2:00PM Water Cooler 11/7/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Days until: 1. Now you can count the days on one finger. But which?

Here are the RealClearPolitics polling averages from last week, compared to this week. The last time I’ll do this for 2016 [sheds tear].

This week: 11/7/2016 Last week: 10/31/2016
rcp_11-7 rcp_10-31

With a day to go, it’s still a horse-race. Remarkable.

Now let’s return to the fun Times interactive, “The 1,024 Ways Clinton or Trump Can Win the Election”; it shows the “paths to victory” in tree form. Try it yourself! [New York Times]. Here’s some data I put together to play with in the form of a table of swing states:

Swing State Leader Polling Margin* SoS Party A.G. Party Electoral Votes
OH T (T) 3.5 (1.3) R R 18
NV T (C) 1.5 (-1.5) R R 6
FL C (T) 0.2 (-0.5) R R 29
CO C (C) 2.9 (4.0) R R 9
NC T (C) 1.4 (3.0) D D 15
IA T (T) 3.0 (1.4) R D 6
NH C (C) 0.6 (5.2) D D 4
WI C (C) 6.5 (5.7) D R 10
VA C (C) 5.0 (7.7) D D 13
PA C (C) 2.4 (5.6) D D 20

Legend: Leader and polling margin from RealClearPolitics. SoS’s party from WikiPedia. A.G’s party from Ballotpedia.

* Previous week’s margin in parenthesis (thus). Flipped states (thus).

Still very much a horse-race; Clinton flipped Florida (though by a tiny amount); but Trump flipped Nevada and North Carolina. (All this data is averaged over the 10/26 – 11/6 time frame, and I can’t imagine they capture late shifts in any direction.) To the Times interactive once again:

Remember the interactive focuses on swing states, listed in the table above. We give Trump every state where he is ahead: Ohio, North Carolina, Nevada (!), Iowa. Trump has 44 paths to victory; Clinton, 19. We reserve Florida and New Hampshire, because Clinton’s margin in both states is razor thin, and give her Virgina, Pennsylvania, Wisconson, and Colorado:


So even if Trump wins Florida, he has to win New Hampshire, too. Hoo boy. And to think all this campaign had to do was gag him and take away the Android phone he was tweeting from. The slightest bit of self-discipline on Trump’s part, and Clinton is suddenly in the race of her life. Shows her extreme weakness as a candidate, and the decadence of the Democrat nomenklatura that forced her nomination through, not to mention the decadence of the political class, which can’t seem to get approximately half the electorate to accept their view that Trump is history’s worst monster, despite extraordinary unity of purpose and a deluge of propaganda. Prediction: This election will resolve nothing, and volatility will increase.

Now let’s look at the House and Senate:

This week, the House:


Last week:


Looking good for our friend, gridlock.

This week, the Senate:


Last week:


It’s a coin toss (though you’ve gotta note 7 of the 8 toss-ups are Republicans). I wonder if the coin will land on its edge?


“Why the age for Social Security benefits doesn’t need to go up to 70” [MarketWatch]. Part of a symposium. Wall Street is already gearing up to have another go at a Grand Bargain, which (IMNSHO) Clinton supports (given that she supports the logic of Simpson-Bowles, as shown by Wikileaks).

“Marijuana News Roundup: 3 of 5 States on Track to Approve Recreational Use” [247 Wall Street].

  • Arizona (Proposition 205): 48% in favor; 47% opposed; 4% undecided
  • California (Proposition 64): 58% in favor; 37% opposed; 5% undecided
  • Maine (Question 1): 50% in favor; 41% opposed; 9% undecided
  • Massachusetts (Question 4): 62% in favor; 33% opposed; 4% undecided
  • Nevada (Question 2): 47% in favor; 43% opposed; 11% undecided

A pure play in paraphernalia.

The Voters

“The Verifier – Polling Place Equipment – 2016” [Verified Voting]. Handy tool that shows voting systems state-by-state.

“[E]lectronic voting machines aren’t as commonplace as one might assume. Three-quarters of the country will vote on a paper ballot this fall, says Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting, a group that promotes best practices at the polls. Only five states—Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and New Jersey—use “direct recording electronic” (DRE) machines exclusively. But lots of other states use electronic machines in some capacity” [Wired].

“Lack of poll workers and low numbers of voting machines are key contributors to long voting lines, and precincts with more minorities experienced longer waits” [Brennan Center]. No duh!


“[Philadelphia’s] crippling weeklong transit strike ended early Monday, ensuring that all buses, trolleys and subways will be up and running by Election Day” [AP].


“As the final, frantic hours of the campaign for control of Congress come to a close, Democrats look like slightly-better-than-even favorites to reclaim the Senate, while Republicans appear certain to hold the House after a Donald Trump-induced October scare” [Politico]. “If Democrats manage to flip the Senate, senior party aides and strategists involved in battleground races said they’re looking at a majority of 52 seats, best case. That would be a letdown from their earlier hopes of a 54- or 55-seat advantage and put Republicans in the pole position to win back the chamber in 2018.”

The Trail

Best pro-Trump piece I’ve seen: “The GOP’s ‘Ungrateful Bastard’ Caucus” [American Greatness].

Best pro-Clinton piece remains: “Vote for the Lying Neoliberal Warmonger: It’s Important” [Common Dreams].

The best reasons I can think of to vote for each candidate (as opposed to against the other candidates). In no particular order:

  • Trump: A realist foreign policy
  • Clinton: More of the same
  • Stein: Break the two-party duopoloy
  • Johnson: Sanity on marijuna legalization

These reasons are, of course, entirely incommensurate.

“The American Conservative Presidential Symposium” [The American Conservative]. Michael Tracey: “Trump might be better than Hillary on foreign policy (my top issue), but he’s far too volatile to conclude that with any certainty, and he may well end up being catastrophically worse. The Clintons’ outrageous stoking of a war fervor over Russia is quite simply depraved and should disqualify them from reentering the White House…. Democrats deserve punishment for nominating a candidate with such severe legal problems, stifling a genuine populist insurgent in the most craven possible fashion (I supported Bernie Sanders but find his recent hectoring pro-Clinton conduct highly off-putting). Their shambolic, ‘rigged’ primary process can’t be countenanced, nor can the 2016 electoral debacle as a whole, so I’ll do my small part in rejecting this horror show by declining to vote.”


“America’s Ruling Elite Has Failed and Deserves to Be Fired” [Of Two Minds]. “The last failed remnants of the state-cartel hierarchies left over from World War II must implode before we can move forward. Healthcare, defense, pharmaceuticals, higher education, the mainstream media and the systems of governance must all decay to the point that no one can be protected from the destructive consequences of their failure, and no paychecks can be issued by these failed systems.” Tellingly, the author omits the FIRE sector. So I would say their definition of elite is odd.

“[E]ducation levels are a more significant factor this year. Obama won a majority of those with a high school diploma (or less) in 2012, while Romney won college-educated voters. This year the numbers are reversed. Among white voters with only a high school education, Trump leads by over 25 points. Among whites with a college degree, Clinton leads by about 10 percent. This is the first time since serious polling began in 1952 that this has happened [RealClearPoltiics]. And when I ask myself who sent the United States heading toward Third World status, it’s not those without college degrees. In fact, it’s Clinton’s base.

“The Last Gasp of the American Dream” [The Archdruid Report].

[M]illions of Americans trudge through a bleak round of layoffs, wage cuts, part-time jobs at minimal pay, and system-wide dysfunction. The crisis hasn’t hit yet, but those members of the political class who think that the people who used to be rock-solid American patriots will turn out en masse to keep today’s apparatchiks secure in their comfortable lifestyles have, as the saying goes, another think coming. Nor is it irrelevant that most of the enlisted personnel in the armed forces, who are the US government’s ultimate bulwark against popular unrest, come from the very classes that have lost faith most drastically in the American system. The one significant difference between the Soviet case and the American one at this stage of the game is that Soviet citizens had no choice but to accept the leaders the Communist Party of the USSR foisted off on them, from Brezhnev to Andropov to Chernenko to Gorbachev, until the system collapsed of its own weight…

If George W. Bush was our Leonid Brezhnev, as I’d suggest, and Barack Obama is our Yuri Andropov, Hillary Clinton is running for the position of Konstantin Chernenko; her running mate Tim Kaine, in turn, is waiting in the wings as a suitably idealistic and clueless Mikhail Gorbachev, under whom the whole shebang can promptly go to bits. While I don’t seriously expect the trajectory of the United States to parallel that of the Soviet Union anything like as precisely as this satiric metaphor would suggest, the basic pattern of cascading dysfunction ending in political collapse is quite a common thing in history, and a galaxy of parallels suggests that the same thing could very easily happen here within the next decade or so. The serene conviction among the political class and their affluent hangers-on that nothing of the sort could possibly take place is just another factor making it more likely.

“Why Trump Is Different—and Must Be Repelled” [Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker].

For the past months, and into this final week, as for much of the past year, many New Yorkers have been in a position that recalls parents with a colicky baby: you put the baby down at last, it seems safely asleep, grateful and unbelievably exhausted you return to bed—only to hear the small tell-tale cough or sob that guarantees another crying jag is on the way. The parents in this case, to fill in the metaphorical blanks, are liberal-minded folk; the baby’s cries are any indicators that Donald Trump may not be out of the race for President—as he seemed to be even as recently as last week—and may actually have a real chance at being elected. Disbelief crowds exhaustion: this can’t be happening. If the colicky baby is a metaphor too sweet for so infantile a figure as the orange menace, then let us think instead, perhaps, of the killer in a teen horror movie of the vintage kind: every time Freddy seemed dispatched and buried, there he was leaping up again, as the teens caught their breath and returned, too soon, to their teendom.

Of course, Gopnik — who should really stick to writing sweetly atmospheric pieces about Paris — is both passive-aggressive and infuriatingly smug. To “fill in the metaphorical blanks,” but for realz, both the “colicky baby” and the teen horror movie villain are infantilized and displaced versions of a working class Other: The Trump voter that Eurostar-rider Gopnik hates and fears, because he’s afraid they’re going to come and kill him and take his stuff. In short, he has the guilty conscience of a classic liberal.

Democrat Email Hairball

“Dow surges 300 points as FBI clears Clinton on eve of election” [USA Today]. Hmm. Insiders go to HappyVille!

Stats Watch

Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure, October 2016: ” In October, Americans’ daily self-reports of spending averaged $93, similar to September’s $91 average. However, it is among the highest for the month of October in the survey’s nine-year trend” [Econoday]. “The latest spending average is similar to the $91 recorded in October 2008, a measure taken at the beginning of a steep slide in Americans’ spending amid the financial crisis of 2008.” Eight years of crap and back to square one, except for the lost wealth, of course. Best economy ever!

Labor Market Conditions Index, October 2016: “Average hourly earnings are one of 19 indicators tracked in the labor market conditions index but the component no doubt made an outsized contribution to the October composite which rose” [Econoday]. (This is the Fed’s experimental index.) “Elements of last week’s employment report, especially wages, are consistent with a pivot higher for the labor market and today’s gain in this index could be offering its own signpost.” Dear Lord, a “pivot. I thought “pivot” was a Beltway word, but it seems to have migrated. Ugh.

Employment Situation (11/4): “[T]he deceleration of employment growth continues in what’s now been a very steady decline going on 2 years. And with employment growth decelerating at this rate it’s likely the unemployment rate will remain elevated indefinitely” [Mosler Economics].

Real Estate: “When it comes to the state of the industrial real estate market, landlords continue to have the upper hand over tenants, due to ongoing market factors, according to the Third Quarter Industrial Outlook report recently issued by commercial real estate firm JLL” [Logistics Management]. “Looking at total U.S. absorption, JLL observed that more than one-third is derived from four key markets that indicate a bulk of the activity still remains in primary industrial cities. These markets include: Chicago at 6.4 percent; Houston at 8.5 percent; Dallas/Fort Worth at 8.6 percent; and Philadelphia/Harrisburg at 10.5 percent…. When asked to rank the top three types of occupiers for industrial estate property at the moment, [Aaron Ahlburn, director of industrial research for JLL] cited e-commerce, traditional retail, and 3PL [third-party logistics] and logistics/parcel delivery players.” So, a bet on continued globalization?

Shipping: “Truck, rail pricing power may shift in early 2017” [Journal of Commerce]. “Shippers moving freight throughout the US are enjoying the kind of pricing power they usually only hold during recessions, thanks to a thick layer of excess truck capacity and overstocked inventories, combined with lower fuel costs and fuel surcharges. The strong dollar and skittish consumer demand, at least for items bigger than packages, also play a role.” Weirdly, the happy talk headline isn’t supported by any data in the article.

Shipping: “Calls grow for Pakistan to adopt shipbreaking code in wake of last week’s deadly inferno” [Splash247]. “The speakers at the [National Trade Union Federation] protest called for a shipbreaking code to be instituted in Pakistan, noting how workplace accidents at Indian breaking yards had dropped since New Delhi put in its own ship recycling regulations.”

Shipping: “The world’s seas were a safer place for those navigating them from June to September 2016, maritime security intelligence firm Dryad Maritime reported.Security incidents, including piracy, boardings and robberies, fell compared with the first half of 2016” [Lloyd’s List].

Shipping: “Cargo thieves have traditionally targeted compact high-value items such as cash and electronics, but lately, improved warehouse security has pushed the crooks to diversify their portfolios and start stealing a range of items, including food, alcohol, and clothing” [DC Velocity]. “Rather than lurking around DCs [distribution centers], cargo thieves are increasingly focused on mobile targets like trucks and trailers. Examples of recent thefts include hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of salmon in Norway, cases of whiskey in London, and truckloads of nuts around the globe…. In another escapade, thieves snatched six pallets of maple syrup destined for Japan from a Montreal company’s truck yard, making off with $150,000 in sweet merchandise…. In past years, these items might have been difficult to resell, but the Internet makes it easy to locate a buyer for almost anything.”

Shipping: “[T]ransportation hiring suggests companies increasingly are putting workers in place to meet another big seasonal push toward web-based sales. They’ll need sales demand to show up since hiring in the retail and manufacturing sectors both slipped back last month. Jobs at goods-producing companies overall were flat in October, a sign that any expansion in demand in the next couple of months will have to come from shipments heading to consumers” [Wall Street Journal].

Honey for the Bears: “New registrations of commercial vehicles in gross vehicle weight (GVW) classes 4 to 8 are down 4.2 percent through August of this year, according to the Englewood, Colo., consulting firm IHS Markit” [DC Velocity]. “The statistics could foreshadow rough results for corporate earnings, since large trucks are almost exclusively used for business purposes… [Then again] part of the explanation for these statistics may be that owners are holding on to their vehicles longer.”

The Bezzle: “DOJ, SEC now investigating Wells Fargo sales practices” [FCPA Blog].

The Bezzle: “Airbnb tide appears to be on the ebb” [Hotel News Notes]. As regulators catch up, regulatory arbitrage decreases. “That is, if Airbnb does not change direction. It has the capability of doing that—its market capitalization is supposedly now some $30 billion, larger than the combined Marriott-Starwood empire.:

Gentlemen Prefer Bonds: “Barack Obama will go down in history as having sold more Treasuries and at lower interest rates than any U.S. president” [Bloomberg]. “He’s also leaving a debt burden that threatens to hamstring his successor.” I know. Let’s cut “entitlement spending”!

The Fed: “Overall, there is still a very strong probability that the Fed will move to tighten at the December FOMC meeting unless forthcoming data is extremely weak and there is an unexpected victory for Republican candidate Trump, which triggers a sharp deterioration in risk appetite” [Economic Calendar]. This is based on the Labor Market Conditions Index.

Political Risk: “This will be a light week for economic data” [Calculated Risk]. “The key event will be the US election on Tuesday.” That’s so understated you’d think McBride was a Brit!

Political Risk: “With the U.S. election just one day away, Bloomberg compiled a cross-asset guide to how Wall Street strategists predict the markets will react in the event that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton wins the presidency. We’ve also included a separate scenario on how they might move if the Democrats recaptured the Senate and the House of Representatives along with the presidency; a Trump victory likely entails that Republicans would keep control of both houses of Congress” [Bloomberg].

Rapture Index: Closes down 1 on drug abuse [Rapture Index]. Current: 188. Record High: 189 (October 10, 2016). From the Drug Abuse section: “There has been greater restriction on opioid drugs.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 20 Fear (previous close: 14, Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 30 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 7 at 10:42am. Never made it to single digits. I assume a rebound is coming, either way, after Tuesday.

Police State

“Dozens, if not hundreds, of criminal convictions in Ohio could be in jeopardy because [G. Michele Yezzo] longtime forensic scientist at the state crime lab now stands accused of slanting evidence to help cops and prosecutors build their cases” [Columbus Dispatch]. “In the records, colleagues and supervisors described these concerns about Yezzo: She threatened to use a gun to shoot her co-workers and herself. She threw a 6-inch metal plate at one co-worker. She exposed her breasts to BCI agents at a bar, flipped off her boss and acted in a hostile manner to almost every lab employee, according to records. She was accused of calling an African-American scientist a racial slur, something Yezzo denies. She frequently broke into crying spells for no apparent reason Forensic scientists quit because of her erratic behavior. At one point her union, the Fraternal Order of Police, refused to back her.” Wowsers. The FOP.

Our Famously Free Press

“Vox Scams Readers Into Thinking Prescient World Series Tweet Was A Scam [Update]” [DeadSpin].

Guillotine Watch

“Too Smug to Jail” [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone]. “As we reach the close of an election season marked by anger toward the unaccountable rich, The Economist has chimed in with a defense of the beleaguered white-collar criminal.”

[T]his is the crucial passage:

“Most corporate crime is the result of collective action rather than individual wrongdoing—long chains of command that send (often half-understood) instructions, or corporate cultures that encourage individuals to take risky actions. The authorities have rightly adjusted to this reality by increasingly prosecuting companies rather than going after individual miscreants.”

Yikes! This extraordinary argument is cousin to the Lieutenant Calley defense, i.e., that soldiers bear no responsibility for crimes they were ordered to execute. The Economist here would have you believe that there’s no such thing as an individual crime in a corporate context.

Class Warfare

On neoliberalism [Matt Stoller, Facebook, via Atrios].

Neoliberalism is a kind of statecraft. It means organizing state policies by making them appear as if they are the consequences of depoliticized financial markets. It involves moving power from public institutions to private institutions, and allowing governance to happen through concentrated financial power. Actual open markets for goods and services tend to disappear in neoliberal societies. Financial markets flourish, real markets morph into mass distribution middlemen like Walmart or Amazon.

Neoliberalism is not faith in free markets. Neoliberalism is not free market capitalism. Neoliberalism is a specific form of statecraft that uses financial markets as a veil to disguise governing policies.

What oft was thought but ne’er so well expressed. Stoller is paraphrasing his review of Greta Krippner’s Capitalizing on Crisis, which sounds well worth a read.

“Uncovering Credit Disparities among Low- and Moderate-Income Areas” [Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis]. “Eggleston found that LMI [lower abd middle-income] neighborhoods with relatively better credit tend to be in metros with a larger percentage of white residents, and they are typically found in the East, West and parts of the upper Midwest. They also tend to be in metros that have lower poverty rates.”

News of the Wired

“Shyness: small acts of heroism” [Times Literary Supplement]. ” The most surprising chapter is the one that discusses shyness in animals, where a “shy–bold continuum has been found in over a hundred species”. Moran shares unlikely-sounding research about “friendlier lemon sharks”, “lizard cliques” and a line of nervous pointers bred by scientists at the University of Arkansas, who found that the dogs could never be socialized: shyness was in their genes…. [The author] suggests that ‘natural selection prefers a range of personalities in the same species.'” Hmm.

“In their study of more than 12 million Facebook users, the researchers found that a lower mortality risk was associated with the number of friend requests accepted — as in, those who accepted more friend requests tended to live longer than those who accepted fewer requests. Friend requests extended, on the other hand, had no particular relationship at all to mortality. As the news release so plainly phrased it, ‘This finding … suggests that public health interventions urging people to go out and try to make more friends may have no effect on health” [New York Magazine].

“‘Time crystal’ created in lab” [Science News]. “Scientists have created the first time crystal, using a chain of ions. Just as a standard crystal repeats in a regular spatial pattern, a time crystal repeats in time, returning to a similar configuration at regular intervals.”

“In Accessorize to a Crime: Real and Stealthy Attacks on State-of-the-Art Face Recognition, researchers from Carnegie-Mellon and UNC showed how they could fool industrial-strength facial recognition systems (including Alibaba’s ‘smile to pay’ [!!!] transaction system) by printing wide, flat glasses frames with elements of other peoples’ faces with ‘up to 100% success.’ The glasses cost $0.22/pair” [Boing Boing] (original).

* * *

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 (Rainbow Girl):


Rainbow Girl writes: “Lantern Hill Pond, autumn afternoon. What survived in spite of the (now decommissioned) silica mine that operated on its southern shore (to the right).” Still, there’s always something hopeful about seeing a sunny clearing ahead, from inside the shady woods.

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. OIFVet

    Re: Days until: 1. Now you can count the days on one finger. But which? Hillary Clinton’s extended middle finger.

      1. HopeLB

        Look at reddit r/politics. Did Hillary/Brock stop paying to downvote all anti-Hill posts/comments? Reaction to the Daily Beast telling readers “YOU MUST VOTE HILLARY” was at 11,000. Maybe, Hillary and Co are trying to get a handle on real voter sentiment?
        Or they don’t care now that it is in the bag.

    1. Pavel

      LOL I was going to post (well, I guess I am doing so) that the finger I am counting down on is my middle finger, which I shall extend to the DNC, the RNC, the MSM, and the rest of the corrupt US oligarchy that brought us here. Especially the MSM — and note of course that it was Bill Clinton who deregulated the media so it went from one hundred or so to the SIX corporate behemoths that control 90%+ of the news that the average American consumes.


      The only consolation is that clearly a Dem or Repub president doesn’t really matter, given the corporatocracy (or oligarchy, take your pick). So the bonus this year is that Drump destroyed the Bush dynasty and most of the RNC. And Clinton has burnt all her bridges and allies and the liberal MSM in getting to her (assumed) victory.

      My humble advice for tomorrow: have a case of beer, wine, whiskey, or green tea at hand, relax, play some good music, ignore the MSM, and remember whatever happens the world will go on and one US president or another will screw the serfs domestically and bomb Middle Eastern countries.

      1. Norm

        Unless Hillary and the gung-ho neocons decide that we really should see just how far Putin can be pushed.

      2. OIFVet

        Oh yeah, I will extend my own middle finger right back at them tomorrow. Voting for Stein will at least give me the inner peace and comfort of knowing that I did not vote for the “lesser evil” represented by Madame Secretary. I don’t care which one wins, all I know is that the rest of us in the 90% will be screwed either way. But I will settle down in the evening, have a cuppa, and hope that TV will provide me with some schadenfreude.

    2. Sandy

      Looks like Lambert now has realized the days until counter was off by 1 up until today. Was a bit of a pet peeve for my OCD self seeing that every afternoon. Friday’s “Days Until” was 3 days on the Water Cooler, so today would have to be zero days until under the incorrect count.

  2. OIFVet

    How is it even possible to press ‘Post’ only once and post two identical comments? Sorry Yves and Lambert.

    1. Oregoncharles

      You can also (accidentally) press it twice and post only once.

      I suspect that NC has outgrown its platform, which occasionally performs erratically. I think Yves has indirectly told us that.

      But what do I know about this stuff?

      1. Yves Smith

        Pressing twice and posting only once is a desirable feature, so I don’t see why you are depicting this as a defect.

        More generally, WordPress is far and away the most widely used blogging software. Sites with vastly more traffic and daily posts use it, such as Huffington Post, as their publication engine.

        The issue is that software sucks.

        1. apotropaic

          Glad to know you use WordPress. While all software sucks, as you say, WordPress has a lot of users who improve it all the time. I feel you would consider a WordPress theme that allows us to have accounts that we can login to you could start doing two things that I think would help your mission:

          1) allow for folks to protect their persona. No faking of user ids.

          2) allow you to offer ad free versions of the site to those who contribute. This would be a great incentive for donations

          3) other things I can’t think of now.

          There are many themes that support accounts.

          1. hunkerdown

            apotropaic, as just a random commenter for a few years here, I recall seeing half a dozen posts over the past couple or three years on NC’s technological woes, dilemmas and unique requirements. There are two things one would be adding along with public logins: more versions of pages, generated by an already busy server, for Cloudflare to be unable to usefully cache; and a huge attack surface (by way of e.g. the control panel) that doesn’t exist when only trusted users have logins. If anything, NC’s technology needs less complexity (as Yves has aptly called a “tax on time”) and less risk exposure, not more.

            On the other hand, NC is unique among heavy WordPress hitters in using WP’s built-in comments, I presume because of everyday administrative simplicity, backward-compatibility, intellectual property concerns, and not least reader preference. Throughput responds somewhat well to caching, and therefore not an immediate concern. If as a WordPress wizard you happen to have a faster way of getting comments in and out through WordPress’s comments framework, while preserving all plugin functionality, you’ll catch some people’s ears.

        2. clinical wasteman

          Software does indeed suck, and almost always because of decisions by the humans (or their managers) who configured it.
          No disrespect at all to Oregoncharles, but I’d suggest that the more common problem is flashy, buggy, all-singing-all-dancing ‘platforms’ that ‘outgrow’ feeble content. If what we have here is the opposite of that, we should count ourselves lucky. Can’t offer any evidence to support the thought, but I suspect that the readership and comments on NC would be way narrower in perspective if commenting required a Disqus-type profile or if reading involved the endless buffering — or outright blocking if you’re using, say, a PC in a public library or internet cafe — of ultra-super-HD video features and ads.
          Whereas I couldn’t care less that there are static ads on the site, because the more money supporting Yves, Lambert, et al the better, and those notices can be … how to put this politely? … ignored.
          Anyway, having tried to edit both a nigh-on-baroque Drupal site and a (tradesperson’s) entry-level WordPress one, I know which I prefer.

  3. Bugs Bunny

    Thanks Lambert and Yves for your stalwart coverage of this election season and political economics, in general.

    1. Ulysses

      Thanks indeed!

      I apologize if these concluding thoughts on an exhausting electoral season, by Chris Hedges, have already been posted:

      “We cannot betray the ideal of a popular democracy by pretending this contrived political theater is free or fair or democratic. We cannot play their game. We cannot play by their rules. Our job is not to accommodate the corporate state….

      The state seeks to control us through fear, propaganda, wholesale surveillance and violence. [This] is the only form of social control it has left. The lie of neoliberalism has been exposed. Its credibility has imploded. The moment we cease being afraid, the moment we use our collective strength as I saw in Eastern Europe in 1989 to make the rulers afraid of us, is the moment of the system’s downfall.

      Go into the voting booth on Tuesday. Do not be afraid. Vote with your conscience.”


      1. phred

        Thank you for that link. I particularly liked the last sentences of Hedges’ piece:

        “I do not, in the end, fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists.”


        1. BecauseTradition

          Sounds too much like the Demos fighting for the people but never winning. Also a bit narcissistic.

          And is Hedges a foe of, say, the government insurance of privately created deposits – a fascist invention if ever there was?

  4. megamike

    Here’s the deal: Donald Trump is going to get his ass kicked. Anyone who says otherwise is either a) afraid of jinxing it and/or making Hillary Clinton voters complacent (understandable); b) afraid of being wrong (Nate Silver); c) supporting Trump; or d) interested in making this a “horse race” for the sake of maintaining public interest (most of the television media, along with grotesque shitbags like Mark Halperin).

    But this isn’t close, and never was. The evidence right there in front of you, if you care to notice. Donald Trump has never led in an aggregate of polls for any significant stretch of time. He hasn’t personally raised any money for his campaign in over a month. He lost all three debates. He’s made virtually no effort to get his voters to the polls, instead relying on a Republican party that is being badly outspent and reduced to waging repugnant (and likely illegal) voter-suppression efforts that—despite being successful in some small areas—will ultimately turn legions more voters against them.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        If you don’t mind my asking, how is that done – preserving a link while writing in your own words?

        1. MtnLife

          If you are using the link button: after inputting the link address and hitting “OK”, type what you want the linked text to say before hitting the link button again (will now have a forward slash before it) to close it.

    1. cocomaan

      Thanks for Correcting the Record!

      Glad that we can lump anyone who questions your narrative into four neat categories. There’s no possible way someone could have an original thought.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      All I do is go by the polling averages, and from there I game out the scenarios. The entire process is completely consistent and open, and I explain the logic each time.

      So I don’t understand the emotion behind your comment.

      1. Knifecatcher

        Take a look at the link I posted in the comment above yours. This comment is literally a cut and paste from a Deadspin article, and it’s been spammed in several comment threads.

    3. kareninca

      I wonder if megamike gets paid more for the first post, and then a bit less for each repeat of it. Or if it is the same fee for each time.

  5. Vatch

    Shouldn’t Utah be considered a swing state in 2016? Some Mormons are unhappy with aspects of Trump’s behavior, and wild card McMullin is a member of the LDS church.

      1. Vatch

        Nate Silver’s site gives Trump an overwhelming advantage in Utah, but I still think that surprises are possible. See this article (which admittedly also shows a significant polling advantage for Trump):


        An Emerson College poll released on November 3 shows him at 28 percent to Trump’s 40 percent and Clinton’s 20 percent.

        Jason Perry, the director of Utah’s bipartisan Hinckley Institute, says there is a large percentage of voters who do not even know who McMullin is, “but they know who he is not. He’s not Trump, and he’s not Hillary”.

        With 67 percent of Utah voters viewing Trump unfavourably according to a Monmouth University poll, voting for the Republican candidate does not appear to sit well with Utah’s value-minded voters.

        Becky Rasmussen, 37, of Highland City, is one such voter who could not see herself voting for Trump, in part because of her Mormon faith.

        While she also sees Clinton as unfit for the presidency, Trump, she says, is “completely morally bankrupt …You see framed in his office him on the cover of Playboy Magazine”.

        But Porter Goodman, 28, from Provo – who believes that voting for McMullin “is the only way to not throw away your vote” – says it is not his Mormon beliefs that cause him to view Trump as having a “lack of morality”.

        “I say he lacks morality because he lies and because he abuses other people with his words and actions,” Goodman says. “Savour the magnificent irony of Trump supporters who say, ‘Yeah, Trump may be a pathological liar, but set that aside and focus on the great things he says he’ll do as president.”

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I think Mormons are ticked over Romney losing in 2012 and blame Evangelicals ask when there was fear Evangelicals wouldn’t vote for a Mormon. Romney did as well as a non Mormon robber baron would have done in 2012. Trump trashing Romney annoyed Mormons who probably aren’t going to get another shot at the Oval Office any time soon.

          Nate doesn’t do a why or how of trends and just focuses on raw numbers based on previous polls. It’s why he never landed a baseball job when other Stat geeks did. If there was an usual trend in Utah, Nate would miss it.

          The key issue is are Mormons “Republicans” or “conservative” when they describe themselves. If their identity is “conservative,” I could see them not voting for Trump. If being a “Republican” matters, they will vote. They voted for McCain, and the fundies hated that guy.

          1. GMoore

            the Romney, Will, Kristol, McCain, Graham, Paulson, Blankfein NEVER TRUMP brigades are up to their sleazy behinds in the Clinton Foundation FRAUD.

            The Foundation is under very very strict rules but has ignored all of them, putting all their contributors at risk. If Trump wins – a grand jury will have all the necessary ammunition to bring down a whole lot of people, here and abroad.

            It’s the great untold story of this election. IT’s also the spit and glue that holds the Clinton coalition of media, government, Wall St, Dems and Goper royalty together in this fight to the death to keep a “friendly” administration in DC. This is kill or be killed time.


            1. different clue

              If Trump wins, Obama will give all the Clintonites who “know too much” total-coverage pardons, in the Ford pardons Nixon tradition.

              ” A thousand full, free and absolute pardons sealed their lips.”

              1. GMoore

                Not True. I was watching a discussion on this. That was my fear, but you cannot pardon someone before an indictment or conviction.

                That is why the Foundation investigation is on HOLD. The unurement of charitable funds for personal enrichment by Chelsea [the wedding] … and Doug Band… Teneo…. is a BIG BIG DEAL.

                Until and unless a grand jury is convened… O enema can do NOTHING.

                Please correct me if I misunderstand the rules. I don’t pretend to know anything about the Ford pardons…

                1. GMoore


                  I know there are rules against double posting… but this expose on the merits of the Clinton Foundationi investigation is so powerful…. so thorough… and compelling …. I will post it as many times as management will allow.

                  The Clinton’s go DOWN if Trump is elected. AND the Gates Foundation, and many many other reputable foundations will be making deals with the Donald to get off the hook for the billions in taxes and fines for the money they gave to this bogus charity.

                  Did you know that if the original Clinton Library wanted to do charity work in New Guinea, or AIDS relief in Haiti…. it must be part of their charter.

                  The rules are extremely strict. and this 6% figure for actual work… with the other 94 % for “expenses”….. is verboten.

                  Charles Ortel lays it all out. Trump has the means to ruin a whole lot of people who participated in this sham charity. ALL THAT MONEY IS NOW TAXABLE… plus fines.

                  It begs the question….. why Didn’t Bush do this when he controlled the Justice Dept .. he had the goods on em as well. Do I hear an AHA?

                  This is huge… this is the spit and glue that holds the NEVER TRUMP coalition of left and right, American and International together.

                  Trump knows where the bodies are buried. And he is vindictive as hell.

                  So if Trump wins, expect FAR more violence and assassination attempts. It’s the Establishment who is terrified. There are billions at stake should Trump win and go to town on a grand jury. THAT is why he pointed at her and said “you should be in jail”.

                  1. Yves Smith

                    Sorry, I’ve spoken to a top tax expert, and pretty much everything you’ve said is wrong.

                    1. It’s routine for charities to add activities to their original statement of scope and the IRS does not object to that

                    2. Charities are actually required to spend remarkably little on actual charity. It is considered to be a huge black eye to contributor for a charity to spend a low % of total spending on actual charitable work, as opposed to fundraising and overheads, but the IRS does not care.

                    Now what IS a problem is something you did not mention…. the IRS does take a very dim view of using charities for “personal comfort” meaning personal expenses. It’s thus OK to give Chelsea a ridiculously overpaid job and have her send pointless e-mails all day or otherwise faff around. But it is NOT at all OK to have the charity pay for her wedding….as e-mails dumped by Wikileaks indicate took place.

                2. different clue

                  My memory may be wrong, but I believe Ford granted Nixon his full, free and absolute pardon before Nixon had been indicted for anything, let along convicted of anything.

                  If my memory is correct, then the fact that it did happen is the strongest proof that it can happen.

                  If my memory is correct about the Nixon pardon, then I stand by my prediction that if Trump wins, Obama will pardon whomever the OverClass tells him to pardon. Under that scenario, will he pardon 999 Clintonites? Will he pardon 1,001 Clintonites? I can’t predict an actual number that specifically.

                  But I can predict this: No Clinton, and maybe no other Clintonite either, will ever be indicted for anything. Ever.

                  “Forget it, Jake. It’s Clintontown.”

                3. Praedor

                  Also, Obama could pardon all he wants but that cannot stop the House from impeachment proceedings on the very same things Obama pardons for. The House, and impeachment, is not bound by such things.

                  It is my hope that the House DOES run impeachment after impeachment after impeachment investigation on Hillary. I also think she will win handily BUT I’d prefer it be fairly tight. I don’t want any of the typical nonsense about “mandate!” poking up.

                  On the idea of mandate…I HATE that it is used at all with regards to the electoral college. There should be a legal/political definition for a mandate that is tied to the POPULAR VOTE ONLY. When Reagan won in 1980 it was called “overwhelming” and a “mandate” because he won big in the electoral college, but he only won 54% of the popular vote! THAT means that nearly half of the voting population stood AGAINST him. Hardly a mandate. Let’s say you cannot claim a political mandate unless you win 55 or 60% of the POPULAR VOTE. Any less means you have to give up dreams of steamrolling anyone with a “mandate”.

      1. Waldenpond

        You only need to buy a plane etc. to hand out as favors, buy 4 or 5 dozen media personalities at mainstream outlets (a network is a must), get your sycophants in elections offices all over the country to purge your rival’s voters and raise a billion dollars. Easy peasy.

    1. Code Name D

      Your assuming we don’t get about a dozen Florida Hanging-chad scandals. If Trump wins the wrong states – this will land in court, and all end in tears.

  6. nippersdad

    That Reed column, “Vote for the lying neoliberal warmonger; it’s important, has always struck me badly. His point that those who voted for a Democrat for President since ’92 have done as badly or worse than they would in voting for Clinton is just false. No one in my memory has so slavishly supported finance capital and foreign wars. No one has made going to war with China, Russia or Iran a central plank in their candidacy.

    I, personally, can’t get over that. Republicans will do what they will do, it is not my job to support someone who makes for a better Republican than they can come up with themselves.

    1. Ulysses

      “It is not my job to support someone who makes for a better Republican than they can come up with themselves.”

      Very well said!!

      1. nycTerrierist


        I will never again vote for the ‘lesser of two evils’. Did it once for Obama (against Sarah Palin).
        Never again. It just encourages more crapification.

    2. Escher

      I’ve read exactly one compelling argument for voting Hillary, by Jim Kunstler, who thinks it best if the crew responsible for the mess is still holding the bag when things really go south.

      I believe it was linked here when published.

      1. aab

        I’d be more inclined to value that possibility if it wasn’t clear that the Executive Branch can now launch wars of choice at will. I have a draft age daughter.

      2. nippersdad

        Voting for Hillary is like being dragged over nine miles of broken light bulbs and carpet tacks. He really does have a way with words. Thing is, she will be at war before the shtf, so accountability will be off the table whatever might happen.

        Not for her to tell us all to go shopping, she will have us so exhausted from digging victory gardens that nothing else will matter.

  7. Knifecatcher

    Today our HR department revealed the “new and improved” 2017 benefits package…

    and it’s massively crapified. But good news! The “High Deductible Health Plan” is now a “Consumer Driven Health Plan” thanks to our good friends at Cigna, who kindly reminded us that we just haven’t been doing our part as active health care consumers to help reduce health care costs. Because the real problem with health care today is obviously branding.

    1. Foppe

      It’s not a reference to Doing your Bit turning in family/friends/neighbors/coworkers who you “know” to be abusing the system, and thus Causing the Problem??

    2. Pat

      First violence is not the answer. Still that does make one want to find a way to march the people who came up with that along with the top management of Cigna to the stocks for some quality communing time with their customers. That there should also be a huge pile of rotten produce near the stocks would be merely coincidence.

      1. Knifecatcher

        The consultant they brought in to dump this on us actually said “most people spend more time shopping for the best price on shoes than they spend shopping for the most cost-effective health care.”

        I had the temerity to point out what I’ve learned from firsthand experience – that there is NO WAY TO KNOW what a provider will charge for a particular procedure beforehand. The response was that they’d follow up with me later. :)

        Apropos of nothing, the Cigna CEO took home $49 million in total comp last year – and wasn’t the highest paid Cigna executive.

        1. Waldenpond

          Have you seen the commercial where a female basketball player is goofing off for her child in the house… falls and injures herself. Later she’s in a sling and grabbing a small trampoline and in response the ‘husband’ is on the phone. I guess the inference is he’s calling the insurance company but I think it makes more sense to be calling for a price check.

          The next time you have a compound fracture, remember to stay calm, and get the best price.

          1. aab

            I actually went through this, my last year before the ACA went into effect. I had been paying >$12,000/year for our high deductible insurance that didn’t cover my cancer surgery, or much of anything else. I sliced my finger on a mandolin (the kitchen kind, not the instrument.) I spent 20 minutes on the phone with the insurance company while my finger squirted blood all over, trying to get a straight answer about which emergency room was covered. I finally figured out that NO emergency room was covered. They’d changed the policy in the last go-round, buried this inconvenient fact somewhere on page 9 zillion, and even now, AS I WAS BLEEDING, the “customer service rep” had been instructed not to tell me this simple fact.

            Since my incredibly expensive health insurance did not cover my cancer surgery, I can attest that price shopping is intentionally, completely impossible. I would literally get this answer: “We don’t know. We’ll tell you after you have it.” Variations on that, over and over again. Plus, I was supposed to separately price the doctor, the facility, the medical group, the anesthesiologist, and some other party I don’t remember. This, while flipping out about having, you know, CANCER. And then I had to delay the surgery until the next calendar year, so that maybe the procedure cost would mean I’d hit my deductible; I had a long conversation with my surgeon about the relative likelihood of losing my life or a body part if I waited a couple of months. Oh, and THEN it turned out — after I had had surgery and had part of my body cut away — I didn’t actually have cancer. I had never had cancer. All the preliminary tests had indicted I didn’t have cancer: multiple biopsies, etc. But I was pressured into doing the surgery anyway by every doctor I saw, because without insurance coverage, I was just a straight shot of cash to them.

            And it sounds like what the ACA has done is put greater and greater numbers of Americans in my position. Thanks, Obama.

            1. Knifecatcher

              I had a similar experience when my 4 year old managed to jab a stick into his eye. Nothing quite like trying to figure out the “right” ER at 9 PM on a Saturday while your child is bleeding profusely from his eye socket and screaming hysterically.

              In our case he dodged a bullet and didn’t even need an eye patch. The total bill for 15 mins in the ER and a followup at an ophthalmologist on Monday was nearly $3k out of pocket. Because high deductible!

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        To avoid charges of aggravated assault for throwing rotten vegetables be sure to wear similar/same clothing, bring masks and shift around before you start throwing things. Remember! We have “justice” for all in Merika.

            1. pretzelattack

              used to be popular during sieges, also plague victims. they knew how to weaponize horses in those days.

      3. Watt4Bob

        That there should also be a huge pile of rotten produce near the stocks would be merely coincidence.

        Being sentenced to time in the stocks can result in a wide ‘spectrum’ of results.

        In the case of ‘health’ insurance executives, a pile of rotten produce represents one end of the spectrum, and a large pile of rocks represents the other, more appropriate end.

        Please don’t think me an extremist, in the old days, some people confined to the stocks were ‘modified’ by acquaintances who showed up with ‘utensils’.

    3. Tvc15

      And my company is offering a new 2017 “benefit”; Critical Illness Insurance to provide financial protection for an illness such as cancer, stroke or heart attack.

      Uh, okay, I thought that is why I pay $6,000 / yr for my high deductible medical plan, not including company subsidy, dental or vision.

      Maybe they should have asked marketing to help with the branding.

      1. jrs

        I think it’s not actually for medical costs in most cases. It’s for the cost of say not being able to work due to cancer and so on. Or that’s what I’ve seen out there, obviously I don’t know about your particular plan.

        1. Waldenpond

          Check the policy. Some policies are very specific in that they will include specific cancers and exclude others. The additional can cover illnesses not covered by the initial contract, lost wages, support, and unemployment in case your employer fires you. It may apply to Cobra costs in case of job loss so a person can maintain continuity of care.

      2. Knifecatcher

        We got that too, along with a number of other optional programs. My assumption is that once you get past medical, dental, and vision all those other post-tax “benefits” (pre-paid legal, long term care insurance, etc) are just profit centers, and that the provider gives the employer a kickback for allowing them access to a captive customer base – with payments automatically deducted from each paycheck! I don’t know that for sure, but it’s the only explanation I can see as to why HR pushes those so hard.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          LOL and tomorrow a majority of Americans will vote back in the crowd that brought this down upon them. Wait til you see what they are gearing up to do to SocSec.

          Maybe it’s a deep-seated Calvinist/Protestant self-loathing? Catholic self-flaggelation? Stockholm Syndrome?

          Joe Bageant wrote about the curious phenomenon of the Republican base voting year in and year out for candidates who acted in direct opposition to their own economic interests…maybe that’s both “sides” of politics now?

          1. Bunk McNulty

            A lot, I bet. I imagine that some HR people are deeply conflicted. Whatever more or less humanitarian interest it was that drove them to want to work in Human Resources (who remembers “Personnel”?) in the first place gets driven out of them pretty quickly, no? And they’ll talk, because it is important to them that you know how important they are. I remember those people. I think about them now and imagine they’d be easy pickings for social engineering.

    4. jrs

      I wish I had a benefit package :( Even a crappy one! They are throwing us on to some kind of exchange program this year. Things go from bad to worse …

    5. Jeremy Grimm

      An off-the-wall question — is your pseudonym related to Henrich Boll’s story “Der Mann mit den Messern”?

      1. Knifecatcher

        Ha! Nope. Bought a house in 2009 and thought it was appropriate, and have been using it on finance / political forums ever since. Worked out OK for us, though.

        1. Oregoncharles

          that was good timing. We bought a duplex then, have done very well on it. A lot of work, though.

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          So you don’t like to throw a knife over your head and catch it with a board over your head at the last minute?

  8. Carolinian

    Raimondo–globalism is the issue

    That’s why a British court has effectively overturned the results of the Brexit vote – in a lawsuit brought by a hedge fund manager and former model – and thrown the fate of the country into the hands of pro-EU Tories, and their Labor and Liberal Democrat collaborators.

    This stunning reversal was baked in to the legislation that enabled the referendum to begin with, and is par for the course as far as EU referenda are concerned: in 1992,

    Danish voters rejected the EU, only to have the Euro-crats demand a rematch with a “modified” EU treaty which won narrowly. There have been repeated attempts to modify the modifications, which have all failed. Ireland voted against both the Lisbon Treaty and the Nice Treaty, only to have the issue brought up again until the “right” result was achieved.


  9. ChiGal in Carolina

    Re the OH forensic inspector:

    Does FOP have different standards for women and men? What is a little disturbing about this piece is it seems someone’s work is being called into question based on personality issues (in fact she sounds a bit Trumpish – no impulse control!)

    From the article:
    “Yezzo conducted her analysis of evidence without much oversight. Her reports summarizing findings would be reviewed by her supervisors, but her actual work, methods and conclusions rarely were checked by anyone.

    “Now, defense attorneys in at least two cases have done their own investigations and believe they have proof that Yezzo’s work is suspect. In one of those cases, a judge already has freed a man from prison because of credibility issues described in Yezzo’s personnel file.

    Not clarifying whether the lack of oversight is standard procedure seems prejudicial.

    And again from the article:
    “ ‘There may have been issues between me and my co-workers, but it was not a circumstance where those issues fell to the analysis of evidence,’ Yezzo said. ‘You’re trying to portray me as a prosecution expert. I testified to the results, not to try and make any points with anybody.’

    “Yezzo’s direct supervisor, Daniel Cappy, defended her work. Cappy testified that Yezzo had some behavioral issues, but he stood behind the quality of her work as a forensic scientist.”

    Just sayin’

    1. Katharine

      You seem to be ignoring a lot of detail in the article. Her analyses are not being questioned because of her behavior but because experienced analysts say they were poorly performed and improperly interpreted.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Yes, there is detail about accusations made with no evidence to support them!

        “A review of her personnel records by The Dispatch shows that colleagues and supervisors raised questions about Yezzo time and again while she tested evidence and testified in an uncounted number of murder, rape and other criminal cases in the state.”

        Nice trick, implying that the questions raised related to her work while in fact the examples are all behavioral.

        1. Katharine

          My comment with quotation has disappeared in the ether, so I will merely note that you are going out of your way to ignore the clear statements by a forensic analyst of what was wrong with her work. I don’t have time for more.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          If you read down in the article — speaking of “neat tricks,” I commend the technique of reading the entire article to your attention — you’ll find two examples. From higher up, a summary:

          A review of her personnel records by The Dispatch shows that colleagues and supervisors raised questions about Yezzo time and again while she tested evidence and testified in an uncounted number of murder, rape and other criminal cases in the state.

          Their concerns included that she presented evidence in the best light for prosecutors instead of objectively, used suspect methods while examining trace evidence from some crime scenes, and made mistakes that, as one former attorney general put it, “could lead to a substantial miscarriage of justice.” …

          Yezzo received numerous verbal reprimands and was suspended in 1993. But her analysis of evidence continued to be used in many high-profile felony cases despite the concerns about her work and behavior inside the state’s crime lab in London, where forensic scientists examine and analyze evidence from crime scenes across Ohio.

          Yezzo conducted her analysis of evidence without much oversight. Her reports summarizing findings would be reviewed by her supervisors, but her actual work, methods and conclusions rarely were checked by anyone.

          Now, defense attorneys in at least two cases have done their own investigations and believe they have proof that Yezzo’s work is suspect. In one of those cases, a judge already has freed a man from prison because of credibility issues described in Yezzo’s personnel file.

          The judge in that case and others familiar with Yezzo’s BCI history say that if defense attorneys had known about her work issues during past trials, they potentially could have discredited her as an expert witness.

          “I didn’t know of what occurred with Michele Yezzo when I was in that office, but if I had been made aware, I wouldn’t have allowed her to be involved in criminal-justice proceedings,” Petro said. “I am co-counsel in two cases where her work largely convicted men, and her work was shoddy at best. Any case where she provided forensic evidence that resulted in a conviction now comes into question.”

          (Exculpatory material omitted, since I’m speaking to the “it’s all behavioral” argument.)

          The workplace material caught my eye, because it was so astonishing, so that’s what I quoted.

          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            Maybe your initial contextualization if the link affected my reading of the article, dunno. But I did read all of it. In fact I already quoted some of what you reproduced.

            I am just uncomfortable with the way the work and personality issues are muddled together in the article – yes, the “neat tricks”.

            Other than a single memo written by a supervisor it appears to be opposing defense attorneys who are claiming to have evidence of shoddy work.

            I seem to recall the prompt arrest and charging of a female cop for a shooting being contrasted on this site with the circling of the wagons common for male cops (sorry, don’t remember the particulars – a sad commentary in itself).

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The description of Yezzo’s behaviors fit my layman’s understanding of behaviors characteristic of a mental health issue — NOT A CRIMINAL ISSUE — not matter how her behaviors may have affected the cases she handled.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Agreed, she would have benefited from intervention. And if it WAS affecting the quality of her work and not just her relations with colleagues, her supervisors had a duty to see that she got it or pull her from the investigations.

        My point is just that the article doesn’t really provide evidence that her work was affected, only that opposition attorneys on learning of her personal issues have succeeded in making them an issue.

        And my further point is I think women are more vulnerable to this sort of thing than men.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Men are not less vulnerable to assaults on their minds. What a strange idea.

          Avoid all flavors of KoolAide.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          Did you read the entire article? I’m guessing no:

          At a hearing this year in Huron County, Caster convinced Judge Thomas Pokorny that Yezzo’s scientific conclusions were suspect and that her troubled BCI history called into question her credibility.

          Pokorny didn’t declare Parsons innocent, but the judge dismissed the murder conviction and released him.

          “What has weighed most heavily on the court’s mind is the testimony from Ms. Yezzo’s superior that the integrity of her analysis and conclusions may be suspect as she ‘will stretch the truth to satisfy a department,’” Pokorny said in his ruling, referring to a memo written by an assistant BCI superintendent in 1989. “This opinion together with the other evidence of her troubled behavior in the workplace casts grave doubts about her credibility.”

        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          > she would have benefited from intervention

          As would at least one person who was (according to a judge) wrongfully convicted of murder because of her work.

          Now, in the form of this story, we have such an intervention. And what’s the first question? “Does FOP have different standards for women and men?”* Based on a highly incomplete reading of the article, which I would have though somebody who sought an intervention would have welcomed. It’s a funny old world.

          * If so, and no matter how the standards operated, she’s been in office thirty years.

  10. temporal

    re: natural selection prefers a range of personalities in the same species

    I’ve never been a fan of this kind of framing. Evolution having a preference may sound arty but preference requires an agent. Evolution shouldn’t be hanging around enforcing rules like Odin or Thor did back in Ragnarök.

    Better: Natural selection leads to a range of personalities in the same species.

    More likely: Random chance leads to a range of personalities in the same species.

    Of course in the last version, the statement doesn’t sound like something worth investigating either. It’s like asking whether there are physical differences among species.

    Yeah I know, nitpicky.

    1. Katharine

      The preference language is poor. It might be arguable that variation is likely to be maintained when varying circumstances favor different types at different times, but even if you could define the circumstances rigorously enough it would be extraordinarily difficult to put a fitness value on a personality type. (As far as that goes, in practical terms it’s hard to talk about fitness values of most individual characteristics, since they coexist in a whole organism.) You might as well say that in the long run no type has a clear selective advantage.

    2. Oregoncharles

      “Preference” is sloppy language, but in fact selection goes to great lengths to maintain diversity on almost everything. That’s the point of sexual reproduction, a very inefficient way to transmit advantaged traits. Instead, it throws in randomness in each generation. Long term, that’s an advantage, a safety measure against change, which is inevitable.

      Species that lose diversity or give up sexual reproduction go extinct.

      1. KurtisMayfield

        I would further argue that if all different personalities are not detrimental to the individual nor the species, then they aren’t selected out of the gene pool. If you study genetics you notice a fascinating number of traits that hang around simply because there is no reason to get rid of them.

  11. JohnnyGL

    Re: Taibbi and the Economist. I used to love that magazine around 10 years ago. Looked forward to it each week. I got into the FT, too. I used to struggle to keep up with the daily paper and kept piles of it in my apartment when I fell behind. I remember reading some of the John Kay and Michael Prowse articles that Yves has cited in years past.

    Now I don’t bother with either one. Nakedcap gets my annual subscription dollars.

    In the internal battle in my brain over the past decade, Nakedcap has abused the mainstream press the way Trump abused Jebbie during the primaries this year.

      1. William C

        I still read both the FT and Economist. The FT still has some good pieces in it, even if it is diminished from pre-Crash days when Gillian Tett was the person to read. And the book reviews in the Economist can be worth reading, though it is a pale shadow of the journal it used to be.

        I also read other written and printed media because I think it is important to expose yourself to points of view you find uncomfortable – and how can you tell other people their newspapers etc are lying to them and misleading them if you do not dip into them from time to time to confirm that is indeed the case?

        But NC I read every day.

        1. david s

          The Economist has thrown any semblance of impartiality out the window the last couple years.

          Sign of the times, I guess.

        2. Plenue

          Are the Economist’s reviews of the ‘an important work’ type that get featured on the cover, even though the publication continues to ignore every insight and alternative idea presented in the book reviewed?

        3. John k

          I gave up on economist a quarter century ago after they advised Saudis to cut oil prices to $5 (it had fallen to $10 at the time.)

  12. Roger Smith

    Regarding Vox, Current Affairs (author Robinson) published a really strong breakdown of why Vox is such a reporting trash heap.

    Explaining It All To You

    Robinson does a great job pulling out the abstract thoughts that guide these people to be fools.

  13. hemeantwell

    Stoller is paraphrasing his review of Greta Krippner’s Capitalizing on Crisis, which sounds well worth a read.

    It is. One angle is how feckless Democrats sought to give up regulatory power because they wanted to duck responsibility for mistaken decisions. Why run risks ironing out business cycles when you can collect campaign contributions for venerating Alan Greenspan?

    1. dk

      Yes the paragraphs concerning Regulation Q are enlightening. Apparently, regulators in the 30’s tried to create a single (and necessarily complex) regulatory structure that would create healthy deposit flows systemically, but which didn’t handle inflation well (or really, at all).

      What Regulation Q also did, according to Krippner, is that it provided a ‘balance wheel’ for the economy. When the economy did well and interest rates went above Regulation Q caps, people withdrew deposits from savings accounts and put them in Treasury and corporate bonds. As deposits fled thrifts and banks, credit to the consumer economy was shut off. This could work in reverse as well, savings returned when interest rates dropped.

      Inflation, however, destroyed this system. Inflation caused credit crunches routinely. Savers were getting wrecked as their savings yielded less than inflation, prompting anger. Consumer borrowers were also angry when they couldn’t get credit at any price, simply because they were trying to borrow off-cycle. Similarly, state and local finances were hamstrung because they couldn’t borrow at particularly high rates, so capital to those entities dried up even when riots and violence were routine.

      Worth reading even without a detailed interest in finance, as the political contexts are often shaped by specific problems (seen or unseen) in the overall economy.

  14. Oregoncharles

    ” But lots of other states use electronic machines in some capacity” [Wired]. ”

    Much depends on exactly how. For an example, Oregon uses paper ballots marked by the voter, but, at least in my county, electronic counters. But the paper ballots are audited and stored for years, so it’s easy to check up. Everything happens at the courthouse, so there’s no transmission from precincts, and transmission to the SOS is probably in person by phone, followed up by email.

    I’m confident in this system, not least because Oregon is a “clean” state. One county official has been caught cheating by filling in unvoted lines for Republicans, but went to jail. I can think of other ways for insiders to cheat, but it would be dangerous and pretty easy to catch.

    I’m not concerned about the electronic counters as long as they aren’t connected to the internet – no reason for them to be – and the results are properly audited, the biggest if. I wonder a bit about very small rural counties, where everybody knows everybody else’s business and there isn’t much money for safeguards.

    In any case, from a national point of view Oregon’s results are not in doubt. Now I have to do some campaign work for our Ranked Choice Voting initiative, and I look forward to finding out how it did in Maine.

    1. TheCatSaid

      You might like Mark Crispin Miller’s talk here.

      Vote by mail and absentee voting in general is unfortunately one of the most vulnerable of all election systems. This is because of chain of custody issues and third-party subcontractors involved in ballot handling, transport and counting.

      Also, voting machines or tabulators not being on the internet unfortunately does not mean it is unlikely they can be “hacked”. The Fraction Magic video & reports make that clear. The most dangerous exploits are enabled by the existence of a number of possible insiders–particularly the contractors, sub-contractors and/or voting machine vendors who manage the machines, as state election offices typically do not have the expertise. When Bev Harris took a close look at who actually had access to the machines, the picture that emerges is not pretty.

      No state should be trusted to be “clean”. Hundreds of Billions of dollars of spending decisions rest on the results of local elections, for example decisions made by city, town or town councils on who gets the waste management contract, or what developments will get built and by whom. The incentives for election fraud are enormous, and have not reduced over time. As Bill Black has said, if fraud is possible and if there are incentives to commit fraud, it will happen.

      Elections should never require trust. Our election systems should be designed in a way that the results can be verified by members of the public. Asking for the Ballot Images (e.g. FOIA request) is a good start.

      1. TheCatSaid

        Finding out what is involved in actually accessing the paper ballots–in a timely fashion, before results are certified–is typically impossible.

        Same with “audits”. This term is misused in election systems to mean a spot check of a small percentage of ballots, and the meaning and application are problematic to say the least. Richard Hayes Phillips has a good article about election audits here.

        Your local area might have accurate election results or it might not. Nothing should be taken for granted as the stakes represent a tempting target.

  15. John k

    Trump had big mo, maybe until yesterday…
    Today’s Ibd puts T ahead by 2, best for some time… Plus generally favorable LATimes…
    And blacks not turning out nearly as 08/12.
    And Brexit and MI primary polls were far off because ungrateful deplorables.
    Regardless, FL is must win for T. If he gets that, then the following swings might fall into place:
    OH, NV, NC, IA, NM, (270), and maybe NH bonus.
    If he misses FL he would need PA plus CO, likely hopeless.

    I guess we deserve what we’ve got here… Vastly corrupt warmonger running for Obomber’s third term vs loose racist/sexist cannon, albeit apparently the latter likes Putin and avoidsWWIII. Does seem harsh.

  16. Jeremy Grimm

    As I read the Archdruid’s essay I could not but agree with everything he said about the soon past election.

    Though I usually read him for how to deal with what comes after.

  17. JSM

    Re: Vox Scams Readers Into Thinking Prescient World Series Tweet Was A Scam [Update]

    Time to correct the correction: ‘This story was not up to our standards, and we deeply regret the error.’

    What standards?

  18. LT

    Dow surge…

    Of course, if Hillary wins the bubble wins. Everyone with a 401k thinks they hit a triple, but they were walked to third. They won’t make it to “home” (comfy retirement).

    Meanwhile, Trump is of the 80s heyday of corporate raids…letting it fall and buying up cheap. Wall St knows.

    Hillary wins – ride the bubble and pray you know when to dump (and you can’t trust the MSM info – otherwise suckers would have seen 2008 coming).

    Trump wins – being liquid rules the day.

  19. Ché Pasa

    The election will continue until the correct result is obtained.

    That could happen tomorrow; it could just as well drag into January if the EC is tied or, say, the “Russians” interfere and we have to have a cyberwar or something. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the House of Rs had to pick the prez? Maybe if the Supremes hadn’t lawlessly intervened in the 2000 election, we wouldn’t be in this pickle now. But they did. And we are.

    The “correct result” one assumes is Hillary; one has assumed so since this morbid campaign began. As appealing as Bernie could be at times, there was no chance he would be allowed to stand as the Democratic nominee. And if the indications of chicanery are correct, he was actively prevented from becoming the nominee regardless of the “vote.”

    At no time did those who rule us ever consider Trump for the Big Chair. He’s just too open and uncouth, don’tchaknow. Can’t have that. Might give the game away. But he’s a sop to the so-called populists, and man does he run a masterful con. All the slick and perfumed members of his class only wish they had his skill at suckering the rubes. Whoa. Dude.

    Meanwhile, it’s good to learn that there can be no corruption unless its name is Clinton (er, correction: “Clintoon”) or can be linked somehow, if only tangentially, to the Clintoon Crime Syndicate, or it arises politically from the Democratic (er, correction: “Democrat”) Party which is the ultimate source of all corruption, even that of the Clintoons.

    Nothing the Democrat Party or the Clintoons do is defensible; defenses for Trump, on the other hand, well. “It’s just business.” Or my favorite: “At least he hasn’t killed anybody (sotto voce: yet… that we know of“) So let’s give him a chance!

    Our Rulers are close to panicking because no matter who is ultimately selected, they fear there will be blood in the streets, and the unrest might get close to their compounds, lead to unpleasantness in their high-rises, interfere, perhaps, with some of their looting and destruction for pleasure.

    This election has, for once, discommoded the comfortable.

    I voted for Stein, the completely incorrect candidate, though I toyed with leaving the topline blank. Many people I know did that. But no, some of us feel the need to show solidarity with our leftish comrades. So few though, in the end.

    We’ll get through this, but it’ll get uglier.

    1. Tvc15

      I’m finally coming to the conclusion I’ll vote for Stein too for a similar reason. Have thought about voting the following ways ranked by likelihood.

      Leave the top of the ticket blank – not wanting to legitimize the charade
      Write-in Stein
      Write-in Bernie
      Trump – if “they” hate him so much…

      We are a 3 write-in family in Maine.
      Spouse, Bernie
      19 yr old male, Obama, I think absurist humor, but not certain.

        1. Tvc15

          Thanks, I’ll find out tomorrow. My spouse received an absentee ballot and said Stein wasn’t listed. Maybe she missed her.

    2. curlydan

      What’s your prediction of how many votes Stein will get nationwide? The Wiki god of knowledge says she got 470K in 2012. I’m going to say 3M in 2016 or about 2.5%.

      1. John k

        I considered her, but I’ll take the under.
        Wrote in Bernie in Ca, will walk it in tomorrow, gotta seeitvand get my sticker.

  20. cocomaan

    Interesting line from the Gopnik article:

    One need only track the past month’s series of outrages, each quickly receding into the distance, to recall that he has done not one but almost innumerable things that in any previous election would have been, quaint word, “disqualifying.”

    I don’t know if it would ever occur to Gopnik, but perhaps people are tired of idiotic gaffes and meaningless scandals sinking candidates. Maybe, for a sizable portion of the country, the sex scandal has been overused as some kind of indicator for someone’s ability to govern, or, even though Gopnik doesn’t understand this, it isn’t a reflection on their ability to speak about policies that mean something to them.

    Talking with Trump supporters I know, they are all very much influenced by: 1) his embracing of nationalism, 2) rejection of trade deals, 3) ideas about reforming government finance. Of course, their distrust for Hillary is just as strong.

    I haven’t met any trump supporters saying, “Gee, I really think his misogyny lets me free my own inherent sexism.” But then again, when identity politics is what you rely on to make your vote, anyone opposed to your candidate is part of a vast linked chain of ignorant brains and invisible connections that only they can see or appreciate.

    Also loved his closing line:

    For, as Shakespeare would have grasped at once, there is no explaining Trump.

    Isn’t that your job, Adam? Put your keyboard down if you’re unable to do it and spare us the columns.

  21. timbers

    The slightest bit of self-discipline on Trump’s part, and Clinton is suddenly in the race of her life. Shows her extreme weakness as a candidate, and the decadence of the Democrat nomenklatura that forced her nomination through, not to mention the decadence of the political class…

    If Clinton wins by any margin that doesn’t keep her up all night, will not be surprised if she and Team Blue will act as if this is the most awesome-est triumph ever because they are the most awesome-est ever. First women first couple both being Presidents etc etc. They don’t seem to have any sense of just how weak and disliked she/they are, and why. They will arrogantly proceed to govern as if they received a powerful mandate and not give an inch anywhere on policy, confident that the methods they used to get elected will work again in 4 years. It will be their way or the highway.

    The increased volatility you predict makes sense.

    1. hamstak

      A cynic might also view another first in this election: the first time that a “charitable” foundation has been elected to the office! But perhaps I am being somewhat unfair in questioning the esteemed institution’s charity, as it has indeed been charitable towards some.

    2. GMoore

      Taxable Donations to the Clinton Foundation could pay off the national debt – says Charles Ortel, should a Trump administration request a grand jury to assess the many many deficiencies and out and out crimes of that sham charity.

      That is the spit and glue that binds the never Trump coalition. There are billions and billions at stake. Wall St, foreign governments, world leaders and the Gates Foundation, Bezos, Slim, Geithner, Paulson — all the big boys. Ortel does a splendid job on you tube explaining how strict the rules are for charitable foundations.

      The FBI has the goods on the Clinton’s and their phony baloney “foundation”.

      All they need is a courageous and honest Atty General – state or federal – willing to literally risk life, limb, children, dogs, cats and extended family members should they file charges on the Royals and fail.

      “The onus is on the charity” – says Ortel, to prove their innocence, once charges are filed. And the Clinton Foundation has never EVER filed the proper paper work to do ANY of their activities. AGAIN, the rules state you may not raise money for AIDS, unless your charter was filed to do so. the Clintons have never filed the necessary paperwork. There is a 19 page expose on their failure to file or provide the necessary forms.

      Hundreds of billions in taxable penalties and interest will be due, should Trump prevail and ask for a grand jury. He doesn’t have to threaten them. THEY KNOW

      When you see George Will, LInsay Graham, Bill Kristol and the Bush crime family pulling out all the stops to end this revolution – it’s because of EXPOSURE.

      The Clinton Foundation is the GOLD MINE. Watch and listen.


      1. TheCatSaid

        Thanks for this link. I’d seen some of his research but it’s good to see the video. It’s a good overview.

  22. Jim Haygood

    It’s over …

    Hillary Clinton’s planned celebratory election night fireworks display over the Hudson River has been canceled, it was revealed Monday.

    “They do have a permit for fireworks, but at this point we believe the fireworks is canceled,” NYPD chief of intelligence Tommy Galati said at a city press conference on Election Day security with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

    When asked by a reporter why the fireworks were canceled, Galati responded, “I cannot tell you that.”

    Clinton was planning aerial detonations for her potential victory that would last for two minutes starting as early at 9:30 p.m. — a half-hour after the polls close in New York.


    Since when does the chief of intelligence get involved in a fireworks permit?

  23. Pat

    New York City is going to be a mess tomorrow. I do see that Clinton has messed up Philadelphia.

    Unfortunately after tomorrow there will just be a different form of awful….no matter who wins.

    1. JTMcPhee

      We had our own local mess, thanks to Biden and his entourage. I have gone back to a little part time work in the doctors’ office (wonder why?) at age almost 71 with several health problems. The wide front windows face on the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (Allegiant’s home base, “where maintenance is not done..”) Roosevelt Road is a total construction clusterf^^^ out front, and for almost a mile of Florida-corruption diggery in all directions. The traffic on what is a 4-lane road feeding into the 2-lane construction area usually creeps in pulses doe to the traffic light at the intersection with Ulmerton, main east-west artery, but here comes the full-court “Deputy Emperor security bubble” police phalanx, to completely block it all up — sirens, flashing lights, all that.

      So Air Force Two, an Air Force C-32 which is a fully glammed Boeing 757 in the presidential paint scheme, comes swimming down the glideslope across the field of view, looking very Imperial, landing northbound. Ten or so minutes later the Limousine Lineup plus Secret Service “tanks” rolls past, pushing everyone else not already bunted to the side out of the way. And all this so Biden could be the opening act for Jimmy “I used to fly drug deliveries to the Caribbean” Buffet here in town.

      Fokk Them All.

  24. UserFriendly

    Since Latino Turnout has been up and AA down Trumps best shot is hoping that the Philly transit strike and Rain in Detroit and most of PA on tuesday suppress less enthusiastic Clinton voters. Both have low early voting. Then he has to cross his fingers for NC and NH.

      1. UserFriendly

        crud. Well maybe the rainstorm will blow in a little sooner then it is predicted, even then it will only hit Pittsburgh though. But it will hit Detroit all day.

  25. ewmayer

    Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure, October 2016: ” In October, Americans’ daily self-reports of spending averaged $93, similar to September’s $91 average. However, it is among the highest for the month of October in the survey’s nine-year trend” [Econoday] — Was it too much to hope for an economists-trying-to-sound-smart subtitle along the lines of “Economists cite effect of Halloween falling in October this year” on this?

    (And I wonder how that yuuge $2 rise compares to the error bars on the survey. Also whether any portion can be attributed to all those new improved health insurance rates showering their blessings on the country.)

  26. Dave

    What about the idea that if we elect Trump, Americans’ anger will be diffused and most people will be happy?
    If Clinton gets it, everyone, except her financiers will be unhappy, sooner or later.

    Four years of Hillary, continuing economic stagnation and more wars may usher in and elect a candidate in 2020 who will make Trump look like a meek-mannered gentleman.

    Will it really be worth it to the elite to elect Hillary and end up having to live behind locked gates and only venture out in public with a cadre of bodyguards? Will the wealthy see their Teslas and luxury cars stoned and trashed when they park them in public?

    Or, should they just live with Trump and like it? If I were an elite, I’d vote for Trump for that very reason.

    1. Karl Kolchack

      Electing Trump will not defuse the anger–it will just mean that for a little while at least the half of the population who owns most of the guns will be happier. That will give us a year or so until they realize that he was never serious about helping them, and lacks the political skills or even attention span to do so. By 2018, we’d be right back to the starting point–just in time to start the whole stupid cycle all over again.

      1. Yves Smith

        No, a lot of things would change. Clinton winning would be seen as validation of the status quo. Trump winning would be destabilizing. To pretend that the two outcomes are the same is wrongheaded.

        Trump winning would break the hold of the Clintons on the Democratic party, and since they’ve made the party overly concerned with the Presidency, at the expense of building a bench or capturing down-ticket races (all down the list, Congress, governorships, important state level posts), the damage to the party would be profound. They were already expected to lose the Senate in 2018 even if they recover it tomorrow.

        Trump winning would also throw a wrench into the Republicans, although not to quite as profound a degree, since him getting this far has already put them in disarray. It would put the orthodox corporate types and many of the evangelicals in a tizzy. The lineup that Trump wants to bring in as his team are either outsiders or not well like by the mainstream of the party. So you can expect Trump to have to fight with much of his own party, as well as the Dems keen to re-establish themselves in the face of their loss.

        If nothing else, Trump can do a lot on the trade front without Congress, based on the analyses I’ve seen so far. How far he would get in trying to wind down our over-involvement in the Middle East is questionable, but it does appear that he would at least stop further escalation with Russia. He also appears to have the ability to get INS rules enforced more strictly (Obama has deported more people than is widely acknowledged).

        In other words, the President has a fair bit of power to act unilaterally. That does not require “political skills” since you don’t need to get Congress to go along. I agree Trump would have little success with Congress, based on the precedent of Jimmy Carter, who had been a governor and had a House and Senate that were both solidly Democratic, and thus in theory should have gotten some cooperation, but brought in a team of outsiders and acted as if being post-Watergate meant he could do things differently.

        1. voteforno6

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the President have the ability to withdraw from NAFTA, if not other trade agreements? That alone might well cause Fred Hiatt’s head to explode, if it actually happened.

          1. aab

            Yes. There’s a clause that was then copied over into the TPP (and probably other of these deals, but I haven’t personally checked them.) We can get out with six months’ notice. As a non-insider non-lawyer, I found the language weirdly unspecific. I couldn’t tell whether the President can unilaterally declare us out, but I suspect not. A bill was passed to start it, so a bill would probably have to be passed to withdraw us from it.

            But we can definitely get out. And I don’t think it would be as painful for us non-Clintonians as Brexit would/will be. But I’d love Yves’ thoughts on that.

            I suspect that’s one of the many reasons the elite is fighting SO hard and SO dirty. They’re on the cusp of complete victory of global corporate control over citizens and governments, but an elderly Jewish socialist or a gasbag trustfunder salesman could stop them. I’d love to see Congressmen explaining their refusal to vote to get out.

            1. Fiver

              Though not necessarily applicable to the US, Canada, and I assume other signatories, have no recourse once TPP is signed. Quite incredibly, the Canadian Governments under both old-line political parties (PM Harper for Conservatives, Justin Trudeau for Liberals) signed a trade deal they can never review or exit, essentially shackling all future Canadians to a nightmare deal (eg., get used to Monsanto’s grotesque products as there is nothing anyone can do about it). I have never been so disgusted by a decision of the Government of Canada in my entire life.

            2. JTMcPhee

              No, “we” as in “we the ordinary people” can NOT “get out of these trade deals.” It requires action by a political person at a high level in the structure. And who among that set has any tiny interest in triggering any such event?

              Practically, not going to happen. That bit of text is what judges trashing clear legislative intent by parsing statutory language to produce the ‘correct’ corporatocracy-friendly result refer to as “mere surplusage.”

        2. DarkMatters

          A lot will depend on what sort of pressure is brought to bear on Trump after the election, and how effective it might be. I keep wondering about Bernie Sanders.

        3. John k

          Plus trump can have Fbi investigate and Doj prosecute, probably some pros would love to be off the leash.
          This would boost his popularity a lot. Wonder if he’s vindictive…
          Maybe clintons would move to Haiti?

      2. voteforno6

        The anger will still be there, regardless of who is in office. It will only intensify, I think, especially if we experience another financial crisis. I’m not sure that the establishment has enough moral capital left in the bank to weather too many more events of that magnitude. My guess is that we’re due for a crisis of legitimacy at some point in the next four years. I highly doubt that either candidate would be able to provide the requisite leadership in such an event. Buckle up – we’re in for a rough ride. It can always get worse.

    2. John Steinbach

      I’m probably voting for Trump only because of TPP. Thanks to the trade traitors, fast track passage made it much easier to pass TPP with a simple majority during the lame duck session. Clinton will let it ride, but Trump will probably kill it, or at least try to.

      Otherwise I’d cast a feel good vote for Stein.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      If DARPA’s robotics program will only come up with some cool enough robots we might send a bot or two to closes down the flow of gated sewer lines or stop the flow of gated water — or add a little something.

      I never never even made these suggestions — a Russian spy working for PUTIN took over my keyboard.

      1. integer

        All evidence suggests, to me at least, that anything made by DARPA would be used against the people, in the event of (further) societal breakdown.

  27. Kim Kaufman

    I have absolutely no evidence that there’s any manipulating of the polling data going on, or how that would work if it were, but it seems to me that this down to the wire close and flip-flopping polling data is hugely in the media’s $$ interest. Gazillion$$ are being dumped into late media buys especially for senate races. I can’t see how they could manipulate it but if the media could it’s certainly in their $$ interest to do so.

    1. Oregoncharles

      the media pay for most of the polls.

      “He who pays the piper…”

      Granted, we think this when we don’t like the results.

  28. Fiver

    I raised this yesterday as a comment, but would like to re-phrase as a question. Bearing in mind that the Clinton ‘team’ had possession of all of her e-mails for 2 years prior to the original request for the records re the Benghazi investigation, and that the Admin was kind enough to allow Clinton’s lawyers to be the ones who determined which e-mails were ‘work-related’ and which ‘personal’, and further bearing in mind that the focus has been on whether or not any of the ‘personal’ e-mails were classified or not, I’d like to ask everyone this:

    Did the FBI audit all of the e-mails that Clinton lawyers put in the ‘work-related’ basket? Given State is full of Clinton ‘friendlies’ would it not be possible that incriminating ‘personal’ e-mails were improperly slotted as ‘work-related’ to hide them with State until it all blows over? Alternately, was the FBI granted access to all Clinton’s State Department ‘.gov’ account messages, and those on the systems often referenced by Clinton and others that was used for all important, classified, secret stuff? Further, did FBI have access to all Clinton’s (or others’) communications using State Department (or other Government) systems that may have been sent to the Foundation, or to any of her usual suspects (Podesta, Mills, Abedin, Clinton lawyers, etc.)?

    Two years is a long time for someone to think about what to do with a pile of incriminating stuff – something a bit more selective than Podesta’s ‘dump it’.

    1. integer

      Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the original batch of work-related emails were also subpoena’d by, and given to, the Congressional Benghazi investigation, which suggests to me that they were thoroughly examined. Trey Gowdy has been very persistent about the completeness of the public record. Clinton gave them printouts rather than a digital copy btw.

      1. Fiver

        If only Mrs. Clinton and a bevy of those close had possessed a modicum of that sort of public mindedness of spirit – just a shame to have all this fuss over nothing.

  29. allan

    Truly terrible NPR coverage of the start of the Dylann Roof trial in Charlestown on
    both the morning and evening shows.

    No mention of the fact that a charismatic black state senator, Clementa Pinckney, was assassinated.
    Pinckney is referred to, and not by name, only as the pastor of the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church.

    No breathless speculations or leaks from anonymous LE sources about how Roof was radicalized
    or who else might have been involved in the plot.

    No use of the phrase `domestic terrorism’, which apparently is off limits in such cases.

    Oh those tote bag liberals.

  30. allan

    Rats flee a sinking ship, making excuses along the way:

    Democrats see FBI controversy hurting chances in U.S. Congress races [Reuters]

    Some Democrats said on Monday they feared their chances of winning control of the U.S. House of Representatives may have been ruined by the FBI’s surprise announcement last month that Hillary Clinton’s emails were again playing a role in a federal investigation. …

    “It’s terribly damaging to us,” the aide said, adding that Clinton’s support in battleground states could be depressed, which in turn would hurt the party’s House candidates.

    With that in mind, the aide said Democrats could end up gaining only 12 to 16 House seats on Tuesday, instead of the 30 or so it had hoped for in order to win back the chamber. …

    No mention of the pathetic basket case that is the DCCC, not fielding candidates in some districts
    and running retreaded Republicans in others.

    Why does Reuters feel obliged to publish this self-serving claptrap?
    It’s not a beat sweetener if the beat is going the way of the Whigs.

    1. JSM

      Wondered how many ‘retreaded Republicans’ were running in House races around the country. There’s one in this district. Do you happen to know? And is it in good faith?

      They were never going to recapture the House with HC at the top of the ticket. One hopes they aren’t that out of touch with reality.

    2. allan

      And now Nancy Pelosi is spouting this same talking point on the PBS Newshour, helpfully assisted by Judy Woodruff. Nice try.

    1. ChrisAtRU

      Ugh … his horrid interview with Tad Devine on the eve of the NY Primary will live in infamy. He was trying to position the Sanders’ campaign assertion that campaign finance by big business was effectively corrupting the (political) system as (an untenable) fallacy of composition.

      “… you can’t say the whole system is corrupt!”

      #YesWeCan Chris … #YesWeCan

      Transcript here.

    2. marym

      To be fair – war, torture, neoliberal looting, surveillance, and corruption make me emotional too….seriously do these propagandists for empire and it’s “leaders” really not know they’re part of the problem?

  31. djrichard

    Noticing that sometime today, businessinsider turned off the commenting on their web site.

    Wonder if its a permanent thing. In which case, suspect they figured the commenting wasn’t worth it anymore. As long as it generates traffic and/or doesn’t detract from the media messaging, then it’s all good. But if it doesn’t generate anymore traffic or worse undermines the messaging of those who are using that media conduit to get their message out, then …

    In any case, I know I did my best to undermine their messaging there.

  32. djrichard

    On an unrelated note, seeing that the 13 week treasury yield is spiking today to 0.39%. Looks like mr market is anticipating an increase in the fed funds rate. Guessing Fed Reserve will need it to go above 0.5% before they feel they’re in the safe zone to increase on their side of the fence.

  33. ChrisAtRU

    Looks like everyone had the same idea here: #MiddleFinger … ;-) #CommentariatConsensus

    “It’s a coin toss (though you’ve gotta note 7 of the 8 toss-ups are Republicans). I wonder if the coin will land on its edge?” – It never falls to one side, but miraculously lands on its edge and keeps spinning … like Dom Cobb’s reality-defining top. Someone is gonna get stuck in #dreamLand

    “A pure play in paraphernalia” punctuates the Policy paragraph! #HolyAlliterationLambert

    The Trail: My Best Reasons
    Trump: Effectively slays two political dynasties – Bush & Clinton
    Clinton: Sanders’ Revenge – Day One Of The Revolution Is 11/9/2016
    Jill Stein: Legit 3rd Party
    Johnson: Peter Tosh Dreams

    Aside: WouldaCouldaShoulda

    #LastGasp … and let’s not forget what came after Gorby. #YelstinWasThePayload

    #HairBall – Today in #CasinoCapitalism …

    Thanks again for yeoman’s service over the course of the election cycle, Lambert! If nothing else, I hope the end of spectacle gives you some meaningful measure of respite.

    Also: Is there a way for NC readers to send you a check for #WaterCooler? #OptingOutOfPaypal

  34. GWJones

    A yuuuuge thanks to Lambert for this Water Cooler! I posted excerpts of it to my FB account with 9 of my favorite Comments from it.

    I voted for the Green Party by absentee ballot from Hong Kong, and more than anything am hoping that they make the 5% mark tomorrow.

    Have written fairly extensively on why Trump is the lesser evil (to the immense consternation of half of my friends), but I would agree with the overwhelming majority of NC readers that either way, going forward, it won’t be pretty.

    I am very grateful to Naked Capitalism. I’ve been a subscriber (and this year, a supporter) for many years. Also like other NC readers above, I used to subscribe to the FT (for 25) years, but let it go this year when they refused the 25% discount off their best price that I used to get (new owners Nikkei). The 2016 election helped me manage my withdrawal, together with NC, Counter-Punch and Democracy Now for news.

  35. Fiver

    Just as a joke, Putin ought to OK a little cyber-fun as soon as the first votes are being counted. Out goes a video and ‘Tweet’ from ‘Trump’. He’s standing at a voting machine that looks an awful lot like a one-armed bandit, cranking himself into a major lather: ‘Goddamn it. All night it’s bin like this. One for me. Two for Hillary. One for me. Two for Hillary. One for..’ and out from the right pops Putin with a big smile, holding his finger to his lips ‘shush’, he takes a furtive little KGB look around, pulls out his phone, pumps the keys furiously for 17 seconds, then steps aside, clearly pleased as punch. Trump goes for the handle, camera coming in as he grabs it and pulls….first Trump, clickety, clickety, second Trump – – biggest ever “Make America Great Again” smile, Putin’s hand patting him on the back.

    So exactly how does the entire journalistic profession, not to mention every Admin, Clinton and Democratic Party officer/employee/politician/advisor/consultant who attached themselves publicly to claims that Putin was responsible for the Leaks step back from those lies? One would think lies as egregious as these would have consequences. Or have we formally entered a news and information regime wherein only US mainstream media and the State can confer ‘truth’ irrespective of all evidence to the contrary wherever such evidence might exist?

    We’ve entered a world readers of ‘I Claudius’ may already recognize, one from which none can escape the machinations of those possessed by the pursuit and maintenance of very great, yet still a small, mean power for themselves. Keep a clean toga, donkey and cart with 3 days food, and passport handy.

  36. Lambert Strether Post author

    Exclusive Clinton op-ed: I’ll look for common ground USA Today

    So that’s what the focus groups want to hear, then.


    It all comes down to this. I love our country. I believe in our people. And I think there’s nothing we can’t achieve if we work together and invest in each other.

    Except for the irredeemables, of course. But then they’re not really “people”; they’re children, or animals. Just ask any Clinton supporter. Ditto the #BernieBros, because they’re all racist and sexist brocialists. Again, just ask any CLinton supporter.

    1. aab

      Can I just say that I hate that phrase “invest in each other”? Yes, you can invest non-monetary resources in human development, human culture, and human relationships. And a ruler’s capacity to assist with that will be, to some degree, about money. But all things considered, in this context, it makes my skin crawl.

      I honestly feel people like Clinton don’t really value the other stuff. There’s a great Keynes quote about that, but I don’t have it at hand.

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