Links 9/10/2016

Why It’s Unlikely Anyone Will Go to Jail Over Wells Fargo’s Massive Fraud Scheme New York Magazine (Re Silc).

Next Test for Wells Fargo: Its Reputation WSJ. Hilarity ensues….

Deutsche Bank nearing settlement with U.S. authorities on mortgages: sources Reuters

Unsealed papers in VW scandal reveal panic among engineers FT

U.S. wholesale inventories flat, boost to third-quarter growth seen modest Reuters

QVC lays off 100 from its West Chester area operation Delco Times. Hmm.

Hanjin Shipping gets U.S. court order, cash to unload ships Reuters

Hanjin’s Stranded Ships Contain One Absurdist Filmmaker WSJ. The A-Hed lives!

‘Do you have an AK-47 and can you swim’ BBC

CAPTURED: Systemic Bias at the U.S. Copyright Office (PDF) Public Knowledge

Pour one out for another fruitful FOIA case for surveillance documents Charlie Savage

Hidden Horrors on the Pot Farms of California Cosmopolitan


Fight Al-Nusra, no strikes on rebels, Aleppo relief: Kerry & Lavrov agree new Syria ceasefire plan RT. Obama makes deal with history’s greatest monster, Vladimir Putin. Whatever.

Dear Old Blighty

Senior Labour MPs ready to go back to Corbyn FT. BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!

Austria’s election woes worsen as postal voting envelopes come unglued WaPo

Facebook deletes Norwegian PM’s post as ‘napalm girl’ row escalates Guardian

Black Injustice Tipping Point

DuPont mayor cancels Seahawks rally over possible player demonstration at CenturyLink Seattle Times

Urban Shield police training in East Bay draws protesters San Francisco Chronicle

War Drums

Hillary Clinton’s National Security Advisers Are a “Who’s Who” of the Warfare State The Intercept

Nearly 500 more US Troops sent to Iraq for Mosul Attack in advance of Election Day Informed Comment. What could go wrong?


Clinton: Half of Trump supporters are in the ‘basket of deplorables’ Politico. Wowsers. This is Clinton’s version of Obama’s “bitter”/“cling to,” down to the fundraiser context.

NBC News chief Andy Lack praises Matt Lauer’s presidential forum performance NBC

Hillary’s First 100 Days NYT

Justice Dept. Granted Immunity to Specialist Who Deleted Hillary Clinton’s Emails NYT. A second grant of immunity.

Democrats wonder and worry: Why isn’t Clinton far ahead of Trump? WaPo

Bipartisanship Doesn’t Work, Despite What Hillary’s New Ad Says New York Magazine

Bill Clinton, After a Year of Restraint, Unleashes an Impassioned Self-Defense NYT. The Big Dog woofs.

Why Clinton’s Iraq Apology Still Isn’t Enough Scott Beauchamp, The Atlantic. “When the question of Clinton’s culpability in Iraq came up again on Wednesday night, she emphasized the importance of learning ‘from our mistakes … so that it never happens again.’ She never actually said what she learned.”

Chelsea Clinton Says She’ll Stay With Family’s Foundation if Her Mother Is Elected Good Morning America. Touching solicitude.

Trump: Clinton could shoot somebody and not be arrested CNN

Trump’s pitch to Christian voters evolves Politico

New York Times and the New McCarthyism Consortium News

Murder Rates Rose in a Quarter of the Nation’s 100 Largest Cities NYTR

Imperial Collapse Watch

Bush aide’s previously unpublished notes show unfolding chaos of 9/11 Olivier Knox, Yahoo News. (Yahoo News is doing good work, in its quiet way.)

Obama extends post-9/11 state of national emergency for 16th year USA Today

SEE IT: Walmart builds tasteless 9/11 tribute display out of packs of Coke Daily News. Tell me it’s not a great country.

My Top 5 Foreign-Policy Unicorns — and Why I Want to Kill Them USA Today

NATO’s Expiration Date LobeLog

Class Warfare

As Lockout Continues at Long Island U., Students Report Meager Classroom Instruction Chronicle of Higher Education. “[A}n instructor began a course by acknowledging he was unqualified to teach it. The temporary instructor, who is an administrator, told the students that he had to be there so he wouldn’t be fired, Ms. Hester said. He took attendance and noted that the syllabus had been posted online.” Good for the anonymous administrator!

The real scandal of this photo isn’t these two wretched, feckless drug addicts – it’s the criminal greed and incompetence of the US government, drug companies and doctors which enabled them Daily Mail. As NC readers already know

City Parks Become Privatization Battlegrounds WSJ

Fed’s Kaplan says next U.S. president must grow workforce Reuters

China’s Reviving the American Heartland — One Low Wage at a Time Bloomberg

Why prisoners nationwide are striking CBS

Strong Unions Help All Workers—Not Just Union Workers In These Times

Apple’s Newest Product Isn’t a Phone or Watch, It’s a Lifestyle Motherboard. Really? Can I have my MagSafe connector back, then? Because my lifestyle includes tripping over power cords.

What Happens in the Brain When We Misremember Scientific American. Wait, what?

U.S. experiences 5th warmest summer on record NOAA

If Google Were a Book The American Conservative

Lunch with the FT: Edward Snowden, the world’s most famous whistleblower FT

Antidote du jour:


From the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, Maine

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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. Quanka

    3 of the first 4 links are FELONY crimes committed by employees of multinationals. 3 different firms committed 3 different felony frauds, and it’s not likely anyone will go to jail.

    The problems go way beyond banking and have infested the entire elite echelon of our society. And ultimately, this is why HRC is the far more dangerous candidate in this election. The activities from the first 3 links occurred under Obama’s administration and Holder’s “elite people can’t commit crimes, just make mistakes” attitude.

    1. RepubAnon

      Oh, please – what are Donald Trump’s not-technically quid-pro-quo campaign donations (made illegally from the Trump Foundation) to state attorneys general who then dropped their inquiries into Trump University fraud allegations (Florida and Texas) – chopped liver?

      Donald Trump is the embodiment of corporate abuse of the rest of us. He fails to pay his employees, and the small businesses he used as suppliers. He cons desperate communities into granting him tax breaks to build large developments in their towns – bleeds off as much money as possible into his other businesses, and leaves the community with no jobs and a failed development (Example: Atlantic City).

      Imagine a Trump Presidency with a Republican Congress: National “ag-gag” laws making it illegal to record evidence of corporate crimes, national legislation making it hard for the poor to register to vote, elimination of what’s left of the social safety net, selling off the national parks to billionaires at dirt-cheap prices, elimination of the EPA… the damage that could be done in as little as two years of a Trump/Republican presidency could not be undone in our lifetimes – and could probably never be undone.

      But, hey, when Donald Trump’s Supreme Court judges overturn New York Times v Sullivan, and make it much easier for corporations and rich politicians to sue their critics for defamation, you can take comfort that although your actions allowed the greater evil to gain permanent political power in the US, at least you didn’t vote for the lesser evil.

      1. cwaltz

        None of us are going to be happy with either result. That’s why many of us have decided that we aren’t going to play the corrupt duopoly game.

        I’ll be voting for Jill Stein. I’ve seen nothing to suggest that she subscribes to quid pro quo in her history.

        Of course, if Trump wins, that’s on the DNC. They had Sanders as a candidate and they chose to rig this thing for Clinton(knowing that many of us flat out told them we wouldn’t vote for her.)

        All I have to say if she loses, is perhaps the DNC should consider that Independants DO matter and they should fix their primary system to reflect that consideration.

        When someone blames me for a Trump victory, I intend on owning it and suggesting that next time it might be in the interests of the people pandering for my vote to actually listen to me instead of setting up a system to ignore what I want because it will interfere with bigwig fundraising. It was incredibly helpful for the DNC mouthpiece to admit they have a system in place for primaries to thwart the activists wishes. We have a system in place to thwart the party mouthpieces too-it’s called not voting for a choice we didn’t want.

        1. Quentin

          Yes, remember the polls said Bernie Sanders would easily defeat Donald Trump in the general election. The Democrats are so enamoured of dear Hillary Clinton.

        2. DWD

          There is a decent opinion piece in this morning’s Detroit Free Press about this sort of thing.

          “In the past, we didn’t know how our friends or family members may think or vote. We put up a sign on our lawn or we put on a bumper sticker,” says Terri Orbuch, a sociology professor at Oakland University in Rochester and relationship expert. “But now, given Facebook … we’re much more likely to say how we think, we’re also much more likely to blast comments.”

          Which leads to arguments and unfriending.

          While there are no numbers available that indicate how many Facebook friendships have failed due to this election, a new survey reveals people are more than twice as likely to be politically harassed online than they were two years ago. According to a survey by Rad Campaign, Craigconnects and Lincoln Park Strategies, 30% of online users experienced political harassment this year, compared with 16% in 2014. (snip) This election, I’ve decided, is all about issues tied to our basic identities — issues about gender, race, ethnicity, origin, issues that get to the very core of who we are. “Race and gender are at the top of how we would see ourselves, how we would describe ourselves to others,” says Orbuch.

          An attack on those identities is an attack on our very existence, the very things that make us who we are.

          I find the Clintons (Not specifically Hillary because her husband does this as well) to reprehensible in their nastiness and constant confrontational and derogatory styles whether it was Senator Sanders or is Donald Trump: they just up the hate over and over.

          Some people can accept this and some people even like this.

          I do not.

          But the article is interesting in its entirety because it points out that those who wallow gleefully in the hate and “Gotcha” moments do not much like us people who would rather talk of issues and a future.

          1. mk

            from the article: “We like to think our friends have our backs, that they will defend us, that they have our best personal interests at heart. And, adds Orbuch, “I think we assume that we have friends who won’t vote for someone who attacks our core identities.”

            Or as my acquaintance says: “You thought you had a bond with people. You thought you looked at the world the same way. You thought you were looking for the same kind of society.”

            “I’m very genuinely hurting, but I’m not asking for sympathy,” he says. “This is just life and you find out things about people and you move on. …
            Instead of core identities, it could be about values. You think you share the same values with your friends, but then you realize that they value the US flag more than they value the lives of people being murdered by police. You thought you had friends capable of empathy, you realize that no, they are not, at least not in this case. It’s a huge difference in values.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            Before there was “Basket of Deplorables” there was “BernieBros” and before that there was “Special Place in Hell” (for women Sanders supporters). Strategic hate management in each case, combined with massive category errors and vulgar identity politics. That’s what the Clinton faction has become, and it’s not going to change after November 8, win or lose.

            1. witters

              Glenn Greenwald thinks HRC is ‘speaking the truth’ here. Slowly, very slowly, GG is going downhill to the usual destination.

            2. Goyo Marquez

              Thank you for mentioning that because I was beginning to think I’d imagined those, “I never saw him” type attacks on Bernie. It was hard to imagine people who had experienced Hillary’s treatment of Bernie not balking at the same tactics being used against someone else, so I figured I must’ve imagined the whole thing.

      2. HBE

        So you want to get into lesser evilism.

        I’ve not seen anyone here hold up Donald Trump as the paradigm of virtue, I think everyone is well aware of his many, many disgusting practices and engagements. That’s not in question.

        But neither in my view are hillary’s multitude of criminal acts. From spearheading the push to destroy nation’s (Libya). hillary doesn’t bankrupt communities she spearheads the push their and their populaces destruction and murder. So in your mind a communities bankruptcy is comparable or worse than the murder of its populace. Both are horrible but it’s clear to me one is more evil than the other.

        Or how about Clinton using her charitable foundation to steal from the poor and suffering in Haiti and around the world?

        “elimination of what’s left of the social safety net”
        You mean like how the Clinton’s destroyed welfare and would have privatized SS had it not been for a BJ scandal? Don’t think hillary won’t do the same thing for the financial donors that have lavished her with money.

        Now as for the environment I’d say it’s an evil tie. You can’t tell me hillary doesn’t owe some big favors for the $6.9 million the fossil fuel industry has given her this campaign.

        Not to mention her engaging in a level of grift and corruption that would make any predatory dictator blush with envy.

        But my main sticking point is hillary’s (based on actions as SOS, cabinet picks, and past actions) clear intent to directly confront Russia, this is not another one of her “backwater” interventions this is another nuclear armed world power.

        They are both shiite, but it’s clear to me hillary represents a clear and present danger to this country and the populations of the world at large Trump cannot seem to match, and probably couldn’t because it’s clear he will not have bipartisan support. Something the string of GOP “thought leaders” Who have endorsed her make clear she will have.

        So while I find most of Trump’s policies dim, damaging and destructive especially on the environment, at present I’ll (with extreme reluctance) vote for him if that’s what it takes to stop Hillary.

        So thanks for your “trumps bad, vote for hillary” shill. But no thanks.

        1. Antifa

          More and more, the urge to vote for Trump works for me, because it is the closest I can ever come to tossing a Molotov cocktail through every government window in Washington.

          Meaning, he will ruin the Empire, reducing us to a nation with nothing better to do than look after our own people instead of crippling our nation in order to conquer the world.

          Hillary and her neo-con crew are highly competent killers, and intent on crushing Russia and containing China and wrecking every Middle Eastern economy that isn’t Israel. Trump is not. He is not likely to select the “crazies in the basement” for his Cabinet, so the rabid push for war in all theaters won’t happen.

          If you can’t vote for Hillary, and you live in a swing state, consider the Molotov approach. Put an incompetent clown in charge, and see how the Empire fares.

          1. Skippy

            Personally for me I think Hillary is just status quo – all contracts in play are valid, where Trump is still status quo albeit all contracts have to be renegotiated e.g. he ruffles some feathers because of the assumed risk the likes to create… too leverage for himself….

        2. clarky90

          “I’ve not seen anyone here hold up Donald Trump as the paradigm of virtue”.

          Well there is one, me. I see Trump as a real hero (a David) who is risking his life to take on the Vested Interests (Goliath).

          “Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

          “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.”

          And, Trump is winning! He is not perfect, but only God/Goddess is perfect. What more can everybody ask of him? The Philistines are in total disarray!

          I am an old man who has lived long enough to witness this unfolding miracle.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Surely a hero is not necessarily virtuous? Anyhow, I don’t see Trump as a David at all. Probably some figure in the late Roman Republic would be a better figure. Catiline, or Crassus…. Should give History of Rome a re-listen.

            1. clarky90

              Trump was universally well regarded and admired, (privileged) before he threw himself Into The Whirlwind. Now he has an irate, “Central Committee of the USA”, furiously howling at him, like banshees. And, still, he flourishes.

              If Trump was after more money or power, all he had to do was donate to a “Special Washington Charity”, like all the others do.

              I honestly believe that Trump is motivated by love, as silly as that sounds. Why else?

              1. Pat

                Depends on where you live maybe. While generally better liked by them previously, he was still an object of ridicule for a portion of the fourth estate and had been for several decades. He had already been the subject of at least one derogatory documentary documenting his fraudulent sales model and abusive confrontation persona that I know about. And Trump as a brand was considered a sign of being a mark with too much money and too little sense in NY. Any admiration for Trump was far from universal.

              2. Yves Smith

                Please don’t make stuff up. The reason that Trump became prominent relative to other far more successful NYC developers (start with Steve Ross of Related, who is self-made) is that New York Magazine in the 1980s regularly wrote stories about what a crass lout he was. Trump was of the “any press is good press” view and rolled with it despite how negative it was.

                Trump is also not well thought of among NYC property types. His flash and hype means any time he bids on an assemblage, he winds up paying way more than just about anyone else would because he’s spent so much time and money cultivating the idea that he’s super wealthy and successful, when by NYC development standards, he’s just a member of the herd. Hard to make a buck when you overpay for property again and again.

                1. kimsarah

                  Okay, we still have nearly 2 months to change our minds. Anything can happen.
                  If the election is this Tuesday, how do you vote?
                  Clinton ___
                  Trump ___
                  Stein ___
                  Johnson __

                  1. Quanka

                    Its Jill Stein and the Green Party all the way. Here in Colorado we have two green choices, Stein plus a Green running for U.S. Senator. IMO the Senatorial race is more critical to dislogding the two party status quo, although i loudly support both candidates.

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  Showing the slightest actual passing interest in the welfare of the actual people in this country has already made him a hero in my mind. Contrast that with the ill, elderly, serial war criminal old lady he’s opposing, who acts in the interest of Big Bank, Big Oil, Big Spy, and Big War every and all day. There’s a reason all the top neo-con warmongers, all the grifter tax-dodging billionaires, and all the unprosecuted bank hedge funders are falling over each other to get on her bus.

            2. Xihuitl

              No, Lambert. You cannot be a hero … well, I was going to say without being virtuous. But actually it’s the cause that matters. Perhaps it’s possible to be not virtuous for a good cause. Are you still then a hero? You say yes.

              1. tegnost

                maybe you can’t be a hero and be virtuous, virtuosity being representative of the virtue (morality) of the times, heroism being doing the right thing in spite of virtue?{give up, go along, what can little you do to stop the train, just get in line, etc…}

        3. Optimader

          Im not looking for aparadigm of virtue, i am looking for not clinton, how is that most likely achieved?

      3. hunkerdown

        RepubAnon, please consider your own culpability in supporting that state of affairs by buying in to the two-party norm rather than telling it to get bent. Are you going to continue being part of the problem, or are you going to be part of the solution by passing it on? You need to come back and apologize to us all.

        See how it’s done? Be honest — is Hillary’s business as usual in your continued self-interest? Are you corrupt? J’accuse!

        1. johnnygl

          Seriously, these anti-trump voters need to start getting ready to think about what they’ll do in 4 years when it’s a choice of re-electing clinton or dealing with president ted cruz. And then 4 years later, it’s another ‘monster’ that must be stopped at all costs.

          Antifa called trump a sort politocal molotov cocktail…i think he’s more of a laxative. It’s gonna be a rough ride but you might manage to kill off a tape worm that’s eating at you for years. Corp dems and neocons are a tape worm and i hope trump vanquishes them like the bush family.

  2. fresno dan

    “People familiar with the company’s plans” told Bloomberg that Dell will cut 2,000 to 3,000 jobs

    Between 2014 and 2016, Dell applied for 2,039 H-1B visas and 256 Green Cards. EMC applied for 2,347 H-1B visas and 453 Green Cards, for a total of 5,095 applications.
    It’s the hot thing to do for tech companies: laying off existing workers in the US, and bringing it foreign workers on H-1B visas. The Senate has been looking into some of the abuses. In February, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sent US Attorney General Loretta Lynch a letter requesting a Justice Department investigation. But the tech lobby will likely get the Senate back on track soon.
    To get a good job, get a good education (sarc)

    From: AMERICAN Business
    To: American workers
    Subject: F*ck you all
    F*ck you all – because we can

    Its not about the future – its about the past. Why has this happened and why is it CONTINUING to happen? BECAUSE the policy of the US government is to make the vast majority of Americans poorer. And FED officials wonder why there is no demand…

  3. Cry Shop

    Do you have an AK-47 and….

    Like many Western Media reports, particularly US and EU, it ignores the first levels of piracy, which occurred when Somalia’s waters became open to Spanish, Portuguese Russian, and Chinese commercial fishing fleets. The local fishermen not only could not compete, they were driven off their fishing grounds or often enough murdered. Further, all of these nations contributed to arms trade and financed the destabilization of Somalia’s society so that no effective force either in the UN or at home could protect Somalia’s waters. It’s the former fishermen, deprived of a living, who were forced into looking at piracy of merchant vessels as a way to survive.

    1. diptherio

      I seem to recall the illegal dumping of toxic waste off the shore of Somalia as another major contributing factor. Never mind all that though….Black people with guns!!!!

      1. clinical wasteman

        Thanks Cry Shop, Diptherio, those were the two points I was just about to make. That and: in what way does redistribution from better- to worse-funded/armed cartels really ‘subtract’ $x from ‘the world economy’? The ruined ex-fishermen, nearly ex-farmers and various war-shattered communities of Somalia might see that differently.
        Incidentally, the all-parties, all (mainstream) media hero-worship of those two Italian marines in Italy was a multi-year stomach-turning event.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Interesting parallel of sorts- the article notes that no one in Western Africa has been jailed for piracy. Just like our own Western Buccaneers from outfits like Wells Fargo and Goldman Sux and the rest.

      The ordinary people slog on as best they can, trying not to be crushed under the dancing elephants’ heedless feet. And niche markets for more tail-chasing “tech”! (drones to kill drones, face recognition of ‘known pirates’ –does that include Dimon and Blankfein and the Big Dog, etc.? — and the usual feckless efforts to keep up with the convenience-bred vulnerabilities of cyber dependence, all to keep “free trade” flowing past danger points created by the Fokking vicious rapacious murderous mess that empire-serving “free trade,” mixed with our human proclivities and love of weapons that are such a big fraction of “free trade,” has produced.

      Too bad the as yet uncorrupted ordinary mopes have to suffer all the horror because of the “success” of the global looters…

  4. temporal

    re: ’basket of deplorables’
    Hillary listens to her political “friends” and reveals her warm, human side fortunately the dark malevolent side had taken the day off.

    Why isn’t Clinton far ahead of Trump?

    Hillary’s lack of ethics
    Hillary’s health concerns
    Hillary’s personality
    Hillary’s use of lies and arrogance to defend illegal deeds
    Hillary’s apparent complete immunity from the laws of the land
    The Clinton Family Foundation as gigantic a scam
    The Democrats abandoning populists
    The Democrats throwing the middle class to the wolfs
    The Democrats open support for every NAFTA-like proposal including TPP and TIPP
    The Democrats open support for everything Wall Street.
    The Democrats as the more war party
    The Democrats as the environmental party unless someone pays them to stand down

    Maybe the Ds just don’t want to figure this one out because the list is too big. Maybe if she can just be more lovable to the deplorables she can turn the tide.

    1. Don Midwest USA

      Hillary Clinton Is Trying Really Hard to Repel Progressives

      A young writer who posts at has written some excellent articles.

      “In the last two weeks of August,” Chozick and Martin note, “Mrs. Clinton raked in roughly $50 million at 22 fund-raising events, averaging around $150,000 an hour, according to a New York Times tally.”

      Clinton assured young progressives during her unexpectedly competitive primary battle that she would fight for their interests: Although there may exist a philosophical divide in terms of the most effective path, she argued, the destination — for herself, Senator Bernie Sanders, and the millions pushing for foundational shifts in the balance of power in the United States — is the same.

      But now that the primary fight is far behind her, she is doing what, as Thomas Frank puts it, “Democrats always do”: Veering sharply rightward. Far from a promise to put first the needs of the most vulnerable, Clinton has instead frequently deployed what Daniel Denvir has called “the class equivalent of ‘All Lives Matter,'” promising to represent “the struggling, the striving, the successful,” no matter their official political affiliations.

      Such rhetoric, while ostensibly a call for unity, is a common smokescreen, one often used to obscure the fact that the same powerful interests continue to dictate the policy direction of the nation.

      But Clinton’s platform — intended to appeal to all audiences, to the warmongers and the peace activists, to the poorest and the wealthiest — is hardly an abandonment of recent Democratic tendencies. It is, in fact, firmly in step with the ideological shifts that have taken place within the party over the last several decades.

      1. Anne

        Yes, and when she said this:

        “What would Ronald Reagan say about a Republican nominee who attacks America’s generals and heaps praise on Russia’s president?”

        at her tarmac presser the other day, it could not have been more clear to whom she was speaking – and it wasn’t Democrats, because Dems don’t give a rat’s ass what Reagan would say.

        Still waiting for Clinton to comment on the Wells Fargo crimes; am guessing that when and if she does have anything to say, it will be to praise the CFPB for the huge fine it levied…but then, Clinton IS someone who understands the value of getting others to fork over large sums of money in return for…something.

        And Bill Clinton…I have no idea why anyone believes a word this man ever speaks about his own actions; I guess it’s a tribute to his skill as a snake-oil salesman and serial cheater that he’s managed to maintain the fiction that he’s running a charitable organization and not a slush fund/money-laundering operation. Would love for someone to ask him why so many countries with repressive, discriminatory civil and human rights records donate so much money to a Foundation that supports causes they kill people over in their countries.

        1. nycTerrierist

          “Would love for someone to ask him why so many countries with repressive, discriminatory civil and human rights records donate so much money to a Foundation that supports causes they kill people over in their countries.”

          Brilliant question. Would love to see this circulate.

          Astute comment by Anne, as always.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          As to why people believe the Clintons, have you seen an episode of the West Wing? Democrats are smug because they can repeat poly Sci 101 lessons as presented by a prominent coke head who has passed off the same script for years (I still love Sports Nights).

          The Clintons are so obviously awful even from a straight political perspective that to have missed it exposes the Democrats as vapid and intellectually lazy as a Palin fan. And it’s willful ignorance, not stupidity which demonstrates Democrats are an in serious bunch of children following politics in the style of team sports. Recognizing the Clintons now would attack identities and raise questions about morality. It’s easier to blame young people for not being astonished Hillary is a woman because that’s all they have.

          1. witters

            Ah, ‘the Putin Fan’ – yes, good point. AKA ‘Russian voters’. Got to do a drive by here to prove one a VSP.

      2. nothing but the truth

        clintons are more interested in raising campaign funds than winning. they are too greedy.

        their plan seems to be to raise billions and then transfer those to their foundation to play with.

        if any questions are raised they will just burn down the computers where the records were kept. “no impropriety was committed” will be the stock answer and anyone questioning them will be branded a quack, a racist, and an LGBT hater by the NY Times, and definitely blacklisted by the big corporations HR department.

      3. Daryl

        I wouldn’t say she’s trying, she’s succeeding. This will be an incredibly low turnout vote, actually important issues (medical marijuana and universal healthcare) will probably be shit on by the people who show up to vote her into office and Republicans into congress.

      4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        All animals are equal, but some more equal than others.

        All animal lives matter, but some matter more.

        “Rich human lives matter more than homeless dogs, especially in China.”

    2. J Bookly

      Yes, Trump could easily walk away with this election if he weren’t such a colossal jerk. There’s a little devil-looking cartoon character sitting on my shoulder that keeps saying, “Start a fund to send him to acting school.” If he could/would stop acting like a jerk, he would probably win. Which would keep HRC out of the White House. But which would put Trump IN the White House. But but but . . .

      I’m voting for Jill Stein and actually praying.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Don’t feel so bad. It doesn’t matter who you vote for. Elections have eyewash, faux legitimacy not consequences…

    3. Eclair

      And, in Colorado, the Democrat governor and the Dem establishment are supporting ‘fracking everywhere’, including next to schools and in your backyard, and have come out in opposition to State Senator Dr. Irene Aguilar’s universal health care cooperative, Colorado Care. Ya think they might be influenced by big oil and big health insurance corporations? Nah.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Here in drought-stricken California, we are reluctant to take water away from frackers.

        Penalize urban dwellers first.

    4. Emma

      That 16th century Bruegel painting of ‘The Parable of the Blind leading the Blind’ is so relevant in US politics today. Just as it was when completed back in 1568 during a period of ‘cleansing’ by the ‘Council of Troubles’ of both heretics and opponents of the hegemony created under the governors of the Spanish Netherlands.
      Hillary Clinton will be unable to progress if she continually makes pretences for empathy and resorts to name-calling (ie. “deplorables”, “super-predators”, “bernie-bros”……the latter of whom should “go to hell” according to Allbright, that oh-so friendly light shining in a dark place for Hillary……) .
      It’s all very well following such a potential leader like Hillary Clinton, and indeed, showing solidarity, but it fast becomes a mass mental health issue when that potential leader persists in reacting with a dive down into shark-infested waters……
      As most regulars here know, I’m a “Bernie-Bro”, enjoying hell, and waving my hands up in the air because I care………for those delicious and nutritious Greenies! Ultimately, it’s got nothing to do with personalities, but rather I’ve no wish to feel dirty after cash-for-fracking following Hillary Clinton. And that’s my own policy in a nut-shell!
      And if Jill Stein and the Green Partys’ ascent takes off as well as many of us hope, then it’s all for the good of the USA. It’s way better than building a Trump Wall or blaming everything on the Russians and being dominated by a fear of purgatory, surely?!

      1. Kurt Sperry

        I’m reading this novel called “Q” centered around the 16th-century anabaptist rebellion written by a group of Italian writers working under the pseudonym of Luther Blissett, later to become the Wu Ming Collective, and the parallels between the 16th century and today are a little disconcerting to me. It got ugly.

          1. DJG

            KS and Emma: Q and Altai are both quite amazing. Altai is the “sequel” to Q.

            54 is “all over the place” in an interesting way, Los Angeles, Bologna, the isles off Croatia, although the plot is intricate indeed.

            Q is astounding for its clear-eyed view of the brutality of religion. Altai is a romance compared to what goes on in Q.

  5. Benedict@Large

    Bill Clinton, After a Year of Restraint, Unleashes an Impassioned Self-Defense | NYT

    Two more months. Not even. But he couldn’t do it.

    He had to make it about himself.

    1. DJG

      B@L: Bill Clinton is way past relevant, except as a reminder of forty years of the destruction of the Democratic Party. Also, as a Chicagoan, I consider Rahm to be spawn of Bill and Hillary. So there’s a bright side!

      All in all, my prescription: Bill Clinton becomes ambassador to Kiribati, if they will have him. Then shut off his cell phone.

      On the other hand, I’m sure that if Hill wins the White House will be filled with toothsome interns for the old serial sexual predator. (If the people of Kiribati turn him down.)

  6. Kokuanani

    There are 9830 comments to the WaPo “Dems wonder & worry why Clinton isn’t ahead more” story since it went up @ 8:30 last night.

    1. Otis B Driftwood

      Now over 10K and climbing. Essentially a polarized flamefest wherein each side is citing how and why one candidate is worse than the other.

      Only one comment is needed: “They are both terrible candidates and offer the American people no choice at all.”

      1. jgordon

        Admittedly they are both terrible, however I’d like to point out that at least one of the candidates is not a known psychopath and criminal who is probably suffering in the late stages of Parkinson’s disease.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I haven’t seen credible evidence of Parkinson’s disease. I don’t see a reason to gild the lily; surely being a policy disaster in whatever she’s touched — health care, Iraq, Libya, server administration, conflict of interest — is enough?

          1. jgordon

            I said that some candidates definitely do not have Parkinson’s disease. If one particular candidate goes around exhibiting all the symptoms of late stages Parkinson’s disease in public it could be just a surreal coincidence.

            1. aab

              It’s a mistake to assert a particular diagnosis. I have read credible accounts that she does NOT have all the symptoms of Parkinson’s, that there are required elements that video proves she doesn’t have.

              Why does this matter? Partly because it could trigger the “wrong typewriter” 60 Minutes style get out of accusation free card. If the line is limited to “she has Parkinson’s” and they can disprove Parkinson’s, then where are we?

              She has a significant history of medical problems, in the public record, and acknowledged privately by her allies and employees in those emails we weren’t supposed to see. Given this, that letter from her doctor is wholly insufficient, even before you factor in all the evidence we are seeing on video. Something is seriously wrong with her. I disagree with Lambert — I think it’s worth discussing, and that it has real significance. Separate from the tactical considerations, WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW. The Democrats had no problem going after McCain in 2008. Turnabout is fair play. I try never to listen to her speak, but I played that “basket of deplorables” clip and the first thing that jumped out at me was how weak, sick and old she sounded. I wouldn’t care about the catheter if it wasn’t that given what she has admitted about her health history, there’s no reason for the catheter. Women experiencing age-related incontinence do not need catheters, as far as I know. On the other hand, various neurological conditions for which she is also apparently showing symptoms WOULD explain the catheter. It is her weak mind, not a possible weak sphincter or vaginal muscles, that concerns me.

              I don’t know what’s wrong with her. Neither do you, conclusively. But it’s not our responsibility to diagnose her. It’s her responsibility to persuade us to vote for her — or at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. At the very least, she should explain why she takes so much time off the trail, only appears in extremely limited, controlled environments, etc. Do you view ALL non-rich voters as deplorable, Hillary, or only some? And if it’s only some, then why do you avoid all the rest, as if they have the actual plague?

              I think there IS credible evidence of some kind of serious neurological problem that would be disqualifying. But what exactly it is, I’m not sure. I am sure that she should be forced to submit to a neurological exam, if we could find a doctor untainted by Clinton corruption. Failing that, I want to see her functioning publicly under uncontrolled conditions for sizable amounts of time. No chairs at the debates. No aides allowed back stage. Some kind of Faraday cage around the podiums. I realize we won’t get all that, either. But we deserve to see any and every candidate in action, especially this one, and we deserve far more health status disclosure than we’re getting, and I believe it’s both right and useful to push for it. Just keeping her from getting a nice chair to sit in at the debates would be something. But I think it’s a bad idea to insist she has Parkinson’s, from a tactical perspective.

          2. tegnost

            agree, i think the health and appearance issues are a distraction from the policies. The policies are most relevant, which is why she is loath to discuss them and resorts to name calling.

          3. ambrit

            Well, if one had seen credible evidence that Ronnie Reagan had advancing Alzheimers, I would have welcomed that as a good ‘stick to beat’ his candidacy for the second term campaign with. In ‘pure’ political terms, the Parkinsons charge is a smear. We all get that. What divides us is the purpose to which the charge would be put. Since emotion based argument has shown to be superior in affecting the ‘popular vote’ in political contests, an eschewing of the Parkinsons charge in favour of a policy based attack looks to be counter intuitive. As the Science Fiction writer Jerry Pournelle once wrote: “People don’t fight and die for a standard of living.”
            I’m tending towards the view that the stakes have become too high in this election to treat it lightly.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          Health issues are well down my list of concerns. I’d much prefer a lefty with significant health issues than a hale and hearty neolib/neocon. I’m pretty much at the same place on non-political character stuff as well, except as it concerns getting policy done.

    1. Eclair

      My thoughts, also, Grizziz. Even worse, the Standing Rock Sioux, their relatives and their allies have succeeded in keeping this action peaceful and prayerful. They are focusing on ‘water protection’ and promoting the undeniable fact that ‘water is life;’ Mni Wiconi, in Lakota. The vision of armed National Guard units scooping up prayerful native grannies and children as they put their bodies in front of bulldozers, was giving Dem politicians nightmares. I mean, just a few weeks before a presidential election?

      No, they will wait until after the election, when the groundswell of national support has disappeared (they hope), before unleashing the big earth-destroying machines. Fortunately, (or, unfortunately) the Lakota/Sioux have experienced a couple of centuries of double dealings from the US Government, and they are expecting the inevitable betrayal.

      1. DJG

        Eclair: Would that your last sentence weren’t true. On the other hand, the U.S. government has been so good at massacring Native American grannies and children, why bother to wait for the election?

        In some respects, this moment resembles the moment when BLM arose, and BLM has been supportive. I am wondering / considering that maybe the Sioux Nation and their neighbors, the Anishinaabe peoples, all of whom resisted removal somewhat successfully, have sufficient power to resist the pipeline. But then I realize that the Obama administration considers this pipeline an adequate substitute for the XL.

        And yet: There are spirits of the land. Let’s evoke them.

  7. Don Midwest USA

    Edward Snowden was worried that his document release would just be a normal media story that would have a short life span and then be ignored. As more stories are written from the documents, including the recent The Intercept article about the capture of over the airwaves information in the massive facility in the UK, and other revelations come out, his ongoing relevance to the debate of democracy continues.

    An insightful review of Oliver Stone’s new movie on Snowden was just published by Variety.

    Toronto Film Review: Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’: Oliver Stone’s docudrama, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, is the director’s most exciting — and relevant — movie in years.

    Let’s be honest: Oliver Stone hasn’t made an Oliver Stone movie that mattered in more than 20 years. The firebrand urgency that once defined his name — the way he directed films that seized the zeitgeist, that drove the conversation, that inspired controversy because of how they leapt into the drama of history — has, for too long, been trapped in the past. Which is not to say that Stone hasn’t tried. He has made films that bent over backwards to be topical, like the earnest and sentimental 9/11 requiem “World Trade Center,” or the goofy provocative political cartoon “W.,” or the cautionary-but-behind-the-curve financial thriller “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” One or two of these movies “found an audience,” but none found a purpose; even when they managed to connect at the box office, they disappeared from the public consciousness like puffs of smoke.

    But Stone’s exile in the desert of overheated irrelevance has now ended. “Snowden” isn’t just the director’s most exciting work since “Nixon” (1995) — it’s the most important and galvanizing political drama by an American filmmaker in years. Telling the story of Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who became a whistleblower and fugitive by leaking documents that revealed the vast, spidery, paradigm-shifting scope of the new American surveillance state, Stone has made a movie that asks the audience to look, almost convulsively, at what this issue really means, and at who Edward Snowden really is.

  8. Carolinian

    So who’s the one moving that Overton Window?

    But by Friday it became clear that a significant number of Republicans agreed with him. Not for the first time, Trump has pulled an idea from the political fringes into the mainstream.
    His praise of Putin in particular — and a “strongman” style in general — has alienated some of
    the party’s most experienced ­foreign-policy hands while stoking no visible backlash from its voters.[…]

    The atmosphere is a far cry from four years ago, when Republicans rallied around GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney after he declared Russia to be the United States’ “number one geopolitical foe” and called Putin a thug.[…]

    Max Boot, a conservative policy analyst, former Romney ­national security adviser and author who plans to vote for Hillary Clinton, said that “there’s no precedent for what Trump is saying.”

    “George McGovern was not running around saying, ‘What a wonderful guy Ho Chi Minh is!’ ” Boot said. “It’s never been the view of one of the leaders of our two dominant parties that an anti-American foreign leader was preferable to our president.”

    Sounds like a win for Trump win could literally cause Max Boot’s head to explode–which may explain DT’s odd tenacity in the polls.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Obama reversed the polarity of Democratic politics, everything Dems detested about Bush became Obama’s steadfast hardcore conviction policies so Dems had to find a way to either shut their eyes/ears or else convince themselves they were OK with it all.
      Maybe something similar is happening for Trump and the Repubs? Although true movement conservatives would never have been on board with nation-building and foreign entanglements like NATO, and Trump’s recent Fed-bashing would go down a treat too.

  9. local to oakland

    Re the opioid problem, I haven’t seen many news articles mention the role of the Joint Commission making subjective patient satisfaction with pain treatment a closely monitored performance metric for American hospitals. The slogan was the Fifth vital sign and the standards for compliance were strict. Anyone blaming doctors for the opioid problem should be aware of this, conveniently timed for pharma companies, change in the regulations governing pain treatment. I haven’t got proof but the timing suggests corruption.

    1. JTMcPhee

      This nurse, and also patient and advocate for family members who fall into the hospital and nursing home hole, affirms the point. Abuse all around, retail and wholesale, lots of openings for incompetence and false metrics and error.

      Here, by the way, is the Joint Commission, for those who aren’t familiar with this part of the Bezzle:


      1. hunkerdown

        We need only deny patent protection to opioids for the problem to find its own, non-business-influenced level.

  10. Lambert Strether Post author

    I’m sadly about to go offline and travel, but before I do, I want to make it as clear as I can why Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” is vile and in itself deplorable. (As a troll prophylactic, let me make clear (a) I do not believe we have a qualified Presidential candidate in the race and (b) I am not for racism.)

    To begin with, ideologically Clinton presents as an advanced, not to say florid, case of vulgar identity politics (see here and here). Clinton’s premise is either that Trump supporters are either in the racist basket or the distressed-by-economy-and-government* basket, and that they cannot be both/and. This is the politics of an infant, who believes that the world is divided into categories of Good People and Bad People. Of course, real people in the real world can be both, and economic distress is the driver of all sorts of other social ills.

    Worse, Clinton and the Democrats seem to believe that racism is a personal and immutable essence; there is no notion that racism might be systemic. For example, the 10%-er college administrators who support the plantation system of professional football are not (systemically) racist; the drug wars and carceral system, for which the Clinton Dynasty bears significant personal responsibility, and which has imprisoned and disenfranchised an entire generation of black men, are not (systemically) racist; the neoliberal economic consensus, in which the Democrat establishment is deeply complicit, which both produced the 2008 crash and failed to solve the lack of aggregate demand that followed it, and which led both to disproportionately black disemployment and disproportionally blackloss of homes in the foreclosure crisis, is not (systemically) racist; and foreign policy “blob,” very much including Clinton herself, who have charred innumerable but far away powerless brown bodies are not (systemically) racist.

    Even worse, Clinton and the Democrat base — performing the sorting function into virtuous and non-virtuous for which they believe themselves so deeply suited — are saying, very explicitly, that Clinton will not be President of all the people; obviously, the “Basket of Deplorables” — which, deplorably, does not include her war criminal friend Henry Kissinger, or the various neoliberal warmongers who helped her set large portions of the Middle East on fire — shouldn’t be receiving government services at all; by Clinton’s own moral logic, it would be wrong to do so (see the Case Deaton study for the effects).

    And worse than that, does anybody really believe that, in Clinton’s mind, the “basket of deplorables” is full? Pretty soon, those who don’t opposed the deplorable enough will be in it; then those who don’t oppose the deplorable soon enough; the Clintons have already shown their McCarthyite tendency.

    For myself, I believe that even ammosexuals should be the recipients of single payer health care, not merely because almost everyone has some good in them, even Henry Kissinger, but because they are as human as I am. Clinton clearly does not believe this; for example, if there’s a significant overlap between states with a large “Basket of Deplorables” and lack of coverage under Medicaid because their local oligarchies opposed ObamaCare, that there is no reason to move to

    My cab is at the door, and this comment is far too sloppy, but I really cannot emphasize how vile Clinton’s comment is. How fundamentally undemocratic, even unchristian. If racism is the original sin of the American body politic, Clinton has not only trivialized it for political purposes, she hates the sinner not the sin!

    * Note also the neat division between the Basket of Deplorables, placed in that basket by Clinton for putatively personal characteristics like racism, and the non-deplorables, who are motivated by abstractions like “government” who failed them, but who very conveniently do not hold non-abstractions, like political parties and Presidents, responsible.

    1. diptherio

      This is the politics of an infant, who believes that the world is divided into categories of Good People and Bad People. Of course, real people in the real world can be both,

      Here, I have to respectfully disagree. It is not the case, so far as I can tell, that people are either Good or Bad OR both Good and Bad. Good People and Bad People are myths, abstractions with no referent in the real world. Those labels — “Good” and “Bad” — are more of a problem, imho, than any group of people are.

      In the book Returning to the Teachings, Rupert Ross discusses the differences between English and Aboriginal languages. English is noun-based. We view everything as “things” — atomic and isolated from the rest of reality and having a static, un-changing nature. Aboriginal languages are verb-based. Things and people are not described as separate and unchanging, but rather in terms of their relationships with the rest of reality — i.e. things and people are defined by actions (which can change) not essences (which do not).

      The noun-based way of thinking is inherently judgemental. In English we spend a lot of time trying to determine what exactly something or someone is, and then judging them for it on the basis of that determination. OTOH, verb-based languages focus on relationships, trajectory, and change. The question for verb-based languages is not “what is this thing” but rather “where is this person headed? How are they interacting with and relating to other things and people?” and most importantly “how can these relationships be healed/improved?”

      One of my buddies does a local radio show. One of his recent episodes focuses on this topic (among others). If this sort of thing is interesting to you, check it out:

      And the Ross book is highly recommended for everyone.

      1. Carolinian

        Good versus bad people as opposed to good versus bad behavior implies a religious point of view. IMO to literally believe in “evil” you have to literally believe in the Devil. Many of our value systems are left over from an era when science didn’t play much of a role.

        That said religious beliefs often do provide an ethical grounding that is quite rational. The concept of “sin” puts the onus where it belongs….on behavior.

      2. cwaltz

        The funny thing is a judgment on good or bad is very subjective and as you pointed out not created in a vacuum.

        For example, it’s pretty clear that the tribes view the pipeline as BAD- it’s equally clear that the others seeking to build the pipeline see it as GOOD.

        The perceptions of each particular group is related to how they view the pipeline is likely to impact them( and their self interest.) So a point of view isn’t really as simplistic as good or bad when each person is weighing things like what they value in order to conclude whether something is good or bad.

        I suspect even the verb based valuation process is going to be subjective and based on some level of self interest and what each person values. I also suspect it is a little more complicated since trajectories(where things are headed) are not always very predictable.

        I do think it’s interesting that it does seem to have an emphasis to relationships though. It, on the surface, doesn’t appear as me based as the good and bad valuations.

      3. DJG

        Sorry, diptherio, I disagree with you. For one thing, Italian has a much more complicated verb than English, with a very lively subjunctive mood that we lack, yet it would still be noun-based in your classification. Yet Anishinaabemowin, which is a verb-based language still has concepts of good and evil.

        The issue here is dualism, which is from our Platonic heritage. And Plato was a political conservative. Platonism was recycled conveniently and ineptly through Christianity. So we still have people debating the body-mind distinction. Sheesh.

        There is nothing wrong with making judgments. But one must revise them constantly. As a Bad Buddhist and a Bad Catholic, that’s how I assess the behavior I see, some of which is indeed bad.

        Further, Clinton claims to be a Methodist, which is about as dualistic a denomination as one can find. At least she isn’t suffering from being a Presbyterian, with all of that dualistic predestination baggage!

        1. witters

          “Plato was a political conservative” is not a very useful remark. He attacked both oligarchy and democracy. His Republic was not a call for a return to a past political system. His Republic had never been seen before, ever. So he was a radical. Now what was the essence of his radicalism? It was this: Elites will always be with us in organized political states (the polis); the political question is then this: Can we (ever) have elites that are concerned seriously and all the way down with the good of the polis (of all the citizenry), not their own pleonexic concerns with wealth and power? His answer: only if kings become philosophers and philosophers kings. And the chances of that? Pretty much bugger all, he thought.

          1. Foppe

            One might say that Plato was the first bleeding heart liberal. Meritocracy is social darwinism using a different value scale, but it is no less social darwinist for it; the bleeding hearts types supposedly believe in (even though they’ll never fight for) a system in which none are left out; but then, he assumed that all would contribute equally, plus he didn’t count those who were enslaved as human, which makes his argument rather “easy”.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            “People should not fear the government, government should fear the people”, it’s only when the collective elite has a sphincter-clenching moment (“oh, shit, they broke down the palace gate”) when they can reliably be expected to do *anything* at all for the plebes since their very elite-ness only arises and exists by exploitative extraction in one form or another from them.
            The Chinese had just such a moment around 1980 when the elite realized they absolutely had to quickly raise the peasant standard of living or else face annihilation. So they radically changed policy course to make sure that vast swathes of the poorest could at least make a grab for that first ladder rung.
            This will seem off-topic at first, but give it a minute, it’s fascinating:

            1. JacobiteInTraining

              I cringe whenever I hear the term ‘ammosexual’, though I understand why it exists, however I wish there was a term for people (like me) who grew up around guns, used guns for a plethora of purposes, and continue to believe that the 2nd Amendment’s ‘Shall Not Be Infringed’ means exactly what it says…no less then the 1st or any other darn Amendment.

              I was taught to be incredibly respectful of guns from an early age. I was allowed to shoot a .22 rifle (with my dad holding) at 6 or 7. After first passing a gun safety course, I was given my first 20 gauge shotgun at the age of 10, and used it for both scare value (against the invasive european starlings consuming every berry they could access in our commercial berry acres) and for its kill value (for starlings who made it through the first line of defense…berry netting)

              No, I did not enjoy killing living things…never have, never will…but when you grow up dirt poor on a farm, where if you don’t grow it or catch it or kill it, you don’t eat it…what else would they have us do? Food stamps? Government cheese? (yeah, we did both of those as well)

              Many times, the venison, elk, or (yes, sometimes) squirrel and rabbit and possum) tasted good to a hungry tummy.

              In later life, I have used a gun on 2 occasions to scare off burglars/intruders of the 2-legged human variety. On several occasions, I have also used guns to scare off charging grizzlies in Alaska. And yes, I fully acknowledge that it was *I* who was the intruder in that scenario…but the gunshot reports stopped the charge, the 2nd warning shot caused them to execute a retrograde maneuver. Even that was against the advice of bear experts…because once a charge starts in many cases nothing but a perfect shot will stop them if they are serious.

              And no, I hold out no illusions that the presence of AK47s, AR15s, or any other ‘Evil Black Rifle’ will stop an out-of-control dictatorship in the USofA…but is it so wrong to hold a philosophy of “…Well, I just don’t want to get killed for lack of shooting back…”

              This philosophy applies mostly for out-of-control garden variety violent criminals. It also applies to dangerous wildlife, and in direst extremis it applies to those who would threaten my loved ones in the event of a disaster where the ‘powers that be’ abandon me to my fate.

              Glib ‘ammosexual’ labels gloss over the debate much as any other identity-based-political insult or classification.

              But I guess they do kinda look phallic, and it sells copy, so oh well….I must endure it…

    2. Steve H.

      – either in the racist basket or the distressed-by-economy-and-government* basket, and that they cannot be both/and.

      I’ve been working on the wisdom equation and it’s incomplete. But the outline is the Epimetheus factor: to model all possible probabilities loses to the quicker decision that alters conditions. Organisms select for binary incomplete decisions.

      In mediation we had “beat’em with BATNA'”, best alternative to a negotiated agreement, which was to set up a binary condition to force a decision into mediation, where we would get more subtle. Getting the commitment to mediate was framing a decision process, but was contradictory to the ‘consider all options’ ideal.

      So seeing a candidate double down on ‘us-them’ is a sign of weakness, taking a position and disregarding issues.

    3. voteforno6

      Remember when the Democrats criticized George W. Bush for his Manichean approach to the world? Good times.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      The third paragraph is the crux of the issue. The incessant, hysterical shrieking about Donald Trump’s “racism” by the eminently “qualified” candidate who has 30 years “experience” actually creating and institutionalizing the social evil she purports to decry is absolutely maddening. Especially when that “experience” is touted as an undeniable virtue.

      Instead we get the “evidence” of Trump’s deep-seated, unreformable “racism” essentially in the form of cartoons. REAL racists mark “c” for “colored” on rental applications, build walls and propose immigration bans. Absolutely everyone knows that’s what “racism” is. I can imagine clinton’s opposition research staff scouring public records to find “evidence” of Trump’s investment in the now defunct restaurant chain “Sambo’s.” Too bad for them he wasn’t THAT racist. It probably could have sealed the deal.

      Trivialization indeed.

      In general, I have no use for the bible. But this quote, and I have no clue as to whether it is quoted correctly, seems particularly appropriate here:

      Matthew 7:15-20New King James Version (NKJV)

      You Will Know Them by Their Fruits

      15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

      1. jgordon

        Your thinking seems to be a bit messy and disorganized. To start off with, Mexico is not a race–it’s a country. How is building a wall to keep illegal, job-seeking immigrants out “racist”? That kind of confused idea is just too sloppy.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Pretty much the point, which was the reason for the quotation marks.

          BTW, “muslim” is not a race either.

        2. optimader

          You should reframe your thinking with an accurate definition of the term Racist, at least as recognized by international law.

          I get an eye twitch when a critique is muddled into the weeds w/regard to an innacurate understanding of the term Racist /Racism as it indeed applys to Ethnicity as well as the (obsolete) notion of Race.

          I direct you attention to
          Article 3, 4,5 and 7 as regards ethnicity

          International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
          Adopted and opened for signature and ratification by General Assembly resolution 2106 (XX) of 21 December 1965
          entry into force 4 January 1969, in accordance with Article 19

          Just say’in

    5. Portia

      I can’t help seeing that in the photo in the “basket of deplorables” link HRC suddenly looks like a man. what are they doing–playing with her hairstyle, emphasizing her eyebrows and squaring her face with makeup? Or is she taking testosterone? Creepier and disturbinger all the time–is it just me or does anyone else see this

      1. Katharine

        Why should it matter? Most post-menopausal women end up looking up less “feminine” than when they were younger. That is normal as hormone balances change, and has no bearing on competence.

        1. grayslady

          Where on earth do you get the idea that post-menopausal women look less feminine than they did when they were younger? It is the ovaries that produce feminine characteristics, and they don’t cease to perform their function following menopause. If you want an example (one of many) of a gorgeous, feminine post-menopausal woman, see Loren, Sophia.

          1. cwaltz

            Uh the ovaries definitely reduce production of hormones estrogen and progesterone following menopause and yes, estrogen does impact things like hair thinning, hair growth in places we might not want it(chin hair), and skin elasticity. We also lose bone volume as we grow old. It is entirely possible that she appears more masculine to some because she is older.

            Sofia Loren was blessed with a)good genes and b) lots of money for stylists and beauty treatment to help preserve.(I also wouldn’t rule out surgical interventions in Hollywood, no matter how much some proclaim, Never me!) I probably wouldn’t use her as a standard for the average woman.

            I also agree with Katharine in terms of her question on wondering why whether or not Hillary appears more masculine should matter? We’re not electing a fashion model, we’re electing a commander in chief. It’s way more relevant that she couldn’t remember things during her FBI investigation then what she looks like in a pantsuit.

            1. ambrit

              What should be of more interest to one and all is H Clintons self image.
              Picking up on the Testosterone idea; is the substance a treatment for any disease that she might be subject to? Her exposure to ‘hormone therapy’ in general comes into play insomuch as it effects her emotional balance. When “experts” start playing around with a persons biochemistry, everyone affected has a stake in the outcomes.

            2. Yves Smith

              Gotta tell you, that’s off base. Production of all sex hormones goes down, including testosterone and progesterone, not just estrogen.

              You do not get an increase of male sexual attributes with menopause (larger Adams apple and feet, more facial hair, or longer jaw). You generally (unless you work very hard at preservation) see a loss of muscle mass and general saggy-ness, plus for many but not all women, marked weight gain. More fat on women makes them look rounder but also more hemispheric (loss of estrogen increase propensity for weight gain at wast, v. on hips and upper thighs. That may be the main “masculinizing” effect, but I hardly consider dumpy middle-aged men to be all that “masculine”).

              What I take away is you see the harder lines of aging faces as masculine (see Elizabeth Warren 20 years ago v. now). IMHO that’s your issue.

        2. Portia

          that was not my point at all. I am comparing it to other recent past pictures of her. they changed her hair, definitely. if they are playing around with her gender characteristics, it matters, and why this getting your back up–it is not about competence. I already know what she is good at, and it ain’t gubmint. I can make this comment without it being about being sexist.

    6. DJG

      Lambert: A great parting shot. Safe travels. (And speaking of shots, have a rye whiskey when you arrive–a great way to go into vacation mode.)

    7. Michael

      I’m very sorry, but I have way too many relatives who are in that basket to view Clinton’s comment as anything other than a welcome relief from gaslighting.

      The defining characteristic of Flyover white culture is violent, brutal hate. The systemic racism thrives on the soul-crushing personal racism of its participants.

      I don’t go to the family reunions.

        1. Michael

          They’re the ones voting for the governors that keep the Medicaid expansions out.

          Of course they should, if we’re successful in destroying their political power.

      1. Yves Smith

        I spent a lot of my childhood in what you call flyover states. Your picture is an arrogant caricature. There is tons of racism in blue cities, but they can pretend they don’t have it because the relatively few people of color the elites deal with are either 1. clearly subordinate and subservient or 2. culturally white.

        1. Bugs Bunny

          Thank you Yves. I was born in and am proud to defend my connection with the Midwest. Moving to Boston in my 20s gave me plenty of experience “educating” people who think like Michael.

          We’re not hicks, Michael.

          1. Michael

            I used to think very differently of my home state of Illinois before Rauner. I used to think that there was something to white culture other than racism, domestic abuse, and hate.

            Now I know better, and I stay far, far, away. I’m going back for grandpa’s funeral, and never again. Can’t risk it.

      2. kareninca

        “The defining characteristic of Flyover white culture is violent, brutal hate.”

        My cousin in Michigan (in Grand Rapids) married a gay guy knowing that he was gay – because they liked each other and both wanted kids. Although they are sexually faithful to each other, he has not “given up” being gay; it is what he is. Her parents (Dutch Reform) are fine with this. The kids they produced are very happy and smart, BTW.

        My cousin in southern Indiana has a daughter who married a black guy. He didn’t work out (he is a drug dealer), but my cousin and her husband (neither of whom went to college, both of whom had working class jobs) love their grandchildren dearly and were/are on good terms with the (now ex) husband’s family. The daughter recently married a different black guy. He is a good person. My cousin and her husband love the child of that marriage dearly, too. And they are very happy with their new black relatives.

        Maybe you don’t know “flyover country” as well as you think you do. Maybe you should get out a bit more.

      3. Propertius

        And yet, in one of nature’s little ironies, those benighted cretins managed to whelp an enlightened and tolerant soul such as yourself.

    8. Heliopause

      Clinton’s premise is either that Trump supporters are either in the racist basket or the distressed-by-economy-and-government* basket

      I’m glad you brought this up because I noticed right away when I first read about her comments this morning that what she said about the other half was not getting a lot of play. And indeed, what she said about the other half was essentially a paraphrase of Obama’s “guns and religion” comment. Essentially, what she did was call 100% of Trump voters either human refuse or dupes. Saying that, and saying it in front of yet another big dollar crowd wasn’t the smartest political move of this cycle.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Even more hilariously, Clinton’s gaffe — that is, she mistakenly said what she really believes — came just before she was going to reintroduce herself again, and show off the warm, funny side so many of her sycophants assure us is there.

        The other point to notice is that there don’t seem to be any members of the donor class in the basket of deplorables; not even the Wells Fargo executives behind the current scandal. Nobody in the elites or the political class is deplorable at all. Only Trump and half his supporters.

        1. JohnnyGL

          A couple of quick points….

          1) The so-called ‘walk back’ of the comments sounds more like a double-down…

          “Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic,’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ — that was wrong,” Clinton said in a statement released Saturday afternoon.

          Read more:

          2) It was a planned remark, from a teleprompter (according to Fox) and she made very similar remarks to Israeli TV the other day….

          Friday night wasn’t the first time Clinton used her basket metaphor to describe Trump’s “alt-right” base — which also made her remark seem more like a bungled strategy than a gaffe. In an interview last week with an Israeli television station, Clinton said, “Take Trump supporters and put them in two big baskets. There are what I call the deplorables — the racists and the haters and the people who are drawn because they think somehow he’s going to restore an America that no longer exists.” The other basket, she said, was made up of Americans who simply feel the government has let them down and are searching for an alternative.

          Read more:
          Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

          The 2nd link also provides more of the always lovely beltway wisdom that says it’s a gaffe because of the number. There’s a remark from Paul Begala of Superpac and CNN fame that indicates he thinks it’s just fine, too.

          Also, she just said the other days that ISIS supports Trump, too.

          Seems like this reintroduction is about reintroducing the same filthy Clinton-style that we’re so familiar with. They’re always so confused about why Americans don’t much like it.

          1. Heliopause

            I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that bigots of certain stripes are more likely to be drawn to Trump, but as a politician you have to walk a fine line in how you point that out, if you point it out at all. When you walk into a room and grandly state, “half of these people are idiots,” what they hear is “she just said we’re all idiots.” And even if they pick up on the fine distinction that the other half are good people but “desperate,” that’s only a bit less of an insult, isn’t it?

            Which brings me back to my larger point; in addition to her other deficits, Hillary Clinton is just a lousy politician.

    9. jgordon

      On the qualifications or lack thereof in our presidential candidates, it seems to me that this idea is thrown around quite a bit to “disqualify” those we dislike.

      So, let’s take this objectively, shall we? Are any of the candidates under 35? Are any not natural born citizens? Are any of them heinous criminals who should have had their civil rights revoked already? If the answer is “no” then everyone running is qualified by definition.

      As for ammosexuals, I too am quite open minded and big-hearted; I will magnanimously concede that even those who do not fully support the Constitution and all its Amendments are deserving of its protections.

      1. Propertius

        I had exactly this discussion about “qualifications” with Doctor Doctor (she just finished PhD #2) Mrs. Propertius a few months ago. Her position was identical to yours. Mine was (and still is) that there is a distinction between “eligible” and “qualified”. The Constitution defines eligiblility, nothing more. In fact, the precise word used by Article II is “eligible”. Otherwise, I’m sure that one or more of the states would have opted to allocate electoral votes by lottery amongst the denizens of the nearest drunk tank (since the Constitution leaves the method of “appointing” electors up to the individual states). It would save a lot of money and free us from interminable tasteless ads (although since I live in one of the states that Secretary Clinton has decided either to ignore or to take for granted, I’m only seeing half as many of those as some of you), unproductive “debates” and annoying calls from pollsters. I’m not sure that wouldn’t produce better results than we’re getting.

    10. flora

      Clinton calls half the electorate “deplorables.”
      At least she hasn’t called half the electorate “vermin.”
      Not yet.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s always the other side – the right wing conspirators.

        Just your beginner Judo 101 move.

    11. Tom Denman

      So much for Mrs. Clinton acting “presidential” in order to make her opponent look like a nut by comparison.

      Her paranoia underscores how much more frightening than Trump she is.

  11. Ignim Brites

    “Nearly 500 more US Troops sent to Iraq for Mosul Attack in advance of Election Day”. If the Iraqi army were to swiftly take Mosul that would be a slight plus for Obama/Clinton. A failed or stalled offensive would be a disaster for the Obama/Clinton neoliberal foreign policy since it would high light that after 8 years the neoliberal policy had failed to extricate the US from Iraq. On the other hand a failed or stalled offensive might provoke the mecurial Trump to call for complete abandonment of the War on ISIS.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Didn’t Hillary just promise “no ground troops in Iraq”?

      Oh, well. If it’s 0bama’s fault, then it’s just a situation she inherited.

      1. m

        That is because they will be needed in South China Sea & Russian Border to back up NATO. The paid contractors & CIA will do just fine in Middle East.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Geez, “slight plus for Obama/Clinton”, what a laugh. Over 8 years Team Obama/Clinton have copiously sh*t the bed across the broad swath of the Middle East and there is not a single country where their entire strategy is not in complete tatters. Except maybe Israel.
      And “War on ISIS”, that’s another howler, you don’t make a “war” on somebody by flooding them with cash and arms. Maybe “hey we created militant Islamic Fundamentalism to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, it kinda got out of hand after that with the whole World Trade Center thingy, so now we’re thinking about reducing our funding to certain al-Qaeda groups. We’re gonna set up a committee to study whether we should stop funding the group that was recently beheading sick children in hospitals, but they’re also trying to oust the democratically-elected leader of a country Russia likes so we’ll have to see what the committee says”.
      Painful truths. The world could desperately use some more of them.

  12. Scylla

    Dominion has locked out over 900 employees in 4 states. This is one of the companies that stores and transports natural gas to/for the northeast. Here in rural Pennsylvania, people see Dominion as one of the best places to snag a job if you are lucky enough, and openings are pretty rare. In rural areas like this, there are few employers that pay a wage high enough to support a family, and those families that do well tend to have a member that works away from home during the week (oil/gas field workers for instance). So I guess Dominion is signaling that they are unhappy that their jobs are sought after, and wish to change that. (If I recall, they also adopted a tiered wage system some years ago too, where new employees made less than existing ones).
    Hope this link works:

      1. Scylla

        That’s the one. Thank you. I guess dominion wants to remove retiree insurance benefits for new hires, among other things.

    1. Jen

      This is one form of disruption I would welcome. I hate car dealers. When I buy, I email the internet sales managers at a few dealerships, tell them what I want and buy from whichever one gives me the best price. No muss, no fuss. Unfortunately I still have to actually set foot in a dealership to test drive the car.

      Salesman (and they are almost always men): So, you want to test drive the Forester. Do you have a particular color in mind?
      Me: Does it drive differently based on the color?
      Salesman: No, but it helps you to see yourself in the car.
      Me: I can see myself in a Porsche Cayanne. Let’s just go for a test drive, shall we?

      And there was the salesman who told me I needed to fill out a finance application before we could go for a test drive. I walked out of the dealership and slammed the door. The sales manager came racing out after me, asked me what was wrong and offered to take me out for a test drive himself. I made sure to hit a number of curves pretty aggressively. He was a bit wobbly in the knees when we got back to the dealership. Didn’t buy a car from them, either.

      And there was the saleswoman who, mercifully, let me take the car out for a test drive on my own. However, when she gave me the price on the car it was easily 2,000 higher than any other dealer would charge. I told her that, and she said: “but we give you an extended warranty, and 10% off of every service, and free use of the car wash!”

      Guys, tell me, because this gal wants to know: do you have to put up with this crap?

      1. cnchal

        . . . do you have to put up with this crap?

        Of course. I call them stealerships. A buddy was the sales manager for a Honda joint, and quit to drive a truck because he could not stand the ripping customers off games anymore.

        I have given up on new cars. Paying 10 grand extra so they can stuff your car full of spyware, and when something breaks, the owner can’t fix it. Besides, the designers have gone completely nuts with strip lights, giving cars lighted eyebrows, like inverse mascara, never mind the Klingon forehead dashboards. New cars are fugly.

      2. Ivy

        When buying, also ask the internet rep for any fleet discounts (do you already own one of their cars?) or wholesale pricing (why not ask, because they probably won’t offer) or financing promotions (0% for 5 years, sure, given how low rates are now that isn’t such an obstacle for them). Dealer cost is a flexible term, and don’t believe some spreadsheet or flyer that shows that, as they can print up anything for the unsuspecting. Remember, they sell 365 days a year and you buy once every several years, so they know all the tricks and then some.

        Also ask about what else the dealership may have to offer in the way of manufacturer incentives and marketing assistance. Dealers may also have their own supplemental maintenance programs, so why not get free car washes whenever you can, in addition to covered cost for some initial time period.

        The internet or fleet guy, and they are virtually all guys, may be paid on units. He has an incentive to move more iron per period and not as much need to extract the last nickel from you since he hit his bogey, and he wants a repeat customer in part to lower future sales acquisition costs.

        Find out when their fiscal year end is, and when their accounting periods close. Calendar years don’t necessarily impact their sales programs, as may be seen by year-end sales carrying over into January.

        There are many ways to reduce the price below the “MSRP”, dealer invoice, delivered cost or other amounts.

      3. inode_buddha

        Pretty much, yes. There’s a reason I don’t go to dealerships at all anymore, not in 15 years. And as someone who does mechanical stuff for a living, yes it is a *fact* that the older stuff was built sturdier.

        Drawbacks to this approach: It requires *lots* of research and maybe some connections. I could require using cash as in the green and folding variety. It helps to have a certain amount of mechanical independence and relevant education/experience (a few physics courses won’t hurt).

        There were plenty of lemons, but there was also some real hidden gems back in the day, but you really have to educate yourself beyond the level of most consumers.

        I can’t speak as a woman since I’m very male, but I would get to know all the mechanics that everyone in your family and friends know. And find out how they think. Do a lot of reading online, there are loads of forums full of enthusiasts for each make and model. By the time something has been out for a few years, generally everyone knows what all the bugs are and they have ways to work them out. The various forums are a great resource in this regard.

        Hope that helps.
        PS I refuse to own anything newer than about 30 yrs, but I have enough know-how to meet the current regulations with antique equipment. My motto is to never own anything that I can’t fix in my sleep.

  13. Grizziz

    5th warmest summer: I haven’t been following exactly, yet my recollection is this is the Earths warmest year, so again we’re falling behind. Also, in the headline it says that the lower 48 has had the 4th warmest, while the graphic shows that AK has had the 2nd warmest. It seems that Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Guam are holding us back.
    I know this seems like nonsense ‘cuz overall it’s too damn hot. However, after discovering the isolation of living in the web of soft climate denial I felt the need to express some latent pandering.
    At least the soft climate denial allows for negotiation, cooperation and democratic determination. The McKibben and Hoexter approach is going to require another Ghengis Khan and all the charm that comes with expediency.

    1. fosforos

      Their approach requires more than a “Genghis Khan.” It requires a planetary dictatorship imposed by spaceships from an extraterrestrial civilization. Meanwhile they contemptuously refer to the concept of swingeing, progressively increasing, fully and equally *per capita* rebatable, taxation of carbon at the points of extraction and importation as some kind of magical “silver bullet” to do the whole job of arresting climate change.No sirs, it ain’t no “magic bullet.” It’s merely the indispensable first step, the *sine qua non*, of any possible rational approach to combatting and reversing climate change.

  14. Pearl

    Re: DOJ’s settlement with Deutsche Bank.

    Is it “the misspelling of” or “mis-selling of” of MBS products?

    (I read a similar article that referred to it as “the mis-selling of,” as opposed to “the misspelling of;” and that is why I am asking for clarification.)

    I can see how it could actually be both. In my litigation, one of the Deutsche RMBS trusts was registered with the SEC as “The IndyMac INDX Mortgage Loan Trust 2004-AR10.” Another trust (or the same trust–who knows?) was registered as the “The IndyMac INDEX (with an “E”) Mortgage Loan Trust 2004-AR10.

    Sure. This could have been a typo. But these folks seem to have a pattern of making a lot of (ahem) “honest mistakes, typos,” etc. The registration of a half billion dollar trust with the SEC is (basically) the same as the registration of any other half billion dollar company with the SEC. If one were to register a company under the name of McDonalds, while nearly simultaneously registering a company under the name of “MacDonalds” (“Mac” versus “Mc”), such a “mistake” would have ramifications in (especially) computer searches, accounting, and representing, etc.

    A whole new low! Misspelled, mis-sold, non-existent, bankruptcy-remote, half billion dollar shell companies originated / not originated, held by / not held by, accounted for / not accounted for by that pillar of an institution that we all love and know as “Deutsche Bank.” Shocking.

  15. timbers


    A good source for “just the facts, ma’m” account of the battle in Syria is South Front which is usually found on Vineyard of the Saker.

    Since the Turkish invasion in northern Syria, the reporting of battles in Aleppo have been consistently in Syrian forces favor. This lends support for those saying the Turkish invasion of northern/western Syria was a “deal” btw Putin/Erogon that Turkey gets to crush the Kurds in return for Syria re-taking Aleppo. Not a clear cut Syrian/Russia “win” but overall quite favorable terms. It means no pipeline via Syria to replace Russian gas. And especially favorable to Russia/Syria if you think western Syria will always be intractable and Turkey gets bogged down it it’s own Vietnam in western Syria…better Turkey than a weak Syria.

    Anyone following Syraqistan – IMO – might be the grave concern of the sane, moderate, fair well intentioned Russians working with the duplicitous, treacherous USA. Personally I find it extremely hard to believe anything the US agrees to will benefit anyone on Earth but the Team War. And even if that is wrong and Obama actually did a good thing with the Russia, what happens if Clinton comes to power?

    On another note, that Putin might be dealing with other Middle East nations to cut deals entirely w/o the US…leaving the US completely OUT in every way…is quite remarkable and represents a seismic power shit toward Russia in the Middle East.

    1. Plenue

      Russia and Syria just agreed to pull back forces to one kilometer from the Castello road in northern Aleppo. It will now be used to run UN ‘humanitarian aid’ into the rebel held part of the city. At minimum it will be used as a way for the rats to escape encirclement in Aleppo, at worst it will be used to smuggle in weapons and ammunition so they can keep fighting and attempt to hold their prize.

      So Russia just made Syria piss away something it spent a lot of blood and effort capturing. Not only that, but it’s given the militants a supply line, something they just spent the better part of a month and a thousand dead bodies attempting to punch through by force. This goes beyond delusional and optimistic on the part of Russia, which is what you could charitably call the first ceasefire agreement; this could rightly be viewed by Syria as a stab in the back. It’s not going to be good on army morale either.

      1. timbers

        “This goes beyond delusional and optimistic on the part of Russia, which is what you could charitably call the first ceasefire agreement; this could rightly be viewed by Syria as a stab in the back. It’s not going to be good on army morale either.”

        That’s my concern, too, but just know yet “the fog of war” and all that. For example the ceasefire excludes Aleppo and Syria just issued an ultimatum for rebels to leave or else. The problem is Russia/Syria can not retake Aleppo w/o very casualties. I think they are trying to avoid that.

        That said, am DEEPLY skeptical of ANY “cooperation” with USA.

        1. Plenue

          “The problem is Russia/Syria can not retake Aleppo w/o very casualties.”

          But they can. Without supplies an army withers on the vine. The SAA is eager to capture what they can of eastern Aleppo now while the militants are still in disarray, but I doubt there is any plan to try and advance deep into rebel territory. The entire point of encircling the rebels is to starve them out. They’re doomed in such a scenario, which is why so much effort was put into punching a new supply line through the southwest part of the city. All the SAA has to do is hold the line against counter-attacks (which could inflict heavy casualties, but it’s not like the SAA has any need to actually take the eastern part of the city via bloody house to house fighting). If as part of the ceasefire the rebels are getting a supply line, all the recent military gains are rendered moot.

          It would be one thing if the SAA was allowed to run an inspection checkpoint on the Castello road to ensure weapons aren’t being snuck in, but they’re given up that right and pulled back. I hope at the very least they leave a lot of artillery in place pre-sighted on the road, so the second this ceasefire goes bad (which is inevitably will) they can ensure the rebels don’t rush in and retake the supply line.

          1. timbers

            “But they can.”

            Not w/o much greater SAA and civilian casualties based on what I’ve read.

            “Without supplies an army withers on the vine. The SAA is eager to capture what they can of eastern Aleppo now while the militants are still in disarray, but I doubt there is any plan to try and advance deep into rebel territory.”

            Think the SAA/Russian strategy is more intelligent than this. By SAA encircling the rebels, they slowing run out of supplies. This provoked the rebels to temporarily break the siege but at great cost to numbers because the became easy targets of air strikes and many were killed. This is to the SAA advantage and exactly what the SAA/Russian wanted – a war of attrition by which each attempt to break the siege brings the rebels out in the open and are easily destroy by Russian air attack. What I’ve read is the effort by the rebels to break the siege dramatically reduced their numbers.

            The alternative is a direct attack resulting in much greater civilian casualties and SAA casualties which the Russian seek to avoid. For example the Russians where allowed to use Iran air bases but with a promise to the Iranians to avoid civilian casualties.

            1. Plenue

              It looks now like the assault on the Artillery College complex was not anticipated by the Syrians and Russians (the guy who was in charge of the college defense and ordered the retreat was thoroughly chewed out for it). Fortunately the militants were never able to widen the breach enough to keep the center clear of artillery fire and turn it into a stable supply route. But the SAA had to hurriedly shift forces around to counter the offensive and apparently lost about 500 of their best fighters in the battle. It ended up being a killing corridor for the jihadis, but I think the evidence indicates that wasn’t actually planned ahead of time.

              The offensive was the big move by the militants, they lost a huge amount of people and heavy equipment (especially armored vehicles) in it. It’s doubtful they’ll be able to muster the power to try again. Simply surrounding rebels in a pocket and waiting them out has worked to great success in Damascus.

      2. timbers

        NOTE – I may not have been clear regarding what MAY be happening when I said since Turkey invaded northern Syria, news of Syrian advances around Aleppo increased via South Front. Implication: Putin/Erogon agreed Turkey can have Kurdish areas if Syria gets Aleppo (there were reports some “rebels” left Aleppo and were moved to where Turkey invaded).

        The fact South Front news started reporting Syrian gains in Aleppo areas fits in with there being a deal btw Putin/Erogon. MoonofAlabama is suggesting this. Speculation at this point.

        So, the “rats” getting into Aleppo may be cut off or reduced by Turkey per an agreement with Putin.

  16. JSM

    Piers Morgan is absolutely right in his denunciation of America’s rather mysterious ((in so far, at least, as the MSM never seems to question where the street and pharmaceutical raw materials are coming from) opioid epidemic. he majority of Afghan heroin ends up in the US? More than likely there’s a new Iran-Contra going on around here somewhere. In related news, the maker of Fentanyl has admitted that it already competes with marijuana and would really prefer not to compete with legalized marijuana:

    Re: Ari Fleischer’s 9/11 notes. 38 minutes after the collapse of the South Tower, Andrew Card is confident enough that Bin Laden is responsible for the attacks to (sort of) joke that the president’s dog is going to sic him. One of the most remarkable things about that day is the mixture of such confident pronouncements with a constant, daylong stream of mis- and disinformation that apparently had as its primary target the Commander-in-Chief, who did not return to Washington until 7pm.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      So much pain in the world.

      Give us some relief so you can inflict more pain.

      “Hey, I think I can work 80 hours a week now!!!”

  17. Pat

    I doubt anyone here is shocked that a Clinton will remain in place at the Foundation. Total separation was never going to happen. But even if they could have done the real business of the “charity” without a family presence just by keeping loyal aides in place that was never going to happen. I will be blunt, Chelsea needs the cushy well paid job which I would not be surprised to find comes with perks and benefits as valuable as her almost million dollar a year job. It is her safety net and considering her and her husband’s record of failure, well let’s just say a $405 a week unemployment benefit is not going to keep them from having to sell their expensive apartment and move in with mom and dad.

    1. timbers

      Just think of the grift $$$ opportunities – “Please refer all White House petitions to Clinton Foundation for consideration.”

      Just joking abt that but seriously…no more clandestine WH meetings with Big Pharma prior to enacting say the ACA like Obama did because it will all be done at Clinton Foundation instead…beyond FOIA or requests for WH meeting logs. Plus they can freely talk abt $HOW MUCH$ of a donation to CF is required…even complete the “transaction” in cash on the spot. It will make what Hillary did at SOS small peanuts. And with DOJ, FBI, etc on board the FOIA will be a joke the Clinton’s laugh at. Hillary isn’t measure the WH drapes she’s measuring the Oval Office layout to install some “private email servers” linked directly to CF.

      Time to stop saying USA is exceptional/indispensible. Like someone said here earlier, we’re just like a Banana Republic w/o the bananas.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Dakota pipeline.

    What ever happened to the 500 sovereign nations? Why haven’t they continued to make treaties with the great white fathers?

    Maybe a treaty is called for here.

    (And issuing some tribal sovereign currencies – or have they negotiated that away?)

    1. diptherio

      You’re familiar with the history of treaties, right? The USG has never once honored a treaty with Native people. So why would the tribes keep negotiating them? In fact, the #NoDAPL protesters are simply trying to enforce the terms of the Fort Laramie treaty of, like, 1880 or something.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Many were rigged or alcohol induced.

        There will be a time, perhaps now, to highlight what you just pointed out.

        Opening up embassies in Washington DC does so similarly to remind the world that there are still sovereign nations in this nation.

        Maybe even UN memberships.

        1. tegnost

          how funny would it be if, like casinos, indian nations (first nations) became the last sovereign and those who sought protection from global trade deals domiciled in indian land and became the more powerful entities?
          Super funny, imo

  19. Julia Versau

    Yahoo is doing good work? That Bush/9-11 piece was hagiography of the worst sort. Gag me. Am I missing something?

    1. Steve H.

      I generally see real-time notes as data, Julia, which helps to understand mindsets. I saw few value judgments in the piece. I’ve seen some huckable hagiography, can you help me to see your perspective here?

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China and American Heartland…one low wage at a time.

    It’s far, far better to be conquered by a rich nation.

    Germany – the Marshall plan.

    Japan – money to help fight the North Koreans in the early 1950s.

    What was it like to be vanquished by, say, the wretched Goths, children and women in tow? You go to skid row today, and see what formerly might have been working Americans of all types…hungry and seeking pain relief (of all kinds, soon-to-be-legal or otherwise).

    Yet, those now dwell in their crowded apartments, in their place, are not less wretched…not by much. Was that how the conquered citizens or subjects of Rome felt – that we are all equally pathetic now, compared to the happy days of the all-world-conquering (except a few places, like beyond the Hadrian wall) empire?

  21. Vatch

    The Investment Advisers Modernization Act passed the House yesterday. This was discussed here a couple of months ago:

    For the roll call vote (261-145; 35 Democrats voted Yes), see:

    Obama claims he will veto it if it also passes the Senate:

    The veto threat is good, unless it’s Kabuki, and after minor changes in the Senate, it passes the House again, and Obama claims that the changes are sufficient to allow him to sign it.

    1. Vatch

      Several of the Democrats who voted for this bill also voted for fast track Trade Promotion Authority. Amazingly, Debbie Wasserman Schultz voted No. Possibly an instance of villain rotation, or maybe she has so many retired constituents, she realizes that some types of financial fraud will anger those voters.

      Here are the people who voted for both HR5424 and for fast track:

      Ashford (Neb.) – (202) 225-4155
      Beyer (Va.) – (202) 225-4376
      Connolly (Va.) – (202) 225-1492
      Cooper (Tenn.) – (202) 225-4311
      Costa (Calif.) – (202) 225-3341
      Cuellar (Texas) – (202) 225-1640
      Delaney (Md.) – (202) 225-2721
      DelBene (Wash.) – (202) 225-6311
      Himes (Ct.) – (202) 225-5541
      Kilmer (Wash.) – (202) 225-5916
      Kind (Wis.) – (202) 225-5506
      Larsen (Wash.) – (202) 225-2605
      Peters (Calif.) – (202) 225-0508
      Polis (Colo.) – (202) 225-2161
      Quigley (Ill.) – (202) 225-4061
      Rice (N.Y.) – (202) 225-5516
      Schrader (Ore.) – (202) 225-5711
      Sewell (Ala.) – (202) 225-2665

      1. sd

        You really can’t trust how they vote because they swap their votes.

        Someone in a safe seat will swap their yes vote to someone who wants to vote no but can’t because their seat is not safe. The outcome is the same, 1 yes and 1 no but the vote is recorded so as to help the politician who needs it.

        1. Vatch

          Yes, that’s one of the forms of villain rotation.

          Despite the uncertainty introduced by villain rotation, it’s interesting that there is so much overlap between the fast track trade traitors and the supporters of HR5424. 28 House Democrats supported fast track, and 18 of those also supported HR5424. Let’s look at another troublesome bill from the current Congress, HR 37, the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act (really just another “gut a provision of Dodd Frank” bill). It was discussed at NC:

          In this case, out of the total of 29 Democrats supporting the HR37, 15 of the 28 fast track House Democrats voted for the bill. This is slightly more than half of the fast track trade traitors. See:

          Ashford (Neb.) – (202) 225-4155
          Bera (Calif.) – 202-225-5716
          Beyer (Va.) – (202) 225-4376
          Connolly (Va.) – (202) 225-1492
          Cuellar (Texas) – (202) 225-1640
          Delaney (Md.) – (202) 225-2721
          Himes (Ct.) – (202) 225-5541
          Kilmer (Wash.) – (202) 225-5916
          Kind (Wis.) – (202) 225-5506
          Larsen (Wash.) – (202) 225-2605
          Peters (Calif.) – (202) 225-0508
          Polis (Colo.) – (202) 225-2161
          Quigley (Ill.) – (202) 225-4061
          Schrader (Ore.) – (202) 225-5711
          Sewell (Ala.) – (202) 225-2665

          The list of Democratic supporters of HR37 is very similar to the list of Democratic supporters of HR5424.

      2. Kokuanani

        Delaney of MD is my Congresscritter, and he’s a complete ass. But there’s little hope of removing him because he’s got a D next to his name, and that’s all the idiots in this district look at. He’s had some opposition in prior primaries, but always manages to survive.

  22. rich

    Friday, September 9, 2016
    House CPA Votes to Return PEUs to Shadows

    The House of Representatives voted 261-145 to relax what little Dodd-Frank did to “regulate” private equity underwriters (PEU). Bloomberg reported on passage of H.R. 5424, the “Investment Advisers Modernization Act”:

    Among the issues the SEC has found is what’s known as accelerated monitoring fees. Monitoring fees, which private equity firms charge companies they own annually for advisory work, were accelerated into lump-sum payments when a company was sold or taken public ahead of schedule, even when future work wouldn’t be performed. The regulator found that Apollo and Blackstone didn’t adequately disclose the practice to clients.

    PEU Report chronicled accelerated management fee collections for the following deals:

    Dunkin Donuts – $14 million to The Carlyle Group
    CommScope — $20 million to terminate the Carlyle Group management agreement
    PQ Holdings – mentions $ obligation to Carlyle but did not list a specific amount

    Economist Sam Wilkin wrote in Wealth Secrets of the 1% (Daily Mail):

    …behind almost every great fortune, there lies what he calls a ‘wealth secret’. This is a piece of knowledge or a technique that, while not exactly criminal, certainly skirts the customs of the time, and possibly the laws as well. All of them, he says, involve ‘some sort of scheme for defeating the forces of market competition’. Many involve legal manoeuvrings or the exercising of political influence. Boldness and fearlessness are a given. Mild psychopathy probably helps, too.

    The House of Representatives vote fulfills my assessment/reaction to Wilkin’s statement.

    America’s Red and Blue political teams cater to the .1%, which is largely represented by the PEU class. Customs skirted, check. Legal and financial manipulation (tax avoidance, management fees, dividend recaps), check. Exercising of political influence on a bipartisan basis, check. Boldness, fearlessness, psychopathy and the complete and total absence of guilt, check.

    Who’s overpaying these undisclosed fees? It could be your pension/retirement plan.

  23. Buttinsky

    This election has made it clear we’re all headed to hell in a handbasket. That some of us may think of ourselves as less deplorable than many of our fellow passengers won’t make any difference when we get where we’re going.

  24. Jim Haygood

    “You know,” Clinton said at the LGBT event, “to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.”

    “Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect.” — Mitt Romney, Sep. 2012

    Strap two baskets of deplorables over a mule’s back, and you’ve got panniers.

    Clinton / Romney 2016!

    1. Buttinsky

      When friends suggest that the LGBT community would be better off under a Clinton presidency, quite aside from her questionable bona-fides on this issue in America I have to wonder if they imagine that only the homophobes were targeted among the millions killed, maimed and violently displaced in the war crimes she has supported in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria….

      But, of course, the LGBT people there would be faraway, mostly dark-skinned Muslims who should have known better.

      1. Jim Haygood

        As a Disillusioned Deplorable, I’m not voting for Mittlary in 2016.

        But one does wonder … Hillary’s accomplice business partner “Bill” obviously has made his own intimate arrangements with Energizer and others like her.

        What are we to think about Hillary — that she’s been celibate for the past thirty years? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

    2. Marco

      Never thought about how this could be Hillary’s 47% moment. Yeesh! And at an LGBT event to boot! I went to my first and last HRC gala several years back and was so turned off by the preening classist snobbery of my fellow homos that I never went back.

  25. lyman alpha blob

    Har har har!!

    RE: Bill Clinton, After a Year of Restraint, Unleashes an Impassioned Self-Defense

    Is this a ‘gaffe’ due to poor sentence construction and bad editing or was the writer getting in a little dig at the big dog?

    From the article –

    “Friends of Mr. Clinton’s say he has grown impervious to most criticisms, particularly swipes at his personal indiscretions, which could proliferate in the weeks before the election.”

    The campaign pressure has gotten Bubba all randy again – the Beltway crowd better lock up the interns!

  26. ewmayer

    o Fed’s Kaplan says next U.S. president must grow workforce | Reuters — Especially the robotic and credentialed-useless-eater portions thereof!

    On to today’s collection of submitted-but-ignored links – no point wasting time formatting or titling ’em, as they’ll like just get diverted to the Mod queue anyway: — There’s that loaded word, ‘modernize’. Rather amusing that the lenders make people jump through hoops to provide in-person signatures, given the mass-scale MERS fraud. — An explosion in the corporate-bond equivalent of the neg-am mortgage … what could go wrong?

  27. L

    Regarding this:

    CAPTURED: Systemic Bias at the U.S. Copyright Office (PDF) Public Knowledge

    The Register has an interesting, albeit snarky retort that is worth reading as it is thought provoking:
    Google-funded group mad that US Copyright Office hasn’t abolished copyright yet

    Almost every sentient American who has posted an image to Facebook or Twitter is a rightsholder, even if they don’t assert it. Silicon Valley’s great trick is that digital property rights are something that only belong to other people – bad people – thus persuading Americans not to assert their own rights – an inconvenience to the vast corporations that make money from ordinary people’s work.

  28. Pat

    It isn’t getting enough media coverage to really matter, but I believe the Trump campaign has chosen its reactions to Clinton’s “deplorables” pretty well, including Trump (or his writers) doing a decent job of pointing out that Clinton’s walk back is not an apology and is fairly meaningless.

    I weep for my country. And much as I wish it was not so, this train wreck has probably been coming for my entire adult life.

    1. sd

      So Clintons attack is to point out how superior she and her supporters are while Trump keeps hammering home how hard it is for good decent Americans to get a break.

      Guess which message plays better?

      As Lambert keeps saying, I hate when Trump is right.

    2. Yves Smith

      Yes. Astonishing to see how Clinton and her allies are getting more and more screechy and desperate-looking and making big unforced errors while Trump is starting to find his footing. This is so bizarre to watch with her supposedly such a seasoned pol and Trump the newbie with such a record of gaffes.

  29. JohnnyGL

    Classic Clinton….criticism is all style, no substance…

    “But I’ve learned that I can’t be quite so passionate in my presentation. I love to wave my arms, but apparently that’s a little bit scary to people. And I can’t yell too much. It comes across as ‘too loud’ or ‘too shrill’ or ‘too this’ or ‘too that.’ Which is funny, because I’m always convinced that the people in the front row are loving it.”

    As usual, she’s learned all the wrong lessons from her experiences.

    1. sd

      Reminds me of her rambling in that Ezra Klein interview. Everything is qualified to the point where you don’t know what she stands for.

  30. optimader

    Clinton: Half of Trump supporters are in the ‘basket of deplorables’ Politico. Wowsers. This is Clinton’s version of Obama’s “bitter”/“cling to,” down to the fundraiser context.

    OK, I guess I will be the only one to point out that deplorables is not even a word in the English lexicon, it is a Spanish word

    1.adj. Lamentable, malo:
    trabajan en unas condiciones deplorables.

    So is HRC proposing that half of Trump voters are lamentable Hispanics?

    Breakout the Poll data on that one!

    1. Quentin

      I suppose ‘ basket’ is meant to evoke visions of basket cases. What an embarrassing scold she is, this woman who demands the presidency of the US as her right. May she vanish from the page of history (Iran, her world greatest enemy after Russia, of course) after the election when Donald Trump wins. Her and her family’s defeat will then be the only compensation we’re left with. I do not believe that she is the lesser of two evils, not by a long shot. Ask the Libyans, for instance. She expresses regret for her Iraq War vote but she doesn’t state what she regrets, what part of the war does she now try to disavow. To judge by her stance towards Libya and Syria during her time as Secretary of State she definitely has no trouble with the violence, destruction and slaughter. None at all. So who does she think she’s kidding. She might even be deeply dishonest, come to think of it.

      1. optimader

        I agree 100%
        I think she is kidding a lot of people, I hope not enough.
        I wonder if the lesser evilism meme can be walked back to her campaign seeding it into the MSM? She is demonstrably more evil.

        And good riff on
        (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods ( Jerusalem ) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).

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