2:00PM Water Cooler 8/10/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Robert Holleyman [is] scheduled to visit Atlanta on Monday for a TPP event hosted by Atlanta’s World Affairs Conference. The event — which will also feature UPS CEO David Abney and former Sen. Saxby Chambliss, now a partner at DLA Piper — is sponsored by UPS and YKK Corporation of America, the Marietta, Ga.-based subsidiary of Japan’s YKK Group, which makes everything from its iconic zippers to aluminum building products” [Politico]. “The Atlanta visit comes after Treasury Secretary Jack Lew stopped in Minneapolis on Monday. Lew met with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges for a roundtable that also included the CEOs of three Minnesota-based Fortune 500 companies — U.S. Bank, Ecolab and Land O’Lakes — and other company executives and academic leaders, according to a Treasury readout. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker last week said the administration is planning at least 30 trade events by the end of the month. That effort, similar to last year’s “all of Cabinet” push for trade promotion authority, is expected to shift to Capitol Hill in September when lawmakers return from their summer break.” If TPP is dead, the adminstration certainly isn’t acting like it. Maybe all those Repubicans Clinton’s bringing into the Democrat Party will help him push it over the top.

“No TTIP Deal This Year” [Handelsblatt]. “German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama’s goal of ironing out a trade agreement between the United States and the European Union by the end of the year has “no basis” in reality, according to Handelsblatt’s sources in the German economics ministry. Negotiators in Brussels and Washington haven’t finalized a single chapter of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, according to an internal ministry report obtained by Handelsblatt.”

Tim Kaine: “The deal that’s on the table now, the TPP, which has to be voted up or down, it’s not enforceable in so far as the environmental and the labor standards. If a company doesn’t like an action the trade partner takes, then the company can file a lawsuit in a private court against the nation seeking billions of dollars. But if a labor union says a nation has violated the labor standards of the deal or an environmental group says ‘wait a minute’ or environmental standards of the deal,’ they’re not even allowed to go into the tribunal to challenge it. So a deal is only as good as it can be enforced and there is a huge and fatal flaw in this deal in terms of the environment and for that reason I cannot vote for it'” [KERA]. So, labor and environmental groups (too bad I can’t just say “the left”) are to be allowed into the rigged tribunals? Is that the shape of the lame duck deal?

” [Wisconsin Challenger Paul] Nehlen’s attempts to paint [Paul] Ryan as a ‘soulless, globalist snake’ because of his support for TPP seemed to have fallen on deaf ears — he received 15 percent of the vote to Ryan’s 85 percent” [Politico]. Factory manager Nehlen was right, of course, but that didn’t help. Neither, apparently, did Trump’s (temporary) support.

Also in Wisconsin, Ron Kind “won his 11th term in Congress. But, his opponent, newcomer Myron Buchholz, got close to 20 percent of the votes in a campaign aimed at challenging the status quo and slamming Kind for supporting the TPP trade deal” [WIZM]. “Kind was a superdelegate that ignored the vote of his district in the Democratic presidential election. Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton by 13 points in the district, yet Kind remained in support of the now Democratic presidential candidate.”

Is anybody encouraged by Stiglitz’s body language on TPP in this video? I wasn’t [Democracy Now]. Stiglitz starts at 1:36:23.

“If the point of the TPP was to advance U.S. strategic goals in the region, President Obama should not have had Pfizer, Disney, and other major corporations determining the framework for the agreement. He may be able to sell this strategic concerns story to the Washington Post editorial board, but not to serious people” [Dean Baker, CEPR]. Dean, Dean, Dean: The goals of Pfizer, Disney, and other major corporations are U. [sic] S. strategic goals! Think!



Lambert here, tl;dr: It’s all true. Donors to the Clinton Foundation got special treatment at State. Emails released by State, showing this, were not released by Clinton, even though they weren’t about yoga lessons and Chelsea’s wedding. Shocked, shocked, I know, but the Clinton Dynasty’s effrontery continues to amaze. Even though Judicial Watch isn’t on my side of the ideological prism, kudos to them for their patience and persistence in getting this material released. (The headlines, incidentally, show far too much deference.) Cue the “no quid pro quo” therefore no corruption crowd. (The irony of liberals accepting the doctrine of Citizens United to save their corrupt candidate is corrosive. Or not ironic at all. At this point, I’m not sure.)

“The new emails, released by the group Judicial Watch, offer fresh examples of how top Clinton Foundation officials [on behalf of big donors] sought [and gained] access to the State Department during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure.” (I’ve helpfully added some clarifying material in square brackets.) [Wall Street Journal, “Newly Released Emails Highlight Clinton Foundation’s Ties to State Department “]. Huma’s three hats are interesting, too.

“The State Department has turned over 44 previously-unreleased Hillary Clinton email exchanges that the Democratic presidential nominee failed to include [attempted to conceal] among the 30,000 private messages she turned over to the government last year. They show her interacting with [pedding influence] lobbyists, political and Clinton Foundation donors and business interests as secretary of state.” (Here too, I’ve helpfully added some clarifying material in square brackets.) [AP].

UPDATE “New Emails Appear to Show Clinton Foundation Donors Called In Favors to State Dept” [LawNewz]. “Newly released State Department records, including previously unreleased emails from Huma Abedin, appear to show Clinton Foundation donors calling in favors from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”

UPDATE Good, low-key summary from The Young Turks:

The Voters

“This campaign could get worse — a lot worse. Here’s why.” [ Eugene Robinson, WaPo]. “I expect Trump to double down not just on his attacks against Clinton but also on the two issues that won him his white working-class following: immigration and trade. That means more bigotry, more xenophobia and more totally unrealistic promises about the miracles that he and his team of rich-guy economic advisers will magically perform.”

Saint Garrison Keillor [genuflects], fuckhead [WaPo].

And so a large contingent of people who sat way in back in high school history class and now need to blame foreigners for their lack of progress in the world have nominated a bloated megalomaniac for president, running on a platform of contempt and fantasy. It seems to make them happy, judging from the crowds who attend the gentleman’s performances.

As I keep saying: If you want to see real hate, get a liberal talking about the working class. Nice going, Garrison. Maybe you should tell your “friends in Copenhagen” about the Case-Deaton study.

Lambert here: 2016 isn’t my first rodeo. And one of the advantage of being an old codger is memory (and I have a long one, especially for grudges). So let’s look at the record:

2016: What Trump said [Guardian].

[TRUMP:] Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the second amendment. If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the second amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what, that will be a horrible day.

(WaPo, interestingly, omits the qualification that it will be a “horrible day.”)

2008: What Clinton said [New York Times].

[CLINTON:] My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.

Both Trump’s statement in 2016, and Clinton’s statement in 2008, provoked a moral panic — “[She|he] wants her opponent assassinated!!!” — in the dominant faction of the Democrat Party, and in an ironic twist of fate, that faction supports Clinton today (which is, perhaps, why nobody in that same faction wants to bring forward the 2008 episode). I will leave it to readers to discern which gaffe is the worst. (I thought then, and think now, that Clinton’s remark was at most due to fatigue, and I think now that Trump’s trying to juggle the flaming torches and edged weapons of our many political tropes, and he’s not good at it, since he has no experience doing that. Of course, this should not be interpreted as support for either candidate today.) Now, the Democrat faction of 2008 is far more dominant in the political class today than it was then, and Republicans are joining it, or at least becoming fellow travelers, and so the panic is more pervasive.

But to me, it’s the class nature of the panic that’s more interesting than its trigger: Apparently, somewhere in the depths of the hive mind of the dominant faction of the political class, the thought leaders think somebody’s coming to kill them and take their stuff. And they have good reason to fear blowback, not merely from failed imperial adventures, but from — to pick an example at random — a working class population undergoing an AIDS-level death rate caused by the neoliberal policies that same political class has espoused since the first Clinton administration, and before. So there you have the reason for the panic: Liberal guilt, the hysteria and double standards being the exact measure of its repression.

The Parties

“19 percent [of registered Republicans] think [Trump] should drop out, 70 percent think he should stay in and 10 percent say they ‘don’t know,’ according to the Aug. 5-8 poll of 396 registered Republicans. The poll has a confidence interval of six percentage points. Among all registered voters, some 44 percent want Trump to drop out” [Reuters].

Squillionaires and Establishment Republicans for Clinton

“[Trump] described the [50 top GOP former national-security official] signers of the declaration as ‘nothing more than the failed Washington elite looking to hold onto their power,’ and thanked them ‘for coming forward so everyone in the country knows who deserves the blame for making the world such a dangerous place'” [RealClearPolitics]. I hate it when Trump’s right. But what other word is there than “failed” for losing the Iraq war, losing the Afghanistan war (that was the “smart” one), and setting the Mediterranean and Black Sea littoral on fire, thereby creating a refugee crisis that’s eating away at the foundations of our largest military protectorate?

Stats Watch

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of August 5, 2016: “Purchase applications for home mortgages were up 3 percent” [Econoday].

JOLTS, June 2016: “Job openings rose 2.0 percent” [Econoday]. “The quits rate, which offers indications on worker confidence to shift jobs, is once again unchanged, at 2.0 percent. This report shows new punch on the hiring side and favorable conditions on the breakup side in what is the latest good news out of the labor market.” If workers were all that confident, the quits rate would be up, not flat.

Household Debt: “Very modest household credit expansion coincided with very weak growth for the last several quarters” [Mosler Economics].

ETFs: “Over the last year or so, we’ve seen more large financial institutions enter the ETF industry as issuers, names like Goldman Sachs, John Hancock; Principal Financial Group; Oppenheimer, Legg Mason, USAA and Franklin Templeton” [ETF.com]. Next: Wells Fargo, Nuveen, Prudential Financial, and Voya.

Shipping: “The USPS says its revenue is growing but the postal operator is struggling to handle the flood of online goods efficiently… Postal revenues for the quarter ending June 30 rose 7% to $17.72 billion, driven by e-commerce demand, but operating expenses increased by 12% in the same period” [Wall Street Journal]. “As more profitable letter mail fell the shipping and package segment increased by 14%, pushing transportation and compensation up because the package business is ‘much more labor intensive’ and air freight use has increased to meet the delivery demands, says USPS CFO Joe Corbett. It’s a problem facing a range of businesses: retailers and private parcel operators have struggled to manage the push by consumers to online sales while maintaining profit margins.” So the public is covertly financing Amazon’s robot build-out?

Shipping: “Following unprecedented low container volumes in the first six months of 2016, analysts have been forced to slash their full-year growth forecasts even further.According to Alphaliner, total volumes handled by the world’s box ports will increase by just 0.3% this year” [Lloyd’s List].

Productivity: ” U.S. Productivity: Is there a Crisis?” [DC Velocity]. This is a concise statement of the conventional wisdom, well worth a read.

The Bezzle: “Your ‘Smart’ Thermostat Is Now Vulnerable To Ransomware” [Tech Dirt]. “

We’ve noted time and time again how the much ballyhooed “internet of things” is a privacy and security dumpster fire, and the check is about to come due. Countless companies and “IoT” evangelists jumped head first into the profit party, few bothering to cast even a worried look over at the reality that basic security and privacy standards hadn’t come along for the ride. The result has been an endless parade of not-so-smart devices and appliances that are busy either leaking your personal details or potentially putting your life at risk.” As usual, when you hear the word “smart,” look for the scam.

The Bezzle: “New study estimates that the total costs of America’s flawed financial system–rents, misallocation costs, and the costs of the 2008 crisis–will add up to an estimated $22.7 trillion between 1990 and 2023” [Pro-Market]. Terrific interview with Gerald Epstein.

The Bezzle: “‘The fee pool in corporate-bond trading is somewhere in the $8 billion range,’ [said Mike Sobel, President of Trumid] said'” [Business Insider]. “‘From a business perspective, we only need a very, very small share of it for this to be a fully self-sustaining business.'” Theil and Soros are both investors.

The Bezzle: “[W]ith global Internet traffic growing by an estimated 22% per year, the demand for bandwidth is fast outstripping providers’ best efforts to supply it” [Nature]. “The resulting digital traffic jams threaten to throttle the information-technology revolution. Consumers can already feel those constraints when mobile-phone calls become garbled at busy times, data connections slow to a crawl in crowded convention centres and video streams stall during peak viewing hours. Internet companies are painfully aware that today’s network is far from ready for the much-promised future of mobile high-definition video, autonomous vehicles, remote surgery, telepresence and interactive 3D virtual-reality gaming.”

The Bezzle: “The $65 million Bitfinex hack shows that it is impossible to tell a good bitcoin company from a bad one” [Quartz].

Coops: “It has often been said that cotton is king in West Texas, which is home to the world’s largest region of cotton-producing counties, with 41 counties comprising the area. There are 45 cooperative gins that deliver cotton to FCC facilities. FCC warehouses and delivers about 35 percent of the cotton ginned in Texas, which accounts for roughly 17 percent of the U.S. crop. Founded 68 years ago by producers who had a vision they could accomplish more collectively than individually, FCC was established as a way to successfully and affordably house cotton domestically and distribute it globally from West Texas” [PR News Wire]. Hmm.

Political Risk: “The downturn in business investment is hitting logistics-industry providers. Bar-code company Zebra Technologies Corp. ‘s sales slipped in its latest quarter as customers reined in spending… Zebra believes the downturn won’t accelerate during the second half of the year but the company’s results highlight how the cautious outlook for many businesses is coursing through supply chains” [Wall Street Journal]. “Business investment in equipment fell back 3.5% in the second quarter, suggesting companies are hunkering down amid wavering global economic signals and political uncertainty.

Gentlemen Prefer Bonds: “There is something fishy going on in U.S. credit markets and it may give stocks at least a temporary boost” [MarketWatch]. “Companies sold $70 billion of bonds in the six-day stretch, already more than half the normal monthly average issuance of $125 billion. Why sell? Companies are aware of hungry buyers, among cash-flush public pensions in particular, so they’re more than happy to come to market now. Pension funds are itching for yield in a low-return world and are now allocating much of their cash stash to company bonds, even if typically higher risk than government bonds…. “There has never been an August like this in the history of finance, and it isn’t close,” said Brian Reynolds, chief market strategist at New Albion. … The really strange thing is that this new wave of issuance has coincided with a sharp tightening of credit spreads, lowering the “payout” an investor receives for accepting the perceived long-term risk of a company’s inability to make interest payments or repay its bonds. Those spreads hit yearly lows in spring and are now poised to push even lower, say analysts.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 76 Extreme Greed (previous close: 84, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 81 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 9 at 11:35am. Mr. Market sinks back on the couch.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“How Black Co-Ops Can Fight Institutional Racism” [VICE].


“10th Annual ARRI – Mined Land Reforestation Conference” [OFFICE of SURFACE MINING, RECLAMATION and ENFORCEMENT (cwaltz)]. I’m glad there are reforestation efforts taking place in Appalachia. That’s a good thing. And when a candidate explicityly espouses a massive jobs program to reforest a lot more than we’re doing now, that will be not just good, but great. Obviously, such a program is not on offer from either legacy party, so there you go.

Class Warfare

UPDATE Excellent article by Stoller as usual [Matt Stoller, New York Times]. Read it all — and leave nice comments! — but here’s the bottom line: “The development of good policy demands the reduction of specific conflicts of interest and the maintenance of so much diversity of financing that the public interest emerges. As revolutionary era weaver-turned-politician William Findley put it, ‘Wealth in many hands operates as many checks.’ It also produces good ideas.” Brilliant framing of how to thnk about checks and balances when, as today, finance capital has the whip hand.

“Often, via reengagements with Marx’s writings, system-critics refocused their general attention on production, and more specifically, on the organization of the enterprise. Capitalism was redefined as a specific relationship among participants in producing goods and services. Much as slavery was defined in terms of slaves and masters and feudalism in terms of lords and serfs, capitalism was to be defined in terms of employers and employees. What became the crucial issue and focus was that relationship inside enterprises and not the secondary matter of whether the employer was public or private. What defined capitalism was the employer-employee relationship; what defined the preferred other system — whether called socialism or communism or neither — was a radically different relationship” [Richard Wolff, Truthout]. “Posing the question of the exact nature of another system with a production relationship radically different from capitalism’s led many critics to rediscover worker cooperatives (sometimes called producer cooperatives).” 30,000 foot view. (Many disagree, however, that slavery in the pre-Civil War slave states was failing. Certainly an enormous amount of capital was destroyed when slavery, at least as a legal regime, was ended.

News of the Wired

“I Peeked Into My Node_Modules Directory And You Won’t Believe What Happened Next” [Medium]. This is another technical detective story that dull normals can read with enjoyment. Spoiler alert: IT is totally crapified. Just because it’s JavaScript doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck!

“Tella Ball Shake?? Nutella, Doughnut, Milkshake. It’s popular and trending in Australia” [Reaper Message Boards]. Western Civilization: “This is fine.”

“Coffiest is a balanced breakfast and your morning coffee, all in one convenient bottle. Each great-tasting bottle contains 400 calories of complete plant-based nutrition and the same caffeine as a strong cup of coffee” [SFist (AH)]. Presumably the brand “Coffiest” is a loving tribute to Pohl and Kornbluth’s wonderful The Space Merchants:


“Gathering honey from a weed… ” [The Life I Read]. Excellent example combining critical thinking and research skills!

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (pq):

Neighbors Dogwood

PQ says: “My neighbor’s dogwood.” Perennials, people. Perennials!

Readers, if you want to send me some videos of plants in whole systems (bees and blossoms, for example, or running streams) — I can use them to practice with FFmpeg and hopefully post them. Because of download times, they’ll have to be measured in seconds, rather than minutes. Thank you! Adding, I got another one today! Please keep sending them; they will ultimately appear!

* * *

Readers, if you enjoyed what you read today, please use the dropdown to choose your contribution, and then click the hat! Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. Water Cooler will not exist without your continued help.


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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. low integer

    So, labor and environmental groups (too bad I can’t just say “the left”) are to be allowed into the rigged tribunals? Is that the shape of the lame duck deal?

    Let the co-opting of labor and environmental groups begin!
    When will Kaine and co. get the message to just fuck off already with their ridiculous little TPP.
    You can try and shove it down our throats but do you seriously think we are going to stand for it?
    You are fucking dreaming.

      1. low integer

        There will be legitimate penalties for non-compliance!
        Hahaha what a joke these idiots are. They better give the enforcers a lot of steroids, ’cause I’m pretty sure that unless they do the enforcers will like people like me more than they will like their paymasters. That would be an exquisite bind (hat tip Jim Haygood) for these so-called “captains of industry”, wouldn’t it? Hahaha. Maybe they can get some H1b visas for some Wahhabi nutjob enforcers, but they might be too unpredictable. Hahaha.

    1. RabidGandhi

      I was just trying to play a mental game to see if I could envisage anything Kaine, HRC or Obama could say that might make me trust them not to weasel a TPP or its fetid ilk over the finish line. Having a hard time. The closest I’ve come is “I’ve just signed a constitutional amendment banning any and all agreements with any type of ISDS clause or which strengthen intellectual or industrial property rights”– but even then I’d still watch them like a hawk.

      1. Philman

        All I can think of that they might try to do would be something like they did with NAFTA; ISDS was never on the agenda, if I remember correctly, Bill added a clause on behalf of labor that allowed people fired due to NAFTA to qualify for retraining on the Govt’s dime. The catch– you had to prove you lost your job to NAFTA, e.g., that the corporation would not have relocated otherwise. Not surprisingly, very few ex-employees could actually prove this, and only a handful got training. I expect something similar from shillary if need be (“TPP as it currently is written…”).

        1. different clue

          And what would the de-jobbed NAFTA casualty get re-trained for anyway? Another job scheduled for outsourcing to Mexico in due course? Or another job scheduled for outsourcing to China?

    2. Praedor

      No. No to tribunals at all. The COURTS with JUDGES and even JURIES is all that is needed. Want a LEGAL ruling? Go to court. Period.

      ISDS must be eliminated from ALL trade deals and never EVER allowed back in in any form whatsoever.

  2. Carolinian

    What you said–Moon of Alabama on the taking out of context.

    The Clinton campaign does not get it. As suggested here earlier the “outrage” the Clinton campaign constructs out of such quotes will only help Trump to win more votes. It will also infuse more mistrust against the media who spread it around. The Trump campaign is already using it for that purpose.

    The best of it, from Trump’s view, is that he now gets another full news cycle of free advertising on every media channel. This while Clinton spends at least $13 million for TV adds around the Olympics where Trump spends $0.

    There are many ways to beat Trump. Constructing arguably false outrage from some throw-away remarks certainly isn’t on of them. The election will likely be decided on voter turn-out and get-out-the-vote volunteering efforts. There is little, if any, enthusiasm for Clinton. Trump is winning more hard-core believers with any such Clinton attack.

    Since I come from the state that gave us Lee Atwater I’m not so sure off the wall attacks with full media support don’t work. But one would hope that the commentators who aren’t full time Clinton tools could spare us the outrage. If Trump sux on policy make the case.


    1. James Levy

      The statement I heard: it was outrageous.

      You just don’t give a shit because you, and Lambert, are so filled with pathological hate for Clinton that Trump could say “Let’s line the Mexicans up against the wall and shoot them” and you’d find a reason why it’s the Main Stream Media or the Democrat’s fault and, since Clinton will ABSOLUTLEY AND WITHOUT FAIL get us all killed in a nuclear holocaust, even if he said it it wasn’t, comparatively, that bad, so vote for Trump.

      The completely immoral and intellectually dishonest display of Trump-excusing baloney here at Nakedcapitalism has destroyed what was once a useful site for learning about the world. It no longer is; it is a sight for zealots to spew their hatred of the Clintons and find excuses for a grotesque, bigoted pig, a bankrupt, a speculator, a poverty pimp who stole much of his fortune from gambling addicts, and a landlord.

      Good bye.

      James P. Levy, Ph.D. FRHistS, a man who never hid behind a goddamned nom de plume

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        As I wrote: “I will leave it to readers to discern which gaffe is the worst.” Thank you for sharing your views.

        I think it would be great if we had a qualified candidate for President. Unfortunately, we don’t. It’s understandable that the debacle created by the political class would create a good deal of cognitive dissonance and anger (“spew”). I hope you find the happiness you seek elsewhere.

        As for “hate”: My attitude toward the political class is clinical, except when I see successful strategic hate management practiced by them, as here; that’s Ninth Circle stuff.

        1. Steve C

          Leaving aside Hillary/Democrat corruption and degeneracy, Trump only says out loud what the rest of the Republicans dog whistle. People are fooling themselves if they think Trump is some especially bad iteration of Republican. The Republicans have no one to blame but themselves. And the country can blame the Democrats’ abandonment of the working class.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            I’m not good on right wing dog-whistles, because I came up as a Democrat (why I tend to hold them to higher standards, foolishly, of course, these days).

            IIRC, the “Second Amendment solution” stuff was injected into the bloodstream of the body politic by Sarah Palin. Who was, of course, mainstreamed by [genuflects] Sainted John McCain, who now professes to be shocked, shocked, by Trump. This witches brew has too many cooks.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Can I just add that it is the stated and vigorously-pursued policy of the U.S. to use “second-amendment-style” removals of other nations’ leaders?
              Any leader who gets on the wrong side of Monsanto or Goldman or Raytheon can be sure a “Second-Amendment-style” drone with his name on it will soon be headed down his chimney. And we do it under the fig leaf of “this will be better for said nation’s people”
              Pot, kettle, so, so black.

            2. Ashley W

              James Levy is a bit too snarky about Trump. When I read what he says, I ask, does he work for her? What are his economic interests? He is unmoved by Hillary’s many faults, but Trump is a full time demon … sounds economic.

              The worst indictment of Hillary are the endorsements of Hank [bail out the banks or life is over in 2 days] Paulson and his ilk. When I saw the list of Republican heavy hitters that are choosing her over Trump — it sets off alarms.

              George Will, Krauthammer, Graham, McCain, Ryan, the unctuous Bill Kristol, Ben Shapiro and the unhinged Glenn Beck — all work to derail the Donald 24/7.

              The million dollar question is why? Trump is driving a runaway beer truck through the XYZ streets of DC, threatening whole careers. Tucker Carlson [no drooling right wing crazy ] made a thoughtful e broadcast wherein he wandered the DNC asking delegates about why they supported Clinton.

              To a one… nobody liked her [ his words not mine] He said they were all there for the jobs and payback.


              Again… Tucker is speaking to Alex [nutcase] Jones but I watched it for Tucker’s take on the DNC. He’s a sane conservative.

              1. JustAnObserver

                Glenn Beck endorses Clinton ??! If so then … Oh dear, Oh dear Oh dear, a WTF-is-going-on-here moment if true [references please ?].

              2. cwaltz

                James Levy is on the record as stating he will vote for Stein so it strikes me as very tin foil y to suggest he works for Clinton or has an economic interest in seeing her elected.

                I just think his antipathy for Trump is greater than his antipathy for Clinton and he’s frustrated with the strategy some are considering of voting for the blowhard.

                I do think he was harsh on Lambert though. The site has gone out of it’s way to allow those of us who are looking for political solutions equal opportunity to put forth strategies where progressives on the left might succeed(even allowing the LOTE folks a forum although not sparing them the ridicule of suggesting Clinton is some sort of win for left activists.) It’s more Clinton’s problem/fault than it is Lambert’s that Yves and Lambert don’t see a progressive win in a Clinton presidency(whereas with Trump they at least see an opportunity to unseat corrupt Democrats and perhaps get Democrats who are responsive to the 99%) so therefore aren’t spending a whole lot of space fawning over the strategy of LOTE that the Democrats are employing this cycle.

                James, your ire should be more productively directed towards the DNC, had they chosen the stronger and better candidate for the progressive left we wouldn’t even be having these types of conversations. As it stands the electorate has a right to look at all it’s options since we’re going to be stuck with the consequences

                1. vidimi


                  james is a good contributor and i hope he will be back but his tantrum was unwarranted.

                  trump’s comment was typically crass but i agree that the pearl clutching is overdone. it really was no worse than clinton’s similar statement. they should go after his pro-gun policy and make at least a tiny part of this election about policy rather than personality.

      2. pretzelattack

        the clintons are eminently hateable. trump is an asshole; any candidate they ran was going to be an asshole. unlike any republican candidate i remember offhand, he also admits to major mistakes his party’s president made while in office, such as iraq. i think you are way overstating the case against trump and understating the case against clinton. why aren’t you worried by her record on foreign policy? and why isn’t making decisions that cost people their lives, many many people, worse than making bigoted statements?

        1. dcblogger

          it is not possible to overstate the case against Trump. He is a fascist who will turn the US into a failed state.

          1. abynormal

            and Hillary will turn the rest of the world into failed states, thereby, lodging an even larger target on us

            i don’t think the rest of world deserves what we’ve allowed to happen…there were plenty chances for this not to get this far off the rails

      3. low integer

        Still James, you went a bit off the rails at some point, and this is coming from someone who stood in your corner at the beginning of your descent, hoping that it was just temporary. I can only speculate that you belong back in academia, though to be honest I don’t really understand why being a naval historian should ever be considered to be anything more than a hobby.
        Take care, and I mean that sincerely, even though I’m sure you will not be able to reconcile that with what I’ve written above.

        Btw, no one cares about your alphabet soup of credentials.

        1. pretzelattack

          i assume it’s a specialty of history, maybe at a military academy? i don’t agree with james, but no need to insult him on his choice of how to make his living.

            1. pretzelattack

              maybe my view is warped, but it seems like clinton supporters are always accusing clinton opponents of irrational hatred, often while making very emotional arguments. they used to consider warmongering and corruption a bad thing, when republicans did it. now that clinton is appealing to so many of the neocons i would think that disapproval would carry over. instead i hear chants of “usa” drowning out appeals for peace “no more war”.

              1. Code Name D

                It’s projection. They have an irrational hatred of Trump. So they project that emotion on to others. In truth, I doubt they have any capacity to think otherwise. The thought of not being motivated by your emotions just never acurese to them.

                1. Ashley W

                  Thank you for that observation.

                  What is the spit and glue that holds Clinton supporters together?

                  What do Latino immigrants have in common with Muslims and Gays?

                  What do inner city blacks have in common with illegals who over supply entry level jobs?

                  What do Gays and Feminists have in common with Muslim immigrants? [this is a real mystery]

                  What do Muslims have in common with Catholic Latinos?

                  I suspect the answer in every case is an almost pathological hatred of some aspect of the OLD GOP.

                  And the old GOP hates Trump because he’s indifferent to homosexuality.. no difference to him.

                  Has women and minorities all through his companies… and feigns a love of the Wall st types they have lunching with him… to quell their fears of his populist sentimentality.

                  Just my take… I’m an independent who hated Bush, Clinton, Bush and voted O — and will never EVER forgive him for his betrayal.

              2. Praedor

                My hatred is utterly rational. It is based on deeds (or misdeeds, to be more accurate). I am not one who automatically denegrates hate as if it is an anomaly or abnormality when it is actually just as human and valid as ANY other emotion.

                Perhaps I could “moderate” my use of the word “hate” by using the word “despise” instead? Is despising Hillary (and Bill and Chelsea and all they stand for and all WHO they stand for) irrational? Is it OK? Oh wait, I don’t give a crap if someone thinks it isn’t OK. NOT despising Clintons and all they represent is invalid in my book…and irrational.

            2. Hana M

              Naval history and Patrick O’Brian are two of my favorite pastimes! Speaking of O’Brian, in Master and Commander two quotes from Dr. Stephen Maturin might be germane to the discussion:

              “But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile.” [one might also add here, Party or politician]

              “…I have had such a sickening of men in masses, and of causes, that I would not cross this room to reform parliament or prevent the union or to bring about the millennium. I speak only for myself, mind – it is my own truth alone – but man as part of a movement or a crowd is indifferent to me. He is inhuman. And I have nothing to do with nations, or nationalism. The only feelings I have – for what they are – are for men as individuals; my loyalties, such as they may be, are to private persons alone.”

              Time for a re-reading, I think.

          1. low integer

            It wasn’t meant to be an insult. Some things are interesting but just not that useful, and one should consider what sort of service one is actually providing to those around them before deciding that they deserve to be paid for that activity and putting all their eggs into that basket. Just my opinion, and I have put a lot of time into things that I love doing and was/am pretty good at but I always knew I would never be able to take myself seriously if I sought to be paid for these activities, for the above stated reason. In any case, if one lists their credentials like James did one opens themselves up to these kinds of comments imo. Apologies if I offended anyone though.

            1. pretzelattack

              well, i just think it’s irrelevant to the argument. lots of academic specialties i think are a waste. i know little of naval history, and have never read a horatio hornblower novel. also james has been an interesting poster, on other subjects, so i’m probably more inclined to tolerate him than some of the other clinton supporters.

              james would be equally wrong if he had discovered the cure for cancer.

              1. low integer

                also james has been an interesting poster

                You know, I would have agreed with you a year or two ago. Not recently though, and the evidence is there if one cares to look through the archives. Again though, this is just my opinion, and I fully accept that others may not agree.

                1. pretzelattack

                  like i say, on other subjects–doesn’t mean the majority have been lately. he’s been concentrating on making the case for voting for clinton recently. i don’t remember when I noticed the shift; i do remember thinking some of his posts on other subjects have been well worth reading. you apparently agree he was at least occasionally interesting before; i have hopes that he will be so again.

                  1. tgs

                    Levy is a good poster, except for now and then when he chucks a wobbly about Trump.

                    I read NC every day and I don’t recall Levy ever shilling for Hillary. I thought he mentioned more than once that he was voting for Stein.

                    1. tegnost

                      I think james has always done an admirable job of presenting his perspective. 13 more weeks and this round will be thankfully over. Lots of acrimony flying around on all sides. It’s strained many of my relations, but with the current choices I’ve sort of managed to wash my hands of it for better or worse. The strong hillary backers, of which james is not, own this election and it’s consequences even if that means trump. I would say sleep on it, then stay away from flash points, what will be will be…one person one vote for us little people…then it’s over and i’m sure there will be economic policy coming out of our ears providing much that is interesting and informative.

              2. Katharine

                A waste as compared to what? A waste from whose point of view? And why stop at academic specialties?

            2. pretzelattack

              i meant to add (but ran out of time to edit), that i think he was using his credentials to bolster a point i think is invalid, that one is more likely to be insincere if one does not fully identify oneself on the internet. if he was using being a naval historian as some kind of expertise that makes him right about clinton, then it is absolutely right to question that.

              1. Romancing the Loan

                one is more likely to be insincere if one does not fully identify oneself on the internet

                Bonkers and backwards. No one fears retaliation for their insincerity.

                1. pretzelattack

                  well, i think his argument would be that retaliation for sincerity is a more legitimate concern, and that identifying oneself makes the retaliation more feasible. but i don’t want to even address that because i think it is irrelevant. i disagree strongly with his argument, because i disagree with his premisses, regardless of his identity.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We all react differently. There is no one way to go about this, but every day I can post here, I am grateful.

          There are times, I feel compelled to share a different opinion, a different perspective or an insight that might be helpful to some. If I deny myself that chance, I feel I have let myself for not doing what was given to me, or to you, if you deny yourself that (and this applies to anyone in fact).

        1. pretzelattack

          it’s not. very emotional, divisive election. lord knows i try to be patient with the clinton supporters i believe are sincere. i used to be one, back in the 90’s. i had to make too many excuses and compromise too many times to keep supporting them.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            I supported Clinton in 2008. I thought foreign policy was a wash, on domestic policy Clinton was slightly better, and I couldn’t stand the misogynistic nature of the online Obama campaign. So that was fun! 2016 is far, far worse.

            1. pretzelattack

              i have become much more disillusioned as the years pass. i’ve never voted for a republican for president in my life, but i’d vote for trump in a swing state. to me, deeds matter more than words. i just don’t get how people claim trump is the more dangerous candidate on foreign policy.

            2. cwaltz

              I supported Clinton in 2008 because of her superior domestic policy plan.
              I instinctively felt like Obama was better on foreign policy.

              What does the guy do when he wins? He appoints her as SoS.


          2. Praedor

            You and me pretzel. I was an adamant defender of Bill in the 90s.

            Impossible to excuse the reality any longer. The years haven’t made any of the Clintons better, it is just extended the rot. The GOP being entirely loaded with feces doesn’t make the Clintons pristine. They are both GOP and the Democrats (ie, Clintons) filthy diapers in only slightly different ways.

      4. timbers

        “…because you, and Lambert, are so filled with pathological hate for Clinton…”

        Pathological? Haven’t read every post by them but the ones I’ve seen generally seem policy-reason based. Like killing millions and displacing tens of millions because regime in (fill-in-the-black). Or NAFTA. Or WW3 with Russia or at least dangerous escalation. Or lying about emails to hide fantastic corruption like selling military hardware to murder babies children civilians (Saudi Arabia).

        But then, James Levy, you ridiculed those who noted the established fact that Clinton’s policies have directly and materially aided ISIS/IL (or whatever they presently call themselves) in the present day as well as contributed to their creation in the past.

        Just google and can find various articles debating weather Turkey or the CIA is doing more to support the terrorists in Syria we pretend to be fighting…because The Queen of Regime Change (among others).

        1. Ashley W

          My experience with academics is that their very existence depends on adherence to the neoliberal. Cognitive dissonance be damned.

          Without tenure, their lives are over if they stray from dem dogma.

      5. abynormal

        Damn James! its not necessary to leave… take a break. this presidential cycle is bringing more hair pulling & heartache than a bag of Bushes. Look, i got pages of NC comments saved and yours run at the top for value added. Who will i patrol Chinese commodities with?…¿craazyman¿ puleaze!

        fold this one…keep in pocket pocket next to your heart…“I can believe things that are true and things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not.

        I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen – I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women.

        I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone’s ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state.

        I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste.

        I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds.

        I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman.

        I believe that mankind’s destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself.

        I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.

        I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn’t done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too.

        I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to live, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system.

        I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.” Neil Gaiman, American Gods

          1. Mudduck

            said freddy i m not
            feeling well myself somebody poisoned some
            cheese for me im as full of
            death as a drug store . . . we dropped freddy
            off the fire escape into the alley with
            military honors

        1. Patricia

          Can’t go wrong rolling with Gaiman, esp these days. He leaves nothing behind and helps life remain, if not manageable, at least an underlying delight.

      6. Pat

        Dr. Levy,

        Apparently you have missed where a great many of us have noticed that BOTH, let me repeat that, both candidates are liars and propagandists. Both are self aggrandizing and immoral. Both are corrupt in different manners. And one is a sadistic psychopath. You see I did see Hillary Clinton’s glee in announcing ‘he died’ about Gaddafi. A death she most certainly had a hand in arranging directly unlike your outrageous statement from Trump about reactions if his predictions regarding Clinton and the second amendment end up being accurate.

        I also have seen the video where her supporter wants to pink mist whole populations. So, no, Dr Levy, there is no difference. They are both, both unfit for office. Both are wild cards. Clinton has more of a record, but I’ll be honest every time I think she couldn’t sink any lower, she does, so we don’t know how bad it will get, we just won’t get any better with her. Trump, we know nothing about what will come.

        Once again, we have been presented with no good choice. NONE. Do you roll with the unknown and hope for gridlock, or do you roll with the known psychopathic killer who wants even more regime change even as every one she has backed so far has a bloody disaster and hope that all those Republicans supporting her grid lock her? It’s all bad.

        But anyone who tries to paint Clinton as having high ground in this campaign or this candidacy is not paying attention to the ongoing choice of demonization from her campaign (currently everything is Russian’s fault or Trump’s or both even when it is her mistake) or her HISTORY. She has one – study it. Recognize it for the disaster it is, before you try to complain that anyone here is being immoral and intellectually dishonest.

        1. Uahsenaa

          Indeed. People seem to have simply put it out of sight, out of mind how our current administration has a weekly meeting in the Oval Office about which brown people to murder. Hardly anyone anymore talks about the purely extra-judicial, completely unjustified assassination of an American teenager whose father happened to be a criminal. Hardly anyone talks about the hundreds of guns this DoJ pumped into Mexico then couldn’t account for, further fueling the violence that’s tearing our neighbors to the south apart. Only the hardcore leftists bother to remind anyone that Madame Secretary supported a coup in Honduras that completely tore the country apart, that she pushed even a warmongering president into a bombing campaign that he later regretted, that she sold her office for money laundered through a foundation that, despite collecting millions of dollars every year, basically does nothing besides payoff her political lackeys.

          There is no lesser evil in this campaign, unless you’re talking about voting for someone who isn’t a D or and R.

            1. ambrit

              I’m wondering if “racism” has a biological survival component. (“Ooooh! Those strange hunters on ‘our’ savanna have funny eyes!” [The real conflict being ‘ownership’ of resources, etc.])
              Is America really ‘exceptional’ in being founded based on an ideology and not a “volk?”

      7. Goyo Marquez

        Well Trump does blow hard, but she kills people, and slowly destroys their lives, their hopes and their dreams and she, as far as I can recall, is incapable of owning her misdeeds, repenting from them or even learning from them. So give me the blow hard.
        Goyo Marquez J.D.

      8. OIFVet

        James, please reconsider. We are all entitled to our opinions and electoral preferences, no matter how misguided they may seem to others. I don’t like either candidate, and I probably will vote third party or not vote at all. Under no circumstance will I vote for Clinton, but I don’t hold it against you or anybody else who will vote for her. What is the point of falling pray to the divisiveness that is foisted upon us from above? We lose, they win, regardless which POS ends up in the White House. Might as well keep talking with each other, rather than succumb to bitterness. Wish you well if you don’t come back, but hope to read your posts again.

        1. Ulysses

          “What is the point of falling pray to the divisiveness that is foisted upon us from above? We lose, they win, regardless which POS ends up in the White House. Might as well keep talking with each other, rather than succumb to bitterness.”

          Very well said! Most people are full of contradictions and imperfections. A handful are truly malevolent, an even smaller handful are truly courageous.

          I do feel that we gain more insights looking at systemic problems, rather than obsessing over the misdeeds of individual kleptocrats, such as HRC or Trump, nether of whom possesses an ounce of normal human decency.

      9. Bob

        “And why must so many of us [historians] tie our historical investigations to a thesis or theory? Is it not acceptable to describe the past, comment on what appears to have been happening as best as we can recreate it, and let it go at that? Must we have a thesis, and then drive ourselves crazy (or worse, fool ourselves to keep the thesis alive) in order to “prove” this or that proposition?” James P Levy, PhD

        I wonder Dr Levy if you are trying to prove a proposition rather than accepting that not everyone views his comments the same. While perhaps poorly stated, I took it to mean those who support gun ownership would vote accordingly. Even in your context, is it worse than Joe Biden threatening Obama with his Beretta, or Hillary linking him to Robert Kennedy, or Obama bringing a gun to a knife fight? I do not support Trump or his rhetoric, but I believe that Hillary is corrupt and dishonest and likely criminal.

        1. River

          Or Palin with a sign that had cross-hairs on several democrat reps….then one was shot in the head. Can’t remember her name at the moment. I think she was a Rep. in Arizona.

          1. allan

            Rep. Gabby Giffords. Or, per the NBC style book, the wife of NASA astronaut Mark Kelly.

            And, responding to the comment above, I didn’t take Trump’s statement to be poorly stated. It was a well crafted dog-whistle, clearly understood by his audience. In the video, you can see the crowd behind him reacting exactly as intended. Disgusting.
            Unlike so much faux outrage the Dems put out these days, in this case it is fully justified.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              Well, that’s what happens when you cry wolf. And in a day or so all this will be forgotten and the D.O.O.M. will roll on elsewhere.

              Again, however, because I’m an old codger, I remember two incidents from 2008: One where Obama was said to be dissing Hillary by giving her the finger, and a second where Obama was said to diss here with a “brushing her off” his shoulder gesture.

              That’s how I read them, and I made just the argument you’re making, based on audience reaction. Needless to say, Obama supporters vehemently disagreed, and with the benefit of hindsight the case is more blurry than I thought at the time; it really is a post hoc fallacy.

      10. Anne

        Here’s the problem with outrage: there’s no way to sustain it, so when we move on to the next outrage, without having rectified or seen the last one dealt with in any substantive, satisfying manner, those old outrages just become the new normal.

        We used to be outraged by torture. We used to be outraged by illegal surveillance. We used to be outraged by the abuse of executive authority. We used to be outraged by blatant financial crime.

        Are we still? Or have we just come to the point where we acknowledge that, yeah, that stuff is bad, but I can’t actually do anything about it, and no one who can do anything about it is, so I’ll just be outraged by private e-mail servers or racist dog-whistles, or pay-to-play corruption or Democratic Party manipulation of the election process. Or a pugnacious and disingenuous man trying to rile up the gun-toting NRA crowd by telling them Hillary wants to take away their guns.

        Which, if the past is any indication, will also boil and bubble on blogs and talk radio and “the news,” before being shunted aside to make room for the next outrage.

        I’m a policy person. I have to be because I don’t know any of these candidates or people in powerful positions. If I appear to “hate” the Clintons, it may be because I have grown to loathe their faux progressivism and their overweening, grasping need for power and money. Lots and lots of money. Obtained with entitlement and total lack of accountability. I am tired of being okey-doked by obvious pandering to issues that matter to me.

        I don’t believe we have any candidates who are qualified to hold the office, long lists of accomplishments notwithstanding. I’m allowed to hold that opinion without being branded a hater. For what it’s worth, finding refuge in branding others haters is often my first clue that the person making that accusation has little else to offer in support of his or her own argument.

        Best of luck to you wherever you land.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I fervently hope that all of the “unrequited outrage” does not disappear, it goes to a permanent memory account where it piles up, day by day, outrage by outrage, a catalog of reasons why our political life offers us nothing in the way of solution or resolution. Then, when the time comes, we either take our puny choice at the ballot box, or take the better steps, a phone call, an email, a march in the streets. Americans still have the power for change in their hands, when everyone’s outrage catalog reaches buffer overflow it will spill out. If the elite were smart they would bleed some outrage away, give some ground. But they’re stupid, and greedy, and always overplay their hand. So as a result There Will Be Blood.

          1. Ulysses

            A lot of people quietly sticking to their knitting, like Madame DeFarge, until one day the catalog of crimes against the people is revealed! Powerful stuff.

            1. polecat

              the more outrageous things get, the worse I feel…physically !!

              I can’t be the only one to feel this way….

      11. JohnnyGL

        For what it’s worth, I think you got a bit too worked up about the election coverage. None of us are happy with the choices on offer. I’ll agree that some commenters on the site get too hopeful about Trump (myself included) when it comes to having “no track record” in politics instead a “bad track record”. But there’s logic in trying to vote strategically to create gridlock.

        And yes, the Trump 2nd Amendment comment was a dog-whistle and should be denounced, but the press has already thrown so many fits about made up issues (nuclear weapons, Russian spy) that it’s become white noise.

        However, the vitriol directed against Carolinian and Lambert was unnecessary.

        Sorry to see you go, James. I did enjoy some of your commentary.

        1. jrs

          I can’t reconcile anyone voting for Trump with well Trump. Does not compute. So I see the clip about the “2nd amendment” and to me it’s all the reasons Trump is going to suck. Oh not the controversial parts, the cutting taxes and regulation part that came before it. Man we are in for some Republican abuse indeed, bend over. Woah is us when the few regulations that protect us are gutted (I do realize the TPP does the same thing of course).

      12. Plenue

        ” a grotesque, bigoted pig, a bankrupt, a speculator, a poverty pimp who stole much of his fortune from gambling addicts, and a landlord.”

        Indeed, Trump is all these things. He also says he would talk to Putin, and so will be less likely to get us into WW3, in comparison to Clinton who seems hellbent on it. It’s not like Clinton isn’t also a terrible, bigoted, money-fleecing scumbag as well. Neither of them are good people, or good candidates. But one is less likely to get a bunch of us killed.

        1. Pavel

          How many actual victims does Trump have compared to Hillary?

          It was Bill Clinton’s administration that killed 500,000 Iraqi kids through sanctions. Let’s not mince words: that was mass murder, albeit of an indirect kind (destruction of infrastructure). Hillary has caused hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and untold misery through her support of the Iraq, Libyan (especially her fault) and Syrian wars. Her boss Obama illegally assassinated an American citizen and his 16 y.o. son when they were overseas, and is currently supporting the Saudi genocide in Yemen.

          How’s that for (socio)pathology, James?

          1. Praedor

            Don’t forget the entirely bogus (it turns out) “need” to blow up the former Yugoslavia. Billy gleefully got us into a nasty war in the Balkans just because it served neoliberal desires. The basis of the war there was bullshit. Murdering 500k Iraqi kids is just par for the course.

      13. Carolinian

        Sorry you feel that way–really. It’s a bit childish to take your marbles and go home. Speaking for myself I think we are all just here to find out the truth and to debate ideas. The fate of the nation will not be decided in digital pages of NC.

      14. MojaveWolf

        Hey James (if you can still/are still able to read this),

        Sometimes I agree with you, frequently I don’t, but I do wish you’d reconsider your decision to bail. One of the things I value about this site is that it’s NOT an echo chamber and there are a variety of conflicting opinions in the comments.

        I also thought Trump’s statement was pretty clear and am staggered he said it. To quote myself when I 1st heard about this in the middle of writing another comment:

        not saying you should vote for Trump, mind you, I keep thinking he’s deliberately trying to lose about half the time and I ain’t voting for him, but wow. Next thing you know they’ll be talking about Shoggoth deficits and or saying Trump might wake Project Koschei. Or if he really said what my SO just texted me he said about 2d amendment people maybe they won’t have to. She said she saw the clip. Yikes. He really is trying to lose? The media hit jobs are too stupid and he’s getting worried he might win so he’s helping them out?

        The Hillary comment in 2008 was unbelievably stupid and made her look horrible, but it struck me as less bad than Trump’s (like Lambert, I’ll put it down to campaign fatigue; toward the end of that primary, she kept putting her foot in her mouth a lot, and this was painful for me, coz I went full tilt pro-Hillary last time shortly after Iowa, when I thought Obama was near certain to win and read the Audacity of Hope and recoiled in horror at the realization that he was a Republican in dem clothing and had to be stopped. Alas. She also seemed a LOT better back then; she used to have good points to go with the bad ones; I think she just gave up on all her principles and sold out for ambition, which admittedly meant I grossly overestimated her in the first place). In both cases, I think the candidates were simultaneously helped and hurt by the sheer level of unfair vitriol thrown at them. Among people buying the unfair vitriol, these statements confirmed their worst fears, moreso in Trump’s case because the vitriol and unfairness has been worse and he is in many ways a much easier target and so has been more successfully demonized. Among people who are upset at all the unfair accusations levelled (and there are so many entirely fair ones to level at Trump, that they stoop to some really despicable distortions says a lot about the state of our media), a reflex tendency to defend the candidate and assume any accusations are garbage is already ingrained (I can’t stand Trump and I have developed an ingrained reflex to defend him from pro-Hillary attacks). That said, no, this isn’t really defensible except by saying, “yeah he’s got problems but …”

        While I don’t think he wants anyone to assassinate Hillary to preserve 2d amendment rights any more than he wants to build a wall or believes illegal immigrants from Mexico are primarily bad people or is anti-choice, he has no filter and says incredibly evil and irresponsible things. Under normal circumstances, these sayings indicate an irresponsibility and a scumminess that should keep him far, far away from the presidency. But looking at the other side of the two-party equation, I can’t see it as any better. The Morrell guy’s comments that Lambert linked to yesterday were a LOT scarier because HE REALLY MEANS IT. HE REALLY WANTS US TO KILL RUSSIANS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AS A MATTER OF POLICY TO SEND A WARNING. And this is someone the mainstream media is PROMOTING as a PRO-HILLARY ANTI-TRUMP VOICE OF REASON.

        Trump is a spoiled brat who was never told no and never had to develop any kind of filter because he could always get away with anything, and apparently doesn’t have the personal qualities that would lead him to want to make himself into a better person whether he “has” to or not. This is not appealing in any person, and especially bad in a presidential candidate. On the other side, you have people have calmly, politely, decided they want to play a game of chicken with Putin, who as far as I can tell wins hands down the “best option” among this lot (note to people wanting to yell at me because Putin this or that: I am NOT SAYING PUTIN IS A GOOD PERSON or that all his policies are defensible, I’m just saying he seems a LOT more competent and sane than who we’ve been putting up, and looks like a prince among men by comparison). Given that both these statements were getting airplay more or less at the same time, it’s not hard to see why someone more scared and horrified by Morrell saying what he really meant would have a natural tendency to downplay the Trump saying a bit of stupid crazy that he pretty much for certain doesn’t mean at all (tho again, the saying of it is part of a pattern that provides a good reason not to vote for Trump; most of the people here are not trying to say you should, as far as I can tell).

        Even Stein has issues; the other candidates make me want to cry for the future of the world. Anyway, hope you’ll reconsider and stay.

        Praying for Tulsi in 2020,

        Me, absolutely unapologetic about hiding behind a nom de plume

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          If somebody had taken Trump’s cellphone away this week and then gagged him and tied him up in a sack, The Clinton Foundation stuff would be the dominant story, and maybe lunatic spook Morell, too. At this point, I’ve gotta wonder how deep the kayfabe runs, I really do. I wish I knew of a timeline that laid Trump eruptions against Clinton scandal eruptions (because it would be work to create them). OTOH, he seems to erupt all the time, so it’s hard to assign causality.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            The fact the Repubs are left with this narcissistic gasbag is proof just how very far the other 16 dwarves were from having any kind of support at all from the “base”. Seems whatever “base” they can reconstruct after Trump goes down in utter flames will struggle to get a solid 30% of the vote, they would have to short-circuit too many of their core beliefs to ever hope to build a platform that can win the presidency. So the die-hard conservatives will be left to try and get incremental change down-ticket…kinda like the “Left”, which I broadly define as anyone who is sick and tired of WWIII and the grift machine our entire political economy has become.

          2. Carolinian

            I think Trump thinks saying outrageous things makes him seem more honest and less like a politician and to some degree that’s probably right. And it seems increasingly likely that those of us who thought he would “pivot” and act more like a conventional politician were probably wrong.

            But you know it’s just words–something intellectuals and English majors like Garrison Keillor treat with exaggerated importance. Moon of Alabama’s point that piling on with the attacks may very well backfire on the Clintons and the media sounds plausible. The can’t keep this up for another three months which may be why some insist that he must step aside.

            Clarifying indeed.

          3. MojaveWolf

            Outside of the general angst, in purely political terms, this raises some truly fascinating possibilities… Not able to make that timeline, but wow that would be interesting. Trump certainly cut into how many people fed up with the system voted for Bernie, though despite his efforts to appeal to working class that has never been his main constituency, media efforts to help him in this regard notwithstanding.

            The biggest problem with figuring out what is what is that the eruptions on both sides happen so often, they’re bound to overlap some, so for anything less than a near 100% correlation (which seems unlikely) how to tell the difference between coincidence and purpose?

      15. Vatch

        James, please stay. You’re one of the more insightful commenters here at NC, and your historical knowledge is quite useful for the rest of us.

        (Sorry about the nom de plume behind which I hide. I really enjoyed reading “The Witches of Karres” by James Schmitz; it’s very funny, so I chose a word from that book that represents a psionic amorphous troublemaking transdimensional type of entity. Yes, that’s a little crazy, I know.)

        1. MojaveWolf

          I read that book back in middle school and loved it. Reread it again once in high school and once in college, still loved it. Still remember it when it’s brought up like now, tho not as well as I remember the Schmitz’s Telzey Amberdon novels. Too bad for Schmitz he wrote before sf/fantasy YA novels became such monster sellers; his stuff was fantastic.

      16. Alex morfesis

        Dear james…hope you are still lurking…so, okay…you think $hillary the nazi gyrl is better then el donaldo the mobster…they are both criminals…they are both deep staterz…

        part of his atlantic city casino biz came from ???

        Resorts intl…

        so his facade is fairly thin…

        the question is which is to be master…that is all…

        Most here in this playpen have ideas fixed from decades of experience and a million years of dna…

        You could go…but you wont be as satisfied…

        Trump wont build a wall because he doesnt know how…he has only done vertical construction…he has never built a road or a bridge

        He will tell any lie to sell you one of his condo units as they get built and hopefully you realize most here understand that…

        He has never built market rate housing or properties and as such has always had a large amount of “wiggle” room to come in on budget and on time…

        running a real “main street” business (or govt) is not anythig he knows to do…

        if $hillary equals hope and a solid future from your experiences in life, then put up a big sign on your front lawn and go knocking on doors in states that may turn…

        I know not what course others may take…

        But as for me…

        Give me liberty…

        Or pass the tsipouro

      17. dingusansich

        I sympathize with your exasperation, James. To update W.C.:

        The impure products of America
        Make everyone go crazy—

        Trump, Cinton, they’re both appallingly corrupt. You’ve said so yourself. But James, we need you rational angry. When Lambert plays devil’s advocate for Trump, often as not he’s contesting complacent groupthink about Clinton and her horrid hangers-on, not shilling for the reality show huckster, even when said huckster says something sensible.*

        You evidently hold Trump in particular contempt, which may be among the few things in his life the man has genuinely earned. But here’s the thing: even a heinous grotesque like Trump isn’t always mistaken and evil, though it might sadden his mentor Roy Cohn to admit it. Similarly, some arguments about Trump advanced on NakCap are, shall we say, testaments to human ingenuity and willing suspension of disbelief. But “completely immoral and intellectually dishonest”? I’ll give you immoral; I’ll give you intellectually dishonest. But “completely”? There we disagree.

        Apart from a few for whom denial isn’t just a phony river at the Luxor, most here seem to be looking at the electoral bottles of cyanide and arsenic and wondering, “Which has fewer side effects?” Obviously it’s an absurd question. Unhappily, however, the next CEO of U.S.A. Inc. will be either Mr. Cyanide or Mme. Arsenic. So which will it be? Lambert has named his preferred poison (and mine): gridlock, which means, unless the Republicans somehow contrive to lose Congress in November, acquiescence in a Clinton presidency. (Sorry, but that is what it means.) You’ve repeatedly said you won’t vote for either the Trump abomination or the Clinton abomination. You’re going green (as am I). Fine. But practically, you and Lambert aren’t that far apart.

        Adding: From what I read these days of the South China Sea, an expertise in naval history may turn out to be more than a charming anachronism. Consider coming around.

        *Whether Trump says such stuff because he means it, and means it beyond the couple of seconds it takes the words to propagate beyond those anally pursed lips, or because it’s part and parcel of his bad-boy “You’re fired!” shtick, well, that would be an ecumenical matter.

          1. cwaltz

            I always get the impression that you and Yves have your eyes on the prize which is fully grounded in the values you hold and the policies you believe support them. (The prize being a country we can take pride in.)

            Sometimes I think because you hold values and beliefs so strongly though you can seem a bit like a stubborn pit bull(and I say this as someone who shares this type of personality.) I know sometimes my forceful opinions can come off as dismissive or even hateful even though my intentions are NEVER to be mean or hurtful to others. It’s hard when sometimes people read things into a point of view and assume intentions that aren’t there. This is the internet though and it happens(people make assumptions that aren’t always grounded in truth.) Hopefully after the election James feels like he can come back and work with folks here to stop things like the TPP regardless of the outcome in November. I genuinely think he is a good person even if I disagree with him on the LOTE strategy(and I believe we’re going to need all the good people we can get to keep this country from sliding further into the abyss.)

        1. pretzelattack

          on the issues i care most about, the risk of further war, the trade agreements, and who will be the more effective facilitator of corruption, and the more effective evil on climate change–i think trump and a republican congress provide a better chance of gridlock. the republicans agree with clinton on wars (indeed, many of them are endorsing clinton because of her foreign policy views). the neocons, after their clinton gambit has failed, will scurry back to the republican party, but will still bitterly oppose trump.republicans will roll over for the tpp; trump at least sometimes says he opposes it, and there is some chance he will. trump doesn’t yet a national level corruption grift going, and with the opposition from republicans, and democrats fearing for their seats, it may be hard to develop one. finally, i think both are equally bad on climate change; clinton claims to want to mitigate it, and, typically, supports fracking.

        2. vidimi

          those are good points. everything James accuses trump of being is true. trump was always one of my least favourite people long before he campaigned for president. but you have to ask yourself: is he the worst thing in this election?

      18. Skippy

        The social psychological bubble wrap keeps popping….

        Disheveled Marsupial…. this is more akin to grave digging and can have cumulative effects [most of the time], take a breather and pop around when it suits you….

      19. bdy

        Your contribution has been substantial, your comments thoughtful and enlightening. While I personally think POTUSHRC will be sub-Nixonian by a country mile, your steadfast resistance to the Trump(eting) in comments has helped keep the echo out of the NC chamber. I do hope you’ll change your mind and come back as soon as you’ve had a couple of vodka tonics. If not, you will be missed.

      20. Jeremy Grimm

        It’ll be a shame if you leave because of this political season. Instead of leaving — take a vacation! If you like Hillary you will be very happy with what you hear on NPR. It will be like a trip to the Bahamas. [I listen to NPR in my car only because I keep forgetting to get another audio book from the library. I’ll remember very soon or I’ll have to shut off the radio.]

        If you leave and come back later I hope I speak for others here at NC in extending an always welcome back. The only string I attach to that welcome is this — if Hillary wins — you may not escape from a few “I told you so’s” from the rest of us should you join in criticizing her actions. Of course you will have the right to more than a few “I told you so’s” should Trump win and become the focus of criticism.

        However — as far as I can tell there are NO Trump supporters on this site. Both candidates are widely abhorred. Hillary seems to have all the right ducks lined up to do a lot of damage — but Trump has pissed off enough people I doubt he could accomplish much of anything. I believe that reasonably well summarizes Lambert’s view — though Lambert does very well speaking for himself. I’ll take an impotent blow-hard idiot for president any day over a Master-of-the-Universe bought and sold and placed to accomplish all sorts of “mischief” at home and abroad.

        1. tegnost

          james is not a hillary supporter, he has stated his reasons why he thinks trump is much worse. I think dingusansuch may be right about the south china sea

      21. different clue

        Goodbye, Clintonite.

        ( And if you reply to that, it shows you really haven’t left, even though you promised you would.)

        1. abynormal

          Don’t Do That! James has been around along time and contributed detailed research. if he leaves, i won’t be the only one here that misses him. enough of us fall apart and what will we have left?

      22. HopeLB

        Dear Mr. Levy,
        Please do not leave! We, in the commentariat , highly value your imput (and from your posts, I gather you are a neighbor of my brother-in-law and I appreciate the Berkshire influenced view…. can almost feel the Berkshireians, can almost hear the symphony playing to the mountains , can almost touch the mountains and the sunsets upon them honing your outlook). As to, “The completely immoral and intellectually dishonest display of Trump-excusing baloney here at Nakedcapitalism has destroyed what was once a useful site for learning about the world. It no longer is; it is a sight for zealots to spew their hatred of the Clintons” , the Clintons have actually killed with sanctions in Iran, unauthorized war in Sebia, Libya, Syria, Yemen many 100’s of thousands. Can’t you cut the people who could see real change and real hope in filled stadiums, who were euphoric because an actual paradigm shift was afoot, who envisioned a super power that does good and saves the planet to boot, stolen from them by the nefarious DNC/corporate media, some slack? Trump is a buffoon who will get nothing done. The Establishment Machine and even Deep State are against him. Hillary will get everything she wants done since the weapons makers, neocons and neolibs are all on her side. Why not remain here and comment upon our own blinding Hillary hate if only as a well respected and beloved countervailing influence? We will be very grateful if you remain in the NC community!
        in this community.

      23. myshkin

        Kudos on the dramatic exit and I’m with you on the, “intellectually dishonest display of Trump-excusing baloney here at Nakedcapitalism.”

        I’ve previously noted that as a once-upon-a-time New Yorker from back in the 70’s -90’s I’m incapable of groking Trump as anything other than the bathetic POS I remember him to be and that if allowed near the ring of power the world is truly approaching end times; human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, etc.

        Clearly Hillary has a horific record. Trump has a record too but unfortunately it’s in the form of a Looney Tunes cartoon. What conclusions can we draw from a man who is an aglomeration of Andrew Dice Clay, Foghorn Leghorn and Yosemite Sam.

        I will admit I can’t find a factual basis for my conviction that Trump will be worse than Clinton and for that realization I must thank the bias here at NC which has provided counter weight to the abysmal onslaught of the MSM as they rip Trump a new one for their elite masters (not that he doesn’t need and deserve a new one).

        The 2016 election media cycle is a despicable farce quite consistent with the hallowed journalistic standards of the MSM, far worse than the Trump bias I see here at NC because of the singular dominance of that pov .

        All in all just further confirmation that humans are hopelessly entangled inside their own background noise (take a bow Bishop Berkeley and the school of subjective idealism); objective, rational decision making is perhaps the goal but not actually a relevant factor in human affairs. As an historian one would have guessed you were well aware of that.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Funny to hear you assert “intellectually dishonest” — with no examples — and then go on to make many of the same arguments the more jaundiced among us have been making. Honest, indeed!

          It’s a big Internet. I hope you find the happiness you seek elsewhere.

          Incidentally, I’ve said over and over again that to me, the key point in this election is the emergence of an independent left entity (the Overton prism, as it were), and that this is, to me, more important than the election of either candidate, and that whoever wins, I hope they’re crippled and gridlock ensues.

          How you and Levy can construe that very consistent position as hate-filled support for Trump is really beyond me, unless I am to conclude you’ve lost your minds, along with so many members of the political class this year. So, again, honesty? Please.

          1. Anne

            I think part of the problem is that we’ve allowed ourselves to be duped into believing that if we are not for Candidate A, then that means we must be for Candidate B, when the reality is that it’s possible – especially in this election – to be for neither.

            “None of the above” IS a choice. One that isn’t “really” a vote for A or B. I don’t recall ever taking a mulitple-choice test where selecting “none of the above” was graded as “really” being a choice for A, B, or C.

            The way I see it, the chances of being able to create a viable, truly left, entity are greater the more people reject what’s on offer; it’s about making “them” come to us, not about going over to “them” in the hope that eventually, they will listen. I’ve said over and over that no one’s vote is cast with an asterisk – the vote that is cast for Clinton is just one more vote the candidate and the party-as-currently-constructed use to validate her and the party – and no amount of screaming that our votes were “really” not for her, but against anyone and everyone else will be heard in the void.

            I can’t tell you how many times I got lectured over at TalkLeft that the only way to effect change is to work within the system, and set one’s sights low, on incremental change. This is the argument that was brought to bear on the ACA, in spite of the obvious insanity that if you build something on the same broken, dysfunctional, corrupt foundation that brought the system to crisis point in the first place, the only thing you were guaranteed to get is the illusion that it was being fixed. It might look all shiny and pretty, but it is doomed to fail.

            This political system is broken. I’m at the point where I believe that even if Bernie Sanders had managed to wrest the nomination from a party that worked like dogs to keep it out of his hands, he would still be the front man for a broken party that was going to fight like hell to protect it. Would I have voted for him if he were the nominee? Of course, but I would have done so knowing that electing him probably wasn’t going to fix what is so malignant about the Democratic Party itself.

            I guess I’m just rambling now, but I suppose my point is that ending a political party “marriage” of many years isn’t pleasant, but many of us have reached the point where the differences are so irreconcilable that we need a divorce if we are ever to be able to move on. And not a friends-with-benefits kind of divorce.

          2. JTMcPhee

            I do so hope that this episode is not indicative that NC might go down the daily kos rabid hole. There was a whole etiquette there of “GBCW” dramatics “Goodbye Cruel World,” the initial angry or anguished often melodramatic statement of disaffection with the InternetofPeople trends and distortions and inevitable schisms followed by various “Don’t leave us, you are wonderfulbeautifulkind and such a great person and contribute so much” heartfelt comments and whole “diaries.” Interspersed with “DLTDHYITA,” “Don’t let the door hit you in the a$$,” which led to other rounds of GBCWs and pleas to “not leave the (evanescent avatar bit space) Community,” symbolic representations of tears of sadness, wails of loss, kind of like a church community I once observed that split on some combination of doctrine, personality, and what to do with the Building Fund.

            Lots of parsing of entrails, which the gutting of the mythology that got the political economy this far is generating more and more of — leads to little bits of understanding about what us folks have really been eating, how diseased our internal organs really are, what has ended up in the gastritic pouches where all the rotted meat extrudes from the alimentary tract on its way to the privy…

            Where’s a simple understanding (an oxymoron?) of what outcomes the political economy could be directed to, that could keep the species (presuming that is a laudable goal) and the living planet alive? Where’s the statement of general purpose, the central organizing principle, that can overcome the inherent gluttony of individuals and the “successful” small groups, and get everyone pulling on the same end of the rope?

            So sad… We coulda been a contender…

      24. cm

        Since everyone has been so polite, I’ll throw the turd in the punch bowl.

        Good riddance.

        I watched you going off the rails on Trump for some time now. A vote for Hillary is a vote for the status quo. This site was founded on the bank failures of 2008, and Hillary is obviously in the pocket of GS. Her defeat is paramount if one wishes to reign in the financial corruption.

        A vote for Trump is not only a vote against Hillary and the bankers, but also a vote for the destruction of the GOP.

        So many people say they want change, but when radical chaotic change comes along in the form of Trump all of of a sudden these same people have fainting spells.

        Four years of ineffective chaos in the Executive branch is far better than eight years of neo-liberal war-mongering collusion between all three branches of our corrupt oligarchy.

      25. ambrit

        Come on Doctor Levy. You have successfully navigated the “Paper Chase” world of Academia. How is this site any worse that what you had to suffer through to gain your present ‘exalted’ status? To comment with any regularity on the Internet today requires a thick skin. Noms des bytes are the norm on the Internets. Some of us face real problems when our “real” identities become common knowledge. (I am too little a frog in this slowly boiling pond to suffer so. Others face the loss of jobs, positions of status, and relationships were the truth about them known.)
        You have obviously internalized this years presidential contest. Your emotions are influencing your decisions. This is normal. Phyllis, my wife, will sometimes get so mad about something that she has to ‘vent’ her anger. It took me years to understand that she wasn’t angry at me personally. (I’m not the sharpest tool in this box.) Clear the air, realize that people, thank whatever deities you subscribe to, are all different, and carry on with it.
        When the dust settles, please realize that todays political conundrum is systemic in nature. The personalities are secondary influences. Our personalities should not be influences at all. This is not a perfect world, alas, and that, I suggest, is a primary fault of Meritocracy; the tendency to judge ‘things’ against “perfect” templates.
        Take a sabbatical and hope to read you again sooner or later.

        1. abynormal

          you know what makes this my favorite comment of the thread?…You have obviously internalized this years presidential contest. Your emotions are influencing your decisions. This is normal.
          Thank You. the grey area between internalization and detachment is so very slight when bewilderment and pain are widespread.
          Awareness is more than ‘half the battle’…its the gift of carry on.

          You Rock Ambrit

  3. Tommy Seiler

    I’m going to try and sell my vote on FB today, if anyone wants to watch, friend me. In a very conservative estimate, I believe it is worth $100,000 to vote for Clinton. Then I will promise to not post truths about Obama, Clinton, Rubin, Yellen, etc, and only bad stuff about trump. Since so many of my ‘friends’ seem to have forgotten how the electoral college works, my residency in California doesn’t matter.
    Simple calculation. Life expectancy has already dropped 5 years for my class. The coming depression, which by all facts show Clinton will bring on, due to her neo liberalism, asset pumping wall street politics, will shorten that at least 5 years more, if not 10. So 10 years total of lost wages at only $10K a year, good deal. I’m also not adding in the savings due to the fact, since I am 50, I will not collect SS, nor will I be able to charge Medicare for a cornea transplant, which doctor says I will need within 10 years.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Uber for Corneas!

      (Don’t mean to joke. Well, I did mean to joke, but you know what I mean. I have macular distortion, but in only one eye, fortunately, so I know something of the feeling.)

      1. Tommy Seiler

        har! ACA for corneas.is not much different than UBER…….man when I look at my co pays, and out pocket stuff now…even under Kaiser …bleak…couldn’t afford it!!!

      1. Pat

        I’m thinking that may work out better than the money that is being wasted by and on Brock, but I’m thinking the insider who designs it will end up getting the lion’s share of the money – see Uber.

      2. Roger Smith

        If there isn’t, there is an innovative start up! “The politician’s are doing it…. now you can too from the comfort of your home!”

        “Vote Swaps” “Vote Swipes?” Am I using that trading term properly?

  4. optimader

    “Coffiest is a balanced breakfast and your morning coffee, all in one convenient bottle.
    What does coffee “flavored” actually mean?

    Well anyhoo, maybe not quite as good as a cup a coffee with a poached egg and a banana, but at least it cost ~5x as much AND I’ll get to throw a plastic bottle in someone’s yard! :o)

      1. Steve C

        Reminds me of how green revolution scientists have been trying to breed rice with vitamin A. One problem is that most cultures reject brightly yellow colored rice. It has been suggested a simple, low-cost, low tech solution to the problem is to give villagers mango trees instead, but there’s always a bias towards the engineered solution.

  5. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Kaine’s comments give me some hope that despite the 4th quarter, clock running out efforts of the USTR office, the TPP won’t get a vote in this Congress.

    The lame duck session will only offer a chance to vote on TPP as-is. Other countries have stated that they have no stomach for re-opening negotiations and modifying things like ISDS.

    Also another problem for the Obama administration is the USTR staff are already starting to think about their post-Obama careers. I read in politico that one staffer already left. As we get deeper into the fall, that trend will get stronger. Anyone have any insight into when an outgoing administration goes full “lame duck mode?”

      1. ChrisFromGeorgia

        Though this is good news, we should keep up the pressure on US House members. Here is the relevant blurb from yesterday’s “Morning Trade” column:

        THE GREAT USTR MIGRATION: In what will likely be a continuing theme over the next few months, USTR Senior Policy Adviser David Roth said he is moving on from the agency next week to work on global trade and investment issues for Amazon, according to a farewell email obtained by POLITICO

        Let’s hope some more migrating rats^H^H^H^Hbirds fly south. And doesn’t this illustrate the whole revolving door problem quite nicely? Amazon, hmmm … aren’t they lobbying for the TPP passage?

    1. DanB

      So the rhetorical question for the Obama admin and Repubs who support this is, “How could this agreement be good for labor and the environment if it is only now that you have acknowledge these obvious power imbalances?”

  6. Hana M

    “But to me, it’s the class nature of the panic that’s more interesting than its trigger: Apparently, somewhere in the depths of the hive mind of the dominant faction of the political class, the thought leaders think somebody’s coming to kill them and take their stuff. And they have good reason to fear blowback…” Interesting point, Lambert. I saw a video recently of Clinton freezing as protesters (from PETA, I think) shouted at her. The fear and consternation that flickered across her face was an emotion I’ve never seen there before and was absolutely genuine. She’s usually so controlled that she seems robotic but something about that moment cut through her guard.

    1. different clue

      Hana M,

      Is there a link to that video so that we may observe the facial expression in question?

  7. paul

    I hope they follow up with Chicken Little:

    Chicken Little, a huge mass of cultured chicken breast, was kept alive by algae skimmed by nearly-slave labor from multistory towers of ponds surrounded by mirrors to focus the sunlight onto the ponds.

    Scum-skimming wasn’t hard to learn. You got up at dawn. You gulped a breakfast sliced not long ago from Chicken Little and washed it down with Coffiest. You put on your coveralls and took the cargo net up to your tier. In blazing noon from sunrise to sunset you walked your acres of shallow tanks crusted with algae. If you walked slowly, every thirty seconds or so you spotted a patch at maturity, bursting with yummy carbohydrates. You skimmed the patch with your skimmer and slung it down the well, where it would be baled, or processed into glucose to feed Chicken Little, who would be sliced and packed to feed people from Baffinland to Little America.

  8. polecat

    a correction re. the photo image of the dogwood above……..

    Dogwoods (Cornus sp.) are trees or shrubs….depending on species and/or immediate surroundings…..

    they are NOT perennial plants in the technical sense……


    1. abynormal

      being a Georgian, that one caught me too. let’s let it slide…i don’t know how Lambert pulls this daily watercooler off but i kinda fear ANYTHING in his grey-matter going PoP.

      1. Lee

        What the Wiki says:

        “A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years.[1] The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter-lived annuals and biennials. The term is also widely used to distinguish plants with little or no woody growth from trees and shrubs, which are also technically perennials.”

      2. polecat

        We horticulturalists can be a picky lot, I must admit …. don’t take offence Lambert,…. ok?

      3. abynormal

        ok technically Lambert is correct…

        Trees and shrubs live for more than two years. Are they perennials?

        Technically speaking, trees and shrubs are perennial plants — they grow for more than two years. But horticulturists usually categorize perennial plants into two types: woody plants and herbaceous perennials. Woody plants are trees, shrubs, and vines whose above-ground parts persist over the winter, and resume growth in the spring.

        sorry Lambert, i’m here to learn (shoulda known)

    2. different clue

      I sort of think perennial should apply to trees and shrubs and all plants that live for several to many years, in a strict definitional sense.
      It may be thought otherwise because what are officially called “non-woody perennials” are sometimes short-named “perennials”.
      And the folk-use of “perennials” often does not extend to perennial grasses and bamboos, even though they too are perennial.

  9. John Candlish

    JavaScript sucks because integers. Fundamentally. WebAssembly doubles down on the brokeness. WCGW?

    1. hunkerdown

      Because no integers, you mean? Yeah, that sucks. But most of the rest of the awfulness is strictly due to the W3C and their numerous commercial members.

      But this self-described “JavaScript clickbait writer” did just what it says on the tin: an apple with 291 ingredients sounds thin. He must never have tended a compost pile or orchard. Or typed “npm dedupe”. Next, I suppose we’ll be complaining about all the screws used to hold things together instead of hot glue, baling wire and moulded latch features on cast unibodies. Better goat-getters, please, Lambert. :)

      Adding: Hot Pockets. Oh dear. Fortunately, there are mostly API-compatible clones of Express that drop-in in most use cases (restify is one), same as there are different vendors of standard screws and screwdrivers.

      1. hunkerdown

        Adding: Babel.js has been fixed.

        So, thanks for posting this, Lambert. Although I disagree with his uninformed sciencey rhetoric — and don’t even get me started on the bill of materials for a car; 291 won’t even get you a steering column — he’s definitely conveyed a decent moral.

  10. efschumacher

    “IT is totally crapified. Just because it’s JavaScript doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck!”

    Javascript has the interesting property that there is a core of features that are technically sweet, and a larger assemblage of operables that are utterly crufty. So you can write complementary Javascript scripts that are one technically sweet, and another sucks big donkeydicks. Any source view of a typical set of web pages shows a great deal of the latter. It could be argued to be ‘obfuscation’ though.

    1. temporal

      JavaScript almost became an Object Oriented language with 2.0 (pretty much ActionScript without the flash player woes) but Yahoo and Microsoft led the attack that shot it down. Instead fear of change won the day. Mostly because a lot of the hacks current at the time would have required supporting two run-times or getting rid of support for the hacks.

      There is some seriously ugly JavaScript out there, obfuscated one might say, to the max because 2008 was the point that JavaScript stood still. Of course obfuscating can be done in any language with the right mindset.

    2. inode_buddha

      I remember when we could render a web page without having to compile it first. The web was far more usable back then, and we still did all the common activities that we do today.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I strongly dislike running code on my machine somebody pushes at me through my browser — just so I can look at their web pages! I lose patience with the web-programming devoted to doing stupid browser tricks using up my very limited bandwidth and providing nothing of value to me. I hate the flashing and video eye candy which makes some web pages painful to read. The recent updates to many web pages no longer display in my older browser. I don’t want to buy a new computer or update my systems software to accommodate more and more stupid browser tricks. [I strongly dislike the user interfaces on the newer systems and the lack of support for my older peripherals — peripherals which continue to serve me quite well on my old system.]

      I believe the people writing web code have lost sight of the purpose their web pages are intended to serve. They’ve become so fascinated with the latest tricks and fashions they fail miserably at making web pages which will load properly on most/all machines and browsers, to provide the written, pictorial or documentary information which attracts users, fail to facilitate secure sales of products and — though it’s something I dislike but tolerate to a point — fail to secure income for a site by providing a media for advertising. If a site fails to load, or loads too slowly, or crawls and jumps because of its excesses or irritates the hell out of me with all its noise — ALL the intended purposes for a web page fail. I close the window and go elsewhere — or all too often I kill the browser process and open a new browser.

      Worse than defeating the intent for a website the toys and tricks provide new and evolving avenues for proliferating zerodays. This helps undermine the net.

  11. allan

    Deleted Clinton emails might remain secret until after election [The Hill]

    None of Hillary Clinton’s work-related emails discovered by the FBI after being deleted from her private server have been released, raising questions about whether any will be seen in public before Election Day.

    The FBI says it found “several thousand” work-related emails Clinton deleted, but the State Department has not committed to a schedule for their release, and it will be up to a federal judge to determine when they could be made public.

    November 31?

    [I, too, am appalled by DJT. But the enemy of one’s enemy is not one’s friend and should not be spared from justified criticism.]

    1. Benedict@Large

      Wait a minute !!!! >:( The other side of the e-mail story is still missing. Right now what we’ve got is Clinton strong-arming the super-rich for charitable donations. That’s Robin Hood, for Cripes sakes!!!! She’s the hero of the little people of Sherwood Forrest. NO !!!!

      Why did she do this? Why would she risk her Presidency to grab some cash for the disadvantaged? Sorry, I’m not buying it. She (and Bill) were either buying political power (including the Presidency) with the loot, or stuffing it into their pockets, or both.

      And remember, because this is critical. If she could buy a couple of hundred million as Secretary of State, what can she buy with the Presidency? No wonder dead bodies are starting to pop up again. And she can even write her, Bill, and Chelsea out some nice pardons when she’s done.

  12. Kim Kaufman

    Behind the Booing: A Sanders Delegate Reflects on the DNC Protests

    Wednesday, 10 August 2016 Lauren Steiner, Truthout | Op-Ed

    A really good article. [full disclosure: She’s a friend. And I totally admire all the good and really hard work she’s done on this for over a year]

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      That is good; here’s the link. And it’s so interesting to see a Sanders delegate intervening with an Occupy-style mic check.

      Also confirms my priors on Sanders voters knowing how to organize and how to be organized (both are important!)

      1. crittermom

        GREAT article. Thank you, Kim Kaufman, and thank you, Lambert for providing the link.

        I had hoped Lauren would mention the “HILLARY” signs that were changed to “LIAR”.
        I found that very clever and smiled each time I saw one in a photo or video.

  13. jgordon

    But to me, it’s the class nature of the panic that’s more interesting than its trigger: Apparently, somewhere in the depths of the hive mind of the dominant faction of the political class, the thought leaders think somebody’s coming to kill them and take their stuff. And they have good reason to fear blowback

    It looks like you’ve started to touch on why pro-gub people are so adamant. You may be personally quite honest and good-intentioned with your desire to impose commonsense restrictions on the use of guns. Unfortunately the pro-gun crowd has long ago perceived that the agenda of the gun control elites is to ban all guns period in order to better keep their feet on the face of humanity in perpetuity. Therefore any commonsense proposal to make guns safer transforms into a slippery slope step towards total confiscation.

    Well you mat agree or disagree with that. I just thought it was interesting that you were feeling around the edges if similar ideas yourself.

      1. jgordon

        Hmm right. I see your point. Since the government has taken liberties to wantonly disregard the Fourth Amendment with no consequences, urinating all over the Second Amendment as well should pose no great challenge.

        I will say however that in my first day of Ethics 101 I learned that two wrongs don’t make a right, so purely from that standpoint I’ll respectfully disagree with your logic. Just because some illegal encroachments of our civil liberties have not been resisted, doesn’t mean that none should be resisted.

        1. fresno dan

          August 10, 2016 at 3:32 pm

          Even though we disagree about guns, (I am somewhat for gun control, although I always worry about the ever expanding number of controls put upon people by government, and if government won’t regulate banks for the good of the people, if I am honest, why should I believe they will regulate guns any better?) I found this argument rather interesting.


          “This brings me to what guns do for people. Of course they do various things. They are beautifully made objects that also, as the liberal gun-lover, Dan Baum, puts it, like sky-diving give off “a little contact high from the Grim Reaper”. But they also make people feel more powerful and thus, indirectly, more in possession of their political rights as citizens: less willing to put up with being over-managed and under-respected by the state.”
          Gun control advocates cannot win this political debate by trying to mobilise their own supporters with moral indignation and sideline the opposition, such as by claiming that supporting gun rights is a symptom of mental illness and hence illegitimate. This is not a fringe movement that can be shouted down or voted down, but a constituency that must be substantially won over for a political shift of this magnitude. Gun rights activists talk constantly about their political philosophy. Persuading them means taking their ideas seriously and convincing them of the value of gun control in their own terms.

          I see two (complementary) paths for achieving this.

          The first is for gun control advocates to engage directly with the political philosophy debate, which they haven’t really done up to now. They should articulate and defend their own vision of political society and citizenship, which at present seems rather woolly. They should explain why the progressive state is not a Hobbesian tyranny but properly liberal and a better defender of universal rights and justice than America’s version of Locke.

          So I think to a small degree article explains where people are coming from a little bit better.

          1. Code Name D

            Polling consistently shows that the gun control side has already “won” the debate, and has for some time. More evidence can be show with voting records where pro-gun control candidate general outperform so called “2nd amendment defenders” as well as how pro-2nd amendment legislation is introduced and passed – being kept as far away from the ballot box as possible, in order to frustrate any sort of voting trend to be registered.

            No. “The Debate” is between the people, and those who have money and power, the “establishment” who need the NRA’s money as well as donations from weapons manufactures, the prison complex, and other moneyed interests.

            That is not to say I disagree with your philosophical engagement. Not only is this a good idea, but would agree that its necessary.

            With that said, the left has been trying to do precisely that for some time. However, the NRA uses judicial warfare to basicly sue out of existence any institution that would dare engage in any such research or advocacy. Government funded research is also increasingly frustrated through new rules that choke off FBI data collection or starving funds for other “anti-gun” research. Initiatives that Democrats all to often support (Usually in the name of bipartisanship of budge cuts.)

            The Democrats claim to be in favor of “reasonable gun control” but only when pressed by the base. But in practice, they never back even basic efforts to hold the line on the issue.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s like the traffic cop who said, “Just because I went easy on you the last time you didn’t come to a full stop at the stop sign, that doesn’t mean you can keep doing that. Here is the $300 ticket. Have a nice day at comedy-traffic school”

    1. low integer

      My objection to guns is the destruction they cause to young people’s lives in poor neighborhoods. When I think back through my life, if guns were prevalent in Australia I’m pretty sure I’d have less friends still alive and more friends in jail. That’s my angle, yet I understand there are legitimate reasons for owning/using a gun. It would be nice if they weren’t used on people though. In any case, now that I’ve made my case from a personal rather than theoretical standpoint, I think I’ll stay out of the gun discussions from now on.

      1. jgordon

        Well all right. That’s a cultural thing. Among people I know ownership is common, and parents teach their kids to shoot and handle guns safely. A gun is no big deal, and no more dangerous that a chainsaw in my cultural setting.

        I think the major problem here is a certain set of people trying to graft their cultural values onto a different to a different set and then being confused and obstinate about it when the results aren’t what they hoped for.

        1. low integer

          That’s fair imo. When it comes down to it, “one size fits all” solutions are usually subpar for everyone, no matter what the issue.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Don’t forget kitchen knives.

          The Mongols decreed that there were to be only one kitchen knife for every 8 (I think it might have been 10 or 12) Han Chinese families.

          Personally, I think this just made those Han Chinese better at handling knives (cutting, stabbing, slashing, etc).

          Who knows, it might have back fired when they were finally kicked out along with their Arab tax collectors (and their Blue and White porcelain collections)…

  14. OIFVet

    Re Garrison Keillor and liberal hate speech. I sure would like him to elaborate on how history classes help one deal with his job getting shipped off thanks to a Clinton to some third world hovel. Try as I might, it is becoming increasingly hard to keep myself from succumbing to hate toward bloviating two faced hypocrites of the liberal persuasion…

      1. OIFVet

        Indeed. Many masks have fallen, friendships frayed or destroyed outright, respect lost for some who had been deemed worthy of it. It is rather sad. You know what Lambert, I used your wonderful coverage of 0Care to explain to my liberal friends why I was so vehemently opposed to it. They viewed me with benign contempt for “being dense.” Now that the predictions that you and others have made are coming true, now that my mother lost her 0Care coverage because her insurer pulled out, this benign contempt has turned into hate in some cases. As if I designed the shitty law, rather than Saint 0bama. They are taking it personally that I had the temerity to point out the shittyness of the product. So rather then admit that I (thanks to you and others) was right, they simply hate me for being right. That my mom is without coverage now, well, they don’t care. Add my refusal to vote for Clinton (whom many of them hated in 2008) and the fact that I am “cutting and running” back to the old country, and it has become a perfect storm of liberal hate fest and excommunication toward me and my family. Yes, a wonderfully clarifying election, indeed. And eff being sad, it is rather liberating to be shed of false friendships.

        1. Pat

          Too often humans, of which I include myself, want to “kill the messenger” in order to continue to deny that we have been conned. If you, and Lambert and Jane Hamsher and Firedoglake and…were right about ACA, you are likely to be right about Obama and…

          Leave a small window or door open, most people do eventually get past that. There may never be an adequate apology, but there can be common ground.

          And I’m beyond sad that your mother has gotten caught in the destructive cycle of crapification that is ACA.

          1. cwaltz

            FDL was anti single payer. I liked Jane and her site but like many liberal sites they shut single payer activists out of the conversation.

            It did bite them in the butt though because of starting the dialogue from the left they started from the middle, a public option, and that was bargained down and traded for the right wing solution of subsidies for private companies.

            I sure do wish the left would disperse their circular firing squad, embrace their left flank and leave the hippie punching to the right(which by the way , for years now has consisted Republicans AND Democrats.)

            1. Pat

              I’m not saying that Hamsher was perfect, but Jane and her site was one of the first places I saw pointing out all the kabuki going on with ACA. By the time I got there, Baucus had already had Single Payer advocates thrown out so I didn’t realize they started from the middle as well. But even that early they were pretty clear that the public option was the bait in the bait and switch, and made a compelling and accurate case for it. Which as it happens turned out to be dead on. And it continued from there.

              I was largely thinking about her get savaged because of her stand that if working with the enemy meant that Grand Bargains didn’t passed, you made allegiances with the devil. And any Democrat who thinks that the reason we don’t have Social Security hampered with reforms boondoggles like chained CPI is because of Democrats wasn’t paying attention. They were ready to fall in line like good little pawns. We needed the enemy in that fight. And it was where I learned to love the gridlock Lambert so desires for the coming Congress.

    1. Carolinian

      Keillor has been regularly slamming DT in recent columns in the WaPo. A friend says Trump must remind GK of all the jocks who picked on him in high school. Now that Keillor has himself brought high school into the argument that sounds like a good guess.

      Some of us once loved his show but he’s the king of a very small kingdom and has confessed that he is in the business of telling “comforting lies.” I suspect one reason celebrities don’t know much about the dark side of HRC is that they get all their information from the NYT.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I suspect that if the 90s Keillor appeared in Keillor’s 70s Lake Wobegon, he too would become an object of satire.

        “The king of a very small kingdom” is exactly right, and I loved his show back in the day too.

        Bud: “Ask a question and you get an answer.”

      2. Stephanie

        Yeah… there’s a class element to it too. Read “Who Do You Think You Are?” about his Anoka County chdhood, from the We Are Still Married anthology, and there is a solid bitterness there, for all that It’s-Funny-Because-It’s-True. I grew up in the same area, although many decades later; our high schools were in the same athletic conference and were cut very much from the same cloth. A few years ago I mentioned the name of my hometown to a co-worker from the southwest suburbs, someone who was doing a weekend college program to finish up her degree now that the kids were in school, and her very un-self conscious reaction was to say, “Really? I never would have guessed. That’s such a white-trash town.”

        It’s the part of the state that gave the world Michelle Bachmann and there’s always been a religious, and religiously based, anti-intellectualism there. For all that Keillor’s made a career out of nostalgia for small-town Midwesternism, the kid in him identified with Sinclair Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and at 74 I think there’s a part of him who still hates the jello salads and the fishing openers and the Wisconsin Synod Lutheranism for being tacky and narrow-minded. I guess that makes him the archetypal Dem.

    2. MojaveWolf

      I’m not even trying not to hate them.They deserve hatred. It’s not something I really think about (just like I don’t think about them) except when something calls some bit of awfulness to my attention, at which point I feel a surging wave of fury and outrage, but yeah, when I pay attention to them, I pretty much hate them and hold them in contempt at the same time. I have no problems with this whatsoever. Obla di obla da!

  15. Steve C

    Regarding today’s plant. A kousa dogwood, native of Asia. I wish people wouldn’t give up on the native eastern dogwood, which despite anthracnose susceptibility still thrives. Some resistant varieties exist. Eastern dogwood blooms before leafing out, unlike the Asian dogwood.

  16. Steve H.

    – “Gathering honey from a weed… ”

    Well, that directly rang a bell from my childhood, which search and Snopes brought to a recollection of source, one John Keel, in his book Jadoo (on my 8-yrs old shelf with “Abominable Snowmen). I particularly remember two things, one was Mothman which seemed a bit shaky to me. But the other was a tour of India, uncorking secrets which I later came to recognize were the miracles of Jesus, which gave me a credible view on what he did in his twenties.

    Anyway, Snopes gives an account of an 1893 source, which is the story that framed my view of the eternality of the golden dew:

    “Abd el-Latif relates that an Egyptian worthy of belief told him that once when he and several others were occupied in exploring the graves and seeking for treasure near the Pyramids, they came across a sealed jar, and having opened it and found that it contained honey, they began to eat it. Some one in the party remarked that a hair in the honey turned round one of the fingers of the man who was dipping his bread in it, and as they drew it out the body of a small child appeared with all its limbs complete and in a good state of preservation; it was well dressed, and had upon it numerous ornaments.”

  17. Kim Kaufman

    Unsourced but interesting if true…

    Can Khizr Khan be Trusted it appears NO!


    “”We have gotten info from a friend inside the DNC that Mr. Khan was paid $25,000 to give a speech that he did not write, the speech was written by two people who work for the Clinton Campaign, also the copy of the constitution he showed was bought just hours before by a female Clinton staffer. Now this all seems bad but it gets worse.”

      1. low integer

        Adding: it seems like the DNC just sinks deeper and deeper into the muck and mire every single day. This whole idea that they can create their favored version of “reality” out of thin air by lying and intimidating and throwing cash and favors around like they are going out of style is about to come back and bite them on the ass bigtime imo. They should all be in prison for life with no parole.

    1. Carolinian

      That would be a dynamite story if true but looking at your link there appears to be no corroboration other than “info from a friend.” Presumably the back taxes charge could be substantiated but a very quick Google yields nothing. Do you have better links?

      Worth mentioning that the Clinton camp claims Roger Stone is running an operation on Khan.

    2. Patricia

      We are at a point where lies are as believable as the truth and telling truths about lies sound as bizarre as the lies themselves.

      Most everything is not as it seems, but worse, yet I’m fairly certain that this story is BS.

      1. Carolinian

        Sounds like bs, unless proven otherwise.

        And for those on the fainting couch over the current nastiness a look back at 1992. Not only did Bush Sr. redbait Bill Clinton during that campaign–with some success–but then Hillary did the same thing to Obama less successfully in 2008. Perhaps the DC set are bringing back the Red Menace so they can have something to accuse their opponents of during their campaigns.


        George H.W. Bush was a piece of work. Trump seems nice by comparison.

        And this is interesting…some Alexander Hamilton history with current craziness worked in.

        I might as well note here, that I do not see Donald Trump as Hitler. He’s a carny barker—the Wizard of Oz was a displaced carny barker, by the way—whose grift runs counter to current elite priorities. So he’s the target of the full measure of exaggerated spittle in defense of globalized economic and security policies that support the economic interests of the elite, and attacks exhibiting a thoroughgoing disdain for non-expert/non-elite rule. Remarkable to me, at least, because following the wisdom of elites has been a barely contained disaster for the last two decades…and apparently nobody wants to talk about that.

        Meanwhile, “people of color” are replacing whites as the political parties’ and elites’ ostensible raison d’etre i.e. representing “the nation” whose elevated aspirations and virtuous interests they profess to embody and advance. And, more to the point, elites co-opt the leaders and secure the votes of the POC community, thereby weakening the “mob” and strengthening the “snob”.

        A lot of that “exaggerated spittle” going around.


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      All I remember is Hippies didn’t trust the government (at least one that was sending draftees to Vietnam).

      But I think all Hippies get punched, trusting or not.

    1. Pavel

      Those Clintons sure live in a small world, don’t they?

      That Marc Rich affair alone should be enough to exclude them from further political office. That was really sleazy.

      1. Jim Haygood

        With the Clinton Foundation, it’s as if 10,000 Marc Riches bloomed.

        The trial run worked so well, they took it global!

  18. JimTan

    Regarding you US Postal Service revenue post, it looks like they are subsidizing Amazon’s retail ecommerce business.

    Amazon has a “Negotiated Service Agreement” with the USPS that gives them below market delivery rates, weekend package delivery ( for Amazon packages only ), same-day package delivery ( for Amazon packages only ), grocery delivery ( for Amazon packages only ), and Amazon packages have priority over all other deliveries. In addition, the USPS created a new classification of low wage, non-career Employee specifically designed to meet the Price Objectives of their NSA with Amazon. The USPS City Carrier Assistant ( CCA ) is a new postal worker position based on the existing Transitional Employees ( TE ) position, which had few Labor protections and benefits, that is Reclassified to do the same work for 31% less pay. Amazon negotiated its NSA Agreement in 2013 within Months of the USPS National Agreement Labor Contract which included Low Wage CCA’s:


    The USPS refuses to disclose the exact pricing terms of this deal, although an extensively redacted copy of the document is available online:


    Amazon’s recent profitability has been driven by Amazon Prime which generates about $3.8 Billion in Annual Membership Revenue. Amazon Prime is Profitable when the cost of its member benefits ( Free 2-Day Shipping ) do not exceed $99 per subscriber annually (the cost of Amazon Prime membership). Their exclusive below market deal with the taxpayer funded USPS (taxpayers built the Postal Services infrastructure) is helping with this.

    1. notabanker

      Just the first step in privatization. Run the service into the ground so there is something to “fix”. I’m sure Bezos will be happy to ride in on his white horse and save the day for all of us.

  19. dk

    I’m pretty sure the Javascript article is prank, or satire, or at least a lot of it is. The point he’s making is certainly valid: people should look under the hood. Looking under the hood of this article, it’s pretty much pure prank. But don’t take my word for it!

    But, there is (now) a Guy Fieri plugin for babel: https://www.npmjs.com/package/babel-preset-guy-fieri

    So is IT crapified? Depends on who’s doing your IT! As far as it goes, I’m much more concerned about flaws in hardware, which are a lot harder to find and fix than flaws in software (well, OSS anyway).

  20. diptherio

    Co-ops getting their own sub-head? Alriiiiiiight!

    One of the issues that came up at the Worker Co-op National Conference in Austin a couple weekends ago was retirement plans for worker-owners. Right now USFWC is working on creating a joint 401(k) plan, which I expressed scepticism about for what are probably obvious reasons to readers of this site. On the other hand, we have cooperative finance groups like Shared Capital and The Working World that need more capital to provide to new and growing co-ops and to finance co-op conversions as a succession strategy. The obvious thing would be to funnel the cooperators’ retirement savings into the cooperative financers, rather than handing it off to Wall Street. Anyone who might be interested in helping set up such a structure, let me know.

  21. Kim Kaufman

    Liberal Antiwar Activism is the Problem


    “Unfortunately, 2008 was the last time a significant number of antiwar activists protested Obama’s foreign policy. Yes, a small number of Americans made a fuss when Obama first threatened to bomb Syria, but those protests were driven by partisan and sectarian interests (the first and only time I saw Republicans and Communists working together). Furthermore, those protests weren’t sustained in any meaningful fashion, so the energy quickly dissipated. As everyone now knows, Obama eventually launched military strikes in Syria and the U.S. continues to bomb the country today.

    The millions of liberals who enthusiastically marched against the Bush/Cheney regime have remained utterly silent during Obama’s reign in the White House. And they should be ashamed.”

    1. armchair

      ‘Liberal Antiwar Activism,’ is now an oxymoron. A liberal is someone who promotes the interests of the MIC, and roots for wars to get started. There is no shame in war, for today’s liberal.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They should be ashamed….

      That shame is to be shared.

      Only one or two candidates in the primary phase this year made war/drones/Iraq and that region/potential confrontation with Russia an issue.

    3. different clue

      The suggested air strikes which got stopped were intended aGAINST Assad to overthrow the Assad government and bring the cannibal jihadi livereating headchoppers to power.

      The air strikes we are now conducting are against ISIS, which is itself one of the cannibal jihadi livereating headchopper groups. We have been conducting a few airstrikes against ISIS so that Russia can conduct serious air strikes against the other cannibal jihadi headchopper groups. I see nothing wrong with air strikes IF! they are sincerely meant and have the sincere effect of exterminating the jihadi rebellion from existence throughout all of Syria.

      If Hillary is elected, the DC FedRegime will go back to supporting the cannibal jihadi livereaters, and Hillary will seek airstrikes designed to bring the jihadi cannibal headchopping livereaters into power over all of Syria. I would totally oppose Hillary’s future-wanna airstrikes aGAINST Assad just as I totally opposed the past threat of air strikes aGAINST Assad.

  22. Pat

    Bad newspaper business propaganda and how it spreads.

    Here is a report on the Washington Post ‘highlighting’ a study of Seattle’s minimum wage law. Now please note it is not as if the current owner of the Post might not have an interest in minimum wage laws in general and in Seattle specifically, no not at all.


    Please note that when it starts talking about the bad news information in said report it doesn’t quote the report, it quotes the Post saying something about the report.

    I have no idea if this was a real report or not, if this was really what the report or said or not. All I know is that apparently this report confirmed everything bad that people who didn’t want minimum wage increases warned would happen.

    Funny how that works. And how I’m immediately doubtful.

    1. grizziz

      ESTABLISHMENTS THROUGH 2015 report (PDF):In sum, Seattle’s experience shows that the City’s low-wage workers did relatively well after the
      minimum wage increased, but largely because of the strong regional economy. Seattle’s low
      wage workers would have experienced almost equally positive trends if the minimum wage had
      not increased. Although the minimum wage clearly increased wages for this group, offsetting
      effects on low-wage worker hours and employment muted the impact on labor earnings.

      1. Pat

        Thank you for this.

        But let me get this straight, the researchers concluded that employers cut hours to cut costs in the strong regional economy merely to offset the new wages. Not because they no longer needed those working hours. And employees could have worked longer hours to make the same or slightly more money if they were paid less.

        I’m not saying they are not correct, but I do see somewhat of a disconnect there.

  23. abynormal

    that fear n greed index has been gaping down hard…78?
    something is in the mix somewhere…hopefully a preemie-black swan
    just because the US can sweat a pause for a leader doesn’t mean the rest of the world can…

  24. Bugs Bunny

    For what it’s worth I voted against Ryan. How he can leave is a question of political revolution.

    1. different clue

      Clinton supports the Global Axis of Jihad.

      Whereas Putin supports the Coalition Of Lawful Authority (COLA). And remember, things go better with COLA.

  25. Gareth

    Team Clinton is running a new add on CNN (Clinton News Network) in which she is endorsed by the face of evil himself, Charles Krauthammer. My god but he is one ugly SOB. The horror!

    1. Jim Haygood

      As recently as last year, I would have taken your post to be sarcasm.

      But one gathers you are not joking.

      *covers mouth to gag briefly*

      When it comes to groveling to the Lobby, the HRC campaign cues up the old Carpenters standard, “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

      p.s. Monday, Krauthammer said on TV about Hillary, “There are so many lies now, that she lies about her lying.” What did they do, pay him to come around?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s not smart to pick up every endorsement, just as it’s not smart to put every investment vehicle in your portfolio.

        For example, you don’t want massively lethal weapons like derivatives in it.

        So, more is not better.

  26. Vatch

    The Bezzle: “Your ‘Smart’ Thermostat Is Now Vulnerable To Ransomware”

    I have a semi-smart thermostat. It’s only smart when I remember to make it smart. In furnace weather, I turn the setting down a few degrees before I leave home for more than an hour or so, and in air conditioner weather, I turn the setting up a few degrees before leaving home.

  27. estama

    The “I Peeked Into My Node_Modules Directory And You Won’t Believe What Happened Next” article is a joke. Nevertheless, the excessive bloat from dependencies is a problem in javascript development. The article uses this problem to create comedic effect very well.

  28. Optimader

    G K should write suspense novels. He kept me at the edge of my seat onwhich bloated megalomaniac he was describing til the second to last word!
    HRC is many things, but a gentleman she isn’t. Maybe the tell was saying blame and not kill??

    And so a large contingent of people who sat way in back in high school history class and now need to blame foreigners for their lack of progress in the world have nominated a bloated megalomaniac for president, running on a platform of contempt and fantasy. It seems to make them happy, judging from the crowds who attend the gentleman’s performances.

  29. allan

    Boeing admits ‘softness’ in widebody orders, weighs further 777 slowdown [Seattle Times]

    Citing “softness” in the widebody jet market, Boeing chief financial officer Greg Smith said Wednesday that the airplane manufacturer will decide in the next couple months whether to further cut back planned production of its large 777 jet.

    Smith indicated that the dearth of widebody jet sales may also mean Boeing won’t raise output of the 787 Dreamliner as high as planned. …

    Boeing has said it needs to sell 40 to 60 jets per year to fill all the open 777 delivery slots at the between now and the end of the decade.

    So far this year, it has booked just eight net new orders. …

    While the 787 sold at record levels prior to entering service, sales slowed dramatically afterwards.

    In the first five years of sales, Boeing sold 700 Dreamliners. In the five and a half years since, it has sold 400 more.

    So far this year, Boeing has added just 19 net new orders for the jet. …

    File under Stats Watch, You Can’t Make It Up On Volume If There Is No Volume Edition.

  30. abynormal

    Negroponte endorses Hillary…as a Global Citizen, i will never vote for another pillaging torturous rapist…the very very least i can do.

    We negotiated with the Honduran government the establishment of a regional military training center (Kubark), for training central American forces, but the primary motivation for doing that was to be able to bolster the quality, improve the quality of the El Salvadoran fighting forces. Negroponte

  31. kimsarah

    Re: “New Emails Appear to Show Clinton Foundation Donors Called In Favors to State Dept”
    That’s so in the past now. Let’s look forward.

  32. Daryl

    > Just because it’s JavaScript doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck!

    Node is actually a complete and total nightmare from top to bottom. There is for example no reasonable way to recover from an exception; the only thing to do is terminate and restart the process. And it’s increasingly popular. Sleep tight.

    1. hunkerdown

      Daryl, Go has no exceptions. Instead, the designers pervasively return status codes along with any result from any operation that might fail. Rob Pike, designer of Go (and UTF-8, and the Plan 9 OS), is no twentysomething lightweight laboring under the second-system effect.

      Less extremely, Node.js (and, similarly, Rust) encourage that operational errors (broken connections, files not found, corrupt data) be handled within the module and passed along to consumers in-band, as part of a calling or returning convention or by (Node.js) events. On the other hand, by Node.js cultural norms, thrown exceptions are reserved for programmer errors (accessing properties of undefined; array indices out of range; methods invoked in disallowed sequence), which should fail fast and hard to protect data from compounding errors, and which therefore is sent synchronously out-of-band up the management call chain until someone wants to deal with it (or shut the whole firm down).

      Try/catch doesn’t help much when calling asynchronous code. Constructs like Promises and the pervasive (error, result…) convention do.

  33. Jay M

    from A Short History of the Future dedicated to Divi Doni

    The Crapification of Everything

    There was already a thriving cottage industry proving that Clinton 2 was the first holographic president. Strange video clips of her hand seeming to go through matter were treasured by the acolytes.
    When the Bane Enemy of the Clintons, Herr Putin, unleashed Stuxnet.iot (internet of things) all hell broke lose. The virus targeted air conditioning, refrigeration, hard drives on Windows 10 machines and other internet connected devices. Devices with motors spun wildly and burned out or were crashed onto the platter.
    Since this was launched mid-summer, lack of air conditioning was incapacitating with record high ambient temperatures. The loss of refrigeration led to a massive barbeque response that resulted in massive outbreaks of food poisoning. The breakdown of the sanitary system due to over capacity calls led to crap everywhere.
    Trump steamed in to NY harbor on a Russian nuclear submarine and took over.
    Stock market hit record highs.

  34. Donald

    Still no NYT coverage of Morell’s recommendation to kill Russians in Syria. He is important enough to get space to endorse her, but not important enough to get any coverage when he makes a crazy recommendation.

  35. Baby Gerald

    Meant to post this here, instead accidentally added it at the bottom of August 8’s comments (after scanning the last three days to see if this had been mentioned already by someone else). Sorry for the resulting double-post.


    In summary, my journalistic hero Glenn Greenwald calls out the neo-McCarthyist red-baiting used by the Clintonistas in the run up to this election in November for exactly what it is, while also exposing just how much Russia has gained from deals negotiated by our presumptive heir to the throne and her husband over the past two decades.

  36. ian

    “So a deal is only as good as it can be enforced and there is a huge and fatal flaw in this deal in terms of the environment and for that reason I cannot vote for it’” [KERA]. ”

    So the fatal flaw of a bad deal is that it is unenforceable?

    Years ago, I was handed an employment contract that was onerous in the extreme. One of the others being hired protested and it got watered down. I told a family member about (an attorney) and she thought the guy who protested was an idiot, saying that the first draft was completely unenforceable and would have been laughed out of any courtroom.

    1. pretzelattack

      typical of the guardian. the nyt had a lie on the front page about the russians hacking 100 dnc members, or democratic party officials. the only evidence was “unnamed officials”. typical of the whole damned msm.

  37. Ché Pasa

    Pathological hatred for all things Clinton and the “Democrat” Party has long been a New Media trope. One cannot be successful in one of the factions of the field without it. Thus, as often as not, expressions of pathological hatred for all things Clinton and the “Democrat” Party is a business decision rather than a political one.

    Unfortunately for Levy and others, it comes across as support for a pathological billionaire and the Republican Party, or at least an excuse for supporting him and/or them rather than what Lambert and others say it is: a push-back on a unified MSM propaganda message on behalf of Clinton (not so much the Democrats, but that’s another issue).

    I’ve never thought that either Yves or Lambert supported Trump. The idea that they would is absurd. But often, too often, their contempt and hatred for all things Clinton and the “Democrat” Party is allowed to vastly overshadow any comparable criticism of Trump and the Republicans. It is sometimes so out of balance that it appears this site has become a Trump partisan site, high stepping and drum beating on behalf of the pathological billionaire and a radical reactionary political party.

    True enough, both of these major party candidates are appalling each in their own way. Neither gives a fig about the rabble, nor do their parties, and the election of either one is guaranteed to produce further exploitation and misery for many. Make no mistake, bloodlust, death and destruction are their basic principles of rule.

    Clinton’s rule would be horrifying. So would Trump’s. Neither would necessarily be worse than the other, but neither would be good for you, me, and other living things.

    That’s where our politics has descended.

    Whether you agree with Levy or not, his insight is valid. His response to it, maybe not so much, for there’s plenty of room for pushing back on what appears to be Trump-love here. Levy is one of the best at doing so.

    On the other hand, it can be exhausting and appear to be futile…

    1. pretzelattack

      true, they don’t criticise trump for initiating wars. they don’t criticise him for voting for the iraq war. they don’t criticise him for cackling as he watches the leader of a state we formed a coalition to invade is sodomized with a broomstick and tortured to death. they don’t criticise him for being supported by former spooks who think the way to get a job in his administration is by emphasizing a desire to kill russians and iranians in syria, where the us is trying to overthrow the government via surrogates. they don’t criticize trump for a disaster of a healthcare plan, or for not prosecuting financial and war criminals. they don’t criticize him for surreptitiously pushing the awful tpp on america. there are many things they don’t criticize trump for. this cannot stand!

      bad, bad naked capitalism.

      1. Ché Pasa

        Obviously, you won’t see the pathology in what you just wrote.

        There are plenty of reasons to criticize — indeed, to denounce — Clinton and Democrats, and there are as many if not more reasons to criticize/denounce Trump and Republicans.

        Neither one has your interests or mine at heart.

        But denouncing or not denouncing one for what the other does/doesn’t do is pathological.

        Trump’s business practices are an obscenity, and they give you a clue to how he might behave in office, yet they are almost totally ignored. Of course they would be. They are the commonplace, indeed routine practices of his class — of which he is an exemplar. They are expected from people like him. They result in exploitation, destruction, and yes, death.

        Hillary, on the other hand, operates from a different but no less obscene set of principles and practices. Yes, they lead to exploitation, death and destruction, because that is what her neoLibCon ideology demands, and that is what is commonplace and expected in the realms in which she is socialized.

        The fact is, we can’t know what Trump would do in office any more than we can be certain what Clinton would do. We can speculate all day long, but presidents don’t have complete freedom of action; they are constrained as well as driven by the interests and demands of a permanent government. 

        If, for example, that permanent government wants/demands a hot war with Russia, it will happen, no matter who is in the White House, just as it won’t happen if that permanent government says nay. (Unless, of course, Russia attacks first…. but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.)

        Clinton can’t make it so on her own, and Trump can’t stop it on his own.

        Criticize Trump for his actions; do the same for Clinton. But neither one cares what you or I think.

        1. pretzelattack

          what pathology? i was pointing out the areas of legitimate criticism of clinton which don’t apply to trump. these areas, in the judgement of many at nc, are the most important. war with russia. tpp. grand bargains. a demonstrated record of corruption. why are trumps idiocy and general jerkishness and prejudice more important. hilary can definitely “make it on her own with one of the ill advised provacations, because the russians have agency here too, and once you start a limited war with russia you can’t rule out nukes being used if one side is being defeated. but she won’t need to, because she can stack the deck with warmongers like the neocons that see her as the more sympathetic, or amenable, candidate. i’m not seeing pathology here; i see a conflict of values.

  38. OL

    And I do not think one need be an expert in politics or economics to have an informed opinion on the Presidential candidates. There is room for intelligent debate from any field. After all, we all have to live with the results.

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