Links 7/23/16

How a Guy From a Montana Trailer Park Overturned 150 Years of Biology Atlantic (resilc)

First Baby Is Born in New York City With Birth Defects From Zika Virus Wall Street Journal


Munich gunman acted alone, say police BBC

Munich Shooting Suspect Found Dead as Carnage Shakes Germany Bloomberg


Pound plunges as ‘dramatic deterioration’ in UK economy stokes Brexit recession fears Telegraph

The Vote for Brexit: Reykjavik-on-Thames, Redux? Triple Crisis. You heard it first on NC! We discssed Buiter’s paper in our first post after the referendum.

Theresa May’s mission is to resolve Thatcher’s contradictory legacy New Statesman (Chuck L)

Christine Lagarde to stand trial over Tapie affair after appeal fails Guardian

Lagarde Likely to Avoid Jail Time, Keep IMF Job Amid Trial Bloomnberg

Corporate Tax Collection In Spain Goes Negative €539 Million Michael Shedlock (EM)

Middle Ages in Greece: More than 120,000 employees get paid less than 100 euros per month! failed evolution


Podcast: Wars in the Middle East will cost the U.S. trillions more Reuters

US says airstrikes on Syrian city Manbij to continue despite civilian deaths Guardian

Newt Gingrich Has a Strategy to Destroy ISIS Washington Free Beacon

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Microsoft Can’t Shield User Data From Government, U.S. Says Bloomberg

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

Exclusive: Hillary Clinton exchanged classified emails on private server with three aides Vice


Leaked emails show how Democrats screwed Sanders New York Post (resilc)

DNC Staffers Mocked the Bernie Sanders Campaign, Leaked Emails Show Intercept. A must read. HBE: “This sub reddit has the most in depth analysis of the release I’ve found so far.” HBE: “Here is a condensed rundown of all the shady dealings found so far from the Trump subreddit.”

The Triumph of Imperialist Feminism: Hillary vs the Immense Revolution Counterpunch. Li cites this line: “Is it not an insult to women and other humans everywhere that all we can really say about Hillary Clinton is that there have been plenty of horrible lawyer-politicians before her, horrible warmongers and scheming machinators who have been men, but Hillary is a woman?

Koch Brothers Now Supporting Hillary Clinton Off Guardian (Tom H)

Hillary Clinton Selects Tim Kaine, a Popular Senator From a Swing State, as Running Mate New York Times

Clinton achieves the impossible Angry Bear

Hours Before Hillary Clinton’s VP Decision, Likely Pick Tim Kaine Praises the TPP Intercept

Tim Kaine Wouldn’t Do Much To Help Clinton Win The Election FiveThirtyEight

Will Clinton VP Pick Be ‘Pronounced Middle Finger’ to Millions Who Voted for Bernie? Common Dreams

Clinton VP Favorite Just Gave the Left Two More Reasons to Distrust Him New York Magazine

Trump pulls nearly even with Clinton after Republican convention: Reuters/Ipsos poll Reuters (resilc). Want to see a poll that measures approval/disapproval. Scott Adams think Trump’s family helped his image. If so, it should show up in a reduction in his disapproval levels.

Top tweet during Trump speech was by Bernie Sanders The Hill

The decline of the American empire and rise of Donald Trump National Observer (Sid S)

Obama: Trump’s doom-and-gloom doesn’t match reality CNN (resilc)

Commentary: Not all of Donald Trump’s foreign policy positions are crazy Reuters

Envisioning Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy: The U.S. Steps Back New York Times. Bill B:

Wow. Pretty blatant “hegemony is good for you” piece by David Sanger. The fact that this piece appeared in the News section rather than as an explicit op-ed is an indicator or who holds sway at the New York Times (e.g. people like Carlos Slim).

No mention of U.S.-led devastation of the Middle East. No recognition that the drone program is creating another generation of terrorists. Spreading American Values? Sure did miracles in Saudi Arabia…

‘The greatest asset Trump has’: Ivanka gets rave reviews for Cleveland speech Guardian

Former Klan leader to run for Congress BBC

Forecasts of convention bonanza fall short for Cleveland businesses Reuters (EM)

Global Trade Meets Ugly Reality Wolf Rchter

Despite Optimism, Oil Firms Keep Cutting Jobs Wall Street Journal

Deere to lay off 120 employees at Moline factory Reuters (EM) Strong dollar casualties, deflationary pressure casualties or both?

Banks’ Bet on Consumers is Getting Riskier Wall Street Journal. Regulators have tried tightening up on this, but building loss reserves is a way of managing earnings. You release them when earnings are crappy;. Wells Fargo is a big user/abuser.

Class Warfare

So it has come to this: An app that finds someone to pick up your dog’s poop Washington Post

If American households have so much stuff, why do Americans feel so stretched? Quartz (resilc)

Car-Sharing Industry Is Loaded Down by Taxes Wall Street Journal

Antidote du jour (Kittie Wilson via Lawrence R):

pleasant lake birds links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Cry Shop

    Deere Factory Layoffs
    … … or China’s cold economy spreading? China was one of Deere’s biggest customers. Throw in Russian/Ukraine export restrictions dampening demand as well.

    Atlantic article on Racism in Portand (Dreaming of a White Oregon)
    The article covers racism against blacks, but it wasn’t just blacks that suffered. There was a head tax on all “non-whites” up till near the end of the 19th century. Native Americans in Oregon were the last in mainland USA to suffer violent extermination including scalp bounties up until nearly the 20th Century, followed by nearly another century of attempts to exterminate by concentration then deprivation.

    There’s a ugly bit of Mark Twain bias that natives are lazy, lying scum living off Federal largess that runs strong in the rural Northwest.One of the first things the Bundy Brother’s group did upon occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was to desecrate native burial and holy sites, as part of “reclaiming” land not just from the Federal Government but from the natives who were “allowed” very limited economic access to their ancestral lands.

    1. NeqNeq

      Deere &Co-

      Deere typically lays off based on plant specific locations. Mollin primarily serves the N.American market (and I think mostly US).

      From the 2015 10-k:

      Industry sales for agricultural equipment in the U.S. and Canada are forecast to be down 15 to 20 percent for 2016. The decline, which reflects the impact of low commodity prices and stagnant farm incomes, is expected to be most pronounced in the sale of higher horsepower models.

      Not sure China or strong dollar effects are the primary direct factors. Although, US-CDN exchange was atypically high for a few months early this year, so maybe exchange effects will matter. Also relevant from the 10-k’s is that the 2 year slide in unit volume may be partially from Deere raising prices and increased competition.

      Bad publicity from their enforcement of DRM (can’t fix your own tractor) has probably not helped.

      1. NeqNeq

        Not sure what happened, this was not supposed to be a Cry Shop reply but a standalone post. Posting from tablets is fun!

    2. Dave

      More like farmers are boycotting their complicated pieces of DMCA software laden pieces of shit that cannot be repaired by their owner, and require waiting for a field visit by a “technician” using the latest updated and copyrighted software from Deere.

      So just as you go to harvest a crop, a warning comes and the tractor won’t start because a proprietary filter needs servicing and there’s no way to override it without breaking federal law, and besides, most farmers aren’t computer techs.

      Screw John Deere and let them go out of business, or apologize to all owners of their equipment and provide an override to all of their software trickery, with none of it in new models.

      Same thing is happening with new Chevy trucks. Boycott products that take away the owner’s right to modify, adjust or repair the product.

      1. inode_buddha

        Just sayin as someone who has spent a lifetime fixing stuff for a living: I stopped buying anything that I couldn’t fix myself. If I have to buy an antique on ebay and rebuild/restore it then so be it. Its only going to get worse, we used to get manuactureres bulletins about how we’re doing this because mommy knows best and protect our dealers. Never a word about the *customers need to make a living from these machines*

        Its all a part of the crapification, and I say that as a “fix it” guy for a living.

        1. ekstase

          This kind of thing is happening in other areas as well. Two recent examples I’ve seen:

          Replacing a decades old furnace with a new one and in a couple of years one of the parts breaks down and has to be ordered from China, and the HVAC guy explains that they’re just making crappier products now.
          Buying an expensive new washer and drier, top of the line, same thing, starts breaking down soon after, with electronic parts so the “owners” can’t fix things without the company’s help/permission.

          Why, it’s almost as though products were now being designed to need these frequent repairs. I’d put a smiley face after that last sentence if it weren’t so sad.

          1. Skippy

            Lots of stuff now days is sold at cost or less and the money is made on servicing and parts… cash flow – is – King – because it buffs balance sheets and can be structured on longer timelines…. Da Markets like this and reward it with equity prices which in turn compensate the C-suite for a job well done…

            Disheveled Marsupial…. file under best practices or when stuff becomes dominate…

          2. inode_buddha

            Nowdays I advise peopel to never own anything that you can’t completely service by yourself, or at least do the basics and I’ll even show you how. You would think that I’m destroying my own market and clientele, but in reality they seem to love it for some reason, and keep coming back with more projects.

            1. Dave

              Well, that was a satisfying thread.

              Maybe someone reading this in the industry could manufacture a complete analog/mechanical tractor, minus the engine, and then farmers could get a rebuilt diesel or gas engine and install it through their local garage to get around all the gimcrackery and EPA horseshit.

          3. Janie

            First microwave I bought came with recommendation from sales person to go basic- no bells and whistles. New washer and dryer last year – speed queen is mehanical not electronic. Same advice – stay basic, keep center agitater, avoid front loader with mildewy gaskets.

      2. different clue

        My purely amateur layman’s guess is that there is a potential market for digital-free all-analog farm equipment among farmers getting more resentful of feeding the digital lamprey attached to the side of the analog lake trout. But multi-thousand-acre farmers will still have to get the big machines. The only way THEY can buy analog is if someone will make Big Analog Machines big enough to be useful on these megafarms.

        If American companies refuse to make anything but digital sh*t machinery and leave it to foreign companies to make analog shinola machinery, then farmers seeking analog shinola farm machinery will have no choice but to buy from foreign suppliers. If I were in their position, I would do the same. Patriotism has to run both ways, and if American tractor makers are not patriotic enough to make analog shinola tractors, then I can’t be sucker enough to buy their digital sh*t tractors just to be patriotic, when they are not being patriotic enough to make me the analog shinola tractors I would prefer. But that’s just my theoretical opinion, to be sure.

        1. inode_buddha

          Actually the EPA has a lot to do with it. You literally *can’t* build and sell a competitive diesel in the US anymore without all the hi-tech. Its illegal. Same reason lots of construction equipment suddenly went up $$$ like 30% over the last decade.

          The truly large operations are corporations with boards of directors, they are not family farms. They tend to lease the truly large machines. The smaller guys (where I’m coming from, less than 100 acres) are completely screwed. Actually the entire playing field has been tipped against them since the 1980’s.

          1. different clue

            Then the situation is more desperate than I thought. The LAW would have to be changed, and since the Class Enemy makes the LAW, the public has to try fighting on the Class Enemy’s pre-shaped battlespace to force a change in the Class Enemy’s LAW.
            Either whatever LAW makes the EPA make the digital equipment necessary would have to be rePEALED . . . or the LAW permitting the digital sh*t machine makers to call their digital features to be their own exclusive copyrights and property, and fixing them yourself is illegal . . . would have to be rePEALED.

            Can the tiny 100 acre operator do a semi end run around the overdigitization of ag equipment by bying gasoline powered instead of diesel powered machines? Are there makers of semi-digitized mini-machines which have not outlawed you-the-owner from fixing your own semi-digital mini-machine?

            1. hunkerdown

              The freedom of others not breathing soot or NOx is what necessitates digital equipment on engines, whatever hydrocarbon fuel those engines may consume. Such digital equipment is, in EPA’s view, part of the same emissions control system as a catalytic converter or EGR valve, forbidden to tamper with on pain of fines and jail time. Just as far as that goes, to where loading custom firmware or timing tables is blocked, it makes some sense.

              Now, that the law ought to forbid anyone from running code which has been delivered to them, without contracts or government regulations to refrain from doing so having been negotiated, signed, and due consideration delivered, is petulant and wrong-headed. The contemporary intellectual property regime does need a bayonet up the jacksie, but those who set that regime don’t see social control as a software defect.

  2. fresno dan

    Envisioning Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy: The U.S. Steps Back New York Times. Bill B:

    Wow. Pretty blatant “hegemony is good for you” piece by David Sanger. The fact that this piece appeared in the News section rather than as an explicit op-ed is an indicator or who holds sway at the New York Times (e.g. people like Carlos Slim).

    No mention of U.S.-led devastation of the Middle East. No recognition that the drone program is creating another generation of terrorists. Spreading American Values? Sure did miracles in Saudi Arabia…

    I’ll just note Pavel noted the piece yesterday in Water Cooler and came to the same conclusion – our “meritorious” class don’t stray an inch from the conventional wisdom…

    July 22, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    1. HBE


      “But at the Pentagon, most officers and political appointees view that as pre-World War II thinking and argue that forward-deployed troops are crucial to national security.”

      Um, no they are a detriment to national security, turning brown people into pink mist and occupying countries is the reason terrorism grew and thrives in the first place. think you meant to say it’s crucial to national (corporate) interests, not security, David.

      People like David “dimwit” Sanger are more of a detriment to our national sanity and security than, Trumps policy of disentanglement.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      They [american troops] would be more focused on homeland defense and less likely to get involved in conflicts abroad that drain money, and power, from the American military.

      The horror and insanity of such a crazy Trump “defense” policy is unfathomable, and must be resisted at all costs.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is Trump talking about banning people* from going to some countries?

        *people from here, who soldier.

      2. Jim Haygood

        “conflicts abroad that drain money, and power, from the American military”

        Sanger [a name which means “bloody” in romance languages] has it exactly backward, of course.

        Conflicts abroad pump money and power into the American military … while starving the domestic economy of investment.

        1. Skippy

          Part I
          1) All through out the 20th century there’s been a tension between states and markets – free markets or governments and people had to pick a side; all politics was about picking one or the other. This is actually a false proposition as you can’t actually have one without the other. Historically, societies that don’t have states don’t generally have markets. Markets arose as a side effect of bureaucracies and in much of human history they’re a side effect of military operations.

          2 a) The US debt is a war debt. If you graph military spending and us debt, they correlate perfectly. It’s been there since the revolutionary war.

    3. barrisj

      Well, it appears that the entire” Cold War consensus” FP mandarins are out in force this weekend, shouting alarums about “ducking our reponsibilities”, and the like as ripostes to Trumpf’s slagging off of Nato.

      F’rinstance, this from the NYer blog today:

      What Does NATO Do, Anyway?
      The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, the largest and most powerful military alliance in history, is not usually fodder for election-year politicking. But in an interview with the Times earlier this week, Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump said that the United States should not automatically honor NATO’s core principle of mutual defense, specifically if Russia invaded several newer members of the alliance, the three strategic Baltic states and former Soviet republics—Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. In a sharp rebuke, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday that the principle of mutual defense is “ironclad.” He told reporters, “There should be no mistake or miscalculation made about this country’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance.”

      NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned, “We defend one another. . . . Two world wars have shown that peace in Europe is also important for the security of the United States.” Solidarity among allies is “a key value for NATO,” he said, in a statement. Trump’s comments came under fire from fellow-Republicans, too. “Statements like these make the world more dangerous and the United States less safe,” Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, tweeted.
      Since 2013, Douglas Lute, a former three-star general and graduate of West Point, has been the U.S. Ambassador to NATO, whose headquarters are in Brussels. In 2007, President George W. Bush appointed Lute to be deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan, a position nicknamed the “war czar” during the U.S. surge in Iraq. He was one of three senior officials retained by President Obama, who later appointed him to be the top envoy to NATO. Lute talked to me on Thursday about the role and history of NATO. The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

      Ah, yes, Doug Lute, one of the really nasty boys coming out of Cheney’s OVP, and a serial “stovepiper”.
      But, never mind, these views are from the mainstream FP elite, who clearly feel threatened by a Trumpf presidency, and well they should

      1. Dave

        Another school of thought was that NATO was the cop on the beat to prevent Germany from ever rearming itself and asserting control over its own non fiance controlled destiny.

  3. EndOfTheWorld

    “KOCH BROS NOW SUPPORTING HILLARY CLINTON.” This is a pretty stark reminder of the “reversal of the roles” in this election. You wanna vote for the Koch Bros?

    1. Steve H.

      Thank The Good Lord!

      This is so much better than my scary blackswan theory! Here are a couple of articles which lend credence to the Kochs being at best neutral on Trump:

      Some indication that Pence associate Marc Short is being frozen out.

      Zuesse, the author of the piece, was linked by NC back in February, and has had some interesting perspectives about rifts within Christian religions.

      If the Kochs are backing Clinton, then this quote becomes very interesting:

      “But there was an unwelcome surprise awaiting the Freedom Partners delegation inside a conference room at Koch Industries headquarters: A number of top executives and advisers from across the Koch enterprise had been invited to attend the meeting, too. They represented the so-called “corporate side” of Koch World, which had long warred with the “political side” of the empire, particularly over the consequences of the brothers’ campaign-related activities.”

      The most particular benchmark is that many wealthy idealoguists associated with the Kochs political activities are particularly concerned the Supreme Court, and would much rather Pence were making that decision than Clinton. Clinton will make a pro-business choice, but probably not an evangelical favorite. That is a Yuge rift on the right.

      1. cwaltz

        I suspect it’s not going to happen. He’s been veal penned.

        It sucks, but it was his choice to make.

        1. Roger Smith

          I think the Democrats have one last “no brainer” decision they can make next week. If they are actually worried they will make it (probably not). And if so, Bernie hanging in just a tad longer and dipping his feet into their poisonous waters will end up being a great move.

        2. kimsarah

          Bernie performed his duty. Now it’s up to you to go out and rally your neighborhood for Hillary and the “progressive” team! Go get ’em!

          1. cwaltz

            Bernie already knows that his voters aren’t going to necessarily follow him into a pen(he’s been an Independent himself for years after all.)

            I’m going to go out and rally my neighborhood but it won’t be to vote Hillary(my region of Virginia didn’t go for Clinton in the primary either.)

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Another two-for-the-price-of-one.

      You stop Clinton, you stop Koch bros.

      Never Clinton; Never Koch Bros.

      1. polecat

        Clinton. Koch Bros, Kagan/Nuland duo, Soros, Krugman, Summers, Most of Hollywood, assorted CONgress creeps…………….ad nauseum !

        Quite a band of Orcs……..

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          But but but Hilary at State was such a good soldier for American companies! I mean the company that sold the Saudis those cluster bombs by special exemption to use on Yemeni women and children is probably having a great quarter. Hilary got the Swedes to drop their objections to Monsanto poison with a few pointed “or else” phone calls, she got the World Health org to drop their anti-sugar research report with direct threats to pull America’s funding if they published it. She’s a team player!
          Her bosses and paymasters should be very proud: Koch, Soros, Kissinger, Murdoch, Blankfein. Yes siree THOSE are the guys I want owning the next president!
          It’s an inversion, folks, Hilary/Bill have pulled the Dems so far right all you can do is call them the right wing, meantime Donald on trade, foreign policy, bank crime, NATO, the corrupt press has shifted to the left under and past the Dems. Who gives a damn what he said about Rosie O’Donnell, it’s what he’s saying about everything from war to jobs, and the demonstrated history and actions of the person he is opposing that matter.
          (Written by a guy who voted Dem starting with McGovern through 2008 Obomba).

      2. Jazzbuff

        Her VP pick recently sent a note to the Fed saying the banks are over-regulated. He is Wall Street’s backup in case something happens to her.

    3. barrisj

      Well, until I actually see in print a cancelled cheque made out to any of the HRC/DNC/SuperPACS in either of the bro’s names – or identified surrogates, I’m looking at this as a circumstantial stretch, thank you very much. Just can’t see it, really. The Koch’s money will continue to flow to Repub Senate and House candidates who will follow the Koch line, effectively neutralising a Clinton WH, except for “areas of agreement”, i.e., the Washington Consensus, American Exceptionalism, the whole post-Cold War farrago.

    4. Jason Ipswitch

      I know it’s tinfoil hat territory, but I’m thinking that the real goal of Trump is to discredit any opposition to the hyper-wealthy establishment and rest of our ruling class.

      A member of the 0.01% himself, who just happens to have built a self-contradictory political movement that embraces everything his peers hate, including opposing the TTP and putting an end to America’s role as world security guard, while simultaneously making himself and his campaign as unpalatable as possible to anyone with a sense of decency, rationality or history?

      Trump’s “job” is to destroy the credibility of as much of the opposition to the 0.01% as possible. If I’m right, he’ll grow even more reprehensible as we get closer to the election, while simultaneously wrapping himself in everything from TTIP opposition, to domestic labor issues, to supporting leakers like Snowden – basically anything the powers that be want to discredit or stamp out

      1. neo-realist

        Trump’s “job” is to destroy the credibility of as much of the opposition to the 0.01% as possible. If I’m right, he’ll grow even more reprehensible as we get closer to the election, while simultaneously wrapping himself in everything from TTIP opposition, to domestic labor issues, to supporting leakers like Snowden – basically anything the powers that be want to discredit or stamp out

        If Trump gets elected, he will hold the title of President, but hand over the day to day responsibilities to Pence, a loyalist to all the goodies the 0.01% want, who will do a 180 degree turn from Trump campaign rhetoric and give the plutocrats and conservatives what they want—TTIP, hugh tax cuts, anti-labor policies, anti abortion anti civil rights judges, unregulated financial markets, fracking, war for resources, covert and overt, around the world, etc—all with the help of a republican majority congress. Trump will say that he consulted his cabinet and his VP and re-thought his positions, or some crap to that extent to justify the 180. Donald’s populist talking points are just sales pitches to Main Street America to get their support, not because he actually wants to serve them.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I rebutted this yesterday.

          The VP is a ceremonial role unless and until Something Bad happens to the President.

          Trump is hands on to a fault. Look at him resisting using speechwriters until it became undeniable that it was necessary, and still improving at rallies. He’s far more likely to be a Jimmy Carter, micromanaging and getting bogged down in detail and day to day stuff and not spending enough time on big priorities.

          And if there is a power vacuum, as happened with Reagan due to his Alzheimers, it’s Cabinet members that fill the void.

          1. MichaelC

            Indeed. It’s those unelected cabinet appointees that are the most terrifying aspect of this election.
            Those appointments are the most potent counter to the ‘vote for Trump because odious Hillary betrayed Bernie’ proponents.
            Voting Trump as a protest vote is madness. To me that is an explicit vote to unleash the dogs of war on all of us. And that will be on your conscience if you choose that path and he anoints fellow autocrats, as he is sure to matter how you rationalize it.
            And I loathe H but she can/will be under constant attack so she has the potential to be checked.
            Checking Trump and his appointees will be infinitely more difficult. His successful usurpation of his own party is the prelude to his neutering of the systemic checks and balances many are deluding themselves will hold. They will not.
            I have concluded that he is the greater evil, and we must accept that our choice is between two evils.
            Now the choice is which evil do we have the best chance of controlling.
            I vote Hillary in that race because impeachment proceedings can begin Jan 21, 2017.
            We already know who her appointees will be so the attacks on them are/have been under way for decades, so we already know the potential evils her appointees can unleash.
            Trumps. Who knows? We are unprepared for that battlefield.

            1. craazyboy

              “Election 2016: Vote for the candidate that will be impeached soonest. It’s important!”

            2. jawbone

              Seems to me that both parties have set up the VP to be a conservative’s dream president.

              Given a Repub House, I can easily imagine an impeachment, then a Kaine presidency.

              A Repub House might even go after Trump, bringing a really socially conservative VP into the presidency. Pence presidency, anyone?

              There are also, of course, assassinations that have brought a VP into office….


          2. neo-realist

            Hopefully we’ll get an inkling of who will be appointed to his cabinet prior to the election. If he’s elected and shocks me by acting as a 1% populist crusader for working people then I’ll certainly be glad to be proven wrong. Or at the very least he tries to act in our better interests only to be seriously checked by congress and we have a stalemate government. However, I believe we will be sorely disappointed in Trump and see quite a few policy moves that are very much counter to his election proclamations and to the better interests of the 99%.

  4. fresno dan

    The decline of the American empire and rise of Donald Trump National Observer (Sid S)

    Some believe these are portents of a declining and fraying American empire. “It’s reaching a crisis point,” insists Chris Hedges, the Pulitzer prize-winning former New York Times foreign correspondent, author and broadcaster, who believes the US finds itself at an interregnum – a period where the ideas that buttress the old ruling elite no longer hold sway, but an alternative vision hasn’t articulated itself. “And that is evident when you drive through city after the city, all of which have been de-industrialized. Half the country lives in poverty, may be more. All of the policies that are being implemented we’ve seen, which go after Medicare and Social Security, are carried out in the name of austerity. Unemployment figures are utterly fictitious. Real unemployment is probably far above 10 per cent.”

    In turn, these very conditions have given rise to economic populism, personified by Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

    This week, Trump was formally crowned as the presidential candidate for the Republican Party, a position he won by deriding the political and economic establishments for caring not a whit about average Americans, and by mocking and showing no fealty to his own party’s nomenklatura.
    Trump’s message is particularly appealing to the white male working class – a demographic that’s watched its position and prospects decline since the 1970s. “People point to racism and xenophobia and that’s all true, no doubt about it, (Trump) clearly appeals to that,” says Dean Baker, an American economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. “But that’s always been there. So it’s not like we have looked at white working-class people and they have all just became racists in the last year… What’s new is here is a guy who is pretty openly saying this stuff and people are willing to vote for him. And I think that’s because they go ‘This system is not working for me.’ So yes, I think economics is a big part of the story.”

    The US is by far the greatest military power too, with 900 military bases around the world, and a total defence budget of nearly (US) $600-billion per annum – which is larger than the combined military spending of China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, UK, India, France and Japan.
    Yet we can’t after almost 15 years pacify a country (Afghanistan) of 30 million people and a GDP of 20.3 billiion…..

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        I think if he gets elected, the electorate in general will love him because he’s more like a real human being. He’ll be refreshing. We are so sick of politicians. That’s why he’ll get elected the first time, and if his health is good he’ll get the second term, if he wants it.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            As far as stopping HRC goes, I believe HRC is superior than Trump at stopping HRC.

            Some may argue Trump is superior than HRC at stopping HRC.

      2. fosforos

        After last Thursday the answer should be pretty clear: Ivanka, the Trump the Repugnicons would have nominated this year if their shit-filled heads had room for even a tiny amount of brains.

    1. nothing but the truth

      the 70s are the start of pure paper money.

      the 70s are the start of FIRE sector (&healthcare and defense) taking all the gains in productivity.

      the 70s are the start of stagnation for “little people”.

      the 70s are the start of the asset based, “wealth effect” economy.

      basically a pure paper money reserve currency cannot exist without free trade and capital freedom. (why would you accept someones fiat unless you get some employment or assets in return)?. so the free trade nightmare is a corollary of the fiat money nightmare, which is basically delegation of the entire economy to the FIRE sector.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That’s the two biggest issues going forward.

        1. Every nation can just print money.

        2. Trading with each other, taking each other’s fiat money and having some sort of confidence of its worth (the foreigners can doubt, but domestic Little People – of the sovereign democratic nation – are required to use it, not questioning its worth).

        The international aspects of fiat currencies still need to be worked out.

  5. Peter

    Deere’s Moline Harvester Works production is sold almost entirely in the US/Canada. The Ag economy has been break even the last couple of years, and a bumper crop (and the low prices that follow) is on the horizon. Farmers are not upgrading machinery. Deere has to dial back production.

    A Trump trade war won’t help commodity exports, either.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Trade war has been declared on the US for a while, without American putting up much defense.

      Not sure how Trump can be so egotistical to say it will be a Trump trade war.

      He can help by putting up a stiff defense, in this ongoing trade war.

  6. allan

    NYDN editorial:

    By tapping Virginia’s Tim Kaine as her running mate, Hillary Clinton demonstrated that she wants a capable, responsible, centrist partner in governing who can serve as President at a moment’s notice.

    Kudos to Clinton for going not with a firebrand but with an amiable and deeply experienced consensus-builder. …

    Critical to the job, Kaine serves on the Senate’s Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, where he has earned a reputation as a serious thinker and bipartisan legislator.

    Centrist … amiable …consensus-builder … serious … bipartisan.
    These qualities are obviously what the current circumstances require.

    I’m guessing that 1/3 of Sanders voters go elsewhere or stay home.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Tim” spelled backwards is “Mit,” so there’s plenty of bipartisan symbolism here for the Goldwater girl.

      Plus Tim and Mit both went to Hahhhhhhhvid, where the best people go to study war and legal impunity.

      Poor ol’ Liz Warren … she got used like a ten-dollah crack ho. That’s Clintonism in a nutshell.

      Klinton mit Kaine 2016, as our German friends say. No war left behind!

      1. edmondo

        Poor ol’ Liz Warren … she got used like a ten-dollah crack ho.

        At least the crack ho got ten bucks. Poor Liz got nothing to show for her “service”. The good people of Massachusetts now know that their junior senator is dumber than a crack ho – She’s a shoo in for re-election with that kind of reputation.

        1. Christopher Fay

          The democrat supporters of eastern Massachusetts serve their crack-ho overmasters well. While Warren has been used, she’ll be still useful yet.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Outside of the Boston area, MA is in bad shape. Look for a Sanders-like primary challenger to emerge from that part of the state in 2018.

            1. allan

              Count me out of the hate-fest. At the risk of being called delusional (as I was a week or two ago), let me speculate that, after holding off endorsing Clinton for quite a while, Warren eventually figured that Clinton was going to win the nomination (fairly or not) and, knowing the famously vengeful side of the Clinton-verse, decided that to be able to make any progress in the coming years on her key areas of interest, she would need to sign on to the `I’m With Her’ bandwagon.

              So, I’m willing to wait and see (in case of a Clinton victory) whether Warren is able to get things done or just is given the `surprising validator’ assignment of putting lipstick on neoliberal policy pigs.

              1. grayslady

                You may wish to read the July-Aug 2016 article in Politico titled “Party of Two.” From the article:

                “Warren, several people in her orbit say, never really came close to endorsing the man many progressives consider to be her ideological soulmate. She made a point of meeting with Sanders to hear his pitch and continued checking in. But she prioritized opening a channel to Clinton on policy. Warren’s personal relationship with Clinton was originally frosty (she was irked by Clinton’s support for a bankruptcy bill more than a decade earlier). And while the pair have never developed an easy rapport, they did develop a working relationship, thanks in part to their mutual friendship with a shared consultant, longtime Clinton hand Mandy Grunwald. In early 2015, Warren sent a major signal that she would ultimately endorse Clinton, telling a senior campaign aide, “I’m getting a lot of pressure to endorse Bernie, but I’m not going to do it.””

                Warren is all about Warren. Instead of her preferred perceived position as an “outsider.” the moment Warren endorsed Clinton, she lost all her “outsider” creds. By the way, according to the Politico article, Warren was advised to hold off her endorsement until after the primaries by none other than Joe Biden. Sounds pretty scheming to me.

                1. Sam Adams

                  She is a Havvvvvvid lawyer. If they train one thing in HLS, it’s stick your finger in the air, keep your head down and look for the doors.

                  1. sleepy

                    Yes, she taught at Harvard, but her law degree is from Rutgers-Newark school of law. At the time, she was the only prof at Harvard law who had a degree from an American public university.

                2. allan

                  Thank you for the link. Right above the section you quoted,
                  it does also say

                  For all her credibility on the left, Warren is more interested in influencing the granular Washington decisions of policymaking and presidential personnel—and in power politics. Warren’s favored modus operandi: leveraging her outsider popularity to gain influence on the issues she cares about, namely income inequality and financial services reform.

                  “Elizabeth is all about leverage, and she used it,” a top Warren ally told me. “The main thing, you know, is that she always thought Hillary was going to be the nominee, so that was where the leverage was.”

                  which I would translate as “Warren is all about policy and personnel.”

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    Should she be given the same or similar degree of the benefit of the doubt as Sanders who also endorsed Hillary (either coerced or voluntarily)?

                    1. allan

                      Based on her track record (CFPB, doing as much as a single senator can do to hold executive branch appointees from her own party accountable, etc.), I would give her the benefit of the doubt, but I seem to be in the minority here.

              2. Myshkin


                I also found it noteworthy that Obama held off endorsing his SoS until very late in the primary season. Neither Warren or Obama strike me as gung ho Clintonites.

                Some of the very astute and knowledgeable NC commentariat surprisingly seem to lack an understanding of how the US politic works or fails to work. Such high expectations regarding Sanders and Warren seem irrational from anyone watching as closely as many here do.

                Entering the fray of politics in an oligarchically charged, democratic-hybrid of executive, bicameral parliament and judiciary (with states rights in the mix) governing system requires compromise, lying by omission and other deceptions, strange bedfellows, (the two extreme ends of the Dems and the Pubs have much in common).

                To act otherwise is to be excluded or ineffective, it’s what we have to work with. Sanders campaign does suggest a certain amount of straight talk can be effective. Yet the fix may be in so deep it can’t be changed and even if it can be changed it may be too late for change on some major global issues, militarism and nuclear proliferation, global warming.

                What’s left but to pay attention, try to remove the beam from our eye and help others cut through the torrential stream of propaganda and misinformation (thanks NC and act locally etc.

                1. John Merryman

                  If you are going to climb to the top of a large pile of manure, expect to be a bit soiled by the time you get there.

                  1. myshkin

                    rasslin pigs, butcherin hogs, making sausage.
                    somebody’s got to do it, otherwise who decides who brings home the bacon (and the pork)?

                2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  (the two extreme ends of the Dems and the Pubs have much in common)

                  The political universe is

                  1. Flat earth, i.e. linear
                  2. Horseshoe shaped

                  It seems to be it’s better explained with #2 above.

                  Under tremendous pressure, a bridge can form between the two tips.

                3. dk


                  These are long term tactics. So they don’t appeal to those seeking immediate gratification.

                  Trump’s presentational stylings have triggered desires for immediate gratification even in people who don’t like his particular positions. An interesting article on how that works is here:

                  The author describes Direct vs. Systemic Causation:

                  Direct causation is dealing with a problem via direct action. Systemic causation recognizes that many problems arise from the system they are in and must be dealt with via systemic causation. Systemic causation has four versions: A chain of direct causes; interacting direct causes (or chains of direct causes); feedback loops; and probabilistic causes. Systemic causation in global warming explains why global warming over the Pacific can produce huge snowstorms in Washington DC: masses of highly energized water molecules evaporate over the Pacific, blow to the Northeast and over the North Pole and come down in winter over the East coast and parts of the Midwest as masses of snow. Systemic causation has chains of direct causes, interacting causes, feedback loops, and probabilistic causes — often combined.

                  To encapsulate this a little: direct actions solve one instance of a problem. But if the same problem are recurring, systemic solutions can be more effective. However, systemic solutions can take longer to construct and execute. And systemic solutions can seem indirect, even pointless and random, to people who do not fully understand details of the systems in which they operate.

                  Because systemic solutions and the rhetoric that supports them are constructive (in the sense that they are “building” something), these tactics require some persistence and consistency over time. They rarely produce desired results immediately. Perhaps people forget that what can be done quickly (by direct action) can often be undone just as quickly (by another direct action).

                  Are systemic/constructive strategies tiresome and annoying? Oh hell yes! That is, until one has been using them for a while, and they become more familiar, and one can adjust one’s level of observational detail to recognise their patterns and the signs of their progress in a given scenario.

                4. hunkerdown

                  Extra-parliamentary forces exist. To believe otherwise is infantile and authoritarian.

                  Nobody cares how politics work because that’s not where decisions are made, just formalized. Imaginary friends with sovereign authority are a mental illness, and if we as a people were truly interested in something other than preserving our right to oh-so-pweciously beweeve what isn’t, we’d treat these people and keep them from doing harm to others and themselves.

        2. fresno dan

          July 23, 2016 at 9:01 am

          Please, please, please…must we besmirch our illustrious crack whores with the taint of politicians????

    2. EndOfTheWorld

      In this guessing about where the “Sanders supporters” will go, you first have to figure out what exactly you mean by “Sanders supporter”. If you just mean people who contributed cash, without doubt there are many people who donated to Bernie just because they wanted to get rid of HRC, or hoped to fracture the democratic party, or other ulterior motives, and would not have voted for Bernie even if he got the nomination. Bernie got a lot of votes from Republicans in open primaries. Are these people “Bernie supporters” ? They will surely vote for Trump. Anyway since the ballots are secret it will never be known for sure what percentage of “Bernie supporters” vote for whom in the general. Polls will be done but I think a lot of Bernie supporters are uncooperative with pollsters, like me. I quickly hang up on them, invariably.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “…or other ulterior motives, and would not have voted for Bernie even if he got the nomination. Bernie got a lot of votes from Republicans in open primaries. Are these people “Bernie supporters” ? They will surely vote for Trump.”

        That’s the first time (for me, not sure about others) I have read of the conspiracy by those nefarious Republicans to abuse open primaries (in this election cycle).

        Is it then a further plot, presumably, that they want more open primaries, for future use?

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          I’m not saying an organized conspiracy, but a lot of people crossed over and voted against HRC, whom they hate. I think a lot of the republicans and independents would have reconsidered after Trump got the nomination. Trump and Bernie are alike on the important issues—(ie disastrous trade deals, and Iraq was a disaster.)

      2. dk

        Hmm… so you’re saying that in the primaries, a lot of Republicans who are enthusiastic about Trump didn’t vote for him, and instead cast their votes for Sanders? That seems a bit of a stretch.

        It’s even less likely in light of many national match-up polls throughout the primary season, suggesting that Sanders could beat Trump more readily than Clinton.

        It’s also a very Dem-centric view, one which few Republicans share. Like Dems, they tend to be more concerned with matters within their own party, especially during such a volatile period for the Reps.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          OK, but I still think a lot of “Bernie supporters” will vote for The Donald, when it comes down to it. Bernie was the first one to speak plainly about the disastrous trade policies, and the disastrous Iraq war. In the beginning Trump was talking about the wall, trying for a certain kind of voter there, but then he did start to allude to us getting screwed in the trade policies. The republicans have Glass-Steagall in their platform.

          1. dk

            That is probably true.

            I think it’s similar to voting for Hillary just because she’s a woman… but that’ll get her a chunk of votes, too.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              When I tell my Clinton-bot friends “I’m voting for Trump because he’s a man” that pretty much highlights the ridiculousness of their voting for someone just because of their gender.

    3. allan

      The NYDN forgot `tough on crime’:

      Kaine’s crime-busting past may hurt Clinton’s outreach to blacks [Reuters]

      Democrat Hillary Clinton’s pick of Tim Kaine as her vice presidential running mate could hamper her efforts to reach out to African-American voters because of Kaine’s past embrace of crime-fighting strategies that have driven up the U.S. prison population and are unpopular in the black community.

      The now-defunct Project Exile that Kaine backed was so unusual it was championed by Republicans and Democrats alike and by both the top U.S. gun lobby group and gun-control advocates. But the federal program launched in 1997 in Richmond, Virginia, was also criticized at the time as a racially biased initiative that condemned young black men to lengthy prison terms.

      Looks like the granola crowd is not the only group perceived as `who are they going to vote for, Trump?’ by the political geniuses running the campaign.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Even the cheerleaders at msnbs were having a little trouble spinning this, in spite of months of advance warning.

        They settled on something about his ability to “cross the aisle” and “get things done.” Strictly avoided was any discussion of what kind of “things.”

        So, the first woman presidential candidate has picked a former jesuit missionary who is a “devout” catholic and is “opposed” to abortion. But only “personally.” I’d guess that works given the high regard in which the catholic church holds women.

        And what do we have for Hispanics? A harvard-educated white guy who speaks Spanish so his policy sell-outs will not need to be translated. And he worked with “folks” in Honduras, a country near and dear to hill’s secretary of state heart.

        And then there is wall street. I’d imagine they are high-fivin’ for money well-spent.

        Gettin’ “things” done.

        No one should ever say they haven’t been warned.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Just imagine her Supreme Court picks. After all, Ginsberg and Scalia are good friends.

          1. Jim Haygood

            As someone commented on another forum, not only is the old dingbat Ginsburg headed for New Zealand … but with any luck, she’ll try to drive there!

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Better practice swimming.

              The bridge to NZ, if built by Trump’s administration, there is no way she will use that.

          2. Tom Allen

            More Supreme Court picks like Merrick Garland, no doubt. Long established resume, deferential to the government, friendly to corporations. (His position on abortion rights: who knows?)

            1. Escher

              I think you fail to appreciate that appointing center-right justices is all part of the Democrat master plan:

              1. Republicans seem like hypocrites if they criticize them
              2. Slate writers snark about this fact
              3. ????
              4. Progressive outcomes!

      2. Jim Haygood

        Glad Reuters reporter James Oliphant has some institutional memory about Project Exile. As I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago, FBI director James Comey, then heading the criminal division in Richmond, was one of its developers.

        Project Exile exploited the Drug War (which always has profiled minorities) by focusing enforcement on African-American neighborhoods in Richmond. Then Comey could give his victims 15-minute drumhead trials, hand out five-year mandatory minimums, and ship them off to distant western federal prisons run by latino and white supremacist gangs.

        Oliphant is correct that the NRA was cheering on this program. Rounding up black folks with guns while leaving white NRA members untouched was a stroke of brilliance, in their view. I resigned from the NRA over Project Exile.

      3. kimsarah

        She doesn’t need to reach out to African-Americans. Because they, like Bernie supporters, are in the bag for her!

    4. PH

      We (progressives) dodged a bullet with this pick. Vilsack and Brown are much worse.

      For all the showy cynicism on lefty blogs, there is so much romantic hope for the master stroke or a savior. Not happening.

      I doubt people appreciate what a sorry lot the pols are. Indeed, what a sorry lot the do good ears at NGOs are.


      There is no short-cut. We must organize. And, man, is that tedious.

      Bottom line: Kaine is a decent man.

      Wrong on many issues, but malleable. He will listen.

      That is rare.

      I far preferred Bernie to Hillary. I admire the start. But one election — even if we won– is not going to turn the ship around.


      1. Arizona Slim

        Organizing isn’t the same thing as volunteering for a presidential campaign. Or, for that matter, a down ticket race.

        So, let’s understand the difference. And keep going.

        1. PH


          And doubly troublesome because I do not think the organization has been invented yet. Maybe not even the kind of organization.

          Still, I would not be too quick to say never. Nader insisted there was no difference between Bush and Gore, and Ralph was proved spectacularly wrong.

          It can always get worse.

          1. habenicht

            To say that Gore’s inability to pull votes from Nader “cost Gore the election”, while ignoring the votes he couldn’t pull from Bush is a bit disingenuous.

            I found this to be a detailed summary on the issue:


            A relevant quote follows:

            Or consider Democrats, thirteen percent of whom voted for Bush. In all, Gore lost 308,000 voters from his own party to W., while losing 24,000 Dems to Nader. Now sure, if Gore gets even half of that 24,000 who voted for Nader, because Nader never runs, or drops out at the last minute, then he wins Florida. But by the same token, if he gets even one-half of one percent of the Dems who voted for Bush, he also wins. Why are we only focusing on the votes he didn’t get from the much smaller Nader pool, than the votes he didn’t get from the much larger Bush pool?

            1. Skip Intro

              Indeed to blame Gore’s ‘loss’ on voters, when the SCOTUS suspended the election and appointed their favorite in an extra-constitutional one-off decision is remarkably ahistorical, though not uncommon.

            2. voteforno6

              How many registered voters in Florida didn’t vote at all in 2000? I bet that number dwarfed those other two categories by a significant margin. If only there were some sort of political organization that could go looking for voters, and get them to the polls…

          2. grizziz

            Ralph was proved spectacularly wrong.
            Now, now, now, Al never got a chance to prove himself. Its always hard to argue from a counterfactual, however I think a strong case could be made that Gore the Pres. would have responded to the attack on the Twin Towers by supplying the freedom loving Afghani’s with compact fluorescent light bulbs. Then selling them a smart grid.

      2. craazyboy

        “Wrong on many issues, but malleable. He will listen.”


        And who is it they listen to after the election?

        1. craazyboy


          I think this is the election that “moderate republicans” will find out what it’s like to be herded into the “veal pen”.

          Gonna get crowded in the veal pen.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          C’mon, craazy.

          We’ll just……well……..”hold ’em ACCOUNTABLE.” Shit, we can email. Call ’em on the phone. Hell, we can write letters to the editor. He’ll “listen.” hillary even goes on “listening tours.” What more “evidence” do you need?

          It’s what we americans do–we hold people “accountable.” Except, of course, at election time, when “accountability” doesn’t even show up, and nobody seems to remember what it even means.

          1. cwaltz

            Sharpen your pencils. It’s time for some sternly worded letters.

            That’ll teach em’. (rolls eyes)

            I can’t wait to watch the blogging brigade that went out of their way to support removing democracy from the Democrat party to save it from those horrible hippies, wringing their hands. Most progressive and vice president evah, heckuva job there pushing the party leftward(pssst they are laughing at you……..”f’in retards.”)

          2. polecat

            Don’t forget those ‘Petitions’ we’re always encouraged to sign……..THEY”RE real effective !! …..right?

            ….”looooooooong sigh !”……

        3. PH

          Well, I readily admit that is a big problem. But not a new problem.

          In the past, Kaine has been willing to listen to the liberal pitch. (Not everyone does.). And he actually listens, and asks questions. Sometimes he moved left. (Keystone)

          Look, Kaine is VP candidate only. And he is not a progressive. But compared to the likely alternatives, it could have been worse. Much worse.

          Making Kaine the center of a lefty firestorm seems overwrought to me.

          First, we have to elect Hillary.

          Second, we have to fight Hillary in office, and build an organization to challenge Bluedog Dems in primaries.

          Long fight ahead. Save your bullets.

          And remember: Trump would be worse. And the difference matters.

          Politics is not for folks with weak stomachs.

          1. pretzelattack

            trump doesn’t have the warmongering record clinton has. it’s a lot easier to fight clinton if she isn’t president. so no, we don’t hve to elect her.

            1. PH

              Hillary is horribly reckless on war. (Maine is better)

              But who do you think The Donald will put in power?

              On balance, Hillary is slightly better, probably, even on war.

              But I agree with you. War was a huge reason to support Bernie. I wish he had won

              1. pretzelattack

                i don’t know who donald will put in power, but it’s probably not going to be nuland. i do know he hasn’t used his position to enable wars, and i do know that you can’t swing a dead cat around the clinton campaign without hitting a neocon. on balance, clinton is a proven warmonger who might well win 2 terms, and trump is a proven bullshit artist that probably won’t. 4 years of trump is better than 8 years of clinton. peace.

                1. Jason Boxman

                  My assessment as well. Clinton is a well known commodity and one I don’t care to purchase.

                2. PH

                  Hillary neocon connection is real and dangerous.

                  But, in your justified loathing and anger, do not dismiss the danger of a volitile ego-maniac convinced that no rules apply to him. And who relentlessly fans violent passions against all non-whites.

                  We have no good choice. Just better and worse.

                  But the choice matters.

                  Next, we must organize progressive primary challenges against Bluedogs everywhere.

                  That is the continuing fight that needs your passion.

                  1. ChrisA

                    We’re not voting for Hillary, despite your bringing up Nader to scare us into defensive voting. I won’t be voting defensively or out of fear anymore. Good efforts this morning, though.

                    1. cwaltz

                      If the party is that worried about a Trump presidency they could support the candidate that has stronger polling numbers against him.

                      If they choose not to then THEY get to take the blame for a Trump presidency since THEY chose the weaker candidate.

                      Heck, they said they don’t need Independants during the primaries too. Went out of their way to exclude them, deriding them as not “democrats” so not allowed to pick the Democratic nominee. Independants appear to be taking them at their word too, supporting Trump almost 2-1 to Clinton.

                      When they lose they’ll be able to say they remained “pure” to that Democratic brand though. LOL

                  2. grizziz

                    Duopolist! The Democrats have never ceased being the Party of Jackson. Always looking for people to kill and land to steal.
                    Fight for Ranked Choice Voting.

                    1. jrs

                      A far better plan than just more and better Dems, that’s a REAL fight there, to actually make the U.S. a democracy.

                  3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                    Hilary is owned and operated by Koch, Soros, Blankfein, Murdoch, and Kissinger.
                    I do not know who owns and operates Trump but I already have all of the data (above) I need to make an informed choice.

                  4. NLK

                    What a load of crap. If Dems are so terrified about Trump, they wouldn’t have nominated a pro Wall Street, pro prison lobby, pro TPP, pro war neocon. Lesser of two evils has been fully discredited by moral philosophers generations ago. Get outta here with that sophistry.

                  5. Higgs Boson

                    do not dismiss the danger of a volitile ego-maniac convinced that no rules apply to him.

                    Why shouldn’t a volatile egomaniac be convinced that no rules apply to him? HRC already proved they don’t apply to her.

                    At least Trump won’t be poking the big bear in the eye with a pointy stick.

              2. kimsarah

                No candidate is for everything you want. In fact, these candidates stand for many things you don’t want.
                So decide which one to three issues matter most to you and pick that way.

                1. kimsarah

                  For me, it’s:
                  Washington needs a total makeover by demolishing special interests.
                  Wall Street needs to be put back in its place.
                  The U.S. needs to start addressing its own needs instead of trying to take over the world.

              3. Ulysses

                Do you think continually misspelling Kaine, as Maine, will prevent people from effectively learning for themselves that Sen. Tim Kaine is an enthusiastic warmonger and proponent of the TPP??!! If so, you are sadly mistaken and Correct The Record should withhold your paycheck for gross incompetence!

          2. HBE

            “And remember: Trump would be worse. And the difference matters.”

            What?!?! I seem to remember hillary being a corrupt (Clinton foundation and SOS foreign donations), warmongering (Iraq, Libyan destruction and murder of Gaddafi, Syria, nuland and confronting Russia), psychopath (“we came…he died”). Son unless you provide some evidence on why trump is somehow worse, which is clearly not the case I am going to assume you are from correct the record. Happy trolling.

              1. grayslady

                Thanks for the new word. Reminds me of a job I once had where it was strongly suggested that we not clock in our overtime work (as in, if you don’t want us to suddenly find your performance has deteriorated).

                1. ambrit

                  I have had employment ‘opportunities’ just like that myself.
                  I remember walking off of a job, which had hardly begun, when the General Foreman started a talk to the workers by stating: “We don’t want to hear anything about any Unions on this job. That is, if we like our jobs. Understand?”
                  One subcontractor job foreman actually came right out and told us that he couldn’t pay us for that weekend work because the home office was holding him to a strict budget. One of the older and wiser hands suggested that he send out for some good lunch foods and lots of beer for the end of the day. He could run it through the accounting office as “good will” and “entertaining.” We went for that, because we liked this boss, and it all worked out fine, if a little drunk at the end of the day. We all showed up the next morning, Sunday, very hung over but “ready to work Boss!” (Multi million dollar Mechanical Contract involved.) We saved his bacon, he met the schedule, and he reciprocated later in various ways.

                1. ambrit

                  Hey, Dude. Get with the (neoliberal) program.
                  When I worked for Lowes, we had to buy our own company logo tee shirts. Probably at cost, (what a bargain!) I only wear mine now when I’m shopping at Home Depot or when I’m working on an automobile, oh, or gardening in the privacy of my own back yard.
                  By the way, some months ago Phyllis began receiving begging flyers from the DNCC. So, two months ago she sent one back filled out, these things always seem to masquerade as ‘polls,’ giving that false sense of importance, in the most pro Bernie fashion imaginable, and two dollar bills. She has not received anything from the DNCC until last week. Besides the trick of sticking the postage return envelope onto a gold painted brick, are there any other ‘imaginative’ suggestions?

            1. Uahsenaa

              I was willing to give PH the benefit of the doubt until the “we have to elect Hillary” pitch down thread, which was a dead giveaway.

              “We” (who is this?) don’t have to do anything. Either the D or R party’s vote rigging/suppression scheme will win a sufficient number of swing states and thereby select our next president. There is no “we” outside of fungible numbers in a black box database.

              1. PH

                You do not know me.

                But whatever.

                I did not make the choices. They are what they are.

                1. Move away.
                2. Drop out and take what comes.
                3. Fight within the system as it is, and try to make a better system.

                I have utter contempt for Hillary and Bluedogs generally. I have for years.

                But I will vote for her. Because either she or Trump will be theme to President.

                And Trump is worse.

                1. HBE

                  Please provide evidence for this, i think everyone here has clear knowledge that Clinton is a warmongering, corrupt, TPP supporting horror. And don’t jump into the “but trump is racist trope, hillary isn’t”. Hillary is stealth r trump is in your face.

                  You keep saying trump is worse than hillary with no comparative evidence.

                  These two points alone make him better than hillary.


                  Trump: close the bases, don’t confront Russia, stop most foreign entanglements.

                  Hillary: more war. Confront Russia, expand international interventions. (she has already done these things and her appointments


                  Trump: No TPP

                  Hillary: Pro TPP, even picked a pro TPP VP.

                  Please provide evidence that trump is worse than hillary on anything.

                  1. Bugs Bunny

                    Exactly — read the speeches and it’s clear that on economics and foreign policy, Trump is well to the left of Clinton. Let the Supreme Court go to hell where it belongs anyway.

                    1. DrBob

                      Trump’s “economic policy” ideas are by no means ALL to the left of Clinton. Have you even looked at his “tax reform” proposals? Pure Republican trickle-down economics: massive tax relief for the wealthy (with minor cuts for the lower- and middle-classes).


                      Mind you, this is not the GOP platform…this is directly from his campaign website. No doubt, though, that he’d find many like-minded accomplices in the GOP-controlled Congress (along with a few “Blue-dog” Democrats) that would be happy to collaborate with a President Trump on tax policy to “get things done” (for the sake of economic groaf, of course).

                  2. craazyboy

                    “Please provide evidence that trump is worse than hillary on anything.”

                    The last two days we’ve been reading Trump is a KGB operative and reports to Putin. He’s gonna tell Europe they can’t play NATO anymore. What kinda authoritarian shit is that? A US Prez telling 2 billion people in Europe they can’t defend themselves against Russia? That sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it?

                    That’s from professional journalists at some of our reputable media outlets. They even have NATO sources referenced! Some of ’em are Americans too! This is just not some crackpot made up stuff!

                  3. myshkin

                    “Trump is worse” and “Please provide evidence for this, i think everyone here has clear knowledge that Clinton is a warmongering, corrupt, TPP supporting horror.”

                    Is he better, who the hell knows, since Trump has never had responsibility for foreign policy decision making. The best primary evidence must come from his on the record statements. Such statements from politicians mean little and I believe in this instance, Trump is very much like many politicians, well able to speak out of both sides of his mouth when it suits him and deny, deny, deny.

                    There are many instances of Trump’s ambiguous stances, such as his assertion regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, he claims he was against it. Yet the only statement on record was during an interview with the Edward R Murrow of shock-jock journalism, Howard Stern, on September 11, 2002; when asked directly by Stern whether he favored invading Iraq he said, “Yeah, I guess so, I wish the first time it was done correctly.” Was there anything about the first time that didn’t smack of a brutal, conjured, imperial aggression and that might have been corrected by doing it better? Less shock more awe?

                    To add some possible insight into what Trump might have meant, in his book from 2000, The America We Deserve, Trump said, “We still don’t know what Iraq is up to or whether it has the material to build nuclear weapons. I’m no warmonger,”… “But the fact is, if we decide a strike against Iraq is necessary, it is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion. When we don’t, we have the worst of all worlds: Iraq remains a threat, and now has more incentive than ever to attack us.” What he seems to be saying here is the one intelligent strategic move that Bush I made, not taking out Saddam Hussein was a bad decision. In other words, if POTUS at the time, Trump would have inadvertently created the same chaotic murderous mayhem a decade earlier during the initial foray into Iraq.

                    Trump may be just the kind of impetuous hothead, particularly once inside the security state bubble, capable of the belligerent bellicosity many fear. He has no record because he has no experience; in foreign affairs and many other areas in Washington, that might be seen as a plus. Trump is an unknown commodity but the indications are not all so good as many here claim.

                    From the linked reuters article “Not all of Trump’s foreign policy positions are crazy”
                    “Trump also rightly emphasizes the financial costs of American military interventions, pointing out during a Republican primary debate that ‘we’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people’ and ‘if we spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges…we would’ve been a lot better off.’”…

                    This is the good Donald, the bad Donald is the possible flip side here as expressed by Michael Flynn, a Trump advisor and once possible VP. A former general he was interviewed by Spiegel Online.

                    Regarding a savings from a US retrenchment from the 900 bases and imperial commitments the US has on its plate, Flynn seems to suggest that encouraging regional allies to arm, rearm or increase armaments expenditures, even possibly nuclear ones, is a good thing. Certainly good for the armaments industry, business as usual in the MICC.
                    SPIEGEL: Trump just urged Saudi Arabia and Japan to become nuclear powers as well. With comments like that, is he not encouraging a dangerous nuclear arms race?

                    Flynn: The threat of nuclear warfare is very, very low. Trump is no fool, and he sees the world as a globalized world. In the conversation we’re having right now, we’re talking about historical aspects of regions of the world, so sort of world history. It’s not that he needs a lesson in world history, but it’s very important that you understand the history of Europe, the history of Africa, the history of the Middle East. What are the trends that we could expect to see in the next few years, like the next 10 to 50? Will there be another major war? Will there be a war between China and the United States? We talked a lot about that, and we talked about sort of what were the “What Ifs?” What are the potentials, and what are the things you need to be prepared for when you step into office?”

                    -It’s actually not reassuring to hear that someone associated with Trump foreign policy believes the chances of nuclear war are very slim, particularly with the advent of new tactical nuclear weapons.

                    Regarding NATO:
                    SPIEGEL: He has threatened to withdraw the United States from NATO.
                    Flynn: Here is where I think the world has misread Donald Trump. He has no intention to step away without examining all relationships that we have. His intent is to relook at the way we are organized globally, where the US is sort of expected to be a global leader, but relook at these alliances and these charters that we are under to make sure that they are still viable for the 21st century. It doesn’t mean that President Trump comes into office and NATO goes away. But I would say that NATO as a political alliance does need to be relooked at in terms of everything — resourcing, capabilities.
                    SPIEGEL: Now you are challenging NATO after all.
                    Flynn: NATO was formed post-World War II. We’re a little bit more than a half-century old. Do we want NATO to go on for another half-century? I think that the answer is, sitting here today: I don’t know. If I had to bet on it, I would say, yeah, we have to have these alliances going forward and see who’s going to pay for them.

                    This sounds a little like a bait and switch set up. Trump rails against US military spending and our various NATO and similar commitments. Then the equivocations start from his advisors. Once the lobbyists and the MICC create the bubble around Trump I suspect the world may be an even more dangerous place. It seems possible that if Trump is serious about backing away from some of our military spending but not necessarily our commitments, to appease the MICC a new military arms race among the nations of the world is in the cards.

                    1. craazyboy

                      Ya. The USG and the media talking heads are warmongers – and will Trump get sucked into it?

                      Is this a trick question?

                2. meme

                  WHY is Trump worse? He seems to be a better tool for shaking up the status quo, which is all we can hope for in our hopelessly rigged system, imo.

                3. AnEducatedFool

                  Realize your audience. This is a site full of independents that strongly dislike Hillary Clinton.

                  We are AND I am not responsible for Hillary getting the nomination and we are/ I am not responsible if she loses. Her campaign is awful. She needed the DNC and election fraud to get past Sanders.

                  She has written off the left and if the Greens are able to get more than 5% and Johnson gets more than 15% then Hillary and Donald can not govern.

                  If for some reason Johnson and Stein can get on the debate stage then Clinton is toast. She serves no purpose. The left has Stein and moderate Republicans have Johnson. Trump can win or millennial voters will carry Stein to a state or two (Oregon and Washington) so that it goes to the House. (Very wishful thinking)

                  Clinton has no reason to run other than personal advancement.

                  1. NotTimothyGeithner

                    Democratic partisans who claim to be liberal but support Hillary types have to hit rock bottom.

                    Here’s why the partisans will never understand the argument you are making.

                    -Democrats are smarter than the average bear. They have seen every episode of “The West Wing” and know they can’t be fooled because they are very serious.
                    -left leaning Independents are arguing the Democratic party Is right wing outfit masquerading as a center left party.
                    -how can serious Democrats be fooled?
                    -Democratic partisans are too clever to be conned. Critics simply don’t understand 11th dimensional chess/politics and are unicorn chasers.
                    -they are so far gone they will make absurd justifications such as controlling Hillary when she is the White House or promise ACA just needs six more months.

                  2. nippersdad

                    “Clinton has no reason to run other than personal advancement.”

                    I would have to disagree with that point; she already has a couple hundred million in the bank and all of the sycophants that even she could possibly need to spend it with.

                    What she needs to do is keep herself and her friends out of the Hague so she can spend her ill gotten gains in peace. The consolidation of the corporate world governance project upon which the Washington Consensus battens is not yet complete, and until it is all of their asses are hanging out, exposed to the winds of fate. She needs it and they need her to institutionalize it.

                    Why else would she put up will all of this? I believe that her sense of self preservation is an even more powerful motivation than gain for her at this point.

                    1. Ulysses

                      “What she needs to do is keep herself and her friends out of the Hague so she can spend her ill gotten gains in peace.”

                      Very astute comment!

                  3. Michael

                    I’d like to believe this, but it’s not true. Bernie was on stage and, yes, the media is biased, but he got plenty of attention. The Greens and libertarians are not moving the needle this election.

                    It’s important to get them out there because it is essential that we destroy the two-party system, if possible. I’ll be voting Green because I believe it is in my long-term best interest. But I must admit to genuine fears of a Trump candidacy– sadly, I’d take eight more years of Obama at this point, well aware of what that means.

                  4. Yves Smith Post author

                    Stein is not getting a state under any scenario and neither is Johnson.

                    Even Perot who won 19% of the vote didn’t carry a single state.

            2. Christopher Fay

              they hire middle aged interns who work for free hoping to get a government or no job later

          3. sd

            Short of a miracle and Sanders getting the nomination, this election is between two Republicans:
            Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump

            Once you understand that, it’s easier to see the differences between the two.

            1. Pookah Harvey

              The Koch brothers and the Chamber of Commerce, seem to support Clinton. Add to that Robert Burt, Former Chairman Business Roundtable, has actually endorsed her. Who then is the real Republican candidate?

              Clinton is a known neoliberal and neocon and will take us further down that road. Trump is a populist loose cannon who will probably exacerbate racism but is a crap shoot for every thing else.

              I understand the fascism argument against Trump but Hillary is on the same path only slower, more devious,and with less racism. Executive power has been on the increase under both parties for decades and so has government ties to business. I’m sure Clinton will continue this trend.

              You pays your money and take your chances. I’m in a deeply Red state and will vote Stein. I pity the progressives in battleground states.

              1. neo-realist

                I understand the fascism argument against Trump but Hillary is on the same path only slower, more devious,and with less racism.

                That may be very important to voters that don’t have the privilege and insulation of white skin, particularly in the red states.

                In the meantime, progressives just have to organize for the long run so that their ilk can win office on the local, state and national level.

                1. Pookah Harvey

                  I was moved in this direction by a Black activist interview on the Real News Network. The activist didn[t think Blacks should vote for Clinton until Clinton earned their vote. with something other than platitudes.

                  I got the impression that she thought that the enemy you know is no more destructive than an ally you can’t trust.

          4. Roger Smith

            I don’t agree here. The Democrats are, at least mostly,
            all for Clinton, especially “because Trump!”

            Trump is much more decisive and loathed among the politicos and will likely be fought much much harder. Just look at what he has done to Clinton and Warren et. al. Exposed them as incessant attack dogs simply with his presence. He brought them down to what they perceive as his level. If he illicit a this response from others consistently he will have much more friction as president. Clinton will have free reign.

            1. PH

              Friction from where?

              With this hapless media and political class?

              Unlikely. More likely that Donald places more hacks at DOJ and FBI and further demoralizes career types. And uses media as a bullhorn for hate.

              Think of the Balkens after Tito.

              We can fight the Bluedogs in the primaries. That is where we should focus, in my view.

              Meanwhile, Trump’s brand of fascism is bad and likely to lead to worse.

              It can always get worse. Especially if financial crisis hits.

              1. cwaltz

                I don’t know who this “we” is that you speak of.

                I’ll be working to create an alternative to the Democratic Party.

                That tipping point is coming.

                I’d like to congratulate the DNC for making it so conveniently apparent that they have no interest in input from “activists” and are only for democracy if and when the rabble rubber stamp the oligarchy. It’ll make my job infinitely easier.

          5. Tom Allen

            First, we have to fight like hell to elect Bluedog Dems. Second, we have to throw them out of office. That’s … quite a plan you have there.

            1. craazyboy

              I see. It’s like shooting skeet at the rifle club?

              Edit: To clarify – I mean skeet at a Democrat Rifle Club.

              1. ambrit

                Oh dear. What has happened to the Sons of the Pioneers? Shooting skeet with a rifle is really hard! One needs a shotgun to do that job well.
                Plus, you try to be more precise but, the only things the Democrats are accomplished at ‘rifling’ are the vaults where the campaign contributions are kept. (Right next door to the vaults where the ‘powder’ is kept dry.)

      3. Steve H.

        The ship is wallowing in the status quo. The question is how fast it founders.

        Hope Kaine can float, here’s his Captain’s motto:

        “For mine own good,
        All causes shall give way: I am in blood
        Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more,
        Returning were as tedious as go o’er”

      4. NotTimothyGeithner

        Decency and politeness are two different things. Kaine is a vile miscreant. His record demonstrates that.

        This man is a prominent supporter of Big Tobacco. He’s actually evil.

        1. Butch In Waukegan

          To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid; you must also be well-mannered. — Voltaire

      5. Pat

        So malleable that even as he knew he was probably going to be named the VP nominee he was out giving a pro TPP speech. So willing to listen to women that he is considered one of the worst on reproductive rights. And how about his…

        Unless you think progressives dodged the bullet by Clinton deciding to publicly give a finger to them so there is no question that she was lying outright during the whole primary period and depressing her turn out so she loses, I think you misunderstand the term ‘dodging’.

        1. PH

          Maine is definitely a Bluedog. Sanders rebelled against the Bluedogs. I cheered wildly from the start.

          That rebellion must continue. But guile will work better than bile.

          1. Pat

            I agree with you and Arizona Slim about the need to organize and to primary and change from below. Where I disagree with you, and from what he has said I’m pretty sure Arizona Slim does as well, is this idea that we have to elect Hillary Clinton.

            You want a voice in the Democratic Party at all, you admit that Clinton is just a further push to the right and that her and her control of the Party will make most if not all of your down ticket organizing meaningless. The Party will always, let me repeat that in caps ALWAYS, pick the triangulating neoliberal corporate hack over the person who most represents the people of that district. Always. And in some cases they will even make sure no democrat runs so the Republican will win. Unless and until people are willing to admit that this woman and most of the Democratic Party leadership need to be jettisoned there is no movement to the left except for show for the rubes.
            There was no strategic reason to pick him, he doesn’t help with women, Latinos or the AA community. Much as I distrust it, even 538 says he doesn’t help electorally. And his pick depresses the chances of Sanders voters coming out for her. So why do it? There is actually less logic to it than the Pence pick for Trump UNLESS you are going for the Koch ideologue money and votes. So lie to yourself if you want, but all voting for Hillary does is reinforce their belief that in the immortal words of Rahm Emanuel “they have no place else to go”, it doesn’t for a moment advance anything outside standard neoliberal hackery you might support.

            1. PH

              It definitely seems that way. And that is why no one but a mad hatter like Bernie would even try.

              But he did try. And many Dems answered the bell.

              They will again. A new generation is coming.

              Let’s fight for them and take control of the Dem party.

              1. pretzelattack

                we can vote for trump and still organize and try to take control of the party. if they provide us with a decent candidate we can vote for that candidate.

                1. Michael

                  I don’t think that’s fair.

                  Ph seems pretty genuine, and while I disagree with the general position, it’s pretty easy to understand why someone would hold it.

          2. pretzelattack

            “remember the maine, to hell with kaine”. i think it’s catchy but it’s no disco inferno.

            1. Jim Haygood

              Love it!

              It would work, except that “remember the Maine” draws a blank from 98% of the gen pop, for whom history began when the iPhone was introduced.

          3. two beers

            Stop it with the “bluedogs” already, as if they are some sort of marginal usurpers that only need to be beaten back so that the people can take back their party, as if the only thing wrong with the party was a few conservative southerners.

            1. PH

              It is a short hand expression for the dominant Dem political class culture of the last 30 years.

              From what I can tell, the Dems of early 60s were a coalition of labor unions/city machine and Southern machine.

              68 and 72 stripped away the South and brought in some counter-culture on war, race and feminism. But it did not coalesce because we lost.

              Carter was a kinder gentler Southerner, but the race issue was raw and union membership was in decline. Big money organized think tanks in the 70s to infiltrate and ultimately dominate the media. Carter had no answer to stagflation or Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

              Reagan rode racism and xenophobia into the White House. Dems in Congress refused to pass campaign finance reforms, and instead tried to ride their corporate fund-raising advantage.

              Social tribal loyalties to Dems withered. Repub tribal loyalties based upon religion and anti-abortion grew. Republican leaders pressed libertarian economic themes.

              Blue dogs, Third Way, whatever the label, said me too to deregulation and tough on crime, but kept some counterculture positions– notably legal abortion.

              Then came the bubble of the 90s, and a generation decided deregulation was correct.

              Meanwhile, the “party” became fund-raisers and pollsters. Dem staff in Congress took their lead from the people who brought electoral success. Collectively, these are the Bluedogs.

              I agree with you — they all must go.

              They will.

              2008 happened. The pipe dreams sold by the Bluedogs have been exposed.

              But what comes next?


              But to make things better, it has to be a majority economic coalition, and based on hope.

              The most likely vehicle for that coalition is the Democratic Party. We must capture it.

              We cannot if we are self-declared outsiders.

              1. pretzelattack

                clinton may be to the right of reagan, this is what automatically voting for the right wing democrat gets us. time for a new strategy. we don’t have to make the party harder to capture by voting for clinton. we have to make it easier to capture by destabilizing it, and clinton losing will have that effect. clinton winning has the opposite effect.

                1. m

                  Forget take back the party. Let them crash and burn.
                  Why are my tax dollars being used to fund primaries for a “private club” where citizens vote for president. They should use their wall street money or open things up to everyone.

                  Hillary isn’t a lesser evil, she is a cheap grifter that won the lotto.

                2. PH

                  The answer is time.

                  You can destabilize the Dems and cause them to lose.

                  Your hope is that something better would rise from the ashes. That is not guaranteed. Indeed, it is not guaranteed anything would rise from the ashes.

                  Meanwhile the Republican Party would have complete control of the Federal government for years.

                  By the time your Phoenix party can develop a significant following, the world will be different.

                  Environmental regulation will be gone, union rights gone, financial regulation gone, abortion gone. And the judicial will be harder to the right.

                  The rules for elections will be changed.

                  Police powers will grow.

                  You imagine the world could not be worse than now. But it could be, and it will be if we do not keep the Democrats in the game.

                  The best hope for non-violent change (the only kind I want) is to take over the Dem party.

                  Corrupt as its leadership may be, there are many progressive people who self identify as Democrats.

                  That is a tradition we can build on

                  1. cwaltz

                    If the answer is time……

                    How long again have the yo yos for the Democrat Party been looking at “more better Democrats?”

                    It isn’t working.

                    It’d be faster to co opt the Greens who at the very least seem open to the idea of working with activists instead of creating a system to subvert them(superdelegates.)

                  2. pretzelattack

                    trump is somewhat better than clinton, at this point. just because the party is destabilized doesn’t mean it has turned to ashes. there is no reason to vote for clinton if your long term goal is to reform the democratic party. however, if your goal is to maintain the political control of the pary by the neoliberals/neocons, then there is every reason to vote for clinton.

                    a loss by the right wing dinos in this election is a net good, in the short and long term. the democratic party can only be reborn from the ashes of the dlc.

                  3. Steve C

                    Obama showed the Democratic Party is worthless. Con artists all. Democratic voters are the conned. Liberal goodthinkers, as Lambert calls them, constantly making excuses for their pathetic excuses for leadership.

                    Trump and Clinton are both neoliberals. Face it. We’re screwed.

                    Vote Green.

                    1. Ulysses

                      “Trump and Clinton are both neoliberals. Face it. We’re screwed.”

                      The voter suppression, media collusion, etc. deployed by the DNC against the Sanders campaign illustrates very well the limits of fighting the system from within the system.

                      You may be able to expose more corruption, but you will never be allowed to make any meaningful changes that threaten the wealth and power of the transnational kleptocracy.

                  4. jrs

                    So convince me the TPP say won’t accomplish all this:

                    Environmental regulation will be gone, union rights gone, financial regulation gone …

                    Because I suspect it WILL. And thus must be stopped, but it’s Hillary’s baby, so stopping it would mean not voting for Hillary.

                    (I don’t of course take Donald’s word on anything.)

                  5. Ulysses

                    “Environmental regulation will be gone, union rights gone, financial regulation gone, abortion gone. And the judicial will be harder to the right.”

                    And how does this agenda (with the possible exception of abortion rights– although Kaine’s record here is interesting) vary in any way from that of the Clinton Democrats and their fauxgressive enablers like the phony Elizabeth Warren?

      6. dk

        I dunno, I’ve met Kaine… great speaker, but kind of a cynical dick off-stage, really into the power game. I’ll grant that he’s smarter than the average pol. Not at all surprised he won the pick, he’s a natural for the Hillary team.

        But, power players are malleable. One just has to throw a lot of really big rocks at them.

          1. dk

            Oh no, presidents are right in the line of fire, they’re more susceptible to public opinion pressure than a VP is. VP’s get to run around in the shadows and make back-door deals, and nobody (in the MSM anyway) pays attention. That’s actually what scares me most about Kaine, in light of his TPP/”trade deals” support and his law-and-order positions. This is not the guy I want skulking around the side door entrance.

            Aside from public opinion (various polling, which doesn’t necessarily reflect anything useful most of the time), the other major avenue for pressure on a president is thought the rest of their party. Not the party organization, DNC/RNC, I mean the other party members in Congress, in governor’s seats, and so on. Presidents always try to run the show, but their own party’s elected representatives can defy them, and it’s not that infrequent. To avoid constant mutiny, presidents have to make at least some efforts to bend towards the will of the congressional parties; how often that ends up being in most peoples and the nation’s best interests is another matter.

            That’s why a serious effort to elect more Bernie-types to Congress is one of the best strategies going… hey, it works for the Tea Party, they’ve pushed their own agendas in a much more adverse scenario, I think they would have gotten a lot farther by now under a Republican president (with the qualification that the TP got a big boost from their base’s hatred of Obama… without Obama, the TP might never have gathered enough voters and seats to have had the presence and impact they now enjoy).

            1. pretzelattack

              bush managed despite historically low ratings, obama hasn’t been swayed by the firestorm of criticism of the aca–presidents have a great deal of latitude. vp’s pretty much go to funerals and whatever else the president lets them do, cheney aside.

            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Last time I saw a president who was susceptible to public opinion was Nixon in 1968, he looked out at huge crowds in the streets and on the campuses.
              Since the demoralized/self-absorbed/shellshocked/terminally cynical/apathetic populace today refuses to put the clicker down and pick up a placard we’ll get what we deserve.

              1. dk

                You’re right about escalating, but it’s still public opinion.

                Obama got pushed towards gay marriage, the movement on marijuana has been from public pressure…

                Presidents (and others) also make an effort to sway public opinion for their policies.

    5. craazyboy

      Yes. Consensus builder on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees.

      All in favor say “Yeah”.

    6. jgordon

      I’m liking the new “get over your butthurt’ campaign that the Hillary bots are trotting out. It’s thematically appropriate considering that we now have the leaked emails proving that Hillary and the Democratic Party spent the entire primary colluding to screw Sanders and his supporters.

      Of course I don’t think it hurts Hillary too much in the end; “progressives” as a group would never do anything that impacts her chances all that much. At worse they’ll vote third party or sit at home. Hillary picking Kaine proves that she understands just how limp they are.

        1. Pat

          But haven’t you heard ‘we can hold her feet to the fire” after we line up like good Democrats and elect her.

          No the Overton Window moves only when she loses. And only then if everyone rejects blaming the left for that lost and puts the onus on Clinton the candidate and her choices for losing.

          1. tongorad

            But haven’t you heard ‘we can hold her feet to the fire” after we line up like good Democrats and elect her.

            If legislation such as Obamacare must be passed first before we know what’s in it, or how it will work, then it makes perfect sense that candidates should be elected the same way.
            Is that the ticket?

          2. cwaltz

            I WANT them to blame me.

            I WANT them to remember it the next election cycle too.

            If you don’t give me a good candidate then I won’t vote for your party. It’s not that complicated and those of us need to keep repeating it with PRIDE. I’m not voting for your crappy, corrupt candidate DNC so you better pick someone who doesn’t reek of DC beltway cronyism.

            1. Pat

              I think we want a combination of what I said and what you said. Yes, the Democratic Party should fear its base. Yes they should know that the base will withhold their vote or even vote for the opposition if they put forward candidates that do not represent that base. But it should also be made clear that the reason that people did not vote for Clinton or any other neoliberal is because they are inappropriate nominees, not because voters are stupid or unthinking or want fairy tales. Or one of my favorites “wasted their vote”. Nope the only wasted vote is voting for someone who obviously pretends they give a damn about you but is supposedly somehow less evil and expecting them to actually give a damn about you.

      1. Pat

        And that she misunderstands how little support she is really going to get from ‘centrist republicans’. She may think she can survive them staying home or voting third party, but she cannot. No matter how much she thinks she has the election sewn up but the numbers and the make up of the major so-called battleground states tell another story. The places where reduced turnout don’t harm her are the states she has in the bag or will lose no matter what, in places like Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio etc, it is almost a guarantee that Trump will win. Sure Kasich might break with party loyalty and use the machine counts against Trump, but he needs some cover for that, she has to get a reasonable number of people to the polls to begin with. And many other state governments in these states are not even going to try to use their levers to suppress democracy for her benefit.

      2. DWD

        Regardless of what she may or may not want, she will not get my vote.

        I simply cannot affirm what I believe to be the central problem in our society.

        I guess SSW or someone might get my vote or I will maliciously withhold it.

        What a bunch of elite, corporatists fools.

        1. jgordon

          Not getting your vote is exactly what she wants. There are the Koch brothers etc and plenty of other neocon/neolib (former) Republicans to replace you. The only thing she’s really afraid of is you voting for Trump, but since that’s not going to happen all is swell.

          Her plans are proceeding along without a hitch. She laughed at and disregarded the left, and apparently it was the right choice. The left is just a useless ball and chain around her ankles that was holding her back. The left can do nothing to her now. Get over your butthurt!

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            There really is no way around it.

            The only way to deny the presidency to hillary clinton and the globalist, elitist imperialists who own her is to vote for Trump.

            It is just that simple.

            See habenicht above.

            1. DWD

              I see your posts here frequently and they are always something I mostly agree with. (I can carry on arguments in my mind for years, so a tacit agreement is good.)

              So, here’s a question: at NC and some other place the singular problem that society is facing is recognized and addressed but the continuing denigration of working people in favor of sending more and more wealth to a small minority continues apace.

              Why can’t these seemingly intelligent people who support the Clintons see they are being played? I really don’t get it.

              I have tried to explain using tiny words and a simple construction and the words simply are never considered: they constantly scream about minority rights (of one sort or another) and the environment and managed to not see that the stress caused by the quest for a living when less is available is the fuel that fires these engines of hate and spite.

              When we live in plenty, the hate diminishes. When we are all scrambling and trying to make the meager money stretch, it rears its ugly head.

              I really don’t get it.

              I have three novels in process and some essays I should be working on. I am thinking seriously of just giving up the majority of the news and turning inward. I have tried.

              They are not interested. “It’s her turn” and “She is the most prepared candidate ever” and “She is a woman and it is time – and if you disagree – (regardless of gender) you are misogynist.”

              1. Antifa

                Those of us who cannot vote for Hillary, and find no solace in voting third party or staying home must look squarely at voting for Trump as the sure way to keep Hillary out of the White House.

                And the only excuse that justifies it is, “It’s time to burn the whole corrupt system to the ground.”

                The problem is, Trump ain’t the guy to do it. He couldn’t set fire to his combover with a whole book of matches. He’ll be placed in a bubble in the Oval Office and professionally managed by professional managers, while the wealthy elites run wild in Congress.

                Which leaves me bereft of a solution, with 108 days to go.

                1. sd

                  Yup. At this point, I can honestly say I have no idea who I will vote for until the moment I hold the ballot in front of me.

                  I do know it won’t be Clinton.

                2. EndOfTheWorld

                  “He’ll be placed in a bubble in the oval office and be professionally managed….etc.” I don’t buy that. He doesn’t like to take orders—at all—-from anybody. That’s my impression of Trump. He won’t be bossed around. That would be a marked departure from his life so far.

                3. craazyboy

                  The Prez can’t be neutered that easily. True, he won’t be able to boss Congress around. But he’s got the whole exec, military, security and financial regulation pieces he can shake up. If he wants. And he can not declare war and veto nasty shit from Congress. Except for those Omnibus Bills. But that’s another on going problem

                  I’m more concerned Trump just does the appointing of the cabinet – then heads for the golf course. I really don’t like the people he’s been hanging around with lately either. They’re friggin’ Republicans! But what can you do. Put Democrats in charge? You see my dilemma, I’m sure.

              2. two beers

                Why can’t these seemingly intelligent people who support the Clintons see they are being played? I really don’t get it.

                Even intelligent people are subject to tribalism and cognitive dissonance.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  Hillary was so awful from an early stage, it raises questions about whether the very serious liberals are serious at all.

              3. Jason Ipswitch

                Why can’t these seemingly intelligent people who support the Clintons see they are being played? I really don’t get it.

                Because the seemingly intelligent people who support Trump are also being played. The whole thing is vile kabuki. Even the feckless third parties are part of it. There is no winning vote for the vast majority of us.

                But acknowledging that is depressing beyond words, and gives rise to levels of cognitive dissonance that would drive the most stable beings past the far reaches of sanity. So we all practice various forms of denial and try to keep the fear at bay. And then when we get slapped in the face by reality, we’ll go find some new place to get our denial fix from.

                Maybe eventually the whole rotten edifice will collapse, taking many of us with it, or blood will run in the streets and we’ll replace the current regime with one even worse.

            2. Aumua

              The only way to deny the presidency to hillary clinton and the globalist, elitist imperialists who own her is to vote for Trump.

              Seems like all you’re really saying here is: the only way to vote against Hillary is to vote for Trump. Which is pretty self-evident. That’s the choice we have been given, right?

              If voting against a candidate is what we are reduced to, I might just do it if the other candidate were someone I could convince myself to vote for. But Donald Duck is not that person, I am sorry.

                1. HBE

                  I searched, unfortunately not. I’m thinking it’s probably real, (it did come from what amounts to a Clinton surrogate, MSNBC producer and all) but just hasn’t been added to her campaign site by the webmaster yet?

                  If it’s not up by tomorrow, it’s probably fake. It does seem like a classic divert responsibility and push the evil scary outsider spin, something the Clinton camp seems adept at though.

      3. AnEducatedFool

        Do they not understand that “butthurt” is a euphemism for prison rape and male on male rape in general? Talk about tone deaf. I have well..I won’t go into it. That term is repugnant.

        I honestly think most people just think it is about falling on one’s ass and the pain associated with falling….not rape. At least I hope that is the case.

        Or it is the usual have no feelings. Sorry. Personal topic.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Uh…dude…Hillbots are totes woke! When they use slurs and vile language, they can do it excuse they are so woke. Did you know most Hillbots have positive opinions of Beyonce and JayZ? Hillbots are hip, and often need hip replacement.

      4. jrs

        Yes progressives should vote for a reactionary party, because something something … and that has always worked out historically, 11ty dimensional chess like. Oh wait it probably hasn’t. Leftists voting for rightists makes no sense.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          No, you’re right, they should vote for the party that champions people over corporate war, limitless domestic spying, free pass for Wall St crime, undeclared illegal drone bomb wars, and endless job outsourcing to enrich billionaires…remind me which team that is again?

        2. pretzelattack

          the reactionary party has a candidate that admits the iraq war was a huge blunder, and says he opposes the tpp. the more reactionary party can’t credibly say that. i may vote green because my state is going for trump anyway, but in a strategic state i’d probably vote trump, because i know how awful clinton is, and how committed she is to disastrous policies. i’m not sure what trump is committed to, other than trump.

    7. Steve C

      Centrist, serious, bipartisan, all the things that have made Obama such a phenomenal success.

      1. craazyboy

        Don’t forget “continuity of government policy” – that’s an important one too!

    8. Jason Ipswitch

      I guess Trump will just have to get more reprehensible and run an even more ineffective campaign.

      -he could try to simultaneous offend Hispanics and Texans even more.
      -he could put a lot of effort into trying to win Oregon and Washington.
      -he could openly support domestic ethnic cleansing.
      -he could advocate Christianity as a national religion.
      -he could point out that the 13th amendment allows slavery as punishment for crimes, and argue that it should be re-instated.

  7. abynormal

    re: Americans Stretched with so much Stuff…”Life seemed fine in the 1980s without air-conditioning, internet, flat-screen TVs, or fancy private schools. The crucial question is: Are the basic necessities stretching households finances, or are households recklessly spending money on unnecessary things? It seems there is some of both.

    Air-conditioning…drastic Heat Indexes
    Flat-screen TVs…cheap, made to break compared to previous TVs
    Fancy Private Schools…results of the Charter School Glut

    1. Jim Haygood

      Change “TV” to “monitor” and it’s not so bleak. Big, hundred-dollar computer screens are like “too cheap to meter” nuclear power. Okay, bad analogy, but you get the idea. Downside is they blare noise at you in the supermarket checkout line.

      Couple of years ago I helped a friend move a top-of-the-line (last century) Sony Trinitron with its big CRT screen out of the basement. It took two of us to do it, and we nearly got crushed humping the bulky monster up the stairs.

      1. grayslady

        Now, now. I loved my Sony Trinitrons. Had a baby model that I had to retire after 20 years when I learned Sony no longer made the needed repair part. My large Trinitron was the best TV I ever owned–incredible picture, awesome sound, easy to operate. Haven’t watched TV in over 13 years, but in the days when TV was worth watching, Trinitrons were reliably the best.

        1. DrBob

          I’m still watching a smallish Sony Trinitron that I bought more than twenty years ago. You’re absolutely right about the sound quality: it’s MUCH better than our (newer) flatscreen. Picture is still perfectly fine, too.

          We also have a mega Sony in the master BR that we almost never use anymore. It’s just too big and bulky to move or dispose of (down a flight of stairs). We’ll be keeping it until we sell the place, I reckon, since I have NO desire to try moving it anywhere.

          1. inode_buddha

            27-inch RCA Color-Trak… got the schematics for it too, needs some work on the power supply. Amazing picture and sound quality tho. Problem, weight 200 LBS. And its a transistor set. Yes I know how much tube sets weigh, I’ve serviced enough of them.

      2. Norb

        Had the same experience- but moved the TV into the basement. The fear of being crushed to death still haunts me and is probably why it will stay in the basement forever. Still works fine after 20 years of service.

    2. Sam Adams

      Not a lot of buggy whips or wool carding and spinning wheels on the lists of essentials. Times change, needs change too.

  8. edmondo

    Wasserman Schultz asked DNC finance director Allen Zachary if he could snag seven tickets to “Hamilton,” the sold-out Broadway show, so she could celebrate a 50th birthday party with her college roommates.

    “I’ve never seen an order of 7 fulfilled, I have seen as many as 4. Would you guys be willing to split up 4 and 3?” he responded May 24.

    She said she would.

    This woman knows sacrifice! I suppose if she loses to Canova that there is a job waiting for her at UNESCO.

    1. HBE

      Cubs tickets to!

      “Do you have anyone that has good cubs tickets? I am looking for May 14th tickets v Pirates. Just need 2 tickets. You are my go-to Chicago person. Because I don’t want to ask my cousin.”

      Missy Kurek Deputy Executive Director, DCCC Political Director, Leader Nancy Pelosi

      It’s not like it’s corrupt and unethical to use your position to get gifts and swag or anything.

      1. edmondo

        It’s not like it’s corrupt and unethical to use your position to get gifts and swag or anything

        You mean like being Secretary of State while fronting a Foundation? These guys are small time grifters – the big con will go down in the White House.

  9. fresno dan

    Global Trade Meets Ugly Reality Wolf Rchter

    There’s another aspect to this “perplexing” economy: Pharmaceutical products are the single largest category in US wholesales, and thus in the goods-producing sector. In dollar terms, they account for over 12% of total wholesales. They’re even bigger than groceries. Year-over-year sales have soared 10%, in a sluggish economy, not because of volume increases, but because of PRICE increases.

    Yet, drugs are small and expensive, and shipping volume is relatively small. Since much of the wholesale increase came from price increases, shipping volume has been minimally impacted.

    But without these soaring drug sales, the remainder of the goods-producing economy (“ex-drugs”) at the wholesale level has been heading south for over two years, including in May.

    First, the gist of the article is that the numbers are massively revised….which kinda makes you wonder why anyone discusses changes of less than 5 percent with regard to economic data – however, the way the data is measured may be consistent enough that the trends reveal true phenomena.

    But what the paragraph taken from the article shows, is that even though the aggregate numbers the FED and their sycophants use paint a satisfactory picture, the details is that there is less work and that there is big inflation in the product you need to have to LIVE. Of course, our inflation number does not take any account of deflation in crappy, useless sh*t, and inflation in things you need to LIVE…

    1. Enquiring Mind

      The pharma numbers add insult to injury. The more conventional products have price increases, and then the new, scary products for all those conditions we didn’t know we had are plastered all over the network news.

      In my dream world, we could buy safe meds (and food) from all over at reasonable prices without being told that our unreasonableness would just drive up the costs of those life-saving new products. Of course, I’d like truth in the news media and on Wall Street, too, but don’t need a pony so I won’t ask for that.

      Isn’t it amazing, and sad, that prior generations managed to live fairly decent lives (YMMV, troll prophylactic) without all the neo-liberal overlay of graft, corruption and misinformation? That is not a Panglossian narrative, just a statement about the widespread crapification that downgrades the vast majority of humanity.

    2. craazyboy

      All you have to do is eat 10% of your grocery cart before going to checkout line. Then these econ stats don’t matter at all!

  10. Jim Haygood

    A Bloomberg reporter’s diary in the Bolivarian Workers Paradise:

    Thursday. My one chance in the week to buy staples—cooking oil, rice, laundry detergent—at state-set prices. All Venezuelan adults are assigned days of the week to shop for regulated goods based on the numbers on our national ID cards. My days are Sundays and Thursdays. Sundays are useless, though. Stores stopped selling regulated goods over the weekend a long time ago. Thursdays are only marginally more useful.

    Around midday, I swing by a bakery in search of bread. I’m greeted, impatiently, by a young woman. “We only sell bread at 5 p.m., señora.” On my way out, I notice a sign on the front door that I somehow missed on my way in: “NO BREAD.” As I get back in my car, I realize I’m low on cash. I head to a nearby ATM. It’s out of money.

    Later on, I swing by a shopping center to pay my electric bill. (I’d pay on-line at home but my Internet service, like just about everyone’s in Caracas, has been balky for months.) The workers at the state-run utility are on strike. There’s no one around to receive my payment. “It’s just today, señora,” a young woman tells me. “You can come back tomorrow and pay.”

    [next day] I head back to the mall to try to pay my electric bill. Again, no luck. The strike is over, I’m told, but the workers only arrive at noon.

    Sí, no tenemos pan — yes, we have no bread.

    1. Alejandro

      For anyone interested in context beyond bloombie’s cherry-picking and Jim’s austrian advocacy…

      “Conservatives in Venezuela are saying much the same as foreign pundits like Gobry. The Caracas-based think tank CEDICE (an associate of the Cato Institute) has conflated socialism and Keynesianism and in doing so, reaches similar conclusions about the dangers of state intervention writ-large. CEDICE economists have attributed the economic calamities in Venezuela to “the policies implemented in a country where there exists total [state] control of the economy, along with a total absence of capitalism, thus generating poverty and unemployment.” Much of the organized opposition accepts this unambiguously neoliberal line. Former Central Bank economist José Guerra, who is now a National Deputy and the opposition’s main spokesman on economic policy, told Televen news channel recently that “Twenty-first century socialism has ruined the Venezuelan people.” Quite notably, the anti-socialist narrative of Guerra and many others ignores the fact that the Venezuelan economy continues to be over 70 percent privately owned.”

      1. Jim Haygood

        Venezuela and Colombia are culturally similar, middle-income developing economies. One has desperate food shortages; the other doesn’t.

        If Canadian grocery stores were empty and the Canadian gov’t closed its borders to stop Canadians from buying food on the U.S. side, would we not be justified in ridiculing Canada’s gov’t?

        1. Bugs Bunny

          Is there anyone reading this who lives in Venezuela? I would like to know what really goes on there?

        2. Alejandro

          The problem with simplistic narratives seems to be the assumption that there’s nothing more to news than “news”. Certainly you can agree that concision doesn’t necessarily translate into precision. The presupposition in the “shortage” narrative being crafted is that it is EXCLUSIVELY due to “incompetent” government, when a little digging reveals that there’s a lot more to the story than what’s being “reported” by bloomburg, wapo etc…

  11. human

    “There are hugely militarized zones where nobody goes unless you are a reporter or a delegate,” he said. “It keeps the regulars away.”

    As well as the tourists and half the protesters. Police states are not good for local businesses … a lesson not learned from the (ongoing) Middle East fiasco.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Which is why I think that next week’s fireworks will be near Philly but not in it.

      1. AnEducatedFool

        Sanders supporters are going into Philly. I do not think a lot of them care anymore. I am on several large Bernie boards. Many of them are traveling to Philly and plan to get as close to the convention as possible. I will no be surprised if there are 100k or more protesters pushing into Philly. My family is going to a rally or two but we will stay safe…we have a toddler.

  12. HBE

    Obama on Trump speech

    “This idea that America is somehow on the verge of collapse, this vision of violence and chaos everywhere, doesn’t really jibe with the experience of most people,”

    Who is “most” people, does that include minorities (especially in the AA) and poor whites who face subjugation and murder at the hands of the police daily , or the millions of workers who can’t find any work and have now “exited the workforce” and aren’t even included in unemployment rates, or those in the temp industry or need to work 2-3 jobs with limited hours just to survive. How about my generation, burdened with over a trillion in student loan debt are we not included in Obama’s in depth “experience of most people”?

    Or is “most” in reference to his bundlers, hedge fund managers, Bankers, corporate execs, and people who are going to pay him millions to bend over and chatter idiocy like this at them. Because then his statement is spot on and its a wonderful existence in America.

    How anyone could wonder why some (myself included) Bernie supporters find Trump miles better than hillary, when the dems make statements like this.

  13. NotTimothyGeithner

    Much like Biden, the only nice thing I can say about Kaine is it puts a useless Senator out of the way, and he is more presentable than Mark Warner after Warner’s 2008 keynote where he bragged about investing his inheritance into cell phones.

    1. Daryl

      Taibbi’s pretty good, but it’s kind of odd that he seems to think Hillary winning is a foregone conclusion. He was one of the only MSM people who took Trump seriously (as a threat to win the primary anyway) from the start, as I recall.

    2. ewmayer

      Lordie, that is one hysterical screed there – Matt sounds like a breathless summer intern writing “my first essay on politics” for Daily Kos.

      Sure, lotsa wild and wacky stuff going on, but that’s par for the course for conventions in general and for the GOP one in particular. I suspect most folks who tuned in for any length did it like I did: avoid the crazy-pants stuff the first few days, tune in to watch the Nominee himself the final night. After all, Trump didn’t get there by respecting the GOP establishment’s view on anything, so who gives a rat’s patootie what a bunch of GOP establishment talking heads have to say? That’s the price of running under the party banner. I read yesterday that something like 32 million people tuned in to the acceptance speech – I wonder how that compare to the audience share for the preceding nights, but I’m guessing it’s way, way higher.

      As to Trump’s acceptance speech, I have no idea what Taibbi heard, but someone who usually at least bothers to base his hyperbole in facts, this kind of stuff just comes off as bizarre:

      With tens of millions of eyes watching, Trump the Beltway conqueror turtled and wrapped his arms around the establishment’s ankles. He spent the entirety of his final address huddled inside five decades of Republican Party clichés, apparently determined to hide in there until Election Day.

      The speech Taibbi describes has precious little in common with, e.g., that described in Jeff St. Clair’s take for Counterpunch which was linked at NC yesterday: Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad.

      Perhaps the work of someone required to perform the odious task of hyper-covering the convention and running on too little sleep and too much Adderall?

  14. Brian

    To Toby Spribille; Perserverance can not be taught, curiousity can not be bought, wonder is never blind
    Your story is something that needs to be taught to this world because some people like you are working to unlock questions to find the answer within.
    I raise a glass to you, and will never look at the world the same, I will look closer.
    One of the best and most inspiring stories I have ever read, thanks NC

  15. sd

    This is posted today over at Automatic Earth. I think it’s a must read….

    It’s All Connected (Automatic Earth title: The Great Period of Instability)

    They seem like disconnected events. But what links the British who voted to quit the European Union with the Turks who gathered in a public square on Wednesday to cheer the imposition of a state of emergency is their anger at how the system has worked until now.

    Brexit was won in the small cities and towns of England, places where globalization has meant de-industrialization, the closing of factories and the transfer of work to cheaper locales overseas. The phenomenon was exacerbated by an influx of job-seekers from Eastern Europe who made competition for remaining jobs even stiffer.

    Leave voters didn’t change their minds when the elites told them Brexit would batter housing prices, or the stock market. To many, the idea that the elites, people who owned property and shares, would take a turn suffering sounded just about right.

    1. VietnamVet

      Yes. This is a must read article. I agree. “The world seems to have reached a critical point in terms of creating a large enough pool of ‘losers’ – those who lost out on globalization, who lost out on technology, who lost out on free trade – to create the undercurrents of this instability.”

      When society and government is not working anymore, humans revert to their tribal roots. What is horrible is that Western Leaders can’t see this and continue the endless wars, globalization and austerity that are causing the dislocation in the first place.

  16. Jim Haygood

    Deere’s layoffs relate to weakness in the farming economy. USDA:

    Both net cash and net farm income are forecast to decline for the third consecutive year. Net cash farm income is expected to fall by 2.5 percent in 2016, while net farm income is forecast to decline by 3 percent.

    These declines are moderate compared to the 27- and 38-percent reductions in net cash income and net farm income, respectively, that occurred in 2015.

    In parallel, farmland values (which account for a lot of farmers’ net worth) are in the dumps too:

    The St. Louis Fed region reported the steepest decline, with the average price of “quality” farmland falling 6.4% in [1Q 2016], the biggest decline since its survey began in 2012.

    The Chicago Fed said prices for similar land in its district fell 4% from a year ago, the seventh successive quarterly decline.

    Declines in the Kansas City Fed’s district were less pronounced, but the bank said prices for nonirrigated cropland fell 4% in the quarter.

    Back when ag employed a fifth of the workforce in the 1930s, the farm economy was a big focus of political campaigns. Even in 1972, when Nixon exported U.S. grain to Russia, it was a big deal.

    Now the farm economy is nearly invisible. The most startling contrast is between Kali’s central valley — crippled by drought — while Silicon Valley booms on obliviously. Those are the folks who fund political campaigns, so everything’s copacetic, as long as Safeway don’t “go Venezuela” on us.

    1. allan

      Just in time for Joe Sixpack sophisticated institutional investors to lose their shirts:

      Farmland Investments Take Root
      [WSJ, 2015]

      Farmland is attracting growing interest from pension plans, hedge funds and even mom-and-pop investors as they seek to diversify assets and capitalize on an agriculture-industry slump that has pushed down land prices in some regions.

      Financial-services giant TIAA-CREF announced Tuesday that it has raised $3 billion for its second global farmland-investment partnership, exceeding its initial target of $2.5 billion. The fund, which will invest in North and South America and Australia, has lined up commitments from institutional investors, including the New Mexico State Investment Council and the U.K.’s Greater Manchester Pension Fund.

      TIAA-CREF’s fund marks one of the biggest in a recent wave of cropland investments by institutional investors. Meanwhile, several U.S. public-stock offerings by farmland owners who have packaged their property as real-estate investment trusts, or REITs, are enabling retail investors to place bets on the sector as well. …

      1. Jim Haygood

        Tree farming ain’t doing so hot, either. In its press release last week, Calpers fessed up to losing 9.56% in timberland (1Q 2015 to 1Q 2016), whiffing its benchmark by a hair-raising 12.46%.

      2. craazyboy

        no,no,no. First you overpay for the “asset”…then you asset strip it. That is farming!

        1. JTMcPhee

          ‘”Other people’s soil. other people’s futures.” Here’s a quickie from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, one of those “dark side” media outlets that back in 2008 had not quite completed the training ( ):

          “The lowdown on topsoil: It’s disappearing
          Disappearing dirt rivals global warming as an environmental threat”

          The planet is getting skinned.

          While many worry about the potential consequences of atmospheric warming, a few experts are trying to call attention to another global crisis quietly taking place under our feet.

          Call it the thin brown line. Dirt. On average, the planet is covered with little more than 3 feet of topsoil — the shallow skin of nutrient-rich matter that sustains most of our food and appears to play a critical role in supporting life on Earth.

          “We’re losing more and more of it every day,” said David Montgomery, a geologist at the University of Washington. “The estimate is that we are now losing about 1 percent of our topsoil every year to erosion, most of this caused by agriculture.”

          “It’s just crazy,” fumed John Aeschliman, a fifth-generation farmer who grows wheat and other grains on the Palouse near the tiny town of Almota, just west of Pullman.

          “We’re tearing up the soil and watching tons of it wash away every year,” Aeschliman said. He’s one of a growing number of farmers trying to persuade others to adopt “no-till” methods, which involve not tilling the land between plantings, leaving crop stubble to reduce erosion and planting new seeds between the stubble rows.

          Montgomery has written a popular book, “Dirt,” to call public attention to what he believes is a neglected environmental catastrophe. A geomorphologist who studies how landscapes form, Montgomery describes modern agricultural practices as “soil mining” to emphasize that we are rapidly outstripping the Earth’s natural rate of restoring topsoil.

          “Globally, it’s clear we are eroding soils at a rate much faster than they can form,” said John Reganold, a soils scientist at Washington State University. “It’s hard to get people to pay much attention to this because, frankly, most of us take soil for granted.”

          The National Academy of Sciences has determined that cropland in the U.S. is being eroded at least 10 times faster than the time it takes for lost soil to be replaced.

          The United Nations has warned of worldwide soil degradation — especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where soil loss has contributed to the rapidly increasing number of malnourished people.

          Healthy topsoil is a biological matrix, a housing complex for an incredibly diverse community of organisms — billions of beneficial microbes per handful, nitrogen-fixing fungi, nutrients and earthworms whose digestive tracts transform the fine grains of sterile rock and plant detritus into the fertile excrement that gave rise to the word itself (“drit,” in Old Norse).

          As such, true living topsoil cannot be made overnight, Montgomery emphasized. Topsoil grows back at a rate of an inch or two over hundreds of years. Very slowly.

          “Globally, it’s pretty clear we’re running out of dirt,” Montgomery said.

          Ron Myhrum, state soil scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s office in Spokane, agreed that global soil loss is a huge problem. But Myhrum said erosion rates in the Northwest region have improved recently because of better conservation farming practices, including federal payments to farmers to leave some natural ground cover in highly erodible areas.

          “We don’t have the kind of dust storms here we used to have,” Myhrum said. “What’s more alarming to me than erosion is conversion of farmland to urban use.”

          That is indeed another way to lose soil — paving it over. Judy Herring, manager of King County’s farmland preservation program, said the county has lost 60 percent of its farmland since the 1960s. In 1979, Herring said, voters approved a bond program that buys back farmland to protect it from development (and has done this for 13,200 acres so far).

          But while some land is lost to development, pollution or changing weather patterns, Montgomery, Reganold and others say global soil loss is a crisis mostly rooted in agriculture.

          “Erosion rates have improved here, but that doesn’t mean they’re good,” Reganold said. Topsoil clearly is still being stripped off faster than it can be regenerated, he said….”

          And Nestle is buying the “rights” to strip water out of parched places so they can bottle it nicely with ‘vitamins” and “all natural organic flavorings” and sh$t and sell it to yuppies and other carefree consumers. Who buy this sh$t “because they can afford it.”

          You won’t see this bumper sticker on a hippie-mobile, unless it’s posted there for snark:

          “We’re spending our children’s inheritance.”

          But you will see it on a lot of “luxury cars” and of course the Class A Motorhome Land Yachts with the Range Rover in tow to use as a dinghy…

          1. craazyboy

            We’re running out of dirt. Well, it’s always something.

            Yeah, just read Nestle discovered water in AZ. So now we are going to be a water exporter. We gots dirt. No rain to erode it away.

    2. barrisj

      Interestingly enough, a story recently re: WA State farmlands show a bubble-like pop upwards in ag land, reflecting productivity of several cash crops grown within the state:

      Value of farmland in Washington continues to rise

      YAKIMA — The value of farmland continues to rise in Washington, largely because farm products are producing big sales numbers.

      In Yakima County, the average sale price for irrigated, high-quality and vacant farmland rose 37 percent to an estimated $5,302 per acre between 2011 and 2014.

      The Yakima Herald-Republic reported that existing farms push the price even higher. Statewide, the average price of farmland already cropped went up about 6 percent from $8,500 to $9,000 an acre between 2012 and 2013.

      That’s according to Farmers National Co., a real estate and farm management firm based in Omaha, Neb.

      Flo Sayre, a Farmers National land consultant in Pasco, credits everything from rising incomes in China to an aging baby boomer population reluctant to sell rural acreage. She also called this a business-savvy generation of farmers and investors with college degrees and long-term plans.

      Each month, Sayre gets calls from 20 or so investor groups looking to purchase farmland in eastern Washington. She usually strikes out.

      “No matter how much you beat the bush, nobody is going to sell,” she said.

      Sayre, part of a family now in its fifth generation of farming in several eastern Washington locations, suspects growers at retirement age hold on to land to avoid paying capital-gains taxes and because lease rates are also high.

      Nationwide, some real estate analysts earlier this year predicted price declines that didn’t happen, Sayre said.

      “People say that the bubble is going to burst,” Sayre said. “I don’t think it’s going to burst. I think it’s just there to stay.”

      Like many farmers, Todd Newhouse tries to expand when he can, purchasing adjacent properties when the opportunity arises.

      The high prices are “not necessarily a good thing unless you’re selling,” said Newhouse, owner of Upland Vineyards in Sunnyside.

      Horse Heaven Hills grower Dan Andrews said the high prices reflect a “land grab.”

      Farm products such as wine grapes and hops are in such high demand that large companies hardly waste time negotiating or shopping around for lower prices, said Andrews, partner-manager for Andrews and Rowe farm in Alderdale.

      Those companies often ask farmers to find land for new acres and then guarantee the growers contracts at high prices per volume.

      The $10,000-per-acre price that once sounded ludicrous isn’t so far out of reach considering it costs about $7,000 per acre to start wine grapes, Andrews said.

      Lot of high-value products come out of the state, including pricey wines…thus the rise in particular of acreage in grape-growing areas.

      1. sd


        Anecdote. Recent discussions with friends in the restaurant industry…business is way of across the boards. Distributor was reporting that the wholesale supply order from restaurants are way down. Restaurants with established clientele are hanging in there.

  17. diptherio

    Guy from a Montana trailer park got a free education in Germany, which allowed him to do some cool science. The Atlantic is spinning it like the story here is, what? that it’s newsworthy that someone who grew up in a trailer park is intelligent? ‘Cause that’s sure what it sounds like. Has sort of the same ring as “Dog Learns Algebra!”

    Whereas, the actual story is that if you want to get an education and you’re a poor American, you should probably learn to speak the language of a civilized nation (kidding!) where education is free and try to get into an institution there.

    The headline, by all rights, should read something like “The Discovery that Almost Wasn’t: American Scientist Has to Rely on German University System for His Education” But that would be depressing instead of an inspiring rags-to-riches story. F#@%in’ Atlantic.

    1. abynormal


      Dear Mr. Schneider,
      I attended your elementary
      School almost thirty years ago
      And I’m very sure that
      You will remember

      My name is Suzy.
      I’m that hyperactive girl
      From the Egyptian family
      Who used to always play dead
      On the playground during

      You used to keep me
      After school a lot,
      And then my father would
      Force me to make the long
      Walk home in the cold or rain.
      Sometimes I would arrive
      After dark.

      I’m writing to tell you
      That I was bored as a kid.
      I was bored by your curriculum
      And the way I was always taught a
      Bunch of useless

      I did not like being locked up
      In a prison of scheduled time
      Learning about irrelevant material,
      And watching belittling cartoons and
      Shows approved by academia that
      Made me even more

      As a kid
      Who was constantly
      Growing, evolving, and
      Being shaped by all around me,
      I wanted to travel,
      See other kids
      In the world like me,
      To understand what was going
      On amongst us and around us,
      To know what we were here for
      And what was our real purpose
      For existence.

      I have some questions
      I would like to ask you, Mr. Schneider,
      Now that I know that you are no
      Longer a school principal,
      But the new superintendent
      Of the entire school

      I want to know
      Why racism today
      Was not clearly explained to me
      Even though we covered events
      That happened long ago.
      I want to know why you
      Never shared with us
      Why other countries
      Never liked us,
      Why we are taught to compete,
      To be divided in teams,
      And why conformity is associated
      With popularity, while
      Eccentricity is considered

      I want to know
      Why my cafeteria lunches
      Were slammed packed
      With bottom-tier
      Processed junk food
      Only suitable
      For pigs?
      And why is it
      That whenever a bully
      Slammed a kid into a locker for
      His lunch money,
      Nobody explained to us
      That egotism, selfishness and greed
      Were the seeds of

      I want to know
      Why we were never taught
      To stick up for each other,
      To love one another, and that
      Segregation sorted by the
      Occupations of our fathers,
      The neighborhoods we lived in, our houses,
      Choices of sport, wealth, clothing,
      Color of our skin
      And the texture of our hair
      Should never, ever
      Divide us?

      And lastly,
      I want to know why
      Is it that whenever I pledged
      Allegiance to the flag,
      I was never told that I was
      Actually hailing to the

      You used to say that
      I was a troubled child,
      A misfit, and that I needed
      Obedience training,
      But you never acknowledged that
      I was the fastest runner in the district
      And that I took the school
      To State and Nationals to compete
      In the Spelling Bee among kids
      Grades higher than me.
      And that it was me,
      Who won that big trophy
      That sat in your office when you
      Used to detain me for hours
      And tell me I was no

      Mr. Schneider,
      If we are not taught truths as kids,
      Then how do you expect us to
      Grow up to be truthful citizens?
      If we are only being taught the written way,
      And it has not shown positive effects
      In societies of yesterday or today,
      Then how can we progress as a
      United and compassionate
      What good is it,
      To memorize the histories
      Of our forefathers,
      Without learning what could be
      Gained from their lessons and mistakes
      To improve our future

      And finally,
      I want to thank you;
      For I know you have a tough job
      Dealing with rebellious children like me.
      Your job of mass processing and boxing
      The young minds of America has not been an easy one,
      And I congratulate you
      On your recent promotion.
      But I sincerely want to thank you,
      Thank you,
      And thank you,
      For always pointing out
      That I was
      Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

    2. fresno dan

      July 23, 2016 at 11:22 am

      You know, when I was a youth, and the dinosaurs and Raquel Welch gamboled and jiggled about free and easy, I could afford to go to college in California on the GI Bill benefit of….?341$? a month (and that was just the months you were in school). Yup, that paid the rent, the food, the books, and the college “fees” (there was no tuition).
      I did have a part time job to pay for that wonderful golden elixir of the Gods that was required the normal functioning of young males, aka beer.
      Funny how cheap it used to be….. Funny how the FED tells us how low inflation is…..but not for college.

      1. Propertius

        I’m just a little younger than you, and I went to college tuition-free as well (with a mere $190/quarter in “fees”). A part-time job and a National Merit scholarship covered the rest. We have fallen very, very far.

    3. TheCatSaid

      Other overlooked aspects–while the subject now talks about his homeschooling as a “fundamentalist cult”, his time at home as a young person is apparently also when he got his interest in science and also his ability to speak German–both of which were key elements in his future achievements.

      His personal homeschooling environment may well have had unsavory aspects (I’ve no reason to doubt him). But it seems to have enabled him to connect to his inside interests and preserve that connection. Oftentimes this connection is killed in modern education.

    4. tongorad

      Horatio Alger – we’ve never quite gotten past these myths.
      Nathanael West tried in 1934, with his savage Horatio Alger satire, A Cool Million. A must read, IMO.
      Nathanael West – now there’s a cat who died too soon.

    5. Jim Haygood

      Has sort of the same ring as “Dog Learns Algebra!”

      One is reminded of an NYT commentator, expressing his astonishment that a flyover land YouTube critic of then-Treas Sec Tim Geithner actually knew to pronounce his name as “GITEner.”

      An unlettered rustic possessed of such elite urban knowledge was as surprising to the NYT as a dog walking on its hind legs whilst quoting Shakespeare.

    6. habenicht

      Well said diptherio!

      I am actually considering having my kids learn German as a more reliable college plan than selecting the crapified, bloated-admin version with the accompanying debt-servitude that otherwise awaits them here state-side.

      Ich habe nicht!

    7. Patricia

      Excellent comment, Dip. They fail even in their forte, identity politics, as hide-bound in their contempt-of-other as Evangelicals, merely in a different direction. Ugly vulgarity under urbane shine.

  18. ambrit

    Hasn’t anyone considered, as did another commenter earlier, that picking Kaine opens up a Democratic Senate seat to flipping? (If H Clinton steals the election.)
    After all, a Tea Party member defeated Eric Cantor by running to the Right in Virginia of all places.
    Hubris will be H Clintons’ downfall, and she might drag the Democratic Party down with her.

    1. EGrise

      The guy at AngryBear linked above tried to explain that, with mixed success according to the comments there.

      Also, today I learned that NC is held in low regard by some at AngryBear:

      You are like the naked capitalists and the green lanterns in that your two year old IQ of politics is the main reason the Dem Party is too far to the center.

      Green Lanternism“, coined by our old pal Ezra Klein. Good grief.

  19. Jason Boxman

    My parents live in what was once a middle class neighborhood that is now filled with the ranks of high earners. The dog poop truck makes a frequent appearance at one of the most opulent houses.

    All the joys of pet ownership, none of the hassle!

  20. fresno dan

    The witness, a retired cop named Roger Clark, thought the gun was a curious prop for a grand jury. The boy was dead, and had been for more than a year. He’d been accused of no crime, ever. Why the toy? …. There is no need for theatrics in grand-jury proceedings. They are entirely one-sided forums. Prosecutors decide what witnesses to call and what evidence to present. T It also is done entirely in secret. Who was a prop supposed to impress?

    Clark wasn’t even there to testify about the boy. The grand jury was investigating two Cleveland police officers—the rookie who fired and his veteran partner—to determine if there was probable cause to believe that they’d acted unreasonably and unlawfully when they drove to within ten feet of the boy and, even before stopping, shot him. Clark is an expert in that general area, police shootings.

    Clark had studied all of the available evidence in this case—video, witness statements, forensic reconstructions—and he had prepared a report detailing his findings. He did not believe the officers acted reasonably, and he did not believe the shooting was justified. When he was called to testify, on December 7, he expected he would summarize those opinions, answer a few clarifying questions, then be dismissed with a polite thank-you for his time and effort.
    “Instead,” he told me, “it was immediately very hostile.”

    The prosecutors reminded Clark, and the grand jurors, that the officers had responded to a 911 call about a black male with a gun in a park—an “active shooter,” they said, though no shots had been fired, there was no one nearby to be shot when police arrived, and the black male turned out to be a 12-year-old boy alone in a gazebo. Active shooter. The phrase was used repeatedly, Clark told me. “They had to be brave,” the pacing prosecutor, Matthew Meyer, said. “They were brave that day.”

    Meyer stopped, pivoted, swung his arm up, aimed his fake gun at Clark’s face. “Does he have to point it at you like this before you shoot?” Clark remembered Meyer asking. “That would scare you, right?” Clark looked at him for a moment. “No,” he said. He’d had guns pointed at him before. But it would scare most people. Probably scare the good citizens sitting on a grand jury in a city with a miserably high crime rate.
    The prop was for them. But it was only theater. Because the boy never pointed a gun at a cop. He wasn’t given the chance to even put his hands up.
    “If you don’t trust the grand jury,” McGinty said, quoting a local judge, “you don’t trust your neighbors.”
    That is disingenuous. Grand jurors, almost without exception, follow where prosecutors lead them. And when they don’t return indictments in high-profile cases, it’s almost always because the prosecutor does not want them to.

    I commented about the black woman thrown to the ground. I expressed doubt that the grand jury looking into the matter would do anything.
    Read the above article to understand my cynicism regarding grand juries – a ploy that allows prosecutors to deflect responsibility and accountability for not prosecuting police accused of wrong doing…

      1. fresno dan

        July 23, 2016 at 12:56 pm

        thank you for that.

        Into the moment of visibility we march. But when we do, we march into the streets to move the people to confront the state itself. We know from the evidence of our lives and from academic reports like “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens” by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page that our democracy is controlled by a wealthy elite. Politicians who work for the wealthy need the police to protect them from the people. And so the whole chain of command protects the killer cop. The ruling class give carte blanche to law enforcement, who in turn press down on those most stranded by the neoliberal state, the poor—and more so, the Black poor.

      2. fresno dan

        Thank you for that.
        I took a snip-it from the article, but apparently that was so radical it put it in the moderation stockade….

  21. Softie

    On Munich shooting.

    This is a truly fucked up world for the unwashed masses, where the only pleasure left for the disenfranchised and the impoverished is the hope to die in some obscene media orgies drugged up by suicidal mass shooting attempts, which is the only way left for them to show their disgust and contempt to this inhuman, stupid, banal, meaningless life they have to live. Progress. In this case, you had shopped till you dropped.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From BBC:

      Local resident Dominic Faust described how people entered the mall screaming.
      “Those people told us that there was a shooting outside and so the security closed the door of this mall and asked everybody to go upstairs to the fifth floor,” he said.
      A man working at a petrol station in Munich earlier told the BBC: “We see just ambulances and firemen and police but all this area is evacuated, all the streets.
      “Now [there] are no cars just on the streets. All of the streets are blocked. The people are scared. Everybody is running around.”
      Munich police said they did not know where “the perpetrators” were. “Look after yourselves and avoid public places”.

      Are we being ‘studied’ for the next iteration?

      Do you think you would have time to think if security was genuine?

      All go to the 5th floor, together?

      If you were there, would know where is the good guy and who is the bad guy? What would you do?

      What do the bad guys do the next time, based on what they gather from this report?

  22. DJPS

    “Clinton achieves the impossible Angry Bear”

    Check out the comments. NC gets a name check. (Yay!).. but it isn’t in a nice way. (Boo!)

        1. pretzelattack

          only republican presidents have superpowers. that is why we must stop them at all costs.

          1. Steve C

            When Republicans are in power, “elections have consequences.” When the Democrats are in power, “the presidency is powerless.”

            1. two beers

              It seems that when the Dems have the Senate, they always have a 60 vote hurdle, but when the GOP have the Senate, they only need 50 votes…

              1. Steve C

                Republicans get things done through budget reconciliation, which isn’t subject to the Senate filibuster. The Democrats, apparently, have never heard of this procedure. Their failure to use it when they had both houses and the White House demonstrated they were and are all just BS. “We’re powerless,” they whine.

      1. Anon

        Egrise has a nice link that explains it above.

        A short answer is that it is another way of saying the voters who want the President to be effective or expect them to try to keep their campaign promises are expecting him to be Green Lantern, believe in unicorns, and want sparkly ponies. And that any voter who expects candidates to act in the manner that they campaigned are being unrealistic, regardless of whether it really is unrealistic or is actually based on a very clear examination of what a President did or did not do to advance those agenda items.

        1. craazyboy

          Or anyone silly enough to think our President and Commander in Chief has the power to appoint, hire and fire or otherwise have any direct impact on the Executive Branch of the US Government or the Pentagon and 16 or whatever security and police agencies in the Executive Branch. The Bully Pulpit is an idea straight from stupid comic books. No one really listens to the “leader of the free world”. Go see a movie or a campaign if you want hammed up stuff like that. Nice guys don’t use the power of veto – it just wastes Congress’ and lobbyists’ time.

          Really, all they do is appoint supreme court justices and pardon misunderstood people.

          1. fresno dan

            July 23, 2016 at 4:36 pm
            Which makes me wonder why they want to be president so badly for something so useless…
            Reminds me of all the people who say money don’t buy happiness – – yet they keep their money….

            1. craazyboy

              You get your own private chef, jet and it pays $400K. Plus you get invited to all the cool cocktail parties. Free golf.

              Tho I’d wonder why the taxpayer pays for it.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Free handbag shopping jaunts to Venice for Michelle O and the girls at $200K per hour for Air Force One is also quite pleasant.
                Let them eat chitlins I guess

                1. craazyboy

                  This country has been holding the black wimins down! It’s way past time we raise them up – and right now and all at once.

      2. ambrit

        EGrise links to an article defining that phrase in his comment on my comment just a bit up the comment queue.

          1. ambrit

            And taking note of all the time stamps spread all over perceptual reality, we’re all “Doing the Time Warp!” That’s one comment forward and two comments back! And that’s what I call ‘Ballin the Jack!’ (No, I was not “Born in a Trunk.”)
            Ye Time Warp: (Various)
            Old school hoofing: (Garland and Kelly)
            2016 election style: (Bugs and Daffy.)Finally, a musical tribute to H Clinton: (Garland)
            I really hope that “Th, Th, That’s All Folks!”

  23. TheCatSaid

    Links yesterday regarding Turkey/Gulen–a commenter on the Michael Hudson piece linked to an extraordinary Wikileaks leaked analysis post from Stratfor, analyzing Gulen’s vast empire-to-be and how it has developed.

    Now I see the situation in Turkey with different eyes. Erdogan’s current paranoia makes a lot more sense. It doesn’t indicate how much Erdogan is still on board for his & Gulen’s originally joint long-term strategy–to quiety develop Turkey’s relationships with surrounding Islamic states, and to support Turkey’s Islamic tradition in a deliberately less-overt way (through education, charities, ex-pat cultural organizations), so as to eventually eat into Russia and China’s islamic fringes and eventually unite them all in a way that is capable of being a major global power.

    This makes sense of Sibel Edmond’s FBI whistleblowing relating to Turkey in the leadup to 911. (I never understood why Turkey might be of such importance.)

    Coincidentally, also on LInks yesterday, the article analyzing the Olympic overspends has a relationship to Turkey. In David Martin’s book “The Apostles of Power” he describes one of the various funding vehicles was siphoning funds/bonds that were theoretically supposed to fund the Athens Olympics, but in actually were used for other activities. Martin discussed this specific incident in more detail in a lengthy 3-part radio interview in 2012. (Among other things, a friend’s husband was murdered on a bridge in Istanbul, described in the book & radio interview.)

    It seems like the USA has been supporting Erdogan and not doing anything about Gulen’s expanding empire, for whatever reason.

    One of the various links says that Turkey is the 2nd biggest recipient of US largesse after Israel. That was another eye-opener. I also hadn’t realized the extent to which Turkish cultural organizations had wooed US congress members, taking them on junkets to Turkey.

    1. Jagger

      It seems like the USA has been supporting Erdogan and not doing anything about Gulen’s expanding empire, for whatever reason.

      What struck me is Gulen is based in the US. Gulen is pushing a non-confrontational form of Islam. Gulen is infiltrating into positions of power within the AK party, army and police for some decades now. This sounds like our type guy and movement.

      I wonder where the money comes from to support the extensive organization and educational movements of Gulen. Stratfor states the movement is financed from religious contributions. I wonder. I also wonder whether the Gulen movement was actually involved in the coup attempt or if the coup is simply an excuse to remove a competing power center threatening the AK party. With their extensive network in so many organizations, the Gulen movement must have know what was up.

      And the big question is whether and how deeply the US, Israel or the Gulf States/Saudis are supporting this Gulen organization. We also have very strong ties with the secular Turkish military. Were outside powers encouraging or pushing both the Gulen movement and the military to pull off this coup? Supposedly the Russians warned Erdogan of the coup several hours prior. So how did the Russians know and why didn’t we? And if we did, why didn’t the US warn Erdogan of the coup? Clearly the Russians would rather see Erdogan in charge rather than the Turkish military and the Gulen movement. Were the Russians foiling another western move to put our “guys” in charge? Same type questions we could ask about the Egyptian military coup a few years ago against another popularly elected Islamist government.

      Lots of questions and not many answers.

      1. Jagger

        Also that in-depth stratfor analysis of the Gulen movement is well worth a read even if it is a few years old. I didn’t sense spin in the article but considering my level of knowledge, it may be there and I just missed it.

        Also Erdogan has requested the US extradite Gulen back to Turkey. We didn’t send the Shah back to Iran, so I doubt that is going to happen with Gulen. Which won’t be good for US-Turkey relations. I wonder if we are dusting off those emergency plans to pull those tactical nukes out of Incirlik. If you have to do it, there may not be much time.

  24. fosforos

    ““Thank you,” she replied regally.” That is how the ultra-Liberal Guardian, having demonized her father as if his name were Corbyn, treats Ivanka Trump after she delivered by far the rhetorically-best speech of the entire campaign. Just think–someone in the audience said “we love you” and the lady replied, with total privileged arrogance, “thank you.” Words that only the owner of a drafty, ugly, corgi-filled palace should ever be allowed to use!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Have you looked at her speech, rather than the Guardian’s take. “Regal” implies condescension. She’s extremely prettY (former model), looked totally comfortable on TV, and came off as sincere and intelligent.

  25. Pat

    From the DNC’s latest money appeal which Obama supposedly had time to write. The thing is that for those with a cynical mind it could be a dog whistle to the big money folk or trolling in a couple of places.

    But this job is also about surrounding yourself with the best possible people. And there’s no more important decision you’ll make as a presidential candidate than choosing a vice president. There are basically two paths you can take. You can pick someone for purely political reasons — or you can pick someone who will be your partner in government. Someone who shares your values. Someone who will make you a better president.

    That’s why I picked Joe Biden — and it’s a testament to Hillary’s character and integrity that she chose a man like Tim Kaine.

    Like Hillary, Tim is an optimist. But like Hillary, he is also a progressive fighter. He’s the son of a teacher and an iron worker who’s always got working families on his mind. He spent nearly two decades and specialized in representing people who had been denied fair access to housing just because of what they looked like, or because they had a disability. And when a gunman killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech, Tim knew he had a responsibility as governor to offer more than thoughts and prayers to the community he mourned with — and as a gun owner, he stood up to the gun lobby on their behalf.

    There aren’t a lot of elected officials in Washington whom people like even more when the cameras are off than when the cameras are on. But Tim is that kind of guy. He’s a man who’s risen to the highest levels of government but still lives in the same neighborhood he did as a city councilmember in Richmond. You just can’t find anyone with a bad thing to say about him, from the staff who’ve worked for him to the Republicans who’ve served alongside him.

    Simply put: Tim is a good man. He’s a true progressive. And he will make a great vice president.

    Because what I really want in my candidate is someone who Republicans like. I do have to wonder if Mom and Dad are proud of having a ‘right to work’ kind of guy as a son, I know I would be looking to take him out to the woodshed for that kind of disrespect to workers. But noting that Hillary and Tim share an optimistic view of the need to sell out the people to corporate interests and the values that entails…

    1. pretzelattack

      thanks, i use the word but i don’t really know what it means specifically, i just think of a globally connected movement by the wealthy elite to empower capital and disempower labor.

        1. LifelongLib

          If you actually read what Peters wrote, it has little in common with what is usually discussed on NC as “neo-liberalism”. Peters wanted a liberalism that helped people in need, extended opportunity to all, and made politics and the government bureaucracy accountable. While many here would disagree with some of it (means testing for government benefits, the belief that many unions were more about featherbedding than fair compensation for labor) there is much more that NC readers might well accept. And in fact very little of what he advocated has come to pass. What we’ve had for the last 40 years is really Reaganism and Reaganism-lite, which somehow acquired the label of neo-liberalism.

  26. jo6pac

    Green Party

    “We Reached $505,635 in Donations to qualify for
    $1Million in 1:1 Matching Funds In 10 Days!”

    Thank You Bernie you made this possible.

    1. Arizona Slim

      This could be Bernie Sanders’ biggest impact on American politics. Breaking that DemRep duopoly while his political revolution is still in the early stages.

  27. EGrise

    Regarding the first comment on the AngryBear link, wherein NC commenters are likened to two-year-olds, comes this gem aimed (mistakenly) at the post author:

    “All you people care about is what you want. Nothing else is a concern. It is especially galling to hear an attorney, whose education in the Constitution has been the basis of their life, ignore what that Constitution mandates.”

    The first two sentences effectively describe party politics in a democracy, while the third could apply pretty well to President Obama, but as a two-year-old what do I know?

    1. cwaltz

      Oh noes, they are calling us names!

      I think my toddlers used to call Mommy names too when I wouldn’t let them stay up all night and play from time to time. Projection much Angry Bear?

      That’s okay, I’ll be putting the Democrat Party in timeout this election cycle. Oh and mommy says if you don’t play nice then you shouldn’t be surprised when no one wants to play with you. So this timeout is for your own good.


      1. sd

        Society of the Green Lantern, must be 2 and under to participate.
        Just needs t-shirts. I am hoping membership comes with a decoder ring.

    1. craazyboy

      As soon as I heard about ISIS, I started keeping my Arduino-compass-GPS guided toy monster truck I designed, coded and built in a study cardboard box. I’m not letting my toy truck join ISIS.

      1. fresno dan

        And I’m sure you keep your Malibu Barbie’s red corvette away from that crude and crass monster truck… have no idea what is going on in that toy box when your not home….indeed, unholy Barbie, car, truck threesomes…

  28. Plenue

    Just how much of a sociopath is Gingrich to be talking about filling the skies with drones and bombers to blast ISIS at the drop of a hat the same week the US killed scores of civilians with airstrikes?

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Maybe the term “sociopath” should also be applied to the commander-in-chief who today actually pressed the button that sent those drones on their murderous mission? You know, the one who remarked “I’m really good at killing people”?
      And just maybe it also applies to that same commander, when faced with the news that a group he funds and supports saw fit to behead sick children, decided to say nothing about it, and simply let his surrogates issue a statement that said they were “considering” a “pause” in their ongoing support?
      Just to acknowledge that the sociopathy extends far and wide.

  29. Joy

    Couldn’t care less which CIA puppet gets installed, but I’m really looking forward to the mounting hysteria among Democrats as they take the brunt of mass revulsion against this failed state. The Republicans got their bomb-thrower – of course they did, they’re the big tent, all you have to do is hate Democrats and you’re in. But the function of the Democrat party is different. They exist to absorb or destroy reformist currents. They couldn’t absorb the Sanders supporters so they crushed them. Now they’re trying to suck up to Republicans who define themselves by hatred of the Democrat enemy. Democrats, by contrast, are defined by their contempt for their dwindling electorate. So they do this abusive thing with their presumed supporters, they try to manipulate them in the crudest terms and if it doesn’t work they flip out and humiliate them all they can.

    The best part will be the uncontainable fury of Bill Clinton’s marital prop, who sucked it up for continual blowjobs and boobgrabs and sexual molestation just to get this job, and then she gets pushed aside for some spook brat precisely because he’s a weakling nonentity, and then she gets to run against the guy whose picture illustrates the dictionary entry Asshole, n., and she still can’t have it. She’ll probably pull a Medea and disembowel Chelsea.

  30. fresno dan

    Neither George W. Bush, the Republican Party nominee in 2000 and 2004, nor Jeb, the dethroned Prince of Wales, will be in Cleveland. Nor will John McCain or Mitt Romney, the last two nominees.

    These former leaders would like it thought that high principle keeps them away from a GOP convention that would nominate Donald Trump. Petulance, however, must surely play a part. Bush Republicans feel unappreciated, and understandably so.

    For Trump’s nomination represents not only a rejection of their legacy but a repudiation of much of post-Cold War party dogma.

    America crossed a historic divide and entered a new era. Even should Trump lose, there is likely no going back.

    Trump has attacked NAFTA, MFN for China and the South Korea trade deal as badly negotiated. But the problem lies not just in the treaties but in the economic philosophy upon which they were based.

    Free-trade globalism was a crucial component of the New World Order, whose creation George H. W. Bush called the new great goal of U.S. foreign policy at the United Nations in October of 1991.

    Little point in kicking the Bushes any more – – other than I really, really, REALLY, enjoy it.

    1. craazyboy

      Bone Chilling Stuff. Here’s the concluding paragraph.
      The final and most worrying similarity between Putin and Trump is that so many are unwilling to believe that someone like Trump could ever become the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. In 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed to great jubilation, we never would have believed that a former KGB agent would become the president of Russia just nine years later. The moral: Be careful whom you vote for, it could be the last election you ever have.

      Holy Chelsea – Trump may live forever!

      If that’s not bad enough – I already figured out Trump is a KGB agent. How? Trump let it slip that Global Warming is a hoax. So how does Trump know Putin has a Weather Control Machine and the megalomaniac psychopath Putin set the thermostat to high????? TRUMP IS A FRIGGIN’ AGENT OF THE KGB!!!!!

      STOP TRUMP!!!! BE WITH HILLARY!!!! [Does “be with” sound right? I’m not so sure if that comes off presidential sounding…]

      This was an unpaid and totally unrequested political ad free as in no money donation for anyone truly running against the United Cities of DC and Manhattan. (aka the UCDCM)

      1. craazyboy

        ‘Tis the latest fashion. Krugman did it too. It seems to be touched off by Trump questioning the usefulness of NATO and perhaps whether the US should foot 25% of the bill.

        1. Yves Smith Post author


          No member country pays its 2% of GDP quota, not even close. The UK at least fakes the numbers to appear that it does, but that’s by including expenditure it would have made anyhow as if they were part of its NATO contribution.

          1. craazyboy

            Ok, you made me look it up. The 25% was a number that stuck in my head from reading it somewhere.

            As it turns out, there has been some argument about the facts. It may have been Trump that tossed out the 25%. Here’s one tabulation that appears to put the US tab at 22%.

            And of course this is a “budget” – not the actual spending after the year’s expenses get totaled up, and “variances” get settled up somehow.


  31. The Trumpening

    The Guardian is reporting that the EU “blinked” on migration controls and is now considering offering Britain a temporary (seven year) “brake” on migration.

    Plans to allow the United Kingdom an exemption from EU rules on freedom of movement for up to seven years while retaining access to the single market are being considered in European capitals as part of a potential deal on Brexit.

    Senior British and EU sources have confirmed that despite strong initial resistance from French president François Hollande in talks with prime minister Theresa May last week, the idea of an emergency brake on the free movement of people that would go far further than the one David Cameron negotiated before the Brexit referendum is being examined.

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