Links 7/28/16

Clever koalas learn to cross the road safely BBC

Olympics Committee Says Non-Sponsors Are Banned From Tweeting About the Olympics Gizmodo (Dan K)

Boeing Considers Ending Production of 747 Wall Street Journal. Oh, I love 747s! But even by the standards of jets, they guzzle fuel.

Antibiotic resistance: ‘Snot wars’ study yields new class of drugs BBC

Hour’s activity ‘offsets sedentary day’ BBC (furzy)

Is the Present Worse Than Any Fictional, Futuristic Dystopia? Vulture

Oxfam in call for crackdown to combat money launderers using Scottish shell firms Herald Scotland. Our Richard Smith has a byline! And some related stories: Mystery as dissolved Scottish firm Childwall Systems provides armed guards in Ukrainian war zone and Fuerteventura Inter: Scots firm at centre of organised crime probe into weapons deal


Immigration and Brexit. Jeremy Grantham (vlade) Important. Also a reminder that inequality is why the US has so rapidly become a low-trust society.

Bank of England May Revive Dying Policy for Post-Brexit Package Bloomberg

UK joins Greece at bottom of wage growth league Guardian

France church attack: Second suspect in priest killing named BBC

The end of Germany’s golden age Politico

Commission decides against fining Portugal, Spain for budget breaches Politico (paywalled). Mind you, this was Schauble’s doing. From the e-mail summary:

Commissioners yesterday decided not to fine Spain and Portugal for breaching EU budget rules. President Juncker had been pushing for fines in recent days but was in the minority — a rare defeat of presidential wishes. Sources told POLITICO that Wolfgang Schäuble, the normally hardline German finance minister, had been ringing commissioners asking them to decide against fining the two countries.

Catalonia Parliament Approves Independence Path in Defiance of Constitutional Court Michael Shedlock


Chinese default heightens creditor anger Financial Times

Horrifying New Credit Scoring in China Cathy O’Neil


Turkey Expands Purge, Shutting Down News Outlets New York Times

Third Wave Jihadism? London Review of Books. From earlier this month, still germane.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

New York DA Wants Apple, Google to Roll Back Encryption Tom’s Guide (Dan K)

What Are the DNC Hack(s) Rated on Obama’s New Cyber-Orange Alert System? Marcy Wheeler

Trade Traitors

McAuliffe: Clinton Doesn’t Really Oppose the TPP New York Magazine (resilc). Duh!

Did Longtime Ally Just Blow Major Hole in Clinton’s TPP Credibility? Common Dreams


Booing and Nothingness Corey Robin (martha r)

Danny Glover in support of Nina Turner at the DNC Media Tent YouTube (Phil U)

Nina Turner Allies Hold Press Event to Defend Prominent Sanders’ Surrogate Common Dreams

Rosario Dawson And Shailene Woodley On The Young Turks To Discuss #ImWithNina YouTube. Phil U:

S​he wasn’t de-credentialed, ​she was supposed to be the one that nominated Sanders and Clinton people nixed her speech. The had a “press conference” with a lot of the A list Celebs that backed sanders and Yahne of #BernieOrBust, the “I don’t give a fuck about Trump” lady, and a Muslim women Bernie Delegate who was very upset when Clinton won the nomination, Clinton Camp said “what a great picture to exploit” and tweeted it with a misleading caption to make it look like she was thrilled and for Clinton. (they did take it down eventually) Nina decided against talking at the conference.Worth watching,

Coalition of 57 Speaks in Solidarity Effort to Achieve Democratic Unity (martha r). By the group that organized the walkout.

Joe Biden: ‘Moral’ Bernie Supporters Will Vote for Hillary Daily Beast (resilc)

A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC Counterpunch (margarita)

After Lying Low, Deep-Pocketed Clinton Donors Return to the Fore New York Times (TF). Quelle surprise!

The Real Paranoia-Inducing Purpose Of Russian Hacks New Yorker. Dan K: “Clickbait title oversells the conclusion, the synthesis is so-so IMO, but good sourcing (links in live article). The author has written some interesting stuff (considering his class context).”

Trump Has A Point On Russia Hack American Conservative (reslc). “‘Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,’ Mr. Trump said, staring directly into the cameras. ‘I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.'” This was a joke yet the media decided to treat it seriously to feed the Trump-Putin myth. You can watch what he said here. So now we see the MSM playing up something as reality based as the Obama birth certificate scandal.

Why These Union Members and Lifelong Democrats Are Voting Trump Daily Beast (resilc)

Obama’s legacy: Are black voters still fired up? BBC

Facebook Fails to Show Up for Seventh Tax Summons From IRS Bloomberg (Dan K)

As Corn Devours U.S. Prairies, Greens Reconsider Biofuel Mandate Bloomberg. Resilc: “And the runoff destroys the gulf.”

Secret algorithms that predict future criminals get a thumbs up from Wisconsin Supreme Court Fusion

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Prosecutors Drop All Charges in Freddie Gray Death Case Wall Street Journal

Incandescent With Rage New York Times

Ohio taking a reckless gamble with pension funds News-Messenger (john d). Key quote:

In 2015 Ohio’s five public pensions paid outside fund managers a staggering $734.8 million. These management fees are extraordinarily high because Ohio relies on secretive alternative investments more than any state in America..

The results are embarrassing. In 2015 the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the state’s largest pension fund, spent $428.2 million in external management fees for investment results that fell 99.8 percent from 2014, a year when PERS also failed to match what a low-cost index fund would have returned.

Fed Begins Crawl Toward Rate Hike With Near-Term Risks Diminishing Bloomberg

Benign neglect of NIMs in the US FT Alphaville

Banker Bonus Curbs Are Working But Too Onerous for Some, EU Says Bloomberg

Guillotine Watch

The Four Seasons Restaurant Auction Totaled $4.1 Million Bloomberg

Silicon Valley Elites Get Home Loans With No Money Down Bloomberg (resilc)

Class Warfare

Bill O’Reilly melts down over ‘slaves were well-fed’ criticism: Liberals ‘want me dead’ Raw Story (furzy)

Debt Collectors’ Abuses Prompt Consumer Agency to Propose New Rules New York Times

United Stag-Nations – the decayed decade for GDP per head Prime Economics (guust)

Antidote du jour. Chet G:

A falconer will take in an immature red-tailed hawk in the autumn (i.e., a hawk born in that year) and work with it over winter and then release the hawk back into the wild in the spring.

The mortality rate (traditional) is that only one RT out of four will survive its first winter, so the training goes a long way for improving the odds of that particular hawk’s survival.

Here’s a descriptive link describing this year’s Wild about Animals, a fund-raiser for Centre Animal Care:

red tailed hawk links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Pirmann

    I guess I took the Trump/Russia thing quasi-seriously as well. I read it like those situations where a third world country asks another country to investigate something, because they cannot count on their own corrupt government to reliably do so.

    In other words, Trump was saying, “America cannot count on Lo Lynch or Comey to find the emails, so Russia, can you do us a solid?”

    1. HBE

      While complete speculation, I think Russia likely does have all hillarys SOS emails, I mean months on a completely unsecured server and then the rest of the rest of the time on a lightly secured one. It seems probable they do.

      But those would be back pocket emails for later use. Don’t throw out all your cards at once.

      Will it matter with the US’s free and wholly unbiased press though, its not like they would spin it as anti Russian propaganda or anything.

      1. Cocomaan

        Russia will use the emails as blackmail on a future Clinton presidency.

        As I said elsewhere, the Clintons are an empty mud bucket. Everyone has dirt on them. They absolutely find it impossible to act responsibly when in power and as a result, we will all suffer as they try to weasel their way out of scandal by selling us out at every turn.

        I usually find the shibboleth of national security laughable (as if anyone can actually threaten the Empire itself!). But when you realize that the Clintons will be blackmailed by foreign governments at every turn, because the tipped their bucket over by having a bathroom server – how’s that for imagery? – you start to wonder whether a Clinton presidency is actually dangerous to American people. Not just their honor and pride, but their actual persons and property.

      2. JCC

        While complete speculation, I think Russia likely does have all hillarys SOS emails

        Not to mention the Israelis, the Brits, the NKs, the Chinese, Brazil, Canada, and who knows who else… like the NSA.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          …the NSA…

          The only entity that ABSOLUTELY has all clinton’s emails, is not even being looked at with regard to this “hack.”

          I’m sure every employee of that agency just LOVES clinton and would never do anything to shed light on how rigged the system is on her behalf.

          Anyone remember Edward Snowden?

          1. Pirmann

            Yep. Comey and Lo Lynch do not appear to be motivated to do so… just as the DNC was similarly unmotivated to check into Bernie’s allegations of favoritism UNTIL stuff got leaked to the public.

            Trump seems to be joking but kind of not joking… maybe motivating someone to cut the obfuscation or else be embarrassed like the DNC was.

          2. Oregoncharles

            The NSA doesn’t like to share.

            Anyone remembe J. Edgar Hoover and his secret files?

        2. Jagger

          Not to mention the Israelis, the Brits, the NKs, the Chinese, Brazil, Canada, and who knows who else… like the NSA.

          Did you double check your junk folder? You might have them too.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The neoliberal media….

        Anyone who talks about Hillary’s emails again is a Russian mole – It looks like that’s Clinton’s Judo move.

        (Trump’s eyes look just a little slanted, a little Slavic…anyone checked his family tree?) – well, that’s where we are headed…be prepared.

        “By they way, have you dated any Russian girls?” – gotta be thorough, you know.

        1. craazyboy

          It’s rumored there may be a rumor that Trump’s mom was Russian Orthodox – some weird kind of commie faux Christianity that can’t be Christianity because they don’t even have the Pope.

          Trump is so full of contradictions I don’t see how our religious right could support him.

        2. sleepy

          I can’t recall another media frenzy quite like this Trump-Putin hysteria. The extent to which the msm doubles down on it even in the face of contradictory evidence is extraordinary.

          The neocon bipartisan consensus machine is roaring like its life depended on it.

          1. craazyboy

            ‘Tis been hilarious. But I still keep an eye on the sky here looking out for descending Russian warheads. Times like this makes one wonder about the wisdom of living near the world’s largest tactical missile plant. If anyone else lives near a military installation, you should keep an eye out too. Or if you live in a city you could be toast as well.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              I’m hoping I can find the movie “Red Dawn” on Netflix.

              The Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey, Powers Boothe one.


              1. ewmayer

                For a real quality thematic double feature, pair that up with ‘Surf Nazis Must Die.’

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Is it classified information about the missile plant?

              You might have to answer to Hillary’s troopers (it’s a joke, but maybe I should retract….)

              1. craazyboy

                The sign on the building says “nOEhTYar”. We are allowed to type it, but Senator McCain warns we must not speak this name. He’ll take care of that in Congress.

    2. Carolinian

      Perhaps the reason they call them “the serious people” is that they have no sense of humor. The press doesn’t seem to get it when Trump is making fun of them.

      Admittedly Trump’s idea of a joke is not exactly comedy gold, but I have known businessman types with exactly the same sort of jokesy attitude.

      1. Katniss Everdeen


        If there’s anything to come out of this insanity, I hope it’s that Trump comes to understand that he’s got TPTB on the run, that they are desperate, and that he’d better start using the /sarc/ tag.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        When I first heard the comment I found it hilarious. So far it’s my 2nd favorite of Trump’s lines, right after his jab at Jeb! suggesting that his mommy ought to run for president.

        The Dems and corporate media trying to play this as some sort of treasonous connection to Putin makes them look idiotic. Not real smart when you’re trying to paint the other guy as the idiot.

    3. BondsOfSteel

      It didn’t sound like a joke to me either. It sounded like someone who was more than willing to put national security behind his own interests.

      BTW, it also convinced me that our adversaries didn’t hack the Clinton email server. After Trump’s comments, they could have pretty much thrown the biggest monkey wrench imaginable into our political machinery by simply doing what Trump asked.

      1. ggm

        If any foreign governments have Clinton’s bathroom server emails it is in our national security interest for those to be handed over before she takes office and is potentially susceptible to blackmail threats related to the contents of those emails while in charge of our military and economy.

        And what makes you believe the bathroom server emails aren’t being withheld for purposes of blackmail or to be released at a more advantageous time such as the week before the election?

    4. Sam Foster

      Why wouldn’t you take it seriously? How is one supposed to tell when that sneering Living Merkin isn’t being serious?

  2. JTMcPhee

    As a Scots-Irish American (the part that got here via steerage in the late 18th cent., – the other part of the family is proud to claim arrival of seminal ancestor on the Mayflower) I am simply appalled at what True Scotsmen are reported to be up to via those Scottish Banks that Libertarians used to point to as evidence of how “reputation regulates Markets.”

    After all, No True Scotsman…

    1. SoCal Rhino

      Hey, almost sounds like we are long lost distant relatives given that pedigree. Any of those Mayflowerish ancestors end up in New Hampshire?

      1. diptherio

        Oh man, everybody’s got a Mayflower ancestor…ok, not everybody, but lots and lots of us. I’ve got one on both my mother and my father’s side…and it’s the same ancestor — Mr Brewster. Yes, my parents are 16th cousins or something like that. Explains a lot, no?

        1. inode_buddha

          Mine came here from the Netherlands in 1609. Many are buried in what is now Tarytown NY although I’m certain that many more are somewhere under the streets of Manhattan.

          The scots/Irish side of the family came via NoviScotia shortly after the Unification. Yes, I have records and some personal effects.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          I have 7 or 11, depending which genealogy you believe. My father had no idea until he did the work, but the 7 (via 3 of his 4 grandparents) all verified through church records and gravestones. None of them Puritans, btw. All crew or indentured servants.

          The fourth grandparent either goes back to Peregrine White, which my father thought was a made up genealogy by the Mormons, or slaves. And it makes sense because the Mormons are very reluctant to admit black ancestry…and the church records pan out when he gets to a John Black of Orr’s Island…which is next to Bailey’s Island….and the original settler was Black John, a half-black freed slave who married a white woman and was run of the island by Reverend Bailey.

    2. ambrit

      Oh daingit! Since I flew to America as a nipper in a BOAC tri tail Constellation airliner over the North Atlantic Great Circle Route, does that mean I’m a simple Erse émigré?

  3. Roger Smith

    RE: Nina Turner Allies Hold Press Event to Defend Prominent Sanders’ Surrogate Common Dreams

    What in the world is going on with this story. Since it “broke” the whole thing was been a mess with lots of vague allusions and little detail. Now Turner shows up and speaks to the same vagueness.

    What happened? Before she commented I heard that Sanders had pushed back against her “schedule change” or whatever you want to call it. This whole thing makes no sense and the fact that no one is willing to actually discuss it is infuriating.

    1. hreik

      From Mother Jones

      Turner said that prior to Tuesday she had been asked by Sanders to be part of the nominating and seconding speeches for Sanders before the roll-call vote on Tuesday. “I was told it was going to be me and Tulsi,” she said, referring to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), another top Sanders supporter. But when she arrived at the convention on Tuesday afternoon, she saw that nobody from the Democratic Party was there to greet her or help her prepare for her appearance. She then heard from Sanders: The Clinton campaign did not want her on the stage.

      Why? “No reason was given,” Turner said. Was it because she might not have been willing to endorse Clinton? Again, she said, “No reason was given.” She said she still doesn’t know exactly what happened. She noted that she had not submitted any prepared text to the convention managers and had not spoken to them about her remarks. She said she had arrived with the expectation she would be on the stage to nominate Sanders or second his nomination.

      What about Sanders? Did he resist or push back against the Clinton campaign on her behalf? “Sen. Sanders is in a difficult position,” she said. “I don’t know. I don’t want to say.”

      1. Roger Smith

        She should have included that on the MSM interview. Thanks.

        Her reaction is almost as strange as Sanders’ recent behavior (though I have my own hypothesis on what he could be doing).

          1. Roger Smith

            Yea I wanted to write its own comment about it. Just was kind of sitting on it and waiting mixed with laziness.

            I am about to post it below.

      2. craazyboy

        A theory recently popped into my head when Hillary made DWS “Honorary Chair” of the Dem 50 State Program. This dovetails “nicely” with Bernie’s plan to use DNC funding to help new wannabee Sandinistas run for Congress. Methinks Hillary and DWS wants help, and our new, fresh faced Sandinistas will have to “be with her”….because stronger together.

        Just wild speculation on my part.

  4. Roger Smith

    RE :Bill O’Reilly melts down over ‘slaves were well-fed’ criticism: Liberals ‘want me dead’ Raw Story (furzy)

    The real story here is Geraldo seemingly casting the damnation of the holocaust as the absolute evil it was, as a liberal spin meant to guide future discussions and reactions. Maybe it was all a hoax…

    Further still, it is not okay for O, Reilly to make a racist comment, but neoliberals et al. have no problem saying the exact same thing in practice. A friend shared that with me regarding a comment about sweatshop labor I made. I was appalled. “It’s better than what they could have! What they need is more sweatshops!” Infuriating.

    1. fresno dan

      Roger Smith
      July 28, 2016 at 7:38 am

      Very good point in the Link Mr. Smith – from the link:
      “I’m glad that many Americans are repulsed by the idea of importing products made by barely paid, barely legal workers in dangerous factories. Yet sweatshops are only a symptom of poverty, not a cause, and banning them closes off one route out of poverty. At a time of tremendous economic distress and protectionist pressures, there’s a special danger that tighter labor standards will be used as an excuse to curb trade.”

      Mr. Kristof, who seems so enamored of the importance of trade for economic development, seems not to understand that undermining wages of peoples who have protection only incentivizes and rewards the abandonment of hard won labor protections in both non labor protected and labor protected countries….

      With regard to O’Reilly, he does the typical pseudo logical questions without the base of actual fact to ascertain them, and is studious in asking other questions. How does O’Reilly KNOW how well fed and housed the slaves were???

      As Wimple in the Washington post points out, the slaves were housed in a barn – something that I would not characterize as well housed. There are no records of how much or what they were fed – perhaps half a rat per day? How many were beaten? How many were beaten to death? How many were killed while trying to escape? Who knows? FOX is very careful in the questions they ask, and MORE CAREFUL in the questions they DON”T ASK

      And finally, there is just a schizophrenic attitude that permeates FOX – government is incompetent, terrible, bad, composed of bad people…but somehow the country is so great it even does a wonderful job of taking care of slaves….FOX, who as a general proposition thinks all government employees (except police or military) are overpaid…except with regard to the slaves – – simply bizarre.

        1. pretzelattack

          the elites should have real economic incentives to stop the whole vampire squid thing, but they don’t.

        2. jrs

          there are no doubt people treated worse under wage slavery than actual slavery and I don’t mean most white collar work, we need the abolition of wage slavery but with a full acknowledgement of how bad it sometimes gets …. There are undocumented workers in sweatshops that are beaten etc. here right now, right in this country, often they are women etc..

      1. optimader

        FOX, who as a general proposition thinks all government employees (except police or military) are overpaid

        I thought police or military are our Best and Brightest,selfless class, motivated by a greater Calling than the average shlub?
        Why do they need to be paid? Just give them biscuits and tea when you see them!

      2. Christ on a bike

        A simple point of fact: Sojourner Truth, who knew a few more slaves than even Bill O’Reilly, said in her memoir that the slaves were not well-fed – besides all the other privations and degradations they endured. O’Reilly ought to stick to what he knows and tell us whether or not assclowns are well-fed.

    2. Uahsenaa

      Therein you have the (very slight) distinction between your average “conservative” and “liberal” (I use those terms with great trepidation): one feels perfectly okay with being occasionally racist, the other occasionally classist. Well, maybe not just occasionally…

      1. ChiGal

        um, conservatives are “occasionally” okay with both. whoEVER is in power is okay with being classist evidently.

        conservatives are no great champion of the working class with their flat tax proposals, ambition to destroy the safety net, tax breaks for corporations etc. and in their opposition to the ACA they are not exactly calling for Medicare for All are they?

        that Trump is now the alternative to HRC seems to be clouding people’s minds. plus nothing he says can be counted on since what beliefs he himself he has other than that he is the greatest really who can tell?

    3. jrs

      and the TPP being specifically jiggered to accommodate slavery, actual slavery. If only Trump were smart enough (or Bernie still willing enough) to hit that hard, likely not though.

      It’s better than what they have, ok given conditions it could be, but what created the conditions? Start with the history that lead to the horrible conditions where sweatshop labor was the best available alternative.

    4. ekstase

      Bill O’s emotional range is off the charts, and he seems to genuinely feel his outrage and terrible victimization. But the “facts” that set him off are insane, and so, for a moment, you feel drawn into empathy, like he’s normal, and then there’s this moment where you go, “Oh, yeah, he’s reenacting something we don’t know about, or fending off some memory of his we really don’t want to know about.” It’s like a horrible car crash, over and over, and you have to look away. Sad, horribly funny. Maybe we could set up some kind of reality situation where Bill gets to live the life of one of those slaves, see how it goes.

    5. Plenue

      It almost certainly isn’t better than what they had before. Despite what most economists think, markets and wage labor are not the default position for human societies. Many of the worlds sweatshop workers would have previously been much more self-sufficient and had social constructs to support them. They may have still been quite poor, but the lack of money was significantly mitigated. Now they’re on the very bottom rung of an entirely different system, with many of their previous crutches kicked out from under them.

  5. allan

    “Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the state’s largest pension fund, spent $428.2 million in external management fees for investment results that fell 99.8 percent from 2014, a year when PERS also failed to match what a low-cost index fund would have returned.”

    Low-correlation asset classes aren’t free, you know. What did you want PERS to do, invest in a meth lab?

    But seriously … will either party ever point to malfeasance like this when discussing the state of public pension plans?

    1. Steve H.

      – failed to match what a low-cost index fund would have returned.

      Really, with that kind of capital base they should be able find some dinky market to push around.

      1. fresno dan

        “In the free throw shooting episode, released this week, Gladwell explores Wilt Chamberlain’s flirtation with the underhanded style. The method, also called “granny style” shooting, was favored by Rick Barry, a career 89.3% free throw shooter, and it helped Chamberlain shoot a career-best 61% from the line in 1961–62, the same season he sank 28 of 32 free throws in his record-setting 100-point game. Much to Gladwell’s dismay, however, Chamberlain reverted to traditional foul shooting, his percentages predictably plunged again, and he later admitted that he felt “like a sissy” when he shot underhanded.”

        Is there a better explanation for why there is ANY active management of pension funds….or any funds?

        It also demonstrates that there is precious little rationality under girding most, if not all, people’s economic decisions. How many billions, upon billions, are not earned because people believe they are “above average”????

        1. Steve H.

          Thank you so much. As a born-again Hoosier, any case involving basketball instantly brightens my day. I’ll give a hat-tip to Jalen & Jacoby, whose dialogue involves the intersections of sports analytics with pop culture and the deep intricacies of salary caps.

          There is a better reason for the one-handed free throw, in that it allows a moment of focus on the mechanics of the shot, which can loop to better subsequent jump shots. Chet Richards talks about the “circular process of building your orientation, of learning, and then you have this rapid fire process of actually using your orientations when you’re engaged.”

          As for active management, there’s no need to update and learn when “incentive-caused bias” gets rewarded with bonuses. Yves believes active management can give better returns than the index fund, so the question then becomes, where are the returns distributed? And that goes straight to ‘above average’ rewards for average work.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      PE is not a low correlation asset class, and hedge funds since 2010 are pretty highly correlated with stocks too.

      And I hate to say it, once you get outside known cesspools of corruption (New Jersey, Chicago, Kentucky), don’t assume corruption. Trustees do everything they do based on what advisers tell them, and the advisers all endorse these high fee strategies. More complexity means more fees for them! That’s actually the real nexus of corruption, the intellectual corruption.

      1. allan

        My reference to the PERS investments as low correlation was a (failed, apparently) attempt at humor,
        since it had done so much worse than the index benchmark. Never mind.

      2. Whine Country

        It’s Trustee CYA: “Hey wasn’t us that screwed up your pension. We paid for the best!” (And used your money to do it, too.) Oh, I forgot the best ones: “You get what you pay for and this is what everyone does”. There’s your intellectual corruption.

      3. Jim Haygood

        A paper cited by The Economist this week is pertinent:

        Private-sector pension funds in America (and Canadian public funds) regard a pension promise as a kind of debt. So they use corporate-bond yields to discount future liabilities. [Barclays US corporate bond index currently yields 2.8% — JH]

        American public pension funds are allowed, under rules from the Government Accounting Standards Board, to discount their liabilities by the expected return on their assets. [7.5% for Calpers.] That means, in turn, that [discounted] liabilities are lower and the amount of money which the employer has to put aside today is smaller.

        Unsurprisingly, the academics found that American public pension funds choose a riskier approach.

        The academics also look at the trustees. They find a relationship between the riskiness of a fund’s assets and the proportion of political trustees (such as state treasurers) and worker trustees elected by scheme members. Neither group will want to see contributions rise in the short term. So both groups bank on achieving higher investment returns, leaving any scheme shortfall to be cleared up later.

        Short-term incentives, long-term liabilities: B-B-B-B-B-A-A-D-D-D-D-D!!!!

  6. Arizona Slim

    So, today is July 28. Later, HRC will officially accept the Democratic Party nomination for President.

    My Facebook feed is full of Hillary raves, but you know what? I remember similar sentiments being expressed over Obama during the summer of 2008. I think that, this time around, the buyer’s remorse will set in a lot sooner.

    As in, by next spring.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Buyers’ remorse? The “buyers” are still all “Obama Greatest President Ever!!!!” As they choke on their Obamacare deductibles and co-pays and cancellations and strangled “provider networks.” And are okay with pink-misting Brown and Olive people (another kind of “color-blindness” or “color revolution”?) And Giant Sucking Sound Death of National Sovereignty “trade deals. And on and on and on, “protect the legacy!!!”

      Loyalty above all! Transfer Fealty To New Feudal Mistress!

      1. Steve C

        Workforce dropouts, downward mobility, drug use, suicide rate increasing. Those are signs of societal collapse.

        Don’t know how successful Hillary will be running for obama’s third term.

        1. Reify99

          Me too. As soon as he went all Rubinesque and started surrounding himself with Goldman Sachs alums.

          1. SpringTexan

            Yep, I was totally off his train long before 2012, sigh. When he appointed Rahm Emanuel, I knew he wasn’t what he’d represented himself as.

              1. JerseyJeffersonian

                Yes, that betrayal of a promise was lights out for me regarding voting for Obama, too.

                And nothing – absolutely nothing – he did afterwards caused me any doubt about that decision. In fact, the accumulating mass of deceptions, sell-outs, and palpably evil acts by The More Effective Evil convinced me to again not vote for this smarmy bastard.

                I got similar bad feelings about Bill Clinton both times he was up for election, and acted in similar fashion. Nothing to regret there, either, as subsequent events have only served to reinforce my detestation of that slimy weasel.

          2. Pat

            Once he was the nominee I joined the train. I still had hope for better even after his cabinet selections, although they gave me pause. It was the lack of action on banks AND the whole ACA debacle that made me realize that he was very effective, just not about doing what he should have been doing if he wanted to better this country and not line the pockets of major donors.

            Here’s the thing, Obama comes off as charming. His family comes off great. He can make people think he is nice and that he wanted something different. Clinton cannot do that. She is charmless. Bill is a loose cannon whose instincts now run to disaster. Chelsea? We’ll know after tonight. I’m betting she ends up making Trump’s family look even better. Hillary Clinton has NONE of the protection that Obama has had in keeping his supporters bamboozled. Not to mention that even if elected she is going to go into office with support that is lower than Obama’s lowest numbers. It is going to be Bush 2 year 8 support time probably by summer of 2017.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Part of the reason Obama continues to get away with it because he was an obvious empty suit but people wanted to see some dippy post partisan feel good story or have an imaginary black friend so they wouldn’t have to feel bad about the inner city. Obama had a record and plenty of public statements which would have sunk a less pretty candidate. Obama supporters don’t want to admit they projected onto Obama just like he accused people of doing in one of his books, so they latch onto anything to make them not feel shallow.

              Hillary won’t be able to build as large a coalition, but her followers will be just as obsessed because it’s been about the con we pulled on ourselves.

              1. Pat

                It isn’t just the hippy dippy thing, but I do believe you have hit on one thing that Obama and Clinton will share in keeping a modicum of support – the first thing. I do believe that there is a significant level of denial that the first Black President has had and has little interest in the issues that most Black and biracial Americans face. Watching all the people go on and on about Hillary Clinton and women’s rights and children’s issues despite a record that is patchy at best, she would be given that same benefit of delusion. But without the pretty and the charm or charisma Clinton’s base support, obsessed though they may be, will be significantly smaller. And the 27% that never gave up on Bush is a pretty good base line for that obsessed support who will always think her the best, brightest most qualified excellent President ever.

              2. Daryl

                Obama was and is a good orator. Hillary speaks like a terms of service agreement given human form.

            2. ChiGal

              “Here’s the thing, Obama comes off as charming. His family comes off great. He can make people think he is nice and that he wanted something different.”

              Yep, my mom texted me last night: “Can’t help watching Obama. In spite of all my reservations, I still love the sheer decency of that man.” And another friend postponed a phone call with me cuz she was watching him (I didn’t).

              My reply to my Mom? “His presentation of self is beguiling but the words don’t match the deeds…”

              Thing is, he does personally project an integrity that neither Bill nor W could. When he was elected it felt like, Wow, grown-ups back in the House. He doesn’t cheat on his wife, he isn’t in recovery, he is articulate, intelligent, and has a sense of humor. No grifter vibe there.

              BUT professionally he has been a disaster. He was captured early on by the Clinton economic team and his fundamentally conservative lifestyle and personality – the same things that make him a decent family man – also led (along with the need not to appear as an angry black man, let’s face it) to his conciliatory approach to the Rs when exactly the opposite was desperately needed.

              I do think he is “nice” in his personal life, and perhaps he even wanted something different. But he didn’t make it so. And now he is a hypocrite, papering over his failures with platitudes. A family man whose legacy includes the pink mist that is all that’s left of brown folks in other parts of the world.

              1. JerseyJeffersonian


                His continued usage of “folks”, “some folks”, etc. ad nauseam in his public speaking does nothing but convince me that he has only deep-rooted contempt for “folks”. He would never consider including himself amongst “folks”. These are in Obamaland, after all, those clinging on to their guns and God to his profound disgust.

                Sorry, Mr. Empty Suit, you can’t stuff that shit back in the bottle by then fulsomely and avuncularly referring to the same people you just so grossly insulted as “folks”. As an errand boy for the .01%, you’ve got no call to put on airs, pal.

              2. Plenue

                “Thing is, he does personally project an integrity”

                We are what we repeatedly do. And he, among many, many other horrific things, sits in meetings week after week and decides who gets to live for another week and who dies. That he can still present a public face of decency tells me exactly one thing: he’s literally a sociopath. The ability to fake friendliness and approachability is what makes them SOCIOpaths, as opposed to just being creepy psychopaths murdering wayward hitchhikers.

                Barack Obama is a monster.

            3. neo-realist

              Some old feminists, e.g., Steinem and Hollywood actresses, e.g., America Ferrara, Lena Dunham (“I’m with her”), as well as Black Corporatist Mogul Russell Simmons are in Hillary’s corner. Those along with Corporate media Teflon are being counted on by the campaign to get to the general election.

      2. Pirmann

        You’re absolutely right. The black folks I know, to a person, would vote for Obama again if they could. And they were all already With Her back before the primaries even started, and have not changed their mind since.

        1. ambrit

          We must travel in different circles. The black people I speak with during my days out, in Hattiesburg Mississippi, generally get how bad Obama has been for the poorer people of all colours. Some of the people are conflicted over how they could have been so wrong, but as one left leaning man put it, “He’s one of ‘us,’ so there’s a lot of ‘Local boy does good,’ in the mix.” I can get that, but H Clinton has a far tougher row to hoe because she already has a questionable reputation in many minds. Obama was a blank slate just waiting to reflect back whatever the voters wanted to project onto him. H Clinton in contrst to Obamas’ ‘blank slate’ of 2008, is a Baroque Versailles Room. “Let them eat ramen!”
          A fruitful line of attack for Trump would be; “Ask Hillary, what have you done for me lately?” Cut out the gender arguments completely and focus on “It’s the economy stupid!”

        2. ChiGal

          I live (for now) on the south side of Chicago and know a lot of black folks, who do not “to a person” think alike.

          Some are as you describe, others were Bernie supporters but now are voting for HRC cuz Trump scares them shitless, others will vote for neither of the legacy candidates.

      3. Punta Pete

        I took one look at the people advising Obama on economic issues prior to his election and concluded that there would be no change/improvement in economic policy, but I did have an expectation that things would improvement regarding constitutional protections of privacy, given that his legal background was in constitutional law. Fooled me.

      4. Benedict@Large

        I keep hearing that Obama was the best President ever. I end up wondering where I was during those eight years, because he wasn’t the best President ever in the ones I lived in. I feel like I missed out on something.

    2. DJG

      We are seeing two big “narratives” of post-modern U S of A: The Republicans are the hierarchical, strict “daddy” party. The Democrats are the warm, qualitative “mommy” party. Today, in my FB feed, people are marveling that Tim Kaine is Catholic. Yesterday, in a typical Democratic misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution, the feed consisted of people marveling at Michelle Obama and “FLOTUS,” which we all know is a means of attaining the presidency these days.

      Of course, there will be lots of betrayal as Trump self-destructs (even if he wins), unable to restrain the Republican elites from pillaging the government and looting the military. And the Democrats have found the convenient excuse that mommy can’t take care of you because we must worship the Market.

    3. Amateur Socialist

      Try October unless her polling turns around soon. The most electable marketing claim from the primaries may have a short shelf life.

  7. Mark Alexander

    Re: Secret algorithms the predict future criminals

    Speaking as a retired software engineer, I see that one huge problem, of course, is the closed, proprietary nature of the software. (This is leaving aside the issue of whether any kind of software should be trusted with this kind of life-changing decision.) For all we know, the software could consist of code like this:

    def is_criminal(perp)
    return true if perp.ethnicity == :black
    # etc.

    But we’ll never know, thanks to trademark and copyright protection.

    1. Christopher Fay

      It’s the double equal signs and colon that kill it, yes, that man is a criminal. Thanks for the coding.

        1. Unsympathetic

          Anything used by .gov… is probably a FORTRAN legacy system, with a 55-year old sysadmin who gets whatever he requests in annual raise because nobody knows [or even teaches] that language any more.

          1. Propertius

            As John Backus observed back in the 1970s, “Nobody know what the premier scientific computing language of the 21st Century will look like, but its name will be FORTRAN.”
            He was, of course, somewhat biased.

            I should probably say “Fortran” instead, since the name was changed from all caps in the Fortran-90 standard.

            As someone who does high-performance computing for a living, I can assure you that Fortran is alive and well (and still pretty widely taught).

            The government, in my experience, is quite enamored of C++, even when it’s a wildly inappropriate language choice.

    2. Jim Haygood

      After all, credit rating algorithms work so well – and are really easy to correct if they make an error. /sarc

      1. tony

        They work very well for the agencies. I suppose precrime will also serve certain parties well.

  8. Jim A

    Re: the whole “slaves had it good,” idea. The fact that slaves were VERY expensive provides strong evidence that feeding, clothing, housing and torturing work out of slaves was much cheaper than hiring free labor.

    1. Steve C

      In the neoliberal order, the overlords cut benefits, steal wages, etc. It’s not too far-fetched to imagine slavers providing crappy food, housing, clothes, then torturing when the captives rebel.

      1. Steve C

        The business model. It’s cheaper to skimp on provisions and just get new slaves to replace the ones that fall prey to “attrition.”

  9. notabanker

    Can I vote for Rosario Dawson? A lucid, coherent and easily understandable appeal.

  10. Butch In Waukegan

    Another pass given to Hillary.

    Trump’s Russian “gaff”, if that’s what it was, came during an hour-long press conference. How many press conferences has Hillary had this year? Why isn’t the press demanding she face their questions? Isn’t that what a candidate supposed to do?


    1. notabanker

      HRH does not “do” press conferences. One is only granted an audience with Royalty.

      Let the demagogue speak to the press. They are paid good money to write what is told to them.

      1. Butch In Waukegan

        During a one-on-one interview she uttered the words (and laughter) that defined her forever as a psychopath. “We came, we saw, we died.”

        Earlier this year, on a rope line, she snapped “I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me. I’m sick of it!” What would have happened if there was a lamp handy?

        Her campaign has bubble wrapped her to prevent these revealing outbursts. The media understands and accepts that . . . because Trump!

        1. Maurice Hebert

          I take your point.

          The actual quote is: “We came. We saw. He died.”

          With “He” referring to the deceased Qaddafi.
          Her cackle was both chilling and revealing.

          1. shargash

            I was also not thrilled that she was quoting Ceasar (in paraphrase). I will be even less thrilled with her “All Syria is divided into three parts” speech.

          2. jgordon

            I was talking with a wealthy American/Mexican woman two days ago, and I asserted that a good reason to support Trump was that it’s better to have him in charge rather than a psychopath like Hillary. She took issue with my description of Hillary–until she saw that clip.

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Trump will likely use that in the coming months to re-introduce our democratic Furious Leader.

      2. Pavel

        Here is a piece from The Hill on this. Clearly they are hoping to get away without any press conferences. I wonder now if they are going to make enough demands so as to escape doing the debates as well.

        Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager can’t guarantee that the Democratic presidential nominee will hold a press conference between now and the presidential election and laughed off questions about why she doesn’t gather with reporters.

        Speaking at a luncheon hosted by The Wall Street Journal, campaign manager Robby Mook burst out laughing when asked if Clinton would hold court with members of the media before Election Day.

        “We’ll see,” he said.
        Clinton has still not held a press conference this year.

        According to a count by The Washington Post, it has been more than 230 days since Clinton last held one — Dec. 4, 2015.

        When Washington Post editorial board editor Ruth Marcus asked if the press conference blackout would continue into a Clinton administration, Mook again laughed it off.

        “I will not speculate about anything after the election because I’ll be on vacation,” he said.

        “I’m saying that I can’t even tell you what we’re doing 10 days from now, we make these decisions on a rolling basis,” he said.

        –Clinton camp laughs off questions about press conference blackout

        The “laughing off” is typical Team Clinton arrogance, of course.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          According to the Jesuits there, one of the last Ming emperors, Wanli, and also one of the longest ruling, stopped receiving his ministers for decades.

          That’s decades, all because, apparently, they did not approve of his attempt to replace the crown prince with the son of his favorite consort.

    2. polecat

      What ‘demanding’ questions are those??

      …and the Press demanding accountability……surely you jest !

  11. Roger Smith

    A Working Hypothesis On Bernie Sanders (My Brain’s Thoughts)

    Both Bernie Sanders’ timing and the way in which he endorsed Hillary Clinton create immediate cognitive dissonance with his message/policies, his own promises, and general reality. We saw throughout his campaign that his disagreements with Clinton were deeply fundamental. Sanders did use similar anti-Trump rhetoric but it was to a much less exaggerated extent as Clinton and other Democrats.

    Thus when Sanders pulled his (more than) 180 to endorse Clinton as president and push the same Trump schlock as all the other Zombies on the stage, something starts to stink.

    Potential Reasons (and why they do not address the core dissonance):

    [1] Despite his understanding of policy that would indicate fundamental opposition to Clinton otherwise, Sanders seriously thinks Trump is a disaster and that he must be beaten. This however does not address the “this one goes to 11” praising for Clinton he provided. I understand he promised to endorse the Democratic nominee and that is fine, but he could have done so with a standard or even more meager endorsement.

    [2] A more conspiracy oriented angle, Sanders or his family was threatened with physical harm. Look at his position, Sanders is 74, at the final years of his career. He has nothing to lose by standing up for the rights and society people deserve. This to me is less plausible than the first potential explanation.

    [3] Gross Ineptitude. I would have a really hard time being sold on this one give how on point with most other things Sanders is.

    So in mulling over this incongruity in Sanders’ beliefs and his behavior I developed another hypothesis, which also fits in with what I thought would probably be the best progressive strategy should he lose (expectedly to the overbearingly corrupt system). It is something he could never be telegraphed directly for the backlash and rhetoric would sink it.

    Bernie Sanders knows that, barring immense luck (which does side in her favor, Lady Luck must be blind Justice’s twin), Clinton cannot win, or he at least suspects she will not. Again his fundamental beliefs logically explain Trump’s popularity. In that regard he and Trump are addressing the same real issue. So Sanders throws himself into the throes of sycophancy. When Clinton loses it will be much more visibly her and the party’s fault and failure, as opposed to Sanders being used as a Nader-esque scapegoat (though it will still occur). Sanders counts on people voting for Trump. Think of “hopping waves” at the wave pool or in the ocean. The last huge Clinton, New Democrat wave is upon is. He waits for people to make the jump and, however barely, make it over the other side, to move beyond it. In the meantime he is artificially pulling back, adding tension the sycophantic rubber band (or as I sort of imagined, pinball shooter) of the party apparatus. When it fails, the recoil against the Democrats will be all the much greater. If that can be managed, he will have (however momentarily) open waters in which his new organization(s) and congressional, state, city level support can be in a better environment to be pushed and take serious root.

    This is the only explanation I can see so far that explains the dissonance and generally odd behavior of Sanders and that match the policies that seem to guide him. He would have to be playing it close to the chest.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Good explanation. I am becoming more convinced that Sanders and Trump supporters have a lot in common. That’s why I think that the mocking should stop and the bridge building should begin.

      1. sid_finster

        Absolutely. On many issues, Trump is the most progressive Team R candidate in a long long time.

      2. inode_buddha

        I am certain that both Sanders and Trump supporters are dealing with the same social issues. However they ascribe different causes to them, rightly or wrongly, and it is from these different causes that they assign different policy solutions. In truth, just IMHO neither side is completely wrong. They are both right and both a bit wrong. Combined, both the Trump and Sanders camps are FAR more correct and better than the Clinton political/financial machine.

      3. polecat

        There are commentors on this board who feel it necessary to mock & condescend those leaning towards voting Trump!

        ….how does that differ from, say the harassment one might receive at the Daliy Kos……?

        1. jrs

          well there are commentators on this board who mock and condescend those voting for Clinton and there are commentators on this board who mock and condescend those voting for Jill Stein. Trump and Clinton are such horribly flawed candidates that I don’t see the point of any of it really.

          Build bridges with Trump supporters? Maybe, depends on the individual. I mean if they are praising the KKK then forget about it (and yes that does still go in this day and age), but if they are basically sensible yes move them left maybe. See I have very serious doubts a truly right wing view is every going to sympathize with anything left but some Trump supporters are probably just desperate not right wingers.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Trump is not likely to launch another operation Barbarossa.

          And he has said he would be with the Brits in the Battle of Britain.

          As for the concern that he is a strongman, yesterday, on the local pro-Clinton public radio station, they interviewed an expert from the local university, who said Trump was actually weak, and, he believed, that’s the way to attack Trump – by exposing him as not really a Strong Man.

    2. EndOfTheWorld

      Roger Smith, this is an interesting theory. Bottom line, he’s just a politician. The best thing he could have done, IMHO, is just stay completely out of sight during the convention. What does he care, really? He has a good job as senator. He can retire at any time with a good pension, I presume. But he is doing what politicians do—give BS speeches at BS conventions. Bernie worrying about his “legacy”? That’s another BS thing that BS politicians do.

      1. Roger Smith

        It depends what type of typical “politician” he is, if he is. I would describe the typical politician as selfish. With regards to his personal beliefs (vs. the Democrats’), I would have expected Sanders to act like Ted Cruz did, if he were the selfish politician.

        Doing what he did instead would indicate he was a selfish politician, but one that works within the party’s codified “mantra”, which he clearly isn’t.

        Nothing about Sanders’ history tells me he is a typical politician. Which leads me back to the hypothesis.

        1. Whine Country

          For reasons known only to Bernie, I believe he is returning to his day job as an Independent and not a Democrat. I agree with your dismissal of scenario [2] as to physical harm but Bernie has been allowed to caucus with the Dems and it would not surprise me in the least if they threatened to isolate him in the future if he did not get on board. Maybe Bernie has explained his reasoning for remaining an Independent and I missed it. He could have easily neutralized the treat of isolation by merely converting to the Democrat Party.

          1. Roger Smith

            I have seen a few reports of that as well. I want to say one of them quoted him or a statement with the reason being that he was elected as an Independent. (Sorry I don’t have the actual link).

    3. voteforno6

      It’s probably a lot more simple than that. It takes a lot of political skill for someone like Sanders to make it to the Senate. He doesn’t seem to let losing an election get him down. He’s also shown a willingness to fight like hell for what he wants, but he’s been around long enough to sense when it’s time to cut a deal, even if he can’t get everything. In that respect, I think that he’s a lot more pragmatic than the self-styled savvy Clinton supporters will admit.

      Clinton won the the primary, fair or foul. There’s nothing he can do to change that now. So, he’s left with two choices: support her, or not. If he supports her, and she wins, that improves his standing. If he supports her, and she loses, he’s in an even stronger position. If he doesn’t support her, and she wins, then she’ll be in a position to punish him. If he doesn’t support her, and she loses, then at least some of the blame will stick to him.

      My feeling is that Sanders really does care about his issues – that’s one thing that’s been very consistent throughout his whole career. He’s doing what he thinks is the best thing for him to do, to advance his causes. Given his track record, I think that people should cut him some slack.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Politicians are an arrogant lot, and Sanders has said this about himself. He’s better than the rest, but he’s still arrogant.

        My guess is he never grasped why people were supporting him, the immense anger over the system. His voters and I suspect many non voters have no interest in changing the Democratic party. That ship has already sailed. The Democrats were handed power, and they proceeded to be supremely vile. They promised to be better and attacked on social security. Even the “no TPP” campaign isn’t even a demand for the Democrats to be better, just not more destructive than usual.

        I think Sanders bought the idea it can change.

      2. Patricia

        I agree, and add that for decades Sanders has been buried in an increasingly corrupt system. I suspect his idea of success has been forged through that, and it doesn’t look like our ideas.

        For him, getting financing for those health centers attached to the ACA was huge success—they helped millions of poor who otherwise would not have anything. ISTM, he’s learned to ignore the overt corruption, recognizing that he couldn’t win against it, in favor of being both quick-on-his-feet and patient-to-a-fault, for those small alleviations that are under the radar and around the edges.

        He has been largely alone in his endeavors, too—this/that person come along for particular attempts but drop away again. I wouldn’t be surprise if he actually is feeling hugely positive right now, because there are a lot of people rising up and with them, there is a greater chance of changing some of the larger problems that he’s had to endure/ignore for decades.

        I don’t know if this is so but I’m watching.

        1. Patricia

          Adding that Sanders took a particular route, and as with any route (which always, in turn, shapes one’s thinking), I imagine this was very stultifying in some ways. And it is much more difficult to change a long habit of thinking when one is older. I suspect that inability to shift became apparent as the campaign went far beyond hopes/plans.

          Sanders’ people are doing what they need to do—take it over without despising his long work. May it continue!

        2. Roger Smith

          ++ Interesting lens of view here and it fits in with his lack of “punch” as the campaign stretched on (not saying things that were obviously hanging in the air right in front of him).

          1. Light a Candle

            Very interesting thoughtful comments on what happened with Bernie. I really don’t understand his over-the-top endorsement of HRC. It is unbelievable.

            I fully expected him to endorse her but more along the lines of “Vote for Hillary, she’s better than Trump and let’s work together to have a truly democratic Democrat party”.

            His endorsement of HRC was a 180 and just didn’t fit with Bernie’s track record or values.

            My guess was that he (or family members) were being blackmailed by the surveillance state.

            But maybe he just never expected to be President and took a big step back? He did have a lack of punch (or even simple acknowledgement) on many issues including the emails and electoral fraud.

            On the other hand, he took the ball and ran with it. He almost made the touch down line and he has sparked a huge renewal in democracy. For that effort and his track record (prior to July 11) he will always have my respect and admiration.

      3. JohnnyGL

        “Clinton won the the primary, fair or foul. There’s nothing he can do to change that now. So, he’s left with two choices: support her, or not. If he supports her, and she wins, that improves his standing. If he supports her, and she loses, he’s in an even stronger position. If he doesn’t support her, and she wins, then she’ll be in a position to punish him. If he doesn’t support her, and she loses, then at least some of the blame will stick to him.”

        — voteforno6, I think this political calculus is pretty accurate. This is a guy who’s used to not getting his way, but winning a few important concessions to move the needle in the right direction. After all, he’s the “Amendment King” for a reason.

        What he does AFTER November is much more interesting/important than all the hoopla about what goes on at the convention. Let’s see if he’s able to make a bully pulpit for himself and jump-start his organization.

        1. RabidGandhi

          Personally, I’m less interested in seeing what Sanders does after November and more interested in seeing what the Sandernistas do after Sanders.

        2. oh

          IMHO Sanders saw that he had no hope of winning the nomination (after the votes were rigged). He looked at his options and saw that he could take the sure thing i.e. keep his Senate Committee seniority and continue to play a small part in crafting amendment (meaningless ones in more cases) as an “independent”. In the late era of his life he did not have the verve to fight the Dem party. He’s happy to fade away slowly. If he had challenged the Dem party, he would seen the full wrath of the neo-liberals.

          I wonder what’s going to happen to Tulsi Gabbard and others who backed him till the end?

          1. Arizona Slim

            My prediction: Tulsi will become one of HI’s two Senators. After that, who knows. My crystal ball is pretty fuzzy.

      4. TheCatSaid

        Perhaps he never dreamed things would go as far as they have. He may have never really wanted to be President. Plus as remarked above he’s a skilful politician used to making practical compromises.

        I think he’s motivated by policy–the competitiveness of his policies, maybe rather than pure ego-driven competitiveness of many others–so he stayed with the race to move things forward, but it’s not a heart-felt personal “fight” to win the Presidency.

    4. ChiGal

      Intriguing but I couldn’t quite follow all of it. And while populism drives both Bernie and Trump, my sense is Bernie thinks Trump is not sincere but rather exploiting the issues. He lives in a golden castle after all, they couldn’t be more different! Not sure he would want to in any way contribute to a Trump win and not sure he believes Hillary “can’t win”.

      Fairly, maybe, but that doesn’t seem to be in play, does it?

      1. Roger Smith

        Oh yea, the comparison between Trump and Sanders on policy is definitely mostly surface level. But many of Trump’s supporters effected by these things don’t see Trump that way.

        If Sanders understands his policies, he knows Trump or rather, the wave of public sentiment that props him up is a symptom of or societal ills. We cannot create the bastard mongoloid and then turn our noses from it (like the Democrats are so desperately trying to do). It has to be acknowledged. Based on his policies I think he would view Clinton/Dems as the greater threat.

        This is all just mental exercise though.

        1. John Zelnicker

          Interesting and very reasonable hypothesis, Roger. I might add that Sanders likely sees Trump as dangerously ignorant and impulsive and lacking in any understanding of the political and operational realities of the Presidency. Trump just wants to win and promote his brand. He has no real idea of what the job entails. With this in mind, it makes some kind of sense to go with the known problems with Hillary’s positions, rather than take the risk of the unknown, unprepared train wreck that is Trump.

          I’m actually conflicted about who I prefer to win. Hillary is likely to start a shooting war with Russia, pass TPP (if it hasn’t been already), renew Obama’s “Grand Bargain” to gut Social Security, etc. Trump probably won’t do those things, but his ignorance and narcissism is likely to cause all kinds of other problems that we just can’t anticipate at this time. Both choices scare the bejeezus out of me.

          1. pretzelattack

            the shooting war with russia, the tpp, and the corruption, are known knowns enough for me to want to avoid clinton no matter who it takes voting for. the risk on the crucial issues is that trump might be as bad as clinton.

          2. James Levy

            Trump is only part of the problem. The bigger problem is that if he wins, he’ll drag a Republican majority in with him, and that Congress will have all sorts of bills that any Sanders supporter would hate waiting in the wings for him to sign. And Trump will sign them: massive deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, gutting of all environmental protections, sell-offs of public land and parks for a song, drill-baby-drill deep sea and artic extraction, anti-Moslem and anti-immigrant legislation, more “law and order” repression of black people.

            I don’t believe Trump is a fascist. I don’t think he’s diabolical. I think his a deeply ignorant narcissistic crank who has no real desire to do the crap work of governing, and if the Republican establishment can find him cheering crowds to distract him he’ll sign off on almost anything they put before him other than TPP.

            1. sleepy

              But our stalwart and newly progressive senate dems will filibuster the lot of it, including the repub judicial nominations. No more 98-0 confirmations like they did with Scalia, right?

            2. Whine Country

              Forgive me for what may sound silly but if the Republicans are looking forward to all of the good works they can push through with a Trump presidency, why are so many R’s opposed to him winning? A lot of folks seem to have forgotten that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The only sense I can make of all of this is that everyone just accepts that Hillary and Trump are lying all of the time and accordingly will not believe anything that is said. That being so, side with the candidate that likely will screw everyone but you. We’ve come a long way from, “Don’t tax you and don’t tax me, tax the man behind the tree”, but I think in the wrong direction.

            3. PlutoniumKun

              The thing about Trump though is that if he was as you say, the Republicans would be happily behind him. The Republican circus is full of narcissistic cranks who are not willing to do any hard work to govern. Most of them have the full establishment behind them. The problem for them is that Trump actually does believe in some things and he is used to getting his way. And some of the things he believes in – his foreign policy isolationism and belief in protectionism – are completely contrary to what the Republican (and Democrat) establishment want. If they thought he could be ‘turned’ or manipulated, they would not be so horrified by him.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                He stopped Jeb and not a few of establishment Republicans already.

                That’s a lot to build on and look forward.

                “What else will he do to the Republican party?”

                1. Whine Country

                  “What else will he do to the Republican party?” To me, you have nailed it. Some are saying that the Party will be doing all of these bad things and Trump will just jump on board. Last I looked it’s the legislature that makes the laws not the President. So, who do we give the bully pulpit to? The rubber stamp that both political parties want or the guy who say’s he’s going to make changes and has the political powers scared that he actually means it. To those who say that Trump will not be able to do anything but be a rubber stamp, I ask you why are the R’s so against him? I think that both parties are scared that as a businessman he is going to “re-trade” a lot of TPTB’s sweetheart deals. How many “deals” have our oligarchs made with previous administrations where the government has agreed to what no reasonable businessman would have? One example, Trump says he will force the pharmaceutical companies to re-negotiate their contract with Medicare (and presumably the VA). Look, I’m a life long Democrat but I cannot stand anyone who will just say oh well to the criminal zealots that have taken over the party. Faced with credible evidence that Bernie could beat Hillary and Trump only wills if Bernie is out, the Dem powers rig a victory for their fave. Those f???ing zealots would rather lose to Trump than allow their candidate to lose to Bernie and my fellow Democrats just say, Oh darn. Well my sainted Irish mother (a Democrat, ya think?) would tell you exactly what to do under the circumstances, snub the dirty scumbags who have shunned us and vote for Trump…then pray. Hilliary is an in your face dangerous criminal and the zealots are in denial. I will do as my mother would under the circumstances just to send them a message that we are not as stupid as they think. The Brits voted to leave. Time for us to tell Hillary to leave. The sky will not fall if Trump wins.

            4. RabidGandhi

              …massive deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, gutting of all environmental protections, sell-offs of public land and parks for a song, drill-baby-drill deep sea and artic extraction, anti-Moslem and anti-immigrant legislation, more “law and order” repression of black people.

              I blacked out for a second there. Is that a list of the last Clinton administration’s achievements or a promise of what the next one would achieve?

            5. jrs

              other than the TPP almost makes Trump a good choice though, since the TPP is going to make policy pretty hopeless there on after. But of course a Trump presidency could also make policy pretty hopeless, just *possibly* more reversible that if it’s coded in trade agreements?

          3. tony

            I’m rooting for Trump because I don’t want a new war. I prefer living. The Democrats have gone so far that even chanting ‘No More War’ is unacceptable:


            I already miss Obama.

    5. Christopher Fay

      Usually at N C the overly complicated reasoning is discarded, and you seem to be a few moves beyond immediate clarity. However I would pick pt 1. Hillary and the dnc have knowledge that Hil ain’t getting a convention bounce but a convention deflated balloon. Using this inside the beltway knowledge they pressure Bern to support now, dammit, to make a team effort to stop the erosion in support.

    6. SpringTexan

      I think it’s the opposite. He feels sure Clinton will win (and he also does want to avoid a Trump presidency). He wants to avoid recriminations to put himself in a position to hopefully get at least SOME GOOD THINGS in the future and help his supporters push for more. He’s dead serious for instance about getting more money for federally qualified health clinics, and this is one area where Clinton may well be willing to come through on it.

      And those things make a difference, as he realizes.

      He’s doing his best by his lights and has not sold anyone out even though yes some of the stuff is painful to watch or hear. He’s a tenacious man.

    7. Katniss Everdeen

      Maybe Sanders is just being the faithful, loyal sheepdog that Bruce Dixon said, months ago when this whole thing was getting started, that he would be.

      If this “election” had turned into the clinton vs. bush contest it was supposed to have been, I’m not sure anyone BUT Bruce Dixon would even have noticed the role Sanders had been given and accepted. Either of those candidates would have been acceptable to TPTB, and a few fireworks would just have made the charade seem more legitimate.

      The mood of the “electorate” was seriously misjudged by our owners, as evidenced by both the Trump nomination and the level of support for Bernie. I’m sure Bernie never expected to be booed, or to have his motives so relentlessly questioned, but this dike is sprouting leaks faster than they can be plugged.

      And there’s only so much one 74-year-old democratic socialist from Vermont can do to clean up the mess that decades of stealth “democrat” neoliberalism has made.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        No, please stop this meme.

        if Sanders was playing that game he would have quit after NY. He had an easy excuse: the campaign really was out of money then. Or he would have endorsed her right after CA, as Clinton demanded.

        Look at how angry his supporters are re Clinton. This is not herding, not even close. And he said he could not deliver his voters, she needed to win them.

      2. Lambert Strether

        The “sheepdog” meme has been an effective tool for Green activists, like Dixon. I congratulate the Greens on maturing, as a political party, to the extent that they can successfully gain mind-share with seemingly ineradicable falsehoods. Certainly a good start!

        1. ChiGal

          except that lol at least on this site a lot of that mind-share has been turned over to Trump

          1. jgordon

            That’s because Trump is against TPP and against more wars.

            You OK with corporate sovereignty for the rest of history? With a nuclear war with Russia and China? Well many others aren’t, and there’s only one candidate who will be president next year against those things. Take what you can get.

            1. ChiGal

              Sorry but I do not believe anyone knows what Trump really believes in or will do.

              But I do appreciate your new, more civil tone. And that is NOT sarc.

              1. Whine Country

                “Sorry but I do not believe anyone knows what Trump really believes in or will do.” Are you saying that is not the case with Madame Dragon Lady? I’m an old timer and, you know, we used to have this thing called checks and balances in our government. The R’s don’t want Trump and the D’s don’t either What a breath of fresh air if those checks and balances started kicking in again. Seriously, on far may too important issues we have two nominal political parties that agree on too many things that we don’t. WE NEED CHANGE – and we won’t get it from Hell-a-ray. Trump will change things, but only if the legislature agrees. That’s the beauty of the system. Things are done slowly – both good and bad. That is, of course unless we elect that person who believes that she contributed to the well-being of countless souls in Libya and the greater Middle East. Given a choice of scary or evil – I’m going to stick my neck out and go with Trump.

              2. jgordon

                I think the sarcasm is pretty hard to read because a lit of people here will be supporting Trump in the fall as the lesser evil. I normally wouldn’t subscribe to lesser evilism, but Hillary has me terrified. She is just too dangerous with her bad judgement and extreme carelessness.

                1. Skippy

                  That like minds of your stripe think there is this yawning chasm between Hillary and Trump or of their campaign rhetoric has any relevance to events post facto GE…. just goes to show how well the conditioning works….

                  Increasingly over the last 6ish decades one would think it was apparent, especially the last two.

                  Methinks you could use a bit of contextualization –

                  Happiness Machines. Part one documents the story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays who invented Public Relations in the 1920s, being the first person to take Freud’s ideas to manipulate the masses.

                  The Engineering of Consent. Part two explores how those in power in post-war America used Freud’s ideas about the unconscious mind to try and control the masses. Politicians and planners came to believe Freud’s underlying premise that deep within all human beings were dangerous and irrational desires.

                  There is a Policeman Inside All of Our Heads, He Must Be Destroyed. In the 1960s, a radical group of psychotherapists challenged the influence of Freudian ideas, which lead to the creation of a new political movement that sought to create new people, free of the psychological conformity that had been implanted in people’s minds by business and politics.

                  Eight People Sipping Wine In Kettering. This episode explains how politicians turned to the same techniques used by business in order to read and manipulate the inner desires of the masses. Both New Labor with Tony Blair and the Democrats led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group which had been invented by psychoanalysts in order to regain power.


                  jgordan…. imagine a social template where “Fear” is the cornerstone and “The Market” is the IIIII Cell IIII – we all live in….. where elections are just a Marketing focus group with a moderated audience with your customers….

                  Disheveled Marsupial…. on a lighter note… Trump joke… if it wasn’t for immigration he would have had no wives…. rimshot

                  1. pretzelattack

                    when you’re talking about catastrophic consequences, you don’t need a yawning difference, slight works for me.
                    a slightly smaller risk of nuclear war, or of the tpp passing, is enough. and i’m not sure how slight the difference is, another plus.

                    1. Skippy

                      I find it difficult to quantify how you could even measure such distinctions when the only metric is rhetorical. That’s not to mention the historical back drop post WWII does not substantiate such perspectives e.g. JFK would not be a likely candidate pre GE to almost start a nuclear war… but there he was….

                      Seems environmental conditions with multivariate events, which are constantly in flux, preclude any such personal or group affiliations as observed by their biases, when projected on to candidates – see Obama’s track record i.e old comment’er Hugh had a massive list of – say one thing and do another.


                      Disheveled Marsupial… methinks your comment is vindication of the information and perspective I posted pretzelattack…

                  2. m

                    Remember back when Trump was a huge joke, DC dinner w/ Seth Meyers
                    Trumps runs against Hillary and everyone though easy win for Hill cause Trump is crazy. But just in case usual machinery in place to ensure her win.
                    Then Trump actually starts winning, oops
                    Then Bernie man from no where starts beating her.
                    We know now the fix is in. The little man can never win, so what is best play? What can the citizen do to stop the shenanigans from the lowest level up?
                    Bernie can’t fix a completely corrupt system. better he is our man on the inside.

                2. rurfus magister

                  Yeah, applauding Russian and Chinese espionage, and then begging for more, real screams good judgement and due diligence, don’ t it.

                  Oh, The Donald backpeddles, I was being sarcastic. Yeah, sure. Such a howler of a joke that no one seems to have laughed.

                  I’ve heard or seen the clip a dozen times. As a loud and proud smartass, all I caught was sincerity. You know, the sort he fakes every time he opens his potty mouth.

        2. Ulysses

          Bernie is not a sheepdog. He didn’t quit or surrender. His surprisingly successful campaign exposed just how corrupt our politicians, and their media courtiers actually are. He could have doused himself in gasoline and gone out with a flourish on the Capitol steps, but that wouldn’t have done anyone any good.

          I respectfully disagree with Bernie that the awful prospect of Trump justifies voting for Hillary. We may achieve some good through electoral politics at the local and state level, but the national parties are so thoroughly corrupted that they have managed to produce two terrible candidates for POTUS.

          I will put my energies into mobilizing resistance to the transnational kleptocracy in all its manifestations. Of particular urgency is preventing the installation, against the popular will here and abroad, of the radical new TPP/TTIP/TISA regime. It is my hope that Bernie, and the handful of other non-corporatists still active in D.C. may help us with this important task. If Obama succeeds in ramming this through during the lame duck we will have to quickly discover effective means of international resistance to this new supra-national regime.

          1. craazyboy

            I’ve become convinced you have to cut the Dem Party head off so the body can survive the way we would like it to be. “Stronger without her”, methinks. I’m also sure Bernie thinks he needs the Dem party to do anything substantial. It just doesn’t look like Bernie will get his way on anything. They did give him something on his “free” college plan, but really, that is the one thing most likely to be campaign glitter and quickly die in January. Also, Trump is saying do something about re-fying student loans – which should be fairly straight forward – and also everybody is supposed to that with home and biz loans. Not even a commie concept!

            Tho I still worry about whom Trump may pick for friends once in the WH.

        3. Otis B Driftwood

          “Sheepdogging”? Really, does anyone really care at this point?

          The Greens are gaining attention thanks to Sanders and the issues he made a focus of his extraordinary campaign. And now it is the best and only alternative for progressives who have tried, in vain yet again, to work within the Democratic party.

          Care about that.

          1. tegnost

            In the event tpp fails to pass it is 100% credit to bernie sanders and before that one thing all else pales.

        4. jrs

          they actually don’t need to mature, the Ds and Rs can just keep giving us worse and worse choices, and the libertarians giving us TPP supporting Republicans and well it’s Green or not voting pretty much. If they matured they could have more local control, possibly.

        5. rurfus magister

          You, Yves, and Katniss are tearin’ it up here. The desire for if not real reform at least immediate measures to halt 30 years of wage stagnation is understandably quite strong.

          I don’t have a problem with people using the traditional reformist party to do so, at least in the short term. Sanders has made it clear he will continue the pressure.

          I was at a Socialist Convergence meeting on the fringe of the convention Mon. Though it was on Capitalism in Crisis, there was no real theoretical perspective. The trade union struggles it did tout, important as CWA and others were, were all defensive struggles by folks already organized.

          For personal reasons, I’ve not been active for 15 years. But it was like I never left. The same tailing after social movements and contempt for the unenlightened, presently-existing reserve army of the unemployed. The notion that first racism, sexism, etc. must be ended and then we all struggle together is profound mistaken.

          Look at the emergence of the CIO; they united different ethnicities in concrete, common struggle, not in moralistic discussion of who’s more exploited and who more “priviieged.”

          Only workers control of the means of production is incompatible with the capitalist mode of production. Liberals are fine with offshoring your job. Provided the Board is suitably diverse.

          Funny how all the voices of the masses our “pwogwessives” certify as genuine seem to speak in the rarified postmod “discourse” of “intersectionality.”

          Or what we hoary old Marxists like to call “common class position and interests.” “Forward, into the past!”

          1. Lambert Strether

            It’s important to be able to stand in another person’s shoes and attempt to see the world (or at least the power structures of the world) as they see them. Intersectionality, properly conceived, should do that.

            1. rufus magister

              I agree on empathy. I’ve dealt with the pomos since about 1993, when I had a grad seminar on Nietzsche and Foucault. I’m a Nietzsche fan. I got told to “let us get what WE want out of OUR seminar” after I said it seemed to me you could have any subject position you wished on postmodernism, as long as you agreed wholeheartedly. Subjectivist, voluntaristic solipsism seems a poor foundation for empathy. IMHO.

      3. Jess

        I think the explanation is far simpler: Bernie is enthralled with symbolic protests, just as Dennis Kucinich was. Easy to be the lone voice for this, the lone vote for (or against) that. I think he vastly underestimated the size of the movement that would result from his campaign and was never really comfortable fighting the cage-match-to-the-death type of campaign necessary to unseat Clinton. More of the Dems classic “fighting” but never winning.

    8. Jen

      Your reasoning smacks of multidimensional chess, and I’ve been thinking along the same lines.

      I made a comment the other day that I didn’t think Sanders really believes he can put the pin back in the grenade, and have no idea whether he wants to.

      Going into the convention Sanders made a lot of noise about reforming the democratic party. Can’t be done with the Clintons in place.

      Probably nothing more than a foolish hope. This video resurfaced over on Kossacks for Sanders recently. From a town hall – responding to someone who asked what happens if Hillary wins. Response: don’t listen to me. Make Hillary earn your vote.

    9. Pat

      I think he does find Trump appalling, but what I saw of Bernie’s speech (my tolerance for Clinton is on our side bullshit had been worn out by Warren) was over the top in ridiculous claims.

      But think about what he said over and over about Clinton, that she knows this, understands that, sees this… all the things that had Bill Clinton gritting his teeth. Yes he gave her his full throated endorsement, but Sanders has effectively indicted Clinton as well. There is no denial of knowing that TPP is bad, but she barely has the nomination and one of her closest allies/surrogates comes flat out and tells the world she will vote for it with cosmetic changes. As election day gets ever closer, she will pivot back to her regular preferred positions.

      I think I am in agreement with you regarding Bernie’s strategy here. The real question is that since he cannot tell his supporters that, how much can he keep his revolution going? How can he empower HIS surrogates both within and without his own group to be in position to take advantage of the meltdown?

      Of course, this could also be the Berner version of eleven dimensional chess. We’ll see.

    10. John k

      Simplest often correct. Staying with the corrupt party he has caucused with for decades, rather than help in any way a racist buffoon from the right wing reps, is entirely consistent with his history. Plus he historically negotiates and then cuts deal when he thinks he’s got all he can given his leverage. He does not walk away in huff because that reduces opportunities for future deals. Current situation no different.

      Trump unifies his convention then pivots to sanders to pick up votes from dem divided convention, sanders rebuffs but supporters are listening… Somebody wants them! Really? You mean me? How exciting! Let’s see, he’s saying no wars, no Tpp, infrastructure, but no immigration… I can live with that… Didn’t he say jail Hillary? What’s wrong with this picture? Gosh, he doesn’t seem as racist as a couple months ago…

      Shill pivots to neocons, scoops up Koch, too… Bankers printing… Mega bucks pouring in because trump panicking banks, corps, mil-ind… Not so many votes, though…

      First class election since FDR. And the ratio of have nots to haves is highest in a half century. Trump wants to win, and this is his to lose. He’ll talk about lies, transcripts, emails (seems an endless supply, don’t those geniuses know they’re always saved somewhere? The incompetence is literally blinding.). she’ll talk about Russia helping him… The Russians are coming doesn’t play as well now as in the 50’s.

      Plus… She’s afraid of press conferences, imagine the debates.

      1. Roger Smith

        I very much look forward to the debates. Unless Trump completely blows it, I have no idea how Clinton expects to survive. We can expect that the media will be loading the questions to create a flow in her favor, but we’ve seen how well those kind of tactics work against Trump already.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Trump could win, I am speculating here, for many who would vote for him don’t say – political correctness rules here – they would, publicly.

    11. ekstase

      “The sycophanticrubberband of the party’s apparatus” — nice.

      I’m not sure what Sanders’ motives are, but I think in general he can be taken at face value. I think he feels compelled to do what he thinks is right, which is very limiting, but eliminates a host of greedy motives. And I suspect that he is genuinely concerned about what a Trump presidency would do.

    12. PlutoniumKun

      I think that is a very reasonable hypothesis.

      Much as I would have loved Sanders to stand up and denounce Clinton, this would have been turned against the movement win or lose against Trump. He would be blamed if Clinton lost, and if Clinton won, expect a massively vitriolic campaign to drive him and all his supporters out. The only possibility for a ‘win’ would have been for the Clinton campaign to collapse leaving Sanders with a way to become POTUS (either as Dem, Green or write in). And even if he became president he would be an instant lame duck without support in either House.

      If your theory is correct, then he will give firm but distant support to Clinton, while working in the background from ground level up on a genuine insurgency against establishment Dems in every district in every State. If Clinton wins, the inevitable scandals that will consume her first term will give such an insurgency an opportunity. If Trump wins, the Dem establishment will be completely discredited, likewise giving an opportunity. So only time will tell if you are right. I hope you are.

    13. fritter

      Are we talking about the same Clinton’s that keep a spreadsheet of people to be retaliated against and Why? Physical harm might not worry Bernie but there is still his family. would you rather have adversaries that might potentially harm your family (takes a certain mindset, though if you already have a kill list….) or ones would destroy their lives (much more diabolical, and plenty of evidence this wouldn’t present a ‘moral’ problem for clintonistas) for the next 40 years when you won’t be around to protect them?

      I’ve never gotten into the hero worship of politicians. At the same time there is a great deal of flexibility in our supposed justice system, especially for those who control an organization that saves everything (NSA) another with prosecutorial discretion (DOJ), not to mention the secrecy. Bernie picked a fight with sore winners, if he’s an angel or not. He’d be better double down on the reform because there is no way the establishment will let it go now. Like HRC election chances, that ship has sailed. There is a phrase “Working toward the Fuhrer” I think..

    14. MsExPat

      Roger, you’re right, something just doesn’t feel square about Sanders’ actions. I have a slightly different idea, but it’s along the lines of your #2. I think Sanders was threatened–not with physical harm, but with blackmail. I think the Clintons got some embarrassing or even legally damaging background oppo on either him or (more likely) someone dear in his family. Something that may be partly or wholly untrue, but that would break the Sanders’ bank or ruin a life and career were they to try to fight the smear. My guess is that they went after Jane, but it could be anyone in his family.

      I watched him carefully during the Vermont delgation roll call and his speech afterwards, and was overcome with the impression: This isn’t the face of a man who has made a decision; this is a man who was backed into a corner. He is falling on his sword for someone. (Start watching from 2:47:07)

      I know: just my gut speaking, so forgive the 100% fact free content. (If anyone has a deeper knowledge of, say, Vermont politics, the scandal around Burlington University, or anything other linkable issue, I’d love to see it.) But I wanted to follow on Roger’s comment above since his theory comes so close to mine.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I suspect that the Clintonistas found some dirt relating to the collapse of Burlington College. Jane had been its president.

    15. meeps

      All very reasonable attempts at explaining developments of late, Roger Smith.

      I’m going with Occam’s razor, though, and I wonder if the simplest explanation is this:

      That Bernie was allowed to run as a Democrat primarily to bring inactive voters and defectors back into the D party because too many stayed home in recent elections and some (albeit a smaller number of us) registered with and voted for 3rd party candidates. Bernie’s run did succeed at bringing voters into the dark’n’dirty D-fold–and some will stay, despite the deplorable way that Sanders and his supporters are being treated by the party and its media machine.

      To Bernie’s credit, he tapped into a large contingency of leftists and progressives and (more importantly, IMO) his run proved that the will of these people has been wholly ignored by the duopoly. Unfortunately, his run also proved that said duopoly has zero interest in representing this particular segment of the citizenry. The message couldn’t be clearer; their ‘unity’ means “get with her and her agenda or shove off!” Okay, Bye!

      I have not yet seen evidence, including at the ‘Our Revolution’ site, that leads me to believe that other ground has been/is being prepared for any activity other than running ostensibly progressive Democrats in down-ticket races. Why would I waste a vote on a “progressive” Dem when the party is going to silence him or her anyway?

      Sander’s behavior lately has been bizarre, as was Nina Turner’s statement. “I don’t know. I can’t say.” Well, Nina, which is it? It was wrong that she wasn’t allowed to nominate or second Sander’s nomination, but guessing what’s afoot through all the deception is tedious and a wasteful expenditure of time. It doesn’t engender trust. FWIW, I think Clinton’s camp shut her down because they couldn’t have a respected black woman backing Sanders. It destroys their narrative. Clinton has a black female firewall, right?

      The Revolutionary thing to do, as far as I’m concerned, is to say, “The line must be drawn here! This far! No further!” (h/t Jean Luc Picard) and withdraw support from the traditional parties. The number of disenfranchised has reached a proportion such that leaving (in the form of voting another option) could potentially shift power.

  12. allan

    The Big Fish Seen Escaping an Agency Pursuing Bank Fraud [NYT Dealbook]

    Since it was created in 2008, that agency, the office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or Sigtarp, has charged 102 bankers, including 22 chief executives and presidents, for criminal and civil misdeeds leading up to and during the crisis.

    The effort, conducted largely out of the limelight, comes at a time of public outrage over the failure of regulators and prosecutors to punish individuals for actions that contributed to the mortgage collapse.

    The question, at least according to its critics, is Sigtarp’s relevance. The agency has recovered more than $10 billion through its investigations and has charged a total of 357 people with a crime, including 80 bankers. Of the bankers criminally charged, 58 have been convicted and 35 have gone to prison, according to the agency’s latest quarterly report to Congress on Wednesday.

    Critics point out, however, that most of these cases involve small-time community and regional bankers. Prominent Wall Street executives have escaped largely unscathed.

    Where `largely’ is a euphemism for `entirely’.
    An issue that was thoroughly discussed in the speeches at the DNC last night, amirite?
    Loved the brief glimpses of Summers and Geithner in the video introduction to Obama.

    1. John k

      WS bankers are above the law, other bankers are not. Thought you knew. Actually, thought everybody knew.

    2. beth

      I feel Neil Barofsky did all he could while Sigtarp’s head. You can read about his battles in Bailout.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Wow, this is totally desperate. So now they are trying to blame the failure to prosecute mortgage crimes on SIGTARP, meaning Neil Barofsky?

      This is pure fabrication. SIGTARP had a teeny budget and its mandate was literally limited to the TARP and acts one step removed. Plus Geithner did everything in his power to undermine Barofsky.

  13. Katharine

    Where did Joe Biden get the idea he could judge other people’s morality? The fact that some of us could not in good conscience vote for Trump does not mean that everyone who would is immoral. In any case, even those who could not vote for Trump have other options.

      1. Christopher Fay

        Biden speaks for the Silent Moral Majority, who you don’t know, so you must be sinners.

        1. flora

          And in the comedy division, for his performance as an unctuous, god-bothering hypocrite, this year’s best supporting actor award goes to…. may I have the envelope please.

        2. pretzelattack

          i think biden was on the committee that helped cover up the october surprise. nothing to see there, move along.

    1. Praedor

      Biden’s morality ends with making Ukrainian gas/fracking deals for his son before the US-installed coup government even had a chance to put a foot into any government offices. The very first thing done after the coup tells you half of the reason for the coup in the first place: steal yet another country’s natural resources AND force fracking into Europe from the side.

      Happily it has failed thus far since those gas fields are in the contested Russian majority area of Eastern Ukraine. Oops.

      Second (failed) reason for the coup was to try and kick the Russians out of Russian Crimea. Now Crimea has been permanently reunited with Russia and the Black Sea base is as safe as always. Oops.

      1. Carolinian

        Thank you. Joe should also refrain from calling other people clueless given his many gaffs.

        That said, he apparently was a lot more dovish in cabinet meetings than Hard Choices Hillary.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, the Biden-supported legislation prioritized credit card debt repayment over child support repayment, forcing women who are owed back support to negotiate with credit card companies over the debts owed by their exes. Furthermore, the term “debtor” was changed by the BAPCPA to “household” so that the new means test would take into account the total earnings of an entire household, rather than one debtor — including, for example, a teen daughter’s babysitting money.

        This bankruptcy bill passed the senate by a vote of 74-25 or 99 total votes out of 100.

        The one missing in action senator was, you guessed it, hillary rodham clinton, who was, apparently, laboring “tirelessly” to improve the lives of “women and children” somewhere else that day.

        Maybe she was in Haiti or saudi arabia, caring about the women and children whose suffering would translate into billions for her “philanthropic” foundation.

        In her acceptance speech tonight, clinton is expected to speak to younger voters who may be unaware of how much she cares about children. Hopefully not too many of them had their babysitting money snatched by the bankruptcy bill.

        1. Ivy

          Biden had to think of the children, too. His home state of Delaware has so many kids to feed from those handouts given to his financial services donors. For the rest of America the motto is, what, there is nothing in your wallet?

    2. MDBill

      The problem with Biden’s comment (apart from its insulting arrogance) is that it’s possible to make a convincing argument that only an unprincipled, immoral Sanders supporter would vote for Clinton.

  14. Don Midwest USA

    Thanks for the link to “Is the Present Worse Than Any Fictional, Futuristic Dystopia?”

    I seem to be caught in that frame myself. The coup d’etat here in the US continues with the presidential campaign in which the two factions have placed unpopular candidates before us which make the horror show of the present real.

    The article begins with

    At the annual BookExpo America conference in 2010, William Gibson gave a prescient address about the future of the future — or, rather, about the fact that the capital-F Future, the one he’d grown up dreaming about and reading about, didn’t exist anymore. Once, Gibson argued, the promise of the future was central to science fiction, which routinely depicted exhilarating visions of some better tomorrow.

    In the book this year by Thomas Frank, “Listen Liberal,” with an excerpt in, Frank says that for the Clintons globalization played a role similar to God for many people. The future was going to happen and one had to get with the program, and the article quotes Hillary saying that to bring about the inevitable future, one has to attack ones friends. Thus when Bill signed NAFTA, he stood up to those unions which showed that he was tough.

    The main point of this comment is to note that the French polymath Bruno Latour has been talking about this issue for decades. His book in 1991 “We Have Never Been Modern” notes that moderns have been walking backwards, moving away from being primitive, but without knowing where we were going.

    Bruno takes a little getting used to and for many of us he is one of the most important thinkers in the world.

    I realize that it may be unfair to bring up some material that takes a lot to get into, but I will try.

    He makes the point that the globe of globalization was created by European colonization but there is no earth to support the globe. Hence the future of globalization cannot be realized. He puts us in an airplane and the pilot says that the plane cannot to to the future because it does not exist. Also, one cannot return to the land, or place from whence we came because that no longer exists. (For example, the USA and the earth of my youth in the 1950’s cannot be a place to return to, even if Trump says we can go back there.) Hence the pilot says that we have to go to Gaia. Rather than a line from past to future, need a third destination, hence a triangle.

    Here is a link to the text of a speech he gave on this.

    On a possible triangulation of some present political positions

    1. Ranger Rick

      It’s more than a little depressing that the “cyberpunk” genre died out not because of a lack of interest, but because we’re living in it.

      1. pretzelattack

        where’s the black ice. they promised black ice. maybe we got extra zaibatsus as a substitute. so far it’s been a fairly drab dystopia.

        1. Ulysses

          “So far it’s been a fairly drab dystopia.”

          Important observation! I think the popularity of The Hunger Games stems at least in part from the desire of people, already horrifically oppressed, to at least be oppressed in a more dramatic and lurid way.

          1. ambrit

            I’m not so sure. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, pulp fiction fed an endless stream of fantasy leveling memes to a public that felt ‘left out’ of the general prosperity, (the 1920’s,) or crushed by faceless and ruthless forces, (the 1930’s.) Pulp magazines were derided by ‘intelligent persons’ as “escapist fiction.” Considering the oppressive nature of the times, ‘escape’ was a rational action. Otherwise, true psychological depression was a real possibility. “Escapist” fiction can be purposed as a ‘safety valve’ for social dissent. I noticed that “The Hunger Games” presented the protagonist as a young woman, and the manipulators as older. This can be seen as a manifestation of the anxiety of todays younger cohort as they see the promise of a better life snatched away from them by the dreaded “Nameless Powers.” Where the realm of ideation transforms into the realm of action I do not know.

        2. Jim Haygood

          where’s the black ice. they promised black ice

          Facebook is working on it.

          Flatlining an occasional console jockey will instill respect for the platform.

          William Gibson deserves equal billing with Tim Berners-Lee for investing the browser. Gibson did the intellectual heavy lifting of describing its “look and feel”; TBL did the coding.

          1. River

            TBL at least recognizes Gibson’s contribution. I forget the exact quote, but it was something along the lines of if he (Gibson) didn’t envision it, would the net even exist?

            So if no one else recognizes it, at least the creator does.

      2. EGrise

        One of the most depressing things I’ve read recently was this, from Warren Ellis:

        I think it’s probably also time to accept that STAR TREK is a retro exercise now. Like ELEKTROGRAD, it’s games played in an obsolete future. Someone else’s tomorrow.

        “Someone else’s tomorrow”. It didn’t have to be that way; but then I remembered that Star Trek’s Earth went through a nuclear war too, so maybe we’re headed there anyway.

  15. Marco

    I’ve never heard the phrase “low-trust society” until Yves started using it and was thinking of scenarios where this really comes into action. For example I’ve never felt so relaxed using public transit as I do in Berlin as they use the honor system. Paris is just the opposite with often busy, chaotic queues on entry and exit. How could these system-wide trust relationships be measured in an economy?

    1. Jim Haygood

      What’s startling is how the U.S. shifted overnight from a high-trust to a low-trust society after 9/11.

      Being asked to “show ID” in the course of everyday life was rare. Now it is ubiquitous: the bank, the post office, the doctors office, the airport, the hotel.

      Your papers, please.

    2. Ivy

      Fukuyama as some informative books about trust and other matters. Those provide useful background even if you don’t buy into all of his program.

      Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity. Free Press, 1995. ISBN 0-02-910976-0

      The Origins of Political Order. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2011. ISBN 978-1-846-68256-8

      Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2014. ISBN 978-0-374-22735-7

      The latter is useful to ponder given all the recent dysfunction in DC and elsewhere.

  16. Praedor

    As far as Germany’s Golden Age (and its end), I suggest that part of the reason behind open borders to refugees/immigrants is precisely to strain social services. The intent of that is neoliberal: create casus belli that generous social benefits are “just too expensive and unsustainable” so they can be gutted and privatized.

    Labor reforms, healthcare, education, retirement are all on the ultimate chopping block. Destroy them by letting in immigrants and refugees without any restraint to so strain the system that all that “generosity” simply MUST be eliminated because they “just can’t afford it all anymore”. Typical neoliberal games.

    1. tony

      From Milton Friedman:

      Immigration is a particularly difficult subject. There is no doubt that free and open immigration is the right policy in a libertarian state, but in a welfare state it is a different story: the supply of immigrants will become infinite. Your proposal that someone only be able to come for employment is a good one but it would not solve the problem completely. The real hitch is in denying social benefits to the immigrants who are here. That is very hard to do, much harder than you would think as we have found out in California. But nonetheless, we clearly want to move in the direction that you are talking about so this is a question of nitpicking, not of serious objection.


      Friedman was unquestionably pro-immigration.

      Open borders used to be the standard. Only when state assistance in the form of pensions and unemployment insurance were created, did things like citizenship and border guards become a thing. Friedman is of course the enemy of labour and the welfare state. So it’s a good hypothesis.

      In Germany the refugees are given work subsidized by the state and/or on wages far below minimium. It’s hard for the natives to compete for people working on one euro per hour, and this is a good mallet to beat the labour with.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s an interesting take.

      The masters play at least 1 move ahead of us.

      Sneaky smart, these overlords.

  17. RabidGandhi

    Non-paywalled link to Politico Commission Decides Against Fining Portugal, Spain for Budget Breaches

    This has so many implications, off the top of my head:

    1. It’s a pre-A50 shot across the bow at the UK, where the messaging is: “We are completely arbitrary in applying rules based on whether we like a member country’s government”

    2. Might Spain’s ongoing inability to form a government be the best (non-)decision ever? Spain has only been able to loosen the shackles of austerity by prolonging the uncertainty. No one wants to cut deficit spending when trying to win an election. A PP led government would happily leap back into the austerity pool, and a Podemos/PSOE government would happily be pushed into said pool by Brussles (see Exhibit A, Syriza). Therefore ¡viva la indecisión!

    3. Italy has the Commission scared shytless. Now is the time to break the rules.

    1. polecat

      I wonder if Catalonia’s formal decision to secede from Mother Spain had any bearing on this?

  18. jm

    Re: McAuliffe on Clinton’s true feelings about the TPP.

    Terry says, “To be very clear, she would only go forward if the changes that she wants are implemented….”

    From Clinton’s perspective this one’s easy to fix, just change its name. TPP => LGBTPP. And anyone who opposes the deal afterwards is clearly a bigot.

  19. petal

    Here is an article from our local newspaper regarding the Sanders supporters and their experiences at the convention.

    “Detzer said he was driven to walk out of the convention hall by what he called a “discordant soundtrack” of Pharrell Williams’ light and gleeful pop song Happy, that ramped up over the hall’s loudspeakers just when Sanders supporters were feeling the most pain.

    “I walked out, I think, because I was just so disgusted by the ridiculous cranked up volume of Happy. It was all these old rich white people getting up and doing this little dance. It was a horrific facade. I said, ‘I can’t be here right now.’ ”

    1. Arizona Slim

      Reminds me of that Democratic convention where they all boogied to “Macarena.” Pretty sorry spectacle, if you ask me.

  20. Jim Haygood

    Doug Casey on the coming demise of the Republican party:

    It appears that the Libertarian Party has been captured by the Republicans, which is surprisingly clever on the Republicans’ part. Now they have two parties that are registered in all 50 states. It’s kind of a backup system to the regular Republican Party. They’ll need a backup, since the old GOP is a dead duck.

    One thing you’ve got to say about the Democratic Party is that, while their ideas are destructive and evil, at least they’re more honest about them than the Republicans are about their own. Democrats make no bones about being the party of socialism, and they naturally attract the envy driven, the class warriors, the politically correct, the cultural Marxists, the gender Nazis and the like. The Democratic Party is beyond redemption.

    The Republicans attract a different group. Religious people. Cultural traditionalists. People who generally favor what they think is the free market. They tend to be much more nationalistic and pro-military than the Democrats. But, unlike the Dems, the Reps have no real philosophical foundation.

    The Democrats can be viewed as the evil party and the Republicans as the stupid party. But they’re really just two sides of the same coin, at least when it comes to their leadership—they’re all Deep State members.

    With a little bit of luck, Trump will end up destroying the Republican Party, which is held together by chewing gum and bailing wire. Its disparate elements have very little in common with each other. The neocons, the evangelical Christians, the social conservatives and people who think they support the free market are there only for lack of a better alternative. They really have nothing in common except a dislike of the Democratic Party.

    Although I suspect Trump will win, I expect the Republican Party itself will blow up. The situation is not unlike that before the War Between the States. Very unstable.

    Bring it, Lord! :-)

    1. River

      But according to Albright, the Bernie Babes are already going to burn in hell. So what does morality matter at that point. Or is voting Clinton the DNC indulgence?

  21. Jim Haygood

    Ticker tape — murder on your hands:

    Back in 1896, all Charles Dow needed was a pencil and paper to compute the Dow Jones Industrial Average. He simply added up the prices of the 12 stocks and then divided by 12.

    In 1923, the task of working the numbers fell to Arthur “Pop” Harris, who had been hired in 1908 at the age of 22. For the next 40 years, Pop calculated the Dow every hour on the hour for the Dow Jones News Service.

    On busy trading days, he sometimes bloodied his hands pulling out the ticker tape. Through all those years, the financial world would hold its breath for seven minutes after the New York Stock Exchange’s closing bell, waiting for Pop, a small, skinny man, to finish his official calculations on a piece of newsprint.

    One is reminded of veteran Elliott-waver Robert Prechter, in one of his rare bullish moods, advising his long-suffering subscribers to “buy stocks till your hands bleed.”

    These days, the recommended procedure is to don work gloves, and shovel them into the bed of your backed-up truck. :-)

  22. tegnost

    Joe Biden and history might not repeat itself, but it rhymes…”your moral majority is neither”

  23. fresno dan

    Clever koalas learn to cross the road safely BBC

    “I have to admit straight up that I thought koalas were going to be a pretty dumb animal. They spend most of their time stoned on eucalyptus oil.”

    eating, having sex, and stoned on eucalyptus oil….are you sure they’re the stupid ones?

  24. rich

    Nobody Knows Who’s Paying for the Privately Funded Democratic National Convention
    Michael Krieger

    This statement is so flimsy, and so void of any details, it’s essentially worthless. Especially from someone who publicly and ebulliently supported the TPP 45 times in the past. Notice that on several occasions she explains that she can’t support it “based on what I have seen.” Meanwhile, she only specifically takes issue with two topics, currency manipulation and “putting the interests of drug companies ahead of patients and consumers.” Even here, she doesn’t get into specific changes she would demand in order to support the deal, and she doesn’t say a word about the sovereignty destroying ISDS system that has generated so much outrage.

    In fact, she spends half the statement talking about Republicans while diverting attention away from the TPP, something which is par for the Hillary Clinton course when it comes to being confronted with a question that makes her uncomfortable.

    So what is she signaling in that statement? It’s simple really, she’s saying she can’t support it now, but fails to specify what specific changes would be necessary to change her opinion. She thinks this gives her a future opening to vigorously support the agreement once a few superficial tweaks are made. She’ll then claim this was consistent with her position all along.

    This woman is a compulsive liar with no hint of a conscience, and if you expect her to do anything but aggressively push the TPP once in office, you’ve lost all capacity for rational thought.

    As P. T. Barnum reportedly said: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

    The Democrats are banking on it.

    1. low integer

      Agree completely. Another data point is that Biden was recently in Australia, shilling for the TPP.

      From the linked article:
      On the TPP, now awaiting approval from US Congress, Mr Turnbull said it ‘is a great free trade agreement, 40% of the global economy’.

      ‘We know that while there are political obstacles, the eloquence of the vice president and the President, all of the wiles he’s developed over so many years in the Congress, all of that political capital is going to be brought to bear to bring the TPP home in the Congress.’

      ‘The Biden touch will deliver the TPP and that will be very important for economic growth in our region,’ he said.

      1. tgs

        He was doing more than that:

        U.S. Vice President Joe Biden left some none-too-subtle hints that America would intervene in the South China Sea dispute if needed, and potentially laid the groundwork for a request that Australia join the fray also.

        Joe Biden Hints At South China Sea Intervention And Expresses Great Affection For Australia

        He also lectured the Aussies on LGBT rights.

        Given recent events, I found this passage interesting:

        The U.S. Agency for International Development has poured money into the campaigns of openly homosexual candidates in pro-family countries like the Dominican Republic.

        1. RabidGandhi

          WTF is a “pro-family country”?

          Edit: nevermind. I just saw the site you linked to. Now my computer needs a bath.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            A pro-family country is one that is not a anti-family country.

            Families are to bad, bad, bad. If you’ve ever been in one, you know what I am talking about.

          2. tgs

            Sorry about getting your computer dirty. I found that article by googling ‘biden australia’. I scanned it and found the passage about our governments heavy involvement in Dominican elections.

            Given the uproar currently over Putin intervening in our election on behalf of Trump, I found that amusing. I didn’t check out what the site was about.

        2. low integer

          Heh, the LGBT rights lecture would have gone down well with the Catholic right cohort of the Liberal party, who still retain significant power in Aus. politics and have Abbott as their ringleader. They have been doing everything they can sabotage equal marriage rights legislation and insist on Aus. having a plebiscite on the issue, which is going to get really ugly imo.
          As far as China goes it will be interesting to see how this develops. Australia has recently signed a free trade agreement with China (Aus. workers got thrown under the bus by Abbott and his cronies btw) and we have a politically significant Chinese population.

    2. jgordon

      Trump takes pains to point out this very dishonest language in many of his speeches. And I am sure that he’s going to be bringing it up in the debates, for those who don’t normally watch his speeches.

      Hillary sure thinks she’s slick with this cute lawyerly not-lie language. Her and Kaine and Pelosi and all the other corporatists using it–but it’s going to come back to bite them hard against Trump. In this case just lying outright would have been much better for them–so why aren’t they doing that? The corporate donors?

  25. Alex morfesis

    German golden age has just begun…the issue with the violence is the lack of it in germany…to cloak over sad murder and death statz in usa, the loss of life in auto accidents is often used…without a template to show how we tend to throw away life in america…in germany, one does not get a drivers license handed to them at birth…it costs many real hours of training and about 2 grand…and though the “accident” rate is purportedly high, the actual death rate is less then half of the usa rate…

    Less than one tenth our actual deaths…

    there are more americans shot dead by police officers than the entire annual murder count of germany…

    less then two murders per day in germany, same in france…

    so where we might “talk past” a tragedy due to our carelessness in vehicle design and maintenance (the dreaded german “t.u.v”) and horrific road design, germany as a country functions better…

    And who will challenge the economic war machine of germany ?

    @$ long as s&p and moodys keeps giving high fives to the pfandbriefe system, the german economy will keep purrring…

    Dummkampf bank may be waffling, but while mr Rwanda (jens w) & schaeuble insist there are too many banks in the rest of europe…somehow they dont think it is a problem for their own country…

    please don’t lift up the rug, thank you…nein…nicht…

    As long as germany can continue strip mining assets and capital from foreign lands by exporting via easy terms and superior exchange rates by talking down the euro, there will be no need for a day of reckoning…

    We dont much talk about the oversized Australian banking system and how the world is not rushing to move to that nice but oversized desert…

    Italy does not cooperate economically beyond a small cadre passing the baton around the room…spain can’t cooperate and france is happy keeping its grip on and milking its former african colonies via the french african franc…and the french are not too keen on financial competition internally, so they did not have to be force fed the idea of financial consolidation…

    It may not be easy street, but as soon as the city of london is outside the loop, germany will be all alone at the top of the pile of gilded chits…

  26. Carolinian

    Re Michelle and her metaphors–Her talk about her black daughters enjoying a house built by slaves is certainly effective and good speechmaking. However one should be clear: this isn’t Obama’s accomplishment….it’s Martin Luther King’s accomplishment. Obama’s only accomplishment was making himself sufficiently credentialed and center/right to be acceptable to a white establishment that then let him become president. His actual achievements when he ran in 2008 were very few–a fact pointed out by one Hillary Clinton–and after eight years in the job you could pretty much say the same.

    Living in the deep south I think having a black president has done much for making regions like mine more colorblind and making race relations more respectful if not equal. In this sense the Obamas in the White House are a real accomplishment and some might argue the only real accomplishment.

    But it was the civil rights pioneers who did it and not the ambitious yuppie who was just then being born. BHO, like Sidney Poitier, jumped off the train.

    1. Jim Haygood

      And the 0bamas’ happy ending:

      “… with my daughters attending Hahhhhhvid as legacy admissions.”

      Waiting for the emergence of a “black Trump,” who will speak plainly about embedded racist scams such as the Drug War, the Gulag, police violence, and sending the underclass to fight wars of [non]conquest.

      0bama was not that guy — just an empty identity politics suit.

      1. Pat

        How sad that my first thought upon reading that was that “black Trump” would probably be quickly assassinated.

        And how I wish I could shake it but I can’t.

        1. Jim Haygood

          At least in his plain-spoken opposition to the Vietnam War — embarrassing and outraging the Democratic leadership of day — MLK was a “black Trump.”

          MLK died two years before Nixon and Agnew launched their minority-targeted Drug War. Doubtless MLK would have ripped that scam.

          1. low integer

            Given Haygood’s incredible open-mindedness, I just thought that he would like to savour some US culture that he may not have had an opportunity to engage with previously. Me, I prefer this.

  27. pretzelattack

    seems to be a new anti clinton film at the local multiplex, hillary’s america. i dont know how many people will pay money to see it though. the republicans (the ones that haven’t gone over to clinton, that is) seem to see it as worth financing.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They probably let their Special Service guys take those credentials away.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Having a deep tan wards off prosecutors the way Deet wards off bugs.

      Dark pencil-striped suits help too. /sarc

      Watch the IMF’s handsome Chris Lagarde beat the rap this way.

      1. polecat

        You need the ‘sunglasses’ to see through that tan………


  28. bwilli123

    More assistance from the DNC against Sanders

    “Emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee reveal that Nicholas Confessore suppressed information about Hillary Clinton’s victory fund in an article he wrote about Bernie Sanders. The New York Times political correspondent made the omissions at the request of Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer, Marc E. Elias, and DNC officials.”

    1. pretzelattack

      why it’s almost like the good old days in the run up to the iraq war. the media and clinton are stronger together.

  29. abynormal

    Today: “After staging a feeble rebound in late 2015, the US homeownership rate just tumbled from 63.5% to 62.9%, tied for the lowest print going back more than 50 years, to 1965.”
    “Just hours before tomorrow’s official GDP print, the Atlanta Fed just took an axe to its GDPNow US economic growth forecast. Despite the record-breaking streak of positive economic surprises, following yesterday’s durable goods data and today’s advance economic indicators report, GDPNow has crashed from over 2.4% to 1.8% growth for Q2.”

    Updated June 15, 2016.

    The U.S. economic outlook is healthy. The GDP growth rate will remain within the 2-3% ideal range. Unemployment will continue at the natural rate. There isn’t too much inflation or deflation. That’s nearly a Goldilocks economy. There’s little risk of the irrational exuberance that creates damaging booms and busts.

    no matter what party takes the white house this fall…the peoples economy is going from bipolar to paranoid schizophrenic. Happy Holidays

    1. craazyboy

      I’m glad Goldilocks is back. Goldilocks was a cute, rational, decidedly inexhuberent 4 year old in 2007. At 14 years old even more so, I’d imagine.

  30. Oregoncharles

    To paraphrase a memorable letter long ago in the Whole Earth Review:
    Writer had seen coyotes crossing the interstate. They would go up to the roadway, look in the correct direction, trot across, then repeat at the other roadway. He’d seen people have more trouble crossing the road.

    Of course, we expect Coyote to be cleverer than koalas, but it’s still pretty heartwarming. Deer definitely aren’t that smart, though. Or squirrels – they’ll run down the road in front of the car, when they could just dash to the side. On our street, day after day.

  31. Arizona Slim

    This isn’t news. The US homeownership rate has been in the 62-65% range since the early 1960s.

    The housing bubble years were an aberration. During that time, the HO rate was closing in on 70%.

      1. Arizona Slim

        No. Because when you get down to the brass tacks, home sales, and, by extension, home prices, are dependent on job and income growth.

  32. Jess

    Re: 747 – Best airliner ever built. Safest, most versatile. And nobody will ever convince me that having just two engines on planes that big is as safe as having four.

    1. bradd

      The 747 has a certain chic elegance, but it is a fuel hog compared to newer generations of aircraft. That being said — it may yet make a return. There is a sense that large aircraft (like the A380 and 747) will be needed if demand for air travel continues to grow, because there is only limited runway and gate space. But for the time being, smaller aircraft save on fuel costs.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Unless those flying the 2-engine planes are given personal drones on board, in case of emergency.

      “Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten yourself to your personal drone. We expect some difficulties ahead.”

  33. Oregoncharles

    “Coalition of 57 Speaks in Solidarity Effort to Achieve Democratic Unity ”

    At the bottom: #NoVoiceNoUnity. Is that a statement of reality, or a threat?

  34. Oregoncharles

    “Trump Has A Point On Russia Hack American Conservative (reslc)”

    Just what I was looking for, especially with Yves’ comment on it. Thanks. Now posted in the comments on Salon. The Dem pearl-clutching over this is offensive.

    1. vidimi

      as the source is american conservative, expect it to be rejected on identity by salon commentators

    2. Pavel

      No doubt this has been mentioned before in these threads but it bears repeating: The USA and the Dems have some nerve complaining about possible Russian hacking of the DNC and “interfering” in elections. As I heard on a podcast earlier, the US is the country whose NSA spied on innocent citizens around the world and bugged Angela Merkel’s (to name but one politician) cellphone.

      And remember this blast from the past (Dec 2010), which was also revealed by Wikileaks:

      The US embassy cables indicated that Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State, personally authorised a request to US diplomats, on behalf of the CIA, to steal personal human material and information from UN officials and human rights groups, including DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, credit card numbers, internet passwords and ID photos, in violation of international treaties. The revelations have prompted questions about whether such activity was legal, considering conventions that stipulate the UN’s premises and correspondence “shall be inviolable”. The relevant clause of the 1946 convention reads, as pointed out by a spokesman for the U.N, Farhan Haq:

      The property and assets of the United Nations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation and any other form of interference, whether by executive, administrative, judicial, or legislative action.

      Questions are being raised by former UN staff, such as Stephen Schlesinger, author of a book about the organization (Act of Creation: the founding of The United Nations, 2003), who said today that the spying was not a surprise — but what was, is the Obama administration’s continuation of a policy begun by the Bush administration.

      The fact that Hillary Clinton also signed off on these instructions, without modifying them, is startling to me. I would have thought a civil libertarian and liberal Democrat like Clinton (and Obama, too) would have stepped back after seeing these Bush rules and dropped them.

      Official silence: Whilst there has been extensive media coverage of the alleged espionage by Julian Assange, very little has been heard of the case of espionage by the US at the UN in violation of its treaty obligations.

      Having authorised the acquisition of such information, the US Secretary of State personally expressed regret to the UN Secretary-General about its embarrassing disclosure by WikiLeaks. However it has been noted that the “regret” expressed by Hillary Clinton did not in fact take the form of an apology (Hillary Clinton ‘regrets’ spying on Ban Ki-moon, The Australian, 4 December 2010). Her “regret” may well have focused on the revelation rather than on her action — as would seem to have been the case with regard to her predecessor, Madeleine Albright, in commenting on the death of 500,00 children in Iraq as a result of sanctions: “we think the price is worth it“.

      It has however been recognized that it is difficult to bring US and its agents to court on any issue — from which they typically escape trial, conviction and punishment — however horrendous and irrespective of the number of lives lost. The US is not a signatory/participant of the International Criminal Court for that reason — as a means of evading the law and cases brought by other countries.

      –Washington’s Dirty Tricks: Bugging The United Nations. Breach of UN Treaty Obligations by US

      Vote for Hillary! Vote for Hypocrisy!

  35. Oregoncharles

    “After Lying Low, Deep-Pocketed Clinton Donors Return to the Fore New”

    No active link, but easy to find.

  36. FortyYearsInThe UniversitySystem

    “The Real Paranoia-Inducing Purpose of..” Baloney! Utter unadulterated baloney! My god, can the readership of the New Yorker be so stupid as to consume this twitching nonsense? Are the smart people of New York now so poisoned with lies and crap that they can read this kind of silly gibberish? Well, that surely tears it. The print media is now completely worthless.

    Yes, there are small armies of paid trolls infesting the interwebs and their aim is pollute the comment threads with bizarre nonsense BUT these are American and British trolls. Presumably this Mr. Chen is one of them. Those of us deeply familiar with the internet knew better than this and this absurd article is exactly why we don’t bother with print media any more. Not a vestige of decency left in the rotten conglomerates that own and control the Big Media. A pox on em.

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