2:00PM Water Cooler 7/27/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, whenever I put on my yellow waders and look at a speech, it always takes longer to extricate myself than I think. I’ll add some updates, but in other categories than the 2016 race, which is not, after all, everything! –lambert


“Virginia’s most powerful Democrats are all over the place on the divisive Trans-Pacific Partnership” [Politico]. “Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe thinks — or hopes — Hillary Clinton will work to pass a tweaked Trans-Pacific Partnership. Clinton’s running mate and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is now opposed to TPP, after generally praising it this year. And Sen. Mark Warner said in an interview here that he still supports it, with reservations, offering advice for how the dwindling number of pro-trade Democrats can sooth concerns about the pact.” Podesta tried to put the toothpaste back in the tube, but come on. Of course



“Live From Philadelphia: Thomas Frank and Robert Scheer on the Democratic Party Establishment (Video)” [TruthDig]. Play this immediately, while reading the rest of Water Cooler. It’s excellent, especially in making the point that the real action is in the hotel suites, where the bankers are, and that there are really two conventions: One in which professionals are networking to look for jobs, and another where people care passionately about electoral, as opposed to office, politics. (I’d embed the video, but it’s not on YouTube.)

UPDATE Thanks to alert reader Goyo Marquez, here is the video:

“Live From Philadelphia: Robert Scheer on Democratic Party Failures and Progressive Solutions (Video) [TruthDig].Scheer is especially good on how Sanders “shifted gears” in his two-part speech.

UPDATE And here is that video:

“If you cut through the caricatures and listen to the delegates, here’s what you learn: Most of them got a glimpse of what the Democratic Party could be, what it should be, and then they watched it slip away. They understand that Sanders won concessions on the platform. They realize he pulled Clinton – and the party – to the left. But the delegates I spoke with see most of this as cosmetic” [Salon]. “Besides, if we ask what’s possible, not what’s ideal, a Clinton administration is hardly a disaster for progressives. Given the systemic constraints, there are limits to what a president can do. …In other words, a Clinton presidency is not the end of the republic. Nor is it a death blow to the progressive movement.” Assuming that the coming liberal purge of the left doesn’t work out, it won’t be (see under removing Nina Turner’s credentiais; funny the party that’s not the white man’s party tossed a black woman, but let’s pass by the tiny contradiction).

“The only way to get [within screaming distance of the stinking portapotties outside the Wells Fargo centre] unless you’re on a specially chartered bus, is via Uber, which has paid for an absolute monopoly of the event zone” [Laurie Penney, Medium]. A terrific article, but that little detail made it for me. Fuck the working class Philly cab drivers, right? So many of ’em are black and brown. And while we’re talking about Uber–

“Beyond Clinton and her newly minted running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, she is deploying no less than President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker. Just to name a few” [Los Angeles Times]. “Every campaign has what it calls a a surrogate operation: big names that lend star power in the fall. But Clinton aides call these heavy hitters “the uber principals,” or “the ubers” for short.” Call my foily, but I my first thought was that crook Travis Kalanick paid the DNC for product placement.

“There are legislative bodies across the globe, including countries we often hold up as tutors in democracy, where elected officials routinely boo and get booed. You might even say it’s a sign of a slightly less than grownup political culture that we in the US react to it with such a charge, that we see it as such a taboo. It seems to reflect a kind of obeisance to the magic of authority that we typically associate with, well, children” [Corey Robin].

“For his part, Sanders could also claim a partial victory in the convention’s rules committee, where he lost his bid to eliminate superdelegates—the elected officials and party functionaries who have overwhelmingly backed Clinton this year—but forced the creation of a “unity commission” that could greatly reduce their practical influence in the future” [Vanity Fair]. Hmm. A commission. Who controls the membership?

“Bill Clinton Ignores History and Tells ‘Her Story’ in DNC Speech” [Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine]. “Now it could be that becoming the first woman to be nominated for the presidency by a major party is all the “history” Hillary Clinton needs, and all this convention can absorb. That’s the sense you got at the very end of tonight’s session, when delegates waved “history” signs as her image smashed a symbolic glass ceiling. But an abundance of caution would dictate that, on Thursday night, she make the case her husband did not: that she’s exactly the kind of history-making president America needs right now, instead of that history-making nominee in Cleveland who sought to brush her aside as yesterday’s news. ” Oh, shoot. I missed the glass ceiling thingie. I feel bad, because as Lincoln said: “[G]overnment of the symbol manipulators, by the symbol manipulators, for the symbol manipulators, shall not perish from the earth.”

“The Democrats Aren’t in Disarray. They’re Practicing Democracy” [David Dayen, The New Republic]. Dayen writes:

That excitement, even that disagreement, is a sign of vibrancy within a political coalition. The Democratic Party had a cathartic moment yesterday, an open debate between family members with real differences of opinion. It was predictably difficult, because it sprung from a real place. It mirrored life because politics mirrors life. And it shouldn’t be hushed up and buried, but embraced. Because the way to be ‘stronger together’ is to start by being honest and true.

Hmm. I’d argue that Dayen’s “open debate between family members” trope conceals the very real power relations in play and at stake, which enabled the Clinton machine to rig the election from the beginning. And I’m all for “honest and true,” but any “conversation” with Democrat loyalists needs to include that perspective.

“Tulsi’s Speech Nominating Bernie Sanders for President of the United States” [Medium].


“Clinton’s tepid performance with small contributors has forced her to rely on big money. Only 19 percent of her donations came from individuals contributing $200 or less. Wall Street is her largest industry donor, with $41 million going into her coffers. Her biggest contributors have ties to Saban Capital, founded by Univision owner Haim Saban. He’s followed by algorithmic hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, which has given $9.5 million, and the Pritzker Group, whose family founded the Hyatt hotel chain and gave nearly $8 million. Penny Pritzker is currently the secretary of commerce. The large donations have become critical as her campaign is burning through cash faster than her Republican opponent, Donald Trump” [Reuters]. The wealthy backing Clinton are likely to have some progressive ideals, including taxing people like themselves at higher rates. One such proposal, after all, is called the Buffett Rule because of its support from billionaire Warren Buffett. But with inequality ruling the platform, she will need to strike a difficult balance should she ultimately win the election.” Oh, OK. “Difficult balance.”


“The young people and minorities who propelled President Barack Obama into office have lagged behind the economic recovery he’s shepherded, with blacks and Hispanics continuing to lose wealth even as whites gained after the recession. That’s posing a special challenge for Hillary Clinton, who’s vowing to largely continue Obama’s fiscal policies even as she counts on his coalition to keep the White House in Democratic hands. Economic data suggest these voters could be ripe for the picking by Republicans — but for one thing” [Bloomberg]. “She’s running against Donald Trump.”

“Democracy Lost: A Report on the Fatally Flawed 2016 Democratic Primaries” (PDF) [Election Justice USA]. Not to seem ungrateful, but if this were not in a no-longer proprietary data format (PDF), but in HTML, I wouldn’t need a special reader for it, I would be able to quote from it easily, and I could link into it.

The Trail

“New emails [by the DNC class action plaintiffs,] discovered through the WikiLeaks dump show that attorneys from [Perkins Coie LLP] have given strategy advice to hurt Sanders, well before he dropped out. To add fuel to their claim, they’ve now discovered that attorneys from Perkins Coie are representing both the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign” [Law Newz].

Stats Watch

Durable Goods Orders, June 2016: “Orders proved very weak for the factory sector for a second straight month” [Econoday]. “Orders for civilian aircraft, which are always volatile month to month, fell nearly 60 percent in June, offsetting for the transportation group a solid 2.6 percent gain for vehicles. But vehicles are by far the best news in the report with nearly all other sectors posting declines and some sharp declines including computers, down 9.1 percent in the month, communications equipment at minus 2.3 percent, and primary metals down 1.3 percent. Total unfilled orders are a very serious negative, down 0.9 percent following no change in May and suggesting that factories have been keeping production up by working off backlogs which is a negative for future employment.” And: “The headlines say the durable goods new orders declined. The unadjusted three month rolling average declined significantly this month and is now in contraction. This was not a good report” [Econintersect].

Pending Home Sales Index, June 2016: “Pending sales of existing homes, which track contract signings, have been showing less strength this year than final sales, a factor that may limit disappointment over June’s thin 0.2 percent rise” [Econoday].

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of July 22, 2016: “Purchase applications for home mortgages were down 3.0 percent in the July 22 week following the previous week’s 2.0 percent decline, while refinancing applications, which tend to be even more sensitive to interest rates, fell a sharp 15.0 percent” [Econoday]. “The second weekly decline in purchase applications in tandem with increases in mortgage rates underscores the current dependency of the housing market on low-interest financing [***cough*** manipulation ***cough***].”

Housing: “[Lenders are] courting Silicon Valley workers with tailored loans, guaranteed 24-hour approval and financial-planning services. Social Finance Inc. has deals with Google and other top technology companies that allow it to market to new hires. First Republic Bank — which gave Facebook Inc. billionaire Mark Zuckerberg a 1.05 percent interest-rate mortgage — has opened branches in Facebook and Twitter Inc. headquarters. San Francisco Federal Credit Union will finance 100 percent of houses costing up to $2 million” [Bloomberg]. “Michael Tannenbaum, senior vice president of SoFi’s mortgage group, calls it ‘white-glove service.'”

Shipping: “Shipping companies may not get the help they’re looking for from retailers after all. The National Retail Federation’s new assessment of 2016 is more upbeat than it had been, but the retailer group says the big growth in the consumer market has likely already come and gone. The direction of the retail market remains a critical question for shipping lines, trucking companies and railroads as they look for stores to restock inventories and push more goods through their supply chains ahead of the holiday season” [Wall Street Journal].

Supply Chain: “Why the Fed may want to reach for the stock market’s punch bowl” [Wall Street Journal].

The Fed: “Why the Fed may want to reach for the stock market’s punch bowl” [MarketWatch].

UPDATE “The best-paid CEOs tend to run some of the worst-performing companies and vice versa—even when pay and performance are measured over the course of many years, according to a new study” [Wall Street Journal].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 80, Extreme Greed (previous close: 85, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 90 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 27 at 1:10pm. Whoopsie..

Black Injustice Tipping Point

” Baltimore prosecutors drop all remaining charges in Freddie Gray case” [WaPo]. Impunity.

Dear Old Blighty

“Note reveals junior doctor ‘walked out of shift to kill herself in despair of NHS reform'” [Express]. “Long hours, work-related anxiety, and despair at her future in medicine were definite contributors to this awful and final decision.”

“Jeremy Corbyn will set up a fund to help people on low incomes become Labour MPs” [Independent]. What a good idea. I’m surprised the Democrats don’t do it.

“Labour MP who quit Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench during leadership coup becomes first to return” [Telegraph]. Snicker.

“High Court challenge to Jeremy Corbyn” [Financial Times]. “The case turns on the controversial decision by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) which voted by a majority of 18-14 on July 12 that the rules enabled Mr Corbyn to bypass the nomination stage and go straight on to the leadership ballot papers.” 18-14? Hmm.

Class Warfare

UPDATE “Interview: Busting the Myths of a Workerless Future” [PortSide].

You argue that the “gig economy” and “precarious work” concepts miss the mark because they don’t get at the most concerning change: the rise of the crappy-job economy. Can you talk about what’s changed for workers and why?

The first change is work intensification. Work has gotten dramatically harder in the last 30 years or so, and continues to.

That’s happened through lean production, which reduces the amount of labor to produce the same or greater amount of product or service and is tied to just-in-time production. Lean production began in the automobile industry in the 1980s, but now it is everywhere. It’s in hospitals, it’s in schools.

Another aspect is electronic and biometric monitoring, measuring, and surveillance, which allow employers to see how to get more work literally out of each minute. Another aspect is that the amount of break time has fallen dramatically since the ’80s.

UPDATE “The world is growing taller — but very unevenly” [Financial Times]. Now the US is being outstripped by the Netherlands and Scandinavians. “Height is strongly influenced by nutritional and environmental factors, including maternal health before birth and diet during childhood, though genes play a role too. In general, taller people tend to suffer less disease and to live longer, though research shows that greater height may carry some health risks including more susceptibility to prostate and ovarian cancer.” Goodness. I wonder if the advantages of nutritional and environmental factors are evenly distributed?

UPDATE “What Are Young Non-Working Men Doing?” [The Atlantic]. “Erik Hurst, an economist at the University of Chicago, is now conducting research that suggests that non-college men who aren’t in the labor market are spending a considerable amount of their time in front of screens,” i.e. video games. “But one possible lesson of this election is that feelings of cultural isolation and economic despondency are ingredients in a noxious and unpredictable compound, which can combust in surprising ways. Another mix may be brewing.”

UPDATE “Evolution Is Happening Faster Than We Thought” [New York Times]. “For a long time, biologists thought evolution was a very, very slow process, too tardy to be observed in a human lifetime. But recently, we have come to understand that evolution can happen very quickly, as long as natural selection — the relative benefit that a particular characteristic bestows on its bearer — is strong. And where else to find such strong natural selection than in the heart of a big city?” The study is about birds. But what if we focused on, say, working people when “natural selection” was working “strongly” through the (rigged) market? (See Rule #2 of “Neoliberalism Expressed as Simple Rules.”)

UPDATE “Mr Spence’s flagship contribution was a 1973 paper called ‘Job Market Signalling’ that looked at the labour market. Employers may struggle to tell which job candidates are best. Mr Spence showed that top workers might signal their talents to firms by collecting gongs, like college degrees. Crucially, this only works if the signal is credible: if low-productivity workers found it easy to get a degree, then they could masquerade as clever types” [The Economist, “Secrets and agents”]. So if the old school tie is really expensive, that sure sorts out the riff-raff, doesn’t it?

News of the Wired

“Why poetry is good for the rational mind” [New Humanist].

“Statement” [The Tor Project]. “The investigation is now complete. Many people inside and outside the Tor Project have reported incidents of being humiliated, intimidated, bullied and frightened by Jacob, and several experienced unwanted sexually aggressive behavior from him. Some of those incidents have been shared publicly, and some have not. The investigation also identified two additional people as having engaged in inappropriate conduct, and they are no longer involved with the Tor Project.” Yikes.

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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 (Lee):


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!

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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. Higgs Boson

    “New emails [by the DNC class action plaintiffs,] discovered through the WikiLeaks dump show that attorneys from [Perkins Coie LLP] have given strategy advice to hurt Sanders, well before he dropped out. To add fuel to their claim, they’ve now discovered that attorneys from Perkins Coie are representing both the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign”

    Bernie kissed the Queen’s ring so that’s all sleeping dogs in the past. It’s all about stopping the big bad boogey man TRUMP now! Stop being “ridiculous”!

    1. James Levy

      Sanders thinks that Trump is worse than Clinton. You can agree with his reasoning or not. But I am sure he does believe it, and since he does, he is acting accordingly. Personally, I would prefer he back Jill Stein, who actually agrees with him on several key issues. But Sanders obviously sees that as a bad, useless, or pointlessly quixotic move. Anyway, it’s irrelevant. Not only are no minds being changed at this point, no useful conversation is taking place. Clinton supporters are demonizing Trump, and Trump supporters are returning the favor.

      And anyone on the “other side” is just plain stupid and evil.

      Not a good place for a Republic to find itself in.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Permit me to suggest a different way of dealing with Trump supporters:


        That’s right. Compassion.

        Face it, a lot of them are hurting. Their incomes have been flat or declining for years. They’re having a tough time getting and keeping jobs. And Trump zeroes in on these and other problems.

        IMHO, mocking Trump supporters is counterproductive.

        1. DanB

          “IMHO, mocking Trump supporters is counterproductive.” IOW: it will make them believe in him all the more.

        2. David S


          The amount of sneering and condescension aimed at Trump supporters in my Facebook feed alone every day is saddening.

          1. Bunk McNulty

            The amount of sneering and condescension aimed at Sanders supporters in my FB feed who refuse to eat the Clinton dogfood is maddening.

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            Plenty of condescension comin’ Sanders supporters’ way too.

            Smilin’ joe biden used his signature, syrupy “C’mon, man” this morning when suggesting that Sanders supporters “worked real hard” and were “real passionate.” Too bad they got crushed and Sanders became a collaborator.

            In his “expert” opinion, they should be given some “time.” If they’re just talked “at” properly, they’ll see the writing on the wall.

            If they don’t, fuck ’em and the horse they rode in on.

            1. Gee

              Yup, and today they got Tom “the tool” Ferguson to jump on the bandwagon with another absurd column that conflated Bernie’s ideas with those of a literal wanna-be Wallbuilder candidate. The argument, we cant AFFFOOORRD Bernie’s ideas. Makes no sense when you think what we pay now for substandard health care. Oh, and Tom says we cant “choke off” risk taking. Really? Instead, we should let the benefits of that risk taking accrue only to the top slice of the populus, and have all the risk and cost land on the heads of everyone else.

              The guy is such a disingenuous windbag and produces nothing of value, yet wants to think himself part of the Web class. He is completely valueless. In fact, he is a destroyer of value, since he is a destroyer of people.

              Read it and weep : http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/27/opinion/web-people-vs-wall-people.html

              1. jrs

                Oh I have a nice duality slogan for today, today the world is wall people versus web people! Trade agreements are open systems! (even though many oppose them precisely because they block the ability of democracy to have an impact and instead impose an unalterable corporate dictatorship and btw how open is I.P. anyway?)

                “that to be in the middle class, just working hard and playing by the rules doesn’t cut it anymore. To have a lifelong job, you need to be a lifelong learner, constantly raising your game.”

                Go F yourself Tom. How are people to do what they really need to do to be HUMAN BEINGS if they are are forever off chasing some raising the game phantom? This might be raising their children should they choose to have them (of course with world population not everyone should). Taking care of old people. Learning things that can’t be quickly monetized (including politics). While we may need money to live at present these not money or the learning directed toward earning money are peoples true responsibilities to life. Not spending one’s whole life chasing some “lifelong learning” phantom. Only someone who has already sold their soul loses the ability to see this.

                I know you have Tom: go F yourself you sold out shallow soulless scum.

              2. John Wright

                Correction, your “Ferguson” should be “Friedman”.

                “Tom Ferguson” got me to click on the link, dropping me into a Friedman column with no advance warning..

                1. craazyboy

                  Thanks for flagging that. I had already filed away in my head we had another defector to the dark side.

                2. JoeK

                  I really thought it was a different writer but my immediate reaction to reading the simplistic dichotomy in the URL was “what a Friedmanism”…sure enough…

              3. John Wright

                I read through this Friedman column and wanted to have it close with.

                “This is my last column, the New York Times has been reading my columns and determined that via H1-B visas (as I advised “immigration that attracts the most energetic and smartest minds”) the Times can replace me with several extremely talented Asian writers at one tenth the cost.”

                Sadly, the column didn’t end that way..

                Friedman should realize that without walls/borders/industrial policies/trade policies and restricted immigration policies, labor and capital will freely flow between low wage regions and high wage regions normalizing the price of labor world wide, except, as we’ve seen recently, the price of labor of those in power who control/influence policy decisions (like Friedman).

                His goal appears to be to drive down US wages, except for the business/financial and government revolving door elite.

                His always pushes for more globalization, encourages more labor migration and insinuates that if one does not have a high wage job, it is one’s own damn fault for not anticipating the training one needed for one of the (currently) high wage jobs.

                This advice is from an “expert” Foreign Affairs columnist who wrote on March 2, 2003 about the possible Iraq War: “My wife opposes this war, but something in Mr. Bush’s audacious shake of the dice appeals to me.”

                Without the Iraq War he advocated for, the USA might have a better infrastructure to support better jobs with the 2-3 trillion otherwise dropped in the Mideast.

                Welcome to the writing world of Tom Friedman, where poorly reasoned, elite-pleasing writing is rewarded with secure high pay.

                1. Pavel

                  Never forget his “Iraq, suck on this!” comment in a TV interview…

                  I refuse to read his column but if he is in fact claiming we can’t afford Bernie’s proposals, how’s that $3 trillion and growing expense for the Iraq/Afghan adventures he endorsed look?

                  Always money for war — that applies to the Dems as well as the Repubs.

        3. Lee

          ” ….humans appear to have some need to look down on someone; there’s just a basic tribalistic impulse in all of us. And if you’re an elite white professional, working class whites are an easy target: you don’t have to feel guilty for being a racist or a xenophobe. By looking down on the hillbilly, you can get that high of self-righteousness and superiority without violating any of the moral norms of your own tribe. So your own prejudice is never revealed for what it is.”

          J.D Vance (http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/trump-us-politics-poor-whites/)

          1. Carolinian

            Just reading your link, which is good. The final conclusion

            The November election strikes me as little more than a referendum on whose tribe is bigger.

            sounds about right.

            And the basic thrust–that Trump is in many ways on the right track even if he himself is deeply flawed–also sounds right. Perhaps what people are looking for, above all else, is something different. There has to be an alternative to ‘there is no alternative.’

        4. fosforos

          And very frequently racist as well (I wish that “white working class” would be called “the W word” and treated with all the respect given to “the N word.”)

        5. James Levy

          I don’t see much compassion for the many black people and older women who voted for Hillary Clinton around here. They were categorized as dupes and fools. And few people around here find it difficult to mock Clinton supporters.

          Which was my point.

          1. Carolinian

            It’s not just Trump. When Sanders talked about this at the beginning of his run he said he would end up supporting the Dem nominee over “some Republican.” Back then there was no reason to believe Trump would get the nomination.

            Which is to say he had already then made the decision that Hillary was better than any Republican. He has always been on board with lesser evilism and that’s why he didn’t run as an independent in the first place. This Manichaean view of our political landscape is what keeps the duopoly alive. Sanders said he didn’t want to be a Nader and indeed Nader’s 2000 view that there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the Dems and Repubs is nothing like Sanders’ notion that the Dems could be reformed.

        6. inode_buddha

          I’m here for the same reason that the Trump supporters are over there. For the same reasons that you stated. The Big Hurting is bipartisan.

        7. SpringTexan

          Agree. And though some are as awful and racist as Trump who really IS a horrible person, many are NOT as hateful as he and as Michael Moore points out vote for him for similar reasons as people voted for Jesse Ventura. Bad decision, but treating people with disrespect and contempt and mockery is a poor idea.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        One thing we do forget about Sanders is that although his father, Elias Sanders, emigrated to the United States from Poland in 1921, many of his relatives who remained were killed in the Holocaust.

        So, speaking of Fascism…

      3. Buttinsky

        “Personally, I would prefer he back Jill Stein, who actually agrees with him on several key issues. But Sanders obviously sees that as a bad, useless, or pointlessly quixotic move.”

        Personally, I find that deeply troubling when it comes to assessing Sanders the man. After all, he campaigned to attract, relied on, took money from, quixotic people who would take exactly that principled but wildly unlikely chance on him and the policies he espoused.

        1. James Levy

          Not if he truly believes that Trump will be a catastrophe worse than Clinton. About that he could certainly be wrong, but I can tell from the tone in his voice when he utters the name “Trump” that he despises the guy more than he dislikes Clinton, who he knows from her time in Congress.

          1. Buttinsky

            What I find discouraging — not to mention pointless and quixotic at this juncture — is the continuing attempt to salvage Bernie Sanders’s misplaced halo in the face of problems created by his own decision-making. Let’s leave aside for the moment the issue of how he endorsed Hillary Clinton, the enthusiastic dishonesty (“Hillary Clinton understands…”). Let’s focus instead on the fact Lambert Strether always stresses, that Bernie always promised to endorse Hillary. This argument concedes that’s Bernie’s actions would have unfolded exactly as they have, regardless of whichever particular Republican boogeyman —Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz (a lot scarier than Donald Trump) — happened to be confronting Hillary now. And the priority would still be to get Hillary across the finish line. Is anyone seriously arguing that his followers would have been spared the “Hillary Clinton understands” humiliation if, say, John Kasich had been the Republican nominee?

            So why the fuck did he make Hillary a weaker candidate — as he undeniably and predictably has done — by challenging her in the first place? Or having started out, why didn’t he drop out months ago when he was trailing both in the delegate count and the polls among Democrats— especially after it was clear that Trump would likely be the Republican candidate — rather than keep depicting Hillary as the candidate of the one percent, demanding those Goldman Sachs transcripts, squabbling with the DNC, etc. (even though he did pull some punches)? The outrageous DNC emails now start to look perfectly understandable in their expression of exasperation with Bernie. His revolutionary zeal has put him in the ridiculous and perhaps futile position of presuming to tell his more committed and consistent revolutionaries that revolution is not “realistic,” that “incrementalism” is the path forward after all. As others have noted, the revolution will have to continue despite him. And despite my admiration for what he has accomplished, his supporters have every right to feel betrayed by his decision that his promise to battle for the people against the one percent (a battle arguably more feasible against a President Donald Trump than a President Hillary Clinton) turned out to be less important than his promise to endorse Hillary Clinton. That decision calls into question not the realism of any of his followers, but his own wisdom and character.

            I say this not as a Democrat — I’m glad he made Clinton so palpably unacceptable, it’s one of his accomplishments — but as someone who regrets that the revolution, if there is to actually be one, will now have to go forward without Bernie.

            1. timbers

              Glenn Greenwald said Bush may be the greater evil but Obama is the more effective evil. One could say Clinton is the more effective evil but I’m not sure Trump is the greater evil.

      4. EmilianoZ

        We must also consider the possibility that Trump is an excuse for Sanders to back Hillary. Being a man of integrity, his conscience must gnaw at him for his betrayal of millions of people, mostly modest people could barely afford to donate to his campaign. What Trump offers him is a way to rationalize this betrayal. The betrayal was necessary because Trump.

        As Nietzsche said, we all live within our illusions and little lies. Nobody can stand the pure naked truth.

      5. jgordon

        The way polls have been moving the past couple of days seems to show that you are incorrect. Plenty of people are just now deciding to break for Trump.

        About no useful conversations taking place, that’s probably correct. How can you have meaningful dialogue between two inveterate liars?

        1. jrs

          Yea regardless noone is going to get what most of us need which is someone like Sanders, at least not anytime soon. In the long run maybe. But how many people are so close to the edge that they really are: well but …in the long run we’re all dead!!! Long run movements are as easier sell to non-desperate people.

          A Republic that can not actually respond to the masses of it’s people will find itself here regardless, and it’s not primarily the fault of the masses dialogue no matter how futile it may be.

    2. grayslady

      That short list of parties Perkins Coie represents is just the tip of the iceberg. From the Perkins Coie website on Marc Elias (one of those emailing the DNC on how to eviscerate Bernie):

      “Marc is currently general counsel to Hillary for America, the presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton. He served in the same role for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. Marc’s clients include the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democratic Governors Associations and U.S. senators, governors, representatives and their campaigns.”

      Can you say “major conflicts of interest”?

      Furthermore, the Dem stupidity in how to manage organizations is enormous. Any self-respecting Fortune 500 company, for example, uses numerous white shoe law firms for representation in order to preclude one of those law firms from representing a potential opposing plaintiff. The white shoe firm simply claims conflict of interest issues in representing the possible plaintiff. The Dems, however, not only put all their eggs in one basket but ensured potential conflicts by having numerous individual Dems (including Al Franken, Harry Reid, and Maria Cantwell) represented by Perkins Coie, but also numerous Dem organizations.

      1. Code Name D

        Not a bug, its a feature. It’s how the establishment keeps watch over their minions. Say or do the wrong thing, and there is literally no place for you go to accept the unemployment line. And you can bet there is plenty of coordination “not” taking place between these clients.

        One of the theories floated by Bernie activist is that he had Clinton insiders at work at nearly every level of his campaign. More than likely, he used the same firm to handle his organizing needs.

        1. Arizona Slim

          I heard that rumor here in AZ. More than once, in fact.

          And, while I’m on this topic, I can’t say that I was all that impressed with the Sanders campaign staffers who were assigned to Southern Arizona.

          Were they Clinton plants? I have no idea. But I find it hard to believe that their lack of competence was solely due to their youthfulness.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            What would have impressed you? In what way were your expectations not met? (I’ve also heard that the staffers parachuted in to South Carolina didn’t know how to connect to the locals, but I also hear that no staffers are hardly ever effective. It just goes with the territory. The circus comes to town, and then it goes away.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Local Democratic enthusiast: Hello, I’m Xbox and several of my neighbors are important Republicans who would be impressed if I had a yard sign or 2.

              Field organizer: Do you want to volunteer?

              Enthusiast: Oh I talk up Democrats to my friends. We’re with candidate X.

              Field: Do they want to volunteer?

              Enthusiast: We need signs so people will be impressed.

              Field: Well there’s a shortage of signs and they are located at important junctions

              TRANSLATION MATRIX “There are 30 in my car alone. Signs don’t vote and they are rewards for volunteers because we don’t have much else to offer as a field office.”

              Enthusiast: I know how to win this district (solid GOP district for decades)

              TRANSLATION MATRIX “Gimme Gimme Gimme”

              Field: So can you do a walk packet? We have short one of only 30 doors which are really close together.

              Enthusiast: My talents don’t really work best there (to be fair this is probably accurate)

              Six months later Enthusiast: We lost by two votes because my GOP friends do didn’t see my sign. The staff was incompetent. When I ran things we lost by 50 points but we had signs.

              1. Code Name D

                Sounds typical. Here in Kansas, Democratic have sworn off signs all together, or at least you might think so. Lambert touched on this subject today in fact when he discussed the importance of association. Putting up a yard sign is a sign of individual support, “I support X for Senate!”. But organizers think differentially and only wanted signs to be placed more “strategically” in high traffic areas. This saved them money, instead of printing several thousand signs, they only printed about ten or twenty. Later, we found out they were paying certain residences in high traffic areas to host these signs, so even supporters who happen to live in high traffic areas couldn’t get any signs.

                As part of DFA, one of the things we tried to do was to sell signs to absorb the cost of printing them as well as giving the people the signs they wanted to show their individual support. Nope. Too costly. No sign for you – at any price.

                Eventually, even these signs disappeared. If you are only going to post yard signs in strategic areas, why not just rent a billboard. So we go from “I support X for Senate!” to billboards.

            2. Arizona Slim

              What would have impressed me? Well, simple things like the one I’m about to note in this story:

              On February 28, I proudly cast my mail-in ballot for Bernie. And then I went to a phone banking party, which was supposed to be at a neighbor’s house.

              When I got to her house, sign on the door noted that all Bernie phone banks were moved to the campaign headquarters, which was just south of the University of Arizona.

              Uh-oh, I thought. I’m already late. Better high-tail it over there. So, I jumped on my bicycle and pedaled over to the Bernie HQ.

              Slim arrives at HQ and finds the front door open, but NO ONE was inside.

              I walked from the front to the back of the building, just to check. Nobody there.

              So much for that phone bank party. I got back on the bike and rode home.

              Oh, BTW, the Bernie HQ had a nice office printer that, ahem, could have grown legs and walked away. Not to mention a tabletop that was covered with campaign literature. That literature could have disappeared too.

              I’d like to point out that the UA area has a high property crime rate. And a lot of that crime is due to the fact that things are left unlocked and unattended. This isn’t just a University of Arizona problem, it exists on and near campuses all over the country.

              What’s my point? Well, here it is: You have to take extra-good care of your ground game. Right down to having someone inside the HQ, keeping an eye on things while awaiting the arrival of phone bankers.

              Failing to take care you your ground game is how you lose elections.

            3. Katniss Everdeen

              What would have impressed ME is Bernie’s laying out the case like Thomas Frank did in the video.

              Of course, Bernie’s only 74 years old and has a long career ahead of him, so he probably wants to keep his powder dry. For the future.

              Unlike Tulsi Gabbard, who has other options.

              1. James Levy

                You seem to miss the part when Frank and Scheer both say Trump is worse than Clinton.

                I guess that makes them traitors and enemies and invalidates anything they have to say.

                1. dLambert Strether Post author

                  Table I: Trump vs. Clinton Decision Matrix

                  Greater evil More effective evil

                  I just think it’s a judgment call. I don’t think it’s an easy one. It would be nice to have a qualified candidate for President. Unfortunately, that’s not the case this year.

                  Adding, one of those two will be elected. That’s why the decision matrix is limited to them.

                  1. James Levy

                    I think Trump will be the more effective evil because he will have a very active Republican Congress at his back, while Hillary will be stonewalled in the same dumb manner that “grand bargain” Obama was. The Republicans could have gotten oh so much more out of Obama if they had only tried. But they hated his black ass so much that they simply refused. They’ll do the same to Clinton. But Trump will sign bill after bill they plunk in front of him as they cheer him publically and mock him privately.

                    1. EndOfTheWorld

                      Trump is at odds with the repub congressional leadership, who actively support TPP, for example. When you state Trump will sign bill after bill they plunk in front of him, you really have no factual basis for making that statement.

                      HRC, OTOH, is 100% with the globalist program and thus her goals are aligned with the repub congress on many issues.

                    2. zapster

                      Trump’s attention span is so short and his narcissism so extreme that I doubt he’ll even read the bills he’s signing–especially if they flatter him while they’re handing it to him, or he may be so busy flitting around the golf courses that they won’t be able to corner him to sign them at all. IOW, he’s a complete crapshoot. The real danger is Pence. He’ll be the de facto president. Trump appears to have struck a deal with the GOP to let the most reactionary conservative they could scare up do all the real work. Worse than Clinton? Maybe. But Clinton will cement us to the whims of oligarchs for all eternity or WWIII if she can manage it. Her supreme court picks will ensure it. I see catastrophe with either pick.

                2. SpringTexan

                  Thanks, James. I think respect should be given both to those who DO and those who DO NOT choose to support Clinton until the election. It’s foolish to make enemies of each other when (unlike the Dem establishment) we really do want the same things and are making our own best guesses of how to get them.

            4. Propertius

              Just speaking as a former local and state Democratic Party official (I’ve been in recovery since 2008 and haven’t had a sip of Kool-Aid since), I’ve never found staffers from national campaigns to be particularly useful. They don’t know the territory and they typically do a fantastic job of alienating the locals. It’s particularly bad when their walk lists, precinct maps, and polling location information is years out of date.

          1. Code Name D

            Point. But I am not sure hieing Obama’s old media ops suggest any real independence. But I stand corrected none the less.

            In any regards, its not that simple. Sanders didn’t employ one firm but hundreds, especially for the state level organizing. Probably secured through third party transactions handled at lower levels. Plenty of opportunity for collusion to take place.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              If you want to run for President and win, then you have to hire professional mercenaries to do it. It’s not like putting on a bake sale. The professionals, being mercenaries, will be part of the political class, and therefore not “independent” in except insofar as professional ethics cause them to be. That is one of the many reasons I keep pushing for left entities outside the neoliberal liberal/conservative paradigm.

              > Plenty of opportunity for collusion

              So, you double down on made-up theorizing. Swell.

        2. Sam Adams

          Two Bernie paid organizers in Charleston SC jumped ship immediately after a the primary and both obtained paid positions with Clintonland…

          1. Steve C

            The union guy who seconded Bernie was field director or something in Connecticut and Massachusetts. I recall something hinky about those operations. Sorry. No link. And he used the seconding speech to say vote for Hillary.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Presumably the NSA really does have all of Hillary’s emails, in its data warehouse in Utah.

      Funny how both Depublicrat candidates steer a mile clear of discussing domestic spying.

      Likely both have already been sat down for The Talk.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Compared to the American Congress, the British Parliament is downright rowdy.

      OTOH, I do enjoy hearing the Senators refer to each other:

      “My good friend from Virginia just made the following point …”

      “I disagree with my Utah colleague …”

      And on it goes. Collegiality to the point of being humorous.

    3. Gareth

      CNN was really ringing the Putin-Russia-Trump bell hard this afternoon. Several times it was implied, without challenge, that the hack of the DNC files was a national security breach. Why, is the DNC a CIA front? Trump was also alleged to be endangering national security by asking Russians to hack US computer systems, based on that one line joke about the Russians maybe finding Hillary’s lost emails.

      The constant pounding he is taking from the MSM makes it look as though the US has an elite controlled media, much like a third world country. Even if you loath the guy, the piling on is getting ridiculous. It almost makes me want to vote for him in sympathy. If Trump goes on the offensive against the media, he can score big with the disaffected voters. After being labeled a traitor, anything he throws at Clinton now will be fair.

      1. Hana M

        I completely agree. The media overkill is counterproductive. I just watched the entire Trump news conference and it was remarkably deft and often laugh out loud funny (in his trademark outrageous fashion). None of this came out in the MSM coverage that I’ve seen. I highly recommend viewing this–especially back-to-back with the superb Frank and Scheer conversation. I get the feeling that he’s starting a strategic pivot to the left and that he could well win this thing.


        1. craazyboy

          Plus, I find it extremely difficult to break away from the computer the past few days – because I might miss something silly.

  2. Fred

    This is easy. File a motion to disqualify Perkins Coie, because their partners could be potential witnesses in the trial. The DNC will assert the attorney client privilege. The litigation of the privilege and then the motion will be great sport. If the plaintiffs are persistent, maybe something will come of this. Sounds like something for Judicial Watch.

    1. grayslady

      As I understand it, Beck & Lee, the Florida firm that has filed a class action suit against the DNC, has already done that.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I didn’t post on the walkout because I couldn’t get a handle on the numbers of delegates, and in the Media tent scrum following, I couldn’t get a handle on how many were delegates and how many were non-delegate protesters. And the pictures of empty seats, and the YouTube thereof, are disingenous: They follow Clinton’s nomination, where the entire hall took an enormous and simultaneous bathroom break. If there were a large number of Sanders supporters staging a concerted walkout, there would have been a picture of them doing it, not of empty seats.

      Philly’s Will Bunch estimates 150 delegates walked out, which (of 1900) is actually an impressive number, a lily that does not need to be gilded with exaggerated claims. Here’s a story from Slate on the planning. Here’s another one from Gawker.

  3. DJG

    San Francisco Federal Credit Union will finance 100 percent of houses costing up to $2 million”

    Wowsers. You buried that one, Lambert. What could possibly go wrong with 100 percent financing of mortgages?

    1. Timmy

      Connecting another dot…First Republic – the one with the offices inside of Valley behemoths – is a wealth management shop that actively markets private equity and hedge funds to high net worth investors.

      So Silicon Valley start-up employees can participate in the private equity buyouts of the deteriorating enterprises that they’ve innovated out of business and in hedge funds that buy up the distressed mortgages that the aforesaid employees used to own.

    2. jrs

      there’s probably a lot of ways to put very little down on cheaper houses, FHA was 3% at one time. $2 million unless it’s reeling in complete idiots who don’t have that money but think they can somehow borrow it, is probably some game for rich people to play among themselves. They have 2 million and then some in the bank but it makes more financial sense to finance, and well they don’t play by the same rules as the rest of us anyway. It would be interesting to see who is taking out those loans.

      1. hidflect

        They probably have offset accounts. So they buy a $2Million house on 100% finance. Put $2Million in the offset account. This offsets the loan so they pay zero interest and use the offset as a borrowing facility of $2Million that only charges at the mortgage rate if they withdraw money. Tada!

  4. hemeantwell

    Hmm. I’d argue that Dayen’s “open debate between family members” trope conceals the very real power relations in play and at stake, which enabled the Clinton machine to rig the election from the beginning.

    Eeek. It sounds like Dayen is trying to come in from the cold for an evening or two. I wish he’d keep it to himself. As for me, I kinda like it outside these days.

    1. EGrise

      When I read “Because the way to be ‘stronger together’ is to start by being honest and true” I figured he was having us on.

  5. fresno dan


    Democrats prepared to use their convention Wednesday night to raise fresh doubts about Donald Trump’s fitness to serve as commander in chief, as the Republican presidential candidate called on Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email server to find “missing” messages and release them to the public.

    “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” Trump said during a news conference at his South Florida resort on Wednesday.

    “They probably have them. I’d like to have them released. . . . It gives me no pause. If they have them, they have them,” Trump added later when asked if his comments were inappropriate. “If Russia or China or any other country has those emails, I mean, to be honest with you, I’d love to see them.”

    WOW – so what is an old time repub to think – We’re now allies with the Russkies???? But, but, but their commies!!! But, But, But Clintoon is soooo soooo bad….So, to thwart an evil as bad as the little paper hanger demands that we join forces with Russia to defeat the greater evil???

    Churchill: if Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons

    At least for entertainment value, best election ever!

    Seriously, I think most of the repub base is blase about Russia, and for a good portion of the dem base, Russia bashing is off putting….
    but things sure are topsy turvy

    1. jgordon

      This was spun pretty overtly. Trump did not ask Russia to hack Hillary’s emails. He very explicitly asked them to give the emails they already have to the FBI. Doesn’t this kind of “reporting” verge on being outright lies?

      And I for one hope that we can be friends with Russia, as do most Trump supporters. It’s a great thing that Trump is reshaping the Republican party towards such sanity. If Trump and Putin are getting along well, that is a tremendous recommendation for Trump. Funny seeing the Clintons and their media/neocon sycophants spin it as something awful.

      1. voteforno6

        It seemed pretty clear (at least to me) that Trump was joking about it…and he’s definitely not the first person to have made that joke. The Democrats have obliged him by making themselves out to be a bunch of prigs. And, it also got Clinton’s emails back in the news. I can’t believe that the Democrats are so obtuse about this.

        1. edmondo

          Next week Trump may appeal to Goldman Sachs to release videotapes of “The Speeches”.

          I will probably want to kill myself the day after the election but gallows humor is all so entertaining.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        These people are throwing around words like “espionage” and “treason.”

        I don’t like it. They’re desperate. It’s no secret that hillary sucks.

        A plane crash is not the only way to take a candidate out.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            I am honestly worried. This is starting to veer into the realm of la-la land, and nobody seems interested in pulling it back.

            I wish I thought there was a chance that cooler heads would prevail. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

      1. clarky90

        Donald Trump statement. “In regards to the Middle East, if our Presidents (Bush, Bush, Obama) had gone to the beach and done nothing (no wars), we would be in better shape”.

        At 50 minutes on the youtube


        And the millions of dead and displaced would be in their homes and with their families instead of rotting in graveyards, living in refugee camps or dispersed around the World (IMO).

              1. jgordon

                Trump certainly is wrong on some issues. But don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good!

                1. craazyboy

                  His press conference this morning was pretty good, relatively speaking. Tho he still wanders off places it’s not necessary to go.

                  It’s like night and day compared to how the media has been reporting on it. Long too. He actually talked about a lot of things – and it sounds like he’s doing his homework a bit more than the “winging it” approach in the primaries. Also promises he’s working on more detailed plans to present over the coming weeks.

                  Strange thing is he doesn’t set off my lie detector like happens too often with politicians. But I get the feeling the Donald is really in over his head. The advisors and cabinet he picks will be important. But I’ve heard the Donald can be a real terror to work for.

                  1. Lambert Strether Post author

                    I read the coverage in Vanity Fair because that’s what flew by in the news feed…

                    What the hell is wrong with Trump calling Anthony Wiener a pervert? The guy sent dick pix! Where are Clinton’s feminists on that one, for pity’s sake?

                    1. Pat

                      Can’t get too indignant about Huma’s husband without blowback about Hillary’s. Just a theory.

                    2. craazyboy

                      There was another funny one. At the end when he was taking questions from reporters he pointed and quickly said “Blue Dress” with just a touch of a smirk. Seemed to go over everyone’s head.

                      When Trump is speaking “off the cuff”, it’s heavy on body language and voice inflection. Doesn’t transcribe well.

  6. Softie

    “In general, taller people tend to suffer less disease and to live longer, though research shows that greater height may carry some health risks including more susceptibility to prostate and ovarian cancer.”
    Pure bullshit.

    1. hidflect

      Agreed. Taller people actually die earlier because the extra pressure required to pump the blood up that extra foot takes its toll as well as supply to extremities is less efficient.

  7. allan

    File under Stats Watch, Inflation is Dead: Whole Wheat Fig Newton edition.

    Just got back from the store buying our usual stuff.
    The bag of Fig Newtons looked oddly small, although oddly the same $3.49 as before.
    Back at the house and comparing it to the previous version, sure enough, what used to be 12 oz is now 10 oz.

    Are Fig Newton eaters being forced to pay for moving the Oreo factory from Chicago to Mexico?
    In any case, the CEO of Mondelez (Nabisco) is definitely earning her $21 million per year.

    1. fresno dan

      I’d tell you about artificial, imitation, ersatz figs….but you’ve suffered enough today…

    2. grayslady

      Did you by chance shop at Walmart? Because that’s a classic ploy of theirs. The typical Walmart consumer never looks at weight, only price and size of portion. So what happens is that the manufacturers, who need to cut their prices to the bone in order to do business with Walmart (I know, because years ago I solicited them for my own company’s products), have their chipboard suppliers set up two separate runs for packaging: one 12-ounce size box will actually say 12 ounces on the front, and that product will ship to the grocery stores; the other 12-oz size box will say 10 ounces on the front, and that product will ship to Walmart. The Walmart consumer looks only at the size of the packaging and thinks s/he is getting a better deal than purchasing the same product at the local grocery. Half the time, you get a better deal at the grocery store, even with regular pricing. The other half of the time, you do much better buying the product when it goes on sale at the grocery store.

      All of which doesn’t mean you still aren’t correct about Mondelez.

      1. allan

        This was at a reputable mid-sized grocery chain (Wegmans). They probably have some leverage over producers like Nabisco, but not as much as Walmart.

        It seems that, to maintain at least some growth in revenue and earnings during an era of stagnating/declining wages, companies of all types are nickel and diming both their customers and their suppliers (like the story a few days ago about Boeing slowing payments to vendors). As a twofer, when for some strange reason the customers, employees and vendors all cut back on their spending and the economy doesn’t grow, CEOs can demand tax cuts and less regulation.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      I’d say the concept of a “package of Fig Newtons” is suffering the same definitional degradation as the concept of a “job,” home “ownership,” “sharing” or “healthcare.”

      Disrupting vocabulary is innovation too.

    4. Timmy

      At my store, Kraft Instant Mac and Cheese in the plain and the Star Wars packaging are the same price. But look closer and you’ll see that the plain version is 8.2 oz and the Star Wars version is 7.6 oz (for a package of four). So you can think of the .6 oz as a licensing fee or as a caloric deficit of the consumers, which are likely kids.

        1. ambrit

          At one point in our lives, our family were ‘dirt poor.’ Lots of ‘work arounds’ were learned and employed to maintain, as it were. One thing we did for some months, was to make our own spaghetti. Dig it polecat, making pasta from scratch is work. Then you have to hang it up to dry. Modern Americans don’t understand how much work goes into basic items needed to get by.
          Besides, where do people think spaghetti comes from, trees?
          See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVo_wkxH9dU
          (1957 BBC spaghetti harvest report.)

          1. JacobiteInTraining

            Heehee…thanks ever so much for the chuckle! :)

            In my ‘artisanal’ phase 10 years ago I once acquired a hand-cranked pasta machine because I loves my spaghetti. With that experience now under my belt I feel strongly that once I become broke and homeless, my cardboard sign is gonna read ‘Will work for dried spaghetti noodles!’

    5. Synapsid


      I still remember that black, black day in the early 1970s when I noticed that the giant bar of Hersey milk chocolate that I was carrying home was 7 ounces, not 8. I did the same as you did with the same result–the one still at home was 8 oz. The price had not changed, though.

      There was worse to follow: a few months later, the price went up. Life went downhill from there.

        1. ambrit

          Nothing indicates real concern more than having your smiling visage on the side panel of the box. “Have you seen this person? Stop looking. You’ve found him.” The family size Soylent Green box has more than one face on the ingredients panel. C’mon. Super size me!

    6. Bubba_Gump

      Anyone notice how the embossing on Oreos is really grainy and messy now? It used to be crisp. I noticed the same thing about Lifesavers mixed fruit – they’re really sloppy, and each candy has spiderweb cracks and comes apart easily. Label says they’re made in Mexico now…how disappointing.

      1. craazyboy

        “and when are the Russians going to drop that particular propaganda bomb.”

        It just occurred to me this seems like a rather incestuous use of the word “propaganda”.

        Have we just discovered meta-propaganda?

        That would be like discovering the 119th element to add to the Periodic Table.

        1. Jay M

          there is an orbital path of meta junk circling the earth that occasionally falls to earth with a booming, flaming splash

    1. Roger Smith

      Now people are crying “off with this head”–



      Michael Moore on twitter: https://twitter.com/MMFlint/status/758389406411653120

      The hounds are pathetic. Were it they had some real weapons to tame the beast with… (as in policy stances and a belief the party majority weren’t just lifeless zombies).

      1. Roger Smith

        Then there is this clip from cspan: https://twitter.com/cspan/status/758413998630981632

        I’d like them to explain to me how Clinton is not also a threat to national security, what with neoliberalism wreaking havoc on our infrastructure and fanning the flames of war abroad.

        And outside of the general implications of foreign hacking, I don’t care if it was Russia or not. These people were caught being manipulative, lying cheats. If they had been honest there would have been nothing to report. I can’t believe we live in a time where “big bad” Russia is doing a public service.

        1. JohnnyGL

          It’s like these people are determined to make us so mad that we decide going 3rd party isn’t enough and actually vote for Trump to shut them up.

          1. jgordon

            One of the best things we’ll get to see after a Trump victory is the look of drspair that will be on these people’s faces. It’s at least one quarter of the motivation I personally have to support him.

        2. JTMcPhee

          Let’s not forget that the Israelis have pretty much totally penetrated all the secret most inner secrets of the most secure bits of the US imperial business and state and military and legislative and executive parts. http://www.newsweek.com/israel-flagged-top-spy-threat-us-new-snowdennsa-document-262991 And Hillary and her coterie are “close” to the Likudniks. And of course other parts of the Israeli operation…

          Not that it is permissible to speak ill of our staunch ally… which does stuff like try reall hard to sink a US warship. The Liberty.

          What could possibly go wrong?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If a reporter has any damaging information about Hillary, henceforth, his/her connection to Russia must be thoroughly checked.

        Is that the logical conclusion?

        “Let’s all do our best to get Hillary to the White House…again…the second female co-President in our history.”

    2. Jim Haygood

      To put a bit finer point on it, Ed Snowden’s revelations made clear that the NSA sucks in ALL domestic email traffic. They have Hillary’s emails.

      No political candidate will touch the subject of domestic spying because the NSA is beyond their control. Even broaching the subject might produce retaliation, in the form of email dumps whose source is untraceable.

      That’s what The Talk is about: we run the country; you’re the figurehead (subject to good behavior).

    1. two beers

      The DLC & friends moved the Dems so far to the right, that Republicans can move to the left of them on selected issues and still be objectively right wing.

      Well played, Democrat Party!

  8. Oregoncharles

    “Hmm. I’d argue that Dayen’s “open debate between family members” trope conceals the very real power relations in play and at stake, which enabled the Clinton machine to rig the election from the beginning.”

    It also ignores the hundreds and hundreds of empty seats shown in the “walkout” video on Links (which is on, mind you, “Jill not Hill.”) Were those people let back in? Not according to last night’s accounts. At least one was decredentialed (now, there’s an apt term). So the party visibly, dramatically split, AT THE CONVENTION.

    How effectively? Time will tell.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I shouldn’t have to point this out, but empty seats as such don’t show who left them, and why. And the estimates of delegates walking range I have seen range from 150 to 500* (so I suppose “hundreds and hundreds” is right, in a way).

      Nobody would like to see the Democrats split more than I would. However, because I don’t have a partisan dog in this fight, I don’t have to engage in premature triumphalism or performative speech like “visibly, dramatically” split. Time will tell on that.

      * Adding that this is number to be proud of, whehter 150/1900 or 500/1900.

      1. ambrit

        What bothers me about this ‘happening’ is that the police were called in to ‘handle’ the situation. Come on now, the police? The ‘demonstrators’ were locked in the media tent and the police ‘negotiated’ with them. Like in a bank robbery or a hostage taking? The demonization of dissent is moving apace.
        Also, at one of the tinfoil hat sites, this supposed Craigslist ad for actors to fill empty seats at the convention. I can’t vouch for its’ authenticity, but…
        (Don’t the DNC hacks learn from people like the Oscars organizers? The Oscars have people waiting and ready to go to fill empty seats to maintain good visuals. Notice whenever an actor or actress goes onstage to accept an award how the seat is suddenly no longer empty.)
        See: http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/Movies/9903/18/oscar.seatfiller.ew/index.html

  9. Gumbo

    PDF hasn’t been a proprietary data format since July 1, 2008 when it was released as an open standard. See ISO 32000-1:2008 and work on ISO 32000-2.

  10. ChiGal

    Ugh! first ActBlue fundraising for Ds – not Sanders initiatives – I have received (naturally I did NOT donate):

    Wednesday, July 27, 2016 2:11 PM
    Subject: Doom and gloom

    When we compare the RNC and the DNC conventions, the differences are concerning to say the least — and ominous to say the worst.

    The RNC was filled with out-of-touch politicians talking about setting women’s rights back by decades, and continuing to marginalize minority groups in this country.
    The DNC is about looking forward, together. It’s about embracing a better future in which we all have a role, regardless of our sexual orientation, our gender, or our race.

    We can’t let the RNC’s doom and gloom become our country’s motto for the next four years, and the only way to do that is by blocking Republicans at every single level of government. Grassroots donors like you will lead the charge against them by using ActBlue’s fundraising tools.

    Will you pitch in just $10 to help us scale up?
    If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:
    Express Donate: $10
    Express Donate: $25
    Express Donate: $50
    Express Donate: $100
    Or donate another amount:

    Donald Trump is only as powerful as he is because there are millions of Americans who fervently believe in his message.
    He’s a microphone for scores of bigots who haven’t had an outlet until his campaign, and if he wins, it’ll give them confidence to shout their prejudices even louder.

    Democrats across the country are watching margins tighten in Senate, House, and local races, and they’ve never had to rely on ActBlue’s grassroots network as much as they do now.

    Our tools require constant upkeep and innovation, and as a nonprofit, the fuel for those changes comes from small-dollar donors like you.

    Will you pitch in just $10?
    If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:
    Express Donate: $10
    Express Donate: $25
    Express Donate: $50
    Express Donate: $100
    Or donate another amount:

    From all of us at ActBlue, thanks.
    — Julia, Ben, Oset, and the rest of the team

    ActBlue is the nation’s largest source of funds for Democrats. Launched in 2004, ActBlue created and deployed the next generation of online fundraising tools, enabling individuals and groups to raise money for the Democratic candidates of their choice at secure.actblue.com.

    Wondering how you can make the most of ActBlue? We’re always happy to help. Email us at info@actblue.com.

    If this email has reached you in error, we apologize.

    This email was sent to… To unsubscribe from the ActBlue email list, please click here

    Paid for by ActBlue (secure.actblue.com) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

    Contributions or gifts to ActBlue are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

    1. Carl

      Identity politics! And Trump…boogah boogah! As an aside, anyone who uses “doom and gloom” gets an immediate ignore from me. It’s kind of like the R use of “class warfare,” just a term meant to cast aspersions on the recipient and prevent substantive debate

    2. Cliff

      I got the same email. At first I thought Bernie had already sold me. Maybe not yet; but it’s coming, for sure.

          1. sid_finster

            I don’t necessarily see it as purity trolling.

            We can argue later whether Sanders’ actions represent selling out or a serious lapse of judgment, but to the extent that the former may be the case, who thinks that Team D will not demand that email list as part of its ransom?

            1. Yves Smith

              They’ve already demanded and he hasn’t given it to them. And pray tell what leverage do they have? He leads an utterly tame life and is not money driven.

          2. ambrit

            Yes, but, there is a yuuge reservoir of anger and disgust with how this Democratic Party primary season has ‘turned out.’ Since Sanders self identified with the ‘Official’ Democrats, he is suffering ‘collateral damage’ from the blowback.
            How many ‘movements’ have you seen that ran on ‘Pragmatism’ as the core appeal?
            First, H Clintons’ Thursday speech will tell just how bad the betrayal of Sanders and all his supporters is.
            Second, how well Sanders organization, well, organizes the post betrayal progressive movement is important. It doesn’t have to be spectacular, just visibly moving forward.
            Third, as the “head” of a movement, Sanders is held to a higher standard than mere mortals. It may not be ‘fair’, but there it is.
            Fourth, as I remarked several days ago, maybe Sanders is just tired of it all.
            Fifth, he might be making a rational political decision with his slow fade from the Dem scene, but expectations were high. The let down will be like the aftermath of a domestic tragedy. Grief is also in play here.
            Finally, the blowback from unrequited love is the most volatile emotion. The Sanders supporters invested heavily in Sanders. Now, he folds his tents and steals away back into the dusty reaches of the Senate. I have better things to do he tells his followers. Maybe he does, but it does feel like the Sanders followers were seduced and betrayed.
            Movements are not strictly rational affairs. One cannot expect strictly rational responses from those involved.

          3. inode_buddha

            It takes me a while to recognize them here since I am so much more accustomed to dealing with Conservatives — they seem to purity/litmus test *everything* until an entire conversation is composed of nothing but carefully memorized and rehearsed sound-bites, passing for deep intellect. When in fact its just annoying and I don’t bother to engage them much at all anymore.

  11. local to oakland

    Re video games and the unemployed: since video games are often multi player and played with friends and family as well as strangers, they are not 100 percent isolating. All of us who participate online experience that mix of social but isolating but social experience.

    1. Deschain

      Besides the clan/guild stuff you are talking about, I would add that I was in Central Park last week and joined in with several hundred people playing Pokemon Go. Folks were hanging out, chatting, having a good time; was like being at a bar but without the alcohol. Crowd was incredibly diverse from a gender/racial/class perspective (though it was also overwhelmingly people in their 20s, I was definitely a greybeard at 46).

      If you’re looking for association models there are worse ones to follow.

      1. ambrit

        Single shooter games are already warping young minds perceptions of violence. In such games, all problems are solved with violence. Indoctrination for the Police State?

  12. ekstase

    “Why Poetry is Good”–

    “potential space” − created by children in play and by adults through the arts − is where we practise this…
    Winnicott contrasts this playful, democratic approach with immature, authoritarian personalities.”

    Nice contrast there. The freedom to associate and the freedom to create and speak, are threats to control freaks. They like propaganda art and bad pop music, and that’s where the music stops. So if you like poetry and art, you are still alive.

    1. dots

      Just savoring this delightful article also.

      “The poem is like a piece of music that wavers between major and minor keys. This balancing act is tremendously hard to achieve, like laughing through tears, yet the poem does it for us. The poetry allows us to experience more than one thing − in more than one way − simultaneously.”

      Ah Mr. Whitman…

      Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are
      crowded with perfumes,
      I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
      The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not
      let it.

      The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the
      distillation, it is odorless,
      It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it,
      I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised
      and naked,
      I am mad for it to be in contact with me.

      Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the
      origin of all poems,
      You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are
      millions of suns left,)
      You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor
      look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the
      specters in books,
      You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things
      from me,
      You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.

  13. allan

    DNC: NYC mayor Bill de Blasio has been consigned to the highly desirable kiddie’s table pre-6 p.m. time slot,
    while Michael Bloomberg (R-NoLabels) is getting star billing, right before Joe Biden (D-MasterCard).

    Will it ever occur to de Blasio that if he had acted in office like the progressive he campaigned as, rather than as a doormat for the NYPD and an enabler of real estate developers, he might actually have a better reputation and more political clout and have garnered a more prominent role in the convention?
    Or will he learn from the painful experience that he needs to tilt even further to the center?

    1. MikeNY


      It must drive the Grinch nuts that the Donald is the NY billionaire (?) with the real shot at the White House. But I’m pretty sure the Grinch is worth multiples of the Donald.

      1. craazyboy

        How much is Bloomberg worth?

        With a net worth of $40.8 billion, he is the 8th richest person in the United States and the 13th wealthiest in the world.

      1. Jay M

        the artesanal spit of the humbug hippie at some airport lead to a veritable tourette syndrome of virtuous hippie kicking

      2. aab

        Despite my overall horror about how this is all going down, I will be absolutely FASCINATED to see the polling after the convention. I know the corporate media has hidden almost all the protests and stuck with the original script. But even without the protests, it sounds dreadful and dreadfully misguided. (I have not watched it at all. This is the first time I have skipped watching a Democratic Convention since 1972, when it was exciting to get to stay up so late.)

        Fox Business is actually covering the protests a bit. They are smartly resisting hippie punching for the most part and putting the focus on Clinton/Democrat mismanagment, deceit and betrayal. Even the affluent Republicans that Hillary is obviously seeking — will they go for this? Are they really that frightened of Trump? The ones out here seem to dig him. And I would think Hillary not being able to control children and the help (I’m assuming that’s how these targeted voters would view the protesters) would be a huge negative for them. And how many of these types of affluent Republicans ARE there, anyway? Does anyone really like Michael Bloomberg outside the Clintons’ social circle? I know Trump had an advantage in the primary because the wealthy part of the party that actually likes those hideous economic policies was split between many candidates and they didn’t drop out fast because of the billionaires. But he sliced through that primary like a hot knife through butter. Isn’t one of the lessons of this primary that there aren’t actually all that many live, human Republicans who prefer those economic policies, if they have an alternative that still fits within their other tribal values (which also turn out to be quite elastic in some ways)?

  14. Roger Smith

    Looking at Briebarts upload and another channel’s upload of Clinton Ca$h that I watched yesterday morning, over one million people have watched it in 24 hours or so (assuming there are no duplicates and that they watched the whole thing).

    Just thought that was interesting.

        1. DJPS

          I thought it was a compelling case. Did a bit of googling on it and, of course, Team Clinton’s minions at CTR proclaim it is “long since debunked” and evidence free. A classic case of “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”!

  15. craazyman

    There appear to be dozens of plants in that picture. Which one is the antidote?

    This is too confusing. It might be an invisible plant. I mean, it would be visible if you shined a light on it, but it might not be visible in the picture.

    That’s the way things are. So many invisible things produce joys, elations, depressions, manias, crestfallen self-flagellations. Then if you ever see them you think, WTF? It’s like Peggy Lee.

    That’s why Jesus said “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Because mostly they’re invisible, but their fruits are not invisible. Even if they’re not a tree with branches. Fruits is just a metaphor. Sometimes a person doesn’t have any fruit, or they are one, or their fruit is a matter of debate and personal taste. Then what do you do? You think “Well, what would they do if . . . ?” But that’s invisible too. It makes it very hard to know things as they are.

    You might be confused and mistake a plain inconsequential plant for the real antidote, missing the real one entirely. Then you build a world around that illusion. And you elevate the plain inconsequential plant into some effigy of excellence and virtue, if not an embodiment of your dreams and aspirations. Then the plant (the inconsequential one) might try to run for a political office. Boy would you be confused at that point. Unless it’s a fruit plant. QED

    1. Jay M

      i think it is the lichen that has stepped up to the identity politics plate in the botanic community due to the injection of basidiomycetes kinship into the hothouse of rock inhabitation
      this may lead to further pain

  16. Jim Haygood

    Facebook is up 7 percent after hours, after a strong earnings report.

    If its gains hold up tomorrow, Facebook will pip Amazon and General Electric to become the 5th largest U.S. company by market cap — behind only Apple, Microsoft, Exxon Mobil and Johnson & Johnson.

    Not pimping FB either as a stock or a platform. But as an economic phenomenon, it has turned into a monster, tripling from its IPO price of four years ago. Traditional mainstream media are running scared, because FB could gobble them up the way fish eat krill.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I recall a chart on age distribution for users of social media platforms, but in lieu of searching for it, I’ll proffer one of my favorite videos:

    2. Jim Haygood

      According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has 175 million DAILY active users in the US and Canada — half the population.

      Facebook’s 226 million MONTHLY active users in US and Canada represent two-thirds of the population.

      Facebook’s reach is similar to the meteoric growth of network television after 1949. Television reached 72 percent of the U.S. population by 1956 … with 12 percent of the ad revenue. Life and Look magazines were among its victims.

      This time round, network television could be the victim. Facebook lets advertisers target demographics and zip codes, and measure impressions. Broadcasting can’t do that.

  17. Plenue

    I have to admit I’m not very impressed with the Penney article. It has the style of Hunter Thompson but little of the insight. Aside from the pathetic defense of Clinton, there’s a certain condescension to Sanders supporters (oh, they wanted a savior, how naive). Also it opens with this bizarre smear of WikiLeaks. So they’re paranoid ‘trolls’ (do people just not know what trolling actually is anymore?), except that it turns out what many people suspected about the DNC (apparently including Penney herself, so is she also paranoid?) was 100% correct. So…is it still paranoia if it’s true?

    1. Waldenpond

      Started late. Well, several people spoke… the content is Nina Turner was disrespected and the two camps need to discuss that.

      1. Buttinsky

        Thanks for the link, Patricia. As mysterious as it all remains, it’s pretty clear the purge will be ruthless. People fear Trump, but the left won’t know what hit ’em once the Clintons are in full command. For all his groveling, Sanders didn’t even get to choose who would second his nomination…

  18. Ranger Rick

    I had to stifle a laugh while I was reading that Atlantic article. Are those social scientists and economists unaware of what a hikkikomori is? Did they think that the dropping-out-of-society phenomenon was a uniquely Japanese cultural invention?

    Society has lost two generations in a row now (1980-1990, 1990-2000), and they’re going for a third.

  19. Propertius

    Given the systemic constraints, there are limits to what a president can do. …In other words, a Clinton presidency is not the end of the republic.

    And neither, of course, is a Trump presidency. – thanks to James Madison. I do, however, think we’re in for a real rough patch no matter who wins this time around.

  20. abynormal

    just another one of our finest n brightest in the fight against hunger:
    When Ronnie Music Jr. won $3 million in a Georgia Lottery scratch game last year, he decided to invest—in methamphetamine, say police. Music, of Waycross, Ga., pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking and firearm charges last week after prosecutors accused the 45-year-old of supplying drug dealers with at least 11 pounds of crystal meth, worth $500,000. Authorities say they discovered the drugs in September 2015 and traced them to Music, who bought them with his lottery winnings. An investigation soon led to the seizure of $1 million worth of meth, a hoard of firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, several vehicles, and $600,000 in cash, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

    Authorities say Music—a former maintenance supervisor, per the New York Daily News—”conspired with others to possess and distribute kilograms of methamphetamine in Ware County” and across Georgia, per a release. Already a rich man, “Music decided to test his luck by sinking millions of dollars of lottery winnings into the purchase and sale of crystal meth,” a US attorney adds. “As a result of his unsound investment strategy, Music now faces decades in a federal prison.” Music could be sentenced to a maximum of life in prison once a pre-sentencing investigation wraps up, reports First Coast News. His conspirators will also be sentenced at that time. (Another Georgia Lottery winner was murdered.)

      1. Jagger

        The problem is meth is highly addictive and really, really, really bad on the health of users unlike say, marijuana. So I wouldn’t call it a victimless crime. And it is so bad, I don’t have a problem with a life sentence for a high level dealer.

        I do wonder how a former maintenance supervisor was also a rich man prior to winning the lottery.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Definition of a victimless crime is that the complaint is signed by a govt agent.

          White cross speed is addictive too. But I aced every college exam on it.

          No complaints …

          1. abynormal

            lets take this to the present. today’s pharmaceuticals encompass a nasty potency and are addictive…the tobacco company leads that charge. i’m one of those lucky fucks with low or no addiction…but i wouldn’t push that luck experimenting with today’s juice.

            present experimentation is life altering or death and unfortunately music and media flaunt those good ole days…messed up!

          2. low integer

            Those who did the exams honestly by not taking any performance enhancing drugs might have a complaint, but of course they didn’t know so it’s all fine.
            Adding: you are clearly not familiar with meth.

      1. abynormal

        i feel the need to ramble right here, maybe even educate. i don’t have links…i could show drug flow graphs but really we know America is a hub. for the last 5 or so years i’ve found myself around different age groups with no aim but to survive. i’m witnessing less drinking/alcoholics and a whole lot more self medicating. i’m seeing 50 to 65yro hunting pill mills…either they’re insurance isn’t supplying or they’ve broke thru their tolerance.

        a true story…2009 my kid comes home from HS upset bc a few of her friends broke down in the lunch room. this scene caused others to join in and even the ‘jocks’ were crying. want to know why? bc mom & dad had put their mcmansions in their name. some kids got the family cars & utilities branded on them. these are kids expected to do private or ivy league schools…they know they’re fucked. of course they were crying…also highly medicating themselves.

        2014, before my family got creamed with cancer i took a p/t job…keep the walls from closing in and get a rise of the youth. aaaall different kinds of kiddies running around a donut/coffee shop. i overheard one female bragging about a coworker that was ‘making bank’ bc she had SIX JOBS. you shoulda seen the gleam in her audiences eyes. someone in the crowd wasn’t buying it and asked about her adderall supply and they all laughed. the story teller came clean and admitted the ‘wealthy’ girl had moved onto needles. i’m in the burbs people…country club of the south is less than a mile behind me. pot, booze and mom’s medicine cabinet has been replaced by an endless supply of everything.

        oh and the new thing to do today is micro tripping while at work…maybe in an office but a labor job is NO place to geek. i’m seeing parents and kids SHARE pills like they’re vitamins. my sister-in-law went face in plate last thanksgiving, the shock to me was her friends and family pawing over her bc ‘she just has the flu’…hell she was fried! i hadn’t been in my older (64) brothers house for a couple years and i walk in and he hands me a pill to take the edge off. i just looked at him like what the hell i’m driving…he named off what the pill was and i can’t even pronounce it…fuck.

        this ain’t the 60/70’s or the 80/90’s…this is as serious as it gets. it’s dark and the under current is strong and somehow ignored by those that aren’t basically getting high. it’s real people…it’s everywhere and its not weed.

        thanks for your time and sorry for the gloom share

        1. Bubba_Gump

          Wow, that is serious and dark.

          I don’t see drugs but there is a LOT of drinking, heavy drinking, even drinking games in groups of 40-somethings with kids. This would be the inside the beltway professional class of people. As a near straight-edge it sucks to feel left out of the fun. And it’s beyond me how they function at the level they apparently function. The town seems to run on alcohol — still.

  21. Lambert Strether Post author

    By November, Russian hackers could target voting machines Bruce Schneir, WaPo

    Not that I’m foily, but does anybody else get the sense of a narrative being teed up, here?

    Though given the demonstrated proclivities and abilities of both parties, it may be a question of which of ’em can steal the most votes.

    Hmmm, I wonder what the governor distribution in swing states is?

    Using this list of swing states and this list of governors:

    Table 1: Swing State Governors with Party and Electoral Votes

    State Governor Party Electoral Votes
    Colorado John Hickenlooper D 9
    Florida Rick Scott R 29
    Iowa Terry Branstad R 6
    Nevada Brian Sandoval R 6
    New Hampshire Maggie Hassan D 4
    North Carolina Pat McCrory R 15
    Ohio John Kasich R 18
    Pennsylvania Tom Wolf D 20
    Virginia Terry McAuliffe D 13
    Wisconsin Scott Walker R 10

    TOTAL 130

    R swing 84

    D swing 46

    D states + D swing 217 + 46 = 263

    R states + R swing 191 + 84 = 275

    So if all governors in all swing states steal their elections, the Republicans win.

    1. two beers

      I’m planning on voting for the party that can prove to me it is the better one at stealing votes.

      1. Code Name D

        I am plan on unintentionally voting for the party that can better steal the election.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Hillary: “The Russians hacked Florida’s voting machines.”

      Ginsburg: “I’m headed for New Zealand.”

      Trump: “I have nothing to do with Russia.” *

      *actual quote

      1. savedbyirony

        Yes, and Jon Husted (a gifted vote suppressor and rigger) is the Secretary of State. However, Kasich is in the Koch fold. I think they would be more likely to swing things in Clinton’s favor.

        1. aab

          This is exactly what I’m worried about. I haven’t looked at the data closely, but supposedly you could actually see in the primary that Clinton beat the exit polling the most in counties where the machines were from companies that donated to her. That you could see a strong and consistent correlation. Correlation is not causation and all that, but since I think Clinton ONLY wins if she can steal enough, I worry that Republican governors and Secretaries of State linked to the Kochs will help her over Trump, and even if they don’t, the companies themselves (Maintenance contracts? Backdoors? I have never paid a lot of attention to how this works) will be able to do it.

          This is an actual waking nightmare. I honestly don’t see how anyone in good conscience can vote for Hillary. Setting all policy and future political developments aside, if she can take power under these circumstances, having broken so many laws, having had the country’s top law enforcement official come out and SAY she’s unprosecutable, with such blatant election theft and violation of campaign finance laws, there is no turning back. How can there be? If the legacy elite media was making even the slightest effort to cover the reality of the convention, I would feel somewhat reassured. But this level of media complicity is functionally totalitarian, isn’t it? (I need to read your piece on associations, Lambert. I will.)

          There’s a rumor going around that Bernie was beaten Monday night at his hotel to ensure compliance on Tuesday, in addition to the one that he really won the vote Tuesday morning. I have no idea if either is true. They’re probably both false. But the fact that the situation there is so obviously fraudulent and toxic that millions of people will think they’re even possible is a problem.

          I don’t like feeling like I have to rely on Donald Trump and Paul Manafort to save democracy, by stealing better than the other side. But that is where I am.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author


        Goddamned OS X used to copy and paste with 100% reliabilty before Tim Cook started crapifying it. That’s why I don’t bother to check it. Not joking!

    3. HotFlash

      The big voting machine manufacturers (Election Systems and Software [ES&S], Diebold Election Systems, Sequoia, and Hart Intercivic) tend Republican, so that’s another factor.

    4. VietnamVet

      The overreaction of the media to Donald Trump’s joke about Russia finding the 30,000 missing e-mails that were deleted off of Hillary Clinton’s home server is awfully scary. Clearly their story line is that Hillary Clinton is superbly qualified and this is so her time. If Donald Trump wins, it has to be due to the perfidious Russians hacking the election, nothing else. The Supreme Court no doubt will declare her to be the President. The Obama Administration will assure her smooth transition to the 45th President while the War of Russian Aggression and the exit from the EU escalate.

      1. pretzelattack

        i’ve never seen the media so coordinated before, both left and right media slamming trump. scary times.

  22. Anon

    Let’s hope that this gets seen. So apparently, with the DNC, before Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, guess who used to head the DNC?

    Tim Kaine.

    As seen here:

    U.S. Govt. Departments and Offices

    If it takes you to the top of the page, just keep scrolling down and you’ll see it for yourself. Also of note is that Debbie was co-chair of Hillary’s failed 2008 campaign. In a way, it’s almost like House of Cards and I really, really, hope this gets noted/seen or mentioned tomorrow.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      From Monday:

      Kaine’s role in gutting Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy: “For four years under Howard Dean the Democratic National Committee funded a 50 state strategy which paid for DNC field organizers on the ground in every state. These organizers built local and county organizations which assisted candidates at every level. [Then, after 2008, Obama] replaced Gov. Howard Dean as Chair of the DNC and appointed Tim Kaine who immediately dismissed the 183 DNC field organizers and terminated the 50 State Strategy” Fast forward to the 2010 debacle. [The Pennsylvania Progressive]. So if you’re looking for the man to purge the Democrat Party of leftist insurgents post-election, Tim Kaine would be your man.

    1. craazyboy

      I was gonna make a moonlighting joke, then decided I better read the article. Well, $1500 on the side. Not innovative DNC fundraising. Fenced by Craigslist. Did Putin catch ’em again?

  23. Alex morfesis

    Mike bloomberg prays 2 mecca 5 times a day thankful for 9-11…

    On 9-11-2001 mark green was preparing his move into gracie mansion…but rudy missed the breakfast at windows on the world for the anti-terrorism conference and the rest is history…

    Bloomberg was not even a fart in time on $eptember 10th…but rudy canceled the election and by the time the dust settled, mark green had handed the future to rudy and his krewe…

    So…when one insists you should cruise to the finish line…remember it is the little things that lead to real peace and prosperity…mark green, the great liberal…defender of the people…naders raiders and all that…pffffttt…at least he has his family and their real estate empire…chahching…

    On the other hand…these are the best of times…seriously…$hillary is going to do those who are outside the acela jetstream a huge favor…she is going to publicly wipe her private parts with people who are not part of her pyrate krewe…and that is a good thing…

    there will be no wondering which side of the line you stand…you either helped her win and kiss her cloak…or you are her enemy…

    If sweet home (barry o’)bama did not let the republican party hijack the supreme court, voting against $hillary would be a gimme…

    but thankfully all the huffing and puffing by $hillary will not be actionable…no one on either side has the weapons to have anything other than a skirmish for about two weeks…

    so both sides will fart out loud but everyone knows other than snipers and accidenting…ain’t no real fightin gonna happen…

    no one will invade Latvia from russia and the chinese have enough naval ships to maybe invade new zealand…

    and unless $hillary intends to invade cozumel, we have no business imagining we have the capacity to deliver anything that looks like an actionable troop force to any theatre…

    So onto 2018…

    1. Waldenpond

      McCain had a bump a few points over Obama after his convention. So they are at the same place as 2008. Turns out disliked candidates and popular candidates was out.

    2. Jay M

      what you would expect from a one eyed fish, flounder
      red baiting will be have to backed up by the msm, capiche?

      1. Buttinsky

        Actually, the daily LA Times/USC poll that shows the biggest lead for Trump over Clinton — 47% to 40% — is dated July 26, 2016, and would appear to include the first day of the convention (“midnight” is an exceedingly confusing time to date anything).

        In any case, their methodology seems a little unusual:

    1. voteforno6

      His dignity? I don’t find it very dignified how he’s turned himself into the Clinton campaign’s Judith Miller, by pushing every crackpot story that they put out.

  24. robnume

    Just read a story at “Shadowproof”, a successor to “Firedog Lake,” which postulates that Clinton, if selected, will pass TPP with a few ‘minor revisions,’ of course. So she’s lying again when she says she “won’t support TPP.” What she isn’t saying is that she will support another version of this trade treason.

  25. Anonymous

    Huge Sanders supporter here; lifelong Democrat, now member of Green party, as of two days ago.

    In hindsight, it seems perhaps Bernie Sanders didn’t have the time or inclination to study Hillary Clinton’s record. Had he read carefully, and not relied on the MSM that she influenced (and still influences), it would seem impossible for him to endorse her. Further, he could have used the info to clobber her during the debates, and in the media.

    Hillary is every bit as racist as Trump, it’s just that her racism is more sublimated. She has betrayed every campaign promise she has ever made (Colombia FTA is just one example). She’s a determined member of the global predatory elite. Her religion, The Family, preaches that “only elites matter.”

    She is on record referring to the TPP as the “gold standard” in trade agreements. Reliable sources say she would approve it, as well as the TTIP. Among its many negatives, the TPP immunizes banks against government regulations.

    The scariest and most dangerous aspect of HRC’s record is her war mongering. While Trump makes verbally discriminatory statements about Muslims, HRC’s actions have led to their slaughter. She has left a trail of death, destruction, and chaos in the Middle East and part of Latin America. She would be eager to engage Russia, and is on tape laughing psychotically about the prospect of bombing Iran.

    While Trump wants to build a border wall, HRC has already voted many times for a border wall to keep out the illegal immigrants she is “adamantly opposed to.” She speaks of immigrants disparagingly on video for “standing on street corners.” Never mind that they might be here due to some of the many negative effects of NAFTA. Bottom line: Hillary is NOT the lesser of two evils. (and this is from someone with a PhD from a top 5 research university).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What Mexico needs is a Mexican Trump who will keep Mexican jobs in Mexico (which will require ending neoliberal and neocolonialism, re-doing NAFTA and rejecting more free trade deals), whether there is a border wall or not

      1. craazyboy

        Trump said this morning that over the next few weeks his people are working on the Trump Mexico Plan – and that Mexican_American_Latino_Hispanics will love it.(my spelling) So we will be hearing more about it soon. I can almost guarantee we are not gonna build a wall.

        I think Trump could lighten things up if he announces the Trump Piñata Contest. A $1000 prize for the most beauuutiful Trump Piñata. Trump is the sole judge.

          1. craazyboy

            Actually we did get the Wall promise before. Can’t remember when exactly. May have been GWB term 1. They actually did let a bunch of pricy study contracts to people like Boeing and Lockhead I think to propose a “high tech wall solution”.

            At the time I was thinking the Goodyear blimp would be the way to go. Drone battery life sucks. They need wings or something.

        1. craazyboy

          Almost forgot. It must be made mainly from Washington Post newspaper. Trump will supply the newspaper to the contestants.

  26. Otis B Driftwood

    From yesterday’s Democracy Now, the debate between Chris Hedges and Robert Reich about where progressives go from here is excellent. This is the best discussion I find about the agonies many like Reich are undergoing in order to support Clinton.

    Who Should Bernie Voters Support Now.

    Essentially, the irrefutable argument from Hedges is that “if not now, when will progressives put a line in the sand?”

  27. ewmayer

    Assiduously avoiding all MSM coverage of the Dem convo, but during commercial break on a non-political program just now switched over to RT News to see if they had any coverage … so there is uberprogressive Thom Hartman – who to his credit has in the past called out Obama for his neolib-placeholder-ness – lauding Congresswoman Barbara Lee for her brave anti-Iraq-war vote, and then uttering not a peep of protest as Babs proceeds to paint Trump as the scary beyond-the-pale warmonger. Fvcking tribalists.

    Next ad break … Thom now paints the Trump calling on Russia to release the Hillary-disappeared SoS emails if they have them in “traitor or just stupid?” terms. What a tool.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Has the DNC called heads of major news organization, like it did as revealed in the emails regarding Sanders, to help them ‘comprehend’ today’s Trump-Russia connection story?

      Maybe the Republicans are right to scream new liberal (that is, neoliberal) bias in the MSM.

    2. Kim Kaufman

      All of these “progressive” talkers do the same thing: for 3 1/2 years they criticize the Dems for not being progressive enough, then for 1/2 year before presidential election they turn themselves into pretzels and say we must vote for Dem because Republicans.

  28. Lambert Strether Post author

    I’m listening to Tim Kaine. It’s honestly just like Firesign Theatre:

    Gentlemen, gentlemen, I won’t take anymore credit for this victory than is absolutely necessary. Now, gentlemen, Lord Kitchener did not – nay, will not – die in vain, grid willing. Gentlemen, I as leader will use power like a drum and leadership like a violin. Gentlemen, to make life whole, it’s as easy as a bridge! Now that we have obtained control, we must pull together as one – like a twin! All for one! And all for one!

    It’s astonishingly bad. There doesn’t seem to be any reason one sentence follows another. But it’s all delivered with tremendous conviction and folksiness.

    1. Skippy

      LOL its like their Fkin with people now just to see how far they can go…. or maybe just unwitting slaves to social PR matrix…

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Lord Kitchener?

      I wonder if he meant general Napier who famously said, I have Sind.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s (nonverbal communication) plagiarism.

      Did Bill Clinton plagiarize Al Gore last night talking about Hillary and their love story? I didn’t much listen to the coverage last night, so maybe someone can help me out here.

    2. Roger Smith

      I was just coming to ask if anyone else noticed that Obama was shifting between different “characters” as he was speaking.

      I got:
      Bill Clinton (a lot of it)
      Baptist Preacher

  29. Roger Smith

    My snark comments on Obama’s speech:

    It is okay everyone! Barack Obama said that Bernie Sanders were vigilant! You can all mindlessly vote Democrat now and feel good about it! #HeHathSpoken

    Everyone has the right to [pay for] healthcare! Now everyone can equally pay bills they cannot afford!

    Heckled about TPP: “No more TPP!”

    I also live the borrowing of Sanders’ line as a way to absolve himself for all of the inaction on things that needed to be immediately addressed. No one person can do it, it is up to “us”–next time do a better job people! Gawd.

    We do not look to one person for guidance… ceremony closes out with prayer to god.

    Trump wasn’t Republican or Conservative enough for Obama.

    “…a mother and a grandmother who would do anything to help our children thrive”… including cheating. Wait what about everyone else???

  30. Howard Beale IV

    We all think bankers are evil. right-try the picture archive business for some, uh, creative business practices:

    A well-known American photographer has now sued Getty Images and other related companies—she claims they have been wrongly been selling copyright license for over 18,000 of her photos that she had already donated to the public for free, via the Library of Congress.

    Sarah Lochting, Getty Images vice president for communications, sent Ars a statement which said that the lawsuit was “the first time Getty Images was made aware of the matter. We are currently looking into these allegations with the aim of addressing these concerns as soon as possible.”

    Lochting also underscored that LCS and Getty Images are “separate entities and have no operational relationship.”

    However, DNS records show that LCS’ listed address is 605 5th Avenue South, Suite 400 Seattle, Washington, which is Getty Images’ corporate address, a fact that she would not explain to Ars.

    “It’s a no comment in response to your follow up questions,” Lochting e-mailed.

  31. Kim Kaufman

    Sanders plans for a possible power move in the Senate


    “Sanders has been angling to become chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension, on which he is the second-ranking member of the Democratic caucus, behind Sen. Patty Murray of Washington. If Murray opts to chair another committee, Sanders would be in line to get the gavel.”

  32. Adam Eran

    Lambert, first, “PDF” means “Portable Document Format” … not “Proprietary Document Format.” The reader is *free*, and open source software (e.g. Ghostscript) lets you generate PDFs without owning the costly Adobe Acrobat program. In fact lots of websites will let you upload your document and download it as a PDF. One might even say the extra bits of software for PDF are as much of a hassle as having to have a browser to read HTML. So…let’s not be whiners, shall we?

    Meanwhile, on a whining-related topic, I’ve just been reading Robert Caro’s Means of Ascent, part of his multi-volume biography of LBJ, and have a renewed appreciation for the positive contributions even crooks can make.

    No more ruthless, ambitious opportunist than LBJ existed at the time, except perhaps Nixon. LBJ would betray any friend or political ally to get what he wanted. He stole several elections, bribed officials, was the beneficiary of Brown & Root (now the KBR subsidiary of Halliburton), and paid them back with millions in government contracts.

    Not a nice person, in fact pretty miserable, if you ask me.

    Yet, despite being a consistent southern segregationist, his efforts were essential to the Civil Rights legislation of the ’60s, and the Voting Rights Act. (Betrayal is *essential* to democracy.) I’ve been told that before the ’60s, blacks couldn’t even get social safety nets like welfare.

    …and LBJ managed to pass single-payer healthcare for the elderly (Medicare).

    Figuring that contradiction out is above my pay grade, but perhaps that history provides a little perspective when we’re tempted to amplify the whining.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Feh. I’m pleased Adobe had the good sense to go to ISO to make an honest corporation for itself. For the rest of it, people can regard trapping content in a format that requires a reader to be loaded, can’t be linked into at any level lower than the document itself, is impossible to copy and paste reliably, and isn’t human-readable in case of collapse as some sort of victory. I don’t. The fact that the rest of the web has been bloated and crapped up in other ways isn’t relevant.

      It is true that LBJ was a crook. But I think he always remembered where he came from. So, for that matter, do Clinton and Sanders.

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