2:00PM Water Cooler 10/7/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“The top trade negotiators involved in the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) will meet in Washington later this month to review their latest market access offers and prepare the groundwork for a final deal in December” [Bloomberg]. “The high-level meeting follows a successful September negotiating round and recent signals from Washington that a TiSA deal could be forged before the end of the year.” Yikes! Dark horse coming up on the outside!

“TTIP AG TALKS SET TO DRIFT: The U.S. summarily rejected a European Union request for three days of agriculture talks at this week’s Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership round, further indicating that political uncertainty has limited what either side is able to discuss in the negotiations, sources close to the talks say” [Politico].

“‘I think we can get there,’ Lew said, referring to a vote on the Asia-Pacific pact. He argued that voting for TPP should be easier than voting for last year’s Trade Promotion Authority bill because it has tangible benefits that will grow the economy. He said current voter angst is not due to TPP itself but rather to other domestic needs that the government has not adequately addressed” [Politico]. “‘If we were investing more in infrastructure, which I believe we should, if we were investing more smartly in education and training and in child care, I’m not so sure we’d be in the same place,’ Lew said.” I think “hysteresis” is the word for the fact that you can’t reverse a 40-year screw job handwaving about a policy pivot. And whenever you hear a liberal use the word “smart,” get your back against the nearest wall.

“The American Brexit Is Coming” [James Stavridis, Foreign Policy]. “The case for the TPP is economically strong, but the geopolitical logic is even more compelling. The deal is one that China will have great difficulty accepting, as it would put Beijing outside a virtuous circle of allies, partners, and friends on both sides of the Pacific. Frankly, that is a good place to keep China from the perspective of the United States…. Over 2,500 years ago, during the Zhou dynasty, the philosopher-warrior Sun Tzu wrote the compelling study of conflict The Art of War. There is much wisdom in that slim volume, including this quote: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” The United States can avoid conflict best in East Asia by using a robust combination of national tools — with the TPP at the top of the list. Looking across the Atlantic to the Brexit debacle, we must avoid repeating the mistake in the Pacific.” And we get?

“12 U.S. Senators Outline TPP’s Fundamental Flaws, Tell President Obama it Shouldn’t Be Considered Until Renegotiated” (PDF) [Public Citizen]. Brown, Sanders, Blumenthal, Merkley, Franken, Markey, Schatz, Casey, Warren, Whitehouse, Hirono, and Baldwin call for renegotiation. “It is simply not accurate to call an agreement progressive if it does not require trading partners to ban trade in goods made with forced labor or includes a special court for corporations to challenge legitimate, democratically developed public policies.”

“The way ahead” [Barack Obama, The Economist]. “Lifting productivity and wages also depends on creating a global race to the top in rules for trade. While some communities have suffered from foreign competition, trade has helped our economy much more than it has hurt. Exports helped lead us out of the recession. American firms that export pay their workers up to 18% more on average than companies that do not, according to a report by my Council of Economic Advisers. So, I will keep pushing for Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership and to conclude a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the EU. These agreements, and stepped-up trade enforcement, will level the playing field for workers and businesses alike.” I should really get out my Magic Marker’s for this one.


Days until: 31.


UPDATE Sunday, October 9, 9PM EDT, Washington University, St. Louis. [Wall Street Journal]. Town Hall format. Gotta pull my yellow waders out of the autoclave, I guess.


“The puzzle that is currently frustrating the pundit minds of America is this: why is Hillary Clinton not simply clobbering Donald Trump? How is this ranting, seething buffoon still competitive with her?” [Thomas Frank, Guardian]. “As a beloved figure among Democrats, for example, Obama was instrumental in securing the nomination for her. As a president who has accomplished little since 2011, however, Obama has pretty much undermined Clinton’s ability to sell us on another centrist Democratic presidency. His legacy has diluted her promise…. Or take this headline from just a few days ago: “Clinton promises to hold Wells Fargo accountable”. Go get ‘em, Hillary! To see a president get tough with elite bankers and with CEOs in general – that’s something we can all cheer for. But then that nagging voice piped up again: if Democrats think it is so critical to get tough with crooked banksters, why oh why didn’t Barack Obama take the many, many opportunities he had to do so back in the days when it would have really mattered?” And:

The larger problem facing them is the terminal irrelevance of their great, overarching campaign theme. Remember the “man from Hope”? “Hope is on the way”? “Keep hope alive”? Well, this year “hope” is most assuredly dead. Thanks to Obama’s flagrant hope-dealing in the dark days of 2008 – followed up by his failure to reverse the disintegration of the middle class – this favorite Democratic cliché has finally become just that: an empty phrase. Today as the Democrats go into battle against Trump, they find that their rallying cry has lost its magic. Hillary is discovering how difficult it is to win an election without hope.

Abandon hope, all ye of #ImWithHer… And again–

“For Young Voters, ‘Hope and Change’ Is Dead” [Molly Ball, The Atlantic]. Donald Trump: “evil,” “bully,” “bigot,” “misogynist.” Hillary Clinton: “shady,” “corrupt,” “liar,” “untrustworthy.” “The prevailing sentiment was one of grudging capitulation to a Clinton vote.” The 2020 primary begins on November 9. not that there’s anything wrong with that.

War Drums

“Once lauded as a peacemaker, Obama’s tenure fraught with war” [AP]. I wonder if Clinton will get a Nobel Peace Prize, too?

The Voters

“Let’s start with the caveats: A lot can hap­pen in the 34 days be­fore the elec­tion. The polls are not as re­li­able as they used to be. People act in un­pre­dict­able ways in the polling booth. All that said, this race has fallen in­to a fairly pre­dict­able pat­tern. When Don­ald Trump veers off mes­sage and Hil­lary Clin­ton per­forms well, her lead swells to 6, 7, or 8 points. When Trump sticks to his script and Clin­ton goes through a bumpy patch as she did with her bout of pneu­mo­nia, her edge drops down to 1 or 2 points, and some­times she winds up dead even. Most of the time, Clin­ton is up by 3 to 5 points” [Cook Report].

“He’ll likely lose – but Trump is the final warning to elites” [John Ibbotson, Globe and Mail]. ” Let’s go back to asking: Will it play in Peoria? And if it won’t, then let’s think about that before we push ahead. Because you really, really don’t want to see what comes after Donald Trump.”

“Hillary Clinton is a 68-year-old woman. And plenty of people hate her for it” [WaPo]. Which totally explains the Elizabeth Warren phenomenon.

“But for all Trump’s many faults and flaws, he saw things that were true and important—and that few other leaders in his party have acknowledged in the past two decades” [David Frum, The Atlantic].

Trump saw that Republican voters are much less religious in behavior than they profess to pollsters. He saw that the social-insurance state has arrived to stay. He saw that Americans regard healthcare as a right, not a privilege. He saw that Republican voters had lost their optimism about their personal futures—and the future of their country. He saw that millions of ordinary people who do not deserve to be dismissed as bigots were sick of the happy talk and reality-denial that goes by the too generous label of “political correctness.” He saw that the immigration polices that might have worked for the mass-production economy of the 1910s don’t make sense in the 2010s. He saw that rank-and-file Republicans had become nearly as disgusted with the power of money in politics as rank-and-file Democrats long have been. He saw that Republican presidents are elected, when they are elected, by employees as well as entrepreneurs. He saw these things, and he was right to see them.

“There are three consistent features to all of conservative talk radio: Anger, Trump, and ads targeting the financially desperate. The ads are a constant. Ads protecting against coming financial crisis (Surprise! It is Gold.) or ads that start, “Having trouble with the IRS?” The obvious lessons being 1) Lots of conservative talk radio listeners are in financial distress. 2) They are willing to turn to scams. Turning to scams kind of generally follows being in financial distress. But why? Well, desperation, duh” [Chris Arnade, Medium]. “And many Trump voters are angry (often rightfully), often desperate, people. And like Lotto buyers, they ain’t stupid, they just don’t have many options.”

Swing States

“Even in more populous areas of the state, like southeast Pennsylvania, Trump’s ground game has been invisible.” [RealClearPolitics]. Not that Pennsylvania is actually in play…


“Right now the Sen­ate still looks 50-50, give or take a seat, with the edge go­ing to the party that wins the White House be­cause the vice pres­id­ent gets to break tie votes” [Cook Report]. Sounds like gridlock to me!

Democrat Email Hairballs

“Wikileaks’ Julian Assange to release ‘significant’ documents on US election, Google, arms trading over next 10 weeks” [International Business Times]. Oh, not the next 31 days?

Stats Watch

Employment Situation, September 2016: “The September employment report is not that strong and the sigh of relief you hear is coming from the Fed which won’t be faced with a pre-election rate hike” [Econoday]. “Non-farm payrolls rose 156,000, which is at the low end of expectations, while average hourly earnings don’t look that inflationary, at least not on a monthly basis which is up only 0.2 percent and again at the low end of expectations. But there are definitely positives including a rise in the labor participation rate, up 1 tenth to 62.9 percent, which gave a deceptive lift to the unemployment rate that is 1 tenth higher at 5.0 percent. The increasing inclusion of discouraged workers is one of the Fed’s policy objectives and the participation rate points to improvement. Another positive is a rise in the workweek, up to 34.4 hours from 34.3 hours with the manufacturing week also slightly higher in what is a positive indication for September industrial production.” And: “The BLS job growth again was ok, not excellent” [Econintersect]. “[T]hat the household survey added 444,000 to the workforce (which is the reason the unemployment rate grew). There was really nothing good or nothing really terrible – although manufacturing declined.” And: “another decent report” [Calculated Risk]. So, meh. And now, let the “Best Economy EVAH!” spinning begin! Right on cue: “[T]he state of the economy isn’t really the focus of this race because the economy is largely, finally, healed from the 2008 recession” [Neil Irwin, New York Times]. With median income still below 2007 levels, Neil? And how about making people whole for the damage they suffered? Pull the other one. It’s got bells on!

Wholesale Trade, August 2016 (final): “The nation’s inventories, thanks to tight management, are lean which may be a negative for current GDP growth but is unquestionably a positive for future growth and, more importantly, future employment growth.” [Econoday]. “August’s draw comes at the same time that sales at the wholesale rose very sharply, up 0.7 percent to pull down the stock-to-sales ratio to 1.33 from 1.34.” But: “We continue to be mystified in the wobble in this data set – there is something wrong with either data collection or methodology. This sector improved significantly this month but the rolling averages are marginally in a recession. The big growth this month came from chemicals and drugs – go figure!” [Econintersect].

Rail: “If coal and grain are removed from the analysis, rail has recently been declining around 5% – but this week was -3.5%. Under normal circumstances one should consider this recessionary as trucking tonnages are down also. This also correlates to the contraction in manufacturing and the wholesale sectors – so rail is not an outlier” [Econintersect]. “It does appear that the downward slide in the one year rolling averages will pause shortly as the rate of increase in the rate of decline is continuing to be smaller. But this movement is like watching snails race.”

Shipping: “August was the busiest month ever on the transpacific trade, after liner operators shifted a record 1.7m teu.According to the latest figures published by Container Trades Statistics, volumes between Asia and North America climbed 9% year on year” [Lloyd’s List].

Shipping: “The [International Civil Aviation Organization] aviation pact will cap carbon-dioxide emissions from international flights at 2020 levels, and become mandatory in 2027” [Wall Street Journal]. “The limits may prove especially costly to the segment of the international air freight business that depends on older and reconditioned aircraft, and used jets that emit more pollutants are likely to slide in value if they fall behind the global standards.

Oil: “Signs of recovery have appeared in the U.S. energy sector over the past quarter, most notably in the Permian Basin, where drilling activity picked up modestly and oil production appears to have bottomed out. A significant rebound in U.S. drilling activity requires more time, however, as oversupply persists in the oil market and prices remain below $50 per barrel” [Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas]. Drilling activity is not the same as oil capex, though…

Oil: “here were some actual advances in the shale drilling world that worked in favor of frack sand suppliers. Producers found that drilling longer horizontal sections of a well along with using more sand per foot of horizontal well would drastically improve well economics. As a result, the amount of sand used per well has increased dramatically. According to a recent investor presentation from Emerge, the average amount of sand used per well has increased two to three times depending on the shale basin. It also helps that rigs have become much more efficient at drilling wells, so it takes fewer rigs to drill the same amount of wells today than it did several years ago” [Motley Fool]. “All of these things should bode well for sand suppliers. What had been holding these companies back from generating profits, though, was that the total amount of drilling and, more importantly, well completion activity declined so much that it offset the per well gains.” Google turns up a few recent CraigsList ads for frack sand drivers, but no news of big frack sand trains (2015).

Housing: “Camping World Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CWH) entered the market on a positive note for its initial public offering” [24/7 Wall Street]. “This company is the only provider of a comprehensive portfolio of services, protection plans, products and resources for recreational vehicle (RV) enthusiasts. Roughly 9 million households in the United States own an RV, and of that installed base, Camping World has approximately 3.3 million active customers. The company generates recurring revenue by providing RV owners and enthusiasts the full spectrum of services, protection plans, products and resources that it believes are essential to operate, maintain and protect their RV and to enjoy the RV lifestyle.”

Concentration: “How Big Pharma’s Shadow Regulation Censors the Internet” [EFF]. ” where industry can’t get government to regulate the Internet in the way they want, they frequently turn to private deals with Internet intermediaries that we’ve termed Shadow Regulation.” In this case, to prevent cross-border Internet orders of lower-priced drugs.

Political Risk: “Global finance ministers and central bankers are descending on Washington this week with a central concern in mind: fear that the modern age of globalization is hitting a wall” [Wall Street Journal, “Globalization Hits the Skids”]. “International trade this year will grow at the slowest pace since 2007, according to the World Trade Organization, which has slashed its forecast for growth in global trade volumes to 1.7% in 2016 from a previous estimate in April of 2.8%. Imports among the world’s 20 largest economies have fallen as a share of their gross domestic product for four consecutive years, and growth in demand for shipping containers fell to 4% this year after four decades of double-digit expansion.”

The Fed: “Despite some headlines to the contrary, September’s jobs report does not support raising rates in December. If anything, it makes a good case against a hike. Of course, if the Fed is determined, they can always do it anyway, but there’s not much here to support tightening” [FTN Financial, Across the Curve]. “Job growth was strong enough to justify a rate hike, but the logic of rate hikes is to slow the economy enough to prevent job growth from exceeding labor force growth. Since that clearly is not happening, there is no reason to hike. As the above chart clearly shows, the unemployment rate is not falling.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 51 Neutral (previous close: 52, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 51 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 7 at 12:46pm. All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown) and the sky is grey (and the sky is grey)…

Dear Old Blighty

“Government bars foreign academics from advising on Brexit” [Guardian].

And then there’s this:

The 420

“Drug cops raid an 81-year-old woman’s garden to take out a single marijuana plant” [WaPo]. “She hadn’t tried to get a medical marijuana card, because of the challenges of getting a doctor’s approval, she told the Daily Hampshire Gazette. And traveling to the dispensary in the next town over and paying for marijuana grown by someone else would be too costly, she feared.”

“California marijuana legalization faces unlikely foe: growers” [Reuters]. “Growers would face tax bills and the expense of improving their farms’ ecological footprints to meet environmental regulations. And, after a five year grace period, industrial-sized farms would be allowed, a prospect that is expected to attract corporate agriculture.” There you have it. IMNSHO, corporate marijuana should be banned. The money should stay local.

Health Care

“For years, wealthy nursing home operator Philip Esformes seemed to live in perpetual motion, using private jets to travel between his Water Tower Place condominium and his mansions in Miami and Los Angeles” [Chicago Tribune]. “Now federal authorities are applying extraordinary court pressure to keep Esformes locked in a Florida detention cell where he awaits trial for allegedly orchestrating an unprecedented $1 billion Medicaid and Medicare bribery and kickback scheme.” Nursing homes. Dreadful.


A bright spot:

Our Famously Free Press

“Oil and gas industry officials and regulators looking to influence media coverage of fracking, a controversial method for extracting natural gas, have received advice from someone who really knows how newsrooms work: a former Denver Post investigative reporter” [HuffPo]. “Karen Crummy, the onetime reporter, moved on to a new role as spokeswoman for two pro-fracking groups in Colorado. This past May, when industry insiders gathered in a Denver Marriott ballroom for a meeting of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, she offered suggestions on how to discredit her former colleagues: Dig into their pasts, call them out on social media and complain to their editors.”

Guillotine Watch

“‘Many people in Silicon Valley have become obsessed with the simulation hypothesis, the argument that what we experience as reality is in fact fabricated in a computer,’ Tad Friend wrote in the New Yorker piece. ‘Two tech billionaires have gone so far as to secretly engage scientists to work on breaking us out of the simulation'” [Mic]. In other words, ginormous capital investment decisions affecting the world’s economy are being made by lunatics with far too much time on their hands, and much more money than sense.

Class Warfare

“Facing up to income inequality” [Jeffrey Sachs, Boston Globe]. “While household median incomes have stagnated since the late 1990s, the inflation-adjusted earnings of poorer households have stagnated for even longer, roughly 40 years. Meanwhile, households at or near the top of the income distribution have enjoyed sizeable increases of living standards. The result is a stark widening of the gap between rich and poor households.” Bears repeating, especially in light of Obama’s drivel in The Economist. “Twenty-eight countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have lower inequality of disposable income than the United States, even though these countries share the same technologies and compete in the same global marketplace as the United States. These income comparisons underscore that America’s high inequality is a choice, not an irreversible law of the modern world economy.”

Sachs is at Columbia now, but….

“Remarkable Admission On Fiscal Policy” [The Case for Concerted Action]. “There’s a paper by Jason Furman who is the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers which concedes how wrong economists were on fiscal policy. The link is a file hosted at the White House’s website!” Eight years later… the best and the brightest discover that fiscal policy matters. Too bad they can’t unsh*t the bed on Obama’s deficit reduction, eh?

News of the Wired

“The “monetisation” strategy that emerged during [the two-day Ultra-Broadband Forum (UBBF) held in Frankfurt]—ubiquitous streaming of 4K and then 8K videos—continues an existing trend of turning the Internet into little more than a way of delivering TV” [Ars Technica]. “The more television takes over the Internet, the more companies and open source projects will be under pressure to accept yet more restrictions on what browsers can do. And with EME DRM firmly in place for video, it is a very small step to requiring it for audio and even Web pages.” And then there are the IoT botnets, about which the industry is fervently burying its head in the sand.

“Messy people are tapping into a kind of genius the tidy don’t understand” [Quartz].

Alert reader Bob suggests some Brazilian music:

Mariana Aydar – Casa de Marimbondo.

* * *

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:


A pleasing vista, from the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

Readers, yellow waders don’t come cheap. Please use the dropdown to choose your contribution, and then click the hat! Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. Water Cooler will not exist without your continued help.


Readers, I am behind in answering contact form mail. I will catch up soon, beginning now!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Water Cooler on by .

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

      Here, here!

      By the way, do those yellow waders come in a one piece WW3, radiation shielding alloy variant?

    2. PhilU

      Wikileaks dumped #ThePodestaEmails. https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/

      Complete with a copy of everything problematic in her wall street spaces.
      “But If Everybody’s Watching, You Know, All Of The Back Room Discussions And The Deals, You Know, Then People Get A Little Nervous, To Say The Least. So, You Need Both A Public And A Private Position.”
      -100% pro trade
      -Shits on single payer
      -Wall Street should regulate itself… sigh.

      And her Uranium One cover might have just died.

      1. Titus Pullo

        Don’t worry, the CTR shills are already on Reddit and social media framing this as another “nothing burger,” or that it is actually good for her. The campaign’s pals in the MSM are sure to follow, especially considering the reprehensible recording of Trump that was released earlier today (granted, as a man, I have heard many men say things as bad or worse than Trump has said at various stages in my life) gives them a foil to wrap this hot potato in.

        1. PhilU

          This is too big, there is tons of little shit the MSM will hide but they make money from headlines and This Is A Headline. I’m sure the party establishment will try and spin tho.

      2. tony

        What makes for successful immigration?

        It’s no brain surgery, but the media have long failed to provide a clear credible answer. They are unable to come up with an answer or don’t like the answer that’s staring them in the face. The main reason behind successful immigration should be painfully obvious to even the most dimwitted of observers: Some groups of people are almost always highly successful given only half a chance (Jews*, Hindus/Sikhs and Chinese people, for example), while others (Muslims, blacks** and Roma***, for instance) fare badly almost irrespective of circumstances. The biggest group of humanity can be found somewhere between those two extremes – the perennial overachievers and the professional never-do-wells.


        Anti-white racism of the most virulent kind has become a fact of life across Europe, but perhaps nowhere more so than in Germany. Kirsten Heisig’s book When Patience Comes to an End details the visceral hatred many Muslims feel toward native Germans, who are subjected to a daily torrent of abuse and ethnic slurs in their own country. Even young Turkish women think nothing of calling native girls “German whores” and chanting that “Germans should be gassed,” she writes. Here young Muslim women shout “So sieht Deutscher Inzest aus” at police officers


        Some rather interesting stuff there. Almost makes me suspect Podesta is a secret BernieBro.

  1. Knot Galt

    “The puzzle that is currently frustrating the pundit minds of America is this: why is Hillary Clinton not simply clobbering Donald Trump? How is this ranting, seething buffoon still competitive with her?”

    We tried hope; and it was a big fat ‘nope’. Now all we can do is cope cuz we’re now on an even greater slope. I’m no dope, so I am avoiding the political Demo trope.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      The riffing reminds me — and for good reason, as I’m sure I’ll find as I work my way through the day’s news — of Bernie WorrellJames Brown’s Escape-ism:”>James Brown’s Escape-ism, which I haven’t played for awhile. This should get you off your sofa and out of the basement:

    1. shinola

      Thanks for the link. Interesting and depressing. A snippet:

      ” Oligarchy is rule by the few. Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy. Corporatocracy is a society governed or controlled by corporations. We have all three.”

  2. Jim Haygood

    Polls failed to predict Britain’s Brexit vote. Polls failed to predict Colombia’s rejection of a peace deal with FARC.

    This US election may be the third example. What the polls say just doesn’t jibe with what I see on the ground, even correcting for local bias.

    Trump supporters are vocal and active in putting up signs and advertising their preference. Hillary supporters are nearly invisible.

    Best guess here is that “close race” polls are another gigantic MSM lie, and Trump wins by a 5 percent edge or more. Gridlock enthusiasts need to support their Democrat senator. ;-)

    1. Oregoncharles

      I just saw a big Hillary pin on a young woman I know, and I do see her bumper stickers. Very liberal town, though, in a blue state. I see huge Trump/Pence signs out in the country – but that’s a lot fewer people.

      That said, I also consider the polls dubious. For one thing, Hillary’s campaign is acting like they see bad news.

        1. ambrit

          How about ‘The State of Blue’ as an affective disorder? I remember reading that bi-partianship was classed as one such. (Lithium can help. Don’t forget to suppliment with copper; lithium eats it for lunch.)

        2. Code Name D

          Then there is this little bit of info:
          Yes, its Info-wars. If these guys told me we the Earth was round, I would have to dubble check. And covering one campaign office is hardly evidence for anything.

          And these kinds of offices tend to be lightly attended any way. In reality, they serve more to give infrastructure space for local organizers (A place to receive phone calls, bills for venders, a conference space, ecetra) thus the front office tend to be just for show.

          That said, It did raise an eyebrow that a scheduled rally wasn’t attended by any one. Roomers still persist that Clinton rallies are mostly attended by bused in actors.

          1. AnEducatedFool

            I used to work in politics. My last run was 2006. I worked on local, congressional, and one senate race. My main purpose was to coordinate the appearance of union members for photo ops. Clinton’s entire campaign is based on photo ops and TV cameras that disseminate that propaganda.
            You will see a lot of coordinated colors in Clinton’s audience this is a signature of union members or their affliliated Working America workers.

          1. Code Name D

            The battle state strategy, became the battle county strategy, then battle-city and now is battle-demographic. I do have to wonder if Clinton won’t be crushed in November as these demographics fails to mobilize as their models predict.

      1. aab

        I’m in one of the bluest places in the country. I have seen a very small number of Hillary bumper stickers. Haven’t noticed any yard signs. A couple of days ago, I saw a car with an Obama Biden sticker, and nothing else. Shouldn’t that person have their Hillary sticker, too?

        I know there are real people who will vote for her, because I have several friends who are refusing to speak to me because I won’t. They are all middle-aged women who are either professionals themselves, or the non-working spouse of a professional, all in protected industries: corporate attorneys for health care companies, engineers who work the defense industry, etc. In other words, despite all the attempts to turn this election into a choice between a Good Girl and a Bad Man, what I’m seeing on the ground most strongly is that people who are benefiting from the status quo are voting for the status quo, as expected.

        Which is why, barring rigging, she cannot win.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          From Terry Pratchett’s Guards, Guards:

          The Patrician steepled his hands and looked at Vimes over the top of them.

          ‘Let me give you some advice, Captain,’ he said.

          ‘Yes, sir?’

          ‘It may help you make some sense of the world.’


          ‘I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are the good people and the bad people,’ said the man. ‘You’re wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.’

          The Burkean perspective, I suppose. Balance of the conversation here.

        2. pretzelattack

          well that’s hard to bar. i have no idea who the most effective party at cheating is, but the republican party doesn’t seem to be trying very hard.

          1. aab

            That’s the big question, isn’t it? With the base rallying behind Trump, I assumed the leadership had given up on trying to take him out. But apparently not.

            So we’re back to, will the Kochs have their elected henchmen at the state level (Ohio comes to mind) help Hillary rig? Seems likely. We’ll see.

        3. NY Union Guy

          I’ve seen exactly one Hillary lawn sign in Brooklyn. It’s on Argyle rd near Church Ave if anybody wants to take a peek.

        4. LT

          The ignorance or fealty to the status quo is on full display in some of the early comments in “Huffpo” on the early excerpts from Clinton speeches to Wall St.
          They are unable to comprehend what was “wrong” with the statements she made. They are proof that the “authoritarian” mindset is a requirement of the Democratic Part as well.

      2. Dave

        “The Bradley Effect”….White voters told pollsters they would vote for Tom Bradley, a black ex-police chief, and mayor of L.A. when he ran for California governor. He was predicted to win easily.
        In the voting booth, a different story!

        1. aab

          That’s been disproved, although I don’t have a link handy.

          Shy Tories, however, are a real thing, IIRC. And that’s probably more relevant right now.

      1. Jim Haygood

        In extreme cases such as Schumer, a conscientious objector dispensation can be granted. ;-)

        1. bob

          Holy shit. That’s a great nick name for Schumer- conscientious objector

          He conscientiously makes himself the object of the camera.

          French, for flair- that might make it catch on in your neighborhood

          Lé Objector Consciénce

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        What is a pollster? They are people who seek to turn unpredictable situations into easily explainable numbers which can’t protest, write letters, or ultimately surprise. Naturally pollsters would be a conservative (small c) lot. African Americans love Team Blue. Everyone knows this. Even when Democratic Mayors have police departments brutalizing black neighborhoods, blacks still love the Democrats. Given current trends 105% blacks should vote for Hillary since the post Voting Rights Act low of 1964.

        After the two mid terms and Obama’s poor performance with whites in 2012, Democrats should have been in a panic, but what happened? They doubled down on a candidate with huge negatives because of a child like belief in a 2002 book called “The Emerging Democratic Majority.” Shrub, McCain, and Mittens are just monsters. Trump isn’t special except he uses crasser language than Mittens. McCain and Shrub are fairly gross. Is comparing Trump to Hitler really going to work? After several months of Republicans saying Trump wasn’t a real conservative who would put Democrats on the bench and was a Clinton plant. What a weird election.

        The troubling aspect of most polls is the high rate of identified Democrats in an Era of declining Democratic and in general partisan activity and identity. The elephant in the Democratic cloak room, ACA, cannot be overlooked.

        “Nobody could have known” and “it works until it doesn’t” spring to mind. One shouldn’t overlook pollsters’ mentalities when they approach their work. It is 2018. The census where pollsters go for certain baselines is becoming out of date.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Instead of reading that Democratic majority book, they should have been reading Thomas Frank’s books — and making liberal use of their yellow highlighters.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I saw him do a presentation and Q and A not long after “What’s the matter with Kansas was first published. There is nothing special to report just that he seemed to have a real grasp on people.

        2. m

          while watching cspan and republicans slam Comey, all the dems could think about were Russians hacking the vote. DHS is getting involved with 18 states, per Comey & some of the dems. Hillary is probably losing, look at the crowds of real people at Trump rallies. They are resorting to cheating and which 18 states are getting help with voting programs from DHS?
          First FBI coverup & now this.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      It’s the Downing Street Memo dusted off and updated for 2016 Election Theater.

      “…….the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

      Hanging chads ain’t gonna cut it and the “supreme” court is missing a “supreme.” Who’ll question her win when the polls predicted it all along?

      1. NYPaul

        Hillary didn’t get this far just to risk losing it on an election, Nov. 8.

        ;With the F.B.I, Justice Department, Presidency, and, the entire Corporate, Media, and Banking Establishment carrying her water……

        Who does Donald Trump have?

        Donald Trump

        1. ambrit

          He also has about a half of the electorate.
          We could steal a page from the Communist Chinese playbook and call them “The Gang of One Hundred Million.”

    3. Cocomaan

      Seems to me that they are not accounting for actual turnout. What does “a poll of likely voters” mean, anyway?

      There’s a lot of people feeling disenfranchised.

      1. John k

        My theory is that most dems find trump very distasteful but know their girl is a crooked rep… My guess is that many stay home,me specially those that supported Bernie. Meanwhile trump actually has some enthusiasm…
        We’ll see.

    4. Carolinian

      On the road checking out my peeps in the heartland. No special insights but did spot a man by the road in Taos holding up a hand lettered “Trump is a fascist” sign– nothing if not unoriginal. Nobody was honking. The people I know just want tne whole thing to be over.

  3. Arizona Slim

    Funny you should mention southeastern PA.

    Due to the recent death of a parent, I had to go back there for three weeks. In the midst of organizing memorial events, starting the estate probate process, and tending to the needs of my surviving parent, I noticed something very interesting. And that was an almost complete lack of pre-election displays.

    I think I saw one Trump sign the entire time I was there. Hillary signs? I don’t remember seeing any. Hillary bumper stickers? One or two.

    And this was in oh-so-pivotal Chester County.

    1. Paid Minion

      Between Trump, Brownback, and the uninspiring local congresscritters (little “c” intentional) accusing each other of being “too liberal”, and AR-15 field-stripping while blindfolded challenges, the lack of enthusiasm is overwhelming.

      My kid was showing some interest in Gary Johnson, until I told her electing him would be like electing Ron Paul. “Returning power to the states” isn’t so attractive when you live in states run by the American Taliban.

      She asked “……..was Nixon worse than this??”

    2. pretzelattack

      same experience, i see very few yard signs or bumper stickers. the ones i do see seem about evenly split.

      1. skeeter

        driving about Honolulu, but for the down ticket signs and posters, you would not even know there is an election in the works

      1. Arizona Slim

        I missed you too! But I was reading NC while I was in PA. Matter of fact, Yves’s mention of the Blame Cannons gave me a much-needed belly laugh.

  4. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    China and clean air: the real news is that 25% of citizens felt that economic growth was more important than breathing.
    I was in Hong Kong not long ago, the air pollution scale runs from 0-100 and it was reading 400. Combined with the heat, the only word to describe is “suffocation”.

    1. cnchal

      It’s warfare by another name.

      . . . The deal is one that China will have great difficulty accepting, as it would put Beijing outside a virtuous circle of allies, partners, and friends on both sides of the Pacific. Frankly, that is a good place to keep China from the perspective of the United States…. Over 2,500 years ago, during the Zhou dynasty, the philosopher-warrior Sun Tzu wrote the compelling study of conflict The Art of War. There is much wisdom in that slim volume, including this quote: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

      The name is globalization.

      1. Synoia

        The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

        Yes, the US does that very well. Especially in the ME.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Too bad the Fokkers never get around to learning all the other wisdom that are fundamental to war and the survival of the polity that are front and center in the Sun Tzu writings: but don’t take my word for it, here’s the text itself, and I suggest concentrating on the first two chapters, and the first two sections of Chapter III: http://classics.mit.edu/Tzu/artwar.html See how many violations and transgressions of the fundamental tenets of The Art of War you can find!

  5. Otis B Driftwood

    Depends where you’re located, I guess. I saw quite a few Trump stickers on a recent visit to Atlanta. Here in the Bay Area, it’s pretty much “I’m With Her”. I’m one of the few with Stein yard art. And I still see quite a few defiant Bernie signs.

    I did, however, once spot a car with a Trump sticker driving around Berkeley. But it was a like spotting a Dodo bird.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Diversity – that’s what one expects from Berkeley.

      Quote from the eponymous inspiration of that campus: Others indeed may talk, and write, and fight about liberty, and make an outward pretence to it; but the free-thinker alone is truly free.

    2. Dr. Luny

      I don’t support Donald Trump and I’m not voting for him, but if I lived in Berkeley, the temptation would be too great.

  6. albrt

    Why is Hillary Clinton not clobbering Donald Trump?

    Because nobody with two brain cells to rub together should ever believe anything a Democrat says after eight years of the Obama bait-and-switch. Hillary’s policy positions literally mean nothing.

    Which in turn means Donald Trump is running against nothing and losing, about what you’d expect.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Extrapolation is risky at best.

      Do we know if any horse in the race will kick in another gear down the stretch?

      Seabiscuit might have had ‘small hands,’ but he finished strong.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Not likely, given the Dem’s riposte to the latest Wikileaks.

        Occurs to me that this is the Mother of All Document Dump Fridays. And right before the debate and a three-day weekend.

    2. tony

      Can you guys imagine the kind of person the Rs are going to nominate 2020? Obama is competent and moderate compared to Hillary and Americans are divided and furious. After four more years of status quo under Hillary, they could nominate David Duke and have a chance.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      Barry and the spooks make it official today – Putin did it! re: the DNC email leaks.

      But as you note, the Dems are not coming off as particularly trustworthy. Checking the comments of that article, the dogs aren’t eating the dogfood and seem to have noticed the claims are still based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        And WikiLeaks makes it official, Obama knew about Hilary’s email, of course he knew. So a bald-faced lie from the president of the United States to millions of Americans:


        The body language is the tell, when asked directly he says “No” but his head bobs up and down “Yes”.

        Seems to me a candidate could win simply by saying “I will not lie to you”.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        Always good to see Democrats taking responsibility. And tossing the entire American intelligence apparatus into the giant sucking pit of need that is the Clinton campaign. Officially, I mean.

    4. skeeter

      Why is Hillary Clinton not?

      It’s the shoulder shimmy. Is she gonna do that when she drones people?

  7. geoff

    “Some of Clinton’s pledges sound great. Until you remember who’s president” (Thomas Frank)

    Yes, and I don’t recall (hey, that’s her line!) the exact phraseology, but something Mrs. Clinton said during the first debate reminded me strongly of Bill in ’92. And we all know how that worked out.

    No one believes the Dems’ talking points any more because they have largely been unfulfilled during the last two Democratic presidencies.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The quality of Hillary’s pledges depends on the teleprompter.

      She merely reads from it.

      1. Arizona Slim

        And that is what continues to baffle and amaze me.

        I mean, come on. She’s married to Bill Clinton. One of the best speakers that the Democratic Party has had in a long time.

        Guy uses a teleprompter, all right. But he also knows how to perform when he’s on the podium.

        Hillary? She’s just there. That’s it.

        Could she take at least one public speaking lesson from her husband?

  8. Adar

    Simulation hypothesis, indeed. WTH, seriously? There, I’ve used my daily quota of cliches. So, all those impoverished villagers in Africa and Asia are experiencing an artificial reality? Not realizing they might actually be living in Boston? Or is it just high-tech westerners who are deluded? Hmmm… Perhaps the upside is, if we can find out who is producing the simulation, we could make reality better for everyone! Universal health care at last! Minimum incomes, free education, no global warming, the whole enchilada. I love technology.

    1. Starveling

      It seems to me to be an acceptable form of spirituality or religiosity for a demographic that snubs the idea of faith.

      Oddly, the idea of God strikes me as infinitely more rational than the universe-as-simulation.

  9. allan

    “Harvard, In Theory and Practice”

    Mankiw should be the lead negotiator for the administration, explaining to the dining hall workers
    why they’re paid what they’re worth, and no more.
    Maybe he could throw in e-access codes to his textbook as a sweetener.

    1. cnchal

      When the great crime of this millennium happened and Jabba the Hut was in charge of Harvaaaaard, Jabba was getting paid millions to lose billions. Too bad he wasn’t paid tens of millions to increase productivty and lose tens of billions, wiping the fountainhead of corruption out.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Bond king Jeffrey Gundlach’s recession indicator was triggered this morning:

    During a panel discussion at the New York Historical Society back in May, the Doubleline Capital CEO revealed that one of his top three recession indicators is when the unemployment rate breaches its 12-month moving average.

    September’s non-farm payrolls report showed that the unemployment rate in the U.S. ticked up to 5 percent, while the 12-month moving average held steady at 4.9 percent.

    “This indicator is a necessary, but not sufficient, sign of a coming recession,” wrote Gundlach in an email to Bloomberg. “It is worth factoring into economic analysis but not a reason for sudden alarm.”


    This indicator briefly gave false positives in 1976, 1985, 1986, 1995, 1996, and 1998. So as Gundlach says, it’s not definitive. No single indicator is.

    Nevertheless, if the unemployment rate carries on rising above 5.0 percent this autumn, it would get my attention.

    High-quality bonds perform better in recessions than in expansions. Treasuries love recessions. The 10-year T-note returned an eye-popping 17.7% in the crisis year of 2008, when Treasuries were the last safe harbor on planet Earth.

    1. hunkerdown

      As long as I control endpoint security, and the thing is still useful without a commercial cloud, sure why not.

      (The future. It’s HERO. Thirty years ago.)

    1. cwaltz

      Personally, I’m affronted when skynet doesn’t choose at least one of my comments to go into moderation a day(and usually Lambert and Yves have to pluck one out a day so it definitely obliges me.)

      Embrace your inner controversial internet renegade persona!


    2. ambrit

      Lurking can be fun!
      As the old saying sort of kinda goes; “If Skynet didn’t mess with you, you weren’t doing anything interesting.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A dull life is a long life…I might have read that from Zhuangzi.

        Today, we could add caloric restriction to that piece of advise.

        1. ambrit

          We’re one good disaster away from caloric restriction being imposed on us from without.
          (If you must subsist on Pacific seafood MLTPB, do run a geiger counter over it before ingesting.)

    3. ewmayer

      Having similarly had my latest “hey, I put work into formatting, spell-checking and linkifying this” comment eaten by the SkyNet dogs – it did finally appear, but only after special pleading to Lambert, and far too late for anyone to catch it – I’m now resolved to henceforth limit myself to 1-2-liners sans links, at most a ‘recommended search string’ in lieu of the latter. And I see I’ve already gone over my self-imposed length limit. :) Sorry!

      1. ambrit

        I’m too dim to help with the technical side, but, someone mentioned once before about ‘saving’ a missive to a temporary file before trying to submit. Anyone know of a decent ‘average Jane’ handbook for this sort of thing?

        1. aab

          The main problem isn’t really losing the content. It’s having it show up when commenters have moved on, so nobody sees it. Once it’s in moderation, you can’t resubmit it again anyway, or get tagged as a spammer and the problem just gets worse.

          If we had notifications or the like, it could help with the overall problem of continuing the conversation. But I’m assuming that would be problematic in terms of protecting commenters’ identities. Since I’ve already been publicly threatened by a Clinton henchmen for my statements here, I’m for prioritizing privacy above all.

        2. hunkerdown

          Before you hit save:
          * ensure your cursor is in the comment field
          * Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C to copy all text
          * now click save

          If Skynet moves against you:
          * count to ten, Ctrl+R
          * find where your comment should have gone; if there, congratulations and stop here.
          * click Reply again
          * click in the comment field
          * Ctrl+V
          * save again

          (OS X users replace Ctrl with Option)

          1. ewmayer

            Did all that – I always compose anything longer than a few lines offline, result of painful experience. But even with all those precautions, there are still 2 quite-frequent scenarios one runs into:

            [1] Comment gets diverted to moderation: Very frequent with posts containing links. Yves and Lambert are so overloaded that they can’t reasonably be expected to check the mod queue more than a few times per day. I once asked about the feasibility of creating a user-whitelist, forgot the exact details of Lambert’s reply but gist was “not an option with out setup.” Result: comment gets posted long after the site readership has moved on to newer material.

            [2] Comment hits site ‘glitch’ while uploading – this is what happened to me yesterday, happens perhaps 1/5th as often as diversion-to-mod-queue. Symptom is a several-seconds-long page-load ‘freeze’, then when loading finally resumes and completes, you are left with the same kind of comment-number-containing URL as when things go through successfully (either straight to the site or to the mod queue), but nothing appears (even hours later), and no “moderation”-indicating display of your comment (i.e. you can see it, but other NCers cannot). I’ve learned to differentiate this from [1] and the more benign “simply slow to appear” cases – as I said I fwded the resulting URL to Lambert and he did eventually dig it out of wherever it ends up on the server in such cases, but as with [1], same result, delay renders it a pointless waste of bytes and time.

          2. clinical wasteman

            Or: open Word/ODT document, copy comment, paste, save. There, saved. (I assumed everyone was doing this and that one day we’ll publish a 10,000-page multi-authored comments compendium!)

            Also, the time lapse thing seems not the biggest deal in the world from an Atlantic Ocean & its time zones away. Never occurred to me that anyone would read only the very latest posts. Unless you’re happy for a cloud robot to read for you or you have an NC RSS chip in your brain, that would mean missing so much…

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      Thanks for the tips on how to foil SkyNet’s evil streak. I am afraid my ancient OS and browser may be part of the problem too. Problem is I really don’t like the newest versions of the OS (Ubuntu Linux) but my old version is past patching and can’t run the latest “improvements” in web browsing.

  11. Science Officer Smirnoff

    David Dayen reenforces the point that Paul Ryan is party ideologist (and has been for years) in bringing up Ryan’s Wednesday statement that “he intends to jam through the Ryan budget next year under a procedure that bypasses Democratic opposition in Congress—and make that vow without fear of reprisal, right in the heat of election season”:

    . . . Even today, the media assists Ryan when he tries to distance himself from Donald Trump—when in reality, Trump would likely be little more than an autopen as president, signing whatever noxious policy Ryan shuttled through the House and put on his desk. Despite this, the media almost affords him sympathy for his plight about dealing with Trump (he’s campaigning with Trump on Saturday, so it can’t be that wrenching), rather than recognizing his role as the author of the agenda the next Republican president will carry out.

    The normalization of Ryan as a serious, honest figure allows him to put out as radical a budget as would ever be initiated in American history without anyone batting an eyelash. This may not come back to sting the country next year, if Trump falls the way his poll numbers currently suggest. But at some not-too-distant point, when conservatives capture the entire government, they’ll be able to implement this blueprint, the Ryan budget, that should have been made into nuclear waste long ago.


    Grover Norquist would put it slightly differently: Republicans only need a dead man walking to sign their bills.

    1. cwaltz

      Isn’t it nice that Ryan’s plan is to save the Democratic Party in 2018 when they face challenges in keeping their seats at the same level the GOP is facing this year?

      If Ryan thinks there won’t be consequences in ramming through changes to Social Security or Medicare, he’s bleeping insane and clearly hasn’t been paying attention.

      I almost wonder if he can get the rest of his coalition to sign his little suicide pact. If Trump doesn’t implode him then Ryan’s budget just might.

      1. Science Officer Smirnoff


        Republicans merely can cherry-pick Ryan’s budget—but they’re a monolith on core doctrine, tax cuts on income from wealth and deregulation, eh?

        . . . or this bonus–Robert Kuttner in American Prospect:

        Trump has promised to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act. That would take an act of Congress, but would not be necessary. He’d need only to appoint stooges to several key Treasury positions, or repeal existing regulations and not write new ones. The same is true of a broad swath of environmental, civil-rights, and labor regulation, not to mention rights of immigrants. . . Trump could reach out to such relatively conservative unions as police, fire, and building trades with a blend of carrots and sticks. He could try to enlist industrial unions such as the Steelworkers and the United Auto Workers that are most threatened by trade, and ask for their explicit support. Then he could concentrate his fire on left unions like the Service Employees International Union, which has a heavily black and Latino membership. His white working-class bona fides would be strengthened—and the labor movement’s alliance with the Democratic Party sundered.


        1. NY Union Guy

          As a white union guy in an AFL union who knows plenty of other white guys in other AFL unions, I find your whole scenario entirely plausible.

          Trump is very popular among my cohorts, which I find rather ironic since he spent years on TV playing the role of boss. It wouldn’t take much, maybe a federal pre-emption of state right-to-work laws, to get the union factions you spoke of on board. Cardcheck seems to be more of an SEIU/UFCW type of issue and those definitely aren’t Trump unions.

          1. cwaltz

            As the wife of a white union guy I don’t,

            The union leadership is quite often lazy and self serving. They”ll continue to back Democrats even though they get very little from the alliance,

            As a matter of fact I got my first anti Trump mailer today, It was from the SMART PAC(railroad union)

    2. hunkerdown

      Even today, the media assists Ryan when he tries to distance himself from Donald Trump

      Curiously, he fails to mention — or mentioned but editors cut — allegations that to do so was official Hillary policy. The impending flame-out of this Party system can be hung right on her and her mooks’ shoulders.

    3. Benedict@Large

      I have no fear of Ryan enacting his budget. Any party that enacts that budget will be removed from power for the following three generations. Everyone that was alive when that happened would have to die before that party ever got another chance.

      No doubt that party would then repeat that same mistake.

      1. Steve C

        Because bipartisanship, Democratic spinelessness and the Obama brand. Of course Republicans care about bipartisanship only when they are out of power. Even then, they define bipartisanship as them calling all the shots. The Democrats let them get away with it because it gives them an excuse for not doing anything.

  12. Kurt Sperry

    “California marijuana legalization faces unlikely foe: growers” [Reuters]

    Current environmental practices in the gray market are pretty abysmal I’m afraid. You’ve got the environmental trainwreck of institutionalised indoor grow culture whereby plants are grown indoors under lights powered from the grid rather than in the sun, combined to a high stakes, desperation war against pests like spider mites, which thrive in the indoor grows, which often leaves small growers facing the choice of bombing their product with super nasty poisons and selling the tainted result, getting a crop out and paying their bills, or doing the right thing, destroying their crop and losing everything, likely including their incomes and property.

    Growing plants indoors in rooms under lights commercially is environmentally extremely irresponsible and should probably be flatly illegal to do. Even industrial ag-style outdoors as a field crop like tomatoes or lettuce, would be infinitely preferable.

    The environmentally correct approach would be to grow cannabis in climate appropriate places where it could be grown as a field crop unirrigated. Much of the US Midwest is well suited for such cultivation, so well suited in fact that the plant has grown as a slightly noxious weed for 70 years with no assistance, pesticides or fertilizers from man whatsoever. Unfortunately, those Midwestern states are politically backward, and even if they weren’t, it would be illegal under archaic Federal law to ship the product from the Midwest across state lines to the customers.

    Further, why should commercial production of cannabis be artificially limited at all? If someone wants to grow 10,000 acres of cannabis, it should be just as legal as growing 10,000 acres of corn or wheat. Do we limit how much beer can be brewed in wet counties to protect dry counties? Hell no, of course not. It’s the responsibility of the jurisdictions wanting to enforce their little prohibitions to bear the costs of their follies, not everyone else.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Avoid commercialization: Chicken in every pot and pot in every house backyard.

      “Don’t smoke if you haven’t grown it.” That’s our rugged individualism.

      “It’s the journey (of growing), not the destination (of smoking it).”

      Get high doing the cultivating.

    2. Dogstar

      1percent of total US electricity usage goes to indoor cannabis cultivation, nearly 10 pct of California household electricity. Pretty amazing.

    3. Waldenpond

      CA bill will allow persons to grow up to 6 plants but they must be enclosed, not visible from the street and locked. So a green house with a lock in a backyard will be legal. Larger grows will be able to out in the open and fenced.

      Communities have small producers to limit environmental and waste impact. That competition keeps prices down will be disproven by a visit to your local farmers market… if someone gets out of line with a discount on an abundant item, they will be quickly back on track the following week or banned from participating.

    4. Chauncey Gardiner

      Under “The 420” section of today’s post, I am afraid NAFTA also preempts preservation of local growers over industrial-sized farms and corporate agriculture. Related is perhaps the best financial infotainment headline of 2016 to date from Bloomberg on Wednesday: “Snoop Dogg partnership sends Canada weed grower to epic high”.


      As sportscaster ‘Dandy Don’ Meredith used to sing on ABC’s Monday Night Football when the game was clearly decided: …”Turn out the lights, the party’s over.”

  13. flora

    re: Guillotine Watch (and “Watch” is very apt in this context).
    The Silicon Valley simulation hypothesis is a modern version of the Clockwork Universe theory.

    Man creates a new technology that roughly models some aspect of the natural world. Some men then insist the natural world in fact models the technology, instead of the other way around. The more things change….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The one possible conclusion is that the human brain is defective.

      That means, even the smartest humans are not that smart.

  14. JCC

    Regarding the “Calling All Wells Fargo Whistleblowers” post from earlier today; I know this is no comparison of the damage done by Wells Fargo and the rest of the Big 6, but it does follow the theme mentioned here at times concerning other companies following the lead of Industries That Get Away With Fraud and the Race to the Bottom.

    I went through my annual two hour long billing “mistakes” call with Sirius/XM this morning (I use Siruius/XM because I live in a very rural area that receives only 7 or 8 Bible stations and one or two canned pop rock/pop country stations. They make for miserable drive time).

    Four months ago, I received my annual bill, a whopping $220.00/yr. After 45 minutes of “hold time” I got through and asked why and was told prices had gone up. I said “Cancel it, I don’t need it that bad.” and the “Customer Care Representative” offered to lower it to an even $200.00. Don’t ask me why… I accepted.

    A month later I scrapped the aging vehicle and purchased a newer used car and transferred the subscription. I was given a good deal according to the new CCR, 3 free months along with the transfer since it was technically a “new subscription” and I was a “loyal Customer”.

    So, three months later, in today’s mail, I get a bill for $128.00 for the new used car. Needless to say, I immediately called to ask, “What!?!?”.

    One hour and 30 minutes later here is what I got: “Sorry, our mistake, but are you sure you no longer use the old car?” Then I ask, “Why was I charged $220.00 four months ago if the rate is only $127.00?” I told her I should be getting a credit, too. The answer was, “No, you had subscribed to (something like Full Sports Access or so damn thing)”. I said no I did not, I specificaly told the last two CCRs that I only wanted the base package. Again, another “Sorry… and I will escalate your concerns.” At this point I said, “No offense to you, I know you are just doing your job, but Bullshit! No you won’t and even if you do, the people that run your company won’t change a thing because they need to pay for their Lear Jets and screwing their customers is the only way they can do it.” Of course, I got the usual,”Sorry, and is there anything more I can do for you today?”

    “Nope, I’ve been bent over enough today, thanks. Bye” (Being from India she may not have gotten the reference)

    So the upshot is that Sirius/XM does the exact same thing as Wells Fargo, they add on various packages without telling you, and in this case, they actually obfuscate what they are selling you, and if you are a questioning consumer, they then just lie to you.

    Now I know this is pretty trivial stuff and, relatively speaking, a luxury item… but I just had to “let loose” and rant a little. Every time, it seems, that I need to get in touch with a “Customer Care Representative” I go through this… robo answering, 30 minute hold time, put on hold for a few 5 minute sections “while I check your account” routine, many apologies, and then a few months later, the exact same routine all over again with the exact same companies for the same reasons.

    Is double and triple billing for things not bought the norm everywhere or is it just me and the companies I end up doing business with?

    Rant over, I just felt I had to get this out in public. We are surrounded by nickel and dime thievery at every turn. And those at the very top support this thievery at every turn, too.

    Lead By Example… grrr

    1. Paid Minion

      Yeah, the usefulness/entertainment value of Sirius/XM is close to being offset by the costs of the subscription, and the PITA when dealing with their “Customer Service” (an oxymoron if I every saw one).

      Renewed my subscription earlier this year, then bought a new car that came with one year free. Called them to roll over the existing contract onto the new car, was supposedly “no problem”. I should be good for the next 21 months or so. We’ll see next spring.

      The new way of doing business in the USA isn’t by creating “growth” with satisfied customers. Now, the plan is to sign up the customer for indefinite, automatically renewed (and billed) contracts that are impossible to cancel, no matter how crappy the product is/becomes.
      Exhibit “A”……McAfee AntiVirus.

      “Automatic Renewal” is harder to kill than cockroaches.

      My last cellphone “Contract” (contract? WTF?) generated more paperwork than my first home mortgage.

    2. NY Union Guy

      the people that run your company won’t change a thing because they need to pay for their Lear Jets and screwing their customers is the only way they can do it.

      Exactly! All this shadyness, dishonesty, and BS is so some asshole can fly around in a learjet.

      What really boggles my mind and has almost completely eroded my faith in humanity, is just how much pain and suffering we inflict on one another just so some gaping asshole rich guy can own 5 houses and jet-set around the world on his own private plane.

    3. reslez

      Comcast reps do this as well. So do the other cable monopolists. Their CS reps sign you up for services you don’t want, lie to you about it, and when you call back to cancel and demand a refund, they lie again and the refund never actually appears. It’s so bad even our deaf, dumb, and blind Congress held a hearing about it over the summer.


      1. JohnnyGL

        Yep, there’s a reason Comcast is always on or around the top of the list of “most hated companies”.

        I remember seeing a list where they beat out Monsanto. That’s gotta be tough to do since Monsanto kills and sues people.

        1. bob

          I gotta give that to comcast. The. Worst. Ever.

          I used to have to use them. Any problems were only solved by spending an hour on the phone to find out that I had to bring the cable box to them. There office was conveniently located in a slum, with no parking. When entering the office, it looked like a ghetto liquor store- bullet proof glass, with a line, no chairs, and one mean looking person handing out 18th hand equipment.

          I don’t have cable anymore, and won’t use any of the cable companies ever again, if I can avoid it.

          “we’ll rent you a box for $15 a month.”

          It’s $20 worth of equipment. Thanks, I’ll get my own.

          “that’s not allowed”

    4. NY Union Guy

      the people that run your company won’t change a thing because they need to pay for their Lear Jets and screwing their customers is the only way they can do it.

      Exactly! All this shadyness, dishonesty, and BS is so some butthole can fly around in a learjet.

      What really boggles my mind and has almost completely eroded my faith in humanity, is just how much pain and suffering we inflict on one another just so some gaping butthole rich guy can own 5 houses and jet-set around the world on his own private plane.

      (Got moderated, had to remove a cussword)

      1. polecat

        What ?? …. Oh, I see … They only switched you into the 7th circle of corporate hell outreach … rather than keeping you in the 9th … ;’)

    5. beth

      So the upshot is that Sirius/XM does the exact same thing as Wells Fargo

      …and AT&T.
      With a few words changed, that sounds like my former annual calls to AT&T. Once it took me 4 calls to try to get the different speed levels they were selling. Then 2-3 to find someone I thought would put me into a middle level speed. Was told I would not pay a change-over fee.
      Opps, when I got the bill I was charged $300 for the switch and put into the highest residential speed at the time.

      1. Jim Haygood

        My stance is that the etymology of the word “phony” derives directly from telcos.

        And I’m sticking to it.

      2. JCC

        Sirius/XM was not my first rodeo with these types of boneheaded bums. I almost laughed when I saw your AT&T reference (and by the way, I go through these routines often with MediaCom, the ultimate worst-ever cable/ISP company, and I’ve had ISP subscriptions with all the majors over the years).

        I used to have AT&T in Hartford CT. The internet connection had slowed to a crawl and I went to the office to straighten it out in person. I had lived there for 6 months at that time but the office girl told me I had been living there for 4 years and why was I complaining now since it had been turned off over a year ago and I owed a couple of years worth of back service before they would fix it.

        I just about died laughing. I told her I could get a copy of my lease and a copy of a bill for my previous service, from AT&T, in Upstate NY from 6 months earlier to prove otherwise. She told me that wasn’t good enough, I needed to bring her a copy of my last years Fed Income Tax filing! Needless to say, I told her then that she was out of her mind (my exact words I’m sorry to say now) and asked for a Manager to straighten it out. It was straightened and she was noticeably very unhappy about it.

        Coincidentally I went in to pay my car insurance bill today and mentioned the Sirius/XM fail to one of the owners of the agency. She just shook her head and said every time her husband gets a bill from Sirius/XM, he starts swearing before he even makes the call. She told me they actually pay for three services now (it was 4) even though they only have two subscriptions because her husband is sick and tired of arguing with them.

        So I guess it’s obvious why these companies do it, they know for many that time really is money and they will just give up and pay rather than fight.

        My motto, however, is “Illegitimi non carborundum”. I enjoy playing my admittedly very small part in wearing them down instead.

    6. Lambert Strether Post author

      If you’re paying for Sirius just so you can listen to audio during your drive-time, why not try podcasts? There’s a universe of incredibly interesting material, most with a contribution model (and as a good Do-Bee, I contribute to the ones I listen to regularly. The Civil War Podcast is almost through the Peninsular Campaign!

      1. JCC

        Actually, I do that, too,when a trip is longer than an hour or so, as well as purchase a Great Courses selection on occasion (I save those for the really long trips).

        Since I don’t use MediaCom or any other cable provider for TV, I also get my fill of podcasts at home, My internet connection is used for my audio fixes constantly, plugged into my home audio system.

  15. DWD


    Last week we spent a couple of days in Traverse City, MI (Red Wing’s Camp) and I noted the yard signs in the 150 miles or so we traveled.

    Saw less than a dozen Trump Signs. Not a single Hillary. And this one that I meant to steal, but we came back a different route:


  16. NY Union Guy

    RE: Harvard, In Theory and Practice

    This is absolutely deplorable! These folks had to strike for 35K/yr at rich-ass Harvard? Unreal.

    Why is it that White Collar types have such contempt for Blue Collar people?

    I’m sick and tired of being looked down upon, made fun of, and laughed at because I’m not an office drone. I can’t stand how these jokers refer to themselves as “professionals” all the damned time too, as if the rest of us are a bunch of amateurs, blathering all the goddamned time about free market this, free market that, this goodthink cause, that goodthink cause, union bad, gov’t bad, private sector good, yada yada.

    1. jypsi

      > Why is it that White Collar types have such contempt for Blue Collar people?

      It’s an inferiority complex. At some level, every office drone knows that they are completely useless.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Absolutely–an inferiority complex. It’s why so many white collar types drive pick-up trucks. Makes them look like they know how to do something useful.

          1. Kurt Sperry

            Yes, the perfectly unscratched pick-up truck more than a year old. It’s such an epic fail because it’s “girly” and they were going instead for “manly”. Either is, no doubt, a fine thing, but not when epically fail.

          1. polecat

            well ..it’s ‘entertainment’ until they break something …. like their body !!

            MUST GO FASTER ……

            1. cnchal

              Soon the elite will have the race track option for their supercars, an AV version of track lapping where they strap themselves into the driver’s seat and let the car scare the crap out of them.

    2. Waldenpond

      Clinton agrees with you. She’s tired of the bias also.


      “But, you know, part of the problem with the political situation, too, is that there is such a bias against people who have led successful and/or complicated lives. You know, the divestment of assets, the stripping of all kinds of positions, the sale of stocks. It just becomes so very onerous and unnecessary.”

      Back aching scrubbing and knee straining cleaning to maintain a decent and safe environment is exhausting. Accumulating wealth and being criticized for accumulating it at the expense of others is equally exhausting. She is the personification of empathy.

        1. cnchal

          The more interesting part is this.

          “SECRETARY CLINTON:Yeah. Well, you know what Bob Rubin said about that. He said, you know, when he came to Washington he had a fortune. And when he left Washington, he had a small – – MR. BLANKFEIN: That’s how you have a small fortune, is you go to Washington. . .

          The sacrifices they make for us.

          Reminds me of a saying in racing. How do you get a million bucks? Start with two.

          1. OIFVet

            The way I read Lord Blankfein is that in a way he was being condescending to the help madame secretary and her Bubba.

        2. Waldenpond

          *Hillary Clinton Said Her Dream Is A Hemispheric Common Market, With Open Trade And Open Markets. *“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.” [05162013 Remarks to Banco Itau.doc, p. 28]

          What? Open borders with Europe? She can’t mean Russia.To be clear, she’s also declaring support for that greenest of projects, the Keystone pipeline in another speech.

          1. sd

            Open borders for whom? Is she suggesting we get rid of passports and.that we may just travel freely? Or like, taxes, are passports just for little people.

        3. JCC

          ZeroHedge just published about 80 pages of the released excerpts available as a Scribd download. I just read all 80 or so and for the most part it doesn’t sound any different than what she is saying in her public speeches today, although fine-tuned for the specific audience she is speechifying to (great word, speechifying – i.e., (verb) deliver a speech, especially in a tedious or pompous way).

          With that said, when she is talking to the banks, she does tell them they are innocent and misunderstood and the public PR during the meltdown should have been better and more accurate (my summary of her words) and her comments on IT and CyberSecurity are very unsophisticated, if not downright ignorant. The problem there, of course, is that she is basing her policy stances on that naivete/ignorance.

          Finally, she does state to a few that she is pro-public option on Health Care but just can’t figure out how to do it (without “upsetting” her donors).

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            I think you’re a bit too sanguine. The actual wording is awful; she’s really showing her warm side to donors in a way that she never, ever has to Sanders supporters (say). And IIRC, she says that we need to look to the banks to determine the best forms of regulation. As for the so-called “public option,” it’s the next line of defense to make sure that single payer never, ever comes to pass; it’s a particularly odious neoliberal scam oddly, or not, beloved by the career “progressives” who propagate it.

        4. Lambert Strether Post author

          As I understand it, people in the Clinton campaign had access to some of the transcripts that Clinton didn’t reveal. So, being Clintonites, they excerpted the good parts, threw them into buckets, and emailed them to each other, so they could work out framing to get out in front of the story if the transcripts leaked. And being Clintonites, their emails were hacked (they claim by Russians, because only the Russians would be good enough, or dastardly enough, to do such a thing).

      1. OIFVet

        Hillary is a very warm and nurturing person. When an 8-ball can’t make you feel good about your master of the universe self, you hire madame secretary to fluff your fragile feelings a bit. Or you pay mr. president to put on a comfortable pair of shoes and stand guard between you and the peasants with the pitchforks.

    3. tongorad

      How can anyone survive on 35K a year, or rather less than 35K a year in a town like Cambridge, or in the surrounding areas?
      And I’m guessing the students are in solidarity with the workers, right?

      1. NY Union Guy

        Public housing, section 8, SNAP (food stamps), TANF, and other welfare programs….

        Wal-Mart pioneered the public-private compensation model years ago, and it seems the fine folks at Hah-vahd are following the lead of their betters from Bentonville.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        They don’t live in 02138. They live down below Central Square, or in Somerville, or down the Red Line. At least that’s how it was when I lived there. The parts of Cambridge that are not Harvard or MIT can be pretty rough.

  17. Paid Minion

    The Duffel Blog comments on some recent trends:

    “Man uses “Vet Card” to win every argument ever”


    “Recent Vet surprised to learn “OIF/OEF” ball caps not mandatory”

    “They were just so stupid looking, I had always assumed that they were forced to wear them……. You don’t see guys with Silver Stars or MoHs parading around.”


  18. Steve C

    “Global race to the top” is vintage Obama propaganda. A “smart” sounding phrase meant to obscure the impact of TPP on the non-elite. The adoring comments make it all the worse. He sure knows the lingo to appeal to educated professionals.

    This is a lot of patented, soaring Obama verbiage that boils down to surrendering to global corporations and the big banks.

    1. Pat

      Yeah, no one is thinking through the analogy to note that there are very few races where everyone wins. In point of fact, except for those where finishing is considered an accomplishment like marathons, there is only one winner and what’s left are also ran and losers. So why are we involved in a situation where most are going to lose?

    2. Jim Haygood

      The presidency is a “national race to the top.”

      Barry won. Twice. Savor his achievement.

      *stops to admire his chiseled jawline in the mirror*

      1. Steve C

        Obama’s a great guy. Just ask him and he’ll tell you how great he is. With all humility, of course.

  19. Pavel

    Just wondering what the banking and fintech overlords who are advocating a “cashless” [and privacy-less] society are telling the folks in Florida without power for a day or so. How do you pay for food with your iPhone or whatever when the electricity is out?

    This is 95% snark, of course, but also an honest question. I keep hearing about the benefits of getting rid of cash, but cashlessness and e-payments only work if the power is on.

    1. Robert Hahl

      If the cash registers don’t work they often won’t take cash either. The stores are just closed if there is no power.

      1. pretzelattack

        it’s a major emergency if the registers don’t work. cashiers have to laboriously write down transactions by hand, if they don’t just shut the store down.

      2. Michael

        1) Generators don’t create internet.

        2) Yeah, no. You can get a lot done with cash, a pen and paper, and a willingness to round up a little bit.

  20. Buttinsky

    Is every Friday going to be like this from now until election day?

    Today the U.S. Director of National Intelligence formally accused the Russian government of directing the Wikileaks/DCLeaks/Guccifer 2.0 leaks related to the Democratic Party.

    Hardly a coincidence: in addition to the State Department’s release today of Clinton emails (75 emails, 273 pages, according to CNN) retrieved by the FBI from Hillary Clinton’s private server while she was Secretary of State, Wikileaks has just released a batch of John Podesta emails.

    Julian Assange himself explains one point of interest in today’s Wikileaks release:

    In April 2015 the New York Times published a story about a company called “Uranium One” which was sold to Russian government-controlled interests, giving Russia effective control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for the production of nuclear weapons, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of US government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off the deal was the State Department, then headed by Secretary Clinton. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) comprises, among others, the secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy.

    . . .

    Mr Fallon [Brian Fallon, Clinton campaign spokesman] promptly sent a memo to the New York Times with a rebuttal of the story (Podesta Email ID 1489).

    In this memo, Mr Fallon argued: “Apart from the fact that the State Department was one of just nine agencies involved in CFIUS, it is also true that within the State Department, the CFIUS approval process historically does not trigger the personal involvement of the Secretary of State. The State Department’s principal representative to CFIUS was the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs. During the time period in question, that position was held by Jose Fernandez. As you are aware, Mr Fernandez has personally attested that “Secretary Clinton never intervened with me on any CFIUS matter.”

    What the Clinton campaign spokesman failed to disclose, however, was the fact that a few days before sending his rebuttal to the New York Times, Jose Fernandez wrote on the evening of the 17 April 2015 to John Podesta following a phone call from Mr Podesta (Email ID 2053): “John, It was good to talk to you this afternoon, and I appreciate your taking the time to call. As I mentioned, I would like to do all I can to support Secretary Clinton, and would welcome your advice and help in steering me to the right persons in the campaign”.

    . . . Fallon failed to mention that Fernandez was hardly a neutral witness in this case, considering that he had agreed with John Podesta to play a role in the Clinton campaign.

    The emails show that the contacts between John Podesta and Jose Fernandez go back to the time of internal Clinton campaign concern about the then-forthcoming book and movie “Clinton Cash” by Peter Schweizer on the financial dealings of the Clinton Foundation.


  21. ewmayer

    Banner of Russia’s Putin hung from New York City bridge | Reuters

    Ha, the article actually uses ‘the Putin’, as in ‘…featuring the Putin dressed in a suit in front of the Russian flag with the word “Peacemaker” in capital letters’ … paging the late Sen. Joe McCarthy, we have a fifth-column crisis! I blame the Donald for mollycoddling evil commies like the Putin.

    1. Liberal Mole

      Yes, its good to know what our “Enemies” think. Sadly, it appears to be a better explanation for our insane foreign policy of fighting ISIS in Iraq and arming ISIS/Al Nusra/Al Qaeda in Syria than anything Obama puts out.

  22. BecauseTradition

    “‘Many people in Silicon Valley have become obsessed with the simulation hypothesis, the argument that what we experience as reality is in fact fabricated in a computer,’ Tad Friend

    Reminds me of a nightmare I had once. I was in Hell. It really wasn’t so bad – just about 120F or so and humid! But being a resourceful chap I started trying to dig my way out. I got about 10 feet down when the bottom fell out and I could see below me a lake of fire – stretching as far as I could see.

    So if we are in a simulation, the goal should not be try to escape it – impossible – but to pass whatever test we are being subjected to.

    Shorter: Some people have more dollars than sense.

    1. Cry Shop

      Egg on their face.

      Not one of these investors stopped to check if the guy had any valid, unchallenged patents. One suspects they knew it was a hustle and were betting on the con. Anything this guy did was 100% with in the ability of Kraft & Nestle, who’d already be feeding us feces based Mayo if it was cheaper.

  23. Pat

    In my continued talks with people who insist that voting for Clinton is the only choice because TRUMP, I just got I would rather have war with Russia than Putin deciding American policy because the President owes him money. After I decimated that one by asking if everyone in Congress owes Putin as well, I continued by noting that Congress is also a stumbling block if ACA was really their only concern. That they better figure out how to move to a country with a real health care system or give up being an artist and find a better paying job with employer provided insurance because the idea that Clinton has some magic method of preventing it from dying is a fantasy. The President cannot unilaterally do anything to stop insurance companies from dropping out and no legislation saving it is going to pass in a Congress where one or both of the Houses have Republican majorities. Sure she might stop them from cutting their subsidy, but even with Clinton they have a couple of years at most before they are royally screwed. Especially since Clinton’s Democratic Party is not bothering to try to fight every race in an attempt to get the House, and even have grabbed money from the state parties for her campaign.

    Every once in a while I get a little annoyed with people who want to accuse me of not being realistic and believing in unicorns when it is beyond clear that they are dreaming.

    I should note that they also pulled out the SCOTUS canard. I have to thank Clinton for picking Kaine since just quoting his record as Governor pretty much destroys the idea that she picks liberals.

    1. cm

      Interesting how so many people don’t understand that the power lies with Congress — they write the laws.

      It is almost as if there was a complete failure at civics education. Which is really strange, because this is a nation composed of 50 almost independent states…

  24. Bugs Bunny

    Voted Stein for president today via absentee ballot. Proud to do my part to deny anyone a majority in the Badger State.

    How about some juice for the IBT Assange link? Gave it to you a few days ago.

    That’s all folks!

  25. robnume

    On Wikileaks to release new material over next 10 weeks: I wish that Mr. Assange would push that timeline up a bit, particularly as regards Google; I am actively searching for a good alternative to Yahoo, after they threw us all under the bus, so to speak. Anyone know of a reasonable alternative to either of these tech giants for email and a home page where I can “house” my twenty or so favorite sites? Been with My Yahoo and Yahoo email for about twenty years. Thanks in advance for any assistance with this endeavor.

  26. Kokuanani

    I’m surprised not to see anything here about the “political bombshell” of Trump’s latest sexist remarks.

    As I listen to the talking heads bloviate about what a “death blow” this is to the Trump campaign, it occurs to me that if the Repubs could engineer Trump’s withdrawal from the top of the ticket, they could probably beat Hillary with Pence. They would have to arrange it so that Trump goes agreeably — should not be too hard to do, since many doubt if he WANTS to be president — and Pence could pledge that he would carry forward all of Trump’s wonderful Screw the Establishment policies. Trump without the messy Trumpisms.

    Disgusting as Trump is, I’m sure not looking forward to the howls of misogyny that will be coming from the Clinton camp. And, just another distraction from talking about policy.

    1. Waldenpond

      1. Clinton is corrupt (again), liar (still), dishonest (again), warmonger (still) etc. Trump is racist(still), bigot (again), misogynist (still), Hitler (Putin, Ahmedinejad)…. gets tedious after the 20th time.

      2. I think Trump does it on purpose as a response to a Clinton dump. It looks like her GS speeches are out today so the networks can cover Trump’s latest bigoted statement and ignore Clinton insulting the voters and sucking up to the oligarchs.

      1. rich


        Wikileaks Releases Hillary’s Paid Wall Street Speech Transcripts: Hundreds Of “Sensitive” Excerpts

        HRC Paid Speeches


        Attached are the flags from HRC’s paid speeches we have from HWA. I put some highlights below. There is a lot of policy positions that we should give an extra scrub with Policy.

        In terms of what was opened to the press and what was not, the Washington Examiner got a hold of one of the private speech contracts (her speeches to universities were typically open press), so this is worth a read http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/clintons-speeches-are-cozy-for-wall-streeters-but-closed-to-journalists/article/2553294/section/author/dan-friedman

        Hillary Clinton: “I’m Kind Of Far Removed” From The Struggles Of The Middle Class “Because The Life I’ve Lived And The Economic, You Know, Fortunes That My Husband And I Now Enjoy.”

        Clinton: “But If Everybody’s Watching, You Know, All Of The Back Room Discussions And The Deals, You Know, Then People Get A Little Nervous, To Say The Least. So, You Need Both A Public And A Private Position.”

        Clinton Said That The Blame Placed On The United States Banking System For The Crisis “Could Have Been Avoided In Terms Of Both Misunderstanding And Really Politicizing What Happened.”

        Clinton: “Even If It May Not Be 100 Percent True, If The Perception Is That Somehow The Game Is Rigged, That Should Be A Problem For All Of Us.”

        Clinton Said Financial Reform “Really Has To Come From The Industry Itself.”

        Clinton Said That Because Candidates Needed Money From Wall Street To Run For Office, People In New York Needed To Ask Tough Questions About The Economy Before Handing Over Campaign Contributions.

        Clinton: “The Simpson-Bowles Framework And The Big Elements Of It Were Right… You Have To Restrain Spending, You Have To Have Adequate Revenues, And You Have To Have Growth.”


        The Simpson-Bowles Framework And The Big Elements Of It Were Right…”du calme, du calme, adieu.”

    2. aab

      I don’t know where this idea comes from that “generic Republican” can win. Trump not only legitimately won the Republican primary, with actual flesh and blood human beings coming out for him despite a less than robust GOTV program. He got more votes than any other candidate this year — in either primary — and more votes than any Republican candidate in history, IIRC.

      If a bland, insider Republican evangelical could win with the Republican base right now, one of them would have won the primary. Trump has actual supporters. And despite what the corporate media says and probably wants to believe, they are not all racists. What they are is angry. They want an outsider, and he’s the outsider available. It’s laughable that an incredibly famous billionaire who had his own TV show is “the outsider.” But then the Clinton campaign and its courtier media outlets keep demonstrating that he is, indeed, the outsider — they’re frantic to keep him out. So everybody who is angry and wants change is essentially being backed into a corner to vote for him.

      Pence might win against Hillary — especially if the Koch-controlled state governments will help rig for Hillary, but would otherwise help Pence. But that would be an even LOWER turnout election, and would help Hillary in numerous ways.

      It isn’t news that Trump’s a pig to women in his private life, as most wealthy men are. That how patriarchy works. But given that his opponent not only murders millions for fun and profit, but facilitated her and rapist husband’s rise by silencing and threatening her husband’s many, many victims — of rape, of sexual assault, of sexual harassment — how is this a meaningful differentiator? Based on what evidence we have, Bill committed more sexual crimes while President than Trump has in his entire life.

      What a hideous “election” this is.

    3. Ted

      No comments ’cause it is just so pathetic. Eleven years ago trump had a conversation with another man about wanting to seduce another woman and in the conversation he used vulgar and misogynistic langauge. OMG … the world is surely to end. Never would expect that from a man (or woman) seeking high office. Beyond the Pale. Now celebrating the brutal killing of a national leader after leading a humanitarian bombing campaign that would destroy that nation and impoverish its people. Just dandy (please sir may I have another?)

      perhaps the stupidest election coverage in the history of stupid election coverages

      1. Pavel

        Thank you, Ted. This is indeed the stupidest election coverage ever.

        I see the entire Dem and most of the Repub establishment is OUTRAGED over Trump’s frat boy comments from a decade ago. I just wonder where their outrage is over the ongoing genocide in Yemen (assisted by US arms and military)… to cite just one example.

        Hillary pals around with war criminal Kissinger and admires Albright, who thinks killing 500K kids is “worth it”.

        What a fscking world. Not to defend boorish Trump, but where is the sense of priority?

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        Like I said, “priced in.”

        To me, the words don’t matter that much.* If there’s physical contact, that matters (but may also be priced in).

        * I know that some people have a politics in which micro-aggression is all. Those politics — which are, I think, an emerging set of conventions, a ritualized cosmopolitanism, taught to aspirational 10%-ers so that they can interact successfully with each other, and with other cultures, successfully on globalizing projects at home and abroad — are not mine.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      Just getting to it. FWIW, and I haven’t even read the stories:

      1) If the Democrat Party had nominated Sanders, he’d be twenty points ahead by now, we’d at least have a single payer advocate in the White House, we wouldn’t have the neo-cons picking out the drapes for the War Room, and we’d have a President who wasn’t on the take. Oh well.

      2) AFAIK, there are two stories: The tape, which is locker room talk, so far as I know, and the Kristof piece, which is worse (since the allegation is that Trump “put his hands on her,” as it were).

      3) I don’t think the election is about “false equivalence,” I think that’s the very reverse of the problem, which is incommensurate evils. The Apple: Whatever the worst of the Trump tape is; the Orange: Clinton tipping the administration to war in Libya, and charring a few thousand more far away brown people?

      4) “Grab them by the p*ssy,” which is the Trump quote that’s running around, sounds exactly like something Bill Clinton would have said, in an unbuttoned moment. And we elected Bill Clinton. Was that so bad? Well, yes it was, but see #3.

      5) Yvanka can solve this problem for Trump.

      6) The issue is how many votes this moves. Is this stuff already “priced in”? I bet a lot of it is.

      7) As far as strategic voting, I don’t see how this makes a difference. Insofar as it cripples Trump, it’s a good thing, just as the WikiLeaks are good, because they cripple Clinton.

      No doubt I’ll have more to say as I work down the thread. Thank the Godd(ess)(e)(s) Of Your Choice, If Any that I’m a Martian. I pity you earthlings, caught up in all this.

      1. sd

        Sh*t like this makes me want to vote for Trump in the hope that Clinton loses making it just that much more of an insult….

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        About point number 1, my only hesitation on making that claim is the broken promise issue of Democrats. Too many people simply have been burned by Team Blue through interactions to expect anyone to do well immediately. Of course, Sanders isn’t a Democrat and has a long and consistent record, so he might be immune.

        I suppose 20 points is fair.

  27. ewmayer

    Update on the “banner day for the Putin” – Russian friend notes similar banner was hung in Dresden, and the occasion is the Putin’s birthday, 64th years young today.

  28. Kim Kaufman

    “UPDATE Sunday, October 9, 9PM EDT, Washington University, St. Louis. [Wall Street Journal]. Town Hall format. Gotta pull my yellow waders out of the autoclave, I guess.”

    This may be a little more interesting as both are equally adept in this town hall format I think – and both equally free with lies and variations of the truth. The head on debate was an unevenly matched contest due to Trump not preparing at all. Or possibly his drugs were either kicking in or wearing off.

  29. allan

    Baltimore Police took 1 million surveillance photos of city [AP]

    Baltimore Police on Friday released data showing that a surveillance plane secretly flew over the city roughly 100 times, taking more than 1 million snapshots of the streets below. …

    The program began in January and was not initially disclosed to Baltimore’s mayor, city council or other elected officials. …

    Civilian oversight is so September 10th.

    1. jo6pac

      Yep, plenty of $$$$ for this but clean water or air? The new Amerika is still on track.

      Thanks for the link:-(

  30. Otis B Driftwood

    Just skimmed through the Tony Carrk email “HRC Paid Speeches”


    What struck me was not so much Clinton’s statements about letting Wall Street regulate Wall Street, the fact that she is “out of touch” with Main Street, or her favorable comments about single payer (very ironic given how she has not advocated for this publicly). No, what struck me is that she is NOT a leader.

    Opposed to Citizens United?

    … it’s so ridiculous that we have this kind of free for all with all of this financial interest at stake, but, you know, the Supreme Court said that’s basically what we’re in for. So we’re kind of in the wild west, and, you know, it would be very difficult to run for president without raising a huge amount of money.

    Sorta like, “Meh! This stinks, but this is how the world works so I’m gonna go raise me some cash.”

    A Forceful Champion of Wall Street Reform?

    I called for closing the carried interest loophole and addressing skyrocketing CEO pay. I also was calling in ’06, ’07 for doing something about the mortgage crisis, because I saw every day from Wall Street literally to main streets across New York how a well-functioning financial system is essential. So when I raised early warnings about early warnings about subprime mortgages and called for regulating derivatives and over complex financial products, I didn’t get some big arguments, because people sort of said, no, that makes sense.

    Really? She called for reinstatement of Glass-Steagall? I don’t remember her anywhere near the scene of the crime in ’06/07. She (may have) made a few comments here and there but never took any real action or was serious about meaningful reform. Still isn’t.

    And then there is this gem.

    We need two parties. .. Two sensible, moderate, pragmatic parties.

    A Model of Two Sensible, Pragmatic Parties Working Together: Simpson-Bowles

    Simpson-Bowles framework and the big elements of it were right. The specifics can be negotiated and argued over. But you got to do all three. You have to restrain spending, you have to have adequate revenues, and you have to have growth. And I think we are smart enough to figure out how to do that.

    Oh, no, we aren’t! Not when “figuring it out” means following neoliberal dogma to extract more from labor and give more and more and more to the 1%.

    No, Clinton is many things, but not a leader. She is revealed as the perfect tool for the elite. Occasionally piping up to express some concern, but so distanced and entrenched in the establishment that she will never do anything of consequence for working Americans.

    I didn’t even read the stuff about the blackberries and computer nonsense. She is incompetent with technology, doesn’t understand digital security and is dangerously arrogant about her ignorance. Stipulated.

    1. human

      She comes across as either naive or duplicitous, re Latin America “coming out of 2 decades of doing well,” but now having to deal with disruption and regime change.

    2. marym

      Simpson Bowles
      Lest we forget

      Chained CPI, increasing revenue by lower corporate and income taxes, discretionary spending cuts, raising SS retirement age, slowing SS benefit growth

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > So when I raised early warnings about early warnings about subprime mortgages

      I’m not sure about this. I think Yves debunked it but I can’t find the link.

    4. reslez

      > You have to restrain spending, you have to have adequate revenues, and you have to have growth. And I think we are smart enough to figure out how to do that.

      Dear Lord. This is what she’s saying behind closed doors to Wall Street? You mean she’s just as clueless when up close and personal with the oligarchs as she is on TV? She has no effing clue how money actually works? What a perfect tool in every sense of the words.

      By lowering the drawbridge to a flood of foreign imports and maintaining the reserve currency of the world, the US has exactly two options: 1) constrain spending like Hill says here and watch the economy suffocate (No Growth For YOU), or 2) spend like hell and get some positive numbers like Reagan and Bush did, because as Cheney pointed out, “Deficits don’t matter”. Clinton had a couple good years because the private sector was wracking up insane levels of debt during his term. That’s not going to happen for Clinton 2, sorry Hill. Sorry for all of us. Either way, her little formula is not solvable.

      I’m thankful this is all an academic/voyeuristic exercise for me since like Lambert I live quite happily on Mars with my pile of Elon Musk action figures. If I were back on Earth with the rest of y’all I might feel a little frantic about my chances of surviving the decade.

  31. Jay M

    Hillary: Huma dear, pour me another double Stoli & tonic, stat!
    Huma: What if the schlubs hear you drink Stoli, maybe we should switch to Skyy?
    Hillary: It’s what Blankfein serves, only the best.
    Huma: Maybe we should reconsider first strike, considering the caviar situation. Some VIP donors will be sucking their thumbs.
    Hillary: Memo to Blumenthal, we need a strategic caviar stockpile to last until the rubble is sorted out.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Hillary unplugged:

      “Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be.

      “But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.


      Or as “Bill” used to say, having public and private positions is what you need to “stay viable within the system.”

      “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.” — Wm Shakespeare

      1. Buttinsky

        Sunday’s “debate”:

        Trump: How can anyone trust somebody so crooked she boasts about having one position in public and another in private.

        Clinton: You mean like pretending to respect women in public and then talking in the most disgusting manner imaginable about them in private.

        Trump: Listen, I call ‘em like I see ‘em, in private and in public. If I think a woman’s a pig, I call her a pig. Or a crook. Out loud. But by all means, if you want to start broadcasting our private sexual affairs, start by explaining to us all how you could demean yourself by continuing to live with a sexual predator, and even promise to make him your economics czar. What was that again he did with the cigar and the young White House intern’s vagina? In the White House. Don’t you dare pretend I’m too crude for your taste, baby.

        This whole year has felt like some monumental hoax, equal parts laughable and horrific, being perpetrated on the American people.

    1. NY Union Guy

      This may actually help the Donald mobilize his base of pissed-off white guys. I mean, how do you think they talk about women in their locker rooms, truck stops, and on the unemployment line?

      1. polecat

        ..And of course women NEVER engage in harsh or lewd conversations ….. when referencing the male of the species .. am I right ?

        1. cwaltz

          I don’t recall those women actually being on the ballot for president.

          Good to know you wouldn’t be offended to hear a bunch of women treat you like a piece of meat and brag about how they attempted to “nail you” even ignoring the fact that you were married? Nothing offensive there right? You’d love it if women spent their time looking at your pants straining to figure out the size of the bulge so they can discuss it in detail instead of I don’t know, actually listening to you? It’s classy and professional behavior(and yes Donald was there for work).

          Hey, I do have to respect that you’ve adopted his strategy also of excusing his behavior by making this all about everyone else too- incredibly adult. The “mommy they did it first” defense utilized by Donald Trump, his defenders and 3 to 7 year olds throughout the US.

          *shakes head at the immaturity*

      2. cwaltz

        Women are half the electorate. He already had the male vote. He needs the female vote.

        I’d like to congratulate him for showing the female half of the species how absolutely disrespectful and creepy he is.

        1. Pavel

          True, but meanwhile Huma was married to the vulgar Carlos Danger and put up with his crap for 2 or 3 cycles before finally giving him the boot — for political expediency.

          And what do you think of Bill Clinton’s attitudes towards women? The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

          1. cwaltz

            I think Bill Clinton is a pig. That being said he isn’t on the ballot for President either.

            I don’t blame Hillary Clinton for her spouse’s wandering penis either. He’s a grown ass man who behaves no better than a dog humping people’s legs. Something I’ve been on the record as saying back as early as 2008 by the way.

            So no there is absolutely no hypocrisy there, unless you truly believe that women are responsible for how men behave…..in which case perhaps you would be better suited to a ME nation where women are forced to wear hijabs so men don’t behave like creeps. Oh wait, you meant my hypocrisy? Try again.

            1. cm

              Do you not think Hillary should have initiated divorce proceedings the first time her husband raped?

              At what point does Hillary share some guilt in covering up for her rapist husband? Do you happen to recall her famous “interview” where she slammed Lewinsky?

              1. cwaltz

                I don’t know enough to comment about their personal relationship or on his “rapes”(particularly when as far as I know he’s never been convicted of rape)

                Would I have stayed married to a rapist? No.

                Would I have attacked a woman if my husband wandered? No.

                Actually I’m on the record with my spouse as saying that he is responsible for his behavior and that if he were to cheat that I’d place the blame squarely on him.

                Then again, I’m not Hillary(or Trump). You won’t see me saying Hillary’s corruption isn’t that bad because Trump. Apparently many of you can’t say the same when it comes to Trump. Trump’s behavior, not that bad, because Hillary. I really hope that most of you don’t have daughters if you truly believe that what was on that tape isn’t that bad.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          Q: Creepier than Bill?

          A: Bill’s not running for President!

          Q: It was a two-fer last time, why not this time?

          So my answer is no, it’s not creepier than Bill, because with Monica we have the usual confusion between public and private, where Bill abused a subordinate. For all Trump’s creepiness, he wasn’t abusing the power of his public office to actualize it.

          1. ted

            Sigh … but it just doesn’t matter to the holier than thou “I am just so offended at that man’s boorish behavior” set. (to be read in the accent of Scarlett Ohara type). Crude behavior *trumps duplicitous and brutal military destruction of countless brown lives in far away places and lavish wall street parties to celebrate the jack boot of debt on the necks of everyday folks everywhere every day.

            Nietzsche though that nihilism would reach its peak in the 20th century with cataclysmic wars in an amoral era when Western people came to believe that god was dead so anything was possible. He nad no flippin’ idea what the 21st century would bring.

            1. cwaltz

              Oh I get it, women are supposed to take one for the team.

              It’s “holier than thou” for a woman that has to deal with Trump to not have to worry about having him grope her and her having to deal with it because he thinks it’s his right. He’s a star.

              Maybe you should just go ahead and make the next leap and suggest that any woman that works in the WH or aspires to work in DC will be “asking for it” because after all they knew how Trump was when they decided to work there. It’s his RIGHT to behave like a pig gosh darn it. It’s a man’s world and us girls just better get used to it.

              It’s nice to know that you care so much for brown men residing in other countries…perhaps some day you’ll even be evolved enough to suggest that the women in this country, brown or otherwise, deserve some sort of treatment of respect and decency.

                1. cwaltz

                  So the women, brown or otherwise here, should just learn to like being groped for the sake of the brown women over there?

                  Got it.

          1. cwaltz


            This article says Pence’s wife is furious. I can bet. She should get started on how to spend 4 years in hiding so that the jerk her husband is expected to work with won’t be around to harass her verbally or physically.

            After all no bridge is too far since Trump even admitted that this particular woman was married when he was hitting on her.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            Speaking of the yuck factor:

            Flight Logs Put Clinton, Dershowitz on Pedophile Billionaire’s Sex Jet Gawker

            Just cross out “Clinton” and write in “Trump” and imagine the coverage. Which is basically what we can do, either way, so far as I’m concerned. Is that a “defense” of either? Of course not.

            It’s the entire class of people that need to have their power taken away, and their forms of power restructured. Unfortunately for us all, voting for Clinton won’t do that, any more than voting for Trump would. (“Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac,” as Clinton’s good friend, Henry Kissinger, once remarked.)

            1. aab

              It’s the entire class of people that need to have their power taken away, and their forms of power restructured.

              This. (As the kids say on Twitter.)

              Everything else fades in significance. How do we do this without bloody revolution?

            2. Yves Smith

              Dershowitz picked up a roommate of mine on the Boston Shuttle and tried picking up the roommate of a good friend. Small world!

              As a result, I have had the dubious pleasure of seeing Dershowitz clad only in a towel. Not a pretty sight.

            3. Propertius

              It’s the entire class of people that need to have their power taken away, and their forms of power restructured.

              That’s a very dicey proposition if they’re the only ones with the guns, isn’t it?

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      Right. Stop the presses. Trump is lascivious. That’s news to who, exactly?

      And what’s next? We learn that Trump sometimes farts in public? Or worse, lets go the occasional SBD? “Revealed” to deflect the latest revelation of Clinton greed and corruption, I’m sure.

      Sheesh … what a low, debased and sad spectacle all around.

      1. cwaltz

        The fact that it isn’t news ought to give anyone who intends to vote for him pause.

        Would you have been happy and this blase’ had this been your mother, wife or daughter he was talking about?

        I can assure you this was someone’s wife and someone’s daughter.

        I’m sorry that you aren’t able to multitask and simultaneously hold the thought that Clinton is corrupt and that Trump is a disgusting creep….however some of us are capable of having more than one thought at a time. Perhaps if the male half of the species spent less time obsessing over boobs and bottoms or making excuses for those that do, they too would be capable.

        1. hunkerdown

          And? Someone’s wife and someone’s daughter also generally end up knocking boots at some point in their lives, and surely the participants find it a dirty, nasty, thorougly enjoyable affair. Don’t try to leverage the incest taboo into a political norm. These people are not our parents and it’s unsettling to see people elevating them as such..

          1. cwaltz

            Did they “knock boots” after being groped?

            The guy just admitted that he uses the fact that he’s famous to grope women and hit on them whether they want the attention or not.

            1. Yves Smith

              He claims he’s gotten to get aggressive with pretty women and they’ve consented, if you read what he said. No one has yet to come forward and complain despite 16 R candidates and the Dems doing oppo and the NYT early on clearly looking for dirt (interviewing past girlfriends).

              With Arnold Schwarzenegger, women from 20 years earlier in his career came forward and said he had groped them.

              You are making unsubstantiated accusations. This comes off as locker room bragging. Men exaggerate their conquests like crazy.

              If you are gonna accuse Trump of groping based on this evidence, you need to concede that Clinton raped a woman, since Juanita Brodderick accused him of that, years after the fact, but had contemporaneous witness (as in people she told immediately afterwards who confirmed she’d told them).

        2. MikeNY


          Loathsome and disgusting and indefensible. Trump walks and talks like a sexual predator. I’ve been making myself scarce around here for weeks because I think this blog has developed a huge blind spot on Trump; if I just read through the comments, I’d think it was a pro-Trump RNC site. I say that as someone who has no love for HRC. But HRC with all her faults does not and cannot make Trump acceptable.

          1. OIFVet

            The problem is that the opposite is true as well: Trump with all his faults does not make Clinton acceptable either. One is a misogynist, the other one gets off on others being sodomized with a bayonet. Some choice. Vote third party, that’s what I will do.

                1. Yves Smith

                  Yes he is, he is campaigning for her and Hillary has said Bill will be in charge of economic affairs, which is pretty much half the president’s job these days. This is what she said in May:

                  “My husband, who I’m going to put in charge of revitalising the economy, because you know he knows how to do it,” Clinton said in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, on Sunday. “And especially in places like coal country and inner cities and other parts of our country that have really been left out.”


                  1. flora

                    Yes, it was Billums who broke the US agreement with the former USSR to not expand NATO into what was then considered the “traditional Russian/USSR sphere of influence” – said agreement hugely instrumental in ending the first cold war. Hillary now deflects criticism by making Russia the scapegoat for her own failures – “There’s a bear in the [email]. Some see it clearly. Others aren’t so sure.”- a la Reagan’s “Bear” TV ads. (What an opening for satire.)

                    adding: Hillary running as a “new woman” (and I’m old enough to know what that term means) while hiding behind her hubby and his supposed achievements gives the lie to her “new woman” schtick.

                    adding: If Hillums intends to put Billums in charge of the economy I suppose that means even more deregulation of the banks? oh…. joy….

            1. MikeNY

              FWIW OIFVet, I am voting third party.

              I cannot wait until this infernal election is over. It feels like it’s been going on all my life.

          2. Otis B Driftwood

            If your takeaway from my comment is that it’s “pro-Trump”, MikeNY, then I’m just a lousy writer. Anyway, I rather get the sense that the comments here, like yours, reflect despair at the awful choice before us.

          3. cwaltz

            He pretty much bragged about being a sexual predator.

            “Heehee, I can grope and kiss them all I like and they let me because I’m famous. I’m a star.”


            It’s pretty darn sad when the GOP leadership says this

            “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” said Reince Priebus, who had stood by Trump through his past provocative comments.

            or this

            “I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”

            but the people on the site defend it as simply “locker room” talk and not a big deal. If this is what men really think is appropriate I weep for my daughter because it truly means that men think it is perfectly okay to act like a jackass if a girl is attractive; to act as if they have no control over their thoughts or deeds.

            1. reslez

              I totally agree with you on the “locker room” non-defense. But all women sort of know this must be true, right? That behind closed doors this is what an awful lot of men are really like. They go along with this sort of talk because they don’t want to be regarded as … a word related to the female anatomy.

              Sadly I don’t think this is something women can change. Men have to do it for themselves. And too many of them see no need. It doesn’t matter to them.

              I interpret Trump’s remarks as “big man” bragging to another man. Status behavior like a gorilla pounding its chest. I have no idea if he’s actually done any of it, that’s a matter for the courts (which are so awesome at sexual assault matters). That doesn’t make what he said right or less ugly. The way I see it, as long as men seek women, as long as they think status == sexual access to women, this is going to be with us. Unless enough men step up and change themselves.

              Like that will ever happen.

              Yet another reason to not feel that bad about our species driving itself into the grave.

              1. cwaltz

                Sadly I don’t think this is something women can change. Men have to do it for themselves. And too many of them see no need. It doesn’t matter to them.

                I may not be able to change it but I sure as heck am going to continue to point out that there is a need and that it does matter. Yes, I’m a woman. I’m also a human being. I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and so does every woman. It’s not just a male birthright.

              2. Propertius

                totally agree with you on the “locker room” non-defense. But all women sort of know this must be true, right? That behind closed doors this is what an awful lot of men are really like. They go along with this sort of talk because they don’t want to be regarded as … a word related to the female anatomy.

                I haven’t heard this sort of “conversation” since I was 17 or 18 (and that was a very long time ago). Any grown man who feels the need to talk like that has a plethora of issues – arrested development being the least of them. I guess that’s what bugs me the most about Trump. He’s a (probably very insecure) adolescent in an adult’s body. That’s a pretty hazardous combination in my experience.

            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              You’ve conflated two ideas:

              1) Defending Trump.

              2) Voting for Trump.

              Also, it is locker room talk. That’s exactly what it is; if there were a tape machine rolling in the Congressional Gym, I bet there’d be plenty more there. And if characterizing language appropriately be a defense, God help us all. And please show me where who said it was “OK” and where. Not me!

              1. cwaltz

                It wasn’t locker room “talk” for the poor women he is on the tape admitting he groped.

                Or are you suggesting he’s a liar?

                Wait let me guess, it doesn’t matter.

                If he groped the women and then discussed it with men it’s okay.

                If he lied about groping women to other men, it’s also okay.

                Because apparently bad behavior only matters if your name is Hillary Clinton.

                1. Yves Smith

                  Go read what he said. You clearly haven’t. He never admitted he groped anyone.

                  He said he was hopelessly attracted to beautiful women and they’d let him kiss him and fondle him. This is a generic brag. If you have been paying attention, you will have noticed that Trump exaggerates about everything, like that he’s a genius at taxes. He claims he has lots of women who are receptive to his advances even when he gets physical with them quickly. This is a blanket claim and that’s why it is locker room talk.

                  The only specific case he mentioned was failing to seduce a married woman, and there he even bought her furniture before trying to bed her.

                  So yes, this comes off as as rich, famous guy bragging he can get tail. And a lot of men, even supposedly well-housetrained men, talk like this (I can name names but will spare you).

                  I saw plenty of men on Wall Street who made good appearances, as in I am sure you would give them your Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval regarding how they spoke about women, but were very adept at exploiting the power imbalance and getting women to sleep with them (getting them to drink too much when they are on the road helps a great deal). And that’s before we get to the use of strip clubs (which I’ve visited a few times, the men thought to haze me and then were flummoxed when I wasn’t bothered, and realized by having me there it put a curb on their oogling) and hookers.

                  Let me be more blunt: the issue of being pressured by a workplace superior to have sex with him is not theoretical for me. I’ve also dealt with men who’ve trash talked in my presence in a professional setting. I can tell you from personal experience that the two types overlap, but they are often not at all the same, and the latter is a far less big deal than the former. You are conflating the two on thin evidence.

                  1. Harold

                    This was my reaction. Frankly, Hillary’s “jokes” about Qaddaffi and jokes about assassinating leakers with drones are much much more disturbing.

          4. aab

            We have been given a barely binary choice. The elite wants to shove a cognitively compromised, warmongering, corrupt criminal into power, and have maneuvered us into having only Trump as an option to actually stop her.

            This is YET ANOTHER Trump flaw where the Clintons are worse. Am I supposed to think Hillary is way more fit because rather than raping herself (as far as we know), she merely facilitated systemic rape and sexual predation on the part of her husband, SO THAT SHE COULD HELP HIM BECOME PRESIDENT, AND THEN HERSELF?

            Have you ever read ANY of the statements from Bill’s victims? The woman who came to the White House in desperation looking for a job — so desperate her husband shot himself that day — and Bill’s response was to gleefully assault her? You remember what Bill did with his cigar and Lewinsky’s vagina, right? Yes, that relationship was consensual, but the power differential rendered it abusive. AND THEN HILLARY BLAMED THE GIRL. Remember that? Knowing full well her husband was a sexual predator, she deceitfully slut-shamed the young woman in her husband’s employ.

            Of course I don’t want Trump as my president. I wanted Bernie Sanders. But Trump won his primary legitimately. His crimes are penny ante compared to the Clintons’. These are our choices. They are terrible choices. That is not my fault. That is not even Trump’s fault. It is 100% the Clintons’ fault. She didn’t have to run at all. Once she chose to run, she could have chosen not to steal the primary. She could have elected to step down after her seizure was caught on camera, and pretended it was a new diagnosis. SHE COULD HAVE RESISTED THE TEMPTATION TO SELL FAVORS OUT OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT to enrich her family and increase their corrupting hold on power.

            If you have no love for HRC (by the way, that line is used not infrequently by undercover CTR trolls), then you should recognize how horrible this situation is for any decent person that is willing to look at reality as it is. This situation is terrible. Both major parties have put up candidates who have no business running a powerful, nuclear-armed country with the largest military in history and a profoundly corrupted economy that is destroying the lives of the majority of its citizens and is complicit in destroying the majority of life on the planet. Do you feel better now? They are terrible. Clinton is worse, in her crimes, and in her institutional capacity to do harm as President. And stopping her could help stop the TPP, and loosen the hold our evil, evil elite has over our system. So while I am planning to vote third party, yes, I would vote for Trump to stop her, knowing who he is. Because he is the lesser evil, and the Democratic Party has told me all my life that it is my responsibility to vote for the lesser evil. That how I was coerced into voting for Bill, knowing he was a rapist and also knowing he was dragging the party and the country to the right. He was supposed to be a temporary, necessary evil on a road to a glorious progressive future.

            I voted for Bill Clinton twice. Are you seriously trying to tell me that Trump’s sexual crimes are actually worse?

              1. Cry Shop

                Bill Clinton encouraged Trump to run, never forget that. Clinton intuited rightly that Trump would tear the Republican Party apart, but assumed less astutely that Trump was the only candidate his wife cum proxy could beat. He may still be right on the later, but it’s going to be a close one. Doesn’t that say something about the Clinton, that knowing all the dirty on Trump, Bill was willing to gamble our nation for his own benefit — It’s Bill who willingly risk putting that man in office.

                In the end, it may turn out an act of unintended kindness. Anyone care to remember it could have been President Ted Cruz we’ll be cursing in November.

                1. Propertius

                  [Clinton] assumed less astutely that Trump was the only candidate his wife cum proxy could beat.

                  I think Hillary would have mopped up the earth with Jeb! or Carson. Probably not Cruz, possibly Rubio. Christie’s a tough call – a lot of people (myself included) think he’s a crude, loud-mouthed bully (rather like Trump). Some undiscerning souls mistake that for “strength”. Others are just repelled.

                  The rest of the Republican candidates were pretty forgettable.

        3. Otis B Driftwood

          I made and will not make any excuses for Trump, cwaltz. I find him repugnant in just about every way. I am disgusted that the election has come to this.

          Maybe we can strive for a better standard here?

          1. Otis B Driftwood

            Sigh.. .what bad grammar. Let’s try this: I neither made nor will make any excuses … and so on.

            1. cwaltz

              I hope so.

              I hold both candidates in contempt. It appalls me that either a duplicitous sociopath or someone who appears to be a predator and is bragging about how he misuses his power will be occupying the WH.

              And it will be the fault of an electorate that thinks they don’t get a choice and have to pick a duopoly candidate.

        4. optimader

          I’m sorry that you aren’t able to multitask and simultaneously hold the thought that Clinton is corrupt and that Trump is a disgusting creep….

          Well, Trump certainly has a very naughty mouth –some very venial trash talk proclivities!

          And he may well be a creep.

          OTOH the thing is, as a practical matter your alternative for POTUS is a Neocon war crime enabling unindicted felon who’s ADMITTED A PATTERN of premeditated treasonous behavior!?!. Unfortunately, that isn’t hyperbole, it isn’t even the sort list!

          Should we be concerned that with all the virtually unlimited resources the HRC/DNC has available, that some profane crap from 10 years ago is the most relevant critique they can dredge up?

          So yes, it would be very satisfying to not vote or vote for an also-ran, but I feel it is my obligation to vote in a manner that has the best prospect of keeping yet another Neocon stooge, warmonger out of office, even setting aside my concerns about her other incredibly fkdup policy sentiments.

          And OFI,
          vote third party and leave? I can understand your being agnostic on say TPP, or other largely domestic policy considerations, but why in the world would you not vote in your own interest against a Neocon shill? How will voting Stein, who wont be elected accrue benefit to you in Bulgaria?
          I really don’t get it.

          1. OIFVet

            Opti, believe it or not I do care about the US. I gave it several years of what I thought was service. I like Americans too, for the most part. I will keep my US citizenship and will be visiting often. For better or for worse I am both Bulgarian and American, so I care for both. In my considered opinion, the best thing for the US and for the American people is to attempt to take the corporate duopoly down. Voting third party is part of that.

            Then there is the fact that I could not hold my nose and my gag reflex if I voted for Trump. I don’t believe that he will necessarily stand up to the neocons and to the free “trade” rapscallions either. Too much vested interests and money at stake. I don’t want the US to be afflicted by either candidate of the duopoly, so I can’t in good conscience vote for either one. Not even as a part of a lesser evil reasoning, for I don’t see any lesser evil.

            What an effed up election. We all need to try to keep our heads and our emotions about us. I even smoked a few packs again recently, after all the hard work of quitting. Sorry if my voting choice offends you, but I can’t vote otherwise. And in Illinois, voting Stein will go much further than voting Trump, even if I could stomach it.

            1. optimader

              believe it or not I do care about the US.
              Didn’t mean to imply that.
              At this point in my life, I am sure I would choose to live in the country I was born in/have relatives , mother lounge etc at least part of the year if it could be done in a satisfying lifestyle, (like Bulgaria -yes, Haiti-not so much).

              The thing is, Clinton is a documentable threat, Globally.

              Trump?, that remains to be seen, I think he has enough dough that his motivation isn’t money grubbing. Whether he has the intellectual HP combined with a rational world view? Well we don’t know for sure. I know the only other alternative is a train wreck. I would anticipate any extraordinary initiatives Trump would initiate domestically, good or outrageous, would be checked for the most part.

              In my view the next POTUS real influence will be in foreign policy, an area where the Congress has abdicated their role other than, notably, authorizing terribly politicized initatives like military aide packages, three strikes, Patriot Act and so forth.

              The short take, i don’t see where indirectly improving HRC chances is good for Bulgaria? I think terrible implications.

          1. cwaltz

            Clinton is able to blow people up and sleep at night because she’s a sociopath not because she is female.

            Can the MEN(and I have noticed that males are the one who seem to think it’s hunky dory and no big deal if a man talks like a pig and makes unwanted advances on women, forcing them to deal with his groping and trying to kiss them) make the same statement? Would any of you be making this statement if Trump grabbed YOUR crotch and then laughed that he could do it because he’s a famous person? Or is it just okay because “boys will be boys” when the victim is an attractive female instead of a “Miss Piggy?”

            1. reslez

              Once again we see confusion between Hillary’s actions and Trump’s words.

              I’m aware of one woman who made allegations against Trump. If he were a predator like Bill, I’d expect to see a lot more. And I’d expect a ton of workplace lawsuits too. Maybe they were all settled but where’s the proof that this video was anything more than disgusting talk? Words vs. actions.

              1. cwaltz

                We may see more.

                How long did Bill Cosby get away with his behavior?

                It’s not like everyone here hasn’t seen ample evidence that there are two sets of rules, one for the majority of us and another for the powerful and connected.

                I’d be hard pressed to describe Trump as representative of the majority of us. He’s a special snowflake, just like Clinton.

              2. cwaltz

                Trump’s words?

                So now the guy literally has to grope someone on camera for someone to equate his words to an actual action?

                Wasn’t it Maya Angelou who once said, “If someone tells you who they are, believe them?”

                I give up.

                If he lied about it that isn’t evidence that he’s okay with lying if it suits his purpose. It only matters if Hillary lies. If he actually did grope someone than it doesn’t matter because it wasn’t caught on camera and because brown people over in the ME matter more than the women who might be forced to dodge his advances in this country if he gets in the WH. Because Bill.


                1. optimader

                  So now the guy literally has to grope someone on camera for someone to equate his words to an actual action

                  Nailed it, yes that is the case.

                  I can imagine BClinton, and BCosby had very smooth and lilting raps…

            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              Please show me where I said “no big deal if a man talks like a pig?” I hate locker room talk; that’s one reason I think ill of fraternities.

              That it’s pervasive doesn’t make it not a big deal. It does make it, however, so far as the choice between the two major candidates, a wash. It nets out to zero. And that’s the context of this thread.

              1. cwaltz

                He may not have just “talked” as a pig, if he is to be believed he actually uses the fact that he’s famous to make advances on women.

                He’s either a liar or pervert.

                Take your pick, I’m sure either trait will be a wonderful addition to the WH.

                *As I stated I give up, apparently there is no line for some of you. If the guy makes sexist remarks it’s a wash because they are just words. If the guy makes the statement that he gropes women because he’s a star and can get away with it, it’s a wash because there isn’t some sort of physical evidence that he actually did what he said he did. If that means he lied, it’s fine too. Whatever. It’s not like it’s you who will need to worry about being verbally or physically harassed.

                1. Lambert Strether Post author

                  Pro tip: If you’re going to distort somebody’s views don’t do it on the same thread where they expressed them. That’s a poor tactical choice because it’s too easy to check. Let me help with an example. You wrote:

                  If the guy makes sexist remarks it’s a wash because they are just words.

                  Since I deprecate generic proffers made to the air, I’m going to assume that “some of you” applies to me, since your comment is in response to mine. What I wrote:

                  That it’s pervasive doesn’t make it not a big deal. It does make it, however, so far as the choice between the two major candidates, a wash. It nets out to zero. And that’s the context of this thread.

                  See the qualification? In italics? Good. All straight now? Good.

                2. Yves Smith

                  You’ve got no evidence he did anything. No one has ever accused him after how many months of both parties looking for dirt on him. Remember how the NYT right after he was nominated interviewed lots of his girlfriends, tried depicting them as victims, and the woman who was the lead in the story objected vociferously to how the Times distorted what she’d told them? There has been a pretty concerted effort on this front that has come up empty so far.

                  If anything will get someone to come forward who hasn’t, it’s this tape, but until that happens, you are leaping to a conclusion not supported by evidence.

                  Trump is a consistent, wild braggart and his claims about women sound like bluster: “Yeah, it’s so great being a star, when I’m attracted to a beautiful woman she lets me take her” in a more crass, detailed version.

            3. Cry Shop

              Now who’s sexist?

              Many (most) men act out aggressively because they are enabled and trained by society to act that way, sometimes even their mother’s take part in training them. My own mother is such a rabid Democrat that she is convinced “all” the women molested by Bill Clinton were “sluts” (including underage girls since he’s been on Jeffery Epstein’s Island Pedo Paradise as well as the Lolita Express) who threw themselves at him (as if that’s an excuse. )She’s not alone in this kind of mentality, and she, Hillary, has certainly both enabled him and destroyed women to protect herself. It’s a role many women play.

        5. reslez

          > I can assure you this was someone’s wife and someone’s daughter.

          If this were tumblr people would be all over this comment. The target of Trump’s remarks was a person, a female person to be sure, but still a person. Do people seriously not get how disrespectful it is to restate her as the property of a man (his wife/his daughter) in this context, like people won’t comprehend the seriousness of it otherwise? That’s essentially the issue here — the fact that society doesn’t respect women as fully equal persons with worth beyond what men get out of them. I dislike seeing it perpetuated.

          1. cwaltz

            Are you saying that being a wife or daughter isn’t the same thing as being a person or that someone can’t be both?

            I don’t think the fact that I had parents or that I have a spouse diminishes me as a person, nor do I think that getting married made me anyone’s property(we could probably argue on the kid part since you don’t get a whole lot in terms of rights as a child, male or female.)

            Would you say calling someone my son means I’m inferring he’s property? Or my husband?

            I’ve referred to the males in my life as both, by the way, on this site. It’s simply what they are, not some effort on my part to infer ownership.

          2. Yves Smith

            There was no “target” here save the woman who was married that he said he tried to seduce. He made a broad claim about his great success with women, plural, despite being what sounds to women as gross and even to men as aggressive. He did not describe a single, specific person save the married woman which he put in a different category and described different methods (like buying her furniture).

            You are welcome to excoriate his lewd and crude remarks in gory detail, but please deal with what he said, not reactions to media summaries.

        6. cm

          Wow, are you getting paid for this garbage?

          Can you relate to being Monica Lewsinky’s mother? How did she react to Hillary’s press conference?

          1. cwaltz

            Am I getting paid?


            Can I relate to watching my daughter struggle because her consensual sexual affair blew up in her face?


            Can I empathize with woman who has to watch her child suffer and struggle because of her actions? also as result of the actions of others.


            I have 4 children.

            2 are male, 1 is female and 1 is transgender(shocker I know.) So yeah, I can safely say I know what it’s like to watch my kid struggle and suffer.

            Does that make you feel any better?

            Any other questions I can help you with?

              1. Propertius

                Lewinsky had a “consensual sexual affair” that “blew up in her face”

                Given that Lewinsky:

                1) Was a legal adult (age 22), and
                2) One could reasonably infer from the text of the Starr report that she initiated (or at the very least was a willing participant in) the first sexual encounter between them:

                At one point, Ms. Lewinsky and the President talked alone in the Chief of Staff’s office. In the course of flirting with him, she raised her jacket in the back and showed him the straps of her thong underwear, which extended above her pants.

                En route to the restroom at about 8 p.m., she passed George Stephanopoulos’s office. The President was inside alone, and he beckoned her to enter. She told him that she had a crush on him.

                Ms. Lewinsky testified: ‘We talked briefly and sort of acknowledged that there had been a chemistry that was there before and that we were both attracted to each other and then he asked me if he could kiss me.’ Ms. Lewinsky said yes. In the windowless hallway adjacent to the study, they kissed. Before returning to her desk, Ms. Lewinsky wrote down her name and telephone number for the President.

                At about 10 p.m., in Ms. Lewinsky’s recollection, she was alone in the Chief of Staff’s office and the President approached. He invited her to rendezvous again in Mr. Stephanopoulos’s office in a few minutes, and she agreed. (Asked if she knew why the President wanted to meet with her, Ms. Lewinsky testified: ‘I had an idea.’ ) They met in Mr. Stephanopoulos’s office and went again to the area of the private study. This time the lights in the study were off.

                According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President kissed. She unbuttoned her jacket; either she unhooked her bra or he lifted her bra up

                (http://articles.latimes.com/1998/sep/12/news/ss-23060/2 – I’d have cited the GPO PDF, but it’s not searchable)

                That’s not a wholly unreasonable conclusion. You might believe differently if you think that gross power imbalances not only make consent impossible but in and of themselves compel people. Then again, you might be infantilizing a grown woman when you do that, since you’ve pretty much stripped her of any agency whatsoever. It’s a difficult call, isn’t it?

    3. human

      I thought of any number of replies to your comment, none of which haven’t been heard before. Let me just say that in my 64 years I have never known locker room talk to be diplomatic. I have a greater problem with the opportune release of the conversation than with the conversation itself.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I wonder where the tape came from, and whether the Clintons would have suppressed it had Sanders been nominated to run against Trump (I’m guessing “of course”).

      2. cwaltz

        Then you might want to take a hard look in the mirror.

        The guy just admitted that he uses his fame to grope women and make unwanted advances on them.

        We’ve graduated from people making excuses for his sexist words to now making excuses for sexist actions……because Clinton.

        I guess there is no line too far for some.

        1. ggm

          He said women let him grope them. As in, the women consented to it.

          Arnold Shwarzenegger was a prolific lady-groper. Accusers came forward early in his gubernatorial campaign, he confessed and apologized. I suspect Trump was making it up since no groped women have appeared in all of these months, though Clinton may be saving them for more future fireworks.

        2. human

          I took a “hard look” in the mirror in 1970 after the killings at Kent State and understood the meaning of it all. I forewent a promising future at the forefront of technology, having been a math and physics major at a prominent school, and wandered the country a few years before settling down with like-minded high school friends. The progressive artistic and political icons had dropped like flies, subsequently determined sometimes at the hands of “rogue” elements of the very government I had been brought up to uphold. More icons from an earlier era have also fallen. Bill Cosby has ended up with the same “afluenza” afflicting Bill Clinton. Jimmy Carter sent special ops into Eurasia and the ME. Reagan and Thatcher destroyed the unions and made collective bargaining dirty words.To have to praise NIxon for his diplomacy is no longer anathema! Finding, and leaving, jobs was much easier then than now. I managed to raise 4 children, now young adults, with a sense of purpose and a knowing eye.

          What have you done for the Green Party, besides verbally endorse Jill Stein at this forum?

    1. Pavel

      Smith is a good man — heard him recently on this topic on the Scott Horton show. Kudos to him for his efforts.

      Grant F. Smith, director of research at the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy and author of Big Israel: How Israel’s Lobby Moves America, discusses the poll showing Americans think the US’s $38 billion military aid package to Israel would be better spent elsewhere, and IRMEP’s lawsuit claiming aid to Israel is downright illegal.

      –9/26/16 Grant F. Smith

      1. RudyM

        I am impressed with the way he just keeps plugging along with lawsuits of various sorts. It’s a constant uphill battle.

        Smith strikes me as a careful researcher who is restrained about going too far into speculation. I need to buy his recent book, Big Israel.

  32. Jim Haygood

    Hoisted from the web:

    I do think there is a growing sense of anxiety and even anger in the country over the feeling that the game is rigged.

    A “feeling that the game is rigged” — a “feeling” … REALLY?

    The game is so fucking rigged that it’s well beyond rigged and light years beyond a feeling.

    Hillary and Bill have made over $180 million in 15 years by peddling influence. That’s called “rigged”.

    1. cwaltz


      “I’m kind of far removed from the struggles of the middle class” has to be the understatement of the year.

  33. Propertius

    In other words, ginormous capital investment decisions affecting the world’s economy are being made by lunatics with far too much time on their hands, and much more money than sense.

    But Lambert, ginormous investment decisions affecting the world’s economy have been made for decades by lunatics who think the economy is a crude computer simulation. They’re called economists and nearly everyone agrees that they’re Very Serious People. At least these guys are only wasting what is (nominally) their own money – and in the process, they’re paying people who can probably use the work.

    Consider it a relatively harmless eccentricity.

  34. optimader

    “Lifting productivity and wages also depends on creating a global race to the top in rules for trade. … These agreements, and stepped-up trade enforcement, will level the playing field for workers and businesses alike.”
    I should really get out my Magic Marker

    this reads like he’s cranked and rewritten it a dozen times til it’s delusional parsed word salad.
    Skip the colored markers and just use a black sharpie with a smashed tip

      1. ewmayer

        No, there’s no conflict between ‘level’ and ‘top’ – think of a flat summit, a ‘permanently high plateau’, to use the terminology of a famous econo-pundit on the eve of the Great Crash, who had deluded himself into believing modern economics and finance had conquered the business cycle … remind you of any latter-day econo-clons? (*cough* Greenspan et fils *cough*)

  35. Code Name D

    It looks like the big dime has been dropped on HRC. Transcripts of her Goldman Sacks and other “privet” speeches have finally been leaked.
    “You have to have a public position, and a privet position.”

  36. Lambert Strether Post author

    OK, putting on my yellow waders for the Trump hot mike tape* (with the caveats that (a) we already know the press will do whatever it takes to take Trump down, and in some cases (the Times) have actually said so, and (b) that the Republican establishment — see under Iron Law of Institutions — would love to McGovern the guy, so most of the stories, beyond the substance of the tape itself, are noise):

    A) Here’s a link to the tape transcript [pause]. The background:

    Mr. Trump was filmed talking to the television personality Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood” on the set of “Days of Our Lives,” where Mr. Trump was making a cameo appearance. They are later joined by the actress Arianne Zucker.

    I’ve gotta say, I would have loved to have written those two sentences, regardless of content. Hunter S. Thompson died far too soon.

    This is perhaps the best part:

    Trump: No, no, Nancy. No, this was [unintelligible] — and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping.


    And this is the getting the most play (numbering the lines):

    [1] Trump: [W]hen you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

    [2] Bush: Whatever you want.

    [3] Trump: Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.

    On the Twitter it’s only line [3] that’s getting attention. But it’s lines [1] and [2] that make this workplace abuse (along the lines of the conversation below with Zucker — “That’s some pressure right there” — which nobody’s paying attention to). This is Roger Ailes territory, though from the transcript, Trump is an order of magnitude less vile than Ailes. It’s also Bill Clinton territory with Monica Lewinsky, which is, perhaps, why those lines are being left out, and Zucker is being erased.

    B) Trump apologizes. The Atlantic:

    “I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be a person I’m not,” Trump said. “I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”

    Trump said his campaigning had changed him, and he pledged to “be a better man tomorrow” and “never let you down.” He said the video was “nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we’re facing today.” And crucially, he turned to an attack on Clinton and her husband.

    “I’ve said some foolish things, but there’s a big difference between the words and action of other people,” he said. “Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his.”

    As I said, I’d like to hear from Ivanka and Melania on this.

    C) Moved up to coincide with the Access Hollywood tape, this in Kristof’s column from the Sunday Times: Donald Trump, Groper in Chief:

    We’ve all heard of Trump’s unethical or loutish behavior, most recently in a 2005 recording unearthed by The Washington Post on Friday in which he boasts of kissing and groping women. The story that Harth and the boyfriend, George Houraney, tell of their interactions with Trump over six years — including business cheating and attempted rape — shows how that predation worked in practice. “He name-dropped continuously,” Harth said under oath in a deposition in a subsequent lawsuit, “when he wasn’t groping me.”

    Potentially much more damaging than locker room talk. But:

    Talking to Harth and Houraney, and reviewing the lawsuits and depositions from the time, convinced me that they’re telling the truth. It helps that many others have testified about Trump behavior that matches elements of the story — the stiffing of business partners, the sexual predation — and that he himself has promoted his own boorishness.

    I don’t have time to dig into Kristof’s “convinced me,” which in this campaign is covered by Sinclair’s Law; that is, without doing independent research, including going through all Kristof’s sources and quotes, I give Kristof being “convinced” zero (0) credence. What I will say is that the Clinton campaign can’t say “trust the woman,” because in the cases of Clinton’s female accusers, they clearly don’t (“Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find,” as Clinton operative James Carville said of Paula Jones).

    D) The Republicans couldn’t ditch Trump, even if they could and wanted to.

    E) Billy Bush, eh? So the Bush Dynasty took Trump down after all?

    F) The Clintons and Trump in happier times:

    Shocked, shocked…

    * The press seems to have settled on “grope”** and not “rape.” That’s different from the Clinton portion of my Twitter feed, which is using “rape” freely.

    ** Making Knot Gault’s rhyming comment weirdly prophetic!

    1. reslez

      I thought this was expressed in a useful and understandable way:


      The thing about the Republican’s words isn’t that they’re explicit or graphic. It’s that they’re misogynistic, coercive, abusive, and dehumanizing. And as my colleague David Graham notes, illegal: The candidate is describing forcing himself on women, bragging that they’re disinclined to object because of a power structure on which he knowingly capitalizes. […]

      Framing this as lewd, even extremely so, is a reminder of the frequent reluctance to name sexual assault. Explicit conversations are a different thing, a part of life central to mature sexuality. […]

      Explicit conversation is a bonding ritual that’s not bad or shameful. Treating it as such makes people misunderstand what explicit conversation is supposed to be—as Trump claimed when he excused his comments as “locker room banter.” To take him at his word, he misunderstands the ritual: Talking explicitly about sex is different from bragging about forcing yourself on people.

      A damning frame — “Trump is too boorish to understand what people are actually objecting to” — but I can’t say I disagree.

  37. Cry Shop

    Re: “He’ll likely lose – but Trump is the final warning to elites” [John Ibbotson, Globe and Mail].

    A very insightful editorial. Ibbotson is right on about Canada mimicking the USA with a 5 or so year lag. Justin Trudeau is a mirage, a true neo-liberal of the Obama mold following right after Canada’s own hybrid Bush Jr./David Cameron. My favorite lines though were just in front of the one selected by Lambert.

    As we move to driverless cars and machine learning and an economy in which any action that is repeated can be automated, let’s spare a thought for the kids who only get Cs in school. What will become of them? What do you mean you have no idea? That’s your job!

    The only fault possible could find was Ibbotson’s call for consensus, I hope he meant the consent of the governed, but I suspect he meant the consensus of two parties washing each others hands. Incrementalism isn’t going to save humanity.

Comments are closed.