2:00PM Water Cooler 12/1/2016

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By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, I’ll put in 2016 UPDATEs shortly. –lambert


NAFTA: “The impact of actually withdrawing from NAFTA would be so harmful to the state of Texas that Rep. Henry Cuellar said he can’t believe Trump will actually follow through on that threat. ‘The state that will be most impacted by stopping NAFTA would be the state of Texas. The city that would be the most impacted in the country would be the city of Laredo, my hometown,’ Cuellar told Morning Trade” [Politico]. “Laredo… is the now United States’ largest inland port. ‘We get 14,000 trailers a day,’ Cuellar said. ‘It’s an incredible amount of trade. … I just do not see it that they are going to cut off NAFTA and actually put up barriers to Mexico. No way.’ The Democratic lawmaker said he expects the state’s Republican delegation, including Sen. John Cornyn, to steer Trump in a different direction that could involve borrowing some provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to modernize the 23-year-old NAFTA pact. ‘When [President Barack Obama] did the TPP, he really did a NAFTA 2.0. I think the [incoming] administration will look at a lot of things they did there,’ Cuellar said.”

And see the comments on incoming Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross under “Trump Transition,” below.


2016 Post Mortem

A useful clarification in chart form:

As Atrios put it yesterday, “You had one job.” And when you frame your opponent as Baby Hitler, you’d better put him away.

UPDATE “Terry McAuliffe thinks the Clintons are done with politics” [CNN]. Clinton, yesterday: “We lost Atrios. I guess that’s it.”

UPDATE “Hitting the Reset Button” [Foreign Policy Podcast]. I can’t seem to link to it directly, but this is currently #1 on the list at the link. Really essential to listen to this if you want to understand how The Blob views Trump (it’s an article of faith among them, for example, that Trump is Putin’s stooge). Smooth NPR voices, some classy Brits, lots of laughter, and an utter incomprehension that some might find two failed land wars, a Syrian policy whose refugee blowback has strained the EU to the breaking point, a metastatized national security apparatus might lead some to question to value of their expertise. The Bourbons have nothing on this crowd. Oh, and they all thought Clinton was great.

UPDATE And another chart:

Trump Transition

“Today Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary (Steven Mnuchin) expressed a desire to end government ownership of Fannie and Freddie ‘reasonably fast.’ The FHFA landing team is headed by Timothy Bitsberger and the FTC/FSOC landing team is headed by Alex Pollock. Both have a GSE [Government-Sponsored Enterprise] background, hinting at increased focus on reform efforts. Nevertheless, the potential appointment of Congressman Jeb Hensarling to head FHFA could trigger investor nervousness as he has previously been a vocal opponent of the GSEs” [TD Securities, Across the Curve].

“First, Mnuchin made clear that the Trump Administration’s top two priorities will be tax reform and regulatory relief. He gave a few key points on Trump’s tax plan. It will include a “big” middle class tax cut, but high-income households would come out roughly neutral, trading lower marginal rates for fewer deductions. The broad concept is to simplify the code by collapsing from 7 brackets to 3 and broadening the tax base (i.e. fewer deductions). Mnuchin was actually more enthusiastic about reforming the corporate tax code. He was pretty firm on a 15% top marginal rate (down from 35% now), and insisted that corporate tax reform would lead to a significant boost to jobs and growth” [Amherst Pierpont Securities, Across the Curve]. There’s a lot more in this review, which is well worth a read.

“On trade, Ross took the lead. He emphasized that the Administration is not going to be protectionist. He noted that there is “smart trade” and “stupid trade” and the U.S. has been doing too much of the latter. He noted that big regional trade deals are bad, because each counterparty “picks you apart” in turn and by the end of the process, you have given away too much. He and the Administration will instead try to rely more on bilateral trade deals. He also specifically mentioned, in the context of the Carrier announcement, that the most important reason that U.S. firms move production to Mexico is that it has better trade deals with many of our trading partners than we do and thus it is cheaper to ship goods into, say, Europe from Mexico than it is from the U.S. He aims to change this. More generally, a Trump Administration intends to use the immense leverage of the biggest economy in the world to pry open foreign markets” [Amherst Pierpont Securities, Across the Curve].

“The United Steelworkers union greeted the news of Wilbur Ross’ nomination for Commerce secretary with a nod of approval. Ross restructured a number of ailing steel companies, including LTV and Bethlehem, to form the International Steel Group. The 79-year-old magnate sold the group for $4.5 billion in 2005 to form what is now ArcelorMittal, the largest steel company in the world” [Politico]. “USW President Leo Gerard said in a statement to POLITICO that the union was able to negotiate a benefit trust with Ross that allowed retirees from the bankrupt predecessor companies to retain health care and prescription drug benefits.” That’s the national. I wonder if the local thinks differently. Readers?

“How Donald Trump Sealed the Deal to Keep Carrier Jobs in the U.S.” [Fortune].

Realignment and Legitimacy

UPDATE “Bernie Sanders: Carrier just showed corporations how to beat Donald Trump” [Bernie Sanders, WaPo]. Worth reading in full if you want an idea of what Democrats ought to sound like to be worthy of the name:

Today, about 1,000 Carrier workers and their families should be rejoicing. But the rest of our nation’s workers should be very nervous…. Trump has endangered the jobs of workers who were previously safe in the United States. Why? Because he has signaled to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives. Even corporations that weren’t thinking of offshoring jobs will most probably be reevaluating their stance this morning. And who would pay for the high cost for tax cuts that go to the richest businessmen in America? The working class of America.

I said I would work with Trump if he was serious about the promises he made to members of the working class. But after running a campaign pledging to be tough on corporate America, Trump has hypocritically decided to do the exact opposite. He wants to treat corporate irresponsibility with kid gloves. The problem with our rigged economy is not that our policies have been too tough on corporations; it’s that we haven’t been tough enough.


“On Krugman And The Working Class” [Tim Duy’s Fedwatch]. What a year this has been. Tim Duy (!) gives Paul Krugman a thorough and very well-deserved ass-kicking:

I doubt very much that these voters are looking for the left’s [sic] paternalistic attitude[. Quoting Krugman:]

One thing is clear, however: Democrats have to figure out why the white working class just voted overwhelmingly against its own economic interests, not pretend that a bit more populism would solve the problem.

That Krugman can wonder at the source of the disdain felt toward the liberal elite while lecturing Trump’s voters on their own self-interest is really quite remarkable.

I don’t know that the white working class voted against their economic interest. I don’t pretend that I can define their preferences with such accuracy. Maybe they did. But the working class may reasonably believe that neither party offers them an economic solution. The Republicans are the party of the rich; the Democrats are the party of the rich and poor. Those in between have no place.

That sense of hopelessness would be justifiably acute in rural areas. Economic development is hard work in the best of circumstances; across the sparsely populated vastness of rural America, it is virtually impossible. The victories are – and will continue to be – few and far between.

The tough reality of economic development is that it will always be easier to move people to jobs than the jobs to people. Which is akin to telling many, many voters the only way possible way they can live an even modest lifestyle is to abandon their roots for the uniformity of urban life. They must sacrifice their identities to survive. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Follow the Brooklyn hipsters to the Promised Land.

This is a bitter pill for many to swallow. To just sit back and accept the collapse of your communities. And I suspect the white working class resents being told to swallow that pill when the Democrats eagerly celebrate the identities of everyone else.

And it is an especially difficult pill given that the decline was forced upon the white working class; it was not a choice of their own making. The tsunami of globalization washed over them with nary a concern on the part of the political class.

Ouch. Somebody should tell the Democrat nomenklatura to try saying the unqualified “working class” instead of “white working class,” which for whatever reason is the only working class identity they mention, as if the black, Hispanic, and female members of the working class were really aspirational artisanal pickle manufacturers who would move to Brooklyn if only they could.

“The Stein Campaign and the Fight for Green Party Independence” [CounterPunch]. Interesting; my experience in Maine led me to categorize the Green Party as a dysfunctional non-profit; clearly, I’m not the only one. If you want a sad portrait of an institution with serious organizational capacity problems, look no further.

“The No-BS Inside Guide to the Presidential Recount” [Greg Palast]. A good summation of the issues in play, because Palast is a good reporter and on the side of the angels, so this is worth a read. That said, there are a couple of — down, Dmitry! — red flags. The first is in the title: “Inside Guide” means… What? That Palast did a good deal of talking with one source, Robert Fitrakis. Fine, but if you read the story immediately above, you’d be rightly skeptical of how much one source could tell you about what the Greens, and Stein, are actually doing. Second, the “no Russian hacker hunt” is the subhead, but Palast doesn’t get round to unburying that ’til the end, where he writes: “The possibility that a Putin pal hacked the machines was championed by University of Michigan computer sciences professor J. Alex Halderman who proposed, ‘The attackers would probe election offices well in advance in order to find ways to break into their computers…and spread malware into voting machines.'” The problems here are that (a) Halderman is the expert quoted in the New York Magazine story that sparked the effort, (b) “The Russkis did it” is a demented conspiracy theory hatched in the fevered brains of irredentist and McCarthyite Clintonites there’s never been any evidence for it, and (c) leading with Halderman’s steaming load, as the initial stories did, followed by the Greens, left the impression, at least in my mind, that the Greens didn’t have the organizational capacity to separate fact from theory fiction (or, which amounts to the same thing, from a Clintonite talking point). All in all, my take is that Palast hasn’t really mapped what he thinks ought to happen to what is actually happening, and has succumbed to the very understandable temptation in this case to become an advocate, rather than a reporter.

UPDATE “A judge has shot down a motion from Green Party candidate Jill Stein requesting a recount of presidential election results in 78 voting districts in Montgomery County” [CBS Local]. “The Stein campaign was asking for a recount and a forensic analysis of voting machines. Attorney Ilann Mozell argued two points: there were foreign interests meddling in the presidential election, demonstrated by the hacking of Clinton Campaign staffers’ email accounts. And he says, voting machines can be hacked and the results altered.” So, I guess we’ve got to do some copy editing on Palast’s article, because there is a “Russian hacker hunt” after all:

Professor Halderman Counselor Mozell, if you want to help the recount, put down the James Bond novels…

And did Fitrakis, Palast’s source, know what Mozell’s theory of the case was? If not, what does that say about the organizational capacity of the Greens? If so, what does that say about Palast’s reporting on this story?

UPDATE “However, at least thus far it seems like most of the donations are considerably smaller. Stein campaign manager David Cobb told OpenSecrets that of the 140,000 donations that had come in by Wednesday, they averaged $46 — and that just 414 donors gave more than $1,000” [CBS]. Although it would be nice to know what “more than $1,000” meant. I mean, a squillion is more than a thousand, right?

Our Famously Free Press

“Under enormous pressure, Facebook and Google have now promised to do a better job of curating the content that populates their sites. Which is all very comforting, if you really want software engineers assuming the role of civic arbiter that has traditionally fallen to journalists. I don’t” [Matt Bai, Yahoo News]. When the engineers figure out how they would have detected Judy Miller’s fake WMD stories in the New York Times, which helped make the case for the Iraq War debacle, please get back to me. Could it be — could the bare possibility exist — that the real issue here isn’t fake news, but news when the fakers “just aren’t our sort of people?”

Stats Watch

Institute For Supply Management Manufacturing Index, November 2016: “Durable orders picked up in October and the momentum appears to have extended to November, based on the sum of advance indications on the month” [Econoday]. “This report is a little less hot than other November indications including from the Philly Fed, but the direction it points to is favorable.” And: ” Another solid economic report” [Calculated Risk]. But: “Overall, surveys do not have a high correlation to the movement of industrial production (manufacturing) since the Great Recession” [Econintersect]. And but: “Supplier deliveries also slowed, which suggests increased capacity constraints, and a further decline in inventories will maintain pressure for increased production levels, especially with the customer inventories reading also below 50.0. The order backlogs index did rise for the month, but remained below the 50.0 reading, which will be of some concern” [Economic Calendar]. And but: “Up, and last month revised higher as well. Year over year up 3.4%, remaining historically low” [Mosler Economics].

Purchasing Managers’ Manufacturing Index, November 2016: “November’s 54.1 and 7 tenths gain from October points to “sustained acceleration” for the nation’s factory sector, according to Markit Economics’ PMI manufacturing report” [Econoday]. “New orders as well as production both posted their strongest rates of monthly growth since March last year. Employment growth in Markit’s sample is modest but improving.” And: “The data will maintain underlying confidence in the manufacturing sector, although there will also be growing speculation that the strong dollar will undermine export activity and curb inflationary pressures” [Economic Calendar]. And but: “Manufacturing muddling through at current levels” [Mosler Economics].

Construction Spending, October 2016: “Construction spending rose a solid 0.5 percent in October with the prior two months both revised sharply higher” [Econoday]. “Residential is the strong suit in the October report with both single-family and multi-family homes up 2.8 percent in the month, gains offset in part by a contraction in home improvements.” But: “Public construction remains in contraction, whilst private construction is in expansion. Overall, however – construction is now trending up. The rolling averages did improve. But the confusion is that construction spending does not correlate to construction employment – casting doubt on the validity of one or both data sets” [Econintersect]. But: ” Anything under 5% annual growth has been associated with recession” (see the FRED chart) [Mosler Economics].

Jobless Claims, week of November 26, 2016: “The Labor Department says there are no special factors behind a steep 17,000 rise in initial jobless claims to a much higher-than-expected 268,000 but the November 26 week was holiday shortened which always makes adjustments difficult” [Econoday]. “Despite the gains in today’s report, levels of claims remain extremely low and point to strong demand for labor and strength for tomorrow’s employment report.” And: “above the consensus” [Calculated Risk]. But: “The general trend of the 4 week rolling average is a slowing rate of improvement year-over-year which historically suggests a slowing economy” [Econintersect].

Challenger Job-Cut Report, November 2016: “very low” [Econoday]. “Today’s results point to strength for tomorrow’s employment report.” And: “The pace of downsizing fell to the lowest level of the year in November, as U.S.-based employers announced plans to shed 26,936 workers from payrolls during the month” [Econintersect].

GDP: “The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2016 is 2.4 percent on November 30, down from 3.6 percent on November 23” [Across the Curve].

Retail: “Amazon Destroys Competition, Taking 30% of Cyber Weekend Sales” [247 Wall Street].

Shipping: “But [Amazon] on Wednesday proposed a surprising way to move data from large corporate customers’ data centers to its public cloud-computing operation: by truck” [Wall Street Journal, “Amazon Uses Trucks to Drive Data Faster”]. “Networks can move massive amounts of data only so fast. Trucks, it turns out, can move it faster.”

Shipping: “It’s not pretty, but there are some voices prepared to make the call on the start of the next upturn. You just need to strain to hear them” [Lloyd’s List].

Commodities: “Study: Private capital investment in US coal is over” [Mining]. “According to a new study of private capital in the North American energy sector from industry tracker Preqin, investment in coal has now completely dried up…. The shift of focus from coal to solar, wind and other renewable projects is clear. According to Preqin data 21% of investment vehicles currently in the market include renewable energy investments alongside their oil & gas acquisitions.” One wonders if the incoming administration will affect this.

Commodities: “Starting early this year, 500,000 metric tons of aluminum has been trucked out of the Mexican city of San José Iturbide and shipped to Vietnam, according to shipping records and people familiar with the matter. Much of it now sits under black tarps, guarded by baton-wielding men on motorcycles, at a factory and waterfront complex in this South China Sea port about a two-hour drive south of Ho Chi Minh City.” [Wall Street Journal, “Giant Aluminum Stockpile Was Shipped From Mexico to Vietnam “]. “Unusual moves are connected to businesses associated with family of Chinese billionaire Liu Zhongtian.”

Globalization: “Although at the time of this analysis not all major countries have yet released their latest trade performance, global trade (excluding intra-regional flows) could experience a decline of almost 1% during the third quarter, strengthening the perception of a disappointing peak season” [Lloyd’s List].

The Bezzle: ” Engineers in San Francisco have tunneled underground to try and understand the sinking of the 58-story Millennium Tower. Now comes an analysis from space” [Bloomberg]. “The European Space Agency has released detailed data from satellite imagery that shows the skyscraper in San Francisco’s financial district is continuing to sink at a steady rate — and perhaps faster than previously known.”

Honey for the Bears: “Just Released: Subprime Auto Debt Grows Despite Rising Delinquencies” [Liberty Street]. “The data suggest some notable deterioration in the performance of subprime auto loans. This translates into a large number of households, with roughly six million individuals at least ninety days late on their auto loan payments. Even though the balances of subprime loans are somewhat smaller on average, the increased level of distress associated with subprime loan delinquencies is of significant concern, and likely to have ongoing consequences for affected households.” Best economy ever. What’s wrong with these people?

Defunct Economists: “The argument about fiscal space is more plausible — deficit spending now will drive up the national debt, which will make it politically harder to spend money on stimulus if a recession hits. This probably happened in the 2000s: George W. Bush’s administration drove up the debt with big tax cuts, making it politically more difficult for Barack Obama to spend money on stimulus when the Great Recession hit” [Noah Smith, Bloomberg]. [Stephanie Kelton banging her head on her desk.]

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 74 Greed (previous close: 73, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 70 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Dec 1 at 11:54am. Not taking greed to the extreme. Sad!



Imperial Collapse Watch

“One Last Humiliation: The CIA Just Bungled An Attempt To Drop A Piano On Fidel Castro’s Funeral Procession” [ClickHole].

Class Warfare

“Another headline capturing the attention of hotel managers that cuts both ways is the recent uptick in compensation levels. On the one hand, increasing levels of income has a positive impact on lodging demand. On the other hand, when salaries, wages and benefits are on the rise, it has a negative impact on the profitability of hotels” [Hotel News Notes].

“Rightly or wrongly (and I think the question is more complicated than many of us acknowledge), the United States’ political system enfranchises geography as well population. (This is not unique to the United States and the compromises made over slavery in the drafting of our Constitution. In the EU, for example, many actions require unanimity among member states, giving citizens of tiny Malta rather disproportionate influence.) In the American system, piling people into a few, dense cities is a sure recipe for disenfranchising most of the humans. A nation of mid-sized cities distributed throughout the country would both spread the wealth geographically and yield a more balanced politics than the dream of hyperproductive megacities” [Interfluidity]. Fascinating, wide-ranging post with unexpected connections.

“A primary reason for thinking that assemblage theory is important is the fact that it offers new ways of thinking about social ontology. Instead of thinking of the social world as consisting of fixed entities and properties, we are invited to think of it as consisting of fluid agglomerations of diverse and heterogeneous processes” [Understanding Society].

News of the Wired

“How Cuba’s Greatest Cartoonist Fled From Castro and Created ‘Spy vs. Spy'” [Atlas Obscura].

Jane Jacobs centenary! [New York Magazine]. “n her view, planners who could read maps and balance sheets but not people would inevitably use blunt instruments to get their way, inflicting unintended misery on the very citizens they aspired to help. On the other hand, ordinary citizens left to their own devices would solve many local problems on their own and at the same time fortify their neighborhood’s character, a quality as strong and fragile as a spider’s web. Most of us now see the city the way she did, noting incremental changes that alter the topography of our lives: the hardware store that closes, the sandwich shop that opens, the tenement that makes way for a tower. Bike activists, community gardeners, and community organizers put her lessons into practice every day. So do the bureaucrats and planners she abhorred. Her influence is ubiquitous; her ideas have percolated from the radical to the self-evident.”

“A Look Back At The Firebird II Self Driving Car Of 1956” [GAS2 (GF)]. “Similar to air traffic controllers, humans in towers built alongside the road every 20 miles or so would issue instructions about speed and direction to the cars using wires embedded in the roadway. Instructions from the control towers would eliminate congestion and keep us all safe on our journeys. The idyllic future was embodied in the Firebird II, a finned and frothy design that included such technological marvels as an onboard orange juice maker.” Wow, a juicer. That’s futuristic!

“The Internet Archive, which maintains copies of much of the internet, announced on Tuesday plans to create Internet Archive Canada, a northern backup copy of the internet that will be free of the whims of President Trump and the Republicans who control both houses of Congress.” [Daily Dot].

* * *

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


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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. Cry Shop

      I wonder if they have given much thought to who Trump would pick for Round 2 if Jeff Sessions was to be rejected. This really is a case of better the devil you know.

  1. Synoia

    But [Amazon] on Wednesday proposed a surprising way to move data from large corporate customers’ data centers to its public cloud-computing operation: by truck” [Wall Street Journal, “Amazon Uses Trucks to Drive Data Faster”]. “Networks can move massive amounts of data only so fast. Trucks, it turns out, can move it faster.

    The advantages of the Mack Truck packet switching network have be extant for years.

    However, the better question in not the carrying capacity of the trucks. but the type of media used. It was, at one time, 9 track tape. Such a media standard is long gone. What do they propose? SD Cards?

    The time to measure is not the Mack Truck drive time, but the time for producing the loaded media, cataloguing it, driving it, loading it and making sure nothing has been mislaid or forgotten.

    The drive time is a negligible part of that elapsed time.

    Upgrading the optical network might be a better investment – it is reusable for many years.

      1. Jay M

        With a self driving truck, this sounds like bandwidth too cheap to meter. You can tell the movie is downloaded when the truck crashes into your livingroom.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      Makes perfect sense to me. I’ve got a collection of around 150GB of old ebay auction photos of bicycle parts, and the only practical way for me to share it with like-minded bicycle anoraks is to have them mail me empty USB thumb drives, me to load the files onto them, and mail them back via snail mail. Crappy, sub-global standard, real world US broadband simply isn’t up to the task. Here we are in the digital age, and snail mail still kicks the ass of the network for speed, cost and efficiency. And needless to add I suppose, security and privacy as well.

      1. integer

        I’ve got a collection of around 150GB of old ebay auction photos of bicycle parts

        I know better than to ask why, so I’ll just say that this is stunning.

      2. Tom Bradford

        ” I’ve got a collection of around 150GB of old ebay auction photos of bicycle parts,”

        This sounds unique, and of historical importance. When your Hdd fails it’s lost forever. Could you not park it on a server somewhere and point like-minded bicycle anoraks that way?

        1. Kurt Sperry

          I’ve got it backed up on an external HDD and have sent out copies to other bikies. No cheap-o hosting service like mine, whether they advertise “unlimited storage” or not, wants to see a customer upload 150GB to their account. That’s when the fine print gets hauled out.

            1. Kurt Sperry

              Windows Explorer or Picasa, the collection is divided into folders and subfolders by subject and within those and the filenames contain identifying information where appropriate, so if the lowest hierarchical folder in the tree is large, then Control + F, or search within Picasa. In practice, finding any specific file is pretty fast and easy.

    2. hunkerdown

      SD cards can beat 5 terabytes per cubic inch… at $2000/in^3, 100% fill factor, bulk pack, which is not very convenient to use, as you pointed out. At 43GB/in^3, recent 10TB hard disks can be stacked in a 20ft dry container with a 25% fill factor (controllers, airflow, bus bars, etc.) to provide 180 petabytes of storage. Just add ports on one side for power (+5Vdc@4000A, +12Vdc@?) and Ethernet or (for the cheek) Firewire, and don’t try to spin them all up at once without a chiller hooked up.

      It, too, is reusable for many years. The NSA might find them handy to haul their rainbow tables wherever they might be needed and/or haul captures back home. “Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious need for collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.” Fear and Loathing in Friendship Annex

  2. Altandmain

    Basically Trump has sold out now. As Bernie notes, all companies have to do is to threaten to leave and they will be rewarded with tax breaks and other incentives. Companies already have too many tax breaks as is.

    This is immensely damaging for so many reasons. The only question I think will be if and when his base realizes that he has betrayed them. It is the economy, that will decide the Trump presidency. He sold himself on a cult of personality based on his business acumen, so if he doesn’t deliver, he will be regraded as a failure.

    There are ways to protect domestic manufacturing (and I might add that it is a very worthy goal to do so), but the direction that Trump has pursued thus far is not encouraging.

      1. Vatch

        Absolutely — tariffs. Instead of rewarding companies for preserving domestic jobs, we should penalize the companies that send jobs overseas. Foreign countries can’t retaliate noticeably, because U.S. exports are relatively insignificant compared to U.S. imports.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          This. The US’ enormous trade deficit has one ginormous upside (well, trading paper and bytes for hard goods too) and that is that all our trade partners who we run lopsided trade deficits with have no leverage at all to retaliate against us. Slap countervailing duties and tariffs on all the US manufactured output going to say the PRC. LOL, bring it on China! Let’s have a show of hands here: how many of us have jobs that hinge on exporting goods or services to China? Nobody? Even you guys in the back? We are completely in the driver’s seat here and we’re behaving as if we were dependent on exports that don’t (or barely) actually exist. Whaaat?

          1. John k

            Exactly, start with 15%, tell them if they retaliate against Boeing we’ll double it… better yet, make the tariff depend on the overall trade deficit.
            In the 30’s we were seriously hurt with trade wars because in those days we were the big exporter, the China of the period.

            1. Kurt Sperry

              Write a formula that sets tariffs based on prevailing wage rates, worker rights, environmental standards in place or similar. Imports from high-wage, well regulated countries come in tariff-free; imports from low-wage countries get dinged based on the wage differential etc. It protects American labor from unfair competition or from companies offshoring production simply to lower labor costs or using the threat of moving it to bargain down labor pay rates here, but at the same time guarantees free trade access for countries with similar labor and regulatory standards.

              Instead of incentivizing a race to the bottom, it encourages our low-wage trade partners to raise the living standards of their countries.

          2. Altandmain

            They could potentially sell US Treasuries that they hold, and send US interest rates very high.

            Of course, that would mean losing huge amounts of money on their “investment” in US Treasuries as they would have to take a big haircut.

            Transportation equipment and electronics I think is the top right now.

            I suppose the Chinese would buy more from the EU if that proposed tariff happened. They might also buy more agriculture products from other countries.

            Still, it’s well worth taking a loss in exports since it is small compared to the massive trade deficit.

            1. Uahsenaa

              But there’s the problem that China’s economy has to remain near overheated just to quell civil unrest (which is already rampant in rural areas, it just hardly ever gets reported on). The EU can’t absorb the sheer volume of exports that would be needed to keep the Chinese economy where it is. Only the US really has the purchasing power to do it.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                > already rampant in rural areas, it just hardly ever gets reported on

                I believe it. I wish I had a way to track it, though. Is there a China watcher site for this kind of information?

              2. Uahsenaa

                I wish there were a clearinghouse of sorts for this information, but Beijing keeps a tight lid on the foreign press and close eye on where they travel. Now and then, you’ll see a Times article about the Uighurs (which is an ongoing headache) or the ouster of local party officials in a rural village, but nothing that contributes to a sustained narrative. I get most of my info from academic articles (since I specialize in East Asia) as well as my friend who grew up in the West but has lived in the US since grad school.

                Land policy has been a particular bugaboo the past few years. The Party tries to blame unrest on “greedy landowners,” which is rich, when you consider the government is gobbling up land and resources to fuel the massive inequality that exists there. Here are two overviews that I could find which were open access.

                The first is an article I remember reading in grad school. It’s ten years old now, but the issues now are no different, as shown by the Wukan protests in 2011.

                The second gives a good overview of the underlying structural issues, in particular the migrant situation and how the movement from rural to suburban areas impacts the political economy. It was the first time I’d ever heard of the layer of bureaucrats called “interceptors” whose job it is to insulate Beijing from formal complaints.

                The work of an interceptor is to stop complains from reaching Beijing via coercion or bribes. The local government is also trying to divide and rule the worker community by rewarding informers with residence permits and cash prizes. Since these benefit a small percentage, the majority are invariably punished after being informed on and get further alienated being pre-emptively punished for having grievances, which leaves no alternative but recourse to violence.

                Recipe for disaster, if you ask me.

        1. KurtisMayfield

          According to the Ag industry it has been experiencing deflation

          Kroger complains

          Some competition might accompany a retalitory tariff… If the rest of the world wants to increase their food costs.

          Who am I kidding, the WTO would smack down tariffs and the US will just subsidize the farms more.

            1. Kurt Sperry

              The US is perhaps the only country in the world that could exit the WTO and realize a net economic benefit. That is potentially an amazing bargaining place to be in.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It bears watching.

      The key sign is whether there will be new out-of-country relocation announcements, and how many.

      If it’s as profitable and as tempting as Sanders notes, we should hear about a bunch today, before the sun sets.

      In the meantime, those near-laid-off workers will be able to keep working past this Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza.

      And Foxconn is said to be thinking about manufacturing in America.

      And Indian IT H1B visa handlers/processors are reported to be looking to hire freshers here.

    2. Marco

      He delivered for 1000 Carrier workers. A symbolic victory by dubious means but that’s all his base cares about. If he threatened defense contracts of parent company (united technologies?) then I’d call it “getting the-job-done”

      1. Minnie Mouse

        Looks like a bully pulpit Teddy R. never dreamed of. I hope it was a big stick not a juicy carrot.

        ‘We get 14,000 trailers a day,’ One way wrong way trade deficit gone mad.

      2. Marco

        Would a Democratic Prez (or Prez Bernie) have done the same? I’m sure the MIC would be apoplectic. But we can take comfort in Bernie’s finger-wagging in the WashPost.

        1. Waldenpond

          Amelioration is the Ds strategy. This is exactly what they would have done. The hypocrisy is annoying. Equally annoying is the celebration of the act as if it isn’t the same ol’ same ol’. Corps constantly move to whatever region, domestic or foreign, will pay them or give them tax breaks. The calls to interview the ‘winners’ (as if it isn’t oh so temporary) of the job lottery? ha! By all means, let’s not interview the losers, they’re just pouting when they should be having a parade to congratulate the neighbor. Maybe the liberals can get some gofundmes going or send sleeping bags and hand warmers. Toss out a few crumbs and tell the whiners to quit kvetching and organize.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          So you feel that corporations won’t blackmail Trump to screw their workers? I think that’s a bit too trusting.

          Personally, I think that it’s great the Carrier people kept their jobs. And the liberal bloviation it’s b-a-a-a-a-a-a-d public policy shows they still don’t understand why they lost. But they don’t go the extra step that Sanders took, unsurprisingly, and that’s to look at the future effects on the working class as a whole. That’s the way to lay the footing for a Trump failure to deliver on anything but stunts.

          So, I think “fingerwagging” is quite wrong.

    3. ggm

      I wouldn’t read into this as a blueprint for any future deals. In his speech at Carrier today, Trump said he only did the deal because of an accidental campaign promise.

      He was watching television after the election and a Carrier worker being interviewed said he was excited because Trump had promised he wasn’t going to let Carrier leave. Trump said that worker had misinterpreted one of his speeches, but after reviewing the speech he understood why the worker had gotten the wrong impression and didn’t want to let him down.

    4. J Cooper

      I did the math on this, and here’s what I see:

      It is costing $700,000 a year to keep 1,000 jobs. That’s about $700 per job/per year that the government is offering in tax incentives.

      Now let’s assume the Carrier workers make $30,000 a year. 1000 jobs x $30,000 per job is 30 million dollars in the local economy. Over 10 years it’s 300 million dollars in the local economy. And it will cost $7 million to keep those jobs. I would assume that taxes paid back into the economy on the $300 million will more than cover the 7 million in tax incentives to keep the jobs.

      Now let’s say they let the jobs go. They won’t have to spend the $700,000 per year (or $700 per worker). How much will the government spend in unemployment benefits, welfare, food stamps, job re-training, etc.? I would imagine a lot more that $700 per year per worker.

      It sucks to give companies more and more tax incentives, and it burns me that the CEO of United Technologies walked away with $172 million package, but it seems to me that $7 million is not a huge price to keep 1000 jobs for 10 years.

      Am I missing something?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        You’re missing the public relations/theatre/kayfabe aspect, which is critical.

        And as a tactical matter, I’m not sure asking Carrier workers to take one for the team has much merit. They would be quite justified in asking “What team?”

    5. Code Name D

      Oh please! I’ve got to call bull-shit on this one. Bribing companies to stay has been the rule for decades. In fact, it’s the only tools cities, counties and states even have at keeping jobs located in their districts. Every town has some sob story how several million dollars of tax payer money was spent to keep a plant open – only to have them jump ship the moment you turn around.

      I find it absurdly hypocritical to attack Trump for how he managed to keep Carrier from leaving. “He showed corporations how the government can be beat…” Bull, Sanders already said that Congress doesn’t regulate the corporations – the corporations regulate congress. The government has ALREADY been whipped into submission years ago.

      He still got the job done – as President ELECT even. He didn’t sell out! What he did was showed us how the game is played. And in the bargain, making Obama into an even bigger loser than he was before because he wouldn’t even lift one finger to help them out.

      To quote Gladiator, “He knows what Rome is. He will give the people what they want. He will bring them death, and they will love him for it.”

      1. Lambert Strether Post author


        The whole thing reminds me of The Blob yammering about a humanitarian crisis in Syria while having nothing to say about Yemen.

        It’s all “any stick to beat a dog.” It’s more policy-ish than policy, since it’s clearly not based on any consistent principles (except that the persons doing the yammering should retain their rice bowls).

    6. different clue

      Every time a company tries to pull a Carrier now, Sanders can say he predicted this. Every time a company does what Sanders has predicted ( pulls a Carrier), Sanders’s credibility and reputation for prescience goes up and up.

      Once that happens, can he and the movement do something politically meaningful with that created reputation?

      1. integer

        Imo, Sanders changed the conversation and for that we should be grateful. Much of what he says is correct, however he is an old man and he has well worn thought patterns on some issues that he seems unable to shake. To put it another way, he seems unable to think outside of the system that he has been a part of for so long, when it is the system itself that is the problem. Just my opinion and I do respect Sanders, fwiw.

        1. Darthbobber

          This would be more persuasive if you were actually providing examples of what you think those “well worn thought patterns” are, and what you feel would be better ones.

          Or for that matter, what “the system” even means as used by you. (It seems to mean very different things to different people.)

          1. integer

            Allowing destructive US foreign policy to occur due to a lack of understanding of non-domestic issues, though I expect under Sanders it would be better than it has been, and I also don’t think he would get the intelligence agencies under control. Those two issues are intertwined. By the system I meant the political system.

            What does Darthbobber mean? The imagery it conjures up in my mind is unpleasant.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          Talleyrand died at 84 years of age, and was as mentally as flexible as it is possible to be until the very end. I think that any lack of flexibility Sanders might have is a result of having been in the political wilderness, as a socialist, for so many years.

          And with this campaign, then his book, and now speaking out, he’s laying the footing for whatever is to come.

          I think there will be a Sanders 2.0, but I don’t think it will be Sanders. However, it will be seen that we owe Sanders an immense debt of gratitude.

          1. integer

            I have a 90+ year old grandmother who is sharp as a tack so I certainly accept that age is not a barrier to intellectual capacity, though at least in my grandma’s case she is not particularly flexible. I think she’s just stubborn. I am too, though I try to refine my views with each piece of new information. As I said, I have (a lot of) respect for Sanders, and that is not something I say out loud about many people.

            1. integer

              Especially politicians. In fact it’s rare for me to even think about “respect” and “politician” in the same thought, unless there is a “no” included as well.

            2. Kurt Sperry

              I had a lively and nuanced discussion of politics with my grandmother on the eve of her 100th birthday. She was brighter and better informed than most people half her age even then.

  3. David

    Well, well, the French media is just reporting that François Hollande has said he will not run for President next year. He gave a complicated explanation about party unity, although the reality is that he was going to lose the Primary anyway.

    1. Altandmain

      He basically betrayed most of his promises.

      I’m very disappointed in Hollande’s tenure to be honest. I had been expecting him to try to address the very real problems facing French society.

      They need a real left wing leader in charge.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      Why would anyone support or vote for an austerian neoliberal “socialist”? Hollande must have been the most pointless and oxymoronic head of any large state in living memory.

  4. fresno dan

    UPDATE “Bernie Sanders: Carrier just showed corporations how to beat Donald Trump” [Bernie Sanders, WaPo]. Worth reading in full if you want an idea of what Democrats ought to sound like to be worthy of the name:

    I liked my comment in Links today so much I am repeating them:

    I am actually glad Trump did it. AND I am actually glad Bernie is criticizing it.
    And I am glad outsourcing was a constant theme during the 8 years of the Obama administration ….(do I REALLY need the sarc label???)

    Its about time who benefits and who is screwed when corporations leave this country is a serious topic instead of the asinine indoctrinated class telling us that jobs leaving the US is like planet orbits or the tides….
    DISTRIBUTION is the new black!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Increasing budget deficits to keep jobs here with corporate tax cuts is a mirror image form of fiscal stimulating by government spending.

      Here, many workers benefit from the deal.

      The key is to make sure it is not gamed, not abused…which means, it should not be done often, or become a standard operating procedure. It should supplement measures to limit currency manipulation, reduce unfair competition, increase tariffs and reform H1B visas, ideally to protect jobs.

    2. b.

      It is even better to see WaPo link from the Bernie article to this Bernstein drivel:

      ” [There’s] no question that what [Trump et.al.] did here at Carrier is both smart politics and a real, unequivocal boon for the Carrier workers who get to keep their high-value-added jobs relative to what may otherwise be available to them.”

      This continues to be a wonderfully clarifying presidency.

      1. fresno dan


        I am not going to say that Bernstein is the scum of the earth because that would be rude, and my mommy told me that if you can’t say nothing nice you shouldn’t say nothing at all.

        And I will be put in moderation if I link to the 30 or 40 charts that show rising inequality, falling income for the 90%, the first time in history that mortality is rising in the US, etc., etc.,…..
        AND this guy says that keeping jobs at Carrier is UNSUSTAINABLE.
        Will SOMEONE explain to Bernstein that “economics” is NOT physics, NOT chemistry, NOT geology, NOT astronomy, NOT mathematics – that it is haruspex, and ONLY haruspex…..
        One word for it….INCONCEIVABLE…..

    3. Uahsenaa

      NPR had someone from the Brookings Institution (YES!) on to explain why all this talk about manufacturing is much ado about nothing. Something about how all workers will have to be retrained, robots do all the work anyway, the same old canards. The new way of doing things is going to be very hard on some (and by “some” I mean journalists).

      1. flora

        and by “some” I mean journalists.”

        From june 2015:

        “Have readers noticed? Last year, a Swedish media professor, Christer Clerwall, conducted the first proper blind study into how sports reports written by computers and by humans compared. Readers taking part in the study suggested, on the whole, that the reports written by human sports journalists were slightly more accessible and enjoyable, but that those written by computer seemed a little more informative and trustworthy.”

        Narrative Science seems to be the big player in the computer generated news article biz.

        Hmmmm…. maybe WaPo could replace Timberg with a computer program. ;)

      1. Minnie Mouse

        Yep, Bernie is right that there could never be enough tax giveaways, deregulation etc. etc. to do the job of reversing the trade hemorrhaging. It would take a really big stick to do the job. But Trump was actually willing to call the culprits out in public and hold them accountable for deliberate decision making.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I agree (though Bernie was willing to call the culprits out too, he’s not the President, thanks to the Clinton Dynasty and its assorted hangers-on). It’s not an issue of recognizing the symptoms, but of diagnosis and cure.

  5. cnchal

    . . . Ross restructured a number of ailing steel companies, including LTV and Bethlehem, to form the International Steel Group. The 79-year-old magnate sold the group for $4.5 billion in 2005 to form what is now ArcelorMittal . . .

    Almost equal to one Nimitz class aircraft carrier. Throw in another $100,000,000 and you are there.

    1. rich

      The PE mindset will solve everything…hmmm

      Wednesday, November 30, 2016
      Carlyle’s Final Screwing of Brintons’ Family & Employees

      The Carlyle Group is exploring a sale of Brintons’, the storied British carpet maker. Carlyle hired William Blair to auction Brintons’ five years after acquiring it for £38 million out of liquidation. The story did not say how Carlyle put Brintons’ in liquidation by buying company debt on the cheap. The Brintons’ family leveled about their unfair treatment by Carlyle.

      Rather than buying the family’s equity stake, Carlyle bought the company’s debt (at a discount to its face value, no doubt). Once they had acquired the debt Carlyle then used a controversial pre-pack administration to seize control – placing the carpet-maker into administration, then buying it straight back.

      By using a pre-pack to acquire the business, Carlyle was able to jettison Brintons’ pension fund – complete with its £10.5m deficit.

      I expect the family to be knotted and tufted about Carlyle’s plans to get over £200 million from the sale. The sixty five Brintons’ employees laid off in February 2016 might be frosted about Carlyle’s huge payday after theirs was eliminated.

      Carlyle dumped Brintons’ pension responsibility on the public Pension Protection Fund.

      How much will they get from Carlyle’s monstrous profits on Brintons’ sale? Nothing, nada, zippo. Auctioneer William Blair will get more than the Pension Protection Fund.

      Carlyle promotes how they are the solution for underfunded pensions.
      Just not Brintons’, a five year PEU bled affiliate.


  6. Big River Bandido

    Terry McAuliffe, on Trump: “When I was running for governor in ’09, he actually sent me a $25,000 check.”

    There, in a nutshell, is what’s wrong with the Democrats.

    1. Vatch

      I’m a lot more concerned about the Democratic Party’s role in the 2016 Democratic primaries. That’s where the fraud was.

    2. Code Name D

      Wow. And reading those comments was depressing. They actually BELEAVE Russians hacked the election. Quick! I need a supply a Brooklyn Bridges to sell – stat!

      1. integer

        Don’t let it discourage you. Did you catch that story about how Castro used the same group of soldiers to march past a US journalist to give the impression that there was a whole army’s worth, when he only had one small group? It is very likely that something similar is going on all around the web at the moment, imo. David Brock and his minions must be in a state of serious desperation. CTR’s funders must be pissed.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Illustrates the point that activists resisting resource extraction tend to be more knowledgeable and evidence-based than resource extraction advocates. Because they have the incentive to be!

  7. voislav

    The judge should tell Mozell that the Internet is a series of tubes which would get clogged trying to suck in all the ballots. The technical incompetence on display every time there is anything technical at issue in a courtroom is amazing.

    1. shinola

      To get all Machiavellian about this:

      Perhaps the real Rooski operative is Timberg. He is, after all, a “professional journalist” working for the “esteemed” Washington Post.

      It s almost inconceivable that an experienced pro would put together such a sloppy, thinly sourced & unsubstantiated piece (of crap); and then a premier new organization actually printed the piece.

      The obvious abandonment of journalistic integrity & standards in this case leads one to believe this must be deliberate.

      By putting out such an outrageous, easily debunked story, Timberg & WaPo make it more difficult to take any anti-Russian story seriously (and giving all those pinko blogs like NC broader exposure/publicity).

      Causing all anti-Russian reporting to be labeled with the dreaded & derisive “McCarthyism” tag, gives all those Putin sympathizers cover and a legitimacy they clearly don’t deserve!

      So it could well be that the actual Russian tools are Timberg & WaPo (and by extension a certain billionaire who owns the WaPo).

      WaPo should offer me a job – I got this sh*t DOWN!

      1. Marco

        There is Amazon and then there is AWS (Amazon Web Services). The only part of the company that is reasonably profitable in the traditional sense. In the software industry if you want to leverage any kind of external cheap “Cloud” infrastructure for your bread and butter you use AWS. There are alternatives (Azure? RackSpace?) but really AWS is the 800lb gorilla/octopus/elephant in the room. It’s HARD for me to see our $$ go to AWS every month but currently we don’t have a choice. As a consumer giving up Amazon Prime would be relatively painless. Parting ways with AWS would be downright traumatic for our software shop.

  8. Steve H.


    : An underdiscussed virtue of a universal basic income is that it would counter geographic inequality even more powerfully than it blunts conventional income inequality.

    : A nation of mid-sized cities distributed throughout the country would both spread the wealth geographically and yield a more balanced politics than the dream of hyperproductive megacities.

    Worth considering as answers to some of the questions raised in Howard Odum, transformities and the urban/rural divide in America:

    : There is one very important difference today from the past regarding the urban/rural divide. In the past, the vast majority of humans lived on farms; only a tiny minority lived in cities. Today, the productivity of modern farming techniques has shrunk the ranks of farmers in the United States to about 3.2 million in a country of 324 million or about one percent.

    [Background Odum.]

    1. fresno dan

      Steve H.
      December 1, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      I have never put much stock in the idea of “geographical” diversity. I pretty much thought that one vote one person without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, etcetera was good enough. After reading the article, I am still skeptical, but now I have to admit there is something to the argument.
      AND – there are plenty of poor people in big cities – Chicago???? – so I don’t see that concentrating people in cities really reduces the percentage of poor people anyway. (are there really more poor people percentage wide in rural areas??) It just seems to me the rich screw the poor without regard to race, creed, or location….

  9. lyman alpha blob

    “Although it would be nice to know what “more than $1,000” meant. I mean, a squillion is more than a thousand, right?”

    According to Stein no squillionaires were able to donate a whole squillion. I linked this late yesterday so not sure if anyone saw it but this interview with Stein from Democracy Now was quite good and addresses many of the criticisms people here have brought up. Goodman is not just lobbing softballs. Here’s the relevant passage re: the recount donation limits:

    AMY GOODMAN: Is it all—is it all small donors?

    DR. JILL STEIN: Yes, it is, because we are following campaign finance laws, like as if for our campaign. So, the average donation is $45. One-half of 1 percent of donors contributed more than $1,000. And the absolute maximum is the maximum you can contribute to a political campaign, which is $2,700

    Since Stein tosses in an ‘as if’ it’s unclear whether this is an absolute legal limit or not. Maybe Stein is just asking people not to donate more than $2700? Anyhow, with all the butthurt Hillbots out there it’s certainly plausible that she raised this from primarily small donations. If the 400+ donations over $1000 she references all gave the purported max that would be only $1.1 mil.

    Also some good discussion about the rift within the Greens over her recount efforts

    1. Vatch

      The limit is $100,200 per donor per year. See:


      $100,200 is the limit for contributions to Additional National Party Committee Accounts (a national party committee’s accounts for: (i) the presidential nominating convention; (ii) election recounts and contests and other legal proceedings; and (iii) national party headquarters buildings. A party’s national committee, Senate campaign committee and House campaign committee are each considered separate national party committees with separate limits. Only a national party committee, not the parties’ national congressional campaign committees, may have an account for the presidential nominating convention.)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I found that out the other day as well.

        From the Counterpunch article:

        On Monday, November 21, the Green Party Steering committee was summoned to a call with Jill Stein and David Cobb at 10 PM and that the call was about deep pocket donors giving money to the party. This is the first time that the campaign has ever reached out to the GP Steering Committee. Not during the campaign and there have not even been any collaborative reachouts, not even after the election. Recently, there was one single fundraising email pitch that was proported to be for the Green Party, but the link went to the Stein campaign, not the Green Party donation page.

        During the call, Jill Stein told the steering committee that she was approached by election activists who thought that there was fraud in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Stein wanted the Green Party to open up a new bank account as political parties can take donations up to $10,000 and the Stein campaign could only take $2700 to file suits to demand recounts in these states.

        Couple of things.

        1. The ‘deep pocket donors’ reference seems ominous.

        2. How does that ‘10,000’ limit relate to the $100,200 limit?

        1. Vatch

          2. How does that ‘10,000’ limit relate to the $100,200 limit?

          I think it simply means that Stein was mistaken if she said that. The limit for the purposes of a recount is $100,200. The limit for general purpose donations to a party is $10,000. It’s not surprising that a Green would be unaware of this — how often do squillionaires donate to the Green Party? Big shots in the Democratic or Republican parties would know about this, though, and several monster contributions from those folks have very likely occurred.

      2. fresno dan

        December 1, 2016 at 3:35 pm

        What are some other ways I can support a candidate?
        The Federal Election Campaign Act and FEC regulations include a number of provisions intended to encourage individuals to become involved in campaigns. For example, an individual can provide volunteer services to a candidate or party without considering the value of those service a contribution to the candidate or party. Individuals may also make independent expenditures supporting or opposing candidates, and may finance electioneering communications. However, both of these activities are subject to special reporting requirements. For more information on volunteering and other ways of supporting candidates, consult our Citizens Guide [PDF].

        Thanks for that. But in reading through it, I get the impression that if one were to read every footnote and understand what it really meant, the true result would be that you could essentially give a squillion dollars if you wanted…..

        1. Vatch

          No kidding! And perhaps I should amend what I said above, since the limit is $100,200 for each individual donor per account, per year. So if both the Green Party and the Democratic Party national committees are involved, it appears that an individual could give $100,200 to the Greens, and $100,200 to the Democrats, for a total of $200,400. Plus various other donations, of course.

      3. lyman alpha blob

        Here’s more from the Counterpunch article Lambert linked to above – it’s along the lines of what you mentioned and comes from another Green with an axe to grind:

        Stein wanted the Green Party to open up a new bank account as political parties can take donations up to $10,000 and the Stein campaign could only take $2700 to file suits to demand recounts in these states.

        Stein and Cobb were clearly shopping this elsewhere as they were able to get two state parties who were gullible enough to accept donations on behalf of this scheme: Massachusetts and Ohio. They can each take $10,000 for the recount and the Stein camp can take $2700. So one can donate $29,700 to this effort.

        Aside from the recount finance issues, the article depicts a lot of infighting between party members. The Democrats looked pretty bad when Wikileaks exposed some of their dirty laundry. The Greens are voluntarily clotheslining their hot pink skidmarked undergarments in the front yard.

        Dysfunctional indeed.

      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > the absolute maximum is the maximum you can contribute to a political campaign, which is $2,700

        I’m confused about this, because I thought that the recount was not actually a campaign?

        1. Vatch

          I’m confused, too, but according to the FEC website, for the purpose of a recount, a person can donate up to $100,200 per account, per year. So if a person donates to more than one recount account, that person could donate more than $100,200.

          As far as I can tell, the $2,700 limit for regular campaigns is irrelevant for recounts.

  10. Knifecatcher

    Re: Amazon moving data via truck: Way back in the dark ages my Computer Science networking professor liked to quote Andrew Tannenbaum: “Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.”

  11. MightyMike

    The Republicans are the party of the rich; the Democrats are the party of the rich and poor. Those in between have no place.

    That may be the case, but I thought that one story from the rust belt this year is that many formerly prosperous working class people have fallen into poverty and many others face that fate as a risk. I would think that WWC folks in the Rust Belt would want a string safety new even if they’re not currently using it themselves.

    1. MightyMike

      Regarding this:

      The tough reality of economic development is that it will always be easier to move people to jobs than the jobs to people. Which is akin to telling many, many voters the only way possible way they can live an even modest lifestyle is to abandon their roots for the uniformity of urban life

      Americans actually move around a lot. There are plenty of people who have moved from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt over the past few decades. It doesn’t always require moving to a city. Many booming cities like Atlanta, Dallas or Phoenix don’t even look like cities to people from NYC. To me they appear to be giant conurbations consisting of a small downtown urbanish core with mediocre public transportation surrounded by hundreds of square miles of sprawling suburbia.

      Of course, there are plenty of Americans who don’t like moving, but in some cases it’s unavoidable.

      1. craazyboy

        I would certainly hate to move to NYC, San Francisco, or W DeeCee for a job that paid any less than 150K. I think those employers should be considering the move.

      2. a different chris

        I didn’t get that one at all. Even before offshoring, manufacturing jobs moved South to avoid unions. Then they went to Mexico and towards Asia eventually mostly winding up in China.

        Meanwhile, software and call center jobs moved to India.

        WTF are they talking about, then? House cleaning for the rich and famous, I guess.

          1. integer

            Had to search that term. Snowclones, solving the unfavorable semicircle, sock puppets. I sure learn a lot around here.

    2. sgt_doom

      I believe the progressive economist, Steve Keen (Kingston University) said it best recently in an interview with the Epoch Times:

      And that’s what we are seeing globally now with Trump and Brexit, this revolt against globalization and financialization. The absolute losers of all of this are the working class of the first world. The winners are the multinational corporations.


      1. fresno dan

        December 1, 2016 at 5:39 pm

        I saw a ?Klein? or ?Yglesias? article that said that there were so, so, so many less poor people in the world and we had to accept that – – we just had to accept the the middle glass in the first world had to be reduced to accomplish this noble, noble end….and that anybody who didn’t like it was stupid and racist…
        The idea that the price should be paid by the new squillionaires did not even occur to these clowns….

        1. aab

          That always amazes me. The elite argument is “how dare you complain when there are starving workers in the third world?” Yet those who say this essentially do no productive work, and are living high on the fiat currency hog, benefiting from the extreme domestic AND global inequality they pretend is inevitable and in some mysterious way just.

          Their argument would hold true if the United States had instituted strong redistributive policies so that all American citizens shared in the wealth created by globalized capital and production flows. If the standard of living for ALL Americans sank slightly as the rest of world rose, that argument would at least be factually accurate and morally valid. But that’s not at all what happened. Instead, a thin layer of Americans at the top radically increased their share of the wealth, without adding any value at all, merely by being structurally advantaged based on various forms of theft. The current regime has several protected classes — doctors, who are protected in numerous ways from competition and regulation, for one. The upper middle class that had its hand on the neoliberal steering wheel made sure to aim away from the careers their own children would seek.

          It is absolutely maddening seeing people like the Vox boys get rich claiming to be wonky when the simplest, middle school level evaluation of the data shows they’re arguing in extremely bad faith.

          1. fresno dan

            December 2, 2016 at 4:20 am

            “winners and losers” – We’re gonna do something about that….tomorrow

          2. BecauseTradition

            Their argument would hold true if the United States had instituted strong redistributive policies so that all American citizens shared in the wealth created by globalized capital and production flows. aab

            Or prevented unjust wealth inequality at its sources – one of which is government subsidies for depository institutions since thereby the poorer are forced to lend to banks (a deposit is legally a loan) to lower the borrowing costs of the richer, i.e. the more so-called creditworthy.

            One of our major mistakes is not to have an inherently risk-free payment system independent of the banks – thereby allowing the banks to hold our economy hostage.

            Nice comment, aab. Thanks.

            1. aab

              Yes. Good point.

              When I make my arguments on these types of issues, I still tend to launch on their terrain, like redistribution rather than MMT. Because it’s so telling that even using their idea of what money is in a capitalist system, they are arguing in bad faith.

              (Also, I still feel that I’m on shaky ground re: the true nature of money. I think I get it, but I’m nervous.)

  12. Katharine

    Free Speech (not). Jewish Voice for Peace reports there is a new senate bill, introduced this week and being fast-tracked, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, which would identify as anti-semitic anyone who criticized the government of Israel. They provided no number and no full text, just said it would codify a definition the State Department has been using, and the Congressional Record and search engine at congress.gov are not yet updated to show the detail. (I think that must mean it was introduced the 30th, or even today, as I’ve searched 28th and 29th.)

    I’m not sure what official consequences might follow from being so labeled, but it certainly appears to me that this would violate the free speech rights in the First Amendment.

    1. Gareth

      As all of my many Jewish friends support BDS I think the proposed law won’t staunch this movement unless there is an accompanying “Self-Loathing Jew Awareness Act”.

      1. Katharine

        More power to them! But Congress has no business dabbling in this kind of condemnation of political speech. They swore to uphold the Constitution. Is their word worth anything?

        1. hunkerdown

          Under the sovereign immunity and any number of other self-serving doctrines, no. Having settled that, now what?

    2. craazyboy

      Shouldn’t they just be honest and call it the Anti-Zionist Awareness Act? It would be much less confusing that way.

    3. integer

      Stu Eisenstat (of Covington & Burling) must have been working around the clock to get this going. His emails in the Podesta emails provide some very interesting insight into the Israel lobby.

    4. Jake

      Though with the current Supremes there’s no telling how that will go. You would think that “conservatives” would take the attitude that changing precedent is an extraordinary event. One hopes that means inhibiting speech is anathema. I guess we may have an early test case.

    5. fresno dan

      December 1, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Will be interesting if Bannon supports it. Is Breitbart anti Semitic or not???
      I intend to get the popcorn and watch this…..

  13. DJG

    Brilliant Maps:

    That red blob in the Mississippi Valley from about Galesburg, Illinois, up to about Rochester, Minnesota, encompassing the Quad Cities, LaCrosse, and Cedar Rapids, is worth contemplating. (If I tot up populations correctly, isn’t this about where the Dems lost the election?)

    This is rich farmland, not exactly the stereotype of rednecks in trailers wooing cousins with no teeth from excessive consumption of Mountain Dew. There are many historic towns (Mt. Carroll, Savanna, Galena, Stockton, Rock Island, just in Illinois). There are truck farms, artisanal cheese makers, B&Bs galore, summer-stock theaters, industries large and small, and many colleges. It take a real effort to lose this region: Many of the people in this region are “progressive” in the traditional sense of forward-looking (not nostalgic for some storied past), good at stewardship, hard working, literate, inventive (John Deere, anyone?). That wedge of Illinois is characterized more by small-town Lutheran (homemade cakes!) and Episcopalian (small businesses) values that raving Trump-ism.

    The issue is economic, then, not race or misogyny. These small towns and small cities have seen the ravages of deindustrialization (hey, open a B&B instead), de-population, and WalMart (who needed the old Main Street anyway?).

    Yikes. I suppose that we could entice some Democratic Party consultants out there with offers of artisanal cheddar. But then what would they say after it very slowly dawned on them that they managed to lose part of the base of the Democratic Party? (And where were these consultants during the Scott Walker coup de Wisconsin?)

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Good point that I haven’t heard made elsewhere.

      What seems to be driving the Democrats crazy is that so many voters they thought they owned rejected them. “They have no place to go” finally came home to roost.

  14. cwaltz

    I’m not a Hillary Clinton fan girl and I am not a fan of the victimhood/ pivot to the right to outflank the GOP there campaign Clinton ran but I think the Democrats loss was not entirely on Hillary(who I really question was even healthy enough to run to begin with.) Get her out in the crowds? Uh folks, she collapsed. Was a dead candidate really going to improve things? Maybe she was supposed to fall on her sword for Hillary supporters in Hillaryland but as someone not even a Hillary fan I find that viewpoint disgusting.

    The DNC and the democratic party reformers are going to continue to fail if the only thing they took out of this is that their candidate was the entire problem instead of the SYSTEM that choose to coronate her by hook or crook was the problem. And it pains me to say this but Bernie isn’t helping.

    I’ve been trying to recognize why I have been so off put by Sanders, who I normally see as probably one of the most honest politicians I’ve had the pleasure of watching, post Hillary.

    And today I realized something….even HE is either acting like a disingenuous politician or in denial over the election cycle.

    “America is rapidly headed for an “economic and political oligarchy” if people don’t stage a “political revolution ,” former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has warned.

    On it’s face that statement seems pretty innocuous, if you don’t put it into context. In 2015 the Democratic oligarchy chose a candidate. They then colluded with the media , not content to just use their incredibly undemocratic system of superdelegates created to thwart grassroots activists(DWS words, not mine) they broke their own bylaws in the process to install her as the candidate. That was the DNC, not Hillary Clinton. So how exactly can anyone knowing this occurred (and we all know it thanks to the wikileaks emails) say with a straight face that we don’t ALREADY have political oligarchy? And how do you move forward when it is the large immovable donkey in the room?

    And I get that Bernie is a Senator and the Senate is a cooperative effort, however, I said this yesterday and I’ll say it again, how can you fix a problem if you don’t even acknowledge it aloud? Are people just supposed to trust that the DNC leaders are going to act in good faith next cycle after this cycle shows that they basically use it’s base as a wallet and collude behind their backs?

    1. tommy strange

      Good point waltz, and don’t know if this helps but, 90% of the people that post real news (like NC, william black, cockburn etc), on my facebook, don’t think for a minute the party can be ‘reformed’. Many of them posted bernie stuff, even my far left friends, but very very few are paying attention to his words at all now….

    2. Katharine

      It is probably still true that the oligarchy can get worse, and to that extent his remark is not crazy. Apart from that, I suppose he is operating as a politician: if you don’t maintain some common ground with your colleagues you can’t ever get any cooperation. And while many of them do appear to be in denial, some may be honestly uncertain, trying to feel their way over unfamiliar ground and figure out what they can and cannot usefully do. There is a lot going on that we don’t see, witness the fact that in the House Democratic caucus over a quarter of the members wanted a new leader. That may not have been enough to get them a new leader, worse luck, but it’s evidence they aren’t ready to march in lockstep. We won’t gain anything by tarring them all with the same brush. We need to figure out who are strong allies and who can be pushed on some issues, and work on them and look for likely replacements for those who are plain useless.

      1. cwaltz

        How can you even figure out who the allies are when they are STILL holding closed door coronations?

        Other than the guy who ran against Pelosi we have no idea who the 60 odd renegades were who told Pelosi it’s time to step down.

        *shakes head*

        It’s hard to know which of my choices are worse- the party that thinks it can and should operate separately from the two other parties even though if they actually won a national election they’d have to work with those two parties that want to operate separately from to get things accomplished or a party that essentially is as undemocratic as it can possibly be. Have I said geez yet? Crap.

        1. Katharine

          There are voting records, for which Vote Smart is often a useful source, as it tracks key votes, which enables you to compare people who may seem superficially similar. (Two congressmen ran in the senate primary in my state, the neoliberal pretending to be progressive. I compared their key votes over two or three years and found about a dozen times they had voted differently: every time, his was the vote I didn’t like.) There are the official websites, from which you can glean at least a little information. There are people in their districts who actually pay attention and can often give a fairly good assessment of their behavior. Sure, it’s not simple, but if you want information there are ways of getting it.

          1. cwaltz

            You mean the revolving voting system that allows places like NARAL to give people like Barack Obama a favorable rating while allowing him to abstain from actually voting on choice?

            Please don’t bother accusing me of not doing my homework.

            I’m just asking you how you personally can know that for 2016 that your input is going to matter since in 2012 it’s actually been exposed that the DNC oligarchy chooses it’s candidates independent of input from activists(and actually has a system in place the way it is to defeat any candidates that aren’t on board the DNC gravy train?) How do you do know that when none of the people- shy of DWS- actually had any consequences? Heck Donna Brazile- still a superdelegate as far as I’m aware even went as far as to rub it in your face that her biggest regret is she was caught?

            1. hunkerdown

              Right. The Party and its members (and its hangers-on and its laity) are jointly and severally judged on RESULTS, and the Party and its members have no standing, no business, and no portfolio to presume to tell us how and by what to judge them.

              1. cwaltz

                There was a voice vote the other day for “studying” the Syrian no fly zone. I know who it’s co sponsors were. Because apparently the Pentagon stating that enforcing it would essentially cause a war between the US and Russia and Syria and a CBO estimate that it would cost 3 million isn’t enough studying on the subject.

                What site can I go to in order to find out which of the other Democrats voted for it?

                Oh wait, I can’t. It was a voice vote and nothing was actually recorded. Just like I can’t go anywhere to see which Democrats voted for Pelosi and which voted for Ryan since it was behind closed doors.

                But hey electorate it’s all your fault. Democracy requires your pretend participation and if you aren’t searching the databases for the votes actually recorded and making guess on who voted how or what agreements were struck behind closed doors then you get what you deserve when the DNC and RNC collectively screw you.

                Can I repeat this again? I reject the idea the electorate is more culpable then the people actually benefitting from this warped system.

            2. Katharine

              Wait a minute. You asked how you can figure out who are allies and I offered a partial answer. I was not “accusing” you of anything, simply replying to the question you appeared to ask. Now you say you were asking how you can know that your input is going to matter. That is not even remotely the same question, and the answer is much simpler: you never know that. You use the tools you have to the best of your ability, you fail way oftener than you succeed, and you go on learning and trying.

              People do succeed sometimes. It’s worth remembering that. No matter how badly the system is rigged, organized people do sometimes beat it. There is a neighborhood in south Baltimore where there is not and will not be an incinerator because a workers’ group, and especially the associated mostly high school youth group, organized opposition.

        2. integer

          Other than the guy who ran against Pelosi we have no idea who the 60 odd renegades were who told Pelosi it’s time to step down.

          Just look for the youngest 60 odd Dems as it’s highly likely they are acting in the name of self preservation.

    3. Michael

      You gotta let people into the ideas slowly. Yes, of course Bernie knows how bad it was; it was done to him. He’s a grownup. He also knows what you look like if you complain after you lose, instead of saying, “Hey man, the next guy might have it pretty bad if we’re not careful.”

    4. Elizabeth Burton

      Bernie knows the oligarchy is already running things. However, the people he’s talking for don’t, and if they did they would likely throw up their hands and say “What’s the use?”

      I noticed this same lack of understanding when people would make fun of him during the primaries for discussing “his usual talking points.” He repeated the same message because he was educating people who were (and in some cases remain) utterly clueless about both the situation and how things work. It’s a standard misstep people who know a good deal about a subject make—operating from the basis that any sensible person knows as much as they do.

      It’s a mistake Bernie rarely makes.

      So, I’ve also noticed, is demanding total perfection from people in a leadership position. Unless and until we’re prepared to accept that even the best of them are still fallible human beings and will occasionally make mistakes, we’ll continue to abdicate our own responsibility for correcting the evils we are facing. This isn’t about personalities, and whether we agree with someone on every single point. It’s about getting off our own butts and doing something, which far too many of us have failed to do for far too long.

      We are now enjoying the fruits of our abdication.

      1. hunkerdown

        Maybe leadership is the problem? Why are we suffering the trespasses of a class that appointed themselves over us? That’s the thing I have trouble getting: why any class should have its trespasses forgiven, and not punished exactly as stringently, ruthlessly, and arbitrarily as us?

        Why have sympathy for a privilege that exists only because and throught the threat of being beaten or shot?

        Also, what is this Protestant “original guilt” stuff? The Rescuer class loves to morally blame the “undeserving” victims, and you’re taking part in that.

        1. Katharine

          I see no suggestion of blaming “undeserving” victims in her comment. And frankly, I am tired of hearing about the poor helpless victims when I have had so much exposure to people who have no idea how government works, never bother to pay any attention to politics, make up their minds on the basis of ads if they vote at all, and then wonder why they are not better represented. Democracy is not a spectator sport. Every citizen has some responsibility for making it work.

          1. hunkerdown

            Well, see, here’s the problem: liberal democracy does not normatively define “government”, let along “good government”, and ur-fascist competitive factionalism does not normatively define “politics”. And “the fruits of our abdication” is absolutely the mark of a soi-disant liberal Rescuer presuming to vilify those who wouldn’t play along with liberalism. We didn’t abdicate. We simply quit playing liberals’ game, and it’s liberalism’s fault for being a self-absorbed lost cause, not ours.

            Perhaps our ghostly moderator Outis will manifest again for a bit and do a series on “What is democracy?” As far as I can tell, it’s a word liberals would like to render meaningless by diffusion in order to protect the power structure that ranks and hurts people and calls it justice.

          2. witters

            Here it is. The lib’prog shuffle: Patronise, pour contempt, and blame those on whom you patronise and pour for not having the knowledge you have (that, for instance, the US IS a democracy – or, if not – then WOULD BE if only you ‘took responsibility’, and did what those who are ‘exposed’ to you, and ‘frankly tired’ to hear anything about you, say you should do).

            1. cwaltz

              I’m a stay at home mom so I have time to stay current on stuff. I can’t even imagine someone working two jobs being told that the solution to better representation is to spend all their free time looking things up and on their off days having their Congressman on speed dial. Oh and also when choosing between the war party or the more war party it’s totally YOUR fault that we’re at war(because in addition to looking things up in order to actually get someone on the ballot anti war you have to collect signatures on your off days.

              *shakes head*

              So when Social Security is cut because both parties are out to “save it” by reducing benefits, it’s good to know it will be the electorate’s fault, even though they don’t have an alternate party offering up a different viewpoint.

              Jacked up.

              1. Vatch

                Some people are genuinely busy, and have no time to study politics. They can’t be blamed for this unfortunate reality. Others seem to have plenty of time to watch sports, “reality TV”, or to spend hours obsessing about celebrities on Facebook and Twitter. Not surprisingly, a lot of them are poorly informed about current events, and they do deserve some blame for this.

                So when Social Security is cut because both parties are out to “save it” by reducing benefits, it’s good to know it will be the electorate’s fault, even though they don’t have an alternate party offering up a different viewpoint.

                Bernie Sanders offered a different viewpoint, but not enough Democratic voters paid attention. So yes, if Social Security benefits are reduced, some voters will have shared the responsibility for that. They had a choice in the first half of 2016, and they didn’t take it.

          3. integer

            I think there has been an organized push to disassemble critical thinking skills and replace them with doubt about anything except for the “need” to put one’s self first. Try to have some patience with those who have succumbed to this mentality. Not easy sometimes I know.

        2. Vatch

          what is this Protestant “original guilt” stuff?

          A bit off topic, but I want to point out that some Protestants (not all of them) reject the doctrine of original sin. Catholics accept it.

      2. cwaltz

        I don’t expect my leaders to be perfect. They’re human. I’ve been active in politics for over a decade now(and before that I apparently was serving my country so that later on the rich could pillage in the name of “democracy”) Quite frankly I’m tired. I’d just like some glimmer of hope that things could get better instead of worse. Just a freaking glimmer. Something that shows me the people in charge learned something instead of are attempting to manage optics. Something that I could share with my kids that isn’t some pretend ,farcical nonsense and looks like real hope that what I’m handing over to them isn’t a contrived system managed by a wealthy few for a wealthy few. Today, I’m not seeing it. All I’m seeing is what looks like a political version of the Wizard of Oz(pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…..)

        1. integer

          It’s a problem of bad employees, not bad leaders. The framing of the problem is wrong and that’s why they (high-level public servants) can get away with so much.

          1. Jake

            I am not sure I understand what this means, it looks a bit like you are doing the political equivalent of blaming the victim. Or I may be missing the point (as in “whoosh!”). Who do you consider “the employees?

              1. integer

                Anger is a natural instinct and can be put to use in a positive way. There is a lot of energy stored in anger, try to use it rather than let it use you.

                1. cwaltz

                  I do most of the time. Every once in awhile though I get tired. I get frustrated. I get impatient almost like I can hear that stupid clock ticking, telling me my time is finite. I forget to tell myself that sometimes I have to be content with the fact that even though I may not see progress that learning what isn’t or doesn’t work should be considered progress. Hopefully my kids are paying attention since they get to inherit this mess. In short, I’m human and even though I know the way forward is pick yourself up and put one foot in front of the other even when it’s hard (it’s not like it’s not something my kids haven’t heard a million times from me when their lives prove hard), I get sidetracked by all the little fallible parts of me that make things easier said then done sometimes.


                  Hopefully I’ll be back to my usual belligerently stubborn/determined self tomorrow.

                  1. integer

                    Btw I am lucky enough to have a very kind mother and I get the impression that your kids are pretty lucky too.

    5. sgt_doom

      Nice points and I agree with everything you said, but speaking as a lifelong democratic liberal who evolved into a radical progressive, when one looks at Bernie’s record in its entirety, he really comes off looking more like a moderate republicon (misspelling purposeful) than any socialist or progressive.

      Of course, that means the so-called moderate republicon HRC is extreme right (and those clowns referring to Kaine as “center-right” aren’t even funny any more, just idiotically ludicrous!).

      Well said, though . . . .

    6. JohnnyGL

      cwaltz, If you visited VT during the holiday break, bumped into bernie at a bar, and bought him a few beers and dug into him a bit and said, “Hey, you know those Dems that surround you are rotten and are a big part of the problem, right?”

      He’d probably say something like, “well, yeah, but I can’t get them to vote for my bills on the senate floor if I call them warmongers and money-grubbers, can I? But, if I can rally millions of people to organize themselves and put pressure on their congressional reps, then we probably CAN get them to vote for my bills, after all!”

      There’s two things that overlap here. 1) Bernie’s generally a nice guy and not one to call people names and such and 2) Bernie’s a fairly savvy political operator who knows how to pick his targets and give himself the best odds of hitting them.

      I was mildly annoyed at his campaigning for Clinton, but I understood why he did it and he did exactly as was asked for her, no more, no less. Now that the Clintons are hopefully consigned to the dustbin of history, Bernie knows he’s got a heckuva job on his hands to save the Democratic Party from itself.

      He’s been top-notch in my view since the election, showing the olive branch and the iron fist to Trump.

      He’s gotten involved in DAPL, which is great to see (paging Lizzy Warren, allegedly of Plains Indians heritage?? Where you at, Lizzy?)

      Sanders calling out Trump on the Carrier deal is also excellent. He’s only one guy and he’s not even Senate Minority leader…..because it’s Chuck’s turn….wonder where they got that logic?

      1. cwaltz

        He doesn’t have to call them warmongers or money grubbers. He does need to call them out for their political manipulation of the primary and tell them to step forward and take responsibility for it. They did it, act like adults and own it.

        Instead it’s all Hillary’s fault because hey she gets to fall on the sword so Pelosi, Schumer, DWS, and all the other Democratic staff who quite frankly can pretend they had no part in the loss with their political shenanigans.

        1. johnnygl

          I think he sees that as unproductive. Like when he’s asked about if he could have beaten trump. He’s been asked a couple of times and responded, essentially, ‘who cares? It’s done. Let’s deal with present day reality. Trump won.’

          There’s no conceivable scenario where establishment dems all fess up and say, “bernie, we screwed you. We were wrong. We’re sorry.” and if they did that and didn’t change their behavior, what have you resolved? And if they did that, would you believe they were sincere? I would certainly not. Plus it leaves bernie looking bitter, self-centered and out-of-touch.

          Sanders knew he was stepping into a hornet’s nest and he doesn’t mind taking a few stings to move his agenda forward.

          1. cwaltz

            I’m not asking a hypothetical. I’m asking for proof that a problem that existed, undemocratic behavior to the point the party broke its own freaking bylaws during the primaries, is actually being addressed.

            Instead what I’m seeing is a whole bunch of pretend that this is all Hillary’s campaigns fault instead of the result of systemic collusion with Hillary.

            1. Fiery Hunt

              I’m sorry Ms. cwaltz…I totally understand your frustration.

              But here’s the truth I’ve gleaned from my 45 years on Earth, 27 of ’em as a self-employed, working class craftsman in the High Liberal SF Bay Area….

              Yep, the rich get richer, rig the game to get richer, and congratulate themselves on their moral superiorness in wanting to help the deeperly oppressed (as long as it doesn’t impact their ability to own multiple houses or send their kids to $25,000/a year private schools).

              In short, what you think you see IS
              really all there is. It won’t get better.

              “One need not hope, in order to begin. One need not succeed in order to perservere “

    7. juliania

      Well said, cwaltz. I also think Bernie’s speech castigating Trump about increasing taxes and preventing jobs from going overseas is totally hypocritical (there, I’ve said it.) People who want jobs to stay in this country REALLY want jobs to stay in this country, and I think the unemployed would have been happy to pay more taxes and keep their jobs if that’s what it would take. I’m not saying that is a good exchange, but it’s substantially better than saying ‘there is no alternative’ or ‘the jobs are never coming back.’

      I lost faith in Bernie Sanders when he wouldn’t join Jill Stein in her excellent platform of the Green New Deal, and I totally agree,cwaltz that the statement about ‘being headed for’ what we already have is stunningly duplicitous.

      1. different clue

        Is “join Jill Stein in her excellent platform” code for ” run for President on the Green Party ticket”? Because if it is, I don’t blame Sanders for declining to step into that tar pit of frivolous self regard and moral preening/ purity stuff-strutting.

    8. dk

      Agreed that it was the DNC at least as much as Hillary herself. But the Clintons did play a very large role in the shaping of the current DNC, and much of its previous makeup. Maybe the graph selection could be better titled “Hillary and what she represents”.

      As far as the immoveable donkey… the character of that DNC donkey can change substantially if the staff changes. For recent example, the DNC under Howard Dean (2004-2007) was markedly and substantially different from previous or subsequent leadership. This came about in no small part because the consultants orbiting the Clinton Machine, who ran the 2000 (Gore) and 2004 (Kerry) campaigns, had thoroughly discredited themselves to the donors. And all Dean really did was bring in his own campaign people; those people were considerably more aligned towards local, as opposed to national, campaign tactics. They were also less tied in to the general establishment/oligarchic power structure, hence effectively more permissive of leftward goals (independent of their particular sentiments).

      And donors were not all immediately or unanimously enthusiastic about a 50-state strategy. As circumstances would have it, county parties could raise money locally; meanwhile, a larger chunk of donor money went to non-party organizations like unions and various early 501(c) orgs.

      Anyway, I’m saying that the DNC can be changed, and fairly radically; it is not a large organization, just a few hundred people (considering the County parties and other organizations as operationally separate entities, which they are, even if under charter). Whether that is actually accomplished is another matter. Basically, it is more likely to occur if DNC fundraising is down, and stays down. In the meanwhile… localized organizing can be locally financed :).

      The issue of “trust” is always present, “trusting” the DNC will be a risky tomorrow as it was yesterday. One should only go by performance, and only participate selectively; those are just a political rules of thumb. The DNC certainly has a lot to prove. But organizing locally (like taking over a county or state Dem party) can and should be done in any case.

  15. cwaltz

    Oh for cripes sakes folks I linked the actual court filing the other day

    (maybe some of the problem isn’t that Jill Stein folks don’t provide links but that they are ignored.)


    Yes, she was using the foreign hacking report as a reason for the recount. She had 2 weeks to produce evidence and money to the court in order to even get access to ballots and machines so yes she used what she knew a court would call credible evidence…..the government’s own words that voter registration had been hacked.

  16. Kurt Sperry

    ” Clinton, yesterday: ‘We lost Atrios. I guess that’s it.’ ”

    Hey, that’s fake news! Comrade.

  17. Steve C

    Jane Jacobs favored bottom up incremental democratic development. This could run afoul of either left or right and cuts across ideological lines.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Jane Jacobs’ brilliant coinage “transactions of decline” applies well beyond her own field of urban planning.

      Consider this “sunset of empire” folly:

      The U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program “stands at a crossroads,” as the service prepares to ask Congress to authorize spending as much as $14 billion to buy more of the troubled vessels, congressional auditors say.

      Congress must decide “whether a ship that costs twice as much yet delivers less capability than planned warrants an additional investment,” the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a report issued Thursday as the Senate Armed Services Committee met to review the $29 billion program.

      “The taxpayers have paid for — and are still paying for — 26 ships that have demonstrated next-to-no combat capability,” Senator John McCain said in opening Thursday’s hearing.


      First time in history that I’ve ever agreed with McCain, but he’s right. This is a transaction of decline with nine zeroes trailing it.

      Or you could view it as “creating jobs” at a crushing price tag of maybe $10 million per job. The worker gets $60,000 while the remaining $9,940,000 goes into the thieving pockets of the corrupt defense contracting industry, its lobbyists and its captive KongressKlowns.

      1. fresno dan

        Jim Haygood
        December 1, 2016 at 6:01 pm

        What is that called in economics when you buy part of something really crappy, but you keep pouring money into it so that you can eventually take possession of the whole pile of sh*t?

  18. Elizabeth Burton

    … roughly six million individuals at least ninety days late on their auto loan payments…

    Wonder how many of those are Uber loans.

  19. Adam Eran

    Re: Jane Jacobs (“Her influence is ubiquitous; her ideas have percolated from the radical to the self-evident.”) … I still like her take on “planning” as conventionally performed, even today. Close to a quote: “Modern planning is positively neurotic in its willingness to ignore what works and embrace what doesn’t….It is a form of advanced superstition, like medicine in the 19th century which thought bleeding patients would cure them.”

    1. sgt_doom

      That was about the only item I ever disagreed with Madam Jacobs on, as it is really all about extreme greed by design, so there really is some diabolical planning involved.

  20. cwaltz

    That Counterpunch article made Brandy Baker sound like the politically naïve fool that many are trying to paint the Green Party supporters as. It makes her sound like she doesn’t understand how government is supposed to work. Did she honestly think that if Stein had won that Stein would be able to operate independently of Congress since Congress is filled with Democrats and Republicans and the Greens want to operate “independent of those 2 parties?” You don’t have to be a “wing of a party” or cede your independence to work with other parties on mutual interests and push forward ideas to make the country better. Geez. The political system is a market of competing ideas folks, you would have to become part of that market you can’t be separate from it and be viable as a living, breathing political party. Double Geez. Why do I always feel like I’m being forced to choose between clueless or corrupt?

    1. hunkerdown

      Wasn’t that the same line that the DNC and HRC campaigns were throwing at Bernie?

      And “because markets”? Really? Perhaps your acquiescences to the whims and concerns of the market, your suicide pact with liberal (i.e. managed) democracy, and your belief that being ruled as an object is necessary, is why you keep feeling like you have to choose between clueless or corrupt: because you have chosen to decide that you, in fact, do have to choose. As if the winner were going to pay you the least mind, let alone material benefits. That is the error of the Little Game.

      Greer had something to say about the belief that the only thing necessary to be listened to is to enunciate the correct idea in the correct way. But it does explain how thought collectives get started.

      1. cwaltz

        Okay, so you tell me how you think politics are supposed to work?

        If a Green Party member gets in Congress are they just going to sit there because doing anything other that would be “colluding with the two corporate parties?”


        1. Jake

          For one thing, though the marketplace metaphor may be accurate, the things being bought and sold aren’t ideas, they are people and influence. Not sure what the medium of exchange ought to be but in the current marketplace it is pretty clearly what we use for most other exchanges, cash.

          1. cwaltz

            That’s definitely how it works today sadly enough.

            You buy politicians who are selling their ability to enact laws on your behalf. Heck, if you have enough money they’ll just let you write the laws behind closed doors while Congress produces a play so the rubes can pretend they actually get to participate in this warped Republic.

            That being said I’m not sure how the Greens intend to go from absolutely no representation in Congress to 435 members if they aren’t going to actually engage anyone because they need to be “independent of the two parties” that actually are in office. You can refuse to be bought and work to raise wages with Democrats. You can refuse to be bought and work with the DNC and even members of the RNC not in denial on climate change. The parties are actually supposed to work together(and I don’t necessarily mean to collectively screw the electorate to collect payola from the elite.)

        2. Carolinian

          You seem to forget that what put the Green Party on the map was someone named Ralph Nader who said “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference” between the two main parties. Which is to say our politics are not a battle of ideas but a battle of competing interests. By throwing in with Clinton and only challenging the states where Trump won, Stein is making a clear statement (to some of us) that she is rejecting Nader’s “plague on both your houses'”stance and probably doing her party a lot of harm. All the ends justify the means arguments in the world can’t change the fact that this was a strategic mistake.

          1. cwaltz

            In order to actually examine machine or ballots you have to prove that the examination would actually make a difference in the results.

            The only way that happens is by examining states that would/could flip the election.

            The court isn’t going to order any examinations for as emptywheel called it “a vanity project.”

            It’s going to order it if it believes the vote totals being erroneous could change results.

            It’s interesting you should mention Ralph Nader- when he was a candidate he wasn’t actually officially elected nationally by Green Party USA He was put on the ballot as a result of several green parties in the state endorsing him- so apparently there really wasn’t even a consensus for his candidacy. He also was pilloried for his position on gay rights in 1996

            Additionally, Nader ditched the Greens in 2004 and sought to work with Kerry(that’s right work with – in order to advance three different issues he wanted attention drawn to) according to Nader Kerry apparently snubbed him ignoring his request and as a result Nader ran as an independent. So apparently by 2004 Nader was already rethinking his not a dimes worth of difference philosophy in order to pursue a more pragmatic approach to get things accomplished.

            Do not get me wrong I have a lot of admiration for Nader (and admire his work to get us more alternative to the duopoly)but I think people tend to glamorize and idealize what he said and not necessarily look at the total picture.

          2. juliania

            Ralph Nader has also said, back in past conversations, that it is extremely important to allow third parties to participate in debates, as whilst they may not indeed be a threat to the dominance of Republican and Democratic parties, they can influence them simply by bringing sensible and popular concepts to the public discourse. (I’m paraphrasing but that is what I remember.) His argument was that third parties involved in the arena cause the major parties to adopt better practises than they would (and obviously do) on their own.

            1. cwaltz

              I’m stuck in moderation. Eventually I’m sure I’ll be let out but I think people tend to forget in 2004 Nader was willing to work with Kerry in order to advance his ideas or that Nader’s campaign in 1996 was not a result of the national party’s nomination but out of several factions that volunteered him.

        3. hunkerdown

          I don’t believe politics is meant to “work” for us, at least not liberal democratic politics. The history of the Constitution itself provides plenty of evidence that the little people’s interests were never seriously considered for guarantee, owing to their only presence as interests in the Tenth “Let ‘Em Eat Scraps” Amendment and the Ninth “Don’t Be Evil” Amendment, culminating in a hard-right (by design) SCOTUS making them up as they go along during “good behavior”.

          What’s more, since it was never made to “work” for us and in many ways carefully engineered to work against us, for its own benefit and that of the class that animates the thing, in my eyes it’s better to prevent the thing from “working” for the ruling class (if that means at all) than to allow it to work against us. It is not revealed wisdom that Congress shall be the Holy Lawgiver. They’re just a legislative body, no better than any other, and (due to their capacity to judge their own affairs as they see fit) undemocratic.

          1. cwaltz

            That may be. Thinking critically is a skill set that you hone and I sometimes wonder if I was particularly good at it when I was younger. There are definitely things I see and read about now that really make me question whether those in charge knew that theory and practice of democracy were going to be two entirely different animals even back then.

            It’s easy to get things wrong when all you have is secondhand information to go on.

            Anyway today is apparently a day where I’m tired, not feeling good and feeling particularly whiny. I hate these types of days because I’m not a huge fan of whining either(nothing like mentally beating yourself up for making yourself a guest of honor at your own pity party.)

            1. juliania

              Do not give up, cwaltz. I don’t find your comments whiny at all, but I understand how depressing it is to hear the same misstatements repeated – you have done very well here.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That bit about the Blackstone Group’s interest doesn’t sound too inspiring.

      On the other hand, any merit in ending government ownership of Fannie and Freddie? Any benefit to the borrowers? Should they have been public entities from the beginning, decades ago?

    2. JustAnObserver

      IIRC every time the `we must do something about Fannie/Freddie’ topic comes up the discussion eventually founders on the – apparently immovable – shoals of the 30-year fixed rate mortgage. So let’s see if an ex-Goldmanite really is the smartest-guy-in-the-room & can deal with this obstruction in a way that’s not just smoke & mirrors & more Wall Street rent extraction.

      Screwing it up, with the (most people’s) economy as bad as it is, carries the grave risk of Housing Crash 2.0 followed by Great Depression 2.0 (3.0 ?) followed by the pitchforks for real this time.

  21. John k

    Dems are the party of the rich and poor…
    Really? What have they done for the poor in the last quarter century? Obamacare?
    And big o tried hard for grand bargains, did manage to help banks push homeowners out of their homes…
    I would say they hugely increases the tribe of poor people, granted not favoring any race.

    1. Massinissa

      Yeah, I agree. I dont understand how some people think that, somehow, the Dems help the worst off TOO MUCH when many of the worst off are still literally going hungry. It boggles the mind.

  22. RMO

    “The Internet Archive, which maintains copies of much of the internet, announced on Tuesday plans to create Internet Archive Canada, a northern backup copy of the internet that will be free of the whims of President Trump and the Republicans who control both houses of Congress.”

    Yeah, that should work.

      1. Cry Shop

        What’s a market but a place where realities crash into each other. Root cause is upstream of the market, by policy, and the interest that power that policy, that sets the place where supply and demand hit each other.

  23. B1whois

    I really enjoyed the article on Jane Jacobs, both the subject and the writing. One of many good parts:
    ““Technology and data are insufficient without deeply held values, the most important of which is that we are all in it together,” Rose told me. “We need both entrepreneurism and communitarianism. In large cities you need to keep those two in balance.” He points to the plan, developed by nonprofit consortium Nos Quedamos and adopted by successive mayors, to rebuild the South Bronx after its period of desolation. Activism and administration came together in a rare partnership, lasting many years. The result is a reborn borough.”

  24. Kim Kaufman

    Re Stein recount: “Although it would be nice to know what “more than $1,000” meant. I mean, a squillion is more than a thousand, right?”

    The maximum donation allowed is $2,700.

    There are a lot of experts doing a lot behind the scenes. And there’s a lot going on, figuring out the election codes in these states, getting volunteers, etc., etc. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of time spent on getting a cohesive p.r. message out there and these people are not good at that, even on a good day.

    1. cwaltz

      No kidding.

      The impression I’m getting, even from Stein is they don’t have a cohesive viewpoint which certainly is problematic when presenting a cohesive message.

      I get that time constraints meant Jill had to act but you would have figured someone else might have told them that public infighting was not going to look great and actually dull the message that Jill was doing this, not out of any love for Hillary, but out of her belief that voters should know that their votes were counted and counted correctly.

      it also would have helped if they brought more attention to some of the party’s actions when it comes to vote integrity.

  25. Cry Shop

    more attention to some of the party’s actions when it comes to vote integrity.

    Yes, in part that’s Jill’s fault, but mostly it’s the media using their editorial pen to shape shift the message to fit their agenda.

    1. cwaltz

      I blame some of it on Jill but I definitely think people like Flowers lopped her off at the knees when they wrote that letter pillorying her for “working with the DNC.”

      They diluted the message that the Green Party cares about vote integrity (and not personalities)with that little stunt(because the reality is like Hillary or not, her voters, ANY voters for that matter deserve to know that their vote matters and were counted and counted correctly.)


      1. Kurt Sperry

        With the mention of Ukrainian-American, it kind of snapped into place for me. For fanatical irrational russophobia, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more fecund breeding ground.

    1. Foppe

      That’s all well and good, but why does Chen pay so little attention to the question why the WaPo ran this, when they will/should have ran this very same background check themselves? Politesse?

    2. pretzelattack

      i could have done without this

      Bogus news stories, which overwhelmingly favored Trump, did flood social media throughout the campaign, and the hack of the Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s e-mail seems likely to have been the work of Russian intelligence services.

      how does anybody know this? given the extremely lax security, it could have been individuals, companies or private groups as well as a number of intelligence services. i don’t use facebook or twitter, but the bogus news stories i was in the msm overwhelmingly favored clinton, imo.

  26. Bill Frank

    UPDATE “Bernie Sanders: Carrier just showed corporations how to beat Donald Trump” [Bernie Sanders, WaPo]. Worth reading in full if you want an idea of what Democrats ought to sound like to be worthy of the name:

    I’m no longer interested in what Democrats “sound like.” I’m waiting for real action, not great sound bites. They’ll be foaming at the mouth with everything that Trump will do, but if they were to win congress in 2018 would they really follow through? Sorry, but I stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago. Democrats and the other corporate party as well, are terminally corrupt.

  27. ambrit

    Hmmm…. I just got an ‘Error 502’ message, (It was 50something,) and then, when I tried to refresh, a “duplicate comment” message. Another DDOS attack brewing?

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