2:00PM Water Cooler 8/9/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“‘Trade has big benefits, and I am in favor — totally in favor — of trade,’ Trump said during a nearly hourlong economic policy speech at the Detroit Economic Club. ‘But I want trade deals for our country that create more jobs and higher wages for American workers. Isolation is not an option. Only great and well-crafted trade deals, where we as a country for once benefit instead of being taken advantage of'” [Politico]. Politico frames that as “softening harsh criticism,” but no.

“There are some problems with the TPP, [Chamber of Commerce] President Tom Donohue noted, and some downsides with trade more broadly that need to be addressed, but the answer should be to redouble efforts to provide those hurt by trade with training and support” [Politico]. Of course, Donohue wouldn’t even be saying this if Trump (and Sanders) voters hadn’t put an electoral gun to his head. And as for “redouble efforts,” two times zero is still zero. And we’ve been hearing about “training” for forty years and it hasn’t done squat (except insofar as it provides walking around money to the trainers).

“‘President Obama is playing into Trump’s hands by keeping the TPP alive, allowing Trump to question Democrats’ commitment — even though Clinton is standing with working families on this key economic issue,” [Progressive Change Campaign Committeex] said in a statement. ‘Democrats must maintain the high ground on economic populism issues by being united in saying no to the TPP in lame-duck Congress.'” [Politico]. Democrats have no high ground to maintain on economic populism; and as soon as the campaign dust settles, Obama and/or Clinton will work some kinda “national conversation” to buy off labor with some token concessions and jobs for the boys, and that will be that. Note the phony “stand with” and “working families” (no singles work?) bloviation.



UPDATE These people are insane and shouldn’t be anywhere the nuclear button. You must listen to this:

Mike Morell’s Op-Ed, “I Ran the C.I.A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton,” ran in the New York Times five days ago. Presumably, therefore, when Morell writes that “our nation will be much safer with Hillary Clinton as president,” her willingness to accept Morell’s recommendations defines “safety” for him. (Although it’s only fair to say that Vox has deployed a new article arguing that the theatres in which Clinton could make war are more constrained than we think.)

“To judge by the daily parade of headlines and sound bites, the 2016 presidential election has boiled down to one steaming mass of invective, calumny, character assassination and contempt: the madman versus the prevaricator, the bully versus the biddy, the devil you know vs. the devil you don’t” [Politico]. Funny the relative quiet on policy now that Sanders is out of the race.

UPDATE “Donald Trump on the stock market: ‘It’s all a big bubble'” [CNBC]. Pop…


UPDATE “Clinton readies for Hamptons fundraising blitz” [Politico]. Hillary Clinton is planning to forgo her annual Hamptons vacation and accompanying luxury beach rental this summer – embarking instead on a condensed three-day fundraising blitz in the moneyed East End in late August.” Populism!


DNC email shows favors for cash scheme [Wikileaks]. Shocked, shocked, but this is pretty blatant.

Our Famously Free Press

“Journalists applaud Clinton at event” [The Hill]. Could have been ironic, given Clinton’s non-appearnce at pressers. But I doubt it.

UPDATE “The growing consensus that Trump isn’t fit to run the country means that too many people have decided it’s too dangerous to even criticize — or even ask tough questions of — his opponent Clinton. If you’re a Democratic Party operative, you’re probably delighted by this. As a journalist, I find it alarming, even scary — this idea that a candidate should become the 45th president without the tough questioning this demands” [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News]. Bunch finds this “frightening” only because he’s an actual journalist; he’s not angling for press secretary, or for an exciting and lucrative position in the burgeoning field of public relations.

The Voters

“[T]o ignore the real pain experienced by Trump voters is an even bigger mistake. As a practical matter, we will not ease the divisions in our country his candidacy has underscored if we do not deal with the legitimate grievances of his supporters” [E.J. Dionne, WaPo]. “As a moral matter, writing off Trump voters as unenlightened and backward-looking is to engage in the very same kind of bigoted behavior that we condemn in other spheres.”

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is clearly aware of the fury, and she regularly declares that ‘creating good-paying jobs and raising incomes is the defining challenge of our times.’ Her endorsement of progressive economic proposals reflects an attempt not simply to draw in Bernie Sanders’ supporters, but also to speak to at least some of Trump’s sympathizers.

Which is, of course, totally consistent with Clinton’s appeal not only to finance, her base in the 10%, and her very successful appeals to the Republican nomenklatura. I suppose the old stand-by, military Keynsianism, could square the circle, though. So there’s that to look forward to. What could go wrong?

UPDATE On the 10%, Neera Tanden agrees: “Neera Tanden, who was Clinton’s policy advisor in 2008, says that if the Democratic nominee wins, her agenda could be shaped in large part by how Republican lawmakers perceive her victory. Tanden expects those lawmakers would take a hard look at which voting groups abandoned the GOP and seek compromises with Clinton that could help lure those voters back” [Los Angeles Times].

“If support for Democrats becomes the new normal among college-educated white women, the Republican Party’s current constituency could not win a presidential election” [Bloomberg].. That would make this election not about “populism” at all, but about realignment within the 10% (“glass ceiling,” not piso Mojado…)

“[A]bout a third of Sanders’s voters are undecided or still going with a third-party candidate when given the choice” [FiveThirtyEight]. “[T]he sizable portion of Sanders supporters defecting from Clinton when given other options could still be a problem for the Clinton campaign if the election tightens.”

“Bernie Sanders and the New Class Politics” [Jacobin]. Must-read interview with the great Adolph Reed:

[REED:] I agree as well about the hope the Sanders campaign embodied. The campaign showed that it is possible to connect with the broad working class, and I have become increasingly conscious of the extent to which we, including leftists, permit the other side to define the boundaries of the working class for us.

[A]s you know, much ink has been spilled in generating exceptionalist accounts of why the United States never developed a system of public social protection as extensive as most of Europe. However, the explanation of the difference can be very simple; after [World War II] the bourgeois classes in much of Europe were weakened and discredited by their association with fascism. Our bourgeoisie came out of the war more powerful than ever and politically rehabilitated through their participation in the war effort.

In any event, everything now hinges on how we can build on the momentum the campaign generated, deepen and broaden contacts in unions, workplaces, communities, campuses — recognizing that the pace is going to be slow, probably decades, as we should see ourselves now really as at the beginning of a long organizing drive.

One of our concerns is, or should be, the tendency among a strain of exuberant leftists to proclaim programmatically diffuse coalitions and subordinate the class program to counter-solidaristic identity politics.

I think we should build on the more visionary aspects of the program, e.g., the demand for free public higher education, decommodified health care, etc and the vital fight to stop the TPP, and yes of course against discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc and also against neoliberal policing and the constantly expanding public/private carceral apparatus, which we have to understand and insist that others also understand is a class issue.

The Parties

Reports from the field at the Democrat National Convention continue to appear (and it’s certainly odd how little coverage there has been) [Orange Juice Blog]. This caught my eye:

The confirmed Bernie delegates were conducting organizing meetings in a room in back of the indoor pool location. The management learned of this and told us to leave. They returned about 10 minutes later and informed us that they were allowing us to use a couple of meeting rooms in the hotel for our meetings. They provided the room numbers and told us they would be ready in about 15-20 minutes. The Hillary campaign knew in advance what we were planning to chant, when we were planning to do these and the Hillary delegates were provided with counter chants. For example, when we chanted “No More Wars” … they began chanting “USA!, USA!” and other appropriate counter-chants. They were also provided with the “appropriate counter signs” to wave and hold and were told to hold multiple signs in order to block our protest signs from cameras. Because the Hilary campaign knew in advance EXACTLY and SPECIFICALLY what chants and actions we were planning to carry out for the next day, it appeared to us that our room had been bugged.

Or the room wasn’t bugged, and there were Clinton informers and/or ratfuckers. Basic lesson is that an insurgent party operation needs to think through the inevitabilty of infiltration by malevolent actors. The same applies inside or outside the Democrat Party.

Hoisted from comments [JohnnyGL, Naked Capitalism]:

It’s really crazy, who’d have thought that we’d have FOUR republican candidates for President.

1) The one who collects donations from GW Bush donors and gets endorsed by his former staff.

2) The one that won primaries and was nominated at the party convention.

3) The Libertarian candidate who actually was a Republican and did nothing to decriminalize drugs.

4) The new guy.

“Nearly $100 million has been spent on general-election TV advertisements in the presidential race since the primary season ended, but Donald Trump’s campaign still hasn’t spent a single cent on one of them” [NBC]. No wonder the media have decided to hate him.

UPDATE “On protest voting” [Carl Beijer]. Since everybody likes a good stomping, in this case of a post by Democrat loyalty Clay Shirky against third-party voting:

I don’t want to lean too hard on the credentials of the overwhelming consensus of scholars and intellectuals who think that internet personality Clay Shirky simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about; I guess it is entirely possible that all of them are wrong, and a certain kind of person will always insist that we take this possibility quite seriously. Here, I just want to point out that right or wrong, Shirky isn’t doing the work he needs to do to make his case, and doesn’t even seem to be aware of how heterodox his argument actually is. Simply by name-dropping Ralph Nader and Ross Perot and invoking loyalist truisms about how resistance is futile, Shirky thinks that he has overthrown volumes of scholarly works affirming the power and significance of protest voting. For anyone interested in a realistic understanding of strategic voting, this degree of hubris should not inspire confidence.

Swing States

UPDATE “Suddenly, states that haven’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in this century are up for grabs,” like AZ, GA, and UT [McClatchy]. “If those states continue to emerge as battlegrounds, Trump will be forced to divert precious resources, such as advertising and personnel, simply to hold on to what should be his while Clinton ups her efforts there. They join North Carolina, which voted Democratic in 2008, as states that Trump needs to win but in which he faces a tough test from Clinton.”

Squillionaires and Establishment Republicans for Clinton

Susan Collins [Business Insider]. Not sure how much influence this will have on Maine’s second district, though.

“Every Republican who has bucked Trump can be pretty easily categorized. A clear pattern emerges: The less directly and immediately accountable to Republican base voters an elected official is, the more likely he or she is to break with Trump” [WaPo]. With a fine round-up of the Republican nomenklatura who are doing that.

UPDATE “If Donald Trump loses in November, as seems more likely by the day, Republican recriminations will be historic. The party as currently constituted cannot and will not withstand the geometric forces acting upon it, both from within and without. While the Establishment wants to grow the GOP, they also have a heavily vested interest in maintain DC’s status quo, and that force is pulling on the core. The activists, on the other hand, are trying to consolidate and purify the GOP, pulling it inward. These opposite gravitational poles are as strong as they’ve ever been, likely since the Whigs went the way of the Dodo” [Medium].

Stats Watch

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, July 2016: “The small business optimism index rose 0.1 points in July to 94.6, a minute gain but nevertheless a touch higher than expectations and the fourth monthly increase in a row after falling to a 2-year low in March” [Econoday].

Productivity and Costs, Q2 2016 (preliminary}: ” Output picked up in the second quarter but not quite as much as hours worked or compensation. Productivity fell 0.5 percent in the quarter for the third decline in a row” [Econoday]. “This is the longest negative streak in the history of this report which goes back to just after WWII.” And: “the growth of productivity contracted while the labor costs grew (headline quarter-over-quarter analysis). The year-over-year analysis also shows productivity in negative territory, and negative productivity is a usual indicator of a recession” [Econintersect]. Big caveat: “I personally do not understand why anyone would look at the data in this series as the trends are changed from release to release – and many times significantly between the preliminary and final release.”

Wholesale Trade, June 2016: “June wholesale inventories rose 0.3 percent in a build that for a second straight month is too low as sales surged 1.9 percent. The mix pulls down the stock-to-sales ratio two notches” [Econoday]. “And sales strength is impressive and is centered at the heart of business investment, that is machinery where wholesale sales surged 2.8 percent to add onto solid gains over the prior two months. Hardware sales, also key to business investment, surged 7.7 percent in the month. These sales gains hint at rising business expectations which are needed given general weakness in productivity (as seen in this morning’s earlier report for the second quarter). Judging by stock-to-sales ratios, both machinery and hardware need to be restocked along with metals and electrical goods which are two other business investment categories.”

Consumer Expectations: “[S]teady short-term inflation expectations but a decline in medium-term inflation expectations. Labor market expectations generally deteriorated, with a decline in earnings and job finding expectations. On the other hand, expectations related to household finance were optimistic: there was an increase in household income and spending growth expectations, and an improvement in future perceived credit access and financial situation” [Econintersect].

Shipping: “The Port of Oakland, Calif., reported record container volumes in July, driven by a surge in empty containers on both the export and import side” [Wall Street Journal]. “Empty containers are usually moved, in anticipation of trade growth, to places where they’re expected to be filled with goods before shipping back.”

Shipping: “[T]oday’s big Singaporean shipping acquisition news, namely the takeover by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) of the venerable 272-year-old Baltic Exchange, London’s hub for freight data and deals” [Splash247]. SGX paid top dollar. Why? London real estate, partly. And data. But: “Wealthy Singapore, intent on being the world’s top maritime hub, is just putting London out of business as a so-called shipping centre and for that the purchase price, you could argue, looks like good value. It’s not what it is acquiring, per se, it is where and whom it is taking control from – in Olympic terminology, a passing of the baton, if you like.”

Shipping: “However, a coordinated effort within the paper industry to stem the dramatic decline of the box-car fleet could increase the use of [Increased Life Status, which allows the extension of a boxcar’s lifetime from 40 years to 65 years]. As the predominant user of box cars, the paper industry is extremely concerned about the fleet’s future. Since 2007, about 110,000 box cars have been retired and only 8,500 cars have been built. New box cars are problematically expensive, and the modal-competitive nature of this freight makes new-car investment difficult to justify” [Progressive Railroading].

Shipping: “To assure that the right medications get to patients right away, Toho Pharmaceutical built a distribution center that is so highly automated most of the products processed there are never touched by human hands” [DC Velocity]. “The automation is so extensive that the 130 warehouse workers employed at the facility never touch about 70 percent of the products processed there. This is due in large part to several automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) and a small army of robotic pickers. Tying all of the automated systems together are five kilometers (three miles) of conveyors.”

Supply Chain: “The rise of online shopping is forcing warehouse builders to redraw the map of logistics hubs on the East Coast” [Wall Street Journal, “E-commerce Forces Shift in Warehouse Building”] . “Development in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, closer to New York City than other hubs, has surged in the last five years.” I wonder what the effects on voters will be? That Amazon warehouse where workers were collapsing from heat stroke was in PA, after all, so jawbz may not be a proven vote-getter. And then: “Since the end of the Great Recession in the second quarter of 2010, no U.S. industrial market has grown as fast as the Interstate-78/Interstate-81 corridor, which includes the Lehigh Valley and parts of Central Pennsylvania, but excludes the Philadelphia market. Developers have added 56 million square feet of space, increasing the size of the market by 25% over that period, exceeding double-digit percentage growth in Houston; Columbus, Ohio; and the Inland Empire area east of Los Angeles.” Capital is betting big on continued globalization (and bringing about a situation where people who shop like me — I just ordered garden twine online because the chains, now being killed by Amazon, killed my local hardware store — will become much more the norm. My garden twine will come in a UPS Truck. How is that in any way sustainable, or even sane?) Capital is also betting on rail to feed those warehouses. Finally, capital, as you have been reading in this section, is also betting big on robots. So, in Pennsylvania, the good steel jobs “went away.” And soon the crapified warehouse jobs will “go away.” I’m long tumbrils. Funny how many stories these days could also be filed under Political Risk.

Political Risk: “Shippers and carriers holding out hope that states would tackle aging roads, bridges and other infrastructure are in for a long wait. Municipal bond issues have dropped to levels not seen in the past 20 years, even as borrowing costs plumb record lows” [Wall Street Journal]. “City and state government officials still have memories of the deep budget cuts they were forced to make during the recession, and are putting spare cash toward rising Medicaid and pension costs. As a result, spending on capital projects is at levels not seen in 30 years.” Good call on the size of that stimulus package, Obama. Well played. And eight years later, here we are. Maybe I should file this one under Imperial Collapse Watch. Ever get the sense that the elites have just written the whole country off? Except for their own special enclaves?

Housing: “One of the easiest house humping marketing ploys is when the numbers are crunched with a 20 percent down payment. “Sure, look how great things are when you put 20 percent down.” However, for a Bay Area crap shack costing $1.2 million that means $240,000. A small caveat. They provide fantastic numbers on the purchase of the house but fail to crunch the numbers of how one is going to get that $240,000 without a generous gift from the bank of mom and dad” [Dr. Housing Bubble]. But there’s a startup for that: “[Landed will get] investors to pay for half of a standard 20 percent down payment in exchange for some of the house’s future appreciation — or depreciation — in value when eventually the house is sold or refinanced. In the case of the Bay Area, investors’ share is 25 percent. For example, investors would collectively get $250,000 if a house that originally cost $1 million doubled in value by the time it changed hands. If homeowners aren’t ready to sell or refinance within seven to 10 years, Landed helps them enter a similar agreement with a new set of investors who can pay back the old ones.” And you can crowd-source the other half!

ETFs: “Because ETFs are exchange-traded (it’s in the name, after all) and settle just like a stock, it can be very difficult to know with absolute certainty who has beneficial ownership of every share. Even the Depository Trust Company, which has the ownership records for all ETFs and stocks in the U.S., doesn’t actually know which funds an individual owns. Instead, it just knows that a certain number of shares are sitting at Charles Schwab or Etrade, and from there, it’s that custodian’s responsibility to maintain the individual ownership records” [ETF.com]. “But there are ways of ferreting out some of this” (see the tables in the article). The conclusion: “The beauty of the ETF wrapper is that there’s something for everyone.” Hmm.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 82 Extreme Greed (previous close: 84, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 77 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 9 at 11:35am. Mr. Market, dull as a dad bod….

Health Care

UPDATE “ObamaCare Appears to be Making People Healthier” [New York Times]. No way! If this were true, Democrats would be advocating Medicare for All to save lives!


A new forest planted in the Midlands: “Around dozens of former mining and industrial communities, in what was the broken heart of the old Midlands coalfield, a vast, splendid forest of native oak, ash and birch trees is emerging, attracting cyclists, walkers, birdwatchers, canoeists, campers and horse-riders” [Guardian]. “‘This is one of the largest landscape transformations in the United Kingdom, the first major forest to have been planted in England for 1,000 years. We have taken a black hole and given it a new lease of life; given people a new landscape they can identify with. We can say that air pollution is better, the rivers are cleaner, the water is being retained better and soil is being better conserved.” This would work in Appalachia; good for the enviroment and a jobs program, too, assuming locals do the planting. If liberals didn’t hate the working class, it would already have been proposed.

Imperial Collapse Watch

“Coming to Terms with Secret Law” (PDF) [Harvard National Security Journal]. From the abstract:

The allegation that the U.S. government is producing secret law has become increasingly common.This article evaluates this claim, examining the available evidence in all three federal branches. In particular, Congress’s governance of national security programs via classified addenda to legislative reports is here given focused scholarly treatment, including empirical analysis that shows references in Public Law to these classified documents spiking in recent years. Having determined that the secret law allegation is well founded in all three branches, the article argues that secret law is importantly different from secrecy generally: the constitutional norm against secret law is stronger than the constitutional norm against secret fact.Three normative options are constructed and compared: live with secret law as it exists, abolish it, or reform it. The article concludes by proposing rules of the road for governing secret law, starting with the cardinalrule of public law’s supremacy over secret law. Other principles and proposals posited here include an Anti-Kafka Principle (no criminal secret law), public notification of secret law’s creation, presumptive sunset and publication dates, and plurality of review within the government (including internal executive branch review, availability of all secret law to Congress, and presumptive access by a cadre of senior non-partisan lawyers in all three branches).

The horse may already have left the barn; after all, Obama’s set up a system where U.S. citizens can be whacked on the say-so of the executive branch alone, which seems to violate the Anti-Kafka principle. “Sovereign is he who decides on the exception,” cackles Nazi legal theorist Carl Schmidt.

Class Warfare

“Women’s gymnastics, in its current form, owes a lot both to second-wave feminism and to Title IX—which brought about the general de-dainty-ization of the traditionally balletic sport” [The Atlantic]. ‘An Under Armour ad that went viral in the lead-up to the Rio Games showed Madison Kocian training, with other women gymnasts, for her Olympics debut. The ad featured inspiring music. It featured the brand’s tagline of of-the-moment empowerment: “Rule yourself.” It featured scenes of the gymnast who is currently one of the best in the world sacrificing, striving, hurting, pushing … and getting her nails done.”

News of the Wired

“Library anxiety is real” [Atlas Obscura]. “Some students in Mellon’s study did their best to avoid the library altogether. ‘I know that nothing in here will hurt me,’ wrote one freshman, ‘but it all seems so vast and overpowering.’ Another first-year student described the library as “a huge monster that gulps you up after you enter it.'”

“Researchers crack open unusually advanced malware that hid for 5 years” [Ars Technica]. Tick tick tick..

“Read the CIA’s Simple Sabotage Field Manual: A Timeless, Kafkaesque Guide to Subverting Any Organization with “Purposeful Stupidity” (1944) [Open Culture]. Weaponized agnotology. How nice.

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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 (SB):


Very inviting! From Southern California.

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!

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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. Anon

      Interesting that the place where he was shot was so close to HU Hospital and that no one seems to have come forward yet…or that, given its proximity to U Street (nightlife hub), there should’ve been a patrol to respond faster…

          1. ambrit

            Sic Semper Tyrannis says that the CIA “front man” never ran an agent in his life. So, in the interests of improving his skills set, let us send him into Aleppo to run a network of ‘assets’ on the ground as it were. Then AQ or some other American proxy can do some ECT on him. Win win proposition in 11 dimensions!

    1. Fred

      Hilary voted for the first war only neocons wanted. Now she has sycophants like this who will help start the next one.

      1. pretzelattack

        i saw that headline, wondered how they treated his role as mentor to clinton. i’ve been avoiding the deluge of political articles on the g lately; a very high percentage are blatant pro clinton propaganda.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      ‘It is difficult to get a man to not invent something, when his salary depends on his inventing it.’

      I guess this is equally possible.

      All things are possible to him that believeth in the power of salary.

    2. Vatch

      From the article:

      Police Chief Cathy Lanier said at a news conference last week that it is possible Rich was killed in an attempted robbery.

      Since he was killed, why wasn’t it a successful robbery? Something doesn’t seem quite right. . . .

      1. Heliopause

        My comment was more wondering why Wikileaks would get involved in this. One can dream up all sorts of speculations, of course, but this really seems odd to me.

      2. polecat

        oh…….the ole ‘attempted robbery excuse is it………..hummm??

        …….more like attempted, and ‘successful’ murder to me……….

        the Clintons, and by extension, the DNC leave no trail……

        “Dead men/women tell no tales” !

      3. pretzelattack

        the perp commits first degree murder and doesn’t even bother to take his wallet, if i understand correctly. kind of a high risk low reward move there.
        unless killing him was the point.

    3. Bubba_Gump

      It was odd, but then Shawn Lucas, the process server who served the DNC and DWS was found dead a few days ago. [Multiple news sources, google Shawn Lucas process server death].

      The “Clinton Body Count” is freaking freakier.

  1. allan

    ” … The party as currently constituted cannot and will not withstand the geometric forces acting upon it, both from within and without. While the Establishment wants to grow the GOP, they also have a heavily vested interest in maintain DC’s status quo, and that force is pulling on the core. The activists, on the other hand, are trying to consolidate and purify the GOP, pulling it inward. These opposite gravitational poles are as strong as they’ve ever been, …”

    Physics envy word salad. Does spouting stuff like this make a person seem smart in political circles?

    1. F900fixr

      I’ll translate.

      The evangelical, findamentalist, free market whackos are dedicated to cleansing the Republican Party of all of the commie socialists who are not 100% in conformance with the plan.

      Which basically means writing off 66% of the population.

      They would have a real problem, if it weren’t for the fact that all of the low population Flyover states have two Senators.

    2. redleg

      If the dems go much further right, they’ll enter the Lagrange point relative to the center and get crushed.

      I guy can dream, right?

      1. John k

        The Lagrange point is stable… I don’t think either the dem party or its standard bearer is in that state.

  2. abynormal

    Libraries are a huge monster that gulps you up after you enter it
    that’s it… we’ve officially entered HELL!

    “The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: 1) Silence; 2) Books must be returned no later than the last date shown; and 3) Do not interfere with the nature of causality.”
    Pratchett, Guards! Guards!

  3. F900fixr

    “New landscape”

    Yeah, and after the locals get finished rehabilitating the landscape (assuming the locals get the work……too many immigrants are already trained in “landscaping”), and after massive tax dollars are spent, the locals will be kicked out by the coastal tree huggers and the REIC boyz.

    Some people can tolerate hellholes, because they keep their coastal “betters” from coming around to “help”and effing over the locals. Sorta like the Taliban, with different headgear.

    Conservative, religious, country folk, with lots of guns, and a dislike for central government. Describes the Taliban, Farmers in Flyover, and former Confederate State residents to a “T”.

  4. Free Market Apologist

    ETFs: Nothing special here. They behave just like stock (for settlement, clearance, and custodial purposes), and DTC doesn’t know the actual owner of stocks either.

  5. Tertium Squid

    ‘I know that nothing in here will hurt me,’ wrote one freshman, ‘but it all seems so vast and overpowering.’

    Now it makes sense, that nobody minds the internet being carved up into a series of walled gardens.

  6. Anne

    I guess I am officially showing my age by confessing that I LOVE the library: so many books, so little time…I have an e-reader, but still much prefer actual books (just as I much prefer reading an actual newspaper, instead of turning virtual pages online).

    If only my devices were able to provide a more sensory experience; I love the way books and newspapers smell, and that is missing from the virtual experience.

    Like I said, showing my age…

    1. F900fixr

      We’ll see how good all of this digital media is, the first time the gum and baling wire internet comes under a dedicated, serious attack. Or somebody sets off an EMP type weapon. Or the cat kicks the plug out of the wall socket.

      Paper-back ups……..because “when the world is blind, the one-eyed man is King”.

    2. low integer

      I’m in my 30’s and consider tangible books to be one of life’s little luxuries. I only read non-fiction stuff (find fiction boring these days, though I have read a fair bit of it in the past), and really like high quality (both in content and printing, binding, etc) photography books. Unfortunately they are generally a bit expensive for me at the moment, though I currently have a few. Oddly, screens don’t bother me when I’m reading research articles or a site like NC, and I can only guess that this is simply because it is what I am used to. I think NC’s clean formatting helps a lot here; some of the articles I read via links are unpleasant to read due to the ridiculous layouts.
      Then there are sites like the Daily Mail (I think that’s the one), which has that column on the left that seems to be dedicated to pictures of celebrity starlets in bikinis. I’m not complaining but it certainly makes it hard to concentrate hahaha.

      1. low integer

        …column on the left right…

        Heh, I guess my default choice is the left. Makes sense.

      2. Plenue

        I gave proper ‘literary fiction’ a good try, both modern and classics, and ultimately found it mostly tedious. It occurred to me that it’s basically prestigious lying. Not just because it’s fiction, but because the fiction itself is just a cover. The author uses the pretense of characters and a plot as a vehicle to provide some sort of social or cultural commentary. Well why can’t they just write an essay and plainly present their views? Instead of all the messing around with obliquely exploring something and usually leaving it up to the reader to tease out the intent and meaning. If I wanted to solve a mystery I would read a mystery novel. When and why did this convoluted way of exploring issues become respectable?

        At a certain point I just go “OMG I don’t freaking care!” and return to stuff that’s actually interesting, like Richard Evans Third Reich trilogy, which is far more attention holding than most ‘great novels’.

        Also, ah yes, The Daily Femail section. It’s like a best of of every terrible, vapid thing the media aims at women

        1. hunkerdown

          If you’ve read “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and consider that the mouse has a vial of Yersinia pestis taped to its chest, you’ve pretty much read the entire story of Western civilization.

          I agree with the postmodernists on this one. Enough of this “Great Man” worship. The novel as a literary form is toxic to society and needs to be retired. Nobody is important enough to waste a book on, especially a nobody that doesn’t exist except as a tool to sell class society.

          As to the Daily Catcall, more of the same: Great Women whose Greatness issues from being Great (and incidentally looking like jailbait).

          1. abynormal

            but i’ll never forget that little girl that completed and closed Black Boy…breath aby.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > why can’t they just write an essay

          Because people like narrative and because characters (can, at least) promote empathy — and both of those promote people being able to take any message onboard (there’s a reason I cited works of fiction on scholarship in that post on JAMA and ObamaCare).

          Also, I disagree that a novel can be reduced to a message. Any fiction writer will tell you that characters take on a life of their own.

          1. abynormal

            i backed into a dark narrative that essays dodge…Archeology. they’re flame throwers with their fictions. they call each other out and even boast about sabotaging each others tells. all in the name of history interpretations. i’ll never look at the discipline the same…

          2. Plenue

            I dunno. I tried reading the book you’re from, The Ambassadors, and dropped it half-way through because I realized I just didn’t give a crap about Strether or his quest. I read a summary to get the gist of the rest, and while I certainly appreciate the techniques and message of the novel, it doesn’t change the fact that I was bored by it and felt I was wasting my time. I can say much the same for plenty of other ‘classics’ as well.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              Actually, I’m not from that book. The name of my persona is from that book.

              Not all books are for everyone. Your original indictment was against fiction as such. Now you say you don’t like some books. Make up your mind.

              1. Plenue

                Actually my indictment was of literary fiction.

                “Literary fiction comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition. Literary fiction is deliberately written in dialogue with existing works, created with the above aims in mind and is focused more on themes than on plot, and it is common for literary fiction to be taught and discussed in schools and universities.

                Literary fiction is usually contrasted with popular, commercial, or genre fiction. Some have described the difference between them in terms of analyzing reality (literary) rather than escaping reality (popular). The contrast between these two subsets of fiction is controversial among critics and scholars.”

                I still stand by that.

        3. Titus Pullo

          I think the themes and ideas presented in a novel like Native Son is way more powerful and direct than say a film version of the book. And Native Son is one of the great novels of the 20th century that could have been only an essay, and we in these lifetimes and our perceptual versions of the world would be poorer for it. Consider, also, that we are still coming to terms with the lessons and problems this novel laid out over 70 years ago

          And then there is the masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude, which probably for you is a kind of poetic drain-circling, but for someone like me is all about the power of myths and the loss of their power (and what that loss means for us as human beings) in modernity. Our culture is devoid of wonder and mystery, as the spectacle of capitalism has appropriated all myths to the philosophy’s inherent atavism.

          Or you could read something like Haruki Marukami’s Wind-up Bird Chronicle, since you’re into stories about WWII. Another great piece of contemporary literature. Filled with lies to bring to reality the horror of the past.

          I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
          Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
          And mark in every face I meet
          Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

          In every cry of every Man,
          In every Infants cry of fear,
          In every voice: in every ban,
          The mind-forg’d manacles I hear

          How the Chimney-sweepers cry
          Every blackning Church appalls,
          And the hapless Soldiers sigh
          Runs in blood down Palace walls

          But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
          How the youthful Harlots curse
          Blasts the new-born Infants tear
          And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse

          Then there’s poetry. This poem was written by Blake in the 18th century and still captures the desperation and corruption of the material world in industrial (or post-industrial, if you believe in that) civilization. Mind forg’d manacles. All those lies are vehicles for imaginations to liberate themselves.

          If you allow it, Beauty will show you the infinite wonder that compromises the universe, from the social reality to our own perceptual realities (idiosyncratic to the arrangement of our bodies and sense organs). Great art, which includes literature lets one experience divinity, the sublime, the ineffability that is at the root of being, or however you want to characterize those uncharacterizable shocks of revelation that undergird whatever epistemologies one exists on the day to day with.

          1. Plenue

            Ah, metaphysics.

            I’ll stick to reality, thanks. It’s far more beautiful and interesting than anything ever conjured up by a writer at their desk.

            1. MojaveWolf

              Reality is magic and magic is real. Existence itself is the ultimate magic, as is life. Great art helps remind us of that in a society where we forget it, and it can help us see aspects of existence we previously missed, or new angles. Life and love themselves are ineffable. And yes, reality is sublime and full of infinite wonder. A lot of people who are resistant to certain messages in articles will embrace the same message when presented in an entertaining, moving narrative.

              What you’re talking about is that some stuff other people like just bores you. That’s fine. I was an ultra-practical English major with a double minor in philosophy and history and I still haven’t tried to read “War and Peace.” I look at it and fear boredom. I hate boredom. Tho I desperately want to overcome my fear and read it one day. OTOH, I love love love love love love Les Miserables, even most of the passages that might as well be non fiction essays. Other people are bored by it. I do warn you it’s kinda sexist in spots, and the ending is weak. Modern readers may find the structure a bit meandering. But the rest is so transcendant it still counts as arguably my favorite novel, despite those flaws.

              Neuromancer might work for you as both entertainment and art. Ignore any message and just appreciate the wonder. I think Mark Twain woulda said anything that doesn’t entertain doesn’t succeed as art anyway. So would most writers. Or Altered Carbon. Read the book before the TV show comes out. It might not be so wondrous. I dunno. I semi-adopted the philosophy of Quellism as my personal preferred form of politics after reading this. Not for the faint of heart, tho, ’tis ultra-violent.

              OTOH, more people living in cities should get out to the beautiful wonders of the more remote areas and see what the world would look like with fewer people. We’d get a lot more environmentalists that way, and people would get way more passionate about fighting global warming and urban/suburban sprawl and species extinction of all sorts. So more power ot you on the reality appreciation. Wish more would.

              1. Plenue

                “Reality is magic and magic is real. Existence itself is the ultimate magic, as is life.”

                For me words actually have specific meanings. So, no.

                1. MojaveWolf

                  Ok, to put it another way: There is no reason that anything should exist at all. Think about it. It would make much more sense if nothing ever came into being in the first place. Either something somehow popped into being out of nothing, which would seem simply impossible, or existence (and by that, I mean the existence of anything at all, and everything at once and forever) would almost have to be eternal, without beginning. Either of those two things pretty much qualifies for magical or miraculous or whatever other word you want to use, as far as I’m concerned. And the spark of life and consciousness that at some point came into being (or might have always existed in some form, no real way of knowing) also pretty much counts as magical, imo. That the particular forms of life we know have scientific explanations hardly makes them less magical or wondrous; these things are not mutually exclusive.

                  At least we agree on the “beautiful and interesting” part. =)

                  1. Plenue

                    “There is no reason that anything should exist at all.”

                    Actually the science seems to indicate the universe itself may be some kind of quantum inevitability.

              1. paul Tioxon

                You know that place is for people that can’t handle drugs, or the truth or wild wymyn from Wongo.

                1. Eric Marks

                  Please Sir, where was that line from? A song?
                  I’m thinking a T shirt or button saying:

                  “Likes wild wymyn from Wongo”

                  is one I would like to wear on occasion.
                  Optik Erik

        4. JCC

          It’s awful tough to put a Raymond Chandler, Dashiel Hammet, or Samuel Clemens story into essay form, and I bet it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting or fun to read.

        5. Mike Protenic

          Indeed, truth is stranger (and ten times more engaging) than fiction… but, that being said, it is a deeper truth that Americans live in a land of myth, and myth-making pays handsomely. Hate to bring out the old super-cynic, but most citizens of this country are both afraid and corrupted by the potential loss of their mythical City-on-a-Hill, one that works badly for them, but at least it is a known “bad” – fear of the unknown casts a religious as well as proto-fascist darkness upon the workings of this system, making both saviors and sycophants the heroes, and novels the delight of the escaping mind.

    3. MojaveWolf

      Screw our age. I love libraries. I’ve always loved libraries. I still go to and use them regularly. I can’t read books digitally. Short stories and articles (barely) yes, but books? No way. Libraries are essential. Many people way younger than me (and possibly than you) still love and depend on them. I get the whole we need to use 100% recycled paper thing etc etc but LIBRARIES ARE THE GREATNESS. period end stop

      Also in case I forget to say so somewhere else that Adolph Reed article that both our wonderful hosts linked to is AWESOME. And worthy of being in a library, to keep it on topic to this comment thread.

  7. F900fixr

    “…….new car investment difficult to justify.”

    Welcome to the club. All kinds of Real World investments are “hard to justify”, when the 1%er are guaranteed 6-8% by their buddies on Wall Street and the Federal Government, basically risk free.

  8. hunkerdown

    Wait, Clay Shirky? Clay “Institutions try to preserve the problems to which they are the solution” Shirky going all in for Her? That’s either oblivious or more self-aware than we can possibly know.

  9. OIFVet

    “I ran the CIA now I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton and I want Hillary to kill lots of Russians and Iranians in Syria”

    At least they are honest…

    1. low integer

      Look, if Hillary is willing to put her own boots on the ground in Syria then I’m all for that. I wonder if they make camo pantsuits?

      1. neo-realist

        Hopefully she has a backpack full of pens, locked and loaded:). Hillary may never know when she might get the shakes; would tip off the enemy.

      2. OIFVet

        The MIC will do anything for money. See how many billions were spent over the last decade on a series of new camo patterns for the Army, all of which make the wearer stand out like a turd on a white marble floor…

        Seriously though, one of my pet peeves is the proliferation of camo patterned cargo shorts for civilians, particular faves for obese white dudes who couldn’t run to the corner store for a supersized bag of potato chips without getting a heart attack.

        1. low integer

          Yeah, civilians wearing camo must be really annoying for those who have seen real war. I had a couple of pairs of camo shorts a long time ago when I was a little skate rat and I thought they were pretty cool, but these days the symbolism just jumps out at me.

        2. Jagger

          all of which make the wearer stand out like a turd on a white marble floor…

          How about the Navy “blueberry” camouflage uniforms? Apparently, they are most effective when you fall overboard. Not good. The Navy has decided to get rid of them.

  10. Carolinian

    “Nearly $100 million has been spent on general-election TV advertisements in the presidential race since the primary season ended, but Donald Trump’s campaign still hasn’t spent a single cent on one of them” [NBC]. No wonder the media have decided to hate him.

    Bingo. Katniss made this point some time ago.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Here in Florida, it is, effectively, carpet bombing. And it is relentless.

      And it is having, at least on me, the same effect that I’d imagine relentless carpet bombing has in Syria–hardening the opposition.

      At the same time, I am grateful that I can no longer recite the side effects of abilify, humira, pradaxa or sovaldi in my sleep. Glass half full, doncha know.

      1. jgordon

        Also here in Florida–I don’t watch TV so I’m frequently out of the loop on a lot of things, but I went into the VA for my annual check up recently and I saw a barrage of anti-Trump ads on the TV in the waiting room. I was like, woah really?

        Typical ad: some famous (I guess?) establishment general sitting at a black table explaining why Trump is unfit to be president. That’s was it. I wondered if Trump was clever enough to surreptitiously put out these anti Trump ads, say via a super pac or something…

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Is Trump mailing it in?

          Will he get bored?

          The saying is that, one excuse is better than a bunch of them (here, one seems desperate). The former sounds more convincing.

          Moreover, if Trump keeps his detractors guessing, that means he is hard to pinned down. (Is that covered in the Art of War or method to his madness?)

          I think if they can’t destroy him by now, he will go all the way to November.

          That’s my gut level analysis.

  11. Left in Wisconsin

    This would work in Appalachia; good for the enviroment and a jobs program, too, assuming locals do the planting. If liberals didn’t hate the working class, it would already have been proposed.

    Take full credit where virtually none is due, I have proposed at some point in the past on this very site (too lazy to look for actual post) turning West Virginia into a national park and employing residents thusly. Which only proves I’m not a liberal. Thank gaia.

    1. cwaltz

      It’s interesting to me that you all don’t realize this is not already being done via ARC grants.

      Ecotourism is already being promoted. The region is aware the Appalachian trail is a big draw.


      I also thought I’d included earlier that my town, located in Appalachia, received grants for it’s farmers markets, for crosswalks and bike racks to promote a healthier lifestyle.

      So yeah our government hasn’t been just been spending money on bombing the crap out of other people’s children. It’s gotten some things right.

        1. Alex morfesis

          We used to be able to do #h$t…the great “tree” wall of america…
          the great plains shelterbelt/windbelt…

          220 million trees

          18 thousand miles of trees…

          During the depression…curtailing the black death of the great dust storms

          During ww 1 the “hello girls” handle communications for the signal corps which laid down and strung 100 thousand miles of telephone and telegraph lines in the few months the american forces ran through europe…1 thousand miles of rail tracks and 88 new ship berths…

          Where has america gone ???

        2. JCC

          Speaking of which, whatever happened to Arbor Day? When we were kids that was a big deal and regularly promoted in schools and T.V.

          Oh yeah, the internet… doh! They do have a nice web site and cheap trees. I just wish they were promoted like they used to be.


  12. JohnnyGL

    I was feeling like I’m moving up in the world now that I’ve officially been “hoisted” from the comments section.

    Then, I watched the Michael Morrell clip and I got a queasy feeling in my stomach and my mood darkened considerably.

    I’ve come to understand that when the CIA makes ‘suggestions’ like that, they’re usually already doing the things they recommend, they just want to build public support for, and intensify, them.

    I want to watch the larger interview, because this guy seems like he’s possibly close to Clinton’s inner-circle and perhaps characteristic of the CIA worldview. From the clip, it’s very much the “GET ASSAD” view of things. That’s a looney-bin level of crazy.

    It’s like these Clinton surrogates just aren’t going to stop until they drive me to vote Trump.

      1. Carolinian

        He’s only obsequious if you’re the right kind of people. He gave Jimmy Carter a hard time during the “Apartheid” book flap.

        1. ekstase

          They run his show constantly on PBS. As if, the world over, they could not find a better interviewer. Kind of like how Ken Burns makes all the docs that “define who we are.” Who does the hiring?

          1. neo-realist

            I will say that Burn’s documentary on Jackie Robinson was brilliant. A very well rounded portrait of the man–civil rights fighter pre and post baseball.

          2. Carolinian

            Burns’ ubiquity is a lot more defensible than Charlie Rose’s. Burns pioneered a documentary style that everyone now imitates. Charlie just butters up celebrities and rich people.

            Plus he’s been around forever. Back in the 80s he had a CBS overnight show where he constantly beat the drums for the Contras. The man is a DC establishment suck up machine.

            1. neo-realist

              Charlie just butters up celebrities and rich people.

              This is a interview format also utilized by all the millennial late night talk show hosts, albeit with humor. They also tend to avoid those that are very oppositional to the system—no #BLM spokespeople, no Occupy movement people when they were happening. The plutocrats that own the networks and the MIC have seen to no more Dick Cavetts.

      2. JCC

        Most obsequious, that is for sure.

        When I was younger and far more naive I watched him often. Then one night years ago I watched him interview Bill Gates. There were moments I thought he was going to disappear under the table and make Bill real happy.

        I think that may have been the start of my “wake up and smell the coffee” phase of life. I’ve never once watched him since.

    1. Lee

      “It’s like these Clinton surrogates just aren’t going to stop until they drive me to vote Trump.”

      I quit frequenting Daily Kos for the same reason.

      1. MojaveWolf

        I never really liked or regularly frequented Kos, but at some point I musta left a comment because a few months ago, they started sending me daily emails that I don’t want. “Daily Kos Recommended”. I have tried 3 times to unsubcribe from this thing I never subscribed to, and failed miserably. But I do get to see headlines like “Donald Trump is a bad father. A very bad father. The worst!” I think that was in the last 3 days.

        With hard-hitting catchphrases like that to oppose you, why would you EVER be tempted to vote for Trump? Or leave Kos? The world NEEDS pieces like that. Not quite up to the old Weekly World News standard, mind you, the escapades of Bat Boy were light years more relevant to modern society, and they’ll never be able to compete with “Satan Escapes From Hell!” but maybe one day they can at least achieve something approximating a dumbed down, 2d rate version of that. Or more likely not.

        (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? Maybe we really do need Satan to escape from hell or Project Koschei to wake up? Is Bat Boy still alive? Could he stop both Trump and Hillary? Bat Boy save us?)

        1. JCC

          Ah… The Weekly World News. For awhile when I had my own business during the 1st reign of King Bill, that was the only newspaper I kept in the lobby/waiting room. People loved it, but for some odd reason the business didn’t last too long.

          My favorite (which someone swiped) was the issue that broke the story that the Clintons were forcing their assigned Secret Service personnel to nursemaid their alien baby in their alien baby’s private Whitehouse nursery 24/7 (a few previous issues had already broken various stories regarding the trials and tribulations regarding their adoption of this alien baby – with photos).

          The Secret Service, by the way, stated that they were a little resentful and did not think that this was part of their job description.

          1. ambrit

            Taking care of the Clinton Alien Baby was training for taking care of “Medical Issues Hillary” today.

        1. OIFVet

          Freedumb and democracy!!! USA!! USA!!! Or sumthin’… Democracy and freedumb for corporations through dictatorship, don’t ya know.

    2. jgordon

      Honestly I don’t like Trump all that much. But when I see all the bloodthirsty nutcases following Hillary like baby ducks following momma I’m thinking, “OK best not to take any chances on these lunatics getting into power, gotta support Trump…”

    3. Benedict@Large

      No doubt the Hillary-bots will claim she isn’t involved with and can’t control Mike Morell, but make no mistake about it; there is no way the Times placed his op-ed without asking her first. Morell is saying stuff like this in public because Clinton wants him to.

      And remember back during the run-up to the Iraq War, and how the Neocons make the new reality, and then just leave it behind for the rest of us to just look at? I’m getting the definite feeling they’re doing this again; using the Clinton campaign as their staging ground to make a new Middle East (or Russian!!!) war a fait accompli by the time the new drapes are hung in the Oval Office.

      Their Bush body count is going to look like child’s play.

      1. fresno dan


        OK, that is a Zero Hedge link, but their is a video link where I can see him say this (with my own lying eyes):

        Morell: We need to make the Iranians pay the price in Syria; we need to make the Russians pay the price.
        Rose: We make them pay the price by killing Russians and killing Iranians?
        Morell: Yes. Covertly. You don’t tell the world about it. You don’t stand at the Pentagon and say we did this.(YOU GO ON CHARLIE ROSE!!!) But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran. I want to go after those things that Assad sees as his personal power base. I want to scare Assad. I want to go after his presidential car. I want to bomb his offices in the middle of the night. I want to destroy his presidential aircraft. I want to destroy his presidential helicopters. I want to make him think we are coming after him. (AFTER ALL, GETTING SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS AN UNMITIGATED SUCCESS!!!)

        Never mind that it is a terrible idea. How many people watch Charile Rose is arguable – never the less, saying it on national TV does not strike me as covert.

    4. Pespi

      The bloodlust is unnerving. This is the caliber of person who runs the infinite budget intelligence service? One would expect, cold, calculating, not craven, bloodthirsty.

      1. sd

        Friendly reminder that Clinton and Obama sat threw an actual snuff film. (Obama ordered the snuff)

  13. yan

    I would add to Adolph Reed´s comment about the bourgeousie that the communist parties in Europe did wield considerable power and that also forced some concessions.

      1. cwaltz

        Heh, you mean those AQ “moderates” that flew their planes into our buildings.

        I wonder if it was someone from the US that explained to them how the Overton window works. Find people more radical and extreme than yourselves and voila, you’re “moderate”(and the idiots in the State Department and Pentagon forget all about that whole killing thousands of Americans thing that you once did.)

          1. cwaltz

            AQ is the LOTE dotcha’ know and we all know that it is very important to side with the lesser evil. Doing otherwise would be siding with ISIS.

            How insane does THAT sound?

            (and yet if you substitute AQ with Clinton and Trump with ISIS you’ve got the voting strategy of far too many people this election cycle.)

  14. Mustsign topost

    It’s these gems “military Keynsianism, could square the circle, though. So there’s that to look forward to. What could go wrong?” that make nakedcapitalism worthwhile

    not news
    US Taxes Well Spent: Pentagon Can’t Account for $6.5 Trillion: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160809/1044071774/pentagon-audit-trillions.html

    but check out St Louis Fed

    Does Government Spending Create Jobs?

    Government Spending Might Not Create Jobs Even during Recessions

    The procurement channel is clogged

    When Banks Expand Credit, Who Actually Receives It?

    they know what the issues are

  15. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Charlie Rose/nuclear button guy.
    Anyone who is not absolutely terrified by this kind of talk has not been paying attention, we’ve entered Jeffrey Sachs’ Age of Impunity where the elite are *never* held to account for their blunders and where actual real-world policy outcomes no longer have any bearing whatsoever on future policy decisions.
    That was fine (barely survivable) when it was just a million Iraqi citizen deaths and a cool coupla trillion dollars…but this time they are talking about a modern, nuclear adversary that has been provoked to the absolute breaking point. And so we’re supposed to hand the keys to a power-mad mentally and physically unstable elderly woman with a very tenuous grasp on the difference between fact and fiction?
    Sorry folks but an orange-haired TV showman who said bad things about Rosie O’Donnell just does not frighten me nearly as much as that.

    1. Katniss Everdeen


      If Trump is the “crazy” one, then the word “crazy” doesn’t mean what everybody thinks it means.

      Not even close.

    2. Carolinian

      What some of us have been trying to say around here since the beginning. The woman–and the people around her–are nuts. It’s utterly none of our business who rules Syria or Russia and there are indications in both cases that the majority of those country’s populations would prefer to keep the rulers they have. The fact that the Clintonistas are pushing the war talk so hard means that they intend to go all in and use her election as the justification. It’s not like she’s keeping her plans under wraps.

      Trump is the unHillary and that may be all he needs to be. It’s frustrating how many of the thoughty set don’t seem to get this.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Just a comment: Assad got a larger percentage of the last vote in his country than Obama did in his. So can somebody please regime-change the US?

        1. OIFVet

          And Bush did not even win the popular vote, but USA is exceptional and indispensable nation of high moral character. Where morality=money, of course…

          1. ambrit

            Yeah, and Nixon and Kennedy basically tied in 1960.
            Also, your metaphor is backwards. It should be; Money=Morality. My experience has been that, in the moil and struggle that is the modern world, and probably all of human history; ‘Morality’ is it’s own reward.

      2. Aumua

        I get it just fine. I’m just not voting for someone I don’t support, because the other candidate is more scarier. Although I do admit that the level of anti-trump hysteria and mind control (omitting any mention of Clinton’s very real issues) is driving me to almost, almost feel bad for Donald Trump.. which is a very strange feeling to have.

        1. optimader

          I’m just not voting for someone I don’t support, because the other candidate is more scarier.
          Ultimately, what better motivation is there than other candidate is more scarier
          This goes directly to the unanswered question to Lambert’s observation (I paraphrase ) “..there is no candidate qualified to be POTUS in this presidential race” True enough, but when last was there a qualified candidate?

          If you cant think of one, then ever would you not pursue a strategy of limiting risk by voting against more scarier candidates??

          1. Aumua

            I’m going to side with JFK here and suggest that maybe fear is not the best place to be acting from, in these interesting times. Bernie Sanders was pretty much the first presidential candidate I have ever seen in my life that I actually thought was genuine and somewhat sane in their policies. I never went to a political rally in my life before I saw Sanders here in Tucson, and it was pretty cool. Well, that didn’t happen, and now I am being told I have to choose one of two completely unpalatable choices.. or else. I’m hearing the same thing from both sides now, and no thanks. I’m not buying any of that, and I’ll be voting for “other”. If you are thinking of, to paraphrase craazyman, downing 1 bourbon, 2 scotches, and 3 beers on election day morning and just voting Trump, fine. Just please don’t try and present him as a legitimate option in the service of convincing yourself that you’re doing the right thing.

            On a related note, I was thinking, as long as we’re voting strategically, that maybe we should consider which candidate has the better chance of:

            a) keeling over.
            b) suffering some grave physical or mental illness which causes them to have to step down.
            c) being indicted and impeached over some part of the mountain of dirt that exists on them.

            We all know which candidate that is, don’t we? So.. maybe we’re not playing a high enough dimension of intergalactic hopscotch here, eh? Something to think about, for you all. I’ll just vote for someone I actually can stand, thanks.

            1. pretzelattack

              just in the swing states. in the other states stein. problem with the impeachment scenario is that the neocon warmongers will be comfortably installed by clinton by that point.

            2. ambrit

              If we are presented with two unpalatable choices, the logical course would be to vote for the ‘least unpalatable choice.’
              This election is making me consider the possibility that Dread Lord Cthulhu is a real “thing.” (A new Lovecraft story; “The Thing on the White House Doorstep.”)

              1. pretzelattack

                it would be richly ironic if the democrat strategy to move us to the right by giving us lotes to vote for came back to bite them on the ass.

                also “trump, the horror from beyond the beltway”

            3. optimader

              I’m going to side with JFK here and suggest that maybe fear is not the best place to be acting from
              I may have been unclear. I don’t endorse fear based responses . That is historically how people are herded into irrational decisions (File under: Cold War, Operation Iraqi Freedom).
              None the less, if fear is one’s motivation, well which election result scenario should invoke more “fear”?

              I prefer to respond in terms of what I feel minimizes risk.

              This IMO implicitly requires fidelity to DD. When minimizing risk you don’t necessarily have to like the result, but just need to reconcile what you feel is the least adverse scenerio.

      3. optimader

        What some of us have been trying to say around here since the beginning. The woman–and the people around her–are nuts.

        quietly nods head once, then slumps in seat.

        HRC is a nut and distressingly, IMO not a particularly bright one at that..

    3. polecat

      My take is that the new stealth party of neolibracons will, as soon as she’s inaugurated, deep-six Clinton into a coma, and wisked away into oblivion, as planned…….to be replaced with an even scarier psychopath who really will let the Bomb fly!

      …ok…partially removes foil helmet…….

      1. jo6pac

        I have it as she wins, gets into office only leave to do health or ? pence as the new potus and the vp is even scarier than he is.

        Bombs/drones away

      2. abynormal

        THE bomb would be kinder than the torture to come…
        3 strikes, financial deregulation’s, welfare ‘reform’/children be damned
        How will she top HER Dick Chaney legacy?

        she will disregard histories. she will decimate hopes.
        she will justify from her scorned and tortured soul.
        and she will ask no one.

        1. polecat

          Maybe she’ll ‘reveal her inner self’ ……and it really WILL be Dick Chaney under all that cankled skin, with all the pulsing veins and visera……..’suddders’ at the thought…!

          1. abynormal

            or in her mind, Dick Chaney was the trial run…cold sweats

            with rolls reversed, what kind of team will Hillary & Bill make?
            she’ll have no reins. if she doesn’t seat the WH…then even the ruling class fears her. but she’ll get it and the lords of her making will parish in the same ditch as us nannies that pay to clean up their lucky sperms failings.

    4. tony

      That is why I don’t believe that Vox article. US policy has not been rational for a long time. Even Obama, who is pretty competent, can’t overcome the inherent insanity of the system. Hillary is demented and I don’t trust her to act with any sort of rationality.

      I miss Kissinger. He would not risk nuclear war, and had the ability to make peace and negotiate when necessary.

    5. fresno dan

      August 9, 2016 at 3:58 pm

      I agree
      I just posted a link to Zero Hedge and Morell in moderation :(
      These people are insane.
      And Hillary has a party and an ideology behind her – she is the more effective evil

    6. tgs

      +++ What is really scary is that this guy’s view would not even raise an eyebrow in elite political and media circles. Those people are so locked inside their fantasy bubble. I mean they are talking about steps that could lead to a confrontation with a nuclear armed state, and they are willing to do so in order to get Assad to step down.

  16. Jim Haygood

    Crapification advances:

    On Tuesday, Facebook will flip a switch that renders ad-blocking software useless and allow the desktop version of its site to serve ads even to those who have blockers. — NYT

    Faceborg is easily dealt with in the same manner as a television set — pull the plug on it.

    Or if you really feel strongly about the matter, a 12-gauge shotgun blast will fix it where it can’t be fixed.

    1. ambrit

      I’m glad I never ventured into the twisted terrain that is the “F” word.
      Now the Internet is becoming just like over the air television was.

  17. Pelham

    “And we’ve been hearing about ‘training’ for forty years and it hasn’t done squat (except insofar as it provides walking around money to the trainers).”

    True, but there’s the solution right there: Train the displaced to be trainers, every last one of them!


    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      The trainees could “train the trainers,” as it were. How to get the most out of your Dollar Store run, picking mushrooms in the woods, which way to go when you’re on the Medicaid/ObamaCare bubble, Kelly vs. Uber, dealing with back pain without actually becoming addicted… Quite a curriculum could be developed!

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One learns the best when one is relaxed, not under duress (“You learn and retrain, or you starve.”)

      That’s not education, much less enlightenment.

      Perhaps the overlords don’t want you to think, to be creative, but be certified that you’re functional, defect free (more or less) replacement parts for the machine.

      If the teachers don’t see this (their not seeing = their salary depending on not seeing?), chances are their students won’t either.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      As an “action” verb, “train” is akin to “try.”

      It is a tale
      Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
      Signifying nothing.

      And I do mean NOTHING.

  18. John

    Bill Clinton was arguably one of the most successful conservative presidents in US history.

    What’s ironic is that the most effective way to advance an agenda is to get the other party to implement it. That way the measures have support in both parties (in the two-party system, when the two parties are diametrically opposed, there’s gridlock). This is why presidents like Eisenhower, Clinton, and to a lesser extent, Nixon and Ford were so successful at passing legislation. In many cases, this was legislation the other party wanted–EPA and OSHA under Nixon and a hell of a lot of stuff under Eisenhower, and under the Democrats, deregulation, NAFTA, Obama’s homeland security modus operandi, etc. Clinton passing more legislation while the Republicans controlled congress is another example of this trend.

    The best way to achieve neoliberal goals is to have a Democrat lead the way. You get the pro-business Republicans on your team as well as a lot of liberals (and thanks to the appeal of identity politics, minority voters, too). The only way a Republican is going to be able to do the same is under extreme circumstances (Reagan and Bush II).

    This is why Clinton was better than Bush I, a very intelligent and capable politician, at liberalizing (I use the word in the classical European sense) the economy and cracking down on crime, the two big conservative issues of the era.

  19. Pelham

    Adolph Reed: “In any event, everything now hinges on how we can build on the momentum the campaign generated, deepen and broaden contacts in unions, workplaces, communities, campuses — recognizing that the pace is going to be slow, probably decades, as we should see ourselves now really as at the beginning of a long organizing drive.”

    Reed is indeed magnificent, but we’ve already had decades of the left organizing, broadening, deepening and whatnot with precious little to show for it in material terms, though change has been effected on some social issues. Plus, we don’t have decades to mess around. We’re out of time, even if measured only by the monumental steps we need to be taking right this minute to forcefully address climate change.

    What I believe Sanders demonstrated — and what may be deeply objectionable to much of the left — is the absolute necessity of a great and compelling leader and a heavy focus on just 3 or 4 issues that hit everyone to get a real movement going and sustain it. Grassroots organizing as the left goes about it just doesn’t work, at least not in the US. Its insistence on diversity weakens it from the start.

    On the other hand, low-level strategizing directed cleverly from above DOES work, as documented in the book “Ratf**ked” by David Daley. Daley shows how the national GOP cleverly engineered the takeover of swing state legislatures (for a mere pittance of campaign spending) that in turn enabled them to gerrymander a pretty much permanent GOP majority in the House after the 2010 census.

    THAT is the ruthless kind of stuff that works. And the left needs to be just as sharp, tough and ingenious to get in the game. Sanders’ genius lay not in the usual identity-driven rainbow stuff that we see on the left but his repeated, pile-driving focus on about 3 principal issues that reached a broader public.

    Perhaps Bernie was uniquely suited to this due to his many unmatched years of unblemished service. So I’d be hard-pressed to name another such candidate now. Even Elizabeth Warren is tainted, IMHO. But that’s what we need.

    1. redleg

      And that’s exactly why the 2020 election is far more critical than this one- a progressive win with down ticket coattails could flip state legislatures right at the next census.
      This election is far less important.

  20. paulmeli

    “…provide those hurt by trade with training and support”

    Training helps you take a job from someone who already has one. Net increase in jobs = 0, net change in unemployment = 0. Think NFL or NBA.

    The dog-bone economy. 10 dogs, 8 bones. It doesn’t occur to the geniuses that maybe a couple more bones would be the better solution.

  21. Fred

    “Women’s gymnastics,…”

    Since women are equal in combat to men shouldn’t we be doing away with segregation by sex at the Olympics?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One improvement at a time.

      And here, Japan leads the way: co-ed community sento’s.

  22. Katniss Everdeen

    Gotta say, Lambert, reducing “redouble efforts” to “two times zero is still zero” is pretty astute.

    I liked it. I really, really liked it.

  23. tgs

    re: the Politico article that Hillary will not be a hawk.

    Here is one of a number of dubious claims found in the article:

    In Syria, the idea of risking US boots on the ground or war with the Russians to support an opposition that consists largely of Islamist extremists is not likely to appeal to her any more than it has to President Obama.

    A foreign policy adviser to Hillary recently said that her first order of business will be taking a more aggressive stance towards Assad. Michele F(don’t have time to find the name), said to be the main contender for Sec of Defense, advocates strikes against the Syrian Arab Army. And in point of fact, we are currently arming Islamist extremists in Syria in order to topple Assad.

    Putin has been clear that removing via military action Assad is a red line.

    The article also assets that Hillary wants to be a ‘domestic president’ another claim I find dubious. When Hillary talks about threats and power her eyes light up – I submit that extending the American empire via getting rid of its competitors is her primary agenda.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Getting rid of competitors via military action is OK.

      Letting them live in concentration camps is not good visually.

      Death sentence, not serving life.

  24. Cynthia

    The NYT is being very misleading by saying that “20 million” Americans are now covered under ObamaCare. A more accurate number is, at most, 11 million. The other 9 million, or so, of the newly insured are covered under the Medicaid expansion program. But hey, this sort of biased reported doesn’t surprise me at all given that the NYT is known for its pro-Obama propaganda.

    And of those 11 million who are covered under ObamaCare, over 85% of them receive a sizable subsidy from the federal government to pay for their ObamaCare monthly premiums. That leaves very few people with Obamacare who actually pay for their monthly premiums out of their own pocket.

    So, how in the world can anyone claim that ObamaCare is a victory for free-market capitalism when most of it is paid for by the taxpayer! Perhaps it’s a victory for klepto-crony capitalism, but it is certainly not for free-market capitalism.

    What’s worse is that it has been recently revealed that the Obama Administration has given hospitals across the country $7 billion to cover the cost of unpaid medical bills that either individuals or private insurers couldn’t afford to pay ( see link below). And the president did this without Congressional approval. That means that the president has been given, or has given himself, some sort of black budget to pay for cost overruns incurred by ObamaCare. I was wrong, dead wrong, to think that the president’s black budget is strictly used to pay for such things like CIA-backed coups, color revolutions, and assassinations. Apparently, it is also used to pay for medical bills that are way too costly for individuals or insurers to afford.

    Therefore, I ask, rhetorically of course, how can anyone claim that healthcare has become more affordable under ObamaCare when the president has to dip into his black budget to paid for medical bills that either individuals or private insurers can’t afford to pay! And how can Obama claim to be the most transparent president, ever, when he has to pay for all of his ObamaCare losses out of budget that is anything but transparent!


  25. Jessica

    “Ever get the sense that the elites have just written the whole country off? Except for their own special enclaves?”

    Perhaps we don’t have an elite unified enough to actually see on this scale. We only have shards of what used to be a functional elite. Those shards have narrow enough interests that they don’t see the bigger picture. What looks like their vision of the bigger picture is just the narrow vision of certain shards, for example defense contractors.
    The elite shattered because it became functionally obsolete when industrialization was complete enough for the post-industrial, knowledge-driven economy to try to emerge.

  26. lyman alpha blob

    re: squillionaires for Clinton

    Collins won’t vote for Trump but is not endorsing Clinton either. As Lambert suggests, that wouldn’t play well in district 2. From the WaPo on the same subject:

    “As we have seen with the dissatisfaction with both major- party nominees — neither of whom I support — these passions are real and the public will demand action.” emphasis added

    Here’s the rationale from the ‘moderate’ (barf) Collins:

    “But rejecting the conventions of political correctness is different from showing complete disregard for common decency. Mr. Trump did not stop with shedding the stilted campaign dialogue that often frustrates voters. Instead, he opted for a constant stream of denigrating comments, including demeaning Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) heroic military service…”

    Riiiiiight, no sense of decency. Looks like Susie has a short memory – it was fine when her pal from Kennebunkport smeared Kerry eight ways ’til Sunday but Trump is the indecent one.

    I guess because Bush had his surrogates do it that makes it OK….

  27. Jessica

    Lambert wrote “My garden twine will come in a UPS Truck. How is that in any way sustainable, or even sane?”
    Perhaps it is. Under the old model, a fleet of trucks carries twine to hundreds of stores and each customer drives their own car to and from one of those stores to purchase it. Under the new model, the twine is shipped by railroad to a few huge warehouses, then each UPS truck delivers to a large number of customers.
    The new model could easily have fewer miles of transportation and replace a lot of truck shipping with railroad shipping.
    There are all manner of problems with the new model, including Taylorist (hyper-rationalized) sweatshop (literally) warehouses and Amazon’s predatory monopoly, but as far as shipping goes, it could well be more sustainable.

    1. hunkerdown

      I don’t understand why Sears is so singularly incomparable in discussions of the externalities and vices of mail order.

    2. Lambert Strether

      I think you could be right.

      I just fetished a commodity — looked at it as a thing in itself, instead of considering the whole supply chain.

  28. abynormal

    OY The Swiss Supreme Court in Lausanne has ordered the Israel-controlled Trans-Asiatic Oil Company to pay a debt of $1.2 billion to Iran’s national Oil Company.

    According to Global Arbitration Review, which published the Swiss court’s ruling, Iran’s oil company has been removed from the sanctions regime, so there is no legal obstacle to paying it any money.

    On June 27, the court directed Trans-Asiatic to pay the Iranians 250,000 Swiss francs (about 1 million shekels, or $260,000) of the monies that have been deposited with the court, and another 200,000 francs in court costs.

    Trans-Asiatic appealed, and lost, saddling the company with a heavy fine.

    The lost appeal is the latest skirmish between Israel and Iran over an oil transporting and marketing partnership the two countries formed before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

    The partnership had two parts: the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, which operated overland to stream Iranian oil from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, and Trans-Asiatic Oil Ltd (TAO), which was registered in Panama, operated out of Tel Aviv, and ran a fleet of tanker ships and marketing channels to sell Iranian oil to Europe.

    The partnership, signed in 1968, lasted only 11 years. In 1979, after the Islamic Revolution, Iran cut off all ties with Israel. Despite the diplomatic cold shoulder, Iran still faced off with Israel in three different legal procedures, in an attempt to glean money for the oil it forwarded to Israel on credit before the revolution, for the value of their half of the partnership.

    The total disputed sum is in the ballpark of $7 billion. Since the Iranian oil company has been formally separated from Iran, global financial sanctions don’t apply to it.

    In 2015, two of three arbitrators ordered TAO to pay Iran some $1.2 billion for 50 oil deliveries made before the revolution, along with $362 million in interest. The arbitrators rejected a countersuit by Israel, claiming the debt should be erased to repay Israel for all the oil which Iran failed to deliver after the revolution.

    According to Israel, the original agreement called for Iran to supply oil until 2017.

    An Iranian source last year leaked the results of the arbitration, but Israel, which treats the arbitration with Iran as classified, refused to comment on the matter, other than a vague statement that it would not pay Iran.

    TAO attempted to appeal the latest Swiss verdict on technical grounds, but was denied the appeal, and ordered to pay the compensation and court costs to Iran. …interesting times

  29. skeeter

    re: The Sovereign is he who decides on the exception

    “[T]he forefathers . . . made no provision for exercise of extraordinary authority because of a crisis.” Justice Jackson, Youngstown. Clearly, GW Bush “I’m the decider” notwithstanding, Carl Schmidt’s theories do not apply in the good old. Besides who needs the exception when you can rely upon secret law.

    Alternatively you could mash up Schmidt with Naomi Klein to get “Sovereign is he who creates the exception.”

  30. Jay M

    From a short history of the future, dedicated to Divi Doni

    The exceptional country finally went paperless when DOT shut down the last thousand box cars.
    Because market, box cars had not been built for many years. At the end, the thousand were shuttled around due to advanced logistics and moved the paper.
    With the end of paper (due to a presidential decision that was supposed to extend the boxcar fleet) everything finally became transparent, and the active persons were accountable–ha,ha.ha

  31. Pavel

    Just saw a photo in the “International New York Times” (ex-Herald Tribune) re Trump’s group of financial experts, with the caption stating “no heavyweight economists” among them.

    My reaction was, jeez, if the regular Dem and Repub “heavyweight economists” are so great, why is the US and global economy such a basket case?

    (Caveat: that’s not to endorse Trump’s team by any means.)

  32. Otis B Driftwood

    I watched that Morrell segment and threw up in my mouth.

    Is Mike Morrell emblematic of what our country has turned into, or just a stock psychopath with an Ivy League degree and a portfolio? Either way, he oughta be given a bolt action rifle and a Snickers bar and drop shipped into Aleppo so he can make “those Iranians and Russians pay” directly. What a f*@!^ing asshole.

    And they call Trump crazy?

  33. Roland

    That Vox article on Clinton’s hawkishness was completely worthless. Jeremy Shapiro and Richard Sokolsky are incompetent men, unfit to write on the subject.

    Why? Simple:

    Their article did not contain a single word about the Ukraine crisis.

    It is staggering that anyone would write, or publish, an article concerning the foreign policy views of a presidential candidate, without even mentioning a currently developing potential confrontation with a major power.

    Jeremy Shapiro and Richard Sokolsky? Incompetent. Unfit. Unserious. Period.µ

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