2:00PM Water Cooler 9/2/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


TPP: “‘It’s very challenging to get people to commit the political capital to move forward when the doubts are so significant about what the United States will do,” [Eric Altbach, a senior vice president at the Albright Stonebridge Group] said” [Politico].

“Organizations including the Communications Workers of America, CREDO Action, Democracy for America and several others sent a letter to Clinton on Thursday asking her to make a ‘clear, public and unequivocal statement’ opposing any vote on TPP” [Politico]. It will be interesting to parse Clinton’s next stateement, if any. (Remember that Clinton’s 10% base is cosmopolitan, and supports trade. She won’t be punished for remaining “equivocal.”)



Clinton’s 2009 ethics agreement: “I currently hold and will continue to hold my position with The Clinton Family Foundation, which maintains all its assets in cash. If confirmed as Secretary of State, I will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter that has a direct and predictable effect upon this foundation, unless I first obtain a written waiver or qualify for a regulatory exemption” (pdf) [Cryptome]. First, “will not participate” sets a much higher bar than the ludicrously low “quid pro quo” standard set by Clinton’s operatives and supporters. Second, is it really usual for charitable foundation to keep “all its assets in cash”? Why would Foundation do that? And why even say it does? (I’m resisting a joke about “maintains all its assets in Bitcoin”….)

“On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton is a big critic of for-profit universities, attacking them for charging high prices but offering students little support and delivering degrees of questionable value. Her administration, she says, would crack down ‘on for-profit colleges and loan servicers who have too often taken advantage of borrowers'” [USA Today]. “What Clinton doesn’t mention are her close family connections to for-profit Laureate Education and the hefty $9.8 billion in loans accumulated just by students at Laureate’s Walden University in Minnesota… If Clinton wonders why so many voters consider her to be graspy and question her trustworthiness, she need look no further than the tangled, lucrative ties among Laureate, its owners, the Clinton family and the Clinton Foundation.” Graspy.


“It shouldn’t be offensive to consider the interests of Americans before those of illegal immigrants” [David Frum, The Atlantic]. Frum perhaps not the best messenger here, even in this odd year. So I’ll repeat: Democrats are telling working class people hit by decades of policy decisions on trade and immigration — many by Democrats or bipartisan — to “take one for the team” (along with “go into debt so you can credentials like me” (and a subtext that “you’re all racists so you don’t matter anyhow”)). But there is no team (as the subtext shows). It’s no wonder Democrats are in difficulties. And when I see Democrats enact some concrete material benefits to ameliorate the effects of those policy decisions, I’ll treat their views on immigration policy as something more than virtue-signalling. But Democrats never take responsibility for anything, so I have the feeling I’ll be waiting some time for that. Back to Frum:

Literally every point in [Clinton’s] most public statement of her immigration views deals with the interests of immigrants themselves, and especially of illegal immigrants.

Nobody would do banking policy that way, or any other area of public concern.

Hmm. It seems to me that this is exactly how banking policy was made, by Obama, in 2009. Eh?


“Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has run an unusually cheap campaign in part by not paying at least 10 top staffers, consultants and advisers, some of whom are no longer with the campaign, according to a review of federal campaign finance filings” [Reuters]. “[N]ot compensating top people in a presidential campaign is a departure from campaign finance norms.” Hirohito Award candidate, there.

“Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign raised an eye-popping $143 million in August for her candidacy and the Democratic Party, the best showing of her campaign, her team said Thursday” [Agence France Presse]. Ka-ching. And not doubling down. Squaring down.

Down Ballot

“The news out of Ohio is grim for former governor Ted Strickland: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and its aligned super PAC have canceled a week of planned TV advertising in support of his challenge to Sen. Rob Portman (R)” [WaPo]. The term of art for this is “throwing in the towel.”

The Voters

James Carville: “Whatever weaknesses Clinton has, Trump constantly covers them up” [Vanity Fair]. Hmm. I’d love to see a timeline that combines Clinton corruption eruptions and Trump gaffes, if anybody knows of one. Although creating a timeline like that would be an awful lot of work.

“Hillary Clinton’s late-night panic ” [Chicago Tribune]. Weapons-grade snark. Spoiler:

Ready4Hillary: Think of it this way. If you asked someone, “Would you like to climb into an old scow full of garbage?” most people would say “No.” But if you say, “Would you like to be saved at any cost from the apocalyptic flood that is rising to destroy your city?” most people would say “Yes.” The trick is to focus on the second thing and not be too specific about the first thing. OK?

Hillary: am I the garbage scow in that analogy?

Ready4Hillary: the point is, less is more. OK?

“Clinton’s advisers tell her to prep for a landslide” [Politico]. “Revealing a level of confidence Clinton’s inner circle has been eager to squash for weeks, outside advisers have now identified victories in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire as the path of least resistance, delivering for the Democratic nominee more than the 270 electoral votes needed to take the White House. And they are projecting increased confidence about her chances in Republican-leaning North Carolina, a state that could prove as critical as Ohio or Pennsylvania.” I’d add a few grains of salt to this: First, Clinton is notoriously surrounded by sycophants. Second, I think this is messaging, and not reporting: The Clinton campaign wants early voters to go with a winner. Third, a massive electoral win doesn’t necessarily translate to a popular vote landslide. Hence, an electoral landslide combined with a much closer popular vote will do nothing to help Clinton in a coming legitimacy crisis (and could even exacerbate it).

“There’s almost no chance our elections can get hacked by the Russians. Here’s why” [WaPo].

War Drums

Putin on 2016: “All this should be more dignified” [Bloomberg]. Gotchyer casus belli right here…


“So you think you can take over the Democrat Party?” [South Lawn]. Cogent points. On the other hand, what’s sauce for the sheepdog is sauce for a century-long record of third-party #FAIL. Past results are no guarantee of future performance.

“Downballot Republicans and top GOP leaders are dumping Trump” [NBC]. “[Y]esterday came this campaign video from John McCain, who’s engaged in a tough re-election fight: “If Hillary Clinton is elected, Arizona will need a senator who will act as a check,” he said, all but admitting that Trump is unlikely to win in November. And McCain won’t be the last GOPer making this ‘check on Hillary’ argument.

“Kissinger, George Schultz mull Clinton endorsement” [The Hill]. Can’t we just be open about this and set up a war criminals PAC?

Clinton Email Hairball

“Clinton’s meetings as secretary of state finally to be released to The Associated Press BEFORE the election as government backs down” [Daily Mail]. AP content with Daily Mail headline: “Of the documents that were made available, in some instances the calendars had been edited after her events, and in others the names of those she met were omitted.”

Maza is, of course, paid by ClintonLand through Media Matters:

I’d say Maza puts identity politics in a nutshell, except a nutshell isn’t vacuous enough.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation, August 2016: “Nonfarm payrolls rose a lower-than-expected 151,000 in August with revisions to July and June at a net minus 1,000. The unemployment rate holds at 4.9 percent with modest increases on both the employment and unemployment side of this reading” [Econoday]. “There are definitely weak spots in this report though the headline payroll gain of 151,000 is respectable but isn’t high enough to give the hawks the advantage at this month’s FOMC where a rate hike will, at least, be discussed.” On the bright side, at least the BLS isn’t in the tank for Clinton. And: “To sum this report up – it is treading water. There was really nothing good or nothing really terrible – although both construction and manufacturing declined. The year-over-year rate of growth was unchanged from last month. The average hours worked continues to decline pointing to economic slowing” [Econintersect]. And: ” The number of persons working part time for economic reasons increased slightly in August. This level suggests slack still in the labor market” [Calculated Risk]. And: “[T]he labor force participation stayed flat at 62.8% in August, compared to 62.8% in July” [Business Insider].

International Trade, July 2016: “A rise in exports helped cut the nation’s trade deficit to a lower-than-expected $39.5 billion in July, well down from a revised $44.7 billion in June. Exports rose 1.9 percent to $186.3 billion with strength centered, not this time in services which were flat, but in goods and especially, as indicated in last week’s advance goods report, in agricultural products” [Econoday]. ” Imports, which are a subtraction in the national accounts, fell 0.8 percent with this decline centered in consumer goods, a decline that hints at cautious business expectations for U.S. retail demand. Petroleum is not a major factor in the July report ….” But: ” Both the adjusted and unadjusted data is in contraction year-over-year. This is normally a sign of a recession but in the new normal trade is doing crazy things” [Econintersect].

Factory Orders, July 2016: “After monthly declines of 1.2 and 1.8 percent in May and June, factory orders surged 1.9 percent in July for the best gain since October last year” [Econoday]. “Orders for core capital goods (nondefense ex-aircraft) were especially strong in July, up 1.5 percent following June’s 0.5 percent gain in readings that upgrade what has been a very soft outlook for business investment. Aircraft, which is always volatile in this report, is July’s biggest plus, surging 90 percent in the month. But vehicles are a negative in the report, down 0.5 percent. Other negatives include factory shipments which slipped 0.2 percent and include a 0.5 percent decline in shipments of core capital goods… This report is mostly solid but is a bit dated. This morning’s employment report showed a decline in factory hours which points to a retreat for manufacturing in the next industrial production report.” So the “surge” is aircraft, which is a “sporty game.” C

Vehicle Sales: “Not good. Pronounced slowdown. Negative contribution to growth” [Mosler Economics].

Shipping: “Rail Week Ending 27 August 2016: All Rolling Averages Worsen And Remain In Contraction” [Econintersect]. And: “I do not understand what is going on because this piece of data says goods consumption is down 5% – and it is not being confirmed by any data coming from the Federal Reserve, US Census or BEA. This piece of data says the USA is in a recession – but the monetary measures say the economy remains in expansion.” Readers will recognize this as a crisp statement of the sort of unease that has been concerning me (because I like to look at physical thing that you can count by pointing at them, like containers and trains). Speculating very freely: Could there be a flow of goods we don’t know about? Like containers full of opioids? Or is there a capital flow that shouldn’t exist, but does? Money laundering from those same opioids? Money laundering generally? The Bezzle? Readers?

Shipping: ” BNSF launches faster intermodal service between Pacific Northwest, Texas” [Progressive Railroading].

Shipping: “Gap Inc. ‘s turnaround efforts hit a glitch this week as a fire at one of the retailer’s largest distribution centers set back the company’s ability to fulfill online orders heading into the holiday season” [Wall Street Journal, “Fire at Gap New York Distribution Center Slows Online Orders”]. “The cause of the blaze, which wasn’t fully under control until about 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, hasn’t been determined.”

* * *

Hanjin Bankruptcy:

Shipping: “The insolvency of Hanjin Shipping, the world’s seventh largest container line, is likely to have a significant impact throughout the maritime sector” [Splash247]. Here are the subject headings from this comprehensive post:

  1. Shipowners – unpaid hire
  2. Container lessors – unpaid hire and recovery of containers
  3. Ports, terminals and container yards – unpaid terminal and storage charges
  4. Consequences for Hanjin’s vessel sharing and alliance partners
  5. Consequences for freight forwarders
  6. Consequences for cargo interests
  7. Hauliers and rail operators – unpaid freight
  8. Crew – unpaid salaries
  9. Port agents – outstanding agency payments
  10. Vessel suppliers – unpaid invoices
  11. Banks and bondholders – mortgages, bonds and other corporate debt

Now, the author is a maritime lawyer, so you can practically hear the licking of chops at the billing, but the analysis seems sound. I’m sure we have readers with some expertise in this field. Thoughts? Especially on who gets paid first?

Shipping: “Shipowners’ Hanjin exposure tops $1bn as arrears mount” [Lloyd’s List]. “THE unprecedented Hanjin Shipping debacle has put shipowners in a tough spot with regards to damage claims. Danaos, Seaspan and Navios Maritime Partners each have vessels chartered to Hanjin, with over $1bn in total contracted revenues….”

Shipping: “Woes at Hanjin, South Korea’s largest sea container shipping firm and the world’s seventh-biggest with a 2.9 percent market share, are derailing the supply chains of companies that need to send goods well in advance of the year’s biggest shopping season as Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach. TVs, cars and sneakers sail about 10 days to reach Los Angeles from Asia while they could take as many as 30 days to Rotterdam” [Seattle Times]. And: “Hanjin Shipping is part of Hanjin Group, which also owns Korean Airlines, the world’s third-largest cargo airline. Korean Air loaned funds to Hanjin Shipping and bought shares in the container line in 2014 to become the biggest shareholder with 33 percent.” Hmm.

Shipping: “South Korea’s decision to withdraw support for its largest shipping company has sent shock waves through an ailing global industry. It also shows Seoul’s toughening stance when it comes to troubled firms” [Wall Street Journal, “South Korea’s Hard Line on Hanjin Shipping Signals New Attitude”]. “Hanjin Shipping Co. ‘s potential bankruptcy would be the largest container-shipping failure in history, dwarfing all previous carrier bankruptcies, says shipping consulting firm Alphaliner. Not knowing whether they would get paid, ports and handlers from South Korea to China, the U.S., Canada, Spain and elsewhere have refused to handle its cargo. That has stranded 45 ships at sea, according to the company, and more than half a million containers.” Read the whole article for detail on Korean bailout politics, and why Hanjin got the chop.

Shipping: “‘The biggest problem is what is going to happen to cargos at sea. We are just praying that our cargos are not seized,’ said Ra Kyung-moon, executive vice president at Forman Shipping, a freight-forwarding firm in Seoul” [Fortune]. “Freight-forwarding firms, which organize shipments, may be held liable for customer cargo that doesn’t arrive and are also worried about the recovery of funds paid to Hanjin in advance for services promised.”

Shipping: “A Hanjin spokeswoman told Reuters that 44 of its 98 container ships had been denied access to ports including Shanghai, Sydney, Hamburg, and Long Beach, California” [Fortune]. “These include instances where lashing firms have refused service, or where port authorities have blocked entry.” “Lashing firms… ” Musical interlude! Go forward! Move ahead! Try to detect it! It’s not too late!

Shipping: “‘Retailers’ main concern is that there (are) millions of dollars’ worth of merchandise that needs to be on store shelves that could be impacted by this,’ said Jonathan Gold, the [National Retail Federation’s] vice president for supply chain and customs policy. ‘Some of it is sitting in Asia waiting to be loaded on ships, some is already aboard ships out on the ocean and some is sitting on U.S. docks waiting to be picked up. It is understandable that port terminal operators, railroads, trucking companies and others don’t want to do work for Hanjin if they are concerned they won’t get paid'” [US News]. Presumably governments [Hi, Penny Pritzker! (waves)] could step in at the receiving end, but what happens at the point of origin? Since there’s a good deal of money at stake, presumably this will happen, but….

Shipping: “The turmoil can only aggravate problems for retailers grappling with the challenges and high costs of e-commerce and at a crucial time. Those most likely to be affected include Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. , J.C. Penney Co. and clothing retailers” [Wall Street Journal, “Retailers Seek U.S. Help With Shipping Crisis”]. “Reclaiming cargo won’t be easy. Cargo owners may have to wait for months to get their cargo off Hanjin ships, analysts said.”

* * *

Supply Chain: “In late July, the commercial property insurance company FM Global released a report warning supply chain professionals to start thinking about how increased extreme precipitation could affect their supply and distribution networks. The report felt eerily prescient in August, when 6.9 trillion gallons of rain fell on Louisiana in a single week, causing floods of epic proportions” [DC Velocity].

The Fed: “Taken in isolation, the August employment report was decent. However, in the context of a Fed that has been waiting for a reason to move on rates in the near term, this report is likely to fall short on that front” [TD Securities, Across the Curve].

Supply Chain: “Apple Inc. is trying to shift the burden of falling iPhone sales onto its suppliers. The electronics giant is telling parts makers to accept price cuts even as it lowers order volumes ahead of the release of its next-generation iPhone later this month” [Wall Street Journal]. “This ‘double cut’ is especially vexing for components makers, many of which have come to rely on the annual surge in orders surrounding iPhone launches. Makers of unique products, like chips and camera lenses, are better-able to resist Apple’s demands than manufacturers that produce easily replicable parts. Few expect the situation to improve, as global smartphone sales plateau and Apple’s profits shrink.” And so what happens when all the Foxconn workers return to the village?

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 62 Greed (previous close: 62, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 63 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 2 at 11:43am. Smaugs’ greedy bellies starting to rumble?


“In a final ruling announced Friday, the Food and Drug Administration is pulling from the market a wide range of antimicrobial soaps after manufacturers failed to show that the soaps are both safe and more effective than plain soap. The federal flushing applies to any hand soap or antiseptic wash product that has one or more of 19 specific chemicals in them, including the common triclosan (found in antibacterial hand soap) and triclocarbon (found in bar soaps). Manufacturers will have one year to either reformulate their products or pull them from the market entirely” [Ars Technica]. “Scientists have found that triclosan and other antimicrobial soaps have little benefit to consumers and may actually pose risks. These include bolstering antibiotic resistant microbes, giving opportunistic pathogens a leg up, and disrupting microbiomes.”

“In a newly published paper, a team led by University of Wollongong researcher Allen Nutman describes a find from Greenland it thinks represents a 3.7 billion-year-old microbial community. That would push back the earliest fossil evidence by more than 200 million years” [Ars Technica].

The Unsettlement

“‘Blockupy’ is back, demonstrating against austerity, consumerism, and the plight of refugees in Germany. Supporters could be seen all over Berlin demanding a more egalitarian approach to integration and economic policy” [Deutsche Welle].

Guillotine Watch

“‘Now here’s the thing. There were sixty big houses for the families that lived there, and every single one of them was full of what’s left when you leave dead people lying around for four years. As far as we could tell, right after the old federal government lost control of the Midwest, the security guards turned off the alarm systems one night and went from house to house. They shot everyone but the domestic staff, took all the gold and goodies they could carry, and headed off somewhere else. That wasn’t the only place that happened, either'” [The Archdruid Report]. “‘I heard some really ugly stories from the Hamptons back in the day,’ I said.” However, if you read the piece, you’ll see why I didn’t file this under class warfare.

Class Warfare

“The Real Reason Middle America Should Be Angry” [Washington Monthly]. This is near hagiography about St Louis, especially the St Louis advertising industry (!), with the theme that deregulation of monopolies gutted large businesses in the heartland. All true, but oddly, or not, there’s no mention of Ferguson whatever.

News of the Wired

“The world has seen the most unsettling attack yet resulting from the so-called Rowhammer exploit, which flips individual bits in computer memory. It’s a technique that’s so surgical and controlled that it allows one machine to effectively steal the cryptographic keys of another machine hosted in the same cloud environment” [Ars Technica].

* * *

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 (CR):


* * *

Readers, I know we’re approaching Labor Day weekend, but 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

      “Bill Clinton wrote a book in 2007 called ‘Giving‘ [for which he was paid $6.3 million].”

      Give and ye shall receive, as the pious “Bill” is wont to say. /sarc

    2. grayslady

      Excellent interview. I’ve bookmarked Ortel’s website and am looking forward to his forthcoming writings. I was not aware of the differences between laws regulating charities versus other forms of organizations, so the interview as a starting point was very useful for me.

  1. diptherio

    This just in:

    Native American Council Offers Amnesty to 240 Million Undocumented Whites

    At a meeting on Friday in Taos, New Mexico, Native American leaders weighed a handful of proposals about the future of the United State’s large, illegal European population. After a long debate, NANC decided to extend a road to citizenship for those without criminal records or contagious diseases.

    “We will give Europeans the option to apply for Native Citizenship,” explained Chief Sauti of the Nez Perce tribe. “To obtain legal status, each applicant must write a heartfelt apology for their ancestors’ crimes, pay an application fee of $5,000, and, if currently on any ancestral Native land, they must relinquish that land to NANC or pay the market price, which we decide.

    1. Fred

      Wonderful. Now will they give an apology for the violent killing of children their ancestors engaged in, like killing one of my ancestors at age 3 by bashing her brains against the rocks of what is now called Manhattan?

      1. diptherio

        Well, if you’re going to bring up slaughtered ancestors, I think the Tribes have you on the basis of sheer numbers…just sayin’

        1. AnEducatedFool

          It depends on when your ancestors came to the states. My first ancestor came to the states in 1789. He settled in Philadelphia where the family stayed for generations. One of my ancestors married a native women but we have yet to find him. There is no history of my family slaughtering Native Americans. We have no records of Military Service and the Native population in Philadelphia was already displaced by previous waves or European immigration.

          My German family has nothing to do with Native American slaughter. They came to the states either right before or right after WWI. I do not remember the date off the top of my head. They have lived in the Philadelphia region since that period.

          As far as my father could tell most of my family Scot-Irish family was wiped out by the potato famine.

          We were also not slave holders. Collective punishments of any kind are wrong.

          1. clinical wasteman

            “Collective punishments of any kind are wrong.”
            Yes, but perhaps a satirical article making two points at once falls slightly short of that.
            Or even if the proclamation is real, it still uses satirical methods to make two good points at once, which as it happens neatly dovetail in the sentence: “Collective punishments [eg. massacre, treaty fraud, displacement, reservations, COINTELPRO; eg. immigration roundups, selection of the ‘fit and proper’ who can stay on sufferance, prison-style detention, deportation] of any kind are wrong.”
            Or maybe that’s four good points if you also consider:
            – whether (or not) indigenous populations cut in half by the historically newfangled US/Mexico and US/Canada borders can really be expected to take any borders seriously (except their “own”, for Cree-style tactical reasons), and:
            – whether (or not), if this policy were ever to be vested with police powers, the European “homelands” would even contemplate taking in the freshly minted “surplus population”.
            Or maybe that’s part of the second point. But in either case, the satirical article/polemical pseudopolicy will have done its work if it reminds anyone that “immigrants” should not be assumed to have a viable “home” to go back to.

    2. Paid Minion

      As nice as this plan sounds, they still have the same problem with the “Bullet Rule”

      “He who has the most bullets makes the rules”.

      If they think about it a different way, it might make a helluva fund raiser. The $5k fee is a non-starter. $100 is doable by a bunch of people

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Before anything else, issue their own currency.

      Then, those with contagious diseases can pay their fines with the new currency.

      “Money talks.”

        1. aab

          I know you’re joking, but seriously: they acquired the legal right to set up gambling on their land, and organized crime (the guns and muscle kind, not the owns the government kind) was happy to help them. Isn’t that how it went?

          Setting up tax havens on tribal lands would have been too obvious to the rubes. It’s a location problem. Being close to suckers is useful for gambling, but bad for hiding billionaire assets. And I’m sure Lynn de Rothschild has no interest in vacationing in the Dakotas. Capitalism can’t be TOO inclusive, you know.

          1. Katharine

            The comment about rubes could have been dispensed with. In point of fact, as noted in an article in the Progressive last month, the only tribal casinos that have done well are near large urban areas. Maybe that’s where the real suckers are.

  2. Steve-o

    I LOVE the Archdruid Report, and am ecstatic you quoted my favorite passage from this week’s post.

    It always amazes me that the residents of 470 Park Ave in NYC, such as the Kochs, live so close to vast swaths of poor disenfranchised New Yorkers.

    You’d think they’d spend some dough on the locals to ensure some loyalty later on, maybe put up some affordable housing or what not, but the only building I’ve seen the Koch name on is a theatre in Lincoln Center.

  3. voteforno6

    FBI Releases Documents Related To Its Clinton Email Investigation

    Just scanned through the report – there’s a whole lot that Clinton didn’t recall. She also said that she relied on the judgment of the people that sent her emails, when it came to the proper handling of classified material. So, in other words, this detail-oriented policy wonk couldn’t remember anything about this and besides, it’s somebody else’s fault if classified information was handled improperly.

    I still have a hard time understanding why people find her dishonest.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Excerpt [page 5 of 11]:

      CLINTON was not involved in the decision to move from the Apple server managed by JUSTIN COOPER to a server built by BRYAN PAGLIANO. Therefore, CLINTON had no knowledge of the reasons for selecting to install it in the basement of CLINTON’s New York residence.

      When Clinton had technical issues with her email account, she contacted COOPER to resolve the issues. She could not recall ever contacting PAGLIANO for technical support.

      Brazen, brazen lies. Compare:

      Bryan Pagliano, the former State Department IT specialist who managed Hillary Clinton’s private email server, was hired by the State Department as a political appointee. Pagliano had previously worked as an IT director for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

      [Pagliano] was ultimately involved in setting up Clinton’s email server at her home in Chappaqua, New York, and maintained it while working at the State Department. The Clinton campaign says he was paid separately by the Clintons for all work on the server during that time.


      Pagliano was a former Clinton campaign staffer, shoehorned into State as a Clinton political appointee, separately paid by the Clintons to set up a server in their house … but Hillary never even talked to him, so she claims. Here is a photo of Pagliano posing with Hillary, as she remained mute:


      Needless to say, given Pagliano’s immunized testimony to the FBI, plenty of evidence is available to indict Hillary for lying to the FBI, totally aside from her premeditated federal records crimes.

      1. Tom_Doak

        There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for the picture of Pagliano and Clinton. He must have attended one of those $5,000 a plate dinners which entitles you to a quick photo in the reception line. You can’t possibly expect her to remember all of the people who have anted up for one of those!

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        And this:

        “While her use of a single email account was clearly a mistake and she has taken responsibility for it, these materials make clear why the Justice Department believed there was no basis to move forward with this case,” said spokesman Brian Fallon.

        The Clinton campaign continues to obfuscate the distinction between an email account and an email server. It would be shocking, except it isn’t shocking at all any more.

        1. aab

          I’m actually a little shocked. They still have proven lies up on her campaign web site. Things like declaring unconditionally that she deleted no work emails AT ALL.

          I get that they are relying on corporate media to keep enough people from finding out the truth. But it’s not even Labor Day, and the S.S. Clinton is starting to take on water. I do find it startling that they’re not making any attempt at all to adjust their lies even a little bit.

          Honestly, I know this will peg me as hopelessly naive, but a small part of me is shocked that there is apparently NO ONE in the Democratic establishment who can go to her and Bill and tell them it’s over. I understand functionally why and how that’s the case generally. I just can’t accept how comprehensive it is.

          1. pretzelattack

            well, i think she’s probably going to win, and things are going to get “interesting”. i suppose that would also be true if trump won. i hope she doesn’t, because i think there’s a non trivial risk of a war with russia. are the republicans going to try to impeach her for benghazi? i don’t think they care about the corruption, they do it too.

            1. aab

              I don’t see how she can “win” — I still think she only gets installed with more election theft. I’m assuming the theft can’t be as brazen and extreme as what was used against Bernie, because it’s not the primary and the Republicans are in the position to fight theft with theft. Perhaps that’s more naivete.

              They’re tied again in two different polls, neither of which reflect today’s news. She apparently dumped ads onto the Olympics as part of her more than 10:1 ad spending in August over Trump. With all the money she’s raising, she won’t have a lot of opportunities in the fall to reach audiences like that again (broadcast TV ain’t what it used to be and I can’t imagine that NFL audiences will be fertile territory for her), and it’s even less likely she can reach or persuade those not already committed to her. I realize the debates will be set up to advantage her but how much can they help her, really? Trump would really have to throw them, and I don’t buy that particular theory.

              She’s got nowhere to go but down. Having said that, if they do install her, it definitely will get interesting. I just don’t see how they think this will work. She’s going to send all those young people who distrust her to fight in Russia? Are the militarized police really going to want to and be able to put down uprisings from their armed brethren who have been raised to hate her, have valid evidence that she’s illegitimate, and are having their economic survival and dignity taken from them? Basically, everybody not wealthy and not on Social Security will hate her, and then she’s going to oversee destroying Social Security? Doesn’t the current financial regime rely on the US military being overseas? She can’t bring them home to help the police control domestic uprising and keep all that going, right?

              I get why they WANT to keep this scam going. But if any of them were actually all that smart (forget about honor or decency; that’s gone now in the ruling class, apparently), I think they’d recognize shoving her in like this is actually a big risk for them. They’d be better off forcing her out, putting in old Joe or something, and hope to win in a squeaker or lose and figure they can tread sewage for four years while making Trump bad, maybe conspiring with the embedded Bushies to keep Trump from purging them from the bureaucracy. Yes, they’d lose TPP. But that looks like it’s happening anyway. It’s not like they can’t keep coming and coming with” trade deals”/corporate control schemes, as long the basic system holds. But putting her in like this, when she’s so obviously illegitimate, incompetent, corrupt and criminal, risks the whole thing.

              Of course they’ll impeach her. She can’t be removed from office — that would take Democratic votes in the Senate. So the impeachment will just be a fundraising opportunity. Why wouldn’t they?

              1. pretzelattack

                well if they do impeach her, i guess it will hamstring her effectiveness at creating new wars, and maybe put some brakes on the grifting as the msm has to make a token effort of investigating her. i think the puppetmasters have a different apprehension of risk; the corruption and fraud are so over the top and blatant, they no longer mind apparently if we see the strings. and the puppet show has been enough to dupe even long time progressives, who helpfully don’t peek out from the blindfold.

                i hope you’re right, because i think she will be a more effective evil in the oval office; trump’s a potentially dangerous buffoon, but he doesn’t have her track record.

                1. Ché Pasa

                  Actually, there will be plenty of cooperation “to get things done,” impeachment or no. If the Rs keep the House, no certain thing at this point, articles of impeachment will probably be first order of business (they always are for Dems in the White House, though they don’t necessarily go anywhere). However, as we saw with Bill, impeachment does not stop mutually beneficial and desirable neoLibCon legislation.

                  It won’t stop with Hillary’s impeachment, either.

                  Lambert wants gridlock, but since Hillary is basically running as a Republican, there’s less likelihood of gridlock in a Hillary administration than we’ve seen in many years.

                  Regardless of whether they impeach her.

              2. different clue

                Clinton is the Davos Man candidate. The OverClass wants their Clinton to be President. The OverClass will put many horse’s heads in many Republican beds to indicate to the Republican election-engineers that they ( the OverClass) really don’t want to see Trump win this election.

              1. pretzelattack

                no problem, i think the issue is interesting, in a depressing way. sometimes i don’t have the energy to devote to writing longer posts, but i like to read them.

    2. fresno dan

      September 2, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      I just want to point out that the release of this on a Friday before a 3 day weekend is simply a coincidence and has absolutely nothing to do with trying to “throw shade” or diminish the impact of the release. I mean there are people who posit that things are released on Friday for news management purposes. Poppycock says I – PURE COINCIDENCE. When have the Clintoons ever done something like that????

      I just do this because there are a lot of cynical people at NC who might ponder if the FBI is in cahoots with Hillary and does this to in some way to try and lessen the newsworthiness of this release, or simply out of a bureaucratic self protection instinct because it might show the investigation of the FBI was less than stellar…
      I am so glad I’m not cynical…

      1. nowhere

        Yeah, just how she was “interviewed” on the Saturday before the 4th of July. And Comey’s statements were the morning following the holiday. We wouldn’t want people to be paying attention.

    3. JCC

      As someone who has held a Clearance and knows the responsibilities associated with that, I’m… I’m have a difficult coming up with the proper word… shocked? disgusted? flabbergasted?… that not only would she, as both a lawyer and Clearance holder, offer this excuse, but that it would be accepted by those essentially in the same circumstances.

      As anyone who has a Clearance knows, whether you accidentally (or purposely) send or receive classified information through, or to, a non-classified system, you are directly responsible for reporting the spillage of that classified information (and not to go into too much detail, but that system would immediately be taken off-line for forensic investigation).

      Never mind the fact that these servers were illegal and unsecured to start with, this excuse would be unacceptable and a career ending move, if not worse, for anyone else with a U.S. Govt. issued Clearance.

      But then again, the “rest of us” live under a totally different legal regime than Her Majesty and her attendants.

  4. Marco

    Really enjoyed Atrios easy-breezy summation of Clinton Foundation / State Department skullduggery…

    “…a bit unseemly in that way that the sausage factory is a bit gross, but it basically seems to fall in ‘this is how things work’ territory as far as I can tell…”

    1. Pat

      Breezy is right. It does lead me to ask if this were not the Clinton Foundation but was the Bush Foundation or the Rubio Foundation or…would this still be just be the way things work? I do not think so.

      Don’t get me wrong I have great admiration for Atrios (he is right on the money regarding Social Security and self-driving cars), but the double standard where both Obama and Clinton are concerned is strong at Eschaton, and I’m sorry to say with him as well.

      Accepting this as the way things work is just accepting that corruption is the norm and there is nothing to be done about it. So unless you are willing to shut up about supposed misdeeds of all elected officials and political candidates because this is the way it is done, you need to get the f*ck over the idea that this is NORMAL and ACCEPTABLE.

      And I don’t see that happening over there, or at Daily Kos, or… once the subject is out is out of the tribe.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        I can understand the “it’s OK when our people do it” double standard. Family/tribe/team, we are all trained to do that. What I don’t understand is how one could ever arrive at Clinton Foundation = our people prerequisite to applying it in this instance. WT actual F?

        1. Pat

          I think you are coming at this from far too realistic a point of view. You aren’t looking at this as the Foundation is a tool, like a speech or a fundraiser, in order to provide wealthy worthy individuals/groups/corporations/nations a means to expedite access to the government official, in this case Clinton. You think of it as a false charity. But for the greasing the wheels is normal operating procedure, what this was was a gift to open more avenues for the wheels to be greased. It’s up to you…or me…or even the people of Flint among others to use that opportunity.

          Just saying.

      2. timbers

        Yes. And this too:

        Breezy is right. It does lead me to ask if this were not the Clinton War With Russia but was the Bush War With Iraq or the Rubio War With Syria or…would this still be just be the way things work? I do not think so.

        Don’t get me wrong I have great admiration for Atrios (he is right on the money regarding Social Security and self-driving cars), but the double standard where both Obama and Clinton are concerned is strong at Eschaton, and I’m sorry to say with him as well.

        Accepting this as the way things work is just accepting that endless and new wars is the norm and there is nothing to be done about it. So unless you are willing to shut up about supposed endless new wars of all elected officials and political candidates because this is the way it is done, you need to get the f*ck over the idea that this is NORMAL and ACCEPTABLE.

        And I don’t see that happening over there, or at Daily Kos, or… once the subject is out is out of the tribe.

        1. pretzelattack

          yeah, very well said. tammany hall, just the way things are done. jim crow laws, just the way things are done. endless etc’s.

    2. cwaltz

      Atrios as an establishment apologist is ugly, I’ve been avoiding his site because I’ve been expecting it. Early on it was pretty apparent he was doing his best to ignore anything having to do with Clinton corruption. I don’t know if his thought process was to try and give an air of unbias or what. However, it comes off as very Team D cheerleader since he spends a lot of his time pointing to corrupt behavior on his site.

    3. reslez

      Atrios is mystified by people who object to immigration:

      I admit I find xenophobia to be really weird. Obviously it’s generally racist […] but just what is it about furriners that make so many people lose their shit. [… T]he truth is the Messicans aren’t everywhere. Most people aren’t seeing their communities overrun by foreign hordes. So why care?

      Maybe it has something to do with the extreme lack of liveable jobs in this country? It should not be an extreme position to oppose more immigration when the economy is so terrible for ordinary workers. Sorry but it’s not racist either. And relentlessly painting people with that brush is why the Clinton 2 presidency is doomed.

      1. cwaltz

        Yes, but the anger is displaced……..after all shouldn’t we be angry at the intrepid jahb creators if the problem is jobs without livable wages instead of the competition(and in capitalism isn’t competition always supposed to be something to be encouraged and that creates efficiency?)

        1. Paid Minion

          Like I’ve been telling people repeatedly around here.

          If they are serious about curbing illegal immigration, they with start throwing a few soccer moms/meat packers/roofers/residential contractors/restaurant owners in the Gray Rock Hotel for a while, for hiring them. Until that starts happening, all this immigration talk is just Kabuki.

          Legal Immigration? Its not the theory, it’s how its currently being implemented. For starters, as a means to hire cheaper indentured servants, than have to deal with those expensive US Americans who will call BS on BS, and bail at the drop of a hat for greener pastures.

          You can be assured that if The Confederacy were still around, a significant percentage of business owners would move there instead of Mexico or China.

        2. Tom Allen

          In a capitalist economy, workers compete with one another to sell their labor to the boss. When there’s more competition (be it from immigrants, automation, increased un/under-employment, increased productivity, or whatever), wages drop and working hours increase. So competition is certainly to be encouraged … by the boss. Your reasonable suggestion, that instead of competing, workers of the world unite? For some reason both the capitalists and the middle class do their utmost to discourage that.

          1. John

            sell their labor to the boss=/should be: are rented by the boss
            “Sell” creates the false impression that there is any worker autonomy

  5. JM

    Re: Carlos Maza’s weak sauce “Congrats to anybody who is white enough to still be giving a shit about Clinton’s emails this morning”

    The danger with playing identity politics to such a degree as Clinton land is playing it is you end up getting amateurs who want in on the game but just are not that talented at it. What on earth does “white enough?” mean. Is this not the use of racist discourse to shame someone (er anyone…everyone!) for completely unrelated matters (the color of one’s skin and SoS behavior…so bizarre)? Am I the only one that find this massively offensive?

    But not in Clinton land where everyone on the right (except elite Republicans and war criminals willing to endorse Hillary) and left are too stooopid for their own good. And the condescending tone is the cherry on the top. Don’t miss the implication — in 2016 giving a shit about the fact that your former Secretary of State evaded FOIA/IT security standards for the entirety of her term AND then lied about it over and over again is a privilege and not a right. Authoritarianism wrapped in the banner of identity politics! The a thousand contradictions bloom!

    To point out the complete nonsense of it all Maza, a gay man, led the LGBT program at Media Matters. So, in an effort at identity politics equivalence would this iteration work too? “Congrats to anybody who is straight enough to still be giving a shit about Clinton’s emails this morning.”

    I guess its best to just laugh at it all. And to think Maza has a degree in political science from Wake Forest.

    1. Katniss Everdeen


      I’m getting a really bad feeling about all this race-baiting layered over top of the long-standing economic depredation. I get that clinton is desperate to win, but ripping the country apart along racial lines seems like playing with fire.

      clinton’s nowhere near a respected enough figure to fix this if she and her surrogates smash it. A couple of black lesbians in the cabinet ain’t gonna cut it. No one would ever think of accusing her of being Lincoln.

      Maybe someone should ask her if she really wants to go this route. If they could find her.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      That “Congrats to anybody who is white enough to still be giving a shit about Clinton’s emails this morning” tweet may be the most quintessentially distilled concoction of vacuous, amoral, identity politics that is possible to pack into a short sentence. Almost preternaturally so.

      1. polecat

        Human evolution in retrograde!

        Man your battle stations…….

        Oh …. I just used ‘man’…..

        Run to your safe spaces…..Stat!

      2. Katharine

        I took it as an expression of highly legitimate fear of the vicious racism of Trump’s campaign and some of his most vociferous supporters. Concern for one’s life and safety and the lives of one’s family and friends is not vacuous or amoral.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Except the Hill-bots didn’t care about the ethical and moral dimensions of Clinton’s practices during the primaries either when there wasn’t that rationalization handy to use to look the other way. It isn’t the boogey man Trump, making them ignore Hillary’s lack of ethics, they were altogether happy to ignore her ethical shortcomings from the very start.

    3. Ranger Rick

      If there’s one thing to be thankful for about this election riding the identity politics line as hard as it has, it’s that as a country we’re going to retire “racist,” “bigot,” and “sexist” as pejoratives once this is all over. They’ve been used so many times to mean so many different things that they’ve lost their specificity.

      1. Starveling

        Racist is a snarl word purely meant to shut down conversation. Pure attempt to disarm someone through emotion. I don’t think the MSM’s push to tie Trump to internet racists is going to do much but cause half of America to decide ‘eh, so what’ when accused.

  6. Paid Minion

    The same morons that gave us “lean manufacturing” have also given us “lean logistics”.

    Redundancy is “money left on the table”. Excess capacity in case of Black Swans and “Plan Bs”are a big waste of money. Any law that forces you to incorporate some redundancy (in spite of yourself) is “excess regulation”

    Of course, costs must be reduced and corners must be cut, when you are competing against bankster returns of 5-6%, with any losses made good by Uncle Sugar

      1. OIFVet

        At least the Da Mare got a decent job with the law firm that drafted the contract. No corruption there, I am sure…

    1. polecat

      It’s happening in Sacramento…with the completion of the now former mayor Kevin Johnson’s spanking new taj mahbasketball…..er…..stadium! … complete with cost overruns ……

      Privatizing the parking with higher fees, while socializing the pain for most city residents….all for the love of the god called sports for a fractional few !!

      May the city sink into a quagmire of dept !

      1. b1whois

        I have two houses in the city limits in Sacramento. I am selling them both right now and this is part of the reason why. We are also looking at jumps in the costs of other city services. From what I am seeing, the housing market in Sacramento seems to be cooling. Also, appraisers seem to be anticipating a slow down, which is self-fulfilling prophesy.

        1. polecat

          I grew up in Sactown ……. sold the house and moved out of state before the GFC …….

          Sacramento used to be an ok place to live, if somewhat bucolic cow town, minus the capitol scene ……

          now, 35+ years later…..it’s a congested, overpriced, smoggy, gang infested sh!thole…(no offense b1whois) …. and, increasingly, the city council(s) and mayor(s) always want to throw ever more public funds down the rat hole (build it ..and they will come)….so as to prove the city can attain a stature equal to the Bay Area……not something I’d want to achieve, considering how awful THAT region has become as of late!

          1. polecat

            I also remember when the town of Elk Grove, just to the south of the Sac. city limits, started developing the ‘Laguna’ area in the late 80’s- early 90’s……was gonna bring commerce and $$$ because it was a ‘novel’ planned community…… yeah, now a novel ring-city slum in the making !

      2. Paid Minion

        As long as it distracts the Wretched Refuse from shopping at the Torch and Pitchfork Store.

        College and Professional Sports = cheap life insurance for the kleptocrats

        Especially when you can pass the bill on to the rubes.

  7. Kurt Sperry

    “So you think you can take over the Democrat Party?” [South Lawn]. Cogent points. On the other hand, what’s sauce for the sheepdog is sauce for a century-long record of third-party #FAIL. Past results are no guarantee of future performance.

    This is a nicely grounded examination of what faces anyone trying to implement political change on a system robustly built to defeat any attempt to. My gut feeling is that no amount of work, organizing, political advocacy or outreach will successfully move the political machinery left until some set of conditions which are primarily cultural in nature coalesce into being. And at that point, the third party(ies) will almost invent themselves, maybe using existing names as nucleation points to coalesce around. What is impossible one day, becomes inevitable the next.

    Significant change through the DP is impossible now. Change through a third party effort is also impossible now. Neither path will work. Until one or the other does.

  8. dcblogger

    The bizarre thing is that any elected politician dumb enough to take Kissenger’s advice has not prospered. Nixon was impeached, Ford defeated, and when Carter was dumb enough to take Kissenger’s advice about letting the Shah of Iran into the US, his presidency went into meltdown. Why would anyone listen to him? putting aside the question that he is a war criminal.

    1. nippersmom

      Yes, since we know that for Clinton, his war criminal credentials fall into the “feature not a bug” category, the question is why the smartest, most qualified candidate evuh would not see pattern of failure attendant on those who tie their wagon to his star.

      1. Pat

        Like so many Clinton failures (from both), it wasn’t the fault of the advisor, but those taking the advice didn’t do it exactly the way Henry K told them to do it. Think Welfare Reform, Libya, etc. All the fault of those putting the plans into operation.

        Smartest people in the room, gravitating toward each other understand how their brilliance can be misunderstood.

  9. Elizabeth Burton

    “Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign raised an eye-popping $143 million in August for her candidacy and the Democratic Party, the best showing of her campaign, her team said Thursday”

    And yet my spam folder yesterday contained 46 (count ’em) pleas for donations from HillaryClinton.com, sent over the last ten days, including the one I read that said “Just send us a dollar.”

    And yes, since there was absolutely NO “unsubscribe” link on the emails I initially received from the Clinton Cult, I did consign all further communication to spam, thank you very much.

    1. Pat

      I’m sure they were just trying to make sure that ‘eye-popping’ amount isn’t from the fewest donors in history. By about the fourth one of those I finally determined they really didn’t need me to donate money they just needed to be able to count me as a donor…

    2. a different chris

      Following right after that link is the withdrawal of $$$ for airtime from Ted Strickland’s campaign. Not some House race, not even a unlikely Senate attempt, but they don’t have enough money to hammer on somebody who not only is chasing a big prize but actually already won the damn race once already.

      And you can convince me that it is 100% likely Strickland will lose. But if you don’t support him, you don’t allow an alternative view to be developed and used to hammer the winner during his term. Isn’t that how you play politics? You don’t just show up around election, play nice, and if polls – yeech, polls – don’t go your way you just go home.

      But the Democrats don’t even want those kinds of victories. They want
      1) The Executive Branch
      2) No other branch of government so they can blame what they don’t (or worse, do) do – haha, if you read that right you get “dodo” – on the other side.

      Ms Clinton has an insane amount of money. And what she spends it on (herself) and what she doesn’t (anybody else) is what tells you what you need to know.

      1. hunkerdown

        Strickland was part of an Our Revolution call for donations recently, along with a few other dubious so-called progressives. The complex angle is that they yanked Strickland’s money to try to have some of the halo rub off on some of the other “bold” regressives called for in that same email by OR and discussed a few days ago round this very Cooler.

  10. Unorthodoxmarxist

    The article on the difficulty of taking over the Democratic Party hits the nail on the head, but it misses the Michels-ian problem: organizations have a tendency (but not this is a tendency, not a rule or fate) towards increasing oligarchy over time, and organizational members are socialized to trust and obey party leadership. Factional dissidents within the Dems have to contend not only with the party oligarchy and its formidable resources, the decentralized and sprawling nature of the organization, but with a membership that barely participates but, when it does, turns out when and how the leadership wants.

    The Militant Labour tendency example isn’t perfect – entryism into a Parliamentary party is easier than our party system – but it speaks volumes. To get a hearing from the party membership you can only criticize so much of the organization itself; if you and a faction entered and created a “Destroy the Dems” faction you’d be ignored or hunted out of the party, especially if you pointedly attacked the Dems oligarchy and were openly hostile to their officials, platform and the president – though I would argue you’d need exactly a “Destroy the Dems” faction to succeed in smashing the party oligarchy and changing the culture.

    Keep in mind I do say this as a Green and a person who did his PhD on inner-party democracy (or lack thereof). Lack of democracy is a persistent theme in studies of parties for the last century.

    It would make more sense to really unite the left around electoral reform in the long run and push for proportional representation at the state/local level for legislatures and city councils. While it would probably be preferable for democracy’s sake to have one big district elected with an open-list vote, in the US context we’d probably go the German route of mixed-member proportional that combines geographical single-member districts with proportional voting.

    1. PhilU

      I don’t see us ditching the senate for a parliament. Too many intrenched incumbents. I think switching to score voting is the more likely (still not very likely) option. That with multimember congressional districts would go a long way.

  11. cocomaan

    Speculating very freely: Could there be a flow of goods we don’t know about? Like containers full of opioids? Or is there a capital flow that shouldn’t exist, but does? Money laundering from those same opioids? Money laundering generally? The Bezzle? Readers?

    There’s an enormous amount of people in the USA who are working on some kind of black market. You don’t have ten million unemployed men who are simply sitting idle all the time.


    Those people will never report that they are making money on the black market.

    For instance, there’s going to be an enormous amount of weed leaving Colorado and Washington and transported to other states. Whatever used to be traveling over the border, we can now produce domestically. Which is great, don’t get me wrong, but until it’s legalized in all fifty states, it doesn’t show up on the books. Doing this is as easy as staying in CO for a few weeks, buying your maximum each day, then going a few states over and selling.

  12. Jim Hannan

    Today’s Water Cooler stats:
    11 anti Hillary links
    2 anti Trump links

    Yet one candidate represents the center left, one the extreme right. And Naked Capitalism supports what?

    1. nippersmom

      If you are implying that Hillary Clinton supports the center left, you have clearly not been paying attention her entire career, or to the careers of those with whom she has surrounded herself. Even with today’s ridiculously shifted Overton window, there is nothing “left” about being an oligarch or a war criminal.

    2. cocomaan

      Can’t speak for NC as a whole, but in my opinion, NC writers are criticizing the person likely to win the election. These issues of corruption need to be hashed out and handled well before inauguration.

      Trump’s faults are well known.

      And HRC? Center left? On what planet?

      1. cwaltz

        I’m pretty sure Trump doesn’t qualify as “left” center or otherwise.

        But hey, let’s not pretend that the left really gets more than a token attempt at representation each election cycle anyone.

        The hippies on the left get punched, not elected.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        On a non-flat political Earth, your left is my right and my left is your right.

        Yet, some still believe politics is flat, and the power universe revolves around the Exceptional Terra.

        “We are HIS favorites.”

    3. Pavel

      Perhaps NC is providing a bit of balance, given the rest of the MSM has about 11 anti-Trump pieces for every 2 anti-HRC ones?

      And having browsed through the FBI interview notes with Clinton, her defence against serious wrongdoing is that she is a mixture of forgetful and incompetent. Is this really the best the Dems can do?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The whole family has had memory problems since the 80s.

        Wonder if it was the polluted drinking water in Arkansas.

    4. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Good question, this NC reader is just pretty fed up with the status quo (maybe others want to chime in):
      – Unlimited immunity from prosecution for banking executive criminals
      – More shiny new undeclared “nation-building” and “RTP” wars
      – Globalist trade deals that enshrine unaccountable corporate tribunals over national sovereignty, environmental and worker protection, and self-determination
      – America’s national business conducted in secrecy at the behest of corporate donors to tax-exempt foundations
      – Paid-for quid-pro-quo media manipulation of candidate and election coverage
      – Health care system reform designed to benefit entrenched insurance providers over providing access to reasonable-cost basic care.
      Based on the above I’d say the 11:2 ratio looks about right.

    5. Jim Haygood

      ‘center left, extreme right’

      *yawn* … so fifty years ago.

      In this century, the only pertinent axis is orthogonal: the old in-out, in-out, from A Clockwork Orange.

      Or as Simon & Garfunkel used to croon in the Boomers’ youth, Any way you look at it, you’re screwed.

      The Crook vs. The Flake — choose wisely between utter hopelessness and total extinction.

      1. Tvc15

        Enjoy your contributions Jim, and felt obliged to compliment the Clockwork Orange quote. Made me laugh.

        In regards to HRC links; I don’t need to read more on Trump, he’s a baffoon. Purely speculative and others have similarly mentioned, but he seems to me to be throwing the election.

    6. Pat

      In reality we have a center leans extreme right Democratic candidate and a left, right and center Republican candidate. One has a clear record of supporting and increasing conservative policies in American and the other has given speeches that have been all over the spectrum.

      But hey, you keep trying to shame people who don’t give a fig about useless and false labels but are vastly interested in the normalization of corruption.

  13. cwaltz

    I personally would like to see the reform/ takeover the Democratic party squad concede that third parties don’t have a level playing field(which may indeed be why they consistently fail) and then help work to fix the problem.

    A starting point would be opening every single primary to every voting age individual or forcing the private parties to pay for their own darn soiree.

    It’s the democratic way to settle the debate on whether or not it will be easier to reform the DNC or use a third party to enact progressive policy.

  14. Paid Minion

    The Randian Boot Lickers over at Zero Hedge are really losing it today, over the new California “tax”


    (Sigh…….”Exhibit “A” for “why I’m not a Republican” anymore…….)

    A law mandating that AG workers get paid overtime just like about everyone else is not a “tax”.

    The excuses they come up with for justifying the status quo are also a treat:

    -No O/T pay because it’s “Seasonal Work”, and farmers can’t spread their harvest labor over the whole year? (But nothing said about the months when the labor is making zero bucks, when the seasonal workers aren’t on the payroll)

    – Can’t find additional help because of “labor shortages”? Easy enough to fix. PAY MORE MONEY. Why don’t “free market” principles ever apply to labor?

    -A “regressive tax on poor people”? Maybe they wouldn’t be so poor, if they were paid for their O/T.

    -Encouraging automation because “labor costs too much”. Au contraire. It’s the other way around. Development of automation (and the skills/jobs needed to design build and support these machines) is slowed, because labor is too cheap.

    And finally, “a $1Billion tax”……..assuming their calculations are correct (a big if, figures don’t lie but liars figure):

    …….a billion dollar nationwide tax amounts to (……..one billion divvied by 300 million, carry the one…….) ……….about four bucks a year per person. OMG, I might have to skip that McNuggets Value Meal (that will also be made by robots instead of “overpaid” labor) once a year.

    People like this are so full of s##t, their eyes are brown.

    1. ewmayer

      I’m actually thankful to the folks running ZH … some months ago they made a (likely mobile-driven) change to their site layout, with result that it no longer renders readably in my default browser, a legacy FF version, dating from just before the Mozilla weenies decided to remove the ‘image display’ toggle from the user preferences menu (disabling bandwidth-hogging image rendering is really useful in a shared-WiFi context and when you want to focus on textual content). So now I’m not even tempted to quick-scan the site’s inane alarmist headlines for yuks.

  15. GF

    Hanjin Shipping fiasco

    Since each modern container ship holds between 3,000 and 14,000 shipping containers, 98 ships stranded with cargo is a lot of freight. S. Korea should probably think twice about not bailing them out (unless all the cargo is from China and they want to do some damage??)

  16. geoff

    Re the Hanjin bankruptcy, the “2.9% of world shipping trade” figure understates Hanjin’s overall share in the market that matters most to US retailers and consumers: the transpacific trade, where Hanjin handles 7.8% of the volume per Forbes.


    So at the very least, we’re looking at a significant reduction in already falling (US) intermodal rail traffic, and quite possibly a small reduction in the trade deficit as imports are reduced. Hanjin’s bankruptcy also could not possibly have come at a worse time, as Sept./ Oct. is traditionally “peak season” for US imports ahead of the holiday retail season, which will probably also take a hit.

    Personally, I’m shocked that a carrier as large and dominant as Hanjin could go under.

    1. Vatch

      I’m shocked that a carrier as large and dominant as Hanjin could go under.

      We know that banks can be TBTF. Apparently, shipping companies lack that luxury.

  17. clarky90

    I am getting those “living a past life” feelings; swimming with a school of my fellow fish, and sensing that a huge fishing net is being drawn in, with my group in it. Feeling the slack noose around my horse-neck, slowly begin to tighten; Seeing a hardening in the faces of the formerly “friendly” occupying soldiers of my little town.

    Google is Censoring Hillary’s Health Problems Search Results


    I just searched Google for “Hillary Clinton health” and my experience was exactly as described in the video.

    What we are allowed to say and see, is slowly and relentlessly being curtailed. IMO

  18. VietnamVet

    The Class Warfare article about St. Louis seemed folksy but is a light shining on the plundering of Middle America. In hindsight; the consolidation, monopolization and then seizure of power by the International Multi-Corps is obvious. $600 EpiPins or the Oxy epidemic are examples of anything goes rip-offs since corporate crooks got a get out of jail card from the Obama Administration. This is perhaps the last year that identity politics will work. Just as the military corporations exploit the conflicts between mountain Kurds and lowland Sunni tribes in the Fertile Crescent that go back to the founding of civilization to sell weapons; the racial and ethnic conflicts in the USA are being primed to explode. At some point, American Mountaineers (also known as Hillbillies) are going to take their measure of the urbanized Cosmopolitans exploiting them and the splintering apart will start.

  19. Oregoncharles

    “Clinton’s 2009 ethics agreement: “I currently hold and will continue to hold my position with The Clinton Family Foundation, which maintains all its assets in cash.”
    Lambert questioned it being “in cash,” but in 2009 cash was a smart investment. Makes you wonder how they knew. Remember the beef futures?

  20. RWood

    Anyone watching WashWeakInRefuse ?
    The aliens’ I-speak devices suddenly shut down, about five minutes in. Quickly repaired.

  21. dk

    Speculating very freely: Could there be a flow of goods we don’t know about? Like containers full of opioids? Or is there a capital flow that shouldn’t exist, but does? Money laundering from those same opioids? Money laundering generally? The Bezzle? Readers?


  22. Fiver

    “So you think you can take over the Democrat Party?” [South Lawn]. Cogent points. On the other hand, what’s sauce for the sheepdog is sauce for a century-long record of third-party #FAIL. Past results are no guarantee of future performance.

    OK. Let’s look ahead. Assuming a Clinton win, there is in my view a substantially better-than-even chance she is not the candidate in 2020 – there are just too many mines in the field and she will be making the run with a ball and chain. She will almost certainly opt for a much more ‘muscular’ approach on both the foreign and domestic side, meaning some version of ‘guns and butter’. We can already see part of this in play:


    The problem though is that this is not 1964 or 1984 or even 2004, the problem is that the butter is rapidly melting all over the globe while the guns just keep pouring out heat. Whether the US knew what it was doing or not, it has created a global structure that is fundamentally fragile, one which Goldman Sachs and all the other heralds of the ‘many hundreds of millions of new entrants to the middle class’ courtesy of digital global derivatives math never bothered to entertain how such a thing might be sustained at all – let alone with a hammer…or a beggar-the-globe butter scoop. So I do believe it likely another face will greet voters as the DNC pick in 2020, maybe Kaine, maybe not.

    That pick will not be facing a Trump – he is a one-off, unless it goes really south and the Republicans don’t want the job either (again?).

      1. PhilU

        Or Nina Turner. Especially If she runs for an easy open OH congressional seat (if one opens up) in 2018, or if Sherrod Brown does not seek reelection and she goes for it, or if she can take the big prize; OH Governor. Kasich is term limited.

      2. Fiver

        Sorry. Wasn’t clear. I meant it to be seen as how the table would be set irrespective of challenge from within or without (or both).

        More important, and if you don’t mind, something I will comment again elsewhere. It occurs to me that what we’re living through is the question of whether this will prove to be the final stage of the total normalization of elite criminality – only video, DNA, fingerprints, scans, the gun, the body, a definitive death threat to the deceased online and hard copy, and at least 3 witnesses with police backgrounds will bring the odds up to even of convicting a connected player (who might still buy the judge, jury and President). Honestly, this total evaporation of the public legitimacy of US democracy in the minds of every man and woman on this globe paying attention has profound implications. The whole world is watching, as they say, and they’re starting to freak – see the US/Chinese diplomatic row at the G20, can you remember anything like that? Once the real game in Washington has been revealed for all, there is nothing whatever left to stand on vis a vis US international legitimacy.

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