2:00PM Water Cooler 12/12/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


2016 Post Mortem

“The Real Trump” [New York Review of Books]. Not as crazy pants as I expected it to be. “Donald Trump has been the shatterer of norms. Thus far it has been enough. Will he become the breaker of laws? Will he find it necessary? Scarcely a decade and a half ago George W. Bush, when he determined that the country’s interest demanded that he torture prisoners, simply found a way to have his government declare legal what was not. It may well be that Trump will do the same. “

New McCarthyism

“The Democrats “Russia Hacking” Campaign is Political Suicide” [Counterpunch]. Here’s the stuff to give the troops:

The Democratic Party is doing incalculable damage to itself by shapeshifting into the party of baseless conspiracy theories, groundless accusations, and sour grapes. Hillary Clinton was already the most distrusted presidential candidate in party history. Now she’s become the de facto flag-bearer for the nutso-clique of aspiring propagandists at the CIA, the New York Times and Bezo’s Military Digest. How is that going to improve the party’s prospects for the long term?

It won’t, because the vast majority of Americans do not want to align themselves with a party of buck-passing juveniles that have no vision for the future but want to devote all their energy to kooky witch-hunts that further prove they are unfit for high office.

He says “incalculable damage” like that’s a bad thing…

Our Famously Free Pres

You know, I think there is a tendency to dismiss the people who spread these [“fake news”] stories as uneducated or simply not understanding the technology they’re dealing with. Anything but the case. They tend to be quite educated people. They tend to be people who are very well-connected online. And what they’re stumbling into sometimes, first of all, there’s kind of a loss of trust” [PBS].

Trump Transition

“McConnell backs congressional investigation into Russian interference” [Politico]. But read the fine print: “McConnell dismissed calls for a select committee specifically designated for the effort, instead indicating that the main responsibility to probe Russian meddling into the election lies with the Senate Intelligence Committee and its chairman, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.).”

“Democrats fear another Trump trouncing” [Politico]. These are the people are going to lead “resistance” against Trump, let us remember:

But the party was caught flat-footed by Trump’s victory, and there was no detailed contingency plan in the event Hillary Clinton was defeated. The widespread expectation was that President Clinton’s handpicked choice for DNC chairman would take over on January 21, a day after the inauguration. That Democrat — likely a prominent figure practiced in both fundraising and television pontificating — would be armed with a building brimming with operatives shipped down from Clinton’s Brooklyn campaign headquarters.

Working in tandem with a refurbished political wing of the White House, the staff would be tasked with readying the party for a furious attempt to limit Senate losses and gain back governor’s mansions in 2018, ahead of a long-brewing plans to reverse Republican redistricting gains two years later. Parts of the party’s short-term rapid response operation would be outsourced to Correct The Record, a super PAC established to back Clinton during her campaign.

But Correct the Record — which had clashed with the DNC under former Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz — has now been shut down. The redistricting push has been largely handed over to a new group helmed by former Attorney General Eric Holder. And the rest of the plan was summarily dismantled by Trump’s win, sending the central committee into a period of uncertainty as it now searches for its next chair, a process that won’t be finalized until the end of February.

Hillary: “Where is Steiner?!?!?!?” I don’t envy whoever’s gonna have to take her aside and tell her it’s really over. Poor Bill…

If you boil down what Clinton and the Clintonites are saying, Putin stole the election from her, and Trump is a Russian agent of influence. The first is a casus belli, and the second is treason. The first demands a response at the very least of recalling our Ambassador from Moscow. That hasn’t happened, which tells you that the people responsible for such things (Obama) don’t take Clinton’s casus belli seriously. The second calls for a solution “by any means necessary” (exactly as Clinton’s previous claim, that Trump is a fascist, does). “By any means necessary” would include anything from a von Stauffenberg solution (no doubt the CIA has a wet team) all the way up to a coup. (This last is hard to imagine, since a coup demands occupying physical space with armed force. Who could Clinton call on?) So what the Clintonites have settled on is trying get the Electoral College to reverse the election. I can’t imagine this coming to anything, since the majority of the electors — since Trump won the election — are Republicans. Ian Welsh lays out the logic if the Clinton dog actually catches the car:

If I were a Trump voter, and a bunch of electors, on data that is this uncertain, and which even if it is true amounts to “telling the truth about Hillary and Democrats” were to give the election to Clinton I would be furious.

I would consider it a violation of democratic norms: an overturning of a valid election result because elites didn’t like the result.

And while I’m not saying they should, or I would (nor that I wouldn’t), many will feel that if the ballot box is not respected, then violence is the only solution.

If faithless electors give the election to Clinton, there will be a LOT of violence as a result, and there might even be a civil war.

Ian is Canadian; then again, installing Clinton in office by retroactively changing the election rules is a “cross the Rubicon” moment. At least in Maine, I wouldn’t picture a Civil War, but I would picture shattered windows in every Democrat headquarters in the state, and then we’d go on from there. Welsh concludes:

This is where Nazi/Fascist/Hitler/Camps rhetoric leaves you. Nothing is off the table.

Either decide you mean it, or calm down and take shit off the table that is going to get a lot of people dead if you pull it off.


“CIA admits it broke into Senate computers; senators call for spy chief’s ouster” [McClatchy (Re Silc)]. Fooled ya! From 2013. I’m so old I remember when anonymous CIA soruces weren’t always revered as truth-tellers.

And speaking of the CIA:

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Labor After Bernie” [Jacobin]. The inside strategy explained: You’ve got to go where the votes are. The author was heavily involved in trying to start a third party, a labor party.

“Why the Trump Protests, Like the Wisconsin Uprising, Will Fail” [Counterpunch]. A bit dyspeptic (and check out what he has to say about Our Revolution) but I agree with this completely:

As of this writing the Trump protests have not abated, and now this smells of serious failure, the type of total and complete butt kicking that Republicans gave to the so-called Wisconsin Uprising. Almost six years after those massive protests against Governor Scott Walker over his disemboweling of the union movement in Wisconsin, after years of big protests with tens of thousands in the streets and a recall election attempt, the GOP is stronger than ever in the Badger State, with hegemonic control of the government in Uprising Central, Madison.

To be fair, Walker had help from the national Democrats, who cut off funding, and the local Democrats, who ran a mediocre candidate. That said, the Capitol Occupiers were hell-bent on replacing Walker, an election they lost.

Stats Watch

There are no interesing stats today. (I don’t cover Fed Auctions.)

Commodities: “Crunch time is coming for the flow of nickel ore from the Philippines to China” [Daily Mail]. “The market is awaiting news of how many more nickel mines might fall foul of a sweeping clamp down on what the Philippine administration terms irresponsible mining. Eight nickel mines have already been suspended. Another 14 have been put on notice.Between them they account for around half of the country’s production, putting at risk China’s nickel pig iron (NPI) producers who have become increasingly reliant on Philippine supply for their raw material input.”

Co-ops: “Bolivia’s brutal cooperative mining conflict reveals the growing contradictions and perils of extractivism, as the government and popular sectors struggle to control a dwindling mining surplus” [NACLA]. “Bolivia’s powerful cooperative mining sector is a legacy of the 1980s, when pressure from international financial institutions and a catastrophic fall in mineral prices led to a shutdown of the government mines, displacing 25,000 salaried miners. Privatization of the mines in the 1990s further weakened COMIBOL, the state mining company, and destroyed Bolivia’s miner-led revolutionary trade union movement, once the most combative in Latin America—and perhaps the world. Encouraged by successive neoliberal governments to buffer the consequences of massive mining dislocations, the cooperative mining sector flourished. Through these informal, self-managed associations, ex-miners could eke out a modest subsistence by excavating the mineral-rich surface dumps left over from centuries of exploitation, and selling their unrefined product—predominantly tin, silver, zinc, and gold—to private operators.”

Co-ops: ” Turn RBS into a building society says Co-op party chief” [Guardian] “[Gareth Thomas] argued that RBS should become a “people’s bank, which every tax-paying British citizen would have the right to become a part-owner of”.

“Trading in volatility-linked investments set records in 2016 during a mostly calm year in markets, underscoring the popularity of exchange-traded products that didn’t exist a decade ago” [Wall Street Journal, “The Volatility Paradox: Calm Markets but Soaring ‘Fear Gauge’ Trading”]. “Protecting against losses was once the dominant reason to use volatility products, but investors now are turning to them to make quick profits during isolated periods of market tumult, usually holding them for no longer than one or two days. The VIX measures investor anxiety by looking at the prices they are willing to pay for options tied to the S&P 500 index. But while individual investors and hedge funds have flocked to these exchange-traded products, or ETPs, the products’ record tracking Wall Street’s “fear gauge” has been poor, making investors vulnerable to big losses if held too long.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 87 Extreme Greed (previous close: 86, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 25 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Dec 12 at 12:57pm. Hoo boy! The Clintonites aren’t the only ones going crazy pants!

Health Care

“The Rise and Fall of Obamacare: Will the Inside Story Ever be Told?” [Counterpunch]. This:

I estimate that TIDES and other liberal foundations, individual donors, unions and corporations dumped over $100 million into the Democrats well-oiled NGO lobby and PR effort to pass Obamacare. Much of this money moved through or was coordinated by a rich but short-lived lobby group called Health Care for America Now. HCAN’s scores of members included US Action, MoveOn, SEIU, AFSCME, and the usual liberal laundry list of Democrat-aligned NGO organizations. Wendell participated intimately in its PR and lobbying and knows its story well from the inside. That is what I would pay Tarbell to tell, because it is a story that America needs to hear, now that Obamacare is being destroyed by its own contradictions, corruptions, and the rise of Trump.

I remember HCAN. We single payer advocates called it HCAN’t. And we were right, weren’t we?

News of the Wired

“Dark Corners of Unicode” [EE.ee]. Must-read for font geeks.

“Linux on the Mac — state of the union” [LW.net].

“Why a Post-Nuclear World Would Look Nothing Like ‘Mad Max'” [Nautilus]. Friends, there’s good news!

* * *

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:


This seems colorful enough….

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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. fresno dan

    What is ALREADY going on with Trump, Dems, Russia is fascinating – and he is NOT EVEN SWORN in yet!!!
    The war mongers are REALLY panicking….
    Anti commie – its the new politically correct viewpoint….

    1. timbers

      Yes, there is something weird going on with these stories that the CIA appears to be spreading. MOA is saying the MSN is falsely reporting China is flying nukes it doesn’t have in planes all over the place. Just a guess but bet this too comes from CIA.

      China threatening us with nukes and Russia stealing our elections. The fake news B.S. quotient is off the richter scale. Makes you yearn for the good old days when all we had to worry about was WMD in Iraq.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Senator McCarthy would have investigated underground fallout shelter contractors.

        Just looking at motives here. “Leave no stone unturned.” “Everyone is suspect until I say otherwise.”

    2. ProNewerDeal

      except Putin & his dominant party in the Russian gov are not Commie, Putin is a right-wing authoritarian.

      I suppose Putin, Trump, & HClinton could each be labeled within the right-wing authoritarian category. politicalcompass certaintly categorized HClinton & Trump as right-wing authoritarian, & HClinton was closer to Trump on the graph, than she was to Sanders (left-wing libertarian)

      1. fresno dan

        December 12, 2016 at 4:18 pm

        True. So much of our shorthand of “conservative” / “liberal” is meant to obfuscate and not clarify….

    3. jsn

      From John Robb, a man who’s never afraid to hyperventilate: Coup Sighting!

      Of course, as cheap and sleazy as local politicians are, its hard to guess just how viable this campaign really is. We do know, however, those promoting it are so profoundly incompetent as to be totally unprepared for the outside chance they achieve their goal.

      Then again, maybe that is really the plan: The Empire of Chaos comes home to roost!

    4. ian

      This whole ‘Russian Hacking’ thing looks like it is intended to give cover to wavering electors who might switch their votes away from Trump.

  2. Roger Smith

    Re: “I can’t imagine this coming to anything, since the majority of the electors — since Trump won the election — are Republicans.”

    Not to mention being unconstitutional, at least by my un-constitutionally lawyered measure. I highly suspect that if the current Electoral College opponents fix (the non-amendment work-around) to get enough states to sign on to a national popular vote and it does interfere with the EC, they will be taken to court and ultimately the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the EC on the grounds that the states are not exercising duty within the law, but are circumventing it (the constitution). (again, not a const. lawyer but if you are one, I would be interested to hear from you!)

    Should a take over occur, it would be the same, a circumvention of the ‘law of the land’. Wait… is that not an example of treason?

    1. Oregoncharles

      No, it’s something else.

      I’m not a lawyer, either, but I do have a handy-dandy copy of the Constitution, and it says the states control their Electors. As it is now, they mostly require electors to follow the vote. Most are winner-take-all, a couple are proportional. State law, again.

      The Popular Vote idea, via state law, is perfectly Constitutional, yet another example of the Presidential election not being what we think it is. However, it’s now unlikely, since Republicans control most state Legislatures. And at best, it would be shaky for a while, for the same political reasons; legislatures would be inclined to reverse the law when it disadvantaged “their” candidate.

      1. Propertius

        Yup, states can appoint and allocate their electors anyway they choose. Of course, by buying into the compact, states are deliberately choosing to give up influence in Presidential elections to states which have not joined the compact. Why would any rational state government choose to do that?

    2. Vatch

      I’m not a lawyer, but the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact might be considered constitutional if the participating states choose electors whose declared position matches the national popular vote. Once the electors are chosen, they would be able to vote any way that they want to vote, just like now. See Article II, Section 1, paragraph 2 of the Constitution:

      Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.

      In other words, the states can choose the electors in just about any way that they want.

      Note that this is not the paragraph that is superseded by Amendment XII — that paragraph is number 3.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That whole number of Senators and Representatives leads back to the same issue – not accounting for state populations, by including Senators there (where smaller states have the same number of Senators (two) as big states).

    3. arte

      Yeah, what would happen in the remote chance that the Electoral College does, in fact, produce a surprise winner? Never mind threats of civil war for the moment. The question I have in mind is: would Trump go “gracefully”, or does he in fact have the support of enough of the military – not to mention half the population – to go full Erdogan? Not a very appealing possibility…

      1. RenoDino

        On day one of the reversal, Trump’s secret service detail would disappear. Should he protest the results, he’ll be placed under house arrest since he may have committed treason. Civil War will be diverted by a declaration of war against Russia.

        It will take less than $2 billion to bribe 38 Republican electors to switch their vote to Clinton to the tune of $50 million per vote. Clinton spent this amount on her worthless campaign.

          1. RenoDino

            I voted for Trump and was the first one here to predict a Trump win over a year ago (taking a lot of heat for it at the time), but I have said for months that the neolib establishment will never allow him to take office if he pulls off a surprise win. The Russian card was always their ace in the hole and their last resort.

            Trump knows the oppositions is not done contesting this election and they will try to overturn the results. That’s why he quickly surrounded himself with former generals, bankers and the CEO of the biggest corporation on the planet. This is a powerful civilian brigade and in past skirmishes with the political establishment and the media they always prevail.

            Will it be enough this time given the stakes have never been higher? I keep harping on this subject because everything else hinges on how it plays out.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If that happens, future elections will mean nothing.

        Just buy those Electors.

        Trump should not go gracefully, if that happens.

        1. Massinissa

          I find myself agreeing with ToolTe. Did you not realize its Hillary’s Turn to start the first American Monarchy? She can pass the Imperial Presidency down to Chelsea or her husband.

    4. Roger Smith

      I understand the states can choose their own electors and that no specific methods are drawn in the constitution, but if the state’s choices undermine the whole function established by the constitution, well… why can they circumvent the actual amendment process? That is what I am referring to.

      The constitution does not say they can interpret the vote any tally any way they want, though it also does not say otherwise. It is still defined within the idea of states.

      1. Propertius

        The Constitution does not even require that there be a vote tally at all.

        The consequences of ignoring such a tally are likely to be…unpleasant.

  3. Carolinian

    Hillary: “Where is Steiner?!?!?!?”

    Droll! How long before a Downfall video featuring Hillary’s loss?

        1. Gareth

          The second video has a swastika logo as part of the channel, so I would suggest not giving this little nazi any more views.

          1. Yalt

            I’m pretty sure that’s a Boer Nationalist symbol; it’s certainly not a swastika. Not that there’s a vast difference in meaning there.

      1. alex morfesis

        Steiner never stopped serving the cause, having been a founder of the hiad…and no I dont mean the helsinki international arbitration day organization…

        Sadly the ones who spend way too much money on black shoe polish for their boots…the ones with that wondrous publication…

        viking call(wiking ruf)…

        otto kumm and company…

        after reunification, it was thought best the organization be “officially” banned…at least on paper…but in reality…

        When all brothers are silent…

  4. flora

    re: the new McCarthyism.

    I’d expect this ‘reds under the bed’ fear mongering from Fox News, not from WaPo. Guess the Wapo is to the Dems what Fox News is to the GOP. Clarifying election, indeed.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Really? Check out where Saints Jack and Bobby were during the red scare craze of the 50’s. Freedom of speech wasn’t their pet project. I know but “Dallas 1963”, but there whereabouts in the 1950’s aren’t the product of conspiracy theory. For the fetishists, their red hunter status has to be ignored. Bobby was a full fledged inquisitor for McCarthy.

      The Dems are throwing on the golden oldies in an attempt to relive the glory of the past.

  5. L

    I think that your comment about alternatives in Wisconsin is key. Ultimately elections are between choices. And asking people to kick out the incumbent for an unpalatable alternative is always a problem. In Wisconsin they were against specific actions but not for a clear and welcomed choice. As such people stuck with it.

    I would say that the solution is for the Dems to actually campaign for something other than avoiding conflict and focus groups and until they do people will have no compelling reason to choose them over the Trumps of the world who do at least acknowledge their real pain.

    But that is hardly an original observation.

  6. Oregoncharles

    ” That said, the Capitol Occupiers were hell-bent on replacing Walker, an election they lost.”

    You don’t need an Occupation to run a recall election, if those are legal in your state, nor to R&R a governor – ask California. Recalls are fairly common here in Oregon, and sometimes succeed. The Wisconsin Dems had their showmanship mixed up with their working politics.

    (Footnote: the requirement in CA and apparently Wisconsin, too, that a recall include electing a replacement is just stupid – what’s the succession law for? And turning it into a rerun of an election you just lost, as the Wisconsin Dems did, is so dumb it should be terminal.)

    1. Gareth

      The occupation of the capitol in Madison was an act of popular resistance to stop the “right to work” legislation. It was opposed by both the union leaders and the democrat party, who were paralyzed by doubt and inaction. The recall was started outside the democrat party and they were forced to go along with it, but were able to scuttle things by running the same boring candidate a second time.

  7. dcblogger

    what drives me crazy about the Russian hacking conspiracy theory is that there actually WAS a conspiracy to steal the 2016 election, as carefully documented by Greg Palast and Brad Friedman. It consisted of the crosscheck purge of the voting rolls, voter suppression and vapour voting machines. That no Democrat is talking about this tells me that the party is done for.

    1. RUKidding

      Good points, and yes, that ticks me off as well. The D Party continues to sit on their thumbs and do bupkiss about real voting issues while issuing Red Scare Menace 3.0.

      Why bother voting Democratic? They’re not going to do one blasted thing for the proles. They haven’t for years and years.

      1. Steve C

        Republicans have an agenda. It’s terrible but they have one. Democrats represent rule by the professional class, including bankers. That’s it. Publicly, they’re for rainbows, good things and bringing people together.

      1. Waldenpond

        The CIA is sterotypically attempting to ouster the President elect for someone farther to the right? So, the same ol’ same ol’.

        1. Anonymous

          Yes, the tin foil hat theory is that this all stems from the situation in Syria The CIA’s aka HRC”s Syria regime change is a failure. The CIA had high hopes, now dashed. The only chance for war with Russia is to get HRC installed. The recount failed. So, Plan B.

  8. Yalt

    I come home to my e-mail this afternoon to find it stuffed with appeals from “progressives” like Avaaz and BoldProgressives that I (a) sign on to demands that the CIA be required to brief the EC to encourage them to change their votes, (b) join the protest at my state capitol, and (c) send money.

    It is, as Avaaz says, a “no brainer.”


    They do make one interesting point, though–Avaaz says their demands are “bipartisan.” They don’t elaborate, but there are a fair number of Republicans not all that comfortable with Trump as their presidential candidate. You’re quite right that the majority of the EC are Republicans and they are not about to elect Hillary Clinton. But is there some tiny, dim possibility that a compromise Republican candidate might be offered, somebody more palatable to both sides than Trump? Pence, for example? I’d suggest Henry Kissinger but I don’t think he’s eligible.

      1. Anonymous

        Unsubscribed to Avaaz and several other sites about a month ago.

        Some request a reason, which I gladly provided.

      1. Yalt

        I’m sure they would prefer that, but if they’re at all serious they need somebody palatable to the electors they’re trying to turn and to a majority in the House that would eventually make the decision. Pence would be low-hanging fruit, and using part of the elected ticket might minimize the post-decision conflict. They could claim they hadn’t really overturned the election result, they just got rid of the traitor working for the Russians.

        I admit the whole scenario seems extremely unlikely. But, unlike the notion of installing Hillary, not quite entirely impossible.

        And when it doesn’t work we can move on to the inevitable impeachment drama.

      2. Steve C

        They want to go back to getting their asses kicked by a normal right winger instead of the exotic Trump.

    1. mk

      Here is my elevator response to most Democrats asking for money, help, etc.:

      Ask not what working people can do for you, ask what you can do for working people. Tell me what you plan to do for working people and I’ll decide whether it’s worth my time and money to support you.

      Working people need to make DEMANDS. Rhianna has the right attitude. Here are the lyrics, you can replace the word money with whatever needs you have, like maybe “Health Care” Replace the word “bitch” with government, or whatever authority you’re addressing. For example, “Gov’t. better have my health care”:

      Yayo, yayo

      Bitch better have my money!
      Y’all should know me well enough
      Bitch better have my money!
      Please don’t call me on my bluff
      Pay me what you owe me
      Ballin’ bigger than LeBron
      Bitch, give me your money
      Who y’all think y’all frontin’ on?
      Bitch better have my money!

      Bitch better have my

      Like brrap, brrap, brrap

      Bitch better have my

      Like brrap, brrap, brrap
      Louis XIII and it’s all on me, n**** you just bought a shot
      Kamikaze if you think that you gon’ knock me off the top
      Shit, your wife in the backseat of my brand new foreign car
      Don’t act like you forgot, I call the shots, shots, shots
      Read more: Rihanna – Bitch Better Have My Money Lyrics | MetroLyrics

      1. Outis Philalithopoulos

        Note to mk: The original comment contained the full lyrics of the song. I shortened it a bit for reasons of brevity, since people who want to can easily look up the lyrics.

  9. fosforos

    Re: “I can’t imagine this coming to anything, since the majority of the electors — since Trump won the election — are Republicans.”
    The point of all this Mighty Wurlitzer operation is absolutely not to make Clinton the winner. It is to make Trump the loser. And put the election to the House of Representatives, where it would be easy to put together a BiPartisan coalition and install McCain or Graham as president, maybe with their pal Schumer as Veep. All it would take is to convince 32 GOP electors, with sufficient incentives and remonstrances (unthreatening ones, of course), that it is their Patriotic Duty to vote against Putin’s Useful Idiot. And it would all be perfectly, “Hamiltonially,” Constitutional.

      1. Yalt

        If those 32 electors change their votes to some compromise choice of Republican, that person would be in the top three in electoral votes for president.

        Some states have laws requiring electors to vote faithfully, but if I’m not mistaken the penalty is usually a fine. I don’t know why that would be an obstacle.

        1. marym

          That would seem to require the high-level party wheeling and dealing to come up with a “compromise” ticket, and coordinate that with 32 electors, would all have to be done by 12/19. Meanwhile, the Clintonista push, I gather, is to petition Republican electors to vote for Clinton. Both scenarios are unlikely, IMO.

      2. ambrit

        The ghost of Eisenhower for President and the ghost of Johnson for Veep. Then we’d have two ghosts of a chance.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The goal is to keep local and state operators and donors from asking questions about the conduct of the Clintonistas and other elected Dems.



      There is a politico article from the wake of the 2014 disaster where elite Dems promised Hillary would save them. An incredible amount of money, time, and reputations was put behind a loser, not just a loser but a person who lost to Donald Trump. Anyone who donated any thing to the Clinton effort should be crazy about Clinton Inc’s conduct, so Clinton Inc needs to blame everyone but themselves.

  10. Roquentin

    This attempt to overturn the election via the Electoral College has to be one of the stupidest and most short sighted plans I’ve seem come from Team Blue in a very long time, and that’s saying something. The damage this will do the legitimacy of elections in the US will far outlive anything Trump or Clinton could have in store. These clowns would risk massive unrest, maybe even armed conflict, just so the coronation of HRC could continue as planned.

    Trump is a swine and his cabinet contains some of the shittiest figures in US politics, but that sure as hell isn’t the way to do something about it.

    1. Jim Haygood

      The dashing Rep Jim Himes (D-CT) ups the ante:

      “We’re 5 wks from Inauguration & the President Elect is completely unhinged. The electoral college must do what it was designed for,” Himes wrote Sunday night on Twitter.

      “What finally pushed me over the edge was when the president-elect of the United States criticized the CIA and the intelligence community. Can you imagine what the leaders in Beijing and Moscow and Tehran are thinking as they watch the next president of the United States delegitimize and criticize his own intelligence community and stand up for the defense of Russia, one of our prime adversaries,” said Himes.


      Wouldn’t it be lovely if young Jim were adopted by Sen Dianne “She Wolf of the Stasi” Feinstein, so they could all be one happy Democratic intelligence family.

      1. Eureka Springs

        I remember Jim Himes (D-Goldman Sachs) being promoted by the downwithtyranny /fdl folks back in the day. One of those sure to be Progressive saviors.

      2. Roquentin

        Let’s just say for the sake of argument that the CIA and the Democrats have massively overplayed their hand in these accusations against Russia. I suspect it wouldn’t take all that much to bring it all down like a house of cards, with a major scandal ensuing in its wake. Let’s say that the anonymous CIA source, assuming it was legit, has badly misrepresented what evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, is there. They’re “all-in” on this now. People will have to resign or get fired within these organizations after Trump takes over because of this, wouldn’t they? If their careers are on the line, who knows what they’ll resort to in order to save their own skins? Maybe this play at flipping the Electoral College was the game all along.

      3. Stephen V

        Am I the only one who thinks it’s perfectly understandable that IL Douché (h/t NC commenter) only wants to hear from Security clowns once per week?

        1. Sammy Maudlin

          No, you’re not. Aside from any value judgment on the effectiveness of such briefings, it’s obvious that Trump is employing what is described in EOS as a Visionary/Integrator style of management with Pence.

          He’s the Visionary (Walt Disney/Warren Buffet) – focused on big picture items, relationship person, primary salesman for the organization, creates chaos, no patience for details.

          Pence is the Integrator (Roy Disney/Charlie Munger) – sweats the details, creates organization out of chaos, implements plans to make the vision happen, does the dirty jobs.

          Pence has been taking the intelligence briefings daily. This is typical behavior under this style of management. The Visionary determines direction, the Integrator gathers all the facts, distills them and brings them to the Visionary in Joe Friday form so that the Visionary can make an informed decision on direction of the organization. It would be out of character, and in fact poor time management, for a Trump/Walt Disney/Buffet style CEO to get immersed in detailed daily briefings direct from the source rather than through the filter of their Integrator.

      4. integer

        completely unhinged

        The self-hatred continues to spew forth from the mouths of D-party losers on a daily basis. Psychologists could have a field day with these clowns. All the D-party ever has to offer are desperately impotent words, and ironically those words serve as a much better description of themselves than anyone else.

    2. Brad

      Yes, and worse yet is their agitation for political intervention by the CIA. Both could be used against a leftist.

    3. The Trumpening

      Here’s the thing though, the Democrats only have 232 Electors — they can’t overturn anything. The GOP has 306 Electors and so they need to turn 37 of these to get Trump’s vote down to below 270.

      So while the Democrats are the public face of this EC coup attempt (I do admit it is totally legal, but still…) it can only be the GOP that executes this move. Team Blue asking GOP Electors to vote for Hillary is totally normal — what would be beyond bizarre is for GOP Electors to listen to Team Blue.

      I cannot see the GOP Electors swinging to Hillary. There is only the tiniest of tiny chances that 37 would do some combination of abstaining and/or voting for some combination of John Kasich / Lindsey Graham. At that point the Civil War II should be an internal GOP affair, because it is the establishment GOP that is driving the knife into Trump’s back.

      And if Trump is able to hand onto power in some sort of state of emergency, the alt-Right dream of resurrecting Pinochet-style helicopter rides may have to start with the entire Paul Ryan wing of the GOP.

      1. Yves Smith

        I agree. The Clinton effort is a sign of continued delusion and grandiosity.

        My recollection is that 6 electors had said they might or will flip. The maximum I hazard that will is 8.

  11. Marco

    Have not seen my Dem Tribalist friends this perky since the day before the election. They are using the phrase “slam-dunk” regarding the CIA’s stamp of approval.

    1. Jim Haygood

      So Hillary actually IS “inevitable.”

      Don’t forget to wear purple to her Inauguration Ball. :-)

      1. Code Name D

        Knee pads might also be a good idea, for all the bowing and scraping that would be expected of ya

    2. RUKidding

      I’m feeling definitely skeevy that so many Democrats are so willing to toss all sensibility to the wind and go full-tilt in thrall to the wonderful wonderfulness of the C-I-effen-A!! Like, OMG. What next?

      Has everyone totally forgotten all the elections around the world that the CIA messed around in? All the coups the CIA engineered, bloodless or otherwise? All the drugs and guns they run? All the millions they’ve murdered?

      Or is it: IOKIYAD?? Sheesh!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The Clintons were abysmal candidates before emails were uttered. Hillary significantly under performed Gore in 2000 in New York by a significant margin despite a candidate too extreme for Peter King.

        Every doubt about Hillary’s electability was based in fact and OBVIOUS to anyone who spent more than half a second taking the election seriously. Every Hillary primary voter who isn’t a already spectacular crook failed as citizens by putting forth a clown such a Hillary. There are no ways around this.

        Hillary just lost to Donald Trump because “liberals” are too childish to take politics seriously, even her centrist supporters should have seen she is a clod. Of course, most centrists would stop being centrists if they possessed critical thinking skills.

        This is no less than trying to latch onto something that excuses their failures as citizens and human beings.

        1. Carolinian

          I’m not sure Hillary herself wouldn’t agree that she was an unlikely candidate. Apparently out on the trail she would say things like “I feel strange being up here asking people to vote for me” followed by “but I’m certainly qualified” etc. But of course getting people to vote for you is the qualification.

          The Dems probably went with her because they didn’t think they had anyone else. Sanders wasn’t even a Dem and therefore not a member of the club.

          1. carycat

            Her comment is more likely to mean “damn it, it’s MY turn, why the hell do I have to make nice to the little people”. Lots of Democratic party insiders were (is still?) looking forward to get fat off the table scrapes the way remoras latch on to sharks. Lots of rice bowls are being broken, hence the desperation.

        2. Steve C

          A good friend wondered last March why we couldn’t all just back Hillary. To him she was perfectly acceptable, we should focus our efforts on the Republicans and he couldn’t understand why a Democrat would oppose her. Of course, I’m no longer a Democrat.

      2. Yalt

        Yep, election-meddling, arms dealing, coups bloodless and otherwise, mass killing around the globe…

        Which part of that project does the Democratic Party object to?

        1. integer

          Which part of that project does the Democratic Party object to?

          The part where such a large number of people are so disgusted with those activities, and the D-party’s complicity in them, that Trump wins the election? Hahaha. I mean, the D-party must know deep down that they are total losers, but I think they find it confronting when material evidence of this fact is placed in front of them. Hahaha.

        2. hunkerdown

          That the Republicans, the apparent moral center of the Democratic universe, are doing it. Perhaps that they are doing it out in the street without any pretense of remorse or consternation and making it harder for them to compartmentalize their “necessary evil”. Or perhaps that they are having any fun at all, which is Democrat property.

    3. Tom Allen

      Several of my Democratic friends are simultaneously convinced that Trump is a Russian stooge and outraged that he won’t listen to his daily national security briefings.

  12. diogenes

    At least the schadenfreude is bipartisan.

    I am of the opinion DLC operations were the biggest political betrayal of working people in my lifetime, so seeing the Clinton’s wrong-footed is gratifying.

    OTOH, Trump & company are now whining about the Russia story because at best, it calls his legitimacy into question. Considering he made his bones calling his predecessor’s legitimacy into question with a total bullshit fabrication, I take some satisfaction in seeing his ilk squirm, too.

    A pox on both of their houses!

  13. allan

    Obama won’t declassify Senate ‘torture report’ now, but will preserve it [Politico]

    President Barack Obama has moved to preserve a Senate report on harsh interrogation tactics used by the CIA during the war on terror, but he’s passed up options that could have led to declassification of broad swaths of the review in the near future.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), other lawmakers, and human rights and transparency advocates have been pressing Obama to declassify the nearly 7,000-page unabridged version of the Senate Intelligence Committee “torture report,” or to have it declared an official record of one of the agencies that has a copy.

    Obama decided instead to place the report in his official presidential records, according to a letter White House Counsel Neil Eggleston sent to Feinstein on Friday. That means the full-length report will be subject to public requests in 2029, which would trigger a declassification process at that time. …

    And there are actually some people who are petitioning O. to pardon Manning and Snowden.
    The triumph of hope over Hope and Change.

    1. DJG

      allan: Among the many reasons I wrote off Obama. When a person in public life (Obama, Trump) defends torture, they are beyond the pale.

      Of course, all one of our brave hearted, ever-fighting U.S. senators would have to do is leak the report, but it is better to posture about internet petitions to the Electoral College.

    2. jrs

      Just because they are petitioning doesn’t mean they think they will get it, it’s a question of strategy and keeping issues in the public eye, now whether it is really any good as strategy, I don’t know.

      Though for Obama: when even the horrible Dianne Feinstein is on the right side of things, and your on the wrong side, maybe it’s time to reconsider.

    3. Jay M

      Word is they are being pressed into Edison Disks to be preserved at the archive in New Jersey. If you can reserve the killer Ex-Presidential Suite in AK they say they have quick downloads. (Fake news or snark)

  14. Ranger Rick

    Remember, “classified” does not necessarily mean “national security.” It can also mean “embarrassing to the US Government.”

    1. Yalt

      As someone who spent far too much time reading through the State Department cables at Wikileaks I can confidently say that most of the time “classified” means “utterly banal.”

        1. ambrit

          It beats the H— out of Nancy Regan and her Court Astrologer. That bunch claimed the ability to read the Stars. (Technically, neither Nancy Davis nor Ronald Regan could be considered as Stars in the Hollywood sense; supporting players maybe.)
          As for Trump’s rendezvous with Fate? Only time will tell.

          1. FluffytheObeseCat

            If you are going to deride others (even the Reagans) for ignorance, spelling the names of public figures correctly is a Good Idea.

            Ronald Reagan. Was POTUS from January 1981- January 1989.

            1. ambrit

              For at least half of his term, Ronald ReAgan was suffering from Alzheimers dementia.
              How’s that for Hagiography?
              As he infamously declaimed in “Kings Row;” “Where’s the rest of me?”
              Besides, my derision was to counter the Trump derision above.
              I see the beginnings of a Big Lie campaign against Trumps fitness for office. This speaks of desperation on the ‘D’ “side” of the political spectrum.
              Hmmm… Suddenly I cannot append links to outside sources.

          1. ChrisPacific

            “I was elected to lead – not to read!”

            (Yes, it’s a Simpsons quote, but since they were the first to call the Trump presidency I think it’s an acceptable source).

  15. Left in Wisconsin

    Glad to see two healthy servings of John Stauber – a true national treasure.
    1. Why the Trump Protests, Like the Wisconsin Uprising, Will Fail
    2. The Rise and Fall of Obamacare

    I think he is a bit unfair to the original Wisconsin protesters, as their mostly spontaneous occupation and mass protest was ultimately hijacked by mainstream Democratic apparatchiks (a distinction he doesn’t make), but the larger point is no doubt true: Everyone within sniffing distance of D power knows absolutely zero about the lives and aspirations of working people outside the stable enclaves (education, health care, public sector), and so has no message (or program!) that will resonate.

    Check this out, hot off the presses and fully vetted by the Democracy Alliance:

    The Progressive Economic Blueprint for the States
    (I’ll summarize for those not interested in the link):
    1. Infrastructure
    2. Clean energy, green jobs
    3. Industry clusters, innovation
    4. Equal pay for women
    5. “Allow all working people the freedom to join together to negotiate for a fair return on their work, job safety, working conditions, and the best way to get the job done.” Had to include this one entirely, as it doesn’t use the word ‘union’ and summarizing it as “supporting unions” probably overstates the objective.
    6. Child-care tax credits, after-school programs.
    Etc., etc.
    Not evil, just anodyne.

    I think they just repurposed the Clinton campaign literature. Nothing on how anyone intends to achieve any of this. Though I’m not sure that is the point.

  16. AvaB244

    I’d love to see the commenters and the NC regular writers defend his newest stance on “Getting the EPA out of your personal liberty” (http://www.nbcnews.com/video/trump-we-are-going-to-end-the-epa-intrusion-into-your-lives-828612675982) as some kind of emancipatory, grassroots “not as crazy as he looks, lets give him a chance” stance.

    I swear this site continues to swing wildly out of control, starting 2016 from the *excellent* reporting on the loathsome HRC this election season, now to the end of 2016 just being 100% pro anything DT does just to stick it to the centrist Ds in the most juvenile way possible, not giving a damn about the people that are gonna be hurt tremendosly by him and his cabinet, immediately, and physically (not just figuratively). Its crazy to see it from birds-eye.

    1. Michael

      Please do differentiate between the commentariat, which has lost its mind, and the authors/editors, who have show regular and appropriate trepidation.

      1. ambrit

        This Commentariator begs to differ. The wilder swings of opinion rendered in the NC comments page represent the saner portion of the general Sturm und Drang now occupying what passes for the public discourse out in the Infoverse. I don’t know what part of America the “more measured and magisterial” commenters represent, but this election swung according to a very strong and rather inchoate rage; which rage still possesses the nation.
        We live in the midst of a “plague on both your houses” moment in American history. Like Mercutio, America feels it’s doom advancing upon it and sees no help from either supposed faction of politicians. Trump arrives as an ‘outsider’ candidate and gives the grievously wounded populace a hope at a change from “business as usual.” What the “measured” commentators miss is that the “great unwashed” of America are now willing to accept an Apocalyptic realignment in American politics if nothing better can be arranged.
        Not to put too fine a point on it; Democracy in America is now Trumps to lose.
        What most don’t understand is that a huge portion of the American public will cheer on the fires and tumbrils, if that’s what it takes to change course.

        1. Michael

          Plague on both houses is sane; thinking that Trump is going to be something other than a different flavored kakistocracy is silly.

          1. ambrit

            Silly or not, Trump pulled off what Obama seems to have done in 2008, gave the electorate the ways and means to have their “vote” transcend materialist bounds. As in 2008, the Trump voter experienced a “moment of faith” in the voting booth. Something fundamental was promised to change due to the outcome of this election. If Obama can be said to be riding the Tiger of “Hope and Change,” Trump, whether or not he realizes it, is riding an angry tiger. No warm and fuzzy Tigger here. The only thing I can see that would allow Trump to get away with less than a transformative Administration would be if he can engineer a visible increase in decent jobs. For that, he can plead the necessity of time to work “things” out. Then, he’d better produce something tangible.

      2. integer

        There are very few NC comments that are pro-Trump. It may seem like that to you though, because relative to your support for Clinton on the basis that all Trump-supporting flyover state dwellers were the personification of bigotry and hatred, which was clearly evident in every single one of your comments until recently, a position that is not in favour of Trump but highly critical of Clinton could be (wrongly) interpreted as being pro-Trump.

        My reading of your comments, formed from reading many of them, is that you are a disingenuous commenter. I remember when you started commenting here and Yves took the time, on about half a dozen different occasions iirc, to gently explain why your views were misguided, and you would come back the next day and say exactly the same thing. Absolutely toxic, imo.

    2. jrs

      This is actually the thing loyal Republican voters WANT (most of them) and voted for, it’s going to have proved they knew what they were doing (the party voters, the mindset of non-party voters that went with Trump may be different). R loyalty tends to actually pay off. D loyalty is just as likely to lead to a knife in the back as anything.

      The rest of us, ah well, we maybe never had a chance anyway, at the very least since Bernie conceeded.

    3. aj

      Are you reading the same site as the rest of us? Maybe your HRC goggles are obstructing your view. This site has been very critical of Trump’s cabinet picks, which is basically all he’s done so far. NC is about covering the stories that aren’t being covered elsewhere. If you want to hear teeth-gnashing about how the world is coming to an end, you can find that on the MSM. NC calls out the stupid and it just so happens that most of the stupid recently is coming from the Dem establishment.

        1. ambrit

          My dear Foppe;
          Trolls get paid!? Where do I sign up? Job hunting here in Ye Deepe Southe is an uphill slog, and it seems that no one wants white males over sixty for any purpose except the bamboozlement and exploitation of their fellow consumers. (Offers of straight commission sales jobs are here and there. Some such even require i-pads and “small investments” for “entry level” recruits. If I was interested in unethical work, I’d go right into Crime and make the “Big Bucks.”)
          Your eternally obedient servant;

          1. Foppe

            Seems to be invite only, invitations sent to children of members of the professional-class and its aspirants.

    4. Brad

      The problem with the Left and progressives in the US is that they are ideologically and politically tangled up with liberalism as represented in the Democratic party. They are not tangled up with the Republicans or Trumpism, that is not the problem. Notice that both liberal Dems and the far right like to blur the distinction with the Left, the only difference being one says “liberals are your friends” vs “liberals == commies”. That is why the fire must be aimed at the liberal Dems for now.

      Especially now that they have lost their minds with the EC and the CIA (for crying out loud). Now is an excellent moment to make that distinction clear in practice. Indeed it is of vital importance now.

      The tragedy of the liberal psychosis is that it distracts independent left fire against Trump. Now we have to defend ourselves from two sets of crazies. In this, as in many other cases, liberals in practice cover for the far right. Remember that it was the liberals of that time that opened the door for fascism to take power in Europe. Not the left, not socialists, not communists.

      First step is to unplug the Left from liberalism. That will put us on a better footing to battle Trump.

    5. hunkerdown

      Even though I’m fully aware this is a drive by, you decided to use centrist Ds to advance your personal ambition at others’ expense. Tell me why you shouldn’t be hurt for harming the public interest.

    6. Waldenpond

      Trump is a piece of garbage (along with virtually everyone that runs as a D or R) that is going to govern on behalf of the 1% (along with virtually everyone that runs as a D or R) and it looks to me that the people that are pro-Trump have always been conservatives and quite a few newcomers.

      Please donate to centrist actblue to stop the Russians. https://twitter.com/funder/status/808417769561669632 Because being centrist means never having to say you’re sorry for stomping on the face of humanity forever.

        1. ambrit

          I suspect that the “donate to actblue” is all sarcasm.
          After all, “stop the Russians?” The Russians are already here. The local scrap metals yard was bought out by a Russian “company” several years ago. YMMV Comrade.

    7. Aumua

      Trump IS awful. It remains the truth.

      The problem seems to be that that position has been so thoroughly co-opted and turned towards the vilest of ends that it’s almost enough to make me want to root for the guy. In fact, I’m hard pressed to find any position to take in all of this that has not already been turned into some platform for some agenda that I don’t support.. it’s very frustrating. I’m rapidly becoming speechless about the current state of affairs, tbh.

      1. Steve C

        Trump being a nuclear meltdown doesn’t mean in contrast the Democrats are your friends. Welcome to life on a storm-tossed sea with no safe political harbor. That’s reality.

    8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think the hardest thing to do is, when one is surrounded by 100% pro-DT comments, one responds rationally to debunk them, on issues at hand, one at a time.

      It’s hard, but not too taxing, when there is no ad hominem attacks, but plenty of space to make one’s points.

      Don’t be distracted by counting the number of pro-DT comments. Is it 100 comments by 11Am or 150 already?

      People should always be learning, to better themselves, and good argument points contribute to the site (so people here can continue to learn).

      It’s the second time I have come cross this type of comment. The key to remember is, you are part of what makes this site (and what makes this world). Your acts and my acts help shape it – we are not some detached observers.

      1. ambrit

        “we are not some detached observers” covers it all very well.
        As I opined earlier, I detect the stirrings of a Big Lie campaign intent on delegitimizing Trumps fitness to lead the country. The anti-Trump cabal conveniently forgets even so recent a Primus Inter Pares as “W.”
        Watch out for the San Andreas MLTPB. Those recent temblors just offshore of Northern California have me worried. Have your plan ready. Stay safe.

    9. I Have Strange Dreams

      You sound like Mardukas from Midnight Run:

      Jonathan Mardukas: You ever had lyonnaise potatoes? They are these types of potatoes that are sautéed but then they have this onion thing added to them, and they are really, really delicious. They work well with any, uh, chicken or pork dish. You know I could set you up with lyonnaise potatoes for the rest of your life.

      Jack Walsh: Why don’t you just shut the fuck up!

    10. cwaltz

      I think that the site will moderate it’s enthusiasm as it becomes pretty clear that Donald Trump is every bit as much a 1%er as Clinton was.

      As far as the centrist Dems go though, they did this to themselves. They literally rigged the election to leave out the Independent voters since Obama won without them. The big problem with that was Obama had the enthusiasm of the millenials, something Clinton didn’t have(but Bernie did.) People weren’t going to turn out to vote for the candidate who thought the TPP was a gold standard, then was conveniently against it while still refusing to put those words in the DNC platform. No one trusted her. And in my opinion they shouldn’t have.

      At this point the best thing the Democrats can hope for is worse things for the electorate. They better pray the GOP swings for the gates with Social Security and Medicare. Otherwise come 2018 they are toast.

      1. Steve C

        Yves and Lambert have made it pretty clear when people were out of bounds. This site isn’t dembot. If people don’t like that, there are plenty of dembot sites all in with the CIA stuff.

        1. Eureka Springs

          I think a lot of people continue to mistake delight with Hillary losing as some sort of support for Trump. And I think people who are thrilled with the severe wound TPP has taken for now, and that making deals rather than starting WWIII seems to be on Trumps agenda… that they do not automatically support him much more than that.

          And I think that Trump and / or HRC would have equally horrific cabinets, advisors, agendas.

          We need at least one party to die the way of the Whigs. Looks like that could happen sooner now…and that gives me a glimmer of a glimmer of something to maybe hope for.

          And while I’m in the glimmer department… what if the CIA over plays its hand upon its own peeps… and a Trump could actually drown much of it in a bathtub? That’s another glimmer I wouldn’t have right now had HRC won the E.C. hands down.

          1. Massinissa

            I agree with your premise. The Democrats have been all “You are with us or against us!!!” for several years now. Its very irritating.

            1. hunkerdown

              “Against us” is the only answer they’d accept from us. So, time to grind ’em like Russia ground the US-backed proxy army.

      2. Praedor

        Careful there. The core of the undead corpse of the Democrat Party are in favor of destroying Social Security and Medicare. They seek to cut Social Security AT BEST, to save it from “going bankrupt” doncha know, “partially privatize it” if possible. They will also gladly do similar harm to Medicare. Anything for the betterment of their Wall St and Big Corporate financiers.

        Expecting the Dems to actually fight to preserve either program without having to hold a knife to their throats is a losing strategy.

    11. Massinissa

      What? The site has never defended Trump. A couple people here voted for him, but you wont find much Trump defence here.

  17. TarheelDem

    In principle and law, Hamilton’s Federalist 68 justifies the electoral college as a safety mechanism against popularly-elected tyrants, the elite Framers’ biggest fear about democracy. Oooh, the rabble might put up a tribune who wins. Regardless of state law, a runaway electoral college could elect anyone who is otherwise be qualified as President to the office, even drafting someone totally out of the blue. To do that, they would have to see Donald Trump as that potential tyrant–that is the majority of electors gathered in their separate states.

    You do see the practical difficulty in that, don’t you?

    What you are seeing is the bargaining stage of grief. Surprised really that so few Democrats are affected. What I’m seeing more of is the anger stage of grief from those hidebound and determined to drive a stake through the possibility of any Clinton (and to a lesser degree, any Bush) being nominated for political office ever again. And the deep unwarranted fear that the electoral college with presto-chango sweep Her Inevitability into office through a little-known, Constitutionally sound mechanism……When Democrats did not see Mitch McConnell’s hide-bound eight-years-long obstruction coming.

    But it does make for conversation to fill the time–instead of considering what the collapse of NATO in the wake of a devolved EU would do for non-proliferation. I wonder if the CIA has a fix on what Putin’s advisers make of the chance of that on their borders–Trump or no-Trump.

    What I see instead is the more vaporware leaked through the CIA’s own punishment-proof reporters at the New York Times and Washington Post. Yawn.

    1. hunkerdown

      You’re presuming that electors are disinterested and have a duty to the people. The first can be presumed false to reliably predictive effect; the second has no basis in the Constitution or in English common law or culture.

      Also, you’re presuming that those electors would face any accountability for their defection, which is the case in only a few states, who at that only disqualify the elector (whoop-de-doo) and deem any such vote stillborn (no Clinton loss), and the jurisdiction of such laws at the EC’s session is another question entirely.

      Now, that said, Republicans do love class-consciousness, and I don’t think it would be a hard sell to those who believe in their station in the Order, all that blather about “fair play and honest competition and the proles seen, not heard” to defect to a good, Respectable businessperson over the smelly riffraff businessperson. To a goodthinking neoliberal, that’s a Respectable course of backup action to preserve the brand of the Demo-aristocracy. After which they stop propping up Hillary and let the CIA’s candidate Kaine take over, and everything’s jake in Clintontown, as usu.

      This could well be Benenson’s FIRESIGN “salvage project”, (provenance unknown) which, after stripping out the UFOs as a codeword for fake Russians, seems like the very op being run right now: “War of the Worlds”, iow.

  18. Jim Haygood

    Today only the Dow made a record high — its sixth in a row.

    Dow 20K watch: one (1) percent away.

    Worriedly, I just checked Dr Hussman’s weekly column, fearful that he’d flipped bullish as Ms Market pounds his thick skull with a lead pipe.

    But no … he’s still staunchly negative, meaning that a Santa Claus rally remains not only possible but likely.

    1. aab

      Serious question: Isn’t the soaring stock market a huge emergency brake on the soft coup? The kinds of people who want the coup want power back, but the kinds of people they need to persuade stand to lose if the coup goes through and we have massive instability, right?

      I mean, I’ve been told for decades that the stock market can’t tolerate uncertainty. Wouldn’t upending every norm of our governing and election system be kinda uncertain?

  19. lyman alpha blob

    In light of the risible ‘fake news’ meme and NC’s invocation of media related laws, here’s a reminder of another law you may find useful – Sturgeon’s Law.

    Sci fi writer Theodore Sturgeon was told by a critic that 90% of scifi was crap and he retorted that 90% of everything was crap. You just need to know how to find the good stuff.

    Caveat lector.

    1. Chromex

      Except he was wrong about crap. 100% of crap is crap. And that’s what this latest CIA. fake news. influence the electors stuff is-100% crap,

    2. Aumua

      Seems like this fake ‘fake news’ news (c) 2016 is primed to blow up right in the face of entities like The Times, as more and more people see that half of what they purvey as news is as likely to be B.S. as anything coming from an alternative, or even fringe website.

      What’s more is that they are driving the point home that their news stories can’t be trusted, with the very same ‘fake news’ story they are trying to use to emphasize how comparatively real their news is. The irony levels are off the scale. It’s uncharted territory.

  20. TK421

    I don’t envy whoever’s gonna have to take her aside and tell her it’s really over.

    I’ll do it :D

    1. cwaltz

      I nominate Pelosi.

      Wasn’t it her that was whining that Clinton’s deleted emails were all about her personal life and that Hillary had a right to a personal life?

      Hillary can now spend all her time devoted to emails on yoga classes and her grandchild.

      1. ambrit

        H Clinton might soon have to move to a nation without an extradition treaty with the United States. Without Bill might be best since he’ll always be leering at the Energizer Bunnies, of whatever age.

          1. integer

            Come to think of it, a good way to describe Hillary would be that she is “an evil female version of George Costanza”. Ha! Sometimes I crack myself up.

  21. LT

    Re: Politico on Democratic Party….

    In essence…not a big tent.
    The ones who want to go on record without”talking points” and are the ones who prioritize the socual safety net of the government. The others need to be fed propaganda to make it seem like they give a rat’s butt without offending financial predators they love.

  22. two beers

    He says “incalculable damage” like that’s a bad thing…

    But you want to attempt a hostile takeover of this same terminal wreck that you agree ought to be destroyed?

    Captain of the Titanic to Lambert, after the latter has wrestled his way to the helm: “Here’s the wheel, ol’ sport, enjoy!”.

    Yet there’s still that abandoned car by the side of the road, with the keys in the ignition, and just enough fuel to get to the next gas station…

    1. hunkerdown

      I don’t think we have any delusions that we won’t be scrapping and rebuilding the vehicle. The point is to make neoliberalism as dead as Rahm’s steak. And your reading of the fuel gauge is debatable, let alone whether a machine that burns concentrated fossil wealth/energy can even get to where we need to be without losing cargo or lung capacity.

  23. Chromex

    In order to accept this is any kind of deal ( I do not support Trump nor did I vote for him) there are so many hidden premises you have to accept it is laughable
    First let’s assume that Putin himself donned a Mr Robot Hoodie and hacked the server and printed the emails and gave them to Assange who was sitting next to him.
    SO WHAT?
    Is the American public so gullible? Was that somehow unfair?
    No. First, access was granted by .. Hillary and Podesta and their own idiocy ( her with the server, him with the pas*word) . IMO we are entitled to know what was in the emails. It certainly did not change my vote nor did it change the vote of anyone I know.
    It’s not like all the anti-Trump tapes etc were not strategically timed to influence the election. IS it OK if Americans do it?
    Second, all they could do with Trump was run past business stuff. He did not have a public policy record to reveal… the man was not in government service.. she was. My view is that if the public was so influenced by the emails, which had some absolutely appalling details, none of which were forged, then they were entitled to be ,even if Hitler himself had done the hacking.
    It is disheartening that , less than a month after the NYT said maybe we were biased and we promise to be more careful they are again acting as propagandists and not pointing out all the absurd hidden premises that must be accepted to manufacture an issue. I am still waiting for the Times report on her “fake news” that she was under fire- obviously a story designed to influence primary voters.
    I think both Clinton and Trump would be terrible presidents but it has been obvious since she lost that Hillary is unable to accept this to the point of mental illness. First she tried to have her proxies do some damage and when that did not work, she counters with this. I never recall anyone saying that the Democratic party has an absolute right to control the flow of information in the world. AS much as i despise Trump and his stone age cabinet, I am starting to think he is less pathological about this than her. Perhaps if this latest gambit fails she will go the way of Lady Macbeth,

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The anti-Trump tapes….

      And the one with former Miss Universe – is she an American now? Do you call that ‘foreign’ intervention?

      “Former Miss Universe tries to steal election for HIllary!!!”

    2. Brad

      The soundest argument to stick to is that it is ridiculous to argue that Russia somehow flipped some low info small town types from Obama to Trump in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania with a hack of the DNC leaked to Wikileaks and propagandized by Breitbart – don’t forget that last follow-on rationale. They don’t read Wikileaks or Breitbart, and neither do I.

    3. Skip Intro

      You miss a critical point. If we accept the premise that The Putin wanted Trump, and stipulate that the evidence shows that the Clinton campaign and its MSM lackeys promoted Trump to secure him the GOP nomination, this means that the Clinton campaign itself (along with its compliant media) was one of the most important tools that Russia used to place their chosen candidate into the White House.

  24. b.

    “So what the Clintonites have settled on is trying get the Electoral College to reverse the election.”

    History repeats, first – Sanders, superdelegates – as a tragedy, then – Clinton, electors – as a farce.

    I debate whether or not anybody involved – Brock, Clinton, even Obama – is seeing this as anything other than a means to transition into another well-paying “initiative” or “cause”. On a related note, Feingold was unwilling to even run against Walker – given that he had a well-paying Six-Year PAC to fall back on – and to come to Wisconsin’s aid in its hour of need, so it should not really come as a surprise that Wisconsin wasn’t all to eager to show up in his.

    1. Fighting Bob

      Russ was well-supported by individual, smaller sized donations.
      He was leading in the polls till the last few weeks of the campaign.
      In those last few weeks Republican donors, particularily the Widow Hendricks, poured in millions to saturate the airwaves.
      7 milion from what I can tell.

      I don’t know how someone like Russ, who comes from a very middle-class background, and is no member of the Millionaire Senators Club, can compete with that.
      His pac didn’t have that money, that clout.

      Roger Stone, Trump’s fixer/consultanr, claims Gov. Walker and former Republican state party chair, Reince Priebus, have rigged the last five state-wide elections here including the Walker recall and Supreme Court races.
      Did they, I don’t know.

      Interesting that Stone, long-time national Republican operative, would make a point of noting Wisconsin and Walker specifically, and that specific number of elections.
      Are you counting Roger, how often it can be done?

      And after the Stein recount we still won’t know if Walker and crew did it again since it was not a state-wide paper recount. Counties could just run the ballots through machines again, as they did in Milwaukee Co.

      In regards to Feingold running against Walker,
      First time would have been the Walker recall,
      well Russ had just recently been dumped by the citizens of the state after decades of service and some very courageous votes (Patriot Act).
      Either the vote had been rigged or the voters truly preferred the pinhead Sen. Johnson.
      The state had just said what they wanted.
      They didn’t want him to continue as a senator,
      why would he assume they’d want him as governor?

      As to the next Walker election, I think Russ was planning a Senate return, a perfectly reasonable way to serve Wisconsin’s needs, given that he knows the Senate and the players and process. And certainly, replacing Johnson would have been a valuable service to the state.

      The Kochs have targeted Wisconsin and they’ve done very well here.
      We’re sinking and the doors have been opened to some very awful ends.

      Feingold’s pac is minuscule and just a pebble against a tsunami.


  25. cocomaan

    Lambert said:

    “By any means necessary” would include anything from a von Stauffenberg solution (no doubt the CIA has a wet team) all the way up to a coup. (This last is hard to imagine, since a coup demands occupying physical space with armed force. Who could Clinton call on?)

    There was a point on election night, when Podesta told HRC supporters to go home, but she didn’t concede, that I wondered what the heck was going on in the Democrat situation room. What was about to happen? I went to bed troubled.

    If HRC’s best and brightest came to the conclusion that 1) overthrowing the electoral college and 2) attempting to get Trump locked up for treason, were the ways forward, I have to wonder what else went through their minds that night.

    The gap between Podesta’s announcement and Trump’s speech reminded me of when Mubarak ordered the military to fire on protesters in Tahrir, the paddy wagons rolled out with soldiers in them and then… silence. For about two or three hours. And then Mubarak was gone.

  26. JustAnObserver

    So the electors + sufficient $$$ change sides and HRC or some other puppet/muppet is “elected”. Does anyone for the tiniest fraction of a second imagine that Trump wouldn’t fight this down into the last ditch. We’d probably end up with the The-POTUS-in-DC *and* The-POTUS-in-NYC. Shades of the Papal schism with rival popes in Rome & Avignon.


  27. PQS

    “It won’t, because the vast majority of Americans do not want to align themselves with a party of buck-passing juveniles that have no vision for the future but want to devote all their energy to kooky witch-hunts that further prove they are unfit for high office.”

    Hm. It seems to me that this perfectly describes the current incarnation of the GOP. Benghazi, the birth certificate, the Iraq war, ACORN, their entire abortion obsession, stalling for eight years while America went through the worst Depression since the Great Depression, coming up with reheated hash every single year that does nothing and doesn’t work, like the Laffer curve, trickle down economics, and ending regulations of all kinds, up to and including child labor laws.

    It would appear that at least half of American is A-OK with both kooky witch hunts and buck-passing juveniles.

    1. Massinissa

      This is nitpicking, but technically both democrats and republicans are both a quarter of the country, not a half. Half the country doesn’t vote.

    2. aab

      Except that the voters rejected all the representatives of the Republican Party who were implicated in that. Even birther Trump didn’t run on birtherism. He didn’t run on any of that stuff. We will never know who would have won in the hideous Bush vs. Clinton Part Deux that the establishment wanted to give us, but I think it’s fair to say turnout would have been even lower.

      And as Massinissa points out, only about a quarter of the country is currently buying what either party is selling. Legitimacy Crisis — it’s what’s for dinner!

    3. cocomaan

      I think it’s arguable that Benghazi sunk Hillary Clinton, considering that the email tarball arose from the original subpoenas.

      1. Skip Intro

        Karma it is then. I thought the whole birther thing started with her 2008 primary campaign too, BTW.

  28. Plenue

    >“Why a Post-Nuclear World Would Look Nothing Like ‘Mad Max’” [Nautilus]

    Mad Max has never been a post-apocalyptic story though. As far as I know it never says WW3 or similar happened, merely that there was an oil crisis and civilization ground to a halt.

    1. aab

      I’m not a Mad Max expert, but the last movie clearly implied mutations due to nuclear radiation, which I believe the text makes explicit at some point. And I think whether oil crisis or nukes, if there’s no civilization, it’s “post-apocalyptic.”

  29. fresno dan

    So I catch the first 60 seconds of Chris Matthews – and he has that number 2 CIA guy who is always on Charlie Rose making a big deal that HE never told Cheney that Saddam had NUCLEAR weapons, and that supposedly shows how truthful and virtuous the CIA is.
    Its like they’re proud of being stupid….

    1. integer

      shows how truthful and virtuous the CIA is

      Speaking of shows, there has been a massive amount of slickly produced tv shows (fictional drama genre) focusing on the virtuosity of the CIA and special agent types in general. I’m wondering if this is a key factor in the liberal’s unquestioning acceptance that the CIA has their best interests at heart. On that subject, does anyone remember the series Madam Secretary? Talk about obvious. Along with corporate news, Hollywood is one of the biggest propaganda outlets in the US.

      1. integer

        Remember this?

        Elijah Wood: Hollywood’s child sex abuse comparable to Jimmy Savile case

        Elijah Wood, the actor who took his first film role aged eight before starring in the Lord of the Rings movies, has said that organised sexual abuse of children in Hollywood is rife.

        Speaking to the Sunday Times, Wood said that although he had been protected as a child – mainly through the efforts of his mother, who stopped him going to parties – many of his peers were regularly “preyed upon”.

        Wood, now 35, drew parallels between such experiences and the prolific sexual abuse perpetrated by TV host Jimmy Savile. “You all grew up with Savile,” said Wood. “Jesus, it must have been devastating. Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organised. There are a lot of vipers in this industry – people who only have their own interests in mind.”

        “There is darkness in the underbelly,” he added. “If you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.”

      2. Sammy Maudlin

        On that subject, does anyone remember the series Madam Secretary? Talk about obvious.

        Fo sho. About a year ago, I commented that it sure seemed like the show was basically an entrainment message being delivered to the voting populace to get them used to the idea of HRC becoming Prez. Kind of interesting (to me, at least) to see what I wrote back then…

        Sammy Maudlin
        October 6, 2015 at 12:31 am

        In the CBS hit series Madam Secretary, a make-believe Secretary of State that sort of resembles Hillary Clinton is consistently dealing with fictionalized versions of real-life events that already took place involving a Secretary of State named Hillary Clinton. For example, Season 1, episode 2 “Another Benghazi” (“geez, it’s like Benghazi all over again!”)

        Only in the show, things get done right the first time! I’m certain the arch-nemesis Chief of Staff will present Madam Secretary with a proposition to do some official emailing from home which will be soundly rejected by our heroine (after consulting with her theology-professor husband).

        My guess is the over-arching plot line is going to take us through her ultimately successful run for President and extremely competently-handled first year. Ms. Madam Secretary, in fact, was just sworn in (for a few hours) in the latest episode to plant the plot seed. I’m feeling better about her candidacy already!

        I have not followed the show, so I’m not sure whether the titular character has run for the highest office as of yet. However, we shall see if she will be able to bounce back from the defeat she is sure to suffer at the hands of a (completely fictional) misogynistic, racist, loose-cannon Russian stooge who will inevitably put our nation in grave danger, only to be saved by the quick thinking and high moral Q possessed by Madam Secretary and the soon-to-be-created character that roughly resembles the next Democratic Presidential nominee.

        1. integer

          Ha! I never watched it, but it was heavily advertised on Aus. tv to the point where I, with my fairly modest tv diet, was aware of the show and even had a rough idea of the plot. There are actually a huge number of US intelligence(?) agency crime dramas on free-to-air Aus. tv.

          I think some CIA related funny business has been going on in Aus. politics too, unfortunately. Hopefully the Aus. politicians are catching on to what is really going on and get this under control, though that may simply be wishful thinking. I’ve been following US politics a lot more closely than Aus. politics lately, for obvious reasons.

  30. fresno dan

    “The Real Trump” [New York Review of Books]. Not as crazy pants as I expected it to be. “Donald Trump has been the shatterer of norms. Thus far it has been enough. Will he become the breaker of laws? Will he find it necessary? Scarcely a decade and a half ago George W. Bush, when he determined that the country’s interest demanded that he torture prisoners, simply found a way to have his government declare legal what was not. It may well be that Trump will do the same. ”

    “…punching the air and clasping his hands above his head, the red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap pressed down over the defiantly ridiculous coiffure.”

    I had read that, and I read another article about that rally. In that other article, the author pointed out that Trump wore a “trucker cap” NOT a baseball cap, and that Trump knew the difference.
    Not a big deal, but still, I think telling about what people are familiar with and what it says….

    1. aab

      That and Aleppo apparently fell tonight to Assad’s forces. It’s a really bad day to be in the CIA/Clinton orbit, or an investor in same.

      Whether this is the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end is unclear.

    2. cm

      I’m not sure how to phrase this, but I sincerely believe the anticipation of violence resulting from Electoral college manipulations has been severely underestimated. More bluntly, I believe there is a significant chance that those who vote against their Electoral College obligations will be assassinated.

      1. hunkerdown

        John Robb sure is estimating it (italics mine):

        I haven’t fully gamed this out but I suspect Trump would be able to gather enough support to become President regardless of the electoral college result (anything less would result in a messy street level civil war). Fear of continued chaos would force this.

        The moment he is sworn in, he would invoke a state of emergency and quickly move to arrest anyone connected with the plot to nullify the election and anyone calling for violence.

      2. aab

        I had not considered that possibility at all, and I have not seen it discussed anywhere. Now I’m feeling slightly nauseous, because that actually does seem like a realistic reaction. But it would be the Archduke Ferdinand moment, too, most likely. Ugh.

        One thing about the current dynamic that I think is underdiscussed is how the tactics and messaging from Clintonians isn’t just wrongheaded electorally and dishonest. It endangers a whole lot of people less privileged and protected than the Clintons and their inner circle. That is also a factor in why people like me point out all the falsehoods being spewed about Trump. Not just because they’re inaccurate, and we’d like to move on to better, more useful political discourse. It’s also that insulting Trump and his voters like this could get people hurt. The Democrats are incredibly weak as a governing force. They aren’t in a position to protect ANYONE. Taunting people who have tremendous power over you is foolish.

        Here’s a minor example. That “Nasty Woman” meme has bothered me from the start. I understand that it was in part a reaction to Clinton saying “Deplorable” and then Trump supporters calling themselves Deplorables and so when Trump called Clinton nasty, her supporters started calling themselves “Nasty.” But there are two notable differences in the two situations. One, Clinton was punching down. She was insulting voters. Trump was punching up — she was the status quo candidate, so even if he’s wealthier than she is (arguably), in the political arena, he was below her. But also, these women wearing tee shirts declaring themselves to be a “Nasty Woman” are displaying an ASTOUNDING degree of privilege. Who are these creatures so protected they have no awareness that angry men can hurt them? We live in a patriarchy. Men have more power than women structurally in every possible way, and we women are socialized to tamp down our violent capacities, in addition to the reality than generally most men can hurt most women more easily in hand to hand combat. I have beaten a man in a fight, so I’m not saying it’s not possible. But I had to be blindingly angry, coming off an actual training session, use my considerable wits, AND have the benefit of surprise. No way under any other circumstance could I have gotten him on the ground.

        This kind of thing isn’t merely politically irresponsible. I’m all for fighting back against Trump’s administration — but what the Democratic elite is doing is just going to hurt regular people even more — and it won’t just be political and economic pain.

  31. Praedor

    Once again, the entire mad fury about “Russian hacking of the election” makes me FURIOUS. Once again, the false pipers of this bogus meme push the “bad Russkies stole the election” crap, ignoring the FACT of what the content of the emails were in the first place.

    I DON’T CARE HOW WE GET/GOT THE INFORMATION!!! I ONLY care about the actual content of the emails, what they (Hillary and her bots) wrote. That is the ONLY thing that matters, now how we all obtained access to what they wrote. No Russians forced Hillary and her band of neoliberal scum to say and write what they did. They wrote everything they did because THAT’S WHO THEY ARE. We are fortunate to have been allowed to see who and what they are before the election could cement them into power.

    IF the Russians are behind the leak(s)…then I thank them. They did us a service.

  32. Cry Shop

    It won’t, because the vast majority of Americans do not want to align themselves with a party of buck-passing juveniles that have no vision for the future but want to devote all their energy to kooky witch-hunts that further prove they are unfit for high office.

    IMNSHO, probably quite a large part of America’s population is quite happy to align themselves with “a party of buck-passing juveniles… unfit for high office.” That’s the Republican/Tea Party base, and what keeps Bretbart/National Inquirer/etc. in business. If we admit this, then the question becomes can a party appeal to both the “juveniles” and the “adults”. I fear not, and if this is true then either the Democrats have to abandon the adults and try to out-compete the Republicans (a difficult trick for a party which is suppose to represent a broad base of ethnic and moral/livelihood groups) or hope that demographics will grow their base.

    Considering how badly the Democrats have been at supporting public education, letting the Republicans continue to attack the very machine that is suppose to turn Juveniles into (subservient, serf like) Adults. My guess based on the party behavior since Bill Clinton took office would be they are going to try to out compete the Republicans. The opposite isn’t nearly as profitable, as it’s much harder to cheat and rob an educated populace of adults who one day just might cotton onto their serf status. Even if they(Big D’s oligarchy) fail, there is more money in being a corrupt minority party than an honest majority party.

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