2:00PM Water Cooler 7/21/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.



“Donald Trump Sets Conditions for Defending NATO Allies Against Attack” [New York Times]. Somewhere along the line, the Democrat liberal goodthinkers in the administrations decided that pushing our sphere of influence right up to Russia’s border — and underlining that with troops and missiles — was a splendid idea, and that defending Latvia was worth a nuclear war. Who are the crazy people, pray tell? (For Clinton’s decision-making on war, see here.)

UPDATE “[T]he Republican Party of Donald Trump is one that is openly sparring with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It has moved away from the party’s long-held beliefs on free trade agreements and immigration. It is not in favor of reining in Social Security and Medicare benefits in pursuit of more fiscal balance. It thinks the biggest foreign-policy gamble by the last Republican president, a war in Iraq, was a horrible failure” [Wall Street Journal, “Republicans Face a Fundamental Question as Donald Trump Remakes Party”]. “These aren’t small departures.”

“‘There has been some added components to [the platform] that reflect the issues that Mr. Trump has raised during the course of the campaign,’ [Trump campaign manager Paul] Manafort said during a press briefing at the Republican National Convention here. “We also call for reintroduction of the platform of Glass-Steagall so that would create barriers between what the big banks can do and avoid some of the crisis that led to 2008. … The Obama-Clinton years have passed legislation that has been favorable to the big banks, which is why you see all the Wall Street money going to her” [American Banker]. It will be interesting to see if “Mr. Trump” takes up this theme.

“Gary Johnson says auditing the Fed would cause a ‘worldwide panic,’ praises the gold standard” [Independent Political Report]. 


“Nine years after Hillary: The Movie, [David Bossie of Citizens United Fame] now is turning one of the biggest weapons of the post-Citizens United era on Clinton. He’s the newly installed leader of the Defeat Crooked Hillary PAC, a super PAC funded largely by hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer that plans to merge cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned opposition research in a push to sink the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee” [USA Today]. Pass the popcorn.

“Guest List Offers a Glimpse of the Money Behind Donald Trump” [Bloomberg]. Here are the lists. Enjoy!

“Big-name donors skip Trump event” [Politico]. “A motley assortment of friends are writing checks to the presumptive GOP nominee.” Let me translate “motley assortment”: Not in my Rolodex.

UPDATE “Peter Thiel’s Embrace of Trump Has Silicon Valley Squirming” [New York Times]. From the Department of Schadenfreude….

The Voters

“Will the Rust Belt ever be great again?: Bill Sternberg” [USA Today]. Editor of USA Today interviews voters in bellwether Stark County, OH. 

“Why I’m betting $100 that Hillary Clinton will be a one-term president” [Felix Salmon, Fusion]. “The most interesting Twitter account to follow during these conventions is probably that of Chris Arnade, a financier turned photographer who has been doing an amazing job both of documenting and understanding the anger and frustration of the non-elite, and of explaining it in terms the elite is likely to understand:

Frustrated with broken promises, [Trump voters] gave up on the knowable and went with the unknowable. They chose Trump, because he comes with a very high distribution. A high volatility. (He also signals in ugly ways, that he might just move them, and only them and their friends, higher with his stated policies).

Salmon continues:

[Clinton’s] technocratic agenda may or may not be a good idea, but it’s not going to resonate with the angry and downtrodden people who see inequality constantly rising and who have nothing to lose by revolting, simply because they have nothing to lose. Those Americans are not all old, and they’re not all white, and they’re not all Republicans.

Donald Trump has reinvented the Republican Party as the party of the angry and the righteous; his successor will be able to harness that anger to kick Hillary Clinton out of the White House. The Republicans might be a mess right now, but they will be much more powerful, and just as angry, in four years’ time. And there’s nothing the Democrats can do to stop them.

“A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that Texas’ voter identification law, one of the strictest in the country, violated the Voting Rights Act and that the state must find ways to accommodate voters who face hardships in obtaining the necessary documents” [New York Times]. This is big, but if the Democrat Party considered voter registration as a year-round party-building function, including getting IDs for the people who don’t have them, this wouldn’t even be an issue. Of course, they don’t, because their goal is not to increase their electorate, as their reaction to the voters Sanders brought in shows.


“All Trump has to do now is deliver the speech of his life” [New York Post].

“For Donald Trump’s Big Speech, an Added Pressure: No Echoes” [New York Times]. Teeing up the narrative… 

“Cruz gets booed after he declines to endorse Trump” [Politico]. “When it became clear that Cruz was not was not offering a direct endorsement, the crowd broke out in boos that continued for the balance of Cruz’s remarks, shouting ‘We want Trump’ as Cruz wrapped his speech.” Whereupon the Democrat Party establishment embraces Cruz, praising his commitment to principle, badassery, and so on. Same people, of course, who were screaming at Sanders to get out of the race. I’m having a hard time remembering a party faction, on either side of the aisle, that’s more entitled, or more nimble on what’s principle and what isn’t, and my political memory goes back to Reagan. Sorest winners in the history of the world, too.

UPDATE “Even before the speech, Cruz had traveled around Cleveland as if holding a parallel convention, meeting with delegates who had supported his unsuccessful candidacy. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the third of the final three candidates in the race, did the same, both men essentially questioning the legitimacy of Trump’s standing. Kasich, the home state governor, refused even to attend the convention” [Los Angeles Times].

UPDATE Shorter: Losers. More: “Cruz’s speech had the feel of Ronald Reagan’s famous 1964 address, ‘A Time for Choosing.” The appropriate trope, from Lloyd Bentsen’s famous riposte to Dan Quayle: “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy Ronald Reagan. I knew Jack Kennedy Ronald Reagan. Jack Kennedy Ronald Reagan was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy Ronald Reagan.” In fact, this snowclone is such a well-known cliche that it’s remarkable, or not, that the political press has not deployed it.

“Cruz aides made late push for Trump endorsement” [The Hill]. Rice bowls at stake, and just as good an indicator of Cruz’s future chances as the effusions of the Democrat nomenklatura.

UPDATE “When Cruz [at a rally for his own supporters in Cleveland] did allude to the presumptive GOP standard-bearer – ‘our party now has a nominee’ – raucous booing erupted for about 20 seconds. And in another bizarre twist in a campaign that has had more than its share, Trump’s plane with his name painted across its fuselage zoomed overhead at that very moment” [McClatchy]. Another one for the Department of Schadenfreude….

UPDATE “Ed Martin looked around his Missouri delegation and didn’t recognize half the people. Veteran North Carolina politicos said the same thing about the contingent from their state. … Delegates sit in their seats during the speeches, rather than engage in the usual lingering and mingling that’s always been a staple of these affairs. … Looking for a familiar face? Nominee Donald Trump may be a star in his own right. But on the convention floor, there aren’t a lot of recognizable faces among the 2,472 delegates. … This is Trump’s convention, all right, a gathering of outsiders and political renegades [McClatchy]. Republican focus grouper Frank Luntz noticed the same thing: People sitting in their seats to actually listen to the speeches.

The Trail

“‘One of the things I’ve been concerned about this week is we’re all sitting in our bubble, having a good laugh at this total, as you said, sh*tshow, but the truth is that this plays to a lot of people that he has to win to become the next president,’ Moore said of the chaos that has unfolded at the Republican National Convention, like when the crowd starting screaming about locking up Hillary Clinton [HuffPo]. See, I get email from WaPo with the subject line: “How Ted Cruz stole the show.” And then I actually read the mail (for a change) and it says that Cruz was “booed off the stage.” So who thinks he stole the show? Not the delegates, of course, but the political class. So, my goodness, I was wrong when I trusted a headline that a WaPo editor wrote. Some days, I wish the Acela would go off the rails and catch fire, with all the political class on it (with one or three honorable exceptions, of course. But still).

“Melania Trump on Her Rise, Her Family Secrets, and Her True Political Views: ‘Nobody Will Ever Know'” [GQ]. From April 27, but no doubt Brock has been poring over it.

Stats Watch

Leading Indicators, June 2016: “[A] moderately positive view of the economy going into Brexit” [Econoday]. “The LEI rose 0.3 percent in June led as always [!!] by interest rates, where strength is underpinned by the Fed’s low rates, and also by unemployment claims which fell in June and are falling further in July. Building permits are also a plus, and may be next month as well based on incoming housing data, as are stock prices which also may be a plus in July based on the market’s current climb.” But: “Econintersect believes the USA economy is barely expanding at Main Street level, and the growth rate has been declining” [Econintersect]. Handy charts. And notice the potential for financial manipulation at various removes: Interest rates, stock prices, building permits. None of that is “Main Street.”

Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, July 2016: “The Philly Fed is a widely read report for leading indications on the manufacturing sector but maybe they should consider offering a composite headline index as well as the general business conditions index. The latter, based not on a composite of components but the answer to a single subjective question, came in at minus 2.9 for July in contrast, for a second month in a row, to readings in the body of the report” [Econoday]. “The headline in this report has given two straight head fakes, showing strength in June that was not supported by the details and now weakness in what looks to be a very strong July. Taken all together, this report is offering hints of life for a factory sector that, held back by weak exports and trouble in the energy sector, has been no better than flat this year.” Hints. And: “The Philly Fed Business Outlook Survey fell into contraction. Key elements significantly improved and returned to expansion. The only other manufacturing survey released so far for this month was in expansion” [Econintersect]. “This is a very noisy index,” and sentiment-based. But: ” As is the general case, this indicator rose with the oil capex boom then peaked with the collapse in oil capex, and remains in negative territory” [Mosler Economics]. I suppose in a capitalist economy, it would make sense to look at capital allocation.

Chicago Fed National Activity Index, June 2016: “June was a healthy month for the economy led by a swing upward in production and a bounce back in employment” [Econoday]. “June was an important month for the economic outlook, reaffirming strength following what looked like ominous weakness in May.”

Jobless Claims, week of July 16, 2016: “Where are auto-retooling layoffs this summer? That’s the question, one that may or may not be holding down new jobless claims which are holding at the lowest levels of the recovery and in the history of the series as well” [Econoday]. Here is stat-by-state data [Market News].

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, week of July 17, 2016: “Volatility is appearing in the consumer comfort index which reversed the prior week’s surprising surge with a nearly 2 point drop” [Econoday]. “The prior result did not point to much of any Brexit effect on the American consumer while the latest result possibly does.” 

Household Income: “And the June 2016 median is now 1.1 percent lower than the median of $57,826 in January 2000, the beginning of this statistical series [from Sentier Research]” [Econintersect]. Best economy ever!

FHFA House Price Index, May 2016: “Home sales have been on the rise and price concessions are likely part of the reason. The FHFA house price index rose only 0.2 percent in May for the weakest performance since August last year and one of the weakest of the whole recovery” [Econoday].

Existing Home Sales, June 2016: “The housing sector is showing traction as existing home sales extended May’s gain, rising 1.1 percent” [Econoday].

Housing: “One in 4 online home searches originating in the San Francisco Bay Area is for a place in a faraway city, shows research published by online real estate brokerage Redfin, up from 1 in 7 in 2011” [Bloomberg]. 

Political Risk: “As the U.K. pursues its painful divorce from the European Union and Japan struggles to breathe new life into its economy, Goldman Sachs is urging investors to “take refuge” in S&P 500 SPX, -0.32%  companies with minimal exposure to international sales” [MarketWatch]. 

Political Risk: “‘If we were forced to make a choice between access to the British market and preserving the common market in Europe, we would go for the common market,’ said [Frank Dollendorf, director of economic affairs for the Bavarian Chamber for Industry and Commerce]” [Guardian]. “A majority of medium-sized and large companies indicated support for the EU taking a hardline stance against Britain after the referendum, with 56% saying they were in favour of the advantages of EU membership being revoked for the UK. The study also shows 58% of German business and political leaders surveyed said they believed an exit from the EU would do ‘massive damage’ to the UK economy, while 77% believed the referendum outcome would only have ‘minor consequences’ for the German economy.” As Yves has been saying.

Shipping: “There may be demand in the U.S. domestic shipping market, but companies have to look hard to find it. Major measures of freight transport activity effectively moved sideways in June, suggesting that retailers and manufacturers remain cautious in a slow-growth economy with little promise of a shipping surge heading toward the fall” [Wall Street Journal]. 

Shipping: “Union Pacific Corp. said its second-quarter earnings fell 19% as freight demand remains pressured, a trend the railroad operator expects to continue throughout the second half of the year” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “Cargo heads surveyed earlier this month by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global airline trade group, said they don’t expect profits to improve over the next 12 months due to a cluster of challenges that will continue to plague the business. Global trade demand remains subpar, and cautious businesses appear willing to trade down in transit times by choosing a slower transportation mode in return for lower rates relative to air. About 42 percent of the cargo leaders expect volumes to grow over the next 12 months, the lowest proportion since April 2009” [DC Velocity]. 

Shipping: “Global revenues in the global material handling industry will rise $33 billion by 2021 to reach $148 billion a year as businesses ramp up their investment in equipment to accommodate an increase in consumer spending and the fulfillment operations supporting it, according to a forecast [from analyst firm firm Research and Markets] released yesterday” [DC Velocity]. Makes me wonder if the financials for all those new warehouses we’re hearing about factored this in. I bet they did.

Shipping: “In as little as 10 minutes, criminals are able to create counterfeit security devices, such as cargo seals, security locks and keys” using 3-D printing technology [Splash 247]. “After breaking into shipping containers and stealing the contents, the thieves replace the seals with 3D printed replicas to cover their tracks – making it difficult to pinpoint the exact time or location of the theft.” I wonder if anybody could 3-D print from (stolen) fingerprint data, and use the printed fingerprint to get into smartphones…. 

Shipping: “Live animal export: Shipping’s high risk moving feast” [Splash247]. Ugly, ugly details, and large vessels pitch and roll worse than small ones, causing more injuries.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 88, Extreme Greed (previous close: 90, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 90 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 21 at 12:17pm. Awww!

Police State Watch

1968’s Pentagon Protest: “Despite knowing about the protest well in advance, penetrating the groups planning it and granting permits for the protest and the attempted levitation, neither the Agency nor the government did anything to prevent or de-escalate the situation. Rather than use the database of information about the personalities, psychologies and plans of those attending the protest to have personnel on hand to deal with and defuse any escalating situations, the government responding by pouring out of buildings armed with rifles while helicopters circled overhead” [Glomar Disclosure]. Yes, you read “levitation” right. Protester Abbie Hoffman applied for, and received, a permit to levitate the Pentagon ten feet off the ground. Lot of material in this post worth considering for Philly, I would say.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

UPDATE “Florida policeman shoots autistic man’s unarmed black therapist in Miami” [BBC].

UPDATE “Unarmed man shot by Miami police asks: ‘Why?’ says officer replied: ‘I don’t know'” [CBC]. Not a confidence builder.

UPDATE “Jennings to pay $4.7M settlement to those jailed over court debts” [St Louis Today]. Some justice for those caught up in the law-enforcement-for-profit meat grinder.

Imperial Collapse Watch

“US air strike in Syria kills nearly 60 civilians ‘mistaken for Isil fighters'” [Telegraph]. Oopsie, but another investment in the MIC’s self-licking ice-cream cone. Ka-ching.

“U.S. missile defense system is ‘simply unable to protect the public,’ report says” [WaPo]. After a decade of development and $40 billion. Ka-ching.

Look on my works, ye mighty:

The Looting Professional Classes

“Rahm Emanuel has addressed the nagging question of how exactly the city would finance the property-tax rebate program his administration had proposed to help counterbalance the record tax hike. It turns out the money received from the recent sale of the Chicago Skyway would be used to fund the reimbursements, according to an announcement made on Tuesday”  [Chicagoist]. “The city of Chicago netted a $20 million transfer tax payment earlier this year when the elevated roadway was purchased by three of Canada’s largest pension plans. Emanuel’s plan would cost $21 million if all eligible homeowners participate, according to the administration.” Heating the house by throwing the furniture into the fireplace only lasts so long, but IBGYBG.

Class Warfare

“Stocksy United [is] a cooperative, owned and governed by the photographers who contribute their work. Every Stocksy photographer owns a share of the company, with voting rights. And most of the money from sales of their work goes into their pockets rather than toward the billion-dollar valuations pursued by many venture-backed start-ups” [New York Times]. ww

“Virtually every career path constitutes what the cognitive psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman have called a conjunctive process. To succeed, each of a long sequence of events must occur. “Even when each of these events is very likely,” they wrote, “the overall probability of success can be quite low if the number of events is large.” Tversky and Kahneman demonstrated the existence of a widespread tendency for people to overestimate the likelihood of success of conjunctive processes” [Quartz]. Shorter: Meritocracy is a crock. As anybody who went deep into debt and didn’t grab the brass ring knows.

“With economic growth trending downward globally, many of the world’s largest economies are not converting what growth they have left into an increase in well-being for their citizens, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group” [Bloomberg (Re Silc)]. This chart is interesting, modulo assumptions about “well-being”:


Canada is beating the United States badly. Moar neoliberalism!

“The 26th wave of the Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS), the longest-running survey of its kind in the nation, finds that American workers’ confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement has maintained its increase after the record lows experienced between 2009 and 2013. However, retiree confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement continued to increase in 2016. While workers and/or their spouses who have a retirement plan have much larger savings and are also more likely to have taken steps to prepare for retirement, in the aggregate, only a minority of all workers appear to be taking basic steps needed to prepare for retirement” [Employee Benefit Research Institute (Re Silc]. “This move out of the not-at-all-confident group is observed primarily among those reporting they or their spouses do not have a retirement plan (defined benefit, defined contribution, or individual retirement account). Whereas in the recent prior years, increases in retirement confidence occurred among those with a plan.” Coincides, perhaps, with the demise of the long-threatened “Grand Bargain” (we hope). 

“How Japan came to believe in depression” [BBC]. “Japan’s leaders were rattled. Mental illness had gone from a hush-hush family matter to the focus of a workers’ movement. And what had once been a natural expectation that working women especially would “sell their smiles for free” – helping create the eager willingness and inexhaustible good cheer that Japanese customers have come to expect – was now being talked about as “affective labour”: emotional or psychological graft.” Big Pharma to the rescue, naturally.

News of the Wired

“On Wednesday, in what many experts are calling a milestone in neuroscience, researchers published a spectacular new map of the brain, detailing nearly 100 previously unknown regions — an unprecedented glimpse into the machinery of the human mind” [New York Times]. Terrible. If there’s one thing we know about the brain, it’s that it’s not a machine. My garden isn’t a machine. A stalk of grass in my garden is not a machine. A slug in my garden is not a machine, nor is the mycelial mat or its fungus. Nothing organic is a machine. 

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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 (CR):


CR writes: “Nature takes its course at a vacant mansion in Cleveland.” Looks like a White Columns burbclave abandoned by the franchise….

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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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. diptherio

    Here’s Stocksy for musicians: http://resonate.is/

    And Austin, TX, who is being boycotted by Uber in retaliation for a successful local initiative that put troublsome regulations on their scam operation, has recently seen the emergence of cooperative alternatives that do what Uber does, only better:

    Last month, residents of Austin, Texas, voted to affirm city rules that regulate ridesharing services like taxis, NPR reported. What this means, among other things, is that these companies would need to do background checks and fingerprints on potential drivers. Uber and Lyft had sunk $8 million into their public campaign to defeat the law, and boycotted the city in protest by immediately halting operations. Many users were dismayed to find their go-to mode of transport evaporate overnight. Meanwhile, countless drivers suffered when their new source of regular income was abruptly shut off.

    But their anguish may have only been temporary. In the absence of Uber and Lyft, alternative ridesharing services have sprung up in their place, The Atlantic reports. It had been difficult for new players to challenge the duopoly, given their advantage of having many drivers and customers already use their service. However, the two companies’ disappearance created an opening for other enterprises to emerge. In the month since the election, several smaller rideshare startups have attempted to fill the void.

    One of them is even challenging the very premise of having corporate middlemen coordinate the rides. Arcade City started as a Facebook group — which is still going strong with over 32,000 members — where drivers self-organize into teams to refer and coordinate passengers. The founders of the group plan to release their mobile app this summer — first to be launched in Austin in July, followed by a global version in August. The service will rely on blockchain technology and is designed to be completely decentralized, so that there would be no organization overseeing the coordination of drivers with riders.

    RiseAustin is yet another alternative. It’s centralized like Uber, but rather than being a corporation, it’s a non-profit. RideAustin’s organizers hope that their their nonprofit status will enable them to provide the best terms for both drivers and riders, without the pressures of having to turn a maximum profit for shareholders.

    In the midst of these new alternatives, the city itself has been taking proactive steps to boost driver-owned taxi services. Even before the vote on the regulation, the Austin Transportation Department invited people to submit applications to start a co-op taxi franchise, as per a report on KXAN. In May, Curbed Austin reported that the Austin City Council voted unanimously to approve one of them, giving a franchise agreement with ATX Coop Taxi. The city even lifted the existing cap on the number of permits the cooperative could have for their drivers from 150 to more than 500.

    Some argue that these new regulations were designed to stifle emerging ridesharing services. The fact that these alternatives have cropped up despite the regulations undermines these claims.


    1. Arizona Slim

      Take a look at Madison, Wisconsin. Where Union Cab has operated since the 1970s. Worker owned and operated.

  2. diptherio

    Re: Plantidote

    I wonder how many homeless people could live in that thing? Probably enough room to start a business outta there too…but maybe Cleveland doesn’t have any homeless people…yeah, that must be it. Otherwise, how could a huge place like that be allowed to just sit empty? Cleveland must be a real paradise…why didn’t anyone tell me?

    1. Carolinian

      The Tara look–once very popular where I live. Fortunately people are increasingly losing interest in old Dixie. Plus these sorts of mansions are not very practical in the modern era.

    2. ambrit

      Nothing says “Modern Middle Class” like going up to one of those columns and knocking on it to hear the hollow sound.
      Diptherio, please don’t suggest socially positive actions to the Masters of the Universe. It might shake their confidence in the Market Fairy.

    1. ProNewerDeal

      fw http://original.antiwar.com/larisa-alexandrovna/2016/07/20/28-pages-explained/ an interesting article by an investigative journalist Alexandrovna, implicating Saudi Royal & Gov elites including Bandar “Bush” in the Sep 11 attack.

      Sorry to repeat myself from comments in prior days, but how is this not a major scandal & story in BigMedia & BigPols? This situation alone should plummet the USA in the Press Freedom Index & increase comparisons of prestigious BigMedia like the NY Times as Pravda-esque crapified trash of unearned prestige.

      US drones just manslaughtered ~60+ innocent civilians in Syria because of the War On Terra TM. But hey ignore this actual Saudi Gov Terr0r financing & operational control of the Sep 11 attack. 0bama, an immoral incompetent. For those that say the Deep State does whatever it wants on foreign policy/MIC issues disregarding the President & Congress, well this means the USA is not the Greatest Democracy Eva TM but a milder version (at best) of authoritarian Fake-Democracy Turkey under Erdogan, & 0bama is a coward & ignoring his Constitutional duties for abiding this status quo, & not at least say cowardly anonymously leak such information to non-Crapified US Media.

      The enormous MIC budget that does a crappy job at its stated goal of Protecting America TM. It reminds me of the enormous US health costs at 17% GDP, that does a worse job in health stats (3 yrs lower life expectancy, etc) than the Canadian health sector at 11% GDP.

    2. ProNewerDeal

      fw http://original.antiwar.com/larisa-alexandrovna/2016/07/20/28-pages-explained/ an interesting article by an investigative journalist Alexandrovna, implicating Saudi Royal & Gov elites including Bandar “Bush” in the Sep 11 attack.

      Sorry to repeat myself from comments in prior days, but how is this not a major scandal & story in BigMedia & BigPols? This situation alone should plummet the USA in the Press Freedom Index & increase comparisons of prestigious BigMedia like the NY Times as Pravda-esque crapified trash of unearned prestige.

      US drones just manslaughtered ~60+ innocent civilians in Syria because of the War On Terra TM. But hey ignore this actual Saudi Gov Terr0r financing & operational control of the Sep 11 attack. 0bama, an immoral incompetent. For those that say the Deep State does whatever it wants on foreign policy/MIC issues disregarding the President & Congress, well this means the USA is not the Greatest Democracy Eva TM but a milder version (at best) of authoritarian Fake-Democracy Turkey under Erdogan, & 0bama is a coward & ignoring his Constitutional duties for abiding this status quo, & not at least say cowardly anonymously leak such information to non-Crapified US Media.

      The enormous MIC budget that does a crappy job at its stated goal of Protecting America TM. It reminds me of the enormous US health costs at 17% GDP, that does a worse job in health stats (3 yrs lower life expectancy, etc) than the Canadian health sector at 11% GDP.

      1. jsn

        We live in a muffled zone, samizdat is the only reliable information source: no your information providers personally, and click on the donate button.

    3. craazyboy

      Bin Laden was Hezbollah and good buds with Saddam?

      I think this is leading to a Putin Connection!

  3. Pat

    Earlier this morning I saw a report about how the Clinton campaign had spent over 30 million on advertising and the Trump campaign had spent nothing. And the reporter morphed it into a report about how this was indicative of how depressed fund raising was for Republicans and for the Trump campaign. Not once was it mentioned that without spending a dime Donald Trump was within the margin of error with Clinton nationally and in most battle ground states – sometimes even ahead of Clinton. Because of course that would make it obvious that no it isn’t a problem. It will be for Clinton, however, if she doesn’t keep up her massive fundraising as there was very little left of last quarter’s fundraising once she spent it on advertising.

    That might explain why Chelsea Clinton is pontificating on the wonders of her mother every twenty four hours in my junk email account. If the flurry of emails is any indication the DNC et al are desperate for people to foolishly pony up. Just don’t expect that the DNC or Clinton will remember that they needed small donors when it comes to law making and governance.

    1. RUKidding

      This is true, and you make some good points. OTOH, Trump has gotten million$ in free advertising from the fawning media conglomerates especially during the primary and even up to today. That’s a proven fact, which may be, in part at least, why there’s not so much crowing going on about Trump’s rise on “nothing,” while Clinton has spent million$.

      Disclaimer: I’m not a huge Clinton fan, but there’s more to that than meets the eye in terms of a huge amount of free “advertising” that Trump gets routinely from across the media spectrum, and which Clinton does not get.

      Just saying.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        More State Dept email coverage, Hillary’s ‘free’ media advertising will catch up with Trump’s.

      2. AnEducatedFool

        Trump is routinely LIVE on TV…He is always available for a quote and will spar with a pundit.

        Clinton will not talk to anyone about anything. She is not nimble on her feet and that will become obvious during the debates.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Trump would be smart to open as many fronts as possible in any debate, when facing such a not nimble opponent.

          Before responding to a Hillary question, he can ask many other questions. Goad her into ‘but you haven’t answered my question.’ That will trap her into over-confidence.

          “You define your own battle field. Don’t let people tell you what is should be.”

          1. fresno dan

            July 21, 2016 at 6:14 pm

            Your exactly right PrimeBeef…the person who does the interrogating controls the debate.
            And Hillary is a target rich environment. I hope Trump will not care about republican orthodoxy and make Hillary defend that American is now great

            What did you say in your speeches to Goldman Sachs? OR MUCH, MUCH BETTER:
            Why don’t you want us to know what you said in your speeches to Goldman Sachs?

            Was Iraq a success? did you vote for it because you didn’t know what your were doing, or because you thought it would help your political career? Will Iraq be a success in 10 years????
            Was Libya a success?
            Has the Obama team done a good job in Syria?
            Has the Obama team done a good job in Afghanistan?

            Were foreclosure laws regarding mortgage documentation fairly and scrupulously applied in the aftermath of the housing crisis? How was it that the Obama administration was unable to find one bank to prosecute – was that due to incompetence or corruption or is it because bankers all do God’s work??? Or do you think that everyone who got forclosed on got what they deserved….

            The questions are endless.

            1. sid_finster

              Don’t ask questions. Questions give her an opportunity for glib answers.

              Make statements and drive that wooden stake right through her heart.

        2. polecat

          Clinton has a case of ‘brain drippings’………

          you know…they never show us the tops of her shoes !!

  4. allan

    Philly police union slams Clinton over DNC speakers

    Philadelphia’s police union is criticizing Hillary Clinton for the lineup of speakers expected at the Democratic National Convention.

    Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to speak Tuesday night alongside members of Mothers of the Movement, a group of relatives of black men killed by police. Speakers include the mothers of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Sandra Bland.

    The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has accused Clinton of failing to include the relatives of slain police officers.

    John McNesby, president of Lodge 5, said the union was “shocked and saddened” by the scheduled speakers for the convention, which opens Monday.

    “The Fraternal Order of Police is insulted and will not soon forget that the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton are excluding the widows and other family members of police officers killed in the line of duty who were victims of explicit and not implied racism,” McNesby said in a statement. …

    Why, that almost sounds like a threat.

    According to this list, `Police and sheriff’s patrol officers’ is the 15th most unsafe occupation in the US and is fully eight times safer than the most dangerous, Logging. So I would be fully in favor of Mr. McNesby being invited to speak, after representatives of occupations #1 – 14 on the list.

      1. John Merryman

        I want to hear Bill’s speech. I’ll bet Hillary wishes she was married to Melenia.

        At least he won’t be plagiarizing Michelle with all that “your word is your bond” crap.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s expected that representative of occupation hazard #15 should speak up.

      That’s their job to advocate for their members, just as an attorney would do for his/her client.

      We also hope representative of #1-14 will do or have done so, as well.

  5. Alex morfesis

    The Russians dont even want Latvia…and if they invaded, no one would notice…at most the russians could spare 200 tanks…Latvians have over 600 thousand vehicles…it would just feel as though some large funeral procession was causing traffic…

    Crimea was an ignored majority Russian provence kiev used to complain about…as in providing nothing of economic value for the money the folks in kiev had to pay out for those “lazy” russians…Crimea is 65% russian…no Ukrainians wanted to move there…

    More people empty out of your typical sports stadium around the globe than would be involved in any clash in Latvia…

    Unlike the germans who had no colonies and too many people 100 years ago, Russia has plenty of places no one wants to go to in Russia…and no need to “stretch out”…

    Besides…Russians didn’t even want to fight over Chechnya, an “internal” part of Russia…

    but if the world can be convinced of a “threat”, american soldiers have to eat and make happy happy…
    spouses and family living off base…

    Greece has 500 internal bases and camps which feed many a small village…and which cause near riots whenever the idea of shutting them down is brought up…


      1. hunkerdown

        Biometric scans are typically hashed before being stored (blurb for typical SDK, challenges described in a typical research paper). Roughly, it’s a password that only your finger (and several million arithmetic operations) can approximately “type”, with a verifier that can calculate the distance of the entered password from the initial sample (through several million more arithmetic operations) and accept passwords very near the correct one.

        So yes, intelligence agencies can now forge fingerprints from any card they have. But it’s easier for the rest of us to just lift it from the mark’s finger or something they touched.

  6. abynormal

    who-nu…He tweets under the guise of @Brian_Bilston and uses the platform to reinvent the age-old form of writing.
    “The World Economic Forum has offered to make him its poet in residence, and a debut collection of his poems, the crowd-funded You Took the Last Bus Home, is due out in October. Is he tempted to cut it loose and publish under his own name? “I shall stick with anonymity,” he says, firmly. “I couldn’t bear the indifference that any unmasking might provoke.””
    Brian Bilston @brian_bilston

    thank you
    for your seal of approval

    I hope this will now lead
    to the removal

    of your sea lion
    of stricture

    and walrus
    of disapprobation
    2:03 PM – 20 Jun 2016


  7. edmondo

    So Ted Cruz refused to endorse Trump. Does that mean Hillary can count on the support of both Bernie and Ted? Remind me to never donate again to any political campaign.

      1. makedoanmend

        Yes, I do see a difference.

        Sanders did what he said he would do. In my book, this confirms the man’s integrity. He chose to use the Democrat Party machine as a vehicle to pursue the office of president of the US. He followed through on the protocols that were required of a contender through that particular machine. He endorsed the …”winner” of that contest.

        The, ever self proclaimed Christian, Cruz failed to keep his word. In short form, he lied. Very unChristian behaviour I would have thought.

        Bernie failed in this bid. But so did the the Democrat Party machine. The machinisation of the putrid party machine were revealed for all to see. The MSM’s bias was laid bare. The money interests lurking in between the people and their so-called representatives emerged for many people to see.

        We are given/demand circuses but we howl with derision, pain and anger when the clown cries at the end of the performance.

        Did we really expect anything different?

        Hope is vapid dinner date.

        1. AnEducatedFool

          Bernie was forced to endorse to get on the state. Bernie delegates will make this an interesting convention. I expect that they will insist on a vote and force Super Delegates to push Clinton over the top.

          I would love to see a 2nd or 3rd vote. I’m sure some of Clinton’s delegates would flip to Sanders.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Was just discussing that this morning about him being coerced (a year ago or, a few weeks back).

            1. Lambert Strether

              My thought was always that Reid threatened him with loss of the Budget Chairmanship if the Dems won the Senate. If you want to get legislation passed, or prevent it from being passed, that’s a good place to be.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          He did what he said he would do.

          Is there a parallel with the earnings expectations game corporations engage in?

          “Lower the expectation, then match or beat it?”

          Stock price then shoots up.

          Bonus time for everyone.

          “I said I would endorse months ago.”

          1. makedoanmend


            It’s people saying they’ll do what they said they would do. It’s not 11th dimensional chess. It’s simple integrity.

            Sanders entered into a situation with rules which he said he would follow. He followed the rules, as he said he would do.

            If the game is rotten or the other players choose to cheat or “interpret” the rules to their own advantage, one then examines the game and the other players.

            One may question Sander’s original decision to use the Democrat Party and its subsequent rules as a vehicle to the White House. But to what end at this jucture?

            Or one may take solace from the fact that a candidate in the 21st century, where wealth and a “deterministic” media have told us it impossible for such as Sanders, without mega-buck backers, should not even try to run for high office. Thousands of small donations and alternative means of communication, including old fashioned meetings, nearly brought the Democrat machine to it knees.

            Plus, Sanders showed how rotten the system is.

            Sometimes the apparent is just apparent. Conjecture makes poor solace.

            Time to put away the pen and the pitchfork, and pick up the spade.

            peas out

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              That’s still like corporations on Wall Street.

              They do what they say they estimate they will do.

              Judging by how people reacted, the claim is fine print…buyer beware or it should be in a larger font?

              1. craazyboy

                Hillary didn’t properly disclose she would cheat like hell and rig the election. Sanders made a good faith agreement. The DNC breached the contract. Bernie is no longer liable to comply with a contract that has been breached by the other party.


                1. aab

                  That’s true, but the cheating shows how hard it would be to win as a third party candidate this year, too.

                  Merely refusing to endorse her might feel good, but the most he could get would probably be a Trump presidency. Now, I think that’s a better short term outcome than a Clinton presidency. But maybe he doesn’t, or maybe he figures it’s better for the Clinton loss not to be hung on him and progressives.

                  I’m only going to be pissed at him if he actively tried to herd progressives her, rather than using his “campaigning” to keep talking about his issues and the progressive candidates that would implement them. Going to down to campaign for his guy who is trying to take out Hillary Henchwoman DWS is a good start, as far as I’m concerned.

                  1. craazyboy

                    I’m thinking Bernie might win a three way election. But all the voter suppression in place makes it unlikely for an independent.

                    ‘Course Bernie probably knew that better than any of us. So his long term plan seems to be remake the D party from the inside. Which may even be possible eventually because I don’t think anyone has tried hard enough. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll live long enough to see a New D majority in Congress. Not that I’m that old, either.

                    1. aab

                      I don’t think he was prepared for the full extent of the stealing. I saw him speak in California, the weekend before the primary. I was pretty close, too. He was on fire. The images of him since Comey’s press conference look like a different guy. He’s a tough old man, but being in the belly of this much corruption must be horrifying.

                      Whatever happens next, I wish people would stop excoriating him. He did something no one else was brave enough to do. He hung in there until there was literally no possibility of getting the nomination, and he STILL didn’t concede, leaving a tiny little crack open for the party do to the right thing. It obviously won’t. Word is leaking out about keeping the Bernie delegates separated so they can be bullied by Clinton delegates every minute they’re on the floor. There are allegations that blind Bernie delegates are being refused the accommodations necessary to participate, and that they’re going to dress Clinton delegates in Bernie shirts and put them in front to cheer for Hillary to “show unity.” Whether or not his Plan B works short term or long term, he’s not a coward and he’s not a fraud.

                      It would be great if Bernie played the role of Moses in this scenario. But watching the media scream that Trump is Hitler because he DOESN’T want to have a nuclear war over Latvia and hearing people who actually know the score, like Tom Frank, saying they’ll vote for Clinton doesn’t give me much hope for the near-term future. My mom used to tell me all the time about one of her professors, a famous theologian who I think had escaped from Germany in the 30s. The stories were all about that — the moral and ethical issues surrounding individual choices in a country going mad and how the wise ones were the ones who said, “I can see where this is going; we have to get out,” and how hard that was to do psychologically. But the only way that’s a useful parallel is in the example of how hard it is for people to make painful choices for the greater good, and their own survival.

                      The country seems exceptionally poorly suited to the kind of change that will come if political change is impossible. It’s always rough, obviously, but the way both neoliberals and conservatives have used racism to camouflage economic oppression in different ways while arming only one side of their victims seems like a particularly toxic set-up.

                    2. Lambert Strether Post author

                      > The country seems exceptionally poorly suited to the kind of change that will come if political change is impossible.

                      Hirohito Award material, here

                2. makedoanmend


                  Sanders abided by his word – not somebody else’s. That’s my point. His word is his bond. He didn’t look for a hypothetical get-out clause. My take: He’s old fashioned – handshake old fashioned.

                  A corrupt system can corrupt the everyone, given time. I imagine its hard not to be corrupted over time when embedded in such a system. (Meta questions: Are we all embedded in a corrupt system and don’t know it? Have we all made a bargain with the devil when we thought we were only compromising? )

                  You play the game with cheaters, you lose. As Fat Harry says, the statistics might tell you that a 100 snake eyes can be rolled in a row. Fat Harry, he’d just quit the game because he knows the dice are loaded. (N N Tableb)

                  As for the choice now available to US voters: phew – stinkers – no choice in a field of choices.

                  The game is rigged. TINA. Wot you gonna do now?

                  VOTE Cthulhu – Why vote for lesser evils – this year, new and improved.

                  1. mk

                    Lose this battle, continue to fight and win the war. not for you or me, but for our kids and grand kids.


                    makedoanmend, aab, and Lambert, I really appreciate your comments re: Bernie, thank you.

    1. EmilianoZ

      Yep, Ted Cruz went where Bernie feared to tread. Why do I get this sense that theres a lot more cojones out there on the right than on the left. The right is responsible for Brexit. The Reps think nothing of shutting down the gov’ment or blocking 0’s supreme court nomination. Reps voters defied the Reps establishement while the Dem voters gave us HRC.

      Are lefties constitutionally cowards?

      1. John San Vant

        The “left” didn’t support Brexit because “neo-liberals” were behind it. Notice, the opposite occurred in the 80’s. Maybe you need think a bit harder. Corbyn is hardly any EU lover.

      2. RUKidding

        It depends on whether you think that the things that the “right” did were good things or not.

      3. Arizona Slim

        I distinctly recall Bernie saying that his campaign would take the fight all the way to the convention. Which sure as heck wasn’t in Portsmouth, NH.

        And, as I’ve said here before, his endorsement didn’t do much to help Hillary. It did a lot to hurt him. Methinks that he’s serving his final term in the Senate and lining up that visiting professorship at Middlebury or UVM.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I agree on the date of the endorsement speech, but that’s not the primary focus for the broken hearts crowd.

          > his endorsement didn’t do much to help Hillary.

          You say that like it’s a bad thing. It may well turn out to be a poisoned chalice.

          > It did a lot to hurt him.

          It remains to be seen how the online stuff translates into numbers and on the ground; especially in the Canova race, and whatever is to come on the campaign trail.

          > Methinks….

          We’ll see. Here’s some information on Our Revolution, which you (pointedly?) do not mention:

          That organization, called Our Revolution, will help recruit, train and fund progressive candidates’ campaigns. Board members of Our Revolution and the education-focused Sanders Institute will include some “old hands.” But they’ll be led by several people under 30 who played integral roles on Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Jane Sanders, the senator’s wife and adviser who will oversee the groups. …

          Nearly 24,000 people have signed up on Sanders’ website for information about running for office or helping people run for office in response to a June 16 video address in which Sanders urged his supporters to take action. Jackson said the mission of Our Revolution is to use the energy from the campaign to get people involved in continuing Sanders’ fight for progressive issues.

          Staff members and other aspects of the organizations are still being developed. But the goal is to get them up and running the next few weeks.

          “We really don’t want to have any lull,” Jackson said. “We want to keep this going.”

          Sanders’ run for the White House this year sparked thousands of applications for internships in his Senate office. Nabbing one of the positions is harder than getting intoa top-notch college, one staffer said.

          Doesn’t “sound like a visiting professorship to me.” But what do I know?

          NOTE Incidentally, I’m all for organizing like this too, but the figure that jumped out at me was that the Greens got all of $500K in contributions after the Sanders endorsement. 500,000 / 27 = ~18,500, which isn’t very much on a national scale. I figured there was a reason Stein was citing to percentages rather than absolute numbers when she talked about her fundraising bump. We’ll see what they do with it.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It only hurt him with those who didn’t pay attention to how he had lowered the expectation on endorsement months ago.

          They either didn’t read the offering carefully or chose to ignore it.

      4. James Levy

        Is it guts, or just irresponsibility and lying that we are dealing with here.

        Cruz had a solid out: Trump had grotesquely insulted his wife and even more disgracefully lied about Cruz’s father being involved in the murder of JFK. That’s much more than a policy disagreement, or even slimy bare-knuckled electioneering (and do you extend “cojones” to the kinds of crap Clinton pulled in the primaries? I call it a disgrace).

        I don’t find what the Republicans do that you describe as displaying balls as being admirable. I find them dishonorable, and have no interest and stooping to that level the way Clinton and her minions have and do. That’s why I’m not voting for Clinton. She may have all the guts anyone could want standing up to those nasty foreigners, but I’ve got no stomach for that sort of macho posturing.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Apparently Trump read the text of his non-endorsement speech beforehand, and gave the go-ahead.

        2. edmondo

          And Hillary tweeted that we should all “vote our conscience.”

          Isn’t that sufficient permission for Bernie to revoke his endorsement?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            “Some of you bad boys have not been voting your conscience, but on BIll’s choice of underwear.”

            “I say to you, you’re my voting customer. And the customer is always right, even though you based yours on undergarment choice.”

          2. redleg

            No. But DNC support for Dear Leader Clinton, as revealed in their own documents, when their bylaws require neutrality should be grounds (fraudulent misrepresentation) for voiding any agreement Sanders made with the DNC.

            Lawyers- is this correct?

        3. Myron

          And Hillary getting on live TV after the fall of Qaddafi and saying “we came, we saw, he died” isn’t macho posturing? Tell me how many people die from Trumps mean words?

          1. James Levy

            Read my post again, especially the part about Clinton’s actions being disgraceful.

            Trump hasn’t had his chance to massacre Third Worlders yet. If you think he won’t, think again.

            1. clinical wasteman

              That should probably be: “read it all the way through for the first time”. Thanks J.L. for pointing out the unpleasantness — to put it politely — of worship for metaphorical “cojones” and the contempt implied for “pantywaists”, “girlymen” etc (political or otherwise).

      5. Martin Finnucane

        Self-loathing and deep-seated psychological insecurity among the proles is a design feature of the neoliberal order. The extravagant displays of comic self-adulation associated with cultural forms like hip-hop and media like Facebook are really just manifestations of this same self-doubt, though expressed through a superficial inversion. Think Kanye, who I think is deeply in debt now, just like the rest of us.

        So why do right winger types seem to stand a bit taller, even though their thinking tends to be trash? I think the rightists tend to feel themselves cheated out of something that they rightfully should own, and perhaps the lefty types don’t. That doesn’t really explain much, but perhaps there’s a clue in there somewhere.

        Of note: powerful left-wing movements have often been, at least in their inception, backwards-looking to an extent. Think Luddites.

          1. hunkerdown

            Not taking right-wing “reality” as immutable, for one thing. As soon as you accept their premises, economic leftism is reduced to putting one over on daddy. And Democrats love their daddy.

            OBTW, seen on reddit… https://i.imgur.com/rk5ALT6.jpg Looks like someone wants Bernie to have something to go home to.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I hope we can learn a lot from their tactics (not the content).

              Nothing sweeter than to use those lessons back on them.

              Anything we can learn from them?

        1. John Merryman

          I think that when you are talking millions of people, its more physics than sociology and the right/conservatives are more about order/structure/the past, while liberals/left are more about energy/expansion/the future. So the right is much better on the structure/order/consolidation stuff, but consequently subject to entropy and stasis. While the left tend to be pathologically disordered, they also tend to prevail in the end, because nature is not fundamentally mechanistic and ordered, but more cyclical and thermodynamic.
          As for the luddites, mechanization might be progress, but it is also very structured and such efficiencies naturally shed lots of surplus(energy/material/people), which collects elsewhere….

          1. John Merryman

            collects elsewhere….Radiates out, as the center draws ever tighter.

            Think cyclone.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            When you say, in the end, for those not very patient, how long does it take?

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              A better poet might have asked,

              “What happens to a nightmare prolonged? Does it linger forever like some toxic food in your body?”

          3. hunkerdown

            You’re casually equating liberals as leftists, which is 1) an error 2) an arrogant aspirational conceit on their part 3) calculated to erase economic policy from the argument 4) highly offensive to leftists. Don’t do that.

            Insofar as left and right are anything but two brands of corporate sugar water, a better paradigm might be that the left seeks a social order based on egalitarianism and justice; the right seeks a social order based on authority and the acceptance of injustice. On this axis, without the distractions of their precious conceits getting in the way, liberalism takes its proper place on the right half of the chart.

            “collects elsewhere…” which was exactly the thrust of Ned Ludd’s movement, a point so often airbrushed away to please delicate liberal anti-communist sensibilities and cheat the help.

        2. Swamp Yankee

          I would make the distinction thusly: despite the Right trying to appropriate it, liberty is much more naturally a left-wing value than conservative. The Left feels the People have had their Freedom and Equality stolen from them by the ruling classes, which are capitalists now. Look at the Chartists, e.g., political descendants of the Luddites, all of which is a response to The Enclosures.

          The Right feels that they have been cheated of their _a priori_ right to Dominate. Think of Italian fascism’s ‘sacred egoism’ and dreams of recreating the Roman Empire, or Wilhelmine nationalists desire for “a place in the sun.”

          It is a sign that the ruling class is losing its bearings when they can no longer reliably tell one from the other. (Of course, they are quite pleased with Class Domination, though they don’t realize this puts them on the Right.)

        3. redleg

          Many of them actually think God has a plan for them, which justifies their ruthlessness and makes them adamantly uncompromising.
          Progressives generally lack unyielding piety.

          1. dk

            Belief is the mind-killer. Religious or otherwise.. there, I said it.

            Belief is a substitute for knowledge, and a poor one at that. People become impatient and want to act before information arrives, or too lazy to parse the evidence (so tedious!). So we make something up to fill in the reasons, and chose our naive preferences…

            And then it turns out one can manipulate others with it (for fun and profit), and it’s off to the races. My belief is better than yours! You should use mine!

            But once one starts mixing beliefs with empirical information and its direct derivatives, the rational context gets polluted and stops functioning reliably. And it’s a real pain in the butt to take time out to re-evaluate everything and clean to the belief-cruft (there is a rapid method, but it’s very emotionally challenging/scary, folks freeze up, get stuck halfway through and end up even loonier than before).

            And unfortunately, we’re in a very real pickle now, and there’s no way out without pain. Brace yourselves, my friends.

            1. Skippy

              I experienced yonks of tube time et al where the opening quire was “what do you believe in” in of all things – economics, especially from the Austrians….

              Disheveled Marsupial… the gyrations one would experience when told that one does not believe, but – think – was a sight to behold…

      6. notabanker

        This may not play well here, but I think it’s a real mistake to characterize any of this right or left. This is about anti-establishment. Players on both sides are getting major support. Sanders has been well documented, Trump is playing this card and it would be a real mistake to dismiss Corbyn’s popularity.

        More and more people are showing up to vote for the “I’m not them” candidate.

          1. Skippy

            Yet isn’t that just another case of “public choice theory” couched in the vernacular of – everything is a market – where weirdly enough the once dominate market share is losing the plot over no longer being top dawg… because of ethnic, gender or skin tones sensibilities – ????

            Disheveled Marsupial… Persoanly I can’t find a lot of distinction between ethic – gender brand A or B save campaign PR… both will fold quick smart after the fact…

      7. Lambert Strether

        Cruz would have done this regardless because Cruz is what he is; a ginormous …. glass bowl (say it).

        I like the rhetorical question, reframing of “keeping your word” to “coward.” Remind me never to trust what you say, mkay?

      8. sid_finster

        Can you imagine us NC readers trying to fight a revolution?

        That would be169% pure comedy gold.

        1. ambrit

          Actually, the NC ‘crowd’ is in the middle of promulgating a “Counter Revolution” against the Neoliberal Dispensation. All ‘revolutions’ proper need a theoretical defining Dialogue. Vanguard of the Proletariat and all that.

  8. shinola

    Michael Moore & Felix Salmon have some interesting takes on this & the next election.

    Moore thinks that Trump has a good shot at winning. I read another article this a.m. (can’t find the particular one at the moment) about his remarks & it contained a quote to effect of:
    40 million angry white men are going to the polls and they will not vote for Clinton.
    He may have a point there.

    Salmon seems to think HRC will win this year but will not be re-elected in 2020.

    I think there’s a good chance which ever one wins this year will end up as a one term prez. There’s gonna be a lot of “voters regret” no matter who wins.

    1. Roger Smith

      Here is the whole Bill Maher segment that contains Moore’s quote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SeDjWOuOyY

      I like Moore and I like that he can actually acknowledge reality here, but he has been doing nothing but Democrat salivating and fear mongering since Clinton became the presumptive nominee. He cannot criticize Obama without patting him on the back. Which I do not understand because he is someone who recognizes many of the core issues. Maybe he needs a copy of Listen, Liberal

  9. grizziz

    In a quick response to the Trump interview in the NYT regarding foreign policy and not authored by Bershidsky, but a Bloomberg Editorial: the U.S. chose to dominate the free world’s efforts to contain global communism rather than rely on voluntary efforts from its allies. In part, this was out of a hesitation to re-arm Germany and Japan. But it was also intended to avoid the sorts of deal-making and coercion necessary to get friends on board every time a crisis or concern arose.

    Dominating you to keep you free for over 70 years, even if you can’t breathe.

  10. abynormal

    no comment bc i can’t think of one…
    The man behind the ‘Mercedes Benz of bottled air’ | Fusion: Entrepreneur Stefan Butz calls his product the “Mercedes Benz of bottled air.” “We’re German,” he says in a video on his website. “We don’t just bottle air, we engineer it.” His company, Salinenluft, sells air from the Salinen Valley, a historic spa town that people still visit for the special atmosphere created by the valley’s salt springs. Water from the springs is pumped over 20-foot-tall stacks of brushwood graduation chambers left behind from the town’s old salt industry. The salt water evaporates as it trickles over the wood, giving the air a salty “seaside” quality believed to have health benefits. For Butz, the air offers newfound economic benefits as well. Using a bottle rack rotating on a turntable, he collects the salty air in half-liter glass bottles, corks them, and sells them on his website for $54.39 plus $17.00 shipping.

    1. shinola

      Engineered air – how innovative!

      (Assuming this did not come from The Onion)

      There are apparently enough people out there with “more money than sense” that Mr. Butz thinks he can profit from this venture.

      Start up idea: Bottled NYC air for homesick ex-pat’s. You could even have various “flavors” such as “Central Park” or “Subway” or “Bus Fumes” or…

      1. abynormal

        Hilarious! so i looked up possible competition and i’m STILL w/o comment…Dec 2015 http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/chinese-snapping-up-bottled-air-from-canada/news-story/a7510ed0eacc2317bbebec85697311c2
        Vitality air customers are willing to pay about $20 for a 7.7 litre can of its air, which is 50 times more expensive than a bottle of mineral water in China.

        It also has customers in America, India and the Middle East but China is its biggest market. Most are affluent Chinese women who buy for their families or give away as gifts.

        But retirement homes and even high end night clubs have stocked their product.

        “In China fresh air is a luxury, something so precious,” Vitality’s China representative Harrison Wang told the Telegraph.

        Lam told the New York Daily News that after breathing their fresh air, pregnant women have told him that they have felt their babies kick for the first time.

        “It’s definitely not a hoax. I don’t think this is a play on desperate Chinese people — at the end of the day, people have the right to purchase whatever they want,” he said.

        1. abynormal

          “A CANADIAN who started selling bottled air online as a joke has now turned his idea into a successful business due to demand in China.” but “It’s definitely not a hoax”
          …watch, the kid will soon be PM

    2. craazyman

      If you get a bottle and try to pour it into a glass, wouldn’t the air just go all over the place?

      I’m not sure this invention would work the way you’d think it would.

      1. craazyboy

        But it’s still innovative, so that’s good. Even so, I think I’d order the French red wine for $54 bucks.

        1. craazyman

          At least you can see where it goes for $54. I mean really.

          Maybe they could put some smoke in the bottle with the air just so you can see it’s really there.
          They could raise the price!

  11. barrisj

    “If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve”
    Wm. Tecumseh Sherman.

    Tonight’s bombshell from Herr Trumpf…and Spence acclaimed as Pres candidate by voice vote, VP choice to be announced later…p’rhaps Kasich after all.

    1. Carolinian

      The NYT I believe had an article speculating that once nominated and having proved his point Trump would withdraw….and they were serious.

      A lot of crack being smoked in midtown Manhattan.

      1. RUKidding

        There’s been speculation all along that Trump was in it for a “lark” or to disrupt the GOP, and that if he was nominated, he wouldn’t run. I think at this point, Trump will run, and if elected, he’ll serve. It’s it up to the “viewer” to decide on the quality of his capabilities in so serving.

        My understanding is that Trump wants his VP to run foreign & domestic policy, while Trump “makes America great again.” hmmm….

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          When people introduce you to their family members, they are serious….usually.

          If everything goes well, the two parties can then call in their lawyers and go over the pre-nuptial agreement.

  12. Science Officer Smirnoff

    “U.S. missile defense system is ‘simply unable to protect the public,’ report says” [WaPo]. After a decade of development and $40 billion.

    Reminder: Hundreds of $billions in ABM systems over the (generations) (!)
    . . . Of course, name changes over the years must have cost (something).

    1. craazyboy

      Star Wars(AB Sats)…Brilliant Pebbles…if we start beginning with the Reagan era.

        1. ambrit

          Or even further back to the ’30’s and to that old reliable FLAK 88. In a pinch, the FLAK 88 could knock off enemy armour. I don’t think the Star Wars system could do anything against Giant Meteor 2016.

    2. Praedor

      Like MOST Pentagon/defense industry programs, missile defense isn’t really supposed to function as stated. It is 99% intended as a money-maker for a few connected people. The Pentagon clowns that push the program, THEY make it big, and the industry winner of the contract, THEY make it big. We the People make out as losers because we pay bazillions more for shit that simply does not work or is vastly more complicated and expensive than it needs to be (F-35).

      1. JTMcPhee

        And for those who snicker at that tweet with the pix of defunct and corroding Soviet war tech, let us remind ourselves that We Do It Altogether Different! WE put US excess and waste stuff where it is HOT and abandoned, not cold! (I do recall that the video those little vignettes came from also showed a bunch of US defunct military hardware presented as “Russian.”

        And our Rulers are now even eliminating the awkwardness of actually deploying and wearing out the shit we pay for: “New Air Force Planes Go Directly to ‘Boneyard’,”

        Hot and abandoned: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-02/worlds-largest-airplane-graveyard-high-resolution-now-google-maps

        And for more evidence of the fokkiing meaninglessness of the whole war schtick and MIC: “Tough Old Warship Takes Bombardment During Sinking Exercise,” http://www.defensetech.org/2016/07/21/watch-tough-old-navy-frigate-takes-bombardment-during-sinking-exercise/ Compare that with the fragility of the current fleet…

        Who cares? Maybe enough of the nuclear devices will operate as designed or better, and their crews will obey orders and launch them to Strike The Godless Enemy, so it goes…

        1. ambrit

          I’m presently worried about the nukes ‘locked down’ by Erdogan at Incirlik air base in Turkey. If the Tayiip Sultan gets his hands on any of them, it could be bye bye Ankara. (One teases The Bear at ones’ own risk.)

    3. Christopher Fay

      It’s not made to protect the public, that’s the way it’s sold.

      Since Cheney’s theory of Continuity of Government seems to be the operating theory of our present day government, when the central government says “security,” it means security for elite members of that guv, secure in their lives, secure in was profiteering, security by bailing out their friends the bankers.

  13. Praedor

    You are not a “machine”, nor is your garden, nor a blade of grass in your lawn, but the nano-sized molecules IN your cells, in all your garden plants, in insects, birds, grass, etc, are machines. Want to see nanomachines at work (literally)? Study molecules like ATP synthase, the motors that run bacterial flagella, or the little myosin motors that makes your muscles work. All the little nanomachines in your neurons (most shared by all cells whether neuron or not) that make them function are machines: the machines that transport neurotransmitters to their vesicles for release by neurons into synapses, the machines that recapture those neurotransmitters and shuttle them back inside to sequester them for their next neural firing. The nanomachines that attach to your chromosomes and move them to opposite sides of a cell before cell division. All little machines that each does a very limited, simple bit of action that, in conglomeration, leads to…you, me, birds, bees, etc.

    1. c.heale

      This seems a little strange. I don’t think a molecule is in any way analogous to a machine, or a nanomachine.

    2. John Merryman

      Machines require energy and radiate it, making them entropic.
      It’s more of a thermodynamic cycle, as structure coalesces inward, energy radiates outward.
      Life is somewhere in the middle, using structure to collect energy.
      The individual organisms come and go, future to past, while the process moves onto the next generation, past to future.
      We are just mentally adapted to extract order from the process and so think of it as mechanical. Yet even our thoughts go future to past, as consciousness goes past to future.
      While our central nervous system processes form/information, our digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems are processing energy.

  14. Carolinian

    Re Trump,Sanger,NYT

    Trump’s statement appeared to be the first time that a major candidate for president had suggested conditioning the United States’ defense of its major allies.

    The Baltic nations are”major allies”? When did that happen?

  15. Brain

    My philosphy teacher noted that these maps of the brain are nothing more than modern phrenology. At best it is just a description of an area being engaged in a brain activity. Analogous to watching the head of a person and seeing that it seems to be connected with the activity of talking.

  16. clarky90

    GQ Magazine Writer, says of Benghazi Victim’s Mother: ‘I would like to beat her to death’


    Then Bethlehem Shoals’ (the author of the tweet) apologizes. (I’m saaawwweeee!)

    “An Apology for Last Night’s Tweet”

    “Last night, when Pat Smith was speaking onstage at the Republication National Convention, I tweeted that “no matter how many children she’s lost, I’d like to beat her to death.” That’s what I said, and I accept full responsibility for my actions and their consequences.

    Why did I do it? It certainly wasn’t intended as a literal threat on a woman’s life. If anything, it was an extremely ill-advised attempt at satirizing the overall climate of the RNC. But with that kind of hateful language, an explanation just turns into rationalization.

    I certainly didn’t help the situation by getting defensive and suggesting that Twitter, vile as it can be, is already a hotbed for this kind of discourse, or by arguing that my track record and reputation as a writer could provide any exculpatory context. Because what matters is that I said it. And I wish I could take it back.”

    Here is the speech that so enraged Bethlehem Shoals.

    Mom of Man Killed in Benghazi Speaks at GOP Convention – “I Blame Hillary Clinton”


    Love Trumps Hate!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You hate someone.

      You then beat that someone to death.

      Depending on the victim’s category, hate can be eliminated post mortem.

    2. pretzelattack

      “no matter how many children she’s lost, i’d like to beat her to death”.
      speaks for itself.

    3. ian

      “I accept full responsibility for my actions and their consequences.”

      I’m trying to figure out exactly what that means.

  17. Pat K California

    RE: Shipping: “Live animal export: Shipping’s high risk moving feast”. Oh. My. God. Sure am glad I clicked on this BEFORE I ate my lunch. Man …

    I’ll never forget a construction job I had in my early years in Sioux City, IA. No, that’s not exactly accurate. What I’ll never forget wasn’t the job … it was the ODOR. My office trailer was directly south of one of the largest hog stockyards in the nation … a series of open air concrete structures much like multi-story parking garages that were filled with critters. Can’t imagine what the aroma must be like on stock-transporting ships that get “knee-deep” in shit … literally. The film clip included with the article was, uh … eye opening.

  18. tgs

    re: Who are the crazy people?

    The Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has chosen this week to unmask himself as a de facto agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a KGB-trained dictator who seeks to rebuild the Soviet empire by undermining the free nations of Europe, marginalizing NATO, and ending America’s reign as the world’s sole superpower.

    Please tell me that Goldberg’s article in the Atlantic is satire.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It would really spice things up when they then tell us China also has their candidate in the race.

      It will be Russia vs. China, for the Olympic gold.

    2. fresno dan

      July 21, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      missile gap….

      history repeats, first as farce, then as tragedy

      In case too obscure, dems prove they are toughest on Russkies, first Kennedy, than Clintoon….

    3. abynormal

      she never shook this off: “In 1975, the year she married Bill Clinton, she stopped in at a Marine recruiting office in Arkansas to inquire about joining the active forces or reserves. She was a lawyer, she explained; maybe there was some way she could serve. The recruiter, she recalled two decades later, was a young man of about 21, in prime physical condition. Clinton was then 27, freshly transplanted from Washington, teaching law at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and wearing Coke-bottle eyeglasses. “You’re too old, you can’t see and you’re a woman,” he told her.”

      humming… Looking for Mercy Street

  19. ewmayer

    “On Wednesday, in what many experts are calling a milestone in neuroscience, researchers published a spectacular new map of the brain, detailing nearly 100 previously unknown regions — an unprecedented glimpse into the machinery of the human mind” [Pravda on the Hudson] — so that would be “terra cognita incognita”?


    Reflections and Reader Comments on Free Trade: “China Doesn’t Play Fair!” | MishTalk

    Good grief – what a hot mess of illogic and attempts at ‘no reasonable person can conclude otherwise’ debate-stifling ploys. Mish writes:

    The logical conclusion of such an arrangement is the Chinese government is robbing its people for the express benefit of citizens of the United States. There is no other logical conclusion. To subsidize exports, every person in China has to pay a cost, via taxation, pollution or both. The winners are US consumers.

    Allow me to advance an alternative set of ‘inescapable logical conclusions’ (not the only one, either – unlike Mish I make no claim to infallibility): the Chinese government is trying to keep the economic growth juggernaut going, and a key part of that is keeping labor costs competitive with other low-cost economies, and keeping things attractive in terms of attracting foreign business and technical know-how, which have been key drivers of the global ascent of China Inc. As long as the government can convince workers that this strategy is also in their long-run interest, risks of a populist backlash against pollution and worker exploitation are vanishingly small, since one of the factors that makes China attractive for foreign capital is precisely the kind of ‘labor market stability, low costs and low risk of worker protest’ a ruthless central-planning-dominated surveillance state permits. On the US side of the trade equation, Mish as ever trots out his beloved ‘low costs benefit everyone’ delusion, ignoring the millions whose decently-paying jobs vanished as a result of this offshoring, the crapification-of-quality aspects, and the undeniable – because it is based on data, not dogma – fact that the economic benefits of this process have benefited an exceedingly narrow swath of elites at the expense of nearly everyone else. To not get this at this point betrays either profound ignorance or willful blindness to the facts.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Those unknown areas are brain-ghettos.

      On the other hand, didn’t they (whoever they are) say – just recently- that the imaging technique was not reliable and lots of results had to be tossed out?

  20. kimsarah

    Good news. Jobless claims down sharply:

    Source: Bloomberg

    July 21, 2016 — 8:30 AM EDT

    The number of applications for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, reaching a three-month low, indicating the labor market remains steady.

    Initial jobless claims dropped by 1,000 to 253,000 in the week ended July 16, from an unrevised 254,000 in the prior period, a report from the Labor Department showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 265,000. Continuing claims decreased.

    Employers continue to retain staff amid improving U.S. growth and a shortage of skilled workers that they’re looking to hire. Sustained low levels of firings also signal a strong outlook for the job market that will help lift household spending, the biggest part of the economy.

    “Demand for labor is high,” Jacob Oubina, senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York, said before the report. “We’re not likely to see a material increase in the trend for layoffs.”

    Read more: http://www.dailyjobcuts.com/

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      News must be good for Hillary to win.

      Now, there will be fewer angry white workers – presumably some became ex-unemployed in the most recent week’s report – for Trump.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I’m wondering why the auto plants aren’t shutting down for retooling. Lots of those plants being in “Rust Belt” states like Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana (Ohio being an important swing state, having been won, IMNSHO, with the auto bailout in 2009 (which was one reason Clinton was so insistent on lying about Sanders’ role in it).

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We have to check with Jim Haywood…an “all bad news postponed after November’ portfolio.

          1. abynormal

            we’re working him too hard and a portfolio of this magnitude could smoke his L3…it would be awesome tho. GoJimGo

  21. allan

    Roger Ailes, along with the former CEO of United who was paid $37 million
    for being forced out in the Bridgegate scandal,
    shows that mid-8 figures is the going rate for corporate malfeasance hush money:

    Ailes, who will serve as an informal adviser to Rupert Murdoch and no longer have an official role at the company, will receive a severance package of about $40 million, according to a source familiar with the situation, who asked to remain anonymous.

    In his resignation letter to Murdoch, Ailes did not indicate he had done anything wrong.

    “I take particular pride in the role that I have played advancing the careers of the many women I have promoted to executive and on-air positions,” Ailes wrote in the letter, which his lawyer Susan Estrich provided to Reuters.

    1. fresno dan

      July 21, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      I have only this to say:

      I have been (oh yeah, I lied about having only one thing to say….I bad) reading that it was Megyn Kelly’s lack of support and/or her affirmation that she was sexually harassed that put the shiv in, and gave it the fatal twist…

      1. JTMcPhee

        Re: Ailes departure — it will not change anything. He walks with a big bag of money, there’s a line of identical sh$ts waiting to take his plae, and so who the fokk cares?

        1. Jason Ipswitch

          Somehow I doubt that Fox News’ next head is going to have decades of experience as a Republican spinmeister. He will probably be an asshat, though.

    2. ambrit

      Instead of ‘showing Ailes the door,’ Murdoch could do us all a favour and defenestrate him.

  22. sgt_doom

    Regarding the Clintons, it is most enlightening to compare the relationship between the Kennedy Administration and the bankers to that of the Clinton Administration and the bankers to understand our present situation:

    President Kennedy

    During the Kennedy Administration, President Kennedy did everything possible to forestall the push for a global banking cartel, refusing their wish for an amendment to the Bank Act allowing for the purchase of foreign banks, step one in the establishment of an international cartel. (President Johnson would later sign an amendment allowing for the foreign purchase of banks.)

    President Kennedy would issue Executive Order 11110, to directly pump $4.3 billion of debt-free money into the economy, doing an end-run around the Federal Reserve (i.e., not owing them any money by not allowing them to issue debt-based monies, and the $4.3 billion, because it was debt-free, not being recorded as part of the national debt) and thus depriving them of entitled revenues (entitled as they have the money creation entitlement by virtue of 1913 legislation establishing the Federal Reserve System).

    JFK would also push for and sign into being the Interest Equalization Tax on the purchase of foreign securities, an attempt to motivate investors to amortize the American economy, and another drag on the bankers’ march towards a cartel.

    On October 16, 1963, Rep. Wright Patman introduces the Patman Report to congress, a report on foundations and trusts and how they allow the super-rich to hide their ownership and wealth. This will provide ammunition for Kennedy’s proposed action to tax offshore monies of the super-rich. [The Patman Report: Tax-Exempt Foundations and Charitable Trusts: Their Impact on Our Economy]

    On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy is murdered in Dallas.

    President Clinton

    With the Clintons the Great Leap Forward for the plans of the Global Banking Cartel is at long last here!

    The Blackstone Group, at that time the wealthiest private equity firm (private bank) in the world, would provide presidential candidate, Bill Clinton, with an office to solicit campaign donations.

    Presently, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s top advisor is Cheryl Mills, on the board of directors of BlackRock, an offshoot of the Blackstone Group (Blackstone . . . . BlackRock . . . . get it?).

    BlackRock is one of the Big Four investment firms which are the majority shareholders in the majority of major corporations in North America and Europe. BlackRock was the firm which oversaw the disbursement of the TARP bailout funds. (Vanguard Group, BlackRock, State Street and Fidelity)

    In 1993, the SEC — under Clinton — will drop the requirement for investment firms to report on the identity of the major shareholders. (This is to obscure the ownership — if you don’t know who the owners are, you won’t know who owns everything.)

    Clinton will sign NAFTA (actually version 2.0, after LBJ’s Border Industrialization Program) which includes a clause to allow for the foreign ownership of Mexican banks — previously only allowed to be Mexican-owned.

    Within one year 90% of Mexican banks are foreign owned, principally by US banks.

    Next, Clinton will sign the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act, allowing for full interstate banking — a major step in the cartel formation.

    Next up, Clinton signs the Telecommunications Act of 1996, allowing for the consolidation of corporate media and reconstitution of AT&T into one entity.

    The Investment Company Act of 1996 is signed into law, allowing for unlimited number of investors per hedge fund or similar funds. The combination of the potential for an unlimited number of credit default swaps, and an unlimited number of commodity futures purchases, and an unlimited number of investors per fund, allows for ultra-speculation.

    Next the Big Three: the REIT Modernization Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act — these together will set the stage for the greatest transfer of wealth in human history, the global economic meltdown (and kill the New Deal entirely).

    Years later, investigative gumshoe reporter, Greg Palast, would uncover a secret memorandum between Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers, urging for the inclusion of the “credit derivatives-acceptance clause” in the WTO’s Financial Services Agreement (so that the various governmental signatories around the world would accept Wall Street’s fantasy finance Ponzi scheme).

    Two highly important items which the Clintons failed at: the privatization of Social Security and the removal of the right of the individual to own a patent. The Clinton Administration had created a plan they were going to submit to congress to privatize Social Security, but the morning of their designated speech was when the Monica Lewinski scandal broke. The attempt to abrogate individual ownership of a patent was stopped by the outpouring of negative communications to congress when this became public. (This was meant to bring America closer to the WTO charter.)

    After Clinton left the presidency and worked as a lobbyist for various “free trade” agreements, he continued destroying American employment. For example, the Jordan-American Free Trade Agreement allowed for multiple factories to be offshored to Jordan – – not to benefit the workers there – – but for optimal profit to the owner, who would then hire the cheapest labor (workers from Bangladesh and the Philippines) to be brought in to work those factories.

  23. grizziz

    OMG, the pot smoking Libertarian goes Straussian.
    Gary Johnson wants to close the Federal Reserve down, but is afraid to tell the people. Pass the bong, please

  24. ewmayer

    Side note On Language – so I was just consulting my Mac Dictionary app (vintage 2009, claiming to be based on the New Oxford Dictionary of American English) to refresh my memory on the distinction between ‘rapine’ – forced seizure of someone else’s property – and ‘rape’. Both come from the same Latin verb rapere ‘seize’, as does the word ‘rapt’ (having one’s attention ‘seized’) and the term raptor as generic for birds of prey. But this dictionary’s definition of ‘rape’ struck me as somewhat quaint – bold is mine:

    The crime, committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with him without their consent and against their will, esp. by the threat or use of violence against them.

    No denying that the overwhelming majority of rapes are such, but not all. Not only are woman-rapes-man stories quasi-regular featurettes of the Fringe news variety, acknowledgment of this is not exactly a recent phenomenon – I distinctly recall at least one 50s/60s-era ‘Reform School Girls’-genre movie in which a group of bad, wicked, naughty, evil RSGs force a Clean-cut Boy From A Good Home at gunpoint to commit indecent acts with them.

    And thanks to the well-known phenomenon of the ‘reflexogenic erection’ it is indeed possible for (at least some subset of) men to ‘perform under pressure’ of that variety. (Aside: I’m quite sure there’s even a fringe p0rn genre of that flavor, though I feel no particular urge to delve into that, due to considerations of the “things you can’t unsee” variety). Similarly, women raping women is not unheard of, either. (Complete with its own p0rn sub-genre, obviously.)

    So, note to the OED ed-staff: If you’ve not already updated said definition, get to it!

  25. Carolinian

    In typical RINO fashion Trump disavows the Wise Use crowd. No wonder Cruz had to take his honorable stand.


    The Republican platform states that “certain” federally controlled lands should be given to states to control ― though it doesn’t stipulate which lands, or whether there’d be any restrictions on what states could do with them. There’s nothing in the text that would stop a state from turning a wildlife refuge into a Walmart, for example, or a Trump golf course. “The residents of state and local communities know best how to protect the land where they work and live,” the platform states.

    Yet Trump has indicated he will maintain federal lands rather than give them to states to control. “I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do,” Trump told Field & Stream magazine in January. He re-emphasized this in an interview with the Outdoor Sportsman Group: “We’re not looking to sell off land.”

    Works for me.

    1. aab

      This is precisely what I was afraid of, and precisely why DNC won’t cast her aside. They are counting on this sort of behavior, amplified by this kind of speaker.

      Yet this will not be enough for him to get invited to any of Chelsea’s coronation balls.


  26. allan

    July 1: in order to try to smooth the way for a new police contract,
    Seattle’s mayor Ed Murray (a Dem, naturally) proactively fires a watchdog who had irritated the police union
    by (sometimes) actually sometimes holding cops accountable.

    July 21: police union members overwhelmingly reject contract.

    Has anyone ever seen Ed Murray and Bill DiBlasio in the same place at the same time?

    1. allan

      More Dem backbone: White House to review ban on military gear for police – police leaders

      The White House will revisit a 2015 ban on police forces getting riot gear, armored vehicles and other military-grade equipment from the U.S. armed forces, two police organization directors told Reuters on Thursday. …

      Last year’s ban came after a public outcry over police in cities, such as Ferguson, Missouri, using military-grade riot gear and armored vehicles during protests against police brutality. …

      At last week’s meeting, law enforcement leaders urged Obama to reinstate military equipment such as helmets, grenade launchers and tracked armored vehicles to enhance officers’ safety and their ability to respond to violent riots.

  27. Stephanie

    Saw my very first Hillary bumper sticker today at the corner of West Lake and Hennepin in Minneapolis. It had the “H” with the arrow-bar superimposed over a heart and the tag line was “I’m fighting for her / She’s fighting for me”. “Hillary: Warrior Princess Wants YOU to be her Valentine!” was the vibe I got, but maybe I’m off base. Didn’t seem to be much background about it online.

  28. dk

    … if the Democrat Party considered voter registration as a year-round party-building function, including getting IDs for the people who don’t have them, this wouldn’t even be an issue.

    Tried for years (since the early 90’s) to convince them of this, but no. ID, bad! Demonizing Republicans, good! The big donors won’t support it! Well sure, if you’re not going to sell them on it… the consultants have come to see their job as herding the masses (through negligence, it’s cheap, through “messaging”, its a business) on behalf of the donors class(es). The dysfunctional conditions were/are more profitable than the functional ones.

    Of course, they don’t, because their goal is not to increase their electorate, as their reaction to the voters Sanders brought in shows.

    Yup. So much money in play, who needs pesky principles, except as a lure/foil? Sanders’ fundraising has revealed the emperor’s wardrobe. Very “see-through”, yet somehow not at all sexy (except in the mirror of course).

    Election integrity starts at the county level. The existing structure is still salvageable.

  29. afisher

    Interesting – Voter registration is now laid at the feet of Dems? Perhaps no one here has attempted to obtain their birth certificate and for low income people, the cost may be a factor. Well, that and attempting to figure out how to obtain and complete the required documentation to submit to the State that you are no longer residing in and the other documents that you need to provide them. All of which are at additional costs.

    Several years back, I contacted a local school district to determine what steps would be necessary to obtain a high school diploma and the cost and time. It took them weeks to get back to me (only one person in the office had the info).

    People here are assuming that those who want to register have all the required documents and access as they do.

    Please ignore the GOP program that looks to disenfranchise register voters as well. (The Kobash Plan) by using an national database to match maybe first and last (no middle) name to declare DUPLICATE voter registration,

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