2:00PM Water Cooler 10/11/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, I’m a bit light on election coverage. I’ll add some updates shortly. –lambert


“EU, US negotiators officially drop aim of concluding TTIP in 2016” [Euractiv]. That’s nice!


Days until: 27.


“A new era is beginning in American politics, not only one that will see nationalism and globalism contend for the soul of the next administration but one that will give rise to new permutations of conservatism, realism, and libertarian foreign-policy thought. Whether we are to have a world of sovereign nation-states or one in which a single imperial superpower contends with increasingly fragmentary post-national and sub-national threats around the globe will depend on the decisions that are made in the near future: in the next few years. There is peril in either direction, but self-government still depends on the nation-state” [The American Conservative]. See Rodrik’s Trilemma.

The Voters

UPDATE “Powerful Evangelical Women Split From Male Church Leaders to Slam Trump” [Daily Beast]. Could be important.

“Hundreds of young people have been elected to local office under her leadership since 2011, and some of the FN’s best-known faces have yet to turn 30. Le Pen’s 26-year-old niece, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the blond bombshell of the far right, is France’s youngest MP. And then there is David Rachline, a senator and the mayor of Fréjus, who at 28 has just been named Le Pen’s presidential campaign chief” [Foreign Policy]. “At the conference, smartly dressed, articulate young activists were among those pushing Le Pen’s message most fervently.” It can’t happen here…

“During the presidential caucuses earlier this year, Democrat Bernie Sanders’ campaign fired up the youth bloc in Colorado. But his loss — and what Colorado State University political science professor Kyle Saunders characterizes as a less-than-full-throated endorsement of Clinton — leaves allegiances fragmented as the election nears” [USA Today]. “Saunders said high negatives for the two major-party candidates typically demobilizes younger voters more than those over 35.” Interesting interviews, data.

“Early voting is closely tracked by the U.S. Election Project, directed by Michael McDonald, a University of Florida political scientist. He estimates that 34 percent of the electorate will vote before Nov. 8, up a little from four years ago” [Bloomberg]. “To date, there are three states where a preliminary reading is possible and can be compared to this period four years ago, McDonald says. Republicans are doing a little better in Iowa; the picture is mixed in Maine; and Democrats have reason to cheer about North Carolina, a critical battleground.”

UPDATE The New Yorker visits “Trump Country” [The New Yorker]. These visits have now become a genre; an improvement, at least, on Friedman’s lone cab driver. Nevertheless, this is the (sadly diminished) New Yorker, so, not to be snarky, but:


“When humans lose their ability to make sense of rapid global change and the old story collapses and leaves a void, we need new ways of thinking, and we need them fast. At present, though, we are still in the nihilist moment of disillusionment and anger, in which people lose faith in the old story but before they have embraced a new one. This is the Trump moment” [The New Yorker]. Gramsci said it better (from memory): “The old is dying and the new is struggling to be born. In the interim, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”


UPDATE “Where Republicans in Competitive House and Senate Races Stand on Donald Trump” [New York Times]. Cutesy graphics with no overall table, but it looks like Republicans in safe districts are supporting Trump, and those in tight races are not. (And does anybody outside the Beltway think Paul Ryan is important?)

UPDATE “House Democrats believe Trump troubles give them real shot at retaking majority” [WaPo]. Then again, if you read the story, it’s all Democrat pollsters, so the Rice-Davies Rule applies.

The Trail

UPDATE “‘Bill Clinton had [Secretary of State] Madeleine Albright and [Secretary of Health and Human Services] Donna Shalala come out and say he was telling the truth on Monica,’ [Maureen] Dowd said. ‘And so all of these amazing, accomplished women that worked around him were kind of called to support him, and it’s almost a class issue, because they would put these women down on class or, in Monica’s case, they would say she’s a delusional stalker” [Yahoo News]. Almost?

“The Case for a ‘Two-Faced’ Hillary Clinton” [The New Republic]. “In an election in which one of the nominees is promising he’ll make great deals—that he’ll deliver everything under the sun, without remotely explaining how any of it would be politically possible—there’s something bold, even radical, in espousing such a practical philosophy for political deal-making. Maybe it’s not a popular message in this populist moment, but it would have the virtue of being honest.”

“Trump Savors ‘Lock Her Up’ Chants at Pa. Rallies” [RealClearPolitics].

“RNC goes dark as party members demand answers” [Politico]. You need to read the story for the detail; the headline is quite deceptive.

UPDATE “The truth is we won’t know [the effect of Trump’s Access Hollywood hot mike debacle] until the end of the week, when post-debate polls come in, what the full extent of the damage is (if there’s much damage at all)” [Roll Call]. Breath of sanity. As USA Today commented in their mailer today: “The head-to-head results range from Donald Trump up by 3 to Hillary Clinton up by 14 … so the actual mood of the country is somewhere in that narrow 17-point window, right?”

UPDATE “Come January, Democrats will continue to be the dominant political faction in the U.S. — more so than ever — and the tactics they are now embracing will endure past the election, making them worthy of scrutiny. Those tactics now most prominently include dismissing away any facts or documents that reflect negatively on their leaders as fake, and strongly insinuating that anyone who questions or opposes those leaders is a stooge or agent of the Kremlin, tasked with a subversive and dangerously un-American mission on behalf of hostile actors in Moscow” [Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept]. Greenwald is too kind. He forgot “strongly insinuation” openly smearing “anyone who questions or opposes those leaders” as racist and/or sexist, “irredeemable,” and basement-dwelling. The honeymoon will not be pretty, and then it will get ugly.

Podesta Wikileaks Release

Again, important because these releases give insight into how Clinton would govern.

UPDATE New release [Wikileaks].

UPDATE Here’s one:

Because, ya know, “Love trumps hate.”

Stats Watch

Yikes: “‘In light of the consistent historical practice under which independent agencies have been headed by multiple commissioners or board members, and in light of the threat to individual liberty posed by a single-Director independent agency…We therefore hold that the CFPB is unconstitutionally structured,’ the court said” [Wall Street Journal, “Federal Appeals Court Finds Structure of CFPB Unconstitutional”]. “The ruling, written by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, allowed the CFPB to continue operating as an agency, but ordered a restructuring of how it operates in the executive branch. ‘The CFPB therefore will continue to operate and to perform its many duties, but will do so as an executive agency akin to other executive agencies headed by a single person, such as the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury,’ the court said.” And: “In addition to ruling on the structure of the agency, the court threw out a CFPB decision imposing a $109 million penalty on a New Jersey mortgage servicing company, PHH Corp.” [Bloomberg]. “The agency had punished PHH Corp. for referring customers to insurers who then purchased reinsurance from a PHH subsidiary. CFPB determined those payments were part of an illegal kickback scheme. PHH said the law creating the CFPB gave an unaccountable director too much authority.”

Labor Market Conditions Index, September 2016 : Down, “extending its soft trend” (experimental Fed index) [Econoday]. And: “The index has fallen in seven of the last eight months, which will maintain an underlying tone of doubt surrounding labour-market trends, although there are still important issues of demand and supply. There is an important risk that employment growth is being restricted by supply difficulties and, in this context, there is an important risk that underlying tightness is being under-reported” [Economic Calendar]. “The relatively subdued readings over the past few months have helped convince Fed Governors that there is still some underlying slack in labour markets and the latest data will maintain the overall tone of caution. The Fed will, therefore, remain committed to only a very slow pace of tightening.”

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, September 2016: “[P]osting the second consecutive monthly decline and disappointing expectations of an increase that would resume the weak rebound from the 2-year low at 92.9 set in March” [Econoday]. ” Despite the decline in the overall optimism index, the sharpest move among the components was a very positive one, with the net percentage of business owners expecting better business conditions in the next six months rising sharply.” But plans to increase inventories fell. And: “Fifty-eight percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up 2 points), but 48 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Seventeen percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their single most important business problem” [Econintersect]. If only there were some mechanism… Like an invisible hand… to address this problem!

Whistleblowers: “The SEC last week brought its first enforcement action based solely on retaliation against a whistleblower” [The FCPA Blog]. “the SEC charged [Casino-gaming company International Gaming Technology (IGT)] exclusively with unlawful retaliation and not with violations of other securities laws. According to the SEC’s complaint, the agency found that IGT fired an executive whistleblower because he reported to senior management and the SEC that the company’s financial statements might be distorted. To resolve the claim, IGT agreed to pay a civil penalty of $500,000.”

Housing: “In this blog we examine two new CoreLogic metrics for measuring speculative belief: the Flipping Index and the Fraud Index” [Econintersect]. “If we define the overvalued markets as the CBSAs with abnormal (i.e., higher-than-national-average) flipping percentages, we end up with 16 overvalued markets among the top 100 CBSAs, all in California, Texas and Florida…. the [Core Based Statistical Areas] in Texas have below-national-average fraud risk, while the other 13 markets in California and Florida are all above the national level.”

Housing: “Foreclosure inventory continues to plunge across the nation, with the foreclosure inventory rate at 0.9% in August, down 29.6% compared to last year. However, the drop was much greater in four states that fell over 35% for the month: Michigan (37.2%), Washington (38.6%), Minnesota (36.4%) and Colorado (37.4%)” [247 Wall Street]. And: “The four states and the District of Columbia with the largest foreclosed inventory as a percentage of mortgaged properties are New Jersey (3.2%), New York (2.9%), Maine (1.8%), Hawaii (1.8%) and D.C. (1.8%). The five states with the lowest inventories of foreclosed properties are Colorado (0.3%), Minnesota (0.3%), Utah (0.3%), Arizona (0.3%) and Michigan (0.3%)” [247 Wall Street].

Consumer Credit: “Nice move up vs last month but doesn’t move the year over year needle, and this series has a history of spikes up that are immediately reversed” [Mosler Economics].

Retail: “Amazon.com Inc. is pushing deeper into the grocery business with plans to introduce convenience stores as well as curbside pickup locations, say people familiar with the matter” [Wall Street Journal, “Amazon to Expand Grocery Business With New Convenience Stores”]. Throw Mom and Pop stores from the train…

Commodities: “The long slump in commodity prices is pushing commodity-exporting countries to reshape their economies. The new national strategies are part of a broad restructuring of distribution channels taking place around the world as prices for many staples sink, currency values decline and imports get more expensive” [Wall Street Journal]. “The changes to bedrock economic policies are so significant that the deeper changes to supply chains may outlast any recovery in commodity markets.”

The Bezzle: “Did you know that one speeding ticket in Kansas could land you in jail? That’s what happened to David Jackson in 2011 after he couldn’t afford a $100 fine for speeding. Collection had been outsourced to a private contractor, and his bill quickly ballooned to $2,200 with court costs, jail fines and the contractor’s extra fees. ‘It’s illegal to be poor,’ Jackson said” [Capital and Main]. “All the while, the contractor, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, which does $1 billion in business every year, skimmed profits off the top.Jackson’s story illustrates an alarming trend. Instead of raising taxes to pay for crucial public goods and services, state and municipal governments have increasingly outsourced services to corporations that then charge people directly. The corporations, which often don’t charge the government for their services, profit by tacking on extra fees.”

The Bezzle: “[A] total of 41 million Americans were victims of identity theft last year” [247 Wall Street].

Political Risk: “From U.S. elections to Britain’s exit from the European Union to China’s shaky overhaul, top economic officials around the world are growing increasingly anxious about politics maiming global growth by propelling antitrade sentiment, suppressing investment and fueling market volatility” [Wall Street Journal, “Global Political Uncertainty Weighs on Growth Outlook”]. “Market volatility is rising alongside the uncertainty, according to indexes measuring both. Policy uncertainty is hitting levels not seen since the global financial crisis and Europe’s sovereign debt woes. Market volatility is mimicking its rise.”

“Investors who got just one trade right this year would have done brilliantly: Sell everything that did well in the first half of the year and buy everything that did badly” [“Wall Street Journal, “The Great Market Switcheroo of 2016”]. “The reversal has been spread across almost all assets, with leaders becoming laggards and laggards leaders…. The signal is the switch from fear back toward greed. … The evaporation of fear propelled investors into riskier stocks they shunned earlier in the year.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 46 Neutral (previous close: 55, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 42 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 11 at 1:24pm.

Neoliberal U

“CUNY, All Too CUNY: Or, what happens when higher-ed hoodlums aren’t brought to heel?” [Crooked Timber]. “From what I can tell (and in my experience, as I said, this is how CUNY often operates), the institution allowed [City College President Lisa Coico, this] higher-ed hoodlum to happily continue in her position, secure in the knowledge that if she ever did anything too egregious or got caught, that she’d get a mild entreaty to fix the error.” Coico has now reisgned.

Guillotine Watch

“This stunning home concept is built into the side of a cliff” [Business Insider]. Block that metaphor!


Where are the gates and the guardhouse? Over the hill?

Class Warfare

“So go ahead and take that $5,000 signing bonus to drive a chemical truck, if you are so inclined. Just don’t spend it — except maybe on classes to learn how to do something other than drive a chemical truck” [Bloomberg].

News of the Wired

On this day in math: “1949 Fan Rong K Chung Graham (October 9, 1949), known professionally as Fan Chung, is a mathematician who works mainly in the areas of spectral graph theory, extremal graph theory and random graphs, in particular in generalizing the Erdős-Rényi model for graphs with general degree distribution (including power-law graphs in the study of large information networks)…. After working at Bell Laboratories and Bellcore for nineteen years, she joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania​ as the first female tenured professor in mathematics. … Since 1983 she has been married to the mathematician Ronald Graham. They were close friends of Paul Erdős, and have both published papers with him; thus, both have Erdős numbers of 1 [!!]” [Pat’s Blog].

“The bicentenary of Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, heralds the critical reassessment of a remarkable figure in the history of Victorian science. Ada Lovelace (as she is now known) was 27 years old and married with 3 children when she published the first account of a prototype computer and its possible applications in 1843. Her 20,000-word paper was appended as seven Notes to a translation of a descriptive article, Sketch of the Analytical Engine Invented by Charles Babbage, Esq.” [Nature]. She died at 36.

I love pre-60s art in this “modern” style. This site has lots of it! [From Deco to Atom].

“[Google has] just released a new open-source font called Noto, a single typeface family that “aims to support all languages with a harmonious look and feel.” It supports more than 800 languages and 100 writing scripts” [Hot Hardware]. “Noto is a massive undertaking, but one deemed necessary by Google. It’s been working on the project over the past five years in collaboration with Monotype in hopes of eradicating so-called “tofu”—the blank boxes you see when a PC or website can’t display a particular text—from the web. Noto, or No more tofu, is Google’s answer and it’s available now to download.”

“Carved into a 1.5 meter-long marble stele, the document goes into great detail about the property and its amenities. We learn that it’s a tract of land that was given to the Neos, a group of men aged 20-30 associated with the city’s gymnasium. In ancient Greece, a gymnasium wasn’t just a place for exercise and public games—it was a combination of university and professional training school for well-off citizens. Neos were newbie citizens who often had internship-like jobs in city administration or politics” [Ars Technica]. “The land described in the lease was given to the Neos by a wealthy citizen of Teos, in a gift that was likely half-generosity, half-tax writeoff. Because the land contained a shrine, it was classified as a “holy” place that couldn’t be taxed. Along with the land, the donor gave the Neos all the property on it, including several slaves.”

“An annual pumpkin-weighing contest in Northern California has a new winner: a third-grade teacher from Washington state who raised a giant one weighing 1,910 pounds” [Los Angeles Times].

“Sure, You Can Borrow My Car!” [BK Magazine]. “Here’s a rundown of some things you should know about the Volvo before heading out:…”

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant:


From the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

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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. timbers

    The Trail

    “The Case for a ‘Two-Faced’ Hillary Clinton” [The New Republic]. “In an election in which one of the nominees is promising he’ll make great deals—that he’ll deliver everything under the sun, without remotely explaining how any of it would be politically possible—there’s something bold, even radical, in espousing such a practical philosophy for political deal-making. Maybe it’s not a popular message in this populist moment, but it would have the virtue of being honest.”

    I better like the reasoning in Basic Instinct when Sharon Stone just after passing a lie detector test said to Nick in reference to his killing civilians while on cocaine: “You see Nick … we’re both innocent.”


    “We therefore hold that the CFPB is unconstitutionally structured,’ the court said” … PHH said the law creating the CFPB gave an unaccountable director too much authority.”

    Can we get this same judge to rule on the constitutionality of the AUMF, Patriot Act, or any case brought regarding NSA spyiny?

    1. allan

      “Can we get this same judge to rule on the constitutionality of the AUMF, Patriot Act, or any case brought regarding NSA spyiny?”

      Unfortunately, this very same judge has a long history on those issues,
      including time in the Bush Cheney White House before getting a lifetime appointment on the bench,
      and for the most part it’s not pretty. Emptywheel has an entire archive devoted to him.

      1. Vatch

        This segues into an argument in favor of voting for Hillary Clinton that I can’t rebut: Republicans appoint bad people to both the Executive branch and to the Judiciary, but Democrats only appoint bad people to the Executive branch. Therefore, one should vote for Hillary Clinton, Democrat. I’ve oversimplified the argument, but in general, that’s what some people have told me, and I don’t have a good counter argument.

        That doesn’t mean I’m going to vote for Clinton. She’s a crook. I’ll either leave the Presidential part of the ballot blank, or vote for Stein, despite my great annoyance over some of the things that Ajamu Baraka has said.

        1. nippersmom

          Merrick Garland, Obama’s latest nominee, is pro-Ciizen’s United, so not sure how “good” he is. Conventional wisdom about Democratic vs. Republican appointees to the bench would seem suspect to me in a day when the Overton window has shifted so far to the right that the Democratic candidate for President is more conservative, more pro-business, more hawkish, and less environmentally responsible than Richard Nixon,

          1. Vatch

            I challenge you to find any Democratic judicial appointments of the past 3 decades that are as bad as Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, or Samuel Alito.

            As for Garland, he’s not good, but he’s certainly not as bad as any Republican nominee would be. And he hasn’t even been confirmed.

            1. nippersmom

              Hillary is surrounding herself with exactly the same cast of characters as those who appointed the judges you name. Why do you think her taste in justices will be any different than her taste in policy advisors or potential cabinet members?

              After Clinton signs the TPP, the Supreme Court will be moot anyway.

              1. Vatch

                Obama’s Executive branch appointments have been dismal, but his judicial appointments seem to be better — Sotomayor and Kagan. Bill Clinton appointed Breyer and Ginsburg. None of these 4 judges is remotely like Scalia.

                I strongly suspect that Hillary Clinton would nominate similar judges.

                We definitely don’t want the TPP to pass. We need to keep the pressure on Congress, so we don’t have to worry about what a President might do.

                I reiterate: there are many things wrong with Clinton, and I will not vote for her.

                I appreciate the feedback.

                  1. Steve C

                    I suspect Hillary will use judicial appointments to try to show she can “work with” Republicans and that her appointments will be disastrous. When a Democrat says s/he is making unnecessary concessions to “reach out” to Republicans [cough Obama cough], be sure to secure all your belongings.

                    1. John Wright

                      Democrats do compromise well, Joe Biden, head of Senate Judicial at the time, had a heavy hand in getting Clarence Thomas confirmed, due to his dismissing of Anita Hill’s testimony.

                      Perhaps the Supreme Court has done most of the damage it can with Citizens United. “Abortion rights” is a red flag used by both parties to solidify supporters, so in a sense neither party wants the system to change,

                      I expect HRC to nominate center right candidates, suggesting Republicans are forcing her hand.

                      What concerns me is I have underestimated the damage the recent presidents would cause. I thought Bush Jr would be a do-nothing president, playing a lot of golf and that Obama would do some progressive things. In both cases I underestimated the damage they would do.

                      I expect Clinton to cause damage, through wars, financial favors and trade agreements.

                      My fear is I am underestimating the damage she will actually do.

                      The Supreme Court composition is a minor concern to me.

            2. hunkerdown

              Yet the D Party tried to shut down one or both houses of Congress until the GOP voted on his confirmation, which is a far cry from their previous “throwaway” rationalization for choosing a far-right SCOTUS nominee. As Carl Beijer recently wrote, shifting rationales for the same action are a sign that they’re lying, they know it, and they need to be shunned, whether it’s good for their pwecious widdle minds or not.

              Never let adequacy and sufficiency get in the way of “better than” and group narcissism. That’s Un-American!

        2. marym

          Clinton’s first “appointment,” first in the line of succession, Tim Kaine, is pro-TPP, pro-Hyde Amendment, anti-labor (pro-right-to-work-for-nothing), and pro-intervention in Syria.

            1. hunkerdown

              Biden still messed up Ukraine for his family’s personal gain from the veep seat. Why do you believe that the President needs or cares to be involved in major negotiations? They all know the score and they all know where the goal is, and separation of powers is a dead letter among “team players”.

              1. Vatch

                Pence would be a bad President, Clinton would be a bad President, Trump would be a bad President,…. The next U.S. President will be bad no matter who it is.

                Since we’re discussing Tim Kaine, let’s remember that Republican Dick Cheney was one of the worst Vice Presidents of all time, and he was also unusually influential for a Vice President.

        3. timbers

          Know what you mean but try asking people who bring up judges as the reason to vote blue, why should we believe that when Dems can’t even deliver on judges when their nominee is a REPUBLICAN for goodness sakes? Then take exaggerated offense at being expected to settle for so LITTLE.

          Just a suggestion.

          1. Vatch

            I appreciate the feedback. However, I don’t think it’s clear that Garland is a Republican. Prior to nominating him, there were trial balloons from the White House suggesting that Republican Brian Sandoval of Nevada would be chosen.

            1. timbers

              IMO it’s not clear Dems will be allowed to select judges. Look at the current situation with so little fuss from DC dems, not hard imagining it being greatly expanded.

              1. apber

                Neither of you get it. Both major parties are two sides of the same coin. Both adhere strictly to the banker agenda of globalization, global government and the destruction of sovereignty and cultural values. The trillions spent on wars would have been better spent on education, infrastructure, etc. but the “One Party” eschews these worthwhile endeavors and opts to promote American hegemony on a global basis, regardless of the moral hazard or cost.

                1. Vatch

                  Oh, we get it all right. If you’ll look at my initial comment, you’ll see that I plan to vote third party, despite my issues with the Green Veep candidate. My purpose is to find reasons to convince people to vote against Hillary Clinton. Many of my friends already have reasons to vote against Donald Trump.

        4. different clue

          If a President Clinton sets off a nuclear war with Russia, it will not matter whom she “would have appointed”. There. There’s your counter-argument.

          1. Vatch

            I agree, yet I have found it is extremely difficult to convince people that Hillary Clinton is a war monger. A lot of people think that the unpredictable Trump is more likely to start a war. I disagree with that, of course, but it’s really difficult to convince people that the Groper in Chief might be at all rational.

        5. Life Is A Beanstalk

          I distinguish between crooks in step with the American Political Tradition of crookery (and a grand and noble tradition it is) and crooks who will tear the whole thing down and boil the baby in the bath water. Clinton’s negative potential is perceivable, predictable and manageable. Trump is the candidate of hubris and (potentially) irrecoverable destruction. IMHO.

          1. Bill

            Clinton is a lying, thieving poor excuse for a human being, who has no shame. She is a warmonger with no vision except for her mindless followers.

          2. Pat

            Considering our current state of the President largely able to initiate military action when and where they want to without reference to anyone else AND both Clinton and the General’s hawkishness, I have to wonder where you get that Clinton is manageable.

            Not to mention that nothing about the past 16 years has said that anyone sane, as in outside her inner circle with real concerns for rank and file Americans, can “manage” Clinton. They are too busy screwing the system and getting away with ignoring rules meant to do just that.

            Both have great hubris. and both are destructive. Both are unfit and unsuitable. There is no candidate who does not offer irrecoverable destruction.

      2. Science Officer Smirnoff

        D.C. Circuit Court has been no. 2 priority for Republicans for what—ages?

        Kavanaugh was a dream appointment for Bush-Cheney as was Janice Rogers Brown (the female Clarence Thomas but for her making Thomas look like a conservative). She’s now too old (probably) to promote to the High Court for another generation (or two) of right wing control.

        1. pretzelattack

          so the next iteration of democrat nominee will appoint somebody like brown, and we will be expected to vote for that candidate because the republicans will appoint somebody even worse. that’s how the show works.

    2. WJ

      The New Republic piece is a festering pile of shit, and I intend that phrase as purely descriptive account of the object.

      This is a woman who with her husband earned over $139 MILLION DOLLARS in paid speeches to the .1%–the OLIGARCHY–between 2007-2014 ALONE!

      And yet the cretin of a human being calling himself the author of this “piece” [of shit] chooses to insult my intelligence–yea, even perpetrate fraud upon the species!–by pretending as if this UNQUESTIONABLE FACT is simply IRRELEVANT to Clinton’s “nuanced”–[insert sounds of my heaving vomit]–distinction between her public and private position. A DISTINCTION THAT WOULD ITSELF HAVE BEEN WITHHELD FROM THE PUBLIC RECORD IF IT HAD NOT BEEN LEAKED BY WIKILEAKS, THE FOUNDER OF WHOM SHE HAS PROPOSED BE MURDERED BY DRONE STRIKE!!

      No, MY PROBLEM, YOUR PROBLEM, ANYBODY’S PROBLEM with this avaricious sociopathic warmongering ulcerous wretch is–MUST BE–that she is a WOMAN?!

      “As substantively defensible—even virtuous—as dealmaking can be, taking this tack runs the risk of confirming the public’s worst fears about Clinton: that she’s dishonest and lacking in core conviction. That notion, which has a gendered element to it….” [but might also perhaps not be unrelated to her long history of manipulation, lying, stealing, backstabbing, fraud, embezzlement, fraud, more lying, murder, more murder, more fraud]…

      Fuck it. The oligarchy doesn’t even have to be good at “public relations” anymore. Might as well get ahead of the curve and move to Brazil.

      1. Jim Haygood

        The “gendered element” canard hyperlinks to a WaPo article containing this statement from one of the interviewees:

        “Research on gender stereotypes has shown that women are often perceived as more honest than their male counterparts.”

        Meaning that even with a head start thanks to favorable bias, Hillary is still perceived as deceitful.

        Heckuva job, Hillary.

    3. Prufrock

      PHH is horrible. They purchased my mortgage last year, and started forclosure proceedings within the 60 day grace period while my autopayment was still going to the previous servicer (as allowed by law). Their customer support in Asia lied repeatedly, and when I starting informing them that I would record the calls, they would hang up or refuse to talk to me.

      They finally acknowledged their error after 3-4 calls (particularly once I found out I had to keep asking for a supervisor until I was connected to the US), but it was a huge waste of my time.

    4. Plenue

      “There’s something bold, even radical, in espousing such a practical philosophy for political deal-making. Maybe it’s not a popular message in this populist moment, but it would have the virtue of being honest.”

      This really should be focused on specifically. He’s literally saying that lying is more honest.

      1. WJ

        But if I tell you that I am lying, how do you know I am not actually telling the truth?

        Love how the basic premises behind any accountable politics, from Aristotle to Machiavelli to Arendt, is intentionally misdescribed as being only a “populist moment.”

        More depressing than the stupidity of the sophistry here is how the self-congratulatory “educated” readership of this rag will eat it up.

      2. winstonsmith

        I marveled over the deviousness of that sentence. In the first “‘s” there is already a lie. “There is something bold” instead of the subjunctive “there would be something bold” implying she bravely, publicly espoused this idea when she has of course been notoriously secretive about the contents of her speeches. By the end of the quote he switches to the subjunctive to hide his lie.

        She bravely scurries, proudly slithers, honestly lies. One has a moral obligation to swear in response at the Gladwellian shit-spewing of Graham “Two-Faced” Vysell.

      1. ambrit

        Nor the ‘Necrotelecomnicon.’ The handy guide to contacting H Clinton’s core advisor circle. As for which precise ‘circle’ (of H—,) H Clintons advisors come from; opinions are divided.

  2. Katniss Everdeen

    Form Randi Weingarten:

    “And we will go after NNU and there high and mighty sanctimonious conduct……”

    ….THERE…… sanctimonious conduct…..??????

    Doesn’t Weingarten have something to do with TEACHERS???

    I guess it’s all good as long as they get there penshun.

    1. Roger Smith

      This attitude is disgusting. That Bernie won’t stand up for himself (or his base), even now, after the Gabbard email and this, for people who opted to support him who were threatened by the Democrat apparatus is absurd. All day his social media has been declaring that Clinton must be elected. This husk is depressingly sad.

      1. ggm

        The Gabbard email was gross! Bernie has to stop endorsing her. Trump is not vile enough that it is worth trashing every democratic institution to stop him.

        1. hunkerdown

          Real democratic institutions, perhaps, but institutions are not democratic without a lot of mental gymnastics and special pleading. Sham democratic institutions should and must be destroyed or at the very least broken, as they are designed to work against the people’s interests. See Gilens and Page 2014 to help understand just which it is we’re dealing with. (Hint: two private corporations who judge their own affairs and deem themselves the be-all-end-all of government does not a democracy make, and even republicanism would be hard to argue.)

          The Parties are taking up space that can be better used. Break one party, then the other, then perhaps the chasm between the people’s interests and government policy can be narrowed somewhat.

      2. jrs

        I’m still not sure what that email shows beyond a Clinton hack being a Clinton hack. Or powers that be in the PR industry that are on Hillary’s team use it punitively. The leak of Donna Brazil leaking Bernie’s strategy to Hillary’s team is more damning as DB was of course part of the DNC and should not have taken sides.

      3. Adamski

        He is stuck endorsing her so the Dems can’t justify future moves right by saying that Sandernistas caused Trump to win. That’s one reason he tried to get the Dem nom in the first place, so they couldn’t call him Nader. It’s annoying but he has no choice.

      4. Big River Bandido

        I think the Clinton team must have really put Sanders in thumbscrews around the time of the convention. Certainly they have the influence to deny him his status in the Senate caucus, including revoking his committee assignments, and then he’d be without a platform. He went completely silent on Tim Canova’s race against Wasserman-Schultz, and I don’t think that was any coincidence.

        I believe it likely the Clinton syncophants and apparatchiks threatened him with far worse things if he didn’t shut up and toe the line. They have no morals and no principles.

  3. JohnnyGL


    It’s probably been posted in links or watercooler, but needs to be seen! This one and the “open borders, open trade for western hemisphere” are the two monster discoveries from the Clinton speech emails.

    She seems to know exactly what she’s suggesting and is determined to bring ‘regime change’ (which has been rebranded as a ‘no-fly zone’). War with Russia beckons.

    I like Podesta’s thing for UFOs with the guy from Blink 182. That was amusing, and also adds to questions about Clinton’s judgement (which has been questioned, once or twice).

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      NASA. It’s one letter away from NSA. Think about it. Those 18,000 employees are all clearly in on it, along with the other space agencies, the military, the Tau Cetians, Rigelians (oh I know which one is the home of the greys and which one is the home of the Reptilians who of course have infiltrated the British monarchy.

      Now, I’m not positive how the relationship works, but the Rand corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people under the supervision of the reverse vampires (h/t Lisa S) have come together in a fiendish plot to eliminate the meal of dinner. Only John Podesta and Blink 182 can stop them.

      On a more serious note, I wonder what Podesta thinks about “Chariots of the gods.” Or perhaps he could help bring Stargate back to the SciFi channel (yep, just like Asimov suggested). There is a new MacGuyver.

    1. Tom

      I saw that earlier and my take is that Clinton hated (as in got tired of) using the phrase, “everyday Americans” in her speeches.

      1. ggm

        Yes, it’s obvious what is meant. However, the Clinton campaign would certainly spin it the other way if someone working for Trump had said this.

        For example, Hillary repeated at the debate that Trump mocked a disabled reporter, when the video evidence shows he frequently uses the same gestures when impersonating non-disabled people.

        1. Tom

          No question Hillary would jump on it. I can hear her addressing a crowd now:

          “You know (attempting to be folksy), Trump says he hates Americans and you know who else hates Americans? That’s right, his good buddy Putin hates Americans too!! They both hate you, but you know what? Love Trumps hate!!!”

          (Crowd goes beserk and … scene).

          1. ewmayer

            Sounds about right, except she would never say “Trump”, she would use “Dawnald” in her best whiny, nasal, supercilious schoolmarm voice.

    2. Anne

      I did not take that to mean she hated actual, everyday Americans – I took it that she hates that phrase.

      I know she has begun to hate everyday Americans, but I think we should use it once the first time she says I’m running for president because you and everyday Americans need a champion. I think if she doesn’t say it once, people will notice and say we false started in Iowa.

      And no, I don’t know why the phrase wasn’t put into quotes, but I note that there aren’t any quotes around the part that begins “she says I’m running for president because…” either. As I read the e-mail, it sure seems to me like it’s about the phrase, not about people.

      1. pretzelattack

        it’s just, if she did mean that she hated “everyday americans”, it would be plausible. it would be irresponsible not to speculate.

          1. chuck roast

            yah mon…
            If I had to beg myriad morons, knuckleheads and ass-kissers for cash and votes every…single…day I’d hate everybody!

            1. pretzelattack

              well, i think she and the bankers have a mutual asskissing agreement going, so there’s that.

            2. RabidGandhi

              One major reason why the Democrats worked so feverishly to destroy the Sanders campaign was that it presented an alternative fundraising model that was not based on kissing millionaire hineys.

              The only possible conclusion to draw is that the Democrat nomenklatura actually enjoy begging myriad morons, knuckleheads and ass-kissers for cash and votes every…single…day, and are willing to go to utterly outlandish lengths to continue such begging.

        1. Pavel

          She may not hate “everyday Americans” — just the use of the phrase — but she sure treats them like shit, along with her pals at Goldman, Citibank, etc.

          Based on her actual deeds, the everyday people she truly does hate are the innocent Iraqis, Yemenis, Libyans… all the people who have suffered from her and Obama’s and Bush’s decades of war and destruction and famine.

  4. Jim Haygood

    Samsung’s appeal of the award for its violation of Apple’s breakthrough design patent on radiused corners reaches the Supreme Court:

    U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned whether Apple should be allowed to keep all of a $399 million patent award it won in a suit that accused rival Samsung of copying the design of the iPhone.

    A federal appeals court said Apple could collect Samsung’s entire profit from 11 phones found to have infringed Apple’s patents.

    Instead, Apple, Samsung and the U.S. government agreed the patent award should be based on an “article of manufacture,” which could mean just an aspect of a product. The hard part, the justices said, was how to determine what that means and how to explain it to a jury.

    Design patents cover the ornamental look of an object rather than any functional aspect. The court hasn’t considered design patents since disputes involving spoon handles in the 1870s and carpets in the 1890s.

    Google, Facebook, EBay and Hewlett Packard warned in filings that a victory for Apple would allow owners of design patents to extract unfair rewards on products that can have hundreds or even thousands of features.


    Cross-licensing of patents is one way that industry giants create barriers to entry. They can swat down small new entrants lacking patent protection on simple and obvious features that are universally used.

    1. integer

      Ive’s inspiration on Rams’ design principles goes beyond the philosophy and gets straight into a direct homage to real products created decades ago. Amazing pieces of industrial design that still today remain fresh, true classics that have survived the test of time.

      The similarities between products from Braun and Apple are sometimes uncanny, others more subtle, but there’s always a common root that provides the new Apple objects not only with a beautiful simplicity but also with a close familiarity.


    2. ewmayer

      I’m just getting ready to background-listen to Game 4 of the Cubs-Giants NLDS series on my neo-Luddite 20-year-old Panasonic transistor radio, and I see to my shock and horror – especially as I live in certain SF south bay town whose name rhymes with “Moopertino” – that it has (*gasp*) rounded corners. And not just the four NE/SE/SW/NW side corners – no, the transition from the sides to the back is also radiused. Should Apple sue Panasonic for blatantly and egregiously anticipating Jony Ive’s disruptively creative™ design genius? I say Timmah! Timmah! Cook should sue the pants (or Kimono bottoms, if that works as a metaphor) off ’em.

      Even more horrifyingly, the Panasonic has a standard 1/8″-dia. (or whatever the precise measure is) headphone jack built into the left side, which works with just any old standard earplug or headphone set, thus depriving users of that special “insider” feeling they would get from shelling out big $ for boutique equipment. How dare you insult your customers by reducing them to mere “just another radio listener”s, Panasonic?

  5. landline

    Something telling about present conditions in the decaying empire when the head of the AFT botches “their” vs. “there.”

    1. polecat

      Maybe it’s due to France’s version of Common Cored …or just the result of a 4 hr. long wine & bagette fueled power-lunch ..

    1. nippersmom

      Unfortunately, the link isn’t working for me. I do think the Delores Umbridge reference is right on target, though.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      What kind of thrift store do you shop at? There’s plenty of tacky stuff at the thrift shops I go to but nothing to quite match that cat plate you hope to find.

  6. Jeremy Grimm

    I really like that site From Deco to Atom. Scanning through the images I ran into an image which could represent one way to view the advent of self-driving cars: [http://danismm.tumblr.com/post/150968457108/via-musselsoppansvanner]

  7. local to oakland

    The Capital and Main article about contracting out fine collection reminds me of the Roman tax farming, in which tax collectors paid for the privilege and made their living on the difference between what they collected vs what they were obligated to turn over to the state.

    1. alex morfesis

      in which tax collectors “pay” tribute and collect a street tax…you don’t think that system has ended…it is still all around us…

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Mongols let the Persians do the tax farming in China.

      That’s how they got very rich, and one of the two main Yuan dynasty blue and white porcelain collections in the world is in Iran. And you see a lot of Persian faces on those blue and white pieces with painted human figures. It was truly a open-borders, cosmopolitan, diverse/melting pot society during the Mongol rule of about a century.

    3. Lyle

      Note this is the same way Ferguson Mo operated, tack fees on fines and eventually lock the folks, up, It appears many jurisdictions do the same.

  8. OIFVet

    ‘From the “Green Hills of Africa” to “The New Yorker visits “Trump Country:” the Evolution of Safari-Writing Genre.’ Sounds like a cool multidisciplinary post-doc research opportunity to me.

    1. OIFVet

      BTW Lambert, I think that you give Friedman too little credit. The man continues to redefine himself and amaze us in the process. Behold Let’s Get Putin’s Attention:

      You may have missed this story, so I am repeating it as a public service:

      MOSCOW, Special to The New York Times, Oct. 1 — A previously unheard-of group called Hackers for a Free Russia released a treasure trove of financial records online today indicating that President Vladimir Putin owns some $30 billion in property, hotels and factories across Russia and Europe, all disguised by front organizations and accounting charades.

      The documents, which appear to be authentic, include detailed financial records and emails between Putin’s Kremlin office and a number of his Russian cronies and Swiss banks. They constitute the largest hack ever of Putin. Russian censors are scrambling to shut down Twitter inside the country and keep the emails out of Russian-language media.

      At a news conference in Washington, CIA Director John Brennan was asked if U.S. intelligence services had any hand in the cyberleak of what is being called “The Putin Files.” With a slight grin, Brennan said: “The U.S. government would never intervene in Russian politics, just as President Putin would never intervene in an American election. That would be wrong.” As Brennan left the podium, though, he burst out laughing.

      No, you didn’t miss this story. I made it up. But isn’t it time there was such a story?

      Indeed Tom, indeed…

    2. RabidGandhi

      The whole “ooh wild deplorables!” attitude amongst Our Credentialed Leaders reminds me more and more of 19th Century Russia, where a hermetically-encapsulated intelligentsia barely even spoke the same language as the unwashed masses (who in turn were deplorable, clinging to their ikons and scythes). As the century wore on and the peasants’ situation deteriorated, many among the intelligentsia sensed the coming upheaval and tried to make outreach efforts: some of which were laughable with intellectuals travelling to villages to “enlighten the poor bastards” and being chased away for their efforts. Others, such as the Narodniki were somewhat more successful. They actually lived with the peasants and adopted peasant ways.

      Either way, for me the overriding point is that when I lived in the US decades ago, there was no acknowledged division between the Acelas and the Deplorables, but now the advent of this article genre shows that at least the existence of a cultural divide is out in the open. Whether this will ultimately result in a narodniki-like movement to try to bridge the gap (instead of insulting, scorning, talking down to, patronising…) remains to be seen.

      1. nechaev

        Whether this will ultimately result in a narodniki-like movement to try to bridge the gap (instead of insulting, scorning, talking down to, patronising…) remains to be seen.

        been there, done that, quite some time ago,
        how’d it all work out?
        some talented people gave their lives, with little to show for it
        Generally: deluded by intensely-held belief systems
        or betrayed by their leadership.

  9. beth

    “Trump Country”
    The “trash” in the yard looks like toys to me. What’s with that? Must one have a perfectly manicured lawn w/o any toys?

    I used to like the New Yorker but after reading NC for a few years, I find very little of interest any more.

    1. Tom

      Agreed. I don’t think two Big Wheels in the grass quite qualifies as a yard filled with trash. The article is better than the misleading photos and captions, though.

  10. robnume

    On Neoliberal U: She really ought to be going to prison; do not pass go, do not collect $200.00. My guess is no trial or jail time here, but Ms. Coico will be a perfect fit for a high level position in Hillary’s new administration. I’m voting for that Giant Meteor now more than ever!

    1. Arizona Slim

      She sounds like another Ann Weaver Hart, the incompetent University of Arizona president who just can’t get fired.

  11. Frenchguy

    Just a few things about France and Le Pen because it always bothers me to see simplistic comparisons with Trump and Brexit. As a matter of purely electoral math, the FN is doing very very badly among retired people. One of the most obvious reasons is the anti-euro stance which is a major threat to purchasing power of fixed pensions. They represent close to a third of the electorate and are more likely to vote. Finally, the French electoral system demands that you are able, at some point, to have an absolute majority in the electorate (40% of the vote will not cut it as in does in the UK).

    Of course nothing’s impossible but, at this point, the FN still has very few chances to win next year’s election. (the predicition site Hypermind gives her 10% and that sounds right to me, roughly the chance of a new recession…)

    1. RabidGandhi

      Does that mean France turns into Spain if PS and LR fail to ally against NF: deadlocked with no government?

      (adding: deadlock has has worked out quite well in Spain, GDP growth for first time in years).

      1. Frenchguy

        Here again it’s theoretically possible but actually unlikely. The electoral system for Parliament is such that even with 30% of the votes, the FN is unlikely to have much more than 100 MPs (out of 577). Unless the Presidential election goes badly (like if Hollande wins but with only with only 15% of the votes in the first round to then beat Le Pen), it won’t be hard for the winner to secure an absolute majority out of the other 477.

  12. Waldenpond

    I have always wanted pickup groceries. Either a drive up window or pre-ordered and bagged so I just go in and pick up. Even at farmer’s markets you have to load everything, unload and weigh and re-pack. It would be easier if I could select my items, the vendor grabs, weighs and I can pack once. Seems like you pay more in labor (gasp) but would gain on theft, grazing.

    But it’s also very old fashioned…. gams and pops could take orders by e-mail or a simple account. Heck, they even just have a twitter feed with neighborhood handles.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Personal shoppers do exist. I don’t think they are very expensive if you have a college population around, and I don’t know if it took off but I don’t know if every location has them but I thought you can order groceries from Kroger. I remember articles about this.

    2. hunkerdown

      Oh, so like Webvan with the last mile problem externalized. FWIW, I’ve seen Kroger doing will-call now in a nearby store (which just gained gas islands and ~50% floor space by expanding into the Former Jack space adjoining, and whose outlot Taco Bell just disappeared one fine day, plans TBD).

      The trouble with produce is the same as the trouble with clothing: fit and sensuality. Quality control is left to the picker, who may not know whether you’re making bananas Foster vs banana bread, caprese salad vs table salsa, or a mundane stew vs a wedding dessert, has no idea when in your shopping cycle you might intend to use it, how you like your produce sized, or may frankly lack the ability to quantify degrees of timeliness of any particular kind of produce. Food returns can’t be restocked as nicely as clothing returns (and composting is not lossless). Even the term “picking” anticipates a selective aspect. I’d trust gam and pap to select well, but low-bid labor (as large concerns’ own lack of discernment seems to be their enabling property) rather less so.

    3. RabidGandhi

      My greengrocer gets feisty if I touch the produce. Unlike economics and politics, some things are better left to professionals.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        It’s cultural. In Italy, if you touch produce in a display and don’t buy it, you are considered a philistine–at best. In partial compensation, the greengrocer will generally help you find exactly what it is you need if you ask. Before I understood the second part I never understood how Italians got a perfectly ripe tomato or peach that was meant to be consumed the same day. I prefer the American way, where the produce may have been pawed over, but where you can find exactly what you require without relying on someone else’s judgement.

        1. RabidGandhi

          Here it’s about developing client loyalty. The greengrocer, the butcher, the cheesemonger… all give their best products to their regular customers. I buy a boatload of fruit and veg, so by going to the same merchant I generally get better produce than I could even pick out myself. But it does make me reticent to be loose with my affections, in spite of come-hither looks I get from many veggies about town.

  13. alex morfesis

    iz Paul Ryan impo(*)tant, incompetent or incontinent outside the beltway ?? is he 8 of 9 (jeri ryans older cousin ??)…if not…bring back steve largent…

    ok…maybe Ryan is not old enough to be incontinent…unlike most of the rest of the blue pill brigade who confuse their new found blood flow with enhanced capacity…

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Jack Ryan, Obama’s original GOP opponent, is the ex husband of Seven. There is no relation of Paul.

      Wouldn’t Seven’s older cousin be Six of Nine?

      1. optimader

        Harkens back to a more genteel time in America , sniff, sniff
        Ryan file a bombshell
        Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jack Ryan’s ex-wife, TV actress Jeri Ryan, accused him of taking her to sex clubs in New York and Paris, where he tried to coerce her into having sex with him in front of strangers, according to records released Monday from the couple’s California divorce file.

  14. Oliver Budde

    “Days until: 27”

    Not to seem overly fussy, but if today is Tuesday October 11, and election day is Tuesday November 8, is it not crystal clear that that is exactly four weeks away, i.e., 28 days?

    To be fair, I have seen the count done similarly in other places too. Why shave off a day?

    1. john k

      zactly. We rarely get to experience this level of pleasure, best to draw it out as long as we can.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe 27 days and hours…and we round off those few hours.

      It’s like tomorrow is not a day away, but less than 10 hours (as I type).

  15. jrs

    “there’s something bold, even radical, in espousing such a practical philosophy for political deal-making. Maybe it’s not a popular message in this populist moment, but it would have the virtue of being honest.”

    Honest in being dishonest? And honest only when it has to be LEAKED at that? (not even just blurted out in an unguarded moment as well a Trump would). It’s not espoused, it’s exposed and only by Wikileaks at that.

    FU New Republic. You make everyone stupider.

  16. Uahsenaa

    The Japanese Noto font is awful and was clearly done by someone trying to cut corners or simply haphazardly throwing strokes together. Especially infuriating is how similar elements from different characters (the first stroke of ha, ho, and ni, for instance) have simply been copied and pasted without any sense for the subtle variations that result from the strokes that follow. The ko is garbage, and the final strokes on sa and ki are way too far to the left. They look like they were created by someone who has no idea how Japanese handwriting works. What’s more, there’s a weird combination of continuous (i.e. the ri) and contiguous stroke characters. Should have picked one idea and stuck with it.

    I mean, it doesn’t even look as good as the Microsoft gothic font and is certainly lightyears behind a well designed font like Kozuka.

    4/10, will not use

    1. Jim Haygood

      You’d think a rich company that can obsessively photograph every address in the country could, like, hire some Japanese or something.

      Your description of Japanese Noto sounds just like the awful, crudely kerned romaji fonts that instantly distinguish English-language documents created in Japan — you can spot them from a mile away.

      Looks like Alphabet is continuing the square-headed tradition of the badly-coiffed, aesthetically crippled Bill Gates. He’s a billionaire, after all. So maybe design don’t matter.

      1. Urbanite

        I don’t know how to see this yet… Seems like a pretty ambitious project to offer an open source font that covers all active human languages as well as most recently dead languages. So I’m hardly surprised that it’s less than great in any particular language. What I’m still trying to figure out is why google felt this was critical to their future vision.

        1. Uahsenaa

          This perplexes me as well. I can understand the desire to create fonts for languages where there is not an already established print tradition, but for everything else, it’s like they never of unicode fonts, of which there are many. And with CJK fonts, you still have to install a separate input system, so the “uniform system” doesn’t seem to provide much benefit (not to mention, you still have to install each language separately).

          I.e. this sounds like a solution looking for a problem.

  17. Plenue

    While France calls for Russia to be investigated for war crimes, I remind everyone that Saudi Arabia recently bombed, with US munitions, a wedding, killing at least 200 people and wounding 400 more. These numbers are comparable to the low estimates for the bombing of Guernica. And far from being a ‘mistake’, it’s very likely it was in retaliation for the Houthi attack on a UAE military ship. A search of Google News shows that no one in the MSM is reporting on it. If anyone feels like they have the stomach for it, there’s extensive video footage of the aftermath:


    Very NSFW, but they pixelate some of the more gruesome bloody bits. All the charred corpses strewn everywhere are on full display however. There will be a reckoning for this someday, for both the Saudis and the US. I don’t know when or what form it will take, but this type of thing can’t continue indefinitely unanswered.

    1. tgs

      It’s hopeless. The US, Israel, NATO etc,. have been committing war crimes for years and as a result of their humanitarian efforts, in addition to the dead and the destruction of entire nations, there are now 60 million or so refugees in the world.

    2. RabidGandhi

      How is it even possible to claim that a double-tap bombing should be written off as a mistake? Isn’t going back for seconds kind of a hint that you wanted to eat the pie in the first place?

    3. uncle tungsten

      Retaliation against civilians by the Saudis is why they are accused of war crimes. The USA is directly complicit in those war crimes. Can you believe that a raggle taggle bunch of Houthi fighters are actually now gaining territory inside Saudi Arabia and using missiles! But the Saudis don’t attack these vanguard troops, they go and bomb civilian targets in far away cities and leave Saudi soldiers totally to the merciless onslaught of the Houthis.

      The Saudis and Qataris are the USA’s allies????? Bring on the next Nuremberg sittings. There is no point asking what ‘our revolution’ is doing is there?

      1. Plenue

        Well it isn’t just the Houthis, they’re allied with the bulk of the professional armed forces of Yemen.

        Saudi Arabia is a nation entirely held together with vast amounts of cash; its soldiers have no patriotism or similar motivation.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Patriotism is more than saluting a piece of cloth. Saudi Arabia might be a glorified plantation, but I’m sure plenty of Saudi soldiers love their home. I would surmise the rank and file’s love of home is why they need to be deployed where they can’t make trouble.

    4. Cry Shop

      France: in the last 8 years bombed civilians in Libya, Syria, Mali. Doesn’t matter what Saudi Arabia does, what matters is who controls the courts.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        A major driver behind the size of the British Empire in the 19th century was the French. The French were awful, and locals often made a rational decision to bring in the friendlier mob.

        1. Cry Shop

          I was pointing to modern history, but that French hero of the neo-liberals and author of Democracy in America wrote:

          I personally believe that the laws of war enable us to ravage the country and that we must do so either by destroying the crops at harvest time or any time by making fast forays also known as raids the aim of which it to get hold of men or flocks… Whatever the case, we may say in a general manner that all political freedoms must be suspended in Algeria.

    5. steelyman

      This is shockingly realistic compared to the rather “studied” White Helmet videos. No way one can say those charred torsos have been posed. Or the footage of the guy whose foot seems to have been blown off.

  18. Jim

    ” A new era is beginning in American politics, not only one that will see nationalism and globalism contend for the soul of the next administration but one that will give rise to new permutations of conservatism, realism and libertarian foreign policy thought.”

    Bill Mitchell is leading the charge for a revitalized social democracy in which progressive forces “…extricate themselves from the mainstream macroeconomic consensus and adopt Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) as the basis of their understanding of the capacities and opportunities that a nation state has when is issues its own currency and floats it on international currency markets.”

    He seem to have grasped Mirowski’s point that the right early on understood that a strong state was necessary to institute their ideas on the type of market they would support–consequently their multidimensional strategy over that last 30-40 years for achieving their goals.

    But what Mitchell does not deal with is whether his conception of social democracy is adequate for dealing with our contemporary financial/economic/political/cultural crisis on a multidimensional level.

    Is the real issue for the future centered around state vs market?

    Didn’t such liberalism lead to neo-liberalism in the 1980s?

    Does future human flourishing involve more than regulation?

  19. petal

    They are shipping Joe Biden out to UVM Medical Center next week and for a fundraiser for HRC’s presidential campaign.

    “BURLINGTON, Vt. -The vice president is scheduled to visit Vermont next week.

    Democratic Party officials say Joe Biden’s visit will include politics and also a visit to the University of Vermont Medical Center.

    Biden is scheduled to be in Vermont Thursday for a fundraiser aimed at raising money for Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House.

    Friday, the vice president is scheduled to attend an event promoting cancer research in Burlington. Finding a cure for cancer is close to the vice president after his son Beau died from the disease at the age of 46.

    More details on the event are scheduled to be released in the coming days.”

  20. Kim Kaufman

    “and we will go after there [sic] high and mighty sanctimonious conduct…”

    Really? Randy Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, confusing “there” for “their”???

  21. TedWa

    That’s it, I’m voting for Trump. He won the last debate and will win this one too. Blow it up by electing an un-insider and watch them scramble.

    1. jrs

      I’m not sure they will. Ok certain sections of the powers that be might. But Trump’s advisors look pretty insider to me.

    2. Optimader

      Hey , both parties want to destroy him at all cost!
      If he does win he better wear an armored personnel carrier to the inauguration.

  22. Waldenpond

    Stein/Baraka on c-span right now. They sound rather sane compared to the horror shows C and T are putting on…..https://www.facebook.com/CSPAN/videos/vb.21472760578/10154849802390579/?type=3&theater

    They are being asked gen
    Destroying a generation. Fund college by cutting war budget… making us less safe.
    Shifting power to the people and building a real democracy.
    Asked about herself, Stein: medical doctor and equating that to healthy politics (sappy and annoying)
    Q Stein supporter: steps to address police brutality and reform.
    A: tip of iceberg of racism, unemployment, school health ineq
    review board, independent investigator, hold perpetraoters acc, no broken windows, focus on deescalation. No escalation, militarization. Less money on policing, more money on poverty and children, end school to prison etc.
    Q Michael: increasing threat of N Korea.
    A: peace treaty on NK, embattled, fear invasion, vulnerable cling to n weapons. Dialog, end provocing radical behavior, include China as they are not happy with NK extreme behavior. Dialog not military drills on border.
    Q greatest threat
    A: Climate change can not be dismissedd. Expanded wars taking our budget, half of your taxes, increasing mass migrations and
    AB: don’t just defend the 1%, foreigh policy that represents interests fo all, military plays a role increasing risk for all amer. Shift direction, fits needs of period, %6B not justified.
    C supporter Q: you favor slave reparations, could be over $1 trillion , worry payments to one group would increase tensions. AA male.
    JS: forms of reparations need to be debated. No q blood sweat tears enslvmnet built country…has not ended lynching, Jim Crow, redlining, mass incarceration. Disparities inconsc, worse 4-8 years. Repar + truth and reconsicia to address bias towars aa + hisp and nat american. Debt to be repaid. Art, music and story telling to bear come togetther to move forward.
    AB: process of repair, everyone impacted as part of fundamental change. No repair with currnet system. Peoples movement will create system for transformation, everyone address long standing issues.
    Q: JA how fix Obamacare.
    JS: wonderful fix of every indus nation… MCR for all system. Drop age of eligibility to before birth, birth to death, reproductive care, between you and your dr. 25% to bureacracy in stead of MCR 2%. Healthcare not profiteering
    T suporter: $20 T debt problem? how to decrease it.
    JS: severe cuts austerity increases the debt, econ don’t revover. Grt Depression, IMF, fed res… invest in growing economy. Outgrow debt, green new deal, antidote for nafta, invest in US workers and green jobs, energy, food, transport, defeat clim change
    Q: snowden, pardon whistleblowre
    JS: doing of govt, exposed spying without justification, legal process, stimulate action has begun. Snowden, Basic constitutional rights, in admin keeping security and privacy.
    He broke the law. He did, exposed violation of our const rights, vow/oath of loyalty to protct consti . He broke to defend
    AB: should be covered under wb act. Political decision,. Need indiv w/courage to expose govt misch.
    Your view of mischief. They make the decisions.
    AB manning exposed clear crim if stat determines who exposes crim democracy.
    Q:Steve: Irresponsible to be on ballot and giving it to Trump. Political Scientists say Nader …. (Steve’s question is given, will you take your name off the ballot?)
    JS: lesser evil. Voters didn’t want climate change, wars, attacks on immigrants, WStreet,… argument for lesser evilism silences. Obama did all of these things as bad as G Bush, amplified fossel fuels, now bombing 7 Countries. Lesser evil versus greater evil race to bottom gives you Trump, ws deregulation, Clinton gets you rw extremism, air war w/russia, no fly zone, may have war quickly with Clinton. Both bad policies,, but Hillary much scarier.
    Q: Steve still.. take your name off ballots in battle gound states?
    JS: how will you feel about war with Russia? Libya? Syria? Don’t drink coolaid, stop listening to the rhetoric. Look at track record. Most disliked candidates, if you don’t want to vote for me fine, but voters don’t want to be told to be good little girls and boys for two parties who have thrown them under the bus.

  23. Jay M

    mr. rogers neighborhood: its a wonderful day in the neighborhood
    Hilllree: Donald had Ken doing a no no
    Rog: now feel better about your self
    Donald: Ken is a very classy guy and he made a move on Barbie
    Hillree: Teh guy is not eligible for any higher office because of making moves on a woman
    Rog: Let us carry out our own sins before sinking the other guys career

  24. Waldenpond

    C span Q: energy roll model
    JS: Germany thanks to green party, phasing out ff autos by 2030, trans to solar and wind, Netherlands also. Make it a priority and …
    Q dakota : who in your cabinet?
    cabinet\ sos Media Benjamin, advocate for just/peaceful. Codepink. Econ: ellen brown, web of debt, richard wolffe, jack lasmuss? for treasury, econ council of advisors, Fed Res
    T Supporter: milatarization of police forces. (No one could understand)
    AB: $4b of mil hardware to police forces, shift in attitude and training. No justification for that hardware, unless another agenda, To protect and serve, are not protecting majority of black and poor. BLM met wit O and asked 1033 to stop. He refused, modifications but continue and training by repressive govts.
    Q: from Alaska. 1 for c-span Debate with all candidates, country not aware of interest, 2 possible to engage corps that rights of voters must be protected and work with communities?
    JS thank for c-span time, tried Johnson/Stein debate didn’t happen. Fought for Mass Gov debate, won debate, barred from further debates. Not bought by corp, that’s our threat. Corp maximize profit for shareholders. History charters justified if in public interest. Now monsters of econ power. Org ourselves, they won’t hand it to us. Organizing, we the people, bernie showed us, can’t revolutionize counter revolutionary party.
    c-span: but Bernie says hillary?
    JS Yes, but many support us 1/3 H, 1/3 Stein, 1/3 undecided.

    1. Waldenpond

      That’s it. I started a bit late and clearly won’t get hired as a live transcriptionist.

      Rather calm, rational, pretty good questions.

  25. Pavel

    Lambert, I thought of you when I stumbled on this video compilation of 36 times where Obama vows “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” (2:52). It is courtesy of Michael Krieger, whose existing health plan was just cancelled and replaced by a much more expensive one:

    In the run-up to the passage of Obamacare, President Obama repeatedly assured the American public that “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.”

    Here are just a few examples (is that Jon Corzine grinning enthusiastically at the 20 second mark?):


    Interestingly enough, as much as I didn’t like my healthcare plan, I was planning on keeping it. Until I received a letter telling me I couldn’t from United Healthcare. Indeed, they weren’t too subtle about the entire thing, making it perfectly clear what was about to happen.

    Not exactly the best way to start your week. As I proceeded to flip though the 10 page letter, I was directed to what United Healthcare deemed to be a comparable plan for me in 2017. Here’s how that plan compares to my current plan.

    Premium payments: +30%
    Per person deductible: +160%
    Per person out of pocket maximum: +4.5%
    Primary physician copay: +85%
    Specialist copay: +115%

    The list goes on. The only thing better about this plan is coinsurance drops from 30% to 20%.

    –Thanks Obama – My Healthcare Plan Was Just Canceled

  26. Optimader

    I’ve been wanting to mention, wouldnt it be something if we instituted a naughty talkie litmus test to our Military officer corp? It would be like a neutron bomb strike.
    Push all that pension money down

  27. Jerry Denim

    Wow. These Podesta emails just keep going and going. They confirm all of the most paranoid conspiracies about the Clintons. Individually there’s nothing that shocking or damning if you have been paying close attention to the Clintons for the last 30 years, but taken as a whole they make the entire Nixon/Watergate saga seem absolutely quaint and almost harmless by comparison. The leaked Podesta emails reveal not only a deeply corrupt candidate or a mere rotten campaign apparatus but rather the nonchalant, normalized, intrinsic corruption and chicanery of a courtesan class overseeing a moribund system that has rotted to its core. The media, the DNC, the Justice Department, the State Department, Wall Street, K Street, all full of corrupt Clinton cronies working to get rich, screw the public, and advance the agenda of their Mafioso Queen through the vey ugly manufacture of consent a’ la Chomsky.

    I’m not exactly sure who this Guccifer 2.0 entity is but I am beginning to wonder if Guccifer is interested in truth and justice or merely wreaking havoc on the US political system. If released earlier these emails could have made a difference in the outcome of the Democratic Primary process, so why are they only coming to light now when the country is stuck between a dangerous buffoon and a criminal madwoman? If the corrupt institutions of the state and the media continue with their charade of democracy and install Hillary Clinton as our next President she will take office without a majority and probably one of the lowest voter turnouts on record. She will have no legitimacy and no natural base other than the apathetic and the easily frightened/mislead. The resulting situation will be explosive and easily exploitable by any Machiavellian enemies of democracy. Despite the Chicken Little rhetoric from the media concerning Donald Trump, I wasn’t all that worried about this election before, but now that Wikileaks is rubbing the rottenness of the Clintons and the entire US system in the faces of the Drudge and Fox news crowd AND the angry progressive Bernicrats I am beginning to wonder if this next election may be one of our last?

    The optimist in me would like to believe these emails would serve as some kind of wake up call to a comatose citizenry and honest government officials who could still redeem our corrupted institutions. The pessimist in me fear these Podesta emails will represent a tipping point where all faith in our democracy was lost leading to a total collapse of the preexisting order only to be replaced by something even worse. It seems 95% of the population is incapable of processing transgressions more complex than 4th grade naughty words so who knows how any of this goes over? Maybe with a snooze, maybe with a bang? Crazy times. I am looking forward to the links section tomorrow as real reporters, bloggers and citizens continue to read through Podesta’s shocking emails.

    1. Anonymous

      This election will be one of the last if HRC is elected. She’s not even president yet the Clinton Machine controls the MSM, DOJ, FBI. We have no press freedom. She can act with total impunity. Once elected, she can call up the National Guard, implement a curfew, etc.

      Huge Bernie supporter here, but planning to vote for Trump because he has the best chance of the other candidates of defeating her.

  28. Jerry Denim

    Almost forgot,.. Nice catch on the NNU comments. That email perfectly illustrates exactly why I believe Hillary will be the “more effective evil” not the “lesser” evil. If Hillary Clinton wins the White House there will be a Stalinist purge of progressive/Sanders Democrats from Washington all the way down to State houses lead by the newly invigorated (and spiteful) Clintonista DNC. What happens to progressives in the event of a Clinton loss/Trump victory is anybody’s guess, but I am sure the odds are far better for progressives under this scenario than a victorious, emboldened, and spiteful President Clinton. NNU revenge, insightful comment indeed.

  29. Hilary Barnes

    A young lady of France named Le Pen
    Is on line to beat all men.
    Apart from her cooking,
    She’s far better looking,
    So the Cocks will be slammed by the Hen.

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