2:00PM Water Cooler 10/19/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

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CETA: “Defiant Wallonia rejects deadline to save EU-Canada deal” [Politico]. “Wallonia’s Minister-President Paul Magnette has dealt a potentially fatal blow to EU trade policy by insisting that he will not support the EU’s landmark trade deal with Canada by a Friday deadline.” And: “Belgium can’t sign the deal without consent from all five of its regional parliaments, and the EU can’t ratify it without unanimous support from its members” [Politico]. This: “”For me, there’s an open question whether Europe in its current political arrangement is able to ratify any agreement,” [said Scott Miller, a trade analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies] said. ‘If they can’t sign with Canada, who can Europe sign with?’” [Politico]. Nobody, we hope!

TPP: “Australia’s union movement has set itself on a collision course with the federal Labor party, calling for a rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement which Labor supports in principle” [Guardian (DK)].

TPP: “Australia’s biggest business organisation has distanced itself from claims the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and be a ‘gigantic foundation stone’ for Australia’s future” [Sidney Morning Herald].

TTIP: “talian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stood in solidarity with President Barack Obama on Tuesday as both leaders reaffirmed “strong support” for the TTIP that has recently faced backlash elsewhere in the European Union” [Politico]. “Reps. Don Beyer and Gerry Connolly of Virginia, Suzan DelBene of Washington and Jim Himes of Connecticut were all slated to attend the glitzy” White House state dinner for Renzi.

“Tobacco Carve-Out From ISDS Starts To Spread: Another Nail In The Coffin Of Corporate Sovereignty” [TechDirt]. “[T]he appearance of this carve-out for tobacco raises a question Mike asked a year ago: if corporate sovereignty is such a bad idea for this industry, why not for others that can cause harm — like the extractive industries, for example? And once people start asking these kinds of questions, it’s not long before they realize that putting companies above national laws, and letting them sue governments in supranational tribunals, makes no sense at all for any sector. Calls to drop the entire ISDS system have been growing for a while; the latest move by Australia and Singapore is likely to make them louder.” So how about extractive industries like loan-sharking? Or private equity?


Days until: 19.

Debate Wrapup

“On Tuesday, campaigning in Colorado, Mr. Trump promised an “interesting” debate as his team confirmed he had invited President Barack Obama’s Kenyan-born half-brother, Malik, who has had a strained relationship with the president. Also invited is Pat Smith, the mother of a State Department computer consultant who was killed in the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks” [Wall Street Journal, “Debate Will Be Final Showdown Before Millions”]. “If there was a race-changing debate it probably was the first one, said James Stimson, a University of North Carolina political science professor who has studied presidential debates. After several weeks of disciplined campaigning, Mr. Trump had nearly closed the gap with Mrs. Clinton heading into the New York Sept. 22 event. But after his unfocused and uneven performance, Mrs. Clinton’s lead grew.” Sad.

“The job of putting Clinton on the spot falls not only to Trump but also moderator Chris Wallace. The Fox News host selected the six topics to be covered in the 90-minute debate: debt and entitlements; immigration; the economy; the Supreme Court; foreign hot spots; and ‘fitness to be President'” [Time]. “Trump has certainly shown a capacity to surprise. But if the 2016 election has taught us anything, it’s to prepare for more fear and loathing in Las Vegas.”


“The Climate Movement Has to Elect Hillary Clinton—and Then Give Her Hell” [Bill McKibben, The Nation].

The Voters

“Overall, 72% of registered voters rate themselves highly interested in the election, down 4 percentage points from this point in 2012 and 15 points from 2008, the poll found” [Wall Street Journal, “As Voters Tune Out, Worries Grow About Turnout”]. “Only 54% of younger voters, those under age 35, say they have high interest in the election, down 6 points from the 2012 election and nearly 30 points from 2008.” Great job, Obama, seriously. I mean, who wants voters involved?

“Clinton’s up 49-28 percent [with younger voters]. But 76 percent of Trump supporters say they’ll vote, compared to 68 percent of Clinton backers” [McClatchy].

“Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton are no more liked or disliked than when the year started, nor have more people come to view the prospect of their election with optimism, Wall Street Journal/NBC News polling finds. And in a head-to-head matchup, Mrs. Clinton’s 10-point lead [on being viewed positively] of today is exactly where it stood in January” [Wall Street Journal, “Voter Support for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Reverts to January Levels”]. “The 2016 election might seem turbulent, with its battle of personalities, hacked emails and late-night tweets. But underneath, there has been more stability than volatility.” After all that…

“The Republican candidate’s misogyny has galvanized the feminist movement with more force and fury than any political issue in generations” [Foreign Policy]. “It seems as if the modern feminist movement — long defined by the divisive issue of abortion rights — is finally unifying against the everyday sexual harassment and even assault that most American women face in their lifetime.” It’s possible, I suppose. Given the way that the Clinton campaign smeared younger women Sanders voters, and given the general 10% focus of Clintonian feminism, I doubt it. After all, fast food workers have heavily women and people of color, and where is Clinton on a $15 minumum wage?


“The battle for the Senate is going down to the wire. Here’s where we stand.” [WaPo]. “We still have Democrats favored to win two GOP seats — in Illinois and Wisconsin. And we still have six seats listed as toss-ups — Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Democrats still need to win three of the six to get an effective majority. And Republicans are still in the game largely despite their presidential nominee, Trump.”

“Most analysts believe that even if Hillary Clinton wins in a landslide, Democrats are unlikely to pick up the net 30 seats they would need to regain the House majority they lost in the tea party-fueled wave of the 2010 election” [Wall Street Journal, “Democrats Eye Big Gain in House Seats”]. “The current two-point [Democrat] advantage is dwarfed by the margin in polls in years past when Democrats picked up large numbers of House seats. In 2006, voters wanted a Democratic-led Congress by 10 percentage points in Journal/NBC polling, and the party gained 30 seats. In 2008, voters favored a Democratic-led Congress by 11 percentage points, and the party gained more than 20 seats.”



Readers, I’m getting a 403 error for the link. Is it just me?

Politico’s Glenn Thrush, slave, checks with Podesta, Master: “Can I send u a couple of grafs, OTR, to make sure I’m not fucking anything up?” [Wikileaks]. As William Burroughs memorably suggested: “I’ll polish your shoes with the oil on my nose….” Maybe Thrush could read Naked Lunch for tips?

“Seriously, those speeches are great! They show someone with a vision, a pragmatic approach to getting things done and a healthy instinct for balancing the need to strengthen our social safety nets with unleashing America’s business class to create the growth required to sustain social programs. [Thomas Friedman, New York Times]. “So thank you, Vladimir Putin, for revealing how Hillary really hopes to govern. I just wish more of that Hillary were campaigning right now and building a mandate for what she really believes.” Help me.

“Rubio rejects WikiLeaks: ‘Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us'” [CNN].

The Trail

“Policy wonk. Pragmatist. Truth-twister. There are many versions of Clinton—and we’ll need them all to navigate the political chaos unleashed by Trump” [The New Republic]. What do you mean, “we”? Going on: “Given a presidential candidate who contains Whitmanesque multitudes….” I’m going to stop there. I can’t bear to go on.

“Nearly naked Hillary Clinton statue sparks fury downtown” [New York Post]. But the naked Trump statue was jake with the angels.

Stats Watch

Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations, October 2016: “Inflation expectations have been mixed to soft and the Atlanta Fed’s September sample of expected business costs is among the softest” [Econoday].

Housing Starts, October 2016: “Starts are mixed but permits are up in what is a deceptively solid housing starts & permits report” [Econoday]. “Starts plunged what looks like a shocking 9.0 percent in September, to a 1.047 million annualized rate. But the drop is tied entirely to the volatile multi-family component where starts fell a massive 38 percent in the month.” And: “The nature of this industry normally has large variations from month to month so the rolling averages are the best way to view this series – and it shows permits improving and housing starts / completions decelerating” [Econintersect]

Architectural Billings: “For the first time since the summer of 2012, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) posted consecutive months of a decline in demand for design services. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending” [American Institute of Architects]. And: “[I]f this drop-off continues, [Commercial Real Estate] investment could slow in the 2nd half of 2017” [Calculated Risk].

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of October 14, 2016: “Purchase applications for home mortgages erased the prior week’s decline and rose a seasonally adjusted 3.0 percent in the October 14 week, but refinancing applications continued to slow down and were off 1.0 percent after an 8.0 percent decline in the previous week” [Econoday].

Housing: “Cash home sales reached a peak in January of 2011 when 46.6% of all home sales in the United States were sold for cash. That peak was nearly double the pre-housing crisis average of around 25%. If cash sales continue to fall at the December rate, the 25% rate should be achieved by mid-2018. July 2016 marked the second month since late 2007 that cash sales have fallen below 30% of all home sales” [247 Wall Street].

Employment Situation: “How they manage to hide a weak jobs market with numbers” [Caucus99percent]. Among other things, an all-out assault on the “Birth-Death Model.” Readers?

Employment Situation: “Clearing the Fog: The Effects of Weather on Jobs” [Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco]. “The estimates explored in this Letter suggest that weather can help explain recent fluctuations in employment, both at the local and national levels. This is not to say that weather is a dominant factor in monthly job fluctuations. Indeed, Wilson (2016) shows that weather explains only a small fraction of the variation in national monthly employment growth. The bulk of the variation is driven by the underlying strength of the labor market and unpredictable factors such as work stoppages in specific industries. Nonetheless, weather often does have important effects.”

Retail: “[A] slew of recent sales reports from global consumer-product companies suggest many are grappling with an unusual confluence of big challenges, from choppy emerging markets and local competition to rising commodity prices and currency swings” [Wall Street Journal, “Shine Comes Off Big Consumer-Product Companies”]

Supply Chain: “This wasn’t the start to the fall that U.S. freight carriers were hoping for. Major measures of shipping demand turned down sharply in September, WSJ Logistics Report’s Robbie Whelan writes, suggesting that tepid manufacturing and excessive inventories are still weighing on supply chains heading deeper into the fourth quarter” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “Here’s Why Textainer Group Holdings Limited’s Stock Sank Another 13% in September” [Motley Fool]. I don’t much like stock picking sites, but this has some information on container leasing.

Shipping: “Overall shipments fell by 3.1% in September compared with the same month last year, while freight expenditures fell 3.8%… The decline in freight volume marked the 19th straight month of falling shipments.” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “Dutch dry bulk major Flinter Group has suspended payments to creditors, after ING Bank unexpectedly pulled the plug on nine ships, according to a statement on the group website” [Lloyd’s List].

Shipping: “Hanjin’s receivership represents the trough of the container shipping market, according to shipping consultants Drewry, and despite continuing concerns of weak trade growth and fleet oversupply a gradual market recovery is expected, according to the latest annual Container Forecaster and Review 2016/17 report published by the British company” [Splash 247].

Apparel: “The gap between suppliers and stores has grown across retailing as e-commerce grabs a bigger portion of sales, and the conflict is escalating in the apparel world as the lean supply chains that serve fast-fashion companies push consumers toward lower-cost goods” [Wall Street Journal]. More crapification.

The Bezzle: “Disney Dropped Twitter Pursuit Partly Over Image” [Bloomberg]. Yes, I can’ see a Disneyfied Twitter. People aren’t civil on Twitter. You know, like America. Twitter’s really a commons. Too bad there’s no way to run it like that. Also too unicorns.

The Bezzle: “With Revenue Flat, Zenefits Looks to Restart After Crisis” [Bloomberg]. The crisis: “The HR software maker saw its founding chief executive officer leave under pressure from the board, paid about $1 million in fines to state regulators for selling insurance without the proper licenses and renegotiated a lower valuation with investors to avoid a potential lawsuit.” Grifters gotta grift!

The Firm: “Institutional Investor Cliques and Governance” [Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation]. “n our paper, we examine the relationship between ownership structure and firm governance, taking into account investor interactions. We empirically identify groups of investors that are likely to be working together to influence the firms they own. We then examine how the presence of these coordinating owners relates to governance.”

Rapture Index: Closes down 1 on earthquake lack of activity [Rapture Ready]. Current: 188. All-time high: 189 (10 Oct 2016).

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 35 Fear (previous close: 36, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 45 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 19 at 1:01pm. Good. More fear. Why not try for 20?

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Newly Released Maps Show How Housing Discrimination Happened” [National Geographic]. Very sad. FDR’s HOLC — which was a better solution to that era’s housing crisis than Obama’s HAMP ever was — also initiated redlining:

The HOLC was tasked with figuring out the investment risks in various cities so banks could determine where to give out loans. To do this, the organization often relied on local real estate agents and lenders, who, in many cases, judged neighborhoods based largely on their racial and socioeconomic makeup. Less affluent neighborhoods and those with significant minority and foreign-born populations got lower ratings and were colored red on the maps, a practice that came to be known as ‘redlining.’


“A newly discovered species of lichen from Ecuador that contains both tryptamine and psilocybin has recently been discovered, dispelling the belief that the infamous ‘magic mushrooms’ are the only plant species containing this hallucinogenic compound” [Collective Evolution]. It’s always nice to have options.

“The community of bacteria that live in our intestines, also called the “gut microbiome,” is important to normal intestinal function. Knowing that spinal cord injuries often negatively affect the gut’s ability to do its job, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center showed that spinal cord injury causes profound changes in the gut microbiota. They also showed that feeding mice probiotics after a spinal cord injury confers neuroprotection and improves functional recovery” [Eurekalert].

Health Care

Kenneth J. Arrow, “Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care” (pdf) [The American Economic Review]. Via reader Plurius, who writes:

A basic summary of the paper is that market solutions will not work because of the nature of health care. Every economist working in the area of health care knows this work, and the fact that “progressive economists from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party” still champion market solutions for health care is very revealing about their true agendas and motivations.

Will Upton Sinclair please pick up the white courtesy phone?

“Minnesota’s Democratic governor said Wednesday that the Affordable Care Act is ‘no longer affordable’ for many, a stinging critique from a state leader who strongly embraced the law and proudly proclaimed health reform was working in Minnesota just a few years ago” [Yahoo News]. Oopsie. Democrats starting to run from ObamaCare.

Class Warfare

“Would Progressive Economics Win Over Trump’s White Working Class Voters?” [Mike Konczal, Medium]. Constant conflation of “progressive,” “liberal,” “left.” Of course, since the liberal project is to keep the working class divided, and the left project is to unite them, you can see why Konczal would need to paper over that contradiction with admittedly vague verbiage.

Quoting “the great bearded one,” who is not Upton Sinclair: “Each new class which puts itself in the place of one ruling before it, is compelled, merely in order to carry through its aim, to represent its interest as the common interest of all the members of society, that is, expressed in ideal form: it has to give its ideas the form of universality, and represent them as the only rational, universally valid ones” [James Kwak, Baseline Scenario]. Remind you of anything?

News of the Wired

“Why the IoT security nightmare could be a dream for Ubuntu” [Ars Technica]. “Ubuntu is already massively successful in the cloud. According to one of Shuttleworth’s presentation slides, 70 percent of images on Amazon Web Services, 80 percent of Azure’s GNU/Linux, 70 percent of Docker images, and 65 percent of large OpenStack systems are all running Ubuntu. He called it “the default platform for scale-out.”

“CanberraUAV Outback Challenge 2016 Debrief” [ArduPilot]. Drone geekery.

“They’ve Got You, Wherever You Are” [New York Review of Books]. Overview of “the attention economy.”

* * *

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 (CR):


Bee toils in Russian sage.

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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. ProNewerDeal

    What is the fate of the MN ACA-eligible patients that attempt signing up after the limit is reached? Do they have no options for insurance then? Do they become eligible for ACA Adult Medicaid? If shut out, will they still have to pay the dreaded ACA Individual Mandate?

    0bama’s (horrible) legacy! 0bama’s legacy, even worse than Bush43 or Reagan?

    1. anon

      In a way, yes. Obama could have done much better. He could have made this country a better place. Many of us didn’t expect much from Reagan, although few had any idea that he’d set off the race for the bottom he did. We expected even less from Bush II, but then we should have known better given those he surrounded himself with. I still think Obama could have erased the damage done, particularly given the legislative situation between 06 and 08, but he didn’t even try.

      The ACA was a conservative boondoggle meant to ingratiate the party who passed it with donors in the insurance industry and their investors. Recalling Nixon’s glee on one White House tape over how early managed care programs were creating serious profits while screwing people out of care, it’s no wonder that the original Heritage proposal was that same kind of bait and switch writ large.

      Of course Obama didn’t do it alone. There were the Blue Dogs, Clinton’s old posse, and all the “practical” neocon enablers like Baucus, Pelosi and Reid. They could have made this country better, instead they drove it into a ditch and left our children the bill.

      1. Knot Galt

        I recall the Obama rhetoric back in 08 about Bush II “driving the car into the ditch.” The implication, I thought, being that Obama would help us get out of it. Instead, he widened the ditch out to make sure more cars fell in.

        Republicans: “A rise in the tide lifts all boats.”
        Democrats: Out of sight, out of mind.??? Whether your car is in the ditch, or you are six feet under, it simply doesn’t matter. Obama fixed it alright. I am ashamed of voting for him in ’08. I could have voted for Hillary and we might have all been done with her by now?

    2. reslez

      I think the “excess” patients get stuck buying a plan they didn’t want, possibly one with no doctors within 200 miles or something along those lines. They don’t magically become eligible for subsidies or Medicaid, if they don’t have a plan they have to pay the IRS.

      1. John Zelnicker

        @reslez – If one cannot purchase a plan in Minnesota due to the cap on enrollment, they will be exempt from the IRS penalty under the affordability rules.

    3. Waldenpond

      Perfect opportunity for mandatory sign up of Medicaid with it’s obligatory liens against current and future assets.

      1. sleepy

        Medicaid clawback provisions are unforgiveably noxious, punitive, and downright Dickensian. I have read online tales about battles between medicaid and families over the amounts the deceased’s estate could pay for funeral expenses if it impinges too much on the amount medicaid is seeking to clawback. Hard to believe that’s an issue in a “civilized” society. Taking grandma’s $50,000 house is the perfect way to prevent any intergenerational transfer of wealth among the poor.

        Clawback should be a hot button political and moral issue, but of course it’s not.

        1. hunkerdown

          A much better way of preventing intergenerational wealth transfer is a steep estate tax over $4 million.

        2. clarky90

          The Law of Spikelets, Aug 8, 1932


          The Soviet law to protect state property of kolkhozes. The law was used to prosecute not only property thieves, but also anyone who collected as little as a handful of grain or “spikelets” left behind in the fields after the entire harvest was officially collected and counted.

          The accompanying “Instruction on the Application of the Decree of 8/8/1932” detailed that the death sentence was to be applied with respect to organized and systematic theft, to theft accompanied with arson and other destruction, as well as with respect to “kulaks, former merchants and other socially alien elements”. Ordinary kolkhosniks and non-collectivized peasants (edinolichniks), as well as minor theft on transport was to be punished with 10 years of imprisonment.
          It has been estimated that a quarter of a million people were charged by the OGPU and there were more than 200,000 sentences (normally of 5 – 10 years in the Gulag) of which more than 11,000 seem to have been death sentences.

          1. olga

            I have relatives who were kulaks and even one charged under the law you mention. But still do not see the point of your post. The context was completely different. Russia was a poor country, in the midst of a famine, struggling to feed its people. In a better world, no one would make such laws – but how does that compare to the rich country that is today’s USA? Does uncle Sam really need grandma’s house… while the rich escape most fair tax obligations?

  2. OIFVet

    “The Climate Movement Has to Elect Hillary Clinton—and Then Give Her Hell.” It would be a little late at that point, if I were to venture a guess.

    1. jrs

      The climate movement has to elect Hillary, she will give us hell … on earth that is, another hottest year on record … I know let’s frack some more, what’s a little more methane added to the atmosphere anyway? Hell isn’t truly hell if it doesn’t get worse all the time, now is it? And hell is a pretty good metaphor for what humans have done to the planet.

      (disclaimer: yes of course Trump is horrible on climate issues, reason enough not to vote for Trump but not much of a reason to vote for Hillary)

    2. Pat

      True that, but I am still curious how McKibben thinks they can give her hell. All of the hold her feet to the fire folk need to outline strategies arm chair observers like myself cannot demolish without having to exert ourselves. If we know how little that hell or fire will mean to Clinton and her lackeys, so must they.

      Just as hundreds of thousands in the street have barely moved our ‘betters’ on things like illegal police force and shootings (or invading a country), name one thing outside of denying Clinton the White House which will get her attention away from serving those people willing to give millions to hear Bill Clinton mumble.

      1. meeps

        Pat @ 2:35 pm said, “…I am still curious how McKibben thinks they can give her hell.”

        This mystifies me, too. He writes, “Even the sight of attack dogs being used on peaceful Native American protesters didn’t move her to break ranks with her industry allies and that fraction of the labor movement that still wants to build pipelines.”

        Oh, I see, Bill! You’ve convinced me! This time it’s gonna be different! We environmentalists (aka those whom she’d prefer “get a life”) are going to win the heart of this compassionate and sensible woman. We just need to elect her to give her the MANDATE she needs to get it done!

        I am at the limit of my patience for people–especially activists–who “advocate” this way. I keep thinking lately of Dark Helmet saying to Lone Star, “This is why evil will always triumph; because good is dumb.”

        And Jimmy Dore said something about being a nation of adult children of alcoholics. I think he’s on to something…

      2. uncle tungsten

        Bill, your desperation has crippled your mind. Clinton doesn’t give a sheet and the 2.5 degree critical point is already exceeded by the cascading factors of permafrost and methane hydrate evaporation. Why McKibben bothered to write this is beyond me as any fool can see that Clinton will not listen let alone do anything advocated by progressive people be they advocating social betterment, environmental conservation or human survival. She makes war, she makes profits she makes as much pollution as a coal mine and she makes her commission.

        Sociopaths are called that name for a very good reason.

    3. temporal

      Certainly protesting isn’t going to work because protesting is deplorable. Nor is anything else that attempts peer pressure, because we’re not her peers. Helpful hint to those that think this might work. She doesn’t even care what those close to the inner circle might think. Witness the DNC chair’s treatment after Lauder added an email server question to the vetted question list.

      People that are, for instance, anti-frackers are already known by her to be rooskie deep cover plants. She’s pro-environment in the sense that she wants to ingest clean food, drink clean water and breath clean air. Whether anyone else gets that kind of deal all depends on whether they can pay-to-play

      Exactly how does one make someone who’s entire career as been about trading corporate money for offers of support do something that doesn’t offer a kickback? A 300 dollar donation ain’t gonna cut it. Heck you can’t even get a picture with her for that.

      Perhaps they could stand outside the White House and cry. Yeah, that will do it.

      1. jrs

        well environmental terrorism and the like might work, but there’s usually a limited number of volunteers for that at any given time if that’s what the “hold her feet to the fire” people mean. Hold her feet to the Molotov.

    4. FluffytheObeseCat

      Climate change is one of (really the) main reason I’m voting for Clinton. Trump is casually, unthinkingly anti-environment, probably due to a dislike of ‘trust fund hippies’ that dates back ~40 years. I suspect he will do some of what he says: gut the EPA, de-fund renewables, etc. in his first years in office. After that his attention will wander. Once boredom and mental deterioration take over, his appointed paleocon-kook subordinates will really go to town. Their quasi-apocalyptic drill-it-all, burn-it-all agenda is what I fear, not so much Trump.

      None of our choices this year are young enough or well enough to pretend that those who surround them aren’t important. Each is very likely to be a one-term president. With Clinton, it will be one term of dreary, anti-middle class status quo regardless. With Trump it’s less clear, but he has garnered support from some of the eeriest nutjobs on the far right. He may get ego-massaged out of doing the few things I agree with and simultaneously sweet talked into righter-than-right domestic policies……….. because he doesn’t give much of shit about policy either way.

      1. Code Name D

        But as others have already argued, you can’t hold HRC’s feet to the fire. What ever she proposes will get huge support from the DNC, and even a good portion of the rank and file Democrats (ALA “We have to do something.”) and any opposition will be largely ignored and could even trigger reprisals.

        Trump may be no friend to the environment, but his policy’s will be far easier to oppose.

      2. no one

        You would vote for someone who as Secretary of State approved the Keystone pipeline, despite receiving 30,000 letters/petition signatures urging her not to? Whose chief of staff was heavily invested in the Canadian Tar Sands? Who apparently did not perceive any conflict of interest in her recommendation?

        This lady is no friend of the environment unless her donors are.

        Far, far worse than President “Keep all options on the table” Obama.

      3. JaaaaayCeeeee

        I agree with you, FluffytheObeseCat.

        It’s easy to say Hillary Clinton cares only about pay to play and has no intention to do more than some empty gestures for PR toward what we have to do to transition our energy system. Her policies have been put together specifically to prevent what we need to do, with her promises that she will not add a penny to the deficit, not raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 even if it meant everyone could spend half as much on health care.

        But although pressuring our branches of government, like getting past news media, will only be harder with Trump’s handlers increasing privatization of prisons, surveillance, police impunity and making 99% us even poorer.

    5. DarkMatters

      McKibben must think we have a participatory rather than a manipulatory democracy.

      The media will be behind her policies. Even street protests will be downplayed, the issue will be obfuscated by raising complexities and tradeoffs, and legislation and real changes will be hidden to whatever extent possible.

      Then, with appropriate hand-wringing about how difficult and necessary the decision was, the deal will be done.

      Did I miss anything in this familiar pattern?

  3. Roger Smith

    Wikileaks: The link works on my end Lambert

    Regarding Rubio, more demonstration of something I started (and left incomplete) writing about a few weeks ago: Honor Among Thieves.

    Regarding the statues: Yay, a win for Feminism… or something! This quote is particularly interesting:

    “This is my workplace. I have to look at this?” the upset woman said.

    Just one person mind you, but that general uneasy around a nude body, or rendering of one is sad.

    1. aj

      RE Liberal sensitivity: I recall recently several of my “liberal” Facebook acquaintances were posting nudes of Melania and then using those to argue that she didn’t have the decorum to be First Lady. Lost on them was the irony of Feminist Liberals body-shaming a woman for having taken nudes. This election more so than recent others I remember has really done a lot to reveal the disgusting us-vs-them team mentality behind politics. I’d never been accused of being a woman-hating misogynist until a Hillary supporter explained to me how it works. Obviously, there are no other good reasons for distrusting Hillary besides misogyny.

      1. Roger Smith

        Yes, I saw that too. Melania as a whole has been used as both liberal punching bag and sympathetic crutch. Honestly I feel terrible for her. A foreign model, probably mostly a high life type roller, etc…. being thrust into the bane of tabloid public existence. As soon as I heard he speak her accent or in the sort of broken English she seemed to have I immediately thought, “oh no…” Then…

        At first it was her lifting phrases from a terribly generic speech of Michelle Obama (shame!)
        Then it was that her education wasn’t valid or might not be or something (shame!)
        Then it was that she posed nude once before! SHOCK (SHAME!)

        Then it was, think of how she must feel! Trump is disgusting and she thinks so too. (Women!)

        I am getting lost here with whom I should be shouting at.

        I loved her defense of Trump with Cooper the other night. It was a sort of bite back at the liberal flies. Also I do think a lot of it was Billy Bush trying to establish that sort of tone and conversation. He seemed like the real rat in that encounter. He was the one who initiated awkward, forced physical contact, all so he could get in on it too.

        1. Anne

          I think the two of them deserve each other, in much the same way that the Clintons do. With the Trumps, there’s just so much shameless self-promotion, and I suspect Melania’s nude shots were as much for Donald to be able to brag about what a hottie he’d landed than anything else. Did she have the right to do the shots? Of course, but let’s not pretend this was some sort of feminist act.

          She did plagiarize from Michelle Obama’s speech. She did overstate her education. Maybe after being married to someone like Donald for what, 12 years, who views everything as an opportunity to say whatever he has to to promote himself, she’s just participating in the family business.

          Billy Bush is an asshat, but no one forced Trump to act like one, too. No one forced him to go on Howard Stern and talk about his daughter – or let Stern talk about her – the way he did. What kind of creep muses that if Ivanka wasn’t his daughter, maybe he’d be dating her?

          I think Melania has terrible taste in men, which isn’t a crime, but it does say something about her – I mean, he’s not honest, he’s grossly demeaning to women, may be a serial sexual predator, so what’s the attraction? It’s not that different from what we think about Hillary’s taste in men leaving a lot to be desired, for all the same reasons, except in her case, it seems like maybe they are partners in crime.

          1. frosty zoom

            so ms. clinton should marry mr. trump?

            awesome, just like daisy and gatsby.

            or, is it tom and myrtle?

            1. hunkerdown

              frosty, if they swing, what’s it matter? The peanut gallery is headed for a hypercube of f— in any case.

          2. hunkerdown

            Marriage isn’t about love. It’s about furniture. The only link between the two is Hallmark.

          3. Ted

            ‘Cause feminism was always about proving Prynne’s neighbors right. Get thee back in thy petticoats, foul woman!

    2. Praedor

      I’m uneasy with the very idea of a naked Hillary. Intense psychological shudders and physical illness proceeds.

      My easy/uneasiness around nudity depends on the attractiveness of the nude. Hideous is hideous.

      1. OIFVet

        I thought it was a very sweet depiction of Hillary, proving how much she cares. The way she was, ummmm, nurturing and nourishing the Wall St. suckling moved me to tears…

        1. craazyboy

          I think the artist was depicting Hillary and the Wall Street Banker starting off on their long trek to Main St, Hillary tripping over her e-mails then reaching out to Bernie Bro and building that healing bridge by exclaiming, “I am tired of hearing about my emails too Bernie! Let’s start a war with Russia!”

          But now I’m gonna go look for the Melania pics. I need something to cover up this image burned into my brain.

          1. OIFVet

            Dunno, the banker creature has his lips very close to her nip. It appears to me that she is both protecting him and nourishing him, much like she does in her released speeches. Or he could be pleasuring her (poor Huma spurned). Or both. Disturbing and libido-killing image any way you look at it.

          2. JTMcPhee

            Want a really brutal, impossible-to-extirpate mental image? How about Bill having sex with THAT woman, the love and honor and forsake all others one? (I wonder when was the last time that happened,in meat-space? Eeeaaaaghh!!!)

            Why does Hillary and the present tribalism that is the wind beneath her bat wings call into my mind some guy named Kim Jong Il and his posse?

            That’s POSSE, not the other word, folks…

      2. Roger Smith

        Ha! Yes, perhaps I was misreading the context of that quote.

        “I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!”

    3. Plenue

      She also said “because I find this offensive.” Okay, and…? I take the Stephen Fry position: being ‘offended’ isn’t even a statement, it’s a whine. The statue was on public property. You can call to have it taken down because of a lack of permit (which she also did), but your being upset does not magically imbue you with special legal privilege.

    4. jrs

      Did they get approval for the art installation? If not she’s as legitimate taking it down as the artists is displaying it. Yes indeed this is my workplace why do I have to look at it. This election and all the crap “art” it has produced needs to end. Of course the Trump statue was offensive, not because of anything Trump, but because of the larger issues.

  4. ProNewerDeal

    IMHO if Trump wants any chance at winning, he has to stay on topic, the topic being policy-based: HClinton has a genuine “private position” of being pro-SS & MC cuts, pro-TPP, & claim that he himself is anti. Perhaps add some other of the countless Podesta Wikileaks scandal, such that she knows Saudi funds 1SIS & she also gets funded by Saudi via the Clinton Foundation, so she would never confront her funder the Saudis.

    I doubt Trump will do this, I think he will be scatterbrained incoherent & focus mostly on bogus issues, ala Debates 1 & 2.


    1. Roger Smith

      I agree. If he had done that from the start he would be hammering her right now. I think he needs to focus on his two new proposals from this week, the Ethics Reform proposal and the Congressional term limits proposal (I think those are solid goals that any voter should be able to support). Hammer those into all the evidence against Clinton and why she is unfit, etc… etc…

      The plan practically writes itself. But Trump is his own worst enemy on that front. I thought he did pretty well at the last debate (in terms of the 2016 election and forcing Clinton to match his pace). But he still really needs to “stick it” with something substantial.

    2. Praedor

      Nonstarter. HE DOES NOT WANT TO WIN (he has never planned to win). This has always been a publicity stunt, a race he fully intended (and intends) to lose. This is why he NEVER apologizes but doubles down instead. His eyes have always been on the “what comes after the election” for expanding/profiting from his “brand”.

      This is why I just don’t get worked the way Hillbot fearmongers go on and on about how horrible Trump would be for the country as Prez. He will never be Prez so there’s nothing to fear. That fear is merely being exploited by Hillary and her putrid corruptons to ensure her own election.

      Hell, if the GOP had selected ANY other candidate that ran in the primaries, she would be LOSING right now. I daresay that even Ted Cruz would be handily beating her right now (due to the religious nuts going full-on for Cruz while millenials and thinking humans simply couldn’t get anywhere near enthusiastic enough to turn out to push Hillary over the top. C’mon! After all that Trump has said and done. After all the offense he has caused and continues to cause, Hillary is STILL in a close race according to polling! A GOOD candidate (say…Bernie!) would be EASILY far in the lead right now.

      1. Knot Galt

        Right. Even more the reason to elect him.

        It was all as the Dark lord has foreseen. I thought it was all about Rep vs. Dem until cuz Billy Bush got involved. I was pondering why Barbara Bush and Bush Sr. were voting for HRC and Jeb dropped out way to early. HRC had the nomination locked in a year ago. A vote for Trump is THE only vote for antiestablishment. Besides,the climate is cooked anyway.

        1. Jason

          My fear with that is if he abdicates all responsibility and lets Pence run things. They guy is like Dick Cheney with less charisma.

      2. Steve H.

        Praedor, I watched a Trump speech live the other night. He was kicking the crap out of her on corruption, the crowd was fired up the whole time.

        With rural/urban (maps to red/blue) population right about half-&-half, the CNN post-debate poll about Oct.2 listed ‘Rural: N/A’ on its demographic breakdown. I truly do not understand how those results can be valid, while looking like the sampling is strongly skewed for Clintons.

      3. Anon

        Even if one is to accept the premise that he doesn’t want to win, how do you bounce back from your brand being associated with various -isms and such? From a pure branding perspective, he’s probably lost several hundred million already.

    3. hemeantwell

      ” I think he needs to focus on his two new proposals from this week, the Ethics Reform proposal and the Congressional term limits ”

      Today in an article headline the Times announced the debate would be about sexual harassment.

      1. Synoia

        Times announced the debate would be about sexual harassment.

        Oh. Have the experts in the 1% on the matter written a how to book?

        1. craazyboy

          It’s not a book. It’s a fortune cookie. “Have fun, but no get caught. Else you fooked!”

          BTW: How many hours are left until we hear Trump say he’s cancelling?

    4. curlydan

      he’s a short-term salesman , rushed and dying for you to sign on the bottom line. he can’t stay very coherent over 90 minutes. He’ll start throwing out weird facts and not really answer the questions.

      A couple months ago, I really thought he’d win the debates, but logic and a well-honed and well-messaged attack aren’t his game.

    5. KurtisMayfield

      It’s the corruption stupid,

      He needs to say this over, and over, and over again. A vote for Clinton is a vote for corruption. She can try to hammer back with his business dealings, but the bottom line is that she has been using the government and her connection to it for personal gain. She has the biggest stink of it on her, and she knows it.

  5. grayslady

    Lambert, I tried the twitter links on my older Opera browser and had no problems. I use Windows 7 Pro.

    1. Roger Smith

      Lambert is reluctant to share because of O’Keefe’s past dealings (even Sean Hannity and Fox are). He seems like a rat.

      That said the first video regarding the intentional violence promoting at Trump rallies seems to make a very strong case. These are not videos where some hack strings together paper thin shreds of nothing. They have individuals at multiple levels and stations, repeating chain of commands, goals, and examples of work they have done, repeatedly and in corroboration with each individual secret recording.

      I suppose it could be an elaborate setup, but the two higher level individuals (Scott Foval/Robert Cremer) have already “resigned” and even Obama’s Press Secretary commented on it during Q & A when it was discovered he met with Obama a number of times according to the White House visitor logs.

      I am eager to hear refutations of the material other than the source.

      1. fred

        Creamer is the husband of Illinois Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky. A point not being made in the MSM either nor how many visits he made to the White House. Just think of all this as climate change data for politics. Don’t blame the messenger for the bad news.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Lambert is reluctant to share because of O’Keefe’s past dealings

        No. I am, as readers should know by now, very suspicious of digital evidence in general, since it can be easily clipped and edited to convey false impressions. O’Keefe, in addition to his penchant for secret recordings — for which he was convicted in 2010 — has history of faking evidence by editing his videos (a practice not unknown in the Breitbart axis). What I’m “reluctant” to do is pollute the NC comment section with fakery. It has nothing to do with his “dealings.” Heck, I’ve been known to quote Nooners and Patrick Buchanan and The American Conservative!

        Personally, I find the story the videos tell quite plausible, but plausible isn’t the same as true. I want receipts.

  6. RMO

    Why would the Dem party really want a majority in ether house? When they did have a veto proof super majority for a time they had to twist themselves into knots making excuses as to why they still couldn’t do the wonderful things for the country that they really, really want to do – and would were it not for the dastardly Republicans. As long as they hold a large minority of seats and the White House they can cash in quite well and never have to actually do much to help the majority of the citizenry and in doing so upset those who actually own the party.

    A truly progressive economic program wouldn’t just win over most of Trump’s “white, working class voters” but a huge majority of voters in the U.S. as has been shown over and over again in polls. It would also greatly improve the U.S. and the world in general. Funny how the idea seems to be untouchable by both major parties and the big-budget media isn’t it? One would think that in a democracy, a good idea with wide support would become government policy pretty quickly…

    Does anyone else out there think that Trump’s instincts are telling him that winning the presidency would be a real drag? It seems to me that whoever wins is going to be sitting downwind of the great fan while the feces hit it for the next four years at least. If he loses but makes it a fairly close run thing he gets to cash in (monetarily and in an ego-stroking sense), have a whale of a time criticizing every horrible thing an HRC administration does and not have to actually work at being president in what is sure to be a tough future and in a hostile environment.

    If I were a U.S. citizen I would be looking for a “Don’t Blame Me: I Voted For Kodos” bumper sticker and T-shirt right now.

    1. Praedor

      The argument I make against Dems holding either Senate or House is simple and factually correct:

      When the Dems are in the majority in either or both houses, the GOP calls the shots. When the GOP is in control of either or both houses, the GOP calls the shots.

      The GOP ALWAYS effectively kneecaps the Dems in the senate with faux filibusters. For EVERYTHING (the “you need 60 votes to pass ANYTHING” bullshit). Reid and company have managed to take something – the filibuster – that USED to be difficult, unpleasant, and RARE, and turned it into something so painless and simple that the question becomes, “why NOT ‘filibuster’?” A “filibustering” GOP goes home every night, goes out for cocktail parties, goes golfing, bangs their mistresses or boytoys, etc, all while “filibustering”. This isn’t something they showed in “Mr Smith Goes to Washington”.

      It IS Reid’s and Dems’ fault. They get control of the Senate and, by the rules, they could change the rules of filibuster at the start but they always fail to do so. They don’t even CONSIDER doing so. They LIKE it the way it is. That way, when they are “in control”, they aren’t. They don’t have to actually produce results for the people they claim to “represent” and, instead, get to produce results for the non-people (corporations) that they DO represent.

    2. Pat

      My only disagreement with your assessment is that I do believe the Democrats want one house of Congress, Senate. Here’s the thing, while the President does have the bully pulpit Congress drives the legislative agenda. Not to mention that the Senate can make doing those things you want to do for your sponsors, need to do for your sponsors much harder, largely by denying your ability to put the people in place to drive that. So you want the Senate for nomination approval AND to continue the front that it is only the big bad Republicans blocking you from doing what the voters want. A divided Congress means both major parties can get some publicly beloved idea into legislation and watch it die (like they all want).

      Mind you I think everyone should be sporting t-shirts with a ballot that has boxes for Clinton, Trump, and the only checked box “Dropping both Trump and Clinton into the nearest active volcano and asking the gods for forgiveness.”

    3. Ché Pasa

      Which is why a D Pres with an R Cong doesn’t result in gridlock over the Important Things — wars and empire and plunder at home and abroad and things like that. The Rs and Ds are mostly in agreement about the Important Things, so they will get done, no doubt about it.

      There may or may not be a 9th (or 6th or 7th or 8th depending on how many retire) Supreme Court Justice, but for all intents and purposes, the SCOTUS is as functional and “conservative” as it needs to be.

      A first order of business of an R House will likely be Impeachment Follies, but that’s entertainment, just as it was the last time. It’s a ratings bonanza for the media cartels, so they’ll be in heaven. Hillary and her team had better be ready, and Trump TeeVee will make billions and billions! The gleam of gold beyond measure is in his eye. Why would he want to bother with being President?

      The Republic will be effectively dismantled once and for all though the empty husk will still be cited as “the greatest democracy in the history of the world.” Maybe when the head of state and government is called Caesar, Kaiser, Czar, or some sort of Americanized equivalent, one of his sons will seize the crown. Who can say?

      This will probably be the last genuine election for President, even with the abundance of electoral fraud that is bound to happen. Notice Trump is only talking about the kind of voter fraud that is vanishingly rare, not about the ease with which results can be so easily jiggered — if the voters don’t produce a pleasing outcome for the owners on their own.

      And so it goes…

      1. Ian

        The election ended for me at the end of the primaries. I see nothing genuine about this election outside of contempt for the electorate, which is bipartisan.

      2. polecat

        Can we little ‘peopleTM’ have a beneficent dictator now ??

        How ’bout we try that n see if that works …… anyone ?………….Khan ??

    4. KurtisMayfield

      A Democrat control of Congress effectively sacrifices Social Security. If the Republicans are in charge their fear of being primaried will keep them from working with her. We want gridlock.

  7. jrs

    The Russians are even invading our gardens and their pollen uh I mean propaganda is being spread by not just Wikileaks but bees themselves. What to do, what to do? No fly zones for the bees already I say!

    1. temporal

      Honey bees are an invasive species originally from Europe, which might as well be Russia, so using corporations to wipe them out via pesticides is patriotic.

    2. cocomaan

      Interestingly enough, Russian genetics are prized among beekeepers since the strain evolved close enough to the varroa destructor mite (originally from Korea) that it has some good resistance and hygienic behavior. Varroa mites are the worst honeybee parasite by far, probably responsible for millions of hive deaths.

      Someone in my beekeeping club did say that Russian strain does strange things, like hide virgin Queens. I wasn’t sure if he was making an Anastasia joke or what. But they are frugal with their winter stores, so good overwintering, and tend to be quite prolific.

      So the invasion has already begun. It was already started by the USDA, in fact.

      1. polecat

        Trachea mites are pretty bad as well …..

        I’ve heard the Russian strains can be kind of surly …. which is the reason I haven’t tried them out …seeing as I’m a ‘backyard’ beekeeper, with close neighbors ……

  8. Waldenpond

    “Clinton’s up 49-28 percent [with younger voters]. But 76 percent of Trump supporters say they’ll vote, compared to 68 percent of Clinton backers”

    hmm, 49*.68=33 turnout versus .76*28=21. I was expecting Clinton by 10. Younger voters are one of her strongest groups so maybe a little closer than 10 but still seems on track.

  9. Waldenpond

    Isn’t one disproven by the other:

    “The Republican candidate’s misogyny has galvanized the feminist movement with more force and fury than any political issue in generations”

    “Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton are no more liked or disliked than when the year started, nor have more people come to view the prospect of their election with optimism,

  10. Waldenpond

    Personal Internet Service:

    After WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s internet service was cut off by the Ecuadorian embassy where he is holed up, one man sought to bring the internet back for the cloistered Queenslander.

    Armed with a bullhorn and a sign that reads “Julian Assange’s Personal Internet Service,” Canadian comedian Bobby Mair has been standing outside the embassy shouting the news of the day to Assange.


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Can he have a pigeon carrier take a smartphone over the wall and into his apartment inside the embassy?

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Something about the comment indicating Assange’s Internet service had been severed frightened me. For a while the suggestion he may have been killed or grabbed was part of that fear. Finding out more and reflecting on it — the timing of this action by Ecuador coincident with the looming Presidency of Hillary (sufficiently frightening in its own right) seems a very ill omen for the kind of freedoms we might enjoy in tomorrow’s America. To me the event suggests Hillary is a more frightening prospect for countries like Ecuador than Obama has ever been.

      1. hunkerdown

        His backup link was in place quickly enough afterward and (importantly) his Internet usage no longer implicates Ecuador in what Samantha Power is well-paid to sell as the appearance of election tampering. Sometimes you just have to tell the senile and declining aristocrats what they want to hear so they get out of your way.

        Of course, it’s important to remember that the world of diplomacy is a parlor game designed to make the useless and effete feel important and virile.

        1. Waldenpond

          What backup link? I see evidence of contingency plans in that the data is still being released but none that Assange himself has internet access. Wondering why people are planning on going to the embassy and providing Assange access via internet hotspots. ophotspots.

          1. hunkerdown

            I made the mistake of not correcting Assange’s tweet for megalomania. Sorry. Perhaps it was only a “link” in the most aspirational of senses (e.g. Twitter still accepts his SMSes).

  11. LT

    Mckibbin says elect Hillary and then fight to make her do whatever.

    Wimpy liberals don’t fight these days, they just fall in line.

    Shouldn’t you start with an ally that is already with you and then put up a fight?
    Why fight the alleged ally first (which takes up time), then have to fight again?
    Once again, the logic of lesser evilism…one tiny itty bit step (or fake) forward, five giant steps backwards.

    1. cocomaan

      McKibben is celebrating early on the pipeline:

      We’ve forced Clinton to say through gritted teeth that she opposes Keystone, for instance. She can’t, I think, go back on that.

      Ya think? Has she kept her word about anything ever? Besides, I never found the pipeline question all that compelling, given that it’s just replaced with rail and trucking.

      1. LT

        The people who are voting for Hillary are scared and the people voting for Trump are mad.
        They can’t face the truth because they can’t look their kids in the eyes and say “You’re screwed.”

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Furthermore, De mortuis nil nisi bonum

            I believe the same respect should be afforded the dying as well as the dead.

            Calling the dying deplorables is a disgrace, even if they fail to condemn any sexist remarks.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Publicly, she had to say it through gritted teeth.

        Privately, it was less physically demanding to say her personal position.

  12. hemeantwell

    “Policy wonk. Pragmatist. Truth-twister. There are many versions of Clinton—and we’ll need them all to navigate the political chaos unleashed by Trump” [The New Republic].

    Like most advertised commodities, she creates a need for herself. And, then, [the unavoidable comparison] Hitler was supposedly needed to control the political chaos produced by his party.

  13. Matthew G. Saroff

    I cannot speak to the lichen, which is both an algae and a fungus living as symbiots, but magic mushrooms are a fungus, not a plant.

    There are in different kingdom toxonomically speaking.

  14. DarkMatters

    Just out of curiosity, is there any info on this episode from Assange himself? Irrational sceptic that I am, I do feel a little unsettled that all the reports are about him rather than from him.

    Does anyone know of some direct info, say from a trusted acquaintance?

    1. DJG

      Knifecatcher: The whole exchange is remarkable. Tanden and Podesta are all in a twist because Hillary referred to herself as a moderate and they want her to flog the word progressive (the latest meaningless buzzword, but handy). In the current political spectrum, a “moderate” is a Goldwater Girl, somewhere to the right of Obama and to the left of McCain, that narrow political space where our politicians live and where the rest of us suffocate.

      But “what planet”? Wowsers. Is Hillary taking some of them there opioids that are addicting all of the hillbillies and Trumpists? Is Hillary just too ethereal, ever contemplating the music of the spheres with her friends from Laputa and the University of Chicago Law School? Or is Hillary just “out to lunch,” literally and figuratively? One must speculate.

      1. aab

        I’m one who believes Clinton is severely cognitively impaired due to some neurological condition, and has been for a while. But I thought Tanden just meant, “She’s supposed to be pretending to be from planet progressive for the time being.”

  15. Synoia

    The Climate Movement Has to Elect Hillary Clinton—and Then Give Her Hell

    The non-climate movement will give the Clinton Foundation money.

    Corruption 101: Having a non-profit foundation to accept bribes.

    Who wins?

    1. Knot Galt

      McKibben should channel Kunstler. He is either utterly delusional or somehow, HRC has his left nut sack in her iron grips. He did a great job fighting for Bernie’s platform before the DNC convention. But now, he is not even campaigning for her and he thinks a published article is going to help him with access to a HRC administration? Get Real, McKibben. I have more faith in the reality of climate change exacting needed energy reform than electing any president.

    1. Uahsenaa

      It may just be me, but Schumer seems to be saying more along the lines of a grand bargain, in which, as is usually the case, the Dems trade away the farm for discounted snack plate they can feed to pwogwessives as a bountiful feast.

  16. alex morfesis

    national pronographic HOLC…dont be sad sea-nyor lambert…the rewriting of history continues…studied the HOLC in the mid 90’s…if you will notice the maps are from 1935 and later…those maps are actually the bankers sitting down After the HOLC had already done its work…

    HOLC did not “make” any loans…it purchased the non rolled over 5 year mortgage notes that had come due between 1929 and 1934, bailing out loan pools(who refused to give back the money to investors, forcing the creation of the Trust Indenture Act)…did you say…OPA…

    those are Federal Home Loan Bank Board(banker) maps…

    the HOLC had already done 90% of its work before 1935…the loans were extended for 15 years…have not found any actual discrimination in respects to the areas I looked at, including harlem and the black metropolis(chicago)…black home ownership ratios were somewhat low back then and nothing I have seen showed a material adjustment to those ratios…

    Revisionist history…

    dont blame the bankers…it was FDR…except it wasn’t…at least in terms of actual roll overs…is it possible that black folks had already lost their homes by 1933…yes…but from the period when the HOLC actually did most of its work…1933-1935…not much there to hold water to the theory…

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Ah, interesting. Thanks! So would be correct to say that the banks/real estate intitiated redlining, but that HOLC’s work was done by the time those maps were made?

  17. frosty zoom

    the debate is in vegas.

    aren’t all the big shows there lip-synced?

    regardless, i’m voting copperfield.

    Copperfield/Roy ’16 – @$#% You, Siegfried!

  18. Pelham

    Re “Australia’s biggest business organisation has distanced itself from claims the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and be a ‘gigantic foundation stone’ for Australia’s future”

    When our fearless leaders roll out these grand plans for trade agreements, welfare reform, healthcare reform, “entitlement” reform or whatever and make equally grand promises about jobs and benefits and whatnot, why can’t we demand that the results stack up to their promises?

    In other words, there should be a routine sunset provision for each such initiative. Leaders should be required to set a time frame for all their promised benefits to appear and if the benefits don’t measure up, then their grand policy reforms are automatically repealed.

    1. HotFlash

      That the guy who says NBC edited the G Zimmerman 911 tapes to make it ‘appear’ that GZ was a racist? Why yes, yes it is! If’n you really, really wanna know, check the YouTube, you can watch the whole thing or just start around 6:55.

  19. OIFVet

    The top-3 cities with most rats, according to Orkin:
    1. Chicago
    2. New York
    3. Washington D.C.

    Little surprise there. Chicago is home to Rahm Emanuel and the 0bamas. New York is home to the Wall Street. And DC has the Congress and the lobbying firms in a mutually beneficial 69.

    1. DJG

      OIFVet: The problem here in Chicago, as you know, is that the infrastructure is falling apart and maintenance is poor. Garbage pickup is worse than ever. Even the streets of the Loop have a layer of trash that floats along in the wind. Fortunately, the squirrels are quicker at picking up most of the food, and up north, we have coyotes, which must find many tasty snacks. Otherwise, the rodentine rats would be more in evidence.

      As for Edw. Burke, and his ilk, that kind of rat is harder to eradicate.

      But everyone will go on fighting over whether ketchup is allowed on a hot dog. Chicago is the city that choked on its own P.R.

      1. OIFVet

        Indeed, The Machine is here to stay. Matter of fact it grows stronger as our property taxes skyrocket. So much to steal, so little time…

        I draw the line at ketchup though. Most of the stuff is diabetes waiting to happen. Give me mustard or give me death.

        1. HotFlash

          Re “Bee toils in Russian sage.” Seems like anthromorphism to me. Not the acceptible kind (altruistic animals, yada). Bees do not ‘toil’ the way we think of toil == they just do what they do, and the result is hone, and beeswax, and pollinated plants — maybe more, of which I do not know. But ‘toil’? That’s *work*! As in, what we have to be coerced to do. Work should be fun! As in, growing food, making beautiful things, raising our children, teaching and learning, caring for our elders — what is this ‘toil’ of which you speak? Oh yeah, that’s what I gotta do every day to buy enough time to do some of those other things that I really wanna do.

            1. polecat

              Yummmm ….maybe I should become a black sea bee keeper ….. uh oh, now I’ve done it …… Please mr. NSA I was only kidding ….honest !!

              oh ….. and PUTIN !!!!

  20. Rosairo

    The CNN headline “Rubio rejects Wikileaks” is absurd. What is there to “reject”? The leaks aren’t theories, they are reality. Oh wait, there is the slip. Rubio rejects reality.

  21. ambrit

    Thrush should read “Naked Lunch?” I’d vote for him reading and internalizing “Last Exit to Brooklyn.” Now there’s a good description of this years political extravaganza.

    1. diptherio

      Last Exit….I thought I was beyond being shocked by literature, until I picked that book up. Not one I’m rushing to read a second time, although it is undeniably some sort of twisted masterpiece.

  22. petal

    Received letter in the mail today from the NH Dem Party. It was a form letter from Bernie Sanders saying how we should support Maggie Hassan against Kelly Ayotte for Senator. If anyone is interested in the text, let me know.

  23. ewmayer

    The Bezzle: “Disney Dropped Twitter Pursuit Partly Over Image” [Bloomberg]. Yes, I can’ see a Disneyfied Twitter. — It’s bad enough that they’ve already Disneyfied so much other stuff, even including my beloved Jeopardy! (a venerable ABC franchise), which now contains mandatory daily questions and even whole categories referencing “Disney IP”.

    1. polecat

      Disney was always, and foremost, a propaganda factory … in the guise of a mouse (or an ugly old hag, if that’s your preference) ….!

  24. diptherio

    Twitter’s really a commons. Too bad there’s no way to run it like that

    Actually, there is:


  25. allan

    California attorney general leads criminal probe of Wells Fargo bank [AP]

    California’s attorney general is conducting a criminal investigation into whether employees at San Francisco-based Wells Fargo bank committed false impersonation and identity theft in the sales practices scandal that rocked the bank and cost its CEO his job, documents released Wednesday show.

    A search warrant and supporting affidavit released by the state Department of Justice show that agents sought evidence related to allegations that bank employees created up to 2 million bank and credit card accounts without customers’ approval in order to meet sales goals.

    The warrant, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, was served Oct. 5 as Attorney General Kamala Harris runs for the U.S. Senate in next month’s election. …

    Good policy makes good politics. An idea which seems to be lost on many Dems.

    And good for Harris. Maybe she can partly make up for having signed onto the national mortgage settlement.

    1. aab

      I know someone who works for her who despises her, says the whole office does. Does no work, other than necessary political apple polishing. Didn’t Yves say Wells’ biggest problem is that it isn’t inside the Clintonian borg, so there’s no one to protect it?

      I’m now so cynical I assume she’s doing this because Sanchez is rising in the polls. But I can’t imagine why that would be. The only reason to vote for Sanchez is to protest the fact that our jungle primary system means we can only pick between two corporate Democrats for the seat, one from the Mean Girls clique, one to play Washington Generals center.

      Still glad it’s happening. Perhaps whoever takes over the AG spot in January will actually do something with it.

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      You could ask why it took her so long. It’s great and all, but she also happens to be running for the US Senate. Not that this would make much of a difference as she has a comfortable lead.

      But wouldn’t it be refreshing, if only once or twice in awhile, to have a politician lead from the front rather than the rear?

  26. Plenue

    The rats are beginning to flee the doomed cause in Aleppo: 150 militants took up the offer of the Syrian government and abandoned a fairly significant amount of territory in exchange for transport to Idlib.

    Meanwhile there are increasing reports of large numbers of ISIS troops fleeing Mosul, and Iraqi militia are complaining about how the US is conspicuously not bombing them (the Iraqi air force is doing what they can). Russia has halted all airstrikes over Aleppo and repaired an airbase near Palmyra from which they’re now flying scores of sorties against ISIS in eastern Syria.

    I was still holding out some hope that the US wouldn’t be so stupid and bold as to openly support ISIS by allowing them to escape Iraq, but clearly I was wrong.

  27. Daryl

    > A newly discovered species of lichen from Ecuador…

    It’s also interesting to me that it is used to curse people. It flies in the face of modern neo-psychedelia perceptions of native psychedelic use, wherein the psychedelics are some sort of sentient and benevolent force that cause themselves to only be used for good.

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