2:00PM Water Cooler 11/15/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


CETA: “In Wallonia (which with 3.5 million inhabitants is still larger than the seven smallest member states of the EU), civil society organisations first alerted politicians to the dangers of TTIP and Ceta at a very early stage. And they were listened to. The parliament of Wallonia, with the same constitutional international powers as a national parliament, decided to take up the issue, and the government that I lead committed itself to defending its resolutions” [Paul Magnette, Guardian].

TPP: “TIME SPENT NEGOTIATING TPP WASN’T WASTED: The immediate future of the TPP may look dim, at least in the United States, but U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady both maintain that aspects of it — if not the deal itself — can and should be preserved and revived later on down the road” [Politico]. It’s a zombie! Kill it with fire!



UPDATE “Protesters occupy Sen. Schumer’s D.C. office, rip him for ties to Wall Street” [New York Daily News].

Protesters from groups including Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, held ‘Wall Street Democrats failed us’ and ‘Schumer, grow a spine, Democracy is on the line’ banners. They argued Schumer comes from the same corporatist wing of the Democratic Party that Hillary Clinton hails from — and that is why she lost last week. They want someone besides Schumer, who they view as too willing to compromise, to head up Democrats’ opposition to President-elect Donald Trump.

Excellent, that we see a convergence of #BlackLivesMatter and Occupy.

UPDATE “Anti-Trump Protests Spread to Democratic Leadership With Sit-In at Schumer’s DC Office” [ABC]. Notice that the lazy, stupid, or bad faith headline conflates the Anti-Trump protests with this protest. Insofar as the existing anti-Trump protests were pro-Clinton, they’re not the same, as the body of the story shows:

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., at least 40 protesters occupied Sen. Schumer’s office, according to Waleed Shahid, a spokesperson for #AllofUs, the group that staged the sit-in.

Shahid said that #AllofUs is composed of young men and women who participated in the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011, as well as Black Lives Matter, climate activists, and organizers from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president. He said the protesters were concerned about Democrats collaborating with Trump, citing Schumer’s ties to Wall Street as evidence that he was part of the same party establishment that lost the election.

Not bad framing! (And #AllofUs must have taken some diplomacy, since #AllLivesMatter emerged only in reaction to #BlackLivesMatter, and was often used by defenders of the police.)

“The truth is that in [Trump’s] first term he will likely have only one appointment (filling the vacancy left by Justice Scalia’s death in February), because the three oldest justices are Ginsburg (83), Kennedy (80), and Breyer (78)—a group not likely to retire under a Trump Administration” [American Greatness]. “Despite a preoccupation with ethnic diversity, few seem to care that the court lacks any other form of diversity. As Scalia explained, the high court consists of nine elite lawyers who attended either Harvard or Yale Law; eight grew up on the two coasts; and four hail from New York City.”

“A suggestion to Donald Trump: Listen to Ivanka” [Catherine Rampell, WaPo]. “With his daughter Ivanka’s influence, Trump has pledged to finally remove the United States from the two-member club of countries that do not guarantee paid maternity leave. (Right now it’s us and Papua New Guinea.) His plan would require six weeks of paid leave to new mothers.”

“Trump’s Proposals: Dangerous to our Climate’s Future” [Weather Underground]. ” In order to keep global warming below the dangerous threshold of 2°C above pre-industrial levels, we needed strong American leadership and a near-WWII-level effort to move the U.S. and global economy away from fossil fuels. Instead, Trump has promised to strongly oppose that transition. While Trump’s actions cannot stop the ongoing shift of our energy economy away from fossil fuels, they could still do a tremendous amount of damage, because there remains far more fossil fuel on Earth than we can safely burn while still avoiding dangerous risks to our climate. … Indeed, any U.S. action to halt or slow down climate change mitigation and adaption will run up against powerful worldwide momentum, including the global recognition of climate change threats and the enormous growth of wind and solar energy.”

The Voters

“So like we said, Bay Area ideology is weird—particularly the conservative variety. “Silicon Valley loves to think of itself as a pirate ship,” says Margaret O’Mara, a historian at the University of Washington who studies Silicon Valley politics. “And that expresses itself politically in not easily categorizable ways.” Two main strands: those who think government can improve itself by taking a few lessons from the Valley, and those who think government should just get the heck out of their way” [Wired].

Inside Baseball

“What Stephen Bannon wants to do in Trump’s White House” [The Hill]. “The new Breitbart Paris website will campaign aggressively to help Le Pen get elected as the next president of France, according to a source familiar with the website’s internal dynamics.”

“Springtime For Breitbart” [Mark Ames and Max Blumenthal, NSFW]. “Breitbart, the adopted son of a wealthy West Los Angeles restauranteur, used his privilege to immiserate the most marginalized, impoverished, widely demonized groups of Americans. He was a faithful errand boy for rich, Scrooge McDuck tycoons like Peter Thiel, Foster Friess, and the Koch Brothers, wielding smear journalism against anyone or any interest that threatened their power — usually African-Americans or groups like ACORN, serving impoverished, neglected inner city communities.” Fun stuff.

Legitimacy and Realignment

“[S]electing any sitting member of Congress [for example, Keith Eillison] to be the public face of the DNC is inconsistent with the history and purpose of the institution, the oldest continuing party committee in the world” [RealClearPolitics]. “[T]he constitutional reality [is] that we are not a parliamentary democracy in which the national leader emerges from the legislative caucus of his or her party. For most of its history, the DNC, as well as the RNC, has been led by operatives, who ran campaigns, served as state party chairmen, were major fundraisers, or who either retired or were defeated for public office before seeking the chairmanship.”

“With Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders holding the heart of the party, the room for the type of New Democrat rethink of the early 1990s seems small.” [Wall Street Journal, “A Clinton-Free Democratic Party”]. ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished!

Email, email, email

“The [Indiana] administration is fighting to conceal the contents of an email sent to Gov. Mike Pence by a political ally. That email is being sought by a prominent Democratic labor lawyer who says he wants to expose waste in the Republican administration” [Indianapolis Star]. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Stats Watch

Retail Sales, October 2016: “The consumer started the fourth-quarter better than expected and finished the third-quarter even stronger than that. Retail sales jumped 0.8 percent in October” [Econoday]. And: ” The increase in October was above expectations and the previous two months were revised up; a very strong report” [Calculated Risk]. But: “The relationship between year-over-year growth in inflation adjusted retail sales and retail employment has inverted – and this is normally a recessionary sign” [Econintersect]. But: “Good report, driven by autos, which were up from last month though down from last year. However, on a year over year basis vehicles sales if anything seem to be moderately declining, and so won’t be contributing to growth as they had in the past. So a glimmer of hope here, but guarded to say the least” [Mosler Economics].

Empire State Manufacturing Survey, November 2016: “Showing life” [Econoday]. “New orders are up a modest but still constructive 3.1 in November though unfilled orders remain deeply in the negative column at minus 12.7. Shipments are up, at plus 8.5 following two months of decline, but employment continues to contract.” And but: “I am not a fan of surveys. However, it is a good sign that new orders improved – and a bad sign that unfilled orders declined” [Econintersect]. And: “Above consensus” [Calculated Risk].

Import and Export Prices, October 2016: “Import prices are on the rise but traction is isolated to petroleum products” [Econoday]. “But total year-on-year rates are showing improvement though they remain in the negative column, at minus 0.2 percent for imports and minus 1.1 percent for exports. Though improvement in this report is narrow, the headlines are moving in the right direction.” And: “Both import and export price deflation is moderating when looking year-over-year. The month-over-month figures given in the headlines only confuse. At the current rate of moderation of deflation (trend line) – both imports and export prices should start inflating by the end of the year” [Econintersect]. But: “There is, however, also no evidence of any sustained upward pressure on import prices, which will also limit the potential for overseas price developments putting significant upward pressure on inflation, especially as the dollar has advanced strongly this month, which will curb November import price rises” [Economic Calendar].

Business Inventories, September 2016: “Inventories proved tame in September, rising only 0.1 percent against a sharp 0.7 percent gain in sales that pulls the inventory-to-sales ratio one notch leaner to 1.38 from 1.39” [Econoday].

The Fed: “December Fed rate hike odds are at 86% per the Fed Fund futures market. Today’s data only helps firm bets the Fed will raise rates at next month’s meeting” [Economic Calendar].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 59 Greed (previous close: 53, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 30 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 15 at 1:08pm. Woo hoo!

Our Famously Free Press

“When Reportage Turns to Cynicism” [New York Times]. “A lot has gone wrong across the country, especially for Trump’s core supporters, the white working class — who have suffered serious economic and social dislocation. Many feel powerless and resent elites and journalists, whom they find arrogant and condescending. Trump gave voice to their grievances and placed their personal struggles within a larger narrative of national decline — a decline that, he said, was so sharp and frightening that revolutionary change was needed, and only he knew how to deliver it…. The state of the union is mixed. So why did so many people accept Trump’s dark vision? One answer is that it fits with what they feel from the news.” Yeah, you know. Like the extensive coverage of the Case Deaton study, which showed an AIDS-level epidemic in those same white working class people. You’d think a writer so knowledgeable would mention this.


“World Meteorological Organisation figures show global temperature is 1.2C above pre-industrial levels and will set a new high for the third year running” [Guardian].

“Third Warmest October in U.S. Weather Records” [Weather Underground].

Class Warfare

“Combine identity politics with political correctness, and the New Nobility/Oligarchy can laugh their way to the bank while their pawn-serfs fight over how many politically correct angels can dance on the head of a pin” [Of Two Minds]. I think “the Marxist analysis” uses the wrong article.

“The U.S. economy has been growing, but the pace of growth has slowed in the past year, and while many Americans are seeing the benefits of a rising economy, many more are not. In the past 12 months, average weekly earnings in the United States rose 2.5% to $891.65” [247 Wall Street]. “A recent survey by researchers at Bankrate revealed that Americans judge their incomes more on their feelings about what they earn than on the hard data. Respondents to the survey fielded early in November indicated that exactly half of employed respondents said they got a pay raise in the past 12 months. Essentially, when people are asked about their incomes, they respond to the unasked question, ‘So, how are things going?’ Their answers are often based on how they feel about their living standard compared with their neighbors and friends.”

“Driven Into Poverty: A Comprehensive Study of the Chicago Taxicab Industry” [Austin Taxi Driver].

News of the Wired

“We give away private details for services that give the asymmetrical benefits in return. For example, by publishing this, I am making money that I will never see, for someone on the west coast. By opening up our homes to Airbnb we gain some short term value but do we really know how this will impact on our understanding of those intimate places we seek for ourselves. This morning (because I use a running monitor when I jog [which is itself an example of the bargain I am talking about]) I was identified as a potential consumer of an advert for a sleep monitor, which will measure the quantity of my slumber to ensure that I get enough sleep to work/exercise harder the next day” [Medium].

* * *

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 (AM):


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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. Daryl

    > House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady both maintain that aspects of it

    Kevin Brady is in a district near me, and I’m not surprised he supports this pile of garbage. He’s a real moron. The Democrats, of course, didn’t bother to stand anyone against him.

  2. Vatch

    “The [Indiana] administration is fighting to conceal the contents of an email sent to Gov. Mike Pence by a political ally. That email is being sought by a prominent Democratic labor lawyer who says he wants to expose waste in the Republican administration” [Indianapolis Star]. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    Regarding Mike Pence and his email, perhaps we could say something like this:

    Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified public information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.

    In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified public information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified public information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

    To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

    1. Fred

      What private email server was Governor Pence using? Oh, none. Who sent what to whom? Oh, here it is, right in the article:
      “The focal point in the case is a political “white paper” that had been excluded from Groth’s public records request. Pence’s legal defense team claims the white paper is attorney work product protected by Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act — and at the end of the day, matters of public records are not for a court to decide. Groth argues the lower court misapplied the law.”

      1. Fred

        I have commented here sporadicly for the past 4 years as Fred. I have no problem with someone using that name. In fact, the other Fred may have been commenting longer than I have and I just haven’t noticed. So to avoid any confusion, from here on I will comment as Fred1.

      2. Vatch

        You are correct that there is no private email server (that we know of). However, Pence and his minions are trying to prevent the public from accessing public documents. That is wrong, and it should be illegal, but who knows what kind of sneaky loopholes exist in the Indiana law?

        That Pence is trying so hard to conceal this public information implies that he is trying to cover up some type of impropriety. It’s probably not as severe a wrongdoing as Bridgegate, but I suspect there’s something real here.

    2. Code Name D

      Reminds me of Brownback and his secret emails with ALEC and other campaign donors. Not permitted under Kansas sunshine laws. Democrats were just starting to make some headway on the issue when suddenly (fain shock and surprise here) HRC’s e-mail scandal broke. And like magic, Brownback’s e-mail problems disappeared faster than a bon bon at a fat camp.

  3. diptherio

    On the cooperative/commons tip:

    Kali Akuno (Cooperation Jackson) on CounterPunch podcast:

    Beyond Economism – The Prospect of the Commons:

    The paradigm of the commons contains the potential for radical breaks with economism. [7] Although it could ostensibly be taken as just another economic model, it goes much further than that. By placing the political question of inclusive and participatory forms of decision-making at its core [8], the paradigm of the commons embeds itself in a wider project of direct democracy which encompasses all spheres of human life and nature. Thus it cannot be viewed separately from wider social and environmental emancipation.

    The very practices of commoning are much more rooted in social deliberation and communitarian relationships rather than just the narrow questions of production and consumption. Questions of production and consumption, in turn, also tend to be charged with ethical and political characteristics.

  4. TheBell

    “[S]electing any sitting member of Congress [for example, Keith Eillison] to be the public face of the DNC is inconsistent with the history and purpose of the institution, the oldest continuing party committee in the world”

    – Why wasn’t this rule applied to Wasserman-Schulz then?

        1. hunkerdown

          Yes. And no, that makes liberals unfit to manage public resources or honor agreements, but we knew that.

  5. Steve C

    So a friend of mine maintains that most cab drivers have it worse than Uber drivers. They just serve a local exploiter, instead of a global one. In many cities, cab drivers front all the costs while the company owner holds the medallions and skins off the profits. Just like prostitution or “gentlemen’s clubs.”

    Can’t really disagree but I’m no expert. At least cabs are regulated and under local control, corrupt though it may be.

    1. hunkerdown

      The devil you can reach out and throttle because you know where he lives vs. the devil you can only uninstall.

    2. sleepy

      42 years ago I drove a cab in New Orleans one summer. The problem was you never got any radio calls for a fare unless you bribed the dispatcher. On top of that, the cabs had a locking gas cap and so you had to buy gas at the inflated prices charged at the one and only company pump. It was crooked as can be.

      Even then though, jobs were so plentiful overall and the cost of living was so cheap that a $2/hr wage would pay the rent in one week. A bottle of beer was 35 cents in a bar, 4 plays on the jukebox for a quarter, the bus was 15 cents, and payphones were a nickel.

      —“Hush pappy” say the grandkids to sleepy.

    3. curlydan

      I think your friend would argue in a similar vein, then, that charter schools are better than public schools because the charter schools serve a global grifter more than a local grifter.

      A key problem is that the global grifter/exploiter is concentrating and funneling all the money to almost a single source. If there is exploitation, maybe it’s best to spread it out.

      Do you want Joe Taxi Co Manager in Detroit, Johnny in New York, Jimmy in Miami, Billy in Dallas, etc to each get a little while getting their fingernails dirty everyday? Or would you rather have Steven in Palo Alto get it all while watching his H-1Bs toil away?

  6. Temporarily Sane

    Never has the world needed fearless
    independent media more
    Help us hold the new president to account, sort fact from fiction, amplify underrepresented voices, and understand the forces behind this divisive election — and what happens next.

    Fund our journalism, and together we can keep the world informed

    This is on the Guardian homepage today along with a heartfelt opinion piece backing it up.

    The tone-deaf self-righteousness is absolutely staggering. How insulated from reality are these people?

    1. Jess

      “How insulated from reality are these people?”

      Answer: Very insulated. And when you point out their shortcomings and dogged allegiance to the stultifying status quo elites — as I did — they moderate your comment out of existence.

    2. MightyMike

      The tone-deaf self-righteousness is absolutely staggering.

      Every business, and even non-profits, need to engage in self-promotion. Just this afternoon I bought some bolts to fix my garage door. The guy gave them to me for free and then went on to tell me about all of the different kinds of doors his company installs.

      1. Baby Gerald

        But this is the saddest excuse for self-promotion I’ve ever seen. I read this plea as ‘Please don’t leave us because we’re wrong all the time. We need to pay our team of shills.’

      2. polecat

        If a Guardian trips, and falls down flailing and screaming in the Forest of Transparency, can anyone hear it ………die a slow and disreputable death ?

        1. RMO

          Does anyone else out there remember the SCTV episode where they held a telethon to get viewers to send in gold? As the sleazy president of the network, Guy Cabalero (Joe Flaherty) said at the beginning “Now I know you viewers out there are thinking ‘Guy, you’re a commercial network. Don’t you get money from all those ads?’ Well that ad money isn’t enough, not nearly enough!” The spectacles of Eugene Levy as hack comic Bobby Bittman yelling at and berating the audience for not sending in enough gold and tearing up as he introduces “Howard” the Solid Gold Telethon poster child while John Candy as Johnny LaRue pledges to drink continuously until they hit their fundraising target are unforgettable.

          I’m stunned that the same thing is now happening in the real world. How obsolete is The Onion? Completely obsolete I guess.

          1. Tom

            +100 for the SCTV reference.

            Don’t forget Station Manager Edith Prickley, played by the hilarious Andrea Martin.

            1. wilroncanada

              You realize that of the four people you mentioned, three were Canadian. We know comedy, especially turned to farce. That’s why we love US elections.

              1. inode_buddha

                This comment needs a “like” button. Love you guys up north there, without you my town wouldn’t have an economy. On any given weekend we get over run with Canadian shoppers, far outnumbering the local population. (western N.Y.)

              2. tcubed_bus

                Ken Finkleman’s Newsroom parody was so clever, down to its Frontline-esque pacing and dialog, that I channel-surfed past it three times before I caught on. The newscaster running for office bit was a classic. Yes, Canadians are a funny lot.

          2. David Mills

            There was another little gem of a quote to come out of SCTV: “Truth, Justice, OR the American Way.”

    3. sandra l lawrence

      Ah, more of the “It’s your jobs to keep me honest, responsible, and effective” B.S. I saved a comment a while back by OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL on this same subject but in regard to “make me be the public servant I promised you I’d be,” and paraphrase it here (with thanks to author) for the willfully clueless Guardian and other “news” media sources, simply because for the life of me I couldn’t improve on the central idea if I had to:
      “This is a really inefficient way to run a news organization, where EVERYTHING the overlords are doing is against the rights and interests of the people and the dissemination of factual truth in the spirit of transparency; where individual citizens must take it upon themselves one by one to discover, understand, and gin up opposition to media malarky and self-serving propaganda to keep from being completely railroaded and oppressed.”
      (If I knew how to link to the original comment for comparison, I would.)

  7. Steve C

    Schumer’s problem isn’t willingness to compromise. It’s that he himself
    Is compromised. By Wall Street and globalization.

  8. dcrane

    Re: The assertion that Trump will “likely” have only one SC appointment in his first term. Seems an odd level of confidence given the stated ages for Ginsburg, Kennedy, and Breyer (83, 80, and 78).

      1. dcrane

        Real data…very satisfying. And as noted above this includes only the probability of “retirement” forced by death. I do wonder how much it affects the estimate that these are SC justices we’re talking about, rather than members of the general population.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Yes and it pi**es me off to no end to hear the Dems yell ‘but the Supreme Court’ every damn election and they can’t even be bothered to fight to fill the opening that is the current president’s constitutional right to fill.

        Of course statusquObama wants to fill it with a republican anyway so this hackneyed argument about all the damage repubs will do with their appointments has 0 merit.

        1. Marco

          They just assumed the issue would be settled once Hillary clinched the White House. Oh those forward-looking Dems.

  9. cocomaan

    NYT, Reportage to Cyncisim:

    Many feel powerless

    One answer is that it fits with what they feel from the news.

    That feels empowering.

    It’s great that the NYT, now discredited and on the verge of going out of business, has gone from ignoring the voters who turned out despite expectations, to explaining their feelings.

    I don’t know about anyone else on NC, but when I talked to Trump voters, they weren’t talking about their goddamn feelings. They talked about walls, deportations, economic success/failure, and being sick of Washington DC. Many told me that Trump was the lesser of two evils, that Hillary Clinton was a liar and a fraud and would be terrible in the office.

    Those aren’t feelings, those are political viewpoints with evidence. Even if the evidence is “dark”.

    These NYT hacks haven’t ever bothered to go out and speak to anyone.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You’re not a wolfman, how can you know what it’s like to be a wolfman?

      If the reporter is not one of those deplorables, how can he or she produce a genuine report?

    2. Robert Hahl

      This article seems accurate: “What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class” https://hbr.org/2016/11/what-so-many-people-dont-get-about-the-u-s-working-class

      e.g., “For months, the only thing that’s surprised me about Donald Trump is my friends’ astonishment at his success. What’s driving it is the class culture gap. One little-known element of that gap is that the white working class (WWC) resents professionals but admires the rich. Class migrants (white-collar professionals born to blue-collar families) report that “professional people were generally suspect” and that managers are college kids “who don’t know shit about how to do anything but are full of ideas about how I have to do my job,” said Alfred Lubrano in Limbo.”

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        Many feel powerless and resent elites and journalists, whom they find arrogant and condescending.

        They don’t just “find” them arrogant and condescending. They have been on the receiving end of that arrogance and condescension. I know because I’ve been on the receiving end myself—until I responded in a way that revealed I wasn’t “one of those people.”

        And if you need more evidence, spend a little time on Facebook reviewing the narratives about Trump and who elected him. By and large, the idea there was any economic excuse to vote against Clinton is summarily dismissed so that every Republican voter can be labeled a racist, misogynistic xenophobe. The most prevalent excuse for that snobbish classism is that anyone with an ounce of decency would never support those ugly -isms, so they are racist, misogynistic xenophobes through an act of omission.

        The only thing worse is the arrogant, condescending schadenfreude about how all those stupid rednecks who voted for Trump because he said he would change things are going to get their just desserts.

        Fasten your seatbelts—it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

        1. MightyMike

          Anyone who simplifies it that much is incorrect. Many rich people voted for Trump because he said that he will cut their taxes.

    3. LT

      Times in financial trouble? I wouldn’t be surprised if the NY Times got a bailout…out of the Pentagon budget or Homeland Security…
      Just sayin.

      1. polecat

        Fine …. transfer the entire NYT to Aleppo, SYRIA …….. and see if they can write what’s fit to print !

        I’m sure there’s some ‘dusty’ office space they can set up in ……

  10. Jim Haygood

    Although the Financial, Health Care and Industrial sectors soared after Trump’s victory, Technology stumbled. Maybe it was the perception that Silicon Valley leans Democratic.

    Anyhow, after a week of moping and moaning, the Five Horsemen of the Techpocalypse — Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Faceborg and Amazon — have risen from their sickbeds and returned to the Land of the Green.

    Accordingly, as the old-school Dow Industrials (which include MSFT and AAPL, but not the other three) power on toward another potential record close, at mid-afternoon the S&P resides less than one percent below its Aug 15th record high of 2190.15.

    And all’s well with the world. /sarc

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Trump may be a troglodyte, but the tech rally today seems to say, this will not be a Luddite presidency.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Shipping news for our host Lambert:

      Shares of shipping companies rocketed higher Tuesday, as hopes that President-elect Donald Trump will help boost commodity prices, which in turn will lift shipping prices, offset concerns over potential trade restrictions.

      The top five percentage gainers on the Nasdaq exchange are all shipping company stocks.

      Euroseas Ltd.’s stock (ESEA) led the group, shooting up 92% in morning trade toward a one-year high. Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp. shares (SHIP) surged 75%, Globus Maritime Ltd. (GLBS) rose 55%, TOP Ships Inc. (TOPS) soared 56% and Diana Containerships Inc. (DCIX) ran up 39% [155% at the close — JH].

      The Baltic Dry Index, which tracks freight-shipping prices, rose 1.9%, and has climbed 17% since the U.S. election, and 56% over the past three months.


      One might have thought that a president-elect threatening tariffs would depress shipping companies.

      Instead, they were so beat up and hated that their penny stocks — reduced to little more than call options — exploded higher, to the shock of all concerned.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Sounds like it’s from the Clinton Machine:

    “[S]electing any sitting member of Congress [for example, Keith Eillison] to be the public face of the DNC is inconsistent with the history and purpose of the institution, the oldest continuing party committee in the world” [RealClearPolitics]. “[T]he constitutional reality [is] that we are not a parliamentary democracy in which the national leader emerges from the legislative caucus of his or her party. For most of its history, the DNC, as well as the RNC, has been led by operatives, who ran campaigns, served as state party chairmen, were major fundraisers, or who either retired or were defeated for public office before seeking the chairmanship.”

    The party resistance can be expected to be order-of-magnitude bigger for any hypothetical progressive appointment, who is in charge of spending instead of begging for money, under an imaginary Sanders presidency.

    1. aab

      I agree that the DNC Chair shouldn ‘t be a sitting member of Congress. Let me just note that the last two DNC Chairs were both elected officials (Kaine: governor, DWS: Congresscritter) while serving.

      But if the DNC decides to live in the real world, and act as a political party that wants to win elections and govern, it has a HUGE challenge ahead. It is not the majority party at the state or federal level. If you set Obama aside, who ran opposing Clinton in the primary, and pretended to represent different policies and constituencies, no New Democrat has ever reached 50% in any presidential election.

      Given the depth and breadth of the rebuilding needed, it makes sense to pick someone for whom DNC Chair would be a full-time job. My preference: Russ Feingold or Zephyr Teachout. Yes, I realize that’s like suggesting that the Easter Bunny run the party, in that the existing Democratic elite would never allow either near the levers of power. But that demonstrates that the party is still unserious about winning.

  12. craazyman

    News that stays news! This is big:


    Flaky foo foo liberals get all teary eyed at this stuff. Like Van Gogh would have voted for Trump, probably. He sounds to me like a no-nonsense dude. But what a wacko.

    I once held a watercolor by Van Gogh in my hands! I did not find it to be a mystical experience and in hinsight I’m surprised the gallery person let me. I wandered in off the street and we talked about painting — as I was taking painting classes at the time. I never got very good because of a lot of reasons, one of which was my ludicrously high standards and the other was exhaustion. It was at night and I was so worn out I could barely look at the model — who often was very hot, but after 15 seconds you forget and just struggle with the higher ideal of finding a way to render something with craft and skill.

    At any rate, it isn’t easy. That’s for sure. It’s amazing how much skill, intelligence and effort it takes to put down even two good lines. The first line is always right because it’s not related yet to anything. The second line is usually wrong, because it too isn’t related to anything. But that’s a student for you.

    it’s funny how you can look at a master artist’s doodle and have it be beautiful. That’s a bit odd. It’s a little like math, sort of. There’s a precision that’s not entirely obvious, just how it happens. That precision is like a beacon of light from another world. If you have the drive, all you want to do is do it so that other world’s energy and order and beauty is there in front of you, or just a little spark of it. And I don’t mean “do it” with the model in bed. Duh. All you bros, get real. I mean just you with the universe.

    At any rate. Not to make Van Gogh out to be some hero or anything. But if this book isn’t a fake it’ll be pretty cool. And the most interesting news in weeks! haha

    1. flora

      Thanks for that link. Van Gogh’s early paintings were nice,conventional academic paintings.Then he, at some point, transcends all the academic correctness and rules and becomes a brilliant painter. How does that happen?

        1. I Have Strange Dreams

          Sorry, but that’s rubbish. Great artists achieve greatness despite their addictions, not because of them. Great artists work obsessively, and even then they may never be recognized.

          1. aab

            Thank you. I hate that myth. It demeans artists and elevates addiction.

            I was reading about Van Gogh just last night, because of something I’m working on. He worked rigorously on his craft and experimented with his artistic process long before his mental condition deteriorated. And there’s no evidence of him being a serious drug abuser. He may have suffered from gas poisoning, but that would have started AFTER he had already begun transforming his approach.

            He probably had a seizure disorder and something on the depression/anxiety spectrum. Oddly enough, Julius Caesar had epilepsy. Yet I don’t think I have ever read anyone say epilepsy leads to military leadership or sedition. If you want to talk about the correlation of depression and anxiety with artistic talent, that’s a different matter. But even there, the correlation doesn’t adequately address causation or all the other factors that lead to one artist thriving and another starving unseen.

            1. Synoia

              Oh dear, I must apologize. I had my tongue firmly stuck in my cheek, and now you’ve bitten it.

              My comment was intended to be sarcastic, not accusatory.

              Because greatness and achieving greatness is mysterious and unpredictable.

      1. craazyman

        I think it’s because the training allows you to see the basic ideas of order that animate the phenomenon, and then as your perception sharpens with experience and development of expertise — and intense creativity — you perceive hidden ideas of order that animate the basic ideas. And then you start experimenting with these hidden ideas to bring them out and to see if they “work”. I think somebody has to endure hideous amounts of failure and frustration though to get there. At any rate, I think even conventional academic paintings can be pretty good if they’re done well. And there’s lots of flaky nonsense that parades around as deeply creative art. Somehow time tells, but I bet there are plenty of people whose work is utterly lost to history, so time can’t tell it all.

        1. alex morfesis

          A little bernaze sauce perhaps, with a touch of money laundering and baksheesh because markets…some minor appraisal fraud and marking to market with a smidgen of…throw in some valuation voodoo to throw off the jury and…

      2. I Have Strange Dreams

        Like Jarvis Cocker said: “after 14 years of non-stop work, I became an overnight sensation.”

      3. Goyo Marquez

        There was new research into color theory at the time that greatly influenced his work.
        “Van Gogh was strongly influenced by the works of others. His color theory, derived from the color theories of Eugène Delacroix, was based heavily on the juxtaposition of primary and secondary colors known as the law of simultaneous contrast. A concept first described by Michel Eugène Chevreul, the law of simultaneous contrast as well as tonal contrasts and the relativity of color formed the basis of Van Gogh’s color theory as seen in his works The Potato Eaters, Head of a Woman, and The Bedroom.”


        Most beautiful Van Gogh in my opinion, Mulberry tree (Though Id call it, The Tree of Life,) at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California.

    2. Annotherone

      @crazyman..”.it’s funny how you can look at a master artist’s doodle and have it be beautiful. That’s a bit odd. It’s a little like math, sort of.”

      We notice this often – went to a exhibition, “Matisse in his Time” in Okie City a few weeks ago, better titled really as Matisse & his peers. The most impressive, to husband (more well-versed in art than I), were Matisse’s line drawings. I’ve found the same in the past regarding some of Klimpt’s lesser known sketches – had a print of one enlarged in my bedroom once upon a time. The essence of the idea shines through, no colour needed, no detail. It is odd – in a good way.

      Thanks for the interesting link – have passed it on to Himself.

    3. HopeLB

      It would be very nice if all/some fans of Craazyman would sketch pictures based upon either his posts or his life as he describes them. We could present them to him in a book for Christmas and then auction off prints in exchange for NC donations or sell them for fanatic NC readers to give to eachother in a Secret Santa exchange. All money going to NC. Beautifully sketched math equations/theorems would certainly be allowed.

      1. Ulysses

        Very nice for whom? I think our beloved Craazyman enjoys his relatively humble status as an anonymous (albeit well-dressed) cog in this great machine of Gotham. This proposed reification of the Craazyman cult might well disturb his painstakingly achieved equilibrium.

        It will be on all your heads if C. can’t even toddle over to the liquor store, for a nice bottle of Spanish wine, without facing a frightening throng of paparazzi!! :(

    4. polecat

      You neglected to mention that huuuuge bag of Kettle Chips you wolfed down … right before you touched that beautiful piece of art …… without gloves ! …. ‘:]

  13. Portia

    When we stop being subject to manipulation of our “feelings” about where we think we are in the big garbage dumpster we are trying to climb out of by stepping on each others’ faces, we will finally be free.

    “Essentially, when people are asked about their incomes, they respond to the unasked question, ‘So, how are things going?’ Their answers are often based on how they feel about their living standard compared with their neighbors and friends.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How come yours is defined benefit pension, and mine is a 401K plan?

      To be human is to perceive relatively.

      “What, you bought your window seat on this flight at 20% of what I paid?”

      Thus, for example, we need single retirement plan (for all), and a single payer health plan.

      1. Portia

        to be human? we need to examine whether humans are really petty and shallow, or if that is just what we have been told, to sell stuff, and start wars. To be sure, humans act that way, but are they really?
        Yeah, what David said down there…
        “Actually acting in a sustained, coherent, morally superior fashion takes real effort, risk, commitment and sacrifice, and results in a healthy sense of humility,”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          All I know about humans is that we can’t stop comparing ourselves to other humans.

          There are exercises one can try, to train oneself to not compare so often.

    2. Uahsenaa

      The question never asked: are you more upset about the $20K or so your employer eats from your paycheck simply as a result of productivity gains or about the 20% increase in your insurance premiums alongside a similarly brutal increase in all your deductibles?

      1. Octopii

        If my premiums and deductibles had increased only 20% a year I’d be much less pissed off than I am now.

  14. Outside Baseball

    “War crimes of torture and related ill-treatment, by US military forces deployed to Afghanistan and in secret detention facilities operated by the Central Intelligence Agency, principally in the 2003-2004 period,
    although allegedly continuing in some cases until 2014.”


    Cases admissible subject to further information that could be provided by the relevant national authorities [US or foreign]. Gravity increased by “plans or policies approved at senior levels of the US government, following careful and extensive deliberations.”

  15. David

    Hugh Smith from the link:
    “Anyone can repeat politically correct signifier phrases; it takes no effort, risk, commitment or sacrifice. Actually acting in a sustained, coherent, morally superior fashion takes real effort, risk, commitment and sacrifice, and results in a healthy sense of humility, for no human can be saintly all the time.”
    Spot on. Without religion as a guiding principle any more, you have to find another mechanism for being sanctimonious.

      1. David

        I’m talking precisely about the difference between genuine belief and principles (which may be spiritual or other) and the sanctimonious evocation of such beliefs and principles as an excuse for doing nothing, which is what the article was about. Genuinely good people don’t need to go round proclaiming how virtuous they are.

    1. hunkerdown

      I’d rather the sanctimonious experienced sustained, powerful negative feedback for sanctimony and were simply treated as the noisy children they are at every opportunity. They are the people who stand between us and a life of fair debt, equality and hedonism, all because they believe some dead guy told them they deserved it and because they want others to non-consensually share their misery.

      If we can eliminate sanctimony and other means of manipulation from the human vocabulary, more’s the better.

  16. hemeantwell

    UPDATE “Anti-Trump Protests Spread to Democratic Leadership With Sit-In at Schumer’s DC Office” [ABC].

    Pam Martens at WallStreetOnParade covered this, and included a priceless quotation from Schumer. An insider chronicle of a failed election campaign foretold.

    The arrogance of Schumer toward the working class was captured in an interview published by the National Review on July 28, 2016. Schumer was quoted as follows:

    “The number one factor in whether we retake the Senate is whether Hillary Clinton does well, and I think she’s going to do really well…For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”

    1. Jim Haygood

      Bernie gets the last word, as Marketwatch posts some excerpts from his book:

      Likely twisting the knife in the hearts of some Democratic voters, Sanders argues that he polled better than Clinton against Trump:

      —“The Clinton campaign may not have liked it. The Democratic establishment may not have liked it. But it was becoming increasingly clear that I was the strongest candidate if Democrats were to retain the White House,” Sanders writes of polling data from the end of 2015.

      —In explaining why he stayed in the primary battle even after it seemed increasingly likely that Clinton would win, Sanders cites polling data showing him doing better against Trump than Clinton. “If the Democrats wanted to win in November, our hope was that many of the superdelegates would begin to understand that we were the campaign to make that happen,” he writes.


      Whereas to state the obvious, Hillary Clinton is not getting any more suspiciously generous $14 million contributions book advances from the New York-based publishing industry.

      1. Pat

        Unfortunately they were more interested in maintaining the perceived gravy train than in winning the election. Not that most of them didn’t kid themselves that identity politics was a winner.

        The rest of us knew that in a year when change was the obvious choice of most people, you don’t go with the candidate that is the epitome of ‘status quo’ and expect to win. (Still laughing over the people who told me that NO Hispanic voter was going to vote for Donald Trump, and women, and blacks…)

        1. curlydan

          HRC Sycophant’s Lament a la OZZY:
          “Mental wounds not healing
          Who and what’s to blame
          I’m goin’ off the rails of my gravy train
          I’m goin’ off the rails of my gravy train”

    2. Daryl

      These are the anti-Trump protests that actually make sense to me, in that there is an accomplishable goal.

    3. JohnnyGL

      That quote is really something. Elite Dems really thought they’d flip tons of anti-Trump Republicans!

      1. RUKidding

        They ought to just renounce being so-called “Democrats” and join the Republican Party at this point. It’s certainly been known to happen. At least they’d be more honest. Not that any of these schmucks holds honesty in high regard.

        1. RMO

          I think the anti-Trump wing of the Republican elite were dumb enough to think that they could flip a significant number of their members to the HRC camp too. They’ve spent the last quarter century doing all they could to convince their base that she was a demonic force dedicated to destroying all that they considered good and decent in the world. Then suddenly, when they lose control of their own party they think they can instantly make their followers go over to Clinton? That’s a world class delusion right there, every bit as bad as the ones the Democrat elite bought in to.

        2. tegnost

          Yes, a bernie (d) v hillary (r) would have been a much more interesting race, and as we watch obama help transition trump it’s clear we’re dealing with two sides of the same coin

    4. HopeLB

      We all need to protest in front of our Rep’s District offices with eye catching and creative signs and call,call call to let them know we need a Bernie/Warren?Fiengold led New Dem Party. Calling is supposed to be very effective according to a former Congressional staffer.

  17. MightyMike

    Despite a preoccupation with ethnic diversity, few seem to care that the court lacks any other form of diversity

    We’ve been talking about class over the past few days. From what I remember, Sonia Sotomayor grew up in a low-income family. That brought an important kind of diversity to that court.

  18. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    The Color Purple.
    Find myself thinking about Her Deposed Majesty’s purple outfit, and Bubba’s tie, too. To me the signal is this: We see our Blue wasn’t Red enough so we’re going to add more red to make Purple.

    This is frightening and infuriating at the same time, first because these people (and the massive money/power base they still control) have completely mis-read what just happened and second because in classic style they are trying to slip away scot-free from the scene of the crime.

    If they had one single shred of self-awareness, honesty, decency and humility they both would have worn solid Blue, this was their defeat and they should be owning it squarely and forthrightly, not immediately attempting some kind of cynical re-branding and blame-deflecting enterprise. Of course the “purple concession” was not made to the supporters in the hall on the night because those are not her supporters at all, she has nothing but contempt for them because in her mind power does not emanate from them, it emanates from the boardroom at Goldman Sachs and wherever the monsters at places like Monsanto and Saudi Arabia write their checks.

    So now we get the first government without a Clinton or a Bush since Jimmy Carter. It may be a nightmare, but at least it’s a different nightmare.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Last shot for the Clintons is to campaign for a new top slot at an international organization.

      For instance, if the UN were to authorize a new office — President of the World — Hillary could serve in her purple pantsuit (with ermine cape), while still being able to commute from Chappaqua.

      Provided the position has no real power, this might be the best solution for all of us — promote the Clintons to a prestigious post of total irrelevance.

      Then Hillary can once again tour 112 countries, throwing out trinkets “for the children,” whilst heroically braving snipers’ bullets at dodgy airports.

      1. Ptolemy Philopater

        Or promote them to prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity. “Can’t we just drone them?”

    2. carycat

      Does Obama count as part of the Bush crime family or Clinton crime family? Maybe both! With the WH flipping from Blue team to Red team, his ability to charge top dollar for influence peddling will be negatively affected with lost of access and purge of his cronies. That will explain his current eagerness to help Trump with foreign policy.

      1. Skip Intro

        Obama plays 11 dimensional chess. He got Trump to throw the Bush gang under the train, and now he can head fake a pardon for Clinton with a nod and a wink to Trump, and let him clean out the Clinton gang, leaving his new foundation the only game in town for peddling influence in the elite neoliberal circles of the DNC. All while setting up the flawless and doubly qualified (black woman = invincible to identity politicians) Michelle to take the presidency in the only way the democrats recognize: through marriage.

        1. Yves Smith

          Not buying it. No one in the establishment wanted Trump to win. Obama clearly sees Trump winning as showing that the voters didn’t like his presidency, since Clinton was campaigning as continuing Obama policies. That’s bad for fundraising.

          Pardoning Clinton allows her to continue as a political fixer. Some interpreted the weird martial purple outfit she wore to her concession speech as the first step in her rebranding. And Chelsea is being groomed for a 2020 Congressional bid. The only way to be done with the Clintons is for the Republicans to investigate her and/or the Foundation, but that risks tarnishing Obama further. Michelle hates the Clintons, so any pardon will be over her objections, and done presumably out of a calculation that having the Republicans continue their war on the Clintons (which has the considerable advantage of making the Dems look bad) is the least damaging course of action for Obama. Let us not forget that a pardon would be very controversial and would also come at some cost to Obama.

          1. ambrit

            What would be the cost to the DNC ‘nomenklatura’ if H Clinton does not get a pardon? Presumably, she stands to lose a ton of money if the Foundation receives even a low level investigation. What level of fines are we talking about here; much less potential jail time. The precedent here is Ford’s pardon of Nixon. But that comparison is not even really close. Nixon acted, from all evidence, for political reasons. Clinton looks to be a garden variety crook. A better example would be Boss Plunkett of the late 1800’s Tammany Hall in New York. He of “honest graft,” and “I sees my chance and I takes it” fame. He ended up in exile in Naples. Maybe Epstein can give H Clinton sanctuary on his ‘Lolita Island.’

          2. Skip Intro

            Obama may be able to hang out Clinton, and ‘mentor’ trump, making lemonade from electoral lemons and clearing out a long-time frenemy and potential rival. The less he is tarnished by her very visible failures, the better his and Michelles chances of replacing them. This is all rank speculation, of course, but I believe Obama has a lot of reasons to want to see the Clinton removed from the chessboard, and the ability to do it through simple inaction. After all, if he pardons her for some range of offenses in some time range, he is as good of accusing her. He could easily proclaim his confidence in her innocence and let her clear her good name in a court of law, as is her right as an American, rather than leaving a cloud over her legacy.

          3. Skip Intro

            There are a lot of potential charges for Bill, Hillary, Foundation Minions, Huma, etc. A pardon that silenced all the investigations would be tricky, and an incomplete pardon could fail to protect them all, but leave him tainted by their scandal.

      1. polecat

        I was listening to USA Watchdog last night …. Greg Hunter had a gent by the name of Cliff High, a linguistics analyst, explaining what trends he’s been able to suss out of his research …very interesting stuff ….
        One of the points he made was that he gets the sense that Hillary, and/or operatives of the CGI might be in some kind of ‘danger’ ??

        I know … conspiratorial stuff .. right ?

        1. Jen

          Danger of having to adjust their lifestyles to accommodate a greatly reduced cash flow now that they have to quo to offer for quid?

          The horror, the horror.

        2. hunkerdown

          Labor discipline is different at the top. People at the bottom need to ask themselves if the risk of being fired would change their workplace behavior, and whether it would still do so if they had 12 years worth of salary sitting in the bank.

          Just who in that swarm acts as if they are not in some kind of ‘danger’ would be an interesting point of analysis.

        3. Skip Intro

          Now that Huma and Anthony’s ‘Life Insurance’ files are out, they are naked, as it were. There are a lot of powerful players connected to the Clinton gang in a lot of unsavory ways. Anyone who could be made to testify should be very careful, and think twice about boarding small planes.

  19. jsn

    Medium on personal data.

    I find that listening to my body carefully tells me what I need to know about it: no devices necessary. So far I’ve not been hacked and only fear machetes.

    It will be interesting to see what the new authoritariaism chooses to do with all the data we’ve handed over to it through the back doors of the corporate technocracy. We need our digital Martin Luther to nail up 95 Theses on Data Privacy.

    1. cocomaan

      From the article, quote from Richard Clark: “Privacy may then be a commodity that only the wealthy can acquire”

      There are probably a few of them, but most people don’t open up their homes on AirBnB because they want people short term openness. You throw a party if you want to do that. No, they do it for extra cash. Privacy is already the domain of the upper classes.

      This is the idea of the open city. In this vision of the future, technology will command the community: it will help those in charge to monitor our energy usage and try and make our lives more efficient; it will make us fitter — and happier; it will watch who uses our public spaces and who shops where; it will monitor what we throw away, and find ways for us to be less wasteful. It will smooth away the rough frictions that make up the burden of our everyday lives.

      I see no evidence that anything has been made more efficient through technology. Is our energy consumption down because we are using these devices? Are we making less waste per capita now as opposed to years ago? Probably not. It’s Jevon’s Paradox.

      1. temporal

        Nearly every time I read a technophile description of a soon-to-be utopian future I think back to the Jetson’s car that I still don’t have. Nearly nothing Asimov wrote about has come to pass and had it happened he wouldn’t have spent much time with it. He took trains because he didn’t even want to fly.

        Most older people today are certainly not healthier than before. Walk into any grocery store at 10 am and take a look around. Nor would I say they appear happier. Definitely more fearful and disconnected. Taking a current trend and saying that it implies the opposite will occur in the very near future because something that doesn’t exist will fix it is fanciful thinking, at the very least.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        Do you know how much energy it takes to run all the Fleecebook servers just so people can put their dicpics into the cloud? A lot. There might not be a garbage pile outside the server farms but those things are throwing off a lot of waste heat.

        It would be interesting to find out how many power plants are necessary just to hoover up all this marketing data and keep it stored forever.

        At some point hopefully people will realize big data is a scam – people can find patterns everywhere if they look hard enough but finding out that people like cherry poptarts in the runup to a hurricane after sifting through WallyWorld purchasing patterns is about as useful and valid as seeing Jesus H Spudtasting Xrist in one’s mashed potatoes. Maybe we’ll finally stop trying to save every communication and the corresponding metadata in the hopes that someone might make an extra nickel or find a terrorist. Hint: if you really want to find the terrorists, try looking in capital and parliament buildings.

      3. bob

        “No, they do it for extra cash. ”

        I’ve seen several people buy speculative RE, and from the beginning, they plan on making it an AirBnB. They are all very wealthy people.

        They don’t need extra cash.

    1. temporal

      The Ds had their chance to deal with the Electoral College. They blew it playing neoliberal poker. Talking about wanting to do something when most of the big players know you have a losing hand is typical.

      I coulda been a contender.

      1. Waldenpond

        When I rank my top 1000 important issues and the things I’d like to change that would make a difference in people’s lives etc, the EC doesn’t even make the list.

          1. tegnost

            adding,there’s going to be winners and there’s going to be losers, whowoodathunk the winners would be the losers?

      2. human

        Uh … this requires a Constitutional Amendment. Not an easy task and not the purview of Congress, except as their responsibility to put the proposal before the States.

    2. JohnnyGL

      I hope someone is preparing to launch a primary against Diane Feinstein. She’s earned it. Please defenestrate ASAP!

      1. aab

        We can’t. California has jungle primaries. What that means in action is that the top two neoliberal Democrats run in the general election with no other candidates allowed, unless it’s one of the seats where the Democrats have conspired with the Republicans to punish one of their own with a challenger, or they cleared the path for their chosen technocrat before even the primary, in which case you get someone backed by the full weight and power of the Democratic Party up against someone who got 121 write-in votes in the general election.

        I would dearly love to replace DiFi. But we’re likely to get a choice of Baby DiFi vs. some other neoliberal Democrat who the state party demonizes throughout the campaign as a punching bag.

        We need to identify a progressive challenger immediately if we’re to have a chance. But the state Democratic party has done such an excellent job of strangling its progressive children in their beds that I can’t even think of anybody.

        1. hunkerdown

          WELP out of Post Office muscle to cut and her friends in the MICC got their hot dinners, so Feinstein gets to punch out. May autonomous quadcopters broadcast and accompany her “private” self to the end of her days, without a moment’s relent.

    3. mcdee

      I remember that just recently the Dems were quite happy with the Electoral college. There was talk of “The Blue Wall” and how it was fortress against electoral defeat. Didn’t work out did it.

    4. John k

      Never gonna happen, 3/4 of states must approve, half the states happy ec gives them extra clout, just as founders intended for small pop states.
      She’s just grandstanding.

  20. LT

    “We give away private details for services that give the asymmetrical benefits in return. For example, by publishing this, I am making money that I will never see, for someone on the west coast. By opening up our homes to Airbnb we gain some short term value but do we really know how this will impact on our understanding of those intimate places we seek for ourselves. This morning (because I use a running monitor when I jog [which is itself an example of the bargain I am talking about]) I was identified as a potential consumer of an advert for a sleep monitor, which will measure the quantity of my slumber to ensure that I get enough sleep to work/exercise harder the next day” [Medium].

    Really, there is nothing mentioned above that the world couldn’t live without. The world existed just fine without them. No great benefit has been provided by any of it.
    Stop believing the hype and take control of your own life and stop giving it away.

  21. hamstak

    Perhaps this has been covered on NC at some point and I missed it, but is anyone aware of any studies/estimates regarding the immediate economic impact of US presidential elections? By “immediate” I am referring to direct things such as the hiring of campaign personnel, spending on political ads, etc., not changes in behavior due to expectations about what some presumed candidate once elected will do. Given that the general amount of money involved in campaigns and election mechanics (let’s call it a few billion) is small relative to GDP, my tendency is to think that the effect is not very pronounced. A cursory googling didn’t unearth very much.

    I am trying to reconcile the recent retail numbers (linked above) with a sense (vague, admittedly) that the economy is still just plodding along — a better than expected job situation? real wage gains? expectations of price inflation? early holiday spending? post-election relief (it’s coming to an end, now I can spend!) Grasping at straws here.

    1. Jim Haygood

      My rule of thumb is that “animal spirits” are about half the explanation of retail spending trends. If a majority feel hopeful because of the change in administration, a short-term boost can be expected.

      But the grey reality is that in a mature expansion, there are plenty of ways that things could go wrong. Whereas making things go right is a long-term project involving structural changes, some of them painful to established interests.

      By mid next year, despite Trump euphoria in some quarters, we are likely to be on recession watch.

      Goldman whisperers such as Mnuchin will tell the new prez, “Get your recession over in the first two years, so you can look good going into 2020.”

  22. Pat

    Call me cynical, but I think George W. and Laura Bush may have recently acted in a charitable fashion that will be more successful than most of the actions of the various Clinton “Charities”. Just by announcing they have adopted a puppy.


    To quote them on instagram:
    “If you could use a little extra joy in your life, consider adopting a pet from an animal shelter or rescue group.”

    Didn’t take millions from Qatar to do it either.

        1. Jim Haygood

          No matter how cynical you are about the Clintons, you will remain forever behind the curve.

          The dog is likely a pampered model, and the photo snapped by Annie Leibovitz.

    1. ocop

      My fantastical silver lining scenario here is that Giuliani as Secretary of State is in a much less stable and effective role under Trump than he would be as Attorney General. In the former he is liable to prove himself to be ineffective or counterproductive and get shitcanned (“You’re Fired!”)… I’m hoping in record time. In the latter he and Trump are probably on the same wavelength to the continued detriment of civil liberties for a full 2 to 4 year stint.

    1. optimader

      Perfect Moment

      Sunset glow from a hill
      Let it flow take your fill
      Such a perfect moment
      Mona Lisa smile
      One such perfect moment
      Makes it all worthwhile

      Autumn night crystal clear
      Mystic night seems so near
      Such a perfect moment
      Nothin’ you can say
      One such perfect moment
      Gets you through the day

      Mountain sheen, ocean shine
      Miocene valentine
      One such perfect moment
      Never twice th’ same
      Such a perfect moment
      Will keep you in th’ game

  23. Tim

    I don’t know how to look up old comments, but I did say that it was ironic that Bill Clinton vs Bob Dole was seeing a role reversal with Hillary and Trump, where Bob Dole and Hillary claimed the moral high ground and Bill and Trump said it’s the economy stupid. I did think it would take the starting of a recession for Hillary to lose, but this article absolutely backs up my original comment and was a fun read, with lots of money quotes.


  24. Parker1280

    Trump just picked a climate denialist to head the EPA.

    Those cute animals in the photos?

    You know they’re headed for extinction, right?

    While people are still carping on Clinton Comey etc, the fate of the planet’s species (including US) is *now* being *sealed* by trump.

    Do any of you have kids? Grandkids? Do you have any conception of the world of hurt that awaits them? You can forget about great grandkids,btw

    Trump’s going to further cut NASA and other climate monitoring, so we’ll keep the bad news out for a little longer.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Well, given that Obama’s showing Trump the ropes, and people have to occupy Schumer’s office to get his attention, I’m working on the assumption that the Democrat Party as presently constituted won’t do a lot to get in his way.

  25. JTMcPhee

    Can we review the bidding on what the Walloons actually got in exchange for apparently letting CETA proceed with the ISDS language intact, to be “ratified’ or rat-f***ed or whatever it is that the other 37 Sovereignties in the EU have done or are doing? As I recall, the interpretive Post-It ™ flimsily attached to the iron-clad shackles in the rest of the document is nothing more, as my old contracts professor used to call it when discussing construction of contracts, than “mere surplusage.”

    But congrats to the people of that 3.5 million Mouse That At Least Squeaked for standing up on their hind legs and scratching at the eyes of the Fokker pilots starting their strafing runs on the Mopery… “Resistance is futile…”?

    1. hunkerdown

      Management is sort of like telekinesis for the respectable, something of a parlor trick to them. But, at the end of the day, It Has To Work. If people speaking in Party voice like something, presume there’s a known Fix for it.

  26. Waldenpond

    Apprentice = Appointee

    Donald J. Trump Verified account

    Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions. I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!

    I wonder if he’ll tape from the oval office.

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