2:00PM Water Cooler 9/19/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Peterson Institute: Trump’s trade proposals ‘horribly destructive'” [Politico]. The Peterson Institute has been trying to screw us all out of Social Security with a Grand Bargain for years, so forgive me — I know this is simplistic, binary thinking — if I regard this as a recommendation, rather than the reverse.

“In an email blast, Wallach added pointedly: “Who was notably not part of the TPP sales team: the Democratic and GOP presidential nominees; the congressional leaders of either party; the growing bloc of GOP House members that are coming out against TPP; or the vast majority of congressional Democrats; or anyone representing president Obama’s political base, aka labor, environmental, LGBTQ, consumer, faith, immigration or civil-rights leaders” [Politico]. I think that’s “putative political base.”

“A United Nations independent expert today called on States and Parliaments to ensure that all future trade agreements stipulate the primacy of human rights and to align existing treaties with the duty of States to fulfill binding human rights treaties and meet environmental and health goals” [UN News Centre].



“Guardian’s Wisconsin investigation points to big money’s systemic distortion of U.S. democracy” [Thomas Ferguson, Institute for New Economic Thinking]

“Trump is approaching, and has possibly already passed, $100 million from donors who have given less than $200, according to an analysis of available Federal Election Commission filings, the campaign’s public statements and people familiar with his fundraising operation. It is a threshold no previous Republican has ever achieved in a single campaign. And Trump has done so less than three months after signing his first email solicitation for donors on June 21 — a staggering speed to collect such a vast sum” [Politico]. Further proof the Democrat (and Republican) fund-raising model is not only corrupt (which is a feature) but broken (a bug). Ya know, if Trump were on the left, we’d be praising his campaign operation to the skies: Not merely bypass but humiliate the campaign operatives; run an incredibly lean, nimble campaign; and leverage small donors (like Sanders). Oh, and like it or not, Trump is message-based.


“If you listen closely to Trump, you’ll hear a direct repudiation of the system of globalization and identity politics that has defined the world order since the Cold War. There are, in fact, six specific ideas that he has either blurted out or thinly buried in his rhetoric: (1) borders matter; (2) immigration policy matters; (3) national interests, not so-called universal interests, matter; (4) entrepreneurship matters; (5) decentralization matters; (6) PC speech—without which identity politics is inconceivable—must be repudiated” [Politico].

“The Progressive Case for Hillary Clinton Is Pretty Overwhelming” [Kevin Drum, Mother Jones]. (I love the Beltway qualifier: “pretty.” It’s important to maintain an air of chin-stroking profundity at all times. “23. She voted for TARP.” Has Drum lost his mind?

Our Famously Free Press

“The media spend more time on horse-race and scandal reporting than on the candidates’ proposals, but that doesn’t mean policy is ignored. If voters really wanted more stories on actual proposals, the press would oblige. Horse-race and scandal coverage isn’t what reporters or editors prefer. It’s what readers and viewers want, even if they subsequently complain about it and about politicians who supposedly never explain what they would do in office.” [Bloomberg].

The Voters

Voter Election fraud allegations are being made by a Nevada Democrat and former candidate for congress, Dan Rolle, who is now telling fellow Democrats he is sorry and wishes he had known more about what apparently began in 2012 with changes made to the Nevada voter system files and continued until February 21 of this year when caucus votes in Nevada were announced to the world before they were counted” [Inquisitor]. Rolle‘s ability to organize data is godawful, and for that very reason I’m inclined to give him some credence; here’s Rolle’s twitter account, and here’s a Reddit summary of his tweetstorms. The key contention, if I understand this, is that Nevada state voter files were run through the national NGPVAN. All those weird registration events? There’s your answer. The only other publication to cover this is (sigh) the Observer, which doesn’t explain how the lists were actually manipulated. Interesting if true! (And if Rolle is a crazypants conspiracy theorist, the Democrats allowed him to run on their ticket.) Here’s a video from him:

“2016 U.S. Presidential Election Markets” [Iowa Election Markets].

“Both national polls and surveys in swing states show Clinton has seen a slide with voters younger than 35, particularly when Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are factored in” [NBC]. Yikes:


That’s not a random blip; it’s a huge swing.

“According to a POLITICO review of campaign spending, Hillary Clinton has invested seven times the amount of money on TV commercials as her Republican rival and has established twice as many field offices in many of the states that will decide who wins the presidency. In many battlegrounds, she has dozens more organizers than Trump” [Politico]. Expensive dogfood.

“Some 86 percent of Democrats in the battleground states say that America will be “damaged beyond repair” if Trump wins the election, while 83 percent of Republicans say the country will be irreparably harmed should Clinton take the White House” [Bloomberg]. Legitmicacy crisis, here we come.

“Why Movement Conservatives Are Rooting for Hillary” [The American Conservative]. “[U]nder a President Hillary, movement conservatives could comfortably unify the party in opposition to their longstanding enemy, papering over the ideological divisions exposed by Trump. Such divisions would still exist, but dealing with them would be subordinated to the overriding task of undermining Hillary.”

“Real-Time Election Day Projections May Upend News Tradition” [New York Times]. Very dubious about this. It seems reflexive

“Martha Stewart: ‘I’m voting for Hillary Clinton'” [Politico]. Can’t resist this. Make up your own jokes!

Stats Watch

Housing Market Index, September 2016: “New home sales have been strong and home builders are reporting more of the same, in fact the best conditions of the year. The housing market index is up a very sharp 6 points this month to 65 for the best reading since October last year” [Econoday]. “At an enormously strong composite score of 82, strength is concentrated in the West which is a focused region for home builders. The South, which is the largest region for home builders, follows at 68. The Midwest is at 56 with the Northeast, which is by far the smallest region for home builders, lagging badly at 43.” Well, in the Northeast, we have our houses.

Housing: ” Builder Confidence Surges in September” [National Association of Homebuilders]. “Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in September jumped six points to 65 from a downwardly revised August reading of 59 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. This marks the highest HMI level since October 2015.”

Housing: “Rent prices drop in 10 of top 12 US Markets: Rental Armageddon taking a brief break for the election” [Dr. Housing Bubble]. “What an odd year.”

Credit: “A very small move up but the deceleration trend is intact” [Mosler Economics]. Mosler’s story and he’s sticking to it:

As always, and by identity, if anyone spent less than his income, another must have spent more than his income, or the output would not have been sold.

So when the oil related capital expenditure collapsed late in 2014, it caused a general deceleration of growth that has yet to show any signs of reversal.

That is, spending continues to decelerate, causing inventory to go unsold, which leads to reduced production and reduced incomes, further slowing spending, in a downward spiral that can’t reverse until some entity spends sufficiently more than its income. At some point growth goes negative, and it wouldn’t surprise me if data revisions indicate that growth has already gone negative, perhaps as much as a year ago.

The current slowdown has begun to reduce the growth of tax revenues, which ‘automatically’ causes government to begin increasing its deficit.


Honey for the Bears: “The secondhand market is the only lively part of the industrial machinery business these days, and that’s providing more pain to equipment makers. A glut in the machinery that mines, moves or refines commodities is the by-product in global slump in the value of goods from coal to corn, the WSJ’s Bob Tita reports. That leaves equipment makers including Caterpillar Inc., Volvo AB, Deere & Co. and others effectively competing with their own machinery” [Wall Street Journal].

Travel: “What’s happening with corporate transient demand?” [Hotel News Now]. “It was almost unanimous across the board of the big hotel companies that transient corporate demand was down—significantly in some cases—in the U.S. in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. This is problematic for hotels in general because transient demand is what drives overall growth, since transient rooms are booked at higher rates than group rooms. But it’s also pretty fickle. When companies cut down on business travel, send fewer people to meetings or industries consolidate, that corporate transient demand piece is affected. What’s more, this is an issue that affects companies with more offerings in the upper-midscale to upscale segments.”

Shipping: “This month I must disclaim the analysis. Econintersect uses container movements to model economic activity – and this month the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping have affected the offloading at the Long Beach with imports down 10% year-over-year. On the other hand, the Port of Los Angeles enjoyed record movements” [Econintersect]. “On the other hand, the Port of Los Angeles enjoyed record movements.. Exports were not affected by the Hanjin bankruptcy – as the containers would simply be routed on other ships. The Hanjin import containers will eventually be offloaded and add to the data in the following months. It is significant that export container counts were up in August.which demonstrates there is life in the international markets.” (!!).

Shipping: “Nearly one-third of the Hanjin Shipping Co. container ships that have been waiting to dock around the world have unloaded their cargo, raising hopes that anxious retailers will get at least some of their goods in time for the crucial year-end holiday season” [Wall Street Journal, “Hanjin Unloads More Cargo, Easing Supply-Chain Fears”]. “South Korea’s largest container operator said Monday that 28 vessels from its container fleet of 97 ships have finished off-loading goods at ports in California, Spain and other parts of the world.”

Shipping: “Stormy Seas Ahead For Shippers Following Hanjin’s Bankruptcy” [OliPrice.com]. “The shipping sector is likely to see both short-term disruption push prices higher, while in the longer term the fight for Hanjin’s previous customers could erode pricing discipline. For firms like Textainer that rely on strength in container pricing, the bankruptcy can only be interpreted as bad news. Even if Hanjin is ultimately restructured rather than liquidated, the uncertainty in the sector is going to hit container prices and demand hard.”

Shipping: “China’s ports hit hard by global trade slowdown” [FInancial Times]. “China’s excess port capacity in 2013 — equivalent to 50m 20-foot containers — was bigger than the entire throughput of Japan, Russia, South Korea and Taiwan. And the unused port capacity will double by 2030, according to the ITF, as local governments compete to build larger and larger facilities.”

Shipping: “Guest Voices: Shipping Banks Face Sinking Prospects as They Postpone Reckoning” [Wall Street Journal]. “Having been too lenient with their lending covenants and facing a market implosion, shipping banks have sought to push back a day of reckoning. Many have applied a new vessel valuation methodology that produces unrealistically high asset values, making bad loans seem bearable. The European Central Bank has changed the out-of-bounds markers still more by agreeing to label loans in default only after they have fallen in arrears for more than 90 days. This allows shipowners to make partial payments quarterly and remain in compliance with lenders—and the lenders, in turn, in compliance with the ECB. The ‘play for time’ strategy seems to be approaching its expiration date, however.”

Shipping: “The Baltic Dry Index is a great metric when it comes to gauging the demand side of the fundamental commodities equation. The prices of commodities influence all other asset classes. Many companies that trade on equity exchanges around the world either produce or consume raw materials. Therefore, the price path of raw materials directly affects their profitability and the direction of the stock market” [Seeking Alpha]. “The BDI is a reflection of the demand for dry bulk commodities, and the verdict from the metric lately is that demand is on the rise.”

Food: “Egypt’s wheat export crisis deepens after cancellation of 2nd wheat tender” [Daily News].

Coops: “Electric cooperatives today find themselves in a bind. Distributed energy is becoming cheaper than centralized energy. Utility managers have to worry about losing electric sales and meters. The G&Ts [generation and transmission cooperatives’ continue to invest in coal and fossil fuels, while lobbying against climate regulation and clean energy rules. Electric cooperatives span three-quarters of the land, serving 12% of the population, in many of the country’s poorest areas. [Clean Technica (DB)]. “These contracts [between cops and G&Ts] become like the roach motel — ‘you can check in, you can’t check out,’ says [Ed Marston, former board member of the Delta-Montrose Electric Association]. ” Lots of good detail on this important sector.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 44 Fear (previous close: 44, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 55 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 19 at 12:16pm. Drinks with the boys at the Nineteenth hole on Sunday didn’t make anything better…

Dear Old Blighty

What’s next for Labour? FT


“Tunisia water shortages spark ‘thirst uprising’ warning” [France24].


“US Study Confirms Rapid Increase of Methane Emissions by Oil and Gas” [The Tyee]. “Spike corresponds with timing of shale gas boom.”

Earlier this week at the meeting of the Committee of Chairs, [Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon] announced with great pride that the College was to receive what I am told is a $100 million gift from Arthur Irving, Chairman of Irving Oil Company, to fund a new “Energy and Society” institute at Dartmouth” [DartBlog]. How nice! I buy fuel from Irving!

“How the bacteria in your gut may be shaping your waistline” [The Economist].

“Get Your Children Good and Dirty” [Wall Street Journal].

News of the Wired

“For more proof algorithms can be biased, look no further than cute puppies” [Quartz].

“Twitter’s new, longer tweets are coming September 19th” [The Verge].

Well, who knew the government could seize control of your cellphone and send you an alert?

* * *

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 (JD):


JD writes: “This is what happens when you shove a piece of Ginger in a pot in the Tropics (west of Chicago) and give it no attention.”

* * *

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

    From our “Dual Track Legal System” beat:

    Prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office said [in opening trial statements] that two of the alleged co-conspirators in the [Bridgegate] case, David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, had bragged to the governor about the lane closings, and that they had been done to “mess” with the mayor of Fort Lee.

    Governor Christie also knew that phone calls from the mayor, Mark Sokolich, raising concerns about a public safety emergency, were deliberately being ignored, prosecutors said.

    The prosecutor, Vikas Khanna, instantly advised the jury that they should not consider the actions of “others” or wonder why they were not charged.


    It would be fitting if jurors handed the prosecutors a stinging acquittal — not because Christie’s lieutenants were innocent, but rather because the real mastermind skated on “professional courtesy,” being a former federal prosecutor himself.

    We take care of our own.” — U.S. “Just Us” department

    1. Vatch

      Maybe Christie wasn’t indicted because there is currently a lack of evidence against him, not because he is a former U.S. Attorney. The prosecutors might be hoping to convict his underlings, and then get them to testify against Christie in exchange for a less severe sentence. At least I hope that’s what is happening. . .

      1. Titus Pullo

        Naw, they think Trump will win it this year which means Christie will be their boss as AG. Which also means “legal” pot will be hit hard once he is sworn in (gotta clear out all the small guys so responsible corporations can sell us their tinctures, salves, and sprays made from the collective IP of marijuana breeders for the last 50 years). Christie hates marijuana, because he’s just that kind of guy, a hypocrite and a square.

        1. hunkerdown

          He also looks like he’d be very easily intimidated in close quarters, and would start the sort of things he couldn’t finish.

          Christie, if he doesn’t get voted off the island early, is long pig waiting to happen.

  2. Fred

    “Well, who knew the government could seize control of your cellphone and send you an alert?”

    Just about everyone. Don’t we all get the “amber alerts” routinely now? I especially liked the “see media for pic”. Why not just send it; because it increases website traffic (clickbait) or because the “pic” doesn’t meet the narrative about the usual suspects?

    1. kj1313

      Yeah I got an emergency alert a while back and it scared the crap out of me. Found out how to disable the notifications. In android you can opt out of receiving alerts in the Settings section iirc. Should be the same for iphone.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      But the scope of the amber alert was IIRC for missing children. (Of course, anything that starts out “for the children” you should watch out for…) Now it’s for terror terror terror

      So when is it going to slip to, say, the possession of books?

      1. ambrit

        Ah, ha! The reference to Thoughtcrime in your post disappeared while I was composing my reply. Ephemera is becoming more and more tenuous as time steals ahead to fleer back at us, like Till Eulenspiegel.
        According to some of the ‘fringier’ youtubers, Google is already enforcing conformity through demonetizing postings on the grounds of “Post is not advertiser friendly’ actions. A lot of the YouTube tribe depend on the revenue from posts to underwrite day to day activities. Defunding ‘noncompliant posters’ is enforcement of Thoughtcrime. YouTube is a niche of the Internet, which is an aspect of Electronic Media, which is, for better or worse, the Public Forum now. Anyone who can control access to the Public forum can control the public discourse. What better way to control access to the Public Forum than to monetize it? Yes, earlier times required one to have sufficient funds to purchase and run a printing press, but it could be done. Once one had the physical equipment to print, all one needed was the paper, ink, and skilled labour. Now, all aspects of access are gate kept by the possession of money constantly. Now the ‘printing press’ can be removed at a moments notice. Is there a reasonable “underground” scene on the Internets; something available to average, not terribly technically saavy citizens relatively easily?
        It’s one thing to segregate the people into online ghettos. It’s another thing entirely when one burns those ghettos down.
        So, Thoughtcrime Alpha is already here. Waiting on the Beta test version now.

    1. Procopius

      I used to assume that, and I think I would regard anything coming from Mr. Peterson himself in that light, but I’ve found his newspaper, The Fiscal Times, to have mostly very good material. I admit I was quite surprised. Apparently one of the PR specialists he hired pointed out that people won’t believe lies among other lies, but they’re more likely to believe lies hidden among truth.

  3. abynormal

    a friend sent this to me yesterday for my bday
    throwing it back at yall…its all too much right now.


    and much gratitude for your kind thoughts…hurts so fucking bad.

    1. Lee

      Thank you. A wonderful article that resonates with my interest in wildlife conservation with a particular focus on wolf behavior not to mention my vested interest in the behavior and motivations of my fellow humans. Cheers!

  4. Jim A.

    Re “Horse race and scandal reporting.” Because putting out controversial policies might turn voters off the candidates are usually very selective about releasing that sort of info. that makes horse race reporting much easier than policy reporting.

    1. RabidGandhi

      From the article:

      The media spend more time on horse-race and scandal reporting than on the candidates’ proposals, but that doesn’t mean policy is ignored. If voters really wanted more stories on actual proposals, the press would oblige.

      Bernstein offers no data to back-up this assertion, but every poll I’ve ever seen shows that the issues people are interested in are not the topics that are covered in the media. Furthermore, the media have spent slightly over a century covering elections in such a way as to make people think elections are about pick-a-side horserace politics and not about issues that actually affect them. Then Bernstein has the chutzpah to come along and blame the dumb voters for being too busy with their three Über jobs and health insurance nightmares to bother to “do their own research”.

      Wrong. It is the media’s responsibility to inform the masses; if the people are not well-informed, then the media should be doing some soul-searching instead of blaming the targets of their propaganda barrage. Instead we get the abusive spouse saying “well it’s her fault for just sitting there while I punch her”.

      1. Massinissa

        “do their own research”.

        I don’t even understand how people are supposed to ‘do their own research’ if they cant use the media to do the researching. What does he want them to do, use internet blogs that are usually politically biased? Scholarly periodicals that are difficult to access without paying fees, or for that matter be understood without proper education? Speak with their friends and acquaintances who may be even more unreliable than the media?

        If one does ones own research, but most of the sources of information one can access are at least possibly falsified, how can one be expected to come to the right conclusion?

      2. Mark John

        And I would like to mention something. This article from yesterday by the Guardian was originally warning about corporate stock valuations, that the Central Banks were warning they were probably way too high, and I commented, so my comment is a sort of marker for me for the article’s original content. Then the article morphed into a commentary the next day on Chinese national debt. Any ideas why? I speculate it might be a sort of bait-and-switch to blame any crisis on Chinese debt after getting a flood of complaints. This is the latest version of the article:


    2. Heliopause

      I was thinking along the same lines. The reason we don’t get much “policy” reporting is (1) candidates don’t give us much raw material, and that which they do is carefully crafted to have little real world meaning, (2) editors find “horserace” reporting to be safer, since any idiot with a BA can write it up. Supply and demand doesn’t explain everything, sometimes the public is fed stuff whether they want it or not.

      1. jsn

        The data confirming Bernstein’s claim is BS can be found in Trump & Sanders direct fundraising totals: none of that money moved because of information content from MSM. Also in the declining revenues of the MSM companies themselves. No doubt Bernstien believes his own BS as do his editors who, with him are riding the sinking ship down.

  5. Jim Haygood

    Identity politics is dead. Welcome to “identity investing”:

    According to MSCI Research, companies with strong female leadership generated a return on equity of 10.1% a year, compared with 7.4% returns for those without, though it added that “we couldn’t establish causality.”

    Since its March 8 launch, the gender-diversity ETF (symbol SHE) is up 7.3%, compared with the S&P 500’s 7% rise over that same period. It has about $274.4 million in assets under management.

    However, $250 million of the inflows it has seen in 2016 came in the form of seed money from Calstrs. Over the past 30 days, only about 1,000 shares have traded hands daily, on average.


    Seed money from Cali, the global capital of identity politics: it figures.

    ETFs that trade only 1,000 shares a day don’t pay their way. SHE will be gone within a year.

    1. tony

      That might be a decent strategy. I’ve seen research that mixed groups make better decisions than all-male groups, how good HR has a significant effect on company profits and studied a few cases where better including women led to greater profits, and women tend to care more about work-life balance and such.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I can’t find the link, but I’ve seen research that found the opposite – that less diverse working groups tend to have better results. I suspect most research on that topic has to be parsed very closely for bias one way or another.

  6. ambrit

    Something for the Zeitgeist file.
    We had our first case of front door begging in a while yesterday. A young man trying to raise money. Not chemically altered in any visible way, a little scruffy, and unable to find labour work full time. When I asked him about his work situation he was forthcoming about having his high school diploma, not many skills, and not wanting to “go off and kill foreigners.” He was hoping that his family would move back to the little town of Bassfield, Mississippi. “There ain’t no work there neither, but we know everybody and people scrabbles along together.”
    This country is throwing away an entire generation. It won’t end well.

    1. Uahsenaa

      They give exactly zero !@#$% about young people. Youth unemployment is STILL in the double digits, and that’s before you add in how hopelessly skewed all employment statistics are. Millennials are regularly dragged through the mud as lazy or self-absorbed, when their only hope for wages is a pittance and their education costs at least five times as much, even accounting for inflation, as that of the elders who scold them. Child poverty at an all time high… need I go on?

      It’s amazing our society hasn’t imploded yet.

    2. EGrise

      I’m not worried, someone will come along to give their lives purpose and meaning. Someone giving speeches from balconies and holding meetings in beer halls.

      1. ambrit

        Certainly good sir. We live in an older suburb of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Population around 45 to 50 thousand. It used to have a big factory complex, which closed up shop and offshored twenty or more years ago, leaving a quite big Brownfields site. Hercules, a chemicals manufacturer. The population is roughly 50/50 Black and White, with a slowly growing Hispanic poipulation. Our house is in the ‘Avenues.’ This whole suburb was built in the 1940’s, laid out in the 1930’s. The roads here are asphalt over paving bricks, laid over a sand substrate. Work is hard to find, and, from conversations with older locals, after the Hercules plant closed, decent work disappeared. The population is very mixed together. One street, like ours, will have that ‘Ozzie and Harriet’ look, while the next street over will look like a college students rental zone. Crime so far is low. There is still a ‘lookm out for your neighbour’ feeling. Race relations are acrually easier than in some of the more “upscale” areas in the outer suburbs.
        Bassfield, as mentioned earlier, is a farm town about 35 miles East by Northeast of Hattiesburg. There are roughly 300 people in the town. Many rurals will say they are from a small town when they are really from the town environs. So, the Bassfield micropolitan region could have as many as six or seven hundred residents.
        Welcome to the South!

        1. ambrit

          I should be more forthcoming. We live blocks from the Hattiesburg Zoo, which is located on Hardy Street, about halfway between the Interstate and Downtown. Houses are averaging sixty or seventy years old, in various states of repair, but still in generally good shape, and sell for between sixty and onefifty grand. Say, roughly, forty to fifty dollars a square foot under roof.
          Hattiesburg is also, for what it’s worth, a College town. The University of Southern Mississippi sits up on the hill. It handles about fifteen to sixteen thousand students a year. There is a definite Town and Gown divide.

  7. temporal

    Has Drum lost his mind?

    Like most of the MSM, only the part that understands the meaning of the word progressive and populist.

      1. Quentin

        Yes, Digby, she’s still there I guess. Anyway she’ll be absolutely thrilled—thrilled, can you imagine, that’s her own word?—to witness the very first woman president of the USA. Of course Donald Trump is a complete bastard, no matter what.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Digby writes at Salon, under her full name. Utterly predictable. Unfortunately, so is Amanda Marcotte, whom I used to enjoy reading.

            1. John Zelnicker

              @Lambert Strether – I came across Marcotte’s writing when she was at Alternet and thought that her take on reproductive rights, feminism, etc. was generally well thought out. However, when the election campaign started, it seemed that she lost all ability to think critically about Hillary Clinton. Not only did she ignore Hillary’s documented historical positions on various issues, she also actively distorted those positions to build support for her candidate. Then she kept pushing the #BernieBros meme which was just despicable (deplorable?). I’m not sure if she initiated it, but she seemed to be its loudest proponent. I can no longer read her posts. Bad faith, indeed.

        2. cwaltz

          If you want to have some real fun force them to recognize the cognitive dissonance by pointing out that the Clinton family voluntarily hung out with that “complete bastard.” Ask them what that says about their candidate?

          Seriously, I had this conversation on Saturday. Completely knocked the smug and superior looks off their faces.

    1. JerseyJeffersonian

      Along with Agent K, Drum has become a sinister skin-walker. Their agenda seems to be the unfettered advancement of Neoconservatism & Neoliberalism (but I repeat myself…).

      As Lambert has said numerous times, “Very clarifying”.

  8. MtnLife

    Re: secondhand machinery glut

    I buy a bit of used machinery off of Craigslist and I can attest that the past 18-24 months has seen a massive increase in spare equipment with earthmoving and forestry being the top two. Not just small stuff but six figure loaders and forwarders, too. There are so many low hour excavators out there right now I’m surprised if they can even sell a new one to anyone that isn’t a mega firm that cycles their machines like clockwork. Hope this doesn’t start crapification of quality industrial equipment now.

    1. JerseyJeffersonian

      Count on the crapification; if during a recession, the manufacturers find themselves in competition with their own used equipment, well then, they must have made it too well. Or at least so their logic will run, rather than that in recessionary times people need to scrabble, and that said corporations should work toward a more equitable economy with decently-paying jobs, a fairer distribution of social goods (necessities) like health care, etc. to lessen these periods of economic dislocation. Good for everybody, right?

      But no. The keening wail for stockholder returns (actually executive windfalls) will drown out these thoughts, so crapification it is. Neoliberalism cannot fail, it can only be failed.

      1. ambrit

        The big machinery auctions do not post on Craigslist. You have to hunt around a bit to find the Auction sites for that. There are specialized auction sites, but I’m not into heavy machinery, so know little about it. My neighbour bought a CNC milling machine for, he said, pennies on the dollar, last year. He uses it in his sub contracting gig for a mid sized industrial concern. It’s laugh out loud funny. The light industrial concern his Dad works for was bought out by a Chinese firm some years ago. The Chinese soon figured out that offshoring would not work out too well, for various reasons. So, the new owners subcontracted out the work that had previously been done ‘in house,’ to what has become a “New Cottage Industry.” My neighbours Dad clued Jack into the chance to make decent money as an independent machinist. He acquired the machinery cheap, rents an old light industrial shop and floor space, and does his own thing. Who says the Chinese don’t appreciate Charles Dickens? How do you say, “Squeeze them Mr. Pancks!” in Mandarin?

  9. Roger Smith

    Democrats Are Living in Wonderland (and it could cost them the election) [UP@NIGHT]

    “Democrats have worked up so much fear and hysteria about Trump that they seem incapable of understanding how they appear to much of America: self-serving, hyperbolic, and out-of-touch, and they seem especially out-of-touch with how white working class voters view Clinton supporters.”

    1. cocomaan

      Here’s my issue with either candidate’s win: the country’s conversations feel broken.

      What exactly is this place going to look like on November 9th? Does anyone have a plan for reconciling the country? Or is the side that wins going to pillory the other side until we have civil unrest?

      The situation is not good. The republic is in very bad shape. Yes, certainly, the Powers that Be brought it on themselves, but it will be the common people that will suffer their mistakes.

    2. clarky90

      RE, “how they (Democratic Party) appear to much of America:”

      Full Event: Hillary Clinton Rally in Greensboro, NC (9/15/2016) Hillary Clinton Greensboro Speech

      This is the full speech that HRC gave after her recovery from pneumonia.

      Here is the same event, but filmed on a cell phone from another point of view.


      There were only a few hundred people at the rally, but it seems that crowd numbers and cheers have been “enhanced” on the official video.

      There are 500 comments that are mostly negative and lots of fun to read, if you enjoy internet memes.

      1. Fec

        I’m in Greensboro and posted about this. Still waiting for someone to confirm any of the supposed faked members in the first few seconds of the video. But nothing like the June Trump rally.

    3. Anne

      The problem is that many who support Clinton are not doing so because they like her opaque, grasping, greedy, chimerical, politically-expedient positions, and they are not doing so because they see themselves as aligning with her in that way; they are doing so – however reluctantly – because they still believe that the “Democrat” label means things like reproductive freedom, gender and racial equality, income equity, fair wages, represents tax policies that do not accrue the lion’s share of benefits to the upper economic brackets, protection of the environment, work on climate change and alternative energy, sane foreign policies that do favor war over peace, accessible affordable health care – like, actual care, not just the right to pay too much for health insurance – and a chance to retire while still young and healthy enough to get some enjoyment out of life without having to stock up on generic cat food.

      But she’s the one carrying the banner. Too bad, really, that Clinton is not, in my opinion, the person who best represents these things – I think there’s a huge disconnect there, and I think it’s why she is floundering. Sanders had that connection, and he was sacrificed on the altar of Hillary Clinton’s personal ambition and the self-interest of those in power who want to stay there.

      It’s really just too bad that the persons “chosen” to represent these two political parties probably do not represent anything close to what the voters themselves believe, or need. Clinton’s memorized the lines she needs to deliver about “working families” and such, but contrasting the way she has conducted her own life – maybe not in the really early years, where she may actually have wanted to be someone on the side of the average person – with the last couple of decades, it’s clear to me that she doesn’t have a clue.

      It’s now come to the point where – on both sides – each has so little to offer that the only way one can rise above the other is to make the other an object of fear and loathing.

      This isn’t getting us anywhere – we just go around and around and around; this is what’s going to keep people home on election day, this feeling that none of it matters, we’re either going to get screwed by the GOP or screwed by the Democrats.

      Pick your poison.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘Pick your poison.’

        That’s the classic Depublicrat “false alternatives” salesman’s close: choose A or B.

        Choice C is walking away, middle finger held high and proud.

        1. Anne

          Have you seen this?

          “It doesn’t matter what message you think you are sending, because no one will receive it. No one is listening. The system is set up so that every choice other than ‘R’ or ‘D’ boils down to “I defer to the judgement of my fellow citizens…Throwing away your vote on a message no one will hear, and which will change no outcome, is sometimes presented as ‘voting your conscience’, but that’s got it exactly backwards; your conscience is what keeps you from doing things that feel good to you but hurt other people. Citizens who vote for third-party candidates, write-in candidates, or nobody aren’t voting their conscience, they are voting their ego, unable to accept that a system they find personally disheartening actually applies to them.”

          Read the whole thing, if you can stand it.

          This kind of argument really pushes my buttons. I find it deeply ironic that someone can declare that exercising one’s vote with other than a major-party candidate is an act of vanity; to me, it is highly egoistic to decide that one has the right to presume why anyone votes for any candidate, much less ordain that anyone who doesn’t see it the same way is possibly just not intelligent enough to understand how the system works.

          It never occurs to these pontificating nabobs that some of us do not wish to perpetuate “the system,” any system, that results in candidates like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Any system that condescends to decide there must be some minimum level of support for a third-party candidate before that candidate can be trusted with a national audience.

          What are they afraid of? Oh, wait – we know the answer to this, don’t we?

          Ugh – I just hate the “throwing away your vote” thing, the “not voting is really a vote for Candidate X.”

          I realize everyone has to make a living, and some people are doing it with their writing, but honestly, the world just does not need one more person telling us how to vote, or what our vote means. What those people really need to do is understand what it means to have the right to vote, because clearly, they really don’t get it.

          1. temporal

            Probably too late in the night to matter at all.

            One of the people that I enjoyed for years counting as a friend got all miffed in an email about Trump being Trump.

            I said I had no idea who I would vote for but I knew who I would not vote for. My response was that a wasted vote was a vote for a team rather than a vote of conscience. Voting for the the winner is a sports thing, which dominates US politics. A bettor versus a believer.

      2. Big River Bandido

        Everytime a so-called Democrat mouths the worthless, focus-grouped, neoliberal trope “working families” as an empty, “running scared” way of showing their progressive cred, I throw up a little in the back of my mouth, and two kittens die horrible deaths.

  10. tony


    I hope this isn’t off-topic. There is a Youtuber that interviewed Juncker, and before the interview Youtube representative was filmed threatening her so as to dissuade her from asking hard questions. She did ask, and was offered a contract from Google apparently to buy her silence.

    1. sunny129

      Bravo for that young ‘you tube’ journalist! She stood up to her principles!

      I have read recently that you tube is removing anything against the Govt here and abroad, to retain their access to the power base/establishment! It is a sad development!

      Go along to get along is the new motto in the globalized world under google +++

      B/w thanks for the link.

  11. Illliveinatent

    Hey Lambert, I’m a huge fan of yours that said while everyone might not be as smart as you, we are a large group. We might not be able to describe it well but we know when we are being shit on. #Danrolle thank you for his mention.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I really don’t like that “smart” meme because credentialed 10%-ers use it all the time.* (I think of style as being something anyone can learn, with study, like rhetoric or logic, so “take what you like and leave the rest”). Rolle is out there doing the work, and good for him. I just think a clear and simple statement of what’s wrong would help him, and everybody else!

      * I’ve had readers say they enjoyed looking some of the fancier words, and why not? Language is empowering!!!

  12. JTMcPhee

    That Wallach “email blast:” is it just me or does it scan as a Big Lie? Clinton and congressional leaders and all those “base” organizations AGAINST the TPP? Or maybe there was an inadvertent insertion of a “not” in the tweet…

  13. Desertmerf

    Seriously( and maybe I am naive:) ) – can you just stick a hand of ginger in a pot and it will grow?

    1. Steve H.

      Pretty much. But given your handle, you might want to add water. ;)

      I’ve got a large pot with about a dozen fronds going right now. Seems to like having lots of dirt.

      1. Desertmerf

        Trying it today! Thanks!
        Lol – I love the AZ desert and lived there for years. In PA now but not for long – heading back to AZ next year (if the ‘mansion’ sells…)

  14. ChrisFromGeorgia

    re: methane emissions from shale boom

    If I remember correctly, methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, though it decays or gets expunged from the climate system more rapidly than does CO2.

    It seems quite likely that recent record hot temperatures and flooding events are somehow linked.

    The lack of oversight and regulatory framework over this industry will go down in history as another titanic failure of the Obama administration.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Let us not stop with the faults of the 0Bomba administration, when it comes to cooking the planet, massing up nuclear and other weapons, messing with the genetic structures of ourselves and other species, “tech” generally as a massive source of vulnerability to invisible malefactors, on and on…

      It’s a human-stupidity thing, and there’s even a little matrix that helps understand the particular flavor of stupidity that gets all of us on the road to a species “Game Over:” http://harmful.cat-v.org/people/basic-laws-of-human-stupidity/

      The link even includes pictures to illustrate simply and graphically how it all works, and “why we (as a species) will never have nice things.” And of course there’s always Murphy’s Law, and Gresham’s, and Parkinsons’s, and Peter’s, and all the other stuff some of us have figured out to explain why the circus train is headed down a steepening slope and picking up speed as the petrofues gut stuffed into the boiler…

      1. JCC

        An interesting followup:


        Clearly the Basic Laws of Human Stupidity were written by Carlo M. Cipolla (a respected Economic Historian) tongue-in-cheek, and probably at some point when he was in a really bad mood ;-), but there is probably more truth to it than we would like to believe.

        Wikipedia also has an interesting article on Cipolla and this “theory”:


    2. Synapsid


      Now, now–the oil and gas industry assures us that over-regulation by the Obama administration is the reason the oil patch is in such bad shape. Just free them from all those regs and you’ll see America become energy-independent!

      Not everyone in the oil patch believes Trump but a lot of the noisy ones sure do.

    3. clarky90

      The USA invaded Iraq just before the birth of my first child. Twenty five years later, my baby boy is a father (times 2). The USA has been at war the entire life of my son, and now my two grand kids.

      How much “greenhouse gasses” have been released by this constant warring?

      How is it possible to mention the environment without also mentioning our deficiency of peace.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Assumes voting makes any difference. Our Rulers are working from the New World Order that sure looks a lot like the good old droits de seigneur/divine right of kings…

      Voting might make some of us feel like we have a voice, and place under the table, from which to collect the scraps that drop from the avaricious wolfing above us. What happened to Bernie, again? Do the Global Elite give a sh!t what the plebs think or endure?

        1. Carla

          No, I am not assuming that voting makes a difference at all. It’s abundantly clear that it doesn’t.

          I just wonder if everybody NOT voting could make a difference.

          1. hunkerdown

            As long as they’re willing to be seen and be counted as pointedly abstaining, and not allowing the liberal bourgeoisie any traction with their pre-fab apathy narrative, it could make all the difference.

            1. Ulysses

              This Election Day could be a wonderful opportunity– for people like the Rev. Billy and his stop-shopping Gospel Choir to perform street theatre, highlighting the absurdity of this Coke-or Pepsi “choice.”

    2. Massinissa

      We have less than 50% voter turnout yet for whatever reason the elections are still considered legitimate. How low does it have to be before its illegitimate?

      1. ambrit

        If at any time voter turnout is less than the percentage that lets the status quo win, that election is illegitimate, that’s official! (Get with the game plan Citizen!)

  15. Katharine

    I’m a bit puzzled by Rolle’s saying Vote Builder can change the state voter registration files. I know state election boards tend to be clueless about security, but would they actually let anyone get direct access to their computer of record? Surely that ought to be isolated.

    Is Nevada’s primary/caucus system run entirely within the party, independent of state records?

    Also, I’m unclear about his saying the Clinton campaign would know who didn’t support them. Theoretically, they could only know responses of people they had talked with. They wouldn’t have access to the records of another campaign unless the party organization had done for them what a Sanders staffer was fired for having allegedly done to them.

    Much clarification on this story would be welcome. At present it is unclear how much is real and how much may be due to Rolle’s confusion about different record systems.

      1. Katharine

        Sorry, looks like a whole lot of nothing. These are people speculating on things of which they lack definite knowledge, as the author of the original post has the grace to acknowledge (“unsourced claim by an anonymous poster”). There may possibly be states that farm out their voter registration, but I would doubt it.

        Wasn’t the Brooklyn scrub the work of a bribed government employee? That has nothing to do with NGPVAN, contrary to the anonymous claim that it manages NY voter lists. I think a lot of people are confused. Unfortunately repetition doesn’t make a rumor true, but it makes useful information much harder to track down on the web. Cream may rise, but scum floats on top.

    1. reslez

      > I’m unclear about his saying the Clinton campaign would know who didn’t support them. Theoretically, they could only know responses of people they had talked with. They wouldn’t have access to the records of another campaign

      First point – The Clinton campaign absolutely knew who their supporters were. Both Clinton’s and Sanders’ campaigns were going all-out with phone banking. They knew who was a likely voter, who supported Sanders, and who supported Hillary. Cross reference that with other voter data, Facebook or whatever else and you know street by street who’s going to vote for you.

      Second point – We know the campaigns had access to each other’s data because back in December 2015 the Sanders campaign got in hot water with the DNC for merely exposing a bug in the Democrats’ voter database. The “bug” allowed a Sanders campaign worker to view Hillary’s voter data. The Sanders campaign reported the error and the DNC came down like a ton of bricks. But the reverse was also true — Hillary’s campaign was able to see Sanders’ data while the bug was in place. Those are facts. To take it a step further, I wonder if Hillary’s campaign was able to see both sets of data all along? Or if the bug was a side effect of this “feature”? Considering how many political insiders were in her lap this doesn’t seem farfetched. We also know that a number of long-time Hillary supporters popped up in various positions of the Sanders campaign on the local level. Who’s to say what went on or didn’t with that data.

      1. Roger Smith

        To take it a step further, I wonder if Hillary’s campaign was able to see both sets of data all along? Or if the bug was a side effect of this “feature”?

        It’s genius really. Expose the data the for winner’s benefit. If and when it is discovered, use it against the opponent. At this point Clinton’s slogan should be “I didn’t know!”

      2. fajensen

        December 2015 the Sanders campaign got in hot water with the DNC for merely exposing a bug in the Democrats’ voter database.

        Standard IT Security Protocol these days: *Always* shoot the messenger,

        Lesson to messenger is – why the hell bother? There are people hanging at 4Chan that will always be happy to hear about the fresh vulnerability you discovered.

        Why do we think it is that everyone and every thing is being hacked at the moment?

      3. Katharine

        >First point – The Clinton campaign absolutely knew who their supporters were. Both Clinton’s and Sanders’ campaigns were going all-out with phone banking. They knew who was a likely voter, who supported Sanders, and who supported Hillary. Cross reference that with other voter data, Facebook or whatever else and you know street by street who’s going to vote for you.<

        Precisely what I said: people they had talked with. Even when a campaign goes all out, it doesn't talk with everybody. Further, short of bribing government employees, it does not have the capacity to change state records.

        What might happen if a caucus were run entirely by the party without direct use of the state voting system is another matter. I think I read that a couple were, but I'd have to go back and hunt a bit to determine which. If Nevada was one, there would have been huge opportunities for fraud there. If not, the problem is more complicated.

        1. Katharine

          It occurs to me that a weak point in the system is probably the MVA. I don’t know how its information is transmitted even in my own state, but I suspect its computers may be more vulnerable than those of the SBE. It is for that reason, and anecdotes of strange changes apparently produced by the MVA, that I oppose efforts to make registration through the MVA automatic.

    2. AnEducatedFool

      I can not provide links to what I am about to write (toddler just woke up).

      Bernie supporters were noticing trends in which lifelong Democrats were switched to another party. The voters regardless of age, gender or ethnicity were likely Bernie supporters.

      The way to get at this data was by hacking either Bernie’s campaign or hacking the DNC or just taking the information off of the DNC servers with permission. I believe anonymous stated that Bernie was hacked not that I really put that much credence into them. On the other hand Bernie’s state campaign (AZ) did say they were hacked.

      The next step involves getting the states involved to remove voters from the rolls. Since this is all done electronically you do not need a massive conspiracy just a few well placed individuals that will switch voters from one party to the next. I am not an IT guy but I imagine it is a simple script that does not require the advice of reddit users.

  16. Roger Smith

    Internet sleuths are close to breaking the Clinton campaign for good: Computer Specialist Who Deleted Clinton Emails May Have Asked Reddit for Tips

    There are some good link within this article (biggest name site I can find that has reported on it) but searches will get you reddit, 4chan threads with more info. From all accounts this Combetta sounds like the same one as the HRC Combetta. The internet appears to be moments away from legitimately confirming the connection.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Corrected link:


      On July 23, 2014, the House Select Committee on Benghazi had reached an agreement with the State Department on the production of records.

      On July 24, 2014, stonetear posted to reddit:

      Hello all- I may be facing a very interesting situation where I need to strip out a VIP’s (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived email that I have both in a live Exchange mailbox, as well as a PST file.

      Basically, they don’t want the VIP’s email address exposed to anyone, and want to be able to either strip out or replace the email address in the to/from fields in all of the emails we want to send out.

      Otherwise known as “evidence tampering.” With Combetta having immunity, why would “any reasonable prosecutor” not nail the “they” who gave this instruction, using Combetta’s testimony?

      Only James “Not a Close Call” Comey knows for sure.

      1. Buttinsky

        Looks like Paul Combetta may have to change his name and go into hiding. I would suggest “Rosemary Woods.”

      1. Jen

        No matter how many times it bites them in the ass the Clintons just can’t figure out that that the internet is a thing, and a thing that never forgets.

    2. fajensen

      It’s one thing to be a crook.

      But, it’s quite another proposition to be an incompetent crook, one who’s operation is run by incompetents, and is leaking information everywhere, exposing the partners, with no end to what might turn up tomorrow or the day after.

      At some point, the partners will know that it’s either Them or Her going for a trip down under.

  17. Don Midwest USA

    A longer video from Dan Rolle about the stolen primary election in Nevada

    Dan Rolle (9/16/16) Proof Of Election Fraud With NV Caucus – Hillary Clinton Stole This Election

    There are numerous legal suits about fraud in the primary election. This dogged work by Dan Rolle is very important. A small state and a former candidate bringing out what happened.

    Now that is is more widely known that electronic voting machines can be hacked, and more people realize that the two parties don’t want to address election integrity, maybe sometime there will be action to bring USA up to international levels of election integrity.

    Money and power are in control of our government, media, military, etc.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I wish somebody who knows Rolle would get word to him that a giant pile of tweets, and some evidence on YouTube, and other on evidence Periscope isn’t the way to put this (potentially important) story across. Just write the damn thing up and put it on a blog!

      1. Roger Smith

        I message him on Twitter asking that he write up his findings in a clear format. I doubt I will hear back. And something tells me that this presentation mimics the usefulness of his disjointed claims. Hopefully not though!

  18. craazyman

    Evidentlly the winged miniature humanoid they found in Mexico, which was dead and they had in a jar and then subjected to lab tests, believing it might represent some early form of alien visitation, and which was covered (journalistically, not literally covered, like you cover dog poo) in British newspapers (tabloids, to be honest, on the internet), despite all odds, and after many learned individuals expressed faith in its veracity and scientific merit, shocked everyone involved when it proved upon examination to be a hoax. The details are available on the internet, but evidently it dissolved after being subjected to laboratory tests and something like a match-stick with glue on it emerged after the rest of it sort of melted.

    I’m not sure if this was designed to be a hoax, or if it was the scientists being hoaxed by some highly advanced alien civilziation which operated, at a distance, upon the body, invisibly and without discovery, fabricating a hoax out of the real thing and confusing everybody in loops of bewilderment that ended in a false certainty. That could have been what happened.

    At any rate, it reminds me of economic experiments. That’s why I mention it. But economic experiments aren’t quite as credible since all sorts of tampering with evidence occurs, right under the noses of social scientists and they don’t even care! That is shocking. They wouldn’t stand a chance if they had to investigate a winged humanoid and decide if it was an early alien visitor to earth.

    1. Jay M

      Right now I have Siri working on my PhD thesis and I must say she is beavering away. The intelligence may be artificial, but everyone needs a break. It’s tough out there being an Econ pimp. (Check my grill). Anyway, I anticipate just dropping my phone off to defend my thesis, and then onward to collecting the simoleon rationalizing ZIRP and NIRP for the FED or something. Sometimes I think I was born on third base.

      1. Jay M

        I hear in the schools where time is money you can end up with a table with several phones yakking to each other
        somebody agrees to type it up later

      2. Cat's paw

        You, sir (or perhaps madam, though I doubt it), have obviously made the right choices in life. Go forth and reap your rewards. You deserve them.

    2. Skip Intro

      I thought Economics had learned to avoid issues like this by eschewing empiricism and evidence entirely. It is certainly far more lucrative for them to play the role of fluffers to the financial elites.

  19. Kokuanani

    “A United Nations independent expert today called on States and Parliaments to ensure that all future trade agreements stipulate the primacy of human rights and to align existing treaties with the duty of States to fulfill binding human rights treaties and meet environmental and health goals”

    Does this dude believe in the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny & Santa?

      1. ambrit

        It’s probably like one of those Nordic Sagas. A lot of mythology wrapped around a core of truth.
        I like the ‘Phaque’ conspiracy theory that Obama is the offspring arising out of some curious copulations that occurred during the Minnow’s passengers sojourn on the Island.

  20. LT

    Re: Kevin Drum / The Atlantic on Clinton the “progressive”

    I’m guessing its heavy on “social issues”.

    Essentially morally bankrupt appendages to the Democratic Party…who remind me more of their 19th Century roots every day.

    1. Massinissa

      If only the 19th century Republicans would come back too. Would trade our Reagan wannabes for Lincoln wannabes.

        1. LifelongLib

          Was it you who noted that Harding pardoned socialist Eugene Debs?

          As for more recent Republicans (and others), Nixon supported a guaranteed income and national health care, and George Wallace wanted to expand Medicare and Social Security. Time sure have changed…

  21. fresno dan


    I am reminded of Investigations into prisoners being beaten by guards revealing that the guards, fully aware of the constant photography, would exclaim while beating prisoners, “stop resisting” – it would seem a unconscious prisoner would not be able to offer much resistance, but any alibi in a storm…


    So the idea that the police would asset that commands are not being followed is just the replacement for the suspect “made a sudden movement”

    1. Jim Haygood

      Trump’s visit to a black church in Detroit was a ‘Nixon to China’ moment: first time in modern history that a Republican actually asked for their vote.

      Whereas Hillary’s approach is, “We’re family, even if you colorful folks of color aren’t carrying your weight in Clinton Foundation contributions. I have lots of black friends, really. Like my personal defense attorney, Cheryl Mills. She says I didn’t do anything wrong. I am not a crook. And I am not contagious.”

      1. xformbykr

        added an edited version to my list of campaign humor, in question and answer form, i.e., Q “what was the response to trump’s visit…?”
        A “HRC noted …. “

    2. aab

      For what it’s worth, I’m seeing this anecdotally on Twitter. It feels like it’s accelerating, too. I think Obama’s hectoring lecture didn’t help. I can’t quantify it, and some of what is coming across my feed is coming from Trump accounts — I’ll follow back any Trump supporter whose feed isn’t racist or otherwise distasteful. But some of it is coming from former Bernie supporters who are PISSED at the Democratic Party, and basically Clinton and Obama have tossed a lot more kindling on the already smoldering fire of their resentment.

  22. Cry Shop


    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a problem with young voters. In the Democratic primaries, voters of all races and genders under the age of 35 overwhelmingly voted for Senator Bernie Sanders. But even after Clinton prevailed in the primaries, young voters don’t seem to have much interest in helping her take power.

    The reason is that young voters, often referred to as Millennials, have the same issue with Hillary Clinton that everyone else in the country does: they don’t trust her.

    In a recent Quinnipiac poll, 77% of likely voters between the ages of 18 and 34 said they believe Clinton is dishonest. 64% of likely voters between 35 and 49 said the same. …
    In true neoliberal fashion, Clinton praises Millennials for being “entrepreneurial” and for never giving up. Clinton claims she finds Millennials “inspiring.” Yes, it’s an exceedingly trite piece.

    But it is when Clinton starts referencing her own biography that things really go off the rails. Clinton says she sympathizes with Millennials because she was an activist for the poor and disenfranchised when she was young, citing her time with the Children’s Defense Fund as a bona fides for that claim.

    Unfortunately, it was the very founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman, that condemned Hillary Clinton when Hillary went out shilling for the Clinton Administration’s ruthless welfare reform law. Edelman claimed Hillary betrayed the exact same children Edelman setup the Children’s Defense Fund to protect.

  23. Dave

    “The secondhand market is the only lively part of the industrial machinery business these days,”

    I drove by Richie Brothers auction yard off I 35 in Minnesota the other day. Thousands of cranes, bulldozers, trucks etc. Quite impressive. https://www.rbauction.com/
    All along the side roads and highways of the Midwest are not only thousands of properties for sale, but every fifth driveway has a car for sale, a boat on a trailer for sale, snowmobiles and the trailers them self for sale. Sets of car wheels with tires, tractors, the whole Midwest seems to be a giant garage sale.
    Truck stops in Wyoming have lots of broken down and battered cars evident. The tell tale sleeping bag and and lots of stuff in the back seat is the tell of someone sleeping in the vehicle.

    1. temporal

      Went out to get a NY state sticker on my windshield today.

      Saw lots of vehicles on a new car lot that should not have been there, dominated by 4 years or less, which is to say that most of the vehicles never left the lot. Nearly no new car stickers. Most cars and trucks were three years old or less. One 2016 yellow Vette for an ask of a hundred grand, exceeding nearly all of the local home prices. It will almost certainly be sold at auction when no local buyer is found.

    2. ambrit

      We’ve got a bit of that ‘sleepin on the back seat’ going on here in Mississippi too. I regularly see two such vehicles parked in the local Wal Mart employees parking area, (not a segregated zone per se, but a clumping of WM employee vehicles off to the side, out of the way.) These people evidently have work and still cannot afford a place to stay.
      There’s one older lady who sleeps in her car in a friends driveway. She uses her friends bathroom to shower and do other things. I suspect that the woman is too proud to stay in the friends house. I see her occasionally at the library where she uses the Internet connection. (All information gathered from the woman herself in conversations.)
      The Hobo Jungle in the waste land next to the older Wal Mart is still a going concern.
      Welcome to the New World Disorder.

  24. optimader

    Honey for the Bears: “The secondhand market is the only lively part of the industrial machinery business these days, and that’s providing more pain to equipment makers. A glut in the machinery that mines, moves or refines commodities is the by-product in global slump in the value of goods from coal to corn, the WSJ’s Bob Tita reports. That leaves equipment makers including Caterpillar Inc., Volvo AB, Deere & Co. and others effectively competing with their own machinery” [Wall Street Journal].

    Well, in the last decade plus I watched a growing tide of liquidation auctions of fabrication and machine tools that were made redundant. This describes moving down the foodchain from collapsing manufacturing infrastructure to the elimination of raw material factors of production that are redundant? File in the Deflation accordion binder?

  25. Larry

    Re: Hotels

    My giant company has made it very difficult to travel in Q4. They’re trying to hold down expenses in what is arguably the busiest part of the year as sales teams try to hit and exceed their targets. I take this as a very bad sign for the economy overall as it indicates the businesses we support are holding their budgets even tighter.

    1. optimader

      In the mid 1970′ te average hotelroomoccupancy rate was 62.3%, (samevalue as the lbs/cft weight of water 62.34)

      US Hotel Occupancy Up 4.3 Percent to 67.5 Percent – Week Ending August 27th – 2016

      Occupancy rate of the hotel industry worldwide from 2008 to 2015, by region
      Crashed 2008 to 2011, then recovered.

      A goos surrogate for biz travel
      we’ll see what it reports in the next Q

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