2:00PM Water Cooler 7/6/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“The European Commission may have acquiesced on including EU member state legislatures in the ratification process for a landmark EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. But European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said it’s on member states to make sure the move doesn’t further erode Brussels’ responsibility over trade policy” [Politico]. “‘The risk to end EU trade policy as we know it is that member states infect this debate by confusing the contents of agreements with a general malaise and anti-globalization feelings in their member countries,’ she said at a press conference Tuesday.” “Infect”?

“It’s fewer than 20 days now until the Democratic National Convention, and one of the biggest questions left is who Hillary Clinton will pick as her running mate. Our Politico colleague Gabriel Debenedetti reported last week that Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine remains the odds-on favorite. From a trade perspective, that could be seen as a subtle sign of support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership since Kaine was just one of 13 Senate Democrats who voted last year for trade promotion authority” [Politico]. Yes, it’s critical to kick the left at every decision point. “Several other Democrats mentioned as possible VPs — Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown and Al Franken, and Rep. Xavier Becerra — were firmly in the “no TPA” camp last year. One possible VP choice, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, supports the landmark agreement, while two others, Labor Secretary Tom Perez and HUD Secretary Julián Castro, are part of the administration that negotiated the Asia-Pacific trade deal.”

The language on TPP Sanders wants inserted in the Democrat platform [Politico].

“It is the policy of the Democratic Party that the Trans-Pacific Partnership must not get a vote in this Congress or in future sessions of Congress. If we succeed, we will be in a very strong position to stop a vote on the TPP and to fundamentally rewrite our trade agreements to end the race to the bottom and lift up the living standards of people in this country and throughout the world.”

“EU plans to regulate hormone-damaging chemicals found in pesticides have been dropped because of threats from the US that this would adversely affect negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)” [Ars Technica].


Clinton Email Hairball

“Comey and Lynch asked to testify before Congress on Clinton probe” [MarketWatch]. From my armchair at 30,000 feet: If the Republicans really want to make Lynch squirm, they just have to ask Lynch one question, which Comey — strong passive-aggressive move, there, Jim! — handed to them on a silver platter at his presser, yesterday. I’ve helpfully written it down (quoted phrases from Comey’s press release, parsed here):

Q: Attorney General Lynch, what “security or administrative sanctions” do you feel are appropriate for Secretary Clinton’s “extremely careless” handling of her email communications at the State Department?

No speeches instead of questions, no primping on camera for the folks back home, nothing about the endless lying, no Benghazi red meat, no sphincter-driven ranting about “security”, tie gormless Trey Gowdy up in a canvas bag and stuff him under a desk. Just ask that one question. And when Lynch dodges, as she will, ask it again. I don’t ever recall having written a sentence that includes “the American people want,” but what the American people want is to see some member of the elite, some time, any time, held accountable for wrong-doing. If it’s Clinton’s “turn” for that, then so be it. She should look at the big picture and consider the larger benefit of continued legitimacy for the Republic and take one for the team. So let’s see if the Republicans overplay their hand. They always have. UPDATE This is a good, that is, sane letter from Bob Goodlatte (pdf), chair of the House Judiciary Committee (via MsExPat). But don’t get down in the goddamned weeds!! K.I.S.S.!!!

“Comey’s solo appearance Tuesday stood out for historical reasons, because it’s highly unusual for the FBI to make public findings when investigators have decided no charges should be brought” [CNN]. This purports to be the inside story of how Comey “stood alone” to make the announcement. But there are some holes in the narrative:

Matthew Miller, the former top Justice spokesman under Attorney General Eric Holder, called Comey’s announcement “outrageous.” “The FBI’s job is to investigate cases and when it’s appropriate to work with the Justice Department to bring charges,” he said on CNN. House Republican sides with Comey over Trump on Clinton emails. Instead, Miller said: “Jim Comey is the final arbiter in determining the appropriateness of Hillary Clinton’s conduct. That’s not his job.”

When you’ve lost Eric Holder’s spokesperson… And then there’s this. After Clinton’s “long-awaited” Fourth-of-July weekend three hours of testimony:

Officials said it was already clear that there wasn’t enough evidence to bring criminal charges. The interview cemented that decision among FBI and Justice officials who were present. …

By Monday night, Comey and other FBI officials decided the public announcement should come at the earliest opportunity.

The fact that Tuesday would also mark the first public campaign appearance by Obama alongside Hillary Clinton didn’t enter in the calculation, officials said.

But as Yves points out, there was no time to write an official report of Clinton’s “interview” over the weekend. So for this narrative to work, you’ve got to form a mental picture of high FBI officials scanning the transcript of Clinton’s “interview,” throwing up their hands, and saying “We got nuthin’. You take it from here, Jim.” That doesn’t scan. I mean, the FBI is called a bureau for good reason. So to me, the obvious process violation means that political pressure was brought to bear on Comey, most likely by Obama, despite the denials (those being subject to the Rice-Davies Rule). But Comey did the bare minimum to comply, in essence carefully building a three-scoop Sundae of Accountability, and then handing it, with the cherry (“security or administrative sanctions”), to Lynch, so Lynch could have the pleasant task of making the decision about whether to put the cherry on top. Or not. Of course, if our elites were as dedicated to public service as they were in Nixon’s day, there would have been a second Saturday Night Massacre (link for those who came in late), but these are different times. (Extending the sundae metaphor even further, it will be interesting to see if the ice cream shop staff knows what else is back in the freezer, the nuts and syrups that Comey decided not to add; Comey certainly made the ethical case for leaks.)

“Hillary Clinton’s email problems might be even worse than we thought ” [Chris Cilizza, WaPo]. Cillizza, for whom I confess a sneaking affection, as for Nooners, isn’t the most combative writer in WaPo’s stable. So he hides the real point of his column out in plain sight, in a graphic, which I have helpfully annotated:


“Another Clinton ‘scandal’ goes poof” [Boston Globe]. “And if you’re one of those who has retained the capacity for balanced conclusions, even in this crazy year? Well, then, Comey’s finding will strike you as appropriate, and for a simple reason. It fit the facts. And now it’s time to move on.” If I had time, I’d get out my Magic Markers® for the tropes in this one….

“Hillary Clinton’s great day” [Eugene Robinson, WaPo]. “Here’s what happened to Hillary Clinton on Tuesday: She learned that the FBI investigation into her emails would end without charges being filed. Her political opponents embarrassed themselves with hissy fits and tantrums. And the best campaigner in America fired up her supporters at a nationally televised rally in a crucial swing state. That’s not a good day, it’s a great day.” This election has been wonderfully clarifying…


UPDATE “Trump beats expectations, raises $51 million with GOP in June” [WaPo]. “[T]he biggest monthly take by far for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, who did not begin to hold fundraising events until late May. And it suggests that Trump has the ability to quickly inject large sums of money into his campaign coffers by tapping into the fervor of his supporters. Much of the campaign’s money appears to have come in during the final 10 days of the month, when Trump’s operation began aggressively soliciting money online for the first time.” And: “Aides said the pace of donations has continued in July, and believe Trump could build the kind of online fundraising juggernaut that drove Sen. Bernie Sanders’s bid.” That’s the spin. But I need receipts on that, since campaigns routinely lie about their small donors (with the exception of the Sanders campaign, where the only gotcha was that his average contribution was ~$29, not $27. Oh, the humanity!).

The Voters

“We have good evidence that increasing inequality leads to lower trust’ [Stumbling and Mumbling]. Very good article filled with good links. Conclusion: “The point here is a simple one. The costs of inequality are not merely economic or social ones. They are also political: inequality leads to poorer political decision-making.” “Poor” for whom?

“Five years ago, Justin Wolfers and I examined data showing that trust in institutions such as Congress, banks and big business had plummeted during the recession, hitting an all-time low. Because historically trust had fallen as unemployment rose, we argued that it would increase as unemployment declined” [Bloomberg]. “We were wrong. Despite all the progress the economy has made, measures of trust remain stuck at historically low levels.” I can’t imagine why….

“Nevertheless, before the [Brexit] campaign got going, the issue of immigration was not what made poor Brits anti-EU. Brexit was, rather, a measure of their grim hope that any change in their country might just be a change for the better” [The Conversation]. Interesting polling data!

An excellent tweet storm on Clinton supporters and varieties of feminism [Katie Halper]. It’s not especially well-numbered or linked, so start here and read up. Thirty or so tweets, but that’s what it takes.

UPDATE “Dreams And Nightmares Of Donald Trump” [HuffPo]. Yes, actual field reports of dreams, collected by an academic in that discipline. I hardly ever remember dreams, so if I’m dreaming of any candidate, I don’t know about it.

The Trail

“Sanders booed by House Democrats” [Politico].

So Sanders still has leverage. Good to know. A good place to start winning Sanders’ endorsement would be fixing the Democrat Platform’s TPP language (see above). Which would also be popular in Pennsylvania…

“Trump victory in Pennsylvania hinges on 10 counties, experts say” [Pittsburgh Tribune].

“Who will win the presidency?” [Nate Silver]. Events, dear Nate, events…

Moar Stupid

UPDATE The ginned-up Star of David controversy: It looks to me like Trump’s media director, Daniel Scavino (who, in 1990, was Trump’s caddy) grabbed a six-pointed star graphic from somewhere on the Intertubes — who among us, etc. — and tweeted it, whereupon the usual suspects framed the star as a star of David, and things went downhill from there.

Given that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, converted to orthodox Judaism, and plays a key role in the Trump campaign, along with her Jewish husband, and Trump’s son-in-law, I’m a little amazed to see the Democrat nomenklatura in the person of David Brock smearing Trump as anti-semitic, but then, as Rove teaches, it makes sense to attack your enemy’s strength.

I’m also not happy to see the bottomless sucking pit of need that is the Clinton campaign pull Atrios in [image of tiny helpless waving arms and faint cries, soon silenced]. Especially given that “[b]ased on the evidence available, it seems unlikely that the Trump campaign intended to put out a Star of David image” [Politifact]. I’ve written before of the preference for the digital over the real among the creative class symbol manipulators in Clinton’s credentialed base — a subset of whom work for Brock, and of whom Brock himself is an incarnation — and this is the latest example. There will be more, unless and until Manafort or Stone instills some discipline on Trump’s twitter feed. There’s certainly work to be done on the connections between Trump, Manafort and Stone, and the danker corners of America’s political right. But, exactly as with their appropriation of sexism, racism, and fascism, the Democrat appropriation, simplification, and exploitation of real and terrible political realities for short term gain pollutes the discourse entirely, and gets in the way of the real work to be done. And not by accident, either.

“Trump Taj Mahal Workers Strike Over Stagnant Wages, Lack of Healthcare” [Gawker]. You’d expect the party of working people to be all over this, not stupid intertubes gotchas. Oh, wait…. There is no such party.

Stats Watch

International Trade, May 2016: “In a negative indication on global demand, exports of both goods and services fell slightly in the month. But in a positive indication on domestic demand, imports rose a sharp 1.9 percent” [Econoday]. “The export side of this report, however, is decidedly weak with contraction sweeping capital goods and also civilian aircraft, two areas where weakness may be deepening.” And: “The unadjusted three month rolling average value of exports and imports decelerated (but all rolling averages are in contraction). Many care about the trade balance which worsened.” [Econintersect].

ISM Non-Mfg Index, June 2016: ” ISM’s non-manufacturing sample is reporting its strongest rates of growth of the year, headlined by a big 3.2 point jump in the composite index to 56.5. New orders are even further above break-even 50 at 59.9 with new export orders up 4 points to 53.0. Employment is also up, 3 points higher at 52.7 in a reading that hints at sizable improvement for Friday’s employment report” [Econoday]. “This report is well established and historically is not volatile which makes June’s gains impressive. The gains suggest that the bulk of the nation’s economy, in contrast to the subdued indications from the services PMI released earlier this morning, may very well be picking up steam heading to the Brexit fallout.” And: “There are two sub-indexes in the NMI which have good correlations to the economy – the Business Activity Index and the New Orders Index – both have good track records in spotting an incipient recession – both remaining in territories associated with expansion” [Econintersect]. And moreover: “Well, well, well. Remember a month ago? Payrolls stunned everyone to the down side at 8:30 on the morning of June 3. People may have been inclined to let the shock eventually wear off, but when the ISM non-manufacturing gauge came in much weaker than expected at 10:00 on that same morning, market participants determined that the economy was indeed weakening. We will have to wait two more days to see what June payrolls look like, but the message from the June ISM non-manufacturing report is that purchasing managers were “just kidding” about May” [Amherst Pierpont Securities, Across the Curve].

PMI Services Index, June 2016: “New orders picked up but only to a moderate pace” [Econoday]. “[B]acklog orders continue to decline, down now for 11 straight months. Firms in the sample are hiring but not very much with job growth at a 17-month low. Optimism in the general outlook, down four of the last five months, is at a survey low.”

Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index, June 2016: ” U.S. workers’ reports of hiring activity at their place of employment in June held at the record high first achieved in May. The plus 33 job creation index score in June represents 44 percent of employees saying their employer is hiring workers and expanding the size of its workforce minus the 11 percent saying their employer is letting workers go” [Econoday]. “Of the four major U.S. regions, the Midwest has the highest job creation index (plus 37), followed by the West (plus 34), with the East and South (both plus 31) slightly further behind. The Midwest had led the other regions most of last summer before falling behind the West in the winter months. As the weather warms again, the Midwest has re-emerged as the strongest region for hiring. The Midwest’s plus 37 index score is notable as the highest Gallup has measured for any region in its eight-year trend, but it is not significantly better than the region’s scores of plus 36 on two occasions last summer.” Some of those Midwest states will be battleground states…

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of July 1, 2016: “A sharp drop in mortgage rates [*** cough *** manipulation *** cough ***] reignited mortgage activity in the July 1 week, especially in refinancing, which surged 21 percent from the previous week to the highest level since January 2015 [Econoday].

Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure, June 2016: “Americans’ daily self-reports of spending averaged $88 in June, a retreat from the higher levels recorded in April ($95) and May ($93). June spending started out strong, with U.S. adults’ estimates of their spending averaging $95 from June 1 through June 15 — essentially in line with spending in April and May. But consumers appeared to pull back significantly in the second half of the month” [Econoday]. They think it’s Brexit. On Main Street, I don’t buy it… “Honey, let’s buy the cheaper brand of charcoal; the Brits might leave the European Union.”

Gentleman Prefer Bonds: “[T]he bond market is signaling little risk. In the U.S., a metric known as the term premium is an unprecedented minus 0.61 percentage point for 10-year notes. The measure, which the Federal Reserve uses in guiding policy, reflects the extra compensation investors demand to hold longer-maturity debt instead of successive short-term securities” [Across the Curve]. “The gauge has been positive for almost all of the past 50 years. But since the start of the year, it’s turned into a discount, suggesting investors don’t see any threat on the horizon that would push yields higher.”

Political Risk: “Trapped in a privileged bubble, markets can’t feel winds of political change” Not the winds of winter? Oh-kaaay…. [MarketWatch]. “Many investors must be hoping that somehow they can wake up from a very bad dream and get on with their lives in a world where the U.K. had decided to stay in the European Union.” And now the key paragraph:

The worrying point for investors, however, is not just that they didn’t get the result they wanted. It is that they read the British referendum so completely incorrectly — and convinced themselves that the Remain side would eventually win.

That is hardly the first time that has happened. The markets got the 2015 election in Britain upside down as well. They didn’t think that Donald Trump would ever be the Republican nominee. They read the Spanish elections last month incorrectly, and the Austrian elections as well.

An accident? Perhaps. After all, these things are intrinsically difficult to predict. But it is also possible that something more fundamental is happening — that investors have become completely unable to predict political changes.

I originally filed this under Class Warfare. Then I saw that I needed to file it under Political Risk. In a crisis, things correlate…

Shipping: “Orders for new heavy-duty trucks hit a nearly six-year low in June, indicating that trucking companies expect little relief from a weak freight market and sluggish economic growth” [Wall Street Journal, “Heavy-Duty Truck Orders Fall to Lowest Since 2010”]. “With the manufacturing levels depressed thanks in part due to the strong dollar, and retail inventory levels high, freight volumes have not kept up with the ramp up in truck orders in recent years, leading to overcapacity, said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president. Truck orders plummeted last fall and have held at low levels throughout 2016.”

Shipping: “Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd. is essentially calling the bottom in the troubled ocean freight market, WSJ Logistics Report’s Robbie Whelan writes, arguing that pricing and profitability have fallen so much that carriers will have to pull back capacity to regain financial equilibrium. Drewry says the rate to transport a 40-foot container from Asia to the U.S. West Coast has fallen to less than a third of the price in 2010. The carriers may not be sinking much more, but Drewry suggests they may scrape along the bottom for some time” [Wall Street Journal]. As a Maine Bear, “scraping along the bottom for some time” confirms all of my priors!

Shipping: “Deutsche Bank is to sell at least $1bn of its loans to the shipping industry, in response to mounting pressure from the European Central Bank (ECB)” [Splash 247]. “‘They are looking to lighten their portfolio and this includes toxic debt. It makes commercial sense to try and sell off some of their book,’ one finance source told the newswire. ‘They are not looking to exit shipping.'”

Shipping: “The U.K.’s Brexit vote, meanwhile, threatens to dampen containerized trade further. Following the surprise outcome of the June 23 referendum, IHS cut its eurozone GDP forecast from 1.7 percent to 1.4 percent for 2016 and from 1.8 to 0.9 percent growth for 2017. The supply-demand gap in containers will continue into 2016, with a forecast 3.6 percent capacity growth against a 1.3 percent demand growth globally, according to Alphaliner” [Journal of Commerce]. “‘The risk of an economic slowdown in Europe could have a bigger impact on the container ship sector, and a corresponding fall in global container trade volumes would only worsen the current supply-demand gap,’ Alphaliner said.”

Shipping: “Airfreight demand growth slowed in May after showing signs of improvement in April” [Air Cargo News]. “There were some positives, with European airlines recording a 4.5% year on year increase in demand in May and Middle Eastern carriers registering a 3.2% improvement. That said, capacity increased ahead of demand in both regions.”

Shipping: “10-4 Systems said last week that it would break away from GlobalTranz Enterprises Inc., using $13.9 million in new funding to bring its “Uber for trucking” technology to a wider market. Boulder, Colo.-based 10-4 makes a fleet management trucking app that automates the data exchange among carriers, brokers, and shippers, matching trucks with shipper loads so carriers can avoid empty backhaul miles” [DC Velocity]. I wonder which laws this new startup will flout!

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 67, Greed (previous close: 68, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 58 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 6 at 11:28am. Last year at this time was 19, Extreme Fear. Grexit? And now Brexit, which poses huge financial and constitutional questions for both the UK (so long as it persists) and the EU (ditto), and la la la, everything’s under control, move along, people, move along, there’s no story here. Readers, what am I missing?

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Report: One Baton Rouge Police Officer Involved in Fatal Shooting of Suspect on North Foster Drive” (video) [The Advocate]. This is the best report I’ve seen of the #AltonSterling killing; the video looks lke an execution, to me. Sterling was selling CDs, just like Eric Garner was selling loose cigarettes; clearly, entering System D while Black can be lethal.

Dear Old Blighty

“Statement by Sir John Chilcot” (PDF) [The Iraq Inquiry]. And here is the entire inquiry, all 6000+ pages of it (zip file).

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

“The Whistleblower Architects: surveillance, infrastructure, and freedom of information according to Cryptome (part 1)” [Archinect].

Class Warfare

“There Are Three Main Classes in America. Two Are Represented by Political Parties” [Down with Tyranny] (ahem).

News of the Wired

“Mental Models I Find Repeatedly Useful” [Gabriel Weinberg, Medium]. From DuckDuckGo’s CEO.

“A long time ago, scientists moved from alchemy to chemistry, from astrology to astronomy. But our reverence for peer review still often borders on mysticism. For the past three decades, I have advocated for research to improve peer review and thus the quality of the scientific literature. Here are some reflections on that winding, rocky path, and some thoughts about the road ahead” [Nature]. Important, given the reproducibility crisis.

“Welcome to the GreatFire Circumvention Central. We test all services inside the Great Firewall of China. Test your own speed!” [Great Fire]. Handy!

“Half the aggressive tweets using the words slut and whore analysed by social thinktank Demos came from women and girls, research indicates” [Guardian]. “‘Looking at this data set of thousands of pieces of misogynistic abuse, and looking at the people the perpetrators of this abuse were following, gave us a good indication of who they were,’ [Alex Krasodomski-Jones, from UK’s Demos] said. ‘The algorithm suggested 50% were women, and a cursory look at who they were following – Beyoncé, One Direction and Justin Bieber – indicated they were ordinary women and girls, not a cabal of angry white men following rightwing activists.'” It’s all abusive, of course, but unsurprisingly liberal identity politics goodthinkers get it all wrong…

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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 (petal):


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 so much, readers, for last month’s rapid and successful Water Cooler Mini-Fundraiser. I have finally finished all the email thank you notes so yours should be coming, as will notes to those who send contributions via physical mail. 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 without fear or favor!

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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. voteforno6

    Re: “Hillary Clinton’s great day”

    I also made this comment during the morning links, but I think it bears repeating. Robinson considers this to be a great day for Clinton? By what standard? The FBI director went on national television and described her as “extremely careless,” and then essentially called her a liar. Is a politician considered to be ethical if he or she is not indicted?

    1. petal

      Gotta remember in their world, no indictments or convictions is considered a huge win!

      1. Take the Fork


        Which is why Sanders cannot punk out at this point: he has to stand up and shout.

        This is going to be a multi-generational fight, and so I view it in generational terms – no apologies.

        An examples of principled, heroic failure (Obi-Bern Kenobi!) will be far more inspiring than the shameless win-ugly style of Boomer-era politics…

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          So if you view this in multi-generational terms, why are you focusing on daily tactics? (Or, while we’re at it, endowing generations (“Boomers”) with agency?

          1. Take the Fork

            1. Because it’s fun. And you never know who may be lurking.

            2. Endowing the most self-mythologized age cohort in the Republic’s history with ‘agency’ seems appropriate to me.

            3. It is effective rhetoric: no one likes a hypocrite, and hypocrisy runs neck-and-neck with narcissism as defining characteristics of the post-war generation.

            1. hunkerdown

              2. It’s an odd kind of agency though, perhaps subjunctive or dissociative: “Were I this imaginary being, what would I…”

              3. Blah. “Hypocrisy” reinforces the fundamental attribution error and Protestant authoritarianism by being obstinately ignorant of circumstances, not least by devaluing witness and presence as sources of information. I’d rather retire the term than strengthen its broken priors.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Well, Sanders is busy gushing over Hillary’s means tested free college tuition proposal today.

          “A revolutionary step forward.”

          “The dream…will become a reality for all” (my goodness, FOR ALL!!! – what ever happened to means tested and the FBI news???).

          1. jrs

            The ugly truth about means tested programs is: YOU DON”T WANT TO HAVE TO USE THEM. Ask anyone what fun it is to use disability, food stamps, welfare that is now workfare, even medicaid in many places. It’s a whole bureaucracy that makes the process of getting any help a nightmare, long lines, endless obstacles, micromanaging of your life, poor products etc.. Because afterall you are made to be punished for needing help in this society. Oh sure the most meager and cruel of safety nets may be better than nothing. But means testing tends to degenerate into dehumanizing.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I think we rob ourselves, not knowing we are the people in the government of, by and for the people, and that we are owners of our money supply and to say there should be basic income is not to ask for help, but simply making a claim of what is ours.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Called her a liar?

        Un-indicted liar or perjurer…because the investigators are reasonable.

    2. cocomaan

      From my conversations with some Clinton supporters, they thing the email hairball was part of a right wing conspiracy against her because she is a woman. Same with Benghazi and Monica. Anything thrown at Hillary is thrown at her because she is a woman and then, perhaps, a Clinton.

      You cannot argue with that person. They have made a choice and no data will sway them.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Try reframing it as something local on their scale, like the CEO of a non-profit or the chair of a town committee. I’ve found that at least isn’t a conversation stopper.

        1. katiebird

          I have tried that. … Blank stare…. Also, the Bush did same thing argument. (Where I have to take a deep cleansing breath to keep from screaming: G. BUSH is nobodies role model!!)

          It is freaky.

            1. RUKidding

              I know a lot of Clinton supporters who aren’t thrilled with her but make excuses for the email. These voters are a bit more living in reality and are not Clinton zombies, but they are VERY worried about Trump. I think there’s more voters out there like that than the zombies, frankly, or at least that’s what I’m running into. A lot of people who hate both Clinton and Trump but feel like Trump is just a bridge too far.

              I am somewhat in that camp, but I am still considering voting for Jill Stein. But I can better understand this type of Clinton supporter. I really dislike Trump, and I have never liked Clinton either. It’s a disgusting choice.

              1. optimader

                I have talked to some friends that are ardent Clinton supporters, I’ll call them zombies, that actually get very agitated if the subject of say the email hair ball is brought up because they KNOW it is a fairly trivial matter, she was a busy SoS and it was merely an ill-considered convenience — that is being blown way out of proportion because there are no more “serious” issues to confront her with. these people are not worth the oxygen and brain cells to try even discuss the matter of the Clintons behavior or her fitness as a future POTUS. Hell she’s not even running for personal gain, she’s running because she is the nexus of experience, good judgement …and its her turn! If she were more selfish she could instead be ministering to the satisfying and good work of the Clinton foundation while spending more time with Bill and her daughter and grandkids (eyes getting teary)!
                Like I said, zombies.

                On Trump, what differentially (compared to Clinton) constitutes a bridge to far?

                1. James Levy

                  I’d lay my last dollar that you would simply ridicule any answer to your rhetorical question, so why would anyone bother to answer it? I mean, the people who disagree with you are so contemptible in your eyes that you call them zombies, so obviously they couldn’t possibly have any reasons whatsoever for not wanting to vote for Trump.

                  1. optimader

                    so why would anyone bother to answer it?
                    Is that a rhetorical question?

                    the people who disagree with you are so contemptible in your eyes that you call them zombies, so obviously they couldn’t possibly have any reasons whatsoever for not wanting to vote for Trump.
                    BTW, why is that a logical failure? Come back tomorrow for the answer!

                  2. optimader

                    1. You claim I framed a rhetorical question. It is not rhetorical in nature;

                    2. You infer negative sentiment w/regard to HRC’s historical behavior and present positions are necessarily an advocacy of Trump.
                    It is not a zero sum game. (in fact most of these HRC advocate claims I have heard and outline predate Trump)

                    Which element of the four outlined would you bother attempting to refute with a Clinton Zombie
                    I.) the email hairball is a trivial issue, a concern raised in lieu of legitimate concerns w/ HRC;
                    II.) HRC is running for POTUS due to her tirelessly altruistic nature despite the suffering a long conspiracy of slander direct4d against her;

                    III.) Her successful professional/political CV establishes her as the most well prepared candidate for POTUS ever in history! (I paraphrase her husband);

                    IV.) It’s her turn!

          1. neo-realist

            Re Bush, I’m simply angry and disappointed that indictments for Bush Cheney for the warrantless wiretapping and the CIA officer outing were not pursued with much zeal by the opposition party.

        2. Adam Eran

          Worth a look: TED Talk: Why you think you’re right even if you’re wrong.

          …a nice metaphor (soldier v. scout)

          Personally, I’d say it’s human nature to put oneself within a narrative. It’s practically important, too. You can look in the narrative rather than having to return home to see whether you’ve left your keys on the bureau.

          So…contradicting a piece of the narrative contradicts the whole thing. That’s why the pope put Galileo under house arrest (How dare you claim the planets circumnavigate the sun, sirrah!), and why Max Planck said “The truth never triumphs; its opponents simply die out. Science advances one funeral at a time.”

          1. Fiver

            “The truth never triumphs; its opponents simply die out. Science advances one funeral at a time.”

            Clinton is going to increase the productivity and output of that function considerably as in ‘There’s only room for One Truth, One Law in this country, or anywhere else for that matter, and it’s whatever the people with real power and money want it to be at the time.’

            Rove is proven right so far – they make reality and the rest just watch, even if the reality produced is such an obscene, perhaps fatal affront to US democracy and law.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They are the kind of voters any reformer/progressive would need for victory though.

        They never say, ‘Hillary or bust.”

        They swing behind the nominee of the party. In Realpolitik terms, you go 3rd party, you lose them.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          That was the beauty of Bernie’s attempted hostile takeover of the tribe, you get to the top of the pile in the tribe and all the Dem-bots will automatically follow wherever you lead. The bots by and large don’t either know or care about actual policy beyond reptilian bumper sticker/sound bite/identity politics level, if he had won the nomination he could have advocated for the reinstatement of slavery from that sacred place of authority and they mostly would have goose stepped behind him. Because Trump or other Republican bugbear.

      3. HBE

        They are tribalists first, voters second.

        They are so invested in the democratic tribe that they will never leave under any circumstances. Hillary could say she wanted to nuke Mexico and the Canadians and be photographed personally murdering baby seals and clubbing Eskimos and they would still vote for her while claiming she did it to Save them.

        It doesn’t matter what she did or does the tribe must be defended at all costs (even rationality). This is why the Clinton campaign worked so hard to ensure Bernie was ignored and portrayed as an outsider to the tribe, which coincidentally ended up being his primary strength with non tribalists.

        By keeping him as an outsider (not a member of the dems tribe) she was guaranteed the votes of dem tribalists since they wouldn’t split for a non-member.

          1. fresno dan

            Jim Haygood
            July 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm

            Hillary 2016 — there is no evidence that she ever murdered any baby seals!

            Hillary 2016 — there is no evidence that she ever intended to murder any baby seals that would lead a responsible prosecutor to file charges….!

            1. Jim Haygood

              Hillary 2016 — there is no evidence that she ever intended to murder any baby seals properly marked “underage,” as a common-sense law that she’s advocated for years would have ensured.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Hilary 2016 – But if any plebs think they can do what Hilary did and stay out of jail you are on notice that any such activities by a non-member of the 1% club will be vigorously prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

                1. Pat

                  I think you are underestimating the exclusivity of the membership with the completely get out of jail, fines, or even reprimands free cards. One would think a decorated General and former head of the CIA would qualify, but David Petraeus got slapped with a two by four compared to Clinton (even if he was treated with kid gloves compared to say Nishimaru). I would bet he is more than a little pissed right now.

              2. optimader

                ADDENDUM rv1
                Hillary 2016 — ok, the seal was limping but there is no evidence of malice aforethought –Huma mistakenly taped over it with the baby kitten video, which isn’t in the scope of this investigation.…Anyway ahhh. she’s not Trump! (he’s a crazy racist!”)

      4. Carolinian

        Sounds cult-y to me…almost like Jonestown.

        Of course the great virtue of identity politics for its practitioners is that every criticism can be depicted as some form of prejudice.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          The cultish nature of Clinton followers struck me months ago; it’s quite plain to anyone who’s done any amount of study of cults. The giddy insistence now that the Comey statement is total vindication is a case in point, and any attempt to point out how damning it actually was only brings an “innocent until proven guilty” reply.

          One can only surmise that a large number of people have been so inured to corruption they no longer consider it a negative unless the perpetrator goes to jail; and even then there would likely be more insistence that person was railroaded.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Hillary is so awful, no reasonable person who isn’t a crook would ever vote for her without the threat of…she’s pretty awful. So what a vote for Hillary demonstrates is someone simply isn’t an informed voter. Sanders is an attack on Democrats as enlightened West Wing viewers.

        2. polecat

          Maybe they should all just take a cruise down to Guyana ……

          Hope they don’t forget to bring the cooooolaid!

    3. Fred

      Where is the ‘reconciling of the holdings’ that shows Comey was right to say Hilary’s conduct was not grossly negligent (i.e. criminal) versus “extremely careless”, (ie stay out of jail). Either way won’t you trust all of her and her staff with the nuclear weapons codes on their blackberries?

  2. Tertium Squid

    What an inversion – this must be the first time it was good for Hillary that her husband had a scandalous private meeting with a younger woman.

    1. Tim

      On election day hindsight will show the real inversion with the Clintons is:

      In 1990s Bob Dole ran on a platform of having the moral high ground, while Bill Clinton said “it’s the economy stupid”, and Bill won.

      In Hillary’s nomination victory speech a month ago she argued she has the moral high ground and Trump’s response was to focus on the problems in the economy. If the recession starts to hit hard enough late this year, Trump will win, and he will tell Hillary and Bill, “Its the economy stupid!”

      1. Trent

        this is why hillary wasn’t and never will be sent to jail:

        A credibility trap is when the lies and the corruption become so widespread and embedded in a system that they become self-sustaining to the point of moral bankruptcy.

        It is when almost half of all Congressmen remain in the Capitol after leaving office so that they can make many millions per year peddling influence and crafting loopholes for corporations who are offering huge sums to gain advantage through manipulating the tax and regulatory laws, or eliminating them altogether.

        It is when politicians leave office voluntarily once they have gained enough name recognition and contacts so they can cash in.

        It is when a ruling class forms, and becomes insulated from their constituents. It begins to act for itself, paying lip service to their oaths and obligations, with no consequence or shame.

        It is when the government by example breeds lawlessness.

        It is when officials from the Executive Branch move back and forth through a revolving door from corporate institutions in order to make the big payday for their public ‘service.’

        It is when the truth is led down a blind alley of greed and strangled by expediency. It is when lying and cheating is acceptable, even laudatory, if you are good at it. And goodness is measured in money.

        It is when corporations openly pay large bonuses to their executives who win an influential job in government in order to further the corporation’s influence and interests.

        It is when there is more moral hazard in not taking the money, than there is in taking it, and even getting caught at it, as long as you have served your masters well. If you do not take the money, you are a risk, you are not reliable. You may have a conscience, and you do not have the additional layer of loyalty that comes from complicity. Morality is bad for business. And good people are contemptible.

        It is when the only tragedy is not to be in the one percent.

        If you wish to see a fine example of this type of systemic corruption, watch the movie Serpico, or a good expose of a banana republic or organized crime, or read the book This Town by Mark Leibovich.

        Groupthink rationalizes it, and the fear of ostracism and missing the big payday keeps everyone in line. And once you are part of this type of system, it owns you, whether you are a politician, a journalist, an economist, or a parasitic enabler. If you are in business, not to join in is a competitive disadvantage. Bad behaviour drives out the good, and banality unleashing the darkest parts of human nature is in the ascendant.

        A credibility trap is when both parties pledges themselves to the powerful, monied interests, thereby putting the business of business ahead of the business of the people. The society becomes out of balance, and cannot bring itself to right because its leaders have lost their way, and corrupt all who come near them.

        It always ends, often from external forces, and too often badly. But while the money is still flowing the band plays on.

        hat tip to jesse at the cafe american

        1. fresno dan

          July 6, 2016 at 3:31 pm

          I think, sad to say, that you are exactly right.

          1. polecat

            This is how empire ends ….in real time…..

            slowly, as the bonds of civilized society come undone, one injustice at a time!

  3. Isolato

    It is a SAD day when a President of the US cheers for an “extremely careless” leaker after being the most aggressive prosecutor of whistleblowers under the Espionage Act…ever. Can I haz my money back?

    1. Kokuanani

      When “mere mortals” undertake the kind of reckless action with regard to classified material that Clinton did, wouldn’t a likely and appropriate sanction be to pull that person’s security clearance?

      Can we hope for that to happen to Clinton? [Why not?]

      Can a presdident operate without having a security clearance?

      1. 3.14e-9

        When “mere mortals” undertake the kind of reckless action with regard to classified material that Clinton did, wouldn’t a likely and appropriate sanction be to pull that person’s security clearance?

        “Mere mortals” get indicted. Here is the complaint filed in U.S.A v. Bryan Nishimura, July 24, 2015:

        The United States Attorney charges: THAT BRYAN H. NISHIMURA, defendant herein, from on or about January 2007 through April 2012, while deployed outside of the United States on active military duty with the United States Navy Reserve in Afghanistan and thereafter at his residence located in the County of Sacramento, State and Eastern District of California, being an officer and employee of the United States, specifically: a United States Navy Reserve Commander, and, by virtue of his office and employment as such, becoming possessed of documents and materials containing classified information of the United States, specifically: CLASSIFIED United States Army records, did knowingly remove such documents and materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents and materials at his residence in the County of Sacramento, an unauthorized location, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1924(a), a Class A misdemeanor.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Since James Comey’s legal skills seem to have atrophied during his checkered tenure as a gumshoe, let me help with the cut-and-paste that any junior college paralegal could accomplish in five minutes:

          The United States Attorney charges: THAT HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, defendant herein, from on or about Jan. 21, 2009 through Feb. 1, 2013, while serving in the President’s cabinet, and thereafter at her residences located in the District of Columbia and the County of Westchester, State and Southern District of New York, being an officer and employee of the United States, specifically: the Secretary of State, and, by virtue of her office and employment as such, becoming possessed of documents and materials containing classified information of the United States, specifically: CLASSIFIED diplomatic, defense and intelligence records, did knowingly remove such documents and materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents and materials at her residences in the District of Columbia and the County of Westchester, both unauthorized locations, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1924(a), a Class A misdemeanor.

          Verdict: GUILTY.

          *slams gavel so hard that it shatters, hitting a bailiff in the eye*

      2. voteforno6

        Since the classification program falls under the President by law, it is impossible for a President to not have a security clearance.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I don’t believe the President has a security clearance. Senator Obama may have had a clearance, but the President is a constitutional officer and everyone outside the Congress an the Supreme is required to answer in writing his questions.

          The President in his role as President operates under the Constitution. Congress can’t pass a law dictating his job requirements. As President, the President is beyond security clearances.

          1. cwaltz

            Uh I’m pretty sure Congress CAN pass laws that pertain to the executive branch. The President also has the power to veto it though and then if they had the votes to override a veto, it could be challenged in court.

            However, the executive branch is NOT immune from law.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        One of my favorite bad jokes, the other one about the Zen hotdog seller:

        CUSTOMER: I’d like a hot dog, please [hands Zen hotdog seller a twenty].

        ZEN HOTDOG SELLER: [hands over hotdog]

        CUSTOMER: [after waiting] Hey, where’s my change?

        ZEN HOTDOG SELLER: Change, my friend, must come from within!

        I got a million of ’em! Thanks, I’ll be here all week!

        1. RabidGandhi

          Is this a genre?

          Zen Buddhist to hot dog seller: “Make me one with everything”.

        2. inode_buddha

          …Did you hear about the Zen pizza shop? They’ll make you One with everything!

  4. allan

    Bonds: “The gauge has been positive for almost all of the past 50 years. But since the start of the year, it’s turned into a discount, suggesting investors don’t see any threat on the horizon that would push yields higher.”

    With notably rare exceptions. Maybe the Wisdom of Markets™ is unknowingly predicting
    that `Giant Meteor 2016′ is no mere bumper sticker.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Unlike the yield curve, which can be derived from today’s data, the term premium must be estimated with a model or derived from projections of future short term rates by forecasters (the same lot who have never foreseen a recession).

      So it’s a shaky construct, not to be trusted too much.

      If the term premium has any validity, it might signify (a) deflation ahead; (b) another european bank crisis [my vote] or (c ) there really is a giant meteor coming our way; we just can’t see it yet. But bond investors can feel it in their bones.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Or (d). I had a bond investment source yesterday who advised his clients to remain higly liquid because he thinks inflation is coming back.

        The rarely asked question is is our investors learning.

        1. Jim Haygood

          “Highly liquid” (meaning “Treasuries”) is acute crisis protection; whereas “short term” (meaning “a year or less”) is chronic inflation protection.

          While TIPS are inflation indexed, the longer-term ones (say 10 years) still go down in value when interest rates rise. Their inflation compensation is paid out over the life of the bond, but a rate rise whacks their value today.

          TIPS are also less liquid than ordinary Treasuries. Dealers likely tack on wider spreads for small investors, though it’s hard to tell in the opaque over-the-counter bond market (another anachronism that the Fed hasn’t touched, because they like opacity, and the primary bond dealers are their buddies whom they can call any time).

  5. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    We’ve gone from Watergate to Whitewater to Whitewash, Hilary and Blair given a free pass for their crimes on the same day.
    At least historians will have no trouble fixing the date when we officially turned the corner from a rule of law democracy to a tyrannical oligarchy.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      This chain of events has reinforced the American public’s perception that there are now no prosecutions of unlawful conduct by persons of sufficient wealth, power and influence who consider themselves to be above the law. That this perceived privilege has now been extended to at least some legacy party presidential candidates is noteworthy. Perception is again reality, as more names are also added to the “Favor Bank” list of those political appointees and officials who have been called upon by their benefactors to disregard substantive violations of law, and have done so.

      However, it is telling that potential issues relating to the activities of the Clinton Foundation remain outside the stated purview of this FBI investigation.

      To paraphrase an old saying: It’s not the News that matters, but how citizens and voters react to the News. Could be wrong, but I expect that the corrupt funding and patronage system will be a major campaign issue. And Bernie Sanders has to date not endorsed the presumed nominee.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Sanders endorsement doesn’t matter. Anyone “moved” by his endorsement likely would have voted for Hillary over Trump anyway.

        The primary was simply was Bernie a different Democrat worth voting for. Hillary under performed her 2008 efforts despite a 73 year old opponent with little name recognition. Even with the threat of a GOP Congress an White House, the Democrats failed to attract voters to the anointed crook.

        The real issue isn’t even Sanders voters. It’s the non primary voters who have given up. Promises were made about ACA and Obama’s second term. The Democrats failed to live up to those promises. Many non voters won’t be forgiving. They simply won’t come out.

        Fear is a terrible motivator.

  6. ekstase

    From”Class Warfare”:

    — Things weren’t always so bleak for the working class. It used to be that a significant portion of this class, at times more than half, was solidly considered “middle class.”

    I think this is really intetesting. There is shaming that goes on in this society, of people who do manual labor, and/or struggle to get by. I don’t think this used to be as true. We had a generation or two who had lived through the Great Depression, struggled to find work, feed their families, and for whom higher education or home ownership were beyond reach. And everybody knew this. Then later there were boom times with high paying factory jobs available; those people weren’t just discarded human beings. But now I think the “upper middle class” is isolated from some of the desperation, geographically among other ways, and they either don’t know, or don’t want to know. Thus, our candidates. But how long can it stay this way?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I just reject “upper”, “middle,” “lower” class formulations entirely. They have nothing to do with social relations, which is where the real is to be found. I think the language is vague and designed to conceal. Thomas Frank is doing a useful service by separating out the 10% “professional” class from “the 99%.”

      Parties are coalitions of factions, and factions are driven by property interest, says Madison. So look to property interests. Including intellectual property.

  7. Tim

    Regarding Brexit Vs Grexit, UK isn’t part of the Euro and Greece was going to default on their Euro Debts, which would kick off a lot of leverage unwinding supposedly? That’s what I remember.

    The Brexit is a bigger deal long term, but how many investors can properly price in long term risks? Pretty much nobody, so they don’t even try, so business as usual.

  8. Jim Haygood

    Oh, my … faced with German resistance to his bank bailout plan, Italy’s PM says Germany’s banks are a hundred times worse:

    Speaking at a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Italian PM Matteo Renzi said other European banks had much bigger problems than their Italian counterparts.

    “If this non-performing loan problem is worth one, the question of derivatives at other banks, at big banks, is worth one hundred. This is the ratio: one to one hundred,” Renzi said.


    Can’t think of a better way to provoke a bank run than having senior European political leaders arguing over whose busted banks will hit the wall first.

    As a euro-based depositor, the best thing you can do when the bailer-outers are squabbling among themselves is to run like hell. Grab some of them 500-euro bills while they’re still available … or a few gold coins to stuff in a sock (which worked a treat for Brits after Brexit).

    Meanwhile, Italy’s desperate Banca Monte dei Paschi has fallen to 0.28 euros. Chart [not for the faint-hearted]:


    In a move equivalent to fighting a heat wave by draining some mercury from the thermometer, today Italy’s market regulator Consob banned short selling of Monte dei Paschi’’s shares for three months.

    Yeah — that should help! :)

      1. Jim Haygood

        When you see a huge gap like that, look for a stock split that wasn’t incorporated. Et voila:

        On 28 December 2013, the extraordinary general meeting of the company Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena S.p.A. decided a reverse stock split at the ratio of 1:100. According to the press release from 29 April 2014, the reverse stock split and the ISIN change will be effective as of 5 May 2014.


        And another please, kind sirs:

        On 16 April 2015, the extraordinary annual general meeting of the company Banca Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena announced a reverse stock split at a ratio of 20:1. Please refer to the company’s website http://www.mps.it for details.

        Ex-date for the reverse stock split will be 18 May 2015.


        So if you owned 2,000 shares in 2013, you would now have ONE share, worth €0.28.

        Heckuva job, Massimo …

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          It takes an awful lot of terrible underwriting and moral hazard to wreck a bank that was founded in 1472.
          They survived the Black Death, the 1848 revolution, WWI, Mussolini and WWII, the 2009 crisis, only to get caught out as the curtain gets pulled back on The Wizard of Draghi.
          Nobody really asked the “what” behind “whatever it takes”. Whatever it takes to keep bondholders solvent? To keep Nonna from losing her savings? To keep the banker bonuses flowing? Looks like it might end up being none of the above.

    1. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      July 6, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      It seems the “top men” are hell bent on proving that it really IS JUST colored pieces of paper…

      I am reminded of the first Christopher Reeves superman movie, when Lois Lane falls out of a helicopter a top the Daily Planet building, and superman catches her, and says, “Don’t worry – I got you” and Lois replies, quite logically, “You got me? You got me!!!! Who’s got you!?!”

  9. Pookah Harvey

    Clinton supporters seem to feel the fat lady has sung but it might be they are only hearing someone who is slightly chunky. From Politico:

    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, a federal appeals court issued a ruling that could complicate and prolong a slew of ongoing civil lawsuits over access to the messages Clinton and her top aides traded on personal accounts.

    In a decision Tuesday in a case not involving Clinton directly, 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.

    Apparently Hillary’s problems with the FOIA cases will worsen.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Still holding out hope here that some nude selfies of Hillary and Huma turn up … not that I could stomach actually looking at them.

    2. wbgonne

      I am astonished at how the Obama is so brazenly protecting Clinton. First, Obama declares that Clinton’s TPP emails will not be disclosed until after the election.

      Obama Administration Bars Release of Clinton’s TPP Emails Until Post-Election

      Then this nugget from a piece today by Jill Stein:

      Why Hillary Clinton Should be Prosecuted for Reckless Abuses of National Security

      Department of Justice officials filed a motion in federal court on June 29th requesting a 27-month delay in producing correspondence between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s four top aides and officials with the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings, a public relations firm that Bill Clinton helped launch.

      And now Comey’s exceedingly-careless-is-not-grossly-negligent bag job? Yeesh. How transparent. Obama better be careful or the Clintons will slime him before he starts collecting his post-presidency payoffs. It won’t matter financially but Obama’s ego won’t tolerate it.

      Like Lambert, I hope that the Republicans don’t somehow wind up making Clinton look good when they question Comey and Lynch. But I am not optimistic.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Legacy protection. Obama was a terrible President. He ran the Democratic Party into the ground. Hillary is awful enough, she might make people miss Obama much like Gore and Shrub helped Bill and Hillary.

        What does Obama really have for the history books? He needs Hillary.

        1. different clue

          Routinized “look forward, not back”.

          Routinized whistleblower persecution.

          Routinized serial killing with drones.

          Made the Bush Tax Cuts permanent.

          Immunised and impunified the FIRE sector perpetrators.

          Poisoned the health care policy discussion well for several decades to come. While locking in a trillion dollar revenue stream to Big Insura.

          Enough for the history books right there?

          On the plus side, secured a nuclear deal with Iran. Began broader opening to Cuba.

        2. Fiver

          He owns The Book rights if he’s as smart as advertised. After all, how could Obama pull off indicting Clinton given what we now know for sure regarding her power just as a candidate, let alone what happens when she hits the pavement running as CnC. Obama, or even someone else senior, would have to be more clever than that if they wished to frustrate Clinton’s ambitions. Just a chronicle of what’s happened this year, reveals the incredible lengths of what DNC, major media, corporations, many opposing Republicans, the White House, the DoJ, the FBI and others had to do in order to be able to foist Clinton upon the citizenry. She believes she’s good and stuck there on the path to Washington like a burr, and nothing can stop her now.

          But Sanders’ should either challenge the legitimacy of the entire process, including Clinton as nominee, at the podium at the Convention, or prior, and if rebuffed then simply fold it up with the Democrats. Because what Sanders needs to do now if this ‘movement’ is not to be co-opted and destroyed is immediately take some ownership on this vital question of legitimacy – if what just happened is allowed to stand, it’s anything goes.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Another reason why the eminent stateswoman Nancy Pelosi said “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it”:

    In a bizarre twist of [Obamacare], unless a small employer (fewer than 25 to 50 employees) has a formal insurance program in place, they are no longer allowed to pay the premiums for their employees directly. The penalties are hefty if they do.

    To continue to provide coverage, employers must add the cost of the premium to their employees’ wages — and trust that the employees will buy their own health insurance.

    The bad news for these employees is they are now paying the full load of taxes on their health insurance coverage — and they are responsible for buying their own policies.


    So our solons stripped tax deductibility of health coverage for employees of small companies whose health premiums were paid directly by the employer.

    Brilliant. Probably a drafting error in the hundreds of pages slipped into a 3am markup session back in 2010. But now technical corrections to the bill are impossible, so real people get whacked with taxes on already exorbitant coverage.

    Congress busted Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Puerto Rico. I do believe they can succeed in making Obamacare choke on its own vomit as well.

    1. Northeaster

      This was the response I got for trying to find out the names and how many of my Congress Members staff are taking advantage of the DC Health Link small business exception which Congress Members are using (one rule for you, another for them):

      Thank you for your inquiry. The information you’re seeking is personally identifiable information and cannot be provided because it is confidential.

      Adam Hudson
      Public Information Officer
      DC Health Benefit Exchange
      Cell: (202) 527-5622
      Office: (202) 741-0817

      I then sent a FOIA request to The Clerk of The House, who then sent me to a link to my CONgress Members webpage. Brilliant. IIRC, CONgress Members are exempt from FOIA, but I’m not sure about their staff. I haven’t heard back, but what we found “in it”, at least for most Americans, isn’t very good. Years ago, my CONgress Member specifically stated she would not get any special treatment or preference.

      Democrats, Republicans, don’t matter, they all have sold us out and The People keep sending them back into office.

      1. curlydan

        Try to FOIA Health and Human Services and ask for any reports of usage of DC Health Link, and in particular, usage by Congress members and/or staff. They are an agency that can be FOIA’ed and are most likely to have the info you’re needing.

        My recommendation is to start here and poke around and get used to the FOIA rules/regs. I suspect you are more likely to get “totals” rather than individual names:

    2. Tim

      You are too optimistic about legislators intent. If it is in the Bill, it is no accident. I’ve been involved in US congress legislative development, and as helter skelter as Obamacare was put together, winners and loosers were determined one line at a time. Somebody (legislator) wanted to raise taxes and another (corporate lobbyist) wanted to lessen competition from local businesses, they got together and got it in there and nobody that would have strongly objected had the opportunity to fight it.

      1. Jim Haygood

        I hear ya, Tim. You may be right regarding this particular provision. But the Obamacare bill was a dog’s breakfast scribbled on cocktail napkins:

        One error in [Obamacare] would make Congressional staff members pay thousands of dollars more for their health insurance than was intended.

        This situation was addressed by OPM through a rule change of dubious legality reportedly made under pressure from the White House, which in turn was responding to pressure from both sides of the Congressional aisle.

        A second error is projected to leave millions of people with low to moderate incomes unable to qualify for government subsidies to purchase health insurance. As a result, many people who were clearly meant to be covered will remain uninsured.

        In this second instance involving people with less power and lower incomes than those on Capitol Hill, the Obama administration is implementing the law as written, even though this surely does not reflect the administration’s policy preference or Congressional intent.


        Beltway insiders taken care of; little people screwed because that’s the law.

  11. Anon

    Re: Star of David controversy

    One thing, well, more like two things, but we’ll get to the 2nd one in a moment. The one important thing about this whole “controversy” is that the very star shape that was used is available in Microsoft Paint. Will people stretch their perceived slight to include Microsoft? The 2nd thing is that there seems to be a divide between how people perceive the star. Internet-savvy people view it as anti-Semitic whereas normal non-Internet savvy people view it as a star.

    A small faux-pas, to be sure, but not the end of the world.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Interesting thing about the six-pointed star. Cops in the old west wore stars as badges. Since it is actually overlapping triangles, the six-pointed star was easier to craft than a five or seven pointed one.

      I call this the “Larry Craig Phenomenon.” Larry Craig was the rabid anti-gay senator from Idaho who turned out to be…….gay……. busted for toe-tapping in search of a liaison in an airport restroom stall. It boils down to “those who scream the loudest are the most blatant practitioners.”

      And so, Trump mentions “blood coming out of Megyn Kelly’s nose or ‘wherever’ ” and someone “translates” it into a reference to menstruation and, therefore, blatantly “sexist.”

      He “tweets” a six-pointed star, and someone “translates” it into anti-semitism. Etc.

      It’s the “translators”–the ones screaming the loudest–that people should be looking at.

      1. Jim Haygood

        In our county, the sheriff’s logo on the vehicle door is a heptagon, with its vertical axis downward.

        How the county garage workers laid out the 51.428571 degree angles between the seven points is a mystery that has never been satisfactorily explained.

    2. hunkerdown

      It’s not Internet savvy, just liberal values. Liberals see anti-Semitism in anything that adversely affects their status as superior to someone, anyone, preferably those who see their scam for what it is. Nothing shall affect their ability to get bourgeois bizniz, i.e. the imposition of coercive deficiencies on those they deem “wayward”, done.

      Leftists, not having “business”, i.e. incestuous corruption among members of one’s class, to do, tend not to make such mistakes.

  12. PlutoniumKun

    Re: Guardian article on online abuse.

    I did find that research interesting as I’d always wondered how and why the notion came about that all misogynistic abuse online ‘must’ be from the stereotypical fat white male in a stained t-shirt at his computer. In pre-internet days there was I think an assumption that ‘poison pen’ letters and the like were a peculiarly female crime. In the past year I had two female friends who told me about being stalked online and on social media by someone sending abusive messages – both referred to the stalker/poison pen writer as ‘she’. When I asked how they knew it was a woman, the reply was along the lines of ‘well, it just feels like a jealous woman’.

    I think most people who don’t spend their time on twitter discussing gender politics tend to assume on a good basis that the sort of nasty behaviour that leads to someone sending abuse using anonymous channels is as likely to be found in the female psyche as the male – and yet somehow the ‘accepted’ form of discourse on this heavily assumed exclusively male guilt. I wonder if this is really confirmation bias or if it is part of a quite deliberate political discourse.

    1. Tim

      A male is far more predisposed to physical abuse, and a woman is far more predisposed to emotional abuse, so it would reason to think that on the whole, yeah a lot of online abuse is of a female origin, since it is pretty hard to punch somebody through a computer screen.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sometimes, I can sense whether a poster/writer/commenter/commentator (higher status than commenter, not sure why – but I want to grow up to be a commentator, not a commenter) is a female or a male. And many times, I have been wrong.

      It has nothing to do with whether the energy is positive (constructive or enjoyable) or negative (abusive).

    3. Jess

      An ex-girlfriend once told me that a slut “is any woman who is having more sex than you are”.

      Seems about right.

      1. plutoniumKun

        Its a bit like the definition of nymphomaniac as ‘the girl everyone seems to have met except me’.

      2. Enquiring Mind

        Alternative definition: a slut is any woman who is having more sex that what you are told you should be having.

        There is a shocking amount of peer pressure and brainwashing, for example, in magazines aimed at impressionable young women. Cosmo used to be the sleazy, disreputable outlier, and has been joined by Glamour and a host of others in a race to the bottom.

        It is difficult to take feminist arguments seriously about anything when they won’t address the glaring girl-on-girl problems such as those in the research and sources mentioned above.

        1. hunkerdown

          Some identities are exempt from being questioned by outsiders, even if they are “systemically important”. Surprisingly or not, those identities coincide closely with those of the Democrat[sic] Party’s identity-politics clients.

          (One working definition among guys from mid-adolescence determined that a b–ch is identical to a slut, but that won’t sleep with the speaker.)

        2. jrs

          right not everyone has the same sex drive so not everyone even wants to compete with the highest drives out there.

    4. JTFaraday

      Women police sexuality because they sense the ice (collectively or individually) is thin. Men have no interest in policing that, unless it’s their personal property.

  13. allan

    Google Is Transforming NYC’s Payphones Into a ‘Personalized Propaganda Engine’ [Village Voice]

    … De Blasio’s eagerness to label just about any accomplishment of his administration as historic is well-known, but he may have had a point in this case: The narrow, gleaming tower looming over him was the forerunner of a full-scale invasion. By the end of July, there will be 500 of them throughout the city. Initially they will replace what remain of the city’s antique pay phones, but when all is said and done, the links, as they’re being called, will number at least 7,500, a standing army of supersized digital foot soldiers blanketing streets throughout the five boroughs. …

    That LinkNYC is, ultimately, underwritten by Google should tell you a lot about why New York got so very lucky as to receive an unprecedentedly fast network of citywide public Wi-Fi — for “free.” Not only is CityBridge going to lay miles of new fiber and operate, maintain, and upgrade the network at no cost to you the consumer, it’s going to kick the city at least half a billion dollars over the next twelve years to boot.

    The whole thing is financed by advertising. Each kiosk’s twin 55-inch displays will carry targeted ads based on an audience profile algorithmically derived from the information the kiosks collect from their users. …

    Propaganda and Surveillance Engine would be more accurate – it should be called HooverNYC.

    1. Pat

      I can’t tell you how much this information makes me happy that they are becoming a bone of contention because people are now complaining about them being hogged by the homeless charging their devices or just hanging out.

      The fact that you now need a working device to make a phone call aside… (unless there is some aspect of them I’m unaware of.)

      1. Jay M

        “Each kiosk’s twin 55-inch displays will carry targeted ads based on an audience profile algorithmically derived from the information the kiosks collect from their users. …”

        wasn’t something like this described by Shteyngart in Super Sad True Love Story?

        1. Jim Haygood

          Yep. The network retrieved his profile and found he had a weak credit rating, plus was rated sexually unattractive.

          Google Kiosk will take us WAY beyond those primitive days.

    2. Barmitt O'Bamney

      This is wrong. Once they get rid of all the public phone booths in NYC where will folks go to the bathroom?

    1. Oregoncharles

      Polexit – and fairly soon, at that rate. Poland also isn’t in the Euro, making it much easier (as in possible), and recently decided not to join the Eurozone.

      If Brexit was the first step, Polexit might be the final straw that breaks the EU.

      I wish they’d just come to the senses, instead.

  14. Oregoncharles

    ““Half the aggressive tweets using the words slut and whore analysed by social thinktank Demos came from women and girls, research indicates””

    Not all that surprising. For one thing: who would actually care about those negative judgements? Men have less reason to care about them than women do. I don’t really know, but it makes sense “slut” would be a common insult from one woman to another – and that’s exactly what the study found.

    Second: anonymous verbal abuse. Not necessarily a guy thing. Supposedly a lot of that abuse is directed at successful or “uppity” women. Unsuccessful men might find that threatening – but it could also be envy from less-successful women.

    And an example that stuck in my mind. It was on Alternet; an article by a woman who was avoiding involvement and went to parties to get laid – ie, a “slut” (and successful seductress). The real vitriol in response was virtually all from self-avowed women, some of them self-avowed “feminists.” Why would men care? They’re the beneficiaries, unless they fall for her.

  15. Elliot

    Re: Trump apologia

    No. It really IS anti-semitic, that’s NOT a sherrif’s star (my father was a deputy), the wording in the tweets is blatant racist dogwhistling, it’s embarrassing that anyone here is cutting Trump slack over this.

    I know, awful Hillary– I’m not voting for her either– but Trump is not doing this accidentally, or randomly, and it’s poisonous to look away or pretend it’s inoccuous.

    1. Butch In Waukegan

      This is not a apologia for Trump, but your dad being a deputy is not evidence that the Trump star is not a sheriff’s star, and it is very easy to refute.

      I would never vote for Trump. There are are many good arguments to be made against him. No need to make stuff up.

    2. sandra y.

      This is not the first hint of anti-semitism coming from the Trump camp, by any means. And it is not the first time Trump-ists got in trouble for picking up and reTweeting the messages of the white supremacists. The vicious and extensive antisemitic attacks on journalists with Jewish sounding names are well documented and are continuously going on.
      I agree that cutting any slack for this as yet another sloppy mistake affirming the white supremacists’ sites is unacceptable. I am a Sanders supporter all the way, BUT this image of the red star filled me, and fills me, with dread.

      1. Yves Smith

        A Star of David is an open star. A sheriff’s star is a closed star.

        And did you manage to miss that his daughter Ivanka, and hence some of his grandchildren, are Jewish? And Orthodox to boot? And his Orthodox son in law is playing a very active role in the campaign? In fact, they seem to be the closest to him of all his children. They are certainly the most involved in his presidential bid.

        So you are effectively saying an Orthodox Jew is responsible for anti-Semitic messaging. This is how desperate the anti Trump crowd is to beat him with any stick they can pick up. It’s up there with Sanders supporters being called anti-Semitic because he’s recommended being evenhanded about Palestine. Let’s see, the people who are supporting the first serious Jewish candidate for president have a problem with Jews?

        There is a lot wrong with Trump but he would have gotten all of nowhere in New York City real estate if he could not get on well with Jews. There are few goyim in that business.

        1. John Zelnicker

          Not to be disagreeable, but it is not unheard of for Jews to be anti-Semitic. In fact, as you probably know, Jews who support Palestinian rights are often labelled self-hating Jews.

          That being said, I think Trump probably retweeted the image without giving it any thought at all that it might be considered anti-Semitic, since I agree with you that he is personally not likely to be such.

          It was still a stupid thing to do, IMHO.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        I give the Sanders campaign credit for never propagating slogans and talking points like “The first Jewish candidate for President,” or “It’s a Jew’s turn,” and especially “If you don’t vote for Sanders, you’re anti-Semitic.”

        Swap in different identities, and the Clinton campaign has done all that, especially the last. Remember how the Republicans always accuse others of doing what they do? They will find a comfortable home in today’s establishment Democrats.

        1. different clue

          Yes, I noticed that. The Sanders campaign never claimed we ought to support Sanders because America’s! First! Jewish! President! EVer!! would be transFORMative.

          But Clinton backers do indeed tell us that America’s! First! Woman! President! EVer!! will be tranFORMative. And if you don’t support Clinton, it is because you are antiwomanitic.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          I was always surprised that the Sanders campaign didn’t jump on that Clinton staffers comment that he was ‘too Brooklyn’, which is as blatant an anti-semitic dogwhistle as you can get in New York without actually saying it directly. Had it been the other way around I”m sure the Clinton campaign would have used it. I’m not sure whether it was a case of Sanders being too honourable to use it, or that his campaign just didn’t have that ‘get down and dirty’ instinct.

          1. RabidGandhi

            One thing the Sanders campaign has been consistent about is being a hedgehog rather than a fox. Inequality is their turf and they stick to it. Identity politics is HRC’s turf, and there’s really no use going there because to do so would validate the way the Dems use it to distract us from their abysmal record on inequality.

            Stay on message and let the other side prattle their identity politics into oblivion. People will note the difference.

  16. reslez

    Re: Half of misog tweets sent by females

    As a youngish woman my friends and I sometimes use words like that humorously between ourselves to be humorous/affectionate. That doesn’t mean the words cannot also be used in a genuinely misogynistic or harassing way. If you analyzed use of the n-word a fairly large chunk would be from people of color who are certainly not racist against themselves.

    There’s also a large amount of gatekeeping done by women themselves. Women can themselves be misogynistic and reinforce outdated norms. That does not mean it’s okay to use language to berate others or enforce sexist double standards. The less of that going round the better.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The study looked specifically at the words only when used in an ‘aggressive’ context. Of course, that could be subject to interpretation.

      1. Pat

        For instance what about a discussion about slut shaming in regard to our culture’s mistaken notion that rape prevention should be about the victim’s behavior rather than the criminal who committed the rape. I know I have had a few of those, including talking about things like “what a slut that poor fourteen year old was because she was wearing a skirt, not”.

        I’m pretty sure at least a couple of those discussions would qualify as ‘aggressive’ but it wasn’t toward the women. I’m not saying there is not some validity to this, but we cannot know for sure without seeing the majority of the conversations IN CONTEXT. Otherwise it could be just so much Bernie Bro nonsense.

  17. JM

    Re: FBI’s judgment of Clinton’s email tar ball

    Is it me or did Comey just give Sander’s a chance to run as a Green party candidate and win (by the ever so slightest margin in the history of the United States). Two TV advertisements run in loop across the country:

    Commercial 1: Any of the blatant lies coming from Donald Trump, followed by a one line message rebuke (with citations). Cue “James Earl Jones” voice…”In this time of difficulty, where difficult decisions will need to be made, do you want a documented liar in office or someone who tells you the truth?”

    Commercial 2: Opening image = Bill Clinton “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” followed by a one line message rebuke. Second clip = Hillary Clinton “I did not send classified information over email,” followed by a one line rebuke (from the FBI nonetheless!). Cue “James Earl Jones” voice…”in this time of difficulty, where difficult decisions will need to be made, do you want a documented liar in office or someone who tells you the truth?”

    How could the establishment choose to side with Hillary against the FBI? I mean, are all the Democrat talking heads going to go on national TV and question the legitimacy of the FBI (which I believe has one of the highest positive perception levels of any US government institution) against Hillary Clinton?

    Clinton may have not been indicted, but as the NY Times argued, she got the worst of the best possible options. If Trump is too clumsy to make it happen, why not Bernie? If he ran on the credibility of the FBI, he would force Clinton to discursively question it. It would be a vicious cycle for her campaign.

    Perhaps this is all wishful thinking (based on some deeply flawed assumptions about the American voting population) but if there is one thing the past week has demonstrated its that the Machiavellian streak of American presidential politics is alive and well! If the people want Machiavelli, give them Machiavelli! If that is the game (which I think no one can deny at this point), why is it that only the Clinton’s are allowed to play it?

    1. local to oakland

      Nice idea, but tough to execute. He would need to be very careful not to trigger knee jerk emotional defense from the 90’s. I wouldn’t touch Monica’s story if I was trying to appeal to current dems. Her competing stories caught on tape would work better.

      Also, I don’t know how to translate the server story for a mass audience, but she seems to have lost credibility with tech people in a big way. ‘Any script kiddy could have hacked her’ is a typical online comment. If I were writing oppo, I would get that verified by someone with technical chops, and if it’s real, run with it.

    2. different clue

      Could the voice of James Earl Jones even be heard from the bottom of the La Brea Green Party Tar Pit?

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I really don’t get Bernie’s game right now, still believing that incremental change can somehow be had by influencing the Hilary neo-liberal monster machine.
      Why else would he not be railing from the rooftops, not just about Hilary and the rule of law, but about the illegal election mechanisms Hilary used to sideline him?
      Instead on the day he chooses to say Hilary’s college plan is great. The man is really missing in action. Is he worried about his Senate pension or something? An unfortunate car crash?

      1. Massinissa

        Ya think he found a horse head in his bed one morning, with a note that said “Regards, Your Friend Hillary”?

      2. Jim Haygood

        Sometime back in the 20th century, I attended a Democratic rally in traditionally Republican northwest Arkansas.

        All the big names in Arkansas Democratic politics were there: Senator Bumpers; Gov. [later Senator] Pryor. Appearing on the stage with them — sporting a blue-black shiner probably acquired in a bar fight the night before — was the local D-party sheriff candidate.

        Professionalism and party loyalty compelled Bumpers and Pryor to orate about what a GREAT Washington County sheriff “Gomer” was going to be — though it wasn’t happening in a million years.

        Bernie was raised in that gentlemanly tradition of an earlier century. Thus he will assure us what a GREAT president Hillary — sporting a fresh shiner administered by the FBI — will make. Don’t believe a word of it.

  18. Jim Haygood

    Loretta Lynch closes the criminal investigation of Hillary, ONE DAY after receiving Comey’s reco.

    But things move a little slower for passengers in the back of the Justice Department’s Rosa Parks bus:

    [In June] President Obama commuted the sentences of 42 federal inmates, bringing the total number of sentences commuted by the president to 348.

    While this is certainly something to celebrate, these inmates make up only a fraction of the 10,000 or so prisoners former Attorney General Eric Holder projected would be eligible for clemency.

    In her Jan. 2016 resignation letter to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Pardon attorney Deborah Leff wrote that the Justice Department had “not fulfilled its commitment to provide the resources necessary for my office to make timely and thoughtful recommendations on clemency to the president.”


    Red carpet concierge service — or waiting and hoping you don’t leave prison in a coffin?

    These luckless 10,000 souls should’ve run for public office.

    1. TedWa

      And it’s commuted sentences, not a pardon as is typical for Presidents to do. Big difference.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Can’t show too much accommodation to the Untermenschen — they’ll get uppity.

  19. marym

    Tweet from CNN producer

    Vaughn Sterling Verified account ‏@vplus
    JUST IN: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders may have joint appearance next week in New Hampshire. Talks underway. -@jeffzeleny

    1. cwaltz

      She could appear on stage with Jesus Christ and I still wouldn’t vote for her.

      Bernie will be damaging his message by endorsing a candidate that exemplifies inequality in this country. Two sets of rules, one for the rich and powerful, another for the rest of us.

      1. allan

        The CNN reporter in question, Jeff Zeleny, seems to have carved out a niche pushing the Sanders endorsement narrative. His latest:

        Orlando DNC meetings could lead to Clinton-Sanders joint event
        [includes auto-launch video]

        The outcome of the weekend Democratic platform meeting in Orlando will help determine whether Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders appear together in New Hampshire next week, people familiar with the talks say. …

        If the Orlando meeting goes smoothly, people familiar with the talks say, Sanders and Clinton appear to be on track to a joint appearance in New Hampshire on Tuesday.
        Plans for that joint appearance could still fall apart, and patience is running thin among some — with Sanders insistent on policy concessions and Clinton aides feeling he’s lingered in the race too long after Clinton became the presumptive Democratic nominee. …

        I’m not saying it’s not going to happen, but this is not exactly the most trusted source in news.

        1. allan

          Well that’s odd. Clinton campaign stenographers at the Bezos Neoliberal Daily use almost the same language in an article that was posted after the CNN one:

          Sanders has remained an official candidate for the White House despite Clinton having effectively clinched the nomination weeks ago. Aides argue that his status gives him leverage in pushing Clinton to the left on his policy priorities and on the Democratic platform — although patience with Sanders has begun to wear thin in some quarters.

          Time for a blogging ethics panel.

    2. Roger Smith

      Well if his statement on her nothing-burger education “proposal” is any indicator….

      If all the readers here send me $1,000,000 I will send you back double! — your loving prince Abdul of Neera

      Do you believe me when I say it? I hope not.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        But politics is entertaining; it’s one of our greatest collective dramas. Every human frailty and nobility is there. That’s not to say that it’s the same thing as entertainment.

    1. Massinissa

      I’m really not sure I have time to watch an hour long speech…

      Also, I don’t think politics is supposed to be entertaining…

  20. Paper Mac

    “I hardly ever remember dreams, so if I’m dreaming of any candidate, I don’t know about it.”

    A while back I dreamt I was at a Trump rally, and I was hooting and hollering in support and yelling at Trump that I hoped he would remember me when they come to put me in the camps (I do not support Trump, and am not at immediate risk of winning a visit to Camp No). The rally sort of instantaneously dispersed and I was being pitched a condo in a really hideous blocky skyscraper by some kind of holographic tout. He asked whether I wanted to buy a condo in the building, and I responded that the building looked like garbage. The tout seemed surprised and told me I had designed the building myself. Surprised, I pretended to be joking about my distaste for the building and asked to be shown inside. The interior was very dark and oddly coloured. I pointed this out to the tout and the building immediately became much brighter and more attractive. I seemed to fall through the floor at that point, into a black hole or chasm and woke up.

    Well, that’s mine. Anyone else feelin dat Trump gestalt

  21. Paper Mac

    “There Are Three Main Classes in America. Two Are Represented by Political Parties”

    This is a very silly article. As Thomas Ferguson has clearly demonstrated in Golden Rule, the parties represent different constellations of capital. Portraying the Repubs as the 1% against the Dems representing the next 10% or so is absurd. The interests that are represented by the parties are only really divergent to the extent that they are generally labour-dependent (skew repub) or capital-dependent (skew dem), are associated with particular sectoral complexes (defense, silicon valley, media, etc), or are related to particular networks of patronage and power.

  22. Procopius

    I don’t know about “the process,” but I can envision a scenario on how the Comey announcement came about so quickly after the Clinton interview. After, what, 13 months?, of examining the thousands of emails on the server by almost 200 agents, interviews with the staff by those agents, examination of state department documents by those agents and innumerable Justice Department lawyers, every department head and other executive in the Bureau had thrown up their hands and said, “We got nothin’. There’s some stuff that doesn’t look too good, but it’s not going to hold up in court. Jim, why don’t you see if you can get her to say something in an interview, and if you can’t let’s give up on this nothingburger.” And he didn’t get her to say anything and so they were already on board to give up. I’ll tell you, since they revealed that the “top secret” material in the emails was staff comments on newspaper reports about the drone program, I’ve been convinced there was nothing there.

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