2:00PM Water Cooler 7/5/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, Comey coughed up the Clinton Email Hairball, but only part of it! That threw me off my stroke, and so I’ll add a few more updates shortly.


TISA: “U.S. FINANCIAL SERVICES TEXT TO DEBUT AT TISA ROUND: At the 19th round of Trade in Services talks, which kicks off in Geneva Friday, U.S. negotiators are expected to introduce language aimed at easing industry concerns over the cross-border transfer of financial services data. Cleared industry advisers have already reviewed the proposed legal text which expands on a proposal Treasury unveiled in May in a bid to ease Congressional passage of TPP” [Politico]. “Lawmakers and financial services firms complained that TPP left financial services out of a rule that would ban governments from requiring companies to store data within their borders. U.S. financial regulators had secured the carve out after being unable to access certain data overseas during the financial crisis and wanted to leave open the option of restricting data in times of crisis. The new language is generally backed by the industry…” I’ll bet!

TTIP: “With Article 50 unlikely to be invoked until David Cameron’s replacement is chosen, which will happen by September 2nd, there would seem to be insufficient time to conclude the negotiations before the end of the year, and many in Brussels now want to focus on obtaining the right Brexit terms, pushing TTIP down the list of priorities. With next year’s elections in France, Germany, and Holland, EU leaders may lack the political capital to ratify TTIP against the rising tide of popular opinion” [HuffPo]. FWIW.


Clinton Email Hairball

“Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System” [Federal Bureau of Investigation]. Readers are invited to parse it, but excerpting from Comey’s statement, I see the key points as:

  1. Clinton’s Servers, Plural, Were an IT Hairball: “I have so far used the singular term, “e-mail server,” in describing the referral that began our investigation. It turns out to have been more complicated than that. Secretary Clinton used several different servers and administrators of those servers during her four years at the State Department, and used numerous mobile devices to view and send e-mail on that personal domain. As new servers and equipment were employed, older servers were taken out of service, stored, and decommissioned in various ways. “
  2. Clinton Kept No Archives: “Because she was not using a government account—or even a commercial account like Gmail—there was no archiving at all of her e-mails….”
  3. Corruption Was Out Of Scope: “FBI investigators have also read all of the approximately 30,000 e-mails provided by Secretary Clinton to the State Department in December 2014.” That is, the material purportedly deleted from the server by Clinton’s legal team was not the focus of investigation. But that’s were corruption would be, the definition of corruption being the use of public office for personal gain. And:

    “The lawyers doing the sorting for Secretary Clinton in 2014 did not individually read the content of all of her e-mails, as we did for those available to us; instead, they relied on header information and used search terms to try to find all work-related e-mails among the reportedly more than 60,000 total e-mails remaining on Secretary Clinton’s personal system in 2014. It is highly likely their search terms missed some work-related e-mails, and that we later found them, for example, in the mailboxes of other officials or in the slack space of a server.

    It is also likely that there are other work-related e-mails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere, and that are now gone because they deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.

    We have conducted interviews and done technical examination to attempt to understand how that sorting was done by her attorneys. Although we do not have complete visibility because we are not able to fully reconstruct the electronic record of that sorting, we believe our investigation has been sufficient to give us reasonable confidence there was no intentional misconduct in connection with that sorting effort.

    So it seems that nobody has looked into the half of the mail that about Clinton’s yoga lessons and Chelsea’s email (except, or course, foreign governments or oppo researchers who hacked the server).

  4. “Hostile Actors” Possibly Gained Access to Clinton’s “Account”: “With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.”
  5. Clinton Had No Intent to Violate the Law: “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”
  6. Criminal Charges Are Not Appropriate: “As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.”
  7. “Administrative Sanctions” Possible: “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”

Lambert here: From 30,000 foot view, it looks like the Clintons were tipped. Consider the holiday weekend sequence: Bill Clinton has his tarmac tête-à-tête with Lynch, the Clinton camp bribes Lynch over the weekend with an offer of a continued stay in office, Comey exonerates Clinton of criminal intent on Tuesday morning, and Clinton boards Air Force One with Obama to hit the campaign trail on Tuesday afternoon. (The focus on “intent” reminds me of third world countries were elites are presumed to be “good people” because they are elite — possibly because they owe their exalted status to meritorious acts performed in past lives — and therefore, by definition, cannot act from ill intent. I suppose credentialism provides a modern-day equivalent, in meritocracy, for karmic merit.) I’m not sure whether the Democrats are brazening it out, or whether they genuinely believe they’ve put the toothpaste back in the tube. I don’t think so.

If Clinton were the CEO of a tiny non-profit instead of running for President of the United States, her board would fire her immediately, and for cause. Multiple email servers, lost email, no backups, and doing your personal work at the office? “You’re fired.” Next, “gross negligence” does not require proof of intent, and surely Clinton’s IT hairball was grossly negligent. Further, the entire issue of the (presumed) relation between Clinton’s actions at State and the Clinton Foundation was not addressed by the FBI; all the investigators, from Comey through gormless Trey Gowdy, have been unwilling to touch this. Surely that data is out there somewhere, waiting to be disclosed at an opportune time? Finally, I think, come January and assuming a Clinton victory, the Democrat Party will be seen to have created a legitimacy crisis, not merely for themselves and the Clinton dynasty, but the Republic. If the Republicans retain the House, they could impeach Clinton immediately. And they have a case.

The Voters

“Donald Trump’s Appeal to Rust Belt Workers” [Steve Greenhouse, New York Times]. Times reporter visits Westmoreland County, PA, and quotes a member of the machinists union, a unionized corrections officer, chairman of the Republican committee, a professor of public affairs, the political director of the United Steelworkers, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s political director, a Republican congressman, and 50-year-old steelworker. Alrighty, then.

“[Sidney] Blumenthal was ‘obsessed,’ [Heilemann and Mark Halperin wrote], about the possible existence of a so-called ‘whitey tape,’ supposedly made at a Chicago church, in which Michelle Obama could be heard ranting against ‘whitey’—a tape that could have changed Clinton’s political fortunes during her primary fight, but that did not in fact exist. (‘They’ve got a tape, they’ve got a tape,’ Clinton told aides)” [Vanity Fair]. I remember that well; it never came to anything. Clinton does seem rather credulous, at least where sycophants like Blumenthal are concerned, doesn’t she?

“Hillary Clinton’s path to the White House relies on reassembling the winning Obama coalition of minority voters and women, but her campaign is vying for a demographic long out of reach for Democrats—college-educated whites—that could reshape the map of U.S. swing states this year” [Bloomberg]. Notice how the “Obama Coalition” is taken for granted as a concept; it shouldn’t be. And since when is it a revelation that the Democrats represent the credentialed 10% who are doing well?

“Fivethirtyeight.com founder: Blowing Trump’s primary win made me humbler, smarter” [Politico]. Of course, “humbler” and “smarter” doesn’t actually mean “humble” or “smart,” but let that pass. “‘My gut is that there is going to be a fairly significant third- and fourth-party vote, and people under-voting the top of the ballot,’ Silver said — and that’s why Clinton is leading recent polls with a modest 43 percent of the vote to Trump’s godawful 37 percent.”

UPDATE “It has not occurred to the stateless, rootless, global-citizen Amanpour that people might prefer their own customs and sovereignty to getting rich. Having no loyalty to any particular place, Amanpouristas find the love of one’s people, land, and traditions simply bizarre. So they denounce it as racist. I don’t believe this is cynical. I think they honestly believe it. And here is why it’s tribalism: they see anyone outside the tribe as barbarian. The fact that they see themselves as sophisticated and advanced instead of mere partisans of a different tribe, with their own prejudices and limitations, is what makes them so hard to take. Technocratic liberalism is their religion, and its god is a jealous god” [The American Conservative]. Elegantly sets up a “Cosmopolitans vs. Nationalists” frame (recently pioneered by Douthat) vs. a “Racist/Sexist vs. Identity Politics” frame. In “Overton Prism” terms, then, the conservatives have defined the battle they want to fight, and the liberal goodthinkers have defined the battle they want to fight, both battles support and conceal the neoliberal assumptions that liberals and conservatives share, and that the left (the emergent third pole) does not share. (I mean, surely it’s possible for a working class person to be cosmopolitan, in any sense of the word? Is the argument really that the “free movement of labor” produces no cultural effects except among the worthy?)

The Trail

Lambert here: I’m starting to be counter-suggestible on Democrat frothing and stamping on Trump, especially on the Twitter. It’s noteworthy that all of the scandals, or memes, or whatever they are, are digital. In other words, Brock’s oppo is producing exactly the sort of oppo it is paid to produce. The latest one is that Trump is anti-semitic (based on a tweet). Well, last I heard, Trump was in New York real estate, and Manhattan isn’t famous for being run only by the goyim. Do we have anything non-digital? Say from Trump’s business dealings? Ditto for accusations of racism and sexism; these, too, are all based on verbiage, mostly digital. I understand how these claims would be immediately convincing to creative class symbol manipulators already in Clinton’s base, but again, what about Trump’s business dealings? Racist and sexist behavior in the workplace can lead to lawsuits. Are there any against Trump? If so, could Democrats consider focusing on the real world, and not the digital one? (On racism, it’s also not clear to me how to weigh Trump’s verbiage and associates, both very ugly, against the charred bodies from Clinton’s excellent Libyan adventure, bodies that were, last I checked, those of people of color most likely to be Muslim.)

“Democrat Hillary Clinton’s lead over Republican Donald Trump has narrowed to five percentage points, a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds, in a groundbreaking presidential election that is sparking feelings of alarm for most voters” [USA Today].

“At fundraising events, the president has already been road-testing his attacks on Trump. He long ago proved himself adept at handling the wildcard behavior by Trump that chronically worries the Clinton campaign, responding to the schoolyard taunts and personal invectives with stinging mockery that is not a strong suit of the more cautious Clinton” [Los Angeles Times]. Yeah, mockery works. Especially when you can’t run on your record.

“Donald Trump Meets With Senator Joni Ernst, a Possible Running Mate” [New York Times]. Ernst is the one who castrates hogs. Works for me.

“Donald Trump’s team promises an extraordinary display of political entertainment at this month’s Republican National Convention, with the accent on entertainment” [AP]. Republican Establishment that Trump gutted takes its balls, if any, and goes home. Film at 11.

“Mrs. Clinton would even schmooze differently than the past few presidents have. Not one to do business over golf or basketball, she would bring back the intimate style of former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson, negotiating over adult beverages. Picture a steady stream of senators, congressmen and other leaders raising a glass and talking policy in the Oval Office with her and her likely chief of staff, John D. Podesta, as her husband pops in with a quick thought or a disarming compliment” [New York Times]. A pervasive and destructive myth among the political class. And it’s hard to believe that “adult beverages” was written without irony, but I can believe anything of the Times these days.

The Hill

“Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced Tuesday he will put a ‘hold’ on a proposed Senate bill that would create a federal law governing the labeling of food that contains genetically modified organisms” [Seven Days]. “The bipartisan Senate proposal was announced last Thursday. It would allow food manufacturers to provide GMO information by labeling products with codes that consumers could scan via smartphone, or to provide phone numbers for information. By contrast, Vermont’s law [which the Federal Law pre-empts] requires the labeling of food products.”

Stats Watch

Factory Orders, May 2016: “May was a weak month for the factory sector as new orders fell 1.0 percent and show specific weakness in capital goods” [Econoday]. “Weakness in capital goods means weakness in business investment and reflects weakness in business expectations. And expectations aren’t getting any lift from Brexit. Weakness in capital goods also means extended trouble for the nonresidential investment component of the GDP report, here trouble for the second quarter.” And: “The health of manufacturing is gauged by the growth of unfilled orders. The 3 month rolling average rate of growth is currently flat but negative year-over-year” [Econintersect].

Gallup US Economic Confidence Indicator, June 2016: “Confidence ticked slightly higher earlier in the month with the index averaging minus 12 in each of the first two weeks but retreated near the end” [Econoday]. “Gallup’s June data show no immediate effect on Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy. The [Brexit] referendum did cause instantaneous turmoil in U.S. markets, which have since recovered, but the long-term effect of Brexit on the U.S. economy — and by extension, Americans’ confidence in it — is unclear.”

Gentlemen Prefer Bonds: “Lo and behold, after all the talk of interest rate hikes and gradually tightening monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, interest rates on the 10-year bond have touched record lows yet again” [247 Wall Street]. “For bond investors this is great news, but there are hidden dangers here in the yield spread. The Federal Reserve, despite not raising rates this year, did raise the effective federal funds rate back in December, which means that the overnight rate has risen slightly while long-term rates keep falling to record lows. Higher short-term rates and lower long-term rates mean a negatively sloped yield curve, commonly defined as 10-year minus two-year rates.” And for those who came in late:

Every recession since at least 1976 has been closely preceded by a negative yield curve. The functional reason for this is that the smaller the spread between long-term and short-term rates, the less money banks can make by borrowing short and lending long, which is basically the entire business model of the entire global banking system. When the curve goes negative, it means banks are paying more to borrow than they earn to lend, which obviously discourages banks from lending money and this slows down monetary expansion, leading to business cycle crashes. This is why the yield curve rarely fails to predict an imminent recession.

The yield curve has trended downward for over five years now, since February 4, 2011, when it hit a record high of 2.91. We are in an era of continuous record-breaking it seems, and the yield curve is no exception.

Hmm. “[T]he entire business model of the entire global banking system.” Not broken by the new normal of free money for rich people and negative interest rates? Readers?

Housing: “The reality is, today’s renters are worse off than their parents. Over the last decade we’ve added 10 million renter households while homeownership has been stagnant – largely by 7 million completed foreclosures. How bad has the rental situation gotten?” [Dr. Housing Bubble]. “Inflation adjusted rents have gone up by 64 percent since 1960. During this same period real household income is up 18 percent. What this means is that more net household income is locked up by rents. In places like Los Angeles it is not uncommon for households to spend 50 percent of their net income on rent. In San Francisco you have many high paid tech workers shacking up with roommates just to get by. On a nationwide scale this trend has been happening consistently.” And: “While everyone is now trying to be on the home buying train, sales figures don’t really reflect a major shift. Desires don’t always coincide with what the market is doing. Prices are largely being driven by tight inventory, investors, and low interest rates. Prices can be boosted by low rates but rents need to be paid out through real earned income.” Take a look at the million-dollar “crap shack” in the photo (with price history).

Vehicle sales: “Sales of North American-made vehicles fell 3.7 percent to a 13.2 million pace from 13.7 million with imports down 5.4 percent to 3.5 million. Data on cars and light truck show similar declines” [Mosler Economics]. Mosler: “This is a major negative. Along with today’s construction report seems to me my narrative of a general deceleration since oil capex collapsed is intact. Particularly the part about no recovery until after deficit spending- private or public- accelerates.”

Shipping: “Greece, Cosco China finally seal Piraeus port sale” [Journal of Commerce]. “But Athens has resolved the outstanding issues, enabling Cosco and the Greek privatization agency to sign the agreement in Beijing on Monday in the presence of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who is on a five-day visit to China.”

Supply Chain: “Manufacturers of warehouse automation have emerged as hot takeover targets, the WSJ’s Joshua Jamerson and Robbie Whelan report, as an online shopping surge fuels an arms race among retailers to make distribution more efficient. Honeywell says it sees growing demand for ‘warehouse, logistics and fulfillment solutions that can increase productivity and lower costs for our customers'” [Wall Street Journal].

The Bezzle: “Just received and Email saying ‘Your Google AdSense account was recently cancelled'” [AdSense Help Forum]. A fine example of the miserably inadequate customer service to be expected from a giant monopoly.

The Bezzle: “One problem with the obscenity of using “poverty porn” to raise money is that it works. These images do not aim to tell the truth; they sell a product. Besides its profitability, these images work as tourist brochures. As Lindsay Murdoch wrote in a previous article, “Orphanages are often run as businesses, the children being the assets.” ” [Nonprofit Quarterly].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 67, Greed (previous close: 71, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 46 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 5 at 11:47am. Nervous stomach after the Nineteenth Hole on the holiday Monday.

Our Famously Free Press

UPDATE “Facebook adjusts News Feed to favor friends and family over publishers” [The Verge]. “On its face, the move seems likely to favor buzzy, water-cooler chatter over, say, the often mundane proceedings of your state and local governments, or the policy discussions that will shape the future of the internet.” Did Zuckerberg get his Harvard degree in Agnotology, or what?

UPDATE “Each raw document offered by the Cryptome library is thought of as a public good invested at the scale of informed individual agency. This is meant to counter the anomic scales of Big Data algorithmics and analytics. Communities of engaged readers complete the collection’s circadian feedback circuits ‘from below’ with ongoing contributions cycling via Twitter and other non-hierarchical platforms for exchange” [Techno-Grafias].

UPDATE “Who is this man who seems to die in every terrorist attack?” [France24]. Surprised he hasn’t “appeared” at a Trump rally.

Dear Old Blighty

“After a mind-blowing display of support for Corbyn, the Labour coup has careered swiftly into a legal brick wall. Labour party legal advice states the leader will automatically be on the ballot paper in the upcoming leadership election” [Defend Democracy].

“Labour Party gains 60,000 new members in one week following attempted coup against Corbyn” [Independent].

Imperial Collapse Watch

“Revolving Doors, Robust Rolodexes, and Runaway Generals” [TomDispatch]. Fabius Maximus (!) summarizes: “Something broken in our military that neither candidate will fix: generals prosper from leading lost wars.”

“Despite months of repeated promises, the White House has yet to release its estimate of civilian casualties from the administration’s drone program – a delayed disclosure the New York Times Editorial Board described as ‘too little, too late'” [The Intercept].

“Former Chilean Army Officer Found Liable for 1973 Murder of Víctor Jara After U.S.-Backed Coup” [Democracy Now].


“L.A. education foundation became a lucrative source of income for USC’s Pat Haden and his relatives” [Los Angeles Timesd].

The State

“The news that the government might need to hire hundreds of immigrants to negotiate post-Brexit trade deals isn’t merely a delightful irony. It raises a serious question about the UK’s state capacity” [Stumbling and Mumbling]. “This refers (pdf) to the ability of governments to implement policies to achieve their objectives. Although it is usually discussed (pdf) in the context of less developed nations, it applies to the UK government now. Does it have the capacity to negotiate difficult trade deals, or to implement complex points-based immigration controls? The fact that we lack people capable of doing the former suggests perhaps not.” Extends on “Britain turns to private sector for complex Brexit talks” Yves linked to in the Financial Times this morning. Very important!

“The Elusiveness of Regulatory Capture” [RegBlog]. Not airbrushing, but a call for careful analysis.

“[U]nless one appreciates that the driving historical force that has brought us to this impasse is the decay of one constitutional order, the industrial nation-state, and the emergence of its successor, the informational market state, the crises brought on by Brexit will simply confound us” [Phillip Bobbit, Stratfor].

Class Warfare

“The United Kingdom’s narrow vote to leave the European Union had specific British causes. And yet it is also the proverbial canary in the coal mine, signaling a broad populist/nationalist backlash — at least in advanced economies — against globalization, free trade, offshoring, labor migration, market-oriented policies, supranational authorities, and even technological change.” [Nouriel Roubini, MarketWatch]. “[D]espite the growing number, organization, and mobilization of globalization’s losers, globalization itself is not necessarily doomed. For starters, it continues to yield net benefits for advanced and emerging markets alike, which is why the losers still tend to be a minority in most advanced economies, while those who benefit from globalization are a large — if at times silent — majority. In fact, even the “losers” benefit from the lower prices of goods and services brought about by globalization and technological innovation.” Ah, “innovation.” I do like the “winners” and “losers” frame; I didn’t know all those diagrams Operative K draws on his chalkboard were for winners only! Really puts the “political” in “political economy,” doesn’t it?

News of the Wired

“Don Eyles Walks Us Through the Lunar Module Source Code” [Hackaday].

UPDATE And then, in the fog… [Simon Stalenhag]. Ultra-spooky photo-realistic artwork well worth spending time with. I think there’s a story in these images of a dystopian future… that looks a lot like our present with just a few changes…

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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 (AM):


AM writes: “From Bagno Flavio in Forte dei Marmi.” I should know the history of roses, and I don’t. However, I’d guess that roses are just as much world travellers as we two-legged humans are. Beauty, it seems, is adaptive, and how not?

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

Adding, thank you again readers for last week’s rapid and successful Water Cooler Mini-Fundraiser. Checks are arriving in the mail. I’m still writing thank you notes! Yours will arrive! Adding, to me, a reader’s reality is their handle, and even more their actual comments. I don’t mentally connect handle to email, let alone to contribution. So if I’ve snarled at you, take comfort that all are snarled at equally!

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


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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Anne

    Lambert, I think you have an open italics bracket – even these comments are coming up in italics…looks like it never got closed after the 7th item in your Clinton email post-mortem.

      1. sgt_doom

        The case against Clinton:

        18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information





  2. Bob

    If David Petraeus was too big to jail; then HRC is simply too bigger to even indict. I spent 20+ years with a DoD security clearance – I was never not familiar with the awful consequences of failure to practice good information security.

    We need to document/memorialize this HRC-standard of probable cause, and it shouldn’t be available just to the 1%.

    1. Jim Haygood

      It’s too late for the sailor who pled guilty on May 27th to possessing classified photos of a nuclear submarine to motion for his charges to be dropped.

      But in light of Comey’s “HIllary standard” for offenses involving classified material, his attorney should advocate for a sentence of one day of community service and a fine of $10.

      Not that it would make any difference — harsh federal sentencing guidelines mean he will be doing time, regardless of what the judge thinks or fairness would require. This is your two-track conviction machine on rocket fuel.

      All the judge can do to protest (if he feels differently) is to inhale from a helium balloon and announce the prison sentence in a chipmunk squeak.

      1. fresno dan


        We’re going to see….?zillion?…or a mere million similar cases. GOOD
        The sooner the people understand that the system is “rigged” and that the only thing that really matters is how much money (i.e., power) you have to get the decision in your OWN interest.

        This is the final scene to the film, Elmer Gantry.

        “When I was a child, I spake as a child. I understood as a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things.” – St. Paul, First Corinthians, 13/11

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          So long as we keep downplaying it by calling it an “email hairball” nothing will ever get noticed. Let’s call it what it is: a coup d’etat.
          How far we have come since the days of Watergate…when you lose the rule of law you’ve lost the whole show.
          Corzine, Mozillo, the next president, civil forfeiture seizures by police exceeding the value of all criminal robberies…f*ck it why should anyone in the society believe and play by any of the rules?

          1. Arizona Slim

            From the original post:

            If the Republicans retain the House, they could impeach Clinton immediately. And they have a case.

            To which I say:

            Indeed they do. And, methinks, HRC had better pick a good VP. Because she won’t be in office very long.

            1. James Levy

              They could nail her right now and save themselves the trouble, but they won’t. This is not a partisan issue. It is the culture of the Power Elite. The Republicans will use it to garner donations and score political points, but they are not going to set a precedent of holding officials strictly accountable for their actions. What could they do to keep Bush and Cheney from The Hague if they admit that high government officials are responsible for their actions?

              1. Jim Haygood

                Surely there is some fee HRC could pay to settle this with them.

                It was just a misunderstanding.

                1. Christopher Fay

                  She’s ready to work on the Republican program, loot Social Security, bomb on day one.

            2. m

              Isn’t this going to further infuriate those were anti or unsure of Clinton? This will not play well especially those with a clearance that know she broke the law.
              Hate Fox but can’t wait to see how they get their peeps in an uproar.

              1. readerOfTeaLeaves

                I fully agree with Lambert at:

                Finally, I think, come January and assuming a Clinton victory, the Democrat Party will be seen to have created a legitimacy crisis, not merely for themselves and the Clinton dynasty, but the Republic.

                I take ‘infuriated‘ to mean, ‘people who still object to injustice’.

                Injustice – and we now have political, legal, and economic injustices on a vast scale – invokes legitimacy crises.
                We’re probably in Phase 2 of 5.
                And I don’t want to know what 5 looks like, as I greatly fear that it looks like Damascus or some other hell-on-earth disaster of descent into civil war. I fervently hope that I am mistook.

            3. steelhead23

              Would her crimes committed while Sec. State be crimes for which she could be impeached as president? If so, she really should step aside and let Bernie run. It should be clear to everyone who lived through Watergate and the Lewinsky scandal that impeachment impedes the performance of the sitting president – we need a working president, not a defendant.

              1. suzanne

                No, I’m pretty sure impeachment of someone in office is only for crimes committed while in that office. At least in the case of president.

                1. Alex morfesis

                  Impeachment does not require anything but enough votes…no facts required…

                  politics, pure & $imp£€

                  “Facts” are for the media to sell advertising…

                  Sooner or later, we born of this nation will realize that since the founding fathers passed on july 4, 1826…every presidency and pretty much every congress has been run by pirates…

                  We might be told nice bedtime stories about how wonderful things will be…but the facts remain…

                  It is not voting for the lesser of two evils…it’s deciding which crime family gets to rape us…

                  Or perhaps we need to view politics for what it is…pickpocketing at the local level and conversion at the top…

            4. Fiver

              Why would a re-building Republican Party leadership that helped make record money for record numbers of already fortunate people in partnership with Obama et al want to go and impeach an even bigger gravy train?

          2. cwaltz

            I’m calling it what it is- criminal misconduct.

            She may not have been indicted for it but the standard IS gross negligence.

          3. Carla

            “when you lose the rule of law you’ve lost the whole show”

            Ahem. ISDS. It was lost LONG ago… at least as far back as NAFTA. Thanks, Clintons.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Obesity is a big problem.

      It doesn’t help we have too much predation in the economy and politics (and the equivalent meat eating).

      1. Adam Eran

        Sorry, I disagree. Big Ag has lobbied successfully for subsidies for commodity crops, primarily the kinds of grain that feed livestock (and make high-fructose corn syrup). Michael Pollan reports subsidies are as much as 40% of agricultural income, and quotes one farmer saying the subsidies are like “laundering money for Cargill and ADM.”

        So…not even the food we eat is immune from crapification (read Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma for the sickening consequences of CAFOs, among other things.)

        Add to that the economic elites preference for auto-centric sprawl development, and you have a recipe for the kind of divergent economic outcomes we’re experiencing now.

        Sprawl isolates people, provides little or no public gathering space that is public, but plenty of malls (gosh, I wonder why our kids are so materialistic!) and drive-to greenery…and bonus! Don’t forget the most regressive “tax” of all! Every driving age adult must own a car.

        So…a lot of effort has gone into eliminating walking out from the built environment, coincidentally making it impossible to have economically viable transit. How are passengers going to walk to the stops if they have to scale a berm to get there? So…we’re suffering from the diseases of chronic inactivity (obesity, type II diabetes, etc.), thanks to sprawl, and the five-fold increase in meat consumption since the 1950s.

        The degradation of the public realm is also one object here, leading to public squalor and private opulence.

        Oh yes, and the caloric density of meat means inevitable obesity, too.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I am sorry. I was too obscure.

          I was referring to fat (big) banks and fat (big, on the power scale) politicians (who can be quite skinny).

          Obese banks and obese (power-wise) politicians.

        2. vidimi

          i am pretty sure that meat is not a significant cause of obesity. i have never seen an obese masai, for example. i would point my finger at the hormone-altering packaged feed that americans (and not only) so like to snack on, among several other culprits more guilty than meat.

    3. Pirmann

      All of this is primarily our fault, really. Rather than waiting for someone in the government to step up and take down the Clintons, we could simply, I don’t know, NOT ELECT them to public office.

      Yet every single time one Clinton or the other is offered up as a candidate, we dutifully trudge to the polls and vote them in.

      We can sit here and complain about how corrupt they are, but come November, we’ll be right there in line electing -H>er Commander in Chief.

      1. pretzelattack

        that may be true, it is hard to tell how true; i don’t have a handle on whether the election fraud/vote suppression swung the race. but it was a very significant factor, the race would have been much closer, and that might translate into things the party actually fights for. might.

      2. aab

        That is not true. Bill never got 50% of the vote. Hillary needed systemic election theft just to “win” the primary. She won’t “win” the general with votes, either.

        We need to stop blaming the citizens. Yes, we citizens have made plenty of mistakes. But we are not the drivers of this corruption.

        1. tony

          Would you blame a tiger for attacking a gazelle? Hardly, it’s in its nature. It is in the elites nature to secure their positions. To maintain democracy, the citizenry must defend their rights against constant assault.

          Marx said that the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. The elites by their very nature are ambitious and energetic, they will always exist and they will always fight for their interests. This fight is not going anywhere.

          1. Yves Smith

            The elites 50 years ago were not like that and ones that were were shunned. They knew they had a good deal and they knew that keeping class jealousy down was in their long-term interest. The real elites believed in noblesse oblige and looked down and marginalized the nouveau riche who didn’t embrace their values. The noveaux might have better toys but they would not get into the exclusive clubs of various sorts.

            The shift in values started as a result of a concerted, well funded, and very successful effort by extreme right wing groups to change social values. I’m not making this up. I have a chapter in ECONNED on this, or you can Google “Powell memo” to read about the road map for this initiative. The widespread acceptance of neoliberalism and “greed is good” came out of this extremely successful campaign.

            1. Norb

              From my own limited experience dealing with elites, I can see the split between those with a conscious and those with an unabashed predatory nature. They may be troubled by the direction our society is traveling, but lack the ultimate will or creative foresight to alter course. There is just too much for them to loose. In a way, humane elite are loosing out like the rest of us. The criminal, predatory factions are much harder to dislodge because they will ultimately rely on violence to maintain their position. Rules are not for them.

              Elite social society has also seen an inversion. Where once the vulgar nouveau riche were in the minority position of social power and influence, they have become ascendant and set the entire tone for society as a whole. No wonder Trump drives them to distraction. He is the embodiment of how out of control the social order has become, and clearly demonstrates the failure of the ruling value structure.

              Appealing to the better nature in the human soul can reverse this course, but I fear it will have to come from the bottom up of the social order. The lure of profit above all else is just to great for our ruling class.

      3. Jason Ipswitch

        I’m not sure that being given a “choice” between Pepsi and Coke means that it is entirely our fault when we end up with carbonated soda, again.

        I know that Trump gets some support here (for reasons that I find unfathomable) but I think you are likely right about Hillary winning in the fall. I know its tinfoil hat territory, but cannot help wondering if that isn’t the entire point of Trump: to be so awful that he manages the Herculean task of making Clinton look good by comparison.

        1. different clue

          Anyone who is dumm enough to think that Trump is worse than Christie, or Cruz, or Kasich, or Fiorina, or Bush, or Rubio, or or or . . . . deserves a President Clinton.

          I will repeat what I have said before: if the GOP de-nominates Trump and gives its nomination to one of its own brand name Repuglan-seal-of-approval candidates, I will be voting for Clinton.

          1. different clue

            If there are any secret agent Republican lurkers reading these threads . . . . are you reading this comment, secret agent Republicans? If you want me to vote for Clinton, you will nominate somebody other-than-Trump at your convention.

    4. ScottW

      “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”–James Comey

      In law, there is no such standard as, “extremely careless.” The standards are negligence, gross negligence/reckless and intentional. Intent is rarely proved by direct evidence, but by circumstantial evidence. Criminals rarely state, “I intend to break ABC law” and then goes ahead breaking that law.

      It is clear Hillary and her aides intended to transmit & store top secret documents on her private servers. That is not negligent, that is not reckless, that is intentional. Therefore, they intended to break the law since they all knew, or should have known, it was unlawful to store, transfer and communicate top secret documents from a government server to a private server, yet they consciously did so. All of their actions were intentional.

      Comey never did explain what type of conduct had to be engaged in to justify a prosecution. He did not do so because you will never find a case in which so many top secret/confidential records are stored and transmitted on a private server. And what about all of the aides who took these top secret documents from government servers and transmitted them on private servers. It is my understanding that is not an easy trick to pull off. Why aren’t they facing criminal charges?

      The take away–so long as you are a high level government employee, feel free to send and receive as many top secret documents as your heart desires.

      1. dingusansich

        What you describe in Comey’s statement is n rhetoric [waves to Lambert] called an aporia:

        An irresolvable internal contradiction or logical disjunction in a text, argument, or theory; “the celebrated aporia whereby a Cretan declares all Cretans to be liars”

        One really might wonder if Comey meant to construct a statement in which the conclusion so obviously doesn’t follow from the evidence and argument. How’s it go in Julius Caesar? “But Hillary is an honorable woman …”

        1. FluffytheObeseCat

          one might really wonder”

          When I read his statement, that was the thought that crossed my mind. His novel “extremely careless” phrase seemed designed to evoke the legal term of art “negligent” in the mind of the listener. The eternal Beltway elite were satisfied with his recommendation against indictment, and the Republican right were given a dogwhistle. Comey satisfied all his potential employers and contacts with this public announcement.

      2. James Levy

        Let’s be blunt: this is a variation of Bush v. Gore. Someone in power has let it be known that under these circumstances this very powerful person is going to get away with it, but all you clucks down the food chain better watch your asses because this is NOT a precedent that applies to anyone else or under any other circumstances.

      3. wbgonne

        In law, there is no such standard as, “extremely careless.” The standards are negligence, gross negligence/reckless and intentional.

        Yes, and the mens rea for the offense in question is gross negligence.

        “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”–James Comey

        Most people, Comey included, would say that “extreme[] careless[ness]” is synonymous with “gross negligence.” One can imagine Comey employing that — dare I say, Clintonesque — euphemism to avoid the obvious and unseemly conclusion that the FBI found sufficient evidence that Clinton committed a crime but does not recommend prosecuting her.

        1. Jason Ipswitch

          The question then becomes, “Why isn’t he recommending prosecuting her?”

          What is the payoff for Comey?

          1. steelhead23

            Let’s be clear here. The global elite want Hillary, not Donald, and certainly not Bernie. Comey, while well removed from their circle, still feels the heat. He cannot help but know that were he to recommend indictment, he would ensure her departure from the race.

            My question at this point is, could Obama pardon her such that no future Congress could impeach her?

          2. different clue

            Payoff? Maybe the payoff is bad things not happening to Comey or his family?

            Could it be
            that someone put
            a horse’s head
            in Comey’s bed?

            1. David

              Comey’s had a couple of swings through the revolving door already. He’s also a family man with a bunch of kids to put through college. He’s not about to stick his neck out.

          3. Christopher Fay

            Same as for the CIA, gross increase in size of the bureaucracy, bigger budget, increase in chance and areas to spy on Americans domestically, notice the big no-fly no-gun watch lists, greater chance to spy on Americans domestically under that GWOT is the big pay-off, I guess.

      4. sd

        Ooooo. A new party game.

        There was no intent to kill, he was just extremely careless with the knife….

        There was no intent to defraud the bank, she was just extremely careless with the numbers….

  3. Jim Haygood

    In 1998, Bill Moushey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote a 10-part series titled “Win At All Costs,” about “a law enforcement culture that has allowed the pursuit of a conviction to replace the pursuit of justice, no matter what the cost.” It’s posted here:


    Anyone who’s had a friend or family member processed through this system knows that it shows no mercy. That’s why the U.S. has seven times the imprisonment rate of the rest of the G7.

    Comey’s press conference today wasn’t really about HIllary. It was about the institutional imperative of maintaining the threadbare illusion that the justice system is dedicated to the pursuit of truth, rather than to feeding the Gulag.

    Unfortunately, the Clintons’ behavior displays such egregious bad intent that Comey’s act may backfire badly. Not only is the Establishment is no longer trusted; its flagrant two-track justice system is Exhibit A in the people’s indictment of a broken system.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Were all journalists present without shoes, like in a Japanese house?

        2. grayslady

          Maybe the reason he didn’t take any questions is that he wasn’t supposed to be standing up there spilling his guts to begin with. The FBI has no prosecutorial rights, nor is it the agency’s job to recommend or not recommend prosecution. The FBI’s job is to marshal the facts and present them to the prosecutor, in this case the U.S. Attorney General. Comey never should have opened his mouth at all.

          Now the Clinton-Lynch meeting in Arizona begins to make sense. Hillary dangles a carrot in front of Loretta Lynch–that she would like Lynch to stay on as AG. This enticement is submitted to Lynch well before the airplane tete-a-tete. Obama has made it clear to Lynch that prosecuting Hillary will be bad for Democrats. However, Lynch doesn’t want the blow back from not prosecuting Hillary, especially after the State Dept. Investigator’s report makes it clear that Hillary broke laws, as well as ignoring Dept. procedures. So Comey, who is not on anyone’s short list to remain at the FBI, is told that he needs to usurp authority not granted to the FBI and claim prosecutorial discretion–in this case, not to indict. The hope is that only those familiar with regulations will realize that the FBI doesn’t have any authority over whether or not to indict. Only Loretta Lynch can make that decision. Since the propaganda press is now nothing more than a stenographer’s pool, the White House can count on major media making a brief report on Comey’s statement and then dropping the subject. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton, on board Lynch’s aircraft explains that everything has been arranged with Comey for a statement the following week to make it appear that Lynch’s hands are clean.

          Of course, this is only a surmise, but I think it passes the snicker test.

          1. sleepy

            It is entrirely within the FBI’s authority to inform the Justice Dept that based on their investigation, the FBI has found or not found sufficient facts that a crime was committed.

            Other federal investigative agencies do it routinely. For example, when IRS agents finish a tax crime investigation, a criminal reference letter to the Justice Dept is issued if the IRS determines prosecution is warranted. Justice may say yes or no.

            Even though your local cop has no power to prosecute you, he can make a decision to bring you in for some crime or let you go which generally has some finality to it. Of course, the local DA can still charge you, but realistically and effectively it rarely happens. The cop made that decision as a practical matter.

            I think most are aware that the Justice Dept has the final–and only–say in whether or not a person is indicted. The Clinton file will be shipped across the street for final decision by the attorneys, as pro-forma as that will be.

      1. Tim

        Not being a lawyer, my first take this morning was that a lot of his comments sounded reasonable, then the video started playing and OMG he looked like he couldn’t hardly stand one word coming out of his mouth. Yikes!

        A separate note, he did say there is a high probability that in cases like her she would face administrative and or security sanctions, although it wasn’t what he was asked to do.

        Aka she should be fired from her job and have her clearance pulled. So, can somebody be qualified to be a president/commander in chief, while not having a security clearance? Although presumably it is the state department that determines who gets a clearance and who doesn’t, so little chance of that happening.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Does the FBI look at past patterns?

      Is there not some pattern in detecting her intention?

      This is not the first time.

    2. Arizona Slim

      From what I’m seeing online, Hillary has already lost in the court of public opinion.

  4. Alex morfesis

    This email movie can’t be over…I bought the supersize popcorn tub with free rootbeer refills…even grabbed extra napkins…oh well…

      1. Jim Haygood

        Confirming what LifelongLib said in yesterday’s Water Cooler:

        On the same day that the FBI announced that the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server is likely to conclude without any charges, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that messages contained in a personal email account can sometimes be considered government records subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.

        While the opinions in the case make no mention of Clinton or her private server, it seems evident that all three appeals judges involved are aware of the obvious analogy.

        “If a department head can deprive the citizens of their right to know what his department is up to by the simple expedient of maintaining his departmental emails on an account in another domain, that purpose is hardly served. It would make as much sense to say that the department head could deprive requestors of hard-copy documents by leaving them in a file at his daughter’s house and then claiming that they are under her control,” Judge David Sentelle wrote in an opinion joined by Judge Harry Edwards.


        Now the spotlight shifts to the multiple FOIA lawsuits under way. Several dirt dumps already are scheduled for August.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Yes. Clinton’s privatized email server is corrupt by definition; it’s the private appropriate of material produced in public office (see here, here, and here). One can only hope that at some point one of the branches of government gets round to recognizing that. I’d add it to the bill of particulars for impeachment.

          1. Code Name D

            The nature of the investigation was extremely narrow and probably written in such a way that he could only investigate the one thing that WASN’T corrupt – namely that she had a privet server. This took every thing else off limits. The nature of the e-mails themselves, violations of intelligence protocols, compromising of national security, and what ever else they found was out of bounds.

            If Comey had come forward with any of that evidence to recommend indictments, it would have been tossed out completely – poised fruit. According to Goodman (who is currently trying to salvage his credibility), this report will could/may trigger new investigations. According to Goodman, Comey’s report is still damaging.

            I do recall that we are living in a post Star-investigation world. No doubt there were many changes made that makes these types of investigations just that much harder. And that’s probably a feature – not a bug. (face palm)

            So those that said Clinton would not be indicted. Cudoes. (I owe some one a nickel. – grumble grumble grumble- ) So Comey basically patched up the hole, and now the white-wash can begin in earnest.

            Roomer has it that if Comey reused to indict, the front line agents would revolt. What that means is any one’s guess. The notes of the investigation could be leaked and bog Clinton down in a corruption quagmire, depending on what they leak, when and how, and not forgetting if any thing happens at all. More likely, there will be a mass exodus of retirements and resignations. This is the new wild card.

            But this is what is certain. Any hopes that the super delegates would balk and vote for Sanders is now dead. Frankly, even if Comey had dropped the hammer and had Clinton frog-marched out of her home, I doubt they would have abandoned Clinton. The notion they would abandoned her now is out of the question.

            So now the ball is played to the GOP. What will they do with this information?

            Trump probably suspected this would happen. Which is why he never played the indictment card. As of now, the whole e-mail scandal is just another right wing conspiracy, as likely to chase as many voters away as to bring them in. But I doubt he will stay silent about it. He will just start including ALL DEMOCRATS into the crocked Hillary meme, and it will stick.

            But the GOP appears to be serious about black-balling Trump and backing Clinton. (There’s a bumper sticker for you. Clinton: Because the GOP thinks I’m cool now.) This is the best possible scenario for Clinton, giving her a 50/50 chance against Trump. The media will continue to handle her with silk gloves while giving Trump a taste of the Sander-style media black out and start displaying his soiled underwear.

            The GOP may also have a larger game-plan in mind. They may be thinking impeachment will hold greater political value for them. But I doubt they will go after just Clinton, they will go after the entirety of the Democratic brand, which will have huge implications for Democrats across the ticket from top to bottom.

            And then there is the coming economic collapse to consider. The Brexit may have kicked in the foundation under the house of cards and may have started the wave of banking collapses. I get the feel the collapse will accelerate, shortly after the Democratic convention. She will have a classic McCain moment where she stands up and says “the economy has never been better” only to have it blow up in her face. After that, Trump walks into the White House.

            When it’s all said and done, I suspect that Clinton’s dogging the bullet, rather than keeping her alive, has only metastasized the corruption through out the entirety of the Democratic Party.

            A great deal of America’s future resides on what Sanders dose next. Unfortunately I fear LOTE has too great a hold on him. He will endorse Clintion for lack of a viable option and then slowly and painfully slip into obscurity.

            The Democratic Party is dead. I said this even as Obama was being sworn into office. And the Clinton drama only confirms this. She will sacrifice the entire party for bit for the Whitehouse, which may ultimately prove futile, but ending up collapsing the party. Leaving America a one-party start, under the perpetual rule of the Republican Party.

            1. Tom

              “The nature of the investigation was extremely narrow and probably written in such a way that he could only investigate the one thing that WASN’T corrupt …”

              Who decides what the “nature” of the investigation is? Who is it that “writes” the parameters?
              I mean, does Comey need to get permission from someone to investigate, or submit for approval some written scope document that spells out the FBI’s suspicions about a possible criminal matter?
              If you can slap blinders on the G Men, the whole thing is kinda a sham, no?

              1. redleg

                Based on listening to Comey talk, it sounded like his prepared remarks outlined the case for indictment but abruptly changed for the “no indictment” conclusion.
                What they found doesn’t exonerate her at all, even though the trolls will think that.

                I agree with the person upthread that called this a coup.

            2. James Levy

              I doubt that the Republicans will impeach a president on the way in. It smacks of what the Tories are trying to do to the Brexit vote (overturning the will of the people by other means) and the resulting pandemonium may be too much for them to handle. What they will do is try to eviscerate her and hold this stuff over her head behind closed doors. That would serve their purposes nicely, as she’s 80+% in their camp anyway. They also don’t want the precedent set that powerful people are actually accountable under the law. Hell, Nixon fought like a demon to keep the Pentagon Papers under raps, and they were a devastating indictment of the Democrats. What he was defending was executive privilege, and I think the Republicans are still fully on board for that.

              1. redleg

                I’ll bet a GOP House will have the articles drafted and passed before she’s inaugurated.

              2. EGrise

                Kinda depends on what kind of GOP we’re talking about, doesn’t it? Regular-strength neoliberal conservative GOP types will do just as you describe, but if in, say, 2018 we get a House full of Tea-Party-esque fire breathers then all bets are off.

            3. Jagger

              The notes of the investigation could be leaked and bog Clinton down in a corruption quagmire, depending on what they leak, when and how

              Who has got the b-lls to leak any confidential info on the Clintons??? If you want the hammer, if you want long, hard prison time, try leaking confidential information on the Clintons and getting caught. You know anyone thinking of leaking better not forget that they aren’t a Clinton.

              Justice is blind, my foot.

        2. cwaltz

          Here’s to hoping Clinton and the DNC get to experience death by a million paper cuts this election cycle.

          If there aren’t consequences then they won’t learn.

  5. Tom

    Surely the FBI stumbled across some Clinton emails that at least hinted at public corruption related to U.S. arms sales to other countries that lined up pretty damn close to donations from those very same countries to the Clinton Foundation. I thought public corruption was high on the FBI priority list. Can’t the FBI initiate an investigation on their own, or do they have to have a referral from an Inspector General? Or is Clinton corruption so far above even the FBI’s pay grade that it’s simply a non-starter?

    1. voteforno6

      My guess is that the investigation was strictly circumscribed from the beginning; they were charged to look only into the mishandling of classified information, and nothing else.

      1. Vatch

        You are very likely correct. Still, if a traffic cop pulls a driver over for speeding, and notices illegal contraband on the passenger seat, the cop will probably arrest the driver. But I guess that’s too much to expect from the FBI.

        1. allan

          Anonymous Comey (or staffers): we couldn’t recommend Clinton for prosecution because Petraeus got a slap on the wrist. Totally unsourced, but schoolmarm Margaret Sullivan is no longer around to keep a lid on such things.

          Shadow of Plea Deal for David Petraeus Loomed Over Hillary Clinton Email Case [NYT]

          While one case does not serve as binding precedent for the next, prosecutors and F.B.I. agents said that Mr. Petraeus’s sentence made it harder to argue that Ms. Clinton should face charges, barring some new revelation.

          Call it impunity by induction.

          1. Rhondda

            And Betrayus and Clinton were collaborators — er— co-conspirators. This whole thing is filthy. It makes me feel physically ill. It pollutes the body politic.

              1. cwaltz

                Imagine how you’d feel if you spent over a decade in uniform defending this crap with no idea that you were protecting and defending the elites right to do what the f- they want

                With liberty and justice for all, my ass.

                1. readerOfTeaLeaves

                  Calm down, Vatch. Nothing to see here, move right along.

                  The reindeer and St Nick will be back right on schedule in late December — assuming you vote for whatever power-mongering mockery the DNC and GOP put forth in November, you’ll get candies and toys right on schedule.

                  (Since I got coal in my stocking in July, I’m going to give myself Early Christmas by writing in Bernie on my November ballot. Some of us are just ornery that way, but Santa still loves us.)

                  Back to your Legos, dear Vatch.
                  Worry not ;-)

                2. cwaltz

                  He lives on an island with the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

                  *Darn it Tom stop with the conspiracy theories against Santa*

                  1. readerOfTeaLeaves

                    Yes, and on that island, they all believe in liberty and justice for all.
                    Which is why the Tooth Fair finds it so congenial there.

                    1. cwaltz

                      Once upon a time there was a nation that believed that public servant meant serving public interests, not your own.

                      So many stories so little time.

                      Yesterday I informed my kid that yesterday was National Blow Crap up Day. As long as the oligarchy isn’t going to pretend I intend to make sure that my kids have none of the illusions I did while I served.

                      I guess I should start a fund to get them out of the country if Clinton starts WW3.

    2. Jason Ipswitch

      I suspect its more that neither the FBI nor the GOP is interested in the full depths of the Clintons’ corruption.

      If we were to rate corruption and gross malfeasence on a 1-10 scale with Clinton at 9 and the typical congresscritter at 7, the GOP (and probably FBI) are only interested in the difference between 7 and 9. (And they’re none too keen on getting anywhere near 7.) So investigations inevitably fall short, because avoiding acknowledging that most of what Bill and Hillary are doing is common practice among the ruling class inevitably trumps holding them to account for their excesses when compared to the typicaly levels of corruption.

  6. fresno dan

    Just for something completely different (!!! why is this italics????) Anyway, from Comey’s statement:

    “From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.”

    Out of all that emailing, for the frigging secretary of state, that is all the top secret emails Hillary has???
    Its hard to imagine if Clintoon was really WORKING on IMPORTANT stuff, that there would be such a paucity of classified material. Did she do hardly ANY important government WORK??? Or was her time almost entirely spent on yoga pants???

      1. LarryB

        Of course, neither Snowden nor Manning intended to harm the United States. In fact they intended to help the United States. So why are they in exile and prison?

      2. Tom

        During Comey’s announcement, I forgot to see if he was blinking his eyelids in any discernable pattern. Can someone who knows Morse Code watch a replay?

    1. Take the Fork

      I’m going to defend Clinton here.

      Given the owners’ reluctance to negotiate over much of anything except the exact length, width and depth of the shaft with regard to our domestic industries and workforce, and given our foreign policy elites singular focus on “force-oriented solutions,” the Secretary of State probably doesn’t have much to do.

      Diplomacy, like the 3rd Amendment, seems obsolete, and elegant practice for a more civilized age…

      Maybe, instead of Commerce and Education (and what was that third one?), we ought to think about eliminating the State Department, and let another agency handle passports…

      1. cwaltz


        I’m pretty sure that somewhere before giggling like a schoolgirl over deposing a crappy dictator that you are supposed to have some sort of post plan or you create a power vacuum.

        I doubt the people in the ME or in Ukraine share your sentiments

  7. estase

    “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”

    They should adopt those three sentences into every school curriculum right now, so kids can learn what’s good for them.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Somebody should ask Loretta Lynch (or Obama) what “security or administrative sanctions” are appropriate, since Comey just passed the ball to them on this topic. Or perhaps Clinton herself, though that would be cheeky.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Those sanctions are ‘classified,’ or ‘top secret,’ accessible to only one person in the country.

      2. voteforno6

        If this was done by someone in the trenches, the most likely administrative sanctions would be loss of job and security clearance (it’s been done for far less). For that person in the trenches, both of those are a big deal. I haven’t ever heard of anyone being prosecuted for the negligent handling of classified material, but it certainly has been threatened.

  8. EmilianoZ

    Attention DC residents:

    Jane Mayer, who broke some not uninteresting stories about the Koch bros, will be at the DC public library (MLK branch) Thursday July 7, 6:30 pm , to discuss her book “Dark money”.


    1. Anon

      How long is the book? I’m wondering if I can fit that in before Thursday and try to show up.

      Speaking of Comey, perhaps he’s taking the 30,000 feet view and doesn’t want to end up dead or missing like so many others. If I were a D, I’d feel pretty repulsed right now, but you can tell that there was a real crisis of conscience with a line like this:

      To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences.

      Alternatively, what if this is a feint move to get dirt on the Foundation instead of the e-mails?

      1. Butch In Waukegan

        Wonderland. In their Bush v. Gore ruling the Supreme Court said their decision should not be considered a precedent.

        1. Ed

          Bush v. Gore has been used as a precedent in judicial decisions.

          Technically, no Supreme Court rulings are precedents. They are just appeals court rulings, with the only distinction that no appeal is possible. By convention lower courts and executive agencies follow them, but neither this nor judicial review itself features of the written Constitution. In short, the Supreme Court itself has never had the power to declare whether its opinions are precedents or not.

    2. Kokuanani

      I wonder if anyone will be taping this & posting it to YouTube?

      Would be a public service.

  9. MsExPat

    The world is truly upside down, as I am looking to the National Review for cogent legal analysis of Comey’s utterly confounding and contradictory statement. Yet this is quite good


    He began by saying intent didn’t matter under the law. But even so, do we believe that she didn’t intend to set up the server? Do we believe that she didn’t intend to put her privacy and political security above national security? She’d been warned about the server and did it anyway. I’m obviously no lawyer but that looks like intentionality and willfulness to me. As for the strength of the evidence . . . what more evidence do you need? There were not one but apparently several unsecured servers set up and paid for by Mrs. Clinton to house and transmit classified information. Comey said she was “extremely careless.” Is that just a tick below “gross negligence”? What am I missing? I don’t think she was disloyal to the United States, I just think she was more loyal to herself – and she got away with it.

    I’m still shaken by disbelief. July 5th, 2016: the day the US well and truly became a tin pot oligarchy.

    1. Jim Haygood

      It’s been 240 years and 1 day since July 4, 1776.

      As ol’ Frank Roosevelt used to say, “This is a day that will live in infamy.”

      1. Alex morfesis

        Actually it is a great day…comey has helped make it all too obvious…and considering his grandpas hanky panky with the yonkers police department…the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree…

        this is a great day…

        when the flowers kept blooming and the butterflies went about their business…

        and those of us who can,
        now realize we must…

    2. Tom

      Shaken is the word that covers it, alright. And to see the President cavorting with Clinton mere hours later adds even more insult. It’s crystal clear as to me as never before — the White House, the Justice Department, the FBI, Clinton – all are complicit in this travesty of justice. I honestly feel sick right now.

    3. Carolinian

      If a tree falls in the DC forest and no cocktail weenie eating reporter chooses to hear it did it really happen? We’ve been here before with Bush v Gore. The press corps bigfoots had already decided that Bush should win so enough about those hanging chads.

      Personally I’m more worried about Clinton’s incompetence than her corruption. She really doesn’t seem to know what she is doing much of the time.

    4. Jason Ipswitch

      As Alex said, the US didn’t change at all. It’s just that a little more of the paint flaked off the tin. (Probably because the owners stopped paying for the quality paint a while ago to boost profits. If there was ever anything but tin underneath…)

    5. Ed

      I’ve actually never read “The Corner” until now, but this is a reasonable point. Intent is just not an important part of the laws about handling classified -let alone Top Secret- information.

      Actually for ordinary people, intent has not been an important part of prosecutions for decades. If intent were that important, the entire field of DUI law would collapse.

      1. pretzelattack

        odd, in crimes like that they presume intent. but that’s for cases where little people are the targets.

  10. Anne

    Saw something on Twitter that linked back to this March 31, 2016 Time piece that says, in part:

    Comey’s first brush with them came when Bill Clinton was president. Looking to get back into government after a stint in private practice, Comey signed on as deputy special counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee. In 1996, after months of work, Comey came to some damning conclusions: Hillary Clinton was personally involved in mishandling documents and had ordered others to block investigators as they pursued their case. Worse, her behavior fit into a pattern of concealment: she and her husband had tried to hide their roles in two other matters under investigation by law enforcement. Taken together, the interference by White House officials, which included destruction of documents, amounted to “far more than just aggressive lawyering or political naiveté,” Comey and his fellow investigators concluded. It constituted “a highly improper pattern of deliberate misconduct.”

    A pattern that hasn’t changed, apparently. And why should it. when the consequence is to accrue more power, more money and move up the ranks of the elite?

    1. HBE

      I was 90% certain I was going to vote for trump, just to stop her from getting elected, now it is 100%

      It appears a crass, narcissistic 1%er is the last hope to crush the Clinton machine. if the FBI couldn’t do it, I don’t see the private suits achieving much more.

      Democrats keep saying how trump is nothing but a petty, childish bully. I keep having this daydream that he gets elected and proves them right by vigorously sticking the “law” on the Clinton machine just to be “petty”.

      One can hope.

        1. redleg

          And voting for Clinton is better?
          Would you like to be electrocuted with AC or DC?

      1. aab

        I was basically patted on the head a few months ago by a Trump supporter — a PoC small business owner, so not the Clintonian preferred stereotype — for backing Bernie. “He’s a good man. He would have been a good President. But they were never going to let a good man become President. Only a man like Trump can break them.”

        I iz learning.

        1. sid_finster

          Thus guy might be a client of mine. He indicated that he’d like to see Bernie as VP to Trump, or vice versa, so as to break some heads and get things done.

        2. James Levy

          I have no more reason to believe trump has any interest in “breaking” the corrupt system we have than I had to think that Obama would bring “Hope” and “Change”. No evidence at all that the man who brought you “we’re the most taxed people in the world” and “the minimum wage is too high” gives a shit about anyone but himself. That doesn’t make Clinton a viable option (she most certainly is not) but don’t kid yourself about what Trump wants from the presidency.

          1. SpringTexan

            Yes, indeed. Trump is totally unqualified, a terrible person (doesn’t even pay his bills but stiffs everyone), hateful, and just is not reasonable to vote for. It’s reasonable to abstain or vote for a third party candidate, but unfortunately Trump is so bad it’s just dumb to vote for him.

            Remember, Ray Cohn was his mentor.

            1. aab

              I don’t have any illusions he is a good person or would make a “good” president. But Henry Kissinger and the neocons are endorsing Clinton because they know (and are SAYING) she’ll make lots of war, while Trump will make less, and Hank Paulson and the Bushie econs are endorsing Clinton because (they are making it clear) she’ll cut/privatize Social Security and institute TPP, while they are NOT confident Trump will do these things.

              That would be enough for me. But when you factor in she’ll get all that passed, and Democrats might actually pretend to oppose this stuff under a Republican president, and keeping her out of power might render the Democratic Party weak enough for banks and corps to fund its corruption less, and it seems clear to me what the better choice is. Voting for the person in a situation like this avoids dealing with a lot of painful realities.

              Only a “Democrat” could have cut welfare and jailed black people in the massive numbers that Bill Clinton’s bills did. Only the “First Woman President’ could draft my daughter and send her to the Russian Front.

              If through some miracle Bernie runs somehow, I’m with him. But that seems almost impossible at this point.

        3. Anne

          I think part of the problem with the Clinton supporters I encounter is that Bernie’s continued presence makes it impossible for them to pretend that Hillary is a good candidate.

          Little story that maybe explains what I’m talking about. Some years ago, the law firm I work for brought on as a partner a lawyer who also happened to be an Orthodox Jew; that he was Jewish wasn’t so unusual – there were a considerable number of Jewish partners – but this man was probably the only Orthodox Jew. He kept kosher, prayed throughout the day, wore a yarmulke, and so on (he had 8 children, all of them with traditional Hebrew names). His devoutness made the rest of the Jewish members of the firm feel less-than. They sometimes mocked him in subtle ways. I saw the same thing when they brought on a woman lawyer who was Orthodox. Both eventually left the firm.

          I feel like the strength and depth of the principles that are who Sanders is and what he believes in is a constant reminder to the Clinton supporters that Hillary is a mile long in experience and an inch deep. The sooner he gets out, the sooner they can proceed with the fiction that she is the best candidate.

          1. HBE

            Yes, Clinton supporters have a hard time admitting to themselves the extent of their “leftness” amounts to shallow identity politics and on everything else they are right of Reagan.

            It’s sometimes fun to challenge the pseudo left on their shallowness, you get gems like this.

            “don’t call me right-wing, I fought for LGBT rights in 2009!” (true quote)

            How brave, 2009 what a princelpled truly safe progressive notch in one’s identity politics belt.

  11. grizziz

    Gentlemen prefer bonds:
    I always get the Feds plumbing mixed up, but wouldn’t paying the banks even more interest on reserves be the functional equivalent of creating negative short term interest rates and “correcting” the yield curve?

    1. Samuel Conner

      I think that the Fed would need to charge interest on excess reserves to make the short-term rate negative. Paying interest on reserves sets a floor on the overnight interbank rate (and on every other short-term rate), since no bank will lend reserves to another bank for less than it would receive from the Fed. It’s a way for the Fed to preserve control over the short end of the yield curve when there are too many reserves in the banking system.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Comey’s FBI on “justice for little people”:

      SACRAMENTO, CA (July 29, 2015) — Bryan H. Nishimura, 50, of Folsom, pleaded guilty today to unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

      U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman immediately sentenced Nishimura to two years of probation, a $7,500 fine, and forfeiture of personal media containing classified materials. Nishimura was further ordered to surrender any currently held security clearance and to never again seek such a clearance.

      When the FBI searched Nishimura’s home in May 2012, agents recovered numerous classified materials in digital and hard copy forms. The investigation did not reveal evidence that Nishimura intended to distribute classified information to unauthorized personnel.


      Any questions?

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Yes, one question.

        Didn’t he tell the judge that he made a mistake, and if he had it do to over again he wouldn’t do it the same way?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        You can keep classified information in your brain.

        You can’t keep it in digital and hard copy forms.

        “What if you can have a digital brain?”

  12. M

    The more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that Comey was strong-armed. Otherwise his statement just doesn’t make any sense–he spent the entire first two thirds of his statement detailing how Clinton lied, mishandled information, and how that information is likely to have gotten into the hands of hostile agents. Suddenly at the end he turns around and says, “Oh well it’s not prosecutable”?!

    I think the tell is that he did this in a press conference, a highly unusual occurrence, as he mentioned at the top. My surmise is that Comey insisted on having his TV public moment in order to save face, both for himself and the bureau. That the first two thirds of his statement represent what he and FBI concluded was true, and his stunning, incongruous recommendation against prosecution is what he was told he had to do.

    Or perhaps DOJ simply let him know–“we’re not going to prosecute, so don’t even try.” That would explain his line about “no reasonable prosecutor would charge in this case”–meaning, DOJ prosecutors won’t touch this one. It would also explain Lynch’s comment earlier “I’ll do whatever they recommend.” She was playing us. She said that knowing they would not recommend charges.

    I fear we’ll be speculating about this for years.

    1. Heliopause

      I don’t know that he was explicitly strong-armed, more likely he’s been around this level of politics long enough to know when not to press his luck. But like you and many others I was struck by the tonal difference between the first part of the speech and the latter part. As I watched it I thought, “Holy cow, they might actually indict (which I didn’t expect),” it really seemed like it might be heading in that direction. But then, no. In hindsight it seems like his statement was trying to “indict” her to the extent that circumstances would allow him. That is, no formal indictment, but he wanted the world to know there was some egregious misbehavior.

      I still have some questions (doesn’t everybody). Why did Comey do this when he could have easily just passed this along to Lynch? I can speculate on some reasons but would prefer solid answers. What is Bryan Pagliano’s relation to all this? And no, he’s not merely a “fall guy” because his connection to the handling of classified info is either non-existent or obscure.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        We keep trying to imagine scenarios that explain all this without admitting to ourselves that the entire system is rotten from top to bottom and to its very core. That’s understandable given the context we all grew up in.
        But a citizen of Nigeria or China or Mexico would be under no such illusions, their baseline would be that of course the entire national legal system is corrupt and bribe-able and unfair from top to bottom.
        Political science has something called the “J-curve” of rising expectations. Apparently there is the opposite in store for us, as the reality of this top to bottom national corruption in the US sinks in. A “J-curve” in the opposite direction, in falling expectations for a free and fair society.
        The reaction in Nigeria is “why bother to worry?”, just have some cash on hand to grease the deals you need in your own little sphere.

        1. Debra D.

          You have captured the existential moment. We do live in a country governed by oligarchs — elected and unelected. Hillary Clinton was never going to be charged. Obama and Clinton are going on their #TrustTour.

          Day after day. Year after year. But, day after day and year after year, each of us has to make the decision to roll up into a ball and cry about unfair it all is– or to engage ourselves in living with integrity in the best way we know how.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        -maybe he’s a mark
        -perhaps just a small time operator? Destroying the Clinton machine would produce more rewards than being a Clinton puppet.
        -his remarks were damning; he put them out there before a potential Lynch announcement. The GOP can subpoena the FBI
        -the election is a concern. He can’t move to force her out in time to when it is just her and Trump.

        Comey managed to make the situation look fixed, crucify Hillary, and appear to be a tool at the same time. As to his reasons, who knows?

        Needless to say, Comey probably won’t like how he sees his name in the press going forward when the new GOP mantra is that Hillary is above the law.

  13. Fred

    When elected Hilary will have access to all secret information and so will her staff. They will all treat it with the same contempt they did here. Our actual enemies will enjoy that immensely.

  14. Fool

    “If the Republicans retain the House, they could impeach Clinton immediately. And they have a case.”

    Warren for VP!

      1. Fool

        Classic leftist masochism. Is your grievance with her really that she voted Republican over 20 years ago? What other candidate for VP — or in the Senate, besides for Sanders — has championed issues that are important to the Left as Warren has? Would you rather a cuck like Tim Kaine?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          No Republican should ever be in office. I have greater patience for Hillary’s Golden youth than Warren’s Reaganism.

          1. Fool

            I mean I guess that logic works if you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years.

            1. hunkerdown

              Or if you are not a typical mainstream American who is psychologically useless without a better whose boots to kiss. Authoritarianism is a mental illness, though it’s not exactly a disorder in the context of an unhealthy order.

        2. lyman alpha blob

          My grievance is that Warren is currently supporting someone whose policies have caused the very problems she rails about, someone who has taken millions of dollars from the TBTF banks that Warren claims need serious, systemic reform. Pretty hard to take her seriously after that.

          1. Fool

            Yeah, but that “support” is pretty transparent, no? They’ve never been especially fond of one another, after all, and it only began once Sanders was already mathematically eliminated. Any possibility of Warren getting the nod would obviously be contingent upon some preexisting support. And she hasn’t done a bad job selling it. Hell, she’s even gotten a neoliberal tool like Neera Tanden on board…


          2. Anne

            Yes, yes, yes…exactly. Clinton is the poster child for Wall Street excess and greed, and for me, seeing Warren on the stump for Clinton is as hard to take as nails on a chalkboard.

            It makes no sense why Warren would choose to dilute her signature cause by aligning herself with someone like Clinton.

            It was already a given that Clinton was a big “no” for me, but Warren’s pantsuit-kissing has made me question her own integrity and commitment to leveling the playing field.

        3. hunkerdown

          If we didn’t want one Ziocentrist neolib woman in the Executive, under what lack of sense would we elect two?

    1. different clue

      Why would they? Clinton is slated to be the Establishment’s trillion-dollar Obama 2.0. Do you think the Establishment will permit its Congress to impeach its trillion-dollar Obama 2.0?

      1. anon

        She will not be convicted, but if elected I have no doubts that Clinton will be impeached. If much of the Republican party elected officials still cared what the establishment thought, they would have taken Obama up on his multiple deals to reform Social Security and Medicare. We can debate the reasons for that no end, but much of it is that when their own emotions are involved, the current majority of the House don’t care what the supposed owners want. That is not going to change in any upcoming Republican majority. Clinton has given them plenty of material, and while they might seek to avoid certain types of crimes which gives her some cover on some of the major corruption, they will get her on the small ones. AS people have noted there is no intent in the statutes about handling classified material. She will give them that type of material again. Never forget that despite the rosy picture of the Beltway Media much of Republican House despise her, they want her scalp.

        I think there will be a small industry examining what went wrong for Clinton. If she fails to get elected, two of the biggest possible contenders will be from this week – Comey’s laundry list of her “mistakes” with the email server AND that vision of a future Clinton White House in the Times (the bribe for Lynch AND the notion of their elected officials smoozing with Clinton over ‘adult beverages’ with little or no public oversight). Both are going to offend and alienate a whole lot of the people Clinton is depending on voting for her in November, just like Romney’s obvious disdain for people who aren’t rich hurt him.

        It is possible that November is going to come down to which base is larger in key states. The plurality is may be mighty small as there are going to be large third party votes split between libertarians and greens, some write ins and a whole lot of folk who just stay home rather than vote for one of the two major candidates.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Anyone who thinks the “election” in November is going to be a straight-up matter of “letting the voters decide” or actually “counting votes” has not been paying attention

          The abortion that was Florida in 2000 was the opening act, culminating in the naked manipulation of the process formerly known as the democratic primary that we have all just witnessed in real time.

          The status quo will not go quietly, and what happened today should leave no doubt as to its desired outcome. As far as I’m concerned, innocent gullibility can no longer be considered a valid “excuse.” It is collaboration.

          1. aab

            And, once again, I’m with the Mockingjay.

            My only consolation is that generally, even non-democracies fail when the leaders do not have the consent of the people. But how fast it will happen in this case, and how much the innocent 90% will suffer in the meantime, is unclear to me.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              The 90% will suffer considerably. But it will not be the responsibility of the “vichy voters,” whose delicate stomachs will not allow a vote for a man who tweets a six-pointed star.

              Surely Dr. Stein’s gossamer skirts will provide absolution. And a “clear” conscience.

              Say Amen.

              1. cwaltz

                Bite me.

                I’m voting FOR a candidate.

                If you want to vote for corrupt and vile to OPPOSE corrupt and vile that’s your choice but you don’t get to bully the rest of us into making that false choice.

                1. aab

                  I’m probably tiptoeing into an unwinnable position here, but since I respect you, cwaltz, and I share Katniss’ position, I want to ask you about this.

                  We now know that the Democratic Party can, if need be, arrange to switch/steal/flip at least 15% of the vote. Obviously, if you believe that Clinton and Trump are equally destructive, one no better nor worse than the other, voting third party is logical: let the jackals fight to the death, show support for someone who shares my values and get them some funding.

                  But how is this supposed to result in actual policy changes? How are the Greens, in this extremely corrupted climate, ever supposed to gain national office? If they got close, the Ds would just steal their votes, wouldn’t they? I would be absolutely delighted to vote third party in the general if the chasm between Clinton and Trump was so wide in the preliminary polling that I could be sure my vote wasn’t needed to stop Clinton. But I, like Katniss, view her as by far the greater evil, so my first priority is to stop her.

                  But even if you disagree that Clinton is the greater evil, if you want a left wing third party — or any third party, really — to ever get a foothold, don’t you still have to block Clinton, to try to break the Democratic Party? Our system forces us into a two party framework through so many pressure points, and the current corruption makes it much worse. In order to get a third party, don’t we have to break one of the big two? Whether or not it can be taken over from the left, it at least has to be significantly weakened — wouldn’t you agree? Even if you think both parties stink equally, the Republican party is MUCH stronger — both chambers of Congress, most states, etc. Electing Trump at worst does nothing to the Republican power centers, at best destabilizes it and empowers actual voters to some degree. Electing Clinton strengthens BOTH the Democratic and Republican party, by propping up the Democrats, enabling Clinton to do a lot of Republican-type harm, instigate a 21st Century version of the Red Scare to punish progressives, etc. The Money Party would get to continue its game of Team Blue/Team Red. Blocking Clinton potentially breaks the Democratic Party, AND might destabilize the Money Party’s hold over the Republicans.

                  I completely understand wanting to vote FOR a candidate whose positions align with yours. I got to do it in the primary, and it was awesome. But the reality is that Jill Stein will not be President. No third party candidate will be, unless Bernie is pulling some kind of amazing magical rabbit out of the world’s most secretive hat. Saying you are voting for that outcome is the false choice. It’s not fair, but that’s where we are. I am not going to shame anyone for doing it, but this does seem like an unusually stark situation.

                  I respect wanting to express your views. I respect wanting to help parties get funding. But the ruling class doesn’t care about any of that. They don’t care that you oppose them, unless you have the means to actually stop them.

                  What am I missing here?

              2. Fool

                Oh fuck right off with “delicate stomachs will not allow a vote for a man who tweets a six-pointed star.” Yeshiva bocher like Jared Kushner — with grandparents that survived the holocaust — has no doubt about what a yellow Star of David means. But hey, the man wants to sell America on Crooked Hillary, and though you’d think he has enough factual material to work with, Trump’s never been known for subtlety.

          2. anon

            I don’t disagree with you. Even if normally “who” counts the votes should be a bigger thing than it is going to be. But Trump has a point about numbers. Think about how close Sanders was even with huge thumbs on the scale, and even then the inevitable candidate had to use a lever that had nothing to do with voters to get there. Unlike Sanders, they cannot play a lot of the games they used with Trump. And depending on the media to carry the ball isn’t a guaranteed winner as the public has pretty much rejected the beltway coverage and views of Trump over and over. So she will have much less of a media advantage with him, although fundraising is more of a challenge for him than it was with Sanders.
            They have the levers, but the public is NOT co-operating. So she may win, but is is unlikely to be a blowout and is very likely to be not only close but clearly the election of a candidate where more people voted against her than voted for her.

          3. James Levy

            I wouldn’t argue for a second that the Clinton Team wouldn’t like to steal the election, but I don’t think they have the institutional connections to the Diebold people, and Trump can schmooze and buy people off as well as the Clintons can. He’s also not going to go gently into that good night the way Gore “took one for the establishment.” Trump’s personal interests and inclinations are largely aligned with that establishment (all one need do is check out his policy positions on his webpage and see his list of presumptive SC nominees along with his serious consideration of Christie and Gingrich as VPs to see that), but he’s not an insider within it which is why he is so distrusted. These factors, along with Roberts and Alito leading the SC indicate to me that Clinton would have an awfully tough time stealing this election.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              The clintons–the powerless power couple. OK.

              What I meant by “innocent gullibility.”

              When the goin’ gets “tough,” the clintons get goin’.

              1. James Levy

                Hardly powerless, but a bit less than the Randal Flaggs you think they are.

                Saying that they can’t easily steal the election, although they would like to, is not the same as saying they are powerless, but your boundless hatred allows no actual facts in.

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  Um…they already stole it, in the primary.
                  Did they finish counting California yet?

            2. Patricia

              Apparently the DNC is also unreasonably competent at all-around election fraud, James. Maybe there’ll be a huge struggle between the two parties. The only way we’ll know is that voting machines across the country will whine, spin, and explode.

              But probably no such fun for us. Likely mod Repubs, if they can’t dump Trump sooner, will lean all their illegitimate weight towards Clinton.

            3. aab

              I haven’t looked at the articles or research closely, but there are pieces going around purporting to show that Clinton specifically did even better in counties where the voting machines were from donors of hers.

              If that’s true, I presume it means she could steal the general, even if the Republican Party ends up holding together behind Trump.

  15. jsn

    Stratfor link:
    Phillip Bobbitt’s 2003 book “The Shield of Achillies” brokered the marriage between NeoLiberal economics and Neo Conservative foreign policy. In the essay here he is doubling down on a future of “individual opportunity” as the only thing left the state can offer.

    Like the excellent link this morning reviewing books on meritocracy where the authors couldn’t see past their own position at the meritocratic heart of the system, Bobbitt can’t see past the Hayek-ian utopia he imagined in 2003 that continues to treat him very, very well.

    But there is no way legitimacy will be bestowed on a new state form that does not offer broad security and stability, the near opposite of the individualist utopia he thinks we’re headed for.

    None the less, a very interesting article: a Cardinal in the Old Church critiques the incipient Reformation.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      “Informational market state.” New lipstick on Bobbit’s “corporate state” pig?

      1. Lambert Strether

        I think you’re wrong; Bobbitt is right to point to a change in the constitutional order. It’s an excellent way to look at the changes we are now undergoing. The Shield of Achilles posits three possible new systems of international relations between states, and Bobbitt makes it quite clear none of them are worlds he would prefer to live in.

        It is true that Bobbitt is a smiling old WASP crocodile of the Empire, born to rule in an age that is passing, but that doesn’t mean that he’s stupid or has nothing to say; one thinks of Talleyrand. One also contrasts the great sinners of Nixon and Johnson’s day with the mediocrities of today…

  16. Peter Pan

    “If the Republicans retain the House, they could impeach Clinton immediately. And they have a case.”

    Even if the Republicans don’t retain the House, I suspect we can look forward to the impeachment of President Hillary Clinton in 2019 after the Democrats blow up another mid-term election in 2018.

    1. Northeaster

      Half the Republicans in CONgress would love to see Hillary in office over Trump. The Party designation/affiliation is for show only.

  17. Northeaster

    Foreshadowing: After Hillary the vile human being she is wins the election in November, Vladimir Putin releases all the criminal elements of what he has (or paid to have) stolen from her servers to rub it in the faces of the stupid Americans that support her. The political return on capital would be priceless for him.

    1. different clue

      So what if he did that AFter her election? It would be too late to prevent her from being President. If Putin delays his email dump until AFter she is elected, then he is as stupid as anyone. He will be giving himself an even-more-vengeful President Clinton who is alREADy an anti-Putin bigot who will look for any excuse to start a war against Russia.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Seriously, if he’s given Assange and the Wikileaks team the goods….they’ve gotta pull the trigger in the next week or two, I figure.

        If the goal is to keep her out of office, gotta move before the Democratic Convention so that there’s a possibility of forcing her to step down or of the super delegates switching their votes to the non-criminal who’s running.

        It might help if CA would hurry up with the vote counting. The lead is around 7.5% or so for Clinton, and still dropping fast. Each bundle that comes in has Bernie ahead by double digits.

        1. aab

          I’m pretty sure it’s no longer possible with the number of remaining ballots for him to win the state. That’s why we’re seeing the videos of whiting out his votes, and all the shredding. By any means necessary was apparently the watchword.

          I assume a former KGB agent like Putin understands that we don’t have elections in this country, and if he wants to stop her, he needs to do it now, before the convention.

            1. TheCatSaid

              I’ve wondered about that, too. Maybe Assange is giving people more time (i.e., rope with which to hang themselves by how they do/don’t respond), and then reveal what the FBI decided not to prosecute.

      2. JM

        Actually, it makes no sense for Putin (if he indeed does have the emails) to only go after Clinton with an email dump. I think the bigger objective would be to further destabilize the American political system, which should not be so difficult anymore given our elite’s penchant for not enforcing laws.

        So, one line of thinking would be let her officially get the nomination then release the emails. My guess is it would throw the entire election into disarray AND further delegitimize the executive branch of the US government (not that Clinton won’t make it there on her own).

        Our elites are as stupid as they are corrupt. They think this game of non-enforcement of the bedrock laws of democracy (e.g. torture, FOIA, etc.) can continue forever with no repercussions.

        1. aab

          Actually, I suspect it’s more like how businesses only think about the next quarter. The Clintons, Obamas and their ilk apparently don’t care about their grandchildren, or the future. They only care about holding on to their power, status and wealth right now.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          Why wound a candidate when you can wait a few months and wound the titular head of state? Even better why do anything publicly when you can use what you have on the DL as blackmail? Putin publicly releasing any damning intel he possesses on HRC–and more so before the election–doesn’t make sense to me.

        3. redleg

          Russia would not benefit from an unstable US. A less belligerent US will be enough, I suspect, and a huge step toward that would be ensuring Clinton goes away.

          1. Jason Ipswitch

            Referring to a man who has publicly threatened to shoot down Russian aircraft in international waters for “failing to respect the US” as less belligerent… even after months of examples, the delusions of Trump cult still manage to amaze me.

            Clinton is no prize, but anyone who says they want a less aggressive foreign policy and then supports Trump while ignoring Gov. Johnson is lying to themselves, at the very least.

      3. cwaltz

        The smart move if he has the goods is to hold its release over her head and blackmail her with it. Here’s to hoping he has it because it may be the only thing able to prevent WW3.

        If you screw with me then I release this and you get impeached.

        1. aab

          Being impeached means nothing. She’d have to get convicted in the Senate to be removed. Trying to blackmailing Clinton seems dumb, to me, if you’re Putin. If her own internal political opponents can’t or won’t stop her, what’s he going to do, once she’s President? Once she’s installed, there’s no real break on her warmaking. The most he could hope for would be to get her to aim exclusively at the parts of the Middle East that aren’t his clients, and China, which is more deeply entangled with our financial interests than Russia is. That seems unlikely to succeed.

            1. aab

              If she’s impeached by the House, but not yet removed by the Senate, doesn’t that simply mean she couldn’t sign or veto bills? The president has functional autonomy over the military, doesn’t he/she? It’s not like Obama needed authority for any of his military actions. Would whatever got passed under Bush not cover a land war against Russia?

              Also, there’s no way 2/3 of the Senate votes to convict, because there’s no way the Republicans can get that many seats now, yes?

              (If it really would grind everything to a halt, that does seem like an optimal situation under Clinton.)

        2. fajensen

          Maybe it would be a better strategy for Putin to work on Hillary’s accomplices than directly on Hillary?

          Hillary has the full intelligence and military machine of the USA to “keep her safe”, the cronies around the world who paid The Foundation for “services rendered” are not in the same position.

          Indeed, it can probably be demonstrated that they are very disposable once their use-by date has expired or some turf fight between US agencies kick off and that maybe they need a better ally, one that actually cares about them not just for their own interests.

  18. dingusansich

    Bipartisanship lives! This is a great moment. We can now observe, behind the thick glass of our TVs, computer machines, and handheld devices, at a hygienic remove (naturally), a Washington Consensus aborning. Officialdom has given its imprimatur, the broad wink and a nod, to one of its own. Behold Hillary, LOTE of the Rings!

    That is the Good News. Family downside: Expect leaks. Particularly about parentage.

    And it’s still not impossible a “Romanian” hacker may yet leave a basketful of hitherto unseen emails at the door with a note: “It’s our pleasure to server you.”

  19. roadrider

    Clinton Had No Intent to Violate the Law:

    You mean except for that pesky, little FOIA thingie?

  20. Alex morfesis

    Sitting watching clintonedeaf and sweet home obama doing the staged thing with no sound on at a little cafe…it is wonderful to watch the stagedness of this event without the sound…the folks responding on que and watching sweet home obama try to avoid touching his nose as she tells whoppers and has folded his arms so many times someone must have sent him some signal to stop as he forced himself to stop by planting his right fingers into his left arm and leaning forward…and now has folded hands together to prevent further body language issues…watching with no sound is so much fun….

    1. Jim Haygood

      clintonedeaf & sweet h’obama … a heapin’ helpin’ of Chicago values! :-)

  21. McWatt

    Regarding Housing: Rising rents are also being driven by rising local taxes. In our town we have had dramatic property tax increases, dramatic water tax increase (driven by the need to raise revenue local communities are looking at every citizen contact to raise funds; water tax, sewer tax, garbage pickup, vehicle stickers, parking tickets, parking permits, business license’s all these categories raise money way beyond their actual costs to run with the balances being dumped back into the general fund. The general fund is then raped to pay the bonding costs for local corporate giveaway’s to national developers.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Job mobility is not what it once was.

      If the economy were better, yes, by all means, go for it (to put more bread on the dining table).

      Government jobs are nothing to look down on.

  22. Gareth

    Conservative group urges Scott Walker to accept a presidential ‘draft’


    “Governor Walker’s name is the only one being mentioned seriously as someone who can unite all factions of the Republican Party and we’re urging him to step forward and agree to accept a draft,” said Courageous Conservatives PAC spokesman Steve Lonegan in a statement.

    Walker is pulling only 39% approval in Wisconsin and they expect him to save the day. Too funny.

  23. Isolato

    Thanks for the link to Simon Stalenhag, really interesting work of calculated banality. A magnificent obsession. Definitely dystopian…

    But then so much is these days…

  24. none

    The news that the government might need to hire hundreds of immigrants to negotiate post-Brexit trade deals isn’t merely a delightful irony.

    “Get Varoufakis on the phone! Oh, wait.”

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      The post-Brexit bloviating is reaching epic proportions, on his way out the mysterious door Farage made a very simple and excellent point. “The volume of trade between the EU and countries with NO trade deals at all last year was $1.4 *trillion* with a T”.
      The idea that trade needs to somehow cease until deals are struck is just stupid.

      1. sd

        Trade in the entertainment industry (tv shows and movie distribution for instance) poses significant challenges. Territorial rights, residuals, licensing, etc. Plus there are EU quotas. Multinationals with international exposure in in the EU have seen a hit since Brexit. (Disney, Viacom, etc.)

  25. Cugel

    “Bill Clinton has his tarmac tête-à-tête with Lynch, the Clinton camp bribes Lynch over the weekend with an offer of a continued stay in office, Comey exonerates Clinton of criminal intent on Tuesday morning, and Clinton boards Air Force One with Obama to hit the campaign trail on Tuesday afternoon.”

    This might actually be the most imbecilic thing I have ever read, and that’s including the idiot birther controversies. Has any of you crackpot conspiracy theorists ever heard of the TELEPHONE“?!

    Not even Bond villains meet in public under the scrutiny of the world’s press and announce “we’re closing the doors now so we can plot world domination!”

    The very fact that this imaginary conspiracy happened at a public airport in view of the world’s press instead of privately over a secure phone line, or through private intermediaries from the Clintons who would have a plausible excuse for meeting with the attorney general (but would secretly negotiate a deal) proves conclusively that the meeting was exactly what they said it was: a private discussion of grandchildren and other trivial matters between two people who know each other socially.

    But of course, to acknowledge the obvious fact that conspirators plot in secret, and not in the glaring spotlight of the world’s press would spoil all the fun of creating wild assed conspiracy theories! The Attorney General met to do a corrupt deal with the Clintons! “Obviously” – it’s self evident to the conspiracy nuts. So of course no actual evidence is needed, “they closed the door” taken as all the proof needed, and especially no common sense – that the alleged conspirators would naturally simply have phoned each other and never had to meet at all, thus inevitably drawing public attention to themselves. No common sense can be permitted to intrude into the bubble of closed group-think!

    And you never bother to even ask let alone answer the question: “Does it actually make any remote bit of sense if Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch were actually plotting together that they would meet at a public airport in front of the world’s press?” Isn’t the way this meeting happened evidence of innocence?

    And in fact, all the parties knew perfectly well what I and thousands of others have been predicting all along, that the FBI investigators were never going to recommend criminal charges anyway because of a lack of mens rea. So, there was no need for a “deal” with the attorney general to begin with. Duh!

    The utter imbecility of this Clinton bashing defies belief!

    1. Kurt Sperry

      I assume the meeting in a private hanger was never intended to become public knowledge and a reasonable expectation existed that it would not. There apparently no press present. Add a big dash of hubris and stir.

    2. Patricia

      Oh look, another sore winner with sophisticated vocabulary on human intelligence. Is this a new devolutionary species developing right before our eyes?

    3. ggm

      Thanks for correcting the record.

      However, I believe most people are well aware of how Bill Clinton operates by now. He has always been an impulsive fool. He relies on his ability to charm or lawyer-talk his way out of a tight spot, rather than thinking it through beforehand. And he’s impulsive with the charm offensive, too. Such a narcissist would believe he could accomplish more in a face to face meeting than over the phone.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      You have heard of the the idea that phones are not secure? And if some kind soul hadn’t tipped off the local press, then nobody would have known about the whole thing. Bill Clinton knows to go to a motel well out of town, for pity’s sake.

  26. DJG

    It isn’t as if I have any regard for the reprehensible Comey. We all know who we are dealing with here:


    I think that the hard edge of politics prevailed: The FBI, which has a checkered past and should be eliminated as a government agency, couldn’t provoke a constitutional crisis. Indicting a candidate running for office?

    Ask John Edwards: One must wait till after the election.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Are they, the FBI, asking the voters to decide?

      “If she’s guilty, don’t vote for her.”

      The Little People as the final ‘prosecutor’ – thumbs up, the contestant lives out the political life; thumbs down, the end of his/her political life.

      She’s not off the hook yet.

    1. Buttinsky

      [sigh] Disappointment everywhere you look today.

      On the other hand, maybe Guccifer 2.0 got distracted by today’s news and is busy hacking his way into the F.B.I.

  27. That Which Sees


    Now that the Federal authorities have publicly passed on the Clinton case, can one or more states (or localities) bring charges on the fact pattern? Either by;
    (a) Enforcing Federal law, and/or
    (b) Under state laws where violations can be alleged

    There gave been some recent rulings, but they are not on point. For example, I believe Arizona (and by extension all states) were prevented from enforcing specifically enumerated Federal immigration powers. A very different issue than negligence compromising state and local security.

  28. MikeNY

    Re: Yield curve.

    We are not even close to an inverted yield curve. The entire term structure of rates has fallen, but it is still patently positively sloped.

    The reason that the curve inverted for most past recessions is that the Fed engineered the inversion, usually by hiking ST rates to cool what it perceived as a “hot” economy, or an economy running faster than ‘potential growth’, thus risking rising inflation. It’s not my point to defend their reasoning; my point is that now, in an environment of ‘secular stagnation’ or ‘insufficient demand’ or whatever mainstream economists (including the Fed) call it, we are playing by other rules. The Fed’s measly 0.25 bps hike last year (from ZERO!) is still easy, even as measured by LT rates.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Looks like the author of the article confused the rate of change with the absolute value of the yield curve, which as you say remains positively sloped.

      In fact, since May 31st, the 2-yr yield (which reflects expectations of the average Fed policy rate over the next 2 years) dropped from 0.88% to 0.55% today. At the same time, the 10-year yield dropped from 1.85% to 1.38% today.

      Arithmetically, the positive slope came down from 97 to 83 bips. But considering that the 2-year note is much less volatile than the 10-year owing to its shorter term, the 2-year’s plunge in yield actually sends the more dramatic message: don’t even think about hiking rates now.

      1. MikeNY

        Yes, I think you’re right.

        1.38%! Wow. Good luck match-funding those liabilities, insurance companies and pension plans…

  29. Gaylord

    They should just skip the party conventions and get the Clinton inauguration over with, rather than wasting everybody’s time with the phony election BS.

    1. dale

      Really. The media is not working to persuade us to vote for Clinton and against Trump; the media’s job is to convince us of the election outcome, which has long been decided.

    2. dale

      Really. The media are not working to persuade us to vote for Clinton and against Trump; their job is to convince us of the election outcome.

  30. Barmitt O'Bamney

    No Charges Hillary. And the talking hair-dos in the media wonder why the general public think the system is rigged. Any ordinary member of the general public would already be in federal prison, exhausting their appeals, if they had done the same.

      1. Patricia

        There are tons o’ tech-mech artists but this one loves the earth and common human as much as the machine—tender and distressful. Much twilight: dawn/dusk, heavy cloud, rain, fog. Interlude with oppressive sunshine.

        Paintings could be used as concept stills for film (I’ll bet he’s approached for that sometime) but he swings a brush like few, so pieces stand well on their own. The story is all his. Has a cult following, no wonder. Apparently also a game, in Swedish only.

        I love the inter-relationships of much current art. Such a relief after the mid-late 20th century arts’ appalling refusals.

        1. Patricia

          His attitude and storifying reminds me of Hayao Miyazaki, particularly Nausicaa and Princess Mononoke, w/out the magical elements.

          He’s going to do well.

  31. TheCatSaid

    Is it just me who’s both curious & concerned about Sanders putting his GMO labelling bill on hold? Has there been some kind of agreement about something?

    I could understand if it was something significant like a promise no moves would be made on TPP before the election. . . Any informed guesses? Taken on its own it’s disappointing. He’s too experienced a legislator not to have required something in return, but what might that be? Or was it a stick and not a carrot?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We posters have said plenty. Has Sanders said anything about the FBI’s Hillary decision?

      1. TheCatSaid

        I don’t know if Sanders has said anything yet re: FBI.
        “We posters have said plenty”–I guess I missed this–different thread perhaps? I thought it had just happened.

        1. Barmitt O'Bamney

          I think he said he was tired of hearing about her damn emails. That was a long time ago, so I expect he’s resting.

    2. May

      I am not sure I would read that much into it. The GMO labeling law is a big deal up here in Vermont and I think he may just be responding to the concerns of his constituents.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        The law Sanders put the hold on is a bad law that makes Vermont people worse off. There’s really no reason not to have plain English labeling, or a logo. Or no good reason.

    3. SpringTexan

      I think you misunderstood the story, which is NOT disappointing. The bill he is putting on hold is NOT his own bill but an industry-sponsored bill that would pre-empt Vermont’s stronger GMO labelling requirement, which he supports. So not a question of a deal here. Just a question of standing up for better GMO labelling. Sanders’ working hard for good stuff as usual.

  32. Buttinsky

    Reason TV has a succinct intercut of Comey’s findings and Hillary’s lies.


    Author Mary McCarthy famously said of author Lillian Hellman that every word Hellman said was a lie, including the words “and” and “the.” Well, of course, no one is that perfect a liar. Still, it should be noted that Hillary doesn’t leave a lot of room for hyperbole herself.

    1. Buttinsky

      I just got a curious reaction to the above video exposing Hillary’s lies in the light of the FBI’s findings. I had posted it on Facebook and a “friend” I don’t really know very well responded with a request that I please not vote for Trump because of this. He said there were two other good candidates to vote for and suggested I consider voting for Gary Johnson.

      The thing is, this friend is not a Libertarian — he is deep in the Clinton Camp judging by his own posts. I thought this was an interesting tack to take with someone like me who has made it clear on Facebook that he would never in a million years for Hillary: Better that I deny one vote to Clinton by voting for a third party than the proverbial “two votes” by voting for Trump.

      This would seem to be an acknowledgment that today was really, really bad for Clinton. Has anyone else encountered this?

      1. Oregoncharles

        If you vote for Johnson, that’s presumably a vote withheld from Trump.

        A vote for Jill Stein is presumably withheld from Clinton.

        Of course, that’s pretty presumptuous; we all know it doesn’t quite work that way – but that may well be your “friend””s reasoning.

        1. Yves Smith

          No, there have been polls with 1:1 v. Clinton, Trump and Johnson but no Stein, presumably because Stein is not on all state ballots.

          Clinton loses more than Trump does.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think this means she has won California?

      Her lead > uncounted votes.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Thanks for tracking that. Why, one might almost think the Democrat Party’s system of balloting is designed to discourage insurgents!

    3. Buttinsky

      Thanks, as always, marym, for keeping us up to date on this.

      There has been a lawsuit filed to prevent California from certifying the “results” of the election (voting “irregularities,” an opaque counting process, etc.), and the judiciary will soon be ferreting out the problems and remedying them.

      No one here may think that’s a very funny joke, but Antonin Scalia is laughing heartily in his grave.

      1. marym

        opaque counting process

        The numbers were updated again at 7:23 pm – Clinton’s lead down to 7.1% and she lost 6K votes – 2,724,903 now! My last few comments on these numbers have been cut and paste, so it’s not my typo. Uncounted now 70K

  33. Optomader

    We have conducted interviews and done technical examination to attempt to understand how that sorting was done by her attorneys. Although we do not have complete visibility because we are not able to fully reconstruct the electronic record of that sorting, we believe our investigation has been sufficient to give us reasonable confidence there was no intentional misconduct in connection with that sorting effort.

    We believe God I love that weasle phrase. Its a show stopper on the order of an I feel! Only plural to double down on the weasleiciiousness!
    No logical direction to take it from that other than maybe “And , considering your limited view…Why do you believe that?”While you dicretly put tissue up to your ears to staunch the bleeding.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Shorter: “We didn’t actually look at the records. We only looked at the process through which others looked at the metadata of those records.”

    1. tony

      Trump is scum, but when asked about how to deal with ‘Russian aggression’ and similar situations, his first instinct is to call Putin and see if they can make a deal. Hillary goes straight to ‘Putin is Hitler’. I think it’s pretty clear which one is the immediate danger to human survival.

    1. Alex morfesis

      The donald may not really want to be president or his peanut gallery is not worth the price of admission…all he has to do is harp on “when” are we going to get a copy of the transcript of her 3 & 1/2 hour sit down, since there must be one, otherwise how could have a decision been made over the holiday weekend…and since “everyone” insists there were no animals hurt in the filming of…sorry…no classified stuff in her emails, then we can have an unredacted version…like now…

      That is if he really has any interest in enjoying the view of the rose garden….or does he just want the catering contract for the coronation

  34. Ron C

    I am just wondering even if Mrs Clinton isnt prosecuted if she loses her security clearance.I would think that would be automatic and how can we have a President who does not have a security clearance for classified material.

    just googled it the subject is all over the internet.Incredible.We have lost our moral compass America

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Basically, security clearance is an employment law. The President’s job is dictated by the Constitution, not Federal statute. The President is not a federal employee or soldier but is a constitutional officer. The Constitution makes the President Commander and Chief and requires all of his questions from the executive departments (the government) to be answered in writing.

      The President doesn’t have security clearance. The President is simply above it.

      1. Jim Haygood

        No doubt if drones had existed in 1787. the constitution would have specified that the president could “drone anybody, anywhere, anytime. USA #1!

  35. allan

    Quite a day. Would it be extremely careless to say that any reasonable Sanders supporters have now had their doubts about Clinton laid to rest, and are all fired up for the general?

    1. aab

      I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not. It has been quite a day.

      For the record, my hopes about our having any resemblance of democracy or equal standing under the law has have, indeed, been laid to rest.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author


      It will be interesting to see what scandal the Democrats gin up for tomorrow. They lost the news cycle today, but tomorrow is another day!

      1. Alex morfesis

        To be direct, have come to the hairball a bit late and am confused about something…if she didnt use a state department email and she had no emails on her clinton foundation shared servers that had classified or national security implication information…

        where did she communicate in respects to her getting classified information ???

        her krakberry ??

  36. JerryDenim

    I hate to be a jerk, but to everyone having an OMG, “I can’t believe this” moment, what did you think was going to happen? Did anyone who regularly reads Naked Capitalism actually believe a career, inside the beltway, Washington type like Comey or Lynch was ever going to recommend indicting HRC? She’s not only a Clinton but the presumptive Democratic nominee, in an election year! Not only an election year, but a bizarre election year when Sanders and Trump are the other two choices if Hillary is knocked out! This email mess stinks to high heaven but it’s absolutely NOTHING compared to the shenanigans the Clinton’s got away with during the first Clinton administration. They committed full-blown, no-hyperbole treason with the Chinese but were allowed to walk because the whole situation was so damn embarrassing for the military and US government. The FBI’s press conference today was an outrage, but there was a very well established precedence for the outcome. This was just a warm-up. If Hillary and Bill win the White House again they will tear down and sell off whatever remaining vestiges of the United States foreign powers are willing to pay for. Wall Street already owns this place lock, stock and barrel so I doubt they are interested in buying again.

  37. Epistrophy

    HRC has not yet won the DNC nomination. After the FBI statement, I cannot believe that the other democratic party local and national candidates wish to be tarred with that brush. This would amount to political suicide for them.

    Nonetheless, the FBI has recommended that the AG should not prosecute; no doubt this will be honoured – therefore no need for Executive Pardon before POTUS leaves office. Those underlings of the administration in positions of influence have stepped aside – they will leave this problem for others to sort out after the elections. The FBI no doubt has produced a report on the matter that is sitting on the shelf awaiting action.

    If there is a Republican dominated Congress then HRC will be in big trouble in any case. If there is also a Republican POTUS?

    The possible permutations are mind boggling but on balance they do not bode well for HRC.

    1. Yves Smith

      He’s always been a loose cannon. He gave a speech last year during Grexit that was an utter embarrassment. A mere one-sentence blooper is (so far) minor compared to that. If he starts doing stuff like that regularly, it’s a different matter. So thanks for keeping tabs.

    2. vlade

      someone has been telling me that getting hold of sober Juncker after 3pm is impossible..

      1. fajensen

        Well, we who live in the Nordic countries generally do not trust anyone who does not drink ;-)

        Having “blown up” myself some years before with a severe depression due to overwork and still suffering with some kind of brain damage where “”I” don’t feel things inside of me, my body does”. If, for example, I get angry my hands shake and my looks grim, but, “the me inside” doesn’t feel especially angry. I am a passenger in my body.

        I can’t say that I am surprised about Junker. Overwork breaks down the brain. And I have seen much worse.

        I have some managers who work / travel ludicrous hours and who are in general too burned out to be effective at anything. Especially one of them has an astonishing repertoire of social gaffes, the worst one that *I* know about, is him placing his penis on the restaurant table at a business meeting in Japan to compare sizes. I never did that, at least.

        This is one of many reasons it is not good to have tricky things like “launch on warning” nuclear missiles lying around “high powered people”. I also hope that “the football” is a prop.

    1. Epistropy

      The Tory/Labour meltdown after Brexit was just a warm-up – just wait until they turn their ire to Blair …

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