2:00PM Water Cooler 9/14/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Obama and other TPP supporters used the China enforcement action [brought before the WTO on rice subsidies] to bolster the administration’s argument in support of passing the Pacific Rim deal this year. ‘It’s not enough to enforce the existing rules; as our global economy evolves, we have to ensure America plays a leading role in setting the highest standards for the rest of the world to follow,’ Obama said in a rarely seen statement accompanying a trade action. ‘That’s what the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is all about: putting American workers, farmers, and businesses first‘” [Politico]. Hmm. “America first” sounds familiar, somehow. And I certainly hope the other signatories don’t take Obama seriously!



“Huma raising money from worried supporters after Clinton’s diagnosis” [New York Post]. Abedin: “We’ve got huge moments coming up — the first debate is in less than two weeks — and right now, all you need to do is say that you’re ready to stand and fight by Hillary’s side.”


“A close examination by Newsweek of the Trump Organization, including confidential interviews with business executives and some of its international partners, reveals an enterprise with deep ties to global financiers, foreign politicians and even criminals, although there is no evidence the Trump Organization has engaged in any illegal activities. It also reveals a web of contractual entanglements that could not be just canceled. If Trump moves into the White House and his family continues to receive any benefit from the company, during or even after his presidency, almost every foreign policy decision he makes will raise serious conflicts of interest and ethical quagmires” [Newsweek]. That would be an intrinsic issue with electing anyone with a business more complicated than Jimmy Carter’s peanut warehouse to the Presidency. No? I dunno. At most, this article says to me that Trump has the potential to be as corrupt as Clinton already is. I’m not sure why Clinton supporters think that “Our candidate is no worse than anyone else” is an effective selling point, but the talking point is used so consistently (“Bush destroyed emails too!”) that it seems they actually believe that it is.

“Because Scott Walker asked. That could stand as an elegant catchphrase for the state of democracy in the US today, where elections are lost or won as much according to candidates’ ability to attract corporate cash as by the strength of their leadership or ideas” [Guardian]. Excellent investigative reporting from the Guardian. Here’s where “Because Scott Walker asked” comes from:


Too funny. Looks like that John Doe investigation finally bore fruit in the form of leaked documents.

War Drums

“Democratic National Committee chairwoman [Donna Brazile] said the DNC was the victim of a Russian cyberattack after the infamous hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 — who leaked internal Democratic documents ahead of the party’s convention this summer — released more apparent DNC documents Tuesday” [USA Today]. No denials of the mail content, of course.

From the Guccifer trove (and I hardly know where to file this):

The Voters

“Trump Has 5-Point Lead in Bloomberg Poll of Battleground Ohio” [Bloomberg]. Oopsie. Trump’s new team seems to have made a big difference, though Trump has had a lot of help from Clinton. “The poll was taken Friday through Monday, as Clinton faced backlash for saying half of Trump supporters were a “basket of deplorables” and amid renewed concerns about her health after a video showed her stumbling as she left a Sept. 11 ceremony with what her campaign later said was a bout of pneumonia.”

“[T]he poll shows Trump’s dominance in the [Maine’s] Second District — he leads Clinton by 10 points there — is boosting him statewide, as well. In the 1st Congressional District, which includes Portland and points south, Clinton has an 18-point lead, showing just how politically divided the state is geographically” [Boston Globe]. The Maine Democrats haven’t done a whole lot for the Second District. And they’ve affirmatively pushed policies that harm us, like landfills and the East-West Corridor, using corrupt and opaque processes. It’s not surprising they’re in trouble. They didn’t ask me for a yard sign last time, and that means they didn’t ask for my vote. And my vote might actually count! Who knew?

“Republicans are gaining ground on Democrats in registering voters in key states” [AP]. If the Democrats regarded voter registration as a core party function, this wouldn’t even be happening. Of course, they don’t. Their base in the 10% is already registered.

“What Trump Supporters Want You to Believe” [Andrew Rosenthal, New York Times]. It does seem to be the trend for the liberal nomenklatura to attack their opponent’s base, and not their opponent; the Clinton campaign did exactly the same thing with their #BernieBros smear in the primary. This is not just scorching the earth, it’s poisoning the wells. And I don’t think it’s a recipe for legitimacy post-election. For myself, I don’t believe a lot of what Trump supporters believe. I also don’t believe a lot of what the Times hive mind believes; Judy Miller on WMDs and Iraq War policy come to mind, along with the deafening neoliberal clamor on health care.


“Yes, Clinton’s remarks were that deplorable” [Corpus Christi Caller]. “Bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and Islamophobia are examples of deplorable behavior. But people can change their behavior. They do it all the time. George Wallace, the deplorably segregationist Alabama governor, expressed regret before he died.” Lincoln, as we would say today, “evolved” as well. More:

But as reprehensible as their behaviors and beliefs are, they, like Wallace, are redeemable. Calling them a “basket of deplorables,” as the Democratic nominee did recently at a fundraiser, was deplorable because it declares them beyond redemption.

UPDATE Exactly. And Clinton’s views are not in conformance with Christian teaching, either. Although I suppose Second Wave Feminism has superseded that? After all, if Albright has the divine authority to consign Sanders-supporting women to Hell, I suppose Clinton has equivalent powers to declare half some very large proportion of Trump supporters irredeemable. Of course, if you’re a Republican, even a former Trumpista, I would imagine you can purchase an indulgence through a contribution to the Clinton campaign or Foundation. So you see there is hope. For some.


“If [Democrats] do win back control [of the Senate], it could end up being with the narrowest of margins, even a 50-50 Senate with a Vice President Tim Kaine casting tie-breaking votes for the Democrats, if Hillary Clinton becomes president” [AP]. “A key factor is the Republican money edge, which is particularly pronounced this year because some major donors, most notably the billionaire Koch Brothers, have decided to stay out of the presidential race out of distaste for Donald Trump and are pouring money into Senate races instead. Ohio, Florida, Nevada and other races are awash with cash.”

Clinton Email Hairball

“Clinton server technicians decline questions from U.S. Congress” [Reuters]. “Paul Combetta and Bill Thornton repeatedly invoked their constitutional right not to incriminate themselves during about 10 minutes of questioning while under oath before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. A third technician, Bryan Pagliano, declined even to appear, despite a subpoena ordering his testimony…. Combetta and Thornton work for Platte River Networks, the Denver technology firm that managed Clinton’s email servers soon after she left the State Department in 2013. They repeatedly invoked their Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination to each question from lawmakers.” Gee, that’s odd. I mean, if there’s nothing criminal or even improper about Clinton’s email arrangements, what could the issue be? (And I bet this is one contract Platte River wishes it never got….)

Stats Watch

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of September 1, 2016: “[W]ith the seasonally adjusted composite index rising 4.2 percent from a week ago and, bringing some good news for the housing market, it was purchase applications that led the way, jumping 9 percent higher on the week” [Econoday]. And: “Mortgage applications up nicely this week for a change. Always hoping for the best! ;)” [Mosler Economics].

Import and Export Prices, August 2016: “At the current rate of moderation of deflation (trend line) – both imports and export prices should start inflating by the end of the year” [Econintersect].

Retail: “Retail hiring this holiday season is forecast to remain unchanged from a year ago, when seasonal employment in the sector increased by 738,800 during the final three months of the year” [Econintersect]. The trade-off: Increased warehousing and call center jobs.

Banks: “Firing people won’t be enough to save the world’s biggest banks from technological and regulatory changes that have reshaped the industry — whole businesses must go, according to McKinsey & Co” [Bloomberg]. “Only three to five global full-service banks will survive, McKinsey said.”

Supply Chain: “Supply chain executives exhibit the highest levels of psychopathic tendencies in the corporate sector” [Australian Financial Review]. “​A study of 261 corporate professionals working in supply chain management found that 21 per cent of those individuals had clinically significant levels of psychopathic traits such as insincerity, lack of empathy or remorse, egocentric behaviour and the ability to be both charming and superficial. The study found the supply chain management professionals had similar levels of psychopathic traits to the broad prison population.” This could be interesting in a manner beyond snark; it raises the question of whether subsystems of the world system that optimize for psychopaths are more critical to world system survival than those that do not.

Shipping: “The Hanjin Shipping Co. terminal at South Korea’s largest port used to be one of the world’s busiest. Dozens of container carriers would line up to ferry boxes to and from the giant cranes that loaded and unloaded the world’s biggest ships. Last week the terminal, as big as 100 football fields, came to a virtual standstill” [Bloomberg]. Whatever capitals tied up in those containers isn’t moving, any more than the container are.

Shipping: “Hanjin is not alone. Of the biggest 12 shipping companies that have published results for the past quarter, 11 have announced huge losses. Several weaker outfits are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. In Japan three firms, Mitsui OSK Lines, NYK Line and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, look vulnerable. … Even the strongest are suffering. France’s CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest carrier, announced a big first-half loss on September 2nd. Maersk Line, the industry leader, and the largest firm within A.P. Moller-Maersk, a family-controlled Danish conglomerate, will be in the red this year, having lost $107m in the six months to June. The industry could lose as much as $10 billion this year on revenues of $170 billion, reckons Drewry, a consultancy” [The Economist]. “Two powerful forces have rocked the industry. The first is the ebbing of world trade since the financial crisis. … The second factor is a surge in the size of the global container fleet following a ship-ordering binge that began around 2011. Overcapacity has crushed freight rates.”

The Bezzle: ” My ride in a self-driving Uber; or how I learned to stop worrying and trust the algorithm” [Los Angeles Times]. That’s the headline. From the story: “Each ride is conducted by two Uber engineers. The engineer in the driver’s seat is ready to take over the car at a moment’s notice. If the car ventures into areas Uber has yet to map (less than half of Pittsburgh neighborhoods have been mapped so far), the driver will assume control. ”

The Bezzle: “What Will Occupants of a Self-Driving Car Do? Mostly Worry” [247 Wall Street]. In other words, watch the road. “Add that number to the 23% of Americans who said they wouldn’t even ride in a self-driving vehicle, and nearly 60% of current U.S. drivers and passengers would likely not be more productive. Among the 40% of Americans who would get into a driverless vehicle and not spend the entire trip worrying, nearly 11% said they would read, about 10% said they’d talk or text with friends and family, nearly 7% said they’d sleep. Less than 5% say they would work.”

The Bezzle: “You now can get a degree in … self-driving cars” [USA Today]. From — wait for it — Udacity, the for-profit online MOOC. Sounds legit. The world needs more fake degrees from fake schools for non-existent products.

The Bezzle: “Additionally, we recently discovered a brand new section of the Airbnb website incentivizing real estate owners to list their spaces and let them be managed by experienced Airbnb Superhosts” [All About AirBnB]. “This move de facto positions Airbnb against the many Property Management companies – like Airsorted, Hostmaker or BNBsitter – that have recently been surfacing in different cities, and opens new monetization perspectives for both Airbnb and its host community.” “Host community….”

Political Risk: “The Trouble with Macroeconomics” (pdf) [Paul Romer]. I’m going to quote the entire abstract, because it’s so fun:

n the last three decades, the methods and conclusions of macroeconomics have deteriorated to the point that much of the work in this area no longer qualifies as scientific research. The treatment of identification in macroeconomic models is no more credible than in the first generation large Keynesian models, and is worse because it is far more opaque. On simple questions of fact, such as whether the Fed can influence the real fed funds rate, the answers verge on the absurd. The evolution of macroeconomics mirrors developments in string theory from physics, which suggests that they are examples of a general failure mode of for fields of science that rely on mathematical theory in which facts can end up being subordinated to the theoretical preferences of revered leaders. The larger concern is that macroeconomic pseudoscience is undermining the norms of science throughout economics. If so, all of the policy domains that economics touches could lose the accumulation of useful knowledge that characteristic of true science, the greatest human invention.

Ouch! (Romer is chief economist at the World Bank). I’m filing this and the next link under Political Risk because an ideological collapse entails political risk.

Political Risk: “There is no r*” [Philosophy of Money]. “Like many economists, I have been trapped into thinking that there is an equilibrium real rate of interest – a level of the policy rate consistent with stable inflation, a closed output gap, or full employment. The trick for policy makers is to find the magic level…. Increasingly, it has become clear that this entire framework is deeply flawed. For example, it is very likely that there is simply no level of the real policy rate in the Eurozone that will return the continent to trend growth. Why, after all, should the real interest be this all powerful lever which will single-handedly can raise or shrink demand to the level consistent with stable growth and inflation?”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 34 Fear (previous close: 36, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 65 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 14 at 2:10pm. Fear of a Trump win?


“For the first time, U.S. and Mexico take stock of the underground water they share” [High Country News]. “An unknown number of aquifers dot the border along the U.S. and Mexico, groundwater both sides use for agriculture, irrigation, and cities. Likewise, how much border communities rely on them and the ways they are managed by either country remain largely unclear. ”


“Indonesia: ‘Haram’ to burn land for clearing, say Muslim clerics” [Asian Correspondent]. (Haram mean forbidden.) Good news!

“Formal E-Recycling: The Complexity of Solving the E-waste Problem Worldwide” [Harvard School of Public Heatlh]. :The process for recycling electronics involves dismantling them into valuable materials that can be resold, and the process can be a source of toxic chemical pollution that harms workers, communities, and the environment near the facilities. The process can also release metals such as cadmium, lead, mercury, and nickel, and organic compounds such as flame retardants, and polychlorinated biphenyls into the environment. The amount of harm done depends on whether a formal or informal e-recycling business is performing the work.”

“In a new study, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) used high-performance computing capabilities and innovative visualization tools to model how the power grid of the eastern U.S. could operationally accommodate higher levels of wind and solar photovoltaic generation” [North American Wind and Power (PT)].

Health Care

“The [latest U.S. Census Bureau data] found that 29 million people went uninsured last year, including 3.7 million children, and that deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs have continued to rise well after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into law in 2010” [Portside]. “The data “starkly illustrates how our inefficient, private-insurance-based system of financing care is fundamentally incapable of providing universal coverage,” said pediatrician and PNHP president Dr. Robert Zarr. “The fact that 29 million people remain uninsured—a figure that won’t change much over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office—is totally unacceptable to me as a physician.” And Medicare for All could save the country $400 billion a year, and who doesn’t want that? I mean, besides the people skimming it.

Class Warfare

“University of California hires India-based IT outsourcer, lays off tech workers” [ComputerWorld]. “Affected IT workers in San Francisco are expecting to train foreign replacements.” I’ll train ’em, alright…

Census household economic conditions report: ” A tightening labor market and Obamacare delivered income growth and health coverage to working families in 2015″ [Jared Bernstein, WaPo]. And now let’s get real…

Census household economic conditions report: “The Gini coefficient, which the Census uses to track the gap between the rich and poor, was unchanged in the last year, despite all those wage gains and declining poverty. In fact, it’s up 5.5% since 1993, when the government first began tracking the data” [Mic].

Census household economic conditions report: “The good news: Census figures for 2015 show median household income rose 5.2% over the previous year and the nation’s poverty rate fell to 13.5%, reflecting the biggest annual improvements in decades. The bad news: Those numbers still aren’t as good as they were in 2007” [Los Angeles Times]. And this “recovery” is already long in the tooth.

News of the Wired

“Version 1.8 of the OpenType font format specification introduces an extensive new technology, affecting almost every area of the format. An OpenType variable font is one in which the equivalent of multiple individual fonts can be compactly packaged within a single font file” [Medium]. If you’re a font geek, this is cool.

“Google’s become an obsessive stalker and you can’t get a restraining order” [The Register]. “What’s changed is that the collection and use of this location data now appears to us to be much more aggressive. Google simply doesn’t care about being discreet any more. It doesn’t care that users might think it is creepy. But the historical records show that Google always was pretty hardcore about location data.” Location, location, location….

“Monkey Types 12 Words per Minute With Brain-to-Keyboard Communication” [IEEE Spectrum].

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


CB writes: “This time of year in the Netherlands, the stinging nettles are going into overdrive, and they make walking in the woods with short pants a trial and tribulation! As you may know, they aren’t strictly a nuisance as they have both culinary as well as medicinal benefits. That’s more than can be said of poison ivy!”

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


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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Jim Haygood

    Paul Combetta, Bill Thornton and Bryan Pagliano: the new IT power trio, with their mega-hit “Bleachbitted Blonde.”

    Rock on, lads ..

      1. John k

        So trump could be FDR2! Kind of a stretch, but it is a blank canvas. I’d settle for massive infrastructure and peace with Putin.

    1. Waldenpond

      The immunity deal attached to the provider. Congress did not provide immunity deals. They knew the fifth would be invoked. Nothing but dreary theater.

  2. Carla

    TPP Explained:
    Corporations want a law to make it against the law to make a law against them.

    Today is a national call-in day against the TPP and especially the ISDS provisions of so-called “trade” agreements. Call 888-659-7351 to direct your Congressperson and Senators to REJECT the TPP, which because of ISDS is really about global corporate rule.

    (Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions give giant corporations the power to challenge national laws, rules and regulations protecting workers, consumers, communities and the environment that they claim has harmed their ability to maximize profits.

  3. tony

    Re: What Trump supporters want you to believe

    Vladimir Putin, an unabashed dictator who invades other countries, tramples on his people’s civil and human rights, and has the blood of Russian journalists on his hands

    I swear to God, these people want a WW3.

    1. Tom Allen

      “This is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe. They fight for every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed.”

      Mitt Romney on Barack Obama (2012), or Hillary Clinton on Donald Trump (2016)?

        1. clarky90

          Hillary has dropped the baton. Trump will easily win. “The Twenty-five Thousanders” who have left the East and West Coast cities to “collectivize” the countryside are scurrying home. And they are not happy

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            I dunno about easily. Absent “Events, dear boy, events”* — granted, a feature of this election season — I’d say that (a) Clinton’s easier path in the electoral college, (b) virtually unanimous support from the political class, (c) whatever October surprise the administration has in store, and (d) a “natural” advantage of four points or so will be sufficient to drag her across the finish line.

            They’re both lousy candidates, and it’s telling that all Trump had to do was get a team he could work with — kudos to him for a decisive executive decision — to make it a race again, but I don’t see a reason why the electoral map won’t end up looking a lot like 2012. The negatives of both candidates are so high they wash each other out, so all the storm and fury net out to zero and the natural advantages of the Democrat Party at the Presidential level should bring it home for Clinton.**

            Worth what you paid for it! My pundit diploma is hanging right over there on the wall!

            * Health, “something nasty in the woodshed” at Wikileaks, a stock market crash, etc. I would imagine the Fed would do just about anything to avoid any blips in the next 60 or so days, but who knows what power they actually have.

            ** The Clinton campaign team is bloated and sycophantic and doesn’t have the confidence or indeed the competence of the 2012 or 2008 Obama teams; FWIW, they should cut back headcount by a third on general principle pour encourager les autres. Which I know they can’t do, of course. But even if they have wretched body language, that doesn’t mean they don’t have natural advantages working for them. Trump still has an uphill battle.

            1. NYPaul

              And, we won’t even have to wait for election day to know the Winner. The Debate on September 26 could (should) be determinative.

              It’s got the nail biting anticipatory buzz reminiscent of:

              “The Rumble in the Jungle”
              (Ali vs. Foreman )

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            You jest, but September and October are, historically, when Mr. Market has a SAD (i.e., Seasonal Affective Depression). Not that there’s anything on the horizon, except everything…

  4. L

    Pardon the awful pun but: “Puerto Rico Gets Greeced”

    One story that has not gotten the coverage it deserves is Puerto Rico where a “rescue” bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama has just gone into effect putting a “technocratic board” composed of four Republicans and three Democrats all with deep ties to Puerto Rico’s bondholders in charge of the island’s economy with little to no say from the citizens.

    The Jacobin has good coverage here

    I guess my teachers were wrong to tell me that Puerto Rico is part of America.

    1. Carla

      Your teachers were not wrong. TPTB are simply extending to Puerto Rico what they have already done for Detroit, trying it out on a slightly larger scale before they extend the same treatment to the rest of the country. I predict they’ll take it to the entire rust belt next, on the theory that we haven’t yet suffered enough. But rot is never static.

  5. Anne

    From The Intercept:

    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell attempted to discourage Hillary Clinton and her team from using him as a scapegoat for her private email server problems, according to newly leaked emails from Powell’s Gmail account.

    “Sad thing,” Powell wrote to one confidant, “HRC could have killed this two years ago by merely telling everyone honestly what she had done and not tie me to it.”

    “I told her staff three times not to try that gambit. I had to throw a mini tantrum at a Hampton’s party to get their attention. She keeps tripping into these ‘character’ minefields,” Powell lamented. He noted that he had tried to settle the matter by meeting with Clinton aide Cheryl Mills in August.


    “It is no secret that I used a [sic] unclassified personal email account in addition to my classified State computer,’” Powell wrote to the New York Times’s Amy Chozick. He implored the dozens of reporters and producers who emailed him to read his book, “It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership,” in which he devoted an entire chapter to his efforts to revamp the State Department’s IT system.

    The Clinton campaign’s effort to blur the lines between Clinton’s private email server and Powell’s AOL account left Powell deeply frustrated.

    “They are going to dick up the legitimate and necessary use of emails with friggin record rules. I saw email more like a telephone than a cable machine,” Powell wrote last year to his business partner Jeffrey Leeds. “As long as the stuff is unclassified. I had a secure State.gov machine. Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”

    Powell added in a tangential complaint: “I told you about the gig I lost at a University because she so overcharged them they came under heat and couldn’t any [sic] fees for awhile. I should send her a bill.”

    That last part’s kinda revealing…

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        How the “solidarity economy” works at the 1% level…

        Adding, the other interesting thing about Powell’s various comments is that he’s really throwing a turd into Clinton’s punchbowl of appealing to moderate Republicans… He’s very distinctly not endorsing her, eh? So Powell is acting rather like an elite firewall for those Philly suburbs 10%-er Republicans Clinton wants to pick up (and has been kicking Sanders as part of that pivot (in addition for the sheer joy of it, of course)).

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Great credence is being placed in the general’s emails. It seems he is universally “respected.”

      Apparently Winston Smith was called in to deal with that small matter of the vial of yellow powder…….

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        What’s telling is that — at least for me — the general seems more honest than Hillary and the general is famous for his lies.

        1. JCC

          To the best of my knowledge he was only famous for one lie, the U.N.Speech he gave on Iraq’s WMDs. Afterwards he basically said he was sandbagged by George Tenet and the Bush administration and called it “a blot” on his career.

          And his aide, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson still calls it the low point of his entire career. They both were unknowingly lied to.

          ( https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/feb/16/colin-powell-cia-curveball )

          “In his own memoir, Powell says his February 2003 speech at the U.N. justifying the invasion on the basis of what turned out to be bogus evidence was “a blot, a failure [that] will always be attached to me.” He doesn’t say he knew the intelligence was false, but he does say, “I am mad mostly at myself for not having smelled the problem. My instincts failed me.” Powell has said he was misled, and demanded that the CIA and Pentagon explain why they didn’t tell him that they knew that a key informant — Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, also known as “Curveball” — had lied when he said Saddam had mobile bio-weapons labs.”

          ( http://theweek.com/articles/472697/kofi-annans-memoir-did-colin-powell-doubt-wmd-claims )

          He was, and still is, respected by many who served under him in the US Army.

  6. diptherio

    Some updates from the Solidarity Economy:

    Turning Crisis Into Opportunity

    Below are four videos from the CommonBound 2016 closing panel “Moving Forward with a Plan to Win.” Makani Themba of Higher Ground Change Strategies sets the stage by asking us to consider what exactly we mean by a “new” economy, and how our New Economy will relate to the old, i.e. the present, one. Then, Jacobo Rivero of the Department of Culture and Sports in the city of Madrid discusses the necessity of creating participatory institutions within the community to support solidarity-minded elected officials, who still face an uphill battle against the status quo within government. Next, Kali Akuno of Cooperation Jackson discusses the need for our movements to use the current economic, environmental and political-legitimacy crises to our advantage. Finally, Erica Smiley of Jobs with Justice ends with her thoughts on the importance of business models that merge traditional labor organizing with cooperative ownership for building a truly new “New Economy.”

    6 Ways We’re Already Leading an Economic Revolution

    Many years ago, while researching the history of the U.S. decision to use atomic weapons on the people of Japan, I came to understand something: There was something deep at work in the American political and economic system driving it toward relentless expansion and a dangerous, informal imperialism. I began thinking about how to fundamentally change America out of concern with what America was doing—and is still doing—to the rest of the world.

    Many experiences since—especially working in the U.S. House, Senate, and at upper levels of the State Department trying to resist the war in Vietnam; and thereafter with activists in the antiwar and civil rights movements—taught me something important: It wasn’t enough to stand in opposition to the injustices America inflicted on the world and its own people. It was equally important for these movements to operate with an idea of what they want instead.

    Could we imagine a system that undercuts the logic responsible for so much suffering at home and abroad?

    1. JTMcPhee

      What I been saying, other people bigger than me also: What outcomes do “we” want from “our” political economy?

      And what is the organizing principle that most people can coalesce around, to keep the species alive, stop the extractive murderous looting, and the pain and horror that provide the pleasure palaces for the parasites?

  7. Mark John

    The issue to me with Hillary Clinton’s statement, which I think many consciously or subconsciously get, is the use of the word “deplorables” as a defining noun, making it the blanket essence of the people being described. History gives examples of this–groups labeled with identity epithets in order to isolate and dehumanize them, a common fascistic ploy. (Certainly Trump should get no pass on this either)

    I would suggest that Secretary Clinton examine thoroughly her ethical code and/or either her intelligence level and ask herself why she would choose to converse in such a manner. One can legitamately say “I find your view on this particular issue deplorable” (and then state one’s reasons), but to describe complex human beings in such a divisive, segregating manner should not be acceptable.

    And as a further note, I think the country should take this as a “teachable moment” and analyze the use of the word “terrorist”.

    1. nippersmom

      I would suggest that Secretary Clinton examine thoroughly her ethical code

      I would suggest that Secretary Clinton has provided ample proof that she has no ethical code.

        1. hunkerdown

          Tumbrel of delusionals…

          I would suggest that Platonism is the source of her ethical code, and indeed, Platonism and its neo… deplorable might be too weak a word. The idea that some people are more fit to control all others than said others are themselves is a recipe for exactly what we’ve gotten. Malicious, reckless, premeditated, and sadistic seem about right.

          1. skeeter


            Platonism is the beating heart of the Republic. It is telling that the high school from which the current President graduated is called the Academy.

            Clinton ends the list of deplorables she includes in her basket with “you name it.” Pretty much anybody not born with the right kind of soul – gold or maybe silver.

            Popper was right about Plato, he was a fascist. Our Republic has the spirit of the Academy deeply ingrained and the concordant authoritarian potential.

            1. witters

              Please stop with the Plato nonsense – and please don’t let your ignorance here lead you to Popper and his neoliberalism! Read The Republic and find this out:

              Plato’s philosopher kings live in poverty. They have no personal property at all. The people (strict trans. ‘Farmers’) have personal wealth, riches, holidays, mistresses… not the PK (Plato’s idea is that anyone who wants to rule is unsuited to ruling). The PKs are not only poor in comparative and absolute sense, they also have no kin ties so as to avoid neoptism. They must always live in the public view – any citizen can enter their publicly provided lodging whenever they want. The PK eat communally, in public, and only that the citizens are willing to provide them.

              For more see What Plato can teach us about Politics and Freedom at philosopher.io. Popper is the stalking horse for this account, so that problem gets sorted.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                I do think that vulgar identity politics as practiced by the Democrat establishment regards racism as an immutable, personal essence; whether that be Platonic, or not.

                Of course, that’s just wrong on so many levels, starting with the Christian belief system, since Clinton professes to be a Christian. It’s as if racism is sin, but (a) they hate the sinner, too, and (b) there’s no redemption.

                Not good, not good, not good. Not good in any way. The logical consequence is some sort of secession (although, of course, many in Clinton’s 10%-er base in the burbclaves have seceded in all but name).

                1. aab

                  That’s certainly how they’re treating it now, but basically, it’s just various flavors of “you’re Other and you’re useful.” They don’t really care about racism. Bill, Hillary and a lot of their supporters are racist. Hillary LOVED working class white racists when she thought she could get their votes in 2008. Remember how Hillary said LESS THAN A YEAR AGO that Republicans were her enemy in a debate? But now they’re BFFs. Republicans are awesome! Real Republicans aren’t racist! Just those not real Republicans that are deplorable because they won’t vote for me.

                  I wish the 10% aligned with the elite would all secede, as long as they create a new, separate country. We could print and distribute fiat currency to the remaining citizens in ways that could do some good. At least half the seceders would return, because they wouldn’t enjoy being the lower class of their new country, they wouldn’t have the assets to live off without working, and those above them with the real wealth would exploit their new vulnerability.

                  1. fajensen

                    Somebody tried (is still trying) that: The Freedom Ship.

                    One flaw in the plane is of course that, once the “elites” are in one place, pirates of every colour will flock around the place and one will be very tempted to run a KickStarter for the services of someone languishing in an ancient missile silo.

                    The other flaw is that all of these people hate each other, we will have assassins roaming the corridors in five days flat.

                    Those are … Flaws!?

                    I just realised that The Freedom Ship is a GREAT idea, Government should sponsor it.

                2. clinical wasteman

                  I definitely agree with Lambert about the lower-case neo/platonism of liberal (identity) politics — in the trivialization of racism as a psychological trait of ‘bad’ people and in Meritocratic smarm at large.
                  But that I also agree with witters that a less diluted neoPopperism is all over the modern Proprietorial mind — eg. for all their expensive ‘education’, FT op-ed writers shamelessly treat Popper as a serious philosopher! — and should be confronted with active antipathy.

          2. alex morfesis

            $hillary is very much keeping to “her” ethical code…actually it is ithics(ithiki) not ethics…it is a greek word…which actually just means morality…

            but in a classic ancient greek sense, if one believes one is a demigod or an “empress” / caesar/kaiser than one is bound to accept that all must be for the pleasure and tribute to “fearless leader”…

            imagining one self as the be all and end all…with her insistence on surrounding herself with parties who allow her to imagine she is so “beautiful” and warm and gracious…

            all things must bow to the demigod and pay tribute…

            she is apparently an old evil soul…

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Or “insurgent.” Especially in one’s own country, when it has been invaded by a foreign army.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Insurgents are, per our imperial overlords, all “illegal enemy combatants” kill them all… Except for the Moderate ones.

        Jesus, I hate finding myself rooting for the locals the empire draws down on… But there it is. People hate losers.

        Hey, Rambo even did bro love with the Mujahedin… But that was 1988, when the Enemy was the Hated Soviets, and the hajjis were “Freedom Fighters” ( of course that phrase can de read several ways), https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambo_III

    3. Gareth

      “The Deplorables” would be a great name for a band, at this point probably a country band. Watch for it.

      1. polecat

        how about a punk band ….. I mean …. how else would one refer the DNC and their synchophants as ….but as PUNKS !

      2. CraaaaaaaazyChris

        Yes! I was going to say this, but Gareth got there first. And when Trump croons out a tune with them, they’ll be billed “Donald and the Deplorables.”

        Don’t even think of auditioning for the band unless you know Tiny Dancer and Can’t Always Get What You Want.

    1. voteforno6

      That would never happen. They would rather lose with Clinton, Biden, or Kain, than win with Sanders. A win for Sanders would mean a real housecleaning at the DNC.

      1. NYPaul

        Ding! Ding! Absolutely correct!

        There is no doubt in my mind “they” hate Sanders so much more than any candidate the R’s could put up that I feel silly even writing it. Their differences with any Republican are simply ones of punctuation, with Sanders, to the core.

    2. Pat

      Clinton will have to collapse and become a babbling idiot on national television before anyone will rip this nomination from her cold paralyzed hands. I would say dead but if anyone has a deal with demons to be President before she goes to Hell it is Hillary Rodham Clinton.

      1. nowhere

        Maybe she already has a contract with a Silicon Valley company to implant a machine learning computer (along with the requisite battery packs and actuators) in the event of her demise.

      2. Crazy Horse

        I see no reason why the Overlords can’t run the country just as well using a body double of Hellary Klinton instead of the real thing. Since they already own the MSM, nobody will even notice if they cancel news conferences entirely. After all, BushBama managed it for years with Osama bin Laden after he died in December of 2001. They didn’t even bother to select a close match. As the years passed the “Osama” used to signal “Orange Alerts” and keep the sheeple nervous changed from a scarecrow thin person dying of terminal kidney failure to a man with the neck of a wrestler, lost his greying hair, and grew a broader nose and nobody cared.

      3. Richard

        Apparently they can’t remove her. The DNC rules don’t allow it. She has to withdraw herself. (Much though I hate her, I think this is probably a good thing. Trump would have been out long ago if they could have just removed him at will).

          1. aab

            You mean the daughter she hid her “pneumonia” from (Chelsea claimed she had no idea her mother was sick, as if having a terrible, secretive relationship with your only child was a plus) and the grandchildren she then exposed to it? Oh, that’s right, it’s that special, magical, non-contagious bacterial pneumonia.

            Oh, wait. Bill said it was the flu.

            What a family.

        1. aab

          I agree that leadership being able to remove nominees at will is a bad idea. But, of course, in this situation, the leadership of the Democratic Party ought to have more options, if they were less cowardly and corrupt. Obama just has to tell her that he’ll have Lynch indict her if she doesn’t step down. (Plenty of indictable evidence already, but Lynch could easily claim any one of a number of new things to come to light has triggered it.) Or somebody could sit Lisa Bardock down and tell her that it would behoove her to stop lying about her patient, who will be dead too soon to protect Bardock for the rest of her career. Or they could pretend they JUST realized the primary was illegitimate, using the leaks as an excuse. Obama could blame Wasserman Schultz and claim he had no idea it was this bad.

          So they could get rid of her. They won’t, but they could.

    3. skeeter

      Clinton is now my preferred alternative. Who better to strip the facade off of the entire nightmare than the strangelovean character she is steadily becoming?

      What better outcome than a nation of cynics?

        1. skeeter

          Maybe your right but hope springs eternal.

          The remark was made in the spirit of cynicism however. Stanley Kubrick’s film ended with the an Armageddon, a potentiality that I do hope to avoid.

    4. Steve H.

      Doesn’t fit with I’M WITH HER. Elizabeth Warren can keep the same theme going. Credibility without paradigm shift.

      Tragic about the Clintons. Powell used ‘hubris’ which is the primary hamartia of the classic Greek tragedies.

  8. Vatch

    “The Deplorables” sounds like a mashup of “The Incredibles” and “Despicable Me”. I would watch it!

    1. TalkingCargo

      Bound to be more entertaining than the presidential contest. Also, it has the advantage of being total fiction. I’d watch it too!

      1. ambrit

        As opposed to the presidential contest which is only what percent fiction?
        The combination of “The Incredibles” and “Despicable Me” sounds like the Kennedys with their sidekick Johnson followed by Nixon. Since we’ve just had “The Lion King,” next would be that “Frozen” character, eh? Me, I think I’ll just pop “Over The Hedge” for a while.

        1. TalkingCargo

          Granted there is no shortage of fiction in this presidential contest.
          Unfortunately, the results are gonna play out in real life.

          I don’t see a lot of movies tho I did happen to see “The Incredibles” an “Despicable Me II” and enjoyed them. The only movie I’ve seen that sort of reminds me of this election is “No Country for Old Men”.

          1. ambrit

            True. This cycle reminds me of “Alice” in “Through The Looking Glass.” “Sometimes I believe six impossible things before breakfast.”
            We’re bracing ourselves for the ‘fallout’ attending this elections’ results. If there was ever an argument in favour of ‘prepping,’ this election cycle is it.

            1. TalkingCargo

              You’ve got that right. I don’t know if we’re going through the looking glass or down the rabbit hole, but it seems like we’re headed for a whole new place. Maybe one where the conventional wisdom no longer applies.
              I guess we live in interesting times.

      2. John k

        The contest would actually be pretty entertaining if I wasn’t a local living locally.
        I imagine much of the world happily passing the popcorn.

    2. hunkerdown

      Not even for the fan service — even though a casino owner and reality TV producer is going to know how to pull all the stops for fan service.

  9. DJG

    Baskets, baskets, and more baskets. Now it clicks A rose is a rose is a rose, from another leading conservative. Yes, Gertrude Stein was a rock-ribbed Republican who somehow rode out WWII in Vichy France even though she and Alice both were Jewish.

    And she had more than one dog named Basket. A Basket is a Basket is a Basket.


    And in spite of it all, neither of these two eccentrics was deplorable. Nor was the poodle (which had the self-respect not be be Tony Blair).

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      It’s only September 14, and already we’re having a Bimbo Eruption…

      Only because it just occurred to me, the other reason it was dumb to ferry Clinton over to Chelsea’s $20 million Manhattan apartment is that it reinforced the picture of the Clintons as wealthy and entitled. Visually, the background for the staged photo op with the little girl was terrible; there might as well have been chandaliers from Versailles.

      1. Richard

        They only removed her to Chelsea’s apartment because they knew she didn’t have pneumonia. Otherwise, they’d have taken her straight to hospital. The fact that she seemed “OK” moments later smacks of a mini stroke from which she recovered quickly, as do minor stroke victims. If it had been pneumonia, there’s no way she could have bounced back like that. By the way, look carefully at the video of her collapsing and getting into the van. She is already having a stroke as she sits on the bollard. The stroke lasts right through her stumble and into the van. Her limbs are frozen. Her neck is frozen. And she is completely immobile.

        Thank G?D for the guy who happened to be taking the video. It seems to be the ONLY evidence we have of what happened… despite the handlers trying to block her from public view. His angle was exactly right. Divine providence, I would say. That video will do as much as anything else to up Trump’s chances.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Some really blatant stuff in there, like the DNC buying Smith & Wesson stock right before earnings because they knew Obama was about to talk about gun control.
        I recall when that little term actually meant something.

        1. HBE

          And we still have wikileaks October surprise to look forward to! I think that will give the term blatant in this context a whole new meaning.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        Well, I looked at this one thing:

        The DNC may have been invested in Smith and Wessons earnings for Q3 2011. Coincidentally Obama brought in new gun control laws that July.


        So I went to that 2011 Daily Beast article and read it. There’s no mention of the DNC investing in Smith and Wesson at all.

        Please don’t use the NC comments section as a link dumpster for unvetted material. It’s not a value add. In fact, it’s a value subtraction.

    1. Plenue

      Guccifer 2.0 is sitting in his computer room, surrounded by monitors and Linux boxes, laughing to himself:.

      “Ahahahaha, oh wow, they think I’m Russian!”

  10. Kokuanani

    Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.

    Now THERE’S a campaign slogan!!!! Thank you, Colin Powell.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I loved the line from Colin Powell: “Her husband is still dicking bimbos at home”
      We think the elite communicate in flowery, aristocratic phrases, turns out they talk trash just like lots of other people. Who knew?

      1. aab

        I had the opposite reaction. My experience of powerful people is that they’re incredibly foul-mouthed. I was surprised by the use of the relatively tame “dicking” in a private email.

  11. Katniss Everdeen

    “Huma raising money from worried supporters after Clinton’s diagnosis” [New York Post]

    Don’t know if there’s a lot of money being raised off this but, according to abc “news” last night, one thing that IS coming hillary’s way is……..flowers.

    Apparently there”s a veritable traffic jam of floral delivery vehicles around a particular residence in chappaqua, new york.

    What a thoughtful “gift” for someone with “seasonal allergies” and an ostensible lung infection that glued her feet to the pavement and got her “side-of-beefed” into a secret service van.

        1. polecat

          Yes …daylilies are edible ! ….. just not poisoned ones ……

          Oh ……. I almost forgot ……………………… PUTIN !!

      1. ambrit

        More like Morticia Addams cutting the heads off. (Let us agree to not pursue any Freudian analysis on this point.)

    1. temporal

      Imagine the disappointment.

      You should be sending me the money you would have spent on the flowers and I’ll buy myself something more practical. Those Zeiss lenses don’t come cheap my dears.

      Or at the very least, buy the flowers from one of my “associates” so I can get a cut.

      Even if she were healthy I doubt the secret service would be in the mood to let her get very close to them. Man, we have to heft her around again?

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Huma soldiering on…has a feel of Saigon in 1975 to it, the local Chamber of Commerce rep is soliciting new donations from business people while in the background choppers are lifting off with people hanging from the skids

      1. sd

        Huma is not of sound mind. Look at her choices for companions. The whole lot are seriously creepy and seedy people.

    3. Steve H.

      Wow, the power of sequential context. My mind was still mulling over “Her husband is still dicking bimbos at home” from the above thread, I saw ‘flowers’ and I thought…


      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Putin’s Mata Hari’s.

        And when home is the White House, they will be going through classified information, when Bill is too busy with other 6 or 10 of them.

        “Help yourselves, girls.”

        We have a legitimate public issue here, not just what two, three or more consenting (old and young) adults do privately.

    4. crittermom

      Katniss Everdeen–
      “What a thoughtful “gift” for someone with “seasonal allergies” and an ostensible lung infection…”

      Maybe Trump sent ’em?

  12. craazyman

    keep your eyes on the road
    your hands right by the wheel
    keep your eyes on the road
    your hands right by the wheel
    ridin to the roadhouse
    tryin to have a real … good time

    if we get to the roadhouse
    they got some bungalows
    if we get to the roadhouse
    they got some bungalows
    but they’re not for the people
    who have to go there slow

    c’mon roll baby roll
    c’mon roll baby roll
    c’mon roll baby roll
    I can’t ride . . . yeah . . .all night long

    well I woke up this morning
    and I got myself a beer
    well I woke up this morning
    I got myself a beer
    now I can drink and ride
    and let Google drive and steer

  13. EndOfTheWorld

    “Duterte Harry”, prez of the Philippines, is now buying weapons from China and Russia and will not patrol the South China Sea with the US. Game over. The US can not much longer even pretend to be contesting China over there.

  14. clarky90


    Understanding the Influence of Parkinson Disease on Adolf Hitler’s Decision-Making during World War II.

    Gupta R1, Kim C1, Agarwal N2, Lieber B3, Monaco EA 3rd4.
    Author information

    Parkinson disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the presence of Lewy bodies and a reduction in the number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of the basal ganglia. Common symptoms of PD include a reduction in control of voluntary movements, rigidity, and tremors. Such symptoms are marked by a severe deterioration in motor function. The causes of PD in many cases are unknown. PD has been found to be prominent in several notable people, including Adolf Hitler, the Chancellor of Germany and Führer of Nazi Germany during World War II. It is believed that Adolf Hitler suffered from idiopathic PD throughout his life. However, the effect of PD on Adolf Hitler’s decision making during World War II is largely unknown. Here we examine the potential role of PD in shaping Hitler’s personality and influencing his decision-making. We purport that Germany’s defeat in World War II was influenced by Hitler’s questionable and risky decision-making and his inhumane and callous personality, both of which were likely affected by his condition. Likewise his paranoid disorder marked by intense anti-Semitic beliefs influenced his treatment of Jews and other non-Germanic peoples. We also suggest that the condition played an important role in his eventual political decline.”

  15. Ranger Rick

    The best comment on that “wage increase” that NYT and WaPo are trumpeting as if it is good news:

    $56,000 is the inflated equivalent of a 1965 minimum wage earners annual income. in other words the average family income in the USA is the same as what a 20 yr old veteran fulltime McDonald’s hambuger flipper earned.
    This is not progress in wage income. it shows a massive shift of all income has become entrenched into the top income bracket leaving even the so called professional middle class as nearly bottom feeders in todays modern economy.

    1. Jim Haygood

      The commenter is only off by a factor of three.

      CPI in July 1965: 31.6
      CPI in July 2016: 240.647
      Ratio (1965/2016): 0.1313

      $56,000 x 0.1313 = $7,354 in 1965 dollars

      Minimum wage as of Sep 1965: $1.25/hour
      2,000 hours/yr x $1.25/hr = $2,500 annual minimum wage income in 1965 dollars

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        So, this shows they are not better at exacting a pound of flesh today than they were in 1965.

        No (neoliberal) ‘progress.’ :(

        I thought every generation was better and smarter than the one before?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      With robot hamburger flippers, even those ‘desirable’ jobs will be gone…leaving defending the country from bad guys the only long-term reliable work available.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I’ve always like that word, and have always wondered why only bad guys have monopoly on that.

  16. Katniss Everdeen

    Donald Trump in Flint, MI this afternoon:.

    “It used to be that cars were made in Flint, and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now cars are made in Mexico, and you can’t drink the water in Flint.”

    Oh that Steve Bannon and his alt-right propaganda machine……….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That chiasmus is as good as the ‘Ask not what your economy can do for you. Ask what you can do for your economy.’

      Well, better, actually. Who cares about an economy (and its GDP) that doesn’t do anything for you.

  17. DWD

    Lambert said, “The Bezzle: “You now can get a degree in … self-driving cars” [USA Today]. From — wait for it — Udacity, the for-profit online MOOC. Sounds legit. The world needs more fake degrees from fake schools for non-existent products.”


    Best laugh of the day.

    Excellent observation

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      For an entire paragraph, I nominate this for outstanding web commentary:

      UPDATE Exactly. And Clinton’s views are not in conformance with Christian teaching, either. Although I suppose Second Wave Feminism has superseded that? After all, if Albright has the divine authority to consign Sanders-supporting women to Hell, I suppose Clinton has equivalent powers to declare half some very large proportion of Trump supporters irredeemable. Of course, if you’re a Republican, even a former Trumpista, I would imagine you can purchase an indulgence through a contribution to the Clinton campaign or Foundation. So you see there is hope. For some.

      I nodded, first in agreement, then in appreciation, at at least six different points.

      1. Archie

        Yes, in fact I would say that the short time off seems to have done wonders for Lambert. The biting wit and insightful sarcasm are writ large in today’s cooler.

      2. djrichard


        This is what Trump should really be focusing on: Hillary’s statement about who and who isn’t redeemable. It goes to the very core of a belief system (which I and I believe still many subscribe to).

        Gives me an opportunity to explore a pet topic too: Paul’s statement that all authority is God’s authority (in so many words). Does this mean that redemption can come from these authorities, e.g Hillary? Or is that a sacrament that comes from God alone? And if that one is exclusive to God, then are the other ones too? At the end of the day, if the kingdom the power and the glory are really in God’s court, then what is it that Paul imbued onto these other authorities on earth? Frankly, I think Paul sold us a bill of goods on this front (or somebody did that on his behalf) and we’ve been suffering the consequences of that ever since.

        1. JerseyJeffersonian

          Me, I have always been with Nietzsche when it comes to an assessment of Paul’s “contribution” to Christianity. Nietzsche characterized Paul as a disaster for Christianity, as he dragged in all of his Pharasaic baggage. N saw Jesus as a mystic, and Paul, with his rule-based, authoritarian ways as the anti-mystic par excellence. I find this view quite persuasive despite Paul’s occasional lapses into something sort of spiritual sounding. Get the soft-minded persuaded of his charitable spirit, & then drop the authoritarian hammer on ’em. No coincidence at all that Pauline doctrine was embraced by Constantine & his successors as a valuable aid to governance.

  18. cnchal

    The geniuses at DNC realized their emails were hacked, then EMAILED new passwords to everyone… #dncleak

    Honestly, how can these people even consider themselves qualified to run even a roadside lemonade stand. And they are inching ever closer to the nuke codes. Who is scarier, now?

      1. polecat

        “I’m a janitor, I’m a janitor, oh my genitals, I’m a janitor ….. i’m a janitor, Oh MY GENITALS, I’m a janitor, I’M A JANITOR ….. BOOM, BOOM .. BOOM-BOOM !”

        ‘Janitor’…. by the suburban lawns

        see … sue tissue had it down .. decades ago

        1. polecat

          Actually, if one were to transpose ‘genitals’ for ‘janitor’ …. and vise versa, for the above, the lyrics would be more accurate …… however … this is a family blog ………

    1. Emma

      Is there a polite way to articulate ones’ view of the DNCs sheer dimwittedness?! Something like ’Finding fault with the smallness of hands…….losing point with the smallness of minds’. Perhaps building that wall might actually raise an IQ level or two……
      As for “who is scarier now?”. Should we consent to fear by accepting the insecurity that comes with either?! Surely the right to rule through fear and ineptitude should not be the defining mark of authority in a democracy? I suspect many Americans would agree that their lives amount to more than having their strings pulled by the ‘duopoly’ of Trump and Clinton. By recognizing legitimate alternatives like either Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, Americans have greater scope to pull the strings instead.

      1. cnchal

        Hillary’s people are bugs in the internet snake pit, getting hacked repeatedly and not really be able to do anything about it. Or so it seems. That makes their ineptitude dangerous the closer they get to power.

        It would be nice to dream of Stein or Johnson (not), but I dream of what this election could look like if Bernie were the nominee. He would have been a contender, and likely a great president due to his deep knowledge and near singular rarity in politics of not only no corruption, but anti corruption. Bernie ” The business of Wall Street is fraud and greed”. Wall Street hasn’t changed since he said that, and it’s no longer a topic in the election. Rats.

        The grim and grimmer election is nearing final countdown.

  19. Pat

    I need to print up that leak and show it to everyone who is idiot enough to believe the “Russians did it!! “BS.
    And follow it up with the remark that since the DNC was this stupid regarding basic, not strict or classified level but basic security, it is amazing they weren’t hacked by every script kiddie out there. The NSA didn’t even need a backdoor…

  20. Gareth

    Those leaked Wisconsin John Doe investigation records are the same ones that the Republican controlled state supreme court wanted destroyed. Now we know why.

  21. KurtisMayfield

    University of California hires India-based IT outsourcer, lays off tech workers

    When do I get to outsource my education to an Indian University and take advantage of the “insourced” south asian labor? It is getting pretty obvious that no one cares what University name is on the degree if it involves a H1B.

    1. Paid Minion

      Change your name to something like Jayesh Sharma (or use the English-Hindi name generator). Do the application thru the company’s online website. Avoid meeting anyone in person. Develop an accent.

      They will automatically assume you are an H-1B. Try to get a “work at home” gig………..you might be able to get away with it for several years.

      In fact….apply for several jobs, then find some kids in the computer science courses at the local university and pay them minimum wage to write code. Keep the differential. Pretty soon, you will be a contractor.

    2. jrs

      But there is noone with the applicable skills in the U.S.!!! Well they ought to know I guess. 1) either they graduate people without adequate skills or 2) the “no U.S. citizen has these skills” rationalization is absurd. Either way they look bad.

  22. Paid Minion

    (repeating from the other day)

    No, you aren’t imagining it…….it’s official.

    In about 99% of the country, the “median family income” can’t afford the “median priced new car”.

    (Using “old school” numbers…….20% down, 48 month note@4.24%)


    What’s interesting to me are the calculations for how much people can actually “afford” in most of the country………..About $15k, or about what a 2-4 seat ultra-subcompact $##tbox costs.

    No problemo. Ford Motor Company has a Better Idea. Build the s##tboxes in Mexico.

    1. jrs

      Or they could just buy a used car, which come to think of it, isn’t that what most average income people actually do? You’ll get more for 15k used.

  23. Jim Haygood

    Concluding paragraph of Dr Lisa Bardack’s two-page letter, released today:

    My overall impression is that Mrs Clinton has remained healthy and has not developed new medical conditions this year other than a sinus and ear infection and her recently diagnosed pneumonia. She is recovering well with antibiotics and rest. She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as President of the United States.

    Spot the modified limited hangout. You can do this.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Your posts are a real treat to anyone (like me) old enough to grasp the historical sweep of all of this amazing theater, from Nixon through to the present. Everything old is new again: My Lai, the Pentagon Papers, the 18 1/2 minute gap. When do we get to levitate the Pentagon?

    2. Romancing The Loan

      I noticed it started the medical history with January 2016. Her medications “include” the ones on the list – this may be too lawyerly but I’d prefer “She currently takes” as a formulation since “include” at least grammatically means there could be others.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Breaking News: More hillary health details just released. Her “pneumonia” is being treated with the antibiotic Levaquin. This could get interesting.

      A few snippets from drugs.com:

      Levaquin is used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, sinuses, kidneys, bladder, or prostate. Levaquin is also used to treat bacterial infections that cause bronchitis or pneumonia, and to treat people who have been exposed to anthrax.

      Fluoroquinolone antibiotics can cause serious or disabling side effects. Levaquin should be used only for infections that cannot be treated with a safer antibiotic.
      Levofloxacin may cause swelling or tearing of a tendon, especially if you are over 60……

      To make sure Levaquin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

      –a history of epilepsy or other seizure disorder

      –if you use a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven) and have “INR” or prothrombin time tests
      Levofloxacin may cause swelling or tearing of a tendon (the fiber that connects bones to muscles in the body), especially in the Achilles’ tendon of the heel. This can happen during treatment or up to several months after you stop taking Levaquin. Tendon problems may be more likely to occur if you are over 60, if you take steroid medication, or if you have had a kidney, heart, or lung transplant.

      With a torn Achilles tendon you cannot walk.

      I had a neighbor who was treated with Levaquin for a respiratory condition. She referred to its effect as “miraculous.” Shortly after her recovery, she mysteriously “tore” her rotator cuff. We shoveled her driveway for the rest of the winter.


  24. Chauncey Gardiner

    Regarding today’s comments on “political risk”: Why, given the absence of an equilibrium real rate of interest, have Fed policy makers on the FOMC passively been granted policy power to implement negative real interest rates?

    Such a policy has little relationship to the Fed’s so-called “dual mandate”.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Since in order to be valid a contract must involve “material consideration” received by both parties to a transaction I fail to see how NIRP is legal.
      I give you 100, in two years you give me 98…I would think a more accurate legal description of that interaction would be “theft”.

  25. fresno dan


    Employees at the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s massive tax-return processing center in Fresno were notified Wednesday that the IRS will discontinue its return-processing operations there following the 2021 tax-filing season.

    Workers at the center on Butler Avenue learned of the decision in an email from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

    In past years, the center has employed as many as 3,700 permanent and temporary/seasonal workers. It was not immediately known how many employees would be affected.

    The Fresno center opened in 1972. It occupies 528,000 square feet.

    The growing popularity of electronic tax filing was cited by Koskinen as one reason for the IRS to continue consolidating its tax-processing operations. In addition to the Fresno site, the IRS is planning to cease processing tax returns at two other centers in the coming years: in Covington, Kentucky, in 2019, and in Austin, Texas, in 2024.

    The first job I had after leaving the Air Force (circa 1979)was as a clerk in the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS at the IRS service center. I remember getting tax protest returns (addressed to the Infernal Revenue Service) – most of the people had their wages withheld, so the IRS just generated a tax form for them and send them their refunds.
    Congressman Bernie Sisk was the one who got the service center for Fresno. There was an IRS service center in Utah, so many employees were transferred from Utah and Fresno got a big influx of Mormons.

    It is a sprawling complex – hard to imagine what could be done with it. I wonder it they still keep it cold enough to freeze penguins in the summer…

  26. rich

    Leaked Colin Powell emails reveal Clinton’s apparent disdain for Obama

    Even more timely are the references Powell makes to Clinton’s health in a series of emails with Jeffrey Leeds, who heads the Leeds Equity Partners investment firm and is also a top Democratic party donor. Powell is a member of the Leeds Partners advisory board. In one email to Leeds, Powell writes that Clinton “does not look good” and is “working herself to death.” Leeds also weighs in on the Clinton email scandal and added that “nobody likes her.”

    But the truly most damaging thing for the Clinton campaign in this pile of hacked emails are the discussions about President Obama and how Clinton apparently feels about him personally. Make no mistake, Hillary Clinton’s liberal supporters will clearly forgive her for almost anything — from lying to the FBI to lying to everyone else about her health. But any evidence that shows she does not like their untouchable hero in President Obama will be the toughest pill to swallow.

    In several emails from Leeds to Powell, Leeds says that Clinton hates and envies the president in the extreme. Leeds adds that she will sometimes refer to President Obama as “that man.” Finally, Leeds tells Powell that the Obama team wouldn’t mind seeing Clinton lose. The timing on this couldn’t be more devastating — it comes just as President Obama is taking to the campaign trail to help Clinton while she recovers from her medical problems.


    I can’t wait to learn what the secret code “dicking bimbos” means from the MSM. Wolf, Matthews, Donna Brazille? Maybe we need Paul Krugman?…I’m a simpleton but it sounds like an exchange was going on.

    Oh one more thing: Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Plunges to Record Low in Gallup Poll

    Email Disclosures: Powell “Would Rather Not Vote for Hillary”, Says Bill is “Still Dicking Bimbos at Home”


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


      the Obama team wouldn’t mind seeing Clinton lose.

      This is going to make her pneumonia worse.

  27. Plenue

    >Political Risk: “The Trouble with Macroeconomics”

    “In the last three decades, the methods and conclusions of macroeconomics have deteriorated to the point that much of the work in this area no longer qualifies as scientific research.”

    Gah! He’s so close, and yet so far. On the very cusp of a fundamental revelation: political economy was never a science.

    But that little point aside, there’s precious little in economics that can even be called research. Conjuring up a new model or spreadsheet and dictating that it reflects reality is not research.

    1. crittermom

      I immediately noted there is no year given on the date of the check, so it’s not really valid since they expire within a certain amount of time.
      What’s up with that?

  28. ekstase

    “Monkey Types 12 Words per Minute With Brain-to-Keyboard Communication”

    Is that monkey going on the internet?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s simple arrogance for the most part.

      Oh sure, the Clintons are racists with a few let house slaves around, but Obama challenged and defeated Hillary, the most uniquely qualified candidate in the history of ever.

      With Obama, he abhors what he deems to be partisan bickering and sees Bill as a cause. Obama loves Joe Liberman. Who knows what screws are loose in O’s mind?

    2. aab

      It’s darker as in, the Clintons are both entitled and racist. So anybody getting in their way would be an enemy, but a black guy beating them with their own dishonest playbook?

      I think Obama honestly loathes their vulgarity. The side of his family he identifies with is from Kansas, after all.

  29. JTMcPhee

    Little something on “repentance” and “change:” I recall a story about noted long-time reprobate WC Fields. On his deathbed, a fellow debaucher came to visit. He found Fields thumbing through a bible. Fields had no use for religion, of any kind. The fellow drinker asked, WC, what the heck are you doing with that bible of all things?” Replied WC, “Looking for loopholes…”

    Hillary carrying a bible with her? Just in case?

  30. Sam Foster

    Wait. Clinton is more corrupt than Trump? Trump who works with mafioso, domestic and foreign? Who has been involved in 4500+ lawsuits? Who regularly swindles communities and business partners? Trump University? The pageant scandals? What am I missing? Clinton gave speeches to Goldman Sachs?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sam, quality, not quantity.

      All it takes is one corrupt deal (even for just a small amount of bribe) involving state secret with many lives lost.

      1. alex morfesis

        WC Fields for president…(1940)…the worlds greatest juggler…reports of his ghost roaming his old home at 3920 north Marshall Street in Philly…but paris would be nice…

        if we have to vote for a comedian as president, let’s vote for a real one

    2. hunkerdown

      Whereas Haim Saban’s three million bucks in exchange for the US putting Israel First ($38 billion) is just “friendly business”?

      Neoliberals have never made a better case for community censorship than by opening their mouths.

    3. rich

      Insatiable: the Democrats Must Attack Democracy to Serve Corporate Power

      What is the Corporate Power?

      Most critiques of the Clinton Foundation and Clinton machine focus on the idea of corruption and scandal. True enough, but the Clintons’ corporate worldview goes far beyond greed, corruption and “pay to play.”

      The deeper conflict is between a new form of corporate governance — in full command of all three branches of national government — and the remnants of the older legal and political structure. Violations of the now outmoded functions of government — individual rights, free elections, checks and balances, rule of law and the national interest itself — are called out as corruption but are in fact the “new normal.”

      The managers of the new system must be above the law and the Constitution to do their job. These corruptions are but evidence of a Corporate Power that must burst the remaining shell of democracy to complete its ascendancy.

      The Corporate Power fuses the corporation with the state.

      This new relationship — a century in the making — was formally recognized by “Citizens United” and is currently managed by the global political corporation known as the Clinton Foundation.


      Sam does this help?

  31. Mark John

    So I think the NYTimes just shot down any positivity in the census income growth report without really realizing it. They report on the front page that most of the income growth occurred in the major metropolitan areas and not at all in more rural areas. Apparently the author of the article does not seem realize, given that little tidbit, that $56,000 is a lot different number for a family living in a metro center than a family living in a rural area.

  32. Rhondda

    RE Clinton Email Hairball

    Bryan Pagliano was subpoenaed but didn’t show? Wowzer
    ZH had an article late last night that included this titbit:

    Both of the Platte River Networks executives took the 5th but only after Committee Chairman, Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), took the opportunity to ask a question about a very revealing email exchange between two PRN employees who seemed to be concerned that the Clinton camp was up to no good….

    “Wondering how we can sneak an email in now, after the fact, asking them [the Clinton camp] when they told us to cut the backups and have them confirm it for our records.  Starting to think this whole thing is really covering up some shady shit.  I just think if we have it in writing that they told us to cut the backups then we can go public with our statement saying we’ve had the backup since day one when we were told to trim to 30 days would make us look a whole lot better.”

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        If the whole server was backed up, and the backups still exist, that means that the “private email” (yoga lessons, Chelsea’s wedding) that Clinton had her lawyers destroy before turning the server with the remaining email on it over to the FBI may still exist.

        As for the business transactions, it looks to me like the tech guys either cut back on backups or stopped them entirely — and for any techie that’s going to look shady by definition, because it’s increasing the chances of lost data, and who would want that? — but without written authority. They’re wondering about backdating some email to give them that authority and cover their asses.

        The Clinton server is like the ultimate McGuffin, isn’t it?

  33. kimsarah

    “… all you need to do is say that you’re ready to stand and fight by Hillary’s side.”
    Thank goodness for Citizens United.

  34. dk

    “Republicans are gaining ground on Democrats in registering voters in key states” [AP]. If the Democrats regarded voter registration as a core party function, this wouldn’t even be happening. Of course, they don’t. Their base in the 10% is already registered.

    Dead on, Lambert. I have asked DNC political operatives (DSCC/DCCC directors, PAC political and operations directors) about this over they years, and what I got back was “we can’t sell our donors on mass registration drives”. So not only is that registered 10% the base, they also directly drive party strategy. This tightly-coupled feedback loop goes a long way to explain (and predict instances of) Dem/DNC myopias, and stumbles of the kind we get from the HRC campaign. 90% of their framing is aimed at the enfranchised donor class(es), where absence of agency is completely acceptable, technology is opaque, class privilege (my privacy!) is a due, and opportunities to privatize are a hallmark of policy.

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