2:00PM Water Cooler 10/12/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“‘This is indeed a hard balance to strike, since we don’t want to invite mockery for being too enthusiastically opposed to a deal she once championed, or overclaiming how bad it is, since it’s a very close call on merits,’ wrote chief speechwriter Dan Schwerin in an Oct. 6, 2015, email [released via Wikileaks] seeking input on a draft of Clinton’s statement coming out against the trade deal. Clinton announced her opposition to the deal one day later when asked about it during an appearance on the PBS NewsHour” [Politico]. Seems legit.

“Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey came out against the TPP earlier this summer with an op-ed in a Pittsburgh newspaper that said the deal ‘falls short,’ but he made it clear then and again on Tuesday that he’s willing to revisit that stance” [Politico]. “‘I’m open to reconsidering the agreement at some point in the future,’ if Pennsylvania’s concerns are addressed, Toomey said in an interview with the editorial board of The Philadelphia Inquirer.”


Days until: 26.

Debate Wrapup

Until a second Hunter Thompson comes along, the appropriately jaded Jeffrey St. Clair will have to do [Counterpunch].

+A large part of the uproar over the Trump tapes is driven not by the fact that Trump’s comments are shocking but because they are so familiar. We’ve heard similar, perhaps even more rancid, things from our fathers, uncles, brothers, coaches, teachers, pastors, teammates, and friends. Perhaps we’ve even made similar comments ourselves. Now the public wants to project its own shame onto Trump. His humiliation serves as a kind catharsis for the nation’s own systemic sexism. Perhaps NOW will give him a medal one day for his “sacrifice”…

Cf. Luke 18:11.


“My Vision for Universal, Quality, Affordable Health Care” [Hillary Clinton, New England Journal of Medicine]. Missed this one; at least NEJM, unlike JAMA, adhered to its own style guide and categorized this as an opinion piece (“Sounding Board”). The piece — and I know this will come as a shock to you — is dreck; it makes no pretence to present “universal” health care. If the piece was actually edited, as opposed to being thrown over the transom and printed, shouldn’t somebody have checked to see that the headline and the text had some rough correspondence?

War Drums

“WASHINGTON—The White House vowed to hit Russia with a “proportional” response after the conclusion by U.S. intelligence officials that Moscow hacked into emails from the Democratic National Committee and other organizations, then leaked thousands of files to interfere with the outcome of the presidential election” [Wall Street Journal, “White House Vows ‘Proportional’ Response for Russian DNC Hack”]. Proportional like what? Funding more Femen events? Nuclear weapons? What?

The Voters

Straw in the wind (1): Scott Adams endorses Johnson [Scott Adams]. “I now endorse Gary Johnson. He’s allegedly a stoner who doesn’t know much about Aleppo. I call that relatable. A vote for Clinton or Trump is support for an alleged abuser of women. I don’t need that on my brand.”

Straw in the wind (2): “It’s pretty clear the election is over, but that was clear after the first debate” [MishTalk]. “It is Trump who destroyed Trump. The man finally imploded. Heading into the first debate, it was Trump’s election to lose, and he lost it with an amazing set of gaffes.”

“For or Against Trump, GOP Fears Intensifying Civil War If He Loses” [Bloomberg]. “One number may help answer those questions: the percentage of Republicans who vote for Trump on Election Day. Mitt Romney won 93 percent of Republican voters in 2012. John McCain received 90 percent in 2008. Trump is in the ballpark, consolidating the support of 89 percent of Republican voters since the debate Sunday, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.”

“Fear sells, and it stimulates. Trump and his cronies constantly tell us, without actual facts, how bad crime is and how evil all foreigners are — especially if they dress funny — and they repeat over and over the false information that the economy is on the verge of collapse and you better build that bunker and stock up, because if you don’t, all you’ll have for protection from the certain rise of crazed liberals is harsh language” [Texas Observer]. From the title, “Why My East Texas Neighbors are Voting for Trump,” I expected another in the genre of quasi-anthropolical studies of that alien being, the Trump voter. It isn’t, as the peroration which I have quoted shows. “Fear sells, and it stimulates.” As indeed it does, all the way into a shooting war with Russia. Eh?

“In this disgusting election, dominated by the personal and the petty, the importance of the nation’s economic geography has been widely ignored. Yet if you look at the Electoral College map, the correlation between politics and economics is quite stark, with one economy tilting decisively toward Trump and more generally to Republicans, the other toward Hillary Clinton and her Democratic allies” [RealClearPolitics]. Interesting:

This reflects an increasingly stark conflict between two very different American economies. One, the “Ephemeral Zone” concentrated on the coasts, runs largely on digits and images, the movement of software, media and financial transactions. It produces increasingly little in the way of food, fiber, energy and fewer and fewer manufactured goods. The Ephemeral sectors dominate ultra-blue states such as New York, California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Connecticut.

The other America constitutes, as economic historian Michael Lind notes in a forthcoming paper for the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, the “New Heartland.” Extending from the Appalachians to the Rockies, this heartland economy relies on tangible goods production. It now encompasses both the traditional Midwest manufacturing regions, and the new industrial areas of Texas, the Southeast and the Intermountain West.

Contrary to the notions of the Ephemerals, the New Heartland is not populated by Neanderthals. This region employs much of the nation’s engineering talent, but does so in conjunction with the creation of real goods rather than clicks. Its industries have achieved generally more rapid productivity gains than their rivals in the services sector. To some extent, energy and food producers may have outdone themselves and, since they operate in a globally competitive market, their prices and profits are suffering.

Despite deep misgivings about the character of Donald Trump, these economic interests have led most Heartland voters somewhat toward the New York poseur, and they are aligning themselves even more to down-ticket GOP candidates. In generally purple states like Missouri, Ohio and Iowa, where manufacturing is key, Trump still leads—at least he was before the latest spate of Trump crudeness was revealed, this time regarding women.

The Trail

“Solving the Riddle of the Slovenian Sphinx and the Pussy Bow” [Maureen Dowd, New York Times]. I told [André Leon Talley] we needed to solve the mystery of the feline wife and the pussy bow. Was it a feminist signal, using a throwback style, to women upset by her husband’s reprehensible riff on the bus with Billy Bush? (Remember President Clinton sent Monica Lewinsky a signal on TV by wearing a Zegna tie she had given him?) André thinks not. ‘I’m inclined to think that Melania is supportive of him,” he said. ‘I don’t think she’s a disrupter. If anything, it was a signal of support for him, using the mot du jour and taking it to the next level with fashion.'” So that’s sorted.


“WikiLeaks pumps out Clinton emails” [The Hill]. Greenwald points out on the Twitter that the ongoing Democrat effort to discredit Wikileaks as a news organization is also an attempt to open them to criminal charges.

Stats Watch

JOLTS, August 2016: “In downbeat indications on the labor market, job openings fell a sharp 7.3 percent in August to 5.443 million at the same time that hiring, instead of rising, slowed by 0.9 percent to 5.210 million” [Econoday]. “Though readings in this report remain healthy, the drop in openings and the lack of hiring are consistent with slowing jobs growth, as seen in both the August and September employment reports.” And: “The BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) can be used as a predictor of future jobs growth, and the predictive elements show that the year-over-year growth rate of unadjusted private non-farm job openings were insignificantly changed from last month. In addition, the growth rate trends declined using the 3 month averages” [Econintersect]. But: ” Even with the decline in Job Openings, this is another solid report” [Calculated Risk]. And: “There was a significant decline in openings in the manufacturing and construction sectors, while openings were little changed in the retail sector. There was an increase in the leisure sector, while openings in government declined. More positively, there was an increase in hires in the manufacturing and construction sectors: [Economic Calendar]. “The number of hires for the month still exceeded separations by over 250,000, which still indicates very solid employment growth for the month, and no underlying deterioration.:”

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of October 7, 2016: “Mortgage activity slowed in in the October 7 week, with seasonally adjusted purchase applications for home mortgages falling” [Econoday]. “Versus the comparable week a year ago, however, unadjusted purchase applications were 27 percent higher, a sharp reversal of the 14 percent year-on-year decline seen in the prior week.” But: ” Don’t read too much into the year-over-year increase – remember last year there was a sharp increase in applications the week prior to the TILA-RESPA regulatory change, and the following week applications plunged 28%. Since this is a comparison to the week following the regulatory change, applications are up year-over-year. This will smooth out soon” [Calculated Risk].

Fodder for the Bulls: “Eurozone Industrial Production Rebounds 1.6% In August” [Economic Calendar]. “There will certainly be caution over the data for August given the risks of faulty seasonal adjustments as August is a peak holiday season. Any renewed downturn for September would trigger fresh concerns, although the data overall should boost confidence in the outlook slightly.”

Shipping: ” Hanjin Shipping Co. is stepping in to help resolve the logistics mess created by the carrier’s thousands of empty containers” [Wall Street Journal]. “The confusion over boxes is part of the supply-chain mess that’s followed the South Korean carrier’s declaration of bankruptcy in August. Questions over shipping payments and fees remain, however, and those may take longer to resolve than it will take to clear away Hanjin’s empty containers.”

Shipping: “General Average is a legal principle of Maritime Law under which, all parties who are involved in that voyage, shall be asked to proportionally share the losses resulting from such sacrifice” [Shipping and Freight Resource]. “Say for example the ship is a container ship and there are 100 containers on board with 100 customers.. One of the containers caught fire on board which spread to 9 other containers and all 10 containers had to be thrown overboard in order to save the balance 90 containers, the ship and the crew. Since the ship, the cargo and the crew were saved due to this action, the whole burden of the loss will be shared among the 100 customers and not just the 10 customers whose cargo was thrown overboard.” Interestingly, the principle of “general average” was used to justify fraud in the case of the ship Zong, whose captain and crew threw its slaves (cargo) overboard to collect on the insurance money.


Supply Chain: “Samsung’s botched recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone is putting a spotlight on supply-chain oversight and raising questions about the ability of today’s technology and management tools to help companies maintain quality control in giant complex networks of suppliers—as when products are being built and upgraded more swiftly. [Wall Street Journal, “Samsung Recall Puts Supply-Chain Oversight in Spotlight”]. Various technical solutions are presented. This is the best: “This is an example of where Internet of Things will make a difference,’ [ Richard Soley, chairman and CEO of technology standards consortium Object Management Group] said.’When you maintain a connection to all the devices, you know where they are and can do something about it.'” See the first link in the WIred section.

The Fed: “New York Fed President Dudley stated on Wednesday that the Federal Reserve can be gentle in raising rates, maintaining expectations of a December rate increase” [Economic Calendar]. Please be gentle!

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 45 Neutral (previous close: 47, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 49 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 12 at 12:44pm.

Health Care

“To drive real health care reform, look to what employers are doing” [Stat News]. A bit more interesting than the anodyne headline:

This research spotlights one of the biggest but least discussed economic effects of runaway health care costs. As health care expenses drain more of employers’ compensation budgets, less money is available to put into people’s paychecks. Flat wages widen economic inequality — one of the things fanning voter anger and frustration. The current benefits system encourages waste and does little to improve health.

It’s almost like there’s some sort of parasite doing the draining…

Imperial Collapse Watch

Take a bow, elites:

This is dumb. The troops shouldn’t still be fighting in Iraq. They should be fighting in Syria. Or Russia.

Class Warfare

“How Freelancers Are Reinventing Work Through New Collective Enterprises” [Shareable]. “As the gig economy proliferates, growing numbers are breaking away and creating their own work communities, based on a mix of autonomy and interdependence. Combating precarious economics and social isolation, freelancers are using new open-source technology and old-fashioned shoe leather organizing to create new ways to work and to work together.” Sounds great, sorta. Is there the “gig economy” equivalent of a “theory of the firm,” which shows why these organizations have a competitive advantage over other forms of organzing work?

“[T]here is a fair amount of data to support the argument that union workers in manufacturing have suffered as a result of open borders, bad trade deals and overzealous environmental regulations” [Forbes]. “Then why have union leaders endorsed and funded the politicians who made these policies?” This being Forbes, there’s a plug for free-rider right to work laws at the end, but it’s still a good question.

News of the Wired

“In which an English technologist livetweets 11 hours of trying to make tea with a ‘smart’ kettle” [Boing Boing]. This is awesome. And there’s that word “smart” again.

* * *

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:


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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. Jim Haygood

    From the Texas Observer link:

    “Support of Trump in Texas — and I speak specifically of my region, East Texas — goes beyond the smart and the not so smart, the educated and the uneducated.

    It is more a result of what I like to call the happily stupid; the ones who hold stupid views by choice, not due to lack of intelligence, but due to a kind of tribalism.”

    The Texas Observer was a fixture on our coffee table in my youth — a skinny little booklet-format weekly journal of 12 or 16 pages — all that could be mustered as a marginal, minority liberal voice in a conservative state.

    Sad to see that it’s fallen to mocking the Deplorables as “stupid.” That isn’t a winning strategy to convince and elevate the unenlightened. And the author’s a writing professor at SFA in Nacogdoches. Is our children learnin’?

    1. Binky

      Is the truth a defense?

      Do you want the willfully, aggressively ignorant on your side?

      Would you choose purposely to select the most willfully wrong person to do any task for you for pay? Or even free?

      What I see from the extract is that the author sees a group of people who have decided it is easier for whatever reason to be the Clarence Rutherfords to any Eddie Haskell that might show up, ready to push Wally and the Beaver’s heads into the toilet, etc. so as to remain in the popular group. Can’t happen here?

      1. Steve C

        If the Democrats and liberals in general hadn’t abandoned the working class for a neoliberal “Hamilton” agenda, Trump wouldn’t be a thing.

      2. pretzelattack

        i think aggressively ignorant describes the neocons and the candidate they support pretty well. that would be clinton, ready to push brown peoples’ heads into the toilet, or bomb them, or torture them, or imprison them, to stay popular in the beltway.

      3. ggm

        You want people to be more concerned with sexism and bigotry than they are with their own economic plight. That is a hard sell for many who are struggling. Trump is awful in a lot of ways, and he often appeals to the lowest denominator. However, he is speaking to the genuine concerns of everyday people – that they are suffering from the fallout of poorly implemented trade deals and mass corruption, that they are stuck in pointless foreign wars with no end in sight, that they have lost the ability to affect change through government – while Clinton supporters are now mired in reactionary anti-Russia and anti-sex pearl clutching. Did you ever consider that yours might be the more willfully ignorant party in this election?

        1. Jim

          There’s a lot of truth to what you’re saying. The Vox/Mother Jones-type liberals continuously asserting that the Trump phenomenon is completely unrelated to economics are delusional and clearly have nothing but contempt for the working class. And the attempts from Democrats to deflect any criticism from their conduct of the primary onto alleged Russian hackers is pretty disgusting.

          But the reaction to the Trump tapes can’t be dismissed as “anti-sex pearl clutching.” Trump bragged about getting away with sexually assaulting women because he’s rich and famous. Lots of people are quite rightly horrified at such statements; we all should be. It’s not the same as grousing about his multiple wives.

          1. hunkerdown

            What exactly are they horrified about? Anyone who makes this affair about sex instead of class is, frankly, trying to sell snake oil and ought to be run off the stage.

          2. Sam Foster

            The concerns may be based on economics as it is experienced by that group of voters, but, there is almost 40 years of evidence that Republican policies actively hurt that economic status. That’s what it is amongst the Democrats, it’s not delusional, it’s a literally painful inability to understand how people would rather believe the lies spewed instead of the observable evidence.

          3. Monist Lisa

            To be clear, Trump is bragging that beautiful women let him kiss them and grab them because of his star power. That is rock star talk, claiming women were willingly at his beck and call.

            If there were women coming forward to describe how they were unwilling recipients of sexual assault after they had made their disinterest clear it would be another story …

          4. Lambert Strether Post author

            > contempt for the working class

            I think it’s actual hatred, fueled by guilt and projection.

            > pearl-clutching

            First, assault isn’t the same as sex. Second, people can brag; my dividing line is “putting his hands on her.” Unfortunately for Trump, it looks from the Times and BBC stories that’s just what he’s done. If so, he’s toast.

            1. Monist Lisa

              May be moot now as you say, but question was whether he was bragging about “committing sexual assault.” That would have required him bragging about grabbing a victim we knew was unwilling, either from his own statement or other evidence.

        2. jrs

          of course sexism and bigotry is probably ALL wrapped up in people’s economic plights. Back in the real world women put up with sexual harassment at work etc. because they need the income. Yes it’s illegal, but it’s not always enforced especially in the blue collar workplace. And yes Trumps comments were mostly about consensual stuff and if so arent’ harassment. But sexism as such isn’t actually separable from economics.

          1. ggm

            I heard it as consensual, too. Women “let me” grab them. Maybe I am more forgiving than others because I worked for a famous musician when I was younger and witnessed women throwing themselves at him constantly. Are we taking away the agency of women by assuming this was unwanted attention? Is it possible there are women who might have enjoyed the contact with him? Assuming he was even telling the truth in his statements.

        3. hunkerdown

          You want people to be more concerned with sexism and bigotry than they are with their own economic plight.

          In other words, evangelicals starving people in order that they pray correctly for a bearable afterlife. Frankly, I’m getting sick of them too.

      4. Mo's Bike Shop

        >>Do you want the willfully, aggressively ignorant on your side?

        If I were running for office, yes, obviously. Once I picked which group of ‘the willfully, aggressively ignorant’ I wished to court, I’d look at expanding my base. J

      5. fajensen

        Do you want the willfully, aggressively ignorant on your side?

        Would you choose purposely to select the most willfully wrong person to do any task for you for pay?
        Certainly: Will, Aggression and Plenty of Ignorance is *exactly* what it takes to put a good scar on the face of the most organized, high-level, well-connected, mob-operation run by the US government since the Shah of Iran.

        Trump “going over the top”, thus attracting all the “fire”, has set in motion a flood of leaks. Soon we will see defections when the rats see that the ship is indeed leaking and the water is getting close to their nest. Then there will be congress hearings, the hyenas sizing up which parts of the carcass they like to have when it dies, impeachment, several years of some progress for the little folks while the new management rebuilds the enterprise and re-tune the neglected Engine of Looting at the core.

        The only people doing any task for *me* *for pay* are the carpenter and the guy cleaning the drain. We have a deal: I don’t care about their opinions and they don’t complain over my coffee.

        You are a bit naive if you think any kind of leadership works for you. In the best situation, your interests are aligned with theirs, it looks like “working together”. And since one does not look in the mouth of a gift horse, everyone are happy. Right now, “our interests” and “theirs” are blatantly opposed.

  2. CSTH

    Is there the “gig economy” equivalent of a “theory of the firm,” which shows why these organizations have a competitive advantage over other forms of organzing work?

    Yes – it’s all about the inverse relationship between downside risk and economic power. That and favorable tax treatment.

  3. abynormal Post author

    Hi Lambert & Gang! miss yall muches. mom is sick and in the last 17 dayz since she took to her bed, i can’t remember what a bed feels like. i would like to thank Kiaser for all their help in NOT diagnosing her…bumbling bunch of SLUGS. anywho, i see free markets are giving central planners the finger, AGAIN…so i’ll dedicated this oldie but goodie to the other group of bumbling bunch of CB SLUGS…let it bleed baby:

    Janet Yellen was the Fed Chair, was a good friend of mine
    I never understood a single word she said, so I helped her markets decline
    Stocks can’t always rise in a straight line

    Singin’ “Joy to the world,” all the boys and girls now
    Fade all the tech stocks at their apogee
    Shorts for you and me

    If I were the head of the Fed, tell you what I’d do
    I’d throw all the ‘dots’ and the charts on the floor
    And spike rates to 3.02

    Singin’ now: “Joy to the world,” all the boys and girls
    Deploy hawkish grinches to the FOMC
    Shorts for you and me

    You know, I might have rabies, mouth foamin’ cause it’s so much fun
    I’m a high-flier fighter and a NASDAQ sniper, a short-sellin’ son of a gun
    More ‘malicious’ than Attila the Hun

    Joy to the world, all the boys and girls
    Spike all the VIX’s up to 63
    Joy to you and me :o))

    1. Jim Haygood

      ah ha ha ha

      Saving this one for Depression II! ;-)

      Yesterday at the z site, someone posted a system where after any weekly decline of -0.5% to 3.0% (but not more than 3.0% down), you buy the S&P and hold it for an expected bounce the next week.

      I replicated the system and, as claimed, it produced most of the price gain of the S&P while invested only 27.3% of the time since Jan 1, 1990.

      The moral of the story is BTFD [Buy The F***ing Dip] … unless it’s over 3 percent. Last week’s dip was 0.8%, so the BTFD trade is on this week.

      Best wishes to your mom.

    2. Bunk McNulty

      It’s a fine afternoon for singing.

      No Banker Left Behind (Ry Cooder)

      “Well the bankers called a meeting to the White House they went one day
      They was going to call on the President in a quiet and a sociable way
      And the afternoon was sunny and the weather it was fine
      They counted out our money and no banker was left behind”

    3. ChrisFromGeorgia

      Deploy hawkish grinches to the FOMC

      To quote the late Buddy Holly, “that’ll be the day that I die!”

    4. Jess

      My God, with all you’ve gone through with other family members recently, and now your mother, too? Try to hang in, hold on, ride it out. I think I speak for all who visit NC in saying that we wish you the best and your mother a quick recovery.

    5. katiebird

      Hi Aby, thank you for checking in. Being the well one with a sick parent is exhausting. I hope you have a chance to get some rest soon. Prayers for you and your mom….

  4. Pavel

    re WikiLeaks: adding to the endless hypocrisy and double standards over Trump’s “grabbing pussy” remarks and HRC & Co’s behaviour:

    * Hillary herself wondered about extrajudicially killing Assange by droning. In what world is that considered permissible?

    * It seems that the Clinton campaign’s Catholic “outreach” person was involved in a prostitution ring. So that’s all good.

    I’m starting to think Trump might yet pull this off. The Clinton camp must be terrified and trying desperately to see what else might come out. If only Bernie had agreed to run with Jill Stein… I honestly think they might have won. In any case the Republican party is going down in flames, and after the Podesta leaks the Dems will have absolutely ZERO credibility and not much of a mandate. 2018 and 2020 will be interesting indeed, assuming HRC hasn’t started WW3 by then.

    Speaking of which, Ray McGovern warns against the sabre-rattling over Syria and the calls for “no fly zones” in CounterPunch today:

    We analysts were responsible for picking up warnings from Moscow and other key capitals that the U.S. news media often missed or downplayed, much as the major news outlets today are ignoring the escalation of warnings from Russia over Syria.

    For instance, Russian defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov warned on Oct. 6 that Russia is prepared to shoot down unidentified aircraft – including any stealth aircraft – over Syria. It is a warning that I believe should be taken seriously.

    It’s true that experts differ as to whether the advanced air defense systems already in Syria can bring down stealth aircraft, but it would be a mistake to dismiss this warning out of hand. Besides, Konashenkov added, in a telling ex-ante-extenuating-circumstance vein, that Russian air defense “will not have time to identify the origin” of the aircraft.

    In other words, U.S. aircraft, which have been operating in Syrian skies without Syrian government approval, could be vulnerable to attack with the Russian government preemptively warning that such an incident won’t be Moscow’s fault.

    –Russian Throws Down the Gauntlet: Fly at Your Own Risk

    Bush & Cheney & Co were horrific enough with their neocon games in the Mideast, but their actions seem mild compared with the latest anti-Russian lunatic talk by Clinton and her neocon pals. Really scary.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Yes the entire situation with out-of-touch imperialist aristocrats blindly blundering their way to Sarajevo Aleppo has a very reminiscent feel to it…an easy chapter to write in the future history books.
      This should terrify everyone. I wish we would elect someone who says we should sit down and talk to our biggest rivals, not just provoke them to world war. But oh I forgot he said vulgar things about women 15 years ago.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        He shouldn’t have said it.

        No excuse for that.

        When many men (not all) claim that is no more than what they have experienced in their lives, we have a big problem.

        No excuse, no enabling. No avoiding responsibility.

        Why do so many men claim that’s what men do typically (not universally)?

        1. Jess

          “Why do so many men claim that’s what men do typically (not universally)?”

          Because it’s usually true of most men at one time or another in their lives. For all the talk (and the reality) about women being treated as second rate, they do have enormous power; the power to reject. And reject they do. You can be the nicest guy in the world, but if you’re not her type, if there’s no chemistry or you’re not her “caliber”, down in flames you go. It’s not necessarily mean on her part, it’s just reality. And it’s not just looks or money that is a consideration. You can be a nice, successful guy at a time in her life when she’s attracted to the rebellious, slightly “dangerous”, exciting “bad boy”.

          This can be frustrating. And it’s magnified when you grow up being taught that you can do anything if you just try hard enough. But that’s just it; you can’t. Guys want to be rich and successful (like Trump) or rich/successful/famous, because that’s the inside track to the most elite women. Except that even then, it’s no guarantee. Look at all the women who wouldn’t get involved with Trump if they were marooned on an island and he was the only man. All his fame, all his money, and They. Just. Aren’t. Interested. And it’s the same with virtually every guy whose name isn’t Tom Brady. So like I said, it breeds frustration — sometimes soul-crushing frustration — which is displayed in crude anger.

          1. hunkerdown

            Jess, and, thanks to political correctness, there are a dwindling number of venues where one might seek to build lateral relationships, especially of the romantic or life partner sort, and a dwindling amount of discretionary time to spend in those venues. Never mind the most elite women — ten-year-olds with bottle-blonde updos and optional silicone-enhanced “chopped chicken parts” are actually kinda gross — the less elite but still very aspirational Modern woman’s standards and policies are too high (unrealistic, as the less aspirational might put it) for the life partner market to clear without externalizing something.

            “Because it’s usually true of most men at one time or another in their lives.”

            And therefore SIN, or whatever the symbol manipulators might prefer to call it, and therefore PENANCE (payable in 3 easy installments), and THEN absolution. We do know how path dependence cramps the American liberal’s style and their group narcissism.

            “When we’re an empire, we create our own reality.”

          2. crittermom

            It works both ways. Men also have the power to reject, & they do.

            Your own wording of “that’s the inside track to the most elite women” (my emphasis) seems to say that a woman must be beautiful in figure and face to attract a man.
            So what’s different about a woman wanting a man who is nice looking with a nice body?
            It’s just two different views, depending on gender.

            Regarding what Trump supposedly said/did many years ago, even as a woman, I still find the fact Hellary’s husband was engaged in sexual misconduct in the oval office—while president—even more disgusting.

            I saw/see that as a huge slap in the face and a big FU to the entire nation that he would conduct himself in such a way while being the leader of our country!
            He couldn’t even keep it zipped while sitting in the WH? How dare he!

            At least Trump wasn’t our freakin’ PRESIDENT when he said/did those things.

            Yet Bill’s behavior is still a ‘hush-hush’ subject because he’s a Clinton, it seems. (Or because people don’t want to be on that ‘Clinton’ list and disappear?)

            No, I do not support Trump or his actions or manners or ego.
            But since it’s being made such a big deal, then I’d like to see all the facts about Bill brought up again in the way he acted while leading this country.

            THEN maybe all these ‘distractions’ would end and we could get down to policies!
            Until then, which it appears will never happen, this ‘election’ is a sick joke, at best.

          3. Praedor

            Indeed. I think there are actually 2 issues tied into this thing by respondents. There’s the vulgar sex talk (the part that ALL men do at some point, and so do, likely, MANY women) and bragging, then there’s the assault/rape issue. I think many are skipping or ignoring the second and going with the first issue. I have seen responses deploring just the vulgar/crass/direct aspect of talking about women in general (bogus…men do NOT speak as: “Did you see Heather today?! Woah! Her mind is sooooo hot! I’d love to be alone with her so I could talk her brains out!” – and neither do women). The illegit argument. Then there’s the valid issue of attacking not the vulgarity/sex/direct language of “locker room talk” but the actual content of what is spoken: clear bragging/boasting of what IS sexual assault. THAT is what is deplorable and valid of attack, NOT the fact that men, in private, don’t speak asexually and with polite regard about women.

            1. JTFaraday

              Socrates is so disappointed in you. You also don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

        2. human

          It’s a great big, diverse world out there. Saudi women can be beheaded for saying, “no,” and western women are castigated for saying, “yes.”

          Once again, it’s all about the distraction.

          1. Pavel

            Yes, but at least Hillary has come out boldly against the Saudi persecution of women, gays, and other races, has denounced the Saudi genocide in Yemen, and fought vigorously as Secretary of State to ensure arms including cluster bombs and white phosphorus were not sold to a regime with such a dreadful human rights record. And the Clinton Foundation displayed their “whiter than white” sense of ethics by returning the millions of dollars of Saudi donations.

            And Trump’s words from 11 years ago were much worse than anything the Saudis did, in any case.

        3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I have a hierarchy of reactions to issues and I just can’t seem to put vulgar language above the ultimate vulgarity of world war for profit. Try as I might, I can’t seem to care more about people with hurt feelings than people with their heads blown off because a Saudi billionaire or arms manufacturer just had to have some more ka-ching. There is nothing more vulgar than that.

          1. JTFaraday

            You seem to be almost assuming Trump would do something different– despite the way he talks about people. Like, pretty much all the time.

    2. Micky9finger

      They should be fighting in Syria. Or Russia.

      Are you crazy? I want no part of Russia, especially IN Russia. That would be deja ww2 all over again.
      Also remember Hitler and Napoleon.

      And yes more femen protests.

      1. BobW

        Undoubtedly snark, Micky. Besides, there won’t be enough troops for Russia since they will be in Iran.

    3. Waldenpond

      Trump issues are msm. Clinton issues are online. MSM crowd is older and turnout higher. So I’m still expecting it will be horror show Clinton. Come on meteor!

    4. Roger Smith

      The fact stories and talk keeps coming that “the election is over” or “Trumo ruined himself” etc… tells you how close it really is.

      1. Jen

        Ding! Quite reminiscent of all that hysterical shrieking that Bernie needed to drop out. I really hope that somewhere in that treasure trove of Podesta emails that wikileaks keeps posting are the Clinton campaign’s internal polling numbers on or about June 5.

    5. ProNewerDeal

      I am surprised that Trump is not making the Podesta Wikileaks into a major story. Perhaps Trump is not earnestly trying to actually win, or Trump is a Bush43/Palin level low IQ person.

      Trump & his media spokeshacks could repeat “Podesta Wikileaks show HClinton’s actual ‘private position’ is cut SS & MC, & pro-TPP. Trump will not cut SS & MC, & will veto TPP. Vote for Trump”. Even if Trump is lying, Trump could “pull an 0bama 2008 on NAFTA” & privately tell PRyan/Trump BigFunders/Owners Trump’s actual plan.

      IMHO Trump could possibly win if he took such an approach. Why isn’t he doing so?

      1. fajensen

        Maybe Trump just wants to take over The Clinton Operation and add it to his portfolio, not ruin it?

        Speaking of which – now Putin – and the part of the planet that has electricity – has seen The Clinton Operation, the Tong, the Ural mob, the Albanians, maybe even Hells Angels, will all want a cut of the action.

    6. fajensen

      Bernie had agreed to run with Jill Stein

      If I was in Bernie’s shoes, I would have retired for “health reasons” rather than supporting Hillary. “Spending more time with the grandchildren” is a better, more honorable end, to a long career than what Bernie chose for himself.

  5. Tom

    Regarding “How Freelancers Are Reinventing Work Through New Collective Enterprises”

    I’m starting to feel like Morty Seinfeld when he worked at J. Peterman and said the way to sell clothing was “with cheap fabric and dim lighting.”

    I’ve had a computer on my kitchen table and high-speed internet connection I’ve used to conduct business as a full-time freelancer for 20 years.

    So when I read breathless accounts about reinventing work like this …

    As the gig economy proliferates, growing numbers are breaking away and creating their own work communities, based on a mix of autonomy and interdependence. Combating precarious economics and social isolation, freelancers are using new open-source technology and old-fashioned shoe leather organizing to create new ways to work and to work together.

    … my first reaction is to say, “get over yourselves with all this gig economy bullshit and get to work.”

    Sure, technology has changed, but the underlying business basics still apply — quote a fair price, be on time for meetings and conference calls, hit your deadlines and deliver what your customers ask for. It’s called running your own business.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Preach it, Brutha Tom! And, yes, I’m another one of those full-time freelancers.

      Gotta get back to work …

  6. Jim Haygood

    Today’s journo-linguistic riddle: what adjective did the Bloomberg writer intend to use instead of ‘nubile’ in this sentence:

    BMW’s Next 100 motorcycle purports to use a novel matte black “flexframe” that’s nubile enough to allow the bike to turn without the joints found on today’s motorcycles.


    She also refers to “erudite handling” at high speeds. Maybe it’s the world’s first PhD motorsickle.

    This may be the same vanity novel ghost writer who memorably described a trader’s lavish digs as featuring “well-hung pictures.” :-)

    1. alex morfesis

      no need for a helmet…at least on the computer screen on a manicured closed race track…but that landscaping contractor a few hundred feet ahead of you…the tired one who has a trailer hauling palm leaves and all those palm seeds or brazilian pepper tree seeds…or the construction repair guy who just threw the material in the back of the pick up truck without a tarp…

      yeah…that computer enhanced drive which would prevent me from pulling the ride to the left or right or on purpose controlling a fall/dive off the ride due to that large chunk of door frame that just fell out of that pick up truck…no no no…

      alex…your years of riding to avoid a catastrophic accident…

      we have HAL to handle that for you…

      because saving the bike and its continued owed payments might be more important to the algorithm than keep this carbon based life form intact…

      no helmet…

      how cute…

    2. Rageon

      Instead of nubile (of marriageable condition or age or sexually attractive) this nincompoop obviously meant to use “nimble”.
      Where’s the proofreading these daze?

        1. Katharine

          Sounds likely. Oh, especially if smart originally didn’t have a mental connotation!

          Do you suppose this was written with a bad translator or just a thesaurus? And why? Was she trying to crib from a press release without quoting verbatim?

    3. HotFlash

      Rageon is totally correct, ‘nimble’ is the word the author meant WRT handling. But I have to agree with Katherine about ‘erudite’. What? what?

    4. ewmayer

      Thanks for the chuckles, JimH and fellow commenters – I forwarded link to this subdiscussion to Language Log’s Mark Liberman, with the comment “Ha, ha – ensuing reader discussion here is risible … or would ‘steatopygous commenter-klatsch’ be a more erudite framing?”

  7. LT

    Re: Stat News – Healthcare

    And we get the other big picture problem with the ACA: it was about shifting costs to individuals and not about the overall price inflation of healthcare.

    The other big picture problem is that the private health insurance industry is not a good faith partner. They are first and foremost concerned with profit over lives.

  8. ekstase

    Re: Trump:

    “Perhaps we’ve even made similar comments ourselves.”

    Uhm. No. I think I’m beginning to understand better what minorities feel when someone says that racists are just ignorant and should be ignored. This stuff hurts. It is designed to humiliate. And as unnecessary as it may seem, it actually makes a huge difference when someone stands up and says it’s wrong.

    1. pretzelattack

      did he say or imply that the comments should be ignored? he described them as “rancid” in the preceding sentence. i didn’t read the article at counterpunch, though.

    2. AnEducatedFool

      Who has said that it was right?

      I’ve never heard anyone say “grab them by the pussy” but I have heard young college males talk about porn in a college library loud enough for me to hear them 2 tables over. I’ve heard detail accounts of what they want to do w/ girls they no. I just stared out them for a few minutes but it was clear that they did not care about my opinion or that they were in the library.

      I spent much of my childhood around athletes. The higher you go up the food chain the more crass the comments. I was never in a football locker room but baseball and basketball were pretty terrible. I played at the national level in AAU and spent a lot of time around traveling baseball players. They were into drugs and girls. The comments were reprehensible and they have not changed much behind closed doors. I’m 34 now.

      My brother is older and his friends have all said horrible things when no women were around. I was typically the voice of reason which made me a target for gay bashing. I’m straight but since I did not see the need to devalue women I was asked if I was gay.

      St. Claire is right. Anyone that says that Trump can not be in the White House better vote for Stein or Johnson otherwise they are giant hypocrites. Bill Clinton is a rapist and Hillary Clinton aided and abetted his history of abuse.

      1. ekstase

        I appreciate what you’ve said about your own experience. See. This is what I mean. Every guy that says, “No, I think this is crap when men talk like this,” helps. It’s not okay to use racial slurs, even when you’re “just” talking to white people. If you just say, “Dude, grow up,” that ends it. Unless he’s also violent. Or in the case of that reporter, “I have real friends. I don’t need to connect with you while we say crap about some woman so she won’t hear.” Simple, but I guess it takes some courage.
        Also, I think we need to be wary of saying that “all” people or all men do or think anything. None if us can read minds, or has been privy to all private conversations. I think that is partly why it matters so much when people who would otherwise be included in that, “all,” speak up.

    3. Fred

      Designed to humiliate who, Billy Bush – the guy who it was spoke too? Or do you mean the people who thought 50 Shades of Grey was avant-garde literature (80 million sold to date).

      “it actually makes a huge difference when someone stands up and says it’s wrong.”
      I agree. To quote William Jefferson Clinton:

      As La Rochefoucauld put it: “hypocrisy is a tribute vice pays to virtue.”

    4. JTFaraday

      I think about 90% of what black Americans want is for somebody to acknowledge that there is a problem, and that the problem isn’t them. I think they actually settle for way too little, and so it is peculiar to me that people are so resistant to giving them even this kind of almost desperately sought recognition.

  9. Bev

    Today in the Bronx


    Join Jill Stein & Ajamu Baraka at a Rally with DJ Bembona, Immortal Technique, Kor Element, Robin Laverne Wilson and many more special guests!

    ***UPDATE: All students with valid ID get in for FREE!***
Come to our Greening the Revolution Rally to hear from Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka themselves and learn more about the progressive Green Party platform. The mainstream media has tried to suppress us and we were excluded from the Presidential Debates, so we’re bringing our campaign straight to the people! 

    We have an amazing lineup of speakers, including Dr. Jill Stein (Green Party candidate for President), Ajamu Baraka (Green Party candidate for Vice President), Edwin Figueroa (South Bronx Community Congress), Robin Laverne Wilson (Candidate for US Senator of NY), Carlos Jesus Calzadilla (Co-founder of Progressive Alliance and student at LIU).
We’ll also see exciting performances by Immortal Technique, DJ Bembona, and Kor Element!

    Doors Open at 7:00 PM (EST), rally begins at 7:30pm.
Tickets are just $10 (students with valid student ID get in for FREE) and can be purchased at the Hostos Box Office in advance, in person, over the phone at 718-518-4455 or online via the following link: http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?orgid=22328&pid=8331441

    WHAT: Greening the Revolution Rally for Jill and Ajamu
WHEN: Wednesday, October 12th. Doors open at 7pm, event begins at 7:30pm

    WHERE: Hostos Community College Arts Center, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451

    WHO: Dr. Jill Stein, Ajamu Baraka, Robin Laverne Wilson, Immortal Technique, DJ BEMBONA, Kor Element and more!

    TICKETS ($10 / Students with student ID get in for FREE): http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?orgid=22328&pid=8331441. Get your ticket today before they sell out – and please share this event with your friends.

    FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/events/1027140100736600


    JILL STEIN POLLS National Polling Is Likely Significantly Underestimating Support for The Green Party Candidate
    by Nathan Francis

  10. Fred

    “This is dumb. The troops shouldn’t still be fighting in Iraq. They should be fighting in Syria. Or Russia.”

    Why should we go to war with Russia? How many nuclear weapons do they have?

        1. raoul

          you’re right, Fred. If it was sarcasm, he/she/it (kinda hard to know these daze, amirite?) left off the /sarc tag.

          Anyone even thinking about war with Russia is INSANE.

          1. alex morfesis

            well…its almost been 100 years since american troops were killing russians in russia…

            so maybe to relive that glorious wilsonian moment ??

      1. flora

        On the Dem side Sanders won in many (maybe most, if the primaries weren’t rigged) of the hollowed out industrial Midwestern states.

    1. Jagger

      Yep, he nailed it because he knows what he is talking about. For the people around here, Trump is primarily a Molotov cocktail to toss at the powers that be which have screwed, mocked or ignored them for the last 40 years or so. 1390 comments on the article.

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      Thanks, I can only say that when he goes viral, I’m really impressed. Don’t follow Wong regularly, maybe I should.

    3. JCC

      Decent article, particularly his comments on Blue States vs Red States and relative to the RealClearPolitics article on the new war between the states, enlightening.

      I now live in California, approximately 10% of my lifetime so far vs other cities and rural areas on the East Coast. like many in the U.S., I have always been propagandized about the Left Coast and CA attititude, the bluest of the blue, etc. Outside of L.A. and S.F. I haven’t found any of that even close to true.

      For example, last weekend I took a round-trip one day drive from my area in the N. Mojave Desert over the Sierras through Bakersfield and on to a little town near the coast called Santa Margarita (very nice little town, by the way – one gas station, two pumps, diesel and regular, no credit card slot in either – both had a sign on them saying “Pump First, Pay In Office”. Beautiful). I saw one HRC sign, both ways, and multiple DJT signs.

      I don’t think it’s a “new war between the states”, but between the Upper Middle Class and higher of the “City States” and everyone else, and it seems to be growing more vitriolic over time, to put it mildly.

      Just my $0.02

      1. hunkerdown

        JCC, Highway 58 runs through some beautiful countryside and makes for a fun winding scenic drive in some places, especially this time of year. If you had gone another dozen miles south over the hill, you could have started to catch whiffs of the ‘tude now and again, in San Luis Obispo, a college town and creative class enclave that was thick with cyclists when I was there, and which also serves as the unofficial boundary between Southern and Northern California (more the northern limit of a creeping, metastasizing LA metro area).

        The ‘tude is a thing. Roughly, there’s an air of mild defensive aloofness to it that I can’t put my finger on, and of which due to voracious intellectual pursuits as a child I had perhaps not borne much of the brunt, but I felt it leave my body after being out of the state for a while. I feel more socially competent (such as that is) out here.

  11. Tuffs (@TuffsNotEnuff)

    Re: Trump

    Amazing the excuses we’re seeing for tolerating, ignoring, denying, accepting this monster. His aversion to facts was clear 18 months ago. His disconnect from political process and necessary civility went on the stage with him in New Hampshire.

    Indeed a monster. Same time, the GOP did no quality control, not a dime’s worth of due diligence. He was able to pump up the White Nationalist segment of the Republican primary pool. And never release a tax return. Not even to a panel of GOP experts.

    What’s next? Likely a look at the NOL cited in his 1995 tax returns. That’s the $915 million casino loss, migrated down to his personal returns. Seems that same $915 million was also rolled into the 2004 casino bankruptcy. Total there was $1.8 billion. So the same $915 million casino outflow was paid with bank funds (secured with junk bonds and loans) not Trump money, then posted as tax losses by the banks for 2004. IRS do not be kiss-kiss for double-count tax frauds. IRS’s Six Year Rule and Trump’s 1,200 page filings combined to let Trump get away with it until now and just maybe the SOL will keep him out of jail. Smart, indeed. Largest successful carryforward fraud in American history.

    There’s people want this guy to be president. Amazing….

    1. Yves Smith

      You don’t help your credibility by making stuff up about Trump’s taxes. This is widely viewed as the best explanation of what he probably did and it is perfectly legal. And there’s been no MSM suggestion of any impropriety as far as the NOL is concerned. For instance, CNN (which from the tone of their story was clearly trying to fan the flames) said they had contacted quite a few tax professionals. The majority said there was nothing wrong with what Trump had done; a lot of big players in real estate had been declaring large losses around then. A minority said that this showed that the tax code sucked, which was a de facto admission that what Trump had done was legal.


      Propagating false information is against our site’s rules (see our discussion of agnotology).

    2. todde

      Tax law changed in 2002 I believe that doesn’t allow what Trump did in the 90s.

      But yes you could take debt forgiveness and not take it as income or a reduction in basis.

      But it is rather sick that you can live in such luxury while having such a large tax lost.

      Unfortunately there’s a lot of that going around.

    3. fajensen

      Amazing the excuses we’re seeing for tolerating, ignoring, denying, accepting this monster.

      Which monster – “Mothra” or “Godzilla”? There both old, but still entertaining.

      “What’s Next” we get on WikiLeaks and The Intercept. We are not “Amazed”.

  12. Jeremy Grimm

    “Then why have union leaders endorsed and funded the politicians who made these policies?”

    I thought unions were a compromise made in the thirties in an effort to control wildcat strikes and sabotage. Is there really any question why union leaders have thrown in the the Elite? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Is Sabotcat dead?

      1. jrs

        The IWW is involved in the single largest strike in the country probably at present. It’s of prison workers. Many unions were a compromise. But not all unions. The capitalists broke the deal. Though if unions are going to be leftist, environmentalism as a policy makes sense.

        One might ask as well why among all the workers the rest of us are afraid of taking our jobs prison labor isn’t mentioned among that …

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Thanks! Much thanks! I am glad Sabocat lives. Our Elite should learn again why they fear “communists”.

        2. Uahsenaa

          “Unions” is a rather unfortunate catchall for a range of organizations whose politics run from militantly anti-capitalist and anti-racist (e.g. the meatpackers union in Waterloo, IA) to pretty conservative/borderline fascist (e.g. police unions). One of the saddest aspects of the history of the left in the US is how discriminatory unions were toward people of color. Now, any time a leftist or anti-capitalist movement tries to get itself off the ground, it has to deal with the animus already sown among the black community in particular.

          Sure bit Sanders in the kiester.

          Not to mention how amongst many on the Left, whenever police behave badly and their unions go out of the way to protects, the whole idea of union representation gets challenged, even if for the vast majority, that would be counterproductive at best.

          1. jrs

            The I.W.W. WON’T represent law enforcement, that’s their policy now, it maybe always has been (and their slogan is: “one big union” so the ideal (a long way from it in the year 2016 of course) is to represent pretty much the entire working class. But not for the enforcers).

    1. Waldenpond

      I think of unions as the extension of a companies HR Dept. HR Depts look out for the corporate interests, not the employee. Use your union to resolve minor issues only and that would not include a job description (other duties as assigned).

      1. Uahsenaa

        Some unions are entirely in bed with management, the UAW, for example. Some antagonize management endlessly, like the grad student and adjunct unions in the US, and act as the only line of defense for those whom management would exploit any way they can. It’s a mistake to cast them all in the same light.

  13. Jeremy Grimm

    Alcohol is a piss-ant drug. I’d far rather be stoned or tripping on shrooms. It’s past time to search out new Truth.

  14. Waldenpond

    I don’t think of Wikileaks as a news organization. But then the govt would have to prosecute many as the rest aren’t news organizations either. If Clinton really bothered WL, WL would have released during the primary and eliminated Clinton but they liked Sanders less. First, comes across as entirely personal and manipulative. Second, it’s all about the clicks, eyes and please send money.

    Unfortunately, there isn’t a legitimate place to send whistle blower, public records and other records to keep the public informed.

    1. jrs

      I don’t know, I think it’s possible that WL is not just about clicks and eyes but about revenge at this point. Well hey Hillary wants to kill Julian Assange afterall.

    2. Vatch

      but they [Wikileaks] liked Sanders less [than Clinton]

      In what way? What’s the evidence for this?

      1. Waldenpond

        I feel like I watched a different primary.

        Assange and others have stated he had Clinton server data since early 2016. Dotcom referenced data in Dec 2015 and his ‘nightmare’ scenario is more serious than the DNC leak. The DNCleak released before the convention was only a beginning.

        [Whatever happens in October, just don’t call it a surprise.]
        Here’s some history with other links included.

    3. vidimi

      many of these emails are post-sanders abdication which means that the hack is recent.

      wikileaks cannot release stuff before obtaining it themselves.

  15. lyman alpha blob

    RE: The White House vowed to hit Russia with a “proportional” response

    My guess is Uncle Sugar’s spooks are going to post “Kitty Cat” Riot videos on all Putin’s favorite Russian government websites.

    1. hunkerdown

      Ha. I seem to remember some weakly sourced chat logs from a couple of weeks ago purporting to include David Brock planning a “proportional” response, and also the phrase “google Seth Rich and stfu about it”.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      French was LePage’s first language, and I don’t think he spoke much English at all until he was an adult and went to business school at Husson.

      So, I can see him mixing up the words (to the great glee of the usual suspects who, of course, think he’s stupid).

      Now, I can also see him mixing up the two concepts, for sure — another executive with serious daddy issues, like Bill Clinton, Bush II, and Barack Obama — but as usual context with Democrats context is erased in favor of symbol manipulation.

      1. allan

        Thanks for the biographical background, but sorry,
        I still don’t buy LePage’s transparent attempted save.

        His original “to show some authoritarian power in our country” makes sense.

        “to show some authoritative power in our country” doesn’t.

        In his attempted explanation, LePage uses “persona”. His command of English is just fine.

        Not every report of a GOP misdeed can be laid at the feet of Dem identity political operatives.

        Or is that “identity politics”?

  16. FriarTuck

    RE: Technologist Tea

    Hmm, that brings to mind the nutrimatic machine from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

    When the ‘Drink’ button is pressed it makes an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject’s taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject’s metabolism, and then sends tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centres of the subject’s brain to see what is likely to be well received.

    However, no-one knows quite why it does this because it then invariably delivers a cupful of liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

  17. BecauseTradition

    Where’s the Rapture Index you used to post? I would think that the mention of nuclear war would influence it a bit?

    Not to try to assign you any work but still …

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Good reminder! They actually do keep the listings updated. It’s really a lot like the Volatility Index some have proposed here, with a right wing Christian focus. Probably isn’t that hard to maintain, once it’s set up.

      1. JTMcPhee

        “Vulnerability Index,” or VUX, is the suggestion — the VIX we already have enough of, just another fear-and-greed tracker.

  18. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    LOL Bernie got rolled LOL
    Today’s Wiki, from Hilary’s campaign:
    “we want them to think they’ve won something”
    I thought Bernie had the right idea: concentrate on how money corrupts politics, first and foremost. But this shows what Hilary’s people intended all along: sucker them in by appearing to give ground on substantive issues.
    The cognitive dissonance of any Bernie supporters still planning to vote for Hilary must be crippling at this stage.

          1. mk

            Work begins the day after the election. We have to PRESSURE HRC to respond to the needs of the people. I hope people who complain about Bernie here will be ready to help apply that pressure and not sit on the sidelines complaining that this candidate or that candidate aren’t representing your interests. We 13 million who voted for Bernie have to mobilize.

            From The Nation’s interview of Bernie Sanders
            “… politics does not end the day of the election. The day after the election, when Hillary Clinton wins, you can be assured that I and other progressives will be saying to President-elect Clinton, “Take a good look at the Democratic platform that you supported—because together, President-elect Clinton, we are going to implement that platform. We’re going to involve millions of people in the process who are going to break up the large Wall Street banks, who are going to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, who are going to be very aggressive on climate change and transforming our energy system.”

  19. Jeff W

    “My Vision for Universal, Quality, Affordable Health Care” [Hillary Clinton, New England Journal of Medicine].

    The piece…makes no pretence to present “universal” health care…shouldn’t somebody have checked to see that the headline and the text had some rough correspondence?

    The lack of correspondence is the point: “I am going to call whatever it is I am proposing ‘universal health care,’ even though it has nothing to do with that, and you rubes are going to buy that.” War, after all, is peace.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      ‘I have already addressed that!’, ‘Click. Whirr.’

      I can’t take 4 years of the dog ate my homework. If they can’t put any effort into not getting caught, could they at least demonstrate the competence to pay someone to fabricate a decent alibi beforehand?

  20. alex morfesis

    Wells Fargo stuffs stumpf…DING DONG the king is dead…which old king the wicked king…DING DONG the rich old king is gone…

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Yes seeing him in an orange jumpsuit will be very gratifying.
      Um oops oh wait I forgot we’re getting Hilary Antoinette… maybe at least she’ll arrange a private meeting with him and ask him to please “cut it out”.

  21. Plenue

    Isn’t Scott Adams the guy who once said something about women being like children? I think his brand is already ruined on that front.

    1. hunkerdown

      If you’re looking for blasphemy, you will find it. Don’t people get tired of role-playing Protestantism?

    2. reslez

      Yeah, he’s pretty skeezy. He wrote in his blog that he doesn’t believe sexism exists because when he was a child plenty of women had authority over him, which clearly refutes the whole thing. And sexism doesn’t exist in the workplace because when he had a white collar job he was passed over for promotion due to too many men being promoted ahead of him, meaning the company felt it needed to promote a couple women first.

      He also opposes the estate tax, that’s why he currently supports Johnson (but he’ll inevitably swing back to Trump before voting day, just watch). Don’t these rich assholes understand that when they’re dead, they don’t need their money anymore?

  22. Steve C

    If Pence is Limbaugh on decaf, Gary Johnson is Trump on ludes. The only reason to support him is it feels like you’re striking a blow for liberty and you’re ignorant of Stein and the Green Party because they don’t have the eccentric billionaire backing to generate the awareness the Libertarians have.

    1. wheresOurTeddy

      Many aren’t voting Stein because her running mate called Bernie a white imperialist.

      And she’s irrelevant.

      1. Massinissa

        Theyre both irrelevant. I don’t see how voting third party is relevant at all, and I’m voting Stein myself. Its not like Johnson can win with 8% of the vote or whatever.

        1. reslez

          I’m on my tablet but here’s the link:
          Counterpunch.org, “The Yemen tragedy and the ongoing crisis of the left in the United States” by Ajamu Baraka September 16, 2015

          Quote: “In their desperate attempt to defend Sanders and paint his critics as dogmatists and purists, the Sanders supporters have not only fallen into the ideological trap of a form of narrow ‘left’ nativism, but also the white supremacist ethical contradiction that reinforces racist cynicism in which some lives are disposable for the greater good of the West.”

          He goes on to refer to the United States as “This corrupt, degenerate, white supremacist monstrosity”.

          I think we’re all aware the U.S. has been a force for evil in parts of the world, but this individual is not a serious political candidate.

  23. bwilli123

    Wells Fargo CEO Stumpf out

    Hoisted from the comments at Hacker News


    “I highly recommend listening to a recent episode[1] of Planet Money. This was by no means an accident. As a short summary of one employee’s plight:
    Ashley, working for them and making only $35k per year in San Francisco, was continually harassed to sign people up for accounts they didn’t want. An old man comes in, pensioner, $200 in overdraft fees due to being duped into excess accounts. She dips into her own savings to get him back in the black. She reports the incident to the internal ethics line. Nothing. Tries again. Nothing. She refuses to fraudulently push excess accounts onto people. Fired. Worse, Wells Fargo put her onto a permanent blacklist that others in the industry pay attention to – she can’t get a job anywhere else.
    Imagine making $35k per year in San Francisco – insanely low given the region – and dipping into your own pockets to help fix a situation your own company created. Then, as thanks, being eventually fired by that company for not continuing the practice and being blacklisted in your field of work. I’m desperately hoping Ashley sues Wells Fargo in a defamation suit but I fear the likelihood of that is low – even if it’s not the first time it has happened to Wells Fargo.
    At best, upper management were willfully negligent of the impact that their insane sales goals had on the ethics of the company. At worst, upper management were actively trading any ethical notions they could get hold of for money, ripping apart the lives of employees and customers on the way.”

    Another commenter at HN

    “If you listen to the podcast, they made employees stay in an active crime scene (bank robbery) where the thief defecated all over the floor to make phone calls to try to open new accounts.
    Many employees (many with similar wages to Ashley) left due to health reasons caused due to the stress of the job. They were reduced to calling friends and relatives begging to create new accounts so they could meet quota. Ashley notes throwing up under her desk as fairly standard practice. If they didn’t reach quota, they would be fired and blacklisted like Ashley was – though Ashley was fired for acting morally.
    Customers may not be aware of the impact that such products had on their credit ratings. Given credit ratings are incredibly complex to “fix” and you may only become aware of them when trying to make a large next step in life (loan for a house) …
    And worst, the pensioner, who lived on minimal savings and who is not well equipped to sort out fraudulently opened accounts, was overdraft and unable to fix the situation himself. Who knows how many pensioners were sucked dry, what struggles they then faced on an empty bank account, unaware of what might even be the problem.”


    1. VietnamVet

      Exactly as predicted here by our host. Exceptional. The latest validation of the credentials of Naked Capitalism.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Ashley

      Here’s an interesting true fact from Wells Fargo:

      Instead of cutting back on the risky, unethical practices that led to the Great Recession, the CPD report asserts that big banks have not learned from their mistakes. Bank workers report higher levels of sales pressure in 2013 than in 2008, and most do not have the job security or seniority to simply refuse to hawk credit cards or steer customers into risky financial situations. While the financial sector is turning near-record profits, the average bank teller made just $12.25 an hour in 2013 (a real-dollar decrease from 2007), causing 31 percent of tellers’ families to rely on public assistance. What’s more, 85 percent of these underpaid front-line bank employees are women, and one-third are people of color Most are in no position to risk losing their job or having their pay docked for stepping out of line.

      So, if you want to see the difference between 10% feminism, and feminism, you can ask yourself why the Clinton campaign hasn’t blasted Wells Fargo’s treatment of thousands of working class women all over the front pages. Limitations of liberalism, I guess. Of course, I imagine some percentage of them are “irredeemable,” so there’s that.

    1. Tom

      Podesta must be getting nervous cause he’s going all, “the Russians hacked me I don’t know what’s fake or what’s real the timing is sure weird don’t believe any of it yaaaaahhhh!”
      That’s right — keep dancing you mutherf*cker … dance until you blow a gasket.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Twitter should really stop nuking anti-Democrat hashtags.

      Is there another service? Issue is, of course, who already hangs out on Twitter, but if a few major accounts shifted, that might do it. (Also, do any of the other services have an edit button?)

    1. DarkMatters

      If true, This bragging is a bad idea; showing your opponent your hand just for gratification. DNC now has 2 weeks to prepare and plan, and a better idea of what’s coming down. You just weakened your position.

      1. Waldenpond

        Sarcasm not always clear.

        On the other hand, bragging like this has been going on this whole campaign year and it turns out hackers did get data and WL did receive a bunch of data. So who knows. I don’t feel bad for either of the oligarchs the Ds/Rs have presented. The sycophants know all of this corrupt behavior by their candidates.

  24. David Carl Grimes

    If the current polls are correct, American voters are willing to risk WWIII with Russia just to avoid having a “pussy grabber” occupy the Oval Office.

    1. nothing but the truth

      we should start anticipating what another clinton administration will be like.

      the press and the intelligentsia (and the intelligence agencies) are now essentially an extension of the Clinton Foundation aka DNC.

      The style of the democrats/press/intelligence is becoming ever more ad hominem and fascist. Putin did it because only he has the means and the motives for the hack.

      You just watch where this is going.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        It’s not going anyplace good, and they’ve so demonized their political opponents and the voters who support those opponents — both Trump and Sanders — that they’ve given themselves permission to do anything. After all, if Trump is a fascist, and shooting baby Hitler is good…

    2. fajensen

      If Trump loses he will spend his life standing in one place like a garden gnome, unable to ever sit down because he has got half of the IRS crammed up his ass. That is only the beginning. We are all doomed.

  25. Jay M

    strange election
    not looking forward, looking backwards, unlike our king 0bama
    leaks, relatively ancient tapes
    the past informs us about the future, surely
    but then the door slams shut as the new authoritarian leader ascends the throne

  26. allan

    How the Washington Post killed Bernie Sanders’ candidacy [NY Post]

    The Bernie Sanders candidacy didn’t die a natural death — it was murdered. And the murder weapon has the fingerprints of the Washington Post all over it.

    That’s the contention of the much-respected progressive writer Thomas Frank (author of the beloved-by-the-left book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?”) in an evisceration of the media’s role in taking down Sanders that will be the cover story of the November issue of Harper’s.

    Frank went through every one of hundreds of opinion pieces published in the Washington Post on Sanders and Hillary Clinton, his rival for the Democratic nomination for president, during primary season, from January to May 2016, and found a stark disparity in coverage. Sanders pieces took a negative tone by a ratio of 5 to 1, whereas opinion pieces on Clinton were about evenly split between favorable and unfavorable. …

    Even the liberal Fred Hiatt. Who knew?

      1. JTMcPhee

        If they have enough organized power, and have sufficiently atomized the ordinary folks, our rulers don’t need no stinking “legitimacy…”

  27. bob k

    “Then why have union leaders endorsed and funded the politicians who made these policies?” back in the 70s revolutionaries called them the “labor aristocracy,” bourgeousified workers bought off with superprofits made after WW2. it is still a mistake to identfy them with the rank and file. they got in bed with the capitalists long ago.

    1. sd

      Union leadership are members of the 1%. Their earnings are significantly higher than rank and file. Once there, most assimilate and want to hang on to their new life in the 1%

  28. alex morfesis

    I feel really bad for this Jessica Leeds…NY Isvestia…oops…times is so desperate for clicks it rushed this hack job video out…sadly they know that she will be ripped apart by the rest of the world…they edited so much of this and cut and pasted it…

    and then left themselves some plausible deniability…

    if they are going to use her and edit parts…why oh frikin why did they leave in the part between 1:25 and 1:45 where she says with a smile…

    “if he had stuck with the upper part of the body I might not have gotten…but when he started putting his hand up my…”

    seriously…that is some sad yellow journalism…

    they know she will be giving away her body language once she is out and about…

    so many continuity problems with resetting the camera angles…

    god the the NYTimes is evil…

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t think it’s good news for Trump, but I don’t have time to read it (assuming the reporter isn’t Judy Miller, in which case I could skip it). If anybody has, one item that would move it beyond “he said”/”she said” is a contemporaneous complaint or account; Broadrick had that, so she was credible.

      1. alex morfesis

        I only came across the donald once in my time in new york…was dating a girl a bit taller than me (6 ft plus) and like she did with everyone else, she caught his eye…he leered at her…but most people did…movie house on broadway just south of 72nd if I recall correctly…

        as the queen bee mentioned a few days ago, the entertainment biz has its own rules about carnality…I am only interested in natural born females, but while helping turn the congress theater in chicago from a dump into an active concert space, a well known now actor, then dj/musician wanted me to follow him into the changing area…he asked more than once…have had gay friends think they were going to convince me to try a little thing different…that they may have put a hand for a moment on a private part did not damage me for life…

        a momentary act that is not followed up with aggression I don’t exactly see as “sexual assault”…but that is me…

        I dont really want to end up defending someone who might have wanted to be a white version of wilt the stilt…

        but the mindy from palm beach is nonsense…and this rachel…if I had a woman I just met letting me kiss on her cheeks a few times and she did not appear to be annoyed or pulling away…

        and as to natasha…miss people magazine…

        seems more like glenn close in fatal distraction…

        “he forced his tongue down my throat”…
        (mighty powerful tongue there to be able to get past teeth…)

        “just happened to catch baron and melania as they were coming out of the trump tower…did she know why i was no longer around…”(paraphrasing…)

        no longer around ???

        you are a writer…why would you be coming around ???

        either way…the donald has been married once or twice…

        again…zero interest in “defending” him…

        but…confused about all these stories…

        do I think he has and continues to live a lifestyle that most would find disruptive and disrespectful ??? probably…

        does he surround himself with people who have an idea of life that many would find disruptive and confusing…maybe…

        the girl involved with epstein (jane doe 102) whose lawsuit was thrown out last year who had claimed that she was under aged since her acts were in florida ??

        she grew up around Mar-o…she and her father worked there…

        it will only be four years…

        we have four years to dust off the slime of these two parasites that we have been forced to look at for 1600…

  29. Janie

    Re: throwing slaves overboard in 1791…the movie “Belle” touches on this case and is really a great period film.

    Re: trump. How do you grab a pussy? There are no protrusions. I feel so ignorant. Thank goodness.

  30. Mike

    “My Vision for Universal, Quality, Affordable Health Care” is truly depressing. The policy is weak and I can’t see how any of it controls costs in practice.

    I will impose a requirement on all insurers to limit out-of-pocket prescription drug costs to $250 a month on covered medications.

    Is that a $250 cap per plan? (6% of average household income) Per person? (15%) Per prescription? (sky’s the limit) How will this stop insurance companies from creeping things forward to make everybody pay $250 a month?

    This is all we have to hope for and it’s terrible.

  31. Lambert Strether Post author

    Here we go: US Election 2016: Trump ‘groped woman like an octopus’ BBC. Key paragraph:

    Neither women reported their accounts to the authorities, but both shared what happened to them with friends and family.

    So there are contemporaneous accounts, as with Juanita Broadrick.

    If true (i.e., the reporter wasn’t Judy Miller) that should peel off another tranche of Trump supporters (though whether that affects downballot races is unknown; Clinton has, after all, deliberately separated good Republicans from bad ones, and all you have to do to be good is throw Trump under the bus.)

    I’m sure that everybody in Trump’s circle and class knew all the stories from the beginning; “power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, as war criminal Henry Kissinger said, Bill Clinton being a case in point. Trump’s behavior only became a problem when he sought political power and as a populist. If he had not been the ideal opponent for Clinton, all this material would have come out in January 2015, instead of October 2016; the material was readily available; Howard Stern was in the public domain, after all. So, points to the Clinton operation for being clever. This also goes to show that Sanders could have won the election sitting on his front porch in Burlington.

    Of course, the Democrat brand of feminism will only deliver concrete material benefits to the top 10% of professional and business women in Clinton’s base, exactly because liberals erase economics, but that’s going to take awhile to become evident, as performance emerges from under the virtue signalling.

    1. alex morfesis

      and in the 3:03 edited video from the NY times Jennifer Leeds never says…”it was an assault”…I listened to it four times…

      if it is there, there must be some magic skip virus on my computer…

      so the times prints something that is not in its own video and the beebs and every 1 else just does a cut and paste…

    2. sd

      This may seem like a minor quibbling…

      Why didn’t Spy magazine uncover anything about Trump back in its day? The magazine had a sordid love/hate relationship with the Trumps and obsessed over every table scrap of gossip the magazine could lay its hands on. Why didn’t anything come up back in the day?

      The Ivana issue was brutal…

  32. alex morfesis

    the beebs obviously did not watch the video…the times story says Jessice Leeds told people close to her…but in the video Leeds specifically says she only started telling people about 18 months ago…at 2:31 in a video that was edited down to 3:03 minutes

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