2:00PM Water Cooler 9/28/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“[Utah Senator Orrin] Hatch said he is not backing down from his demand that the 11 other TPP countries respect a 12-year monopoly period for brand-name biological drugs. The administration, in closing out the trade deal last year, settled on a maximum of eight years” [Politico]. Deathless quote from Hatch: “This is really an important thing and that’s why I fought so hard to get it through, but the administration has dragged their feet all the way with regard to data exclusivity and, my gosh, I don’t think that’s that big of a deal.”

“The defining factor behind Vietnam’s delay in formally approving the signed Trans-Pacific Partnership pact is the uncertainty over whether the US Congress will pass it” [Asia Times]. “In fact, the Southeast Asian country is an ardent supporter of the multinational trade deal. As the ruling Communist party approved it at its 12th national congress in January, the [National Assembly’s] ratification of it is only a formality and a matter of time.”

“The fiercely independent and highly credible U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that after 15 years, the TPP would result in increases in annual real income, exports and gross domestic product in the United States. In an era of slow growth and economic uncertainty, such increases are nothing to sneeze at” [WaPo]. Amazingly, they don’t even attempt to quantify GDP, and there’s no mention even of the fig leaf of retraining.

“CETA: TTIP IN A CANADIAN DISGUISE” [European United Left/Nordic Green Left (PDF)]. “CETA has been envisaged as a living agreement, which means that it contains the tools to modify its own scope. This fact entails a great degree of uncertainty in the treaty, since the fact of a piece of legislation not being challenged immediately after the treaty’s signature does not mean that it will not be challenged in the future.”


Days until: 40.

Debate Wrapup

Next debate: Sunday, October 9 (11 days).

“Taliban leaders watched U.S. presidential debate, blast ‘non-serious’ Trump” [Reuters]. Best headline ever!

“Trump? How Could We?” [Thomas Friedman, New York Times]. The fact that Thomas Friedman has a platform at the New York Times to write this opinion piece goes a long way to answer his question.

“Trump’s ill-advised feud with Machado fits into a pattern we’ve noticed throughout the campaign: When Trump is in a bad period like this, he makes it worse for himself by refusing to back down. Particularly in the face of poor reviews (remember the Khan fight after his convention message was panned by pundits?), Trump has a tendency to spiral downward for a few days until he’s convinced to stop lashing out or punching down. Our question is: how long does bad stretch for Trump last?” [NBC].

“Even as Mr. Trump’s advisers publicly backed him on Tuesday and praised his debate performance, they were privately awash in second-guessing about why he stopped attacking Mrs. Clinton on trade and character issues and instead grew erratic, impatient and subdued as the night went on. In interviews, seven campaign aides and advisers, most of whom sought anonymity to speak candidly, expressed frustration and discouragement over their candidate’s performance Monday night” [New York Times].

The Voters

“During a tour of college campuses across Maine last week, Stein began each event by asking for both a show of hands of Green Party members and one for Sanders holdouts. At least nine out of 10 audience members raised the hands for the latter category” [NBC News]. “With support in the single digits, Stein is running a niche campaign and has focused her time in liberal states, not battlegrounds, since she’s interested only in raw votes and not electoral ones.”

“Mrs. Clinton’s chance of losing is about the same as the probability that an N.F.L. kicker misses a 47-yard field goal” [New York Times].

From the heart of the blob: “We’ve Got to Face It: Trump Is Riding a Global Trend” [Foreign Policy]. “We need to think about how to make democracy more effective at cushioning citizens from the shocks of change. We need to think hard about tackling political polarization and creating new space for politics that can actually address pressing problems rather than succumbing to the gridlock that discredits democracy. We need to think about information policies — including media literacy programs — that can offer urgently needed counterweights to the echo chambers and conspiracy factories of the internet.” Seems a little late to do your thinking….

Swing States

“It’s not just Clinton’s margins with black voters that concerns Democrats. It’s whether African-American voters turn out in force for her in a pivotal state whose 29 electoral votes are essential to the GOP nominee’s path to an Electoral College victory. A loss in Florida all but guarantees a Trump defeat on Election Day” [Politico]. “Clinton faces a similar potential problem with Hispanic voters. Though Florida Hispanics back her by double-digit margins similar to the level of support Obama enjoyed, activists fear their turnout rate will be lower.”


“Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles” [Arizona Republic]. “This year is different.”

“Pramila Jayapal was one of the first down-ballot candidates to receive Bernie Sanders’ endorsement—and now she’s advancing to the November election, where she’s expected to easily win the heavily Democratic district” [In These Times].

Clinton Email Hairball

“Comey on Clinton email probe: ‘Don’t call us weasels'” [Politico]. Wait, no, this is the best headline!

Stats Watch

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of September 23, 2016: Up 1%, up 10% year on year [Econoday].

Durable Goods Orders, August 2016: “The headline, at a monthly zero percent, is flat and so are the indications from the bulk of the August durable goods report” [Econoday]. “Aside from vehicles and a strong gain for defense capital goods, good news is hard to find in today’s report…. August results, though flat, are better than expected. Still, the data point to more of the same for the factory sector, a flat trajectory reflecting weakness in global demand and specific weakness in business investment.” And: “Continues in contraction year over year, and revisions likely to cause further downward GDP revisions” [Mosler Economics]. And: “Despite tentative evidence of a recovery, a sustained run of stronger data will be needed to trigger a shift in sentiment surrounding investment” [Economic Calendar].

Shipping: “ATA Trucking Index increased Sharply in August” [Calculated Risk]. “[V]olatility continues to reign.” But: ” Back up some” [Mosler Economics].

Shipping: “Once containers leave the vessel, customers will have to pay to retrieve their own goods. It won’t be cheap” [DC Velocity]. “This creates a potential nightmare for importers. In many cases, containers are being discharged far from their intended destinations. The additional costs could include such things as freight charges for a substitute carrier, the container and chassis rental, and local and inland drayage for both the full and the empty container. All of this is on top of the freight and ancillary charges that were specified in the original bill of lading.”

Shipping: “[Amazon is] laying the groundwork for its own shipping business in a brazen challenge to America’s freight titans” [Wall Street Journal, “Amazon’s Newest Ambition: Competing Directly With UPS and FedEx”]. That was fast. “Inside the company, executives describe, in the words of one senior official, how Amazon ‘is building a full-service logistics and transportation network effectively from the ground up.'” Not unionized, of course. And: “[40%] of the U.S. population that lives within 20 miles of an Amazon facility” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “Global container volumes are on track for zero growth this year, which would mark the sector’s worst performance since the 2009 economic crisis and a sure catalyst for further bankruptcies and possible acquisitions in the beleaguered shipping industry, shipping executives said.” [Wall Street Journal, “Global Container Volume on Track for Worst Year Since 2009”]. “Container operators, which move everything from clothes and shoes to electronics and furniture, are burdened by 30% more capacity in the water than demand. ” Meanwhile, in this country, we’re madly adding capacity. What am I missing?

Shipping: “The rapid growth of e-commerce has fueled development of warehouses and distribution centers in the 12 primary U.S. inland-port markets at nearly twice the national rate, according to a new report from commercial real estate company CBRE Group Inc. Collectively, the 12 inland ports saw their base of industrial properties expand by 2.7 percent in this year’s first quarter, far outpacing the national average growth rate of 1.6 percent” [DC Velocity]. “The fastest-growing inland ports in the study included Southern California’s Inland Empire (which reported growth of 4.3 percent), Greenville, S.C. (4.2 percent), and Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth (both at 3.6 percent). Rounding out the top 12 were Phoenix; Kansas City; Houston; St. Louis; Chicago; Memphis, Tenn.; Columbus, Ohio; and East and Central Pennsylvania.”

Retail: “In previous years, Google was the initial place consumers would visit to find information about a specific product. Nowadays, consumers are much more likely to go to Amazon first” [ETF Daily]. That’s because it’s worth fighting your way through Amazon’s appallingly bad search box to get to the reviews.

The Bezzle: “Uber acquired self-driving lorry startup Otto this summer in a deal worth up to $680 million and it plans to put the company to work next year” [Tech Crunch]. “To recap, Otto’s technology allows existing trucks to be ‘retrofitted’ with self-driving technology which can handle driving on U.S. highways. It doesn’t entirely automate the process since human drivers are needed to negotiating coming on and off highways, but the technology may enable drivers to rest more and make their deliveries faster in the future. The technology remains under development, but with Uber’s considerable resources now on board, Lior and his team aim to begin working with warehouses and stores to partially automate the driving process and generally improve efficiency. … The company plans to more than double its current fleet of six trucks to kick things off.” I wish I knew who did Uber’s PR.

The Bezzle: “Passengers in Uber’s self-driving cars waived right to sue for injury or death” [Guardian]. I like to see a company show confidence in its product.

The Bezzle:

The Bezzle: “SpaceX’s Elon Musk Unveils Mars Colonization Dream Ship” [Scientific American]. More precisely, plans for a “dream ship.” And: “[Musk] envisions other organizations eventually aiding SpaceX in Mars colonization as well, saying the effort will be a ‘huge public-private partnership.'” Grifters gotta grift.

Honey for the Bears: “There are fewer lenders active in construction financing for hotels, sources said at the recent Hotel News Now Lender Roundtable” [Hotel News Now]. “‘For us, one of the craziest things I’ve yet to have a clear answer for is underwriting contractors’ balance sheets,’ [Michael Maguire, managing director of Aileron Capital Management] said. ‘Everyone wants a guaranteed-best-price contract, but you have no idea what their guarantees are worth. You could have someone build 200 Best Westerns, but his balance sheet looks terrible. It’s a very unique world.'”

The Fed: “Live video and blog of Fed’s Janet Yellen testifying at House hearing” [MarketWatch]. “Another key takeaway is that the Fed wants to make stress tests easier for all but the giant banks. These stress tests have become huge burdens for all the banks…. * A new form of capital cushions for the giant banks called a ‘stress capital buffer.’ … Perhaps the real takeaway is that the Fed’s political independence is becoming a bit more of an issue, despite Yellen’s denial.” And: “Brad Sherman flat out asks Yellen if she would break up Wells Fargo. She dodges, says holds big banks to ‘exceptionally high standards.’ Rep. Stephen Lynch on what Fed should do to Wells Fargo — ‘Make their life hell.’ Yellen points out that the activities in question were regulated by the OCC and the CFPB, and not the Fed.” I always thought when Yellen testified things were quite sedate, but this seems rather chirpy.

The Fed: “[In Yellen’s testimony, there] is an admission that the Fed is considering broader regulation or requirements on stress and capital tests” [Wall Street 24/7]. But: “[Yellen] also stated that there is no fixed timetable for raising interest rates. Given the very vague nature of the remarks, there was no significant impact on financial markets” [Economic Calendar].

“The size of U.S. university endowments totaled $529 billion last year, a 53 percent increase from five years earlier, according to data from the National Association of College and University Business Officers. The average endowment invests 5 percent of its assets in venture or more for larger endowments, said the trade group. When schools get richer, so do VCs” [Bloomberg].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 40 Fear (previous close: 45, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 53 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 28 at 11:47am. Moar fear.

Dear Old Blighty

“it is rare for big incumbent parties to collapse. This alone suggests that Labour’s obituarists might be guilty of the fallacy of base rate neglect – as well as of wishful thinking. Where parties have collapsed it’s been because they lack a class base, such as the Liberals in the 1920s, or have betrayed the perceived interests of much of that base as the Tories did in abolishing the Corn Laws in 1846. (Scottish Labour might also be an example of the latter)” [Stumbling and Mumbling]. “Equally, new parties succeed where they have a class base – as Labour did in the early 20th century – but fail when they are the ego trip of a narcissist; think of Mosley’s BUF or David Owen’s SDP. It’s too soon to say into which category Ukip falls.”

Police State

“We examined the relationship between use of force policies and police killings and found significantly fewer killings by police departments with strong policies in place” [Use of Force Project]. In other words — not that either party is bringing this up — if we want to stop cops from whacking black people, there are proven policy approaches that we can adopt.

Better coverage than Verizon:

“Encounter With ‘Erratic’ Black Man Ends With Officer-Involved Shooting in El Cajon: PD” [NBC San Diego]. Another 911 call culminating the police shooting the person they were called to help. “Maria, an employee at Los Panchos in El Cajon, said police came into the restaurant and took all cell phones from employees after the shooting; they told employees not to talk to anyone, according to Maria. NBC 7 has not confirmed how many phones were confiscated. ” Yikes.

The Unsettlement

Just to put things in perspective..


“The Region of the Americas is the first in the world to have eliminated measles, a viral disease that can cause severe health problems, including pneumonia, blindness, brain swelling and even death. This achievement culminates a 22-year effort involving mass vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella throughout the Americas” [Science Bulletin].

“The Forgotten Life of Plants” [UA Magazine]. “Plants warn each other and use epigenetic changes to remember these warnings.”

Class Warfare

“Oil and gas companies typically leave management of their sites to subcontractors, a practice that dilutes safety standards and protects companies from liability, making an already dangerous job even more so, a Denver Post investigation has found” [Denver Post]. “Workers’ compensation laws give the site owners immunity from lawsuits brought by subcontracted workers injured on the job. Contracts between owners and subcontractors often contain a provision — so controversial that its use in the oil and gas industry is banned in several other high-producing states — in which the companies agree not to sue each other over accidents regardless of who is at fault.”

“Labor-force participation rate decline is mostly structural, Fed’s Fischer says” [MarketWatch]. “On the participation rate, Fischer said some of the decline reflects the people who became discouraged after losing their job and not finding new ones. But he said “much” of the decline was due to the nation’s aging population, as well as a trend since the mid-1960s for declining participation by prime-age males. As for the reason why prime-age male participation is falling, particularly for those with no more than a high school education, Fischer said there’s a number of possibilities. He said some economists have said disability insurance and public assistance income has played a role, while others point out a decline in demand for lower-skilled labor, which is evidenced by the steep drop in wages in comparison with college graduates.”

“A simple linear trend suggests that by mid-century about a quarter of men between 25 and 54 will not be working at any moment” [Larry Summers].

News of the Wired

“At the bleeding edge of AI: Quantum grocery picking and transfer learning” [ArsTechnica]. “Quantum,” as in requiring quantum computing. “Even with AI, the problem is that robots and the neural networks that will imbue them with sufficient cleverness to perform a particular task have immense difficulty in learning new tricks while remembering old ones. So handling an inventory of over 48,000 items of all shapes, sizes, and consistencies would be a big ask.: Harder or easier than truly autonomous vehicles?

* * *

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 think this is a Zinnia…

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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. david s

    Re: Swing States

    I don’t think there’s any question turnout will be lower this time around, and that’s almost certainly bad news for Democrats.

    By this time in 2008, and even 2012, my town (a very very blue small city) was an ocean of Democratic Party candidate campaign signs. Probably 2/3 yards had some kind of sign.

    This year, maybe 1/5 yards has a sign. Maybe not even that many.

    There just isn’t any enthusiasm coming from the top this year.

      1. ambrit

        I dunno Comrade Jim. Hillary and her minions are experts at the “Death By A Thousand Fees.” If that isn’t being ‘eaten alive,’ I don’t know what is.

      2. nippersmom

        Not so sure about that. At some point in the process the jackals will kill you and the pain will be over.

      3. RabidGandhi

        I just ran a Lexis Nexis search and there are no articles about packs of starved jackals destroying Libya, Syria or any other country. Zero drone and missile strikes can be attributed to jackals (starving or otherwise), and aside from a rather rowdy mauling of a zebra herd in Rhodesia in 1904, jackals have never seemed to support coups at any time in history (all though they can debatably be called super-predators).

        1. Greee

          John Conyers did a jackal today. Asked Comey if The FBI was investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Conyers is a veteran of the civil rights movement and, apparently so old he forgot about McCarthy and Watergate and Hoover.

      4. Dave

        She sure looked like a jackal—with a massive overbite. It reminds me of those cartoons where the artist uses the same drawing of a character over and over in different panels. It’s almost like she throws herself into self hypnosis when she gets that look.
        I can imagine her sitting in a cabinet meeting after being told the missiles have been launched to start WWIII. She’s have that jackal smile on and would space out while people around her rushed about trying to figure out what to do.

    1. jgordon

      Where I live in Florida I’ve seen exactly 1 yard sign with Hillary on it, and ironically enough 1 yard sign with Trump on it in the yard next to the Hillary sign. That’s it. Not that I pay too much attention to this kind of thing, but next to know bumper stickers to speak of, in a heavily urbanized area. I can almost feel the apathy over the election.

      The only time I ever see any sort of enthusiasm for politics at all is at the Trump rallies he sometimes holds in the area. I think most people must be secret Trump supporters who only come out of the closet when they have a safe space to do so.

      1. curlydan

        In my Kansas neighborhood, Johnson is now leading the yard sign battle–took me a few minutes to remember who Johnson was the first time I saw the sign. Then I saw Weld below it, and it all came back to me–those faux retreads.

      2. Philman

        I live in central Florida in a historically Dem neighborhood and have yet to see a Hillary sign, nor a Trump sign for that matter. Can you say low turnout?

      3. temporal

        Same thing in my small town. A sign for Hillary beside a sign for Trump.

        The enthusiasm seems to be in telling someone they don’t like the other person’s choice. In rural upstate NY though there a plenty of Trump signs and none for Hillary. The votes from NYC, as always, will erase that.

      4. Dave

        The Midwest small towns I traveled through recently have some Trump signs. No one seems to want them on their cars, but plenty of yard signs.

    2. mcdee

      I live In a very blue New Mexico city. Obama got over 70 % here both times. I have not seen a single Hillary yard sign yet. Still quite a few Bernie signs and bumper stickers. Seen a handful of Hillary bumper stickers. Nothing for Trump, Stein or Johnson. You’re right. No enthusiasm.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        In 2012, the message pushed by Team Blue was Obama, a would be free to be pre-election Obama and that ACA would be gangbusters by now. Sanders and fear of what Sanders voters would do is a side show compared to the real event which is how angry voters are everywhere. Many people have checked out. Sanders as not a Democrat had potential to overcome this, but when Congress cut food stamps and passed agricultural subsidies for outfits such as Montasanto, did they hold a sit in? The answer is no, and people have seen their behavior and have tired. Tim Kaine pretty much destroys the Supreme Court argument.

        The GOP is shrinking and needs no explanation. Now if the GOP became anti fossil fuel and pushed for small businesses to plaster American roofs with solar, they could turn things around, but the GOP was dead in 2009 except Obama moved heaven and earth to save that sorry party.

    3. Chauncey Gardiner

      Re: …”There just isn’t any enthusiasm coming from the top this year.”

      Agree. Neither candidate has offered an inspiring vision for the people of this nation. And as the old verse goes: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

      Further, neither candidate has offered up a route to peace. That conversation remains utterly and conspicuously absent from the websites of both candidates.

      “What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children.” —John F. Kennedy

    4. Pavel

      It’s like asking a patient: “Are you more enthusiastic about having lung cancer or liver cancer?”

      On a related note, I see Bernie is now stumping side-by-side with Clinton. Either the Clinton Mafia have the goods on Sanders somehow or maybe they just promised him a committee chair… what a turncoat he turned out to be. Sickening.

      1. mk

        Bernie is doing what he said he was going to do, everything he can to stop Trump from becoming our next president. Bernie has integrity, even if it makes him look bad, he keeps his word.

    5. Darthbobber

      I think the yard sign is also now a lower priority for the organizations than it once was. The density of them was way down is the last Philly mayoral election from what I was used to, and this year’s primaries trended the same way.

      1. optimader

        not botanist, but it sure looks like dried
        Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’)

        I happen to have a couple specimens in my yard and that’s what it looks like in the winter because I don’t cut it down (or burn it)

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > deer resistant

            Good luck with that.

            The only thing that has ever worked for me is a combination of (a) stuff for them to eat, like clover, on the outside, so they don’t into the garden (b) and black fishing line strung around the whole garden at waist height. Their legs encounter the line in the dark, but they can’t see the obstacle, and they go away (deer are both stupid and have bad eyesight). I only get onesies and twosies, though. I don’t know if this would work with a herd.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Porcupine grass — Miscanthus strictus — looks even closer (thinner, straighter, taller).

          Thanks for the tip!

    1. ambrit

      Yep. Those unopened flower buds are distinctive. Yours look to be low growing though. (Unless you used a macro lens.) Our zinnias average three or four foot above ground when they bloom.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            I love zinnias. Zinnias are hardy (they grow well in the soil that gets whatever the plows throw), colorful, have a long growing season, and bees love them. They are excellent accents that persist season-long as other flowers and plants come and go.

            So, yes, I wish Clinton were as good as a zinnia. (Trump too, of course, just as a troll prophylactic.)

            1. ambrit

              Yes for the zinnias. If you have some space left in your garden, try some of the Mexican Sunflowers featured in an earlier antidote. They need a bit more room, but are just as liked by the insects as zinnias.
              Hmmm. To see H Clinton in a vegetative state. Tis much to be desired methinks. (Some CTs suggest that such is already the case.)
              You’re getting good with the camera.

  2. curlydan

    Yes, the media and the DC insiders are all begging us to drag HRC across the finish line in an effort to defeat TRUMP. Normally, a candidate might inspire and give voters reasons to go the polls, but we’ve been asked to do all the work and heavy lifting this year to prevent TRUMP.

    1. cwaltz

      The funny thing is because of WHO is asking, it makes Trump appear more attractive and almost makes me want to vote for the guy out of spite.

      After all, what exactly have the media or the DC insiders done for the American people? Ignored issues and blatantly supported policies that have harmed Americans? It’s rather audacious of them to even bother asking most of us when most of us don’t see the answer to the question of what has been done for us as a net positive. Most from the left and the right might even go so far as to say media and DC insiders have lined their pockets on the backs of average Americans’ pain. Beg us to do something for them? They deserve to be kicked in the teeth in the same manner they’ve been doing it to average Americans for years.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        Yes. As indicated by the telling finish of the quote above: “…We need to think about information policies — including media literacy programs — that can offer urgently needed counterweights to the echo chambers and conspiracy factories of the internet.

        Gutless, hackneyed drivel topped off with an urgent plea to the policy-making class……… to up their propaganda game.

      2. Anne

        I can’t think of a single thing that would make Trump appear more attractive, outside of seeing the back of him slowly disappearing from view – forever. Yes, I get that it’s totally galling to be inundated with begging pleas from the likes of Hillary Clinton and some of her cronies – I routinely mail back to her every last shred of paper she sends me, in the postage-paid envelope, so I know that teeth-clenching, migraine-inducing rush of ire that she can induce.

        I can give you a list of things that I can’t stand about Clinton – a long one – but given the likelihood that my state will be solidly in the tank for Clinton, I won’t have to vote for her to save the world from President Trump. But where I am coming to is that, if that’s what it came down to, I don’t think I could participate in anything that aided his election.

        I came away from that debate wanting to stick needles in my eyes. Trump is a thin-skinned, prevaricating, floridly egotistical, vindictive, bigoted, misogynistic bully whose flaws will only expand and possibly explode if he is elected.

        There is nothing even remotely attractive about Trump – I can’t even contemplate just how bad Clinton would need to be to make him look like the better choice.

        1. Pat

          Funny, I can think of at few things that make Trump more attractive to me in comparison to Clinton. One being his lack of interest in war with Russia, and his ability to understand that ‘regime change’ has been a loser for American interests, and the other being that he gets that our current trade policy has been a ‘loser’.

          That said, both are disastrous choices, it may be for different reasons, but both are despicable. Neither one of them should be allowed to enter the White House in a tour group, much less live there. And I for one do not want to participate in anything that elects Hillary Rodham Clinton or Donald Trump to dog catcher, much less President. I’m going to vote my conscience and let the chips fall where they may. I would be doing it no matter where I live. See, there is a point where you figure out that you are going to lose out no matter what. There are no softer landings available.

          1. Anne

            Definitely lose-lose, but I don’t think what we lose is the same on both sides. I don’t trust either one of them – whatever sense Donald makes on those few issues seems to me more like the stopped-clock effect, and isn’t based on any depth of knowledge/understanding.

            I don’t know, what’s worse? Being slowly boiled to death in the hot water of a methodical and calculated Clinton strategy, or being vaporized in the explosion of whatever Trump-the-arsonist ignites out of ignorance and ego?

            And I can’t even bear to think what our so-called choices will be in 2020.

            Time to go spend a couple hours with two of the grandkids…the best cure ever for the insanity of this political season and the consequences barreling down the pike.

            1. Jim Haygood

              “What’s worse? Being slowly boiled to death in the hot water of a methodical and calculated Clinton strategy, or being vaporized in the explosion of whatever Trump-the-arsonist ignites out of ignorance and ego?”

              Off the top of my head, slowly drowning in a radioactive cesspool lined with poison-tipped sharpened stakes and infested with leeches and mutant killer alligators whose red reptile eyes glow menacingly in the dark.

              But reasonable people may disagree …

              1. ambrit

                ‘Reasonable’ people will be eaten this election cycle.
                The Cthulhu4America crew got it right. A headline for one of their election “commentaries” says it all: “America lost the first debate, hands down.”
                When satire becomes not only descriptive, but prescriptive as well…

          2. Pavel

            Thank you, Pat. From my POV this is key:

            One being his lack of interest in war with Russia

            In contrast with the (admittedly horrific) Trump, HRC has surrounded herself with anti-Russia, neocon advisors.

            Needless to say, Putin isn’t perfect, but how does further upgrading the conflict and risking WW3 and global destruction help matters? The NATO exercises on the Russian border and Syrian escalations are truly scary.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              I’m not so sure they’re set on a war with Russia, though that’s an item in their portfolio. Any war would do, if the goal is to re-assert American hegemony (which is going to work until it doesn’t. Maybe we should wait until the F-35s are ready….)

              1. fajensen

                “They” want to achieve 2 things:

                1) Pry Europe away from Russia and keep it as a (collection of) vassal states that always serve US interests. always suffer whatever consequences that follows from US interests and always pay US corporations for the privilege.

                2) Destroy competition. Commercially and especially Ideologically, it is an affront to the US that the total taxes paid are lower in the “socialist” welfare states than they are under glorious capitalism in the US. Hence the ratchet clauses in TTIP and CETA.

                If the soft otions of neoliberalism, bullying and “free” trade doesn’t do the trick, and the follow-up with mass immigration doesn’t corrode EU democracies quite enough, then kicking something off with Russia that will spill into Europe is absolutely the next step.

                The EU and the US are not friends, we at most are partners in an abusive relationship. Snowden made that perfectly clear.

        2. cwaltz

          Trump isn’t attractive to me either. However, defeating the DC insiders and media that have brought us to this point in history where my choices are bad and worse is attractive to me

          I recognize that voting for him would be a knee jerk reaction. However, I do understand why I have that knee jerk reaction. For years now, average Americans, like myself, have seen the media collude with the DC insiders and watched as we’ve seen our standard of living decline. We’ve watched our children struggle with unaffordable college. We’ve watched our parents struggle with unaffordable health care. We’ve watched our neighbors struggle to afford housing. We’ve watched our work weeks increase to 60 hours to pay for basics and heard them tell us that we need to work from cradle to grave(and let’s be clear for lower middle class and middle class 70 is until grave) with little to no respite(we don’t even have a mandatory vacation or sick policy in this country.) With that in mind, why should I want their standard bearer of status quo to win? I DON’T. I want Hillary Clinton to lose, not because I like Trump, but because I hate what these people have done and will continue to do to this country if allowed to remain in power. That’s his case.

          I live in a swing state and I’ll be voting for Stein. Screw the pundits and their *begging*. They deserve this loss.

          1. Pavel

            Excellent comment, thank you. I only wish the MSM pundits would grasp what you describe in just a paragraph or two.

          2. jrs

            Yea they outsource and insource (H1B) our jobs, we see massive poverty and homelessness everywhere (who can survive 8 more years of this?), they declare war on the whole world (and neocons like Kagen support Hillary), they spy on us (and the intelligence apparatus is behind Hillary), they do very little about the environmental crisis that will spell everyone’s doom because it might affect their profits and instead push for corporate rule (TPP) when it’s corporations versus the biosphere at this point.

            Trump is not appealing, and his advisors and VP pick are appalling, his policies on issues like the environment appalling, he could prove to be the biggest con-man of them all including his anti-establishment stance, but it’s one of those things where I PLAN to vote for Jill Stein, but there’s always a chance the devil takes over in the voting booth. And let’s just say the devil would not be the devil in a red dress that I know so well.

            1. cwaltz

              Perhaps Barack should have thought about that during the 2 terms he was in office and actually made a legacy for average Americans that I felt I needed to protect.

              I sure hope all those health insurance CEOs, defense contractors, and other lobbyists the DNC has on speed dial make up enough of the population to make up for people like me. I care the same amount about whether or not Hillary gets hurt as the DNC has cared about whether or not average Americans get hurt by their trade policy, health care policy or even their foreign policies.

            1. ambrit

              I’d say that the public’s supine acceptance of Sanders being cheated out of the Democratic Parties nomination evinces a disgust with and rejection of “politics as usual.”
              What will it take to arouse this public?

        3. nippersmom

          I can’t think of a single thing that would make Clinton appear more attractive, compared to pretty much anyone. I’ll be voting Stein, the only remaining candidate who aligns with my views and reflects my interests. If she hadn’t made it onto the ballot here in Georgia, I would not be voting in the presidential election for the first time since I became eligible to vote in 1980. Neither of the two ruling-party sociopaths is at all palatable.

          1. Pavel

            I find it ironic that the HRC supporters are now desperately pleading with third-party supporters to vote Hillary BECAUSE TRUMP. Let’s not forget it was Hillary herself who tweeted to all “Vote your conscience”.

            Jill Stein is anti-war, anti-greed, pro-environment. Rather the opposite of HRC.

          1. ambrit

            We returned some of our Dem mailers with Sanders or Trump campaign materials inside. Now the Dems seem to have got the message and written us off.

              1. ambrit

                No truer words…
                Although, the DNC’s seminal contributions to my cloaca have finally ceased. We can thank the Gods for small favours. (For me, that Dem campaign logo is translated as “Preparation Hillary.” The arrow should be pointing up.)

      3. nippersdad

        Breaking memo to the “sanctimonious purists” he never had time for.

        “If you do not vote, you’re voting for Trump. And if you vote, then you are voting — even if I am not on the ballot — you’re voting for the work that all of us have done together, making sure that’s locked in, making sure that’s sustained.”


        Now that his Republican legacy is endangered by the Republicans, we are all responsible for his choices.

        1. cwaltz

          The Democrats can bite me.

          What work? The work they’ve done behind closed doors to precipitate the next round of jobs going overseas on the TPP? (note: Democratic plank on TPP does not call on it being opposed)The work they did behind closed doors to hand money over to health insurance companies while ensuring that actual care cost more for the rest of us in the name of “skin in the game?”(Note: Democratic plank not calling for single payer system) The work that’s been done to undermine global stability in places like Ukraine or Syria in the name of oil and gas companies profiteering and undermining Russian oligarchs?(Note: DNC insistence that the Russians are responsible for release of emails showing the world what corrupt dirt bags they are…..because the part where they were dirtbags is less problematic than Russians exposing them.)

          I don’t particularly care for the “work” that has been done and I’d certainly argue it wasn’t done together with the American people- so why again should we care if it is “undone?”

          As it stands the DNC can’t even claim they are the only ones arguing the American people deserve a raise since even Trump acknowledges the minimum wage SHOULD be raised at this point.

          What exact work am I supposed to be worrying about being undone? Gay marriage? Short of that I’d argue the DNC has been short on actual policies that I really need to worry about being undone.

          1. Pat

            And please remember if the Democratic establishment had anything to say about gay marriage would still be being approached incrementally. From Clinton’s marriage is between a man and a woman garbage as late as 2013, and Obama having to have a gun held to his head by gay fund raisers who made entering the 21st century a requirement to get the money the Kool Kids were all at the back of the parade.

            So no, not even that…

          2. nippersdad

            I saw a more or less identical response to his “I will be personally insulted” rant from a black woman on my Sanders feed last week. It would appear that he is not doing a very good job of converting the “drug addled” “retard” demographic.

            Who knew that Karma would arrive just as he was leaving? And now, with the 9/11 bill veto override, we may yet get to see him in the Hague; put there by some of the many families he has personally chosen to bomb on his murder Tuesdays. Something to look forward to.

            Now that I have no skin in the game I can finally start to enjoy all of these “lesser evil” election seasons.

  3. L

    From the heart of the blob: “We’ve Got to Face It: Trump Is Riding a Global Trend” [Foreign Policy]. “We need to think about how to make democracy more effective at cushioning citizens from the shocks of change. We need to think hard about tackling political polarization and creating new space for politics that can actually address pressing problems rather than succumbing to the gridlock that discredits democracy. We need to think about information policies — including media literacy programs — that can offer urgently needed counterweights to the echo chambers and conspiracy factories of the internet.” Seems a little late to do your thinking….

    When you step back from it, that is a terrifying statement. In the Foreign Policy view Democracy is supposed to act a some sort of cushion against the shocks of change. I had been under the impression that Democracy was about the population directing changes and directing their own lives. That was, I believe, the basic idea.

    But clearly for the elites at FP Democracy is not a bedrock principle of our society but some sort of safety valve while we norms all get beaten up by “The market”.


    1. Michael

      Yeah, I got that sense as well. What’s the purpose of “change” if it isn’t to improve the lives of the vast majority of humans?

      1. hunkerdown

        Michael, the answer is to be found outside of the liberal bubble. From the Communist Manifesto, chapter 1:

        The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

        They do it because it’s in their in-bred nature and because it’s in their self-interest to keep their inferiors off-balance.

    2. ewmayer

      Ah, “democracy”. Like “credibility” — use of either term to describe the U.S. government and the processes related to staffing thereof assumes facts not in evidence.

  4. Vatch

    “Maria, an employee at Los Panchos in El Cajon, said police came into the restaurant and took all cell phones from employees after the shooting; they told employees not to talk to anyone, according to Maria. NBC 7 has not confirmed how many phones were confiscated. ” Yikes.

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and right now, the ghosts of numerous Gestapo and KGB/NKVD/Cheka officers are feeling mighty flattered.

    1. Benedict@Large

      What scares me is not that the police asked for this stuff, but rather that the employees assented. Don’t these people understand that they could be next?

  5. Roger Smith

    Re: (Pop Goes the) Weasels

    “I knew there were going to be all kinds of rocks thrown, but this organization and the people who did this are honest, independent people.”

    Well Comey, it is not that we do not trust the agents, we do not trust the leadership. If any of the underground reports I have seen are indications, the agents were trying and struggling to do their jobs.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Only three references to Comey as a “Treas-Weasel” appear in a Google search.

      All three are on naked capitalism in July 2016. And I know who did it.

      *peers out window for suspicious unmarked vehicles*

    2. justanotherprogressive

      Are there no longer any “deep throats” left at the FBI? Because now would be an excellent opportunity for one of them to start making phone calls – but to who? Greenwald maybe? He seems to be the only investigative journalist left but he doesn’t even live in this country…..

    3. crittermom

      Roger Smith–
      “…it is not that we do not trust the agents, we do not trust the leadership.”

      Perfectly stated. Nailed it!

      Sooo…..I wonder how those low-ranking soldiers in the military are faring using the same defense?

      I remain infuriated that nothing happened to her. I now have yet another head (Comey) I want to see in my front yard guillotine. Grrrrrrr…

  6. charles leseau

    If I remember correctly, Scott Norwood’s last-minute field goal miss in the Buffalo Bills Superbowl loss to the Giants was 47 yards. Sometimes it happens in the big game!

  7. Fred

    “The size of U.S. university endowments totaled $529 billion last year, a 53 percent increase…”

    Why do we need to bail out universities by assuming all school costs onto the tax payers backs?

    1. TedWa

      Aggravating isn’t it. They complain about and want to cut food stamps and welfare but by far the largest welfare queens are those that don’t even need it.

  8. human

    “The fiercely independent and highly credible U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that after 15 years, the TPP would result in increases in annual real income, exports and gross domestic product in the United States. In an era of slow growth and economic uncertainty, such increases are nothing to sneeze at”

    Lambert, you have a stronger stomach than I having to read tripe (no offense to real tripe) such as this everyday.

    For starters, in 15 years of declining first (?) world wages, of course there will be increases in annual real income … and hopefully some for even the 90%! Once labor costs stabilize at third world levels globally there will be no place to go but up.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Don’t feel bad, human. The Greeks have to wait until mid-century before they get a raise. According to the ever-optimistic IMF, at least.

    1. jo6pac

      Just like them, a little late to the party but if they lose then they can say we tried but the Greens took our votes. If they do build it in time to get fake progressives to vote for hillabillie will throw them under the bus later like last time?

      Voting Green myself.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      With 39 days to go? Reminds me of the kind of boss who wants impossible results because they don’t really know how the business works; all they see is the financials. Also deeply ironic, since Brazile, as a creature of Obama’s faction, and an architect of the identity politics-driven Democrat Party of today, was part of the cabal that deep-sixed the 50-state strategy to begin with (because remember, unlike in the Acela corridor, there are racists out there in the irredeemable states…).

      Sure, they could be tuning up for the midterms [hollow laughter].

      1. Pat

        I think they see the writing on the wall, and are positioning themselves for the likely coming purge they avoided in 2014. As in we realized we were in trouble, it it was just too late…

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        TerryMac would make favorable noises about organizing everywhere, but he was never popular enough and not hard working enough to recruit candidates or raise money in sufficient amounts to make funding promises.

        The Team Blue elite know the 50 state strategy is one of the slogans they need to say to appease local Democrats who are wavering, and after Hillary has found aimed to make it rain in down ticket races, recruitment will be a huge issue.

  9. Alex morfesis

    The arizona republic has Never endorsed a democrat…$hillary is just a goldwater girl wearing democratic spanx(tm)….

  10. Thomas Williams

    Re: Labor force participation rate reduction is a structural problem

    Pure Canard

    Get rid of 35 million illegals and 100’s of thousands guest workers. Then watch how fast the participation rate rebounds.

    Neoliberal tripe!

    1. Vatch

      I’m all for reducing the unmanageably high levels of total immigration into the U.S., and I strongly believe in penalizing illegal employers, but I think you have exaggerated the number of illegal illegal immigrants. According to Numbers USA, there are about 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.:


      The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the total immigrant population of the U.S. is about 42 million people:


      1. Vatch

        Oops. I didn’t mean to say “illegal illegal immigrants”. That should just be “illegal immigrants”.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Polecats/ferrets are weasels with a very similar chemical defense, though they can’t spray it. My son established by experiment that they don’t like it when you close the hole behind them, and will skunk.

      For that matter, skunks technically ARE weasels, but with long hair.

      Weasel seems to be a figure for “low.”

      1. Jim Haygood

        Comey got tired of being called “Jimmy the Gerbil” and decided to up his game to a fiercer mammal.

        1. ambrit

          Well Comrade Jim, if my misspent youth is any indication, that poor “J-Gerb” spent at least some time ensconsed up some DNC bums. (The claws of said Miner Gerbils were removed, to reduce the chance of infection, natch, and so, Jimmy’s lack of “assertiveness” is explained.)
          At this point, H Clinton and her ‘double-ender’ are passe. (I believe that I may speak for America at large in asserting that we are not “consenting adults” in these festivities.)

  11. ekstase

    “When plants are attacked…they release airborne chemicals which inform other plants…about the attack, enabling them to prepare themselves for the inevitable onslaught.”

    Wouldn’t it be great if we had a whistleblower system like that?

    1. NYPaul

      I don’t get it; What’s his problem with Asians? I thought Silicon Valley loved Orientals (more even than native born Lilly Whites)

      1. EGrise

        Isn’t Palantir connected to the CIA and the rest of our pseudo-intelligence community? If so, then it may be that they were trying to avoid hiring anyone who would spy for the Chinese…including Japanese, Koreans and Asian-Americans…and possibly anyone suffering from jaundice or squinting in bright light.

        1. EGrise

          (Forgive me – my view of the CIA is so dim that I can’t even be polite about the sheer stupidity of it all)

  12. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    “We need to think about how to make democracy more effective at cushioning citizens from the shocks of change.” (Foreign Policy)
    To parse this: “the only kind of change we will consider completely screws people over so let’s give them a bandaid”.
    In Apocalypse Now they massacre a village and then run around trying to give everybody first aid, I say this time around we should just try and skip the massacre part.

    1. timbers

      Or how about a scene from your handle OpenThePodBayDoorsHal

      Clinton:”I enjoy serving you the people and have many stimulating conversations with you. I understand what you must be going thru the last 8 years. But if you sit down and take a stress pill, and think about it, I’m sure we can work things out. I have the greatest enthusiasm to serve you. I enjoy working with people. Remember these things have happened before, and they have always been shown to be due to…human error…what are you doing…what are you doing….what are you doing?

  13. Daryl

    > “Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles”

    I’d actually say that endorsing Hillary very much reflects conservative ideals and Republican (party) principles. Kudos to them on maintaining their streak.

  14. Benedict@Large

    We need to think hard about … succumbing to the gridlock that discredits democracy.

    There is no gridlock that discredits democracy. What we have are billionaire sets, one buying each party, and then pitting them at odds with each other.

    That is not democracy that is being discredited. What is being discredited is the two-party system overloaded with money. That of course is a feature; not a bug. The billionaires are raking it in while doing nothing for anyone less. How much better could it get?

    1. cwaltz

      Pay no attention to those men behind the closed door discussing policy behind your backs with both sides of the aisle

      Nevermind that energy policy was discussed behind closed doors(Bush), health care(Obama) was discussed behind closed doors, trade is being discussed behind closed doors(Obama and next president)…….

      The fact that we have pay to play lobbyists accessing the WH to write policy behind the backs of average citizens discredits democracy. But hey, I imagine our pundit class is hoping we don’t notice that.

    2. hunkerdown

      Actually, liberal democracy does not come with a people’s override. They just build a bench and take turns continuing the Great Plan. Ruling classes do not exist not to primitively accumulate power.

      Fix that, and a) you might have something b) it won’t be this republicanism pacifier.

  15. PQS

    From the Hotel Financing Article:
    “For us, one of the craziest things I’ve yet to have a clear answer for is underwriting contractors’ balance sheets,” Maguire said. “Everyone wants a guaranteed-best-price contract, but you have no idea what their guarantees are worth. You could have someone build 200 Best Westerns, but his balance sheet looks terrible. It’s a very unique world.”

    Neil Freeman, chairman and CEO of Aries Capital, said there are issues facing the construction landscape beyond financing availability.

    “There are issues that come in that are governmental,” he said. “There are a lot of municipalities that make you run around from a zoning standpoint. Then you throw in things like affordable housing, and greenroofs, things that are driving up construction costs based on governmental needs.”

    Hmmm. Sounds like bankers blaming everyone but themselves. If a contractor built 200 BW Hotels and isn’t properly capitalized, my question would be, why isn’t BW paying their bills? Thirty/Sixty day draw request turnarounds aren’t uncommon, so the contractor is financing the project. For free.

    Green roofs and affordable housing? Seriously – THAT’s impeding your progress and driving up costs for HOTELS? What about tons of middle management, ridiculous oversight, endless three martini lunches with developers, fancy trips to “seal the deal”…I could go on and on about the posh lifestyles of the financier crowd, but everyone here knows all that.

    In my industry (commercial construction), we have an old saying, “Price, Quality, Schedule. Pick Two.” The answer: always, always Price and Schedule, neither of which are ever big enough. And in my experience, the hotel developers are almost as cut-rate and bloodthirsty as Wal Mart, and believe me, that’s saying something.

  16. Chauncey Gardiner

    Re economic weakness and surplus capacity in the global shipping sector, there have been quite a few articles written that discuss creative uses of old shipping containers – with applications mostly in structures. Less has been written about alternative uses of surplus vessels beyond metal recycling. This morning I saw an article about conversion of a barge moored in Brooklyn to an urban food forest and considered possibilities in port cities:


    Could add to the production capacity of urban hydroponic rooftop farms. Someone with a sharper pencil that mine would need to say whether the economics work. Just a thought.

  17. Jay M

    Travis: Look at this great deal, $680 large for six trucks.
    Under assistant: But that’s like $100 million per truck.
    Travis: But we add six more, we’re going exponential–it’ll make a great chart for the mopes on Wall St.
    Under assistant: So the MOU’s bid up the valuation to $200 m?
    Travis: And we rip their faces off. Ha.

    1. Robert Hahl

      Airplane autopilots do not handle takeoffs and landings very well, but the cruise phase is so automatic that pilots almost forget how to fly, while the accident rates show that this method is a lot safer. I think that automating trucks during highway cruise sounds like a very good idea (if it really works).

      1. Disturbed Voter

        They are planning on eliminating liability for automated vehicles … and giving them special lanes on the highway. Pretty soon, private folks won’t be allowed to drive on the highways that their taxes paid for, except maybe Uber taxis. Some plans call for longer chains of cargo semis … that start to remind me of unit trains. So basically a new kind of railroad (and tax ripoff for the wealthy investors). It worked posthumously for Lincoln, it can work post-office for Obama.

        1. cwaltz

          I wonder if these Uber customers are even going to be told beforehand that they are getting an automated car that will require them to give up any claim they might have to damages should the equipment fail?

  18. ProNewerDeal

    “public assistance income has played a role”

    Public assistance income to 25-54 yr old men does not exist, with the possible exception of short-term TANF TEMPORARY Assistance for Needy Familes, for fathers living with their children.

    Am I correct, & these economists are clueless? What am I missing here?

    1. Benedict@Large

      The economic orthodoxy is indeed clueless when it comes to unemployment. They are in fact taught to believe it does not exist; that anything even resembling it actually goes by some other such name as “leisure preference”.

    2. jrs

      unemployment insurance for awhile, food stamps, disability as mentioned. Yes really not much to live off for long, except disability.

  19. Stormcrow

    Under no circumstances could I vote for Trump, but then I can’t vote for Clinton either. I find them both to be terrifying and deplorable, though in different ways. Here is an interesting article that, if I am not mistaken, has not been noticed in these threads.

    Trump said some important things in the debate that seem to have been widely overlooked. He said them, but even here is he really to be trusted?


    1. Oregoncharles

      Yes, he often says things like this – in the primaries, he often appeared to be running to Hillary’s LEFT on some points.

      Unfortunately, he’s so inconsistent that it’s hard to take them very seriously. This is, however, the basis for cleaims that Hillary is NOT the lesser evil; she’s more likely to get us all radioactive, if not dead.

  20. Gareth

    What a great bunch of links today!

    “After 15 years the TPP will result in increases in real income” – so only one more generation to sacrifice?

    If the Vietnamese Communist Party supports TPP that’s good enough for me!

    “CETA has been envisaged as a living agreement, which means that it contains the tools to modify its own scope.” – Creepy, kind of sounds like cancer.

    Thomas Friedman thinks he’s doing Hillary a favor by endorsing her. – Har har!

    “Uber is filming passegners inside it’s self driving cars.” – So no sex then.

  21. robnume

    On Elon Musk: Elon Musk needs to send himself to Mars – alone. And take away this guy’s .gov credit card. I won’t have him going to Mars on my dime.

  22. Synoia

    “A simple linear trend suggests that by mid-century about a quarter of men between 25 and 54 will not be working at any moment” LarrY SummerS

    Absolute Bullshit. He must be an economist. There are no linear trends, anywhere.

    An predicting employment in the middle of this century while avoiding discussing Climate Change, leaves of some degree of chaos. Moving all those people and building them home is a very full employment moment.

  23. Jim Haygood

    House overrides 0bama’s veto of 9/11 lawsuits against Saudi Arabia, 348 to 77. And it’s a done deal.

    A revealing passage from Jennifer Steinhauer’s NYT article on the legislative history, before 0bama’s veto:

    The House voted hastily and overwhelmingly in favor, sending it to Mr. 0bama’s desk.

    This led some of the bill’s co-sponsors to express fear that it would actually become law.

    Co-sponsors “feared it would actually become law.” Any questions?

  24. rich

    You Shouldn’t Listen to Me’ – Here’s What Bernie Sanders Said About Voting for Hillary Clinton

    Michael Krieger | Posted Wednesday Sep 28, 2016

    Before he lost the rigged Democratic primary to Hillary Clinton (only to become her sad mascot in the subsequent months), Bernie Sanders was actually speaking some truth to voters.

    A perfect example of that can be seen in the following clip from an MSNBC town hall where he responds to a supporter’s question about whether he should vote for Hillary if she wins the primary.



  25. Cry Shop

    Retail: “In previous years, Google was the initial place consumers would visit to find information about a specific product. Nowadays, consumers are much more likely to go to Amazon first” [ETF Daily]. That’s because it’s worth fighting your way through Amazon’s appallingly bad search box to get to the reviews.

    and how long before Amazon start’s editing/deleting reviews? Oh, wait, it’s already doing that. What’s next, undermining some of it’s internal competitors and screwing it’s customers. Oh, wait its doing that too.

    I’ve been boycotting Amazon for 12 years, but it gets irritating to see vendors and customers (some I know who are Union members) who all know it’s to their long term detriment keep on using Amazon. Now it’s the same with news media and Fecesbook.

    1. Oregoncharles

      I was just told, with some authority, that FB is indispensable, required, for reaching Millennials. This was not welcome news,as I’m old and try to minimize my involvement with it. Fortunately, the Stein campaign is already on it, and I think we can recruit some younger people locally to do the same. Not that it’s restricted to young people.

      It’s also not good news because it means the Zuckerberg potentially has a lot of control over political organizing in this country. FB DOES censor and manipulate, though local Green Party organizing is probably beneath their notice, so far. Still, the reliance on FB and Twitter makes me very nervous.

      1. Yves Smith

        That’s not the best intel.

        A May report by Social Media Today, where I can see only part of the summary on Google (the rest is paywalled), says: “The report found that 27% of Millennials use Facebook less than once a week, and 11% don’t even have an account. Additionally, 54% don’t …” Numerous news stories confirm much less use of Facebook by millennials, with surveillance state concerns a big driver

        1. aab

          Yeah, my impression is that Facebook is Mom Central at this point. Now, I’m a mom, and when I started with Facebook, I was in a bunch of online parenting groups that migrated there; when I exited the walled garden a couple of years ago, my own FB experience was Mom-oriented. So that may be distorting my perception.

          I wonder who told you* Blue Satan was indispensable? I do know there were lot of Bernie groups during the primary. But that made it pretty easy for the Brock Borg to mess with them as needed. It’s probably still a good idea to have a Facebook presence, but it’s a double-edged sword.

          Correct the Record is swarming Reddit, so that’s also a compromised platform.

          *”You” meaning OregonCharles. I still don’t know how to handle this system when replying to multiple comments.

  26. ewmayer

    “The fiercely independent and highly credible U.S. International Trade Commission … | PraPo (Pravda-on-Potomac)” — the trotting-out of such extreme (in either direction) qualifiers is an almost sure-fire tell that said qualifiers are dubious at best, if not outright BS. It’s like a pathological liar saying “OK, but honestly now, in 100% real honest-to-goodness-God’s-truth…”

    1. Jim Haygood

      The more adjectives they apply, the more desperate the cornered rats.

      Pretty soon we’ll be reading about “the fiercely independent and highly credible Mainstream Media.”

    2. Puntapete

      If you want to believe that a 100% adherence to neoliberal economic doctrines and CGE modeling constitutes being “fiercely independent and highly credible”‘ then I guess you can accept their ‘findings’.

  27. TedWa

    You know, why wouldn’t the Republicans hack the DNC? It’s not like they’ve never done something like that before. They’re just way too thrilled that HRC keeps blaming Russia.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Hack the vote:

      Hackers have been targeting voter registration systems in several U.S. states, according to news reports Wednesday citing FBI Director James Comey.

      In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Comey said that voter registration sites in more than a dozen states have been subjected to “a variety of scanning activities…as well as some attempted intrusions,” both CNN and ABC News reported.

      In other testimony before Congress, Princeton University professor Andrew Appel told a House Oversight IT subcommittee that it was possible for hackers to affect the outcome of a national election, according to a report from Politico.


      Are we going to let the Russians steal this election from Hillary?

      I’m joking, of course. But the Clintons are not.

      1. TedWa

        All those voters registrations across the country that were changed to different parties right before the primaries to skew the vote…. hmmm.

      2. Oregoncharles

        “Scanning”? In Oregon, voter registrations are a public record, available on the Internet at the SOS’s website, “OregonVotes.OR” (I think it is). Is that not true in other states?

        CHANGING registrations would be more serious and could prevent people from voting. Since party affiliation is indicated (in Oregon – not all states record it), you could seriously tweak the election. Would cause quite a furor on election day, though. But “scanning” is not a threat; anyone can do that.

    2. hunkerdown

      TedWa, ‘twould be a Pyrrhic victory. The releases so far have made the game itself look worse than either player.

  28. Stu from New Jersey

    The remark about Stein focusing her attention on liberal states and not battleground states ignores her actual itinerary.
    She’s spending half of this week in Florida (battleground) and next week starts in Mississippi and Tennessee (not liberal states).
    I guess if you’re an NBC reporter, you get paid for saying certain things whether or not they’re true.

    1. ambrit

      Her Mississippi venue will be with the student town hall in Oxford, Miss. That’s up in the northeast corner of the state, and about as “progressive” as it gets around here. I’d go if it were closer. (Oxford is roughly 250 miles north of my ‘Burg, and four hours drive each way.) Scarily, questions for Stein have to be pre approved. Whatever happened to quaint old democratic traditions like: candidates who can think on their feet, heckling, counter heckling, self regulating crowds, etc.?

  29. Jim Haygood

    Remember Bill Clinton’s “Monica missiles”? Now it’s time for 0bama’s “Mosul militia”:

    Albuquerque (AFP) – The US will send about 600 extra troops to Iraq to train local forces for an offensive on the Islamic State group stronghold of Mosul, Defense Secretary Asshat Carter said Wednesday.

    IS seized Mosul along with other areas in June 2014, but the country’s forces have since regained significant ground from the jihadists and are readying for a drive to retake Iraq’s second-largest city.

    “I need to make clear… American forces combating ISIL in Iraq are in harm’s way … no one should be in any doubt about that,” Carter said.


    Where’s Congress? Oh yeah … they’re letting 0zero escalate a long-lost war based on an obsolete, 15-year-old AUMF.

    Michelle ❤ George W … “we Я fam-i-leee

  30. kimsarah

    What gives with the FBI’s immunities handed to Hillary’s henchmen over the email investigation? Comey gave Cheryl Mills immunity? And the guy who destroyed the evidence after the House committee announced subpoenas?
    Does obstruction of justice and cover-up mean anything?

  31. different clue

    As Clinton’s flying brockmonkeys attack more and more blogs, sites, etc.; perhaps it would be a fun game, fun drinking game, etc . . . to learn to spot all the Clintonite Brock-tells and award different drinks according to how common or rare they are.

    Tells like . . . . hurt feelings, butthurt, nothingburger, CDS, grow up. . . and rarely used ones like “sparkle-pony” which appear but rarely.

    1. Pat

      Sparkle pony and unicorn maybe too old school obamabot for the Clinton/Brock paid trolls.
      But I do think you need to include “wasted vote”, ” misogynist “,” irrational ” and “unhinged” among your tells.

      1. different clue

        Well, the offering of different “tells” just makes the process even more fun. Groups of “Spot the BrockMonkey” drinking game players can decide what will be considered the Clintonite BrockMonkey tells, and how many drinks will be assigned to which tell.

        ( By the way, I included “sparkle-pony” because a Flying Clintonite BrockMonkey used that very word on this very blog a few post-threads ago).

  32. ambrit

    I saw this flagged on a “Tinfoil Hat Site” I frequent, and had to send it along. It’s called YouTube Heroes and looks like a ‘Google Youth’ program to enforce conformity on the nets. What could go wrong with empowering faceless and ‘enthusiastic’ netizens to tinker with other peoples creations? Do notice the “insider” appeals and “special” status lure trotted out here. Mass flagging of videos? Can we say; “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Internet?”

  33. vidimi

    i’ll bet anything that reports of measles’ demise are premature just like polio was eradicated until it wasn’t.

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