2:00PM Water Cooler 10/5/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Morning Trade was let down — along with many on Twitter — that there was no mention of the TPP [in the Vice-Presidential Debate], a deal that both vice presidential candidates initially supported until they signed on as running-mates and flip-flopped” [Politico]. Especially given that in Trump’s strong first half-hour, he hammered Clinton with it.

“In conference at Yale Law School, DeLauro pushes to stop controversial Trans Pacific Partnership” [New Haven Register]. Detailed report of speech. “.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3, said the administration will be “relentless” in its pursuit of a positive vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership in the lame duck Congress, something she and a coalition in Congress are hoping to stop…. ‘(T)he agreement is undemocratic in its drafting, undemocratic in its contents and it cannot be passed during an unaccountable lame duck period,’ she told Yale Law students and staff in attendance.”

“Obama Hails Enforcement on Trade Deals to Win Support for T.P.P.” [New York Times]. “Such actions against other countries’ subsidies, dumping and market barriers, however, do not address two big concerns of trade skeptics: currency manipulation and workers’ rights.”

“The French decision follows Uruguay and Paraguay leaving the controversial US backed TISA negotiations last year and the recent humiliating back down of the EU on Investor State Dispute Resolution. With Germany and France so critical and Great Britain on the way out of the EU, it is hard to see how the European Commission can continue the negotiations” [Public Services International].


Days until: 33.

Debate Wrapup

Next presidential debate: Sunday, October 9.

“Fact-checking the vice-presidential debate between Kaine and Pence” [WaPo]. On the “insult-driven campaign” back-and-forth, where WaPo proffers a lovingly compiled list of Trump’s insults: If smearing an entire cohort of disfavored voters as racist and sexist #BernieBros isn’t an insult, I don’t know what is. And that approach isn’t isolated: It’s a pattern not just for the Clinton campaign, but liberals generally: the “irredeemable” “basket of deplorables”; the basement dwelling millenials. Worse, the Democrat approach is calculated: As Bernard Shaw says: “A blow in cold blood neither can nor should be forgiven.” So miss me with the insult discussion.

The Voters

Excellent tweet storm by Chris Arnade. Start here and read on:

“I Listened to a Trump Supporter” [Extra News Feed]. The foreclosure crisis destroyed her landscraping business. Then she lost her own house. “She told me that every week, it seemed there was another default letter, another foreclosure, another bank demanding more blood from her dry veins. To her, that pile of default notices and demands for payment looked suspiciously similar to Hillary Clinton’s top donor list.” And she’s not wrong.

“The Trump candidacy succeeded because of a massive revolt among rank-and-file Republicans against their leaders. Should the Trump candidacy fail, as now seems likely, those leaders stand ready to deny that the revolt ever happened. Instead, they’ll have a story of a more or less normal Republican undone only because (as Pence said last night) ‘he’s not a polished politician.’ The solution for 2020? Bring back the professionals—and return to business as usual” [David Frum, The Atlantic]. “It’s unlikely to work. But you can understand why it’s an attractive message to a party elite that discovered to its horror that it had lost its base and lost its way.”

“Trump faces new battleground threat from steelworkers: The United Steelworkers union is pledging to make sure every one of its workers in make-or-break states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio are well aware that the Republican presidential candidate may have circumvented U.S. laws to import Chinese steel” [Politico].

“Democrats are increasingly looking toward Sunbelt states rather than Rustbelt states for victory in 2016 and beyond. Not long ago that would have been unthinkable” [Ron Brownstein, The Atlantic]. “Craig Hughes, a leading Democratic strategist [ha] in Colorado, speaks for many in both parties when he says the two campaigns this year are pulling forward an electoral map that he didn’t expect to see until 2020 or beyond. ‘Trump has moved it up like eight years,’ he said.” So the Democrats followed the union busters South and West. Well played.

“Top Democratic strategists [ha] have concluded that at this point, there are very few undecided voters left, based on both public polls and on private polling that attempts to push undecided voters to make a choice. This is the prism through which they are viewing last night’s performance” [Greg Sargent, WaPo].

“How to Build a Democratic Majority That Lasts” [Steve Phillips, New York Times]. Wait, I thought they already new how to do that? Ruy Teixeira? The Obama Coaltion? Anyhow… “The gross imbalance between investing in persuasion over mobilization could potentially be justified if there were evidence showing the efficacy of paid advertising, but there isn’t. Studies looking at decades of election data offer the same conclusion: Paid ads do little to change voter behavior.” Interestingly, the author, from the heart of the Democrat nomenklatura at the Center for American Progress, is making the same argument the non-Weaver Sanders staffers made. Perhaps it’s a pitch to them, laying the groundwork for 2020.


“The [number of] apprehensions [at the border] series displays spikes that coincide with well-known episodes of increased illegal immigration into the United States, such as after the financial crisis in Mexico in 1995 or during the U.S. housing boom in the early 2000s. Importantly, the series also shows a sharp decline in the flows of illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border during the last recession, and those flows have remained at historically low levels since then ” [Federal Reserve Bank of New York].

” Al Gore to campaign for Clinton, hoping to galvanize young voters on climate change” [WaPo]. “The decision by Gore to plunge into the campaign during the final weeks shows the extent to which Democrats remain concerned that Clinton has yet to connect with many millennials, some of whom are backing third-party candidates this year. The former vice president, a climate activist, will speak about not just Clinton’s plan to address global warming, but also the idea that voting for an independent presidential candidate could deliver the White House to Republicans in the same way that Ralph Nader’s candidacy helped undermine his presidential bid in 2000.” Nader Nader neener neener! The Democrat Party can never fail! It can only be failed!


“‘Get off your high horse about this tax thing’: ‘Morning Joe’ host slams Clinton response to Trump tax records” [Yahoo Finance].

Stats Watch

ADP Employment Report, September 2016: “[L]ooking for significant slowing in employment growth” [Econoday]. But: “ADP is showing jobs growth equalling the rate of people entering the jobs market” [Econintersect].

Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index, September 2016: “[H]eld steady in September for the fifth month in a row” [Econoday]. “[T]he highest score recorded since Gallup began tracking this metric in January 2008.”

International Trade, September 2016: “The nation’s trade deficit widened by $1.2 billion in August to $40.7 but details are positive. Exports of capital goods, excluding aircraft, actually rose slightly to $37.6 billion while imports of capital goods were up $1.2 billion to $50.2 billion” [Econoday]. And: “There was insignificant backward revision. In any event, the trends are moving in the right direction to support an economic pickup” [Econintersect].

Factory Orders, August 2016: “Throw out the headline and look at capital goods. Factory orders in August edged only 0.2 percent higher but core capital good orders (nondefense ex-aircraft) jumped 0.9 percent following very impressive gains of 0.8 percent and 0.5 percent in the prior two months. These results point to a rebound for business investment which otherwise has been depressed this year” [Econoday].

Purchasing Managers’ Index Services Index, September 2016: “The composite index for September is up slightly” [Econoday]. “[C]omposite hides what is disappointing slowing in new orders which are at their weakest growth rate since May. And in a negative indication for Friday’s employment report, hiring slowed to a 3-1/2 low in the month. Reports from Markit, unlike other reports, continue to cite uncertainty over the presidential election as a negative factor.” But: “The Markit and ISM surveys [below[ are surprisingly different. The ISM shows strength in its key elements that correlate to economic activity. Markit shows services growth remains weak” [Econintersect].

Institute For Supply Management Non-Manufacturing Index, September 2016: Above consensus [Econoday]. “[N]ew orders are especially strong, up nearly 9 points to 60.0 which points to brisk activity for other readings in the months ahead. Employment is also a very solid plus.” Looks liike August was a blip.

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of September 30, 2016: “Purchase applications for home mortgages were down just 0.1 percent from the prior week in the September 30 week, but the comparison with the year ago week plunged sharply into deeply negative territory at minus 14 percent. Refinancing” [Econoday]. But: “Don’t read too much into the year-over-year decline – remember last year there was a 27% jump in applications the week prior to the TILA-RESPA regulatory change. Next week applications will be up year-over-year” [Calculated Risk].

Retail: “The NRF expects holiday sales growth of 3.6%, while the ICSC forecasts a 3.3% spending increase at physical stores” [Wall Street Journal, “Retail Trade Groups Forecast Strong Holiday Spending”]. Hmm.

Shipping: “Orders for Class 8 trucks – the rigs crisscrossing the US highway system that keep the nation supplied – plunged 27% in September to 13,791, according to FTR Transportation Intelligence. It was the worst September since 2009” [Wolf Street].

Shipping: “Global air capacity expansion outpaces growing demand” [Journal of Commerce].

Shipping: “Shipping, across all major vessel types, is not showing as many health warnings as in 2009, but it could certainly be better, according to a diagnosis by industry economics guru Martin Stopford on Wednesday.All major shipping markets are now below the seven-year trend” [Lloyd’s List]. “Not as bad as 2009” is a pretty low baseline…

Shipping: “US judge urged to pressure Hanjin to detail stranded cargo, equipment” [Journal of Commerce]. “A federal judge has agreed to hear on Friday the arguments of several chassis, container, and fuel providers demanding Hanjin Shipping reply more quickly to their “urgent” requests for information on where the container line’s ships are, and the location of chassis and containers the ocean carrier leased from the creditors.”

Shipping (for taxonomy geeks): “For the past 80 years, Incoterms® has been the cornerstone of global commercial trade, creating the basis for robust trade negotiations directly or indirectly involving sellers, buyers, shipping lines, truckers, forwarders, clearing agents, chambers of commerce, legal firms, courts, etc.” [Shipping and Freight Resource]. Incoterms® are three letter acronyms created by the International Chamber of Commerce to standardize international trade terms. CIF, for example, stands for Cost Insurance & Freight. (“Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant / Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants / C.i.f. London…”, in the notes to The Waste Land said by Eliot to mean “carriage and insurance free to London,” wrongly, which is why we have standards!)

Supply Chain: “The Current Sourcing Model is Inherently Unsustainable” [Sourcing Journal]. “‘The demand for organic cotton is in a huge lift, congratulations,’ [NewForesight CEO Lucas Simons] said. ‘But at the other side of this value chain, it is not going that well.’ Organic cotton farmers hardly make any extra money for their sustainable farming. In India, the average organic cotton makes 70 cents a day, Simons explained, and it’s the second poorest sector in the world. There is no motivation to farm organic cotton…. In short, the sustainability sector has a lot of growing up to do. ‘The enemy of all this are projects, everybody doing their own little things on their own little islands,’ Simons said.” Hmm.

Supply Chain: “Friday was a red letter day in the global fight against modern slavery. It was the deadline for the first companies to report under the UK Modern Slavery Act. Over 700 of these statements are available in a central Registry maintained by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. That number increases daily” [Reuters].

Concentration: “Verizon has told its field technicians in Pennsylvania that they can be fired if they try to fix broken copper phone lines. Instead, employees must try to replace copper lines with a device that connects to Verizon Wireless’s cell phone network” [Ars Technica]. “The wireless home phone service, VoiceLink, is not a proper replacement for copper phone lines because it doesn’t work with security alarms, fax machines, medical devices such as pacemakers that require telephone monitoring, and other services, the [Communications Workers of America] said.”

Concentration: “[59%] of Americans surveyed by the International Council of Shopping Centers that say they will shop on Amazon.com Inc. this holiday season” [Wall Street Journal].

Real Estate: “As wealthy buyers rein in spending, and more high-end properties hit the market, many of Manhattan’s most expensive new units will likely sit vacant for quite some time. ‘The supply of new development is rising three times as fast as existing apartment inventory,’ said [Miller Samuel, the appraisal firm]” [ETF Daily News]. Maybe we could store all our unused shipping containers in the empty units?

“How leading indicators can (and can’t) predict RevPAR” (revenue per available room) [Hotel News Notes]. “It might sound logical that higher discretionary income would lead to more travel spend, but Hood said the bivariate relationship (the indicator’s “r” value) for that, r=0.58 (where 100 would be an absolute correlation), was not such a strong correlation. Among the highest correlation, though, was the r=0.98 score of wages against hotel spend.”

“Financial statements are outliving their usefulness for investors — and here’s how to replace them” [MarketWatch (Jim Haygood)]. “Companies now rely more than ever on intangible assets like patents, brands, technology and business processes [bezzles] to create value…. [T]here’s a new measure we propose for value creation, which we call residual cash flows.”

“Not Keen on more Chaos in the Future of Macroeconomics” [Roger Farmer’s Economic Window]. “In response to Olivier Blanchard’s recent attempt to move towards a consensus in macroeconomics, Steve Keen has launched a blistering attack on the DSGE approach. His thesis is that the economy is best modeled as a complex adaptive system. I am, or at least was, very receptive to that idea. But in contrast to Steve, I believe that DSGE models are here to stay, just not New Keynesian DSGE models.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 51 Neutral (previous close: 42, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 50 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 5 at 12:27pm. Big swingin’ neutral!


“Mexicans have 300 different ways of referring to corruption” [Quartz]. “Bisnero means someone ‘who passes himself for a politician or businessperson, and who thinks being a man of ‘the state’ or ‘of business’ is enough to conduct bisnes through moches (i.e. cuts), palancas (i.e. levers or influence trafficking), and other corruption acts. They don’t contribute anything to government, or the country’s production chains, but yes, they wear their thick golden chains.'” Good to know.

“[David Wildstein, who pleaded guilty in the gridlock scheme and is cooperating with prosecutors, a onetime top ally of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie[,] said the governor and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo discussed releasing a false report to tamp down questions over the George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal, the prosecution’s key witness testified Tuesday” [Albany Times-Union]. Hmm.

“As co-founder of the Gap, San Francisco-based business leader and philanthropist Doris Fisher boasts a net worth of $2.6 billion, making her the country’s third richest self-made woman, according to Forbes. And she’s focused much of her wealth and resources on building charter schools” [Capital and Main].

Our Famously Free Press

“Reporting massive human rights abuses behind a façade” [Columbia Journalism Review]. You gotta know the territory and in this case the Bigfoot didn’t. Must read on the Cambodian genocide.


“The vast patch of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean is far worse than previously thought, with an aerial survey finding a much larger mass of fishing nets, plastic containers and other discarded items than imagined” [Guardian]. “The density of rubbish was several times higher than the Ocean Cleanup, a foundation part-funded by the Dutch government to rid the oceans of plastics, expected to find even at the heart of the patch, where most of the waste is concentrated.”

Guillotine Watch

“Does the one percent deserve what it gets?” [Washingon Center for Equitable Growth]. An academic’s question. The right question: “Does the one percent deserve what it’s going to get?” That said: “One difference between the rich and us is that they have more money. They also enjoy—both as cause and effect—a lot more power.” Oddly, the author doesn’t mention luck. Don’t put me on a list, Brad!

Class Warfare

“How a $15 Minimum Wage Went From Fringe to Mainstream” [Bloomberg]. Fight for $15.

“Davide Furceri and I have revised our IMF Working Paper on the impacts of financial globalization—specifically, the elimination of restrictions on the capital account—on inequality. We find that episodes of capital account liberalization are followed by an increase in the share of income going to the top 1% (the chart below shows the impact). Our previous work had already shown that the Gini coefficient increases following capital account liberalization” [The Unassuming Economist].

“Why Americans Feel Poor, in One Chart” [Narayana Kocherlakota, Bloomberg].

News of the Wired

“As Google took great pains to communicate, the Pixel phone is “#MadeByGoogle”—and not another company. (When tech companies say ‘made,’ they mean ‘designed’ and not literally manufactured.) Not only does this mean that Google itself has control over the hardware design, but it also has complete control over the software. Pixel phones will run only the purest Android and will update straight from the mothership in Mountain View, just like the co-branded Nexus phones that came before it” [Yahoo Finance]. “This total control over the digital ecosystem and device design finally gives Google the table stakes required to compete with Apple, a company that arguably succeeded due to valuing design as much as tech.”

* * *

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:


From the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

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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. Roger Smith

    “I Listened to a Trump Supporter” [Extra News Feed].

    Thank the heavens the Banks made it out okay though. All those nice people might have had to go through the same thing.

    “It’s difficult to convince someone whose life is objectively worse that their life is better. And it’s disengenuous to try. You can break down the specifics, sure.

    What is the author talking about? Their lives ARE NOT better.

    “Neoliberal capitalism is not sustainable for these people.”

    It is not sustainable period! What do you think will happen when all these people disappear?

    1. Roger Smith

      In the comments the author speaks against the WaPo article published this week, but this article still wreaks of “holier than thou” psychoanalysis (I really just want to get down in the dirt and see what make you tick) just with more pity. It still assumes there is an obvious person to vote for, regardless of all the problems.

      It is interesting to see the obfuscation of the DNC at work too. “If I had known…” Exactly mam. They wouldn’t have liked that.

      1. JohnnyGL

        I keep waiting for someone to really dig in and find out what goes on the mind of a Clinton supporter.

        1. polecat

          ..but you’d have to touch their brain tissue to is what’s in it .. and that’s just not worth the time ….

          you’d be digging forever and nary a thought !!

          ….. better to wear protective gloves though …. CLINTON RAGE is deadly …..

    2. Sam Greenlaw

      $916,000,000 became bankruptcy money. Trump’s 1995-2003 filings were legal. But come 2004 these years should have been refiled. That is because the loss was shifted in 2004 from Trump’s closely held corporation as a NOL to a loan write-off loss “booked” by the banks.

      For 2004 the banks wrote off these debts and posted them to their tax filings. IRS and the state agencies do not allow double counting. Rudy Giuliani says that Donald Trump is a “Genius.” How’s that? Is the man a criminal genius? Has he set the all time record for Carry Loss tax fraud for an American?

      Did Donald Trump Refile 1995-2003 Taxes When 2004 Bankruptcy Erased That $916 Million Write-Off ?

      1. Yves Smith

        *Sigh*. No, this is incorrect.

        The cancellation of debt results in income to the borrower ONLY if the debt is recourse. The tax expert to which I have spoken (listed as one of the top 50 in the world) says it would be extremely unusual for Trump’s debt, as a large real estate player, to be recourse, particularly since banks were making all sorts of stupid loans with weak to no covenants in the late 1980s. I also discussed this off line with someone who knew the US rules extremely well (as in he had negotiated tax treaties back then with the US) and volunteered a similar view in a post, and by the time I was done presenting the information to him, he reversed his view and admitted he had been wrong.

        As the tax expert says, “Non tax people should never write about tax.”

        From the mouth of the IRS (emphasis mine):

        Generally, if a debt for which you are personally liable is forgiven or discharged for less than the full amount owed, the debt is considered canceled in whatever amount it remained unpaid.

        IRS Publication 4681

        And here (emphasis mine, this refers to consumer mortgages where whether the loan is recourse or not is a matter of state law, dirt law here is state, not federal, but it illustrates the general principle):

        Non-recourse loans: A non-recourse loan is a loan for which the lender’s only remedy in case of default is to repossess the property being financed or used as collateral.That is, the lender cannot pursue you personally in case of default. Forgiveness of a non-recourse loan resulting from a foreclosure does not result in cancellation of debt income. However, it may result in other tax consequences, as discussed in Question 3 below.


  2. ekstase

    “Get off your high horse about this tax thing,” has a certain ring to it. Kind of like, Mike Pence’s, “You whipped out that Mexican thing again.”
    High horses can be quite unruly, though, and one should stay off them for sure.

    1. cwaltz

      Heh, when a rich person avoids taxes and gets criticized for it, the criticism is called a high horse.

      I don’t remember the GOP treating criticism about taxes that way when they thought it was folks at the bottom escaping income tax.

      I have to thank Donald Trump because now when the GOP cite that 47% of the country doesn’t pay taxes, my response will now be…..Donald Trump. It’s even better than pointing out Romney who made millions paid less in taxes then my 19 year old did when he made $8 an hour and was living at home.

  3. ProNewerDeal

    I have a US Fed Gov & health policy question.

    Could a President (such as a Social Democrat like Sanders) take an “Executive Action” without Congressional approval to make a Medicare or Veterans Affairs system Buy-In Option? It would be possible that such an action would not cost money, as the pricing would be at actuarial cost.

    Would right-win “think tanks” or Congresspersons have standing to sue such an Executive Action?

    1. katiebird@gmail.com

      The question of Actuarial Cost came up at one of Max Baucus’s Health Care hearings in Spring 2009. The cost at that time for a full buy in would have been over $7000 a year. Which silenced that issue for all the hearings I saw after that (and I watched a lot of them.)

      1. a different chris

        Sure check out a 200+ year old piece of parchment, especially if you want three different answers:
        1) Yes
        2) No
        3) Maybe

        1. Jim Haygood

          Or ring up nine eight old codgers in black robes, who will give you eight different answers, with supplementary case cites and footnotes.

        2. Martin Finnucane

          So you imply, sir, that the Gods equivocate? Heavens forfend! Get thee behind me, wicked serpent!

      2. hunkerdown

        Oh, now liberals are doing the Constitution as holy writ thing. Like they said, being avant-garde means dressing up as Republicans from twelve years ago. Steampunk!

        1. redleg

          That’s been the goal of the Dems since Clinton I – be the GOP of 12 years ago. They’ve been remarkably consistent and successful.

    1. NY Union Guy


      My primary political concern is labor so why should I get behind a dem or a GOPer?

      Neither party seems to be aligned with the interests of my union brothers and sisters. I’m sick and tired of hearing the kayfabe crap every election season about how I should vote dem to keep the evil GOPers from busting unions, when in reality both parties seem more or less committed to the corporate agenda of employment crapification.

      1. Pat

        My union’s bulletin arrived yesterday with a full color cover of Hillary touting how they are with her.

        I believe in union’s, but part of the decline can be directly laid at the feet of leadership that either knowingly or stupidly help elect people who aren’t with their union members in any meaningful fashion.

        1. jrs

          Some of the unions are straight out sell outs (I’m looking at you AFL/CIO – but the AFL kind of always has been, that’s it’s history, but now it’s pretty appalling the positions being taken). Not sure about Teamsters and smaller unions are hit and miss I guess only a few are radical. The unions were defanged long ago in order to have un-threatening corporate unions and of course labor was the loser. But that still doesn’t excuse their horrible political choices.

      2. fajensen

        My primary political concern is labor so why should I get behind a dem or a GOPer?

        As Sir Humphrey points out, “It is necessary to get behind someone before you can stab them in the back.”

  4. Roger Smith

    Al Gore: “The former vice president, a climate activist, will speak about not just Clinton’s plan to address global warming, but also the idea that voting for an independent presidential candidate could deliver the White House to Republicans in the same way that Ralph Nader’s candidacy helped undermine his presidential bid in 2000.”

    Why in the hell are the Democrats parading around like they are the default? Oh my! The Republicans could get the White House snatched from the Dems! Why should an independent give a damn if the Democrats lose? If they are so freaking important, change your policies to win their votes legitimately you HACKs!

    Nah, just parade around an old loser… that will get those kids and independents invigorated for sure! He made a movie! — ARGHH!!!! (this infuriates me).

    1. timbers

      Maybe instead of Al Gore, Michael Moore should hit the stump with Clinton to work the crowd and sign people up to MoveOn.org membership since it will be needed to defend Hillary in her up-coming impeachment trial in the Republican Senate. It will bring back memories as we relive the Clinton years all over again. And while the oxygen gets sucked out policy discussion from Hillary’s impeachment, she can get to work on Grand Bargain and finally privatize SS and maybe no-fly zone & WW3, too. With so much stuff like that going on, people should be sufficiently distracted from from their shittacular healthcare, declining wages, and student loaners lurking in basements as the number of states experiencing Obamacare “collapse” go from current 4-7 to who knows … 10-20 or so.

      1. a different chris

        Also why don’t they make some real effort to get the houses of Congress back into balance? A few Congresses back I figured out that just 42 of the Democrats had gotten more votes than the entire 50-something stable of Rethuglicans. I doubt it’s much different today, and I’m sure the House is equally or more depressing.

        As usual, not a real question.

      2. temporal

        The title environmental activist seems a bit much. The dude that wouldn’t defend his case and talked about climate change while making money doing very little about it. The idea of getting Moore on one side of Hillary and Gore on the other, would at the very least provide a slimming effect on the one in the middle.

        Previously being a MoveOn member that moved on, brings back memories of the initial start. Now they’ll get a chance to convince a newer generation that we should just forget about this Clinton’s indiscretions. Slightly bigger in nature so it’s gonna cost a bit more to fix. But getting donations from regular people in order to protect the rich and powerful seems to be the American Way.

        Honestly I doubt the Rs will have the ability to impeach. They’ve shown with the Benghazi hunt that they had no idea how to prosecute what Clinton had done. Mainly because what she did wrong in that instance varies little from what they think is correct behavior.

        This all assumes that Obama hasn’t already proven that he averted the need for future Presidents to be at war all time by the most expedient method currently available. In which case we’re probably going to wish we had been doing our own nuke drills.

    2. JohnnyGL

      If Obama thought every problem could be solved with better PR, then team Clinton seems to think all that’s needed is more and better surrogates.

      Voters don’t like seeing more Clinton?? Or maybe she’s too busy doing fundraisers?? Bring out the Obamas?!?!?! That’s not enough to put this race to bed?? Drag Bernie out of VT by the ear and put him to work? What’s that?? He can’t bring in the kids like he used to??? Well, get the Big Dog on the trail!! Crap, he won’t stay on script?!?! Okay, what’s Al Gore doing? Give him a shot!

      Who’s next Jimmy Carter? Dukakis?

      1. Arizona Slim

        Isn’t Walter Mondale still around? That guy might be able to appeal to the younger set. (Sarcasm off.)

      2. john

        I read two of Al Gores books. He sure plagarized alot of material on mind control. I mean marketing. Also how to hypnotize a frog or chicken.

      3. Cry Shop

        ” Al Gore to campaign for Clinton, hoping to galvanize young voters on climate change” so that the Clintons can have plausible deniability on really doing anything because it didn’t come out of Hellery’s mouth.

    3. Pat

      As I said yesterday, all these moves smell. They smell of a desperation that is greater than ‘better safe than sorry’. Besides the fact that she is only a modicum better than Trump on climate change, as in she acknowledges it before ignoring it completely, the idea that somehow parading the Nader meme around will work with an audience that has largely heard it all before and can largely cite the facts and figures that prove Nader didn’t cause Gore’s loss. Gore’s campaign, voter suppression, and some stupidity and/or sabotage did him in. But they simply must continue to attempt to scare the rubes into voting for people who are not going to represent them in any way, shape or form…

    4. hunkerdown

      Roger Smith, it’s what the liberal bourgeoisie does: they believe that everyone should want to be like themselves, that they should be materially blessed for merely being “better”, and bizarrely expect that those around them perform in their little ritual and reify their little narrative, verbatim. Much else follows from that.

      1. Martin Finnucane

        … reify their little narrative … At the risk of plus-one’ing, I say well done.

  5. L

    “The Trump candidacy succeeded because of a massive revolt among rank-and-file Republicans against their leaders. Should the Trump candidacy fail, as now seems likely, those leaders stand ready to deny that the revolt ever happened. Instead, they’ll have a story of a more or less normal Republican undone only because (as Pence said last night) ‘he’s not a polished politician.’ The solution for 2020? Bring back the professionals—and return to business as usual” [David Frum, The Atlantic]. “It’s unlikely to work. But you can understand why it’s an attractive message to a party elite that discovered to its horror that it had lost its base and lost its way.”

    To be fair, this is also the model that the Democrats used to respond to Bernie Sanders and before that to George McGovern. And before that the Republicans used it to respond to Barry Goldwater. So far it has worked every single time.

    1. Pat

      Until it doesn’t. I think it works with Democrats longer than Republicans, but from what I can see they are herded better and/or get scared easier. Think about it, Reagan can be considered the long game result of Goldwater’s supporters not going away. Hell the disaffected Republicans thrown out by him looked around and took over the Democratic Party.

      They may think a Trump loss will get the genie back in the bottle, but personally I’m just waiting for point where it isn’t just the Chaffees and the Christs who have migrated over to hang out in Clintonville, but the Romneys, the Kings, maybe even the McConnells suddenly start sporting a D after their names.

    2. different clue

      If Trump ends up losing, and the GOP establishment gets to say: See? What did we tell you? then who will be the brand name GOPer getting nominated for 2020?

      I think it will be Cruz. Because Cruz came in second best after Trump this time around.

  6. a different chris

    >other countries’ subsidies, dumping and market barriers

    All things they claim hurt the countries doing them so why do you need to enforce it? Won’t they learn the hard way?

    Not real questions of course.

  7. diogenes

    “In conference at Yale Law School, DeLauro pushes to stop controversial Trans Pacific Partnership” [New Haven Register]. Detailed report of speech. “.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3, said the administration will be “relentless” in its pursuit of a positive vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership in the lame duck Congress, something she and a coalition in Congress are hoping to stop…. ‘(T)he agreement is undemocratic in its drafting, undemocratic in its contents and it cannot be passed during an unaccountable lame duck period,’ she told Yale Law students and staff in attendance.”

    While aware that “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…”, if the current wisdom (or what passes as such…) holds that the next SC jurist must wait until after the election, wouldn’t the same argument apply to TPP? I do so tire of our “leaders” having it both ways.

    I mean, we’re screwed by either candidate/party, but I do like to poke a stick into the spokes of their bike wheels.

    1. no one

      What scares me more are some of the facts that De Lauro cites in opposition to the TPP and similar deals. For example, she points out how much shrimp and fish from SE Asia has been rejected by the US because of filth and contamination —

      “DeLauro is particularly concerned with the safety of seafood imports from Southeast and South Asia, given that the federal Department of Agriculture inspects less than 2 percent of seafood coming to our borders.

      “She said it is known that many shipments from these areas, particularly shrimp, are contaminated with “feces, banned antibiotics, illegal drugs and pesticides.”

      “She said the TPP will allow Vietnam and Malaysia to challenge U.S. inspection decisions.

      “This will have a chilling effect on aggressive food safety enforcement by our customs officials,” DeLauro said.

      “Since the U.S. started inspecting Vietnamese catfish in May, she said 40,000 pounds have been stopped from entering the country and another 26,000 pounds have been recalled from American markets.

      “DeLauro said the first global disruption occurred in the Industrial Revolution, which showed the need for progressive policies to protect workers.”

      In other words, if Obama gets his trade deals enacted, imported food of all sorts will have to be off the menu, for those of us in the know.

      For everyone else, watch out!

      Thank you, Democrats!!

      1. sgt_doom

        Yes, but the most important points against the TPP are:

        (1) ends workers’ rights;

        (2) destroys small and local businesses; and,

        (3) forces global forced arbitration, thereby ending any semblance of sovereignty.

        1. no one

          i agree. I also think the effects on medicine, the environment and public health are devastating. I’m just saying that the TPP and its ilk will affect everyone except, perhaps, the 1% who can command the highest standards regardless of the absence of regulations. No one can afford to be complacent.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          But other than that, TPP is pretty cool. I mean who needs a job, a company, or a country.

      2. TedWa

        Great points ! But don’t forget what happened because of the WTO – COOL was banned. Country of origin labels – how are we going to know? Buy only organic I’d guess.

        Just imagine what that will do to companies in the US too, you think getting e-coli from chicken or hamburg is bad, standards in american food crops will drop since look what they’re competing with. This f*ing thing is a can of worms – the more it’s exposed to real life concerns the worse it gets.

    2. different clue

      Well, actually . . . McConnell is saying that TPP should wait till Next Administration just like Supreme Number 9 should wait till Next Administration. So McConnell wants his cake the same way both times, at least.

  8. ekstase

    “Since the high-end real estate market tends to lead the middle of the market, the Real Estate sector as a whole could soon face an even more pronounced correction.”

    It’s too late. A lot of innovative people left, or never came. It would take a generation, at least, to replace what real estate moguls have destroyed in New York City. And we don’t have another one like it.

  9. Pelham

    “Should the Trump candidacy fail, as now seems likely, those [GOP] leaders stand ready to deny that the revolt ever happened.”

    Similarly, should the Clinton candidacy succeed, as now seems likely, party leaders stand ready to deny that the Bernie Revolution ever happened.

    This plus the fact that the next president is likely to be almost instantly discredited by another recession or financial meltdown as well as a conventional GOP Congress suggests that those Sanders supporters who truly support a revolution should vote for Trump. If he wins, he’s sunk, and if Hillary loses, it discredits the Dem party leadership, clearing the way for something new.

    Of course, the country is sunk if either one wins, but there’s nothing anyone can do about that.

      1. different clue

        There could also be bumper stickers which say: “Don’t blame me. I wrote ‘Bernie’ in!”

    1. Romancing The Loan

      Gamesmanship-wise, this is probably the best choice for an actual leftie. Also voting for the Libertarians will serve to split the conservative vote once they reach that (within their grasp, unlike the politically incompetent Greens who prefer to be the noble losers rather than actually win) federal funding level. The (actual) left really needs to start thinking about the long term.

      Myself, I completely agree but I just don’t know if I can do it after hearing Pence walk back everything good Trump said about Syria and then blather on about partial birth abortion, even though I live in MA and there is no possibility of changing the outcome. I think I’m going to write in Bernie whether he wants me to or not.

      1. cwaltz

        From a gamesmanship perspective


        If Clinton literally loses her grip in NM where Johnson polls 24%, and Trump trails her at 31% then she loses. If I were someone interested in tanking her AND making libertarians(and I use this term loosely) more relevant I’d start there.

        Of course it means the House gets to pick our President too so it’s still lose-lose-lose for the American people.

        1. different clue

          How can throwing it into the House hurt us any worse than electing one of the Big Two will hurt us anyway?

          And it could help us. How? By generating so much political soap opera tension excitement drama that people who never cared about the mechanics of governance start studying up about government, governance, and civics.

          So maybe the Greens AND the Libertarians AND the Write-In-Bernies should focus special effort on New Mexico, to try driving Clinton’s AND Trump’s numbers down enough in New Mexico to where someone not Trump not Clinton actually wins. What if all the Bitter Berners in New Mexico ( and strictly only in New Mexico, now . . . ) were to vote Libertarian? Along with the Never Trumpers? Could they actually throw New Mexico to Johnson/Weld and hold both of the Big Two below the magic Electoral Vote Threshhold?

        2. hunkerdown

          cwaltz, no, they’re choosing *their* President. Why do you want undesirable figureheads to be powerful and competent, anyway? It seems self-defeating.

          1. cwaltz

            I am actually interested in seeing how the pretend duopoly handles neither candidate getting to 270. Would they throw it to their candidate of choice- Clinton(and yes I believe that some of the GOP might attempt to throw it to her)? or would they pretend that they support Trump to try and keep up the pretense of “opposing sides”(The GOP desperately tried to make someone stick during the primaries but couldn’t? Would they completely get rid of pretense and install someone who wasn’t on the ballot in the name of the corrupt oligarchy they serve- thereby completely removing this idea that this is anything other than a banana republic?

            I’m hoping we hit a tipping point with the “two party system” and their stranglehold on our democratic process- they’ve vetted two incredibly bad candidates and I’d argue it was done somewhat purposefully – they deserve to be fired for their incompetence. At this point all I’m hoping for is some sort of sign we’re getting to the fed up point of telling them to bugger off.

      2. reslez

        I’m also leaning toward writing in Bernie. I voted for Stein in ’12, but I don’t think I can do it again. I listened to an interview where she came across as berating the working class, a big turn-off for me. The goal is to win elections and change the world, not diss 60% of voters with holier-than-thou put-downs.

        1. MojaveWolf

          That would be be a big turn-off for me and my SO as well. Not been paying as much attention of late so missed this interview; any link?

      3. ggm

        Pence’s foreign policy answers were disturbing. A small consolation is that Trump came out again today and said he wants to try to work with Putin to fight ISIS, he himself has no predetermined agenda for or against Russia going into talks. Trump is at the top of the ticket and in my view, might be the only one willing and able to delay engagement with Russia for now. Frustrating that he has given another warhawk neocon a platform for future leadership.

    2. sleepy

      If Hillary loses it will discredit the dem leadership in fact. But that’s not the way it’ll get spun. The dem elite will say that Hillary went too far left in an effort to appease Sanders supporters.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Followed by the immature, childlike voters having a tantrum.

        Funny how that happens over and over.

          1. polecat

            Which ones?

            the ‘SJW safe spacers’ .. with a dash of gang banging getto rats ……… or the WallStreet gangster banksters and their cronies…..

            take your pick !

            1. polecat

              …and then there’s that horrid group of toddlers, otherwise known as CONgress …….

              they’re voters too ! …..they vote for ‘Me’, ‘Myself’, ….and ‘I’ ….

      2. hunkerdown

        It’ll discredit bourgeois liberalism too, gods willing. When people respond to liberal/Democrat evangelical talking points with the same offense as they do with any other Christian sect’s evangelical talking points, there’s no trade left for them here and they can all move back to their real home country where the brown people are kept in a walled animal reserve with no natural resources for themselves.

    1. ekstase

      Yeah, this is a good article, if depressing:

      “Though both of these men look like they could have been drawn by R. Crumb, neither have the slightest sense of humor.”

  10. Donald

    That Becker piece was misleading. She was right–there was genocide in Cambodia. But most people accepted that immediately, because it was about the Cambodian communists and were bad guys by definition and also in reality. Chomsky was slow to accept this but even he admitted mass murder right from the start. A few other lefties were also skeptical that it was genocide–the moral of the story is that lefty dissidents can be misled by their skepticism of convenient stories about enemy atrocities when the atrocities turn out to be real.

    But portraying it as a lonely stance, as Becker does, is simply wrong. She was in the majority almost from the start and the majority was correct. The US government found it convenient to side with the Khmer Rouge against the Vietnamese, but that’s the government for you.

    1. Donald

      Clarifying–Chomsky admitted that the Khmer Rouge were guilty of mass murder, but he was skeptical of that it was full scale genocide during the years when it was happening, but all of our info came from refugee accounts. After the Vietnamese communists invaded and overthrew the Cambodian communists the evidence became overwhelming and Chomsky acknowledged the genocide–that was by 1980 or 81. I read all about this a few years later. It used to be the standard story used to discredit everything Chomsky ever wrote. It wasn’t one of his better moments. But the notion that Becker was a lonely figure is absurd. Denying the Cambodian genocide made you a crackpot in mainstream circles from very early on and in this case the mainstream had the basic story right. That’s the lesson to learn. Never ever let your ideology get in the way of facts. Easy to say, hard to do.

      1. sgt_doom

        Puhlease . . .Chomsky has long been a CIA/Wall Street stooge.

        When Fred Koch (patriarch of the Koch family, financier behind the Liberty Lobby and other white supremacist groups, etc.) was still an MIT trustee, you never heard a peep about him from Chomsky.

        Chomsky has stated time and again that the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were besides the point!!!!


        No, the Chomskys (since daughter, Aviva, deletes all labor history from modern American history) are not to be taken seriously.

        1. Donald

          I learned a lot about the atrocities the US was responsible for back in the pre Web days from reading Chomsky. That doesn’t change because he is a flawed person.

  11. craazyman

    I think Lambert’s gonna vote for Trump.

    I had a brilliant idea for lazy voters. A voter netting service. You register yourself as a voter for candidate “A” and link up with a voter for “B”.

    You each agree to not vote. Why exert yourselves in vain? That will shorten lines and make vote counting more “efficient”. Who doesn’t like efficiency? Isn’t efficiency above reproach or debate? Isn’t it a universally valued attribute?

    This should not be controversial. But the one risk is, somebody lies. They say they won’t vote but do anyway. They’d have to be pretty dedicated to do that, to pay what likely would be a small fee and then go vote anyway in an act of deceit. It’s hard to know what the real risk of that is, but maybe there would be a way to charge them with a crime if you compare voting records with the Lazy Voter service. You’d have to think of a good name for it. I can’t right now, maybe something like Poll-ease. That may be too cerebral. But it’s not bad for 20 seconds of thought. OK, 10 seconds.

    1. Roger Smith

      “These two candidates (schlubs)? Poll-eaze!”

      Are you tired of mindless marketing campaigns and racketeers corrupting your political system? Are you tired of the same old routine of carting yourself to a voting booth to vote for some nobody you don’t even like?

      1. sgt_doom

        If everyone got together we could all do a write in ballot for Bruce Campbell, who really knows how to play a president.

        My ideal ticket?

        Bruce Campbell/Charlie Sheen 2016

        1. fajensen

          Bruce Campbell might win – The entire “youth vote” must have seen “Ash versus Evil Dead” recently and we old folks the three “Evil Dead” movies.

          And there is something for the gun-nuts and Clintonites to relate with too:

          All right, you primitive screw-heads, listen up! See this? This… is my boomstick! – [continuing nonchalantly] – It’s a twelve-gauge, double-barreled Remington. S-Mart’s top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That’s right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about $109.95. It’s got a walnut stock, cobalt-blue steel, and a hair trigger. That’s right… shop smart: shop S-Mart… You got that?

          Wiseman: When you removed the book from the cradle, did you speak the words?
          Ash: Yeah, basically.
          Wiseman: Did you speak the exact words?
          Ash: Look, maybe I didn’t say every tiny syllable, no. But basically I said them, yeah.


  12. TSA

    Why the defense of Donald’s tax evasion? You seem to treat it the same as his party does – a laughable non-issue, he’s a smart participant in a flawed system, etc.

    What happened to this sentiment: “When the wealthy and powerful hide money from governments or speculate with it in sneaky ways, it destabilizes economies and enables the commission of crimes that place a further burden on ordinary people. When money flows from the economic necessities needed by the less privileged to the top fraction of a percent of the world’s population and is then hidden offshore, essentially ‘disappeared,’ it’s a net drain on and a blow to the world economy. This impacts jobs and the quality of our future.”

    1. Yves Smith

      If you are referring to his use of tax loss carryforwards, this is NOT tax evasion, which is against the law, nor even tax avoidance, which is the use of clever structuring to achieve attractive tax outcomes. This is the use of a plain vanilla provision in the tax code, employed by millions of companies big and small every year. Companies that make tax losses are permitted to carry them back (getting refunds of taxes previously paid) or forward a certain number of years. Any company that has ever shown a loss would make use of this provision. Failure to do so would be proof of rank incompetence of their tax preparer.

      1. Pat

        The propaganda on this is deep. I had to explain to two people today that everything Trump did in that tax return was legal. That the questions should not be about his using every legal deduction available to him to limit or eliminate his tax bill, but why and how all these deductions became part of the tax code, and who wrote and voted for that code. IOW, why did politicians like Clinton enable this and not bother to scream and yell about it till now.

      2. JCC

        And isn’t it exactly what HRC did last year to the tune of ~$700,000.00?


        Of course the headline is wrong, but the line item is clear.

        As the article mentions at the end, Pot Calls Kettle Black!

        Not to mention that she failed to file her required Donor’s List for the Clinton Foundation in NY State for the last three years – go figure

        (I guess linking to ZeroHedge gets you in the moderation queue… that’s OK, probably a wise move ;-)

      3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Hilary didn’t need tax deductions because she had the biggest tax scam of all on her side: the tax-free Foundation.

        1. cwaltz

          Actually the Clinton foundation has a little tax problem too. Apparently even though Hillary said they weren’t going to take foreign donations, they did and didn’t disclose them in taxes.


          And while Trump is being hit with charges of his convenient donations to Bondi, Schneiderman, who essentially curtailed the Trump Foundation’s fundraising, sits on Clinton’s leadership foundation and has done nothing even though the Clinton Foundation didn’t disclose millions in donations for three years.

  13. timbers

    Is Marine Le Pen a coherent French version of Trump? Could a Le Pen win running against Hillary and unite BernieBros, deplorables, basement dwellers, old whites w/o college degrees and jobs, and those icky nationalist xenophobes that Hillary says are bad? Why can’t Trump talk like this?

    “You’ve done everything to bring down the government of Syria, throwing the country into a terrible civil war, while accusing Russia which is actually fighting Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL],” the right wing party leader and France’s presidential candidate said, speaking at the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg on Wednesday.


      1. witters

        Why? Wishes don’t do anything. That is why you can have contradictory wishes – “I wish I was thin”, and “I wish I had another chocolate cake”. Be careful what you desire and what you do or don’t do, but leave wishes out of it.

    1. Lee

      An imagined possible synthesis of deplorables and BernieBros, which I find rather intriguing and even more plausible than when it was written:

      “The platform of the Independence Party, as well as its message, is clear and uncompromising: zero tolerance of illegal immigrants; a freeze on legal immigration from Latin America, Africa and Asia; increased tariffs on all imports; a ban on American companies moving their operations to another country or outsourcing abroad; a prohibition on “sovereign wealth funds” investing in the United States. America will withdraw from the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund; end all “involvements” in foreign countries; refuse to pay any more interest on our debt to China, essentially defaulting on it; and stop trading with China until China freely floats its currency.
      Profitable companies will be prohibited from laying off workers and cutting payrolls. The federal budget must always be balanced. The Federal Reserve will be abolished.
      Banks will be allowed only to take deposits and make loans. Investment banking will be prohibited. Anyone found to have engaged in insider trading, stock manipulation, or securities fraud will face imprisonment for no less than ten years.”

      Robert Reich: 2010 Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future

      1. clinical wasteman

        Debt repudiation + purge of ‘foreign’ elements + corporatist labour market management. I don’t like to use the analogy, but really, what year and what country does that remind you of?
        (Nothing wrong with debt repudiation per se, of course, but two things — both unrelated to the analogy above — are kind of head-spinning. First the selective quasi-default: China but not Japan, Germany, Gulf monarchies? (And definitely not private sector creditors like the Independence voter’s own pension fund, right?)
        Second: why was the unlucky creditor chosen? Because China refuses to float its currency, of course! When exactly did going to war for post-Bretton Woods financial orthodoxy become a ‘populist’/pro-worker/conscript policy?

  14. tommy strange

    I have to thank both of you, I am so glad that this site…not even ‘left syndicalist socialist’ as I am, has had a consistent ethical center. …that has made it my favorite. You just won’t back down. It is so refreshing.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Agree! And I value the civility and high quality of the comments on Naked Capitalism. I’ve learned and continue to learn a great deal. Thank you!

  15. toolate

    “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

    — Diderot

    1. polecat

      Might have to change that quote to include both ‘queen’ …. and ‘pundit’ ……

      just sayin …….

      1. Synoia

        replace “priest” and “pundit” with economist

        their proclamations are dogma, coupled with cant; money for telling the rich and powerful what they want to hear.

  16. sgt_doom

    And speaking of Hillary:

    Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Cult of Assassination

    With the recently leaked minutes of a meeting attended by Hillary Clinton, we learn that she suggested the assassination of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.

    One wonders if there are other murders she proposed in those deleted emails of hers? Of course, we’ll probably never know since Attorney General Lynch granted immunity to material witnesses for destruction of evidence!

    What we do know is that one — or possibly several — individuals and their minions who once ordered the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, Jr., have fully endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for the presidency!

    The tradition of the assassination of innocents appears to continue unabated.

    Now we learn that Yahoo allowed millions of emails to be scanned and recorded by the NSA and the FBI — did any of those involve any past or future assassinations or suspicious suicides?

    Hillary Rodham Clinton, who do you want to assassinate today?

      1. Gaianne

        David Carl Grimes–

        She’ll probably drone-strike the Ecuadorian embassy.

        She’ll consider it a two-fer.


        1. hunkerdown

          That may be a lot more brown people than she wants to cheese off at one time, especially with so many sensitive neoliberalization projects in progress (Argentina, Brazil) or waiting in the wings, and Russia and China more than glad to welcome South America into their co-prosperity sphere.

  17. allan

    Customers sue UnitedHealth over prescription drug co-pay costs [Reuters]

    UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N) has been sued by three customers who accused the largest U.S. health insurer of charging co-payments for prescription drugs that were higher than their actual cost and pocketing the difference.

    The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Minnesota by three UnitedHealth customers, seeks to represent a nationwide class that it says could include “tens of thousands” of people insured by UnitedHealth.

    The lawsuit said Minnesota-based UnitedHealth and affiliated companies charged customers co-payments for drugs that were significantly higher than prices it negotiated with pharmacies for those drugs.

    For example, the lawsuit claims, one class member paid a $50 co-payment for Sprintec, a contraceptive, while UnitedHealth paid the pharmacy only $11.65. The pharmacy was then required to hand the extra $38.85 over to UnitedHealth under its agreement with the insurer, the lawsuit said. …

    I don’t understand the outrage. This was a business relationship between consenting parties who had,
    or should have known that they should have had, access to perfect market information. Caveat emptor.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Every year, I get a fresh round of robocalls from a UnitedHealth subsidiary, Optum:

      “Optum helps modernize the health system’s infrastructure, advance care and empower individuals as they take control of their own health.”

      Yeah right .. so what slash who cares. This year I got bloody annoyed by Optum’s phone harassment and the runaround from the company’s customer service reps, who claim they can do nothing about robocalls emanating from a third-party telemarketer.

      After looking up the name of UnitedHealth’s chief counsel, and inferring his email address from the pattern of other employee emails found on the web, I sent him a message saying I would file a complaint with the Minnesota Attorney General, naming him and his CEO as the offenders, if the robocalls didn’t stop.

      Within 12 hours, I received a message from a previously unrevealed customer service email address, saying I would be removed from the telemarketing list.

      Big, stupid companies like UnitedHealth respond best to a sharp rap on the skull with a pressure treated 2×4.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Desperate times require vigilante action, Slayer Jim you need to turn your attention to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, maybe DroneMaster69 just needs to hear from the man on the street and he will realize his evil ways

  18. John k

    Yes, fab site, read it most days.
    Seems there’s lots of actual and potential progressives these days, a well-funded third party should be viable.
    Pity all the big bucks types are anti-progressive, recognizing they would be a traitor to the moneyed classes…
    Like FDR was, though the country was far more liberal/progressive then, and elites seem to be firmly ensconced… Though a Hillary loss would rattle the banker/corporate/neocon elites pretty good.

  19. Barmitt O'Bamney

    Dear Mr. Arnade,
    This country and its elections isn’t “beginning to take on the feel of a third world banana republic.” This country officially and legally became a third world shithole the day its Supreme Court decided to stop a legal vote count in Florida in its rush to install as President, G.W. Bush, the candidate who just happened to lead the party in majority on the high court bench, using a completely spurious rationale of extending 14th amendment due process protection to unknown voters belonging to unspecified groups, whose imputed status as minorities suffering invidious discrimination and thus deserving of protective intervention from the courts cannot be explained in either legalese or plain English. How to prove that these unknowns were being victimized in this election or in previous elections? The high court said so, and there’s an end on it: stop the voting, George Bush is President. Two of three branches of our federal government have been steeped in arbitrary illegitimacy from that day on; the third is populated by bribable, glue sniffing assclowns, who -to be fair- in those respects do ably & accurately represent their constituencies.

    All of the other sickening abuses which followed on the -um- highly irregular election of the year 2000 – multitudinous crimes of war abroad, a slaughter which continue to this day with mounting and horrific consequences for the world. and the accelerating annihilation here at home of the Bill of Rights- all stem from this first bold criminal stroke. A moronic man child who lost the popular vote was made President anyway by the conniving fraud of his older brother, a governor of a key state, and the complicity of members of their party, who held a majority on the Supreme Court. That’s about as banana republic as it gets. Nobody has a right to be surprised at what came after.

    Your “feelings” are wee bit tardy, sir.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Then he signed martial law (USA Patriot Act) on October 26, 2001.

      Then he signed retroactive immunity for domestic wiretapping (FISA Amendments Act) on July 10, 2008.

      Then … oh hell, what’s the point? After 15 years of “all legal” martial law, nearly a whole generation of voters doesn’t even know what it’s like to live in a long-gone constitutional republic.

      And he’s Michelle’s best buddy. :-)

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        While we’re piling on, the highways and rails and airports are definitely Third World already…but isn’t it odd that a Third World nation has gleaming military bases in 120 countries and cool billions to spend on electro-magnetic rail guns

  20. polecat

    The image you posted, Lambert, is …I think, a form of Senecio ….. or perhaps an Artemesia …?? I’m not sure which ….

    On anther plant note …I just picked a big hand-full of saffron crocus from the yard, and, having snipped the stigmas from the blooms, about to dry them for storage … to add to the household larder !!

    saffron .. the most expensive spice by weight ……. but very easy to grow …..

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