2:00PM Water Cooler 10/26/2016

Let me add my thanks to Yves’ for a highly successful fundraiser. But if you are able, you can still help us make next year the best one ever for Naked Capitalism! We still had donations coming in after the formal close of our fundraiser, and they most assuredly are still welcome. Please visit our fundraiser page to see how to contribute by check, credit or debit card, or PayPal. And thanks again for all your support!

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


CETA: “‘I trust that an agreement will be reached in the course of today with Belgium, Wallonia and other parts of the country,’ Mr Juncker told the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France” [Business Times]. “Some two hours of Belgium negotiations broke up without an apparent agreement early Wednesday, following six hours of similar talks the previous evening.” Reading all the Eurocrat statements, it looks to me like “an” agreement, to Juncker, means an agreement to sign the agreement, CETA, at some future date (so that Thursday’s summit with Justin Trudeau can proceed).

CETA: “What’s Wallonia’s deal? A primer on its role in CETA’s crisis” [Globe and Mail]. ” [Walloon Premier Paul Magnette’s] Socialist Party is under growing political pressure within Wallonia, an economically depressed rust-belt region. The Marxist party has been steadily gaining ground in recent polls, pushing the Socialists further to the left on issues such as trade.” There needs to be a left equivalent for “Always Be Closing.”

CETA: “CETA has bigger problems than not-so-‘tiny’-after-all Wallonia” [Rabble. ca]. “[B]y EU standards it is not all that small. Wallonia’s population is 3.5 million, almost a third of the Belgian total of somewhat more than 11 million. There are seven EU countries with smaller populations. Each of the EU’s 28 member states has veto power over CETA. That is how the EU works – on the Three Musketeers principle, one for all and all for one. If one or more of the smaller member states, such as Slovenia or Estonia, or one of the tiny island states with far fewer than a million people, Cyprus or Malta, vetoed the deal, would we be calling them tiny and insignificant?”

CETA: “Corporate Sovereignty Helps To Bring EU-Canada Trade Deal To Brink Of Collapse” [TechDirt]. This looks like what’s on offer to Wallonia:

The fact that CETA’s ISDS/ICS remains the most problematic area can be seen from a fascinating CETA document (pdf) that was recently leaked. It’s called the “Joint Interpretative Declaration on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union and its Member States,” and is an attempt to offer additional guarantees that are enough to convince Magnette and other CETA skeptics to allow its signing and ratification:

This interpretative declaration aims to provide a clear and unambiguous statement of what Canada and the European Union and its Member States agreed in a number of CETA provisions that have been the object of public debate and concerns. This includes, in particular, the impact of CETA on the ability of governments to regulate in the public interest, as well as the provisions on investment protection and dispute resolution, and on sustainable development, labour rights and environmental protection.

The section on Investment Protection is by far the longest, reflecting the seriousness of the problems there. Here’s a key paragraph:

CETA clarifies that governments may change their laws, regardless of whether this may negatively affect an investment or investor’s expectations of profits. Furthermore, CETA clarifies that any compensation due to an investor will be based on an objective determination by the Tribunal and will not be greater than the loss suffered by the investor.

As that demonstrates, there is nothing new in the declaration. Nobody is claiming that CETA will stop governments changing their laws, just that the massive fines that can be imposed by supra-national tribunals are likely to discourage them from doing so. Similarly, claiming that those fines will be “based on an objective determination by the Tribunal and will not be greater than the loss suffered by the investor” simply confirms the untrammelled power of the tribunal to impose whatever fine it thinks is appropriate.

Lipstick on a pig.

TPP: “If the trade deal comes up during the lame-duck session this fall, the two [Vice Presidents] could play leading roles on opposite sides of the debate: Kaine as a potentially significant “no” vote should the pact come up for a vote while he’s still in the Senate, and Biden as President Barack Obama’s go-to guy for shoring up Senate support and casting the tie-breaking vote if need be” [Politico].

TPP: “The TPP ‘provides no guarantee of equal rights and remedies to migrants for labor violations, no regional task force or other solution to address region-wide trafficking issue and no region-wide restrictions on abusive behaviors by recruiters who prey on desperate workers simply trying to feed their families,’ Celeste Drake, the AFL-CIO’s trade and globalization specialist, said during a call with reporters. While the broader deal does not contain migrant worker protections advocated by the labor group, Malaysia is obligated through a separate ‘consistency plan’ to undertake certain reforms for protecting migrant workers” [Politico]. Weak-ass framing from the AFL-CIO (no surprise here) and terrible reporting from Politico (ditto). The issue with Malaysia is not “certain reforms to protect migrant workers,” and not even “trafficking.” The issue is slavery, which Obama is enabling in order to get the deal passed. Use the word!

TPP: “Australia could face a growing number of expensive legal claims from foreign corporations if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) comes into force, a new report has warned” [Guardian]. “Dr Kyla Tienhaara, from the Australian National University, said Australia ought to learn from Canada’s experience after it signed the North America Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which came into force in 1994 and led to dozens of legal cases against Canada by US corporations [under ISDS].”

“Selected Government Statements and Actions Against Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)” (PDF) [Public Citizen]. Lots of good quotes (the US is at the end) for you to use when you write your Congresscritter.


Days until: 12. That’s less than two weeks!


“But Trump’s biggest local political donation [in Chicago] was the $50,000 he donated to Emanuel’s first mayoral campaign” [Chicago Reader (DG)]. “That donation came on December 23, 2010, a couple months before Rahm was elected. In 2011, Emanuel’s administration approved the god-awful 20-foot-high “T-R-U-M-P” sign that the Donald felt compelled to plaster on his building overlooking the Chicago River. But Mayor Emanuel’s not Trump’s only Democratic pal in town. Trump also hired Alderman Burke’s law firm to handle his tax appeals to Assessor Berrios’s office. Burke then won Trump several million dollars worth of property tax breaks.” There don’t seem to be many degrees of separation between the elites. I suppose that’s why they’re elites…


“A hotelier’s guide to the 2016 presidential election” [Hotel News Now]. “Many hotels in the U.S. rely on a flow of legal immigrants to fill a variety of positions. Hoteliers want that pipeline of potential employees to remain open, while avoiding additional red tape to verify their statuses.”

“Battlegrounds: The Fight for Mosul and Election Day Disruptions” (podcast) [Foreign Policy Editor’s Roundtable]. If you want to get a good reading on the insanity that is The Blob, this is the podcast for you. The speakers spend a good twenty minutes discussing the details of Syria and Iraq, concluding that historians will look back on it as “a forty year’s war,” without ever once giving a reason for us to be there. Soothing NPR voices, no anger, a lot of laughter. Smart people.

War Drums

“Hillary Clinton Promises A More Muscular Foreign Policy As President” [HuffPo]. “As secretary of state, Clinton was an early supporter of arming and training members of the Syrian opposition to fight Assad, a plan that faced resistance out of concern that it would be difficult to appropriately vet fighters and ensure that weapons didn’t fall into the hands of extremists. Today, the program is off to a slow start, with only 54 graduates from the first class, several of whom scattered after coming under attack by an al Qaeda affiliate in Syria. As commander-in-chief, Clinton would dramatically escalate the program, she said. ” Who was in charge of the training program? Ira Magaziner?

The Voters

“What Do Trump and Marx Have in Common?” [Jochen Bittner, New York Times]. This is another piece along the lines of the article from the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal that Yves linked to this morning, although it’s not a piece of outright hackery. For example: “When Hillary Clinton calls half of Mr. Trump’s voters a ‘basket of deplorables,’ she sounds as aloof as Marie Antoinette, telling French subjects who had no bread to ‘eat cake.'” But both articles deploy the “angry populists of left and right” vs. the “sensible center” trope (remember that in the Beltway you should never display anger; it’s a strong taboo). Bittner concludes: “Mrs. Clinton has the chance to change, by leading a political establishment that examines and processes anger instead of merely producing and dismissing it.” Obama destroyed hope by not delivering change. And now Clinton is holding the bag for the anger that caused. From the Department of Schadenfreude…

UPDATE “Clinton’s image has improved 9 percentage points since the summer in the 18-29 age group, while Trump’s has remained the same” [McClatchy]. “But the survey also found that half of young voters are more ‘fearful’ about the future than ‘hopeful.’ This was true across all demographic groups, with the highest level of anxiety among whites. Under a third of white women thought they would better off financially than their parents. More than a third of white men agreed.”

The Trail

UPDATE “Poll: Trump leads Clinton by 2 in Florida” [Politico]. Of course, it’s madness to track individual polls, but since the miasma of Clinton trumphalism has grown so thick, people may need a breath of fresh air.

UPDATE “Hillary Clinton has a small lead in New Hampshire, according to the results of a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday, but Donald Trump has shrunk her advantage since the university’s last survey of the battleground state” [Politico]. Same caveat, same rationale.

UPDATE “No, Texas’ balky machines aren’t switching Trump votes to Clinton” [McClatchy]. Electronic voting sucks and should be abolished in favor of hand-marked paper ballots counted in public, but they don’t suck for that reason.

“But academic research has picked up something that thousands of hours of campaign punditry has missed completely: Donald Trump talks like a woman” [Politico]. “Donald Trump is a stunning outlier. His linguistic style is startlingly feminine, so much so that the chasm between Trump and the next most feminine speaker, Ben Carson, is about as great as the difference between Carson and the least feminine candidate, Jim Webb. And Trump earns his ranking not just because he talks a lot about himself or avoids big words (both of which are true); according to Jones, he also shows feminine patterns on the more subtle measures, such as his use of prepositions and articles. The key then is not what Trump talks about—making Mexico pay for the wall or bombing the hell out of ISIL—but rather how he says it.” Readers?

Well, well:


“This party was dead before Lincoln got here” [USA Today]. “Pity the poor Republican Party, which has been on its deathbed since the age of 2. Never mind that Republicans currently control both houses of Congress, 30 state legislatures and 31 governors’ mansions — this split between Establishment Republicans and Trump Republicans is a sure sign the party will be flatlining any day now. Aaaaaany day now …”

Democrat Email Hairball

“Hillary’s 33,000 emails might not be ‘missing’ after all” Like a MacGuffin in a Hitchcock movie? [New York Post]. Important!

“Richard Nixon could only wish he got Hillary’s FBI treatment” [New York Post]. True! Sadly, I have to quote the New York Post twice in a row. It is what it is. We are where we are.

And then there’s this:

Hopefully, Our Neena can kiss that chief of staff position goodbye.

“New Research Blames Insiders, Not North Korea, for Sony Hack” [Time]. The obvious parallel being…

Stats Watch

New Home Sales, September 2016: “New home sales in September, up 3.1 percent to a 593,000 annualized rate, proved very solid though sharp downward revisions to both August (575,000 from 609,000) and also July (629,000 from 659,000) do lower the degree of what is still, however, solid strength in the new home market” [Econoday]. And: “Overall I view this as a good report, which was slightly below market expectations. Dispite the fact the data jumps around, the three month rolling averages are solidly improving” [Econintersect]. And: ” The glass is more than half full. This is very solid year-over-year growth” [Calculated Risk]. But: “Data from the monthly NAHB survey has continued to suggest that there are shortages of available lots and labour shortages have also been an increasingly important feature in recent surveys. The new home sales data will reinforce these concerns and there will also be concerns over affordability issues” [Economic Calendar]. “[L]abour shortages”… If only there were something… like an invisible hand… to solve this problem!

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of October 21, 2016: “Purchase applications for home mortgages fell a seasonally adjusted 7 percent in the October 21 week to the lowest level since January” [Econoday].

International Trade in Goods, September 2016: “In a positive for Friday’s third-quarter GDP report, the nation’s trade gap in goods narrowed sharply in September” [Econoday]. “In a negative indication of retail expectations for the holidays, imports of consumer goods fell 1.8 percent following a 0.6 percent decline in August. And in a negative indication for domestic business investment, imports of capital goods fell 3.6 percent… [I]n a negative indication for domestic business investment, imports of capital goods fell 3.6 percent.” And we are a capitalist society…

Purchasing Managers’ Index Services Flash, October 2016: “Markit Economics’ U.S. samples are reporting a sharp upturn in business this month, first with Monday’s manufacturing report and now with the service flash where the headline index is up nearly 3 points” [Econoday]. “The sharp gains for Markit’s samples are a surprise but are still only anecdotal indications. Definitive data on October will be posted next week with the month’s unit auto sales and of course the monthly employment report. ” However: “Even with the stronger than expected surge in business activity, cautious staff hiring continued this month” [Economic Calendar].

Globalization: “Sluggish global trade is taking its toll on one of the world’s biggest ports operators. DP World reported just 1% growth in container volumes over the first nine months of 2016 at ports it’s owned for at least a year. Modest increases in traffic in Europe were offset by a sharp decline in the United Arab Emirates, where the company is based” [Wall Street Journal]. “DP World operates marine terminals on six continents, insulating it from economic slowdowns in individual countries or whole regions. But the company’s geographic reach can’t protect it from weak economic growth around the world, plus the ongoing commodities bust.”

Shipping: “The Suez Canal’s managers are opening a new front in their fight with the Panama Canal for a greater share of global shipping. Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority is negotiating with large shipping lines to secure payment of tolls three to five years in advance and with a break on pricing, the WSJ’s Costas Paris reports. Egypt has spent billions of dollars deepening the canal and opening it to two-way traffic, but the number of vessels passing through has barely grown amid a slowdown in global shipping” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “Fundamentals of shipping are changing, warns Danish shipowners boss” [Splash 247]. “Global trade will not double by 2030 as [ Anne Steffensen, director general of the Danish Shipowners’ Association’ and the other organisers of the [third annual Danish Maritime Forum] originally thought at the first forum back in 2014…. [T]he age old link between GDP growth and world trade has broken.”

Retail: “More than 90% of ‘genuine’ Apple chargers & cables sold on Amazon are fake, says Apple” [9to5Mac]. I bought some and they fried. I figured it was the house’s electrical system. What a relief!

Retail: “How Amazon counterfeits put this man’s business on brink of collapse” [CNBC (DK)]. “Once a thriving product for movers and contractors available at a dozen big-box retailers including Wal-Mart, Target and AutoZone, Forearm Forklift has been ravaged over the past half-decade by counterfeiters, mostly selling on Amazon. Scores of merchants have copied the patented product, using its name, images and labels and undercutting the real Forearm Forklift on price.”

The Bezzle: “Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings Inc. are cutting companies slack on mergers and acquisitions, an analysis of credit-ratings data by Bloomberg News found” [Bloomberg]. “Over the past year and a half, both have bumped up their ratings by two, three or even six levels on a majority of the biggest deals, the analysis found…. Some investors warn the approach has encouraged an epic debt binge that could pose dangers as years of near-zero interest rates come to an end.”

“In a clear nod to major market-makers’ concerns about the effect of more transparency on cash market liquidity and their own profit margins, Antonio Weiss, a counselor to U.S. Treasury Sec. Jack Lew, told an audience at a market structure conference on Monday that the Treasury market information transparency debate ‘should shift from whether to seek increased transparency to how, when, and on what basis'” [Francine McKenna, MarketWatch]. “Information on activity in cash Treasury markets is not readily accessible, and regulators lack visibility into dealer-to-customer activity, which, according to some estimates, is over 50% of the cash market.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 47 Neutral (previous close: 55, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 39 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 25 at 5:31pm.

Police State Watch

“AT&T Is Spying on Americans for Profit, New Documents Reveal” [Daily Beast]. “The telecom giant is doing NSA-style work for law enforcement—without a warrant—and earning millions of dollars a year from taxpayers.” Not sure what’s new here….

“The day when police zap suspects from the sky with drones carrying stun guns may be nearing” [Wall Street Journal].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“The U.N. Caused Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic. Now the Obama Administration Is Fighting the Victims” [The New Republic]. 2014, still relevant today.

Geographic Information Systems can be empowering:


“A perfect storm of aging infrastructure, stretched municipal budgets, and changing climate conditions are putting even more of the country’s water systems under pressure. Faced with the steep cost of fixing their broken and ill-prepared infrastructure, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are turning to private money in their search for an answer to the country’s water woes. While the record of private companies handling water supplies has been mixed, this trend toward water privatization seems to be some kind of tacit acknowledgment that local governments can’t fix the problem on their own” [Quartz]. Ideal infrastructure projects, eh?


“Far beyond the eight planets of the solar system, beyond even Pluto and the diminutive dwarf planets, may lurk a major new world called ‘Planet Nine.’ Few if any discoveries can be as sensational as finding another planet orbiting our sun, making the feat a Holy Grail for astronomers, who have managed to pull it off only a few times over the centuries. No one yet knows exactly where this ephemeral world might be—or even if it really exists at all” [Scientific American].

“Tilting, sinking San Francisco high-rise raises alarm” [AP]. Best quote ever: “What concerns me most is the tilting.”

Class Warfare

“Don’t Diss the Dark Ages” [Of Two Minds]. ” New modes of production and new social /political orders do not arise fully formed. They are pieced together by trial and error and numerous cycles of adaptation, innovation and failure.” Salutary reminder!

“This issue brief explains how monopsony, or wage-setting power, in the labor market can reduce wages, employment, and overall welfare, and describes various sources of monopsony power. It then reviews evidence suggesting that firms may have wage-setting power in a broad range of settings and describes several trends in recent decades consistent with a growing role for monopsony power in wage determination. It concludes with a discussion of several policy actions taken by the Obama Administration to help promote labor-market competition and ensure a level playing field for all workers” [Council of Economic Advisors]. How I hate that dead “level playing field” metaphor. Generally, playing fields are level. It’s the refs and the crooked guys with their hands in the till in the front office that I worry about.

“In late 2007, before the recession started, the prime-age employment-to-population ratio in the U.S. was about the same as in other Group of Seven developed nations (which also include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.K.). The U.S., however, experienced a much larger decline during the recession, and remains much farther from undoing the damage. As of June, the G-7 as a whole had recovered almost completely, while the U.S. was only 60 percent back from its lowest point” [Bloomberg]. “Prime-age” like “prime beef”…

News of the Wired

“#WeAreTwitter” [The Internet of Ownership]. “Twitter is up for sale. Big companies are circling around looking to buy. But what about us, Twitter users? This proposal to turn one of the world’s most important platform utilities into a platform co-op has started spreading from a mere idea to an organizing campaign. Read, spread, and organize!”

“Only governments can safeguard the openness of the internet” [Aeon].

“Opia, sonder, liberosis: The dictionary for all the emotions you feel but can’t express” [Quartz]. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

____. n. The despondency that steals over you when you’re committed to inventing an election drinking game but have just realized that no rules can possibly be adequate to the task.

* * *

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 (KR):


KR writes: “A nice profile of bee on untidy flower.” Winter is coming…

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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. diptherio

    Sign the #WeAreTwitter petition here (available in English, Deutsch, Español, Français, Italiano & Portugués):


    A community-owned Twitter would result in new revenue streams, since we users would have a chance to buy in as co-owners. We could re-open the platform’s data to spur innovation. We could set more transparent, accountable rules for handling abuse. And we would no longer merely be fickle users; we’d be invested in your sustainability and success. The very meaning of success would change. Without the short-term pressure of the stock markets, we believe we can realize Twitter’s full value—which the current business model has struggled to do for years now.

    So, here’s the situation. A group of us wants to set up a cooperative to gather fellow Twitter users in the hope that we’ll be able to make a deal. A fair deal—one that rewards and includes the people who helped create the Twitter we love. We hope they’ll work with us. And Twitter is only the start, a chance to flex our thinking and organizing around co-owning a major platform utility; our cooperative is cooking up plans for bringing shared ownership elsewhere on the internet, too.

    We, the undersigned, call on Twitter to work with us to share the future of the company with those who love and rely on it most.

    1. reslez

      Twitter, Inc. has shown they can’t be trusted with control of a major communication platform. Their management or other employees routinely censor trending hashtags to suit their own political preferences. I don’t know if a community managed version would be any better, but at least it would be in different hands. Come to think about it, that sums up a lot of elections, too.

  2. Pat

    An important thing about that Time article regarding the Sony Hack is that it is almost two years old. Important because I’m still having to tell people that despite what the President and the government said North Korea didn’t hack Sony because of a really bad movie, but that insiders did it for reasons that were never part of the media blitz about it. And believe me, considering that Clinton is lying through her teeth beyond even the government about this, I point this out a lot.

    1. TheCatSaid

      Something that jumped out at me in December 2014 was a blog post by David E Martin. His blog post more or less laid out the whole game plan–and in so doing, I suspect he thwarted the planned story line. It was amazing to read that the whole plot had actually been presented to Congress years before.

      I’m inferring his intention in writing the post was to spill enough beans to prevent a catastrophic false flag event, as that is why he wrote his book “Coup d’Twelve”. (He spoke about this on numerous radio interviews at the time, and as also discussed it in person.)

    2. Foy

      I had to laugh when I read this in the article though:

      “A recent linguistic analysis cited in the New York Times found that the hackers’ language in threats against Sony was written by a native Russian speaker and not a native Korean speaker.”

      Never let an opportunity for a bit of Russian bashing go to waste it seems. Is there anything at all in the history of the entire world that the Russians aren’t responsible for?

  3. cocomaan

    Just a reminder on that 54 graduates of the program training Syrian opposition fighters: it is the first set of trained recruits in a $500,000,000 training program started in May 2015.

    So if HRC triples that, we will graduate roughly 150 soldiers at the price of 10 million each, if I’m doing my figures correctly. Maybe they should hire contingent faculty and graduate students to handle the 101 courses, they might get the same results for cheaper.

    If you want to know more about Division 30, as this training program’s fighting unit is called, read the wiki page, which has some great gems like:

    In September 2015, a second group of Division 30 rebels with 12 Toyota pick-up trucks, medium machine guns and ammunition crossed the Syrian-Turkish border and ended up giving up much of their weaponry and ammunition to the Al-Nusra Front in order to secure passage farther into Syria.[13][14]

    By the end of September 2015, General Lloyd Austin, head of US Central Command, said the remaining members of Division 30 were limited in number, “We’re talking four or five”. Division 30’s current whereabouts are unknown after they allegedly stopped receiving funding and supplies from the U.S.[3]

    I can’t even keep track of my coworkers, I have no idea how they can possibly say, “Oh yeah, there’s four or five of them left”.

    1. Tom

      Maybe they should hire contingent faculty and graduate students to handle the 101 courses, they might get the same results for cheaper.

      I’d like to suggest web-based training instead. I mean, we have no problem with remote-controlled drone assasinations, surely a cost-effective distance learning program isn’t too much to ask.

    2. Tom

      Maybe they should hire contingent faculty and graduate students to handle the 101 courses, they might get the same results for cheaper

      I’d like to suggest web-based training instead. I mean, we have no problem with remote-controlled drone assassinations. Surely a distance-learning, interactive training curriculum for our designated freedom fighters isn’t too much to ask. Add in a posttest and certification levels and you’ve got a Common Core for Democracy.

    3. JohnnyGL

      As I recall from reading Seymour Hersh on this….the program was set up as a replacement for the CIA’s program to supply rebels, but the Pentagon lost the fight, partially on this. Both programs are still running.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        You missed the bit where one of our lovely “moderate” groups released video of beheading sick children in hospital beds, and that as a result we were planning to “review” our support of them. I’m sure that “review” is going well, in fact I think they should put McCain in charge of it, after all he knows these “moderates” personally and was filmed sharing lots of yuks and high-fives with them.

      1. Massinissa

        Yeah, which would be crazy until you realize somebody got rich on those five soldiers. And it wasnt the five soldiers either.

      2. dk

        It takes a village of idiots to raise a few more idiots. And that village gets paid. And that cost sink generates more resource and administrative cost sinks. So the nominal costs declared are the tip of a larger boondoggle iceberg.

  4. Synoia

    ____. n. The despondency that steals over you when you’re committed to inventing an election drinking game but have just realized that no rules can possibly be adequate to the task.


  5. Annotherone

    Re: “Donald Trump talks like a woman”. The “academic researchers” would pooh-pooh the following explanation, as will y’all, I guess. :-) My amateur, but longtime, study of astrology has an answer to the oddity of Trump’s communication style. Trump’s natal Sun is in Gemini ( communicative, versatile) conjunct Uranus (the rebel planet – lol!). However, his natal Mercury (communication style) as well as two other personal planets, is in Cancer, a feminine sign ruled by the Moon. Q.E.D.

    1. jrs

      Trump talks like he never graduated 5th grade and can’t string a coherent sentence or thought together to save his life. He makes Ben Carson look like a brain surgeon. What an insult to intelligent women everywhere to be compared to Trump.

      1. barefoot charley

        I don’t know how to say this, because I’m politically corrected, but has anyone else noticed how, er, LGBTQ* (not to say GAY) the Donald’s gestures, pucker-faces etc. are? It’s funny when Alec Baldwin exploits them, but it’s hysterical that this, the strongest slag Hillarybots could make against their nemesis, is unspeakable by them, so they have to call him -isms instead. Any good lawyer would say, don’t say he’s an -ism, *show* he’s an -ism! He shows it every time he points his little fingers. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

        1. hunkerdown

          Leo is flamboyant and showy and festive, and the Donald’s natal chart (scroll down a bit) has 29°58′ Leo rising. The last degree of a sign is considered to represent the extremes of what the sign represents, with the next sign in the zodiac forming its reaction to the excesses of the sign at hand. The ascendant being only two arcminutes away from Virgo (approx. 8 clock seconds) and his big-‘n’-tall build make me wonder, though.

          Leo is also a masculine, fixed, fire sign. (You can think “flaming” as a memory aid, just don’t say it.) But I wouldn’t think Leo to hold the sort of receptiveness that serves to define the traditional feminine archetype — Leo takes requests; Virgo takes a cold hard look. The personal planets, Mercury especially, speak better to conversational styles and strategies.

        2. John

          Dan Savage recently said that Trump is proof that gender prefence is not a choice in that he obviously dislikes women so much that he would have sex with men if it were up to choice. Tongue in cheek…but maybe yet another kink in the labyrinth of the Donald’s personality.

          1. Yves Smith

            Lordie. There are entire cultures where women are not at all liked….start with India.

            And I don’t buy this analysis at all.

            If you are a guy with a high sex drive, you are thinking about sex a ton. One study said men think about sex anywhere from twice a minute to twice a day. That means if you aren’t getting laid frequently, you are basically thinking about how you aren’t getting enough sex. And there is clearly more male appetite for sex than women willing to provide it, whether due to genetics or cultural programming. That’s why “prostitute” mean a female prostitute; you need to state otherwise if male.

            So if you are a guy not getting enough sex and you perceive women to be withholding sex from you (which is a big undercurrent of male/female relations, women trading sex for security and/or money), it isn’t hard to imagine that the men are low or even high grade angry with women all the time. The only women who would be exempt would be the ones too old to be sex partners, except they may be guilty by association.

            1. ambrit

              I could suggest American Black culture is similarly biased in general. The American Black antipathy to ‘Gays’ is a known, (at least the segment of said culture observable here Down South.) I might go so far as to posit this characteristic of the culture as having been inculcated by White Southern culture in the past as a means of ‘managing’ the black population. Such trends are generational in duration. Notice that Ben Carson was the next most ‘effeminate’ on the list.
              Turning the argument on it’s head, I would argue that so called ‘feminine’ characteristics on the part of Trump are a positive for his character. The less confrontational and more cooperative aspects of Trump’s personality being dominant are good signs for a position where the gentle arts of politics are needed.
              Finally, well now, Trump is a complicated mess. So what. It’s what he will do, and more importantly, what he will not do, when in office that are of interest. He can be as ‘gay’ as he wants. If he keeps us out of war with Russia, I’ll back him as much as I can. Then he can compete in the Miss America pageant in drag for all I care.

            2. uncle tungsten

              Thank you Yves, that is spot on. It is a vital message to convey to teens and a mighty important message for boys to get. Boys benefit immensely when they practice the skills of countering biological driven thinking with their rational mind. That way they can easily develop relationships based on authenticity and abandon the rational mind when the biological feedback from others is certain and inviting.

              Girls and women benefit immensely when they can live in a world free from the shadows of dopey assumptions on the part of others and uncertainties / fear of male intentions / interpretations.

      2. Lambert Strether

        Surely you know that’s not true. Save the rah-rah pom-pom waving for your Facebook page.

        Personally, I think a corrupt woman warmonger claiming to speak for all women is an insult to all women, but maybe we both know different sets of women.

      3. Katharine

        He makes Ben Carson look like a brain surgeon.

        Which of course is what Ben Carson was before he retired. So your point?

    2. Lee

      It has been a long time but I recall a discussion in a college lit course of differences between masculine and feminine modes of expression in literature. The conclusion of studies at the time was that there were none. Subjects might differ but syntax and vocabulary do not.

      1. Robert Hahl

        They also used to say that men and women played the violin differently, which turned out to be as valid as phrenology when blind auditions could not be avoided any longer.

        What I see in video clips of Trump is one step removed from a doddering old man. Yes 70 is the new 50 if your are rich, but Trump just doesn’t look like he is up to it.

    3. 3.14e-9

      Annotherone, that’s funny about Mercury in Cancer. Also note that Venus in Cancer is the ruler of his third house, which represents communications style. Combined with Mercury in Cancer, that could account for a “feminine” communications style, if indeed there is such a thing, particularly since his Gemini Sun and Uranus disposit to Mercury.

      Your point about his Sun-Uranus conjunction in Gemini is well-taken. Uranus represents not only the rebel, but unpredictability and an urge to shock and offend, sometimes just for the heck of it. With Uranus in Gemini, it follows that the shock and offense come through words. And his statements are definitely unpredictable. Gemini also has a reputation for a short attention span.

      All of the above notwithstanding, you might also want to consider that his Cancer planets disposit to the Moon in Sagittarius, a masculine fire sign. The Moon expresses one’s overarching emotional need. Sagittarius traits include competitiveness (“I went to a better school than you did”), name-dropping, and exaggeration. Everything is always GREAT — no, the GREATEST! The Donald needs to be the greatest, on a first-name basis with the movers and shakers, and the winner in any competition. Thus his low opinion of losers. Sagittarius also is known as the party sign (think of the wedding of Pirithous).

      And then there’s the Leo Ascendant, as mentioned by Hunkerdown, with Mars in close conjunction. Leo wants to be the boss and the center of attention. Mars represents one’s energy and drive, and of course it’s also the planet of war and aggression. When you combine that configuration with Moon in Sagittarius, it’s no surprise to astrologers that he’s a shameless self-promoting blowhard.

      Of course, that also makes his chart ruler the Sun, which disposits to Mercury, etc.

      Incidentally, while a panel of astrologers recently predicted that Clinton would win the election (very bold prediction there), a few have predicted that Trump would win, while others have foreseen big events coming up for him right around election time — and that was before the rumors began circulating of a possible media venture. They typically cite his 29-degree Leo Ascendant, which not only is conjunct Mars, but the fixed star Regulus, one of the four “royal stars of Persia” used since ancient times to predict kingship.

      P.S. By “two other personal planets,” I assume you mean Venus and Saturn. The personal planets extend to Mars. Jupiter and Saturn aren’t personal planets.

    4. Alex morfesis

      The efimeris you are using(and most every 1) is a few thousand years past its sale by date…it is all math and the spectrum adjusts….so from a technical point of view…despite the insistance of the learned…the world is not flat…and yet it moves

      1. 3.14e-9

        If you are saying what I think you are, you are listening to the astronomers and other “scientific, rational” people who ridicule astrologers for not knowing about precession. I can assure you, they do. In fact, the “astronomer” credited with discovering it, Hipparchus, was also an astrologer. Up until the so-called “Age of Enlightenment” and Newtonian physics, there was no distinction between the two. As mathematicians, they studied the physical movements of the planets; as philosophers, they attempted to understand humanity’s relationship with the cosmos, which was metaphysical. The two disciplines were integrated.

        In the 2nd century A.D., some 250 years after Hipparchus, Ptolemy of Alexandria observed the significant gap between the spring equinox and the day Aries rose on the eastern horizon at sunrise. He knew that the gap was going to get wider over time, which was going to complicate astrological calculations. His solution was to divide the sky into 12 equal parts of 30 degrees each, starting with 0 degrees Aries at the spring equinox — the so-called “Aries point.” The 12 divisions were named after the constellations of the zodiac in the order that they rose on the eastern horizon. With this system, 0 degrees Aries would always fall at the equinox, regardless of precession.

        Incidentally, this is what the “Age of Aquarius” is about. Currently, 6-7 degrees Pisces is at the Aries point. Technically, we’re still in the Age of Pisces, although there’s a lot of debate about this. And it’s not as though we go to bed one night in the Age of Pisces and wake up the next morning in the Age of Aquarius. There’s an overlap.

        In any case, the ephemeris used in Western tropical astrology is based on the Ptolemaic system, NOT on the constellations (and BTW, that means there are NOT “13 signs.” Sorry Snake Man). That scientists and astronomers don’t know this makes them the stupid ones, not the astrologers. But OMG, if astrologers attempt to explain it to them, they are “denying science” or “resisting change.”

        1. Alex morfesis

          I threw my efimeris away years ago after I stopped using it for a door stop…had asked around about “updates” when I had burped down the coolaid and was shushed until I noticed the stars were still moving but the charts were not…

          And how many planets did ptolemy know about ?

          And something about the sun going around the earth…

          Everybody needs a religion to hide behind…a book to submit to

          Guessing the “and yet it moves” thingy above didn’t fully register…

          1. 3.14e-9

            It registered. Something evidently didn’t click on your end, so I’ll try again.

            Ptolemy designed the 12-sign system PRECISELY to keep the signs and seasons in synch against a slowly changing backdrop of fixed stars. It was NOT to keep the constellations in one place when they migrate about a degree every 72 years. Signs and constellations are NOT the same thing, nor were the signs intended to be a substitute for the constellations.

            That Neptune, Uranus, Pluto, and celestial bodies such as asteroids and centaurs weren’t known in Ptolemy’s time is irrelevant. Precession refers to the change in perspective from the earth to the FIXED STARS, due to the “wobble” in the earth’s axis. Whether you believe the sun revolves around the earth or the earth is flying spaghetti, the view from down here is exactly the same, and that’s what the ephemeris measures.

            The ephemerides used by modern astrologers include the outer planets, asteroids, and other relatively recent discoveries such as the centaurs. The planetary positions are based on calculations by JPL, which gives them — ready for this? — from the perspective of the earth. Right ascension, declination, and speed are all GEOCENTRIC measurements. For astrological ephemerides, programmers simply convert those measurements to the corresponding degrees in the 12-sign system.

            Before there was software to calculate planetary positions to the minute and second, astrologers used printed ephemerides that gave the daily positions, usually calculated for midnight GMT. The volumes covered a particular period, and when it ended, you had to buy a new one, but the old ones were necessary if you were doing natal charts. Since that’s no longer the case, there’s no reason not to use it for a doorstop, child seat booster or, for that matter, fire starter.

    5. Yves Smith

      This is such garbage.

      1. Women apologize all the time. Just listen. Does Trump ever apologize?

      2. Most women phrase orders as questions. Trump loves giving orders, famously, “You’re fired!” If you give orders like a guy as a woman, people get pissed with you.

      3. Men interrupt women like crazy. Women are loath to interrupt and usually apologize when they do. Trump has no inhibitions about interrupting.

      1. 3.14e-9

        Yves, I think you are talking more about behaviors in communications style – e.g., interrupting, conceding a point, apologizing for misunderstandings, and so forth — whereas the study cited in the article analyzed specific words, use of pronouns, etc., and not the content or even the tone.

        Just to be sure before replying to your comment, I went back to the article and then searched for the original study. Lo and behold, the original study is about Hillary Clinton’s use of words, and it concludes that she talked more “like a man” as her career progressed. The original study clarifies the distinction between linguistic style, including some of considerations you point out, and “function words.” One can take issue with the researcher’s underlying presumptions, but evidently her study did show that Trump uses more “feminine words.” Here’s a blog post by the author, Jennifer Jones, with a link at the end to her original paper:


        From what I can tell, Jones spun off her research of Clinton into a conference paper, which appears to have been the source of the Politico article. The graph in the story is credited to Jones. I’m trying to find that paper, but the link on her UCI page is broken. I’ll keep looking…

        1. Yves Smith

          I suspect the “talking like a man” is about professional class markers. If you talk like a lawyer or an accountant, you are talking like a man, in what they depict as depersonalized and distant and “complex” ergo masculine. Trump pointedly talks in a borderline lower class manner.

          And Trump is a salesman. The “personal” style is a selling technique.

          1. Ché Pasa

            A “salesman”? Huh. He’s a conman. His style is that of a con-artist — without the art part.

  6. B1whois

    Lambert, you commented that the CETA pdf leaked under the techdirt link was “lipstick on a pig”. When I was reading your quoted text from said pdf my thought was that this was a perfect example of a straw man created for the purpose of tearing down a fake argument while ignoring the real argument.

    The exact words in my head were “Ah, this is what a straw man looks like!”

      1. Robert Hahl

        I would like to see more information on the “unintended consequences” which are sure to come from the investor dispute system, e.g., the possibility that lobbyists will eventually push law makers to intentionally change laws to create new causes of action (probably by doing something good for the environment, which the left will celebrate) so that the private sector can exploit a country by suing for supposed lost profits. This sounds like a hell of a good third-way business plan to me.

  7. cocomaan

    The article on Forearm Forklift and Amazon is truly depressing. Amazon seems to have hit critical mass. Fake reviews are out of control. Now fake products?

    Somehow I ended up with a free Prime membership and ordered a few things that I couldn’t find anywhere else – among them, a travel pee bottle. Out of ten or so things I ordered with Prime, one did not show up (pee bottle), and another was broken in transit. Amazon did not respond about the broken item and the seller of the pee bottle argued with me that I actually did get it, then later must have changed their mind, because they sent me the item after all. Happy end to the story: you can, or at least I can, pee in the bottle and it works.

    Don’t see this changing, as Amazon, among others, are the heartthrob of the elite in DC, who are celebrating hard the deregulation of shipping.

      1. cocomaan

        When driverless consumer vehicles and big rigs are the norm, piss jugs will be prized because you won’t have to stop… for anything!!! Fire and forget!

        Calling it right here, right now: fill your garage with them and prep for resale! Hot ticket item in 2020!

        1. petal

          Second time today I’ve nearly choked on food because of a funny. Thanks, guys!! You’re the best!

      2. Jim Haygood

        Gatorade bottles work well, since bright yellow liquid in them doesn’t attract any attention.

        Just don’t put it in the cooler …

          1. Alex morfesis

            NC pratical tip money saver #2…toothpaste on faded plastic headlights…let sit for three minutes…nc practical tip #3… If you live in a state which requires air emission tests & your clunker/klunkette wont pass inspection and you are told by officials or mechanic you are sol…ask state for federal emission waiver form…they will act like it doesn’t exist…then they will only mail it to you and then forget to do so…it is a one year at a time waiver…and states have played with it…insisting you spend hundreds of dollars trying first even though there seems to be no such legal right for them to ask it…yeah yeah pollution…blah blah blah…this is for folks who are on a very tight budget and/or bad credit which won’t allow them to have an alternative

        1. Optimader

          A little tight and shallow, no?
          A childhood chum who is a conmercial airline a/p crew chief had a vintage acrft relief tube rigged up in his Volvo back in the day for nonstop road trips to the north woods. I suppose anyone tailgating was puzzled why they needed to turn on their windshield wiper

          1. Kurt Sperry

            If you get the exit ~in the aero freeflow, you’ll get a nice Bernoullian pressure delta to help evacuate things.

        2. John

          I prefer used juice or laundry detergent bottles with a good handle. Great for the road, camping, next to bed at home for the lazy. Spillage is great fear.

      3. wilroncanada

        Reminds me of a math question posed by my mother years ago:
        If a centipede a pint, and a velocipede a quart, how much would a precipice?

    1. reslez

      There have been counterfeits on Amazon for years. From what I understand, Amazon stocks all the items in the same bin regardless of the source, so fakes from unscrupulous vendors get mixed in with the real thing. It’s a crapshoot what you get. Sadly this has hit me a few times.

      What I’ve noticed lately is that some products are no longer available on Amazon. They’re only sold directly from the manufacturer’s website. Others are still listed on Amazon but they’re “shipped from” the manufacturer. I guess that’s the only way you can make sure what you get is genuine. Amazon certainly doesn’t care.

      1. Optimader

        My limited experince w Amazon has never been a problem w regard to item returns. Worst case, the CC firm will put a hold on payment which is slways the first call in such a circumstance

    2. sgt_doom

      Not to worry, with all the money pouring in from the CIA, Amazon should be doing very nicely for some time to come. . . .

    3. Sammy Maudlin

      Fake reviews are out of control. Now fake products?

      On one hand, a real problem. On the other, you get some great comedy out those fake products featuring fake reviews!

    4. Lambert Strether

      Notice that the proliferation of fake reviews means that they can’t serve as a check on the fake products.

      I imagine Amazon thinks the “verified purchase” system prevents that, but I’ve seen some of those that look awfully sketchy.

      1. skippy

        Remember Verisign started off selling its Brand as security for site transactions, sorta like ACA wrt coverage and cost but the customer is out of the information loop…

        Disheveled Marsupial…. I did a thing on it back some time ago here at NC..

  8. Pat

    I know this may be too simplistic a question for someone with the brilliance of Hillary Clinton and our current Military leaders, but would someone explain to me why we need to essentially recruit and train people for a civil war? If this war is one that the people have been driven to engage in, wouldn’t the real problem be picking the best of the multitudes of volunteers who are dedicated to freeing their country? I seem to remember there being a pretty good number of people behind the US Civil War, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, etc. Sure there was coercion as well, but that was internal not external. Perhaps their problems is not the execution of the ‘training’, but the fact that they are trying to instigate an unwanted civil war.

    Just a thought, but I do think the Press might want to explore that possible aspect. Because as a betting woman, I’d say the odds are that a whole lot of Americans who have thought about this have come to the same conclusion I have. This isn’t about what SYRIANS want.

    1. Waldenpond

      Pat: why we need to essentially recruit and train people for a civil war?

      I always thought it was to create customers for weapons manufacturers. Profit. Growth. GDP. Why do you hate GDP?

    2. sgt_doom

      Because it is not a civil war.

      Because financial hegemony is the ultimate goal.

      Within one or two weeks after the fall of Libya, a central bank was established by the “rebels” there, whereby they immediately adopted the US dollar as their base currency. (Ghadaffi had been working with other African countries towards adopting an Afro-centric currency to trade in oil and commodities, and dropping the USD.)

      1. uncle tungsten

        The north African states intended that the new currency would be backed by gold. It was ready to implement (ex Egypt) and the French went berserk (again) about their disobedient (ex) colonies. The president of France was also mindful of having accepted a large donation from Ghadaffi to assist his re-election, he got caught out. That is illegal in France. He is running for re-election again.

  9. EmilianoZ

    RE: Donald Trump talks like a woman

    I think they’re on to something. I also noticed he has a pretty high pitch voice. And there’s the way he goes off tangent. And the way he went catty on a rival woman (nasty Hillary).

    One possibility is that he’s a self-hating gay that needs to overcompensate with macho talk.

    1. Yves Smith

      “All tenors are gay”?

      “All people who free associate are women/fem”?

      Jeez, do you love gender stereotypes. I know plenty of gay men who write computer code. So have they forced themselves to be gay? Are they really just gynophobic due to horrible relations with their mothers as opposed to genuinely really attracted to men? After all, only real men could be that logical.

  10. Arizona Slim

    Funny you should mention bicycling and its whiteness. That bike rack GIS is yet another data point.

    I’m seeing the same thing happening here in Tucson. Twice a year, we have this big event called Cyclovia. It’s about using the public streets as something other than venues for the movement and storage of cars.

    So far, so good.

    Earlier this year, the organizers announced that the spring event would not be going down to the South Side, which is heavily Hispanic and poor. For several years previous to this one, the South Side Cyclovia was something that *had* to happen in the spring.

    Along this route are quite a few Mexican restaurants that probably did a bang-up business on Cyclovia day. A couple of years ago, there was a huge feria that was just a few steps away from the route.

    Well, guess what. This spring’s route started out in the oh-so-trendy and rapidly gentrifying Lost Barrio. And it went to the very wealthy Sam Hughes neighborhood, which is just east of the University of Arizona.

    The fall Cyclovia happens this Sunday. Starting at a Whole Foods Market and ending at a botanical garden. Along the way, the route will proceed through, ahem, how to say, some of Tucson’s most affluent areas.

    1. Pirmann

      Maybe they’re concerned for the safety of the bike riders and also do not want the bikes to be vandalized or stolen…

      1. Katharine

        And their concern is based on what–actual occurrences in previous years, or simple bigotry about poorer darker people?

  11. clarky90

    Bullyboy/girl tactics of Clinton and her supporters

    Los Angeles police are investigating the vandalising of Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    “Detective Meghan Aguilar said investigators were called to the scene before dawn on Wednesday (Thursday NZ Time) following reports that the presidential candidate’s star was destroyed by blows from a pick and hammer.

    A man who identified himself as Jamie Otis said he was responsible for the damage.”


    It is not a joke. Even in NZ (a million miles away) I dare not say anything good about Donald Trump, for fear of being attacked.

    I am waiting for the mass book-burnings of Donald Trump authored books.

    1. Pirmann

      This is why all of the polls are BS. People do not want to be questioned incessantly nor bullied. But when it’s just the voter and the ballot, watch what happens.

    1. Pat

      If I were uber wealthy I might have done a flyer that says “Voting for a lesser evil is still voting for evil. When you vote for X, your vote is for X regardless of who X is, it is not a vote for A or B. People claiming otherwise are trying to prop up a weak candidate they know is unacceptable by using scare tactics. They have the problem you do not. Never forget that any party can nominate awful people and it is not limited to only one at a time. And this is a wonderful example of both major Parties throwing a finger at the people of America and nominating vastly disliked and distrusted people who are unfit for the office of President. Vote for who you want and tell the whiners they screwed themselves and might want to nominate a better candidate next time.”

      1. Emma

        Well, maybe it didn’t occur to them if they’d picked Bernie instead, they wouldn’t have to use blubber-shtick to defend a mouthpiece to denounce a ‘glorifice’……
        Maybe they wouldn’t need blubber-shtick either if they backed Stein or Johnson who both support marijuana legalization and GMO labels, and who both oppose the death penalty which is an unbloody humane thing to do IMHO…..
        Jill Stein of the Green Party also supports $15 minimum wage (HRC $12 only), refuses to take money from lobbyists and foreign human rights violators (but HRC does), supports a binding Climate Treaty (HRC opposes), opposes fracking (HRC supports), opposes offshore drilling (HRC supports) and opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline (HRC…?…..”ceci n’est pas une pipe” perhaps?), and supports “OMG!” free higher education FOR ALL (HRC opposes), and supports one huuuuge NEW GREEN DEAL for America (HRC apparently supports greenback deals for top drawers….).
        Soooooo, just how do YOU picture the future of our birds and our bees?!
        Underneath with a Submissive? :‑(
        In a Trump Sandwich? :‑(
        Or flying high with an Aviatrix?! ;‑) and :P and :‑) !

        1. Tom

          That first sentence is one of the craziest ones I’ve ever read — maybe the craziest. And I mean that in a good way. Now, if I only knew how to use blubber-schtick properly in a sentence myself.

          1. Emma

            Thanks Tom and please feel free to use it anyway you so wish. Don’t let yourself be dominated by a fear of purgatory! We live in an allegedly deregulated free-market anyway.

            One where market forces don’t always keep our food supply safe nor our water clean. A new and up-to-date Yale School of Public Health Survey on Fracking Links to Cancer-Causing Chemicals could partially explain why:

            “the majority of chemicals (>80 percent) lacked sufficient data on cancer-causing potential, highlighting an important knowledge gap. Of the 119 compounds with sufficient data, 44 percent of the water pollutants and 60 percent of air pollutants were either confirmed or possible carcinogens. Because some chemicals could be released to both air and water, the study revealed a total of 55 unique compounds with carcinogenic potential. Furthermore, 20 chemicals had evidence of increased risk for leukemia or lymphoma specifically”

            See more details here: http://publichealth.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?id=13714

        2. John k

          It never occurred to them to pick Bernie, an anti neolib, anti neocon.
          They are the opposite of Bernie on absolutely every issue.
          Guess he doesn’t agree? Seems odd…

      2. different clue

        The Republican Party did not nominate Trump. A commanding plurality of Republican VOTERS elected Trump to be their nominee in the teeth of Republican Party Leadership opposition and condemnation.

    2. aab

      I have seen firsthand reports of that exact flyer being distributed in Florida and Pennsylvania, with photos of the flyer. But these were online reports, at least one of which was a poster on Reddit, so take with a least a grain of sand.

  12. Enquiring Mind

    Many schools in rainy towns have crowned playing fields to help with the runoff. That may somehow be symbolic of jobs and acknowledgement of existence running off, or not. They haven’t had much recent luck or recognition in the level playing field world, but with school budget cuts looming they might let those fields lie fallow.

  13. Bjornasson

    I find the whole hysteria over Russian hacking very one-sided. If the US takes it upon itself, out of sincere concern, to help out “moderates” in overthrowing a repressive, evil government in Syria, Libya and Iraq, maybe the same thing happening to the US itself is not that weird? Here is a tyrannical government with little regard for its demotivated and demoralized citizens who can not on their own displace it. This government threatens nuclear war and kills an unjustified number of its own citizens. Its public infrastructure is in ruins and oligarchy is everywhere. In the past the US has set the example for dealing with such troubled states; its time the doctor took his own medicine.

    1. reslez

      The “evidence” for Russian hacking is so suspect that anyone who repeats the story instantly stamps themselves as either a con or a mark. It’s depressing to see media corruption so blatantly displayed. Now I know what 2003 must have felt like (I was too young to have much of an opinion back then).

      1. WJ

        What more evidence do you need than the word of Hillary and CNN? They both say that 17 intelligence agencies have confirmed it. Which makes me think that maybe we have too many intelligence agencies.

        1. Gareth

          The “17 intelligence agencies” claim is complete Clinton bullshit. I’m kind of amazed that journalists are now stating this as fact. I could say I’m shocked but nothing the presstitutes do surprises me anymore. They are busy preening for their future White House access. It kind of makes me want to get drunk and vote for the orange haired guy.

        2. Kokuanani

          Just finished trying to “re-educate” my husband after he listened to [and apparently believed] a report in the CBS Evening News on the “Russian hacking of Clinton’s e-mails.” They reported it as complete “fact,” without even a perfunctory “alleged.”

          Too difficult to do this correction one person at a time, while the networks have such massive reach.

          1. Kurt Sperry

            It *is* highly asymmetric warfare. And as is normal when working the insurgent side, the trick isn’t to try to win by a large number of winning individual engagements, but rather of delegitimatizing the side with the resource advantage in a broader, cultural way. Delegitimize the mainstream media actively. If you win the culture war, you win the political war too just as a bonus. Tell the truth, unapologetically. That’s as bad-ass as it gets.

            1. WJ

              This is sound advice. Problem is, how to delegitimate media generally? Actual insurgents avoid direct confrontations with superior occupying power and opt for a variety of other strategies of attack, including: IED’s, flash attacks, suicide bombings, disruption of civilian life, etc. What are some equivalent, concrete (and legal) strategies for disrupting the order of imposed media? The use of social media seems to be one option, and maybe the most successful. Yet this tends to reach only certain segments of population who are unlikely to watch CNN or read the Post in any case. How can one harm the media powers where it hurts them most, by reaching and disrupting their actual consumers, who tend to be older, establishment-minded, white, etc…?

              1. Kurt Sperry

                How to delegitimize the media? They are doing that themselves. In spades. Listen to the people around you, they are getting wise to it. Just point it out to anyone who’ll listen. It isn’t the bombs and attacks that win an insurgency, none of that stuff works if the cause isn’t widely understood and shared. The victory is won–to recycle a cliché–in the hearts and minds of the ordinary people. Naked Capitalism is a big ammo depot and we are the grunts and the munitions are ideas. And as I alluded to above, the power of truth. Truth will kick ass and take names if you let it.

                1. Ulysses

                  “Truth will kick ass and take names if you let it.”

                  Thanks for the spirit-raising exhortation Kurt!! Many Americans are walking around with heads like over-inflated cognitive dissonance balloons. If you listen closely, you can hear these balloons popping off all the time, resulting in yet another person able to confront reality.

        3. Massinissa

          What other intelligence agencies are there than the CIA and NSA? Does anyone know the other 15, and why are these intelligence agencies never spoken of in the media except when its useful for Clinton?

            1. JTMcPhee

              Why is it called a “community?” Cabal? Coven? Hey, isn’t the proper collective noun for lawyers (Clintons, Yoo, Meese, Obama, etc.) a “conspiracy?”

      2. Bjornasson

        The idea is essentially that even if the evidence did exist, it should be welcomed with the same enthusiasm that US interventions have in Syria and Libya.

    2. Tom

      Ahhhh, but that exactly where the “exceptional” clause kicks in. You see, America is justified in intervening in other countries’ business because we see further, with a clearer gaze and a purer heart, than any other country in the world. Mired as they are in ignorance or inertia, no other country is qualified to judge us, and any mistakes that we make only occur because of the depths of our love for others and our passion for freedom.

        1. Tom

          historical madness/hysterical madness … take your pick.

          It is terrifying to watch Clinton rave about adopting a more “muscular, aggressive” approach to foreign affairs — with little or no push back from the national media, either party or even many citizens. Hell, they are applause lines at her rallies.

          If 15 years of endless wars, trillions of dollars of wasted money, hundreds of thousands of casualties on all sides and metastasizing terrorist threat with no end in sight doesn’t give one a little pause before advocating more of the same, then we might have a problem.

          1. abynormal

            she’s a scorned woman beginning with her father. she’s passive-aggressive with women…projects her never ending insecurities. SO she has something to prove…vengeance is mine.

            First, she’ll drone Mercy Street(s)…

            1. Elizabeth

              Hillary said twice during the debates that “America is great because America is good.” Translation: We can do whatever we damn well please because we can. Lord, help us all. I’m so sick of hearing this and our endless criminal wars.

  14. Kim Kaufman

    “Battlegrounds: The Fight for Mosul and Election Day Disruptions” (podcast) [Foreign Policy Editor’s Roundtable].

    “…historians will look back on it as “a forty year’s war,” without ever once giving a reason for us to be there. Soothing NPR voices, no anger, a lot of laughter. Smart people.”

    This is what the “smart people” are so able to do: always find the humor in war and poverty and keep it ever so polite. It’s really revolting. Could have gone under Guillotine Watch. Guess I’m happy to be stupid and angry.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Soothing voices, no anger, a lot of laughter … right up till the pitchfork tines pierce their windpipe.

      1. polecat

        there is absolutely nothing ‘soothing’ about N..P..R !!

        ‘Irritating’ or ‘grating’ yes ….

        ….In fact, whenever I come across NPR banter on my local radio station … I immediately switch to the local BC ‘French’ station.

        1. sgt_doom

          Yes but they are usually in full agreement with the Koch brothers, who have been financing WGBH Educational Foundation since 2008 (owners of PBS, Frontline and most of the “content” shows on NPR).

          1. polecat

            well … yeah … as per the federal gov. 30-years war on the commons …. courtesy of feckess f#cksticks in the Uniparty !!

  15. Jay M

    Trump a girlymaan? Who knew?
    In other news, the undertaker showed up at my door and said they were ordered by my fitbit. He had a driverless hearse as well. I guess the next SV unicorn will be busy disrupting Charon’s trade.

  16. diptherio

    Does this mean that we can call the people who accused N. Korea of the Sony hack ‘conspiracy theorists’? Will they be apologizing for jumping to (stupid) conclusions and slandering a foreign gov’t? I’m waiting with bated breath to find …

  17. Jim Haygood

    ‘Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority is negotiating with large shipping lines to secure payment of tolls three to five years in advance and with a break on pricing.’

    Translation: “For a hamburger today, we will gladly open the lock gates next Tuesday.”

    Will a new Egyptian gov’t honor that deal, after food rioters overthrow the current regime?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What does Egypt have to do to be our special friend and get billions?

      “How do we become your special friends?”

  18. L

    This is semi-offtopic but a week or so ago there was an article with an economist asking why people didn’t just pack up and move to the jobs the way they did during the dustbowl. Like a typical economist the article was mostly about idly wondering why other people don’t do inhuman and undesireable things that probably won’t work because the models say they should.

    In any event the New Yorker just put up a piece with a 1 page comic that is absolutely on point. It is about Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath See the full article here.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In their defense, it’s much harder to go to China than moving to California to pick oranges…especially when you have to take grandpa, grandma and the rest of the family.

    2. Lyle

      Actually until recently (the oil price crash) the question in the US was why not pack up and move to Willison, ND, or South of San Antonio (Eagle Ford) or the Permian Basin where during those times a truck driver could make 100k a year. But if you go back you find that there were 2 different mind sets of folks who came to the US one group moved nearly every generation (In my family they started in Boston in 1620, moved to Ct, got kicked out and moved to NJ in the late 1600, moved to Oh in 1816, Ia in 1846 to a different town in Ia in 1885 or so and to In in 1916. Other ancestors came to an area and stayed in their community for generations.
      So the economist was using the myth of the western migration and the great get rich quick schemes of 1849 and later (gold rush) as examples.
      It would be interesting to try a poll to ask folks if it were 1849 and you had to wagon train to Ca from the east would you do it. (One could include traveling by ship as that was no piece of cake to go around Cape Horn)
      It was interesting the number of folks forced out of New Orleans who had never been out of La for example.
      However it is the great american myth that folks picked up an moved in the 1800s easily (particularly when back then it meant loosing contact with loved ones for good. Many may have had been capable of one such journey across the atlantic but that was all they could take.) Of course today moving away does not mean a loss of contact with free long distance on cell phones, emails. etc,

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      As Obama the golfer might say: Take you time, don’t rush and believe it will be hole-in-one.

  19. Code Name D

    Fundraising thermometers Lambert and Yves decided not to go with

    The early retirement fund
    The spouse gratuity and apology fund
    Liquor-store tab reduction fund
    Therapy access fund

    (any more)

    1. Pirmann

      Also somehow avoided:
      The new desk to bang head upon fund
      The crystal ball initiative to avoid quelle surprises fund
      The committee to promote governmental gridlock fund
      The call for action but take none performative speech fund (also known as the Sanders-Warren fund)
      The better trolls supply fund

  20. Pat

    Caught part of the View this morning including their section on the admission from the Administration that premiums are going to increase in double digits some high for the next year. After some defense of it and info about one of the problems of it (including a somewhat dissonant outburst from Clinton’s biggest fan Joy Behar about why should health care be for profit) Goldberg went on a rant. After her starting the defense part of it, it was interesting to hear her go on about paying more and more for less and less and never seeing any kind of rebate because she hadn’t used the insurance she paid for for over a decade. She has almost realized she has been had.

    1. Joseph Hill

      In my inbox today courtesy of CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield:
      “Your premium: The monthly premium you paid in 2016 was $315.62. Beginning January 1, 2017,
      your monthly premium will change to $520.59 for the coverage plan you have been automatically
      renewed into.
      Please understand that premium rates are approved by State regulators pursuant to strict federal and
      state rules. We deeply regret increases, but these rates realistically reflect the actual costs of providing
      care to you and all other individuals who have bought coverage under the ACA. ”
      65% annual premium increase (and an deductible increase as well). Absolute F**king disaster.

      1. jrs

        They are telling you a way to change it though. The premium rates are approved by State regulators, means the states should push back.

  21. Alex morfesis

    $hillary birthday flop in tampa…she can’t even get the prison guards excited…if this is the best she can do for her birthday no wonder her people are panicking…wow..this will be interesting how the camera angles will be used to hide this disaster…was going to a meeting nearby…police blocked off a huge area for people who never showed up…now I understand the beltway panic…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      With a neutral media, it’d be a landslide victory for Trump.

      As it is, Hillary will still lose badly.

    1. Tom

      Love the headline for the Bay News article you linked to — “Hillary calls for unity.”
      Old miss “basket of deplorables” — also known as Miss “hire bird dogs to incite violence at rallies and blame her opponent” — is getting all squishy to extol the virtues of unity. Seriously — does anyone still believe a word that comes out of her mouth?

      1. sgt_doom

        I believe her line she constantly repeats: “Celebrating diversity” is code for destroying the middle class!

      2. hunkerdown

        She probably wasn’t talking to you. She was probably talking to the history textbooks yet to be written.

      3. Lambert Strether

        “Hillary calls for unity”

        Rather like:

        “Honey, I’ve changed!”

        when you think about it.

      4. different clue

        Millions upon millions of KKK members believe every word she says.

        “KKK members!?”

        Oh . . . I’m sorry. I didn’t mean THAT KKK. I meant the OTHer KKK. You know . . . the Klinton Koolaid Kult.

  22. Chauncey Gardiner

    Regarding TechDirt headline: “Corporate Sovereignty Helps To Bring EU-Canada Trade Deal To Brink Of Collapse”:

    Excellent headline that captures the essence of public opposition to these cleverly and deliberately mislabeled and mischaracterized “trade agreements”. They are all about transfer of our national sovereignty and sovereign powers, including judicial powers, to large transnational corporations and international banks through mandatory arbitration tribunals, with no possibility of appeals regarding either the legitimacy or amounts of damages awarded by those tribunals on damage claims. The $15 billion claim for damages under NAFTA for cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline should be our guide about likely outcomes that are so massive as to preclude effective regulation or passage or enforcement of national or state laws, such as a new Glass-Steagall Act or anti-trust laws, that are deemed by these tribunals to contravene the terms of these “trade agreements”.

    We the People should thank the government of Wallonia profusely for refusing to sign this CETA document, which is being used by the Obama administration as a bell cow and backdoor to gain domestic support from Congress and to get the EU nations to sign both the TTIP and Trade in Services Agreements (TiSA) as well.

      1. Chauncey Gardiner

        Dunno… I’ve been struggling with this too. Think I’ll buy some of their craft ale.

  23. Hierophant

    I’ve been watching videos on Youtube of Trump and Clinton rallies. Trump is getting thousands of people at his rallies, holding several rallies per day, and the comments on his videos are almost 100% pro Trump. Hillary is getting hundreds of people at her rallies, holding several per week, and the comments on her videos are almost 100% pro Trump. Is this an internet echo chamber? Are the polls that off? Is the media that complicit with her campaign? Just observing this objectively to gauge how the internet is viewing things and not just how the media is portraying things. I’m having a hard time seeing how she is polling so high.

    1. hunkerdown

      Trump is what John Robb calls an “open-source insurgency“. 4chan’s infamous /pol/, /r/TheDonald and their fellow-travelers likely have some hand in shaping the Internet playing field. The utter lack of popular interest in a Hillary presidency just makes it more conspicuous.

      Also, by nature, Democrat Party “supporters” have ulterior motives involving gains in wealth and status — observe the Georgia congressman’s offer of “jobs” in politics for not walking out of the convention. His apparently show up for free — or, alternately, have ulterior motives involving stormtrooping.

    2. Waldenpond

      The internet is an echo chamber itself. People are split between tv, in person conversations and internet. Clinton supporters think it’s in the bag and they are trolling very little (just a few die hards can’t stop gloating) and from what I can see, Trump people think Wikileaks is going to save them. Did you know that O’keefe did another video? It was shocking! The Clinton campaign returned a donation. zzzzzzz

    3. Tom

      I’ve definitely noticed something similar.

      I check out several pro-Hillary stories a day (fluff jobs from Huff Po, Yahoo News, other similar venues) and almost every discussion section is filled with withering comments denouncing Hillary and dismantling whatever spin the media stenographer dutifully based the article on.

      To be sure, some of the comments are just plain crude or stupid, but a surprising number include arguments and reasoning that would not be out of place at Naked Capitalism — and there are often hundreds or thousands of comments per story. Hillary supporters seem far outnumbered.

      As you note, the polls seem to be reflecting support for Hillary that I just don’t see across the Internet, apart from the stories printed by the journalistically captured.

  24. abynormal

    i thought i was having a bad time:
    Chinese Bank Liabilities Rise Above 200 Trillion Yuan For The First Time

    ‘between 15% and 20% is in the form of bad loans’

    moving on…we, Georgians, are in one hell of a drought. every morning i wake with pumpkin head…my allergies are worse in the fall. well!, back in the day, GA WATER PRIVATIZATION was a huge FAIL…and i dug up a free-market zombie explaining the woes of our failure:

    2003; In 1997 the City of Atlanta privatized their waterworks system, entering into a 20-year contract with United Water. At the time, it was the largest and longest privatization of infrastructure in U.S. history. The deal garnered many awards including one from the National Council on Public-Private Partnerships and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

    However, in the past few months several issues have arisen in Atlanta regarding the performance of the water system, contractor payments or change orders, and the status of the system before the contract was entered into. Ultimately, while not perfect, the Atlanta water privatization presents a valuable opportunity from which to learn (it was just fuckingcreepy how the poor in Atlanta were receiving 5k to 22k water bills)—if nothing else, it teaches us what not to do.
    Ding…In the last few years both President Clinton’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)[1] and the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) have reported about the quality and environmental benefits associated with privatization of water and wastewater services.

    The EPA endorsed privatization as a means by which local governments can meet environmental standards. Indeed the EPA wrote, “[Privatization case studies] provide concrete examples to local officials of how successful partnerships and other models can be used by communities to provide needed environmental services more efficiently. They also show how public-private partnerships can be used as a way to provide substantial benefits to both the public and private sectors, creating the classic ‘win-win’ situation.”[2]
    (if i don’t LAFF, i’ll PUKE)…Trouble is around the corner in many places. More than one-third of the utilities had 20 percent or more of their pipelines nearing the end of their useful life. In about 60 percent of water and 65 percent of wastewater utilities, pipeline rehabilitation and replacement was less than desired levels. Private utilities fared much better, in fact “public utilities were more likely than their privately owned counterparts to defer maintenance and major capital needs.”[12]

    http://reason.org/news/show/122661.html……….the author is a Prime example of
    the man in the suit has just bought a new car
    From the profit he’s made on your dreams

  25. Tom

    Re: Hopefully, Our Neena can kiss that chief of staff position goodbye.

    Is this a glimmer of the true value of the Clinton email hairball? Forget the corruption, the Friends of Bill, the pay to play and all that. It’s clear that investigating her for real is above everyone’s pay grade. Could the real value be that the emails reveal to Hillary what her staff really thinks about her and trigger a rash of firings, early retirements, reassignments and so on. After all, the emails have shown us that in Hillary we aren’t really electing a President; we are electing a Public Relations firm. So what if the PR firm implodes?

  26. abynormal

    SO, we’re paying AT&T to spy on subscribers while our children are tormented for not being able to afford a PUBLIC school lunch which our taxes SHOULD be covering…

    for Caroline: It was not that Adam ate the apple for the apple’s sake, but because it was forbidden. It would have been better for us–oh infinitely better for us–if the serpent had been forbidden. ~MT

    1. TheCatSaid

      That is really something. Thanks for the link. From the email it seems so innocuous–and then the detail in the attachment–!!!

  27. ewmayer

    Some links which I give in headline-plus-easily-searchable-article-ID form to up my chances of staying out of the mod queue. Reuters pieces, just append ID to [reuters dot com slash article slash]:

    o Clinton slams Trump for comments on offensive against Islamic State | Reuters [article ID: us-usa-election-idUSKCN12N0N1] — “Telling the truth is aiding the enemy! Ignorance is Strength!”

    o New York City construction spending forecast to hit record: report | Reuters [us-usa-property-new-york-idUSKCN12P0BD] — Bubble-peak indicator? ‘…on track this year to surpass the record set just before the financial crisis.’

    o Hired experts back claims St. Jude heart devices can be hacked | Reuters [us-st-jude-medical-cyber-muddywaters-idUSKCN12O1O1] — ‘My heart device was hijacked to be part of an IoT botnet and I can’t get up!’

    o Global Warming Scam Exposed | MishTalk [mishtalk dot com slash 2016 slash 10 slash 24 slash global-warming-scam-exposed] — Perhaps the connection to the London School of Economics should have served as a red flag? But, Mish’s It’s-all-a-huge-scam conclusion is entirely off-base – there is nothing to indicate that the actual research which was misappropriated by this outfit was bogus. OTOH, engaging in such research fraud in order to push a particular economic agenda should make people look very closely at said agenda.

    o Former Secretary of State Powell will vote for Clinton: Newsday | Reuters [us-usa-election-powell-idUSKCN12P2RQ] — Neocon warmongers united for Hillary! Odd how all the faux-progressive HRC supporters aren’t up in arms over these worst-of-Shrub-administration endorsements. Or not.

    1. Tom


      ‘My heart device was hijacked to be part of an IoT botnet and I can’t get up!’

      Doesn’t quite have the same ring as, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” but then again, times were simpler back then.

      God knows what the IoT is going to do to the Clapper.

  28. craazyman

    It’s a Mystic Moment in the Halls of Science!

    Planet Nine could be a fusion of Nibiru and Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space.

    Sometime with channeling you don’t get the idea exactly right, but you get big chunks of it! If the scientists are channeling up Planet 9, they may actually be tuning in to Nibiru itself, or to the potential for alien invasion that Ed Wood must have foreseen in his remarkable cinematic epic drama.

    Either way, it’s not entirely good news. But then it rarely is in Links at NC. I’ve noticed the news in Links is usually bad, often foreboding, tinged with incrimination and redolent with pathos and drama. It would frankly be hilarious if it was fiction. you can’t make this stuff up and have it be plausible.

    Planet nine may simply be a big rock. But if it’s Nibiru, then the good news is global warming will no longer be the most pressing issue facing mankind

  29. OIFVet

    Couple of weeks ago there was speculation in these parts as to whether Pussy Riot would weigh in about the allegations against the Donald. Well, it just did: Pussy Riot celebrate the vagina in lyrical riposte to Trump. So it is fair to ask, are those dastardly Russkies attempting to influence the elections, and is Hillary a Russkie manchurian candidate? It would be irresponsible not to speculate in these dangerous times!

  30. October Entropy


    State of play in one civil society challenge to US official impunity, Saleh v. Bush. Chilcot Report submitted into evidence, rejected by the court with no justification in a panic reminiscent of 856 F.2d 929 (D.C. Cir. 1988). DoJ claims ‘absolute immunity,’ showing the US unwilling or unable to prosecute the gravest crimes in universal jurisdiction. This permits proprio motu investigation by the ICC Prosecutor or referral by the UNSC.

    Arbitrary reaffirmation of US impunity also impels state responsibility doctrine obligating all states to stop grave crimes and imposing responsibilities for satisfaction potentially including prosecutions.


    Now that WWIII has begun, one crucial theater will be the Hague.

  31. ewmayer

    “____. n. The despondency that steals over you when you’re committed to inventing an election drinking game but have just realized that no rules can possibly be adequate to the task.” — electodipsomelancholia?

  32. Skyburn

    Re: Water

    These articles never seem to go into the other options that struggling municipal water companies have. They can form a municipal authority or share certain assets with neighboring towns.

    Not too familiar with Camden, but across the river in Montgomery County, Pa, several struggling municipal water companies merged to form the North Penn Water Authority. Other municipalities have joined after that; the latest was just last year; iirc. There’s another water authority to the south, the North Wales Water Authority. North Penn and North Wales share a treatment plant that produces 85% of the drinking water for North Penn. (Not sure of the % for the North Wales WA.)

    Some places did privatize, selling to Aqua America (Glenside and the Main Line), or Pennsylvania American Water (Norristown and the surrounding area). Aqua America has ok service but is hideously expensive. Pennsylvania American is cheaper but has a ton of problems. They have frequent brown water problems at some places, boiling notices at least a few times a year, and once had their entire treatment plant shut down because of heavy rain (which didn’t affect the other water companies). Almost every business in the area closed, except for ones that trucked water in at huge expense.

    Some places have wells, but these have a few problems locally. The wells tend to be shallow, because the ground is so rocky, so they can run dry if you aren’t careful. Plus there tends to be a slight tendency towards radioactivity in the wells. The municipal wells regularly test for radioactivity and don’t always pass.

  33. B1whois

    Okay, so I often times feel like I don’t have a whole lot to contribute here, everyone is so smart and stuff. But I’ve been watching some shows on Netflix about our digital future that really make me think a lot about the things I’m reading here at naked capitalism. So I thought I would just go ahead and share. The first thing I want to mention is the second season of Black Mirror. It is about 6 episodes wherein “This sci-fi anthology series explores a twisted, high-tech near-future where humanity’s greatest Innovations and darkest instincts collide.” Please chime in.

    The other thing I found really interesting was a quote from minute 31 in episode 19 of Dark Matter. The quote is, “it’s times like these, when longtime patterns are disrupted, that things become more fluid. That’s when a small group of people, or even a single individual, can change the course of history.”
    Does that sound possible? That times of great flux allow for small groups of people to exert magnified influence?

    Either way, I find it really interesting how Arts treats our current time, after all Netflix content is just another form of mass Media.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Humanity…greatest innovations….darkest instincts…

      Chiming in here. Personally, I worry about irrational humans practicing, including applying (and profiting – reputationally, ego-gratifyingly or monetarily ), the rational Scientific Method.

      Ultimately, the salvation will only come when we yield and let rational robots do the science.

      Robot scientists – that’s how they do it in Utopia.

    2. begob

      Haven’t seen the current series of Black Mirror, but the first two from 2011 were excellent. Charlie Brooker really has come up with some unique and telling.

  34. allan

    Oregon’s top civil rights lawyer alleges he was racially profiled [AP]

    Oregon’s top civil rights lawyer filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against his boss and others in the state Department of Justice after learning that his colleagues surveilled his Twitter account because one of his posts turned up in a search for the Black Lives Matter hashtag.

    Erious Johnson, the department’s civil rights director, said in the lawsuit that the January 2015 tweet included a picture of the logo of the hip-hop group Public Enemy. The logo depicts a black man in silhouette in the crosshairs of a gun, but a state investigator mistook the black man for a police officer and wrote to his supervisor that Johnson could be a threat to police, court papers say.

    That mistake led Johnson’s colleagues within the department to compile a report on him and comb through his Twitter posts — all without his knowledge and while he continued to work alongside them, according to the lawsuit filed in Eugene, Oregon. …

    The incident began when the state investigator used a new computer program to search for social media posts in the Salem, Oregon area that included the hashtag Black Lives Matter and (expletive) the police. …

    Inquiring minds want to know where the funding for the “new computer program to search for social media posts ” came from and in how many other localities this is going on.

  35. Jay M

    I got my delivery of soylent, amazon, free shipping
    I’m set to 2020
    Just got to dig that bomb shelter
    The 90’s were comforting, we were making other people better
    now we hear that we’re irredeemable
    wish I’d thought about water though

  36. TheCatSaid

    Why worry about Russian hacking when we’re so good at it already? The short clip of Fraction Magic is out on YouTube (full version to be out in a day or two). The short clip shows how the program allows insiders to preset election results as desired percentages and overrule the actual results. I watched it twice so I could pause to take in the numbers.

    The short one shows just the actual hack so people can easily embed it on their own websites and still have bare bones explanation; the full version will have the full background.

    The program is on the majority of the machines used to count our votes–maybe as many as 99%. Best of all there are things we can do to expose it–the ending frames spell it out succinctly.

  37. Lead Bow

    NC, where facts are sacred?

    There is no evidence Marie Antoinette ever said. “Let them eat cake.” The phrase appears in a book written by Rousseau in 1765 and was attributed to “a great foreign princess”, when Marie Antoinette was just nine. Its first attribution to Marie Antoinette was by Alphonse Karr in 1843, 50 years after her death. In her biography of the Queen, Antonia Fraser states that Marie Antoinette was a generous patroness of charity and moved by the plight of the poor when it was brought to her attention. However as a mere Queen in a man’s world, and a foreign one at that, what she could actually do for them was very limited.

    OK, she was pampered and privileged but she was also a woman of her time. And admittedly the phrase has become useful shorthand. But to attribute the ‘let them eat cake’ attitude to the real woman maligns her unjustly.

    1. Yves Smith

      I suggest you improve your reading comprehension before you engage in concern trolling. The section that offends you is in text quoted from an article, so you should take you beef up with the author and/or that publication, and not us. From NC’s perspective, the historical accuracy is not germane to the point is it making, and “Let them eat cake” is part of the lexicon independent of the attribution. Moreover, I have more than once that Marie Antoinette almost certainly did not say “Let them eat cake.”

      1. Ulysses

        “Let them eat cake” is part of the lexicon independent of the attribution.”

        Yes, although maybe today it should be updated to “let them fiddle with smartphones,” lol.

      2. Lead Bow

        My apologies Lambert, Yves.

        In my browser the reference to Marie Antoinette and cake reads as though it is part of Lambert’s personal comment on the Jochen Bittner piece in the NYT. However for reasons way beyond my comprehension of html NC always appears in my Browser omitting many punctuation marks, including apostrophes and quote marks. Hence if the piece indicated that the line regarding Marie Antoinette and ‘her’ remark was lifted from the reviewed article by enclosing it in quote marks they did not appear in the piece in my browser, thus misleading me.

        I agree that the phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” is now sufficiently widely known as to carry its intended meaning without reference to the specifics. However specifically linking the phrase to Marie Antoinette as Bittner (?) did is a direct call on an historical context which in my view unjustly maligns the character of a painfully real woman, who ever makes it.

  38. skippy

    This is what is known as eating someone else’s lunch – Newspaper Advertising Revenues: Adjusted for Inflation, 1960 to 2014


    Now we know why politicians bow down to them – h/t nyleta

    Hay that looks like a monopoly or is it just my lying eyes….

    Disheveled Marsupial…. it just could not be so…. google’s HQ is in America…. the well spring of Capitalism….

Comments are closed.