Links 9/27/16

Dear patient readers,

We’ve been having problems with the site going up and down all day since early AM yesterday. Unfortunately, this was a Cloudflare problem, which means it was out of our control. It also means that other sites were no doubt having outages too, and Cloudflare presumably will address the issue promptly. In the meantime, for some bizarre reason, switching browsers often helps.

89% Of Debate Viewers Tuning In Solely To See Whether Roof Collapses Onion (David L)

Research Finds Thrilling Cure for Kidney Stones: Roller Coasters NBC. Mary Jo: “Too bad they just missed the IgNobels.”

How Small Forests Can Help Save the Planet New York Times (David L)

Evolution of global temperature over the past two million years Nature (Chuck L)

Survival of the smartest: Superbugs defeated with evolutionary trick ars technica (Chuck L)

Pope Francis calls out journalists: Does the media needlessly foster fear? (+video) Christian Science Monitor (furzy)


Japan scrambles fighter jets as China gets too close Christian Science Monitor (furzy)

China’s Quest for Scientific Glory and Aliens Wall Street Journal. World class clickbait headline.

Standard Chartered Faces U.S. Probe Over Indonesian Investment Wall Street Journal


There’s more to the City than “passporting” George Magnus, Prospect. Vlade: “More on Brexit good for the City fantasy.”

Brexit, not the EU, will be to blame for Britain’s economic problems Business Insider

Deal-making and dirty tricks: inside the race for UN secretary general Guardian (furzy)

India begins campaign at United Nations to isolate Pakistan Asia Times. While you were busy….

In a Sweeping Victory, Jeremy Corbyn Is Re-Elected as U.K. Labour Party Leader Truthdig (Judy B)

Jeremy Corbyn under fire for stance on nuclear weapons Politico

Deutsche BailOut/In Watch

The Deutsche Bank crisis could take Angela Merkel down and the Euro Telegraph. One error: the DoJ has not levied a $14 billion fine. It is trying to negotiate a settlement and is “seeking” a $14 billion fine.

Deutsche Bank Shares Drop on Fears of Capital Raising Wall Street Journal. Wow. Shares fell to as low as €10.54, and closed at €10.55, although they’ve traded up a bit this AM. €10 is an important psychological barrier. If the stock falls that low, pressure on Merkel to Do Something will become intense.

Deutsche Bank in Free Fall. Shares, CoCo Bonds Plunge. Merkel Gives Cold Shoulder on Bailout. Bank Denies Everything Wolf Richter


Marine Le Pen’s cash-flow crisis Politico

Barroso had deeper ties to Goldman Sachs EUObserver. This scandal is escalating.

5 things that will decide Italy’s constitutional vote Politico

Corbyn proposes corporate tax rise Defend Democracy


Real Reason Behind the Delay of Investigation Into MH17 Crash in Ukraine Sputnik News (Chuck L)

Who’s Afraid of ‘Russia Today’? Nation. Resilc: “Gotta have shit overseas to cover up the shit at home.”

Putin: USSR could have been reformed, there was no need to destroy it Defend Democracy



Nothing major is going to change in Syria until after this awful U.S. election Slate (resilc)

Todenhöfer: Interview With Al-Nusra Commander “The Americans stand on our side” SouthFront

US anti-terror law puts British soldiers at risk of prosecution Telegraph

2016. As Lambert described in his summing-up comment on the debate live blog last night, Hillary slaughtered Trump. But how will this translate into impact on votes? The salient characteristic of this campaign has been that Trump has been offensive, inconsistent, undisciplined, sloppy to outright dishonest…and yet has remained within striking distance of Clinton. From Clinton’s perspective, he’s like a zombie in a horror movie: he keeps taking hits (many of them self-inflicted) that should kill any candidate, yet he keeps coming after her.

I was anticipating that Trump would fall 5% in the polls based on his poor showing last night. But I spoke to a political scientist (a long-standing leftie who does not like either candidate) who surprised me by saying that neither one was trying to reach the other’s voters, and specifically, that Hillary didn’t give anyone a new reason to vote for her. If anything, he thought Trump might get a small uptick from the debate. So let’s see what the polls later this week say.

And BTW , hours later, I still have a headache from watching a mere 1/3 of the debate, even after taking painkillers. So kudos to those of you who did your civic duty and viewed the entire thing.

Presidential Candidates Debate CSPAN (Kevin C). In case you are a glutton for punishment…

Sparks fly in Clinton-Trump duel BBC

Clinton-Trump debate: A degrading spectacle WSWS. An excellent rant.

How Did We End Up With Such Unpopular Candidates? American Conservative (resilc)

Trump TANKING in Major Prediction Market…UPDATE Daily Kos (furzy). Financial markets seem to agree…equity futures are up.

Who Won the Debate? My View and Some Surprising Polls Michael Shedlock

Trump fails to clear a low debate bar Financial Times

Donald Trump blew it. But will voters take any notice? Guardian

Trump destroyed Hillary on trade Slate (resilc)

A highly predictable debate between the worst US bipartisan couple for decades failed evolution

Donald Trump won the reality TV debate. But it might cost him the election Telegraph. Even though this article has a completely different take, it does remind me of the reason Lambert mentioned why Trump’s dreadful performance might not go over as badly as expected. He hewed to many bog-standard Republican positions: government debt is bad (which Hillary did not dispute), law and order is good, regulations are bad, rich people are job creators, Obama (and therefore Hillary) have done a bad job on terrorism, with his populist anti-globalization overlay the big break with Wall Street Journal/Fox News orthodoxy.

Fact checking the presidential debate Boston Globe

Analysis: Trump tax plan would cost at least $4.8T The Hill (furzy). The funny part is we could use a ton of deficit spending right now, which is what this “cost” means. But deficit spending via tax cuts, particularly to the well off, is just about the least stimulative way to go about doing it. One of many reasons is that it will increase inequality.

Should You Panic Over the Polls? Yes, You Should New York Magazine

Looking for a Trump metaphor? He’s an autoimmune disease Guardian (furzy)

Why There is Trump Ilargi

Amazon steps in to ‘fix’ Hillary book review WND (Chuck L)

Why the Deep State Is Dumping Hillary Charles Hugh Smith (Chuck L)

New FBI data: Murders up 10.8% in biggest percentage increase since 1971 Guardian. And black men are the big victims.

Shutdown deadline looms over Congress The Hill (furzy)

Conservative group presses GOP to vote against spending bill The Hill (furzy)

McConnell threatens shutdown to keep corporate political spending secret The Hill (Phil U). Lordie.

The Supreme Court After Scalia New Yorker (furzy)

‘Disgruntled employee’ dead after injuring nine people at strip mall Guardian

Why it’s Time to Stop Using the Word ‘Disruption’ Bloomberg

Wells Fargo, Glass-Steagall and ‘Do you want fries with that?’ banking The Hill (Phil U). I’ve been critical of Hockett on other fronts, but he makes some very good points here.

Did Wells Fargo target seniors with its bogus-account scheme? Los Angeles Times (resilc)

BlackRock Issues Warning on Treasuries as Fed Moves Toward Hike Bloomberg

Monetary policy isn’t working, and central bankers are getting desperate Ed Harrison via Business Insider

Guillotine Watch

In Greenwich, That $250,000 Mercedes Isn’t the Hit It Used to Be Bloomberg (resilc)

Class Warfare

“Immigration and Job Creation at the State Level” Angry Bear

Robots, Automation, and a Universal Basic Income American Prospect

Antidote du jour (yahoo7). Dunno about you, but after last night, I needed something particularly soothing:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Roger Smith

    Love the antidote. Great stuff.

    Thoughts on the debate: It was boring and lacking in substance, which is why Clinton failed. Trump had a terrible performance, yet even so Clinton “prepared” by reading the same Democrat debate script we’ve heard over and over, and that too many people now know Democrats do not deliver on. By this measure, Trump was trying and she was not. She did however again, live, promote the crap that Russia is hacking our government (ISIS is losing steam, quick what else sounds spooky?). By that measure alone she lost. Clinton is not battling up hill because of sexism as people want to pretend. There’s a policy history here and she represents the wrong side. That is why she has to do more to stand out.

    I would guess that the polls will not be effected at all, or very little. At the end of the day Clinton is spending millions of more dollars and is neck and neck with Trump. That is more interesting than the debate was.

    1. cocomaan

      What was interesting to me about the debate is how conservative Clinton came through in her policy positions. She might as well have adopted a Mitt Romney platform.

      Examples: Using the unregulated terrorist watch list for domestic policy? Appeals to expanded cyber warfare? Red baiting with references to Putin? End “[the ISIS] claim of being a caliphate”?

      Donald clearly doesn’t want to be president and it showed. So we are going to have a NeoCon in HRC.

      Also, I thought that HRC’s candidacy meant more DC gridlock because she wouldn’t be able to get anything done. Now I’m terrified of an effective presidency.

      1. Uahsenaa

        I agree with Lambert that for the most part Republicans would fight her tooth and nail, but we often forget there’s a swath of issues she and Republicans actually agree on, and none of them are good things. What might result is the straight-up cuckoo land of a president under constant threat of impeachment who is also, at the same time, being written a blank check for military adventures abroad.

        “She’s unfit for the presidency… except when she wants to bomb someone.”

        1. cocomaan

          What might result is the straight-up cuckoo land of a president under constant threat of impeachment who is also, at the same time, being written a blank check for military adventures abroad.

          What an absolutely terrifying notion. That sounds like the end of the country.

          The other concept I was considering for HRC was what Yves has mentioned before, the Glass Cliff. This is the idea that leadership roles are given to women when the entire enterprise is under threat of near destruction. See Marissa Meyer, Mary Barra, or maybe even Janet Yellen.

        2. Jim Haygood

          ‘a president under constant threat of impeachment who is also, at the same time, being written a blank check for military adventures abroad’

          … opposed by a would-be president who rants about $20 trillion in debt, while writing a blank check for military adventures abroad.

          There is only one War Party.

          1. Bev

            Leverage for middle, working and poor class: Ongoing Now is Democracy Now’s Expand the Debate by giving Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein a chance to participate in debate:

            Expanding the Debate: Jill Stein “Debates” Clinton & Trump in Democracy Now! Special – Part 1
            September 27, 2016

            Expanding the Debate: Jill Stein Spars with Clinton & Trump in Democracy Now! Special – Part 2
            September 27, 2016

            Green Party’s Jill Stein: What We Fear from Donald Trump, We Have Already Seen from Hillary Clinton
            June 09, 2016



          2. hunkerdown

            What leverage? She’s got her blank check for four years and we can’t do anything about it without the Senate’s House of Lords’ permission. Republics intrinsically require a class of untouchable betters who can treat the state as their personal privilege.

            There is no leverage without instant and summary termination. You’ve worked for wages before, I’m sure.

            1. LifelongLib

              If you can vote them out they’re not untouchable. If you can’t vote them out then it isn’t a republic.

      2. Roger Smith

        She really is the worst person to be selling the tired and now widely recognized as phony (and increasingly right leaning) Democrat status quo (since that is the policy game they want to play). Compound that with one of the most widely loathed Democrats and you have… Clinton’s 2016 campaign. She cannot even beat the Fat, rude, narcissistic, Super-Nazi, Soviet, Putin-Fan who is “coked out”. And we know she cannot shift progressive because 1. She (and the party) do not want that and 2. She is so disliked she would have to go out to the point of no return to have a chance in hell of selling it sincerely (and she is no salesman).


        1. Harry

          But she does have the advantage that the product she is selling is in actuality “I’m the only thing standing between you and a Trump presidency”.

          She would have been better off saying nothing and letting Donald speak for twice as long.

      3. neo-realist

        I think Donald wants to be President, but mostly in title only. I believe he’d leave a lot of the day to day governance to Pence and his cabinet. He’s just a grifter hustler businessman that isn’t used to dealing with the wonky policy points of a Presidential debate. Donald, for the most part, appeared to be himself.

    2. Whine Country

      For me the issue is clear. Trump is eccentric and inexperienced and makes the kinds of gaffes that one would expect of a neophite. Hillary is a sociopath. To her, people are whatever she needs them to be in order to advance her cause. We are not humans but objects that she will use to advance her goals. My God: “We came, we saw, he died”, she declared elatedly when news of Gaddafi’s death was announced. A human being was sodomized with a knife and that was the sum of her feelings. IMO Hillary does not have the human emotions necessary to properly evaluate the use of force and for that reason alone, I would vote for virtually anyone other than her to be Commander in Chief. My sources in the military tell me that officers of bird Colonel and above strongly support Clinton and those of lower ranks down to privates overwhelming support Trump. Which of those two groups do you think are anxious to perpetuate our overseas adventures to the max? If my sample is too small or not representative then I’d like to see something more authoritative but I still will not change my opinion that she is a sociopath and should not be allowed to become President. At the end of the day, I’m betting that Trump is, if nothing else, human and has the necessary ability to relate to people as humans and not just pieces on the grand chess game that Hillary has made a living playing. We thought, we voted, She lost.

      1. Felix_47

        She studied law at Yale. He studied nothing. She had to read and learn to write legal briefs. She had to learn how to do depositions. He was getting high and partying. What do you expect? The only problem is that Ivy League lawyers tend to think they are smarter than others. That arrogance gets us in trouble……Let us hope that Trump realizes how ignorant he is…..and as citizens let us realize that being president is not such a tough job. It certainly is not as tough as working 12 hours per day at McDonalds. Glorifying the job does us no good. We would be better off randomizing among the citizenry than having the pseudo elections we have.

        1. jrs

          The problem is that there is little evidence that the best and the brightest, when in charge of the brutal and unequal empire, make moral and just decisions for their country and the world. Actually there is plenty of evidence they don’t (the invasion of Libya alone would suffice).

          I begin to suspect people want ignoramuses for plausible deniability. Not guilty by reason of stupidity. Otherwise there is just having to face that the leaders are smart enough to know better, but just too malevolent to care.

          I’d favor eliminating the office of president altogether, but be fine with randomizing a more distributed power arrangement.

        2. cyclist

          Not that it matters much, but IIRC Trump has a BS in economics from the Wharton School at Penn. Maybe we should have an election where anyone who has spent any time studying at an Ivy League university is barred (Sorry Yves..).

        3. montanamaven

          Somebody here said that law students memorize precedents. Law students and lawyers (corporate) are good memorizers. That’s what Hilary does and we are supposed to be impressed. I don’t call that smart. And that’s not what we need. Around here we say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But everybody except the 1% clearly knows it’s broken and we need new ideas or old ones that worked like tariffs that might fix this mess. Donald spouted a lot of gibberish last night because he doesn’t study a lot or memorize anything, but I think he has street smarts. He’d rather trade than bomb and he’d like to give tariffs another try. He mentioned that we are living in another bubble. Is anybody talking about that today or just about how many times he interrupted her?
          What I really think is that this experiment in a “united states” and a great big melting pot is a failure just like the USSR. Better to break up into smaller regions. Well, maybe start with eliminating the presidency as somebody here suggested. And the Senate.

          1. davidgmills

            Some lawyers are good at memorizing case names and some are not.

            But all lawyers have to remember the points made in cases or they won’t know any law. I wasn’t particularly good at remembering case names, but I sure would never have been able to practice for 35 years if I wasn’t able to remember the points the cases were making.

            Clinton’s problem is that she just never had the personality to be anything other than an appellate lawyer. And that won’t cut it in politics.

        4. Yves Smith Post author

          He has an MBA from Wharton, and that’s not an easy school to get into, so it is flat out untrue to say he “studied nothing.” He was running a real estate business, actually collecting rent from tenants and did a major development (the Grand Hyatt) at the age of 30. In fact, an apparent big driver for him doing that deal was because he was doing real hands on grunt work in his father’s firm and living in a studio. He may be a party animal, but that does not mean he didn’t work as well.

          As for Hillary, she failed the DC bar exam and her legal career in Arkansas rested significantly on her access to the governor’s office.

      2. montanamaven

        Someone said here when she appeared on some show and looked weird that “her human suit was malfunctioning.” Last night it was functioning very well. That’s what it looked like to me, a suit or a mask. She had her Iron Lady mask on and nothing phased it. or Circe Lanaster as she looks at her dead child. I found her performance frighteningly cold and condescending. She looked at Trump and hence his voters with utter contempt. I could hear her inner voice saying, “He and his followers are really really deplorables.” And the sad part is that my friends who support Hilary can also be very condescending about anybody who is not “with her”.

      3. hunkerdown

        Whine Country, you say “gaffes” like they’re a bad thing. You do understand the term is not a generic synonym for “misstep”, right, rather than true statements that offend the lies we live by?

  2. vlade

    A clarification – Magnus is rubbishing the fantasy, not supporting it – basically, he believes that Brexit is incompatible with City being what it is now (and that doesn’t mean just banks, as people often assume).

  3. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: Clinton-Trump debate: a degrading spectacle— the writer says both Trump and Clinton are hated by the entire population. I would say HRC is indeed hate by many, but The Donald conjures up a grudging admiration from many. Actually, it’s not a bad duo of candidates, since at least this year we have a choice between “more of the same”, and something different. It’s good we have a chance to vote for somebody that’s never held political office.

    1. Alex morfesis

      This election it is more of the in-$@ne($@n€-$@n€)…the evil of two lessors…our Caligula moment…

      1. shinola

        My general reaction to the “debate”:

        One of these 2 is going to be president?!? If I was a religious person, I’d be thinking that God has finally decided to punish America for its sins.

    2. Emma

      What’s degrading is that Trump and Clinton are constantly presented as the only two contenders in the race. There are two other contenders, Jill Stein (Green Party) and Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), who are both not only omitted from MSM (whether it be news or entertainment shows), but the debates too. That’s what is really degrading for America.

      1. Mike Mc

        Both Stein and Johnson have made gaffes lately that even Trump or Clinton would laugh at. Not Ready for Prime Time players.

        As a good Berniecrat I’m praying that post-election will make people look past Libertarian and Green parties and come up with a true alternative. Socialist something or other, since the Millennials would immediately be interested and possibly even involved.

  4. JSM

    Thought Trump landed some decent jabs on before-and-after support of the TPP, bringing the DNC hacking issue back to what it revealed and not who it was pinned on, and maybe a couple of others. Comments on the live thread seemed to disagree; online polls apparently showed Trump ahead 51-55%, including one on Time with 1.3m votes. Clinton’s habit of laughing off each and every criticism may have cost her the debate in the eyes of viewers. Just a guess, but it’s infuriating at both a visceral & detached analytical level.

    More interested in Trump’s somewhat cryptic remarks about Hillary ‘not playing nice’ with her TV ads, and his mentions of what he ‘could say,’ but chose not to. Wild guess, but, if the media universally declares HC won because she was ‘presidential’ (or whatever topic is focuspolling well these days), Trump may come back with a no-holds-barred approach & a ‘set of talking points that would not just defeat Clinton, but quite possibly send a bunch of people to jail,’ as one commenter said on the live thread. Even if it’s solely in the service of his ego.

    In these upside down days maybe such a purgative would be good for the country. Not taking our medicine is what got us here, after all.

    **Edit: The elites not taking their medicine, is the meaning.

    1. Andy

      The most interesting thing to me that Trump said, listening only on satellite, was in the first 15 minutes. The statement about us,(U.S.) being in a bubble financially. Hearing it audio only it sounded like part of the security briefing info he might have been privy too.

  5. Otis B Driftwood

    Well, civic duty be damned, I boycotted this sham of a debate and will continue to so long as ONLY the duopolists are allowed to participate.

    I’m not really surprised by the comments. Trump is grossly ignorant and he would have been exposed against Bush or Cruz or Rubio in a one-on-one setting. The GOP baker’s dozen debates and large audiences were perfectly suited to his circus candidacy.

    1. Uahsenaa

      I disagree. One-on-one, Trump would have made exactly the same points he did in the circus debates: Bush’s brother went to war in Iraq and Rubio is a robot. Also, he freed himself to say the one thing Republicans are usually never allowed to say, that they’re all corporate shills, which is red meat basically for the entire American public.

      1. Carla

        Look, as someone else commented in Lambert’s live blog last night, all Trump had to say was that he will “jail the bankers” and that could’ve tipped it. But he didn’t say it.

        1. Lee

          Also, Trump called for HRC to reveal content of her 33K deleted emails but NOT her Wall Street speeches. Unless I missed it. My brain kept switching off during the event. A neuro-protective mechanism perhaps?

        2. cwaltz

          Well, I’m sure Trump would agree with Obama that the bankers are “savvy businessmen.”

          After all, his criteria for smart is having other people pay his share for services that this country provides.

    2. a different chris

      Rubio? Seriously? Cruz maybe, he’s a weirdo but not a lightweight. Bush, maybe, a normal guy but he *is* a lightweight.

      We got more of the same from the Dems and nuthin’ at all from the Rethughs — but somehow in the highly classified portion of the Constitution it says this is a duopoly where a tiny self-selected group gets to pick the two candidates for President. What is funny is that maybe it is in the Constitution – because they did not visualize the Presidency as the all-powerful office that it is today.

      1. Carla

        Strongly recommend “National Security and Double Government” if you think the Presidency is all-powerful. Only 118 pages. Get it at your library; if they don’t have it, get it through inter-library loan and also ask your local library to purchase it.

    3. nippersmom

      I didn’t watch the debate last night, either. I had no interest in wasting 90 minutes of my life watching two sociopaths trade lies, insults, and bad policy proposals.

      I did read some of the comments on the blog last night. It sounded like Hillary accused Trump of living in his own reality for saying Bill signed NAFTA. Sorry, Hillz, but those of us who don’t suffer your apparently debilitating memory problems (see her testimony on her emails/server) remember that he not only signed NAFTA, but promoted it as shamelessly as Obama is pushing the TPP now. I wonder how many of the “fact checkers” are going to call her out on that attempt to rewrite history?

    4. Harry

      My advice to johnson and stein is make more gaffs. Cos gaffs generate free publicity. It doesn’t matter whether you know where ffing Baghdad is. Just let people know you are on a ballot. Frankly against this field even Hitler might get some votes.

      1. Skip Intro

        Hmmm Hitler… tough on immigrants like Trump, gunning for a suicidal war with Russia like Clinton… what’s not to like?

        p.s. I believe this usage does not fall under the Godwin clause.

    5. Arizona Slim

      I was on a cross-country flight. Was trying my hardest to sleep through the debate, but didn’t succeed.

      Quite a few of my fellow passengers were watching the festivities. And thank goodness they were using headphones and earbuds.

  6. b

    A lament:

    You link to Southfront for the Todenhöfer/AQ interview.

    It was laboriously translate by me and first published at Moon of Alabama.

    Southfront just copied it (as did several other sides). SF at least links back to my site.

    Next time please link to THE ORIGINAL, not the copy.

    Otherwise the readers will miss corrections, updates or follow-ups while MoA will miss the clicks, the only “currency” I am paid in.


    1. frosty zoom


      a heartfelt thanks for all the great work you do to bring attention to the plight of the forgotten in these sordid games of empire.

      1. Carolinian

        Ditto to that. The great M of A has been conducting a rare fundraiser for those who care to contribute.

    2. Andrew Watts

      Yes, superb job posting Todenhöfer’s interview in English. Which could be traced back to having taken place in government-held areas of Syria. The absurdity of hearing all those claims by the “al-Nusra commander” made more than a few people suspicious enough to verify his location.

      That was very careless of Russian and/or Syrian intelligence. Personally, I’ve never seen an asset of a foreign intelligence agency voluntarily burn their cover so casually. The Syrian Civil War is full of wonders.

      1. Carolinian

        I dunno Andrew. What’s your geolocation? Somewhere in Langley? Frankly if you want to discredit somebody you are going to have to go a bit further.

        And just for clarity: are you saying that Nusra hasn’t used TOW missiles? And if they have used them where did they get them?

          1. Andrew Watts

            None of that had anything to do with where the interview took place. Which was in Syrian government territory. What is an al-Nusra commander doing there?

            My other much longer response fell into moderation. Ta-ta!

            1. hunkerdown

              Andrew Watts, operating, obviously. If this is a fake, it’s a German-Atlanticist double-false-flag sort of fake. Russia’s too close to the Muslim world to not know stuff like that, and the USA’s too arrogant and ignorant to care.

              1. Andrew Watts

                You’re making this out to be way more complicated than it is. Applying Occam’s Razor to the question yields that Todenhöfer is either a dupe, which I don’t buy even if it is plausible, or that this is a hilarious misfire by some foreign intel agency along the lines of something Bellingcat would produce.

                As other commenters on that reddit thread noted, salafi/jihadis are forbidden from decorating themselves with gold. Not to mention all the Al-Qaeda / Islamic State propaganda which is always about how their opposition is filled with American puppets and heretics of the true faith.

                I can see that I’m only alienating fellow commenters though. While I was being quite irrelevantly mirthful about all this so that’s all I’ll say on the matter.

        1. Andrew Watts

          You don’t understand. Neither Al Qaeda in Syria or anybody in the Islamic State would ever publicly admit they were allied with the Israel (Zionists) or America (Romans / Crusaders). It goes against everything they believe in and spread through their propaganda. The only conclusion that can be drawn from the interview is that this was an incredibly stupid IO campaign that blew up disastrously in the faces of the perpetrators.

          Frankly if you want to discredit somebody you are going to have to go a bit further.

          Who exactly do you think I am trying to discredit? Todenhöfer has long been accused of being a foreign agent in Germany. Didn’t believe it until now. I probably would’ve missed Todenhöfer’s so-called interview if ‘b’ hadn’t translated it. I wasn’t being snarky about my gratitude for his translation.

          Furthermore, I think ‘b’ is an excellent analyst when it comes to military affairs. He suffers from confirmation bias on just about everything else though.

          And just for clarity: are you saying that Nusra hasn’t used TOW missiles? And if they have used them where did they get them?

          The TOW missiles were not the outrageous claims I was referring to. That’s the one bit of the interview which was plausible. Whether it was given directly to al-Nusra or supplied through their rebel auxiliaries there is no question they have and are using them.

          Nobody wants to look like a fool, but golly gee, why don’t the British have agents in east Aleppo? It seems like everybody else in the Western world does!

          But who cares what I think? I’m a CIA shill. Haha!

  7. Nik

    Trump’s performance was, from my perspective, pretty abysmal. Especially in the second half, he spent SO much time talking but he said almost nothing. With the wealth of material he has at his disposal, I was really expecting that his bare knuckles style of campaigning would translate to a highly effective performance on the debate stage. He left a stunning amount of stuff on the table, and even the things he did pick up fizzled because he so poorly articulated them and let himself ramble on for so long.

    Of course, as many commentators have already noted, we don’t actually know if what we saw will matter. I think turning in a really excellent performance could have given him a boost, but I’m not sure that this poor one will have a converse effect. Sniffling and rambling aside, he mostly maintained his composure, and the things he did manage to say were all the things we’ve seen time and again that his supporters like to hear. For moderates who don’t want to vote for Clinton, but who have been turned off by Trump’s style, my suspicion is that this might be all he needs to do to nudge them over to his side. Or at the very least, it might convince them that they can safely stay home, which given her numbers is exactly what Clinton needs to avoid.

    1. fresno dan

      September 27, 2016 at 7:43 am

      I checked the transcript because …well, all the drinking I did I might have missed something….but I found it hard to believe (INCONCEIVABLE – see “The Princess Bride”) that Trump didn’t attack Clinton using “deplorables” – Indeed, he could have really hammered her left flank. That he didn’t is just sheer laziness and stupidity.

      Its like those movie’s where the “good” guy idiotically lets the bad guy take the gun away – I reach the point where I start routing for the bad guy because the main character is just too f*cking stupid to root for.

      And it is hard to imagine that there is more compelling evidence that the American “meritocracy” is SERIOUSLY all f*cked up than Trump. Is this the amount of intellectual capacity it takes to be a “billionaire” (or at least rich)???

      Defeating 16 repub candidates? Seems about as challenging as me falling off the couch after a bottle of vino…
      And I think any precocious 8 year old could have demolished Clinton – yet Trump was totally unimaginative, unprepared, apparently proud of being uninformed and unlearned, and incapable of speaking in coherent paragraphs.

      Can anyone really believe that we would not be governed better by a rock?
      DAY 286 of President Rock’s administration – debate continues as to whether President Rock will speak less than President Coolidge did in his term. Here are our pundits to debate the issue…*
      *note the irony

        1. Ivy

          Maybe Trump is holding back more ammo for later debates, as Hillary probably is. You were not alone in drinking through the debates as that seemed to be quite an ominous indicator for our electorate.

        2. Ping

          *Yes, he missed Goldman Sachs.

          *He could have framed the NATO issue in populist terms….why are we paying to defend Europe while defunding health care, education, infrastructure HERE.

          *The question about internet security was a perfect opening to intelligently dissect HRC’s intentional breach of security hiding nefarious dealings and comingling The Clinton Foundation private enrichment.

          *He could have given credit to Bernie Sanders for highlighting the TPP too and again, framed it much better. That TPP is about multi national corp authority over soverign nations and would ressonate with the constitutionalists etc. Expanded patents driving up medication costs etc etc….

          *He could have quoted Colin Powels assessment of HRC….”greedy, non transformational, appears sleazy”
          Kinda surprised HRC accused him of abusing women when Colin’s email also said “Bill is still dicking bimbos in the home”.

          Instead he veered into adolescent jibberish, (Rosie Odonnel), gave inconcise rambling responses with rude interuptions (Holt should have enforced the ground rules) and was clearly unprepared.

          I don’t think he wants the job, perhaps just enjoys the media attention and adulation of stump speaches where all he has to do is spout whatever enters his mind.

          The degradation of our society and American political system is on full display with the entire tawdry spectacle of this exorbitant election and these two abhorrent candidates and indeed the entire horrific stable of Republican primary contenders.

  8. Pat

    I may be underestimating the American people but I am pretty sure that most who watched the debate fell into two categories – political junkies and supporters. The truly undecided are a small contingent. I read something that struck me as true, it said at this point it is more about justifying the decision rather than making it. And in this election the major choices are so bad justification is hard to come by.
    There was much fodder last night to justify voting against either candidate, but from the little I saw and the more I heard neither provided any justification to vote for them.

  9. Hana M

    “I spoke to a political scientist (a long-standing leftie who does not like either candidate) who surprised me by saying that neither one was trying to reach the other’s voters, and specifically, that Hillary didn’t give anyone a new reason to vote for her. If anything, he thought Trump might get a small uptick from the debate.”

    Yes. Trump needed to reassure the more traditional Republican base and show that he’s not insane or out-of-control angry. He did that. He used Clinton’s title more often than her first name–came off as respectful of the office of SOS. He ticked all the standard Republican boxes on ‘policy’. He was pretty boring–an interesting strategy. The one moment I woke up was when Trump said the Fed is political and is creating a massive bubble. Can’t disagree.

    Hillary did the policy wonk thing, continuing to appeal to the meritocratic 10%. She can’t have won too many more supporters. The minute she starts talking my brain shuts down.

    My rating: It was a draw and neither candidate did serious damage to themselves.

    1. Unorthodoxmarxist

      Hah, I am a political scientist and a leftie, and I came to the same conclusion. Go figure. Wrote it up a bit here:

      I think Trump bested her on trade, and I’m curious to see how it plays out in Rust-Belt swing states. The rest of the debate is pretty much a wash, as they both played to their base. I can’t imagine either of them won over many independent voters. Hillary certainly appeared more classically presidential, but is that a benefit this year? The pundits and the professional class on social media went nuts last night saying she won a big victory, but I don’t think she landed any knockout blows.

      In a sense, there were such low expectations of Trump that for him to fight to a draw is actually a win – and I think we’ll see that play out over the next week of polls.

      1. Optimader

        I agree with both of you. I’ll leave technical analysis of who “won” the debate to the debate society because we know that does not neccesarily correspond to revealing truth.

        Afterall, a debate that the earth is flat can be “won” by the flat earth society if the metric is purely based on debate points.

        Trump seemed unprepared for some simple deflections, birther, Iraq (excuse me, how many ppl on stage voted for that travesty, Hillary did you?), and he amazingly didn’t challenge her on The Clinton Foundation-money laundering-fake charitable contributions (paraphrasing Orwell, it’s really not charity if you have to put it in ppl’s faces), her lecturing us about the necessity of perpetual war, her expertise on the subject of IT /cyber security when she claims she can’t use a vanilla email program (oh my, the irony), Libya (“we came, we saw…,) the roots of ISIS and on and on..

        OTOH when is a sht eating grin a valid debate response to direct questions – serious questions about a pattern of terrible judgement while serving in public office, indeed breaking sworn oaths? It’s all such a blatant history.

        Why she would tacidly endorse her staff to take the 5th??- wide eyed grin… go check my webpage! Point won? Really??

        Trump wasnt slaughtered but he surely let a greased pig escape the pen while running the clock out on w/ his repetitious retreats to rhetoric in his business acumen comfort zone.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          The polls today are odd, with many showing a Trump win, but many people would not have seen Trump speak before except in the worst little soundbites extracted by the MSM. Hearing him talking somewhat reasonably, even on the defensive from his two opponents, may have been a revelation for many.

    2. curlydan

      I watched the first 30 minutes of the debate before kids’ bedtimes and my frustration set in. I give a small advantage to the Donald as well. Here are some thoughts:
      -Clinton has the least presidential walk of all time…kind of a waddle
      -Clinton’s eyes did have trouble tracking together for the first 5 minutes or so. And she rarely, at first, looked directly into the camera. But she definitely won the battle of the hair–nice highlights.
      -I thought the Donald made some good points/blows on trade, NAFTA, and the TPP. Things that could really pick up some votes. Nothing like blaming the rest of the world for our problems.
      -I kept begging HRC to simply call the Donald what he is: A salesman and a good one. But the kind of salesman that wants the voters to sign on the dotted line and worry about the details until later. The Donald has no details. Hillary weakly tried to talk about this but could only encourage her supporters to check her website (yawn!)
      -While HRC would take notes to land punches later, the Donald never took notes (at least in the first 30 minutes). That’s not his style. He keeps one point in his head then starts rambling–e.g. he went off on Yellen and the Fed (somewhat rightfully), but his response was out of the blue and not pertinent to the question asked.
      -The Donald’s interruptions were throwing HRC off a bit. She would have been better served just to stop, glare, and ask for the moderator to step in. Holt was kind of losing control early.
      -And yeah, Bernie would have destroyed the Donald tonight.

      1. Vatch

        -And yeah, Bernie would have destroyed the Donald tonight.

        As John Greenleaf Whittier said:

        For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
        The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

        (Sorry if this becomes a duplicate. Cloudflare flared when I first posted it.)

    3. Mike

      “The one moment I woke up was when Trump said the Fed is political and is creating a massive bubble. Can’t disagree.”

      While agree that the current monetary situation is bad and getting worse, I disagree in sentiment. I don’t think the Fed had a lot of choice, and probably won’t in the future. At the moment they seem to be the only adults in the room. Until our dysfunctional government can figure out the benefits of some fiscally sound programs we will remain in this mess.

  10. SeanL

    This was not the debate Trump had to win, all he needed to do was hold his ground. If anything he needs to remain the underdog until the last debate.

  11. Donald

    The biggest loser of the debate was Scott Adams, who has been pushing this propaganda meme that Trump acts the way he does by choice, because he is a ” master persuader” and only people like Adams trained in such techniques can see it. In reality it’s obvious Trump acts the way he does because he is a narcissistic buffoon who can’t control himself for more than a few minutes at a time and he’s gotten this far because millions of Americans are angry and frustrated by the more normal sort of lying corrupt politician.

    1. Roger Smith

      Scott Adams’ continued analysis has been interesting. It doesn’t need to be absolutely correct to have value. What we don’t need is more pundits repeating the same cliche meme’s they have been about Trump. I can appreciate that Adams is giving it his own serious consideration.

      I don’t hold anything to it personally, but I still thing Adams’ analysis could hold for Trump’s performance if Trump is treating the debates as a microcosm of the approach Adam’s has already detailed (starts off extreme and works his way down to the final debate).

      1. Donald

        Scott makes an occasional valid point, but they come wrapped in so much obviously manipulative smarmy BS I can barely stand to read him. Replace his name with either of the candidates and I’ve just described the entire campaign and most of the mainstream commentary.

        But for me personally Adams is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Tom describes his style perfectly.

        1. Foy

          “Scott makes an occasional valid point, but they come wrapped in so much obviously manipulative smarmy BS I can barely stand to read him.”

          I reckon Adams would say you might want to check if you are feeling any cognitive dissonance at this time (fingernail chalkboards!)?

          His whole point is that emotions, not logic, rule our collective minds and that Master Persuaders use manipulative BS to sway emotions and opinions. It is all BS, that is the art of it. Using rationality and detailed truths to persuade usually fails when emotional phrasing is used against them, especially when it comes to elections and large groups of people. Getting into details and reasoning fails in this environment almost every time. He’s not saying it’s right or wrong, its just that that’s what works with mass psychology.

          And it grates, like fingernails on a chalkboard, because we want to believe that truth and rationality would win. But it explains why, time and again, people end up supporting and believing in so many things that are demonstrably against their interests. Emotion trumps rationality. And BS is an effective way target emotions…

      2. ahimsa

        I enjoy Adams’ alternative ‘psychological’ take. Most will agree that communication goes well beyond the facts to incorporate body language, tone, register, rhythmn, confirmation bias, prejudices, etc., etc.

        Have only watched some highlight clips but the optics for me:
        Clinton’s perma-grin came off as smug and condescending (attempting to keep above the fray?), while Trump, came across as impassioned, often struggling with detail.

        Rationally, Clinton scored the points but, in a year of protest against the establishment, Trump likely scores points for taking the fight to the (wo)man on the hill.

    2. Tom

      Ah, but if only you too had achieved Ninja-level persuasion skills, then you too could have marveled at Trump’s deep mastery of all the tools and techniques that are available to only a small group of adepts, such as Scott Adams.
      On the other hand, you may be right that Trump’s nothing more than a narcissistic buffoon, who accidently stumbled in front of a parade and mistakenly thought he was leading it.

        1. Harry

          In my experience Ninja level salesmen aka “persuaders” are weapons grade assholes who should be beaten on the soles of their feet and then run out of town.

          I have yet to meet one I liked and I have met several who made me ask myself what my chances of being caught were if I killed them.

          Adams could be right about Trump and still too tedious to read. And if you liked this comment you should buy my book.

          1. Jess

            “I have yet to meet one I liked and I have met several who made me ask myself what my chances of being caught were if I killed them.”

            Been there, thought that as well.

    3. Carla

      Actually, the biggest losers are the American people. And I think Illargi’s post, Why There Is Trump, in today’s Links, nails it.

      Please consider voting Green so that maybe the Greens will get federal matching funds in 2020.

    4. ewmayer

      I thought Adams’ post last night on one thing that caught his eye – to the effect that Trump scored points with black folks because he dared mention that their lives had, by and large, gotten worse under 0bama – was pretty silly because IMO he more than negated that with his stop-and-frisk inanity.

      By comparison, today’s post-mortem is better, in that it frames things in terms of “what problem did each candidate need to solve?” in the first debate. In that light, Trump’s kid-gloves approach on most things he could have hammered HRC with makes more sense. But I still can’t help feel that it’s a big rationalization for a yuuuuuuuuge fail – as Adams himself so likes to note, we irrational humans operate like so: ‘gut feel’ subconscious decides ‘outcome’, often almost instantly based (say) on a person’s appearance, a facial expression, a tic, something that seems ‘off’ – then our conscious mind busily constructs a narrative rationalizing our ‘choice’.

      Link to today’s missive: I Score the First Debate | Scott Adams’ Blog … “Clinton won the debate last night. And while she was doing it, Trump won the election. He had one thing to accomplish – being less scary – and he did it.”

    5. Lambert Strether

      I don’t understand the vehemence. There are plenty of pundits I enjoy reading because they have distinctive sensibilities and strong opinions. Nooners is one such; Scott Adams is another.

      “Take what you like and leave the rest” applies in many, many cases.

      Adding, the framing (paraphrasing) that “Trump’s task was to appear not scary, which he did by losing” is ingenious, but the reasoning strikes me as a bit tortured. If Trump know how to win, wouldn’t he want to win the debate (as well as the election), and win the debate without looking scary? Surely there was a way to do that?

  12. Carolinian

    Some excellent “plague on both their houses” rants in links today. However the fact remains that for some of us this election is all about Hillary and Trump is the last unHillary standing. In that sense it doesn’t matter that he’s the bozo we always thought he was. If the Dems can’t stand up to Reagan style voodoo economics now–after all that’s gone down–they never will. Which is to say Trump’s economic agenda is a lot less likely to happen than Hillary’s try to conquer the world agenda. On the sanity question and frankly the fascism question she’s way scarier than he is.

    That said it is a tragic shame that we don’t have better choices.

    1. Sam Adams

      Trump is hobbled day one of his election. Clinton knows how to operate the levers of power. Hot War follows.

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘frankly the fascism question she’s way scarier than he is’

      On the other hand, Trump repeatedly mentioned both “law & order” and “stop & frisk” as beautiful things.

      This is the rhetoric that gave us the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 from Nixon/Agnew, the original “law & order” scary clown duo.

      It’s easy to imagine Trump, with the little martinet Rudy Giuliani as his adviser, rolling out some equally awful federal legislation to crack down on “inner city” (Trump’s favorite code word for A-A’s) crime, while making sure that good, hard-working white folks can keep their guns.

      James Comey and the NRA helped pioneer such a program with Operation Exile in Virginia. Trump could be the one to take it nationwide. Trump is the health of the Gulag.

      1. Carolinian

        Guess I agree with Maureen Dowd. Trump is a Toon. Given the many and often contradictory things he has said it’s hard know which ones to take seriously. Perhaps this notion of reassuring unseriousness is naive–and fortunately deciding won’t be up to me. However I do think at this point the less our future President does the better. You once praised Calvin Coolidge and maybe we need a Pres who has “gone fishin.” Given the country’s political dysfunction the less the politicians offer by way of salvation the better. For example the Dodd-Frank “reform” may have made things worse just as Obamacare has.

        Of course Trump claims to be a take charge guy but opposition to him will be rabid. And you have to wonder how committed he is to anything other than getting elected (if that even). But if he does plow ahead then the presence of people like Giuliani and Woolsey is disturbing, I’ll admit.

  13. philnc

    Tried watching debate via Young Turks, but they were as boring as the main feed. By chance I hit the Jill Stein 2016 reddit and found a link to her live Periscope feed. It made much more interesting viewing. The basic pattern was that you’d hear Lester ask a question and then Trump or Clinton drone on until Jill (and her local audience) couldn’t stand it anymore, whereupon Jill would either take apart their answer or just give her own response. When the question or responses went totally off the rails and into gossip or personal attacks, Jill took the opportunity to talk about real issues that got short shrift on the stage in Hempstead. After the debate was over Jill responded to live questions from (mostly) young voters. By the end I couldn’t help feeling that Jimmy Dore (and a lot of other Green supporters) who probably didn’t even know it was happening really missed out. Maybe next time.

    1. Unorthodoxmarxist

      There were 10k people on the Stein livestream last night, which wasn’t bad. She and Gary Johnson are on Democracy Now this morning!

  14. Tom

    If Trump had done even the most basic homework prior to the debate, he could have slaughtered Clinton. For example, on the cyber security question, he could have worked these points into his answer:
    1. Listening to Clinton talk about the need for cyber security is rich, isn’t it? By her own admission, she barely knows how to use a computer. She lost track of a dozen or so devices filled with sensitive information during her tenure as Secertary of State and routinely used her devices while traveling in or near known state-sponsored hackers.
    2. She routinely flouted all established rules regarding the use of email during her tenure as Secretary of State. She maintained a private email server in her basement, which was hacked once that we know of, with dozens of other hacking attempts made on it over years — none of which she reported as required. And we should listen to her ideas for cyber security?
    3. And three — and this is a big one — Clinton wants to go to war with Russia or China if they hack into U.S. computers? Really? For one, it’s tough to be sure who these hackers are. Secondly, does that mean the U.S. is going to unilaterally stop our hacking attempts into all foreign governments or countries? Because by Clinton’s reasoning, if we can attack someone for hacking into us, then they can attack us for hacking into them. It’s insane — Clinton wants to start more wars, whether we know who is guilty or not! Haven’t we all had enough of this shoot first, ask questions later foreign policy?

    1. fresno dan

      September 27, 2016 at 8:43 am

      Exactly right Tom.
      I was tremendously annoyed with Trump – he had a target rich environment where the most perfunctory preparation would have given him more talking points than he could state in 90 minutes, instead of all the CO2 expelled by his repetitive yammering.

      AND, Trump got to where he is by being the repub who challenged Jeb! ‘s bother as the one “who kept us safe” – but now Trump has decided to go back (except for trade) as a STANDARD repub.
      I think that in the final analysis is what will defeat him. He truly broke convention by not giving us more warmongering during the primaries, but he has reached the point where he is almost indistinguishable from Hillary/Jeb!

      1. Tom

        It’s dawning on me that he is worse than Hillary and Jeb, because they can at least say all the proper words (even though it’s all empty rhetoric, at least they can sound like politicians).
        Holt served up pitch after pitch to Trump, slow and right down the middle of the plate. And Trump whiffed on pretty much every one. That pisses me off. This election is Trump’s to lose, and last night he showed that he is unwilling to make even a token effort to bone up on domestic and foreign policy. He doesn’t need to be wonk, but he has to be able to say more than, “I will lead so hard, you won’t believe it!”

    2. Praedor

      Cybersecurity to a Clinton means backdoors. Remember the Clipper Chip. Hillary will be full-on in favor of banning or back-dooring encryption (though, idiots just don’t get it, they cannot back-door the people’s encryption like OpenGP or PGP or similar. Open source is un-backdoorable and unbannable).

  15. LittleWoodenBoy

    All of you are missing the point about why Trump held back. The only objective he had at this debate was to show that he could control his temperament and to save his ammo for the 2nd and 3rd debates. He succeeded. It doesn’t matter that HIllary won the debate. She wasn’t persuasive, at all. I expect he will be much tougher at the 2nd and 3rd debates. This was essentially a form of rope-a-dope. Hillary threw the kitchen sink at him, Trump took the hits, and now Hillary has little ammo for the 2nd and 3rd debates. If Trump comes out of this unscathed, what can Hillary possibly say or do? Nothing. Trump is an effing shark, and has proven it time and time again, and people think that he isn’t anymore just because of one debate where he held back strategically? Get real. LOL

    1. Tom

      I don’t think he held back as much as he had nothing to say after trotting out his well-used applause lines. I hope I’m wrong on that but I’m getting worried. Because there’s no reason to hold back on Clinton — she presents such a target-rich environment that he could have whaled on her all night and not run out of devastating comments to make about her political track record. It’s one thing to lure an opponent in with a show of weakness, but it’s another to miss a huge opportunity in front of 100 million viewers to rock an opponent back on her heels. If he’s really got that sort of long-term game plan you suggest, then he has ice in his veins.

    2. Waldenpond

      These are the same statements from the primary. Sanders (Trump) will go after Clinton next time! Sanders (Trump) is new to the large debate stage, he’ll do better next time! Sanders (Trump) has so much ammo, he never uses it!

    3. Lambert Strether

      > where he held back strategically

      Not sure the “I have the best temperament!” and the whole Beauty Queen thing was very strategic. This talking point has the air of a post facto rationalization, to me. Why not just win the debate, and look good doing it?

      And just to deploy the old quote: “Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics.” Clearly (and with all that money, they should be able to) the Clinton campaign studied logistics in a way that Trump did not. Better preparation, better integration between the debate and their media surrogates, Brock’s troll Army…

  16. Myron

    Trump got some softball questions and whiffed…he had some great opportunities to work in the Wall St speeches and take the heat off his business but couldn’t. He really could have hammered her on the cyber security issue with a few more jabs at the email scandal.

    1. Lambert Strether

      The contrast showed in Clinton’s very well-briefed assault on Trump’s failure to release his tax returns. Where was Trump’s equally powerful assault on either email or the Clinton Foundation?

  17. rich

    Notes From Underground: Merkel’s Boner, Take Two

    It seems that 108 years is enough time to pass to relive history. For those who are not sports fans, Merkle’s Boner is a famous mistake made by New York player Fred Merkel, who didn’t touch second base and was called out erasing the “fact” that the New York Giants had beaten the Chicago Cubs. The major GAFFE led to the Cubs beating the Giants and the CUBS moving to the World Series where they defeated the Detroit Tigers for their last World Series championship only 108 years ago.

    Today we have the Cubs in first place and another MAJOR BONER, this time by a different Merkel, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In a Bloomberg article on September 24, reporter Patrick Donahue cited a piece from Focus Magazine that said Chancellor Merkel “ruled out any state assistance for Deutsche Bank.” This is a major “boner” on the part of Frau Merkel for it shows a severe lack of understanding about the financial implications of her false stance on appearing to side against bailing out a financial giant. The Chancellor’s words will ring HOLLOW if in fact Deutsche bank has to come begging for state support to secure its existence.

    The systemic importance of Deutsche Banks would render the Lehman debacle a mere accounting error.
    Deutsche is PROBABLY the most leveraged institution in the world and if it failed the reverberations would rock Tokyo, China, London and Wall Street.
    Every financial actor has exposure to Deutsche Bank rendering Merkel’s political posturing an act of colossal stupidity, especially as the global economic system is in a highly fragile state. ECB President Draghi must have sighed in disbelief as his “guardian angel” jeopardized the entire ECB effort at creating the backdrop of “whatever it takes.” Time magazine named Chancellor Merkel its person of the year in 2015 but I will nominate her as the FOOL of the decade for failing to understand the global financial system. I GUARANTEE THAT DEUTSCHE WILL BE BAILED OUT BY THE GERMAN POLITICAL SYSTEM.

    Should go under Wolf Richter’s post.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      Deutsche Bank has put Merkel between a rock and a hard spot, hasn’t it? Merkel is desperately trying to stick to her neoliberal roots and is determined to wait for the “invisible hand” to right Deutsche Bank and keep Europe’s economy from failing. Wonder when she’s going to finally figure out that the “invisible had” is attached to her own wrist?

    2. begob

      Anyone got a link to a summary of Deutsche’s decline since 2008? I used to follow the news on them, when everyone was pointing out they were the most leveraged of all and in trouble with Greek debt. But can-kicking drained my stamina.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        Not sure what you are looking for. The internet is short on long term comparative history for any financial institution. You might have to look at each year separately and combine the information yourself.
        But, since you mentioned leveraging, perhaps this:
        Zero Hedge has been following Deutsche consistantly, you might look there…

    3. lyman alpha blob

      I was very surprised at this bit from Richter’s article:

      “If shares drop below €9.10 [currently at €10.49], the bank’s market capitalization will sink below the potential $14 billion hiccup with the DOJ.”

      With its penchant for not prosecuting and slap on the wrist fines, it makes me wonder if someone at the DOJ had a fat finger when typing up their press release and accidentally added two or three extra zeros to the potential settlement amount.

    4. Chauncey Gardiner

      Regarding Deutsche Bank, how prescient Leonard Cohen’s lyrics were as the EU core becomes the periphery: “First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin” —Leonard Cohen, “First We Take Manhattan” (1987)

  18. Angry Panda

    I was anticipating that Trump would fall 5% in the polls based on his poor showing last night. But I spoke to a political scientist (a long-standing leftie who does not like either candidate) who surprised me by saying that neither one was trying to reach the other’s voters, and specifically, that Hillary didn’t give anyone a new reason to vote for her. If anything, he thought Trump might get a small uptick from the debate. So let’s see what the polls later this week say.

    This was pretty much my read.

    As an aside, I actually think Trump “won” the debate – debates are not about content, they are about spectacle, and Trump made this spectacle about himself (by dominating the air time, aggressively attacking and interrupting at every opportunity, etc.). Content doesn’t matter. Presentation does, and Hillary oftentimes just stood there while Trump talked, and talked, and talked, and talked, and when she had a chance to hit back she often either laughed or delivered one-liners that were kind of flat. So Trump managed to make this not just a spectacle but his spectacle, love him or hate him, forget this Hillary person. That, by definition, wins a debate in my book. But that is also besides the point because…

    …both really, really, really played not just to their “base” but to the very core of their base. Neither made any real attempts to reach, say, Sanders supporters (though Trump had a throw-away line there), independents-undecideds, basically anybody who wasn’t already loving them or hating them. There were a couple of brief allusions by Trump to repatriating corporate profits (tax-free) and funding the B-21 boondoggle, but you had to look for those in a sea of Trumpism and Trumposity. The short of it is that Trump is making a beeline for working class whites in the Rust Belt, Hillary is betting on minorities plus elites, with both hoping that at the end of the day everyone else will come to vote “against the other guy” whereas I suspect turnout will be pretty bloody low and the results tight and semi-random as a consequence.

    Whatever. Sod them both, as neither really either looked “presidential” or outlined an agenda that would really move the country into something resembling a decent direction.

    1. Unorthodoxmarxist

      Yea, I was checking off the boxes of different minorities when Hillary spoke. A laundry list of the new Dem coalition: minorities petrified of Republican rule held captive by the Democratic Party, the professional class and very wealthy donors. Trump hit the Republican talking points for his base and ran towards the Rust Belt swing states. Undecideds? They clearly did not care this debate.

  19. Anne

    Watching that debate last night…yeesh.

    I think the worst part is wrapping my head around the idea that this is what passes for the democratic process now. We have two terrible candidates, who are overwhelmingly deemed not trustworthy – and for good reason. In spite of that, millions of people actually voted for them. Millions of people actually believe that these are good candidates, fully qualified to hold the highest office in the land.

    I have no idea how anyone could watch Trump and think he “won” the debate. No idea. Lester Holt might as well have just put a life-size cardboard cut-out of himself in the chair, he was that useless – unless he had decided he was just going to give both of the candidates enough rope to hang themselves, and let the chips fall where they may.

    For all of Trump’s questioning of Clinton’s stamina, he sure looked to me like someone who hadn’t bothered to gas up before the trip and was running on fumes for the better part of an hour; he was nearly incoherent at times, just tossing words into the air and catching and throwing them out to the audience by the handful.

    One thing he’s apparently done again is try to take credit for not saying something, but getting to say it when explaining what it was he decided not to say. Hallie Jackson, in the post-debate reporting, said that she asked him about his comment during the debate that he had something he was going to say that he decided he couldn’t, and he revealed that he had planned to bring up Bill Clinton’s indiscretions, but changed his mind out of respect for Chelsea. And this was not a one-off aside to one reporter: she heard him say the same thing to reporters on the other side of the room.

    Seriously, is his entire response to the questions about his views of women best represented by telling us that Rosie O’Donnell deserved the comments he made about her? Does he truly believe an unconstitutional program – stop-and-frisk – will aid in healing the racial divide? Does he think that racism is just about crime?

    Clinton’s no picnic, either. I especially fear her bellicose tendencies, and I worry about her authoritarian tendencies. The Clinton Foundation, the e-mails, the speeches, the use of her government position to further the interests of Foundation donors, her tendency to think the rules are for other people. Henry Fking Kissinger, the long list of Republicans who wouldn’t be supporting her if they didn’t also support what she stands for. Her choice of Tim Kaine for VP, which to me says she has no real interest in a progressive, leftist agenda. None.

    I think Maryland will be sufficiently in the tank for Clinton that I will have the luxury of leaving my presidential ballot blank; I honestly do not believe there is a single candidate for the office who deserves my vote.

    What is it that Charlie Pierce always says? “This is your democracy, America – cherish it.”

    1. rich

      Political Succession and “The Bush-Clinton Nexus”: Permanent Criminal State, “A Clinton White House Guarantees War with Russia”

      Permanent Revolving Door

      by Larry Chin, Global Research:

      At a spring 2016 Republican debate attended by the Bushes, George H.W. “Poppy” Bush, looked directly at Donald Trump and gave him the “throat slit” gesture, the traditional threat of murder. The Bushes want the Clintons back in the White House.

      “Poppy” trusted them with Arkansas in the 1980s, and with the White House in the 1990s, and he can trust them with the marching orders again. A Hillary Clinton presidency guarantees that all the things that the New World Order wants done will continue to get done.
      End game

      The next president will likely be a criminal, in a long line of criminals, or a puppet that is controlled by these same criminal forces. There is no way that the New World Order will permit a government that is not crawling with its own members, infested with Bush and Clinton operatives.

      This is a virtual certainty, barring a total revolution that sees all members of the New World Order removed from power and punished, the CIA and other criminal entities shut down, an international cease fire, and an end to all wars.

      Elections are Fake

      Humanity faces an unprecedented crisis with little effective means to stop what is coming. There are no elections: votes do not and will not count. Elections are fake, and this one is no different. Elections are digitally hacked, rigged, and scripted, rigged the way they have for decades. There is no real choice in this charade anyway. One candidate is clearly and emphatically criminal. The other is not trustworthy and may be compromised.

      This is the most dangerous hour the world has faced. This is end game, with the future of the planet at risk.

      The final moves on the “Grand Chessboard” are before us: all of the Middle East and Central Asia, the world’s last reserves of oil, are in play, Syria is on the edge, Russia is under attack, and nuclear holocaust is a terrifying possibility. War with Russia and China are no longer “unthinkable”, but being planned in earnest.

      A Hillary Clinton White House guarantees war, and a triumph for the Criminal State.

      War itself is the enemy of the human race. Howard Zinn

      1. Anne


        I fear that while Clinton may engineer us into more war, Trump will stumble his way to the same place, led there by his mouth, which is under the control of an EOS (Ego-Operated System) with no checks/balances.

        Trump’s domestic agenda is a toxic soup of old and largely failed ideas, buttressed by wholly unworkable “plans” and looming economic disaster for the majority of the people. He may be more doveish on foreign policy, but he seems like he could easily foment a race war here in the US. Clinton will end up accepting TPP and its siblings, and will go back to thinking fracking isn’t so bad after all.

        On the bright side, I figure Clinton will be neck-deep in investigations and impeachment by the time the echo of her oath stops reverberating, so it’s possible she may have less chance to “get things done” than Trump will if he is elected.

        I can’t find a bright side with Trump – I have some concerns that Dems would continue to be terminally cooperative in the interest of bipartisanship, thus ensuring some success for the Trump agenda.

        How sad is it that the best we can hope for in either case is for gridlock to save us?

          1. cwaltz

            ll they’d have to do is flatter him and make him think it was his idea.

            Trump isn’t exactly what I’d consider sophisticated, manipulating him probably wouldn’t be too hard.

        1. hunkerdown

          As a performer, Trump plays to the audience. There is some likelihood that public sentiment can manage him far better than the bourgeois opposition Party (as if unaccountable oligarchs can be trusted to check other oligarchs at all) It seems far more likely that he’ll dispense bread to the “deserving” rather than just pats on the head — which is frankly something better than we’ve been getting at these hunger circuses.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > Trump’s domestic agenda is a toxic soup of old and largely failed ideas

          As Corey Robin has pointed out, Trump consolidated the Republican base by adopting the (same old, shopworn) conservative policies. “Git tough on crime,” etc.

          1. LifelongLib

            His platform was Republican well back in the primaries, especially on taxes, health care, and government spending.

      2. crittermom

        “…a total revolution that sees all members of the New World Order removed from power and punished, the CIA and other criminal entities shut down, an international cease-fire, and an end to all wars.”

        I suspect citizens of just about every country–including those most recently living in one affected by war, as well as the USA as we stare in disbelief at ‘our’ choices to best represent us, feel that way.

        I’m feeling physically nauseous over this ‘election’.
        I want my country back!

    2. JohnnyGL

      Honestly, he was only slightly shabbier than he was during some of the Republican debates, really. Lots of focus on himself, bragging, defending his business record and personal statements, dropping easily disproved lies for the media to throw fits about, being sort of funny while doing so, and launching attacks that sort of hit the mark, but where you see lots of potential missed opportunities to make the attacks sharper and more effective.

      It’s like the link on trade from above made the point….he’s really got Clinton on the ropes early and she’s squirming and knowing she’s vulnerable, and he presses the issue, smelling blood in the water, but then he misses the mark for most of the rest of the evening and we have to listen to a terrible eye-rolling agenda like tax cuts for the wealthy, de-regulation, and stop-and-frisk. Does the Republican base even believe in that stuff, anymore?

      1. cwaltz

        The funny thing is they elected the un status quo candidate, who apparently is selling the status quo ideas.

        You gotta love the irony, which is probably entirely lost on the right, of the idea that what the right “really” needs is the right personality selling their failed ideas.

  20. craazyman

    I had a great time last night watching math videos on youtube! What debate? What is there to debate? Everything is so obvious, except improper integrals — as basic as they are — can be sort of subtle. It’s not quite obvious why an area under a curve all the way down the x axis to infinity can actually have a limiting value. That’s a bit strange, really.

    What other than that isn’t obvious? Well. One thing is the progression of virtue through time. That’s the messianic delusion right there, the progression of something outside of time through time, entering into time at some particular moment. Why then? and Not Now? That’s a contradiction or at least a confusion. Evidently each person has to figure it out for themselves and there’s no grand Messiah to make it all OK. What isn’t obvious about that?

    Why do we even need politicians? Why do we even need leaders? Because people haven’t figured it out for themselves, evidently. That’s obvious. What’s no so obvious is why. That’s a deep thought. hahahahahah. That’s the thought you have when you ride a bus at night alone down an empty street in a strange city in your mind, to nowhere. “Hey bus driver”. He doesn’t say anything either,. He just drives.

  21. Clive

    Oh, wow, a sea turtle ! (in the Antidote). One of my favourite animals. It reminds me of about the only time I ever actually lost my temper with any Japanese while in Japan. It’s very difficult to get cross with the Japanese, it’s seen, rightly, as childish and you really need to be a native speaker to pull off a proper hissy fit in Japanese. I was walking along a beautiful beach one evening and one of the resort hotels has organised what approximated to a beach cook-out type of event. There was the usual take-out / picnic kind of fare, but in a firepit in the sand there was what — it had been, anyway — the most beautiful turtle that had been cooked in its shell.

    Now, I’m as tolerant of other cultures and cultural norms as they come but this was just gross. It was the gratuitous lack of necessity that did it for me. And I know that a lot of Japanese appreciate that one simply should not causally eat endangered wildlife (not all, but many do). For some reason, uncharacteristically, I gave the revellers a good piece of my mind. I was aiming for a broadside along the lines of “why are you being such stupid, ignorant country bumpkins?” (I said something like どうして そんなに 馬鹿な 事が できるんですか? 田舎者だよ!) but I probably didn’t get it quite right. And in any case, I’d have been written off as a gaijin (foreigner) who couldn’t be expected to understand. Anyhow, I don’t know about them, but I certainly felt better.

    I have the same reaction to people who go around on “safaris” shooting “dangerous” “wild” creatures.

    1. nycTerrierist

      Good on you, Sir. Sad to hear about the turtle.

      People who do such hateful things deserve a chewing out, at the very least.

    1. hunkerdown

      To the NYT, “business” === US Chamber of Commerce members. The local bourgeoisie don’t exist unless they’re selling lugzhury imported products to the deserving upper-middle internationalists.

  22. maria gostrey

    i thought the debate was like being back in 1st grade with that 1 kid who always acted out & the teacher repeating his name every time she was forced to acknowledge him.

    “donald” she kept saying, sometimes with a weary patience, but often with a barely-concealed smirk.

    belligerant versus condescending. what a choice.

  23. justanotherprogressive

    Any “false-flag” believers here? I have a couple of relatives who very much believe Trump is a “put up” candidate to ensure Clinton’s win and their comments on Facebook before the debate were interesting. They believed that Trump was supposed to loose this debate and that his prime objective was to show that Clinton had command of the issues, and that she was healthy and had plenty of “stamina”. Since there were questions about her being “presidential”, this debate was to alleviate any doubts.
    I did not watch the debates (there ARE some things I just can’t stomach) so I don’t know how they went. Any comments?

    1. charles leseau

      It’s something I think about quite a bit, yes, but I’m no “believer.” More of a fence sitter and doubter. I have problems trusting a lot of what I see though. There have been far too many major hustlers, con artists, and liars exposed throughout history for me to be too trusting, and I do think that the major media presentation of almost any news item, cultural review, or world event is always a Plato’s Cave issue at the very least. I don’t even trust (“believe in”) the electoral process. I see no reason why I should believe all the votes are counted perfectly and honestly over why I should believe that it’s all just a major scam.

      One thing I think needs looking at is media exposure. I feel sometimes like I’m the only one who predicted long, long ago that Trump would win the Republican nomination – and I mean within weeks after he entered the race. Why did I make that prediction? Because the major news media were already running something like 5 to 10 stories about him every day and practically ignoring Jeb, Cruz, Carson, etc. It doesn’t matter that they were all too often negative stories. When people only hear about one person ad infinitum, that’s what they tend to talk about. It’s the same reason there will never be a strong third party. The media will perpetually ignore them and give them chicken feed coverage at best.

      1. Praedor

        I waver on this one. Bill Pervert Clinton DID talk him into running, afterall. They are (were?) friends before. Scum stick together like…scum.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Could someone give me an idea of what the quid would be in that pro quo situation? What could they offer Señor Trump that would be more valuable to him than the vanity of being POTUS?

      1. jrs

        He gets to start a media business when it’s all over with his greatly increased notoriety. That and well there is probably just straight pay off involved. Of course there is not proof of any of this.

      2. crittermom

        Perhaps Trump, despite all his blustering, knows that he’d be in over his head as POTUS so the ego stroke of him even running is all that he really wanted? It’s already brought him into the spotlight and maybe he intends to just build upon that?

        Does he get a huge tax write-off for “loaning” his money to his campaign? (Remember, he said he ‘loaned’ it, not ‘donated’ it)

        Did they promise to let him build a Hotel on the WH lawn? (Hey, she rented out the Lincoln BR, didn’t she?)

        Who knows?
        ‘We’, meaning the 99%, are not privy to such information.
        But there’s been a stench to me surrounding this entire campaign that I keep tracing back to the Clinton’s. That’s the only thing I feel sure of.

      3. hunkerdown

        Don’t lend credence to neoliberal definitions of corruption. Family friendship and mutual class interest is quite enough to explain it.

        Seems that fraternization between the Parties is not “good business”, but a Problem that should be beaten down like Black youths shouldn’t.

    3. Code Name D

      Clearly, my tinfoil hat is on tighter than yours. I have wondered if Trump wasn’t selected by HRC to be the Republican nominee from the beginning. There is no real evidence for this of course. All though the claim that Bill told Trump to run gives me pause. (Got a link for that?) But consider that early on, of the whole clown-car, Trump was the only candidate that Clinton was regularly out-polling. And Trump mostly won because of all the free media attention that he got. We do have evidence that the DNC did manipulate the media to shut out Sanders. It hardly seems infeasible to do the reverse with Trump.

      Again, there is no real evidence this happened.

      Nor is it necessary to explain Trump’s nomination. The Republican base also revolted against their establishment candidates. As bad as Trump was – he was the ONLY candidate that even challenged the status-quo. He didn’t win because he was the most conservative of the bunch; he won because he was the most connected to the real world – the one where free trade cost jobs and not create them.

      The voters are demanding real change. And let’s face it; Trump is the best opportunity for change to come along in decades. True, it could be change for the worse, but change all the same.

      And I fear that electing Trump may be the last chance for peaceful revolution. The conservatives in my circle are becoming more vocal about armed revolt. If Clinton wins by voter suppression, then we may find ourselves truly crossing the Rubicon.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > The voters are demanding real change. And let’s face it; Trump is the best opportunity for change to come along in decades. True, it could be change for the worse, but change all the same.

        Which is why the armchair cynicism of “false flag” is almost always disempowering. As it is here.

    4. crittermom

      I, too, have suspected that for quite some time. That he agreed to do it to ‘ensure’ her win (and stroke his ego by participating in the biggest ‘reality show’ ever).
      The Clinton’s attended Trump’s wedding; BC spoke with Trump just before Trump announced his running; Trump continues to back off when he could strike; Trump “loaned” money to his campaign (will that afford him a tax write-off?)…
      Not 100% convinced of that, but certainly not ruling it out.

      If that’s true, then I’ve no doubt the Clinton’s are in shock that the polls are so close, as they’re so far removed from the majority of people they STILL don’t understand why the 99% are not happy.

      If Trump’s numbers continue to challenge hers and he has to pull out for some ‘personal’ reason (like a wife or daughter ‘suddenly’ having severe health problems, perhaps?), that would confirm it was all a ruse.

      The knots in my stomach continue to worsen, as this election progresses.
      I truly fear that Hellary will get in, and there will be no more elections as she takes on Putin.

      If Trump gets in, I still live in fear.
      This is all just so wrong…

    5. jrs

      Of course what the false flag would mean if it were true is what is becoming kind of obvious now, we only have one “real” candidate, which is Clinton, not a good candidate but the only one really running. Which would make the U.S. presidential race a one party state, of the kind the U.S. used to mock. The ballots may as well just have Clinton’s name on them. Please no laughs if she gets 100% of the vote. We live in the worlds greatest democracy.

  24. Ché Pasa

    To the extent I watched — I do have what’s known as a “life” after all — I thought the thing was less surreal than, say, Chuck Todd declared it to be.

    As long as you could cut through the posturing and bullshit, it was easy enough to see that Trump’s criticisms of Hillary’s policies were mostly on point as were her criticisms of his practices (just “business”). From that perspective, it was all very polite and genteel. After all, these people travel in some of the same circles, know and admire many of the same people, and work for similar political and economic objectives. Their “debate” is more about mechanics and process than it is about goals.

    Trump clearly is out of his political league, but that’s hardly news. That’s a known quantity that some consider to be to his advantage. If the polls are correct, something is obviously working in his favor — and would be, I think, even if the Clinton Hate weren’t so strong.

    The closest comparison I can think of is the Reagan phenomenon of 1966 when it was axiomatic that this actor/spokesmodel for GE didn’t have a chance against seasoned pro/master politician Pat Brown, incumbent Governor of California.

    The shock waves that ran through the state the morning after the election and tsunami that overwhelmed the political establishment in California is hard to grasp today. Nearly sixty years of Progressive rule in California was set to be dismantled, beginning with public education and not stopping to this day.

    The shock was that Reagan was elected at all. It was widely considered to be impossible. Yet it happened in part because of the rise of the hippies, the riots in the ghettos, and the nascent student rebellion against the war and so much else that had gone wrong in the country.

    The election of Reagan was seen by the voters as a slap in the face to a failed (Progressive) status quo, and it didn’t matter who was harmed as voters lashed out at their rulers.

    Much the same dynamic took place in the 1980 election for president which Reagan won handily — but not so shockingly. The antipathy toward Carter’s failures was enhanced by media such as nightly “America Held Hostage” reports on the teevee.

    Will a similar dynamic lead to a Trump election this year? I don’t know, but I’ll say this: the dissatisfaction with the establishment is almost as strong today as it was in 1966 in California and 1980 nationally. The reasons for it are different, but the dynamic can’t be denied.

    Trump would be a disaster on many levels for many Americans, and his stable of neoLibCon warmongers and looters would be let loose to spread their misery and destruction far and wide.

    Clinton’s ascension, however, would mean no improvement in the lives of most Americans, and her stable of neoLibCon warmongers and looters would have a festival of misery and leave their own trail of destruction in their wake.

    How voters choose between them, I have no idea. They are both ultimately monstrous. And that is emblematic of the government they seek to oversee.

    Strap in, it’s gonna be a rough ride…

      1. Antifa

        Ruby Sales explains Trump as a figurehead of a crisis in white America. Being white used to be magical, something that granted you special powers and access, open doors, an easy life.

        That’s a lie now, and Trump is just an expression of the anger whites feel at being treated just like everybody else — another rube at the carnival, getting your pockets picked at every turn.

        1. jrs

          I’m sure being white is still an advantage, at job interviews, with law enforcement etc.. But any sort of secure economics hasn’t existed in the lifetime of most voters. I do think having a college degree etc. used to be an advantage and less so now.

          1. hunkerdown

            jrs, never mind bourgeois finishing school. The value of college is zero outside of a bourgeois society. People were much better off when inventing happened in garages than when innovation happened in conference rooms and cubicles.

        2. hunkerdown

          She would, wouldn’t she?

          It seems a little too easy to conflate whites being angry at being treated like everyone else with whites being angry at being treated like shit. It’s a pernicious move and I wish people would stop trying to net us out.

          1. Antifa

            Agreed. There are a whole lot of white Americans who grasp that they are just people. Not special people, not owners of the nation. Just citizens. They don’t think twice about joining hands with other citizens to make progress for everybody.

            But about half or more of white Americans think being white means they deserve special care. They get to go to the front of the line, always. These are literally the people of Walmart; living hand to mouth, broadly ignorant, TV-educated people who think what was good enough for grandpappy is good enough forever.

            It’s scary talking to them about the real causes of “what hurts,” as Ruby Sales says. I’ve tried it, and they don’t want to hear it. The best you can hope for is that they write you off as an idiot who doesn’t understand that it’s all the people on welfare who’re to blame.

            We’re going to see a great deal of these people in the news if Hillary takes this upcoming election. They’ll perceive that as outright theft of their birthright, something well worth fighting to keep or to take back.

            Seeing their ownership of the nation slip through their fingers, dollar by dollar, and seeing the world move so astonishingly fast beyond anything they can keep up with only stirs their rage and hatred.

            Rage and resentment which there are politicians aplenty to pick up and point at blacks, Hispanics, single moms, LGBT people, Muslims, even atheists and agnostics and humanists (all Commies to the core). These people don’t want progress; they want everything put back to where it used to be.

            All they need is a real politician in 2020 (not Trump) to lead them back to their Promised Land where a man could get a factory job right out of high school and retire in thirty years with his mortgage paid off, a pension, and to hell with everybody else.

            “Na ga happen.” Even if we elect a Fuhrer in 2020.

            1. okanogen


              Thank you for that link. That is exactly what is going on, and it is seductive as hell even for some on the “left” to shine on Trump’s fog-horn racism to praise his populism and wanting to throw a wrench in the works. But appeasing white bigotry, even if driven from the working class is not the way to do change the world for the better.
              The demographics are changing and I think there are a whole lot of people who see that this is their last chance to lock in (through the Supreme Court, etc.) a racist, euro-centric America. Just like they did in California under Reagan. Trump is the flag-bearer for the alt-right movement and that is their agenda.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Trump is quite conscious of his Reagan parallels, mentioning Reagan by name, and also advocating his military build-up (though without Reagan’s brilliant “600-ship navy” catchphrase).

      Never mind that expanding the bloated US military budget is totally incompatible with controlling the $20 trillion debt that so disturbs Trump.

      Problem is that federal debt was only about 35% of GDP at Reagan’s inauguration, versus close to 100% now. A Reagan-style tax cut + borrowing binge isn’t going to produce the boost it did back then.

      Why does Trump even want to be president, when he himself admits that we’re in a “big fat Bubble”? That’s a Roosevelt role, not a Reagan role.

    2. Carla

      “these people travel in some of the same circles, know and admire many of the same people”

      Pretty clear the Donald’s self-regard is so yuge that there is no room under that weird mop of hair for him to “admire” anyone else.

  25. mad as hell.

    Clinton-Trump debate: A degrading spectacle WSWS.

    Who won, who lost? Who is the lesser of two evils? Who is lying, who is telling the truth? Blah,blah, blah! The last paragraph of the above article says it all and anything else is just a waste of ink or electricity and time.

    “Both candidates are markers(sic) of a doomed democracy, a system that reached its apex somewhere in the past and has only now declined enough that everyone can see where we are. They’re us, people. We watched this happen, and we’ll be stuck trying to live with the results.”

    1. polecat

      Like I quoted last night ….”Into the Ditch …. TOGETHER !” is the trajectory I see happening …..
      .. even if, and it’s a BIG if, Jill Stein won the popular vote …… we, collectively, are headed for a boom/bust, stair-step downward path ….
      The laws of diminishing returns, as John Micheal Greer posits, is what we’re faced with … and how we deal with it is what matters most …

      From watching last night’s ‘debate’, leads me to think there is no way but down and over the cliff …. the US politically, and by extension, other portions of the world, will break up, and coalesce into different entities, just a matter of when, and to what degree …

      Unfortunately, it’s gonna be painful !!

      1. cwaltz

        If Jill Stein were to win the popular vote she’d have to deal with a Congress filled with DNC and RNC operatives on the payroll of the oligarchy.

        Hunker down because cleaning House(and Senate) isn’t going to be easy and putting ourselves back on a decent trajectory is going to take more than one election cycle.

        1. hunkerdown

          cwaltz, you’re laboring under the misapprehension that regular order has value when cleaning up a mess created outside of regular order. Stop LARPing the 18th century and start putting the living over the dead, please.

          1. cwaltz

            I have no idea what LARPing is and wasn’t around during the 18th century so I’m pretty sure I’m not channeling that particular time span.

            I am putting the living over the dead though when I caution people to remember that we didn’t get where we are in one election cycle as a result of one particular candidate, nor is one candidate going to fix this. Everyone appears to want an easy solution(elect Bernie or Jill and we win type thinking) and there isn’t going to be one.

  26. Expat

    Did anyone catch the hilarious pilot for the new series on tv? I missed the opening credits but it’s about two presidential candidates who are really funny. One is a narcissistic comb-over and the other is a political hack with bad dress sense. The pilot episode was just a debate. Great concept. I hope this keeps running. What’s it called, cuz I want to start watching regularly.

    Meanwhile, I have been traveling for a while. What’s up with the presidential campaign? I imagine that after the joke candidates last time around against Obama, the Republicans have come up with top-notch, respected and well-liked candidates. Meanwhile, some fresh blood, an outsider, would be great for the Democrats. I gotta go check a few websites.

    1. Elizabeth

      The name of the show is “Who’s the Biggest Loser.” I think poor ratings will shut it down pretty quickly.

      1. cwaltz

        Unfortunately, I think the show will last for several seasons because production is pretty cheap and the advertisers are willing to underwrite it.

        They’ll probably ditch one of the two main characters to save some money though

  27. Carolinian

    Some funny stuff in those Amazon reviews of Hillary’s book. Sez America: if we are cynical we have reason.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      I love Amazon’s “cynicism” or maybe it’s “irony” – they are listing the book as a Best Seller (at 1 1/2 stars, no less!) – such a good seller that in fact, they had to reduce the Kindle price to $4.99.
      Those reviews ARE hilarious (Hillaryous?) though!

      1. justanotherprogressive

        Forgot to mention – that’s 1 1/2 stars after over 3000 reviews by this morning…..apparently Amazon’s “fix” only resulted in increasing the total amount of negative reviews…

  28. mk

    Did Wells Fargo target seniors with its bogus-account scheme? Los Angeles Times (resilc)
    SPOT THE PATTERN: Wells Fargo did the same thing when they targeted people with good credit and steered them into subprime loans with the help of Tavis Smiley.

    And isn’t it funny that Tavis and West seems to Talk about everything bad that’s happening to the Black community, EXCEPT, Tavis’ part in the Wells Fargo “Ghetto Loan” scam where Tavis helped to herd over 30,000 Black and Hispanic homeowners into where they lost their homes AND their life savings? The Department of Justice said that it was the second biggest housing discrimination case on record:
    “On July 12, 2012 Charlie Savage reported in the New York Times that Wells Fargo Bank agreed to pay $175 million to settle the discrimination suit which, according to the Department of Justice, targeted over 30,000 Black and Hispanic borrowers for subprime loans with a higher interest rate than for similarly situated White borrowers between 2004 and 2009.”
    “Smiley was the keynote speaker, and the big draw, according to Boston [host of “Moneywise”] and Keith Corbett, executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, who attended two of the seminars. Smiley would charge up the audience — and rattle the Wells Fargo executives in attendance — by launching into a story about how he hated banks, and how they used to refuse to lend him money for his real estate projects in Compton, Calif., and elsewhere… But what appeared on the surface as a way to help black borrowers build wealth was actually just the opposite, according to a little-noticed explanation of the “Wealth Building” seminar strategy, contained in a lawsuit recently filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.”

    1. RabidGandhi

      From your linked article:

      Cornel West is one of the primary reasons the country is in the fix that it’s in. The Black community was doing pretty well under Clinton. Then during the 2000 election Ralph Nader and Cornel West teamed up and got Bush elected….
      So by criticizing Obama about the condition of the country, Cornel West is like a guy who walks into a restaurant and shits on the floor, and then calls the Health Department because the owner can’t get it up fast enough.

      Which is so deep into the DNC kool-aid that it barely needs comment.

      Tavis Smiley, meanwhile, did in fact talk about the Wells Fargo investment show in his book Fail Up, where has said he was used by WF.

        1. RabidGandhi

          Actually the article blames it on Nader, who was assisted by West, who was assisted by Smiley, who I assume must have been assisted by Putin.

  29. Katharine

    Pope Francis calls out journalists: Does the media needlessly foster fear? (+video)

    Should You Panic Over the Polls? Yes, You Should

    Asked (ungrammatically) and answered in two headlines. Yes the media needlessly foster fear. Panic over the polls is dumber than ditchwater, accomplishing nothing useful, spreading distress to others, and wasting time and energy that could be employed doing something interesting, creative, and beneficial.

    Didn’t these people’s parents ever read them the story of Chicken Little?

  30. Jim Hannan

    Perhaps an enterprising website could sponsor a contest for the best explanation for why T.rump won’t release his tax returns. Hillary shouldn’t have all the fun with her speculation last night. I still think it’s because the main source of T.rump income is royalties from Melania’s nude photo shoots.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I think the big reason it is will show he doesn’t have much cash flow, which is basically your point.

      However, he did release the value of his real estate properties, which is $3 billion and shockingly little borrowings on that (didn’t see it but a tax expert I trust told me, my memory is $700 million). You’d expect a guy like that to be leveraged a ton, to have well $2 billion in debt on that.

      But Hillary’s and other MSM insinuations are just off base. If Trump showed offshore accounts, that would mean he was playing all fair and square and reporting them. You would never see his loans on a tax return. And in any event, he has to report personal loans on his FEC filings, and those are the only ones that count from a “people can pressure you” standpoint. Non-recourse loans mean you lose the property against which you’ve borrowed, but they can’t go against your bank accounts or other property. Similarly, contra other barmy media assertions, you’d have no way to go from his tax returns to his net worth. Rich people can own lots of non-income producing property (houses, art, private jets) and if you hold a lot of Treasuries, you are also getting bupkis in income right now.

      One thing that occurred to me is that he might have lots of partnerships with sexist or racist names, like “Tits and Ass,” or “Better Bimbos,” or “Jim Crow”. I’m sure readers can way outdo me in the tacky names category.

  31. temporal

    I admit I didn’t watch the “debates” in part because like many of the people reading this I made up my mind a long time ago. Talking about a winner in this case is more akin to picking a leader using a game of tic-tack-toe. So I’ll choose ABC. Whether that means Trump, for the block, Stein or none of the above won’t be determined until the last moment.

    I don’t care that one candidate is a better lawyer than the other. The job of President has nothing to do with outscoring in debates with other leaders. I do care about Obama and Clinton cheer-leading for anti-left policies such as NAFTA and TPP while making themselves and their close friends richer. So long as Clinton-Bush-Obama maintains a firm grasp on what used to be the Democratic Party there is no chance that the long zombie rule of Reagan will be weakened.

    This is the same conclusion I reached when I learned that Obama had chosen Geithner just about eight years ago. I even voted for Bill Clinton – twice. For that I apologize.

    Also there zero chance of choosing the pro-TPP, Libertarian dude.

  32. Dr. Roberts

    I think the comments about refusing to bail out Deutsche Bank are a tactical move to strengthen DB’s negotiating position in the settlement process. If the DOJ negotiators are faced with a global financial crisis if the penalty is too severe, and the only way to save DB is an unexpectedly light punishment, they’ll have no other choice. This has the added benefit of allowing Merkel to score some political points, at least until the next existential threat to the bank rears its head. Of course this kind of brinksmanship could backfire badly. I don’t see that happening unless one of the major US banks feels they can improve their position by taking down another major competitor and riding out the subsequent storm. I don’t think people have such aggressive attitudes these days, but I could be wrong.

    1. RabidGandhi

      A likely scenario.

      It’s a very high stakes game of chicken between Merkel and the US DOJ, but this is not Merkel’s first rodeo. Meanwhile, the L-word is starting to pop up in the press and not just on perma-bear sites that rhyme with Hero Zedge. For example, this came yesterday on CNBC:

      Despite German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly stating otherwise, “it’s not necessarily a Lehman moment,” said [Lindsey Group Chief Analyst Peter] Boockvar, “because we have to assume that the German government in some way will bail them out.”

      So the Germans are playing brinksmanship to get a better deal. Analysts in the US are confident Merkel will provide a bailout. The question is: do leaders in the US and Germany have an honest appraisal of how precarious the global economy is and how severe the repurcussions would be if DB were to go down in flames? The Obama Administration has been peddling oodles of Kool-Aid about a recovery; have they been drinking some of it themselves? Merkel played chicken with Greece and won. Would that make her over-confident to go all the way again?

      Two sides each expecting the other to blink, oblivious to just how widespread the impending disaster might be.

      Sound familiar?

  33. Pat

    Robby Mook just doubled down on the garbage about Clinton’s server. He said the FBI confirmed there was no evidence that the server had been hacked. Um, Robby, what they said is that they didn’t have evidence that the server had been hacked. It is not the same thing. Unless we find out that the FBI has complete back ups AND an unadulterated server, evidence of hacking may have been erased, corrupted, etc.

    But the BS will continue.

    1. voteforno6

      He’s not the only one who doesn’t understand the distinction. A lot of the Clintonistas out there have been making the same argument. In fact, most intrusions go undetected. Clinton’s setup sounds like it was rather unsophisticated, so a hacker probably would’ve only needed to wipe some log files.

    2. temporal

      If the server was hacked or not is a security issue and HRC was not responsible for, or capable of, securing the server. Since the admin got a get-out-of-jail-free card he probably could care less.

      What matters is whether the server should have existed at all and whether some of the emails on the server were deleted when they were supposed to be handed over under FOIA. She doesn’t get extra points if the server wasn’t hacked if it wasn’t supposed to exist in the first place. Obstruction and failure to follow mandated procedures are issues that apply to HRCs server.

      1. Pat

        I agree with you. However, people do need to be aware that this is deliberately misleading. Not just because misinformation that her server was supposedly not hacked is used in her defense, but it is compared to the State Server on that issue. As in, classified material was actually much safer on Clinton’s server than on the State server which was NEVER hacked!!! Which is an even bigger distraction.
        I think needs to be addressed when it is used by Clintonites as both a distraction AND a lie.

    3. hunkerdown

      If the server wasn’t hacked, that would tend to implicate foreign SIGINT exploitation, which is just what Mook’s paid for.

  34. Buttinsky

    Is there going to be a second debate, and how do I avoid it?

    My sister got persuaded by some pre-debate article suggesting that any drama in the debate would come in the first 30 minutes and so tuned in to watch that first third. She lasted five minutes. Farther than I would’ve gotten.

    I’m hopeful we represent at least some not insignificant minority of the American populace.

    1. fresno dan

      September 27, 2016 at 11:52 am

      I used it as an excuse to drink way more than usual. I would have served my liver and my brain way more by watching Simpsons reruns on the FX channel….

    2. Waldenpond

      Walking the dog last night and someone was in their camper blasting it. I smiled… clearly someone was told YOU CAN’T WATCH THAT CRAP IN HERE!! and was summarily exiled.

      1. Qrys

        And yet oil was up just yesterday… with the baked in expectations that the deal won’t happen. You’d think I might have thunk of that…

  35. Antifa

    All parties to the Syrian fiasco used the one-week ceasefire to get ready for fighting to resume. Russia and Syria’s Assad government are hitting Aleppo hard with bombs, artillery, and rockets, but they are short on soldiers to actually move in and take the town.

    One indication of Russia’s seriousness about ending the jihadi revolt is their new use of the TOS-1A thermobaric rocket system on Aleppo this week.

    Thermobaric rockets need not carry their own internal supply of oxygen. Instead, they disperse a fine mist of explosive liquid across a wide area, which is then set off by a smaller incendiary explosive. The result is a gigantic explosion with an incredible compression wave and flame that sucks up all the oxygen in the air as it goes off. It’s a whole level up from mere napalm.

    Up to 24 rockets from each mobile TOS-1A can blanket an area the size of about four football fields with multiple thermobaric explosions all going off within 6 to 12 seconds. The immense shock wave jellies the internal organs of any humans in that area, flattens and collapses buildings, and the residual heat sets anything flammable ablaze as oxygenated air rushes back into the void. This weapon can systematically sterilize entire sections of a battlefield, be it urban or rural, dug in bunkers, poor bastards caught in the open, or civilians.

    The Western press is comparing the effect of the TOS-1A to a mini-nuke, and calling it a war crime. Residents of Aleppo describe repeatedly seeing entire sections of the city light up as bright as day for a few seconds, followed by a tremendous rolling boom. Reports are coming in of jihadis leaving the city rather than face this kind of certain extermination. Which eliminates the agony of fighting for Aleppo house by house.

    It appears Russia aims to end five long years of fruitless fighting with a few weeks of total war. There may be no rebels for America to fund, equip, or train long before January brings us a new resident of the Oval Office.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Your description of TOS-1A effects sounds a lot like the firebombing of Dresden in WW II:

      Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) used some elements from his experiences as a prisoner of war at Dresden during the bombing.

      Vonnegut recalled “utter destruction” and “carnage unfathomable.” The Germans put him and other POWs to work gathering bodies for mass burial. “But there were too many corpses to bury. So instead the Nazis sent in troops with flamethrowers. All these civilians’ remains were burned to ashes.”

      In the introduction to the 1976 Franklin Library edition of the novel, Vonnegut wrote:

      “The Dresden atrocity, tremendously expensive and meticulously planned, was so meaningless, finally, that only one person on the entire planet got any benefit from it. I am that person. I wrote this book, which earned a lot of money for me and made my reputation, such as it is. One way or another, I got two or three dollars for every person killed. Some business I’m in.”

      1. ewmayer

        Key difference: the firebombings of e.g. Dresden and Tokyo were sufficiently wide-scale that they created their own weather, via a huge chimney effect, sucking in air from miles around and funneling it to feed the inferno. I believe the term “firestorm” was coined at the time to describe the phenomenon.

        Thermobaric explosive, OTOH, is just the technical term for what is more commonly called a fuel-air explosive. Nasty, yes, but designed as a cheap local area-clearing device. Of course we only hear about them when the evil Ruskies use ’em, not when the heroic democracy-spreading forces of the US and UK use them in Afghanistan. Because Taliban = evil, whereas US-backed Al Qaedists = freedom fighters.

        Same principle as behind accidental dust-caused explosions inside coal mines and grain elevators, BTW. The wiki entry notes the first WW2 German designs used coal dust.

        1. Antifa

          Britain, the USA, and the United Nations are up in arms about Russia using area-clearing bombs in civilian areas, calling it a war crime.

          When Allied forces landed in Normandy in June of 1944, the key city to take was Caen, a nexus for every road out of the beachhead. It was full of German troops backed up by Panzer divisions.

          So the Allies carpet bombed the city fifteen minutes after dropping thousands of paper leaflets in French saying ‘civilians need to get out of the city right now!’ As if they could.

          But then area-clearing is upright and moral when we do it, for we are the Good Guys.

          The Russians are establishing facts on the ground well before Hillary takes over the White House in January, facts which will make pursuing regime change in Syria hopeless even in her bloody mind.

    2. Skip Intro

      At least it wasn’t the ‘Willy Pete’ the US used on Fallujah. White phosphorus is, AFAIK, explicitly forbidden.

  36. fresno dan

    Clinton-Trump debate: A degrading spectacle WSWS. An excellent rant.

    “The media apologists of the Democrats and Republicans blabbed both before and after the debate about the need for fact-checking of the candidates. But the entire debate was a lie, from beginning to end. The falsehoods uttered by Trump and Clinton are picayune compared to the overarching lie that these candidates offer a genuine choice to the American people.”

  37. allan

    A noun, a verb criminal conspiracy and 9/11:

    Christie Was Told of Bridge Plot During 9/11 Ceremony, Witness Testifies

    Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was told about the George Washington Bridge lane closings during a Sept. 11 memorial service the week they were happening and that they were shut down to punish a mayor who had declined to endorse him, the man who orchestrated the closings testified in federal court here on Tuesday.

    The man, David Wildstein, recalled how Mr. Christie reacted with laughter, clearly appreciating the news. …

  38. fresno dan

    How Did We End Up With Such Unpopular Candidates? American Conservative (resilc)

    “America will have Trump or Clinton in the White House for the next four years because they are us.

    Clinton is the ultimate end product of a political process consumed by big money. She is the candidate of the 1 percent. She believes in nothing but the acquisition of power and will trade anything to get it. The oligarchy is happy to help her with that.

    Trump is the ultimate Frankenstein product of decades of lightly shaded Republican hate mongering. He is the natural end point of 15 post-9/11 years of keeping us afraid. He is the mediagenic demagogue a country gets when it abandons its people to economic Darwinism, crushes its middle class, and gives up on caring what happens to its minorities.

    Both candidates are markers of a doomed democracy, a system that reached its apex somewhere in the past and has only now declined enough that everyone can see where we are. They’re us, people. We watched this happen, and we’ll be stuck trying to live with the results.”

    great article

    1. Gaianne

      He wants the entire wing of the airplane to be the battery, with the wing surface being one of the electrodes. Might work. But it will be fun in the air when the entire wing catches fire and burns uncontrollably, as lithium batteries occasionally do.


    2. Dave

      If a drone crashes on your property, you get to keep it and whatever it is carrying? Sort of like the Law of The Sea allowing salvage. What if you jam it’s signal so it lands? It’s your airspace, below 500′.

      1. Antifa

        How about bow-fishing, with a bit of fishing line attached to the arrow?

        Since the target drone has a digital core, we can call it spear-phishing . . .

  39. Dave

    “Immigration and job creation”

    Great article, thanks for linking to it.

    I think that one reason that more natives had jobs in the deep south is not connected to immigrant presence at all, but is more the effects of massive rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters.

  40. PQS

    Re: Wells/Targeting Seniors
    But I’ve thought for several years now that many big companies must have special “senior departments” to sell expensive crap to seniors. Why else would both my mother and grandmother still have not only landline phones, (beyond inertia and stubbornness – and my grandmother had a cell phone, too), but also expensive “long distance” plans? Long distance? Seriously? I haven’t paid for long distance calling in decades.

    1. Jen

      No, you’ve paid for a bundled service which, depending on how many long distance calls you make, may cost you a lot more than paying for an unbundled service.

      If I could find an a la carte plan I’d go with it in a second. At least I’m using a local provider and can say that the money I’m overpaying for my service stays in my community.

  41. Plenue

    “The Deutsche Bank crisis could take Angela Merkel down and the Euro”

    They sure English good over there at the Telegraph.

  42. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Wait until they start asking about Mario Monti, you know, the Goldman hack who was installed as Italy’s PM without an election?
    At the time they said “now is not the time for elections, now is the time for actions”.
    All I can say to Goldman is ” Seig Heil! There are many Germans living in Austria who are being molested and we had to act…”

  43. m

    I can’t believe the reviews on Amazon for Hillary’s book were cleaned. I haven’t laughed so hard in a while.

  44. Skippy

    I don’t know if I’m bemused or befuddled wrt Trump vs Hillary debates about impending warfare….

    On one hand you have a political operative that’s pro LGBT and red misting brown people et al for human rights and on the other hand you have El’Trumpo saying everyone needs to pay for the light bill [shining light upon hill thingy aka empire] and some trade war stuff [bad china stole jerbs]….. cuz….

    Disheveled Marsupial… its all like Bernays…. on acid… where tropes and memes collide and create new universes….

  45. robert lowrey

    ‘How Small Forests Can Help Save the Planet’ New York Times (David L) LOL! Another NYT pablum piece. The headline is absolute nonsense. David L, the planet is in no need of saving. It’s been spinning its entire history except a small slice of time, sans mankind, sans mammals, sans geoengineering. During its 4.5 billion year lifetime, it has been completely frozen, survived collisions with asteroids, and experienced volcanic eruptions on a planetary scale. There is no danger to it from climate change, and therefore not one little iota of truth to the idiotic claim that “Small Forests Can Help Save the Planet”. This is just more tripe to convince the US public that they can keep driving around mindlessly like a bunch of moronic serfs flying around by the seat of their pants to go in circles every single day of their lives, increasingly simply to pay for the conveyances in which they do so and the fuel that enables said conveyances to gulp down an ever-increasing amount of the very oxygen their drivers need to actually breath. THEY are in danger, NOT the planet, ya freak. To see what’s really the problem check out Salon’s: “” But because Americans have no intention whatsoever of curtailing their production of ICE machines, which are actually chemical weapons of mass destruction, the manufacture of which is heavily subsidized by the very countries that are sooooo concerned about Climate Change, their numbers increase inexorably year after year, decade after decade, at a rate almost as high as the manufacture of the verbal pabulum spewed out by such industry-kowtowing rags as the NYT.

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