Links 9/19/16

No safe haven for polar bears in warming Arctic Nature

Apocalypse Tourism? Cruising the Melting Arctic Ocean Bloomberg

Occupy Wall Street: Where Are They Now? NYT

Occupy Wall Street, five years on: fire in the dustbin of history New Statesman

Easy resolution unlikely for contentious Dakota pipeline Reuters

Uber Accused of Cashing In On Bomb Explosion By Jacking Rates Slashdot (DK).

The bizarre world of bitcoin ‘mining’ finds a new home in Tibet WaPo (furzy mouse).

Big Deals Like Bayer’s Often Fail to Deliver High Performance Gretchen Morgenson, NYT

Lost Locomotive Leaves World Growth Struggling to Gain Speed Bloomberg

Slump in US imports threatens to derail emerging market growth FT


BIS flashes red alert for a banking crisis in China Telegraph (original BIS paper). Must-read.

China house price bubble explodes Macrobusiness

How China’s Past Stimulus Is Dogging Its Growth Prospects WSJ

The Twilight of Shenzhen’s Great Urban Village Foreign Policy

Why Maritime Logistics Pacts are Vital for Asia’s Strategic Balance The Diplomat

Study Estimates 100,000 Premature Deaths From Indonesia Haze AP

Will the Bank of Japan cause a global bond tantrum? FT


Casting Off NLR (Timotheus).

‘The nation state is back’: Front National’s Marine Le Pen rides on global mood Guardian

Merkel party routed in Berlin polls as right-wing AfD gains AFP

Pro-Putin Party Wins Russian Parliamentary Election Amid Weak Turnout Reuters

The Existential Madness of Putin-Bashing Consortium News


‘Take a trip to Syria to see what “embarrassed” means’: Russia’s Zakharova to US’ Power RT

Why The Cease-Fire in Syria Won’t Help Der Speigel

The dark prisoners: Inside the CIA’s torture programme Al Jazeera

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

WashPost Makes History: First Paper to Call for Prosecution of Its Own Source (After Accepting Pulitzer) The Intercept (EM).

The Largest Prison Strike in U.S. History Enters Its Second Week The Intercept

U.S. officials eye links between weekend bombings Reuters


Gary Johnson, Jill Stein Fail to Qualify for First Presidential Debate WSJ

Assessing the Risk of Trump Scott Adams

How panicked should Democrats be about Donald Trump’s poll surge? We asked 8 experts Vox. Headline is peak Vox.

Obama: Low Turnout By Black Voters Would Be ‘A Personal Insult’ HuffPo. Benjamin Dixon: “Someone should mention to President Obama that the black card is non-transferable.”

Obama says sexism could lead voters to back Trump over Clinton WaPo. Sweetie.

Among Democrats, deep concern about Clinton’s Hispanic strategy WaPo

Clinton’s Basket of “Deplorables” Black Agenda Report

The War Debate America Isn’t Having The Atlantic. Yeah, that’s odd. I wonder why that is?

Many Presidential Swing States Lag Behind in Income Gains WSJ

Class Warfare

Death, discrimination and despair in N.J.’s temp industry

Condominiums in crisis: Financial troubles put many communities at risk WaPo

Putting a number on global inequality is long overdue FT

Gandhi Was Perfectly Sensible to Call Industrial Civilisation a ‘Nine Day Wonder’ The Wire (J-LS).

Red Innovation Jacobin

Rush to Take Advantage of a Dull iPhone Started Samsung’s Battery Crisis Bloomberg

Leaked Apple emails reveal employees’ complaints about sexist, toxic work environment Mic

Neighbor Unlocks Front Door Without Permission With The Help Of Apple’s Siri Forbes. Internet of Sh*t.

Canadians: you have until Oct 7 to weigh in on using voting machines in national elections Boing Boing. Please, Canada. Don’t be stupid like us.

Antidote du jour (via):


Mrs. Mop: “Look at these beautiful sparrows in Cuba, bathing in public and enjoying life.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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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. paul

    Re: UBER

    Does the internet of things open up wonderful possibilities for the surge pricing mechanism?

    Say a fitbit transmitting low blood sugar to a nearby vending machine and pricing it accordingly?

    Even a small, personalised increment on items searched for on a shopping platform might help out our beleagured providers to the consumer.

    1. Mark Alexander

      Uber is clearly following the advice of Rahm Emanuel: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

  2. Steve H.

    Forgive the re-iteration from yesterday, but the summary of Brucie A.‘s comment needs to be shouted in its easy form:

    5.2% Median household income increase stated
    -3.2% adjustment for changing the questions

    = 2.0% Median household income increase sans bullshit.

    1. Jeff

      What shocked me most from the Census numbers was the “hollowing out” of the middle class: the cohorts in the 50K-75K$ and 75$-99K$ are getting smaller, with a majority going to lower cohorts, and a subset going higher.
      But 2015 shows a 10% increase (5.1 to 5.6) of the “over 200K$” cohort.
      With a median income at 56K at an average income at 72K$, a few are making much much much more than the median, and these happy few increased their number over 2015.
      So this report is just translating ‘raising inequality’ into numbers.

      1. Chris

        Yes. I’m sure it’s time for another MoJo Kevin Drum special on how this latest shows that the economy is doing great and all these losers who say otherwise live in a different world. Because the reality is we’re doing awesome! USA USA! Shaking my head…

      2. Procopius

        I haven’t checked the numbers myself, so maybe you’ve already considered this, but it’s not necessary for the “over $200K” to increase their number so much if they increased their (average) income a good bit.

  3. jgordon

    I’ve been worried for a while now that terrorists or otherwise mentally unhinged people would get it into their heads to start bombing places across America. It looks like it’s finally here. Because of this weekend I hope that now we all can finally agree to have common sense bomb restrictions for Americans. If we can get some tough laws put in we should be able to end this terrible scourge of bomb violence altogether. Think of the children!

      1. jgordon

        Why that’s a conspiracy theory! Just by virtue of repeating conspiracy theories, even if they happen to be true, everything you say is now hereby discredited!

      2. jgordon

        Why that’s a conspiracy theory! Just by virtue of repeating conspiracy theories (even if they happen to be true) everything you say is now hereby discredited!

        The political coverage on these bombings has been pretty Amusing. It looked as if Hillary had just crawled out of a grave to deliver a short statement about these bombings before CNN edited out the “bombings” part and then proceeded to attack Trump for calling them “bombings”. The Hillary campaign and the media are such obvious shameless liars that anything they say you should just immediately assume the opposite is true.

        1. paul

          The explosion was just big enough to blow the us airstrike on the syrian army off the front pages.
          Probably just a coincidence.

        2. jsn

          So true! Over the course of the Dollary Clump Campaign I’ve found a new form of trust, call it inverse trust, in US institutions: whatever such institutions hold forth, the inverse is true.

          It’s essential to be able to believe in ones institutions!

          1. Ed

            It got to this point in the former Soviet block.

            At some point, first smart people, the public generally, started deciding that they could safely assume that whatever the media was telling them was false. They didn’t necessarily know what was going on, but they could exclude the story the media was telling them as a possibility.

            Dissidents who made it out to the West would actually complain that the Western media was not as useful. Sometimes it lied. Sometimes it didn’t lie. You couldn’t trust it, but you couldn’t quite just assume it was always lying and just assume the opposite was what was happening.

            However, eventually that changed.

            1. Procopius

              Excellent point. When did the change occur, 1994 or 1996? As far back as 1980? 1974?I’m sure it happened before 2000, because they were well practiced by September 2001.

        3. john

          CNN headline reworded.

          The suspiciously fast and alive capture of the terrorist.

          Remember LAPD’s rogue cop? Chris Dorner? He was live TV coverage, license plate updates, locations and times.

          Then they sent in a robot flamethrower to burn the building down with him in it.

          Captured alive?

          What’s the point? We don’t even really want Snowden here. Or in Guantanamo either.

    1. Jason Ipswitch

      John Brunner described “recreational terrorism” in his novel Stand on Zanzibar almost 50 years ago. Our world resembles his dystopia more every day. (And it’s far from the only cyberpunk-ish dystopia to have strong echoes in the now.)

      1. ambrit

        Also, Brunners’ “The Sheep Look Up.”
        Shiga wire is nearly here, and karathand sounds plausible.
        I wouldn’t credit Ballards’ “Billenium” with being physically here yet, but the concentration camp psychology he described is all around us now.

      2. Desertmerf

        Thank you for mentioning John Brunner. His novels made me the crank, skeptic and dreamer I am today! I read him voraciously and I think he holds up well.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      From a birds eye level, would be bombers sought out Al Qaeda because Bin Laden and his cronies were rock stars who fought the USSR and now the U.S. Bin Laden and his cronies enjoyed their status, and they never wanted anyone to outdo them (enjoying their press) or replace them directing attacks against hard targets or suicide only attempts. Bin Laden didn’t want relevant heroes rivaling him walking around.

      Bin Laden and his cronies are dead or too old to be relevant if any are still around, but the conditions that create Bin Laden followers are worse than ever but now they are left to their own devices. ISIS and every group out there are jockeying for the status as heirs to the struggle, but while they aren’t unquestioned top dogs, would be followers will act on their own, probably with a bent towards their own perceived slights. ISIS will claim credit for rain on a wedding day or good advice you just didn’t take because they want to be the heirs to Bin Laden.

    3. Propertius

      Absolutely. As MSNBC’s Chris Hayes has informed us (on his Twit account, to which I will not link lest I end up in moderation hell), we’re very fortunate that the terrorists only had bombs, rather than something *really* dangerous, like guns.

    4. fresno dan

      September 19, 2016 at 7:32 am

      From The Hill:
      “Clinton: I’ve been briefed about bombings in New York and New Jersey, and the attacks in Minnesota. Obviously, we need to do everything we can to support our first responders, also to pray for the victims. We have to let this investigation unfold. We’ve been in touch with various officials, including the mayor’s office in New York, to learn what they are discovering as they conduct this investigation. And I’ll have more to say about it when we actually know the facts.

      Reporter: Secretary Clinton, do you have any reaction to the fact that Donald Trump, immediately upon taking the stage tonight, called the explosion in New York a “bomb” … ?

      Clinton: Well, I think it’s important to know the facts about any incident like this. That’s why it’s critical to support the first responders, the investigators who are looking into it, trying to determine what did happen.

      But in showing Clinton’s comments moments after they were made, CNN edited out the first sentence when she said, “I’ve been briefed about bombings in New York and New Jersey, and the attacks in Minnesota.” The soundbite starts with Clinton’s call to support first responders. ”

      I would just ask how Hillary knew that the knife cutting through flesh in Minnesota was an “attack?”
      Isn’t it premature to call it an attack when it could just have plausibly been a blind delicatessen salami slicer who wandered out and was panic slicing due to some diabetic confusion, b12 deficiency, etc and upcoming lunch rush???

    5. Gaylord

      You’d have to ban all sales of gun cartridges and fireworks. Won’t happen. Don’t forget, nothing can stop a determined jihadist from renting a truck and mowing down a crowd of pedestrians. Looking back on 9/11, nothing can stop some determined NWO extremists from demolishing skyscrapers, either.

  4. timbers


    This morning on NPR Cokie Roberts shared that news organizations were considering using the word “lie” in their reporting because Trump. Clinton was not mentioned.

      1. ambrit

        Too true. Several days ago I mistakenly stuck an NPR in my ear, (Ow! That hurts!) and heard the news deliverer start off a piece about the Trump accusing Clinton of starting the Obama ‘birther’ smear, with the bold declarative sentence; “That is false.” Absolutely no pretense of objectivity. Plain partisanship on display. That was when I thought to myself; “NPR has just “Jumped the Shark.””
        Cokie Roberts, nee Boggs, is a member of an American Establishment family. Her father was a Congressional big shot, her mother ended up Ambassadress to The Vatican, (a coup for a Gulf Coast Catholic family,) and she and her husband are fully paid up members of the Beltway Nomenklatura. Before Katrina, the Boggs family had a ‘compound’ on US 90 ‘on the beach’ in Long Beach Mississippi. We passed it many times traveling from Louisiana to Gulfport and Biloxi, along the coastal route. So, Beltway ‘Insiders” and “Old Money” to boot. QED

          1. ambrit

            Nothing much along that section of the Gulf Coast survived.
            I personally saw parts of Bay Saint Louis a week after the disaster. I didn’t get as far as “Boggsdale,” because the Bay of St Louis bridge was out but roughly nothing from the waters edge up to a quarter of a mile inland was standing. The main house was built in 1875. Katrina and earlier Camille pretty much wiped out the ‘historic’ homes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

      2. john

        Here in NE, there are three Harris reporters, reporting from the Harris broadcast studios.

        Unbiased reporting, etc.

    1. Code Name D

      I heard that. The lead story was Trumps “lie” about Clinton being the origin of the Birther Movement. There was no real examination into the claim. Just a lot of throat clearing at the absurdity of it all.

      1. JSM

        Turned on NPR for obviously masochistic reasons and was rewardingly punished, or punishingly rewarded.

        Bill Clinton rambling on and on unchallenged about how Colin Powell told Hillary Clinton to set that private server up right in her basement, that’s what he did when his foundation… Oops, strike that last, but you get the drift.

        Steve Inskeep starts to interrupt saying ‘Since you bring it up…’ Thinking, here we go, let’s hear about the dicking bimbos comment and how Powell told the Clintons three times to stop blaming him, since everyone in America read the emails.

        Instead there’s a shifty cut and after Bill rambles some more we find it that it actually reminded Steve of a totally unrelated comment Bob Gates made.

        That is some creepyass Soviet-style editing.

      2. Higgs Boson

        Trump might have perpetuated the “birther” claim, but he certainly did NOT start it:

        The Obama Muslim Myth: The Clinton Connection at Politifact.

        Trump could easily spin this into a plus: “I drove this issue to its conclusion, which proved once and for all that President Obama is in fact a natural-born US citizen, despite what the Clinton campaign tried to instigate back in 2008.”

          1. Higgs Boson

            Everything about this election cycle is absurd. That’s how we got to vote Clinton vs Trump. Now the job of each is to convince the electorate which is the lesser of two evils. Same old same old.

            This election cycle in particular is proof that rational examination of policies and positions is irrelevant. It will be decided by who is more persuasive. (As Scott Adams has been discussing on his blog.)

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              The Democrats were fairly explicit Obama would be better in his second term without the fear of a reelection, and that promise was clearly broken. The real story is the Democrats are experiencing the shrinking of the electorate caused by broken promises. What local campaign organs claim matters more than the blather found on MSNBC which is just a channel for the jaded and the choir.

              Hillary by not breaking with her husband or Obama is simply repeating the same promises when she even bothers to campaign.

              Sanders didn’t touch the sun because he’s an amazing politician (Obama too for that matter). Bill and his gang were awful in the 90’s. If Bill was vaguely tolerable, Obama would be Hillary’s designated whipping boy in the Senate for daring to challenge her. Elections aren’t individual vacuums. Democrats have failed to recognize they are dealing with 25 years. By endorsing Hillary, they have endorsed investigations in baseball players and making Sammy Sosa recount his difficult days adapting to life in North American baseball as their positive accomplishments.

              Trump is a Republican and has their weight but by attacking Jeb he jettisoned Iraq for himself. The greatest “blunder” (malfeasance) of the 21st century is now the Democrats electoral concern.

              Language and persuasion are a side show (in this case Adams) that Democrats whine about when they run corporate toadies who lose and kick the left as an excuse for losing.

          1. Code Name D

            What I like about NC is that the commentators don’t let you get away with any thing. And I am banking on that here.

            The link I am responding too paints Clinton as a victim from a lose cannon , Judy Rose, who circulated an email that said, “The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level – through the President of the United States, one of their own!!!” Judy was made to resign as a consequences as Clinton condemned the e-mail chain. This happened between November and December 2007.

            And that seems to put the issue to bed. Yes, there is a link, but a tenuous one at best. But there is one detail here that should raise an eyebrow – the article was written in September 2015 by Politicact, during the image clean-up phase of Clinton’s campaign.

            But a little digging and I was able to find more.

            For starters, the detail of the story is conformed. I was able to find other articles from other sources, posted in late 2007 that corroborates the details.

            But the search also picked up other incidences of these “rouge staffers.” Here is one posted by the Guardian in February, 2004.
            The article sites a picture of Obama in African garb, and confusing it as Muslim dress, and the Guardian is siting the source as an unnamed Clinton Staffer.

            It also referenced the resignation of a senior member of Clinton’s staff, Bill Shaheen, after raising Obama’s admitted use of marijuana and cocaine as a youth, who resigned the year before.

            And then there is the more recent event where news has leaked that the Clinton campaign generated the roomer that Sanders was an atheist. Suggesting that these “rouge staffers” are not anomalies.

            Trump isn’t completely correct when he accuses Clinton of starting the birther movement. But I think he is more right than wrong here. And lets also not forget that Trump was/is an active part of the Birther Movement. When he says that Clinton sourced the movement, he has some authority to say so. Assuming he isn’t lying of course.

            MMHO… Clinton put out a lot of fuel for the movement to take advantage of. So yes, the contributed to the rise of the movement. That she didn’t “start” the movement is just trying to whip the semantics.

            My take is that Clinton is starting to panic. She is desperately trying to keep the lead in the polls, no mater how small. And this is her approach to re-capturing the lead. It will be interesting to see how the polls respond. She might get a small bump of a few points, but I don’t see how it can last. Her negativity issues are too systemic for such a petty issue to have any impact.

            Far more likely, it may accelerate her dive in the polls. This is an example of precisely the sort of negative adds voter despise. I also think Trump has the high ground here (I can’t believe I just said that.). The old saying is that its not a smear, if its true.

        1. Procopius

          No, he didn’t start it, but well after it was old, after Obama released his Certificate of Live Birth (which is what most of us call a Birth Certificate), Trump made his announcement about sending investigators to Hawaii. The thing had pretty well died out and it seemed he was trying to revive it. That was before Joe Arpaio sent his investigators to Hawaii. Actually, I don’t remember any of the birther stuff from 2008. I never noticed it until after the Koch Brothers and Roger Ailes set up the Tea Party organizations and bused them to Washington, D.C. Then it was a big thing for a while. Did a Hillary staffer send an email about the story? It was never a thing in 2008, so who cares?

      3. timbers

        Code Name D
        September 19, 2016 at 7:54 am

        I heard that. The lead story was Trumps “lie” about Clinton being the origin of the Birther Movement. There was no real examination into the claim. Just a lot of throat clearing at the absurdity of it all.

        Thanks, missed that part … so it was worse than I thought ….

      1. Mark Alexander

        Roberts served as Clinton’s propaganda minister for NPR during the primary season. I heard her play lengthy clips from Clinton ads and speeches, and talk about the Democrat race without once mentioning Sanders. I stopped listening to NPR news soon after (should have done it long ago, I know) and canceled my pledge to VPR — sad, since they have a good classical station, but it’s not possible to give money just to that department.

        I suspect Roberts will continue to prove useful as an apologist during the forthcoming Clinton administration.

          1. Arizona Slim

            I think you’re right. Since the 9/11 collapse and the pneumonia announcement, Hillary has been looking a lot worse.

          2. Jim Haygood

            Who will pen the light-hearted commemorative musical, Les Deplorables?

            You and me, bro. It ain’t gonna write itself.

        1. polecat

          All these NPR reporter/commentors are nothing if not grating, like a group of high-school heathers, with their preppy verbiage and mock concern ….

          If they’re on the radio …. I immediately switch stations ….
          …. unfortunately, the radio station I listen to also has NPR as part of their daily line-up …….

  5. temporal

    Obama’s personal insult.

    So the Ds doing nothing of importance to improve the lives of minorities during Obama’s term because Ds figure they have a captured voting pool is OK. Yet somehow Obama would be insulted if they noticed they’ve been taken gotten so little compared to the welfare given to the top 1 percent.

    There’s an insult there but the victim isn’t Obama.

    1. hidflect

      My worry is that Obama (and by extension the DNC) seriously think they’ve done right by minorities and can’t understand the murmurings of ingratitude.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        They know exactly what they’ve done “for” minorities, which is why o went all fire and brimstone on ’em–giving them that black gospel speak and righteous, almighty finger-jabbng. It’s all they’ve got left.

        It was really pretty “racist,” if you think about it, In that real, un-deplorable kinda way that only good americans know about.

        1. jsn

          Every good neolib knows in their heart of hearts that the rich can only be motivated with more money while the poor can only be motivated with less: it really is for their own good!

      2. Steve C

        Get a load of the mindless hero worship in the comments on the huffpo story. Some real koolaid drinkers over there. Almost more nauseating than Obama’s narcissism, sense of entitlement. Almost.

        1. Steve C

          Almost makes me want to see Trump win just to see Obama’s reaction to his own fakery blowing up in his face. Almost.

          1. a.matthey

            The people who would suffer from a Trump presidency and Republican controlling all 3 branches of government are not the Obamas…

            1. Synoia

              You presume that there is a practical difference between the rich on the Democratic side and the Rich on the republican side.

              Both groups, if there is a mechanism to differentiate them other than the people they habitually dine with, is not discernible.

              Both sets want 110%. 110% of everything. One day the will realize that the goal of taking 110% come complete with metaphorical pitchforks applied to their mostly ugly carcasses.

      3. polecat

        Why should you worry ?? O and the DNC deserve to be shunned, as the fake & frauds that they are ….. by minorities ,,,and everyone else!

        1. jrs

          Yea, I don’t think many minorities are going to vote for Trump, some will even proudly proclaim their D vote and I don’t really blame them. But if some stay home, I certainly don’t blame that either. Maybe blacks are used to very little being done for them, it’s pretty much been that way for over 200 years, and the last person who tried was LBJ.

    2. Uahsenaa

      There is also the general strangeness of the “insult,” the sense of absolute entitlement. “You owe me your vote.”

      Believe it or not, dear leader, not all black people are the same and therefore do not all think alike. Nor do they vote alike, your hurt feelings notwithstanding.

      Eddie Glaude put it rather succinctly: “Step to black voters with rational arguments. Don’t condescend or treat us like children instead of as rational political actors.”

      1. Katharine

        Thank you! That sense of entitlement was jaw-dropping. Sheer unadulterated bad manners.

        I am led to wonder whether anyone can survive eight years of being truckled to with a sense of proportion and decency. Perhaps the White House needs something like the jesters of the old courts to keep up a little reality contact for the current executive.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I imagine it helps when the incoming President isn’t a pig at the start. Obama is ultimately a guy who challenged Hillary Clinton in 2007 with less of a record than even Hillary, worships at he altar of Joe Lieberman, a day ran on a platform of “I agree with Hillary on everything that she should be President.” He was always an extreme narcissist.

          1. Katharine

            I don’t see how you justify the “less of a record” claim. At that point she had a bit over six years in public office to his bit over nine. She’d been in two easy campaigns in her own right to his five or six (I’m not sure how to count the primary in 2000. He seems to have gone on to re-election in the state Senate after losing the congressional primary.) In terms of real legislative work as distinct from holding a prestigious office too easily come by, I think he had her beat

    3. John Wright

      Wasn’t this the modus operandi of Bill Clinton?

      Those who were seen as “captured” got the crumbs, while the Repubs ( almost Gingrich grand bargain) got the good stuff.

      The problem is that Obama has done very well for himself by using this game plan and one can believe the remaining left that supports him still hopes he will finally show the “true” Obama in his last few months.

      The “true” Obama will lobby for the TPP as his final act.

      Note the ticket choices the electorate has had since 2000, Bush-Cheney, Gore-Lieberman, McCain-Palin, Romney-Ryan, Obama-Biden and now Clinton-Kaine and Trump-Pence.

      If these represent the cream of our democratic process, perhaps the cow is no longer a good milker.

      1. Robert Hahl

        Who really matters in the executive branch?

        Roosevelt – Truman
        Eisenhower – Nixon
        Kennedy – Johnson
        Regan – Bush I
        Bush II – Cheney
        Obama – Biden

        Honorary mention:
        Gore – Lieberman

    4. OIFVet

      I tuned in to local news to catch the weather. Got to see a clip of an angry Obama shouting at me from the TV instead. After the countless apologia explaining why 0bama couldn’t afford to get angry in order to dispel the ‘angry black man’ stereotype, all I could think was “it must be okay to get angry at black people, though.” It was definitely a “send a thrill up Chris Matthews’ leg” type of moment for liberuls.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        O reversed the polarity of American politics and made all of Bush’s policies the default Democratic policies, endless war, spies, banks, heath care profiteers…so now the tail is reaching around to bite them. Trump making a play as the one who is pro-labor and against foreign nation-building wars, stating the obvious on Iraq and our shiny new healthcare system, the only ground that’s left for Dems is personal attacks, black guilt trips, and cheerleading a very shaky status quo. Trump needs to keep it simple: “Are you better off than you were 4 years ago? 8 years ago? Is the world better off? Obama doubled our national debt, do we have anything at all to show for it?”

    1. nippersdad

      Oh my! It even has the “hold me accountable” line in it. That looks like an Obama speech redux; something we have all heard before and lived to regret voting for. At this point even Obama has to realize that this election is a referendum not just on Clinton, but on himself as well. Maybe hiring his speech writers wasn’t such a good idea, it only serves to remind us all just how wasted his terms of office turned out to be.

      1. hunkerdown

        Legacies are bestowed by elite hagiographers, not popular participation. There’s a reason so few know much about Gracchus but all know about the Caesars, or know well MLKJr’s nonviolent racial justice efforts but aren’t sure he existed during the times of his violent activities and never hear about his economic justice efforts. It’s a much bigger yet much more exclusive narrative than Obama, and he’s just got to fit his innovative self into it.

  6. Pavel

    I just read a piece by Paul Street also called “Hilary Clinton’s Basket of Deplorables” over on CounterPunch. It is absolutely scathing and summarises much of the worst of HRC’s gang of warmongers, banksters, and war criminals. I really wonder if Trump for all his own deplorable aspects and followers could be as bad in the future as Clinton already has been in the past?

    “Deplorables?” How about Madeline Albright, the noxious woman who championed the mass-murderous bombing of Serbia and told the nation on CBS News that the death of half a million Iraqi children thanks to U.S.-led “economic sanctions” was a “price worth paying” for the advance of U.S. policy goals? She is Hillary Clinton’s very good friend and was former First Lady Clinton’s choice as Bill Clinton’s second Secretary of State. She is a fierce advocate of dangerous Western aggression against nuclear Russia. Hillary has put her to work the campaign trail this and last year. She’s dreadful.

    Another gone one is Henry Kissinger. “Among the war profiteers, bankers and industrialists that Mrs. Clinton counts, opportunistically or not, among her friends,” Rob Urie notes, “Henry Kissinger holds a special place in human history. With a laundry list of crimes against humanity to his ‘credit,’ the term deplorable applied to Mr. Kissinger would be a kindness” (emphasis added). Urie suggests that we ask “those who saw their families murdered and their communities destroyed by Mr. Kissinger in Southeast Asia or by the Clintons in Iraq or Libya” about deplorable Americans.

    And re the banks:

    What about Robert Rubin, the great Wall Street maestro behind “Clintonomics” and a great friend of Bill and Hill? Rubin will certainly play a key advisory role for a Hillary Clinton presidency (should she avoid blowing the 2016 presidential election). Under Rubin’s influence, and in accord with the “Rubinomics” trilogy of balanced budgets, free trade and financial deregulation, Clinton joined with corporate Democrats and Republicans to: enact the great job-killing and anti-labor North American Free Trade Agreement, slash government spending, eliminate restrictions on interstate banking, repeal the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act (which had separated commercial from investment banking), and prevent the regulation of toxic “over-the-counter” financial derivatives with the so-called Commodity Futures Modernization Act. All this helped distribute wealth and power upward and prepare the ground for the financial collapse of 2008.

    Rubin left the Clinton administration in 1999 to join Citigroup, the primary benefactor of the Glass-Steagall repeal. American Banker calls “Exhibit A when progressives talk about the ‘revolving door’ between banks and Washington.” His formal return to the private sector hardly meant a full retreat from national politics and policy, however. Along with top positions at the CFR and Brookings, Rubin helped organize financial backing for Obama’s presidential campaign. As Greg Palast notes, “Rubin opened the doors to finance industry vaults for Obama. Extraordinarily for a Democrat, Obama in 2008 raised three times as much from bankers as his Republican opponent.”

    Street concludes that the Dems have only themselves to blame if Trump wins the election:

    …Democratic politicos will have no legitimate business blaming “the left” if Trump beats the odds and triumphs over the Clintons. The main fault will lay with the Clintons and other deplorable dollar Democrats, who have opened the barn door for right-wing white-nationalist fake populism and who will have given the game away to the rightmost of the two reigning capitalist parties. It won’t be with left progressives who couldn’t bring themselves to mark a ballot for either of the reprehensible major party options in this deplorable double dumpster-fire of a presidential election.

    –Paul Street: Hillary Clinton’s Basket of Deplorables

    I heard Jill Stein speak on Ralph Nader’s weekly podcast. She pointed out the Dems and Repubs have fewer members than the Independents. Why the hell shouldn’t she and Johnson be at the debates… Oh, we know why…

    1. Roger Smith

      It is too bad that this article still cannot get past the shaming and finger pointing at the electorate. Within the first paragraph, “I don’t doubt that many of the Donald’s backers are terrible, racist, nativist, and misogynist people. I’ve met a number of them.”

      The author still fails to sympathize with the fact that these people are still human beings, saying only that strategy is a good reason not to slander them. It is extremely important to ask why, and the author would have found even more supporting material in the answer.

      1. Carolinian

        Street is a mixed bag and yes he does seem eager to signal he’s not one of those deplorables that Hillary was talking about. Still he does come up with sharp observations in his overly long commentaries.

      2. Jim Haywood

        It’s a new version of the paternalistic rhetorical question, “Why do the working poor vote against their own interests [for Republicans]?

        Let’s see. Back in March, Hillary said, “Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right?”

        Even last week, Hillary’s consort “Bill” couldn’t resist twisting the knife again: “We all know how her opponent’s done real well down in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky,” [Bill] Clinton said during a rally in Pennsylvania. “Because the coal people don’t like any of us anymore.”

        “Coal people” are a microcosm of deplorables. A hundred fifty million Americans viscerally understand that the one-percenter, Ivy League educated Democrats who own the D party consider everything about them deplorable: their jobs; their culture; their incomes; their lifestyle.

        The Appalachian borderer mentality, so well described in Fischer’s Albion’s Seed, does not accept such insults. They will vote for the opponent of their mocker, regardless of his policies or any personal cost to themselves, simply to avenge their wounded honor.

        This phenomenon the elitist, paternalistic, Hollywood-NYC Democrat party cannot understand, just as they couldn’t understand why Obamacare with $6,000 deductibles wouldn’t be attractive to “those people.”

        1. a.matthey

          “Let’s see. Back in March, Hillary said, “Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right?””

          How can you have a problem with that ? Coal need to be put out of business ASAP. Climate change is not waiting for the miners to die off or something. That’s why Hillary proposed a re-training program to integrate them into the renewables energy workforce. This is exactly what is needed.

          1. diptherio

            Don’t tell me you think Hillary gives a hoot about climate change. See her record on fracking.

            No, you and Hillary both need to get hit with the clue stick a couple of times. You can’t tell somebody that your goal is to deprive them of their income and then expect them to jump on board when you add “oh, but we’ll retrain you for something.” Why would any working person who’s been paying attention believe that? Since when have the Democrats actually worked on behalf of working people? Since when do campaign promises mean anything?

            The problem with Hillary is the problem with a lot of middle class, liberal environmentalists. They care more about the environment than about their fellow people. They don’t show up at the coal plant with better paying, safer jobs for the workers, that will allow them to feed their families and work from there. Nope, they show up and demand that the plant be closed immediately and the workers can figure out how to not become homeless on their own. When do you ever hear an environmental policy proposal that starts with taking care of the workers first?

            Another thing that most of those middle-class liberals are completely unwilling to do is reign in their energy intensive lifestyle. They want other people to make major sacrifices for the environment, but they somehow manage to justify their own cars, flights, and conspicuous and unnecessary consumption.

            If your political program ignores the needs of the people who will be most effected by that policy, you shouldn’t act surprised when those people fight you tooth and nail. If you follow up by calling them deplorable for not supporting you, you are a being a real a-hole…at least in my book.

            1. polecat

              Just a side note : John Michael Greer recently brought up this very same phenomena …… that the modern ‘environmental movement’ has lost credibility, for the very reasons you state diptherio …..punitive, uncompromising, with no positive outreach …. snubbing their collective noses at the rubes, whilst driving by in their Prius, on the way to market to purchase over-priced ‘Organics’ ……!

            2. temporal

              As part of the Prius driving class, that is to say first generation Prius, I agree that many self-described liberals want the sacrifice to be made by someone else. Driving around upstate NY yields a lot of Bernie stickers on gas guzzlers. Environmental protection goes far beyond putting a lefty sticker on a brand new Land Rover.

              Coal’s main problems in this country seem to center around the failure to capture enough money to pay off the right politicians. There’s no doubt that coal mining, burning and it’s associated residue is a problem. There’s also little doubt that efforts around tar sand extraction is no kind of improvement. Compared to the effects of using the oceans to dump massive amounts of plastic and other forms of garbage, coal is probably not very important. Coal appears to be a sacrificial lamb so that everything else can be ignored.

              As for retraining, even in a strong economy it pretty much never works. It’s generally offered as a neoliberal ploy used to assuage some people’s guilt. A piece of paper saying you would like to try to learn a job that is very different from your skill set or previous inclinations means that you won’t even pass the first resume sort. Assuming you also know how to write a good resume. Never mind that any job retraining almost always calls for leaving where you currently reside behind because that new job is somewhere else. And all of this assumes that you have the wherewithal to learn something completely different. Contrary to neoliberal notions the bell curve indicates that nearly half of the population is on the lower side of average intelligence. Learning new stuff is a bit easier if nature and luck gives you a break.

              1. jrs

                So then there are two other alternatives, directly create jobs for the unemployed people or guaranteed income. Keeping coal jobs is not in any sane universe an alternative at all. And coal is a huge part of the problem not to mention mountain top removal. So pick one of those two.

                Does anyone really think it’s environmentalist that would oppose a jobs program to create greener jobs or a guaranteed income. Yea, I don’t think so. I don’t know about liberals but does anyone think it’s anyone on the left that opposes these things?

            3. jrs

              I really don’t care about anyone’s lifestyle, enough of the ridiculous politics of personal responsibility. It is a garbage politics. Yes a reduced energy lifestyle is nice and it’s certainly commendable to aim for one. In a purely individual framework it’s ok to think about these things in the same way it’s ok to think about how to maintain a healthy marriage when thinking about one’s own life, but that isn’t exactly a POLITICAL issue.

              But as soon as we enter a political framework: these aren’t individual problems, they are society wide and even global problems, and anyone’s lifestyle takes place within a social context which strongly pushes people in certain directions. Ignoring this is silly. Divorcing people from their social context is what the right wing does. It is just a symptom of America’s excessive focus on the individual. Be a hypocrite and fight for the right policies, it’s more important, because pretty much everyone in the western world is a hypocrite, even if they drive a Prius, even if they take the bus, but policy does need to change, badly.

              1. temporal

                You take me wrongly. Calling me, or others, hypocrites because I think personal responsibly is more important than trying to force other people to do what I don’t want to is in fact the definition of, well, you can guess the next word.

                Policy around the environment does need to change but the right kind changes will not come from neoliberal policy where the government puts a band-aide over something like the coal industry, while protecting the other forms environmental ills and spends no effort in dealing with the other pollution problems which are potentially much more catastrophic. As far as I know we have already passed the tipping point where abandoning technologies will fix the problems we face. People left to living off the land by burning wood and clearing forests will only hasten the process and that applies to Appalachia.

                Still, it is kind of cute that you think that something I wrote indicates to you what I do or how I do it.

                Also divorcing people from their social context is not exclusive to self-describe conservatives. And no I do not think that global warming is the most dangerous problem of the day. Serious yes, but not one of things that will end nearly all life on the planet in the near future.

                1. jrs

                  Well, I’m making the argument that it’s OKAY to be a hypocrite as pretty much everyone in the 1st world is one when addressing environmental problems. And yet I view fighting for environmental issues as utterly necessary.

                  I do think climate change has the potential to end human life on the planet, but even if some human life survives, I think it has the potential to lead to the death of billions in the near term future.

          2. Roger Smith

            Yea, but walking into town and telling people their jobs are going bye bye? Is that the approach you would take? Have you seen how government does everything half-assed for someone richer’s personal pocket books? People aren’t dumb. And how can you blame them? Personal security always resides over abstract moralism.

            We do need to shift away from coal, but there needs to be a well fleshed out transition plan that places these communities livelihoods, re-training first and foremost. And that spends most of its time making these areas understand that and building trust. But we all know how corporate profits will get in the way of that. So for now, take some of that dust and ceremoniously paint it across my forehead (that what these types of lesser beings do right?). I am with the “Coal People”.

            Further, what diptherio said, “Don’t tell me you think Hillary gives a hoot about climate change. See her record on fracking.”

          3. nippersdad

            I imagine that no one is more aware of Clinton’s track record than those in Appalachia and the rust belt; she has a history of saying a lot of things that she has no intention of following through with. Retraining for people who have lost their livlihoods due to outsourcing and offshoring doesn’t have much of a track record, and Appalachia has always been last on the pork list. They know very well that our patents on renewables have been sold to China, and it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise to them were the tech to be made there as well.

            The problem you are going to have with that argument, however well founded, is it is just not believable coming from someone with her history.

            1. Cry Shop

              and ex-Senator Baucus is now Ambassador to China Baucus because he’s held that cash bag so carefully for hearing PPACA through Congress, he’s now Obama’s bag man in China. It’s clear that Bill Clinton and Obama are in a race to sell out everything they can to various bidders. Obama’s hoping he can clean the house before Hillary gets into office, but he really fears Trump. If Trump gets in, Obama may have to pay back some of his bribes.

          4. tegnost

            especially since right to work south carolinians are feeling their oats and needing more pay, so the big shots at boeing et al can threaten to move their jobs over the state line where the people are, quite literally, hungrier….deconstruct reconstruct and all

          5. jonboinAR

            I don’t know anyone who likes being condescended to, even those who don’t have a borderer heritage. The left, in general, has been sneeringly dismissive of the issues, desires, problems, mores, manners, what-have-you, of the white working class since I don’t know when, long before Obama spoke of them clinging to their guns. Mrs. Clinton is kind of a signpost of liberal stinkiness for the white working class, for whatever reason, while Trump, as well as the Republican party in general, has tended to be clever enough, at least, to tell them they don’t have to be ashamed of themselves.

        2. Carolinian

          Hollywood movies these days–at least the ones not based on comic books–seem remarkably centered on the problems of young urban professionals and remarkably uninterested in stories involving the rural or the poor. Watching the typical character piece about romantic struggles between twenty somethings you are struck by how money never seems to be much of an issue. They all seems to live in swell designer apartments whether they have jobs or not.

          Contrast this with the 1930s when wealthy society types were regularly lampooned and the spirit of the times was captured by such iconic films as It Happened One Night. When Clark Gable tells spoiled socialite Claudette Colbert “you don’t know how to dunk” he could be speaking to a modern generation of never been poor elites. These elites make movies about what they know, and that certainly isn’t the soda swilling Walmart shopping plebes.

          1. RabidGandhi

            One of my ain’t-gonna-happen dreams is to conduct a statistical study of the people populating Hollywood films each year, weighted by box office take. I imagine that Hollywood characters’ incomes, living situations, jobs, net wealth, etc. are the exact opposite of the way wealth is distributed in the US, with the 99% being very wealthy, living in expensive urban areas, having solid high-paying jobs, etc. Then the next study would be to compare the results from Study #1 to previous epochs, like you mentioned, to see if there is a worsening problem.

            One of the reasons I suspect it might be worsening is that a huge part of neo-liberalism is based on convincing people that if they are in dire economic straits, it is because they were not working hard enough or “lacked advancement”, and that they are alone. Being bombarded with images of a different world were the majority are opulent would only reinforce this lie.

        3. Robert Hahl

          All true. And people who mostly do physical work have trouble respecting paper pushers, which de-industrialization has produced in the cites.

        4. cwaltz

          I went to a Wilderness Trail Festival this Saturday.

          Best seller at GOP tent: Deplorable Lives Matter T shirt. (I actually had a nice exchange with the GOP chairman there where I expressed concern these shirts might undo some of the work Trump had put in into wooing AAs. We discussed the Appalachian region grants and how I felt that if I were an urban region representative I might make the argument that they also would benefit from focus on improving the economic climate. We discussed health care.

          I actually went toe to toe with a Hillary supporter while there – the emails were excused as “others did it before her.”

          They then proceeded to tell me “Trump is a bad human being.” I pointed out that the Trumps and Clintons have been friends(they pointed out that this was how our political system works, money buys access) and asked them, What exactly does that say about YOUR candidate?”
          Needless to say they weren’t exactly laughing when I left the booth.

          I actually stopped at both booths because I am trying to decide between Griffith who from a social perspective I ideologically disagree with, but on legislation has not been horrible and Kitts, a former enlisted from the region who I probably would get along with from a social perspective but has strong ties to MIC(his background in college is Homeland Security.)

          I’ve left comments on both their Facebook pages. We’ll see if either responds to me.

      3. temporal

        It seems easier to insult people we barely know than people we might interact with over time. That’s why we never see stories by the MSM or otherwise that begin with “there is no doubt that many Hillary supporters are callous, elitists that glory in attacking straw men and protecting a status quo bent on protecting the power of corporations and the power of the richest in society.”

        Instead Hillary’s failures, when mentioned, are sorta, kinda, her own and Trump’s are his and everyone that doesn’t support Hillary. This article at least goes beyond whether Hillary’s latest PR makeover will finally get the job done.

        Sure wish I understood the three day pneumonia cure. I could make some serious money with that patent.

        1. Anne

          Warning: rant alert!!!

          I despair of even debates having any chance of moving this campaign into territory where issues are discussed in depth greater than Trump’s talking-point-and-a-half: she’s a disaster! A failure!

          Where each candidate presents plans more detailed than Trump’s “it will be the greatest plan, trust me, everyone will love it, jobs will be so plentiful we won’t know what to do.”

          Where the media challenges Trump’s business record and Hillary’s foreign policy judgment.

          Where Hillary has to coherently explain how anyone can trust or believe that the “gold standard in trade agreements” that she hawked all over the world is now not on her list of “things to get done.”

          Where Clinton has to admit that the Clinton Foundation’s highest and best use has apparently been raking in huge sums of money from countries who don’t share one iota of the Foundation’s alleged mission statement, and facilitating lucrative business opportunities for those who are appropriately generous with their contributions.

          I’d like to see Clinton challenged to explain how her 2008 campaign strategy did not, in ways perhaps more subtle than Trump’s blatant birther strategy, nonetheless dog-whistle some obviously racist themes and fears.

          If any of this comes up, it will do so in only the most rudimentary, superficial way, as the media has shown no interest in or ability to dig any deeper than they need to in order to capture the sexiest headlines.

          Yes, okay, I can see that Trump is a disaster waiting to happen – but at least as I learned about logic, that doesn’t then mean that Clinton cannot also be a disaster – albeit perhaps in different ways, on different issues. It does not follow, either, that the disasters of one will be smaller or larger than the other. Or that the cumulative effect of the poor judgment and bad decisions of either of them will not have a cascading negative effect on multiple areas of our society.

          One thing I know for sure: as wacko as the GOP is, the Democratic Party has no business holding itself out to be some model of small-d democratic ideals-in-action. As much as I loathe the GOP’s relentless effort to suppress the vote, I also loathe the Democrats’ lip-service to voting rights and their failure to mount organized efforts to fight voter suppression, even if that is only to assist voters in complying with restrictive voting requirements. If the party had put as much effort into that as it did in manipulating the primary process on a number of fronts, I might be able to have some respect for it, but it most certainly did not.

          Live by the sword, die by the sword: you can’t fk around with elections and then expect that not to somehow, in some way, hurt the party, its candidates and the electorate.

  7. Paid Minion

    “Temp workers”………boo freaking hoo…..

    Sorry, I can’ get too worked up about illegals working here 8-10 years for minimum wage, thus allowing their employers to avoid paying the US-born $15-20/hour. And how is it “discrimination” when employers PREFER hiring Hispanics?

    Nobody needs a “border fence”; you just start throwing some of the people who hire them in jail, or slap them it massive fines to offset some of the damage/costs.

    Like the Johnson County Kansas Deputy Sherriff killed last week, burned to death when a drunk illegal slammed into the back of his patrol car (and who ran away afterwards, making no apparant effort to save the officer) . Doesnt the person/company who hired him share some of the responsibility? Nope, they will probably get a pass, once again “privatizing the profits, and socializing the costs”

    1. sleepy

      I tend to think that increasing penalties/enforcement on immigrant employees who are working here illegally is a waste of time for the most part. It doesn’t matter how much enforcement is ramped up, the still small odds of getting caught would most likely make it worthwhile for a poor immigrant to risk it.

      The only thing imho that would deter would be mandatory minimums for the employer. Do a couple perp walks with some management folks and word gets out.

      Yeah, I know. Immigrants do the work citizens won’t. Well, don’t the celestial rules of the market indicate that you increase wages sufficiently to attract the required number of workers?

      Has Trump proposed this?

    2. Jess

      In the case of larger employers that hire large numbers of illegals — meat packing, for example, or larger construction firms — the problem is that the person who does the hiring and would thus be liable for the criminal penalties is not the person who causes the illegals to be hired. The way top management does it is by imposing production quotes and cost constraints such that the local plant manager or HR person can only meet the quote without exceeding the cost parameters by hiring illegals who will work that hard and that cheap. So the poor schmuck manager making $70K a year potentially goes to jail while the CEO getting paid $7 mil a year skates.

      1. cwaltz

        I have no problem sending someone making $70,000 a year to jail if they can’t prove the guy making 7 million a year forced him to hire illegals.

        Again the market solution is not hiring and exploiting immigrants, the solution is to tell the 7 million a year guy that the production quotes and cost constraints are not feasible.

      2. Waldenpond

        Locally, employees made a stink at a company for hiring illegals. The company fired them and then went right back to the same employment agency. That’s right…. entry level construction through an employment agency. The employees complained again and the employer hired based on the dozens who showed because of word of mouth.

    3. Dave

      Quite a few slumlords and owners of fast food franchises as well as used car dealers and Western Union money senders would argue with your rant. They are making too much money off the presence of illegals to care about the rest of us. Make sure and vote for Hillary who can amnesty them and thus attract even more. Why at this rate, we’ll be “competitive” with Mexico and then eventually China and maybe even Burma.

  8. RabidGandhi

    AEP on Chinese Debt.

    The mysterious figure – possibly President Xi Jinping – called for an assault on “zombie companies” and a halt to reflexive stimulus to keep the boom going every time growth slows. The article [in the state-owned People’s Daily] said it is time to accept that China cannot continue to “force economic growth by levering up” and that the country must take its punishment.

    Sources familiar with the matter informed me that it was not in fact Xi who said this but rather the Ghost of Margaret Thatcher, who has now assumed de facto leadership of the CCP Finance Committee. When contacted for further comment, Comrade Thatcher (deceased) said “There is no alternative. Deficits will eat your children’s livers. China must now take its punishment (except the finance oligarchs in Vancouver). Worship Denis’ dog.”

    1. ambrit

      “The Ghost of Maggie T” sounds like it could be a bang up drinking song by Woody Guthrie.
      Or, “The Ghost of CEO Mao” played on Urhu and Temple Bells. Ethereal but somehow Punk too.
      “The country must take its punishment,” really means “The (World) must share our punishment.” Hey, it’s basic Comintern strategy. Create chaos and organise to pick up the pieces after “the Fall.”

    2. jsn

      What struck me in the AEP piece was the debt distribution chart: the dominant amount is corporate. What does that mean in a single party state? Chinese leadership still has a healthy respect for labor unrest, which as I understand it is more or less constant, but the corporate entities are mostly headed by Party hacks.

      As Pettis keeps writing, bad debts will be written down sooner or latter, leaning toward sooner it seems to me, but the allocation of who takes the loss is political, more so in a one party state.

      A financial crisis purge of the CCP that will make Erdogan’s political purge in Turkey look modest could be brewing, we just assume our venal leadership will socialize the losses onto those least able to bear them, but that’s not necessarily the Chinese ethos. What better mechanism for Xi to re-consolidate and re-direct the CCP?

      1. RabidGandhi

        This is exactly why AEP is the wrong person to go to for this question. As a die-hard monetarist worshiping at the altar of “deficits are bad/the country must be punished”, there is a subtext of glee in the article, that is only diminished by the fear that the waves of austerity used to drown Chinese workers might come crashing ashore on the banks of the City.

        China is not Japan, which as it deleveraged had Uncle Sam hitting it over the head with the Plaza Accords, opening the door to the lost decade(s). Since China is (at least ostensibly) free of US pressure, it can in principle oversee a highly government-managed transition to less exports/more consumption whereby writing down corporate debt would not entail the usual neoliberal austerity. But this is not the first time the People’s Daily has run comments from senior CCP members spouting a thoroughly Thatcherite line. Thus the question of whether the Chinese will opt for austerity or growing its internal market is, unfortunately, very much up in the air.

        1. EGrise

          Will be very interesting to see which they choose: it seems like austerity will lead to massive unrest, and there are only so many tanks.

        2. jsn

          The political issue of write downs is to whom the losses are allocated: mal-investment must be written down or it drains real wealth out of the system. The Western arrangement for loss allocation has been make the innocent pay, whether in IMF austerity in South America and Asia, EU austerity in Europe of the finance bailout of 2008 in the US. In each instance the corrupt and culpable have been shielded from consequences by the “socialization of losses.”

          What if China really wants to address corruption? If the losses are equitably allocated to those who benefited from the perverse incentives that drove the problem, it will elevate the middle class even as it destroys those perverse incentives. Not a Chinese speaker, I’m not convinced the words spoken have been so Thatcherite: we tend to find what we are looking for rather than what is actually said in casual conversation, I expect that happens in translation to an even greater degree.

    3. Ignacio

      I don’t know if it was the phantom of Comrade Thatcher but I think that the BIS and AEP missed the point here. I don’t believe that Chinese Debt will result in a banking crisis, probably because I read Michael Pettis regularly. Neither I think that banks worlwide are very much exposed to chinese bad debt. I neither believe that capital fligths will cause the enormous disruptions foreseen in the article.

      The major international risk I see is, if the authorities try to use exports to outgrow the debt problem, this would end in commercial wars.

    4. Robert Hahl

      We can recognize wars of choice now in real time. We should soon be able to recognize a financial crisis of choice when it happens.

    5. Jeremy Grimm

      Is the link to the BIS report next to the story about China correct? The BIS report referenced China once in a footnote and otherwise lumped it in with EMEs — emerging market economies. I couldn’t figure out how the China story could be extracted from that BIS Quarerly report.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        The report linked to is just a portion of the BIS quarterly report — “Dissonant Markets”. The link to the full report is [] 171 pages.

  9. Jim Haygood

    BEER: dinner of champions.

    When he staggered onto Springer Mountain in Georgia before dawn Sunday, Karl Meltzer set a record for completing the Appalachian Trail. He covered the 2,190 miles over 14 states in 45 days 22 hours 38 minutes.

    He capped each night with one or two beers and left from rest stops with rainbow-colored Spree candy, Three Musketeers chocolate bars and bacon in his pockets. To save time and keep his energy up, he typically slept less than seven hours a night and instead had an energy drink every 10 miles, downing about five a day.

    In the last two days, he gathered strength, running 83 miles nonstop in the final leg to finish Sunday morning at 3:38 am.

    Eighty-three miles nonstop. That is either fanatical motivation, or better living through chemicals.

    I got me ten forward gears and my Georgia overdrive
    I’m takin’ little white pills and my eyes are open wide
    I just passed a Jimmy in white, I been passin’ everything in sight
    Six days on the road and I’m gonna make it home tonight

    1. Subgenius

      This guy taught me math.

      I once was part of a relay team running coast to coast across the UK. On roads.

      The yeti (Hugh Symonds) ran on the fells.

      He beat us.

    2. ewmayer

      As Ahhhhhhnold says in the classic 70s-body-culture documentary Pumping Iron – to the fellow who asks him about his diet and whether he drinks a lot of milk – “milk is for bayybies – I drink beahhh.”

  10. Synoia

    The Existential Madness of Putin-Bashing

    When in trouble at home go adventuring abroad. aka Bright shiny object.

    There, that was not so hard.

  11. Jim Haygood

    This morning brings a dire communiqué from Dr Hussman’s bunker:

    Last week, the most reliable trend-following components deteriorated to a negative condition … an indication [of] a uniform, if subtle, shift toward increasing risk aversion among investors.

    That, historically, is the most negative combination of conditions we identify. The equity market has been dancing sideways for months on a very thin floor supported strictly by trend-following considerations. Last week, on the most reliable measures we identify, that floor quietly dropped away.

    So the eight-year bull market dodges another bullet. When Dr Hussman finally capitulates and buys, it’ll be all ovahhhhhh.

    Meanwhile the S&P 500 is all of two percent below its recent record high.

      1. Jim Haygood

        You’re probably speaking of the index price return.

        Total return including dividends has been 4.96% annually compounded (Dec 2000 to Aug 2016).

        1. John k

          Imagine buying the 30-year bond on 1-1-00. Or better, the zero coupon.
          And consider too that we are close to market high, which is at historic multiple excepting only dot com. Then imagine equity return since 2000 if market falls hard in response to continued earnings decline.

          1. Jim Haygood

            The 30-year Treasury bond returned about 7.5% annually since Jan 2000 … if you stayed in the latest on-the-run issue.

            Don’t count on a repeat performance over the next 16 years. :-)

            1. John k

              Neither would I count on 5% from equities from here over the next decade. Eventually the ‘earnings far higher in a few quarters’ story will not convince and attention will turn to p/e
              I’ll stay in long bonds until the next big decline, could be soon, deflation spreading.
              Listening to Ilargi I bailed on equities 4 q 07, cash until mistakenly went all in with long bonds mid 2010 not realizing stabilizers were rescuing the economy. Hussman also missed the rescue, wonder if he has heard of Mmt since?…
              Happy enough.

    1. John k

      Stopped clocks are right twice a day. We are now at record high multiples as earnings continue declining, going on seven quarters.

  12. Jane

    Thank you for this link: “Canadians: you have until Oct 7 to weigh in on using voting machines in national elections.” Hope we won’t be foolish enough to use them although the last two municipal elections in Toronto did have machine voting with no option to use a paper ballot so my guess is we’re not really going to be given much choice on it for provincial and Federal elections … they will just be there one day :(

    1. hreik

      ty. nicely done. I also don’t know what I’ll do. I live in a blue state so i can not vote w/o much consequence. i honestly have no idea what I would do if i lived in a swing state. no idea. I’m glad I don’t

      1. DWD

        Thank you.

        It really is a conundrum. But the point remains, Hillary did not try to appeal to me: she basically takes my vote for granted and prostrates herself before the Republicans. I am not sure what to think of that: she could have brought the party together but chose not to and now wants to blame the people she shunned for her problems?

        Oh hell no.

    2. John k

      You expected Msm and reps to hate sanders but not the dems… Remember Bernie years ago called the parties tweededum and tweedledee… They are the same, all feed from the same trough, the same corporations, only identity politics are the fig leaf separating them. Elite reps lost, hopefully elite dems lose too, would love for all their rice bowls to be smashed.
      This election has been educating for many.

  13. justanotherprogressive

    RE: Occupy Wall Street: Where are they now?
    It is a sad fact that Progressives are being forcibly shut out of the conversation these days. And those Progressive Movements that still exist get no coverage nationally. And so many of the on-line places they used to congregate, like Msnbc, Salon, Slate, Motherjones, etc. are now all Clinton and Trump, all of the time, so that there are very few places left for them to voice their concerns or to engage in conversation with each other. If they even try, they must face FoxNation type attacks by Clinton supporters (are most of them paid?). So it is no wonder that Progressive movements have been fading away. They have been isolated, not only from others, but from each other since Bernie lost.
    Can you even imagine a liberal magazine like Salon publishing an article like this even a year ago?
    or the editor of Mother Jones saying she has never hated millennials more?

    1. polecat

      Not all are lost …. there are, I suspect, many ‘progressives’ who will reach out to their rightward cohorts, to achieve goals that benefit the non-20 to .1% ……

      I think we’re at an inflection point, where the current political labels no longer have meaning …

      1. clarky90

        I agree whole-heartedly. The divide is not Left-Right. It is Up-Down. All of the 99% are Brothers and Sisters. We all share a common dream, in spite of our differences.

        Norman Kirk, the NZ Prime Minister (1972-1974) said it most eloquently IMO

        “People don’t want much; just someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for.”

  14. Carolinian

    Speaking of pipelines, here’s an economic story that doesn’t seem to be getting much attention amidst all the terror stories. One of the two Colonial Pipelines carrying gasoline to the east coast has broken in Alabama and gas stations in the south are running out of product. Stations in my area started blocking off their pumps yesterday. The pipeline company is having to put a bypass section in while the break is repaired and a local tv station suggests the problem could persist through October.

    1. Steve H.

      “Quik Trip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said several stations in South Carolina were seeing outages.

      “When you have a pipeline of that magnitude go down, it just shows everybody unfortunately how fragile the system is and it doesn’t take much to cause some hiccups””

    2. justanotherprogressive

      What I cannot understand is why a spill of that magnitute isn’t a national environmental disaster story. Have the major news outlets decided that there have been too many pipeline spills and therefore, they are no longer newsworthy?

      1. nippersdad

        A quarter if a million gallons of gas dumped into a river! One would think that would be news, but with the new Florida gas pipeline construction through south Georgia and the one in North Dakota being protested, I guess it was considered bad timing for burst pipelines in Alabama and Texas (much less the fifteen billion dollar ISDS case against Obama over the Keystone XL) to get any press. I read somewhere that there was another Macondo type blowout in the Gulf last month, and then never heard anything else about it, though it would appear that Hollywood has taken a hand in making the first Macondo well disaster into some kind of heroic thriller.

        Our famously free press has never shown the disadvantages of being owned by only six companies moreso than in the environmental issues we are now faced with. Yet another reason not to vote for the person who advocated for their deregulation.

  15. Jim Haygood

    A window into the WaPo’s rich fantasy life:

    The Post called for Snowden to “come home and hash out all this before a jury of his peers.”

    Ha ha ha. The WaPo must have missed Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 2012 declaration that “Criminal justice today is for the most part a system of pleas, not a system of trials.”

    Hardheads who don’t plead out face the maximum sentence upon conviction, which would be the death penalty on Snowden’s espionage charge.

    But the MSM still promotes a long-dead Norman Rockwell America, where defendants would hire a “defense attorney” and go to “trial,” with a chance of prevailing.

    Laughable. We’ve moved on! :-)

    1. EGrise

      That’s assuming he even made it to the civilian “justice” system – it’s possible he’d be dropped into the black hole of the military tribunal system, US citizen or not.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Glenn Greenwald weighs in:

      THREE OF THE four media outlets that received and published large numbers of secret NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden — The Guardian, the New York Times, and The Intercept –– have called for the U.S. government to allow the NSA whistleblower to return to the U.S. with no charges.

      That’s the normal course for a news organization, which owes its sources duties of protection, and which — by virtue of accepting the source’s materials and then publishing them — implicitly declares the source’s information to be in the public interest.

      But not the Washington Post. In doing so, the Washington Post has achieved an ignominious feat in U.S. media history: the first-ever paper to explicitly editorialize for the criminal prosecution of its own source — one on whose back the paper won and eagerly accepted a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

      The MSM is the Enemy.

  16. tegnost

    from the uber jacking rates story…
    “Furious passengers have taken to social media to slam the taxi firm in the wake of the blast… ”
    Taxi firm? Not sure how the lawyers let that crass misrepresentation happen…taxi firms are subject to regulations while uber gets to do whatever the heck they want to…including making you pay triple and like it (if they wanted a regulated fare they should have called a real taxi company)

  17. Sarah Connor

    Some Redditors appear to have found a 2014 post by Clinton’s IT guy, Paul Combetta (username “stonetear”), in which he asks for help stripping email addresses for a “very VIP” client. The Reddit thread argues that this is a smoking gun, establishing intent re: deleted Clinton emails. This morning, the original post by stonetear was deleted, but Redditors are sharing screengrabs and cache links.

    Here’s the post from this morning –

  18. tegnost

    “But the bills are piling up. County inspectors ordered many of the development’s 76 balconies removed last year because of rotting supports that created an “imminent danger” of collapse. Pressure from groundwater caused basement foundation walls to fail in at least seven units, and the $750,000 repair was not covered by insurance.”
    As I and all my friends in construction will tell you, just wait til the crackerboxes they’re throwing up now need to be recycled in 20 (if you’re lucky) years. The pictures tell the story….I couldn’t afford the monthly fees at my moms condo complex, forget about the “one time” everyone has to buy a new garage door, or new roofs….I do think there is serious kickback dough for board members who pick contractors to do the work, so if you’re a real hyena you can make some ka ching….until no one can pay, so pick your neighbors well

    1. LifelongLib

      “serious kickback dough”

      Nobody on any board I was ever on made a penny off it. The whammies came from other directions — roofs that failed early, problems that turned out to be more extensive than it initially appeared, and (yes) a number of owners who think the rules and financial responsibilities don’t apply to them.

        1. LifelongLib

          Yes, there are opportunities for fraud, but most of the examples cited are at the management or employee levels rather than the board.

          In my experience condo problems mainly result from good intentions gone wrong. Many boards are reluctant to raise maintenance fees to keep up with rising operating costs and future capital items, which can put the association in a bind when some big expense comes along. And failing to enforce rules about property appearance can make an entire project unattractive to buyers. But boards that constantly raise maintenance fees and keep citing owners aren’t popular at annual meetings either. It’s very often a no-win.

  19. Paul Tioxon


    Between 3:50 p.m. Friday and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, five people were killed and 14 wounded, including two police officers, in shootings around Philadelphia. The gunman in a West Philadelphia shooting rampage also died in a shootout with police, and someone opened fire on officers on South Street, though no injuries occurred.

    Elaine Heyl, a wheelchair bound Vet, was killed by a drunken pick up truck driving American in North Philadelphia. The Muslim’s couldn’t do her in, but one of us did. Saluting the flag at ballgames apparently did not find her an apartment and national anthem singers won’t pay higher taxes for housing homeless Vets, BUT HAVE BILLIONS TO SPEND ON SPORTS BETTING ETC.

    ‘She Deserved Better’: Suspected Drunk Driver Kills Air Force Veteran in Hit-Run

    Elaine Heyl, 37, served in the Air Force and spent time fighting in Iraq, friends say, only to come home to a broken system that left her homeless, addicted and now dead after a suspected drunk driver crashed into her wheelchair.

    Heyl, known as Lanie to most, died a short time later at the hospital. She was 37.

    Rosado said he knew Heyl, an Air Force veteran who he said served in Iraq, from working at Prevention Point on Kensington Avenue, a center that provides a health clinic and other outreach services to people facing homelessness and addiction. He said she battled post-traumatic stress disorder and was never able to get the help she needed.

    Man Beats 2-Year-Old to Death in Pennsauken: Officials

    “She was trying really hard to get help, but unfortunately, the system is kind of slow, so she started to self-medicate,” Rosado said. “Unfortunately, self-medication turned to addiction.”

    Heyl, whose mother lives in South Carolina and said she was too shocked at her daughter’s tragic death to share more about her on Monday, was well-loved in Kensington, where everyone seemed to know her. She often sat in her wheelchair in the wide median on Lehigh Avenue at Mascher Street, set between a brick building on the south side and a playground on the north side, all hours of the day and night.

    “I told her, ‘Why do you [stay] here?'” said Angie Gonzalez, a neighbor who lives at the corner and would often talk with Heyl and bring her food. “She said, ‘I feel safe here. I went to other places and I got robbed and raped.'”

  20. Oregoncharles

    From “Easy resolution unlikely for contentious Dakota pipeline”:
    “though there are many pipelines in the United States that carry fuel under waterways.” Yes, and they regularly break, severely polluting the waterway. Kalamazoo is only the most famous example; there was also on in Montana, relatively near the DAPL. It’s in Naomi Klein’s recent movie – sorry, I forget the name. That one broke because the river, I believe the Yellowstone, washed out the supporters. Rivers move.

    It’s a fairly silly bit of editorializing from Reuters.

  21. tegnost

    Here’s a funny one from the seattle times
    ““It’s probably a mix of both of those things,” said Robert Plotnick, professor of public affairs at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy & Governance.

    “But which is the more important one? That’s an interesting question. My intuition is it’s probably that people moved up more than they moved out.”

    The strong economy, Plotnick says, has really helped workers at the bottom. Indeed, census data show low-income households made the biggest gains last year, both here and nationally. Poverty rates also fell sharply.

    “It’s the folks making 10 or 12 bucks an hour — which we’re also seeing in the national figures — getting some raises. So maybe they’re going from $30,000 to $35,000 or $40,000 … they’re out of the bottom.”

    Plotnick, who was on the UW Seattle Minimum Wage Study research team, discounted the idea that the city’s increased minimum made much of an impact.

    “I think that’s really unlikely,” he said. “Weekly earnings went up maybe five or ten bucks, because there was an increase in wages but a decrease in hours.””
    in what math challenged world does a 10-12/hr worker make $30-40,000?
    the correct answer is “moving out” and I have plenty of anecdotal evidence to bolster the claim as I am peppered with offers to work in seattle but the 1500 a month rent would make that a ridiculously stupid choice, record number of immigrants though so the aspirationalists (those who live on air?) will save the city from itself, surely.

  22. Paid Minion

    Birds are cool. At least those that aren’t grackles

    We used to have a bird feeder in the front yard. Every day, a pair of cardinals would show up. They would fly to the tree, then the male would come to the feeder and make sure the coast was clear before the female came over.

    One day the male showed up by himself. I said to him, “Hey little buddy……….did you get a kitchen pass from the old ball and chain?”

    The (now ex-) wife wasn’t nearly as amused as I was.

    But not to worry. The “ball and chain” showed up later.

  23. Plenue

    >Leaked Apple emails reveal employees’ complaints about sexist, toxic work environment

    Sexism is rampant among techbros and nerds in general. I was at a LAN party recently (which incidentally is an endangered, or at least increasingly rendered moot, form of social gathering, since developers frequently don’t include LAN support in their games anymore). I encountered multiple people who made casual, quite vile comments about women (or rather ‘females’, a word that is fast becoming a sure sign that the speaker is an asshole). Casually delivered, as if it was common knowledge and no one could possibly disagree.

    1. hunkerdown

      Plenue, exactly what happens when bourgeois liberal cultural imperialists try, as they believe is their mandate, to steal resources and overtake standing communities: the remnants of the community shrink and harden. Curious what exactly you expected.

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