2:00PM Water Cooler 10/21/2016

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By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, Twitter is down for me, and so I can’t grab a number of links for 2016 that are embedded in tweets. If Twitter comes up in a reasonable amount of time, I’ll update. –2016


CETA, earlier: “Late-night talks failed to break the deadlock over a landmark EU-Canada trade deal, as Belgium’s Wallonia region reiterated its objections” [BBC]. “The 28 EU leaders will discuss the draft Ceta deal shortly in Brussels…. Walloon PM Paul Magnette is to hold further talks with Canada’s International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland on Friday, Belgian RTBF News reports. Mr Magnette said: “We sense a willingness among our Canadian friends to make more concessions.”

CETA, later: “Canada’s Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland left the talks in Brussels, saying the EU was ‘not capable’ of signing a trade deal even with Canada” [BBC]. Ouch! “It was unclear whether the EU would keep negotiating with Wallonia in coming days to solve the impasse.”

TISA: “Today is the day that could determine whether the Trade in Services Agreement can actually come together by the end of this year. Participating countries are expected to put forward revised market access offers, with all eyes on whether the European Union will come close to matching the market openings it gave to Canada through a separate trade deal between Brussels and Ottawa” [Politico]. (Politico writes as if CETA were a done deal.)

TPP: “TPP’s biggest foe in the House, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, made it clear to John Podesta that Hillary Clinton must oppose a lame-duck vote on the deal, according to a hacked email released by WikiLeaks” [Politico]. “‘Clarity, opposed, no claw backs, no dense murky language — just flat out. No lame duck vote,’ DeLauro wrote in the message, adding that the issue ‘moves the political, electoral needle.'” Dense murky language?! Shocked, shocked. Also note that even Politico, despite all the frothing and stamping from the Clinton campaign and its paid operations, treats the emails as credibie.

TPP: “Japan’s parliamentary debate on the Trans-Pacific Partnership turned into a shouting match Wednesday after the agriculture minister suggested the ruling coalition force a vote on the U.S.-led trade deal, with the rancor threatening the government’s timetable for ratification” [Nikkei]. Can our Japan watchers say whether shouting matches in the Diet are in any way unusual? And: “The standoff is disrupting other legislative matters as well. The ruling coalition on Wednesday gave up on its goal of ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change by the end of the week. It instead will give priority to the TPP debate.” Priorities!

TPP: “Is Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal really as dead as Trump and Clinton say it is?” [South China Morning Post]. “‘I think being candidates and being presidents are two very different things. We’ve had a lot of examples in the past,’ said Elizabeth Economy, director for Asia studies at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. ‘People who say they’re going to do one thing when they’re campaigning end up doing the exact opposite once they’re sitting in the White House.’… Several Chinese diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also expressed doubts that the winner of next month’s election would scrap the TPP, despite pledges to that effect by both Trump and Clinton. ‘Once in a while, we’ll see this kind of public sentiment against free trade and globalisation and naturally candidates just want to tap the voters’ mood,’ one diplomat in Washington said. ‘We don’t believe such anti-trade and anti-TPP sentiments will last long after the next president is sworn in.'”


Days until: 17.

Debate Wrapup

UPDATE Wowsers:

There’s so much wrong with this, starting with the grotesque cultural appropriation, and moving to the fact that Ali went to jail for opposing a war.

“Juan Cole: Sec. Clinton pledges not to put US troops into Iraq ‘as an occupying force.’ It just baffles me that she would say this. There is no prospect of the US occupying Iraq again. President Obama put 6,000 US troops, mainly trainers and special operations forces, into Iraq at the request of Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi. The question is whether those troops will remain after Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) is rolled up as a territorial entity. She says that keeping US troops in Iraq would cause a revival of Daesh (because Iraqi nationalists wouldn’t put up with them), but it isn’t clear that she is saying that she won’t keep the 6,000 spec ops troops there. The ‘occupying’ adjective muddies the waters because it is such a strange concept at this juncture” [Informed Comment]. And then this:

Clinton’s ‘no fly zone’ in Syria might have made sense in 2013. But Russia is now in Syria and controls its air space, and Russia has nuclear weapons. There is no way to do it now.

Wallace followed up on this point. Clinton replied that she would negotiate the no fly zone with the Russians and the Syrians. But there is no prospect that they would agree to any such thing, and Syria is now a Russian sphere of interest.

Why keep hitting this point when it is impractical and has been made irrelevant by developments on the ground?

Clinton was secretary of state, so why is she so flat-footed on these foreign policy issues? Why even bring up occupying Iraq? Why suggest a no fly zone in Syria that can’t be implemented. It is baffling.

Cole misses that when Wallace asked her if she’d shoot down a Russian plan that violated the no-fly zone, she dodged.

UPDATE “The final debate matchup Wednesday night between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump brought in 71.6 million viewers, beating the second contest in the ratings but failing to top the record-setting first debate, according to Nielsen” [Wall Street Journal].


“Hacked emails reveal internal disagreement among top aides to Hillary Clinton about her determination to hold a Clinton Foundation summit in Morocco that later drew attention over its reliance on large financial pledges from foreign governments” [AP]. “Clinton aide Huma Abedin bluntly wrote in the January 2015 email that “if HRC was not part of it, meeting was a non-starter” and then warned: ‘She created this mess and she knows it.'” We wrote about the Morocco conference in 2015. The last paragraph:

In August, former President Bill Clinton said that if his wife is elected, the family’s foundation would no longer accept any donations from foreign governments or corporations, or from U.S. companies.

Plenty of time to unwind all the deals before 2020.

Our Famously Free Press

“But none of this is to say that anyone’s hands are clean. Of course journalists are shilling for Clinton – and of course they’re doing it in a way that gives them plausible denial. I know this is true of particular journalists, but I also know this because I’ve built political messaging operations myself” [Carl Beijer]. “By keeping transactions informal or implicit and communications indirect, campaigns can exercise an extraordinary amount of control over the press. Journalists, meanwhile, are constantly presented with new, innovative and pathetically unethical ways to sell out. And they do.”

Speaking of which–

The Voters

“Obama, Holder to lead post-Trump redistricting campaign” [Politico]. “The new group, called the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, was developed in close consultation with the White House. President Barack Obama himself has now identified the group — which will coordinate campaign strategy, direct fundraising, organize ballot initiatives and put together legal challenges to state redistricting maps — as the main focus of his political activity once he leaves office.” Shaking my head.

“Donald Trump Can’t Undermine American Democracy Because It Barely Even Exists” [Foreign Policy]. “Toss in racial gerrymandering, interest group politics, campaign finance rules that give disproportionate political clout to the rich, and a bizarre and often discriminatory patchwork of state voter registration rules, and what you end up with is modern America: an oligarchy in which almost half of eligible voters don’t even bother to go to the polls.”

“Populism can descend through several circles of hell into fascism and Nazism. Yet, it can also be a cry of despair, of frustration, an appeal for help couched in the language of rejection and aggression. Democrats can beat populists, and usually have, by attending to what underlies the surface ugliness. That’s likely to happen in the United States” [Reuters]. No, it isn’t.

UPDATE “We are faced with a presidential election between a parody fascist and a breathing embodiment of liberalism’s vaguely enlightened trepidations, the latter’s marginal superiority achieved mainly by way of not being an incompetent or a rapist” [Newsweek]. Newsweek, mind you. But see below–

UPDATE Since Hillary Clinton has a double digit lead in the polls, she doesn’t need the votes of so-called left and progressive activists. But those activists have their own needs. They need to build their own political home, their own political party” [Black Agenda Report]. “If Stein and Baraka get five percent of the vote in November, ballot access for Greens will be a done deal in most states, and the possibility of additional federal campaign funds in presidential years opens as well. So the only ways for left and progressive activists to waste their votes is to stay home, or to give them to Hillary. The only place where your vote matters this year is with the Green Party.

War Drums

“The Foreign-Policy Elite Are Extremely Ready for More War in Syria” [New York Magazine]. “In an election cycle that has pushed American politics to new heights of partisan acrimony, the Washington foreign-policy elite has represented a singular bastion of bipartisan comity. A large segment of the GOP’s neoconservative wing broke with Donald Trump in the early days of his general-election campaign. A significant number took shelter in Hillary Clinton’s coalition, where they’ve gotten along amiably with liberal interventionists who share their belief that Obama has betrayed America’s obligation to lead. That point of agreement has now been ratified in a flurry of new reports — from an array of think tanks that span partisan divide — all calling for an escalation in U.S. military involvement in the Syrian civil war.” Not that I’m foily, but it the entire Clinton campaign looks to me like it’s laying the groundwork for war; not only Clinton’s known hawkishness and propensity for fomenting war (Iraq, Libya, Honduras), but demonizing Putin, and framing opponents as traitors as a prelude to suppressing any domestic opposition.

“Washington’s foreign policy elite breaks with Obama over Syrian bloodshed” [WaPo]. “The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy, via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House.” The headline is a little ambiguous, but I take it to mean that the elite wants more bloodshed.


Indiana: “350 Rexnord workers found out Friday the company plans to move to Mexico” [WHTR]. “Another 1,400 Carrier workers are expected to lose their jobs when that manufacturer shuts down and moves to Mexico, too.”

UPDATE Indiana: “Bayh didn’t stay overnight in Indiana condo once in 2010” [AP]. How you gonna keep ’em down on the farm, after they’ve seen DC…

“Many GOP Senate candidates have so far held steady against the weight of Trump. But their campaigns enter a new and difficult phase now that the final debate is in their rear view. With Clinton ahead by significant margins in the polls, Democrats have the knives out for down-ballot Republicans. And Trump, who could face further slides in the polls after this week’s debate, is running like he has nothing to lose” [RealClearPolitics].

“Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have lavished an unusual amount of attention on rural northern Maine this election cycle because the state splits its two electoral college votes between its two congressional districts — one in the northern part of the state, the other in the south. The line that divides them is emblematic of the divides that have emerged this election cycle: urban vs. rural, college educated vs. not, well-off vs. working class, and Clinton vs. Trump” [WaPo]. “‘The southern part of the state usually speaks for the northern,’ but not this election year, said [Millinocket’s Tom] Leet, who plans to cast a ballot for Trump.” Still waiting for the Democrats to site a landfill in Cape Elizabeth…

Stats Watch

No stats released today.

Employment Situation: “Unemployment rates were significantly lower in September in 7 states, higher in 1 state, and stable in 42 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today” [Calculated Risk].

Rail: “Week 41 of 2016 shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) contracted according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. The weekly data at first glance was better than last week” [Econintersect]. “If coal and grain are removed from the analysis, rail has recently been declining around 5% – but this week was -6.6%. The contractions are across the board except grain and “other”. Rail is telling the Federal Reserve the REAL economy sucks and is not improving (as implied in this week’s Beige Book).”

Shipping: “China is to build a deepwater tanker port in Malaysia off the Malacca Strait, a key gateway for Chinese oil imports.The $1.9bn port, located on the coast of Malacca City, will be able to accommodate very large crude carriers” [Lloyd’s List].

Shipping: “Bankruptcy and restructuring stories dominated Splash once again this week with readers lapping up our reports on Hanjin, Flinter, Ezra, Swissco and Rickmers. We do indeed seem to have entered peak bankruptcy stage in the current shipping and offshore cycle.” [Splash 247]. The headline: “Reader interaction yielding plenty of fascinating insights,” so we’re not the only ones!

Apparel: “Devoid of Famous Faces and Collabs, Zara Shuns Celebrities for Speed” [The Fashion Law]. “In just over a decade, Zara’s parent company Inditex has become world’s largest fashion retailer…. The company’s business model – which is funded upon two core elements, stocking less merchandise and updating its collections often – is revolutionary. Zara disrupted the traditional two collection-per-year model by bringing out a large number of collections each season…. Zara’s most central strengths are control and timing. Its products make their way into stores (either online or in brick-and-mortar locations) in accordance with a formerly unheard of timetable because Zara produces them by itself and only continues to manufacture those products that sell the best within its stores. As a result, ‘customers of Zara know that if they like a garment, they have to buy it right away, because it can go out of stock and never come back,’ says [José Luis Nueno, professor of commercial management at the IESE Business School in Spain].” Very interesting company, though I’d like to know a lot more about wages and working conditions in its plants. Fast fashion is, after all, fast.

Retail: “Delivering fresh food is complicated and the one thing keeping Amazon and other tech companies from disrupting the grocery business. Most consumers still get their milk, produce and meat from Wal-Mart, Kroger and other traditional grocers. But while e-commerce has yet to take hold in the $800 billion U.S. grocery market, Amazon is betting that could change as millennials accustomed to shopping online enter their prime food-buying years” [Bloomberg]. Isn’t the grocery business extremely low margin?

Retail: “A major toy maker is taking action over concerns about the financial health of a big customer. Jakks Pacific Inc. has halted shipments of its products to Sears Holding Corp.’s Kmart chain, a troubling sign for the retailer from a supplier heading into the holiday season” [Wall Street Journal].

Retail: “Apple says it has been buying Apple chargers and cables labeled as genuine on Amazon.com and has found nearly 90 percent of them to be counterfeit” [Wall Street Journal, “Apple Says Many ‘Genuine’ Apple Products on Amazon Are Fake”].

Groaf: “Estimates suggest the new normal for U.S. GDP growth has dropped to between 1-1/2 and 1-3/4%, noticeably slower than the typical postwar pace. The slowdown stems mainly from demographics and educational attainment. As baby boomers retire, employment growth shrinks. And educational attainment of the workforce has plateaued, reducing its contribution to productivity growth through labor quality” [Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco]. Perhaps I should have filed this under Class Warfare…

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 36 Fear (previous close: 38, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 40 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 21 at 11:24am. Still hesitating on the brink!


“[A] critical issue in US food policy: Trade and industry groups have been free to shape nationwide health policy, with no clear laws governing against or even defining what might count as ‘inappropriate influence'” [Business Insider]. “‘Essentially it gives license to lobbyists, to people on advisory committees, to people who have very strong financial ties to products that are being considered. It leaves it completely open,’ said [Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University].”

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

“Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking” [Pro Publica].

“How to remove yourself from the Internet: A 5-step guide to going MIA online” [Mic].

“The U.S. Government Wants to Read Travelers’ Tweets Before Letting Them In” [The Intercept]. Trying to make the whole country a walled garden.

Our Famously Free Press

“Global spending on newspaper print ads is expected to decline 8.7% to $52.6 billion in 2016, according to estimates from GroupM, the ad-buying firm owned by WPP PLC. That would be the biggest drop since the recession, when world-wide spending plummeted 13.7% in 2009” [Wall Street Journal, “Plummeting Newspaper Ad Revenue Sparks New Wave of Changes”]. “That decline is hitting every major publisher, increasing pressure on them to boost digital-revenue streams even faster to make up for lost revenue and, in some cases, even reconsider the format of their print products and the types of content they publish.”


“The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently published a paper about the chance of an earthquake that would include the Hayward and Rodgers Creek faults simultaneously. Earlier studies suggest the results could cost 6,000 lives and $8 billion in infrastructure and building damage. The effects, depending on the size of the earthquake, could be much worse” [247 Wall Street].

“Global wine production is expected to fall by 5% in 2016 because of ‘climatic events’ causing steep drops in production in most of the southern hemisphere, particularly Chile and Argentina” [Guardian]. “”Across the world, scientists have found that each degree centigrade of warming pushes grape harvests forward roughly six or seven days,” the report said. This phenomenon could eventually make pinot noir grapes unsuitable for many parts of Burgundy, according to a 2011 study by the climate scientist Yves Tourre.”

“There is a small but growing movement across the country to re-educate people about alternatives to the big, expensive funeral industry: home funerals and death midwifery. Death midwives almost all of them women, are spearheading the movement. Not unlike the way a birthing midwife works with a pregnant woman, a death midwife (sometimes called an end of life guide, or death doula) supports a person through the process of dying, helping them prepare mentally, emotionally and logistically for the upcoming event. They counsel the dying through their fears, concerns and questions, and help plan the ceremony for after their death” [Alternet].

Guillotine Watch

“How do you get the best quality health care in the University of California’s renowned public medical system? Approaches vary, according to the campus, but at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center it’s a gold-colored wallet card with a personalized number to call. When flashed from a gurney in the ER (or at a club to impress friends), the card means one thing: The patient in question is a VIP” [Capital and Main]. “Welcome to the world of concierge medicine, UCLA-style.”

Class Warfare

“Perhaps what places like northern Indiana need is not innovation, but unnovation—to use a term coined by Boston-based journalist Ben Schreckinger. The idea is to resist the magical thinking that our little towns can ensure meteoric growth by trying to launch tech companies with virtually no resident tech talent. Forget Silicon Valley and Route 128 and the endless glorification of knowledge work (you might think of proto-Porcher Wendell Berry here): in the rustbelt, we need a return to economic roots. Schreckinger argues that non-urban Massachusetts—he might have said most of Indiana as well—should return to its traditional industries of farming and manufacturing, both of which have deep cultural roots (outside the big cities) as well as new technological tools” [The American Conservative].

News of the Wired

“Dyn Inc., a significant Domain Name Server that facilitates the loading of web pages, said service was restored at 9:20 a.m. New York time after a DDoS, or distributed denial of service, attack that left people without access to Twitter, Spotify, Reddit and The New York Times, among other sites” [Bloomberg].

“DDoS on Dyn Impacts Twitter, Spotify, Reddit” [Krebs on Security]. “The attack on DYN comes just hours after DYN researcher Doug Madory presented a talk on DDoS attacks in Dallas, Texas at a meeting of the North American Network Operators Group (NANOG). Madory’s talk — available here on Youtube.com — delved deeper into research that he and I teamed up on to produce the data behind the story DDoS Mitigation Firm Has History of Hijacks.

That story (as well as one published earlier this week, Spreading the DDoS Disease and Selling the Cure) examined the sometimes blurry lines between certain DDoS mitigation firms and the cybercriminals apparently involved in launching some of the largest DDoS attacks the Internet has ever seen. Indeed, the record 620 Gbps DDoS against KrebsOnSecurity.com came just hours after I published the story on which Madory and I collaborated.”


“Inside Microsoft’s quest for a topological quantum computer” [Nature]. “In most quantum systems, information is encoded in the properties of particles, and the slightest interaction with their surroundings will destroy their quantum state. This means they operate with a precision of maybe 99.9%, or what we call three nines. To do real problems, we need precision at the level of ten nines, so you need to create a massive array of qubits that allows you to correct for the errors. Topological quantum computing has the promise of reaching up to six or seven nines, which means we wouldn’t need to have this extensive and expensive error correction.”

“Why Twitter is a public space. And why it should be!” [Medium]. ” The fact that Twitter is a private company pursuing profit is, in a certain way, a legacy. It’s just the only institutional arrangement we can think of (or the one we chose) to put in place a short messaging service available to everybody (in the world). The role of Twitter in Ferguson (as so many other times in other places, like Iran, Egypt, Japan, etc) is truly, to some extent, that of a public service, as is the search engine from Google or the social networking of Facebook or the video-sharing through Vine. These are all social places, that will be as public as we let them be. I think it’s in our best collective interest that they are as public as they can be.”

* * *

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 (AH):


Rose hips.

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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. Pat

      Please god let some group entirely based in Thailand who never got near a Russian server claim it. Please, please, please.

      I can’t even joke about it anymore.

      1. Roger Smith

        Is anything tactically useful down? Or just a bunch of random, run of the mill services?

        I echo your hope. This stuff has gotten far out of control. We are getting GWB the 3rd, not Obama.

        WMDs, hacking, whatever, bomb them.

          1. Roger Smith

            That was the first thing I thought of, but it seems pretty extreme. I am thinking false flag (OMG RUSSIA!–says the CIA) is more likely.

            Or it was some 400lb guy in his underwear.

            1. jrs


              Really it could be anyone though, usually more organized than one person, especially why think governments rather than organized crime?

    2. justanotherprogressive

      It isn’t just the East Coast and it isn’t just twitter. And the outage is continuing at this time. I live in the west and twitter is down for me. Amazon is still up, but I haven’t checked other websites like Paypal, Netflix, Spotify, etc….

      But, yea, it MUST be the Russians (wink, wink)…

    3. temporal

      Welcome to the Internet of Things (IoT)

      California undoubtedly has lots of aspiring cool kids with smart light bulbs, security cameras and fridges that are all now members of the collective. I wonder when we will see law-enforcement tracing IP addresses to homes and knocking down doors.

      Down at the station house.

      Where were you between the hours of 8am and 5pm?
      Is this your fridge?
      Is this your washing machine?
      Did you know the company that was attacked?
      Do you have a problem with authority?

      1. craazyboy

        My toothbrush just deployed it’s propeller and hovered over with the “bedtime” blue LED blinking. Something is messed up.

      2. Tom

        Your alibi doesn’t check out. You weren’t at the restaurant from 7 to 9 PM — your refrigerator says you were busy at home eating a quart of Chunky Monkey ice cream!

    4. craazyboy

      Could be the Grand Caymanese. They’re the only one’s with technology no one can retaliate against? Panama has been suitably punished, so they’ve probably learned their lesson.

    5. Waldenpond

      I would laugh so hard if a selection of sites were shut down. Waaah! Assange won’t shut up! So Twitter, WL.org, Reddit, where else would make good spots to shut down discussion in these last days before the election. WL thought they had a good marketing gimmick going with the drip, drip and who knows… maybe a special event for C’s birthday? or creating a November surprise (I really liked that idea as it reflects how quickly info moves)

      The petty back and forth between C and WL on top is a sight.

        1. Waldenpond

          I am going to watch Stein on TYT and see if there is a discussion on policy. Cenk, new rule… the audience gets to respond.

          Q1: What did John Oliver get wrong? Words, cliche,cliche, etc.
          unleashed from these chains of endless debt.
          Q2: Detail of cancel school debt, depts involved, impact on economy of cancelling 1T?
          Plans get ripped up all the time, officials serve people or overlords. Money into economy, released to training, lead the way forward. (I hate when she talks like this. It’s just weak. Cenk actually has a discussion with Stein on this. Stein: QE on behalf of people instead of banks. C: would buy loans and never sell) Third parties bring up discussion. Cenk saved her on this.
          Q3: $500,000 gas station in Afghan, 6T missing. How will you ensure our tax money spent correctly and efficient? Eisenhower cliche, corruption, dept of offense not defense, failed states, refugees, 6T gone up in smoke, peace offensive, cut military budget to truly defense dept
          Q4: How would you scale down P budget,c ontrol corruption , demonstrate we can defend ourselves? Pay to play, influence pedaling, contracts weeded out, end revolving door, build a strong party as an alternativwe, r/d insist on silencing pol oppo, endless war, every war, cycle of war, shocking failure, all entities stronger, strategy massive catastrophic failure…. weapons embargo to ME, russians on board struggling w/budget and extremism, freeze bank accts fund terrorism… leading funder Saudi Arabia, can’t fight and fund, train, arm terrorism.
          Cenk: you’ll endanger our alliance with SA, gas prices up, are you willing to say your gas prices will go up but do deal? Stein: save on cost of military, emergency green energy job program.

          Still watching but the c-span item was better.

          1. Waldenpond

            QCenk: Russia destroying Aleppo. Stein: Stop beating war drums. NATO surround Russia, war games around russia, fake nucs as prep for war, Clinton virtual declaration of war no fly zone, Brzyenski neo-con has changed, Aleppo horrible US broke cease fire, we are not the bad guys, no good guys or bad guys, need honest brokers instead of tools of defense industry (Kerry good).
            QCenk: less war footing, were would you use force. Ex. Syria: Bagdadi, can we drone strike?
            A: Israel had Eichmann, they did not take him out, they complied w/inter law, captured, tried, paid price, world of laws or bullies, I would use a force were int law, when under imminent threat or under attack.
            Q: Special forces like they did with Bin Laden or no?
            A: SF acceptable in policing.
            Q:Judgment in court would you enforce.
            A: Inter respected rules Yes. Drones are assassination program. Mobilize population against us. No drones as a weapon of war.
            Q: Iraq/Syria: Our allies say they are advancing on Iraq what would you do. Brinkmanship, engage weapons embargo, US, Russia, allies. ISIS success supported by allies, cut that support by Saudis, hold Baghdad for weeks but reversed, blindly continue? Fails and creates next generation.
            Q: If Russia goes into Estonia to protect some Russians, what would you do?
            Communicate starting now, brinkmanship, surrounding Russia, reverse of Cuban missile crisis.
            Q: That’s long term, what is short term plan.
            A: Estonia member of NATO. Obliged by NATO contract. Bacevich-let NATO take care of Europe. Create truly defensible policy.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                My question, too. For example, if Stephanie Kelton were Stein’s nominee for Treasury, I wouldn’t worry so much about Stein’s views on what quantitiative easing can and cannot do.

                1. Yves Smith

                  I hate to be a critic of someone who has her heart in the right place. but agreed in spades. Brown so does not understand the Fed, money and banking that I sometimes wonder if she’s a plant to make people on the left spout ideas that will discredit them.

                  1. meeps

                    The Green Shadow Cabinet was around during the 2012 elections. They are placeholders for these positions though not yet official. I don’t know if all the ‘appointments’ are current (I see 2015 dates), so some of them may have changed.

                    Yves, I know you don’t need homework (thanks for all you do here), but if you have a moment and are so inclined, maybe contact the campaign with your concerns about Brown and offer an opinion as to why the choice discredits them or their aims? Or don’t. I realize your time and experience is valuable and more suited to remunerated advising than free opining.

                    In any case, didn’t Kelton endorse Clinton?

          2. Waldenpond

            Q6: Energy from coal etc. Stein: green new jobs etc.
            Q: push.. short term would you shut down the coal mines? Stein? 17 years to zero out fossil fuels. Emergency put people to work in other industries, solar, transportation, rail, or light rail or it’s curtains in a matter of decades. 2060 10,20,30 feet of sea rise. Goodbye population centers, nuclear plants will go Fukashima, where does money come from? 1/2 T essential for our survival. Organizer in the white house instead of bloated military, or tax wall street .2%.
            Q: cenk still pushing. European countries limit coal mines, so would you say no more coal mines, no oil drilling?
            Stein: you can’t negotiate with environment, climate. More jobs to be created by doing what science says to do. zero mean zero. Scientists say play with fire. EPA to protect environment and health, extinction is not compatible with health.
            Taking a break and then back to : are you a spoiler?

    6. Waldenpond

      Per Wikileaks:

      Mr. Assange is still alive and WikiLeaks is still publishing. We ask supporters to stop taking down the US internet. You proved your point.

      PROOF!!!! WL takes credit for attack on US internet. /s/

    1. Peter

      And Mrs. Clinton also said this (C-SPAN transcripts):

      Hillary Clinton

      “But we need to get rid of them, get rid of their fighters. There are an estimated several thousand fighters in Mosul. They’ve been digging underground. They’ve been prepared to defend. It’s going to be tough fighting. But I think we can take back Mosul, and then we can move on into Syria and take back Raqqa.”

  1. dcblogger

    ““Obama, Holder to lead post-Trump redistricting campaign” [Politico]. “The new group, called the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, was developed in close consultation with the White House. President Barack Obama himself has now identified the group — which will coordinate campaign strategy, direct fundraising, organize ballot initiatives and put together legal challenges to state redistricting maps ”

    I have a very bad feeling about this.

    1. Pat

      It made my blood run cold.

      I notice that they have the resources for that, but not for registering people to vote. Funny about that…

    2. jrs

      why isn’t it just what Republicans have already done? They are a push back against obvious Republican gerrymandering.

      1. Katharine

        Gerrymandering is not always Republican in origin. Maryland is a disgrace produced by Democrats.

        1. jash

          Why are districts needed at this time?
          Do they stilll need to travel by horse back to hob-knob?

          It seems clear that only about 5%(too high) are really setting the rules in the state/district.

          Given the ease of communications , let each state be wide open – elect from a list state wide.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.2 The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

      2. hunkerdown

        That the parties are even allowed anywhere near district-drawing processes is a sign that the system is a sham designed to preserve them against us. How much more evidence do people need to be hit over the head with that they’re complicit in enforcing frauds and that’s not okay?

    3. Pavel

      Obama and Holder, fresh off their various triumphs — closing Gitmo, prosecuting the Bush-era torturers, and sending top-level banksters to jail — just the team to sort this out. Not.

  2. Pat

    Someone who a few months ago told me “no one is stupid enough to want war with Russia”, just this week changed that to “no one wants a hot war” and “we don’t have the troops for a hot war” because well it turns out that Clinton knows the no fly zone will mean war with Russia.
    Sadly this is one of the many who think that Clinton is the sane one.

    Everything tells me that whatever the real goal (and no it is not obvious what that is) Hillary Rodham Clinton is stupid enough to not care about war with Russia, doesn’t understand that we don’t have the troops for a hot war, and frankly is perfectly willing to play chicken with a nuclear power killing this country in the process. So far, Putin has been far saner than Hillary Clinton has ever been, but I’m pretty damn sure his patience is wearing out. I can only hope that Europe begins to wake up and realize that America following the wishes of SA and Israel are causing their refugee problems NOT Russia. And sanely decide that following America further down the rat hole is a loser for them and the world, because that might be the only thing that wakes them up from their fevered dream.

    1. Pavel

      Luckily (for the planet) I suspect Putin is content to play the long game — increase the alliance (especially economic) with China, build up relationships with e.g. Iran and Turkey (and now cf Philippines), and most of all court the EU states who are most terrified of increased sabre-rattling by the US.

      It is so bizarre that in such an unstable world with such critical issues — global warming, horrific global debt and faltering bubble-based economies, Mideast chaos — HRC and her cronies think it is a good idea to stir up trouble with Russia! Talk about “opportunity cost” at the very least.

      1. Mark P.

        The War on Terror has never really been profitable enough for the military-industrial complex, and anyway may be approaching its sell-by date. The MIC wanted a return to big-platform — aircraft carriers, big ships, enormously expensive new planes, and missile systems, big artillery — programs and spending.

        For big-platform spending you need a big-platform enemy to justify it. Hence, the Russkies. Patrick Cockburn is good on this.

        Not incidentally, the arms industry of the early 20th century was a big reason for WWI; probably including in July 1914 being behind the assassination of Jean Jaurès, a top French socialist, who was blocking it.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          The fun one to watch today is the US Army versus the CIA (Milo Minderbinder would be thrilled).
          In Iraq the US Army is supporting the government against al-Qaeda in Mosul. In Syria of course the CIA is backing al-Qaeda in Aleppo against the government.

          So the breathless press coverage of the son et lumiere of the Mosul push is turning into a dud. Why? Because al-Qaeda is slinking away out of Mosul. But where are they going? Oh, look, the US is helpfully providing buses to take 6000 of them to the fight in Syria, once they cross that imaginary line known as “the border” they magically turn into good guys again.

          Cue John McCain high-fiving! And cue Lurch our Secretary of State, telling the UN and the world that Russia is the one that is guilty of war crimes. LOLOLOLOL

    2. Jeotsu

      Just a call for abbreviation clarification. When discussing Saudi Arabia use KSA – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Prevents confusion with other places, like South Africa (SA).

      Or even South Australia (SA). I kept wondering why South Australia was so meddlesome when it came to middle eastern politics, but I had to credit them for how well they hid their radical sunni beliefs. Well, maybe not all that well hidden considering the underlying misogyny.

      1. hunkerdown

        South Africa is well known under the abbreviation ZA. South Australia is well known as SS (the “au” is silent). ;)

    3. integer

      Everything tells me that whatever the real goal (and no it is not obvious what that is)

      WRT Syria, one aspect that doesn’t get mentioned very often is the territorial dispute over the Golan Heights, in which Cheney, Murdoch, and Rothschild are all financial stakeholders. Here’s an article from a few years ago that details the arrangement:


      Israel has granted a U.S. company the first licence to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights, John Reed of the Financial Times reports.

      A local subsidiary of the New York-listed company Genie Energy — which is advised by former vice president Dick Cheney and whose shareholders include Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch — will now have exclusive rights to a 153-square mile radius in the southern part of the Golan Heights.

      That geographic location will likely prove controversial. Israel seized the Golan Heights in the Six-Day War in 1967 and annexed the territory in 1981. Its administration of the area — which is not recognised by international law — has been mostly peaceful until the Syrian civil war broke out 23 months ago.

      “This action is mostly political – it’s an attempt to deepen Israeli commitment to the occupied Golan Heights,” Israeli political analyst Yaron Ezrahi told FT. “The timing is directly related to the fact that the Syrian government is dealing with violence and chaos and is not free to deal with this problem.”

  3. cocomaan

    I respect Juan Cole as a scholar, but his political commentary got so muddled in apologizing for the Libyan disaster. I wrote him several times about problems in the Sahel, particularly among Tuareg, resulting from the Libyan invasion, but he wriggled out of it, going to Libya and talking about how great it was there and otherwise excusing the massacre.

    Why suggest a no fly zone in Syria that can’t be implemented. It is baffling.

    Is it really that baffling? Read her emails. The No Fly Zone was the strategy used to destroy Gaddafi. It’s HRC’s telegraph for invasion.

    Cole misses that when Wallace asked her if she’d shoot down a Russian plan that violated the no-fly zone, she dodged.

    Not surprising, as it’s the Libya playbook.

    1. jash

      NFZ is just a dog whistle to the crowd.

      Must SHOW toughness.
      She would not do it under the current situation.

      Phoney talk for phoney policy.

    2. ambrit

      Notice that Netanyahu is suddenly “mending fences” with Russia. Could someone have whispered in his ear; “Low yield nuke over Tel Aviv?” It needn’t be Russia directly. Say Hizbullah is ‘gifted’ a Pakistani warhead through some devious back channels. America is running a proxy war in Syria. Nothing says that Russia, or China cannot do something similar.
      I see no discussion of spillover effects to Libya’s neighbors. Think of the spillover effects attendant to major chaos in Syria!

      1. cocomaan

        It is definitely interesting to me how quiet Israel has been for awhile now.

        Spillover from Syria has definitely already begun, right? Just today, the protests in Paris are, I believe, a result of the influx of immigrants.

        What the heck is it going to look like when HRC starts bombing and Syria falls into even further disrepair?

        1. ambrit

          Israel doesn’t have to worry about a stand up fight with the Syrian Army. No, they have to worry about small unit and irregular warfare, inside Israel. That’s the kind of spillover a hotted up Syrian “Civil War” would produce. Say, the Syrians and Russians establish their own “No Fly Zone” over southern Syria, and enforce it against all comers, including the Israeli Air Force. Then supply convoys to Hizbullah in Lebanon would really ramp up. Voila! The Lebanon Israel border heats up by orders of magnitude.
          I am convinced that H Clinton does not understand the forces she wants to juggle with.
          Where in America would you resettle the millions of refuges from the destruction of Israel?

              1. craazyboy

                Yes, but that will happen whether we move Israel there or not, so don’t worry about it. We got enough problems on our plate.

          1. Carolinian

            Where in America would you resettle the millions of refuges from the destruction of Israel?

            Here of course….a substantial chunk of Israelis are already from here. And one doesn’t have to go all “destruction of Israel” to suggest that many of them should be here. Albert Brooks once jestingly suggested that the world would be a lot more peaceful if Israel and the state of Georgia switched places. Seriously however the world would be a lot more peaceful if those post WW2 refugees had come here instead of the Middle East. The end of the Gentleman’s Agreement era in the US came a couple of decades too late. We should have accepted them rather than going along with the Balfour scheme of colonizing the ME with Europeans.

            1. Massinissa

              “lot more peaceful if Israel and the state of Georgia switched places. ”

              As a Georgian, I’m not so sure replacing the Zionists with Confederacy sympathizers would be much of an improvement. Cotton plantations in the Levant anybody?

              /partial sarcasm

    3. WJ

      So what are people’s sense of Clinton re Russia? Is it hubris, stupidity, or conspiracy, or some combination of the three? I ask because her Wall Street speeches and foreshadowed Grand Bargain are clearly conspiratorial; while her nonchalant violation of every security protocol seems pure hubris; I guess I don’t see how war with Russia could really benefit her that much, unless she thinks it’s the one thing that can keep her from being impeached; is that it, or is it something else that’s driving this, or just stupidity?

      1. Harry

        All the very serious people know the Russians are gonna cave. Who would fight a nuclear war for Syria/ukraine? They can’t match the US conventionally so we can just bleed them till they let go.

        What could go wrong?

        1. LifelongLib

          “They can’t match the U.S. conventionally…”

          It’s been pointed out here that wargame scenarios of Russia vs NATO usually come out with Russia winning. Why wouldn’t that apply to other areas as well?

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        It’s much simpler: it’s money.

        The War on Terra is getting tiresome and as pointed out above doesn’t justify the really big hardware, aircraft carriers, tanks etc.

        They need a bigger enemy to keep the $$$ flowing from the chump taxpayer’s pockets to billionaire Raytheon shareholders’ accounts in Panama. She serves Money and Death, and does a really good job of it. You’d even say she’s an expert.

        And one point: GE owns NBC, and GE makes billions from war machines. Can’t have a president who might slow down the revenue stream, better yet to get a woman to put a friendly face on WW III and why we need it so badly. Kinda like getting a young African American to sell health care extraction and bank crimes and how they’re really good, if just more young people would sign up and if people would just stop “peddling fiction” about how awesome the economy is.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Oops! Good news then, I guess we really do have a diverse and unbiased press with no interest is furthering the prospects of one candidate over another.

    4. Pavel

      cocomaan: Just to say I agree re JC and Libya. I was a dedicated reader of his web site, and he obviously has a lot of knowledge in the Mideast, but he really lost the plot when it came to supporting the Libya fiasco. I haven’t been back to Informed Comment since.

      1. witters

        He thought “the young people” would lead the march to democracy and freedom. This was profound social analysis. It was pointed out to him many times. He said nothing.

  4. Katharine

    Democrats can beat populists, and usually have, by attending to what underlies the surface ugliness.

    This offends me so deeply! The suggestion that Democrats should defeat populists dishonors the history of the term and, perhaps inadvertently, betrays what the Democratic “leadership” has sunk to.

    1. jash

      “We must realize that today’s Establishment is the new George III. Whether it will continue to adhere to his tactics, we do not know. If it does, the redress, honored in tradition, is also revolution.”

      Justice William O. Douglas wrote in “Points of Rebellion”:

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Subliminally, this is what we get (it took me a while, but I think I have deciphered):

      Populists = surface ugliness.

      It’s superficial, surface.

      It’s ugly.

      1. GMoore

        VOTE STEIN – GET TRUMP – and save ourselves.

        Windy but necessary. We only have a few more days.

        The globalists are running out of customers in the west and even China – as their population turns negative next year. Stagnation, negative population growth and debt are threatening a no growth economy. Our “models” have no social solutions for this. What to do?

        The consensus of our masters is to import more of the breeding populations of the 3rd world – and to those who complain of multi cultural chaos – they will initiate martial law, censorship and denunciation of nativism.

        The enforced “dialogue” is that Nativism, Populism and Brexit are the ugly face of racism, rather than the natural resistance to mass migration by dissimilar people from failed states.

        That’s the bottom line in this political season, in almost every country. What to do about a worldwide economic slowdown – with failed cultures bursting their borders due to population pressures and diminishing resources. Add AI and aging populations, and you have the combustible material for conflict on every continent, between all countries.

        Yet, every messenger for the resident populists is savaged by the national media – where no honest journalist need apply. You are either a hack for the mega billionaire globalists who owns the megaphones or you don’t work.

        Bernie and Trump sounded like Siamese Twins a year ago. One party lost its revolution when the machine easily dispatched their honest candidate. The other party prevailed, and took control, only to have the Deep State coalesce around a full out assault on the man, the motive, and the movement.

        What is left are the Greens who can’t get any traction because they want a saner, smaller, less destructive economic model – that actually includes the rights of plants and animals in the discussion of how to manage a planet with too many people, and not enough of everything else.

        The Libertarian Candidate is just a poseur feeding at the margins of the holocaust.

        So, how to save ourselves? By voting the Bush/Clinton/Obama agenda?

        There are some very very bad choices ahead. We can either save ourselves, and try to bring some sanity to the warring 3rd world with dialogue – or we can “install” a woman who will insure profitability of our last domestic industry – WEAPONS.

        A Green Vote elevates the profile of the ONLY sane, sustainable philosophy for the life of the planet. But even that discussion is fraught with the painful reality that POPULATIONS CANNOT CONTINUE TO BREED at the expense of every other living thing.

        I am hoping a vote for STEIN insures the defeat of the Globalist Clinton.

        Trump is a flawed warrior, but he IS a warrior for our people. We can talk about “ultimate solutions” later. For now, he will fight for US. Yes, there is an US, and there is a THEM. Multi nationals want a world awash with 8-9 billion peasant consumers competing with each other for the crumbs they toss us.

        Too unpleasant for you? Well, things are going to get VERY unpleasant very soon. As Sam Harris reminds us…

        Bezos, Zuckerberg, Dimon, Blankfein, Slim, Musk, and the other masters of our Universe will continue to have islands to flee to and walls to hide behind. The rest of us will devolve into internecine slaughter.

        Anderson Cooper will be telling us to play nice and maybe next week a food truck will get through. Water will be apportioned by racial & ethnic representation. Catholics will be tutored on mandatory birth control. Muslims will be cautioned not to eat the neighborhood pets. [ check the local papers in Greece, Macedonia and Serbia about the trail of tears of dog and cat owners all the way to Germany]

        Competing populations in our new Mad Max world without borders will find there is no escape from the Globalist Cure for the ascent of man.

        So vote Stein, Vote Trump… vote ANYTHING but the Clinton Globalist destruction for every living thing. Remember, our masters enjoy monopolies while they advocate free enterprise for the competing hordes outside the castle walls.

        I am very new here. I have no idea how any of this will be received by a group that nibbles around the edges of this conversation with everyone just a little too polite to talk about the hard realities of what our children will face as adults.

        I expect to be savaged. But I keep looking for a dialogue with someone, anyone willing to fight back against the resident evil that has consumed this experiment in self governance. It’s been stolen from us while we tried to balance work, play and politics… the sociopaths saw their chance to steal it from us.

  5. Clive

    Unfortunately members of Japan’s congress (the Diet) do from time to time put in hammy displays of slanging matches and even the kind of stagey fisticuffs that would have pro wrestling “competitors” complaining about bad acting. Perhaps it is the Japanese people’s way of reminding themselves and even outsiders that one of their indisputable contributions to the performance arts is Kabuki.

    The main audience is the constituents of the Diet members in question, and certainly not signifying an attempt to steer policy responses (much to my chagrin if they do it in relation to the TPP debates).

  6. Clive

    Re: Today’s Water Cooler Plant

    Rosa Rugosa. Once planted, the horticultural equivalent of someone driving a tank onto your lawn. (Certainly here in mild southern England without harsh winters to keep it in some sort of check!)

  7. L

    Shipping: “China is to build a deepwater tanker port in Malaysia off the Malacca Strait, a key gateway for Chinese oil imports.The $1.9bn port, located on the coast of Malacca City, will be able to accommodate very large crude carriers” [Lloyd’s List].

    But, if the point of the TPP is to hem in China by excluding them and bringing Malaysia into our “orbit” then why would they do this?

    Unless, of course they know that any deal will make Malaysia a key gateway to the American market and thus allow them to use it to wash their goods through the TPP for cheap market access in the exact same way that they do it now via Mexico.

  8. Arizona Slim

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for sharing the article on funeral alternatives. I have some personal experience with this.

    A month ago, my father died. I had his body cremated and was thinking that my mother would want to join me in spreading his ashes around our woods.

    Since my mother’s 90 and not in the greatest shape, I figured that a Plan B would be in order. So, I asked the crematorium if there was a such thing as a biodegradable urn. Answer: Yes. I ordered one.

    As I suspected, my mother said, “Let’s bury his ashes in the woods.”

    Well, at her age, the word “let’s” doesn’t mean that we’re going to do that job together. It was mine to do.

    Since we’re of Celtic descent, the grave needed a cairn. It took me a week to gather the right rocks and stones for it.

    Then came Burial Day, September 22, 2016.

    If you’ve never dug a grave before, be prepared for an emotional and physical challenge.

    But, that being said, I’m proud of the grave I dug. I put a lot of effort into making the sides vertical and the bottom flat. In Pennsylvania’s rich, thick soil, that isn’t easy.

    Then came the actual burial. That didn’t take much time, but the cairn? Oh, brother.

    I constructed and reconstructed it until I got that cairn looking *nice* — and I finished it off with three seashells that I found in the woods. Don’t ask me how those got there, but I thought they’d be fitting for a Navy and Merchant Marine veteran.

    And then it was done.

    A month later, I take a great deal of pride in what I did. I think that, as a society, we’ve done too much outsourcing of death. It’s time to reclaim the experience.

  9. Roland

    WJ wrote about Clinton on Russia: ” Is it hubris, stupidity, or conspiracy, or some combination of the three?”

    Or is it that she thinks that the USA can fight a war against Russia, and win?

    I suspect that a lot of the US foreign policy establishment are feeling bullish about their BMD systems. They feel sure that they have finally escaped the toils of MAD. In other words, they feel convinced, if it comes down to it, the USA can affordably prevail over Russia in a war at any level of escalation, even though that would demand that the USA launch first strike.

    If you want to see arrogance, just wait to see how that US elite behaves after they win a major war, and come to enjoy truly unchecked power.

    1. Pat

      I’m sure. Luckily odds are most of us will be dead before that happens. Because it will either be a long long time from now OR most of the country will be destroyed before victory can be declared long enough to gloat.

      If it weren’t for the fact that it is a such a godawful idea for everyone BUT the elites, I’d almost like to see the latter possibility which includes the loss of a whole lot of very expensive “toys”. But there are still humans attached to those toys, it will take a lot for them to get they aren’t winning, and even then they won’t take responsibility for the massive amounts of damage their hubris and sociopathy have caused – see Clinton in re either Honduras or Libya or both.

    2. craazyboy

      I’m pretty sure the Pentagon does NOT believe that our BMD systems can protect against a full scale Russian ICBM attack on the US mainland. I would hope if any foreign policy types believed so, they would be quickly garroted from behind with piano wire.

      Then again, maybe they did go ahead and convert a bunch of West Virginia coal mines to luxury condos, like Dr. Strangelove suggested.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Russia has re-stated their policy not to strike first. By contrast, in 2012 Obama reversed America’s long-standing commitment not to do so.
          That we are even discussing this shows just how far the War Party and their money pig-men have descended into true clinical mental illness territory, Dr. Strangelove has nothing on the levels of reality-bending criminal insanity of our Dear Leaders.

      1. Wj

        No idea if this is accurate or not, but Wikipedia states that BMD systems are not effective against ICBMs, which can now travel at hypersonic (Mach 5-6) speeds delivering up to eight separate warheads (!) with pinpoint accuracy. So that’s something to look forward to.

        1. ewmayer

          That depends on whether one’s definition of “effective” refers to actual antimissile defense or, say, raking in buttloads of $ in DoD contracts.

      2. uncle tungsten

        I do like the piano wire remedy :-{). There are a bunch of people in the State Department that signed a memo recently that clearly fit the requisite description for its use.

    1. Benedict@Large

      I would guess that when Blyth refers to “Global Trumpism”, he is referring to an illness Hillary has, and not something The Donald has.

  10. Zweite Wende

    CETA’s collapse is equivalent to the Budapest COMECON council session of 28/6/91. Corporate central planning has flopped down dead alongside Soviet central planning. The Western Bloc is finally breaking up.

  11. John Merryman

    “Why Twitter is a public space. And why it should be!”

    Keep in mind government started off as private enterprise. Eventually institutionalized as monarchy, before becoming a public utility. The real, underlaying problem today, is that banking is still being treated as private business, even though their primary product, money, has been backed by the public for 103 years now. If we go to fully public banking, a lot of these other problems will magically clear themselves up. Given the amount of bad debt currently built into the system, that might be within some of our lifetimes.

    1. BecauseTradition

      If we go to fully public banking, a lot of these other problems will magically clear themselves up.

      What do you mean by ” fully public banking”? Shall loans be made and if so shall the rich still be the most so-called creditworthy?

      1. LifelongLib

        Yes, I can see the government providing or guaranteeing things like checking/savings accounts and free ATMs (which many people don’t have access to now). It’s dicier when you look at loans.

        1. BecauseTradition

          Yes, I can see the government providing LifelongLib

          Absolutely yes!

          or guaranteeing things

          “Loan create deposits.” Does it seem fair that government should then insure those privately created liabilities?

          like checking/savings accounts and free ATMs (which many people don’t have access to now).

          And which are low cost.

          It’s dicier when you look at loans.

          Yes, those open a huge can of worms.

        2. BecauseTradition

          like checking/savings accounts

          Checking, most certainly. Savings, no, not if these are to receive positive interest since that would constitute welfare proportional to wealth, not need.

  12. KurtisMayfield

    Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking

    Do not forget that Google also has access to 23andMe’s, a genetic testing database. The combination of information that they have access to truly is scary. I have started to avoid using some of their services because of this.

  13. DJG

    The ironies of the Belgians. Liberation by Walloons? First, Monty Python and the Belgian-naming contest:


    The Walloons, part of a barely real country. The Walloons, who brought you much of Belgian colonialism, which got a bad name even among colonialists. The Walloons, who oppressed the Flemings. There were cases of Dutch speakers being condemned to death in courts that were in French and refused to provide translation.

    And yet the Walloons, a singularly unsuccessful people, are derailing a bad trade deal.

    Enlightening times. And times in which we cannot assume that we know where our allies will come from.

    1. uncle tungsten

      When the worlds worst colonialist recognizes the worlds worst colonial con trick, then there is hope.

  14. DJG

    Monitoring tweets to see who can get into our walled garden.

    Recently, Zerocalcare, one of Italy’s best young graphic novelists, whose politics can be described as anarchist but jokey, Roman but semi-serious, was denied a visa to attend Comicon in New York. The grounds are that his passport showed recent travel in Syria and Iraq. Our minders didn’t have to read tweets. They only had to read his most recent book, Kobane Calling, in which he illustrates a trip by a group of anarchistic Italians to Iraqi Kurdistan and Rojava in Syria. His analysis of nationalism, religion, and ethnicity is quite subtle. Plenty of highly amusing uses of Roman dialect, which is known for “lewdness.” Also, many bathroom jokes–but that’s an Italian national characteristic (don’t call anyone a stronzo, ne).

    Meanwhile, Zerocalcare was also nominated for a Strega Prize last year in narrative for his graphic novel, Dimentica il Mio Nome, about his mother and grandmother and their mysterious family. He is the first Italian graphic novelist to be nominated for one of the major prizes.

    Obvious an undesirable alien. Peter Thiel is so much more acceptable, as is Henry Kissinger.

  15. hunkerdown

    Planned Parenthood and NARAL as Democrat Party cut-outs has just become conspiracy fact. And the “de Long Knives” storm troopers have had their chain of command exposed. This is a wonderfully clarifying election.

    Too bad comment sections are disappearing, lest the Holy Bourgeois Record be corrected by proles and the empire’s created reality be shown up as a sham to future generations.

  16. Vatch

    There’s so much wrong with this, starting with the grotesque cultural appropriation, and moving to the fact that Ali went to jail for opposing a war.

    My understanding is that Ali was convicted, and could have gone to prison, but he didn’t. He was banned from boxing for a period of years. Didn’t the Supreme Court overturn his conviction?

  17. Plenue

    Wasn’t the claim that Twitter had much to do with the Arab Spring debunked years ago when someone actually bothered to look at the degree of its penetration into places like Egypt at the time?

    1. aab

      I’m sorry, it took WIKILEAKS to figure this out?

      Nonsense. You would have to be so incompetent as to need a daily caregiver to be a “liberal” activist and not know Hillary Clinton despises you. Didn’t click on the link. I presume this is just face-saving blather from inside the pen. Gotta pretend you’re not in the pen to get more calves in there with you. If they can actually see the wires and the prods, it takes more effort to get them down the chute.

      1. hunkerdown

        It’s a decent bit of dish, but what one gets out of the forced synonymy of “liberal” and “left” and “progressive” depends on what priors one brings in with it, and I don’t think I’ll wait for the third time around before calling it as enemy design. It’s compatible with Hillary’s three-act campaign’s third act of “putting the Party back together” with the solvent glue of conflation and the structural adhesive of Stronger Together (“get in mah fasces, maggots”).

        Today’s aptrogram from professional political kayfabe: Amanda Marcotte → At Drama, Moan Etc.

      2. Vatch

        I’m sorry, it took WIKILEAKS to figure this out?

        I agree with this. All a person has to do is look at a few of her votes in the Senate to see how right wing she is. Some examples (which I posted during the primaries — sorry for the repetition):

        Her vote in favor of the insidious bankruptcy reform act:


        The 2001 bill did not become law, but it was similar to the 2005 bill (S. 256) which did become law. Hillary Clinton was not present for the 2005 vote, because her husband was having surgery for a partially collapsed lung:


        Her vote in favor of the original Homeland Security Act:


        Her vote in favor of the Patriot Act:


        Her vote in favor of the Patriot Act reauthorization of 2005:


        She voted in favor of the Iraq war resolution


        Her vote for the TARP bank bailout:


        With the exception of a few social issues, Hillary Clinton is a right wing Republican.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Defeat Hillary and I think Stein or Bernie can take over the D party…or have a good chance.

      No worrying about any qualifying threshold, if it is re-captured by the good guys (and gals).

      Moreover, her loss also means those who are with her are defeated too. And reforming the media is essential for progressives going forward.

      1. aab

        The only way Hillary could be stopped would be if the Republican Party elite stood with Trump, so Soros and the other donor who owns voting machines could be blocked from flipping/fractionalizing votes. But that isn’t happening. Soros machines are in key swing states like Colorado and Pennsylvania, and we already have data from the primary that a good 15% (at least) can be flipped, compared to exit polls/hand counts/paper trail or non-donor machines.

        I guess it’s still possible, like what happened in the Michigan Democratic primary, that the real numbers are more like a 10% lead for Trump and they come out in force in unexpected locations, and Clinton’s small, unenthusiastic base stays home, thus making it too difficult to successfully flip. But I’m trying not to count on something like that, because it seems too close optomism bias driven “poll unskewing” – I mean, the polls clearly ARE skewed in favor of Hillary, but I doubt they’re off by 15%.

        Stein could never take over the Democratic Party. It isn’t even clear to me that the Greens could replace the Democrats, although I do think their massive increase in ballot access this year is a credit to the party and to Stein. That shows real organizing and management effectiveness.

        I started this campaign season advocating for purging Clintonians out of the now hollow Democratic Party and taking it over. That still seems like the most efficient path to an actual left national party, in part because our current system is so corrupted and calcified. But I’m not sure it’s possible. At this point, I can imagine a cataclysmic revolution happening during Clinton’s term more easily than a reformed, citizen friendly Democratic Party.

        Is it gin o’clock yet?

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          The Dems insist we should believe two diametrically-opposed “facts”:

          1. The vote is not rigged and Donald is despicable for suggesting it is
          2. Putin hacked the vote, so the vote (and the emails) are rigged

          1. aab

            Let’s not forget the latest: the Russians may plant false evidence of election theft. I guess that’s to cover the possible exposure of real Clinton vote rigging. “See? Those damn Russkies couldn’t ACTUALLY rig the election against Clinton, but they tried…to rig the election FOR Clinton!”

            I don’t see how the “Russians plant fake evidence of election theft” would otherwise work, even in their own pickled minds.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If we need more than a 15% victory margin, Stein or no Stein, Green party or not, it doesn’t matter.

          If Hillary lucks in, there will be 8 years of neoliberal reign, barring health, come another hurricane Katrina/Wall Street crash/etc or high water.

          The best chance comes on Nov. 8, to this election-believer.

        3. Vatch

          . . . I do think their [the Green Party’s] massive increase in ballot access this year is a credit to the party and to Stein. That shows real organizing and management effectiveness.

          I disagree. The Greens easily could have harvested the fertile field of millions of active Sanders supporters, which would have pushed the Greens into third place, above the Libertarians. The fact that the Greens are still in fourth place shows their lack of effectiveness. I will reluctantly vote for Stein, because the alternatives are so bleak, but I have no respect for their organization stills.

    3. DJG

      Comrade Kim Kaufmanskaya: I enjoyed the paragraph about the minimum wage and the Red Army.

      I am now off to join Boris and Natasha and other no-goodniks in the Democratic Party’s fantasy world.

  18. Waldenpond

    Q7: can’t hear, hopefully someone will repeat?
    Stein: dealing with congress that doesn’t get anything done and a Pres that does opposite of elected purpose? Turn the wh into the Green house. Political house of cards is falling down. Dislike, distrusted candidates. When? organize for life saving, civiliZation saving event. Organizer and chief. Lobbyists calling the shots, predatory banks etc, we the public locked out, vast number to mobilize end student debt, health care, agenda doable, flood offices insisting (she’s meandering) on green new deal, phone, e-mail, show up. Quaking in boots, organized political power we have.
    Q8: Campaign finance, lobby etc seems rigged, how to overcome?
    Stein: passed Camp finance reform thru referendum as 85% D legislature wouldn’t do it. Public financing, money no longer in control can’t buy elections, holding airwarve hostage to corp profiteering, not rocket science. Mass. Ds repealed public finance on voice vote, worser evil to make themselves inevitable. (At least she admits what her state did was an ultimate failure)
    Cenk: Constitutional amendment, what would it say? Stein: Yes, CU not only problem, distorted constitution, money is not speech, 1$ 1 Vote, corps not people, we have the right to democratically decide.
    Cenk: Clinton too, within first 30 days?
    Stein: Clinton only refers to unaccountable money pretends to support, ok declared money,
    Q9: If someone doesn’t want Trump, vote for you instead of Clinton?
    Stein: 4 out fo 10 don’t vote, it will be 6 out of 10, stand up, what is exit strategy of greater and lesser evil, Trumps’ statements, Clinton’s acts Libya, bombing Muslims, D, unfathomable hr vilations against immigration, coup in Honduras and refugees, R hate and fear, D deportation and night raids, they get worse more corp, more militarist, interrupt the downward spiral. Trump scumbag smokescreen for economic predators once Clinton wins, SS privatization, fool me once, twice, three, vote like your lives depend on it because they do.
    Cenk: T or C, who would you pick?
    Difference not enough to save your job, environment, climate etc. I will not sleep wll if T elected. I will not sleep well if C elected either, war with Russia. This is a democracy.
    Q10: drug war, 160,000 died against cartels, 1T$, drug use hasn’t dropped. Alcohol prohibition makes more powerful, drug also. Lack of regulation, arrests (every 25 seconds) legalize, tax, regulate all drugs as prohibition makes it work?
    Stein: Instruct DEA to use science what will and won’t be scheduled. Marijuana off, pulls rug out from under mafioso industry. Decriminalize, health issue, needs more study. Legalize marijuana.
    MCR for all discussion.

    1. Waldenpond

      Ooh, here we go: Sam Seder question: Some are voting to get the GP to 5%, 100 in office but that is less statewide. Do you have a plan for off years and what is it? (I’m betting she won’t answer)

      Stein: So much we can do, fear campaign delivers what we’re afraid of, this democracy not for us, stand up, (still no plan) make most progressive vote, rank choice voting, politics of fear, moral compass, raise up local candidates, go to website, donate, independent parties lead the way, abolition spoilers, (still no plan) Abraham Lincoln, stand up like your lives depend on it…… nope, no plan.

      1. John k

        And your plan is…?

        If trump wins the dems will be weakened, progressives would certainly have more space, Bernie and Liz would be party barons, positions rather naively postulated for them if she wins… Seems clear the opposite is true.

        If Clinton wins progressives will be shut out of any power for a decade or so even assuming we avoid WWIII.

        My advice; if in a swing state vote trump, if not vote green.

  19. ewmayer

    Not mentioned in the News of the Wired snips: the Dyn DDOS was the latest using a megascale IOT botnet. Coming soon to a Smart Toaster|Thermostat|Fridge|WasherDryer|EggTimer|PencilSharpener|Dishwasher|GarbageCompacter|BabyMonitor near you!

    1. hunkerdown

      I suspect various enforcement agencies are using those cameras for something else, like mass video surveillance, and having just lost a lot of TLS vulnerabilities, are motivated to keep their sources’ name out of the news (as befits TS/SI NOFORN projects), though steering the industry’s and the commercial market economy’s Confidence Fairy out of an imminent uncontrolled landing would suffice to explain the quiet.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      For people who understand what that means it is mind-blowing, the processors in your parking garage gate or your nursery’s NannyCam being used in a giant global concerto of digital disruption. Smells like the NSA in a desperate attempt to disrupt the flows from Wiki, they already gave the Clinton camp their best spyware (FoxAcid) and this would be par for the course given the level of lawbreaking and dirty tricks.

      1. cm

        Will be illuminating to see if Congress demands IOT accountabilty. IMO the IOT manufacturers should be held to the same level of accountability as car manufacturers,

  20. lyman alpha blob

    RE: the Ali/Liston photo

    What you said plus the only person landing punches on Trump is Trump. Clinton couldn’t knock out Glass Joe.

  21. Carolinian

    Adam Curtis and his limitations–here’s a taste from a review of new Beeb documentary

    Conversely, Curtis concludes with an assertion of such stunning political puerility that it undermines almost everything that has gone before. He argues of Putin’s involvement in Syria: “The Russians are still there – and no one really knows what they want.” Curtis does not know what “the Russians want” only because his perceptions have been carefully managed by the western media. Russia has very obvious strategic interests in being there. Among other things, it is trying to prevent the takeover of another country on its doorstep by Islamic jihadists, to halt the further destabilization of the Middle East, and to prop up a key ally in Russia’s front against US expansionism.

    Perhaps Curtis’ limitation is that he’s on the BBC. Apparently you aren’t allowed to say anything nice about Russia on Auntie. The review says Curtis also grants too many good intentions to our western imperial overlords.


    1. JCC

      Well worth listening to, particularly starting at approximately the 49 minute mark.

      Thanks for the link, it’s all very good.

    2. Steve H.

      “and no one really knows”

      ‘Hypernormalization’ also contained false absolutes. However, Curtis is an artist, in that he has implicit messages contained within juxtapositions that aren’t necessarily consciously constructed. It’s valid but inadequate to criticize parts out of context of the whole piece.

      Probably best to watch it and judge for yourself.

  22. Carolinian

    An excellent article

    It should be remembered that fascism does not succeed in the real world as a crusade by race-obsessed lumpen. It succeeds when fascists are co-opted by capitalists, as was unambiguously the case in Nazi Germany and Italy. And big business supported fascism because it feared the alternatives: socialism and communism.

    That’s because there is no more effective counter to class consciousness than race consciousness.

    That’s one reason why, in my opinion, socialism hasn’t done a better job of catching on in the United States. The contradictions between black and white labor formed a ready-made wedge. The North’s abhorrence at the spread of slavery into the American West before the Civil War had more to do a desire to preserve these new realms for “free” labor—“free” in one context, from the competition of slave labor—than egalitarian principle.[…]

    There is more to Clintonism, I think, than simply playing the “identity politics” card to screw Bernie Sanders or discombobulate the Trump campaign. “Identity politics” is near the core of the Clintonian agenda as a bulwark against any class/populist upheaval that might threaten her brand of billionaire-friendly liberalism.

    In other words it’s all part of a grand plan when the Clintonoids aren’t busy debating the finer points of her marketing and “mark”–a term normally applied to the graphic logo on a commercial product.


    1. Jay M

      Pork chops JIT
      the pig is waiting on the ramp enjoying the fresh air
      The butcher drone cycles down and grabs the subject
      blood and offal are inexpensively dropped in surrounding woodland
      dropped at the door

  23. Mark John

    The thing is–and I am Jill Stein supporter–is that the bozos aren’t complaining about Donald Trump’s private conversation being publicized.

  24. OIFVet


    “You’re getting better quality, even though you don’t know that Obamacare is doing it,” Obama said.

    “Thanks, Obama,” he added jokingly…

    “So why is there still such a fuss?” Obama said. “Well, part of the problem is the fact that a Democratic president named Barack Obama passed the law.”

    Yeah, I am sure that’s precisely the reason, you miserable piece of narcissistic sh!t.

    1. craazyboy

      “fuss”? Is there new Urban Dictionary definition for “fuss”?

      My definition of happiness was, once upon a time, around the beginning of THIS century, “high deductible” insurance – $3000! deductible, 80%-20% (they didn’t call that “Gold Plan” back then), for $60 American Dollars per Georgian Calendar month. This was same calendar as used by my employers.

      Lately I read families are paying $15,000 or higher a year for $5k-$6K deductible, less than “Gold Plan”, Obamacare???? Ok, there is that subsidy schedule for lower incomes. But that does spawn Treasury Bonds, which is worrisome to some people. Plus it seems to be going up at uncomfortably high double digits every year, possibly leading to more “fuss” as the years go by. Obama may be understating how much “fuss” this really is.

  25. F2

    @Waldenpond, this ‘plan’ business is a Dem partisan reflex which pops up in much dishonest debate on the left. The manipulative intent is to obscure the sizzle in a tedious dissection of the steak. If she takes the bait the party apparatchik demands detail, more more more. If the detail is coherent, consistent, and complete, her gatekeeping interlocutor will dismiss it on any flimsy pretext.

    The honest answer is, Stein doesn’t need a plan. Stein gets arrested when she goes so far as trying to attend debates. Greens will not get near the Capitol or White House. If they gain too much support despite repression, CIA will kill them. CIA killed JFK when he got elected president. CIA killed RFK when he tried to run for president. CIA killed Martin King when he thought about running. Baraka would be bleeding out now if he had a snowball’s chance.

    On policy, integrity, and independent sources of support, Stein and Baraka are world-class candidates, head and shoulders over any US candidate ever (Henry Wallace could maybe shine their shoes.) That’s precisely why they’re not allowed to win. We could vote to give them nugatory attaboys but, Why should we pretend this is a democracy?

    Before you get anyone like Baraka CIA will have to be softened up through concerted international effort and dismantled in a mutiny of elites. Would you have tried to vote Mandela in in 1981? Of course not. Overthrow comes first.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t see a party that first smears Sanders and his supporters with “sheepdog” and then pleads with him to be at the top of the ticket as serious enough to overthrow anything.

      Voting Green to give them 5% so they can throw sand in the gears is a perfectly sound reason to vote for them. My recommendation would be to stick to that.

  26. Kim Kaufman

    ““Welcome to the world of concierge medicine, UCLA-style.””

    UCLA is adjacent to Bel Air and Beverly Hills, etc. That’s why rich people donate and sit on the boards of hospitals.

  27. Oregoncharles

    From the Foreign Policy article on “Donald Trump Can’t Undermine Our Democracy” – that we don’t have:

    ” This is the guy who wants to bring back torture and bomb the children of suspected terrorists.” You mean, like Bush and Obama, respectively?

  28. ian

    Love the picture – it brings back memories. When I was a little kid, my grandmother used to gather the rose hips, cut them in half, scoop out seeds, let them dry out, then grind them up in a coffee mill. Mixed with boiling water and a bit of honey – delicious on a cold day.

  29. Cry Shop

    Bill Clinton has a mysterious shell-company

    Trump could not be the only candidate under reporting family income. It’s been pretty common talk among the chambers of commerce in Asia that payments for some of Bill and Hillary’s activities (non-speech related and easier to hide), ie lobbying for foreign governments and corporations, were structured through holding companies in Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/03/bill-black-the-clintons-have-not-changed-the-clintonian-war-on-the-ig-watchdogs.html

    Certainly having a on-shore tax shell is an important part of repatriation, just in time for Hillary’s promised tax holiday.

  30. F2

    Did someone say the Green party was going to be an agent of overthrow? Tee-hee. Concerted international effort, mutiny of elites, that is the opposite of parties.

    Thank you for your recommendation. Sand in the gears. The election is not the gears, the election is the toy plastic steering wheel you cranked around in the passenger seat with Dad. Still, fantasy play is important for developing sound minds.

    Let’s go Dad, we’re the Rat Patrol, sprayin’ sand at the Jerries, vroom, vroom!

  31. Procopius

    I keep trying to imagine what special interest is so invested in the no-fly zone that they can force Hillary to keep proposing it, even though it is obviously no longer feasible. Is it just inertia? She is so used to pushing the idea that she brings it up without thinking, and then has to dodge out of the way? But the whole situation has passed out of the realm of rational thought. It reminds me of Vietnam. The idea the South and North Vietnam were separate countries was never true, but John Foster Dulles insisted on repeating the lie at every opportunity and after a while the Village all started to believe it. None of the stated goals in Syria make any sense any longer (if the ever did), but we keep pursuing them. Scary.

  32. Edward

    “Hacked emails reveal internal disagreement among top aides to Hillary Clinton about her determination to hold a Clinton Foundation summit in Morocco that later drew attention over its reliance on large financial pledges from foreign governments”

    What I find especially obnoxious about Clinton’s accusations that Trump is a pro-Russian traitor is that she is up to her neck in money from AIPAC, Saudi Arabia, and so on. That she gets away with this hypocrisy is yet more evidence that our political system is divorced from the “reality-based community”.

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