did Sanders endorse Clinton yesterday rather than wait two weeks for the convention?

    One guess: Chicago-phobia. It could be a tight race. It will be an angry and a dirty one. (Will be? It already has been.) The Democrats could realistically fear a variation on the ’68 convention. Sanders may too.

    Did the Sanders camp conclude that holding out to further the “revolution” with a show of strength among the delegates, bolstered by passionate but peaceful demonstrations outside, might risk fomenting telegenically anarchic clashes not only on the convention floor but also in the streets of a city not known for the delicate behavior of its police force?

    Look at what the media made of an unconfirmed rumor about thrown chairs in Nevada. Now imagine four days of action-packed spectacle amid thousands of cameras large and small. Bernie & Co. may have judged, with Falstaff, that discretion is sometimes the better part of valor.

    Bernie did some good. For Philly he may be opting to do no harm. Otherwise: WTF?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Why did Dennis Kucinich cave on obamacare after a ride on air force one and then get redistricted out of a job?

      I’d imagine because he was lied to.

      The flaw in this system is that you have to deliver your support first, and count on the payment coming later. If it ever comes at all.

      A “harmonious” convention seems like the most likely explanation. But Bernie never indicated that he was so heavily invested in the health of the “democratic” party, or that his “revolution” had to be conflict-free.

      Fooled again.

      1. dingusansich

        Good parallel. Let’s go to the videotape:

        But, by last week, it became abundantly clear that, in fact, I was looking at being a decisive vote. And I did not want to be the person who took this whole process over a cliff, because there are some things that we can do once the bill passes in order to create some room for more comprehensive health care.

        “I did not want to be the person who took this whole process over a cliff.” Though Kucinich disagreed with the bill and fought to bolster it, when he gave in it looked as if his vote might make or break it. (The final tally came in at 219–212.) He chose not to play the spoiler.

        It was a tough, thankless call. Did Kucinich knuckle under to threats, fall for false promises, succumb to seductions, or follow his conscience as best he could? Cynical as I am, I pick door No. 4. I see his decision as disappointing but honorable. And it got him—quite literally, after reapportionment—nothing. No, that’s not entirely true. Many labeled him a sellout.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Interesting read. The question is what does he do and what do the supporters do after they get stabbed in the back???

        We all know it’s coming….

      2. Mark Alexander

        Thanks for that. I hope it’s the right explanation. I figured he must have had some good reason for saying those nice things about Clinton, and perhaps this is it.

      3. ChiGal

        Excellent link. Sanders wants a show of strength at the convention and to take the superdelegate fight to the floor if necessary.

        From the list of things he said on a call with his delegates last night:

        11. Regarding his campaigning for Clinton, said that part has not been worked out yet.

        Wanna bet if he does, it will look just like his “endorsement”? Basically, standing on stage hammering home his message with her name tossed in.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I’d especially like if if that part “worked out” to be campaigning in Colorado for single payer and against fracking (both referendums). Might not happen, but a man can dream.

        2. Jen

          Nailing her foot to the floor as she tries to pivot to the right. This might actually be fun to watch.

      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        Thanks, that’s a useful report; more like this, please. Pulling out the points I think are most salient:

        1. Sanders did not suspend his campaign. He said “absolutely there will be a roll call vote” at the convention, and he wants all his delegates at the convention to vote for him. Said the he and other of his surrogates will speak at the convention.

        That’s better than the deal Clinton got from Obama in Denver.

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

        Readers know this is my hot button (“The Overton Prism”) so I’m pleased.

        6. Said progressives need a 50 state policy to win back not only Congress, but also state houses and governorships from Republicans, and for that reason that he intends to support progressives both logistically and financially. Said he hopes to endorse, campaign for and support at least 100 progressive candidates in this election cycle, if not more.

        There’s a reason Rahm deepsixed Dean after Dean won using that strategy in 2006. This is less Inside Baseball than it appears, since it implies a cleaning out of DWS, and a vast amount of Dem corruption.

        7. He said his main goal in the short term was to fight to transform the Democratic party into a grassroots party and not a party controlled by big money donors. Said Democrats need less super delegates and more open primaries and much less dependence on big money donors. If this cannot be won in the Rules Committee, he will fight for it on the floor of the convention.

        Great. A floor fight!

        Now can we please move on from the “heart broken” stuff? There’s a reason the GP wants to stimulate that emotion, after all. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, tactically, but let’s be clear that tactics are in play. (Not such a bad thing, if you want to be a functional political party.)

        1. fresno dan

          nice synopsis – thanks for that!
          Looks like some real ACTIONS to accomplish something.

        2. Bev

          Transcribed, hopefully correctly.


          Cliff Arnebeck Open Letter To Bernie Sanders: Election Lawsuit to be Filed by End of Week
          Posted on July 12, 2016 by truthfirst12013


          Clifford O. Arnebeck, Jr.
          1021 East Broad Street
          Columbus, Ohio 43205

          July 12, 2016

          Senator Bernie Sanders
          Via electronic mail

          Dear President-Elect Sanders,

          Congratulations on winning the overwhelming support of the American people for your candidacy to be President – not for you, but for them.

          If the pressures of these past two weeks compel you to say that you give up, it is understandable. As our expert researcher and your fellow whistleblower, Dana Jill Simpson, said at the Columbus, Ohio Broad Street Presbyterian Church last Sunday, “We crucify whistleblowers in this country.”

          However, whatever you may say in the face of the ordeal you now suffer, you have been elected to serve us. No one — especially not the king of Saudi Arabia or the highest lord of finance and media in the world — can coronate someone to reign over us.

          Exit polls are the international gold standard for measuring the integrity of election results. However, in the United States such exit polls have to be adjusted not once, but twice — before and after being taken — to compensate for the fraudulent manipulation of votes that regularly takes place. In the 2016 Democratic primary in Ohio, the end of day exit poll result showed you winning 10% more than the result recorded on our vulnerable voting machines. However, one must add back the 6% of your vote that was deducted in anticipation of fraud before the poll was taken. Thus, our experts will testify that you won, not only 10% more delegates than recorded, but the majority of the actual votes of Ohioans. And, as Ohio goes, so goes the nation.

          We will be filing suit later this week to prove in court the extent of Karl Rove’s skillful manipulation of our votes. But, more importantly in relation to the fast approaching Democratic Convention, we will be presenting to delegates and to all the people the evidence of your victory. We will be doing so over the Website “Justice Served. org,” coordinated by Summer Rose who also grew up in Brooklyn.

          Because of the importance of your election to all the people of the United States and the world, I am publishing this as an open letter. I hope that all of your supporters — Democrats, Republicans and Independents will let their voices be heard over the propaganda of the multi-millionaires and billionaires.

          Very truly yours,

          /s/ Clifford O. Arnebeck, Jr.
          Clifford O. Arnebeck, Jr.

        3. Aumua

          Don’t forget that grief is a process. I think we’ve seen examples of all of the different stages here recently.

        4. jo6pac

          I’ll donate $10.00 if your wrong and I feel it:-) I know but that big $$$$ for me. The demodogs have given the women senator that was going save us or do the right thing business as usual. I vote the new boss is the same as the old boss

        5. steelhead23

          Lambert, I find your assessment of Dr. Stein’s tweet more than a bit too harsh. She, not Sanders is working to create a meaningful third party. From where I sit, it is Sanders who is subordinating policy to loyalty – to a party that largely wishes he would simply go away – while the Greens opened their arms. I greatly admire Bernie Sanders, only finding fault with his historical support of Israel and the MIC, but his policies are totally in line with the GP’s, so your anger at her invitation to Sanders supporters is a bit baffling.

          1. Yves Smith

            The tweet was insulting and infantilizing. It treated Sanders voters like jilted teenagers.

            And this is not about “loyalty”. Sanders agreed he’s endorse the Dem winner if he lost. That is not different than agreeing to pay a rental fee in arrears as opposed to in advance. The reason for the change in timing of the endorsement was a tactical choice.

              1. Epistrophy

                He didn’t have to say it – it was in inevitable the moment he chose to campaign within the Democratic Party …

              2. Skip Intro

                Pledging to support the nominee is a prerequisite for participation in the convention, as a delegate at least, and Bernie qua Senator is a super-delegate. He has always said he would support the democratic nominee.

            1. Aumua

              I don’t know, maybe not everyone associates the word “heartbroken” with jilted teenagers. I don’t. Lots of things in life can be heartbreaking, and adult’s hearts can be broken too. But then, I also associate heartbroken with a temporary state, that passes. It doesn’t mean you’re finished or out of the game. Just against the ropes for a minute.

            2. perpetualWAR

              He also agreed to take the fight to the floor of the convention.

              I, too, thought Lambert was harsh in that criticism.

              We NEED a 3rd party desperately and Stein has been out there pounding the pavement to that end.

              1. Epistrophy

                Third parties are an option, but a long road that historically has not shown much success. In my view, it would be far better for the Sanders supporters to harness their energy and move in force within an existing party with a view to changing the rules from within. Not for this election, but for future ones.

                How the Clintons can continue to operate within the Democratic Party (or any party) is a mystery to me. There should be rules in place to kick these types out of the party permanently.

                1. cwaltz

                  I personal think and have thought forever that the left needs to fight a two front war.

                  They should primary when and where they can and if it turns out the corrupt Democratic Party leadership decides against their candidate in favor of a corporate stooge then they should punish the party by voting for a third party(which is why it is so important to get that third choice on the ballot to begin with.)

                  Third parties are the answer to the rejoinder, ” You have to vote Democrat, where else are you going to go?”

                  This way the Democrat Party can change to suit the needs of the majority or organically go the way of the do do bird, their choice.

                  1. Epistrophy

                    For the Sanders supporters not to hit the Democratic Party right now with all they have got would be a great opportunity lost. Half the democratic voters within these primaries were with Sanders.

                    They should demand to put in place procedures/rules that will change the Democratic Party for the better. To fight on two fronts with insufficient resources would not achieve anything.

                    What the Sanders supporters must realize now is that they no longer need Bernie. Their policies/platform is their true goal.

                    Sanders is what, 74 years of age? He will not be on another ticket. His supporters must internalize this reality and move on to ensure the survival of their policies.

              2. aab

                He is literally doing everything he can to honor his commitment to his supporters. Clinton had the power to block him and all his delegates from the convention floor and tear out all the Bernie-influenced planks. Yes, the platform is performative. But she apparently specifically mentioned the $15/hr minimum wage plank, which IIRC was one of the clearest victories, and one that would be easier to hold her to, due to the existing momentum on the ground.

                Moreover, I think he’s angling to try to change a bunch of rules to make it easier to take over on the grassroots level: force them to move to open primaries, etc. That’s why he’s switching from focusing on the platform — where he clearly can’t win with her in control — to rules changes, where some of the arguments she has been using to keep her delegates in line won’t work as well. And now he has gotten to show the Democratic Party that his voters aren’t going to come to her just because she commands it and makes him bow, thus keeping his teeny, tiny possibility of getting the superdelegates to flip alive.

                Nothing about what happened yesterday was ideal. She was trying to alienate his supporters, and in that regard, she clearly succeeded to some degree. But I do think it’s better to make it to the convention floor with his delegates than not. He simply isn’t in control of this situation.

                I agree with Yves and Lambert about that Stein tweet. But it was very canny of her politically. That appealed to a particular type of voter who was low-hanging fruit for her. But as you guys keep saying, when power is laying on the ground, PICK IT UP. And for her, those voters are power. There are tons and tons of well-intentioned voters who simply cannot be argued with on strategic grounds. They want to feel like they’re voting for someone good, regardless of whether that person wins, or what that does to the race. It’s voting as personal expression. And people SHOULD be able to vote along those lines. I’m sick of blaming voters. I believe in game theory, particularly for this election. But that is not how most people most of the time vote. And moving to Stein is better than moving to Clinton, tactically, from my point of view.

                Jill Stein is doing a good job of attracting emotive voters, which is part of being a pol. That’s the kind of thing third party leftists usually fail at, isn’t it?

                1. aab

                  Sorry. I realize now this is part of a thread where Lambert goes over some of this information. I was following newer posts and got lot a bit. I haven’t slept much the last two nights (not entirely because of politics.)

          2. uncle tungsten

            Seriously steelhead23, Bernie Sanders has attracted a vast number of people to support him, millions more than the GP gets. It is impossible for him to go over to the greens and “take” those millions with him. He does not have that power over those supporters or that right and he is fully aware of that. And so is Dr. Stein. Her disingenuous tweet is silly.

            Equally he cant “take” those supporters to Clinton. She has to earn their vote and she cant be trusted. Hence the dilemma that burns so many.

            He has always been committed to reforming the Democrats machine so that sensible, creative, caring people can run the machine. He advocates a revolution and has the sense and clear mindedness to establish successor organizations to perpetuate its momentum and develop tactics for the times ahead.

            Stay with the revolution whoever you vote for. Make the change and propel those sympathetic candidates into their elected roles so they can continue to build the revolution. You will get there with enduring pressure. Look where Bernie has got to after the last three decades. Keep on walking forward.

        6. Oregoncharles

          You’re correct: most of what Jill Stein has said on this subject is aimed at recruiting disappointed Sanders supporters. It’s working, too – direct experience. If she made you mad, she got that tweet wrong.

          At the same time, I, at least, and I’m sure she as well, really are hearing from outspokenly heartbroken former supporters. They’re also pissed, and coming to us for payback – and to continue the “revolution.” That’s politics.

          I always thought the attacks on Sanders were unwise. We should be grateful: he has stirred the pot, vigorously, and we stand to benefit. If he’d been nominated, we would have been in trouble; but the Dems just aren’t that smart. The Iron Law strikes again.

          1. Lambert Strether

            “If she made you mad” is dangerously close to “You mad, bro”?

            From my perspective, the attacks on Sanders were unwise. I’m sure it colored the experience of a lot of people, exactly as my “direct experience” with the Greens in Maine has colored mine.

            But as you say, it’s politics. Best to regard all GP posting at NC as strategic from here on in (as you say, “mistake,” something possible only in a strategic context). I see in essence these elements, at least as propagated in the NC comments section, which isn’t a random sample, but is where I spend a good deal of time. Three are active, and they came in overlapping waves:

            1) The sheepdog meme

            2) The “Democrats suck” meme

            3) Various flavors of Sanders and his supporters suck.

            All good clean fun, as you say — though 80% (say) in the form of short drive-bys with no analytical value add and no links — except when you factor in, again, here:

            4) Notable absence of policy comparisons between the two platforms. Looking back at the NC sampling, the absence is so stark it can’t be accidental (“You don’t bat zero for the season without a plan). The absence is especially stark given that NC is a policy site.

            So, fine. The GP planned and executed a media campaign. From an institutional perspective, that’s a great thing, since its a clear step toward being a functional party (as I’ve said elsewhere on this thread). Unfortunately for us all, NC is not here to be used for that purpose, whether by David Brock or any party. Ciao!

      5. Andrew Watts

        So, Bernie is a self-interested weakling and a coward based on an anonymous person’s contacts within both campaigns. This is a better explanation than the Hillary indictment idea because…?

        1. Lambert Strether

          This comment doesn’t make sense. Is it ironic (“because…”)? If not, you’re misconstruing the link. The link is to a record of a conference call and it’s attested; we’ve also received email accounts of it. The link provides no support for your claim.

          1. Andrew Watts

            This comment doesn’t make sense. Is it ironic (“because…”)?

            Well, it tried to be. Fail.

      6. dingusansich

        About those “progressive concessions“: If the Clintonistas can threaten to reneg on them without a pre-convention endorsement, doesn’t that speak to the, uh, depth of their commitment to the Sanders planks in the party platform? It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in their durability.

        Leave that aside. Let’s accept the conference-call explanation for yesterday’s endorsement. What it still fails to address is why the Clinton camp would go to the mat over fealty right now!

        Forget visions of black blocs outside the Wells Fargo Center. Think stagecraft. The convention is to be about Hillary. It’s her time. Her struggles, her joys, her tears, her triumphs. Her turn! Any other narratives must be pushed aside like peasants blocking undisturbed passage of the Queen’s coach. The objective must be to make Bernie irrelevant ASAP. As of yesterday that item on the Clinton team’s to-do list got a great big checkmark.

        It was pretty much a sure thing all along that Sanders would back Clinton as the lesser evil. True, I’d rather he’d held out to endorse at the convention, but he’s done pretty well so far, so maybe he gets benefit of the doubt here. He’s playing a long game. But the timing is curious.

        1. aab

          I think she pushed it now because she knew those hideous swing state polls were coming out. But he also ran out of string to evade her, once the platform was set.

          I like his plans for rules fights. They may fail. She will certainly try to avoid anything other than a coronation, and she has already reneged on agreements with him, like the California debate. So all that negotiation to get eight hours of prime time exposure for him and his issues could be manipulated into nothing, and he would have no recourse. But he doesn’t have a ton of leverage to begin with.

          I’m going to be upset if he campaigns for her personally in a strong way AFTER the convention, as opposed to “she’s better than Trump” and then hanging progressive policies around her neck while helping people like Teachout. (Yes, I realize she will never, ever DO anything progressive, but I think defining the Democratic Party that way in a framework where she can’t say, “No, I hate all that stuff,” has some value.) Or if he gives her the list, which he specifically confirmed he has not done.

          I want to know whether those pathetic DNC/DCCC Bernie emails are working. They’re flooding social media, and they seem like a terrible idea to me. “We thought Bernie’s endorsement would get you to donate! Why aren’t you donating? WHY AREN’T YOU DONATING?” But I know that messaging works with the normal Democratic base, so I can’t tell whether they really are in a panic that the endorsement didn’t work, or it’s all pretense.

    2. Andrew Watts

      Bernie probably thought Hillary was going to be indicted before heading into the convention. It makes sense because this country is governed by the rule of law and…. ahahaha!

      I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I can’t seriously carry on that shtick without laughing.

    3. Oregoncharles

      You really think his endorsement now will make things more peaceful on the streets of Philadelphia? Maybe not even inside – the Bernie or Bust people now have nothing to lose.

  2. juliania

    Not an aloe but an agave, Century plant. My son makes didgereedoos from the stems once they are cured. Sort of like a Swiss alpenhorn only lighter.

    Don’t badmouth Jill. She’s got the message now, and that’s what is important.

      1. jrs

        well I have yet to see ~45% of the vote necessary changing anything any more than 1% of the vote does, even if it is of course vastly more voters.

        See it’s a winner take all first past the post system, so that 40 some percent doesn’t mean that much (unless future movements were build on it) Winning isn’t the most important thing it’s the ONLY thing in this system, at least as far as voting is concerned.

      2. cwaltz

        They’ve been trying for more than 1% of the vote. It’s not exactly her fault that they arrested her last year for even TRYING to participate in the presidential debates.

        The people who should be criticized are the media, Democrats and Republicans who seem to have made public service their own private, money making commerce venture.

        Criticizing the Greens for their shortcomings when the deck has been stacked against them by others seems a little shortsighted, although fairly typical for the left who loves nothing more than circular firing squads.

      3. roadrider

        Already at 5-7% in polls. Those who are paying attention and not deliberately ignorant of facts that don’t agree with their preconceived notions already knew this.

            1. jgordon

              Even though he lost me early on with his cowardly position on government drone murders of brown people and his timid refusal to go after Hillary’s jugular, many were willing to overlook Bernie’s (glaring) flaws and have an emotional investment in him. You should not disparage these people. In the end Bernie is/was the only half decent person running, and his supporters deserve a lot of sympathy for that.

              Anyway now that Bernie is out there is no one decent left. So I’d recommend switching support to Trump immediately because he is now the only non-psychopath (well probably?) left running. And nukes. I believe Hillary would be almost certain to turn the world into a real life version of Fallout 4.

            2. Yves Smith

              Oh, so now you are joining the Green brigade of insulting and infantilizing Sanders supporters? And compounding the damage by attributing a motive which is inaccurate? I never expected Bernie to win and I have been telling readers for weeks that he would endorse Clinton because that was part of the deal.

              You are good as good at persuasion as the Clinton campaign.

              This site is not a chat board and your comment is our of line. I point out a policy violation and we are serious about them, since this is why we still have a reasonably well-functioning comments section. Instead, you decide to pick a fight. And on top of that, you straw man my position, which is a violation of our written policies.

              It is ALSO against house policy to use this site to advance pet agendas. This blog is not a venue for campaigning for Greens, and that stops now. We’ve run off proselytizers on plenty of other issues, like anti-vaxxers, truthers, bitcoin promoters, goldbugs, etc.. Partisans who behave in a similar manner will be treated accordingly.

            3. Lambert Strether

              Hmm. Throwing your drink in your host’s face doesn’t seem like an ideal vote-getting tactic to me, but then I’m full of whimsy today.

            1. Yves Smith

              I’ve done survey research professionally. The addition of P5a to force an answer from undecideds is a poor technique and appears designed to compensate for the not as large as usual survey size (under 1000). So that would appear to explain why this poll is such an outlier.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      You seem to be confusing NC with the GP campaign site. That’s not our role. You are also saying that the site should not perform a key mission: Critical thinking skills.

      1. Andrew Watts

        The bourgeoisie Green Party is entitled to any dissenting votes by virtue of it’s existence. That’s the message I’m getting from the pro-GP commenters here.

        Their irrational desire for undeserved power is coming on strong.

        1. cwaltz

          I don’t exactly see either of the other parties arguing that they should get my vote by virtue of merit. It’s all vote for Hillary to keep Trump out or vote for Trump to keep Clinton out.

          So you must be sitting this election cycle out since you’ve decided you need a “pure” candidate that “merits” your vote amirite? You sit it out and let everyone else choose the candidate. Be apathetic. That’ll teach those oligarchs.

          1. Andrew Watts

            I don’t exactly see either of the other parties…

            Irrelevant. I was criticizing the Greens who believe they’re entitled to dissenting votes while they’re not doing much to earn or garner support. For people who wish to attract supporters they have a funny way of doing so.

            So you must be sitting this election cycle out since you’ve decided you need a “pure” candidate that “merits” your vote amirite? You sit it out and let everyone else choose the candidate. Be apathetic. That’ll teach those oligarchs.

            I vote for candidates I wish to see in office. Not voting for any candidate is a valid option and I only wish that we had a “none of the above” option that would keep the office vacated in lieu of any alternative. But since you mentioned it isn’t Stein the purity vote? Hitting the political oligarchs with a wet noodle like Stein will show’em something,

            It must hurt that Bernie didn’t even seek fusion party support from the Greens. Much less take them up on their desperate offer to lead the Green ticket. Since that isn’t an option you guys are seeking to poach Sanders organizers and supporters. You know what that means, right? YOU PEOPLE ARE VAMPIRES WHO WANT TO DRAIN OUR LIFE FORCE!!!

            1. Aumua

              Calm down dude, no one’s draining your precious life force here. We’re just having a back-and-forth.

            2. cwaltz

              It doesn’t hurt at all.

              I’m not a fan girl. I don’t need anyone and Washington DC to pat me on the head, give me a cookie and tell me about how their going to make it all better for me.

              I recognized Bernie as a long shot, just as I recognize Jill is a long shot and I’m prepared to deal with a sucky Clinton or Trump presidency should she fail.

              I just think it’s comical that you think the Green Partyand their supporters are supposed to meet some imaginary “merit” standard when neither of the duopoly even pretends their candidate is anything other than not that other guy.

      2. Aumua

        Well yeah, that’s what the Greens need is more criticism. God knows..

        and Trump needs less, amirite?

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Indeed. I ask one thing above all else of a party or candidate: to clearly describe and promote a set of policies that are nearest to my own in comparison to every other alternative on my ballot. I don’t have to “like” them, or think the world of them, or need they be above criticism. It’s a very simple yet effective filter. It’s not even a close thing this year.

        2. Lambert Strether

          People don’t get participation trophies when they’re running for President. Even if they did, NC isn’t the sort of place that issues them. If the Greens want to be a real party, then they can take the lumps real parties do.

          As for Trump, you can get criticism to your hearts content; read any major newspaper and you will find they are unanimous in their hatred of him. There’s no particular value add to singing in chorus, amirite?

          1. Aumua

            Your first point.. fine. Your second point: posing against the status quo just because can also be a fairly hollow position. I’ve come to the conclusion that the cons of supporting Trump outweigh the pros. Because that happens to overlap with the MSM’s narrative right now doesn’t make it any less true for me, although it does make it a little.. uncomfortable.

            1. Lambert Strether

              You imply that NC should invest time singing in chorus with the entire political class on Trump. I don’t see the point. We try to invest effort in material that makes us unique, not material that makes us the same as everyone else. And a lot of that stuff is just oppo anyhow. David Brock has plenty of retail outlets already, and doesn’t need another one.

  3. Unorthodoxmarxist

    You’re being quite unfair to Stein. The rest of her tweets were quite supportive of Sanders – rightly or wrongly – even if the one you quoted was simplistic. Her strategy for the last six months has been to appeal to Sanders voters who are disillusioned with Clinton & the Dems.

    As a Green I think she’s been far too nice to Sanders, but a strategy is a strategy, and it isn’t the dumbest one at this point. The GP has ballot lines in at least half of US states. If Sanders independents and Dems broke with the Dems definitively and streamed into the GP, ran against Dems/Reps on Green ballot lines, that would be the beginnings of an epochal, long-term swing to the left in US politics.

      1. Stomrcrow

        Yes. Thank you. There is no contradiction between being “policy driven” and caring deeply from the heart that maybe finally we had a candidate who would break through the corruption and the madness. To suggest that deep-felt disappointment implies “authoritarian followers” seeking a leader is really wrong-headed and over the top, in my opinion. I get the “sentimentalizing” tone in Stein’s statement, but the graphic and the remarks accompanying it seem excessive. However, Lambert says he has had at least some second thoughts, so good on him.

        It seems more clear than ever that the Democratic Party is not in any sense the answer (contra Sanders). You can’t really have a socialist movement without a socialist party, and you can’t really have a democratic socialist party without a parliamentary system (in most cases). But these are only preconditions not panaceas. The hard Left always insists that at some point the social democrats will sell out (as people like Chris Hedges predicted would be true of Sanders). I resisted believing that about him but it proved to be true. Billmon ran a series of tweets several weeks ago about the dilemmas of what happens to social democrats after they assume power when faced by the same kinds of ruthlessness and dirty dealing that stopped Sanders in his tracks before he could even come close. It has been, as Lambert says, a very clarifying primary season.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t mind an appeal to Sanders voters. Go for it! I find this appeal deeply repellent, for reasons stated. And again, certainly in the NC comments thread, but also on the Twitter, I see virtually no appeals to policy; again, this is so consistent I can only conclude it’s strategic. So, again, congrats to the GP for becoming more like a “real” party. But if the GP wants to take that road, then they should expect their marketing collateral to be reacted to as marketing collateral, which I am doing.

      1. tejanojim

        Lambert –

        I just looked at Jill Stein’s twitter feed, and found it to be about as policy heavy as I would reasonably expect. Green energy, medicare for all, college for all, cut military spending, cabinet position for Ed Snowden.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          It’s true that I’m much more focused on the NC comments section, where for whatever reason that material never appears.

          That said, I do see that stuff, and you’re right; I wrote in haste and let me revise and extend.

          What I do not see is a comparative approach that says GP is better than Sanders Why vote for one as opposed to the other? Is the GP Medicare for All proposal better than Sanders, and if so, why? I follow health policy closely, and I’d love to see that. Nothing from my contact form. And no, I’m not going to take on the assignment of writing about it.

          1. cwaltz

            The assumption at this point is Sanders isn’t going to be on the ballot so I’m not sure why we’re supposed to be comparing Sanders to the Green Party(comparing someone who endorsed another candidate versus a candidate actually running.) I’d argue that his policy positions were similar enough to the Green Platform that Stein offered Sanders the top of the ticket for the Green Party so yes, if you are policy oriented and agreed with Sanders then yes, Greens are a great alternative platform wise.

            Personally, I felt it was nice for Jill Stein to acknowledge that many Bernie supporters are grieving because they feel his endorsement was the death of Bernie’s campaign. It wasn’t like she also didn’t follow it up with a discussion of how to mobilize the passion of those who shared Bernie’s vision and appeal to them to join Greens.

            1. Lambert Strether

              I was referring to the entire campaign.

              Personally, I thought Stein offering the top of the ticket to Sanders was nothing more than a desperate stunt, and it reinforces my view that the Greens have a hard time doing what they should be doing, which is growing candidates organically. One way to do that would be by actually winning elections and delivering concrete material benefits to voters. Somebody like Howie Hawkins is actually doing that. I’m not willing to say that the platforms are equivalent, or that the GP is better as an inference, and I want — or would have wanted — the GP to show it.

              I don’t owe anybody my vote. Clinton behaves as if I do; now the GP is doing the same thing.

          2. Elizabeth Burton

            The following is my opinion, and should not be taken as either cast in stone or intended to convince anyone else to embrace it.

            Let me point out the elephant. Jill Stein has no body of support in Congress. She has no experience in office. “She has all the right ideas” does not qualify someone to be POTUS. It’s all well and good to vote one’s conscience, and I commend those who do. However, it’s also true that symbolic gestures rarely have real-world effects, and that’s what a GP vote is—a symbolic gesture.

            I have nothing but admiration for Dr. Stein. She is an intelligent, well-informed individual who deserves to be heard. And I could happily embrace the Green Party if it had any viability to have impact in November. It doesn’t and it won’t, because the Green Party people-in-charge have steadfastly refused to do what is necessary to obtain that viability. Instead of working, as Bernie plans to do, at the local and state level to place candidates in office, they roll out every four years to run someone for president who hasn’t the proverbial snowball’s chance of achieving anything because they have no support in Congress to speak of.

            Had the GP started building their base 16 years ago after Nader ran, they might have become a true third option by this time. They didn’t, and I don’t feel secure supporting an organization that is so poorly run as to not understand that was what needed to be done.

            I’d love to see all the problems solved overnight, too, but it’s not going to happen; and I can’t believe the intelligent people who hang out here believe in such miracles any more than I do. You can’t reverse 50 years of undermining and sabotage, which is what we’re dealing with, in one election or maybe even five. We definitely can’t if everyone hops onto their favorite hobby horse and loses focus. That’s part of the reason we got in this mess in the first place.

            Will I vote for HRC? Probably, because the idea of having the GOP in power is just too horrific, and like it or not, she is the ONLY reasonable (or unreasonable, if you prefer) option as things stand now. And given we know she can’t be trusted, we won’t fall into the mistake we made with Mr. Obama, because we’re watching. And we’re fighting to change the flavor of Congress and state legislatures—I made a donation for just such a purpose this morning and plan to make another one shortly.

            Cynicism is fine in discussion but useless in practice. I’ve spent almost 7 decades accepting that sometimes the best-laid plans gang agley, and when they do I have to see what’s left and do what I can with it. I’ll know more about what to do with the current situation after the convention.

            1. Lambert Strether

              The elephant in the room is what Tankus called “organizational capacity.”

          3. John k

            I think your existing view of GP and or disappointment, which most f us keenly share, is in your way. I see her comment as compassionate.
            From a practical perspective…
            Bernie says he will campaign for progressives, fabulous he still has the energy after his own disappointments. What else? Many think shill the greater evil; for those, greens drains votes from shill, even if they are, as you have said, incompetent. So what is wrong with supporting greens? There has to be a structure, and they are on the ballot in most states… In what way would staying home be better?

            Say it would take a miracle to turn them into a competent party… Bernie was the miracle enabled by immense dissatisfaction with both parties. Maybe some of those that worked night and day to get Bernie where he got will create a new miracle.

              1. TheCatSaid

                Lambert–“the Sanders campaign team is over-stretched and not getting the word out”

                I came across a couple detailed descriptions of apparent Clinton moles in powerful positions in the Sanders campaign, carrying out sabotaging of efforts by unpaid volunteers (e.g., cancelling important meetings at the last minute, refusing use of donated office space, other things that frustrated volunteers’ efforts). Massachusetts and a southern state–maybe NC. They were having difficulty getting through to the campaign. I’ve heard of such things occurring on previous campaigns. Have you heard anything about this?

      2. Aumua

        Thank you Lambert, sincerely, for revising.

        The truth is: I do feel heartbroken. Maybe I’m just not as tough as all you grisly veterans, but that is how I feel. It hurts right in my chest, and my gut.

      3. Oregoncharles

        Twitter is a good place to discuss policy? In how many characters, was it?
        Knock me over with a feather.

        In all seriousness: the medium matters a lot. NC doesn’t restrict post length (that I’ve ever seen), and policies are posted on websites, where there is room to lay them out properly.

        Granted, I’m prejudiced against Twitter; strikes me as a recipe for stupidity – make that clever stupidity. But social media are obligatory now.

        My experience of the Green Party is that it’s obsessively and probably self-defeatingly about policy, so your criticism seems very strange to me. But as I implied, I’m not reading her Twitter feed (nor is she writing it, I’d guess.)

        And as I said in another post in moderation, if she made you mad, she got that one wrong. Hopefully one Tweet does not a whole campaign make.

        1. Yves Smith

          1. We have repeatedly had readers, including on this very same thread, tell us to look at Jill Stein’s Twitter account to read her policy positions.

          2. Twitter is regularly used to promote articles and wonky policy documents. Journalists and economists regularly argue policy on Twitter. And as Lambert indicated, they will also embed images of charts or text of articles, meaning, as he told you. the effective length is longer than 140 characters.

          3. Many Twitterati (Billmon uses this a lot) make an artform of the Twitter storm, of making an argument across a series of tweets that are numbered.

    2. nippersmom

      Also, quite frankly, many of the Berners in the FB group I frequent are saying their hearts are breaking, or roughly equivalent comments.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Sure. I don’t blame Stein, as a politician, for taking advantage of the opportunity; tactically, it’s smart. That doesn’t make the behavior any less infantilizing. “Honey, I’m so sorry! Let me make it all better…”

        1. Inverted Polygon

          Is it that difficult to believe that, perhaps, Jill is capable of genuine empathy?

          She offered her spot on the ticket to Bernie. I don’t think this is about opportunism.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Now I get it. It’s all about an empathetic leader. Thanks for clarifying.

            If Stein isn’t being opportunistic, that would be political malpractice. My objection is to the form her opportunism takes.

            1. Inverted Polygon

              No, it’s not *all* about an empathetic leader. It’s ONE Tweet. Have you looked at any of her Tweets today? Tons of action and policy oriented stuff.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            I’m never understood why, given the critique “A did ____” why people view “But B did ___ too” as a dispositive reason to support A. Democrats do it all the time; they’re doing it with Ginsberg right now. Tribalism, maybe? Sheepherding?

            1. Escher

              People aren’t generally looking for dispositive arguments, just the first good-enough argument that lets them go on believing as they already do.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I’m trying to understand what a Green vote would do in practice. Let’s roll the tape:

            HRC: “Look, Bill, 3.9% of people voted for something called The Greens, how cute”
            WJC: ” F*ck those people, they’ve got nowhere else to go but with us. They need to get with the program, what can we do to screw them over and teach them a lesson?”
            HRC: “I agree, dear. They keep asking for something called “single payer”. I asked Monty over at Aetna what that was and he said not to worry about it, it would never happen. By the way he and Bipsy will be at the Vineyard again this summer and they want to know whether that nice sheikh will be staying with us again, they really loved seeing pictures of his mega-yacht in Monaco. Oh and Monty said to mark him down for the same amount at the Foundation this year”.

            1. cwaltz

              What was the margin between Clinton and Trump again?
              (hint-3.9% of the vote may determine who is and isn’t President)

              There’s a reason Trump, Johnson and Stein are making a play for Bernie voters(Clinton isn’t because she foolishly believes she has them now that she and the Democrats have sealed the primaries), they recognize in a close race those votes have value.

              1. Epistrophy

                Johnson and Stein are not going to have much success with the Bernie voters – and even if they did it would not make any difference.

                Ultimately I think that the large majority of Sandersvoters are most likely to boycott this election. Considering their dedication and strength of view, there really is no other outcome that I can see – for this election.

                For the next election it could be a much different scenario.

            2. Christopher Fay

              “Oh, and Monty said to mark Aetna down for the same amount at the Foundation this year.”

              There, fixed it for ya

        2. lindaj

          Infantile is not believing a life-long politician when he says he will endorse the ultimate candidate of the party he is running in.

  4. EndOfTheWorld

    The LA Times telling everybody they “need to” do something. That’s the height of hubris—people can vote for whoever they want to or not vote if they don’t want to. The number of people who will make up their minds from the LA Times editorials is probably about 2.

  5. savebyirony

    I live in Ohio and don’t watch much TV but last week with Wimbledon on had me tuning in quite a bit and I saw no Trump ads but many Clinton spots on ESPN. However, the Clinton ads had me almost so repulsed as to consider voting for Trump. Maybe that is what is going on.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The emails decision was all the free ads Trump needed last week.

      “Sometimes, the best things in life are free.”

      “Throwing more money at it will not help.”

      Less is more.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It was a Democratic primary for Governor in Virginia with a small electorate, but the winning candidate, in a field that included Terry MacAuliffe’s wall to wall ads ran a fairly simple and straight forward ad, which at least anecdotally changed the undecideds to the eventual nominee especially when TerryMac and the third candidate decided to discuss nothing but guns.

        I couldn’t find the ad with a quick search. It’s no Russian “we want” Potts (look this up, you won’t regret it), but it was effective.

        1. JCC

          I’m always curious when I see a statement like “look it up, you won’t regret it” so I did. I plugged in “Russian “we want” Potts” into Google and came up with a reference to, #1 Prince and someone named Kimberly Potts, #2 Mt. Potts Lodge in NZ, #3 IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship, #4 some Season 4 info on some show called “The Americans” (very little TV, so I never heard of it until today), and #5 Iron Man 2 movie quotes.

          So, and don’t take this wrong, I’m still curious. Was it one of the above or something else you are referring to?

      2. savedbyirony

        Oh how i would love to see the Clinton campaign and supportive pacs adopt the “less is more” strategy (which they won’t). Here in the “battleground” state of Ohio we get psychologically pummeled by ads during Presidential campaigns. They become nearly impossible to avoid. Seeing these Clinton ads before the convention (and i was surprised by just how many there were) has me worried about the volume of them after.

    2. Kokuanani

      I live in MD, a solid Blue state, but local broadcasting reaches DC & VA.

      This afternoon I saw the first Hillary ad: a totally repulsive “we need a steady hand,” with a bunch of photos of military hardware.

      So soon before the election I have to turn off the tv???

      1. savedbyirony

        There is so much dislike for Clinton out there, i wonder just how “solid” is solid this cycle; and if a state like yours seeing ads so early might signal the Clinton camp are worried about it.

  6. ekstase

    The upcoming Jupiter exhibit is pretty cool. One way we can turn technology to a positive end, rather than not.

      1. polecat

        Lets just hope that probe doesn’t bounce off of one of those big black monoliths……

        …just might be a case of ‘Infinity and Beyond’ ….. or ‘Bon Voyage ….see ya never!’

  7. ekstase

    “We present a broad class of models that naturally reproduce this critical behavior. They all involve deep dynamics of a recursive nature, as can be approximately implemented by tree-like or recurrent deep neural networks” [Arxiv.org”
    I so seldom use profanity but WTF?

  8. willf

    I must disagree with your take on Stein.

    You can bash Jill Stein for that 1 tweet, but her comments on the Democratic Primary contest have been nail-on-the-head accurate all the way down the line.

    Second, it implies Sanders voters are authoritarian followers seeking a leader; that they’ll switch to the Greens because they want a different leader.

    No it doesn’t. One can have their “heart broken” by a political figure and still not be an unthinking authoritarian looking for a leader figure, just a bit naive. Every election we have a whole new crop of young people like this. They are not “unthinking authoritarians”.

    You want faux reaching out? The kind that induces nausea? Try this, from your 2pm water cooler, yesterday:

    “[I]n a nod to Sanders’s successful fundraising efforts that brought in millions of dollars from small donors, with at one time an average donation of $27, Clinton’s campaign has made $27 an option on its online donor page.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If you have no customers, you might want to lower the asking price, to say, $13.50 per person.

      That’ would be faux reaching out, but more profitably…volume makes up for low price.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Isn’t it time for Hillary to adopt three installments of $9?

          A new 9-9-9.

            1. fresno dan

              July 13, 2016 at 4:47 pm

              Really – equating Hillary with the Devil? Implying that Hilary is sooo evil that she is Beelzebub? That Hillary is the Devil in …uh…garb from Kim Jong-Un fashion school????

              Please, the Devil is a great liar….but no reasonable prosecutor would concede that Satan could out lie Hillary Clintoon…..

              1. ambrit

                That would appeal to the mundane ‘citizens,’ but the real political aficionados will only have their heads turned, like little Regan, by unspeakable rites. ( I can see the ceremental ceremonial in the convention Pit as an Esoterically Eldritch Rite.)
                You couldn’t do better than to hire these people to do your Public Relations.
                See: http://muse.jhu.edu/chapter/1600805

                1. Lambert Strether

                  That is a truly amazing link. This is a large and wonderful country. How on earth did you find it?!

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think the whole “heart broken” meme (assiduously propagated, too) is infantilizing and insulting to policy driven voters (many of whom went for Sanders on that basis).

      As for “faux reaching out,” this strikes me as another example of binary thinking; do you really think the way to sell Stein is to say that Clinton does the same thing?

      Adding, on: “just a bit naive…” I don’t think that’s to be encouraged. At all. Because it’s treating voters like, well… sheep.

      1. Chromex

        Disagree that this is what is said.. You can accept your own premise – I do not- but, to me, the writer clearly said that Clinton’s example was clear and egregious, not that it was the ‘same ‘ as Ms, Stein’s.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > ” want faux reaching out? The kind that induces nausea? Try this,”

          So this is “same same, but different”? Come on. This is a classic trope Dems use: “Yeah, but Bush did _____.” The same logic has simply been transposed to a different context. Again, congrats to the GP for finally bootstrapping themselves into a semblance of normal partisan behavior…

      2. willf

        Apologies, I was not clear.

        Yes, I too find this particular appeal a bit too sentimental. But overall, Stein has done a good job of appealing to disaffected Sanders supporters.

        As for “faux reaching out,” this strikes me as another example of binary thinking; do you really think the way to sell Stein is to say that Clinton does the same thing?

        You may have a point, but I’m not sure I see the equivalence. Both candidates will certainly try to get Sanders’ supporters to their side.

        I’m not sure that tweets directed at them are the same as including the 27 dollar donation total. That seems indicative of a mindset which wants their support with the least amount of effort.

        Also, it is not my wish to “sell” Stein. Despite my earlier comment, I am not a green. I haven’t made up my mind about the vote yet. I am not firmly in anyone’s camp. But she has been very good about the way she has reached out to Sanders supporters, going back to 2015.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          What drives me nuts — and like Diptherio, I do feel a bit bilious — is that the GP appeals I see, and I do try to keep track, here and extensively on twitter, are not policy-based; “sheepdog” wasn’t, for example. No attempt to show GP policy was better! The appeals certainly are not today and have not been as long as I’ve been reading at NC; the talking point is never (well, hardly ever) of the form “Sanders supports ___ and Stein supports ____.” What we get instead are constant variations of “Democrats suck” (true) and “I support _____. ”

          (I was writing in haste, but I did reword to “the way to sell Stein” from “the way for you to sell Stein” because I didn’t want to imply you were. Sorry.)

          1. JTMcPhee

            Why do most of the people who vote, across the country, take the trouble to vote? I mean the vast sweep of our fellow citizens? Is it because of policy, or image, or gut, or all of those, or something else altogether? The Kochs et al money-vote policy. My friend John will vote Dem, straight ticket, because Richard Nixon lied to him, 5 decades or so ago. And he is vastly aware of policy. Same on the other side for my friend Eileen, with the fillip that her priest says that is the only faithful thing to do.

            We go much farther down this road, and we ( whoever “we” are) smack up against the wall labeled “futility.”

            Did what I could for Bernie. Seems to me, the way my mind integrates it all, that Trump is a rational choice. #shakeitallup. With the realization that he will if he wins be quickly gelded and hobbled by other bigger actors pursuing their perceived interests that may kill all the rest of us more quickly…

          2. MojaveWolf

            Ok, I’ll bite. Sandernista switching to Stein. I *never* thought GP was a better option than what Bernie offered. I’m closer to him than them on policy. That said, comparing them to anyone else? They win hands down. (I could make an electability/maybe he’d do this or that once elected/we need a forceful personality to deal w/the establishment scumbags/argument for Trump instead of Stein as devil’s advocate, and he would be my 2d choice, but really, I don’t want to, and I really do think Greens/Stein are much, much better as an option). Why?

            1st, Climate change. If no Bernie in the race I woulda thrown my support to O’Malley over this, because he was the only other non-Green who really seemed to get the severity of the problem. This should *trump* EVERYTHING, imo. I don’t wish everything I love about the world to die. You guys had a great post about this just a couple of days ago, and today see one of the regular naked capitalism contributors here: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-democratic-campaign-to-keep-burning.html

            Trump doesn’t publicly acknowledge climate change exists. Hillary and the Dem establishment do, and pay all sorts of lip service, while not actually doing anything that would make enough of a difference (or frequently under feinting/pretending to do worthwhile things then backtracking, etc) . Johnson I haven’t heard prioritize it or speak about it. HRC & Johnson support the TPP, which if followed would make effective measures basically impossible, along w/all the other problems w/that agreement. The Greens? Acknowledge and supposedly environmental issues are their primary reason for existence. I think they’ve gotten away from this but it still seems to be more of an issue for them than anyone else.

            2d, opposition to the TPP. Again, we have a choice between Stein and Trump. I trust her more on this (and pretty much everything that she says) and like her better than Trump.

            Trade in general–I’m pretty certain Stein really, truly, heart of hearts supports fair trade practices with the goal of better treatment for workers and better environmental practices required for companies importing (and for American companies here) and will make that a priority. I trust a support for fair trade more than I trust a support for “better deals”, whatever that means.

            Stein is actually better than Bernie on student loans. He supported getting rid of onerous practices going forward. She supports debt forgiveness on unfair past loans (I have no student loans to pay off, or debt in general; I’m not saying this out of self-interest, it’s just good policy).

            Not getting us all involved in another cold war/possible shooting war w/Russia. Okay, that’s everyone but Hillary. Still, she’s good here.

            She favors meaningful campaign finance reform. Johnson doesn’t. I think Trump does but again, I trust her more. Honestly not sure about Clinton here. This is important, imo.

            And yes, the fact that I think her personal character is better than the other 3 matters to me. That she hasn’t made the kind of irresponsible statements about immigrants Trump has matters to me. That he seems like a jerk matters. The Clinton Foundation, Honduras, Libya, Iraq all matter. Stein simply being “not guilty” is a big leg up.
            And I know this is hardly complete but I have to go. Hope it was the sort of thing you were looking for.

            Not saying the Greens are perfect or that I agree w/them on all. But better than the rest does matter.

            1. MojaveWolf

              Gah. Thought of this as soon as I left and appalled at myself for forgetting. Very important. I’m very, very pro-choice. So is Stein. Obviously HRC is to, but Bernie and believe Stein are more steadfast. Trump prolly is in real life but his public campaign statements have been atrocious. And I trust Stein more w/supreme court also.

            2. Lambert Strether

              It’s great to have this from you now (and I was shocked to find the college debt proposals from both Sanders and Warren were terrible).

              But that a message like this hasn’t been hammered on for months — and was even specifically not given when I asked for it — speaks volumes.

              This reminds me of a concept Nathan Tankus raised of Syriza when Grexit was still a live issue: organizational capacity (and also here). It’s not clear to me that the Greens have the organizational capacity even to be a genuine party, let alone poll better than the 0.36% she polled in 2012 (yes, I know 2016 polls are elsewhere on this thread, but polling this year… who knows?) Not only that, Maine was one of the Greens best states in 2012 (1.3%) and the party here is a debacle. And I’m really not at all encouraged by the proselytizing, if it can be called that, that Greens are doing on this site.

              Lack of organizational capacity is not a reason not to vote for Stein, of course; I’m not deploying the “throw your vote away” argument. What I am saying is that I have reason to question that more votes and more money will solve the Green’s problems by themselves. If that were true, every dysfunctional non-profit that won a big grant would automatically become functional.

              1. MojaveWolf

                Point taken. I’ve never worked with the Greens so can’t really comment one way or the other on their oganizational abilities, tho like Kurt Sperry I’m willing to take a chance on the well-meaning outsiders regardless of their political savvy. On this site I don’t know who is an actual Geen activist vs. who is someone like me who’s basically sympatico to their goals and finds them immensely preferable to what the other parties offer, so it could be the people I’d point to as making good cases for why vote Green aren’t who you are talking about being non-impressive.

                Re: why the Greens didn’t hammer Jill being better than Bernie the last six months–I actually think she/they made the smart play here, in waiting to see what happened with Sanders and not attacking him. Assuming they, like Bernie, really do put country/world/overall first, he had a better chance to win and enact their policies, so made sense not to hurt him.

                But even assuming they thought he was going to flame out and that their policies were much much better, if I was Jill’s campaign director, I’d have said be nice as all get out to Bernie and his people (if you think he’s going to win the Dem nomination, whatever you think of him, you have no chance and it doesn’t matter what you do), hope the Dem party is utterly stupid in how they treat him and piss off all his followers, hope that Trump keeps catering too much to the far right and pissing leftists and somewhat left leaning people off, and jump in to pick up the pieces.

                I like Stein but she’s not shown herself to be a charismatic campaigner. And that’s a really difficult obstacle to overcome as a third party candidate in a country w/a public that mostly belittles 3rd party candidates even before the media gets started on trying to get rid of them. So how does she win? (if you think winning isn’t an option, and at this point I refuse to admit this, cause even a .01% chance is still a chance, then you can define winning as “getting in the debates” or, and I think this is something that’s realistic by any standard, getting over 5% and federal funding, and setting your party up as a future rival to take away the left from the Dems) By making it clear she supports what Bernie is trying to do and position herself to absorb all the non-conservative people who are pissed off at Clinton, the DNC and establishment pols in general. The chips have mostly fallen the right way, so there’s at least a tiny smidgen of hope now.

                The other tightrope the Greens have had to walk is making this appeal w/out pissing off the Berniecrats. I’ve got plenty of both in my timeline, and even the most innocuous “If Bernie doesn’t make it don’t forget we are here” or “the Dems are treating Bernie like crap come on over to the Green party where we don’t try to sabotage leftists” tweets are frequently attacked with anger. The Greens trying to actually say “we are the real/best leftists, vote for us” usually pissed even me off. This could have been done in a way that at least shouldn’t have gotten people angry (tho it still would’ve gotten a lot of people angry no matter how it was said), but usually, it came off more like “Bernie’s not for real but we are” which accusation of phoniness was not helpful.

                Even Jill’s expressions of sympathy post-endorsement were treated as “I hate her after the way she spent the last 24 hrs beating Bernie up” by a lot of people. I don’t think this was remotely fair, but it was out there. In that sort of environment, she really couldn’t have been overly aggressive about saying “why I’m better” for six months.

                Again, not arguing with you about Green organizational capacity or smarts. I simply don’t know. Does Jill (and/or the rest of the Green leadership) have the chops to take advantage of the moment, put the party on her back, carry it forward and use it to transform the political makeup of the country? I don’t know. But unless Trump doesn’t just pivot but BOUNDS left, Stein & the Greens are pretty much the only horse left for me in the race, so I’m gonna throw my 2016 efforts there, for whatever it’s worth.

            3. Felix_47

              I think the Green platform talks about some major surgery to the defense budget which makes a lot of sense in which Bernie did not emphasize

          3. akze

            She hasn’t even won the nom yet, and here you are screaming about the GP not explaing how their policies are better than Bernie’s. Knock her all day for that but she is not the party, she is a candidate. You wan’t to know about how their policies are better than Bernie’s then get your lazy ass off of tiwter, and visit the GP site.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              I’m approving this as an object lesson:

              1) It seems a poor strategy to call people you want to support you lazy-assed; that’s on a par with the basement dweller who thinks insulting the weary moderator is a feat of strength;

              2) We don’t take assignments, as you would know if you read the site policies

              3) As I urged elsewhere on this thread (a) “Check the website” is identical to the tactic used by the Obama campaign in 2008, whose purpose was to distract from policy, and (b) a campaign that needs to get “water to flow uphill” by failing to propagate its ideas such that the only place to find out about them is the website has severe issues of organizational capacity.

              Thank you for sharing your concern.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          You feel, then, the Sanders “America” ad was infantilizing? I’m not opposed to appeals to emotions as such; ethos and pathos both appeal to emotions, obviously.

          This emotion I object to. So please don’t distort what I write.

          Adding, I far prefer “Don’t mourn. Organize” as a message to “I understand you’re hurting. Join my party and I’ll make your owies go away.” One empowers. The other disempowers.

          1. Vatch

            Neither the Sanders video nor the Stein tweet is infantilizing. They were both marketing intended to appeal to people’s emotions. I think some people would see humor in the Stein tweet. I don’t follow twitter, but I suspect there are plenty of Green Party tweets urging people to organize. If I’m wrong, well, correct me.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              Of course the Sanders video wasn’t infantilizing.

              The Stein tweet was.

              As Anne says here: “Maybe it’s that I dislike being reduced to the level of a fan-girl/groupie who just found out her crush is marrying someone else.” She puts it more nicely than I did…

              1. cwaltz

                Not everyone is Anne.

                I thought it was a nice gesture to acknowledge that people were grieving.

                It isn’t like following that tweet Jill didn’t put out a call to mobilize instead of give up now that Bernie is gone from the revolution and argue that people should not waste the passion they felt at Bernie’s campaign which seems to me that she understands that many of his supporters are policy driven- not fan girls.

            2. hunkerdown

              According to Jill’s reddit, Jill’s organization is overwhelmed by the number of volunteers that are jumping the Sanders ship and they’re seeking organizational capacity. Even if this is just akin to the spinning up of the OODA loop, the “whuh” that issues when a brick is pitched through a sleeping eldritch horror’s bedroom window, perhaps the Green Party isn’t entirely senile and comatose.

              1. Lambert Strether

                I’ll believe it when I see concrete results in the field. That would include stuff like GOTV, a sensible media operation, and stuff that parties do.

            3. Yves Smith

              The Stein tweet appalled me. I saw it as infantilizing, or perhaps more accurately, depicting Sanders voters as heartbroken pre-teens. I found it to be insulting. I don’t want a candidate that presents themselves as comforting voters who are presumed children.

              1. Vatch

                Yves, I think you and Lambert need to relax. First of all, this was Twitter, the epitome of superficiality. Second, it was humorous, not infantilizing. Stein expressed sympathy for people like me, who supported Sanders and who seriously dislike both Clinton and Trump. So what if there was an emoji? Should she have used an Egyptian hieroglyph instead? Can you read hieroglyphics? I can’t.

                We’ve seen far worse infantilizing from the Trump and Clinton camps, and we’ll continue to see it.

          2. Inverted Polygon

            It was one Tweet delivered not long after Sanders endorsed. For every season, turn, turn….

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I’m able to multitask being pissed off simultaneously along several axes, when sufficiently caffeinated. That’s how pissed off I am. And no, I’m not heartbroken at all, either.

          1. JCC

            Totally, absolutely, off topic, but I had to smile when I saw pissed off simultaneously along several axes because my first thought was the plural of axe – it sort of goes along with pissed off.

            But then I suppose it should have read pissed off with several axes.

            So… as usual… I looked it up (no wonder it takes me so long to get through the comment section – I do this constantly) and came across this (the plural of axis).

            The comments are interesting. It’s always fun to read up on a little wordsmithing.

            1. Lambert Strether

              There is historical precdent. Alice in Wonderland:

              `If everybody minded their own business,’ the Duchess said in a hoarse growl, `the world would go round a deal faster than it does.’

              `Which would not be an advantage,’ said Alice, who felt very glad to get an opportunity of showing off a little of her knowledge. `Just think of what work it would make with the day and night! You see the earth takes twenty-four hours to turn round on its axis–‘

              `Talking of axes,’ said the Duchess, `chop off her head!’

      3. Anne

        “Many Berning hearts are breaking right now”

        I don’t know – there’s something about it that just bugs me. Maybe it’s that I dislike being reduced to the level of a fan-girl/groupie who just found out her crush is marrying someone else.

        Maybe it’s all of a piece with these comments from people who seem to be doing the equivalent of throwing out their school binders on which they had drawn their initials and Bernie’s inside a heart, and the pages where they practiced writing “Mrs. Bernie Sanders” over and over and over again.

        Bernie Sanders isn’t my boyfriend; he’s not cheating on me with Another Woman. My heart isn’t breaking – if anything, I’m disappointed, a little angry, and it’s making me a little cranky that the speed with which some people – and some of them comment here – have divested themselves of anything-Sanders makes me question whether their original support for Sanders was just a token protest against Clinton and the establishment, and that what he proposed and the agenda he set and the bullshit he called throughout the primary season was never what drove their “support.”

        Taking their bat and their ball and going home to pout because it didn’t go exactly they way they wanted just kind of pisses me off. Either they believe in what Sanders was advocating for and campaigning against, or they don’t. Either they are willing to keep up the fight or they aren’t.

        I guess I’m feeling a little bit like all the choices I have are kind of sucky. I voted for Stein in 2012 and may do it again in November. But I don’t need her as a shoulder to cry on, to cry into a beer with; I don’t want or need her sympathy and I don’t want her to campaign to be my rebound relationship. Let’s talk policy, for God’s sake, not feelings.

        I for sure am not voting for either Clinton or Trump – I would be happy if, after November, I never saw or heard from either of them again.


        1. Aumua

          Language is funny, isn’t it? People have such different associations to these words we use. And yet we assume that when I say for example: ‘heartbroken’, I mean the same thing that you mean when you say it. So maybe we should define our terms before we proceed?

          We could go with Websters I guess, to start:

          adjective heart·bro·ken \-ˌbrō-kən\
          Simple Definition of heartbroken

          : filled with great sadness

          Well that’s a definition. I think my own personal definition is more along the lines of simply being in a state of emotional pain or anguish. I certainly do see it as a temporary state.

        2. Medbh

          “Taking their bat and their ball and going home to pout because it didn’t go exactly they way they wanted just kind of pisses me off. Either they believe in what Sanders was advocating for and campaigning against, or they don’t. Either they are willing to keep up the fight or they aren’t.”

          I’m mad because I did believe in what Sanders was advocating, and his endorsement of Ms. Clinton undermines that effort. If someone is corrupt, you don’t support him/her. It reinforces the idea that politicians don’t really mean what they say. I gave money to Obama and Sanders, and I feel like a sucker twice burned.

          Ms. Clinton epitomizes what’s wrong with our current system. To say you’re fighting that system, and then turn around and endorse it makes no sense.

          Past behavior predicts future behavior, and what you allow is what will continue. There is no indication that Ms. Clinton will actually support any of the policies or goals Sanders advocated, and his endorsement indicates that there are no consequences for ignoring us.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Then you didn’t read the label on the package, because Sanders was always going to endorse (modulo wiggle room he would have had to prepare, and never did).

            As Garrison Keillor said in another context: “If you didn’t want to go to Milwaukee, why did you get on the train?”

            As for Clinton being Clinton… I mean, of course! The platform is tactical; it makes holding her feet to the fire a little easier. That’s not a big thing, but it’s not nothing.

            Strategically, the only thing that holds Clinton back is millions of Sanders voters if they can be organized in a trans-electoral fashion. The GP, of course, wishes to poach from that effort, and quite naturally so.

      4. Inverted Polygon

        For crying out Loud, Lambert, he’s referring to college students and other political novices. Does everyone have to be a cynical political junkie? Don’t you remember when you were 18, 19 and maybe you supported someone you later regretted supporting? It’s all part of the learning process.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I’m surprised, or not, to hear the message I prefer, which can be expressed as “Don’t mourn, organize,” categorized as that of a cynical political junkie. Joe Hill, at least, would be intrigued by your view. I’ve also urged that Sanders voters, who are disproportionately youthful, are policy-oriented. So I am surprised, or not, to hear from you that “college students and other political novices” are not so driven.

          1. skippy

            Save the Planet…. what – ???? – I have too do the dishes……

            Disheveled Marsupial…. sadly the dishes don’t handout the dopamine… like watching ones favorite sporting team – WIN – on Teevee…

        2. hunkerdown

          Yes, everyone should be cynical. If you’re not cynical, you’re begging to be manipulated. But that’s what the authoritarians want when they whine about others’ cynicism, isn’t it?

          1. JustAnObserver

            “If you’re not cynical it just means you’re not paying attention” (Who ?).

          2. Aumua

            Cynicism is something I think most of us indulge in from time to time. It’s not particularly useful though.

            1. hunkerdown

              The hell it isn’t. Cynicism is merely the understanding that living beings have interests and goals and, in general, expend effort toward their manifestation. That such an obvious trait of human nature is cause for such dismissal and rationalization ought to be embarrassing to people who think.

              If you’re not cynical, you’re lying to yourself about your own and others’ motives. That is, you’re the patsy. Unless your belief is that I should shut up and enjoy the show because we decided to do this instead of feeding and housing people and to be churlish would disrespect the starving and homeless.

              1. JTMcPhee

                Is there an agreed definition of “cynical” NC posters need to be working from, to avoid falling into anything like the cafe squabbling of fin de siecle Marxists and Anarchists?

                English speakers in times of great trouble that threaten their existence, ” divided by a common tongue.”

            2. Aumua

              @JTMcPhee – Good point. It’s the same point I just made elsewhere in fact. Having at least a crude agreed upon definition of a word like ‘cynicism’ is pretty important here before any further points are made. It’s a pretty complicated word, with many shades of meaning, but we can start with Websters “simple” definition:

              noun cyn·i·cism \ˈsi-nə-ˌsi-zəm\

              : cynical beliefs : beliefs that people are generally selfish and dishonest.

              @hunkerdown – so then is your statement that living beings, in their pursuit of their interests and goals, are necessarily selfish and dishonest? Or are you applying a different definition of the word cynicism here?

              1. hunkerdown

                Fair point, Aumua, JT. It appears I am applying a different definition — which I expressed in full above — in an attempt to sidestep the thought-stopping effect of the word and the norms of deference and self-unawareness it helps enforce. It’s important to me to recognize that my motives are not necessarily the same as everyone else’s, and vice versa. Better to acknowledge the fact, than to guilt others into believing (or worse, being) otherwise or to misjudge common purpose with others, and so I attempt to rehabilitate the term (allowing for fewer false assumptions in the orientation stage in the decision loop).

                1. Aumua

                  Your comments are sometimes difficult to unpack, but I’ll say that I don’t think I am much susceptible to being manipulated, used, or made a patsy of because I am a very skeptical person. I question things such as people’s motives, and my own as well. There is obviously a difference though between being skeptical and being cynical, no?

              2. Lambert Strether

                That’s why I prefer “experienced and realistic.” Cynicism is way too easy, especially when indulged in from the armchair.

                1. JTMcPhee

                  Maybe, still, there is no congruence between the meanings given to “cynicism” by people here? Meantime, the Few are all pulling on just one end of the rope, while ordinary people stare and wander and get their throats cut. “Organizational capacity” to me implies an organizing principle, which “we” in my cynical opinion do not seem to have, or to be able to articulate.

                  What outcomes, exactly, do “we” need to demand from “the” political economy?

      5. Inverted Polygon

        Notice how much energy is being exerted over this one Tweet by Jill Stein who would be thrilled beyond belief, I’d imagine, to get 10% of the vote.

        To make matters worse, the NC powers that be defend Bernie’s endorsement, even though this was one of the dirtiest primary elections in history. One might be forgiven for thinking all bets are off. Oh no. We’re repeatedly told that Bernie promised way back when and Bernie’s no liar. Plus, there’s all these policies that Bernie hopes to see implemented and if he plays nice, maybe, just maybe….

        Am I the only one who thinks that hoping Democrats enact true reform policies, including having Hillary sign them into law, is about as likely as Jill Stein getting elected? And it makes no sense to be told every day by this site that the Democrats are sell outs and grifters and then think that Bernie is playing 11 dimensional chess with them.

        He got pwned. And Hillary made him kiss her ring in public. That’s what happened. And, in so doing, he sent about half his movement to the four corners of the Earth.

        What’s infantile is this need to hang on to one’s hope blankie against all reason.

        Can things change? Yes, by getting into the streets. That’s all that’s left.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Oh dear. Now we get revolutionary romanticism. #BlackLivesMatter is out in “the streets” right now, and it’s noble work that is also very stressful, very dangerous, and takes a ton of technical knowledge to get right.

          Do you have any evidence, just the merest smidgeon of evidence, that the GP is capable of doing such a thing?

        2. ChiGal

          Excuse me, but the NC powers that be are scarcely defending Bernie’s endorsement or dragging hope blankies around with them.

          The gist I am getting is rather that it is no surprise and the response shouldn’t be to give up on the larger war even if the battle is lost.

          It is true some commenters, myself included, have expressed that the vitriol expressed toward Sanders by some here does read like an angry child jumping up and down on his beloved blankie cuz it didn’t magic away all the scary stuff.


          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            I’m not sure I like the “blankie” thing any more than I like the little breaking heart emoji.

            Let me restate again: Sanders voters were policy-driven to the extent that they cheered the repeating lines in Sanders hour long “white paper with elbows” speech. They were also disproportionately young.

            “Oh, honey, I’m so s-o-r-r-r-y your heart was broken, but it was your v-e-w-w-w-y first time.” Gag me with a spoon.

            It’s an effort to provide a coping mechanism for people who have undergone a political defeat by replacing “What do we do now?” [organize] with a set of dependency-inducing puppy love emotions, and it comes from people who really ought to know better, both in this comments section and at the Stein campaign (though, as I say, assuming this is strategic, it bodes well for the GP as a normal political party).

            Fortunately, there’s no need for this any more, if there ever was; see here.

            1. Aumua

              Ok, so it’s OW! That really f*cking hurts.

              and then ok.. What’s next? But it’s important not to deny the OW! part. It’s not healthy to do so.

            2. JCC

              This will enable him and us to hold her accountable, if and when the time comes.

              I read the entire page from your earlier link and this was the line that struck me, too.

              I have been a Sanders supporter and even though I knew the odds were strongly against him, I still donated lots of dollar bills, in fact more dollars than I have ever donated to any group ever. And I may donate more.

              All along I’ve said I will not vote for HRC. I also strongly dislike being an LOTE voter for multiple reason that have been discussed here and elsewhere, and I voted for Stein during the last go-round… my argument being that, win or lose, there is no such thing as a wasted vote.

              So maybe it’s time to give up principles and become a GOTE voter (I’m thinking that maybe HRC is the greater evil). The sooner progressives and left realize that the Dems are a losing proposition and start organizing in an effective manner – maybe through the GP or maybe continuing to follow Mr.Sander’s lead of grassroots Dem overthrow – the better off we all will be. And HRC is in all likelihood the one to finally bring out that realization.

              As for Stein, I’ll give her credit for trying in the past, but this time around I almost feel for the first time in my life that it is possible to waste a vote.

              1. Lambert Strether

                I think the left needs a third, independent voice, as distinct from liberals and conservatives (as I’ve repeated, like a broken record). I don’t think voice has to be a party. In fact, it might work rather like a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” for candidates in any party.

        3. cwaltz

          Am I the only one who thinks that hoping Democrats enact true reform policies, including having Hillary sign them into law, is about as likely as Jill Stein getting elected?


          Anyone paying any attention know that the Democratic Party is corrupt and wasn’t going to let someone like Bernie win. He was always a longshot.

          Personally the Democratic Party has had no problem using third parties to thwart activists(see Lieberman or King). It’s about time that activists return the favor instead of allowing the Democrat leadership to think they have no place else to go and that they can continue to hippie punch and call the left names while enacting “bipartisan” policies(that always seem to benefit the 1%.)

          If Bernie had won his primary I would have supported him. The Democrats have made it clear, he didn’t. So, now I’ll be moving on and surprise, surprise I actually do have somewhere else to go, the Green Party.

          Let’s play chicken Democratic Party. If you want my vote than give me a candidate I can vote for otherwise I’ll walk and go Green. I’m not going to vote Democrat unless it’s in my self interest, no matter how many times you utter how important it is that your party control Congress or the WH(so you can rake in the corporate dollars.)

          1. tgs

            So, now I’ll be moving on and surprise, surprise I actually do have somewhere else to go, the Green Party.

            I am moving in the same direction as you and will add that Jill Stein from the point of view of policy is a better candidate than Bernie. In particular, I am thinking of foreign policy and the connection between foreign and domestic policies. All of her speeches and interviews are just about policy – and the policies are ones I agree with for the most part.

            I think the world of Bernie but was disappointed that he never made it clear enough that giving the American people a fair shake is not consistent with running a military empire. And that may be because he didn’t see the connection.

            1. Lambert Strether

              That’s a fair comment. I think that comes from the difficulty of running against Obama, as a Democrat. And IMNSHO Sanders running as a Democrat was the price of getting as far as he has (and continuing a further assault).

              1. tgs

                You won’t read this, given the date, but I agree with you completely. I think Bernie’s campaign was hamstrung in many ways by the problem of Obama. Very tricky going after the policies of the first black president when running as a Democrat.

      6. polecat

        You know Lambert … it’s REALLY hard to clean vomit off a monitor!!!!….. should’ve never put that sickening book cover up for all to recall……”UUURRPPPPP”

  9. Pat

    I have a fair amount of respect for Stiglitz, but that is one naive and frankly ridiculous statement. If he honestly thinks ACA has brought down the cost of health care in any significant manner I want him to show me the facts and figures. Unfortunately his other mistake imo is believing that Obama is more concerned with legacy than he is with retirement futures and until that retirement happens neither of us can make the case for the other.

    1. Steve C

      Obama’s not about money. Obama’s about acceptance and approval from the Ivy League-educated, professional-class meritocracy. And he’ll kiss as many butts and punch as many hippies as it takes to get it.

      1. Steve C

        And he’s about his cool-guy image. He will always have more than enough money. I assume he won’t squander it.

  10. wbgonne

    I see nothing wrong with Jill Stein’s tweet and discern none of the “implications” that Lambert complains about. After Bernie’s official bow-down, Jill Stein and the Green Party, flawed as they may be, are now the best political vehicle for progressive policies in America. I supported Sanders although his chance of winning the Democratic nomination was zero and I have few illusions about the Greens or Stein winning either. But it’s a start and something to build on. A Leftist third party is the thing the Democratic Establishment fears most (if you have any doubts, just mention Ralph Nader to a Democratic partisan), and that itself is a very good sign. I am certainly open to alternatives now that Sanders is gone but I’m not hearing any and, in their absence, I intend to support and vote for Jill Stein and the Green Party. I already ordered my bumper sticker. YMMV.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      I agree, nothing wrong with Stein’s tweet at all. It kind of sums up where a lot of Berners are right now. Lambert’s obviously got a serious hate-on for Stein and the Greens, and I am not particularly interested in the backstory there. I support Stein and she’ll be getting my vote. The Greens desperately need the infusion of energy that the Berners can bring to bear on that somnolent institution and i hope they get it too.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I objected to it for the reasons stated; it’s insulting to policy-driven voters and infantilizes others. I plead guilty to hating those behaviors. Do you have a response, or do you prefer to repeat your points, and personalize matters?

        1. Kurt Sperry

          How deep into policy should one be expected to try to get in 140 characters of prose? And what comes across as infantilizing to you may be read as empathetic to others, you kind of have to read into the gaps in any case in the twitter format don’t you? How would you reach out to Sanders voters within the limitations of that format? I think she did just fine.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Matter of fact: Messages in Twitter aren’t limited to 140 characters, as you surely most know, since graphics and videos can be included.

            Matter of interpretation: If Stein is issuing random tweets out of empathy, she’s guilty of political malpractice. If Stein issuing strategic tweets, as she should be, then they need to be evaluated as campaign collateral that may, or may not, involve empathy. (And I find the focus on Stein’s personal characteristics quite telling.) I find this particular piece of collateral repellent, for reasons stated. I prefer “Don’t mourn, organize” as a message. YMMV.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Apparently not. What I’ve noticed, and I subscribe to a good many green supporters on Twitter feed, is a consistent refusal to make their case on policy grounds, or on their institutional strength. This tweet continues that policy, which I can only conclude is strategic. If so, congratulations to the GP for managing to convey a consistent message.

      1. nippersmom

        Interesting that you say that. I’m not on twitter, but most of the statements I’ve seen and messages I’ve received from Dr. Stein do address Sanders supporters quite specifically on policy grounds.

      2. wbgonne

        If you are looking to Twitter for policy statements, I think you’re barking up the wrong tree. Bernie just bowed down yesterday and Stein is responding appropriately, IMO. I certainly see nothing offensive there. If you want to hear about Green policies read their platform:


        Or better yet, use your forum to help Stein get into the presidential debates. Then you might really see the Overton Window move left and you will definitely see the political duopoly quake, which I think are the only feasible near-term goals.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          As you surely know, we don’t do assignments:

          1) If you tell me “go read the website” then (a) you’re using the same tactic Obama did in 2008, when “check the website” was how the Obama campaign trained its supporters to deflect attention from his actual policies to his personal charisma and their conversion experiences, and (b) telling me that the GP is not in fact getting a policy message out, proving my point.

          2) Further, faced with a clear request for policy distinctions, you refuse, leading me to believe either that (a) you have no clear answers on policy to present or (b) the GP focus away from policy is strategic, as was Obama’s above, which I don’t find encouraging, though typical of legacy party behavior, so perhaps encouraging in that sense.

          3) Twitter is most definitely a place to discuss policy. It’s ludicrous to claim that it is not.

          4) NC, again, does not take assignments. So, “use your forum” is a violation of clearly stated site policy. Don’t do it again.

          1. wbgonne

            Don’t do it again.

            I won’t. Because I’m not commenting here any longer. Have fun getting off on bashing the Greens. I’ll try to find something more useful.

            1. lindaj

              couldn’t agree more with you wbgonne. smug and self-righteous is not a good look for a blog.

              1. Lambert Strether

                Really? I’m not sure why you feel “Don’t mourn, organize!” is smug. Can you elucidate?

          2. Donald

            I checked their website. I didn’t read all of it, just glanced at the section on global warming and the Israeli Palestinian conflict ( under foreign policy). I don’t know what Obama’s website looked like in 2008 but I would have been happily shocked if it had advocated, for instance, that Palestinians should be able to return to their homes while explicitly stating that this should not be forced. They want to encourage both sides to move towards secular democracy without shoving it their throats by force. On global warming they want a 20 percent reduction in emissions by 2020. I think. I am already starting to forget the numbers– they also wanted a 95 percent reduction in emissions by 2040 or 2050. There is a lot of detail there and no way someone could or should describe it in a comment thread. I don’t follow Twitter, but you’d either have to do a tremendous number of tweets or simply link to the website and encourage people to read it.

            I’m not a Green and have no reason to doubt the claims that they are very ineffective at politics, so maybe as a party they are a waste of time. But the policies were ones I would support, from what I just read. If they were effective I’d join them in a heartbeat.

      3. grizziz

        The problem with the Green Party (and I am an active member) is that they really think politics is bean bag.

        1. habenicht

          Speaking as another who tends to lean green, I think a big hurdle the green party has is flat out obscurity. From that perspective, the green platform needs as much buzz as it can get. I hope Stein’s tweet got as much buzz at other sites as it did here!

          Kidding aside, I find it refreshing that the green party runs non-career politicians for office. Call me naive, but in my mind that represents an impressive kind of passion, courage and civic mindedness even if it is by definition inexperienced and unfamiliar with the practical side of how the sausages get made.

          As such, it is my full expectation that the greens would need some time and experience to overcome this inherent inexperience (some may say backwardness – or worse!). I like to think that as they overcome the obscurity hurdle, these other issues and concerns will get prioritized and addressed while they learn the ropes.

          The way I see it, I am willing to try an inexperienced and potentially unprepared party over a deeply corrupt, status quo-pandering, locking-in-rents legacy party. I guess I am suffering from outrage-fatigue with the legacy parties and I have found supporting third party to help manage my condition.

          1. Lambert Strether

            I have a friend who does nuts and bolts politics at the precinct level. They went canvassing with a Green, door to door. The Green didn’t want to collect people’s names — meaning no possibility of a database, no GOTV, etc. The Green was coming from a movement perspective, and felt that collecting names was a violation of privacy. Honorable, but no way to build a party.

            1. vlade

              See, this is what I believe the current left lacks – some efficient ruthlessness. You could see it even with Sanders.

              Plenty of McClellans, but no Sherman in sight.

          2. Elizabeth Burton

            The Green Party has had 15 years since it became officially itself. That it still lives in relative obscurity, has no solid voter base, has elected few candidates at any level and is best known in the minds of most people for being the party that gave us Bush/Cheney is, to me, clear proof they are more about the ideas than they are about actively implementing them. They’re demanding recognition but offering no sound practical evidence to support that demand,

            If Bernie and his movement can achieve his stated goals, does anyone seriously believe that in 15 years there won’t be a solid progressive organization, be it a new party or just influential cells in the two existing ones, achieving goals? Cynics are excused from answering. :-)

            Nothing I say is intended as “Green Party bashing.” However, I’ve participated in a number of organizations that were all about the ideas and not enough about who’s going to do what and how. That’s just how the Greens strike me, and it’s very frustrating because I would love a viable alternative target for my vote.

    3. reslez

      I agree with Lambert’s take on this particular tweet. That said I’ve seen numerous other tweets from Stein about Bernie and HRC. They made plenty of sense and weren’t infantilizing at all. To pull out a single tweet for censure seems a little harsh when AFAICT the previous ones went ignored. In addition this is pretty mild as far as infantilizing statements from politicians go. I think that’s why so many other NC commenters perceive it as unmerited criticism.

      It’s not infantilizing to acknowledge someone’s feelings.

        1. polecat

          Ok ….now we’re getting down to brass tacks….

          it’s the emoji that pressed one of your DON”T buttons…!

          I’ll just say that I don’t particularly find them wanting either…..cheap visual baubles!

    4. mk

      Not good enough. I have never spoken with a person from the Green Party, never received an email or snail-mail. Do they ever do any outreach? Are they really active? How many members? Ads on TV? Ads anywhere? Do they even have an outreach budget? Obviously rhetorical questions, but I’m an old woman, I should have heard from them by now if they are a real political party.

  11. Andrew Foland

    My translation: symbols in many naturally-occurring sequences show long-distance correlations. However, the simplest and most popular models of sequences (Markov chains) give only short-distance correlations. Recently developed models (deep recurrent neutral nets) can be shown to generate long-term correlations. Therefore they are likely better for modeling sequences such as sentences, melodies, or genomes.

    Is that any more comprehensible?

      1. Andrew Foland

        By the symbol count. For instance, the distance between By and count in the previous sentence is 3. Depending on the translation, the distance between the first word of War and Peace and its last word is around 600,000.

        1. Lambert Strether

          What about distributed discourse, as for example the text surrounding hash tags on twitter?

    1. heresy101

      The plant is 2-4′ high green eaves for years and then the stalk (flower) grows rapidly after 8 — 20 years.

        1. Arizona Slim

          That just happened to a friend. Her biggest agave shot up a stalk and then it died.

  12. Kurt Sperry


    So it happens that F1 billionaire (and Nazi fancy dress connoisseur) Max Mosely decided to “support the office” of Labour coup plotter against Jeremy Corbyn, Tom Watson with a £200,000 donation(!!!), just as the knives were being sharpened for Corbyn’s back. You’ll of course be shocked–shocked I say–to discover that the mainstream press is doing everything possible to pretend this never happened. Try googling some likely search terms for this story, and set the time parameters for the past 24 hours to filter out extraneous results. The silence is deafening (or was when I tried last).

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “Nazi fancy dress connoisseur”

      Maybe not just this guy, but his whole club?

      And I think Richard Smith might have something to say about the F1 connection….

      1. optic

        He missed a few details: “Nazi fancy dress orgy with prostitutes connoisseur” is more like it. For those who are not familiar with the story, there’s actual video online of (some of) the events.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          I was trying not to invoke that stuff as it seemed unnecessarily prurient and tawdry. I also left my potted rant about his (incredibly profitable) mismanagement of the sport, and the apple not falling far from his father’s fascist tree on the shelf as well because of its dubious relevance to matters at hand.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Well, I’m not sure it’s not relevant. Richard Smith would like the F1 stuff, and it would certainly be interesting if there were a correlation between Cayman Islands or New Zealand grifting and Nazi whack jobs (though who knows these days).

            1. Kurt Sperry

              Well if Richard Smith likes F1, he can’t be all bad. It’s a glorious sport with a glorious history. We could probably argue Senna vs. Prost, Schumacher vs. whattyagot, Ferrari vs. McLaren or V-12s vs. I4 turbo vs. today’s V-6 hybrids.

              1. Lambert Strether

                No, what Richard Smith likes is the possibility of money laundering through sports entities. Sponsorships!

  13. thoughtful person

    But: “”We believe as we get closer to the end of the year, and the risks of walking away from TPP become more evident … that the sense of urgency that comes with that choice will provide the opening to get it done,” [White House National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes] said.

    My guess is TPP passes Congress and signed by Obama on Friday, 23rd of December, 2016. Happy Holidays!

    1. Bullwinkle

      Yes, probably around 8:30 – 9:30 pm and then they’ll head directly for home (well, maybe the bar first) and Obama to Hawaii and the pundits will say it may not be perfect but it’s a great deal overall and Joe Biden will say ‘this is a big fukkin’ deal’ And so it goes.

    2. Stephen Rhodes

      Can anybody on the inside (or outside) confirm this? :

      (Contrary to most of the media coverage, he [Sanders] also won on the Trans-Pacific Partnership: The amendment adopted by the platform committee, which was written by the AFL-CIO, repudiated the particulars of the TPP, such as the private courts where corporations can sue signatory nations over regulations they don’t like, while, in deference to President Obama, not condemning by name the document whose contents it rejected.)

      —July 13 The American Prospect

      P S Only the platform but it’s not nothing. . .

      1. Lambert Strether

        Got that TAP link? TAP has seemed relatively sane on TPP, but I’ve got, er, trust issues with the AFL-CIO. Much depends on what “repudiated the particulars” really means.

        1. giantsquid

          Here’s the TAP link: http://prospect.org/article/bernie-hillary-and-ghost-ernst-thalmann

          Here’s the trade plank in the draft of the Democratic Platform


          Democrats acknowledge that for millions of Americans, global trade has failed to live up to its promise—with too many countries breaking the rules and too many corporations outsourcing jobs at the expense of American workers and communities.

          Over the past three decades, America has signed too many trade deals that have not lived up to the hype. Trade deals often boosted the profits of large corporations, while at the same time failing to protect workers’ rights, labor standards, the environment, and public health. We need to end the race to the bottom and develop trade policies that support jobs in America. That is why Democrats believe we should review agreements negotiated years ago to update them to reflect these principles. Any future trade agreements must make sure that our trading partners cannot undercut American workers by taking shortcuts on labor policy or the environment.

          Democrats will fight to significantly strengthen enforcement of existing trade rules and the tools we have, including by holding countries accountable on currency manipulation and significantly expanding enforcement resources. China and other countries are using unfair trade practices to tilt the playing field against American workers and businesses. When they dump cheap products into our markets, subsidize state-owned enterprises, devalue currencies, and discriminate against American companies, our middle class pays the price. That has to stop. Democrats will use all our trade enforcement tools to hold China and other trading partners accountable—because no country should be able to manipulate their currencies to gain a competitive advantage.

          While we believe that openness to the world economy is an important source of American leadership and dynamism, we will only approve new trade agreements if they support American jobs, raise wages, and improve our national security. We believe any new trade agreements must include strong and enforceable labor and environmental standards in their core text. Trade agreements should crack down on the unfair and illegal subsidies other countries grant their businesses at the expense of ours. It should promote innovation of and access to life saving medicines. And it should protect a free and open internet. We should never enter into a trade agreement that prevents our government, or other governments, from putting in place rules that protect the environment, food safety, or the health of American citizens or others around the world.

          These are the standards Democrats believe must be applied to any future trade agreements. On the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), there are a diversity of views in the party. Many Democrats are on record stating that the agreement does not meet the standards set out in this platform; other Democrats have expressed support for the agreement. But all Democrats believe that any trade agreement must protect workers and the environment and not undermine access to critically-needed prescription drugs.”

  14. curlydan

    Dollar Generals in VT: First and foremost, everybody knows that Dollar Tree (where everything a $1) is better than Dollar General. Dollar General can still rip you off left, right, and center on many items. They, like CVS and Walgreens, often occupy the space in the food desert–at least in urban areas.

    But some other points:
    *Dollar General is a processed foods, HFC bonanza. Sometimes I think they ought to call it Diabetes General. Would have been great if the first lady (or somebody!) had spent sometime bullying companies like these to get some healthy food in stores like these.
    *It seems true to me that all these dollar stores are run with 1-2 people. It’s ridiculous, but hey, that publicly traded stock won’t grow with the 4-5 employees a decent store might have.
    *I’m sympathetic to the Moms and Pops, but a lot of the real battle is not Dollar General vs Moms and Pops, but Dollar General vs Other Corps (mainly CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and corp food/drug brands in general). I got to Dollar General for one thing: their generic Cetaphil face wash. $10 at Wal-Mart, $11-$12 at CVS for the brand item and $9 for the generic, but only $3.50 for the generic at Dollar General (was $3 a year ago). Easy choice, frankly.
    *It would be great to see Moms and Pops try to collectivize somehow to get private label brand buying power, so they had more power to take on Dollar General. But they’ve got to cover their costs and offer the same $11 Cetaphil as CVS.
    *The true hero here ought to be Aldi. Their quality is generally very good ($0.29 avocados in January, wow!), their private label deals are excellent, and their commitment to cost cutting is legendary. They also treat their employees and customers with respect. The more Aldis the better in my opinion. Unfortunately, they don’t do the personal/drug store types of inventory.

    1. softie

      I went to college in the late 80s in KS and Aldi was the only place I did my grocery shopping the entire time. I still vividly remember the layout, the color and the smell off that store after all these years. Back then I was able to feed myself well for under $10 a week. It almost sounds like a miracle today.

    2. hunkerdown

      I seem to remember reading in some dollar store’s prospectus that the dollar store business model is not unlike that of a casino: a thorough mix of margins across their product lines, from loss leaders on Cetaphil to insult pricing on toilet paper, with overall odds skewed toward the house..

      It would be great to see Moms and Pops try to collectivize somehow to get private label brand buying power

      That sounds like an endeavor with distance-based (geographic) diminishing returns. Spartan used to be a local grocery distribution cooperative until 1970; even today, many Michigan grocery stores using SpartanNash as their distributor stock Spartan value-branded dry, canned, frozen foods; health-and-beauty products, and general merchandise. It’s a blueprint, at least until the small grocer needs to sell off the means of production for quick cash.


      is good people and generally good eating but their supply chain is opaque. In any apparently favorable deal, one has to be careful what one’s counterparty is trading away on their behalf. Is there blood on 29¢ avocados in January, or are they just blems? And so on. That said, on net, Aldi’s a better complement to a farmers’ market than a traditional supermarket usually is.

      1. curlydan

        Good observation about Aldi’s deals. Someone is getting squeezed. Their January $0.29 avocadoes are small and can be used as baseballs when you buy them. A week later, though, they do taste good.

    3. Synapsid

      curly dan,

      I’ve never seen an Aldi store but I believe they own Trader Joe’s. Shopping there is a crapshoot but they do have some very good products and prices.

    4. JustAnObserver

      Aldi is a German outfit with 2 parts: Aldi Sud, branded as Aldi in the US and Aldi Nord trading as Trader Joes. Explains why TJs always seems a little better than most. Didn’t know the TJ thing until I Wiki’ed Aldi just now.

  15. diptherio

    I am so pissed off today. I’m afraid it’s affecting my health. Having my heart beating this fast all day long can’t be good. Democracy Now! was devastating today. I want to look away from the videos, stop listening to the stories or horror, of murder, just turn off the video of Alton’s son breaking down…but I feel like it’s an obligation, a duty…literally the least that I can do.

    Forget about the election, people. It was a no-win situation from the get-go. Put your energy someplace it might actually make a difference. We want a better world? Why don’t we start by holding our f-ing police accountable? This situation would not be possible if we didn’t all allow it to happen. Every city council meeting, every press conference, every time any official shows their face anywhere, we should all be demanding, loudly, that the police be placed under the control of the community. Until that happens, I suggest local tax-strikes. Hit them where it hurts. Show by our actions that they no longer are legitimate authorities. We have to put the fear of God into these a-holes ASAP.

    The police have become an occupying army. Why should we be paying for them? Refuse. Figure out how to withhold consent and do it. The political misleaders want to let this sh*t continue? Let them pay for it. Nothing ever changes because of people talking. Words are weak. Power never conceded anything without a demand, but just demanding is not enough. We have to show that we can do, whether “they” approve or not. “They” have forfeited their legitimacy. Actions are what’s required, and now.

    Whatever you do, you have to do something! Forget about Bernie and Hillary and Trump — that’s all kayfabe. Focus at home and start with the biggest problems first. As for specific policy requirements (not demands, which can be ignored, but requirements that we are imposing) I think Tim Wise has the right ideas:


    It’s not healthy to hate the country you live in. It’s not good to be going around so angry all the time…but what choice do I have? It’s driving me crazy, but as the old man said, “it’s no sign of good mental health to be well-adjusted to a sick society.”

        1. Lambert Strether

          Try using YT’s embed function. I just dump in the code. If its privilege, I don’t know about it. Let me know.

          Adding, no. This is not a democracy, any more than the house of a friend of yours is a democracy. Sorry!

  16. Ranger Rick

    Thanks for giving me an interesting computational linguistics paper to chew on. That math blurb is referring to problems in using Markov probability chains to describe the relationship between two words. (Essentially, the mathematical model assumes the words are related based on chance rather than any kind of actual thought process — “criticality” — on the part of the computer).

    So they introduce the “hidden Markov model” where irrespective of the words themselves, their abstractions (concepts) may be related. Turtles all the way down. The MIT grad then invokes one of Chomsky’s theories, that language use begins with one “big idea” and branches off from there, disassociating into sub-ideas that have less and less to do with one another as time (distance) passes. They give a few examples of how their approach manages to replicate “meaningful” language without having to be given the context of the work being read in.

    All in all an interesting paper but one straying dangerously close to one of the “proven failures” of theoretical linguistics concepts — metalanguage.

      1. Ranger Rick

        As it was explained to me, metalanguage carried out to its ultimate extent ends up using circular logic that reads like a Zen koan: how do you describe a word without using another word?

        1. i

          Go watch a very fluent sign language/deaf interpreter. The answer will become immediately obvious, and likely without words.

        2. Lambert Strether

          I thought it would be like that. And then, of course, different academics invent different metalanguages. And so there must be an additional, meta-meta-language, to grandly unify them…

    1. Andrew Foland

      While the conclusions may sound very theoretical, the deep recurrent nets have a lot of practical experience behind them over the past two or so years. My own experience, and that of most practitioners, the first time you get one well trained, is: Holy $#!+!. Google Andrei Karpathy’s Unreasonable Effectiveness of Recurrent Neutral Nets for a survey of some of the things people are able to with them.

      Also, many seemingly impossible “infinite loop” problems turn out to be computationally tractable. The original Google PageRank algorithm was essentially, “You’re an important page if other important pages link to you.”. This sounds impossibly recursive in the same way as how to describe a word; however, it turns out to have a mathematically precise meaning and solution nonetheless.

      1. Lambert Strether

        But don’t neural nets raise the issue that we don’t really know how they produce the results that they do, and so they are not maintainable?

  17. Roger Smith

    Holy crap Lambert, was that children’s book being handed out at your local Clinton gymnasium meet rally? Funny but creepy, because I know someone would take it seriously. It is strikingly similar to the tiny “Jesus Is Your Lord and Savior” booklets I get occasionally and see littered about in public (that will be $500 Jesus).

    While I am on the topic of paper waste, I constantly frustrated with the amount of wasted paper I get in the mail, saying “we could have used the tree this crap came from to breathe.” So awhile back I decided to start cataloging my physical junk mail. The plan was to do it for a year, collecting data on the amount and measurement of sheets, ideally paper type (therefore processing cost is included) but I had no background to get that measure going, and some others designed to try and track where these things traveled from to get to me.

    From there I wanted to use the data to estimate the ridiculous volume of this crap one block, street, city, state, etc… was getting with the other measures giving some indication to the environmental cost (for instance, how many “sheets” does one tree equal?) This waste goes directly from my mailbox to my recycle bin*. I only went about 6 months due to not having a good space to keep everything in (and general life) but it is something I want to come back to.

    *maybe I should get a second mailbox and spray paint the recycle logo on it.

    1. Lambert Strether

      That book was an outcome of George Lakoff’s influence. He thought the Republicans were the Daddy Party, and the Democrats were the Mommy Party. Lakoff was at one point a respected academic.

      1. polecat

        you know..I think you’re on to something…….

        …why don’t we dispense with the term ‘Clintonites’ …….and refer to them as the ‘mommies’ instead?

  18. nippersmom

    “Now, the 13 million Democrats and independents who voted for Sanders in the primaries need to join forces with Clinton’s backers in service of a larger and more essential goal. For all the differences between Sanders and Clinton, they have so much more in common with each other than with the presumptive Republican candidate, Donald Trump, who is intemperate and intolerant and a danger to the United States” [Editorial Board, WaPo]

    In respect to my fellow commenters, I won’t say what the members of the WaPo Editorial Board “need” to do. The greatest danger to the US is the passing of the TPP, and Clinton is far more likely to do that than Trump. She is also more likely to start war with Russia. Clinton is dishonest, corrupt, bloodthirsty, and a danger to all life on the planet.

    1. Aumua

      Yeah but aren’t you just beating the same drum they are? Believe me it is to my great chagrin that TPTB are beating that particular drum so insistently right now, because I don’t happen to support voting for Trump. But you are using the same argument here: “We have to vote for Trump because Clinton is more dangerous.”

      1. cm

        We have to vote for Trump to destroy the system. Take out both R’s & D’s in the same election.

        1. Aumua

          The argument that a Trump presidency will hasten the downfall of the whole modern civilization is one that does have some merits to me. But that’s not what’s generally being served up around here. Saying we have to vote trump so that he can hasten the fall of civilization is actually kind of opposite of saying we have to vote Trump because otherwise Hillary is going to destroy civilization.

          1. cm

            To clarify, I don’t mean destroy civilization, I mean destroy the entrenched political system of R & D. I believe a Trump Presidency could result in R & D implosion.

            I also believe that a Clinton Presidency could lead to wars with Syria, Iran and Russia and could well mean the end of civilization.

            1. Aumua

              I’ll have to mull it over, but I don’t see an R&D implosion happening without it being part of a larger systemic collapse. Which, by the way, ‘could’ be seen as a positive, or at least necessary in a transitory way.

  19. allan

    Like Japanese soldiers still fighting WWII on small Pacific islands in 1950,
    Correct the Record is still, even after Sanders’ endorsement, flooding the comment sections at the NYT.

    Seems a tad counterproductive to continue the hippie-punching at this point.
    Is Brock a true believer or just a scam artist?

      1. Mudduck

        Yesterday I had two emails from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, giddy with joy over Sanders endorsement of Clinton. Today I had another, which gave me quiet satisfaction::

        After Bernie’s call for unity yesterday, we just figured Democrats would…well…unify.

        But instead, everything is falling apart.

        FIRST: We heard barely a peep from grassroots Democrats.
        THEN: A Quinnipiac poll showed Trump and Clinton tied in Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
        NOW: We’re questioning whether the Democratic Party can unify at all.

        Great to hear that they’re falling on their faces. The DCCC recruits ex-Republicans, Republicans-Lite, and conservative Democrats to run for Congress, and actively oppose liberal candidates. Long may they fail. Support worthy individual candidates.

        1. cwaltz

          The Green Party won’t be viable and organized…….until they are.

          The world is not a static place.

          As far as I’m concerned if Bernie is not the nominee then it’s buh bye Democrats, I’m not voting for your crook

          And it’s THANK YOU Green Party for giving my vote a place to go.

    1. Roger Smith

      Holy Hell, I didn’t even make it to the comments before getting hung up on how terrible the article is.

      Yet there is a lingering problem here, one that goes beyond simply finding the intellectual honesty to admit that Hillary isn’t Trump.

      With Bernie out of the battle, what remains is the left’s odd, outmoded doctrine of purity, of revolutionary posturing. This is a philosophy alien to the long legacy of pragmatic American liberalism… There is no reforming the rotten old system. Best to “let the empire burn,” and have the fires purify the new society. (Ironically this slag Baker is professing confirms the truth of the sentiment he is mocking)

      Now I have seen the light. I am dumb. Other people have learned and know better. I need to be intellectually honest. Excuse me while my dumb personage smashes his own head through a table. Sorry Baker but there is only one group of people being honest here and you are not apart of that body.

      [Revolutions are bad] “Even our own revolution left the little matter of slavery for another day and the bloodiest war in our history.”

      That crap is still going on today you fool! Because we have a solid history of “pragmatic” sellouts who consistently save it for “another day”, “soon”, “it takes time”, “I’ll look into it”… How can people be so dumb as to look at the idea of basic human securities like health care, education, and a societal structure that doesn’t let big spending crooks run it, and say that those requests are too demanding!?!? You want to make a huge dent in civil rights? Balance out and equalize socioeconomic inequality!! It’s the economy people, stupid!

      This nonsense and the comments support the notion that voting Democrat is a death sentence.

  20. Polar Donkey

    BLM update from here in Memphis. Sunday BLM protesters blocked the interstate 40 Bridge across the Mississippi with over a thousand protesters. Tuesday protesters were in front of Graceland and then protested in front of various businesses around town. Today BLM protesters were in front of the local newspaper, the Commercial Appeal. When local TV news crews came, protesters would start cursing when the crews tried to film them. Local TV news freaking out because they can’t play any good footage.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      They’re blocking the City Hall steps in LA, too; I just couldn’t get to it. It’s actually a really good sign that organic BLM stuff is happening again, with creative tactics at the local level. Guess the Dems didn’t manage to decapitate it after all.

        1. Lambert Strether

          It could be. The difficulty is that the martyrs are actually martyrs (and no, martyrs are not saints).

          1. Aumua

            No, but they are dead. The idea is what lives on though. And what is the idea exactly I wonder that this recent martyr has inspired?

    2. reslez

      Here in Minneapolis the protesters blocked I-35 during peak morning rush hour. They had vehicles turned sideways etc. while cops directed traffic the wrong way up the exit ramp to try to keep things moving. This is after the previous protest on I-94 over the weekend in St. Paul. Prosecutors decided to throw riot charges at 50 people they arrested. To give additional local context, we also had 4 off-duty cops walk off the job from a Minnesota Lynx game they were working security for. Their poor little hearts were bruised when some of the players came on court wearing BLM + Dallas Police logo T-shirts. I’d say in general that Minnesotans like authority and don’t like people making noise. Some hate BLM but plenty of others don’t like the police making political statements. “They should just do their job,” is the opinion.

      Protesters blocked highways a couple years ago (also for BLM, as I recall, weird how so little changes). I remember hearing my white relatives complain about the disruption to their morning commute. And how if people just “obeyed the police” nothing bad would ever happen. I couldn’t eyeroll hard enough. They say these things with complete obliviousness while my bi- and tri-racial cousins are sitting at the next table. Totally confident the police will never come for themselves. Humans turn my stomach.

      1. Polar Donkey

        On Monday the most interesting thing happened. A town hall was called at this church and there are all these black ministers on the stage along with the mayor of Memphis who is white. Here in Memphis there are three BLM groups. One is chartered. The leadership of the local BLM it’s predominantly women and very few if any ministers. It seems as though there was an attempt on Monday to either go up or decapitate the local BLM movement. The local black misleadership doesn’t seem to know what to do with the BLM movement. There is also a big generational schism in the black community here. Particularly older black churchgoers seem to really dislike BLM. The townhall didn’t work. It was chaotic and broadcast live on local tv.

        1. Lambert Strether

          If you see any coverage on this, whether news or local blogs, will you drop me a link? Thank you!

      2. Katharine

        I think someone who is moonlighting has a right to quit, but I was very sorry they thought they had a reason to. It came across–to me–as a statement that they really don’t believe black lives matter and resent any suggestion they do, and that was horrible. But we are on very difficult ground these days, because symbolic gestures have different meanings for different people and we are all in danger of reacting with outrage to a meaning that was never intended. Longer and deeper conversations, with a steady recognition that the other is a person and not merely a symbol, would be helpful.

      3. Paul

        Brings to mind Dr. King’s words in Letter from a Birmingham Jail

        …I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. … who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice;

    1. Foppe

      That’s bound to go over well in Brussels, though I suppose May’s main aim was to communicate to the British Voter that their Votes Are Being Taken Seriously, regardless of whether they actually will be.

  21. ProNewerDeal

    I have seen LEV (Lesser Evil Voting) appeals to vote against Trump or H Clinton, by voting for the “Lesser Evil” opposite, out of this concern:

    “You can trust that insane psychopath [Trump, H Clinton] with the nuclear launch codes”

    I wonder, what is the actual legal process for launching nuclear weapons? Does the President actually have dictator-ish unilateral power to launch nukes, as the LEV appeal implies? Is it not the case where multiple named officeholders (President, Def Secretary, Speaker of House, etc) have to simultaneously approve a nuclear launch?

    Thanks in advance for any reply

      1. ProNewerDeal

        Thanks Vatch,

        This report is scary, as the Cabinet Secretary position is appointed. A common sizeable faction of executives will only appoint hack “yes-Men” who will never exhibit independent judgement for fear of being fired. I would feel safer if some independent official from the Legislative or even Judicial branch needed to simultaneously approve.

        How bizarre is it that launching nuclear weapons is an action not subject to the “checks & balances” process!

      2. JTMcPhee

        In Japan in 1979 I ran into some naval officers from three US ships doing a port call in Beppu. The encounter was in a public bath at the Suginoi Hotel. These were weapons officers. This port call was a big deal because it had become known the ships were carrying nuclear warheads, on surface to surface missiles. These officers noted that in a confrontation with Soviet ships, the horizon time from detection of an incoming Russkie nuke anti ship missile to impact was only a matter of several minutes. They stated that as a result, they had authority to launch their nuke weapons, to use rather than lose. At a level far below where Obama and the SECDEF sit, with zero chance of civilian control.

        Maybe this was just chest puffing for a fellow naked gaijin among all the Japanese soaking in the buff. But similar weapons are aboard US surface ships and subs (and Israeli too, and Russian.) And tactically, that sure was convincing.

        I enlisted in 1966 partly as a result of the Gulf of Tonkin idiocy.

        What could possibly go wrong?

  22. optimader

    I’m just thinking that the only plausible narrative on Benghazi I’ve ever heard is that we botched an arms smuggling operation for Syria we were running of our Libyan consulate.

    BHO and HRC carefully parse it as a Mission not a Consulate. I have mentioned in the past that day of, merely out of my curiosity, I checked the US embassy.gov and Benghazi was not listed as a Consulate, let alone a diplomatic post.


    JERUSALEM – The U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, actually served as a meeting place to coordinate aid for the rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East, according to Middle Eastern security officials.

    Among the tasks performed inside the building was collaborating with Arab countries on the recruitment of fighters – including jihadists – to target Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.

    The distinction may help explain why there was no major public security presence at what has been described as a “consulate.” Such a presence would draw attention to the shabby, nondescript building that was allegedly used for such sensitive purposes.

    Since the mission was attacked last month, countless news media reports around the world have referred to the obscure post as a U.S. consulate. That theme continues to permeate the media, with articles daily referencing a “consulate” in Benghazi.

    U.S. officials have been more careful in their rhetoric while not contradicting the media narrative that a consulate was attacked.

    In his remarks on the attack, President Obama has referred to the Benghazi post as a “U.S. mission.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has similarly called the post a “mission.”

    A consulate typically refers to the building that officially houses a consul, who is the official representatives of the government of one state in the territory of another. The U.S. consul in Libya, Jenny Cordell, works out of the embassy in Tripoli.

    Consulates at times function as junior embassies, providing services related to visas, passports and citizen information.

    On Aug. 26, about two weeks before his was killed, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens attended a ceremony marking the opening of consular services at the Tripoli embassy.

    “I’m happy to announce that starting on Monday, August 27, we are ready to offer a full range of consular services to Libyans,” stated Stevens at the ceremony in Tripoli. “This means non-immigrant visas, as well as assistance to Americans residing in, or visiting, Libya.”

    The main role of a consulate is to foster trade with the host and care for its own citizens who are traveling or living in the host nation.

    Diplomatic missions, on the other hand, maintain a more generalized role. A diplomatic mission is simply a group of people from one state or an international inter-governmental organization present in another state to represent matters of the sending state or organization in the receiving state.

    The State Department website lists no consulate in Benghazi.

    According to Middle Eastern security officials speaking to WND, the so-called consulate was more of a diplomatic meeting place for U.S. officials, including Stevens.

    The security officials divulged the building was routinely used by Stevens and others to coordinate with the Turkish, Saudi and Qatari governments on supporting the insurgencies in the Middle East, most prominently the rebels opposing Assad’s regime in Syria.

    Last week, the State Department gave a vivid account of Stevens’ final day during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. It was disclosed that about an hour before the attack began, Stevens concluded his final meeting of the day with a Turkish diplomat. Turkey has been leading the insurgency against Assad’s regime.

    Last month, WND broke the story that Stevens played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian security officials…..

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/this-is-what-benghazi-consulate-really-was/#mxWu8rYVvSGV5BU1.99

    1. tgs

      Good catch. It was all about regime change and our ambassador was recruiting jihadis and directing the smuggling of weapons. For sure HRC was fully aware and has lied repeatedly about the whole incident. To bad the Republicans are such idiots; otherwise they could nail her on this.

    2. Anon

      Wasn’t there a Seymour M. Hersh piece a while back that detailed this link? It was either his piece on Osama Bin Laden, seen here or his piece where he detailed how the JCS went against Obama’s wishes here

      As an aside, I would have never known about either piece had it not been for NC, so a big thank you for that!

    3. Lambert Strether

      Thanks. I was trying to downgrade it from an Embassy, and so I used Consulate, but apparently I didn’t downgrade it enough!

  23. Anon

    What a lively Wednesday! First up, we have the ghostwritten copy of Obama’s first book, as reported here:

    Obama’s Ghostwritten Book Draft

    Apparently, there’s a new site going around that’s like Kickstarter, but with scoops. It’s noted towards the bottom of the article; it’s publicly available on Dropbox and it seems as if each page is one .pdf, which comes to about 600.

    Assuming this ends up in moderation queue and doesn’t get talked about in time, maybe it can be in tomorrow’s Water Cooler?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I look for the funding, and I find Charles Johnson and the Drudge Report. Look, I try not to link to liberal bottom feeders like Talking Points Memo, and I try not to link to conservative bottom feeders like Drudge or that site that fakes videos, I forget the name. If this story gets vetted somewhere serious, please let me know.

  24. samhill

    “Nearly half of voters in a recent survey said they had seen TV ads supporting Donald Trump in the last week [Wall Street Journal, “Many Voters Think They’ve Seen Trump Ads On TV — But He Hasn’t Run Any”]. “There’s just one problem: His campaign hasn’t aired any, and his friendly super PACs have run very few.” It’s GENIUS! Trump spends no money on TV, and it’s as if he spent as much as Clinton!

    Must remind you here of a link on NC a while back regarding ‘Scott Adams of Dilbert on Trump’s Genius’. The salient that Trump was using hypnosis was maybe astute, certainly funny. Well, given above, it’s absolutely astute and maybe not funny. Best not be even in the same room with Trump on TV or on the radio. I think the trigger word’s “yuge.”

  25. Escher

    >Odd that’s not part of the narrative

    Indeed. The idea of the left not needing to cozy up to billionaires and multinationals to compete in politics has gone from “hopelessly unrealistic” to not acknowledged in any way, shape, or form.

  26. Alex morfesis

    About bashing/barfing at dr jill, lambert is sadly…quite correct…

    joined the greens this year after finally accepting there aint no ike or tr on the horizon at my old playpen…joined with intent to be very active…had even convinced a nurse I know from the same old playpen to not only think about sliding over but let me run her for senate as a stalking horse to help build up the party locally…us senate not state senate…

    But after change at board of elections to green…


    didnt get anything…not a call, not a text, not a snailed invite to the florida annual…

    hmmm…ok…kept going…

    created talking points, bought a few webnames…had oppo intel…

    had storyboarded a glutube attack campaign…

    “snowjob and the seven munchkinz..”

    had even developed what looked like a solid talking points walk around her religious beliefs and part of the “green platform”…

    but she noticed the greens operation both locally and nationally had no conversion from media attention to actual events driven connecting with the intention of bringing in new members…

    she also saw no reason for Dr jills not so great vp choice from 2012 deciding to protest in philly…

    So she used her family moving back into her home with grandkid to let me let her slip out of her original intent…

    she would have if insisted upon but would not have had her heart in it.

    but the dereliction on the part of the gp to set up a conversation and conversion system was beginning to concern me…

    So then plan b…

    found someone who is good with most of what the gp presents…and was also willing (for s&@t$ and giggles) to help out a cause…

    and in her case, research I had done years ago on the over 35 rule would be in play as she is under 35…

    And a campaign around that issue should have driven attention…

    but unlike the nurse, she is much more a netizen and lost enthusiasm after poking and lurking around the “green” tree and turned away from the idea…

    flat image…flat presentation…feels like a junior high school election website…

    that was cold…but probably fair…

    So…at this point…not so sure it is not a better idea to just start fresh from another direction…or just finally go learn to play the guitar…and just be “triste” for the rest of the planet…

    So yeah…dr jill and gp are not bringing forward anything that might feel like capacity…

    Lambert nails it…

    1. JTMcPhee

      Sounds like the FL Dem party, that does not do sh/t except run people named Sink and Crist and Wasserman Schultz, and like their little gerrymandered meaningless safe seats.

      The county org here is all about continuity and protecting the egos of the main players and wimping about, “building coalitions” out of feckless collections without directions. The org sucks the life out of anyone who wants to fire things up and do something for the common good. Just dilettantism and corruption and cronyism, top to bottom and end to end.

      Maybe it is something in the water…

      1. Lambert Strether

        I’m coming to the conclusion that the only difference between the Greens and the Democrats is that the Greens don’t have any power.

        1. Aumua

          The truth is I don’t really know much about the Greens. I know that their policies are sane and they match up with what I believe are the most beneficial policies. But I keep seeing this active push on NC for Donald Trump, and also this active push against other options, including the GP. I try to keep an open mind but it like keeps popping up you know? Like your statement right there just feels so jarringly untrue. Tell me I’m wrong.. please. I really want to be wrong about this. I like this place. This site is a fine example of what the Internet is supposed to be for.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Then you’re not seeing correctly. If I look at a Trump speech and try to interpret what’s actually said, and why voters might take it seriously — as they are — that’s not the same as supporting Trump. It is, however, providing a service that the portion of the political class that rides the Acela does not provide.

            1. Aumua

              Well.. ok. But I don’t know how you can say what you said there with a straight face about the only difference between the Greens and Democrats.

  27. ProNewerDeal

    Any historians or otherwise knowledgable NCers here that can factcheck Sanders statement:

    “The 2016 D Platform is the most Progressive D Platform ever!”

    I am somewhat skeptical. I recall reading about FD Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms”, apparently that included MedicareForAll, a Job Guarantee, & trust-busting big monopolistic companies to “protect the small businessman”. I also heard a podcast that LB Johnson’s cabinet minister who was the primary author of the Medicare bill, said he & LB Johnson intended to implement MedicareForAll, by successively dropping the eligibility age from 65 to eventually 0.

    The current notion, & at least in recent history with 0bama with respect to his campaigned Public Option that he personally killed as President in 2010, is that D Presidents campaign in a more Progressive direction than they would ever exhibit as a governing President. In contrast FD Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech & LB Johnson’s leadership role in enacting Medicare were as a governing President. It seems plausible that the D platform(s) contemporaneous with their Presidency would have included such language similar to these actual very progressive speech & legislative actions as President.

    Which if true, it is possible that this 2016 D Platform is NOT actually The Most Progressive Platform Eva TM

      1. Lambert Strether

        That’s not a platform per se. Still, it would be interesting to see what the Republican platform of 1860 was….

  28. ewmayer

    Re. Feel the Bernout™ — My sister was a big Bernie supporter, and until recently I supported her in that. However, one place where we differed – she made multiple $27 donations, whereas I gave no money but attended some local org-meetings and handed out buttons to like-minded friends & relatives. I told her the reason I would not donate money was that after giving $1000 to Obama in 2008 and seeing him promptly betray everything of substance he claimed to stand for during his campaign, what was indelibly burned into my pshyche as a result of that was “put not your faith in politicians.”

    So, having been there myself 8 years ago, I must confess to experiencing no small amount of guilty pleasure at reading the various tortured eleventy-dimensional-chess rationalizations put forth by the diehard Sanders supporters.

    By way of a kind of tribute, in the grand tradition of the Bulwer-Lytton writing style contests and Matt Taibbi’s online “moustache of understanding” contest vis-a-vis NYT establishment übershill Thomas Friedman, should such a contest arise around the theme of Best Tortured Rationalization for Why Bernie’s Becoming a Hillary Nuthugger Does Not Constitute a Betrayal of the Movement He Started, here is my submission (250 words or less; hyphens treated as space w.r.to that count):

    The whole gushy-endorsement thing by Sanders is an ingenious political stratagem worthy of a Barack “Barry Kasparov” Obama. See, despite all of his “Trump must be stopped” rhetoric, Bernie in secret so loathes the Clinton cabal that after being cheated relentlessly in the primaries, alternately ignored and vilified-as-a-commie by the establishment-scrotum-clinging corporate media, and most recently seeing 100% confirmation that The Fix Is In in form of the FBI head Comey’s “nothing to see here, but tsk! tsk! Rest assured that there will be an official demerit entered into the joint FBI/DOJ naughty-nice database” speech, Bernie realized he had 0 chance at the nomination. So how best to secretly torpedo Hillary’s chances in the November general? Endorsing Trump is of course a no-no, so he did the next-best thing: By executing such a sudden and smarmily pandering about-face, Bernie knew that millions of his supporters would turn their backs on him and protest-vote for either The Donald or a third-party candidate.
    In other words, he threw himself on his sword for the progressive cause, knowing that 4 years of Trump followed by a chance of real change was preferable to Hillary in the White House and very good odds of her and her neolibcon minions setting off WW3.

    And now that I’ve written it down, it almost seems plausible! In the words of Jon Lovitz’s old SNL “pathological liar” character, “yeah, that’s the ticket…”

  29. ewmayer

    Gah – ‘psyche’ … ‘pshyche’ sounds like something Mooch the Cat in the comic strip Mutts might say. :)

  30. dots

    It’s an interesting parallel for campaign financing… If $27.00 donors feel “betrayed” when their candidate doesn’t fulfill their expectations, I can only imagine what the $27,000,000.00 donors feel in the same situation. I don’t think we can afford to lose track of this point.

    1. Skip Intro

      I gave multiple donations knowing that Bernie had virtually no chance to win. Only towards the end did I dare to hope against all reason. And I still have that hope, since he still has delegates and HRC still has skeletons. Those donations felt good. They were a tangible way to say F** You to the establishment and I wouldn’t change a thing. Bernie started out as a purely quixotic symbolic protest against money in politics and surprised everyone, including himself, by making it as far as he did. People feeling betrayed now were never really paying attention, or are just loudly feigning emotion to demoralize his movement or signal their own purity.

  31. Jay M

    Might as well adjust to the Clinton-Trump imbroglio, if there is a different vector via health or politics, hedge your bets. When hope and change got handed to the plutocrats as spoils, people need to get ready for the realpolitik.

    1. Lambert Strether

      It would be nice to have a qualified person to vote for as President. I wonder what that feels like?

  32. Elliot

    You feel, then, the Sanders “America” ad was infantilizing? I’m not opposed to appeals to emotions as such; ethos and pathos both appeal to emotions, obviously.

    This emotion I object to. So please don’t distort what I write.

    Adding, I far prefer “Don’t mourn. Organize” as a message to “I understand you’re hurting. Join my party and I’ll make your owies go away.” One empowers. The other disempowers.

    This! It really is infantilizing, disempowering. It’s like those pastel pink tool boxes with cheap breakable tools for “the lady of the house”.

    Also Lambert, thanks for the recap of the conference call, that is encouraging (and disheartening but not at all surprising). The Politico article they link to in the c99p page is infuriatingly biased pro Clinton and anti Bernie and anti Left… no surprise either.

    Hmmm sometimes being infuriated is energizing :)

  33. abynormal

    Dr. Jill Stein Cracked…Showed her True hand.
    there are moments when introspection bites and for me it’s that moment. for decades i’ve despised the system to the point of blind faith…embarrassing really. now what? “Don’t Mourn, Organize”…while i grapple with self-trust i’ll be watching organized violence, cause that is what’s up to bat…bloody, ugly and senseless. out of the fog of battles cooler headed organizations will appear…hope i’ll have learned hard lessons and retain enough compassion to weed’em out.

    “TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
    What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
    And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” Zinn

  34. sd

    We received our first Clinton solicitation today. That was fast. The Sanders endorsement isn’t even cold yet. And yes, registered NPP so we’re not on a D list somewhere.

    Dropped it into the recycling bin.

    1. Lambert Strether

      What, you didn’t put a heavy weight in the prepaid envelope and mail it back? Tsk!

  35. kimsarah

    Re: “So an October surprise in the China Sea could benefit multiple players! Not that I’m foily…”
    It’s not foily at all. It’s a logical assumption based on reasonably intelligent observations.

  36. kimsarah

    Another logical assumption many months ago was that Bernie was doing the legwork for Hillary by generating enthusiasm among the progressive left with the intent of giving her his supporters.
    Only problem is, a good many of his supporters justifiably aren’t in the mood to be handed over to Hillary.

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