2:00PM Water Cooler 12/2/2016

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Readers, as usual there’s just a bit too much. I’ll add in some UPDATEs shortly. –lambert


Trump: “It used to be the cars were made in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Today the cars are made in Mexico and you can’t drink the water in Flint, Mich” [Politico].

TTIP: “The United States and the European Union are working on a joint political statement to “capture the progress made” on their TTIP before President Barack Obama leaves office next month, sources in the European Commission told our POLITICO colleagues in Brussels. Such a public document, which lists in detail what has been achieved in three-and-a-half years of negotiations, was discussed by European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman during their meeting in Washington on Monday. Yet it is still unclear whether the declaration, which should also name areas where disagreement prevails, will actually be issued, one source added” [Politico]. Saving TTIP through the miracle of cryogenics. Kill it with fire!


2016 Post Mortem

“Relative to the 2012 election, Democratic support in the Rust Belt collapsed as a huge number of Democrats stayed home or (to a lesser extent) voted for a third party. Trump did not really flip white working-class voters in the Rust Belt. Mostly, Democrats lost them” [Slate]. Interesting analysis of exit poll data marred a focus on the Beltway debate about whether and how to appeal to “white working class” voters when, IMNSHO, the real question is how to appeal to working class voters period.

“Mike McCabe, founder and president of the working-class advocacy group Blue Jean Nation, described the results in Wisconsin as a basic reaction to what people are feeling. “If people from communities like that make a trip to Madison to go to a [University of Wisconsin] Badger game or they go to Milwaukee to take in a Brewers game, they see all these new traffic circles and cloverleafs and these massive highway expansions, and they can’t fill their own potholes,” he said in an interview on Wisconsin public radio” [RealClearPolitics]. That’s the good anecdote, but the whole story on rural voters in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania is well worth a read.

“Too many are looking for outside reasons we lost. They blame the Russians, they blame the Electoral College, which is ridiculous. Hillary knows about the electoral college and that she had to win states to win the White House. You can’t win them if you don’t go there and become engaged in the local issues. We were out-campaigned. It’s that simple. It’s time for Democrats to move on. It’s also time to go to the drawing board and see who is ready to run a real campaign addressing issues in places other than the major East and West Coast Cities in 2020” [Chicago Now]. Meanders a bit, so but and that’s the last paragraph.

“Mr. Schumer is also regretting those dozen interviews before the election, the ones he gave as he measured his majority-leader office curtains. He explained to Politico that his party was on the verge of electoral dominance and that this meant it would have ‘a mandate.’ He elsewhere warned all those mulish Republicans that they’d have an obligation to work with his world-dominant party. ‘If we’re gridlocked for another four years, the anger and sourness in the land will make that of 2016 seem tame,’ he lectured. Some might describe electoral dominance as owning the White House, and the Senate, and the House, and 33 governorships and 68 (of 98) state legislative chambers: [Wall Street Journal, “Democrats Send Their Regrets”]. I late to link to the Journal’s Op-Ed page, but this really is a well-deserved beat-down.

Spare a thought for Republican strategists [Wall Street Journal, “GOP Rivals Relate When They Knew Trump Could Win”]. The first incident: “Chip Englander, of Sen. Rand Paul’s campaign: June 2015 – Mr. Englander noticed that a few people in his office watched live TV coverage of Mr. Bush’s campaign kick-off announcement. The following day, by contrast, everyone in his office came to the TV when Mr. Trump announced his candidacy.” Interesting to see what signals the professionals are watching for.

UPDATE At a Harvard forum for campaign strategists: “Amid a rumble of protests from the Trump side, Conway told their side, ‘OK, guys, we won; you don’t have to respond.’ She said to the Clinton side, ‘You’ve learned nothing about this election'” [USA Today]. She’s right. Like and unlike the Bourbons, the Democrats have learned nothing and forgotten a lot.

Trump Transition

UPDATE “Top Trump source on secretary of state says “Rudy’s got it”” [City and State]. Not confirmed anywhere else, and single-sourced.

On Carrier: “‘This is the way it’s going to be,’ Mr. Trump said in an interview with The New York Times. ‘Corporate America is going to have to understand that we have to take care of our workers also” [New York Times]. Great PR, though I’d say “first,” rather than “also.” And if I were a Democrat, I’d take note that Trump said “workers.” Period. Learn from the best, or at least from the better, say I.

On Carrier: “Matt Gardner of Tax Justice expresses the general frustration of progressives [sic] of how much in tax giveaways had to be shelled out to save just half of those 2000 Carrier jobs in Indiana” [Econospeak]. Mere pearl-clutching. Honestly, do they want to lose 2018, too? There are times when I think there’s just one letter’s difference between “wonk” and “wank” for a reason…

On Carrier: “”CEOs are trying to figure it out,” said Hal Sirkin, a senior partner at Boston Consulting Group in Chicago. He said he had discussed the quandary with half a dozen executives” [Wall Street Journal, “Indiana’s Carrier Deal Could Complicate Firms’ Plans to Move Factories Overseas”]. When JFK the 60s version of what Trump is doing, they called it “jawboning.”

UPDATE Mattis appointment: “The flip side of worrying about civilian control of the military is remembering that military officers tend to be less cavalier in their willingness to send American forces into harm’s way than their civilian counterparts. We have had decades of civilians at the Pentagon that never saw a war they didn’t want to fight, so maybe having a former general and veteran of some of our unending wars will help to correct that failing. That’s as much of a silver lining as I can see” [The American Conservative].

UPDATE Mattis appointment: “Now that SecDef thinks Israeli Occupation is Apartheid, will the Lobby Blackballing Fail?” [Juan Cole]. Quoting Mattis: “if I’m Jerusalem and I put 500 Jewish settlers to the east and there’s ten-thousand Arabs already there, and if we draw the border to include them, either [Israel] ceases to be a Jewish state or you say the Arabs don’t get to vote — apartheid. That didn’t work too well the last time I saw that practiced in a country.”

UPDATE Mattis appointment: “[MATTIS:] Sincere, intellectually vigorous, honest, patriotic Americans say that was the dumbest thing we ever did, to go to Iraq. And I will not disagree one bit” [Scientific American]. Plenty to disagree with, here. But not insane.

“White House announces support for women in military draft” [AP]. That’s nice.

“Barbara Ehrenreich: It’s impossible to predict what Trump is going to do next. I mean that in a very serious way. It’s outside of the realm of predictability” (interview) [Capital and Main]. Not to trash Ehrenreich, who’s done great work, but is it so very far from the realm of possibility for the left to develop a reasonably simple platform that appeals to all working people. Maybe — follow me closely here, since Ehrenreich doesn’t mention the name — the Sanders campaign shows the way forward here?

“Trump in the World” [Chris Lydon, Open Source (podcast)]. Sucky Apple doesn’t provide a link to the individual podcast, but it’s first on the list as of this writing. Lydon interviews Lawrence Wilkerson on Trump’s foreign policy, starting with an eminently sane quote from Trump. Like Ehrenreich, Wilkerson concludes that “It’s impossible to predict,” but Trump’s personnel choices are disquieting. Then again, The Blob is disquieting. Or should be.

“RYAN: “Yeah, we have. We’re fine. We’re not looking back. We’re looking forward. We — we actually — we’ve had — we — like I said, we speak about every day. And it’s not about looking for — back in the past. That’s behind us. We’re way beyond that.” [CBS]. Looking forward and not back. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

UPDATE “3 weeks, 3 lessons about Trump’s emerging presidency” [Susan Page, USA Today]. (USA Today, along with McClatchy, stayed relatively sane in 2016, unlike the disgraceful behavior of the Times and WaPo.) “But the bank accounts of Trump’s Cabinet appointees seem likely to overwhelm any previous administration….[I]f they take the government jobs, they will be subject to a federal law that says executive-branch employees can’t participate in government matters in which they or their immediate families have a financial interest. That could force them to divest some assets or put them in a blind trust.” It’s odd that liberals are focusing on Trump’s conflicts, as opposed to turning over large swathes of the government to the direct control of billionaires. Can’t bite the hand that feeds them, I guess.

UPDATE “[A] recurring theme as Mr. Trump has assembled his cabinet [is that most] of his appointees have little in the way of directly relevant policy experience” [New York Times]. “But usually you expect an appointee in that outsider mold to then appoint a deputy who “knows the building,” or has a clear understanding of how to exercise the levers of power in the aforementioned sclerotic bureaucracy. Which paper do you need to push in which direction to get your policy enacted? What are the likely downsides of those policies, and how can they be minimized? With the Commerce Department, the Trump team is going in the other direction, nominating Todd Ricketts to be deputy secretary of commerce. Mr. Ricketts’s family owns the Chicago Cubs; the Trump transition’s news release announcing the appointment cites the Ricketts’ success in building the Cubs into a World Series winner. Public policy is really complicated. If this hiring pattern continues, more unconventional appointees may struggle, especially early on, to get up to speed on things like which assistant secretary handles what and the laborious process of developing regulations.”

UPDATE “Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown has an unlikely supporter in his quest to be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet — Elizabeth Warren” [USA Today]. Hmm. Sanders is on the Veterans Affairs Committee, or was…

Our Famously Free Press

“Tell the Washington Post: ‘Smearing is not reporting'” [RootStrikers]. From the petition:

Smearing is not reporting. The Washington Post’s recent descent into McCarthyism — promoting anonymous and shoddy claims that a vast range of some 200 websites are all accomplices or tools of the Russian government — violates basic journalistic standards and does real harm to democratic discourse in our country. We urge The Washington Post to prominently retract the article and apologize for publishing it.

As of this writing, only 500 to go for a goal of 10,000!

“As editor of Politico throughout this never-to-be-forgotten campaign, I’ve been obsessively looking back over our coverage, too, trying to figure out what we missed along the way to the upset of the century and what we could have done differently” [Susan B. Glasser, Brookings]. Just for grins, I searched Glasser’s article for the word “Sanders.” They’re still suppressing him!

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Jill Stein: Recounts are Necessary Because Electronic Voting Invites Tampering, Hacking, Human Error” [Democracy Now]. Which would imply a do-over for the entire election….

“Evaluating Donald Trump’s Allegations of Voter Fraud in the 2016 Presidential Election” [David Cottrell, Michael C. Herron, Sean J. Westwood (Dartmouth)] Voter fraud not being the same as election fraud.

“House Dems Lose Big, Change Nothing As Pelosi is Re-Elected” [The Daily Beast]. The Iron Law of Institutions. Speaking of which–

UPDATE “Privately, many in this bloc fear that Mr. Ellison’s ascension to the chairmanship would amount to a takeover of the party by Mr. Sanders and his liberal allies” [New York Times]. Yeah. And? “On Friday, Mr. Ellison and three other candidates — Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont; Ray Buckley, the party’s New Hampshire chairman; and Jaime R. Harrison, the South Carolina chairman — will make their case before state party leaders.” That’s today!

UPDATE “In this post-election period, many DNC members are also demanding a return to a “50-state strategy,” pioneered by former Chairman Howard Dean in 2005, to improve the party’s odds of recovering in many statehouses and legislatures where it has lost ground” [Wall Street Journal, “Rep. Keith Ellison Faces Critics Hoping to Derail His Bid to Run the DNC”]. Which Obama [genuflects] deep-sixed!

Stats Watch

Employment Situation, November 2016: “Payroll growth is solid and the unemployment rate is down sharply, but not all the indications from the November report employment are favorable” [Econoday]. “But now the less positive news. The dip in the unemployment rate is tied, not to greater growth in employment, but to a dip in the participation rate, down 1 tenth to 62.7 percent. And a headline negative in the report is a surprise 0.1 percent decline in average hourly earnings, the first negative reading of the year and more than reversing October’s very strong 0.4 percent gain and driving down the year-on-year rate from a cycle high of 2.8 percent back down to 2.5 percent where it last was in August. But payrolls are positive and led in November by another major gain for professional [heh] & services, up 63,000… For policy makers, the unemployment rate is now at their long-term target though participation is soft — and inflation is still lagging, factors that will give the doves some debate points at what is otherwise likely to be a rate-hike meeting the week after next” [Econoday]. But: “To sum this report up – employment is continuing to tread water – growing little better than the theoretical working population growth. However, note that the household survey removed 226,000 to the workforce (which is the reason the unemployment rate declined). There was really nothing good or nothing really terrible – although manufacturing declined. The year-over-year rate of growth insignificantly declined this month” [Econintersect]. And but: “The labor force declined by 226,000 sending the unemployment rate downward. Those ‘not’ in the labor force increased by 446,000 this month and 425,000 last month. The two-month increase of those ‘not’ in the labor force rose by 871,000” [MishTalk]. A good summary from Mish. This piece of unconventional wisdom is worth repeating:

The official unemployment rate is 4.6%. However, if you start counting all the people who want a job but gave up, all the people with part-time jobs that want a full-time job, all the people who dropped off the unemployment rolls because their unemployment benefits ran out, etc., you get a closer picture of what the unemployment rate is. That number is in the last row labeled U-6.

U-6 is much higher at 9.2%. Both numbers would be way higher still, were it not for millions dropping out of the labor force over the past few years.

Some of those dropping out of the labor force retired because they wanted to retire. The rest is disability fraud, forced retirement, discouraged workers, and kids moving back home because they cannot find a job.

From the Department of Other than That, Mrs. Lincoln, How Was The Play: “Millions of working-age people, especially men, are neither working nor looking for work, which remains the lingering weak spot in the United States economy and is most likely a factor in Americans’ continued dissatisfaction with the economy (and their votes for Donald J. Trump for president)” [The Upshot, New York Times]. Alternatively: “Another solid report” [Calculated Risk]. And all that is solid melts into air….

Rail: “[R]ail over the last 6 months been declining around 5% – but this week was -2.3 %. This contraction is still concerning me as it is saying the economy (although getting better) is still not producing goods” [Econintersect].

Retail: “More than 245 million Americans are planning to spend a cumulative total of $181.2 billion during the 2016 holiday season. But nearly two-thirds (64%, or over 157 million people) are planning to make purchases with at least some borrowed money, and 15% are planning to use credit cards to make all their gift purchases. Overall, Americans will add $103.3 billion to their debt on holiday spending this year” [247 Wall Street].

Retail: “French logistics giant Geodis Group shipped 2.5 million orders in the U.S. over the five-day shopping period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, the company said Wednesday” [DC Velocity]. “That volume marked a 10-percent year-over-year increase in e-commerce orders across the company’s 38 million square feet of U.S. warehouse space and forced it to implement increased collaboration between its warehouse operations and technology support teams, Geodis said.” I hope whichever PR flak coined “Cyber Monday” suffers greatly in the next life.

Shipping: “Toys “R” Us is trying to avoid a repeat of last Christmas, when web orders outpaced the company’s ability to deliver, forcing the company to pull goods from online shelves. The difficulty in managing brick-and-mortar stores while maximizing online sales is amplified during the holidays because online sales spike up to four times normal volume. Enlisting stores as fulfillment centers may complicate distribution channels, however, and overstocking can leave retailers with too much inventory in the wrong place when the seasonal dust clears” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “Maersk Line’s bid to buy German shipping line Hamburg Süd is one of the biggest acquisitions so far in an unprecedented era of consolidation in container shipping, but the Danish carrier says it is likely far from the last” [Wall Street Journal].

Supply Chain: “Global Logistic Properties Ltd. said Thursday it is undertaking a strategic review, a move that could lead to a sale of the $7 billion firm that is the second-biggest owner of warehouses in the U.S.” [Wall Street Journal, “Singapore Fund Asks U.S. Warehouse Operator to Consider Strategic Review”]. “GIC, the biggest shareholder in the logistics company, is one of the world’s biggest sovereign funds and has parked more than one-third of its investments in the U.S. ” Hmm.

Supply Chain: “According to the All India Motor Transport Congress, which represents 9.3m truckers, 70% of its members’ vehicles have been forced off the road as operators struggle to pay truck drivers their wages and find the petty cash needed to cover fuel and other costs” after Modi’s demonetization [The Loadstar].

Travel: “A recent report from The Highland Group outlines the continuing success of extended-stay properties. Room supply in Q3 2016 for extended-stay hotels increased 5.7% year over year and demand increased 5.5% for the same period. Occupancy has remained above 80%. While ADR [Average Daily Rate] growth rates have declined for the fifth consecutive quarter, quarterly room revenue surpassed $3 billion for the first time” [Hotel News Notes]. “As the traveling public has become more aware of this segment, they are choosing to stay at extended-stay properties for an increasing number of reasons, said H. Mark Daley III, president and CEO of Generation Companies. They might be hosting family members for holidays, looking for greater control over their meals by having an in-room kitchen, or possibly displaced by events such as Hurricane Matthew, he said. “This is all in addition to the traditional use for extended-stay hotels by those on long-term project assignments or in between housing situations,” he said via email. The tight correlation between extended-stay supply growth and extended-stay segment demand suggests that new supply is tapping into previously unmet demand for this product type, he said.” I don’t know what to make of this. Are family reunions, cooking for one’s self, and natural disasters really enough to explain this? Readers?

The Bezzle: “Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) will pay $20 million and retain an independent compliance consultant to settle charges that it misled investors about the performance of one its first actively managed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and failed to accurately value certain fund securities” [Corporate Crime Reporter]. Man, those SEC enforcers: Ruthless!

The Bezzle: “When news originally broke earlier this year that PIMCO was being looked at for these pricing discrepancies, I brushed it off. The allegation was pretty simple: PIMCO, the best bond trading desk in the world for the past 20 years or so, was buying odd lots (less than $1 million) of nonagency mortgage-backed securities, and then using full-lot prices to calculate net asset value. On the surface, this should make any bond guy shrug. Bond pricing is notoriously awful” [ETF.com]. “The actual order from the SEC, however, points to a smoking gun none of us saw when the story broke: This was actually a deliberate plan to boost initial performance, not a matter of policy or industry practice. Just before BOND launched, PIMCO’s own desk sent around a note to the BOND portfolio managers about how to use odd lots to goose returns.”

Honey for the Bears: “Both ECRI’s and RecessionAlerts indices are indicating moderate growth six months from today. This week, both indices improved. Still, they are indicating conditions 6 months from today might not be much better than today” [Econintersect]. That’s going to disappoint some people…

The Fed: “There is no doubt that the Federal Reserve is planning to increase the Fed Funds rate at this month’s meeting unless there is a seismic shift in markets or the economy ahead of the meeting. This data will not disrupt these expectations and as things stand, there is still a 100% chance that rates will be increased this month” [Economic Calendar].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 68 Greed (previous close: 71, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 72 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Dec 2 at 12:17pm. Mr. Market’s euphoria seems to be slowly ebbing.

Our Famously Free Press

“Twitter is the ‘most important’ social platform right now, analyst says” [MarketWatch]. “To combat its fake news problem, Facebook has suggested third-party verification and using artificial intelligence. But [James Cakmak, an analyst at Monness, Crespi, Hardt] says he’s concerned that fake news will still get through and that this could lead to a suppression of news as users report content just because they don’t like it. In comparison, Cakmak says Twitter is a more democratic platform, which gives all users and news sources a kind of microphone to the public. Additionally, it stands out because of the extent to which Trump used it during the campaign and after the election. ‘Twitter is probably the most important social platform in the world right now from a societal perspective as the fake news debate lingers on,” Cakmak wrote.” Twitter is pretty brutal, but if you properly curate your list, you’ll see people on it call fake news out.


“Voices from Standing Rock” [WaPo]. “Since early 2016, protesters have occupied a federally owned site near the pipeline’s proposed crossing under the Missouri River. Now, nearly 2,000 are living in tents, tepees, yurts, RVs and cars. They are native and non-native, elderly and newborns. The camp has become so large and permanent that it has a book-swap library and a medical center.”


“Rift in Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf” [NASA]. “The IceBridge scientists measured the Larsen C fracture to be about 70 miles long, more than 300 feet wide and about a third of a mile deep. The crack completely cuts through the ice shelf but it does not go all the way across it – once it does, it will produce an iceberg roughly the size of the state of Delaware.”

“Climate change is set to cause a refugee crisis of ‘unimaginable scale’, according to [international] senior military figures, who warn that global warming is the greatest security threat of the 21st century and that mass migration will become the ‘new normal'” [d]. “The generals said the impacts of climate change were already factors in the conflicts driving a current crisis of migration into Europe, having been linked to the Arab Spring, the war in Syria and the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency.”

” New York City Mapped All of its Trees and Calculated the Economic Benefits of Every Single One” [Architecture Daily]. “This means that when choosing a tree on the map you can see the amount of rainwater it retains each year (expressed in gallons) and the money each individual specimen saves each year. The amount of electricity conserved is also estimated, calculated in kilowatts per hour (kWh), as well as the reduction of air pollution.” I’m not sure this is a good idea or not. What’s not being counted? For example, soil?

“I shall argue that the fundamental, discrete units of the nervous system are its mitochondria. The feature that we expect of an irreducible neural component is excitability. Mitochondria take excitability to an extreme” [Inference Review]. This is fun. Do we have any neuroscientists in the commentariat?

“Scientists in California say they have transformed understanding of Parkinson’s disease. Their animal experiments, published in the journal Cell, suggest the brain disorder may be caused by bacteria living in the gut” [BBC].

Class Warfare

“What could replace the current iteration of global state-capitalism? If we assemble these three potentially transformative dynamics–Degrowth, the recoupling of risk and loss and entrepreneurial mobile capital–we discern a new and potentially productive teleological arc to global capitalism, one that moves from a capitalism based on hyper-centralization and obsession with rising consumption to a new capitalism focused on more efficient use of resources and capital via decentralization and localized innovation” [Of Two Minds].

“One reason why I favour worker democracy more than plebiscites is that the former is a way of gathering dispersed information – of aggregating marginal gains about corporate performance – whereas the latter are not” [Stumbling and Mumbling].

News of the Wired

“We just got the first real evidence of a strange quantum distortion in empty space” [Science Alert]. “Called vacuum birefringence, this bizarre phenomenon was first predicted back in the 1930s, but had only ever been observed on the atomic scale. Now scientists have finally seen it occur in nature, and it goes against everything that Newton and Einstein had mapped out. ‘This is a macroscopic manifestation of quantum field,’ Jeremy Heyl from the University of British Columbia in Canada, who was not involved in the research, told Science. ‘It’s manifest on the scale of a neutron star.'”

* * *

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 (SD):


My home town in Maine cut down a tree, rather than come up with a solution like this. Priorities!

Readers, Water Cooler is a standalone entity, not supported by the very successful Naked Capitalism fundraiser just past. Now, I understand you may feel tapped out, but when and if you are able, please use the dropdown to choose your contribution, and then click the hat! Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. Water Cooler will not exist without your continued help.


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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. L

    Speaking of “Looking Forward Not Back(tm)” and the (likely faint) hope that Dems will learn from this mess Salon offered this thoughtful piece: Jill Stein spoiled the 2016 election for Hillary Clinton

    The “analysis” is thin enough to summarize: 1) Stein captured enough votes that had they supported Clinton. she would have won.; 2) As in 2000 a run by an outsider (Bradley/Sanders) inflamed discontent with “…a comparatively centrist Democrat with close ties to the popular Bill Clinton presidency …”; and 3) This energized the third party run which handed the WH to the Republicans.

    Typical of such pieces, we must assume that all Greens will vote Democrat so long as they are not led astray. And of course no blame can be cast on the “centrist Democrats” with “close ties to the popular Bill Clinton presidency” for picking unpopular policies or failing to connect with those voters.

    But bonus points for managing to implicate both the third party greens for leading voters astray and blaming the “left-wing challenger in the Democratic primaries.” Clearly the actual Democratic base is just a fifth column for the Republicans along with their fellow travellers in the Greens.

    I apologize for all the snark but it is just too much to think that people take this seriously.

    1. Vatch

      Yes, the establishment Democrats need to learn to recognize themselves when they look in a mirror. They and Clinton are to blame for Trump’s win. A couple of talking points:

      1. More Michigan voters left the Presidential part of their ballot blank than voted for Stein. There were 87,810 “None of the above” voters in 2016, versus only 49,840 in 2012. So if slightly fewer than 11,000 of those voters had voted for Clinton, she would have won. Don’t blame Stein or the Greens.

      2. 172,136 Michigan voters chose Libertarian Gary Johnson. One could easily protest that most of those votes were diverted from Trump. The same is true in most other swing states.

      1. Pirmann

        Speaking of Democrats being out of touch, I’m not understanding Bernie Sanders’ criticism of Trump in regard to the Carrier jobs save either. Dangerous precedent, Bernie? For whom?

        The next time a company wants to move jobs out of the country, Trump should do the exact same thing. And the next. And the next. We’ve given tax breaks to corporations for decades for BS reasons. Saving jobs is a great reason to give tax breaks.

        What would you rather do, Bernie? Have those jobs go abroad, then we can spend government money on welfare, food stamps, opiod rehab clinics, etc., for the displaced workers? We always have money for wars, bailouts, etc., but suddenly cannot afford to keep workers’ jobs? Dangerous precedent??

        In a way, this is a quasi jobs guarantee. Businesses “need” (in their leadership’s mind) to be competitive and make a profit, so tax breaks to keep jobs in our country is a win-win. We can either spend tax money to do a jobs guarantee, or we can reduce tax collections by a commensurate amount and let folks keep the jobs they have.

        Not to mention – (1) business don’t pay taxes, people do, and (2) taxation doesn’t feed federal spending. How about taking money from the Endless Wars Abroad federal fund and using it to lower taxes and keep jobs in the country?

        1. Vatch

          This was discussed in yesterday’s Water Cooler:


          Several people thought that instead of rewarding companies for graciously keeping some jobs in the U.S., it would be better to penalize companies for sending jobs overseas. One was to do this would be with tariffs.

          I don’t get a special reward every time that I choose not to commit a crime. Why should companies get a reward for doing their civic duty?

          Of course I agree with you about stopping the endless wars.

          1. Pirmann

            I don’t get a special reward every time that I choose not to commit a crime. Why should companies get a reward for doing their civic duty?

            Because companies do not have a civic duty. People do. Companies are beholden to investors/shareholders, not to the communities in which they are located. People have a civic duty, but let’s face it, people in decision-making positions typically are enriched via bonuses for cutting costs and never face personal sanctions for shipping jobs abroad. And, in fact, most of these folks feel like they have a duty to the organization to keep it running by cutting said costs. I.e., “If we don’t cut costs, the business will fail to remain competitive and will go out of business; then we ALL lose our jobs…”.

            Using the “stick” against corporations is useless. Find the exact decision-making person who decided to ship the jobs abroad, and punish him or her personally, and you might be getting somewhere.

            1. Yves Smith

              That is not correct. The “shareholder duty” theory was made up by Milton Friedman and amplified by other economists. It’s not a legal obligation and is pretty close to fabricated. I don’t have time to debunk it here but I have repeatedly in past posts.

              Legally, equity is a residual claim. It is at the very bottom of the legal hierarchy of obligations. And an equity security is a very ambiguous, weak promise. It amounts to “We’ll let you vote on few matters, but we can dilute your voting rights any time we feel like it, and you might get some dividends if we make money and the board and management team is in the mood to hand some cash over to you.”

              There is a substantial literature (both legal and economic) on corporate obligations before the Milton Friedman et al PR campaign won converts, and its views are the opposite of those you present.

              1. pricklyone

                Thank you Yves, I think I saw a long article you wrote about this.
                This sums it up nicely. I’m going to try to find the long one again.

            2. Skip Intro

              Corporations are permitted by the state on the basis of their social utility. Unlike natural persons they do not have inherent rights, so they have a greater ‘civic duty’ than regular citizens.

            3. Norb

              The next “civic duty” impoverish citizens will take when conditions get bleak enough is forceful takeover of various corporate hoards. In the meantime, more peaceful minded citizens are slowly reorganizing themselves into more equitable arrangements. Worker coops, buying goods and services from local sources, working together to support one another in time of need, ect..

              Sanders is falling into a trap though, the trap of negativity. While his point is correct, he should be thanking Trump for finally saving American jobs, and then hammer home that while this is a welcome start, more is needed. Start asking for BIG changes concerning workers wellbeing. By pouring cold water on even modest improvements, he douses the flickering flames that could ignite into a raging fire.

              Sanders approach is dangerous in that it inspires no one. Decent into third world conditions continues, if only slower. A revolution can only be bold, and have bold leaders. This is why Sanders keeps saying he is not the leader. Just another guy moving in the right direction.

              1. Vatch

                If Trump had done what he had promised to do during the campaign, you would have a valid point. But Trump got soft and mushy, and let Carrier / United Technologies off easily. He didn’t even succeed in saving all of the threatened jobs. From the Op-Ed by Sanders:

                In exchange for allowing United Technologies to continue to offshore more than 1,000 jobs, Trump will reportedly give the company tax and regulatory favors that the corporation has sought. Just a short few months ago, Trump was pledging to force United Technologies to “pay a damn tax.” He was insisting on very steep tariffs for companies like Carrier that left the United States and wanted to sell their foreign-made products back in the United States. Instead of a damn tax, the company will be rewarded with a damn tax cut. Wow! How’s that for standing up to corporate greed? How’s that for punishing corporations that shut down in the United States and move abroad?

                Trump’s Band-Aid solution is only making the problem of wealth inequality in America even worse.

                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.

                See this:


                Carrier will keep 1,100 jobs at the Indianapolis plant, although that includes 300 positions that never were scheduled to leave the country. But it still plans to send 1,300 jobs to Mexico and shutdown the factory in Huntington, Indiana. Trump’s boasting did not acknowledge that.

        2. jawbone

          I think you’re being way too kind to our greedy corporations.

          Prof. Richard Wolff has suggested that corporations which have received tax breaks and other perqs of that sort should have to repay what was given to them, should they move their operations overseas.

          Seems like a good idea to me.

          He actually goes a bit further, saying that government, at all its various levels, using taxpayers money, has supported the corporations and enabled them to function effectively. Think water, sewer, roads, airports, yada, yada. The corporations wishing to move operations out of the country should repay for what it has utilized over its years in this nation, should they wish to forsake their nation of origin.

          Why not bill them and wish them luck overseas as they go out of the country?

        3. Me

          Well, if we’re going to subsidize businesses, why not subsidize cooperatives (which are necessarily local and equitable)? The money would circulate local economies more than it would with a multi-national, which is more likely to take the money out of the community in one way or another. Also, why not do stuff like push for public banking and creating money through the Treasury (debt free), instead of the Fed?

          Beyond that stuff, what sense does it make to use tax cuts as a means of creating jobs when the real economic problem domestically is effective demand? Wages have been stagnating for a long time, the jobs being created don’t pay well and are often not full time jobs and the right wing is not allowing the state to inject demand into the economy. If you were a multi-billion dollar corporation in THIS economy and were thinking about investing, what the hell would a tax cut really do? That tax cut didn’t even result in saving all the jobs, it just helped to make the situation less bad. That strategy is just that, a little less than horrible. If the demand isn’t there, and if I were in charge of a huge corporation and got a tax cut, I’d use the money to speculate, buy up my own shares, buy up competitors, invest where demand is sufficient to buy what I wanted to produce, or I’d invest in something, anything, that accumulated more than I’d get by trying to sell my goods in an economy with low effective demand. Given what we’re facing, seems like giving tax cuts to giant corporations that are capable of going elsewhere is not well thought out, doubly given that the loss in revenue will be used as an excuse down the road to cut needed social programs and investments in public goods and infrastructure. I haven’t looked at the deal yet, but is there a guarantee for the jobs to stay here for a given amount of time or can the company just cut the jobs slowly over the next few years?

          Whatever. None of that is on the table and our country is toast anyway.

        4. pricklyone

          IMHO it’s not the tax break, as much as the “pay-for”. What gets cut to make up the missing revenue? How many of these can a state absorb?
          Bernie’s objection was a kind of ‘give ’em an inch’ argument. Given the history, will essentially all the large companies decide to make the same ‘competitiveness’ claim, and get in line for their own slice of the taxcut pie?
          I gotta argue with “Taxation doesn’t need federal spending” though. Where else do US dollars come from?

      2. Pat

        Similar to the numbers of former Democratic voters who voted for Bush in 2000, those voters who went no point in choosing this year will be ignored even though they tell the tale.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m not sure 95% of the other Dems would do any better anymore. They are the party of Hillary. They would still bumble their way around the campaign trail, solve non existent problems, make vague promises, and threaten voters. They would do this without Hillary’s fraudulent trailblazing status as a symbol for women or Obama’s tokenism. There can only be one “first,” and I think Hillary grabbed the last of the first woman goodwill or destroyed it with her “I’ll ask my husband about math” response to a question about the economy.

        Hillary is hounded about her Iraq war vote when she deigned to answer questions, but the Democrats are a war party. It’s likely they would have pushed some other nut who would not be able to deflect.

    2. Martin Finnucane

      We may think that the piece has a (false) implied premise: “(Most) all Stein voters would have voted for Hillary had Stein not run.” However, that is a logical premise, and I think the proper context for understanding the attitude that informs the conclusion is not syllogism, but property rights. That is: Stein voters are electoral chattel belonging to the Democratic party. To the extent that any of those voters cast a vote for Stein, such votes were in fact stolen from Hillary.

      1. cwaltz

        It’s not even reality. I would not have voted for Clinton, not in a box, not in a plane, not with a fox and not on a train. I don’t know how many of us could have made this any plainer to the Democratic Party than we did during the primaries.

        As per usual, they didn’t believe us. Yuge mistake.

        1. sgt_doom

          Exactly! I voted Green as I have done since 1996, but I have never voted for a Bush, a Clinton or a Trump — end of that story.

          Those who voted Clinton are obviously bloodthirsty Americans who wanted a resuscitation of the Clinton Extraordinary Rendition Program they established in 1995, whereby pro-democracy Muslim activists were kidnapped back to Libya and Egypt for torture, dismemberment and death!

        2. Treadingwaterbutstillkicking

          Big fail on that article.

          I’m in Wisconsin, so I guess my vote (and my family and friends’ votes) actually “counted.”

          I voted for Stein.

          No Stein on the ballot, no way am I voting for the $hill. I would’ve likely voted a different 3rd party, excluding GJ.

          Two-way race Dem vs. Rep. I vote Trump.

          Period, end-of-story.

          Close fiends and family were so afraid of the $hill that they voted for someone they detest — Trump — so in actual fact, on this small anecdotal level from a swing state, $hillary cost Stein votes, not the other way around. No way to prove that that was the same way everywhere in this state, but it sure felt like that was a common theme with people we encountered.

          Additionally, EVERY person I know that voted for either the $hill (mostly over aged 60 females in my extended circle) or Trump (nearly everyone else) would’ve voted for Bernie if he had gotten the nomination. Admittedly small sample size, but just illustrating what I feel like was a trend in this state.

          1. aab

            I wrote in Bernie in California, where electors were arranged for him, so the vote would count. I did this in part because I anticipated that a Jill Stein vote would be flipped or nibbled at by our Clinton-supporting, extremely corrupt Secretary of State.

            Before I would ever have cast a vote for Hillary Clinton, I would have voted for:
            – Jill Stein (on the ballot in CA)
            – Gloria La Riva (on the ballot in CA)
            – Donald Trump (on the ballot in CA)

            I don’t think I could have voted for Johnson, but if you pointed a gun at my head and said Johnson or Clinton, I’d have voted for Johnson, knowing he wouldn’t win.

            In fact, the only circumstance under which I would have cast a ballot for Hillary Clinton would have been if, like those prisoners in Puerto Rico, I had a violent criminal watching me as I cast my vote publicly, who had already threatened to kill me if I did not vote for her. (Yes, that actually happened.) I would have voted for her if it was the only way to continue breathing.

            And I made my position clear back in the primary. Yves helpfully showed my argument to the Washington establishment when she published it in Politico. They had no reason to believe that real feminists and leftists would vote for Clinton, and every reason to know that we would not. And since they are continuing their ridiculous argument that it’s the fault of Bernie Sanders and people like me that she lost, she won my state. She won the very blue states with large, activist leftist populations. She lost states where dispirited, non-political people just stayed home. I was a canary in the coal mine. But they weren’t wise enough to recognize this.

          2. Feelintheberninwi

            In Wis too and I agree with your comment, both Trump and Hill voters I know all would have voted for Bernie. Also have friends who were Bernie supporters who went to Stein.

            I canvassed persuasion voters for Bernie in the April primary. Many Republicans that I encountered didn’t like their choices and respected Bernie. They were struggling with the crappy Rep field and we know they didn’t choose DT in April.

            I’m in a very Republican area. It was shocking to have such warm respect for Bernie. It is a great tragedy that Wisconsin was sacrificed for Hillary. Bernie would have won this state with a giant landslide.

      2. hunkerdown

        Martin, astute! Property rights are a shockingly good fit for the Democratic Party’s (and liberal Rescuers’) attitude toward their constituencies and their votes. By analogy, the commons is enclosed (propertized) by identity politics…

    3. Benedict@Large

      The math for all of Stein’s voters voting for Hillary actually does work, except that they all have to move to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan right before election day.

    4. uncle tungsten

      Vacuuming intelligent commentary at Salon is like licking cockroach droppings from a plate.

    5. sgt_doom

      Nooooooo, you and the rest of the clowns aren’t going to blame it on the Green Party — the spoilers were the 51% who refused to vote — had they voted Green Party, today would be an entirely different story.

      51% (stay at home) plus 7% (Green Party) plus 2% (Libertarian) are the majority — and the majority did not vote Trump.

      Just as in 2000, more democrats voted for Bush in Florida than voted for Nader — so let’s cut the crap!

      My serious analysis of the presidential elections and demographics over the past fifty years easily confirms that the two major groups consistently trending rightwing are women voters and union member voters — so if those two groups were excluded from several voting cycles, we might be able to finally get a progressive party once again in America — the last time we had one was prior to women getting the vote!

    6. Anonymous


      “Trump with 2,277,914 votes, or 47.6 percent of the total, and Hillary Clinton with 2,264,807, or 47.33 percent.

      87,810: Number of voters this election who cast a ballot but did not cast a vote for president. That compares to 49,840 under-votes for president in 2012.

      5 percent: Proportion of voters who opted for a third-party candidate in this election, compared to 1 percent in 2012”


    7. different clue

      Nooooo . . . . . I think the type of people who voted for Stein would never ever have voted for Clinton in any case. If there had been no Stein, I don’t know what they would have done . . . except for NOT voting for Clinton.

      Someone should really ask them. Perhaps conduct a looking-backwards poll.

    8. Matt

      I disagree L,
      Jill Stein’s Platform was more in line with Donald Trump’s platform. It was an Anti TPP, Anti War with Russia, and anti interventionist foreign policy platform. I believe Jill Stein captured votes from people that would have liked to have voted for Trump’s economic and diplomatic policies if he were not such a buffoon and unlikeable.
      The green party usually does take votes from the Democratic party, and the libertarian party typically takes votes away from the Republican party. This years election was a complete 180. It was the Libertarian party that was pro TPP, anti 2nd amendment, and against cooperating with Russia in Syria, which is all in line with the Hillary Clinton Platform.

      I believe that the libertarians took votes from Hillary Clinton and the green party took votes from Donald Trump. With the Libertarians getting a much higher percent of the vote than the Green Party, that sealed the deal for Trump.

  2. L

    Apropos of this: “Jill Stein: Recounts are Necessary Because Electronic Voting Invites Tampering, Hacking, Human Error” [Democracy Now]. Which would imply a do-over for the entire election….

    The WaPo has a lengthy, very technical, piece on how post-election audits can be done and what they indicate. See New evidence finds anomalies in Wisconsin vote, but no conclusive evidence of fraud.

    The short short version of it is that if you look across precincts, which should match their neighbors fairly closely, you find inconsistencies in the presidential votes that appear to be tied to the technology used. This is of course inconclusive but it does motivate an interest in auditing.

  3. Vatch

    Here’s the correct Barbara Ehrenreich link:


    In fairness to Ehrenreich, even though she doesn’t mention Sanders in the interview, it’s a very short article, and she both endorsed Sanders and actively campaigned for him in the primary. And see this from a few days before the election:


    On the liberal left, tragically, we do not have Bernie Sanders, who would have dispatched Trump’s populist pretensions with a wrist flick.

  4. cocomaan

    The Ehrenreich piece’s link is wonky. I think this is the same interview: https://www.laprogressive.com/barbara-ehrenreich/

    I found it a little lacking, even though she’s a person I respect:

    Obviously our first priority has to be defending those people who are most vulnerable to attack. Which are immigrants and people who look like immigrants, or who are speaking a foreign language. They’re defenseless — we’ve got to protect them.

    And if I may say something from a perspective of old age, and having been in the second-wave feminist movement pretty much from the start: We started in the ‘70s in an absolutely hostile environment.

    These seem like two incongruous statements. In the 70’s, she didn’t expect people to protect her. She was part of a collectivization. If you’d suggested to her that the powerful (back then? I assume men?) had to protect her because women were defenseless, she’d probably have laughed in your face and told you that women needed to protect each other and that they had power in numbers. So it should probably go for any of the identity groups one can name.

    There are mechanisms of defense and protection in this country, but they require organization. The Democrats are not the answer to that organization, clearly. In a paternalistic system, you don’t ask for protection, you get louder.

    1. Uahsenaa

      The problem is empowering institutions to protect people justifies the existence of an entire range of professionals who either didn’t exist or were a small constituency in the ’70s. Empowering people might have the adverse effect (for the professionals) of obviating the need for institutions that employs them. You don’t need an elaborate welfare system, if people are simply provided with the resources to make do for themselves. After all, the peasants didn’t start working in the factories until all the land had been enclosed.

    2. MightyMike

      Obviously our first priority has to be defending those people who are most vulnerable to attack. Which are immigrants and people who look like immigrants, or who are speaking a foreign language. They’re defenseless — we’ve got to protect them.

      This appears to ignore the lesson that many think should be learned form the recent election. Many think that the Democrats need to cut back on the identity politics. According to this theory, WWC males are tired of hearing about the bigotry experienced by black, immigrants, LGBT, etc. They’re tired of hearing their people, white Americans, maligned all of the time. They also want the government to acknowledge their plight and provide them with good jobs.

      1. integer

        This appears to ignore the lesson that many think should be learned f[ro]m the recent election.

        That’s way too vague to even be worth the time it took to write it. Who are the many? The MSM?

        1. witters

          Huh? Did you read the MSM?

          “That’s way too vague to even be worth the time it took to write it. ”

          Pot, Kettle, Black.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Immigrants are not monolithic.

      Some are poor immigrants.

      Some rich.

      And some very, very rich.

      If you want to migrate here legally, the government prefer you to be health, so that you won’t be a burden to people here. That’s what they prefer. Probably don’t always get that.

      If you’re sick, don’t bother to apply.

      And if you’re poor, the same too, as you will be a burden.

      Or do we say, we want more or we welcome poor immigrants and sick immigrants, as well as rich and healthy ones?

      Or do we go with lottery, 100%?

      1. different clue

        Is Ehrenreich pretending not to know the difference between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants? Or is she really too dumm to know the difference?

    4. Oregoncharles

      Simple objection: women are, and were, the majority. Immigrants are not. Furthermore, women have and had the vote; non-citizens do not.

      Once they had the vote, women had the political power they needed; it was mostly a matter of getting them to use it, and getting the political system to acknowledge it. (Yes, a gross oversimplification; for one thing, back in the 70s almost as many men as women supported the goals of feminism. But I’m addressing the non-parallel with, eg, immigrants.)

      However, this doesn’t altogether rebut your point. It’s still necessary to “get loud” and to take some risks.

    5. sgt_doom

      I have always considered Ehrenreich to be a lightweight, and that group she established some years back were exclusively “professionals” (i.e., college degreed people) which is yet another manner the so-called dems exclude working people in America!

  5. Pat

    Clicking through bookmarks I ended up over at Digby’s place. As she became more oblivious to the obvious failures of the Obama administration and then a huge cheerleader for Clinton I stopped visiting there for the most part. But it is amazing to watch clearly intelligent people put their blinders on and refuse to recognize writing on the wall ten feet tall and lit in neon – Clinton was the wrong choice AND ran a terrible campaign.

    Her top post is a graph about media coverage of the two candidates focusing on amount. Clinton rarely gets the most and as Digby notes when she does it is FBI…Pneumonia….FBI. So she notices that the peak coverage for Clinton is negative, but fails to notice that that overwhelming rarely abated focus on Trump was negative, negative, negative. By that logic, Clinton should have been the runaway winner. And while Digby does admit to having to think about some of the issues that lost Clinton the campaign in a later post, it is clear that she doesn’t really want to do that so is still seeking to blame an entity that most of us here noticed was acting as a shadow surrogate for Clinton damaging what little respect much of the public had left for it in the process.

    I consider this similar to the person who told me that Democrats had to be careful not to appear to be obstructionist. I held back but really should have pointed out that being obstructionist had led to the Republicans having the majority of state houses, governors, the House, the Senate and the White House, and to ask them explain why Democrats shouldn’t adopt that strategy?

    1. different clue

      Digby stopped caring about what you or I or anyone thinks years ago. That’s why she brought Spoonie-poo onto her blog to begin orchestrating the stealth-censoring of comments and the stealth-banning of commenters. Followed by abolition of the comments section shortly after that.

    2. Norb

      Democrats won’t be obstructionists because their true identity is stealth supporters of big business. The corporate takeover of America. The Republicans don’t need stealth and are admired for their honesty. Add on top of that, the powerful tool of blaming individuals for their own failure, and you have a Republican blowout across the political spectrum. People support a bold winner.

      We need a political party that is dedicated to making a national industrial and business policy that is beneficial to the citizens. Right now, our political leaders are only concerned about Empire.

  6. Buttinsky

    Love it — the little foxes whose job it is to spoil the vines lecturing each other on the tenderness of our grapes, at a Harvard-sponsored postmortem on the election:

    Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri condemned Bannon, who previously ran Breitbart, a news site popular with the alt-right, a small movement known for espousing racist views.

    “If providing a platform for white supremacists makes me a brilliant tactician, I am proud to have lost,” she said. “I would rather lose than win the way you guys did.”

    That would be Jennifer “Take the Money!” Palmieri, whose most unforgettable moment in the Podesta emails was her blunt injunction to the Clinton campaign to take donations from lobbyists for foreign entities, including foreign governments.


    (I wasn’t sure which it was more regrettable to be linking to these days, Zero Hedge or The Washington Post.)

    1. Buttinsky

      I see now this is the same Harvard forum linked to above in a story from USA Today by Susan Page. A preferable source, of course, though it doesn’t seem to include the Palmieri quote.

    2. polecat

      ‘Zero Hedge or the Washington Post’ …

      You pick the fake newsy ‘Russian’ one, you silly … jeesh! …. ‘:]

    3. Marco

      Yes my head exploded when I read that. Who on here said they would rather lose with Clinton than win with Bernie? Iron Law of Institutions indeed.

      1. Pat

        I think they clearly would even though they didn’t really think about it. They were too clueless to realize that Clinton losing was even an option. As we discovered from the emails, they not only thought they had gamed the primary but the general as well. Hence Clinton couldn’t lose. Well except they (with the Clintons leading) proved the only idiots/deplorables/unthinking rubes who didn’t understand that not only had “HER” alienated a huge portion of the voters, but that you might have to campaign in and pretend to be interested in the concerns of the part of the nation you like to forget exist. Oops.

  7. Stephanie Smith

    The link to the change.org petition is actually to a RootsAction site…is this intended?

  8. flora

    re: ” It’s time for Democrats to move on. It’s also time to go to the drawing board and see who is ready to run a real campaign addressing issues in places other than the major East and West Coast Cities in 2020”

    Yes. And *that’s* why the Dems just elected Chuck Schumer in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the House as their 2017 minority leaders; Right Coast / Left Coast old war horses who will change nothing.

    1. jrs

      I haven’t seen much addressing of issues in major East and West Coast cities either, not when 60 thousand young people are homeless in Los Angeles alone. Who is addressing that?

      You’d have to believe that such issues didn’t even exist given the never ending propaganda these days about only rural areas having any problems (decades of urban poverty apparently is now completely invisible).

      1. flora

        makes me wonder why the Dems didn’t address urban poverty when they had the WH and the Congress, or the WH and one house of Congress.

      2. B1whois

        Wow, “60 thousand young people are homeless in Los Angeles alone” – That’s a big number! Got a link? because this is what I found:
        “For the second year in a row, Los Angeles reported the largest number of chronically homeless people in the nation — nearly 13,000 — and 95% of them live outdoors, in cars, tents and encampments, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s report to Congress released Wednesday.

        Los Angeles also topped the national register this year in homeless veterans — 2,700 — despite slashing the numbers by a third. It also recorded the most unaccompanied homeless youth — more than 3,000, the report said.” From 2016:


        “According to the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty at the Weingart Center, an estimated 254,000 men, women and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year and approximately 82,000 people are homeless on any given night. Unaccompanied youth, especially in the Hollywood area, are estimated to make up from 4,800 to 10,000 of these.” From 2015

        1. UserFriendly

          Anyone want to guess what they do for $? I’ve always kind of assumed LA was mecca for the pedo’s that are in to the 15ish crowd for this reason.

        2. sd

          Downtown Los Angeles (which is predominately Skid Row, the area around the missions) has about 17,000 homeless on any given night.

          County wide is about 80,000. Those numbers have been steady for about 10 years.

          But the numbers are a bit suspect. There’s a huge number of shanties and cars that people are clearly living in that have sprung up all over the county leading me to believe the number of homeless is actually much higher.

  9. fresno dan

    On Carrier: “‘This is the way it’s going to be,’ Mr. Trump said in an interview with The New York Times. ‘Corporate America is going to have to understand that we have to take care of our workers also” [New York Times]. Great PR, though I’d say “first,” rather than “also.” And if I were a Democrat, I’d take note that Trump said “workers.” Period. Learn from the best, or at least from the better, say I.



    PBS interview of President Obama on June 1, 2016
    Now, the good news is that there are entire new industries that are starting to pop up, and you’re actually seeing some manufacturers coming back to the United States because they’re starting to realize, you know what, energy prices are lower here, workers are better here, this is our biggest market, and so even though we off-shored and went someplace else before, now it turns out we’re better off going ahead and manufacturing here.

    But for those folks who’ve lost their job right now because a plant went down to Mexico, that isn’t going to make you feel better. And so what we have to do is to make sure that folks are trained for the jobs that are coming in now, because some of those jobs of the past are just not going to come back. And when somebody says — like the person you just mentioned who I’m not going to advertise for — that he’s going to bring all these jobs back, well, how exactly are you going to do that? What are you going to do? There’s no answer to it. He just says, well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal. Well, how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is he doesn’t have an answer.

    So what I’ve tried to do, what my administration has tried to do is let’s grow those manufacturing sectors — like clean energy, like some of these new technologies that are coming up — let’s focus on those. We’ve set up, for example, manufacturing hubs where we work with universities, local businesses, local governments to create research labs that can take something like 3D printing, or nanotechnology, or all kinds of stuff that I can’t really explain because the scientists and really smart people know all about it — (laughter) — and said let’s invest in this so that when the new jobs come, they’re coming here.

    But I got to tell you that the days when you just being willing to work hard and you can now walk into a plant and suddenly there’s going to be a job for you for 30 years or 40 years, that’s just not going to be there for our kids, because, more and more, that stuff is going to be automated. And if you go into a factory, that kid is going to need to know computers, or is going to need to know some science and some math — because they’re not even going to be picking anything up, they’re just going to be working on a keyboard.

    And that’s why we’ve put so much emphasis on job training, community colleges. That’s why I’ve proposed making the first two years of community college free so that we know that every young person, they’re going to be able to — if they’re not going for a full four-year degree, at least they’re going to be getting the technical training they need for those jobs of the future.

    But you cannot look backwards. And that doesn’t make folks feel good sometimes, especially if it’s a town that was reliant on a couple of big manufacturers. But they’re going to have to retrain for the jobs of the future, not the jobs of the past

    Compare and contrast the above….
    Near 50 years of stagnant incomes for most and losing ground of the working class. If ONLY we had institutions in this country…buildings were educated people could train the unemployed for new and better jobs……we could call them work schools or somethin’…..and there would be future jobs….always jobs in the future …yup, future jobs. President Obama: “….so that when the new jobs come, they’re coming here.” – – in the future….

    1. L

      I agree that the compare and contrast is good. Clearly this like Clinton’s “We’re going to lay people off.” Is a Yuge problem. In Obama’s case he is proposing a future solution to a future problem while ignoring the plight of the present. Because doing that is easier that focusing on the present.

      That said he is right that it is a future problem. If anything Trump’s campaign has been predicated on bringing back old industries (i.e. Coal) and doing little to prepare for the future (i.e. Clean Energy and Climate Change).

      If only we had a candidate who could do both…

    2. ewmayer

      Hillary spouted similarly vapid platitudes about “the need for training” to all those deplorables in Coal Country. Shorter Obama/Clinton: “We just need to retrain all those laid-off manufacturing workers for the coming massive wave of quality jobs sweeping the floors at Google data centers.”

      Rather amazing so many of those uneducated sacrificial victims to the Unstoppable Tide of Globalization actually saw through the BS – I mean, 0bama peddles it using such soaring rhetoric™! Maybe Hillary just needed to “message it better”. I’m sure the thoroughly-humbled-and-chastened Dem party elites have a plan for the coming “we simply need better PR” campaign.

      1. jrs

        There probably is no easy solution to their job problems. Just like there may be no easily solution for the billions of people in the world that are going to die from climate change.

    3. Cry Shop

      Your summary is great. Did you study Rudolf Flesch’s tools on write, speak, think effectively?

    4. Steve C

      I watched that q and a with Obama and the nice polite pbs audience. I wanted to ask what are you doing to prepare your family for the coming societal collapse?

    5. RMO

      Jam tomorrow and jam yesterday but never jam today…

      As someone who has spent considerable time and money “retraining” himself in both an academic and a trade field (and got exceptionally good marks in both) which were promoted by the government, the university/school and the companies in the fields concerned and never found a single day of employment as a result of all that work, consider me somewhat skeptical.

  10. NYPaul

    I have a standard answer for those sports fans who claim, “if not for that blown call by the official in the 9th. inning my team would’ve won.”

    Response: “If your team had been leading 9 – 4 (as it should have been) that “blown call” would’ve been irrelevant.”

    The fact that Gore/Clinton (with all the advantages in the world) ran such rotten campaigns is the reason they lost, not the infinitesimal minutia the losers & media focused on.

    1. hunkerdown

      NYPaul, to be fair, the candidates were rotten right-wing aristocrats working for the DLC Party that represents/elevates them, the same upper-middle interests and “respectable” workplace culture as national ideals. Their “good”, that is, successfully performed campaign means their interests have a better chance of winning than the people’s, none of which does me or those similarly situated the least bit of good.

  11. Steve H.

    The Inference Review is fascinating, truly. Working in a neurotoxicology lab, I found Mercola zeroing in on mitochondrial dysfunction as a root source of many diseases really intriguing, and this research just destroys many assumptions of working models. cAMP signaling is a primary function well beneath the neural level, for example in slime molds.

    I was talking with G. Spencer Brown about the possibility that our nervous system uses memristors at a level that can’t yet be measured, and he said “It’s in the blood!” and pointed out that the immune system carries environmental information from mother to child.

    Note that mitochondria are also maternally specific.

    1. xformbykr

      Agree that the Inference Review article, “The Excitable Mitochondria” is fascinating. But I’m skeptical for a couple of reasons: (1) the statement “I shall argue that the fundamental, discrete units of the nervous system are its mitochondria.” claims too much. It would be more reasonable to state “mitochondria are way more important in the nervous system than we have realized”. (2) the time scale of mitochondria’s effects is two or more orders of magnitude slower than synaptic transmissions; (3) the article seems to suggest that mitochondria can explain some of the nervous system conundrums but does not deal with any other hypothetical explanations such as epigenetics.
      What surprised me the most was reading that “We know that organelles, such as mitochondria, are transferred from neuron to neuron. ” This is beyond the “central dogma” of neurotransmission that I learned an admittedly long time ago.

      1. giantsquid

        “What surprised me the most was reading that “We know that organelles, such as mitochondria, are transferred from neuron to neuron.””

        The reference given by the author of the article in support of this statement actually presents evidence for the transfer of damaged mitochondria from neurons to glial cells where they are disposed of through lysozymal degradation. Glial cells aren’t neurons.

        1. stefan

          The money quote: D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s quip that “the form of an object is a diagram of its forces.”

        2. Steve H.

          giantsquid, you’re correct on the point of reference #11. Ref #14 contains this in its abstract:

          : Neurons can release damaged mitochondria and transfer them to astrocytes for disposal and recycling1. This ability to exchange mitochondria may represent a potential mode of cell-to-cell signalling in the central nervous system. Here we show that astrocytes in mice can also release functional mitochondria that enter neurons.

          The author may not have made a complete case, but is reasonably successful in challenging a more standard model limiting the inquiry to direct neuronal connections. He takes a couple of leaps, for example seems to eliminate the ‘may’ in the central sentence of the above quote. But then, it is published in ‘inference-review.com’, and is interesting enough to demand further inquiry.

          Major props to your handle in this context.

          1. Wade Riddick

            A few remarks on mitochondria and nerves:

            Neuropathy is more common in tall people because the individual nerves in their limbs are stretched more, the mitochondria spread out more and thus are less able to respond to stress. Energy factors like acetyl-l-carnitine (ALCAR) can protect against this type of neuropathy.

            Mitochondria are a major factor in autism. Hyperactive mast cells are a major risk factor for autism (mastocytosis = 10x autism risk). When mast cells degranulate, they release mitochondrial fragments via mitofission. The mtDNA binds to TLR9, but doesn’t wind up activating it the exact same way as regular bacteria DNA due to differences in the methylation patterns (on CpG motifs, I think, but I’m doing all this from memory). TLR9 also cross-signals with the mu opioid (morphine) receptor in some really interesting ways. The ATP released by degranulation goes into the purinergic system. On other mast cells, that’s mostly P2X7 – which is modified by cathelicidin from vitamin D3 – which then alters the way cholinergic inputs act (another system you can target with ALCAR). Mast cells also release tryptase which processes proNGF into NGF – a survival factor for nerves (esp. sympathetics). In autism, you can have a self-sustained encelphalopathy driven purely by the immune system. One cell degranulates and stimulates the next one so much that it degranulates too and this starts a cascade.

            Long-term use of ALCAR promotes expression the p75 low-affinity nerge growth factor receptor – and this is a system of importance in Alzheimer’s and cancer.

            I also seem to recall connections among NGF, p75, microtubules, mitochondria and neurite growth. I think NGF signals directly to mitochondria, but I can’t remember exactly how. I do remember proNGF/p75 is often a death signal – hence inhibiting tryptase release with antihistamines might be one reason they increase the risk for Alzheimer’s. NGF is an important growth signal for the cholinergic system.

            The sympathetic signals are also all wrapped up in M2 macrophage shifting and brown fat conversion/burning.

            A mitofission/mitofusion imbalance is a major factor in several neurodegenerative diseases.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Given your area of study I couldn’t help asking —
      I recall reading a small science-snippet-blurb [link long lost] that stated when nerves die — as in a spinal chord injury — they become toxic to the surrounding nerve tissue. Is that true?

      I connected this idea to the dental practice of removing the nerve from a dead tooth. I also recall this science-snippet-blurb referring to a branch of Purdue which found that a common medication for treating high blood pressure (no indication of which one) countered this toxicity but only in such high doses that it caused too much depression of blood pressure to be used for preventing the damage nerve toxins caused following a spinal injury.

      [Just as there is a great deal of fake-news in politics there seems to be a lot of fake-news in popular science-snippet-blurbs especially related to medical issues — so please forgive me if I fell victim to one of them.]

  12. fresno dan

    UPDATE Mattis appointment: “[MATTIS:] Sincere, intellectually vigorous, honest, patriotic Americans say that was the dumbest thing we ever did, to go to Iraq. And I will not disagree one bit” [Scientific American]. Plenty to disagree with, here. But not insane.

    “As Will Rogers—in the 1930s, when Marines were being landed in Nicaragua and Honduras—said, ‘It may surprise some people in Washington, D.C., to find that many people in other countries are more comfortable having an imperfect government of their own rather than having a perfect one foisted on them by us, by Marines.’ I think there is a lot of wisdom there. Our most successful strategies have been the most pragmatic.

    Damn great quote.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Speaking of imperfection and perfection, the Carrier deal is certainly an imperfect solution.

      But we have been warned plenty of times – “You are going to be stuck with the Far-From-Perfect one.” The Savior last appeared in 2008. Another one, but only nearly-infallible was seen a few months ago.

      With that warning, we should know better not to expect perfect solutions.

    2. RMO

      Great Caesar’s ghost! Putin has made a time machine and gone back to the 30’s to hack Will Rogers and make him a tool of the Russian anti-American propaganda machine! To the Pro-Porn-OT-mobile boy wonder!

  13. L

    UPDATE “Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown has an unlikely supporter in his quest to be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet — Elizabeth Warren” [USA Today]. Hmm. Sanders is on the Veterans Affairs Committee, or was…

    That is interesting. Even more interesting in the article is this:

    Warren also had some kind words for Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, who is being considered secretary of State.

    “I’d like to hear more but I think Mitt Romney is a smart man and I think he’s got a pretty level-headed view of the world,” Warren said.

    Is it really the case that Trump’s other candidates so scare Warren that she would endorse someone who would almost certainly use his position at State to protect his Tax Shelters? Otherwise I can find little explanation for this.

    1. Katharine

      Well, it could be a kind of signalling. If you say ugh, no! to everybody then you start losing people’s attention, because after all there will have to be somebody. If you convey the message that you’re open to some of the candidates, it says you’re reasonable and prepared to work with people who are arguably, on the basis of background and experience, fit for the job. She still wants to hear the arguments, so it’s not as if she is simply rolling over, but she has communicated that much openness.

      1. hunkerdown

        there will have to be somebody

        I disagree. Societies aren’t bound to push a certain amount of paper around on behalf of good morals to earn cookies from space. It seems that no legislature at all would be an improvement over any legislature we’ve had or (due to inherent classism) will be allowed to have under present rules. Warren’s a centrist, not a panacea. “Bold Progressive” is just what the DNC’s marketing arm says about their better public speakers.

        Anyway, “getting to yes” is not a right, especially not at the expense of others. Nor is the ruling class’s posing and flapping around enjoying the right of rulership that we seem to recognize for every bad reason and none good.

        1. Katharine

          That looks like abstract theory. Reality is, barring some unspecified cataclysm, there is going to somebody, and there is going to be a legislature, and that is the framework in which Warren is working.

          I don’t think I would even buy the theory as theory, at least at this stage in our development. To go straight from where we are to no legislature would mean dictatorship, which has an even worse history.

          1. hunkerdown

            Even if I accept the Whig recapitulation hypothesis, that a society’s changing relationships over time follow a sequence based on the individual’s changing relationship to society over time, measurement of societal development is complicated by a ruling class that condescends and enforces that we will always be its children. If we’re dealing with arrested development cases, the fix is to start over.

            As for theory, well, “reality” is just what we agree not to call “fake”. Those predisposed to believe that legislatures are coliseums in which righteousness shall prevail… need to go their own way.

            1. local to oakland

              Warren was never a bold progressive. She spoke out against the worst abuses during and after the financial crisis. That showed some integrity, some personal courage.

              She grew up in Oklahoma. I’ve always seen her as part of the populist tradition of politics that came out of the Midwest and the Great Plains States.

                1. Inode_buddha

                  Oddly enough, most conservatives that I know consider her to be a flaming liberal in the same camp as Sanders.

                  1. aab

                    She is a liberal. Liberals believe in a hierarchical society with an entrenched “worthy” elite that takes care of the lower classes with tips and baskets of leftovers from the Master’s table.

                    Sanders is not a liberal. He is a leftist. He believes in egalitarian governance, because all humans are equal and have equal rights to the fruits of the earth and the value produced by labor and capital.

                    I’m not a political theory or science expert, but it seems to me that in the United States, a lot of people who are really egalitarian leftists mistakenly call themselves liberals because in the 20th century, all leftist ideology was demonized and misportrayed, and the underlying exploitative beliefs of classical liberalism were cloaked.

                    Since this muddling and misrepresentation continues today in the media (I laughed silently and bitterly every time Clinton was described as being of the left), it’s not surprising that someone on the right would think Warren and Sanders have the same ideology. Functionally, they kind of do, because everything Sanders wants to do that more accurately reflects his ideology is completely verboten in current American governance. So he and Liz probably have similar voting records. That’s how Clinton got to argue that she and Sanders had similar voting records. Because nothing is ever put up for a vote that’s to Clinton and Warren’s left.

    2. aab

      I’m so cynical that my first thought was that she fears (rightly) both a primary challenge and a general election loss if she survives the primary. Trump did pretty well in Massachusetts, IIRC.

      Handholding Scott Brown into Trump’s cabinet seems pretty smart. Yes, it elevates him. But overseeing Veterans Affairs under a Republican Congress is pretty much guaranteed to make him look bad, as the VA has complex problems and is horribly underfunded. He won’t be a handsome cipher. He’ll be Trump’s stooge depriving Our Warriors of their benefits.

      Too bad Liz won’t play politics for anyone other than herself.

  14. Ranger Rick

    Speaking of USTR Froman, any chance he’s going to get the axe? If anyone in the foreign policy establishment has done the public the most wrong it would be this guy and his obsession with copyright and patent law.

    1. Steve C

      It’s amazing how Obama, the president, kisses Froman’s ass. Not the other way around. It’s like Obama has been trying to impress Froman since they were Harvard law school roommates.

  15. neo-realist

    On the Black Injustice/White Supremacy tip

    At this hour, a Charleston, SC jury is deadlocked in the trial of the cop who killed Walter Scott due to one lone holdout in an apparent lone and shut case from the video footage. When you know that the cop is white, the victim is black, and it is America, the shock evaporates.

    1. pretzelattack

      so what are the dynamics here, how long does a situation like this usually last? seems likely to be a diehard racist.

  16. cwaltz

    Hmmm I wonder how not having enough employees to handle your freight to begin and holding cars impacts the rail numbers?

    Norfolk Southern has been actively trying to hire conductors for at least a month now. It takes at least 2 months to send them to school. It takes another 6 months to certify them.

    It doesn’t help when the company in question hires them and then cuts them back when business slows expecting them to survive on the $50 a day in railroad unemployment. The job is rigorous enough since Norfolk Southern expects workers to be at the company’s beck and call 24/7/365 less 10 days.

    1. RMO

      Ah yes, another job that I considered training for after reading an article from a school saying they had all these positions lined up for graduates of its conductor program but just couldn’t find students. Fortunately by that time I had learned enough to look for ACTUAL JOB POSTINGS for people who have just taken the training. Zilch, nada, sweet nuthin’

      1. pricklyone

        NS was advertising conductor jobs in 2011, I applied for it. In the St. Louis area. Also applied for a signalling position and took a test for that, as well.
        Nothing but an automated confirmation.
        I am probably too old to be considered. But at the time, I was in pretty good shape.
        I haven’t seen those ads recently, though.
        At the time you had to go to their training center. I’d not heard of schools for this. Pretty darn specialized training to do on spec, without a position ready for you. Ouch!

        1. JTMcPhee

          All this agile worker and retraining stuff seems to be cut from the same Emperor’s-wardrobe cloth.

  17. Pavel

    Perhaps the Democrats might usefully be reminded that Chuck Schumer (D-Wall Street Israel) isn’t their best person to convert Rust Belt voters? For those in doubt, check out his recent donors:

    Top 5 Industries, 2011 – 2016, Campaign Cmte
    Industry Total Indivs PACs
    Securities & Investment $3,082,981 $2,844,281 $238,700
    Lawyers/Law Firms $2,049,265 $1,805,714 $243,551
    Real Estate $1,791,572 $1,703,572 $88,000
    Insurance $697,200 $334,700 $362,500
    Retired $670,964 $670,964 $0

    Open Secrets: Charles Schumer

    (Apologies for formatting)

    “Mr. Schumer is also regretting those dozen interviews before the election, the ones he gave as he measured his majority-leader office curtains. He explained to Politico that his party was on the verge of electoral dominance and that this meant it would have ‘a mandate.’ He elsewhere warned all those mulish Republicans that they’d have an obligation to work with his world-dominant party. ‘If we’re gridlocked for another four years, the anger and sourness in the land will make that of 2016 seem tame,’ he lectured. Some might describe electoral dominance as owning the White House, and the Senate, and the House, and 33 governorships and 68 (of 98) state legislative chambers: [Wall Street Journal, “Democrats Send Their Regrets”]. I late to link to the Journal’s Op-Ed page, but this really is a well-deserved beat-down.

  18. Lemmy

    Re Carrier deal

    Trump is a dealmaker, right? So let’s look at the Carrier deal.
    The way I understand it, Carrier gets a $7 million tax break over 10 years to keep jobs in Indiana. http://www.wsj.com/articles/indiana-gives-7-million-in-tax-breaks-to-keep-carrier-jobs-1480608461

    In return, 800 workers will keep their jobs. Carrier workers can make as much as $75,000 annually with overtime. For sake of argument, let’s say the average gross income is $55,000 and the average adjusted income is $40,000.
    800 x $40,000 = $32 million.
    Indiana’s state income tax is 3.3%.
    $32 million x 3.3% = 1,056,000.
    The Carrier deal is a ten-year deal, so let’s compare apples to apples:
    $1,056,000 x 10 years = $10,560,000.
    Looks like the state of Indiana comes out $3 million ahead on the state income tax alone.
    Say that each worker spends 30% of their adjusted annual income on disposable goods. That’s $40,000 x 30% = $12,000. Over ten years that’s $120,000.
    Indiana sales tax is 7.7%.
    $120,000 x 7.7% = $9,240 in sales tax to the state from each worker over ten years.
    $9,240 x 800 workers = $7,392,000.
    Add that to the $3 million in state income tax and Indiana comes out $10,00,0000 ahead.
    That’s way oversimplified, but it is food for thought.

    1. fresno dan

      December 2, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks for the numbers.
      Of course, the thing that gets me is that the dems whining about this ….dems prosecuted how many bankers???
      Turned down the bailout of Trillions? JUST couldn’t figure out how to write the law to bailout the homeowners (REALLY – they gave that as an excuse)
      And support “trade deals” that truth in advertising would call “enrich the rich” deals….and than they have the chutzpah to act as if were not there during the last 50 years AT ALL while the stagnation and rising inequality was occurring, and that they were practically run by Goldman Sachs…..

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You’d be even further ahead by comparing it to the alternate scenario, where some or many of those workers would need public assistance (money spent by the local, state and federal government).

    3. Waldenpond

      You forgot to include the lost taxes from the 1,300 that were just kicked to the curb. Should probably add in the cascading losses too…. public sector job cuts because of corporate tax breaks, neighborhood job losses as community purchasing level drops, etc.

      Send warm coats and food to your local distribution center.

    4. Vatch

      There is some truth in what you say, but it’s not the whole picture. If Carrier weren’t planning to eliminate any jobs in Indiana, the state would still have its income tax revenues, its sales tax revenues, and it would not have to shell out $7 million. Tariffs or other penalties for offshoring would prevent have prevented Carrier from doing this, so that would be even better.

      Under your scenario, the state isn’t ahead; it just isn’t as far behind as it would be if it didn’t do anything.

      Trump gets partial credit for doing something, but he doesn’t get full credit, because the state is still $7 million behind where it would be if Carrier never planned to offshore those jobs. Obama, on the other hand, gets no credit at all in this situation.

      1. Lemmy

        Yes, there are many more parts of the picture that I don’t even know about, much less know how to calculate. The reason I even tried was because so far, I haven’t seen any people with expertise really weigh in on the Pros and Cons of the deal — just a lot of hyperventilating about the $7 million tax break as if it occured in a vacuum.

        1. Vatch

          That’s good. I wish more people would try thought experiments such as yours. Reality is complex, and simple ideological answers are rarely completely correct.

    5. Norb

      Interesting thoughts, but still only half the picture. It would be interesting to see numbers representing the cost of production for the products Carrier makes, and the ratio of worker compensation to owners. As you mention, not such a simple equation. What to do with the externalities? The costs borne collectively by society for infrastructure maintenance, education, disposal of waste, healthcare, etc… complicate matters. Enter the importance of ideology and morality.

      I think you have captured exactly the thinking Trump will be employing in the future. He is making “Good” deals, win/win, when framed in the corporate mindset of ownership of the world and everything in it. With owners claiming a vastly bigger piece of the pie. But reaching sustainability in terms of production is the only answer, it will be a matter of achievability, on the timescale chosen, and how inequality plays out socially.

      Nation states or large international corporations aggressively competing to control markets for profit seeking will not last. How can it in a resource depleted world? Nose to the grindstone, 24/7/365 thinking prevents implementation of sustainable thinking broadly and this is probably why only collapse or system failure will force change. Enlightened leadership? Raiding and conquering still reign, only under a different guise.

      Numbers in the service of whom is the question.

  19. bob k

    “Jill Stein: Recounts are Necessary Because Electronic Voting Invites Tampering, Hacking, Human Error”

    Can Stein be that much of a f*cking moron that she doesn’t get you can’t hack something isn’t connected to the internet? At most you can hack a state’s list of registered voters. I’m saying you couldn’t do something malicious but the effort it would take would be immense.

    1. cwaltz

      Actually you can hack the machines but to do it on a national level would require a large concerted and difficult effort since the machines aren’t all the same and you’d have to have knowledge of the machine. In a close race though you wouldn’t need to make a national effort, you could target places where the margins are thin.


      You’ll note the name of the person in this second article who hacked the machine it’s the person who Stein has as a witness on the ease of hacking these machines with the appropriate knowledge.


      So in short Stein is not a moron for listening to experts that can and have proven it can be done.

    2. Oregoncharles

      The real danger is “tampering” by insiders – always the main danger of election fraud. She mentioned that.

      Remember the big-city machines? Even the “voter fraud,” eg dead people voting, was really insider tampering.

    3. uncle tungsten

      There are any number of localities that are vulnerable to hacking; at each election new code must be installed on each machine reflecting the candidates on the ballot, that code could be corrupted. Then the data output from those machines must somehow be transferred to an aggregation point, another opportunity for corrupted code in both the transmission channel and the data processing system. How secure is the storage for all these machines between elections?

      Can someone with experience point to a detailed system description and method of use or vulnerability analysis for these machines. THEN we could have an informed discussion.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Does it mean Russians must have human operatives (at all those locations) on the ground, over at least 3 states, if not the entire country?

        That’s a vast conspiracy.

        1. fresno dan

          December 2, 2016 at 6:48 pm

          A gassed up Yugo, a GPS navigator, and a Dunkin Donuts credit card and you would be surprised what a comrade dedicated to the overthrow of the running dog capitalist pigs can accomplish using an IBM model 5150…and a floppy.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            “The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!!”*

            “Too late. They are already here. Resistance if futile.”

            * Maybe I should watch that film again.

      2. uncle tungsten

        OOps thanks to cwalz. The Princeton crew at the politico link above have done sufficient work to demonstrate the flawed design of these machines. Why have the parsimonious, austerity voodoo economics boosters wearing their political hats been permitted to sabotage the very essence of democratic process? Because power and corruption. Thanks to the States and Obummer and all his predecessors, the USA has the crappiest system on earth.

      3. hunkerdown

        at each election new code must be installed on each machine reflecting the candidates on the ballot, that code could be corrupted.

        Sounds like a fake requirement. If election machines were honest, they’d just count bubbles in locations, reject too many or too few bubbles in given rectangular areas demarcated by those locations, and not try to fancy up the output (as subverted in that five-minute hex editor labels fix). That can be configured with a short, small, human-readable, public text file whose directives can be verified by anyone with a ballot, a ruler measuring straightedge, and a pencil.

        Election officials are relatively smart, and can generally map “C171: 8971” to, say, votes for a candidate or question. And the same, certified, mask-ROM software from years ago running on the same, epoxy-potted, tamper-proofed, serialized hardware with that same, certified, public configuration file can thereby count every election, year in, year out, until the hardware falls apart.

        Never mind the entire Order of society presently enforced through the “quaint” election process crumbling to bits; it would give fewer credentialled professionals opportunities to aspire to rise, to set the bar, to make their mark, to do all those other vapid things university billboards promised they could do, and then what’s the point of all that student debt instead of just putting keggers on the Capital One VISA card. I don’t see the problem with either outcome, but I’m also not very invested in the status quo.

        If any nation really wanted honest elections, they’d treat election thieves like we used to treat horse thieves. The person who coded Fraction Magic into the system, as well as everyone who passed along that order, would be breaking rocks somewhere. I’m forced to assume the USA is systemically hostile to honest elections, given the alacrity with which partisans protect their fixers.

  20. MightyMike

    Conway told their side, ‘OK, guys, we won; you don’t have to respond.’ She said to the Clinton side, ‘You’ve learned nothing about this election’” [USA Today]. She’s right. Like and unlike the Bourbons, the Democrats have learned nothing and forgotten a lot.

    Millions of people are trying to learn the whatever can be learned from the recent election. However, Conway doesn’t say what she learned. One thing to keep in mind is that the election was very close. Much of the negative coverage of HRC had to with her health, her email server, her long involvement in federal politics, and her affinity for pantsuits. If some fresh face, like the athletic Martin O’Malley had been nominated, it’s quite possible that he would have won, even if he had espoused the same positions on every issue.

    1. John k

      But he had no chance of beating Bernie, and stopping Bernie was far more important to banks and corps than stopping trump. Bernie would have put crooked .CEO’s in jail. An existential threat, while trump is somebody most such will find satisfactory.

      1. Cry Shop

        May be Clinton was the perfect foil for Sanders, her corruption was so obvious. I wonder if he would have gained so much traction against a less repulsive, less known candidate. Perfect storm. Anyway, predicting what if’s and the future are fraught.

    2. integer

      Ironic that someone who calls himself(?) MightyMike has such feeble perceptive skills. Of course it is pretty clear that you are being disingenuous and it is equally obvious what you are trying to do here. Won’t work. The D-party is dead. Later!

      1. MightyMike

        You think that I don’t believe what I wrote. I read this kind of thing in a number of places. People always want change, so they didn’t want someone who’s worked in DC for so long. They also thought that she sounded like she was talking down to people. The fact that the margin in Pennsylvania and a number of another swing states was very small is not in question.

          1. Norb

            That is one tremendous takedown from Dore. I especially like the reverse finger pointing! I have a few Obama till the end of time loyalists at work that are definitely getting this link.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Can a more athletic candidate with the same positions beat a better coiffed, dying-voter-attracting, dynasty-destroyer?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I was not aware of that…

          Even then, you still get some other guys jealous of the ability (in reality, more to do with how much hair left, so perhaps ‘ability’ is not the exact word to use here) to combover back-to-front.

    4. stefan

      I never understood why O’Malley folded so early, even before the Iowa Caucuses. Of all the many primary candidates, he seemed the most future oriented. He might have affected the shape of the Democratic primary much more, had he just hung in there.

      1. Steve C

        Because O’Malley had an even thinner rationale for running than Hillary. Hers was hey it’s my turn. O’Malley’s was I was a governor and I’m pretty. Bernie’s was let’s help the working class.

    5. aab

      Nobody refused to vote for Clinton because of her ugly pantsuits.


      I wonder about “Generic Democrat” too. But Hillary probably both got and manufactured votes because of her celebrity, massive funding, and deeply entrenched insider connections. Generic Democrat holding preferred DNC positions would have had Obama’s failures hung around his or her neck, too. They would still have been the representative of the incumbent party promoting failed policies in a change environment. And they probably wouldn’t have been able to use the media and the establishment to drive Sanders out nor demonize Trump so effectively. My guess is they would also have lost. But that’s just a guess. I haven’t seen any data that’s dispositive.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        A “generic democrat” in the eyes of the zeitgeist would win.

        The basic problem is Bernie is a “generic Democrat.” What is Tim Kaine? An anti-choice hawk who has championed tax cuts for the rich, coal, tobacco, and public private partnerships.

        Elections are made up of people. The partisan separation and logistics of a primary protect the ilk of Schumer, but look what Zephyr Teachout did against Cuomo. She didn’t win obviously, but nostalgia and blind partisanship protect the Democratic elite in the primaries. LOTE protects them in the general.

  21. grayslady

    According to The Hill, Howard Dean has dropped out of the race for DNC chair. He claims that it is a full time job, and that if Keith Ellison wants the position he should give up his seat in Congress. Like Wasserman-Schultz, Howie?

    1. Uahsenaa

      Sounds like somebody got bodied, as the kids say.

      It’s sad, because Dean actually did good work as DNC chair, particularly with regard to mobilizing people to work in their local and state Dem parties. But those were the very same people who went all in for Sanders, so its hard to see how they wouldn’t support the person he endorses. And as much as Dean thinks this isn’t a proxy fight, it’s almost certainly a proxy fight.

  22. William

    I cannot fathom the relatively sanguine response to Trump’s electoral win on this site. This is a disaster, and I speak as no big fan of Ms. Clinton. You think you have trouble with ” freedom of the press” now? Just wait. This is not R. Reagan, who was problematic enough. This is a practiced showman with an affinity for the Big Lie. Watch out, my gut and meager knowledge scream at me. We’re in for a rough ride.

    1. integer

      We all know Trump is objectively pretty bad. Still, compared to the Clintons and 0bama, he is a saint.

      1. William

        I feel you will have a different notion in less than a year. But let time sort the truth. I hope you have a’plenty before you.

          1. integer

            For other readers, if you can bear it I highly recommend watching this through to the end. Podesta isn’t as slick as he thinks he is.

            1. pricklyone

              Unless you have something involving math, you are doing exactly what you are accusing others of.
              “We all know Trump is objectively pretty bad. Still, compared to the Clintons and 0bama, he is a saint.”

              Feelings…nothing more than feelings…

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    On the scale of one to ten, ten being most dislike, how do you feel about the color ‘orange?’

                    Can feelings be…mathematical, or at least, numerical?

                    5? 1? 10?

                    1. pricklyone

                      Not the question. I cannot assign numbers to YOUR feelings. Only my own.
                      If you want to propose a number system, propose it.
                      Tell me what number you want to assign to what feeling.
                      If we agree on a system, we can do analysis somewhat objectively.

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      You asked if integer said something involved math (“Unless you have something you involving math”), while he/she had, according to you (and perhaps you were astute in making that observation – I am not inquiring into that), “feelings, nothing more than feelings”.

                      In the context, I am wondering if he can involve or incorporate math into his feelings.

                    3. pricklyone

                      My point was and is, analysis of the relative merits of candidates, or what they think, or what they mean by their statements, etc., is strictly an exercise based on feelings.
                      It is opinion. He is castigating other posters for the same type of subjective opinion based analysis.
                      We all can see the links above, but conclusions can differ.

                    4. pricklyone

                      “Those who keep it real >> fake fuckwits”
                      “That’s math inequality, thus math.”

                      Yeah, it’s a couple of undeclared variables.
                      Mostly it’s a personal attack.

                    5. integer

                      In general, the “much greater than” symbol is used in engineering proofs to discard variables that have an insignificant effect on the outcome. There’s a little hint for you. This is fun.

                    6. integer

                      Don’t talk to yourself like that, it’s rude!
                      You’re falling apart. Take a few deep breaths.

                    7. pricklyone

                      Nope, as there is no reply tag on your comment, I cannot respond directly to your post.
                      “In general, the “much greater than” symbol is used in engineering proofs to discard variables that have an insignificant effect on the outcome. There’s a little hint for you. This is fun.”

                      Thereby rendering you irrelevant. Insignificant to the outcome.
                      It’s been fun, indeed. But it’s gone on far too long.

                    8. Lambert Strether Post author

                      I believe that pain is given numbers (a practitioner asks the patient) but I’m not sure that works for feeling in general. Can I really given happiness or joy or number? Seems dubious. Maybe lizard backbrain stuff is has two dimensions I dunno. And then there’s the distinction between feelings and emotions.

                      On another note, I don’t see any violations, but this kind of sniping is pretty low value add. I don’t like the infantilization trope, but it reminds me of kids bickering in the back of the car. This isn’t a board.

                    9. integer

                      And for the record I’m not sitting here trying to provide a disincentive for people to come onto the NC comment section and twist the facts for my own personal enjoyment. In fact, I was under the impression that it might be appreciated, considering everything that is going on at the moment.

              1. integer

                Also, all of you guys seem to have no idea what things are like in some people’s reality:

                Furious Anger

                Trust me that to people who have had to navigate these kinds of worlds and become good at reading people to survive, you guys are so obvious it’s a joke. Enjoy the clip.

                1. pricklyone

                  You have no idea of my situation, other than what I have allowed you to know.
                  What do you know of anyone’s reality, other than your own?
                  I do not presume to know of your reality, cause I don’t know you.
                  Please make no presumptions about the poster above, or myself, unless you have info not in evidence.

                    1. pricklyone

                      Why don’t you have little re-read of this thread, and point out where, exactly, anyone defended any person on any side. Only person I can be accused of defending is another poster on this board. You on the other hand, have attacked several in this thread alone.
                      That’s OK, I feel a little sorry for you, too.

        1. Charles Duran

          If I may add something to this argument, Trump is surely among the most ridiculous individuals we could have chosen for our president, but I see the choice as the price we must pay to begin dismantling a corrupt democratic party. Trump will be taken care of later.

        2. Skip Intro

          Trump is nauseating and may be deadly. He is the chemotherapy that we hope will clear the Clintonist cancer from our system.

        3. arte

          The next four years are going to suck beyond belief. At least it’s recoverable, unlike a nice game of global thermonuclear war. So I dunno.

          As you can probably guess, I still think the direction of the attacks during the last week of the Clinton campaign was a serious mistake: the Republican side was caught in the wacko conspiracies from the Wikileaks emails. Meanwhile, what fake news sources were messaging “Clinton = World War 3”? Well, it was the NY Times, Washington Post, and any number of sites like Salon… who reads those again? The Trumpists?

          Sure, the Clinton campaign probably thought they were just suppressing the Republican vote a bit with the Russia-baiting, but the message you try to send and the message people hear is not always the same. And sure, the anti-war folks are invisible now that there is a Democrat as president. It doesn’t follow that it was good strategy to discourage them from voting during the week before the election…

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        This site has been very familiar with disaster; it began with the foreclosure crisis, after all, continued through the Crash, and the debacle of the Obama administration’s response to it. If you want us to run around screaming with our hair on fire, it won’t be happening.

        As John LeCarré’s George Smiley said in another context (paraphrasing), it’s not a question of perfection, but advantage. Both Trump and Clinton were terrible candidates (and voters agreed, as shown both by the trust/likeability polling, and by turnout, which dropped again). As readers know, I would have preferred a Democrat Senate to create gridlock, crippling either one. Sadly, the voters disagreed (and the Democrats didn’t help themselves by running two horrible, corrupt candidates in Evan Bayh and Patrick Murphy).

        The issue is not whether Trump Bad (or Clinton Good). The issue is how to take advantage of the volatility Trump has created, and how to respond to it. So far, the Democrat Establishment is failing miserably. Hopefully, they will continue to circle the bowl in every-decreasing circles, as on a performance basis they deserve to do.

    2. flora

      I think it has something to do with frustration at the complete incompetence of the Dem party as a national party. Lowest number of elected officials in state and national office since 1900. !! Are they a party or a coastal club? Read Thomas Frank’s book “Listen, Liberal”. Why bother voting for the Dems’ neoliberal, DLC, globalization, SS cuts, unemployment benefits cuts, austerity, Wall St pandering, economic policys? Trump will be bad, but if he stops the TPP, doesn’t start *another* war, and doesn’t privatize or cut SS and Medicare that will be more than the neolib Dems were offering. Sad state of affairs, ain’t it.

      1. flora

        adding: the current Dem leadership votes in House & Senate show they don’t intend to change. Even in the face of this electoral debacle they’re staying the same course that has brought electoral disaster – not just this year but over the past 8 years and the last 6 years of B. Clinton’s admin. I wonder if Dem pols ever think about their voters, or only about their big paydays beyond the revolving door. It will take even more losses before new ideas and new energy are accepted. Although, a few more losses and there won’t be any Dem seats left to lose. Still, I’m not in the everybody-gets-a-medal camp. If they aren’t worth voting for I won’t vote for them. They have to earn my vote, not scare me with “he’s worse” talk.

    3. hunkerdown

      Don’t worry about us, William, we’re pretty well perceptive people. If both candidates were obviously unqualified — a point which you fail to address — perhaps the system that presented them to us and demanded we choose is at fault, and claims that it is an infallible meter of public will are trying to hide the claimant’s own valued ability to constrain our choices. Blasphemy for the liberal Rescuer, I know, but please take it under advisement.

      1. William

        Frankly, I read the comments on this site ‘ till my battery wears out. Very diverse, and I enjoy constructive argument Didn’t mean to put this site down, it’s my favorite. Perhaps the general complacency about the Trump Whitehouse in the media have my head askew. Thanks for replying, I enjoy good rebuttals.

        1. stefan

          I tend to agree with William.

          Reagan gave the country a lobotomy. But Trump’s neurosurgery will go beyond our wildest imaginings.

          We have no conception of the absolutely incognizable.

          1. aab

            I use metaphor in my political arguments as well, but they need to be better focused than this. Reagan did not give the country a lobotomy. And Trump will not be performing neurosurgery. If anything Trump’s governance will be a blunter instrument than Reagan’s, and using brain surgery as a metaphor doesn’t really work with either of them. People voted for Reagan and for Trump for specific reasons. By treating both men as magical doctors dropped into power to cut away our capacity to reason, you elide the people, ideology and forces that put them into power, and you evade grappling with their real impact.

            This metaphor also treats the American people as helpless victims without agency, and the explanation for what has happened as a lack of intelligence, which is neoliberal frame which is completely dishonest. Plenty of right wing people are intelligent. The problem is not lack of intelligence. I hated Reagan and opposed his policies. I was in college when he was elected. I continued to oppose Reaganite policies, including when Bill Clinton offered them, and when Barack Obama praised them. The American people have for a long time now favored leftist, redistributive, social democratic policies by solid majorities. The reason why we don’t have them is not because we have had part of our collective brain cut out or zapped into mush.

            I understand that you’re afraid. I’m afraid, too, although I’m grateful Clinton has apparently been stopped. But this use of sloppy, emotive metaphor suggests you’re not engaging intellectually with how we got here and how we escape. You may find doing that helpful. We have a lot of work ahead.

          2. tegnost

            “We have no conception of the absolutely incognizable”
            couldn’t you just say ” I have no idea whats going to happen” and leave the rest of us out of it? No one knows the future, and no one, including you, knows what trump will do but the democrat candidate had some pretty un flavorable views…remind me what the GOOD thing about that candidate was? And how were you cognizating that? BTW, Trump not actually prez yet………neurosurgery, though, sounds smart….and wildest imagination sounds kind of dreamy…and reagan was elected with a lot of democrat votes…so………

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          If the baseline for not being complacent is the barrage of Blame Cannons currently being fired by the Democrat Establishment, or their doubling down on losing campaign strategies, I’m afraid NC is never going to be able to meet it.

          “If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you…”

          1. ambrit

            Pass the popcorn.
            NC sets it’s own baselines. That’s one of the reasons the “powers that be” unlimbered the McCarthyite Rocket Batteries against it. Independence is always suspect to authoritarians.
            Kudos for slipping in a Kipling reference.

    4. aab

      You do realize you’re posting this on a web site under attack from Clintonian fascist forces, right?

      We were guaranteed for a rough ride once our choice became Trump vs. Clinton. This straw man argument that the leftists, liberals and progressives here who feared Clinton more are “sanguine” about Trump is utterly false, as even a superficial reading of this site and its comments would demonstrate. Are there some overt Trump fans among the NC commentariat? Yes. Are they the majority? Not by a long shot, if you have the capacity to do basic arithmetic and have elementary school level reading comprehension. Do you?

      Clinton lost because Barack Obama was a terrible president, she’s been a terrible public figure, married to, allied with and relying on the record of her terrible husband, and she ran a terrible campaign. She was aggressively moving towards direct, nuclear confrontation with Russia while eviscerating our national sovereignty under the TPP and its sibling deals and planning to gut Social Security and death spiral Medicare. At the very least, we have slowed all that horror down. Much of what Trump might do that’s bad could be stopped by the Democrats if they choose to act as a true opposition party. Clinton picked Trump for us. And now she and her incompetent, corrupt ilk are refusing to get out of the way and let the left save the country, even though their policies have failed and they are so hated desperate people stayed home rather than vote for her.

      Can you fathom that?

      1. William

        Not sure about my reading level But I do remember how well theDems(Hillary included) dealt with the Iraq fiasco, simultaneous capital gains tax cuts( under the watch of Paul Ryan as WH budget director) and penetrating the obfuscations of Greenspan’s deceptions. I am not hopeful on this point. It’s up to us,now. Perhaps I am a little nervous now. Nothing personal, I just feel things have gone way south way quick, and we can’t wait for the bad stuff to hit to recognize what has happened.

        1. aab

          Your reply to me was far more gracious than mine to yours. I apologize for being so aggressive in tone, when you’re apparently making a good faith effort to engage. I assumed, based on your statements, which echo deceitful and dishonest talking points such as what “anti-social socialist” dumps here, that you were intentionally misrepresenting people’s positions.

          However, your assertions continue to be factually inaccurate, if I understand them. How did Hillary deal well with the Iraq fiasco? By voting to go to war without even reading the intelligence materials arguing for it? I’m not trying to be antagonistic, I’m honestly trying to understand your argument and fact set, as that’s a necessary condition for discourse.

          One thing I agree with: it’s up to us. It’s always been up to us. And the Democratic Party leadership is our enemy, at least as much as the Republicans. They pretend to values and policies that in practice they dismiss and destroy. They undermine leftward progress at every turn, treating marginalized citizens as human shields to be exploited as needed and discarded at will. Are these people really our saviors? http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/king-democratic-staffer-exposes-soft-bigotry-senate-dems-article-1.2893049

          1. Darthbobber

            Read again. He did not say that Queenie dealt well with Iraq. He pretty clearly implied that “how well” she and the Dems dealt with that collection of issues was badly enough to cause him not to be hopeful.

    5. anti-social socialist

      Working theory here seems to be that things will get so bad under Trump, average voter will finally (magically) go for pure leftist revolution. Ignores the evidence from 2000 and ’08, and shows absolutely no concern for those who will suffer under Trump, but HRC did email wrong according to Trump’s FBI, was “planning to gut Social Security” (LOL), was “moving to direct nuclear confrontation with Russia” (mk) etc etc… or some other equally boogey-mannish stuff, so…

      1. aab

        I would direct you to all the evidence that proves my assertions, but I have previously, they’ve been covered here previously, and you keep coming here to make straw man arguments and wave away actual evidence anyway.

        There’s no better evidence of your determination to argue in bad faith than calling the FBI under Barack Obama, directed by the FBI Director he chose, who had previous financial relationships with Clinton family and the Clinton Foundation “Trump’s FBI.” Trump is still, even today, not yet an elected official, and he certainly wasn’t this summer, when Comey said, “Yeah, anybody else would be charged, but Hillary Clinton can’t be convicted, so…”

        Better trolls, please. You’re not even a decent appetizer.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Trump’s FBI

        You mean Obama’s appointee? The one who reports to Loretta “Tarmac” Lynch? This is too stupid.

        I also don’t see many people espousing the “worse is better” theory, “working or not.” Please don’t project failbot talking points onto the entire NC commentariat (and its proprietors).

        1. anti-social socialist

          I mean the Comey that used to report to Giuliani, who on air, admitted to knowing of an upcoming surprise just days before Comey released his letter. Emails between Comey and Giuliani would be interesting to see.

          Yes, commenters here have claimed that “after things get bad enough” under a Trump presidency will people jump on the progressive bandwagon. History of US politics does not bear this out, however.

          1. aab

            Regardless of any possible personal relationship between Comey and Giuliani, Obama hired him, and Bill Clinton met with Lynch, and Comey then said no one would convict Clinton, meaning Lynch would not. He made up a lot of pretend legal requirements to obfuscate, but he did admit they had evidence she broke laws, and in the real, non-Clinton world, intent is not necessary for conviction — although of course she also clearly intended to break those laws. Trump at no point during this had any authority, power or influence over what was going on. It was quite clear that Comey was doing as instructed by his boss, who was and still is Obama, to neither robustly investigate Clinton or nor recommend charges, even as he was demonstrating in his press conference that despite his best efforts to avoid uncovering anything, the FBI, in July, had enough evidence of law violations to move towards indictment.

            As you hunt around for stray commenters to say things here you can use to continue to build your house of straw, why don’t you also read up on things like normal FBI procedure (which Comey instructed his agents not to follow, clearly to benefit and protect Clinton and her people), what violations of records keeping, security and espionage laws entail, and what the chain of command in the Executive Branch looks like.

            By the way, NYPD cops apparently got a look at Weiner’s laptop first. Then it went to the US Attorney’s office, IIRC. Wouldn’t one of those individuals be more likely to be Giuliani’s source than Comey? Either way, not Trump. Not “Trump’s FBI.”

            Serious question: why are you doing this? I understand that trolling holds a certain appeal for some people, but you keep making yourself look really dumb. Is this a Dunning-Kruger situation, where you don’t understand that making wildly inaccurate assertions is no bueno? I hate the current liberal trick claiming the “intelligent” ground, but you keep making lazy, blatantly incorrect statements. I’d ignore you, except that I feel like a volunteer border collie fending off a hyena. There are a lot of lurkers and people new to Naked Capitalism around these days. As someone who treasures its culture of fact-based critical thinking, I don’t want this kind of sloppy discourse gaining a toehold and distracting Yves, Lambert and the team from their primary mission.

            So, again, why are you doing this? You keep saying factually inaccurate things, multiple people demonstrate this, you double-down, rinse, repeat. If you’re lonely and crave attention, I will happily talk to you about something else, as long as you don’t continue to rely on falsehoods. There must be something you want to discuss that you actually know things about. But demonstrably, the recent election and American governance are not part of your knowledge base.

    6. cwaltz

      We were also in for a rough ride with Hillary Clinton…..

      It’s a darn shame the DNC elite chose to rig the primaries. I wonder if they’ll do it again in 2020?

        1. pricklyone

          Sorry, the IEDC was referrenced in the WSJ article above, I believe. And I just went to their website.
          I didn’t think a link was needed.
          Also, I’ll apologize to you and Yves, and Outis(sp?) for the heated exchange above
          I shouldn’t have continued it.
          WTF, i replied to you downthread, and it put my comment up here…

    7. Pat

      I’m not sanguine, I just am realistic enough to get that there was no winning. We were screwed once the Democratic voters didn’t reject the DNC bullshit by refusing to vote for Clinton in the primary. We still might have been screwed, if they had been able to replace her with anyone but Bernie, but Clinton and the entire Republican clown car were all recipes for disaster. As bad as it will be domestically, we have at least dodged WWIII, which I’m pretty damn sure the Clinton brain trust would have stumbled us into through their arrogance, lack of strategy skills, and clear inability to understand human nature. (I mean this is the group who decided they didn’t need to try to woo rust belt voters or even campaign there.)

    8. Norb

      What I find interesting is that supporters for the Democratic party elite and Obama in particular, have for years been spouting the genius of 11th Dimensional chess mumbo jumbo, and now the finger waging starts about being blind to the simple horrible consequences coming down the road. What part of raised middle finger don’t you understand?

      Yes, the Big Lie is out there and the best practitioners have been the Democratic party elite and Obama. Trump is the result of crash and burn politics is better than slow suffocation. At least now there is no hiding the corruption. We can all decide now if we want a great nation, and what that would entail, or just curl up in a ball and enjoy our entertainments as long as we can. Stop wining and do something, anything.

  23. pricklyone

    Can the governor of a state offer xmillions in tax breaks without the consent of the legislature? All the stories about Pence meeting with United Tech seem to think he can. Or was he given the authority as blanket along the line?
    I can’t find it, and my memory is not up to the past stories.

    1. pricklyone

      As RR would say: Nevermind,
      Apperently, the money comes from Indiana Economic Development Corp.
      another Public-Private Partnership!
      Business leaders giving away tax revenue…
      Post under Bezzle

      1. integer

        Post under Bezzle

        How about the Washington Post under Bezos? See what I did there?
        Trolls at NC are like cars in an iceskating rink. They will never gain traction. Hahaha! Sometimes I crack myself up.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I think that’s good information on the Public-Private partnership (though a link would be nice).

          So, the comment wasn’t trollish. Don’t throw that term around, it’s a serious accusation.

          1. integer

            I avoid the term usually but couldn’t think of anything else to use for my joke. I assume you have yet to parse the long exchange I had with “pricklyone”.

          2. ambrit

            I remember when I was suspected of Trollery by the man from Chicago. You came to my defense. I don’t forget good deeds done. Thank you again.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              De nada. Let us [lambert assumes a pious tone] remember that trollery is not — generally* — an immutable personal essence, but a behavior fitted to circumstance. When I decided to troll, I was a Destroyer of Threads. But I gave up the behavior, not least because it was a waste of time. And it’s not good for the spirit to be angry all the time. Constant trolling is like steroids or cortisone in terms of mood changes (at least for me).

              * We are what we repeatedly do. –Aristotle

  24. Noonan

    “Public policy is really complicated. If this hiring pattern continues, more unconventional appointees may struggle, especially early on, to get up to speed on things like which assistant secretary handles what and the laborious process of developing regulations.”

    I believe the point is to have less regulations, dumbass.

  25. Jim Haygood

    Trump bypasses his State Dept minders again:

    President-elect Donald Trump is risking a major diplomatic dispute with China after speaking on the phone Friday with the president of Taiwan, the Financial Times reported.

    The telephone call between Trump and Tsai Ying-wen is believed to be the first between a U.S. president and a Taiwanese leader since the two cut diplomatic ties in 1979. China regards the island as a renegade province.


    China has regarded Taiwan as a “renegade province” for 67 years now.

    Reunification isn’t going to happen soon, if at all — not with Taiwan being a vibrant multi-party democracy, while China retains a troglodytic, self-perpetuating ruling elite.

    Taiwan is de facto independent, and an important trading partner of the US. Donald Trump — private citizen Trump until Jan 20th — doesn’t need China’s permission to ring up Taiwan’s president for a chat.

    More importantly, he doesn’t need the discredited State Dept’s permission either.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Interestingly, not a few in Taiwan regard China as a renegade land.

      Some even have ancestors on the island going back a few generations. They seem undaunted by the numerically superior China cross the strait, especially with advanced military weapons currently on their shopping list, but these China-is-renegade warriors fear the tyranny of majority on the island.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Let us remember that Ilha Formosa, one of several names that track various “Free Trade” Empires’ involvement with that unfortunately placed island, was a populated nation of sorts in its own right, albeit subjected to one imperial domination after another. Most recently, the Kuomintang Mafia of Chiang-kai Shek fled the mainland in 1949, after losing militarily (thanks largely to corruption) to the ShiSoms, also taking vast parts of Chinese art and artifacts with them (the National Museum in Taipei is simply breathtaking, even to a Midwestern GI who was there in 1968 mostly for R&R, “rest and recreation” — known more colloquially as “I&I,” for “intoxication and intercourse.” My “date” kindly broadened the experience to include a much wider view of the culture) and essentially invading, occupying and subjugating the indigenous population, using secret police and terror to kill off or imprison any complainers. The wiki article is notably bland about the whole rotten business — but then there are always winners and losers, in the Great Game. No moral content in the play at all. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwan

        The “not a few in Taiwan who regard Mainland China as a renegade land” are the Kuomintang masters, who like the Cubans in Miami are just waiting for the day when they can get on the mainland and claim the property that they once owned or ruled. And the rackets they ran.

        It’s all about raw power and force, in the end. Economic hit men, nuclear weapons, artillery shells, then clubs and rocks and pointed sticks…

        1. Norb

          I’ve recently been reading up on the Vikings. Looking at that culture is one history lesson that seems appropriate for today and offers examples for what future generations might look like. I’m sure an argument could be made that the stability of Scandinavian countries is directly related to their culture and history, but what is always lacking is a fuller explanation why that is so. I always hear that their success is based primarily on cultural uniformity, and cannot be replicated in diverse societies, but I think that is inaccurate.

          Raw power and force are indeed the major component of dominance, but the spiritual component that drives the process is also a deciding factor. The clash of religions if you will. Have Scandinavian countries experienced forced spiritual conversions in the past that have disrupted their soceties? Western civilization is marked by the triumph of Christianity over Paganism- could that be an explanation for the seemingly intractable problems of today, that supposed triumph and how it was achieved?. Raw force backed by a weak spirituality seems like a looser over the long term. A strong spirituality that does not loose it’s connectivity to the living world seems to persist- even against great odds. It seems the difference between complacency and action.

          When your religion no longer provides a motivating force, or ceases to provide productive results, you need to discover a new religion. It reminds me of a story once told by a co-worker about his Vietnam war experience. During boot camp, his Marine drill instructor asked him about his religion, to which he replied he was an atheist. The instructor replied,”you have to believe in something son!”- with great indignation- as the story was told. At the time, we both had a good laugh at the stories telling, but now I think the drill instructor was on to something- whatever his motivations.

          In order to change anything, a spiritual power will have to be harnessed- bruit force will not be enough as bruit force alone has no staying power. A culture that figures out how to live with the world, in the here and now, might have a chance.

  26. Larry

    Re: Extended Stay Properties: I’m not displaced by anything nor do I routinely travel for work beyond a few days, so traditional hotels are my norm when traveling for work. When I travel with the family though, an extended stay establishment can give you separate rooms. That means when the kids go to bed, the parents can still stay up and enjoy adult beverages and conversation. Suites also suit this purpose, and Embassy Suites is more readily available in the locations I’ve traveled to than Extended Stay properties. Embassy Suites tends to be nicer too.

      1. Skip Intro

        I speculate that the uptick may be due to an increasing number of workers desperate enough to take jobs which are far from where they live, and are either risky or temporary enough to not merit uprooting a whole family and possibly disrupting a spouse’s income. I find this explanation compatible with my predilection for ‘collapse pr0n’, so I have to view it with added skepticism due to potential confirmation bias.

        1. ambrit

          In support of your thesis is the proliferation of “Extended Stay Cheap Motels.” Look for the signs, usually in the older more run down part of town advertising Weekly Rates. Said rates are near to rent on a cheap house, but, rentals becoming more “police statish” by the year, and minimum leases now becoming normal, the owners of said cheap lodgings have found a niche and a rationalization for exploiting their customer base.
          Consider also that “regular” rentals are now freezing out borderline “good citizens.” Hence, people with bad credit scores or no local references are often faced with the choice of Extended Stay Motels or the homeless shelter. (Many now sleep rough.)

      2. sd

        Personal anecdote. Back in the mid to late 1990s, I travelled extensively for work, spending anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months out of town. During this time, I noticed with increasing frequency new extended stay hotels popping up. It seemed like every time I arrived in a city, there was a new one where previously there were only hotels. As someone who spent years on the road, it was really nice having my own kitchenette for food instead of eating at the chains that always seem to be dotted around hotels.


  27. realestate accountant

    Commenting on extended stay hotels
    When my husband and I travel between our summer and winter places we always try to book extended stay hotels because it is more fun to buy food at the grocery store than to eat at most roadside restaurants. It’s nice to be able to book an accommodation with a separate bedroom so we can stay up or go to bed separately. We even try to book rooms with two bedrooms for the luxury of having two bathrooms like we do at home. If we traveled with a child or children we would never, ever stay anywhere except extended stay hotels.

  28. Kurt Sperry

    Interesting choice Trump made bragging he’d talked to President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan. As an opening move, it’s obviously designed to elicit a predictable response from the PRC by directly provoking them, but in a way that is perfectly within the rules and customs of international order. Countries that refuse to recognize Taiwan do so as a conscious choice, not because any law or custom compels them to. If he’s not doing it to provoke a military confrontation, which makes no sense, it is probably the boot through the door into the negotiating room for trade. I’m guessing he’s done this after full consultation with his team, so this the US now spitting in China’s face. That team obviously thinks they know what the PRC’s move in response will be and that’s what Trump’s team wants to happen. It smells like a gambit designed to lead to a sanctions regime or trade barriers. High risk stuff!

    (edit) JH beat me to the punch while I was typing. The State Department ramifications are “interesting” too, it’s a provokation against State almost as much as against the PRC.

    1. Jim Haygood

      That would be the “Hillary/Kerry” State Dept till Jan 20th — enemy occupied territory! :-)

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      (Countries, i.e. not necessarily the US) recognize it as the only legitimate China, the Republic of China?

      Or recognize Taiwan as an independent country, the Republic of Taiwan?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And that is the top issue on that island, with president Tsai’s party on the provocative side.

    3. Andrew Foland

      “I’m guessing he’s done this after full consultation with his team”

      What have you seen in the last 15 months that makes you think he does anything after full consideration and consultation?

      His team took away his Twitter account for a reason.

      Soon they’ll be taking away his phone.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        You think Trump did this completely on his own? No freakin’ way. Zero chance, don’t believe the hype. This was a long-planned shot across China’s bow. It may be nuts, but there’s a plan here. I like it, frankly, if he has thought it through. The trade deficit with China is currently incredible leverage just laying in the street, it currently is being wasted, and this can bring it back into play.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          He can’t ‘bring back’ jobs without addressing China, with or without robots in the equation.

          1. Kurt Sperry

            An all-out trade war with China might be just the addressing Trump’s team has in mind. It’s certainly heterodox.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The worst case scenario is, with one more phone call, China unleashes another wave of all-cash buyers (under $2 million) upon Manhattan.

        That will inflict pain on Yankee mortgage-laden, barely qualifying with higher rates, home buyers.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        I don’t think it makes sense to underestimate Trump at all, in particular not by assuming he’s stupid or crazy. Laying waste to not one but two party establishments is no small feat, particularly for a political novice.

        I don’t know where you are on the political spectrum, but the Clintonites goto move is almost always calling people not in their tribe stupid. Well, it hasn’t worked real well for them, has it? And it also confuses credentials with intelligence, a category error.

        1. dontknowitall

          Long time lurker here…I would just like to add my two bits here to challenge the ingrained notion of Trump as a political novice…I lived in NYC for nearly twenty years and one thing that sunk in was how deeply political the real estate business is…in Manhattan specifically. I would add that that, if anything, Trump has far deeper political chops than your average politician. It is easy to confuse the act of being an elected official versus the practice of seeking political consensus towards some practical objective and Trump has been doing the latter for a very long time in one the toughest towns in America. Maybe you mean it just in the strict sense of seeking elected office…Agree with everything else you say…

          Thanks for an outstanding website. It is a great pleasure to read and the first website I visit each morning.

            1. dontknowitall

              It has been a very long time but the drama around the development of Trump City now known as Riverside South comes to mind. Couldn’t give you details since I am not in real estate or politics but to summarize, Trump assembled a diverse coalition of six civic interest associations like Natural Resources Defense Council and the Municipal Art Society to develop a mega project that at one point required Trump to come up with a crazy proposal to use underwater rights to expand the size of the built area on land. I remember the political opposition to it was constant but he powered through and it got built eventually in severely revised form. The man is a monster of obsession if he is serious about jobs and infrastructure it will get interesting.

        2. Steve H.

          … confuses credentials with intelligence, a category error.

          This touches on a thought sequence deriving from a couple of authors I’ve read recently, Peter Turchin and Theo Compernolle.

          1) Turchin predicts social violence in the next few years from three major factors: elite overproduction, popular immiseration, and government indebtedness.

          2) Elite overproduction generally leads to more intra-elite competition that gradually undermines the spirit of cooperation, which is followed by ideological polarization and fragmentation of the political class. [Turchin

          3) …increased intra-elite competition leads to the formation of rival patronage networks vying for state rewards. [Turchin

          4) Government indebtedness increases as state positions are created to absorb elite overproduction and decrease inter-elite conflict.

          5) A college degree is a credential (barrier to entry) which signals the ability of the recipient to function in a bureaucratic system.

          6) At least one Podesta email indicates that familial connections are important to entry into the governmental elite bureaucratic system.

          7) ‘Stupid’ is an antonym indicating exclusion from the elite bureaucratic system.

          8) ‘Stupid’ is thus laterally associated with familial connections (with ‘meritocratic’ exceptions).

          9) {Elite, political class, investment class} must encourage and not discourage the production of consumable wealth, and discourage the production of capital except as required to produce perishable wealth. [Soddy

          10) Thus, to maintain the system, it must not become too productive.

          11) Interruptions (for example, in the form of policies of open-doors and instant reply to emails) are inimical to productivity. “… in an open-plan office, people are interrupted every three minutes.” [Compernolle

          Thus: Stupid/Smart has become an signal indicating exclusion or entry to the familial-based system of unproductive state-supported bureaucracy, which has an emotional component functioning to unite participants in a tribal-style fashion based on ‘merit.’

          At least, this is a model I’m considering.

    4. Darthbobber

      “High risk stuff”
      Particularly when such a large fraction of the manufacturing production affected by rapidly introduced trade barriers is that of American corporations.

      And when that market has become the “go-to” market for many American exporters. (The reason Buick made the survival cut at GM is that so many Chinese seem enamored of it.)

      And when China is also Taiwan’s largest trading partner.

      Maybe the Chinese leadership really IS like the GOP/Dem leadership, in which case there’s some chance that they just cave and Trump looks like a genius. On the other hand, maybe they’re a different animal altogether, and capable of formulating and implementing moves of their own.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        GM is now importing Chinese-made Buicks to the US. Even the rather bizarre and unique case of China’s infatuation with Buicks no longer supports the notion that significant numbers of US jobs are dependent on the export of US-made manufactured goods to the PRC. The average American receives little or no benefit when Chinese-made Buicks are sold–either in China or in the US.

  29. JTMcPhee

    So some part of the NY city government has enumerated and valued every single tree in the city. Quite an undertaking! Who set up the categories to be counted, and the values to be assigned? Seems kind of hard to give much of even a range of values for the amount of water retained by an old oak or new sycamore…

    “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world… And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.”

    Enumerating every “asset,” to reduce it to a monetized entity that can be rented, taxed and managed. Only flakes like Joyce Kilmer see some kind of “unmonetizable hedonic value” in the natural world (as natural as a captive dog-peed, “Lost Cat”-notice-scarred tree in the narrow strip of hammered dirt or concrete or brick between sidewalk and gutter can be, of course)

    “I THINK that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.

    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

    A tree that looks at God all day, 5
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

    A tree that may in summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;

    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain. 10

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.” http://www.bartleby.com/104/119.html

    And I can’t find the reference, but a couple of years ago, BOAT/US, which was once for “boaters” the kind of organization AARP once was for us old farts, did some lobbying to weakly resist a sally by NOAA and the Chamber of Commerce types into GIS-world — a massive project aimed at creating a three-dimensional gridding of the known ocean and all the “extractable resources” thereof, with the intention of marking off ownership boundaries to “everything on and under the seas.” Stuff like manganese nodules, http://worldoceanreview.com/en/wor-3-overview/mineral-resources/manganese-nodules/

    “A decree went out from Goldman Sachs, that all the world should be enrolled, so all could be extracted and rents and tolls could be calculated and collected….”

  30. RD

    Heard an interview with one of Warren’s former fellow Harvard law professors, who was very complimentary of her, but claimed that during the 20 years that he was Warren’s colleague–she was a centrist. (Alan Dershowitz)

    IMHO, her support of Romney, in particular, raises a major red flag.

    1. Pat

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but frankly considering who else is supposedly on the short list for SoS from Trump, I’m supportive of Romney. I say Secretary of State Mitt Romney sounds bloody brilliant compared to Bolton or Giuliani.

    1. Soulipsis

      Though I would say Trump is correct to say “we have to take care of our workers ALSO”. It’s time to stop the schizoid either/or crap.

  31. Soulipsis

    If we see the Trumplorables as our enemy — haven’t we just replicated ONCE AGAIN the Manichean mechanism that sustains the elite world order?

  32. anon

    It looks like Scott Creighton of the American Everyman is in desperate trouble in case any commenters here are readers of his blog, or in case anyone here might have an idea how to help him.

    He said he’s been denied assistance from Medicaid, and denied disability months ago, and after three months of not being able to afford his medicine (coumadin) his local authorities have decided he doesn’t quality for Medicare.

    It sounds like he needs the coumadin to stay alive, however his last post doesn’t sound like he’s asking anyone for money, it doesn’t sound like he’s asking anyone for anything at this point, it sounds more like a suicide note.

    Very sad.


  33. Theo

    Could we please stop praising Trump for almost everything. I’m fine with criticizing the Democrats, they thoroughly deserve it regarding their stupidity and monumental hubris. But the Democrats will be missed now that Trump and the radical right are now in power. This site is being taken over with tri-Trump-umphalism. There are real dangers from this win by the radical right. So many things happen around the right when in power that are off the radar to most Americans but do inestimable damage. And paying corporations to stay in the US is not a good thing. Trump’s tax plans are a disaster. Stop doubling down on Sanders. And as has been pointed out only some of the jobs were saved and I suspect will be lost over time. The more Trump pays out the less money we have to save for social program as that will be the excuse to ax them. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid are on the chopping block. Would have been no doubt with the Democrats in charge. The more money to corporations, the less for ameliorating global warming, which they don’t believe in anyway. We will still have all kinds of money for wars, surveillance, weaponry. None of that will change under Trump. There will always be money found to shovel into the maws of the military industrial complex.

  34. Procopius

    Probably somebody else has said it better, but the tell I saw that the Democrats were out of touch was the assertion that the Republicans would suffer if they shut the government down again. They didn’t suffer the first time, why would the second time be any different? Why on earth did it take Barack Obama seven years to realize the Republicans were never going to make nice with him?

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