Links 11/6/16

Dear patient readers,

Lambert and I recognize that the caliber of reporting from both the MSM and independent news outlets has in many cases moved in a crazypants direction as Election Day nears. Unfortunately, the commentariat has taken far too much of this up, as in has featured links to dodgy stories and theories and has treated them with far more dignity than they warrant.

We have shut down comments entirely when the quality has decayed too far or they have become too fractious. We hope not to have to do that, but in the last week alone, we’ve had to rip out two entire comment threads, something we are extremely loath to do. That sort of thing should happen at most once a year, not with anything approaching this frequency.

This site has policy impact. We have spent far too many years building that to put it at risk. We lose credibility with some of the discussions that have been taking place recently. Please use better discernment as to whether the topic you’d like to chew over really belongs here, as opposed to Facebook or Zero Hedge.

At Last, a Black History Museum New York Review of Books (Kevin C)

Playboy model charged over locker room ‘body-shaming’ image BBC. Don’t go to a gym if you are so precious that you can’t look at the bodies of normal people.

Ford unveils crazy hoverboard spare wheel for your car ThaiTech (furzy)

Why ethnic Chinese leader in Indonesia is sitting on a tinder box of religion and politics South China Morning Post

The Future of the Euro Area The Bullet (Sid S). From last month, still germane.


Dozens arrested at Million Mask March in central London Guardian (furzy)

Tsipras Caught Between EU and Voter Demands Der Spiegel. Margarita: “‘The charm wears off’… I thought it wore off the minute he flipped on referendum results.”

Europe protests against Turkish arrests Thai Visa (furzy)


Ominous news for Aleppo as Russian frigate reaches Syrian coast Guardian (furzy)

Russian “Volunteers” and Egyptian Army in Syria? Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Selling ‘Regime Change’ Wars to the Masses Common Dreams (RR). From last week, still germane.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Blame the kids: The largest DDoS attack ever was probably pulled off by bored teens Vice

Mirai botnet attackers are trying to knock an entire country offline ZDNet (furzy)

Chelsea Manning made second suicide attempt, attorneys say Guardian


Will ‘foot-dragging’ trip Clinton up? Gillian Tett, Financial Times (David L)

Clinton’s charity confirms Qatar’s $1 million gift while she was at State Dept Reuters

Computers with Clinton’s schedules stolen from SUV in Northern Liberties 6ABC. Edward O: “You can’t make this stuff up. Putin again?”

Trump Rushed From Stage at Nevada Rally Bloomberg

Trump to target Democratic states BBC

Chris Christie’s Bridgegate Noose Tightens Vanity Fair (furzy)

Transcript of Peter Thiel’s Speech on Trump Ian Welsh. Tom H: “As Ian writes, this isn’t a crazy speech. I voted for Sanders and plan to vote for Stein, and I think “not a crazy speech” is an understatement. However, Thiel conveniently omits anything about global warming or civil rights.”

Something has been going badly wrong in the neighborhoods that support Trump Washington Post (furzy)

Want to Understand Trump’s Rise? Head to the Farm Wonk Wire (furzy)

Militias Are Urging Their Members To Prepare For Violence On Election Day Buzzfeed (furzy)

Dogs Predict the Election 2016 YouTube (furzy). Results apply only to Cleveland, IMHO

Can The Oligarchy Still Steal The Presidential Election? Strategic Culture (Chuck L)

Five ways the internet will go wrong on Election Day ZDNet (furzy). Not keen re the tone of this piece.

So my 25-year-old Michael DeLong has applied for a Firearms Safety Policy job at CAP… Wikileaks. Mike M: “In case you miss it- explains a great deal about DeLong’s behaviour this election cycle.”

As bill dies, specter of an oil train explosion haunts residents and The bureaucrats strike back Baltimore Brew. Katharine R: “Having looked up THIRA, I am more than ever amazed that Mr. Maloney thinks it somehow exempts him from dealing with potential oil train disasters. I know Baltimore has a long history of hiring incompetents, but this seems really exceptional.”

Atlanta Fed President Open to “Relatively Mild Form of Extremely Hot “ Michael Shedlock (furzy)

Sex Shops, Bingo and Sewage Define New Era of Pension Portfolios Bloomberg

Class Warfare

The Coming Plague of Poverty Among the Elderly: Clinton’s Plan For Gutting Social Security Counterpunch (J-LS, Glenn F). Today’s must read.

Uber Sued Over Unpaid Tips In Food Delivery BuzzFeed

Economists Forgot Smith and Darwin’s Message: Society Cannot Function Without Moral Bonds Evonomics

Antidote du jour (Kittie Hall via Lawrence R):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. John Merryman

    No, what the economists overlook is the entire function of money;

    What the economists are paid to ignore is that as the medium of exchange that allows this global world to exist, money and the financial circulation system are the very essence of a public utility. Though one somewhat necessarily distinct from government. Like the head and heart, nervous system and circulation system, are distinct, but still serve the entire body.

    We treat money as both medium of exchange and store of value, but a medium is dynamic, while a store is static. For instance, in the body, the medium is blood, while the store is fat.

    While we like to think of money as a commodity to be mined or manufactured, from gold to bitcoin, it functions as a contract, as every asset is the other side of an obligation. Which is why the Fed creates it by purchasing government debt, or other debt, in some countries. This means any ranting against deficit spending is just theater. Consider that the presumably safest investment out there is US federal debt, but how much of that gets spent in ways which will never create any return, like blowing up little countries? Which is why the military and the banks are on the same side.

    If the government was to threaten to tax excess money back out of the system and not just borrow it out, people would quickly find other ways to invest. Most people save for the same general reasons; housing, raising children, healthcare, retirement, etc. Banking allows us to save individually and not communally, but the down side is less reliance on the people we know and more on the umbilical cord of our bank accounts, resulting in atomized societies and control and taxation by large institutions. If people start to understand money functions as both right and responsibility, in which we own it about like we own the section of road we are using, then people will be more careful how much value they drain out of social relations and the environment to stick in their bank accounts and actually treat stronger communities and healthier environments as a store of value and not just resources to be mined. Aka, the commons.

    We would still have a banking system, but one functioning bottom up, with local banks serving their communities, funding local projects and serving as stock holders in regional and national systems. Money is a voucher system and excess vouchers will destroy it. Yet everyone wants to save a little and thus pull it from circulation, which means more must be constantly added. When the wave crests and the value starts to weaken, then people will start trying to get rid of some, weakening it further, creating the incentive to get rid of more….. So if people were educated to why the system cannot hold much more than what is in circulation, they would appreciate there are other ways to store value.

    Figuring this out is not hard, but when all the economists are paid by those with the most money…….

    1. Nortino

      There are limited ways to store value and you can only save so much. Saving and investing is fine, but only up to a point. The Chinese savings rate is about 20%, but take a good look at how it is being “saved”. The only thing Japan has to show for itself after all its savings is a mountain of debt.

      I’ve said this before: the architects of Social Security knew what they were doing when they designed the system as “pay as you go” and not an “investment scheme”.

      1. John Merryman

        Pretty much so. We think linear, but nature is cyclical and unless we learn to create positive feedback loops, there is only so high we can pile the crap before it falls over.
        Society Security monetizes what communities organically do, take care of the old folks, like they took care of us, growing up. What we need to get around is the idea death is bad. You want to see beyond death, learn to look into the soul of the person next to you. It’s all the same sense of being bubbling up. That dimple in the middle of your stomach is about the same as the one on top of an apple.

        1. Steve

          I am nature. Here is my personal feedback loop for you.

          I like to look at big picture things and take a very long view by reviewing history, even ancient history. There are so many historical “truths” that are being questioned daily by many nowadays.

          Our debt based monetary system certainly leaves much to be desired.

          I think we can agree on that.

          The present system has been hijacked for centuries, except for very brief periods like in Guernsey UK, and here in colonial america.

          Another critical issue is the economic system itself.

          It too, was hijacked over 100 years ago.

          No not just the Fed, that’s monetary, the economic system.

          I believe this model is the answer, it goes beyond left and right, and also would help us forge a new socio-political coalition.

          It could go a long way to solving our present divisions.

          Lastly, we need to realize all institutions need to be triaged, or completely rebuilt.

          Open Source Everything.

          In such an environment, we might actually take the proverbial “one step for mankind.”

          Problems could actually be solved.

          It’s a better vision than I see from most politicians today.

          Have a nice day everyone.

    2. ChrisPacific

      Well put. The concept of maximization of utility as a governing principle for all life (and the implicit or explicit substitution of money/net worth for the utility function) is the single most damaging and corrosive idea inflicted on us by economists. We see the consequences all around us. As a society, we need to start asking ourselves what we value most and how to preserve and maintain it. The answers, as you say, are obvious to anybody but an economist.

      1. John Merryman

        Nature seeks efficiency as the driver of evolution. The effect is ever more specialization and maximization of resources. Consequently less ability to absorb unforeseen events. Which results on a cycle of expansion and consolidation. As Stephen Jay Gould described it, “punctuated equilibrium.” The only question will be what is the straw that breaks the camels back, pushes the system out of equilibrium, sets the program spinning in infinite loops, etc.
        Nature doing what she does best. Building it up and tearing it down.

  2. pretzelattack

    re the coming plague of poverty

    “The figures above make it clear that Clinton’s planned attack on Social Security will significantly raise total poverty, particularly among the elderly, the disabled and children. Clinton’s planned revival of Simpson-Bowles virtually guarantees this outcome.”

    and this has been today’s installment of because markets, go die.

    1. Uahsenaa

      Don’t you just love it when rich people tell the near poor (soon to be actual poor) how much money they get to have!

      At no point does anyone bother to note that it was a system they all had to pay into and, at a bare minimum, expect to get their money back from. Heaven forfend we should use the power of the Federal government to do anything but take AEI numbskulls out to dinner and promise them their wettest of wet dreams…

      That must be why they call it a “white paper.”

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I hope the elderly, the disabled and children (or their parents) speak up.

      They can send a message by voting, next Tuesday, against Hillary and her planned undermining of Social Security.

      1. John Merryman

        So long as we think of money as anything more than a public contract, those running the tables are in charge.
        It is a tool, not a god.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Voting is like affirming an existing contract or drawing a new one that can impact the money contract, perhaps even put in others to run the tables.

        2. cocomaan

          Well said. Reminds me of Polyani saying that capital is a fictitious commodity. It’s a basis for social relations, so when we commodify it, we create all kinds of problems with what is really just a tool for us to live in communities of mutual respect and cooperation.

          1. John Merryman

            Think of it as the blood flowing through the body. The same blood that goes to the head goes to the feet. Not only does it do the head no good for the feet to rot from lack of blood, but it does the brain no good to have excess blood.
            The people running it are in some ways as clueless as everyone else, or they would not be out to break the very system giving them power in the first place.

            Government is the central nervous system of society and it started as private enterprise as well, eventually institutionalized as monarchy. The argument for keeping it, whatever the cost, was that mob rule could never work, but eventually it had to, because monarchy reached its limits.
            We are now at that stage with the social and economic circulation system.
            Capitalism is not about “free markets,” because if you own the medium by which those markets function, they are not free.

            1. hunkerdown

              John Merryman, Managers = the populace? If you are suggesting that mob rule “eventually had to”, and insinuating therefore that mob rule is a term applicable to the situation of today, I suggest that you have a very interesting and pro forma concept of what constitutes rule, that is essentially detached from outcomes, and I’d appreciate you unpacking that a little, as the form of the argument suggests the old liberal trick of holding the people responsible for their barely-elected betters’ results, claiming causality that Gilens and Page 2014 laughed at.

    3. susan the other

      I think Hillary has even more draconian plans than Simpson-Bowles. She recently said another 3% on the payroll tax would be a good idea and the story went that this money is slated for a bankster hedge fund-manager. It would be smarter to create jobs.

      1. Waldenpond

        Yes, I think the intent is to mimic the ACA with it’s medical insurance market. There will still be 401k through employers and the self-employed will be forced to select a fund enforced by penalties.

        1. TheCatSaid

          Going back to stuffing money in our mattresses sounds better than forced gambling.

          Getting used to the flexibility that comes from not relying on money in one’s transactions, whenever possible, will be better still.

    4. DJG

      The article indicates to me that Clinton’s attack is not “planned,” as in something for the future. Obama has used his we-must-lower-deficits austerity to impoverish a large number of people. Check out these COLA raises from the article:

      Note these facts: “From 2010 to 2016, the COLA was increased, respectively, by the following percentages: 0.0, 0.0, 1.7, 1.5, 1.7, 0.0 and 0.0.”

      So anyone on Social Security is now poorer–but deficits!

      1. BecauseTradition

        –but deficits! DJG

        Bill Mitchell has pointed out that positive interest paying sovereign debt is “corporate welfare” and that the proof was when Australia balanced its budget and financiers complained and demanded that new sovereign debt be issued!

        The key to protecting welfare for the needy is to attack welfare for the rich, i.e. all defense is no defense.

          1. catbird seat

            And, let’s not forget that the next regime will have, not only our fine young men registering for the draft, but, our fine young women too! I smell a war a coming…that will fix everything!?! (added snark)

            1. JTMcPhee

              Depending on intensity, extent, and weapons employed, you might be more right than you know (sob!)

    5. olga

      When the article came out at CP, there were reports (such as this one or of Chilean rioters burning buses over pensions – although these protests have been going on for some months now. Chile, of course, had the misfortune of meeting the Chicago boys… Notice also the difference in reporting btw the two articles – BBC focuses mostly on the inconvenience the protests have caused…

      1. TheCatSaid

        olga the justaposition of those two links is so revealing! Thanks for pointing it out. The Telesur coverage has many more specifics about the reasons why people are so upset about the crap pension program that is another rent extraction method–they are justifiably upset–and also mentions the key role played by US economists in creating this system. It sounds suspiciously like some of the plans floated by Clinton and team. The BBC is pure propaganda: protestors are causing problems, and says what the pension plan was “meant to do”.

    6. Propertius

      I’d have been more convinced by this article if he’d actually quoted (or at least referenced) the speech excerpts from Wikileaks that he believes show this intent. Not a big Hillary fan, but I’d really like to see something more than mere innuendo here.

      1. Geoff

        Clinton’s been pushing for this for a long time. Look up her retirement savings privatization plan in 2007 where she actually used the descriptive “miracle of compound interest” to describe how it would work.

        She had it on her website, campaigned on it, and press releases can still be found as well as a NY Times article about her plans. Then, Obama beat her, the market tanked, and they hoped we would all forget her terrible plan. Seems most did.

        Here’s one link for you:

        1. m

          Hillary saw the crash coming & told them to cut it out, yet she wanted to force people to put money into a fake retirement plan so wall street could have more places to put those subprime mortgage portfolios they had on hand. Lovely.
          Yes, that book by ?Frank also mentions the Clinton-Gingrich deal to privatize SS until the whole blue dress scandal took over.
          There is a reason all those big banks give to the Clinton Foundation and cough up huge sums for their “speeches.”

    7. ginnie nyc

      Re: Coming Plague of Poverty for the Elderly: It’s not coming, this plague is already here. All Clinton will do is drive a semi- over the expiring bodies.

    1. Liberal Mole

      So Murtaza of the Intercept can’t back up his claims. The other week he was praising the “White Helmets.” He’s pretty much a tool towing the Neocon line and needs to be viewed as such. The Intercept should toss him.

      1. UserFriendly

        I agree. I feel for the Syrian activist, Loubna, but there are no good options and supporting more militarization at this point is just reckless. There may have been a window when the conflict first irrupted, but I doubt Russia would have just sat idly by back then so maybe not. I agree we should be applying pressure to get Assad to step aside eventually but stopping the war needs to come first.

        1. UserFriendly

          I’ll take The Intercept over 99% of other media. I vote we toss the Washington Post and NY Times and replace them with the intercept. We would be much better off. I can handle a source being on the wrong side of an issue every now and again.

  3. Steve H.

    Concerning recent discussions on NC: The Eisenhower criteria is to examine whether an item is important and urgent. The election deadline means the discussion is urgent. Is it plausible to consider the questions important?

    Evidence is overwhelming that HRC and WJC behave as if rules and laws do not apply to them. Evidence is overwhelming that WJC will be in a position to influence the world economy in an HRC administration. Evidence is overwhelming that WJC has used his power and authority to obtain sex. Evidence is strong that WJC has taken dozens of trips with Epstein and that HRC has taken several. Evidence is overwhelming that Epstein is a serial molester, and strong that he involves powerful people for blackmail purposes.

    It is plausible that the world economy could strongly influenced by individuals who can be blackmailed by a pedophile. It is also plausible that their subordinates are communicating using coded language.

    Given that whistleblowers and leakers are suppressed and punished, we cannot discount leaked information on its face. Leaks are being reported coming from the FBI and the NYPD. The Daily Mail article on Comey gives credence to an identifiable associate of Comey about the pressures he was facing daily (evidence is good). There is a quote from ‘an NYPD chief’ indicating Weiner’s laptop contains evidence of sexual behavior with children, and that it goes beyond Weiner; a chief is good but the journalistic source is shaky.

    Theo Compernolle writes of different levels of discourse, from small talk, to discussion involving opinions, to conversations involving reflections on facts. NC posts are usually at the conversation level, and the comments are capable of rising to that level. NC is a place where subjects are discussed that would be easier to just deny. Yves and Lambert work hard to get it right, and have not weighed in on the particulars. They insist on a strong level of conversation in the comments, and in my experience there is no better forum for difficult discussions.

    Also relevant to the level of reflection is the sheer volume of non-reflective communications by HRC and her subordinates. 650,000 emails is a huge volume that takes time to generate, and HRC is known to be constantly attached to her Blackberry. It indicates a reactive modus operandi and not the deep understanding that this country may require, given the geostrategic failures of the last decade and a half. I recommend looking at Compernolle’s work, with reference both to our current social conditions, and also the pragmatic implications for our own lives.

    1. Hana M

      650,000 is the reported number of emails on Weiners computer. Given his texting/Tweeting habits much could just be porno spam or ads for Viagra. That is not entirely irrelevant since such sites are useful for hackers but it is not correct to assume they are all to or from Clinton and her staff.

      1. Steve H.

        Agreed. This is the urgency problem, combined with apparent suppression of evidence (destruction of laptops, for instance). There are leaked claims the DOJ stonewalled the warrants which are consistent with behavior already exhibited.

        A single piece of evidence on the laptop could prove the legal case for corruption. But I don’t see how there is time to go through everything and prove the case false. Did an NYPD chief see evidence that cannot be cited yet for legal reasons? How do we determine the validity of the claim?

      2. Brian

        The 650,000 emails were archives hidden under the file name “life insurance”. Was the archive active when the FBI seized the computer? What are the latest dates on said emails? Is it an archive program as some have suggested that continuously gathered them?
        These involve the future of our nation, and they can not be supressed in a democracy. Do we still have one or is President Carter correct?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, the “life insurance” claim is Web rumor. This has not been reported by either a specific party in a position to know (as in a quote by a particular person) or the standard for anonymous sourcing, three sources. Please do not traffic in unsubstantiated gossip.

          1. FluffytheObeseCat

            Moreover, even if it were true, it does not particularly indicate intent to deceive. I can’t count how many times I’ve accidentally dragged a multi-gigabyte folder into another one while reviewing my directory structure in Windows Explorer. A cock up like that might just explain how the emails ended up stuck on their personal hard drive to begin with. If they’d wanted to hide a bunch of emails, those emails would be on an external drive, encrypted at multiple levels. Not on the C:\ drive in a subdirectory named “Life Insurance”.

            Insinuations about it like the one above are rotten conspiracy nut-jobbery whether the ‘allegation’ is true, false, or partly both.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      The pedophile discussion is over the line and is pure, unadulterated speculation. That is PRECISELY what I am referring to when I mentioned conversations that would be better carried out on Facebook or Zero Hedge.

      If you bring it up again, you will be banned. I’m not progressing to moderation on this one. This does not pass any standards of critical thinking.

            1. JCC

              So then… I take it gold bug was not meant as some sort of a personal attack/slander and is somehow directly related to his comment?

              My mistake.

              1. jgordon

                Oh I thought *gold bug” was a compliment, referencing a person who accepts that discipline and limits are necessary for the longterm health and stability of systems. Who knew that it could be an ad hominem.

    3. craazyboy

      The only thing I found remotely useful about the pervert food code threads of late is the whole thing was instructive on how the mechanics of what is sometimes called the “right wing fever swamp” works. I’m also a fan of the theory that we don’t need it – it detracts from the cornucopia of real transgressions we have to vet and ponder.

      However, I’ll come to Steve H’s defense here. I’ve been reading his comments a long time and he’s always well reasoned and informed and seemingly in good faith. Just a case of over analysis on a weak subject here, methinks.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I’m sorry, he has been warned, and if he or you defy me, the treatment is the same. The reason this site still has one of the few comments sections that is still worth reading is that we have rules and Lambert and I spend a huge amount of time on the threads watching for transgressions. We also spend a huge amount of time debating borderline cases.

        This is not a borderline case.

        Moreover, the deterioration in the quality of comments is pronounced and we need to intervene.

        As Barry Ritholtz says regarding readers, embrace the churn. We’ve lost commentors that were far more integral to the site and the comments section has continued to thrive.

        1. Avalon Sparks

          Thank you for all the time and effort Yves, the quality of the comments on this site is absolutely above and beyond anything else on the web.

      2. Steve H.

        craazyboy, thanks, and also to Yves for the warning.

        If this thread is to have any further value, I’ll request it be about assessing evidence and critical thinking under time constraints. How do we get to the value of a claim which may be plausible and have explanatory value but the veracity of the source is low? How do we assess the veracity of anonymous sources?

        There is plenty of material to work with, while honoring Yves’ explicit standards and instructions for the site.

        1. optimader

          I missed the whole code/food thread.. Whatever. Who will pivot on puerile conjecture to make a decision on the appropriateness of a 3rd Clinton POTUS at this point? Surely there is enough factual and objective material including the puerile variety with which to make a considered decision.
          I am pretty confident anyone voting for the Clintons has already made that decision.

          1. Steve H.

            “The turnout of these voters may be dampened by further uncertainty that they are voting for a candidate worthy of their votes” [BBC]

            This and other analyses of October Surprises give maybe a point or two in percentage, but look like they are designed to suppress voters rather than get them to change their vote.

            However, early voters have committed to their decision already, and may not be able to negate that even if perfect evidence emerged. The people I’ve talked to who havevoted early just wanted to get it over with, they were finding the open question to be distracting and distressing.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Here’s the way I see it (no pedophilia required).

              They registered the Foundation in Arkansas so the first thing would be to find out if it is even legal to operate in NYC. They wanted to operate in secrecy so Hilary set up the Chappaqua servers. From there you might immediately pursue campaign finance laws. Next would be the straight-up money laundering (banks will have the SWIFT MT 105 and FedWire messages). After that you can pursue obstruction of justice charges since they destroyed evidence after it was put under subpoena in an active investigation. Then you can talk about the Espionage Act, today’s emails have Hilary instructing her maid to print out and handle classified material. From there it’s perjury (Huma and others). There’s a strong Colombian drug money connection through Teneo so you’d lump that in. Lastly I would think the IRS would be keenly interested, with “tax-free” funds being used to fund Chelsea’s wedding among other things. All of this is before you get to “pay-for-play”, the tarmac meeting with Lynch, strip-mining the poorest nations on Earth like Haiti and Rwanda, lobbying for foreign governments, paying for violence at Trump rallies, etc., that are possibly entirely legal but highly unethical. I’d think there would be more than a passing interest in what Bubba was actually doing on his 23 visits to Underage Rape Island and whether flight logs show HRC was ever along for the ride. One remaining question I have is why Obama felt he had to straight-up lie about his knowledge and involvement, there’s potentially another deep rabbit hole there.

              A grand jury is obvious, just like nobody trusted Nixon’s Justice Department to pry open Watergate, a guy with a bowtie just like Archibald Cox’s would be perfect. See? Don’t even need to puzzle over messages like “the realtor has a handerkerchief with a map that may be pizza-related”.

              1. Steve H.

                That is an enormous preponderance of evidence, isn’t it? So much even further evidence would be puerile, much less further conjecture.

                oho’s reminder of ‘extraordinary,’ and Yves note about “We lose credibility” goes to the question of source veracity. I had thought to prune the branch back to credible sources, but this particular extraordinary moment seems to require us to cut back to the trunk to maintain credibility.

                I’m taking that to initiate caution on searchable terms. There is sufficient evidence to not take that line of inquiry as necessary, regardless of importance. I think both you and opti are making that point. I’ll take Yves as the best judge of what is necessary to maintain site credibility and simply not go down that path.

                In other words, I’m shifting my focus from questioning the credibility of evidence, to protecting the credibility of the site. Extraordinary times, indeed.

              2. m

                I am shocked to find after falling for the PBS Rwanda genocide documentary, after reading interviews of a lawyer representing one of the Hutu generals under indictment-that the whole thing was bs and sounds a lot like what is happening now in Syria or Central America. Now I see why they helped these rebels, mining.
                I fell for it, glad I found the truth. Our government is truly horrible. Wonder when Africom was set up? My tax dollars helping to protect companies that want to strip mine abroad & create infrastructure, wonderful.

      3. Waldenpond

        Unfortunately, at an official level it is left to the Rs to stand in opposition to the Ds. I just don’t see Rs disagreeing with many corruption or law violations committed by Ds as they share the same benefactors and end goals. For instance, I do not believe Rs disagree with Clinton’s actions privatizing the State Dept or deleting official communications (two executive branches in a row) that are the property of the public. The Rs typically resort to the fever swamp (it’s performance art) and disappear facts.

  4. fresno dan

    So my 25-year-old Michael DeLong has applied for a Firearms Safety Policy job at CAP… Wikileaks. Mike M: “In case you miss it- explains a great deal about DeLong’s behaviour this election cycle.”

    But I find myself somewhat anxious the somebody already in Washington and with better connections might crowd him out…

    May I beg you to reassure me?


    Brad DeLong

    Just WOW
    Isn’t it all suppose to be MERITOCRACY???

    1. Marco

      In all fairness to Delong there exists an SFEO “schlepping-for-economist-offspring” variable in the latest IS-LM iteration.

    2. voteforno6

      Imagine if these well-to-do youngsters actually had to go out and find jobs on their own, rather than having to rely on their parents hooking them up. You know, like most people do.

      1. Whine Country

        That is why economists can’t understand all of the discord. The economy is working precisely as they describe it should….for them and their cronies.

      2. Nia Holder

        Yes, and only to got through a charade interview then find out that the job was already promised to the more “qualified ” candidate before your interview. Been there done that and found out later they did Not have the job qualifications for the job,( ie liberal arts ) for a job requiring graduate degree.

    3. temporal

      I stopped reading DeLong, quite a while ago, when it became clear that he thought he was the moral leader of neoliberalism and so-called merit based success.

      Now he’s worried that his son may not have inherited enough advantages from his father so he takes to begging for some better connections. There’s nothing worse that a whiny almost elite who failed to understand the merit system of neoliberalism is not derived from individual abilities.

      1. diptherio

        That’s a good one, and apt. Meritokleptocracy: rule by those who are the best at stealing. Sounds about right…

    4. KurtisMayfield

      We never needed this example to show us that the “meritocracy” is nothing but children’s fairy tales. When we see Ms. Clinton getting a $6.00 e^5 salary right out of grad school for a position that her Masters wasn’t even related to, that isn’t merit. When Jenna Bush gets a journalism job at NBC with a $1.00-2.00 e^5 salary after being a schoolteacher, it isn’t merit. When Mrs. Obama gets a $3.16 e^5 salary for a hospital community relations job while her husband goes off to Washington as senator, it isn’t merit. And when Heather Breach gets an MBA “rewarded” to her because her father is a senator, it isn’t merit.

      What is surprising is that anyone swallows the tripe anymore.

      1. nycTerrierist

        The ‘meritocracy’ is based on merit the way the ‘Affordable Care Act’ is affordable.

        We live in Orwellian times.

      2. sid_finster

        When HRC is awarded a partnership at the Rose Law Firm and a seat on the Wal-Mart board of directors while her pretend husband happens to be Governor..

      3. integer

        Note that e^5 represents Euler’s constant (2.71828…) raised to the 5th power, while e5 or e+5 (usually the sign is only used if it is a negative i.e. e-5 is 10^(-5)) represents scientific notation. Yes, I’m a pedant when it comes to numbers. Apologies to all.

    5. optimader

      Doesn’t BDeLong have the resources/opportunity to employ him?? BDeLong is a bag of gas, gave up visiting his blog of BS a few years back.

      1. RMO

        In my experience, both in applying for jobs and in helping to hire people back when my family had a small paint business, a LOT of people get hired based upon friendship, family or other social connections. The idea that everyone has an equal shot at a good job based solely upon their skills, experience, education, resume and interviews is a colossal load of rubbish. Since DeLong is a reliable source of writing espousing that falsehood it’s rather delightful to see him trying to pull strings to get a relative a comfy job. There’s no way to spin this in a positive way for him. Either Michael is fully qualified for the job but due to competing nepotism he can’t get it without help, or he is unqualified for the job and relying on Brad to call in favours to get it for him anyways.

        1. AnnieB

          This is so true! My experience in academia informs me that nepotism is common. A job for the spouse of a new faculty member is often part of the hiring deal. In my case, I had the cream of the crop adjunct teaching jobs (I know, big whoop!) because my spouse was a dept. professor. Have to say I felt very guilty about the situation, especially when other long term adjuncts congratulated me on my “promotion” to teaching higher level courses after having only taught there one year. The sarcasm did not escape my notice! I left that job soon as I could find something else/different.

        2. UserFriendly

          In my experience nothing but who you know is relevant when seeking employment. I wish someone told me that I shouldn’t have bothered to try and get the best grades I could because all that was going to matter was who I made nice with and where their dad works.

          1. Ulysses

            In some ways this age-old impulse has been a driver for the growth of large cities. Ambitious people find that it is too hard to overcome the limitations of patronage networks in smaller villages and towns.

  5. Cry Shop

    Atlanta Fed President wants it hot, …. but hot where?

    Money, the life-blood of the nation,
    Corrupts and stagnates in the veins,
    Unless a proper circulation
    Its motion and its heat maintains.

    — Swift

    Wonder if anyone has let Lockhart know how it all ends.

    For in that universal call,
    Few bankers will to heaven be mounters;
    They’ll cry, “Ye shops, upon us fall!
    Conceal and cover us, ye counters!”

    When other hands the scales shall hold,
    And they, in men’s and angels’ sight
    Produced with all their bills and gold,
    “Weigh’d in the balance and found light!”

  6. integer

    For those who are looking for a concise explanation of John Podesta’s activities in Washington, as well as some information on others in the Podesta family, in particular his brother and mother, I highly recommend this 23 minute video produced by teleSUR English. It was linked to in Wikileaks’ Twitter feed and it filled in a few blanks for me.

    The Empire Files: Abby Martin Exposes John Podesta

    (Full disclosure: I posted this in yesterday’s links but I think it got drowned out in the commotion)

      1. integer

        I really hope it doesn’t come to that for you, or anyone for that matter. Unfortunately many will be doing precisely what you describe tonight :-(

      2. TheCatSaid

        Thanks I hadn’t seen the Clinton one. It’s informative, with more context and detail than MSM.

    1. jo6pac

      A must watch for sure.

      Thanks Ives and Lambert for your time and it’s to bad it has to be spent on comments.

    2. Fiver

      Good link. And we have to remember that even the window Wiki provided is only open a tiny crack – we know nothing about any e-mail that Clinton’s lawyers dubbed ‘work-related’. Did the FBI have access to confirm all ‘work-related’ e-mails as determined by Clinton’s team were in fact that? We also have to remember that everyone working anywhere in modern American has been operating on the assumption that no e-mail is private, either from his employer, or from the State. People at this level just don’t do important business by e-mail that is not secure. Also of real interest are the possible ‘work-related’ e-mails not just from this private server, but ones where she used .gov that again bear directly on some Foundation business or some Podesta Group business, or others. That’s where I’d be looking – where they can make it toughest to try.

      I find it increasingly difficult to imagine what Clinton, or Podesta or Chelsea or Band think they are doing. Really. What do they think they are doing?

  7. funemployed

    Glad to see Bernie refusing to jump on the “deplorables” train. But the sad truth is that we are basically all racist and sexist to some degree. We’re cultural animals in a racist sexist culture. Best we can do is try to understand and learn to act and think more in line with our values.

    I would have preferred that he say “I don’t think most Trump supporters are any more racist, sexist, or classist than HRC, and every last one of them has less to answer for re: the suffering of women and nonwhite people in the world than she does.” Sigh, time to leave fantasy land for the day I guess.

    1. edmondo

      It would be difficult for Bernie to call out Trump voters as racists – so many of us voted for Bernie in the primary before we voted for Trump (last Thursday).

      I am 65 years old. I did something I have never, ever done before. I voted for a Republican for president. I waited to see if a vote for Stein would help the Greens get to their 5% goal. Not gonna happen. There was only one choice and it wasn’t a good one.

      1. Otis B Driftwood

        edmondo, it’s certainly your vote to do with as you wish, but I have to wonder how many potential Stein voters have made the same self-defeating calculation. I’m voting for Stein because she is the only progressive candidate in the race. If that helps the Greens reach 5%, all the better.

        1. edmondo

          It was a rather simple choice for me:

          Would I rather see Sonny or Fredo Corleone in the Oval Office? I voted for Fredo. (In fact, I may have a bumper sticker made for after the election, “Don’t blame me. I voted for Fredo.”

          1. Baby Gerald

            That would be great– I can see it now with a pic of hapless Jon Cazale right after ‘the kiss’. When I vote on Tuesday I’ll be telling myself the exact same thing you did, edmondo.

          2. DJG

            edmondo: I don’t know. I think that you could have voted for Frodo instead of Fredo. So I will vote for Jill Stein even if she and her gang of pony riders aren’t likely to win the elections in the Shire.

          3. hunkerdown

            It’s one of those silly paradoxes that the system asks us to believe: that the ballot must be secret, but that the god you vote for will see inside your heart and bless you if they make it into power. That sounds a bit too much like Christian doctrines on prayer. I can see how that could be applicable when the landed gentry still jealously held the vote to themselves — one certainly does have a chance of knowing who to reward when there are relatively few of them.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Everyone is unique and we vote what we deem is the best choice.

          For some, who may not survive 4 years of Clinton and Clinton, it is not about 5% for the Greens, but making sure Hillary will not return to the White House.

          Death predicts their votes.

      2. John Wright

        Here in CA, my vote for anyone other than Clinton is probably of import only to me.

        Not voting for Clinton is a hedged vote, assuming she wins.

        If HRC does as expected, one can have the slim satisfaction that one didn’t vote for her.

        If HRC goes counter to all of her past war-mongering, financial industry friendly policies, class loyalties and unwillingness to pursue environmental actions, and actually does some good then that will be a great and welcome surprise for this non-Clinton voter.

        I, too, voted for a Republican for the first time, but I did feel I was voting for a shallow-thinking, erratic celebrity.

        In the 2008 election, a liberal co-worker volunteered he might vote for McCain-Palin because the USA was like a drunk that needed to hit bottom.

        After the Obama continuation of the Bush years, maybe my co-worker’s suggestion was good and maybe Clinton-Kaine represents the bottom we need to hit.

        I’m resigned to Clinton being elected, fortunately her leaked speech text about her “private positions” vs “public positions” means I won’t be listening to any HRC speeches over her term.

        After all what would be the point, as the “private positions” are the ones that matter to HRC.

        A gift of time from President HRC to a grateful? nation.

      3. Punta Pete

        edmondo, I live in a very Blue state, so under our anti-democratic Electoral College system, my vote really doesn’t/can’t count for much. So, I’m joining you in voting for the Republican clown rather than the Democratic crook. It’s the only way I know to raise a big fat middle finger at both the Republican establishment (the Paul Ryan libertarians) and the DNC (the elitist social Darwinists that have captured the party and have told working Americans to screw themselves).

    2. voteforno6

      I’m not sure that would have gone over very well on Twitter. Considering the medium, it was a very good statement.

    3. integer

      Note that it appears Bernie’s tweet was the first in a series of three. The second and third read:

      – Some are, but I think most are people who are hurting, they’re worried about their kids, they’re working longer hours for lower wages.

      – Our job is to reach out to Trump voters to tell them that we’re going to create an economy that works for all of us, not just a few.

      1. integer

        If you visit that Twitter link be sure to scroll down through the replies to see the photo of Bill Clinton with companion.

    4. RMO

      “we are basically all racist and sexist to some degree” Speak for yourself! I consider myself to be far to misanthropic to be either sexist or racist:-)

      The Bernie quote certainly demonstrates how far away from the manufactured consensus he is doesn’t it? You have to search pretty hard in the U.S. commercial media to find anyone entertaining the possibility that there could be anyone supporting Trump that isn’t both viciously racist and misogynist. I’ll come out and admit that when the primaries started I was one of the people who thought of Trump as a force of evil that had to be stopped and believed his supporter were pretty much universally racist and xenophobic. Although I really wanted Bernie to get the nomination I was just rather ambivalent about Clinton. I also read Krugman regularly. As has been said many times here: this has been a very clarifying election. It’s been amazing to see a primary stolen from the voters and the completion of the transformation of the media to a full-on propaganda machine that has completely abandoned investigative reporting and informing the populace along with the return of the Red scare – without a Communist Russia no less!

  8. crow magnum

    Ford unveils crazy hoverboard spare wheel for your car ThaiTech (furzy)

    No kiddy crazy. Perfect device for the lazy couch potato American.

    When did walking become obsolete?

    1. pretzelattack

      what we need is a self flying hovercouch with a little hovering snack/drinks table and a hovertv. and an app to synch them. that would be a great way to experience nature in our national parks.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Hey, pretzel, the meme and models are already there in “our” collective public mythology, thanks to Pixar (r) and that wonderfully hopeful BS (Bernays-sauce) movie, “Wall-E (c).” Here’s a cut,, that shows how it can all be made to work, and what “we” can look like and enjoy when “something” funded by “something” because “someone” gives a sh!t what happens to our species in some kind of possible future… The “economics” are obviously dependent upon some magical developments in “technology” along lines that are straight projections of the bourgeois fantasies… or maybe that is what is left of the “elite,” after they trash and own everything., and decamp for their “Elysium (c),”

        Matt Damon to the Rescue! with his cute little Panglossian sidekick Wall-E!

        1. pretzelattack

          oh oh my lack of familiarity with some pop culture comes back to bite me. i plead information overload, but everybody can plead that.

    2. mk

      This “hoverboard” has wheels, so how does it “hover”? Seems like you’d have to have a perfectly smooth roadway or sidewalk for this to work. Here in Los Angeles, our sidewalks a very lumpy due to root systems of trees and past earthquakes. What if you’re on a dirt road? If this thing hits a hole in the road/sidewalk, what’s to stop you from falling off? Nothing!

      1. TheCatSaid

        They say it’s to help you get from the parking lot into the office or store that is your final destination. . . Weird that it has 22k range. That must be one big parking lot they’re planning for.

  9. allan

    There is a serious (if common) mistake in `The Coming Plague of Poverty Among the Elderly:
    Clinton’s Plan For Gutting Social Security ‘. It states

    What were the recommendations of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform? The emphasis is on cutting benefits by three means.

    But there were no recommendations. The commission’s ground rules, set up in advance, were that any recommendations had to be approved by a supermajority of 14 of the 18 commission members.
    Even though the members were a horror show, in the end only 11 of them voted for the final draft.
    (Max Baucus, progressive hero!!!)

    What the author of the Counterpunch piece is referring to is the chairs’ draft.
    It’s an unforced error to call that a recommendation of the commission.

    1. pretzelattack

      i’m trying to find out what that position was.

      She stated that she would return to the position of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, charged with producing recommendations for reducing the deficit, i.e. cutting government social spending.

      as far as i can see, it would involve an endorsement of the fiscal commission’s model, since sans recommendations there wasn’t an official position.

      Obama opted not to endorse all of the recommendations of the Commission but to “build on the fiscal Commission’s model.” (6) He accepted most of the major tenets of the Commission but went slower on their implementation. Austerity measures would be implemented over 12 years instead of 10. But he adhered to one of his principal reasons for putting the Commission together, that Social Security benefits would soon increase deficits to unsustainable levels. He supported the Commission’s aim to cut Medicare and Social Security. But his Social Security and Medicare cuts would be smaller than the Commission’s recommendations.

      obama apparently made the same mistake, regarding official recommendations, for what that’s worth. at any rate, the chair’s draft seem to be what the neoliberals are going for, with some quibbling over how fast to implement policies.

      1. HBE

        Articles like this make me feel like this election marks the last great offensive of Neoliberalism, one last push to destroy what’s left of the new deal and national sovereignty (the enemy of “globalization”).

        The media, the neoconservatives, the donors, and both parties have rallied around a family that did so much to bring about the rise of neoliberalism, and clearly have every intention of ensuring it becomes cemented in place both domestically and abroad.

        Rising and strong populist support as things for the majority of the population get worse indicates that by the next election cycle putting a status quo neoliberal in power will become extremely difficult, and this election has been no cakewalk.

        For the donor class I believe they view this election as the last chance to fully implement a system they have built up and out for nearly 40 years, that’s why they are betting the future credibility of our most effective propaganda organs on ensuring the election outcome.

        Neoliberal policies will certainly remain, but if the donor class isn’t successful this election, I don’t think it will ever walk this earth fully formed. That is where this clear urgency emanates from in my view.

        Because where can populism exist when there is no national sovereignty (TPP), when the social safety net becomes a commodity, when wars are fought and blind “patriotism” is demanded to ensure neoliberalism has no challenger.

        1. JTMcPhee

          “We” USians talk about electing and voting and all that “democracy Lite ™” action-word stuff as if it really exists, when to my mind the correct verb to employ for what the PTB are doing is “INSTALLING” the figurehead. As our rulers so clearly have done so many times in other ‘nations,” to ensure that “s/he may be a sonovabitsh, but s/he’s OUR sonovabitsh:”

          Anastasio “Tacho” Somoza García (1 February 1896 – 29 September 1956) was officially the President of Nicaragua from 1 January 1937 to 1 May 1947 and from 21 May 1950 to 29 September 1956, but ruled effectively as dictator from 1936 until his assassination. Anastasio Somoza started a dynasty that maintained absolute control over Nicaragua for 44 years.

          The son of a wealthy coffee planter, Somoza was educated in the United States. After his return to Nicaragua, he helped oust President Adolfo Díaz. He became the foreign secretary and took the title of “General.” With the help of the US Marine Corps, which occupied Nicaragua at the time, Somoza became the head of the National Guard. This gave him the power base to remove his wife’s uncle, Juan Bautista Sacasa, from the presidency, and make himself president in 1937. In 1947, an ally nominally succeeded him, but he retained power.

          A month after his successor had been inaugurated, Somoza used the military to carry out a coup. The president was declared ‘incapacitated’ by Congress and Somoza served in his stead. Returning to power in his own name in 1951, he maintained an iron grip on his own Liberal Party while making a deal with the Conservatives; thus, he faced no opposition. This left him free to amass a huge personal fortune. On 21 September 1956, he was shot by poet Rigoberto López Pérez. Mortally wounded, he was flown to the Panama Canal Zone where he died a week later. His eldest son Luis Somoza Debayle took over, to be succeeded by his younger brother Anastasio Somoza Debayle, who was forced to flee in 1979 and assassinated in exile in Paraguay the following year….

          Although Somoza was reckoned as a ruthless dictator, the United States continued to support his regime as a non-communist stronghold in Nicaragua. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) supposedly remarked in 1939 that “Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”[4][5][6] According to historian David Schmitz, however, researchers and archivists who have searched the archives of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library have found no evidence that Roosevelt ever made this statement. The statement first appeared in the November 15, 1948 issue of Time magazine and was later mentioned in a March 17, 1960 broadcast of CBS Reports called “Trujillo: Portrait of a Dictator”. In this broadcast, however, it was asserted that FDR made the statement in reference to Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic. It should be further noted that this statement has been attributed to a variety of United States presidential administrations in regard to foreign dictators. Thus the statement remains apocryphal at this point, though Roosevelt and future presidents certainly supported the Somoza family and their rule over Nicaragua.[7] Andrew Crawley claims that the Roosevelt statement is a myth created by Somoza himself.

          FUD. Obfuscation. A real truth behind a phalanx of lies. The REAL “invisible hand” (mostly, but with enough showing of the Cheshire Cat’s sharp-toothed smile to help keep the proles in check)… And “History does not repeat, but it sure rhymes,” and what a surprise that patterns that are “successful” for parasites and pathogens repeat and repeat and repeat themselves, again and again and againnnn… Cue the variations, in 5, 4, 3, 2….

        2. HopeLB

          Yes! Their unified reality denying propaganda front reeks of their desperation to
          complete their final step in the coup d’etat.

    2. Katharine

      Thank you for saving me from having to point this out! It exasperates me when the politicians who want to screw the people pretend the commission issued recommendations, but it is maddening when even their critics repeat the canard.

      It cannot be said too often: the commission issued no recommendations. Messrs. Simpson and Bowles issued their personal opinions. There is no sane reason for ordinary citizens to support these.

    3. Carolinian

      But the chair’s draft was immediately spun by Obama and others into the recommendation of the commission. In other words this goes back to the claims by the would be Grand Bargainers, not Counterpunch. The commission was always designed to produce the desired recommendation but was derailed by the reality of public sentiment,.

      1. Katharine

        And perhaps by the honest judgment of some of its members, whom we should remember before we generalize about economists or their ilk.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Maybe not so much “public sentiment” as what is left of “public wisdom”? For all that too many of us are stuffed up with the residues of “welfare queens” and the whole neoliberal shell-game BS about “bootstraps” (which of course can also be used to lash and whip the mopery back into idiot line) and the defamation of the notion of “entitlements” like prepaid retirement plans which I guess is mostly what SS is, I get the feeling from the little sampling I can do of “the public” that a whole lot of people are realizing that FDR (or was it really ER?) had a very good idea with the whole SS plan. And that losing that to the rentier sh!ts really is a kind of death sentence: hence, “Keep your filthy guvmint=bankster hands off my Social Security/Medicare!” Of course the realization seems to be one of those dim bits of malaise that so many of us sense and feel but, thanks to the fog of Narrative Bernays Sauce (toxic “BS”), have difficulty putting a name and face on the demon and can continue to be swayed to the misapprehension that it’s some “other” that is “the problem.”

        Divide and decimate works, sadly.

        “Hang together, or get hung separately…”

  10. Expat

    Hi Yves,
    Thanks for the gentle reminder about comments. I enjoy this site for information, the analysis, and the high quality comments and responses. When I need a good dose of crazy and want to get into a flame war for kicks and giggles, I scoot on over to ZH where merely suggesting that up is not down leads to accusations of communism.
    Keep up the good work.
    p.s. I also admit that I am not immune to injecting a bit of sarcasm, vitriol or trollishness into this site for which I apologize.

    1. pretzelattack

      well, don’t throw out the vitriol and sarcasm with the trollishness, as the old saying goes.

    2. cocomaan

      I admit that I get carried away on conspiracy theory trains. So I apologize for that. Unfortunately this election has jumped the shark and it’s causing us all a bit of strain.

      1. Sandy

        The election hasn’t changed, information has. We’ve got a lot more of it and it’s making us unhappy. I would suggest all look into a low information lifestyle after all this is done or you will be driven mad. Focus activism to a select number of issues that are ideally more local and proximate.

        This election has been almost two years and a profound waste of energy, focus and resources. It’s one branch of government for just a four year term.

    3. Katharine

      Many of us could plead guilty in some degree. I know I have sometimes tried to delete a too-trivial observation, sometimes successfully and others just too late. The past few months seem to have been making people a bit crazy, but we should not let that jeopardize a resource as valuable as this. Thanks for your patience, and speaking for myself, I’ll try harder.

      1. JSM

        While trying not to go too far down the ‘rabbit hole’ of speculation, for 48 hours there have been oblique and/or ‘reverse’ indications that some sort of (highly?) damaging revelation may appear Monday. Some may have had this in the backs of their minds, so to speak, when letting speculation run a little hot.

        For example, officials fear an 11th hour release of fake documents implicating one of the candidates in an explosive scandal without time for the news media to fact check it. So far, document dumps attributed to the Russians have damaged Democrats and favored Trump.

        A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s campaign said Sunday that if Wikileaks were to publish a bombshell email in the final two days of the election, it would likely not be authentic.

        A Twitterstorm bubbling up from the bowels of the internet is one thing. A genuine revelation from a verified email would be another.

        1. John Merryman

          Yes, but if it is verified after the election, that would just be one more reason to further distrust the Clinton Campaign. They don’t seem to have any view beyond winning the election.

            1. John Merryman

              I think “political party” is synonymous with bias, but that is due to the nature of reality. There is no objective frame of reference/god’s eye view.
              That shouldn’t make them synonymous with corruption.

        2. kareninca

          “without time for the news media to fact check it”

          I guess we have to give our lords and masters time to decide if we can believe our eyes. Yes, I know things can be faked, but why would we trust the media to tell us whether or not they have been?

          I’m thinking a lot of people are going to be discovering 4chan. I have an acquaintance who has been going to that site since its inception. I’ve avoided it since it sounds beyond gross (apparently you have to shower with disinfectant after visiting it)(yes, they’ve been discussing “pedophile codes” there for years and years). However, if there is a truly nauseating email (or other data) dump at the last minute, I guess ZH and 4chan will be the place to learn of and discuss them.

      2. JCC

        It sure has (made people a bit crazy). I’ve had old friends that have seen over 40 years of these shows near panic over this whole mess. Four or five of us planned a camping trip to Death Valley this coming weekend, called off partially due to one of the primary participants of the group saying she would not travel the weekend after the election due to “riots”. She recommended we all keep a full tank of gas in the car and stock up on extra water and canned goods.

        I pointed out that Death Valley, in that case, would probably be the safest place in the country to be, but, unfortunately, that didn’t cut any ice.

        1. Jeotsu

          Never let the fuel tank dip below half full on a critical vehicle. It’s just good sense. Lots of weird stuff can disrupt logistics systems. I happen to live in a place that can get big EQs and commonly gets big storms, but in our new modern age who knows when the “new and improved” internet-connected gas pumps get owned by some script kiddie from Bulgaria!

          Likewise having at least 3 days of food (10 is better) and a similar amount of drinking water is a good idea. Especially if you are in a high-rise completely dependent on water pumps.

          This is not crazy survivalist talk, just experience from my 10 years in civil defense. Also, speaking as a USAR team leader we like a prepared populace, so that there are fewer people from us to help in a real emergency.

  11. Tim S.

    Thank you for the work you do moderating comments.
    I know it is a lot & it’s a shame it has to be done.

  12. fresno dan

    The Coming Plague of Poverty Among the Elderly: Clinton’s Plan For Gutting Social Security Counterpunch (J-LS, Glenn F). Today’s must read.

    Hillary Clinton’s speeches to the captains of finance strongly imply that she would resume the project of privatizing Social Security. Hers will be a gradual, stealth approach. The opening salvo will be further cuts in benefits and extensions of the full-benefit retirement age. But these alone will not satisfy Wall Street. The privatization plan will be resurrected, first in the form of legislation once again to begin “partial privatization.” In the end, the objective will be to turn the program into a broker’s-fee-for-service plan entirely in the hands of Wall Street. Retired workers will no longer be unqualifiedly entitled to Social Security benefits.
    Social Security benefits are conspicuously modest. In the countries included in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average public pension benefits replace about 61% of median earnings. The corresponding figure for the U.S. is 37%, after subtracting (escalating) Medicare premiums. The U.S. ranks 26 out of the 30 OECD nations in this respect.
    The elderly are growing both in number and as a percentage of the population. They will be hit very hard under financialized neoliberal capitalism. Will they quietly bemoan their fate, or will they be among the historical descendants of Occupy and the Sanders movement, making up a growing force of resistance to an increasingly austere and repressive (dis)order?

    Most Americans have bought the incessant propaganda that government money is tainted – but 0.1% have certainly figured out that the surest, easiest, safest way to get a money funnel gushing money at you is through the government (tax breaks, scams, “free trade” and oh so many grifts that increase costs and decrease competition). But of course, this great benefit of guaranteed money is to be applied only to those at the very tippy tippy top.

    Business can scarcely move an inch without some kind of government guarantee or incentive. But business’s great PR men, Rubin and Geithner, who never met a government subsidy to the wealthy that wasn’t necessary for the salvation of capitalism, also never met a social insurance program that didn’t imperil civilization…

    Money – who gets it and who doesn’t. See my post at 7:25 AM

    1. craazyboy

      Then of course all the “lazy” old people will need to find a job, or keep the one they have, corporations permitting (isn’t the corp retirement age really 55?)

      Yeh, our economy will support that.

      I’m a big fan of letting old people retire and then our college grads living at home in the basement can have the jobs that still exist. But that’s just because I’ve become lazy and all worn out in my [not so] old age.

      1. BecauseTradition

        But that’s just because I’ve become lazy and all worn out in my [not so] old age. Boy Craazy

        Google this?

        Though youths grow weary and tired
        and vigorous young men stumble badly …

        I figured I’d risk a pearl in your direction, craazy, since I sympathise and since at 65 and only partly obedient I reckon I have only begun to live.

        1. Charger01

          ThIs one thought has troubled me: if health care costs are exponentially rising, and wages/retirement savings remain flat/subdued, how will anyone afford actual medical costs whend retirees need it most?

          1. JTMcPhee

            …remember the other of the Two Laws of Current Economics: “Go die!”

            And as various “interests” add momentum to the “death with dignity-choice” freight train, one of those gentle “liberal things,” it seems that a new area for PE opportunism is stuff like Hospice As A Profit Center,

            Can franchised Suicide Parlors be all that far off, all part of a vertically integrated Soylent Corporation business model? Sell the usable, even questionable body parts, extract the max from “government subsidies” and people’s residual estates, make “cat food” out of what remains and add it to the “substitution diet” that “the captured guvmint’ tells us older folks and those becoming old that we will just have to eat-and-like-it, the innovative disruptive comity-destroying divisive opportunities are just there for the Shkrelis and BlankDimonFeins to seize…

    2. apber

      The principal problem, as noted, is the COLA adjustment which flies in the face of reality. Many have noted that the current deflation meme of the FED is for items you can do without, while the hidden costs of inflation are inimical to the things you really need, such as groceries, health care, rent, etc. The 0.3% increase this year is a perverse joke, as were the previous 5 year increases. For someone retired, as I am, the reduction in gas prices is inconsequential since I drive less than 5000 miles per year. But my property taxes have doubled, as well as my grocery bills which have risen dramatically over the past five years. The result is less disposable income which according to the learned (?) economists is what is necessary to drive consumption and thus GDP. It is no wonder that I see around me vacant malls, shopping centers, and car lots channel stuffed with vehicles that will have to be heavily discounted.

      1. BecauseTradition

        Inflation from monetary policy, welfare for the rich -> good

        Inflation from fiscal policy, for the general welfare -> very bad


      2. fresno dan

        November 6, 2016 at 8:54 am

        I agree and what makes it so damn annoying is the purposeful obtuseness of those who think cheaper flat screen TV’s makes up for outlandish price increases in pharmaceuticals and all medical care.

        1. fresno dan

          fresno dan
          November 6, 2016 at 11:27 am
          Your comment is awaiting moderation.

          I will never ever use the Clark Cable “Gone with the Wind” adjective again! I knew I should have put the * in there…

    3. Spring Texan

      The link was not at all specific about when Clinton’s putative support of a Simpson-Bowles solution was. Which speeches to Wall Street in what years? Was in in the last year or 18 months? Without that, I’m not ready to panic.

      We all KNOW she supported this sort of thing but the tide has changed a bit (partly owing to atrios) and she may well have changed with it to a degree, certainly what she is saying in public is better. Without dates, I am not pushing any panic buttons here; although of course we always need to be vigilant on SS. Cutting SS is not as accepted as it once was (happily).

      1. craazyboy

        I’m pretty sure Hillary used the statement “strengthen social security” recently, but offering no details how – so we’re left to guess whether it’s the same “strengthen social security” as Simpson Bowles spoke of. This election debate has been notoriously lacking in policy discussions. I don’t think Trump has said much on the SS subject either.

        Bernie, OTOH, did propose lifting the cap on SS payroll deductions in his platform and I even recall some numerical analysis supporting his proposal. Then in a recent Bernie “stump for Hillary” speech, he did re-iterate we should vote D because the Ds are committed to not gutting SS, or some similar wording. FWIW.

        Also, I hope everyone screams bloody murder if they try and trade the $2.7 trillion Trust Fund for a stock bubble.

      2. OIFVet

        certainly what she is saying in public is better

        Wait, isn’t she the one with two opinions, one for public consumption and one the “folks” who really matter??? Given how little her campaign did to actively reach out to Sanders voters, I think it is safe to say that she hasn’t changed one bit.

    4. sleepy

      I think Clinton has much as stated that she plans to increase SS benefits for those at the lower rungs, e.g., women who were taking care of the kids and out of the workforce for an extended period and/or minorities who historically earned less.

      She will couple that plan with her overall privatization/higher retirement age scheme. This will allow her to claim that any opposition is the result of sexism or racism. As a bonus, it tends to re-characterize social security as a welfare program and use race and gender to further divide people as we all struggle to stay afloat.

  13. fresno dan

    The social and public health benefits would be enormous. The fall transition to standard time is linked to an increase in crime that costs the country billions of dollars annually. Transitions into and out of daylight saving time are linked to disrupted sleep patterns, increased heart attack risk, and an uptick in fatal car accidents.

    And last week, a team of researchers from the departments of psychiatry and political science at the universities of Aarhus, Copenhagen and Stanford added another formal complaint to the indictment against clock-turning: The autumn shift to standard time appears to be closely linked to a jump in depression diagnoses around this time of year.

    Well, I certainly have far more time keeping devices than is necessary or healthy. And I have to keep them synchronized to the National Institutes of Standards official time…because I do!
    So twice a year I have to get my watch exactly on the NIST time – which is a rather time consuming task because it has these tiny hard to push buttons…
    At least my weather station automatically aligns with the NIST time. But clock radios, microwave, stovetop, TV, etcetera, etcetera.
    Why go through this? JUST LEAVE IT ALONE!!!

      1. craazyboy

        Now if they could just do something about getting up and going to the bathroom at 2:00 AM every night.

      2. Carl

        Yeah, we briefly got confused on the drive to Tucson from Texas when the time on our phones didn’t change as we hit El Paso. Seems AZ is a sensible state in more than one way. Now, onto face painting for All Souls!

        1. Aumua

          I just got back from this. I’ve lived here for a year and I had no idea there was such an amazing event here. Just weird, and cool beyond words. So many pictures, so many faces. I feel a deeper connection to this community now.

    1. cocomaan

      I’ve done a lot of research on this. DST goes back to War Time, a WW1 artifact in order to save resources. The conservationist in me says, great, that’s what we should do. Saving resources is always good.

      On the other hand, there’s been plenty of research showing negligible or negative effects, especially in these days of ubitquitous electronic devices. Dark nights at home means that people tend to boot up electronic devices, which makes it a wash.

    2. nippersdad

      All of your clocks are set to NIST time? That is pretty hardcore. In our house all (of my) timekeepers are set from the two hundred year old grandfather clock in the hall. From the old Grandfather to the old trench watch, time is a daily variable anyway; any minutes lost or gained over the day/month are more than made up for by the anal retentive need to be a half hour early anyway, so exactitude is not really a problem.

      That daylight savings time causes such problems for people is, therefore, kind of an otherworldly concept for me. It is what it is plus or minus five to ten minutes a day/month already; an additional hour seems like no real biggie. The question, therefore, seems to be how heavily scheduled people’s lives are these days, not that they occasionally gain or lose an hour. Seems like one could more easily price sanity into the equation.

  14. voteforno6

    Re: Baltimore Oil Trains

    The people there are being incredibly obtuse about the risks posed by those trains. In North Dakota, an oil train derailed near Casselton, which spooked a number of people out there. That’s uncomfortably close to Fargo – a number of rail lines go right through town.

    I am somewhat sympathetic to the DAPL protestors, but the oil has to get moved somehow. Which is less bad – pipelines, or oil trains?

    1. johnnygl

      The question of ‘trains vs. Pipelines’ regarding safety is overly narrow and completely embraces the industry’s framing which is that ‘the oil MUST flow’. The reality is that the industry is mad when the rail companies take a big cut of the profit margin. None of them want to take substantive measures to address safety issues because of the cost. This is sociopathic and must be fought.

      At this point the extractive industries represent a danger to society. Peak oil is biting down and that is the only reason there is interest in tar sands is because there’s so few opportunities left in oil/gas.

      Also if the missouri river gets contaminated, that’s catastrophic.

      I’m not one to paint a rosy scenario that we’ll all be saved from change by solar and wind farms, but we really have to stop the drilling immediately!

      1. Charger01

        These above comments are laudable goals. However, to quote Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) “If doesn’t come from the farm, or get mined from the Earth it doesn’t happen.”
        Resource extraction is the primary economic engine of modern society, as I type this out on a rare mineral produce smartphone that was assembled in S. Korea.

        1. Eclair

          And, on that note, Charger01, I will remark that humans existed and thrived for 10,000 years, give or take a millennium or two, without using fossil fuels on a large scale. The past 200 years have been a blip (or, some might say, a wart) on our timeline. What humans and our other living relatives have always needed, however, is clean water and clean air. The former is now making the latter a scarce and increasingly unavailable, resource.

          Resource extraction is not only the primary economic engine of modern society, resource extraction on our current large scale, has been the primary cause of massive human misery and genocides as well as lethal pollution of our planet’s water and air.

          The attitude that ‘there is no alternative’ (TINA) to massive fossil fuel extraction and use will lead to our destruction.

          1. JTMcPhee

            …but those of us for whom the current mode is comfortable, profitable and titillating know (!) that the sh!t will not hit the fan while they are alive to experience the consequences (hope springs eternal, blindness is comforting). “Apres nous, le conflagration,” they’ll be dead and beyond retribution or restitution, so who cares?

            The aggressive metastatic tumor does not give a sh!t that the body will die. “While yet we live!”

              1. Eclair

                Mars is the new West! All the riches of the Indies await us there.

                And, there are no pesky Natives to eliminate.

    2. Katharine

      I suspect it is not only in Baltimore that officials are being obtuse. Consider this map of rail routes, accidents, and (a few) public efforts to do something:

      and this list of seventeen North American accidents in less than four years:

      It looks as if this is a problem that is being ignored in a lot of places. Then when disaster strikes no doubt we hear, “How could we have known?” It would probably be good to check your own region and start prodding your own local or state officials.

  15. katiebird

    Picture of the day…. Today’s Electoral Map

    Also, the Hillary/Social Security story makes me sick. What exactly are people supposed to live on? Not everyone has family and friends with an extra bedroom. At this rate the next great App will be the one that matches elderly people with roommates and affordable/available houses or apartments.

    How many places can a single person on Social Security afford rent … either apartment or house. And what are the chances it’s in the town that persn lives?

    What is the logic of the Social Security COLA being smaller than the Medicare Increase? And how many times can that happen before there is nothing left of Social Security?

    Medicare: The volunteer/advisor I talked to last week told me that the Supplemental Plan F will be phased out in 2020. But Plan G has all the same benefits, except it doesn’t cover the deductables. People on Plan F now will be able to keep it (she said) … I said, but what if they raise the deductable to $5,000 or $6,000 in 2021? She was shocked by my question. Really shocked hadn’t thought of that at all but admitted it was something to fear. …. I’ll keep the Plan F. Until I can’t afford it….

    So then Hillary and her plans to reform Social Security. It makes me sick. One thing I remember from the Republican debates was a moment when someone tried to blast Trump for being open to the idea of Single Payer Health Care. And in the course of a kind of stumbling reply, he said, “No One is going to die in the streets in my administration!!” … (quotes are inappropriate because this is from memory) …

    Of course that won’t be true (it would require A LOT of change). But what a thing to say. Has Hillary ever given that a thought?

    1. fresno dan

      November 6, 2016 at 8:38 am

      You have certainly hoisted the program on its own petard! The ridiculousness of a social insurance program that supposedly is inflation protected having its medical insurance aspect abysmally not keeping up with ever increasing costs really makes a travesty of a mockery of a farce.
      Yet the serious people discussion that there is no inflation is regurgitated without comment….

      1. marym

        Plan F isn’t a social insurance program. It’s private for-profit insurance paid for with personal funds. Like Obamacare out-of-pocket costs, Plan F out-of-pocket costs are due to the failure to replace for-profit health insurance with comprehensive universal healthcare publicly funded by progressive taxes. Transition to a real public program would address the Medicare premium as well.

        1. katiebird

          Agreed. But we’ve all heard Hillary say that Single Payer will never, ever happen. It was a pledge.

          The plan seems to be to take even that (Plan F) pathetic safety net away. Why move people into a Plan G if the only difference is the $166 annual deductible.

          It’s purely my imagination but it only makes sense if you want to raise the deductable by a gazillion dollars.

          1. marym

            I don’t doubt that it’s a seemingly low amount (though an additional hardship for some even so) just to open the door to further increases. Incrementalism backwards.

          2. Spring Texan

            Yes, the idea on eliminating full supplemental coverage is that we should all have “skin in the game” on medical costs which is seen by the Republican-lite architects of Obamacare as highly desirable.

            I think there is a good opportunity for pushback on this — pushback on the “Cadillac tax” which is similar is already being kind of successful. Instead of lamenting, start publicizing and contacting senators and representatives.

      2. craazyboy

        Even worse, the “SS disability” and “old age-retirement” funds are two separate funds and historically separately funded. But the disability fund was coming up deficient in recent years, for whatever the reason(s), and they decided to supplement it from the old age-retirement fund, putting it on shakier ground.

        Almost makes your think the Very Serious People aren’t all that serious about it?

        1. Cynthia

          Yes, craazyboy, I agree with you. “SS disability” really needs to be separated from “old age-retirement” funds. That way we’ll get a better ideas as to which group of beneficiaries is drawing Social Security at unusually high levels. My guess is that it is NOT the people who are drawing old-age benefits, but instead it’s the people who are drawing disability benefits.

          It’s hard for me to believe that there has been a huge surge in the number of working-age Americans that are too disabled to work, especially given that we have better medicines and better treatment options to keep people well and working. Oh sure, some who are of working age are truly too sick or disabled to work; but there are quite a few who are only slightly disabled, though they are not so disabled that they can’t work.

          Therefore, what needs to be done in order to bend the so-called “cost curve” for Society Security is NOT increase the retirement age, but instead make it tougher to qualify for “SS disability.” But the party in power doesn’t want to do this because it will make their unemployment numbers go up. After all, it’s harder for any presidential candidate to get reelected if the unemployment numbers have gone up. Employers also don’t want to see the number of people on “SS disability” reduced because this would cause the number of employees with “pre- existing conditions” to go up, thus causing their healthcare insurance to go up. Plus if more people are looking for work, they will demand higher pay– something that employers don’t want to see happen.

          I don’t know how we can completely solve this problem of having too many non-disables drawing “SS disability.” However, we can start by adding them to the unemployment numbers. That way a sitting president won’t try to make it easier for people to qualify for “SS disability” in order to make their employment record look better than it actually is. Having a single-payer healthcare system would also help. Then employers wouldn’t mind hiring people with “pre- existing conditions” since they’ll no longer need to provide health insurance for their employees.

          1. craazyboy

            It was set up this way because they are two functionally distinct “safety net” programs. Whatever problems one may have should be addressed separately. Instead they funded the problem one from the one they merely don’t like, obfuscating things and kicking the can down the road.

            Weasels at work.

            1. Waldenpond

              I would rather see one safety net program combining job guarantee, income guarantee. Shift into and out as employed. When you separate programs it’s too easy create arbitrary divisions of who is deserving. There should be a base level of income for all.

              1. Single payer for all with supplemental insurance for those that want it.
              2. Base level of guaranteed income with supplemental employment insurance for those that want it.

    2. Qrys

      Nice, though I would’ve assumed Washington state would read:

      Your USA ran into a problem that it couldn’t
      handle, and now it needs to restart.

    3. TheCatSaid

      And did you see the long Vox article in today’s links? It’s a long rationalization for why it was ok for Clinton to use a private server, and how this is all a storm in a teacup (my words–they used a lengthy webpage) and a distraction.

      Distraction from what, I ask. Distraction from all the harm her policies and initiatives have already done?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I always thought Benghazi was a distraction from “regime change” or colonialism while trying to weaken the Democrats for 2016 in a race between incompetent Hillary and the “SMRT” Shrublet.

        1. sleepy

          Just goes to show that the US has no real opposition party regardless of who’s in power. Neither party addresses empire in any fundamental way, just which party can manage it better.

  16. fresno dan

    Clinton’s charity confirms Qatar’s $1 million gift while she was at State Dept Reuters

    Clinton Foundation officials last month declined to confirm the Qatar donation. In response to additional questions, a foundation spokesman, Brian Cookstra, this week said that it accepted the $1 million gift from Qatar, but this did not amount to a “material increase” in the Gulf country’s support for the charity. Cookstra declined to say whether Qatari officials received their requested meeting with Bill Clinton.
    The State Department has said it has no record of the foundation submitting the Qatar gift for review, and that it was incumbent on the foundation to notify the department about donations that needed attention. A department spokeswoman did not respond to additional questions about the donation.

    According to the foundation’s website, which lists donors in broad categories by cumulative amounts donated, Qatar’s government has directly given a total of between $1 million and $5 million over the years.

    The Clinton Foundation has said it would no longer accept money from foreign governments if Clinton is elected president and would spin off those programs that are dependent on foreign governments.

    Furthermore, a state department spokesman stated, Whatsamatta U? “…but this did not amount to a “material increase” in the Gulf country’s support for the charity.” Qater has given hundreds of millions! Its just a big money funnel – money is pouring in by the minute!!! Doncha know it takes that much to get all the synergy and win-win? IT DON”T COME CHEAP! 1 million stinkin dollars aint gonna do nuthin’!!!!

    Our “Parody” does not actually meet parody guidelines as it is a starkly brutally unadulteratedly accurate depiction of current US government practices and therefore contains no exaggeration or fictional aspects whatsoever …
    We apologize if anyone has been offended.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If one foundation will not accept money from foreign governments, maybe there are other foundations that will.

      It’s a free country and you can set up as many foundations as you like, in your name or others’.

    2. ChrisPacific

      Cookstra declined to say whether Qatari officials received their requested meeting with Bill Clinton.

      “When you’re good to Mama,” he added, “Mama’s good to you.”

  17. Jim Haygood

    Iowa student wanders off (or more accurately, is ejected) from the Clinton plantation:

    Kaleb Vanfosson, president of Iowa State University’s Students for Bernie chapter, opened his remarks by bashing Donald Trump on student loan debt, but then surprisingly turned to bashing Hillary Clinton from her own stage.

    “Unfortunately, Hillary doesn’t really care about this issue either,” Vanfosson said. “The only thing she cares about is pleasing her donors, the billionaires who fund her campaign. The only people that really trust Hillary are Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup can trust Hillary, the military industrial complex can trust Hillary. Her good friend Henry Kissinger can trust Hillary.”

    The [mostly student] crowd at the Clinton-Kaine event erupted in applause.

    “She is so trapped in the world of the elite that she has completely lost grip on what it’s like to be an average person,” Vanfosson continued. “She doesn’t care. Voting for another lesser of two evils, there’s no point.”

    At that point, a Clinton staffer rushed on stage and grabbed the young man by the arm to escort him off the stage and out of the event.

    Video backup (low quality) is embedded in the article.

    Bernie, take a lesson from this young man.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      This student deserves not necessarily free tuition, but at least a decent scholarship, for his outstanding critical thinking breakthrough.

      I believe for sure Iowa will go to Trump now.

    2. nycTerrierist

      from the link:

      “According to a student newspaper account, Vanfosson claims he was “basically assaulted” by the Clinton staffer on the way out.

      “Vanfosson told the Iowa State Daily that while being escorted out he was ‘basically assaulted,’” Iowa State Daily’s Shannon McCarty wrote. “Vanfosson said he does have footage of the incident.”

      I watched the clip. To see a speaker physically removed for stating his opinion in a very reasonable way is an outrage. How is this supposed to be acceptable? if this is an indication of things to come under a Hilliary regime, we can’t say we weren’t warned. They throw the f-word (fascist) around, but it’s the Clinton campaign and the DNC who have been acting like thugs with impunity throughout this sham election.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Yes, they have. And anyone who thinks that they will “govern” differently is deluding themselves.

          1. petal

            Tried to have a discussion with a couple of HC canvassers this afternoon. The campaign is hitting my apartment complex (we’re in NH) hard this weekend. Brought up single payer, militarism, and TPP and the woman (white in her late 60s) started actually screaming (truly screaming) at me and the guy had to pull her off. She was screaming at the top of her lungs “He hates women! He hates Latinos!”. Was afraid she was going to hit me. I hadn’t even said Trump’s name, and I was being polite. Things are bad and I have a feeling will continue this way for some time. Questioning is not allowed and identity politics is being used as a club and the only answer for everything. Take from it what you will. I fear for what’s coming. I think I’m going to lay low for a while. Take care, friends. Cheers.

            1. Jen

              Out in the wilds of Groton, NH a couple of weeks ago I saw a lot of trump signs and one driveway festooned with two Bernie signs, and another homemade one reading: “we shoot first.” I think I now understand the reasoning. Good luck and stay safe.

      1. Ché Pasa

        Of course is what you should expect, and it would be happening in a Trump regime as well, probably less courteously.

          1. Ché Pasa

            Try paying attention to the campaign and what goes on at Trump rallies. I believe there was an incident in Reno recently that could be instructive, but many of his rallies provide evidence of what happens to those who deviate from the accepted Trump partisan line.

            Given his general encouragement for this behavior, I believe it’s likely the same sort of quashing of dissent would happen during a Trump administration — much as it did during the Bush 2 regime.

            There’s little doubt that similar quashing of dissent would take place during a neo-Clinton administration.

            It’s simply the way our neoLibCon government and its sponsors behave as a general thing.

      2. hunkerdown

        The Party is a private corporation. I’m not sure what you’re up in arms about. What exactly do they owe you again?

        1. philnc

          Both parties rely heavily on the wealth and power of the state at all levels to enforce and legitimize their control of the political process. In most localities they get free use of state election machinery in their candidate selection process (primary elections). They also enjoy the free use of government police forces to limit or exclude free expression in public places (free speech zones around public buildings during conventions). Finally, there’s the restriction of ballot access to a pre-approved few parties and mass disenfranchisement by bureaucratic “error” (Kings County, NY) and public security policy (denial of the vote to ex-felons).

          What do the parties owe the public? More than they’re now willing to pay, it would seem.

  18. Howard

    Re: Moderating comments

    Thanks for moderating the comments here as they were veering into crazy land.
    I wish you could delete the “reality thread” that is the 2016 US election from my brain. Please leave the part where the bird greets Bernie Sanders in Portland.



  19. Tom Stone

    The level of fear in this election is unprecedented in my lifetime, the only compararble election I can think . of is Lincoln’s. My sister is a trained triage nurse and no fool but she is terrified by the possibility of a Trump Presidency. Among the things she told me in a recent coversation was that HRC didn’t do anything Condi Rice or Colin Powell did, that the allegations against Clinton were pure misogyny, that Trump was Put’s Stooge and that he would incite a race war.
    When I told her I would be writing in Sanders it elicited a response that boiled down to “A vote for Bernie is a vote for Trump”.
    It has put a real strain on what has been a loving friendship dating from our childhood in the 1950’s. While not politically sophisticated my sister has calmly dealt with multiple casualty accidents involving horrific injuries to adults and children.
    This level of fear among people who are usually very sensible concerns me.

    1. Jim Haygood

      My dad said CNBC claimed that stocks will drop 5 percent Wednesday if Trump wins.

      Told him I’ll take the opposite side of that bet: stocks will rally 2 or 3 percent Wednesday regardless of who wins (although probably it will be Trump).

      A basic principle is that you can’t sell news that’s well anticipated. It’s already in the market.

      Doom will arrive in due course. But not just yet. And it certainly will not announced on CNBC.

      1. Katharine

        You are probably both right. The fools will sell and then the cynics will buy. From my cautious outsider observations, that seems to be the usual pattern.

      2. Skip Intro

        And what if contests and recounts and shenanigans or the Utah wildcard makes the results unknown on wed. with the prospect of weeks or longer in limbo…

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      People, friends, etc can tolerate not liking, say, the same dishes (here is your steak and I will take a tofu salad), but not political choices.

      It would seem, by deduction, that politics is the most important issue in life.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “A vote for Bernie or Stein is a vote for Trump.”

      “Well, I best vote for Trump directly then.”

      Why go through a middleman or middlewoman?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I have voted against something or someone many times.

          It’s defensive in nature, to resist, to struggle against.

      1. Aumua

        If you ignore and photoshop out of the picture all of the actual, real negative points about Trump, and what he represents and legitimizes, then sure. Your logic holds.

        But we’ve burned that bridge a long time ago, eh? I voted for policies I believe in. Just go ahead and shoot me I guess.

    4. flora

      Hillary has been selling ‘fear of the other’ this whole campaign. The movie Zootopia was a topic in a post earlier this week. Prey and predator animal learn to live together peaceably. When you find out at the end of the movie who the villain is….. let’s just say I immediately thought of Hillary.

      I’ve had a decades long, level headed (I thought) friend start screaming at me when I said I’d be writing in Bernie or Stein. Screaming at me – out of control raised voice and near-tears screaming. It had been a “so, wha’ da’ think” low key topic of conversation….. until I said the wrong thing. All I could do was say “ok ok” and back away.

      1. flora

        adding: personal rant follows….

        Whenever Hillary calls an entire economic class stupid and deplorable, whenever any politician calls an entire economic class stupid losers (losers because they are stupid), I know their intended audience are adult listeners, not kids.. However, by middle school kids are starting to become part of the adult world, starting to listen and to check out what place they might have in the adult world. Are the politicians so bone-headed stupid they don’t realize condemning these kids parents as stupid losers also filters down to what the kids may believe about themselves and their chances in life? Are the politicians so self-centered stupid they don’t realize this kind of talk gives implicit adult permission for some smarter kids who are also jerks to bully the kids who struggle in school? (there’s always been some of that, but adults were supposed to put the brakes on bullying.) Sheesh! /end rant

        1. hunkerdown

          It seems to me they’d be perfectly aware of it. Consider the meta advantages of a populace that learns to flexibly Other rivals under corporate control. Those people can often be paid in part in the currency of thrill of competition (cf. Schmidt’s low paid Hillary staff).

          If they want nothing to do with the adult world or its feet-of-clay authoritarian structures, I say good for them. Outside of politics, there are hotlines for people playing a game designed to make them lose. Maybe that’s not enough.

      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        Same thing happened to me with my sister. The dismissal in real life of the toxicity of HRC’s policies is mirrored by the dismissal on this site by an increasing number of commenters of the opening Trump has provided to racist and sexist elements in our society.

        Craazyman ain’t worried, he’s a white male who lives in New York. For others though, I recommend The Handmaid’s Tale, a prescient novel written by Margaret Atwood in I think the 80s.

        I didn’t vote for Hillary. The misogyny that concerns me isn’t that which might cause someone not to vote for her. It’s that which continues to permeate the lives of everyday women all over the globe.

        I didn’t vote for Trump. The racism that concerns me isn’t that which might lead someone to vote for him. It’s that which continues to permeate the lives of everyday people of color all over the globe.

        Including in New York, with its much vaunted stop and frisk that was finally deemed illegal but which is likely to come back in another form.

        For the way the economic disenfranchisement of people of color in this country continually reinvents itself (including Bill’s go at it), watch the recently released Netflix documentary about the 13th amendment, which accommodated slavery except for criminals.

        The Thirteenth

          1. barefoot charley

            ChiGal, completely agree, but here’s the gray: because protest voters aren’t necessarily as flawed as their vessels, I think you miss many voters’ motivations by equating all with the passions their candidate unleashes. Why am I so pathologically open-minded? Because, in the long history of populism, no winning plurality that addresses populist issues has ever been free of racism and hatred in its fringes. After all, politics isn’t only made of money! Woodrow Wilson was an aggressive segregationist, Teddy Roosevelt a hypocrite pretending contempt for blacks he didn’t feel (and likely Lincoln too). Franklin Roosevelt cultivated the hatred of elites he served as best he could. It’s only by compiling outrages that majorities are stitched together. This is one of the many reasons leftists no longer compete–they want to play nice in a dirty game, and they don’t learn from either Hillary or Trump.

        1. craazyman

          oh man. you outta visit New Yoarke and see for your self!

          If your living in Hickville down there and things suck, then come up here and see how cool we are! It’s amazing how cool we are up here. None of that yada yada shlt your putting up with.

          If you want to have an intelligent conversation with animated but controlled exchanges of ideas leading to an interaction of thesis and synthesis, possible mind expansion, and certainly illumination — without rancor or deceit or stupefaction or intimidation — this is the place!

          It’s very artistic and very intellectual and whether your a man, woman, white, brown, yellow, gay, straight, bi or poly — it doesn’t matter! Who cares? We’re waaaaay too cool to care.

          At least I am! :-) I have a PhD in Contemporary Analysis from the University of Magonia and I’m a visiting professer Emeritis at The Clear Thought Academy. I don’t lecture there but I channel a lot — ususally after Xanax and red wine.

        2. craazyman

          well I tried to provide a courteous, courtly and humorous response — and I in fact succeeded – but it got moderated! Yves is very busy so I won’t complain like I usually do. :-)

          Well it’ll be over on Tuesday night. Oh man. But I’m actually a bit worried about the economy, which I think is the epicenter of all these problems. You ship people’s jobs overseas and all heck breaks loose. People need to focus their yada on something or it consumes them. That’s what jobs are for. And if they’re good jobs it really helps society function

        3. TheCatSaid

          This poignant, thought-provoking article on Vox, “What a liberal sociologist learned from spending five years in Trump’s America”, was on the Links here at NC a few days ago. Brad Plumer interviews sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild. This article gave me a deeper appreciation for where many of the Trump voters are coming from (not necessarily racist, not necessarily driven by Trump’s OTT divisive rhetoric). It’s worth a read, regardless of who one supports.

          1. craazyman

            “Begin with an individual and before you know it you find that you have created a type; begin with a type and you find that you have created — nothing.”

            – F. Scott Fitzergerald “The Rich Boy”

            Every serious student of reality has to figure that one out for themselves.

            1. TheCatSaid

              Two things I liked about the article is that the sociologist Hochschild seemed to be genuinely trying to break out of her own preconceived ideas, and her understanding seemed to resonate well when she ran it by the people in the area who were the subjects of her interviews. It was a breath of fresh air after endless articles painting Trump supporters a particular way.

              1. TheCatSaid

                Two excerpts I particularly liked:

                I think supporters of the Tea Party in Louisiana have a deep story, as do Bernie Sanders supporters in Berkeley, California. We all have a deep story. And it’s important to know what these are. Because so many arguments aren’t really between one set of facts and another; they’re between one deep story and another.

                So the deep story I felt operating in Louisiana was this: Think of people waiting in a long line that stretches up a hill. And at the top of that is the American dream. And the people waiting in line felt like they’d worked extremely hard, sacrificed a lot, tried their best, and were waiting for something they deserved. And this line is increasingly not moving, or moving more slowly [i.e., as the economy stalls].

                Then they see people cutting ahead of them in line. Immigrants, blacks, women, refugees, public sector workers. And even an oil-drenched brown pelican getting priority. In their view, people are cutting ahead unfairly. And then in this narrative, there is Barack Obama, to the side, the line supervisor who seems to be waving these people (and the pelican) ahead. So the government seemed to be on the side of the people who were cutting in line and pushing the people in line back.

                I went back with this story to a lot of the people that I’d talked to. I asked, is this the way you feel? And they said, “Yeah, you read my mind!” or, “Yeah, I live your narrative!” And this all becomes more acute as their place in line feels more vulnerable. There’s the offshoring of American jobs, automation that is now making even skilled jobs feel vulnerable. So when you add a cultural and demographic sense of loss and decline to a real economic threat, it becomes alarming. And the government doesn’t seem like it’s heard your distress call.

                and at the very end:

                BP: To some extent there are just always going to be political disputes (abortion, say) where people just fundamentally disagree, and there’s no way to reconcile that. But did you have any takeaways about improving the give and take of politics?

                AH: I think we can do a lot better. Like you say, there will always be differences — and strong ones. But we can do a lot better at respectfully relating and listening to one another and appreciating the deep stories of people we have profound differences with. And I do believe the left has a lot to learn here. One man [on the left] told me after he read this book, “These should be people we’re fighting for, not fighting against.”

                BP: Say someone wanted to go work on environmental issues in Louisiana. Where would they start?

                AH: I would start by asking the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN), which is basically a coalition of a number of organizations, and asking, how can an outsider help? There actually is a history of environmentalism in Louisiana when things were even worse than now; before the EPA was established, there were coalitions across political differences. So there is a precedent here.

          2. flora

            Interesting article, but I think AH still misses something older still.
            The rural, western, southern parts of the US – since 1870s at least – have been subject to Fed Govt and crony schemes of money extraction. Think of those schemes as early “pubic-private partnerships.” Carpetbaggers, Govt (cronyist) backed railroad shipping rates gougers; govt backed land speculators; Fed govt protected Wall St. crop speculators ; govt officials – crony appointees – showing up in towns promising great programs, gathering in money, and vanishing; govt letting private banks set up in rural areas, sell worthless shares, then skip town with the loot. This happened in the mid-west, the west, the south, and maybe the east. The New Deal was the first time the Fed govt ran programs in rural areas that helped people instead of scamming them. And even then people remained deeply skeptical. Today you have the US govt protecting the modern bank scammers, subprime mortgage dealers, Wall St. fraudsters.

            Hochschild notes in passing the importance of self-reliance, hard work, and not feeling like a victim in the people she interviews. I think she misses an important point. If she’s unaware of the longer US govt-to-rural areas history she probably doesn’t understand that attitude. It’s a deep skepticism borne of generations of experience. Before she asks us for ‘sympathetic understanding’ for the people she interviews she needs to look at the long history of govt promises to rural and small town America.
            In the Vox interview Hochschild seems to be writing as a cultural anthropologist, which misses the bigger and older economic story. The following quote makes sense in this economic history context.

            ‘But they were even more suspicious of an ever-expanding federal government and state government that they felt was “can’t-do” and money-gobbling.’

            Just my 2¢

            1. flora

              adding: really liked the article. glad the stereotype is being challenged. just wanted to add this bit.

              1. TheCatSaid

                It’s an important point. As you point out, they have good reason to be suspicious of government do-good programs, given the past history. (And notable cases when some individuals attempt to do the right thing–like the academic who advised the government about the problems with the infrastructure to protect New Orleans years before Katrina–they put other plans in place for their cronies.)

                So much corruption wherever you look–both inside government and outside of it, so different parties can claim the other side is full of corruption and both sides will be right.

                1. flora

                  Yes. Think how the govt says TPP and TTIP will be wonderful, just wonderful for us all. Most NC readers are deeply skeptical of that claim. For good reason.

          3. ChiGal in Carolina

            Yes, I read it. I am absolutely a believer in inequality as a big driver of support for Trump. That is why I am so angry at the Dems over Bernie. In no way do I think Trump voters are “necessarily racist”.

            But there IS racism and sexism afoot in the land and to pretend it is not so or doesn’t matter is just plain craazy.

            1. TheCatSaid

              But there IS racism and sexism afoot in the land

              That’s for sure. It’s just not exclusively Trump territory, as many Dem-promoting analysts try to imply.

      3. pretzelattack

        it’s amazing (or not) have had this kind of experience with people they know well, even close relatives. it just boggles my mind. i must repeat “i can never be too cynical” 100 times.

    5. Ulysses

      “This level of fear among people who are usually very sensible concerns me.”


      When the kleptocratic con artists who rule over us discover rising discontent, they respond by stoking fear and division. This prevents people from using their critical thinking skills, and working together to improve their lot.

    6. tongorad

      I used to think that this election was wonderfully clarifying. I still think it is clarifying, but not so wonderful. I used to regard liberals as in some way positive and redeemable, but my gosh are they nasty. It turns out Fox news was spot-on about that.

      1. ginnie nyc

        Yest, tongorod. This is why I have been a leftist for over 45 years – because the ‘nice’ liberal people were always so bloody patronizing on their good days, contemptuous on their middling days, and murderous on their bad.

    7. integer

      My interpretation is that these sorts of outbursts occur when someone has coupled their deeply held views (or more accurately, allowed their deeply held views to be coupled) with (in this case) their sense of who a politician is and what they stand for, without having any in depth knowledge of the details regarding the politician. Therefore when one is debating with them, you are actually up against their whole personal ideology and will be extremely unlikely to change their views. Essentially the anger is a defense mechanism; it takes a lot of mental and emotional energy to uproot one’s interpretation of the world.

      1. integer

        Adding: When it comes to talking politics, I would suggest trying to find common ground in terms of what sort of society you would like to live in before debating anything about the candidates or the likelihood of those candidates working on behalf of the people to make the appropriate changes. In this way you may be able to sidestep the other person feeling like their whole sense of self is under attack.

  20. Harry

    “Blame the kids: The largest DDoS attack ever was probably pulled off by bored teens”

    But Putin……….?

  21. Jim Haygood

    From the latest Podesta emails dump — Doug Band emails John Podesta on Jan 4, 2012:

    The investigation into [Chelsea Clinton] getting paid for campaigning, using foundation resources for her wedding and life for a decade, taxes on money from her parents….

    I hope that you will speak to her and end this

    Once we go down this road….

    So that’s the way you do it … money for nothin’, checks for free.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      BTW using not for profit $ for “personal comfort” (I believe that it is the term of art), is a real IRS violation and they normally take a dim view of that. By contrast, sadly, the fact that the foundation spends little on actual charity is apparently permissible under the rules.

      1. Ivy

        Some measure of revulsion at politicians among the electorate derives from the routine reappearance of the following:

        Not shocking what is illegal
        Shocking what is legal

      2. Jim Haygood

        One can infer from Doug Band’s comment — “using foundation resources for her … life for a decade” — that the amount totals six, and possibly seven, figures.

        The amount embezzeled figures directly into federal sentencing guidelines.

        If I were Chelsea Clinton, I would engage an ace defense attorney, and not David Kendall who’s representing Hillary.

        There is no spousal privilege between parent and child. If the parents let Chelsea get away with this, there’s a conflict of interest as to who was the originator of this patently illegal scam. Separate immunity deals and possibly separate trials can be anticipated.

        This Jan 4, 2012 Doug Band email likely is the smoking gun that both the IRS and FBI investigations of the Clinton Foundation needed to kick into high gear.

        1. Ulysses

          “This Jan 4, 2012 Doug Band email likely is the smoking gun that both the IRS and FBI investigations of the Clinton Foundation needed to kick into high gear.”

          I really wished we lived in a country where the crimes of kleptocrats were thoroughly investigated– and punished. Those of us paying attention have noticed a whole pile of “smoking guns” accumulating over the years, with no effect on the kleptocrats’ ability to loot the rest of us at will.

          I’m afraid the best we can hope for here is that the Clintons– mom, dad, and Chelsea– lose some of their outsize power and wealth. Too many other people in high places are implicated in their crimes for true justice to be served.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Hillary doesn’t know how to find the cute little printer icon in her e-mail interface. Poor thing.

      How does she handle the difficult tasks? Like turning the computer on and off?

      1. Oregoncharles

        Some computers are amazingly hard to turn off. Like solving a puzzle. On this one, you have to hold down the button, instead of just push it.

        Life is so difficult, sometimes.

    2. temporal

      LYCUS: A maid?
      HYSTERIUM: A maid.
      PSEUDOLUS: A maid.
      SENEX: A maid!
      Everybody ought to have a maid,
      Everybody ought to have a working girl,
      Everybody ought to have a lurking girl
      To putter around the house.
      Everybody ought to have a maid,
      Everybody ought to have a menial
      Consistantly congenial
      And quieter than a mouse.

      1. Qrys


        as penance for putting that earworm in my head, I hereby sentence you to travel seven times around the seven hills of Rome… :-)

      2. Pavel

        Courtesy of my favourite maid (and Brecht):

        You people can watch while I’m scrubbing these floors
        And I’m scrubbin’ the floors while you’re gawking
        Maybe once ya tip me and it makes ya feel swell
        In this crummy Southern town
        In this crummy old hotel
        But you’ll never guess to who you’re talkin’.
        No. You couldn’t ever guess to who you’re talkin’.

        Then one night there’s a scream in the night
        And you’ll wonder who could that have been
        And you see me kinda grinnin’ while I’m scrubbin’
        And you say, “What’s she got to grin?”
        I’ll tell you.

        There’s a ship
        The Black Freighter
        With a skull on its masthead
        Will be coming in

        –Pirate Jenny

    3. Lambert Strether

      Wowsers. This really is astonishing (and note the story is based on WikiLeaks and documents, not FBI agent quotes:

      In fact, Marina Santos was called on so frequently to receive e-mails that she may hold the secrets to E-mailgate — if only the FBI and Congress would subpoena her and the equipment she used.

      Clinton entrusted far more than the care of her DC residence, known as Whitehaven, to Santos. She expected the Filipino immigrant to handle state secrets, further opening the Democratic presidential nominee to criticism that she played fast and loose with national security.

      Clinton would first receive highly sensitive e-mails from top aides at the State Department and then request that they, in turn, forward the messages and any attached documents to Santos to print out for her at the home.

      “Revisions to the Iran points” was the subject line of a classified April 2012 e-mail to Clinton from Hanley. In it, the text reads, “Marina is trying to print for you.”

      Both classified e-mails were marked “confidential,” the tier below “secret” or “top secret.”

      Santos also had access to a highly secure room called an SCIF (sensitive compartmented information facility) that diplomatic security agents set up at Whitehaven, according to FBI notes from an interview with Abedin.

      From within the SCIF, Santos — who had no clearance — “collected documents from the secure facsimile machine for Clinton,” the FBI notes revealed.

      Really shameful of Clinton to put Santos in that position, the classification issues aside.

      And then there’s this:

      Yet it appears Clinton was never asked by the FBI in its yearlong investigation to turn over the iMac Santos used to receive the e-mails, or the printer she used to print out the documents, or the printouts themselves.

      Good thing Santos wasn’t Russian, eh?

  22. Carolinian

    For those wanting a deep dive into a thorny thicket Counterpunch revives this oldie but goodie.

    In the calm before the Tuesday storm some of us have been trying to see the bright side of a possible HRC victory. Should she win there’s no question that the Dems will be presenting the Repubs with a beautifully overstuffed target. Forget Mena…in what world of appropriate behavior does an ex President– in partnership with his wife–parlay his public service into a rapidly acquired 200 million dollar fortune.

    More here

    1. pretzelattack

      ah maybe clinton had more to do with the operation at mena than i thought; at least in deep sixing any investigations. i knew he was aware of it and had cooperated with the government, didn’t know he had taken that level of active measures. some of the right wing propaganda of the time mentioned it, but neatly excised the reagan administration’s role.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The real money is in incorporating the entire government – a nice name may be ‘The American East-Indies Company’ or something like.

      In that case, you don’t want to be the president. You want to be the chairman or chairwoman.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          When Putin was the PM, they checked the PM; when he was the president, they checked with the president. So, it would seem the power is more important the title.

          In the private sector, normally, the chairperson outrank the president. In China, for a time, it was the chairman.

        2. RMO

          Trying to find a bright side to a possible Clinton victory? Well, assuming her administration doesn’t bull-in-a-china-shop the world into thermonuclear war (I figure the Pentagon and the old blood-soaked reaper himself Kissinger may still be sane enough to realize that would be a bad thing for everyone) there’s the very good chance that a lot of feces will be hitting the fan in the next decade and if the neoliberal, neocon elite’s hand-picked personal choice is in the White House a lot more people will awake to reality. If Trump wins you just know that every bad thing that happens in the near future will be spun as the result of the ignorant rabble not electing the right person.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            They can spin it all they want if it means delaying TPP for 4 years.

            Who knows, if the shock comes or whatever hits the fan, with Trump in charge, maybe banks will be allowed to fail or be nationalized.

            We don’t wish for more shocks, but this is just scenario planning. And that is better than the alternative of a neoliberal guy or gal in there seizing more power with the next shock.

  23. tgs

    Re: Five Ways the Internet will wrong on election day

    I certainly don’t share the point of view of the writer. However, he makes an important point:

    Those attacks, which kept users from millions of sites, were just the warm ups. I am certain we’ll see similar attacks on DNS providers, ISPs, and major websites. After all, thanks to such programs as the Internet of Things (IoT) Mirai malware, it’s simple to burn down DNS, the internet’s master address list. You don’t need to be Russia or China to foul up the internet; any moderately skilled hacker can do it now.

    Internet disruptions may well happen. But, as I posted in links yesterday:

    The Russia phobic frenzy continues: U.S. Govt. Hackers Ready to Hit Back If Russia Tries to Disrupt Election

    U.S. military hackers have penetrated Russia’s electric grid, telecommunications networks and the Kremlin’s command systems, making them vulnerable to attack by secret American cyber weapons should the U.S. deem it necessary, according to a senior intelligence official and top-secret documents reviewed by NBC News.

    So, Obama is going to launch a cyber attack on Russia if there are internet disruptions on Tuesday? Or is this announcement just for domestic consumption?

    1. temporal

      If true then the US, by infiltrating, already launched a strike. Proving it true would be escalation.

      Whether for domestic consumption or otherwise, news on the tubes is never local. The potential for false flag entertainment is available to everyone, including lots of script kiddies.

      1. Harry

        It’s better than that. I think NATO made cyber attack a causus belli.

        Hi ho, hi ho.
        It’s off to war we go…

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I don’t know how dependent the Russians are on the Internet. The US seems very dependent on the Internet. If we launch a cyberattack on the Russian Internet and they retaliate with an attack on our Internet it seems to me we would come out much the worse.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      I’m guessing domestic consumption. If you really performed all those clandestine operations, would you then broadcast it on NBC? Or maybe the Russians only get UHF…

    4. Maurice Hebert

      I was late to the party due to a busy summer and did not catch the Zero Days film soon after release:

      I caught it last night. Yet again the US govt has released to a putative ally a weapon which will surely come to be used against us in the coming cyberwar(s).

      Heckuvajob to all involved.

  24. funemployed

    Tip for the frugal/those who want to read but not support WSJ etc: I’ll try to post this earlier tomorrow, but if you are out of monthly articles and don’t have a subscription, activate your browsers incognito setting, then search for the article.

    1. katiebird

      Also the Copy-Title/Paste-into-Google trick works well. If we go in through a Google Link we get to read the whole thing.

      1. pricklyone

        If you use Firefox, you don’t even need to copy/paste. Right click link, brings up option to search using Google.
        (If you have not removed Google as a search option.)

        1. clinical wasteman

          Any idea whether it ought to work reliably with Duckduckgo/Firefox? I’ve found it does more often than not, but also quite often doesn’t for no obvious reason.

          1. katiebird

            Would it depend on the arrangements between various publishers and the search engines?

            I’ve never seen a comprehensive list of pay sites and search engine deals. But I’m lazy and just stick with Google for that,

  25. temporal

    Atlanta Fed President Open to “Relatively Mild Form of Extremely Hot“

    Ghost pepper sauce is very good, so long as you don’t go overboard. I keep two in reserve and open the oldest one as needed.

  26. fosforos

    “Can The Oligarchy Still Steal The Presidential Election?” How can they “steal” it if they already own it? Not such a paradox as all that. The voters are given a choice between a Clinton and a Trump. Computers [mis]count the vote. With what result? I suggest we consider the Constitution as to who elects the president and vice-president. It ain’t the voters folks. It’s a “college” of 538 anonymous party-designates credentialed by the official results from 50 states and the DC. Now, what if no candidate gets a majority of those votes? Well, then the House of Representatives, voting by state, elects the president from among the five leaders in the “electoral college” and the Senate (but one man one vote) does the same for the VP. Now ask yourself–how much “persuasion” would it take to buy a load of those votes–especially from types named by a party that has all but formally repudiated its presidential candidate? Or from enough of the other party equally bound to that oligarchy? So don’t necessarily expect this election from hell to vanish from our lives until sometime next year, if ever!

    1. Vatch

      Minor correction. If no candidate gets a majority of the electoral votes, the House chooses the President from the top three Presidential candidates, not the top five. The Senate chooses the Vice President from among the top two Vice Presidential candidates. See Article XII of the amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

  27. DWD

    Anent the antidote du jour, that is a red squirrel.

    They are diminutive creatures about midway between a common squirrel like the Eastern Grey Squirrel and a chipmunk.

    Prodigious jumpers that are amazing to watch. I watched one in my backyard do a standing twelve foot jump from one tree to another – with calculation I figure it would be roughly like a man jumping 85 feet across a chasm. (The Red Squirrels are close relatives of the flying squirrels)

    Thanks. I like the red squirrels they are amazing to watch.

    I did do this longish piece on the Political Economy of the Backyard Feeder, if anyone needs amusing.

    1. John Parks

      I enjoyed the “Backyard Feeder” and certainly saw similarities, although different fauna, in behavior and interactions in our various flocks of birds. We feed our workplace flocks differently. With weather changing and bird populations changing the one consistent thing we have is hoards of sparrows. At the house feeders they are complimented by doves. At our workplace, we have several families of quail. The quail will need lots of energy to survive the upcoming winter.

  28. SoCal Rhino

    I applaud the enforcement of some boundaries for comments. I often find value in reading comments here, but it’s become a bit of a slog. I’d come to a decision yesterday to stop reading comments entirely until the election aftermath settled down. Not just the tin foil stuff but the overall tone (as when someone whose comments I’ve read with interest declared that suburban republicans would have enjoyed the dominant political movement in Bavaria in the 30s). Lot of choices if I want to hear that sort of rhetoric. It’s become a bit of an echo chamber too, with every policy discussion devolving to “the oil must stay in the ground!” or something similar.

  29. timbers

    Imperial Collapse Watch

    Selling ‘Regime Change’ Wars to the Masses Common Dreams (RR). From last week, still germane. One factor that caused me to realize the sameness btwn Dems & Repubs was watching Democratic friends fall for the same policy and propaganda under Obama that Repubs fell for under Bush. Believing Obama & Dems were anti-war and pro individual rights was a nice fantasy while it lasted – which was abt a year into Obama’s first term in my case.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My method is admittedly faulty, but it has helped me over the last few decades – when someone is hailed as the next JFK or the next messiah, I immediately become skeptical, very skeptical

      And when I read about a private and a public position regarding NAFTA eight years ago, it meant for me to vote against that candidate.

  30. Matt Alfalfafield

    Re: Uber drivers getting screwed out of their tips –
    I work at a restaurant that partnered with Uber Eats earlier this year. Since then, tips for the kitchen and waitstaff have plummeted. The restaurant didn’t deliver before, but it now makes up a substantial portion of our sales. Since Uber Eats (and other delivery apps) don’t give the customer the option of tipping the restaurant workers, we’re busier than ever while getting substantially less in tips. Just another way the sharing economy is shafting us all…

    1. timbers

      The part about Uber adding something like “tips are neither expected or required” is especially galling. Yet profit IS expected AND required. How nice.

    2. ambrit

      When I worked in restaurants, in New Orleans, the wages were already sub-standard, and we had to split our tips with the busboy, kitchen staff, and Head Waiter. Now, it looks like Uber has taken the place of the Head Waiter. This only works when prices are high, in effect, ‘upscale’ establishments. Everyone else laps up the crumbs.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Neolib business model — more and more work from fewer and fewer people for less and less pay… it’s just another externality…

    4. Science Officer Smirnoff

      Just as funding of old-fashioned public education gets rear-ended by the charter school movement and its philosopher-kings of Silicon Valley:

      Perhaps not surprisingly, lawmakers in this country are now using the autonomous vehicle future laid out by companies like Uber and Google to block investment in mass transit.

      —Our Driverless Future
      Sue Halpern NOVEMBER 24, 2016 NYRB

      P S Thanks, Yves, a “patient reader”

  31. oho

    Doug Band threatens to blackmail Chelsea—not hyperbole
    from Band to podesta
    “I learned from the best

    The investigation into her getting paid for campaigning, using foundation resources for her wedding and life for a decade, taxes on money from her parents….

    I hope that you will speak to her and end this

    Once we go down this road”

    1. beth

      Wait, I’m confused. How much was CVC paid by msnbc, the consulting firm, and the wall street firms she worked for? I realize her husband lost all the money invested with him from Clinton supporters. Yet, why did she need foundation money?

      1. Pavel

        Well her wedding cost an outrageous $3 million, for one thing.

        She said “I tried to care about money but couldn’t”… Easy to be like that when one is part of the Clinton Crime Family and everything is a grift or tax dodge.

      2. oho

        an inept hedge fund trader husband who loads up on Greek bonds + a tony Manhattan lifestyle ain’t cheap.

        “How much was CVC paid by msnbc,”


        the consulting firm,
        –IIRC, Chelsea was an analyst (senior) at McKinsey, going rate for them are $150k+

        and the wall street firms she worked for?

        Chelsea is also on the board of media corp IAC:

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s time for the young fledgling to have her own foundation.

          Having more foundations means accessing more options.

  32. Watt4Bob

    As concerns problems with the internet, and hacking the election;

    The issue has been thoroughly discussed since the dawn of electronic voting, and the verdict remains the same.

    1. Electronic voting was invented to allow manipulation of the results.

    2. If political parties with their ‘dumb’ motivations, (greed) and ‘dumb’ techniques, (less than stellar IT expertise) can and do hack the electronic election systems, then it follows that other bad-actors, with different motivations and possibly better IT expertise can and will hack those same systems.

    3. In the end, nobody is absolutely sure who was the last hacker through the back door?

    4. Paper ballots, marked by hand are the gold-standard of election tech, and are totally immune from wholesale hacking by script-kiddies, Russians, Chinese, or so far, IMO, the worst offenders, our two political gangster empires.

    Every expert who has examined the issue has come to the same conclusion, if someone can hack an election, anyone could, and eventually will hack an election…

    …so, it is necessary to go back to paper ballots, marked by hand, and counted in public.

    1. Watt4Bob

      From the Bradblog;

      Longtime non-partisan election integrity expert Bev Harris of joins us to explain her startling new discovery of functionality built into computer vote tabulators — both touch-screen and paper-ballot systems in use in 99% of the nation’s jurisdictions — that, she says, would allow some votes to be weighted more than others in a way that would be nearly impossible to detect.

      Harris details what she describes as “Fraction Magic” (see a real-time video demonstration here) and how that functionality, and its use by election insiders (or even outside hackers — as the U.S. Government continues to warn about), could determine the results of elections on Tuesday, from the Presidential level on down to local races and ballot initiatives.

      This ability to fractionalize votes (for example, the functionality allows certain types of voters to have their votes weighted as 1.2 votes, while other votes are counted as just .8 of a vote, so the final results will still tally up to the correct number of votes cast), was originally discovered in the GEMS tabulation system, used with Diebold/Premier voting systems and, Harris explains, systems made by almost all of the other private vendors used across the country. “It’s now been confirmed in Hart Intercivic, in 2006. In Dominion. They’ve admitted it. And ES&S, according to the Illinois Board of Elections, has also got it in there. ES&S counts about 60 percent of the votes in the U.S. So it is actually pretty pervasive.”

      The Bradblog, and Bev Harris’ BlackBoxVoting are widely acknowledged to be the gold-standard for information about the reality surrounding electronic election fraud.

      1. BecauseTradition

        acknowledged to be the gold-standard

        The gold standard was/is stupid (by design), unjust and environmentally destructive, i.e. it’s a standard for evil, not good.

        1. Watt4Bob

          Thanks for your contribution.

          I’ll keep that in mind, for the future, maybe I should use the word, ‘benchmark’?

          But I hope you don’t mind my pointing out that I’m not commenting on monetary policy.

          1. BecauseTradition

            maybe I should use the word, ‘benchmark’?

            That’s the best choice I’ve heard but I’m no English language major. Perhaps some others here are?

        2. JTMcPhee

          I’m just a mostly retired little nurse, but in my little domain, “the gold standard” has a useful and very non-pissy-economologificational meaning:

          gold stan·dard (the term criterion standard is now preferred in medical writing)
          — Term used to describe a method or procedure that is widely recognized as the best available.
          — An accepted test that is assumed to be able to determine the true disease state of a patient regardless of positive or negative test findings or sensitivities or specificities of other diagnostic tests used.
          — An acknowledged measure of comparison of the superior effectiveness or value of a particular medication or other therapy as compared with that of other drugs or treatments.
          — Any standardised clinical assessment, method, procedure, intervention or measurement of known validity and reliability which is generally taken to be the best available, against which new tests or results and protocols are compared
          –The best or most successful diagnostic or therapeutic modality for a condition, against which new tests or results and protocols are compared

          And I think for a lot of people the phrase connotes a “compelling yardstick,” not ingots of the element #79, Symbol Au…

          Let us clarify our referents? Though in the flood of content, does anyone other than keyboard pounders really give a hoot? Does this tar me as a “gold bug?”

          1. BecauseTradition

            We are not so far removed in time from an actual gold standard nor cognitively* as a society that a return to it is not a genuine danger.

            *E.g. Greenspan testified to Congress that central bankers had learned to make fiat behave like gold.

            1. hunkerdown

              What more is there to making fiat behave like gold than pretending (and enforcing) that it is scarce, or more correctly, passed out by a pretend supreme ruler as befits the nation’s righteousness?

              In other words, the key to making fiat behave like gold is learned helplessness.

          2. BecauseTradition

            I’m … a mostly retired … nurse, …

            That alone impresses me but you’ve had some swell comments too, iirc.

          3. integer

            “I’m just a mostly retired little nurse”

            I’ve read enough of your comments here to know that this is a massive understatement. It is a distinct possibility that you have more life experience than the whole political class combined.

      2. BecauseTradition

        I apologize for nit-picking your figure of speech in a VERY interesting and timely comment.

        My bad …

      3. TheCatSaid

        The website is down. :-(
        Here’s a link to the Detail Version of the Fraction Magic Video.

        The Video makes the most sense if you’ve read the 6 Fraction Magic Reports which were released several months ago. Since the website is down, here’s a link to an announcement of the 6 Fraction Magic Reports which gives a good introduction. (I found this on . Maybe the whole site with all the reports will be mirrored here, if the main website is having problems.)

        1. TheCatSaid

          The is back up. That’s the place to go for the full-text Fraction Magic Reports. Here is Part 1.

          There is also a link to the excellent documentary made by Russell Michaels and Simon Ardizzone, “Hacking Democracy”. (It was originally only available on HBO; now it can be streamed on Amazon for a small fee. Michaels and Ardizzone deserve the fee for their 2 years spent making the film.)

            1. TheCatSaid

              Nice one.

              Isn’t it nice to know how many market solutions we have to our problems of how to pre-determine elections? Software, firmware, hardware, internet, cards, flash drives, hard drives, election official, election IT consultant, voting machine vendor, local “good old buys” of our party of choice. . . Guys who will drive around the ballots and erase the ink markings with solvent. Folks who will create fake ballots then throw them away in the trash by mistake (oops!). Folks who “seal” ballot boxes or “secure” doors with tape that you can pull on and off as many times as you like. . . Just a starting list of a few I’ve seen documented on video. Oh, and judges who can be counted on to throw out election fraud cases regardless of the evidence. And terrorist alerts, of course! And putting little white stickers on the original ballot vote markings. And choosing the audit locations in advance. . . Sheesh. Every time I stop this list I think of a dozen more. And I haven’t even covered the nasty voter suppression / caging or other dirty tricks (wrong election day; closing polling places; distributing voting machines in strategic ways).

              Well I didn’t put weather engineering on the list. Not yet, anyways.

  33. fresno dan

    When I think of the men I’ve known who work in factories, I often think of a group of locked-out workers I met in Decatur, Illinois, in 1994, during the early days of the Bill Clinton administration. Their quintessentially average town was embroiled in three industrial actions: in addition to a lockout at Tate & Lyle’s Staley plant, there were strikes at Caterpillar and at Firestone. The contests grew bitter; the police grew violent; the workers made common cause with one another; people started referring to Decatur as the “war zone”.

    What they meant by this phrase was not merely that cops could be mean, but that capitalism had declared war on blue-collar prosperity itself. As a locked-out worker told me in 1994, after reflecting on industrial struggles of the past: “Now it’s our turn. And if we don’t do it, then the middle class as we know it in this country will die. There will be two classes and it will be the very very poor and the very very rich.”

    Was he ever right about that. In a scholarly paper about social class published in 1946, the sociologist C Wright Mills found that “big business and executives” in Decatur earned a little more than two times as much as the town’s “wage workers”. In 2014, by contrast, the CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, a company that dominates Decatur today, earned an estimated 261 times as much as average-wage workers. The CEO of Caterpillar, the focus of one of the “war-zone” strikes, made 486 times as much. Caterpillar’s share price, meanwhile, is roughly 10 times what it was at the time of the strike.
    In 2015, I went back to Decatur to catch up with veterans of the war zone such as Larry Solomon, who had been the leader of the local United Automobile Workers union at the Caterpillar plant. He went back in after the strike ended but retired in 1998. When I met Solomon in his tidy suburban home, he talked in detail about the many times he got crossways with management in days long past, about all the grievances he filed for his co-workers over the years and all the puffed-up company officials he recalls facing down.

    Think about that for a moment: a blue-collar worker who has retired fairly comfortably, despite having spent years confronting his employer on picket lines and in grievance hearings. How is such a thing possible? I know we’re all supposed to show nothing but love for the job creators nowadays, but listening to Solomon, it occurred to me that maybe his attitude worked better. Maybe it was that attitude, repeated in workplace after workplace across the country, which made possible the middle-class prosperity that once marked America as a nation.

    If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times. It was not a hurricane, earthquake, or flood. It is not chemistry or physics. It is the laws, rules, and customs of humans. If you want CEO’s on average to be worth twice what the average wage earner makes, you can have that if you want that. It is a rule of man, not a rule of nature.
    But first, human has to understand that he who writes the rules determines who gets how much…

  34. Ignim Brites

    “Selling ‘Regime Change’ Wars to the Masses”. Not one mention in this piece of the ‘Regime Change’ forced on Afghanistan after 9/11. There will never be an effective peace movement until there can at least be a critique of the “good war”. We could after all have gone in and hunted down Al Qaeda without destroying the Taliban regime. Fifteen years later it looks like we are going to end up with a Taliban regime there anyway. And if the MSM and the Left had scrutinized harder the Bush administration’s objectives in Afghanistan, there might never have been a move against Iraq. But then, the MSM and the Left is headquartered in New York. It is not like OBL didn’t know what he was doing.

    1. JTMcPhee

      And what the hell right did “we” have to “go in and hunt down Obama” in the first instance? Of course in light of subsequent revelations maybe the person of interest was Prince Bandar and some other Saudis etc. ?

      1. James the Lessor

        Or just maybe, in light of other subsequent revelations, it was interests within our own government instead, which because CT, simply couldn’t be acknowledged at all? When you can’t ask the right questions, it should hardly be surprising when you get the wrong answers.

      2. Ignim Brites

        Well, there is a right of self defence. And 9/11 was a pretty good indication that the intentions of Al Qaeda towards the US were hostile. And we could legitimately deduce that so long as the Taliban was willing to harbor Al Qaeda, they consituted a threat. But if we removed Al Qaeda, the threat from the Taliban was removed. There was no need to take down their regime in Afghanistan. Of course, we did need to violate their sovereignity. No question about that.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Nice recitation of the Narrative. And this Vietvet remembers when the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” was a Narrative Thing, and “we” had to do all that bombing and Agent Oranging and regime change and wealth transfer to keep the Dominoes from falling, “we” just had to … it was “our right and duty” as Leader of the Free World.

  35. TheCatSaid

    That Carr-E “hoverboard” sized like a spare tire to carry you that extra distance from your parking spot–sounds like Ford is trying to replace legs. I hope no one thinks they should put this in their trunk instead of a spare tire.

    1. RMO

      You might want to look in your trunk – a whole lot of cars don’t come with a spare tire, wrench and jack anymore. Quite often the only thing you find back there is a can of sealant.

      1. TheCatSaid

        Fortunately I know I have a spare. But the reminder is appreciated.
        When did they stop including spares?

  36. alex morfesis

    the day after the knowlocaust…thursday will be such a release/relief…some poor soul from 100 years ago…if they heard all this noise that the klown from planet xenon waiting for his mother ship (podest) to help him take over the world…

    the notion that somehow history is a one way street…

    that somehow the nobility (no-ability) will end up with some modern castle at the top of the hill and keep themselves from the results of their impotence and incompetence…

    think we have seen that movie…

    there might be one or two drafty old buildings sitting around fallow that have not been turned into B&B’s out there somewhere…

    ummm…we don’t have the manufacturing capacity to sustain a real war for more than 45 days…and neither do the russians…nor the chinese…

    thank goodness for just in time nonsense…

    no one will fire any nukes because…they basically sit on not so functional rockets…they might fall back down on fearless leaders favorite golf courses…

    things are nowhere near as good as they could or should be…but it is certainly better than what the majority of mankinds history has experienced…

    we have these conversations…shiller has some charts from the 1870’s to show us about how the “markets” function…as in before electricity ??? how is that possibly relevant…

    karl marx never traveled on anything that could outrun a man except some horses… and the world has his cousins to thank for giving us the “philips” light bulb company…which came along after he was turning to dust…the bulbs that is…

    the illusion of computer screen capitalism vs work…one could take ones capital and risk failure by working on some local enterprise…but that might require work…something one too many seem to fear is some fatal disease…

    someone from 100 years ago would rear back and give us one big health slap across the facade…

    1. Oregoncharles

      Utter cynicism with optimistic implications (“might fall down on fearless leaders’ favorite gold courses”) – I like it.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Fearless leaders’ favorite golf courses:

      From my local MSM “paper:”

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Secret Service says a man with a firearm walking near the White House led authorities to briefly lock down the property as a precaution.

      A uniformed Secret Service officer confronted the unidentified man on Saturday afternoon as he walked along Pennsylvania Avenue near Madison Place, on the eastern side of Lafayette Park.

      The man was placed under arrest after a brief struggle and turned over to the local police department.

      He faces several charges, including carrying a firearm without a license, carrying unregistered ammunition and resisting arrest.

      President Barack Obama was not at the White House at the time. He was in Maryland, playing golf at Andrews Air Force Base.

      Oh, thank Goodness!

      A different version of the same incident:

      A man wearing a mask and carrying a gun in a holster was taken into custody near the White House on Saturday afternoon after a struggle with the Secret Service, authorities said.

      The incident occurred just after 1 p.m. at Pennsylvania Avenue and Madison Place NW, near the northeast side of the White House grounds. A uniformed officer with the Secret Service confronted the man, and a brief struggle ensued, according to the Secret Service.

      The agency said the man was charged with carrying a firearm without a license, carrying unregistered ammunition, resisting arrest and committing a crime while wearing a mask.

      The area along the fence on the north side of the White House was closed briefly, the Secret Service said.

      It was not clear why the man was carrying the gun or wearing a mask. A Million Mask March demonstration was scheduled in Washington on Saturday, according to a Facebook post, but it could not be determined whether there was a connection. The post said the march’s goal was to “seek positive change.”

      One has to wonder if the maybe subtle text was just monkeys pounding keyboards, or whether a certain amount of skepticism and snarkery has somehow been infused into the reporting-editorial world…

  37. lyman alpha blob

    From your link:

    “We’re not running here for class president of the local high school,” Sanders said. “This is not a popularity contest.”

    Oh Bernie. Of course it is. Always has been and always will be. That’s why Adlai Stevenson when told he had the vote of every thinking person quipped, “That’s not enough. I need a majority.”

    So you think you know
    Think you know, think you know better?
    Is it just because, just because
    You’re older and wiser?
    Don’t you know, Don’t you know
    You don’t get smarter?
    You’re the same as you started
    You just jump a little higher

    (In the end) We’re all just taller children

    Elizabeth and the Catapult

    1. lyman alpha blob

      This was supposed to be in response to a comment in the thread started by comrade Haygood above RE: a Iowa State student getting the boot for badmouthing Clinton. Somehow my comment appeared by itself and the comment I thought I was responding to seems to have been liberated by Skynet. That comment had a link referencing a recent speech Bernie made in Iowa as well as the incident Jim mentioned.

  38. Lambert Strether

    Hong Kong Protesters Clash With Police as China Plans Political Intervention WSJ

    Officers use pepper spray on protesters angry that Beijing will issue an interpretation of the semiautonomous city’s Basic Law

    As I understand it, from a procedural standpoint this is a bit like Bush v Gore, with the Mainland stepping into a judicial process well before it is appropriate for them to intervene.

    Hong Kong police use pepper spray in China oath-taking protest BBC

    Police and protesters clash in Hong Kong pro-democracy march Guardian

    The dispute in Hong Kong centres on a provocative display of anti-China sentiment by two pro-independence MPs, Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching, at their swearing-in ceremony last month.

    The two refused to declare their allegiance to China and carried blue flags that read: “Hong Kong is not China.”

    After the ceremony, Hong Kong’s government moved to bar the duo from the legislature by court order, before the standing committee of China’s rubberstamp legislature announced it would rule on the matter. Under the agreement that saw the UK hand Hong Kong to China in 1997, Beijing has the final say over interpreting the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution.

    Organisers said Sunday’s protest had about 13,000 people at its peak, snaking through the city’s financial centre before fragmenting into two groups. Protesters clashed with police, with some being taken away and pepper spray deployed against the crowd.

    Around 500 people blocked traffic on one of the city’s main thoroughfares, where buses and trams sat empty and another

    Another group of several hundred continued to march to the liaison office, the Chinese government’s main presence in the city and a frequent target of protests against Beijing.

  39. Jeremy Grimm

    Clinton1 ended welfare as we know it. Now a Clinton2 Presidency would try to end Social Security as we know and who knows what Trump might try?

    Corporate moderates in the New Deal crafted the Social Security Program as part of a larger set of programs including Unemployment Benefits and the rudiments of the Welfare programs. Where are those Corporate moderates now?

    Echoing part of a comment from yesterday’s links I feel great sadness at the state of American politics and the corrupted press and corrupted political process. I also feel a deep disquiet like a fisherman far out at sea in a tiny boat who senses a gathering storm — borrowing Churchill’s apt but unhappy coin.

    1. Waldenpond

      I know nothing positive will happen with Clinton or Trump and I worry about just how bad it’s going to be.

      I have no interest in trying to pick between horrid human beings pre-selected by plutocrats fighting over how 99% of the people should be exploited.

      I used to fall back on the fact that I am in CA and there is always someone to vote for. Not anymore. Harris v Sanchez? No thanks. I currently fall back on the fact that I can ignore the selections and work on the referendums and measures. There were battling plastic bag items. One is so poorly worded as taxing plastic bags when it actually repeals the ban. I voted for our noxious corporate marijuana bill that might ‘allow’ some improvements somewhere for someone…

      One thing on our ballot for me, I have voted to repeal the death penalty. Who knows if it will pass. I share your sadness.

  40. Oregoncharles

    “Lambert and I recognize” – the campaign derangement is very strong this year, because someone is moving the furniture behind the curtain. Maybe I shouldn’t put that so conspiratorially: there are real changes underway, the outcome of which is not predictable.

    So passions are very deeply engaged, here and elsewhere. Don’t know about you, but I’m pretty burnt out, and still have electoral work to do.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I don’t mind passion quite as much as that passion being harnessed very successfully to get people to accept claims about parties they regard as The Enemy that are both extreme (as in therefore require strong evidence) and not at all well substantiated.

      And the Dems resorting to what amounts to an extended Two Minute Hate is really disturbing.

      1. TheCatSaid

        Dems resorting to what amounts to an extended Two Minute Hate

        What on earth does that refer to? Something on teevee? Political ad maybe? I must be missing something.

        1. Lambert Strether

          It’s from George Orwell’s 1984. Search the full text at this link for “The Hate had started.” (I’d quote it, but it’s both too long and too vivid to be cut.)

          We’ve had multiple anecdotes (I just heard another one) of Clinton supporters literally yelling at people who wouldn’t support their candidate. That’s “Two Minutes Hate”-like.

      2. Oregoncharles

        The Democrats sense existential danger and are responding accordingly.

        I assume the Republicans do, too, but we don’t hear from them so much. They’re certainly acting very shattered.

        Granted, we have no idea how much of this is kayfabe; but the poll numbers on support are pretty independent.

        And again: the Dems are resorting to direct attacks on Jill and Gary Johnson, in contrast to the usual policy of pretending they don’t exist. Why are they so alarmed? I wonder what their own, private polling is telling them. Certainly there’s plenty of voter rage and disgust out there.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > someone is moving the furniture behind the curtain

      Again, my preferred metaphor is of flooding — once there’s enough water upstream, the only thing that can happen is that the water works its way down toward the sea, and what it can overwhelm, it will. I remember, in the days of my youth, hearing about floods on the Mississippi and the Ohio on the radio; the stories of sandbags; and that the river would “crest” in 24 or 48 hours….

      We might think of the two major political parties as ships trying to navigate the cresting, flooding river. And the deck chairs are moving because the deck itself is shaking, and that’s because the rivets holding the hull together are starting to loosen. The ships are underpowered with respect to the current, and have been poorly maintained as well; all the money went to the passenger quarters, especially the first class passenger quarters…

    1. Skip Intro

      Very cool site. They have interactive maps of the Clinton and Podesta email collections, and an interesting essay about the flak the creator got for applying an existing email visualization tool to these troves.
      They also link to a world trade visualization system called The Observatory of Economic Complexity, which could surely prove useful for the Water Coolrer stats, if nothing else.

      1. TheCatSaid

        The Observatory of Economic Complexity you mention is amazing. Lots of detail for any country you pick, and the visualization is illuminating.

  41. Oregoncharles

    This story is garbage, but contains some extremely interesting poll numbers:
    ” With voters between 18 and 30 years old, Clinton is leading with 35 percent of young white voters to Trump’s 22 percent. About 49 percent of young black voters choose her over Trump, according to a GenForward poll ABC released Friday.” There’s a link to the poll that fortunately didn’t C&P – a use for the story link.

    It raises two good questions: what happened to 43% of young white voters? And what happened to 51% (imagine that in bold italics) of young black voters?

    It also notes that 70% – another bold – of young voters are independents. This is part of the big changes happening behind the curtain: the old parties are over – but they still control elections. Dinosaurs are most dangerous in their death throes.

    Also has a nice graph of support for legalization, which crossed into positive territory about 2012.

  42. Oregoncharles

    The shocking thing about Thiel’s speech is how much he sounds like a progressive. He might have voted for Bernie if the Dems had nominated him.

  43. Pat

    Google time stamps on news items are very interesting. Was checking out the headlines on the announced American backed Syrian ‘rebels’ offensive against “IS capital Raqqa’. First search got listings from CNN, USA Today and BBC all supposedly from within the last hour. Decided to see what RT had on it. That article was from 8 hours ago. Went back and got the same time stamps, but a refresh got that the BBC article was from 7 hours ago.

    They play with everything.

  44. JTMcPhee

    As to how “democracies,” including ones led by Strong Women, are operating these days (usually along lines laid down by our Empire and people with the real power) here’s a little article from page 14A of my local Sunday rag (valuable mostly for the coupons, for a buck fifty I usually get $5 or $10 off at Publix, buy-one-get-one deals, and other benefits, and I can use the Op Ed section to catch the clippings when I trim my whitening beard and remaining hair):

    Tong-Hyung Kim, The Associated Press

    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Tens of thousands of South Koreans poured into the streets of downtown Seoul on Saturday, using words including “treason” and “criminal” to demand that President Park Geun-hye step down amid an explosive political scandal.

    The protest, the largest anti-government demonstration in the capital in nearly a year, came a day after Park apologized on live television amid rising suspicion that she allowed a mysterious confidante to manipulate power from the shadows.

    Holding banners, candles and colorful signs that read “Park Geun-hye out” and “Treason by a secret government,” a sea of demonstrators filled a large square in front of an old palace gate and the nearby streets, singing and thunderously applauding speeches calling for the ouster of the increasingly unpopular president.

    They then shifted into a slow march in streets around City Hall, shouting “Arrest Park Geun-hye,” “Step down, criminal” and “We can’t take this any longer,” before moving back to the square and cheering on more speeches that continued into the night.

    “Park should squarely face the prosecution’s investigation and step down herself. If she doesn’t, politicians should move to impeach her,” said Kim Seo-yeon, one of the many college students who participated in the protest.

    “She absolutely lost all authority as president over the past few weeks,” he said.

    Earlier in the week, prosecutors arrested Choi Soon-sil, the daughter of a late cult leader and a longtime friend of Park, and detained two former presidential aides over allegations that they pressured businesses into giving $70 million to two foundations Choi controlled.

    There are also allegations that Choi, despite having no government job, regularly received classified information and meddled in various state affairs, including the appointment of ministers and policy decisions.

    “I came out today because this is not the country I want to pass on to my children,” said another demonstrator, Choi Kyung-ha, a mother of three. “My kids have asked me who Choi Soon-sil was and whether she’s the real president, and I couldn’t provide an answer.”

    Choi Tae-poong, a 57-year-old retiree, said he came out to protest because he thought the situation had reached a point where “no more patience is allowed.”

    “I cannot bear this anymore,” he said.

    Police estimated the crowd at 45,000, although protest organizers said about 200,000 people turned out.

    Police used dozens of buses and trucks to create tight perimeters in streets around the square in front of the palace gate to close off paths to the presidential office and residence. Thousands of officers dressed in fluorescent yellow jackets and full riot gear stood in front of and between the vehicles as they closely monitored the protesters.

    Smaller protests have taken place in the past few weeks in Seoul and other cities amid growing calls for Park to step down. While several politicians have individually called for Park’s ouster, opposition parties have yet to attempt a serious push for her resignation or impeachment in fear of negatively impacting next year’s presidential election.

    “How many more astonishing things must happen before this country changes for the better?” said Park Won-soon, the opposition mayor of Seoul and a potential presidential candidate, vowing to push for the president’s resignation.

    President Park has tried to stabilize the situation by firing eight aides and nominating three new top Cabinet officials, including the prime minister, but opposition parties have described her personnel reshuffles as a diversionary tactic.

    One national poll released Friday had Park’s approval rating at 5 per cent, the lowest for any president in South Korea since the country achieved democracy in the late 1980s following decades of military dictatorship.

    In Friday’s televised apology, Park commented on the corruption allegations surrounding Choi and her former aides and vowed to accept a direct investigation into her actions, but avoided the more damning allegation that Choi perhaps had interfered with important government decisions on policy and personnel.

    Opposition parties, sensing weakness, immediately threatened to push for her ouster if she doesn’t distance herself from domestic affairs and transfer the duties to a prime minister chosen by parliament. The parties have also called for a separate investigation into the scandal led by a special prosecutor.

    Park has 15 months left in her term. If she resigns before the end of it, South Korean laws require the country to hold an election to pick a new president within 60 days.

    Nicely polite article from a Korean reporter on the scene. Nicely illustrative that there’s some residue of guts and spirit in a part of the world that the Empire and the Global Beast have kept pretty “calm” for quite a while.

    And FOUNDATIONS? and classified information to non-governmental close buddies? Yaas, let us install a Strong Creepy Dishonest Corrupt Female in the Oval Office… “History does not repeat, maybe, but the rhyming is wonderful, for the cynical to enjoy…”

    1. TheCatSaid

      Great article. Interesting coincidence about funneling money to foundations for personal benefit.

      Have you come across anyone explaining how this all exploded into public view all of a sudden? The Park/Choi friendship has been lifelong, how was it that it suddenly was recognized as a problem? Were there whistleblowers? Disgruntled staff?

      Why now? Who is served by this coming to light at this moment in time? (I tend to be curious about timing like this, especially when a story takes over national and even international media.)

      1. JTMcPhee

        It’s the Guardian, but something of a primer on the events:

        And this thumbnail:

        Seoul (CNN)Political turmoil is gripping South Korea as a scandal engulfs President Park Geun-hye, who stands accused of leaking official state documents to a friend.
        The outcry over the allegations that she shared information with a confidante, who does not hold any public office, led to a rare event in South Korean politics on Tuesday — a televised presidential apology.

        In it, Park admitted to sharing state documents with Choi Soon-sil, who gave “her personal opinion” on Park’s speeches before the presidential election in 2012.
        Park also said Choi looked at “some documents” for a certain period of time after Park took office, but didn’t specify what they were.

        “I am shocked and my heart is breaking for causing public concern,” Park said in the live telecast. “I’ve done so (shared the documents) out of pure heart so that I could carefully review (the documents)”.

        The remark was Park’s first since the scandal erupted this week.

        Choi accused of intervening in state affairs

        CNN South Korean affiliate JTBC broke the news of the scandal earlier this week after revealing that they had found an abandoned computer of Choi’s containing evidence she received secret documents and intervened in state affairs.

        Local media and opposition parties accused Choi of abusing her relationship with Park to force big local conglomerates to donate millions of dollars to two foundations they claim was she had set up.

        Choi is also accused of pressuring a local university into giving her daughter special treatment, including changing school regulations so her daughter could get good grades without attending classes. The chancellor of the university resigned last week, under mounting pressure from media and students.

        A few thousand protesters from civil organizations and labor unions are expected to hold a demonstration on Saturday in the center of Seoul, according to South Korean police.
        Local journalists and social media users have begun calling the scandal “Choi Soon-sil Gate”.
        Choi, who according to local media, is in Germany, was not reachable for comment.
        South Korean Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday established a “special investigation unit” to probe the cases.

        While Park will not be subject to the investigation as per the country’s criminal law, the prosecutor’s office promised a thorough and quick investigation, according CNN affiliate YTN.

        Park approval in freefall

        The incident has hit Park’s approval ratings. Her weekly approval rate plunged to a record low of 21.1% Thursday, according to a local pollster Real Meter.
        Park, whose presidency ends in early 2018, enjoyed approval ratings in the 30 to 50% range during her first three years in office. This year has been a bad year for her, however.
        A combination of a weak economy, inadequate public communications and poor administration of state affairs, according to multiple poll results, have resulted in slipping approval scores.
        Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s first female president, is the daughter of Park Chung-hee, South Korea’s leader from 1961 to 1979, who was assassinated by his own intelligence chief. The late Park is hailed by some as the mastermind behind the country’s current prosperity but criticized by others as a dictator who violated human rights and crushed dissent.

        And the Parks (the ruling ones, not the “Smith”-equivalents of which there are 10s of millions in Korea) are “our guys (and gals)…”

        1. TheCatSaid

          Thanks much. That explains it–the national media “found an abandoned laptop” from Choi. That’s curious. I bet there are a few good stories behind that. I wonder that no one has been talking about the circumstances of the discovery.

          It’s no wonder that this opened the floodgate for subsequent complaints. Beyond the political access and influence, a promise of good grades for her daughter w/o having to attend classes would be offensive to ordinary Korean parents from all political backgrounds, given the high-pressure competitive academic environment and the importance of academic success to social status and future opportunities.

    2. Alex morfesis

      Mor popcorn…yummeez…the little peepz have drunk the freedumb flavoraid…telemachos…more arrows…

  45. Plenue

    “Ominous news for Aleppo as Russian frigate reaches Syrian coast Guardian”

    The Guardian is really trying to present the exact opposite of reality, huh?

    Speaking of Aleppo, the militant offensive has incurred heavy casualties and failed to achieve much. As of now they’re still stuck in the open, depopulated suburb areas of Western Aleppo, where the SAA has really been able to unload on them. Apparently the Russians and Syrians are so confident in the SAA’s ability to halt this offensive they’re concentrating elite forces to resume the assault on Eastern Aleppo. The Russian air forces have also only just resumed airstrikes on the western suburbs, having sat out the majority of the jihadi onslaught.

    1. HBE

      “The Guardian is really trying to present the exact opposite of reality, huh?”
      Exactly My thoughts.

      I seemed to have missed the Guardian headline – “Ominous news for Sanaa as US frigate reaches Yemeni coast”

      and then proceeds to launch cruise missiles (aka kalibir) against the populace, in a sovereign nation who made no such request for destructive assistance.

      Oh wait… I almost forgot the guardian has turned into a pure propaganda rag. Only “the Russians did it / OMG Russians” stories allowed.

      Edit: and citing the white helmets and unnamed groups, as valid sources, really?

      1. Plenue

        Looks like the Admiral Gligorovich is actually the lead ship of a new subclass based on the 70s/80s vintage Krivak-class. So it’s an upgrade of tried and true technology. What’s more, it’s basically a further upgrade of the Talwar-class which was designed and built under contract for the Indian navy, and have been in active service with no major problems for over a decade (India even wants to purchase a few more). Talwar seems to also have been about $900 billion cheaper per ship than what the Zumwalt is being estimated to go for.

        So, better, and cheaper. How typically Russian.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Engineers weren’t luddites in the 70’s.

          Three things jump out about Russian defense spending.

          -the state owns the factories for defense; classified private contracts are insane
          -the Russians don’t have Senators or powerful Senators who need pork. Natural trade routes can be used. They don’t have to reroute to Vermont (sorry Bernie) to build an F-35. Besides the natural cost savings, the auditors should have an easier time when there is one production line not 50.
          -Russia has neighbors and borders. The U.S. defense posture is largely solved by the Atlantic, Pacific, tiny Canada and tundra, and desert. If the general is a moron, who cares? He’ll never be a threat to Americans.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            A fourth point. Conscripts. Although they are moving away from conscripts, a Russian tank (insert weapon of choice) needs to be operated by people with minimal training.

  46. Waldenpond

    Apology tours. I was kind of wondering and thought that one side of the selection cycle might end something along the lines of: fear on Tuesday quickly followed by gloating, contempt, acceptance, excuses/apologies. The other side: maybe last minute smear operations with anger on Tuesday, followed by I told you so in response to bombings and rage at continuing increasing immiseration for the next four years.

    I fully expected media personalities/publications to start listing their errors to get back readers after the year and a half of blatant lying has paid off. No need to wait for Tuesday. Jeff Stein at Vox admits to being wrong. Let the redemptions begin.

  47. Ottawan

    On vitriolic crazy-pants election stuff:
    The main factor is not the particular matchup of this election, but rather connectivity, trolls, and (probably) cognitive dissonance. The last Canadian election provoked a lot of crazypants arguments even though it was mundane by the standards of the current US presidential race. I wonder if people are more likely to assume that those who disagree are basically the same as the mean buggers who can’t help but spew hateful, misleading BS online. We humans have always been quick to escalate to the ad hominem when challenged, but it seems like the exposure to more and more “news” and the weird crap that goes on in comment threads is making it worse. [Moderating comments saves sanity?]

    Also, rhetorical craziness seems to be strongest with those who are most likely to be suffering from the cognitive dissonance. The anecdotes about hysterical HRC supporters make a lot of sense in the context of dissonance. People are overloaded with confusing data.

    There is some craziness due to the particular matchup, but I don’t think its that significant. Just look at the rhetorical craziness that erupted with Obama in 2008.

    Or we can blame someone for no reason whatsoever, just for fun. I say its Norm MacDonald’s fault.

    1. TheCatSaid

      Had dinner with a friend recently who was keen to talk about the election. Their nose was out of joint about the stupid insulting rhetoric on both sides. I said that was just kayfabe distracting entertainment for the masses, it was important to look at actual past actions & outcomes & networks.

      Of course the official outcomes might be kayfabe, too, depending on the location and circumstances. It only takes altering a few places to throw the whole thing.

      I have a funny feeling this election is going to different. The election will be canceled, terrorist alert, or something. Too much out of control of TPTB–e.g., they’ve got control of voting registration lists and they’ve fiddled them like in the past, they’ve got code they can use to get desired results in desired places, but there are also an increasing number of people who know where the bodies are buried and have tools capable of exposing them. Hence too many variables. Assange said he doesn’t think Trump will be allowed to win. One way or another I think the plug will be pulled on the whole 2016 election show, either shortly before or after the big day.

  48. Jeremy Grimm

    @sd 1:39 PM [fat fingers here caused to thread split] The conclusion at the end of the introduction to the Clinton emails visualization struck me:

    “When we cannot learn from those we oppose, or agree when they have a valid point, our learning stops. We keep on talking past each other. I know that this election has made learning from those we oppose particularly difficult, but the difficult tests are the ones that truly show us what we are really made of. These are the situations that push us to see past all of the things that we don’t like, or don’t agree on, so we can rescue a lesson. You may not agree with me, but I hope at least I gave you something to think about.”

    1. sd

      The authors comments are certainly worth discussion. But then he jumped over and semed to ignore what the content of too many of the emails is revealing.

      1. TheCatSaid

        It was weird, wasn’t it? So true that the networks etc. show a lot. And the circumstances of the whole thing. But to ignore the relevance of the contents was very odd.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I agree but was reluctant to point that out. Maybe the author of that site felt avoiding comment on specific content and stating preference for Hillary was the most politic approach for presenting the emails visualization. If as he indicated the site had gone viral the last thing he would want would be to step into the election maelstrom. I didn’t look at all the data visualizations but those I saw reminded me of the charts generated by tools like those available from the Panopticon Software Company (now part of Datawatch Corporation). I’ve seen similar data visualizations on some of the mutual fund trading sites. I guess what makes this site novel isn’t the visualization methods it uses as much as the data it visualizes?

          1. sd

            I liked the data visualization. It mapped relationships and helped prioritize level of contact.

            I just found it odd that the author then seemingly ignored the actual internal discussions in the emails. His study stopped at the words.

        2. Lambert Strether

          It’s not “odd.”

          1) One can create a corpus of material for other to investigate without taking a position on issues within the corpus. That’s a thing that scholars do.

          2) If he had taken a position, the site would immediately have been slotted into a partisan frame, and “half” the population would have ignored it. He might not have wanted that to happen.

      1. HBE

        Disappointing, but at least the investigation into the foundation still has legs.

        In my opinion It’s worse than the server (and probably the reason there was a server in the first place).

        The foundation took money from the dying in Haiti, took money from the KSA so they could murder in Yemen, and used 95% of that money to fund personal ambitions, instead of ensuring it got to those who needed it most.

        We know much of it went to inflated staff salaries, and now thanks to wikileaks to partially funded Chelsea’s wedding, while the people of Haiti and Yemen suffered and died.

        Maybe (doubtful) none of that is terribly illegal (it’s certainly evil), but those facts should make her utterly repugnant to the self professed Ted talk watching liberal class who claims to be anti war, claims to be humanitarian minded, claims to be enlightened and morally superior.

        The thing is it isn’t repugnant to them, which says alot about the strength of those professed ideals.

        A liberal (not the left) is someone who abhors war but only when the other tribe starts it.

        A liberal is someone who “abhors” racism but will do nothing beyond making sure people use PC terms. They will never address the institutional and economic injustice that does more than anything to reinforce and cement racism, which forces millions into poverty and desperation.

        A liberal is someone who enjoys the state of things as they are. They don’t want to address racism or warmongering or corruption or economic injustice, they want to be able to blame the very people those policies have beaten down, subjugated and left behind. They want to be able to pretend these injustices don’t exist, while keeping things just as they are.

        A liberal in the end is someone who cares little about ending injustice, what a liberal really wants is for all those subjugated and trampled by them to shut up, be polite and let them pretend they don’t exist.

        Which should make it clear the left can never make common cause with liberals, their ideals are in direct conflict. The left wants to end injustice, the liberal wants to stop having to acknowledge it.

    1. temporal

      Now all the “liberal” team supporters can go back to praising the impartiality of the FBI once again. Of course the fact that the DoJ would never, ever have ever, even thought about indicting the anointed one over something as frivolous as a few felonies might have had some sort of effect. Lynch and crew know which side their bread is buttered on.

      Now they can catch a few small-fry and call it a banquet. Justice as it always was.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      FBI Director Comey says agency won’t recommend charges over Clinton email [WaPo]

      If there’s anything *truly* explosive there it will leak out soon enough. In the meantime, either way, Comey’s statement won’t make any real difference. I’ve found plenty already to render HRC disqualified for the office, but I have to be honest, what I think means zero. It’s going to take a lot more than a few well-lobbed bombs to bring the Clinton Castle down. It’ll take the political equivalent of a nuke to breach those walls. And I don’t expect that to happen. Given the Clintons’ dire opsec, if it’d been there, we’d probably have already seen it.

        1. ewmayer

          Only if they [a] vote thusly, and [b] said votes are honestly tallied. Cf. fraction magic discussion above, and well-known bromide to the effect of “it’s less the votes that count, than who counts the votes”.

      1. nippersdad

        Re: If there’s anything “truly” explosive there it will leak out soon enough.”

        Last I heard Comey had a desk covered in resignation letters from rebellious FBI agents angry about the last time he dropped the investigation into Clinton’s e-mails. Even though he may have spent this time taking names, I imagine a lot of printers are running hot right about now. He is going to have a lot of fun unwinding all of those espionage ploys they so assiduously train their people in and trying to connect them with the names on his lists. Sometimes bombs are less effective than diseased carcasses routinely heaved over the castle walls.

        This is going to continue to drip out for months, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is it hard finding something there to vote again

      It’s dirty work to vote against, instead of for. No one will do it for us. We have to do it ourselves.

      1. katiebird

        Yes. And how can I ask it of swing state voters if I am not willing to do it myself.

        NOT that I am asking anyone to vote in any particular way.

        After spending almost my entire life canvassing voters for Democrat politicians, I quit.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      So, nine days ago comey and the fbi found something on weiner’s laptop that compelled them to drop a bomb on the public, and today he says “never mind.”

      And NOBODY has any idea what he was concerned about, and then not concerned.

      What kind of pathetic game are these people playing?

      Playing so fast and loose with the public’s trust in government is already having serious consequences, which only promise to get worse. Especially with the likes of the clintons in charge of righting the ship.

      She really must be stopped on Tuesday.

      1. craazyboy

        Not to mention how long it took to read Hillary’s emails the first time. Many months and just long enough to run the clock out for the primaries and scuttle Bernie. Now they can do it in 9 days?

        And after reminding us how easy it is for emails to replicate all over the world, from putins to wieners to whomevers, having one of the highest ranked security position jobs and using a private email server is just like a minor parking ticket violation that can be fixed, if you know the right people.

        1. Waldenpond

          The FBIs image took a hit in July and it will again.
          33k emails take over a year. Comey-Clinton connections revealed. No prosecutor would go forward.
          650k emails will take months to investigate. Lynch assigns Kadzik. Kadzik-Clinton connections revealed. Just a few days later, never mind?

          This is just bad marketing. Citizens are pushed to accept it’s corruption and collusion because it’s hard to believe people could be this incompetent.

            1. Aumua

              “FBI Clears Clinton”

              For takeoff, I assume. Green light, baby. We have a go, I repeat, the corona- I mean the election is a go!

              I deeply sympathize with the desire to stop this maniac. I just can’t bring myself to vote for Trump. Not gonna happen, nope. Nuh-uh. No.

  49. Bill Frank

    Although I don’t comment often, I do review comments here because they are far and away the best of any site I visit. Frequently I find insights that are truly first rate. Regarding over the line “conspiracy” related comments, with all that has happened in recent years that is backed up by legitimate sources, it is becoming extremely difficult to sort through fact and fiction. As an example, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I believed what happened was as described. Over the years, that belief has been shattered and now, I have little trust in “official” explanations. Subsequent events like Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. have more than proved that the “official” line is blatantly untrustworthy. When trust is destroyed, what remains?

    1. Alex morfesis

      Freedom…freedom to know that all thoughts have baggage…freedom to not just change channels…but change mindsets…what remains is personal responsibility…trust is overrated…

    2. Plenue

      Iraq is what convinces me that 9/11 really was a bunch of Saudi hijackers flying planes into buildings. If you’re going to go to the effort of faking the greatest false flag operation in history, why wouldn’t you fabricate evidence directly linking it to the countries you wanted to invade?

      1. TheCatSaid

        Your assumption of motive may not be correct.

        Follow the money. As in, consider all the industries that have benefited since then, and that stand to benefit in the future. All the various money transfers that occurred. These are not commonly discussed.

        And consider that those directing the show might not necessarily be “governments”, even if there may be individuals or parts of governments who are involved.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I don’t think they needed any one country in particular as the replacement enemy for Cold War Russia, remember “strategy” “spheres of influence” “capturing resources” are just historical notions, when today the war-making itself *is* the goal. Ka-ching.
        And on 9/11 I just want someone to show me where the planes are that hit the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania woods. No plane wreckage was found.

    3. cnchal

      . . . When trust is destroyed, what remains?

      Economists claiming it needs further study, at great expense to them.

  50. ewmayer

    o “Europe protests against Turkish arrests | Thai Visa” — Sorry, given how loath the Euros have been to oust their leaders who have helped create the refugee crisis by acting as perma-poodles to the American Empire in its neverending program of chaos and conquest, and who have tried to bribe and friendly-cajole Sultan Erdogan at every step of his long-running Turkish coup, this strikes me as even more pathetic than the inane Wir-Alle-Sind-Charlie-Hebdo solidarity marches, where said leadership actually “marched” in a cordoned-off side street and the MSM dutifully spliced things together to make it appear like one big March for Global Brother-and-Sisterhood™. It’s all so pathetically, fecklessly PC-feel-good that henceforth I’m gonna mentally read all such headlines and articles in an Elmer Fudd voice. Yep, that sounds compwete – erm, I mean completely fitting:

    “Euwope pwotests against Tuwkish awwests” — We Euwopeans wose up in sowidawity and pwotested these outwages most stwenuouswy!

    o “Blame the kids: The largest DDoS attack ever was probably pulled off by bored teens | Vice” — Surely, Vice intended “bored state-sponsored teen Russian hackers”, yes? I mean, c’mon, this has The Putin’s evil fingerprints all over it – because it was, like, really big, and occurred “in the weeks leading up to Hillary’s coronation,” and scary p*ssy-grabbing Trump is a Kremlin stooge! And we have it on good authority™ that at least 27 US intelligence agencies have confirmed these indisputable facts. Don’t even try to deny it, because doing so makes you a misogynistic apologist for The Putin and his evil cabal of ‘Merican-democracy-hating KremlinBros, too.

    o “Chris Christie’s Bridgegate Noose Tightens | Vanity Fair” — “We gave him just enough rope to hang himself with. And hoo boy, did that take a lot of rope.”

  51. Propertius

    In addition, these machines are not connected to the internet. Anyone who wants to crack voting machines has to do it the old-fashioned away–one machine by hand at a time.

    Neither were the systems that ran Iran’s centrifuges. This did not prove to be much of an obstacle to Stuxnet.

    1. pricklyone

      They are connected to 2 other networks though. Rparty and Dparty. Who needs the internet when you have the machine.

  52. TheCatSaid

    Regarding the article in by Edward Ball in NY Review of Books “At Last, a Black History Museum”. Ball observes,

    The chronology continues after the death of Martin Luther King in 1968, but there is a palpable shift in tone and sources. The narrative content and the displays themselves turn slowly, then increasingly, to popular culture. A gallery called “Black Power” takes all its imagery from the stream of news and entertainment. Clips from TV series are used to stand in for social life, black musicians jive on camera, and you see white newspapers absorb black subjects until, around the year 1980, the exhibits, along with the visitor, are surrendered to big media.

    This brought to mind observations by Indian artist/activist Arundhati Roy, describing her mother’s observations about how Rockefeller & other foundations coopted and preempted effective activism among American artists and revolutionaries:

    [Presenter Redi Tlhabi] You talk about how Rockefeller in particular basically silenced the voice of Martin Luther King of the black consciousness movement, Steve Biko’s Black Consciousness Movement. How did he do this?
    Arundhati Roy: by funding the moderates and gradually edging out radical movements. And in the case of Martin Luther King, beginning with the Martin Luther King Foundation, then slowly changing its programme away from everything that Martin Luther King ever stood for. So you actually—it’s not just the man, but the memory itself that is so dangerous that you have to change it. [emphasis mine]

    It sounds as if that process is evident at the NMAAHC (the Smithsonian’s new Black History Museum).

    1. TheCatSaid

      A couple more short excerpts from Ball’s review, which speak to my concerns about how Blacks’ voices as revolutionaries are being tightly controlled (or eliminated):

      The museum culminates here, with four winds of feel-good creativity. It is a redemption, really. Although a less generous reading might be that the Negro is awfully good as an entertainer.


      Yet the NMAAHC might have had more propulsion with a narrower focus. The nation does not have a museum of slavery, for instance. But I suspect that many black people do not want a museum of slavery. (Whites really do not want one.) What we apparently do want, and now have, is a place where the tragic story of black America is folded into a happy coda.

  53. JSM

    Re: ‘Can The Oligarchy Still Steal The Presidential Election?’

    Attempted to point up the discrepancy between the headline number of the most recent LA Times poll – Trump’s 48.2% vs. Clinton’s 42.6% – and voter expectations. As for the latter, 52.5% believe Clinton will win, 43.4% Trump.

    The media has been treating expectations as if they matter as much as (or more than) the polls themselves. Apparently they must count for something.

    1. Propertius

      Inasmuch as they affect turnout, expectations do indeed count for something – although it’s hard to predict what that effect might be.

      1. JSM

        Perhaps too much understatement was used. The media (esp. thru its fellow propagandists G & FB) has been wildly successful in divorcing expectations from reality.

  54. root

    wow. just scrolling through all that is astounding, seeing so many opinions and thoughts ignored daily for the banalities of NPR or worse.

    I just wanted to thank you, again, for the simple and informative link filling in the embarrassing gaps in my understanding with the article from Geoffrey Hodgson from Evonomics.

  55. TheCatSaid

    Der Spiegel’s article about Tsipras (“The Charm Wears Off: Tsipras Caught Between EU and Voter Demands“) tells us what story Germany/EU wants us all to believe. The focus is on Tsipras and his hard choices and how voters are disgruntled as they see infrastructure being sold on the cheap to foreign investors, but no improvement in their own lives. The subtext: There Is No Alternative.

    No hint of Germany or the EU or European banks having any share of responsibility. Panagiotis Lafazanis is briefly quoted near the end, and he predicts a snap election next year. But no hint is given of what alternative policies–or preparations for alternatives-that-must-not-be-spoken–might look like.

    General hand-wringing and disempowerment. Further entrenches the preferred narrative about both the past and the future. A warning to others perhaps?

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      The “Greek” bailout bailed out German banks on the backs of Greek pensioners and grandmothers, now when it looks like *German* grandmothers and pensioners will be on the hook it’s more important than ever that they shift the blame/consequences

  56. Geoff

    Hillary Clinton’s proposal for a Universal 401K retirement savings plan that utilizes “the miracle of compound interest”:

    This link goes into detail on the plan so worth a read. And here’s her words on it: “My plan will help tens of millions of middle class families go from just getting by to getting ahead – putting them on a path to a secure retirement,” Clinton said. “I believe it’s time for a new bargain with the American people – a bargain that reflects the changing global economy and the new realities of aging. I believe that if you work hard and contribute to our country, you should have the opportunity to save and invest. And through the discipline of good planning and the miracle of compound interest, you should be able to build wealth for yourself, a better future for your family, and a secure retirement.”

    1. allan

      The miracle of compound interest isn’t what it once was. (I blame Putin.)
      So let’s put retirees into some AAA-rated hospice construction bonds.
      Or high quality Uber driver auto loans.

      Do these people know what they sound like?

    2. ewmayer

      The tell here is the bit about “good planning” – that’s where her pals on Wall Street come in, to help all with that.

      And praytell, HillBillary, what does the “miracle of compound interest” look like in a negative-real-rate environment, such as you and your parasitical cronies have engineered for us?

      “I believe that if you work hard and contribute to our country…” — you mean, like the good folks doing The Lord’s Work at Goldman do? Or how about running a massive charity fraud – does that count? What about pulling down a high-6-figure salary for an ‘internship at an MSM outlet, based simply on one’s parentage? All shining examples of working hard and contributing to one’s country, no doubt.

    3. Tom Allen

      That’s her plan from October 2007, when she was running against Obama (and just before the financial market collapse.)

      1. Pat

        Don’t care when it is from, it is and was always manure.
        Right up there with how she understands tough financial Times as she was broke when they left the White House (do not bother to look at their spending).

  57. integer

    It’s a relatively trivial issue, but has anyone else been wondering if Trump has a piece of kevlar inserted into the front panel of his personally worn “Make America Great Again” hats? I’m watching him talk at the Michigan rally live and his face is being shadowed by the bill of his hat, not a great look imo.

    1. integer

      Now I’m watching Hillary speaking live in New Hampshire. She is name dropping Bernie and darting left. It’s painful to watch. Khan (of *cough* Democratic *cough* convention fame) is on stage with her for some reason.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I avoid msm and videos like the plague, but the Trump hats are “trucker hats.” Trucker hats look stupid.

      1. integer

        I factored the trucker style of hat into my analysis. The hat just looked odd today. In any case it is a totally insignificant detail.

  58. allan

    Pilot Shortage Prompts Regional Airlines to Boost Starting Wages [WSJ]

    Regional airlines that feed the nation’s biggest carriers are boosting starting wages to fight a pilot shortage, hoping to encourage aspiring aviators to endure what has become lengthier training.

    Regional carriers are vital to the U.S. travel network, operating 44% of passenger flights in 2015 and providing the only flights to 65% of U.S. airports with scheduled service. They typically supply their own crews and planes, while big airlines set schedules, sell tickets and buy the fuel.

    New wage scales introduced in recent months increase pay for some of their first-year aviators from around $20,000 to upward of $50,000 including bonuses, per-diem payments and training stipends. …

    The horror. Time for Dr. Yellen to take away the punch bowl.

    1. sd

      $20,000 year for a pilot? Minimum wage is $15,080 year. $20,000 year for a pilot is basically treating them as unskilled labor. That’s appalling.

      1. RMO

        My instructor (when I was getting my single engine license – I had other instructors when I previously learned to fly sailplanes) got hired by Westjet in 2003 after a lot of hard work and about $35,000 in training. He said he earned about $25K the first year flying a 737. Substantially less than my family business paid our delivery drivers in their first year. The airlines have for years been relying on the fact that a lot of people simply love to fly and are willing to do it for peanuts if necessary. Of late though the declining real income of most people coupled with the high cost of training has seemingly made it impossible for a lot of aspiring pilots to even try to enter the field so supply of candidates has dropped. In the U.S. a fairly recent increase in the required hours necessary for transport pilots has also had the same effect. I have to admit that if I were able to get the Class 1 medical needed to be a commercial pilot here in Canada I would probably be willing to work for sub-poverty level wages myself. I don’t have that option because when I suffered from depression as an adolescent and in my twenties I made the mistake of seeing a psychiatrist. Having that on my medical record has effectively ruined any chance of getting the Class 1. If I had only seen my family doctor or a therapist everything would have been fine as far as I can tell. I suppose I wouldn’t mind so much if any of the psychiatrists I had seen had ever done me the least little bit of good but they didn’t. I sure got an educational tour of the various anti-depressants and their side effects though!

    1. TheCatSaid

      Good question. Interesting that the story appeared last week but nobody’s been saying anything about it. It dropped like a stone. Nobody wants to know?

    2. Oregoncharles

      Anybody know if this is for real? I didn’t try the links because I wouldn’t be able to tell.

      One possibility; this is a sample page, to show what it would look like.

      I like the 5% for Stein,though, and only 42% for Clinton. That’s what Slick Willy got the first time.

      1. Lambert Strether

        This has happened before, and yes, it’s been a sample page. I mean, editorial departments don’t create complex tables on the fly starting from scratch on election eve. And I would imagine — readers with knowledge of TV production please chime in — that they don’t type in the numbers by hand. They get them from a feed or scrape them from somewhere. So this page would test not just the layout but populating the layout with data.

        As for “interesting,” no, this is not interesting. Google “41,765,317” to see where the “Signs of the Times” story went. Looks like shit-stirring to me that for whatever reason didn’t take. Shit-stirring is not interesting. It’s profoundly dull.

        1. sd

          Actually, yes, they typically do type in the content by hand during the live broadcast but they have templates that they are working with and producers adding data. If there was text – I didn’t look – it was probably just placeholder.

          All of this stuff has been in the works for months, the hosts, the set, the on air graphics package, sound effects, music, etc. It would have started back before the primaries even got going.

            1. subgenius

              Except as a professional tech, you NEVER stage on a LIVE server…that’s what devops are for.

              Apparently the msm are as incompetent as team Clinton

        2. TheCatSaid

          To me the subsequent silence was interesting–for example, the studio didn’t come out and explain the error or retract it. I’d expect to see an explanation and an apology, at the minimum.

          The fact that there was (apparently) neither makes the whole thing stranger.

          I thought someone might have seen a retraction or an apology.

    1. integer

      WikiLeaks ‏@wikileaks 40m40 minutes ago
      Our email publication servers are under a targeted DoS attack since releasing #DNCLeak2

      Scroll down a little to check out Neera Tanden’s reply. I’ve read a lot of her emails and she really isn’t the brightest spark. It was funny seeing the dynamics between her and Podesta in the Podesta emails, he treats her like a fool.

      Also, check out the other Wikileaks tweets. They have already tweeted half a dozen revelations from the new DNC emails.

      1. integer

        A little more investigation reveals that the Neera Tanden reply tweet is from a fake account. Sorry. It’s a jungle out there at the moment.

    1. Waldenpond

      Speaking out against fracking is against the policy of the soon to be installed regime and to be ostracized as a Putin disinformation campaign.

  59. Waldenpond

    Why are two delegates declaring they won’t vote for Clinton if she wins their states?
    (Clinton will win CA and WA). Won’t they just be removed and replaced? If they wanted to have any impact they would have waited and acted. So theater for their own voters without effect?

  60. marym

    When the voters in each state cast votes for the Presidential candidate of their choice they are voting to select their state’s Electors. The potential Electors’ names may or may not appear on the ballot below the name of the Presidential candidates, depending on election procedures and ballot formats in each state.

    There is no constitutional requirement they follow their states’ popular votes, but so-called “faithless electors” are a rarity and have never decided an election.

    In Washington state, there is a $1,000 fine for electors who do not honor the election results.

    “Faithless elector”
    edit: reply to Waldenpond

  61. different clue

    That Russian warship is only ominous for the GOAJ ( Globally Organized Axis of Jihad) and the CLEJ ( Cannibal Liver Eating Jihadis). If you are part of the “goadge” or the “cledge” then it is ominous for you.
    If you are part of the Coalition Of Lawful Authority (COLA), then it is a blessed event.

    The sooner the rebellion can be exterminated, the sooner peace and order can be re-imposed on Syria.

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