2:00PM Water Cooler 11/1/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


CETA: “The provisional application of CETA refers to the fact that some things—like the tariff reductions—will come into operation immediately, assuming the European Parliament agrees. But other areas, notably the ISDS/ICS, must wait for full ratification of the deal. That requires all of the EU’s 28 member states to go through national ratification processes, which will probably take several years” [Ars Technica]. “And despite what the commission would have you think, it is by no means certain that all the national parliaments will approve CETA.” More:

For example, a tweet by Katharina Nocun pointed out that left-wing and green parties could block its passage in Germany. At various times, there have been hints that other countries’ parliaments may not agree to the deal, but it’s not yet clear what the current situation is around the EU…..

Another serious threat to CETA’s coming into force are legal challenges. As part of the deal to obtain Wallonia’s permission to sign CETA, the EU agreed that the ICS framework would be examined by the EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). If the CJEU finds that the approach is incompatible with the EU’s fundamental principles, it will either have to be dropped from CETA (and TTIP), or CETA itself will fall (as will TTIP).

In addition, there are two constitutional challenges to CETA, one in Canada, and one in Germany.

Good wrap-up of the state of play.

TTIP: ” A much-debated trade deal between the European Union and the United States is not dead and negotiations will continue with the new U.S. administration after November’s elections, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Saturday” [Reuters]. TTIP dresses up for Halloween. As a zombie!

TPP: “[new Zealand] Prime Minister John Key believes the TPP still has a 50-50 chance of being passed in the lame-duck Congressional period after the November 8 presidential election” [Otago Daily Times].

TPP: “TPP Is Exciting. Let’s Make the Case for It” [Tyler Cown, Bloomberg]. “So what then is the exciting, big-picture case for TPP? I say it’s to keep North America, and especially the U.S., the world’s leading economic cluster for the foreseeable future.” It’s a cluster, alright.

TPP: “Only 38 per cent of Japanese want to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, according to a survey published by the newspaper Nikkei, showing a growing public distrust of free trade agreements” [The Advertiser]. “The government of Japan under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed to ratify the TPP before the end of the current parliamentary session, on November 30, in order to ensure that Japan is the first country to give its assent to the agreement.”


Days until: 6. That’s less than a week!


“If there is any lesson to be learned from the ghosts of Watergate, it is that the big-money support of a leader who has lost the ability to deliver the goods crumbles very quickly as the endgame unfolds” [Of Two Minds].

War Drums

UPDATE “If Hillary Clinton hangs on to win the presidency, liberal Democrats have vowed to block her appointment of Wall Street-friendly officials to key Cabinet and sub-Cabinet jobs. But there has been little organized resistance to her choosing hawkish foreign policy advisers” [Robert Parry, Consortium News]. 100% correct.

The Voters

UPDATE “In places such as Michigan, that means turning out minorities in big numbers to overcome Trump’s advantage among white voters. The trend in early-voting returns has been both encouraging and worrying for the Clinton campaign: Enthusiasm among Latinos appears to be up, in some cases considerably, but African Americans are turning out in smaller numbers than they did with Obama on the ticket” [WaPo]. “Polling shows a similar story. Clinton maintains a large lead among nonwhite voters in the Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll, but by a smaller margin than Obama did. In polling since Oct. 20, Clinton has led Trump by more than 3 to 1 among all nonwhites (69 percent to 19 percent), compared with President Obama’s margin of 80 percent to 19 percent in 2012. Moreover, nonwhite voters are more united by their strong dislike of Trump than positive views of Clinton — only 39 percent have a strongly favorable view of Clinton, while 68 percent have strongly unfavorable views toward Trump.”


“Democrats are poised to gain seats in the House of Representatives this year, but with well over a dozen competitive races still viewed as tossups just one week before Election Day, the extent of that gain — and whether Republicans can stem the bleeding and keep a strong grip on their majority — remains uncertain” [RealClearPolitics]. “GOP insiders say their polling in swing districts has stabilized, and they feel energized by the news Friday that the FBI is looking into emails that could be related to its previously close investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private server.”

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign has nearly taken up residence in North Carolina, strategically eyeing what it calls the “Checkmate State” as a way to soundly block Donald Trump’s path to the presidency” [RealClearPolitics]. As we wrote yesterday.

The Trail

I expected the Clinton campaign to have pulled up its dump truck and unloaded some serious oppo Monday or today; but so far as I can tell, all we have are damp squibs (1) and (2). Clearing the way for Wikileaks on Wednesday?

(1) “Why Trump’s Russian server connection is less suspicious than it sounds” [Engadget]; Franklin Foer’s original piece of crap here, in the Jeff Bezos Shopper’s lifestyle insert, Slate. I’m not dignifying Slate with square brackets because the reaction by tech twitter to Foer is universally derisive. For example:


See also Errata Security, “Debunking Trump’s ‘secret server'” The Democrats really have completely lost their minds. And all those credentials they have, too! Sad!

(2) “Donald Trump Used Legally Dubious Method to Avoid Paying Taxes” [New York Times]. “Tax experts who reviewed the newly obtained documents for The New York Times said Mr. Trump’s tax avoidance maneuver, conjured from ambiguous provisions of highly technical tax court rulings, clearly pushed the edge of the envelope of what tax laws permitted at the time.” I’ve helpfully underlined the weasel phrase. And all the stuff like this is already priced into The Donald anyhow.

“[T]he only reason that Comey figures in the election at all is that Democrats knowingly nominated someone under FBI investigation” [New York Post]. No duh. I find myself in agreement with Rich Lowry. What a year we’re having.

UPDATE “The latest clamor over Hillary Clinton’s emails has put Barack Obama in a spot where no president wants to be: caught between his attorney general, his FBI director, and his preferred White House successor” [AP]. “So the White House opted to praise both Comey — ‘he’s a man of good character,’ Earnest said — and Lynch, while glossing over the difficult question voters now face about what and whom to believe. Obama was not expected to mention the issue during any of the half-dozen campaign stops he’ll make for Clinton before Election Day.”

Democrat Email Hairball

UPDATE The Podesta emails, part 25 [Wikileaks].

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, last year signed a $7,000-a-month contract with the foundation of a major Clinton donor who made a fortune selling a type of mortgage that some critics say contributed to the housing collapse, hacked emails show” [Politico]. How cozy! Still, $7K? That seems low. Maybe Trump’s right, and we don’t want Democrats cutting deals. Although every little bit helps!

“Forget the FBI cache; the Podesta emails show how America is run” [Thomas Frank, Guardian].

[T]he emails that really matter are the ones being slowly released by WikiLeaks from the hacked account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta. They are last week’s scandal in a year running over with scandals, but in truth their significance goes far beyond mere scandal: they are a window into the soul of the Democratic party and into the dreams and thoughts of the class to whom the party answers.

The class to which I refer is not rising in angry protest; they are by and large pretty satisfied, pretty contented. Nobody takes road trips to exotic West Virginia to see what the members of this class looks like or how they live; on the contrary, they are the ones for whom such stories are written. This bunch doesn’t have to make do with a comb-over TV mountebank for a leader; for this class, the choices are always pretty good, and this year they happen to be excellent.

They are the comfortable and well-educated mainstay of our modern Democratic party. They are also the grandees of our national media; the architects of our software; the designers of our streets; the high officials of our banking system; the authors of just about every plan to fix social security or fine-tune the Middle East with precision droning. They are, they think, not a class at all but rather the enlightened ones, the people who must be answered to but who need never explain themselves.

UPDATE The good people. (Exemplified by: “Exactly what’s wrong with ‘more of the same’?” [Catherine Rampell, WaPo]. I thought Yglesias had reached peak smug yesterday. I was wrong. There were heights yet to scale!

UPDATE More from our old friend Donna Brazile, who is turning out to be just as slimy as Debbie Wasserman Schultz:

“Roland” is Roland S. Martin, charter school advocate. The Black Misleadership Class sure was working overtime to screw Sanders over, weren’t they?

Stats Watch

Purchasing Managers’ Manufacturing Index, October 2016: “A marked upturn in new orders leads a very positive manufacturing PMI” [Econoday]. “The increase in orders is centered in domestic demand though export orders also improved. Backlogs are another plus, rising to the best level in three months…. Based on this report, the manufacturing sector, after a flat year, is now accelerating into year end.” But: “There is nothing in the ISM or Markit reports that would leave one to think manufacturing is on the mend” [Econintersect].

Institute For Supply Management Manufacturing Index, October 2016: “ISM’s manufacturing sample reported no better than moderate conditions [below consensus]. But new orders are a disappointment, still showing monthly growth but at a much slower rate” [Econoday]. “The construction sector, despite unusually low mortgage rates, has been struggling this year with the softness in single-family housing posing continued challenges for what is otherwise a strong new home market.” And: ” ISM employment index is not useful in understanding manufacturing jobs growth. The ISM employment index appears useful in predicting turning points which can lead the BLS data up to one year” [Econintersect].

New Normal: “Another factor, too, is the productive capacity that was built up to support a consumption engine that is no longer running at full tilt. Companies have more equipment and infrastructure than they are currently using, and with unused capacity, there is little reason to invest in new equipment or technologies. This helps explain the weak rate of capital spending in GDP – and may also help answer the vexing question of why productivity gains are so anemic. After all, productivity might be enhanced by innovation, which requires research and investment” [Econintersect].

Construction Spending, September 2016: “Construction spending remains weak but indications on housing do show limited improvement” [Econoday]. And: “well below the consensus forecast” [Econintersect]. But: “Overall, however – construction is now contracting after spending nearly 5 years expanding year-over-year. Still note that the rolling averages did improve” [Econintersect]. “But the confusion is that construction spending does not correlate to construction employment – casting doubt on the validity of one or both data sets.”

Housing: “Nearly half of the homes purchased in major cities in Florida are all cash buyers. Cleveland is also seeing nearly half of all home purchases being made with all cash” [Doctor Housing Bubble]. The “All Cash Buyer Percentage” in Miami is 54% (!), and in Los Angeles 20%. Cleveland, 45% and Pittsburgh, 42%.

Coops: “Today, National Cooperative Bank, known for providing banking solutions tailored to meet the needs of cooperatives nationwide, released its annual NCB Co-op 100®, listing the nation’s top 100 revenue-earning cooperative businesses. In 2015, these businesses posted revenue totaling approximately $223.8 billion. The NCB Co-op 100® remains the only annual report of its kind to track the profits and successes of cooperative businesses in the United States” [Market Wired (DB)]. See also this list of coop-oriented podcasts.

Shipping: “Study shows e-commerce consumers are loyal to UPS, USPS, and FedEx… in that order” [DC Velocity]. Non-union trails…

Shipping: “Developers are having a harder time finding space for new warehouses in increasingly crowded and expensive U.S. cities. Their answer: build upward” [Wall Street Journal, “Prologis to Build First Multistory Warehouse in the U.S.”]. “[M]ultistory warehouses are already common in countries like Japan and Singapore, as well as elsewhere in Asia and Europe, where vacant land is harder to find. ” Like New England mills…

Shipping: “None of the world’s biggest container-shipping companies is likely to post a profit this year, a top executive of French shipping giant CMA CGM said Monday” [Wall Street Journal, “Grim Year Forecast for Big Shipping Firms”].

Shipping: “A mainstay of the U.S. domestic shipping business is struggling to stay afloat. Lawyers who put International Shipholding Corp. into bankruptcy in July say they have a deal to bring the vessel owner’s troubled operations under the umbrella of a larger Florida-based maritime services firm. International Shipholding’s survival battle hasn’t gotten the attention of bigger turmoil in the global shipping business, but the 69-year-old company’s collapse highlights the impact that the downturn in demand is having across the entire shipping supply chain” [Wall Street Journal]. Wow.

Shipping: “The cascading of increasingly larger containerships from the Asia-Europe trade to smaller trades is set for a second, “potentially more destructive”, phase, with a new generation of ultra large container vessels moving into north-south lanes” [Lloyd’s List].

Shipping: “A giant fire engulfed a beached tanker today killing at least ten workers at the Gadani shipbreaking area in Pakistan injuring another 50” [Splash 247]. “A welding error led to a blast on the ship, which rapidly spread into a blaze with images and videos seen by Splash showing dark, vast plumes above the beached vessel.”

Shipping: “Over 90 percent of world trade moves by sea, but once cargo is on a ship, it enters a zone with little information about the path ships are taking or the stops they are making. Only in recent years have the largest ships begun regularly transmitting location data, and even now, a ship may stop its transmission and ‘go dark’ at any time” [MIT Technology Review].

Honey for the Bears: “Economic Planning Associates Inc.’s (EPA) latest freight rail-car forecast for total deliveries in 2016 has edged up to 61,800 units from 60,300 units. But, weakness in the market for certain cars has prompted the firm to lower its estimate for 2017” [Progressive Railroading]. Another straw in the wind for 2017. “‘Strength in box cars, hi-cube covered hoppers and mid-sized hoppers prompted EPA to increase this year’s total delivery estimate. However, weaknesses in tank cars, coal cars, flat cars and mill gons will serve to lower 2017 assemblies to 41,000,’ stated EPA’s report, which was released yesterday. ‘After a further easing to 40,000 car deliveries in 2018, demand for rail cars will rebound on an annual basis, reaching 51,500 cars in 2021.'”

Fodder for the Bulls: “But as the year has progressed, worries about the state of the world’s second-largest economy have abated as economic data have firmed. There’s a bevy of evidence from domestic figures and other metrics sensitive to the state of the Chinese economy now showing that the nation isn’t in the midst of a disruptive downturn” [Bloomberg].

Apparel: “In an industry famous for shrouding the connection between what it costs to manufacture garments and accessories, and the price that consumers pay for those items, Everlane seemingly fills a void; hence, its success. Price transparency aside, on the heels an array of garment manufacturing-related tragedies in recent years and amongst a larger call – particularly from millennials – for more ethically sound garments, Everlane founder and CEO, Michael Preysman, a former Investment Associate, saw a business opportunity in ethically made clothing” [The Fashion Law]. “In accordance with Everlane’s motto, we ask: Why would a brand based on transparency not list its factories?… Making vague and unsubstantiated claims in lieu of providing cold hard facts is a common trend that runs through the Everlane model.”

Commodities: “BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest miner, is hot for electric vehicles” [Bloomberg]. “”As you see more renewables and EVs, we also will see an impact on copper demand,” Fiona Wild, BHP’s vice president, sustainability and climate change, said Tuesday at a conference in Shanghai hosted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. ‘EVs at the moment have about 80 kilograms of copper in them. As they become more efficient, you see a greater amount of copper in those vehicles, so there’s always upside for copper.'” NOTE: “Bloomberg New Energy Finance” is listed on the cover of the McKinsey report on self-driving cars (PDF), whose infamous footnote 17 is analyzed here. They seem to have provided much of the data, including data for Exhibit 10. Talking their book?

Commodities: “A slump in demand for iron ore and coal in Europe has resulted in a marked decrease in dry bulk throughput at the Port of Rotterdam. In the first nine months of the year, it handled 60.3m tonnes of dry bulk, or 7.8% lower than the same period last year, the port said” [Lloyd’s List].

The Bezzle: “Racial and Gender Discrimination in Transportation Network Companies” [National Bureau of Economic Research]. “Passengers have faced a history of discrimination in transportation systems. Peer transportation companies such as Uber and Lyft present the opportunity to rectify long-standing discrimination or worsen it. We sent passengers in Seattle, WA and Boston, MA to hail nearly 1,500 rides on controlled routes and recorded key performance metrics. Results indicated a pattern of discrimination, which we observed in Seattle through longer waiting times for African American passengers—as much as a 35 percent increase. In Boston, we observed discrimination by Uber drivers via more frequent cancellations against passengers when they used African American-sounding names. Across all trips, the cancellation rate for African American sounding names was more than twice as frequent compared to white sounding names.”

Political Risk: “Variations in the market’s performance under Democratic and Republican administrations, measured by the average of yearly returns over more than 160 years, are so small as to be negligible, said Vanguard senior investment strategist Jonathan Lemco, a former professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University” [Bloomberg]. “A recent survey did show that the election is causing U.S. voters high anxiety. But according to readings of the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, the level of market anxiety is pretty normal, said Lemco. Volatility “hasn’t exceeded normal levels for a presidential election year, and there is no indication that it will deviate from typical patterns after the election,” he wrote in a recent report.”

“Issues about morality, the market, and the constitutional order should have been central to the policy debate about macroeconomics. They weren’t. The standard policy frame eliminated them from discussion, causing a chasm in the policy debate in which the common framework shared by Keynes and Hayek disappeared” [Evonomics]. “Market fundamentalists incorrectly were portrayed as heartless and uncaring about the poor by followers of Keynes. Keynesians were incorrectly portrayed as unthinking supporters of big government by followers of Hayek.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 22 Fear (previous close: 30, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 48 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 1 at 12:30pm. Nobody standing between Mr. Market and the pitchforks?

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

“How Despots Use Twitter to Hunt Dissidents” [Bloomberg]. For years, Twitter has offered access to its “Firehose”—the global deluge of tweets, half a billion a day—to a number of companies that monitor social media. Some of those companies resell the information—mostly to marketers, but also to governments and law enforcement agencies around the world. Some of these authorities use the data to track dissidents, as Bloomberg Businessweek has learned through dozens of interviews with industry insiders and more than 100 requests for public records from law enforcement agencies in the U.S. There’s nothing illegal about selling Twitter data, but it’s uncomfortable for a company that promotes itself as a medium for free speech and protest.” One more reason Twitter should be a coop?

Standing Rock and #NoDAPL

“Did #DAPL Security Worker Wielding an AR-15 Rifle Try to Infiltrate Native Water Protectors?” [Democracy Now!] ” More details are emerging from Thursday, including video footage of a man who appears to be a Dakota Access security contractor holding a rifle, with his face covered by a bandana, apparently attempting to infiltrate a group of water protectors. A Standing Rock Sioux tribal member says he saw the man driving down Highway 1806 toward the main resistance camp with an AR-15 rifle on the passenger side of his truck. Protectors chased down his truck and then pursued him on foot in efforts to disarm him. In the video, the man can be seen pointing the rifle at the protectors as he attempts to flee into the water. He was ultimately arrested by Bureau of Indian Affairs police. Protectors say inside the man’s truck they found a DAPL security ID card and insurance papers listing his vehicle as insured by DAPL. ”

Winter supplies for the protesters: Firewood is #1 [Sacred Stone Camp]. So if you’ve got a truck and a couple of cords…

“How to Talk About #NoDAPL: A Native Perspective” [Truthout]. “In discussing #NoDAPL, too few people have started from a place of naming that we, as Indigenous people, have a right to defend our water and our lives, simply because we have a natural right to defend ourselves and our communities. When ‘climate justice,’ in a very broad sense, becomes the center of conversation, our fronts of struggle are often reduced to a staging ground for the messaging of NGOs.”

“Dakota Access pipeline protests: UN group investigates human rights abuses” [Guardian]. “‘When you look at what the international standards are for the treatment of people, and you are in a place like the United States, it’s really astounding to hear some of this testimony,’ said Roberto Borrero, a representative of the International Indian Treaty Council.”

“At least 1.3 million people had ‘checked in’ to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation on Facebook as a show of support for activists trying to block the pipeline, after one user claimed that authorities were tracking protesters on social media. The Sheriff’s Department said Monday that the claim was ‘absolutely false'” [Los Angeles Times]. So can I take that as a confirmation? Anyhow, “strength of weak ties” with Facebook, but at least the logic is “I am Spartacus!”

UPDATE The financial institutions behind DAPL [CommonDreams]. Not sure about the tweet content, but the chart is interesting:

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Like Abusive Policing, Denial of Access to Mortgage Credit for Black Americans is a Growing Crisis” [Institute for New Economic Thinking]. “In a report commissioned by the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Carr and co-author Michela Zonta report that homeownership for black people right now is shockingly low — less than the national rate during the Great Depression, which stood around 43-44 percent.”

Class Warfare

“Opioid overdoses among kids, teens have nearly tripled in recent years” [New York Times (DK)].

“[C]ollectively, mergers at [the scale of the proposed $85 billion combination of AT&T and Time Warner] are reconfiguring the American economy in ways that seem to be tilting the scales toward the interests of ever-larger corporations, to the broad detriment of labor” [Eduardo Porter, New York Times]. “As Senator John Sherman, the principal author of the nation’s core antimonopoly law, put it more than a century ago, a monopoly ‘commands the price of labor without fear of strikes, for in its field it allows no competitors.'”

News of the Wired

Exhaustive compilation of reaction to the Apple MacBook Pro event [Milen.me]. “From where I’m standing, Apple are redefining (shrinking) their target audience for the Mac platform. If you feel left out by the latest updates and the neglect on the desktop, it’s simple as Apple deciding not to serve your segment’s needs. I know that it can feel quite personal to Mac devotees, like me, but it’s simply business and strategy.” In other words, the rollout wasn’t a debacle; Apple has decided it doesn’t want to serve the professional market any more (including, one would have thought critically, the market in content creation). Since the Mac accounts for 10% of Apple’s revenues, that may be a rational business decision. But if Cook really thinks “the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop” he’s delusional, and I don’t care if he paid for a marketing study. I own both and I know. The ultimate strength of the Mac was always the Human Interface Guidelines — gradually being crapified as iOS idioms infest OS X — which imposed a similar “look and feel” across all applications that ran on the Mac platform. It would be nice if Ubuntu, say, could achieve the same thing. Sadly, that doesn’t seem likely, for reasons both technical and cultural. My first Mac was a 512KE. It was a good run.

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (Rex):


Rex wrote:

Attached is a folder of some of the bees and wasps that frequent a patch of mint in my front yard. The mint is in a half wine barrel and wired to keep the goats from eating all of it. These wasps are only a few of the many different species I see, every morning the thing is abuzz with dozens of types of pollinators. Wasps, hornets, bees, flies…

As a WASP, I appreciate this!

Readers, Water Cooler is a standalone entity, not supported by the very successful Naked Capitalism fundraiser just past. Now, I understand you may feel tapped out, but when and if you are able, please use the dropdown to choose your contribution, and then click the hat! Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. Water Cooler will not exist without your continued help.


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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. L

    Days until 6.

    On this point, I have a question: Why am I still getting funding solicitations now?

    I got 16 in one email account as of this morning most of them from the DSCC. One of them literally entitled “We are begging you.”

    With only 6 days until the election is there really time to take my donation, verify it, pass it to an actual campaign, and then use it to sway the election?

    Or is the desperation in my inbox just an effort to pad their nests for later based upon the premise that I am so wired with Trump worry that I will give like a televangelist’s mark in the hopes that my one dollar can hold back the doom tide and they, the consultants, can be kept in Brie and Canepes.

    1. dcblogger

      from the DSCC? just grift. There is time to use your money if you give directly to a candidate. last minute media buys ares still being made.

      1. Katharine

        Surely there must be bills to pay off after election day, credit cards, office supplies, whatever comes in late. And for a small campaign, late donations might save the candidate from having to pass the hat at Thanksgiving dinner. I’m sending a last check to a Green with small prospects because I want him to stay in politics.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      I ignore the DSCC ones but not the ones from Our Revolution – subject line for this one was Outspent 4:1 and it targets specific ballot initiatives in 3 states. Is this just quixotic or is this actually how it’s done (along with educating ourselves to think critically about MSM pablum of course)? There has been a lot of commentary here of late about the admittedly awful 0care – what’s wrong with putting a little $ where your mouth is?

      The email:
      Big Pharma and health insurance companies are spending millions of dollars to stop voters from guaranteeing universal health care and stopping drug companies from overcharging for prescription drugs. We must also help a ballot initiative to support public financing of elections.
      Make an immediate $25 contribution directly to these three ballot initiative campaigns in the final days of the election as a way of saying we need to fight the billionaire class trying to buy our democracy.
      CONTRIBUTE $25

      Big Pharma and health insurance companies are spending big money in the final days of the election to stop ballot initiatives that would regulate their profits. Just as the billionaire class tries to buy seats in Congress, big corporations are spending millions of dollars to defeat ballot initiatives.
      In Colorado, Amendment 69 would establish Colorado as the first state to guarantee universal health care. As you might imagine, health insurance companies don’t like this very much. So far five health insurance companies are the top five donors to stop Amendment 69. The campaign trying to pass universal health care is being outspent 4:1 because of these health insurance companies trying to protect their profits. Please chip in to support the campaign for Amendment 69.

      Pharmaceutical companies have already spent more than $100 million in California to defeat Proposition 61, which would mandate drug companies can’t charge the public any more for prescription drugs than they charge the Veterans Administration. If it passes, Proposition 61 would be a much needed check on the skyrocketing costs of prescription drug prices. Big Pharma knows this would be devastating to their grotesque profits, and they’re doing everything they can to stop it. Take on Big Pharma with a contribution for Prop 61.

      We must also help pass public financing of elections in Howard County, Maryland to help establish a way for candidates to get the funding they need to run for office without having to beg millionaires for money. By establishing public financing systems at the local level, we can lay the groundwork for even playing fields in elections all over the country. Donate now to support Fair Elections Howard County. There are 7 days left before the election, and we know that the billionaire class is threatened. That’s why they’re spending millions of dollars to defeat ballot initiatives like these.

      Please make a $25 contribution directly to the campaigns supporting Amendment 69, Proposition 61, Fair Elections Howard County, and Our Revolution so that we can show Big Pharma, health insurance companies, and the billionaire class they can’t buy our elections.

      By taking on big corporations in these final days of the election, we can send an unmistakable message that our grassroots movement can win against the billionaire class.
      Thank you,
      Shannon Jackson
      Executive Director
      Our Revolution

      1. L

        My skepticism stems from the fact that when the polling numbers are up the DCCC begs for money to beat back the R’s. When they are down they desperately demand money to beat them back but it is never clear where the money goes only that we have to outspend “the other side” but outspend on what? Even during the election they were light on specifics and their general conduct has never been good but now it seems more fatuous than ever to believe that my money will actually get through to an ad buy.

        After reading the excellent takedown of David Brock’s scammy operations I am even more wary of sending money to campaigns.

        In the case of yours and of Katherine I see some sense. Donating to a specific campaign that you endorse makes a bit more sense because they do have debts and you do see concrete actions that they will take to further your goals. But in the abstract I see little value and even less logic in tossing money at another bunch of beltway hacks.

        1. aab

          Never give money to the DSCC or the DCCC. Never. That will only be distributed to horrible corporatist candidates.

          Our Revolution I’m not sure about. Because of Weaver and Flores’ involvement (among other problems), I’m staying away for the time being. But Bernie is backing Prop 61. The airwaves here in California are flooded with incredibly dishonest ads against Prop 61, as you would expect. I don’t know what they can do with donations now, but maybe there are last minute media buys on radio and such that might help. So giving directly to the campaign seems okay.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            To me, it’s interesting that they’re operating independently of the Clinton campaign, which would doubtless rather have them doing an email blast about Trump being an agent of Vladimir Putin.

            And small contributions make a big difference at the state and local level. It’s a smart strategy.

    3. fajensen

      It will cost a lot to hack all the voting machines. Without your support, The Clintons will be bankrupt already on entering the White House.

      1. uncle tungsten

        Wait! I hear another cyclone is headed to Haiti, all is safe now. There are more millions to be made from disaster capitalism.

    4. Kokuanani

      Why are you still getting funding solicitations? Because you haven’t replied in an adequately nasty way to prior pleas.

      Mark ’em up with nasty words — preferably in magic marker. Sound as crazy as you can. Send back their postage-paid envelope filled with washers or taped to a brick.

      Having tried a few of these tactics, I receive NO solicitations.

    5. kimsarah

      I got the begging email too from Ross in NC.
      Let them beg their Wall Street friends for a little more money, you know, the ones they drool over and will represent.

  2. L

    A recent survey did show that the election is causing U.S. voters high anxiety. But according to readings of the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, the level of market anxiety is pretty normal, said Lemco.

    This is hardly surprising. Whoever wins, Mr. Market expects to be paid as most of the actual governance will not change. Donald Trump, for all of his bluster, will not touch fundamental assumptions about the importance of regressive taxation and neoliberalism.

    1. Vatch

      Trump wants to reduce taxes and eliminate regulations. This will make Mr. Market very happy:


      Donald Trump wants to do this:

      Eliminate our most intrusive regulations, like the Waters of The U.S. Rule. We will also scrap the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan which the government estimates will cost $7.2 billion a year.

      I was curious, so I looked here and here. Donald Trump doesn’t want a reduction of green house gas emissions, nor does he want to protect rivers, lake, or wetlands. The oligarchs will be happy with either Clinton or Trump as President.

      1. RabidGandhi

        The oligarchs will be happy with either Clinton or Trump as President.

        No this just can’t be. Because anyone who says HRC is worse is a deplorable Putinphile, and anyone who says Trump is worse is a gatekeeper shill.

        If, as you say, the election is actually a matter of “heads the oligarchs win, tails we lose,” then we just spent an entire cycle losing friends and deinfluencing people– which can’t be as we’re way too smart and credentialed to do something so foolish.

      2. EmilianoZ

        Yep, the oligarchs have a knack for putting themselves in win-win situations. That’s why they’re oligarchs.

      3. Anonymous

        If HRC wins, we have war with Russia, including possibly WW3. That makes environmental issues moot.

        Separately, HRC will not even agree to a carbon tax, she lobbied for two giant polluting coal plants in South Africa, and she promotes fracking worldwide.



        1. Vatch

          I’m not advising people to vote for Clinton, and I know that her environmental positions are a sham. I want people who support Trump to realize that he is a right winger whose policies will benefit the richest Americans, and not the rest of us. Please don’t fool yourselves about Trump. He is not a progressive.

          I find the absolute predictions of a war with Russia if Clinton wins to be reminiscent of the 1964 Lyndon Johnson daisy television commercial, which was devastating to Barry Goldwater’s campaign. What happened? Johnson won by a landslide, but even before the election, there was the Gulf of Tonkin incident and the Congressional Resolution, and very soon the U.S was up to its ears in the Vietnam War.

          If you’re truly afraid that Clinton will start a war, definitely vote for Trump. I’m not certain of much about this election, except that Clinton and Trump are both severely flawed people, and that the Republican and Democratic parties are thoroughly corrupt. I’m going to vote Green (despite my misgivings about the Green Vice Presidential candidate).

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            The horrid Foreign Policy podcast I listen to, From the Heart of The Blob The Editor’s Roundtable, just ran an episode listing the issues they see as critical for the incoming President. #1 is the possibility of war with Russia; they were all positively wide-eyed about Putin’s aggressive behavior. As if the Clinton campaign and the political class — especially the responsibility to protect crowd — hadn’t been beating the war drums for months! One scenario was triggered by a Russian plane accidentally clipping a Navy warship in the Baltic, the other by a Russian plane crossing into our Syrian no-fly zone and being shot down.

            Anyhow, it’s clear enough why the neo-cons are all in for Clinton; they think she’s more likely to give them another war than Trump is. And they are the experts in this, after all.

          2. charles leseau

            “I find the absolute predictions of a war with Russia if Clinton wins to be reminiscent of the 1964 Lyndon Johnson daisy television commercial, which was devastating to Barry Goldwater’s campaign.”

            What’s ironic about what you wrote here is that it’s Clinton’s campaign that invoked the Daisy ad against Trump, even going so far as to hire the same actress who was Daisy to do it.


        2. uncle tungsten

          Nah, I don’t buy that, we will not have war with Russia. Hellary just keeps slamming the Russians to cover up the real manipulator of this election:- wall street! But now they are getting seriously nervous as she has totally fkd up the email story and has been outed by a klutz kid stalker. Sheesh what a bummer for wall street an its clown car of banksters.

          This election is the best entertainment in years. But can you tell me has Obama hung her out to dry with his support for the integrity of the FBI director, or is he sensing his chance to set up a small foundation and maybe a global initiative for helping out the poor, like he just did in the USA?

          1. Procopius

            You’re ignoring the fact that the neocons are determined to emasculate Russia to protect Israel. They are determined to utterly destroy Iran and sow salt on the ruins to protect Israel. This goes back to the original PNAC, which was made public in 1998. We’ve seen the steady rise of tensions since 2003. They’ve been open about war with Russia since the Georgia incident in 2011. They conducted the coup in Ukraine to get closer to the Russian border.

            War with Russia is not inevitable if Hillary wins. She might be made to understand that we can fight a nuclear war but nobody will win it. Kissinger is a loathsome imitation of a human being but he’s not suicidal. I don’t think Negroponte is suicidal. I’m not so sure about Robert Kagan or Max Boot. She has some awful friends.

            She scares the heck out of me, but Trump is a lunatic.

  3. diptherio

    One more co-op focused podcast:


    (We’re currently looking for a better hosting service, if anyone has any suggestions.)

    The most recent episode is about some arcane financial issues that normally get ignored or fudged in worker co-op start-ups that may well be holding us back from really making the model as attractive an option for entrepreneurial types as sole-proprietorship/partnerships. Might be of interest to some in this crowd.

    1. Uahsenaa

      When I played the most recent ep in iTunes, there were a lot of really obnoxious audio artifacts. Made it basically unlistenable.

  4. Ivy

    Poli Sci 101 Syllabus, now expanded to include WikiLeaks reading list selections
    Poli Sci 101 lab, now expanded to include data security

    Coming soon to a campus near you!

      1. ambrit

        And try and show up to class with a ‘pirated’ copy of any text! (We’re talking CD/Rom inserts here folks.)
        Save your money and send some of it to NC and Water Cooler and attend the economics classes running 24/7 right here.

  5. OIFVet

    Re Podesta emails show how America is run.

    But the One Big Boundary remains. Yes, it’s all supposed to be a meritocracy. But if you aren’t part of this happy, prosperous in-group – if you don’t have John Podesta’s email address – you’re out.

    Luckily for all us, we now have Podesta’s email addy (thank you Wikileaks, you Russian stooges). I am currently narrowing in on a sinecure I would like him to obtain for me, in return I will offer very generous donations of $27 each to the Clinton Foundation, Madame Secretary’s campaign, the DNC, the DCCC, and any other organization or individual he cares to add to the list, up to a maximum total of $2,700. Man, I can already taste Martha’s Vineyard’s finest local produce and DC power lunches!

      1. OIFVet

        To paraphrase one of my heroes, “The Skulls and Bones are unanimous in their rejection of me — and I welcome their rejection.”

    1. hunkerdown

      On whom? If anything, this keeps the focus off of the Empress and her privatization of public records, and on her consort offered up as some old-time Aztec-style Huma sacrifice. They’re hoping that quenching our metaphorical bloodlust, as They call our expectation that all are equal under the law, will legitimize their trespasses, as the quadrennial ritual requires.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t like sources, like “True Pundit,” that have no About Page or masthead, so I can’t know who’s funding them or who the writers are. And I don’t like stories, like this one, that cite only anonymous sources and have no links at all. And I don’t like sources that seem to have sprung out of nowhere only months ago and started publishing at full speed (first archive is from June 2016).

      So, “if this is correct,” it will have been confirmed elsewhere. So start with the elsewhere, and throw away True Pundit.

    3. uncle tungsten

      Regardless of the reliability of truepundit, I have to say that this depressing election has a renewed lease of life to in the sense that absolute farce can assuage depression. Hellary has affirmed everything Bernie Sanders represents and demonstrated her inability to be anywhere near genuine let alone comprehend the meaning of that term.

      The Russians (especially Putin and Lavrov) must be laughing their heads off and I simply don’t know how Lavrov will be able to keep a straight face next time he meets Kerry.

      The entire fiasco makes me think of Terry Pratchet and his absurd stories. I will have to adopt strict drinking rules if I am to survive the next five days of this. I have put away the tequila and brought out the Arak and the reds.

  6. jo6pac

    liberal Democrats have vowed to block her appointment of Wall Street-friendly officials to key Cabinet and sub-Cabinet jobs

    WOW I must be confused there is one or two left? The demodogs will rollover as normal for ws.

    1. Tvc15

      Yes it is! They are going to need it based on the chart Lambert provided showing approximately 40 banks needing to ensure their energy sector rental payments will be paid. Link is timely because my spouse and I were looking for a way to contribute to the Native American tribes. Between this pending I assume tragedy in ND and the election, good news is in short supply.

  7. allan

    UPDATE The good people. (Exemplified by: “Exactly what’s wrong with ‘more of the same’?”

    It would be irresponsible not to point out that the author’s brother is a partner at Andreessen Horowitz.
    The Obama regime has been very good to such people.
    It’s not smugness – it’s self-interest.

  8. Waldenpond

    Latest angst from the anti-Trump crowd. OMGOMG!!!11! Some are no longer following the hillaryclinton account!!! Gee, maybe they think they will soon be following a HC president account. OMGOMG!!!!111!! Flotus has deleted tweets. Gee, maybe she isn’t going to be flotus anymore and is tidying up.

    1. Waldenpond

      Edit time disappeared. haha. That’s the anti-Clinton camp. That HC isn’t followed means that people in the know expect something (dunh, dunh, duh) is about to explode. Really… the conspiracy is that powerful people are so panicked they are resorting to the that most desperate of acts…editing their twitter feeds. I know our elite are vapid, but come on.

    1. Starveling

      Why does early voting even exist? I’m on board with the ‘election day is a holiday, everyone gets off, vote at the polls on paper, hand counted in front of a live audience of the electorate’ train myself.

      1. EGrise

        I agree too. For a nation that celebrates participatory democracy, to not make election day a national holiday is either puzzling or a “tell”.

      2. Katharine

        I want election day as a holiday, but I still want absentee ballots to be freely available. People have reasons for not not wanting, or not being able, to vote at polls.

        1. JTMcPhee

          There’s a whole lot of people in the “helping professions” that would be forced by management and their own need for income and most important, their dedication and decency to work through any national election day holiday, and the same for so many others not in the credentialed class…

          1. jrs

            yea a lot of people here seem not to get the nature of the workplace at all (it can be a lot harsher than they can even imagine), that people have to work holidays if their employer says so. PERIOD. They probably wont’ even get overtime, since that’s not even the law (the law is only overtime over 40 hour weeks, 8 hour days etc., nothing about holidays).

            Now, this happens more further down the income scale (it happens all the time in blue collar, service etc. work) UNLESS it’s a profession like medicine where work on holidays is needed.

            So national holiday = good. But people will still have to work.

      3. Lois

        In Washington State we vote 100% by mail. I love it! I fill out my ballot over time with the voter’s guide nearby.

      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        I can see early voting as being a seemingly rational response to Republican restrictions on voting hours and voter registration. However:

        1) Since the effect is to prioritize partisan or tribal loyalty over events in the latter days of the election, and

        2) The Democrats really aren’t serious about enfranchising voters, because if they were (as I keep saying) they would treat 24/7/365 voter registration as a core party function, I conclude

        3) that early voting is a really bad idea, and the thinking behind it was done in bad faith.

      5. Procopius

        National holiday won’t work. How many people are forced to work Thanksgiving Day? Christmas Day?

  9. DJG

    With regard to the Dems re-taking the house, they have no such plan. I just reviewed my sample ballot here in Illinois. The Democrats are not even contesting two of the eighteen districts for U.S. House of Representatives: Kinzinger and Shimkus.

    Do they expect to sweep the Oklahoma delegation instead?

    They will likely hold the U.S. Senate. Mark Kirk isn’t an indication of national change. He’s a local knucklehead who has worn out his welcome.

  10. DJPS

    Would you agree that the “Dump all those emails” Podesta leak marks the end of HRC’s career? Trump now running unopposed.

    1. Roger Smith

      I don’t think we can say with any certainty what his choice of words actually means. Is he talking about getting them out to the public? Is he talking about handing them over as soon as possible to the State Department or FBI? Is he talking about destroying them? If it is destruction, “dump” seems like a strange choice of verb.

      1. John k

        To be perfectly clear is dangerous.
        However, few would think he meant to quickly turn everything over to the authorities, given the possibility of jail terms, is the intended meaning.

      2. DJPS

        I was talking about the general public reaction, rather than whether it was in any way legally defensible. Should this be widely reported by MSN, I think it will be very hard to recover from. Some of her alledged corruption is a little complicated to explain “to grandma”. This is perfectly encapsulated. It just reeks.

      3. pretzelattack

        first dope dealer: omg we just passed a cop and he’s starting to peel out. quick, dump the weed!’
        second dope dealer: ” you’re right, we need to turn it over to the duly constituted authorities.”

      4. Fiver

        For those following independent coverage of the various leaks closely, there is now so much out on Podesta and Band and so many others there is simply no question but that both the Clinton operation and top echelon of the Democratic Party as an institution are criminally corrupt – and why on earth should that surprise given Dems from 2001 through to present not only gave a pass to the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld etc. war crimes, the Bush/Paulson/Bernanke Wall Street crimes and the NASA/CIA/FBI/Homeland Security illegal spying crimes, but in every case enhanced, augmented, extended or furthered the power and interests of the monsters both Parties created. The scale and scope of this simply obliterates ‘Watergate’ as a ‘scandal’. A Clinton Presidency will be mortally wounded at the outset and regardless of the makeup of Congress unable to pass anything other than some sort of iron-clad protection for politicians and cronies re e-security – the protection will be provided by Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc., who over the next 4 years will perfect and synchronize their ‘lists’ of voters’ preferences and voters’ news preferences in such a way that none of this messiness can ever occur again, as they will control all sides of the discussion. Count on it.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Few people recognize the extent to which Obama expanded America’s launching drone murder across the globe from even what Cheney could convince his treasonous lawyers to approve. Obama famously stated that “being President is not just about deciding which country to bomb next” but he never got around to showing what else it was he meant. Maybe it was the back nine at Doral, or perhaps approving Michele’s little shopping jaunt with the girls to Milan at taxpayer cost of $200k per hour.

    2. Waldenpond

      No. For me, just ours after the story becomes public, dump means to get rid of. For Lynch, it will never be enough to prosecute. HC voters are entrenched, nothing will shift them.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I envision they are so entrenched that every HC voter stays in his/her assigned trench and never gets over the top to go to the voting booth.

        Their leader, meanwhile, stays in her bunker.

        1. Waldenpond

          I very rarely have my preferences in elections so I’m used to it. I would like to see the Dems lose, I still don’t see it happening.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > For me, just ours after the story becomes public, dump means to get rid of.

        But it matters what Podesta meant, not what you think. And “document dump,” in Beltway parlance, means release (see my other comment on this thread).

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      No. Again, “document dump” is a well-known idiom in DC (and on political blogs); I think most of us have heard of “Friday document dumps.”

      And Podesta’s advice is based on the well-known truism, from the days of Nixon, that “the cover-up is worse than the crime.”

      However, it’s very telling — and so we both arrive at more or less the same place — that when Clinton’s advisor said she should release all the mails, she didn’t. There must have been a reason for that, no?

      1. fajensen

        The very first instinct of Hillary Clinton is simply to never take professional advice on anything.

        There may very well be good reasons for non-disclosure lurking in the mail pile, but, if Hillary had taken the professional advice that was clearly available on many occasions and had used the secure system for the state business and the private server for the foundation business, then, it would not have mattered at all what was in that private pile! The TLA’s would know of course, but they can generally keep a secret.

        Just by doing this one thing, she would have been totally safe. Unless someone RICO’ed The Clinton Foundation (and this happning would be very unlikely indeed given the wealth of documentation on what inner-party people can get cleanly away with these last 15 years).

        To me, this whole tragedy not only shows the mark of a personality problem. It also shows that the Clinton’s have lost control, it is written up in Neon all over the Internet. To the sponsors of Hillary, the risk of getting entangled in the ongoing mess or perhaps involved in another sudden “negligent discharge” incident – like Weiner-Gate – is probably looking decidedly uncomfortable for reasonable people with profit- and policy- deliverables expected of them. FBI get called in to “… shut this thing down, now or else …”.

  11. Roger Smith

    Could someone help explain what is supposed to be happening in the @pwnallthethings tweet stream?

    1. john

      It’s a guess, but up top on the tweet-link it links a slate.com article about donald’s ‘secret Russian E-mail Server’ ZOMG

      This narrative has been widely discredited/laughed off and as a double guess, the article has been pulled down.

      Russians must have got it. ;)

      1. craazyboy

        Yes, the Russians know how to keep their state secrets, and sleeper agents, safe. BTW – Trump’s code name is Agent Orange.

        Furthermore, Trump doesn’t even know he’s a sleeper agent. He can pass a lie detector test that way. The KGB with invoke the trigger word, or possibly a particular cadence of brightly flashing lights, once Trump is sworn into office.

        1. pretzelattack

          yeah the lights look exactly like a slot machine when somebody wins. and the trigger word is “ka-ching”.

  12. abynormal

    Hey Lambert, do you milk your goats? and is that a recent pic? if so that wasp is way past his expiration date. btw i love mint…always had a worry’n stomach but where ginger helped in the past, it gives me acid reflux today…mint is the way ta go.
    happy goat’n

    1. Jim Haygood

      Huma Abedingbat, protégée of Hillary Clintonta.

      Actually it’s not want of intelligence, but rather the Clintons’ EDF (Ethical Distortion Field) which landed both of them in their current plight.

      Reality failed to conform to their lofty expectations. This is not what Hillary was taught at Yale Law: It’s your world; bend it to your will. A grateful peasantry will shower you with rose petals.

  13. pretzelattack

    yahoo helpfully informs me that “trump’s praise of russia defies all logic”. pushing that putin agent meme hard.

  14. john

    RE: Heroin overdose rates skyrocket

    It’s not just the Heroin.

    Suicide rates have been through the roof. No figures at hand, but shocking.

      1. abynormal

        gotta watch’m Jo6…the date at the top of the page reads 2016 BUT the charts & information only go up to 2014. i remember when they stopped recording (at least for our eyes)…i raised hell here at NC. ‘There Is NO Suicide in the Land of the Free!’
        and note how ‘big’ they are on prevention…pulease: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/riskprotectivefactors.html …the list is nothing but blaming the victim…nothing about ECONOMY related issues like no food, no shelter, NO HOPE.

        but be sure and take the time to call the HELP line…’oh, no home? well let me transfer you to that dept., where you’ll be thrown into a robo system from hell and never reach a human cause they’ve all been layed off!’

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          That’s not completely fair. On the list of causes (I added numbers):

          1 Feelings of hopelessness
          2 Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people
          3 Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
          4 Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)

          1 is a proxy for economic disaster, especially debt or loss of your home. 2 comes from losing connections in the workplace. The “barriers” in 3 surely include inability to pay for transport or the clinic. And 4 explicitly mentions financial loss.

          But I agree that economics as a driver is shockingly absent. And here are the solutions:

          1 Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
          2 Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking
          3 Family and community support (connectedness)
          4 Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
          5 Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes
          6 Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self-preservation

          I have helpfully underlined the solutions that involve walking around money for credentialed professionals (1, 2, and 4). Of the remainder, none involve economics at all, let alone organizing, unless we include such things as subsets of “Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes.” (And not that there’s anything wrong with it, but the stress on “nonviolent” — which is really the only place here where politics enters at all — is interesting.)

          Thanks for this link.

  15. LT

    Re: “Of Two Minds”

    Charles H. has points about the Nixon / Clinton comparability.

    But what is more apparent to me now, more than ever, is that Hillary and syncophants do not have to appeal to morality to get support.
    The technocrats and the people that love them are dististinctly amoral and see this as a character strength. The also claim not to make decisions out of “emotion” or “ideology,” but the fear, contempt and hatred for the masses is an ideology and itself filled with emotion.

  16. OIFVet

    It is one thing to have read about McCarthyism, and a whole different thing to live at the dawn of McCarthyism 2.0. Only this time, we know that McCarthy is the entire DC and press establishments, and that they have no sense of decency left whatsoever.

    PS Response to pretzelattack

    1. pretzelattack

      yeah, i was only 5 when he died, but i did get to see some of huac, which lasted till ’75. now i get to see the newer, possibly more effective version. the earlier version had a lot of dc and the press behind it, and jailed people (i don’t know if the rosenbergs would have been executed without the poisoned environment; i think she might not have been) . i hope we don’t see alleged putin agents purged.

  17. GF

    I posted this in NC comments too: Tavis Smiley has a debate between Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. Part 1 (Domestic questions)was last night and Part 2 (International questions) is tonight on PBS with a part 3 (No mention of topic) on-line available after 11:30 PM Pacific time tonight.. I found Part 1 on the PBS Roku channel and it may be available at other sites. It is the first time these 2 candidates have debated head-to-head that I am aware.

  18. allan

    State of emergency declared for Alabama after Colonial pipeline incident [Reuters]

    Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for the state due to an explosion and fire involving Colonial Pipeline Co [COLPI.UL] in Shelby County on Monday. …

    The declaration will facilitate a waiver from the U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, needed to lift a federal government limitation on the hours a driver can transport gasoline, the statement added.

    What could possibly go wrong.

    As an extra bonus, as predicted by some stupid commenter yesterday, the FAA has imposed a flight restriction over the scene of the accident. No drone footage for enviro propaganda.
    File under Class Warfare, Never Let a Crisis Go To Waste Edition

    1. abynormal

      i’ve been getting conflicting info…right after the blast it was reportedly not as bad as being reported now. no fly is suspect….i trust so little these days :(

  19. lyman alpha blob

    On Clinton oppo, Mother Jones’ David Corn gets the weasel words of the week award for truthiness. From a nearly fact free article on Trump’s alleged ties to Russia:

    “There’s nothing wrong with a presidential candidate talking to a foreign government if he or she chooses to do so,” Corn said. But it does sort of fit into this overall picture we’ve seen in this campaign of Russian hackers targeting Democratic targets, and leaking information in a way that harms Hillary Clinton and seems to benefit Donald Trump. And we have seen Donald Trump almost inexplicably defend if not sometimes praise [Russian President Vladimir] Putin in a way no other Republican candidate ever has.”

    In other words Trump doesn’t actually defend or praise Putin. Well played sir!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > “almost inexplicably defend if not sometimes praise”

      The weasel words (helpfully underlined) and weird negatives (bold) sure are working hard, aren’t they?

  20. a different chris

    >A mainstay of the U.S. domestic shipping business is struggling to stay afloat.

    OMG. I would be so fired if my job was to write that sentence, as I would be so overwhelmed by the Glory of God in offering me the choice between using “to stay afloat” or “to not go underwater” in reference to the shipping industry I would just never be able to hit the publish button.

    I wonder how many people got to write “The Penn Central is going off the rails” or similar back in the day?

    1. OIFVet

      Reading Yahoo comments tends to make people dumber, but I took one for the team and bravely went where no sane person should ordinarily go. Sure enough, second most recent comment:

      “James 1 hour ago
      No warrant, just illegal accusations and BS from Comey, Trumps flunky.”

      Having found what I set out to find, I beat a hasty retreat to the safe and sane confines of NC…

      1. Jim Haygood

        Why does ‘whiskey’ have an ‘e’ while ‘flunky’ does not?

        If I knew the answer to this linguistic riddle, I too could be a Yahoo clickbait journo ho, selling my body for beer money.

        1. ambrit

          Better summon the spirit of Daniel Webster to answer that one.
          Really though, does “esthete” deserve an ‘e’ at the end? I can imagine a working class ‘precioso’ who spells the word “esthet.”

          1. hunkerdown

            Ambrit, Noah was the spelling reformer. And how can you have a bourgeoisie without French? You can’t even have pomfrites, or its calques, or calques in general, without it.

        2. Optimader

          Real (scotch) whisky has no e


          A distillery in Cali a college friend helped start-up after he retired from CalPoly. They make “Whisky”. Veeery good Whisky
          Breaker Bourbon Whisky

          Its a fascinating way to finance a distillery. Never really had a notion these instruments existed til they used this as a finantial tool. The product collaterizes the investment.

          Better that T bills, worst case I can drink the collateral!

      2. ambrit

        You should test your fortitude by dropping a ‘progressive’ comment into a thread. I have been known to do so during the nadirs of some of my more self destructive episodes. Despite Lamberts gentile remonstrations, I have yet to look in on 4chan. There reside, I am told, some experiences that sear the soul, and blast the psyche, like a revelation at the end of a Lovecraft story. (Truly though, some of Clive Barkers imagery comes closer to 4chan territory.)

        1. OIFVet

          You are far braver soul than I am. And 4chan is never going to make the list of my web travel destinations, for I am convinced that there is no safe way out of there with one’s sanity intact.

          1. skippy

            Spend some time on Mises or other fundamentalist AET et al econnomic sites and like Riddick inoculate yourself over a period of time to become immune …. think of it as sorta like a SERE school for sophist philosophy….

            Disheveled Marsupial…. oh yeah…. and like it… there is a post phase to contend with… hell if I was a complete bastard I would recommend it for Gitmo like applications… but I’m not that cruel…

            1. OIFVet

              I have visited Mises from time to time. Series of brief exposures over a period of several years, as you said…

  21. BecauseTradition

    re Who’s Banking Against the Sioux:

    I am because my bank is in that chart. Many* of you are too since we don’t have a choice but use one member of the usury cartel or another since we don’t have a Postal Checking Service or equivalent.

    We have met the enemy and he is us Pogo

    *Most? Since your local bank or credit union may lend to banks on that list?

    1. Tvc15

      Yes, it’s a large tangled web of banks.

      Not suprisingly, included with the usual funding suspects is GS and the honorable Lloyd Blankfein.

      Bernie has been active in support of the native Americans; Hillary, not so much, wonder why?

  22. Synoia

    A giant fire engulfed a beached tanker today killing at least ten workers at the Gadani shipbreaking area in Pakistan injuring another 50. A welding error led to a blast on the ship, which rapidly spread into a blaze with images and videos seen by Splash showing dark, vast plumes above the beached vessel.

    Welding on a Tanker. Full of Inflammable fumes. They are lucky not to be in orbit.

    1. ambrit

      This is happening at the “Promised Land” of unregulated industry. Take my word for it. This sort of occurrence is coming to America in the not too distant future.

        1. abynormal

          and just like that….”Following last week’s inventory draws across the entire energy complex, API was expected to report a seasonally ‘normal’ 1.54mm barrel build but instead printed a massive 9.3mm build – the biggest since March. Distillates saw a 6th straight week of draws but Cushing saw the biggest build in 3 months. Gasoline saw the biggest draw in 2 months (-3.5mm) but RBOB prices are sinking along with WTI.

      1. james brown

        Yeah, Trump will be scraping 80% of regulations right off the bat. Thank god we’ll be able to start breaking ships on Florida beaches. Making America great again, indeed.

    2. bob

      There are some great videos of that place. They run the ships aground to “break” them.

      A lot of the “ship accident” youtube pr0n is from areas like this.

      Very cool seeing a massive ship charge onto the beach.

      Not so cool to know that after that, they send in slaves to tear the ships apart with their bare hands and a few tools.

      Safety last.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Generally, when we need to destroy a lot of capital to initiate a new cycle of accumulation, we have a war (and not just a class war, as with these dead Pakistanis). Back in the days of the balance of terror, that was dangerous to do and so not often done (except at the imperial margins). But the political class is working hard to change that!

  23. allan

    Guillotine Watch, Health Care Edition

    Divorce trial ‘lifestyle analysis’: Ex-wife needs $5 million a year [Chi Trib]

    With multiple homes, a full-time private chef, vacations, entertainment and $746 for pet care, Alicia Stephenson needs more than $400,000 a month to meet her living expenses, according to testimony from a financial expert who specializes in divorces.

    Cathleen Belmonte Newman, a certified divorce financial analyst, said she completed a “lifestyle analysis” to determine that Stephenson would need $433,991 “net” in monthly maintenance to keep up a standard of living similar to what she had during her marriage to Richard Stephenson, the multimillionaire founder of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America hospital network. …

    Much of the trial, now in its third week, has featured testimony from Alicia Stephenson’s friends and business associates who have outlined her lavish lifestyle during the marriage: trips on private jets, several homes complete with staff and high-end furnishings and artwork, millions of dollars in jewelry, couture clothing, fancy parties, expensive vehicles, motorcycles and yachts. …

    All paid for by cancer patients and, truth be told, by their insurance companies.

    Edit: from a comment on the article, a story about CTCA:


    1. abynormal

      RUfuckingkiddingme…Yves mentioned these centers weren’t meeting their touted positive quota they brag about. watching my brother suffer that last week of his life…these people should burn with the bankers. i see the 2013 date…people facing cancer have hope in abundance so not surprised this information isn’t being shouted from mtn tops. tears.

      1. james brown

        I hear endless carping about O-care and the rising premiums (no fan of O-care, btw) but nothing about the astounding rise in health care costs. Health care costs + fat mark up = insurance premiums. Until the underlying costs are targeted nothing will change.

        1. abynormal

          correct. my brother was on medicaid and prescribed a strong painkiller in the form of a patch, for 500.00. took us 3 weeks to find a way to get it to fly thru the system. it was a painful 3 wks for him.

        2. OIFVet

          “Astounding rise in health care costs.” So are we to understand that you think that the massive healthcare industry consolidation (a huge contributor to healthcare costs increases) had nothing to do with the introduction of 0bamacare and it’s perpetuation of the health insurance industry? Size is all about pricing leverage, and 0bama and the Democrat Party made it possible. Thanks, 0bama.

          1. abynormal

            the rise was perpetuating before Ocare but yes, Ocare did contribute to even larger increases. last year the industry lost 18% but also showed a gain of 18%…huge may have just got huger.

        3. hunkerdown

          Stick around for a minute. You’ll run across all sorts of headlines about generic drug costs rising, women being overcharged for birth control just so they can have it count against their deductible (kinda like buying cigarettes just for the Marlboro Points and the exclusive swag), the Manchin crime family’s EpiPen pricing,…

          Plenty can change, but only if we change the structure and not change only one thing at a time against an adversary which can redesign the playing field quickly.

          The only way to win is to be able to refuse to play. I’ll be fighting off W-2 status for as long as I can.

  24. abynormal

    Venezuela’s Currency Disintegrates: Bolivar Plummets 20% In One Week
    Does this sound familiar?

    “There are a combination of things going on, as the stability we saw for most of this year was because things last year had been so abrupt and the decline so steep,” Henkel Garcia, director of Caracas-based consulting company Econometrica, said in a telephone interview. “Public spending may be pressuring the black-market rate, in addition to the exasperation of the people and political tension.

    so here’s where JimH. and i differ…….do the People deserve this? NO. we’ll probably get Hilary for a President but should each of us deserve what is coming from her ‘leadership’? NO. can we kick her out of office as insulated as she is? NO.
    year before last i watched a syrian woman in a tent, answer a question by an american journalist…what she thought of Americans? she said she found them very nice but uninformed. Let’s ask ourselves….can we separate suffering citizens from their governments…Could we show the same compassion as the syrian woman in the tent??

    compassion, may be the only quality that separates us from our government…that saves our lives

  25. RWood

    “But the whipping up of a New Cold War with Russia and the demonizing of Vladimir Putin extend beyond The Washington Post to virtually the entire U.S. political/media establishment which has plunged into this dangerous terrain without any more serious thought and analysis than preceded the Iraq invasion, except now the target for “regime change” is nuclear-armed Russia and this adventurism risks the extermination of life on the planet.”
    Robert Parry

  26. kimsarah

    Re: “If Hillary Clinton hangs on to win the presidency, liberal Democrats have vowed to block her appointment of Wall Street-friendly officials to key Cabinet and sub-Cabinet jobs.”
    Good one!

  27. pretzelattack

    oh, now yahoo has an article about the fbi dumping files from a closed bill clinton case from 2006. i didn’t read the article, because yahoo, but i do wonder if the fbi is going to war with the clintons.

    1. aab

      There’s all sorts of stuff on social media about some ex-Kissinger aid saying all the intel services have launched a counter-coup against the Clinton’s coup by dumping stuff. I have not attempted to verify. What’s the point? We’ll see the dumps, and then there’s election day. I’m assuming the NSA could block machine flipping if it really wanted to, but maybe I’m being unrealistic. (I haven’t educated myself about all the granular details about how the machine rigging works; it’s just too depressing.)

      I think it would be fairer to say that the FBI is fighting back. They know what’s coming if she gets in, and Clintonland launched the first attacks, by corrupting the DOJ and Comey.

      1. pretzelattack

        i’m not disputing that the forces of clinton launched the first attack, first by fixing the investigation, which comey resisted, some, then caved in. i’m just surprised the surrender has turned into a counter-attack. it’s just a very interesting time, as the fortune cookies would have it.

        1. pretzelattack

          there’s a disturbance in the force, and darth vader and the evil overlord are brandishing the light sabers at each other threateningly.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I agree that the Yahoo front page is less than ideal, but can click through from Yahoo. Sometimes the sources are fine, and you wouldn’t find them elsewhere. (You might also consider that at least Yahoo’s algorithms are different from those used by Google and Eric Schmidt.)

      Also, Isikoff (“Spiky” of WhiteWater fame) and Olivier Knox especially are fine, at least in the sense that they haven’t completely lost their minds, as so many at Pravda on the Potomac and Izvestia at the Hudson have done.

      1. Cry Shop

        Under their current uber-brilliant chairperson, Yahoo has gone between Bing and Google to run the actual engine behind their interface for a share of the advert money, and dumped their own effort to create a new search engine to as a way to cut costs and boost short term performance.

        Much of their news is re-hashed pieces from Huff-Po(AOL) and similar pennies per view “journalist”.

  28. Fiver

    I confess I’m surprised by the tenor of this discussion, in that I was expecting to see a good deal more angst re all of the revelations of the last week and how serious the damage is all around. This is the professional, public, partisan political class/private power and media equivalent of 9/11 or the financial crisis, the firestorm consuming the reputations of so many insider-ball types and plain flaming liars of all description there is a desperation that is palpable amongst those who fear for their power and influence. We’ve even been warned that the stock market will crash if Trump is elected, with little red arrows shivering lower in real or mock anticipation. And there certainly is something to be said for creation of a last-ditch panic before, or major distraction immediately after the Election in order to change the subject big time.

    Anyway, it transpires that in addition to all things Wiki and FBI as they relate to Clinton, something like the technology that created Sanders’ famous ‘list’ (and whoever got that, by the way?) also resides with Google et al in order to manipulate news and commentary information queries/flows in order to bury anything perceived to ‘help Trump’ and highlight the portion of the ‘pro Clinton’ ship still above the waterline, the 300′ gash below having filled the hull with ice cubes.. Now I’ve noted here previously that the Obama White House, according to plenty of articles in the mainstream, has a very, very close relationship with Google. I was frankly alarmed at the implications way back then.

    We had better get it straight right now what matters, and what doesn’t. There is, for example, no justification whatever for Google, or Facebook, or Microsoft or any other Internet/communications service-provider to become involved in any way with either partisan politics or on its own deliberately manipulating processes and by doing so shaping the flow of information in such a way as to effectively shape minds, ‘likes’, preferences, votes. We cannot trust great power and these information entities with so much power simply cannot be allowed anything other than iron-clad neutrality in provision of access for news, alternate views, foreign content, etc. It is utter folly to imagine it’s OK for these behemoths to intervene directly into the process in a pro-Clinton effort simply because Clinton, the Dems and major media so badly mishandled the ‘Trump phenomenon’ in the first place – not colluding with media to actually elevate Trump comes to mind. It is folly in the extreme for progressives/lefties/greens to look to Internet giants as trusted allies because they are prepared to use corporate means to attain partisan, or far more important, mind-shaping-via-content-management advantage of this sort to our temporary perceived benefit.

    Can you imagine if a major natural gas company had service interruptions all day Election Day wherever the client-base leaned the other way pinning voters at home? How about a bank that ‘oops’ cancels half its customers cards? Or your insurance company calls every wrong-thinking client to inform that voting for the wrong candidate is going to cost everyone a pile. People would rightly freak.

    Sanders would’ve obliterated Trump. And both Dems and Clinton could’ve carried on their merry way getting virtually everything they wanted because it was they who already had a slick, professional mob in place to do the real business of Government for the past 25 years – feed the public’s money to the wealthy and powerful in any way conceivable and special interest and corporate money flows back to all the right people. Sanders would’ve started off at least, and probably more, hand-cuffed than Obama through deliberate misinformation and bad advice from Clinton Dems in the Admin and in Government generally. But it was the title that counted, and the power such as it is – almost all loaded to favour use of State power in undesirable, illegal or immoral acts of war and terror rather than an important role in planning and building for the future in some positive fashion and demonstrably sane goals.

    This is a very dangerous period for the US polity and I can readily imagine scenarios wherein some of the more hardline, reactionary, law-and-order elements of the State and key financial/corporate power are able to act in ways that could have half the country out for the other half’s blood, and thereby initiate a de facto State of Emergency – and to be able to do it to either or both candidates, from now until it’s deemed things seem to have settled down. If Trump wins, the non-Trump public has to let it play out, not go bananas, not greet every single word with venom, but just try to find the best deal possible when possible, and oppose when necessary. There is no need to get riled until he earns it. Think about what a total re-build of the Dems or really, at this point a new party altogether, and how to be ready for 2018 first and for Office in 2020. Trump is not going to do anything crazy that won’t be opposed vigorously. On the other hand, if Clinton wins, the dynamic for Dems is for some to slowly desert the stricken ship, others to tell everything they know, but for inner others , the core, there will be redoubled effort to regain control, to make some bold move, even a Hail Mary to Putin .

    There are a lot of ways things can now go wrong, in a very big way and for some time to come. We are very close I feel to the point where enough people from all those areas of science relevant to the macro-planning and analysis necessary to do a forecast for the future are now saying it’s all happening so much faster.

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