2:00PM Water Cooler 7/19/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Kerry to embark on EU roadshow to promote TTIP” [Euractiv]. “EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, who was attending the same press point with Kerry, made no mention of TTIP while she spoke.”

“Freshman Rep. Mike Bost has decided to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade agreement, addressing a jobs-and-trade debate that is already playing out in his re-election campaign against Democrat C.J. Baricevic” [St Louis Today].

“The patenting of life has been hotly contested for decades. For farmers, it makes seeds and livestock more expensive and takes away their right to freely reproduce them. It also reduces life and culture to a commodity that corporations can own and control. While the WTO agreement allowed countries to exclude plants and animals other than microorganisms from their patent laws, it required that they provide some form of intellectual property protection over plant varieties—the seeds that farmers sow—without specifying how to do that. According to industry representatives who helped draft the text, the US corporations got 95 per cent of what they wanted from [Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights] TRIPS” [Grains]. “[Free Trade Agreements] negotiated outside the WTO go even further and help US and European corporations get what they weren’t able to achieve under TRIPS.”

“Unions and their allies in Congress are getting an early start on preventing a so-called lame-duck vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, vowing to spend the Congressional recess educating constituents and union members about the trade deal they say will cost the U.S. jobs” [Wall Street Journal, “TPP Foes Plan Campaign to Forestall Lame-Duck Vote”]. As opposed to threatening the legislators running for re-election, in their districts?



UPDATE “GOP Platform to Call for Breaking Up the Big Banks, Trump Campaign Says” [New York Magazine]. “On Monday, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort told reporters that the GOP platform would include a call for reinstating Glass-Steagall, a Depression-era law that was repealed under President Clinton in the late ’90s.” And in a miniature example of how this all works, I’m adding this as an update because I felt I had to cover the Melania Trump plagiarism dogpile.


“Hillary Clinton Super-Lobbyist Says ‘We’re Not Paid Enough,’ Pans Obama Lobbying Reforms” [The Intercept].The lobbyist is Heather Podesta, wife of John Podesta, chair of the Clinton campaign.

And then there’s this:

I suppose one big topic of discussion would be that amendment to overturn Citizens United… 

The Voters

“Since 1928, U.S. equities have correctly signaled who will win, incumbent or challenger, 19 out of 22 times” [Bloomberg]. “People can differ on why, but to most analysts it’s a matter of influence flowing from the economy to the market and into the minds of voters.” The wealth effect?

“Why Trump’s Prosperous Supporters Are Angry, Too” [Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg]. “Older white Americans are Donald Trump’s core support group, and that’s relevant to the success of Trump’s rhetoric. Commentators frequently cite globalization and wage stagnation as the economic forces behind recent political shifts, but there is a less heralded force influencing American politics: insufficient savings, most of all for older Americans.” Alternatively, “insufficient” provision of public services, engineered by those of the author’s political persuasion. 

UPDATE “DIVIDED AMERICA: To Some, Trump Is a Desperate Survival Bid” [ABC]. Interesting “data journalism,” but omits the fact that many Trump supporters are well-heeled. And quotes like this make me want to pound my head on the desk:

Peter Atwater, a consultant who studies the tides of consumer confidence, describes the collapse of the coalfields as a microcosm of the indignation burning across America that has come to define the 2016 campaign. Its power may determine the next president of the United States. …

The average Republican is as pessimistic about the economy today as the day Lehman Brothers collapsed, eight years ago, Atwater said….

“Today, we’re not interested in the plan, we’re interested in the slogan,” Atwater said. “When confidence falls, it’s all too complicated to understand an elaborate plan or an articulated policy. We don’t want to wait for the details; we don’t want to read the footnotes. Just give me a powerful headline.”

First, who’s “we”? Second, the smugness makes my skin crawl.

Our Famously Free Press

“The man who could have stopped Donald Trump” [Business Insider].


“GOP convention protests small, peaceful on 1st day” [McClatchy].

“100 Naked Women Just Greeted Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention” [Elle]. Dear Lord. 

“Some Melania Trump speech lines mirror Michelle Obama speech” [AP]. (Of course, both speeches were full of bromides, so it’s like “copying the secret formula of ‘Valu-Rite’ Cola.”)

UPDATE “Melania Trump at the RNC: Read the Full Transcript of Her Speech Side-by-Side with Michelle Obama’s” [People].

UPDATE Lambert here: Manafort’s case for the defense is, in essence, why would we do that? (“To think that she would do something like that, knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night, is just really absurd”). To which one plausible answer would be that it was not “she,” but the overloaded staffers of Trump’s small team, working under pressure, who committed accidental plagiarism, in a process similar to that described here. That doesn’t get anyone off the hook, because accidental plagiarism is still plagiarism. Nor does “everybody does it.” Although they do. Temperamentally, I’m repelled when I watch the Democrat nomenklatura dogpiling, but you’ve got to admire the brutal efficiency of Brock’s oppo, and how it’s able to dominate the news cycle. (I tried running Melania Trump’s complete transcript through a couple of free automatic plagiarism tools, but the results are already too polluted by the dogpile to matter.)

Interestingly, the Clinton campaign speaks to two core Democrat constituencies in this mini-scandal: The credentialed, for whom plagiarism can be a career-ending offence (unless it isn’t), and many in the black community, who frame it at a (white) appropriation of black labor (Michelle’s bromides). And lastly, its entertaining to watch the Parliamentary Republican Party join the Democrat dogpile; I would imagine bring more “moderate” Republicans into the Democrat fold will be the ultimate effect electorally; Trump voters will be unlikely to care.

More intriguing is the “Rick Roll”, for which this is the definition: “You link a friend to something they actually want to read — but the link takes them to the YouTube page for Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” music video.” Now the wording:

I’m having a hard time believing that’s a coincidence, which presents the tantalizing possibility that the Trump campaign has a Democrat mole.

UPDATE Queen’s Brian May Denies Donald Trump’s Usage of ‘We Are The Champions’ [Rolling Stone].

The Trail

UPDATE “Trump Tower has yet to allocate specific fall budgets to battleground state directors, a Trump campaign official said. That has delayed the party’s ability to build an effective grass-roots organizing machine that pairs Trump supporters with the activists that the RNC has enlisted over the past few years” [CNN]. “There’s no redundancy in politics,” said Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason, a member of Trump’s finance team. “There’s never too much advertising, too many phone calls, too many door-to-door. There’s never too many. I wish people would’ve been up on the air six months ago.”

Stats Watch

Housing Starts, June 2016: “The housing sector may be on a low trajectory but it is climbing. Starts rose 4.8 percent in June to a 1.189 million annualized rate with permits up 1.5 percent to a 1.153 rate” [Econoday]. “For the second quarter as a whole, starts averaged 1.160 million for a 0.8 percent gain from the first quarter with permits averaging 1.140 for a fractional decline but showing building momentum through the quarter. Housing isn’t on fire but it may be making the difference for the economy as a whole, helping it hold in the modest growth range.” Unimpressive: “The rate of growth continues to decelerate – and building permits issued are contracting year-over-year, but there are still more building permits being issued than construction completions. Multi-family housing building permit growth rate is significantly contracting year-over-year” [Econintersect]. “Be careful in analyzing this data set with a microscope as the potential error ranges and backward revisions are significant.” And: “Last month’s downward revision and the drop in permits make this report particularly negative. Again, looks like housing will be a drag on growth this year vs last year” [Mosler Economics]. 

Shipping: “The rolling averages are now decelerating for exports but accelerating for imports. Under normal situations, this is signalling an improving USA economy with a slowing global economy” [Econintersect]. “But the movement of the rolling averages is still being affected by the port strikes last year, and the year-to-date comparisions continue to slow versus last year. Slowing of year-to-date numbers are indicating a decelerating USA economy.”

Shipping: “Up to 37,500 East Asians dying prematurely a year from ship pollution” [Splash 247]. “A team of Chinese and American scientists used records of more than 18,000 vessels observed in the region in 2013 to calculate emissions and their likely effect. They noted that shipping emissions in the area had doubled since 2005 and now had the the world’s fastest-growing rate of particle and carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution from shipping emissions.”

Shipping: “Libya’s ports are lying almost idle after dockers have moved out to the front line to fight Islamic State” [The Loadstar]. “Libya’s busiest, Misrata, is home to the country’s only free-trade zone. Three years ago, the horizon was dotted with anchored cargo vessels waiting to dock, today, ships can steam straight in to unload and container throughput has dropped 33% since 2015.”

Shipping: “Another distribution center in the works for Tradepoint Atlantic” [Baltimore]. Many, many stories about distribution centers lately. Whoever’s investing in them is betting globalization will keep steaming ahead. Go long warehouse robots?

Digital Currency: “Stick a Fork in Ethereum” [Elaine’s Idle Mind]. “A decentralized computing platform is a terrible structure for politics. And a blockchain is a horrible way to manifest social consensus. Blockchains are designed to be resistant to human arbitration, hence the proof of work requirement.”

The Banks: “Hauling cash, replacing cards, fixing ATMs: the stubborn costs banks can’t erase” [Reuters]. “After years of reducing staff in branches and bragging about technology that allows consumers to bank by smartphone or ATM, JPMorgan Chase & Co recently had to start hiring tellers because of customer complaints. ‘There are fundamental costs associated with running a broad retail franchise,’ said Bob Hedges, who leads consulting firm A.T. Kearney’s financial institutions practice. ‘You can move to part-time help, you can let the carpet get a little more worn, but these are just short-term tactics.'”

“Grading the Obama economy, by the numbers” (charts) [CBNC]. Interesting to see the Gini ratio in the mainstream (and still rising under Obama, as NC readers have known since 2012).

Explainer on the definition of a recession (and it’s not “two or more quarters of negative economic growth”) [Barry Ritholtz, Bloomberg]. 

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 87, Extreme Greed (previous close: 91, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 87 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 19 at 11:33am. Fear of heights?

Health Care

“United States Health Care Reform” [Barack Obama, Journal of the American Medical Association]. From the abstract, Conclusions and Relevance section: “Policy makers should build on progress made by the Affordable Care Act by continuing to implement the Health Insurance Marketplaces and delivery system reform, increasing federal financial assistance for Marketplace enrollees, introducing a public plan option in areas lacking individual market competition, and taking actions to reduce prescription drug costs. Although partisanship and special interest opposition remain, experience with the Affordable Care Act demonstrates that positive change is achievable on some of the nation’s most complex challenges.” So, as is usual for the Democrat Party, the so-called public option is deployed whenever single payer threatens to gain traction; for those who came in late, see here and here. What is shocking is that JAMA published an opinon piece on a highly politicized topic, by a deeply conflicted author, as if it were a work of scholarship or science. If the editors who made this decision to publish were physicians, they violated their professional oath.

“Health Spending For Low-, Middle-, And High-Income Americans, 1963–2012” [Health Affairs]. “We conclude that the new pattern of spending post-2004, with the wealthiest quintile having the highest expenditures for health care, suggests that a redistribution of care toward wealthier Americans accompanied the health spending slowdown.”

“Something strange is going on in medicine. Major diseases, like colon cancer, dementia and heart disease, are waning in wealthy countries, and improved diagnosis and treatment cannot fully explain it” [New York Times].

Our Famously Free Press

“[In her first column, new Times Public Editor Liz] Spayd essentially argues that the Times needs to become more focused on the desires of its readers, whatever those desires may be. She seems unaware that there is a difference between giving readers what they want and ensuring that readers receive the best news coverage possible—the latter being the purpose of a newspaper, including a digital one. This distinction, which really signals Spayd’s confusion about the point of her own role as a representative for readers, is a worrying sign for people who care about the paper” [Slate].

And on the same controversy: “Obsessive haters, dedicated fans, and drive-by idiots can all be lumped together as ‘readers,’ in the sense that they contribute page views to particular piece of content. But they’re coming from very, very different places. The haters and drive-by-ers have no investment in the outlet in question, and are basically there to stir shit up. The dedicated readers are invested in the outlet… There are exceptions, of course — if thousands of your dedicated readers simultaneously get pissed off, that’s useful information — but overall there’s a strong case not to pay too close attention to the feedback presented by any three groups on a day-to-day basis” [New York Magazine].


“Anthem-Cigna Deal: Seeking Merger Approval, Anthem Makes Major Donations To State Political Groups” [David Sirota, International Business Times]. Sirota has been all over this story, but the wave of corruption engulfing the entire political class and the institututions it controls has been so enormous that this story almost looks like business as usual. Sirota is worth following on the twitter, too, if you don’t already:


“Life Along the Canal” [OI Vietnam]. “Meet the people adjusting to life among the rising tides” in the Mekong Delta.

“India is home to nearly a sixth of the world’s population but gets only 4 percent of the Earth’s fresh water. Already more than half of Asia’s third-biggest economy faces high water stress. By 2030, demand is expected to outstrip supply by about 50 percent, according to the Water Resources Group” [Bloomberg]. 

“Nestlé Discovers Water in the Arizona Desert, and Bottles It” [Bloomberg]. 

“The Water Next Time: Professor Who Helped Expose Crisis in Flint Says Public Science Is Broken” [The Chronicle of Higher Education]. Interview with Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech professor who helped the citizens of Flint find out their water was poisoned:

Q. I keep coming back to these university researchers in Flint who said: “The state has 50 epidemiologists. They say that the water’s safe. So I’m going to focus my energy on something that’s less settled.” How do you decide when the state should be challenged?

A. That’s a great question. We are not skeptical enough about each other’s results. What’s the upside in that? You’re going to make enemies. People might start questioning your results. And that’s going to start slowing down our publication assembly line. Everyone’s invested in just cranking out more crap papers.

So when you start asking questions about people, and you approach them as a scientist, if you feel like you’re talking to an adult and they give you a rational response and are willing to share data and discuss an issue rationally, I’m out of there. I go home.

But when you reach out to them, as I did with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and they do not return your phone calls, they do not share data, they do not respond to FOIA [open-records requests], y’know. … In each case I just started asking questions and turning over rocks, and I resolved to myself, The second something slimy doesn’t come out, I’m gonna go home. But every single rock you turn over, something slimy comes out.

Again I ask: How can these people live with themselves?


“Searing temperatures caused by climate change may cost global economies more than $2 trillion by 2030, restricting working hours in some of the poorest parts of the world, according to United Nations research” (charts) [Bloomberg]. “As many as 43 countries, especially those in Asia, including China, Indonesia, and Malaysia, will experience declines in their economies because of heat stress, says Tord Kjellstrom, a director at the Health and Environment International Trust, based in Nelson, New Zealand. As a result, China’s gross domestic product would be reduced 1 percent and Indonesia’s by 6 percent by 2030.”

Class Warfare

“In the past few months, several of America’s largest companies [Starbucks, Walmart, JPMorgan, McDonald’s, Target, and T.J. Maxx] have come to the conclusion that they deeply value their workers and want to publicly celebrate their love of labor” [The Atlantic]. “It’s not a coincidence: The labor market is tightening, and they have to pay their workers more to keep them from leaving…. [And] the conspicuous moralizing in these chief executives’ memos and op-eds in unmistakable: These CEOs feel a tremor in the Earth, a cleaving of the public into hardened camps, and they are eager for voters and representatives to see them as being on the right side… Finally, rising wages are an unalloyed good for workers. But it does not provide a bulwark against a downturn. .. Companies love their workers now, but the world economy is fragile. One hopes this is a movement, not a moment.” Kidding, right?

“Right now, there are some interesting developments in the supply of housing services that economize even further on urban land. ” [Robert Shiller, Across the Curve]. The elite vision on the house of the future, I imagine:

We have recently seen interest in ‘micro-apartments,’ which may be little more than 200 square feet but manage to squeeze in a kitchen, a bathroom and an entertainment center. For many people, this tiny space, with its proximity to like-minded people, interesting neighborhoods and restaurants, is preferable to living in a house in a far-flung suburb. Carrying this idea further, keepsakes can be kept in remote storage, maybe deliverable someday, on demand, with driverless cars. Already, rules are being changed in many cities, including New York, allowing the little apartments to be built and to accommodate many more people per acre of city land. These factors could lead to near-zero future demands on valuable urban land.

Uber for tsotchkes!

“Laying Bare the Bones of Ancient Maya Society” [Scientific American]. Examining animal bones found in Maya cities: “Although it may seem strange at first glance, research shows it was the middle classes ate the widest range of animals. In contrast, the upper echelons’ diet was mainly focused on species that had great symbolic value for Maya, such as the powerful jaguars and crocodiles… [T[hough different classes ate the same animals, not everyone consumed the same parts. This conclusion was reached after analyzing the remains of white-tailed deer, and points to the social division of food: The best parts were for the elite.”

News of the Wired

“How to Build a Low-tech Internet” [Low Tech Magazine]. “[W]e can build our own resilient communication infrastructure if we cooperate with one another. This is demonstrated by several community networks in Europe, of which the largest has more than 35,000 users already.”

“Safety was the leading reason people were interested in a fully autonomous ride, with cheaper insurance costs in second place” [Wired]. 

“Pakistan’s angel of mercy — Abdul Sattar Edhi” [Gulf News]. “In 2005, the earthquake that shook northern Pakistan, killing at least 70,000 people, saw Edhi personally lead his group of volunteers to brave the winter chill of Pakistan’s northern areas. They were among the first line of relief providers. Similar tales came about following other calamities such as catastrophes caused by floods.”

“NO RELIGION IS HIGHER THAN HUMANITY” was the key tenet of Edhi, and those working with him. They all repeat this phrase to me when I was visiting the different centers of the foundation” (photos) [Express Tribune]. “In a country that is defined by its religious identity, in which the fundamentalists are trying to impose their vision, Edhi never gave up. His dream was to make Pakistan a model of social revolution.”

“Critics say that pr0n degrades women, dulls sexual pleasure, and ruins authentic relationships – are they right?” [Aeon]. By Betteridge’s law, no, at least according to the studies cited in this article (though studies on “visual sexual stimuli” are sparse). These factoids leaped out at me: “36 per cent of internet content is pornography. One in four internet searches are about porn.” In other words, pr0n, whatever else it may be, is a ginormous business that “drives” (as we say in Silicon Valley) the Internet. I suppose when economists talk about “substitution effects are subject to hedonic quality adjustments,” they have this topic, among others, in mind?

“Android users touch their smartphones more than 2,500 times a day” [Business Insider]. ” Over the course of a year, this accounts for nearly 1 million touches on average, per user.” Go long thumb brace manufacturers?

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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 (Rex):

20160625_yelblk head

Wow! I’ve tried doing more serious photographs of flowers in my garden, with a better lens than the iPad, and my goodness, do those flowers move around! It’s almost as if they’ve adapted to catch the slightest breeze…

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!

I have finally finished sending thank you notes to the people who helped out during the quick and successful Water Cooler Mini-Fundraiser by sending in checks. Thank you, readers! So, to my knowledge, all should have been thanked, and for those of you who used PayPal, if you have not been, and you have checked your spam folder, don’t hesitate to complain using my contact form.

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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. Pirmann

    Melania Trump and Mika Obama speech similarities –

    Perhaps these speech historians would be better served reviewing the 2008 Democrat Convention speeches in their entirety, comparing what was promised to what has actually been delivered over the past eight years…

    1. aretha134

      The focus on the speech similarities is absurd — a charge that will appeal to technocrats and the Daily Show watching crowd, but likely of little consequence to most others. I am particularly reminded of the quote “Good writers borrow, great writers steal. –T.S. Eliot”. And if these speech similarities are plagiarism, then there is no one that has not plagiarized. This obsession is particularly irksome because I am starting to notice a pattern in my interactions with technocrats, wherein accusations of plagiarism and racial/sexual-bias are used as a cudgel to politically beat back competitors (regardless of validity of the accusations). Such charges carry substantial weight among the technocrats I have interacted with.

      1. voteforno6

        Considering that Doris Kearns Goodwin is still a member in good standing of the elites, I have a hard time believing that they are really that concerned with plagiarism.

          1. Pavel

            A great tweet by Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) earlier today:

            To discuss Melania’s speech, we turn to CNN & WPost’s Fareed Zakaria, scholars Doris Kearns Goodwin & Alan Dershowitz, & Joe Biden! Welcome!

            And remember that Joe Biden quit the presidential campaign after his plagiarism but didn’t resign his Senate seat. So it can’t be that serious an offence, can it?

            1. JBaker

              It was meta watching MSNBC’s morally faultless Brian Williams tsk tsk Melania Trump.

                1. Pavel

                  Zero Hedge tonight usefully reminds us that HRC once accused Saint Obama of plagiarism:

                  In 2008, then-candidate Obama was found to have plagiarized the speeches of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on a number of occasions.

                  “I am not asking anyone to take a chance on me, I’m asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations,” Patrick said in a speech delivered in June of 2006. Obama repeated the line verbatim in a speech in South Carolina in November of 2007.

                  In addition, Obama’s famous refrain of “just words” in a 2008 speech was lifted directly from a speech Governor Patrick delivered in October of 2006.

                  When the Clinton campaign cried foul, The New York Times reported:

                  With the next round of voters set to weigh in on the Democratic presidential race, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign on Monday accused Senator Barack Obama of committing plagiarism in a weekend speech. Mr. Obama dismissed the charge as absurd and desperate.

                  Mr. Obama told reporters he should have credited Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, a friend, for a passage in a speech he delivered on Saturday in Milwaukee. But Mr. Obama said his rival was “carrying it too far.”

                  Obama Administration Explains Its Own “Plagiarism” Was Merely “Inspiration”

                  Click on the link and watch the video of press secretary Earnest twist himself into knots trying to explain how it was just “inspiration”.

      2. Anne

        I think it is emblematic of the sense of entitlement and better-than and too-smart-to-get-caught that there isn’t someone on the Trump team – on any political team, for that matter – who can take half an hour to run a speech through a plagiarism checker to verify the authenticity of the writing. The opposition is taking that time, so why would you just assume that it doesn’t need to be part of the process before signing off on the final draft?

        Of course, people have similar ideas. Of course, we’ve all become familiar with the kind of platitudinous bolierplate that passes for writing these days. But please, Paul Manafort, don’t try to tell me whole chunks of Melania’s speech weren’t lifted from Michelle Obama’s; it’s not just “words” – if it was, we’d all have novels on the best seller list, wouldn’t we?

        It’s too bad this stupidity is becoming the bright, shiny object distracting from the real stupidity and insanity that is happening in the GOP; if I didn’t value my own sanity, I’d tune in tonight to see just what great ideas they have to “Make America Work Again,” but I already know it will be the same tired and failed ideas they can’t seem to let go of.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          It seems to me that the staff failed Melania Trump; although I don’t know whether speechwriters run speeches through a plagiarism checked as a matter of course — maybe the bromides, boilerplate, and cliches are so thick that that the checker would choke on them.

          There’s plenty of stupidity to go around, but if Manafort (see under Policy) puts breaking up the big banks in the platform, that would be amazing; I’m always glad to see the Overton Window move left, no matter who’s doing the dragging.

          1. perpetualWAR

            The really stupid commentary from Melania is that she wrote the speech herself. Now, if she would have claimed she did her own hair and makeup…..more believable. But, leave the speechwriting to the writers. (the ones who don’t lift paragraphs)

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            Well, this is what the NYT says, and if it’s true, the Trump campaign is leaking like a sieve. To the specific point on plagiarism checkers:

            In interviews, alarmed Republican speechwriters outlined the layers of formal scrutiny, apparently disregarded by the Trump campaign, traditionally applied to almost every draft of a major convention address. They described word-by-word fact-checking by a dedicated team of experts and computer software designed to catch plagiarism. Several online programs, like DupliChecker, are available at no cost.

            “It’s pretty standard,” Mr. Stevens said of the software, which detects overlap in word choice and sentence structure. “We used it.”

            Then again, the Times quotes Obama’s speechwriter, Jon Favreau is if he were somehow an objective source. And since we have numerous examples of plagiarism cited in the post and on the thread, this hasn’t been the first time a “dedicated team of experts and computer software” has been ignored…

            It would be interesting to see what the first drafts were like. Because it could also be that the Trumps have trust issues working with Republican operatives. I can’t imagine why…

            At some point, the story will shift to how Melania Trump handles all this. Manafort hasn’t fired anybody, which is smart.

          3. tony

            Maybe they didn’t fail her. Press is putting the two women next to each other, comparing them like equals, like Melanie was already a first lady.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Does it not betray some sort of xenophobic nativism on the part of her critics, subconsciously perhaps?

      Of course, now that we are talking about it, Michelle’s speech, in hindsight or perhaps always, is nothing exceptional and, in fact, down right bland. Is that a dig at the First Spouse by the Clinton team (have they not settled their grievances)?

    3. Code Name D

      Let me see. Clinton compromised national security in an effort to conceal illegal activities and influence peddling from public scrutiny and then overtly subverted law enforcement in order to compensate being called out on running a rigged primary election in her favor. Or, Trump’s supermodel wife copying someone else’s speech. Oh… the humanity?

      If this is the best they got, they got nothing. Trump supporters aren’t the only ones who don’t care.

      1. cwaltz

        I’ve decided to skip the circus from the bread and circuses being offered by our esteemed elite each election cycle.

        I won’t be watching the Democratic convention or listening to the pundits in mainstream opine about it either. It’s my version of fair and balanced.

      2. christianSocialist

        Trump’s wife’s speech sounded like Michelle Obama’s!

        Kanye recorded Taylor Swift and Kim posted it!

        Meanwhile, 28 pages of (still-not-completely) redacted 9/11 report that implicate Saudi govt officials and Bandar himself in funding terrorism were released the same week.

        And democracy keeps burning…

        1. Yves Smith

          *Sigh* The stories I’ve seen cited six or seven sentences that used similar cliches. There is plenty you can legitimately go after with The Donald, like not releasing his tax returns, his not being consistent about his policies, exaggerating his business accomplishments, lying, being in favor of more tax cuts, wanting to end national parks, denying climate change….so going after stuff that is marginal at best is just lame.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          I don’t remember the last scandal the Clinton campaign was pushing, but what it wasn’t was that Trump’s NJ casino union was on strike. Gawd forbid Democrats should help unions, let alone working people.

      3. craazyman

        what about all the politicians who say they gonna be “tough on crime”?

        they all can’t be quoting Risk Astley since he never sang that, as far as I know

        Most singers are drug criminals anyway, so it would be interesting to know who first sang that phrase “tough on crime”. I bet they don’t want to reveal themselves since the hypocrisy would be so blatant.

        God I hope it wasn’t Rick James. That wold be super freaky, yeah!

        1. craazyman

          always gonna lock them up
          never gonna let them out
          never gonna run around
          and shoot you

          never gone get them high
          never gonna tell a lie
          gonna be tough on crime
          and dirt too

          wow, maybe he did sing it. It sounds like him!

          (I’m not sure about the last line, but some politician may be tough on dirt. it sounds like a family value.

    4. Skippy

      File under….

      BBC | The Century of the Self | Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering | Season 1 Episode 4 2002 – 59 min.
      Director: Adam Curtis


      This episode explains how politicians on the left, in both Britain and America, turned to the techniques developed by business to read and fulfill the inner desires of the self.

      Both New Labour, under Tony Blair, and the Democrats, led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group, which had been invented by psychoanalysts, in order to regain power. They set out to mould their policies to people’s inner desires and feelings, just as capitalism had learnt to do with products.

      Out of this grew a new culture of public relations and marketing in politics, business and journalism. One of its stars in Britain was Matthew Freud who followed in the footsteps of his relation, Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations in the 1920s.

      The politicians believed they were creating a new and better form of democracy, one that truly responded to the inner feelings of individual. But what they didn’t realize was that the aim of those who had originally created these techniques had not been to liberate the people but to develop a new way of controlling them.


      Disheveled marsupial…. I just used Rick Astley’s song not a fortnight ago at Macrobusiness and find it quite apropos…. you just have to keep the Less than Zero to the periphery of your vision thingy….

  2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


    Melania says it because that’s true (at least as far as Donald courting her is concerned).

    “He will never, ever give up.”

    Michelle said that earlier, that’s true. And we can look back the last 8 weak years, and know she either didn’t mean it or didn’t know her man.

    Methinks it’s a stroke of genius to high light that difference.

    1. Alex morfesis

      Plagiarism or opportunism…trump must sit there with his minions who keep insisting it won’t work this time…that there is no way the advertising departments at the media companies are gonna fall for it or let it keep happening…but he understands the critical dynamics of the business…

      the “reporters” are told they need to compete with the “kowdassians” to get eyeballs to help sell advertising…

      long form reporting does not cut it…

      life magazine photo journalism is back…

      so the donald sits there…and says…

      wait for it…wait for it…wait for it…


      There…see…I told you so…

      The googolmonster luvz that man…

      he feeds it what it wants…

      and all the conforming non-conformists go into their preprogrammed “gotcha” mode…

      Giving him more free publicity

      The man who can do no right

      He does not complain about the vast conspiracy against him…

      he feeds it…

      He is playing the internal dynamics inside media companies…

      with the writers telling the ad people “we gotya those eyeballs”…exposing most media ad people for the order takers they really are…

    2. John k

      No, no.
      He gives up only on promises he made to you and all the others of no importance.
      He’s as persistent as a hog at the trough on things that matter to the important people, his past and future donors. TTp, never prosecute bankers, never prosecute a Clinton or bush, jail whistleblowers, never single payer, grand bargain, etc.
      This is not rocket science.

      As an aside, if the plan has always been to follow the Clinton model, it wouldnt do for the model to go to jail, would it?

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        The MSM is too stupid to see that when they pile on moronically on something like the young lady’s speech, it makes many Americans know for sure they want to vote for Trump. Me and many others will vote AGAINST the main stream media.

        1. NLK

          I agree. I have never seen the media so blatantly prefer certain candidates over others(Sanders, Trump vs Clinton). It’s not even subtle anymore. Trump is not nearly as bad as everyone says he is. Yeah, he’s a schmuck, but he’s not a murderer warmonger like Clinton.

        2. sd

          MSM: I am increasingly feeling manipulated and have noticed I am now starting to have a knee jerk reaction against whatever is being reported. What worries me is the boy who cried wolf syndrome – when the news actually matters, I will have become conditioned to just not believe it anymore.

          I am by nature quite cynical. But I feel like I am drowning in some sort of MSM hyperdrive of informational antithesis.

          1. inode_buddha

            I shut off the MSM over a year ago. Not missing a thing. Only reason I even have cable is for internet (I tend to use a lot of data relatively speaking)

          2. christianSocialist

            “No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.” – Lily Tomlin

  3. juliania

    On climate change, the Otago Daily Times (odt.co.nz) says it is raining midwinter on the Coronet Peak ski areas in Queenstown, New Zealand, has been warm there three of the four last winters (last year was cold).

  4. RabidGandhi

    Hard to keep the royal lineage straight, but the Intercept article says that Martha Podesta is not John Podesta’s wife, but rather “divorce[d] from super-lobbyist Tony Podesta“, thus making her John Podesta’s ex-sister-in-law. Either way it’s all in the family.

    1. Anne

      Picky, I know, but it’s Heather Podesta, not Martha.

      But, whatever, she doesn’t think she gets paid enough? When I find a teeny-tiny violin, I might be persuaded to play a sad tune for her. Or not. Probably not.

      Retching noises will have to suffice.

      1. Synoia

        One Podesta, two Podesta, three Podesta, four.
        Five Podesta, six Podesta,
        Seven Podesta, more.
        Eight Podesta, nine Podesta,
        Count dollars more and more.

        1. barrisj

          Are you the same “synoia” who used to post on The Agonist? Man, those were the days/years!

  5. candles

    I think a more parsimonious explanation for the Rick roll, rather than a Democrat mole, is that trumps campaign is actually being conducted, in part, by people heavily involved in 4chan culture… which lines up with both 4chans over the top love for trump, and for some chan culture stuff he’s retweeted.

    1. Pespi

      Yeah. The 4chan right loves Donald. Alt-right, whatever you want to call it, the computer janitor right.

        1. Pespi

          No, there’s something wrong with being a 4chan white nationalist computer janitor. Lots of my best friends are computer janitors, I swear

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Sure, but you can just leave out the computer janitor part, surely. Though is the factoid here that the nether reaches of IT are populated by 4chan-lovin’ white nationalists?

      1. hunkerdown

        Watch where you swing that bourgeois arrogance, hot rod. You might throw your drink into the face of someone who doesn’t happen to like you very much.

        just one anarcho-leftist system administrator who doesn’t happen to like you or your lying class very much, at all

        1. JacobiteInTraining

          I was talking to some acquaintances recently, one of whom is going through an FBI-enforced break from gainful & lucrative employment (don’t ask) and he was trying to decide how to find work in the meantime.

          In talking about it I blurted out “why don’t you just get a throwaway job, like pumping gas or at the cashier for now?”.

          Literally the second after I said it, I blurted out again…”no, NO – I don’t mean throwaway, its honest labor and its a paycheck!” I myself come from humble peasant stock, and though I managed to claw my way to upper-middle-class jobs through the 90’s & 00’s, only recently throttling back to a lower paying and less stressful job – I had to mentally berate myself for allowing the whole concept of ‘throwaway jobs’ to reside in my consciousness.

          I used to pick blueberries, hoe weeds barefoot, fight forest fires, burn slash, wash dishes….a whole host of jobs that kept me in food and clothes. They were not ‘throwaway’, nor did I consider myself a ‘throwaway’ citizen for working them.

          Food for thought, amidst all the high minded debate and learning we do every day. Any job that pays for food, any job that keeps one working, any job that makes a difference between homelessness and shelter….is a precious job. :)

    2. tony

      Rickrolling is also something you do to a friend. it’s not goatse. I once asked the Archdruid about meme-magic and he said it is a very effective way of changing people’s conciousness. Both Trump and Bernie supporters have used memes to a good effect.

  6. Kurt Sperry

    ““Grading the Obama economy, by the numbers” (charts) [CBNC]. Interesting to see the Gini ratio in the mainstream (and still rising under Obama, as NC readers have known since 2012).”

    Obviously the Bush Tax Cuts Obama embraced were too small.

    1. RabidGandhi

      For those who poo-poo the inherent value of having a had a candidate schlep all over the country screaming about inequality for a year.

    2. Isolato


      I cannot stress enough what an extraordinary swindle the Bush Tax Cuts are, even as my own tax rate has fallen to about 10%. The flow of wealth from labor to capital was greatly encouraged, financial speculation magnified, our futures become the derivative of a derivative.When capital catches capital’s tail it is going to be convulsive.

  7. RabidGandhi

    Re: Queen’s Brian May Denies Donald Trump’s Usage of ‘We Are The Champions’

    With every artist that denies Trump the right to use a song, the barf factor of listening to Fleetwood Mac ticks ever higher.

    1. voteforno6

      I don’t know…maybe the Clintons will change it up to “Tusk” this time around.

      1. inode_buddha

        maybe the clintons could change it to “why don’t we get drunk and screw”, it would be appropriate

    2. JerseyJeffersonian

      My vote for a good campaign theme song would be “I Found That Essence Rare” by the Gang of Four:


      “I Found That Essence Rare”

      Aim for the body rare, you’ll see it on TV
      The worst thing in 1954 was the bikini
      See the girl on the TV dressed in a bikini
      She doesn’t think so, but she’s dressed for the H-bomb
      (For the H-bomb)

      I found that essence rare, it’s what I looked for
      I knew I’d get what I asked for

      Aim for the country fair, you read it in the paper
      The worst thing happens any week, a scandal on the front page
      You see the happy pair smiling close like they are monkeys
      They wouldn’t think so, but they’re holding themselves down
      (Hold themselves down)

      I found that essence rare, it’s what I looked for
      I knew I’d get what I asked for

      I found that essence rare, it’s what I looked for
      I knew I’d get what I asked for

      Aim for politicians fair who’ll treat your vote hope well
      The last thing they’ll ever do, act in your interest
      Look at the world through your polaroid glasses
      Things’ll look a whole lot better for the working classes
      (Working classes)

      I found that essence rare, it’s what I looked for
      I knew I’d get what I asked for

      I found that essence rare, it’s what I looked for
      I knew I’d get what I asked for

      Eh, probably there would be no takers, though; it cuts too close to the bone.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Damaged goods
        Send them back
        I can’t work
        I can’t achieve
        Send me back
        Open the till
        Give me the change
        You said would do me good
        Refund the cost
        You said you’re cheap but you’re too much

        1. JerseyJeffersonian

          “Entertainment!” was one of my all time favorite albums. I still pull it out and give it a spin now and again. The cover art was of a piece with the lyrical content, too.

          1. redleg

            Guitar and bass contrast second only to The Minutemen, but longer songs put Gang of Four ahead on my playlist.

      2. Roger Smith

        Meanwhile the Democrats just had Apple upload the “Lesser Than Evil” theme to everyone’s Iphone.

        Nowhere to run, baby nowhere to hide
        I got nowhere to run, baby nowhere to hide

        It’s not love, I’m running from
        It’s the heartaches, I know will come
        ‘Cause I know, you’re no good for me
        But you’ve become a part of me

        Everywhere I go, your face I see
        Every step I take, you take with me, yeah

        Nowhere to run, baby, nowhere to hide
        Got nowhere to run, baby nowhere to hide

        I know you’re no good for me, now
        But free of you I’ll never be, no
        Each night as I sleep into my heart you creep
        I wake up feeling sorry I met you, hoping soon that I’ll forget you

        When I look in the mirror and comb my hair
        I see your face just a-smiling there

        Nowhere to run, baby nowhere to hide
        Got nowhere to run, baby nowhere to hide

        I know you’re no good for me
        But free of you, I’ll never be
        How can I fight a lover that’s sugar sweet
        When it’s so deep, so deep, deep inside of me

        My love reaches so high, you can’t get over it
        So wide, you can’t get around, no

        Nowhere to run, baby nowhere to hide
        Got nowhere to run, baby nowhere to hide

        I know you’re no good for me
        But free of you I’ll never be

        Nowhere to run to, baby nowhere to hide
        Got nowhere to run to, baby nowhere to hide
        Nowhere to run

        – Martha Reeves & the Vandellas

      3. redleg

        “Not Great Men” would work just as well.

        “The past lives on in your front room
        The poor still weak the rich still rule
        History lives in the books at home”

        A major influence on my own creative work.

        I still think of “Toadies” by the Minutemen as ideal for the dems.

      4. S M Tenneshaw

        “Falling Down” by Oasis would work as well:

        We live a dying dream
        If you know what I mean
        All that I’ve ever known
        It’s all that I’ve ever known

      5. Paul Boisvert

        Go4 had many great campaign songs…I Love a Man in a Uniform; To Hell With Poverty; Capital, It Fails Us Now. The first two are what music is all about…the last is a bit less compelling sonically, but why quibble…

    3. polecat

      Yes…I agree…..

      I remain a faithful ‘pre Cristy McVie’ Fleetwood Mac listener…….can’t do better than Peter Green !!

      When FM played at the Clinton inauguration, I indeed wanted to hurl…..

      From great British Blues…to manufactured sucky pop rock…….uhg!

      ..and it really is true…. the Clintons ruin everything they touch….and they put the finishing touch to FM…

      ok…fire away

  8. voteforno6

    Re: DGA Corruption

    Nothing to see here, move along…

    I’m reminded of a conversation I had with an acquaintance, who’s also a lobbyist for a very large corporation. He said that he much preferred dealing with regulators, as they would actually talk about the issue at hand. Legislators, on the other hand, he warned that they should never be shown the wine list.

    People complain about lobbyist influence over government, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people in corporations hate this system a lot more than elected officials do.

    1. perpetualWAR

      Can you imagine how horrible it would be to have to sit there with a snake, wining and dining them? OMFG, just shoot me now.

  9. Fred

    Shipping: “Libya’s ports….

    That neocon inspired foreign policy of Hilary’s looks worse and worse with every passing day.

  10. cwaltz

    Psssst, Marc Edwards isn’t from UVa, he’s a civil engineering and environmental engineer professor from Virginia Tech.

  11. Anon

    Re: Healthcare

    Although partisanship and special interest opposition remain, experience with the Affordable Care Act demonstrates that positive change is achievable on some of the nation’s most complex challenges.

    I haven’t gone through the whole piece yet, but if you create something that screws over most of the people that use it, can it be considered a good thing?

    Also, regarding the Melania speech, I’m of the same mind as Yves and others from Links this morning that this is nothing truly major, but I am seeing buzz on Twitter speculating that there is a mole in the campaign, which given the (kinda) Rickroll, I suppose has some merit to it. At the same time, let’s look at this another way:

    What if there is no mole, but the speech flap was intentional, which causes the press to overreact, giving the speech even more coverage than normal and paints the mental picture of Melania as First Lady? Assume the sale, and all of that. Before you cast doubt, remember that this isn’t the first time…

    1. sd

      The Donald is quite good at capturing free publicity and at a ratio of 1:40, for every dollar he spends, Clinton spends 40, he’s going to break Clintons bank.

  12. John k

    More stuff like bringing back glass steagall will shake loose more Bernie’s bros…
    How about, ‘if a banker breaks the law, he goes to jail’?
    He’d be a shoo-in… And really fun to see Liz tie herself in knots…

  13. PeonIn Chief

    When I was a young person, it was called living with roommates. The difference is that those of us who were protected by rent control and just cause eviction protections could stay in those units for years. The micro units usually provide no tenant protectios at all.

    1. sd

      In most cases, Co-living spaces, Artist in Residence (AIR), Lofts, Live-Work, Houses, Bistro Lofts, Micro Lofts, Shares, Communes, none of these are “apartments” which means they have no tenant protections beyond whatever is listed in the actual lease.

      There are exceptions in a few select cities, but the vast majority of tenant protections were written cover only traditional apartments in complexes and buildings with usually 6 or more units.

  14. Otis B Driftwood

    Regarding reinstating Glass-Steagall, a great idea but it will surely lose him the support of Hank Paulsen, et al.

    … Oh, wait.

    Never mind.

      1. polecat

        Reinstatement of Glass-Steagall will NOT happen until CONgress can no longer benefit financially from Big Bankster & Wall Street grift !!!

        So our gloriously noble Senate & House are suddenly gonna right the ship……………..Right ?…………till Hell itself freezes solid………

  15. Pat

    I have to say that if I had unlimited time and money I would probably be researching and trying to find video examples, not just transcripts, of various political candidates spouse’s saying boilerplate nonsense about how they, the candidate, or both were raised with good values, taught to respect others, etc, etc, etc. Only to run a headline about if Melania Trump plagiarized Michele Obama, Michele Obama plagiarized X, Y and Z. Those lines aren’t quite as required as “loves his/her family” and “loves this country”, but they really aren’t that far behind.

    I am beyond annoyed at the stupid. And yes, I do consider this stupid, petty and pointless. Not that substance has been the go to for political coverage for awhile, I just think this whole campaign year has set new standards of ‘substance free’ in regards to our major party candidates.

      1. apber

        The 28 page memo is a purposeful red herring to counter the conspiracy theorists. It does not mention Atta, nor the Bush connected flight school, or many other little facts like the Chertoff ordered stand down when FBI agents got too close to the real story.

    1. low integer

      I happened to catch Melania’s speech live and I thought it was fine and inconsequential. The in-the-bag-for Hillary-media may be trying to provoke Trump into doing something silly by going after Melania, as attacks on Trump himself have so far been unsuccessful.

  16. barrisj

    Re: Repub hatefest Convention…the LATimes Matt Pearce is doing superb work in his live-reporting/blogging from the streets of Cleveland:

    What’s notable is the success that the “authorities” have achieved in filling the whole fecking town with coppers drafted from across the US, with largely nothing to do, as the abridgement of the First Amendment has gone beyond anything predicted in limiting “the people” from showing up in large numbers to voice either their support or disgust or engage in street-theatre as inspired by the Convention…folks, Chicago ’68 this ain’t.

      1. barrisj

        See, the whole scene in Cleveland has been dumbed down to – you know – “social media moments”, whatever. Nothing at all that would even remotely threaten the “established order”. Everyone is playing his/her role in some sort of choreographed “we good – they bad” scenario, regardless of which political perspective is gaining the “eyeballs”…a further mockery of vox populi or anything that would resonate with the disenfranchised…just more WWE spectacle, nothing to see here, folks, please move on…just following the script.

  17. Pat

    Just in case anyone is interested here is Trump’s son-in-law’s paper on the latest Guccifer 2 release of DNC documents:


    Here is The Hill:


    Although I would be annoyed if I were one of the celebrities on the spreadsheets, or more depending on the information in the spreadsheets, I might also be annoyed if I thought I was being used to misdirect the press regarding things of more importance than donor lists. But that is just me.

  18. Wade Riddick

    Why is modern disease abating overall?

    Air pollution causes inflammation and insulin resistance. It inhibits regulatory T-cells and thus causes or aggravates conditions like autism, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, asthma and so on. Cleaning up air and water has had tremendous secondary health benefits in ways that aren’t usually measured.

    This is also true for the damage caused by second hand smoke. As smoking rates fall, so too does the casualty count of innocent bystanders.

    There has also been progress in spoilage and food contamination, though most processed food itself is deadly in the long run.

    You have really two trends here you have to sort out. On the one hand, science is progressing and either drawing down costs (e.g., electronic record sharing) or improving treatment effectiveness (e.g., PD-1 inhibitors for cancer). On the other hand, as we privatize the essential public goods of medicine and nutrition, the inevitable result is extortion – or, as Wendell Pierce might put it, management performance bonuses due to a confiscation of those same public goods. We’ve curtailed some dangerous rent-seeking activities like marketing addictive tobacco but we’ve unleashed others like oxycontin and Pharmacy Benefit Managers.

  19. dcblogger

    “Older white Americans are Donald Trump’s core support group,

    the group of people most likely to vote and least susceptible to voter suppression.

    1. tegnost

      good point, I was in eastern washington over the weekend and several trump signs, I wouldn’t say “a lot” by historical standards, reflecting possibly the lukewarm reception of trump by mainstream repubs…but not a single hillary sign, I think I saw one hillary bumper sticker in seattle but it’s looking lopsided here and the cascade curtain might not hold. That said lots of main stream republicans favor hillary which could turn the tide but I’d say it’s a tough call, and trump has some actual supporters, while hillary’s supporters are basically everything there is to hate about nanny progs. Look at the nae naeing about melanias unintentional plagiarism (i agree with lambert, there are only so many cliches and they likely tend to self order in a way, what ev…I’m sure she knows how to sign in to her email). Todays bizarro obscura headline…. http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2016/07/trump-wants-to-break-up-big-banks.html
      They’re going to yank the carpet out from under the dems, it’s going to be hilarious and from my perspective I’ll take a pro biz repub, including all the foreseeable problems resulting from that, over a globalist mafioso like clinton any day. Her black and white ad (I was unfortunate enough to see a tv this weekend also) was revolting in it’s commander in cheekiness, discussing with the general at the end about how best to take over the world….

  20. fresno dan


    Video of the episode captured a pickup truck coming to a stop, after which more than half a dozen officers, one with a police dog, approach the car. The driver is seen getting out and then getting down on his knees and beginning to lie down on the street. At least two of the officers can then be seen in the footage repeatedly hitting the man as some of the other officers stand nearby.
    Col. Robert L. Quinn, director of the New Hampshire state police, called the incident “disturbing” during a news conference in May. He also said at the time that his agency had relieved the trooper from duty without pay.

    “I want to ensure that the public knows that this will be fully investigated and we recognize the importance of the public trust,” Quinn said. “And the unnecessary, unjustified use of force will not be tolerated.”

    New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) said in May that the video footage raised “serious concerns,” and that authorities would “treat this incident with the utmost seriousness without disparaging all of the hard-working police officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.”

    Uh, who was suspended at the Washington Post for beating and abusing logic??? Pray tell – “some” of the other officers standing by – what were the ones not “standing” by doing, or more accurately, not doing?

    I would be very interested to know if ANY of the on scene police reported the incident. Than I believe there could be credibility to the contention that it is only a few bad apples. Until than, there are bad apples and the enablers of bad apples…

    1. hunkerdown

      The barrels are certified wholesome and sound. Professionals wouldn’t lie, would they? /s

  21. grizziz

    Searing temperatures caused by climate change may cost global economies more than $2 trillion by 2030.

    Is it just me that finds these articles to be so permeated with status quo bias that they should just be ignored. Ceteris paribus, if it gets too damn hot people cannot work as hard and frogs will not notice the water boiling around them. No, people will move and frogs will jump. Old factories will be abandoned and new factories will be built. Entire cities are likely to be rebuilt on higher ground or in higher latitudes.
    Sure, landed capital and existing property maybe literally underwater. However if the population does not perish during the migrations, the global economy should actually improve GDP wise. If that happens to be an important metric to those living in 2030.

    1. craazyman

      it should do wonders for air conditioning industry sales. It may create jobs.

      one man’s cost is another man’s revenue — that’s the 1st Law of Economics
      after you buy, you have to pay — that’s the Second law of Economics
      when you get money, you can’t keep it all — that’s Law 3

      Those are a basis for the R3 Economic Space, for youze mathematically inclined

      YOu don’t need fancy university degrees or confusing textbooks, you just have to add and multiply the basis vectors by scalars and you can reach anywhere in R3

  22. mk

    On the AM radio today in the Los Angeles area, I heard a report that medical insurance from Covered California will go up 13% next year, but the good news is, consumers get to shop around on the website to find the best deals.

    They really said that. As if this activity was something to enjoy, like one does when “shopping”.

      1. aab

        For next year, I believe. Yes, with information being sent in October and sign-up starting before election day. Good times!

        And yet I honestly do not see Clinton losing California. I wish I could imagine it. But Padilla will still be overseeing the election, and the Republican party is now quite weak here. I guess if Manafort can keep them from taking the scanners home with them the night before, and banning the white-out and shredding, AND massive numbers of angry Sanders voters actually vote for Trump, or maybe enough vote Green that it brings Clinton’s numbers down…

        (Checks 2012 results.) Never mind.

  23. Gaylord

    Those Gaia predictions of the “cost” of climate change are laughably, grossly underestimated, based on the same old linear thinking that got us into this abrupt, exponential heating trend that threatens to extinguish most if not all life on earth. Soon.

  24. Jay M

    On Pay:
    how big is the vein you have tapped into?
    On compensation:
    what is the smallest unit, per hour?
    On cost:
    how many people are necessary to solve the problem, or try?
    in excess to need?

  25. TheCatSaid

    This guest post, “The Truth About Exit Polls and Vote Counts: the 2016 Democratic Primary” is just out. It is gloriously speculation-free reporting. Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips makes unique observations regarding the black vote, and points to what primary results can and should be audited.

    The author’s approach is similar to Yves’ financial reporting on NC.

    A companion piece by Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips describes what constitutes a properly-done election audit, drawing on his personal experience auditing the Ohio 2004 presidential election results.

  26. Katharine

    JAMA puts political interest ahead of intellectual integrity. Dog bites man. It may not be pretty, but it’s hardly surprising.

  27. ewmayer

    o “The man who could have stopped Donald Trump” [Business Insider].– looks back at him in the mirror every day.

    o Re. “Hauling cash, replacing cards, fixing ATMs: the stubborn costs banks can’t erase” [Reuters] — ‘stubborn costs’ a.k.a. ‘actually supplying some customer service to go along with those profits.’ Financial services who want to engage in actual financial services – so annoying! And one wonders whether perma-ZIRP is helping or hurting the profit side of the equation for the sub-TBTF retail banks.

    o “100 Naked Women Just Greeted Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention” [Elle] — Trump: ‘I can hire 100 naked women of my own and set the two groups against each other. And my women will be way hotter. Let’s make naked-women-protesting America great again™!’ A titillating thought-riposte, at least.

    o “Something strange is going on in medicine. Major diseases, like colon cancer, dementia and heart disease, are waning in wealthy countries, and improved diagnosis and treatment cannot fully explain it” [New York Times] — optimistically assuming the data are sound, mayhap the decline in adult smoking rates over the past half-century has something to do with it?

    o “India is home to nearly a sixth of the world’s population but gets only 4 percent of the Earth’s fresh water. Already more than half of Asia’s third-biggest economy faces high water stress. By 2030, demand is expected to outstrip supply by about 50 percent, according to the Water Resources Group” [Bloomberg] — crazy thought: maybe the problem is less, or not memrely, one of too little potable water but of too much population? Nutty, I know. And heretical thinking along those lines is a threat to groaf! For that brief apostasy, I apologize.

    o Re. Robert Shiller on micro-housing: Lead the way, our dear highly credentialed friend and ‘new economy thought leader’! But then again, credentialism and leadership-from-the-front appear to be an exceedingly rare combination.

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