Links 7/24/16

Lambert here: Readers, we’re saving our strength for Philly, and so you got two cross-posts tonight, and no original posts. As a partial make-good, you get an extra ration of links.

The Healing Power of Venom WSJ

Updated: Thousands of bees surround truck on Geary Street in San Francisco San Francisco Chronicle (MB).

Justice Department Charges Three in $1 Billion Medicare Fraud Scheme in Florida WSJ. Banksters next?

Billion-Dollar Video-Game-Streaming Industry Has Its First Big Payola Scandal New York Magazine

Feds shut down tech support scammers, freeze assets ComputerWorld

Civil unrest joining weather as common, if ambiguous, explanation for financial results MarketWatch

Eastern Hemisphere’s All-Time Temperature Record: Kuwait Fries in 54°C (129.2°F) Heat Weather Underground

What You Need to Know About the World’s Water Wars National Geographic


UK financial firms to keep EU ‘passporting’, says Boris Johnson Telegraph. Let us know how that works out.

G20 will use ‘all policy tools’ to protect growth as Brexit looms Reuters

A bitter pill for pharma and chemicals? Private Eye

UK Brexit: Could Cyprus inspire pro-EU Scotland? BBC

UK: lost, divided and alone Le Monde Dipomatique

That Brexit apocalypse? It just isn’t happening The Spectator

Cameron made last ditch appeal to Merkel to limit EU migration on eve of Brexit vote Telegraph

Jeremy Corbyn has more than double the support of Owen Smith, poll shows Guardian. Writes the Guardian with gritted teeth.

Germany and the Baltic Sea Maritime Security Review

America Keeps Lethal Nukes All Over Europe for No Good Reason The National Interest

Middle Ages in Greece: More than 120,000 employees get paid less than 100 euros per month! Unbalanced Evolution of Homo Sapiens


Impact of Brexit dominates G20 meeting in Chengdu FT

China’s growth sucks in more debt bucks for less bang Reuters

The South China Sea Is Really a Fishery Dispute The Diplomat


Post-Putsch Narratives and Turkey’s Curious Coup The Turkey Analyst (Re Silc).

Erdogan’s Putsch: Turkey’s Post-Coup Slide into Dictatorship Der Spiegel

Will Iraq’s next Government be . . . Iran-backed Shiite Militias? Informed Comment

The beheading of a Palestinian child by Syrian rebels–none of it is true except the beheading Louis Proyect


Donald Trump’s Convention speech dissected FT. Well-worth a read. Conclusion: “The speech gives us – at least stylistically — a new Trump, and one that his opponents will have cause to fear.” I agree.

Trump’s Appetite for Destruction: How Disastrous Convention Doomed GOP Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

Party of Rage NYRB. Well, part of Trump’s coalition is experiencing an AIDS-level die-off with no help, or even attention, from the political class. So there’s that.

I’ll just leave this here:

Listen To Tim Kaine’s “I’m Conservative” Radio Ads From 2005 BuzzFeed. Every one of the links below (well, except one) shows why Kaine is a great choice if Clinton’s goal is to win Republican votes and kick the left (which also wins Republican votes, besides being fun and entertaining, which is a justification in itself).

Fiscal Heroes 2014 Fix the Debt. Tim Kaine (D-VA). Grand Bargain, here we come!

On Death Penalty Cases, Tim Kaine Revealed Inner Conflict NYT. And then he executed the guy, who “never learned to tie his shoes” (and who was, although the story, oddly, or not, does not use the word, black). So Kaine and Bill Clinton share a bond.

Tim Kaine Has a Troubling Record on Labor Issues The Nation. If you consider TPP a labor issue, instead of a national sovereignty issue.

Kaine’s crime-busting past may hurt Clinton’s outreach to blacks Reuters. “Kaine’s backing of Project Exile also makes him odd bedfellows with Trump, who has made law and order a central theme of his candidacy. Trump has called for the program’s revival and his campaign website said it was ‘tremendous.'” But black voters have no place to go; having served as a firewall, their usefulness to Clinton is at an end.

Tim Kaine for VP is the Ultimate Symbol of the End of White Male Politics J. Winthrop Whitington IV, Medium

Clinton’s VP Pick Scott Adams’ Blog (ewmayer).

DNC Staffers Mocked the Bernie Sanders Campaign, Leaked Emails Show The Intercept. The headline is milder than the behavior described, which includes assiduously propagating Jon Ralston’s fake story on chair-throwing in Nevada.

“Hillary should fire Debbie Wasserman Schultz.” Robert Reich, Facebook. The Kossacks work for the Czarina….

DNC chair won’t speak at Dem convention following Wikileaks fallout CNN

Democrats vote to bind most superdelegates to state primary results WaPo

Democrats, Looking Past Obama, Are a Party Without a Cause NYT

Clinton’s Long Shadow Jacobin. From May, but still a good read. There’s a reason the Clinton campaign never talks about Haiti.

Trump & Putin. Yes, It’s Really a Thing Talking Points Memo. It took awhile for it to dawn on me, but Marshall, Democrat apparatchik, is helping Clinton appeal to Republicans by adopting classic Republican messaging:


Joe McCarthy: “I have here in my hand a list of 205 that were made known….” The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! Look under your beds! worked great with Republicans in the 50s, and no doubt the Clinton campaign thinks it will work for them, as they appeal to the Republicans of today. Really, it’s just another form of virtue signaling and frankly, the most amazing pivot to the general I’ve ever seen. And of course, the Two Minutes Hate for Putin is a two-fer.

Staying Home: Many Democratic Senate Hopefuls Are Skipping Philadelphia WSJ

A Setback for Justice US News. Lynch renews asset forfeiture program.

How President Obama failed Black Lives Matter WaPo. Who could have seen that one coming?

Class Warfare

Neoliberalism Is a Political Project Jacobin. Must read.

Student Debt: Lives On Hold Consumer Reports. Note prominent and immediate mention of private equity.

Taking out a reverse mortgage ruined my life NY Post (CC).

Share of income spent on rent is at generational highs: In Los Angeles the amount spent on rent remains near 50 percent of income Dr. Housing Bubble

The Lopsided Political Dialogue With the Working Class Bill Moyers

‘Meritocracy’ Is Just Another Way to Put You Down Bloomberg (Re Silc)

Yes, inequality matters Stumbling and Mumbling

The Italian Region Where Co-ops Produce a Third of Its GDP Truthout

Instead of asking, “are robots becoming more human?” we need to ask “are humans becoming more robotic?” Quartz

Japanese ‘rent men’ who are paid just to listen Yahoo

The Secret of Popularity WSJ

Antidote du jour (AM):


AM writes: “Charlotte, a chocolate lab, helping to weed my mother-in-law’s garden in Rehoboth, MA.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. Oregoncharles

      This confirms several things I’ve said: 1) negotiations are already under way, and much of what you see is posturing by way of a negotiating position; 2) Britain has leverage – the EU needs to keep them in, or at least prevent a sudden break (actually, I asked about that – would still be interested in the specifics.) So thanks for this.

      Besides the impact on banking, Brexit would look an awfully lot like the beginning of the end, so there’s a big political impact, too. The EU really has been a huge contribution to peace, so seeing it collapse would be very sad – and possibly dangerous. But OTOH, they’ve brought it on themselves.

      1. Yves Smith

        With all due respect, have you learned nothing about how to parse PR after all your years at this site?

        This is a UK trial balloon. The sources are “high level UK officials” and this labeled as one of things they might propose if and when they start negotiating. The only two people on the EU side who have said it might be viable are very remote from any position of real authority. A mere Dutch MEP and a member of a think tank? This is the best they could get in the way of comments and you are treating this as being entertained by actual policymakers?

        Even the strongest statement the article could muster up from the EU side was not from policymakers and was about general principles, and not this preliminary scheme, to wit:

        EU diplomats and advisers believe the EU should try to keep the UK in the single market if possible, while not giving it such a good deal that other member states would be tempted to follow it out of the club.

        As we have pointed out. all of the countries that are not members of the EU but have access to the single market take MORE immigrants, as a percent of their population, than the UK does now, so the UK idea is clearly inconsistent with these considerations.

        There are no negotiations happening and the article makes no such claim or even insinuation. A few people who are well removed from the action took calls from the Guardian (and the UK people who placed this story probably identified them to boot).

        Merkel herself has said repeatedly no cherry picking and no compromise on the four freedoms, which includes freedom of movement. for access to the single market. Merkel also clearly said any state that leaves the EU has to have clearly lesser rights than EU members. This would amount to a special favorable deal, which is something she ruled out.

        The article is additionally misrepresenting the unified opposition of EU leaders on this issue. (And if Italy might want to relent, and Renzi has said nothing consistent with that, he will have to fall in line with whatever Germany wants if it is to have any hope of getting a bank bailout). All EU leaders signed a joint agreement on this. Merkel and Hollande are on the same page. It would be political suicide in Germany to cut the UK any breaks on immigration, which is another reason to see this as UK hopium.

        The EU’s best course, and there is no reason to think it will change, is to hang tough. You would have to think they recognize that. If the UK understands what the EU has said, and also understands what it will take to get a new trade deal in place, they will not go forward with a Brexit. In other words, there is absolutely no reason for the EU to relent in general, and now in particular.

  1. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: antidote—did you really train that dog to pull weeds, or are you only joking?

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            I mean, it’s possible to train a dog to do some astounding stuff. But I don’t see him actually mouthing any weeds—he appears to be sniffing.

            1. Antifa

              He has to sniff first to distinguish weeds from flowers.

              What — do you propose to teach a dog Latin? I spent seven years on that fruitless pursuit, and all my Doberman ever managed was, “Qui me amat, amat et canem meam.”

              But he got such good results from that phrase that he learned it in Cat, too.

              1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

                Am I the only one here with a Latin* degree?!!

                *Unfortunately Louisiana’s “flagship” university didn’t offer Classics

    1. Dave

      Dogs instinctively eat green grass because it helps their digestion. If you want living weed whackers, get some chickens, they eat the grass and other green plants, dig the dirt with sharp little claws, fertilize with poop, eat insects and leave a perfectly manicured piece of land. Forget planting any young plants or seeds with chickens though.

  2. Jen

    Re: 2016

    Perusing wikileaks over morning coffee. Appreciate your insight, commentariat: To:,, Date: 2016-05-18 17:35 Subject: SEC letters and donations
    Hi all, Can we set up a time for a very brief call to go over our process for handling donations from donors who have given us pay to play letters? Want to make sure we have a robust process in place to make sure that donations that come in from those donors, in any form, get put into the operating account. Let me know when would be a good time for you all. Thanks, Jackie

    Pay to play letters????

    1. allan

      Good catch – I hope it gets traction.
      But the DNC email story is being flushed down the memory hole by the MSM as we type. not on the front page; a long scroll (13th story) down on the Politics page. one story from two days ago, obscured by being linked to simply by `Wikileaks’,
      and only discussing how DNC staff dealt with various big donors (although not the one you noticed!!) nada, but there is a nice piece of hippie-punching: Liberal Democrats should stop whining about Clinton’s VP pick.

      It’s almost as if there were an agenda …

      1. polecat

        Well….Duh!!!! What’s to be expected of the NYT…….. transparent truth ??


      2. Emma

        Allan – With regards to the “whining about Clinton’s VP pick” as the LA Times so mindlessly bemoans, I would posit the following thoughts on the matter. Surely it could be deemed discriminatory to give voice to the recurring trend of opting for a man over a woman as your running mate? In a sense, this only reinforces the oppression of women in US politics. It’s a tacit confirmation by Hillary Clinton that there’s something inappropriate not just with her, but the whole flawed system. Exploiting gender when it suits, and expressing ‘feminism’ in such an affected way by simply encouraging a few token “yes ma’am” women to surround you does not fix the problem, unless your real aim is solely to shore up power for yourself. Hillarys’ movement is therefore fundamentally undemocratic; she and her posse of ‘puss-men’ don’t accept the legitimacy of opposition at all. Perhaps though, no other woman in congress can do as ‘good’ a job as Hillary or Kaine. When all is said and done, just not the way many of the rest of us would like, Hillary simply has much more in common with Tim Kaine than any of the other women in congress.

    2. Banana Breakfast

      On the one hand, I feel like that has to have some other meaning here because just outright saying it is monumental incompetence. On the other hand, from Team Blue, the people who brought you the 2010, 2012, and 2014 debacles, any incompetence is believable.

    3. ChiGal

      Might this be relevant?

      Q: If an adviser subject to the pay to play rule, or one of the adviser’s covered associates, makes a contribution to a political party, PAC or other committee or organization, but not to an official, could the adviser still be subject to a two-year time out under rule 206(4)-5(a)(1)?

      A: A contribution to a political party, PAC or other committee or organization would not trigger a two-year time out under rule 206(4)-5(a)(1), unless it is a means to do indirectly what the rule prohibits if done directly (for example, the contribution is earmarked or known to be provided for the benefit of a particular political official) (see footnote 154 of the Adopting Release).

      We note, however, that the pay to play rule prohibits advisers and their covered associates from coordinating or soliciting any person (including a non-natural person) or PAC to make any payment to a political party of a state or locality where the investment adviser is providing or seeking to provide investment advisory services to a government entity (see rule 206(4)-5(a)(2)(ii)). (Posted March 22, 2011).

  3. jgordon

    Emails, Kaine, primary rigging, endless war mongering–all slurs from the mysoginist Rethuglicans!!

    Hillary is the most experienced and most ready presidential candidate ever. And Trump is scary. Get over your butthurt and get behind Hillary!

    These pro Hillary adds write themselves! Whichever Correct the Record employee came up with butthurt line is an unparalleled genius. I’ll be using that one a lot more.

    1. edmondo

      I was on a board the other day and one commenter cited a story from the New York Times as evidence that the mass media was trying to destroy Hillary’s candidacy. This is Obama love Part Deux.

      It’s irrational. And they call Trump supporters cult followers?

    2. Skippy

      Posted June 29, 2016 at 5:14 pm by Lawrence Mishel
      The Trump trade scam

      Yesterday, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump gave a speech on trade, extensively citing EPI’s research which shows that trade deficits as a result of NAFTA and other trade deals, as well as trade with China, have cost U.S. jobs and driven down U.S. wages. It’s true that the way we have undertaken globalization has hurt the vast majority of working people in this country—a view that EPI has been articulating for years, and that we will continue to articulate well after November. However, Trump’s speech makes it seem as if globalization is solely responsible for wage suppression, and that elite Democrats are solely responsible for globalization. Missing from his tale is the role of corporations and their allies have played in pushing this agenda, and the role the party he leads has played in implementing it. After all, NAFTA never would have passed without GOP votes, as two-thirds of the House Democrats opposed it.

      Furthermore, Trump has heretofore ignored the many other intentional policies that businesses and the top 1 percent have pushed to suppress wages over the last four decades. Start with excessive unemployment due to Federal Reserve Board policies which were antagonistic to wage growth and friendly to the finance sector and bondholders. Excessive unemployment leads to less wage growth, especially for low- and middle-wage workers. Add in government austerity at the federal and state levels—which has mostly been pushed by GOP governors and legislatures—that has impeded the recovery and stunted wage growth. There’s also the decimation of collective bargaining, which is the single largest reason that middle class wages have faltered. Meanwhile, the minimum wage is now more than 25 percent below its 1968 level, even though productivity since then has more than doubled. Phasing in a $15 minimum wage would lift wages for at least a third of the workforce. The most recent example is the effort to overturn the recent raising of the overtime threshold that would help more than 12 million middle-wage salaried workers obtain overtime protections.

      Trump is absent or wrong on all these issues. He has said in the past that wages are too high. And he argues, without basis, that businesses are over regulated and overtaxed—further ingratiating himself to corporate elites and the party he now leads. Deregulation and tax cuts are have been tried and failed for the last four decades, simply enriching the rich without stimulating any growth.

      Trump’s latest take on trade is a scam. He claims to be offering a path for workers, but is actually just offering mostly empty boxes on trade. What exactly is he trying to accomplish with renegotiated trade deals? And if is he so keen to help working people, why does he then steer the discussion back toward the traditional corporate agenda of tax cuts for corporations and the rich? Some pro-worker, anti-elite populist Trump is.

      Disheveled Marsupial…. which social PR marketing package makes the fear go away….

      1. edmondo

        I am so confused. One minute The Donald is Hitler, then Mussolini, then he’s the Joker. A couple of days later he’s The Manchurian Candidate or an oafish Falstaff; then he’s Neville Chamberlain until he morphs into Don Dryer with even more misogynist tendencies. It’s almost like the mass media can’t figure out what to metaphor to throw at him next.

        1. sd

          Wet spaghetti. They keep throwing until something sticks. And nothing is sticking – which is quite interesting in and of itself. Because the one thing they haven’t called him is Teflon.

        2. Skippy

          Providing a critique of Trumps economic campaign rhetoric is not to be confused with Bernays social PR as adjudicated by MSM, actually its a Lambert or Yves like unpacking of all the obfuscation… where the devil is in the details….

          Sadly edmondo, Anonymous, sd, nor polecat has provided any such granular analysis, by which one can_compare_rhetorical flourish w/ actual socioeconomic outcomes, which imo would help the NC community in distinguishing between the two.

          edmondo… your reply is nothing more than what you decry, metaphors thrown around in an insinuating manner without any rebuttal of the points made by Lawrence Mishel. At this juncture I can only assume you agree wrt the Lawrence’s statements, but, choose too draw the debate away from them and engage in distractions about – your feelings – wrt the MSM portrayal of Trump.

          Look… no matter if its Trump or Hillary it behooves everyone to have all the key information, its how, no matter whom wins, that people can process events against the pre GE rhetoric. Additionally lets not devolve to the level where any information not pro one candidate is confused with siding with the other. For myself I’m just as anti corporatist blue dog Dem, yet, this does not stop me from – seeking – all – the information that is available and understanding the possible consequences of it…. its called risk management and not identity bias conformation as projected on individuals or groups.

          Disheveled Marsupial… econnomics aside… what is the historical precursor to individual and social wealth destruction… hint its not affiliated with monetarist optics….

          1. fresno dan

            July 24, 2016 at 5:51 pm

            Michael Hudson: 2016 Is Wall Street and the Corporate Sector (Clinton) vs. the Populists (Trump) – 07/24/2016 – Lambert Strether

            1. Skippy

              fresno dan….

              I don’t get the referral and would appreciate if respondents would deal with the grist of Lawrence Mishel’s points of order and how their effects would translate in reality. The tribalism and pontification about electoral outcomes aside, as both don’t really give a rats ass about anyone beneath them, except as cover post facto the GE.

              My take on Hudson is I agree with 90%+ of what he says, but, have reservations about his monetary stance from a MMT Post Keynesian stance, shades of Yanis thingy… he was an advisor if memory serves imo.

              Disheveled Marsupial… one would think the deliberations here at NC on Brexit would serve…

          2. sd

            Trump and Clinton are politicians. You can’t believe a word they say. Rather than trying to analyze what they say, look at their past actions.

            1. Skippy


              That seems to be the issue wrt some of the respondents, where as the article was about Trumps trade policies and the ramifications, and additional points made by Lawrence Mishel wrt the historical perspective e.g. policy is one thing, but how its actually implemented or gamed by industries is – the – reality which must be countenanced.

              1. sd


                My overly simplistic take on Trumps economic policies…fwiw.

                Trump is an American brand that sells in America. Overseas investment (factories, etc) means money spent there doesn’t get spent here. Not spending money here, directly impacts the value of his brand. Spend money here instead of over there, he makes money.

                Foreign wars – money spent there, not here. Foreign production – money spent there, not here. NAFTA – money spent there, not here. Infrastructure – money spent here, he makes money. New factories – money spent here, he makes money. Rinse and repeat.

                Fixing Wollman rink in NYC, polished his brand which in the end made him money with very little effort on his part. It looks like he wants to take it national. Will it work, is it realistic, will it be effective, can’t say, and I don’t know.

                He has a brand and he uses it to make money based on his actions to date. Through that lens is how I look at his economic policy.

                This is probably useless to you, best I can do at the moment.

      2. Howard Beale IV

        It gets better: Trump on Meet the Press today threatens to pull the US out of the WTO.

        Trump has vowed to impose tariffs — in the range of 15 to 35 percent — on companies like Indiana-based Carrier, which is moving its operations to Mexico.

        “If they’re going to fire all their people, move their plant to Mexico, build air conditioners, and think they’re going to sell those air conditioners to the United States, there’s going to be a tax,” he said.

        When Todd said the import-tariff plan wouldn’t pass muster at the WTO, Trump said that is “even better.”

        “Then we’re going to renegotiate or we’re going to pull out,” he said.

        “These trade deals are a disaster,” he said. “You know, the World Trade Organization is a disaster.”

        When Todd told Trump that his plan would rattle the world economy much like Great Britain’s exit from the European Union had done, the New York businessman didn’t retreat from his hard-line trade stance.

        “We’re going to do it. We’re going to do it,” Trump said.

        Ed Gerwin, a trade policy analyst with the Progressive Policy Institute, said that Trump’s latest trade ideas are “even by his standards, are insane.”

        “They would bring about unprecedented global economic chaos, plunge the U.S. into recession and destroy millions of good jobs,” Gerwin said. “They’d make Brexit look like an English garden party.”

        Gerwin called Trump’s duties proposal “not only wrongheaded, but they’d a bureaucratic nightmare.”

        “Withdrawing from the WTO would turn the U.S. into the economic equivalent of North Korea — walled off from the global economy,” Gerwin said.

        He added that any move to exit the trade body would allow 160 countries to “immediately slap high tariffs and other trade barriers on U.S. exports, putting at risk the millions of good jobs that depend on U.S. exports.”

        Late stage syphilis, perhaps?

        1. Sammy Maudlin

          “Withdrawing from the WTO would turn the U.S. into the economic equivalent of North Korea — walled off from the global economy,”

          Knowing nothing else, the sheer inanity of that “criticism” of Trump’s proposal makes me think it’s probably not such a bad idea. Yep, if we dare impose a tariff on companies that essentially re-import the value of United States labor for Americans to consume we’ll all end up wearing gray pantsuits and military parades will become our national pastime within weeks.

          Trump’s idea of imposing tariffs to protect United States businesses and workers isn’t insane or revolutionary. Keep in mind that the federal government was basically funded by tariffs until the advent of the income tax. Harley-Davidson, Inc. owes its current existence to the tariff that was imposed on motorcycles with engine displacements above 600cc that was imposed by St. Reagan based on the “unanimous recommendation” of his trade advisors.

          Ronald Reagan – global anarchist. Who knew?

        2. Jim Haygood

          Trump’s wealth derives from a domestic asset — real property — that isn’t traded internationally.

          GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) started in 1947, with U.S. sponsorship. Almost 70 years on, 48% of sales of S&P 500 companies are international.

          What Trump fails to understand is that reverting to the protectionist catastrophe of Smoot-Hawley (1930) means that U.S. multinationals would see their overseas sales eviscerated by foreign retaliation. If foreigners get angry enough, they might even seize U.S. owned assets without compensation.

          Article XV of the WTO treaty provides for withdrawal upon six months notice. Should Trump attempt to withdraw without the consent of the Senate, it would set the stage for a major constitutional confrontation.

          Unlike billionaire Trump, individual members of Congress are utterly dependent on campaign funding from commercial interests, who unanimously oppose dismantling the world trade system. So will many state governments, such as California, Washington, New York and New Jersey, with ten of thousands of jobs at their busy international ports and highly successful exporters of goods and services.

          In the remote event that Trump succeeds in withdrawing the U.S. from WTO, you can short stocks to zero, in Depression II. The Republican Party idiocy of Smoot-Hawley gave us an 89% decline in the Dow and 25% unemployment. With Trump, we can bust the 90% and 30% barriers!

          The Flake vs The Crook – what’s a sensible person to do?

          1. Jim Haygood

            p.s. Want a laugh, check out Article 13 of the NATO treaty:

            Article 13

            After the Treaty has been in force for twenty years, any Party may cease to be a Party one year after its notice of denunciation has been given to the Government of the United States of America, which will inform the Governments of the other Parties of the deposit of each notice of denunciation.


            SELF … I’m outta here! But it’s gonna cost ya …”

          2. myshkin

            Trump may fail to understand Smoot Hawley but transnationals and multinationals and scattered affiliates may have already worked a fix to any problems tarrifs may cause them, as they have found a way to manage taxation.

            “Trump’s wealth derives from a domestic asset — real property — that isn’t traded internationally.”
            Real property may not be traded internationally but it is an investment for international finance, witness the empty multi-million dollar condos on Central Park South and in Vancouver.

            1. craazyboy

              All anyone needs to understand about 1930s Smoot Hawley is it’s a load noise neolibs make when anyone questions globalism and free trade in the 21st century.

              Also, many 1st World countries have gone to “value added taxes” as a stealth way to have protectionism in place without calling them tariffs. Since they aren’t called tariffs, ’tis fine with the smart folks at the WTO.

                1. craazyboy

                  Good little summary by Baker.

                  I’d say his point is that patents didn’t replace tariffs. He’s saying the anointed industries – the ones we love so dearly like MSFT, Disney and most of all drug companies – get to keep their prices up by factors of 10X to 100X – and their management gets rich.

                  If we had something like a 10-20 PERCENT trade tariff on air conditioners and old boring stuff like that, we would still have an industrial base.

                  However, if we wanted to do it right, and figure out how to do it with low environmental impact – then the price goes up for whatever that may cost.

              1. JTMcPhee

                What, someone is talking about imposing TARIFFS AND QUOTAS to advance local economies? And this always and everywhere means that Great Trade Will Suffer, and the World Will Collapse! I Tell ya!!!? Current US tariffs, quotas and tariff-equivalents, with and without WTO blessings: My, my, how interesting…

                So who’s afraid of tariffs? Only the ones who are busy looting. Sugar? Ethanol? Whisk brooms? We humans and our proprietary interests and massive skills at dissimulation and hypocrisy are well and truly Fokked… And collectively, deservedly so.

                Conventional “Wealth of Nations” viewpoint: TERIFFS BAD BAD BAD…

                Gee, “we” should be all upset that the World Bank estimates
                (Pulled out of which orifice) are that if ALL THE TARIFFS AND QUOTAS in the world just vanished, “trade” would “increase” by $830 billion. “Trade” in what? Weapons? The stuff that stuffs the shelves of Toys “R” US? And my grandson’s bedroom? And one has to ask, “who suffers and who gains” from more market modulated “trade” of the sort that the bean counters who stop at toting up the ol’ GDPs see as a summum bonum to always be reaching for. Except for the exceptions that the proponents always somehow exceptionally find exceptions reasons to propound…

                1. craazyboy

                  if ALL THE TARIFFS AND QUOTAS in the world just vanished, “trade” would “increase” by $830 billion.
                  Ya baby! – if global gdp is what we want, there would be one big skyscraper megafactory reaching to the upper atmosphere and it’s footprint would exactly match the border of Bangladesh. Each floor will be a sub-mega-factory dedicated to one of the world’s products.

                  This will require “worker mobility”, but that’s why we have people running the world – to make new rules.

        3. craazyboy

          Well, have some balls. I don’t want to analyze a 70 trillion $ global economy here, but guess what – the bulk of what the US exports you can’t buy anywhere else – software, patented semis, patented drugs, subsidized ag, franken ag, defense products, micky mouse cartoons, popular music…cars may be the exception, but we build them offshore already. Then there is other high demand stuff like Wall Street financial products.

          Also, our treasury dept is allowed, even by current WTO rules, to impose tariffs on any country if we decide they are a currency manipulator. Simple as looking at bi-lateral trade balances – if it’s a non-zero balance, then Mr. Market says the exchange rate ain’t real!

        4. timbers

          Love that exchange. It must rattle so many bipartisan centrist reaching across the aisle establishment D.C. types.

          And this:

          “When Todd told Trump that his plan would rattle the world economy…”

          Nice to the see our free press being strictly neutral and not promoting any agendas.

        5. timbers

          Trump has vowed to impose tariffs — in the range of 15 to 35 percent — on companies like Indiana-based Carrier, which is moving its operations to Mexico.

          “If they’re going to fire all their people, move their plant to Mexico, build air conditioners, and think they’re going to sell those air conditioners to the United States, there’s going to be a tax,” he said.

          If Sanders voters don’t pick up on statements like this…they’re dumb as a rock…IMO

    3. Jim Haygood

      Get over your butthurt, and buttdial the DNC to help elect Hilda and Timmah.

      Volunteers are standing by to answer your call.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          “Robo volunteers are standing by to help you through our new and Improved phone menu.”

          1. polecat

            Hypnotized volunteers are standing zombie mode…waiting to direct your call…to a gob of lying grifters…

        2. ambrit

          PAID volunteers get some money. True believer ‘subottniki’ volunteers get a shot at government contracts and ‘patronage.’

      1. ambrit

        Su-butt-nik? A new form of making the ‘consumer’ say ‘thank you’ to the whip hand?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You know how to dial, don’t you?

        Just put your finger in the….

        And make tiny little circles.

        – a line from the movie Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, made in the Luddite Age.

  4. Maurice Hebert

    The NYT “Party Without a Cause” article ends:

    > Or as Mr. Frank put it: “Every time we used to bring up income inequality, we were dismissed with two words: class warfare. Well, that ended this year.”

    In my opinion, this was Trump’s (and Sanders’) doing, and not Hillary’s.

    Further, I may not be too cynical in seeing Lynch’s renewal of the blatantly unjust asset forfeiture with no due process as the cost to be paid for burying the Clinton email server prosecution liability for evading FOIA and public records retention requirements, and mishandling of classified materials.

  5. fresno dan

    Democrats, Looking Past Obama, Are a Party Without a Cause NYT

    Mr. Obama is not going to be missed only because he is beloved by the faithful. The president has also fulfilled two longstanding if often elusive goals of his party: He has largely transcended the traditional moderate-versus-liberal split, papering over internal divisions. And he passed a sweeping health care law.

    First, I would say Obama has disguised Clintoonism versus “liberal” democratic values.

    If it were not for the implosion of the repubs and nomination of Trump, what would have been the SUBSTANTIVE differences between the dem and repub nominee? On protecting bankers, more war, “reform” of social security, “free trade, more strip mining of the 99% for the benefit of the 1%, the parties are in lock step. Trump is the first presidential nominee in 30/40 years to challenge the most basic tenants of neoliberalism.

    IMHO, Trump has done two things – precipitated the collapse of the repubs, AND delayed the collapse of the dems.
    Trump exposed that the average Joe is not concerned with neocon foreign adventures, whether they be in the mideast or on the eastern borders of Europe. Whether this is permanent in the repubs or transient will be interesting to see – if just transient, the repubs face such a contradiction with their base ((HELLO repubs – your voters are OLD and DON”T WANT social security “reform” – one of those little points the MSM will never, ever give as a reason for Trumps success)) that I suspect the party will just fade away and will end with a wimper, not a bang.

    I suspect Hillary will win. If repubs revert to pre Trump policies and things progress as they did under Obama, this just disguises for a small period of time that Hillary’s policies are in fact the same as standard repub and politics is nothing but all strum and drang and in fact substantively is just about splitting the grift.

    But if some semblance of Trumpism remains, the repubs may, just may, be the party more substantively against social security “reform” than the dems. Either way, just as many repubs came to see that the repub party’s polices in no way reflected their interests or desires, the dem implosion is coming – it almost came this cycle. Many, many heads will explode…

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I don’t think he disguised it as much as people don’t want to admit he was an empty suit with a dangerous affinity for Reagan all along. Democrats are too smug to have been conned by a guy spouting platitudes, so to avoid embarrassment, Obama supporters are just counting down the clock to when he can become irrelevant.

  6. ArkansasAngie

    Poke the Koch Brothers (et al) in the eye
    Say “No” to Hillary and tear the DNC apart
    Vote Trump

    Coddle Wall Street and the military Industrial complex
    Stabilize the Republican party
    Vote Hillary

    So … what?

    1. Emma

      Forbes has an alleged comment made by Charles Koch which conflicts with how you present the Kochs – One of them at the very least:
      Wouldn’t it be fun if Charles Koch came to his senses and backed Jill Stein of the US Green Party, far more rapidly than Dan Savage could thoughtfully give some merited consideration to?!

  7. edmondo

    DNC chair won’t speak at Dem convention following Wikileaks fallout

    “The decision was blessed by Clinton….”

    And her usefulness over, DWS had tire marks all over her back – Trailways or Greyhound, Debbie?
    It couldn’t happen to a “nicer” person.

    1. pretzelattack

      she’ll probably get a payoff somewhere, maybe a well paid position at the clinton foundation, if she loses her race. for one thing, she knows too much.

      1. TheCatSaid

        “she knows too much”. Let’s hope she fares better than Rich Seth, recently murdered DNC member, who “worked as a voter expansion data director for the DNC”. He was shot in the back, no cash or credit cards stolen. Any motive for the murder (other than his job description)?

    2. Jim Haygood


      Wasserman Sucks is expected to gavel the convention in and out, but not speak in the wake of the controversy surrounding the leaked emails, a top Democrat said.

      “She’s been quarantined,” another top Democrat said, following a meeting Saturday night.

      Quarantined — like a computer virus or something?

      Consideration for TV viewers would dictate going one step further, and having her [it?] appear with a paper bag over her head.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        DWS wasn’t fired after 2012 when Democrats failed to make any kind of pickups in Congress and saw a much closer race against Mittens or 2014. She hasn’t been quarantined but rewarded consistently.

    3. MDBill

      CNN buries the lede about halfway down,

      The Democrat familiar with the decision said it was done in hopes of preventing chaos on the convention floor among Sanders supporters


      Having her speak would certainly destroy the unity delusion they’re trying to portray.

      1. Debra D.

        This is the explanation that immediately popped into my mind. The DNC will do anything to sanitize the Democratic Party’s convention. The convention is a media event, and no disturbance will be tolerated. The credentials committee will be “vetting” Sanders delegates, as well.

        I wonder, in the face of the wikileaks DNC e-mails release whether Bernie Sanders is reflecting on his game theory about the role he is playing in this theater of the absurd? I understand that Jeff Weaver’s reaction was along the lines that somebody needs to be held accountable. Yuck.Yuck.

        At this point, I’m inclined to think that on Monday night Sanders will provide one more sound bite in the service of making it appear the Democratic Party is unified in defeating Trump and that the DP is far more progressive than the Republican Party. Sanders has given every indication he is willing to play that role for the Democratic Party. But with him out of the way, the DNC can get down to the real business at hand — Fear Trump.

        After Monday night, the Sanders presidential campaign and its Revolution will be history as far as the Party is concerned. As for Bernie’s legacy — The Revolution and Sanders Institute will be bumping up against the Oligarchy big time.

    4. clarky90

      Nikolai Bukharin letter to Joseph Stalin, March 1938


      This is perhaps the last letter I shall write to you before my death. That’s why, though I am a prisoner, I ask you to permit me to write this letter without resorting to officialese, since I am writing this letter to you alone: the very fact of its existence or nonexistence will remain entirely in your hands.

      I’ve come to the last page of my drama and perhaps of my life. I agonised over whether I should pick up pen and paper – as I write this, I am shuddering all over from a thousand emotions stirring within me, and I can hardly control myself. I want to take my leave of you in advance, before it’s too late, before my hand ceases to write, before my eyes close, while my brain somehow still functions.

      In order to avoid any misunderstandings I will say to you from the outset that, as far as the world at large is concerned: a) I have no intention of recanting anything I’ve [confessed]; b) I have no intention of pleading with you. But … I cannot leave this life without writing to you these last lines because I am in the grip of torments which you should know about.

      1) Standing on the edge of a precipice, from which there is no return, I tell you on my word of honour, as I await my death, that I am innocent of those crimes to which I admitted.

      2) Reviewing everything in my mind I can only add the following observations to what I have already said: a) I once heard someone say that someone had yelled out something. It seems to me that it was Party member Kuzmin, but I had never ascribed any real significance to it.

      b) Party member Aikhenvald told me in passing as we walked on the street about the conference (he said, “The gang has met, and a report was read”) – or something of the sort. And, yes, I concealed this fact, feeling pity for the gang.

      c) I was also guilty of engaging in duplicity in 1932 in my relations with my followers, believing sincerely that I would thereby win them back wholly to the party. Otherwise, I’d have alienated them from the party. That was all there was to it.

      In saying this, I am clearing my conscience totally. All the rest either never took place or, if it did, then I had no inkling of it whatsoever. So at the plenum I spoke the truth and nothing but the truth, but no one believed me. Here and now I speak the absolute truth: all these past years I have been honestly and sincerely carrying out the party line and have learned to cherish and love you wisely.

      3) I had no way out other than that of confirming the accusations and testimonies of others and of elaborating on them.

      4) I have formed, more or less, the following conception of what is going on in our country: there is something great and bold about the political idea of a general purge. It is a) connected with the prewar situation and b) connected with the transition to democracy. This purge encompasses 1) the guilty; 2) persons under suspicion and 3) persons potentially under suspicion.

      This business could not have been managed without me. For God’s sake, don’t think that I am engaging here in reproaches, even in my inner thoughts. I know all too well that great plans, great ideas, and great interests take precedence over everything, and I know that it would be petty for me to place the question of my own person on a par with the universal/historical tasks resting, first and foremost, on your shoulders. But it is here that I feel my deepest agony and find myself facing my chief, agonising paradox.

      5) My heart boils over when I think that you might believe that I am guilty of these crimes and that in your heart of hearts you think that I am really guilty of all of these horrors. My head is giddy with confusion, and I feel like yelling at the top of my voice. I feel like pounding my head against the wall. What am I to do? What am I to do?

      6) I bear not one iota of malice toward anyone, nor am I bitter. I am not a Christian but I do have my quirks. And if you really want to know, more than anything else, I am oppressed by one fact which you have perhaps forgotten: once, most likely during the summer of 1928, I was at your place, and you said to me: “Do you know why I consider you my friend? After all, you are not capable of intrigues, are you?” And I said: “No, I am not.”

      At that time, I was hanging around with Kamenev [shot in 1936]. Oh, God, what a child I was! What a fool! And now I’m paying for this with my honour and with my life. For this forgive me, Koba [a revolutionary nickname used by Stalin in his younger days]. I weep as I write. I no longer need anything, and you know that I am probably making my situation worse by allowing myself to write all this. But … I must give you my final farewell. It is for this reason that I bear no malice toward anyone, not the [party] leadership nor the investigators, nor anyone in between. I ask your forgiveness, though I have already been punished to such an extent that everything has grown dim around me and darkness has descended upon me.

      7) When I was hallucinating, I saw you several times. Once I saw Nadezhda Sergeevna [Stalin’s second wife who committed suicide in 1932]. She would never believe that I had harboured any evil thoughts against you. [In the dream] we talked for hours, you and I … Oh, Lord, if only there were some device which would have made it possible for you to see my soul flayed and ripped open! If only you could see how I am attached to you, body and soul.

      8) Permit me, finally, to move on to my last, minor, requests: a) It would be a thousand times easier for me to die than to go through the coming trial; I simply don’t know how I’ll be able to control myself. I’d get on my knees, forgetting shame and pride, and plead with you not to make me go through with [the trial]. But this is probably already impossible. I’d ask you, if it were possible, to let me die before the trial. Of course, I know how harshly you look upon such matters.

      b) If I’m to receive the death sentence, then I implore you beforehand, I entreat you, by all that you hold dear, not to have me shot. Let me drink poison in my cell instead. For me, this point is extremely important. I don’t know what words I should summon up in order to entreat you to grant me this as an act of charity. Politically, it won’t really matter, and, besides, no one will know a thing about it. Have pity on me! Surely you’ll under-stand, knowing me as well as you do. Sometimes I look death openly in the face, just as I know very well that I am capable of brave deeds. At other times, I find myself in such disarray that I am drained of all strength. So if the verdict is death, let me have a cup of morphine. I implore you …

      c) I ask you to allow me to bid farewell to my wife and son. No need for me to say goodbye to my daughter. It will be too painful for her. It will also be too painful to Nadya [his first wife], and my father. Anyuta [his second wife], on the other hand, is young. She will survive … I would like permission to meet her before the trial. If my family sees what I confessed to, they might commit suicide. I must somehow prepare them for it.

      d) If my life is to be spared, I would like to request (though I would first have to discuss it with my wife) the following: That I be exiled to America. I would wage a mortal war against Trotsky, I would win over large segments of the wavering intelligentsia. You could send an expert security officer with me and, as added insurance, you could detain my wife here for six months until I have proven that I am really punching Trotsky and company on the nose.

      But if there is the slightest doubt in your mind, then exile me to a camp in Pechora or Kolyma, even for 25 years. Settling there with my family to the end of my days, I would carry out pioneering, enterprising, cultural work. I would work like a dynamo wherever I am sent. However, to tell the truth, I do not place much hope in this. And so these, it seems, are my last requests.

      Josif Vissarionovich! In me you have lost one of your most capable generals, one who is genuinely devoted to you. But that is all past. It is bitter to reflect on all this. But I am preparing myself mentally to depart from this vale of tears, and there is nothing in me toward all of you, toward the party and the cause, but a great and boundless love. I am doing everything that is humanly possible and impossible.

      I have crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s, in spite of a headache and with tears in my eyes. My conscience is clear before you now, Koba. I ask you one final time for your forgiveness (only in your heart, not otherwise). For that reason I embrace you in my mind.

      (Nikolai Bukharin was executed on 15 March 1938. He had written 34 letters to Stalin, not one was answered).

      1. edmondo

        Well, let’s hope that Trump doesn’t suffer a similar fate once he hands over all the states east of the Mississippi to Putin. It will be fun watching Krugman write stories for the other Pravda.

  8. Arizona Slim

    Thanks for the reverse mortgage story link.

    A friend took out a reverse mortgage in 2006.

    She was not of sound mind and should never have been involved in any sort of refinancing.

    Long story short: Her house was foreclosed in 2009 and Wells Fargo took a huge hit on the ultimate sale price.

    As for my friend, her oldest son took her in.

    1. Sam Adams

      They’re selling the reverse mortgages like ensure.Tv commercials with Fonzie, the Law and order actor turned Congressman etc… Sliced diced and packaged say Hello RE bubble 2.0

      1. Ivy

        Reverse mortgages are like so many other products, services and propositions these days. The underlying theme is:

        “You have equity and we are going to take it. Even if you don’t have equity, we’re going to put you in debt to take it!”

      2. Kokuanani

        the Law and order actor turned Congressman etc

        Congressman? Hell, that would be former SENATOR Fred Thompson from TN. Dumb as a box of hair.

  9. Cry Shop

    Japanese Professional Listeners – similar to Endos the Listener, in Terry Pratchett’s Pyramids. Endos, for a fee, performs the standard second-man-in-a-Socratic-dialogue — saying things like “That is correct, Socrates”, “I agree”, “you’re right”, “your reasoning appears correct”, and the like. Hill-Billy like to hire their type, and boardrooms across America are filled with their type. Seems the Japanese have found a way to democratize the service, deliver the same goods on the cheep.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I thought the second man in any Socratic dialogue was to challenge the wise man so the pesky challenger can be, in today’s internet lingo, ownaged.

      Or am I confusing the second man with the third man?

    2. Softie

      I don’t think that’s the role of interlocutor they play. Today people live very lonely lives because they are born into this illogical, stupid, banal, meaningless modern life.

      Carl Jung pointed out long ago, “Loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but being unable to communicate things that seem important to you.”

      1. Cry Shop

        illogical, stupid, banal, meaningless modern life.

        Thus it has ever been. Meaning is an internal search, necessitated by ego. Looking for it externally has always failed, because there is no meaning to the Universe or any subset of it. It just is. Those who think they found meaning externally only projected their internal ego onto it.

        Jung was a little off, lonelyness comes from the ego feeling unessential.

  10. mad as hell.

    the Two Minutes Hate for Putin is a two-fer

    I would like to ask the military geniuses and the political wise men on their plan of the conquest of Russia.

    If you are unable to keep under your foot, Iraq with a population of around 31 million and Afghanistan with a population of about 29 million. How are you going to rule Russia if there is anything left to rule with a population of 141 million?

    1. edmondo

      “They will welcome us with open arms.”

      George W Bush – 2003
      Hillary R. Clinton – 2018

      1. JacobiteInTraining

        “…we will be home by Christmas…”

        (every two-bit political General or Captain since making war started)

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      These people are basically religious nuts who believe in a pure America spreading it’s wings. India and the Middle Kingdom can be isolated, but Russia is the key to destroying American first order without a war. Russia is too small to dominate and too large to be a vassal. Take Turkey, Erdogan, or enough of his peeps, knows he has no future in the EU, so he is going to work like hell to get to Russia’s good graces to join the SCO because Turkey is too small to form it’s own thing or join China without becoming a vassal of Beijing.

      Geopolitical issues aside, the American exceptional is crowd believe they are missionaries deep down spreading a force for good. Anyone who doesn’t embrace them simply must be despised by the good little folk yearning to be shown the light by Americans and favored vassal state citizens.

      Iran is a threat for similar reasons as Russia. It’s big enough and has access to relevant resources to not be dependent for security and reasonable internal prosperity, but it’s not large enough to dominate a country such as Iraq. A patron in Tehran or Moscow means one can get to Beijing as a junior partner but a partner not a vassal.

    3. Christopher Fay

      If you skip history you won’t know Russia would be in Kiev by Tuesday if they wanted to. Then the nukes start. As Randy Newman sings, goodbye London, goodbye Paree, flatten Boston more room for me. Massachusetts has done its part for Hillary, so now expendable.

      1. nippersdad

        Every war game I have ever read about features Russia first turning off the pipelines into Europe in tandem with Iran blocking the Straits of Hormuz in the event of US aggression against the BRICS; using the rest of the planet as a political wedge. I really don’t see how these nuclear scenarios miss that Europe is almost totally dependent upon the favor of Russia for most of its’ petroleum needs and the rest of the world relies on keeping an easily blocked petroleum chokepoint open. Now, with Turkey seeking to enter their sphere of influence, it only makes the problem worse insofar as all of the alternative pipelines built to avoid this scenario go through Turkey.

        That’s the really funny thing for me; this is clearly a known, the unknown is what happens when the BRICS get pissed enough to turn off the lights in winter and we are blamed for it. They don’t need to resort to nuclear alternatives, they just need to cut off the oil supply to get anything they want.

    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      We shouldn’t forget racial hierarchy. The Russians are largely orthodox slavs. It wasn’t that long ago Irish, Italians, Jews, Poles, and so forth weren’t white and weren’t all there. George Washington’s letters to religious communities might seem banal today but would have earned him an angry mob if he wasnt George Washington when he wrote the various letters. There was pearl clutching over Kennedy turning the country over to the head virgin.

      C’mon how dumb are Poles? Am I right? Well, Russians are less white. Black/white is a dominant narrative here for obvious reasons, but those friendly Canadians oppressed French speakers and tribes into the 1960’s.

      We’ve become more multicultural but within the proper framework.

  11. Pavel

    David Stockman has been focussing on what he calls the “Flyover Zone” and its economic woes for a while. He has a new post analysing Trump’s electoral success and the decline of the middle class. Excerpt from the intro:

    The Essence of Donald Trump’s Appeal To The Flyover Zone: “We Are Not Winning Anymore”

    We are here referring to Trump as the rallying figure for main street insurrection. That does not deny the fact that in posturing as an anti-politician outsider he has also proven himself to be a rank demagogue. His scurrilous attacks, inter alia, on Moslems, Mexicans, minorities, women, political opponents and countless more are frequently beyond the pale—–even by today’s rudely partisan standards of public discourse.

    Indeed, there has rarely been a political figure in American life that has emitted as much baloney, bombast, brimstone and bile as Donald Trump. And none has ever matched his narcissism and egomaniacal personality.

    But that’s not why he’s succeeding.

    The Donald’s patented phrase that “we aren’t winning anymore” is what’s really striking a deep nerve on Main Street. His rhetoric about giant trade deficits, failed foreign military adventures and other shortcomings of America’s collective polity self-evidently touches that chord.

    Indeed, Trump’s appeal is rooted at bottom in voter perceptions that they personally are no longer winning economically, either. And as we demonstrated above and shall further document in depth, the vast expanse of main street America has indeed been losing ground for the last 25 years.

    What is winning is Washington, Wall Street and the bicoastal elites. They prosper from a toxic brew of finance, debt and politics.

    We call this deformed system Bubble Finance. Its tentacles extend from the vast apparatus of Wall Street and the finance and asset management businesses it feeds to the venture capital hotbeds of Silicon Valley, Route 128, Research Triangle, New York, Seattle, Austin and Denver.

    It also includes to the LA branch of entertainment (movies and TV) and the San Francisco branch of entertainment (social media). Most importantly of all, it encompasses the great rackets of the Imperial City.


    1. no one

      Just to add to the chorus —

      Reporter Bob Hennelly has done an analysis of the US “recovery” on a county-by-county basis, using data from the National Association of Counties.
      As he said on “Democracy Now”: It’s important to know that the National Association of Counties—not a Marxist front group—says out of the 3,069 counties, Amy, only 7 percent have experienced a recovery. So that means this country is continuing to economically unravel.

      To repeat, only 214 out of 3069 counties have recovered from the recession/depression based on the four criteria of reduced unemployment, job creation, county gross domestic product and median home price. (Source: Hennelly’s original article:

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Great data. Thanks!

        (Incidentally, Hudson used Massachusetts county data to explain why Coakely lost to Brown in 2010, swinging control of the Senate; foreclosures correlated to votes for Brown. So, the chickens came home to roost for Obama doing squat on foreclosure and Geithner “foaming the runway” for the banks with HAMP. Naturally, the Democrat nomenklatura blames voters for staying home, as if it weren’t a party’s job to get voters to the polls.)

  12. Ep3

    Yup, Jenny from the block praising the establishment party. She did that same thing when Obama was running the first time. She’s just sucking up, hoping she can get a job.
    I won’t even begin to discuss how she is just as guilty as Snyder in destroying Michigan.
    If there ever was a more “fall in the party line” person more than gram-mole, good luck finding him/her. She is the ultimate party stooge. She follows order without question to her party superiors.

  13. Marco

    So the Syrian child beheading story was false and he was really 19 years old (that doesn’t make it any better). Although I regularly follow MoonOfAlabama do I need to be more skeptical?

    1. Donald

      Everyone I’ve read who favors some armed faction in the Syrian civil war seems unhinged to me. You have to be an abject apologist to side with the regime or with the rebels (including those lovely moderates armed by the US or the Gulf states). Sometimes in wars there are no good guys with guns.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        That’s my reading. The “regime change”/”responsibility to protect” crowd never seem to recognized it’s always possible to make things worse, and fifteen years of warfare in the Middle East show that the application of American military force is an excellent way to do that.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        I think there are groups and factions within Syria who might be characterised as ‘good guys’ – people just fighting to get rid of an oppressive corrupt government (i.e. Assad) while having no interest in sectarianism or radical islam. Unfortunately, with the exception of those fortunate enough to be near Kurdish areas (and the YPG is as close as you can get to ‘good guys’ there), they will long ago have been forced to ally with much more unpleasant groups for protection and to source weaponry. So in practical terms, its impossible to distinguish them from sectarian groups, who tend to have most of the money and guns. For that matter, there are plenty of people fighting for Assad, not because they think Assad is a nice guy, but because they have long ago concluded that if the Assad family falls, they will be faced with radical Sunni alternatives which are likely to commit genocide against the many small minority groups within Syria.

        So while there are I am sure individuals and fighting groups within Syria who are either ‘neutral’ in moral terms (i.e. they are simply fighting for their family and neighbours) or are genuinely politically on the right side, they are all to some extent compromised by the reality of having to pick sides between some pretty terrible people.

        1. Donald

          I think that’s a fairer statement than mine, though as I think you might agree there is no reason to think outsiders can improve the situation by supporting factions which are likely to be dominated by the most ruthless elements.

        2. Cry Shop


          A very accurate model of many situations. Humans constantly make choices about what’s the lesser evil.

        3. LifelongLib

          In the U.S. we tend to view dictatorial mid-East leaders as lone strongmen, but very often they actually represent religious and ethnic minorities that would be in really bad situations if those leaders fell. Although you have to wonder how so many of those countries ended up being ruled by minorities…

    2. Gareth

      Louis Proyect is sourcing his allegations from unnamed Syrian activists, so in my mind the question of who is a propagandist and who isn’t is still open. Although a former Trotskyist, he still retains their reflexive hatred of all things Russia and his eagerness to smear Moon of Alabama and Mint press as Baathist propaganda outlets is bizarre. But these are the sort of tactics that factionalized Marxist-Leninists are fond of using, which is why I hate these bastards so much.

      1. Plenue

        Everyone is a “Ba’athist” and “Kremlin propagandist” if they disagree with Proyect. He’s always been like this. He was linked to here a few days ago when he talked about the history of late Weimar leftists, but frankly I wouldn’t even trust him on a subject of objective historic fact like that. He’s ‘unrepentant’ alright; he’s on board with the close friends of AQ and ISIS and supports the continuation of a bloody and (for his side) hopeless ‘civil war’. And the more it becomes obvious how wrong he is, the more he smears everyone else as agents and liars. He’s an intellectually vapid and dishonest ideologue, who’s stacked out a position and will never, ever retreat from it, regardless of evidence or changing circumstances.

    3. pmr9

      Louis Proyect’s story that the beheaded boy was in fact a 19-year old volunteer in the Syrian Defence Force is based on sources of doubtful reliability, notably the Lebanese journalist Carol Maalouf who appears to be embedded with the Nusra Front. The source quoted by Moon of Alabama was the Lebanese journalist Elijah J Magnier who has consistently been one of the most reliable sources on the Syrian civil war. Magnier states that the ID posted by Carol Maalouf is a forgery ( The boy is clearly a transfusion-dependent thalassemic (characteristic facial features caused by expansion of the bone marrow) and appears to have been captured while he was receiving an infusion of an iron-chelating agent.

  14. DWD

    I thought this opinion piece in the Detroit Free Press might be of interest to NC Readers.

    “Clinton or Trump: Who offers best hope for change?”

    This is the title of Rochelle Riley’s Column in the Detroit Free Press today.

    I was struck by the way the question was asked: without qualification.

    I can’t see how the question can be answered with Hillary as she represents the status quo.

    But I was struck by this segment as it does seem to fly in the face of CW.

    She has not been able to get people to believe that she feels their pain. Her every attempt to reach out to the downtrodden seems calculated, like when she campaigned almost solely in Flint during an internationally horrific water crisis, while skipping most of the rest of the state and losing the Michigan primary. It didn’t help that she lobbed inaccurate attacks at Bernie Sanders regarding his vote on the congressional auto industry bailout and steadfastly refused to tell voters what she said in speeches to Wall Street bankers.

    She has high unfavorable ratings in poll after poll and has a hard time connecting with people who see her not as she wants — a lifelong activist who worked alongside leaders of the civil rights movement to fight against racism and for equality for all Americans — but as the daughter of middle-class Republicans who earned her early stripes in the GOP but changed parties and is now a rich, politically connected, economically connected and financially connected politician who may not be trustworthy.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Clinton or Trump?

      Which one will leave the country in a better position to recover or to move forward, after their term(s) is over?

      Can the nation recover from TPP?

      Staring down Russia, or a White elephant wall and possibly a Mexican Donald Trump (Jobs for Mexicans in Mexico!!!)? Which choice?

      Can a wall be useless and a waste of someone’s money, and yet, like the Maginot Line, or the Berlin Wall, not stopping people or tanks from moving forward? Can we recover from that?

      Banning or no banning of Imperial samurais travel to some countries?

        1. craazyboy

          Airplane tickets are expensive. You walk thru the gate in the border crossing station with a visa, then take the bus. The Southwest even has a Mexican bus line that competes with Greyhound!

  15. Steve in Flyover

    The article about the “cull” of old white guys made me take a tally of former co-workers and acqaintances who are deceased.

    Two were opioid/alcohol ODs. Both terminated from decent jobs for drinking. Once terminated, they never found steady work again, much less work that paid half of what they were making. One was a mid level tech support rep whose last full time job was working at Home Depot. The two black guys OD’d when they were in their late 30s/early 40s for similar reasons.

    Several have been killed (or permanantly disabled) due to motorcycle crashes. (One “doubled down”…….lost a leg in the first crash, started riding “trikes”, had a fatal crash on that). Paying for the illusion of “freedom”. Some of these guys would have been in street rods or sports cars instead of bikes, if they had been able to afford them.

    The rest? Cancer, mostly. Strokes. Not many heart attacks.

    The reality is that business is trying to offload all of their 50 year old guys as quick as they can, and turn them into 1099s if they still need their skills. If not, your days as a full time worker are essentially over. Nobody in their 50s is going to relocate to the coasts. Yeah, there are jobs there, but they don’t pay enough to offset the cost differential.

    So you end up with “retired” airplane mechanics running daycare for the grandkids. And business lobbying/bitching about “not being able to find skilled help”.
    (I’ve found that you always need to add “who will work for peanuts” to this phrase)

    1. Dave

      There is plenty that we old white guys can do about this. When I walk into a business, I look around and ask the manager:

      “You want my spending? You should hire some older Americans here, lots of them need jobs.”

      “If we are not good enough to work here, then I guess we are not good enough to spend here.”

      “You seem to like hiring only young Hispanics, I guess they can spend money here. I won’t.”

  16. ProNewerDeal

    This 2016 Presidential election is bizarre & unique. The duopoly candidates have the highest negative ratings ever for nominees, with the data going back to 1980 iirc, Trump at 70% disapprove, H Clinton at 55%.

    Intelligent politics experts (including NCers) that have generally social democratic type policies, & voted for Sanders in the D primary, conclude all 3 possibilities if 1 lives in 1 of the (12 (N Silver) – 19 (Wikipedia) swing states). I’ve done my best to briefly summarize these 3 stances:

    1 Lesser Evil Voting (LEV) for H Clinton (“Trump is a racist fascist, SCOTUS, preserve abortion rights & ACA Medicaid, etc”). This seems to be majority conclusion among Sanders voters, advocates include Bernie Sanders himself, Noam Chomsky, podcast pundits (Sam Seder, Kyle Kulinski, Cenk Uygur)

    2 LEV for Trump (“H Clinton supports the TPP, 2B2F Wall $treet, & might start a nuclear war with Russia with her/& her Sec Def. Michèle Flournoy wanting to regime change in Syria while supposedly simultaneously attacking ISIS & Al Nusra, need a wildcard like Trump to “disrupt” the 36+ yr duopoly’s neoliberal Reaganomics Era, this is a tactic to remove neoliberal/DLC/Clintonism from their dominance of the D party since 1992, etc). Advocates include some NC commenters (unclear if Yves & Lambert endorse this view)

    3 vote for Dr. Jill Stein (Green Party): social democratic policies similar to Sanders + -50% MIC (Stein even better than Sanders on policy), & it is unclear anyways who actually is the LE between the duopoly candidates, so might as well vote your conscious, the duopoly & the D party cannot be reformed from within the D party, some evidence in US history that 3rd party votes drives policy leftward/pro-99% direction (Socialist Eugene Debs’ existence influenced FD Roosevelt’s New Deal to be somewhat better than it would’ve been without that 3rd party’s existence, etc). Advocates include Sanders platform member Cornell West, Movement4Bernie/Seattle City Councilperson Kshama Sawant. Pundit Jimmy Dore (voting for Stein & who views Trump as LE in the sense that he feels there will be more resistance to Trump in Congress all Ds + many Rs fighting Trump, & Trump will lose 2020 reelection).

    An internet poll of self-described Sanders millenial voters by Yik Yak had “3rd Party” (presumably mostly Stein) 48%, 39% H Clinton, 13% Trump.

    It does seem neoliberal/DLC faction (Clintons & 0bama) is hard to remove from the D party. Recall the historical fact that both extremes existed of the Rs controlling the President & both Congress branches’ majorities in the 2003-05 Congressional session, similarly the Ds controlling the same in the 2009-11 session. In neither these 2 extremes nor in divided government, have the Progressive/social democratic faction been able to purge these DLCers. It is not clear to me if a particular configuartion of party control is more beneficial to the social democrats taking over the D party, although Dore seemingly implies that a Pres Trump with a “2018 backlash” D congress is the most likely configuration.

    IMHO with the valid logical points being explained by all 3 factions, one thing for sure is that the bashing by simpletons of the H Clinton LEV factions, such as “you idiot, a vote for Stein is a vote for Trump”, is arrogant, ignorant, & deplorable. IMHO this is a case of “reasonable minds can agree to disagree”. In contrast it is not a case like the existence of evolution where dismissive bashing is warranted IMHO.

    I read a wise comment (here on NC iirc) on this topic: “If you are in a non-swing state, vote the candidate whose policy set is closest to yours, such as Stein. If you are in a swing state, make a best judgement on who indeed is the LE without obsessing over it, & then go do something else with your time”.

    Feel free to add any detail I may have missed, or critique this comment.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Thanks for the analysis. The only quibble I’d make is that you omit the idea of “the more effective evil.” Suppose Trump is, in fact, more evil personally, but comes to Washington with a thin team and gets bogged down about four months in, just like Jimmy Carter did. He’s more evil, but ineffective. Is that so bad?

      1. fresno dan

        As I’ve said, we’ve had the best and the brightest. And as I recall, they were all portrayed as sober, serious, well educated, with the depth of experience to lead us onward and upward….

        two predictions:
        1. 3 years and 11 months from now, there will be the greatest number of humans in history saying, “I told ya so”
        2. 99.8% of eligible voters will deny they voted for the sitting president.

        Invest in “I voted for the other one” bumper stickers now!!!

        1. myshkin

          Invest in “I voted for the other one” bumper stickers now!!!

          Or the anarchist line-
          Don’t vote it just encourages the bastards

          1. Vatch

            Actually, not voting encourages the bastards a lot more than voting does. Ferguson, MO, is a prime example of this. Typical elections there have a turnout of less than 20%. In a 2015 election, a pitiful turnout of 29% was considered a successful milestone.

            1. myshkin

              I don’t endorse the practice, just note the sentiment which has a resonance at this particular moment.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          I just want to stand up and be counted. If we vote for Clinton or Trump, our votes will just be lost in a flood of votes made by people we have nothing in common with, either politically or ideologically. From where I am sitting, that’s *really* a wasted vote.

    2. ChiGal

      This goes both ways I think:

      bashing by simpletons of the D Trump LEV factions, such as “you idiot, a vote for Stein is a vote for Clinton”, is arrogant, ignorant, & deplorable. IMHO this is a case of “reasonable minds can agree to disagree”.

      What is deplorable are our choices but there is more wishful thinking about Trump as maybe a positive rather than just the LE than there is about HRC, who is rightfully pretty much uniformly despised by all who comment here.

      1. sd

        I think a clarification is in order. The discussion regarding Trump is currently trending in the direction of Less Effective Evil which ≠ Lesser Evil.

        I wouldn’t call that wishful thinking.

        1. ChiGal

          Disagree, there’s a LOT of wishful thinking. Only some, following Lambert, make that distinction. Many are quoting what Trump says on a given day as if they think he means it, and might actually be good for the little people.

          1. SpringTexan

            I agree with ChiGal on this one. No apparently agreeable position that comes from Roy Cohn’s protege and admirer is worth anything but a bucket of shit, yet comments at NC often treat those positions seriously. Wishful thinking.

      2. Kurt Sperry

        When someone tells you “a vote for X is a vote for Y” just ignore them. They are stupid and deserve none of your further attention.

    3. Steve H.

      I think that was RabidGandhi summarizing Chomsky:

      “I would prefer Bernie Sanders. If Clinton is nominated and it comes to a choice between Clinton and Trump, in a swing state, a state where it’s going to matter which way you vote, I would vote against Trump, and by elementary arithmetic, that means you hold your nose and you vote Democrat.”

      1. cwaltz

        How exactly has voting in bad choices the Democrats give you gone so far?

        At some point the insanity needs to stop.

        Personally, I think the candidate that the DC Republicans appear to hate might not necessarily be the most awful choice to be where the base of the Democratic Party draws the line.

        1. myshkin

          “How exactly has voting in bad choices the Democrats give you gone so far?”

          Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable. ” – John Galbraith

          1. witters

            Ah yes. Politics is never EVER about helping people, the community, or building a better world. Glad that’s out of the way. Now let’s cheer for Democracy and our right to vote! And remember, it used to be a matter of the lesser evil, now all we get is to decide the greater evil!

    4. Donald

      Good analysis. I am in camp 1, voting for Clinton as the lesser evil, but despising the Clinton apologetics from center left types.

      And I really loathe the self righteousness of the more rabid Clintonites. They are neither pragmatic nor honest. If they were pragmatic they would acknowledge the legitimate criticisms of Clinton and the Democrats, but they almost never do that. They will condemn Bush as a war criminal and then praise Clinton for her foreign policy experience. They have spent 13 years blaming Nader voters for the Iraq War and not one second blaming the experienced Senator for actually supporting Bush. You could write a pretty long essay fleshing out this one example and there are many others.

      That said, I do think Trump is more dangerous for various reasons. I am not 100 percent sure he is more likely to cause a war, but if he did he seems not to have even hypocritical concerns about war crimes. I don’t think you have to be particularly effective as president to drag us into another war. Presidents have enough power to do this on their own.

      1. frosty zoom

        please do not vote for ms. clinton. she has proven herself to be corrupt and most importantly, extremely violent to the point where it brings her gleeful joy.

        she is a murderer and terrorizer of children. such a person cannot be put in a position where the most horrific means of destruction can become her playthings.

        nothing will ever wash those damn spots from ms. clinton’s hands. she is to be shunned, not given approval.

        1. sd

          Lambert expresses the Clinton vs Trump choice quite well: which will be the least effective evil? Clinton is quite effective so the less effective choice is currently trending towards Trump.

    5. Dave

      The sorry ass media, you know, the kind of “newspaper” that mostly reports basketball scores ahead of politics, has been flogging Gary Johnson lately. They completely ignored Ron Paul when he was running, now that Trump is serious, they are dredging up Libertarian “alternatives”.

    6. cwaltz

      I’m not playing eleventh dimensional chess.

      I’m in a swing state and I’m voting for Stein.

      If Trump becomes President, so be it. The Democrats should have given the candidate that polled better the nomination.

      And I welcome them telling me that I am responsible for this presidential pick because I’m going to adore reminding them how they said they didn’t need Independants who comprise a plurality of the electorate.

      1. tgs


        I am voting for Stein for the reason you gave above:

        How exactly has voting in bad choices the Democrats give you gone so far?

        Though ‘bad choice’ seems a bit weak for Hillary – she is a disastrous choice – a possibly civilization ending choice. And let’s be clear – Hillary is not the more ‘effective evil’ because she is competent. From where I sit, she seems an incredibly stupid person. She will be more effective because she represents the the will of the majority of the elite class.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Read the book.

      Hard to believe that more “voters” are unaware of this information. I think the only explanation is that all media is actively suppressing it.

      Not to mention Bernie Sanders.

      1. sd

        Apparently the documentary was released for free online a few days ago. Connecting unsavory dots one Clinton dot at a time. It’s appalling. I have no reason to doubt any of the information that’s presented. Fact checking should prove fairly easy to do.

      2. oh

        I read the book and each chapter documents how the Clintons working together have run a corrupt operation. In some cases it borders on a “shakedown”. The book is replete with footnotes and references. I read it more than halfway but returned the book to the library because it made me sick to my stomach how this duo got away with it. I got the feeling that they had a lot of inside help from Congress and the Executive who seemed to help. My conclusion is that most of Congress and the current Administration is corrupt.

    2. grayslady

      I started listening to it. Too depressing to continue. It’s not that the information is new to those of us who have been following the Clintons. As an acquaintance of mine says, the Clintons define success as getting away with something rather than achieving something.

      1. habenicht

        Same. Can’t get past the Haiti clip near the middle, the sleaze is so thick. I can’t believe people think she is the lesser evil between the two legacy candidates.

        Where is the outrage?!

    3. craazyboy

      I heard it just came out at the movie theaters in S.Cal.

      To bad it didn’t come out when Bernie was still running. But that’s what happens when you are forced to rely on Rs to give you a choice.

      Note to DNC: One for the think tank there – what if the Rs want to keep their “moderate Rs” – Plan B?

    4. TheCatSaid

      Thanks for the link. It is compelling. So many incidents of donations & exorbitantly-paid speeches followed immediately by major political favors, decisions and policy reversals–it’s really something, having it laid out in one place.

      No wonder Clinton’s enthusiasm & trust ratings are abysmal.

  17. Jason Boxman

    I can relate to student debt putting life on hold. And I’m fortunate enough to have a decent paying job.

  18. inode_buddha

    I just had the most inmteresting experience WRT the Hillary email scandals… somebody started on about doing the dirt to Sanders on FB, and I read some of the 2,000 comments… there are people out there who are completely deranged. So I came back here, even tho I don’t agree with everything here, at least it has some semblance of sanity. I’m here mainly for the economic stuff (neo-liberalism deconstructed, how to oppose it). Not so much the social issues.

    There was this one guy who was goin on about how Hillary was some Musalim loving socialist commie Liberal who was gonna destroy America because they hate us for our Freedoms….. I mean the guy was all but foaming at the mouth…. I backed away slowly. (I don’t waste oxygen with those types)

    1. ChiGal

      It is ironic that much of the Hillary hatred expressed here started out as R talking points. But perhaps there are many Rs here, dunno.

      I am SOL cuz in my state can’t write in Bernie and not voting for Clinton Foundation or His Hairness, who now it appears may be running just so the loans from Russian bankers don’t dry up since US banks have blackballed him given his multiple bankruptcies.

      No wonder he wants to delegate the job once he gets it to Pence. No wonder no one can quite pin down what his real views on anything are: he doesn’t have any, other than that he likes making $$.

      Not that I am a fan of TPM but it does make a lot of things fall into place…

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        There’s no “irony” here at all. Much of the “hillary hatred” comes from hillary’s own appalling actions over the last 30 or so years, and is well and truly deserved.

        Try watching the video Clinton Cash linked by sd above.

        The video might convince you to take this election far more seriously than just some sort of Dragon Lady vs. “His Hairness” cartoon.

        Blaming it on “R talking points” is just lazy.

        PS. The DNC computers were hacked and emails released by Guccifer 2.0, a Romanian hacker who has nothing to do with “Russia” or Putin. The TPM garbage is just to draw attention away from the substance of the emails which should damn the clinton nomination and the “democrat” party in general, but won’t when some just swallow the propaganda whole.

        1. Tvc15

          It’s almost comical and lazy that team Clinton goes with its the Russians. But, as Lambert mentioned, they get a two-for one message. A nod to the MIC and a classic misdirection. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mooks in a Guardian article says, their “experts” told them it’s the Russians. Whew, good to know they had their experts look into it, I’m comfortable now knowing its those bad Russians again. Maybe my kids can learn to duck and cover in school just like me. Although I always wondered how my desk could save me.

          Caucaused for Bernie even though I’m more closely aligned with Stein. I continue to go back and forth between a protest vote for Trump because of my hatred of her smugness, or a straight vote for Stein or even a no vote because I don’t want to legitimize their system. Given that I understand a non-vote won’t be heard and will accomplish less than a Trump protest vote. So, I’m an undecided voter which is really weird because I consider myself informed and engaged unlike the normal undecided voter you see interviewed before the last debate.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            The idiot robby mooks is peddling this Russian subterfuge garbage on all the morning shows today. I guess tpm was the tech savvy version.

            On CNN, Jake Tapper suggested that this was a “serious charge” and asked for “evidence.” mooks said he’d “leave that to the ‘experts’.” OK.

            The “panel” on CNN got a chuckle out of this whole Russian “conspiracy theory.”

            1. fresno dan

              Katniss Everdeen
              July 24, 2016 at 2:32 pm

              The idea that the Russians broke into the DNC servers…..WOW!!! JUST WOW!!!!

              Hmmmmm….so, what does that mean?
              1. The Russians also broke into Hillary’s server???? (saving that stuff for later???)
              2. The defacto server of the US secretary of state is so useless that it is of less value than a US vice president, i.e., a bucket of warm spit???

              Uh, maybe it wasn’t such a bright idea bringing up Russian hackers of servers…

        2. ChiGal

          I would say I take this pretty seriously, unlike those who minimize the awfulness of either HRC or Trump (look in the mirror, Ms. All Lives Matter)

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        One of the more appalling features of the 2008 campaign was seeing Republican talking points from the Bill Clinton era picked by by Democrats and used against Clinton (especially the misogynist ones).

        Hate is an asset, to be managed strategically. Doesn’t matter who creates it if you can turn it to your purpose.

        I rarely link to TPM for the same reason I rarely link to Breitbart, but since operatives Marshall and Krugman are making the running on this particular Clinton campaign talking point, I though I’d put it out there.

        Adding that the whole flap that Trump is a Russian agent of influence is especially reprehensible given the role that Victoria Nuland — Clinton’s subordinate at state and wife of neo-con Iraq War fomenter Robert Kagan, now raising money for Clinton — in fomenting regime change in Ukraine. Really? Right on the Russian border? Poking the bear in the eye with a sharp stick? Imagine if Russia did the same in Mexico! Or the Chinese in Canada!

        1. sd

          And then there’s this….

          Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal

          At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

          An effective attack technique is to accuse others of what oneself is guilty of.

        2. ChiGal

          Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear. I don’t think Trump is in cahoots with Putin or anything and I DO think HRC is the warmonger where Russia is concerned.

          I just think Trump may well be motivated by personal interest rather than any concept of what is desirable for the world, the nation, or the people in it. He just doesn’t care about anyone but himself.

          Fine if this puts him on the right side of the issue re the Russians, not so reassuring when it comes to all the rest.

        3. craazyboy

          The fact that the Russians are coming is no BS. They have been since the early 90s and the tech workforce in America is full of Russian agents.

          Also, “well placed” sources tell me LA strip bars are overflowing with Russian stripper hotties. Straight outta a Bond Movie, I’m told!

          1. craazyman

            That kind of life would make somebody coarse and hard (no pun intended). I wonder how many of them were human trafficking victims. I wonder now about all the Korean massage girls I “met” back in the day. At the time I didn’t give it a 2nd thought, now I think maybe I should pray to Jesus for forgiveness. I was lost, but now I’m found.

            I think some of them are probably business women making some real money. No sentimentality from them. That’s for the Greeting Card industry, not for the office. I bought 3 Dunhill shirts and some Chelsea boots last week.

            With an Aston Martin and a weekend I could do 3 Russian strippers in one day. That would be something for a Dunhill man with money to burn. But then there something that speaks to you from inside your mind and it says “This is horrible.” The only mystery is why the voice is so quiet. And why some don’t hear it.

            But then the other weird thing is, the voice seems to lack an evident absolute stationarity, and it seems culturally specific. But that’s only an illusion. There is an absolute and that where thhe voice comes from and that’s where things get really really obvious to anyone who sees.

            I’m staying home on election day laying around unless I’m at work, and I’m watching Lana del Ray videos on YouTube. She did an awesome cover of Lee Hazelwood/Nancy Sinatra’s Summer Wine. That’ an unbelievably cool song. Lee Hazelwood did some good stuff, fuk he was good.

            1. craazyboy

              Sometimes I think you think too much craazyman. OTOH, Russian stripper-escorts makes a little voice in my head say “Russian Mafia” and “Rich Idiots in LA think nothing of dropping a couple thou on a hot hooker.” So, if I ever find myself in the neighborhood, I think I’d just have a beer and a look.

              My air force is coming along well. I now have two quads and 4 airplanes. Trump can close China and I won’t even notice.

              “Boots”! You must be having a severe bout of nostalgia. I have no idea what I’ll be doing in November. I might even be so tired of this election I sleep right thru it.

      3. hunkerdown

        “Truth” is orthogonal to “fact”, and each Party has its own load of counterfactuals bolstered by its own selective reading of fact. That’s how mythical deities (which US political parties clearly are) work, by presuming to explain (or explain away) the facts they’d rather not acknowledge. Greer called these “flake filters”; well, alright, but if filtering flakes means selecting for numpties, I’m not sure that’s such a hot idea.

        1. ekstase

          I wonder if they could market Flake Filters as a breakfast cereal, and put people on the box who embody truthiness.

  19. ProNewerDeal

    Given this latest Wikileaks DNC email leak, is it fair to say that HClinton/DNC/NY Gov/etc rigging of 2016 D Primary is as ethically immoral & illegal as Bush43/SCOTUS 2000 election rig?

    1. cwaltz

      Unfortunately since political parties are considered “private” it’s not as illegal but yes, I would say it falls into the category of ethically immoral.

      And yes, I think anyone who is considering voting for a party who engaged in ethically immoral behavior should consider very carefully if THIS is the kind of behavior they wish to reward. I also think the “reform the party” people should look carefully at what they intend on figuratively getting in bed with. Is it really worth it? From where I am sitting the answer is NO.

  20. Buttinsky

    Comic relief from the tragicomedy that is 2016. Yesterday Donna Brazile attempted to smooth things over with Sanders supporters in the convention.

    National Democrats tried to smooth over the bitterness. DNC vice chairwoman Donna Brazile had dropped in on the meeting of Sanders-aligned Rules Committee members and apologized for how the emails came out.

    “She got applause from all of the Bernie rules committee delegates,” said Rules Committee member Anthony Iarrapino, who supports Sanders.

    Maybe they hadn’t yet seen this email from May — Brazile declining to talk with a reporter from The Washington Post.

    > I have no intentions of touching this.

    > Why? Because I will cuss out the Sanders camp!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      After 2000, who in their right might would ever applaud Brazille outside of Bush family reunions?

      1. myshkin

        “After 2000, who in their right might would ever applaud Brazille outside of Bush family reunions?”
        DWS resigns DNC over e-mail scandal and other unseemly primary moments, first reports say Brazille named as temporary replacement.

          1. Buttinsky

            My god — who can keep up? Donna Brazile, who replaced DWS as DNC Chair, has now been replaced by Rep. Marcia Fudge, at least for the duration of the convention. Has any major political convention ever started in such disarray? 1968?


            Now to start searching for those Marcie Fudge emails.

            1. Pat

              Brazil is still DNC Chair, Fudge has taken over as the CONVENTION Chair.

              So it is a one two of people who should have nothing to do with the Convention as she was calling for Sanders to step aside back in February. But I’m sure there will be some worse action in the emails somewhere.

              Oh, and having seen Brazile before the NY Primary she wasn’t even trying all that hard to hide her disgust at having to put up the front of ‘being neutral’. I’ve spent years learning when someone really is just kidding and when the joke is about getting the dig in because if you don’t you’ll…well…cuss someone out.

      2. oh

        She seems to show up like a bad penny in every Dimocrat campaign. I hope she helps HRC like she did Gore!

  21. Synapsid

    We see that the Eastern Hemisphere has had an all-time high temperature.

    Let’s see, an Eastern Hemisphere implies a Western Hemisphere; add those to the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and we have a globe with four hemispheres. Wow.

    Lord Dunsany published a volume of stories long ago with the title “Tales of Three Hemispheres”. Weather Underground has now done him one better.

    This is nothing when compared to what happened when the characters in Pogo found out that the International Geophysical Year had eighteen months in it.

    1. Billy Booners

      Not sure what you’re getting at, but perhaps this will soothe or inflame: How climate change is rapidly taking the planet apart.

      My math says that since we’re at 1 or so degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures now, and Michael Mann predicted 2 degrees C by 2036, and since the linked paper indicates 3.5 C is the limit of endurance for mankind, I suppose I’d guess we have less than 50 years left.

      (Assuming Business As Usual continues, a rather conservative assumption, I’d wager).

  22. Fool

    Is anyone here going to be in Philly? Is the Left planning anything cool or did we forget to get organized again?

      1. Fool

        In so many ways this illustrates my point. Hell, I thought Hedges was still on the run, hiding in a cave somewhere and wondering if the lynch mob is still after him for opposing the Iraq War.

    1. hunkerdown

      Anyone wanna get “Not Your Griffin” shirts? I’ll pitch in a few hundos to get Phil a griffin.

      1. low integer

        I’m partial to “Phil, you’re a Griffin”, but I don’t think anyone in Australia would understand so no shirt for me.

  23. Oregoncharles

    I realize this is a naive question, but: what happens in the EU if a major clearing and financial center (London) is suddenly cut off? We’re hearing that at least the Italian banks and Deutschebank are, ummm, fragile; and Italy is TBTF.

    Obviously, England, or at least London (the rest of England may think they have it coming), would take a major financial (fiscal?) hit. But what about the counterparties on the Continent? The rest of the EU is MORE fragile than Britain.

    I think it goes almost without saying that there’s a tremendous amount of posturing going on – in reality, negotiations have already started, at least the public part. It would help to know what the EU side has to lose (basically, the Euro.)

    1. Yves Smith

      If the banks that have their ops in the UK are caught without having moved their ops in time and having gotten their licenses in times, they can do their business through correspondents. Makes that business less profitable and if it were to be anything other than a short-term arrangement, it would make them less credible as international banks and customers would migrate their Euro-related business to Continental banks.

      1. Jim Haygood

        And there’s more:

        Clinton says that Wasserman Schultz will serve as honorary chair of her campaign’s 50-state program to help elect Democrats around the country.

        Doubling down … it’s always worked in government! :-)

          1. Tvc15

            Team Clinton with their second double letter score of the day. DWS did it, and Clinton demonstrates her courageous swift decision making skills.

            How could I not vote for the smug one now?

          2. craazyboy

            Or that Donna Brazile will have the honor of sitting on Deb, symbolizing party unity.

            Politics and symbolism go together in politics.

        1. Anne

          Once again dazzling us with her exceptional ability to always manage to make singularly bad decisions. Or, another way to look at it is that she will always reward anyone who demonstrates a willingness to do anything to benefit Clinton.

          I had thought I wanted to watch Sanders speak tomorrow night – and I may still do that – but there’s a much larger part of me that is just utterly repelled by anything to do with Clinton and her minions.

      2. Ivy

        Donna Brazile brings that crucial Acela-Sunday morning echo chamber aspect to add vibrancy to the Killary Kampaign. Leave it to the Dems to find yet more ways to sabotage their chances to do anything.

        Recommended reading while awaiting news of indictments, resignations, riots, sputtering and all-around entertainment: Listen, Liberal, by Thomas Frank

    1. Clive

      The comments on the Guardian piece are something to behold and the fact that the DNC let DWS hang on in there so long speaks volumes.

      (but don’t read the main feature and how it lets Queen Hillary off their hook, if you want to keep your breakfasts down).

  24. allan

    DWS, we take it all back. Or not.

    On eve of convention, Democratic chair announces resignation [AP]

    … But party disunity also seems to be a factor in Philadelphia, given Sanders’ demands for a new leader and general unhappiness among his many supporters about how the nomination process unfolded.

    Norman Solomon, a delegate who supports Bernie Sanders, says there is talk among Sanders’ delegates of walking out during Kaine’s acceptance speech or turning their backs as a show of protest.

    Solomon said he believes a “vast majority” of Sanders delegates support these kinds of protests to express their dismay. Sanders’ supporters say they are concerned that Kaine is not progressive enough.

    Dan O’Neal, 68, is a retired school teacher and delegate from Arizona, said Wasserman Schultz has to be censured.

    “We knew they were stacking the deck against Bernie from the get-go, but this type of stuff coming out is outrageous,” he said. “It proves our point that they’ve tried to marginalize him and make it as difficult as possible.” …

    Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, tried to shift blame away from DNC officials to “Russian state actors” who, he said, may have hacked into DNC computers “for the purpose of helping Donald Trump,” the Republican presidential nominee. …

    1. Arizona Slim

      Dan O’Neal and I are friends on Facebook. And the article quote is classic Dan. The guy doesn’t mince words.

    2. Jim Haygood

      One is shocked — SHOCKED — to learn that crimes may have been committed here:

      Tim Canova searched his name in the WikiLeaks database and saw that he was mentioned in about 70 emails. He said it appeared DNC staff was acting like an arm of Wasserman Schultz’s reelection effort and might have violated campaign finance laws.

      “We think there might have been a violation of the law and we’re checking with lawyers,” Canova told POLITICO. “I might file an FEC.”


      DNC donor John Morgan singled out the “Hamilton” tickets by saying it was evidence of [DWS’s] “grotesque self-dealing … the only thing that surprised me is that she was trying to find seven tickets. I can’t believe she has seven friends.

      Agenda for Monday morning: (1) issue Judge Emmet Sullivan’s ruling on HRC testimony; (2) help Canova “file an FEC”; (3) have Comey launch a fresh criminal inquiry; (4) sic Judicial Watch on the thousands of recovered HRC emails that FBI is turning over to State Dept. (5) sow chaos in Philadelphia.

      1. MikeNY

        HRC has hired DWS as “honorary chair” of her 50-state campaign to elect more Dems.


      2. allan

        WaPo clutches at pearls:
        Thomas Rid, a professor at Kings College London, said that if Russia is behind the leak, “This tactic was a game-changer.” In a forthcoming essay to be published in VICE, he wrote: “Exfiltrating documents from political organizations is a legitimate form of intelligence work. The U.S. and European countries do it as well. But digitally exfiltrating and then publishing possibly manipulated documents disguised as freewheeling hacktivisim is crossing a big red line and setting a dangerous precedent: an authoritarian country directly yet covertly trying to sabotage an American election.”

        Carefully crafted. Apparently an (ostensibly) democratic country directly yet covertly trying to sabotage an American election would be OK.

        1. myshkin

          “This tactic was a game-changer.”
          I wonder what game he has in mind? I suppose stuxnet doesn’t feature.
          Don’t want to cross any big red lines.
          I’ve got to vet my list of authoritarian countries directly yet covertly trying to sabotage elections. Ukraine and Honduras oddly come to mind, though that was just anachronistic, non digital manipulation.

          1. Pat

            Let me translate that for you:

            “They aren’t supposed to use those tactics on US!!!!!”

            The thing is ‘they’ aren’t no matter how much certain people want this to be the actions of a state not some independent person or group. It isn’t.

      3. Sam Adams

        She’s from Nassau county Long Island NY! She learned at the trough of the best grifters in the USA.

    3. fresno dan

      July 24, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Uh, what does it say about the value of Secretary of State Clintoon that the Russians are more interested in the DNC computers than Hillary’s????? OR ARE THEY?????
      Or did Hillary have a really, really, really secure server????
      Don’t seem all that 11th dimensional chess – – Maybe not such a good idea at this time spreading fear that Russian hackers are in our computers….

      1. fresno dan

        Of course, if the Russkies have gone all capitalism all the time, maybe they realize the DNC is where the money is!

        1. JTMcPhee

          I use Kaspersky for my internet condom — does that mean I am compromised, and all my ramblings and selfie poetry are out there for any hostile Russian Power to peruse?

  25. marym

    Thousands of Pro-Sanders, Anti-Fracking Marchers Hit Streets

    Thousands of demonstrators are taking to Philadelphia’s sweltering streets Sunday, cheering, chanting and beating drums in the first major protests ahead of the Democratic National Convention, as the city wilts during a heat wave.

    Throngs of Bernie Sanders supporters marched down a main thoroughfare to show their support of him and disdain for Hillary Clinton ahead of the convention.

    Rania Khalek ‏@RaniaKhalek · 1h1 hour ago
    “Tax the rich, feed the poor.” Great chant. I haven’t met anyone who plans to vote for Hillary. #DNCinPHL

    1. Arizona Slim

      Watch the nearby cities. I am thinking that things could get lively in places like Camden, NJ. Or Chester, PA.

  26. J.W. Schothorst

    Robby Mook is so full of crap that his eye color must be brown. “Russian state actors” is totally false. Guccifer 2.0, in an interview with Motherboard, took complete credit for the hack of the DNC server. He’s a buddy of Marcel Lazar, A.K.A. Guccifer the Romanian hacker being held in the US, as this is written. Both of those guys hate the Russians, period. Mook and all these clowns at the DNC should be fired, and these clowns are going to manage our country? Obviously Mook never learned the #1 “Rule OF Holes”, when you are in one: Stop Digging. I have voted Democratic all my life. I did not desert my Party, on the contrary; it deserted me. I no longer take the blue pill, nor the red pill.

    1. craazyboy

      Sure, but you’re under the mistaken assumption that the truth has anything to do with anything.

  27. ekstase

    I didn’t know this about old Joe McCarthy, but it reminds me of current events:

    “He wasn’t even sure what he was going to say, so he took along a speech on federal housing programs and another on alleged communists in government. A local Republican advised that the commie speech would have more oomph. And so that night, McCarthy, waving a paper in the air…”

    So the speech on federal housing programs might have been really interesting, or even just adequate. But for a worm put in his ear by a colleague, he decided to go with oomph instead of statesmanship, or professionalism, or class. And that is what’s interesting about these men, and sometimes women; they want attention and waving papers around in the air more than they want anything. And sometimes, they’ve been right out of their trees; and somehow a sizeable portion of the American public either can’t or won’t acknowledge it. My parents warned me about him, just in case another one ever came along. But there are a lot of hims; all it takes is just the right emptiness in time for one of them to make it.

    1. pretzelattack

      the dnc blaming russians for their own ratfucking campaign against sanders reminds quite a bit of tailgunner joe.

  28. blowncue

    I gotta say, Pablo Manriquez, formerly of the DNC before he got kind of walked for not playing well with others by email – love this guy. Yeah, his hands are dirty, but here’s an excerpt from an email where he drops the hammer on my governor, Pat McCrory and the NC GOP:

    “TJ: After the rush, I’m going to send the 2nd half of this interview to Team Maddow. If there’s anything else we should add — especially within the realm of video content — about this moronic little bigot of a tarheel governor or the bathrooms they’re using to distract from their epic failings as human beings and party officials, let me know. No idea who else on Comm_D would have relevant information for crafting a decent hit piece on the pro-prejudice backwater of the NC statehouse…but if you do, feel free to slack it to me! Thanks!”

    Refers to Chris Wallace | Fox interview with McCrory about HB2.

    I know, it’s like me saying Donald Segretti cracked me up. But if you don’t play well with others but get the job done (cough) – just make him the new DNC chair, then leak his emails for reading delight.

  29. Joe

    I’m an old fart and I’ve been a Democrat all my life, until recently. It’s not that I like punishment exactly but inertia and entropy are hard on an old man.

    Watching the party self destruct, is satisfying in a way. They deserve it but it is also kind of sad. The Dems have been all about corruption for such a long time but they were my corrupt party, darn it! Today, I weep, for my lost innocence.

    Anyway; the whole, “the Russians hacked us” DNC excuse, gives me tremendous side splitting pleasure. A government that wants to spy on every man, woman and child on the planet just learned that the door swings both ways. Shouldn’t have built all those backdoors, eh fellas?

    I can’t wait for Hillary Clixon’s inevitable Checkers speech.

    I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning!

    1. oho

      Hillary’s/Dem. Party’s media consultant buddies and sycophants are going to have a very merry Christmas.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      More spending…to stimulate the economy.

      Trickle down from: HRC >>> Advertisers >>> maybe you and me.

      “I, Hillary, is doing more than Trump to enlarge the GDP.”

      “Put me in the White House, I promise, I will buy more dresses, in order to get our economy (benefitting importers of fine clothing, not necessarily US made, but American importer jobs nevertheless) going.”

  30. SeanL

    Being linked to Putin benefits Trump. Putin appeals to a lot of Americans to the extent Putin has grudging respect. Especially for non-neoliberal conservatives in contrast to a politically (& morally?) weak Obama.

  31. Pat

    It is hard to decide whether to laugh or cry at the ineptitude of the Clinton campaign AND the DNC.
    Russians!?!? Hiring DWS rather than telling her flat out to quit her campaign and disappear NOW?!?!?!?
    Being more upset about being caught and trying to blame a State rather than being shown to clean house because your management was shown to be unethical and possibly even acting illegally!?!?!

    At this rate the Clinton crew is likely to break an ankle stepping wrong over and over in the next few days. Even though the press will do their best not to notice or point elsewhere as a distraction the snowball effect could be too much.

  32. mk

    Re: AM writes: “Charlotte, a chocolate lab, helping to weed my mother-in-law’s garden in Rehoboth, MA.”

    I care for animals as my profession, and I love when animals hang around “helping out” while doing chores. Yesterday while cleaning Lola Chin’s cage (she is a chinchilla), she hung out with me, would come to whatever corner of the cage I was cleaning to see what I was doing, then leave, then return. When I put out new bedding, she takes a few pieces and rips them to shreds. I was sweeping chinchilla debris into a dustpan, just as I began to lift the dustpan from the floor, Lola jumped onto the dustpan then off to the next room with chinchilla debris flying everywhere! Cracked me up, she is such a kamakazee!

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