2:00PM Water Cooler 3/21/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


“[P]rogressive Democrats on Capitol Hill have been calling on Trump to suspend procurement policies until they can be renegotiated, with Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Jeff Merkley arguing last week that without action, ‘every government contract [the] administration signs risks sending hardworking Americans’ tax dollars abroad'” [Politico]. First, where the heck where the Democrats on this when they controlled the Executive branch? Second, every time anybody deploys the “hardworking Americans” or the “tax dollars” trope I want to gag, and the effective isn’t additive, but multiplicative.

“On Unhappy Fifth Anniversary of U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Deficit With Korea Has Doubled as U.S. Exports Fell, Imports Soared” [Public Citizen]. “President Donald Trump has been conspicuously silent about the U.S.- Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) since taking office, so whether the administration comments on the pact’s March 15 fifth anniversary is being closely watched. Trump spotlighted the ‘jobkilling trade deal with South Korea” in his nomination acceptance speech and on the stump, where he also often noted “this deal doubled our trade deficit with South Korea and destroyed nearly 100,000 American jobs.’ Trump’s approach to the pact was called into question when he appointed one of the Korea FTA’s most persistent promoters, Andrew Quinn, to be special assistant to the president for international trade, investment and development.”


New Cold War

“Full transcript: FBI Director James Comey testifies on Russian interference in 2016 election” [WaPo].

“Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as ‘bots,’ to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, these sources [anonymous Federal investigators] said” [McClatchy]. “The investigation of the bot-engineered traffic, which appears to be in its early stages, is being driven by the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, whose inquiries rarely result in criminal charges and whose main task has been to reconstruct the nature of the Kremlin’s cyber attack and determine ways to prevent another.”

“The Domestic Conspiracy That Gave Trump The Election Is In Plain Sight” [HuffPo]. Another theory emerges. I can’t comment on the substance, because I forgot my yellow waders, but this sentence stood out for me: “The effort to intimidate Comey into publicly commenting on the Clinton case—a win-win scenario for Trump, as either a comment from Comey or silence from Comey (the latter coupled with inaccurate, Hatch Act-violative leaks by the FBI, NYPD, and/or the Trump campaign) would sink Clinton—began…” So if anything Comey did would “sink Clinton,” is it barely possible the problem isn’t Comey?

Heatlh Care

“Trump to GOP critics of health care bill: ‘I’m gonna come after you'” [WaPo]. “‘I’m gonna come after you, but I know I won’t have to, because I know you’ll vote ‘yes,’ ‘ Trump said, according to several Republican lawmakers who attended the meeting. ‘Honestly, a loss is not acceptable, folks.'” Nobody seems to know if Trump swayed any votes, though.

“1 million more Americans would have health insurance with a clean repeal than with the Republican replacement plan, according to C.B.O. estimates” [Margot Sanger-Katz, New York Times]. This is funny, in a grim way, but the Republicans are trying to make a Republican plan (ObamaCare) worse, so what result did anyone expect other than absurdity?

“‘Disturbing.’ ‘Tragic.’ ‘Extraordinarily troubling.’ ‘Disconcerting.’ ‘ Sad'” [HuffPo]. “Those are just some of the words original architects of the Affordable Care Act used in interviews with The Huffington Post to describe the effort by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to speed through a bill to repeal major parts of the law and ‘replace’ it with a more meager set of health care reforms.” What’s disturbing, tragic, extraordinarly troubling, disconcerting, and sad is that the liberal Demicrats, even if they weren’t going to ram single payer through in 2009, could at least have given it “a seat at the table.” They didn’t even do that. So we had to wait eight more years — and thousands of deaths — for Sanders to do it. These clowns haven’t learned a thing.

“I spoke recently with about a dozen Americans from around the country who worry the rug is about to be pulled from under them. Some are old and some young; some quit jobs so they could care for family members; some retired early; others left corporate America to launch their own start-ups” [Catherine Rampell, WaPo]. “One thing they have in common: They believe politicians don’t appreciate how much anxiety the Obamacare-repeal debate is causing their families.” Fair enough, and makes the Democrat health care debacle in 2009 all the more shameful (assuming Establishment Democrats can feel shame).

Trump Transition

“Some Republican lawmakers appear to be reassessing whether to make changes to a surveillance law that allows broad snooping of Internet communications, citing concerns over the handling of classified intercepts after leaks of conversations between Russian officials and American associates of President Donald Trump” [Reuters]. “The law, known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, allows U.S. intelligence agencies to collect vast amounts of communications from foreigners, but often incidentally scoops up the communications of Americans. Until recently most Republicans have been quick to defend Section 702 and Congress had been expected to renew it without major changes before it expires at the end of the year.” Good. And who cares about the motive?

“California-Based Apparel Company Sues Ivanka Trump Brand for Conspiracy, Unfair Competition” [The Fashion Law]. “The case is Modern Appealing Clothing, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, vs. Ivanka Trump Marks, LLC, et al., CGC-17-557575.” Nuisance? For real?

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Democratic Donors Gather in D.C. to Plot the Resistance” [Daily Beast]. Decapitation complete, if it ever needed to be complete. “The chairs of the Democratic National Committee and the party’s House and Senate campaign arms will huddle with activists, operatives, and deep-pocketed Democratic financiers at a biannual conference hosted by the Democracy Alliance, a leading left-wing [ha ha] donor collaborative at Washington’s ritzy Mandarin Oriental hotel. Alliance-backed organizations… include the Center for American Progress, a liberal policy shop that has turned its 501(c)(4) arm into an anti-Trump “war room,” and Media Matters for America.” Ka-ching. I wonder if the conference had a theme? How about: “Big Bucks for Losers!”?

“Now Democrats are taking a surprise turn as stalwarts of resistance, and I’m again on the front lines. Only this time, the opposition is about small-d democratic principles, not reflexive partisanship. Democrats are standing up to the Trump administration’s dangerous impulses and wanton malfeasance. But a key test lies ahead: On Monday, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will raise his right hand before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democratic opposition must hold” [David Brock, Politico]. Given the contracts Brock surely has with #TheResistance, shouldn’t Politico have added “Advertisement” above this piece?

“When registered voters were asked whom they view as the leader of the Democratic Party, 40 percent said it has no leader” [The Hill]. “Fifteen percent named former President Obama as the party’s leader. Twelve percent said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has gone out of his way not to join the Democratic Party despite running for the its presidential nomination last year. Eleven percent view Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as the party’s leader, and 10 percent answered with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. On the question of who should be a Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, Sanders led the field, at 14 percent….”

“Donna Brazile Finally Admits Giving Hillary Clinton Debate Questions. Democrats Still Demand Unity” [H.A. Goodman]. Mistakes were made…

There was some question over whether Our Revolution would fund Green Party candidates:

Stats Watch

Chemical Activity Barometer: “Consumer, Business Confidence Reach Levels Not Seen in Decades; Optimism Reflected in Increased Chemical Industry Activity” [American Chemistry Council]. “In March, production-related indicators were positive, with U.S. exports improving. Equity prices and inventory indicators were also positive while product prices remained stable. Overall the barometer suggests accelerating gains in U.S. business activity through the fourth quarter.” And: “CAB has increased solidly over the last several months, and this suggests an increase in Industrial Production in 2017” [Calculated Risk].

Current Account, Q4 2016: “The oversized trade deficit in the fourth quarter was supposed to have fed a spike in the nation’s current account deficit which, at $112.4 billion vs a revised $116.0 billion in the third quarter, instead came in much smaller than expected” [Econoday]. “Cross-border financial flows made the difference as the surplus on primary income, at $61.5 billion, was $19.9 billion larger than the third quarter. The trade gap was in fact very large…”

Commmodities: “So called dry powder – money ready to be invested – for natural resources now total $187 billion. That’s double the tally at the end of 2011 mostly on the back of a sharp rise in energy-focused funds targeting North America with uncalled capital commitments” [Mining.com].

Retail: “Retailer shares have been unable to fully stabilize after sell-offs that accompanied their earnings for the 2016 holiday period. Some retailers shuttered stores. Others gave pessimistic guidance. The slide began in earnest again, as retail stocks got punished on Monday. Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS), Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M), Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) and Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWM) were among the largest losers in the S&P 500” [MarketWatch].

Retail: “U.S. retailers are focusing more than ever on their toughest inventory problem of all—too many stores. Once considered a competitive advantage, store footprints have become a burden for many chains as more shopping moves online, … adding to financial strains as the retailers try to place goods in right place to meet new consumer demands. Dwindling foot traffic and falling profit margins have forced many chains to pull back, with some second-tier retailers tumbling into bankruptcy while big department stores close hundreds of locations” [Wall Street Journal]. An optimist would predict a revival of the downtowns, if the malls die…

Shipping: “Freight shipments and expenditures both showed significant signs of improvement for the second straight month, according to the most recent edition of the Cass Freight Index Report from Cass Information Systems” [Logistics Management].

Shipping: “The global market for warehousing services is on pace to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 6 percent over the next five years, due to rising demand from the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and healthcare sectors, a report says” [DC Velocity]. If only warehouse jobs weren’t crapified…

Shipping: “The dry bulk downturn has been declared officially over for now and US-listed firms are back in expansion mode. During this week’s Capital Link event, many dry bulk executives were bullish based on the perception of improved supply-demand fundamentals” [Lloyd’s List].

The Bezzle: “[Marty Pichinson of Sherwood Partners]: ‘We’re seeing two to four [start-up] companies wind-down a week, which we’ve never seen before. I think more [investors] are taking the Sequoia Capital approach, meaning if something isn’t working, they’re moving on” [TechCrunch].

The Bezzle: “Filing Taxes Could Be Free and Simple. But H&R Block and Intuit Are Still Lobbying Against It” [Pro Publica].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 36 Fear Boy (previous close: 43, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 51 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 21 at 12:30pm. The call is coming from inside the house….


“Global warming and recurrent mass bleaching of corals” [Nature]. “The distinctive geographic footprints of recurrent bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef in 1998, 2002 and 2016 were determined by the spatial pattern of sea temperatures in each year.”

“Major impacts of climate change on deep-sea benthic ecosystems” [Elementa]. “The large fraction of the planet covered in deep waters guarantees that most carbon sequestration and significant nitrogen cycling in the ocean occurs here. Presently the ocean absorbs approximately 25% of industrial area CO2 emissions, and 93% of the heat; much of this absorption occurs in deep waters below 200 m (Levin and Le Bris, 2015). Non-market supporting services are provided by deep-sea ecosystems in the form of habitat provision, nursery grounds, trophic support, refugia, and biodiversity functions provided by assemblages on seamounts, coral and sponge reefs, banks, canyons, slopes, fjords and other settings.” An excellent, if sobering, review of the literature.

“Fracking led to more than 6,000 spills in 10 years, study finds” [Christian Science Monitor]. “researchers calculated that between 2 and 16 percent of wells will spill contaminated water, hydraulic fracturing fluids, or other substances every year, with the majority of incidents occurring in the first three years after a well becomes operational.”


“A new kind of doctor’s office could lead to much cheaper prescriptions” [Business Insiders]. “[Dr. John] Burrell runs a direct primary-care practice. Instead of accepting insurance for routine visits and drugs, these practices charge a monthly membership fee that covers most of what the average patient needs, including visits and drugs at much lower prices. Direct primary care is a small but fast-growing movement of pediatricians, family-medicine physicians, and internists who are opting for this different model.” Readers, do any of you have experience with this sort of practice?

Guillotine Watch

“A legal battle is brewing between Los Angeles-based celebrity event planner Mindy Weiss and [Washington A-listers Joan and Bernard Carl]. Weiss, who designed the Southampton ceremony — which the Carls acknowledge cost upward of a million dollars — is suing the couple for more than $340,000 in unpaid fees and expenses, plus $1.4 million in damages. The Carls claim that Weiss went on an unauthorized spending spree on their dime and is holding the bridal video hostage unless they pay her inflated bill” [WaPo (Kokuanani)]. I cannot forbear from quoting:

The mother of the bride commissioned monogrammed napkins for each place setting and a custom fabric for the tables and the flower girl’s dress. There was a beachfront rehearsal dinner. The reception included a specialty cocktail served in an ostrich eggshell; the after-parties offered a Calvados and cigar bar, plus hot chocolate and brownie stations.

A week later, the couple exchanged vows in a small candlelight ceremony in the 16th-century chapel at the family chateau in the Loire Valley, followed by hot-air ballooning the next morning.

“The public will be able to dine with Googlers at a planned new campus” [Recode]. “People will be able to walk through the middle of the building, where they can shop in retail stores and dine at cafes also frequented by Googlers.” Next, celebrity bus tours!

Class Warfare

“When Federal Reserve officials gathered last week to raise interest rates, they reviewed the data that says the economy is near “full employment.” That notion is laughable to millions of regular Americans. We all know, or at least observe, plenty of working-age males who could be working but are not. They don’t appear in the stats as unemployed unless they are ‘actively looking’ for work. Or they may count as ’employed’ because they spent an hour or two doing odd jobs that month. But for all practical purposes they’re unemployed, and someone else is supporting them” [John Mauldin, EconIntersect]. “[Nicholas] Eberstadt digs into the data and estimates that for every unemployed American male between ages 25–55, there are three more who are neither working nor looking for work. The number of those males presently in the labor force is down almost 4 percent since 2000. That’s about 5 million men who, for whatever reason, have dropped out of the labor force.”

“Atlantic City and Miami Beach: two takes on tackling the rising waters” [Guardian]. “Retreat isn’t on the agenda, but [in Miami] as in Atlantic City there’s an equity issue at play. The affluent can afford to raise their homes, lobby for sea walls and water pumps, and stay in a nice hotel if it all gets a bit much. Poorer residents are less able to do this, nor can they foot the bill for the work – Miami Beach has eye-watering average water bills of $350 a month in order to pay for the street work. Some people may have to leave if the costs mount further. Even some of the wealthier residents are buying insurance properties in areas of the mainland, farther from the coast. Valencia Gunder calls this phenomenon “climate gentrification”. Gunder is a nascent climate campaigner and resident of Liberty City, a Miami district known for its problems with crime and poverty.

“How human rights law has been used to guarantee corporations a ‘right to profit'” [The Conversation]. “There is a highly controversial principle in human rights law that allows corporations and other “legal persons” to apply for the same protections as real persons at human rights courts. This principle is made more controversial by the fact that profit-making corporations are as likely to be the authors of human rights violations as public authorities, often in precisely the same circumstances, involving precisely the same types of violations. But corporations cannot be held accountable for human rights violations. So, while corporations can be protected by human rights law, they can at the same time enjoy impunity for committing human rights violations.” Eesh. Who needs ISDS?!

News of the Wired

“CERN experiment discovers not one, but five new particles” [Science and Technologies Facilities Council].

“The 7 Best Selfie Sticks on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers” [New York Magazine]. News you can use!

* * *

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 (CB):

CB writes: “You’ve probably read Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire, with the chapter dedicated to the apple, in particular the making of hard cider, which in the 19C and before was a staple (and still is, in such enlightened places as northern Spain).” I have. In fact, Botany of Desire was the first Pollan book I read!

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.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Water Cooler on by .

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. Jim A.

    Nobody seems to know if Trump swayed any votes, though.

    Nonsense. Trump knows that he swayed those votes. Like many things that he knows however it is unclear whether what he knows has any resemblance to observable reality.

  2. John k

    Horrible pres. But he whipped lotsa reps plus couldn’t lose Hillary even tho combined with Msm, popular sitting and prev pres, infinite bucks, and MIC.
    And now rising popularity.
    Not betting against…

    1. RUKidding

      I won’t bet against Trump, either. However, his biggest popularity is with the voters. He is not beloved by the establishment Republicans. So it’s not a done deal that this crappy Less Health Insurance (and just forget about health care) for you at a Hugely Greater Cost Bill will pass the House.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Since many of the Dems in years past who would vote with the GOP are gone and “OMG Russia”, I doubt there are 218 votes.

        The Republicans didn’t want to vote for Bork back in the day but we’re forced to by their voters as a demonstration of loyalty, so who knows? Do Cruz-style “repeal now” voters not vote for a new plan because they want a “clean repeal*”? This is probably the problematic group for Trump.

        *What does repeal mean? Repeal of everything touched by ACA or rolling back ACA changes? The Republicans were simply voting against ACA as a stunt, expecting a Hillary or Jeb Presidency to absorb the blame for the fallout. Trump was inconceivable to modern Washington.

        1. clarky90

          IMO, The Trumps are planning on being in power for 16 years. Eight years of Donald and eight years of President Ivanka Trump (who will be greater than her father). The Republican Senators and Representative who do not get “on board”, promptly and “with enthusiasm”, will be looking for work, doing odd jobs around their yard or “retired”, after the next election cycle. (Fired!)

          There will be a new crop of young, Trumpian Politicians who will step forward, run, and win. Although nobody mentions this, Trump is a grassroots, populist, well loved, “movement”, that has not been invented by “strategists”. This movement arose organically and unexpectedly from the population. It will not be subverted easily.

          The American people, voted for DJT, and want him to have a fair go at implementing his policies. “The Resistance” is a fantasy-book joke, clung to by people who have never missed a meal in their lives.

          1. Irredeemable Deplorable

            Generation Z is solidly on board the Trump Train. Many will be 18 by 2020, and they are in open revolt agains their liberal parents, whom they regard with contempt. I work with some, and they are alt-right, and hate liberals. InfoWars is their favorite website. And no, I didn’t have anything to do with it – lunchroom conversation, started by them asking for the “fake news propaganda” TV to be turned off (local MSM outlet, locked by management).

            I mentioned this a couple weeks back. PewDePie, largest star on YouTube, with 53 million+ subscribers, and several other of the Top 10 on YouTube, who probably reach a daily audience of 200 million directly on YouTube, plus Tweets and Facebook impressions – are getting the message out daily that everything the MSM says is a lie, it’s all fake news. Which naturally leads to the question: “If the MSM are always trashing Trump, maybe that’s all lies too?”. These kids watch these videos daily after school.

            Also hearing anecdotal stories of former liberals, lifelong Democrats, even gays and lesbian feminists (!) boarding the Trump Train, mostly out of total disgust at the moonbat antics of the “left”, who are going to be the “left behind” if they don’t get their act together. I have full faith in the DNC to run Shillary again, or some other horrible candidate, in 2020 – and why not, they never let me down before. Obama had good optics, but his Hopiness of Changiness failure curtails the ability of anyone else to repeat that.

            In short, Steve Bannon’s plan is looking prescient: “We’ll get 60% of the white vote, 40% of blacks and Hispanics, and we’ll govern for 50 years!” There are many members of the Trump family, they could have a candidate running easily for the next 50 years.

            But I’m sure Bernie will save you all. Or not. Consider his age, it would be miraculous if he’s in physical shape to run in 2020, though he would be a serious challenge to Trump. But with the DNC behind him with the knife ready, I’m not too worried. Personally, I have no use for Sanders, after the episode where the BLM idiots stormed his stage and he let them take over his rally. A sad monument to political correctness.
            Nobody I know who voted Trump would even think about voting for Sanders, but I am sure there are some.

            1. Linda

              That was not a Sanders rally. It was an event to celebrate an anniversary of Social Security, and Sanders was an invited guest speaker. The organizers of the event announced it was over after the interruption.

              1. Irredeemable Deplorable

                I stand corrected on that. But I recall seeing the video, and Sanders did look very weak at that moment. Of course he couldn’t do anything, political correctness prevented him.

                If you allow “protesters” to take over an event, you are giving in to mob rule, by deranged mobs.

      2. Lee

        If Trump fails to provide material benefits to his working class voters and/or those who flipped from Obama to him, I will bet against him. Of course, the revulsion caused by whatever elite Democrat beast that slouches toward the presidency might well be a factor.

        1. Danb

          You have summarized the dilemma of an unsustainable society in decline: all options further decline because they spring from a procrustean belief that the system is really okay.

    2. BillC

      Re. Trump: “I’m gonna come after you ….”

      Had the previous occupant of the White House demonstrated the same determined resolve 8 years ago, today’s White House occupant might still be a Democrat … and I might still be a Democrat, too.

      Love him or hate him, you gotta admit Trump’s not afraid to use the bully pulpit. Too bad more principled folks refused to try before he arrived. OTOH, maybe they weren’t more principled — just less crass.

      1. Arizona Slim

        “I’m gonna come after you …”

        Shades of LBJ. And let’s just say that when LBJ made a threat like that, he was more than willing to carry it out.

        1. RUKidding

          I’m not sure that Trump has the strategic skills that LBJ had, however.

          Plus LBJ, I think, had better negotiating skills than Trump. I’m not particularly impressed with Trump’s purported abilities at negotiation, especially when it comes to running governments, which are quite different from running businesses.

          Will have to see how it goes.

    3. InsertNameHere

      I’m waiting for Trump to back off so he can call this RyanCare. You know Heritage is in the background trying to whip these votes too. Trump may back off and watch them exhaust their political capital.

      Trump isn’t ideological. He wants to win and he’ll pull a stunt to do it. As this bill stalls out, I wouldn’t be surprised if he invites Bernie to the White House to work on healthcare, especially if progs successfully primary a few BeltwayBros and Republicans don’t pick up m/any seats in 2018. It probably wouldn’t be a great bill, especially with Trump at the helm, but it would serve his purposes:
      1.) Hijack Bernie’s popularity
      2.) Split the Democrats even more (Beltway would call Bernie a traitor, but Bernie would go because healthcare>party) right in time for 2020 election season. Chaos.

      1. JTFaraday

        “Trump may back off and watch them exhaust their political capital.”

        I also kind of feel like Trumpy Trump is dangling both Ryan and the Freedom Caucus in the breeze, letting the ugly out. What I’ve heard him actually say is just let Obamacare implode on its own, as he apparently believes it will having consistently said so.

  3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    What’s disturbing, tragic, extraordinarly troubling, disconcerting, and sad is that the liberal Demicrats, even if they weren’t going to ram single payer through in 2009, could at least have given it “a seat at the table.” They didn’t even do that. So we had to wait eight more years — and thousands of deaths — for Sanders to do it. These clowns haven’t learned a thing.

    Sadly, it looks like 4 more years we have to wait, and more deaths.

    1. RUKidding

      These clowns haven’t learned a thing.

      Have to vehemently disagree. Those clowns never ever ever ever ever in ten gazillion-trillion-schmillion years wanted anything remotely akin to Single Payer or Medicare for All or similar. They. Didn’t. Want. That. EVER.

      Such a “travesty” as Single Payer would mean that all of these parasitical politicians and their even more parasitical lobbyists wouldn’t be sucking giant wad$ of payola outta the system.

      Let’s face it: we had ACA rammed down our throats with the notion that this was “the best” that the D Team could do. They SAID that they’d “tweak it” later to make improvements. Did that ever happen in the succeeding 7 years? NO.

      What did the clowns have to learn? They gave us the Health Insurance legislation that inured to their benefit. Look at how RICH Obama is now. How’d that happen?

      I’d really love to see a law passed that makes these parasites get the same Health Insurance as the rest of the 99% gets. That would be great. I won’t hold my breath. They KNOW what we have right now SUCKs, but it doesn’t SUCK bigly enough, so they’re going to give us something Worse. Count on it.

  4. RenoDino

    Trump is giving special dispensation to S. Korea on trade who will soon be embroiled in the biggest war of the century. Trump needs this war very badly amid turmoil in his administration and congress. He has shown himself to be incapable of governing by appropriating major policy issues to congress and failing to use the powers of his own office to manage the onslaught of the opposition. Trump’s approval rating will continue in free fall as the Russian association taints everything around him.

    Ultimately, he will be defined by the war against N. Korea and its aftermath. Given the posture of the two countries, this conflict is unavoidable, unless a third party can deliver an acceptable last minute peace option.

    I get the impression that the Chinese are done with N. Korea as well and will not lift a finger to help their ally as long as they are assured of generous treatment from the U.S. on trade and the South China Sea.

    1. JustAnObserver

      I wonder if, for the Chinese, Kim Jong-un murdering his step-brother with VX – the world’s most vicious nerve agent – might have been the signal that N. Korea has moved from

      o “he may be crazy but at least he’s our crazy”

      to the realisation that …

      o “This guy’s is a totally deranged uncontrollable nutter who needs to be stopped NOW before he does serious damage.”.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Removing potential claimants is a fairly normal behavior for dynasties. Notoriously woke monarch, Liz I, iced her sister instead of exile. The Ottoman sultan pretty much was a race to kill male relatives with the last one alive advancing. Byzantine picked up its status because half the political situation was family feuds as everyone climbed over each for the top spot.

        Given Kim’s own status, there is no way he could step down if he were predisposed to and not get iced from the next regime or cranky members of his own regime.

        Assad himself was hiding in the UK until he was next in line. I bet he didn’t want to be seen as a potential threat to his older brother as a potential puppet.

        If you have wondered “why did Yeltsin pick Put in?”, the answer is Yeltsin needed an anti-Yeltsin voice, and everyone was either a loyalist, a hard line nationalist, or a Communist. Putin was the only guy who could not whack Yeltsin and seize power.

        It may not seem as bad, but plenty of elite Democrats had to know Hillary was a bum. They just expected her to achieve her coronation and retire leaving 2020 wide open when voters ideally were less angry. There were articles in November 2004 about the big winner of the election, Hillary. Did the Clintonistas do the best job they could to unite the party? Carville sharing secret campaign information with his wife on the Shrub team?

        The murder of the brother Is still murder but crazy? I don’t know.

        Isn’t the rumor Stalin’s son played the fool because he knew if he didn’t he would be dead? Our very own General Washington was known for having no kids and a bunch of surrogate sons. The suspicion is our Founding Fathers knew Washington was sterile and knew there would be no claims in being Washington’s heir, so they glorified George because there would be no way to reach his level so don’t try.

          1. fosforos

            Without intervention by Helena, the greatest emperor, Julian II, would have been murdered like his brother Gallus.

      2. Plenue

        “This guy’s is a totally deranged uncontrollable nutter who needs to be stopped NOW before he does serious damage.”

        Serious damage to China you mean. Again I remind everyone that any war with North Korea will inevitable open with one of the worlds largest metropolitan areas, Seoul, being subjected to bombardment by thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of artillery pieces within minutes of hostilities commencing.

      3. Allegorio

        “This guy’s is a totally deranged uncontrollable nutter who needs to be stopped NOW before he does serious damage.”. @Just an Observer

        Who are you talking about Kim or Trumpenstein? It is not clear that Kim Jung Un murdered Kim Jung Nam. http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/07/the-curious-story-of-kim-jong-nams-death/ for reasons to doubt the media’s take in this death. The way the whole thing was staged leads one to think that there were other oxen being gored.

    2. The Rev kev

      I doubt that last bit. Assuming that the US military would be able to take North Korea, the first thing that they would do would be to but ‘defensive’ ballistic missiles on the Yalu River to defend against Iranian nuclear missile – which of course do not exist.
      Yeah, I can see China let that happening in exchange for trade trinkets that can be taken away at the drop of a congressional hat. Also, North Korea has a population of 25 million so I am sure that China would be as happy to see a few million refugees swamp across their border in the same way that Europe was happy to take in a few million refugees from the mid-east wars.

    3. vidimi

      i think the US is on an inevitable warpath against china, despite all the trade they share. i don’t know when the tipping point will occur, but china won’t stop and the US won’t budge.

  5. fresno dan

    “Some Republican lawmakers appear to be reassessing whether to make changes to a surveillance law that allows broad snooping of Internet communications, citing concerns over the handling of classified intercepts after leaks of conversations between Russian officials and American associates of President Donald Trump” [Reuters]. …….Until recently most Republicans have been quick to defend Section 702 and Congress had been expected to renew it without major changes before it expires at the end of the year.” Good. And who cares about the motive?

    Repubs, who disparage the motives of all who support any “social” program, and can never, ever acknowledge that the police and military…and IC are full of less than saintly people, are gonna get a big, BIG ramming of RED SCARE where the sun don’t shine.
    This may be the Schadenfreude that kills me….

  6. FreeMarketApologist

    “The mother of the bride commissioned monogrammed napkins for each place setting and a custom fabric for the tables and the flower girl’s dress.”

    In defense of the mother of the bride (and it’s hard defending the rest of it), dad *is* the owner of Porthault, the high-end linens firm, so I doubt that’s one of the disputed expenses. (I will admit to owning some monogrammed napkins, though not that fancy.)

    I do love the line ‘they were willing to spend up to a million dollars but didn’t want a “glitzy” event’. What? They were going to have drab outfits, boring food, and a second-rate petting zoo, so it wouldn’t be perceived as ‘glitzy’? If you don’t want a ‘glitzy’ event, go down to the county courthouse, get married by a JP, and take the family out to dinner.

    1. Clive

      I’m guessing my invitation got lost in the post…

      I’m also wondering if Mindy considered hiring some other equally high brow after-ceremony “entertainment” — although if they were penny pinching, maybe they couldn’t stretch to Fresno Dan’s pole dancing act.

      1. fresno dan

        March 21, 2017 at 3:42 pm

        I only do private showings….or is that a showing of privates??? And I’m sure I could incorporate the owner of Pornvault, the high-end monogrammed thong firm…

        1. craazyboy

          Obviously, get the monogramed jockstrap. Then just work out the view.
          Remember, there are two sides to every jockstrap.



    2. DJG

      Sorry, folks, but ostrich shells are so vulgar. So I didn’t show up at the wedding, although they have my monogram on file should they want to send me a party favor.

      I had other plans:

      Well! at last we take our places, Alexandrian slave-boys pouring snow water over our hands, and others succeeding them to wash our feet and cleanse our toe-nails with extreme dexterity. Not even while engaged in this unpleasant office were they silent, but sang away over their work. I had a mind to try whether all the house servants were singers and accordingly asked for a drink of wine. Instantly an attendant was at my side, pouring out the liquor to the accompaniment of the same sort of shrill recitative. Demand what you would, it was the same; you might have supposed yourself among a troupe of pantomime actors rather than at a respectable citizen’s table.

      Then the preliminary course was served in very elegant style. For all were now at table except Trimalchio, for whom the first place was reserved, by a reversal of ordinary usage. Among the other hors d’oeuvres stood a little ass of Corinthian bronze with a packsaddle holding olives, white olives on one side, black on the other. The animal was flanked right and left by silver dishes, on the rim of which Trimalchio’s name was engraved and the weight. On arches built up in the form of miniature bridges were dormice seasoned with honey and poppy-seed. There were sausages, too, smoking hot on a silver grill, and underneath (to imitate coals) Syrian plums and pomegranate seeds.

      [XXXII (Latin) ] We were in the middle of these elegant trifles when Trimalchio himself was carried in to the sound of music, and was bolstered up among a host of tiny cushions, a sight that set one or two indiscreet guests laughing. And no wonder; his bald head poked up out of a scarlet mantle, his neck was closely muffled, and over all was laid a napkin with a broad purple stripe or laticlave, and long fringes hanging down either side. Moreover he wore on the little finger of his left hand a massive ring of silver gilt, and on the last joint of the next finger a smaller ring, apparently of solid gold, but starred superficially with little ornaments of steel. Nay! to show this was not the whole of his magnificence, his left arm was bare, and displayed a gold bracelet and an ivory circlet with a sparkling clasp to put it on.

  7. Paid Minion

    “Unemployed males”

    Once he gets past the slacker/taker shaming, the societal pressures of doing something “respectable”, the need/desire to attract/find/retain a “soulmate”, realize that you are no longer “middle class”, but “working poor” (at best), and adjust your needs/expectations accordingly, you are surprised by how much money you spent chasing those mirages. Thus eking out a relatively comfortable existence on $12/hour, unemployment or disability checks, or becoming a full timer in the cash economy..

    Not an existence to really enhance one’s self respect. But it has it’s compensations

      1. Paid Minion

        You drive an old pickup truck. And fix it yourself. After all, it isn’t like you have to drive it to work. If a second vehicle is needed, there’s always the cheap motorcycle/beater.

        Health insurance? No need for it, if you don’t go to the doctor. A person most guys with semi-decent health avoid like the plague anyway.

        Kids? See no “attract/find/retain a “soulmate”. Or get laid off at 45-50, after the kids are out of the house

        You really start cutting a fat hog when you live like this for eight-nine months, then get a full time job (with insurance) again.

        Signed…….Living the Dream

    1. diptherio

      Depends on your definition of comfortable, I guess. It can be largely comfortable…until the car breaks down. The feeling of insecurity that goes along (tax free!) with your 12K/yr wage is a real detriment to most people, in my experience.

    2. KurtisMayfield

      25k per year as a single man with no one to support is pretty easy to live off of in many parts of the country. 20 years ago I did it easily making much a less money.L, and I had health insurance. These days 25k would be difficult bit doable in much of the country, Unless you get sick, then 2. Go die.

    1. fresno dan

      March 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Your not gonna tell us?
      I did check fakenewschecker.com and at least it doesn’t list NC….which was actually kinda disappointing in a way.

      1. BeliTsari

        Sorry, kimo-sabe… wasn’t intentionally cryptic. I’ve just sufficiently isolated my identity as to have defeated notification of replies (also, I’ve been working night shift in this hillbilly-owned SAWL plant). I was just reviewing Lambert’s STELLAR links of 3/22 & only just remembered posting yesterday. It’s doubtless academic, since my beloved commissar’s agitprop changes moment-to-moment, based on criteria quite beyond me? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/22/30-displaced-people-killed-air-strike-isil-held-raqqa-hits-shelter/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/colin-kaepernick-donald-trump_us_58d185f0e4b0ec9d29e022ed?gml7qghd7xwhwu3di&

  8. LT

    So many Democrats tried to believe (fool themselves into believing?) the ACA was the “gateway” to single payer/Medicare For All, when what we are witnessing now is how you can take that very same document and destroy Medicare/Medicaid.

  9. LT

    “Fifteen percent named former President Obama as the party’s leader. Twelve percent said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has gone out of his way not to join the Democratic Party despite running for the its presidential nomination last year…”

    Only thing missing is Sanders encouraging others not join or leave.

  10. Alex Morfesis

    Crossing another rubicon…if my mind is functioning correctly, we now have set a new record for days scotus did not have 9 voices since just after the civil war…

    Quite a functioning govt we got going here…

  11. aliteralmind

    Regarding Green candidate Honkola being endorsed by our revolution: the Philly ABC affiliate refused to list her as a candidate because “anyone can be a write in.” There’s only a single Republican on the ballot, but on television they list a Republican and a Democrat.

    I called the affiliate three times and was hung up on three times. But on the third try I talked to someone briefly before they hung up on me again. Here’s the transcript.

    A new article on their website now lists her, but the television listing still does not.

    1. jawbone

      This a run for the House of Reps? In DC? And the national party was doing what to get a Dem on ballot and elected??


  12. Jason Boxman

    Honestly, if we reframe “resistance” to mean: We intend to resist any attempt to be held accountable for our morally bankrupt policies for the past 8 years, causing untold misery and suffering.

    It suddenly makes sense.

  13. WheresOurTeddy

    “The number of those males presently in the labor force is down almost 4 percent since 2000. That’s about 5 million men who, for whatever reason, have dropped out of the labor force.”

    When work is dehumanizing and emasculating for all but the management & ownership (and increasingly only the latter), and wages haven’t gone up in 40 years, and college is a 100K boondoggle, I’m surprised the number isn’t larger.

    P.S. Most of them are working in the black market in some capacity or off the books for individuals.

    1. jrs

      Maybe blue states just wish to keep what they already have, such as their environmental regulations. I’ve heard Trump may want to go after California’s tougher smog etc. regulation. This is war on the people of California as far as I’m concerned.

      And maybe blue states will be a model, if they pass single payer at the state level for instance. Seceding literally really is a delusion, but fighting to keep better laws than exist on the national level and experimenting with state policy (where there actually is a chance to change things) is not.

      Does he really believe it’s easier to achieve change at the national level or is he just ranting? I think one could argue it either way (although I still think we get single payer at the state level first if we ever do), but I don’t think he is.

      1. HotFlash

        Here is my acid test: is it easier to persuade entire Blue (so-called) states to secede than to persuade Dem superdelegates to vote for the candidate who can beat Trump? If so, carry on!

        I also wonder if/why these people are advocating a civil war.

        PS For reasons only known to wordpress, my comment is dated Jan 3, 2017 at 1:02pm.

        1. LT

          Don’t be fooled.
          The drive for secession this soon smells as fishy as “the resistance.”
          Who’s behind it financially?

        2. ian

          I wonder too why anyone would be trying to provoke a civil war.
          I know which side is more likely to be armed.

        3. Allegorio

          All this posturing, #resistance, secession, Russki’s, Trumpenstein is all about distracting from the issues, like Medicare for All. The Dog and Pony show means no discussion of embarrassing issues. More to come.

      2. LT

        This is what I don’t get.
        Why does it seem like the Dems are acting like anything and everything the Republicans pass is irreversible while the Republicans are showing how reversible it all is?

        They act like there will never be any more elections ever in life. There will be.

        1. InsertNameHere

          Your message promotes long-term reformation of the party.

          “Stop OrangeHitler!” promotes donations now.

      3. Allegorio

        Colorado tried to pass single payer, Democratic Governor Hickenloopi sank it along with other establishment Democraps. Don’t count on any States passing single payer anytime soon, not if Joe Lieberman and the rest of the Democraps can help it. There is big money in Healthcare, love those government subsidies and natural monopolies! Speaking of state monopolies Hickenloopi is now cracking down on home grown cannabis. Just love those Democraps!

  14. kareninca

    My dad was at a Democratic town committee meeting last night in my New England hometown of 5,000 people. One visitor was a guy in his 40s, who had lived for many years in the town. He was an utter wreck; he was frantic about the political state of the country (because of Trump). It turned out that his exclusive source of news is MSNBC. He was at the meeting not to be involved in the process (he no longer lives in the town), but in order to find a safe space.

    Another person there, a woman whom my father always thought was sensible, told him that she couldn’t sleep; that she was under stress every day and didn’t know what to do (because of Trump).

    The committee considered sending out a postcard (yes, “The Resistance” was referred to) to townsfolk. What to put on the postcard was discussed. My father suggested a few concrete things: one was “Do you feel that your Medicare coverage is secure.” But the people at the meeting were not able to focus on concrete things. They would listen for a moment, and then go back to crazy emotion. My father was stunned by all of this; he had thought that the irrationality would have died down by now, but it hasn’t. The media keeps stoking it, and it seems to be working.

    Our psychopathic lords and masters are playing with us, and simpletons are suffering as a result. This is really dangerous.

    1. RUKidding

      Thanks for that report. Valuable, albeit distrubing, info.

      Well I’d say that MSNBC is doing its job really well, wouldn’t you? Guess it’s become the Fox for the so-called “left,” which is an inaccurate label for what these people are.

      I’ve told quite a few of my friends to turn their d*mn tvs off and to go online for info. I’ve passed out this website, and a few others, to numerous people telling them that these places are where you’ll get real news. And that, furthermore, tv schlock exists solely and only anymore to push out disaster porn. Stop your addiction!!

      The so-called “Resistance” offered by the Democratic party is an absolute travesty. One friend wanted to palm off a huge pile of post cards that had “Pink Slips” on them for Trump. I was supposed to pay good money to send these post cards to the White House to give Trump the “Pink Slip.”

      I said: NO. No way do I want President Pence. I don’t like Trump, but the alternatives are WORSE. My friend just sputtered and stuttered. I said: What do you think will happen should Trump be impeached? Hillary will NOT be coronated. She blathered something about Pence being “better.”

      Oh my aching back. My loathing of the Democratic Party has reached the intensity of a 1000 white hot suns. They are taking all of these good citizens who got “woke” over the Trump win and now want to really truly get involved and to do something (some truly want to run for office and start at the local level), and they’re feeding them absolute drivel.

      And MSNBC is turning them into headless chickens. So much easier to control a populace who are totally out to lunch.


      1. Elizabeth

        RU Kidding: + 1,000! I have friends who listen to nothing but NPR and it’s just as bad as MSNBS/TV drivel. It just amazes me all the now “woke” people who never made a peep during the Obama years, and suddenly all hell has broken out. I think what we have going on is a “soft coup” trying to get rid of Trump – it’s a very dangerous game that’s being played whether or not you like Trump. I agree that Pence is much, much worse than Trump.

        1. clarky90

          I supported Trump. However, speaking for myself, I would welcome a “honest” progressive counterbalance. A real choice.

          I am old, and my view of the World has changed as I have aged. Being offered the choice of “Where would you like to dine, McDonalds (Republicans) or Burger King (Democrats)?” “What would you like to drink, Coke or Pepsi?” Seemingly a choice, but not

          Nah, how about a Moroccan or a Polynesian Restaurant? And Mate Tea or kombachu tea?

          Trump seems to be a real alternative. Bernard Sanders seemed to be an alternative. – Different world views discussing- wrestling- compromising- governing.

          For too long, Political parties have been slightly different iterations of “What do our Saudi, Israeli, Billionaire Bosses demand that we do today?”. “On the double!”

          NOT the needs and dreams of the myriad masses; young, old, rich, poor, happy, unhappy, married, single, religious, secular, conservative, wild, soft spoken, loud……. the people

      2. JustAnObserver

        I’ve thought since the Repub convention that Pence was Trump’s (attempted) protection from any attempt to remove him (impeachment or otherwise) on the grounds that the Dems would never risk a Pence presidency. Bannon is bad enough but Bannon+Pence !

        Seems Trump & I both got that one very very wrong and, in their howls of despair, the majority of Hill supporters have really and truly lost it.

        1. craazyboy

          Don’t think so. Back at convention time Trump had to kiss and make up with the R machine to have any chance at beating Hillary in the upcoming General run. He did have second thoughts about the Pence “choice”. It was presented to the public as it was Trump’s choice, but I’ll bet dollars to donuts the Rs strongly suggested Pence as the guy to pick up the fringe Rs and moderate Rs, but in fact he was the Rs idea of a Trojan Horse and the way to win the WH after the election. There was news over the following weekend that Trump was having second thoughts about Pence and may announce a change early in the next week. He then denied that and made some blather about Pence being a fine VP. Since then, numerous times he kinda slapped Pence down in public, and just didn’t seem that comfortable with him.

          So now, with the help of the Ds, we’ll see if the Trojan horse thing plays out. The roar is deafening at this point, so we should see some Prez tweets on the subject soon.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The D’s would have forced a similar non-refusable offer (to use our machine, our ‘low-information’ people; otherwise, go run as an Independent…no peace, no united party…) on Sanders.

            And told him he would needed neoliberal Democrats in his cabinet to push through his proposals. Schumer would have been glad to help.

            And the Swamp would still be the swamp.

          2. Insert

            Pence might have been presented to Trump as making nice and securing the Heritage boys, but in reality he was the president in waiting. A family member had insisted to me that Trump was just going to be shot, but nothing so drastic is required. Just Fake News, and lots of it.

            Trump is very talented, in his own way, so I don’t doubt that he has the ability to beat RussiaGate, but the deck is very much stacked against him. I keep wondering if TrumpCare will become RyanCare and Trump will use ACHA to exhaust Ryan’s political resources fighting against their own wing of feral conservatarians, but Trump seems to be sticking his neck out a little too far for the bill. He’s not backing off yet.

      3. VietnamVet

        NBC’s Nightly News was downright scary last night. Half of the show was a denouncement of Russian “interference” in the election and Vladimir Putin’s ties to Donald Trump including adding aging John Chancellor to demonstrate the gravitas of the situation. Corporate media is intent on scapegoating Russia and using it as the justification to elevate Mike Pence to President. Being old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis and Watergate, it is clear that throwing away the Fairness Doctrine and media consolidation has tossed the last remnants of sanity out of the door. It is as if WWI, WWII and the first Cold War never happened.

        1. LT

          They don’t care that Pence is worse.
          If they are able to get Trump on the Russian connection, you’re back to any criticism of the Dem establishment is somebody that is a willing or unknowing Russian stooge…which sets them up perfectly to run more of the same in a nation aching for change.

        2. Carl

          Thanks for watching this so I don’t have to. I suspect that if I did, the tv screen would have a bunch of my shoes embedded in it.

  15. craazyboy

    “Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as ‘bots,’ to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton,…


    If Russian bots can defeat Captcha, we are surely doomed.

  16. Kokuanani

    Off topic, but one of the funniest “Wheel of Fortune” puzzles I’ve ever seen.

    The puzzle shows A STREETCAR NA__ED DESIRE, and the contestant asks for a “K”!!

    1. Paid Minion

      Somebody once described Terry Bradshaw as a guy “……….who couldn’t spell “cat”, unless you spotted him the “C” and the “A”. LOL

      For the record, I think Terry Bradshaw, although not a brain surgeon, is a good ol boy who figured out a long time ago that maybe you should let everyone think they are smarter than you are.

      1. HopeLB

        Actually it was ‘couldn’t spell cat IF you spotted him the C and the A’ – Dallas linebacker Hollywood Henderson. Hollywood was later arrested for smoking crack with two teenage girls – don’t know if that makes him an expert here, but he seemingly knew his way around mental limitations.

  17. Ed

    Even if Trump and Putin Skyped every night and Trump cashed checks from the Kremlin to pay for ad bots I don’t think it had any impact at all on the election. The Democrats forced one of the least liked public figures of the past 30 years onto America. They alienated parts of their own base and galvanized Republicans by going with Clinton.

    Possibly the biggest boost for Trump was voters who didn’t bother to vote because they thought Clinton was going to win. The Democrats were celebrating her victory for almost a year once it became clear Trump would be who she was running against.

    The other bump was undecided voters who thought that 8 more years of Obama was not the prescription they were looking for and that was literally her entire platform “more Obama”. She didn’t even bother to sell a single signature piece of her agenda. Vague notions about good jobs and something to do with college seemed to be the extent of it.

    She couldn’t put butts in the seats that should have been another signal to the DNC they might need to focus on another candidate. If no one cares to hear you or see you then maybe you aren’t popular enough to be President even if you are running against the other worst candidate in history. At least he got people to attend his bizarre ritualistic circus.

    It’s absolutely absurd the focus on Russia when the only emails anyone knew about (in my anecdotal experience) had to do with her private email server. I would say at best for most people the Wikileaks emails were just “more email stuff” in most people’s minds if it even achieved that much.

    1. Paid Minion

      It didn’t help that they stabbed Sanders in the back, in order to coronate her.

      It still amazes me that the Democrats still have no clue how much the Clintons are despised by a large percentage of the “deplorables”.

      I’d vote for a ham sandwhich before I’d vote for her.

      I was thinking about registering as an Independent candidate and changing my name to “Nun Uv Theabove”. When (not if) I’d been elected, I guarantee you that I’d have a better handle on things than the two dolts we had to choose from.

      And now we are hearing rumors that they plan on getting their doofus kid elected to something.

    2. oho

      >>Possibly the biggest boost for Trump was voters who didn’t bother to vote because they thought Clinton was going to win

      this is a big untold story in mainstream post-mortems.

      If you’re a PA/MI/WI Democrat, why bother voting—everyone on TV is saying you live in the “Blue Wall”

      1. vidimi

        i’m not sure about this narrative. clinton had massive turnout in counties where she was always going to win by a wide margin but didn’t bother to campaign where she was on the fence. the democrats who stayed home in those swing states i doubt they did so because they were sure she would win.

  18. kyria

    From “Donna Brazile Finally Admits Giving Hillary Clinton Debate Questions. Democrats Still Demand Unity” [H.A. Goodman]:

    After Democratic lies, cheating, and overt bullying, Americans are told we must all unite to defeat Trump’s lies, cheating and overt bulling of opponents.

  19. freedeomny

    Dianne Feinstein hinting that DT will resign:


    I wouldn’t be surprised…does DT even like living in the White House? But how does this help anything as we get Pence – who has been smiling broadly since day 1….and Ryan has been practically giddy.

    WTF is going on? Our gov is a hot mess with drama worse than reality tv….

    1. marym

      Maxine Waters tweeted about impeachment today, and retweeted something from a team blue #RESIST FB group that wants to “delegitimize” Trump. It’s unbelievable.

      1. petal

        For the first time ever, I saw an “Impeach Trump” bumper sticker on a car (VT tags) this afternoon.

    2. jrs

      what can we do to get Feinstein to resign?

      “Referencing recent trips to Dubai by Mr Trump’s sons, Donald Jr and Eric, where they opened a new golf club, she said: “I think sending sons to another country to make a financial deal for his company and then have that covered with Government expenses, I believe those Government expenses should not be allowed.”

      ah yes remember Biden’s son and the Ukraine. No of course noone does because everyone is stupid these days. Trump sucks. Feinstein sucks worse, die witch, die.

      1. RUKidding

        I remember Biden & his son in Ukraine. They’re all crooks. Every last one.

        Last year I stated numerous times that all these politicians on both sides of the aisle were pissed off at Trump bc he’s horning in on their grift.

        Frankly at the end of the day that’s all this boils down to – money. Period. The end.

        All of it stinks. All of these rotten bastards are on the take. They’re all fighting with each other over who gets the biggest cut.


    1. jrs

      “If they continue to drop, many Republicans in Congress will likely go from support for Mr. Trump to agnosticism to maybe antagonism. That’s what happened with Richard Nixon. In the meantime, it will be hard to see how President Trump will get much of his agenda through under this shadow. The power of the presidency is strong, but it is not impenetrable. ”

      Well at least part of that agenda is the Republican agenda (and most of it they are plenty sympathetic to, but part if of it is very directly so), so regardless of how they feel about Trump that won’t be what stands in the way of their healthcare plan.

  20. ian

    There are a couple of incidents and issues that crystallize, for me, what is wrong with health care.

    One is the epi-pen, something that did not take billions of dollars to develop is sold in 2 packs for $600 while it’s cost to manufacture has been estimated to be around $10.

    The other is the accounting used: I received an invoice for a hospital stay that basically said: “your stay cost $13,500, the insurance company paid $2200, you owe – nothing”. I understand the idea of negotiated rates, but this deep a discount makes me wonder what the real cost in time and materials was for my stay.

    I don’t see how the new health care bill addresses either of these situations. It looks like it just changes the payment mechanism. I don’t see how you can begin to reform health care unless you get costs and accounting under control first. Can someone here help me out?

    1. IDontKnow

      it means if you went into the hospital without a pre-negotiated contract, then they could charge you as much as they like, and they would go after you in the courts to get you to pay.

      1. Yves Smith

        Huh? You never get a “pre-negotiated contract”. You can’t even get a price out of them.

        However, a lawyer (who has used this strategy himself) says if you say you need them to commit that only doctors who are in your insurer’s plan will treat you, and an employee agrees, you have them. They can try saying the employee wasn’t authorized, but the employee is an agent of the company and making an official representation.

        1. IDontKnow

          insurers have pre-negotiated pricing contracts, and so do some self-insured organizations. Walk in / Cash, as you point out, not so much.

    2. Carl

      This kind of thing is what got me started looking at the US healthcare system back in 2005 following my appendectomy. The hospital bills were completely crazy, but so were the insurance discounts. As you alluded to, I began to wonder what was”real” about any of it, and upon further investigation and study, realized that it was a completely predatory system with no integrity whatsoever. Furthermore, there were too many entities and some individuals making too much money to ever get meaningful change. And that was in 2005… it’s much, much worse today.

    1. flora

      I wish the NYT, WaPo, all major broadcast outlets, and too many politicans with fish to fry would stop talking about it. I thought the “weapons of mass destruction” and “yellow cake” and “aluminum tubes” blared nonstop prior to the Iraq war was pretty bad. This current bs outdoes that by an order of magnitude.

      And who can forget this, in case you thought the reporting was an honest mistake :

      1. flora

        and about all the fake news:

        “t seems that this whole notion of ‘fake news’ and ‘Russia friendly’ as it is being used recently is just the same old thing. It is an attempt by those who are in power and their friends and enablers to control the dialogue in order to promote their own interpretations and policies. And further, to stifle any dissent from their actions, in an attempt to maintain and enhance their positions and privileges from whence their power to do so arises. This is as common a thing in corporations as well as societies.”

        -Jesse’s Cafe

  21. kimsarah

    Re: “where the heck were the Democrats …?”
    Answer: Doing their masters’ bidding then as now. They wouldn’t know a hard-working American if they got run over by one.
    I hope they’re enjoying themselves as they dig their deep grave because they lost any relevance a long time ago.

Comments are closed.