2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Here’s a vacation artifact from along the Maine Coast. More suitable for Fourth of July?


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I read in the papers that the Democrats are now just as good at working the refs as the Republicans used to be. Remember “working the refs”? That talking point? Good times….

Oh, and “On Israeli TV, Hillary Clinton Says Terrorists Are Praying for a Trump Victory” [New York Times]. Nice to see the official, post-Labor Day campaign season is starting off with a bang. I wonder if Clinton will invite Bibi to speak from the House floor again?

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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 (CB):


Hops. Plant matter I think we’re all going to end up consuming before 2016 is out…

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Readers, if you can, please use the dropdown to choose your contribution, and then click the hat! Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. Water Cooler will not exist without your continued help.


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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Roger Smith

    At her tarmac appearance this morning Clinton, somehow, pawned off that comment on the GOP thanks to a terrible question asked by a reporter.

    Sorry, I do not have a time code and Cspan chose not to provide a transcript here. Part of the response involved scoffing at the News Media, except it was NYT who was the big source I saw promoting this earlier today (as Lambert linked).

    1. nippersmom

      I didn’t listen to the interview, but I did read the transcript. What a nauseating exchange.Our famously free press upholding their usual standards once again.

      1. timbers

        Tried to see the video but it’s blocked at work my phone signal is too weak in the office.

        Do you suppose the conference was held close to the plane engines so they could be fired up to drown out sound should any disallowed questions (Clinton Foundation, emails) were asked?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Like designer clothes, everything about her is by design.

          Me? I just throw stuff in my house…nothing is interior designer approved

  2. timbers

    Regarding comments in today’s LInks earlier about Gary Johnson Aleppo question, MoonofAlabama notes the 3 “corrections” on what exactly Aleppo is from the NYT and notes each and everyone one of them are wrong…reveling the NYT to be as misinformed as the guy they are ridiculing for being misinformed.

    Fun read with screen captures of NYT’s repeatedly wrong revisions plus this zinger “The New York Times, which mocks any candidate but Hillary Clinton…”.

    NYT Ridiculing Of Gary Johnson Fails With Four(!) Major Mistakes


    1. john

      My read of Turkey, which I’ve tried to address. Varying success.

      Edrogan gets points, so ISIS a-la Saudi Arabia will handle his internal problems. Meaning war with the Kurds there. Syria gets American troops. I hear 300 again.

      Oh, and Turkey will leave the dollar for trade with Russia.

    2. Jim Haygood

      “We’re incredibly frustrated with ourselves,” the NYT said. “We have to get smarter and that is just part of the process.”

      Media clowns: arrest them on sight.

    3. pretzelattack

      yeah, but see the nyt makes honest mistakes, and putin gets his misinformation from putin! trust them, they’re sincere.

        1. Grizziz

          I liked your first take. It has that ring of politicians lying to the press in the evening and then believing it the next morning when they read it in the paper.

    4. Carolinian

      Priceless. A must read link. The NYT is particularly obnoxious lately due to this penchant for declaring other people stupid.

    5. timbers

      What’s even more depressing is that Gary Johnson’s response is the SANEST I’ve heard from any candidate, regardless if he knows where Aleppo is or not…and shouldn’t THAT be what the NYT should focus on?

      Ridiculing people about Aleppo is just a distraction.

      “O.K., got it,” he said, explaining that he thinks that the United States must partner with Russia to diplomatically improve the situation there. “With regard to Syria, I do think that it’s a mess.”

      But instead the US helped create and continue the carnage and Clinton will try to up the ante.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        This is from the part of the interview regarding Aleppo:

        JOHNSON: You know, in all of these polls it’s just, remarkably, 50-50. Amazingly, I think, though, that with the exception of just a few polls it’s more votes from Hillary.
        BARNICLE: Do you —
        JOHNSON: But I think — I think when it ends up it will really be 50-50.
        BARNICLE: But do you worry about the Nader effect in 2000?
        JOHNSON: I don’t worry one bit about it. I really do think that the two-party system is broken. I don’t think Democrats are able to balance a checkbook these days. That’s it’s all about bigger government and higher taxes. And then Republicans with, I think, the social agenda. Look, whatever your social inclinations are just don’t force it on me. And I think the Republican Party has gotten really extreme in that category.
        BARNICLE: What would you do, if you were elected, about Aleppo?
        JOHNSON: About?
        BARNICLE: Aleppo.
        JOHNSON: And what is Aleppo?
        BARNICLE: You’re kidding.
        JOHNSON: No.
        BARNICLE: Aleppo is in Syria. It’s the — it’s the epicenter of the refugee crisis.
        JOHNSON: OK, got it, got it.
        BARNICLE: OK.
        JOHNSON: Well, with regard to Syria, I do think that it’s a mess. I think that the only way that we deal with Syria is to join hands with Russia to diplomatically bring that at an end. But when we’ve aligned ourselves with — when we’ve supported the opposition of the Free Syrian Army — the Free Syrian Army is also coupled with the Islamists.
        And then the fact that we’re also supporting the Kurds and this is — it’s just — it’s just a mess. And that this is the result of regime change that we end up supporting. And, inevitably, these regime changes have led a less-safe world.
        GEIST: So alliance with Russia is the solution to Syria. Do you think Vladimir Putin and Russia are good and a reliable partner?
        JOHNSON: Well, I think diplomatically that that is the — that that has to be the solution, is joining hands with Russia to bring — to bring this civil war to an end

        As mentioned in the Links thread, I don’t know what his mental state was at the time. But the question about Aleppo did not following naturally from the previous exchange about Nader, Republicans and Democrats.

        Aleppo, depending on whether you accent the 1st, 2nd or 3rd syllable (in your own mind that is), and how Barnicle said it, could draw a blank, when it came out of nowhere like that. (And thus, he struggled with what it was, when it was about where it was) From his eventual response, you can say he was aware of the city, the nation and the situation there, just not being able to pick up the place-name verbally.

        It is not a certainty that he would have failed to know it had it been written, like, for example, in an email exchange.

        1. jrs

          The Aleppo pepper is a variety of Capsicum annuum used as a spice, particularly in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.

          And that would be the first thing I’d think of. What noone is into the culinary anymore?


          Yea it doesn’t follow the questions before. Not everyone can easily follow wild leaps of context all the time, as understanding language always is contextual. Allepo in a cookbook is the pepper and I’ve read a lot of recipes and made somewhat fewer.

        2. jgordon

          Johnson is loved by the MSM because he’s perceived as someone who can siphon votes from Trump. Unfortunely for the clueless media hacks it appears that he’s actually taking votes from Hillary. Even though he is incredibly annoying, more power to him.

        3. timbers

          Thanks you the fuller context. Johnson’s views are indeed closer to mine and the sanest I’ve heard btwn Clinton Trump Johnson and listening to Hillary on Syria is painful it’s all lies all the time similar to Lybia only worse. And BTW the true proven unreliable “partner” in international affairs isn’t reliable Russia it’s treacherous USA but MSM must say “unreliable Russia” now doesn’t it to tilt the scales.

        4. reslez

          And then Republicans with, I think, the social agenda. Look, whatever your social inclinations are just don’t force it on me. And I think the Republican Party has gotten really extreme in that category.

          Gary Johnson, a rank hypocrite glibertarian who believes in freedom for everyone except women. Thinks each state should decide whether abortion should be legal. Signed late term abortion legislation when governor, which made these rare and sometimes medically necessary procedures less safe. Opposed federal funding for stem cell research, a hot ticket item for the Christian right. Doesn’t want insurers to have to pay for birth control. Source: ontheissues.org/2012/Gary_Johnson_Abortion.htm

          Yet another libertarian when it comes to property rights and bodily rights that affect men (“Let them do weed!”), utter failure when it comes to women making fundamental decisions about their bodies and their lives.

            1. jrs

              Yes all the reason you need never to vote for Gary Johnson. Still maybe better than Drumpf and Clinton on some things, but if Jill Stein is on the ballot why not vote someone with decent positions across the board.

              1. kj1313

                Yep voting Stein. Plus Johnson is a proponent of private prisons. Because of NC’s articles on Libertarians I will never vote for one of them.

  3. john

    So I’ve been at an interesting point in my life. Back in school, playing the post-military psy-ops game. Technically it’s public relations.

    Anyways, I’ve been drawn into fire works work. Just met some people being human back in my hometown.

    I do contract work. I did 5 days for 200 bucks to set off fireworks on Martha’s Vineyard. Its for books, my internet, and my car.

    What I’m really writing about is stock tips. Where they at?

    I had a negative period where my instinct was to invest in clothes for the heavy-set. Embrace the growth. I hear Fat Donkey Unlimited is doing well, circa Belize.

    Then I was watching pro-wrestling. Why not invest in Texas? I’m from the NE but why not believe?

    1. john

      Since I’m here. What about Iran and Saudi Arabia? Only now do I hear that the dead in last year’s Great Mosque collapse (of Bin Laden construction equipment) which killed about 250 people was perhaps directed against the Iranian pilgrims.

      Iran has banned the Hajj for iranians pending the Saudi governments actions. Both deny each other’s humanity or specifically, their belonging in Islam.

      The crusades are very present in this analysis.

    2. Timmy

      You should consider working for Wells Fargo. I understand that they have sales incentives that reward criminal behavior. The bloom may be temporarily off that rose, however, but you never know.

  4. Martin Finnucane

    I voted for Obama for president the first time around, but I came to my senses. He is a god-awful president, politician, and – I’m tempted to say – person. However, the next president will be even god-awfuller, to the extent that her groveling before Likudnik Israel and its genocidal national project is unrestrained by any notions of balance or even common decency. First order of business: destroy Hezbollah. Enjoy!

    1. jrs

      Noone has seen a real issue since Sanders left the race. People kind of vaguely recall what politicians discussing issues they actually care about might sound like but … it gets harder and harder to even bring it to mind.

      Sanders was great at deflecting the deflection, he’d be asked a question about terrorism and respond about economics (ie something far more people go to bed at night worrying about than they ever will terrorism – maybe worrying about terrorism itself shows how out of touch our ruling class is with the rest of us and our concerns)

      Also Hillary blah blah Trump blah Putin. That’s the latest in the campaign.

  5. Andrew Watts

    I refuse to feel sorry for America. It had all this coming. You know who I feel sorry for? The Secret Service. You dedicate your entire career and life to that institution with the hope you may one day protect the President. Or perhaps you’re nearing the years of experience necessary for a full retirement and you face the prospect of guarding President Hillary/Trump in 2017.

    Get a new dream or take an early retirement fellas!

    1. JTMcPhee

      Is part of the Secret Service’s job still rooting out counterfeiters? Could the agents disaffected with presidential babysitting not be set to arrest the Fed board and all those banksters busily shoving counterfeit “notional dollars” from QE and the whole derivatives scam into the part of “circulation” that only perfuses the 0.01% tumors?

      1. Andrew Watts

        Yes, it is. I was surprised to learn it stopped being a law enforcement arm of the US Treasury Department though. It’s now a part of Homeland Security for… reasons? I don’t believe any US law enforcement agency has the funding to chase white collar crime.

        It sure doesn’t seem like it at any rate.

      1. Andrew Watts

        I’m pretty sure all cops try to stiff the prostitutes. There’s gotta be a better way of saying that. How about all cops who utilize local sex workers try not to pay market rates?

    2. fresno dan

      Andrew Watts
      September 8, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      I’m thinking Clint Eastwood should remake “In the Line of Fire” …but as a comedy…. and as he is a staunch repub hilarity could ensue….


      So many quotes – Here’s some original quotes and my rewrite in parens:
      Frank Horrigan: What to do you see when you’re in the dark, and the demons come?
      Mitch Leary: I see you, Frank
      ((I see Hillary!! AIIIIEEEEHHHHHH!!!))).
      I see you standing over the grave of another dead president.

      Frank Horrigan: That’s not going to happen. I’m onto you.
      (((you know what – I’m going to join you – you won’t have to use a plastic gun!!! In fact, every secret service agent there will join you – there won’t be enough left for a dna sample. Ever since I talked to that empty chair, and was humiliated due to my own bizarre rantings, I have sworn a vendetta)))

      Mitch Leary: Fuck you Frank.
      ((I mean to fuck you Frank… – I find you to be a very attractive man)))
      I am willing to trade my life for his. I am smart, and I am willing, and (((Gosh darn it))) that is all it takes. That president is coming home from California in a fucking box.

      Frank Horrigan: Where in California?
      ( (((Thank you very much for the compliment Mitch – I try to watch what I eat and work out regularly. By the way, a fucking box is a box that you fuck in – your not implying a threesome with the president are you??? Cause you DO know Hillary is supposedly a woman??? Cause I’m not into kinky mixed gender fucking box sex….))))

      Mitch Leary: Uh, the address? Come on, Frank. I’ll keep you in the game, but I’m not going to throw it for you.
      ((Frank, I’m talking fucking box necrophilia sex – keep up with the premise of the movie, Frank – you are directing))

  6. allan

    Wells Fargo will pay $190 million to settle customer fraud case [Reuters]

    Wells Fargo will pay $185 million in penalties and $5 million to customers that regulators say were pushed into fee-generating accounts that they never requested, officials said on Thursday. …

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will receive $100 million of the total penalties – the largest fine ever levied by the agency, which was conceived after the 2008 financial crisis. …

    According to that complaint, Wells Fargo employees pushed checking account customers into savings, credit and online accounts that could generate fees.

    Bank employees were told that the average customer tapped six financial tools but that they should push households to use eight products, according to the complaint.

    The bank opened more than 2 million deposit and credit card accounts that may not have been authorized, according to the CFPB. …

    While it’s great that the CFPB nailed WF, is returning only $5 million to the customers a reasonable?

      1. cwaltz

        And everyone knows that the government can and should be run as a business. (tongue firmly in cheek.)

        Unfortunately, no one these days challenges the assertion that the government is supposed to be an entity that profits off the misbehavior of entities and instead is supposed to be a regulating entity that ensures bad behavior is not repeated(and it does get repeated as long as businesses can negotiate down their fines and still pull out a profit.)

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        What, exactly, does it take for a bank or a banker to feel a consequence, ANY consequence, for long-term, sanctioned, repeated, and institutionalized law-breaking?

    1. YankeeFrank

      Ironically, a few months ago I started a tech consulting gig at Wells and they made me sit through hours of ethics training tutorials explaining how I should never offer services to customers not in their economic interest. Of course as a developer I never even talk to a customer, but I took the message to heart. Apparently the people who really needed this training… well I guess it just didn’t sink in ;).

      1. cwaltz

        It was probably part of their “deal” with the government.

        The government is really big on training seminars, always has been as far as I know.

      2. hunkerdown

        YankeeFrank, if you code and/or deploy the algorithms, offering is still totally applicable. Code is action…

    2. Anne

      So, these employees just came up with this little money-making scheme all by themselves? There was no one sitting in a nice office, or a bunch of someones sitting in a conference room, who came up with it? Guess that explains why no one’s being indicted/arrested/tried for the criminal scheme...

      “The bank” opened more than 2 million accounts? No, people opened them. People who were directed to do so by other people higher up the chain.

      So, people were fired, and Wells has to fork over some of its ill-gotten gains, to the tune of an average, I read, of $25 per account holder. Twenty-five measly fking dollars.

      Hell is too good a place for these people.

  7. Katharine

    Speaking of the corruption of universities, as I think we were recently, here’s a bit from the Guardian on LIU:

    “For LIU to hire scab instructors is pretty galling, especially considering its tuition is more than $34K. But while LIU’s actions may seem extreme, they are quite in line with the trend for American universities to charge a fortune in tuition – increasing faster than inflation – while also trying as hard as possible not to pay much of that to the instructors who provide the actual education. As a doctoral student myself, I often get emails soliciting instructors in the New York area, no cheap region to live. Recently, I saw a call seeking a PhD with two additional years of teaching experience to teach an introductory American Studies course to 25 students … for the grand sum of $2,775. This is all they are paying, when tuition is 41K and total direct costs to students are about 61K a year.

    “Where does all of this money go, if not to professors?”

    If I were a parent paying the tuition that’s charged at LIU, I would be talking to a lawyer. A president who treats education so carelessly after accepting payment surely ought to be liable for something. And it seems the history of this lockout suggests something more than just an ordinary labor dispute; the timing is wrong, among other things. I wonder whether the board saw this coming or whether it’s the president’s very own invention.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That they are offering $2,775 to teach a course seems to imply that that is the going rate.

      If so, and I don’t if it is, the next question is this: Who are they hiring at that or similar rates?

      Does it include benefits like extending one’s visa? That is a non-monetary pay for foreigners that puts US applicants at a disadvantage.

      1. Unorthodoxmarxist

        They are hiring US PhDs – take it from someone who has adjuncted on and off since 2004. I will tell you that I have adjuncted for half a dozen schools in upstate NY and the rates per course have varied but on average they have been around $3500. The bottom is a school that offered $2200 (I think they are up to $2400 now) and the top, an outlier, at $5 for a course once I had my PhD in hand.

        Keep in mind that if they were paying per-course what a newly hired tenure-track prof would make it’d likely be anywhere between $15-$20k or more a course.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Do you think we have too many PhDs? Years ago, when I was in school, and this was UC Berkeley, some professors only had a master’s degree.

          1. Ulysses


            “Full­-time contingent faculty members, or non-tenure–track faculty members, announced plans to unionize in April due to increasing concerns over job security, benefits and inclusion at the college. On April 7, the administration denied their request to join the existing part-time faculty union, citing a desire to work directly through shared governance. Full­-time contingent faculty said at that time they would continue to move forward to file for a union election through the National Labor Relations Board.”

  8. Otis B Driftwood

    A portion of Clinton’s speech criticized Trump about his plan for halting terrorism would be to “Take the oil”:

    “The United States of America does not invade other countries to plunder and pillage. We don’t send our brave men and women around the world to steal oil. And that’s not even getting into the absurdity of what it would involve: massive infrastructure, large numbers of troops, many years on the ground. Of course, Trump hasn’t thought through any of that….”

    This is morbidly ironic.

    Of course, Clinton went on to claim she had a “plan” for dealing with ISIS, which was no plan at all.

    The Q&A that followed were fawning softballs supporting the Trump-is-crazy-and-unqualified narrative. Ugh … really, really awful. Our journalists are just as pathetic as our politicians. Oh, and last but not least, the Matt Olson article came up. “Glad you asked!”

    So that’s the game plan. Sell fear. Fear of ISIS. Fear of Trump. Well, at least it isn’t a rehash of the phony “Hope and Change” b.s.

    Sheesh, what awful times we live in.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Even though it was false, 0bama’s “Hope & Change” tagline at least struck an optimistic, universal note.

      As you’d expect with the narcissistic Clintons, their pitch is all about Hillary: “I’m With Her.

      One is only surprised that she didn’t go with “Born to Rule, bitchez” or “Me So Rich, w00t!”

  9. nippersmom

    A portion of Clinton’s speech criticized Trump about his plan for halting terrorism would be to “Take the oil”:

    “The United States of America does not invade other countries to plunder and pillage. We don’t send our brave men and women around the world to steal oil. And that’s not even getting into the absurdity of what it would involve: massive infrastructure, large numbers of troops, many years on the ground. Of course, Trump hasn’t thought through any of that….”

    Who does she think she’s kidding? This is exactly what the US, with ever-flimsier pretexts, has been doing for decades, and which she has clearly signaled she will continue to do herself, although in her case, I doubt it will be limited to oil. I’m sure that she and her partners in the MIC have thought through all of the infrastructure and logistical issues involved and are drooling at the “business opportunity”.

    1. clarky90

      Campaign shields Hillary Clinton climbing out of van on airport tarmac


      This video performance piece is only 2 minutes long. I found it weirdly engaging. Is it meaningful? I am not sure. I found it strangely unnerving, like a macabre Majik Show. Watch Hillary mysteriously emerge out of a shiny black box.

      It is not a meme. There are only 288 views

      This is for entertainment purposes only

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I watched the whole thing. I don’t see the point (other than that, interestingly, somebody has a camera that doesn’t shake trained on the Clinton van at all times).

  10. Chauncey Gardiner

    Maybe it’s just the stark look and feel of the photo of the vacation artifact flag, the old sawhorse, the gravel and the antiseptic warehouse siding, but curious what it’s like on the Maine coast these days?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      The Maine Coast looks like it’s in pretty good shape; no business failures, new lane markings on the roads, reasonable crowds. So that’s good news… Unless you regard Maine as a lagging indicator of goodness, and hence a leading indicator of badness, given the realities of a business cycle!

  11. JohnnyGL

    clare.malone: Is the number of undecideds right now on-track historically? Or is it out of the norm?

    natesilver: No, it’s way higher, at least compared to recent elections. You have 18-20 percent of the electorate that’s either undecided or voting for one of the (largely anonymous) third-party candidates. That figure was like 5-10 percent at a comparable point four years ago. People largely ignore that, because they get focused on the margin between Clinton and Trump, when it’s maybe like the most important thing right now.


    Nate Silver may well be onto something there. Which way will those voters break when push comes to shove? What will be the deciding factor and when will they make their minds up?

  12. allan

    Airbnb revamps anti-discrimination policy [Reuters]

    Online rental marketplace Airbnb will address reports of widespread racial discrimination against non-white guests by displaying photos less prominently on its website, promoting instant bookings and changing some of its technology, according to a report commissioned by the company.

    The report, released on Thursday, followed months of criticism of Airbnb, sparked partly by comments under Twitter hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack about discrimination against black people. …

    Starting Nov. 1, Airbnb users must agree to treat fellow members without bias regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age….

    Sort of like Uber for housing anti-discrimination.
    I’m so old that I remember when this was the role of federal, state and local governments, not unicorns.

  13. Jay M

    WW3 actually began with the hackage of McDonalds price list. Some one inserted a RNB that varied customers prices +- but netted out to zero. Naturally the beneficiaries of $20 Big Mac were unamused.
    Fingers immediately fondled missal launch buttons as the big hamburger face off became the defining raison d’etre for the foundering hegemonic behemoth. Boots on the ground was a bit to catsuppy.
    Various rusty bookshelves collapsed and everyone in the hegemon swallowed the $20 Big Mac as the
    advantage of victory. There is still an enemy.

    1. hunkerdown

      “Or we can embrace change and the opportunity to do good, standing up to those who have unfairly profited at our expense and sneered on their behalf, and appeal to their better natures once they finally drop the defenses of tribalism and misplaced loyalty which have brought them to this place.”

      Better natures?! I nearly wet myself laughing. If that actually worked, wouldn’t it have by now? Wouldn’t the liberal drama triangle have ended by now? No. They HAVE no better natures. They create the drama to manufacture need for themselves. They’re doing the Lord’s work, enforcing inequality so that people want and can be controlled.

      At best, you’re fantasizing; at worst, you’re evangelizing.

      1. Fec

        Thanks for reading and commenting on my post. My experience with authoritarians indicates you are probably correct. If so, you are reinforcing my point that Greer’s failure to address the consequences of societal collapse is problematic. Frankly, I’m surprised you didn’t find more problems with my post, as I covered a lot of ground.

  14. Jim Haygood

    Savagely the MSM lowers the boom on a rogue journo who stumbled beyond the pale by shirking his duty to defend the Hildabeest. From the NYT’s “James Poniewozik” [sic]:

    The NBC presidential forum on Wednesday night in Manhattan brought together the candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump to try to determine who has the strength, preparation and presence of mind to lead during a time of crisis.

    It sure wasn’t Matt Lauer.

    In an event aboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier Intrepid, the “Today” host was lost at sea. Seemingly unprepared on military and foreign policy specifics, he performed like a soldier sent on a mission without ammunition, beginning with a disorganized offensive, ending in a humiliating retreat.


    This communiqué is from the Saddam’s WMDs / Aleppo capital of Syria paper. You are advised to do your own due diligence before making any life-altering decisions based on this campaign advertorial :-)

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Ah, I remember Poniewozik. He did a little enforcement work on Chris Arnade, when Arnade — who has a years’-long project of venturing outside the Acela corridor and interviewing and photographing the denizens of that benighted land — had the temerity to suggest that Trump voters might not be motivated exclusively by racism and ignorance.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Shortened links also break the Internet, because if the link shortening firm fails, all the shortened links can no longer be resolved to the real URLs, introducing an even greater risk of link rot than already exists.

  15. rich

    Young man with spinal cord injury regains use of hands and arms after stem cell therapy

    Kris Boesen knows all about holding on to hope during bad times. On March 6th of this year he was left paralyzed from the neck down after a car accident. Kris and his parents were warned the damage might be permanent.

    Kris says at that point, life was pretty bleak:

    “I couldn’t drink, couldn’t feed myself, couldn’t text or pretty much do anything, I was basically just existing. I wasn’t living my life, I was existing.”

    For Kris and his family hope came in the form of a stem cell clinical trial, run by Asterias Biotherapeutics and funded by CIRM. The Asterias team had already enrolled three patients in the trial, each of whom had 2 million cells transplanted into their necks, primarily to test for safety. In early April Kris became the first patient in the trial to get a transplant of 10 million stem cells.

    Within two weeks he began to show signs of improvement, regaining movement and strength in his arms and hands:



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