2:00PM Water Cooler 10/14/2016

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By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Negotiations to establish an EU-Canada free-trade deal could be dead in the water after one of Belgium’s five regional governments voted this week to reject it… CETA’s failure would deal a devastating blow to the EU, which has spent seven years working on the tariff-slicing agreement with Ottawa” [Politico]. 

“German Court on CETA: Important success for our democratic rights!” [Stop TTIP!]. “[T]he German Constitutional Court – unlike the Commission or the German government – has taken the criticism of CETA’s democratic deficit very seriously and laid down important criteria to ensure the rights of parliaments in the approval and implementation process.”

And then there’s this:

Of course, after the election Clinton can throw labor under the bus, exactly as Obama did with card check.



“Elizabeth Warren Calls For Obama To Fire SEC Chairwoman Over Failure To Draft Corporate Political Spending Disclosure Rule” [International Business Times]. Another party baron throws their weight around. Before November 8.


“Saban, who’s worth $3.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has two targets at the moment. He wants to take Univision public. His other goal is to elect Hillary Clinton president” [Bloomberg]. “Last summer he told Bloomberg TV that he would give ‘as much as needed’ to ensure her victory, and so far this election cycle he and his wife have donated $10 million to Clinton’s super PAC.”

Our Famously Free Press

“The shadowy war on the press: How the rich silence journalists” [Columbia Journalism Review]. Of course, if you’re rich enough, you just buy your own paper.

UPDATE “Donald Trump will broaden his attack against the media to hit globalism and the Clinton Foundation by charging that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is part of a biased coalition working in collusion with the Clinton campaign and its supporters to generate news reports of decades-old allegations from several women” [Wall Street Journal, “Donald Trump Prepares New Attack on Media, Clinton”]. Another reason this election has been so wonderfully clarifying is that the veneer of “journalism” has been stripped away from the Beltway press; they are simply members of the political class, like lobbyists or campaign operatives, and openly work for the victory of their favored candidates. We saw yesterday from Thomas Frank how the press worked to defeat Sanders, after all. So Trump’s charge is not on its face implausible. No doubt there will be howls of outrage at Trump’s latest transgresson, but the stuck pig squeals.

UPDATE “On WikiLeaks, Journalism, and Privacy: Reporting on the Podesta Archive Is an Easy Call” [The Intercept]. “Last week, the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter David Barstow was interviewed about his decision to publish Donald Trump’s 1995 tax return… As Barstow points out, some of the most important sources in the history of American journalism had horrible motives. For that reason, “What really matters to me is: Is this information real, and if so, is it newsworthy?” That is the only consideration for real journalists.”

The Voters

“Why Pay Attention to the L.A. Times Poll?” [RealClearPolitics]. “The Times poll is a single survey, generating a two-way result in a year where the four-way average is probably the most relevant. It doesn’t help that the traditional trackers have basically pulled out of the tracking business. This means that the Times poll always has fresh data, and always has the first data available after every event – sometimes the only data available. It also doesn’t help that it is the only poll showing Trump ahead, which inflames liberals and #NeverTrump conservatives…. In the end, though, the RAND poll [predecessor of the L.A. Times Poll] basically got it right [in 2012]. The national polls (though not so much the state polls) were off in 2012. During the closing month of the campaign, they showed, on average, a 0.3 point Romney lead. The RAND poll, by contrast, showed a 3.8 point Obama lead – which was almost exactly correct.” 

“All The Reasons You Doubt Polls: Motivated Reasoning Strikes Again” [Princeton Election Consortium]. “Every Presidential election, it happens. People on the side that is heading for a loss find ways to disbelieve what polls are telling them. This year is no different” 

“A majority of Americans — 62 percent — think the economy is rigged for certain groups.  And a majority of respondents who think the economy is rigged agree that it’s rigged for the rich, politicians, banks and bank executives, and corporations” [Business Insider]. “However, supporters of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump differ dramatically on how the rigged economic system is benefiting other subgroups. Sixty-six percent of Trump supporters say the economy is rigged for people who receive government assistance, compared to 32 percent of Clinton supporters. Sixty-two percent of Clinton supporters say the economy is rigged for whites, while 21 percent of Trump supporters say so.” Clearly, Jay Gould’s strategy of hiring one half the working class to kill the other half is still working splendidly.

“In Trump’s wake roughly a quarter of electorate, including some GOP leaders, will have zero respect for and immense anger towards society. This is dangerous stuff. When citizens no longer feel an obligation to be “good” to larger society. That is how countries break apart” [Chris Arnade, Medium]. “Regardless of why, here we are. At a point of no return. At a point where 40% of voters are so angry, they are willing to overthrow they system by voting for a crazy man. At a point where 20% of voters believe the system is not only broken, but invalid. At a point where many citizens don’t want to be citizens.”

“By the time Mr. Trump and his traveling press corps arrived, the audience was primed to direct its anger at the media. As Mr. Trump’s reporters filed into the arena, the crowd surrounding the press pen broke out in boos. A man in the first row shouted ‘you suck’ at reporters unpacking their laptops. Eventually the entire crowd began chanting ‘tell the truth’ and then “CNN sucks'” [Wall Street Journal, “Trump Rally-Goers Dismiss His Vulgarities, Offer Their Own for Clinton, News Media”]. Probably the reporters are the first people from the Acela Corridor the crowd members have been close to in the field. So no wonder.

“Why would [Putin] find [the current American political leadership class] decadent—morally hollowed out, unserious? That is the terrible part: because he knows them” [Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, “America’s Decadent Leadership Class”]. The Uranium One story would be one reason. Nooners jumps around a lot on this one; lots of “***”s. First, she throws Trump and the press under the bus:

On the latest groping charges: We cannot know for certain what is true, but my experience in such matters is that when a woman makes such a charge she is telling the truth. In a lifetime of fairly wide acquaintance, I’ve not known a woman to lie about sexual misbehavior or assault. I believe Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey, and I believe the women making the charges against Mr. Trump in the New York Times. The mainstream media of the United States is in the tank for the Democratic nominee, to its great and destructive shame: They add further ruin to the half-ruined reputation of a great American institution. That will make the country’s future harder and more torn up. But this story, at least as to the testimony of its central figures, does not appear to be an example of that.

“Yet while the Democrats are more united behind their 2016 nominee, they’re arguably more divided over their party’s vision and future. And if Trump self-destructs and delivers the White House to them, Democrats should contain their glee, because their victory will have only delayed their day of reckoning” [Boston Globe]. “The Democratic Party’s core identity, far predating its embrace of various civil rights movements, is as the defender of rank-and-file workers. Yet today’s Democrats are caught in a political scissors: the emergence of a new professional class that is progressive on social issues but, according to Michael Haselswerdt, a political scientist at Canisius College in Buffalo, ‘Their progressivism is moving them away from working-class voters, and the weakness of the labor movement is only accelerating that.’…  [A]s upscale professionals and working-class voters vie for influence within each of two evenly matched parties, there’s plenty of identity crisis to go around.” Thomas Frank’s analysis is much more crisp. Note the sloshy weakness of “progressive.” Progress toward what? For whom?

Clinton Email Hairballs

The latest batch of Podesta emails is especially rich. Again, I don’t see any smoking guns (so far) but the mail gives great insight into how the Clinton dynasty would govern.

I could have filed this one under “Our Famously Free Press”:

If Neera Tanden indeed becomes Clinton’s chief of staff, things should get interesting quickly:

And ka-ching:

UPDATE “Judicial Watch Releases New Hillary Clinton Email Answers Given under Oath” [Judicial Watch]. Clinton’s lawyers are certainly good, though to be fair, they’ve had many opportunities to hone their skills. The “answers” begin with “General Objections.” This is #3:

Secretary Clinton objects to the Interrogatories insofar as they request information about Secretary Clinton’s use of her clintonemail.com account to send and receive e-mails that were personal in nature, as such use is not within the scope of the permitted topics set forth in General Objection No. 2. Secretary Clinton will construe the Interrogatories to ask only about her use of her clintonemail.com account to send and receive e-mails related to State Department business.

In other words, Clinton is defending a system where public officials can (1) privatize all their data storage and (2) determine by themselves which data is personal, and which isn’t, and only hand over that which they deem not to be personal. That makes a mockery of FOIA, to begin with.

Stats Watch

Producer Price Index (Final Demand), September 2016: “The headlines are promising and year-on-year rates are mostly going in the right direction, but some of the details of the September producer price report are on the soft side” [Econoday]. “Goods rose 0.7 percent reflecting a monthly swing higher in energy and also a noticeable 0.6 percent rise in consumer foods that reflect an 11 percent jump in vegetables.” Vegetables? Huh? And: “I don’t have anything crazy going on in my core CPI forecast, but steady rises in many of the services categories mean that 0.2%’s, not 0.1%’s, will be the norm going forward.” [Amherst Pierpont, Across the Curve]. 

Business Inventories, August 2016: “Inventories continue to edge incrementally higher” [Econoday]. “Inventories at retailers, boosted by swelling at auto dealers, rose a sharp 0.6 percent in a build, however, that looks manageable given this morning’s solid retail sales report for September, one that is headed by strength in vehicle sales.” And: “This was an up month for business sales – but inventories remain at recession levels (but moderating). This is a very strange business cycle which does not seem to know whether it wants to go up or down” [Econintersect].

Consumer Sentiment, October 2016 (preliminary): “[D]own sharply” [Econoday]. “Weakness is centered in expectations where the component is down more than 6 points to 76.6 to match the lowest reading since this year’s preliminary April report…. [T]he weakness in expectations does point to doubts over future income prospects which, if confirmed in subsequent reports, would not point to strength for the holiday shopping season.” But: “The latest sentiment number puts us 18.6 points above the average recession mindset and 0.3 points above the non-recession average” [Econintersect]. And: “It was also noted in the report that uncertainty surrounding the upcoming presidential election is weighing on the consumer, and a post-election rebound could be in store” [Economic Calendar]. 

Retail Sales, September 2016: Solid, hits consensus [Econoday]. “This whole report in fact will give a lift to GDP, providing a quarter-end pop to consumer spending which was soft in the quarter’s first two months. Strength in retail sales ultimately reflects strength in the labor market and today’s report will further build expectations for an FOMC rate hike at the December meeting.” And: “There was a further increase in motor vehicle and parts inventories of 1.2% in the month with a 10.2% annual increase, which will maintain concerns over the risk of excess inventories in the sector if sales start to slip. The inventory/sales ratio in the auto sector increased to 2.27 from 2.23 the previous month and 2.11 last year. In contrast, there was a monthly downturn in inventories at retail stores” [Economic Calendar]. But: “Clothing and accessory store sales were unchanged from August at $21.4 million—only a 0.7% increase from September 2015. General merchandise sales—which include department stores—were down 0.4% on a monthly basis and 2.5% compared with last year to $55.1 million. Department store sales alone declined 0.7% from August to $12.8 million and that was down 6.4% from a year ago” [Sourcing Journal]. And but: “[T]he relationship between year-over-year growth in inflation adjusted retail sales and retail employment has inverted – and this is normally a recessionary sign” [Econintersect]. Musical interlude!

Retail: “Sales at clothing and accessories stores were flat in September, as warmer than usual weather meant people weren’t ready to buy fall apparel” [Sourcing Journal]. 

Retail: “ChromebookGoogle parent Alphabet Inc  has decisively won the back-to-school laptop shopping wars, beating out Apple Inc. with its low-priced Chromebook lineup” [ETF Daily News]. “Apple’s PCs, which are in dire need of a upgrade, saw a 13% sales decline in the third quarter.”

Retail: “Amazon Wants to Scan Your License Plate” [The Atlantic]. I wonder if that data alone would me those brick and mortar stores worthwhile?

Supply Chain: “Edwin Keh, chief executive officer at the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles (HKRITA),] pointed to three particular instances in recent history: the end of the quota system for apparel products in 2005; 2008’s global financial crisis; and the uptick in e-commerce sales in Christmas 2010.. As a result of this, the role of what the supply chain does in companies changed,” Keh said, explaining that it shifted from a cost center to something that could be a competitive advantage. “In addition, our supply chains changed from a hierarchical supply chain—designers at the top, manufacturers at the bottom—to a peer-to-peer relationship in which because we need things fast and we need things real time and because there are so many variables, we have to talk differently” [Sourcing Journal]. In other words, these supply chains are fragile and vulnerable to disruption. What labor needs is an international creole that would work on the Twitter. Or SMS.

Supply Chain: “World’s first national drone delivery service takes off” [Air Cargo News]. “The Rwandan government has today launched the world’s first national drone delivery service to transport medical supplies to hard-to-reach places. The drones, designed and operated by Californian firm Zipline, will make up to 150 on-demand deliveries of blood to 21 transfusing facilities located in the western half of the country.”

Shipping: “Truckers are finding it harder and costlier to line up coverage for their fleets, as a wave of blockbuster payouts over accidents pushes insurers out of the market.” [Wall Street Journal, “‘Nuclear’ Verdicts Have Insurers Running From Trucks”]. “The number of people killed in accidents involving large trucks fell 20% in the last decade, according to the Transportation Department, though it ticked higher last year. But a string of so-called “nuclear” verdicts, where juries award tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars to families of accident victims, have made the financial consequences of those crashes harder to predict.”

Shipping: “Early reports from California gateways show import volumes sank last month as Hanjin’s ships were stranded offshore and turbulence spread across regional supply chains. Hanjin controlled only about 3.2% of global container shipping capacity, WSJ Logistics Report’s Erica E. Phillips writes, but the disruptions had an outsize impact at terminals where the carriers calls. The Port of Long Beach had its weakest September for imports since 2012, with volume down 15% from the same month last year, and Oakland’s inbound shipments slipped back 4.2%. The figures suggest the peak shipping season is turning into something of a roller-coast at U.S. ports” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “[A]lthough the logistics business is expanding rapidly, warehouse workers often are hired through staffing agencies, and organizing them station by station presents a big logistics challenge” [Wall Street Journal]. 

The Bezzle: “On Friday, Wells Fargo reported, along with its earnings, that applications for new checking accounts plunged 25% in September versus a year ago. Credit card application were down as well, by 20% from a year ago” [Fortune]. 

The Bezzle: “People made sick by Soylent bars report ‘gelatinous substance’ on wrapper” [The Guardian]. “Many of the Soylent fans insisted they would not be deterred by the reports. ‘There was a bright green liquid/gelatinous substance on the inner wrapper of today’s bar,’ one reported to the company. ‘I ate it anyways, confident in my ability to digest anything natural. It otherwise smelled and tasted fine.'”

The Bezzle: “Blue Apron’s busy New Jersey facility a real fight club” [New York Post]. “Just three weeks ago, on Sept. 20, bedlam erupted inside the facility as three fights broke out during a single evening shift — prompting a frightened team of corporate supervisors to flee the premises, according to eyewitnesses. … To date, Blue Apron has raised nearly $200 million from Silicon Valley investors, valuing the company at $2 billion.” Read the whole story for the details of this new economy hell-hole. I’ll pick out two details:

One of the flashpoints for employee fights is the commute. Workers at the out-of-the-way building have to catch a shuttle bus to the light-rail train. Miss the last shuttle bus and you have to take an expensive Uber ride.

Ah. I knew Uber would appear somewhere. And then there’s this:

The chaos in Jersey City is an embarrassment for Blue Apron’s 33-year-old founder and chief executive, Matt Salzberg, who leads the well-funded startup and directs his growing army of workers from a lavish loft in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.

A “lavish loft.” Of course, of course.Wait ’til some lucky gourmet finds a severed thumb in one of their “gourmet meal-kits”…

The Bezzle: “Yahoo won’t hold a call after it reports earnings Tuesday as the company continues to work on selling itself to Verizon, according to a statement” [Business Insider]. “The news comes a day after Verizon’s legal team said Yahoo’s unprecedented hack of at least 500 million accounts is a “material” event that could affect the acquisition. Verizon said the burden is on Yahoo to prove that the hack wasn’t a material event.”

The Bezzle: “Snapchat plans ‘mega-unicorn’ flotation worth an estimated $25bn” [The Age]. “The company hopes to attract $350m in advertising revenue this year, a six-fold jump from 2015, after a huge expansion of its brand partnership schemes. Banking heavyweights Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are said to have been appointed to oversee the IPO, which some analysts claim could open the floodgates for other mega-unicorn companies such as Uber or Airbnb to follow suit.” So far as I know, the SnapChat people aren’t crooks, unlike Uber and AirBnB. That would lower their valuation, no doubt.

The Bezzle: “‘The car is going to become another node in the internet of things,’ said Kamyar Moinzadeh, chief executive of Airbiquity, a Seattle software and engineering company talking his book specializing in vehicle tracking and telematics” [New York Times]. That’s what scares me. Remember this?

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 42, Fear (previous close: 36, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 53 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 14 at 11:22am. 


“More than a trillion galaxies are lurking in the depths of space, a new census of galaxies in the observable universe has found — 10 times more galaxies than were previously thought to exist” [Space]. 

Class Warfare

“How to Cut Cake Fairly and Finally Eat It Too” [Quanta]. “[I]n April, two computer scientists defied expectations by posting a paper online describing an envy-free cake-cutting algorithm whose running time depends only on the number of players, not on their individual preferences. Even a simpler such algorithm would be unlikely to have practical implications, [author] Brams cautioned, since the cake portions that players receive would typically include many tiny crumbs from different parts of the cake — not a feasible approach if you’re dividing something like a tract of land. But for mathematicians and computer scientists who study cake cutting, the new result ‘resets the subject,’ [author] Stromquist said.” Reader comments?

“How much bigger can the U.S. labor force get?” [Washington Center for Equitable Economics]. “The U.S. labor market continues to recover from the still lingering effects of the Great Recession, but the question on the minds of many economists and analysts is how long can the healing continue? Or, in other words, has the U.S. economy hit “full employment,” where all the workers who can be drawn into the labor market by a stronger economy are now finding jobs? [Markets are not organic. They do not “heal.” –lambert] “When it comes to prime-age men, health problems seem to be a huge barrier to labor market participation. According to the paper, almost 50 percent of men in this age group are taking medicine to control pain, and about 40 percent of this group say health issues are preventing them from taking a job. This is structural force that is not directly related to the Great Recession, but it certainly is amenable to a policy response.” I like “prime age men,” so reminiscent of “prime, healthy”, “likely”, “stoutly made,” and so forth.

“Genomics is failing on diversity” [Nature]. “A 2009 analysis revealed that 96% of participants in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were of European descent1. Such studies scan the genomes of thousands of people to find variants associated with disease traits. The finding prompted warnings that a much broader range of populations should be investigated2 to avoid genomic medicine being of benefit merely to “a privileged few”.Seven years on, we’ve updated that analysis. Our findings indicate that the proportion of individuals included in GWAS who are not of European descent has increased to nearly 20%. Much of this rise, however, is a result of more studies being done in Asia on populations of Asian ancestry. The degree to which people of African and Latin American ancestry, Hispanic people and indigenous peoples are represented in GWAS has barely shifted.”

News of the Wired

“Twitter account tracks dictators’ planes to and from Geneva” [The FCPA Blog]. “A Twitter account called GVA Dictator Alert tracks  planes registered to or used by despots  when they  fly into and out of Geneva, Switzerland. Planes  being tracked — about 80 of them so far —  are registered to governments or known to be used by royal families or leaders. The tracked planes come from   Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Cameroon, Chad,  Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait,  Libya, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkmenistan.” Surely that’s a rather limited list?

“Google’s AI reasons its way around the London Underground” [Nature]. 

* * *

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 (Rainbow Girl):


I love milkweed! I should plant some next year. It does grow in Maine.

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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. TedWa

      I especially liked this one – she’s clear in her motives alright.

      “her latest move is to escalate her use of Wall Street money and Super PAC’s to pursue her negative attacks against Bernie”

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      seems to be the only voice of reason to get anywhere near the Clinton orbit
      I don’t think he got very close, only close enough to have Pedestal’s email address. I posted this from the NY Post yesterday:

      Although Podesta received advice from Budowsky for years, he didn’t hold him in high esteem.

      “To you only: Brent Budowsky. Leftie with no following . . .,” Podesta wrote Clinton aide Cheryl Mills on Jan. 8, 2014.

    3. okanogen

      Poor Julian. Behind The Donald, he must be the world’s second-most unhappy sexual assaulter.

      The poor thing, with his “I’m shocked! Shocked! That there is politics in the politics!” email dumps. Seeing they are gorilla stomped by Donald’s George Costanza channelling, the tsunami of Donald’s assault victims, and how unfair all is that he is so very irrelevant.

      1. Raj

        Sour grapes for the troll? The emails have been enlightening, and confirmed what many had suspected. You can make your best attempt to convince everyone there’s nothing to see here, but the emails reveal what we can expect of a HRC administration and how it will operate behind the curtain. For those who understand the electoral map, there has never been much of a question as to whether HRC would defeat Trump. These email leaks don’t serve to get Trump elected, they serve to put a Clinton administration in check. They serve as a catalyst to organize populist movements to prevent war crimes, unjust foreign intervention, crony capitalism, and a host of neoliberal policies that HRC supports…or at the bare minimum, hold the HRC administration accountable for implementing these policies.

        1. okanogen

          What. Ever.

          Well-known accused rapist Assange crafted what he thought was a brilliant plan to screw Clinton and toss the election to his fellow megalomaniac woman-abuser counterpart. Sadly, Trump is such a transparently unbalanced waste of carbon that he is imploding like a dwarf star right at the time Assange was hoping to drip, drip, drip these really quite ho-hum emails. Omg! Podesta called Richardson “a dick”! Zomg! Clinton will say one thing to one group and something marginally different to another! Shocked! Is there a single sentient being that didn’t know that already? My effing CAT knows that.

          If you want to hold Clinton accountable and put her feet to a blowtorch after Trump is out of the way, well, count me in. But this is not the way it will get done, and pretending Assange isn’t just another ego-maniac misogynist in it for number uno is just silly time

  1. hemeantwell

    Of course, after the election Clinton can throw labor under the bus, exactly as Obama did with card check.

    As I read through, it is striking how TPP is “the only issue Labor cares about.” Has Labor itself given up on card check? Are they following some kind of “good dupes ask for only one thing” rule?

    If I could reliably contribute to the effort to hack the major parties, I would.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      After the election, I am not sure Hillary can do much throwing of anything under the bus.

      1. John k

        Well, let’s see…
        She can try to impose a no fly zone on the Russians in a country where they maintain a base, allowing her to confront Russia Mano a Mano, as she has said she intends. We can then see if this is a smart move.
        She can continue big o’s efforts to achieve a grand bargain with the reps, gutting SS an Medicare and or privatizing them, maybe totally ridding us of those pesky stabilizers as we shoot for surpluses in the next recession.
        She can continue big o’s efforts to drive Russia and China together.
        She can continue collecting info on every citizen…even as we continue the blanket pardon of all corporate executives, granted so far not for murder.

        As I write I notice a lot of what we can expect is a continuation of current dem policy, exactly as promised. I do expect one significant difference… Rank and file reps hate the clintons, members of congress not so much, hatred of big o ears on account of racism more than policy, never been any difference there, note the legions of elite neocon reps for her.
        I expect bargains much more than half hearted impeachment.

        1. aab

          They aren’t going to impeach her. (Reminder: impeaching her wouldn’t remove her from office; you need a conviction in the Senate for that.) If they were serious about that stuff, they’d be prepping to impeach Comey and Lynch right now. They could be going full bore after Obama. Notice how they’re not?

          I’m not an expert on this, and I realize developing a case would take time. But this could help their party in the election. They don’t seem to be trying very hard, given the enormous opportunity this presents — if normal party power dynamics are still relevant.

  2. HBE

    Got a mailing from Blue apron a while back so I looked into them. From the number of consumer reports to the BBB in their home state alone, it seemed clear that half their business model is to scam people, by forcing them into monthly auto renewals and then making it impossible to cancel.

    Or consistently bill them after cancelation and not send the food, among other scam like practices.

        1. Lambert Strether

          The 30-year-old dude in the Manhattan loft is probably counting on replacing the warehouse workers with robots. So no reason to treat them well.

    1. Eureka

      I used to be subscribed to Blue Apron. I actually enjoy it a lot and I think the recipes are quite good. I didn’t have any issues cancelling my subscription – I found it quite easy since IRCC there’s just a cancel page/button. Only reason I unsubscribed is that I moved out of my partner’s place so it’d be way too much food for one, not out of any quality issues.

      1. nowhere

        I’ve been using the service for a number of weeks now and have really enjoyed all of the meals. We’ll see if there are any problems when it comes time to cancel.

    2. DJG

      In my building, Blue Apron brings up some issues of age and of energy use, let alone the exploitation of labor, which I am only learning about in more detail here.

      Some “young folks” rent the condo on the first floor here in Edgewater in Chicago. This neighborhood is no food desert. There’s a Palestinian bakery and general store about three blocks away, as well as a Persian store with staples and teas. There’s an independent grocery about four blocks away. So Blue Apron is detrimental to the local economy, let alone to the need of heading over to the local stores to see what the owners are up to.

      Yet the young ones, who must spend way too much time on their computers, get Blue Apron regularly. So what are the energy costs? They seem tremendous to me. Delivery from New Jersey? Special packaging?

      So I am classifying Blue Apron under soft climate-change denial. And as soft climate-change denial becomes even more ingrained in U.S. habits, it will be one more thing that eventually causes the whole untenable system to come down.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > soft climate-change denial

        Which feeds very much into “let’s gut local businesses in favor of the global supply chain,” which is exactly what these “young folks” are doing.

        We might also remember that (since American food is what it is) starting a restaurant is one of the paths to success for immigrants, and that if the Blue Apron model becomes pervasive, that avenue will be closed off. I’m envisioning campaigns with subliminal “clean” vs. “dirty” messsaging…

      2. Norb

        When I was growing up, my parents frugality was born from family experiences passed down of life during the great depression. Stories of struggling to make ends meet were learned and passed down. Even when it was no longer necessary, my mother cooked and ate food that reminded her of childhood- radish sandwiches! I see this now as a mechanism for remembering poverty, and doing everything possible to keep that state of existence at bay. Similar to the use of fasting in cultures. It is not that you enjoy starvation, the experience puts you viscerally into a state of understanding.

        The elite refuse to change course. Every crisis is viewed from the perspective of profit opportunity. Uber, Blue Apron, and driverless cars the latest examples among many others. Hopefully, there will be future generations brought up on stories on how your family survived the insane meltdown of our current system. I’m sure the basis for future stories will include the themes of reaching a turning point and leaving behind the failed values and methods of the culture.

        It seems we are breaking into different camps. Those willing to continue embracing a failed system because it promises a life of convenience- until it abruptly doesn’t, and those looking for more stability. Stability will require a frugality, an economy of resources that just is the exact opposite of the current values being fostered.

    1. Hana M

      “….two computer scientists defied expectations by posting a paper online describing an envy-free cake-cutting algorithm whose running time depends only on the number of players, not on their individual preferences.”

      The computer scientists should be sentenced to one year of community service running play dates and birthday parties for kids.

  3. craazyman

    My God, at first I thought that photo was a dead stork brutally dismembered and twisted around branches of a bush.

    Then I realized.

    1. LaRuse

      I am SO glad that I wasn’t the only one initially disturbed by the photo! I really had a moment there until I saw the line about milkweed.

    2. knowbuddhau

      Same same only different. I saw an osprey crashing into water. I get a kick out of ambiguous stimuli. So revelatory of the perceptual process.

      1. hemeantwell

        wowza. Glad I could immediately file it under “milkweed or something like it” and not gag.

    3. Lambert Strether

      Dear me!

      Look, at least there was only one, so the plant picture was not confusing in that way….

  4. Jill

    FYI, maybe people know this already. Carlos Slim is the business partner of Kelcey Warren who is trying to ram pipelines such as the DAP and another in a pristine area of Texas, called the Trans Pecos Pipeline. He is very fond on gold toilets!

  5. BecauseTradition

    Clearly, Jay Gould’s strategy of hiring one half the working class to kill the other half is still working splendidly.

    Government subsidized private credit creation obviously favors the rich, the most so-called creditworthy.

    But who’s in favor of eliminating those subsidies? Thus our credit system, corrupt and corrupting, is still working splendidly too.

  6. alex morfesis

    so is judicial watch just another part of the show….just looking to raise money and do their part for “democracy theatre” ?? they seem to be doing a dance and have helped her “time out” the issue…they have never asked her or any of her staff about their knowledge of case law in respects to foia…they are just having…la la la la la conversations with members of the bar…he said she said stuff…does not seem like they want to ask any viable questions…

    madame empress…your good friend dr strangelove was involved in a case(dr k vs. reporters committee) where, much like yourself, he kept documents away from govt offical supervision and control. Are you aware of this case ? Have you studied that case ? How are the circumstances of your actions different that those litigated in that case ?

    This conclusion that possession or control is a prerequisite to FOIA disclosure is reinforced by an examination of the Act’s purposes, from which it is apparent that Congress never intended, when it enacted the FOIA, to displace the statutory scheme embodied in the Federal Records and Records Disposal Acts providing for administrative remedies to safeguard against wrongful removal of agency records as well as to retrieve wrongfully removed records. Pp. 150-154.

    me thinks it is time to throw JW under the bus too…

  7. tgs

    Here is an interesting editorial from the WSJ

    The Press Buries Hillary Clinton’s Sins

    written by Kimberly Strassel, a member of their editorial board. I was unable to read it on the WSJ site, but ZH had many excerpts. For starters:

    If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women.

    But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.

    It comes from hacked emails dumped by WikiLeaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, and accounts from FBI insiders. The media has almost uniformly ignored the flurry of bombshells, preferring to devote its front pages to the Trump story. So let’s review what amounts to a devastating case against a Clinton presidency.

    Strassel really takes HRC to the woodshed.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Phone calls from the DNC to major news organizations can only do so much, I believe.

      A saturation blitzkrieg by Trump the last few days before the election can easily smash this amateur pro-Hillary hologram.

    2. Binky

      Bending the facts at hand to fit a preconceived narrative that has been in play for decades.

      We are faced with crappy choices and saturated with bad information from the hysterical rumormongering of the GOP to the greenish swooning on what passes for the left. All reason has fled in favor of frenzied howling from all quarters.

      Do we have to make believe that we are trying to elect Vestal virgins for president? Don’t we want a bad mf’er in the executive suite? Our choice seems to be billionaire buffoon (evil Thurston Howell III) or Bad Yuppie Grandma; alternative choices are moonbeam and greedy Mormon. If Sam Jackson was running…. he could be our Reagan.

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        I don’t want a “bad m’fer”, as you put it.

        I’d settle for one who won’t start wars and let rich people get away with EVERYTHING.

        Our demagogue president is coming in 2020 or 2024 and he’ll either be Caesar Augustus or American Hitler.

        I’m not bullish on it being the first.

  8. DolleyMadison

    Trump is in Charlotte this afternoon and as I walked to my car I passed 3 vendors selling Trump regalia. One vendor was a black woman, one was a black man, one was a Hispanic family. The customers were even more surprising – mostly young, good looking uptown types….more men than women but still plenty of gals shelling out cash for hats and tees. Far from being angry middle aged white rednecks, they were happy and joking and dressed bankers casual Friday style….interesting to me as I know the local banks are “advising” their employees that unless they want to see their jobs end they better vote Hillary.

    1. Roger Smith

      …the local banks are “advising” their employees that unless they want to see their jobs end they better vote Hillary.

      Sounds like they are offering the retirement package to me. Vote for whomever, if you choose Trump, keep that phone mic recording. If they ask you, record it. When they fire you, record it and get them to tell you why. Better yet, record them threatening your right to vote.

    2. jrs

      Well it is a secret ballot so assuming the NSA isn’t cooperating with the voting machines and with the employers then they won’t know. And worrying about that is way too paranoid for my taste.

      So maybe they are really just saying: “no Trump bumper stickers in the work parking lot please”.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > the local banks are “advising” their employees that unless they want to see their jobs end they better vote Hillary.

      That’s interesting. I wonder why?

  9. craazyman

    This is breaking news, once again from WNS. They’re doing incredible reporting on issues the mainstream media won’t even touch (no pun intended) . . .

    Donald Trump’s Forgotten Women

    A Worldwide News Service (WNS) Exclusive
    by Delerious T. Tremens, Reporter at Large

    (WNS) – New Yawk City, October 14

    In this dingy Irish bar where sawdust and vomit mix on the floor at 4 a.m., sometimes with urine, Amber Hott sits on a stool early on a Sunday afternoon and puffs a cigarette. She wipes a tear at a reporter’s question and then continues. Ms. Hott is one of several dozen women located by WNS in cities across America who have one painful experience in common: they were ignored by Donald Trump.

    Ms. Hott speaks carefully in the company of an attorney, whose fee is high for a part-time stripper and full time waitress, but Ms. Hott is defiant and angry. Five years ago, as she tells it, she was at a party in Palm Beach Florida dressed in little more than a bikini and a see through lace top from Victoria’s Secrets. Presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump was there, and he ignored her completely. “It was utterly humiliating”, says Ms. Hott, “I thought I was beautiful and I thought he’d notice me and ask me out. He didn’t even look at me and then he left.”

    Women from Los Angeles to New York have come forward in recent months and told WNS the same story of abject humiliation and rejection, of dashed hopes and broken dreams. New York pyschotherapist Ludmilla Zoloftova is an unlikely member of the group, but her rejection by Mr. Trump “scarred her psyche” as she relates it to a reporter. “I was at a very exclusive restaurant nearby one of his buildings when he was there with some business associates” she said, “he’s a powerful man and I realized I was attracted to him. I walked by his table and he didn’t look at me at all. Then I walked by again, and he still didn’t look at me.” She went home and “felt ugly and unwanted, my clinical training didn’t help me, I was furious and hurt.”

    Bartenders, waitresses, accountants and stewardesses, even pet shop employees, even sales clerks and even top executives at Fortune 500 companies, they’re all among Trump’s forgotten women. Women utterly ignored and humiliated. Ms. Hott through her attorney has organized a support group to help these women cope with the groping allegations directed at now presidential candidate Donald Trump.

    “It just makes it worse,” said Ms. Hott to a reporter. “What did they do that we didn’t do?” Ms. Hott says neither she nor the others she has contacted would wish to be grabbed improperly, but the rejection they experienced has left scars that won’t heal. But would she feel the same today if Mr. Trump were in the room, “Not really”, says Ms. Hott, “he’s kind of pudgy now, I’m older and not as vulnerable as I used to be.” She paused for a moment, “But he could have at least looked at me.”

    It’s come to my attention that this story may be a fabrication. I’m not sure it’s completely plausible. But it might be true in that way fiction is truer than lies.

    Can’t we cancel the presidential election already? There’s still time!

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Can’t we cancel the presidential election already?

      If the latest barrage of unsubstantiated, decades-old accusations of sexual misconduct against Trump don’t move the needle, that may be the only recourse the status quo has left.

      So this is what the campaign of a female presidential candidate looks like. god, I hope to never have to witness such an embarrassingly disgusting spectacle again. I honestly would hesitate to ever support the candidacy of another woman for president for fear that she would she would be as willing to drag us all through the gutter as clinton is.

      1. timbers

        Months ago someone here said Hillary would a Seinfeld campaign (about nothing). We’re seeing that in spades. Meanwhile I can’t anyone to tolerate a seconds worth of discussion about nuclear war or Obamacare collapse or falling incomes. But then that’s the whole point.

      2. different clue

        About the initial “Trump Sex Assault Bragging Tape” release, I suspect the Bush family was behind that release . . . to get revenge on Trump for humiliating Jebbie-poo.

        Then too, the Bush Crime Family looks out for its Clinton Crime-Family-in-waiting.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          So Bush spent $270 million on his campaign (IIRC) and didn’t manage to come up with oppo like this? Like so much else this year, it’s gobsmacking.

          Remember all the party elders — I’m looking at you, Mitt — wringing their hands while chanting #NeverTrump? Why didn’t they put this out?

          What the heck happened to the party of Karl Rove, anyhow?

        1. uncle tungsten

          Maybe Churchill will in November. There is always time for Pinochet to make a comment via Hillary’s clairvoyant.

  10. Jim

    The Chris Arnade statement above. quoted by Lambert, seems to have captured an important emotional/cultural tipping point.
    “Regardless of why, here we are at a point of no return where 40% of voters are so angry that they are willing to overthrow the system by voting for a crazy man. At a point where 20% of voters believe the system is not only broke but invalid…”

    Stated in more cultural terms there is always a tension within every society between controls and releases. A cultural revolution may occur when the releasing or remissive symbolic grows more compelling than the controlling one.

    At this breaking point the culture can no longer maintain itself as an established system of moral demands. Its jurisdiction tends to contract as the culture demands less and permits more.

    Roman culture may have been moving toward such a breaking point when Christianity appeared, as a new symbolic order of controls and remissions.

    Most cultural revolutions have asserted some limit on the race for status and satisfaction.

    Most of our politics seems to simply be asking for more and more.

    Is it possible to have a stable culture dominated by desire?

  11. Jess

    I’ve just decided that I want Trump to win for one simple reason: To see how HuffPo responds after its relentless parade of “Trump’s goose is cooked, he has no chance” stories.

    If Trump wins, the scrambling, dissembling, panicked reaction from the msm will be biblical.

    1. tony

      I really would like to see the impotent tantrums that follow Trump victory. And also the utter discrediting of alt-right ‘solutions’ as things keep getting worse under Trump.

  12. OIFVet

    Want to lose, alienate, rile up, or otherwise tweak the liberal sensibilities of your FB friends? Then post the following:

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.”

    Hillary Rodham Clinton: “I welcome their money!”

    We have been officially disinvited from a weekend shindig hosted by a very open- and civic-minded liberal.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘We have been officially disinvited from a weekend shindig hosted by a very open- and civic-minded liberal.’

      There you go, virtue signaling again. ;-)

      1. OIFVet

        That’s what happens when the lack of virtues of a deplorable like me becomes a virtue in itself :)

        1. Skippy

          Bernays on roids w/ a slice of preemptive hamstringing…..

          Disheveled Marsupial…. when Trump is the closest thing…. you know how bad it really is….

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I am trying to be optimistic.

              A victory by the Little People will shake the very Foundation of the status quo.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                A victory by the Little People meaning the Little People do the heavy lifting.

                It is not a victory by Trump necessarily, though that would be coincidental.

                1. skippy

                  Victory in a choice between an ex board member for Walmart [lower wages means lower consumer prices (cough profit for the C-suite)] and Haitian plantation owner vs a Real estate Mogul which would have fit right into a Miami Vice episode as a sleazy developer using coke money to fund his empire and persona enhancer….

                2. Skippy

                  Oops…. forgot Trump wants to spend tens of billions on the Military… making America great again….

                  Disheveled Marsupial…. everything else gets sorted by creative destruction and return of the virtuous bidness cycle…

    2. DJG

      Being officially disinvited from a weekend shindig and crowd scene is like being disinvited from a destination wedding. You are the beneficiary. You don’t have to partake of enforced jollity. You don’t have to show up with an expensive blender. And you don’t have to mix with the moneyed class.

      Unless you truly are a fan of Thorstein Veblen, in which case you have lost a chance for more research.

    3. Kurt Sperry

      I refuse to be reticent or self-censor to play for some social edge or to get along. This election has been very illuminating. Very. Having Bernie and Clinton both running split the Democrats in a very useful way, I like having my ideological enemies right out in clear view, it helps me make good decisions. It forced the cockroaches to run into the light for a brief time and we had a rare chance to see the real state of affairs as they really are. I am not, however, antagonistic or overtly confrontational, I can be excruciatingly polite if necessary. I think it actually the beat down is likely to be more devastating when done graciously and with impeccable manners.

      1. OIFVet

        I can see how what I posted could antagonize those who insist that Clinton is the ideal choice because she is so well versed in politics as “the art of the possible” (“possible” in this case being a function of financial backing by ‘organized money’). I mean, who the hell is FDR to contradict Hillary???

        1. JTMcPhee

          The Empire has had lots of experts: McNamara, Sommers, Friedman, Greenspan, Petraeus, the forking Dulles boys, J.Edgar, Yellen, on and on… One more couldn’t hurt all that much… could it?

          Trump may be a loutish neophyte, but maybe expertise in the governance of a people is no virtue…

        2. Ran

          Just posted your FDR/Killary quote plus my own commentary on both worthless duopoly candidates on fb. With any luck all my fb duopoly cheerleading “friends” won’t be much longer

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Roosevelt was reminding us a government was as good as who was in charge of running it.

      Not a good idea if, under good or greed stewards, it can spend as much as it wants.

      “…a mere appendage…”

    5. Katharine

      Thanks for providing so much of the quotation! Too often it’s just cut to the last sentence, but what goes before is highly apposite.

  13. PhilU

    New leak, emphasis mine.

    SEPTEMBER 9, 2015


    QUESTIONER 1: [inaudible]… but it is encouraging when you talk about new pipelines as well. Because when we hear from [inaudible], not from you, but when we hear it general [inaudible]... environmental extremists are the democrats’ version of the tea party from our perspective. And so while we fix leaky ones, we want to build new ones. I know Phil, myself, Jim, Craig, Tim, Harris, and the teemsters — right now we have $30 billion in new natural gas mostly [inaudible]. Pipelines being built, as Shawn said, puts a lot of people to work.

    HILLARY CLINTON: And where in the country are you [inaudible]?

    QUESTIONER 1: So Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, the Dakotas–

    QUESTIONER 2: There’s an oil pipeline too in the Dakotas…

    QUESTIONER 1: New England.

    QUESTIONER 2: The pipeline industry is booming and we’ve raised a lot of issues on existing pipelines and how bad they are. You know, people are concerned about the Keystone pipeline, which would be the safest pipeline ever constructed by the most skilled labor force ever assembled to build it. And you have to [inaudible] about these pipelines that are in the ground 20, 30 years, 40 years–

    HILLARY CLINTON: 100 years–

    QUESTIONER 2: Right, 100 years. And they need — like the city government in Chicago where I live — they’re changing out all the gas lines in Chicago and there are gas lines that have been in the city of Chicago since Abraham Lincoln was president.

    HILLARY CLINTON: Is that part of the 30 billion that [inaudible] is talking about?

    QUESTIONER 2: No, no.

    QUESTIONER 1: It’s actually now, Madam Secretary, the second largest sector to mining, building is third. So the energy sector — and yes that does include solar and wind [inaudible] and we like ‘all of the above’ — and from listening to you we need someone like you to have a grown up conversation with all stakeholders because people have dug in on all sides.

    HILLARY CLINTON: I know, I know.

    QUESTIONER 1: And now the Sierra Club won’t support any natural gas. And to be honest, not you, but the Democrats were so disillusioned with Congress on both sides, they expected that — one we sure as hell didn’t expect that we were getting [inaudible] out of the Democrats in the energy sector. But it’s encouraging–

    HILLARY CLINTON: Well they’ve come out, and you may not know this, but they’ve all [inaudible]. I mean I have not said anything about Keystone because I wanted to give the President, the Secretary a chance to make their decision. But I can’t wait any longer. And you know from my perspective, this is just one of these issues–

    QUESTIONER 2: It’s symbolic–

    HILLARY CLINTON: It’s symbolic and it’s not going to go away. They’re all hanging on to it. So you know Bernie Sanders is getting lots of support from the most radical environmentalists because he’s out there every day bashing the Keystone pipeline. And, you know, I’m not into it for that. I’ve been– my view is I want to defend natural gas. I want to defend repairing and building the pipelines we need to fuel our economy. I want to defend fracking under the right circumstances. I want to defend, you know, new, modern [inaudible]. I want to defend this stuff. And you know, I’m already at odds with the most organized and wildest. They come to my rallies and they yell at me and, you know, all the rest of it. They say, ‘Will you promise never to take any fossil fuels out of the earth ever again?’ No. I won’t promise that. Get a life, you know. So I want to get the right balance and that’s what I’m [inaudible] about– getting all the stakeholders together. Everybody’s not going to get everything they want, that’s not the way it’s supposed to work in a democracy, but everybody needs to listen to each other.

    And we need to do– you know, nuclear, talk about climate change — nuclear is no greenhouse gas emissions. France has it for nearly 100% of their energy– they’ve never had a problem. We’ve had two problems that people know about: Chernobyl, which was a disaster and [inaudible], and you know Three Mile. Right, those were the problems we had. We’ve come a long way from there.

    So I’m willing to defend and to really burrow in, I will say, you know, I don’t support the Keystone pipeline because I don’t think we need to do that. I think we need to repair, rebuild, take care of what we’ve got on the platter here. But I also think that the federal government has to be the partner. You can’t do this. I mean whether it’s a Fed discount window or a new fund, because it’s not just pipelines. It’s exploding sewer lines. It’s broken water lines. It’s all of the construction that is under our old cities. It’s all falling apart. And so I want a major investment in fixing up what makes our cities work. Now, I don’t want to leave the rural and suburban areas out, but the oldest — going back to Abraham Lincoln — but the oldest stuff in the ground is in our cities.

    QUESTIONER 3: I was going to speak similar to what President [inaudible] had talked about, but in the fact that– so you’re going to campaign Keystone pipeline or [inaudible] on your position?

    HILLARY CLINTON: I’m not going to campaign–

    QUESTIONER 3: I’d rather you nip it and say I’m more interested in fixing existing structures–

    HILLARY CLINTON: No I will, I have to–

    QUESTIONER 3: Because we’ve been conditioning our members. That’s kind of like being blinded [inaudible]… So if you come out against it they’re going to go [inaudible]… You can just say, ‘I am in favor of repairing the existing infrastructure and expanding to make it safer for Americans, and I’m not going to take a lightning rod issue that’s going to be legally challenged,’ as a better way of saying ‘I’m against it.’ It’s a deft way of navigating [inaudible]… Unless I get [inaudible]

    HILLARY CLINTON: At some point, I mean, look, I’m being hammered because I won’t take a position. And I thought I was doing the right thing by not taking a position. I’ll try to figure out the right wording. I get what you’re saying. And, look, I want to be a champion for your members. Obviously I would love to have your endorsements. But, in any event, to be a champion for your members.

    QUESTIONER 3: We’ve been advocating for this for 6 years so it’ll be a major reversal for a lot of us.

    HILLARY CLINTON: Yea I know, I know. I get it. I get it. So look, you’ve got your own business to deal with. Whether you endorse me or not, I’m going to be your advocate and your partner. And I’m going to do what I tell you I will do. But I also don’t want to mislead people and let them think that I’m going to support something when I can’t. Because I don’t think it’s productive to support it, given all the other stuff.

    You know, I’m having conversations in these town halls and these meetings I’m having with a lot of people who break into my meetings, they hold up posters, they scream at me, and all the rest of that: ‘Stop extracting fossil fuels, stop extracting on public lands, come out against nuclear, coal’ you name it. They are after everything and I’m just talking through them. And of course they go support somebody else. That’s fine and I don’t particularly care. But I do think I have to say, look, given everything else we have to do in this country, this is not an issue for me that I’m going to say I support. I want to work on other stuff.

    QUESTIONER 3: I want to ask you a hard question on the same thing. If you become the president and we turn the next Congress around and we get it passed, would you veto it?

    HILLARY CLINTON: You know, I don’t know the answer to that. I don’t want to mislead you. I don’t know the answer to that and I’ll tell you why, because I don’t think that Congress has the authority to pass it. The law is pretty clear that this is an executive decision because it crosses the Canadian border. Remember that Congress tried to do something on it before and the general opinion was it doesn’t mean anything because they have no authority to do it. But that’s my memory of–

    1. Roger Smith

      Get a life! Do you want to live in that basement forever or what?

      More on Clinton’s emails… Podesta specifically addresses POTUS emails to Clinton with Mills, the day before the subpoena, and whether or not to offer them up or withhold them until specifically asked.

      I saw Fox Insider report this but they did not include a link to the email.

      1. jrs

        actually who has a clearer purpose on what they actually want their life to amount to than activists? I admire the deep inner purpose it takes to live for something so unconventional and purposeful and real. Those who spend their lives dedicated to such fights are not people who should be told to get a life by those who spend their life chasing piles of money (which is a sure sign of a gaping void). Hillary get a soul. There’s nothing there.

    2. Binky

      Oh shit an honest and reasonably thought out answer that reflects knowledge of the law! Curses!

      Hillary Clinton-lawful evil.

      1. Hana M

        Yeah. I had the same reaction. That’s the first time I’ve pretty much agreed with one of her statements–and actually believed that’s what she thinks. Sensible, especially the part about fixing our aging pipeline infrastructure that leaks like a sieve. HRCs biggest problem (well, one of them anyway) is her reflexive refusal to be honest and open with ordinary voters rather than only with her elite big money backers. She could talk people into understanding this point of view but she refuses to play it straight.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Fixing the aging pipeline infrastructure makes a certain amount of sense. I think it’s a mistake to conflate that with fracking as such.

          For example, it might make sense to prepare oil pipelines for ultimate shutdown. I don’t see how we can dig them all up, but we don’t want them to turn into thousand-mile toxic waste sites, either.

          1. okanogen

            You might be interested to know that there is currently zero earthquake risk management nationally mandated for our pipeline infrastructure. Obama was pushing for a regulation or law regarding that, but his foot came off the throttle.

            -energy (including renewable) insider info…..

      2. Pat

        Really, could you explain in a thoughtful and reasonable manner under what circumstances is fracking right? Is it only where the people doing it don’t have to disclose what they are pumping into the ground because it is proprietary? Is it where they deny that nothing is impermeable and that the ground water is safe? Is it where the water people used to use to drink, bath, water their crops, feed their lifestock, etc can be set on fire? Tell me.

        Mind you if you read that with the knowledge that Clinton parses everything that comes out of her mouth you could read that as saying flat out that she will pick and choose where she defends fracking, you know that public/private thing.

        And that is only one line in that honest and reasonably well thought out answer that is clearly bullshit.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I want to defend fracking under the right circumstances

        Parsing this:

        1) “I want to” doesn’t mean “I will or I am.” What do we regard is confirming evidence of Clinton’s mental state, her “wants”? I want receipts. Campaign contributions are probably the best indicator.

        2) “defend fracking” might mean “structure public policy when President to encourage fracking where possible” or it might mean “hold a White House conference and encourage a conversation” or anything in between.

        3) “under the right circumstances” could apply (a) the defense of fracking or (b) fracking as such.

        That is, (a) “I’m waiting for the right circumstances to defend fracking openly,” or (b) “I’ll defend fracking as public policy when it’s safe” (for example, depending on geological and hydrological conditions). The obvious question (not asked) would be whether Clinton would work to over-ride state policy, as in New York, that forbids fracking.

        * * *

        As usual, Clinton is expert at conveying judiciousness and mastery of detail without in actuality conveying very much (one might contrast the directness and vehemence of single payer that will “never, ever” come to pass). I suppose this might be considered “honesty.”

        1. okanogen

          Yes. It is very adept. Thing is, and here I will put on my insider hat again, natural gas, and even cracking, when done correctly and yes, in the right circumstances, are among the cleanest and lowest climate change impacting energy solutions. It is a great partner with renewables like wind and solar, offsetting peak demand needs.
          It takes enormous amounts of energy and environmental damage to mine nuclear materials. Coal is off the chart, as we know, liquid petroleum is energy-expensive to extract and to transport, as well as poisonous to the environment and people. It also requires much more extensive refinery investment. The two downsides for natural gas are, it is explosive (meaning you have to maintain the pipeline infrastructure), and it still produces CO2.

      4. Ché Pasa

        Her position, as expressed here, is the “sensible” position, darned near the consensus position among the center-leftish political class, and you can’t find a Republican, let alone Trump, with a better position from an environmental and finding-common-ground standpoint on these matters. None.

        That doesn’t mean I agree with it or that she’s right. I think she’s wrong, particularly about fracking and a reversion to nuclear power. Fracking has enormous untoward environmental consequences that are well-documented and understood. The industry is simply in denial, and that shouldn’t be accommodated. There have been dozens of nuclear accidents, not just two, including meltdowns and the continuing horror show at Fukushima. Right here in New Mexico, we’ve got endless issues, radiation leaks, and potential disasters with the WIPP project out by Carlsbad which is supposed to be some kind of model for the storage of nuclear waste. It doesn’t work. There’s no demonstrated and practical way to safely store nuclear waste for an essentially endless length of time, not for even a few decades.

        So she’s wrong in key elements of her position, but her position is essentially the same as Obama’s, and it is shared by a whole raft of other public officials and some of the private interests involved as well.

        And she says she wants to involve all the stakeholders in finding a resolution — which doesn’t include all of them, but that’s how these things typically go.

        In other words, status quo.

        No Republican has a better position from an environmental standpoint, not one. Certainly not Trump.

        Her position isn’t good enough by an order of magnitude yet it’s coherent and “reasonable” –and wrong in key elements.

        And she’s daring to tell the industry to work with people they don’t agree with to find a resolution. The horror…

    3. allan

      We’ve had two problems that people know about: Chernobyl, which was a disaster and [inaudible], and you know Three Mile. Right, those were the problems we had. We’ve come a long way from there.

      What is Fukushima, chopped liver? This sounds like Alan Greenspan’s `with notably rare exceptions’ line.

        1. allan

          I don’t understand what you mean. It looks like it’s dated 2015-09-09, which is 4 years after Fukushima.

          1. Waldenpond

            Sorry, was reading another item. So many, I can’t keep them straight.
            Maybe certain people exclude Daiichi as it happened in conjunction with a natural disaster.

      1. PhilU

        Nuclear is one of the only things I agree with her on. No one died at fukushima (I know there was plenty of other bad side effects though). There are new models of nuclear that are passively fail safe. Still about 5 years away from deployable but they are the only real option we have.

        1. uncle tungsten

          Hahahahaha, not buying that line. Fukushima is a vast disaster of regional proportions (if you consider the pacific ocean a region) and will contaminate major food chains. The nuclear loonies have been propagating that 5 year improvement horizon since the first atom fractured.

          There are many other options contained in the renewable energy option that will easily power our present and future. Nuclear is a zombie science and a serious waste of time dollars and effort.

          1. apber

            Thanks to the unstoppable radiation from Fukushima (1000X worse than Chernobyl), no one now living in North America under the age of 30 will ever have great grandchildren.

          1. okanogen

            I’m not sure it would be better to have them as government facilities, but it is a fair point.

      2. Skip Intro

        Her claim that Nuclear has no CO2 emissions is also afactual, and reveals her alleged grasp of policy details as mere facility with industry talking points.

    4. Roger Smith

      Your bolded line, “given everything else we have to do in this country, this is not an issue for me that I’m going to say I support. I want to work on other stuff. ”

      That right there (in terms of maximum visibility–Ken Salazar should have done it) goes against all of this media hype that she deserves the climate vote since Trump claimed it was all a hoax.

      Funny thing is I generally think she is right. Climate Change is out of our scope in terms of a large scale effort. These career pols have done so much damage that we need to focus on broad social infrastructure healing. That said, that doesn’t mean we keep supporting fracking etc… She just wants to keep doing the same old same old, or that we cannot do little things to set in motion larger plans. She certainly is not the one who will fix the bleeding anyways.

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      > everybody needs to listen to each other

      Well, except for the irredeemables, and the #BernieBros, who are racist and sexist, and the basement dwellers. I think Clinton must have meant to way “everybody who is anybody.”

    1. jawbone

      Thanks much for the rundown of Obama’s (with Hillary’s connivance during her years as Sec of State — what do we know of what Kerry has been doing?) approval of coups. Gack.

      I totally lost faith in Hillary when she so clearly supported the illegal Honduras coup.

      Anyway, good listing.

      Is there one for US supporting coups elsewhere around the globe?

  14. FromColdMountain

    On “Genomics is failing on diversity”;

    Another point only now being addressed by GWAS studies is that they had not sequenced genes that are only on the Y chromosome, Like Monoamine Oxidase A and B (MAOA).

    Since MAOA breaks down serotonin and dopamine, totally excluding one of the most important enzymes in the body makes all the past work useless.

    1. giantsquid

      These two enzymes are encoded by genes that are found on the X chromosome, not the Y chromosome.

    2. reslez

      For “one of the most important enzymes in the body” to be only encoded on the Y chromosome makes zero sense. It would mean literally half the population is unable to code that enzyme…

    1. Pat

      I didn’t ignore it. I screamed bloody murder about it. And when the Clinton email scandal emerged, one of my responses to idiots who apparently think that exonerates Clinton is that I don’t have a double standard. It was clear Bush and Cheney wanted no public oversight into their actions and it is clearly the same with Clinton. Both didn’t give a damn about laws or security.

      And unlike the author of this piece, I was paying enough attention to know about it when it originally came to light.

      Once again, because apparently this is a concept that many Clinton supporters seem to have failed to grasp in kindergarten: Just because X did it and/or got away with it does not make what Clinton did right, legal or appropriate.

      Now take your double standard and put it where belongs. Sideways.

      1. Waldenpond

        Keep getting from the Clinton camp that Bill isn’t running (of course he is) but Cheney’s crimes are now relevant? (just domestic crimes mind you, not foreign because apparently all patriotic D and R USAians support blowing people into a fine red mist for profit)

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I certainly didn’t ignore the Bush email scandal at the time; Corrente covered gwb43.com in great detail. In fact, the Bush scandal rather set the baseline for behavior that should never be tolerated in a President, making it all the more remarkable that Clinton loyalists use it as a defense. But as I keep saying, it’s been a clarifying election.

      To be best of my recollection, the Bush email scandal was about the merger of Rove’s campaign apparatus with White House decision making, and since some might consider Rove’s methods, well, unsavory or even unsound, a few million emails were destroyed (and I say “were destroyed” because it was a complicated and ramifying scandal, and I don’t remember who told the tech people to do whatever it was they did).

      Therefore, the Bush private server email scandal considered institutionally is different from the Clinton email private server scandal. The way Clinton privatized her server supports a prima facie case that the Clinton Dynasty was running an influence peddling operation through their family foundation, with Clinton I selling options to services* to be delivered at a later date by Clinton II, whether in her public capacity as SoS (Uranium One) or in her future capacity as President. Evidence for that would be in the “private” and allegedly not “work-related” half of the email that Clinton had her lawyers destroy before turning the server over to the FBI.

      * Cloaked as payments for speeches, appearances, donations, etc.

  15. Leadership. Hold my meat.

    Hasselwerdt’s a party hack sinecured in a think tank run by the offspring of a Tammany Hall crook. His mediocrity is a many-splendored thing. His political science education imparts at least as much parochial Juche as US economics or law. But here Hasslewerdt blows off even that narrow discipline to make like the bureaucrats who randomly parrot terms of art for some vague poetic effect (think Kerry saying aggression or Obama saying proportional, or when corporate nitwits hear a quant say asymptotic and then everything is asymtotic meaning Wow!!)

    If Hasslewerdt weren’t a hopeless hack, he would use the term progressive in the universally-accepted sense derived from Article 2(1) of the ICESCR: “Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps, individually and through international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures.”

    Toward what? Toward the rights in the ICESCR. For whom? Without discrimination.

  16. nothing but the truth

    The democrats have responded to every genuine concern the same way – by going ad hominem.

    While that has worked well and will elect HillyBilly to another term, it does not change the fact that there are genuine concerns and anger in the electorate that are not resolved by her victory – both the Trump supports and the Bernie supporters – both were defeated by media conspiracies and mafia like behaviour.

    When she becomes the president she will face a resentful population – and her resident ad hominem crowd on the NYT can not do much about this situation.

    It seems more and more that the core DNC is deeply fascist – not in the ethnic sense but in the sense they are very power hungry and will do anything to claim it and pursue economic advantage.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘resentful’ — nice euphemism.

      Sort of like describing an angel dust-addled biker wielding a bloody ax as ‘anxious.’ ;-)

    2. aab

      I’m picking at you here because I’m so incredibly sick of how debased word usage has become due to the tidal wave of propaganda.

      There is no “ethnic” component to fascism. You can scapegoat an internal, marginalized population along numerous vectors. Scapegoating “Mexicans,” “illegals,” or “Muslims” is not more fascistic than scapegoating “Millennials,” “Rednecks,” “working class whites,” etc.

      There are numerous political approaches that the ruthless and power hungry can use to gain power. Hillary Clinton is fascist because she is consolidating corporate control of the government, including corporate control of the media for propaganda purposes; using an artificial external threat as an excuse to go to war to suppress dissent and manufacture citizen compliance; AND scapegoating out groups among the population. That’s just a overview of how she is fascist. There’s more (for example, her actual slogan is fascistic.)

      So yes, I agree with you that Hillary Clinton actually IS a fascist. But let’s try to use words accurately. Because understanding what is actually going on and figuring out how to make it better is going to be even harder if we can’t think or communicate clearly. Trump, for example, may be a very bad man advocating for very bad things, but he simply isn’t fascist.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > You can scapegoat an internal, marginalized population along numerous vectors.

        Yep. And I think vector is exactly the right word, if we think of a vector as [i1, i2, i3… in] where i represents an identity of interest.

  17. OIFVet

    Clinton and DNC face new email attacks in wake of Wikileaks dump

    But in fact, there is no indication the phony Podesta message was the work of Russian state-sponsored hackers, say cybersecurity experts. It’s far more likely it was sent by cyberspoofers using relatively accessible Internet tools to replicate an email address, using or installing a STMP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) email server. In the case of Podesta email, the spoofer also used a separate “reply to” email service — a sort of throwaway inbox to weed out junk email — presumably so that Podesta would have been completely unwitting if Brazile had actually responded.

    “It could really be anybody,” said Rich Barger, chief intelligence officer of ThreatConnect, a cybersecurity firm that has closely studied the Russian hacks. “It could be a 400-pound hacker in his mother’s basement,” he added in an allusion to Trump’s own quip during the first presidential debate last month.

    But it could never be the work of the Clinton campaign or the DNC as an attempt to discredit the flood of revelations. Amiright Michael Isikoff?

    1. OIFVet

      Also too, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has backtracked on her Kaepernick comments:

      With some time to think about it, Ginsburg wasn’t happy with her answer to Yahoo’s Katie Couric either.

      “Some of you have inquired about a book interview in which I was asked how I felt about Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who refused to stand for the national anthem,” Ginsburg said in a statement, via Todd Ruger of CQ Roll Call. “Barely aware of the incident or its purpose, my comments were inappropriately dismissive and harsh. I should have declined to respond.”

      Give her credit for at least having the decency to admit that she was wrong.

      1. aab

        Eh. I saw that and thought, “Somebody from Clintonland yelled at her that they need black votes.”

        Barely aware of the incident, her first response was to hector a young black man about obeying and genuflecting to symbols of American power. And she is personally the reason we’re all being told we have to vote for Hillary. Because everybody is pretending with Hillary we get a bunch of RBGs who will dismantle the conservative court. Because RBG is a superhero. Right? Right?

        In reality, she is an elderly, wealthy woman of power who lives in a neoliberal bubble. Her gut instinct was to tell Kap what to do, not default to recognizing that there’s a problem with militarized policing and racism in America. This is not surprising. But whoever comes in under President Hillary will be to her right. Far, far to to her right. And her first statement proved that even the status quo current “best” justice isn’t good enough on a very important issue.

        But you know, the Democratic Party needs to be kept in power because Trump.

      2. Pat

        I won’t be as articulate about this as aab, but WTF?!?!?! This makes no sense.
        1. If she was unfamiliar with the incident, and barely aware of it why did she have an opinion at all.
        2. HOW was she unfamiliar with the purpose behind it?

        One thing is clear whether she is lying now or not: She is arrogant and disrespectful of peaceful protest and utterly unconcerned with the obvious problems in the justice system, otherwise she would not have been unfamiliar with the purpose of the incident.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      So the theory is that Russian hackers discredited their own disinformation campaign?

      Adding, it sure is remarkable that email is dated October 12, 2016 long after the DNC whining about fakes began. Why, one might almost think the DNC hired their own hacker to spoof Podesta’s address…

  18. rich

    Nevada Approves Record $750 Million Subsidy for NFL Stadium
    Christopher Palmeri chrispalmeri
    October 14, 2016 — 5:08 PM EDT

    Construction would pave way for Oakland Raiders’ move to Vegas
    Project backed by billionaire Adelson needs league’s signoff

    Nevada lawmakers authorized a $750 million tax incentive to entice the National Football League’s Oakland Raiders to move to Las Vegas, a record subsidy for a stadium.

    The 83-year-old billionaire built the world’s largest gambling company, largely due to his big bets in Macau and Singapore. Adelson has been deepening his ties to Las Vegas, however. Last year his family acquired local newspaper the Las Vegas Review-Journal for a reported $140 million. He told the paper in August that he didn’t expect to see a return from his investment in the stadium.

    “I discussed it with my wife and my kids, my family, and we agreed that we would do it as a benefit to the community,” he said.


    Master of the sell!..(a record subsidy)

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      Billionaires: Build your own damn stadiums, you welfare queens!

      Sidenote: F you, Las Vegas Traitors

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “I will gladly play for your team, if the pay is good, but not stand up for the national anthem.”

        Nah, no one says anything like that.

  19. Paid Minion

    And just to illustrate that it isn’t just Republicans/FoxNews watchers who are going off the deep end with conspiracy theories.


    Obviously, this guy never saw “Top Gun”. Anyone remotely involved in aviation will tell you that those airplanes are assigned to a USAF/Navy “Aggressor” squadron, intended to be the bad guy in “Red Flag”/Top Gun schools.

    (to put a finer point on it. those are early model F-18s; with the exception of a few USMC squadrons, no longer in front line service. Also, it’s going to real tough dropping weapons from that aircraft, since all of the wing pylons for mounting weapons have been removed, to reduce weight, and improve performance in air-air work).

    Which brings up my point. Occasionally, media will report on something that I’m familiar with. And nine times out of ten, the story is wrong/idiotic/BS/one sided. Especially if it conflicts with the storyline they have chosen to go with.

    I can only assume that they have performed the same amount of editorial refinement and due diligence on all of their stories. End result, you narrow your news sources down to sites with expertise in certain areas, and round-file everything else.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Ever since 1992 , the Republicans have been saying trust is an issue with the Clintons.

      Bush senior made that a key election issue, but no one has been able to stop them yet.

  20. Synoia

    “Google’s AI reasons its way around the London Underground”

    That’s trivial. An 8 year old can do that.

    Now for London Buses…..

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is the self-driving algorithm different for non-crazy American traffic than, say, crazy Chinese traffic full of crazy Chinese drivers?

  21. Montanamaven

    Another Bad Russians “path to war” piece in the NY Times.
    However, it should be noted that one of the examples the author uses, Grozny, is rebuilt with a new mosque and seems to be thriving unlike, say, Baghdad.

  22. Bjornasson


    Patrick Cockburn on how US Allies in the Mid East funded ISIS under the watchful eye of Secretary of State Clinton and the other foreign policy apparatchiks. This is, of course, not news to anyone who has not been swallowing the nonsense found in the MSM about the Mid East

    I had always been a little skeptical of the skepticism of the MSM, mostly because I was wary of confirmation bias. But it seems increasingly that “conspiracy theories” are the real news and the real news is just propaganda. When will we reach the tipping point, where enough people reject what is being told to them and critically engage with the topics at hand? For me it was when the US bombed the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan a couple of years ago. But it seems like the more proof we have, with each new event, the less it matters and the more it is internalized as some form of realpolitik.

  23. nowhere

    Not sure where to file this…
    Code is Law
    News of the Wired
    Police State

    How a Facial Recognition Mismatch Can Ruin Your Life

    The ascendancy of computer recognition for broad queries is all but inevitable: Algorithms can search millions of faces in seconds — a task that would otherwise take multiple humans multiple lifetimes. And while image quality still presents the same challenges for computers as it does for humans, many algorithmic face recognition systems surpass human performance for images with regular lighting and standardized poses.

    “Typically, the forensics community relied on experts in a binary way: Is this the same guy or not the same guy?” Akil N. Jain, one of the world’s leading pioneers of face recognition technology, explained in an interview. “The focus has shifted to ‘How can you be so sure? Give us some confidence level.’ The forensic community needs to accept that examiners can make mistakes, and they need to say, ‘How can we avoid that?’” As empirical data supporting forensic opinions are scarce, he hopes that data analysis by large computer systems will support the development of probabilistic conclusions for courtrooms.

    But experts warn that the same flawed system that sent Talley to jail will not disappear with the advent of automated recognition. If anything, these flaws may be exacerbated. The reason is practical: The conclusions of any automated system ultimately depend on the judgments of human reviewers to evaluate and verify that the correct subject is present in the computer’s list of possible matches

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      We might as well all start wearing masks. I wonder if there’s a male version of the Saudi abaya? One would need some sort of distorter for the eye-slits, of course, to avoid retina scans, but other than that…

  24. ewmayer

    o “10 times more galaxies than were previously thought to exist” — So, implications for the missing mass conundrum are…?

    o Re. envy-free Marie Antoinette solution — “the cake portions that players receive would typically include many tiny crumbs from different parts of the cake”. This is starting to sound a lot like the mind-bending implcations of the Banach-Tarski paradox in set theory – which is a mathematical theorem, i.e. proven, mind you. Wikipedia describes:

    The Banach–Tarski paradox is a theorem in set-theoretic geometry, which states the following: Given a solid ball in 3‑dimensional space, there exists a decomposition of the ball into a finite number of disjoint subsets, which can then be put back together in a different way to yield two identical copies of the original ball. Indeed, the reassembly process involves only moving the pieces around and rotating them, without changing their shape. However, the pieces themselves are not “solids” in the usual sense, but infinite scatterings of points. The reconstruction can work with as few as five pieces.

    A stronger form of the theorem implies that given any two “reasonable” solid objects (such as a small ball and a huge ball), either one can be reassembled into the other. This is often stated informally as “a pea can be chopped up and reassembled into the Sun” and called the “pea and the Sun paradox”.

    Note: The theorem does, however, rely on a particular choice of set-theoretic axioms, including the axoim of choice.

    The Banach–Tarski paradox is a theorem in set-theoretic geometry, which states the following: Given a solid ball in 3‑dimensional space, there exists a decomposition of the ball into a finite number of disjoint subsets, which can then be put back together in a different way to yield two identical copies of the original ball. Indeed, the reassembly process involves only moving the pieces around and rotating them, without changing their shape. However, the pieces themselves are not “solids” in the usual sense, but infinite scatterings of points. The reconstruction can work with as few as five pieces.

    A stronger form of the theorem implies that given any two “reasonable” solid objects (such as a small ball and a huge ball), either one can be reassembled into the other. This is often stated informally as “a pea can be chopped up and reassembled into the Sun” and called the “pea and the Sun paradox”.

    The reason the Banach–Tarski theorem is called a paradox is that it contradicts basic geometric intuition. “Doubling the ball” by dividing it into parts and moving them around by rotations and translations, without any stretching, bending, or adding new points, seems to be impossible, since all these operations ought, intuitively speaking, to preserve the volume. The intuition that such operations preserve volumes is not mathematically absurd and it is even included in the formal definition of volumes. However, this is not applicable here, because in this case it is impossible to define the volumes of the considered subsets, as they are chosen with such a large porosity. Reassembling them reproduces a volume, which happens to be different from the volume at the start.

    So I say, why stop at mere envy-free “fair” cake-cutting – why not go for the whole biblical-miracle-of-the-loaves-and-fishes “we can create as many cakes from the initial one as we like” deal? After all, economists make predictions based on such assumptions all the time, and call it “rigorous science.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Ten times more galaxies…

      Does it imply 10 times more total mass in the universe (assuming little outside of galaxies)???

      Do we still have missing mass or too much mass now?

      It has to be perfect – not too heavy and not too light.

      1. TheCatSaid

        Wilbert Smith has interesting things to say in a mini-book he wrote called “The New Science”. Over time, with input from “the boys top-side” he was taught new understandings about science, and received instructions about things to make to demonstrate this. (One example was a pair of coils that under the right circumstances functioned as a “transmitter” and “receiver”–and the signal did not diminish with distance. In order for it to work, the equipment had to first be “tuned” with the receiver. Initially Smith did not understand this, but over time (and with the help of a friend who was talented in that direction) realized this was a crucial aspect in its function.

  25. hunkerdown

    News of the Wired, hot off the, er, press: A Longitudinal Measurement Study of 4chan’s Politically Incorrect Forum and its Effect on the Web (arXiv). I haven’t read further than the abstract yet, but this seems like an exciting weekend read:

    In this paper we analyze /pol/ along several axes using a dataset of over 8M posts. We first perform a general characterization that reveals how active posters are, as well as how some unique features of 4chan affect the flow of discussion. We then analyze the content posted to /pol/ with a focus on determining topics of interest and types of media shared, as well as the usage of hate speech and differences in poster demographics. We additionally provide quantitative evidence of /pol/ ’s collective attacks on other social media platforms. We perform a quantitative case study of /pol/ ’s attempt to poison anti-trolling machine learning technology by altering the language of hate on social media. Then, via analysis of comments from the 10s of thousands of YouTube videos linked on /pol/ , we provide a mechanism for detecting attacks from /pol/ threads on 3rd party social media services.

  26. rich

    Obama Enters the Media Wars – Why His Recent Attack on Free Speech is So Dangerous and Radical

    Meanwhile, there were millions of people in the “wild west” of opinion making yelling and screaming that the government was misleading the public about Iraq in order to go to war. So who got it right, the New York Times, or the wild, wild west?

    If Obama had his way, those people who asserted that the public was being mislead into the Iraq war would have been dismissed as “conspiracy theorists” not worth paying attention to since they refused to agree with government “facts.” Obama’s position is such an obvious authoritarian slippery slope, one has to ask why he would dare go so far.

    My view is that there is a full on panic occurring right now at the very top of America’s shadow government due to the fact that the public is no longer falling for corporate media propaganda.


    When the Dems use the word “progressive”, do they mean progressively worse?

    1. integer

      My view is that there is a full on panic occurring right now at the very top of America’s shadow government due to the fact that the public is no longer falling for corporate media propaganda.

      I agree. I expect a Clinton win will usher in a permanent deployment of Correct The Record type outfits tasked with managing public perception. Sigh.

  27. TheCatSaid

    I recently heard a discussion / interview with insights about the 2016 election that made sense to me. The interviewee is Oxford-trained historian Dr. Joseph Farrell. Key points he made:

    Clinton & Trump candidacies represent different groups of powerful elites. The elite group backing Clinton is the “conventional” corporate/money/internationalist (“free trade”) faction. The Trump power base is likely connected to the mob/mafia–it is inherently nationalistic in its focus (i.e. “patriotic” rather than global, as some mafia members have apparently demonstrated by their spying operations on behalf of the USA) thus anti-trade agreements and anti-immigrants are Trump’s policy focus rather than Clintonesque foreign intervention.

    The point was made by historian Farrell that with Trump having made his money from casinos and major real estate projects (especially in NYC), it would be impossible for him to do this without constantly interfacing with mob/mafia at many points. The same is true of his candidacy. He would not be a candidate without the agreement and support of this faction, with the understanding that he will represent their interests in key policies.

    This was a rational explanation for some of the areas where Trump has semi-consistent policy differences with Clinton. I think Farrell is on to something.

    1. aab

      I was under the impression that the actual Mafia was in retreat. So was he/are you using “mob/Mafia” to mean all organized domestic criminal networks?

      I left the east coast decades ago. When we first moved here, I was startled by how fast buildings went up. I don’t remember who told me this, but someone said that the biggest difference was that LA didn’t have to deal with the Mafia in every sector of the construction industry. Seemed reasonable to me, but I have zero evidence that LA was/is less mobbed up than New York. I did think the entrenched crime families are much smaller and weaker than they used to be, coast to coast. If that’s true, I don’t see how they could be the base for a Presidential campaign. This isn’t 1963. Am I way off base?

      1. uncle tungsten

        The mafia diversified decades ago. They moved into legitimate business like banking and transport, waste management and probably armaments. They have had good channels into the Dems and Repugs for a looooong time. They will be disturbed by Trump, comfortable with Clinton. They will manage to find an ‘arrangement’ with Trump I’m sure.

        Can readers tell me who are the leading researcher publishers on the mafia in these times?

      2. TheCatSaid

        An observation was made in the interview that the recession/austerity has seriously cut into mafia takings in casinos etc. The corporate multinationals & financial sectors have, through their influence on government policy as well as direct takings, reduced the money available elsewhere and that has seriously impacted the mafia’s share. The mafia-connected sector, with help from their embedded “deep state” folks in the intelligence community, are fighting back and the Trump candidacy is part of that strategy.

    1. TheCatSaid

      I’m impressed CBS reported it. It doesn’t seem to be getting much visibility, though, which speaks volumes.

    2. Vatch

      Will anyone from Loretta Lynch’s “Justice” Department prosecute him, or will Eric Place Holder’s do-nothing policy be preserved? I guess we’ll find out.

  28. dk

    “… our supply chains changed from a hierarchical supply chain—designers at the top, manufacturers at the bottom—to a peer-to-peer relationship in which because we need things fast and we need things real time and because there are so many variables, we have to talk differently”

    That’s process localization (peer-to-peer) vs process centralization (top-down). Centralization allows coordination of many disparate processes, but is otherwise less efficient and increases error/fraud rates. Western/capitalist thinking values centralization highly, because it (nominally) consolidates control, and profit (inefficiencies in centralization are sometimes touted as employment opportunities). But in practice, centralization’s effectiveness and efficiency decreases as operational scales increase. Under competitive pressures, the fetish for centralization may be set aside for peer-level coordination.

    This is visible in corporate and political, and even media arenas. We can see efforts for top-down centralized political opinion and activity in media (emphasis on presidential races, selection of prefered candidates. DRM, placement marketing, etc), which are periodically undone by the grassroots and other peer-to-peer associations when these can identify and promote issues related to immediate circumstances and needs.

    Interestingly, Trump dominated the media by delivering content faster than anyone else through his own Twitter account. His small (effectively localized) media component outperformed larger more complex (but not necessarily more adroit) media shops in a centralized hierarchy.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      But what happens when relations between peers fall apart? Many P2P operations depend on other systems that are themselves centralized — the Internet, for example (centralized both at the hubs and the ginormous data centers (most of them, oddly, located in “irredeemable” areas of the country, rather an Achilles heel, if you ask me). Ditto public utilities (water, electric). Likewise financial centers.

  29. Tom

    This excerpt of a speech Trump gave in Flordia 10/13/16 is by far one of the most cogent and chilling summary of the stakes of this election that I have ever heard him — or anyone else — make:

    A Moment of Reckoning

    In less than 5 minutes, he makes the most compelling case I’ve ever heard for why he is running, and he sounds like a completely different person than we have come to expect. Amazing. I think he still has a shot.

    1. tongorad

      Agreed. In my view, the most compelling and truthful political speech I’ve heard anyone make in this entire campaign. Thanks for sharing.
      If you haven’t seen this, ya gotta check it out.

    2. integer

      Thanks for posting this. Now that it’s personal, Trump may become a very valuable ally to the working class. His eyes have been opened by this experience. He really needs to make this pitch at the final debate.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Trump may become a very valuable ally to the working class

        I doubt it. His policies would be identical (or further left of) Sanders if that were true.

        Still, he’s got the problem statement reasonably correct.

        Not sure I like the cuts in that video, because they make it appear that Trump is a more disciplined speaker than he actually is. Here’s the full version:


        If Trump could deliver 90 minutes of that in Wednesday’s debate, he might turn himself from a heel into a face.

  30. Cry Shop

    Rather than populations becoming ever more violent when faced with a deficit of women, we find violence to be most common in counties with a surfeit of women.

    Interesting data set, but one wonders about the article’s conclusions. They ignore issues such as a large part of the male population may be missing because they are locked up in a system that teaches them criminalzing skills for survivial and excludes them from a large part of the “legal” economic pie, so that rather than rely on the state monopoly on violence this monopoly becomes a competitor.

  31. allan

    Only one insurer will offer PPO plan on Illinois Obamacare exchange [Chicago Tribune]

    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois will be the only insurer offering PPO health insurance plans on the state’s Obamacare exchange next year, according to information released Friday by the state Department of Insurance.

    That’s down from five insurers that offered individual PPO plans on the exchange this year. Many consumers prefer PPO health plans because, unlike HMO plans, they allow patients to see specialist doctors without a referral and see physicians who are out-of-network, albeit at higher costs. …

    The information was released Friday along with final rates for insurance plans on the exchange, which on average, are largely the same as rates submitted to the federal government in August. Rates will increase by an average of 44 percent for the lowest-priced bronze plans, 45 percent for the lowest-priced silver plans and 55 percent for the lowest-priced gold plans. …

    The ACA is an electoral albatross for Dems and a life jacket for Republicans. Heckuva job.

  32. B1whois

    Important strategic knowledge: looks like Senator Warren is working her own grand bargain….


    I had not paid attention to this before, a definite candidate for first hundred days:

    Peter Orszag this week suggested a trade-off: Give the Warren wing its choices on personnel, in exchange for more leeway to negotiate an infrastructure package with Republicans that gives big tax breaks to corporations with money stashed overseas.

  33. aab

    I can’t bring myself to go read the New Republic. Is it definitely Dayen doing that, or did Orszag frame it that way? I’m assuming they will work very hard to redefine the left outer bound as Warren. And they’ll have alliteration on their side!

  34. Free Market Apologist

    “‘I ate it anyways, confident in my ability to digest anything natural. It otherwise smelled and tasted fine.'”

    Can we also cross file this under “Up and Coming Darwin Award Nominees” ?

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