Links 9/8/2016

EU’s Proposed Ban On Canadian, U.S. Lobsters Inches Forward HuffPo

‘Star Trek’ creator Gene Roddenberry’s dynasty endures USA Today

The tide of globalisation is turning Martin Wolf, FT

Hanjin Shipping’s Troubles Leave $14 Billion in Cargo Stranded at Sea WSJ

Shrink the big container ship to fit the world FT

FBI’s Records on Financial Crisis Requested by U.S. Lawmaker Bloomberg

Wall St turns to machines to find better-behaved bankers FT

The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street Bank of England

A New Record for Job Openings Deepens Mystery Over Lack of Hiring WSJ

Indonesia: Haze investigators held captive, threatened with death Asian Correspondent


The Mess in Syria by Robert F. Kennedy , Jr. & response by Stephen Zunes Tikkun


The Brexit clusterf**k Politics@Surrey

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Who killed Ferguson activist Darren Seals? WaPo

Poll: Support for Black Lives Matter grows among white youth AP

Everything the NYPD is saying about the 50-A Freedom of Information Exemption to Discipline Records is a lie Keegan NYC


FALSE PHILANTHROPY Summary Review of Selected Intentionally False Representations in Clinton Foundation Public Filings Charles Ortel

Hillary Clinton relies on Bush-era official for new Spanish-language TV ad campaign WaPo

Goldman Sachs bans employee donations to Trump, not Clinton Washington Examiner

In every state, pessimism about Trump, Clinton and the impact of the election WaPo

What Follows From a Presidential Campaign of So Many Negative ‘Firsts’ Matthew Dowd, WSJ

The first Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump showdown of 2016, annotated WaPo. They didn’t actually meet, although they were at the same venue.

Souring on Donald Trump, Republicans Pour Money Into Senate Races NYT

Why Trump Doesn’t Scare Me Scott Adams

Peas in a pod: The long and twisted relationship between Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani New York Daily News

The most powerful woman in GOP politics Politico. “It is Rebekah Mercer, according to these sources, whose frustration with what she saw as the political ineffectiveness of the Koch brothers’ network led her to redirect Mercer money to build a rival operation. ”

No Exit: Why are anti-Trump conservatives constantly trapped inside elevators? Daily Dot

Whoops: Independent candidate appears to have accidentally picked a running mate Politico

Clinton Email Tar Baby

FBI director: Clinton email case ‘was not a cliff-hanger’ WaPo

Who’s Banking on the Dakota Access Pipeline? Common Dreams

Jill Stein Spray Paints a Bulldozer and More Protesters Lock Down at #NoDAPL Truth-out

War Drums

Ash Carter Warns Russia Against Interfering in ‘Democratic Process’ WSJ

Trump praises Putin at national security forum WaPo. That should cause some pearl clutching!

Imperial Collapse Watch

The OPM Data Breach: How the Government Jeopardized Our National Security for More than a Generation House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

10 new wars that could be unleashed as a result of the one against ISIS WaPo

Guillotine Watch

The most outrageous fashion spotted at Burning Man 2016 Business Insider

Women ask for pay increases as often as men but receive them less, study says Guardian

Class Warfare

Life at the Nowhere Office TNR

The Geography of U.S. Inequality NYT

Fading College Dream Saps U.S. Economy of Productivity Miracle Bloomberg

In Brooklyn, Faculty Lash Out at University’s Use of a ‘Nuclear Option’ Chronicle of Higher Education. Locking out tenured faculty…

Does the left have a future? Guardian

How to raise a genius: lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children Nature

The YouTube demonetization controversy, explained Daily Dot

Facebook’s Africa PR offensive masks quest for profits after rejection in India Daily Nation

Twitter Finally Gives People a Way to Make Money From Twitter New York Magazine

Your new iPhone 7 headphones will break all the time because of Apple’s obsession with minimalism Quartz

No, Your Crazy Homeowners Association Can’t Ban Drought-Tolerant Landscaping LAist

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. ocop

    You know you have a problem when you’re willing to start futzing with URLs in order to get your morning fix when the links don’t show up on the main page…

  2. Carla

    Thanks for the great links, Lambert!

    Re: today’s antidote — when we were snorkeling in Hawaii 20 years ago, we were told that to approach or attempt to touch a sea turtle was a federal crime that would result in a $10,000 fine — if the crime was witnessed and reported, natch. Now I wonder if that was erroneous.

    1. Jim Haygood

      It’s what James Comey would term “a close call” for prosecution. Particularly if the creature approached you, and it’s your word against the sea turtle’s.

      1. RabidGandhi

        If you look closely at the pattern on the turtle’s shell, you’ll notice the silhuettes of the Cyrillic letters Б, д and П, which some experts (granted anonymity in light of the ongoing investigation) agree proves a certain Russian origin, thus showing the turtle has been planted to incriminate the diver.

        The fact that Putin is clearly manipulating NC antidotes is reason enough to install more nukes in Korea and Poland. Byelorussia may have to be overthrown too.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Putin’s everywhere:

          “What would you do if you were elected about Aleppo?” Mike Barnicle asked [Libertarian presidential candidate] Gary Johnson on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

          “About …?” Johnson asked.

          “Aleppo,” Barnicle repeated, referring to Syria’s second-largest city, which has been hit in recent weeks by a series of devastating chemical gas attacks and targeted bombing strikes on its few remaining medical facilities.

          “And what is Aleppo?” Johnson asked sunnily, to the astonishment of the “Morning Joe” hosts.

          “You’re kidding,” Barnicle said.

          “No,” Johnson replied.

          “Aleppo is in Syria. It’s the epicenter of the refugee crisis,” Barnicle said.

          “Okay got it, got it,” Johnson said. “Well with regard to Syria I do think that it’s a mess. I think the only way that we deal with Syria is to join hands with Russia to diplomatically bring that to an end.”

          Ayn Rand Akbar!

            1. Skippy

              Another bad case of Polytheism dressed up Monotheism [free ™ markets]….

              You forgot token Saint Ayn Rand of the blessed sacred amphetamine convent… where the Sister wears the pants…

              Disheveled Marsupial… Never could figure out why so many obviously misogynist patriarchal sorts – in public – have a secret penchant for some sadomasochistic pleasure in private….

          1. Paul Tioxon

            It truly is a sad commentary on the poor quality of a candidate who sits there glassy eyed with thoughts of munchies and M&Ms dancing in his head that he could not respond to a simple question about a worldwide disgrace, the barbaric savaging of the people of Syria and the city under siege, Aleppo. Not since the halcyon days of Quemoy and Matsu has the highest, and I do mean HIGHEST, office been pursued by a woefully unprepared candidate in the person of Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party Nominee. How hard would it be to turn the tables on the lying liars of the MSM with liberal bias and point accusingly: “WHAT ANOTHER GOTCHA QUESTION? Well, I’m NOT here to play these games, I’m here for the American people who want the truth, not game show theatrics!” I mean, this is political deflection 101. Who trains these guys anymore? Social media misfits from tweetdom? Are we now on the expressway to Serfdom?

            1. AnEducatedFool

              Have you taken a chance to read any comments on this story? Many of them are taking Johnson’s side and the few that are attacking him over this topic come off as Clinton-bots. I’m not sure where you stand.

              Johnson bombed on that question. I thought he would get a 15 min segment not 4-5 minutes. Its not an easy question for someone to answer on Corporate News. I’m also not sure if you think that Assad is the butcher in this case. The SAA is fighting off a US proxy that has and will ethnically cleanse entire cities. The barbarians at the gate are at the gate of West Aleppo (Syrian held territory) not East Aleppo (ISIS territory).

              In a previous segment Joe tries to link Aleppo to the Holocaust. The side that has regularly ethnically cleanses cities is the side that he supports. I doubt he understands this fact.

              Mika on the other hand…she does not listen to her father who has repudiated his Grand Chessboard strategy and seeks reconciliation with China and Russia before the US Empire collapses.

          2. ChrisPacific

            To be fair, I think the situation in Syria is sufficiently complex that coming up with a sensible strategy is likely to take some time and effort for a candidate and is not likely to be a big vote winner regardless of what it says. There are also the questions of whether anything the US does will succeed or fail, and whether it will make things better or worse in either case (and for whom). The one thing we can say with some certainty is that things would likely improve if the US stopped using foreign countries as proxy battlegrounds in a new Cold War, and he did make that point. I would be tougher on him if he was a Senator or Congressman, but his political background seems to be in state government.

            Personally I think governance from ignorance is a good deal more common than we would like to believe. Candidates are only human, they have limited hours in the day and they are obliged to spend a lot of them engaged in the mechanics of running campaigns and winning votes. Frank declarations of ignorance (especially if they come with an open mind and willingness to learn and assess facts) actually worry me less than faux declarations of expertise in the form of voter-friendly soundbites that have little or no basis in reality.

        2. Ulysses

          “The fact that Putin is clearly manipulating NC antidotes is reason enough to install more nukes in Korea and Poland. Byelorussia may have to be overthrown too.”

          It’s good to see someone on the NC boards has woken up and smelled the coffee!! Maybe when Moscow is a smoldering, radioactive slag-heap we can finally get the unadulterated, uplifting antidotes we deserve!

          Informed sources tell me that Putin once dated a notorious MMTer… any links out there to verify the story?

        3. OIFVet


          “We don’t seek an enemy in Russia. But make no mistake—we will defend our allies, the principled international order, and the positive future it affords all of us,” Carter said in an address to students at Oxford University.

          “We will counter attempts to undermine our collective security. And we will not ignore attempts to interfere with our democratic processes.”

          Darn tootin Mr. Putin, we will protect our election fixing and color rrevlutions monopoly at all costs.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s OK to interfere with money though, perhaps indirectly or maybe even directly, just not by hacking.

            Form a lobby and make all serious contenders come before you.

        4. fresno dan

          September 8, 2016 at 9:45 am

          I’m thinking its a “Day of the Dolphins” kind of thing – I imagine turtles can “loiter” …uh, …float around yachts more unobtrusively than dolphins – I mean everybody goes “Flippers” when they see dolphins, and will see the attached bombs cause dolphins leap out of the water, especially if people are throwing them snackies. As well as being the attention whores of the ocean….
          Ever see a dolphin with dark glasses – of course not! I think Bob Dole said the most dangerous place to be is between a dolphin and a camera….

          Turtles? Who pays attention to them? Ever go to Sea world and see turtles do tricks? They’re basically the cats of the ocean – a turtle’s philosophy is you feed me and I do nothing. And they don’t roll over in the water revealing the bomb glued to them – and don’t need no straps to hold it in place either.

          WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! Obviously a vast armada of turtle assassins has been dispatched by Russia to do away with our elite yacht riding 0.01%

    2. Cry Shop

      Instead of a fine, should people who grope wild animals be groped by strangers at a Fed Pen? or does that sound too much like the East European prostitution racket in the closed camp areas of Burning Man?

    3. JTMcPhee

      It’s illegal, but so are securities frauds and drunk driving and murder. Only matters if one “gets caught” by someone who might try to enforce the laws. Obviously, humans will satisfy themselves with “wonderful experiences” like man/womanhandling sea turtles as they fin themselves through the oceans’ beautiful exotic margins, and collecting huge paydays on derivative rackets and selling “US national secrets” to foreign operatives like Mossad and “the Chinese…”

  3. jsn

    “A New Record for Job Openings Deepens Mystery Over Lack of Hiring”
    Its easier to starve to death without work than with it.

    Even though your three crappified jobs don’t pay enough to live on, there’s no time for a forth.

    1. Pirmann

      A few things I’ve noticed in regard to the posting / not hiring “mystery”…

      – HR departments move at a glacial pace when it comes to the hiring process

      – most jobs are posted internally as well as externally, and hires are often times internal

      – there is little motivation on the part of the hiring manager to rush the hiring process. Often the work is being covered by other employees, who are often exempt, so overtime hours but no overtime pay. Meanwhile, the job posting provides temporary cover (“we’re trying our best to fill the position”) against employee disgruntlement. And, the manager comes in under budget, which means bonus time.

      – posted job requirements are hyperspecific, as opposed to seeking transferable skills, which makes finding good candidates difficult

      – and lastly, the employer is looking to hire “on the cheap”, and right now good quality employees have choices.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Don’t forget advertising. A “hiring” company sounds good to consumers. Was it about a year ago where every Comcast ad was about hiring?

        1. trent

          i wonder if some sort of quid pro quo exists between the government and the mega corporations. Something along the lines of this makes us look good even though we don’t plan on hiring for this position. Maybe tax credits of some sort? I’ve been suspicious since every application asks me if i’m a veteran. What does it matter? And how does that reflect upon the job i’m applying to? Look how they collude with TPP and so forth? Just wondering out loud

            1. trent

              the GI bill made sense, most of those men were drafted. This does not make sense, these people went into the army as a job. Is nothing upside down in this world?

              1. cwaltz

                Once you join you don’t get to quit and while they may not have been drafted many of the reasons people join the military is because it is a means to escape poverty and avoid burger flipping(the military pays for your training.)

      1. JTMcPhee

        I wonder if the lady snorkeler would have any reaction to someone coming up behind her and fondling her flank… Gotta love homocentricity… “I had such an AMAZING experience, Brenda!”

  4. Jim Haygood

    Compare Trump’s Sep 6th national defense speech to Hillary’s Aug 31st American exceptionalism speech. Differences? Other than stylistic, none.

    Both Depublicrat candidates are earnestly committed to defeating our ghastly nemesis du jour, Isis — just as former candidates in former races railed against the scourge of Al Qaeda, a US-spawned bogeyman who may have morphed into an ally of convenience in Syria.

    Trump’s promise to “rebuild” our “depleted” military echoes Ronald Reagan’s 600-ship navy campaign of 1980. But it’s three and a half decades on, and the US economy is deeper in debt, more hollowed out, and less competitive after another half lifetime of value-subtractive military spending to rule the world.

    While Trump is likely to win convincingly — simply because the lying liars of the MSM claim he won’t, and they are infallibly wrong — there will be no new Morning in America as plowshares are converted into cost-plus swords of polished crapalloy with handles of tungsten cowhide.

    Ultimately the Depublicrat candidate, Trumplary Clump, is the same person. And he/she/it is dedicated to subserviently washing the feet of the military-intelligence complex that rules us, and then drying its cloven hooves with his/her hair.

    Trumplary Clump will briskly conclude the euthanasia of the middle class. And you can take that to the bank for a negative yield.

    Behold the white horse of the false populist: there is only one War Party.

    1. MikeNY

      The assertion that we don’t spend enough on the military would be comical, if there weren’t so many people who are eager to hear and believe such horseshit.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Few economists other than Michael Hudson will touch the subject, even though it’s the elephant in the room to explain and forecast America’s no longer concealable imperial decline.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Fiat global reserve currency – backed by noting but military might – tempts the one issuer to create as much as it wants, and in a very understandably human way, spends most of it on destructive toys.

          It’s self-perpetuating.

    2. afisher

      Fortunately, there are lots of people who see a clear distinction between the 2 candidates and won’t support the Trump idiot who demonstrated last night that he doesn’t have a plan except to say that he has one.

      Read it yourself …

      LAUER: Let me stay on ISIS. When we’ve met in the past and we’ve talked, you say things like I’m going to bomb the expletive out of them very quickly. And when people like me press you for details like that gentleman just said on what your plan is, you very often say, I’m not going to give you the details because I want to be unpredictable.

      TRUMP: Absolutely. The word is unpredictable.

      LAUER: But yesterday, you actually told us a little bit about your plan in your speech. You said this. Quote, “We’re going to convene my top generals and they will have 30 days to submit a plan for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS.” So is the plan you’ve been hiding this whole time asking someone else for their plan?

      TRUMP: No. But when I do come up with a plan that I like and that perhaps agrees with mine, or maybe doesn’t — I may love what the generals come back with. I will convene…

      LAUER: But you have your own plan?

      TRUMP: I have a plan. But I want to be — I don’t want to — look. I have a very substantial chance of winning. Make America great again. We’re going to make America great again. I have a substantial chance of winning. If I win, I don’t want to broadcast to the enemy exactly what my plan is.

      LAUER: But you’re going to…

      TRUMP: And let me tell you, if I like maybe a combination of my plan and the generals’ plan, or the generals’ plan, if I like their plan, Matt, I’m not going to call you up and say, “Matt, we have a great plan.” This is what Obama does. “We’re going to leave Iraq on a certain day.”

      LAUER: But you’re going to convene a panel of generals, and you’ve already said you know more about ISIS than those generals do.

      TRUMP: Well, they’ll probably be different generals, to be honest with you. I mean, I’m looking at the generals, today, you probably saw, I have a piece of paper here, I could show it, 88 generals and admirals endorsed me today.

      To claim that the 2 major candidates are the same is foolish, or perhaps just an il-informed statement..

      1. cwaltz

        How is Hillary’s plan different (then the I’m going to bomb the crap out of them part of Trump’s plan?)

        Let me make this clear. I don’t particularly think Trump is a bright bulb but at the very least his plan isn’t to antagonize Russia, Syria and Iran while dealing with ISIL(who by the way at this moment appear to be at the very least coordinating with us on dealing with ISIL.)

        From where I am sitting Hillary’s no fly zone idea is set up to start WW3.

        1. Praedor

          Exactly. The US cannot “no fly” Syria because it IS Russia’s backyard. No-flying Syria when the Russians have a massive, PERMANENT military base right there in country (with aircraft) is similar to a situation where Russia would try to no-fly Germany with (many) US bases all around. Cannot be done without direct conflict with the one you CANNOT have an actual conflict with.

          No war with Russia ends without nukes being exchanged all over the place. And that is 100% unwinnable.

      2. a different chris

        I don’t really think anybody is saying they are the same? They are both awful, in mostly different ways but linked together in how jaw-droppingly bad they are especially given a starting pool of, what, 180 million First World adults?

        Otherwise, yes, they have clear distinctions. I just can’t decide from the embarrassment of riches in those distinctions which mix is worse. The word to emphasize is, of course, “embarrassment”.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        He’s being unpredictable.

        He has a plan. Maybe he knows more than those generals (but not some other generals).

        He wants to hear out other plans, by new generals (this one could be tricky – is he antagonizing current generals and admirals?).

        Can the bad guys predict which plan?

    3. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      September 8, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Well said, though I suspect The Hillary will win (or more accurately, not lose)
      Keynesian stimulative spending – scoffed at by “conservatives” except with regard to the military. If only we had spent trillions more on defense, we could defeat our enemies with their sophisticated Toyota pick-ups…how can the US military be expected to defeat such advanced…and reliable technology???????

      1. cwaltz

        You need to correct that to we need to spend trillions to defeat their sophisticated Toyota pickups that we gave them to begin with.

        Our great military plan seems to be sell arms to everyone and then insist that we must spend more money to protect ourselves from the horrible, terrible awful threat that we helped create by selling those arms to begin- at least with the “moderate” rebels the US has been arming.

        1. fresno dan

          September 8, 2016 at 2:38 pm

          Your exactly right – and as I recall, auto loans had negative rates at the time…so we’re sending them interest too….
          damn NIRP

    4. AnEducatedFool

      Clinton is a neo-con’s neo-con. She will start a war with Russia over their Syria project.

      Trump is a wild card but I like that he has the former DIA Flynn who is not a peace-nik but at least is competent. Trump does not want a war with Russia and he seems to want to negotiate away the US Empire while the US still has strong negotiating position.

      The rhetoric is similar but they are not the same. I do not even know who that is difficult to grasp.

      Clinton = WWIII

  5. Cry Shop

    The bigger the hypocrite, the poorer the people he hurts:

    Ash Carter Warns Russia Against Interfering in ‘Democratic Process’ WSJ


    Uzbeks paid dearly for U.S. support of Karimov regime

    In 2012, the Obama administration quietly lifted a post-Andijon ban on weapon sales. One major shipment included a 2015 delivery of 320 armored personnel vehicles to Karimov — exactly the kind of equipment an authoritarian state uses to crush demonstrations. “Perhaps worse than equipping a government so well-known for abuses against its own people and for its defiance of international norms with such powerful military equipment,” said Steve Swerdlow of Human Rights Watch, “is the message that the Obama administration is sending the people of Uzbekistan: that Islam Karimov has gotten away with it.”

    1. RabidGandhi

      Missing from the headline is the actual quote from Carter who said “interferring in OUR democratic process”.

      In this case “interferring” means baseless accusations that the Russians were involved in leaks that categorically proved the US has no democratic process.

      The fact that WSJ can publish such a phrase without its entire readership dying of laughter is a resounding testament to the effectiveness of the US education system.

  6. MikeNY

    Very good piece by Martin Wolf, echoing exactly what we’ve been saying here for a long time: distribution matters. Focusing only on economic aggregates (GDP, groaf) ignores something very important — which the numbnuts who practice mainstream economics refuse to see because i) they can’t quantify it, or ii) it’s not important to oligarchs. Or both.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Speaking of distribution, US food distributors have taken to invoking the D word:

      Persistent deflation in core commodities such as beef, dairy and eggs has eaten into margins for U.S. food companies at a time of increased competition in the food-retail sector.

      At least five grocery retailers mentioned deflation as a threat to their bottom lines in earnings calls last month alone, including Dollar General, U.S. stores run by newly merged Ahold NV and Delhaize Group, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The slide is also hitting food distributors.

      The slump in commodity-output prices began in April 2015, but supermarkets didn’t begin passing along the price reductions to customers until December, government data shows. After nine months of consumer-price deflation, the price drops accelerated in June and haven’t bottomed out yet.

      Said William Kirk, a U.S. food retail analyst at RBC Capital Markets, “It takes a while to work the excess supply out of the system. You have to eat the cows.

      How can ye have any pudding, if ye don’t eat yer meat?!

      1. JTMcPhee

        I shop mostly at a big chain, Publix. I see ZERO deflation, rather steady increases (looks like “”Chained CPI” to me) in prices of anything I can afford to eat, and that includes milk, cereals, canned and dry beans, canned tuna (now down to 4 drained ounces of distasteful flecks of flesh in the “6 ounce can” my mind tells me from my past is the amount to expect), chicken, the occasional piece of dead cow or steer, bacon (now regularly $7.50 for 16 ounce and a lot of 12-ounce “special center cut” pig products, yogurt, bell peppers (the red ones $4.99 a pound, even lettuce.

        And how about that miraculous “stickiness” of stuff like gasoline prices, at least when measured against that ideal behavior of the supply-demand graph one encounters in Econ 101? Sticky on the down leg, greased lightnin’ on the up leg…

        For scale: Worldwide visible annual expenditures (ignoring “out year” costs) on that overarching enterprise and racket that gets lumped into the monad called “war,” comes to what? $18 trillion?

        But one cannot argue with the pronouncements of “market organs” which are of course totally dispassionate…

        I guess I have to eat more cow, faster — or be accused of being a “zombie consumer…”

        1. Jim Haygood

          Apparently the food companies’ “deflation” complaints derive from the CPI report.

          It shows a 1.6% drop in the “Food at home” category over the past 12 months. Subindexes for Cereal and bakery products; Meats poultry fish & eggs; Dairy and related products; and Nonalcoholic beverages all show declines. Only Fruits and vegetables show an increase.

          Who knew? Raising the dire specter of BLS-measured deflation is a good excuse for bad earnings. It’s like having a doctor’s note for skipping school — unimpeachable.

        2. fresno dan

          September 8, 2016 at 12:06 pm

          Obviously, your not changing your diet in response to the price signals the market is sending you and substituting products with declining prices for products with rising prices.

          I have taken advantage of the collapse in flat screen TV prices – not only is it an extremely economic sources of calories, easy to prepare, and so nutritious as well – before I started eating flat screen TVs I was seriously deficient in cadmium and other heavy metals!!! And the fiber effect – why, one flat screen TV is the fiber equivalent of 380,000 bowls of oatmeal.
          Ah, the market….so, so perfectly supplying all we need at the optimal price. I mean, the FED tells us so…

          1. cwaltz

            DVD players are lower sodium and fewer calories.

            The Fed amuses the crap out of me. No food or fuel in the basket because volatility.

            Meanwhile someone should ask them how the substitution principle is going to work on our “exceptional” health care system that keeps shifting more and more costs onto consumers but is “required” since markets are so efficient and everything.

            1. fresno dan

              September 8, 2016 at 3:06 pm

              Meanwhile someone should ask them how the substitution principle is going to work on our “exceptional” health care system

              3 words:
              witch doctors

              Oh, and thanks for the tip about dvd players – I have to watch my salt intake….

        3. fresno dan

          September 8, 2016 at 12:06 pm

          and this

          “Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos spends a lot of time in stores, and he looks at research to understand his customers. His conclusion: Their earnings are holding up OK, but their expenses keep going up a lot. And this is hurting his business. The chief culprits? Health-care costs and rent that are rising at a “very rapid” clip, he told investors in the company’s most recent conference call. “Our core consumer continues to be under a lot of pressure,” he said.”

          I just appreciate the chance to communicate with someone else that doesn’t buy the “there is no inflation” bullsh*t that permeates the media for some reason

        4. Skippy


          Sorry but don’t confuse manufactures messing w/ weight or volume with inflation or loss of PP… its just increasing their margins above the near term input costs.

          Soft drinks cost cents on the liter including the plastic bottle and changing from sugarcane to Corn by products, yet look at the mark up, same same with sun glasses…. prices are administered more than supply and demand dictates imo…

          Disheveled Marsupial…. bonuses are counting on it as equities is form of money et al thingy….

          1. JTMcPhee

            Skippy, what counts for most of us is what volume of nutrition goes into my belly for every cent I spend. That 4 ounce “6 ounce” can of tuna scraps not quite defective enough to go down the cat food line (cat food being more often “trash fish” anyway, except the Special Brands) costs more in absolute and even relative dollars and cents than the six ounce cans my mother bought to make all those wonderful casseroles. Some of that might be due to scarcity as us fokking humans “mine the seas” and strip out the ecology that got built over random thousands of generations. But I mean BPA and solder or now crimping and big presses cost money, so does maintaining that “Sorry, Charlie” IP and bribing lawmakers and regulators and enforcement people to look the other way or fix the rules to suit the looters.

            I just looked up a couple of old cookbooks from the ’50s through 2003, all the recipes call for “6 ounce can of tuna.” I guess if I triple the current can count I double the recipe — now isn’t that special…

            Same applies to the 59 ounce “half gallon of orange juice,” a slick switch worked on the momentum of the processing of us mopes, who are “used to” getting a certain volume of “product” from a certain category of package size. Because the pricing of the “product” that is in that “half gallon” mental category (morphing gradually into idiot acceptance of the Bezzle, over time) is at and headed above what I used to pay for 64 ounces of pesticide-infused “orange juice.”

            Them bonuses come to the mid-range mopes who invent the trickery that suckers the rest of us into accepting “substitutes” even in the face of advert-learning we were once presented with, “ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES!” Remember that one?

            All part of effectuating “Chained CPI” without even having to go to the trouble of suckering the mopes into accepting a legislative “fix” for a fraudulent claim that There Is No Alternative. Which, since we are on the part of the liturgy that says “deficits are good, buy more weapons,” is pure Bezzle yet as Clive notes in today’s posts, “we” are too stupid and distracted to hold the honest image of what’s being done to us.

            It’s complicated, requires attention and focus to even try to keep up, as you know…

  7. allan

    “The most powerful woman in GOP politics … Rebekah Mercer”

    The Mercers are just regular folks. Here’s one of dad Bob’s little boats.

    I know that Lambert objects to the phrase `low information voter’, but how anybody can think that these people have the interests of the downtrodden working class at heart is beyond me.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Low information presupposes the amount of information being processed above all else, when it could be the heart, or the mind thinking in different ways.

  8. Kokuanani

    The Scott Adams piece provides some good laughs. E.g.,

    You know how Trump is always saying inappropriate and violent-sounding things? Most people see that type of language as offensive and even dangerous. The exception is people who grew up in New York. We see it as “talking.”

    After college, when I moved from upstate New York to California, I had to relearn how to talk. My New York style offended nearly everyone. Let me give you an example of how a Californian talks compared to a New Yorker.

    Californian: It looks like it might rain today.

    New Yorker: Oh, shit. Fucking rain. I need that like I need a goddamned bullet in my head.

    See the difference?

    1. nycTerrierist


      As seen on a T-shirt in my ‘hood:

      “I’m not yelling, I’m Greek.
      This is how we talk.”

    2. Jim Haygood

      Fifteen inches of annual rain (L.A.) vs 43 inches (NYC) affects culture.

      As the L.A. Times headlined on a wet day (which wouldn’t even merit mention on the east coast):

      As If You Needed Another Headache: RAIN

      You’d think it was heavy water or something.

    3. Otis B Driftwood

      Hah hah. Indeed. I had to do the same when I made the migration. Hardest thing for me was to stop honking my horn in traffic, or at people crazy enough to step into cross-walks. Nearly hit someone, actually, before I realized in CA pedestrians have the right-of-way. Whodathunkit?

      1. RabidGandhi

        Back in my day, the joke went something like this:

        In Boston, the drivers almost run the pedestrians over then cuss the hell out of them

        In NY, the drivers just run them over and dont give a sh*t.

        In Philly, the drivers run them over, and then come back to cuss them out.

    4. ChrisPacific

      I remember seeing a cartoon entitled “The difference between California and New York.” It was a split panel with the same scene, of someone greeting another person in the street. The Californian is saying “Have a nice day!” with a thought bubble saying “F— you!” The New Yorker is saying “F— you!” and thinking “Have a nice day!”

  9. Unorthodoxmarxist

    Very glad I have always been anti-Apple. This will not change with the latest iteration of the iPhone and the cynical cash-grab that is removing the headphone jack.

    When a tech giant does something like this it makes me wonder what a phone would look like in a socialized, worker-run phone production company with input from the consumer, too? I have to wager it would lean towards durability, ie not scrapping headphone jacks that have worked just fine for over 130 years, and headphones that are interchangeable and cost almost no money to buy (really, I have bought many replacement headphones for a few bucks on eBay when they inevitably break). Or perhaps they would produce a line of durable phones but allow for a line of “innovative” products as well, to see what worked and what did not?

    1. Jim Haygood

      When the AT&T monopoly leased all phones, Western Electric made them to last forever. You can still buy antique phones at flea markets that work fine.

      On the other hand, if that model continued today, they’d offer one brick-sized beige cell phone with a calculator-style numeric display and two functions: (1) dialing calls; (2) answering calls.

      1. grayslady

        I still have two AT&T phones that I purchased in the early 1980s. They’re the only phones that work when the electricity goes out.

        1. JoeK

          I gave away my first “smartphone” to a needy friend so she’d have something to access the internet with; I’m in an income bracket where I don’t give away something like that unless I consider it a (mental) health hazard. Bought a little Nokia stick phone and don’t miss the smart-contraption at all.

    2. Roger Smith

      Can anyone here actually keep earbuds in their ears? One of my sleights against Apple involves their popularization and normalization of earbuds over ‘headphones’. I much prefer the separated speakers that clip around your ears (that as far as I can tell, no one makes). Instead we have a slew of cheap, poor quality earbuds to choose from.

      Today you can either shove something in your ear canal, place something on the cusp of your canal that falls out easily (i.e. earpods) or choose to walk around with gigantic studio monitors on your head.

    3. temporal

      While I am not anti-Apple, having a few Macs (the fixable kind), I wouldn’t get the iPhone 7, or any previous model because of price and lack of straight forward repairability.

      The new AirPods, even more than their “pencil”, look like a cash cow though. Easily lost and chock full of proprietary tech so that the price is high and can’t be forced down. They could have used improved audio bluetooth and sold to a wider audience but apparently decided that they’d have to compete on price in the wider market. Saying that they removed the headphone jack because of waterproof issues is so clearly bogus as to be embarrassing. The fact that even normal earbud usage is correlated to increased hearing loss doesn’t help either.

      Of course Apple’s current business practices are beyond defense.

    4. TheCatSaid

      What bothers me the most is this means more wireless exposure, with more of it closer to the body.

      Wired headphones were a way to create a little distance.

      They really want to fry us, don’t they?!

  10. JSM

    Evan McMullin should be totally ignored. The guy has received more press coverage than Jill Stein yet is on the ballot in only nine states. Interestingly it’s the DC papers, mags & rags that are flogging his ‘candidacy.’ I had no doubt when I saw the headline that the ‘independent’ candidate was McMullin, not e.g. Andrew Basiago, and that the ‘whoops’ of the headline would be anything but. Lo, it is all coming to pass. Still waiting for the headline ‘Here’s What Joke CIA Candidate McMullin Actually Thinks He’s Doing.’

    Re: the Trump v. Hillary/Trump = Hillary links: There IS at least one big difference between Trump and Clinton: Clinton has stoked the US-Russia ‘tensions’ and it’s clear that her first priority, far ahead of domestic policy issues, will be to put US troops into Syria, [nuclear] consequences be damned.

    Trump may be at least partially handcuffed by his peace-mongering rhetoric.

    1. Unorthodoxmarxist

      He’s seen by the media as a Trump foil, and thus in their narrative he’s a-okay. Stein speaks negatively about Clinton & the Dems from the left, and is thus not okay.

    2. afisher

      Handcuffed to peace mongering, to which I say: BS…unless of course you ignore all the times he want’s to “bomb the sh*t” out of a foreign country. Cherrypicking is only good for actually picking cherries.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The concern is some accidental incident in the South China Sea might drag everyone in, including the US, even with a peace-mongering president.

      2. pretzelattack

        clinton certainly has demonstrated her cherry picking skills; iraq, syria, ukraine. trump talks about it. why do you believe trump in this instance?

  11. Don Midwest USA

    Mainstream press finally paying attention to election integrity

    Bob Fritakis has written 6 books about elections. He works with Harvey Wasserman and lives in Central Ohio and had a front row seat in the stolen election in 2004.

    Here is the article. It contains a link to an Election Justice Report and other recent articles.

    Distrust of 2016’s Hackable Election Is a Media Landslide With Just One Solution: Hand-counted Paper Ballots

    Greg Palast recently joined Rolling Stone and wrote about stripping voters

    Rolling Stone exposé:
    The GOP’s secret scheme begins purge
    of a million minority voters from voter rolls

    There was a follow up article on this work in

  12. diptherio

    Twitter Finally Gives People a Way to Make Money From Twitter

    Wait a minute…has Twitter figured out a way to make money from Twitter yet? This seems a bit like putting the cart before the horse, if you ask me.

  13. Unorthodoxmarxist

    Scott Adams is right about New York speech vs. the rest of the country. I might even call it Northeast big-city speech:

    “You know how Trump is always saying inappropriate and violent-sounding things? Most people see that type of language as offensive and even dangerous. The exception is people who grew up in New York. We see it as “talking.”

    After college, when I moved from upstate New York to California, I had to relearn how to talk. My New York style offended nearly everyone. Let me give you an example of how a Californian talks compared to a New Yorker.

    Californian: It looks like it might rain today.

    New Yorker: Oh, shit. Fucking rain. I need that like I need a goddamned bullet in my head.”

    The offense people take to NY speech when I leave NY makes me laugh after I realize that sarcasm is not the lingua franca everywhere else in the country (where I often get blank stares when I use it).

    1. JCC

      Good point. Coincidentally I had two conversations this very week with CA natives talking about NY (my home area). Not uncommon observations, either.

      One stated that before she took her one and only vacation to NY City she was nervous and had low expectations. She ended up loving it and was very impressed with how friendly and funny the NY City natives were once she got used to their style. She also mentioned how much better and friendlier public service – restaurants, etc – was compared to CA. Too true based on my experience here.

      The other was a co-worker who talked about a former Manager from NY City that took years to “fit in”, “He was loud, brash, and swore like a sailor. Eventually he calmed down and turned out to be a heckuva nice guy.”.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Hillary is more the “Big Stick” kind of lady… Speech = money, don’tcha know? Local and regional inflections drowned and boiled in the frog bath of neoliberalism…

  14. JCC

    On The Tide of Globalisation Is Turning:

    The failure — a profound one — lies in not ensuring that gains were more equally shared, notably within high-income economies. Equally dismal was the failure to cushion those adversely affected. But we cannot stop economic change. Moreover, the impact on jobs and wages of rising productivity and new technologies has far exceeded that of rising imports. Globalisation must not be made a scapegoat for all our ills.

    Why not?

    Martin Wolf specifically ignores both the lack of liberalising migration/flows of people and the completely unmention Investor-State Dispute Systems that go along with Globalisation. Trade should not be a scapegoat, but Globalizsation, as designed today, is not just trade and it is a main driver of our ills.

    1. flora

      I’d think Wolf would know a little bit of his history. Rising trade (or offshoring manufacturing) with China, rising demand by China to control trade routes. See: China now claiming “ownership” of the vital international trade sea lanes in the South China Sea. Globalization has more effects in the West than only rising wealth inequality. There are some voices in the West calling for less democracy. yikes!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Globalization of production, one reserve currency (backed by might), and less democracy in order to defend that one reserve currency – they are all linked.

        On the other hand, when globalization of power is imposed first (i.e. when Genghis Khan’s paper money, backed by his Mongolian pony army, was good everywhere, for example, his power was globalized), globalization of production is smoother (and you see Persian artisans working with Chinese potters in Jingdezhen to produce the worlds’s first blue and white porcelain – evidence of which can be seen on portrait drawings showing western faces on many Yuan dynasty blue and white pieces, and also the telltale cobalt blue pigment – it fires to a deep, beautiful purplish blue that penetrates the clay body so you can feel the bumps, from the painted patterns, on the surface – that was imported from Persia).

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      He could have said globalization is actually good for us. But he didn’t.

      Instead, he is saying either

      1 Globalization is partially to blame.
      2. Globalization, while not actually good for us, is not to blame.

      I don’t think he has made a case for (2) above either.

      That is, I think he is saying these following 2 factors (plus the third mentioned by JCC) contribute to all our ills.

      1 Globalization and rising imports
      2 Productivity and new technologies.
      3. Migration

      If so, we have to curb all three (he can claim, or not, we are ‘scapegoating’) to cure our ills.

  15. Anne

    “What is Aleppo?”

    Three words that mark the end of the Gary Johnson experiment.

    Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential nominee, revealed a surprising lack of foreign policy knowledge on Thursday that could rock his insurgent candidacy when he could not answer a basic question about the crisis in Aleppo, Syria.

    “What is Aleppo?” Mr. Johnson said when asked on MSNBC how, as president, he would address the refugee crisis in the war-torn Syrian city.

    When pressed as to whether he was serious, Mr. Johnson indicated that he really was not aware of the city, which has been widely covered during the years that Syria has been engulfed in civil war. After Mike Barnicle, an MSNBC commentator who is often part of the “Morning Joe” program panel, explained that Aleppo was the center of Syria’s refugee crisis, Mr. Johnson struggled to recover.

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


    Mr. Johnson expressed disappointment about the lapse in a brief follow-up interview that was broadcast on MSNBC and canceled some of his other scheduled interviews planned for later in the day.

    “I’m incredibly frustrated with myself,” he said. “I have to get smarter and that’s just part of the process.”

    Too late.

    1. OIFVet

      A rather substantial portion of the electorate can’t find America on a map. So why would they care that Johnson hadn’t heard of Aleppo? As the current BG PM once said to an adoring crowd: “I am a simpleton and you are simpletons, so we understand each other perfectly.” He keeps winning elections, too…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I wonder if it’s a case of reading about Aleppo in the news, instead of hearing, so that, when people say ‘Aleppo,’ the brain doesn’t quite register.

        There are foreign words (for places, names or otherwise) that I recognize on paper, but often don’t pick up, immediately, when people say those words in a conversation. Maybe his mind was stuck with the pronunciation accent on the first syllable.


    2. Katniss Everdeen

      I thought the top of scarborough’s head was going to blow off when he heard this.

      What pissed me off royally, was that the question was NOT, “What would you do about Ferguson or Baltimore or Chicago?”

      I know I read somewhere that when politicians cannot solve problems at home, they concentrate on foreign “policy.” It’s one of the perks, I guess, of being a citizen of the indispensable nation. We get to “elect” the king or queen of the world, and “Aleppo” becomes our cross to bear. Whether we can find it on a map or not.

      1. pretzelattack

        exactly, “what is your position on ferguson?”; “what is your position on toxic water in detroit?”–the politicians that talk the most about aleppo want a war in syria. not that i support johnson, mind.

      2. Anne

        You have to remember, though, that the folks at MSNBC were in the process of giving each other a tongue bath after the “Commander-in-Chief” forum, and it was all about foreign policy and the Middle East and veterans and flag-waving.

        Considering what a terrible job Matt Lauer did in his role at that event, I have no expectation that had the focus been on our cities and economic and racial inequities, he would have done any better, or that the post-forum discussion would have been any more on point.

        It does not bode well for the “debates,” that’s for sure.

        I was a little taken aback by Johnson’s deer-in-the-headlights reaction to being asked “what about Aleppo? If he didn’t know what “it” was, he could have said, “can you be more specific?” or simply thrown the question back at Barnicle. But he didn’t. He had to have known that he was being asked to be on the show to discuss issues that had come up in the forum the night before, so how could he have been so ill-prepared? Especially, since he and others have been pushing hard for the debates to include third-party candidates, and having a command of facts and issues would have gone a long way to help make that case.

        The whole thing is at once maddening and depressing; we may set a record for lowest turnout for an election ever, that’s how bad it is.

    3. Cujo359

      I know where Aleppo is. I could probably point out its position on an outline map of Syria within a thumbwidth or so. So what? Aleppo is one of those details technocrats get bogged down in while they’re missing the big picture. That, I think, Johnson got as right as any of the Presidential candidates.

      Besides the gotcha nature of this bit of news, the thing that honks me off is that both he and Jill Stein have been saying and doing lots of things in the last few weeks. What’s shown up on my news RSS?

      * Gary Johnson didn’t recognize what the word “Aleppo” meant.

      * Jill Stein flew to the wrong city in Ohio, and the crowd had to wait until she drove from the (wrong) airport.

      That’s the first thing I’ve noticed the Guardian,Reuters,USA Today,or the BBC writing about them in at least a month.

      Just stating the obvious, of course, so it doesn’t get forgotten.

  16. allan

    Not to defend Johnson, but is “What is Aleppo?” any worse than “Wiped? Like with a cloth or something?” ?

    1. RabidGandhi

      And furthermore, it’s harder to pull a “we came, we saw, he died” when you don’t even know the place exists.

  17. Jim Haygood

    Judge Nap on the FBI’s report about Hillary’s interrogation:

    The FBI must have been restrained from the outset from conducting an aggressive investigation. It did not present any evidence to a grand jury. It did not ask a grand jury for any subpoenas, and hence it didn’t serve any. It did not ask a judge for any search warrants, and hence it didn’t serve any. The data and hardware it gathered in the case were given to it in response to simple requests it made.

    I counted five times in the report where the FBI lamented that it did not have what it needed. This is the FBI’s own fault. This tepid FBI behavior is novel in modern federal law enforcement. It is inimical to public safety and the rule of law. It is close to misconduct in office by high-ranking FBI officials.

    Someone restrained the FBI.

    Notwithstanding the mountain of evidence pointing to Clinton’s guilt, it is highly improper and grossly unfair to release evidence gathered against a person who will not be prosecuted. All this evidence is secret under DOJ regulations.

    FBI management blindly followed what they were told to do — exonerate Hillary Clinton. There is no other explanation for the FBI’s failure from the outset to use ordinary law enforcement tools available to it.

    Just another example of the Clintons’ infallible reverse Midas touch: they corrupt everything they touch.

  18. Pavel

    The Obamacare clusterf*ck rolls on…

    About half of Americans disapprove of ObamaCare, a slight uptick since November of last year, according to a new Gallup poll released Thursday.

    Fifty-one percent said they disapprove of ObamaCare, while 44 percent said they support the health law. In November, the poll found that 49 percent disapproved and 47 percent approved.
    The poll comes a month after the insurance group Aetna announced it was pulling out of ObamaCare markets in 11 states.

    The survey showed that 29 percent say the health law has hurt them and their family, a new high for the poll and a slight raise from the 26 percent who said the same in November.

    Eighteen percent say they that ObamaCare has helped them, a 4-point drop since November.

    The poll surveyed 1,015 adults from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

    [The Hill]: Poll: Half of Americans disapprove of ObamaCare

    Who could’ve predicted (*cough* Lambert)…?

      1. cwaltz


        So the exceptionally American options to health care is to either pay $200 to insurance companies for them to tell you that you need to pay out the first $3000 before they’ll even pay a dime out of those premiums and ignore your health care needs or you get or pay the government almost $175 a month to also ignore your health care needs?

        How uniquely American!

  19. Steve H.

    – The OPM Data Breach

    !. !. !.

    Lest we forget:

    “But not all, we are auction the best files.”


    “Thus we cannot escape the fact that the world we know is constructed in order (and thus in such a way as to be able) to see itself.” – G. Spencer Brown

    All of which lend to wyrd thoughts on the teleology of the Panopticon.

  20. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Mess in Syria by Robert F. Kennedy , Jr. & response by Stephen Zunes Tikkun

    Amazingly informative history of u.s. involvement in the Middle East, explaining how we got into the bloody, expensive, unmanageable situation in which we find ourselves today. Also, no shortage of details of how the american public, to the extent they are even capable of understanding, are deliberately and consistently misinformed. A “must read” for anyone trying to make sense of the relentless barrage of conflicting information on the u. s. position on the Middle East.

    And, although it’s not identified as such, a comment on Trump’s assessment of who “founded” isis:

    Across the Mid-East, Arab leaders routinely accuse the U.S. of having created ISIS. To most Americans immersed in U.S. media perspective, such accusations seem insane. However, to many Arabs, the evidence of U.S. involvement is so abundant that they conclude that our role in fostering ISIS must have been deliberate.

  21. JohnnyGL

    Looking at a bundle of polls released from Emerson….Clinton is at 50% in Massachusetts and Connecticut, with Trump in the mid-30s (making it a big lead).

    If a Democratic candidate for president can’t win an absolute majority of voters in the truest of true blue states, that’s a sign of trouble…

    1. Scott

      The results in Rhode Island also show something similar. However, a few years ago, I read an article (I think it was at Fivethirtyeight) that specified that there is a difference between swing states and swing votes. A state like Wisconsin has a lot of very conservative and very liberal people, and the level of turnout/interest drives which direction the state goes (which is how it elected Scott Walker and Russ Fiengold). While not a swing state, Massachusetts has a lot of swing voters (mostly blue collar whites), thus it’s percentage changes more, although it is a reliability Democratic state.

      As someone who lives in Massachusetts, I see a lot of Trump signs in the lower middle class suburbs, while the only Clinton signs are in front of the US Rep’s house.

    2. Heliopause

      I plugged the Emerson results into a simple algorithm I use on state level polls, and it had quite an impact. It suggests a Clinton national lead of 1.8%. By comparison RCP’s 2-way national poll is 2.8, 4-way is 2.1, and Pollster’s national trend estimate is Clinton +5.3.

      I have to think that the Rhode Island result especially is an outlier, but even so the race is far closer now than it was a month ago.

  22. DJG

    The fashion at Burning Man: Parasol. “Quirky.”

    Much visual evidence of desperation.

    Also, it looks like there was a big run on the clothes departments at Target.

    Burning Man = If people think that heart-shaped glasses are revolutionary, I can hardly wait (or I guess I’ll have to wait forever) for incremental change.

        1. Skippy

          Reminds me of the people on the roof top in the move Independence Day…. just before the energy weapon started the light show….

          Disheveled Marsupial…. additionally were is the ATF[?]… one would think a raid would net quite a few high profile drug traffickers for questioning… or is this like Afghanistan goes Grateful Dead parking lot….

  23. LT

    Always see the stat about roughly a third of adults in this country that have completed degrees. It is usually accompanied by stats that say those with degrees command higher salaries. Are there any studies that suggest the reason for the higher salaries is because most people do not have the degrees?
    And what would the effect on salaries for degree holders be once that field is over-flowing with graduates? Could a push for more degree holders also mask a push to cut the salary requirements for degree holders?
    In the current economic system, from the corner store to the factory to the corporate office, labor is still on the liability side of the financial ledger. Whether that should change gets to the very core of how we value labor.

    1. diptherio

      Actually, we’re already overflowing. I know a lot of people with degrees (myself included) who work in construction, food service, etc. While a degree holders have a higher average salary than non-degree holders, a few people are really throwing off the average. Every CEO is a degree holder, for instance, but their salaries are far from representative of most people’s.

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    How to raise a genius.

    It’s telling we don’t ask how to raise a mahatma.

    A sniper who fires a shot or a question only exposes/betrays himself or herself, making him or her vulnerable.

    “I want to be the smartest guy in the room.” It seems that’s what we have been brainwashed into believing since kindergarten.

    It’s about out-smarting others every time.

    1. Romancing The Loan

      I noticed how they immediately defined intelligence down to “does well in STEM classes.” Maybe they should have had one of the featured kids write the article.

    2. Jake Mudrosti

      That’s an interesting point.

      I came at the article from a different angle, seeing it as one example of poorly-conducted education research such as the work of “MacArthur Genius” Angela Duckworth. She’s been lauded for promoting the concept of “grit” as a factor for success.
      As a concept, it’s straight-up pseudoscientific. Yet it has the proper Ayn Rand angle, so it gets applause from many who are thrilled to see “support” for what they always “knew” to be right.

      I had a great conversation with a research psychologist who specializes in memory and skill acquisition, and he described the bogus concept of “grit” more or less like this:

      Suppose a physicist received a major award for teaching that “successful” cars have the attribute of “oomph!” What is “oomph”? Sleek styling, power — c’mon, you know “oomph” when you see it!
      Now imagine that engineers began teaching that “oomph” is an incredible grand-unified concept that represents a leap beyond earlier effective terminology and effective concepts used by automotive engineers such as “momentum”, “energy”, “equilibrium,” and every single other thing laid out with precision in physics textbooks. Journal articles could be written, conferences could be held, but the bogus merging of design and engineering in the term “oomph” would perversely end up strengthened with every mention in every critique. How many years of lost effort and public disasters would there be before the field could repair such damage?

      1. jrs

        I read that as griFt as a factor in success and thought “interesting … maybe Ayn Rand hates griFt too, but it’s still interesting I don’t care what you say …”.

        Even my eyeballs are cynical at this point I guess and I actually think people are studying the obvious.

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Most dangerous fashion in Burning Man 2016.

    Fashion – another brainwashing tool, I guess.

    It involves experts, conformity, peer pressure, order, money, status, etc.

  26. dk

    Does the left have a future?

    [The left] cannot find answers to three urgent problems: the disruptive force of globalisation, the rise of populist nationalism, and the decline of traditional work

    And this new mood is growing partly because of factors tangled up with the decline of the left: the demise of trade unions and the traditional workplace, which have left political vacuums now filled by another form of collective identity. A glaring example is the new politics of England and Englishness, which is as much bound up with class as it is with place, and has so far simmered away without finding a coherent expression.

    It’s bound up with class in the minds of class analysts. Marxism’s great failing is an over-reliance on class analysis, almost completely ignoring regional aspects of community (not to be confused with populist nationalism).

    People living in the same places share experiences in ways that people in different places, while (nominally) of the same class, or engaging in the same work or politics or religion or entertainment, do not.

    Local groups share: weather, immediate economic impacts (even people from different classes are affected by regional resource availabilities and pricing), impacts of local government (again, class differences may produce different reactions to such impacts, but they are still the same impacts, a common experience). These factors affect the biological organism as well as the conceptive identity. Humans have come to think of themselves as creatures of pure thought, which they simply are not. Unfortunately, contemporary technologies and the commercial (hence capitalist) culture increasingly isolate physical identity, with several collateral effects on health and consciousness.

    Communities depend on recognition of peers, while class and other distinctions may obscure it, that recognition still exists. One way to find it is while travelling, once people from the same neighborhood or town become aware of each other, they have established a mutual peer-level recognition, class differences aside.

    Trust requires community. Marxism theorizes that common class or work creates community, and therefore brings trust; it does to a slight extent, but other factors (regionality not least among them) can countervene that trust. Hence, the left cannot rely on class commonalities or shared circumstances in the workplace (or trans-regional unions) to build the trust needed for a political commitment and active follow-through.

    Localized political and community action is still the bedrock of human cooperation. Globalists (the left is a globalist philosophy) claim that only conscious coordination can achieve global goals (and we face some important global challenges, manifesting in our various communities), but they dismiss a valuable quality of rational thought: rationality converges, irrationality diverges. Therefor, rational local groups will tend to converge, requiring only shared (verifiable/reproducible, or demonstrably trustworthy) information to reach common conclusions. We can see that this actually happens when we examine local attempts at cooperative community, which use similar methods to achieve similar goals from diverse local circumstances.

    The thinkers of the modern left may have subordinate their fondness for class distinctions in order to offer support to local communities, as those communities attempt to self-organize and achieve reasonable and equitable goals for themselves, and support the process of their convergence towards necessary global considerations.

    1. Robert Hahl

      The answer to inequality is the same one that worked last time, i.e., a 91% marginal tax rate, starting at about $3 million in today’s money.

        1. dk

          Those are important and some kinds of corrections have to happen. But the billionaires won’t suddenly become benign, and even with improvements in parity/equity, we have a lot of holes to dig out of. If we start squabbling unconstructively the gains will be short-lived or diluted/adulterated, e.g. Dems and identity politics.

          Community identities can be a comparatively safer (as in, less hijackable) part of the power base to initiate these changes as well. And they’ll be essential for follow through and to sustain any gains made.

    2. fresno dan

      September 8, 2016 at 12:02 pm
      Interesting analysis dk.

      ” glaring example is the new politics of England and Englishness, which is as much bound up with class as it is with place, and has so far simmered away without finding a coherent expression.”

      I think for a long time nationalism was considered by many on the left as a bad thing. The more “liberal” view was with regard to open borders, trade, and that nationalism was equated with xenophobia – I thought this way for a long time.

      But now it appears to me that if you destroy the bonds that tie people together by the physical fact of political boundaries based on geography, whether local, state, or national, it begs the question of what ties the community together if not for physical proximity??? The Davos man visiting an island may be much concerned about the environment, but can scarcely be expected to be willing to pay taxes to support local education (although this type is the master of propaganda and can be expected to be LEVERAGING resources through the Clintoon foundation to help locals – and of course its all press agentery).

      Boundaries transcend race, sex, age, sexual orientation, etcetera. As you (dk) note, trust requires community, and I would say a physical spatial community is a far different beast than an internet chatroom with its fluidity and impermanence.
      If one is not loyal or bound to a nation state or physical location, can one expect a corporate loyalist (i.e., Davos man) to ever make an actual money losing sacrifice, when the “economic rational choice” would be to flee…uh, I mean relocate???

      If I am in a flood in New Orleans, who is more likely to help me – a person of the same “class” in Budapest or a hairdresser who lives 6 blocks away?

      1. dk

        Thank you for apprehending and expanding, i think these are very good examples. I had a paragraph with an attempt expansion but ditched it, you nailed the experiential/subjective aspect pretty well. And I think the subjective aspect is one we can readily understand and communicate about, and that can have broad appeal if unencumbered by irrelevancies/falshoods for the sake of power accumulation; it already has significant appeal when so encumbered, as seen in populist [sic] nationalism.

        More objectively, phenotypes adapt to environmental factors, on several levels including neural pathways ( , hey look, dissapearing internet resources) and post-developmental gene expression (, Effects on conscious identity (in isolation and in community/society) remain largely unexplored in contemporary research, although I have some evidence that it was understood to considerable extent in past cultures (for example in The Art Of War, on examination of own/opponent cultures and economies).

    3. Andrew Watts

      I don’t think the failings of Marxism has anything to do with class analysis. Among the faults of Marxist thinkers were the overly optimistic musings of the nature of the proletariat. The proletariat kinda let those Marxists down when they proved to be just as venal and self-interested as any other individual or class.

      Your emphasis on local/regional community and shared experience ignores the existence of inner-group competition between various individuals, groups, and classes contained within any community. I doubt that shared experience will overcome ego or self-interest.

      1. dk

        Well, tomayto/tomahto. The Marxists failed to see it coming, offering little or no room for localized expression of principles, or for any divergence from their target model, which I would say is predicated on addressing class factors, to the absence of anything else. Somewhat like programming to the sensor in computing, when one tries to adjust the system based on a single or limited set of conditions, statuses or sensors; crazy feedback loops frequently result, among other undesirable consequences (apparently the expression programming to the sensor is no longer in use, couldn’t find it on google.. but automated high-speed traders probably know a current term). To my ears, the post-Marxists are saying the same thing I am, but filtering the conclusion back through the class analysis without further examination. Why would would the self-interest of proletariates diverge from broader policies? Maybe the proles just realized they were going to get shafted by centralized corruption (same as it ever was), as in the USSR, and contemporary China continues to wrestle with this (with scant help from the Party). Lefties have a massive blind spot when it comes to their own failings; which is why the article ( was so refreshing, an honest attempt to look past the constraints of dogmatic review.

        Self-interest can (actually, should) have rational components. Inter-group competition isn’t necessarily destructive, it can even strengthen group identity (e.g., in athletic teams and sporting communities). Severe class differences within communities are certainly dysfunctional, and must be addressed. But today, In the USA and abroad, the range of economic/class disparity is supported and controlled by broad federal policy; that part of the problem has to be addressed on that level, as Robert Hahl and MLTPB suggest above ( But not all communities exhibit the most extreme divergences, so there are locales where activity can begin prior to national/macro remedies.

        But absolute class uniformity is not healthy for communities, either; communities compete with each other as well, and a degree for class diversity can be an asset in that scenario. There is a somewhat separate discussion of inter-class mobility (e.g., students, retirement) that I think post-Marxists should pursue, the model has its limits.

        I doubt that shared experience will overcome ego or self-interest.

        It doesn’t have to overcome it, it just has to be an available resource; shared experience has value to the self. If our local community offers us little or nothing (or if we fail to perceive the benefits, as is increasingly the case in contemporary culture), aggressive self-interested competition is a rational choice. But even today, local community involvement and activity is the major path to both social change and broader political power (Occupy, BLM, Tea Party as specific cases, but look at the career arcs of almost any Federal or State representative; the vast majority rose through the ranks from initially local seats).

        And can we really call it self-interest when a tip-of-the-pyramid dominant 0.1% class is so energetically cutting the throats of the horses they rode in on, the classes below them? Those people are power-drunk and ideology-crazy, a rational self-interest would desire stability to balance aggregation. This kind of collapsed self-interest may be a perverse variation of community disenfranchisement, just to suggest an alternative explanation for the behavior.

        1. dk

          lost fragment: one can’t use a method or philosophy to troubleshoot itself, because one may need to examine the factors the method or philosophy ignores or obscures /abstracts.

    4. Jim

      I would argue that many of us in the precariat are, at this moment, attempting to develop a personal strategy (of which there are a great variety) for hopefully surviving, as best we can, the ever oncoming (economic/financial/political/cultural) storm.

      We know in our bones that there are presently no social movements or institutional structures that offer us real protection on any level (economic/financial/political or cultural.

      Can a new political/ social//economic/cultural movement be created out of the apparent necessity, short to medium term, of finding shelter from this assumed, oncoming, macro-storm?

      Is this storm assumption accurate?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Between bread and circuses, I think the former is more robust.

        Especially with genetic engineering and pesticides.

        Circuses, on the other hand, the modern version that is, are far more fragile, being heavily dependent on satellites, solar flares and non-combusting batteries.

        When they go, I sense, we might get a real, genuine movement going. That’s my guess.

      2. dk

        TLDR; I think a “new movement” is going to have to defy some of the common/current definitions of movements, and feature local involvement and action before larger coordination/convergence between local elements takes on national issues.

        I have came to the storm assumption myself, some 50 years ago. My subsequent experiences suggest that local community identification/recognition and contribution/building can forge strong personal and economic bonds (driven, of course, by self-interest on the part of all parties). These have allowed me to survive several adverse scenarios. But it’s an inductive process: offer benefit in exchange for benefit (and honesty is a benefit).

        We know in our bones that there are presently no social movements or institutional structures that offer us real protection on any level (economic/financial/political or cultural.

        Well, none of the ones discussed in the media, anyway. But (and I know this is going to sound hokey) grassroots activism is chimeral; it takes on the forms it has to, or it evaporates. When it’s driven by local interests/needs and circumstances, it may not attract outside attention or recognition. In the US, local activism can and does shape local and regional policies; unfortunately much of that activism is driven by ideological agendas, but this only shows that the model is viable, and that the left is missing the boat by dismissing local involvement in favor of national kite-chasing.

        I am hoping that a “new movement” will take the form of ad hoc aggregation and convergence of disparate local groups. These groups will have to develop around local and regional issues, in order to have the numbers to take on national issues and opposing interests in aggregate. And I think the only challenge is a completely muddled activist mindset, that gets caught up in national media coverage and fails to do its ground work, and/or fails to maintain its value to its original constituencies, e.g. national unions, major US parties, et al.

        I’d like to give specific examples but can’t easily find any especially clear ones, however they show up in Links/ WaterCooler every so often; local activist group achieves significant local/regional policy change. Lambert is recent involved in combating poor landfill regulation in Maine, I wonder how that’s going. And Yves’ focus on CalPERS targets a leader in a small virtual hyperlocality (state pension funds, itself a member of the general pension fund community), through which she hopes to influence the larger community set (and even investment thought in general); it’s like looking for a stress point in a structure: a relatively small but specific force can disrupt a vary large and generally stable structure (and martial artists, like V. Putin, take similar strategic approaches). And large power orgs like the Kochs achieve a lot by going down to more local levels to initiate policies and set precedents. To ignore the effectiveness of the strategy is just silly; it can be used constructively, and desperately needs to be.

  27. abynormal

    hope this is low enuff on the thread but I wanted to Thank Everyone!, responding to the news of my brother. i reflected on every single post…twice. amazing how we really can & do brush against each other. i just picked up my daughter so we have 4 generation gathered…if one feels under it someone is there to make us laff enuff to change underwear. of course getting my daughter thru downtown at 7am with something called ‘train wreck’ (the gawds were with me), braced me for the house of painful decisions to come…concerning i can’t take care her alone without serious complications.

    on a better note: peaceful Derrick & I were together the 1st time this was played…i’m sure many of you remember where you were too:
    All that you touch
    All that you see
    All that you taste
    All you feel
    All that you love
    All that you hate
    All you distrust
    All you save
    All that you give
    All that you deal
    All that you buy
    beg, borrow or steal
    All you create
    All you destroy
    All that you do
    All that you say
    All that you eat
    everyone you meet
    All that you slight
    everyone you fight
    All that is now
    All that is gone
    All that’s to come
    And everything under the sun is in tune
    But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.


    1. Anne

      aby, I didn’t post a comment at the time, but I have had your moving post on my mind. The one and only person whose death I witnessed was my uncle’s, in 2005. I was somewhat fearful in the days and hours leading up to it, but when it finally happened, I realized that as painful as it was to be saying goodbye to him, it was also something of a privilege. I was in the presence of something much bigger than I was, and somehow, as he gently faded away into the next world, I felt like the essence of who he was, and the totality of his life became larger, not smaller.

      I’m probably not explaining that right, but I guess when I read your heartbreaking wish to not have to keep being the person in whose arms a loved one dies, I wanted to share that, but not in a way that diminished how you were feeling, and I was afraid that was how it was going to come across. The pain of losing someone so important is something no one ever wants to feel – giving someone the gift of being present at such a momentous event is truly an act of love, selfless and unconditional and that, at least for me, was a comfort.

      I hope it will be that for you, too.

      1. Katharine

        Amen to that! I have always been grateful I was present for my father’s death, and sorry I missed my mother’s. Yet I’ve always had a feeling she arranged that, and it was her death after all, not a time for my wishes to count.

        But it’s never easy, no matter what the circumstances.

        1. Elizabeth

          My mom recently passed away, and I am so very grateful that I was with her at the end. It really is a sacred moment, and one that will offer comfort as time passes. It’s so hard to say good-bye, but as time passes for you Aby, I hope you will find great strength and solace in being with your brother in his last moments.

  28. Katharine

    Obama on Dakota Access is embarrassing, not quite on a par with “What is Aleppo?” but too close, especially if you hear it.

    But for a riveting must-read/listen/see, go to this last segment from today’s Democracy Now:

    As I write, the full transcript is not up yet, but I heard the broadcast and cannot recommend it highly enough.

    1. Judith

      Yes, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard’s narrative was very moving and troubling, It is good to be reminded of the terrible details of the genocide.

      Obama is really checked out. He has no idea what is going on at Standing Rock. He is no longer even trying to imitate a caring, sensitive liberal. Just waiting to cash in his chips, I guess.

      Amy Goodman, on the other hand, cares deeply and is a treasure.

  29. Knot Galt

    I wonder if Comey’s comment of “was not a cliff hanger” will be equivocated with “slam dunk” from the Bush Administration?

  30. Knot Galt

    Re: FBI Director-Clinton email case “was not a cliff hanger”. I wonder if Comeys’ statement will become as infamous as Tenets’ “slam dunk case” remark to George Bush about invading Iraq?

  31. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Fading college dream saps US economy of productivity miracle.

    I thought it was about churning out more robot-like graduates to compete with robots, a struggle, I think, robots will win eventually.

    “Let’s use machines to find better behaved bankers. Later, let’s find machine bankers.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That’s the future – The Robots’ Republic of Mars, a self-contained world of robots producing and serving other robots only.

        It will not be contaminated by humans from Earth.

        1. Andrew Watts

          I can’t help but think this is great news. Those robots won’t rise up and enslave their human drone overlords.

          Knowledge Brings Fear” -Mars University in Futurama.

          Hey, those robots are self-contained for a reason. Probably a good one.

    1. jrs

      I was expecting a mournful article on how noone wants to go to college anymore. Then I saw the peak they were comparing to was 2011. wth. The only reason so many were enrolled in college then was NOONE COULD GET A @#$# JOB. And if that is less the case now, that’s good. You can’t compare times deep in the Great Long Recession to anything and expect the data to be meaningful. Do these idiots not even remember how bad the Great Recession was? Still is for some but many have seen some recovery.

  32. Oregoncharles

    Hanjin Shipping’s Troubles Leave $14 Billion in Cargo Stranded at Sea : a small foretaste of societal collapse – and actually, just the sort of thing that could start the snowball down the hill.

  33. Eddie Torres

    In the piece on the Clinton Foundation, I don’t think Charles K. Ortel understands the difference between a 501(c)3 Private Foundation and a 501(c)3 Public Charity. He regularly interchanges the terms “tax-exempt organization” and “federally authorized nonprofit corporation” without recognizing that tax-exempt entities under section 501(c)3 must first be organized under the incorporation laws of the resident state of origin.

    Ortel also relies on Breitbart for news on the relationship between the IRS and the “Clinton Charity Network”.

    A quick search reveals Ortel’s occasional guest spots on marginally-antisemitic Sun News Network in Canada that averaged 8,000 viewers before shutting down. They were significant for having hired mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Toronto city councillor Doug Ford for a “show” that lasted 1 episode.

    In short, this “extensive analysis” of the Clinton Foundation by Washington Times columnist Charles K. Ortel is factually suspect. I guess readers will have to wait for the (eventual?) release of the 20-or-so “exhibits” he cites.

    1. Yves Smith

      The IRS does not recognize the distinction you are trying to make, which renders your comment off base. 501 (c)3s must be devoted to pursuing goals, which the IRS states must be reflected in the articles of incorporation to include “a clause stating that your corporation was formed for a recognized 501(c)(3) tax-exempt purpose (e.g., charitable, religious, scientific, literary, and/or educational).”

      Organizations that engage in lobbying or political activities with an arguable public purpose (like Public Citizen) are organized as a 501 (c) 4. Their operations are not taxable but donations to them are not tax deductible to the donor.

      I referred your claim to a recognized tax authority, who argued to junk your comment, noting:

      The points he raises are not relevant to whether foundation was violating rules. Foundations aren’t required to spend a lot on charity, and Clinton one might have been spending enough on charity while still functioning as a way for donors to curry favor.

  34. ewmayer

    o ‘Star Trek’ creator Gene Roddenberry’s dynasty endures | USA Today — This week marks the 50th anniversary of the first ‘Trek’ TV broadcast. The Decades cable channel is running a special retrospective of early episodes tonight.

    o Women ask for pay increases as often as men but receive them less, study says | Guardian — Nag, nag, nag. (Kidding!)

  35. Expat

    re Brexit: It is nice to finally read an article that simply says we can’t know what Brexit will do because it has not happened yet and we don’t even know what form it will take.
    Every time I see some hairjob saying how the doomsayers were wrong about Brexit and that Britain is doing better than the Continent, I want to slap them silly. Brexit. Has, Not. Happened. It will and then the hairjobs can can talk breathlessly about how the lame economy is not the fault of Brexit because that happened six months earlier.

  36. Shwell Thanksh

    Shorter the WSJ: “Supply and demand… how does it work??”

    Many theories have been offered to explain the gap between job openings and actual hiring. It could be workers lack the skills for available jobs or that employers have become too picky, or that available workers and available jobs are in different geographies. The debate is far from settled

    It’s a mystery! It seriously never crossed their minds that they could offer more compensation for their failed job offers? And these are our business elites?

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