Links 8/31/2016

Tasmanian devils are evolving resistance to their devastating contagious cancers WaPo

Swiss Central Bank Holds $129 Billion in Equities, Owns More Public Shares of Facebook Than Zuckerberg MishTalk (EW).

Chinese Banks Step Up Bad-Loan Write-Offs WSJ

Exclusive: SWIFT discloses more cyber thefts, pressures banks on security Reuters

Banking Regulators, Facing Criticism, Seek to Dispel Myths on Money-Laundering Rules WSJ. Oh!

UBS hires psychologists to help revamp research reports FT

Political Hotspots May Bubble Up on G-20 Sidelines in China Bloomberg

3 men in line for Brazilian presidency accused of corruption AP. So Dilma’s impeachment isn’t about corruption, then?

Theranos Halts New Zika Test After FDA Inspection WSJ

Jeremy Corbyn just announced a plan to end one of the biggest scams in modern history Canary. A bit over the top. But a great idea.

Trade Traitors

Trade wars: Why the central pillar of global order is in danger of collapse as TTIP disintegrates Amrbose Evans-Pritchard Daily Telegraph

Did President Obama Threaten National Security in Negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Truthout

War Drums

EXCLUSIVE: Russia-Backed DNC Hackers Strike Washington Think Tanks Defense One


Bringing an End to the Forever War War on the Rocks

The US is pissing off everyone in northern Syria Vice


Trump to meet in Mexico with the country’s president WaPo

Trump’s Media Ambitions May Look More Like TheBlaze Than Fox News Bloomberg

Glenn Greenwald: Regardless of Trump, Journalists Must Do Their Homework and Investigate Clinton Glenn Greenwald, Truthdig

Judicial Watch Submits Email Questions to Hillary Clinton – Written Answers, Under Oath, Due September 29 Judicial Watch

The New York Times just made it harder for Hillary Clinton to explain away the Clinton Foundation WaPo

Some Democrats Press Clinton to End Ties to Foundation WSJ

The Lid: Clinton and the Press Conference Question NBC

Hillary Clinton Is Doing Better In States With Highly Educated White Populations HuffPo

As Florida’s Dumb Politics Go, So Go the Nation’s Rolling Stone

The Grudge Match to Succeed Harry Reid – and Control the Senate New York Magazine

Bernie Sanders endorses Colorado single-payer health initiative The Durango Herald

CMS moves to shore up ACA insurance markets Modern Health Care

Health Care Is a Right, Not a Business CAF (GF). Can’t say it often enough.

Unsettled Country: Rural Oklahoma’s Struggle with Addiction, Mental Illness Oklahoma Watch

A Turning Point for the Charter School Movement

Dear Mayor Emanuel: I resign my position as principal of the #1 rated neighborhood school in Chicago Troy LaRaviere. I don’t understand how Rahm can be so appalling. After all, he was Obama’s chief of staff.

The DEA’s war on narco-terrorism just got more complicated Vice (Re Silc).

The CIA’s Venture-Capital Firm, Like Its Sponsor, Operates in the Shadows WSJ

The Sneaky Program to Spy on Baltimore From Above The Atlantic. Funded by Texas squillionaires John and Laura Arnold.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

In St. Louis schools, water fountains are symbols of inequality again WaPo

The Roots of Black Agrarianism Grassroots Economic Organizing

Maine Governor LePage Wants to Make Amends, Doesn’t Rule Out Resigning Bloomberg. Maybe all the Democrats vfirtue signalling about LePage can site their next damn landfill on Cape Elizabeth.

Northeast Farmers Grapple With Worst Drought In More Than A Decade NPR

Guillotine Watch

Study Shows That Luxury Shoppers Are the Worst Fortune

Sean Parker Is Reportedly Creating a Massive, Three-House Mansion in Manhattan Vanity Fair

EpiPen maker gave CEO more than $5 million to cover personal U.S. tax bill WaPo

Apartment complex evacuated due to microwaved hot pepper Boing Boing (Re Silc).

The Narrative Machine Salient (CM).

The economics and politics of manufacturing fetishism John Kay

Capitalism and democracy: the strain is showing Martin Wolf, FT

Off the Grid on a Floating Homemade Island Adventure Journal

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Kevin C. Smith

    Health Care Is a Right, Not a Business.

    I’m a doc in Canada, and we get “Health Care Is a Right, Not a Business” thrown at us all the time.
    Meanwhile, we are required to run our small businesses to provide that care.
    The government [apart from Quebec] has an absolute monopoly on the provision of medically necessary healthcare in Canada, and the docs work for what the government pays or they don’t work at all.
    If a service is underfunded, either the doc does the work at a loss, or does not do the work at all.
    There are very long waiting lists for many kinds of services.
    “Access to a waiting list is not the same as access to care.”

    1. cwaltz

      Heh, here in the US we have waiting lists too for many kinds of services. It doesn’t seem to matter that we pay more for care than you all.

      1. timbers

        If you consider those in the U.S. with no access to healthcare to be on a waiting list, it exceeds the entire population of Canada, I think.

    2. Higgs Boson

      Canada (like the United States, England, Japan,and Australia) is the sole issuer of its own nonconvertible fiat currency. Such currency issuers can never run out of money, and government spending is not constrained by revenue (taxes and/or borrowing).

      If a service is underfunded, if there are long waiting lists, that is a political decision, not a monetary one. Canada could fund healthcare services to the level that docs don’t work at a loss and waiting lists are not so long. It is just a question of political will to spend the money.

      In that regard, Canada suffers from the same disease that its neighbor to the south and its cousins abroad are inflicted with.

      1. abynormal

        a quick search shows decades of pdf papers for privatizing Canada’s Healthcare System. Canada has been experiencing the Process of gutting the system. keep an eye on the growing share selloffs of Crown & SaskTel, “a desperate attempt to fill its billion dollar resource revenue hole”

        ‘Political Will’ is no match for packs of Corporate wolves. Deregulating any ‘Needs of the People’, like Energy, Healthcare, Banking, Shelter etc., is guaranteed profit.

      2. Jim Haygood

        ‘Canada is the sole issuer of its own nonconvertible fiat currency.’

        That’s going to come a shock to many Canadians, who thought they could exchange loonies for USD or euros anytime they wanted.

        1. Higgs Boson

          When I’m visiting relatives in Nouveau Brunswick towns close to the US border, US dollars are accepted along with Canadian dollars for payment of just about anything. This diminishes as you get farther from the border.

          That seems to be a one-way street, as I have not seen anyone on the US side of the border accepting Canadian money for payment.

          1. diptherio

            A lot of places will even return Canadian pennies and dimes…call it American exceptionalism, I guess.

            1. Indrid Cold

              This used to not be the case. There was a brief period where the Canadian $ suddenly had much lower value and we in n Ohio stopped taking it.

          2. voteforno6

            I grew up in a state bordering Canada, and stores would accept Canadian change (anything less than a dollar). That worked fine, unless you wanted to play a video game, and you had a Canadian quarter.

          3. Dogstar

            Used to work retail in a town an hour south of the border. Not only did we accept Canadian cash, we gave a discount. Growing up 250 miles south of the border, canadian coins were interchangeable with u.s.- only problem was pinball and soda machines didn’t like the lighter quarters.

            1. diptherio

              I also remember a time when Canuck change was acceptable as legal tender, but it seems like it’s been many years ago. I have, on more than one occasion, had a cashier hand me back a Canadian dime with a barely-concealed look of disdain, as if to say “excuse me, but we only take real money here.”

      3. W.Jennings

        “Canada (like the United States, England, Japan,and Australia) is the sole issuer of its own nonconvertible fiat currency. Such currency issuers can never run out of money, and government spending is not constrained by revenue (taxes and/or borrowing).”

        The same is true for Zimbabwe and Venezuela. How has that worked out for them ?

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Whenever something’s proposed that is good for actual people the cry is always “there’s not enough money!”.
          Rubbish. And I don’t mean we need to crank up the already white-hot printing presses.
          There’s plenty of money, it’s sitting untaxed in shadowy havens around the globe, the best estimate is there’s 34 trillion dollars stashed away from taxing governments.
          A billion is a thousand million, and a trillion is a thousand billion. So we allow 34,000 million dollars to play outside the rules.
          A 20% tax would generate $68,000 for each and every household in the US. That would buy alot of band-aids.

            1. Aumua

              Yep. A trillion is a million million. So 34 trillion is a whole lot of $$$, but what is it really? It’s just a number you’re reading on an LCD screen so WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON HERE?

        2. HotFlash

          The same is true for Zimbabwe and Venezuela. How has that worked out for them ?

          Ah, they had the bad fortune to take out debt repayable in US dollars. See Confessions of an Economic Hitman for details of how this works.

          To get US dollars to pay back the loans (which enrich US companies, the USD never hit your country), you sell your resources and products to buyers who pay in USD. Golly, not enough! Panic!!! To boost your exports, you devalue your own currency. Hmm, comes time to pay back the USD, you have to exchange your devalued peso or Zimbabwean dollars for USD. You lose. Honk!

          Oh, the Zimbabwean dollar became so worthless that even Zimbabweans won’t take it anymore. You can still get them, they are collectors items. Value against USD ~ .002. Not even the paper on which they are printed.

        3. Foy

          Due to internal conflicts and virtually civil war Zimbabwe destroyed 80% of it’s productive capacity, that will cause inflation anywhere, anytime so its a poor example. In addition Zimbabwe and Venezuela had also borrowed in foreign currency (USD). It’s the borrowing in a foreign currency that causes the problem. Provided the sovereign country does not borrow in a foreign currency it does not have an issue. They can always meet any obligations that are in their own currency.

          This is the reason that sovereign governments should avoid foreign debt at all costs. It’s a noose just waiting to be tightened. Sooner or later the people holding the noose always will as Venezuela are finding out. A Game as Old as Empire…

      4. nothing but the truth

        here we go again,

        confusing whimsical paper money with not so whimsical reality.

    3. a different chris

      So what should be done differently? I *am* assuming you want to care for people who need it, regardless of their personal ability to pay.

    4. Eureka Springs

      Thank you, Kevin. I’ve oft wondered why so many in the U.S. are interested in looking at Canada when so many other existing models do much much better in terms of cost and results. I mean I know we are at the bottom looking up… but still.

    5. Benedict@Large

      “Access to a waiting list …”

      There’s another waiting list seldom mentioned, and it’s a large one. It’s the list of qualified students waiting for a shot at medical school.

      If there are services for which there are no doctors available, then perhaps we should expand the number of doctors until that is not the case.

    6. dcblogger

      be glad you get paid. in the US doctors can wait for months to get paid for treatments and proceedures that recieved prior approval from health insurance parasites.

  2. William C

    AEP’s piece amusingly ignores what is probably the principal reason TTIP is in trouble in Europe -. Its main, previously powerful European protagonist, the UK, is now effectively powerless as a lobbyist for it in the EU corridors of power.

    1. Pavel

      I’m not sure, but I suspect the arrogant US response to the EU ruling on Ireland and Apple’s unpaid $13B taxes (cf expressions of outrage by Jack Lew and Tim Cook among others) isn’t going to endear many EU citizens to the TTIP.

      Faced with the loss of British funding (3rd in the EU after Germany and France, I believe) after Brexit, the EU countries are going to need all the money they can get. If it means going after US tax-dodgers Apple, Starbucks, Amazon, Google et al who exploit Irish and Luxembourg loopholes, so much the better. Starbucks for one pays almost no tax in the UK because it claims there is no “profit” (the UK stores pay “royalties” to the Luxembourg entity). Shameless.

      1. vidimi

        McDonalds is another one. they are hugely successful in France, making over 3B€ in profit but paid only 16m€ in taxes thanks to royalty payments to the Lux branch. all those trademarks really are worth billions. also, the architect of this fraud, Jean-Claude Juncker should be in prison, not at the head of the EU

    1. cwaltz

      He had to check with Hillary to see if the Democratic Party was okay with him supporting it.

      I’m pretty sure they leashed him once he entered the veal pen.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Which is why so many of us Bernie Sanders supporters have found other things to do.

        Speaking of which, one of my friends is running for a seat in the AZ House. And she just won her primary!

        1. Jim Haygood

          On a less happy note, Arizona Senator John McShame won his R-party primary against Dr Kelli Ward.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Methinks that Ann Kirkpatrick is going to run a tough race against him in the general election.

            1. Jim Haygood

              Agreed. But Ward v. Kirkpatrick would have offered richer choices, just as Sanders v. Trump would have done.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        What crap. Clinton is opposed to single payer. Sanders just endorsed it. How on earth is Sanders endorsing single payer part of Clinton’s plan for world domination? Wait, I know. He didn’t endorse it in the right way. He didn’t endorse it using the right words. He didn’t endorse it during the right phase of the moon! And so on.

        The criteria I set up for Sanders succcess included:

        1) Don’t turn the list over

        2) Set up a standalone entity

        3) Endorse the Colorado single payer initiative

        So far, he’s met all three of them.

        What would you prefer that he do? Not endorse? Leave politics? What, exactly?

        The Porcelain Throne of Porcelain ™ is a pleasant place to sit, at least for a while, but has some downsides as well.

        1. Marco

          Forgive us our impertinence. I’ll be the first to admit being wound-up tight this election season. Your “Overton Prism” standard has been consistent from the beginning and an appropriate measure of success or failure.

        2. cwaltz

          I assure you Bernie is not doing anything the DNC hasn’t already decided can be used to benefit (just like he’s endorsing McGinty a pro fracking corporate shill because ……..Democrat.)

          I don’t particularly care what Bernie does(I’m sure he’ll do what he thinks is in his best interest.) He pretty much became irrelevant for me after endorsing Clinton. I’m certainly not following him into the veal pen or buying his you should vote for so and so because …… Democratic majority crap. I get to act in my self interest and Bernie has not convinced me that a Democratic Senate is in my interest at all.

          I would have preferred he stayed out of the veal pen entirely. I get that he’s a man of his word. I also get that I myself would feel no compunction to maintain my word after those emails made it clear that Clinton and the DNC colluded during the primary. He’s endorsing a candidate he knows is corrupt and a party that he knows cheats. There isn’t much honor in that(since you asked what I felt he should have done.)

          1. JohnnyGL

            Right now I don’t buy the ‘veal pen’ concept. Obviously, Lambert has zero-tolerance for it and the evidence is thin. I do think Sanders might need to do a bit of compromising with elite dems to give himself some breathing room. After all, Sanders still needs to be on decent terms with the party to be able to influence legislation. Inside-outside game and all that.

            Some patience is required in setting up a stand-alone organization that Sanders hasn’t set up before and that doesn’t have a ton of precedence in US politics. In a year or two if ‘Our Revolution’ looks to be making too many compromises, I’ll turn against it.

            A good litmus test is going to be the lame-duck session. If Sanders and OR can play an visible role in burying TPP, then that’s a win. If they cave, then you can start yelling ‘veal pen’ at the top of your lungs and you’ll have a case to make.

            1. shinola

              “…After all, Sanders still needs to be on decent terms with the party to be able to influence legislation. Inside-outside game and all that.”


              Reality may suck sometimes, but it IS reality.

              1. cwaltz

                Who here thinks that endorsing the corrupt DNC is going to get him influence?

                I personally don’t. They will continue to use him for fundraising and treat him like the dotty old uncle.

                We’ll see whose right soon enough I’ll guess.

                1. Lambert Strether Post author

                  Can we be a bit more careful with language? Candidates are endorsed. The DNC is not.

                  As for “dotty old uncle,” I’m sorry you feel this is about a candidate’s personal characteristics. It isn’t.

          2. oh

            He squandered a golden opportunity to be independent. They cheated him out of a primary win. But he joined the evil Dim party and endorsed the flawed (to put it mildly) candidate. I feel sorry for him but I have no regard for him. I think he’s finished.

            1. cwaltz

              That’s pretty much where I stand.

              I do think it’s telling how the DNC platform played out because it shows exactly how much “influence” the DNC is going to let him have.

              What was it they gave him again?….a promise to increase the wage to $15 an hour… time? My goodness what a ginormous concession when you actually have the GOP candidate conceding that it should at the very least be $10 an hour. (rolls eyes)

          3. Lambert Strether Post author

            Well, I could assure you of all sorts of things.

            You can assure me of all sorts of things.

            And so what?

            Ya know, I asked a question: “What would you prefer that he do? Not endorse? Leave politics? What, exactly?”

            Not what would you prefer him to have done, insofar as he did what he said what he would do. What would you prefer him to do?

            Because I am about to prime and then paint a room, I don’t have time to read the whole thread, but if the rest of the comments don’t approach this question either, that’s a sign to me that these decisions are not as easy as they are claimed to be.

            1. cwaltz

              If you are talking to me I told you,

              He should have left the party. There is no honor in endorsing corrupt behavior and yes by endorsing and stumping for a “democratic majority” in the Senate he is condoning the corrupt nature of the DNC.

              The corporate takeover failed and the leader of the revolution just joined the Board of Directors for the old company.

        3. flora

          Well, I now afraid of the wrath of Lambert, should I express my views on certain topics. Unlike other topics where debate is allowed and even encouraged.

          1. flora

            Monty Python skit format:

            f: here are my thoughts on [topic which must not be named]
            l: wrong, wrong, wrong, and childish, too.

              1. B1whois

                These are tough times. Finding the way forward will be incredibly difficult. It will be impossible without solidarity. Friends who want political change do not unwisely flame friends who will be needed for the coming battles. Know who your allies are and maintain those relationships. Ego and pride do not serve our mutual purposes and must be set aside. Thank you Lambert and Flora for your many contributions to my education.

          2. ambrit

            What? The Wrath of Lambert, as played by Ricardo Montalban?
            I can assure you, Lambert will supply cogent arguments for his opposition to whatever part of the comment doesn’t pass muster with him. Do not be afraid to argue back. Just do it with some degree of logic and consistency.
            We all have some pet peeves that we push with a degree of illogic and personal commitment. Getting the ego out of the way is difficult, and, dare I say it, a life long endeavour.
            Besides, much as some of us might complain about it, it is a private venue. I just agree to disagree and leave it at that.

                1. ambrit

                  I couldn’t find a link to the SNL Spanish language “game show” send up where host Bill Murray asks the question; “Quien es lo mas macho: Ricardo Montalban 0′ Fernando Lamas?”
                  “Quien sabe?”

                  1. Ignacio

                    Fernando Lamas, el rey de las camas!

                    F. Lamas King of Beds. This is not my invention but a phrase in a bed ad. By the way Lamas also means slats in spanish.

              1. ambrit

                Hah! It can be done. Just because something is a “pet peeve” to some does not automatically make it worthy of disdain. Many “pet peeves” can be presented as ‘cogent;’ such as the function of the FED.
                Be of good cheer.

          3. paul Tioxon

            You mean like James Levy and the wrath he felt, not so much by Lambert or Yves?

            It’s the Spanish Inquisition which nobody expects from the people who haven’t figured out that electoral politics is not the time to lose your goddamned minds. Not much debate on how solar energy is on the dem platform and not at all on the r’s. Just so you know, we used to discuss climate change extensively, and the government’s policy to transition away from fossil fuels in accordance with COP21, the planetary agreement organized by the UN.

            Apparently, the existential threat of fires, floods and in Philadelphia, the hottest August on record, with the record going back to the 1800s, 16 days at 90 degrees or higher, over 4 degrees higher than on average that we are living through this summer is not as important as various moralizing, idealism, purity tests, ethical standards and other annihilation of Eternal Verities which never have and never will pay the rent, but will only serve to send us to imaginary radical hell as sins committed against principles, dogmas and holy commandments.

            As always, flora, wrath in politics is like heat, if you can’t stand it, get out of the kitchen.

            1. pretzelattack

              yes, it’s awful that neither of the major candidates are going to effectively address climate change. that’s why we need to change the system asap.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Instead of trying to sneak TPP through before he leaves, the president should try to address climate change (since neither of the major candidates will).

                In any case, typically, we remember only the last straw.

            2. jrs

              Yes I agree: don’t vote it’s a waste of time (at least for Prez). It’s profoundly unimportant and impotent and does nothing to address anything of importance.

          4. witters

            Also, don’t say anything nice about the Greens. Here Lambert is like the British Labour Party VSPs.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              Bullshit. When the Greens, for example, use their $500K wisely to improve their website, I say so. When Stein goes on CNN, I link to it.

              Incidentally, I’ve noticed one consistent quality in GP advocates: They are far more likely to complain about lack of coverage than they are to contribute links — no party sites, please! — that would simultaneously add value to the comment threads and give us new sources to look at, improving coverage. It’s sorta like “Give us your infrastructure, we deserve it!” all over again. Eh?

          5. Lambert Strether Post author

            It never ceases to amaze me, in all my years of moderation, that pride in strategic acumen so often correlates directly with insulting the moderator. One would think the relationship would be inverse, but no. Life is funny, sometimes.

            1. cwaltz

              My intent isn’t to insult you.

              I disagree with you(and Bernie) from a strategic standpoint. That isn’t an insult, it’s just my view of things which I base off my observations of the more and better democrats strategy over the years..

        4. Steve H.

          Lambert, those criteria are valid and is the reason I’ll be writing in Sanders.

          Noting this is not a swing state so I have the Freedom of no agency nor responsibility for the presidential outcome.

          Local/state, however, are occasionally within 1% for who wins, and directly effect my daily life. So I always vote.

          1. flora

            Local/state races are very important. They can affect minimum wage laws, local environmental laws, state tax laws, school funding, local gun control laws, and a host of other important issues.

            1. Daryl

              Out here in Hicksville, TX, the Democrats often do not bother to put forward candidates for election. The choices are often between Republicans and Libertarians/independents who failed to unseat the local Republican nutjob in the primaries. I vote every two years but mainly for my own amusement.

            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              Which would be why Our Revolution is supporting candidates down to the school board level, as opposed to a quadriennal quest for rescue by celebrity candidates. Eh?

              1. cwaltz

                The Green Party also runs candidates. Let’s not play pretend. As a matter of fact since Canova failed there’s a Green who will be challenging DWS.

                LOL, the celebrity candidates are the DNC candidates since those are the ones who get all the media coverage.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Lucky are those who are in swing states.

            From Henry V:

            And gentlemen in England now a-bed
            Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
            And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
            That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

            “My vote helped to stop the Foundation.”

          3. Lambert Strether Post author

            I can’t be sure they’re valid. But they’re logical. I put some time into thinking them through.

            Not every supporting DCCC candidates would be another one.

            1. Steve H.

              I think they have predictive validity, too. #’s 2 and 3 are done and cannot be undone, but had not yet been done when the criteria were established. Not turning the list over is open ended in terms of time. We could put a soft cap on it of November 8, unless Clinton is elected. A ready-made enemies list is a grand prize, is it not?

        5. fosforos

          I would have preferred that he act as a leading member, not as the sole “leader,” of the movement that he always had said was “about you, not about me.” Then he would have convened all the delegates elected to represent his political revolution to debate and determine their actions at the convention and after. A “standalone entity” without democratic control (and even without members?) doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment, even were it to be given a list of disillusioned contributors to an entirely different political operation. And, by the way, I have yet to see a statement by Sanders or by “Our Revolution” about Colin Kaepernick.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’m starting to get the feeling that if Sanders had endorsed Colorado single payer five minutes after the Democratic convention closed, you’d be posting the same drive-by.

        1. Synapsid


          “That’s me! Alexis Zorba. I have other names if…you are interested.”

          Anthony Quinn, as Zorba.

          (This is off topic.)

      1. Pirmann

        Lambert, you’re so quick to dismiss valid commentary, such as the above by cwaltz, as the Flounce Off Brigade, but maybe your preferred end game differs from the end game others would have preferred.

        A stand alone organization. Give me a break. He may as well have named it The Sanders Foundation. Donate money and we’ll issue meaningless endorsements. Gee, where do I sign up?

        The end game for most of us was either win the nomination, fight for the win when corruption was evident, or be a Representative and actually represent your constituents. When he endorsed she who is the embodiment of everything he stood against, he lost all credibility in my eyes. As such, I don’t care who his bezzle organization endorses.

        As a side note, note that they’re only endorsing Democrats. So, it’s still about party affiliation and not ideas.

        1. Pete

          Two thoughts, whatever happened to the rumour that sanders always lied? I also want to point out a theme I think Yves talked about a fair bit and that is to win by losing and I think that is the best way to look at this situation.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Never heard of that rumor in America.

            Maybe the rumour is only in the UK, or other commonwealth countries.

          2. cwaltz

            I don’t think he lied. I think he failed and then he strategically chose to stay aligned with people he knew engaged in corrupt undemocratic behavior. It’s his choice but I don’t have to admire it or consider it canny.

        2. cwaltz

          The revolution went from we can make things like health care and schooling for everyone possible and why are we are we dreaming small when it comes to what we wish to accomplish to “Elect Democrats because they aren’t Republicans” or Trump.

          I never expected Sanders to be a white knight on a horse set to out to save me from the corporate oligarchy that governs us while keeping up the narrowest of pretenses that we’ve got a democracy but I sure as heck didn’t expect him to toss in with folks like McGinty with such abandon. Give Hillary Clinton a Democratic majority in the Senate so she has help when she becomes President?…..uh no thank you. Wait, wait, let me guess…..the intent is for a democratic kabuki majority to “hold her feet to the fire during her Presidency” (while she holds backdoor meetings with her corporate donors like the oil industry or the health care industry, or the numerous other businesses that have been invited backstage to craft legislation like the TPP? ) Yeah, that’ll work swimmingly.

    3. Toasted Petrarch

      I would think after having watched Vermont’s single payer crash & burn, we would have all learned a lesson. Simply put, single payer cannot be done on the state level (with few exceptions). One of the chief reasons VT Gov Shumlin vetoed the SP legislation is because the largest providers, namely the pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment companies and other national organizations that provide “health care” these days threatened to withdraw their products & services from the state should single payer become law. No state, other than maybe CA, FL, TX or NY, has leverage over these huge corporations. Imagine trying to provide allopathic care in 2016 without drugs or equipment. There is no law compelling the manufacturers of medicine or devices to sell their wares. Colorado residents could get hung out to dry as a perverse lesson in moral hazard to other states considering single payer. Seems to me this has got to be done either at the national level or in a big state like CA at a minimum to force these companies to the negotiating table.

      1. oh

        If I understand you correctly, the hospitals, doctors and other health care providers will close shop and leave if Colorado Care passes. Not gonna happen. BTW, the measure does not depend on the governor, legislature or other politicians to implement Colorado Care, unlike Vermont’s.

        1. Toasted Petrarch

          No, you didn’t understand me. Doctors, nurses and hospitals won’t be able to practice modern medicine without access to drugs and medical equipment (among other nationally determined resources). And there’s no way anyone can force these companies to provide those materials.

  3. craazyman

    wow. Whacko Island Canada — the “floating homemade island” — is quite a spectacle. ROTFLMAO at 7 am.

    “Welcome to Whacko Island,” says Ricardo Mantalban in a Mackinaw plaid coat and a Beaver Hat with ear flaps. “Here’s a hammer. Now get to work.” hahahah. that was a long time ago. Ricardo Mantalban. Anybody remember when he played Khan in Star Trek? He was some macho dude who wanted to take over the Enterprise and the Universe. Sort of an alien alpha male, with long hair even. I can’t remember how they smacked him down, but he might have ended up on Whacko Island as a handyman, but not the visionary. That’s what happens to many men with a deranged ambition.

    Not much to do on Whacko Island but work — unless it’s your whacko island, then you do what you waant and it isn’t work, what a metaphor that is! LOL. Work or stare at the water and the trees, or the sky if the water and trees get old. “Look, there’s the sky. Haven’t seen it since 10 am.!” “Look, there’s a cloud.” This is a busy day!

    Oh man. Whacko Island is pretty impressive. I bet even the local Bigfoots sort of stand in the woods and wonder at it, watchin it through the bushes.

    1. ambrit

      Oh craazyman! Kahn is the end result of the Neoliberal Dispensation! He’s an ‘Augmented Human,’ the result of human genetic manipulation. He ended up, with his crew of other ‘Augmented Humans,’ exiled on the planet Ceti Alpha V, at the end of the original television episode “Space Seed,” in which Montalban also portrayed Kahn. While many people make fun of the “New Overclass'” plans to colonize Mars, we should not make the mistake of underestimating the ambitions and reach of the Human Overclass. If and when the Disney Office of Super Sciences perfects cryogenic hibernation, it’s off to the stars in a Slowboat. Remember, you read it here first.

        1. ambrit

          Interesting division of viewpoints shown by our differences of spelling of “over/class.”
          I spell it ‘Overclass,” thus giving it agency as a semi monolithic entity. You employ the generic usage, ‘over class,’ suggesting a more diffuse organizational structure. The psychology of this is very interesting, and not necessarily to my benefit. Contrawise, the concretization of an amorphous ‘class’ can act as a focus, in that most people react more vigorously to a definite object than a ‘concept.’ Politically, ‘Overclass’ is more useful than ‘over class.’
          From Kahn Noonian Singh to political organizational word usage. Fun, fun, fun!

          1. Skippy

            Yet’ does either consume the future more eagerly than the other under one or the other….

            Disheveled Marsupial… did mythos write itself or did someone fund it in advance… hence the wrest over it…

            1. ambrit

              I’ll have to fall back on police procedure. We have motive, greed, for power and resources, we have the opportunity, certain classes of human society have control over much of the available resources and want ever more, but we are still searching for the intent. Is this planned and organized looting, or is it a general but diffuse aggrandizement?
              We should ask Kirk, the other Alpha Male in this scenario.

            2. Skippy

              OK…. think of it as China is the new America of the early 1900s where the nouveau riche are making waves in the big pond and the big chairs across the pond are getting wobbly… more billionaires in America but… more millionaire money in China looking to consume future contracts…

              Disheveled Marsupial… contracts consume the future… eh…

              Elephant – Crimsionish –

      1. Vatch

        Once they’ve been genetically enhanced, maybe they won’t need the blood of young healthy people. Poor Peter Thiel — he hasn’t been enhanced.

    2. Carolinian

      Some of us do remember Ricardo’s over the top perf in Wrath of Khan. Pauline Kael suggested he had a prosthetic chest.

      1. paul

        Some of us with great fondness.
        Noone else could have played him in that best,most faithful to the original, of the film series.
        Pauline Kael is best for serious films.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Per Kirk, that was Monteban. Shatner said he was a rugged, athletic guy who danced, fenced, and everything else that will destroy knees. After his knees went, Monteban hit the gym, pool, and horse trail just as actively as his good knee days.

        1. Bugs Bunny

          Just the dose of Shatner awesome that I needed to make my day a little better. Thanks for that, doc.

    3. HopeLB

      The perfect place to study differential calc and paint impressionistic bushes/trees/sky/water/island and all combinations of them, reflections of reflections of water on dewy trees/bushes. No?

      1. craazyman

        what totally cracked me up was the video shot of him fishing from his sofa through a trap door he’d built in the floor. hahahahhaha. that was hilarious.

        fukk what a wacko dude. Props in his general direction,

        Old Wacko

        Faroe, Ascension, you don’t need a pension
        Greenland, Reunion
        Like livin on the moon-ion
        Ro-bin-son Ca-ru-so
        Where oh where did he go?
        To get a way from it all

        Our footsteps in the sand
        Ten thousand miles away from land
        where even planes don’t go
        We’re here on old Wacko

        Fishin and hammerin
        stare at the sky and stammerin
        a sleepin and peepin
        through boards at clouds a seepin
        A freezin and wheezin
        we don’t need a reason

        yeah we’ll get there fast
        and then we’ll take it slow
        for years on Old Wacko

        etc. etc.

        1. ambrit

          Curiously fun that the Beach Boys sing about Kokomo being in the Florida Keys when it’s really in Indiana. Now that sounds like some Magonian Mind Trickery at work. Is Dr Tremens still working at the University of Magonia Department of Transcendental Philosophy? We should ask him.
          P.S. I’d love to see the video associated with your version of the song.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield

      Thanks for letting us know. I was not aware of this problem and have not been able to fix it myself but I’ve asked for help.

    2. so

      It’s a troll magnet. Best leave the comments off if they want to do something else besides moderate today.

  4. Ignim Brites

    From: “The US is pissing off everyone in northern Syria”:

    “The new US general in charge of the US war against IS has said the US and its allies intend to take Raqqa by next August — and the US is depending on its Kurdish allies to comprise the main ground fighting force in the effort.”

    What conceivable national security interest does the US have in the war against IS? Wouldn’t it make more sense to extend diplomatic recognition to the caliphate and quit the Middle East altogether?

    1. Carolinian

      Silly you. We’ve always been at war against Eastasia. From the War on the Rocks link.

      The administration’s current legal theory seems to be that ISIL basically is al-Qaeda — or an al-Qaeda — based on its predecessor organization’s past connections to the group targeted by the 2001 AUMF and ISIL’s current claims that it is “the rightful successor to bin Laden’s legacy.” That Osama bin Laden’s actual, designated successor, Ayman al-Zawihiri, has repudiated and excommunicated ISIL presents something of a problem for that theory as does the fact that the two groups are engaged in open warfare against each other. Indeed, headlines like “ISIS Beheads Leader of Al Qaeda Offshoot Nusra Front,” or “Petraeus: Use Al Qaeda Fighters to Beat ISIS” might give one cause to wonder — or even debate — whether ISIL is the same enemy Congress authorized President Bush to wage war against back before Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPod.

      And not only have we made a farce of the Constitution, but we now have field generals threatening war against Russia if US forces in Syria–illegally in the country to begin with–are struck by their bombs. The founding fathers were right. The power to inflict violence must always be the choice of the American public, not the loons who claim to rule us.

    2. DJG

      What I find appalling about the article is its assumption that the Turks are a-okay being pissed off because they don’t want to give “autonomy” to Kurds in southeastern Turkey, so destroying the renegade Syrian region of Rojava is just fine. Is the writer that dense? The Turkish AKP establishment ran the last electoral campaign on fear of the Kurds. The Kurdish insurgency in southeastern Turkey has gone on for years, and the central government has been brutal, repeatedly. Any time anyone suggests milder treatment, the Turkish elite goes into a panic and insists that Turkey will be dismembered imminently. This is the same Turkey now blackmailing the EU over refugees, who again are flowing (justifiably) into the Greek islands. (Including a few Turks now seeking asylum as a result of the coup attempt.)

      For a good counterargument, and if you read Italian, try Zerocalcare’s graphic novel about his time in Rojava. It is called Kobane Calling.

    3. Jim Haygood

      ‘the US and its allies intend to take Raqqa by next August’

      Remember how General Marshall warned Hitler in 1943 that the allies would “retake Normandy by next June”?

      Ha ha, me neither. What clowns, asshats …

    4. Antifa

      “What conceivable national security interest does the US have in the war against IS?”

      The US has none. The Exceptional Empire most definitely does:

      * every state in the Middle East shall be a willing vassal of the Empire, or find itself in civil war on the way to becoming a willing vassal. Hey, if they’re going to sit on our oil, they’re going to do what we say, period.

      * once every state in the Middle East is our willing vassal, Russian influence in the region will be minimal; no one will buy their weapons instead of ours; we can park all kinds of missiles practically on the Russian border; Russia will lose its Syrian naval base on the Mediterranean; Russia will not be able to sell or supply its natural gas to Europe and Africa via pipelines through our friendly vassal states — instead, our vassal states will sell oil and gas via pipeline to Europe and Africa, leaving Russia weakened because it has no customers for its gas.

      * as our stable of vassal states expands further east to include Afghanistan, Pakistan and India we will be in a better position to throttle China economically and militarily.

      * China is currently working to become economic partners with most African states. We can put a stop to that if we have complete control of Middle Eastern oil. Everything valuable in the ground in Africa belongs to the Empire, including the ground. And the water. We own South America, too, by the way.

      * our permanent interest is friendly vassal states everywhere, or there’ll be hell to pay. If any nation presents even so much as a 1% chance of challenging our hegemony economically or militarily, or gets 1% out of line, that’s valid cause for preemptive war.

      * watch your asses — the above applies to the 50 vassal states between Canada and Mexico.

  5. Don Midwest USA

    Tweet this morning

    Michael Tracey @mtracey
    “Debbie Wasserman Schultz declares victory” might be the most depressing sentence ever written in the history of the English language

    then retweeted by Glenn Greenwald

    from Glenn
    Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald 10m10 minutes ago
    Glenn Greenwald Retweeted Michael Tracey
    Not if you’re a payday lender, a fanatical drug warrior, or an enthusiastic supporter of Israeli occupation…Glenn Greenwald added,

    1. Vatch

      Very discouraging. Why do voters prefer people like DWS when there’s a good alternative like Tim Canova? It’s so sad and strange. A victory for the TPP.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        The usual reasons. It’s hard to beat incumbents, especially with a candidate new to politics. The DWS base is not Sanders base. Israel. Canova’s weakness in the debate, farcical though it was.

        1. Jomo

          Maybe the question to be asked is what has DWS done for the members of her district as opposed to she sold out Sanders and she will vote TPP. I doubt that either of those matters much to the people who voted.

          1. Pat

            This, too.

            I knew Rangel was always going to win here. Why? The man’s constituent service was legendary in NYC. His office was known for going the extra mile to try to find help for people in his district (and even the neighboring ones).

            I have no idea whether DWS has been smart enough to adopt that I might not get the law passed or adapted for you, but I will do my best to navigate what we do have for you version of constituent service, but if she has she will always be formidable, even in the general.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Sounds like he offered great customer service.

              That’s the key to success in any business…even the business of politics.

              And smart ones run their politics business like a business.

        2. JohnnyGL

          Vatch, let’s put these results in perspective….

          She won 57%-43%, 28,279 to 21,504, so under 7K votes in a district that includes parts of Palm Beach and Miami Beach. I’ll defer to locals who know FL better, but that looks like a very solid district of status-quo, wealthy democrats.

          It’s very confusing to try to do historical comparisons and make calls about turnout because of redistricting. Keep in mind, redistricting makes primary challenges harder because elite dems and elite republicans call the shots and they want to draw nice, safe districts for themselves. This is very much an uphill climb.

          On the other hand, Grayson got clobbered against Murphy in his Senate primary. More so than polls showed going into the race. However, Rubio got over 1M votes vs. Murphy’s win with 600K, so Rubio may hold on anyway.

          1. Benedict@Large

            “…a district that includes parts of Palm Beach and Miami Beach.”

            That’s well over an hour of driving in a district that at times is (east to west) the right of way for I-95. In other words, it’s a district that should not exist, and exists only so that the deeply wealthy can have their own Congress Critter. It’s also a district that has a lot of payday lenders AROUND it, but very few in it.

      2. Adam Eran

        This link from Tom Dispatch describes a Louisiana voter dealing with a) record floods, and b) methane leaks that have made his neighborhood unlivable.

        So is he now going to vote pro-enviro? Nope. The message: For humans, narrative trumps reality. It’s why the right has invested so heavily in fairy tales.

      3. elime divad

        In my view Canova’s recent flyer attacking DWS for supporting the the Iran nuclear accord was a Rovian style cheap shot. Please do not read this as a defense of DWS but rather my distain for cynical negative campaign tactics.
        I hope DWS finds warming the bleachers tiresome and retires to really innovate in Pay Day lending.

      4. philnc

        Closed primary. Only true believers allowed to vote. Just another way the oligarchy maintains control.

        The worst part? Less than 30,000 Democrats just decided who will represent over 700,000 citizens in Congress. Doesn’t anyone see that as problematic?

        1. cwaltz

          Why yes, some of us do.

          It’s a bit tiresome to hear each election cycle to just keep trying because any day now you will get those more and better Democrats that you want. It’s even less believable that the people doing the “you have to vote for her because Republicans are e-vil and stupid crap when you had the head of the DNC admitting that they set up the system to thwart activists and you have emails showing they essentially cheated and conspired against half the party. It takes a special type of stupid and naïve to insist that this kind of behavior is better than what the Republicans offer. It’s essentially the same darn thing.

          It’s even more tiresome when you get some Democrat apologist making assumptions about you and insisting it’s totally “purity” that keeps you from voting for corruption and oligarchic control over and over. If you want my vote than give me a candidate to vote for. I already told you during the primary that I wouldn’t vote for her and I didn’t care if that meant Trump would win.

          I’m not eating dog food to save people from Trump so the Democrat apologists can troll away on my “purity.”

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Also numerically problematic is the legacy fact that a small state can have 2 senators, just like humongous-ly populous states.

          So, we get undemocracy where 600,000 people in Vermont have the same legislative weight (in the Senate) as the 38.5 million people who live in California (assuming roughly the same proportion of those above voting age).

    2. ambrit

      Ohm good heavens! Well, if the people of Florida want to be consistently stupid, then perhaps a Trump Administration would consider building a wall along a line roughly sited from Cross City, through Gainesville to Palm Coast. Then, when the sea level rises, America can tell all of the refugees from farther south to follow Rule Two of the Neoloberal rule book.

        1. ambrit

          Well, one way to combat the ravages of the negative effects of the Anthropocene is a massive human die off. This looming threat doesn’t look to be the sort of crisis that one can “muddle through.”

          1. Jagger

            Well, one way to combat the ravages of the negative effects of the Anthropocene is a massive human die off.

            And the massive die off has got to be sooner rather than later. No use having a good old fashioned, massive die off AFTER runaway greenhouse overheating is already inevitable.

            1. Steve H.

              Unfortunately, that’s exactly how it works. Both the original Limits to Growth and the 30-year update indicate pollution increasing after population peaks and starts to die off.

              Hmm. Is methane bubbling from not-so-permafrost considered pollution or a natural phenomena?

          2. B

            “Massive human die off”. Got a running start on one here, looks like.

            There is a third pole on earth, and it’s melting quickly.

            “It is estimated that the water that flows from the Third Pole supports 120 million people directly through irrigation systems, and a total of 1.3 billion indirectly through river basins in China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. That’s nearly one fifth of the world’s population.”

            1. Vatch

              China and India are by far the two most populated nations on Earth, and the combined populations of Pakistan and Bangladesh exceed the population of the United States of America by approximately 110 million people. This is not a good situation.

          3. Jeremy Grimm

            The Archdruid pointed out in his book “Dark Age America” that a “massive die-off” could occur over a century as a result of small increases in the death rates and decreases in the birth and birth survival rates. It does appear we may be in for a slightly bumpy ride.

            The most recent posts at the Arctic News [] are scary. Many in the climate change community are concerned that we may be seeing an exponential increase in the rate of average temperature increase. Fitting an exponential curve to the temperature data and doing a simple extrapolation of that curve brings the average temperature increase to 10 degrees Celsius [18 degree Fahrenheit] by the year 2026. Simple extrapolations like this are not conclusive but they suggest the possibility of a very bad trend. The link “Northeast Farmers Grapple with Drought …” is the kind of unhappy trend which will put a squeeze on food. Climate Change is more than just increases in sea level and temperature and the power of storms — it includes more capricious and whimsical weather patterns. Plants prefer a certain continuity and consistency in the weather they see.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Man, I hate that “voters are stupid” trope. Democrats use it all the time as a function of their inability to take responsibility for failure (or learn from it).

        1. ambrit

          Point taken, but, how else to present it? The consistently underserved Democratic voters of Florida? As others here have been articulating, what are the “true” motivations of the Democratic Party? Who is the Democratic Party? Do we blame the nascent “Third Parties” for not mastering the complexities of the political system in America? Do we blame the mass of the voters of America for being unsophisticated and or too lazy?
          Admittedly, this is not a simple either or problem. However, when given a clear choice somehow the less palatable candidate ‘wins’ the election. So, given the wealth of options for action presented, where is the optimal ‘fulcrum point’ with which to effect change? When are voters going to be held to account for poor judgment? When the sea level rise, a product of decades of poor judgments, drives them northward as desperate refugees?
          May I suggest a new category in links: The Circular Firing Squad.

          1. a different chris

            But I think you just missed the point:

            “However, when given a clear choice somehow the less palatable candidate ‘wins’ the election.”

            No the issues you are envisioning them choosing between are your issues. The people who pulled the lever for DWS (ugh, and I am as grossed out as you are) very likely have a different set of issues.

            1. ambrit

              I get you on that. My overriding question is, how do the voters acquire said “set of issues?” Are we positing politics as a giant game of competing propagandas?

              1. a different chris

                >how do the voters acquire

                Yeah that is surely what makes my head hurt. Sorry that I didn’t read your post clearly enough.

                >politics as a giant game

                I guess I am. I am not proud of that.

                1. ambrit

                  Politics will give me a massive migraine headache from time to time, probably as a result of the almost explosive swings in blood pressure that the subject will induce. (You try to go from calm peaceful ‘oneness’ with nature to full on murderous rage in less than a minute and not suffer consequences.)
                  Apologies for my imperfect framing and exposition as displayed above. I make the, I’m told, common mistake of assuming everyone who reads my comments thinks just like I do. That’s a major error and links in with my ‘difficulty of removing the ego from argumentation’ argument. You did raise a valid critique.

                  1. beth

                    Yes, Ambit, I agree. This has been a long nasty campaign season and we have miles to go before we sleep. I think everyone is getting testy. I see it on this blog. I see it in my neighborhood. I admit to having problems tuning out the excess. I have not read Lambert’s remarks as testy until recently. Admittedly, one remark correcting me. Knowing I have trouble reading so much anger & distress this season, I have read less.
                    It is hard to know how to frame this problem and deal with it positively. I have found Lambert’s comments helpful and valid in the past. His remarks have redirected us in a good way. Maybe it is vacation time.

                    1. ambrit

                      You have a good point in it being ‘vacation time.’ Phyllis has remarked on my getting ‘worked up’ more than usual, lately. She has just had a melanoma cut out, so I should pay more attention to her needs than my own ego driven rantings. Finding balance in this political cycle has become problematic at best.
                      Live long and prosper. \V//,

          2. grizziz

            >Who is the Democratic Party?
            At this point in time it is HRC. Her voice and words radiate across our land and around the globe. If she changes her mind, so do her surrogates and minions. Resistance is palpable like the ice forming around Shackleton’s Endurance and yet the ship of state moves with the momentum of the status quo mission to spread Neoliberal, née English Tort law across the world.

            1. ambrit

              I’ll somewhat agree with the understanding that H Clinton is more of a figurehead than a driving Power. Some set of cultural cues drive her politics, just what are ‘they.’
              I’ll defer to Lambert on this question. He had close experience with the early H Clinton ‘Machine.’

            2. clarky90

              Historically, The Democratic Party is the Pro-Slavery Party


              “After the Civil War, most white Southerners opposed Radical Reconstruction and the Republican Party’s support of black civil and political rights. The Democratic Party identified itself as the “white man’s party” and demonized the Republican Party as being “Negro dominated,” even though whites were in control.”

        2. Don Midwest USA

          Just in time! Hillary …

          Clinton To Give Speech On ‘American Exceptionalism’ With Bush Official In OH

          We wouldn’t want Trump to win the election on “Make American Great Again” because we are EXCEPTIONAL!!!

          Another article on this exceptional action by the anointed one ..

          Courting Republicans, Clinton to tout ‘American exceptionalism’

          “In her remarks to the American Legion, Hillary Clinton will make the case for American exceptionalism and call for maintaining America’s military and diplomatic leadership in the world,” the Clinton campaign aide said.

          “She will argue for maintaining America’s strong commitment to the alliances that keep us safe, the values that make us great, and the men and women in uniform who represent the best of our country,” the aide added.

          And we are glad to see that the speech is in an American Legion hall. Those places are huge, large enough to hold a Bernie rally? Ha, Ha, … How much do they pay people to attend?

          1. Jim Haygood

            Clinton To Give Speech On ‘American Exceptionalism’ With Bush Official In OH

            Aw man, you had me going there.

            Thought it was a “coming out” speech with Cheney at her side.

            Dick, not Mary. ;-)

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Perhaps the Republicans can dump their nominee and replace him with Hillary.

            Then, she will be (the first time ever in this country?) the first person to be nominated by both parties for the same office in the same election.

            That would be truly exceptional – Hilary, the Republican and Democratic nominee for the president of the United States!!!

        3. Benedict@Large

          I think Thomas Frank covers this nicely. The Democrats have evolved over time to become intellectual snobs. They know best (and maybe they do), and that should be sufficient.

          That may be the case. It may be that the voters are stupid, but what are the Democrats going to do about it? To paraphrase Rumsfeld, you go to the polls with the voters you have; not with the ones you want.

    3. Arizona Slim

      My prediction: DWS may have won this round, but she and her neoliberal buds are losing the war. If she got this tough of a challenge I’m the primary, the future of her political career is cloudy at best.

      1. cwaltz

        If I were in Florida and a former Canova supporter I’d strategically be voting GOP just to be rid of her.

        Who says I can’t be “pragmatic” or form “useful coalitions”(be careful what you wish for Democrat Party?)

        If you can’t unseat an incumbent in a primary the next step would be to unseat her in the general so you don’t have to deal with that incumbent during the next primary.

        1. Roger Smith

          Ding ding ding! Vote independent if there are any or vote GOP. The Democrats love to make the choices easy don’t they?

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        I voted yesterday in FL, but I don’t live in w-s’s district. I should remind everyone that FL is a closed primary state, party affiliation had to be changed back in February (which I did), and Canova got 43% of the vote WITHOUT independents who were excluded yesterday as they were during the presidential primary.

        Now to my somewhat “foilly” election story.

        For the presidential primary, we voted at a church prominently located on a main street with easy access, plenty of parking and a large meeting room with plenty of places to mark your ballot. Here we color an oval next to the candidate’s name on a piece of paper with a special pen, and push it into a machine for counting. No receipt, of course.

        Inexplicably, between the presidential primary and yesterday our polling place was changed. We were notified by mail. Yesterday, and presumably in the future, we voted at a golf course clubhouse in the middle of a residential, 55+ community,

        The “community” is sprawling, has a cement block wall surrounding it on all sides and is GATED. The entrance has a guard shack and a uniformed guard. We expected the gate to be up. Instead, we had to identify ourselves as voters to the guard who then opened the gate. I have not been inside this enclave in the 5 years I’ve lived here.

        Once inside, we followed the signs around narrow, winding residential streets. While there were cars in the garages, most of the traffic on the streets was golf carts. We arrived at the “polling place parking lot” and parked the car.

        More golf carts were buzzing around the area sporting “Voter Taxi” signs. One drove up to us and offered us a “ride” to the polling place. I asked where it was and was it “far.” Failing to get a specific answer and not wanting to make a fuss, we hopped in. It wasn’t “far,” so we didn’t wait for our “taxi” afterward, even though she said she’d “come back for us,” we just walked back to our car.

        The voter “identification” procedure was a multi-step process involving magnetic strips and initialing something that looked like a cash register receipt. As I said, no receipt was available for me to check that my vote was properly recorded.

        As I also said, this may be “foilly,” but my husband and I found the whole thing creepy and seriously off-putting. I can understand how some voters may have found it very intimidating. I can’t shake the feeling that that was the point.

        1. crittermom

          Wow. I find your experience quite bizarre. Why would the voting suddenly be moved to a gated community, which is meant to keep folks out?
          Intimidation sounds like the best way to describe it and I hope your story and those of others experiencing it goes viral. It would’ve certainly made me feel uncomfortable. Very much so.
          Something smells very, very rotten to me about that being an assigned place to vote.
          Intimidation seems to describe what was intended. Not a good sign for a ‘democracy’.

        2. Steve H.

          – even though she said she’d “come back for us,” we just walked back to our car.

          And what if you hadn’t? Did you see anyone else leave?

          Spins my imagination. I can see other neighborhoods where people go to the local jail and vote in the cells. Pull the wrong lever and the lock clangs shut.

          In true truth, each of these is a barrier, a delay requiring even more attention than just a tax on time. If you’d recently moved you may not get the mailed notification in time. I’d say less capable people might not be able to adjust, but when I ran for office I saw the van pull up, offload the confused people who had to be directed which way they went, and each had the paper in hand who to vote for. That’s how you mass produce votes, and the dozen in the van would’ve been waved through the gate in one transaction.

        3. Katniss Everdeen

          I forgot to mention that the entrance to the polling place was being monitored. When we presented at the polling place door, the male monitor (55+) demanded to know, and, yes, demanded is the word I’d use, whether we had “photo i. d.”

          When we answered in the affirmative, he pushed that big, square “handicapped” button on a post outside the door and the door swung open to admit us. I have absolutely no idea what he would have done if we’d said we didn’t have it.

          I should also mention that neither my husband nor I appear infirm in any way.

          I have absolutely no idea what government entity is responsible for designating polling places or what the criteria are. I just found this whole thing positively extraordinary.

          1. JohnnyGL

            “Inexplicably, between the presidential primary and yesterday our polling place was changed. We were notified by mail. Yesterday, and presumably in the future, we voted at a golf course clubhouse in the middle of a residential, 55+ community,”

            WOW!!! Thanks for anecdote on your voting experience. I think the context I’ve lifted from your above comment tells the story of the type of person who ‘should’ be participating in our democracy, according to the shot-callers who decide these sorts of things. Voter suppression comes in many forms, some subtle, some less so.

  6. Ignacio

    John Kay is always interesting and belongs to the rare species of economists that rely more on economic history than in economical models (most of those I know happen to be British). The message: don’t be fooled by those politicians that promise millions of new manufacturing jobs!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      John Maynard Keynes would likely have been a “general studies” major in the U.S. as opposed to an economist or even an economics historian, and his original claim to fame was offering up the idea that the British Postal Service should try to emulate the American Post Office with its goal of delivering mail, not a graph. This was a shocking idea to the very serious people.

      Economists are simply priests of the modern era.

      1. Ignacio

        Ha, ha! Good observation particularly after Jon Kay’s assertions of “priest services” to figth evil. Maybe economists service as “bad priests” that bring back the evil after the “good priests”.

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      IDK, I found most of it a pretty typical economists’ rant.

      Switzerland and Denmark are among the richest countries in the world but neither has ever manufactured a single automobile. But certainly both have vital and vibrant manufacturing sectors. Specialization hardly equals no manufacturing.

      Jobs in export activities in Britain and America come from doing here the things that cannot be done better elsewhere because of the particularity of the skills they require. No evidence to support. Certainly not true of U.S.

      The earnings from different activities reflected the availability or scarcity of the talents needed to produce them No comment necessary.

      He finally gets to a core issue at the end: The decline of manufacturing is associated with the emasculation of labour. And the destruction of male social bonds and units of political organisation. And then completely blows off its significance.

      1. Paid Minion

        “No evidence to support”

        Actually there is. The US aerospace industry.

        Even the Brazilians and Russians can’t build airplanes without a significant amount of US content. (engines, interior fixtures, avionics).

        The US, Brazilian and Europe OEMs that design and build transport category jets “in house” (Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, Dassault Falcon, Gulfstream, Bombardier, Cessna, and a few others) all have official and unofficial “Design Manuals” and Tribal Knowledge, knowing where all of the alligators lie.

        They also know that there are a bunch of people who would love to have that info, preferably free.

        An airplane (especially an airliner) that misses it’s performance numbers by 5% is going to be a dud in the marketplace. Especially when it won’t have the worldwide support that Boeing and Airbus can provide. Nothing can make money go up in smoke faster than buying the wrong airplane.

        And you can bet that the airplane leasing companies will be wanting more to finance the purchase from an unknown product from an unknown manufacturer with little or no track record

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          Yes, I was making a different point, which is that much of the manufacturing left in the US is in fact not that high-skilled, while plenty of high-skilled manufacturing has already left, so the notion that the remaining US and UK mfg must be high-skilled is unsupported.

          I’m not sure what “even the Russians and Brazilians” means.

          Also, I will say that when I was at the UAW in early 1990s, it was widely held that Mexicans were incapable of manufacturing high-quality automobiles. That turned out to be a very short-sighted view. As Apple shows, committed management can, given enough resources, can create a high-skill workforce in a “low-productivity” country in a decade or so.

  7. HBE

    Click through on the link in the defense one article to the company who “identified” the “Russian hack”. Now my knowledge of code is almost nil and even I find their methodology dubious. They just try to then cover it up with pseudo-technical jargon, which doesn’t come off as complex (likely what they were trying for), but rather it reads like an attempt at obfuscation through BS.

    More technical input would be appreciated.

      1. HBE

        Thanks, the campaign to blame putin one is particularly good, at exposing the attribution idiocy.

    1. cm

      Just like with the Sony hack that was positively identified as North Korea, all the so-called Russian hacks have no evidence (at least presented to the public) that positively identifies the Russians.

      IP addresses coming from Russia are not sufficient – anyone can take over a server in Russia and make traffic that originates there, including (of course) the NSA.

      Signs that the keyboard were cyrillic are not sufficient evidence, either.

      It is extremely difficult to “prove beyond a reasonable doubt” where an attack came from, unless we’re talking about Stuxnet.

    2. temporal

      Even if a self-identified agency or individual were to claim credit for an act we would probably have to take it on faith that they were telling the truth about who they are. Claiming to know who did something on the Internet or where they might be from only works when the attacker is either ignorant, trying to get caught or wants someone else to take the blame.

      DoS attacks often come from compromised home PCs running Windows. There are lots of compromised home PCs as well as servers in the world.

      There is no such thing as a indication of a country of origin keyboard on a compromised machine. There is only an IP address to the compromised port and files which may indicate character encoding left behind by an attacker after being transferred to the compromised machine. If files are left behind then (as mentioned before) the attacker is either ignorant, trying to get caught or wants someone else to take the blame.

    3. Benedict@Large

      A sophisticated hacker would be virtually impossible to trace. What you would likely end up with is thinking you’d been hacked by whomever the real hacker wanted you to think hacked you. That’s why I put almost zero stock in any of these Russian hacking stories. All they really are saying is who the storyteller wants you to believe is doing the hacking. Which tells you a lot more about the storyteller than it does the hacker.

    1. Otis B Driftwood

      A related story in today’s SF Chron about disparities in funding in Marin County.

      Funds diverted from public to charter schools

      As I’ve noted before, my wife has just started her first year as an elementary school principal. I forwarded her the link to the Troy Laraviere post. She knows from evidence-based education practices. Thanks for that link, NC.

  8. diptherio

    Hillary Clinton Is Doing Better In States With Highly Educated Heavily Brainwashed White Populations


    1. DJG

      Or: With a White Population Smoking Something That They Should Share More Widely.

      On my Facebook feed, there are so many diehard Clintonians who are currently claiming that they cannot tell how any of the Clinton Foundation’s inactions and shell-games can possibly be detected. These are the same discerning souls who also knew that Sanders’s female supporters joined up to get a chance to meet those scrumplicious Bernie Bros, at least according to declining feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

      We live in a great cloud of unknowing.

      1. diptherio

        Well, if I’m recalling my mystical Christian theology correctly, passing through the Cloud of Unknowing is one of the steps to ultimate enlightenment…after you’ve made it through the long, dark tea time of the soul, of course…so let’s hope they’re traveling through the cloud, not setting up a permanent shop.

          1. diptherio

            I hear Dirk Gently has a TV series coming out, maybe on Netflix or something. I’m cringing in anticipation — Adams hasn’t been adapted well since…well, ever.

    2. cwaltz

      Boogedy boogedy boo………Trump!

      (rolls eyes)

      It’s almost as if folks think we haven’t had a buffoon in charge of the country ever before and survived it. If it weren’t for attempting to get a fulcrum to wedge between team bad and team worse I’d sleep in this election cycle.

      1. anti-social scientist

        Not everyone survived it. Too bad for them I guess, coz purity, er something, amirite?

        1. pretzelattack

          i’m worried about how many will survive clinton and her merry band of neocons, who’ve come home to the democrats, together again at last.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Are we witnessing the Foundation of a Thousand Year Reign of Neoliberalism?

            At their last rally, it was all but a documentary of her will and her triumph.

        2. cwaltz

          Heh, I’m guessing you’re doing so much better under the shrewd and benevolent Democratic Party(my guess is you must not be selective service age to worry about Syria or Ukraine under a Clinton presidency….amirite?……..)


          and Awwww isn’t that cute?… think I’m pure. That’s sweet. Here’s to hoping in a few years the electorate wises up and wipes YOUR PREFFERED CORRUPT LITTLE PARTY off the map right into extinction sweetie…’s where your preferred corrupt little thugs belong….they’re an affront to men and women who died to give people choice(I know choice is an odd little word when you are an oligarchic wanker determined to leave a plurality out of choices…… amirite?)

          Too cute.

    1. diptherio

      Yes, so tiring trying to explain things to idiots at the New Yorker…

      Finally, a majority said that trying to make idiots understand why a flag that symbolizes bigotry and hatred has no business flying over a state capitol only makes the person attempting to explain this want to put his or her fist through a wall.

      I assume they’re referring to the Stars and Stripes there, no? This is about the Kaepernik (sp?) thing, right?

      Just calling people idiots, rather than trying to explain and — I don’t know, crazy idea here — listen to those with varying opinions is a big part of what’s wrong with our political discourse.

      1. cwaltz

        Sometimes idiots are just idiots though.

        No, this is about the confederate idiots that think the confederate flag should be allowed to fly over a capitol because southern pride(as if the south has something to be proud of when most of the secession papers cite slavery as the primary reason they ceded.)

        In most countries flying that flag would be considered treason……here we let the dolts think stupid things like “the south will rise again.)

        1. ambrit

          Consider this case as an example of misdirection. Give the southern ‘necks an emotional symbol to argue over while the really important issues get obscured and ‘gamed.’ M L King realized this. He was pivoting from race based campaigns toward class based issues when he was murdered.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        The British burned EMPTY government buildings, giving time for an evacuation, in retaliation for Americans burning OCCUPIED Canadian buildings. Since the British didn’t have territorial ambitions, they decided to not to try to take Fort McHenry, having achieved their goals of sending a message. Americans didn’t get it.

        I was at a college basketball game about two seasons ago and my fellow alums sitting in front of me laughed because the score board with its follow along lyrics added a question mark. They were very proud to share the “mistake” with everyone. I proceeded to note if they had bothered to listen to the lyrics they would know the first verse of America’s national anthem (I laid it on thick) was a question “oh, say, can you see?” not “oh, there is the flag.” People hate to be embarrassed about their lack of basic knowledge or listening skills.

        Isn’t the song just a British drinking song about giving old Queen Bess a good rodgering anyway?

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          There was this link from Counter-Punch [] which suggests an even more unsavory origin for the words in the “Start-Spangled Banner”. And the later verses of the Anthem are quite beyond the pale as words for a National Anthem, though perhaps too true for the it was written.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The same symbol can have different meanings for different people.

            Regardless of their origins (the flag or the anthem), for many, they are important.

            Like the swastika – it’s important to Buddhists and others. They would be wise to learn its history (the left handed and right handed versions, for example).

            But it still means what it means for them, based on what they were taught.

        2. fresno dan

          “giving old Queen Bess a good rodgering”

          I’d never heard of that – I assume it means a particularly deep…and formal bow.

      3. Jim Haygood

        From one of the South Carolina stoodents who protested a US flag ban at football games:

        “First, the day after Osama was killed in 2011 we were told we couldn’t have the American flag on our trucks on school property.”

        Cruisin’ the town with a 5′ x 9′ stars ‘n stripes rippling from the bed to celebrate the assassination of Emmanuel Goldstein Osama bin Ladin — ain’t that America?

        Andy Borowitz hits the streets:

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      Indeed, immediately below that article is a video from the “Comma Queen” explaining (better than any english teacher I every had, btw) the difference between “who” and “whom”. ;)

      I am now less of a dolt than I was a few minutes ago. Thanks for the link!

      1. cwaltz

        Heh, I just tell people that I’m an Emily Dickinson fan and a punctuation phobia. They usually give me points for knowing who Dickinson is and how she wrote.

  9. fresno dan

    So I have been rewatching the Simpsons from the very first episode.
    I came across season 6 where Sideshow Bob runs for mayor …and wins. Great parody of politics.

    (Radio) And now, Springfield’s favorite conservative… and author of the well-selling book, Only Turkeys Have Left Wings… ladies and gentlemen, Birch Barlow. [ Intro ]
    (Carl Carlson) Ugh! That Barlow’s a right-wing crackpot. He said Ted Kennedy lacked integrity. Can you believe that?
    (Sideshow bob) Oh, that was a big mistake, Bart. No children have ever meddled with the Republican Party and lived to tell about it.
    (Bart to Lisa) I found Edgar Neubauer! ((That name is on a gravestone) Oh, my God! The dead have risen, and they’re voting Republican!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Check the premiere date, and given the production schedule, this episode was written three years before FoxNews started. They are trashing CNN and NPR, and the debate question from Birch Barlow is borrowed from respected journalist Bernard Shaw’s 1988 Presidential debate question.

      1. fresno dan

        couple of other gems

        [ Bob ] Well, you see, Birch, I’m presently incarcerated. [ Alarm Blaring ] Convicted of a crime I didn’t even commit. [ Scoffs ] Attempted murder! Now, honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel Prize for attempted chemistry? Do they? Oh, really! Now, this is a personal call!

        (Birch – A Rush Limbaugh parody) Now, my friends, isn’t this just typical? Another intelligent conservative here… railroaded by our liberal justice system. Just like… [ Crinkling ] Colonel Oliver North, Officer Stacey Koon… and cartoon smokes-person, Joe Camel. (I thought the “smokes-person” was quite witty)


        Moderator (obviously the Simpsons’ version of CNN’s Bernard Shaw) Mayor Quimby, you are well-known, sir… for your lenient stance on crime. But suppose for a second that your house was ransacked by thugs… your family tied up in the basement with socks in their mouths! You try to open the door, but there’s too much blood on the knob-
        Mayor Quimby (sweating like Nixon under the TV lights): What is your, uh, question?
        Bernard Shaw….whoops! I mean the Simpsons cartoon moderator: My question’s about the budget, sir.

  10. marym

    Courting Republicans, Clinton to tout ‘American exceptionalism’

    In a foreign policy speech meant to reach out to Republican and independent voters, Democratic President Hillary Clinton on Wednesday will argue for a robust commitment to U.S. leadership in the world and tout the idea of “American exceptionalism.”

    A Clinton aide said she would contrast her foreign policy approach with that of Republican Donald Trump, who puts the emphasis on what he calls an “America first” vision that includes a crackdown on illegal immigration and opposition to multinational trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.’ — Obama, US Military Academy, May 28, 2014

      Implicitly, Hillary is defining her electoral proposition as “four more years of Obama.”

      That is, four more years of quagmire in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc

      It’s a political master stroke, I tell you. /sarc

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You, or we, think 4 more years.

        The visionaries think in terms of thousands of years.

        “The Thousand Year (Neoliberal) Reign.”

        All Hillary needs is a good architect for a much grander DC.

    2. petal

      What got me was this bit: A Clinton campaign official said the Democratic nominee plans to use her first public event in days to portray her Republican opponent as a questionable leader who would “walk away from our allies, undermine our values, insult our military — and has explicitly rejected the idea of American exceptionalism.”

      In contrast, the official said Clinton “will make the case for American exceptionalism and call for maintaining America’s military and diplomatic leadership in the world.”
      You know, because this stuff has worked out so well for us. Well, I guess it has worked out for them.

    3. diptherio

      Remind me again what the difference is between American Exceptionalism and Toxic Nationalism. I seem to have forgot.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Americans are good guys…duh.

        When JFK ordered the use of napalm, it was out of love.

        The U.S. is a fascist country, and besides irrationality, fascists know the perceived good figures and bad figures from the past and know fascists are inherently the good guys. Their special status gives them good morality, versus say a traditional morality system of positive actions.

  11. Don Midwest USA

    This may be an important new voice in Foreign Policy

    I met Guantanamo defense lawyer Todd Pierce last year in New York, and over lunch he offered a fully-formed critique of American foreign policy since 9/11:

    “Everything that we have done since 9/11 is wrong. We are embarking on a totalitarian foreign policy that is a hallmark of how Hannah Arendt defines fascism… The false claims about radical Islam show how little we understand about ourselves or the Middle East.”

    The marvel was that the critique came not from a leftwing urban blogger, but a retired Army major who had grown up in rural Minnesota and worked for years in farming and construction before becoming a computer technician for the army and later a military lawyer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, ultimately serving as a defense lawyer for two Guanatanamo detainees. Pierce is a truly independent intellectual, and next month he will fulfill a lifelong dream when he enters the New School as a graduate student in political science at age 65; but his views of American foreign policy are as thought-through as anybody’s and have gained him the respect of internationalists such as Daniel Ellsberg, Roger Waters, the late Michael Ratner, and Peter Weiss.

    Last fall, I told Pierce that we needed to do an in-depth interview because his ideas are ones American leaders must engage if we are ever to act with fairness in the Middle East.

    This is a long interview and a trip down memory lane as he went from a non student in HS, farm to computers, to military, to become an atty, to JAG, to private sector, back to military and now at age 65 just starting a Ph. D. program in political science.

    It is also a trip down memory lane of his conservative, nativist, anti Vietnam war, military, … to see the history of various positions over the years and shows how people can learn and change.

    ‘Everything that we have done since 9/11 is wrong’ — the worldview of Major Todd Pierce (Retired)

  12. Jim Haygood

    Trump does Mexico:

    “The trip is particularly historic for Trump in that no previous non-incumbent presidential nominee of a major party has ever traveled to Mexico as part of his campaign.”

    Evidently Trump has engaged some more competent advisers, who have told him that he can’t win a close election while writing off 17% of the population who are hispanic.

    So Trump ends up engaging with Mexico and maybe learning something — such as that many of the refugees fleeing northward are from violent, unstable Guatemala and El Salvador, not Mexico.

    Similarly, after observing the obvious — that Democrats are so complacent about receiving the African-American vote that they do nothing in return — Trump actually asked a black audience for their votes, something that Republicans never did before.

    Both of these are encouraging precedents.

    1. cwaltz

      I just want to know if while there he informed the Mexican President that Mexico would be paying for a wall that we want like he’s told everyone here is going to happen.

      If so, I really hope they videotape it. The response would be pretty priceless.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Depends on how he sells it (From ‘The World According to Hillary”).

        If he sells the wall as a guard against drunken teenage gringos and gringas invading their country…

        It’s all in the marketing.

      2. voxhumana

        Democrats have no problem with a “wall” in Israel…

        and aren’t there already 700 miles (I may be wrong on the amount) of walls on the Mexican border.

        what Democrats worked to stop them from going up?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          No problem also with the natives (Arabs, Muslims, or others) there being driven, involuntarily or voluntarily, to other countries.

          Effectively, expelled.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think it’s male chauvinist to say a woman can’t be a Strong Man.

          And also male chauvinist to say only Strong Men exist, but not Strong Women.

        3. cwaltz

          My larger point is that I don’t think he’s going to be able to sell Mexico into building that wall.

          As it stands Mexican government has had a proud tradition of pretending our government has a responsibility to create jobs for its citizens.

  13. Paid Minion

    Rural Oklahoma

    Everything in this article also applies to the other “Great Plains” states.

    ALL of Oklahoma would be totally fooked, if/when the aerospace and the oil business collapses. Agriculture is not a money maker for anybody but the biggest farmers and feedlot operators. Real estate is cheap, because nobody wants to life there.

    Oklahoma in summertime is just as hot as Texas. And like Texas, they are at the shallow end of the Oglallah Aquifer.

    “Retirement” in Oklahoma is sitting in your (hopefully) air conditioned little house or mobile home, watching TV, and going to the Southern Baptist Church on Sundays. If not babysitting the grandkids, so their parents can go to their $12/hour jobs.

    If you have marketable skills, you avoid these areas. Besides having depressing scenery, defacto conservative/evangelical Christian “caliphates”, and generally low incomes even for “high skill” positions, working in these areas means that any “network” you may have will shrivel and die. You will have absolutely NO network on the coasts.

    Its hard to get through to anyone who doesn’t live around here that there is such a thing as dying “too late”.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Lordy, don’t we miss the great Oklahoman Oral Roberts.

      The Sooner state’s southern neighbors will never forgive it for stigmatizing Texas as “Baja Oklahoma.”

  14. Ed

    “So Dilma’s impeachment isn’t about corruption, then?”

    It is about corruption. Dilma Rousseff is the most ethical President Brazil has had since the start of the republic. If she is removed from office today, it is for being too honest. This has been revealed for some time to be a scheme to shut down various investigations into corruption on the part of the politicians pushing for the impeachment and removal.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Point taken, the impeachment is obviously a sham and a travesty against democracy, but saying “it is for being too honest” over-simplifies the situation. Rousseff’s impending impeachment comes after two rounds of harsh austerity she herself imposed. Rousseff selected arch neo-liberal Joaquim Levy as her Finance Minister, with the predictable results of the country being thrown into deep recession. Frankly, if there is no recession, there is no impeachment. But the horrid economic conditions wrought by austerity alienated enough of Rousseff’s base that she was left vulnerable to the vultures on the right.

      You’re right that Rousseff is a rare honest politician in a sea of corrupt leeches, but don’t let’s minimise the actual details of how she got where she unfortunately is.

  15. diptherio

    For those of you interested in more history of Black agriculture and organizing, make sure not to miss this recent interview Laura Flanders did with Shirley Sherrod (who is officially now one of my heroines).

    Free the Land: Shirley Sherrod on the Struggle for Black Land and Economic Independence

    The struggle for Black economic independence: not a lot of people, particularly people of color, have had a chance to design a new community, to be different and equal, co-owned by its residents. In 1969 Shirley Sherrod co-founded a collective farm in Lee County, Georgia. At 6,000 acres, it was the largest tract of black-owned land in the United States. What happened to the New Communities land trust they planned? Let’s just say they were way, way ahead of their time but their time just might be coming back.

  16. Quentin

    American Exceptionalism! This is the most vomit-inducing US trope of all times as far as I know. How can anyone say with a peaceful, humanitarian view of the world that this one country is truly exceptional, despite all the hypocritical blathering about peace and democracy. That would mean no one, anywhere can ever equal, surpass it and by extension no one better try or else you’ll get a stiff drubbing, which the world experiences every day as the US turns a blind eye basking in it exceptional glory. The first time I heard the phrase was from the lips of Madeleine Albright of 500-thousand-dead-Iraqi-children fame. More recently Barack Obama took up the cry as he pushed towards more war and violence abroad. He’s too narcissistic and vain to even be embarrassed by his brazen arrogance. Maybe even stupid, despite all the never-ending flow of fine, preachily words. Yes, from the viewpoint of the rest of world, the US is truly exceptional. Believe it. Hillary Clinton does too. The lady is a fifties mummy whose wraps are finally being publicly unwound to display the Light. If a time warp truly exists, than she would seem to be it.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Obama has always stylized himself as a pater familias. This is a fascist country with American style practices such as elections and fraudulent partisan bickering which can’t be done away with. Goering and Himmler didn’t like each other after all and led different factions.

  17. allan

    Fed’s Evans, citing slow growth, says low U.S. rates are here to stay [Reuters]

    Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans on Wednesday said he is increasingly convinced that U.S. economic growth has slowed permanently, a situation that will keep U.S. interest rates low for a long time ahead.

    Embracing Harvard Professor Larry Summers’ so-called secular stagnation theory, Evans argued that an aging U.S. population and slowing productivity growth mean there is little reason for interest rates to rise either fast or far. …

    To QE∞ and beyond!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To QE∞ and beyond!

      AND…more un-affordable housing and a bigger stock market bubble.

      This ought to clinch it for Hillary. (We do our patriotic part by ignoring how painful getting health care has become).

    2. curlydan

      Thanks for that carrot, Charles. I needed it after the whipping I got from your colleague, Stanley Fischer, yesterday.

  18. fresno dan

    All five officers are now suspended without pay. Not only are they accused of lying, most of them were found at fault for failing to make sure the audio and video was working on their in-car cameras.***

    According to the charges Johnson filed with the police board, Officer Jason Van Dyke said McDonald “continued to advance”…. “raised the knife across his chest”… “attacking” him… and attempting to kill him.

    But the video shows McDonald walking across the street, away from officers.

    “I think it’s going to be pretty easy for the police board to say, listen, somebody falsified these reports,” Miller said.

    The four other officers charged echoed Van Dyke’s account of the shooting. They were Officer Janet Mondragon, Officer Ricardo Vramontes, Officer Daphne Sebastian and Sgt. Stephen Franko. They are all charged with saying “false, misleading and/or inconsistent statements.”

    But even if the police board says the officers should be fired, that doesn’t mean it’s the end, Miller says. The officers can appeal to a circuit court.

    “This could take months, if not years,” Miller said.

    Two ways of looking at it – slowly, but some accountability is finally coming into the system
    Slowly, the police, will adjust to the new technology and figure out how to circumvent it. I would bet number 2, but that would be cynical.
    *** It is already well documented that the police are even worse at operating electronic gear than Hillary’s IT team…

  19. Unorthodoxmarxist

    Funny article, but I once stir-fried a bunch of habaneros and hot peppers over high heat, creating a cloud of what I can only call pepper spray in my apartment. Learned not to do that again very quickly.

    1. petal

      My roommate boils/cooks somehow(I don’t stick around to watch) hot peppers to bits on a fairly regular basis. I have to leave the apartment because I can’t breathe and my eyes become irritated. It isn’t fun.

      1. polecat

        Good thing he wasn’t sauteing Ghost Peppers**…that ‘d be enough to scatter an entire city block!

        In India they’re used (freshly crushed) to ward off elephants from invading field crops…..

  20. Jim Haygood

    From our Daily Dirt Dump department:

    Hillary Clinton continued sending classified information even after leaving the State Department, The Post has exclusively learned.

    On May 28, 2013, months after stepping down as secretary of state, Clinton sent an email to a group of diplomats and top aides about the “123 Deal” with the United Arab Emirates.

    But the email was heavily redacted upon its release by the State Department because it contains classified information. The markings on the email state it will be declassified on May 28, 2033.

    OOPS — another limited hangout bites the dust. It was “marked classified” … and she still sent it.

    After all, the UAE is a multi-million-dollar donor to the Clinton Foundation.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We few, we happy few, we band of brothers and sisters, on this Saint Crispin’s Day, in 2016, we stopped the Foundation.

      Speaking of brothers. it was Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood.

      That is, equality is not brotherhood.

      We can legislate equality.

      But how do we bring about brotherhood? I suggest Basic Income.

      “You want that job? You can have it. It’s OK. Let’s hug and not compete. I got my basic income.”

    2. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      August 31, 2016 at 11:45 am

      “The markings on the email state it will be declassified on May 28, 2033.”
      Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy….I know you know about black holes, worm holes, and time travel. Sure, there are questions about the Clinton’s time traveling, but EVERYBODY at this time and all future times acknowledges the Foundation’s time traveling has done a LOT of GOOD!
      Obviously, the email was not classified in the past, but got classified in the future and than it was INADVERTENTLY sent to far into the future where it was declassified and when it was sent back to the present, it reflected FUTURE declassification but did not reflect near future classification. Yup….time travel will get cha….

    3. cwaltz

      but but but Trump……….

      Who cares if a few assets lose their lives because this woman doesn’t care about how she handles sensitive intel? What matters is that the mean, awful, terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Trump not be allowed in the White House.

      If you refuse to vote for her after she won her corrupt and rigged primary then you’re just being all about purity.

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Hillary is doing better in states with highly educated white populations.

    “If you don’t support her, maybe you are not highly educated…”

    Altogether now, We support Hillary. Gotta keep up with the Joneses.

  22. Chauncey Gardiner

    The central bank of Switzerland’s massive purchases of shares in large US transnational corporations with money they created out of thin air is interesting from a number of different angles:

    1.) What is the economic benefit to either the Swiss or US public from central bank purchases of shares in large US corporations?

    2.) Would the Swiss National Bank, as “Investors”, enjoy payments from US taxpayers for “Loss of imagined profits” should the TTIP agreement – the European counterpart to the TPP agreement – be approved and the US government implement policies or regulations that could be interpreted by a corporate-appointed ISDS arbitration panel to decrease imagined corporate profits?

    3.) Did the Swiss National Bank purchase the shares under swap lines as an agent of the Federal Reserve pursuant to a scheme to manipulate market prices?

    4.) Does the Swiss National Bank, possibly together with other central banks, have working control over large US or other transnational corporations as a result of these purchases?

    5.) How much leverage does this ownership positions give the Swiss Central Bank, and potentially other central banks, over US government at all levels given the Citizens United decision regarding the legality of campaign contributions by corporations, as well as other judicial decisions and legislation?

    6.) Do these central bank stock purchases not raise fundamental questions of inequity when US retail investors are required to use the proceeds of their labor to purchase shares of stock, but central bankers can simply create the money to do so?

    7.) Who owns these foreign central banks, either directly or indirectly through intermediaries?

    8.) Etc.

    1. TheCatSaid

      I’d love it if NC could have a main post about this. Those are great questions. These investments are great big red flags–but to what?

    2. TheCatSaid

      About the ongoing EpiPen saga, this one is really good (and relevant across many sectors, I fear):
      The real EpiPen scandal we should be talking about

      Read the whole thing, but here’s the last paragraph:

      Cut the crap. This is another example of media hype around a faux well-spring of public activism around price gouging. But let’s get real. If we don’t want our kids to die from a bee-sting or a peanut, we should demand accountability where it’s really due – the Patent Office that granted an unjustified and unpatentable monopoly, the FDA which props up the illusion, and a board of directors at Mylan who don’t take the time to inform themselves of their own company’s misdeeds.

      (The full article explains the Intellectual Property history that gave rise to this scandal.)

    3. Oregoncharles

      Switzerland is not a member of the EU, though it might be participating in the TTIP negotiations separately, or have a similar trade agreement with the US.

  23. fresno dan

    The problem goes well beyond this cocoon effect, into the very moral and intellectual heart of the conservative movement. Like any human enterprise, Fox is filled with a wide variety of people — some good, some bad. But it is, at heart, a commercial endeavor, rather than an intellectual or spiritual one. Its FUNDAMENTAL PRIORITY IS TO MAKE MONEY, not to advance a particular set of ideas or values in public life.

    Yet such is the power of Fox fame that I’ve seen with my own eyes conservative leaders alter their message and public priorities in response to Fox’s demands. “Fox isn’t interested” is a statement that often shuts down conversations and ends public campaigns before they begin, because if Fox is interested, the conversation never ends. Ever wonder why conservatives talk so much about Benghazi almost four full years after the vast majority of the key facts of that tragic engagement became clear? Because Fox remains interested.


    “Ever wonder why conservatives talk so much about Benghazi almost four full years after the vast majority of the key facts of that tragic engagement became clear? Because Fox remains interested”…BECAUSE it is profitable to do so. But a complete truthful narrative of Benghazi will not make it amenable to conservative conspiracy theories and delusions, and therefore inconvenient facts are omitted and pertinent questions are NOT ASKED (FOX is the original master of don’t ask, don’t tell) – simply for rating, i.e., profit.

    Although repubs have been losing presidential elections for a while, they hold a majority of the house and senate, and a majority of statehouses. Even with a landslide against Trump that diminishes repub majorities (do any doubt the cloture rule will continue to give a veto to 40 repubs in the senate?), repubs play a significant part in what the issues are and the frame of how they are addressed. The bubble may be small, but it has an outside influence on the issues a major American party advances.

    If we have a two party system, than we need it to reflect real choices, not a kabuki professional wrestling simulacrum of political discourse. If the repubs want to fight ISIS, fine – but don’t tell me a fairytale that you will do it without boots on the ground but by enlisting out good friends the Saudis and Arab allies, the same fairytale Obama tells us, and than tell how much more realistic your fairy tale is than Obama’s.

    Ironically, and poetically, Trump’s failure may be the straw that broke the Foxcamel’s back. There is nothing that would be more amusing than Trump starting an “Alt” Fox network…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In today’s world, people forget or they had no time to catch the news the first time, being busy playing of the role of a debt-burdened serf.

      So, it’s not so bad you keep hearing it…especially helpful it relates to Hillary’s numerous failures.

      Especially if you spent the last 4 years trying to graduate from an engineering college (not say, from a political science college).

  24. Left in Wisconsin

    Dear Mayor Emanuel: I resign my position as principal of the #1 rated neighborhood school in Chicago Troy LaRaviere. I don’t understand how Rahm can be so appalling. After all, he was Obama’s chief of staff.

    This seems like a pretty big deal but I see it is being soft-pedaled in the Chicago media. Any of the Chicagoans here know more?

  25. Buttinsky

    Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow:

    The central question then is how exactly does a formally colorblind criminal justice system achieve such racially discriminatory results? Rather easily, it turns out. The process occurs in two stages. The first step is to grant law enforcement officials extraordinary discretion regarding whom to stop, search, arrest, and charge for drug offenses, thus ensuring that conscious and unconscious racial beliefs and stereotypes will be given free rein. Unbridled discretion inevitably creates huge racial disparities. Then, the damning step: Close the courthouse doors to all claims by defendants and private litigants that the criminal justice system operates in racially discriminatory fashion. Demand that anyone who wants to challenge racial bias in the system offer, in advance, clear proof that the racial disparities are the product of intentional racial discrimination — i.e., the work of a bigot. This evidence will almost never be available in the era of colorblindness, because everyone knows — but does not say — that the enemy in the War on Drugs can be identified by race. This simple design has helped to produce one of the most extraordinary systems of racialized social control the world has ever seen.

    Gov. LaPage of Maine must be denounced and shut up because he has, by letting the cat out of the bag, risked exposing American justice for exactly what it is. Maybe he is to be thanked.

  26. financial matters

    privately owned companies are currently doing a better job at enterpreneurship largely because right now the stock market is so screwed up. (and they have their own problems with private equity;
    government sponsored enterprise can be more long term as long as they don’t give it away ie to pharamaceutical companies)

    Lazonick in his chapter ‘Innovative Enterprise and the Theory of the Firm’ in Rethinking Capitalism relates that

    “”Across this decade (2004-2013), about 9,000 US companies expended a total of $6.9 trillion on stock buybacks, equal to 43% of their combined net income, with dividends absorbing another 47%”

    Of course with current incentives this tends to increase their short term compensation packages. He goes on to state that:

    “”I would also hypothesize that top executives who are willing to spend hundreds of millions and often billions of dollars of corporate cash to boost their companies’ stock prices also lose the ability to think about how those financial resources could have been used to invest in productive capabilities through an innovation process that is collective, cumulative and uncertain.””

  27. Chauncey Gardiner

    Wow!… Didn’t know the numbers were that high! So a relatively small number of individuals in the C suites and on the networked boards who control the amounts of the payouts and borrowing by these corporations to fund their stock buybacks have sacrificed the long-term financial health of many of these corporations at the altar of their own personal enrichment under the guise that their personal interests and those of the corporation in the form of higher short-term stock prices were aligned. “Financial engineering” indeed.

    Particularly appreciated the quote you cited in the last paragraph of your comment from Lazonick, fm. Would also be interesting to see the numbers that show the deterioration in the debt leverage ratios of US public corporations over the past many years under the FED’s Negative Real Interest Rate Policy.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Meant my comment as a response of financial matters’ insightful comment at 3:51 pm.

  28. Lupemax

    Re the Jeremy Corbyn article regarding his plan to end one of the biggest scams in history… I shared it with my daughter on FB. She’s a prof at Univ of Colorado Boulder and this was her reply… “Actually I just learned that the faculty council at my new institution (CU Boulder) passed an initiative last year requiring faculty to upload all their published work to an open access repository housed by the library for the public. It is hoped that this will provide us (faculty) with leverage to negotiate better terms for access for all our published work. There is also a fund to support faculty to pay the Open Access fees to publishers when our articles are accepted for publication. Would be ideal if those publishers were just required to make the stuff accessible in the first place, but yeah people are working on these same things here too.” Perhaps there are other Colleges/Universities already doing this? I hope so.

        1. Steve H.

          That’s a wonderful story, Cynthia, thank you.

          I’m sensing a resurgence of the conversation, what with trade pacts and digital rights and whatnot. How can an abstraction have wants? Information may be very cheap to reproduce but takes energy to maintain.

          Excellent back and forth between Woz and Brand.

    1. Cynthia

      As a librarian in Canada, I can tell you that my profession has long advocated for open access to scholarly research. There are many institutions with policies that ask or expect their faculty to publish in open access journal or institutional repositories.

      The scholarly publishing world has become quite a racket. I work at a small community college and our monograph budget has been eaten away over the years due to the high & continually increasing costs of subscriptions to academic journals, trade and general magazines. It is crazy that libraries in public institutions are paying so much money to access research funded wholy or in part by themselves or other public institutions. Advocating for open access and advising faculty about their options and advocating that they not give away copyright to big publishers like Wiley and Elsevier is part of what many academic librarians do these days.

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