Links 7/31/16

Seven Years Later, Recovery Remains the Weakest of the Post-World War II Era WSJ

The property market is completely bonkers and so are you to buy into it Crikey

Are Those Safe Haven Assets Safe Anymore? Bloomberg

More Defaults Likely to Come: What Puerto Rico Owes on Aug. 1 Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs Subpoenaed by U.S. Agencies for Documents Related to 1MDB WSJ

Uber hired CIA-linked research firm to investigate Seattle union politics The Verge (Re Silc).

Trudeau Just Broke His Promise to Canada’s First Nations DeSmog Canada

Tar Sands in the Atlantic Ocean: TransCanada’s Proposed Energy East Pipeline Reader Supported News

Whither Europe

How a Currency Intended to Unite Europe Wound Up Dividing It NYT

Survey research on right-wing extremism in Europe Understanding Society

Greek central bank head sees primary surplus at 1.3 percent of GDP: report Reuters

UK: lost, divided and alone Paul Mason, Le Monde Diplomatique

Debunking Popular Clichés About Modern Warfare The Unz Review. From May, but still relevant.


Erdogan’s purge was too big and too organised to be a mere reaction to the failed coup The New Statesman

Erdogan Accuses US General of “Taking Side of Plotters”, Seeks Personal Control of Army; US Directly Implicated in Coup Plot? MishTalk

Erdogan says to close military schools, rein in armed forces Reuters

Turkey’s Powerful Spy Network Failed to See Coup Coming WSJ

‘Western media part of political elite, will never report Syrian massacre by US-led forces’ RT

South Korean President losing her grip on power Straits Times

Who Supports China in the South China Sea and Why The Diplomat

Hong Kong pro-independence candidate disqualified from election Reuters


Is the Elite Media Failing to Reach Trump Voters? Slate (Furzy Mouse). Interview with Glenn Greenwald. Must read.

Jane Sanders: Why Bernie Voters Shouldn’t Get Over It Rolling Stone. Better than the headline.

Kshama Sawant vs. Rebecca Traister on Clinton, Democratic Party & Possibility of a Female President Democracy Now

Hillary Clinton Is Running Not Just As the Democrat But As the Candidate of Democracy Itself Jonathon Chait, New York Magazine

Kaine Contradicts Clinton Statements on Abortion Funding NBC. That was fast.

Clinton’s court shortlist emerges The Hill. Cory Booker on the Supreme Court? Please kill me now.

Clinton leads Trump by 6 points after Democratic confab: Reuters/Ipsos poll Reuters

In a purple state, will Clinton’s coattails help or hurt candidates? McClatchy

How Pennsylvania will be won Politico. I’m amazed it’s even in play.

Electoral Map Gives Donald Trump Few Places to Go NYT

In final 100 days, Clinton and Trump to chart different paths to White House WaPo

Koch Brothers’ Network of Donors Meets Without Donald Trump WSJ

Top Koch network adviser rejects Trump’s talk of law and order The Hill

Lawsuit Charges Donald Trump with Raping a 13-Year-Old Girl Snopes. You’d think those devilish Russkis would think twice before selecting an agent of influence who could be blackmailed by others, so — since it would be irresponsible not to speculate — perhaps the limitless funds dangled before David Brock have caused him to go insane with greed. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Also too, the Big Dog.

Computer Systems Used by Clinton Campaign Are Said to Be Hacked, Apparently by Russians NYT. But check the sourcing.

Court Blocks ‘Discriminatory’ North Carolina Voter ID Law ABC

The American Autumn Global Guerillas

Breaking News: @NAACP calls for national moratorium on charters Cloaking Inequity. Hmm. Wonder what the Black Lives Matter activists who came up through Teach for America think about that.

Federal appeals court rules police officer was justified to arrest a seventh-grader who was BURPING too loudly in his classroom Daily Mail

Class Warfare

America’s hidden homeless: Life in the Starlight Motel Al Jazeera

What do Donald Trump voters really crave? Respect Guardian

Rebuilding a mass social democratic party? Mainly Macro

Monumental proof to torment mathematicians for years to come Nature

Lessons from the past, over 30 different geographic areas and 12,000 years: the Seshat project Day of Archeology. Hmm. Do societies really have heritable attributes?

An Exciting History of Drywall The Atlantic

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Mark Alexander

    Thanks for the delightful antidote. It brings back fond memories of the year I spent in NZ as a child. I still regard it as my first home, and miss it very much, though I have not been back since then.

    A dozen years ago I considered the possibility of moving back there, but I barely had enough points to pass the immigration tests. Now I would not come close to passing, alas.

  2. low integer

    File under: the media is is now officially clinically insane.

    Today I saw a piece on SBS news (Australia) that seriously presented the angle that Trump is irresponsible because he is threatening the Indian programming cohort and the work visa scam that undermines US wages and working conditions in that industry to the benefit of corporations.
    I wonder if the US passport holding programming cohort will buy that argument? (/sarc)

    1. low integer

      Also, lest anyone think I am “xenophobic” or “racist” for not factoring the Indian programmer’s welfare into my comment above, it is my assertion that these sort of schemes undermine both countries. The best thing that could be done wrt large scale poverty imo would be for western nations to start acting ethically within their own populations and then extrapolating this principle to a refusal to exploit poorer nations.
      Providing adequately for the world’s population is a very complex problem, but the current ideology is not even wrong, it is inexcusable, and it is digging us deeper and deeper in the hole. Of course we may have dug so far already that even if we really tried we will find we are unable to climb out, but I don’t believe that.

        1. low integer

          I never quite know whether some of your comments are serious so I’ll just say that I’ve seen some pretty full on documentary work on this, as well as other issues such as witch burning and Indian rape culture. Admittedly these do not seem to be consequences of Western exploitation though.

          1. craazyboy

            This was one of my patented “deadpan” comments where I leave it up to the reader to determine if it sounds way, way, over the top unbelievable. Not fair on the iTubes, I know.

            Yup. I know a guy that goes to India on consulting work. He says youngish Indian programmers make $4000 a year. The phones don’t work either.

      1. Kevin Hall

        Ask any lifeguard, you have to be strong enough yourself (could include a position of strength) to save one who is drowning. Making an attempt from a position of weakness often ends up with two victims.

  3. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: ” What do Donald Trump voters really crave? Respect.”—A frank look at the racial divide in a typical US city by the Guardian. One guy said he’s not a racist—his ex-wife is black. He said Hill is more racist than The Donald, since she only stands up for women and blacks.

    1. low integer

      My personal opinion is that the Clintons don’t care about anybody unless they can leverage them or their plight for their own abhorrent purposes. I also have to wonder if the details of the Trump rape claim were a product of Bill’s experience “imagination”.

    2. Carolinian

      The article spends all its time talking about race when it’s obvious from the circumstances that this election is really all about class. As usual the media and the Dems are doing everything in their power to change the subject (with Trump’s occasional clumsy help of course). Perhaps Trump’s assaults against political correctness finds an audience because “virtue signaling” and expressions of moral superiority are commonly used by the elites to justify their own good fortune and the impoverishment of others. It’s the difference between people who think you are what you do and those who think you are what you say.

      Of course the fact that Trump finds an audience among ‘those who do’ doesn’t mean he’s in any way legit. But at least the elites are being forced to justify their bs–hence the media freak out.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        It IS about race. You got a white neighborhood and a black neighborhood. The whites like Trump and call HRC a racist. The blacks like HRC and call Trump a racist.

        1. Carla

          Thank you. I’m so tired of people saying “It’s not race. It’s class.” But in the north, it’s about race. In the south, it’s about race. In the east, it’s about race. In the west, it’s about race. In the midwest, it’s about race.

          This country is profoundly polluted by our history of racism and to deny that is simply — well, to deny reality.

          Is it about class, too? Of course. But class boundaries are sometimes breached; racial boundaries, never. Not so far. THAT is the tragedy of this country.

          1. HBE

            Race and class are inexorably intertwined, poor whites face many of the same injustices at the hands of the police and institutions as African Americans. Being poor makes you an easy target for exploitation and subjugation no matter what your racial background is. It also provides a more effective unifier than race which is why MLK saw it as a more effective method for combating the source of racism (see link below) as the movement progressed.

            It is harder to unite poor African Americans and whites over the issues of racial injustice, than it is economic injustice. While racism has certainly led to the impoverishment of much of the AA community, economic injustice has built a stronger foundation for its maintenance. The poor in the AA community face both class and racial scorn, remove class injustice and maintaining the latter becomes much harder, besides the fact class is a more powerful unifier that can more effectively cross the Boundaries of race.


            1. Stormcrow

              Yes, race and class are inextricably intertwined, along with age and gender. If you drew a venn diagram of intersecting circles, with a space left in the middle connecting all three, I woud put class in that space and let each of the three circles stand for race, gender and age respectively. I think class is the most fundamental.

              In the American Profile Poster, sociologist Stephen J. Rose has an extremely revealing and sophisticated chart that is differentiated along these lines. If we truly had a “middle class society,” you might expect the chart to be shaped like an onion with a small peak at the top (representing the most well off) and some hairy stuff at the bottom representing those left behind. Instead, it looks like a golf club. It would need to be a couple of storeys high if the larger image could be done to scale for the whole chart, because of how wealth is concentrated in the hands of the very few at the very top. Rose correlates wealth with race, gender and age at every point. It turns out that the most indigent depicted at the bottom consists largely of poor aged women of color.

              I think Rose makes it abundantly clear that class is the fundamental determining factor.


          2. Katniss Everdeen

            In your “context,” please discuss the race of the family that “wakes up every morning in a house built by slaves.”

            I suspect there are some who might feel that a “breach,” however inconsequential, of “racial boundaries” had occurred.

          3. Carolinian

            I don’t know of any Trumpistas including the man himself who ever claimed that there is no such thing as racism. What he has said, I believe, is that nothing he has said on the campaign trail is very different from what his rich friends say in private or at parties. We’ve seen this in the past with famous liberals like Mike Wallace getting caught out in comments about watermelons etc.

            As I say in my comment it’s not about what you say but about what you do. Rich white people like DWS and her friends talk about racism while exploiting the poor and black with payday loans, trick mortgages that steal their houses, anything they can think of.

            And as some of the commenters upthread are saying, MLK himself saw the race problem as also an economic problem. This is what the current Dem party is trying to hide from.

            1. EndOfTheWorld

              Note that the white people in the Guardian piece are not WASPs. They are unprotected minorities in the US. Their skin is white, yes, but their names are not Smith or Jones or even O’Reilly. If their son applies to some high-toned law firm, for example, the firm can reject him with no fear of a discrimination lawsuit, although the firm may feel the need to hire blacks, latinos, and women to stay out of trouble.

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Of the 4 categories of doing something bad

              1. you don’t say but do
              2. you say and do
              3. you don’t say and don’t do
              4. you say, but don’t do

              Number is especially damaging.

              It’s harder to catch the deed, for one.

              It’s easier to pretend you’re ‘good.’

              If #2 is bad ‘squared,’ then, #1 is bad ‘cubed.’

              That is, #1 is bad x bad x bad.

              So, you always look for the stooge guy in Stalag 13 – he punched William Holden harder than any real American POWs.

          4. cwaltz

            So you think Beynce and Jay Z live the same life as someone who lives in Detroit? An inner city AA family raising a child has it exactly the same as Michelle or Obama at the White House?

            Blue Ivy or for that matter Sasha and Malia will have the same upbringing as an AA child that has parents that live in the inner city?

            Someone is denying reality alright- but it’s you, not others.

            Or are you arguing that Blue Ivy, Sasha and Malia have it worse than poor white Americans? That those “privileged” white kids that go to bed hungry because mommy and daddy got guilted into having them before they could actually afford them have it way better than ANY black person ever will?

            There are racists in this country alright. You might want to find yourself a mirror.

          5. Lambert Strether Post author

            It’s the math.

            If you want to get 80% of the country pointed in one direction, the only way to do that is on the basis of economic class. Nothing else adds up.

            There’s a reason why 53/47 (slice it on whichever identity you will) is the preferred mode for the political class: The conflicts are impossible to resolve which (a) keeps their rice bowls full and (b) makes their oligarchy masters happy.

            Yeah, I know things are more complicated. But math something like that is what it is.

          6. Skip Intro

            Traditionally race, religion, and other tribal identity markers are use to divide the underclass, and prevent them from fighting their common oppressor. I think both candidates use this strategy.

            1. gordon

              I note that MLK was assassinated just at the time when it looked as though he might be able to unite poor blacks and whites. That racial divide among the have-nots is carefully cultivated by ruling classes in the US and elsewhere.

        2. Torsten

          Like the robber baron said, “I can kill one half the working class to kill the other half.”

          1. Crestwing

            The robber baron didn’t really think through his plan. He just armed half of the working class.

            1. Torsten

              There are several fronts. In the US it’s the whites (R ) vs the brown-blacks (D). The killing is effected at the ballot box whereby both sides of the working class are starved. Abroad the US uses drones, arms sales, and debt issued by putative US banks who lend petrodollars directly and through their ECB and City affiliates.

        3. JTMcPhee

          All that means, I think, is more proof that “most people don’t get it.” “It” being that the people who live over yonder behind the walls of the gated manors are screwing both sets and suckering both into aiming too low and shooting each other in the foot…

          But hey I, let us never miss an opportunity to flog the Narrative version of things. Even if it kills us…

        4. Katniss Everdeen

          And if it’s REALLY about the withdrawal of economic opportunity and abdication of governmental responsibility in service of elite globalist free-traders and sociopathic hegemons, they need to PRETEND it’s about race.

          So that the complainers can be delegitimized as pathetic cretins and just all-around lousy, stupid people. Who have lousy, stupid complaints.

          All the really smart people in washington, d. c. and new york say so.

          1. nycTerrierist

            Spot on.

            This slimy strategy for de-legitimizing dissent needs to be called out often and loudly.

          2. Patricia

            It seems the working class likes Trump partly because he too has never been socially acceptable to the ‘upper crusters’. He did try but couldn’t figure out the social cues, the particular politenesses/actions, the acceptable ways to double-speak, which corruptions were ok and which weren’t. He has remained vulgar and a blurter of unacceptable self-aggrandizement and coarse truths—and has been constantly rejected and ridiculed. So too, the working class.

            If our political pomposities wished to act politically astute, they’d stop doubling/tripling down on Trump in the same old ways. He has now become a symbol for many. So start treating him as a peer, for eg—how would that hurt? But they won’t stop because affirming their positions of assumed superiority are far more important to them than having a functional nation.

            1. dk

              Okay but Trump makes it exceedingly difficult to treat him as a peer. Not least of all because he wants to be “the best” (in gold letters, too), he isn’t interested in peers.

              And I think Trump is also pretty hard to pin down, deliberately on his part. Take him seriously on anything, and he’ll spin it a bit, and a bit more, just to see where the breaking point is. It might be a good way to get him to move off base, but it leaves the original policy idea twisting in the breeze with nobody to articulate it, and ready to be scoffed away.

              Also, currently policy framing is very rigid, founded in identity politics for two decades. Considering Trumps ideas, any of them, might be seen as endorsing his bigotry and racism, to the people suffering from it even before he showed up. They have a right to be suspicious; they’ve seen constructive framing used to usher in horrible policies (improving education through charter schools, for example, how did pro-education turn into crap-education?).

              The hard part for the poli-pompous is acknowledging anything they didn’t come up with from their interpretations of polling and focus groups. If they can’t poll the underclasses supporting Trump, or really, understand them at all, they can’t really believe they exist, much less that they have issues that don’t show up in other demographics. Besides, “poor people don’t vote” has been a mainstay of campaign politics since forever, exceptions not withstanding. Ignoring them has been a safe bet for a long time. How could that have changed? Short answer: it hasn’t! Ignore this! It’s insignificant! Trust me, I’m a pro!

              And in the inner circles, where people are actively involved in both campaign strategy and policy (depending on where we are in the four-year cycle), there is an additional hurdle; one isn’t supposed to trash one’s own previous policy. We spend how much on that and now it turns out we were wrong? Let it die a quiet death, but we don’t want to attract attention to it by doing something so completely different. Because somebody could use that against us in the next election! Seriously, they say that.

              Also, there is a premium on “stability”, due to wanting to keep the stock/trading markets cheerful. The confidence fairy must be maintained in the style to which s/he is accustomed! Trump spooks Wall Street. So let’s not even go there.

              I’m just listing some reasons I know of to explain the avoidance of anything Trump, beyond mere snootiness. But it all boils down to snootiness anyway.

              1. John Candlish

                The Establishment’s demographic model is assuming poor people are stupid. An odd belief to bet an election against.

                1. dk

                  But it sells! The big dollar donors love it: “we matter, they don’t”. And they pay to bet on it.

                  Yes, it’s that f**ked up. I have had it patiently explained to me several times over the years. The donors get what they pay for, because that’s what keeps the money flowing (and we’re talkin’ billions, even before the dark money:

                  It’s not so much about winning as about putting on a show for the donors. Which explains why we get such clowns for candidates.

              2. Patricia

                Good points all, but yeah, for this particular situation, it boils down to snootiness, the socially acceptable cover for power-hunger.

                Trump is nouveau riche. He is also as corrupt as those in the group to which he has wished to belong. And he has no governing experience, making him especially dangerous. But the working class appreciate that danger/risk, yes? It’s their type. (I liked that about Sanders too, after all, tho’ for dif reasons.)

                Ignorance (not stupidity) is something the libruls could have been relieving for the last 40 years, for all their love of education, but they didn’t bother. Vital knowledge was never made coherent for everyday life of most USians, who were left alone against incessant propaganda. And they are contemptuous? With their own now-crapified degrees?

                The least libruls can do is treat our large white working class and our smaller black/brown working class with basic respect—after all, their identity politics are based in “equality and justice”. Sure, Trump and followers make it hard—but libs go on about the virtues of hard work, so effing lead by example. Instead, they’ve gone wack. Who does that? Pansy-faced, limp-wristed, deodorized courtiers with forked tongues, that’s who.

                Obviously these pea-brains need sweeping out—they only make everything worse. And that is something on which all of the 99% agree.

                (Sorry, dk, feeling grumpy today.)

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Trump’s lacking of governing experience makes him dangerous….

                  To many, life is dangerous, as in, life is full of many dangers.

                  Not so much, for the rich.

        5. The Trumpening

          Depends on WHICH white neighbourhood you go to. Go to a rich “goodwhite” one and its all about Being With Her. The lower down the economic social scale you go the more you get a “badwhite” mix of Trump and Sanders.

          Blacks ALWAYS vote overwhelmingly Democratic, this is a pre-existing condition to any election. The only variable is in what their turnout will be like. So Trump’s plan will be to resist saying anything that will needlessly drive up black turnout.

          What’s interesting is in the USC / LA Times poll is that along side Whites (Trump +23), Blacks (Hillary +78!!), Hispanics (Hillary +22) they have “Other Ethnicity” which has Trump up 23 points (57-34). Surely Asians are included, but I’m not sure which other “ethnicities” are involved here.

          So weighted by percentage of vote (my estimates)
          Whites (70%) Trump winning big
          Blacks (12%) Hillary totally and utterly dominating
          Hispanics (11%) Hillary winning big
          Other Ethnics (7%) Trump winning big

          What’s interesting here is that this mysterious “ethnic” vote is almost as important as the Hispanic vote but I don’t even really know what it is (Asians + what?) and no one ever talks about it!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            If those Asian Americans are in the tech field, with expensive American made tech degrees, perhaps they empathize with his H1 Bvisa position.

            And if you an Asian American physician, for example, well do to but not billionaire rich, perhaps you are shocked by the money (especially those inherited wealth) flowing into the places like Southern California, SF or NY…just like many American-Americans (not just Asian Americans).

            1. ggm

              Affirmative action is now hurting Asian-American students who are increasingly shut out of top universities due to quotas. I wonder if that plays a role.

        6. Roger Smith

          Racism is a component but the driving force is class via socioeconomic inequality. Race is further exacerbated (historically by both parties) and made a scapegoat out of that conveniently keeps the plebes from coming together to topple the ivory tower.

          There is a reason why the Democrats are pumping steroids into the racial angle–they profit off inequality. They have no real solutions to offer.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think one thing we are, in all likelihood, sure of:

            Socioeconomic inequality came before (chronologically, not priority-wise, or any ohter interpretation of the word, before) racial inequality.

            But aversion to outsides (of even the same race) came before both of the above.

            So, to expel, for example, the Hyksos was no different from pushing back the Sea Peoples, for the ancient Egyptians.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            I think things run in parallel. (I really distrust base/superstructure models.)

            I’ve been toying with the idea that “____ism is how _____s experience capitalism.” Because you really can’t try to argue people out of their lived experience (one definition of ideology, in fact).

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Was just reminded by Hillary (telepathically – so you know we are in a different world here) that we shouldn’t forget gender.

              So, it’s race, class, gender AND (inherited) IQ.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                OK, it was sarcasm. Hillary did not personally remind me.

                It was her struggle, or as she would say herself, Mein Kampf (for women).

                1. Arizona Slim

                  Yet another reason why I am in favor of a gender nonconforming atheist for president. And, just for fun, this person should be of mixed heritage. Y’know, like a Tiger Woods mix.

        1. DJG

          Has anyone ever considered that U.S. blacks are in a sense a class? Slavery was designed to provide labor–and in the earliest settlements, you had indentured servants of various kinds. Because of the labor shortages in the early colonies, involuntary servitude sure was convenient. So part of the problem here in the U.S. of A. is that race and social class intersect (much like India, not exactly a beacon of egalitarianism, despite the theological propaganda, and unlike, say, Spain). “White” groups have ascended and descended the racial ladder. Why, my Sicilian ancestors became “white” sometime between 1930 and 1950, I suppose, after Southerners stopped lynching Italian-Americans. And the rickety category “Latino” is usually defined as being of any race.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If some of us see it as more class than race, though most would say, it’s race, class (and bunch of other factors, and so, no excluding race), it’s probably because race motivations are less visible.

    3. Victoria

      When Hillary originated this argument in her speech (instead of proposing to do anything about trade abuse and the collapse of the working class) I exploded all over Twitter in frustration. It’s condescending at best, and a typical Democratic party identity-weaseling maneuver. When I read those interviews I saw no mention of “respect” but lots of specific issues that should be addressed by anyone who wants those people’s votes. The Guardian shouldn’t be picking up Hillary’s talking points; they should be reporting and making their own conclusions.

      1. low integer

        See this comment and the one directly below for some analysis of Guardian bias.
        Adding: all the posts in that thread are very interesting imo.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s the neoliberal media.

        Often, it’s incorrectly called the liberal media.

        You are not often wrong to also call it the Democratic Party media…like now, these days. A simple phone call to the head of a major news organization to get the job done…wasn’t it leaked the other day?

  4. The Trumpening

    I would take the Reuters poll with a grain of salt. After Trump surged 17 points in the past two weeks. Reuters was forced to change the wording of their polls in order to give — by their own admission — Hillary a 2-4% boost.

    The USC Dronsife / LA Times poll today has Trump up 4, but they’ve been on the high side for Trump so it is probably closer to a 2 point lead. I expect in the next week we will see Trump ultimately getting a slightly higher (1 or 2 points) boost from his convention than Hillary got from hers (the polls lag by around a week) and the election remains very tight.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      As I said on Friday, it seemed like the clinton media was afraid her polling might not show the bounce the campaign needed, and led the country to expect.

      So it looks like they decided to create one. The timing of the “correction” to the polling sure is fortuitous.

      For those of us who prefer to live in the real world, there is this from the article:

      A separate Reuters/Ipsos survey that provided respondents with the option to choose from Clinton, Trump, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, has Clinton and Trump tied at 37 percentage points.

      1. craazyboy

        Gotta admit using pre DNC convention poll data to show a post DNC convention bounce is something that would make Joseph Goebbels proud.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Depends on if you add them or subtract one from the other (in the correct order).

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The article author is kind enough to remind us that Trump has never held public office, and that he’s 70 (will he get tired easily).

        Most helpful (I think) is to let the reader know that Trump is still mad, still ranting about working people.

      3. DJG

        Katniss Everdeen: Yep. I noticed the paragraph that you italicize. In most states, the ballots will have four candidates, maybe more, for president. So the tie is more realistic. Yves and Lambert posted CNN polls a few days back that also showed a tie.

        The DNC still hasn’t figured out what they are up against. (But then, nor has the traditional Republican leadership like Graham, McCain, and Ryan figured out how compromised they now are, too.)

        1. pretzelattack

          that’s what this election is about! which party has the best hackers. and if their hackers lose, they blame russia, simple.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s my suspicion (based on human nature and the main stream version, that is, accepted version of recent current events where identity politics and political correctness are two areas heavily engaged by both sides at this particular phase of the battle) that there are Trump voters who are reluctant to say so publicly.

    3. Heliopause

      My guess is that after the convention bounces settle down in a week or two we’ll be roughly back to where we started in the poll averages, Clinton about +4. My further guess is that Trump would never make up that ground and that’s approximately where the race would finish, except that we have unusual external factors in play (Wikileaks).

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        …….Trump would never make up that ground……

        And if he did, no one would ever be the wiser.

        These “polls” are being tweaked, spun and re-jiggered to presage and confirm the predetermined final outcome.

        No one intends to let things get as out of control as the republican nominating process did. There’s just too much money at stake.

  5. Skippy

    Ref – How a Currency Intended to Unite Europe Wound Up Dividing It NYT

    In France, discussions on the Werner Plan focused on different issues. President Pompidou did not think that transferring vital powers over monetary matters to the Community institutions — as planned for the second stage — was either realistic or desirable. To him, only economic and financial cooperation as part of the first stage seemed realistic. As to how this integration would develop in the future, Paris wanted to give as few undertakings as possible, thereby calling the single currency — the very essence of monetary integration — into question. This disavowal of the Werner Plan is even more surprising when we consider that it had been drawn up with input from the French representatives, just like the interim report, which had been agreed to by the ministers responsible. We know that President Pompidou expressly gave orders for the negotiations not to be brought to a conclusion, as had been planned, at the Brussels Council of Ministers on 14 December 1970, as a sign of his disagreement with the ‘European jokers’ whom he believed he had identified, especially among the politicians from the Benelux countries. 29 This is why the French delegation at the Council meetings of 23 November and 14 December 1970 was extremely reluctant to agree to successive transfers of powers to the Community institutions while at the same time rejecting the idea that there should be automatic transition from the first stage to the second. Germany, meanwhile, expressed reservations about the financing clauses as long as there were no tangible achievements to show in relation to policy coordination.

    Although the objective of the plan for economic and monetary union was medium-term integration, actual agreement between the European partners went no further than the first three-year stage. With hindsight, the idea of setting up economic and monetary union in a decade looks somewhat out of step with the difficult situation in Europe at the time: the approach was probably over-optimistic. Even so, the original plan had the advantage of giving a focus to discussions and marking out a forward-looking vision.

    The Council of Ministers of the Community officially ratified the plan for economic and monetary union on 22 March 1971. However, developments in the international monetary system, which went into full-blown crisis mode after the US decision on 15 August 1971 to devalue the dollar, would thwart the shared ambition set out in the Werner Plan, already weakened as it was by the absence of any real political will. – snip

  6. Steve H.

    – Clinton’s court shortlist emerges The Hill. Cory Booker on the Supreme Court? Please kill me now.

    Intangible no-cost bone thrown to a good dog. “Go get it, boy!”

    And oh yes, I know exactly my implication.

      1. low integer

        It’s a bit like that in general lately, though your comparison of Trump to a honey badger has been making me chuckle to myself all day. None of the elites can say that the “winner take all” philosophy they have foisted on the public is not responsible for Trump, and now he is roaming around the political landscape causing havoc, exactly like the honey badger in the video you linked to yesterday. It is also funny that the honey badger eats so many snakes.
        I’m gonna be busy for a few months but there is no way I will be able to refrain from watching this election unfold. I think some sleep will have to be put on hold.

        1. Steve H.

          low, thank you. I’m going to take a chance here and let fly. I focused on NC a couple of years ago after I analyzed my time, who I read and who was right, and NC was one of two that kept ringing the bell. Then other commenters turn out to be sharp and smart and full of knowledge about things I’m trying to figure out. Willing to call me out when I’m not up to standard (hat-tip Yves and Fresno).

          I find I don’t hate anyone I actually know, it’s the ones whose intangible image separates me from them. This goes to the Archdruid talking about figuration, abstraction, and reflection. My figurative experiences are what shape my orientation. It’s the reflections that really drive up, in some positive feedback loop, that tribal level of anger and disgust which form hatred.

          At least Booker is not a BMC preacher, the worst of whom forgive themselves in God’s name for their sins on the congregation they control with the threat of Eternal damnation. He’s just another selling jester that throws himself to that execrable Arkansas royalty who pats the head of the happier-than-thou house n* tap-dancing down the steps with Little Missy for a chance to suck on a leftover chicken bone off the fine china.

          But my young life included a Man, a Black Man, that I loved, from whom I learned that in his world,

          You don’t get shit
          Unless you sell out
          Or sell It

          And sell it he did. It makes for some of my finest stories, but also the heartache of this one: You’re a janitor with multiple kids, a basketball star when you were young so everyone wanted a piece of you. But you didn’t play the Other game so the scholarship didn’t work out. The powders make other people want you and take off the edge. But the System will catch you, and despite how much a J brings in Cook County Jail, it ain’t never enough to pay the lawyer. So to pay him, the System demands you get right back on that same train, and the place you die is a mop closet with a crack pipe in hand.

          So that figurative, real experience of that man that I loved and still love, form the substrate of emotions that come up so often with the hypocrisies of a ‘best liar wins’ political system. So let me stand by my experience, with Elton standing beside me, and not shy from expressing what I have learned because of the color of my skin, or the possibility of the disdain of people whom I respect.

          1. low integer

            I find I don’t hate anyone I actually know, it’s the ones whose intangible image separates me from them.

            Yes, the discrepancy between who someone is and who that person thinks they are is a cause of great inner conflict, and is also the cause of so much outwardly projected toxicity, imo.
            Thanks for sharing your story. Though I can’t relate from experience I can relate as a human, and we are all pretty similar when it comes down to it.
            Btw, NC is the only place I comment at, and I’m proud to say I found my way here by myself. Very few people I spend time with, if any, understand the gravity of what is occuring around them, and I never would have found this site if it wasn’t for what I might describe as an unquenchable curiousity. Of course seeing all the contradictions around one’s self is the beginning of this process, and they are pretty hard to miss lately.

            1. low integer

              Adding: When I was younger I lost some friends to heroin, and have seen quite a few lose their way due to meth more recently. Although I have been totally accepted into some pretty crazy crowds over the years, they seemed to intuitively understand that I loved skateboarding and in a way this provided a cover from being pressured too much with drugs. I also think I knew using heroin would be a crossing of the Rubicon of sorts. I am also lucky enough to have a very kind and loving mother. So yeah, maybe I can relate more from experience than I thought.

              1. low integer

                Adding: I just hope you and Elton can find a way. I think I missed a few things on my first read of your comment, and I notice I quoted you and then went off tangentially. Sorry about that. In reality I have had some room to make mistakes in my life and have not been in anywhere near as oppressive an environment as you and Elton have been subjected to. Again, my apologies.

              2. low integer

                Fuck I read your post again and now I think I properly understand that Elton didn’t make it through his struggle. I hope he is resting in peace. Please disregard my post directly above this. I got myself into a spin for some reason. Also, I must admit I skipped over the Archdruid stuff (figuration, abstraction, and reflection) because I’ve found that site quite tiring to read for at least the last 6 months.
                Regarding Booker, I think one very complicated thing for US Black people is the strength of the “Black” label. From down here in Australia it seems like all Black public figures in the US adopt this idea that they are a spokesperson for the Black community as a whole. When I see politicians in Australia, even though I have the same skin color as most of them, I never feel like they are speaking on my behalf, and I think this racial detachment (which I’ve never really considered until now) makes it much easier to accept betrayal from them. In general, I just see them as idiots.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > I find I don’t hate anyone I actually know, it’s the ones whose intangible image separates me from them.

            It would be interesting to tease out how that works, in sociology, psychology, the art of politics… Is it a natural tendency all humans share, and if so, on what basis?

            I view genuine (not silo-ed) intersectionality as a way to scrub our eyes clean of those intangible images, so we can see at least a blurry image of the real person who used to be behind the image (but it’s not practiced that way now, that’s for sure).

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              I am intrigued by your focus on the “I find … ” portion of Steve H.’s comment. It says something — I have no voice or full intuition of what — about the totalitarian push to isolate and atomize individuals as portrayed in Arendt’s writings. I am reminded of a quip I read [too old — memory fails] indicating we are all descents from a bottleneck in the human gene pool which occurred about 800,000 years ago. Technically speaking — as a species — we are little different from genetic clones — gives an interesting twist to the whole race problem and the felt distance between individuals in our societies.

              1. ambrit

                That would be the Toba eruption occurring about 70,000 BCE. That and the Younger Dryas that happened between 12,900 and 11,700 BCE both stressed human populations. In the Younger Dryas, over 70% of magafauna went extinct, eg. mammoths, giant sloths, giant sabretooth tigers, large flightless birds, etc. etc. The human cultures known to have thrived before the Younger Dryas period such as Clovis, also disappeared; so the “humans hunted the big food sources into extinction” theory doesn’t hold up.

    1. DJG

      Steve H.: Yep. Wowsers. Merrick Garland the Republican. Corporate Srinivasan.

      But the liberals are all over social media announcing the number of S.C. justices that Hillary will appoint.

      And I’m sure that Tim Kaine will help out, worried as he is about the survival of the Hyde Amendment.

      1. oh

        what makes HRC think that they’ll be confirmed? I know that the Dems will quickly confirm the most neo-liberal/conservative judge but I don’t know if the Reps will confirm any nominee of the Dems.

  7. Roger Smith

    Re: Trudeau Just Broke His Promise to Canada’s First Nations DeSmog Canada
    “The Liberals seem to be thinking that if they say the right things, it’s somehow the same as doing the right things.”

    “The Liberals seem to be thinking that if they say the right things, it’s somehow the same as doing the right things.”

    Welcome to the other side CA! Out of the frying pan and…

    1. Roger Smith

      Uh… Something happened here and a whole chunk of my comment was missing.

      Originally it said something along the lines of: “No way! You mean it wasn’t all about his pretty boy smile and funny socks? I have friends here (in the states) that have been obsessed with this man for no real reasons since he was elected. He is the Canadian Obama.”

      1. low integer

        That is odd. I saw your original comment before it changed.
        Adding: must have been the Russians.

        1. Roger Smith

          Herr Lambert perhaps?! Comrade Yves?

          The world is getting to Red for me to see straight anymore! (sigh…)

          I did edit it to add the article quote, but I swear it looked good before I left. I guess I must have just seen what I expected and missed the problem.

            1. low integer

              I think “Herr Lambert perhaps?! Comrade Yves?” was just a riff on the “must have been the Russians” comment, rather than saying either of you would have done such a thing, or that you should look into it.

  8. Cherenkov Blue

    Saker’s assessment of Hillary’s cadre fits the facts. NATO’s already at war with Russia. Illegal undeclared war.

    A CDU source points out that the Turkish sneak attack on a Russian warplane required an AWACS. Every AWACS is under US control. Recall that the US rationale for nuking Japan was that they violated Hague III with their ‘sneak attack’ on Pearl Harbor. Historical precedent supports the nuclear war that Putin is warning us about.

    1. Jeotsu

      A quick reflection without supporting substantiation:

      -what was the roll vis-a-vis Erdogan and the generals for planning and executing the air-ambush/shoot down of the Mig-24?
      -did the decision to goad the Russians play a roll in the coup (whatever its real origins and intent) and the subsequent crackdown on the Turkish military?

      The Turkish President has been quite angry at the US post-coup, implicitly and then explicitly accusing them of playing a roll. The Turkish General in charge in Incilik air base sought refuge with the US forces on base, but was refused.

      Are we seeing the wheels within wheels of the Imperial intentions of NATO/USA coming into conflict with the Imperial Intentions of Erdogan?

      1. Yves Smith

        What John Helmer suggested is the US had CIA assets on both sides…but from Erdogan’s perspective:

        1. The US didn’t make any statement about supporting Erdogan until after it was clear he had gotten control

        2. Erdogan may know of some support for the rebels, so even if we also had assets on his side, that doesn’t matter from his perspective

        3. We refused to turn over the cleric Gulen, who Erdogan believes is behind the coup attempt.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I am a Bernie backer but after reading the Saker I was and remain very close to becoming a Trump voter [I currently plan to leave President an undercount].

      I am considering printing up a “Thank You! Vasili Arkhipov” T-shirt to wear for October 27.

      I thought Trump was scary until I took a closer look at Hillary.

  9. Macro

    Reading Simon-Wren Lewis for a couple years it’s unnerving to watch his transformation into a kinder-gentler UK version of Krugman. His latest post is about all I can stand anymore what with his furrowing of brow decrying the incivility of Corbyn supporters. “…what makes me really sad is the contempt that some members seem to have for Labour MPs…” I am convinced that our leaders need nothing more than constant a rain of ridicule and scorn until they get the message. I say let the Wren-Lewis’ of the world retire to the plush fainting couch until we are finished.

  10. The Trumpening

    The most interesting part of the NYT article on the battleground states was how Trump is using Pence to guard his right flank. This is because Trump’s obvious strategy is go out and attack Clinton’s glaringly vulnerable Left flank. That is what makes this election so interesting, we have maneuver warfare. Normally a Presidential campaign is a boring war of attrition where each side sticks to its long established policies and just engages in frontal attacks which the side with the most ammo (corporate funding) wins.

    But Trump on trade, cheap labor immigration restriction, NeoCon warmongering, etc is attacking Hillary from the Left. He is combining this with a folksy, anti-PC cultural shtick as well. 70% of Americans do not have a college degree and are vulnerable to the noxious effects of Neoliberal Globalization while having little time for bourgeois virtue signalling on increasingly irrelevant cultural battlegrounds.

    One Clinton counter-strategy would have been to pick a popular and energetic figure on the Left to help cover this flank. Instead she chose a VP from the right wing of the Democratic Party. Who is going to match up to Trump in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan? Surely not Hillary! She has already cancelled an event today in Ohio and there are persistent rumors of bad health. Besides, she may crack glass ceilings but she has had serious trouble breaking the three figure ceiling in the crowd estimate department!

    The NYT repeats the lie that Trump has a problem with women voters. The USC/LA Times poll showed him a couple days ago within 1 or 2 points with all women (they don’t break women down by race) and today have him 4 points down. Given that Trump is losing big with blacks and less so with Hispanics, this means Trump must certainly be winning the white woman vote. Hillary is losing her very own demographic!

    The same poll shows Hillary today down 14 points with all men, which again really means she is down at least 17 points, if not more, with white men.

    Worse now for Hillary is she will be facing angry Bernie people looking to disrupt her tiny rallies — if they were to ever stop only allowing heavy vetted supporters (or paid actors!) into these venues. Hillary’s Left flank is in serious danger of crumbling and I do not know who is going to ride to the rescue to save her.

  11. craazyman

    get me the fuk out of moderation. Eisenhower is entering the presidential race and I;m reporting on it

    1. craazyman

      ok maybe this will post. i’ll try again sinnc it’s urgent and it’s a scoop by World News Service– it’s breaking news!

      I’m not sure about this report but if ti’s true it’s absolutely incredible!

      This should certainly be a link . .


      Dwight Eisenhower to Enter Presidential Race

      Worldwide News Service Exclusive
      by Delerious T. Tremens, Reporter at Large

      Santa Fe, NM (WNS)– July 30 — In this bleak desert landscape of coyote and cactus, where mesas scrape the low sky like brown table tops and the human eye can see through the luminous Milky Way to distant galaxies spinning like dizzying whirpools in the black night night sky without binoculars, a roomful of new age channelers is about to upend the U.S, presidential election race. Sittiing on a blue sofa smoking a cigarette and drinking a cold vodka tonic is Teacake Astral Star, a diminutive woman in a tie-die dress with Indian bead necklaces piled like ropes around her neck who claims she is in psychic contact with World War II hero and former U.S. president Dwight David Eisenhower, and that he’s pissed off.

      “I was channelling the Pleideans” says Ms. Starr to a reporter, “and all the sudden he was there. He said he’s furious at what America has become and he wants to fix it. I knew it was him because he looked just like he did in the news reels.”

      Asked how a dead person could possibly run for U.S president, Ms. Starr seemed surprised, “He’s not dead,” she retorted sharply, “He’s living with the Pleidians in the astral plane. He’s perfectly capable of being president. What do presidents do anyway that’s so hard, with all the help they have?”

      The prospect of an Eisenhower candidacy make not be entirely unwelcome to a nation seemingly unenthused with the two major party’s candidates. But just how could General and ex-President Eisenhower campaign and, if he won, how could he govern? Ms. Starr has answers.

      “There are eight or nine of us who are now in regular contact with Dwight,” she says, sweeping her arm at the group assembled around a table with a hooka pipe and water bong as the centerpiece. “He comes through every day, sometimes several times a day. We can speak for him at cabinet meetings, press conferences, wherever. He doesn’t have to physically be there.”

      Dr. Rupert Wyer, a professor of electrical engineering at Cal Tech believes he can help the cause. “We can reengineer voice recordings of President Eisenhower from the 1950s, sampling and reordering sounds to make his speech seem quite natural,” says Professor Wyer. “We just need Teacake to let us know what he’s saying and we can program the sentences. You’ll know it’s him as soon as you hear it.” Mr. Wyer became a convert to the idea after initial skepticism. “It did seem ridiculous at first,” Mr. Wyer said to reporter, “but I became convinced when Teacake related things about Eisenhower’s military strategy in Germany that she could not have possibly have known. That’s when I knew it was him.”

      Assuming republican party officials can warm to this admittedly bizarre idea, there may be constitutional issues to overcome. Teacake Astral Star is a U.K. national born in London, England whose real name is Clarissa Jane Bentmentle. If Eisenhower does enter the race, constitutional scholars would have to rule whether Ms. Bentmentle or General Eisenhower, or perhaps Ms. Star’s entire Santa Fe channeling team, would be the actual president.

      Professor Wyer has no patience with legalities or doubts. “It’s him, OK!” he said to a reporter. “We need leadership we don’t have. This is a man who defeated the Nazis, built the highway system, warned about the military industrial complex and was an avid fly fisherman. How can you do better than that?”

      Mr. Wyer then pushed a button on his machine and Eisenhower’s voice boomed out from the tabletop next to the hooka pipe and bong. “Teacake is going to channel him tomorrow and we’ll have a press conference next week to say he’s entering the race,” he said. The only question is whether anybody will listen.

      (OK, this one isn’t great but I don’t have alot of time now. hahaahahahahah)

      1. craazyboy

        I’d vote for Dwight. Even if he is dead, or more accurately, a ghost. He’s over 40, so that part’s ok. It’s just we have a big taboo about dead people voting in this country.(don’t know if it’s really illegal or not – no ever gets arrested for it?) But they could just say Dwight can’t cast a vote for himself. That would make it a non-issue. Otherwise it would probably end up in the Supreme Court and who knows what they would do? Say we have to arrest ghosts???

        I think Teacake and her group of Dwight advisors and spokesmen would probably have to move to DC. That’s how it usually works. They could make pot legal in the Whitehouse and put the hooka pipe and water bong in the Oval Office for meetings and séances. Nancy Reagan could advise on issues too. That would almost be like having a woman in the White House? Maybe grow some pot plants in the Rose Garden and save a few bucks on expenses. Paul Ryan and the Tea Party should like that.

          1. Paul Tioxon

            Thank Jesus H. Christ we live in country where the military generals wouldn’t never dare stick their nose into politics.

            Admiral Wrongway Peachfuzz
            General Jubilation T. Cornpone

            <a href="http://“>

      2. Ulysses

        This is so great! I mean, who doesn’t like Ike?

        [In response to WNS piece linked to by craazyman above]

      3. John k

        Totally ridiculous. He’s had two terms, we can’t elect him no matter how much better he would be than what’s on offer.

        1. Jagger

          What about Abe Lincoln? He never finished out his second term. Of course, if we ended up in another civil war, wouldn’t be so great for his legacy.

  12. craazyboy

    “Hillary’s Left flank is in serious danger of crumbling and I do not know who is going to ride to the rescue to save her.”

    Tim Kaine could repeat Sanders speeches? It might work. But Tim doesn’t have the wild hair. That could tip voters off Tim’s not a true lefty.

  13. tony

    About modern war, yesterday’s article Everything is Broken suggests that high technology actually loses wars.While military itself would be OK in case of a massive cyberattack, the civilian economy that supports it could be completely wrecked by sabotaging everything from payment systems, to electricity generation to communications. Russia could feed itself from personal gardens and small scale agriculture, while simply cutting electricity would cause mass starvation in the US as refrigeration and just in time fails.

    1. apber

      The psychotic neocon warmongers really don’t care about the peeps; they’ve got all those well stocked underground bunkers to retreat to. The worst is that they know that Russia (and China) have weapons superiority as a US navy destroyer in the Black Sea can attest. A CIA connected think tank envisions a 50 million US population by 2025. I wonder what’s gonna happen to the other 300 million? I guess there is a plan.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      One big problem with a “cyber”- attack is attribution — “who dun it?”. America is a splendid target for attack given our growing and compelled reliance on computer networks.

      Watch “Mr. Robot” or read “One Second After” for some further perspectives. We have fashioned ourselves into a splendid “cyber” TARGET. In modern warfare we could be handed our ass and never know who dun it.

      1. Mark P.

        ‘…we could be handed our ass and never know who dun it.’

        Forget “Mr. Robot,” Hollywood movies and paperback thrillers. Yes, America’s computer networks may be a splendid target for attacks. Yes, with cyberattacks a player can sometimes prevent attribution. And, yes, if WWIII breaks out between between China and the US, say, cyberwar will be part of it.

        But at the level of a superstate vs. superstate conflict, there’s not yet really a way to make a big enough dent in an enemy’s military capability — to hand them their ass — with a pure cyberattack strategy. (Though that may change as technology advances.)

        And so in a big state vs. big state war the critical cyberattacks will come right as the conflict commences, as both sides start knocking down each others’ satellite networks with missiles, to remove the other’s cyber-communications and battlespace oversight.

        That’s the hard front-end of cyberwar — it’ll start in orbit. But everybody will know when that happens and there’ll almost certainly be attribution.

  14. Pat

    That article about Clinton’s possible SCOTUS picks is so thin it might as well be air. No source on record and lots of hemming and hawing about how no one wants to talk on record. And a then a list of the usual subjects.
    Starting with her top pick being Garland, not saying that it isn’t just that all the reasons for it have little to do with much but he has already gone through the bureaucratic process.

    The nod to Booker, and it is a nod apparently has not noticed something I think is massively obvious. Mind you it could be similar to the blinders regarding Trump, we don’t want it to be so it won’t, but anyone who thinks that Booker would let himself be put on the Court has not been paying attention. That man is running for President. And he is not going to be deterred by a nomination to something that precludes that no matter how plum it might be.

    1. Jen

      Funny. My first reaction to seeing his name was: already clearing the field for her hand picked successor!

    2. Arizona Slim

      SCOTUS is a scholarly place.

      As for actually being an uber-intellectual, I don’t get that vibe from Booker. But I do get it from Obama.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Obama may actually be a good choice — if he has a human conscience. He has the qualifications and SCOTUS unlike other positions is a sinecure.

      1. genuspa

        Obama is anything but an intellectual. He is lazy in his thinking and prerogatives. Besides, I do not think he would be interested in being a SCOTUS justice — its his turn to cash in like the Clintons, and justices at least nominally have to remain impartial. Already, Obama has made overtures to Venture Capitalists for his post-presidential payout.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        Well, Obama set up a whole parallel judicial system to whack people, including US citizens, without due process.

        So as a Supreme Court judge, he’d have that going for him.

    1. Otis B Driftwood

      Yep, as one commenter noted, now that WaPo’s work is done discrediting Sanders it’s time to move on to Jill Stein. And, of course, Donald Trump. This is perhaps the most disappointing and dispiriting aspect of this sad election season: the absolute unmitigated bias against any candidate who is not Hillary Clinton.

      I saw elsewhere (maybe the Greenwald article, yes) that this is 2002 all over again – the elite media’s uncritical complicity in manufacturing the narrative for a desired outcome.

      1. edmondo

        “…now that WaPo’s work is done discrediting Sanders it’s time to move on to Jill Stein.”

        LOL. They ain’t afraid of Stein. In an election where Bernie pulled 45% of the primary vote and everyone hates the two party nominees, she is managing to register a whopping 1% in the latest Reuters poll – and that’s probably a rounding error more than actual support.

        Jesus, Stein is a physician and she can’t answer a question about vaccinations? Helluva candidate you got there.

        1. Vatch

          I think she answered it just fine. She said that vaccinations are necessary, but that some of the additives, especially in years past, are toxic. She referred to uncertainties about estrogen replacement therapy when she mentioned Alzheimer’s — that was a separate issue.

          1. Yves Smith

            There was a news story about a possible Alzheimers vaccine. At the vaporware stage. She might have felt compelled to mention it and then cut herself off.

        2. Otis B Driftwood

          A red herring it is. And it’s no surprise WaPo and others have latched on to it. Reminds me of the Daily News hit job on Bernie with respect to his knowledge of banking reform before the NY primary. Remember that?

          As for polls, it’s curious you cited the low end of the spectrum. Here’s another:

          Stein surges ahead of Clinton and Trump in NJ poll

          Boy, that’s easy!

          Of course, the truth lies somewhere far in between. And I and most others who have left the Democratic party for the Greens are under no illusions about Stein’s chances in November. But if Stein can poll 15%, as you probably know, that will give her a place at the table. And that is certainly within reach.

      2. pretzelattack

        the guardian has gone full anti trump blitzkrieg. i suspect the washington post and nyt have as well. i’m trying to remember if the media was this unified against mcgovern.

        1. lulu

          It’s like a tag team wrestling match. When I open Google News the lead anti-Trump story is rotated daily between CNN, NYT, WaPo or Reuters. WaPo appears to be putting out the strongest effort — Jeff Bezos worried about something?

          1. craazyboy

            Trump and Bezos seem to be in a personal grudge match. The rest are just “With Her”.

    2. Daryl

      Got the business about this from a Hillary supporter…really, even if she thought vaccines were literally government mind control serum, her platform would still be more appealing that whatever the Democrats can cook up.

      1. habenicht

        I was thinking the same. Maybe we have progressed past the “first they ignore you” stage…

  15. tegnost

    Go Kshama. Yes indeed, the fight for 15 was roundly opposed by hillary dems, and RE developers primaried her with pamela banks, a more mainstream and tractable candidate, and similar to hillary in that way, and kshama prevailed. What we see here is how the wealthy wing of the democrat party is against working people, and incrementalism is how they hold back the barbarians at the gate. After 15 passed there was an aggressive bipartisan effort to water it down as much as possible, starting the trend in other states to get in front of the 15’s and spread the increase out over 7 years so that even now 15 is not the min wage in seattle, and I could give you a list of hillary dems who think it’s a job killer, proving that they’re, like hillary, secretly republican. Basically pro choice republicans who want their downtrodden house staff to have access to medicaid. California, as always, seeps beyond it’s borders. Kshama makes many strong points and in my view carries the day in this case. I think it jibes with Thomas Frank’s point in the convo with robert scheer, where he states that electing hillary will strengthen the liklihood that the next repub in 2020 will not be a bombast, but a more effective republican than the donald and be more dangerous to left interests, because after a hillary presidency that doubles down on globalism will have even less support than it’s currently dubious level. The time is now to destroy the right wing democrats, and the way to do it is vote third party so that your vote registers as a “we don’t want your policies” vote.
    Yes, they’ll wring their hands as they did and still do with 15, without globalism we can’t be competitive, etc…but they’re wrong, and we’re not voting to make the lives of citzens in central china or in the manufacturing facilities along the other side of the mexican border better, as satisfying as that is to the average pbs viewing mba, we’re voting to make our own lives better

    1. tegnost

      o and speaking of the house staff we’ll revisit pewhispanic and see that when tim kaine goes anti abortion rights he is talking to the hispanic population, and as I stated in an earlier reference to the site when wasting syllables with PH, a very conservative voting block that can easily be republican, is reasonably rascist in my personal experience, and is totally happy to have access to foreign workers to whom only they can communicate (do you know spanish?) and regularly uses them to drive other americans out of business (i’ll paint that room for $50, why are you paying that lazy american to do it?)
      hillary wants more h1b’s and more cheap labor immigrants.
      scroll down and you will see that hispanics oppose abortion except under certain circumstances.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        So, Hispanics and Republicans.

        Clinton really is the Third Way’s wet dream, isn’t she? Merging liberals and conservatives into one coagulated gelatinous mass of “because markets.”

    2. Uahsenaa

      What’s most interesting to me about Kshama, aside from her politics, is her ability to completely disarm that rather obnoxious tendency white liberals have of trying to speak on behalf of persons of color. Traister practically stumbles over herself trying not to offend, because she can’t easily deploy the “Hillary is better for black and brown folk” meme, when a woman of color is sitting right next to her saying, “neither of these candidates represents my interests.”

      This is precisely why people like Tulsi Gabbard or Nina Turner need to be empowered, so we can get past this rather perverse power white liberals have to portray what is really a diversity of interests as this monolithic thing that, surprise surprise, the D party always claims they have at heart (if not in policy).

  16. JSM

    Not sure why only the rape/sexual impropriety allegations against Trump are highlighted when Bill Clinton is perhaps even more compromised. He could be blackmailed by anyone in the sprawling shadow government, people for whom ‘under seal’ don’t mean squat.


    The fact that both presidential candidates are compromised by this is fairly alarming. Perhaps the cover-ups and the ludicrous ‘protection’ of many persons connected with the Epstein case is not so much protection of powerful people but the preservation of an extortion racket seeking political compliance & docility. In certain ways the explanatory power is much greater.

    See Nick Bryant’s ‘The Franklin Scandal’ and much related material.

    1. Cry Shop

      It’s extremely likely that many big hitters in both parties are on Epstein’s hooks, It’s very likely that Bill and Hillary Clinton were blackmailed, and together with the Bush family worked to get Epstein’s case kicked into Jeb Bush’s (wealthy-)pedo friendly Florida system. (The case spans the end of the Clinton Admin & Start of the Bush admin).

      The crimes were cross state and international, so by all rights belong in the Federal Courts, where it would have been extremely difficult to provide Epstein the relief he got. The fix was in from both administrations, which explains why both parties and the press/mass media controlled by the overlords of these factions have ignored all the overseas reporting. That something so newsworthy, so salacious, can be kept bottled up says a lot about all the people caught on video by Epstein.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I also searched out the article Greenwald referred to. I cannot figure out how that article explains Greenwald’s concerns about Trump. Does Trump say what people want to hear? I believe much of what he says is indeed what people (not the global elite) want to hear. Why is that so bad? He’s a demagogue? Which candidate could not be accused of being a demagogue? Our POTUS is a master demagogue. Nothing in the referenced article provides any reason to favor or oppose Trump.

      1. Carolinian

        Greenwald and the author in The Week are saying Trump is following in the footsteps of “paleo-conservative” Pat Buchanan but without the values and lifestyle stuff that devout Catholic Buchanan also threw in (and that Buchanan’s quoted adviser suggested he should throw out). Which is to say it’s a heavily nationalistic turn away from neocon internationalism in foreign policy and likely a belief in old style Republican economic policies like balanced budgets. Buchanan founded The American Conservative in part as reaction to the takeover of the Republican party by hawkish neocons and supply side wackos.

        Of course Buchanan was a bit of a wacko himself on the subject of communism and defender of the cold war interventions that were aimed at that ideology (like Vietnam). But the great irony these days is that the Russkies dropped communism and we are still out to get them. Seems we can’t take yes for an answer. Or maybe it was all just about competing empires to begin with.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          “Trump is following in the footsteps of ‘paleo-conservative” Pat Buchanan”.

          How or why is that a reason for Greenwald’s antipathy toward Trump?

          The term “paleo-conservative” is innately pejorative. Why should I share Greenwald’s distaste toward Trump? I still have no idea what reasons move Greenwald — though I will decide for myself on Trump. Mendacity? It seems a given in our present political system and hardly serves to specialize Trump.

          I am a Bernie supporter — drifting in the wind. Why should I eschew Trump?

          1. Carolinian

            Paleo-conservative is what Buchanan and his ilk called themselves. It’s their way of saying that the current Republican party is not run by conservatives–people who want to conserve a traditional system–but radicals of the right.

            And Greenwald as a gay Jewish man probably shares some of the identity politics antipathy toward Trump’s admittedly rabble rousing style. Greenwald’s main beat is Constitution and civil liberties and he may not share the concern some of us have about HRC’s hawkishness although he says he is open to that debate. Also Trump has come out in favor of torture for terrorists which would definitely be something Greenwald would oppose.

            The truth is that reality of a Trump presidency is still quite murky but the Week article could show where he is coming from. Or maybe not…..

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              Thanks. I’m still drifting in the wind. I tend to dismiss much/most of Trump’s rabble rousing style as just that. It differs from the Republican rabble rousing of the past only in being more explicit. Trump’s support for torture disturbs me greatly (as well as his rabble rousing) but is Hillary opposed to torture? The choice is between different shades of black. That’s why I remain a mugwump for now.

            2. Jeremy Grimm

              Are Greenwald’s concerns encapsulated in identity politics? That seems a strangely disproportionate evaluation of Trump.

              I place identity politics low within my value systems compared with survival politics and preservation of the human species politics. HRC’s hawkishness is quite enough to overcome repugnance toward Trump.

              Trump on climate change is worrisome. — at least he’s no on TPP.

              1. pretzelattack

                clinton is worrisome on climate change too, so to me that’s a wash. basically we’re screwed if people like this keep getting into office. in a swing state i would vote trump, i will probably end up voting green since i don’t live in one.

  17. HBE

    Debunking Popular Clichés About Modern Warfare.

    Yes. The saker gets right to the source of the elites fantasy that a war or “confrontation” with Russia is complete insanity.

    That liberals are pushing the anti Russia propaganda scares me even more, a nuland hillary tag team is the ultimate nightmare.

    While I’m on the subject, those new tactical nukes, are clearly being pushed with their use against one nation in particular, and the fact that they are “tactical” and small yield scares the shit out of me.

    I would rather have them wanting them to develop a 1000 megaton super nuke (or better yet none at all) than a bunch of smaller tactical nukes. I mean even a delusional psychopath might have some hesitation about using a world ending weapons system, but with tactical nukes no such compunction would exist, “it’s only a low yield one megaton tactical nuke”, “great sounds like acceptable fallout, get your key Vicki lets give vlad a show.”

    1. craazyboy

      Your wish is a subset of their command!

      The entire $1 trillion (precisely estimated blank check) over 30 years is an upgrade to all existing nuke weapons and delivery systems, facilities, research labs, and also includes a new nuke cruise missile which will replace the retired nuke version of Tomahawk.

      Here’s a 20 page report on the details.

      1. HBE

        Thanks for the link, be careful what you (I) wish for, comes to mind.

        I am so glad TPTB have implemented such long term planning for the furtherance of global nuclear destruction and with only a trillion dollar price tag (plus I assume only “minor” cost overruns) spread out over 30 years we tax payers save, while funding our imminent destruction. I know it won’t be funded with taxpayer dollars, but still. It’s nice to know some $ keyboard entries will be well used. /S

        1. craazyboy

          They can always defund future “entitlement” spending and make it work out for us. Our safety is of paramount concern. Also too, kids, grandkids. Puppies,kittens.

          1. HBE

            Warn me before you force me to imbibe in such dark and sinister humour, I almost choked on piece of a carrot (seriously!) laughing.

    2. m

      Putin seems like the only sensible person. Aren’t we pushing China’s buttons too. Doesn’t China build all our tech stuff & weapons?

      1. craazyboy

        If China were building our weapons, our defense spending would be 1/10 of what it is now. But China does build China’s weapons.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          China builds (too) many of the components in our defense systems and has de facto corners on such things as the rare earth materials used to manufacture displays, magnets and other high tech components.

          I believe chip manufacturing and circuit card manufacturing is done almost exclusively in Taiwan.

          The Senate Armed Forces Committee a few years ago held hearings to determine the extent to which our arms and equipment were dependent on production of foreign countries. One of the problems identified in a report I read was that a certain number of Cisco Routers purchased from a source in China turned out to be counterfeits. The routers ended up in FBI networks and various DoD networks.

          Counterfeit electronic component parts, many originating from China, show up in DoD equipment. This was a growing problem at the time I read the reports.

          Other than the router fiasco, the chief concern of the Senate Report was with the lower quality and reliability of the counterfeit parts. However I believe as great or greater concern should have been given to the possibility of introducing backdoors into the chips produced in areas within China’s sphere of influence. Software “bugs” are difficult to find. An inbuilt hardware backdoor might be found were it used to bring down or compromise our military hardware. And don’t forget how much of our economy relies on computers and hardware built in China and within the Chinese sphere of influence. Who do you attack if a strange “glitch” brought down our banking system or Wall Street or our local utility company or the nuclear power plant up the street.

          As far as other threats from “messing with China” consider the “just-in-time” inventory system and single source parts supply systems which maintain many of the few products we assemble in the United States. Cut off a supply of spares or parts for an item and the production line and sales all come to a halt. There are too many ways to make explanations for these kinds of sabotage to easily attribute them to the act of a hostile power.

          1. craazyboy

            Yup. Long ago in a previous life I designed rare earth servo motors for defense and aerospace customers. I know too well how China now has us by the short ones there.

            Back then, magnets being the life blood of the company, we had three sources for magnets. 2 American and one Japanese. Japanese was considered ok by our customers and military sourcing rules. We had mil-spec QC, so all purchased components and materials were traceable back to their origon and they could audit us whenever they wanted.

            Ditto on the rest of your comment. My observations exactly, tho I suspect we still have “short run” mil-spec PC board manufacturing and hybrid electronics manufacturing in this country. Taiwan probably wouldn’t be interested.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              I believe IBM sold the last DoD chip manufacturer in the US — a plant located in Winooski Vermont. I didn’t follow who they sold it to. As for short runs on circuit boards — and hybrids I believe we still have some capacity — but once the “short run” goes to volumes I believe the circuit card production goes to Taiwan and Hybrid IC’s — not sure.

              Neither our commercial sector … NOR DoD have good control over their supply line and many of those supply lines reach back to factories deep inside mainland China. Even without messing with the Chinese suppliers our just-in-time inventories leave us vulnerable.

              Kick sand in the eyes of the Chinese … we should poor hot sand into our own eyes for the portent debacle we designed for ourselves.

              1. craazyboy

                I hated JIT when we had world peace for a couple years and I became a bidnessman in the commercial industry. Try offering the price from the other side of the world to your customers, and “just in time” delivery.

                1. Vatch

                  In my admittedly limited experience, in practice, JIT means “at least one day late”.

                2. craazyboy

                  To clarify, this was industrial stuff…. and we still had to “design to spec” for most major customers. It was small tweaks to what we normally did, granted, but still we could not sell the stuff to other customers if we got “stuck with” inventory. You give up a lot of negation leverage in this case when some problem arises…like a customer spec change. We of course tried to cover that in the original contract….but that was negotiated while we had competition! We had to be optimistic then!

          2. Howard Beale IV

            A long time ago it used to be when you built military hardware the government also owned the foundries used to make such gear. And a few years ago IBM paid GlobalFoundries $1 billion for all of their fab facilities-including the one in upstate New York that makes the z/Architecture silicon. Who knows how many trapdoors are in critical silicon…

    3. bdy

      Dems doing this s*** completely neutralizes the peace movement. Shameful & heartbreaking.

  18. Patricia

    Ventured into comboxes at Slate, Politico, NYT, EmptyWheel (even), and sheesh! Cracks in people’s psyches have turned into chasms. Last week’s ‘dark’ meme re Trump? Projection, apparently. They insist that the world will be lovely with Clinton, but their inner chaos rolls over that insistence, not staying confined within them but spewing out like acid.

    Maybe that’s what happens when cognitive dissonance is held too tightly too long, I don’t know. There is something called Brief Reactive Psychosis that can occur when under gigantic chronic stress—maybe something of that sort is going on here? It is not an interesting/creative sort of psychosis but only broken thoughts flooded with condescension. Ugh!

    Is Correct the Record encouraging the insanity approach—it’s extremely repellent to undecided voters, unless they want people to not vote. Can one go crazy from working for CtR?

    Thus, I want to say again how grateful I am for you, Yves and Lambert and the commenters here. Often angry, depressed, cranky, tired these days–sure, but compos mentis. And often even battling through issues with a measure of logic. Thanks!!!

    1. low integer

      Thus, I want to say again how grateful I am for you, Yves and Lambert and the commenters here.


    2. low integer

      Maybe that’s what happens when cognitive dissonance is held too tightly too long

      Not that I would wish it upon them, but I think this may be in the Khan parents’ future. It is a very sensitive topic yet I feel they may have attributed undeserved nobilty to the ends that the US military serves, and they subconciously know that they will fall apart unless they maintain this ideological framework. NotTimothyGeithner often points out that the rich don’t like to give up on things they have already invested money in, usually made in reference to buying politicians, and I would argue that this principle extends to most things. In fact it makes perfect sense when viewed in terms of evolutionary efficiency. Thinking can be exhausting.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > they may have attributed undeserved nobility to the ends that the US military serves

        Indeed. A neat trick to bury Clinton’s warmongering under a pile of flags and war hero squee.

        1. low integer

          I was actually refering to the Khan family themselves attributing nobility to the US military (ie. in their understanding of how the world works), though I guess it works on the Clinton campaign level too, at least for those who are naive of the reality of the war machine.

          1. low integer

            Adding: the point I was trying to convolutedly make is that if the Khan parents were ever to allow themselves to contemplate the real cause for which their son gave his life, the profit of the warmongering neoconservative elite, rather than in noble service of the protector of all things good in the world (which seems to be their current assumption on the role of the US military), they would become seriously mentally unstable very quickly, especially considering they share the same religion as those who have suffered most at the hands of the US neoconservatives’ misguided adventures.
            Then again, the father is a lawyer from Harvard so they may primarily identify themselves by class rather than ethnicity/religion.

      2. Patricia

        Yeah, people who’ve lost family in war, or who’ve been otherwise destroyed by a system—they get breaks, IMO. It’s a dreadful path on which to be found, and sometimes confronting the whole truth can undo people. Time sometimes makes the difference, yes?

        But there are no breaks for the Dems’ abuse of so many suffering people, parading them and their stories in front of us in full color, with a Hillary attachment. They were like conversion stories at a Baptist revival with Hillary as Jesus. Disgusting.

        1. low integer

          “Time sometimes makes the difference, yes?”

          Yes, though it seems like a very dangerous psychological obstacle course to trevail. I mean, the only way a parent could justify this loss to themselves would be to ascribe the motives of the US military as a greater good. I can understand families that have lived in the US long term may just take this as a given, but is this a conclusion that first generation immigrants to the US generally reach? In any case, reality is not consistent with this view of the US military, so they must have some kind of internal, perhaps even subconcious, conflict about it. One obvious reaction would be to double down on the cognitive dissonance, so as not to even entertain the idea of losing their son for a cause which is not theirs, which is what I think was on show in their speech at the (cough) Democratic (cough) convention. This “need to believe” is what made them extremely vulnerable to being used by Clinton.
          It looks to me like they have been screwed from multiple angles by the US neocon elite, but again the father is a Harvard trained lawyer so he may strongly identify with the neocon perspective due to his class.



          1. Patricia

            The need to find meaning can be overpowering. We are very small creatures and need our defenses.

            So you’re right that these parents must be feeling deep dissonance, but it is likely less painful, right now, than having to face the fact that their child died, not only for no good reason, but so that evil could continue. Clinton abused their vulnerability, and by her approval of their unreality, diminished their ability to eventually come to terms. That the father is Harvard-educated might add further difficulty, don’t know.

            Between this and the ongoing hell that is Chelsea Manning’s life…let’s just say that in the absence of genuine judicial recourse, I’m not a thorough-going pacifist.

            1. low integer

              Also, this whole idea that they “sacrificed” their son is starting to really bother me, bringing to mind the idea that they have sacrificed their son at the altar of US empire to show their dedication to the cause. I know what I’m about to write is cynical, but I’ll be watching out for the Khan father advancing his position in any of the tentacles of the US political/power structure.

    3. DJG

      Patricia: As Steve H. and low integer noted above, many of us comment at only a few sites. I comment only here at Naked Capitalism. I also have a FB page–and the liberal panic is evident. Facebook already is about assertion and posturing, but now you can add psychobabble about sexism as well as apocalyptic reactions. Fortunately, my Italian friends have been into other things lately like backstage at the opera, summer music festivals, and mountain landscapes.

      Your comments have always been interesting and enlightening. Thanks.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I also comment on the Faceplant. Am noticing quite few Bernie people proclaiming their support for Hillary. They’re doing so via long, convoluted posts. To me, it seems like they are still trying to convince themselves.

        1. Roger Smith

          Except for here, everyone ones know or follow has already created some false justification to be “with her”. Including this gem, “I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton”

          Meaning “I AM indeed voting for her, but I want a reason to feel good about it so I’ll adopt this ridiculous Trump Fear charade and cry SCOTUS.”

          This last week had been a horrible freak show. How can these people turncoat so quickly? This is the time to dig in and push back against these frauds.

          1. Patricia

            Caucus 99%, Progressive Wing, reddit Kossacks for Sanders, all increasing their numbers this past week, seem to be mostly going for Stein. I hope they aren’t just a tiny corner of Sanders’ crew.


            1. Cat Burglar

              Lots of Guardian commenters flogging the poll result that 90% of Sanders supporters will vote for Clinton — maybe 4.5% of Democrats, if you take that as a proportion of Democratic primary voters.

              In a tight election, and with the right distribution, that could deny Clinton the election — that is the real remaining power the Sanders voters have.

              Judging from the Russian hacker and anti-vaxxer memes, the Clinton campaign knows it, is trying to distract from the election rigging and keep Sanders voters away from Stein. Stein will not win in any case, but the threat of defection by a just-big-enough group of Sanders partisans has to be keeping someone awake.

              At the very least, it could keep Clinton trying to shore up her credibility on her left, a weakness Obama did not develop until later in his administration, and which she might be forced to service.

            1. Roger Smith

              Wow…. nice find. What is that even supposed to be?

              I also love the poster of Hillary the Dictator. These people are clueless.

      2. Patricia

        DJG, I’m glad to be found occasionally useful. I can’t tell, myself…

        Currently, I only comment here, too. I don’t do facebook—get hives thinking about it. I liked most people who would want to ‘friend’ me, but couldn’t bear to have them all flowing through the same noisy space in present time. I’ve been in too many disparate milieus, I think. Anyway, being here/now is more than sufficient.

        Your Italian friends are wise. I hope you have some similar doings. I have a large garden on a new property, am learning a lot and it’s a delight.

    4. tony

      Clinton represents the dominant elites, and they always defend their unearned privileges most viciously.

  19. meme

    The New York Times has an article on “Why Dropping the Trans-Pacific Partnership May Be a Bad Idea”. It admits that globalists may have overstepped and that “free trade” is becoming a tougher sell, but unfortunately there is no comment section where readers could debate statements like:

    “[NAFTA] helped modernize the Mexican economy, providing jobs for the many workers exiting an unproductive farm sector under pressure from a variety of economic forces.”

    “[TPP] offers a higher standard with more protections for American companies and their workers… In Nafta, agreements on labor and the environment were afterthoughts. They are a central part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

    “If China had not joined the W.T.O., relations with China would have been much worse,”

    “Killing the deal would smack America’s Asian allies — such as Japan and Vietnam — as betrayal. China would love it.”

    “If the United States can’t deliver, it’s going to hurt legitimacy and credibility. That is going to be a pretty big stain.”“

    1. DrBob

      US exports to China seem to have peaked in 2014 (while imports from China are still growing). This year, we’re on pace to export about as much to China as we did back in 2011.

      FWIW, in 2012 our combined exports of soybeans ($15 billion) and scrap waste (metals, paper and plastic; $9.5 billion) made up more than 20% of our total exports to China. In that same year, we exported $8.4 billion worth of airplanes to China….and $5.2 billion worth of automobiles.

      Top 10 US Exports to China in 2012:

      1. Soybeans: $15 billion
      2. Civilian aircraft: $8.4 billion
      3. Cotton: $3.4 billion
      4. Copper materials: $3 billion
      5. Passenger vehicles (small engines): $3 billion
      6. Aluminum materials: $2.4 billion
      7. Passenger vehicles (large engines): $2.2 billion
      8. Electronic integrated circuits: $1.7 billion
      9. Corn: $1.3 billion
      10. Coal: $1.2 billion

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Back to 2011, exporting to China.

        Is that 1. they have found other sources, or 2. their economy this year is like 2011 again or 3. different economy today, thus different consumption mix and different import needs for China?

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        I believe that the vast majority of US-manufactured exports to China are machinery and parts (often mostly or partly built elsewhere) intended to improve Chinese manufacturing capacity for exporting manufactured products (back) to the US. It is presumed that these exports will decline (I believe are already declining) over time as local Chinese capacity for manufacturing machinery become world class.

    2. edmondo

      Now you know the excuses President-elect Clinton will use on November 10th to flip her position on TPP.

      It’s right there in “the paper of record”.

    3. barrisj

      “[NAFTA] helped modernize the Mexican economy, providing jobs for the many workers exiting an unproductive farm sector under pressure from a variety of economic forces.”

      To recast the above statement in more factual, real-world terms, Nafta catalyzed a huge migration of displaced Mexican farmers to El Norte due to unrestricted importation of US corn and corn products, which crushed local production of masa, etc., and led to massive impoverishment of the ag sector…the economic migrants who didn’t make it across the border landed in sweat-shop maquiladoras set up by US companies along US-Mexico border. Let’s hear it for free-trade agreements!

      1. DJG

        barrisj: Thanks for pointing that out. The sentence is such a big lie that my eyes crossed. What do these clowns at NYT think that the rebellion in Chiapas has as its underlying cause?

          1. Ralph Reed

            Only a few years later, in 1992, the Mexican government altered Article 27 of the mexican constitution, allowing communal farmers (ejidatarios) to sell their communal land for the first time in history. The goals of the Salinas administration were clear: more productive agriculture through more efficient production on larger land holdings.

            The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) complicated the situation by altering tariffs on corn imports. Mexico already imports some corn from the United States, but under NAFTA this amount will undoubtedly increase. NAFTA establishes a yearly, duty-free import quota of 2.5 million metric tons, with tariffs on amounts over that, and a total linear phase-out of tariffs over 15 years (Hufbauer and Schott 1993:47-57). In the words of the Zapatistas’ Sub-Comandante Marcos, “NAFTA is the death certificate for the indigenous people of Mexico.”

            Little wonder that some Chipaas farmers began to feel they were victims of a conspiracy in which they soon would be without a market for their crops and no land to grow them on anyway.

            Also the height of a historic cocaine boom with Anglo timber pirates using the cover of jungle preservation to move into narcotics money laundering after the teak ran out.

          2. craazyboy

            There have been news report from mayors of border towns in English. I first found out from the Mayor of Tijuana years ago.

            But my favorite way is to conduct a diligent and persistent search of English speaking strippers. They know stuff!

      2. YankeeFrank

        The Times is just so cold-blooded and evil. The dishonest and utterly neoliberal way they dismiss Mexico’s agricultural sector as “unproductive” (ignoring the idea that a nation, for the sake of its own stability and ability to care for its people, should be able to feed them, its also totally dishonest as Mexico’s agriculture sector could only be called “unproductive” when matched against the heavily taxpayer subsidized US agriculture sector most notably manifested in our annual “farm bill”) and to be tossed aside to force Mexico’s people off the land and into the soul-crushing poverty, non-living wage factories to destroy US labor and living-wage jobs… as if any of this is defensible at all… and of course the mysterious and undefined “economic forces”.

        Why do I imagine the Times will defend the evil neoliberal globalization decimation machine until someone starts tossing bombs into their corporate offices and silences them at the barrel of a gun? Oh I know why.

      3. Arizona Slim

        The AZ desert is ground zero for the failure of NAFTA. People have died horrible deaths while trying to make their way to Tucson or Phoenix.

      4. Jeremy Grimm

        It may seem insignificant in the larger scheme of things but the price drop in masa lead to the terrible decline in the quality of tortillas. I love tortillas. My father used to go to a tortilla factory in Tijuana to buy 2 kilo packages of hot tortillas. They were great!

        The tortillas now are thin, dry and lack the chewiness and flavor of the factory tortillas my dad got — which in turn probably lacked the flavor of homemade tortillas using the old corn varieties. Now it takes three corporate tortillas to match the thickness of the tortillas I knew and only one brand comes close to the barely matching the same flavor and chewiness — and only from one store I know which seems to have a special “in” with the source.

      5. Dave

        The painting contractor I met in a bar the other night loves NAFTA.

        “I send my foreman out to bid the job. He looks like a Good Ol Boy. After they sign the contract, I send out a bunch of tough little wiry Mexicans who used to be farmers that I pay ten bucks an hour instead of Americans at 20 an hour”. Even if we have to go out and redo work, it’s still far cheaper.

        Plus they work Saturdays, Sundays, nights and holidays. I wish we could import some Chinese painters!”

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Question for that contractor — How do you sleep at night? I still contend with insomnia after working for the Military Industrial Complex — a much less personal encounter with the dark side – though perhaps less benign.

        2. Alex morfesis

          Workmans comp insurance fraud…it is bad enuf major corporations are allowed to phony “self insure” but the wholesale insurance fraud that is allowed to happen in almost all 50 states (grass cutters of the world unite), with new jersey being an exception…by big bubba and pinky ring tony with construction work and lawn maintenance is way too sad…and obviously, the “CONtractor” described has no fear since he obviously got the memo that his job is to impoverish his fellow americans so he can afford his boat payments…

    4. makedoanmend

      “[NAFTA] helped modernize the Mexican economy, providing jobs for the many workers exiting an unproductive farm sector under pressure from a variety of economic forces.”

      I often have to remind myself that ‘modern’ is not synonymous with ‘improved’. Yes the economy was modernised, but was it improved? If improved, improved for who?

      The sentence then reinforces the misapplication of defintion-to-word by suggesting that the Mexican farm sector was ‘unproductive’ without stating what is or is not productive. I would suggest that your usual NYT writer thinks being able to feed oneself from one’s land is unproductive. Only when you sell your produce for profit to the NYT writer does productivity exist.

      If I was to write such an article with “loaded” language about a given ethnic group, I would be called a bigot.

      It is, however, quite acceptable to write a “loaded” article about economic classes and appear to be natural, rational and unbaised.

      1. barrisj

        “Modernization”: also known as “labour-force rationalisation”, or “labour market flexibility”. Newspeak for neo-feudalism.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Safe Assets.

    There is one safe, albeit illegal and immoral asset class, currently under-priced: Slaves or serfs.

    Only the very rich can comfortably invest in that asset class.

    1. Isolato

      There are plenty of safe assets and you should start investing in them right now. Your own skill set, your health and happiness, the health of your local community, the next generation…To pretend that all that matters is the number in one’s 401k is to live a deprived life

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You’re right.

        Also, one’s freedom to love can never be taken away.

        Unless you give in to the dark side, you are always free to love.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I advise you to invest in young doctors. Get them before they’re sucked into the Medical-Industrial Complex and add your rents on top of the rents they’ll be paying to the horrendous student loans many of them will be saddled with.

      Get them before the hospitals and Doc-in-Boxes get them. remember old guys like me will have to pay into this system — or die.

  21. fresno dan

    ‘Western media part of political elite, will never report Syrian massacre by US-led forces’ RT
    Is the Elite Media Failing to Reach Trump Voters? Slate (Furzy Mouse). Interview with Glenn Greenwald. Must read.
    Do I detect a theme?
    It seems to me that beliefs are more and more coming to rule which facts to look for, which facts to question, and which facts to ignore…and which facts to concoct…

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      You have been a commenter on this website for sometime now. What theme do you detect?

      Belief guiding which facts to look for — what has changed such that it triggered this question? When have beliefs NOT guided what to look for, what to question, and what to ignore … and I believe concocted facts have been quickly repudiated on this website.

      What is your concern?

  22. ChrisAtRU


    Oooooh, but here comes Pence to snatch defeat from the jaws of (potential) victory!

    #HRCisCandidateOfDemocracy … #OrNot
    AMAZING to see evidence of primary improprieties completely ignored as the faux Russian hack nonsense is promoted. So yes, the “democracy candidate” benefited from: purged voter rolls, closed primaries, massive registration irregularities, and proven partiality by both DNC and MSM, but hey! Democracy won!

  23. fresno dan

    Federal appeals court rules police officer was justified to arrest a seventh-grader who was BURPING too loudly in his classroom Daily Mail

    NEXT: Supreme court rules farts are an assault with a deadly weapon…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A Green crime, crime against the atmosphere…excess methane discharge.

      Like nagging, farting is not often directly and immediately deadly, but in cumulation, it can be.

      1. petal

        Reckon that must mean my two dogs are now public enemies #1 and 2. They prefer to make their hits at bedtime just after the lights go out and from close range. If one day I stop commenting, you’ll have a clue as to why….

    2. low integer

      This post cracked me up, even though the underlying theme is both scary and serious.

        1. fresno dan

          they call that suicide by cop.

          We find the decedent, after consuming 4 sausage, bean, and pepper burritos with garlic sauce, had no beano upon his person – obviously, this was a planned ASSault, intended to inflict great suffering and injury to the nose holes, and elicit a swift, severe, and certain response by the police.

          ADDENDUM: We recommend venting of the casket via ductwork to the outside of the building. Under no circumstances should the corpse be cremated…

  24. RabidGandhi

    Re: America’s hidden homeless: Life in the Starlight Motel (Al Jazeera)

    Question for the USians here: so one of the people profiled in the article, Scott, recently had a heart attack and needs his gall bladder removed. There’s no mention of this in the article, but I was wondering where someone like him gets healthcare and if it’s public/free (medicare?) or otherwise how he might pay for it. The article does mention that he works as a shellfisher, and that he makes (what seemed to me) to be good money, but all in cash (I assume under the table?) and completely precariatised (i.e. zero hour contract). It seemed odd that the article didn’t address his health costs and if this represents a major part of where his income goes.

    And with regard to the article in general– which I highly recommend reading– it is in line with my experience on our last trip to the US. In transit, we had to spend a night in Florida, so I picked a cheap motel in the Ft. Lauderdale suburbs near the airport. Most of the people in the motel seemed to be residents, which amazed me seeing as we were paying $40 USD a night which seemed like a boatload of money to be spending every night, for a place with no kitchen=eating out=expensive.

    But like Dear Grandma RG used to say, “It’s expensive to be poor”.

    1. pretzelattack

      they may get a weekly or monthly deal, but it’s still expensive. of course, these days, apartment rents are through the roof, too.

    2. dk

      To answer the second question: if you pay by the week (or sometimes month) you can get a discount from the $40 rate, at $20/night it’s $600/month, at $15/night it’s $450/month. Those are still high rents for one room and no kitchen, but it includes electricity/water, and there’s usually no deposit involved. For people who have such bad credit or narrow cash flow or other impediments that they can’t lease a regular apartment, it’s the best they can do; the next step down is living out of a car.

      1. NeqNeq

        A little off the original questions, but to tag onto dk:

        One of those ‘other impediments’ is often inability to get electrical, gas, or water turned on at an apartment because of existing balances. Some cities/states have programs which help in these cases, but many do not. To make things worse, once you pay off the existing bill, they charge a much higher deposit to get ‘service’ again. It can rapidly become so high that it takes months/years to get ‘access’ again.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Perhaps many families share a room.

        I think that’s how immigrants (from high density living nations) survive.

    3. ambrit

      Here in Louisiana and Mississippi, the weekly rates for motels, which are prominently displayed on signs out in front of some establishments, are running $210 a week or $30 a day when rented by the week. Daily motel rentals around here are running $40 a night for the cheap flops to $75 a night and up for Name venues.
      Also, in true Horatio Alger style, most of the older motels are owned by India Indian families and run by a subgroup of the clan. I hear and see the name Patel a lot.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Hey Ambrit, any idea how those monthly/weekly rates compare with rentals (+utilities) in the same area?

        My suspicion is that a lot of it has to do with security deposits (1st and last month’s rent) and credit issues as mentioned in the article. Thus in the long term, the poor end up paying more for housing than the less-poor; a de-facto poor tax.

        1. ambrit

          Hola compadre;
          I just saw your comment after napping half the night. Sorry for the delay.
          Apartment rentals here, in the ‘downscale’ areas run between $500 to $600 a month, with first and last deposits for a one or sometimes two bedroom. Higher end apartments, such as gated venues, weight room, pool etc. will set you back $750 to $1000 a month, plus deposits, for a two bedroom. Everyone outside the “Hood” does a credit check now. (I wouldn’t qualify because we don’t have anything on credit, going back a decade or more.) The utility deposits can keep someone out on the street now. Water and sewer isn’t deposit driven, but it now has a minimum bill of $58 a month. If you run central air on a regular basis, we do not, your electric bill will top $200 a month, easy.
          A lot of the poor will cultivate someone with good credit to use as a “front man” and often cut that person a ‘deal’ to encourage the combination. Really, the “Motel” option doesn’t include a kitchen. Many transients I’ve met over the past few years say that their first purchase when they settle in to a “Motel Flop” is a hot plate. But, yes, this is a de-facto poor tax.

      2. sid_finster

        IIRC, a “Patel” is a absentee landlord’s overseer. Hence usually distrusted by the landlord and despised by the tenant farmers.

        At least that is what Indian gfs told me.

    4. Left in Wisconsin

      Medical care in the US is one huge clusterf()ck. If you don’t have insurance, the cost of paying for surgery is out of the question. People without insurance virtually always are charged more than people with insurance, because the insurance companies negotiate discounts from the astronomical “list” prices for various medical care practices, even though people without insurance are almost invariably poorer than people with insurance. I had an MRI followed by straightforward outpatient knee surgery 15 years ago and the bill, virtually none of which I paid, was into five digits. I believe it would have been considerably higher if I had had no insurance (and of course I never would have had the procedures done).

      Most people in the US who have health care insurance get it through their employer, who typically pays some share of the cost (a portion of the monthly premium typically). Again, in almost all cases, people with higher incomes have better insurance (that covers more of the cost of the actual health care received) and pay less for it than people who make less. Walmart employees technically have access to employer-sponsored health care, but most make so little in wages and have to pay such a high percentage of the cost that they mostly can’t afford it. But it doesn’t seem that Scott has access to employer-sponsored health care.

      If you are over 65, you qualify for Medicare, which is national health insurance for old people. I’m not there yet so I don’t know that much about costs, but the general view seems to be that it is much more affordable than private insurance but certainly not free.

      If you are poor or disabled, you might qualify for Medicaid. But Medicaid is run by the states and each state sets its own rules. Some states allow virtually no one characterizable as an “able-bodied adult” to qualify. Many states have very low income limits to qualify. In most states it is a huge bureaucratic hassle, and if you have irregular income or other variable life situations endemic to poor people, things get that much harder.

      But I believe Scott is one of those who our politicians have decided should be paying for his own health care via Obamacare, because he likely makes too much to qualify for Medicaid in his state. Depending on income, his Ocare would either be subsidized or very expensive. Others on the list can say much more about Ocare than me.

      1. RabidGandhi

        LiW: The article makes it clear Scott is just getting paid in cash:

        “Right now, I am making about $55 an hour. During the winter, I can average about $25-$30 an hour,” he says. “So, I make about $500, $600 in a week in the winter, but about $1,200, $1,300 now.”
        But Scott doesn’t have a bank account. He gets paid for his work in cash.

        So I was assuming that he would not be included under Obamacare? If he has to pay for the care for his heartattack, the subsequent meds (pictured in the article), and his upcoming gallbladder surgery, wouldn’t that be much more than the income he indicates?

        Bottom line, I totally agree w/ you about the clusterf*ckhood. I have no idea how these people are even treading water. There’s so little safety net. The whole thing makes me angry as hell.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The whole US healthcare industry is ripe for foreign invasion.

          The government, in this case at least, is doing a good job defending us.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I wonder about the Obama efforts to hand an olive branch to Cuba. I hope it could provide a nearby reliable source of affordable and caring doctors, nurses and medical care all for the price of a train ride and a boat ticket from Florida.

            1. RabidGandhi

              I highly highly doubt this. For decades the US war against Cuba has been predicated upon Cuba not showing that an alternative model can succeed. The idea of “opening Cuba” is the same as “opening China” under Deng: undoing nationalisations, re-affirming that Cuba is “open for business”, and showing Cubans that sure you can be independent so long as you follow our (neoliberal) rules.

        2. Left in Wisconsin

          It depends who pays him. Despite what one often hears, getting paid in cash doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t declare (some or all of) the income. The person who pays him will in most circumstances want to declare that pay as an expense to lower their own taxes (legitimately if it’s a legitimate expense) and so will report his earnings to the IRS (complete with Scott’s social security number). When Scott does his own taxes (he will need tax forms that show his income if he wants to apply for means-tested benefits such as Medicaid or Ocare), if he reports a different income than his employer reports he may get flagged. And being paid by multiple employers doesn’t necessarily make things easier or less complicated, as they all will want to declare his wages an expense, and will all file the relevant paperwork.

          The only way the people who pay him will not declare his wages is if they have some overriding reason not to that is more important to them than lowering their own tax bill.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Not so sure you’ve got this right, L in W.

            I don’t think the irs would just nod politely to an “employer” who paid a “worker” in actual cash, then sent him a 1099 for an undocumentable amount and then claimed a tax deduction for a “business expense.”

            Especially since “cash” is the dirtiest financial four-letter word ever invented these days, among other things. You can’t even deposit it in a bank without getting reported.

            People who pay cash don’t report themselves to the irs is what I’m sayin’. I’m thinking they’re not really all that concerned about paying “taxes” at all.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I wonder if some Chinese billionaire will park a hospital ship off expensive areas like Los Angeles, out of US jurisdiction, and charge 1/1,000th what American doctors and hospitals would.

        More U.S. Made academic degrees (MD, nursing, pharmacy and MBA in this case) exposed as ‘un-competitive.’

        “No need to fly to Thailand. Only 1 hour away by speed boat.”

        Wonder if that’s legal.

        But it may make a good term paper for one’s MBA degree, I guess.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            No kidding. Scathingly brilliant. Innovative and disruptive medical “tourism.”

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Tovarisch Lambert, I would go just for the clean, cooler off shore air…if you are not beach front Southern California, you would know what I mean.

          3. Vatch

            Maybe they have thought of it, but they aren’t finished implementing the program. Remember the mysterious Google barges?

        1. craazyboy

          Actually, Mexico offered to accept Medicare payments at Mexican hospitals. They were trying to have a program to certify Mexican hospitals to meet “American Standards”. Don’t know where that is yet, but Obama flatly turned Mexico down.

          Insurance payments would be some sort of problem, too, I imagine. Plus emergency care doesn’t “internationalize” well.

        2. Quantum Future

          MyLessThanPrimeBeef – That would be a very smart business. Call it Offshore Medical Cruise

          List all prices and have it be cash or debit card only. One gets get his/her diagnosis in the US which has better testing facilities then email that to the boat. Having it be a cruise ship where you recover while getting a vacation in for 25% of the cost of US procedures would be a boon.

          To make it a viable business that gains traction marketing would have to focus on retaining high quality of doctors world wide and a rigorous screening model. As to Lambert’s comment, that is probably why squadrillionaires haven’t it done it yet.

          Capital is one thing, capital combined with great marketers and software create screening is another. But totally do-able. A starting point of research is success and failures of organizations like the Red Cross and blood drives.

        3. RabidGandhi

          Funny you should put it that way MLTPB. On the same trip I mentioned, after Ft Lauderdale we went to stay with very close friends in Michigan, and we had a health issue arise that required specific but not unusual medical care. Not being US residents, we had no US health insurance so we went to some friends in the community who directed us to a clinic in Pontiac MI. There we were told that the only option available to us would be to get care for roughly $10.000 USD for 3 months. At that point we made the obvious decision to go back to Argentina, because the trip back home, where we have free public healthcare, was much cheaper than staying in the US. It made me think, why would anyone stay there when there are so many normal countries that offer healthcare for free?

          Seriously, I think if USians had any idea how much healthcare costs in other countries (because public healthcare there means even private clinics can’t charge that much) there is no way they would remain in the US.

          So your Chinese boat idea to me seems less innovative and more inevitable.

    5. m

      Since he is from Mass, he comes to the ED in state of emergency. I have chest pain-cannot legally be turned away, must be stabilized. While running tests realize he is having acute MI-gets treatment. With help from a social worker he gets bills paid by medicaid. Now whether the hospital actually gets the money, that remains to be seen.

      1. RabidGandhi

        I think this is an important point. My first thought reading the article was could it be that Scott went to the Emergency Room with his heart attack, and had been attended due to the obligation you mention, but is now fleeing or negotiating with a hospital that charges him anyway?

        Either way, I find it abhorrent. Why should a poor person have to pay money for having a heart attack?

  25. fresno dan

    Is the Elite Media Failing to Reach Trump Voters? Slate (Furzy Mouse). Interview with Glenn Greenwald. Must read.

    I think the concern there was less about the content than the fact that it’s one of the very few issues where it seems like he has an opinion. And the NATO comments: NATO collective security does seem like it has worked and it does seem like he wants to undermine that.

    OK that’s true, but questioning NATO and the value and purpose of NATO with the fall of the Soviet Union is a totally legitimate policy debate to have. Whether NATO brings us into ill-advised conflicts such as Libya, and whether it has this ongoing value and whether the U.S. should be expending the resources it is expending on NATO when we have massive income inequality and our working class is being deprived in ways previously unimaginable, those are perfectly legitimate questions to ask. NATO is not a religion.

    If I didn’t constrain myself, I would cut and paste the whole article. But the last sentence, “NATO is not a religion” is the definition of secular apostasy in our society – there is practically no better definition of a religion, save for many of the neoliberal beliefs in markets. It is something that pervades our media – the overwhelming in the box, conventional, dogmatic belief in so many of the underlying presumptions that precludes ANY critical questioning of markets, internationalism, etcetera of many policies.

    1. Isolato

      That’s why Glenn Greenwald lives in Brazil…The interviewer from Slate is particularly clueless in his questions and his misunderstanding of what journalists “should” be. The more we honestly question our “givens”, the better off we will be. I’m waiting…

      1. timbers

        I agree. Greenwald was like a laser beam focusing on point. The questions the interviewer asks were in many was as revealing as Greenwald’s responses. And still Greenwald answered them brilliantly and re-directed back to the issues. I’m surprised Obama didn’t get him jail like so many others.

    2. Plenue

      “NATO collective security does seem like it has worked”

      Not for all the dead people who never attacked the west to begin with.

    3. tegnost

      This is what I c+p’d this am then got taken to other tasks…
      “Just take a step back for a second. One of the things that is bothering me and bothered me about the Brexit debate, and is bothering me a huge amount about the Trump debate, is that there is zero elite reckoning with their own responsibility in creating the situation that led to both Brexit and Trump and then the broader collapse of elite authority. The reason why Brexit resonated and Trump resonated isn’t that people are too stupid to understand the arguments. The reason they resonated is that people have been so fucked by the prevailing order in such deep and fundamental and enduring ways that they can’t imagine that anything is worse than preservation of the status quo. You have this huge portion of the populace in both the U.K. and the US that is so angry and so helpless that they view exploding things without any idea of what the resulting debris is going to be to be preferable to having things continue, and the people they view as having done this to them to continue in power. That is a really serious and dangerous and not completely invalid perception that a lot of people who spend their days scorning Trump and his supporters or Brexit played a great deal in creating.”

      1. fresno dan

        July 31, 2016 at 4:19 pm

        Like I said, I wanted to cut and paste the whole article. I was very much thinking about using the paragraph you referenced as well.
        I hope people read the entire article.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I’m still trying to figure out what it is about Trump that Greenwald dislikes so much. Any theories?

      1. John k

        He didn’t mention anything convincing…
        But lots of people are thoroughly put off by unfairly accusing Mexicans of being rapists, etc… He was trying to be extreme at that point in the primaries, but better to point out that illegals take jobs from locals, temp farm workers take jobs from locals, trade deals have taken jobs from locals, h1b visas take jobs from locals, and that the sum of all this is suppressed wages and few jobs, while the benefits of low wages flow to the 1%.

      2. pretzelattack

        i dunno. i’ve noticed some standard pro clinton propaganda articles at the intercept, and then there’s chomsky apparently advocating voting for clinton in swing states. a few years ago greenwald was backing an alliance with ron paul voters. to me trump, ironically enough, is the best republican candidate in a long time, but that’s a very low bar, and only significant due to the democratic elites’ ties to the neocons, corruption, and advocacy of the tpp and neoliberal goals in general.

      3. Anon

        It’s not that Greenwald dislikes Trump, it’s that Greenwald is a very precise thinker and Trump, not so much. Where Trump makes broad statements that can be “wrong”, Greenwald can do the 11th dimensional chess thing in his sleep— and give you the details. In the interview Greenwald states clearly that explaining exactly who the culprits are in the economic disaster that has befallen many in the US is better than telling folks “I can make America Great Again”.

      4. FluffytheObeseCat

        Glenn seems – based on my 10 years of observation – to have a deep, intrinsic dislike of bullies. He really fucking despises men who accrue power and then abuse it.

        Trump is above all else, a bully. He is a sneering, petty shitheel even when he talks sense. He likes punching down. Greenwald has a well honed contempt for people who act and think like Trump. He might agree with Trump on some policy issues, and have considerable antipathy for Hillary Clinton, but the essential rottenness of Trump is something he will not ignore.

        Only natural born suck ups can ignore what Trump actually is.

        1. pretzelattack

          he may well feel that way; if so, i would think he would be equally cognizant of clinton’s own personal rottenness. from what i’ve read, both clintons have a reputation for spitefulness and seeking revenge, and using their power and money to get it.

  26. timbers

    Neoliberal Crapification of Boston’s MBTA (public transport): Start a contract assignment tomorrow so went to get monthly pass at MBTA station. MBTA website said agents available on site 7am-7pm. Get there abt 12:45p, no agents anywhere. The office had a broken window with a handwritten sign on it that read “Please don’t knock on window” for obvious reason it would fall over. Ask MBTA cop if he had seen anyone around, we chatted he mentioned all the things they’re cutting from the budget he said wait they are probably on lunch. Within a few minutes I saw someone in an MBTA uniform and approached him but almost didn’t notice because his uniform was so heavily faded & old. He had bad teeth & deeply unkept bread & hair growing on his neck he could been mistaken for a homeless person. He said wait a few he starts work at 1pm as he said hi to those who knew him. I mentioned website says someone is available 7am-7pm, he said I was correct you should tell them that (MBTA). Within a few minutes he had settled in and opened for business. I made small talk saying it’s a shame they don’t fund MBTA better (pointing to the broken window) including a pay hike for you because Boston businesses would shut down w/o the MBTA. He replied they have 5 different private companies running the MBTA and they just turned money counting over to a firm that doesn’t work weekends, which means the machines become full and can’t process purchases – so they’ve been instructed to let people on free of payment.

  27. fresno dan

    Debunking Popular Clichés About Modern Warfare The Unz Review. From May, but still relevant.

    Cliché No 7: The US and NATO are protecting East European countries
    On paper and in the official NATO propaganda, all of Europe and the USA are ready, if needed, to start WWIII to defend Estonia from the revanchist Russian hordes. Judging at how the tiny Baltic states and Poland constantly “bark” at Russia and engage in an apparently never-ending streams of infantile but nonetheless arrogant provocations, folks in eastern Europe apparently believe that. They think that they are part of NATO, part of the EU, part of the “civilized West” and that their AngloZionist patrons will protect them from these scary Russkies. That belief just shows how stupid they are.
    So if all of the above are just clichés with no bearing on reality, why is the western corporate media so full of this nonsense? Mainly for two reasons: journalists are mostly “Jack of all trades, master of none” and they much prefer to pass on pre-packaged propaganda then to make the effort to try to understand something. As for the talking heads on TV, the various generals who speak as “experts” for CNN and the rest, they are also simply propagandists. The real pros are busy working for the various government agencies and they don’t go in live TV to speak about the “Russian threat”. But the most important reason for this nonsensical propaganda is that by constantly pretending to discuss a military issue the AngloZionist propagandist are thereby hiding the real nature of the very real conflict between Russia and the USA over Europe: a political struggle for the future of Europe: if Russia has no intention of invading anybody, she sure does have huge interest in trying to de-couple Europe from its current status of US colony/protectorate. The Russians fully realize that while the current European elites are maniacally russophobic, most Europeans (with the possible exception of the Baltic States and Poland) are not. In that sense the recent Eurovision vote where the popular vote was overturned by so-called “experts” is very symbolic.

    “They think that they are part of NATO, part of the EU, part of the “civilized West” and that their AngloZionist patrons will protect them from these scary Russkies.”
    Yeah, but does Hillary believe it? And Hillary may not believe, per se, in defending East Europe, but that doesn’t preclude her from using it as a justification for attacking Russia…because markets

  28. Plenue

    “The Seshat: Global History Databank project aims to detect and understand long-term trends in societies using rigorous mathematical models based on actual archaeological and historical evidence in order to inform future policy-making.”

    I think we’ve had quite enough of mathematical modeling in policy-making. What is this obsession among social studiers with trying to treat humans and human societies like they were physics and can be mathematically traced and predicted?

    1. torvald

      The mathematical modeling is a rhetorical device. No model is correct, but some models are useful. The issue is not so much the use of modeling, but rather the neoliberal agenda that has been advanced by many economists using dubious mathematical models.

    1. fresno dan

      July 31, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      thanks for that dcblogger – you consistently come up with some great links!

  29. Left in Wisconsin

    UK: lost, divided and alone Paul Mason, Le Monde Diplomatique

    Mason proposes this strategy for the British left:

    If an election happens, Labour should call for an electoral pact with the SNP, the Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru and the Green Party. The aim would be to prevent UKIP gaining a strong foothold in parliament and to stop a Tory government. The price will have to be constitutional reform: a switch to proportional representation voting, and a no-penalty exit plan allowing Scotland to leave the UK without the kind of economic sabotage the Tories and the Bank of England threatened in 2014. I have called the strategy ProgrExit — progressive exit — and there are signs that it has greater popularity among the activists of these parties than among their leaderships, who are trying to work out how to survive.

    Sounds quite reasonable but is it plausible?

    Simon Wren-Lewis, on the other hand, seems to think Corbyn is the problem.

    1. just me

      Mason’s conclusion pisses me off:

      The world’s oldest capitalist economy and polity will break in two. Its cultural narrative is already shattered. That is David Cameron’s achievement, aided and abetted by a Labour Party at war with itself and a young generation so turned off from politics that — at this crucial moment — half of them refused to choose.

      Paul Mason

      This is the same Paul Mason who wrote the book PostCapitalism, published last year, based on the thesis that capitalism is failing, can’t succeed anymore, because it’s the knowledge economy stupid (my phrasing) (work/product without pay/valuation) and it’s time to evolve. Now he’s going to blame the failure and breakup of “the world’s oldest capitalist economy and polity” on the Brexit vote? Nuts. I wish he would start talking instead about real-world solutions to the capitalist fail-in-progress which a Remain vote would have done nothing for. He wrote the damn book on this. In fact he quoted Marx’s Fragment on Machines from 1858:

      In these musings, not published until the mid-20th century, Marx imagined information coming to be stored and shared in something called a “general intellect” – which was the mind of everybody on Earth connected by social knowledge, in which every upgrade benefits everybody. In short, he had imagined something close to the information economy in which we live. And, he wrote, its existence would “blow capitalism sky high”.

      And here we are.

      1. Synoia

        UK: lost, divided and alone Paul Mason,

        Ah, how;s the EU thingy working out for the Greeks, Italians, Spanish and Portuguese?

        Affluently, right?

      2. Vatch

        The world’s oldest capitalist economy and polity [Britain] will break in two.

        Is it really the oldest? Weren’t Venice, Genoa, Bruges, and the Hanseatic cities tinkering with capitalism long before the British? Or were those cities doing “pre-capitalism”?

        1. DJG

          Vatch: Of course they were. But their experiments and variations don’t count because they didn’t speak English.

        2. just me

          Well see that’s what I was wondering. If Britain gave us capitalism, why can’t they invent the next thing? (Even if it was Venice, Genoa, Bruges etc.) I figured the Leave voters were recognizing that, first things first, Britain has to control its own destiny. Sovereign. And then it can start fixing itself. Because the EU is only helping a fraction of the country. How’s that divided thing working out so far?

    1. low integer

      I’m looking at you, Haygood.
      No more tinyurl links, though tbh I expect this post will just strengthen your resolve to keep using them. (sigh)

  30. Schnormal

    I really wish Bernie had gone third party. He and his supporters could have really done something with that cavernous space the Clintons and other New Democrats created by moving so far to the right. The contrast would have made Clinton’s neocon stance more obvious, and making her own that space would have defenestrated Trump, Cruz and the other right-wing clowns right out the other end of the Overton window (I’m including Trump with this bunch because he does so himself, although he’s more of a loose cannon than anything else).

    At this point I can’t see how the Rs and Ds together could possibly represent the true ideology of more than 20% of the population.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      While I sympathize with your wish I’m not sure I can agree with it.

      See Bill Domhoff’s site:
      The video “The Triumph of the Corporate Rich and How They Succeeded” gives a succinct (perhaps too abbreviated) description of why third parties seldom/never have success in American Politics [– for a more detailed discussion you need to read his book “Who Rules America.”]

      I can make the argument much more quickly by referring to Teddy Roosevelt and his Bullmoose party or the more recent example of Ralph Nader and his run for president in the Green party. A third party can rarely/never escape the tar and brush painting them as a spoiler party. Bernie Sanders is still a senator from Vermont and Vermont still needs the F-35 money Bernie was able to get them.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Throw in the fact that a lot of Vermonters are dirt poor and you’ll understand why that F-35 money was welcome news.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          When I was last in Vermont the Woodchucks were jumping at a chance for a job at Walmart.

          I respect and honor Bernie Sanders pragmatism and loyalty in remembering who elected him, what they need and how to get and keep it for them.

          I expected Bernie to endorse Hillary. I hoped for a win for Bernie but doubted whether even a win would mean he could be the DNC candidate — which is to say I fully expected and long long ago deprecated his probable endorsement for Hillary.

      2. Schnormal

        Thank you JG for that link. I should have been clearer; I meant that I wish Bernie went third party after the extent of the vote rigging was revealed. The outrageous amount of fraud would have released him from any promises he had made to the DNC, not to mention that he was consistently polling better against Trump than Clinton was. If this sounds unrealistic, it’s because I’m still traumatized over watching the Birdies get sucked into the DNC substance-killing machine.

        I get Domhoff’s point about third parties always being spoilers due to structural reasons. But Bernie went so much further within our current structure than I ever thought possible, I started to believe his campaign was going to be the game changer. I think he produced a significant shift in the spectrum of what is possible, degrees of magnitude greater than what Nader’s campaign did.

        In fact, if it weren’t for Mr. Doubleplusungood, I believe Clinton would be dead in the water. Trump is such a wonderfully effective distraction, the DNC went ahead and plastered his name all over their convention signage — gotta wonder how that will end up backfiring. Roger Stone must laugh himself to sleep every night.

  31. tegnost

    widespread earthquake action on the west coast and tomorrow is the new moon…3 in reno today so I checked the usgs and theres been quakes from olympia wa to san diego. Surely it’s nothing, but don’t have your lunch next to a brick wall is all I’m saying….

    1. ambrit

      There are also earthquakes the European Earthquake Observatories are reporting in America, that the USGS is either not reporting or blaming on things like ‘military exercises’ or mine collapses. Something is wrong with the USGS performance. (Mine blasts are another source, easily verified.) As Dutchsinse points out, there are a lot of quakes at oil and gas fracking operations now; not just in Oklahoma but places like California as well.

  32. ewmayer

    Re. “Erdogan Accuses US General” — Even if the rumors of US involvement prove baseless as I expect, Turkish-nationalist pressure for the US to close the Incirlik air base (or at least downsize its operations there) would likely prove a good thing (from a constraining-US-warmongering-and-reducing-odds-of-WW3 perspective) in the long run. I realize this is a very small silver lining in a very ugly story. A bigger one is that Erdogan’s now-unrestrained dictatorial ambitions have discredited the highly accommodative policies of most of the core EU leadership. If it’s bad for Merkel, the French neo-colonialists and the parasitical EU globalist project, it can’t be all bad.

  33. savedbyirony

    Living in Ohio, which has had Clinton ads on TV for weeks now, saw the first Trump/Pence spot today (when it started, i thought it was a new ad for Sen. Rob Portman, who has been running spots for sometime). Dare I say “tasteful” in the context of presidential TV campaigning. Definitely aimed at the rust belt blue color voter, and a swipe at the TPP without specifically naming the deal. I don’t know how effective it will be, but it does make a nice break from the shrillness of the Clinton attack ads and speaks to the economic/jobs points i think appeal to people here more so than racial issues. (The ad, for what it’s worth, uses African Americans as well as whites in it.)

    1. savedbyirony

      Just to ad, this is the first Trump ad i have seen, but i don’t watch that much tv so there may have been others already used before this one in Ohio.

  34. Cry Shop

    The Daily Mail got the heading wrong on “Federal appeals court rules police officer was justified to arrest a seventh-grader who was BURPING too loudly in his classroom”. It should have read, “School system expels student for one year so he can continue his education on the streets, and gives him a criminal record so he can’t find gainful, lawful employment.”

    Actually, the school system is doing what school systems in the USA were built for, turning out future skilled but unthinking workers. He’ll be very skilled at getting himself repeatedly thrown into the for profit jails, dealing drugs to pay off his bail bond interest and interest on his court fines, keeping up demand for those for profit monitoring bracelet companies, etc. The USA is already dead, Trump really does have to be a Dr. Frankenstein to revive it’s dead and decaying corpse, to find replacement parts for what the vultures have already consumed.

  35. KFritz

    Re: Drywall

    To begin, a definition: key is the plaster or stucco that extrudes through to the unfinished, hidden side of any variety of lath. After it solidifies, it works to hold the wall in place.

    If anyone has a romantic hankering for wood lath and plaster, think of the very soft, coniferous, rough hewn lath as a big pile of kindling inside the walls of a building. Visualize ‘Georgia fatwood’ without the sap. Given ubiquitous electric wiring, the invention of wallboard was inevitable. It’s not too much of a stretch to consider whether the absence of kindling, er wood lath, is a big reason for a reduction in fires and the intensity of fires over time.

    IMLTHO, the best interior wall system ever was button board. It was wallboard engineered for plaster to adhere to its surface, with perhaps 50 half-inch holes per 4×8 sheet (very rough guess on the number) for the plaster to key on–the extrusions were called “buttons.” The plaster was about half an inch thick, and the resulting wall was very substantial and solid. It was a labor intensive system, plus no one thought to tape the joints between the sheets, so it would crack every few years along the unreinforced modular joints. It disappeared by 1950, with a very few exceptions. Gypsum lath still exists: 4×8 foot sheets with alum treated paper which are reinforced with tape, is covered with a thin layer of plaster specifically engineered for the system. The resultant walls don’t scratch or ‘ding’ as easily as drywall, and have a less ‘manufactured’ look. They cost more, also.

    1. Skippy

      Fibrous plaster w/ old wall paper on it remodels….. good times…

      Disheveled Marsupial…. hows the fires treating you old boy…

      1. KFritz

        Now living downwind, but distant. Not too bad so far, but promise of much more to come. Tight budgets + worsening heat & fuel conditions = big problems. Same Down Under methinks.

        Did you know to paint sound wallpaper with oil base or shellac to do small & medium patches? Anywhere that waterbase compounds or paint to be applied.

  36. Roland


    I think that Chait’s writing and thinking are disorganized and illogical. Did he write that piece in NYMag while he was drunk?

    Chait actually admits that the Democrats don’t want to confront Trump on any substantive policy issues ! Chait tells us that Democrats prefer to fight the entire election campaign mostly on a basis of personal attacks, hyperbole, and melodrama. Those things, according to Chait, represent the principle of American democracy.


    Saker, in the article on war clichés, ignores the implications of MMT for military expenditures, i.e. there is no limit to a sovereign’s expenditure on war, as long as others are willing to accept the currency issued by that sovereign.

    Saker also ignores the categorical advantage enjoyed by the USA in terms of intercontinental power-projection. The USA is the only country that can actually wage a multi-division conventional wage war at the antipodes. The lesser powers, such as PRC, Russ Fed, UK, or France, simply can’t do that. This is not a matter of an edge or margin of superiority–it is a whole category in which the USA is the sole occupant.

    I was a bit disgusted to read that Saker discounts the value of large alliances. I’ll put aside his tendentious interpretation of WWII. But how did Saker manage to ignore such things as the Great War, or the Napoleonic Wars?

  37. Swamp Yankee

    I lived down the street from the Starlight Motel. A very emotional article for me. Couldn’t read the whole thing. The stories I could tell you about that place.

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