2:00PM Water Cooler 1/6/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Our Famously Free Press

Are there no copy editors?

And then there’s this:

Black Twitter proceeds to feast on “Nigger Navy.” Let me appropriate one of the more anodyne reactions:

2017 is already great!

“Far-right Breitbart ‘deliberately twisted’ German New Year’s Eve mob story into ‘fake news'” [Independent]. Well, they’ve got good company…

New Cold War

“[O]n Friday a tank brigade will start being unloaded in Bremerhaven on its way to NATO’s eastern frontier” [The Local (Germany)]. “The arrival of three US military cargo ships at the north German port signals a step up in a military stand-off between NATO and Russia, after Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014…. A Bundeswehr (German army) spokesperson told the Märkische Oderzeitung that trains with a total length of 14 kilometres will be needed to transport all the tanks.” Not that I’m foily, but I remember how it took a solid year to pre-position the material for the Iraq War….

“The head of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on Friday that Washington abruptly rejecting the Iran nuclear deal could create “a crisis” and said he did not expect that approach under President-elect Donald Trump’s administration” [Business Insider].

UPDATE “Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren’t You?” [Politico]. In a neat illustration of how the random noise generator of fear drowns out important signals, I nearly missed this one. It’s not about ZOMG!!!! Trump!!!! It’s about complacency about nuclear weapons.

“How Many Bombs Did the United States Drop in 2016?” [Council on Foreign Relations]. Handy chart.

Trump Transition

June 6: “”The D.N.C. wouldn’t let them see the servers,” Mr. Trump said. “How can you be sure about hacking when you can’t even get to the servers?” The D.N.C. has previously said that the law enforcement agency had not asked to examine the computers” [New York Times]. So what the DNC says is dispositive? Not so fast–

June 5: “‘The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,’ a senior law enforcement official told CNN. ‘This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier” [Buzzfeed]. It’s hard for a lowly blogger to keep track of this stuff. But the Times reporters are well-paid to get things right MR SUBLIMINAL Oh, who are you kidding?

“The Daily 202: Donald Trump isolates himself by living in a state of denial on Russia” [WaPo]. “Fog in the Channel; Continent Cut Off”

“Trump’s skepticism of Russian hack gets a boost from some cyber pros” [McClatchy]. “‘There are good reasons in this case to be skeptical,’ said Jeffrey Carr, a Seattle-based analyst who runs an annual ‘Suits and Spooks’ cybersecurity conference outside Washington, D.C., each year. ‘Based on public evidence, nothing connects the attacks to the government of Russia.’… Carr acknowledged that he represents ‘a minority opinion. I’m one of the few people who is a vocal skeptic, and that’s because I work for myself.’ He maintained that larger cybersecurity firms do not want to challenge the government posture on the issue.” Shocker. We’ll see what the report says next week. The portions of it that haven’t already been leaked, that is.

* * *

“When asked about a series of health care priorities for President-elect Trump and the next Congress to act on, repealing the ACA falls behind other health care priorities. Two-thirds of the public (67 percent) say lowering the amount individuals pay for health care should be a “top priority” for President-elect Trump and the next Congress. This is followed by six in ten (61 percent) who say lowering the cost of prescription drugs should be a “top priority,” and nearly half (45 percent) who say dealing with the prescription pain killer addiction epidemic should be a “top priority'” [Kaiser Health News]. The “pain killer epidemic” is the AIDS-level epidemic of excess deaths shown by the Case-Deaton study showing up. Medicalizing a class issue…

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR): “I don’t think we can just repeal Obamacare and say we’re going to get the answer two years from now” [NBC].

“Conservatives ready to support $1 trillion hole in the budget” [WaPo]. While WaPo and liberals cling to the The Good Ship Austerity as it sinks beneath the waves…

“Sanders, Democratic leaders announce ‘Day of Action’ to preempt health care cuts” [WaPo]. “The point man for the Jan. 15 rallies is Warren Gunnels, Sanders’s policy adviser.” So we’ll see how Gunnels does.

“Could a Privatized US Postal Service Follow on Cancelled Staples Contract?” [MarketWatch]. “In 2013, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) contracted with Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) to provide postal services in about 500 Staples stores. The reaction from the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) was swift: the union objected to staffing the in-store units with low-paid Staples employees rather than unionized APWU workers. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in November ordered the USPS to cancel its contract with Staples, and a postal service spokesman said on Thursday that the USPS would not challenge the order…. President-elect Donald Trump’s proposal to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure offers a glimpse of what may be on the table. While Trump has not specified how the infrastructure spending plan would work, the broad outline focuses on private financing with tax credits to offer incentives for investment. But it’s a short step from there to creating fee-based incentives such as toll roads and, one can imagine, a for-profit postal service…. Privatizing the USPS is probably well along the edges of the new administration’s radar screen, but it is almost certainly there. Keep an eye on Trump’s Twitter account; that’s where you’ll read about it first.”

“Ex-Christie aide Stepien, cited in bridge scandal, gets White House job” [Philadelphia Inquirer]. Classy gesture to Chris Christie, no?

“Over the next four years, a dozen people close to [Los Angeles real estate baron Tom] Barrack and Trump observed in interviews, Barrack is almost certain to reprise the middleman job he played during that West Side crisis — as an inimitable powerbroker to the set of elites desperate to control him, and as a calming guardrail to the man who doesn’t want to be controlled” [CNN]. “But friends and rivals alike note that Barrack, with a net worth of $1 billion and a network that includes Qatari princes and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, offers something that so few of the people battling for Trump’s ear today can match: trust that, as his financial peer, he looks out for no one but Trump.” Another billionaire!

* * *

After a whole lot of good advice about the speech, this from Nooners: “[B]ig battles with Congress are coming, not only with Democrats but, more consequentially, with Mr. Trump’s own party members on the Hill. Republicans in Congress tend to think like Speaker Paul Ryan on entitlement spending, trade, immigration, foreign affairs. Mr. Trump stands not with them but opposite them” [Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, “Make Inaugurals Dignified Again”]

2016 Post Mortem

Sanders: “Look, you can’t simply go around to wealthy people’s homes raising money and expect to win elections. You’ve got to go out and mix it up and be with ordinary people” [NPR]. Actually, Sanders is wrong. You can “simply go around to wealthy people’s homes raising money and expect to win elections.” It’s just that your expectations won’t be fulfilled.

“Hillary Clinton to speak Tuesday at new State Department museum bearing her name” [WaPo]. For “museum,” read “mausoleum.” Fixed it for ya.

“In their own words: The story of covering Election Night 2016” [CNN].

Realignment and Legitimacy

“A Constitutional Revolution” [Jacobin]. Not a constitutional convention, a “constituent assembly.”

“The center has fallen, and white nationalism is filling the vacuum” [Think Progress]. “supporters of pluralist democracy will need to assemble a mass movement that reaches into every community, every state capital, and every congressional office it can. The existing liberal infrastructure in most states is not what it once was….” Hirohito award material here, at the end of a turgid post that smears socialists as Strasserite allies, then claims Moral Mondays as the blueprint for an alternative. Not everybody is happy with that:

“Tom Perriello Is A Progressive? Who Says So? And Why?” [Down with Tyranny]. Virginia governor’s race…

Stats Watch

Employment Situation, December 2016: “The unemployment rate is very low though it did tick up 1 tenth to 4.7 percent. Keeping the rate down is low labor participation, at 62.7 percent with the prior month revised down 1 tenth to 62.6 percent… Job growth may be the new economic policy but wage inflation may be the risk.” [Econoday]. “But the big story is another outsized 0.4 percent rise in average hourly earnings, the second such gain in three months.” Outsized. But: “To sum this report up – employment is continuing to tread water – growing little better than the theoretical working population growth. The year-over-year rate of growth for employment continues to decline, but last month the employment was revised up making this month’s growth better than first glance. There was really nothing good or nothing really terrible – although construction declined” [Econintersect]. And but: Weekly hours “decelerating back to recession levels” [Mosler Economics]. See the chart:

Factory Orders, November 2016: “Factory orders fell 2.4 percent in November but were actually up 0.1 percent when excluding transportation equipment and a 94 percent monthly downswing in commercial aircraft orders” [Econoday]. “Monthly swings in aircraft aside, the factory sector appears to have ticked higher going into year-end, underscored by this morning’s surprising 17,000 rise in factory payrolls.” And: “According to the seasonally adjusted data, it was aircraft that cause the decline. The data in this series is noisy so I would rely on the unadjusted 3 month rolling averages which was unchanged but in expansion” [Econintersect].

International Trade, November 2016: “The nation’s trade deficit widened sharply in November.” Above consensus [Econoday]. “The import side shows a significant rise in oil imports… Other readings are little changed with capital goods imports ticking lower and underscoring the nation’s lack of investment in new equipment. And capital goods lead the downtick in exports.” But: “Trade was data was positive – with imports growing (good sign for the USA economy) and exports growing (good sign for global economy)” [Econintersect].

International Trade: “United States trade with its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico fell 3.6 percent to $93.2 billion on an annual basis in October, according to data issued by the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), which was released this week” [Logistics Management]. “The 3.6 percent October decline follows a 2.3 percent September drop and a 0.7 percent gain in August. BTS said that the total value of cross-border freight has declined each month annually in 21 of the last 22 months going back to January 2015, with the lone gain coming in August 2016.” And: “The trade deficit with China decreased to $30.5 billion in November, from $31.3 billion in November 2015. The deficit with China is a substantial portion of the overall deficit, but the deficit with China has been declining” [Calculated Risk].

Commodities: “Annual change in mining commodity prices: 2013–2016” (handy chart) [Mining.com].

Real Estate: “The industrial property market will continue its multi-year surge in 2017, fueled by the rapid growth of e-commerce, CBRE Group Inc., the Los Angeles-based real estate and logistics services giant, forecast today” [DC Velocity]. “As expected, e-commerce remains the industrial market’s primary growth engine. Citing forecasts from research firm Forrester, U.S. online sales will increase by 9.3 percent annually over the next five years to $523 billion a year. At that pace, e-commerce will generate roughly 40 million square feet of new demand for U.S. industrial space each year through 2020, based on the industry rule of thumb that each $1 billion of new online sales volume creates demand for another 1 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space, CBRE said.”

Real Estate: “The logistics warehousing market could be set for its biggest upheaval in years. Singapore’s Global Logistic Properties Ltd.’s decision to put the company up for sale means some $40 billion worth of properties in prime distribution markets may soon change hands” [Wall Street Journal] “[GLP] ranks only behind only real-estate investment trust Prologis Inc. in the U.S. But GLP’s biggest shareholder, Singapore sovereign-wealth fund GIC Pte. Ltd., is undertaking a strategic review, putting the industrial properties in play. Any sale would come at a boom time for warehousing: demand for sophisticated logistics operations has grown on the back of e-commerce expansion, and GLP has prime space in the U.S. and China, the fastest-growing online markets.”

Rail: “The question is: Is the year long contraction in rail over? It may be” [Econintersect]. Despite the weirdness of holiday numbers.

Political Risk: “President-elect Donald Trump has spent a great deal of time on Twitter attacking American companies for two reasons. One is overcharging the government for goods and services. The other is for manufacturing products overseas that he presumes can be made in the United States. In the first case, he believes he can save taxpayer dollars. In the second, he believes he can staunch the bleeding of U.S. jobs to other countries, or even bring some of them back” [247 Wall Street]. “Trump has already hit Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Ford, General Motors and Toyota. The following are 10 more huge U.S. public corporations Trump may well savage, based on his past tweets.” Walmart, Nike, Fiat Chrysler, Mattel, General Dynamics, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, Google. Trump will never whack Fiat. They manufacture our money [rimshot. laughter].

Political Risk: “Gross Says Trump Targeting Companies Reminiscent of Mussolini” [Bloomberg]. Or JFK jawboning.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 70 Greed (previous close: 70, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 59 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jan 6 at 1:54pm. Still a snooze fest…

Our Famously Free Press

“VIEWFINDER: PETER CRABTREE” [Daily Yonder]. “In 2015, photographer Peter Crabtree drove coast-to-coast-to-coast, documenting an institution that lies at the heart of many — if not most — small cities: the small-town newspaper. He came home with a portfolio full of these unique places and the characters that inhabit them.” This sounds a lot like Chris Arnade’s project. One more like this and we’d have a genre. (James Fallows doesn’t count; he’s flying a plane.) Reminds me of Bernie’s “America,” the campaign ad that — follow me closely here, it’s amazing — made people happiest. Here it is again:

(See NC commentary on the ad here.)

News of the Wired

“Complexity Theory Problem Strikes Back” [Quanta Magazine]. “The theoretical computer scientist László Babai has retracted a claim that amazed the computer science community when he made it just over a year ago. In November 2015, he announced that he had come up with a “quasi-polynomial” algorithm for graph isomorphism, one of the most famous problems in theoretical computer science. While Babai’s result has not collapsed completely — computer scientists still consider it a breakthrough — its central claim has been found, after a year of close scrutiny, to contain a subtle error.” His algorithm is still an improvement, however.

“[A] team of physicists led by Robert Wolkow from the University of Alberta have now discovered the precise atomic structure that gives rise to NDR. Furthermore, by accounting for the particular rules quantum mechanics enforces for electron flow through a single atom, Wolkow’s colleague, theoretical physicist Joseph Maciejko, has succeeded in accounting for the at-first perplexing reduction in current with increasing voltage. These results point the way to practical and lucrative applications in everyday electronics such as phones and computers.” [Science].

* * *

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 (EU):

Hexalectris spicata_crested coral root, Leon Sinks, FL. No snow in Florida yet!

Readers, I’ve gotten more plant images, but I can always use just a few more; having enough Plantidotes is a great angst deflator. Plants with snow and/or ice are fine!

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. craazyboy

          Nigger enough to mount a Million Man March.

          [he types, realizing there is no beer in the fridge. That always happens at the worst possible time.]

      1. jawbone

        In all the discussions of “hacking” affecting the election, where are the mentions of Comey’s neat little turd drop just before the election?

    1. Waldenpond

      Report is being ridiculed…. focuses on RT, makes the same assertions multiple times again with no evidence.

      It is too bizarre, there are air quoted criticisms of RT ‘ruling class’ and ‘take back’.

      It’s embarrassing. If someone was sitting across from you saying these things, you would go grab the local activities flyer and start checking for exits.

      1. Waldenpond

        It’s painful to read. Very juvenile assertions. The response was ‘Russia hacked the election’ and after a few hours the Clintonistas are left with trying to offer up excuses for why the report is not that bad. Geez. I expect some Clintonista meltdowns.. I wonder if Daou had seen this joke ‘report’ yesterday and that was why he lost it.

        1. craazyboy

          Ok. So today we learned that RT is short for “Russia Times”. That’s pretty sneaky.

          But based on this Washington’s Blog post,


          I found it much more interesting to learn what CloudStrike stands for:
          The FBI instead relied on the assessment from a third-party security company called CrowdStrike.
          As first reported by George Eliason, CrowdStrike’s Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder Dimitri Alperovitch – who wrote the CrowdStrike reports allegedly linking Russia to the Democratic party emails published by Wikileaks – is a fellow at the Atlantic Council … an organization associated with Ukraine, and whose main policy goal seems to stir up a confrontation with Russia. [1].


          Dmitri Alperovitch is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

          The connection between Alperovitch and the Atlantic Council has gone largely unremarked upon, but it is relevant given that the Atlantic Council—which is funded in part by the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk—has been among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia. As I pointed out in the pages of The Nation in November, the Atlantic Council has spent the past several years producing some of the most virulent specimens of the new Cold War propaganda.

          The Atlantic Council is also funded by the U.S. military and the largest defense contractors, including:
          United States Army
          United States Navy
          United States Air Force
          United States Marines
          Lockheed Martin
          Northrop Grumman

          Course this latest report was from one or more of our other 16 intelligence agencies, whom may very well have independent and impartial unnamed secret sources and also globally omniscient realtime iTubes traffic monitoring technology. hahaha.

          1. Procopius

            Ah. After seeing the initial report from Buzzfeed and then the response from the FBI, I was left wondering why the FBI didn’t just say, “We are unable to verify the DNC’s contention, based on a report from a third party, that the intrusion occurred.” But why would Comey be motivated to support Clinton/Obama’s phony claim? He sure had no qualms about cutting her feet out from under her, which surely went against Obama’s preferences, and therefore her claims from the last four years of Russian belligerence. It’s all too damned complicated.

    2. sgt_doom

      The same way “we” went to war with North Vietnam over fake charges, the same way “we” almost went to war with Egypt over fake charges (the attack on the USS Liberty by the Johnson-instigated Israeli Air Force, which points to Adm. John McCain as a war criminal under Articles 99 and 108 of the UCMJ).

  1. Altandmain

    I think that the Democratic Establishment is in denial about the implications of what happened in November. You can see that in the Think Progress article.

    The sad thing is that the American people see through Clinton and the lies that she espoused. They see through the Democratic Establishment. A too pro Wall Street agenda is simply impossible to disguise.

    Behind the scenes, I strongly suspect that they know the real cases of their defeat. They just don’t want to admit it because it would mean serving the people and not the rich.

    1. allan

      In reaction to Sanders’ statement, Clintonista Peter Daou had an epic meltdown on Twitter today.
      His rant and the comments that it elicited on both sides show how damaged the party is.
      The Democratic establishment and their camp followers are completely unwilling to acknowledge their failures,
      and they seem to be quite happy to take the party down.
      Le parti, c’est moi.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I imagine Democrats expected a greater rally around the flag reaction after Hillary lost and are dealing with the fallout of people who voted Dem out of fear simply being done. Lesser Dems won’t enjoy Hillary and Obama’s celebrity or blind loyalty.

        The fight against the GOP will require sustained efforts of genuinely optimistic platforms and people dedicated to accomplishing change (being paid is okay) not the efforts of people looking to cash in on economic disruption models such as Uber.

      2. Anon

        No one has yet to give me a compelling reason as to why I should vote Democrat in this cycle or even in future cycles*. Incrementalism means bread in the past, and crumbs in the future, but no slices of bread today.

        Apparently, his big gripe is that even though everyone knew that she gave speeches for large sums of money, we’re supposed to ignore that money can influence. If Ds bought Bernie’s act, Ds would accomplish the following:

        1. Suck less (as noted by Lambert)
        2. Not be Republican-Lite (noted by Yves and Lambert)
        3. Have real, tangible benefits to offer people and not the crendetialism cluster-fack that passes for policy today.

        *This is all liable to change if Tulsi runs in 2020 or 2024.

      3. EndOfTheWorld

        I expect the Democratic Party to dissolve completely—-go the way of the Whig Party, once a major party but now extinct. The Republicans, once they realize they have no choice but to rally around The Donald, will become even more dominant, IMHO. The dems failed when they failed to accept Bernie as their leader—that would have been their salvation. They have been running on lies, obfuscation, thievery, etc. so long that they don’t know anything else. It’s the only tune in their repertoire. Their last strongholds are the big cites. These will go down in flames and the Democratic Party will go along with them.

      4. Vatch

        The Clinton enthusiasts are wasting energy that needs to be used in opposition to Trump’s most offensive cabinet level nominations. Fossil Fuel Stooge Scott Pruitt could become EPA Director, Medicare Privatization Advocate Tom Price could become Secretary of HHS, and Parasitic Serial Forecloser Steven Mnuchin could become Treasury Secretary. These people need to be prevented from becoming leaders in the Trump administration.

        That the Clinton supporters allow themselves to be so distracted by something that Bernie Sanders said proves that they really are out of touch.

      5. Tigerlily

        Daou’s thesis is interesting: he’s basically blaming Bernie for Hillary’s loss because he had the audacity to criticize her! It seems to me that not that long ago it was taken for granted that political rivals would try to undermine each other’s credibility with voters, but the Democratic nomenklatura is now so beholden to PC bromides that the very idea of opponents attacking each other has them running for the feinting couch.

        Soon we will have to abolish contested elections so that no candidate need experience the pain and humiliation of being rejected by the electorate.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          Actually, Bernie bent over backwards NOT to criticize HRC, and still almost beat her. Bernie would have won, IMHO, if he had actually taken her on regarding her multiple criminal offenses. She was a horrible candidate. I hope she goes to prison for a long time.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Not too long ago, Hillary was a battle tested open book who had faced scrutiny no other candidate has faced. Now, a senator from Vermont ruined her super sweet 16.

      6. HotFlash

        Just did a quick search of the twitter page, and also this page, and did not find the word “super delegate” anywhere. Maybe I am spelling it wrong?

        Rhetorical question: if arcane and arbitrary rules work for the winner of the primary, why do different, but also arcane and arbitrary rules not work for the winner of the general?

        Meanwhile, who is watching Trump, or Obama, for that matter?

    2. RabidGandhi

      Of course they ‘know the real causes of their defeat’: it was the Putin complicit press what done it:

      “You were accomplices in this,” Pelosi told those in attendance at her weekly press conference. “Every single day you reported there was an email that was embarrassing to the Clinton operation, without saying we know this because of a disruption by a foreign power of our election system. You knew that.”

      You knew that this [admittedly true information] was “embarrasing” to The Annointed One, but you printed it anyway, depriving the public of their right to remain in ignorance.

      Actually the Right to Ignorance is a brilliant reason to set up a private server to avoid FOIA….

    3. Linda

      “Behind the scenes, I strongly suspect that they know the real cases of their defeat.”

      Yes, they know – she was a lousy candidate. You hear it in remarks by many pundits, and establishment dems. Even comedians. Bill Maher said to his audience something like, “I know she’s not what you want, but…” In a begging tone. Asking them to please vote for her anyway.

      Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm who expected to be director of the Clinton transition, said something like “If you don’t like her for yourself, think of the children!” In a plaintive wail. Even David Axelrod, after the election, asked someone he was interviewing, an election consultant of some kind, roughly, “If you had been able to talk to her, do you think you could have helped her?” In a sad, wistful tone. He was speaking of her inability to connect with anyone.

      Those come immediately to mind, but the list goes on.

      It’s definitely out there and everyone knows.

      1. Mike Mc

        Feh. She was a crummy candidate in 2008 which is why the inexperienced junior senator from IL whipped her in the primaries. Another eight years of ‘seasoning’ did nothing to improve her campaigning skills – if anything, she got worse.

        Been a registered Democrat since 1984; we need to start electing talented Democrats – if that’s not an oxymoron by now – at state and local levels so we have LEADERS ready to go for Senate, House and White House.

        I’m a Berniecrat and will pursue that path in 2017, but would like to see a groundswell of city/county/state Democratic candidates get rolling so we’re ready for 2018. If Trump and the GOP are half as bad as they look like right now, plenty of voters ready to turn out for something other than lies and con games.

      2. redleg

        Her putrid campaign raised over a billion dollars. I suspect they don’t think they failed at all, which why they are so bewildered by losing the election.

          1. Vatch

            Oops. Her campaign committee actually got $583,202,551 instead of $576,402,561. I read the wrong line in the summary. So she directly raised MORE money than Trump and Sanders combined.

            1. Pat

              So she only set half a billion dollars on fire…(although a couple of private jet companies and various media outlets probably made out like bandits).
              Good to know.

              Although I’m still not sure with the various super pacs, what the DNC threw in and everything else we can’t say it was close to a billion.

              1. Vatch

                Well, we do know about super PAC donations that got the amount close to $800 million (see the Open Secrets article). So I definitely agree, her take was close to a billion.

    4. clarky90

      I blame the grown ups. The DNC is on a suger high! NO Sugar! Reasonable, and early bedtime, rigorously enforced would also help. Responding positively to tempertantrums only reenforces DNC bad behavior. Speaking as a parent and GPa.

    5. Montanamaven

      The comments on the Think Progress piece were by and large negative about the article and its lumping of nationalists with white supremacists. As one guy pointed out, being a nationalist was putting a nation before global institutions like the WTO and the IMF and trade deals like NAFTA and TPP not about creating a white nation. People in flyover country are pretty tired of first being ignored and now being lectured to.

    6. sgt_doom

      And some of us have never forgotten the Clinton Extraordinary Rendition Program, created in 1995, and originally used to kidnap pro-democracy Muslim activists for transport back to Egypt and Libya for torture and death!

      And others of us recall the suspicious fact that Wade Rodham was the uncle Hillary Clinton never mentions: Wade was a US Secret Service agent and in the presidential detail involved with President John F. Kennedy.

      Now that’s odd . . . .

    7. LT

      The Democratic Party wants people to believe that any American that doesn’t vote for them is not thinking for themselves.
      That they have “shit don’t stink” policies that people see and feel the effects of…no Russian influence needed.
      It’s propaganda ultimately aimed at the youngest (that haven’y LIVED their BS) or those who don’t pay attention.
      And it’s all they have to attack any movements that will challenge them as they are out on the fringes.

      Not to mention all those pundits and careerists who refuse to give up the neoliberal ghost and are trying to save face to be hired another day.

      Who benefits from a war with Russia?
      Not you or me.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        9/11 was 15 years ago. The youngest voters were three. They’ve lived it their whole lives.

  2. timbers

    Has anyone else noticed the Orwellian irony of our intelligence agencies apparently leaking top secret intelligence reports to the media regarding alleged Russian hacking of non top secret information?

    The information is so Top Secret the whole world knows about it.

    Are we supposed to not laugh?

    1. Anne

      Well, if you’re going to have a campaign that appears to be herding the people to a place where they will be okay with some kind of attack on Russia, how better to do that than let the media in on the fun? Take full advantage of their need to feel all special and insider-y, and ply them with the good meatballs and extra-jumbo shrimp: co-opt the crap out of them, in other words.

      And with local media affiliates just reading off the network teleprompter, pretty soon the disinformation is spreading faster than norovirus on a cruise ship, and there you go.

      Surprising that so few people remember this from the let’s-go-to-war-now crowd in the aftermath of 9/11 – maybe that’s because it’s just so much worse this time around.

      1. fresno dan

        January 6, 2017 at 2:41 pm

        I hope at the not for attribution presser, the shrimp come with a nice horseradish cocktail sauce that has some heat….and a nice chardonnay….because we just can’t treat our stenographers too well….

        ” the disinformation is spreading faster than norovirus on a cruise ship, ”
        that’s pretty rich too.

      2. jawbone

        Great metaphors! Let’s see if they can spread like…oh…”norovirus on a cruise ship.”

        I’m still stunned that the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) is being so utterly blatant in misinforming the public.

        Eschaton used to talk about “jouromalism.” Spreading faster than….

    2. foghorn longhorn

      The whole thing has a Spy v Spy
      Mad magazine feel to it.
      It is beyond bizarre.
      How did we get here?

      1. sgt_doom

        By allowing the Coup of 1963, when President Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, TX, where the mayor was the brother of the fired deputy director of the CIA, Gen. Charles Cabell (the mayor being Earle Cabell), while the deputy chief of the US Secret Service was Paul Paterni, who had served in the OSS with the future head of the CIA’s Counter Intel Group, James Jesus Angleton, and another CIA guy, Ray Rocca, and all three were commanded by Clifton Carter, future chief advisor to VIce President Johnson, with Carter’s brother being the deputy director of the CIA, Gen. Marshall Carter (whose future son would be the chairman of the board of State Street, one of the Big Four investment firms which are the majority shareholders in the majority of major corporations in North America and Europe).

        Meanwhile, the assistant deputy director at the CIA, Tracy Barnes, was a cousin to recently fired director, Allen Dulles. And the CIA man stationed in Dallas was J. (James) Walton Moore, who was in the FBI in the early 1940s (April/1940 to 1945) along with the Dallas FBI SAIC, J. Gordon Shanklin (1942 on . . .) and the CIA’s station chief in Italy, William Harvey (FBI: April/1940 to 1947).

        And the connections go on and on and on . . . . .

    3. fresno dan

      January 6, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      ” Has anyone else noticed the Orwellian irony of our intelligence agencies apparently leaking top secret intelligence reports to the media regarding alleged Russian hacking of non top secret information? ”
      NO, I hadn’t……BUT timbers – that is a great, GREAT point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      I see where Trump is doing something LOGICAL and asking for an investigation of who LEAKED such information. FUNNY how no one in the MSM thought to ask the question….

      “Trump’s skepticism of Russian hack gets a boost from some cyber pros” [McClatchy]. “‘There are good reasons in this case to be skeptical,’ said Jeffrey Carr, a Seattle-based analyst who runs an annual ‘Suits and Spooks’ cybersecurity conference outside Washington, D.C., each year. ‘Based on public evidence, nothing connects the attacks to the government of Russia.’…

      Trouble in MSM paradise? Seriously, we are seeing the greatest threat to civilian rule in my lifetime. The Washington Post cannot be looked upon as independent media, but worse than Pravda. And they are trying to supplant democratic rule and replace it with the MIC and plutocracy

      1. aletheia33

        where is our operative inside WaPo? we desperately need a report on what the hell is going on inside there.

        my new theory: silly valley boy bezos who probably doesn’t believe in the written word is trying to take control of the narrative. but he doesn’t know what a narrative is. hell, i don’t think he even knows the difference between a human and a machine …

        how are the leftover employees at WaPo who once knew how to write doing? why can’t he just get rid of them?

        what is our guy in there up to? we haven’t heard for days now.

        –supervisor, NC intelligence (real)

        1. Vatch

          where is our operative inside WaPo?

          Maybe he is trapped behind a pallet of merchandise in a giant Amazon.com warehouse. He’s fallen and he can’t get up! Nobody is able to take time to help him, because it would negatively affect their efficiency metrics.

    4. Waldenpond

      If I follow the story correctly, the corrupt and criminal Ds own statements (made at their private golf club) have been made public. The Ds investigated themselves with their own paid lackeys. The paid lackeys blame Russia, Russia, Russia. The Ds refuse to cooperate with an FBI investigation so the FBI uses the info/investigation done by the Ds and the Ds lackeys and the FBI comes up with Russia, Russia, Russia.

    5. Oregoncharles

      Once again: Trump will be their boss in a matter of days. They’re now in deep do-do. The only way they could prevent that is to kill him. Just imagine when that hits the fan…

  3. Waldenpond

    Addition to the New Cold War…. apparently there was some shrill responses to the counting of the ec votes. McGovern D (MA) Russia, Russia, Russia. Barbara Lee D (CA) Russia, Russia, Russia and Sheila Jackson Lee D (TX) Russia, Russia, Russia. Will all three be at the inauguration with the Clintons?

      1. Waldenpond

        People: Stop representing the 1%, represent the workers.
        Ds: Russia, Russia, Russia!
        People: Focus on policy that improves lives for the 99%!
        Ds: Russia, Russia, Russia!
        People: Stop grifting!
        Ds: Russia, Russia, Russia!

        I look at Ds as teenagers. If their lips are moving….

        1. Tvc15

          To your point Waldenpond, here is a Pelosi quote regarding her thoughts from an intelligence briefing that was included in an incendiary CNN article confirming the Russians are indeed coming.

          “Stunning in its conclusions and you will see some of it,” Pelosi said.

          Okay, sure Nancy whatever you say.

          And to timbers question up thread. Yes, I replaced my Bernie car magnet with a 1984 sticker after he endorsed the chosen one.

  4. Donald

    Apologies if this has already been linked and I have somehow missed it, but wikileaks has apparently dropped another bombshell. In this case, the complete audio tape of Kerry’s meeting with Syrian rebel representatives last fall. The NYT reported on it at the time, but if this latest claim is true they left out the juciest parts. In particular, Kerry says the US allowed ISIS to rise as a way of putting pressure on Assad and Russia entered the war because there was a danger ISIS would win.

    I just saw this today. No idea if it is genuine, but I guess we will find out or at least hear some heated denials if it gets widespread coverage. If it is genuine, the NYT’s behavior doesn’t reflect well on them. If it’s not genuine then I apologize, but I don’t know what to make of it yet. Maybe some of the rest of you know more about this than me.


    1. tgs

      Saw it and heard it on Twitter. Sounds genuine, and it is consistent with what we know about US policy in Syria and elsewhere – use ISIS, al Nusra etc., to advance our strategic interests. Of course it is far from clear how these kinds of policies advance the interest of any ordinary American.

      I hope Trump is alerted to this.

      1. fresno dan

        January 6, 2017 at 3:29 pm

        Before we were against Osama Bin Laden, we were for Osama Bin Laden (Afghanistan)….and maybe Obama didn’t get the memo to not look too hard to find Osama……in an “allied” country….

        Now, I don’t doubt the truth that the US would support ISIS in its desire to rule the world, but I am skeptical that Kerry would clearly state that. But we’ll see.

        1. tgs

          He doesn’t say that ‘we helped ISIS in its desire to rule the world’. He says, ‘we saw that ISIS was growing stronger, and we hoped that would bring Assad to the negotiating table. But Assad went to the Russians instead.’

          In other words, we had no problem with ISIS growing stronger as long as it suited our interests. Of course that ISIS was beheading people and murdering Syrian soldiers in brutal ways was something we could live with.

          1. fresno dan

            January 6, 2017 at 4:09 pm

            thanks. Still, that is pretty damn bad.
            But just the hubris and vanity – we in the US can just fine tune every revolution, every civil war, ever uprising to suit our own desires. How in the world does someone come to believe that???

            Oh, and I meant in the “US desire to rule the world”…
            And may ‘control’ or ‘manipulate’ is a better word than ‘rule’

          2. tgs

            The audio is genuine. Apparently it was posted some time back by both the NY Times and CNN, both of which edited out what Kerry said about IS.

          3. JTMcPhee

            Who is “we,” again? I don’t think people here were consulted or signed off on the strategy (sic)… and what part of any of this sh@t is “in the national interest,” yet another undefined term that is used in the DoD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/new_pubs/dictionary.pdf , rather “liberally,” without any kind of referent except by inference that it “means” whatever the Fokkers at 12 o’clock high get it into their little complicated pea-brains to do? With their oh-so-serious miens, and bland flat military prose style, and high-flying paeans to “security” and hegemony-by-other-names-and-means, and all those ribbons, my God…

            Of course all the idiocy is ‘baked in,; and there apparently is no way to undo all the rice-bowl “interests” and careerist and tribal incentives leading to Something Really Bad.

            Lambert notes that it took a year to “pre-position” the “assets” for the Iraq thing. It took maybe 12 years to really get things ready for that other inevitable folly of our Rulers, WW I — for context, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlieffen_Plan

            I’ve started having that recurring nightmare again, one of the set that is part of my “service legacy” from Vietnam — the one where I at my present age and decrepitude get a draft notice and call-up letter and the MPs come and get me and drag me off to Ft. Leonard Wood and I only have a field jacket left, of the gear issued to me by the Army, so I am ‘out of uniform” and trying to do a million pushups, and at my sad age I am going to be assigned to a mechanized infantry brigade and off to fokking idiotic War, The Racket, again, and I say “Wait,I did my time, I have a DD-214, honorable discharge, not qualified for further service, and the letter saying I am too old even for unready reserve any more,” and the sergeant says “Shut up and fall in, soldier!” …

            Who can fokking care, any more? It all just happens…

            1. Ancient1

              I remember WWII. It was a necessary war for our nation’s and the world’s beliefs and the survival of those beliefs. It was our last, honest battle, all the rest were false, but we shed our youth and our blood for basically nothing of real value. I no longer understand. The leaders of our country are now leading us along the same paths we have trod before. It is time for the ordinary, Americans to rise us and say, “No More”. Who are we as a country! What have we allowed this country to become.? This dark state within our state needs to be destroyed. Or.What?

              1. JTMcPhee

                Have you read “Catch-22”?

                And I have to challenge the notion that “we,” taking “we” to mean what Hillary called the “deplorables,” that include soccer moms and cops and school teachers and the kinds of fellow citizens you can see on “Jerry Springer” and all those Youtube videos where the punch line of the old joke about ‘What’s a redneck’s last words?” “HOLD MAH BEER AN’ WATCH THIS!” and working people generally, have “allowed” the country (founded on looting and killing in the first place of course, and an imperial dream from the beginning) to become what “it” is — a lot of very subtle people, with all kinds of Bernaysian tricks up their sleeves, have seduced us and much of the rest of the world, into a combusto-consumption political economy, where all transactions with any power in them are conducted in “money.”

                And yes, the Rulers, who are “ours” only by linguistic convention, are leading us, driving us, eating us like ants eat the aphids they “herd” when they have a taste for some protein to go with the nectar they extract.

                My suspicion is that there will eventually be some “tech” accident or invocation of Murphy’s Law, or some ardent Rapturist or “patriot,” who will find him or herself in a position to you know, do the “Or What? thing…

                For the time being, “we” are allowed to dialog about such things in this Safe Space we relish…

            2. VietnamVet

              I can’t count the number of times I’ve done a second tour in Vietnam in my dreams. Now nightmares are becoming reality. The only way to end the forever wars is to ally with Russia and China to eliminate the Islamic State. Secure borders. Rebuild sovereign States. Provide well-paying jobs. All contrary to the oligarchs’ looting that funds the Democratic Party. Instead, Russia is blamed rather than acknowledge their incompetence.

              1. JTMcPhee

                VV, what have they done to us? Even worse for me, I enlisted because I believed the stuff about “fight them there, or they will be on the California beaches…”

                Some personal medical experience: Vets with nightmares appear to get some relief from an older blood pressure medication called Prazosin. It helped me a lot — whether placebo or real effect, the worst of them stopped. Though now the Fokkers are at it again, I guess the awareness of the futility and horror of it all overtops the benefits of the med which has worked for several years now. http://www.recoveryonpurpose.com/upload/Prazosin%20for%20PTSD.pdf

                “It is well that war is so terrible — otherwise we should grow too fond of it.” Robert E. Lee, one of the slaughterhouse generals from the “War of Northern Aggression” that like everything else in the world has been Beernays’d into sick mythologies and shibboleths — Nothing is ever what it seems. http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/377.html

                I’ve mostly stopped checking the Youtube videos on the humdrum horrors of house to house in that sad sh!thole our Rulers (aided by the war-love of GUNmen and all that tribal stuff). So obvious what is wrong with the species, top to bottom.

                May you find peace, and UN disturbed sleep.

            3. OIFVet

              Ft. Lost in the Woods: the premier sh!thole in the Ozarks. Many of my nightmares take place inside the CDTF, with my gas mask turning to dust inside the gas chamber filled with VX while an id!ot on a lawn in DC talks about America the Exceptional and Peace on Earth through more wars. My skin crawls every time I remember the two hours I spent inside that chamber of horrors.

      2. JustAnObserver

        Same tactic going all the way back to using/arming/training Bin Laden and the Afghan jihadis to give the – then – USSR its Vietnam moment.

        Remind me, again, how well that turned out ?

        Would be interesting to list other examples, pre Afghanistan, of the US using `my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ and getting severe blowback as a result. I was thinking of the anti-Mossadeq coup in Iran in the 1950s but the blowback there was a long time in coming – 1979.

        1. fresno dan

          January 6, 2017 at 3:59 pm

          ” I was thinking of the anti-Mossadeq coup in Iran in the 1950s but the blowback there was a long time in coming – 1979 ”
          It was a long time coming, but what a blowback! And yet, the people who pull the strings behind the scenes don’t give a whit that it harms the interests of the vast majority of Americans….

          1. JTMcPhee

            “the interests of a vast majority of Americans” does not equal “national interest.” Not even close.

  5. L

    The analysis of the Republican Study Group’s proposal (here) is interesting. The kicker is clearly in this section:

    The value of the proposed deduction in the AHCRA would be inversely related to income, as all deductions are. A millionaire in the 39.6 percent tax bracket would receive almost $3,000 in income tax reductions for purchasing individual coverage and over $8,000 for purchasing family coverage. An individual in the 15 percent bracket would receive a maximum of $1,125 in tax reduction for an individual or $3,075 for a family. An individual without earned income would get no help at all. All individuals who had income subject to payroll tax would additionally receive a reduction in their payroll taxes (The payroll tax reductions would presumably reduce the funding of the Medicare and Social Security trust funds.)

    Most individuals with low incomes would not be able to afford coverage with this level of assistance. Moreover, low-income individuals would not have the capital to pay premiums for health insurance until they realized the deduction at tax filing time. Finally, they would get no help with cost sharing unless they had enough money to save through an HSA.

    The analysis also notes that using even a narrow definition of “preexisting condition” that it covers 23% of Americans (61 million people). A broader definition (such as an Insurance company looking to save money might use) gets up to 51%. Losing that, would mean losing everything.

  6. jgordon

    With regards to no snow in Florida, it’s been very warm this year. In fact, I don’t think we’ve had a cold day yet. Sad that we’ll all be under radioactive water in a few years, but that’s just how things go.

  7. Jim Haygood

    Bring on the sleaze:

    A bill was introduced Friday to delay a rule that would force new standards on anyone offering investment advice on retirement accounts.

    The bill, by Rep. Joe Wilson, a Republican from South Carolina, would delay for two years the effective date. In a press release, Wilson said the bill would give Congress and President-elect Donald Trump more time to reevaluate it.

    The two-page legislation is backed by powerful financial bodies, including the American Council of Life Insurers, the Financial Services Roundtable and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

    Financial groups have pushed back against the law, which is set to be implemented in April.


    The purpose of this bill is to allow advisers and brokers who don’t owe their clients a fiduciary duty, to continue selling them high-commission products which a fiduciary could not responsibly recommend.

    From Wall Street’s POV, the great thing about rent boys like Joe Wilson is that they work so cheap.

    1. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      January 6, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      …of the rentiers, by the rentiers, for the rentiers

      But real news would be legislation that actually benefits the common weal…..

      1. Jim Haygood

        The rule Wilson is trying to repeal was issued last year by the Department of Labor. DOL has opened a website for it, and there’s even a countdown clock (93 days, 6 hours!).


        So far, DOL’s rule applies only to retirement accounts. “Legislation for the common weal” would extend it to ALL brokerage and insurance accounts, completely abolishing the sleazy “suitability standard” where a broker who’s not a fiduciary can sell you a product for a 5% commission when the same product is available in another flavor with a 1% commission.

        If Wall Street and the insurance industry can’t make an honest living under a fiduciary standard, they really should close their doors. A business model based on screwing people with uncompetitive prices and commissions is not sustainable.

        Wilson’s bill is a huge F U to the American people. Let us hope that it offends Trump’s populist instincts. A guy who wears a red baseball cap should not sign a bill like this one.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Another cost of the Russianphobia is the real enemies of America, the Republicans and Wall Street, are salivating over squeezing the corpse of America.

        2. Arizona Slim

          Learn how to do your own investing. It’s not that hard.

          The financial industry tries to make it look complicated so you wouldn’t dare try it yourself. And that’s how they make tons of money.

          More info for DIY-ers at:


  8. alex morfesis

    Clinton to speak at privately funded museum with pavilion named after her gadafi dance…semi fake wapo news…the diplomacy center foundation is a privatized use of dc land tucked into a corner of flabby bottom and the national mall…$hillary is not even in the top ten of time in office as flabby bottom class president and she has one of now four pavilions named for her…Will it include the outfit muammar was wearing when he took his last breath or videos from his hair plug and plastic surgeon specialists…maybe the red shirt of alan kurdi…perhaps a replica of the white casket berta caceres was buried in…

    The most fun will obviously be the section on the wikileaks state dept cable leaks…oh wait…whats that…hacking theater…my my…seems $hillary had some knowledge about computer security in how she dealt with the state dept leaks…interesting how judicial watch has not pulled foia requests on her actions in late 2010 to show how she obtained information on computer security then…but her memory soon faded it seems…certainly it seems the fbi did not ask her about her amnesia in that weekend brunch after the tarmac meeting…imagine that…

    And there was that chest beating in december 2011 when she said the russian people deserve a full investigation of electoral fraud and manipulation when putin retained power after the elections there…

    And let us not forget some rubble from haiti at that exhibit…

    and the joy of going to washington dc and seeing a big exibit on the berlin wall…because that fall of the wall was some plot from flabby bottom where they used secret ancient alien technologies offered up by john podestas mothership to convince harald jaeger to not shoot and instead just open the gates…

    Well with enough money and time you can convert a german ww 2 plot to infiltrate america into a prayer breakfast and religious group that $hillary and other political friends met at to find “peace”

    Some days I really wish I did have an addictive personality so I could just drift off…

    Well there is always “bed time for bonzo” to help see things as they are

    1. polecat

      Will it have a ‘waxed’ replicant of the yellowed pant-suit, in a clear plexiglass ‘Empress Display Case’ ….. or will they put~in the real deal instead ?

        1. ambrit

          Appropriately, the “real” Empress will have no clothes. Maybe the curators can paint a yellow pantsuit on her. Either way, that display will have to be labelled, NSFW, or Not Safe For World.

          1. polecat

            Yeah ambrit, I agree …. eye bleach would need to be passed out to every viewer, Including Bill, as they passed by the blue-glazed Empress ! … and no, it’s one thing to body paint ,say, a beautiful, hot, Brazilian babe …. but the Ice~is Queen … no way !

            1. ambrit

              I dunno polecat. Check out the videos of that West Coast naked day parade, or the New York body painting contest. There’s a lot a creative artist can do with “saggy baggies” and, to be equal opportunity here, “pencil d—-d geeks” and “peanut sacks.”
              “Eye bleach?” When the public is already getting a full dose of “brain bleach” from the MSM all the time now?
              A new motto for NC: “We clean the doors of perception for all.”

  9. Jim Haygood

    Oh, for Dog’s sake. They just can’t stop:

    Hillary Clinton left open the possibility of running for mayor of New York City this year in a private conversation with a top Democrat, a well-placed source told the Daily News.

    Clinton, who is being pressed by many New York Dems to get back into the game by running for mayor, did not rule out challenging current City Hall occupant Mayor de Blasio in that conversation, the source said.


    The carpetbagger hopeful doesn’t even LIVE in NYC. Not that she wouldn’t try to finesse it by claiming she resides with Chelsea and Marc (who are changing their locks even as we speak — oh, the mother-in-law horror!).

    Republicans welcome the news, since Hillary’s candidacy would give them a good shot at adding New York City to their long list of R-party controlled state and local govts.

    Democrats seem determined to go “full seppuku” with the exuberantly corrupt Clintons.

    1. rueman

      I hope she does run. Would be a hilarious outcome for Mayor de Blasio who supported her over Sanders in the primary, and then had this happen to him. I do not follow New York politics, but from what I have read it sounds like he pulled an Obama — claimed to want to pursue change, and then once elected instead worked to protect the powerful and wealthy.

      1. Yves Smith

        Except then we have Clinton, who has demonstrated that she can’t even run a campaign running the third biggest budget in the US. And we still have the Clintons in politics. I for one will have to leave NYC if she wins.

    2. Pat

      That is interesting on so many levels.
      1.) They know they need to hold elected office somewhere to remain relevant.
      2.) Throwing long term aides/supporter under the bus is no problem – see de Blasio.
      3.) But for me the big question is why Mayor? Why not Governor?

      Let’s see Mayor is up this year, Governor next. Indicates that they think winning in NYC is a sure thing (probably correct), but do they think that the state is not (she lost outside most of NYC, part of Long Island and the urban areas upstate, some places overwhelmingly). Or is it that they know that Cuomo fights as dirty or dirtier than they do? Questions I have questions.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The Clintons are mad at Deblasio for taking too long to endorse them, and Mrs. Deblasio noted her kids loved Sanders. Deblasio was a Clinton staffer in the 90’s. The Clintons want revenge for presumed slights. They will try to get revenge any way they can. They are vile people.

      2. PKMKII

        TPTB in the Democratic Party have no qualms about throwing de Blasio under the bus. Hizzoner of NYC is largely regarded as a political dead-end, but at 70 it’s not like Clinton would have to worry about that. Cuomo, on the other hand, is seen, and is actively positioning himself, to be the front runner for the Democratic presidential candidacy in 2020 (RETCH!). His Second Avenue Subwat opening speech may as well have been his candidacy announcement, not to mention bringing out the Bern-man for his free SUNY/CUNY plan. So Clinton would bide her time in city hall until Cuomo runs and then makes a stab for Albany, the only capital city in America as corrupt as she is.

        1. ambrit

          Don’t take on airs about Albany corruption there Mark II. Our state capitol, Jackson, is just as corrupt, albeit in a Sothron way. Consider where the Clintons came from. The lesson there is that the diligent Southern muckraker need only turn over the nearest Little Rock and watch what comes slithering, creeping and crawling out.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Let us not leave Tallahassee and Chicago off the list of “possibly most corrupt,” or the capital of my natal state, Joisey… Minute degrees of difference, at best — like different flavors of rat poison…

    1. polecat

      WTF ! … It must be something in the water there in D.C. …

      …… Congress Clowns on Swamp Gas ……

  10. Jim Haygood

    Although the Dow Industrials couldn’t get above 19,999.63 intraday (demonstrating a powerful quirk of the human mind concerning round numbers), the S&P 500 set a new record high of 2,277.

    Likewise the Nasdaq Composite reached a new record of 5,521 while the Nasdaq 100 index of leading large stocks reached 5,007, its first close above the 5,000 round number.

    Small stocks as measured by the Russell 2000 lagged, not reaching a record today.

    1. fresno dan

      January 6, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Because the dems have been SOOOOOOOOOOOO successful in the recent past running the wife of a former president??????????????

      1. ambrit

        The DNC might have a chance if the alt-right rumour that MO is really a man is even perceptually true. What a potential Identity Politics coup!

    2. Arizona Slim

      Have been visiting friends and family in PA.

      Just spoke with a longtime Democratic professional woman. Was she canvassed during the Clinton for POTUS campaign? Nope. Not once.

      She couldn’t understand why. After all, the Clintonistas were supposed to win with women like her on their side.

      1. lambert strether

        So very many reports just like this, in the press and personally. An amazingly incompetent and arrogant campaign.

    3. Pat

      Wow, Booker must be devastated. There is not much bigger a sign that the DNC regulars went into a holding mode in 2008 and thought everything was settled so they just stopped building the brand. I mean it was Hillary in 2016 and there would be 8 years to figure out Hillary’s successor. They honestly have no clue about possible future candidates. Think about it, everyone is essentially in their 70’s – Hillary, Bernie, even the acceptable alternative to Clinton Uncle Joe Biden.

      And Ed doesn’t bother to listen to anyone, Michelle has been pretty clear that she is NOT interested.

  11. fresno dan

    “The Daily 202: Donald Trump isolates himself by living in a state of denial on Russia” [WaPo].

    “The Daily 202: Washington Post isolates itself by living in a state of denial on Hacking” [WaPo].

  12. tgs

    There is a partial copy of the new intel report on Russia’s stealing of the election over at ZH. No evidence is given unless you think prefacing a claim with, ‘we are very confidant’ is evidence. I did like this:

    Russian Propaganda Efforts. Russia’s state-run propaganda machine—comprised of its domestic media apparatus, outlets targeting global audiences such as RT and Sputnik, and a network of quasi-government trolls—contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences. State-owned Russian media made increasingly favorable comments about President-elect Trump as the 2016 US general and primary election campaigns progressed while consistently offering negative coverage of Secretary Clinton.

    How many Trump voters, do you think, watch RT an Sputnik? I do wonder, given propornot what they mean by, a network of quasi-government trolls

    And how many people learned to hate Hillary because of the Russian media?

    1. Waldenpond

      The report actually blames media done in the Russian language.
      The report calls RT propaganda and then compares it to CNN, incorrectly.
      The sourcing section includes social media.
      The disclaimer at the end…High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty, such judgments may be wrong.

      Social media? trolls? potential presidency? As if she was entitled and deprived of her due.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Don’t misunderestimate the Putin Prowess. Not only is Vladdie able to get Trump viewers to watch RT, but according to the report he was farshighted enough to be mind-melding them to vote Trump as early as 2012:

      *RT introduced two new shows — “Breaking the Set” on 4 September and “Truthseeker”
      on 2 November — both overwhelmingly focused on criticism of US and Western governments as well as the promotion of radical discontent.

      *From August to November 2012, RT ran numerous reports on alleged US election fraud and voting machine vulnerabilities, contending that US election results cannot be trusted and do not reflect the popular will.

      *In an effort to highlight the alleged “lack of democracy” in the United States, RT broadcast, hosted, and advertised thirdparty candidate debates and ran reporting supportive of the political agenda of these candidates. The RT hosts asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a “sham.”

      Seriously, any of these accusations (RT “criticises US and Western governments”, argues US “lacks democracy”, claims US elections “do not reflect popular will”…) are all levelled here on a daily basis, thus making crystal clear the mentality that could lead to the assault on NC and similar sites. It would all be comical if we were not talking about nuclear armed powers and full fledged Macarthyite persecutors.

      1. fresno dan

        January 6, 2017 at 7:06 pm

        ‘ mind-melding them to vote Bush as early as 2000:
        We got to go all the way down the rabbit hole: Putin got Dubya elected….

        NOW, we gotta figure out what Putin, when he was just a sperm, was up to….

      2. Brad

        “Breaking the Set” was a left wing show featuring our very own Oaktown girl Abby Martin. Hardly a typical Trump demographic.

  13. dcblogger

    the DNC would have been out of its mind to let the FBI anywhere near their servers. the FBI would have instantly gone on a fishing expedition. that is what they are like.

    1. hunkerdown

      If they’re a criminal racket as the emails suggest, why not? Private corporations that present themselves as public organs of government ought to be audited by the public, just like this.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘Private corporations that present themselves as public organs of government ought to be audited by the public.’

        J-Yel wishes you would stop talking that way. :-(

      1. Pat

        We huffed and we puffed and we blew that house down. Not that it was that hard, I mean when the target’s foundation is essentially broken stilts held together with gift wrap it doesn’t take much lung power to ‘undermine’ it.

    1. OIFVet

      And all along I thought that what undermined 0care were the overpriced insurance-like policies with narrow networks and unaffordable deductibles, the government forcing people to buy them, and the buggy site. How silly of me.

      1. ambrit

        That and the fact that, if my lying eyes can believe a local job advert, General Dynamic is paying the desk jockeys who man their Obamacare “help line” $9.05 an hour to start. A young woman I know worked there two years ago. She said that she only took the job because GD promised cheap health insurance as a benefit. They evidently did, but structured the working calendar so that once the employees became eligible for unemployment, they churned the “talent pool” and cut manpower drastically after the enrollment period was up. I noticed something similar evidenced by the number of cars in the employee parking lot. It was full to overflowing during enrollment season, and then the tumbleweeds would roll through an almost empty lot after.
        So, a lot more than the website was “buggy” about O-care.

  14. Binky

    So. Much. Hillary. Butthurt. Over. and over. and over. Cute malaprops. Unsupported allegations. Repetition of 90s Republican black propaganda. So wicked!

    So many people have Trump envy and seemingly so few have rational perspectives. It’s going to be very interesting when Trump does what some people claim Hillary was going to do and ugliness breaks out all over. Then it will be the moral purist argument, the narrative about hitting rock bottom, and all the other rationalizations.
    Is this the best analysis and reasoning available?
    Is it virtue signalling?
    What is the value added?
    Who didn’t already know democratic republics were corrupt as they started because people are corrupt?
    Will America be better off with a profusion of Newt Gingrich Dennis Hastert types running everything? That sure seems to be the next milestone.

    1. hunkerdown

      Are you implying that Hillary would have done any different? The point is to delegitimize and amputate the Democratic Party’s right wing and its loyal neoliberal aspirants, not to play bunting games with right-wingers. The best way to get right-wingers off the stage is to throw shoes at them and refuse to listen to their corporate prattle.

      This is about your Party and its arrogance being illegitimate and no longer an option until the whole place is cleaned from top to bottom of right-wingers. Transference is unwelcome and unhelpful in this endeavor.

  15. chuck roast

    Do you really need to post these tweets?!
    I have a few functioning brain cells left, and I don’t care to waste them on instant idiocy.

    1. Jim Haygood

      At that price, you could recover the cost of a privacy glass license plate cover in about two weeks.

      Switch it to opaque and cruise on through. :-)

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Guess who was governor when these public-private partnerships were made! It wasn’t Terry Mac, Taliban Bob, or Mark Warner.

      I would say it’s more of a neo liberal hell than a libertarian hell which wouldn’t have roads.

  16. LT


    That rag is still trying to promote over 200 years of Oligarchy/Plutocracy as “democracy…”

    And they wonder where the “crisis of legitamcy” comes from.

  17. chuck roast

    Yeah, I try not to get sucked into the Twitter BS too, but NC keeps givin’ me Twitter facials.

    1. Jay M

      The blitzkreig of Konigsberg should be a cakewalk for 0bama. Once we seize the valuable amber deposits everyone will forget about the fact that Berlin and Paris were flattened.

  18. fresno dan


    The public document released today about Russian hacking

    Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression
    of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these
    activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort
    compared to previous operations.
    We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US
    presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process,
    denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess
    Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We
    have high confidence in these judgments.

    Now we know….FOX news is composed solely of Russian stooges….its always the one you least suspect.

    And the bailout of the banks, and rising inequality, stagnant wages, DNC voter manipulation re Bernie Sanders, the two party branded duopoly of being just for the 1% etc, etc, has nothing to do with undermining faith in the US democratic process – and if you think otherwise your a dirty rotten commie. ALL RUSSIA ALL the time cause all our problems….except for the ones caused by Iran…. and Syria….and North Korea…..and every other place we’re droning the hell out of …..
    And yeah, this has been going on for years, but it is sheer coincidence that we’re making a big stink when the dem nominee loses….NOPE…..no connection at all…..

    1. craazyboy

      Don’t forget that Russian Weather Control Machine. Drought, Climate Change and they’re making Santa move to the South Pole. Godless Commie Bastards.

  19. LT

    The Daily Beast is yukking it up about “C-list” celebrities attending the inaugeration.
    They should be sure to get plenty of photos and ink on those A-listers (Obamas and Clintons) smoozing with him.

  20. Jay M

    WP magazine cover featuring coverage of the woman’s march on DC using the Mars symbol, funny
    maybe they were confused by the “I’m with her” symbol
    Electoral College certified by Congress. Got to get on amending the Constitution, stat

  21. Katharine

    Thanks to those who dug into the (gasp! shocking!) report to look for actual evidence. I had gotten the impression from news articles there was none but appreciate your confirmation.

    Meanwhile, I see there is lunacy coming from another angle too:


    All the politically appointed ambassadors (about 30% of the 188 total) must be out of their residences in two weeks, no exceptions. (After all, who needs ambassadors in major countries? Aren’t all those heads of state on Twitter?)

    Man, we are in for a wild ride.

    1. hunkerdown

      If nothing else, it keeps them from having much time to do much mischief. The serious ambassadorships are handled by professional diplomats anyway, so it’s not as big a deal.

  22. kimsarah

    Will somebody please find a relevant job for Rachel somewhere?
    Perhaps Fox News. Roger Ailles is looking for a new assistant.

  23. Oregoncharles

    ” Trump will never whack Fiat. They manufacture our money [rimshot. laughter].”

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