2:00PM Water Cooler 7/7/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“[House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady] said while he’s convinced the deal can be approved this year, ‘it all hinges on an awful lot of work being done right now.’ The financial services issue could be resolved as lawmakers ‘get more explanation’ of what USTR is proposing, Brady said, adding that a fix there would help build momentum for the pact. He also said while USTR has engaged on the biologics issue, ‘it’s too early to tell if those proposals meet our members’ needs’ [Politico]. In other words, both party establishments are ready to deal, despite vehement rejections of the pacts by most voters, in both parties. Clinton, of course, is simulating a game of playing hard to get, but if she were serious, the DNC platform committee, which she owns, would have accepted the Sanders TPP plank.

Jeff Sessions: “Some of us, like I have in the past, supported these trade agreements and an honest evaluation of how they played out produces clear evidence they haven’t worked well and in fact not come close to the promises made,” the Alabama Republican told POLITICO. “So I think what we need to do now is slow down. We absolutely don’t need an international commission, it’s like a nascent European Union, and we should focus on bilateral agreements with countries we feel like we can do business with” [Politico]. “‘Sessions said Trump’s position on trade has contributed to his popularity. “I think his opposition to TPP and his questioning of conventional wisdom on trade has been appreciated by average working Americans and their votes reflected that,’ he said.” Another septuagenarian who actually gets it…

“In an unexpected move, the European Commission has announced that national parliaments will be given the chance to vote on the CETA trade deal with Canada” [Ars Technica]. Belated realization of the democratic deficit?

“Compliance with [TTIP] would make it impossible to reverse privatization decisions or profit-caps for multinationals. This is because the so-called “investor state dispute settlement mechanism” (ISDS) that would resolve disputes between businesses and states through a private “international arbitral tribunal” would be activated when companies claim economic compensation for decisions that affect patents, generics or price controls that reduce business and claiming millions in compensation on the basis of “loss of profits” (money that they stop receiving on several very lucrative deals)” [Bilaterals.org].


Clinton Email Hairball

For the record:

“Clinton stepped down as secretary of state in 2013 to run for president. But newly released emails from 2012 show that she and Clinton Foundation consultant, Sidney Blumenthal, shared classified information about how German leadership viewed the prospects for a Greek bailout. Clinton also shared ‘protected’ State Department information about Greek bonds with her husband at the same time that her son-in-law [Mezvinsky] aimed his hedge fund at Greece” [Defend Democracy]. The lawyers who looked through Clinton’s privatized email server, and separated Clinton’s putatively private email, which they deleted, from Clinton’s public email, which they turned over, only looked at email metadata (said Comey in his statement; see point 3 here). We don’t know the precise sorting procedure Clinton’s lawyers used. If they determined that all communications between family members were private by definition, then any email to Mezvinsky would have been deleted. Generalizing: Given that corruption is the use of public office for private purpose, any system that throws private communcations into the delete bucket before proceeding further will delete any nexus of corruption. That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

“Five panels to grill FBI on Clinton” [The Hill]. Just watch the Republicans screw up the biggest political opportunity handed to them in twenty years. This is, after all, the Republican Establishment that Donald Trump sliced through like a hot knife through butter; the Clintons are lucky in their enemies

“The FBI’s harsh criticism of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system as U.S. secretary of state could make it difficult for some of her closest aides to keep or renew government security clearances, but it would not affect Clinton herself if she is elected president, experts said.” [Reuters].


“[T]he IBTimes, through the work of David Sirota, has been all over an interesting story of crony capitalism involving a massive $54-billion proposed merger negotiated between Cigna and Anthem, two giant healthcare insurance companies, and the involvement in that merger of a good chunk of Connecticut’s political elite, including Democratic Governor Dan Malloy” [Charles Pierce, Esquire]. “This kind of consolidation needs to be regulated very carefully, and all indications from the IBTimes series are that the merger was being hustled through without even the minimal concerns for obvious conflicts of interest.” It’s excellent to see Sirota get a shout-out like this. But speaking of “obvious conflicts of interest,” Pierce somehow neglects to mention that corrupt weasel Malloy is co-chair of the Rules Committee for the Democrat National Convention.


“Clinton Borrows From Bernie” [Inside Higher Ed]. She should borrow from Sanders on TPP, too. What has she done for him lately? Anyhow:

[T]he presumptive Democratic nominee proposed that all public colleges and universities be made tuition-free for students from families with incomes of up to $85,000 initially, rising to $125,000 by 2021.

According to her campaign, 80 percent of American families would be able to avoid tuition at public colleges and universities under the plan.

So it’s means-tested, not universal. And as we dig deeper, I’m sure we’ll find plenty more fine print (and jobs for the credentialed sorting the worthy from the unworthy).


Lambert here: This material is like Rashomon; I’ll sum up at the end.

At the Trump rally:

After the Trump rally:

Lambert again: One obvious reading of those two tweets is that the Clinton campaign has gotten inside Trump’s head, and he can’t quit responding to the mud they’re slinging. The other is that Trump’s discursive speaking style allows the press — which has, in essence, declared for Clinton and is acting as a branch of her campaign — to cherrypick the narrative it wanted, and that Trump hammered on the Clinton Email Hairball and it simply wasn’t reported. Manafort and Stone need to figure this out, because that’s not Trump’s job. I’d welcome reader input on this point, especially from attendees or Ohio readers.

The Voters

“A fairly compact narrative of the evolution of hate in a particular society might go along these lines, represented in the diagram above. Most individuals have a psychology that is capable of both tolerance and hate. This psychology can be activated in one direction or the other by intentional political actors. Large-scale shift of attitudes requires some external threat that can be exploited by the party of hate. Economic crisis and terrorism can play this role. Hateful messages can be constructed by leaders through a variety of avenues, including public media, covert organizations, and political parties. Skill at framing messages of division and suspicion has the potential of activating latent grievances into active grievances. A few provocative incidents have the potential to create a widening cycle of suspicion, mistrust, and hate” [Understanding Society]. “It seems clear that these processes could be modeled using an agent-based model if we liked; they have much in common with the mechanisms of pandemic disease. The cognitive and emotional processes influencing social trust and social suspicion could be modeled fairly simply as well.” But here’s the kicker:

So it seems as though a contemporary sociology of hate, nativism, and nationalism remains to be written. And it is urgent that we turn to that task, given the assaults on liberal, inclusive cosmopolitan communities currently underway in Britain, Western Europe, India, and the United States.

Come on. Does anybody really believe the “liberal, inclusive cosmopolitan” political class doesn’t hate working people? That said, the concept of “strategic hate management” is a useful umbrella.

“Why Hillary Clinton is doomed, even if she wins” [Felix Salmon, Fusion]. (I have a soft spot for Salmon because he was outraged on how Cooper Union’s board vandalized its free tuition policy.) “Clinton is Davos Woman incarnate, the very epitome of the protean competence and sophistication associated with a degree from Yale Law School, eight years as First Lady, eight more as a U.S. Senator, and a term as Secretary of State. She also elicits an astonishing degree of hatred among a vocal minority of the U.S. electorate. That hatred is only going to grow stronger once she becomes the leader of the free world. It’s going to be directed not only at Clinton personally, but at the entire neoliberal agenda. And the anti-elite movement will have its day.”

“While Trump is outperforming your run-of-the-mill Republican among whites without a college degree, he’s underperforming among white voters with a college degree. In fact, he is on a track to lose white college graduates” [FiveThirtyEight]. The credentialed vote for stability. No surprise here!

“Voters Are Making a Mess of Democracy” [Justin Fox, Bloomberg]. “What This One Acela Rider Says About Democracy Will Amaze You.” More: “I’m torn about this. I think there’s value in “one person, one vote” beyond its efficacy. That is, there is something at least a little bit sacred about it.” Touching.

“The public’s growing conviction that “equal treatment” is a farce is the heart of both Bernie Sanders’ and Donald Trump’s campaigns. From different sides, they are saying the top 1 percent get special deals and insider treatment. Voters know it in their guts” [RealClearPolitics]. Which is why Clinton’s privatized email server and why she used it for will be, as we say, a continuing concern.

The Trail

“‘That’s a process we’re working on that could lead to an endorsement before the convention,’ Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs told Bloomberg Politics. Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon declined to comment” [Bloomberg]. Seems a little guarded….

“What’s the matter with Sanders? Every Democrat not fully in thrall to him wants to know. Clinton officials privately seethe at his continued criticism” [Bloomberg]. Concern trolling. Even Greg Sargent gets what’s going on: “But if Sanders is squandering his movement, it is odd that he continues to rack up meaningful victories in the battle to transform the Democratic agenda, if not the country” [Greg Sargent, WaPo]. Call me crazy, but if Sanders is driven by issues and the possibility of a political revolution, maybe Clinton’s campaign tactics aren’t his number one priority?

“Why Bernie Sanders Still Isn’t Endorsing Clinton” [New York Magazine]. This article is reasonably nuanced. “The senator will come to the convention with no small number of die-hard delegates ready and willing to provide a hungry media with the stories of intra-party conflict it craves. Beyond that, Sanders still has his grip on one of the most coveted email lists in modern politics…. And like Warren, Sanders has recently focused his advocacy around a policy goal that a Democratic president could unilaterally realize: tearing up the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” So, excellent. Improvements in the Democratic platform, Clinton at least proposed an overly complex, means-tested, neoliberal-suck version of Sanders free college plan, whereupon Sanders moved the goal posts and said he wants a revised plank in the platform killing TPP . What’s not to like, here? And its all more important than Clinton’s email which, at the end of the day, tells us nothing about Clinton we don’t already know, so would be a poor use of a campaign’s most precious resource: The candidate’s time.)

“‘What I say to those people who booed, you can boo me all you want,’ [Sanders] said. ‘I’m going to continue to fight to make sure that we transform this country. That’s what our campaign was about. That’s what 13 million voters wanted to see happen.'” [USA Today].

Final California tally [California Slow Bern]. 7% margin for Clinton.

“Feel the Bern: An Adult Coloring Contest!” [Seven Days].

A lamentation that the Gary Johnson/William Weld ticket has failed to seize “the libertarian moment” [The American Conservative].

Stats Watch

ADP Employment Report, June 2016: “June payrolls may indeed pop back to trend, based at least on ADP’s private payroll estimate of 172,000 which is well above the Econoday consensus for 150,000. But ADP’s sample never did pick up the weakness during May in the government data as the ADP call for the month stands nearly unchanged” [Econoday]. “The bottom line here is that the ADP report, like other indications on the labor market including jobless claims, is continuing to signal healthy conditions.” However: The headline is above expectations, but “the rate of growth continues in a downtrend” [Econintersect].

Challenger Job-Cut Report, June 2016: “Jobless claims are very low and so are layoff announcements” [Econoday]. “The energy and industrial sectors are usually at the top of sector layoffs but not in June, replaced by an outsized jump in the financial sector.”

Jobless Claims, week of July 2, 2016: “Layoffs are on the decline, indicated earlier this morning by trends in the Challenger report and confirmed by yet another set of very low readings for jobless claims [Econoday]. “A lack of layoffs doesn’t necessarily equate to a rise in employment — but it is a strongly favorable signal. The Labor Department is not citing any special factors in today’s report though temporary layoffs and related adjustments for auto-retooling is always a background factor this time of year.” And: “Anyone looking for evidence in the initial unemployment claims data that the labor market has softened is out of luck” [Amherst Pierpont Securities, Across the Curve]. “I can’t think of a single labor market indicator that has been released over the past month that supports the abrupt slowdown in hiring signaled by the May payroll figures. I look for a return to normalcy tomorrow.” And: “Anyone looking for evidence in the initial unemployment claims data that the labor market has softened is out of luck.” And: Rolling averages improve [Econintersect].

Gallup Good Jobs Rate, July 2016: “Gallup’s measure of underemployment in June was 13.6 percent, almost the same as May’s (13.7 percent) yet also the lowest Gallup has recorded since 2010. June’s rate also marks the fourth straight month of declining underemployment” [Econoday].

Chain Store Sales, June 2016: “[M]ixed results for June with some posting improvement” [Econoday]. “[U]ncertain indications for the ex-auto ex-gas reading of the June retail sales report, a reading that has been solid this year and has underscored the general strength in consumer spending.”

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, week of July 3, 2016: “All the uncertainty and volatility of Brexit have had no substantial effect on the consumer comfort index” [Econoday]. That’s a shocker. “Honey, I think we ought to buy the cheaper brand of propane for the grill. That Andrea Leadsom is sure a nice lady, but she’s no Maggie Thatcher.”

Factory Orders (from Tuesday): “Core capital goods new orders decreased by -0.4%. The previous month showed a -0.9% decrease. Core capital goods are capital or business investment goods and excludes defense and aircraft. This is indicating slower future economic growth” [Economic Populist]. Underlining that.

Shipping: “DHL Express opens “walking courier” facility in Manhattan financial district” [DC Velocity]. Great new job category, eh? Reminds me of the “bang bang army” of porters in Chongqing, who carry packages on bamboo poles over their shoulders. But they’re aging out, because nobody in the third world wants to do that kind of work anymore. Perhaps we could import some on H1B visas to redress global income inequality?

Political Risk: “Here are the U.S. funds with significant U.K. real-estate exposure” [Francine McKenna, MarketWatch]. “According to data provided by Morningstar, Inc., the mutual fund research firm, 280 U.S. open-ended mutual funds hold investments in U.K. REITs, and nine of those funds hold more than 10% of their portfolio market value in U.K. REITs.”

“Mispricing Drives Value Premium” [ETF.com]. “The authors noted that ‘acting faster upon the new arrival of information leads to much higher annualized returns. However, the higher rebalancing frequency is detrimental to the returns due to elevated transaction costs. Liquidity constraints that render the strategy feasible also render it unprofitable.'”Practically Zen.

“Amazon set to rival NYC’s bookstores with Hudson Yards spot” [New York Post]. Great. Amazon kills off the small, independent brick-and-mortar stores and then opens its own. Oh well. I guess the former booksellers can get jobs in the warehouses. Until the robots take over.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 69, Greed (previous close: 69, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 62 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 7 at 11:50am. Cruise control.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Lambert here: Two public executions, just heart-sickening. It’s like Ferguson and #BlackLivesMatter never happened (which was, after all, swiftly decapitated by Democrats). My Twitter list has a lot of reactions like “I’m so tired,” and “It’s hard to go into work today.”

“Minnesota’s governor called on Thursday for a federal investigation into the shooting of [Philando Castile] by a police officer during a traffic stop near St. Paul, after millions of people watched the bloody, dying man in a grisly video recorded by his girlfriend and streamed live moments after the shooting” [New York Times].

“The video posted Wednesday night on Facebook Live appears to show the aftermath of a shooting like that described by Mangseth. It shows the woman in a car next to a bloodied man quietly slumped in a seat. The woman describes being pulled over for a “busted taillight” and her boyfriend being shot as he told the officer that he was carrying a pistol for which he was licensed. An armed person who appears to be a police officer stands at the car’s window, and sounds distraught as he tells the woman to keep her hands where they are and intermittently swears” [Los Angeles Times].

“The public execution of No. 558” [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News]. Alton Sterling.

I doubt very much that cop cameras will work as a reform, given that both these shootings were filmed. But:

“Facebook has denied intentionally taking down a Facebook Live video that showed the aftermath of a fatal shooting by police in Minnesota” [Business Insider].

“Will Apple’s New Patent Push Delete on Ability to Record Police?” [ACLU].

The State

“Nonprofit hospitals and clinics took it upon themselves to pay for the costs of enrolling more of the state’s residents in Medicaid. They will pay, in fact, for the state workers who will do this job. Not only will this action prevent a bottleneck that would have harmed newly eligible Medicaid recipients, it will also speed Medicaid reimbursement dollars to the nonprofit healthcare organizations providing services” [Nonprofit Quarterly]. “Many of these privately-supported state workers are already embedded in the nonprofit sites.”

Guillotine Watch

“Furious owner says his $20m Hamptons mansion was trashed in wild Wolf of Wall Street-style ‘Sprayathon’ pool party with bikini babes and gun-toting dwarfs” [Daily Mail]. Oh, the humanity!

Class Warfare

“Proposal to cut Social Security undermines retirement security” [MarketWatch]. They’re still at it. I’m picturing a Grand Bargain in Clinton’s first 100 days.

“Specifically, ownership and control of agronomic and equipment data is understood to have dramatic escalating value. Which seed varieties were the most successful and where? Which plant populations performed best? Whose recommendations (e.g. nitrogen programs) outperformed their peers?” [TechCrunch]. “Regrettably, those who least understand the true value of the data produced are farmers themselves. Our neighbors around the country give their data away for a pittance, or worse. Yet, data is one of the most valuable things farmers harvest.”

News of the Wired

“Email, as it turns out, is a harder problem than people tend to assume. It’s an unforgiving space – competitors abound, users expect you to be free or nearly free, and from a technical standpoint email protocols are not pleasant to work with. But email is still an unsolved problem” [Medium]. A review of email software. It all sucks, at least on the Mac and iOS. Frankly, I liked Pine, back in the stone age. Maybe I should just revert to it. I’ve got like 10K unread mails to delete; perhaps I could do that from the command line easily!

* * *

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 (John Beech):


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!

* * *

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. Matthew Saroff

    I still use Pine on a shell account to read my email.

    If someone infects my computer through that interface, they have earned it.

    1. JCC

      I was about to start a comment on this myself, Matthew. I have to use three separate operating systems on my work place desktop, OS X, Linux (redhat/centos) and Win7.

      Since my workplace only allows text mail on outlook (no html, no rtf), I have reverted to having all my critical internal emails forwarded to my linux box where I use alpine only. For those who don’t know, alpine is the new open-source name of pine ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpine_(email_client) ), available on OSX and all linux/UNIX systems and it is definitely the best of the bunch, outlook included, mainly because of it’s simplicity; it’s a clean and fast interface. For work it’s perfect with regards to the KISS principle.

      1. Mark Alexander

        Mutt is a great choice. I used it for many years. Its motto is: “All mail clients suck. This one just sucks less.”

        In 2008 I switched to sup, another keyboard-driven, terminal based client in the tradition of elm, pine, mutt, etc.. It has great searching and tagging features. But it’s written in Ruby and is a bit more of a challenge to install.

        I tried GUI email clients for a couple of years but gave up. They just get in the way and require too much mousing around.

    1. Roger Smith

      As much as dislike Chaffetz, he just got Comey to state unequivocally that Clinton gave individuals without proper security credentials (her lawyers) access to classified files.

      Edit** And now he just asked about FOIA violations. Comey doesn’t know. “Wasn’t part of the investigation”.

      1. Uahsenaa

        Lefty that I am, I actually don’t dislike Chaffetz. He was certainly on the ball during the Flint debacle, giving everyone involved a piece, and for that alone I find him to be at least not terrible, which is more than I can say for many of his Dem. colleagues.

        1. Roger Smith

          As opposed to the other speakers I saw who would set up logical questions and whiff on the follow through, Chaffetz was on point and batting all the right questions to Comey. To clarify, what I disliked in what I had seen in the past was his sort of arrogant style of questioning. Sort of weasely. He was a lot more in control today and it was good to see.

          As opposed to all the Dems I saw using their five minutes to brown nose for Comey and other unrelated causes. Platitudes, platitudes, platitudes.

          When the Virgin Islands Rep. brought up Sterling and Castile’s shootings I wanted to laugh. That is exactly why Clinton should not get off. Here are two innocent men, doing nothing wrong and getting killed for it. Yet here is Clinton, the tech dummy saying “whoopsie” as she sets up her own insecure server at home for government business and lets individuals without clearance access confidential files, and skating past all obstacles because she “didn’t know”.

          Instead the shootings were framed as a more important topic to be talking about.

          1. Uahsenaa

            As a regular C-SPAN watcher, I can attest to how commonplace this sort of “deny and deflect” tactic is among Congressional Democrats, and especially dumb in this instance, since the FBI has no direct oversight over law enforcement. Yet, whenever AG Lynch appears before the committee, I never hear the same Dems giving her crap for a lack of oversight, even though it’s the DOJ that has the very power that Congressional Dems are now impugning Comey for not exercising. The DOJ has the power to instigate a civil rights inquiry for every single American killed in an officer involved shooting. That Lynch only bothers to order one when a high profile case hits the media speaks volumes about how low a priority it is for this administration.

            Another good example of deny and deflect came during the Fast and Furious scandal. Nowadays, the Dems will perform a sit in over terrible gun legislation, but when the Obama DOJ under Holder pumped hundreds of thousands of guns they never recovered into Mexico so as to perform an experiment, Dems on both the oversight and judiciary committees acted like it was no big deal. Absolutely shameful.

            1. Jim Haygood

              One could add that while Obama and Lynch have zero control over local cops, they DO have control over the federal clemency project which could qualify 10,000 [disproportionately minority] drug inmates for release under reduced sentencing guidelines.

              But they are starving the Justice Department’s clemency project for staff and funds, such that probably 9,000 of 10,000 applications will never be reviewed before Obama slinks out of office.

              This is the essence of the “deny and deflect” tactic of which you speak.

    2. JohnnyGL

      He does really well for like 2 minutes with the yes/no questions, then he gives a speech for the other 4 minutes of the video.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Comey vacuums the files:

    Hillary Clinton was not put under oath and there is no transcript of her interview with the FBI, Director James Comey told Congress on Thursday.

    Mr. Comey said it’s still a crime if she lied to his agents — though he said he doesn’t believe that happened.

    Republicans have called for the FBI’s interview with Mrs. Clinton to be released so her public defense of her secret email system can be stacked up with what she told agents. But Mr. Comey said no transcript exists.


    It was, after all, a voluntary interview. Hillary’s lawyer David Kendall likely specified that either it not be recorded, or Hillary wouldn’t show up.

    But the practical effect is that should new incriminating material turn up, no record exists of any misrepresentations in the interview, other than agents’ recollections.

    And I’ll bet you that they were prohibited from taking notes, either.

    Our last hope is that the nefarious Putin had the conference room bugged.

    1. Roger Smith

      It is incredible that the Clinton’s can snake through everything wrong they do. They are constantly in the sweet spot where they obviously deserve to be smacked down, but they are untouchable. It is incredible, and infuriating.

      1. different clue

        Well, they are clearly smarter better lawyers than Nixon ever was. And they must have studied his coverup attempts very carefully in order to engineer a better one.

      2. cocomaan

        Electing Hillary means electing an empty mud pail. Everyone has dirt on these people, from Putin to the Bureau to Goldman.

        The problem I see is that as various Clinton crimes mount and they escape notice or justice or both the amount of leverage every other actor in the world has over Team Clinton increases.

        It’s less that Hillary is bought and paid for than she’s blackmailed by everyone she’s ever interacted with.

        1. jo6pac

          True and like the bush empire they have to care and don’t have to. Isn’t Amerika great?

      1. Alex morfesis

        $hillary & dr k strangelove…did not start watching the comey-dee show until a quarter to two…at 2:02 he slips in that they reviewed the “laptops” of david kendalls pyrate krew to review & try to recreate the emails…

        so where are the actual drives that were dumped onto the laptops…

        Rebuilding data from non source is “naturally” much harder than working from the original server hard drive…

        total whitewash

        Either way…

        her mentor probably gave here his file from when safire/safir did the make believe investigative reporter act

        Kissinger v Reporters Committee.
        Scotus 1980…445 us 136

        Time to get rich and powerful again…

        it appears to be a constitutional requirement if one foolishly imagines a reasonable opportunity for equity…

    2. JohnnyGL

      Wow, so the Saturday interview on 4th of July weekend was just a formality and really had no bearing on the investigation or on Comey’s decision to go public with the ‘no indictment’ call on Tuesday morning? I believe Yves was asking how they wrapped things up so fast after her interview. Well, I guess there’s your answer, they didn’t care about the interview of Clinton herself because they already knew they weren’t going to indict. Just checking the box, I guess.

    3. cwaltz

      So in other words Comey broke his very own policy that he implemented on July 11, 2014.

      He was the one who brought forth the policy of videotaping interviews.

      Yet again, two sets of standards one for average Americans and one for super special snowflake Secretary of State Clinton.

  3. Roger Smith

    Just now: Comey won’t answer whether or not the Clinton Foundation is or was being investigated. (Chaffetz asking good questions).

    1. Jim Haygood

      Comment from “Looney” on another site:

      Goldman Sachs + Hillary + Comey + Loretta = Squid pro quo

        1. polecat

          Fuck! that’s it….I’m voting for Trump!….I mean, the only better choice really would BE Cthulhu !!

    2. HBE

      I don’t think anyone on the beltway inside would touch the Clinton foundation. Even if a video of SOS hillary taking a suitcase with a big dollar sign on the side from a Saudi prince after pulling up to his compound with a flatbed truck loaded with cluster bombs, and shouting “thanks for the money, here is your hardware” was released tomorrow.

      Everyone is so corrupt that to go after Clinton would force them to expose their own corruption, even if it’s minor in comparison.

      corruption must be swept under the rug. I think the Clintons probably knew this and figured (correctly it seems) that they could be as corrupt as they wanted because no one would call them on it, hence setting up the bribes@clintonmail.com server when it was clearly, what most would view as an undue risk on so many levels.

      Besides obama would certainly protect them, he hasn’t even got to cash in yet and the money trains just in sight, he would never want corruption addressed before he gets his.

    3. nowhere

      One would have to imagine, that being Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Lockheed Martin Corporation from 2005 to 2010. That he probably would have had an inkling of this.

      Lockheed is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, which paid Bill Clinton $250,000 to speak at an event in 2010. Three days before the speech, Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved two weapons export deals in which Lockheed was listed as the prime contractor. Over the course of 2010, Lockheed was a contractor on 17 Pentagon-brokered deals that won approval from the State Department. Lockheed told IBTimes that its support for the Clinton Foundation started in 2010, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

      Probably best not to bring this up.

  4. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Call me crazy, but if Sanders is driven by issues and the possibility of a political revolution, maybe Clinton’s campaign tactics aren’t his number one priority?

    Wayyyyy too complicated for the Acela Corridor types to grasp, evidently. After all, what’s in it for them? (And after all, they’re the only ones who matter ;-)

    1. Uahsenaa

      If Sanders manages to hang an albatross around the D party’s neck, I’d say mission accomplished.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not sure about what kind of revolution if Hillary’s college tuition proposal is a ‘revolutionary step forward.’

      1. Jay M

        In Cali my recollection is the tuition can’t be charged, maybe in the constitution. So you pay fees.
        Will fees be covered by this proposal.

  5. Heliopause

    Re: Bryan Pagliano. I haven’t watched every minute of this but I did notice he was brought up a couple of times. Comey seemed to acknowledge that Pagliano had no direct involvement in e-mail content, which is what this whole thing is supposedly about. Yet when asked about Pagliano’s (non) testimony and immunity agreement Comey gave evasive answers. So I guess I’ll be a broken record and repeat my question; if Pagliano has no direct connection to the issue of classified info in e-mails why does he seem to be central to this whole thing, and why is Comey being so coy in talking about it?

    1. cocomaan

      Clinton Foundation, I think. There’s been rumors of a parallel investigation into the Foudnation for a little while now.

      And why not? In 60,000 emails routed through a bathroom server combining Hillary’s work with Bill’s play, there’s got to be something terrible.

      I wonder whether Comey is playing a longer con, getting the Clintons off his back while he digs up the real dirt. But if he digs the dirt and then gives President HR Clinton a little vague memo, he has her in his pocket. Dirty.

      1. Heliopause

        That thought occurred to me too, but it’s speculative at this point. Comey seemed anxious to get emailgate out of the way as soon as possible, wonder what his timeline on Foundationgate is.

  6. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Today we learned that Comey “is a deeply religious man”. I wonder what happened to the “thou shalt not bear false witness” part.
    Is it me, or do people in power who have “deeply-held” religious beliefs often use their faith prophylactically, to somehow justify actions their faith clearly opposes? I’m thinking about the “deeply religious” GW Bush and that pesky “thou shalt not kill” stuff. Or any number of ISIS/Taliban types.
    “I’m doing this thing, even though my faith prohibits it, because in the end I am morally superior because I am ‘religious’, and the end justifies the means against any non-believer foes of my team”.

    1. savedbyirony

      Having been living thru the sex abuse and institutional coverups of the Roman catholic church, it is most definitely not just you.

  7. Uahsenaa

    I think every hot take liberal call for this or that reform really needs to take Naomi Murakawa’s The First Civil Right to heart. She shows pretty convincingly that most forms of prison and policing reform end up having the opposite effect from what their liberal backers intended. The especially apt critique for this moment has to do with the big push for filming police interrogations and then later for dash cams, which, more often than not, are used by Police Officers as a means to exonerate them rather than keep them honest. They still get away with planting evidence and still get away with brutal tactics all because it’s now presumed to be “appropriately supervised.”

    I have to agree with her, and with many activists over the years, that the only real solution is less policing: release all non-violent offenders tomorrow, reduce sentences across the board, and, from community perspectives, simply refuse to call police into situations you can resolve on your own, even where a supposed crime has taken place. Far too often, officers just escalate things and make matters worse. For instance, a few weeks ago, someone called the cops in about a car down the street that had been parked on the curb too long. Two squad cars, four officers, showed up to berate a woman for the better part of an hour for the “high crime” of abandoning a vehicle. In the end, the woman had her son move the thing into the driveway. Why cops needed to be brought in to handle this is beyond me.

  8. RabidGandhi

    I had to turn off the news when they showed the video by Philando Castile’s girlfriend. Not sure if it was anger, tears or who knows what else, but I couldn’t take it anymore.

    Alabama’s got me so upset, Tennessee’s made me lose my rest, and everybody knows about Mississippi goddam.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “midwestern nice” … yeah, f*** that sh*t

      This could be the monarch’s wing flapping in México that triggers riots in Philadelphia.

      1. ambrit

        The riots in Cleveland and Philadelphia are already baked in. How those ‘civil insurrections’ are put down will tell us the shape of things to come.

        1. different clue

          The Stormtrumpers are a whole lot meaner and tougher than a bunch of hippie Sandernistas. If the Repuglans and the police try to maneuver the Stormtrumpers into a riot situation, the Stormtrumpers may fight back hard and nasty. Whereas the hippie Sandernistas will go limp and accept whatever the police do to them.

          And a police riot in Cleveland against the Trump delegates would go down very badly in Gun Country . . . which is where a lot of the Trump delegates will be coming in from.

    2. ambrit

      So, you all there in the Real Down South know about the “Mississippi Goddam.” I would imagine that your neighbhour to the north has its’ “Matto Grosso Monstruo.”
      Actually, ‘goddam’ is an American Southern Dialect corruption of the Hebrew ‘golem,’ a shapeless mass, later a clay automaton.
      Having lived on the western fringe of the Honey Island Swamp, in Louisiana, for a decade, the ‘Swamp Monster’ was a constant source of comment and speculation. There are some parts of the Honey Island Swamp that even the moonshiners will not enter after dark. The border between Louisiana and Mississippi runs roughly through the middle of that benighted region. I and my family have heard the eerie screams of the Florida Panther as it traversed the bottomlands. The sound does invoke primitive fight flight responses in those who hear it. Luckily for me, I have never encountered the Clay Man in my rambles through the Bogue Chitto bottom lands. Numerous destroyed hog traps, trot lines, tree stands(!!!) and suchlike attest to the presence of something lurking out there.
      All this to get to the point; cops seem to be reverting to the basest instincts of the human animal. When change finally does come, it will come as a big surprise, and it will not be pretty.

      1. RabidGandhi

        We have many instances in Argentine history of authorities behaving on levels that would be unfair to attribute to animals (no animal I know of takes pleasure at the suffering of others). Of course the most obvious example of such brutality is the last dictatorship, but there is a disgusting amount of others. In each case, the only way the authorities ever ceased to torture the weak and the poor was when they were forced to stop by society at large. I assume the same would be true of the current torturers of the weak and the poor in the US.

        1. ambrit

          I get your point but wonder if the two cultures are truly comparable. What is the percentage of the overall population of your country that could be called “rural,” and how does that ‘stack up’ against the American example? If a divergence is evident, does political power in your land depend mainly on the urban population? America is, I believe, mainly urban, and small scale farming all but extinct. Jefferson’s ‘yeoman farmer’ is now Marx’s ‘industrial proletariat.’ That proletariat is now morphing into a ‘service’ serf population. (Did Marx and Engels consider a post industrial regime?)
          The idea of “society at large” stopping authoritarianism is a thorny issue. Did effective popular resistance effect change, or did ‘elite’ infighting weaken the existing government enough to allow change to occur? I really don’t have enough information to judge the cases of South American nations. I do see, from growing up in South Florida, that in the Caribbean, coups were common, often sponsored by El Norte. The history of the U.S. Marines in Central America almost reads like a continuous training exercise. I have called that experience, America’s “One Hemisphere Order” experiment.
          I do remember having to scrounge wooden pallets from job sites to use in a cheap cast iron wood stove during the winters in Louisiana. One day, while I was working outside, Phyllis threw several ‘lighter knots,’ pine tar rich pine tree stump pieces, into the cast iron stove. Half an hour later she yells at me from the trailer door, “Quick, the place is on fire!” The pine stumps had heated the stove to red heat. If you go wood heat, please be careful. Fire is a tool, not our friend, which is an attitude I have encountered on many jobs over the years with ‘You’ substituted for ‘Fire.’ If your town doesn’t have strict wood heater regulations, one marvels at the local laws in some places, like, as an example, Colorado, do consider a cheap iron stove. Wood can be scrounged, even in deserts. Just make sure the children understand the dangers. The vent flues get d–n hot, as I have learned from painful experience.

  9. different clue

    Lambert Strether,

    I’ll bet quite a few septuagenerians actually get it. They came of political age before Trade Treason was the only approach to trade there was.

    During NAFTA debate, Senator Fritz Hollings of South Carolina getted it. And he was almost octagenerian at the time.

    1. samhill

      from that article:

      but he was issued a potentially career ending fitness (fit to continue serving) report

      I’d settle for carrier ending report for Clinton.

  10. abynormal

    i listened to Mangseth on the radio this morning…detailed and matter-of-fact as she verbally recorded the murder. i couldn’t drive. pulled over and let it flow. when she realized the officer had indeed killed her boyfriend, she began crying. messed me up…not sure when i’ll be able to put the 4 year old in the picture.

    walk a mile in the shoes…Jan 2017, MD pizza delivery driver https://youtu.be/GiXYgMZ9rbM “Former Fairfax County police officer, Camara Mintz, who is now a prosecutor for Charles County, told Fox5 “The only thing that I think he did wrong, and this is just a technical thing I think, is he refused to get out of the car.”

    “Officers can order you outside of the car during a traffic stop almost for any reason,” Mintz continued. “There is no law that specifically says, you have to roll your window down to a certain height or roll it all the way down,” he added when asked about cracking the window instead of rolling it down.

    When Jeffries heard the officer tell him he’s about to pull him from his vehicle if he doesn’t get out right now, he replies, “For What? Sir, you’re about to kill me right now?” As the video ends, the two men are still arguing about what should have been a routine traffic stop.”


    1. ChiGal

      Heartbreaking. And what is so chilling is that as her bf is bleeding out she remains composed and polite, everything is “yes sir”and “no sir”. Knowing that for her and her 4yo daughter to survive this is what she must do. But props to her for running the FB post.

      Every day in every way until we get it we will be shown there is no justice in this world. And for some, much less than others.

      1. abynormal

        could we be on the cusp of ‘some’ expanding by ‘many many more’?…DailyBeast: The father-in-law of the Baton Rouge police officer who allegedly fatally shot Alton Sterling is accusing black protesters of peddling an “agenda” based on police killings.

        “The conundrum of the twenty-first (century) is that with the best intentions of color blindness, and laws passed in this spirit, we still carry instincts and reactions inherited from our environments and embedded in our being below the level of conscious decision. There is a color line in our heads, and while we could see its effects we couldn’t name it until now. But john powell is also steeped in a new science of “implicit bias,” which gives us a way, finally, even to address this head on. It reveals a challenge that is human in nature, though it can be supported and hastened by policies to create new experiences, which over time create new instincts and lay chemical and physical pathways. This is a helpfully unromantic way to think about what we mean when we aspire, longingly, to a lasting change of heart. And john powell and others are bringing training methodologies based on the new science to city governments and police forces and schools. What we’re finding now in the last 30 years is that much of the work, in terms of our cognitive and emotional response to the world, happens at the unconscious level.” Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living

    2. Tom Allen

      Imagine how much interacting with police in the US would change if cops weren’t all presumed to be armed and ready to shoot.

      1. fresno dan

        It is an amazing thing – the lack of numbers in discussing any issue in the US.
        There was a link in NC yesterday about how many people killed by police in the US. Compare it to how many killed by terrorists (is the Orlando shooter a bonafide terrorist – or some kind of mental – is there a distinction?) – 10X people killed by police as by terrorists.

        When you look at other countries, the number killed by police do not equal the number killed by police in the US in ONE day….

        This is not about enforcing laws….it is about suppression…

        1. Take the Fork

          It’s reassuring to see The Narrative getting back on track…

          That idea about pulling police from black neighborhoods: this would make for an interesting experiment. We can start with Baton Rouge. But it is hard to doubt that, left to its own devices, the community’s natural progressive instincts – as demonstrated by Senator Sanders’ popularity among black voters but sadly thwarted by structural racism – would at last be liberated and provide a shining example of justice and tranquility, as well as put the lie to the so-called Ferguson Effect…

          What could go wrong?

          Because the facts are hateful: Baton Rouge’s 2011 murder rate (27.6) was higher than Brazil’s (24.6 in 2014), over four times greater than the global rate (6.2 in 2012), and more than seven times greater than the US murder rate of 3.9 (in 2013).

          Say Yes to Numbers! Instead of wasting time with the fool’s errand of privilege-checking, all well-meaning whites might do well to check their premises and spend a little time with some actual data. The break-downs by global region are particularly instructive, especially when racial and ethnic demographics are considered. Stunning new vistas of oppression will be revealed.

          And I’ll admit it: I was surprised to learn that the US intentional homicide rate was just a bit more than one-half the global rate. I never knew we had it so bad. My damn privilege! All the more reason to scrap the current criminal justice system altogether. And with the total elimination of policing, our true humanity will at last be expressed…. And soon we’ll be able to teach those smug Scandinavians a thing or two about what a low crime rate really looks like. Free at last!


        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          And the number of working class people dying of opiates is of the scale of an AIDS epidemic.

          We really do need a way to both/and these things instead of either/or-ing them.

  11. diptherio

    Re: Silicon Valley evictions

    “We put applications everywhere. But nothing is affordable,” said her stepfather Carlos Trinidad, a 43-year-old roofer.

    The couple, who have three kids, pays $2,300 for their two-bedroom, and Trinidad said the stress of the eviction has been difficult to manage. “It’s too much pressure,” he said. “I try not to think too much about it.”

    Gabriella Sandoval, a 27-year-old receptionist, said she and her husband, a painter, both grew up in San Jose and feel helpless in the wake of the planned demolition.

    “Prices just keep going higher and higher,” she said. “There’s nothing we can do.”

    Of course, the people who create housing can’t afford to live in it….[sigh]

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Move. Let the silicon valley titans re-roof their own houses.

      They don’t even own hammers, and, if they did, they wouldn’t know what to do with them.

  12. ChiGal

    Re Medicaid privatization: it is a crock. In Illinois as of Jan 2015 all “customers” were forced into MCOs run by various private insurance companies. I have worked with many patients who got worse, not better, services as a result, plus the private companies (whether for profit or nonprofit) are not fulfilling the terms of their contracts with DHS.

    They add a layer of bureaucracy (care coordinators) who supposedly personalize services and provide linkage, starting with an in-depth, in-home psychosocial needs assessment.

    Except whoops, the CCs don’t even meet these patients, ever. The in-home assessment is completed by temps (no bennies, natch) who enter info into a database and have no further involvement. A cottage industry of organizations that contract with the MCOs to game the system in this way has grown up.

    This isn’t health care, it is sickening.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “cottage industry of organizations”

      And no doubt their industry association contributions to the legislature. In little, that’s why ObamaCare is going to become harder to dislodge the more it metastatizes.

  13. abynormal

    Snarls are Sexy. Could I get a snarl with quarterly donations? if its not too much to ask… teehehe

  14. optic

    You know, I’m a Bernie supporter (an actual supporter, with money, votes, etc – not a shill, sock puppet, etc), don’t particularly like (or hate) Hillary, and will most likely vote for Jill Stein in November. While I had been incensed about the email tar baby / hairball story, I’ve started to come around, at least regarding the issue of mishandling secret data. I put my “neutral observer” cap on, and with the help of a few insightful Slashdot posts started seeing this aspect from a different perspective.

    See this post in particular: https://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=9347847&cid=52459401

    Also read the rest of that comment thread, and all the top-rated comments in that Slashdot story.

    Some of the points made:

    1. Prosecutors in very high profile cases usually want an ironclad case that they are virtually guaranteed to win. This makes them look good when they win and bad if they lose, and can, in some cases, establish precedent, making them look even better if they win and worse if they lose. You couldn’t get much more high-profile than this – indicting the first major-party female presidential candidate, and likely first female president of the USA. Comey was probably absolutely right that no reasonable prosecutor would likely move for indictment in this case.

    2. Although the law on mishandling secret information doesn’t require intent, in practice most cases actually end up hinging on that. There have been few, if any, cases of prosecutions of people who have mishandled secret information without the intent to illegally share that information. People in this situation (unintentional or unaware sharing of secret data) usually suffer through administrative sanctions, demotions, etc, not criminal prosecutions. And this is regular, “small” people, not, again, the likely first female president of the USA.

    So, in conclusion, as much as I hate to admit it, it seems that Comey may have made the most reasonable decision after all. Having said that, none of this absolves her of setting up a private email server with the intent to avoid FOIA and government records regulations, and to hide corruption. Yes, the whole thing stinks, but the secret data aspect of it may have been a dead-end after all. I do hope that the investigation into the other aspects of this case continues.

    1. katiebird

      Have you heard a good explanation for why she conducted State Department business and stored Government Documents out-of and in her basement?

      1. optic

        A good explanation? No. I’ve heard that one of the reasons was that the actual State Department email system was a mess, and didn’t work properly a good portion of the time, but I haven’t read many details or confirmations of that. It seems to me that the main reason why she setup the server was to avoid public scrutiny and, consequently, scrutiny by political opponents (remember that she has long, deep experience of being dogged by opponents – not necessarily without reason).

        What I don’t believe is that she setup the server to leak secret information. 110 emails out of 30,000 is a pretty small amount. Although there’s the issue of the other 30,000 emails she deleted. I think that Hillary’s main problems are incompetence, bad judgement, and trying to be too secretive (with her own secrets). All of these should disqualify someone from becoming president.

        1. RabidGandhi

          FOIA. FOIA. FOIA.

          Evading the FOIA to hide evidence of her influence peddling. That is neither incompetence, nor bad judgement, nor a penchant for secrecy: it is corruption. Bartering public assets for personal gain.

          Frankly your excuses sound alot like you’re trying to Correct the Record.

          1. optic

            Whoah, calm down, Gandhi, I agree with you! I’m definitely not a Correct the Record troll/shill (or for any other group). Just an independent thinker, open to sound arguments. Besides, I wasn’t making excuses, but making a detailed post explaining why I think that the *mishandling of secret data* aspect of this scandal specifically appears to be a dead end.

            Yes, corruption is a succinct way to describe her actions. Pretty much everything the Clintons do looks shady. I finally understand why so many people were beside themselves in the 90s with disdain for them. I guess I was too young to really see it then.

          2. optic

            My longer reply to you is stuck in moderation, but the short of it is that I agree with you! No need to suspect CTR – I’m not here on behalf of anyone but myself.

          3. fresno dan

            July 7, 2016 at 4:43 pm

            I don’t think we need to question motives.
            I want to hear alternative explanations and contrary views. I certainly don’t want to get into group think.

            However, I agree with you that the FOIA explanation is the most likely scenario and fits the facts best. The intent of Clintoon was clearly to hide, evade, and obfuscate – it was NO ACCIDENT….I saw a Clintoon spokesperson on “With All Due Respect” and it made me want to vomit.

            I even think its possible that Hillary is clever enough that she in fact has not broken any corruption laws OR has muddied it enough that as a high government and dem poohbah can use politics to make prosecution impossible – remember what Kinsley said about the scandal not being what is illegal, but what is LEGAL.

            Imagine the desire for reform if people could actually see the Clintoon foundation deals (HOW IS IT THAT NOT EVERY DETAIL IS PUBLIC?????)…..and find out that they are LEGAL (or legal if you have enough lawyers gumming up the system).

            My view is that the laws are WRITTEN TO BEGIN with to preclude prosecution of people who are high enough up, have appointed attorney generals, or FBI directors, or have at least 41 votes in the Senate…

            NOT to mention in the USA, the mantra that “we should not dwell on the past.” As the church lady would say, “How convenient” – for the criminals…

          1. LifelongLib

            AFAIK in my state it’s not actually illegal for a lowly government employee like me to put official emails, documents, passwords, software etc. on a personal device. But if I do, a) by policy my personal device has to have the same security features an equivalent government device would; b) everything on my device becomes subject to legal discovery (just like on a government device), and I don’t think I get a team of lawyers to go through and decide what’s private. It’s all open to investigation. So that personal convenience very quickly becomes really inconvenient. But apparently it’s different if you’re Secretary of State.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          I have always felt that the secrecy/national security aspect was a diversion, and that they were lucky in their enemies in that this is the aspect the Republicans focused on.

          However, I also feel the real issue is corruption. Since corruption is carried on in the Beltway on the thoroughly bipartisan basis, it stands to reason that gormless Trey Gowdy, et al. didn’t focus on it.

          1. local to oakland

            Politically, that secrecy strand in the case against her has alienated government workers, military contractors, the armed forces and their families to a much greater extent than otherwise would have been the case. For a politician, this was not smart.

            The technical details of the server with no security have also made her look ridiculous and incompetent to the tech community. Again politically not smart.

            The outrage about this is visceral and it goes to the most basic symbolism about the nation and the office of the presidency. It is comparable to molestation by priests in that sense. If someone who subscribes to the nationalist ethos can’t trust a secretary of state and presidential candidate at that level to care at all about national defense, then there is really nothing left. Unlike other Clinton scandals, this one gets to the root of the matter. Did she care enough to do her job or was she just and only out for what she could get?

          2. different clue

            Perhaps the Repuglans are in on the plot. Perhaps they diversionize attention away from FOIA for corruption-answers over to security on purpose in order to protect their master-owners’ social-class comrades . . . the Clintons.

    2. curlydan

      The “maybe-maybe not” nature of prosecutors and their desires to win that you describe is used in many places. That’s why, in fact, we have multi-trillion $ fraud from the great recession and at most 1-2 high level bank executives behind bars. Hey, we mayyyy-be won’t win, so we give up. We’ll just get a multi-billion dollar fine and a statement of no wrongdoing from the bank–and done.

      A prosecutor (in this case, AG Lynch) and the law enforcement (Comey) would dig like crazy to put someone behind bars if they really had it in them (e.g. if the case were, say, the death of a middle-class white person with a non-white suspect). But there was no desire in this case, just fear and plain ol’ bizness. It’s not the bizness of this country to go after certain people. It is bizness just to look away and find something or someone else to attack.

      1. fresno dan

        the truth of the matter is, a government prosecutors doesn’t make any money. Start going after people with big bucks, and who is going to hire you after you leave government service???

                1. optimader

                  the guy is a hardnosed Irishman who at least at that time lived like a Jesuit monk. I think it was more a case of trying to prosecute an exceedingly slippery POS (cheney).

    3. cwaltz

      Comey made a crappy decision.

      People lives depend on the people who are tasked with national security securing data that’s why there is no threshold of “intent” for matters involving national security.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Of course so much of what the people who categorize what they do for their pay checks and benefits as “national security” is nothing of the sort. Unless you apply the torque of the “what the definition of ‘is’ is” spin to delimit the category. Covers for corruption and incompetence of every kind.

        Why do a few of us persist in the hope and illusion that somehow there will be equity and retribution from the so easily suborned institutions that we for some reason hope will earn the legitimacy we passively confer on them? I mean, given what we know of history and the predilections of humans?

        1. cwaltz

          I’m pretty sure I would not categorize the person in charge of the f-ing State Department as a person who would not be handling truly sensitive data.

          She wasn’t some low level individual handling confidential plan of the day crap. She was the person responsible for coordinating our relationships with all countries both friendly and unfriendly.

        2. hunkerdown

          One doesn’t need “spin” to reinterpret the nation as the King and his majesty’s Court, minus its subjects. That’s pretty much what Ivy Leagues are meant to teach, as I understand it. Right down to the definition of the word “democracy”.

    4. marym

      Someone likely to be president of the USA should be held to the highest standards of accountability, not the lowest.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      Why is this Comey’s decision to make? Or Lynch’s for that matter? We have a long-standing remedy–trial by jury. We should just have one.

      If she “did nothing wrong,” what’s Comey so afraid of?

      1. cwaltz

        That’s a really good question.

        It’s time we put the “public” back in the term public servant.

    6. Epistrophy

      Oh My!

      So, in conclusion, as much as I hate to admit it, it seems that Comey may have made the most reasonable decision after all.

      Comey had no business even addressing the matter of prosecution. This is outside his scope. These aspects are not required of the FBI nor are it typically done, as he indicated.

      The only purpose of his taking the unusual action of addressing prosecution was to clear the AG (who has larger ambitions) and the POTUS (who was already heading to Air Force One with the HRC campaign). This is a politically biased stitch-up and there is no other way to view it. Nothing reasonable about it – purely political cover for his bosses.

      1. optic

        Hmm, my understanding was that the FBI was always going to recommend whether this should be prosecuted or not. Am I mistaken? Even Loretta Lynch’s statement beforehand said that she would go along with whatever the FBI recommended.

    1. hunkerdown

      Let me add value (ahem) by noting this article is from early April. Are you just linkwhoring for this “Bipartisan Report” site? Bipartisanship is reactionarism with a halo, anyway.

    1. allan

      Thanks. From the article:

      The three Democrats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal confidential conversations, said that the endorsement was partly the result of daily talks between Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, and the Sanders campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, about bringing together the two rivals and advancing the policy priorities of Mr. Sanders. The discussions included a dinner between Mr. Mook and Mr. Weaver in Burlington, Vt., where Mr. Sanders has his campaign headquarters.

      One possible obstacle to party unity — a fight between Sanders and Clinton allies over a congressional vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal — is not seen as a deal breaker to the eventual endorsement, the Democrats said.

      So, speaking anonymously, three cowardly pro-TPP Dems try to advance the narrative.
      (Love the `is not seen’ – passive tense was used.)
      The amount of squirming we’re seeing makes me think they protesteth too much.
      I’m willing to wait and see how this plays out.

    2. JohnnyGL

      ehhhh…..too bad, she was starting to look shaky and he seemed to be winning concessions from her. I suppose we all knew it would end this way. I was hoping for a quiet, post-convention statement.

      1. Debra D.

        I don’t read the NYT any longer. Apparently, the article quotes “three Democrats who spoke on condition of anonymity.” The NYT exists to advance Obama’s TPP. That is the story. All propaganda.

    3. kkdubaldi@sbcglobal.net

      This crap is tedious. Getting Ds to lie yet again is not a win or change. They don’t govern to their platform and no one believes they will not pass TPP as one of their first acts.

    4. Marco

      My final reward for all the $$ I gave to Bernie. Platform Baubles and a target on my forehead for DNC money grubbing emails?

      1. Skip Intro

        Now now. There is a fabricated endorsement story coming out every day, and has been since April.

    1. fresno dan

      July 7, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks for that! That is a very, very good article. But it is one of those things with the Clintoons – I have no doubt that no matter how many thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of words used to refute what Clintoon defenders say, there is a core that will not accept reality, and most who will just find the whole thing so exhausting that they will just tune it out.

      Gore Vidal said something along the lines regarding Nixon during Watergate, “If Nixon were on live TV strangling Pat Nixon, there would be people saying he was trying to keep her from choking”

  15. PeonInChief

    I gave Bernie Sanders money, so I am probably on the coveted list. Do the Dems really think I will give money to Hillary or the DNC? No, let Wall Street fund them.

    1. hunkerdown

      For all we know Hillary could hand it to some J. Edgar type in the FBI for recreational beat-downs between finding leakers for the Empress. Liberalism is anti-communist just like fascism, after all.

    2. Benedict@Large

      Oh no, of course not. Hillary just wants to know who you are in case you apply for some sort of federal benefits while she’s Prez. The Clintons don’t take disloyalty lightly, you know.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Indeed. We’ve also seen that the Clinton campaign are “sore winners.” Anybody who thinks the Unity thing is anything other than a scam is deluding themselves and had better prepare for the worst in November; after all, CAP CEO Tanden is already getting people fired, so imagine what it will be like when she’s Clinton’s chief of staff.

    3. carycat

      I’m on the Bernie list also. If Hillary’s minions ever get their hands on it, I am not expecting more fund raising spam. I do worry about my voter registration record changing mysteriously right before the next important election despite the fact that I’ve been in the same house almost 20 years and voted in just about all the elections (except maybe for a special runoff election just for some local office or some such). I recall some commentator saying that Hillary will want it for her enemies list and I think that is spot on. People on that list are exactly the voters that TPTB need to suppress to stay in power.

      By the way, does anybody know if Hillary has started shopping for a new mail server yet?

    4. HotFlash

      What might be nice is if Sen Sanders emailed all of us on his list, and said, “I will be turning this list over to Candidate Clinton as previously agreed (if it indeed was agreed), on such and such a date. I remind you that, as has always been the policy of my campaign, you can opt out of this list at any time, here is the opt-out link.”

      So, Hillary would get a depopulated list. Failing that, I would be *so* pleased to send Candidate Clinton donations of 5 cents, multiple times. I would prefer the opt-out option, though, as Archie notes below:

      July 7, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      Bernie’s list = DNC reprisal list.
      Reply ↓

    5. JCC

      I’ve been kind of wondering about this “list”. I donated small sums multiple times through Act Blue. Now I’m getting peppered daily by Dems all over the country (states I’ve never been near and Dems I’ve never heard of) asking me to cough up my hard-earned money

      It makes me think someone somewhere is leaking some of the names.

      On a side note, during the last Presidential Election cycle, 2012, I sent Jill Stein a donation. After Bernie lost out a few weeks ago she is now asking me daily for cash. Unlike Bernie, though, her minimum request is always at least $40.00, sometimes $50.00, a tidy sum.

      You would think the Green Party would have learned something from Bernie, wouldn’t you?

  16. Elizabeth Burton

    Could we please not continue to repeat the “Amazon destroyed independent bricks-and-mortar bookstores” myth? In point of fact, the number of said bookstores has been steadily climbing since ’09, and they are doing quite well because they’re being run by people who combine business sense with the traditional “I love books” reason.

    Amazon, for all its faults, which are many, may actually have done the indie bookstore business a favor by requiring they begin acting like real retail businesses instead of extensions of the traditional publishing industry.

    1. optic

      Good point, I never really thought about it that way. Not to mention that Amazon beat the large chain bookstores, which were previously the independent bookstores’ greatest nemesis, to death or near death.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Dear me. I’d love a link on that, if you have one. Perhaps I’m projecting from my very marginal situation in Maine, where the big box stores have slowly gutted my downtown.

    3. Yves Smith

      I can point to dozens that died in Manhattan and places as far away as Birmingham Alabama and towns in Maine. Did you forget it killed Borders and has almost wiped out Barnes & Noble?

      Amazon slaughtered independent booksellers as well as the big chains from the dot com era for a full decade. What you are seeing by looking at a bounce from the bottom. And # of stores is a bad metric. You need to look at square footage.

  17. Buttinsky

    FBI investigation of Clinton Foundation?

    Today it was reported from the Comey hearing:

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, asked: “Did you look at the Clinton Foundation?”
    Comey responded: “I’m not going to comment on the existence or non-existence of any other investigations.”
    He also said he would not answer whether the Clinton Foundation was “tied into” the investigation of Clinton’s email server.

    Fox News reported back in January that the FBI investigation had expanded to include the Clinton Foundation. And it seems to me that I recall someone reporting that the two investigations, the emails and the Foundation, were being kept strictly separate at the FBI. And didn’t someone here at NC make a “joke” that of course they were being kept separate? — the point being that the investigation was being set up to NOT connect the dots. I can’t find the story with that part about the separate investigations, but here’s the original Fox report, purportedly based on three unnamed sources.


    And, according to the Washington Post, the State Department had subpoenaed documents related to the Foundation from the Clintons last fall, though there was a denial from the Foundation that it was the subject of the State Department’s investigation.


    What I don’t get is why, if there were no such investigation of the Foundation going on, Comey would complicate Tuesday’s already very complicated and public nonindictment indictment of Hillary Clinton by letting even more questions hang in the air about the FBI’s possibly ongoing “relationship” with the Clintons. I know the FBI doesn’t have to notify the person being investigated that they’re being investigated, but given the political situation (to which Comey is obviously sensitive) wouldn’t it be better to end speculation that FBI had more up its sleeve? It just seems unnecessarily Byzantine.

    On the other hand, by refusing to acknowledge an actual ongoing investigation of the Clintons, maybe Comey is hoping to forestall some of the political pressure he and the FBI came under with regard to the emails.

    1. Gareth

      The Washington Post story states the subpoena was from the State Department Inspector General, not the FBI.

      1. Buttinsky

        The URL clearly states it was a State Department subpoena. As I also clearly stated.

        My only point was that the Clinton Foundation is on the federal government’s radar. I don’t know under what circumstances the State Department would ever seek investigatory help from the FBI. The Inspector General and the FBI apparently had separate investigations of the email servers, to somewhat different purposes. (The Inspector General wrote a report of what had happened as part of what appears to have been an administrative duty to review security and its breaches; the FBI was looking for criminally liable conduct — and reports not finding any among all the illegal conduct described by Comey on Tuesday.) But if there were a question of, say, hacking, wouldn’t State call in the FBI? And if it is a case of criminal corruption…?

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      So, were emails regarding the clinton foundation considered “private” or “government- related?” Did anyone ask what the definition of “private” was. No.

      If clinton wrote 30,000 emails about “yoga,” sell your lululemon stock before it’s too late. If she’s ever even heard of “yoga,” I’d be surprised.

      The whole idea of “classified” emails was always a canard. It’s always been about the clinton foundation.

        1. HotFlash

          I am pretty sure (based on gut feeling only, as I have never even been in the same state as HRHRC) that’s not Spandex, it’s Kevlar. And that may explain the high necklines.

    3. Buttinsky

      The other salient moment in Chaffetz’s questioning was when he asked Comey if the FBI had investigated the now demonstrably false answer related to the emails that Hillary Clinton had given to a Congressman during some hearing. Comey replied that the FBI had not been requested to undertake any such investigation. Chaffetz assured Comey that he would be receiving such a request within “hours.”

      So with or without the Clinton Foundation, it looks like there will be another FBI investigation of Clinton, for perjury at the very least. As Lambert and Yves have repeatedly said, no, this is not over by a long shot.

  18. clarky90

    The story of how Donald Trump (the Magician) saves the People from the Hillary Clinton (Abiyoyo)

    Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo
    Abiyoyo, yoyoyo, yoyoyo

    Once upon a time there was a little boy who
    Played the ukelele. He’d go around town,
    ‘Blmp, blmp, blmp, blmp, blmp, blmp, blmp,
    BImp blmp blmp, blmp blmp, blmp!’
    Grown-ups said “Get that thing out of here!”

    Not only that, the boy’s father was a gettin’
    In trouble. He was a magician. He had a
    Magic wand. He could go ‘Zoop! Zoop!’ make
    Things disappear. But the father played too
    Many tricks on people. Somebody doing a
    Hard job of work, ‘zzt, zzt, zzt’, up comes the
    Father with his magic wand, ‘Zoop!’ no saw.
    Come to someone about to drink a nice cold
    Glass of something, ‘Zoop!’ the glass
    Disappears, He’d come to someone about
    To sit down after a hard day’s work, ‘Zoopl’
    No chair.

    People said to the father, “You get out
    Of here, too. Take your magic wand and
    Your son!” The boy and his father were
    Ostracized. That means they made them
    Live on the edge of town.

    Now in this town they used to tell stories.
    The old people used to tell stories about
    The giants that lived in the old days They
    Used to tell a story about a giant called
    Abiyoyo. They said he was as tall as a
    House and could eat, people, up.
    Of course, nobody believed it, but they
    Told the story anyway.

    One day, one day, the sun rose, blood red
    Over the hill. And the first people got up
    And looked out of their window, they saw a
    Great big shadow in front of the sun. And
    They could feel the whole ground shake.
    ‘Stomp, stomp’. Women screamed, ‘Ahh!’
    Strong men fainted “Ohh!” – “Run for
    Your lives! Abiyoyo’s coming!”

    He came to the sheep pasture, grabs a
    Whole sheep, ‘Yeowp!’ Comes to the cow
    Pasture, grabs a whole cow, ‘Yeowp!’
    Daniel, “Grab your most precious
    Possessions and run! Run!” Just then the
    Boy and his father woke up “Hey, Paw,
    What’s coming over the field?” – Oh, Son,
    That’s Abiyoyo. Oh, if I could only get him
    To lie down, I could make him disappear.”

    The boy said “Come with me, Father.” He
    Grabs his father by one hand. The father
    Gets the magic wand, the boy gets the
    Ukelele. They run across the field. People
    Yelled, “Don’t go near him! He’ll eat you
    Alive!” There was Abiyoyo. He had long
    Fingernails cause he never cut ’em.
    Slobbery teeth, cause he didn’t brush
    Them. Stinking feet, ’cause he didn’t wash
    ’em. He raised up with his claws, the boy
    Whips out his ukelele and starts to sing.

    Well, you know the giant had never heard a song
    About himself before, and a foolish grin spread
    Over the giant’s face. And the giant started to
    Dance “Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, ” the boy
    Went faster, “Abiyoyo, yoyoyo, yoyoyo. Abiyoyo,
    Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, ” The giant
    Got out of breath. He staggered. He fell down flat
    On the ground ‘Zoop!, Zoop!’ people looked out
    The window, Abiyoyo disappeared.

    They ran across the fields. They lifted the boy
    And his father up on their shoulders. They said,
    “Come back to town. Bring your damn ukelele,
    We don t care anymore!” And they all sang:

    Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo
    (Oh, you sing it with me, )

  19. Yesac13

    I read Scott Adam’s blog time to time. He’s the creator of Dilbert.

    He had an interesting perspective on Comey that many Naked Capitalism readers may find interesting.

    Copied and pasted the relevant section:

    This gets me to FBI Director James Comey’s decision to drop the case against Hillary Clinton for her e-mail security lapses. To the great puzzlement of everyone in America, and around the world, Comey announced two things:

    1. Hillary Clinton is 100% guilty of crimes of negligence.

    2. The FBI recommends dropping the case.

    From a legal standpoint, that’s absurd. And that’s how the media seems to be reacting. The folks who support Clinton are sheepishly relieved and keeping their heads down. But the anti-Clinton people think the government is totally broken and the system is rigged. That’s an enormous credibility problem.

    But what was the alternative?

    The alternative was the head of the FBI deciding for the people of the United States who would be their next president. A criminal indictment against Clinton probably would have cost her the election.

    How credible would a future President Trump be if he won the election by the FBI’s actions instead of the vote of the public? That would be the worst case scenario even if you are a Trump supporter. The public would never accept the result as credible.

    That was the choice for FBI Director Comey. He could either do his job by the letter of the law – and personally determine who would be the next president – or he could take a bullet in the chest for the good of the American public.

    He took the bullet.

    Thanks to Comey, the American voting public will get to decide how much they care about Clinton’s e-mail situation. And that means whoever gets elected president will have enough credibility to govern effectively.

    Comey might have saved the country. He sacrificed his reputation and his career to keep the nation’s government credible.

    It was the right decision.

    Comey is a hero.

    (Full link is at: http://blog.dilbert.com/post/147045002381/the-fbi-credibility-and-government )

    1. dale

      Thank you, that was interesting. My question, not directed to you necessarily, is a response to this:

      “The public would never accept the result as credible.”

      What would people do? Write their congressman? Twitter their anger? Make mean facebook messages? The question really ought to be, “What could the public do?” Not much.

    2. Archie

      If it means that anyone accused of a felony gets to request trial by plebiscite, then ok. Otherwise, it’s bullshit. And either way Comey is a weasel, not a country saving hero.

      1. Archie

        Do you think adding anti-TPP language to the Democrat platform will really accomplish anything? Anything? Really?

        It isn’t like it has the force of law or anything. And even if it did, it has been proven again and again that we are a nation of laws, depending on cui bono.

        Democrat platform planks have even less meaning than Democrat candidate policy promises. Used motor oil is more useful.

        1. HotFlash

          Do you think adding anti-TPP language to the Democrat platform will really accomplish anything? Anything? Really?

          Hey, Archie, thanks for asking. Over my six decades, I have to say unequivocally, no. Repeat, no.

          But you know, we have to keep on sayihg what is true, so that the young, and others who are listening, don’t despair.

        2. different clue

          If NO TPP were forced into the Decromatic Platform, Candidate Trump could keep reminding Clinton about it all through the campaign in his own unique way.

      2. ian

        Come on, you know what’s going to happen.
        Hillary says she doesn’t like it in it’s present form.
        Some ‘i’ will be dotted or a ‘t’ crossed and all of a sudden, her objections will vanish.
        There will be the hand-wringing but supportive editorials and op-ed pieces “we’ve really wrestled with this, but it’s a net economic benefit …” with the usual disclaimer “of course, some will benefit more than others …”.
        I think if you want to stop TPP, Trump is it. I put zero stock in Hillary, or the party platform.

        1. Yves Smith

          These are 12 party negotiations. Even if Hillary believes what you say (and she may really believe that, since she thinks rules and reality do not apply to her), if the text changes in any meaningful way, it means more rounds of negotiations, and in some nations, Parliamentary approvals. So if she really lives up to what she says, the deal is delayed considerably. In negotiation, that is more damaging than you imagine. The TPP is already getting questioned more and more overseas and various interest groups are raising public awareness of its dangers.

          In other words, if she goes down that path, she is pretty likely to put the entire deal at risk. She’s more likely to flat out lie and create an excuse to push it through in its current form.

  20. Reality's Stooge

    Just popping in to say thank you for the information and analysis and to recommend two email clients for OS X and iOS that (I think) don’t suck. In fact, they’re pretty good compared to the stock apps on both platforms and all the alternatives I’ve tried.

    Most Mac/iOS email apps are bloated behemoths with useless “features” that make checking and sorting email, a simple concept, an exercise in cursing and anger management. I chose these apps because they aren’t like the others and are almost a joy to use. Well, as close to “joyful” as checking and managing email gets.

    On iOS Spark is my goto email app and slays all the other apps I’ve tried.


    On OS X Airmail gets the job done and blows away the stock app and Outlook…the only other Mac email clients I’ve used recently. (There is also an iOS version of this app but I doubt it can beat Spark and I haven’t tried it.)


    Spark is free, Airmail cost $9.99 IIRC.

    Good luck with your search.

    1. EGrise

      Seconding AirMail, I use it to handle both Gmail and POP email and it works great. And the developers continue to roll out updates. Well worth the money.

  21. ewmayer

    The FBI’s harsh criticism of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system, blah, blah, blah … | Reuters — Oh puhleeze – I view “harsh criticism” here as roughly as impactful as in the scene in the movie sequel Aliens, where the Marine recon group discovers themselves in the midst of the hive the aliens have built inside the lost colony’s reactor, and the remotely-viewing expeditionary force leader tells them to remove their ammo clips because weapons fire could cause a thermonuclear explosion. To which the boots-on-the-ground squad replies, “What’re we supposed to use – harsh language?”

    1. fresno dan

      Please, please, please – let us maintain an elevated discourse here – – equating Hillary Clintoon to a parasitic alien monster hell bent on destroying humanity in the worst possible way, is disrespectful, insulting, and ill-mannered….to alien monsters everywhere!!!!

        1. ewmayer

          “Wot’s wrong with being sexy?”
          — Nigel Tufnel, lead guitarist of England’s Loudest Band™ in the 1984 rockumentary film This is Spinal Tap, commenting on accusations that the album cover of the group’s latest release, Smell the Glove, might not be a tad sexist. “You have a greased naked woman down on all fours, wearing a dog collar and a leash, with a man’s hand pushing a leather glove into her face for her to sniff”, in the words of the critic, played by Fran Drescher. (The Fran quote sounds better if you say it using her distinctive exaggeratedly whiny nasal NYC accent. Oh, and TiST’s IMDB rating is, well – rather distinctive).

          @JimH: Ha, ha, it hadn’t occurred to me while writing my above missive that my subconscious might be equating Hillary and the Alien queen, but now that you mention it, the analogy does indeed work on many levels.

          1. fresno dan

            This is Spinal Tap
            “Put it up to 11!” (What did you say – I can’t hear you)

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            I have very little humor about sexism in the NC comments section. So I’ve gotta say that if I missed the reference, it’s most likely not.

            Also, I loved Fran Drescher in the days when I had a TV!

  22. Yesac13

    The FBI, Credibility, and Government

    Interesting comments by Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) on Comey’s decision to let Hillary slide on the email scandal. I thought it made sense of what happened very well, better than most media.

    Read what he says in the link provided but essentially Scott Adams said that Comey took the bullet so that the government maintains its credibility. After all, if Comey did follow the rules to the letter and indicted Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump wins by default. Meaning that the actions of a FBI director decides the election. That may cause half of America to consider the election not credible. Best to allow the voters decide whether the email scandal is important or not in the end.

    Hopefully this goes thru because the 1st version disappeared. (update: The 1st version showed up later – please delete it, this post may be a better version – it’s shorter at least)

    1. Yves Smith

      No, Biden would have been engineered in and he is way more electable than Trump. This was about saving Obama’s precious reputation. He would have wound up tarnished in history books.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Who is going to be writing those history books, again? Anyone here? I’d say the notion that elites worry about the Narrative legacy, which after all is all that really matters, is kind of sadly hopeful and mistaken. The legacies are what the rulers can get the mopes to believe. And patently, there are many talented shaders of truth and outright liars happy to turn a phrase for a coin, and generate bogus footnotes galore.

          Nattering nabobs of negativism. Who’s bothered by WMDs or the Gulf of Tonkin or the USS Liberty? Truly? Enough to figure out how to deflect the juggernaut, let alone change what we who try to pay attention spend so much time parsing and particularizing? While those other people go on creating realities for us to study and grumble over, as they go about potently and heedlessly creating still new realities, up to and including a blasted planet without a poet or dancer or essayist left?

        2. daryl

          Obama will probably be fine, I’m sure by the time it comes to update the history books through 2016 there won’t be any money or education left anyway

    1. Jim Haygood

      State Dept will add one demerit in her employment file.

      That’s gonna sting!

      1. Jim Haygood

        AP on State Dept’s reopened probe:

        “Former officials can still face “administrative sanctions.” The most serious is loss of security clearances, which could complicate Clinton’s naming of a national security team if she becomes president.”

        Ah ha ha ha … PERFECT!

        Hillary screws up; her staff gets punished.

        It’s so hard to find capable help these days. :(

      2. cwaltz

        Not even in HER employment file- you’ll note it says a probe of how HER AIDES
        Yet again, they are looking for an underling to take the fall for her.

        Heaven forbid someone in leadership position actually be held accountable.

  23. Buttinsky

    I said something above about how all of this is becoming too unnecessarily Byzantine.

    Move over, Justinian.

  24. ian

    I think Comey got it about right.

    Suppose he had made no public statement but simply said to Lynch “we don’t recommend prosecution” privately? The likely result would have been all the Hill-bots loudly claiming she had been completely vindicated, that there was no “there” there and that the whole thing had been a partisan witch hunt. At which point, I would expect all kinds of leaks from within the FBI – and who knows what might have gotten out.

    Another reason is that I’m not sure he wanted to be seen as deciding the election. “Extremely careless” seems to get pretty close to “gross negligence” – I would have loved to hear Clintons lawyers argue why it wasn’t, had she been indicted.

    1. Archie

      Fair points ian. At least he enunciated some of the violations of criminal statutes $hillary and her staff were guilty of for all to hear. But regardless of how he did not want to be seen, he has ultimately revealed himself as a bullshit artist who is not willing to carry out his oath of office. That makes him a criminal, imo.

  25. Jay M

    of course, now you need 13 dimensional doors:
    The doors of the Janus Geminus were opened to indicate that Rome was at war and closed during times of peace. Since the time of Numa, the doors were said to have been closed only in 235 BC, after the first Punic war; in 30 BC, after the battle of Actium; and several times during the reign of Augustus

  26. Stephanie

    To be filed under class warfare?

    Don’t fight the formation of an aristocratic elite: lean in!

    The argument seems to be that an acknowledged aristocracy can at least be indoctrinated with some civic virtue:

    “Unlike meritocracies, aristocracies can put actual content into their curricula—not just academically, but morally. Every aristocracy has an ethos, and a good ethos will balance out the moral faults to which that aristocracy is prone. The upper-class WASPs who constituted “the Establishment” in twentieth-century America were very rich; so they instilled in their children a Puritan asceticism. The Whig grandees of eighteenth-century Britain, who were the opposite of ascetic, cultivated a spirit of usefulness to check their tendency toward idleness. The besetting sin of the current elite seems to be arrogance, both moral and intellectual, with humorlessness a close second. To address the first, their acculturating institutions might try putting greater emphasis on humility—and they may find that learning how to laugh at themselves is one way this virtue can be acquired.

  27. fresno dan


    Pretty much exactly how I feel about it:
    In other words: The officer claims that Castile moved his hands having been instructed not to, while Castile’s girlfriend claims that Castile was following the officer’s instructions and was then killed for doing so.***
    t should go without saying that, even if the officer’s account is correct, the Devil will remain in the detail: Moving one’s hands while speaking to a cop does not, in and of itself, justify that cop’s opening fire — even if the cop is clear in his commands.
    (((exactly correct in my view – dying for a broken taillight is too high a price to pay)))
    The officer could have been squarely in the wrong, and that would not necessarily render the incident “racist.” It is certainly possible that the officer was a racist. But he could also have been badly trained, or he could simply have panicked, or he could have been downright incompetent.
    (((being a bad cop and being a racist cop are not one and the same, and the burden of proving racism shouldn’t be added to prosecuting cops – shooting some one who was no danger is in itself sufficient to prosecute)

    If Reynolds’s account were to be confirmed, it should worry all 13 million concealed carriers in the United States (well, it should worry everybody, but it should especially worry concealed carriers). Under Minnesota law, concealed carriers are not required to tell police officers that they are carrying until they are explicitly asked. Moreover, in no state is the mere act of carrying a firearm sufficient justification for a police officer to open fire (there is a crucial difference between “carrying” and “brandishing” that is often ignored in the press).
    (((there are a good number of right wingers for who there is no love lost with the police)))

    In my view, too many conservatives react to these stories by presuming that the police must have got it right. I understand how irritating it is to hear the argument that “cop X was bad, therefore cops are generally bad,” but it is equally fallacious to contend that “cops are generally good, so cop X must have been good.” There is, I’m afraid, some truth in the charge that conservatives are skeptical of government up until the point that the police or the army are involved.
    (((exactly correct – skepticism about human nature should not end when someone puts on a police or army uniform)))

    ***By the way, there was a case in Maryland that I recall where FBI agents shot an innocent person, when one agent yelled “freeze” and the other yelled “hands up” – fortunately, the person did not die, but humans do not coordinate their own actions many times when under stress.

    1. Jagger

      Good summary. I strongly suspect a fair number of incompetent and or panicking cops out there are screwing up without intending to kill someone because they want to kill someone of color. Although sometimes it is pretty clear there is a problem with a cop when you see them shooting someone in the back when they are running away.

      However this is now a heavily politicized subject. Reality is no longer important. It is about scoring political points in any way possible. Looking objectively at each case and determining appropriate consequences no longer fits into the picture. And I say this believing there are major problems with our police forces.

      1. cwaltz

        The spouse has a concealed carry permit.

        One of his interactions with a cop had the cop asking him to keep his hands on the wheel of the car while simultaneously asking my husband to produce license(which were not on the wheel of the car.) Luckily he had the foresight to ask the guy to get the other cop(it’s procedure here when they run the plate if they get back that the owner has a gun permit to have a second car respond) who correctly was able to identify the problem with asking someone to do two things physically impossible to do at once.

        I could easily see a young panicky cop getting flustered. Don’t really get all the hoopla over stopping someone with a gun permit. It seems to me the people you would want to worry about are the ones who never take the time to let a cop know they own a firearm, not the ones who went through a background check to get a concealed carry and took the time to let law enforcement know they were exercising their second amendment right.

    2. ian

      I can kindof see what happened (although in no way exonerating the police).
      One thing I have told my kids is that if you get pulled over by the police while driving, put your hands where they are clearly visible (like on top of the wheel) and never, ever reach for anything unless instructed to do so by the officer.
      From what I’ve heard, I’m not sure it was racism so much as a serious overreaction and poor judgement. I was listening to NPR this afternoon and it occurred to me that there was no effort on NPR’s part to put this in context or to wait for the officers side of the story, or to allow for any other explanation than racism.

      I’ve wondered if the ‘rush to racism’ isn’t causing some of these things in a weird way: cops are increasingly perceived as racist -> tensions and mistrust increase- > clashes with the police are more likely to have tragic outcomes -> when these things happen, it is taken as proof of racism.

      1. low integer

        I also think the problem is police having to assume that the person they are stopping may be armed. I imagine very few people can mentally manage this, resulting in unsteady nerves and an us vs. them dichotomy. The fact is that police have to occasionally physically assert themselves in order to be effective, however guns make this situation very complicated.

      2. marym

        In this case and others, as pointed out above, the person is reaching for a license as requested by the police. There’s something very very wrong when children, innocent people, unarmed people, people stopped for no reason, are expected to overcome their fright sufficiently to act in a totally disciplined way, while the police again and again shoot them with impunity, held to a lower standard of discipline than unarmed citizens.

  28. Buttinsky

    The investigation overview as of tonight:

    1. State Department resumes its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email servers.
    2. Chairman Chaffetz’s today assures the FBI director that the FBI will be asked to investigate Clinton’s perjury before Congress.
    3. An ongoing FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation appears to be at least a plausible supposition (see above).

    And now Wikileaks is again promising that those incriminating Clinton “leaks” are just around the corner:


    Commenters on that Tweet are, understandably, thoroughly annoyed with Wikileaks. Don’t keep telling me you’re going to tell me something. Just TELL ME, for f*ksake. The only reasonable explanation for the delay, as one twitterer notes, would be if Wikileaks was waiting for this very moment, when the post-nonindictment indignation was gathering steam. But come on…

  29. abynormal

    THREE Officers shot and others wounded Downtown Dallas protest…the area is shut down (equivalent to Broadway & the Park in NY) including bus & rail services.

    people trampled running for cover due to Dallas officers firing automatics

    1. abynormal

      CNN reporting they are Transit Officers aka Dark Officers
      Homeland Security on the Scene …not sure what thats about

        1. EGrise

          Just saw video of wounded/dead cops sprawled on the ground in Dallas. Utterly terrible. Utter madness.

    2. abynormal

      10 SHOT 3 DEAD…can’t believe protesters haven’t been shot. they’re showing footage of the shoot out and everyone is firing…NIGHTMARE

      1. low integer

        I’m watching this unfold too, though media coverage is limited in Aus.
        From down here is Aus. this looks like the unfortunate reality of gun proliferation. What a disaster.

          1. low integer

            Fuck. It is more serious than I thought. Which is not to say any shootings are not serious.

            1. abynormal

              police around our nation will be on highest alert…shoot to kill has now been justified. this IS the worst case scenario for EVERYONE.

              MSNBC is report 4 officers dead, 2 critical, 2 being operated on

              1. cm

                When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

            2. low integer

              this IS the worst case scenario for EVERYONE

              Looks like one suspect is in custody. Surprised he allowed himself to be taken alive.

            3. ian

              The final result of an administration that has been doing it’s level best to convince people that police are racist.

          2. AnotherAnon

            The video you linked is more than a year old and from a different incident in Dallas.

          3. Oregoncharles

            2015. the attack on the headquarters was last year – if I read the date stamp correctly.

    3. ewmayer

      Push people past the breaking point – which it appears the latest spate of summary executions of “living while black” unfortunates by cops have done – bad things are gonna happen. Reap the whirlwind.

      Haven’t seen anything more than basic description of the alleged suspect(s) yet, but would not surprise me if he/they were ex-military, based on the tactics used and the casualty counts. Which would be a kind a fitting irony, as militarization of PDs nationwide (a side effect of our elites’ Imperial Adventures around the world – mustn’t let those surplus MRAPs and grenade launchers languish!) appears to be highly correlated with the epidemic of jackbooted-thuggery incidents by cops.

      Ugly, sad night in Dallas. In my neck of the woods protestors have shut down the I-880 freeway in Oakland, though peacefully so far.

  30. jjmaccjohnson

    Shipping: “DHL Express opens “walking courier” facility in Manhattan financial district”

    You know of course that walking courier s already exist in NYC and in a fairly large number. So this is nothing new.

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