Links 10/26/16 and a BIG Fundraiser Thanks!

Thanks SO MUCH for your generous donations to our fundraiser! We had the largest number of donors ever, 1621 by our official tally, which beat our last donor target, which we increased several times on our final day to 1575, by nearly 50. And this is a over 160 donors more than gave in last year’s fundraiser!

As important, we beat our original financial targets over $5,000. The thermometer on the left again reflects having increased our target for original reporting as a result of the last day surge in giving.

We’ve been trying to thank all donors, and we are very much behind, so please don’t take offense if it takes us a bit of time! We remain a thinly-resourced operation and posting is our top priority. So please be patient with us.

Last, the nature of fundraisers is you need to ask again and again and again because people are busy and you need to catch them when they have the time to respond to your appeal. But that has the unfortunate side effect of making those who would like to donate but aren’t in a financial position to do so feel bad. That’s the last thing we want to do. Some people sent us donations that showed us they were keen to be a part of this effort even though they had limited means. We had a donor who gave $1 and another gave $1.15. One who is in very strained circumstances overseas is sending us all the foreign currency he has, which is about $13. Yet another apologized profusely for sending $10 (no apologies needed!) and included a pretty card and some Halloween treats. These donations are really humbling. They show how much readers want to contribute to this community to the degree they are able.

Other readers told us about how they are currently unemployed or have family burdens that make put them under a lot of stress and they hope to chip in when their situations improve. I wish all of you good luck and remember: you need to take care of yourself first. Never forget the airplane instruction: secure your oxygen mask first before you help others. As much as we very much appreciate and depend on donations, they should come from your surplus, and not add to stress.

The members of this community help advance our collective cause in many ways: through sharing the posts and comments with friends, colleagues, family members, and on Facebook and Twitter; by calling and writing Congresscritters and state legislators and sending in comments during regulatory comment periods; by sending us links, antidotes, and plantidotes, by making comments, and by contributing to the site. So rest assured, if you are sharing what you learn here, you are making an invaluable contribution.

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

And now let us return to our regular programming of kicking butt and taking names…..

Parrot fossil unearthed in Siberia BBC

Whaling nations block South Atlantic sanctuary plans Guardian (furzy)

Apple annual sales post first decline in 15 years San Jose Mercury News (EM)

EU drops law to limit cancer-linked chemical in food after industry complaint Guardian (JTM)

Canadian nurse charged with eight murders BBC

‘Rip-off’ drug firms exposed by Times face massive fines The Times. Funny how we can’t make that happen in the US.

India’s economic journey: why should Europe care? Bruegel

Schaeuble says monetary policy has reached its limits Reuters. Important. This puts him at war with Draghi.

EU fears Swiss plan could discriminate European citizens Expatica. We’ve linked to earlier stories on this negotiation. Another portent that does not bode well for Brexit.


NATO seeks troops to deter Russia on eastern flank Reuters (resilc)


‘There Are No More Panes of Glass Left in Aleppo’ Wall Street Journal

Turkey deep inside Syria – Kurds vow to resist Defend Democracy

Pentagon Ignored Evidence of Civilian Casualties in ISIS Strikes, Human Rights Group Says Intercept (resilc)

US expects anti-ISIL Mosul and Raqqa offensives to overlap euronews (furzy)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Lament of So-Called ‘Internationalists’ American Conservative (resilc)

The Pentagon’s ‘Terminator Conundrum’: Robots That Could Kill on Their Own New York Times

2016. The media is suddenly much less fixated on Trump. I assume this is a sign of much greater confidence in a Clinton win.

Gary Johnson flames out Politico. This may also have something to do with the change in tone, since Johnson took more votes from Clinton than Trump.

WikiLeaks lists at least 65 corporate ‘Presstitutes’ who colluded to hide Clinton’s crimes SOTT (Wat)

‘Her instincts can be terrible’: WikiLeaks reveals fears and frustrations among Clinton’s inner circle Washington Post

Here’s Why the #PodestaLeaks Aren’t Having Much Impact Nation (resilc)

What Drives Donald Trump? Fear of Losing Status, Tapes Show New York Times

Clinton camp offers Trump-themed tin foil hats The Hill (furzy)

Trump tightens GOP’s cash spigot with halting of big-money fundraisers Washington Post. Another gamble.

Live from Trump Tower, it’s Trump TV The Hill (furzy)

Trump: Clinton would start WWIII in Syria BBC

Trump’s Foreign Policy Is Sane While Clinton’s Is Belligerent Moon of Alabama

Newt Gingrich and Megyn Kelly Get Into Bizarre Exchange on Live TV New York Times (Steve C)

What a liberal sociologist learned from spending five years in Trump’s America Vox. Resilc: “She needs another five in upstate NY and western Mass.”

Sanders warns Clinton: Don’t rush to compromise with GOP The Hill (furzy)

After Bernie: Will “Our Revolution” Deliver on Its Promise of “Political Revolution”? Truthout

Children of the Revolution City Journal (resilc). Ugly and important. Demonization of the left. And notice the fact that Commies and Bernie people are depicted as trouble-makers, ergo not all that different. And get the sneering at Sanders supporters as infantile know-nothings:

The overwhelming majority of Sanders supporters have no memory of Soviet totalitarianism or the Berlin Wall; they know nothing of a world in which the United States was not the world’s only superpower, a world where, if America had slipped, human rights and democratic government might have been eclipsed almost everywhere. The Sanders delegates, when they get older, likely won’t take pride, as Biden does, in America’s military strength. Their lives, and their generational experience of history, are drastically different. And the Democratic Party—and the Republican Party, too—will have to reckon with this.

Mind you, this is carefully constructed, but you can see the repeated jibes at the refusal to be professional, to dress properly, to be genteel. Ahem. As Frederick Douglass said:

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

AARP sues U.S. agency over employee wellness programs Reuters (EM). Hooray! Plus they are stupid and don’t work.

Dakota Access pipeline opponents occupy land, citing 1851 treaty Reuters (EM)

Video: Police Viciously Attacked Peaceful Protesters at the Dakota Access Pipeline Intercept (Phil U)

AT&T Cheerleading Squad for Merger: Nearly 100 Lobbyists New York Times

Guillotine Watch

Private Jets for Corgis and Other Secrets of Putin’s Inner Circle Bloomberg. At least those oligarch are using their own (not exactly clean) money. Guys in private equity make lavish use of private jets (flying around girlfriends or mistresses is normal, and you can see tail numbers of PE owned jets zooming to sun destinations on major holiday when only a teeny minority if any are being used on real businesses).

Class Warfare

In one corner of the law, minorities and women are often valued less Washington Post

Self-Driving Truck’s First Mission: A 120-Mile Beer Run New York Times

The autoignition temperature of manual cars is much higher than Fahrenheit 451 FT Alphaville (vlad). McKinsey goes all in for driverless car hype. Even on a single read FT Alphaville deems it to be pretty much devoid of data and heavy on hype and not very credible assumptions.

Antidote du jour (Chet G). A bumblebee on aster:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Code Name D

    My tax-on-time nightmare.

    Lambert coined the phrase, tax-in-time. This is the shear amount of time one needs to go through the various web sites in the process of shopping for healthcare insurance and applications for subsides. And heaven forbid – actually go back in and fix any mistakes that inevitably creep into your data-cloud as a result of the extremely chucky and error prone front back-end networks.

    As bad as that is, it’s still just an annual event.

    But the new trend I am confronting with my work place provided insurance (I don’t know about anyone else.) are new taxes on time that is rapidly spiraling out of control. I just came from my enrolment briefing, so all of this is relatively fresh in my head.

    It starts with a network account from my employer, which they Checkley call “employee clubhouse.” This is where I go to “manage” my employee healthcare benefits. When I say manage – what I really mean is you just get to look at it. There is very little you can tweak or change.

    From “the clubhouse” I move on to Anthem/Blue Cross/Blue Shield on-line account, where by benefits can also be managed. Or at least when enrolment is open. But this is where I can “track” any applications healthcare providers file against my account for payment. Not sure what the point is because it’s always “no” until my deductible is satisfied. But I have to first insure the applications go throw it it’s to count against the deductible. Yes, it’s up to me to insure this happens.

    Oh, I am only just getting started.

    Anthem/Blue Cross/Blue Shield subcontracts out to company called Health Management Access. This is where we get into the “wellness programs” that Obamacare is strongly pushing. As a result, the wellness program is now a lot deeper and more involved that what we had last year. We are now expected to actively track our biometrics, things such as blood pressure, blood sugar, BMI, and a whole host of other measurements. Yes, tracking this stuff is now the road perfect health. Many of these your average client doesn’t have the ability to measure for him or herself so that means regular doctor visits, just to get your regular bio-screening.

    Last year, it was a one-time thing, a requirement to enrolling in your healthcare policy. Fail to complete the bio-screening and you would be ineligible for coverage. And that was a real bear too, they kept losing pages to the data application form, requiring the application needed to be sent several times. And as it had to be sent through your own personal on-line account, you were the only one who could fix these problems. Though my work place did have in-house support that would help people go through the system and new inside numbers for tech-support to work out the bugs found in the back end.

    This year, its “recommended” that your bio-screening be kept up-to-date once every three months. While they didn’t say this specifically, the data is to be inputted in once every fiscal quarter. Unlike before, there are no penalties for not keeping up with your bio-screening in regards to coverage. Apparently, a change in the law prohibits this practice. But it will affect your “discounts”. You see, peppered throughout the system are these “discounts” for jumping through all the hoops. Fail to do so and the discounts disappear, resulting in premium increases and new fees.

    So, you might be thinking, okay, so it’s just four doctor visits a year to fill out your bio-screening. Accept the bio-screening requires blood work – which is NOT covered under the policy as preventative care. Because “technically” it’s your responsibility to fill out your bio-screening. The argument given is that the whole point of bio-screening is to make you more aware of your health condition. (Apparently, you aren’t smart enough to figure out you are overweight on your own. You now need a quarterly BMI reading.)

    Oh, but there is STILL more. Health Management Access subcontracts out to Plus3, another corporation that does real-time bio-metric tracking. This is yet another online account one has to open and manage. Here, you report your physical activities, how many miles you run, did you mow your lawn, all to promote an “active life style.” And yes, this is detailed. You are literally to report how many steps you take in a day. Do not worry however, you can always buy a “fit-bit” device that will count your steps for you. You just have to sink up your fit-bit to Plus3 to report your data. Do this and you will be eligible for even more “discounts.” So not only do you have to report this data on a weekly basis – but it has to be in relation to physical activity.

    And there is STILL more. Health Management Access subcontracts with yet another corporation, this one an actually healthcare provider. This company is employed to help clients “manage” any chronic conditions. So again, you are apparently too stupid to handle your high high-pressure on your own. You now have additional hoops you must jump through to remain eligible for yet still more discounts. And apparently, this is tied to the “internet of thing” as the briefing said this could include real-time monitoring of your condition.

    And that’s just the crap that is new this year. From last year, we still have Bank of America HSA accounts that must be “managed” on a monthly basis. Which is loaded with its own bugs.

    Very little of this has to do with actual healthcare. Hell, even the wellness programs are a joke. These are just schemes to sneak in new price hikes that will not be reflected in the Obamacare numbers.

    And “consumer choice”? HA! That’s an un-funny joke. One of the few choices we had was to include one’s spouse onto your policy, or to opt out to join in with your spouse’s policy. Oh no no no. We can’t have that. The administration has added penalties for cross coverage. It’s still possible, at least with my employer, to opt-out or enroll your spouse, but no longer economical because of the new penalty.

    And I won’t even go into the changes made to the Medicare and veterans benefits packages. Because that was a whole other briefing I didn’t attend.

      1. mad as hell.

        Reminds me of the auto insurance company that lets you put a device in your car to measure your braking, miles driven, time a day and speeds. When I got the letter from Progressive, I thought Big Brother comes into my car but I’ll play just to see where this goes. Well after 6 months of driving like the little old lady from Pasadena, they cut my rate by 5 dollars. Six months after that it went up 10%. It all just confirmed my suspicions.

          1. crittermom

            Thanks Knifecatcher. Made me smile.
            A little Jan and Dean was also a welcome distraction and remembrance of simpler times as I watch the world seem to spin out of control.

          2. mad as hell.

            Ya know after I posted. The song came back into my head. Oh,oh I think I used the wrong analogy! Sure enuf!

        1. oh

          State Farm hiked my auto policy by 17% this year. When I asked the Agent she said that they have a general rate increase. She said I could enroll to put a device on my car to save on premium $ and I said “No. I value my privacy too much”.
          Thanks for your feedback. It looks like these crooks have many ways to enroach on your privacy and give you meager compensation in return.

          I wonder if I can put the device they give me on my bicycle?

      2. cocomaan

        Slaves used to combat their oppression through passive resistance. I wonder what can be done here to throw wrenches into the works and otherwise mess things up.

        How about just filling out the form and signing it yourself? Are there penalties for false claims? Is it a false claim if I just sign the form myself? Don’t know. But maybe just tell them, if asked, that you took your own diagnostics. The bloodwork would be hard, but just tell them you have a microscope at home, and your child spun around in circles with a vial of your blood to separate it.

        What’s the worst that could happen? Anyone else have any ideas for passive resistance?

        1. Skip Intro

          Hi Dr. Nick, I need $8400.00 in billing to cover my deductible.
          No problem Homer, that’ll be $129.99, cash.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Um you might start by pulling the lever for the orange-haired narcissistic blowhard, the falling down criminal grandmother and serial liar has said she’ll push for more of the same.
          As I said in late 2008 “the fix is in” when everyone was all gushy about the young melanoderm, as soon as he appointed Little Timmy Geithner it was obvious to me. This time I don’t even need to go out on a limb, here goes: “it won’t be debt or robots or trade deals that finishes us off, it will be health insurance costs”. Check back with me mid-way through President Kaine’s term.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      What a nightmare!

      I visited the US recently and was surprised that everyone I know except my artist friends (either professors or unemployed and on Medicare) was wearing a Fitbit band. I thought there might be something cool about it until I asked and found out that it is all about tracking and insurance discounts!

      Can’t you just lie about that stuff or attach the Fitbit to your dog or something?

      1. petal

        Bugs, I love your last sentence! Almost choked on my toast. At my place of employment, they have been pressuring employees into signing up for a tracking system and it’s run by Virgin. It’s called Virgin Pulse. You get money back or other “prizes” for signing up for more tracking-fitbits, sleep tracking(!), weekly BP check-ins, etc. They also did away with our partial gym membership reimbursement, so if you want any kind of money back you have to sign up for this program. I have resisted thus far, and have tried to encourage others to not sign up for it and used the tracking and privacy issue, and a “for-profit company is running this thing” angle. I see a bad moon rising and can only imagine where this is headed.

        1. Bugs Bunny

          Sleep tracking??? Your company would know how much you sleep? Pff…

          There goes my dog idea. My little fellow sleeps about 14 hours a day. Can you imagine their faces though? 14 hours sleep and 5k run a day. You would probably get a promotion.

          1. Code Name D

            Not as crazy as you might think. I use a C-pap which tracks my sleep patterns. Currently, the data is only used by my doctor for diagnostic purposes and the data is not retained. And I have control over the feature and can turn it off or even remove the flash chip needed for the data. The machine would still work fine.

            But it wouldn’t take much for new C-pap machines to have wifi connections and feed this data to the network in real time for data-harvesters.

            1. Binky

              They have for years. Phillips Respironics models have both Bluetooth and wifi connections, and there is a cell phone module that uses the cellular data networks in your area to report the data.

              Markup from online retail is about one thousand percent, so don’t buy it at the sleep clinic, because they will use it to ruin your life. Never mind the odd conundrum that the suite of symptoms for sleeplessness make the victim vulnerable to authority figures, just like at Gitmo! If the schoolteacher is rolling the students for their lunch money, something is wrong.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Plus you get the satisfaction of knowing your device will help the next botnet attack that brings down the internet…so you can have your smartphone in your left hand and the device that made it stop working on your right wrist.

          2. petal

            Yeah, how much you sleep and if it’s disturbed. The last thing I want anyone to know is if I am pondering something, struggling with decisions, having nightmares, or staying up late to binge watch or pop in a movie, etc. That’s nobody’s business but mine. Can’t imagine letting someone into my bedroom and home-and for people to think this is okay? Wow.

            1. Steve H.

              IF (HeartRate=0) THEN (Cancel(Policy(ALL)).

              Where ALL includes life insurance.

              Sort of an insurance version of HFT.

          3. Jen

            Company? We’re talking ivy league university here. Albeit one that gave us Tim Geitner, Hank Paulsen, Jeff Immelt to name a few. So there you go. I’m a competitive athlete still, even approaching the mid century mark and I think I’m going to put that fitness tracker on my dog. I’d put it on my ceiling fan, but I don’t have one.

          1. Tom

            I hear Fitbit is working on something they call a “behavioral modification upgrade” to their devices — apparently it’s something similar to shock collars for dogs. According to the press release, if the wearer sloughs off on required daily exercise, the device delivers a “helpful electric reminder” to motivate and inspire.

            1. Bugs Bunny

              There is already a device like that called Pavlok. It’s supposed to be for quitting bad habits like smoking, etc. After reading petal’s comments, not surprised that this would be the next step in slave tracking awesomeness.

              God bless America and God bless the Free Enterprise System.

              1. Jim Haygood

                Punishing sloths and smokers is all well and good.

                But stamping out Thoughtcrime is the killer app.

                I’m not sure how I feel about the Panopticon …” BZZZZTTTTTTT!!!

              2. Tom

                Bugs: I’ll be darned, it does exist. I’m shocked! I need to do a better job of keeping up with current events.

          2. John

            Reading this on my electronic slave collar. Slavery is freedom, lies are truth, and of course the old favorite, arbeit macht frei…oops, spell check really doesn’t wsnt to allow that last one.

        2. visitor

          I see a bad moon rising and can only imagine where this is headed.

          First step: sign-up optional, get discounts for signing up.

          Second step: sign-up optional, no discount for signing up, but extra fees for not signing up.

          Third step: sign-up mandatory, no discounts whatsoever. If you reject monitoring, you must change provider.

          Fourth step: no sign-up needed, as monitoring becomes a standard legal feature, and is therefore included in every health-care contract from every provider.

          Fifth step: monitoring is mandatory independently from enlisting in a health-care programme (i.e. even if you staunchly refuse to “take advantage” of Obamacare and prefer to pay the fines).

          1. Optimader

            6th step, Logan’s Run
            Sorry, the fit bit from birth cloud data allocation will only accept 15,768,000 min worth of telemetry sorry :o/

        3. j84ustin

          My last job and my current job also have been pushing us to get “biometric screenings” – and at my last job, it would have resulted in a discount in my employee contribution to my health insurance. Scary stuff. I declined. My current job requires check ups every so many years depending on age. Wondering if I can legally opt out …

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Wasn’t there a recent link here on the “benefits” of “regular checkups?”

            Couldn’t remember so went to the google and found this, among many others:

            Annual checkups account for more than 8 percent of doctor visits and cost the health care system $8 billion annually—more than the total health care spending of several states. Each visit takes around 23 minutes, which means doctors in the United States spend approximately 17 million hours each year running their stethoscopes over 45 million completely healthy people.

            Oh, and those loss-leaders can be dangerous as well.


            1. Arizona Slim

              Funny you should mention annual checkups. Was just talking with a friend who had just finished the blood work for his.

              My immediate question: Are you OKAY?

              Reasoning: This fellow is pretty healthy. Which is why I was so concerned about his going for an annual checkup. Additional justifications can be found in the Slate article. Thanks, Katniss Everdeen, for sharing that link.

              1. polecat

                re. ‘annual checkups’ ….

                Esteemed AMA approved Tenured Medical Professor: Ok all you freshmen med students …repeat after me …… BOHICA !

            2. Otis B Driftwood

              Yes, payment for “fee-for-service” is to blame for unnecessary and redundant testing by physicians. This is getting replaced in the U.S. by something called “value based care”, which seeks to incentivize doctors to deliver better outcomes for their patients rather than paying them for straight up. This is tied to measuring and reporting things like fewer hospital stays for patients, regular screening for patients at risk for diabetes or heart diseases, etc.

              I’ll let some of our commenters who work in hospitals and practices speak to how much fun they have doing that.

          2. Otis B Driftwood

            Having your blood pressure and blood glucose checked at least once a year is good practice. This used to save me $25 per month on my employer-sponsored insurance premiums. And you should have legal recourse to prevent any test results from being disclosed without your permission. See Patient Privacy under HIPAA.

            1. Code Name D

              I don’t buy it. If HIPAA prevents them from sharing this data – why bother collecting it in the first place? Keep in mind collecting and processing data cost money. I am supposed to believe expensive infrastructure and software is being employed to collect data that just ends up in storage somewhere?

              1. Otis B Driftwood

                I get it, people are suspicious. Just look at how much faceless organizations in this country know about your financial situation and spending habits and credit history. Why should your health information be any different? One reason is the penalties imposed for disclosure are real.


                Back to the yearly screenings: they are inexpensive relative to acute care, which is why this is the one rare case where what is good for the patient is also good for the insurance companies.

                1. Code Name D

                  You didn’t answer my question. If HIPAA doesn’t allow them to harvest the data – why collect it?

                  1. Otis B Driftwood

                    Maybe I don’t understand your question. You go to a screening, have your tests done, and then later you get the results of the tests by secure login to the test center site. If you see something that needs attention (maybe you’re at risk for diabetes), then you should share this with your doctor.

                    Anyone who participates in a screening should make sure they aren’t being asked to share the results of any tests with any individual or organization. That would require you sign a consent waiver. And again, anyone who discloses your medical information without your consent is in violation of HIPAA.

                    1. kareninca

                      “secure login”


                      “violation of HIPAA”


                      There is also the severe danger that Santa would disapprove the misuse of private data, I’m guessing.

                2. kareninca

                  You can test your blood pressure yourself at the grocery store. And you can buy your own glucose monitor at Walgreens. No need for the NSA to know your numbers in addition to everything else they know about you. Boy are you naive, Otis.

                  By the way, don’t tell your doctor anything you wouldn’t want the world to know. Since it’s all hackable. That’s leaving aside the fact that the government gets to see your med records easily, now that they are digitized.

              2. Pat

                Pardon me while i laugh. You do know we have mass evidence that NSA regularly shares info collected in programs where that data is not supposed to be shared with other law enforcement agencies? What makes you think for a moment that our insurance overlords do not already ignore this and know for a fact that any infringement about that will either be ignored or incur a small fine that is the equivalent of their daily Starbucks habit.

                1. Otis B Driftwood

                  I have no doubt whatsoever that insurance companies analyze claims data. They own it. And I also don’t trust that they do that analysis with your best interests first and foremost. But they usually don’t share it with each other or anyone else. There’s no profit in that.

                  1. kareninca

                    Medical records are great blackmail material. Every woman who has had an abortion; every person who has had a STD or psych treatment. Do you really think the NSA doesn’t realize that? Isn’t it great that they are digitized, so that now our masters can see our frailties with a couple of keystrokes. If you think that medical records won’t be used for political purposes you are deluded.

            2. Toolate

              the idea that hipaa offers any real protection is laughable, trust me. I am a privacy officer for a healthcare company.

              1. kareninca

                I’ve discovered that HIPAA is effective at preventing an elderly person from finding out how their seriously ill sibling is doing in the hospital.

        4. Knot Galt

          This has given me an idea* that I will freely share. It starts with the observation “they have DOGWALKERS don’t they?” So . . . . I’d be happy to loan out my body everyday for about $6.75/day to carry your FitBit or whatnot and carry on in a healthy and life fit matter. And wearing yours and others devices will attract more takers which will reduce my advertising budget! I haven’t quite figured out the “blood angle” but I can use the Theranos business model; at least for a couple years. I have calculated I can probably strap on about 40/day and because I can “work” 365 days a year, my gross income and business deducts will give me a yearly income of $83,767/yr. I can probably expand my operations by finding “workers”, ala the Uber model, to wear FitBits and whatnots for a dollar a day which means this idea will scale very well.


          1. JTMcPhee

            How to defeat the biometrics, next tech triumph (it’s an arms race, after all, and ther will be no winners in the end…

      2. RabidGandhi

        Amazing to me. I had several people in the US explain to me that the country can’t have a national ID system because of the population’s fierce independence from central controls– and with all the election fraud, there isn’t even a discussion on the table. I’ve had others tell me that the US can’t have a normal public healthcare system because who wants some bureaucrat in DC controlling your life.

        Yet it is a country where corporate invasions of private life are now joyfully accepted, with Amazon drones buzzing overhead, Faceborg slurping up every bit of personal data, and the citizens walking around wearing Aetna-issued Roman slave-bracelets.

        Is there really no cognitive dissonance explosion point?

        1. Norb

          Amazing indeed. Similar to the argument against national planning. People are convinced that private enterprise is somehow better at making decisions because it is decentralized, ignoring all the evidence that secret dealings pursued by the 1% are somehow “good” planning, while national planning undertaken with sound democratic processes is “bad”.

          Someone needs to do the planning. Magical thinking abounds and is actively promoted by the 1%.

          1. hunkerdown

            I wonder whether that’s their real argument against, or whether their interests (both self- and in pleasing authority) are driving their values. Public vs. private opinions are just about necessary for any level of autonomy in such an antagonistically opinionated bully culture as the West’s.

            The only people who have any business doing the planning are the ones who have no way of escaping from their errors and can be forced to live in them for the rest of their days. Absentee warlordism’s stock is going down (at least outside of the market economy).

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Savor this when you ponder the force of nature known as voter ignorance:
            The citizen carrying the sign that says: “Keep government hands off my Medicare!”

        2. ambrit

          Social cognitive dissonance is more like approaching a ‘Black Hole’ in space. One reaches the “event horizon” and poof! Implosion.

        3. Ulysses

          “Is there really no cognitive dissonance explosion point?”

          I have seen two of my friends reach this point during the past couple of weeks– it ain’t pretty. One was literally in tears, as she confided to me that finally recognizing the mendacity of Rachel Maddow was like losing a sibling to cancer. People will try to cling to comforting myths way past the point where doing so involves blatant self-deception.

          1. Left in Wisconsin

            finally recognizing the mendacity of Rachel Maddow was like losing a sibling to cancer.

            Thank you for making me laugh out loud for real. (Not having lost a sibling to cancer, I hope this post isn’t in bad taste.)

        4. Anon

          …the population’s fierce independence from central controls– and with all the election fraud, there isn’t even a discussion on the table.

          RG, you’re a smart person, but “election fraud” has little to do with personal independence and everything to do with political psycopathy.

          1. RabidGandhi

            Maybe I wasn’t being clear. One major part of election fraud consists of preventing voters from the ballots because they do not have proper ID. In my country that does not exist because everyone has a government-issued ID (although we find plenty of other ways to manipulate elections, tyvm).

            While there is some discussion of this fraud in the US, I have yet to see anyone even bring up the possibility of national identification cards, which would eliminate the problem so you could just focus on political psycopathy.

            1. TheCatSaid

              The fake “voter fraud” meme is used to distract from the massive election fraud reality. The real election frauds takes many forms–but they are things that are not solved by IDs, national or otherwise.

              At the heart of election fraud is local corruption. In a recent conversation with Bev Harris (founder of Black Box Voting, and author of the book by the same name), she explained the roots in corruption at local and regional level. This is where election manipulation has historically taken place.

              As part of her research, Harris said she looked into convictions for election rigging by those involved with the old-fashioned mechanical lever machine. She went as far back as the 1880s and discovered that EVERY lever company and officials connected with them were convicted for election fraud. She said from her look at the historical records, election fraud has always been a part of US elections.

              Harris reminded me that local elections decide things like bond issues and other contracts (e.g., which company will get the contract for trash collection). She explained that these contracts and bonds control huge sums of money–hundreds of Billions of dollars every year. And there are 100,000 local elections happening every year.

              Harris discovered that they best way to find out about how election fraud happens was to investigate local elections, starting with those that had a well-known record of election fraud. This is how she got extensive evidence, including photographic and video evidence.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Can we mention the “election fraud” when the media channels that control 90% of all information provided to voters uniformly ignore blatant law-breaking, conflicts of interest, and lying by one candidate and focus on personal attacks on the other?

                1. RabidGandhi

                  Yes, I agree with this. Up until 2000 I don’t think any additional election fraud was even necessary because the Bernaysian consent was so well manufactured by the media Wurlitzer.

                  Yet each election cycle since then, not only has the Wurlitzer been cranked to 11, but there is also more and more outright swindling (eg, Ohio 2004). Even so, the media is still the #1 tool for fixing elections.

                  1. TheCatSaid

                    You may be surprised to know that election fraud (including electronic machines, manual machines, and a whole assortment of dirty tricks including media) has been ongoing.

                    The signposts of electronic election fraud began well before 2000–so the Bernaysian media control has often been perceived to be inadequate.

                    For example, Thom Hartmann discusses notable election “upsets” starting in 1996. James & Kenneth Collier and others talk about electronic voting machine fraud in the 1980s and earlier.

                    And when Bev Harris looked into fraud involving mechanical lever machines, she found that convictions for election fraud were present everywhere going back as far as she looked–the 1880s!

                    Keep in mind that there are 100,000 local/regional elections every year. This is where the machine-rigging and dirty tricks occur, and where the networks of insiders was developed who had the know-how to rig machines and election systems.

            2. Propertius

              While there is some discussion of this fraud in the US, I have yet to see anyone even bring up the possibility of national identification cards

              Well, there’s the small detail that issuing “national identification cards” isn’t among the enumerated Federal powers in the Constitution. But I’m sure they can figure some way to bend the Commerce Clause into a sufficiently convoluted shape to justify it.

        5. clarky90

          Our cell phone number is our individual, worldwide ID number. The first three digits identify our Country. That is why it is transferable from carrier to carrier. Our cell phone (if it is smart), also identifies our exact geographical position at any moment.

        6. Medbh

          Another point of cognitive dissonance is the assertion that national health care would be terrible because then we’d have wait lists. I just called to try and get an appointment with my doctor because my knee is a mess. They have no appointments until January. They said if I can’t wait until then, I can go into urgent care or be placed on a cancellation list.

          I live in an urban area and have the best insurance for our area. My oldest is 12, and hadn’t seen our doctor for years because she’s always scheduling so far out. The annual physical that school sports requires is scheduling out 6 months (which is incompatible with the school fall sports schedule that requires the exam to be within the last year). We usually end up just seeing the physician’s assistant instead.

          I don’t know what other people are seeing the doctor for, but when we call, it’s because something is wrong, right now. If I can’t get an appointment for 3-6 months, how is that not a waiting list?

          1. Jen

            I have a friend who’s a primary care doc at our local VA. She’s also a health outcomes researcher. Every time someone brings up VA wait times, she responds: “there’s no control group!” This came up as we were discussing the six + month wait that two other women were facing to get their child to see a pediatric nephrologist.

      3. DarkMatters

        Youtube shows lotsa low-tech ways you can fool Fitbit. My favorites are giving it to your kid, or putting it on a sawzall.

        It is possible to wirelessly hack Fitbit that will put code on your computer, but there’s nothing to worry about, except for the fact that’s it’s part of the internet of things, and we know that will never be a problem.

        I’m keeping an eye on youtube for further instructions. No doubt there will soon be a break-in app for iPhones.

        1. Tom

          I sense a new opportunity for the gig economy — hire yourself out as a Fitbit substitute wearer. Not only will you get in excellent shape, but by wearing 6 or so Fitbits on each arm, you can really generate a nice hourly income for as long as you can keep moving. Of course, you may be too exhausted at the end of the day to walk back to all your clients’ houses to return their Fitbits, but no worries — you can always call Uber!

          1. Hana M

            I like it a lot. And then when the intended wearer shows up for her quarterly checkup with higher glucose, sky high cholesterol and a 10 lb weight gain it will mess with the insurance industries actuarial estimates. Wonderfully subversive.

      4. Synoia

        Get you FitBit.
        Apply to microwave (the result is undetectable).
        Complain it does not work. for a week.
        Get replacement under warranty.

    2. abynormal

      Obamacare has taken a page from AT&T…wait till they go after your credit rating, halt your service for lack of payment for hidden fees, and apply a high risk on your personal health while paying off the tax on your time.

      I’m not running away from my responsibilities. I’m running to them. There’s nothing negative about running away to save my life. ~Catch-22

    3. Cry Shop

      and just about the time you’ve learned to stumble through most of the hoops, your vendors will change: some will merge, other change business models, but also some crooked CEO will give an IT contract to one of the companies owned by a member of the board, or some crook in Congress/White House adds a rider to a bill that changes the whole game.

      so, you go back, Jack, and do it again.
      wheels turinin’ ’round and ’round

      1. Optimader

        When there’s so much darkness closing in

        Just swerve around slowly

        You’ll find an opening.

        A light will appear like an animal between the trees

        There you’ll find your pocket of peace

        Make a perfect circle, it’s all around you

        Put your mark on the map anywhere or nowhere
        Ane Brun -The Opening

        It’s up to you it’s not too late to find an opening

        Trace a track until you find the end

        There’s a clearing in every forest, at least one for every man

        The light will appear like an animal between the trees

        There you’ll find your pocket of peace

        Make a perfect circle it’s all around you

        You know that everything lingers for you to follow through

        ||: It’s up to you

        It’s not too late to find an opening

        do you wanna rediscover or do want it all to be over

        do you want to see the meaning of the circleing?

    4. archer

      I am pretty sure Lambert has credited Yves with “a tax on time”. Lambert owns “code as law”.

    5. Roger Smith

      Thanks for sharing! Welcome to the Human Factory, please locate your associated single file lane and watch your step when entering and exiting the conveyor belts.

      How soon before it is decided that your ‘cost to benefit’ ratio adversely effects the planet and those around you? “Thank you for your service to this country, unfortunately at this time…”

      1. cocomaan

        Kant said that humans cannot be used as means to an end. I feel like the quantification of all human activity, particularly when it comes to a “level of flourishing” like in this healthcare disaster, is being exploited for that purpose.

        Humans are an end in themselves. That’s the way individuals think of themselves. When systems crush people into being means, that’s when problems start to happen.

        1. WJ

          Contemporary French philosopher Michel Henri has a book arguing that the combination of overextended quantification of human life via the natural sciences plus managerial capitalism = hell of the present

          1. nowhere

            So which comes first, ecological collapse or revolution? Or do we just keep getting ground into soylent?

          2. JTMcPhee

            Don’t worry, folks! Tech has us covered!

            Here’s the way a genteel sufficiency of us humans thinks: this in connection with something I and others have been kvetching about ever since the “Bolos” and Daleks and Terminators were just thought experiments or wet dreams of that subset of us vicious apes, those marvelous autonomous killing machines:

            China and Russia are developing battle networks that are as good as our own. They can see as far as ours can see; they can throw guided munitions as far as we can,” said Robert O. Work, the deputy defense secretary, who has been a driving force for the development of autonomous weapons.
            “What we want to do is just make sure that we would be able to win as quickly as we have been able to do in the past.”

            Forking stupid death wish humans…

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL


              I wonder if he’s referring to Korea (still going), Vietnam (um, sorry, not a “win”), Iraq (ditto), Afghanistan (ditto), Syria (ditto). Maybe he’s referring to Grenada? yep that was pretty quick

        2. witters

          Actually, he said “never merely as a means”. The “merely” is important. It is what allows you to hail a cab, and so forth. You just got to treat the driver with common (!) human decency.

    6. scott 2

      And next year you’ll have to prove you’re a registered Democrat to continue to receive coverage.

    7. Lambert Strether

      Actually, Yves coined “tax on time.”

      Although if a coinage becomes ubiquitous and without perceived origin, that’s the best possible outcome.

      1. Propertius

        I do, however, believe it was Robert Heinlein who recommended shooting anyone who asked for “just a moment of your time” ;-).

    8. kramer

      My workplace was an early adopter of these “wellness” programs. My coworkers (I’ve never found the rewards worth the tedius compliance) always updated their information while on the clock. Thus the compliance cost were born by the employer. I once watched with amusement as a co-worker claimed to have completed far more “healthy” activities then would be possible for some one with even a part time job. No matter, she got her discounts.
      This setting of goals and meeting them by making up numbers is just a result of our socioty’s fetish for math based charts and graphs and this weird idea that everything should be measured, quantified, and used to reward merit. Some manager in the company probably gets a bonus based on the charts generated by this wellness program.

  2. Jim Haygood

    This wasn’t supposed to happen:

    In the past month the number of black voters for Donald Trump has increased significantly.

    At the beginning of October 9% of African Americans supported Trump. The number doubled and has leveled off at 16% support for Donald Trump.

    This ought to keep Democrats up late at night.

    Blacks today make up 22% of the Democratic vote. If Democrats lost 25% of the black vote they would lose Virginia, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.

    If Trump skims 25% of black voters from the Democratic Party he would win the 2016 election in a landslide.

    Hillary’s complacent assumption that African Americans are a-pickin’ and a-grinnin’ on her paternalistic Democratic plantation, coupled with Trump’s “Nixon to China” moment of actually soliciting their vote, could have surprising effects.

    If I were the Donald, I’d be attending rap concerts on Saturday night and repenting at AME Zion church services on Sunday morning … even in New York, where many of the members migrated up from NC and SC.

    1. scott 2

      Who’d have thought black voters would have been upset about the destruction of our industrial base and the supposedly nonexistent inflation that has destroyed their standard of living? Or that a flood of unskilled immigrants is going to help their job prospects?

      1. WJ

        Oh, you mean white-trash black voters, not the Huxtables. Yeah, they are to be stored together with the other deplorables.

    2. JSM

      For JSM, more evidence to support the intuitive hunch that, in the current climate, HRC couldn’t win a clean election to save her life, which, incidentally, might be necessary.

      1. Tom

        Exactly this.

        Despite all the help from the DNC, the State Department, the White House, the FBI, captured mainstream media, TBTF banks, the MIC, starry-eyed Hollywood celebs and a vast cohort of enablers, handlers, apologists, shady democratic consultants, wise guys and rat f*ckers, she is still barely ahead of Trump.
        Maybe she needs to reintroduce herself to voters again — too many still don’t see the Clinton magic.

        1. JSM

          Yes. Meant nothing more than her first post-presidency life of ease of course, since, if she can’t reintroduce herself to voters successfully, she may be introduced to a special prosecutor or we may find out what happened to the Foundation investigation which has been mysteriously put on ice somewhere.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Yes isn’t it curious that no one is simply doing the math. 2000 “flat broke”. Plus or minus $30M in speaking fees since then. Current net worth: several hundred million $. All without having any product or service available for sale.

            But yes she did have a product available for sale: the functions of the entire US Government. Very handy if you want to sell a critical drug that keeps people alive at a 1000% markup, if you’re a government that loves beheading gay people and women accused of adultery, or if you just need cluster bombs to massacre some nomads in the desert.

            They asked the president of Haiti what his worst fear was after the recent hurricane, he replied: “that the Clintons come back”.

        2. Anne

          So, is this a case of it being too late for those in the campaign to bail out? Is it a case of them believing there are plum jobs in a Clinton administration waiting for them, and if they hang in long enough, some really great payday? Are they making sure the path to private-sector paychecks is clear?

          It appears everyone in the upper levels of the campaign, and those who have known her for a long time, are more than aware that she has terrible judgment and makes terrible decisions. It doesn’t matter if you spend weeks making a decision if you ultimately make the wrong one – and especially if you make the wrong one even when those around you are advising against it.

          I don’t know, maybe this is what happens when you spend decades weaseling out of trouble – you actually believe there’s nothing you could do that could bring you down.

          And it’s one thing to get a behind-the-scenes view of the sausage-making of a political campaign – I don’t think anyone expected that to be all sunshine and roses. But a lot of what we’ve learned – and I think there’s going to be a lot more – about her State Department tenure, the nexus with the Clinton Foundation, what appears to be collusion with the FBI and the Justice Department, Obama’s knowledge of the private server – it makes Watergate and Iran Contra look like amateur hour.

          She is not fit to serve. Period. Looks like I will be voting for Jill Stein, for sure. And I will be voting for Margaret Flowers, who is on the ballot for US Senate, for the retiring Barbara Mikulski’s seat. I had no idea she was a candidate – she’s gotten no media coverage at all, other than a small article in the paper over the weekend – but I love the work she’s done on single-payer and health care issues, and she will make a fine alternative choice to Chris Van Hollen.

          1. pretzelattack

            the terrible decision that scares me would be one that leads us into a cuban missle crisis level situation with russia. i’ve said before i don’t know how to judge the level of this risk. the people that were onboard with cheney’s 1% doctrine, and now support her, don’t seem to be troubled; maybe they only apply it to al quaida or isis or pipeline demonstrators. or putin, how would they react if they thought putin represented that 1% risk? first strike? i wonder what the russian foreign policy experts, or those in china, are thinking right now.

            1. ambrit

              I can imagine the remaining ‘Old Guard Marxists’ sitting around in bemusement and wonder. “Wow! Marx and Engels were right! Capitalism is destroying itself. Now how do we limit the damage?”

            2. Anne

              I think what scares me – among other things – is the idea that some sort of military crisis doesn’t scare the people who will ultimately be making the decisions and implementing any action.

              I am nothing even approaching student-of-the-military/defense – I’m just your average person who has learned I probably can’t trust what I’m being told, either about what is currently happening, and what the plan is for the future. I’m not interested in people’s bluffs being called, or the stakes being raised in an effort to move something in one direction or another.

              I don’t trust Hillary Clinton, and I am not encouraged by the fact that she is getting so much support from the Bush/Cheney warmongers. It should be disqualifying that she considers Kissinger a mentor/advisor/friend, and is now getting the endorsement of consummate liar Colin Powell.

              My innate skepticism means I also don’t trust Trump; he may talk about “getting along with Russia,” but I can’t help but think he sees some kind of financial benefit to his brand coming out of Russia, and if that is threatened, I’m not sure what he will do. Is it good or bad that he doesn’t trust the intelligence? Does he really know or understand enough to be able to accept or reject it? And he’s not exactly getting endorsements of military folks known for their preference for peace, is he?

              I think we’re screwed, pretty much. And there’s only so much that gridlock will protect us from – the accrual of executive power and the tendency to act first and apologize later does not bode well for peace regardless of who is president.


              1. Science Officer Smirnoff

                More “your average person” like you, please.

                Still big time advisors should all be aware of Wm Perry’s recent book and its dire warning.

        3. Roger Smith

          Cut out the middle man Tom. She should just start paying voters at this point. Crunch time! $1000 per vote!

    3. tony

      I recall there being a study showing that black support for policy actually reduced the possibility of that policy being enacted. So this seems like a good development, as Ds woud have to care about black opinion and the Rs would no longer gain by simply pointing to blacks and going “Those people support this, it must be bad.”

    4. apber

      A personal survey of my neighbors, friends and employees of my children’s businesses:

      Educated Blacks have recognized the attempt by the Dems (with Soros funding) to exacerbate racial division in the US, especially BLM. This is equally true of both the younger and middle aged. They will vote for Trump or stay home. Those in the Free Sh%t Army will either vote for Hillary to retain the status quo of entitlements, or stay home because she’s no Obama. I expect Trump will do at least 30% with Blacks.

            1. Lambert Strether

              No. Did I say that?

              The “racially” part was the #BernieBros, because everybody knows that Bros are racist and sexist white dudes.

              1. anti-social scientist

                I guess I really have no clue what you are saying…if you aren’t proposing an equivalency betw BernieBros and a comment entirely about black voters referring to a subset of them as Free Sh%t Army, then I apologize for misunderstanding you. If you are, however, then, indeed up has become down here.

          1. Aumua

            Well yeah, we certainly want to be fair here. Wait, did you just jump to the defense of a blatantly racist comment in the interest of fairness? I sincerely hope I am wrong here, and please put me in my place if I am, but that’s what it looks like to me.

            I swear this election is warping us all into some very strange positions.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Wowsers. Make stuff up much? This is pretty much verbatim (except trying to attribute your claims to “educated blacks”) what I hear from a Zero Hedge reader at the gym who is a hard core libertarian, has no clue of what is going among Democrats and on on the left, and argues that Trump is not a racist (I think Trump is merely as racist as most middle aged and older Republicans are, and has the bad taste to not censor his views, and has separately refused to stop dog whistling to really bad elements either because he has terrible political judgment or just loves the controversy he stirs up. That is pretty bad but not as God-awful as Team Dem depicts him to be). But Trump has 95% support among small businessmen, so perhaps the “educated blacks” you know are self employed. Plus how much of the black populations is Haitian? No way will they vote for Clinton.

        Lambert followed the development of Black Lives Matter intently in real time. It was most decidedly NOT a Team Dem creation. Erica Garner is the last person they’d want as a spokesperson. They have tried to coopt and tame it with considerable success. And this weird depiction also ignores that the early BLM, which was very creative in its tactics, had die-ins that were typically 60% non-black. The BLM = divisive blacks is basically yet more anti-Sanders propaganda. BLM is not at all supportive of Clinton.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Top Black Lives Matter activist endorses Clinton

          Prominent Black Lives Matter activist and co-founder of Campaign Zero, Brittany Packnett, talks to NBC’s Peter Alexander about why she has decided to endorse Hillary Clinton for President.

          Surprised me, especially after that BLM activist bought her way into a clinton fundraiser and was promptly shown the door, but there it is.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Black Lives Matter is not a top-down organization. No one speaks for the movement. And as indicated, the Dems have been trying to infiltrate it.

        2. TheCatSaid

          “They have tried to coopt and tame it with considerable success.”

          Exactly. A number of stories have reported on BLM-related funding, which mention the Ford Foundation, George Soros, and a host of very wealthy Dems.

          It reminds me of an interview I saw a couple years ago on Al Jazeera. It featured an Indian artist whose mother was a prominent civil rights activist in India. She described how major foundations bought out artists–whose voices were rightly perceived as a threat to the agendas of the financial elite–by giving them grants.

          Once the artists were getting a stream of funding their work changed so that it was no longer a threat to TPTB.

          Whenever a person or group is doing something contrarian it’s likely to be a target for “help” in a way that constrains independence.

          (And this is one of the reasons why NC is so important, and that it continue to be funded by a diverse range of individuals.)

      2. Lambert Strether

        > the attempt by the Dems (with Soros funding) to exacerbate racial division in the US, especially BLM.

        False on Soros; and false on the Dems, who if anything gave BlackLivesMatter lip service until the South Carolina firewall was no longer needed, and then threw them under the bus. See this exchange between BlackLivesMatter activists and Clinton if you think that they and the Dems are the same.

        As Yves says below, I followed events in Ferguson since before BlackLivesMatter became a hash tag. The activists who drove it were most definitely locals. I am not a Democrat, and I can recognize the stench of a Democrat operation a mile off; vocabulary, tactics, etc. It wasn’t present. If anything, my concern was that some of the leadership that came on board well after Ferguson got rolling were involved with Teach for America, the neoliberal attempt to gut public schools through privatization. But the movement seems to be larger and more diverse than those leaders (and I can see why people would try anything for schooling, and also wish to take one of the few careers open to talents, so I can’t find too much fault).

        In short, the Soros -> Dems -> BLM theory is as wrong as it can be.

        1. TheCatSaid

          The Soros funding connection is there, but it is more oblique and behind-the-scenes. See my comment above with 3 links, some of which are rich in detail.

          1. pretzelattack

            i don’t doubt soros funds democrats (and probably some republicans too); but i don’t accept the characterization of the blm movement as a vehicle for benefiting the democrats by “exacerbating racial divisions”.

            1. TheCatSaid

              I have the impression that BLM started independently, and that large funders are since then trying to coopt the movement, to suit their own agenda.

              See my comment above re: activist Indian artist talking about how artists were “bought out” in the 1960s, 1970s by being given grants from the big foundations.

            2. Propertius

              I don’t think demonizing one particular self-aggrandizing squillionaire (pace Lambert) above all the other self-aggrandizing squillionaires is particularly useful. Yeah, Soros is interested in manipulating public policy to serve his personal interest – the same can be said for Buffet, Thiel, Adelson, the Kochs, Brin, Page, etc. Even Trump himself, assuming he’s really as rich as he says he is.

              “Democratic” plutocrats aren’t more or less greedy (or more or less principled) than “Republican” plutocrats – and their boots aren’t more or less comfortable when they’re standing on your neck.

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            The original BLM tactics, and BLM as a movement, did not rely on funding or need funding. It does not take $ to use Twitter and FB to make noise about police killings and schedule die-ins. You need $ only if you have a formal organization and careerists.

            The fact that it now has a website and accepts donations is a sign of the takeover effort that Lambert and I discussed; Lambert documented it in real time on the site! But that does not mean the takeover has succeeded.

            1. TheCatSaid

              I hope the takeover doesn’t succeed. There is a lot of money now being given to various groups that are (or are trying to pretend to be) connected to BLM (links posted above).

              Over time we’ll learn who can and cannot be bought out. It will be interesting and important how the BLM movement evolves.

          3. Lambert Strether

            We have a thesis. There are two parts to it, which I have helpfully labeled [A} and [B].

            > The attempt by [A] the Dems (with Soros funding) [B] to exacerbate racial division in the US, especially BLM.

            [B] You do not address, presumably since there’s no evidence for it.

            [A} is bogus, for reasons given; the commenter asserts a linear relation of cause and effect, and it’s just not there to be seen. Now, you restate that with “more oblique and behind-the-scenes,” but it’s no longer the same thesis.

            There’s a lot of money floating about in the non-profit sector, and of course the Democratic nomenklatura tries to use it to decapitate the leadership of organizations that threaten their power.* That is, one might say, their purpose as a party (and a very good reason for a hostile takeover followed by a management shakeup). It’s the routine nature of the politics involved here that make this headline, from one of the links you gave, more than a little off-putting: “America: Here are the traitors funding ‘Black Lives Matter.'” I mean, what sort of traitor?

            * There was a hiatus from the ascension of the “hash tag activitists” ’til a few months ago in this campaign, which I attribute to this usual co-optation process. But BLM seems to have shaken it off, which is a good thing. We really can’t have cops whacking black people with impunity. That’s a bad thing.

    5. Goyo Marquez

      My best friend, a well educated black pastor in NC, told me he can’t talk about who he’s going to vote for because he’s attacked for being a traitor. He was pretty upset about it.

      I don’t think most people realize how conservative black Americans are on a range of issues. I’d be surprised to discover that the majority of black voters are not with Trump on immigration, Syrian refugees, free trade, and other social issues which must not be named.

    6. Michael

      Perhaps that was the message on SNL’s recent Black Jeopardy skit. response to Jim at 7:12

    7. james brown

      Your source, “The Gateway Pundit” isn’t to be taken seriously, is it? My limited experience with that site was they throw as much crazy poo on the wall as possible and see what sticks. I went to Rasmussen to see if I could find this “poll” and there appeared to be nothing on the site.

  3. PlutoniumKun

    Just a quick note on the fundraiser –

    I can only speak for myself, but I can live without a ‘thank you’ note from the NC crew. You have far more useful things to be doing than writing out 1600 ‘thank yous!’

    You can thank us all best by carrying on the brilliant work you’ve been doing and staying healthy.

    1. pretzelattack

      speaks for me. my thanks is in coming here and being able to read this immensely valuable site.

    2. ambrit

      Same here. I already got a note from the “Intern.” Having some fun with that title leads me to; “Thank you Nurse!” Seriously, the old timers are hip to the scene and need no reassurances. We’re with you for good and all.
      As some of the Tinfoil Hat Crowd like to say; “Much love NC!”

      1. polecat

        We could emboss that onto those Clinton campaign shame hats ……

        …lemons into lemonade and all that ….

      1. John k

        Yes. You guys thank us plenty every day, dont waste your time on gestures, people that read this site are grown ups.

  4. Cry Shop

    Politico – Gary Johnson Link repeats yet again the long disproved lie that Nader cost Gore Florida.

    Johnson is not assured of earning a larger percentage than the longtime consumer-rights advocate, who appeared to siphon votes away from Al Gore to tilt Florida and New Hampshire to George W. Bush. (The 2000 election was much tighter nationally than this year’s race projects to be: Gore finished about a half-point above Bush in the popular vote.)

    Private Jets and Oligarch Pets
    We all know what Bill Clinton was statutory raping petting on the Lolita Express. In a years time Obama flew at least 32 time to and from Sunnyland, CA in 2014/2015, mostly to play a round of golf. Each time he took two 747 to fly him and the security, round trip. Everyone knows he is the banking industry’s pet poodle.

  5. JSM

    A Wikileaked email to file under Guillotine Watch:

    ‘She seems indifferent to the systemic corruption that makes it impossible for government to act for the middle class or address big problems, like climate or health care. She may be immune to pay to play, but the systemic isn’t. She’s got to distinguish between self and country – and needs to.’

    Is HRC ‘immune to pay to play?’ Discuss. (/sarc)

    1. Uahsenaa

      This strikes me as a real headscratcher. I thought the prevailing notion among Clintonites was a cynical one, that, yeah, maybe she’s corrupt, but so is everyone else, and that’s how the political game is played.

      I’m actually quite surprised to discover that they may, in fact, be koolaid drinkers. There are few things worse than someone who actually believes their dear leader shoots rainbows from her posterior. They’re too far gone to convince of anything.

      1. ambrit

        Those are the ones who, when they do ‘see the light,’ have to be Fostered before they expose the real secrets of the Clinton Mofoiosi.

      2. WJ

        I think you’re misreading the rhetoric here. I take the point to be that while Hillary *presents herself* as being above pay to play corruption, she needs to do a better job of acknowledging its systemic role in the process as well as voters’ anger about it. The whole email is written I think in a kind of free indirect discourse.

        1. Uahsenaa

          I may be reading the email wrong, but I don’t think I am. It was sent in February of this year, at the height of the primary and at the point when it was finally dawning on the Clintonites that Sanders wasn’t simply going away. Also, the line about being above the fray was used rather consistently by the Clinton campaign to try and deflect from the rather obvious implications of what Sanders was saying about the power of money in politics, that she’d taken a bunch of money from corporate donors and was, in fact, in their pocket. The Clinton campaign responded to this implicit charge by saying how Obama had taken buckets of corporate money as well and yet had, in their eyes, not been unduly swayed by it (despite, you know, the preponderance of evidence that he had been…).

          I say it’s koolaid-drinky, because many liberals really do believe that Obama was somehow above it all and acted in the people’s best interests, despite the piles of cash. There is an attempt in the email to equivocate between the two, Obama and Clinton, with the criticism being that, due to a “trust deficit,” people are less likely to believe Clinton prima facie. Underlying this, then, I think, is a genuine and altogether naive faith that she is, in fact, not unduly swayed by her corporate donors.

          Which is, of course, a load of b.s.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            There was the selling of indulgences, that was discussed yesterday here.

            Thus, that and now this, we are reminded of all those centuries of superior morality, infallibility, etc.

            Perhaps the deplorables need to be branded.

      3. Left in Wisconsin

        The email is from one of her pollsters. I don’t read it as a comment on HRC’s character or true nature, only on the persona he thinks she needs to project on the campaign trail.

  6. Jim Haygood

    The anglosphere is very, very unhappy with the disobedient Spanish:

    Warships from an eight-strong group led by the carrier Admiral Kuznetsov were expected take on fuel and supplies from the port of Ceuta, after passing through the Straits of Gibraltar on Wednesday morning, Spanish papers reported.

    Nato officials expect the flotilla to then sail onwards to the eastern Mediterranean and escalate air strikes on the only major rebel-held city remaining in Syria, where 275,000 people are trapped.

    Jens Stoltenberg, Nato’s secretary general, said the carrier group, which passed through the English Channel last week, could be used to bomb civilians in [Aleppo].

    Sir Gerald Howarth MP, a former Defence Minister, said it would be “wholly inappropriate” for a Nato member to refuel the Russian vessels. Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian prime minister, said on Twitter the decision to allow the refueling was “scandalous”.

    It would be poetic justice if NATO’s illegal out-of-area operations, and the flood of refugees they produce, led to a bust-up of the EU.

    Europe should have evicted its American occupiers a long time ago. Instead, our faithful Norwegian puppet Stoltenberg shakes his fist in warning, and our euro satellites fall dutifully in line.

    If things get really bad, Commander in Chief 0bama may have to bang his shoe on the podium at the UN.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Looks like humanspace is once again dividing up into warlords, war bands and principalities. Quelle surprise.

    2. Jim Haygood

      More on “out of area” ops from our poodle Stoltenberg’s press conference:

      NATO is stepping up in the fight against ISIL. NATO itself is now offering direct support with our AWACS surveillance aircraft.

      The first NATO AWACS flight in support of the Coalition fighting ISIL took place last week, on the 20th October.

      We have already trained hundreds of Iraqi officers in Jordan – in areas including military medicine and defusing improvised explosive devices.

      And we will expand our support into Iraq itself in the coming months.

      Expanding into Iraq — IMPRESSIVE. Especially coming fifteen (15) years after Nato’s “expansion” into Afghanistan.

      By the way, how’s that workin’ out for us?

      Now here’s a bacon-flavored doggie biscuit for you, Jens — JUMP!

      1. Bugs Bunny

        I’m a citizen of a NATO member state. How come nobody told me that we’re going to Iraq?

        Maybe Hollande and Valls don’t know because they’ve been so engaged in tackling unemployment. Down 0.4% this past quarter. Yay.

        1. temporal

          Perhaps Europe can, or has, learned the art of reducing unemployment from the US.

          First be sure the definition of unemployed is those who are currently collecting unemployment benefits.
          Next reduce the pool of those that can collect benefits.
          Reduce the time a person can collect benefits.
          Wait for the marginally employed that cannot collect benefits when fired to fill the ranks and count part-time jobs as if they were full-time.


          1. ambrit

            Add to your list:
            Enable hiring people the ability to deny employment to older workers, irrespective of their qualifications. (This can be surreptitious in nature. What use are fair labour laws if no one enforces them, or, almost as effective, make the enforcement process lengthy and cumbersome?)

        2. susan the other

          last i read before this new stoltenberg stuff on eastern europe was that the easterners weren’t very enthusiastic about their deployment to guard against russian encroachment… now the tone of the reporting is that there are 40,000 defensive troops lined up on the borders of the former USSR satellites and another 4 to be deployed… invoking the rationale that they don’t want a repeat of crimea and that the black sea is now a russian lake, etc. – so things are escalating in rhetoric but as Ilargi tells us, the EU economy is so bad NATO will not hang together – which seems the most accurate way to see all this.

    3. OIFVet

      Spain wants Gibraltar back. So why would it listen to a bunch of whiny fossils stuck in the Dreadnought era? If the Brits and NATO wanted to stop them Russkies from killing the moderate headchoppers, why didn’t the Brits attempt to cut them off at either the La Manche or at the Strait of Gibraltar? Lots of talk makes for lots of metaphorical wind and not much else.

        1. OIFVet

          I am sure it makes perfect sense to Spain. It’s the sort of intellectual flexibility that allows the US to claim that its wars are humanitarian while the Russkies bomb in order to kill civilians, children, and freedumb fighters. Tell me, seeing the picture of this guy, don’t you feel grateful to the US and its Nobel peace laureate president? That Putin guy is so evil!

    4. RabidGandhi

      El País now reporting that the Russian port stop has been cancelled:

      The Foreign Ministry says Moscow withdrew its request after being asked for clarifications as to their role in the Syrian war.

      The Spanish Government has cancelled the authorisation given to the Russian Fleet… headed for the the Eastern Mediterranean that would have allowed it to stop in Ceuta. According to the Spanish Foreign Ministry, the Russian embassy in Madrid withdrew its request this afternoon after it was asked for clarifications as to the possibility that the three ships would “participate in support missions and acts of war on the Syrian city of Aleppo”, a diplomatic formula for avoiding direct conflicts.

      Hours earlier, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had reiterated his concern that the combat group might participate in the final assault on Aleppo by the Assad Regime’s troops. “Each country needs to decide”, whether to permit the Russian Fleet to provision in its ports “but in this case its I sent a very clear message: we are concerned about the potential use these Russian ships might have to escalate the catastrophe in Syria”, added Stoltenberg.

      Meanwhile, Liberal EP leader Guy Verhofstadt has tweeted

      Good news. Efforts to stop Spain assisting Russian fleet on their journey to #Aleppo were successful.

      “Efforts” indeed.

  7. Carolinian

    From the horse’s mouth

    Tanden responded, “Almost no one knows better [than] me that her instincts can be terrible.”

    We of the ABH contingent now feel vindicated. Naturally Tanden and her cohorts are doing everything in their power to make sure this sneaky, secretive, unapologetic person with terrible instincts becomes president.

    1. WJ

      The Neera Tanden of the emails is a real hoot. She is like one of those minor villains in a TV series who is truly despicable and yet somehow more likable, if no less evil, than her cohorts.

  8. Code Name D

    Why “Our Revolution” will fade away

    I have been looking into Or Revolution off and on for a while now. But the more I look into it – the less there is to see, and even less to be impressed about.

    According to article, its main strategy is “building the down ticket”. That is you get progressive elected to lower offices. In time they will work their way up the system as they build influence and their ideas pass scrutiny.

    The problem is that this is far from a new strategy. This has been the dominant strategy for nearly 20 years and is employed by dozens of “indorse and fund” organizations. Our Revolution is just the latest in an already crowded field.

    The strategy fails because of Pay-to-Play. Winning office is relatively easy. Winning influence in that office and progressing through the ranks requires raising vast sums of money for the DNC. The more money you raise – the higher up the influence ladder you are able to climb.

    You don’t have to play the game mind you. But that means languishing in your office without any means of affecting your office. In deliberative bodies, that means not being assigned to committee positions. For non-deliberative bodies, it means an inability to secure attention from venders and contractors who are only interested in buying access to the system. When the re-election cycle comes around, these “passionate progressive” end up having little to show for their efforts, making them vulnerable targets for the next progressive reformer.

    It gets worse. These indorse and fund organizations only target vulnerable candidates. In Kansas at least, this usually means going after moderate Republicans, elected officials we would be better serves as having as allies. When the next election cycle rolls around, the new progressive is inevitably crushed by a radical conservative that would never have had a chance had they gone up against the moderate. In other words, we have a penny wise by pound foolish strategy. One that delivers little in the way of benefits but comes with huge consequences down the line.

    1. Gareth

      In many states gerrymandering has resulted in a large number of incumbents being unchallenged in elections. In this situation running independent populist progressives against both democrat and republican office holders could be a good way to build a new party.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        I came to Madison the year the New Party got off the ground here, 1993. The previous fall, the existing local third party (Labor Farm) had run an excellent, respected, experienced candidate for State House in a district with a retiring progressive Democrat. So who did the Democrats run? Now Sen. and erstwhile prog, but at that time young kid Tammy Baldwin, who blew the third party candidate away.

        The New Party was based around fusion (like in NY state), which the Big 2 made illegal in many states, but lost their big court case in the mid-90s. Since that time, the local branch, renamed Progressive Dane (for the county), has focused on local and non-partisan races. Many good candidates have run (and some bad ones), some have won, and a few have gone on to have political careers, always moving over to the D Party when they run for higher office. All in all, PD’s effect on local politics has been extremely beneficial.

        BUT, in those 20+ years, not a single PD-endorsed candidate who was not also a Dem has won a partisan office, even at the lowest level. Many PD-endorsed candidates who were/are really Dems have gone onto higher office. But, all in all, the Democratic Party in Wisconsin is in as bad a shape as it has been in since I’ve been here. There are isolated “progressive” Democrats who are nice people but have zero power and influence (Baldwin, Feingold, Marc Pocan). But the state has been taken over by the corporate right-wing and there is absolutely no D Party leadership or bench to stop them. Despite a hugely politicized electorate.

        I don’t have any answers so I won’t be one to say don’t try it. I say try anything. But I wonder if there is any attempt being made to learn from the past and avoid past false steps. And I do think the excitement around Sanders was in large part because he was running for President, not city council.

  9. Ché Pasa

    There are plenty of reasons not to vote for Clinton, but there are no reasons at all to vote for Trump — except pure nihilism. That appears to be the driving factor for many of his defenders and partisans here and throughout the intertubes. Perhaps on the ground as well, though the absence of coherence among that cohort – except rage – is striking.

    Trouble is, while Clinton’s policy prescriptions might be well-understood, both her “public” and “private” positions on the issues comprehensible if not agreeable, you don’t know — at all — what Trump would do in office, for nothing he says is valid for more than a few news cycles if that. He says whatever pops into his mind at the moment. Then changes in the next.

    The only things you have to go by are his often appalling business practices and his appalling lifestyle choices, neither of which inspire confidence, and yet we see so many defenses based on illusions of who he is and what he would do — and on implacable Hag-Hate. Nothing more.

    That’s just not reason enough to vote for him.

    Not when there are other choices on the ballot, not when you can write in whoever you want, and not when you can refuse to vote for president at all — as many will this (s)election.

    Trump should lose big, so should Clinton; neither one should be allowed anywhere near the Big Chair, but that is the choice Our Betters have decided we should have and a sufficient number of the electorate have agreed with them — to produce… this.

    Well, we don’t have to go along with it.

    Don’t do it. Say no. Fight the power…

    1. Carolinian

      there are no reasons at all to vote for Trump

      See today’s Moon of Alabama link for a reason to vote for Trump. Your assertion that nothing he says can be believed is simply your assertion although it certainly is true that what this non politician might do once in office is a big question mark. However on the question of trying to get along with Russia he has been quite consistent. While I don’t plan to vote for Trump myself–in a state that almost certainly will go for Trump anyway–people have more than enough reasons to vote for someone who may deep six the hegemon madness and prevent the nutty Hillary from taking power. Of course it’s a gamble, but timidity is the left’s great failing these days.

      1. Ché Pasa

        Notice all the qualifications in your own comment.

        My opinion is certainly my own, and other people will rationalize casting their ballots for Trump — Hag-Hate and nihilism can of course be rationalized as “responsible” and “necessary” — but the fact remains that there is no way to know what he would do in office, and the only benchmarks we have are his appalling business practices and his appalling lifestyle choices. Isn’t it rational to suppose he’d behave the same way in office?

        Regardless of what he says, his actions have been to negotiate the deal after he closes it (not unusual among conmen and gangsters and other members of his class after all).

        There is no reason to believe he would “deep six the hegemon madness.” But you’re right he would prevent a nutty (and bloodthirsty) Hillary from taking power. So ultimately what it’s about — despite all the rationalization — is which group of appalling monsters takes and wields the power of the White House.

        I say neither should.

        Thus, many reasons not to vote for Hillary, no reason at all to vote for Trump.

        1. Carolinian

          Like it or not one of them will become president. I will myself vote for Stein since both mainstream parties are indeed horrible. But don’t claim there are no reasons to vote for Trump or, should he win, that the American people don’t have their reasons. Hillary is everything that’s wrong with this country’s leadeship. Just to repeat: your assumptions about Trump’s behavior as a private citizen versus his behavior as an improbable president are just that–assumptions.

          1. hunkerdown

            Do you realize your own part in bringing about that outcome by repeating it as if it were fact? I don’t know how left you are, but learned helplessness is what makes classical liberalism possible.

        2. RabidGandhi

          My issue with your formulation of “reasons to vote for” vs “reasons not to vote for” is that it distorts the purpose of elections in their current form.

          The idea of picking candidates for positives might have value in a system where each voter had a democratic voice in the selection process, but that, very tragically, is not the US election system. The US election system is not asking you “whom do you want to be president”; it is rather asking you “which of these two pre-selected candidates (who have passed through our oligarchic filter) do you prefer (with the caveat that your vote probably won’t matter anyway)?”

          With this being the actual question posed to voters, there can be no “voting for” anyone, because you are essentially being asked if you want a cleaver to the kneecap or a dip in boiling lard– with the assumption that your preference doesn’t matter anyway and you’re getting the cleaver no matter what.

          1. Ché Pasa

            Well, in that case… don’t vote.

            What I’d actually like to see is a significant drop off in voting for president on ballots that are otherwise mostly filled — as a means to say “no” to both of these candidates.

            Alternatively, boycott the (s)election entirely.

            I doubt the count will be totally manipulated this time, but next time, all bets are off.

            1. RabidGandhi

              Che first of all I’m not a USian, so I have no pony in this show. But while not voting is certainly an option, that’s not the point of what I was saying. Voting can be strategic for the limited few who are given a slight voice– but it’s always, always, always lesser evil voting (ie, Sanders was the lesser evil); there is no such thing as positive voting in the current system.

              That said, I utterly agree with your point in favour of a significant drop off in voting for president on filled ballots. A vocal abstention can be a powerful warning salvo to the ruling class (eg, Fernando de la Rúa in 1999).

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Not voting will not lead to an empty throne – the throne will not be un-occupied.

              There is the business of the nation (for the 1%, and for the 99%) to be done.

              We don’t show up, it gets done anyway.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Considering that fully 9% of the sentient eligible voter citizens of this great nation pulled the lever for either of the two candidates in the primaries I think you’d be justified in asking what kind of representative democracy we have ended up with here.

            3. John k

              The lower the turnout, the easier for our oligarchs to control the result.
              In some countries, e.g. China, you don’t get a vote at all, and in some others some dear leader will get 98%.
              Not voting is an abdication of your obligations as a citizen in what is still a mostly democratic country.

              Regarding the oligarchs… Virtually all are for Clinton. This, plus the promise to confront Putin, tells me she should be rejected. On this basis I advocate voting trump in the swings, stein when it doesn’t matter.

              1. hunkerdown

                The point is, the lower the turnout, the less legitimate the result and the less of a mandate the “winner” has, both internally and externally. Your mistake is to put full faith and credit in your elected masters.

                “Obligation”? I want the fraud of liberal “democracy” (because the label is infallible, yup) dead, dead, dead. If it were capable of delivering anything but bourgeois authoritarianism, it would have by now. You’re supporting a fraudulent system and your imaginary friend needs to be brought to heel.

        3. pretzelattack

          in a swing state, my main reason would be that she represents a significantly greater chance of a war with russia. trump’s a corrupt conman, but he isn’t an ideologue, and at least on some days he thinks the iraq war was a really bad idea. i don’t think clinton ever has days like that. put another way, trump has a 50% chance of being as appalling a monster as clinton is, and a 50% chance of being a standard appalling neoliberal who will merely continue to drive the train over the cliff, as clinton will. one can vote for trump in this election without being motivated by misogyny or personal antipathy (“hag hate” is a term that supports the clinton narrative about her opposition) or nihilism (do nihilists vote?). we have to break the duopoly; long term that means voting third party. in the short term, i support using the the vote as a tactic to disrupt the the iron grip the elites have on our system through the corrupt party system, and the best way i see of doing that is voting trump in the swing states and 3d party in “safe” states.

            1. tegnost

              nor will you do it by voting for the clinton. Your argument that we shouldn’t vote for the con man who can’t be trusted but rather the con woman who can be trusted to be corrupt is pretty funny from my angle.

            2. Oregoncharles

              The Constitution says nothing about parties. The real reason it’s a “2-party system” is that people believe it is; you’re a perfect example. While there certainly are legal barriers and plurality voting promotes the 2-Party, if enough people voted for some other party, it wouldn’t be a 2-party system any more. Neither Canada nor Mexico is, and Mexico has the same system we do. In an election where a a solid majority hate BOTH “major” candidates, we’re quite close to the system collapsing. Party membership, as measured by polls, has already collapsed – they have barely 50% between them, so not really “major” any more, but they’re still allowed to control the system.

              If the polls are right or even close, the break won’t happen this year, though the Republican Party is very close to just falling apart. But it’s perfectly possible, once the “politics of rage” gets going. The real barrier is in your head.

          1. Anne

            I guess I just have a hard time reconciling the Trump who says he wants to get along with Russia and the Trump that wants to bring back waterboarding and “worse.” As much as I am in favor of peace, I cannot say that I would favor trying to get it by torturing our enemies into submission. He’s also said he’d be fine with trying Americans accused of terrorism at Guantanamo – which, at least for now, is illegal.

            I see too much of the “strongman” in Trump that I think is not likely to bring about stabilization, anywhere.

            It’s all “just words” at this point, but I don’t like what I’m hearing.

            As for Clinton, she’s said a lot of things, too, some of which are troubling, as well. Plus, she’s such a weasel, who can even believe anything she puts out there?

            1. tegnost

              “she’s such a weasel, who can even believe anything she puts out there?”
              only a fool or someone who plans to cash in on the grift.

            2. Pat

              I think when she says something that is in line with her past actions, you should believe her. For instance when she speaks of the value of regime change, I think you can believe that she is willing to involve other people’s family members to bring that about. Whereas when she talks about trade, you can look at her time at State and go bullshit. Calling bankers to task, not going to happen as it didn’t happen when she claims she did it in the past.

              Now you really cannot do that with Trump, but despite the Clintonites belief that people do not know Clinton the problem is they do.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Perhaps it’s the fear of the unknown…we all experience it one time or another.

                Nor do we really conquer it, for most of us.

            3. Carolinian

              In response I’d just point out that Trump was running in a Republican primary when he made those statements and felt he had to run to the right of just about every other contender to win. One could argue that the same thing applied to Obama in 2008 who said lots of soothing things to lefties that he didn’t mean in the slightest.

              Since we are all engaged in psychological guesswork here my guess is that the real Trump isn’t particularly political at all. He has been registered Dem in the past–when it suited his business purposes–and I believe he once said he’d have to run as an R for president because he couldn’t win a Dem primary. Trump’s motive by this theory is self glorification and making deals–not necessarily a bad thing in a world where certain parties feel they can advance their own interests by promoting conflict.

              1. John k

                He’s been on both sides of most issues, though consistent in saying he wants to deal with Russia, not confront. Personally I would say that agreeing Assad can stay, I.e. Betraying the Saudis, is a very acceptable offer.
                Beyond this, we know Clinton has taken money from banks, insurance, prison guards, MIC, Saudis, etc, plus fawning support from oligarch controlled MSM… So she would take office obligated to a wide variety of anti-populist elements.

                So far as I know, he has not received support from any such… And instead has mostly received a large number of donations from small contributors, exactly what we saw as praiseworthy when Bernie did it…

                My fantasy is that he wants to be popular and, unburdened by commottments to either donors or party, would at least partly act as a populist, no matter he has unsavory attitudes towards women, hardly unusual among politicians. Granted JFK and
                BC did a better job of buttoning their lips, but maybe not even as good a job with their trousers.

              2. hunkerdown

                Right. The result of a political campaign is to elevate the most believable, accessible liar, in order that people can be convinced to sacrifice themselves for business as usual. If it were meant to do something else, it would have been organized differently.

                1. Carolinian

                  Yes, we’ve all read our Mark Twain. But since one of the things we are here to discuss is the election hope you won’t mind if people continue to do so. It’ll all be over soon.

            4. JohnnyGL


              Regarding torture, as far as I understand it, the differences are in presentation.

              Both favor it, along with extra-judicial killings of various sorts. Trump wants to brag about it. Clinton wants to pretend it’s not happening.

              How do you like your war crimes? Out in the open for all to see? or badly covered up?

              I figure Trump gets points for transparency here! :) I’m laughing because it’s awful, but honest, in a weird way.

              1. habenicht


                If Trump tries this, there will be bonafide outrage from the left – which hopefully translates into some meaningful resistance to his ability to execute. Plus the honesty is slightly refreshing.

                If Hillary tries this, the left will shrug their shoulders; meekly say there is nothing we can do as she has no choice; and complicitly endorse her crimes.

        4. cnchal

          . . .Isn’t it rational to suppose he’d behave the same way in office?

          Yes. Narcissism is an affliction and he can’t do anything but turn every conversation or action into something about himself. It’s what they do.

          The three debates all seemed to blend together with the same ground being repetitively covered by both of them. Trump always comes around though, to make it about himself.

        5. a different chris

          >there is no way to know what he would do in office

          It’s the Presidency, not the Dictatorshippy. Keep that in mind whilst you lecture us (no, I’m not voting for either of them but I don’t respond well to lecturing) on what he bad things he could supposedly do.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Well, the upside is unless you’re in a battleground state with no election fraud, your vote most likely won’t count anyway.

      1. TheCatSaid

        There are some opportunities to uncover evidence of election fraud, which would be useful in cleaning things up.

        John Brakey (AZ) has a template he will share of the simple process of how to apply for a Temporary Restraining Order to force those states that use newish optical scanners to retain the ballot images that are created automatically. This can then be used for post-election audit purposes. They would be invaluable for identifying fraud, as the voting machine companies don’t yet have software in place that can alter the actual ballot images, and the ballots could be compared to the ballot numbers recorded.

        Michigan is one state where some resident can do something to make a huge difference. (The TRO is needed because Brakey discovered that most states have been disabling the ballot image function, or deleting the image files on a daily basis!) There are many other states that would benefit, as well–in whole, or in part. (Different counties use different machines, in many cases.) Please contact John Brakey if you’re interested in finding out more, he has an election integrity organization in AZ. Near the end of a recent workshop hosted by he gave out his email address and phone number, it’s near the end of the 3-hour public workshop video.

    3. SoCal Rhino

      I think many who plan to vote Trump think it’s time that Dems start to fear their base, an argument being that GOP fears theirs because it is willing to lose to discipline a wayward candidate. Like Bernie supporters or those who got sucked into other orgs that endorsed clinton without consulting with the sheep. Those like correspondents on Pat Lang’s site who support trump because they think he’s less likely to go to war with a Russia have a point, even if you disagree with it.

      Someone quipped: if a vote for Stein is a vote for Trump does a vote for Trump count for two? Count me in!

      I better stop before I convince myself.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How will we say to the mothers of those brave ones who will be sent, and for some, unfortunately not come back, to defend our freedoms there?

        “I did my best on Nov 8, 2016.”

    4. Hana M

      From last year: an excellent compilation of 30 comments from voters who are considering Trump. One of my favorites:

      This is a guy who isn’t afraid to abuse the abuser. He has and will continue to humiliate the establishment politicians who try to stand up to him by exposing them for who they are. He will lash out at reporters and media crudely and without tact simply because he can. His supporters feel vindicated when he attacks those people who have misled them, a small satisfaction when your way of life is fading away.

      From the incomparable Chris Arnade who has spent much of the last couple of years driving around ‘flyover’ country. He uses an analogy from his days as a trader to explain why voters stuck at the bottom would vote for Trump:

      Frustrated with broken promises, they gave up on the knowable and went with the unknowable. They chose Trump, because he comes with a very high distribution. A high volatility.

      …As any trader will tell you, if you are stuck lower, you want volatility, uncertainty. No matter how it comes. Put another way. Your downside is flat, your upside isn’t. Break the system.

      The elites loathe volatility. Because, the upside is limited, but the downside isn’t. In option language, they are in the money.

      To put it in very non-geeky language: A two-tiered system has one set of people who want to keep the system, and another that doesn’t. Each one is voting for their own best interests.

  10. abynormal

    IF Canada can charge a nurse with multiple murder, WHY can’t we charge our corrupt Health Care Industry ?
    my mother has taken ill (very ill) over the last 29 days…KAISER has put MY health at risk with their 1) inability to diagnose my mothers condition. 2) refusal to address PAIN MANAGEMENT. 3) inform me what they plan to do about her kidney test results…registering off the charts. Mom has a very High Tolerance for Pain…makes for the WORST patients. for her to be in this much pain, this long, is a seriously WRONG!
    this afternoon we will be visiting a Kaiser Geriatric Group…CAN’T WAIT/sarc. i have to bring all meds and they will determine/create mom’s chemical mixture. fun.
    In The Meantime, we have to move out of apartment by Nov. 30th and i can’t leave mom to pack etc. where are mom’s other children?…calling for signature loans cause they can’t manage pensions of 4000.00 a month! i’ve lost 18lbs and look 70…just over the last month. i expect to loose more today…Mom is 80% Medicare with Kaiser as the ‘broker’…i’d fire them but mom has been warned by Kaiser she will be without Health Care if she dismisses them.
    SORRY for the rant.

    Congratulations YVES, LAMBERT & CREW for another Year WELL DONE !
    if i’ve missed anything this last month (in healthcare hell)…it’s this site! I Love You All!

    1. katiebird

      Aby, grrr!!! I am so sorry….. I know about that pain thing. My mom has a high tolerance for pain too and it drives me crazy. She has had several long term illnesses but I am very blessed with siblings who do show up for medical emergencies.

      I wish I could help.

      1. abynormal

        Thanks Katiebird! …if anything my inner strength is strengthening. i can do this but some days i’d like to be reminded. my brother died Sept 5th, and i’m now finding out his ‘care’ for cancer was based on how poor he was…it didn’t have to happen like that. loosing my mother so close to my brothers death will be a real test of my resolve. i have no network…this is my fault as i don’t like dragging people into my ‘issues’ because people have so many of their own issues, whether they know it or not. I CAN & WILL DO THIS. how i come out on the other end will be my very own swan song…sour times don’t last ;)

        1. katiebird

          My sister and I noticed that we both get quiet in times of stress, anxiety or depression… But those are the times we really need each other. For me I think it’s because I’m an introvert and talking (even to a much loved sibling or here) Is just one too many things….

          I know we are remote…. but we are a sort of network for you. Thank you for keeping us up to date. And I hope you have a surprisingly good/helpful experience with the Kaiser Geriatric Group. Xxoo

    2. ambrit

      Fight hard aby. I know it’s a big depressing, jump off a bridge, and imagine taking the case manager with you thing, but do fight. You have supporters here and in as yet undiscovered corners of your life.
      Anyone know of a Kaiser Ombudsman that aby could bring in to help her? Do the big insurers still have those functionaries?

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          The spectacle of a citizen having to fight for their basic right *to stay alive* against a government that instead spends trillions on new ways to kill brown people from space…is heartbreaking.

          I’m a Trump voter, for the simple reason that I think the effective action right at this very moment is to throw the biggest, ugliest, greasiest wrench available into the works.

          Hang in there Aby…we are your network so lean on us

    3. frosty zoom

      one has to wonder how these “insurance” functionaries arrive on this planet with no family and no soul, for only a being stripped of these essential elements could even begin to think of profiting from the suffering of others.

      i wish you all the best. if i could, i would adopt all of you and bring you up here (canada) for your medical needs. sometimes you have to wait, but if you’re really in trouble, the service is great.



    4. Jess

      Never cease to marvel at your ability to endure incredibly adverse events and somehow hang in. Know it’s tough, wish I could do something to ease your situation, but seems like comment support is all we can do. Hang in there.

    5. kareninca

      abynormal, the doctors are legally obligated to provide proper pain relief. Have you considered hiring a lawyer to threaten suit? You could probably get a free consultation, and the hiring itself might not be as costly as you’d think; just a letter from a lawyer pointing out medical neglect could get real results. I would also at least consider calling the police. If I had a neighbor whose elderly parent were in unremitting pain that was not being treated, I would call the cops (I know it’s a bit different since it is your mother, but it is the same principle). That would get the attention of the doctors.

    6. abynormal

      Thank You ALL. i recorded the Geriatric ‘visit’…i knew it would be a dozy.
      Dr.: “I’m sorry but you have been misinformed about our service. We are here to do memory work.”
      Aby: “And what do you do with your “memory work?”
      Dr.: “We determine the patients progression into ageing.”

      i admit…tears traveled freely down my face. mom had fallen right before we left the house…i had turned my back and she fell backwards. our nerves were shot…took me 4 tries to lift her. mom and i are on our own. that’s okay…i’m resourceful and mom is strong of mind & spirit. i did accomplish getting mom a geriatric pharmacist that will be ‘leaning into’ her primary doc with specific pain relief.

      Again, Thank you all for your support…you’ll be lifting me in quiet hours of fear. rest assure we matter to each other…the realities we cover everyday are real.
      Taking you all with me and will return with updates…i hope this thread helps others to reach out.

  11. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Sanders warns Clinton

    If he’s ‘warning’ her already I think it’s pretty clear what’s coming and it won’t be a surprise to anyone here.

    I would have preferred ‘ threatens with impeachment’ if all the beltway buffoons in the tank for her manage to drag her rotting carcass across the finish line.

    1. Cry Shop

      I’ve asked this question many times, but still can’t find an answer, but besides rasing a lot of money outsite of the normal channels, what did Bernie Sanders do for other candidates, who rode his coat tails? If nobody or only 1 – 2 candidates owe him, then he’s going to be in a heap of trouble in Congress if he does not fall in line. He can be voted off of every committee.

      How many candidates did he (Sanders) back in the primary that Clinton opposed? and how did they do vs. those backed by Clinton? Debbie Wasserman Shultz still won her primary. If Sen. Bernie Sanders goes back to Congress with no one on his coat tails, particularly ones that Clinton opposed, then he’s going to be in worse shape than before. Everyone will see the Emperor / Party Baron is naked.

      1. Roger Smith

        As I recall it was somewhere between 10-20, and yea I do not know the win ratio of their individual primaries. Sanders “warning” anyone is a bad joke. No one there cares what he has to say. He is already giving them what they want. I think it is tragically humorous that he is under some spell where he thinks he might get to chair the budget committee. Sure Bernie… The democrats would love to put you up there.

        1. ambrit

          How the Party apparatus treats Sanders at the beginning of the next Congressional Year will tell the tale. Most here seem to be ultra cynical, but who knows, he might get something out of his ‘cooperation’ with the DNC.
          Time will tell. Really now, this will signal whether the Left has any chance at all of ‘reforming’ the present political parties, or whether it should begin ramping up for a real class war.

          1. Eureka Springs

            Sanders has proven time and time again he will fight for Clinton DLC staus quo types more than any other, including his own stated values/goals/voters/constituency. He’s a perfect choice for Pres Clinton and Senate Dims to punch hippies from any committee chair position.

            It’s probably a matter of who pay$ for the chair more than anything else.

            1. Code Name D

              No. He hasn’t! He has proven he will knuckle under when it options run out. He always pulled his punches with Clinton, knowing full well that any negative argument against Clinton might harm her against Trump – no meter how true any critique might be. He will only fight within the rules – and the flexibility afforded to him by those rules shrinks by the day.

              If Clinton should win the presidency, Sander’s remaining days in the Senate are numbered.

              1. Arizona Slim

                My prediction: Before next year is over, Sanders will announce that he won’t be seeking re-election in 2018.

        2. David Carl Grimes

          I also think very few traditional Democrat politicians also wanted to ride on Bernie’s coattails.

      2. Atypical

        @Cry Shop

        Bernie promoted Tim Canova in his emails to get his supporters to contribute. He also criticized Wasserman Schultz but when he lost he also stopped mentioning Canova. I suspect Clinton, who had already hired DWS, forced Bernie to avoid supporting Canova or…

        From the Miami Herald (9/9/16)

        Tim Canova may be headed for a rematch against U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in South Florida.

        Canova filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission Thursday so he can start fundraising to run in the Broward/Miami-Dade district in 2018. The Nova Southeastern University law professor backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders raised about $3.8 million in his first campaign.

        But despite his warchest he couldn’t compete with the name recognition and long roots of Wasserman Schultz who won her first elected office — for the state Legislature — in 1992 and was elected to Congress in 2004.

        Wasserman Schultz beat Canova by about 14 percentage points in the Aug. 30 Democratic primary. She will face Republican Joe Kaufman Nov. 8th in the left-leaning district. In 2014, Wasserman Schultz beat Kaufman 63 percent to 37 percent.

        Jon Reinish, a spokesman on behalf of Wasserman Schultz, provided a statement that didn’t mention Canova and said she is focused on passing a Zika bill and Hillary Clinton’s race.

        “Debbie knows that we need to focus our energy and effort on helping Democrats win in 2016,” he said.

        1. Cry Shop

          Yes, and how often can Sanders go to the well if he’s donations are (were?) coming from the 80%?

          In the end though, it’s committee memberships, particularly chairman seats that hold the power, and thus make the rain, rain for everyone on his coat tails, which I take it were very, very short if no one is giving up numbers.

  12. petal

    For those in the Upper Valley area of VT/NH: tonight from 630-8p at Filene Auditorium, Moore Hall @Dartmouth College: “Spymasters: Can we Kill Our Way Out?” featuring a panel of national security experts-Rand Beers(former acting Sec of Homeland Security), Andrew Card(yes, that one), and John McLaughlin(former Deputy Director for Intelligence, CIA). I will go to this. If you have any questions, or any questions about attending, let me know. Anyone can go. Cheers.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      i would love to hear what they thought about the Church Committee, when the people of the nation re-established their right to determine when the nation goes to war and when they could be spied upon. Follow on question would be about the ascension of Dick Cheney and his efforts to turn back that clock, why even the core Republican establishment at the time said “the crazies are back” when that happened, and whether the Cheney/Bush/Obama/Clinton Doctrine was irreversible or whether we need to amend the Constitution to reflect the fact that the president in his royal person can decide when the country goes to war, when people are executed for pre-crime, and whether the American Revolution prohibition of King George’s “writs of assistance” for unlimited spying was now officially dead.

  13. petal

    Hanover — In the Clinton campaign’s latest bid to drum up swing-state support among young voters, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards on Tuesday night rallied student phone bankers at Dartmouth College and encouraged them to get out the vote.

    “Young people are going to determine the next president,” Richards told the crowd of about 50 (most of whom were women) listening in a Carson Hall classroom. “I think that’s actually pretty exciting.”

    After a beat of silence, Richards prompted them: “Yeah? Right?”

    “Let’s get a pulse here,” she said, drawing some laughs.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Planned Parenthood is making a mistake being so openly partisan.

      If their presidential candidate doesn’t win, it means more budget-slashing retaliation next year.

      They’ve hitched their future to a wagon that’s being driven into the ditch.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Not only that, but what does PP do to its brand by tying itself to a person whom 60% of the country detests? Someone who supports the Hyde-amendment baked-in ACA? Someone whom the younger generations overwhelmingly see as corrupt and reactionary?

      2. Pat

        It shuts up a lot of people when you point out that Cecile Richards knows that her candidate has a record of weak support of women’s reproductive rights and she supported this candidate in the primary over the man with a much stronger record of support and then quote some of Hillary’s greatest quotes.

        Followed by you wouldn’t have to be lecturing me about how to vote if the DNC had fielded the strongest candidate against all Republicans, Sanders. But similar to Richards, they were more interested in keeping the Clintons happy than they were in winning…

        1. petal

          I guess what I found interesting is that it seemed like a huge lack of enthusiasm in that room. They’re trying to get people psyched up for HC and it isn’t working very well. And, the campaign must still be worried about which way NH will go if they’re sending out someone like Cecile Richards to Nowhere, NH to get (and supervise) a room full of girls to phone bank.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Makes me wonder how they got that many students to volunteer.

            Specifically, what was the bribe? Free pizza? Must’ve been lousy pizza if they were that quiet.

          2. Pat

            Oh absolutely. I’m pretty damn sure their internal polling is not painting the rosy picture the various polls in the press are painting.

      3. Bob

        If Trump wins, Gov. Pence (the Republican VP candidate) is going to be running the government (Trump has already promised this and has no interest or experience in public governing but only in “making America great again”). Gov. Pence running the government is about as bad as it can get for Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has nothing to lose by being highly partisan. I believe that many of Pence’s missteps as governor of my home state have been covered here and in the national news.

        1. hunkerdown

          Frankly, I wouldn’t mind watching all the “food group” values-based granfalloons suffer for four years, even those that presume to provide services. They need to be punished for arrogance and disloyalty to the broad public interest. They sold us out for their preppy “life plans” and personal ambition — which, in practice, always means making others do things against others’ interests.

          Is there a reason they should be exempt from being hoist on their own politics? Is there a reason they shouldn’t feel the same pressure they’ve been intentionally and relentlessly inflicting on us? Is there a single bloody reason to vote to submit to an imaginary friend just because of the people who believe in it? I vote no and I may well do the same about a fortnight hence.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Could you PLEASE stop that meme? It’s utterly false. Vice presidents go to funerals and hope the President has one too. Trump has repeatedly slapped down Pence in the press when he’s taken different positions. Trump is pretty annoyed that Pence is positioning himself for a Trump loss and I suspect Trump will go to considerable lengths to marginalize him even more then the normal VP, if such a thing is possible, were Trump to win.

          In the event of Trump leaving power vacuums, Cabinet members will fill them, as Geithner did with Obama when Obama couldn’t be bothered to deal with the financial crisis.

          1. Steve H.

            It’s been rolling since July, I know The Nation ran with it.

            I said at the time pay close attention to the VP picks, but that is with the assumption that they will be advancing from VP to full President. Until then they can both cuddle their buckets of warm spit.

      4. ambrit

        No matter who wins in November, the future of Planned Parenthood now hangs by a coat hanger.
        If I were addicted to bad puns I’d say that Planned Parenthood were liable to be D(‘n)C’d.

        1. Tvc15

          Agree, Cecile made a poor decision aligning PP with HRC. I’d also like to think that her mother would have made a much better first woman president.

          1. polecat

            Didn’t Cecile Richards throw her support towards Joe Lieberman’s campaign … rather than the more progressive Ted Lamont a while back ……. ??

            I seem to recall Jane Hamsher and Co. at FireDogLake were pretty POd about that !

        2. Pat

          Agreed. Not only is Clinton a fair weather friend, Kaine has a record of being fine when in a body but when at the head of the Administrative branch being, well almost as bad as Pence.

  14. HBE

    From her instincts are terrible article.

    It’s good to have even further clarification on how very little Clinton thinks of the American people (in addition to warmongering, corruption, etc.), as I will be voting by mail today.

    Podesta replied: “You should email her. She can say she’s sorry without apologizing to the American people.Tell her to say it and move on, why get hung on this.”

      1. Roger Smith

        ++ I don’t know why but I never even considered that before. It makes so much sense and makes me loathe Obama’s new HRC ad where he lets us know how important and great early voting is.

        Now am I nuts or was early voting only supposed to be for people who, due to health, age, travel, could not make it to the polls? I get the impression that any one can early vote these days.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          So any more damaging leaks won’t impact anyone or anything.

          “Can I re-do my vote? I’ve changed my mind since I voted, seeing that I might be sent overseas now that we are going to have a draft. I prefer a peace candidate.” OK, that’s just my imagination. No draft.

        2. Gareth

          Early voting certainly beats waiting in line eight hours on election day because authorities have deliberately not provided enough staff or voting machines.

      2. katiebird

        I think it is really suspicious that the votes are being opened, tallied and reported on …. all before election day.

              1. hunkerdown

                Never stopped the ruling class from anything.

                Adding, so they’re doing exit polls now that it helps *them*? Figures. So many reasons not to play.

        1. geoff

          Well, supposedly we have early voting in order to reduce congestion at polling places on election day, and to enable people who are unable to get off of work on election day to vote. Which is in itself indicative of real problems (particularly the congestion) with our system of voting in the first place.

          I am personally quite foily (black box voting and all that), but honestly it’s much easier to prevent people from voting in the first place (esp. the “wrong kind” of people) by making it difficult to register, scrubbing voter rolls (as in FL 2000), and restricting the number of polling places.

          If we want to encourage people to vote, why is it so difficult in the first place?

        2. Oregoncharles

          I believe they’re based on registrations. They know WHO sent in their ballots.

          We already have our ballots, and I’ve spoken with people who’ve already filled them out.
          Sending them in stops the phone calls.

      3. beth

        Yikes! I’ll bet you are right. I voted yesterday. The man outside the polling station told me that voting is at almost twice the normal levels. Didn’t ask for a comparison of 2008 but that was the most I’d ever seen in the 16 years I have lived here.

      4. HBE

        Hmm, guess I’ll hold off just in case and send it in a couple days before Nov 9.

        But I’m still voting by mail, it’s already freezing here i don’t plan on waiting in line in the northern Minnesota November weather.

        Adding vote by mail does have the benefit of a paper trail.

  15. JCC

    On the article at The Nation and it’s lead paragraph:

     it’s evident from the timing of the e-mail dump that Julian Assange’s intent is to swing the election toward Trump, or at least depress Clinton’s share of the vote in the final weeks.

    The entire article is all about why we should ignore the emails but the above line is so typical across the board that many people just seem to accept this statement as fact.

    “Reporters” tell us Assange tactics on this particlular leak, but of course they don’t bother to ask Assange.

    He has stated often that the purpose of wikileaks is not an attack on individuals but rather an attack on govts and leadership in our modern society, an attack on secrecy, and ensuring that the secrecy has a cost.

    God forbid anyone within The American Pravda should remind us of the core wikileaks mission statement.

    1. cocomaan

      Given how vindictive the Clinton governing staff is, anyone that gets involved with Assange would be likely blacklisted by an HRC administration, possibly even worse if the red baiting heats up. It’s getting scary out there.

      I almost can’t blame the journalists these days.

    2. Pat

      And considering the positions that Clinton and her nearest and dearest have held over the last sixteen years she can certainly be considered part of the government and sadly its leadership.
      I admit I am human enough that I would be appalled by Assange’s not releasing everything up front if I were a Clinton supporter. But even that would make me a somewhat unique supporter as I would support the release.

      One of the things that does appall me is not that this is happening, it is that it is necessary. That our much vaunted free press refuses to do its job because it has been so corrupted. That Clinton can have a private email server and it isn’t shouted from every corner that this was wrong not just because of security but because it was a clear attempt to avoid the law and evade FOIA by a public EMPLOYEE. That the representatives of our government lies to the public repeatedly concerning our actions because they know we would fire them. But also that we have become so complacent, so blind, so unthinking that we do not demand they be fired when we do learn these things. That the majority of us either ignore or agree with the treatment of Chelsea Manning and other whistle blowers.

      I am disgusted that we need an Assange, a Snowden, and that we do not acknowledge the deep debt we owe those that have tried to tell us what our government leadership refuses to.

    3. craazyboy

      Assange doesn’t have any control over when someone leaks him the info. When he got it would be a relevant question.

      IMO, timing has been the most irritating thing this whole election – wiki timing, FBI timing, Russian hacker timing and of course the issue of the day – the sex behavior of married couples headed for the White House. Had we been able to properly vet all this in primaries, say nay to proven & probable sexual predators(I still think we need to define a scale of 1 to 10 here for this term – kinda like the Richter scale for earthquakes), war criminals, sophisticated political-financial criminals, faux populists, etc….and the election ticket would be Sanders vs…Cruz? tho I’m sure there is lots of good stuff we didn’t hear about the R gang.

    4. Tom

      I can’t say what the thinking behind Wikileak’s daily dump of hacked Podesta emails was.
      But the effect is like throwing logs onto a fire at regular intervals. Just as the flames from the last one begin to subside, the next one is thrown on and rekindles the blaze. Clinton & company (and minions) have been responding by orchestrating their own daily media firestorms about Trump. Trouble is, there are still thousands of Podesta emails due to drop. I wonder — will even the vaunted Clinton spin machine run out of nasty things to pin on Trump to divert attention? Pretty soon, they’ll be accusing Trump of running with scissors as a kid and sticking his gum under the desk at school.

      1. HotFlash

        Pretty soon, they’ll be accusing Trump of running with scissors as a kid and sticking his gum under the desk at school.

        That line is now stolen.

  16. ChipOnly

    Actually, Secretary Clinton, they’re aluminum foil hats. We haven’t used tin in decades.

    “It is an article of faith that there are no conspiracies in American life.” – Gore Vidal

    1. Roger Smith

      Has anyone destroyed Bill Cosby’s star in order to raise funds for the women who alleged that he sexually assaulted them?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


      If Clinton supporters did it, it was because Trump incited it.

      But we don’t have any evidence of that, yet. That is, all Clinton people are still infallible…until proven deplorable.

  17. Uahsenaa

    Hafiz’s reporting on the Standing Rock protests has been spot on, and I needed the reminder that cops exist solely to serve and protect… the interests of capital.

    I had a student in my class who’s an EMT give a very eloquent presentation about the need to support the police. He was so convincing that I even began to doubt a little my own interactions with the cops, going so far as to discount an incident when I was a teenager when a sheriff’s deputy clearly acted in an illegal manner.

    Then I read this:

    When we arrived in Mandan, the jail was so overwhelmed with people that we had to sit on the floor in the jail’s common area. Two Native American men were thrown into solitary confinement. A number of women faced humiliating strip searches, which included spreading their body parts and jumping up and down while coughing. We were refused phone calls and received no food or water for eight hours after being arrested. Two women fainted from low blood sugar and another had her medication taken away, causing her to shake and sweat profusely.

    Pigs. Basic denial of constitutional rights and health/safety in an ENTIRE PRECINCT is not a matter of a few bad apples with outsized influence.

    1. Katharine

      And the Justice Department has ignored all these gross civil rights violations for weeks on end, while places like Hennepin County, Minnesota, have sent personnel and equipment to help the police in Morton County. What exactly is Hennepin County’s stake in destroying civil rights in North Dakota? (Don’t tell me, let me guess. You scratch my back….)

        1. Waldenpond

          Neoliberals believe in private property rights of the wealthy. The stars are public monuments on public property (sidewalks).

  18. Now open wide for applesauce with Risperdal!

    Grampa Totten grumbling about these kids nowadays cause they won’t read his rah-rah shit books. Flags, the Star-Spangled Banner, color guards, pride in America’s military strength; hey, sorry about your primary impotence. Gramps seems to have confused ideations that he’s got human rights and democratic government. Don’t tell him Russia meets the Paris Principles, the gold standard for institutionalized human rights protection under independent oversight, and the USA does not. Funny, Gramps didn’t grump on the majority of the population who’ve seen the overwhelming evidence that CIA killed JFK, RFK, and MLK, blew up the Murrah building, collaborated with Mossad and GID to pull off 9/11, framed Jokar Tsarnaev, and stole the elections for spy brat Bush in 2004 and 2008. Give Gramps a cheesy flag to wave and wheel him back to the home.

  19. crittermom

    RE: Self-driving trucks
    I noted an article about that ‘beer run’ in the Denver Post yesterday.
    Quite frankly, they scare the hell outta me. (Re: Tesla and the light reflecting off a trailer the computer failed to pick out, resulting in the driver’s death)

    I’ve worked (in the ofc) of major (break bulk) terminals for each of the two top interstate carriers in my ‘former life’, as well as two intrastate carriers.
    I’ve also had friends who were truckers and accompanied some on their runs.

    Accidents happen, even with the best drivers. Often caused by an idiot move by someone in a car who doesn’t get the simple physics that stopping a loaded rig is much like trying to stop a train because of the weight involved.
    Truckers are some of the best drivers on the road, yet they’re now going to be replaced by computers?

    I just don’t see how a computer can anticipate that the fool in its rear view mirror for a mile speeding along cutting in and out of traffic will most likely suddenly pull in front of that truck and have to hit the brakes.
    If the computer say’s ‘brake hard!’ and the rig goes into a jackknife, it will get ugly real fast (whereas an actual driver will look for an ‘out’ to avoid the accident, or have already slowed in anticipation).

    Will the computer know when to use a runaway truck ramp if necessary?

    I also don’t see how having a driver in the sleeper berth is of much use as they wouldn’t have the time to jump into the driver seat should the need suddenly arise. Most likely they’d be thrown about while trying to get into that seat, and very possibly injured or killed should an accident occur.

    In addition, since computers must be involved to run them, what about hackers? (Oh, yeah. I can see it now. Some college kid hacks into it to deliver a truckload of beer to a frat party)

    But ah, yes. ‘Experts’ predict…
    “… with experts suggesting that a computer controlled vehicle drives more consistently than a human-piloted auto and without distractions.” (my emphasis)

    Could those ‘distractions’ mentioned be something like a herd of elk suddenly running across in front?
    A ‘distraction’ an actual driver would have noted as he saw the herd moving in that direction running across a field, already beginning to slow down accordingly?

    The one advantage I see is that drivers rarely get enough sleep.
    They are required by law to have a certain amount of ‘down time’ for sleep, showers, food.
    Often they must push the limits to get the load delivered on time (or the carrier faces steep penalties or rejection of the load, resulting in less profit for the carrier). That’s the reason many must ‘dummy’ their logs, to stay in compliance.
    So far, that’s the only advantage I see.

    Studies have shown that with ‘autopilot’ on planes now used, many pilots have lost their ‘feel’ and skills for flying when something goes wrong and they must take over.

    Trucking. Yet another industry soon to be crapified?

  20. cocomaan

    The first reported virtual reality sexual assault?

    “Our first response was, ‘Let’s make sure this never happens again,'” Stanton told CNNMoney….

    The benefits of virtual reality are frequently touted. At the WSJ Digital Conference in Laguna Beach on Tuesday, Sheryl Sandberg said Facebook thinks of it as “the ultimate empathy device.”

    Stanton agrees that “virtual reality is powerful.”

    “We do everything we possibly can to encourage that belief,” he said. “But you can’t have that kind of power and say that anytime something bad happens, it’s not your responsibility.”

    In “Forever Peace” by Joe Halderman, jacking into VR with someone for two weeks creates an unassailable sense of empathy that could, if the heroes can get all the sociopaths into VR in time, create world peace.

    We just aren’t there yet, apologies to Joe Halderman.

    1. Roger Smith

      … just what the identity politics gaming folks needed, more gamergate fodder. UGH.

      When I used to be in chat rooms on AOL and beyond we had this trick for paying zero attention to “bullies” and going about our business. It was called blocking, or just generally ignoring it and closing the window. “My Mom?, YOUR MOM! *click*”

      This over sensitivity to non-issues is way out of hand.

      1. pretzelattack

        speaking of gamers, there was an article on yahoo news about a cia official who warned of the danger of election hacking by individuals, possibly disaffected gamers. it would “delegitamize the process”.

        1. Alex morfesis

          Certainly one has to foam the runway for when a final tabulation somehow one day shows some unwashed lunatic has been selected by the oi poloi…that then must be explained away as some form of hakistani attack…and poof…do over…

          and we will keep doing it over until you people get it right…


    1. ambrit

      That photograph of the Putin aide is fun. TASS knows their ‘spin doctor’ skills. The man looks to be holding back a smile, while the subject of the article is his “non-existent” e-mails. Notice that the subject of his ‘e-mail’ story is the Maidan riots in Kiev. Then, he is supposed to be meeting with Nuland for ‘far ranging’ talks soon. War in the East is in the air.
      If H Clinton steals this election, I am seriously ramping up our “prepper” activities.

      1. hunkerdown

        I dunno, man. Seeing what happened to the “rival”‘s campaign stops and Walk of Fame star, I don’t put it past the bully party to pull a HUAC on us, or worse. Exile or defection may be safer.

  21. ChiGal in Carolina

    Surely this must have been posted here but I didn’t see it. Guess all telecoms are not created equal.

    When I think of the time tax extracted on me by AT&T over the years, how DARE they also make $$ off me by selling my data in collusion with the police state and in violation of their own privacy policies, not to mention the law.

    This should be a big deal, but ho hum guess it’s impossible to sustain the appropriate level of outrage when every day we learn of a new indignity

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think law enforcement would not be working 100% hard if they don’t also ask the same of other carriers.

      Then, the question is, how many others are like that.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        From the article:

        Unlike other providers, who delete their stored metadata after a certain time, AT&T keeps information like call time, duration, and even location data on file for years, with records dating back to 2008…

        …Access to Hemisphere costs local police between $100,000 and more than $1m a year, the documents reveal, and its use requires just an administrative subpoena – a much lower judicial bar than a search warrant because it does not need to be issued by a judge.

        Until Monday, Hemisphere’s use was kept secret from the public – and even from judges, defense attorneys and lawmakers – by an agreement between law enforcement and AT&T which means police must not risk disclosing its use in public or even in court.

        1. Jim Haygood

          AT&T was busted up into seven Baby Bells in 1984, plus the AT&T long distance business.

          But like the liquid metal terminator, these little globs re-coalesced into two monsters instead of one — AT&T (formerly Southwestern Bell / BellSouth / Ameritech / Pacific Telesis; renamed AT&T after it bought the rump AT&T long distance business in 2005) and Verizon (formerly Bell Atlantic and Nynex).

          AT&T is just plain evil. Smash it again, harder!

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thanks for the excerpt.

          Do other providers provide fewer years (after a certain time), while with AT&T, they can go back to 2008?

        3. ambrit

          The police, which means the taxpayers, finespayers, have to pay for this “service.” If so, why not make the Hemisphere program a fully police state operation? Make it part of Homeland (In)Security and be done with the pretense.
          AT&T is now re-branding itself as ‘Authoritarian Telephone and Telethought.’

    2. tegnost

      allan put up a related article in a comment yesterday. I sent it to a friend who was an att customer who un subscribed from them when she noticed her phone (cheap touch screen with internet) while sitting unused would read “listening” on the screen. Too creepy, but not at all surprising,…hillary undoubtedly supports this public private partnership. The Hemisphere program, use it all you need to but don’t tell any of the plebes….might mess up the grift.

  22. endoftheworld

    Breaking News!!! The Pentagon will stop seeking repayments of re-enlistment bonuses from CA Guardsmen. They probably read my indignant posts on Naked Capitalism and saw the light.

    I don’t know how to post links, but it’s on Zero Hedge.

  23. Jim Haygood

    More cowbell emails:

    For months now, we’ve been told that Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails were permanently erased and destroyed beyond recovery. But newly released FBI notes strongly suggest they still exist in several locations — and they could be recovered, if only someone would impanel a grand jury and seize them.

    Clinton’s missing “personal” emails may be captured on a Google server. According to FBI notes, Combetta “transferred all of the Clinton email content to a personal Google email address he created.” Only the FBI never subpoenaed Google to find out.

    When Platte River Networks contracted with Datto, it requested that Hillary’s server be backed up locally and privately. The FBI never subpoenaed Datto’s server, either.

    investigators also know the whereabouts of the original Apple server Clinton used in her first two months in office. [But] FBI Director James Comey in his year-long “investigation” didn’t even bother to send agents to search Clinton’s homes in Chappaqua or Washington, DC. Nor did he dispatch them to the offices of the Clinton Foundation or Clinton Executive Services Corp. in New York City.

    “Never — I repeat, never — in my career have I or any FBI agent known to me investigated a criminal case without the use of a federal grand jury, grand jury subpoenas or search warrants,” FBI agent Michael Biasello said.

    Trump’s first executive order should be to fire Comey and McCabe, Hillary’s fixers in the FBI. Then indict them.

    1. Tom

      No wonder long-time FBI agents are incensed. Comey turned them into bit players and extras in an investigation theater.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The Clintons are infectious.

        They change people they come in contact with, and depreciate long standing public institutions.

        I really like to her not in the White House…imagine her, taking command of the entire Executive Branch. It’s not something very comforting to think about.

  24. Foppe

    Lloyds Banking Group has taken another £1bn hit for payment protection insurance, in a move it hopes will cap its bill for the mis-selling scandal at £17bn.

    The fallout has cost the industry has already reached £37bn and looks likely to rise further in the coming days when other high street banks could add to their existing provisions for mis-selling the insurance product.

    George Culmer, Lloyds’ finance director, said the £1bn top-up should be the last “big” addition to the bank’s PPI bill and was driven by the decision by the Financial Conduct Authority to set a deadline of June 2019 – rather than spring 2018 – for claims.

  25. TarheelDem

    Is Michael J. Totten by any chance one of the “presstitutes”?

    Amputating the left wing of US politics is where the US government ran off the rails on national security in 1947 and fiscal policy in 1968.

    The American eagle without a left wing flies in ever smaller concentric circles until if flies up its own bunghole. I would think that even stalwart ideologues would have seen that in this election.

    The popular discourse on the right has been well sort of what Burke would have expected. Buckley weeps.

  26. Chauncey Gardiner

    Corgis on oligarchs’ private jets?… Money and carbon well spent, especially if the flight destination from their summer dacha near Moscow is to Cyprus or the Côte d’Azur, and they can look out the window en route. After all, those Russian winters are long, dark and cold; and the Corgis deserve it because… well, just because. The human occupants of the private jets?… not so much, regardless of their nationality or the ostensible purpose of the flights.

    1. ambrit

      I assume you meant ‘Corgis’ to mean the breed of dog, and not the people from the Island Empire of Corg. Your quip about the “human occupants of the private jets” reignites my apprehensions about the Reptilians amongst us.

      1. Chauncey Gardiner

        Apologies for any confusion or sensitivities I may have raised due to my failure to explicitly state that my reference to “Corgis” was indeed to the Welsh herding dog breed mentioned in the linked article. I most respectfully hope I have not caused any personal distress related to one’s place of origin. I was previously unaware of the island empire, noting only that Coorg had a slightly different spelling as a historical region or state in the Western Ghats of peninsular India.

        1. ambrit

          Mr. Gardiner;
          I was making reference to the island chain formerly off of the southwestern tip of said sub-continent. The large island Empire swallowed up by the sea level rises at the end of the Younger Dryas and some millennia later. I had not made the connection to the possibly remnant population of Corg that might have migrated into India proper prior to the arrival of the sons of Arius to that oft vexed land.
          Have no fear as to personal disacommodation on my part sir. Having had a rather energetic Welsh Border Collie when younger, I do appreciate the burden of residual care such fond memories impose.
          As an aside, I find that observing how an individual interacts with ‘pet’ species can aid immeasurably in discerning the Zeta Reticulans amongst us. The popular refrain says it all: “Warm and caring is a Friend, cold and aloof is the Spoof.”

      2. polecat

        Always keep a pair of those ‘special sunglasses’ for the ready in your breast pocket …. for close encounters ..

  27. Oregoncharles

    “Here’s Why the #PodestaLeaks Aren’t Having Much Impact Nation (resilc)” – (bearing in mind that Joshua Holland, to my disappointment, is a Hillary supporter) because they confirm what we already thought.

    This is actually true of the revelations about Trump, too. Anyone who didn’t already think he was that kind of obnoxious jerk wasn’t paying attention.

    However, confirmation is fairly important. Waverers will be hardened in their positions, and opponents will have proof. And in this case, it seems that the “ick” factor is stronger with Trump. Hillary may have killed far more people, but the very familiarity of his transgressions gives them emotional impact.

    I’m just glad I don’t have to choose between them.

  28. Dibs

    Re terminator conundrum – I’m betting bots will deployed among the domestic public as well, perhaps even first, in the form of bot traffic stops, etc.

    1. ambrit

      The history of the dysfunctional use of traffic cameras should give the supporters of policing ‘bots’ pause.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think of that party as one big church, with many priests and priestesses.

      “If you are not with in this one, with us, don’t worship the same, you’re bad, bad, bad. Very bad.”

  29. pricklyone

    RE: Children of the Revolution
    Quoted section: “The overwhelming majority of Sanders supporters have no memory of Soviet totalitarianism or the Berlin Wall; they know nothing of a world in which the United States was not the world’s only superpower, a world where, if America had slipped, human rights and democratic government might have been eclipsed almost everywhere. The Sanders delegates, when they get older, likely won’t take pride, as Biden does, in America’s military strength. ”

    How old is this writer? No one under 80 has any real memory of that era. Retirees now were scarcely born when these events were taking place. 1950 is 66 years ago! WTF makes these asses any more knowledgeable than 20 year old history students? None of it is their personal experience, either.

    The hubris is galling.

    1. RMO

      Yes, the hubris is galling but the rank ignorance of history is even more so. Good thing America didn’t slip so that the people of Vietnam, South Korea, the Phillipines, Greece, Guatemala, Chile, El Salvador, Iran, Cambodia etc. etc. all got to live under peaceful democratic governments with impeccable records on human rights thanks to the U.S.!

      There’s absolutely no excuse for this sort of rubbish nowadays. We have access to declassified records from both the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. that show conclusively just how little relationship to reality the conventional narrative on the Cold War really had. Anyone espousing it now is incompetent, deranged or deliberately falsifying things for other reasons. I leave it to the reader to judge which of those the writer of that article is guilty of.

      1. pricklyone

        In truth, my historical knowledge is much lacking as well, compared to some here. What I have learned quickly succumbs to CRS.
        I was objecting to the hypocrisy of this Totten fellow, whose age is not to be found anywhere I could find, but appears in photos to be less than 40, to presume to lecture young people about their ignorance. Based entirely on the premise that they weren’t around to witness events first hand.

        We all had to wait for 40-60 years for those declassified records, so perhaps never having been exposed to the prevailing narrative in past years puts the young in a better position to judge than their elders.

        By the way, I am well beyond 50 myself :)

        1. RMO

          I’m 46 myself so we can at least both remember growing up in a time when we were told there was a good chance that we would all be vaporized by hydrogen bombs. Looking back it’s absolutely terrifying to find out how close that came to happening on a number of occasions. Yes, Totten’s hypocrisy is pretty rank.

          Back in the 90’s I never would have thought that things would go so far off the rails that a thermonuclear holocaust would become a real possibility again in my lifetime.

  30. Plenue

    >‘There Are No More Panes of Glass Left in Aleppo’ Wall Street Journal

    I see once again the media fails distinguish between Western and Eastern Aleppo. The only broken glass in the Western part of the city is caused by the ‘moderate rebels’ lobbing shells over. They especially love to target the Armenian district, where they’ve killed dozens of people.

    1. Waldenpond

      The title doesn’t. The article does. It includes photos and colored maps indicating the affected eastern area. It was a distressing article.

  31. Plenue

    >WikiLeaks lists at least 65 corporate ‘Presstitutes’ who colluded to hide Clinton’s crimes SOTT (Wat)

    Not surprised to see Charlie Rose on that list. In a certain way he may be the most nefarious of them all. His entire schtick is that he’s ostensibly the thinking mans interviewer; old guy in suit, solid black background. No bias, no BS, just boring people having a boring talk. Only the best in PBS objectivity, for sophisticated viewers. Except the reality is that he just throws an endless series of softballs and there’s never any critic of underlying assumptions. And there’s a long list of people who will never get on his show, which ‘demonstrates’ how ‘unworthy’ of attention they truly are.

    1. optimader

      monologue interspersed with softball questions with no critical thinking follow up.
      Last time I looked at the CR show some time ago he introed HRC with “tonight I am proud to say we have a friend of the show…” Well, ok

      1. pricklyone

        CR is the Robin Leach of “news” purveyors. The equivalent of a “Jock sniffer” to the business class.
        Sometimes, though, they get too comfortable, and their true crazy comes flowing out.

  32. meeps

    re: Michael J. Totten

    Ordinary Germans participated in the extermination of 6 million people because they came to view them as rats, as sub-human. Totten likens Sanders and his delegation to pus (a boil to be lanced) in this horrific piece of propaganda. Need I say more?

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