2:00PM Water Cooler 9/27/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


The Trade Debate in Two Quotes: “We have to renegotiate our trade deals and we have to stop these countries from stealing our companies and our jobs,” Trump said, to which Clinton responded: “Well, I think trade is an important issue, of course. We are 5 percent of the world’s population. We have to trade with the other 95 percent. And we need to have smart, fair trade deals” [Politico]. “Smart” is one of those 10%-er weasel words. Was NAFTA smart? Why or what not? Smart for whom?

“Vice President Joe Biden said that ‘our only real shot’ of Congress approving the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a vote during the upcoming lame duck session” [Truthout (J-LS)]. “Biden made the remarks on Wednesday at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, while conceding the agreement has a ‘less than even chance’ of passage.”

“TISA TALKS STILL PREPARING FOR TAKEOFF: The U.S. and European Union are still battling it out over a number of key provisions in negotiations for a Trade in Services Agreement. The latest round wraps up today with a view to concluding talks by the end of the year, but Brussels is still resisting a U.S. proposal that would require members to extend future market access concessions in bilateral deals to the entire group. A number of EU member states, including Germany and Austria, are taking red line positions on commitments to open to foreign competitors yet-to-be-conceived “new services,” according to a source close to the talks” [Politico].


Days until: 41.


“Democratic Party used moments before debate to finally disclose convention sponsors” [The Intercept]. “Some of the largest donors include Comcast at $5.6 million in cash and in-kind donations, AT&T at $1.5 million, and Independence Blue Cross with $1,525,000. Other major donors include Google Inc., which gave $500,000; Microsoft at $650,000; and DuPont, the chemical company, which gave $100,000.”

Debate Wrapup

Winning the debate doesn’t necessarily translate into votes (1): “Indeed, while polls found that Clinton had won the first general-election debate with Donald Trump on Monday, she may not have won actual votes. And she may even have lost some, at least in the battleground state of North Carolina” [McClatchy]. “In a focus group of 21 voters from around Charlotte conducted by McClatchy and The Charlotte Observer, four who had been up for grabs before the debate had moved away from her by the end. … Many thought Clinton did better on style and debating points, but she didn’t move them. ‘Hillary was much cleaner in her evasions,’ said [Hank] Federal [a Republican who was undecided], who called Trump ‘bombastic.'” Sophisticated voters….

Winning the debate doesn’t necessarily translate into votes (2): “Westmoreland [County, PA] is one of about 10 formerly or traditionally Democrat-blue counties across the state where Trump must drive up a higher-than-normal turnout, or even flip them to Republican red, in order to offset an anticipated high turnout for Clinton in Philadelphia” [New York Post]. “[Registered Democrat Ken] Reed said Clinton came across as either smug or as though she was reading her résumé, adding there was nothing on her résumé that touched on his life. ]I am a small businessman, a farmer, come from a long line of farmers and coal miners. The policies she talked about tonight ultimately either hurt me or ignore me,’ he said.”

Winning the debate doesn’t necessarily translate into votes (3): “While 63 percent of young voters who participated in Harvard Institute of Politics ‘virtual town meeting’ of debate watchers said that Clinton ‘won’ the debate, it also found that most–65 percent–said the debate itself did not change who they planned to vote for in November” [Cook Report]. And: ” If you were expecting the sky to fall or the race to be completed upended, you were sorely disappointed. If you went into the debate expecting or hoping see a more thoughtful, nuanced and disciplined Trump, you didn’t get it. If you expected – or hoped – to hear Hillary Clinton’s vision for the future or the ways in which her plans and policies would translate directly to you and your family, you didn’t get that either. What you did get was a lot of rehashing of the weaknesses of both candidates – though much more of Trump’s than Clinton’s. Overall, it was a downer of a debate.”

Winning the debate doesn’t necessarily translate into votes (4):

Say hello to President Kerry…

“In our polarized country, both candidates probably solidified their bases. But for those still undecided or those leaning towards a third party candidate, it should be clear that Clinton is the one better prepared for this moment” [PoliticalWire]. “Should”…

Trump to his son after the debate:

Right again…

“No one doubts Clinton will be a steady, experienced leader. But she did not rebut Trump’s explicit charge that her experience is bad experience, or his stress on her responsibility for Iraq and Libya. His charge that ‘yes, she’s experienced but it is bad experience’ could be a major theme in October” [RealClearPolitics]. “Still, Trump’s whole approach to the debate raised questions about whether he can summon up a calm, prudent approach on major policy issues. Clinton raised the question herself in talking about NATO and nuclear weapons, but it was mostly Trump who hurt himself, another familiar theme in the campaign.”

“After a shaky start, Clinton was mostly prepared, disciplined, and methodical in her attacks. By contrast, after landing some early blows on trade, Trump was mostly winging it” [NBC]. That’s how it felt to me. Of course, 10%-ers like preparation. Preparation leads to passing your test! But in this case, they are right to do so.

“In the first half hour, Trump did have a very solid debate in which he was both aggressive and controlled. You can almost reconstruct some of Team Trump’s debate prep from the 15 minutes or so when he seemed sharp and even prosecutorial. He criticized Clinton’s one-time support of the Trans Pacific Partnership, and said she would revert back to supporting it as president. Clinton tried to explain her flip on the TPP as merely waiting to see the final details, which she ultimately rejected. Trump immediately interjected, “Is it President Obama’s fault?” Thrust, parry, strike. It was a nice trap, and Trump nearly pushed Clinton into it” [The Week]. “If Trump wants to make a comeback he needs to study the first 30 minutes of last night’s debate and see how effective he could be by controlling his aggression while prosecuting Hillary Clinton’s record. This is exactly what Mitt Romney did for his most successful debate.”

“Trump dismisses sniffling speculation as ‘breathing'” [The Hill]. (Readers will recall I flagged this as a problem back in June.) Howard Dean takes the low road:

“Here are two candidates whose oratorical strategies are so different that to see them engage directly was like watching someone trying to play tennis against someone playing baseball. It is hard to parse what is effective when the candidates are so often striving for quite different effects” [Financial Times]. Good discussion of Clinton’s “Whoo. O-kay!” moment.

The morning after: “Mr. Trump insisted in the Fox News appearance that he had been right to disparage the beauty queen, Alicia Machado, for her physique” [New York Times]. This is the Khans all over again. Trump has 41 days. No time for self-indulgence! Or to be deked by the Clinton campaign.

“Full Transcript from the First Presidential Debate Between Trump, Clinton” [NBC].

The Voters

“As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump spin out of their first debate and into the last six weeks of the presidential campaign, they are headed into what figures to be not only a tight stretch run but one that is exceptionally volatile and unpredictable” [Wall Street Journal, “Wandering Voters Key to Presidential Race”]. “But consolidating the base and winning the expected states aren’t enough for either candidate. The big X Factor is the chunk of votes wandering around the election playing field, unattached to either candidate. That group comprises about 20% of the electorate in the latest Journal/NBC News poll: 9% supporting libertarian Gary Johnson, 3% backing Green Party candidate Jill Stein and 8% either not sure, not intending to vote or going for somebody even farther out of the mainstream.”

“Still, neither Mr. Thacker—nor any of the other undecided voters who participated in a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll interviewed—said the debate had persuaded them to back either candidate. It was unclear whether the much-anticipated debate would fundamentally alter the course of the tight race” [Wall Street Journal, “Undecided Voters React Coolly to Donald Trump During Debate “].

Clinton Email Hairball

“FBI appears to have undermined its own investigation with ill-considered witness agreements” [USA Today]. Odd!

The Hill

“The Supreme Court After Scalia” [Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker]. And deep, deep into the article we find this:

While Reid was Majority Leader, especially in the period before the 2014 midterm elections, he put judicial confirmations at the top of his agenda. Faced with Republican filibusters, he and his fellow-Democrats deployed the so-called “nuclear option,” rewriting the Senate rules so that lower-court judges could be confirmed by a simple majority vote.

So Reid will use the “nuclear option” in 2014, when the Democrats are weak, for judicial nominations. But not for single payer, in 2009, when they are strong. Alrighty, then.

” Democrats dig in with shutdown days away” [Politico].

Stats Watch

State Street Investor Confidence Index, September 2016: Sharply up in Asia, somewhat up in America, down in Europe [Econoday]. “Globally, institutional investors remained tilted towards caution according to the index, which attempts to gauge their confidence by measuring the overall increase or decrease of exposure to equities in their portfolios.”

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, September 2016: Soft, but “nudged slightly higher” [Econoday]. “Looking ahead, manufacturers retreated on all fronts from the strong optimism shown in August.” And: “At this point it seems the surveys are forecasting flat growth for September” [Econintersect].

Purchasing Managers’ Index Services Flash, September 2016: “Growth in the service sector is flat based on Markit’s monthly sample” [Econoday]. “Employment is also slowing this month and prices are showing little pressure. No wonder 12-month confidence is back at survey lows.”

Consumer Confidence, September 2016: “Consumer confidence is on the upswing, pointing perhaps to an upturn for consumer spending. The September index rose more than 3 points,” beating expectations [Econoday]. “[T]he assessment of September’s labor market is upbeat with more consumers saying jobs are plentiful and with fewer, in a closely watched reading, saying they’re hard to get. … Negatives include an easing in income prospects and weakness in long-term buying plans.” You can square that circle by assuming the jobs are ill-paid and crapified.

S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, July 2016: “Home prices have been moderating this year including Case-Shiller where the 20-city adjusted index, following three prior declines, came in unchanged in data for July” [Econoday]. “Except for the action out West, tightening supply of resales on the market has yet to boost prices. Still, 5 percent appreciation is more than respectable in a low inflation, low wage growth economy.”

Trade: “The [WTO] cut its forecast for the growth of exports and imports this year and next, and now foresees an increase of just 1.7% in 2016 and as little as 1.8% in 2017, having projected rises of 2.8% and 3.6% respectively in April” [Wall Street Journal, “World Trade Set For Slowest Yearly Growth Since Global Financial Crisis”]. “[T]he WTO’s projection for 2016 suggests it will be the first time in 15 years that trade will grow more slowly than total output.”

Shipping: “All transportation modes except rail carried less cross-border freight by value in July compared with the same period last year, which resulted in a 10 percent decrease to $83.7 billion in the total current dollar value of freight moved, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)” [Progressive Railroading].

Shipping: “Ryan Petersen, Flexport’s founder and chief executive [says] he plans to use some of the $65 million in new backing to build out both new service capabilities and infrastructure to get a bigger share of the global shipping market. The new funding brings Flexport’s total capital raised to $94 million and boosts the company’s profile with support from investors that include Founders Fund, which was co-founded by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel. Founders Fund principal Trae Stephens will join Flexport’s board. The money will help advance technology Mr. Petersen says will help more closely manage and even re-direct goods while they are in transit” [Wall Street Journal]. I’m glad Thiel’s involved; the field needs new blood.

Shipping: “Bee colonies cover long distances in every direction to harvest nectar and pollen from multiple flower patches, then find the quickest route from flower to flower, the company says. Applied to last-mile parcel delivery, that approach can help carriers cut operating costs and reduce their carbon footprint” [DC Velocity].

“For manufacturers trying to scale back distance in their supply chains, it doesn’t get any closer than making goods in New York City. A burgeoning set of manufacturers are finding homes in New York, defying long-term trends that have seen factories retreat from the city. The companies, from building-fixtures producers in Queens to bakers in Brooklyn, reason that at a certain, relatively small scale, producing goods within one of the world’s most vibrant consumer markets makes economic sense, the WSJ’s Keiko Morris reports. The city says the growth in smaller, niche businesses has helped halt a steep decline in the manufacturing jobs. Factory hiring even ticked up last year, and the companies that are hiring say proximity to a huge market is a major factor. Automation has also helped, allowing companies like Edison Price Lighting Inc. customize its fixtures for New York’s real estate market and get goods delivered with speed that more distant manufacturers can’t duplicate” [Wall Street Journal]. If this is the flip side of slowing global trade, I’m all for it.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 44 Fear (previous close: 42, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 45 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 27 at 1:49pm. Sorry this is a bit late; I couldn’t get it to load!

Dear Old Blighty

“Jeremy Corbyn has just been re-elected as leader of the Labour party, beating rival Owen Smith by 62% to 38%” [You.gov]. “Jeremy Corbyn wins among 17 of 20 demographic categories we measured against. He performed best among more recent members, where he held a lead over Smith of 68 points among those who have become a member since he was first elected leader, and 49 points among those who became a member during the last leadership election.”

” Corbyn Victory Leaves Little Resolved for U.K. Labour Party” [Bloomberg]. Well, except for the 62/38 whipping of PLP.

“Our report found that 75% of press coverage misrepresents Jeremy Corbyn – we can’t ignore media bias anymore” [Independent].

“Brexit: Areas that backed leaving EU starved of Government support, report reveals” [Independent].

“A new anti-Corbyn group is receiving funding from Tony Blair’s former spin doctor – who now runs Peter Mandelson’s consultancy firm, Electoral Commission filings show” [Independent].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Striking prisoners at Alabama’s Holman prison say they have been joined by an unlikely ally: their own guards” [Buzzfeed]. “Guards at the facility did not show up for their shifts at 6pm on Saturday, according to organizers of the national prison strike and audio and video accounts from a contraband cellphone inside the facility” (confirmed). Remarkable refutation of the Stanford Prison Experiment. Gives me hope!


“New NASA-funded research suggests that Mercury is contracting even today, joining Earth as a tectonically active planet” [NASA]. “This active faulting is consistent with the recent finding that Mercury’s global magnetic field has existed for billions of years and with the slow cooling of Mercury’s still hot outer core. It’s likely that the smallest of the terrestrial planets also experiences Mercury-quakes—something that may one day be confirmed by seismometers.”

“Water plumes spotted on Europa’s surface may make hunt for life easier” [Wired].

Class Warfare

“It’s too soon to say whether the recent progress on inequality represents a long-term shift or a temporary blip. And even if the gains are real, they have made at best a modest dent in the long-term rise in inequality” [FiveThirtyEight]. Nine paragraphs down and contradicts the CEA-driven, happy talk headline.

“[T]he word ‘infrastructure’ is actually pretty new. Infrastructure projects were called ‘public works’ up until about the 1980s [goddamned neoliberals]. But because people started [why?] to equate public works with dubious ‘pork-barrel’ projects, advocates began using the term infrastructure instead. [Podcaster Roman] Mars suggested that reclaiming the phrase ‘public works’ might help motivate the voting public to fund those programs. After all, the word “infrastructure” is pretty abstract and hard to get excited about. ‘Public works.’ on the other hand, emphasizes that we, the people, benefit from these projects” [DC Velocity]. Another nice thing about “public works” is that it reframes those noxious “public-private partnerships” out of existence.

“Marc Andreessen suddenly deletes all his tweets, goes on Twitter break” [TechCrunch]. I’m proudly blocked by Andreessen, so I can’t show you his current tweet, but it contains: “You (bleating like a sheep) neoliberal neoliberal neoliberal.”

News of the Wired

“iPhone Hackers Say Apple Weakened Backup Security With iOS 10” [Forbes].

“Snap(chat) Spectacles is a smart move, messaged perfectly. There’s just one horrifying problem…” [Pando].

“Coins issued in ancient Rome have been excavated from the ruins of a castle in Okinawa Prefecture, the local board of education said, the first time such artifacts have been discovered in Japan” [Japan Times].

“Facebook couple commits $3 billion to cure disease” [Nature]. “Zuckerberg and Chan have set themselves an audacious goal: eliminating, curing or preventing disease by the end of the century. They intend to get there by coaxing teams with diverse expertise to collaborate on developing new tools and technologies — something that scientists say is sorely needed. The $3-billion commitment announced today will cover the project’s first ten years.” Well, I hope this does better than Gates, et al., did on charters.

* * *

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:


From the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. I don’t know what it is, but it’s gorgeous!

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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. Nobody (the outcast)

      Yep, commonly called passion flower (which yields passion fruit). It is native to S. America. Down here in the Southeastern U.S., it is a bit of a weed, but such a nice one.

      1. nippersdad

        Plus, they are host plants for Zebras, Dianas and Fritillaries. They can be a pest, but if you have a good butterfly population in your area they get eaten down pretty quickly by the caterpillars.

      2. JohnnyGL

        I started growing passionfruit this year, slightly different flower. It’s a pretty vigorous grower, like vines tend to be. Very tasty juice, but not a ton of volume. What’s driving me nuts is that its growth has just kicked up a notch and we’re about to get frost, so I won’t get any fruit from it.

        With frosts in the north east, it dies back each year, but the roots survive and it should bounce back the next year as long as it’s well-mulched. Maybe next year the plant will be better adapted to the seasonal timing.

  1. Carla

    “Was NAFTA smart? Why or what not? Smart for whom?”

    NAFTA was VERY smart, because it enshrined the anti-democratic Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism for overriding the laws of governments, including those governments with any pretense of being democratically elected.

    And NAFTA was SO smart that it destroyed American jobs to the degree that that’s all anyone on the “Right” or the “Left” seems able to talk about when we discuss so-called “free trade” agreements.

    And by focusing on jobs, we all collude with our Overlords to obscure the fact that NAFTA, TPP, TTIP, and most of all, TISA — are really about WHO RULES, and not trade–or even jobs–at all.

    Wake up, people of the world, and kill ISDS.

    1. different clue

      Getting people to talk about Jobs is a first step to getting people talking about ISDS. Do you really think you would get anyone’s attention about ISDS if they hadn’t lost their own job in the midst of a mass jobicide which they see engineered all around them?

      But millions of people WERE jobicided by the Free Trade Agreements. And they are talking about that.
      So this is your big chance to get them talking about ISDS TOO.

  2. OIFVet

    Re Zuckerberg’s donation: remember his $100 million gift to Newark’s public schools? Yeah, that turned out well. Will grifter Cory Booker be involved with this effort as well?

    1. different clue

      Passion flower for “Passion of Christ”. Three anthers. Three pistil extension arms. Three. Trinity. Three. “Passion of Christ”. Passion flower.

    2. Atypical


      Send one to HRC asking her to use it to become a real progressive.

      I know you’re invisible but I thought I would reply anyway.

  3. jgordon

    On the debate: I think Hillary “won” it, however it won’t move the polls either way. Trump will probably score a few net votes from it because he looked human, in contrast to Hillary who looked like a smarmy, grinning robot. Also, I’m not discounting the possibility that Trump is arranging this like a WWE drama. According to the script, he has to become the underdog by losing the first round.

    On issues? No one cares about issues anymore. It all comes down to appearance and feelings. If you do care about issues, you’re in the minority and the candidates are not going to waste their time by tailoring their campaigns to you. Besides, any solid positions they would put out are just going to be lies anyway. As soon as they’re elected they’ll do whatever they feel like doing regardless of what they said previously, so actually talking about things that matter would be pointless and counterproductive.

    1. Steve H.

      jgordon, the appearance and feelings are leftovers from Bernie talking about issues.

      It occurs to me that in a low-turnout election, a write-in candidate might have a chance in sane, by which I mean the inverse of crazy. So the chances of say, Bernie winning are multiplied by the level of crazy displayed by the non-write-in candidates.

      I would lose 75 bucks in the prediction markets if this happened. A willing sacrifice.

      1. HopeLB

        This morning, a c-span caller, declared he is voting for Jill Stein and said that if any Third Party wins just one state, then there would have to be another primary. If this is true, Bernie’s Revolution should start a massive campaign putting all of their effort into one state electing Stein (who is even better than Bernie on foreign policy).

        1. jgordon

          I’m sorry but Bernie’s Revolution has already been absorbed be the Democratic Party. I’m surprised that you haven’t yet been fully disillusioned.

          1. dcblogger

            Bernie’s Revolution is busy absorbing the Democratic party. Wait until next years races in KY, VA, and NJ. He and the rest of the Our Revolution party are currently recruiting and training the New Model Army.

          2. HopeLB

            Oh, but I am,” fully disillusioned”, that is. However, the Bernie supporters, many of whom are now Jill Stein supporters, and who are only now getting over Bernie’s acquiescence to the Borg, have not yet begun to fight.

          3. different clue


            This could be wishful thinking on your part. Time will tell.

            If the Bitter Berners wish to “do this thing”, they might consider focusing on a very small state with a high percent of persuadable voters. I was about to say “Vermont” . . . but I don’t know if Bernieform Vermonters would consider voting for Stein to be a kind of breaking faith with their beloved Bernie and his desire that they vote for Clinton.

            Greenies and Berners would have to study the details on the ground in Vermont to see if Vermont could be the place where a big effort for Stein could produce a Depublicratic defeat in one state.

            Much as I don’t like the Greenists as such, the strategy seems a good one, with possibilities, and if the Green Party is the only party with enough fringe name recognition, then that makes the Green Party the only tire iron there is right now for kneecapping the System in one single selected state.

      2. crittermom

        Steve H.—
        I didn’t even think they counted write-in votes. Do they?

        Does that mean there’s a snowballs chance this election could still be nullified by write-ins?

        Doubtful, unless Bernie supporters all wrote him in and everyone else stayed home.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          Depends on the state, other factors too. Like Oregon allows write-ins but not of candidates who lost in the primary phase, hence no Bernie there

        2. different clue

          Well . . . enough Bitter Berners writing in Sanders instead of voting Clinton could well produce Trump victories in some states.

          “They laughed when I went down to the polls. And then I started to vote.”

          If a massive Bitter Berners write-Sanders-in campaign could defeat Clinton, the Obamacrat-Clintonites would come to know of our power. And we would be heartened and encouraged to conduct further arson raids against the Clintonite-Obamacratic Party.

          Revenge is a dish best served . . . over . . . and over . . . and over again.

          1. Okanogen

            You are pleased to elect an unapologetic racist (Trump) because your “liberal” feelings were hurt.


            1. NYPaul

              First, racist………. “having or showing the belief that a particular race is superior to another.” I don’t believe Trump satisfies the definition for “racist.” A Jerk? o..k. an opportunist? for sure. Racist? Nah.

              As to your adolescent slur, “liberal” feelings were hurt.” Having become a grandfather recently to a 3 year old boy, and a 4 year old girl, I’m keenly aware of the very real possibility of Hillary being an existential threat to all of humanity should she attain the Presidency. I’ve seen enough “trailers” as to what we may expect from Hillary’s “Neocon Project for a New Democratic Party.”

            2. cwaltz

              I have no intention of voting for someone who is corrupt ,if the “unapologetic racist” wins then you can blame that on the DNC…..not “liberal feelings.”

              By the way, only a completely idiotic party would consider someone who was investigated for criminal behavior and found to be “grossly careless” with national security for a promotion. They will deserve this loss if they lose.

            3. different clue

              Keep playing the race card. See if it works for you before you wear it all the way out.

              By the way, how does it feel to have a comment of yours judged by Ian Welsh to be so ranty and rave-y and all around nasty and irrational that he removes it within hours after you post it? Good one, eh David Brock? Oops! I mean . . . eh Okanogen?

              And as for your beloved preciousss The One . . .

              You are pleased to elect an unapologetic corporate fascist Warpig who supports anti-national anti-human Trade Treason Agreements and who is perfectly happy to bring us to the brink of Nuclear War with Russia and who still supports toppling Assad even though she KNOWS that the cannibal jihadi headchopping liver-eaters are what will take power in Syria because your “racial” feelings are catered to.


              1. okanogen

                Wow, differentclue,

                That’s a lot to unpack.

                “Playing the race card” Yes, well, I think in the current environment of Black Lives Matter, when someone says they want to bring back stop and frisk, and implies that Obama should be sending a thank you card for being forced to prove his citizenship by providing the papers, and says a judge is inherently biased because he has a “Mexican” name, and says there should be a ban on muslims entering the country, and says that black and hispanic neighborhoods are so dangerous people get shot walking out of their doors and “what do you have to lose” for voting for him, then yes, that person is an unapologetic racist. YMMV.
                Now, regarding Ian Welsh, I have no idea if he deleted my comment or not, and if it is deleted, there is no way to prove your characterization of it being ranting and raving, is there?
                And regarding whether I find Clinton “precious”, well, that is not true. I have a lot of problems with her, especially in regard to her Syria policy. She is a politician, I don’t worship her like some do Bernie (despite his being… a politician). That said, compare – if you can possibly muster the objectivity through your rage – their two answers regarding Iran and the Iran nuclear deal. Most people of your persuasion have no appreciation at all that had Romney been elected, we would have surely had a war with Iran based on our generally insane infatuation with Israel. Trump wants to torpedo that deal and blow up their ships, maybe blow up their nuclear facilities.
                So what if Clinton is pushing back against Russian state hacking? You think they aren’t doing that? Why would they be so stupid NOT to hack us if they could?

                1. different clue

                  Wow, okanogen,

                  Here is the relevant Ian Welsh thread so people can decide for themselves whether you posted a comment there, and whether it was then deleted, and if so why.

                  And here are two other commenter comments about your comment which was deleted and why it was deleted. Not proof? Well . . . pretty good evidence.

                  V. Arnold PERMALINK
                  August 23, 2016
                  Oh good; you deleted the bile laced okanogan rant. She needs to crawl back into her hole over at Corrente…

                  annnnd . . .

                  mc PERMALINK
                  August 23, 2016
                  Ditto on the rant. I had to call a hazmat team for my computer.

                  People can see these two solidly evidentiary comments in the Ian Welsh thread if they care to click on it and read it through.

                  Nice try.

                  As to the rest of your Clintonite hasbara . . . thank you for your interest in my comment. I am always happy to hear from you. Please let me know if you have any other concerns.

                  1. okanogen

                    Ah. My good friend V. Arnold was upset. How surprising.

                    But what is interesting, or not, is that instead of standing up for your support for Trump, you attack me personally instead.

                    1. different clue

                      Thank you for your interest in my comment. I am always happy to hear from you. Please let me know if you have any other concerns.

                  2. okanogen

                    Ian Welsh can delete comments for whatever reason he wants, it is his site. V. Arnold has a long history at Corrente and I often disagree with him, but I would know if I had been accused of “ad homineming” him and to my knowledge that hasn’t happened. Lambert can chime in if he wants. The only place I can see V. Arnold complained about ad hominem attacks at corrente is here and that didn’t involve me. I think he misremembers strong arguments with ad hominems. But here we go, rather than defend Trump, you attack me personally.
                    Again, I have a lot of problems with Clinton, but I refuse to accept Trump as any sort of “liberal” alternative. You are the one that has to defend that, not me.

                    1. different clue

                      Thank you for your interest in my comment. I am always interested to hear from you. Please let me know if you have any other concerns.

            4. tony

              Who is the arch racist, Hillary or Trump? To answer that, let us ask another question, a simple one. Which is worse: to denigrate some members of a group or religion or race – or to kill them by the millions? And maim more millions and displace even more millions? Which is more “racist”? With that in mind, who is the arch racist, Hillary or The Donald?

              Who is the Arch Racist: Hillary or the Donald?

              I would argue that Hillary Clinton is a far worse of a racist than Donald Trump.

            5. Norb

              What is interesting is how shallow and weak the Trump fear mongering arguments become if the target of such invectives is not paralyzed by fear. Isn’t it ironic that the democratic party leadership is once again stoking the fear machine in order to solidify political goals when arguably, the greatest democratic leader in history owed his success by actually quelling fear in the hearts of the citizenry.

              I find the best response, both for myself, and those around me is I can’t vote for a criminal. It ties in with questions about what is the greatest problems we face today as citizens and as a nation, and my view is corruption and criminality takes top place.

              As citizens speaking among ourselves as to the future of the nation and direction of our individual personal lives, supporting criminality or not is a very clear deciding line and crosses all political persuasions. We must build and maintain a fair and just society, or we will have a chaotic system run for and by criminals.

              Injustice is experienced in the heart of the people. Injustice seeks resolution, one way or another. This is the future we are stumbling toward.

          2. different clue

            . . . and speaking of revenge . . .

            oooOOOooo! Lookie at what I just found right over there on Ian Welsh’s blog! A blogpost relevant to this very issue!

            Wanna see it? Here you go . . .

            Doesn’t look very good for the Clintster , does it. Eh, David Brockanogen? Better send one of your little trolls over to Ian Welsh’s blog and have it Correct The Record.

              1. different clue

                Thank you for your interest in my comment. I am always happy to hear from you. Please let me know if you have any other concerns.

          3. uncle tungsten

            I am with Bitter Berners. It sends a message to all including Bernie and our revolution. Alinsky would be smiling with that one.

  4. Kim Kaufman

    Not sure if this will go through as I can read but not post anything since last night (including on Firefox, IE and my phone): Anyway:

    Donald Trump: The Michael Dukakis of the Republican Party



    Donald Trump’s one strength: He understands that we are a nation of conmen (and women)


    1. DJG

      Kim Kaufman: And we should align your two links to Christopher Hitchens’s book No One Left to Lie To, about the Clintons and the general acknowledgment that Bill Clinton, like Trump, is a flimflam man. Undoubtedly, Hillary Clinton will claim never to have noticed that flimflammery.

  5. Pat

    Regarding the timing of Reid’s use of the nuclear option, it is not just that he didn’t choose to use it for single payer, which was never an option that is interesting. Oh, don’t get me wrong, in a world where health care really was important to the Democrats AND where representing your constituents was the primary goal of every elected official it would have been. But it wasn’t and those elected officials are few and far between. He didn’t use it for the stimulus, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts or even earlier in the Obama administration despite there being a massive judge shortage from the first year of his administration. Mind you he didn’t begin to nominate enough people to cover the vacancies, but quite a few of those nominations took well over half a year or even over a year to confirm. If judicial appointments were so important why did it take so long? (Although the holds did get really bad in 2013, although most of the people who got sent back in 2013 got sent back in 2014 as well.)

    It only goes through 2014, but if interested go check out Ballotpedia on Federal Vacancy Warnings.

  6. ekstase

    When I got to the bottom of the Alabama prison story, (and wow, what a story,) I saw this:


    We’re taking you on a tour of what the state has to offer
    Some places we’ve visited so far:
    Buck’s Pocket
    Cathedral Caverns
    Lake Guntersville
    Oak Mountain

    I felt like somebody was trying to distract me. Anyway, the story is amazing.

  7. Lee

    Clinton: “We are 5 percent of the world’s population. We have to trade with the other 95 percent.”

    No we don’t. The US is one of the lucky few among nations that could practice autarky and still achieve a decent standard of living for its citizens. Current trade policy is about privileging the perpetual growth requirements of highly concentrated private capital over other social goods.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Messrs Smoot & Hawley said much the same, with their Tariff Act of 1930.

      By 1933, US factories were humming! /sarc

      1. Andrew Watts

        The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was passed in retaliation for European tariffs on American goods. The proponents of free trade give no thought to how the collapse of the European banking system and other economic forces dug us deeper into the Great Depression.

        Economists today, however, hold a different view of the effects of Smoot-Hawley. While economic historians generally believe the tariff was misguided and may have aggravated the economic crisis, the consensus appears to relegate it to a minor status relative to other forces. We believe many modern economists are wrong because flawed modeling leads to two systematic understatements of the tariff’s negative effects. The first reason for this is that reliance on macro aggregates can sometimes mask serious underlying problems by dissipating their apparent impact over a broad area. For example, U.S. national income declined 36 percent in real terms from 1929 to 1933, and the view held by prominent economists, ranging from University of Chicago Nobel laureate Robert Lucas and Yale economist Robert Shiller to MIT economists Rudiger Dornbush and Stanley Fischer, is that since the foreign-trade sector was only about 7 percent of gross national product (GNP), the tariff (though misguided) could not explain much of this decline. –The Smoot-Hawley Tariff and the Great Depression

        How would those European countries pay for American imports when they already ran up huge debts in the First World War?

      2. Lee

        That’s because those with money (private finance) were allowed to overrule those with guns (government). Maybe we should not make that mistake again. I’m in a very proletarian draconian mood these days. An adverse reaction to rampant neoliberalism perhaps.

        1. JTMcPhee

          The people with guns ARE the people with the money. Cf. The Pentacle and the corporate parasites and politicians that suck off it, and local police…

          Don’t look for help in that disappeared dichotomy.

      3. Vatch

        There’s a huge difference between the period at the beginning of the Great Depression and 2016. Just prior to the Great Depression, and during it as well, the U.S. actually had factories that manufactured things. In 2016, there’s not a lot that is made in the U.S.A. Foreign countries could slap 100% tariffs on U.S. made products, and it would barely be noticeable.

    2. Praedor

      Indeed. In fact, I put it one further…that ALL countries that can provide 100% of what their own people needs SHOULD do so before ever looking outside for more. No country should ever seek to depend upon any other country (when they have the ability) for anything they actually need. Not food, not computer chips and other crap at the core of critical tech. Everything at home for home first, then look into trading broader.

      How secure (and idiotic) is it to absolutely depend upon countries either under threat from China, under future control of China, or outright controlled by China now for core computer chips? Back in the 90s I got a top secret briefing in the military about how the US was designing chips with backdoors in them, or kill switches, and the like, so if it became necessary (or simply desired) computers in a target country could be shut down cold or controlled.


      Obviously, there’s NO WAY foreign countries would consider, let alone DO, the very same thing but aimed at us! NO WAY!

      Idiot neoliberal tradetards.

      1. Octopii

        Back in 2003 I spent a few weeks tramping around Italy. The most amazing thing, besides the fact that nobody seemed to be doing much work, was that nearly every manufactured item we encountered was “Made in Italy.” The U.S. had at that point been importing for a decade or so vast sectors of cheap consumer goods from China, and we were certainly more busy keeping our households afloat than the Italians. In fact, the country generally appeared comfortably balanced. It seemed to obvious that those two initial observations would be related.

        Cheap euro credit and easy imports ruined everything for Italy as it turns out.

      2. jgordon

        The idea was that we’d prevent any more world wars by having strong international trade with everyone. Heck, it even made sense for a few years after we started it. It’s only now that the unforeseen negative consequences are starting to build up like toxins in a liver that the world is starting to experience globalization revulsion.

        The problem with people is that after something they’ve been doing for a while stops working, they never get ahead of the curve and change what they’re doing before a disaster hits. That’s what these last and final days of globalization, multiculturalism, and tolerance are bringing.

      3. HopeLB

        There was a news item a while back about admirals complaining that our carriers had chinese made chips and circuitry. I guess the contractors put profit before security.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          That’s from Ghost Fleet, which I’m told had a big impact in the national security community. Their conclusion: Autarky, since we have to manufacture our own chips if we want to control our own weaponry.

          1. fajensen

            That ship has sailed. The latest Intel chippery is now done in Haifa, Israel.

            I *very much* doubt that the current infatuation with removing the wrongs of history by toppling statues, and “removing” the wrongs of today by an obsession with “safe zones”, “trigger warnings” and “micro-aggressions” will produce even average Engineers, Scientist and Research which is needed to even consider building ones “own” electronics.

            The output of tribal societies are tribal warriors and not much else besides, and yet, this is somehow a model for society being pushed everywhere in the Western world, with varying degree of enthusiasm, but, apparently US academia and the Democrats are taking a firm lead.

            I am getting so fed up and cynical these days. With all the flim-flam, ignorant bullshit and blatant stupidity going around. It’s becoming hard work to not turn to heavy drinking.

  8. Jim Haygood

    It’s unanimous:

    No chief executive at the nation’s 100 largest companies had donated to Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign through August, a sharp reversal from 2012, when nearly a third of Fortune 100 CEOs supported Mitt Romney.


    One executive is quoted taking offense at Trump’s ethnic slurs. But that doesn’t explain the complete unanimity.

    What does explain it: overseas sales account for a third of large companies’ revenues. Chart:


    Should Trump succeed in renegotiating US trade deals, corporations — currently at their most indebted level in history — will be deprived of revenues to service their debts. Some will default.

    Meanwhile, realizing whatever benefits accrue from more domestic production takes time and capital to construct plants. That’s a problem, when corporate leverage already is too high.

    Most likely, the Business Roundtable will sit down for The Talk with Trump, and his wacky promises to restructure the global trade system will quickly be forgotten.

    If Donnie’s serious, then he’s Herbert Hoover II, and the long-suffering Dr Hussman becomes a billionaire after the Crash Heard Round the World.

    1. Vatch

      Those giant Fortune 100 corporations don’t sell much that is manufactured in the U.S. They sell things that are manufactured in China or Mexico. I won’t shed any tears if a hundred CEOs of giant corporations have to forgo their bonuses.

      1. Pat

        Not to mention that much of that debt was used to finance stock buy backs and dividends. Which if you think about it was done to raise stock prices for what…oh wait bonuses and better return on stock options.

        While that isn’t the case with every company, they deserve to go down for that as well.

        1. kimsarah

          Note how both candidates — under the radar — support repatriation of U.S. corporations’ profits stashed overseas in order to avoid paying 35 percent tax.
          If and when they bring their loot back here taxed at 0 or 5 or 8 percent, don’t expect it to be invested in expansion and jobs in the U.S. It will go in the executives’ pockets and shared with the politicians who supported repatriation, with one heckuva party thrown to make fun of the suckers who pay their fair share in taxes. This was documented after the last repatriation 12 years ago.

  9. Left in Wisconsin

    Manufacturing in NYC:

    New York City manufacturing today, where jobs have steadily been added over the past five years after a long slide.

    260,000 mfg jobs in 1990
    160,000 in 2000
    75,000 in 2010
    79,000 in 2016

    I guess it’s nice to stem the slide but not much of a revival.

    Speaking of which, I’m flabbergasted that Trump’s claim about Ford moving “all the jobs” making small cars at Ford to Mexico, which is absolutely true, is being considered one of his many lies from last night. Apparently, according to the 10%, if 5-10,000 jobs are relocated from the US to Mexico, it isn’t job loss if the people currently doing that work aren’t the ones who get laid off or never hired. (Granted, some portion of the jobs lost are apparently Canadian.)

    1. Pat

      It is technically a lie, but effectively the truth. One of the things I have learned in this election is that it is very easy to use details to obscure the big picture, and our agents of the status quo will do just that.

      For instance technically Bill Clinton didn’t sign NAFTA, that was George HW Bush, but of Bush and Clinton, it is Clinton who should really own NAFTA as he pushed ratification through Congress and signed the law that implemented it. So once again technically Trump lied last night but was effectively telling the truth.

      1. nippersmom

        As you say, he signed the law that implemented it. It would not exist if he hadn’t signed that law; therefore, he signed it. I don’t give him even the technicality.

        1. Pat

          Like I said, Clinton should own it. But that ‘detail’ lets Hillary declare that Trump is wrong for saying Bill Clinton signed NAFTA. It is smoke and mirrors and ‘lawyerly parsing’ but that is the case of so much today when it comes to determining whether Trump is lying, meanwhile the more lax standard appears to apply to HRC and her minions.

          1. sleepy

            Yeah, he should’ve slammed Clinton specificallyfor her choice of Bubba as her main domestic adviser by highlighting Nafta and Glass-Steagall, and when she brought up Trump profiting off the housing collapse gone for the corruption and criminal fraud of Goldman-Sachs and ask her what she said in those speeches.

            Lots of missed opportunities.

          2. kimsarah

            The Clintons own it when appearing in paid speeches before Goldman Sachs audiences. Otherwise, they are allowed to disown it.
            Maybe if they’d release the transcripts of their speeches, we’d see what else they own.

            1. NYPaul

              Nah, I’m pretty sure Hillary’s “speeches” were just warmed over Pablum, “visions of new Public/Private partnerships, boldly leading the world to “new heights of prosperity for all!” Besides, the risk of a smart phone recording……..

              Grifters don’t need verbal confirmation. A $300,000 offer, and, its acceptance, is all that’s needed to “seal the deal.” And, can’t you just see the smiles, and hear the oohs & aahs as Hillary passed out the baby pictures.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        One of the many clarifying things about this election is that the press wrecked the “fact checking” brand. It was always pretty tendentious, and now it’s just another stick to beat a dog. I’m afraid I’ve gone countersuggestible on it.

        1. jsn

          Trust decay is at the point where if you don’t actually have ongoing knowledge of an individuals positions in general, no good faith assumptions can be made: you must assume a propagandistic intent unless personal knowledge councils otherwise.

          Unfortunately, in practice this tends to reinforce one’s priors so one ends up constantly second guessing oneself which, while the essence of effective leadership is the antithesis of “electable” leadership… making it hard for those so inclined, who tend to be better informed, to get any traction.

          1. different clue

            I once heard a phrase which could be applied to the quality of MSM fact-checking today as well as non-McClatchy MSM outpout generally. That phrase is . . . truth decay.

    2. Pat

      On the flip side of that while it is nice that four thousand more people are working, but for how much and with what benefits? I don’t know for sure, but if I were to bet, I would be betting that most of the 100,000 jobs lost between sixteen and twenty five years ago paid more and had better health insurance and possibly even some retirement benefits, and those four thousand gained in the last six years do not.

      The decimation wrought by the trade deals of the last almost thirty years is not just the number but the quality of the jobs. Our “betters” should rot in hell for that, both those of the past and those from the present.

  10. fresno dan

    “After a shaky start, Clinton was mostly prepared, disciplined, and methodical in her attacks. By contrast, after landing some early blows on trade, Trump was mostly winging it” [NBC]. That’s how it felt to me. Of course, 10%-ers like preparation. Preparation leads to passing your test! But in this case, they are right to do so.

    Trump could have brought up:
    deplorables – and could have talked for 15 minutes virtue pounding Clinton into the ground
    Goldman Sachs – and could have talked for 15 minutes virtue pounding Clinton into the ground
    email – and could have talked for 15 minutes virtue pounding Clinton into the ground
    bankers – and could have talked for 15 minutes virtue pounding Clinton into the ground

    I have seen people say he is saving it….?dry powder? A lot of people check out after the first 30 minutes of one debate and never come back.
    And I’m really into it – and I doubt I will waste my time again. Even though I am a big believer in judging people/politicians by what they do and not what they say, Trump’s immaturity has frayed my last nerve. He’s 70 years old and can be knocked off balance defending !insults! about a beauty queen.

    1. Jim Haygood

      This calls for flash mobs, where everyone shows up wearing a Trump wig and a crotch-length tie to distract attention from their short fingers.

      He’ll seize up even worse than the ‘beest does when confronted with strobing lights.

    2. jrs

      Yes, people kept saying how they wish Trump would win the R primaries because it would be so exciting when he took his attack to Hillary and gave her what she may very well deserve. And I was always “I’ll believe it when I see it, not until then”.

      I don’t think Trump was vastly different in the R primary debates (he was unfocused and narcissistic then as well), but I always suspected somehow that he would play softball rather than hardball when it came to the REAL showdown with Clinton (no “little Rubio” here). Well I told ya so. Although there are 3 more debates so I guess I could still be proved wrong. But it’s looking like I told you so. What so great or even fun and entertaining about Trump again? These circuses are completely boring!!! Well he’s not Clinton I suppose there is always that.
      I guess the 10% think they got there by doing well on tests and not sheer luck and choosing the right parents. Hmm well screw em.

    3. likbez

      “I have seen people say he is saving it….?dry powder?”

      May be… He could easily bury her, but preferred not to. He was definitely unprepared. Also he might be afraid of Clinton clan.

      “A lot of people check out after the first 30 minutes of one debate and never come back.”

      True ! It was pretty disgusting performance on both sides.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Just had my first in-person encounter with an apparent Trump supporter, 40ish lifeguard at the community pool down here. He was very pleased with last night’s debate, thought Trump showed he has self-control and was generally presidential (!).

        All my friends and family thought Clinton “won” but it’s not gonna matter.

    4. charles leseau

      He’s 70 years old and can be knocked off balance defending !insults! about a beauty queen.

      Amen. It takes very little wit to point out immediately how irrelevant such a thing is to a presidential debate, but instead he walked right into it like a rattled kid who doesn’t think half a second before responding.

    5. kimsarah

      Maybe Trump really is trying to blow it (as if he needs to try) on Hillary’s behalf. But it’s a little too late now.
      No matter how bad he performs or treats beauty pageant contestants or whatever else the Clinton surrogates use to try to destroy him to make her appear to be the lesser evil, the fact remains that Hillary is Hillary — a known evil who is vindictive, cold, calculating, greedy and dangerous. That is reason enough to vote against her even if it means voting for Trump.
      Washington and the Democratic Party in particular needs a thorough cleansing.

      1. different clue

        If it is possible to do, every cell of malignant metastatic clintonoma and every Yersiniobama pestis bacterium needs to be found and exterminated from every last corner of the Democratic Party.

        If that can not be achieved, then the Democratic Party itself needs to be exterminated and incinerated and the ashes buried in a Level 4 bio-containment Sanitary Landfill.

  11. Jake Mudrosti

    “Facebook couple commits $3 billion to cure disease” [Nature]. “Zuckerberg and Chan have set themselves an audacious goal: eliminating, curing or preventing disease by the end of the century.

    Oh great, now how’s this big coffee stain going to get off the entire front of my shirt?

    But seriously, though, this link is super at highlighting the ever-widening scope of Silicon Valley delusions.and the ever-widening circles of enablers — including, of course, bad science journalists/suck-ups. (I mean, who on Earth drops a phrase like “disrupt science” and then ambles away without offering any meaningful specifics?)

    For financial context:
    “NSF’s FY 2017 Budget Request is $7.964 billion, an increase of $500.53 million (6.7 percent) over the FY 2016 Estimate.”

    1. Milton

      Not a purely research institute like the NSF, the NIH’ annual budget is around 31B a year. Privatetized research is chump change in comparison.

      1. hunkerdown

        Milton, most of the NIH research is (eventually) privatized, even if it isn’t born that way. That’s not even an R&D credit, but an R&D mulligan.

    2. Lune

      As someone in the medical field, it’s amusing to see people like Zuckerberg think that just because they ‘disrupted’ something like social media, lightning will strike twice and they’ll cure cancer using the same techniques.

      Don’t get me wrong. It’s a noble goal and they should be commended for committing $3bil, but they have no idea how hard and expensive medical research is. Plenty of biotech startups burn through tens of millions (sometimes hundreds) of investor money before their one drug turns out to be a bust in FDA trials.

      And for comparison, Johns Hopkins by itself spends nearly $1bil on medical research annually. The cost of eradicating Polio alone is expected to be about $10bil over the next 10 years. And that’s with a dirt cheap vaccine that’s been around for decades.

      Gives you an idea of just how ungodly expensive medical research is (although if they can figure out how to do it more cheaply, it would be worth a dozen Nobel Prizes).

  12. Praedor

    So, the Snapchat (It’ll ALWAYS be snapchat to me no matter how they rebrand) glasses with a camera in them is somehow GREEEAAAT! while the Google Glass was shitsville? How so? People filming me without my permission, violating the shit out of my privacy and my own rules (I don’t post personal images online anywhere) is OK if done with Snapchat glasses but but the dweebs that wore the Google Glass contraption were dorks needing to be Melvined? Uh-uh.

    Point your Google Glass at me and you will eat them. Point your Snapchat glasses at me and you will eat them. Equal treatment for equal assholiness.

  13. Jim Haygood

    Amazon reached a fresh record high today, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 is about half a percent below its record set last Thursday.

    Favorable month-end and quarter-end seasonality kicks in the rest of this week and much of next week. Chances are we’re gonna rip.

    Hark, now hear the sailors cry
    Smell the sea and feel the sky
    Let your soul and spirit fly
    Into the mystic

    — Van Morrison

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Money is free, Whee!

      Oops but it’s all borrowed, Boo!

      But hey, one man’s debt is another man’s asset, Whee!

      Oops but NIRP bond principal is negative, Boo!

      But there’s a new gambler in town named Mr. Yellen, he’s buying everybody stawks, and his magic money bag is never empty, Whee!

      But some of us had to earn a profit and pay taxes before we could own stawks, Boo!

    2. fresno dan

      OK….so do you think these valuations are rational????
      I keep thinking…..sockpets….or was it petsocks…..what was that sock dog????

      1. Jim Haygood

        Actually stock valuations are NEVER rational, except for a few microseconds when they cross the line between pessimistically undervalued and optimistically overvalued.

        Even a sophisticated model that sucks in all the accounting data from Compustat and spits out an exact enterprise value (such models exist) will not necessarily make you any money.

        This is all about crowd psychology, in all its gnarly unruliness. Values are way too high (rationally), but the mood seems too subdued for this to be an epic, era-ending, Bubble III blowout.

        We need one last run for the roses to go out in a blaze of glory, and usher in Depression II or even Dark Ages II.

        1. NYPaul

          “undervalued” and “overvalued” are, simply, euphemistic relics of a bygone age, when people actually could make rational decisions regarding an equity’s “worth.” But, that was a time when valuations, and, price discovery were based on rational factors affecting a company’s profit potential. The FED’S decision to manipulate asset prices basically changed the rules of the game. By, pretty much guaranteeing unlimited free money to the 1% the need for CEO’S to manage their businesses in a manner that provides “growth” and “increased profits” evaporated. Why would a CEO invest some of a Company’s profits on new plants and equipment, or, increased R & D, or, why do any of the things that Management, traditionally did to prepare the Company for future challenges? Since a major portion of a CEO’S income comes from the Company’s stock price, the easiest way to increase that valuation is, simply, to use their profits to buy their Company’s stock.

          The carry trade, high frequency trading, stock buy backs, currency manipulation; those are what moves stock prices today.

  14. fresno dan

    Why There is Trump Ilargi

    But nobody seems to really know or understand. Which is odd, because it’s not that hard. That is, this all happens because growth is over. And if growth is over, so are expansion and centralization in all the myriad of shapes and forms they come in.

    Global is gone as a main driving force, pan-European is gone, and whether the United States will stay united is far from a done deal. We are moving towards a mass movement of dozens of separate countries and states and societies looking inward. All of which are in some form of -impending- trouble or another.

    What makes the entire situation so hard to grasp for everyone is that nobody wants to acknowledge any of this. Even though tales of often bitter poverty emanate from all the exact same places that Trump and Brexit and Le Pen come from too.

    That the politico-econo-media machine churns out positive growth messages 24/7 goes some way towards explaining the lack of acknowledgement and self-reflection, but only some way. The rest is due to who we ourselves are. We think we deserve eternal growth.

    And of course it’s confusing that the protests against the ‘old regimes’ and the growth and centralization -first- manifest in the rise of faces and voices who do not reject all of the above offhand. That is to say, the likes of Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump and Nigel Farage may be against more centralization, but none of them has a clue about growth being over. They don’t get that part anymore than Hillary or Hollande or Merkel do.

    So why these people? Look closer and you see that in the US, UK and France, there is nobody left who used to speak for the ‘poor and poorer’. While at the same time, the numbers of poor and poorer increase at a rapid clip. They just have nowhere left to turn to. There is literally no left left.

    Dems in the US, Labour in the UK, and Hollande’s ‘Socialists’ in France have all become part of the two-headed monster that is the political center, and that is (held) responsible for the deterioration in people’s lives. Moreover, at least for now, the actual left wing may try to stand up in the form of Jeremy Corbyn or Bernie Sanders, but they are both being stangled by the two-headed monster’s fake left in their countries and their own parties.
    This is from today’s Links, but I didn’t have a chance to post this snippet.

    Long time since we had 5% – if the whole system is financial scheme is premised on growth, and there is less and less of it ever year, it doesn’t look sustainable. How bad does it have to get for how many before the model is chucked???
    In the great depression, even the bankers were having a tough time. If the rich are exempt from suffering, I think history has shown that a small elite can impose suffering on masses for a long time…

    ‘there is nobody left who used to speak for the ‘poor and poorer’.
    Actually, there are plenty who SPEAK for the poor, there just is NONE who ACT.

    1. jrs

      How would we measure this growth that is supposed to be over? Yes of course there are the conventional measurements like GDP, but it’s not zero. Yes of course if inflation is understated it would overstate GDP, and yes GDP measurements may not measure much as many critics have said. But what about other measures? Is oil use down, are CO2 emissions down, is resource use in general down? If not it’s growth (or groath). This growth is at the cost of the planet but that’s why GDP is flawed. And the benefit of this groath goes entirely to the 1%ers, but that’s distribution. The left failed, I don’t know all the reasons (and it’s always hard to oppose the powers that be, the field always tilts toward them, it’s never a fair fight) but it failed. That’s what we see the results of.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Someone very smart said “the Fed makes the economy more stable”.
      He also quoted The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think”.
      Definition of stable: firm; steady; not wavering or changeable.
      As in: US GDP growth of a paltry 1.22% per year.
      But hey it only took an additional trillion $ in debt per year to stay “stable”.

    3. Softie

      there are plenty who SPEAK for the poor, there just is NONE who ACT.
      That’s why in 1992 Francis Futurama refirmed the end of history that was predicted by Hegel some 150 years earlier.

  15. lyman alpha blob

    You’d think that after the trumped up ‘Dean Scream’ perpetrated by the Dems and their media lapdogs, Howie might be averse to taking such cheap shots. But it seems someone in the beltway helped him get his mind right after kneecapping him those many years ago and he’s one of the kool kids now.

    Any Vermonters know about his popularity in the state these days? I’m guessing it’s not what it used to be after the way he dealt with Sanders.

    1. jrs

      Yea so maybe he snorts cocaine but it merely went in one nostril and out the other, that is he didn’t inhale …

      badaboom, gotta hit these Clinton’s where it hurts

  16. TarheelDem

    In this neck of the woods, passiflora (passion flower) is called “maypop” because the air-filled fruit makes a popping sound when crushed. Cultural kid lore passed from older kids to younger ones.

  17. Optimader

    Beautiful flower, alot of plant energy to do that. Ill bet my lingering hummingbirds would like those. The zinnias are in full bloom so they are not interested in flying south yet.
    One last batch of bazil to go, their genetic switches have flipped.

  18. Bas

    While I’ve never considered Trump’s candidacy to be a 100% serious effort to inhabit the White House, nor been entirely convinced that he is indeed a Clinton plant, wouldn’t it be dastardly sardonic if Trump were actually trying to lose the elections, but by trying to lose them, he would actually win?

    A priori, a reluctant president is preferable to a power hungry one whatever their color.

    Spite Trump: vote for him!

  19. rich

    SEC won’t pursue clawbacks in Weatherford accounting fraud case

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will force Weatherford International WFT, -5.44% to pay a $140 million penalty to settle charges it inflated earnings and understated taxes, but it will not force the oil-services company to claw back excess incentive compensation paid to its CEO and CFO.

    Weatherford issued false financial statements between 2007 and 2012 that inflated its earnings by more than $900 million in total, the SEC said. The company allegedly misled investors about its earnings per share, effective tax rate and other key financial information.

    The SEC’s enforcement division director, Andrew Ceresney, told reporters on Tuesday that this was a “major accounting fraud” and that “Weatherford has paid a steep price for its misconduct.”

    Olga Usvyatsky, the vice president of research at Audit Analytics, told MarketWatch that Weatherford’s combined restatement was the largest such disclosure by a public company since 2010.

    An attorney for Weatherford did not respond to a request for comment.


    Maybe the unemployed could conjure up work, bill for them, get paid for them and then call it a day? Why not?…same thing.

  20. Carolinian

    Here’s St. Clair’s liveblog of the big debate. Sampler

    + Lester Holt needs to be extremely cautious tonight. Lots of police and armed security in the debate hall. No sudden movements. Holt must keep his hands firmly on the podium at all times.

    + Bill and Melania shake hands at center stage. Bill whispers something in her ear. I think it was: “Text me.”

    + No national anthem. Kaepernick wins!

    + Hillary enters, as the Woman in Red. The stains of Iraq, Libya, Honduras, Syria and Yemen.



    1. Anne

      It’s not partisan, it’s fake; kind of a local Onion, but not as good:

      The Baltimore Gazette, a newspaper that existed very briefly just after the Civil War, has returned online as a site to spread fake news stories and other nonsense.

      One article in particular, “ATLANTA OFFICER KILLS BLACK WOMAN, INJURES CHILD, FOLLOWING BREASTFEEDING ARGUMENT,” caught the attention of the online sleuths at Snopes.com after it apparently went viral. Search “Baltimore Gazette” on Facebook and you’ll find a number of people who have been deceived by the breastfeeding story or are trying to prevent others from doing the same.


      In sum, the Baltimore Gazette is basically your conservative wingnut uncle’s email chain trying to masquerade as a credible news source. Don’t buy into it.

      Do we not already have enough fake news?

      1. windsock

        “Do we not already have enough fake news?”

        Here in UK, I read “The Daily Mash” and find it far more credible than “news” sources.

  21. jonboinAR

    Lambert: ” “Smart” is one of those 10%-er weasel words. Was NAFTA smart? Why or what not? Smart for whom?”
    Indeed. Whether a deal is smart to make depends on one’s real objective. Hows’about clearing that question up, Mrs C?

    1. kimsarah

      Sure NAFTA was smart for several people.
      It would make a good article examining which companies and executives made it big-time thanks to NAFTA.
      Compare the winners and losers. (a likely ratio of 5 to 10 percent vs. the rest of us in the 90-95 percent).

  22. different clue

    Lambert Strether,

    The photo is a maypop flower. It is North America’s one native non-tropical Passiflora. Yet another illustration of that interesting tendency whereby many tropical families have a single non-tropical member living in North America . . . trumpet vine for the Bignoniaceae, pawpaw for the Annonaceae (spelling?), etc.

    The Edible Plant Project explores the permacultural implications of maypop.

    Here’s a bunch of pictures.

  23. bravennewworld

    I think the Bernie supporters (and decent human voters in general) should seriously consider voting for Trump. I know, I know, crazy talk. But hear me out. Either one will be a disaster and I’m looking forward to 2020. My hope is that Warren will be agreeable to running, BUT if Clinton is president she may not, and if she does run then the corrupt Dem machine will cut her out like they did Bernie. So we’ll have Clinton until 2024. OTOH if Trump wins, I see Warren as a no-brainer for the Dems and any independents who value some semblance of sensical thought. So if we want Warren in 2020, we have to vote Trump in 2016. Gotta go take a shower now >>>>>

    1. different clue

      If a President Clinton causes a major war with Russia over Assad or East Ukraine or some such thing, 2024 may become irrelevant very quickly.

    2. okanogen

      Vote Trump, because it has always been easier to move the Overton window left after it has been thrown even farther to the right.

      1. mary

        For the past 8 years whenever he moved the window right Obama supporters have ignored it, called it something it was not (“first step to single payer”), blamed someone else, derided objections from the left, or embraced the policy.

        1. okanogen

          Obama has done a lot of moving the window right. Can’t deny that. He has also moved it left from GWB on several issues, including climate change.

          Two steps left, one step or one and a half steps right. Trump is six steps left. Anybody that thinks he is going to “renegotiate” NAFTA to help “ordinary Americans” is living in sparklepony-land. Anyone that thinks the Democratic party would look at a Trump election and think “Gee, we should be more left/populist now” is engaging in magical thinking.

          If you simply can’t vote for Clinton, whatever, but please don’t pretend that Donald Trump is the fucking answer.

  24. Plenue

    “Our report found that 75% of press coverage misrepresents Jeremy Corbyn – we can’t ignore media bias anymore” [Independent].

    I don’t follow the British media much. How much of the red-baiting has the Independent itself taken part in?

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