2:00PM Water Cooler 10/4/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Hillary Clinton kept up her attack on the TPP in a speech Monday in Toledo, Ohio, repeating that she opposes TPP now and in the future “because it is one-sided and unfair to American workers.” The Democratic nominee didn’t go into an extended critique of the agreement, but criticized investor-state dispute settlement provisions that she said ‘favor large corporations over everyone else'” [Politico]. Such mushy language; ISDS is a surrendur of national sovereignty; that’s really not the same as “favoring” large corporations. “Then, in an interesting juxtaposition, she attacked the pricing practices of pharmaceutical companies. ‘We’re going to have to protect ourselves against that too,’ Clinton said. ‘And let’s finally import safe alternatives from other countries like Canada and speed up approvals to get more generics on the market. And it is long past time to allow Medicare to negotiate for better prices for drugs and get the cost down for Medicare recipients.” But implement Medicare for All so the public has the absolute strongest position to negotiate for better prices? “Never, ever!”


Days until: 36.

Debate Wrapup

Next presidential debate: Sunday, October 9.

The Voters

“Shunning is mostly performative and the left has usually opposed it” [Carl Beijer]. “The Dordrecht Confession of Faith, a central text of the Radical Reformation, advocates shunning so that the offender “may be made ashamed, be affected in his ways.” In other words, shunning was supposed to have two practical consequences: 1) to engineer wokeness in the community, and 2) to shame the offender into rehabilitating. Both of these rationales emerge time and time again in modern liberal-left advocacy for shaming and ostracization as tools of social engineering and personal discipline. And yet strangely enough, anyone at all familiar with the standard left critiques of shunning should have rejected both long ago. To take the second point first, there is little reason to believe that shunning actually has any kind of rehabilitative effect on its target, and considerable reason to believe that it can actually amplify the problem.” See under “Irredeemables.”

“If Hillary Clinton wins the White House, GOP fortunes will hinge in part on people willing to vote for Republicans down ballot even if they can’t bring themselves to vote for Donald Trump for president” [Wall Street Journal]. “That calls for reversing a steep, 40-year decline in ticket-splitting.”

“With All Eyes On Haiti, Its Diaspora In Florida Could Swing A Close Election” [HuffPo]. “Among Haitians, Clinton has at least two obstacles to overcome: there is deep skepticism about the work the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has done on the island after a devastating earthquake there in 2010, according to interviews with community leaders. Compounding the problem for Clinton, the Obama administration last month suddenly lifted a six-year pause on deportations to Haiti it had implemented in the wake of the 2010 earthquake.”

“That [post-debate] surge in Democratic enthusiasm has translated into gains in the battleground states. The bounce is most obvious in Sun Belt states like Florida, North Carolina, Colorado and even Nevada, where Democrats are most dependent on nonwhite and irregular voters to win elections. In general, the post-debate polls in these states are among Mrs. Clinton’s best polls of the year” [New York Times].


“The next American president and Haiti” [The Gleaner] (Jamaica).

“Clinton, Kaine go too far in touting a nuclear deal with Russia” [WaPo]. Factchecking. But wait, I thought Putin was the Antichrist?


“Donald Trump VP Mike Pence Pledged To Limit Gaming, Then Helped Casinos After Campaign Donations” [International Business Times].


“From 2011 through 2014, Trump harnessed his eponymous foundation to send at least $286,000 to influential conservative or policy groups, a RealClearPolitics review of the foundation’s tax filings found. In many cases, this flow of money corresponded to prime speaking slots or endorsements that aided Trump as he sought to recast himself as a plausible Republican candidate for president” [RealClearPolitics]. Of course, $286,000 is peanuts.


“Nearly 95% of those who first gave to his GOP primary opponents are sitting out the general election, and of those who are still giving money, many are lining up behind Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton instead, according to a Times analysis of donations over $200” [Los Angeles Times].

The Trail

“In taking that $915 million loss in 1995, and carrying it forward to shelter future income, Donald Trump did nothing wrong. By both his family and his business, he did everything right” [Patrick Buchanan, RealClearPolitics]. “In a famous 1947 dissent, Judge Learned Hand wrote: ‘[T]here is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. … Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.’ Amazingly, Buchanan’s father was a tax accountant. He goes on: “One wonders: Do America’s reigning elites believe the Trump movement is but a passing phase? Do they believe that the rise of populist and nationalist parties across Europe is but a seasonal epidemic of the flu that will die out, after which we can all get back to building the New World Order of Bush I and Barack Obama?”

“Donald Trump might have been able to avoid paying taxes on as much as $916 million in income over an 18-year period, according to documents the New York Times published over the weekend. The figure is a sensational one, but the Republican presidential nominee would be far from the only real-estate magnate to find ways of exploiting the rules to cancel tax bills” [WaPo]. Shorter WaPo: Times story is a nothingburger.

“Trumpchant in B flat” [Language Log]. “[H]is normal style of delivery often involves almost-chanted sequences of level or nearly-level pitches.” With pitch diagrams! See also “Trump’s Prosody.”

Stats Watch

Gallup US Economic Confidence Index, September 2016: “Although the August and September monthly economic confidence averages represent an improvement from the index’s recent slump, they remain below the post-recession high of plus 3 recorded in January 2015” [Econoday]. “The September outlook score reflected 38 percent of Americans saying the economy was “getting better,” and 57 percent saying it was ‘getting worse.'”

Light Vehicle Sales: “Based on a preliminary estimate from WardsAuto, light vehicle sales were at a 17.65 million SAAR in September. That is down about 2% from September 2015, and up 4.3% from the 16.92 million annual sales rate last month” [Calculated Risk]. “After increasing significantly for several years following the financial crisis, auto sales are now moving mostly sideways.” And: “Light-vehicle sales sputtered in the U.S. last month despite generous Labor Day holiday deals, with most of the market’s biggest sellers reporting declines from the prior September” [Wall Street Journal, “U.S. Auto Sales Slip in September”]. “The average vehicle was marked down more than 10% during the month, TrueCar Inc. estimates, which exceeds what it typically has been and reflects ample inventory sitting on dealer lots.”

Housing: “The number of Manhattan real estate sales fell 19 percent in the third quarter compared with the prior year, as wealthy individuals from the U.S. and overseas pulled back their spending” [CNBC]. “The overseas rich are no longer buying like they were a year ago, as China’s economy slows, oil prices hurt Russia and the Middle East, and Latin America suffers recessions. Meanwhile, American buyers are nervous about the November elections and the unsteady stock market.”

The Banks: “Ten billion has become a big number in banking since the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. When banks’ assets exceed that threshold, they face considerably heightened supervision and regulation, including exams by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, caps on interchange fees, and annual stress tests” [Liberty Street]. “There are plenty of anecdotes about banks avoiding the $10 billion threshold or waiting to cross with a big merger, but we’ve seen no systematic evidence of this avoidance behavior. We provide some supporting evidence below and then discuss the implications for size-based bank regulation—where compliance costs ratchet up with size—more generally…. Of course, $10 billion banks are not considered systemically important, but our evidence at that threshold is consistent with the notion that size-based regulation might ‘lean against size’ at higher thresholds.”

The Banks: “What Sarin and Summers highlight [(here)] is that, compared with their pre-crisis readings, a range of market measures of bank risk do not show improvement despite the rise of reported bank capital” [Money and Banking]. “One doesn’t need to agree precisely on the reasons for the warning signs emanating from market indicators of bank risk. These warnings are sufficient to warrant continued close scrutiny from regulators and sustained efforts to increase the resilience of the financial system. We share the Sarin and Summers view that enhanced regulation, including Dodd-Frank, has made the system safer than it was before the crisis. We also agree that these improvements are insufficient, and that among other things, banks need more equity capital than they have today.”

The Banks: “On Monday, there was a spike in the price of insuring against a default in Deutsche Bank’s senior debt, which could only happen if it went bankrupt. More importantly, it’s now more expensive to buy this insurance for one year into the future than for five years, figures from FactSet show, measured by derivatives called credit-default swaps” [Wall Street Journal, “CDS Markets Add to Deutsche Bank Gloom”]. “But this is a first for Deutsche Bank. For all its problems in the recent past and doubts about its profitability—and that of the banking sector more generally—investors never seemed to truly believe things were this dire. Now, faith on the German behemoth is being tested.”

The Banks: “Morgan Stanley was charged with ‘dishonest and unethical conduct’ by Massachusetts’ top securities regulator on Monday for having pushed its brokers to sell loans to their clients” [Reuters]. “Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin alleges that the bank ran high-pressured sales contests in Massachusetts and Rhode Island where brokers could earn thousands of dollars for selling so-called ‘securities based loans.'” Coffee’s for closers…

Commodities: “Cattle and hog prices hover near the lowest levels in years as U.S. meatpackers produce the largest volume of meat in history” [Wall Street Journal, “71 Million Hogs Are Crushing U.S. Meat Prices”]. “The buildup has stoked concerns over a glut of meat, poultry and other agricultural products in the U.S. Producers are on track to send a record number of hogs and chickens to slaughter this year, and beef production is rapidly increasing. Dairy farmers are spoiling excess milk in their fields as warehouses pile up excess cheese. Also, corn, soybean and wheat growers are preparing for a fourth consecutive year of bumper harvests this fall.”

Shipping: “Holiday hiring is expected to be flat at package-delivery giants FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc.” [Wall Street Journal, “FedEx, UPS Gear Up for Holiday Season With More Sorting Hubs, Technology”]. “Both companies have also invested in automation so they can process more packages over the holidays while keeping staffing levels relatively steady. If their projections hold, FedEx and UPS will have kept the number of seasonal workers steady for two years running, at over 50,000 and 95,000 workers respectively, after sharply ramping up holiday hiring earlier in the decade.”

Shipping: “The Hanjin Shipping situation again illustrates the fragility of today’s supply chains. Shippers would be mistaken if they think they only need to be on guard for such issues on the seas. Supply chain disruption is becoming increasingly common across all modes” [Journal of Commerce]. “A broader issue for BCOs [Beneficial Cargo Owner] is the increasing fragility of the supply chain and its transportation suppliers in general. The steamship lines have been the poster children of disruption lately, whether it be the 2014 to 2015 International Longshore and Warehouse Union slowdown on the US West Coast or the Hanjin meltdown, and the International Longshoremen’s Association’s September 2018 contract expiration is on deck. But shippers also need to keep a wary eye on their land carriers, their local and long-haul truckers, and railroads…. [T]ransportation suppliers are much less resilient than they used to be. Supply chain disruption can take many forms, be it financial distress, operational mistakes, natural disasters (an ever-growing threat thanks to climate change), or an unexpected uptick in demand.”

Shipping: “The trucking industry must prepare, ‘whether we like it or not,’ for the arrival of self-driving, or autonomous, commercial motor vehicles, the new president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) [Chris Spear] said today in his first ‘State of the Industry’ address at the group’s annual management conference in Las Vegas” [DC Velocity]. “Spear emphasized, however, that truck drivers will remain the most qualified to ‘navigate the cities and towns, make that pickup and delivery happen safely, and perhaps most importantly, secure that cargo.'” Big “last mile” problems, then. Note that if the claims of Musk, Kalanick, et al for Level 5 self-driving cars were true, there would be no last mile problem, since their use cases involve cities.

Supply Chain: “Blue Apron. The San Francisco-based company has been a venture capital darling with its plan to upend the industrial food system and “disrupt the dinner table” with fresh ingredients delivered ready to prepare a meal. But former employees describe a chaotic, stressful workplace marked by violence, high turnover and injuries. The report follows similar examinations this year of abusive working conditions at distribution sites for some U.K. retailers, and one last year on severe conditions at Amazon.com Inc. warehouses. The cases are a reminder that for all the investment disruptive business models are drawing, the drive to move goods faster and better can carry a human cost” [Wall Street Journal]. When you factor in Uber, It’s enough to make you think that venture capitalists regard abusing workers as a feature, not a bug.

Fiscal Policy: “In the global struggle to boost growth, a Canadian experiment in fiscal spending is providing a test case for some of the world’s biggest economies” [Wall Street Journal, “Canada’s Big Bet on Stimulus Draws Global Attention”]. “Mr. Trudeau’s big infrastructure spend will be largely financed by a bigger deficit, which is projected to reach C$29.4 billion this fiscal year, or about 1.5% of gross domestic product. That’s a sharp turn from the balanced-budget promise of his Conservative predecessor, who hewed the austerity path Mr. Trudeau is now shunning. Canada’s efforts stand in contrast to many of the world’s economies, whose finance ministers and central bankers meet this week in Washington for semiannual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.”

The Bezzle: “Rover announces $40M round for pet sitting and dog walking” [TechCrunch]. “The company expanded from pet sitting to dog walking last year. It now says that it has more than 65,000 sitters and walkers in its network, and that it’s seeing an average of 1 million bookings each quarter.”

The Bezzle: “Johnson & Johnson is telling patients that it has learned of a security vulnerability in one of its insulin pumps that a hacker could exploit to overdose diabetic patients with insulin, though it describes the risk as low” [Reuters]. “Jay Radcliffe, a diabetic and researcher with cyber security firm Rapid7 Inc, said he had identified ways for a hacker to spoof communications between the remote control and the OneTouch Ping insulin pump, potentially forcing it to deliver unauthorized insulin injections. The system is vulnerable because those communications are not encrypted…”

The Bezzle: “City officials in Summit, N.J., have introduced a pilot program that allows commuters to use the ride service known as Uber to the local New Jersey Transit train station, according to news media reports” [Progressive Railroading]. “The initiative is aimed at freeing up parking spaces in the crowded station lot. The program also means the city won’t have to pay millions of dollars to build a new parking lot. The six-month pilot is limited to 100 riders.”

Concentration: “A closed-door unveiling of the forthcoming Google Home smart speaker platform included the nakedly anticompetitive news that vendors whose products support Amazon’s Echo will be blocked from integrating with Google’s own, rival platform” [Boing Boing].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 44 Fear (previous close: 45, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 45 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed).Last updated Oct 4 at 11:31am.

Health Care

“A comprehensive, coherent roadmap to universal health care” [Minnesota Senator John Marty, MNHealthPlan.org]. PDF download of Marty’s book; excerpts. Encouraging to see this at the state level.

If twenty-first century progressives had been leading the nineteenth century abolition movement, we would still have slavery, but we would have limited slavery to a 40-hour work week, and we would be congratulating each other on the progress we had made.


“Two former Tenet hospitals plead guilty to Medicaid kickbacks; $514M settlement finalized” [Modern Health Care]. Of course, nobody goes to jail.

“One of Obamacare’s central pillars, the individual mandate, boils down to a crude ultimatum. Buy health insurance or pay the price — a tax penalty of the greater of $695 or 2.5 percent of income, to be exact” [The Hill]. “But what if it’s essentially impossible to buy health insurance — because no insurers are selling it? In several states — including Wyoming, Arizona, West Virginia, and South Carolina — that’s a real concern. Six Republican senators just introduced a bill that would exempt people from the individual mandate if they live in a county where there’s only one insurer — or where there are no insurers — selling coverage through their state’s Obamacare exchange. That such a reform is even necessary is remarkable.”

Police State Watch

“Compared to the previous year when [body] cameras were not worn [by the police], complaints across the seven regions fell by 93% over the 12 months of the experiment. The study encompassed nearly 1.5 million officer hours across more than 4,000 shifts” [Quartz].

“The executive director the Kansas City library system says he is “outraged” that prosecutors continue to pursue charges against a man who was arrested after asking pointed questions during a library discussion about the Middle East peace process and an employee who tried to intervene” [ABC]. “R. Crosby Kemper III, executive director of the city’s library system, said ‘we’re going to be living in a different kind of country’ if people can be arrested for asking questions at a library. ‘If this kind of behavior is unacceptable to the police, then I guess we’re going to have to shut the library down.'”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“African Americans are still being paid less than whites at every education level” [Economic Policy Institute]. “[T]his gap persists even after controlling for years of experience, region of the country, and whether one lives in an urban or rural area. In fact, since 1979, the gaps between black and white workers have grown the most among workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher—the most educated workers” (original study).


“Rift Speeds Up Across Antarctic Ice Shelf” [Climate Central]. “[In August,] satellites could once again peer at a rift that has been wending its way across the white expanse of the Larsen C Ice Shelf on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. To the surprise of scientists, satellite images revealed that the fissure had grown by about 13 miles over just a few months — much faster than its previous pace… For now, none of the scientists who are keeping a close eye on Larsen C expect it to go the way of Larsen A or B anytime soon.” So, optimism!

“A global agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is all but certain to enter into force in November, after European Union environment ministers agreed on Friday to speed up the bloc’s ratification of the agreement” [Wall Street Journal, “Paris Climate Deal Seen Taking Force This Year as EU Speeds up Ratification”].

“Unexpected rewards induce dopamine-dependent positive emotion–like state changes in bumblebees” [Science]. ” Our findings present a new opportunity for understanding the fundamental neural elements of emotions and may alter the view of how emotion states affect decision-making in animals.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

“Obama Worries Future Presidents Will Wage Perpetual, Covert Drone War” [The Intercept]. Help me.

Class Warfare

“Consider today’s leading tech companies: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple. They are not stuck in silos or hemmed in by a single business model. Instead, they compete intensely among themselves” [Hal Varian, Financial Times, “No hope of a quiet life in the age of disruption”]. Well, except when they form an illegal wage-fixing cartel. But “The writer is chief economist at Google,” so what do I know?

News of the Wired

“How it feels to learn JavaScript in 2016” [Hackernoon]. Must-read for the techie portion of our commentariat.

* * *

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 (AB):


AB writes: “This plant was given to us by a neighbor who moved away but we neglected to ask for an identification. We just call it a Dr. Seuss tree. Could you ask your readers what it is?”

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Jim Haygood

    ‘Six Republican senators just introduced a bill that would exempt people from the individual mandate if they live in a county where there’s only one insurer — or where there are no insurers — selling coverage through their state’s Obamacare exchange. That such a reform is even necessary is remarkable.’

    Or as the collaborationist R party is fond of saying, “mend don’t end.”

    They have never repealed a single overreaching D party program, and never will.

    Useless brie-nibbling poseurs, led by dirty old lizard Mitch MClownell.

    1. cwaltz

      In the Republican party’s defense, in this case, it wasn’t from lack of effort. How many times did they wastefully try to repeal Obamacare in the House(knowing they didn’t have the votes in the Senate?)

      It also would help if the GOP had a viable health care plan to replace it other than go back to letting the poor use the ER, the middle class become bankrupt when they get sick and the rich laugh about how they have the best health care system money can buy.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The GOP knew they wouldn’t be able to repeal it. Their primary goal was to make sure the Democrats were inevitably blamed for a Republican wet dream while protecting their corporate masters.

        Are they still holding votes?

        1. cwaltz

          I thought I said that when I pointed out that they wasted time in the House when they knew they didn’t have the votes in the Senate.

          The real problem they have is the Democratic Party essentially used the Heritage/GOP plan when they decided to go with a health care plan so they don’t have anything to replace it with.

          So their stuck with keeping this until they can figure out something better than it. I’m sure they’ll do something with HSAs, after all the rich can never have enough tax sheltering accounts.

          1. Skippy

            I thought the GOP was just pissed at someone – else – mowing their grass and stealing’ their thunder…

      2. different clue

        Actually, back to status quo ante would be the very best outcome, from a “heighten the contradictions” viewpoint.

        The Catfood Democrats would do their best to revive Obamacare all over again. They would call it Obamacare 2.0 or some such thing. It might provide people a real chance to channel the rising tide of hatred and thirst for vengeance into a long-range extermination-plan for the Catfood Democrat Party and a creation and embiggenization of a New Deal Revival Party which would grind down opposition and obstruction to Single Payer AmeriCanada Care, among other things.

  2. cocomaan

    Fascinating bit about shunning and anabaptism, thanks for that find.

    I particularly like this idea that there is no understanding of the long term effects of the shunning. For a society increasingly obsessed with big data, we don’t seem to be particularly interested in evidence-based application of the tool. You get the feeling — now I’m the one without data — that it’s losing power in the zeitgeist. People bounce right back. Here’s Bill Burr, the comedian, talking about that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BevNkLH-q8

    I live around the Amish and the “ban” is a pretty powerful tool there, but isn’t used casually. It requires a certain level of social cohesion, something that I find the social-issues left doesn’t really believe in. That is, you have to have a community to begin with for a ban from it to be efficacious. You can’t ban someone from the USA, for instance, for being an asshole. They just go to another group in the USA that likes what they are saying.

    Also, the bans are really only applied when it comes to violations of correct language surrounding protected groups. I’ve always thought that we should bring back the pillory/stocks for Wall Street criminals, but not even the “twitter hate attacks” that are what Beijer seems to be thinking about here are applied to Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, whoever.

    Public humiliation just isn’t what it used to be!

    1. tony

      Shame and shunning are not actually effective tools of changing behaviour or views of people. However, they are effective deterrents to insiders. Once you are outside, that’s it, but if you are inside and see what happens to those who tresspass, you’ll be careful.

      This strategy is an effective means of social control to the Amish in large part because of their high birth rate which more compensates for the losses from shaming. The shame being an important tool in maintaining the values that lead to a high birth rate.

    2. Plenue

      I’m not really clear where Strether is going with this, especially by referencing the irredeemable comment. Does he disapprove of social shunning it now? Because I distinctly remember naked capitalism has in the past talked approvingly about the idea of shaming as a social tool, and the phenomenon of people shaming others for deplorable behavior even when the offense didn’t personally affect them, as a means of improving the health of the society as a whole.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I’ve been thinking about this whole constellation of issues. Without links, I can’t be sure which NC post you’re referring to, but I would bet it’s shaming executives who fail to fulfill even the minimal obligations of noblesse oblige (let alone non-criminality). That’s kicking up, which I’m fine with, as opposed to kicking down, which I’m not fine with.

      2. meeps

        I can’t speak for NC or Strether, but I’m of the mind that the primary aim of shaming is to create a power disparity between, for example, the lowly (unredeemable, if you like) and the superior. Thus, it’s a tactic that’s primarily about control or supremacy and only secondarily concerned with behavioral reform (unless the response is submission, in which case the primary goal is achieved).

        People naturally have their own ideas and norms which include approbations and disapprovals of the actions of others. There’s value in that insofar as it can inform self determination. When personal (or perceived social) norms are applied to other people, it’s all too easy to apply the higher standard to everyone else.

        As a leftist and someone who would like to live on a more just and equal society, I see divisiveness, isolation and suffering as the natural outcome of shaming and shunning. I can’t get behind it. We’re all just people, after all.

    1. Chromex

      And even with his negative commments , he’s still wrong,
      1. It’s fine for people on medicaid.Not for those over 55 subject to the clawback
      2. It’s fine for people who get subsidies.. well, no they still get much higher copays coinsurance and deductibles. Its true that those not eligible for subsidies get higher premiums as well but those who get subsidies can hardly afford 5000 deductibles..
      Its not fine for anyone, although insurers can at least walk away or up prices.
      Do dems think that voters will not notice that they are too chicken to callenge a lame duck worried about legacy?

      1. different clue

        They are not “chicken” in this case. They share his belief in Obamacare, and they hope to get a political suntan in the reflected glory of his expected after-office multi-megamillion dollar payoffs and rewards.

  3. emptyfull

    Apropos of just about everything, I read this poem last night and thought y’all might like it:


    Much of life
    is Dutch

    in which
    legions of
    big robust
    people crouch

    badly cracked
    dike systems

    by the thumbs

    their wide
    balloon-pantsed rumps
    up-ended to the
    northern sun

    while, back
    in town, little
    tulip magnates
    stride around.

    —Kay Ryan

  4. Fred


    So the Palmetto Family Council is using donated money to assist Trump’s election? That is what Ms. Berg is implying. It reads like a pro-Clinton hit piece based on innuendo. I reccomend the list of articles by Ms. Berg at RCP.

    Clinton Global Initiative funding and spending? “crickets”

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      It’s standard practice to sow the political class with contributions, especially to people who may help you get elected. The story is that Trump engaged in it. (And the reporter isn’t required to write the story you prefer.)

      The link is also filed under “Money,” because that’s the topic of the story. It isn’t filed under “Corruption,” because it’s not about the use of public office for private gain, which (following Teachout) is what corruption means. If the link were about the (private) Clinton Foundation’s foreign donors and Clinton’s interactions with said donors while holding (public) office, then that’s where I would have filed it. It wasn’t.

    1. Jim Haygood

      It’s not why I wanted to be president, to kill people.

      I only wanted to blow up their Toyota pickups so they’d have to walk home, or take Uber, ya know?

    2. Jim Haygood

      Update: 6:15 p.m. ET

      White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Monday told reporters that Obama’s comments about a future president potentially waging perpetual wars actually referred to a state of affairs in the past, which he has since averted.

      Howdy, Josh Earnest. I’m Jim Sincere. Pleased to meetcha.

      Glad y’all evicted the bloody-minded Anne-Marie Slaughter …

      1. temporal

        Much like that three day cure for pneumonia, I want the government to release plans for the time machine that allowed 0bama to determine that course he has been on has changed the future for the better from what would have happened had he not magnanimously intervened.

        Maybe these new technologies, probably acquired from helpful aliens, really can change our current path. How many other wonders are they waiting to spring on us?

      2. cwaltz

        You’d think he’d have considered this during the primaries, before he endorsed a certain Secretary of State whose philosophy was, while in his administration, to defer to the DoD when determining a strategy on dealing with other countries like Iran, Libya, Syria, etc,etc.

        D’oh. He’s just now thinking of this. Geez. I thought we were paying this guy six figures because he’s smarter than the majority of us.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Obama is probably planning his library’s exhibitions, and I think even Obama is embarrassed by how little his golf handicap improved or at least knows its not going to go over well.

          1. Steve C

            Obama is extraordinary. He’s doesn’t really live. He curates himself. Every time he speaks, it’s like he’s thinking, “this is what a high-minded and serious person says, and I am trying to project high-mindedness and seriousness, so this is what I will say.” He is so image conscious, he no longer distinguishes between the image and reality. He’s like his own puppet-master. Who’s the guy behind the mask?

        2. Jason Ipswitch

          We are paying him six figures (and far more in post-facto bribes) because he’s smarter than us. Or at least more cunning. You didn’t expect him to use that intellect and education for the benefit of the public, did you?

        3. different clue

          Didn’t this particular SecState lead the policy and the President, and get the DoD to follow?
          Wasn’t the Clinton Imperative slowed DOWN with regard to Syria by overt skeptimism and covert foot dragging emanating from the halls of DoD?

    1. polecat

      Was this before, or after they scanned Marissa Meyer’s brain …. having found nothing there but jello ….??

      1. fresno dan

        October 4, 2016 at 3:52 pm

        That is a cruel, mean spirited thing to say….about jello
        Actually, in the times we live in, quivering and trembling constantly, like jello, may indicate a good understanding of the present circumstances…

        1. polecat

          yeah …. fresno dan ……. but ….

          if her her brain is anything like that cottage cheezy ‘green death’ jello casserole crap my elderly relatives used to make us kids eat .. at family gatherings … well then .. lets just say … all bets are off !!

          I’d almost spend an entire hour listening to little Ms Meyer laugh non-stop .. then to eat that junk … almost ….

          1. polecat

            Send Marrisa on a no-expense paid vacation to Alcatraz …… with a Yahoo E-mail Account !

            ….For Life.

        2. polecat

          “quivering and trembling constantly, like jello” ….. Is that whilst being in, as opposed to out of, one’s ‘safe space’ ….??

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      More from that article:

      Some Yahoo employees were upset about the decision not to contest the more recent edict and thought the company could have prevailed, the sources said.

      They were also upset that Mayer and Yahoo General Counsel Ron Bell did not involve the company’s security team in the process, instead asking Yahoo’s email engineers to write a program to siphon off messages containing the character string the spies sought and store them for remote retrieval, according to the sources.

      The sources said the program was discovered by Yahoo’s security team in May 2015, within weeks of its installation. The security team initially thought hackers had broken in.

      When Stamos found out that Mayer had authorized the program, he resigned as chief information security officer and told his subordinates that he had been left out of a decision that hurt users’ security, the sources said. Due to a programming flaw, he told them hackers could have accessed the stored emails.

      Sounds like Mayer’s management team isn’t communicating very well with the engineering staff…

  5. allan

    Wells Fargo account scandal extends to small business [Reuters]

    Wells Fargo & Co’s account scandal is not limited to its consumer banking sector, U.S. Senator David Vitter told the bank’s chief executive in a letter.

    Thousands of small business owners were also impacted by Wells Fargo’s practices, wrote Vitter, a Republican from Louisiana, in a letter dated Sept. 29 to Wells Fargo chief executive John Stumpf and seen by Reuters. …

    Surely the Chamber of Commerce will express its outrage at this.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        “Justice Department Reaches $4 Million Settlement with Wells Fargo Dealer Services for Illegally Repossessing Servicemembers’ Cars”


        It’s amazing to me, or not, that the Obama administration hasn’t called for criminal charges against Wells Fargo executives; that would be an October surprise that would clear the table for Clinton. But no. Dance with the one that brung ya (the banks), I guess.

  6. optimader

    …And let’s finally import safe alternatives from other countries like Canada…

    (rubbing my eyes) WTF, is Canada now a pharmaceutical manufacturing powerhouse, that we need to import pharmaceuticals from there to address the high cost of pharmaceuticals???

    OK, no it isn’t, so does HRS have clue one why drugs are expensive in the US?? I would hope, yes.

    Do the ppl that will vote for her on this hotbutton issue have clue one? apparently not.

    “Hillary Clinton kept up her attack on the TPP in a speech Monday in Toledo, Ohio, repeating that she opposes TPP now and in the future “because it is one-sided and unfair to American workers.”
    If she isn’t forced to articulate how it is “one sided” and “unfair to American workers”, then it is much easier to flip flop on it later if she is elected!

    seal this in an envelope to open later if she is elected
    Yeaaaaa, a miracle occurred! it’s no longer one sided and unfair! trust me! :o)

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      And it is long past time to allow Medicare to negotiate for better prices for drugs and get the cost down for Medicare recipients.”

      It’s “long past time” to close Guantanamo also too, but, last time I checked, it’s still open. Eight years later. Beware the “promises” and “policy prescriptions.” Believe it or not, sometimes they’re just empty rhetoric spewed purely to get votes. /s

      And, speaking of Guantanamo, 700 “spouses, children and pets” have been evacuated to Florida in advance of the hurricane. Pets. According to defense.gov, “Guantanamo Bay has about 5,500 personnel and families living and working there. The remaining 4,800 personnel remain on the base to quickly begin recovery efforts.

      All that for 61 “detainees.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That kind of teacher-student ratio would be great…80 teachers for every student.

      2. sleepy

        I’m not sure they are all there for the detainees. The prison is only one part of the much larger Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

        1. Alex morfesis

          Well…there are the 35 (or so) cuban retirees who live on gitmo. Wondering if they were left behind or taken to calle ocho…the former workers who were allowed to keep commuting after the castro brothers took over cuba by killing cienfuegos….

    2. timbers

      “We will never, ever have low cost drugs” – Hillary Clinton. Ok so she said single payer. Same thing.

    3. marym

      The TPP will result in higher drug prices.

      At a time when the high price of life-saving medicines and vaccines is increasingly recognized as a barrier to effective medical care, it is very concerning to see that the U.S. government and pharmaceutical companies have succeeded in locking in rules that will keep medicine prices high for longer and limit the tools that governments and civil society have to try to increase generic competition.


  7. EGrise

    truck drivers will remain the most qualified to […] ‘secure that cargo.’

    Given yesterday’s post about self-driving autos, and one scientist’s remarks about how they could be fooled or gamed into doing things the owners neither expect nor want, I’ve been thinking that this might be a boon for organized crime. Without a “driver” to bribe, acquiring all that merchandise that “fell off the back of a truck” will be cheaper and easier.

    Another app opportunity: crowdsourced theft. Monitor trucking routes for desired goods (electronics, tools, textiles, drugs, etc.), place a bid on them, and if there are enough willing buyers some aspiring mafioso can grab the truck and distribute the goods. The shipments are all insured, so no harm no foul, right?

      1. Binky

        Systeme D is stronger than cash money. Look at Russia in Soviet times. Barter, labor exchange including sex work, theft rewarded by more theft. Or cigarettes and cell phones in prison. Symbolic exchange!

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I think you’re right. And I am guessing that one of the unwritten stories of the post-2008 economic sh*tstorm will have been that System D ties are much stronger.

  8. JTMcPhee

    We already got VIX, which I guess is a “volatility index” on which the Fokking Fuggers can today wager and leverage and derivatize, and input into their algos to further mechanize their arbitrage and HST.

    I would advocate for a VUX, which is a “vulnerability index” that would let the Fokking Fuggers run another casino line on all the stuff that’s been highlighted in NC over the last couple of days, in the “advancing, sophisticated, innovative, destructive” realms of sci-tech, FIRE, Matrixization, global war, inequality of circumstance, Sick Planet Syndrome, faux-legitimacy “politics,” apoptosis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apoptosis ), anomie, agnotology/FUD, and all the other categories tracked and reported on here. There have to be a few Really Smart MIT types who can come up with an algorithm that compiles, correlates, integrates, and “values” into a sinble numeric value (sic) the likelihood that there’s (or there is not, or how far or long until) a big largely self(ish)-induced Full Stop not too far down the road for “Intelligent Man,” Homo Sap. I’m sure the actuaries, with their dispassionate gathering of facts and trends and reasonably good record of prognostication (because so much MONEY and POWER and stuff are involved and “at risk”) would have lots to add to the effort.

    There’s an analog starting point, the “Doomsday Clock” maintained and updated regularly, as conditions change for the worse, by the promulgators of the “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.” Their 2016 compilation of horribles and analog consensus judgment is here: http://thebulletin.org/sites/default/files/2016%20doomsday%20clock%20statement%20-%20final%5B5%5D.pdf

    The British bookies and of course various “funds” make bets on pieces of this all the time. What’s missing is a market entry point for us ordinary mopes, who by aggregate voting with our bits of money might have a chance to at least tilt the transparencies in the direction of impelling some “policy changes” that are not all about maximizing the Fokking personal pleasure of the Fokking Fuggers who always have in mind their invulnerability and immunity. And coast and soar along with that comforting notion that someone like me, a kindly nurse, will be providing them the best medical and palliative care possible after they reach the ends of their personal Fokking lives, pleasure centers maxed out, happy to expire with “Apres moi le deluge, IBGYBG, whatchagonnadoaboutit, suckers?”

    For those who don’t register the “Fugger” reference, here’s a Wiki piece that explains who and what they were/are, and how they relate to the Current Situation ought to be evident from that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugger The Fokkers thing ought to be clear enough, here’s a collateral reference too: http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Fokker

    Rooting for VUX to become an established trade on the Big Board of the World!!!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Can readers suggest any indexes?

      Programming a widget a la Greed and Fear would not be hard; figuring out a good data source that would act as a proxy for (say) agnotology might not be so hard.

  9. Jim Haygood

    What’s tomorrow, class? That’s right — Warfare Wednesday:

    U.S. military strikes against the Assad regime will be back on the table Wednesday at the White House, when top national security officials in the Obama administration are set to discuss options for the way forward in Syria.

    Options under consideration include bombing Syrian air force runways using cruise missiles. One proposed way to get around the White House’s long-standing objection to striking the Assad regime without a U.N. Security Council resolution would be to carry out the strikes covertly and without public acknowledgment, the official said.

    “There’s an increased mood in support of kinetic actions against the regime,” one senior administration official said. “The CIA and the Joint Staff have said that the fall of Aleppo would undermine America’s counterterrorism goals in Syria.”


    Now we’ve attained the advanced state of decadence in which the CIA and the Joint Chiefs leak to the WaPo their intention to “get around the White House” with unacknowledged strikes. Which makes it highly probable that they’re doing “unacknowledged strikes” already.

    In plain words, this is called a coup d’etat against a figurehead president who — as noted above — appears to be lost in a delusory world of his own devise.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Who cares, as long as one’s relative-wealth position is protected!


    2. cwaltz

      Woohoo! I can’t wait to see which jihadis they install that will chant death to the secular American war pigs after the fact

      Everybody get ready for the dropping off great big bags of cash portion of diplomacy.

      It’s nice to see the CIA has come around to deposing Assad even after their own report in 2013 said it would create a big mess and a vacuum that would allow radical jihadis to fill the void.

      1. OIFVet

        Everybody get ready for the dropping off great big bags of cash portion of diplomacy.

        It is the dropping of great big nuke warheads that I am concerned about. Russia just deployed a missile defense system to Syria which is specifically designed to shoot down cruise missiles. Seems pretty clear to me that they mean business. Nyet means nyet, and they intend to prove it. These clowns in DC are itching to start WW3, it seems.

        1. cwaltz

          Russia may be open to some bags of cash. As a matter of fact, on the nuclear proliferation side of our deal with Russia Putin said this:

          In a decree released by the Kremlin, Russian President Vladi­mir Putin said Moscow would consider a resumption of the nuclear accord only if Washington agreed to several conditions, including canceling all sanctions and compensating Moscow for losses resulting from them.


          It’s going to get worse if we elect Clinton considering Clinton has decided Syria will have a no fly zone if Assad is in power, sovereign nation be damned. So maybe the thought process is to get Assad out of there before she is installed.

          As I said, in 2013 the CIA opposed deposing Assad because the alternatives to him were radical jihadis(angry that he wasn’t ruling based on Muslim religion). It’s interesting that now they are on board with deposing him. You have to wonder who we plan on installing(especially as you’ve pointed out because it would have to be someone the Russians would not be opposed to.)

          1. Pat

            Ummm. I think the whole point of their support is to install someone Russia IS opposed to ruling Syria. Avoiding conflict and problems with someone smarter and more strategic than you are is never a consideration with this crew.

            Think Libya. No need to lay it out.

            Think about the Ukraine, they didn’t care who they got in there as long as they were going to spit in the eye of Russia and kick them out. And then Crimea went screw you, we didn’t elect these thugs and threw themselves into Russia’s loving arms. Meanwhile even the northern Ukraine went WTF, and we have fighting there where the thugs hired the neo-nazis to gas their own people. But instead of slamming them down because that’s what we do when people gas their citizens (supposedly) or even other countries citizens (US excepted), we ignored it totally and went sanctions against Russia please (as much for embarrassing our crack diplomatic team that worked so hard to get that regime change as for anything they really did.

            Despite all the usual suspects playing nice with the US at the UN, things are not so rosy at home in Europe about these things. Perhaps it is the whole US led us over the cliff in Iraq AND Libya thing, but I’ve seen a couple of things about how those sanctions are in trouble. And that could be another reason our leadership seems to have gone mental. Whatever it is, these are not brilliant people with a deep knowledge of human nature, military tactics, diplomatic tactics, and even salesmanship. Best laid plans of idiots and ideologues…

            Nope, Russia’s approval not wanted.

            1. cwaltz

              I’m pretty sure our intent is to still pretend that this is about Assad being a bad, bad man(which even Russia has somewhat conceded and argued that they’d be willing to replace him “democratically”-as in with someone they’d have an equal chance of controlling)

              We’re not going to overtly spit in Russia’s eye even though we’re probably covertly planning it that way behind closed doors.

              I guess the real question to ask is if we(the government) are saying Allepo’s fall would undermine our counterterrorism goals then Allepo’s fall to whom? Assad or the jihadis that we are presently supporting to depose Assad?

              Something appears to have changed if the CIA has veered from Assad is the lesser evil compared to jihadis and should remain in power to Assad must be deposed to protect Allepo and our counterterrorism goals.

        2. Optimader

          Syria -the defacto current live fire weapons proving ground. The problem (opportunity) w shooting down (trying to shoot down) the cruise missle is SIGNIT degrades future utility. But thats a mutual jobs program I guess!

    3. OIFVet

      Daaamn, this is like a quote from a bad Tom Clancy movie: “Mr. President, who is in control of your armed forces?” Only it’s real.

      1. Pat

        Yet, when the Russian ambassador to the UN asked that very question it was portrayed as an idiotic assertion with no basis in fact. Even though we already had evidence that NO, the President was not in charge, and was not going to do anything to change that.

        Like for instance firing a few people.

        1. OIFVet

          Like for instance firing a few people.

          Hey now, he has job numbers to worry about. It won’t do to increase unemployment right before the holiday gladiatorial shopping games.

          1. fajensen

            How hard could it be?

            Obama has only 5 job numbers to worry about: Obama, Michelle, the kids and the dog

    4. clarky90

      Putin on the destruction of the Middle East


      “Vladimir Putin talks about (the USA) arming terrorists in one MENA country (Middle Eastern and North African), yet fighting against them in another – “Where is the logic?” – he asks. However, if you look at it from the perspective that the intention was never to rehabilitate, but to destabilize – then it is all very logical indeed”.

      1. fajensen

        Gotta have Terrorists to have (funding for) a War on Terror.

        Supplies were running low for a while thanks to Putin and because of Merkel’s stupidity, however, it seems the pipeline is back up to capacity. Obama must be proud of his legacy.

    5. JohnnyGL

      Thanks for this. It’s like these people won’t stop until I vote Trump….

      Is it really going to come to this? Where I have to vote Trump in the faint hope of stopping WWIII?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I believe Trump can find loopholes in the Chinese tax code or other Chinese codes to benefit us.

        What’s not to like about that?

    6. hunkerdown

      The American public is ready to use kinetic force on neocons, too. Funny that I can’t get on WaPoo’s comment engine to say so.

  10. Gary

    “Obama Worries Future Presidents Will Wage Perpetual, Covert Drone War”

    Does seem like it’s the POTUS calling the kettle black…

  11. timbers

    Health Care

    Due to the hurricane, Obama is delaying his trip to Florida to talk about the iawesomeness of affordable healthcare for all from the ACA.

    Update: President Obama Tampa visit postponed due to Matthew

    Why doesn’t he give his speech in Minnesota, Illinois, Tennessee, Alaska, Alabama, Wyoming or Oklahoma? No hurricanes expected in any of those areas and I’m sure they would be very interested in hearing what the President has to say.

    1. carycat

      But his future directorship at the CF depends on how well he can deliver the votes. You don’t see former first ladies delivering speeches to credit unions in small town USA.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Are you kidding? How do you think a company will fare that hires “that man”? Bill and Hill will go after Obama on day 1.

        1. hunkerdown

          And, assuming that the Clintons are not perfectly able (but unwilling) to turn off their grudges when the interests of the republic’s soi-disant Deserving so require, their bosses and owners will tell them to chill or else.

        2. fajensen

          SAIC should do OK – even against Hill & Bill. Takes more than sticks and stones to hurt SAIC.

  12. diptherio

    October is Co-op Month!

    A Cooperative Manifesto

    by Tim Huet (of the Arizmendi Association of worker co-op bakeries)

    Premise 1: Regulation and reform will not keep capitalism from destroying our environment and creating disastrous social cleavages; fundamental change is needed.

    I could go on for a quite a while regarding why capitalism inevitably leads to ecological and social ruin — and there was a time (during my student days) when I did go on at length about the pathology and prognosis. But I came to the conclusion that it was largely a waste of time. Because—

    Premise 2: There’s no point convincing people of the prevailing system’s intrinsic and inevitable failings if you can’t offer hope of anything better.

    I became very proficient at persuading people regarding the downsides and doom. But that simply led to the question, “What can you offer better?” And, believe me, an exploration of the theoretical promise of anarcho-syndicalism or your-ideal(ist)-prescription-of-choice won’t get you very far with most people. Because—

    Premise 3: The overwhelming majority of people cannot be convinced with theoretical arguments, but require demonstrative proof.


    Premise 4:
    You can’t simply wait for capitalism to collapse (or work to “tear down capitalism”), with the expectation that “after the collapse” people will “get revolutionary consciousness” and be receptive to your arguments about building a truly democratic society and economy.

    History indicates clearly that, in the wake of economic collapse, people are more likely to listen to fascist/totalitarian appeals to their fears and hunger than they are to elaborate proposals for building a more democratic economy and society. We cannot simply await the apocalypse, cheering or working for capitalism’s collapse; we need to build the democratic future now. We at least need to build a working example of a democratic future economy and society, an inspiring example people can turn to as their eyes are opened wide by capitalism’s escalating crises and increasingly frequent crashes. Moreover—

    Premise 5: Efforts to tear down the system or protest its injustices do not develop the constructive skills and habits of mind that a democratic economy and society require.

    There is plenty about the current regime that inspires and even requires protest. But we get stuck in an oppositional, critical, reactive mentality if all we do is protest. By endeavoring to build working models of economic democracy, we also build the constructive skills and thinking that will be needed to operate the equitable “post-capitalist” society we envision.


    Premise 6: You cannot achieve true democracy without economic democracy: democracy in the workplace.

    You cannot say a society is truly democratic if its adults spend the majority of their waking hours in undemocratic workplaces and do not enjoy control over the basic elements of their lives (no control over their jobs ultimately means no security regarding their homes, healthcare, time, education, etc.). And the undemocratic nature of work for most adults has effects beyond the workplace and outside working hours. Autocratic models of relating in the workplace carryover into the family, larger community, and political realm. Conversely, I believe that members of worker cooperatives learn democratic skills and ways of interacting with each other—and the confidence that comes from taking control over your life—that have benefits for their families and larger communities, and can carryover into the political realm…..

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Fix the money and you’re halfway there, money that is created as debt means there’s no escape from debt enslavement no matter what mechanism you choose for the honest exchange of goods and services.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Yeah, adults are wise and understanding and if just somehow given control over their lives and finances, will act wisely for the long-term common good… Not.

  13. Martin Finnucane

    re. Kansas City library arrest story: “When Rothe-Kushel tried to ask another question, a private security guard grasped his arm, followed by an off-duty police officer, both employed by the Jewish Community Foundation.” Anti-Zionism as arrestable offense, even at the library.

    Next on the agenda: President Clinton tries to obliterate Hezbollah. Opposition will not be tolerated.

    1. NY Union Guy

      Yeah, I saw that article, WTF?!?! Looks like the organizers hired off-duty cops to arrest any and all dissenters. Absolutely sickening.

      I can’t believe they didn’t drop the charges that these idiot cops dreamed up. Is the DA familiar with the concept of legitimacy? Does he not realize that prosecuting cases like this erodes the legitimacy of his office?

      1. Romancing The Loan

        The lawsuit against the cops is going to be epic. You can sue them individually if there’s no way they could have believed in good faith that they had authority to make the arrest.

        Trespassing requires someone with an ownership interest in the property (or the equivalent for a public building) telling the person to leave/banning them from the property – the only person who fit that description was yelling for the cops to stop.

    2. fresno dan

      Martin Finnucane
      October 4, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Land of the free, home of the brave…
      great advertising slogan – doesn’t mean anything, but has a nice ring to it

      1. Jim Haygood

        “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a genuine workers’ state in which all the people are completely liberated from exploitation and oppression.

        “The workers, peasants, soldiers and intellectuals are the true masters of their destiny and are in a unique position to defend their interests.”


        Just like here, comrades. :-0

    3. Kurt Sperry

      The https version of the official website of the organization that hired the rent-a-goons for the event, “The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City”, jcfkc.org , is a broken mess with a bad site cert and points to this organization:

      CREW – Gymnastics
      15018 Nation Rd.
      Kearney Mo 64060
      P: 775.815.2351

      The whole thing screams shady.

      1. different clue

        What kind of shady does it scream? A Jewish organization acting through untraceable cover to dodge blowback from this?

        An alt-right group of pranksters under false-flag Jewish cover working on getting Jews just a little bit hated in a few places?

        Insert other “shady-who” theory here?

        1. different clue

          ( Maybe someone with a grudge against the Kansas City Police Department looking to cause them some major trouble?)

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        What do you mean, “points to”? I didn’t go to the site because of the dire warnings, but a Google search on the organizations turns up that URL. Looks legit.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          It is the contact information published on the https version of the jcfkc.org home page, along with photos of what look like a bunch of high school age gymnasts and broken formatting. I find browsers a little hysterical about broken site certs for https, it’s quite common to see find if you request secure versions of pages by default and the vast majority of the time will be benign neglect rather than malware.

          Screw up your courage, go to the page, and tell me it looks legit.

  14. FriarTuck

    Re: Hackernoon

    This satire certainly pushes my buttons.

    Part of the problem in the JavaScript community is that there are so many (smart) egocentric people that think their way of doing things are better than other people’s (ex: “no one uses jQuery in 2016”) that instead of contributing and refining standards, they go out of their way to create new and confusing hyper-interconnected libraries and plugins that basically turn something that used to be a simple jQuery ajax call into a spaghetti of interconnected dependencies.

    Oh, and let’s not gloss over the whole hyper-hierarchical totem of ‘difficulty’ (Front-end engineer? Don’t get me started on mislabelling of “engineers”) that contains the implicit belief that codebases being impossible to use unless you’re in the “club of understanding” are better; because, really, if you’re a good coder, obviously you’d do it this way. If you don’t, well, you’re just not with it.

    Oh man, does that really grind my gears.

    Thanks for sharing. :D

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      As an old “C” programmer with a little foray into Ada when it was a hot rock, and now retired — I am truly mystified by all these bizarre JavaScript libraries and frameworks. I thought the appeal of Java and JavaScript were supposed to be their simplicity and easy portability. When I was first exposed to the Java idea I couldn’t get past viewing it as a rebirth of the failed Pascal idea and Pascal was a much cleaner and more elegant language. As versions of Java have proliferated along with libraries with endless updates I think Java and JavaScript have lost much if not all of any portability advantages they may have enjoyed. As far as complexity I think Java is only simpler than C++ as long as it has less capability than C++ — and I’m not a fan of C++ or the OO mantras and overheads. And consider this — if COBOL bank code and air traffic control code proved unmaintainable and difficult to replace — what chance does all the JavaJibber stand? I hope nothing important is coded in Java or JavaScript. If something is — it better not need maintenance at some time in the future.

      I also enjoyed some passing experience doing security red-teaming. I have a real problem swallowing the idea of deliberately letting another machine remotely load code which you execute on your machine — even if it is supposed to run in a security sandbox. That idea just sounds and feels too much like deliberately running exploit code.

      Even without these “drawbacks” I simply cannot get past all the cutsy names Java and JavaScript seem so enamored of. YUK!

      1. Kurt Sperry

        It’s obviously engineered from the ground up to be maximally arcane and impenetrable. The fewer people who can understand it, the greater the job security for the few who can. Anyone who thinks things just organically turn out like this, I’ve got a bridge over the East River for sale at a bargain price. If you can make someone who takes a two year sabbatical from coding to have a life into an unemployable, what’s not to love? Should’ve thought about that before you had the rug rat or the parent who required loving hospice care, losers.

      2. fajensen

        I hope nothing important is coded in Java or JavaScript. If something is — it better not need maintenance at some time in the future.
        Sadly, Java is the favored “big-systems” language. Millions of lines for Very Important Software is Java, epic-failure after stunning-failure is Java. SAP is Java. Why don’t we learn?

        The way I think the process work is that the dumbest, slowest institutions we have are also the ones with most money – banks, military, government, telecoms – et.cetera.

        So, something like Java comes up on the hype curve and rises, then it is mined by all the project-makers, it is discovered that the hype doesn’t deliver, and then it fades … Except … Dumb and Slower finally pick up on the hype and the glossy magazines, but due to sloth and inertia, it happens on the down-slope, right at the time when all of the very worst con-sluttants, tool-pushers, project-makers and power-point engineers who rode the curve UP – and who they couldn’t retrain – are out looking for a new host to parasite / retire on.

        So, based on the worst advice available in the market, the loaded suckers will adopt Java for their new Critical Infrastructure, with ALL the 1990 – 2000’s shiny and blinkenlichte: CORBA, Software Reuse, Applets, JBOSS …. If it can be imagined, it is sure to be in there.

        These systems are designed to be shit, the maintenance of the decrepit mess will generate license fees and 300 USD/hr maintainance for decades to come. The sad thing is that only time and circumstances made this so, not sly cunning and planning.

        Java can work effectively as a programming language. If someone bravely stripped away all the 1990’s ideas of security, modularity and software version management baked into Java, it would even be a fast and rather secure language. Better than C++ and without being ugly.

    1. fresno dan

      October 4, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      GREAT LINK dcblogger!!!

      I liked the “Donor Lists and Prospecting**” – Kinda gives it an old timey feel….I can imagine a grizzled old lobbyist (in terms of potential Hollywood starlets), similar looking to Jennifer Lawrence, in the CA hills, of Beverly, at a Channal boutique with some well to do matrons at a soiree, the matrons asking how big a check would assure breaking the glass ceiling….and the ersatz Jennifer saying ‘the designer dress you forgo today ensures the advancement of women tomorrow’

      ** Didn’t actually open as apparently the files are too big, but the author said later he would try and give a link so that the contents would be available. I assume much hilarity will ensue…

      1. Jim Haygood

        … soon to be “Hillarity ensues.”

        After four years, we won’t be laughing, as she announces, “The war situation in Syria has developed not necessarily to our advantage.”

    2. Buttinsky

      That last screenshot of an Excel spreadsheet at the link is mighty peculiar. Or not.

      In the actual spreadsheet “master-spreadsheet-pac-contributions” are four columns:
      (1) Member (2) Bank (3) Amount of Donation (4)Tarp Funds

      Each “Member” is one of about eleven Democratic Congresscritters (Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, etc.), plus the DCCC.

      The “Banks” are the usual suspects (Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan, etc.).

      The “Donations” are in the thousands and tens of thousands.

      The “Tarp Funds” for each bank, or course, are in the billions.

      So that one sees entries like this:

      Barney Frank Bank of America $17,000.00 $15,000,000,000.00

      Guccifer 2.0 himself suggests that it looks like contributions were going to these people (or their PACs?) based on a percentage of TARP funds received by the banking entity.

      I don’t know. But I am wondering why a “charity” like the Clinton Foundation keeps such an accounting.

      1. hunkerdown

        Buttinsky, they explain their low program spending away by claiming that the Foundation’s mission is to “monitor commitments”. Telling, in context, nu?

    3. Kurt Sperry

      Apparently, it’s neither new material nor is it from the CF. From the comment string: “It would be nice if this was really an archive of files from the CF, but it just appears to be the DCCC/DPVA documents repackaged.

      Someone has posted a file list at: https://justpaste.it/yzwz

      With G2 releasing credible leaks previously. It is worth considering the possibility that G2 may, as of now, have lost control of this blog and that it could be getting used by others masquerading as G2 to post something easily debunked with an extraordinary claim that generates headlines and subsequently diminishes his reputation.

      Why make a big claim of a new hack and then only release previously leaked files rather than something specific to the new target? – And why claim you don’t know how to get files out effectively when you’re familiar with an outlet that handles that sort of thing specifically?”

      1. Buttinsky

        I’m in no position to know what’s going on exactly, so I only make two points.

        If I correctly understand Guccifer 2.0’s claim on his website, the released files were on the Clinton Foundation server and I’m not sure to what extent he has made a distinction, or even attempted to, between Foundation use and other uses of the server. (As we know, a certain Secretary of State managed to use her basement server for both government business and… a no doubt rich and full social life.)

        I do not recall anyone ever referencing before the document I describe above. And it is memorable.

        Nevertheless, Kurt, all your questions are good ones.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        From The Hill:

        A sampling of the posted documents include a spreadsheet of big bank donations, a list of primarily California donors, an outdated spreadsheet of some Republican House members — and a screenshot of files he claimed to have obtained, one of which was titled “Pay to Play.”

        But there are a number of red flags that suggest the documents are in fact from a previous hack on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), not a new hack on the Clinton Foundation.

        A spot check of some of the people on the donor list against FEC filings found that they all lined up with DCCC contributions.

        The Clinton Foundation discloses its donors, and many of the alleged donors published by Guccifer 2.0 do not appear to have given to the organization.

        One spreadsheet was allegedly created by a Kevin C. McKeon at DCCC in 2009. There was a Kevin McKeon that worked at DCCC at that time.

        The Clinton Foundation says it has no evidence it was the victim of an attack — and denied that any of the file folders depicted exist on Foundation systems.

        Ars Technica:

        a review by Ars found that the files are clearly not from the Clinton Foundation. While some of the individual files contain real data, much of it came from other breaches Guccifer 2.0 has claimed credit for at the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee—hacks that researchers and officials have tied to “threat groups” connected to the Russian Government. Other data could have been aggregated from public information, while some appears to be fabricated as propaganda. Aside from some DNC payroll data, and lease documents for some Democratic Party field offices, most of the documents in the dump were originally authored either at the DCCC or by people working for the DCCC on their personal computers.

  15. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    I am slowly coming to terms with a Hilary presidency and with her plans for ever-expanding world war across the span of our great globe, first order of the day of course will be to stay away from all of the bullets and drones emanating from the American state. But I will also however need some sort of mental device to counteract my revulsion at the powerful odor of mendacity that issues each time she opens her mouth, maybe I can tell myself these are “auditory hallucinations” (even though one sufferer said the voices they heard were “brutally sarcastic”):
    Instead of “rage, rage against the dying of the light” I will preserve my sanity and goodwill towards men by practising equanimity in all my interactions with others, I know the dying light of a sunset can be very beautiful so I’ll find beauty in the receding glow of that gentler age, when peace and harmony and love seemed within reach for us all, all 7.2 billion of us jammed on this little blue jewel hurtling through space and time into oblivion. Would that we could have brought our leaders to that state of understanding and grace, but I can still choose to live there in the confines of my mind and within the tiny cosmos of a close circle of like-minded friends.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How many restroom breaks can one have in a presidential debate?

      Will Trump prolong it, by a couple of hours, to test Hillary’s stamina, and thereby expose her weakness on the health issue, thus saving the election?

      Make her stand there for a long time. Done right, it can be a CIA torture technique.

      “More commercials for the network. More $$$ for them.”

    2. timbers

      Well then the headline over at MoonofAlabama won’t exactly cheer you up, sorry to say.

      Under U.S. Proxy Attack Russia Readies For Full War In Syria

      MoonofAlabama mentions Implications the Deep State is out of control from Obama…or maybe just trial balloon bluffing and Russia will call the bluff, but Russia appears to interpret US threats of dead Russians as exactly that – THREATS, and accordingly building up it’s military readiness for any type of attack in Syria including a US attempt to impose a no fly zone.

      How would any rational person interpret the below:

      MR KIRBY: The consequences are that the civil war will continue in Syria, that extremists and extremists groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria to expand their operations, which will include, no question, attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities, and Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags, and they will continue to lose resources – even, perhaps, more aircraft.

      1. tgs

        This is getting seriously scary fast! An article at ZH mentions that there are plans being bandied about in Washington for attacking the Syrian army and air force – to make Assad pay for breaking the cease fire and using the dreaded barrel bombs.

        I still cannot wrap my head around the idea that Washington is willing to risk ww3 in order to remove Assad and spank Putin. But looking at the hysteria in the media, it is clear that we are being prepared for war. But this time against a nuclear power who has made it clear that it will not tolerate another western regime change operation.

        The two tools of American diplomacy – sanctions and missiles.

        The UN has released a study of the horrible effects of western sanctions on the Syrian people. Of course, any effects of western sanctions is, as usual, blamed on the demonized leader, in this case, Assad.

        1. apber

          Always, with the advent of a major economic implosion, the elites use war as a distraction; hasn’t changed for 300 years. The Rothschild history is quite illuminating.

    3. fajensen

      Maybe this helps:


      Reality is loose at the joints.

      Usually we think of the universe as this rigid thing that can’t be changed. Instead, methodologically we should assume just the opposite: that the universe is before us so that we can shape it, that it can be changed, and that it will push back on us. We’ll understand our limits by noticing how much it pushes back on us.

      What we have Now is The New struggling to be born and The Old fighting to hang on – Hillary, Trump, Islam, Zombie Banks, Big Coal … Old Things, Obsolete, in the process of dying, throwing tantrums. Only chance of survival is for them to violently force the world backwards, to be simpler, more stupid, less connected. Darker.

      I don’t think they will make it. They are out of time. Humanity is not.

  16. Elizabeth Burton

    “…vendors whose products support Amazon’s Echo will be blocked from integrating with Google’s own, rival platform…”

    Not new. If I want to use my Amazon Firestick, which is plugged into a 3-device HDMI hub, I have to disconnect the Google Chromecast. Otherwise, I can’t find the Firestick even using its own app. Once the Chromecast is out, it shows up just fine.

    This kind of petty, schoolyard crap is pathetic, like when it took forever to get an Amazon app on AppleTV.

      1. hunkerdown

        NTG, a growing number of stores on eBay are just Amazon Prime drop-ship resellers. If only it were so easy as shunning Amazon alone.

    1. RMO

      The anti-competitive BS they’re pulling isn’t what really gets me about the situation. The article got to the real heart of it when it stated:

      “Of course, having a live, networked, corporate-controlled mic in your bedroom, living room and toilet is an idea that is so unbelievably terrible on its face that you could use it as the introduction to a term paper in 2040 explaining how human civilization nearly collapsed in the early 21st century.”

  17. Paid Minion

    “Supply chain disruption can take many forms……an unexpected uptick in demand.”

    So…..having more customers than you expected is now considered a problem? LMAO

    This is what passes for “business management” in the USA these days. ”

    “Yeah, we want better sales, but not enough to force us to hire more people, invest in new plant, or keep us from beating up our suppliers.”

  18. none

    ‘If this kind of behavior is unacceptable to the police, then I guess we’re going to have to shut the library police down.’


    1. Jim Haygood

      Some eye-opening details:

      The 0bama administration is moving to dismiss charges against an arms dealer it had accused of selling weapons that were destined for Libyan rebels.

      Lawyers for the Justice Department on Monday filed a motion in federal court in Phoenix to drop the case against the arms dealer, an American named Marc Turi, whose lawyers also signed the motion.

      The deal averts a trial that threatened to cast additional scrutiny on Hillary Clinton’s private emails as Secretary of State, and to expose reported CIA attempts to arm rebels fighting Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi.

      A Turi associate asserted that the government dropped the case because the proceedings could have embarrassed Clinton and President Barack 0bama by calling attention to the reported role of their administration in supplying weapons that fell into the hands of Islamic extremist militants.


      So the 0zero admin goes out in a sh*tstorm of sleaze, just as “Bill” did with his last-day pardons.

      Chicago values, comrades: elect Hillary, and you can get four more years, piled higher and deeper.

      Are we enjoying our “two-speed just us” system yet?

  19. Paid Minion

    Blue Apron………..another poster child for the Venture Capitalist way of doing business.

    It’s all about the IPO, and dumping it on the rubes before the problems/abuses/idiocies of your business plan are discovered.

    It helps having a crappy job market. The wretched refuse will put up with a lot if they have no other employment alternatives, and/or you throw out a few token stock options. (essentially forcing the rubes to work like dogs now, with a slim chance of making bank later. Like paying the troops with Beanie Babies instead of cash).

    Suggestion #1 – Any idea that sounds like a good one in Silly Valley, usually won’t float in places without stupid money floating around. (which describes about 99% of the rest of the country)

  20. Pat

    In the coming weeks I’m going to ignore the published polls and base my opinion of how the Clinton campaign is doing on three factors:

    1. How many articles, remarks, op eds, and troll comments there are equating third party voting with evil and trying to blame it for a possible President Trump.
    2. How many liberal to progressive policies are part of the stump speeches and how much they get highlighted in the press. Weasel wording and all.
    3. How often sensible, realistic incremental approaches to various problems in the US (trade excepted) that you could fully expect to hear from a Republican candidate anytime in the last decade are part of stump speeches and how much they get highlighted in the press.

    One and two will tell me that their internal polling, and extensive experienced field operations are telling the Clintons they are in trouble in the major states they need to win to secure the Presidency.

    Three will tell me that they know they have it and can once again pivot back to the candidate’s comfort zone policy wise.

    Despite all those supposedly glorious poll numbers, Clinton is tacking left. That is not her go to position. The lectures continue unabated. Why if they are winning so big? Call me wild and crazy, either their numbers are not that glorious and/or they know something big is coming that will likely cause future problems for the anointed one. (And much as I’m enjoying them I don’t think it is Guccifer 2.0 or the continued ACA meltdown. )

    1. Waldenpond

      I hope you aren’t suggesting Wikileaks is going to impact the election. The Trump people were very disappointed today. Even if they have something, the D base is immovable at this point (to proof of what they already know about her and discard.)

  21. Plenue

    “Well, except when they form an illegal wage-fixing cartel.”

    Whatever happened with that? It’s been two and a half years, has anyone gone to jail? Ahahahaha, no, of course not.

    Well, did the idiot tech-bros finally realize they aren’t ‘talent’, they’re 9-to-5 working stiffs like everyone else, and proceed to unionize to protect themselves? Because from the outside looking in Silicon Valley seems the same as it was before 2014.

    1. jrs

      very few industries seem to have unionized that weren’t unionized 50 years ago. Fast food and other low paid jobs like hotel maids may be an exception there. But is unionization of non-unionized work some kind of trend that is going on all over but “idiot tech-bros” are somehow resisting? No, of course it’s not, and union membership is mostly at all time lows.

      1. NY Union Guy

        Have you ever noticed how white collar guys always refer to themselves as professionals?

        “Professionals” and other white collar types on salary are considered exempt employees under the FLSA. They have no legal right to union representation in the United States.

      2. Plenue

        Most other industries aren’t filled with techno-libertarians who had the rug completely pulled out from under their delusions about how their industry really works..

    2. tyaresun

      Back in the day Hal Varian argued that even a threat of entry is sufficient to make a monopoly act like it were in a market with perfect competition. This was an argument in favor of keeping Ma Bell a monopoly. Yes, yes, this guys knows all about competition.

  22. different clue

    On break, about to go back to work.

    About the meat surplus, will say briefly: the surplus is confined to mainstream sh*tmeat, so far as I know.
    Goor-may boo-teek handmade artisanal shinola meat is still reasonably scarce, and still commands a goor-may boo-teek artisanal shinola price.

    But the sh*tmeat market and the shinola meat market are two different markets. And I believe the handmade artisanal producers of shinola meat can ignore the problems facing the mainstream sh*tmeat industry, because it is “not their problem”.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The Bezzle: “City officials in Summit, N.J., have introduced a pilot program that allows commuters to use the ride service known as Uber to the local New Jersey Transit train station, according to news media reports” [Progressive Railroading]. “The initiative is aimed at freeing up parking spaces in the crowded station lot. The program also means the city won’t have to pay millions of dollars to build a new parking lot. The six-month pilot is limited to 100 riders.”

    They can do the same with high school student drivers.

    Then, schools can sell off their parking lots, buses…and fire their drivers.

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Light Vehicle Sales: “Based on a preliminary estimate from WardsAuto, light vehicle sales were at a 17.65 million SAAR in September. That is down about 2% from September 2015, and up 4.3% from the 16.92 million annual sales rate last month”

    Are people waiting for self-driving cars and are holding off their purchases?

    “Just a few more years, and I can have the first ever self-driving car. It will be a collector car… a classic car.”

    1. Synoia

      Good luck with a continued supply of spare parts (especially the electronics) for the self-driving car.

      That much software begs for planned obsolescence. Oh, your can is no longer compliant, because it is running rev 27.2,while the current minimum rev for legal use on the street is 35.1, which is only available of the next year’s models of your.

      Your trade in vale is $200. The replacement for you care is $55,000, and the software will be updated for only 3 years.

    2. Cry Shop

      popular ownership of self-drive would be defeat the purpose. as to software and parts, we’re there already for high end cars.

  25. VietnamVet

    The destruction from one hydrogen bomb exploding over the Washington Monument is so insane that one’s mind can’t grasp it. At best, it will be a bright light so fast and intense it won’t register. But; homelessness, unemployment, or mental illness is reality. It is so bad the mind naturally seeks ways to feel better even if in the long run it is harmful.




    We construct explanations for the unexplainable.

    The 2016 election is driven by the conflict between “white economic and cultural grievances and a party of social elites and ascendant minorities. This struggle [is] rooted in race and class”. With the collapse of the middle class any outside support will spark civil wars in the West. For this reason, Russia has become an existential enemy to the western establishment at the risk of extinction for all of us.

    Living in a pup tent isn’t it just as reasonable to believe the Powers to Be are an alien race of Lizard People? It explains it all.

  26. allan

    Hong Kong party says Joshua Wong has been detained in Thailand [AP]

    Hong Kong student pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong’s has been detained by Thai officials after arriving to give a talk at a university, his political party said.

    Demosisto said in a Facebook post that the party was unable to contact Wong after he arrived at Bangkok’s main airport late Tuesday.

    The group said it got word early Wednesday from a Thai student activist who was expected to meet Wong that he had been detained at Suvarnabhumi Airport after Thai authorities received a request from the Chinese government about his visit. …

    Two years ago, Wong became one of the most prominent leaders of massive pro-democracy protests that shut down major thoroughfares in Hong Kong for 11 weeks. He and other youthful demonstrators demanded that the government drop a Beijing-backed plan to restrict elections for the city’s top leader, but their movement fizzled out after authorities refused to grant concessions.

    Wong was scheduled to give a talk at Chulalongkorn University about a new generation of political activism. Last month, Demosisto scored a stunning Hong Kong election victory when its candidate, 23-year-old Nathan Law, won a seat in the legislature. Wong was unable to join the race because he is still too young, according to election rules.

  27. Kurt Sperry


    “A British man could become the first person in the world to be cured of HIV using a new therapy designed by a team of scientists from five UK universities.”

    Now how does one monetize an actual cure? No investor will touch this with a barge pole. What is needed is a life-long regimen of a patented drug that when withdrawn returns the ailment to a pre-treatment condition. Don’t these researchers understand the first thing about business?

  28. sandra l lawrence

    “We just call it a Dr. Seuss tree. Could you ask your readers what it is?”

    It’s a gopher plant, Euphorbia rigida, a dry land evergreen succulent. Try the “Blackbird” variety. Gorgeous! If you like this one, ‘Blackbird’ will knock your socks off.

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