2:00PM Water Cooler 9/21/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

I got a little too caught up in shipping, so the election coverage is lighter than I want it to be. I’ll add some more shortly –lambert


“[A]s negotiators are now elbow deep in the 20th round of [TISA] talks taking place in Geneva this week, the official line is still that the accord should be concluded this year. The outlook, however, is uncertain: “We have not closed a single text yet,” said the source, adding that “there are less than three and a half months left now” [Politico].

“Obama took a fresh take [i.e., a new public relations spin] in pushing for the TPP in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday when he cast the deal as a way for nations to rewrite the current path toward globalization” [Politico]. “‘In order to move forward … we do have to acknowledge that the existing path to global integration requires a course correction,’ Obama said, adding that those who champion globalization too often ignore inequality within nations. ‘We cannot unwind integration any more than we can stuff technology back into a box. Nor can we look to failed models of the past.'” Don’t make me break out the Magic Markers™, Obama!



“In 2010, a man named Martin Greenberg hit a hole-in-one on the 13th hole while playing in a charity golf tournament at Trump’s course in Westchester County, N.Y. … Greenberg won a $1 million prize. Briefly. Later, Greenberg was told that he had won nothing. The prize’s rules required that the shot had to go 150 yards. But Trump’s course had allegedly made the hole too short” [WaPo]. And: “The man’s golf course was rigged like a damn state fair game! For a charity tournament!” [Deadspin]. If Clinton has the killer instinct of a spring lamb, she’ll work this into the debate.

UPDATE “A Washington Post-ABC News poll last week showed that about 6 in 10 Americans — 59 percent — think Hillary Clinton’s State Department did “special favors” for Clinton Foundation donors. And 90 percent of them think the favors were “inappropriate'” [WaPo].

“While Bill Clinton prepares for what is expected to be an impassioned defense of their philanthropic efforts, which have been at the center of accusations that the Clintons used their foundation to sell access while Hillary Clinton led the State Department, Politico reports that the Clinton Global Initiative is preparing to lay off dozens of staffers” [Vanity Fair].

“Few staffers were informed about the move before it was announced in an August staff meeting by foundation CEO Donna Shalala and Bill Clinton, said the former official. Since then, they’ve learned their fate on a piecemeal basis, according to two people with knowledge of the process. ‘It was poorly managed, treated too glibly, patronizingly, completely lacking empathy at the fact that so many young people were going to be laid off,’ said the former official” [Politico]. Well, they’re only Millenials. F*ck ’em. Key quote: “Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller responded Tuesday, asking, ‘Doesn’t this validate claims of pay-for-play within the organization?'”


“When outside groups supporting Clinton’s candidacy were included, the total spend on her side reached $156.6 million. The comparable figure for all pro-Trump advertising was $33.6 million” [The Hill]. “Clinton is a slight favorite in the race, but the huge disparity in spending has failed to break the contest open. Data website FiveThirtyEight gave Clinton a 56 percent chance of winning as of Tuesday afternoon, while the RealClearPolitics average of national polls showed her with an edge of about 1 percentage point.” My first impulse is to say the dogs won’t eat the dog food. My second is to say, wait a minute, Sanders spent a ton of money on the air war, too; maybe his critics are right on that one. Then again, I don’t think the disparity was nearly as great, and the choice between candidates was very different. Thinking back to Ferguson, if I understand him correctly, he relates money to outcome, but not money to margin. So…

UPDATE “Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, said Trump has been “derelict” in building a political operation that would help not only himself but down-ballot Republicans” [AP]. That’s rich, after Clinton ripped off the state parties with the “Victory Fund” scam.


UPDATE “Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday called for a criminal investigation into Wells Fargo (WFC) executives over the cross-selling scandal that has engulfed the bank and told CEO John Stumpf he should resign” [Yahoo Finance]. I don’t see this as helping Clinton, since a lot of Clinton’s donors (and audience members) are probably close personal friends of Stumpf. And in HillaryLand, anything that doesn’t help Hillary hurts her. Rather, I see these hearings as signaling the emergence of Warren as an independent power source, a party baron (or baroness, if you will). Like Sanders, a second emergent baron, she has an independent power base of funders. And like Sanders, she performed a ritual act of fealty to the Democrat nominee (and one that doesn’t seem to have made much difference).

The Voters

“This year, high-income earners are swinging in favor of Hillary Clinton, according to a Bloomberg survey of 600 likely voters with annual household incomes above $100,000. The same group that supported Mitt Romney over Barack Obama by 10 percent points in the last election cycle now backs Clinton over Trump by 46 percent to 42 percent, according to the poll, which was conducted last week” [Vanity Fair (Re Silc). “Interestingly, the biggest drag on Trump among this group was his verbal treatment of women.”

“Let’s start by giv­ing Don­ald Trump every state that Rom­ney won in 2012, even North Car­o­lina where, as of Thursday morn­ing, Clin­ton had a nar­row lead in the RCP av­er­age of polls in that state. That would give Trump 245 elect­or­al votes to Clin­ton’s 293, with 270 needed to win. Now let’s give Trump every state where Clin­ton’s RCP av­er­age lead was less than 3 points, thus put­ting Iowa, Nevada, Flor­ida, and Ohio in Trump’s column. Clin­ton would then lead 273-265 and still be in the win­ner’s circle. Now let’s as­sume that Trump wins Maine’s second con­gres­sion­al dis­trict, which would nar­row her lead to 272 to 266. To be clear, I do not think that Trump will sweep North Car­o­lina, Iowa, Nevada, Flor­ida, and Ohio. For that mat­ter, he is strug­gling to keep his lead in places like Ari­zona and Geor­gia. Even giv­ing Trump every state that is close, he still comes up short. To get over the top he would need to win states where today he’s not run­ning par­tic­u­larly close. These in­clude New Hamp­shire, where the RCP av­er­age gives Clin­ton a 5-point edge, Pennsylvania a 6.2-point lead, Michigan a 5.6-point lead, and Vir­gin­ia a 3.7-point lead” [Cook Political Report] [dusts hands]. “The key thing to think about in the com­ing weeks is who the elec­tion is really about. For most of the past three months, it was a ref­er­en­dum on Trump, and he was los­ing. The last couple of weeks, the race has been about Clin­ton and she has been los­ing ground as a res­ult.” The political class cannot concieve of the idea that the election might be a referendum on them. And that a narrow win will not be enough to allow them to retain the mandate of heaven.

“The larger explanation for the Trump phenomenon is even more unsettling for Washington’s political class, especially the media. They have lost their power” [Politico]. No, they haven’t. But they are frantic to retain it. “Only a decade or two ago, the media world was confined to a group of people in D.C. and New York—a group that largely knew each other, mingled in the same places, vacationed in the same locales. The most influential members of the group routinely defined what constituted a gaffe, others echoed that view, and it became the conventional wisdom for the rest of America. In the age of the Internet, with bloggers spread out across the nation, and multiple platforms across the political spectrum, that’s no longer possible. The growing divergence between these ‘insiders’ and the new ‘outsiders’ has played to Trump’s benefit, every single time he made what was once conceived as a ‘game-changing’ error.” Hmm. I remember 2003-2006 very well, when bloggers were going to do just this. That was going to happen until it didn’t. In other words, I don’t think it’s bloggers and platforms that are the drivers; aspirational 10%-ers, as it were. It’s a solid chunk of the 90% being mightily ticked off (though ticked off in ways appropriate to their various conditions). And that’s not going to change.

“Thus Clinton’s peculiar predicament. She has moved further left than any modern Democratic nominee, and absorbed the newer left’s Manichaean view of the culture war” [Ross Douthat, The New York Times]. And “culture war” completely explains why all those bright young people were chanting the talking points of an elderly white male socialist delivering hour-long speeches on policy to ginormous rallies. If you want to see an utterly classic conflation of “liberal” and “left,” read this. Douthat really is an idiot.

“View from the barber’s chair: In Florida even blacks and Hispanics may be turning against Hillary Clinton” [Independent]. This is good, although using the word “safari” for encounters with Florida voters might not be an ideal choice of words.

UPDATE “There are three consistent features to all of conservative talk radio: Anger, Trump, and ads targeting the financially desperate” [Chris Arnade]. “The ads are a constant. Ads protecting against coming financial crisis (Surprise! It is Gold.) or ads that start, ‘Having trouble with the IRS?’ The obvious lessons being 1) Lots of conservative talk radio listeners are in financial distress. 2) They are willing to turn to scams.”

UPDATE “[Squillionare Tom Steyer is] chipping in an additional $15 million to For Our Future, a joint effort among four labor unions and a super PAC he founded called Next Gen Climate. The money won’t go to TV ads but to a door-to-door campaign that aims to knock on 2 million doors in seven swing states, encouraging “sporadic” voters to get to the polls” [USA Today]. Once again, if the Democrats didn’t suck at basic party functions, they wouldn’t have to suck up to squillionaires like this.

UPDATE “No matter who wins in November, America is going to face a divide unseen in decades. If Donald Trump wins, he will confront a resident media more hateful than that which confronted Richard Nixon in 1968” [Patrick Buchanan, The American Conservative]. “If Hillary Clinton wins, she will come to office distrusted and disbelieved by most of her countrymen, half of whom she has maligned either as “deplorables” or pitiful souls in need of empathy.” A country Buchanan worked so tirelessly to unify! Still, the old reprobate has this right. If Clinton wins (likely modulo events, dear boy, events) and the Republicans retain the House and the Senate, they’ll impeach her over some damned thing in the emails. And they’ll be right.

UPDATE “Trump Boasts About Using ‘Other People’s Money’ In Business” [Talking Points Memo]. History’s worst monster!

UPDATE “A fuzzy screenshot of an email instructing people on how to disrupt internet groups is doing the rounds today, and it’s worth having a really good look at. It’s unclear where this particular handbook came from, and what particular groups they intend to target, but anyone who has been in Bernie, Green, or Libertarian groups will soon recognize these same tactics and patterns” [Inquisitr].

Clnton Email Hairball

“The Hidden Smoking Gun: the Combetta Cover-Up” [Thompson Timeline]. Must read.

Stats Watch

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of September 2016: “Purchase applications for home mortgages fell a seasonally adjusted 7 percent in the September 16 week” [Econoday]. And: “So much for last week’s glimmer of hope” [Mosler Economics].

Shipping: “At least one shipowner has defaulted on Royal Bank of Scotland during the opening six months of this year, and there could be more defaults to come, the taxpayer-owned lender has admitted in its first-half results” [Lloyds]. An unlocked story, rare for Lloyds: “The revelation comes in the small print of a set of car-crash numbers for RBS, which for decades held a leading position in the Greek market through the activities of its Piraeus office.” Well, RBS is a dumb bank, besides being crooked. How about some German banks? They’re pretty dumb, too. Still, all the numbers seem to be in the single-digit billions. And no CDOs. Still, one never likes to see banks in trouble. After all, life as we know it depends on them.

Shipping: “Yet even with 2 million TEUs out of service — around 10 percent of the global fleet — container shipping supply will remain above demand for containerized transport for at least the next two years, according to maritime analysts” [Journal of Commerce]. “‘If you were to rebalance the supply and demand gap, you would have to remove another 100 super-large vessels from the global fleet,’ [Camille Egloff, partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group] said.”

Shipping: Handy chart on Hanjin debacle; looks like Hanjin was gutshot by financial crisis and never really recovered [Journal of Commerce].

Shipping: “The future of Hanjin Shipping has been cast further adrift with South Korea’s main news agency Yonhap reporting yesterday that the court overseeing its receivership reckons the line’s rehabilitation plan is ‘realistically impossible’ if key debts, such as backlogged charter fees exceed KRW1trn ($896m)…. Its total debts are in excess of $5bn and mounting” [Splash247]. Whoops.

Shipping: “How Container Stowage Planning works” [Shipping and Freight Resource]. Tidbit: “For reasons of lashing and securing containers, a 40′ container can sit on top of two 20’s, but two 20’s cannot sit on top of 40′ (unless it is under deck and surrounded by other containers or within cell guides).” If you want to become a shipping container nerd, this is the post for you! (Hat tip Abynormal for the source.)

Shipping: “Now several sources are analyzed – and we see the proponderance data saying that trucking volumes did improve this month, but remains in contraction year-over-year. The entire transport industry (truck, rail and ship) remains in contraction. The trend lines in trucking are not clear – one month it looks like the situation is improving, and the next month indicates the opposite” [Econintersect]. “This situation is mirroring the trends in wholesale trade and manufacturing – which all remain in contraction. Prior to the New Normal, this would have indicated a recession – in 2016 it seems only to be indicating very weak near term economic conditions.”

Shipping: “Several big truck operators remain skeptical of a rebound, saying their volumes have been wavering in September, and demand doesn’t look evenly spread: several less-than-truckload carriers report their volumes have slipped this month. Still, the upturns counted by the American Trucking Associations, DAT and the Cass Freight Index show retailers may be setting aside inventory-reduction efforts and stocking up for the holidays. Rising spot rates and new price-increase announcements from truck operators certainly suggest carriers believe that” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “FedEx Corp. threw a curveball at the U.S. parcel-shipping market last night by announcing an expansion of the universe of packages subject to a costlier pricing formula” [DC Velocity]. “Currently, FedEx determines a package’s dimensions by multiplying its length, width, and height in inches and dividing the sum by 166. On Jan. 2, the divisor resets to 139.” Like a candy bar manufacturer raising prices by shrinking the candy bar!

Honey for the Bears: “On the heels of six out of seven months of increasing levels of demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) fell just below the positive mark. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending” [American Architectural Institute]. And: Back down to recession levels” (chart) [Mosler Economics].

Honey for the Bears: “Manufacturers of metal-cutting machines are shearing prices to generate sales amid a global slump in machinery demand brought on by lower energy prices and reduced investment in high-tech equipment” [Wall Street Journal, “Metal-Cutting Machine Manufacturers Shearing Prices to Generate Sales”]. “Factory shipments of new metal-cutting machines this year are expected to be down about 14% from 2015 to $7.2 billion with machine orders expected to fall about 12%. The manufacturing technology association expects shipments to be flat to slight down next year, but predicts orders will climb about 10% in response to the auto industry’s pursuit of more fuel-efficient pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles.” And by “pursuit” we mean demand created by evil government regulation, right? Let’s have more of it!

Fodder for the Bulls: “Baltic Dry Index Surges – Gets a Boost from China’s Thermal Coal Imports” [Economic Calendar]. But: “While tightness in the Chinese domestic market has led to a surge in spot seaborne prices, there hasn’t been a ‘material increase in demand,’ [Australian coal producer] New Hope Chief Executive Shane Stephan said Tuesday.” “New Hope.” Love the name. (On demand: Note that some, but not all, sources here disagree with New Hope. Who’s talking what book?)

Hacking: “The number of breaches in 2015 totaled 781, just two shy of the record 783 breaches that ITRC tracked in 2014. The 687 data breaches reported so far for 2016 are nearly 16% above the number reported (594) for the same period last year. A total of more than 169 million records were exposed in 2015” [WallStreet 247].

The Bezzle: “Warning: Microsoft Signature PC program now requires that you can’t run Linux. Lenovo’s recent Ultrabooks among affected systems” [Reddit].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 48 Fear (previous close: 45, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 34 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 21 at 12:07pm. Slowly I turned…


“Scientists may have solved a key riddle about Antarctica — and you’re not going to like the answer” [WaPo]. What happens when Antarctic ice melts; lessons from the geological record.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Charlotte erupts with protests after police kill disabled black man family says was “reading book in car'” [Salon]. This in the same week that the cops took Ahmad Khan Rahami alive, after a shootout.

A detail on the protest:

That’s creative!

UPDATE “The Radical Democracy of the Movement for Black Lives” [African American Intellectual History Society].

Class Warfare

“The U.S. labor market seems to have finally healed” [IMF Direct]. How I hate that metaphor; it embeds a horrible category error. Markets are not organic beings. They do not heal. They do not require solicitude. More: “The unemployment rate has been below 5 percent for some time and job growth is steady. And more Americans are coming back to the labor market—in other words, labor participation is increasing. Yet, despite a bump-up in 2015, wage growth so far this year—compared to the 2000s—is still disappointingly low. This is worrying because consumer spending, which makes up the majority of U.S. economic output, cannot continue at the current pace unless wages grow.” No duh!

“‘Sir,—I am a dressmaker, living in a large West-end house of business. I work in a crowded room with twenty-eight others. This morning one of my companions was found dead in her bed, and we all of us think that long hours and close confinement have had a great deal to do with her end'” [Mimi Matthews]. Victorian fast fashion….

News of the Wired

“Fitness trackers offer no weight-loss benefit and can make users fatter, says study” [Telegraph].

“Microsoft will ‘solve’ cancer within the next 10 years by treating it like a computer virus, says company” [Independent]. Well, they do have expertise in that regard…

“Among his extraordinary achievements, Wells was one of the earliest major English writers to be a trained scientist. The word ‘scientist’ had been coined by historian William Whewell just 33 years before Wells’s birth” in 1866 [Nature]. “[H]is final contribution to Nature, in 1944, was an attempt to understand the actions and motivations of the individual. ‘The Illusion of Personality’ suggests that the notion of a stable personality is an illusion, because consciousness constantly flits from one moment to the next (Nature 153, 395397; 1944). ”

* * *

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 (AM):


AM writes: “More from Rehobth, MA. I watched this butterfly spend about 10 minutes working over this plant. Could hear its wings flap.”

Readers, I am behind in answering contact form mail. I will catch up soon, beginning now!

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. cwaltz

      Personally, I’m for increasing local taxes and feeding all the kids at school at this point.

      Kids shouldn’t be penalized for not having money in a school environment.

      1. Katharine

        Agreed! And the fact that the “excess” food after they refuse to feed children is thrown away is simply obscene.

          1. Katharine

            Depends on the lawyer. We have one superb council member who I think is a member of the bar, or at least holds a law degree, and uses her knowledge for the public good.

          2. hunkerdown

            abynormal, this right here. Feudalism never died, just dressed down a little.

            Katharine, it’s not about soul quality, but about interests. Other classes will presumably have less reason to sell out the locals and less influence over their own line of business.

        1. JTMcPhee

          …and then you get “Ketchup is a vegetable,” for purposes of school lunch programs under “applicable,” heavily-lobbied “regulations…”

          Yah, that’s going to work. Once “we” have somehow re-filled the ranks of “regulators” with people of good conscience and dedication to the General Welfare.

          Yah, that’s going to work…

          “9/4/81 The Agriculture Department proposes cutting the size of school lunches and offering tofu, yogurt, cottage cheese or peanuts as viable meat substitutes. Also, condiments such as ketchup and pickle relish would be reclassified as actual vegetables.

          9/23/81 President Reagan plays host to welterweight champion Sugar Ray Leonard and his wife. “We’re very proud,” says the President, “to have Sugar Ray and Mrs. Ray here.”

          9/25/81 President Reagan announces that he has withdrawn the proposal to cut school lunches. He suggests that a dissident faction in the Agriculture Department might have come up with the idea as a form of “bureaucratic sabotage.” And just to set the record straight, aide James Johnson explains, “It would be a mistake to say that ketchup per se was classified as a vegetable. Ketchup in combination with other things was classified as a vegetable.” And what things would ketchup have to have combined with to have been considered a full‑blown vegetable? “French fries or hamburgers.” http://dangerousminds.net/comments/reagan_concedes_ketchup_not_actually_a_vegetable

          And to keep it all in perspective, and so “we the people” can see what is always foremost in the minds of the people who “protect us,” there’s this from the same source:

          10/2/81 At a White House briefing with Caspar Weinberger, President Reagan is asked how his MX missiles will be deployed. “I don’t know but what maybe you haven’t gotten into the area that I’m gonna turn over to the, heh heh, to the Secretary of Defense,” he says sheepishly. “The silos will be hardened,” Weinberger says, then nods approvingly as Reagan ad-libs, “Yes, I could say this. The plan also includes the hardening of silos.”

          One cannot make stuff up that is weirder and scarier than the charming reality. Not even in the heaviest of Metal or Steam Punk or other exotic dreams.

        2. LifelongLib

          It’s been done before. Back in the 1930s my grandmother ran a federal day care center for rural children which tried to make sure every child got at least a couple of good meals a day. We could do the same thing now, in cities and schools as well.

      2. marym

        According to their website the school district has apparently privatized the school lunch program. Taxes and family funds for the lunchroom “accounts” are feeding someone.

  1. abynormal

    rehabilitation plan is ‘realistically impossible’ if key debts, such as backlogged charter fees exceed KRW1trn ($896m)…. Its total debts are in excess of $5bn and mounting” [Splash247]. Whoops. insane…domino’s anyone?

    about the trucking mushiness…there are those storage units belonging to GS & Friends.
    bet they got some in every global port, and prolly the moon.

  2. mad as hell.

    I pulled up at a stoplight yesterday waiting to make a left turn. On my right was a silver Buick tinted windows with a 20-30ish Afro Am driver. On the bottom right hand corner of the the drivers door window was stenciled in 3 inch white lettering

    ” Let me guess
    License and Registration”

    Subtle yet effective protest. Which makes me wonder why aren’t there more graffiti like protests on billboards, public signs, commercial signs etc. Seems that that would get attention after awhile.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Banksy. Grafitti is too “in” to be a protest. One of the local colleges does an art graffiti around here. Then of course, I do think a certain amount has to do with ownership of the community. Very few people would want to protest a local vendor without permission. Even people with billboards are relatively ordinary schlubs.

      Internet memes. The message use to be viral through radio, but today, there is a certain amount of homogeneity in culture versus 20 years ago.

      Obviously, fear of the police is a major issue.

  3. L

    UPDATE “[Squillionare Tom Steyer is] chipping in an additional $15 million to For Our Future, a joint effort among four labor unions and a super PAC he founded called Next Gen Climate. The money won’t go to TV ads but to a door-to-door campaign that aims to knock on 2 million doors in seven swing states, encouraging “sporadic” voters to get to the polls” [USA Today]. Once again, if the Democrats didn’t suck at basic party functions, they wouldn’t have to suck up to squillionaires like this.

    If they spent their money on basic party functions then they wouldn’t be able to pay all of their consultants. And they would have to also follow up on it by actually responding to the voters that they bring in. From an operations standpoint the party managers are probably more comfortable brow beating the base that they have, one which they have trained to be obedient, rather than adding in new rabble-rousers or worse yet, actual liberals.

    1. Jen

      Some Democrats, or should I say some “Democrats” suck at basic party functions. When Obama was running in 2008, and IIRC in 2012, I had people knocking on my door, and I live at the end of really long driveway in the middle of the woods. I was phone banked to the point that I joked about getting a restraining order.

      Maybe it’s all those never Hillary comments I’ve made on facebook. I’m just not feeling the love this year.

      I’ve planted my Bernie yard sign right outside my front door just in case.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s a fly, honey, and vinegar thing.

        Hillary bourgeois supporters are interested in protecting privilege not improving the country. They have theirs. They simply won’t hit the neighborhoods they need to hit. Part of their privilege is not going to ghettos or the wrong sort of neighborhoods except in force to paint a scholarship where a few stars will be allowed near them.

        As far as people down the income scale, why would they work for Hillary? Sympathizers at the higher end of the income scale have the issue. Why would they work for Hillary or do anything to fluff the ego of Hillary’s supporters? Let Hillary waddle door to door. I’ve been mugged* canvassing. My friend was beaten up by farmers in Iowa. Did we go back out canvassing? Yes, because it seemed worth while. Hillary isn’t worth voting for. She’s certainly not worth canvassing for.

        Many of the Hillary types, excluding seniors who are out of touch, simply want to discuss the merits of West Wing episodes and bemoan the cancelation of “the newsroom.”

        *I was kind of following around a lady friend at the time, and I may have wanted to impress her by going back out after attending to the immediate problem.

        1. Jen

          Ah, yes. Hillary cannot fail, she can only be failed by those of us who are insufficiently grateful for her candidacy. Apparently we are supposed to gaze at the several 8×4 billboards in our town in awe, and vote accordingly. Or not.

          As for HRC waddling door to door, she’s basically gone awol on the trail. Can’t even waddle to a campaign event.

          PS – don’t know if your lady friend was impressed, but I am.

  4. abynormal

    ‘The Illusion of Personality’ suggests that the notion of a stable personality is an illusion, because consciousness constantly flits from one moment to the next’
    where yall been?…my dear maker, Mell Brooks, settled dat!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The serial rapist and murderer in Charlottesville, Va was a cab driver, not a ride share guy, often described as a teddy bear of a man.

      The insurance situation is more of an issue than using a vile crime as a metric. At least with the cab company, there is potential for financial recourse. Cab companies don’t have a rapist detector.

  5. Pat

    No surprise, he did apparently fork over about a million for Clinton, but Joss Whedon has put together a ‘get out and vote and make sure you don’t vote for Trump’ ad. With lots of friends…


    If I hadn’t watched so many of my fellow travelers decide that Obama doing was okay even if they would have been screaming if Romney or McCain or Bush had down the same thing, a part of me would love to be able to check in with a victorious Whedon and friends after a few years of disaster Hillary and ask if he was happy flushing all that money and effort down the toilet when after his failure to recognize a real demon even though he had all the clues. But admitting you were conned is hard enough when no one was telling you it was a con.

        1. hunkerdown

          Sudden but inevitable! That part’s kind of important, though perhaps less credible to those who have read his screeds on the backs of Chipotle bags and such.

          1. Steve H.

            Ah! Thank you, you are correct!

            That’s why I love NC, ’cause I got people with me, people who trust each other, who do for each other and ain’t always looking for the advantage.

    1. hunkerdown

      Whedon’s part of the “symbol manipulator” class. What reason is there to believe that he’ll be sorry for promoting his interests and those of the deserving above the undeserving customers? That’s bizniz these days.

  6. temporal

    The Hidden Smoking Gun: the Combetta Cover-Up

    Just as the story says, various agencies including the FBI and the Justice Department are now using immunity get the information neccessary to protect select individuals from prosecution. Clinton is not the first just the most visible. Since the control of these agencies belongs to the President that’s where the blame ultimately lies. In our transition we’ve overshot banana republic and gone full despot.

  7. curlydan

    Is it me, or does Charlie Cook need a math lesson?

    I’ve added electoral college votes in parentheses:
    “Trump 245 elect­or­al votes to Clin­ton’s 293, with 270 needed to win. Now let’s give Trump every state where Clin­ton’s RCP av­er­age lead was less than 3 points, thus put­ting Iowa(6), Nevada(6), Flor­ida(29), and Ohio(18) in Trump’s column. Clin­ton would then lead 273-265 ”

    According to my math, switching those states and 59 electoral college votes gets to Trump 304 and Clinton 234, right?

    1. Vatch

      Wow! Clinton’s people can do more than just rig primary elections — they can rig simple arithmetic! I’m impressed.

      1. Katharine

        What’s even more remarkable is that no combination of some of those states would give the shift of twenty electoral votes they claim. They’re just pulling numbers out of a hat.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Florida and Ohio alone would suffice.

          If Trump wins those two, you can go to bed early on election night … it’s ovahhh.

          1. Katharine

            Oh, sure. It’s the math I was griping about. Neither 6+6 nor 6+18 makes 20, and 29 is greater all on its own, so their revised totals bear no conceivable relationship to the states they claim they’re talking about.

            1. apber

              Don’t you just luv the smell of misinformation and disinformation (otherwise known as purposeful propaganda) in the morning?

              The key fact that every MSM pundit won’t admit is that Trump gets 10,000+ at rallies; Clinton less than 500. Adefinite indication that the polls are bogus or manipulated.

    2. Tom Allen

      Cook says he’s starting by giving Trump the baseline of Romney’s electoral votes, which was 206 (not 245). Then if you add the 59 EV’s from the other four states you get 265. Maybe the 245 was a typo?

      1. Vatch

        Aw shucks! It was fun believing in manipulated arithmetic for a while, but you’re right. Romney got 206 electoral votes in 2012. Typo fever strikes again!

  8. Vatch

    Re: Warren, Wells Fargo, Stumpf, Sanders, Clinton.

    So both Sanders and Warren have made public statements in favor of Wells Fargo criminal prosecutions. An alliance between them would be natural and beneficial. I guess if one of them runs for President, the other will certainly endorse that candidate. Oh, wait, . . . .

  9. dcblogger

    And “culture war” completely explains why all those bright young people were chanting the talking points of an elderly white male socialist delivering hour-long speeches on policy to ginormous rallies.

    so good it had to be repeated.

  10. tinheart

    Clinton “reintroduction”, Part 17:


    “After a year and a half of running for president, the Democratic nominee has concluded that many Americans still do not have a clear understanding of what motivates her or what she would do as president. So in the campaign’s home stretch, Clinton is trying to reintroduce herself and her ideas to the country.”

    Secretary Clinton, I can help. If you’ve been running for 18 months and you’ve concluded that the reason people aren’t voting for you is that they don’t really know who you are, you’re sadly mistaken.

    1. Roger Smith

      HAHA! That wins for today’s antidote. Who could honestly write that opening paragraph seriously? Come on, one month to go, and a candidate is still trying to introduce themselves? Who are we kidding here?

    2. Procopius

      If she wants to tell us she’s really, really sorry for promoting Victoria Nuland and that under no circumstances will she appoint Robert Kagan Secretary of Defense, I’ll listen. Skeptically.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      Well, obviously that misinformation email works. I’ve seen more than one comment section destroyed by those tactics. It has been particularly bad this year with Brock and the DNC’s paid posters. I assume each of them has their own copy of that email.

  11. Jim Haygood

    uhhhh … what day is it?

    That’s right … FOMC day! All the false rate hike rumors have once again been repudiated. And stocks are running like scalded dogs.

    A calculation by Bespoke shows that about half of stocks’ return since 1995 could have been captured by buying the day before Fed meetings and holding till the close of announcement day. You would have been invested in only 3 percent of all trading days.


    Don’t miss the great photo of the FOMC’s power trio — Stanley Mellon Fischer, J-Yel, and NY Fed pres. Bill Dudley [baring his sharpened incisors] — slacking against a fence at J-hole.

    Inspired by the alpine scenery, they were trying to sing Pink Floyd’s “Money” a cappella. But Stanley couldn’t quite master the special effect cash register “ka-chings.” It sounded like he was choking on a chicken bone.

  12. allan

    Science’s 1%: How income inequality is getting worse in research [Nature, subscr. req.]

    For a portrait of income inequality in science, look no further than the labs of the University of California. Twenty-nine medical researchers there earned more than US$1 million in 2015 and at least ten non-clinical researchers took home more than $400,000 each. Meanwhile, thousands of postdocs at those universities received less than $50,000. Young professors did better, but many still collected less than one-quarter of the earnings of top researchers.

    The University of California is far from unique. At universities across several countries, the salary gap between elite scientists and those toiling in the trenches has been expanding over the past few decades, according to labour economists. The inequality mirrors the trend across the rest of society, where stagnating middle-class wages and soaring incomes for the wealthy have created a widening gap between top and bottom earners. …

    In her 2012 book How Economics Shapes Science (Harvard University Press), economist Paula Stephan at Georgia State University in Atlanta calculated the Gini coefficient for science and engineering faculty members at US doctorate-granting institutions, using salary data from the US National Science Foundation’s Survey of Doctorate Recipients. She found that the Gini coefficient more than doubled between 1973 and 2006 in most fields and faculty ranks, with the biggest increases in the life sciences …

    Depressing stuff.

  13. abynormal

    holycows…Yellen responds to Trump: “In order to insulate monetary policy from short-term political pressures and I can say, emphatically that partisan politics plays no role in our decisions about the appropriate stance of monetary policy…. We do not discuss politics at our meetings and we do not take politics into account in our decisions.”
    came moments ago from the WSJ’s Jon Hilsenrath who said “Donald Trump has charged that the feds are keeping interest rates intentionally low for the Obama administration. …yeah they be the politics, no discussions necessary

  14. Jane

    ““[Wells] final contribution to Nature, in 1944, was an attempt to understand the actions and motivations of the individual.”

    That’s rich, I wonder if his efforts were personal; as in trying to understand the motivation for his own plagiarism, which is fully detailed in The Spinster and the Prophet.

    1. Katharine

      Which reminds me inevitably of Robert Burns and my perennial amazement that in such a short life he hit so many truths so neatly.

  15. Jim Haygood

    Shadow boxing before Obama’s meeting with Netanyahu today:

    “We’ve been concerned about continued settlement activity, the potential viability of a Palestinian state in the face of that settlement activity. We’ve raised those directly with the Israeli government,” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said Tuesday. “I’m sure President Obama will do so tomorrow as well.”

    The leaders have a concrete achievement to showcase: a 10-year military assistance deal worth $38 billion, the largest tranche of military aid the U.S. has ever given another country.


    Giving $38 billion to someone who’s spent eight years defying you isn’t a sanction. It’s a REWARD.

    1. Katharine

      My congressman just issued this statement about the new security agreement and sent it in an email saying he thought I would be interested. I was, but not the way he thought.

      “This robust agreement will ensure that Israel has the resources necessary to defend itself against current and emerging security threats in the years ahead. It includes $3.8 billion in annual military aid from 2019 through 2028, including a total of $5 billion to strengthen Israel’s missile defense system and better protect civilians from rocket attacks. Most importantly, the new agreement underscores the shared values, shared interests and unwavering partnership between our two nations. I was proud to co-sponsor H.Res. 729 in support of this new aid agreement, and will continue to stand by Israel as it remains a beacon of hope and democracy in the Middle East.”

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > shared values

        Can’t find the link, but I understand that DHS and various private security firms are funding seminars and conference to pollute American policing with Israeli tactics.

    2. DJG

      Katherine and Jim Haygood. Come on, get with the program. The 38 billion simoleons are a downpayment on endless war. How can any of us be opposed to money so well spent?

      And I’ll add: Just one more reason why I will vote for Jill Stein. If the duopoly is so well organized that it can give away billions for bombs, I’ll vote for something less maliciously organized.

        1. john Wright

          Per http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/14/us-to-give-record-38-billion-in-military-aid-to-israel-over-10-y/

          “Under the agreement, Israel’s ability to spend part of the funds on Israeli military products will be gradually phased out, eventually requiring all of the funds to be spend on American military industries. Israel’s preference for spending some of the funds internally had been a major sticking point in the deal”.

          I’ve read before that about 75% of the money historically had to be spent on US military equipment.

          This is some evidence that the US government does understand about increasing demand for American products, but this is an indirect way of simply giving them away.
          One can also suggest this increases demand in neighboring countries for more weaponry, perhaps from Russia/China, so this could be encouraging more growth in the entire global military industry.

    3. marym

      The Senate today also tabled a resolution to block a $1.5B sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.

      Roll call

      “Of course, the courage and common sense of a minority of senators will be cold comfort to the millions of Yemenis struggling to survive without adequate food or health services amidst daily bombing and shelling,” [Oxfam America president Ray] Offenheiser added. “Today, millions of Yemenis are on the verge of starvation and more than 10,000 children under 5 have died from preventable diseases. Every tank, missile, and gallon of jet fuel supplied by the U.S. to the Saudi-led coalition is a clear signal that the U.S. is indifferent to Yemen’s misery.”


      1. Jim Haygood

        Fortunately 71 courageous senators intervened to block this gratuitous attack on our nation’s defense industry [/sarc], including Dianne Feinstein.

        War is the health of the state … of California.

        Blue states and warmongering: perfect together. :-)

        1. cwaltz

          Awww c’mon Dianne doesn’t vote based on the constituency of her state…..she votes based on whether or not her husband, Richard Blum, will benefit.

          EG&G needs more graft.

      2. Jen

        As I mull over my vote for senator in the granite state, I realize that one of the major advantages of keeping one from team red and one from team blue, is that I know to be suspect of any legislation that they both vote for.

  16. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Lambert and all —

    MBA Mortgage Applications, week of September 2016: “Purchase applications for home mortgages fell a seasonally adjusted 7 percent in the September 16 week” [Econoday]. And: “So much for last week’s glimmer of hope” [Mosler Economics].

    I’m not sure how helpful these mortgage figures are in terms of the larger property transaction activity these days — at least in ‘hot’ (as in ‘HAM: Hot Asian Money’) markets along the West Coast, where a lot of transactions do not involve mortgages.

    IOW, the traditional economic stats are probably broken, as a downstream effect of inequality on a global scale.
    As in:

    Nearly two-thirds of the people who bought high-end homes last year in the Seattle area paid cash. Thirty-nine percent of the buyers were from overseas, primarily China. And most buyers were business owners, though nearly a tenth of them were entertainers and athletes. These are the estimates of Windermere Real Estate, which based the numbers on its involvement in 25 of the region’s 34 homes sales worth $5 million or more. In 2014, there were 31 such sales. –
    See more at: http://www.jaymarchomes.com/blog/all-cash-buyers-dominate-regions-luxury-home-market/#sthash.EME9LrOP.dpuf

  17. meme

    Gotta watch WaPo for the Donald Trump propaganda. It doesn’t look like Donald “rigged the tournament”; the event was sponsored by the Alonso Mourning Charities, and it was the insurer that refused to pay up. Former CFTC chair Marty Greenberg, who hit the hole-in-one, sued former NBA superstar Mourning and Trump’s club when the insurer refused to pay him. Trump settled for $158,000, money moved from his charity to Greenberg’s charity. Is that illegal?

    Meanwhile, the Trump Organization says: “We had nothing to do with the matter other than they chose to use our course.”

    And apparently the Donald offered to play a round at the course with Greenberg with some pretty sweet terms attached. If Greenberg won, Trump would hand over $1 million in cash then and there. If Greenberg lost, he’d have to pony up $100,000. Greenberg didn’t take him up on the wager.

    (Business Insider)

    1. flora

      Thanks for the update. Most very high dollar payouts for things like a charity tournament lucky shot or a basketball audience member making a lucky basket from the half court line are covered by sponsor purchased insurance policies. The big payout never comes out of the sponsors’ pocket.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Which was why I tried to innoculate myself with the second source… But of course it would all be insured. My bad.

      That said, Greenberg made a hole-in-one and didn’t get his money, because, through a case of Clintonian-level systemic indirection, he was denied it. The moral, to me, is don’t do business with Donald Trump.

  18. clarky90

    Full Speech: Donald Trump Speaks at Cleveland Heights Church 9/21/16


    The introduction of DJT, by Don King, (boxing promoter) is riveting. I usually skip introduction speeches. Trump is asking the African American Community for their support.

    “I do not want to be President of the World, I want to be President of the United States” , Donald Trump

    This is a phrase that Trump is repeating, in speech after speech. Personally, it moves me to tears.

  19. Bob

    Some Generic Drugs See Huge Price Increases
    (If this article requires log-in for you, let me know and I’ll copy/paste it here in its entirety)
    “The prices of generic drugs covered under the Medicare Part D program dropped overall from 2010 to 2015, but a group of 315 drugs saw extraordinary price increases during that period, according to a new report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO).”
    “The price rises in this group of medications were at least 100% and, in some cases, 1000% or more.”
    “For example, erythromycin in 500-mg tablets had three increases of more than 100%. Its price increased from 24 cents per tablet in 2010 to $8.96 per tablet in 2015.”
    “For example, the price of 50-mg capsules of the antidepressant clomipramine HCL, which is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, increased over 2000% in 1 year, jumping from 34 cents per capsule in 2013 to $8.43 per capsule in 2014.”
    “Similarly, the price of 20-mg capsules of piroxicam, used to treat arthritis, increased by over 2000% from 9 cents per capsule in 2010 to $1.94 in 2011. By 2015, the price was $1.82.”
    “… a glaucoma drug, methazolamide, first experienced a price increase of 454%, from 33 cents per 50-mg tablet in 2010 to $1.85 in 2011. By 2015, the drug’s price was $5.47 per tablet, 1538% above the original cost.”
    “Pharmaceutical companies told GAO that competition is the primary driver of generic drug prices….But this is not always the case. For instance, a recent Los Angeles Times article noted that the prices of some generic drugs can rise sharply even if multiple manufacturers compete for market share. Ursodiol for gallstones, for instance, is produced by eight companies. Two years ago, the drug could be purchased for as little as 45 cents a capsule. In May 2014, one manufacturer, Lannett Company, Inc, increased its price to $5.10 a capsule, and its competitors soon followed suit. One of these competitors, the article added, is Mylan, which recently stirred national outrage by steeply raising the price of its EpiPen device….”

  20. Bob

    From a link in the above Medscape article, here’s Uwe Reinhart: “On the Wondrous U.S. Market For Prescription Drugs”. Competition doesn’t help control costs in healthcare. Nor do the insurance companies have power to force pharmaceutical prices to fall. There were 8 manufacturers of ursodiol and yet prices rose 1000%.

    “It seems fair to ask members of the health insurance industry and their agents, the pharmaceutical benefits industry, what role they play in this market.
    “Specifically, if as their agents in the market of health care you cannot manage to exploit to the advantage of your principals – ultimately patients and the insured public— a market with 8 competitors selling a virtually identical product, what can you do for us? How is it that, in real life, the makers or, say, ursodiol can raises prices by 1000% in the face of the putative competition of which economic theorists can wax so mushy? Did you not have enough countervailing market power to put a lower limit to that increase? Why not?”

    1. Tim

      Collusion is the obvious answer, RICO, but our healthcare system laws are so backwards I would not be surprised if there are laws that actively encourage this.

  21. allan

    Staff shortages hamper US wildlife refuges [AP]

    Hundreds of national wildlife refuges that provide critical habitat for migratory birds and other species are crippled by a staffing shortage that has curtailed educational programs, hampered the fight against invasive species and weakened security at facilities that attract nearly 50 million visitors annually, a group of public employees and law enforcement said Wednesday.

    Staffing at the nation’s 565 wildlife refuges and related properties shrank nearly 15 percent in the past decade, and more than one-third of those locations don’t have any staff on site, the Washington, D.C.-based Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility said. …

    Let’s see, who was president for 3/4 of that decade?
    It’s a good thing the Innovator-in-Chief and the Dem leadership helped make those Bush-era tax cuts
    permanent in the 2010 and 2012 lame ducks.
    Otherwise, job creators would have to pay for bird swamps and stuff.

    1. Jim Haygood

      $500 million to fund 565 wildlife refuges?

      We can’t afford that. It’s 7 weeks worth of military aid to Israel.

  22. no one

    Re: “[Squillionare Tom Steyer is] chipping in an additional $15 million to For Our Future, a joint effort among four labor unions and a super PAC he founded called Next Gen Climate.

    Hmmm. “Clinton pulled climate from speeches after Sanders endorsement”

    “Hillary Clinton has dropped the words “climate change” from most of her public addresses since winning the endorsement of her party rival Bernie Sanders, according to Climate Home analysis.

    “While the presidential candidate talks regularly about her plan for the US to become a “clean energy superpower”, in recent months she has rarely made reference to the planetary crisis that necessitates it.

    “On Monday, when she launched her online pitch to millennials, she could find no room for an issue that will affect that voting cohort more than any other.

    “During the last six months of Clinton’s primary campaign against Sanders, the transcript log of her speeches shows she was talking about climate change at one out of every two speeches she gave.

    “But since Sanders endorsed Clinton on July 12, the full focus of the Clinton campaign has swung to Trump. In 38 speeches since that date, Clinton mentioned climate change specifically eight times. Just once every five public addresses.

    “Hillary Clinton’s silence on the issue of the depth of the ecological crisis is deafening,” Greens presidential candidate Jill Stein, who had a warrant issued for her arrest after participating in a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline, told Climate Home. “While she makes the occasional passing nod to the environment, I have made it the very cornerstone of my entire campaign.”


    Given her contributors, this result is unsurprising.

    1. Rhondda

      “clean energy superpower” might actually mean “green sweetheart deals for select military contractors”

  23. Tim

    “And that a narrow win will not be enough to allow them to retain the mandate of heaven.” This is the biggest issue I have with this election. Whoever wins will say they have the mandate to do everything they ran on, but the reality is only a small percentage of the total population voted for that candidate for their positions. ALmost half will vote against that canditate, and of the half that did vote for the candidate, probably almost half voted for them just to make sure the other candidate did not win.

    Doesn’t sound like a mandate to me, and the loosing party will surely take this position that the winner has no mandate, and hence no legitimacy to advance their positions, so we will be left with even worse gridlock than that last 8 years if that is possible, but this time it is likely to be a real blessing.

  24. Jim Haywood

    Mental illness can strike without warning:

    ORLANDO — Hillary Clinton gave voice Wednesday to a question on the minds of many of her fiercest advocates in her race against the controversy-prone Donald Trump: Why isn’t she way, way ahead?

    The Democratic nominee raised the issue here during an address via video conference to a gathering in Las Vegas of the Labor International Union of North America.

    The former secretary of state ticked off her pro-union positions, including investing in infrastructure, raising the minimum wage and supporting collective bargaining.

    “Having said all this, ‘Why aren’t I fifty points ahead?’ you might ask?” Clinton said.


    Why aren’t WE fifty points ahead, one might ask grammatically in the royal first person case. But it’s all about her.

    When you’re surrounded by a cult-like group of sycophants gagged by fear, you tend not to pick up the vibe from the street.

    Why aren’t we all demi-billionaires like Hillary, comrades? Lord knows we deserve it. :-(

  25. Cry Shop


    Stein also told NPR in July, “I do not say there is no difference between the parties. What I say is that there’s not enough difference to save your job, to save your life, or to save the planet. And the scary things, the horrific things that Donald Trump says, Hillary Clinton has already done. Whether it’s massively deporting immigrants, whether it’s threatening nuclear warfare.”

    In other words, Clinton was talking about deporting refugees from Central America in order to “send a message” before Bernie Sanders confronted her on this issue, and she was concerned it would cost her politically. She also once threatened to obliterate Iran if it attacked Israel, a blatant threat of nuclear annihilation.

  26. Buttinsky

    Thank you for reposting the Thompson Timeline about the Clinton server imbroglio. There was some problem with the link posted by “m” yesterday and, though I’ve only had time to skim through it so far, it looks like the definitive account of what’s known up to now.

    1. Rhondda

      Yes, that looks to be a gem. It will take me a few days…The TOC alone is informative. And by the second paragraph my eyebrows had jumped my hairline:

      To understand the 2015 deletions, we have to start further back in time, in June 2013. Clinton had ended her four-year tenure as secretary of state earlier in 2013, and she hired the Platte River Networks (PRN) computer company to manage her private email server. This was a puzzling hire, to say the least, because PRN was based in Denver, Colorado, far from Clinton’s homes in New York and Washington, DC, and the company was so small that their office was actually an apartment in an ordinary apartment building with no security alarm system. The company wasn’t cleared to handle classified information, nobody in it had a security clearance, and it hadn’t even handled an important out of state contract before.

      None of this private email server bullshittery passes the smell test. Benghazi! rears its fearsome head. Hahaha. Oh! Ahh! I think I just had one of those attacks that have been going around. A sudden bout of maniacal laughter.

      1. fajensen

        An Obsessive / “Hands On” Control Fraud usually prefers to hire incompetents because it is likely that they will not be aware of certain details such as the rules regarding classified information and keeping of of official records, if they do wonder about something it is easier to browbeat them “…. *everybody* knows that …. ” and they are cheap.

        Of course in Hillary’s case the plan seems to backfire badly, probably because to properly manage the incompetent, one at least has to have a wider understanding than they have. Which means that every patsy and fall-guy will eat mental ressources and actual time – the operation doesn’t scale, I.O.W.

        If Hillary took advice, she would have learned from the professionals, the Bankers and CEx’s: Just state performance goal, which will be met – Or Else, then leave the minions to work the scamming so one can honestly claim to be paid millions for running a business one knows ‘eff all about.

      1. aab

        I learned a new word!

        I never bother with these clips, but I watched that one. He is really bad at spokespersoning. Admittedly, he’s got a terrible candidate to defend, but it was still a horrendous performance. I presume they’re stuck using him because all the surrogates are being maxed out since there’s a neverending stream of bad news to try to counter, and the candidate needs her naps.

        It was interesting watching how gentle they were with him. I guess they’ve been brought to heel.

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