2:00PM Water Cooler 9/26/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“‘Hillary Clinton wants to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership; that deal will be a disaster for North Carolina, for every state. Your state,’ Trump said the same day at a rally in High Point, N.C. CNN tracked 45 instances in which Clinton supported the TPP, including in 2012 when she called it the ‘gold standard’ of trade deals, POLITICO’s fact checkers found. But facing a challenge to her left from Bernie Sanders, Clinton this year said she opposed it and would continue to as president” [Morning Trade]. Showing the vacuity not only of “fact-checking,” but the latest Clinton talking point on Trump “lying.” The fact set we have here is Clinton’s carefully engineered statements today, her past behavior, the behavior of her supporters, the lack of an anti-TPP plank in the Democratic platform, the body language of the administration (and lobbyists), and a near-universal belief in TPP by the political class. Facts, schmacts. Who you gonna believe? Me, or your lying eyes?

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation issues a TPP report: “[P]olicymakers must not lose sight of the bigger picture and ultimate goal: a truly integrated global economy” [Politico]. Yes, that’s the problem.

“Negotiations over a far-reaching trade pact between the U.S. and the European Union will almost certainly not be finished during President Barack Obama’s presidency, European trade ministers concluded during a meeting Friday” [Wall Street Journal].

“TISA specifically prevents remunicipalization, or any reversals of previous privatizations of public services. The Transnational Institute has noted, ‘TISA will make it impossible for governments to reverse privatization or decrease the influence of the private sector. Governments will only be able to choose to maintain privatized services as they are or to extend liberalization'” [Counterpunch].


Days until: 42.


Preparing for the evening’s festivities:

“Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will debate for 90 minutes on Monday. But the winner likely will be determined in the first half-hour. That’s when Al Gore first sighed, Mitt Romney knocked President Obama on his heels, and Marco Rubio, earlier this year, glitched in repeating the same talking point — over and over and over. It’s when Gore tried, unsuccessfully, to invade George W. Bush’s space, Richard Nixon was first caught wiping away sweat with a handkerchief (during the moderators’ introductions!) and Gerald Ford in 1976 made the ill-advised declaration that, ‘There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe'” [Politico]. Don’t tune in late!

“The most important moment of the debate is your opening because, frankly, no one knows what you are going to say. As a dealmaker, you know that the next most important moment will be your close” [Frank Luntz, Time]. Recommends Trump take the high road.

Clinton and Trump’s strength’s and weaknesses compared [CNN]. The writer seems to have put a lot more thought into Trump’s flaws than Clinton’s. Surely hubris (“50 points ahead”) is one of Clinton’s flaws as well?

“Where Trump ultimately triumphed in the primaries was in taking up residence in his opponent’s heads” [USA Today]. Recommends Clinton take the high road.

Clinton should focus on her agenda, which “does have a unifying theme. It’s the same one that Democrats have been running on for twenty-five years, a period in which they have won the popular vote in five out of six Presidential elections, and it involves using the power of the government to tilt the economy in favor of working people” [The New Yorker]. Oh, I think that message is a little shopworn at this point.

“[Two advisors to Trump’s primary opponents noted that] Trump has an unusually good ear for sound bites and confrontations that will capture the media’s attention, often to his advantage. Meanwhile, they noted his uncanny ability to dodge details, or even his own past statements, without consequence” [RealClearPolitics].


“Last week, an analysis from the Peterson Institute for International Economics concluded Trump’s trade policies ‘could unleash a trade war that would plunge the U.S. economy into recession and cost more than 4 million private sector American jobs.’ Another recent study by Oxford Economics estimated Trump’s trade plans would shrink the U.S. economy by $1 trillion dollars by 2021″ [Politico].

The Voters

“Election Fraud, Intimidation Allegations: Dan Rolle Explains Accusations” [Inquistr].

UPDATE To me, there are two images that define this campaign. One has been round for awhile:

This image reminds us that when we look at Clinton v. Trump, we’re looking at factional conflict among the elites, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, you thought “there is much more than unites us than divides us” really applied to you?

The second is new. From the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture:

Several thoughts:

1) The Democrat’s embrace of the Republican establishment is not merely metaphorical; it’s literal! Those votes are the votes the Clinton campaign wants; they affirmatively do not want Sanders voters, and the [so-called] Millenials are not that important to them either.

2) For Democrats, virtue signaling on racism (Bush, bless his heart, did give a good speech) is far more important than a military debacle that caused tens of thousands of people to lose their lives — most of them faraway brown people, and the soldiers mostly from the “bitter”/”cling to” and “basket of deplorables” demographic, so f*ck ’em — and p*ssed away trillions of dollars, besides initiating a cycle of Mideast wars that cost many thousands more lives and destabilized the European Union. Of course, considering Clinton’s record on war, you can see why that would be so.


“[Obama’s] still nursing amusement at Republicans for being hapless enough to get railroaded by Trump, but it’s mixed with frustration that there are so many Americans he failed to reach. People who’ve spoken to him say the president wonders what he might have done differently to break through in a way that would make people who’ve benefited from his policies—like those enjoying added health benefits courtesy of Obamacare—support Democrats” [Politico]. So Obama still believes public relations are the answer! Clue stick: Put the cuffs on Stumpf! One simple move, and the Democrats win going away. And it will never happen.

“Why a President Trump will probably be okay, in one simple sentence …” [New Zealand Herald]. Clever hook and an excellent takedown, but a riposte would not be hard to write.

A response to Chris Arnade’s concept of the “volatility voter”: “[Arnade] uses the comparison to a financial instrument known as an option, argues many people are ‘out of the money,’ in which case volatility is good for you. [Adam Ozimek, Forbes]. “Being out of the money on an option means you have gone to zero and cannot fall further. There are very few people in this country who are actually at zero and cannot end up worse off. And I would conjecture that most people who are truly at zero, for example the long-term homeless, generally aren’t going to be voting.” I think that’s a tediously literal interpretation of Arnade’s position. “At zero,” to me, means something more like flat wages, no prospects, crapified and yet constantly pricier services (health care), and a context of disintegrating social capital. It doesn’t mean “homeless”; that’s perilously close to straw-manning.

Stats Watch

Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey, September 2016: [Econoday]. “New orders are at minus 2.9 this month with backlog orders at minus 1.1. Hiring is flat and the Dallas sample continues to draw down inventories, in part reflecting the month’s strength in production but also tight management given what are only modestly positive expectations in future business strength.” Weak but still mixed. But and: “Both unfilled orders and new orders are in contraction. But shipments (which is the basis of the Fed’s Industrial Production Index) is up massively. I would consider this a mixed report which could be spum any way you desired” [Econoday].

New Home Sales, August 2016: Down by 7.6 percent but above consensus, and with a surprise upward revision from July [Econoday]. “Prices are coming down which points to builder discounting. The median, at $284,000, is down 3.1 percent on the month and down 5.4 percent on the year. Prices aren’t getting much lift from stubbornly low supply which is at 4.6 months. Total new homes for sale, at 235,000, did rise in the month but only slightly. Year-on-year, supply is up 8.3 percent which, however, is far under the 20.6 percent gain in year-on-year sales.” And: “Overall, year-over-year rate sales growth moderated from supersonic rates to subsonsic (you see little growth today at 22% year-over-year)” [Econoday]. And: “very solid year-over-year growth” [Calculated Risk]. ” Overall I expected lower growth this year, in the 4% to 8% range. Slower growth seemed likely this year because Houston (and other oil producing areas) will have a problem this year. It looks like I was too pessimistic on new home sales this year.” But: “Settling back down. Without permit growth this isn’t going anywhere” [Mosler Economics]. Grr!

Housing: “Redfin put together some data showing that only 17 percent of homes in California are affordable to an average teacher with an annual salary of $73,536. When looking at the data you will see that the coast is becoming an even more expensive enclave and many homes are being bought by investors, foreigner buyers, and dual income households. The last group is the one that is in the position for a large shock since they are buying in many cases to pop out a brood and largely don’t factor in the cost of childcare once the little ones come into the world. But like most things in California, people live on the absolute financial edge and that edge just got much closer” [Dr. Housing Bubble].

Shipping: “The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey saw import containers grow 6.5% in August, part of a string of strong reports from Eastern seaports… Luxury goods from Europe were a big factor in the growth in New York-New Jersey, according to trade analysts at Panjiva, and that may say a lot about trade trends at the height of the peak shipping season. The growth suggests a surge in trans-Atlantic trade, whether because of the strengthening dollar or reviving U.S. consumer taste in Italian wine and French perfume. The numbers may raise confidence in the consumer economy, but it will take a stronger flow of goods from factories in Asia to really show that retailers have turned the corner” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “UPS would like nothing more than to use drones to reach the remote corners of the U.S. that it now reaches with unionized drivers in package vans” [Wall Street Journal]. Oh, “remote areas” only, huh?

Shipping: “U.K.-based freight forwarder Marine Transport International Ltd. says it has started using blockchain to create real-time digital ledgers of shipping data for use by port officials, cargo owners and others along global supply chains, the WSJ’s Angus Loten reports. That makes MTI one of only a handful of companies outside the financial sector to deploy blockchain in its core operations, and the decision along with a similar action by Toyota Motor Corp. , provides a real-world test of the technology in supply chains. The idea is to replace the cumbersome and costly legacy systems. Instead, MTI will use blockchain to create an online record of transactions that can be shared securely across a network of users. That could fill a key gap in global supply chains by making data flow more efficiently and operations move more nimbly—if it works” [Wall Street Journal].

Honey for the Bears: “Lenders speaking at the Hotel News Now Lender Roundtable said they now baking expectations of a downturn into their underwriting” [Hotel News]. Full article is a little less definitive…

Political Risk: “The first US Presidential debate is a wild card, in the sense that the outcome is unknown” [Brown Brothers Harriman, Across the Curve]. No shit, Sherlock!

Externalities: “[T]he economics of mitigating large-scale DDoS attacks do not bode well for protecting the individual user, to say nothing of independent journalists” [Krebs on Security]. And on his DDoS attack: “There is every indication that [the] attack [on my site] was launched with the help of a botnet that has enslaved a large number of hacked so-called “Internet of Things,” (IoT) devices — mainly routers, IP cameras and digital video recorders (DVRs) that are exposed to the Internet and protected with weak or hard-coded passwords. Most of these devices are available for sale on retail store shelves for less than $100, or — in the case of routers — are shipped by ISPs to their customers.” Jaw-dropping. Of course, what happened with the IoT will never happen with autonomous vehicles, even if they are crammed to the gunwales with softwae.

The Fed: “As of Friday, traders were pricing in a 54.2% chance of a 2016 rate increase, according to the 30-day Fed Fund futures prices. Heavy engagement from Federal Reserve members this week could alter the market’s perception about a December rate adjustment. This could impact the performance of the US dollar and demand for commodities that are priced in the American currency” [EconomicCalendar.com].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 43 Greed Fear (previous close: 55, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 44 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 26 at 12:18pm. Big swing back to fear from greed!


“Warming Oceans May Kill Off Baby Lobsters” [AP]. The study was done in Maine, but maybe all that cold water coming out from under the Greenland ice sheet will save us? For awhile?

Imperial Collapse Watch

“F-35 May Never Be Ready for Combat” [Project on Government Oversight]. There are so many good bits I almost don’t know where to begin, but this stands out:

Test pilots have reported their F-35s are creating false multiple tracks when all of their sensors are turned on. For example, when a radar and an infrared sensor detects the same enemy plane, the two sensors display it on the helmet-mounted sight as two enemy planes. The same thing happens when two or more sensors detect the same ground target.

Test pilots have worked around this problem by turning off all but one of their sensors to eliminate the multiple tracks.

America! Fuck yeah!

Via Billmon:

Class Warfare

“The Intellectual Yet Idiot” [Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Medium]. This is a good rant:

these self-described members of the “intelligentsia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence hence fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them. With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30 years of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating at best only 1/3 of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers (or Montaigne and such filtered classical knowledge) with a better track record than these policymaking goons.

And then of course there’s Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. An empire is supposed to win its wars, not lose them.

News of the Wired

“[Snapchat]The Venice Beach-based company, founded as an app for disappearing photos, is prepping the launch of a pair of smart sunglasses called Spectacles. The product will record as much as 10 seconds of video shot by a 115-degree-angle lens. Spectacles will be connected wirelessly to a smart phone to make the videos accessible for posting to Snapchat” [Billboard].

“Avoid FBI Demands – Make Your Product Easily Crackable” [Another Word For It]. iOS 10 has a severe security flaw.

Social psychology and the replication crisis [Andrew Gelman]. The standard joke is that academic wars are so vicious because the stakes are so small, but I’m not sure that’s correct, given the key role of academics in bezzle manufacturing.

* * *

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: From my mother-in-law’s garden in Rehobeth, MA.

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

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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. rich

    The 2016 Presidential Election Comes Down to Only One Thing…

    The message from the above tweet says it all. She’s not running merely as a continuation of Obama’s last eight years, she’s running as a continuation of the last 40. A period during which median wages in real terms have barely budged, while income inequality has exploded. A period during which financialization has hollowed out America’s economy, while a handful of people reaped enormous wealth via labor arbitrage as they shipped manufacturing overseas. A period during which we have seen pointless war after pointless war, all in the pursuit of an enemy largely created by America’s imperial foreign policy in the first place. In other words, it hasn’t been a very good forty years for the average American. Nevertheless, it took a very long time for the public to figure it out, just like the boiling frog doesn’t get that it’s cooked until too late.

    Since so many Americans hold the above truths to be self-evident, why in the world would Hillary attach herself to the status quo? The reason is actually quite simple. Hillary Clinton, her sycophants, her celebrity supporters, her billionaire donors and her high-level operatives simply have zero engagement with the average American voter. Not only do they have no interaction with them, we now know what they think of them — they are a “basket of deplorables.” Putting the situation into historical terms, I tweeted the following observation earlier today:


    1. fresno dan

      September 26, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      Just don’t think it could have been said better!

      I tried to post this a few hours ago.

  2. hreik

    A very good read here: http://truepundit.com/exclusive-fbi-used-agents-as-pawns-to-insulate-hillary-aides-clinton-foundation-from-prosecutions/

    Salient points:

    Allegations of pay-for-play involving the Clinton Foundation were not properly vetted, ultimately white washed
    FBI agents were blocked from serving search warrants to retrieve key evidence
    Attempts to secure Clinton’s medical records to confirm her head injury were sabotaged by FBI Director James Comey
    FBI agents were not allowed to interrogate witnesses and targets without warning
    Clinton and aides were provided special VIP accommodations during interviews
    FBI suspended standard investigative tactics employed in other probes
    FBI agents efforts were often blocked, suppressed by FBI, DOJ brass
    Agents lost faith that their superiors and DOJ wanted to see the case reach a grand jury

    Most disheartening paragraph:

    John Giacalone was the supervisor of the bureau’s National Security Branch and also the FBI brains and genesis behind the Clinton email and private server investigation. He first approached Comey in 2015 for the green light to probe how the former secretary of state operated her private email server and handled classified correspondences. Rumors had been swirling in intelligence circles. Once approved, Giacalone spearheaded the investigation, and helped hand select top agents who were highly skilled but also discreet. Many of those agents were concerned when Giacalone abruptly resigned in the middle of the investigation.

    FBI insiders said Giacalone used the term “sideways” to describe the direction the Clinton probe had taken in the bureau. Giacalone lamented privately he no longer had confidence in the direction the investigation was headed. He felt it was simpler to quietly step aside, walk away instead of fight to keep the investigation on its proper track. Giacalone was a true heavyweight agent at FBI. In fact, he likely should have been running the entire show. His pedigree included running and creating FBI divisions in New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and even serving as deputy commander in the Iraqi theater of operations. But in the midst of the Clinton investigation, Giacalone handed the bureau his retirement papers in Feb.

    1. fresno dan

      September 26, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Great link
      But what can one say, other than:
      Forget it Jake, its Clintontown…

      Of course, when one sees how many bankers and financiers were not investigated, its just par for the course…

      1. Pavel

        Great “Chinatown” reference, and that really does sum it all up. The whole thing is rotten from head to toe. Comey et al should live the rest of their lives in shame.

    2. Stephen V.

      Dang. She walks after all. I figured the fix was in, but THAT is a really big fix…or horse’s head as the case may be.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      It looks like a leak from the FBI worker bees (and I don’t much like the site, because there’s no indication of who funds it).

      It would have been a game-changer to have a document dump from FBI internal memos. As it is, all we’ve got is anonymous sources proffering a coherent narrative (which I’ve gotta say made complete sense to me, but that’s not the same as being true, even today).

    1. Jim Haygood

      Somebody should tell Toby Manhire about the innovation that’s sweeping blogging — paragraphs. :-)

    2. clarky90

      This morning, on my Google News NZ edition, I saw my first pro-Trump article! (I was shocked, no hedging) Like that delinquent, Ted Cruz, the bully boys and girls (“google” among them) have smelled the “new-morning” coffee. They are slinking, hurriedly, over to get on the train before it leaves the station. IMO of course.

  3. Foppe

    data point, fwiw. After not seeing anything of the sort for the past 2 yrs, in the last 2 days I have suddenly seen 2 yuppies/professionals say things on their fb timelines about the need for “police retraining”. Yesterday, this was underneath a link to a horrid CBS article lamenting the problem of (“innate”) unconscious — i.e., we’re all guilty/all racist/sinners — bias, and flogging a scientific “solution”.

    1. JohnnyGL

      For some people, even admitting that there’s a problem…any problem, is hard.

      It’s hard to see just how deep the institutional rot really runs. I didn’t get how bad the police were until ‘policing for profit’ was exposed in the attention surrounding Ferguson, then Baltimore. Full credit to the BLM folks for getting some attention on the issue…..which is clearly systemic. It’s nearly impossible to argue otherwise at this point.

      1. fresno dan

        September 26, 2016 at 4:19 pm

        For me, once I started seeing videos, and seeing how many there were, I really had a Paul on the road to Damascus moment.
        and than I started reading about the manipulation of the grand jury process to get the police off the hook while leaving no district attorney fingerprints – well, its just not the cops – its the whole kit and caboodle of prosecutors and judges as well.
        Didn’t ANY of those judges or magistrates in Ferguson see a problem? If you don’t wanna look, your not gonna see…

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      So that’s how the 10%-ers are giving themselves a free pass, eh?

      “My racism is unconscious, unlike those dudes with the bad teeth in West Virginia who voted for that Socialist Jew.”

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        It’s worse than that. “I acknowledge my unconscious racism. Therefore, I am not a racist. I just don’t like being around black people. Or Latinos. Or …”

  4. Pat

    Anything that wasn’t just a piece written from the PR release from the Peterson Institute would make the point that on most economic matters of the last decade or two the Peterson Institute has a record of accuracy that makes a stopped clock look good. And that condemning the trade policy of someone who has actually noticed that our current trade policy has grown the trade deficit in the US at an almost exponential rate and distinctly hurt the economy of over 90% of the US population ignores that every estimate on previous trade policies by the usual suspects, including PEI has been massively wrong about the benefits and even more wrong about the downside of our trade policy. And then note, IOW these people have no idea what they are talking about, except that their founder and funder LIKES it like that.

    Oh, and I would say there are a half a dozen things Obama could do that would give the Democrats a win at the polls, none of which he will do beyond prosecuting Stumpf. Just think about his dropping TPP like the hot potato it is, or even discovering that there could be prosecutions of Insurance Companies for fraud and doing it, prosecuting Pharmaceutical companies CEOs for price gouging, even rescheduling marijuana. However much as he would he like a historical legacy, he wants a really flush retirement more. And all of those things would mean that he would have another book deal and pretty much nothing else.

    1. ProNewerDeal

      great point, Pat.

      0bama could do an October surprise of rescheduling cannabis off of the Schedule 1 list. Perhaps it would motivate enough nonvoters & previously 3rd party voters to vote for HClinton, to make a meaningful difference in the outcome.

      Similarly, 0bama & HClinton could relabel “Public Option” as “Medicare Pt O”, to work EXACTLY like Medicare except you buy in to it, e.g. same network of physicians, etc; & pound this issue at every rally.

      0bama & HClinton don’t know how to give the Murican voter a substantive policy that will improve their lives, to actually vote for. 2008 Campaign 0bama was on Fake Hope & lies on good policies like his promise of the Public Option. HClinton is purely “I suck less”, “Trump is Evil”. That doesn’t motivate many people.

      1. Pat

        The Public Option no matter what it is called is not a game changer. And that is irregardless of how much support of elected officials is about getting health care to the public (not much). The reason is this is NOT something that can be done without Congress. Congress might react to rescheduling cannabis but it is within the scope of the President without them. As for the other suggestions, he cannot rewrite the law, be it about bank fraud or about health insurance without Congress, but he can finally choose to enforce it. That is well within the scope of his powers as President.

        And right now, actions are going to speak much louder than words with the voting public. They don’t trust either major candidate. Talk is cheap, it would need to be a concrete action.

    2. clarky90

      Joseph Stalin criticizes Wells Fargo and it’s CEO of being intoxicated by their success at collectivizing their depositors assets.



      “But what actually happened? It turned out that some of our comrades, intoxicated by the first successes of the collective-farm movement, cheerfully forgot both Lenin’s injunctions and the C.C.’s decision. Instead of organizing a mass movement in favour of the agricultural artel, these comrades began to “transfer” the individual peasants straight to the rules of the commune. Instead of consolidating the artel form of the movement, they began compulsorily “socializing” small livestock, poultry, non-commercial dairy cattle and dwelling houses.

      The results of this haste, which is impermissible for a Leninist, are now known to all. As a rule, of course, they failed to create stable communes. But, on the other hand, they lost control of a number of agricultural artels. True, “good” resolutions remained. But what is the use of them?

      How could these errors have arisen, and how must the Party correct them?

      They arose because of our rapid successes in the collective-farm movement. Success sometimes turns people’s heads. It not infrequently gives rise to extreme vanity and conceit. That may very easily happen to representatives of a party which is in power, especially in the case of a party like ours, whose strength and prestige are almost immeasurable. Here, instances of Communist vainglory, which Lenin combated so vehemently, are quite possible. Here, belief in the omnipotence of decrees, resolutions and orders is quite possible. Here, there is a real danger of the Party’s revolutionary measures being converted into empty bureaucratic decreeing by individual representatives of the Party in one corner or another of our boundless country. I have in mind not only local officials, but also individual regional officials, and even individual members of the Central Committee. “Communist vainglory,” says Lenin, “means that a man, who is a member of the Communist Party, and has not yet been purged from it, imagines that he can solve all his problems by issuing Communist decrees.”

  5. Fiver

    It’s difficult to imagine how things could get any worse if, like Brazil, Turkey, Argentina, China, Russia, Congo, Nigeria and many other ‘independent’ states, or any of a score of nations in the Arabic/Islamic world, you live in a country already under severe economic, political, financial or military attack by the US – but it is, irrespective of who wins the election. The US has been hammering much of the world relentlessly under Obama in a bid to restore order in the Empire – and there is going to be hell to pay.

    In the meantime, ‘markets’ have dropped enough in front of the debates for Clinton to be declared winner by mainstream media, and a big ‘rally’ attributed to her feat regardless of what actually happens.

    It will make no difference whatever who the next President is – it’s going to start from very bad and just get worse.

  6. Fool

    Re: the Forbes rebuttal to Arnade’s piece.

    I’m not an options trader but…

    “Being out of the money on an option means you have gone to zero and cannot fall further.”

    …is not correct? While the OTM option itself has no intrinsic value, that’s not the only variable being priced in — also time value (baked into which are other variables, namely volatility) — which is why the option retains market value until its expiration. Or am I missing something…

    In an age in which every person is somewhere ascribed some market value until death (i.e. “human capital”, to use the term of art), Arnade’s metaphor seems (depressingly) apt. Viewed in this light, it’s ironic that the neoliberals — who above all view the social contract as market participants — can’t see why folks would want to shake things up (i.e. more volatility).

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      If you were long the OTM option you have already paid the premium and cannot lose more than that. So it’s technically correct. The underlying could move the other way before expiration which means you could still have a gain upon expiry.

  7. subgenius

    UPS drone-based deliveries…

    …they should probably hire some advisors that understand physics…

    Exactly HOW do you make a drone capable of carrying a package? Not with batteries, that’s certain.

    Which leaves aviation fuel.

    Which means they are essentially at a minimum an airborne incendiary device.

    Teh stoopid, it hurts…

    1. temporal

      Given that one of these remote controlled jets could only be used in sparsely populated areas and would still have to have a very small payload it seems likely that this is just an attempt to fool their employees into making some sort of wage concessions.

      What they really need is a nuclear powered T-800 model 101, without the hard to understand Austrian accent, so it can deliver packages in buildings and perhaps find Kyle Reese as a secondary task.

      Maybe they should start looking into flying delivery trucks. That would speed up deliveries.

      1. Jeotsu

        Go straight to delivery cannon. Guaranteed delivery within 2 minutes for anyone with 22km of our depot!

        Why mess around with SWATting a friend when you can place a big order for pizza and flatten their whole apartment building in less time than it takes to text “lol, n00b”! Much more fun!

        1. subgenius

          Ooh yes…you might be onto something…

          And there is a nice upgrade program already developed…All the way to Intercontinental ballistic deliveries – it should be elon’s next start-up….he already has the engines…

      2. JTMcPhee

        Actually, model airplane enthusiasts have developed some pretty inexpensive, reliable turbojet engines that are geared down to drive model planes and helicopters — and because “tech,” drones. Lots of scalable power, to lift big loads! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=InvFPZixDwY and that is from two years ago, look to the more recent YouTube videos showing the pace of “tech innovation.” They run on jet fuel– kerosene — a great producer of CO2, unburned hydrocarbons, soot etc.

        Nothing could possibly go wrong! Ten-baggers all around!

  8. Pavel

    As you and many others have noted, those two photos (Trump wedding and Michelle hugging GWB) sum it all up. According to HRC’s own narrative, Trump is the best friend of Hitleresque Putin. And here is the FLOTUS hugging a self-confessed torturer.

    And the MSM wonder why the voters want a change?

    1. Jim Haygood

      As “LBean” commented on a parody photo montage of Hillary and Trump debating:

      It’s not accurate without Netanyahu standing behind them with one hand on each of their shoulders.

      $38 billion … is that a lot?

  9. Pat

    Side note, I don’t watch ABC’s we’re all gonna die of terrorism show Quantico. However I’m informed by yahoo that they upped the ante last night. Terrorists beheaded the First Lady.

    The good news is that ratings were ‘soft’. The bad news is that this is not some crazy conspiracy sci-fi show like The X-Files, it is a main stream drama. And this was in the same week that the former bane to terrorism and civil rights everywhere Jack Bauer aka Kiefer Sutherland’s new series had him playing the shlub in the Cabinet that takes over because everyone at the State of the Union got killed in an attack. Both can be considered the result of years of propaganda and misinformation about terrorism, all for endless wars and the right to spy on Americans.

    *pounds head against wall*

    1. JTMcPhee

      Who cares any more? “In the end, we’re all dead” — back to random atoms, participating in the great dance of the universe, to be absorbed and belched out of the belly of another later-sequence star…

      1. fresno dan

        September 26, 2016 at 6:58 pm

        I’m sure hoping in some future eternity, that my atoms are just more attractively arranged.
        Oh, and I have lots and lots of money….just out of curiosity’s sake….

      2. TalkingCargo

        We are stardust
        Billion year old carbon
        We are golden
        Caught in the devil’s bargain
        And we’ve got to get ourselves
        back to the garden

        – Joni Mitchell

  10. fresno dan

    Were the “Official” drinking rules for the debate posted?
    Was it just the word “plan” for Hillary, or did it have to be in a full sentence “My plan….”/”I have a plan ….”

    What was it for Trump? Unfortunately, I think he has been managed into no longer saying “Yuuuuuge!” which at least gave him some regional color….

    OK, the tanker truck of Cabernet just pulled up….

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘the tanker truck of Cabernet just pulled up’

      So they dispense cabernet at gas pumps in Cali now?

      When I lived in France, the Carrefour [French Walmart] had a foul-smelling station where you could fill gallon jugs with vin de table.

      That’s one way to work off a european-style “wine lake.” ;-()

      1. Kurt Sperry

        In Tuscany and Umbria, bulk wine can be bought at many wineries or at better wine shops, sometimes dispensed from what looks remarkably similar to a gas pump. Usually smells quite lovely though, being the same stuff you pay rather a lot for, but just younger. I enjoyed quite a bit of Brunello di Montalcino bought bulk or ‘sfuso’ as they say earlier this summer for super cheap. Very nice now, and will be outstanding if you bottle it up and wait a few years. You can get the corks in big bags in almost any little grocery or wine shop.

        1. RabidGandhi

          Does that even work without the wine oxidising? For example, if I open a bottle now and re-cork it immediately, the wine will just last a couple of days (depending of course on the wine’s strength and the storage conditions– but 1 week max).

          That said, even oxidised swill can help dull the pain of debate night.

          1. Kurt Sperry

            You take it home from the winery in 10l jugs and bottle it at home. It easily lasts a couple of years in my personal experience and if nothing goes wrong it gets unambiguously better-‘at least red wine.

        1. fresno dan

          September 26, 2016 at 6:13 pm

          I need to get me a pinguino – I love penguins and wine – what could be better?

    2. Pavel

      Word has it that if your Hillary bingo word is “Russia” and your drink is whiskey or something similar you’ll be blotto in about 15 minutes.

    3. RMO

      I dunno about “Official” rules but if I were going to watch the debate my rules would involve imbibing vodka spiked with morphine starting at 30 minutes before the debate starts and maintaining a consumption rate which would have me high as a cloud, soft and grey and lazy and slipping into dreams before that 30 minutes were up.

      Unless I could have an enforceable rule requiring both debate participants to down a jug of Liquid Plumber after the introductions. That would be even more satisfactory.

      1. uncle tungsten

        My remedy is arak for every time she says Russia and fine tequila for every time she says experienced. A sip at a time to ensure I capture every nuance from each of them. Water for anytime Trump utters a logically connected string of sentences.

        That should get me to 30 minutes or so.

  11. John k

    Merkel will save herself only if she nationalizes Deutsch and commerzbank, sacks all the execs, saves depositors, equity goes to wall, and bond holders take major haircut. Otherwise she is toast with voters. If she grasps the nettle we have a new model.

    Likely soon, I imagine counter parties withdrawing rapidly, maybe days…
    Imagine all those investors parking life savings in Germany, which notwithstanding power at ECB, does not have printing press. Dollar likely to rise, USRates falling…

    This does not save EZ, but Germany survives the crash.

    1. apber

      Perhaps Germany survives the crash, but what about the collateral damage of the implosion of $50Trillion+ in derivatives? I would imagine the closing of 1000s of banks on a global basis, especially the TBTFs in the US.

  12. craazyman

    Fuk I wonder how many people are gonna be on Xanax tonight. Probably lots. Probably millions. It can get very emotional — politics and debates. If I had to debate somebody I’d be on Xanax for sure. Arguing is one of my least favorite activities, mostly because I can usually see by means of auric perception why somebody has the delusions they do, and that there’s nothing but life and time that can cure them of those delusions. Debating can’t. Only Perception can. That takes life and time.

    Laying around doing nothing is my favorite activity. Second favorite is laying around watching Youtube. In neither case is debate or argument an element of the activity.

    I’ll be doing either or both later on — laying around doing nothing interspersed with watching Youtube — After I work out in the gym. But I won’t watch the debate. That’s for sure.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Beta blockers are what the pros take for stage fright.


      Unfortunately, side effects can include coughing. Appropriately dosing the Hildabeest is going to be an exquisitely delicate judgment call for Hillary’s 24/7 physician, Dr Oladotun Okunola.

      Other beat blocker side effects include “weight gain,” “peculiar postures or movements, mannerisms, or grimacing,” and “rectal bleeding.” So keep a close eye out for these as the candidate performs.

    2. fresno dan

      September 26, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      Cabernet for me!
      Jerry Jeff Walker, “…its all so legal and its gets you so high….
      There is no way I want to face the reality that I am seeing my future president tonight…sober

  13. mad as hell.

    A powerful image of Michelle Obama and George W. Bush for the ages.

    When I first seen the picture a couple of days ago the word photoshop was in the lead sentence and I ignored it thinking the picture was fake. Well this morning I see the picture again with the word photoshopped and I go in and look and it shows Obama photoshopped hugging teddy bears and other stupid images. THE PICTURE IS REAL!!

    “It’s A Big Club And You Ain’t In It’
    George Carlin

  14. hreik

    Help please,

    a lot of places on the internet (so-called) left are saying DJ Trump is like Hitler. I’m the child of someone who got out of Nazi Austria in time, but honestly I do not see the comparison as apt. Am I wrong? thanks in advance.

    1. cwaltz

      Some of Trump’s behavior is troubling. His statements about protesters deserving to get the crap beat out of them in particular strikes me as something you would not want to see in a healthy democratic state.

      That being said the democratic party conspiring with the media doesn’t come across as something you see in a healthy democratic state either.

      Both of the duopoly inspire me to believe I’m now living in a banana republic. The two parties should be so proud!

    2. jrs

      I don’t see it as apt either. Ok he makes prejudiced statements and some of his followers are scary. These could be the mobs used as part of unofficial govt. policy if ever such were needed.

      However, George W Bushes policies (the one that Michelle hugs, most of which Obama has continued) were more genuinely totalitarian in most ways it seems to me.

      This doesn’t of course mean Trump is any good but not Hitler is a low standard afterall.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        But Putin on the other hand, ah now there’s a guy you can really hang the “Hitler” label on as Hilary has repeatedly done. After all he…um…uh…er… OH YEAH HE INVADED CRIMEA!

        (little squeaky voice in the back pipes up and says “but Madam Secretary didn’t the Crimeans vote 96% to join Russia in a plebiscite widely viewed as fair and didn’t Putin accomplish this without a single shot fired?”)

        1. apber

          I remember the propaganda videos of the Russian troops as evidence of the “invasion”, totally ignoring that Russian has had a few regiments in Crimea for decades protecting its critical naval base there.

    3. Pavel

      Well, between them, the Clintons, the Bushes, and Obama are probably responsible for at least a million deaths, including Bill’s infamous 500K Iraqi kids (cf Albright’s “it was worth it”), Bush père Iraq, Bush fils Iraq & Afghanistan, Obama’s Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya (with Hillary), Syria, Yemen… the list goes on.

      Not sure how many actual deaths Trump (thoroughly odious though he is) has caused.

    4. KurtisMayfield

      I don’t want to come off as if I am supporting a strongman or dictator, but at this point the Neoliberals have no one to blame but themselves if it comes to pass.

      #1. A state of “lawlessness” I put it in quotes because it is selective. When no LEO gets convicted for shooting unarmed poor people, when no banker goes to jail for committing obvious crimes, and when the political class gets away with treating classified material like it’s a recipe from their coworker it’s all signs of selective lawlessness.

      #2. A blatant government policy to weaken the purchasing power of their people to get it more in line with the rest of the world.

      #3. A complete disregard for the vote of a majority of its citizens.

      #4. A lack of trust for any government metric. The volatility in the labor results, the changes to how the metrics are calculated (See the chained CPI and 1994 revisions to the unemployment rate) makes them unreliable when compared to historic metric.

      If there is another crash, or an emergency. (My personal greatest fear is a flu pandemic because it will wipe us all out economically) and we might get a strongman. Trump talks a good game but he isn’t one.

    5. fresno dan

      September 26, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      I’ll give it a shot.
      Seriously, Hitler is looked upon in America by many as a comical figure, or non-serious with regards to his (Hitler’s) politics, undoubtedly due in part to Charlie Chaplin’s movie the Great Dictator, as well as the only snippets of Hitler speeches that are shown in mass distribution, where he was practically frothing at the mouth – very much done with the intent of showing Hitler as a madman.
      This completely ignores that he formed and built a political party over decades, and amassed a great many followers. I once read a book about how the allies tried to psychoanalyze him, and I think it makes the same mistake in trying to so characterize him as INSANELY evil and mentally ill, at the EXCLUSION of everything else, that it ignores that in fact he had policies (even if repugnant), had political skills, had charisma, had leadership skills, and was in an era that was not dealing with the real hardships people were facing.

      I think in many ways Trump is buffoonish, and I seriously doubt that he can actually do much to make the US better or worse. His rude, crude, boorish remarks can in no way be seriously equated to what Hilter advocated, and through a long career implemented.

      However, to the extent that Trump can fracture so many of the shibboleths in modern US politics, I still think he serves a good purpose. But he is no Hitler, simply because Trump does not have a true ideology and drive that Hitler had. Hitler spent time in prison – and though I can imagine Trump going to jail for tax crimes, I really can’t imagine Trump ever believing in anything enough to spend time behind bars for a political belief. Hitler was in the German army – Trump served no time in the armed forces.

      Calling Trump Hitler truly is offensive, as it denigrates the horror and terror this one individual PURPOSELY inflicted upon the whole world.
      Many of the things Trump is accused of have already been done by the US government – although phrased in the silky dulcimer tones of modern statecraft press releases and Clintonesque word smithing.
      Is it possible Trump, in our world of nuclear weapons, could unleash a holocaust? Maybe, but in my view it would be inadvertent and no more likely than Clinton.

    6. hreik

      Thanks to all for your replies.

      My take was similar to FresnoDan’s though I didn’t say it as well. This is what he (FD) Said and I believe to be true

      because Trump does not have a true ideology

      Trump’s belief system is basically Trump. He doesn’t have any ideology, I agree.
      I also agree that likening him to Hitler demeans in an egregious way what happened during WW11.

      Thanks everyone. Truly

      1. Charger01

        He reminds me of the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Media wizard and giant hyperinflation gas bag with a corrupt streak a mile wide. I had to wikipedia him just to remind myself that similar nuttiness would be common if Drumpf gets the office.

    7. Jen

      I am eternally grateful to the high school English teacher who snuck holocaust studies into our curriculum. She had us read Night by Elie Wiesel. She brought holocaust survivors into our classroom so we could hear their stories. She had us watch the documentary Night and Fog. The images from that film will never, ever leave my mind.

      Trump is an ass. But he has not committed any systematic annihilation of innocents.

      1. RWood

        Yes, those teachers would be out on their asses at a minimum.
        A movie compiled of, among others, combat films made in WWII named “Mein Kampf” was suggested. Effective anti-war instruction in early 60s.

      2. cwaltz

        The operative word could be …..yet.

        He’s not held a public office yet either.

        I do remember a certain presidential candidate suggesting he’d make a registry for muslims and I also know he’s the kind of guy who has no problem with his supporters acting like a mob towards dissenters or those that don’t agree with his opinion.

        So I don’t agree that just because he hasn’t so far doesn’t mean he is incapable of an annihilation of innocents.

        1. uncle tungsten

          Agreed, but then Hitlery is the convenor of a more sinister mob even before she becomes president.
          Her mobsters create wars, make and sell hideous weapons throughout the world, execute defenseless non whites. They control the upper echelons of banking, national law enforcement and environmental protection and all without any fear of judicial review or prosecution. Her mob and its predecessors have enabled wide reaching lead poisoning of the occupants many cites and towns throughout America. Her mob and its predecessors have undermined the education, health and employment prospects of many Americans.

          Perhaps the other guy and his mob are worth the risk.

          1. aab

            As someone who regularly advocates that Trump is the lesser evil, I would like to chime in that “worth the risk” is probably not the best way to look at it. If Trump is elected, all sorts of terrible things are likely to happen. It’s just that I don’t see how we have a choice. As you point out, the current ruling class is deeply corrupt and violent. Trump’s election is the best option we have to stop TPP, root out some of the entrenched corruption fueled by partisanship (that presupposes a Republican Congress won’t just “look foward;” we’ll see), and give us a fighting chance down the line.

            So a Clinton presidency would be worse, with no potential upside. But what’s coming now isn’t going to be pretty. I suppose there’s a slim possibility that Trump will focus on an infrastructure based jobs program, get money flowing among the 99%, and not do the other stuff. But I wouldn’t bet my own money on it.

          1. cwaltz

            Are you really suggesting this guy


            is an incarnation of FDR?

            By the way, wouldn’t be so proud of those camps:

            Armed guards were posted at the camps, which were all in remote, desolate areas far from population centers. Internees were typically allowed to stay with their families, and were treated decently unless they violated the rules. There are documented instances of guards shooting internees who reportedly attempted to walk outside the fences. One such shooting, that of James Wakasa at Topaz, led to a re-evaluation of the security measures in the camps. Some camp administrations eventually allowed relatively free movement outside the marked boundaries of the camps. Nearly a quarter of the internees left the camps to live and work elsewhere in the United States, outside the exclusion zone. Eventually, some were authorized to return to their hometowns in the exclusion zone under supervision of a sponsoring American family or agency whose loyalty had been assured.[95]

            That’s just an excerpt of the conditions in these camps and doesn’t even discuss the unsanitary nature in which many of these people were forced to live.

            1. Cry Shop

              No. The rest falls apart, you’re too binary. and you didn’t answer the questions (which are: is it did not and No).

  15. DrBob

    Minor correction, re: “Today’s Fear & Greed Index”: 43 is just into “Fear” territory, not “Greed.”

  16. Jim Haygood

    As of Oct 1st, North Carolina police no longer will release videos as public information, as they did in the Lamont Scott shooting:

    Facing pressure from politicians and protesters, the police in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday released body and dashboard camera video footage of the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

    Had they waited a week, a bill that was signed into law in July would have made it much more difficult for the footage to become public.

    House bill 972 established that recordings made by law enforcement officials — including those from body and dashboard cameras — would no longer be a matter of public record. It was ratified on June 30 and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory on July 11.

    “This legislation fulfills our commitment to protect our law enforcement and gain public trust by promoting uniformity, clarity and transparency,” Mr. McCrory said on the day of the signing.


    No wonder “evil clown” sightings are out of control in NC. The governor leads the macabre gang.

  17. Carolinian

    Beest surrogate Harry Reed asks FBI to investigate Trump adviser for private talks with Russians. Hillary hates us for our freedom.

    Senate minority leader Harry Reid wrote FBI Director James Comey, citing reports of meetings between a Trump adviser (a reference to Page) and ‘high ranking sanctioned individual’ in Moscow over the summer as evidence of ‘significant and disturbing ties’ between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin that needed to be investigated by the bureau.”

    Raimondo continues

    If and when Hillary Clinton is elected President, it’s not hard to envision a crackdown on “pro-Russian” activities in the US, including any effort to improve relations between the US and the Russian Federation. Instead of going after jihadists, active and potential, they will be “investigating” the peaceful legal actions of private US citizens like Carter Page, and perhaps this writer, who agree with Trump when he opines that “Wouldn’t it be nice if we got along with Russia?”

    The logical next step in this campaign of calumny is the revival of the House Committee on “Un-American” Activities and its Senate counterpart: one can imagine public hearings – a traditional ritual in all official witch-hunts – targeting groups and individuals who oppose the new cold war.

    One could call such speculation far fetched if it hadn’t happened before. Hillary, nurser of grievances, seems just the type to relish showing everyone who’s boss.


  18. Plenue

    My email has been flooded with hysterical messages, especially from End Citizens United, about how Trump is leading in the polls. Apparently Nate Silver is now saying Trump has a 40% chance to win. They keep asking me to sign things to ‘stand by Hillary’. Nope. Just because I’m now registered Democrat (just so I could vote in their anti-democratic closed primary), doesn’t mean I’m going to slavishly support whatever monstrous abomination you drag up from the depths. Let the hag rot, I can live with indirectly supporting a Trump win.

    1. KurtisMayfield

      There was a time today when Silver poster that Trump was leading. It didn’t last long, so he probably wanted to increase hit page views.

  19. RabidGandhi

    Uribe Marches Against Peace Accords [Página 12]

    The ex-President of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe led a protest against the peace accords between the government and the FARC in Cartagena a few hours before President Juan Manuel Santos and the guerilla leader Timochenko sign the agreement officially.

    “A message to the international community: the Mexicans wouldn’t give impunity to the drug cartels. Why should impunity be given to the world’s largest cocaine cartel [sic], the FARC, a major supplier of the Mexican cartels?” exclaimed Uribe from a platform.

    “The North Americans wouldn’t give impunity to Osama bin Laden, nor would the French have given impunity to ISIS. Why should we Colombians give total impunity to terrorists [sic] who have attacked Colombia just as Bin Laden attacked the US” he added.

    The accords will be submitted to a national referendum on 2 October. Uribe and others on the far right are leading a campaign to reject the peace plan, mainly on the argument that it would be granting impunity to the FARC rebels (although they do not mention the already-in-place impunity for the right wing death squads who are responsible for far more deaths and evictions).

    FAIR has a good interview with Mario Murillo on the topic.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Sorry if I used the wrong word. The translation is mine, so any errors are my fault. It’s “impunidad” in the original, which means getting away without being duly punished.

  20. fresno dan


    This study confirms just how rare and special commenters are on business and finance sites!

    I’ll close with a story. Yesterday at my swim club, one of the members, who has been a reader of WOLF STREET for a long time, told me that he had a “blast” reading it that morning. He’d discovered the comments for the first time and could barely wrest himself loose.

    An article about people who comment on comments…
    so if you comment on this comment, you will be commenting on a commenters comment regarding comments of commenters ….
    and…if someone should comment on your comment……uh, I’m pretty sure the universe would implode….
    but you will be rare and special!!!

  21. Skippy

    Clinton machine having a photo opt with the Trump machine aka families in some provincial settings….

    Everyone is attractive and happy after a few bumps of coke [or preferred pharmaceutical from concierge health practitioner], whilst celebrating the nuptials of ones heir apparent, commingling with the same of other peers.

    Disheveled Marsupial…. this is what we colloquially call the wealth effect and whom could frown on such an auspicious occasion…. vision of 10 baggers abounds….

  22. allan

    One-third of calls to VA suicide hotline roll over [AP]

    More than one-third of calls to a suicide hotline for troubled veterans are not being answered by front-line staffers because of poor work habits and other problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to the hotline’s former director.

    Some hotline workers handle fewer than five calls per day and leave before their shifts end, even as crisis calls have increased sharply in recent years, said Greg Hughes, the former director of the VA’s Veterans Crisis Line. Hughes said in an internal email that some crisis line staffers “spend very little time on the phone or engaged in assigned productive activity.” Coverage at the crisis line suffers “because we have staff who routinely request to leave early,” he said.

    An average of 35 to 40 percent of crisis calls received in May rolled over to back-up centers where workers have less training to deal with veterans’ problems, said Hughes, who left his post in June, weeks after sending the emails. …

    Legacy worthy, but for some reason didn’t make it into the Vanity Fair auto-hagiography piece linked to this morning.

    1. aab

      I think the question is, though, who is going to believe the media today who didn’t believe it yesterday?

      I guess it’s possible there are people who haven’t been paying any attention AT ALL, but will now imbibe the spin after watching the debate, and accept what they’re told. That seems like a vanishingly small demographic, though. If you’re herdable by corporate media, I would assume you’re already in the barn for the night. Don’t forget, they would have to be so disconnected they haven’t been paying attention at all until tonight, but so committed to voting that after watching that debate and consuming corporate news, they will affirmatively cast a vote for Hillary Clinton.

      She persuaded Lambert that she’s healthy, so I could see some swing in her direction from people longing to return to the “nice” liberal fold who reacted to the seizure video. But I don’t think corporate media has the influence it used to. My college aged voter consumes none of it. Just started reading Naked Capitalism, though.

  23. doug

    From your stats watch:

    ” this a mixed report which could be spum any way you desired” [Econoday].”

    What a wonderful word. Part spam, part spun. A double falseness. “President Obama spum his record in office.” Terrific.

  24. b.

    “For Democrats, virtue signaling on racism is far more important than a military debacle that caused tens of thousands of people to lose their lives and p*ssed away trillions of dollars, besides initiating a cycle of Mideast wars that cost many thousands more lives and destabilized the European Union. Of course, considering Clinton’s record on war, you can see why that would be so.”

    I find it even more relevant to apply this consideration to the Clinton Uber Alles crowd of mediated supporters. In dismissing concerns about Clinton as the potentially “superior evil” – to an extreme, the possibility that Trump might be the true “lesser evil” tactical vote – the Risk Of Trump is defined in domestic terms. Foreign policy is excluded, except for red baiting regarding the possibility that common ground with Russia could be found. This position is racist/bigoted/nationalistic – our parochial domestic concerns “trump” your worries about undeclared wars, droning escalations, scorched earth campaigns, erosion of sovereignity and international order, nuclear proliferation (including Israel), rampant arms sales. It is also a scam, it assumes that a President Trump would have free reign in Congress to push whatever his agenda is supposed to be, whereas the true impact of the Obama presidency was clearly in foreign policy, where Congress has abdicated its responsibilities and the unitary executive has acted without checks and balances under the covers of “commander in chief” and “national security”. Whether Trump is more or less likely to be blocked by a dysfunctional Congress than Clinton, it is certain that whatever room either has to leave their “mark” will be beyond the borders. The “risk assessment” undergirding most of the tactical voting proposals out there strenuously looks “inwards not outwards”, ignoring foreign policy issues in their entirety, as well as ignoring the question whether or not given “agendas” (like constitution amendments to reverse Citizens United) matter at all with respect to tactical votes.

    The party ignores the Iraq war and its lessons because its partisans prefer it that way. The body count elsewhere does not matter. Sacrifices have to be made.

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