2:00PM Water Cooler 5/8/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


“Economists have already started modeling the potential impact of a TPP deal without the U.S., and the results show modest gains for the 11 other countries. But the potential benefits laid out in an upcoming study could be enough to deepen resolve to get a deal done. Morning Trade got its hands on some of the top-line results of a study coming out next month that was commissioned by the CanadaWest Foundation, a free-trade oriented think tank in Calgary, … by Dan Ciuriak, a former deputy chief economist for Canada’s department of foreign affairs and international trade” [Politico].


Hot Takes on the French Election


A “global conversation” instead of a “national conversation.” (I’m starting to see the word “global” in liberal catchphrases in places I’m not used to seeing it.)


“But” — [reading a second time] — “the media says I can’t talk about that.” ZOMG!!! My eyes!!!!!!!

2016 Post Mortem

Here is a slide from Day One of the Democrat Unity Commission (via):

Notice that this contradicts DNC lawyer Spiva’s theory of the case in “Wilding et al. v. DNC Services Corporation, D/B/A Democratic National Committee and Deborah “Debbie” Wasserman Schultz.” In essence, Spiva only talks about the first bullet. He doesn’t talk about the second. More on that case–

“To sum up, in the space of the hearing, the DNC claimed that: The words “evenhandedness and impartiality” are subjective and hard to define; commitment to these principles is something the DNC is simply volunteering to do; the DNC has every right to tip the scales for a candidate or simply choose them in a smoke-filled room; and that any failure to abide by its own charter is no different from a politician breaking a major campaign promise” [In These Times (altandmain)]. “These exchanges showcase the problem facing the DNC. To succeed in winning the case, or even have it dismissed, it also has to publicly make arguments that reflect incredibly poorly on it. Every effective legal defense that Spiva puts forward produces quotes that disgruntled Democratic voters will be throwing back at the party for years to come.”


“There are at least 22 Democrats thinking about running for president in 2020” [CNN].

“The 43 people who might run against Trump in 2020” [The Hill].


“The Democratic opposition research group American Bridge, for instance, has spent more than $300,000 on digital and radio ads on the issue so far this year, according to the group’s vice president, Shripal Shah. American Bridge has also commissioned polls showing swing voters in key states are concerned about the controversy and want an independent probe” [Politico]. American Bridge is Brock’s vehicle.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“The Rock-Star Appeal of Modern Monetary Theory” [The Nation]. (I live-blogged Bill Mitchell, Stephanie Kelton, Warren Mosler, Marshall Auerbach, Randall Wray, and Pavlina Tcherneva at 2010’s Fiscal Sustainability Counter-Conference, and commented at the time: “It’s like watching the best band in the world trading riffs.” I’ve never seen anything like it, before or since.) “MMT is less prescriptive: It describes the way that money works in a way that an 8-year-old can grasp more readily than a PhD, which in itself is unnerving. ‘The contribution of MMT is not the discovery of new facts,’ Galbraith says. ‘It’s a teaching core of things which are factually uncontroversial.; But its implications can be radically humane. What’s threatening to the establishment, Galbraith adds, ‘is that the narrative is very compelling.'” And with a shout-out to Naked Capitalism! Oh, and Stephanie Kelton is “impeccably coiffed”!

“Before Occupy: How AIDS Activists Seized Control of the FDA in 1988” [The Atlantic]. Important history, long forgotten (or erased).

“Integrity: The Real Source Of Division In America’s Political Left” [Medium]. “Yesterday I conversed with a man who told me, in response to my criticism of the Democratic party’s idiotic Russia conspiracy theories, that it didn’t matter whether the accusations are true or not, because Trump needs to be stopped regardless.” Yes, that’s where we are.

Stats Watch

Labor Market Conditions Index, April 2017: “Upward revisions are the surprise for the labor market conditions index where prior readings this year have been revised 2 points and higher” [Econoday]. “This year’s run, though still moderate, is now the best in 2 years. This index tracks a wide range of employment statistics including wages which have been soft compared to labor growth.” And: “After incorporating revisions, the index has increased for the last 11 months in succession. These were also the two strongest readings since the second quarter of 2015 which indicates consistent strength in the labour market” [Economic Calendar].

Retail: “Logistics companies are betting any rebound in U.S. consumer spending comes over the web. Businesses tied to e-commerce fulfillment resumed hiring at a rapid pace in April” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “The long-discussed efforts of China’s government to rebalance the nation towards a more consumer-driven import economy until very recently haven’t borne much fruit when examining container flows with some of its biggest trading partners” [Lloyd’s Loading]. “However, we are finally starting to see a shift as for the first time in our data series imports to Greater China outpaced exports in 2016; the inbound trade from our sample of trades growing by 2.3% year-on-year versus 0.5% for the outbound market, in the process lowering the export-to-import ratio. Closer inspection of the numbers shows that the transition really gathered pace in the second half of last year. As of February, Greater China’s 12-month moving average for imports has gained around five index points since August, more than twice as fast as seen into either North Asia or Southeast Asia. Greater China exports over the same period increased by around two index points.

Shipping: “Another ore carrier belonging to under pressure Polaris Shipping from South Korea has a couple of cracks on its deck” [DC Velocity]. Not a good look. “The news will likely prove a hammer blow to Polaris’s plans to list this summer. Polaris is the world’s largest owner of very large ore carriers. However, its reputation has been hit hard following the sinking with the likely loss of 22 lives of the Stellar Daisy, another elderly converted ore carrier, on March 30 followed by cracks being found in another vintage ore carrier and machinery errors on another ship.”

The Bezzle: “Tech bubble is quietly bursting with overvalued ‘unicorn’ startups” [Seattle Times]. “It has become fairly common in the last couple of years for tech companies to go public at valuations below where they stood as private companies. (One of Cloudera’s competitors, Hortonworks, also took a valuation haircut at its IPO.) But the scale of the comedown for Cloudera was something new. It will be a long slog for Cloudera to dig out of its valuation hole. Failure is common — even celebrated — in technology. But there’s a category of Cloudera-type companies no one wants to talk about that are neither crazy successes nor obvious flops. They were simply wildly overvalued in the startup-funding hot zone of 2014 to 2015, and they likely can’t sell or go public at anything close to earlier valuations…. There are more moments of reckoning to come from the startup funding bubble of 2014 and 2015. This is a new kind of failure, and Silicon Valley hasn’t come to grips with it yet.”

The Bezzle: “How digital supply chain management—the broad concept that Cloud-based systems, analytics and monitoring of goods, vehicles and other assets via the Internet of Things (IoT)—will improve the way supply chains run, is top of mind for many in logistics today” [Logistic Management]. Swell. The Internet of Things.

The Bezzle: “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. doesn’t want to just wait around for consumers to order household goods online. The retailing giant is seeking a patent for the use of sensors that would be attached to goods in homes and track their use and, perhaps more significantly, trigger automatic delivery of replacements” [Wall Street Journal]. “Whether consumers will want to have Wal-Mart tracking when they do laundry remains a question, but the reach of the technology under research suggests the fierce competition that’s underway for e-commerce innovations.” Ah, “innovation.”

Robots: “The North American robotics market jumped 32 percent in order volume for the first quarter, as industrial and retail giants such as General Motors Co. and Amazon.com Inc. increase their investment in automation, according to the industry’s trade group” [DC Velocity]. “The driving force behind the fast growth came largely from the automotive sector, where robots ordered by automotive component suppliers were up 53 percent, while orders by automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) increased 32 percent, RIA said. Orders also came from a diversity of other sectors, including non-automotive industries like metals (54 percent), semiconductors/electronics (22 percent), and food and consumer goods (15 percent), according to RIA.”

Rapture Index: Closes up 1 on Crime Rate. “The crime rate drops in many cities” [Rapture Ready]. Record high, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 182.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 47 Neutral (previous close: 47, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 49 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 8 at 12:10pm. Dullsville.

Health Care

“All the horrific details of the GOP’s new Obamacare repeal bill: A handy guide” [Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times]. This one’s for all the marbles:

Under the GOP plan, Medicaid expansion, which currently provides coverage to some 10 million low-income Americans, would be killed as of 2020. It also converts Medicaid into a block-granted program, stripping more than $800 billion from the program over 10 years. Because block-granted program can’t keep up with the needs of beneficiaries, this means that states would have to respond to fiscal stringencies by cutting benefits or throwing enrollees out.

Medicaid expansion is the one part of the ACA that can be said unequivocally to work, unsurprisingly: It’s a single payer program funded by the currency issuer (though not a very good one, since it’s for poor people). So it’s bitterly ironic that the Republican reaction to the half-assed, pissant ObamaCare is to assault and roll back an existing Federal program, and one from LBJ days at that. Of course, kicking the poors is can always be made popular, and remember that if you’re near the poverty line, but not below it, you could be forced into the Exchanges, and pay more money for worse care than somebody who makes less than you and may not even be working. So, to a certain sort of crabs-in-a-bucket mentality, making Medicaid worse restorse the natural order of things. (A genie appears to a peasant and grants them one wish. The peasant thinks for a moment, and says: “I wish for my neighbor’s cow to die.”)

“As they take their victory lap for passing a bill that would repeal and replace much of the Affordable Care Act, President Trump and congressional Republicans have been largely silent about one of the most remarkable aspects of what their legislation would do: take a step toward dismantling a vast government entitlement program, something that has never been accomplished in the modern era” [New York Times].

“Even if a watered-down version of House Republicans’ health-care legislation becomes law, states are probably going to be on the hook for billions of dollars of health-care costs, especially for the poor and sick. And that means they’re going to have to make some hard choices: Do you find a way to raise taxes/cut other services to keep your most vulnerable population insured? Or do you just stop insuring them?” [Washington Post]. “That’s the heart of the question facing all 50 states as Republicans in Washington unwind the federal government’s involvement in health care. Legislatures trying to answer it could get ugly.” Even if California does pass single payer — and with an economy the size of France, they have the scale Vermont didn’t — what happens in a downtown? California is not a currency issuer…

“Cutting nearly $1 trillion from Medicaid will give states the freedom to tailor the program to suit their needs, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Sunday, as he defended a narrowly passed House bill that aims to undo parts of the health care law enacted by the previous administration” [Yahoo News]. And from the same story: “[Maine Senator Susan] Collins said she expected the Senate would come up with a ‘whole new fresh approach’ to replacing the Affordable Care Act, enacted under President Barack Obama. ‘The House bill is not going to come before us,’ she said. ‘The Senate is starting from scratch. We’re going to draft our bill, and I’m convinced we will take the time to do it right.’

“When Representative Mo Brooks said it was unfair that healthy “people who lead good lives” should have to subsidize the insurance of unhealthier ones who presumably don’t, he bluntly raised an often unspoken question that runs through policy debates in Washington: Who deserves government aid and who does not?” [New York Times]. To which conservatives answer: “The good people,” and the liberals answer: “The people approved by our nomenklatura of credentialed gatekeepers.”

“At a stop in Beverly Hills, Bernie Sanders vows Obamacare repeal bill ‘is never going to pass’ in Senate” [Los Angeles Times]. “[H]ealthcare dominated much of the talk, with Sanders adding that it’s important to acknowledge the ‘many, many problems’ with Obamacare. Some of the most raucous applause from the audience came after Sanders mentioned his so-called [(!!!) –lambert] ‘Medicare for All’ single-payer healthcare proposal. ..’Let me tell you,’ he said as the theater erupted in applause. ‘That legislation is never going to pass the United States Senate.'” I hope Sanders is correct.

“High-Price And Low-Price Physician Practices Do Not Differ Significantly On Care Quality Or Efficiency” [Health Affairs]. From the abstract: “Compared with low-price practices, high-price practices were much larger and received 36 percent higher prices. Patients of high-price practices reported significantly higher scores on some measures of care coordination and management but did not differ meaningfully in their overall care ratings, other domains of patient experiences (including physician ratings and access to care), receipt of preventive services, acute care use, or total Medicare spending. This suggests an overall weak relationship between practice prices and the quality and efficiency of care and calls into question claims that high-price providers deliver substantially higher-value care.”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Throughout its history, the region has incubated bold American solutions to hunger and food access. Radical Southerners, especially black women, who long provided the expertise and labor on farms and in kitchens, have challenged American agricultural practices and driven our changing relationship to food” [New York Times]. “In the late 1960s, as the civil rights movement shifted to address economic injustice, Ms. [Fannie Lou] Hamer conceived agricultural solutions to the plight of her fellow Americans, including a communal farm and livestock share program in Sunflower County in the Mississippi Delta. That work set the stage for the progressive agricultural policies and practices of today, with their focus on food sovereignty and their reliance on community farms.” And:

With the help of Dorothy Height, the president of the National Council of Negro Women, she developed a Pig Bank in Sunflower County in 1969. Conceived as a complement to Freedom Farm, the idea was innovative and, for the moment and place, odd. Beginning with 35 gilts and five boars, she gave pregnant pigs to Delta families who agreed to care for them, return the mother pig to the bank and keep the remaining piglets as dividends. Poor families butchered those dividends once they reached an acceptable weight.

Instead of buying ham and lard from a plantation commissary, Ms. Height bragged, Delta women went a year without store-bought pork. The Pig Bank built pride.

“The Pig Bank” does have a certain resonance…

“[Ben Handy, founder and president of the Ridgeland Block Club Association], has also used the Taste of African Heritage course as a way to introduce his students to another food access nonprofit: Top Box Foods, a local organization started by Chris and Sheila Kennedy that seeks to mitigate food deserts in the Chicagoland area by delivering fresh produce to designated drop-off sites. By buying from the same suppliers as a chain store like Mariano’s but forgoing fancy packaging, Top Box passes on a discount of up to forty percent to the consumer.”


“David Fairchild introduced a mind-bogglingly large number of plants to the U.S., changing the country’s farms and botanical gardens forever” [Smithsonian]. “By the end of Fairchild’s career, according to Lambert, his office had introduced 111,857 new species to the U.S. It was a grand testament to the United States’ richness and new twentieth-century openness to the world. And the introduction of such diversity reassured those concerned that the domestic food supply could be easily wiped out by one disease, drought or insect. His private collection was vast, and the botanical garden that bears his name has a rich collection of plants from around the world.”

Guillotine Watch

“Forty-Nine Straight Hours Inside Trump’s Washington Hotel” [Bloomberg]. Execrable taste. The Medicis, America’s squillionaires are not:

Key fact buried in the story: The building was once a United States Post Office, so this is not only a uglification story, it’s a privatization story. That is, a neoliberalism story. (Democrat Diane Feinstein’s squillionaire husband, Richard Bloom, is in the same racket.)

Class Warfare

“But the race, and the work of the wider industry, rest largely on the backs of an immigrant workforce making on average $400-$600 a week as well as free lodging in a huge dormitory inside the Churchill Downs complex. The skilled work typically requires a regular crew of guest workers, who live in Mexico in the offseason. However, as a result of Trump’s immigration crackdown, many horse workers were unable to make the trek to Churchill Downs this year” [Guardian]. So, and again, open borders, sanctuary cities, etc., are about cheap labor.

“The terrifying downside to a start-up: Being too broke to feed your family” [WaPo]. Try working at Walmart…

News of the Wired

“I Finally Understand Online Mom Drama” [New York Magazine].

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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 (via):

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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. jo6pac

    At a stop in Beverly Hills, Bernie Sanders vows Obamacare repeal bill ‘is never going to pass’ in Senate

    I wonder what he is doing on the hillabillie circuit?

      1. jo6pac

        Well he was doing something good.

        Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders swung through Beverly Hills this weekend, accepting an award from nonprofit Consumer Watchdog on Saturday. He also spoke at the sold-out Saban Theatre on Sunday


    1. yamahog

      Not on the table – breaking the ISP monopolies.

      But hey, it’s an HBO / Time Warner show, what do you expect?

  2. Carla

    “Medicaid expansion is the one part of the ACA that can be said unequivocally to work, unsurprisingly: It’s a single payer program funded by the currency issuer (though not a very good one, since it’s for poor people).”

    I have a close friend who was on expanded Medicaid in Ohio and it was an absolute miracle for her. She hadn’t had insurance for years because Gig economy, and now she’s aged into Medicare. However, for four years she received care at through a Medicaid program at our local public hospital, which happens to be top-notch in all respects except its reputation with the middle and upper classes (because poor people, you know). She had her first physical in decades, two surgeries for skin cancer and plastic surgery to repair the disfiguring effects of the second cancer operation, and laser treatments to fine-tune that plastic surgery. Her doctors were all excellent. Fortunately, it looks like she can continue the same docs and institution with Medicare.

    Obamacare has actually been absolutely wonderful for some of the poorest people among us, and that can only be counted as a win. About time something went right for them! For many, perhaps a majority, of those who weren’t desperate to begin with, of course, it’s been awful.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      Is she vulnerable to clawbacks of assets down the road (like when she wants to leave her home to her kids)? Not assuming she has assets, but many do and the expansion specifically defined recipients as liable for paying a share of the costs incurred at some point.

      1. Greg Lemieux

        I was on Medicaid for a year and left it because of the potential of claw backs. The main thing was that when you participate in these programs you are never given an invoice or any document that allows you to know what the procedure was or what it was billed for. I imagine that your heirs will have to take the government for their word.

      2. Art Eclectic

        It’s unmitigated BS that some people manage to leave assets to their kids while taking advantage of the taxpayer dime.

        1. jrs

          maybe it’s unmitigated BS that people are unable to leave anything to their kids because of healthcare costs (anything, if we’re talking real money that’s an inheritance tax issue).

          But I do think anyone who refuses needed healthcare (unless they are terminal and then that’s a decision having to do with hospice care which should have nothing to do with clawbacks) because of clawback is being crazy. Look unless they hate you, EVEN your kids don’t want you dead prematurely for the sake of an inheritance. So take Medicaid already!

        2. MoiAussie

          So is your position that every individual should be required to exhaust all their assets before ever receiving a taxpayer dime? So the government must never offer support or subsidise the cost of anything except for those with negative wealth? No food stamps or unemployment benefits until you’ve sold the house and car and spent every dollar?

          How does that square with subsidies to businesses? Is it unmitigated BS that corporations get subsidies while paying dividends to shareholders and giving minimally taxed handouts to management?

        3. Vatch

          Rich people leave vast sums of money and other assets for their children, yet they receive huge benefits from the government. I did a quick web search for “welfare for the rich”, and these were the first three hits:




      3. Carla

        Although my friend was working in a low-wage job with no benefits when she first qualified for expanded Medicaid, she soon lost that Gig. Although she holds a Master’s degree, due to a divorce she never had any assets.

        Look, my comment was about how the Medicaid expansion of Obamacare has done some remarkable good for people who needed it most. It was not about asset protection! I know. Hard for middle class Americans to imagine… but we are talking about tens of millions of people.

  3. Vatch

    From Hillary Clinton’s tweet:

    Defeat to those interfering w/democracy.

    Doesn’t she understand that she was one of those interfering with democracy? Her campaign, or her agents interfered with democracy during the primaries.

    1. Superdelegates.
    2. Purged 125,000 names from the Brooklyn voter rolls. (It’s not clear that this was intended to benefit Clinton, but she was probably helped by this.)
    3. After there weren’t enough Democratic ballots in 6 Illinois counties, the Democratic Illinois Attorney General sued to prevent post-election day voting by those who had been denied the right to vote.
    4. Mysterious coinflips at caucuses seemed to grant victory to Clinton most of the time.
    5. Bill Clinton illegally electioneered at Massachusetts polling places on election day.
    6. Did I mention superdelegates?

    Then there was the huge problem where people had to wait 5 hours to vote in Maricopa County, Arizona, but I guess that wasn’t caused by Clinton or her agents.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      Don’t you think these tweets and Hillary’s desire to include herself in every resistance movement just might be a desperate attempt on her part to stay in control or at least to stay relevant?

      Her attempts are shabby at best…..

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I posted down thread, but I think shes simply stupid. Remember she is the most famous cuckold in the world and has been twice defeated in her desire to become President by one guy who had no campaign platform and a horrid name for running in a racist country and Donald Trump.

        She didn’t lose to FDR. She lost to an empty suit ‘(at best) and Trump despite every advantage campaigns dream of.

        She tweeted that the media tells her not to speak out. Consider her state of mind. Its possible she is saying some really crazy stuff and would only serve to embarrass elite Dems and media people. The loyalists wont care, but the Podesta emails indicate Hillary is under the impression America discovered Japan.

        1. dcblogger

          Hillary Clinton is very intelligent and hugely popular. We long ago chased all the Hillary supporters off NakedCapitalism, but HRC won the popular vote. Millions and Millions of people voted for her. They remain interested in her. They want to know what she has to say. Her book will sell very well, all her previous books were best sellers. We may not support her, but millions of people do. You don’t have to admire to to acknowledge her popularity.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Hillary believes America discovered Japan. Shes an idiot and lost to Donald Trump and Obama.

            A dead Democrat could win 45 million votes just by being on the ballot in the general election.

            Of course, most of your defense applies to Trump too.

            1. Darius

              I’ve read several good reviews of Shattered and Hillary comes off as living on another planet. She apparently had no idea what so many people were angry about or why they were feeling desperate and hopeless. Liberal educated professionals were doing just fine.

              1. Carla

                Hillary lives on the same planet as liberal, educated, COASTAL professionals. There are tens of millions of them who are doing just fine. And they fully share her cluelessness about the rest of us.

                They are the cool people, while here in red country (no matter what our politics) we just fester like open sores. To be honest, that’s not very appealing, either.

                And by the way, reading several reviews of a book doesn’t really count. If I were you, I wouldn’t brag about it.

                  1. jrs

                    yea I hear you, if you follow the game of politics it might be more your thing. But it seems to me there is so much more interesting stuff to read out there.

                1. jrs

                  Liberal educated professionals do ok anywhere (but probably much better at places other than the coasts as their money goes further).

                  I hope noone is ignorant enough to claim there is no poverty on the coasts when Los Angeles has the highest homeless population in the nation and it’s not hidden, you can’t drive anywhere without seeing another homeless encampment.

            2. Mark P.

              Hillary Clinton is very intelligent and hugely popular.

              Get real. This is a woman who graduated in the bottom 25 percent of her year at law school and failed to pass the bar exam in DC, whereupon she was forced to follow her former college boyfriend, William Jefferson Clinton, to Arkansas and only there succeeded in passing the bar.

              Likewise in 1994, after the nepotistic chutzpah of Bill’s claim that America was getting “two for one” when he installed Hillary as health czar during his first presidential term, she proceeded to demonstrate appalling strategic ineptitude by assuming that she could essentially dictate terms to the American medical-industrial complex because her husband was in the White House. The medical-industrial complex played her like the arrogant buffoon that she was, and healthcare reform went down the toilet for twenty years.

              Likewise, too, something like half a million Syrians have now died because Hillary wanted to burnish her resume while she was U.S. secretary of state and demonstrate her credentials as a hawk.

              I could go on and on. Hillary was and is the very definition of incompetent scum. The only thing the woman has ever done halfway competently is grifting. Even there, she keeps on getting caught and only the fact that we live in a society where the one percent are essentially immune to prosecution has saved her.


              As for the popularity part of your proposition, the rejoinder to that is that a large segment of the American population voted for Trump as the lesser of the two evils they were offered.

            3. different clue

              Hillary believes America discovered Japan? Without sarcasm or exaggeration, are you saying that Hillary literally actual thinks in point of actual dispassionate fact that America actually discovered Japan? Is there a reproducible quote or followable link to actual proof of her actually saying that? I myself would want to be very careful before repeating a thing like that under the belief that it is courtroom quality fact.

              1. MoiAussie

                Here is what she said to the Goldman Sachs Builders And Innovators Summit, 10/29/13, as revealed by Wikileaks. (I’m sure you could have found the quote too.)

                Hillary Clinton Said She Told The Chinese They Can’t Just Claim The South China Sea And By Their Argument The US Could Claim The Pacific Because Of World War Two.

                “I think that—you know, one of the greatest arguments that I had on a continuing basis was with my Chinese counterparts about their claim. And I made the point at one point in the argument that, you know, you can call it whatever you want to call it. You don’t have a claim to all of it. I said, by that argument, you know, the United States should claim all of the Pacific. We liberated it, we defended it. We have as much claim to all of the Pacific. And we could call it the American Sea, and it could go from the West Coast of California all the way to the Philippines. And, you know, my counterpart sat up very straight and goes, well, you can’t do that. And I said, well, we have as much right to claim that as you do. I mean, you claim it based on pottery shards from, you know, some fishing vessel that ran aground in an atoll somewhere. You know, we had conveys of military strength. We discovered Japan for Heaven sakes. I mean, we did all of these things.”

                1. different clue

                  Hmmm. . . I see. You are correct that, yes, she literally said ” We discovered Japan for Heavens sakes.”
                  I assume she was being sarcastic or sardonic or sarcasmic or something.

                  If she actually literally believed even at the time of making that statement that we actually literally discovered Japan, then she was not being dumm iggerant stoopit. She was being deeply insane and suffering a psychotic break.

                  So I think her intent was snarchastic. If someone has evidence that she literally believed the literal meaning of those words at the time she said them . . . then we need to know that.

          2. Pat

            I can acknowledge her popularity and still discuss HER goal in tweeting at all and when she slams the media recognize it is a continuation of her inability to admit her own failings.
            Being popular does not always equate with competent, talented intelligent and/or deserving of that popularity. Remember almost every Kardashian has more followers than Hillary Rodham Clinton

          3. ProNewerDeal

            I recall from the 2016 campaign that Hillary had the 2nd worst net disapproval (approval – disapproval) number in US Pres history, where the poll of the D & R nominees done each election going back to 1980.

            Furthermore, Hillary lost to ConManD0n, the guy with the worst net disapproval number.

            It is possible that given the large US population & de facto 2-party distraction, any D or R nominee could be popular with some millions of diehard “fans”, despite being very unpopular as a percentage of the population. Keep in mind even the likes of Sarah Palin has some cohort of diehard fans. Most Disapproved Ever ConManD0n even has thousands at his rallies 6 months after the election.

          4. roadrider

            Millions and Millions of people voted for her. They remain interested in her.

            Well, there’s no accounting for taste.

          5. Big River Bandido

            Hillary Clinton is very intelligent and hugely popular… HRC won the popular vote.

            For the moment we’ll lay aside her “popularity” rating (the lowest of any presidential candidate in 4 decades). Her entire margin in the popular vote came from a single state, which indicates that her mandate among the nation as a whole was even worse than the overall result implies — and furthermore, we all know the rules of winning an election. Except HRC, who had 8 years to run, somehow couldn’t figure that out despite one of her predecessors making the exact same errors in 2000. She became the first Democrat to lose PA — and only the second one to lose IA — in 28 years (even Michael Dukakis won those states.) She became the first Democrat to lose MI and WI since Walter Mondale 32 years ago. Damn near became the first to lose MN since George McGovern in 1972. That’s not “intelligent” at all — it’s downright stupid politics.

          6. Massinissa

            ” and Millions of people voted for her. They remain interested in her”

            Considering she had such high unpopularity ratings, its probable that most Dems who voted for her just voted for her because they were scared shitless of The Donald.

          7. lyman alpha blob

            Her book will sell very well….

            I’m sure it will.

            Once the DNC uses all the money it didn’t spend supporting decent candidates to buy up all the copies.

          8. Anonymous

            Hillary Clinton could not even pass the Washington DC bar exam.

            She could only practice in Arkansas.

            She’s not that bright. She’s driven, power-mad and focused, but not insightful and has horrible judgment and zero empathy or conscience. Some of her actions are absolutely chilling. Her psychopathy is on full display.

            Many, if not most, of Hillary’s 3 million popular votes came from California. She was popular with coastal elites who benefited from her neoliberal policies and who apparently have little regard for the domestic and foreign victims of Hillary’s war profiteering.

          9. Vatch

            Millions of people voted for her.

            Yes, but. . . .

            Millions of people also voted for Trump (not quite as many, but close). That tens of millions of people would willingly vote “for” either one of them is difficult for me to believe. I’m pretty sure that a lot of the votes on either side were really votes against the other major candidate.

          10. Daryl

            She won the popular vote with record low turnout. Sure, she’s “popular” in that I guess a lot of people are aware of her. A lot of those people don’t like her, too, which is probably why the Democrats lost when a bag of bricks might have won.

          11. zapster

            Only because millions of ballots for Bernie went uncounted, were changed with whiteout to Clinton and various other machinations. The fact that she refused to support the recount (which showed her winning before they shut it down) says to me she didn’t want it very bad. Trump was just fine with her.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Slim here. We didn’t have major voting problems down here in Pima County, but in Maricopa? Oh, brother.

      And let’s just say that the AZ Democratic Party wasn’t up in arms about those five-hour lines. Of course not. Because their chosen candidate, The Inevitable Hillary, won our state’s Democratic primary.

      Now, the Sanders campaign wasn’t exactly raising hell either. They packed up and left the state. It was up to us Zonies to take to the streets and I was one of them.

    3. optimader

      Doesn’t she understand that she was one of those interfering with democracy?
      No or know?

      I vote the later..

    4. John Morrison

      “2. Purged 125,000 names from the Brooklyn voter rolls. (It’s not clear that this was intended to benefit Clinton, but she was probably helped by this.)”

      “Then there was the huge problem where people had to wait 5 hours to vote in Maricopa County, Arizona, but I guess that wasn’t caused by Clinton or her agents.”

      Voter suppression tactics such as these are one benefit of third parties, especially if they buckle up, hold their noses (if necessary) and work together: they have standing to sue for the sabotage of their elections — and maybe even sue for immediate redress, Court order: “Get 100 more voting machines there within 30 minutes, or you’re jailed.”

    1. Outis Philalithopoulos


      In his title, he laments that “we” on “the Left” are “fighting each other,” and then proceeds to… fight… against “hard-core Bernie Sanders dead-enders” “waging jihad against the party,” also known as “mostly white and male Christian or atheist progressives.”

      He puzzles over the fact that “we” on “the Left” have “near unanimity” on basic values like “income equality” and “justice for all.” However, the “alt left,” according to Kos, believes that income equality can “solve all our ills.”

      It soon becomes clear that many on “the Left” don’t actually share all of “our” values, and are in fact “assholes.”

      I became quite confused at this point. There is “near unanimity” on “income equality”? Did the Democratic Party announce that it favors income equality for all people when I wasn’t paying attention? What is the plan that we “all” agree on for how to get there?

      He concludes by announcing that whereas he hasn’t made a big deal out of his minority status up to now, that has ended. We will now see “Latino Kos” “loud and proud.” So all of you “asshole borderline racists” out there, be afraid: the party is over.

      1. craazyboy

        Glad to see him stand up for the Kos Cause and get that rant off his breasts. Must be running low on money. Maybe we’ll see some web begging? Pledge a Peso or two – they be cheap.

        Also, his ID pol needs updating with the real demo data widely and longly in the MSM news. As usual, white bros be an unofficial minority. Even if your alter ego isn’t a black dude named Airbelly – Son of Ledbelly*, and you have a guitar named “Lucille” but you have no clue where the name came from. But you’ll still try picking and stroking Lucille. The Bitch.

        * And you may be woke enough to know Ledbelly penned “House of the Rising Sun” !

        1. dcblogger

          can’t find it now, but somewhere there is a graphic (I think from Pew research) saying that blacks and women overwhelmingly support Sanders

          1. craazyboy

            I think Lambert had it or similar in Watercooler sometime in the past few days.

            I think the “professions”, old white male dominated, indicated the Hillary preference.

            Makes me feel a twinge of guilt, but I’ve now joined Jesus, and split into my part time alter ego, Airbelly, Son of Ledbelly, Cajin Blues Star Extraordinaire. But I gotta practice lots more before I tell anyone.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Owning Kos didn’t help national Democrats in the last cycle. I wonder how much money went his way during the campaign.

          I suppose like the Democrats swore to do, Kos will seek to mine Hispanic voters to augment his blog’s status.

      2. RUKidding

        Don’t read the Great Orange Satan… this is reason #5432 or something.

        I did swing by there a bit during the campaign and the anti-Sanders stuff was over the top. But I see lots of anti-Sanders stuff at other purported “leftwing” blogs. I don’t get it, except that there’s been viscious rumors (probably spawned by the DNC and the Clintonistas) that it’s all the fault of “BernieBros” that Sainted Empress Clinton lost… except when it’s Putin’s fault, of course, or maybe Julian Assange’s fault or Jill Stein’s fault. Of course, it is never ever Clinton’s fault in any way.

        IMO, Sanders has handled himself admirably throughout, up to and including today. Why these Clintonistas continue in their vitriolic hatred of Sanders is both puzzling and extremely aggravating.

        Talk about pitting people against one another, so that the 1% takes the spoils.

        While Sanders is far from perfect – who is?? – he’s one of the few politicians out there that I see actively WORKING HARD for the rights of the middle and working classes. What has Clinton done in that regard except for some Tweets?

        Sheesh. These people.

        Well Kos is ex-CIA, and it was made evident that the CIA wanted Clinton to win, even though the Fibbies did not and still don’t. So that may be part of it, I suppose.

        1. Massinissa

          Man, I feel bad for Bernie sometimes. He gets hated on by people like Markos for being too far to the left of the Dems, and then he gets hated on by the far left (often including myself) for not being enough far left of the Dems.

      3. jrs

        or he seems to be fighting anyone who actually does prioritize single payer (whereas I see how people prioritize things differently and don’t see it as a right or wrong thing – I mean sure the fact that we are destroying the biosphere may be more important in some way than the unemployment rate but … see it’s not so clear cut is it). But anyway he like can’t understand it, all this fussing over single payer, it’s just inexplicable, it’s over his privileged head or something, he makes to much $$$$$. Do you think the Ko$ has ever lost any sleep over healthcare of himself or his family?

        You are seeing the loud and proud outting of RICH KO$.

      4. Lee

        IMHO, Kos has lost his [family blog] mind. I visited and commented at that site for several years. Now, I rarely go there and very occasionally find a progressive or pro-Sanders point of view being expressed. But mostly they are just crazed identitarians screeching about Trump’s awfulness. The guy is indeed awful but we do have bigger, systemic fish to fry.

        Every time I go to DK I post a quote from and link to Naked Capitalism.

        1. Darius

          Sarah Jones tweeted today that just because LePen was so awful doesn’t mean Macron is good. Same applies to Trump and the Democrats.

      5. Massinissa

        “Christian or atheist progressives.”

        I’m still trying to wrap my head around this part. Is he saying that Christians and atheists are both privileged like being white and male or something? Because otherwise I don’t see much in common between the two.

      6. different clue

        Markos Moulitsas ( and Moulitsas is a GREEK name, by the way), is a perfect example of all those millions of Hillary supporters. I have said before that they are a civic threat and a political menace, and a major nonpoint source of ethical and moral pollution.

    2. curlydan

      OMG. Have barf bag ready! Abandon all logic before you enter! I guess any article by Kos is like train-wreck click bait…kind of like David Brooks :)

      His big ask is: would you accept a border wall for universal health care? I can’t even imagine being in a state of mind where this somehow becomes a “trade” much less a red line you dare to cross.

      Why can’t we pursue and advocate policies that simply help “the people” and be against dumbass proposals? Why can we pick only one?

      1. Gareth

        His big ask is: would you accept a border wall for universal health care?
        That’s easy. Yes, I would. I like the way this dude thinks, breaking across all the ideological divisions. And they could also dig a big effing trench, filled with crocodiles and rubber ducks, in exchange for a universal job guarantee.

        1. jrs

          Of course as some pointed out it’s not even an argument. It’s just an insult.

          I mean if one needs to answer the hypothetical question, I suppose there are several approaches, one could try for utilitarian (I think single payer would win, I suspect it would improve and save more lives but that’s an empirical and I don’t claim to actually have that data). One could be more narrow and say that questions within one’s country are more important than saving the whole world. This is how EVERYONE lives in actual practice to some degree. Very few of us are more concerned with suffering in Africa than single payer OR police brutality. One could just say they are driven to care about what they do for personal reasons (maybe they even are say a nurse who prioritizes single payer). I’ve argued subjective is ok for determining one’s actions politically. One could argue an issue is more central than another, for instance one may prioritize the environment, but understand why this must entail a policy of economic justice as well (for reasons of justice but even just to get any buy in on your environmental concerns!).

          So someone on Ko$ is commenting on Ko$ on how this needs to be determined dialectically. Yes maybe, but they are trying to have a thinking persons argument, in a place where thought is even less welcome than in Trumps head quite frankly.

      2. Mark P.

        curlydan wrote: His big ask is: would you accept a border wall for universal health care? I can’t even imagine being in a state of mind where this somehow becomes a “trade” much less a red line you dare to cross.

        You should start imagining that in fact this is a real trade-off that our societies confront. Because almost certainly what Markos is tiptoeing around here is that he’s run across mention of Rodrik’s Trilemma somewhere and rather than address it honestly he’s thrown up this little piece of bullshit.

        Unfortunately, Rodrik’s Trilemma is a real, valid problem. Arguably, the great problem of the 21st century —


        In the developed global North, there increasingly aren’t going to be enough jobs to maintain capitalism as we’ve known it, so basic income and services will have to take up the slack.

        Simultaneously, as climate change kicks in in the undeveloped global South, famine and social breakdown will increasingly force refugee populations to flee northwards, where at some point they’ll utterly overwhelm the developed states’ abilities to maintain their existing populations.

        It’s all only going to become more intensely difficult.

        1. MoiAussie

          I’m glad to hear refugees will flee northwards. Very reassuring to us Down Under.

        2. Left in Wisconsin

          In the developed global North, there increasingly aren’t going to be enough jobs to maintain capitalism as we’ve known it, so basic income and services will have to take up the slack.

          I don’t buy this at all. But the trilemma is easy to solve – just do away with the “deep economic integration.” Shallow economic integration worked just fine for a long time.

    3. jrs

      I don’t even understand the question, would I take reading that for someone who can word a non-ambiguous question? So is the question will I put up with the wall for single payer healthcare? Yea likely so. Or is the question: am I willing to give up building the wall for single payer healthcare? Sure.

      1. Another Anon

        I think what Kos is trying to say, is that there is not enough political support
        to get single payer health care amongst those who want it and don’t want
        the wall. Therefore getting sufficient support for single payer healthcare
        requires one to get the support of the above group and those who would
        support it provided such a wall is built. This is bullshit for as others have mentioned,
        it makes no sense if someone who wants A and B will say no to A if B is not possible.
        My granddaughter won’t refuse getting chocolate, if she can’t get both chocolate and cake.

    4. Kurtismayfield

      I am very proud of Markos.. he waited one paragraph to start hippie punching.

      So again, ask yourself: would you trade universal health care for Trump’s glorious wall and enhanced hiring of jackbooted government ICE thugs to raid homes, schools, and workplaces? And if the answer is “yes”—then please, show yourself out the door.

      I don’t remember Hillary offering universal healthcare in the campaign. And she never mentioned trading it for rigorous immigration enforcement.

      1. jrs

        no and Trump never actually offered it either.

        I suppose it was supposed to be some sort of thought experiment. Which was answered with not thought and not even subjective opinion. But subjective opinion + anyone who disagrees with my subjective opinion is an @ssh0le. Why? Don’t ask why, that’s entirely too much thinking you are doing there buddy.

    5. Damson

      He demonstrates the point C. Johnstone at the Medium link makes perfectly.

      Typical white noise from the Establishment (whose all – encompassing liberalism is of the limousine variety – pet causes /divide-and-conquer identity politics).

      But there appears to be real worry behind the noise – that income inequality may very well get coopted by a real grassroots, identity-transcendent movement, instead of contained/diluted, even perverted for oligarch ends.

      The class issue is back. The political is returning to the economy, from whence it had been believed permanently evicted (MMT).

      That would sound the death – knell for apparatchiks such as the Kos.

  4. LT

    Re: The Nation “Rock Star MMT”…

    Who has flexibility?
    Key words: sovereign currency-issuing nation.

    Preach it to the youth…and fast!

    1. Dead Dog

      Agreed, but we face a huge, immovable, mass of economists and other intellectuals who rely (ie earn their living) by supporting the untrue statement that:

      Government spending requires taxes or debt to fund it.

      Sounds ‘right’ to most of my friends, who need income or debt to buy things.


      Budget morning here in Oz. As a younger economist and working in the Government in Canberra, I used to get excited in the budget and rarely missed watching the Treasurer’s speech in the early evening (second Tuesday in May). After my ‘enlightenment’, due in no small part to being an early adopter of NC’s wisdom, and especially the commentariat, I cringe every time any politician repeats the lie.

      So is it a lie?

      I don’t think so. It’s more akin to indoctrination and continues to be supported by some very bright minds in Treasury, Finance and so on.

      I think that the idea that you could give a government, any government, virtually unlimited resources to solve every social need… Well, that government would be much too powerful.

      And, the rent seeking party would be over

      Thank you Lambert for continuing to help people to understand MMT. Every new person that ‘gets it’ is welcome

      1. craazyboy

        If you just ignore MMT like everyone else does, you’ll be right far more often than wrong.

        Plus, you won’t presently be on the hook for $50K in per capita federal and state debt. Or $200K for a family of four. With an income ave at $52K/year and you have to still borrow to make ends meet, and that will certainly get much worse too.

        1. Deadl E Cheese

          If you ignore Einsteinian physics in lieu of Newtonian physics like almost everyone else does, you’ll be right far more often than wrong, too.

          Let’s go back to your analogy: if you had unlimited property rights to use a legal tender printing press or US Treasury banking software, what does it even mean to have debt? As far as you’re concerned, what’s the practical difference in this situation from being owed by 100 people a million dollars each or owing 100 people a million dollars each?

          1. craazyboy

            Debt service. Only reason we keep rolling the snowball downhill. Till snowball meets Hobbit Village. Tolkien didn’t just make this stuff up either. He was a student of history, and the future.

            Sauron always gets the gold from Smurf, and issues script to pay the stooped Orcs.

            But Sauron was too clever to take on Sovereign debt, and his flying Ring King Monsters didn’t buy food, so they had no reason to borrow at state or personal levels.

        2. Dead Dog

          Is the ignorance willful or not. Craazy?

          I guess if you get your viewpoints from the msm, it’s ignorance of a different sort.

          The Australian budget process here is tedious. Changes, additions, lapsing programs, all impact the Budget ‘bottom line’ (deficit or surplus) and this is where the focus is. Our public servants allow this to perpetuate as they are scared of a government with unlimited spending power.

          $300m for new Federal Police (to ensure our Nation’s security…) is ‘New Money’ no offsets (savings on other programs) required.

          More support to the poor? Can’t be done as would require taxes or more debt.

          All politicians follow the same script and it is excruciating to watch

          1. craazyboy

            The whole world went neolib, aussies are no exception.

            In my case, I studied econ, finance and money since college, and was lucky enough to find some credible sources post college that didn’t try to load up their writings with a bunch of fluff for the sake of selling heavier text books by the pound. Then, these past ten years, it’s been almost impossible to find a finance and econ site that hasn’t been at least partly coopted by overly chatty, but ill informed, self identifying MMTers.

            Fortunately, I already know how it works, so I didn’t waste that much time on it. Except for all the fun you can have with it.

            I can and have just told people how it all works in a few simple paragraphs. It’s just that it doesn’t seem to help, or a newbie expert comes along.

          2. AbateMagicThinking but Not money

            A lie – well that is relatively benign. We all do it – even to ourselves, but indoctrination is a different kettle of fish altogether and not at all benign.

            You can lie to yourself with alacrity, but you have a go at indoctrinating yourself.

            The doctrine I see being promulgated is that private wealth is equivalent to public wealth and that the methods of regulating a person’s private wealth and a nation’s wealth are the same. Either the politicians don’t understand this (being indoctrinated themselves) or they are loathe for some reason to educate the people of the consequences of the differences between creating personal wealth and public (national) wealth. If for reasons of convenience, because of an ill-educated population they fail to point out the difference, the power-elite has to be very careful not to believe its own propaganda.

            Can a nation’s power-elite become self-deluded by believing its own propaganda? My response is: show me a power-elite that isn’t self deluded – It is only a matter of degree.

            Pip Pip

          3. Another Anon


            Is there still support for “negative gearing” in Oz ?
            It seems to me that it is driving much of the real estate bubble.

            1. Not Invented Here! (even though I did invent it)

              re Negative Gearing in Oz ( and coincidentally Budget day in OZ – May 9th)

              The current government momentarily touted changing negative gearing within the past few years. but such a kerfuffle was stirred up, the proposal was canned (as in: can of worms). The currently hot expression: thought-bubble comes to mind; assumed meaning: policy we didn’t OK with the lobbyists.

              Additionally, when the Labor opposition embraced the possibility of change and put up their own proposal, change became a total No-No, as in collapse-of-the-economy type No-No.

              Today the new government “budget” will be announced with measures proposed to enable the current batch of potential first-time home buyers to more easily afford to enter the still over-heated housing market.

              It will have to be a cunning plan, or the sellers of bottom-end property will have added the appropriate sum to the price of their offerings about 15 seconds after the proposed change is announced.

              Ah Politics; endlessly entertaining if you can forget that you have skin in the game for a while! In this respect the current POTUS is a gem – Mutually Assured Destruction and all.

              Pip Pip!

    2. craazyman

      I think Woodie Guthrie is gonna sing at the MMT concert,

      This is “The Do Re Mi” Song (w/apologies to Mr. Guthrie)

      economists back east they say
      is leavin home every day
      they’re beaten that hot old dusty way
      to the Kansas City line
      across the money lands they roll
      lookin for a tenure dole
      they think they’re goin to a sugar bowl
      but here’s what they find
      the professers at the port of entry say
      “you can teach here but we’re not sure we can pay”

      Whoa! if you can’t live on MMT boys
      If you can’t live on MMT
      You better go back to beautiful Wall Street
      Princeton, Yale or Harvard where there’s currency
      Kansas City is a garden of Eden (Editorial interruption: put Wilbert Harrison’s Kansas City on the record player! Kansas City, Kansas City here I come, Goin to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come, they got a lot a crazy women there (like Professor Kelton) and I think I’m gonna get me one, I’m standin on the corner, 12th street and Vine, standin’ on the corner, 12th Street and Vine, Got some MMT money & gonna buy a bottle of Kansas City wine. . .Now we’ll return to the song . . . )
      A paradise to teach in — for free
      But believe it or no, you won’t find it so hot
      If you can’t live on MMT

      If you want to buy a home or farm
      that won’t do nobody harm
      or take your vacations at the mountains or sea
      but don’t swap your gold bars for dollars
      They’ll print them right up to the stars
      You better take this little tip from me
      I channel up the centuries every day ( sorry that’s not a good line for a song)
      and the history of money always say . . . (that’s not so good either)

      chorus . . .

      1. Truth - better expressed in song

        Get Ry Cooder to sing it!

        For those who have never listened to Ry, check out No Banker Left Behind on Ewetube (which specializes in vids about trees in English churchyards and sheep).

  5. roxy

    “But the media says I can’t talk about that.” What part of JUST GO AWAY does she not understand?

    1. a different chris

      She’s having trouble with the “JUST”, the “GO”, and the “AWAY”. But otherwise she is the smartest most qualified person evah.

    2. RUKidding

      What part doesn’t she understand? All of it. Nor does she want to understand.

      Inserting herself in inglorious ways seems to be her MO these days. Ugh.

    3. Plenue

      What is she even referring to with that comment? In what (wonderful, utopian) world is the media not talking constantly about how the Ruskies supposedly interfered in our election? Another wave of that nonsense hit just today; someone named Sally Yates said some fluff or other about the Michael Flynn nonsense. God, the Trump administration should have put their foot down and stubbornly refused to back down on that gibberish from the start. Flynn talked to an Ambassador, you know, someone who is literally paid to talk to people. The end. But they didn’t stand their ground, and here we are, with Keith Olbermann just declaring Yates a national hero.

  6. DWD

    There are at least 22 Democrats thinking about running for president in 2020” [CNN].

    And unless I missed it, no mention of Tulsi.

    They really don’t like her.

    That tells me that she must frighten them down to their designer shoes.

    1. Vatch

      She’s not one of the Terrific Twenty Two, but she’s one of the Fantastic Forty Three in this article linked just below the CNN link:

      “The 43 people who might run against Trump in 2020” [The Hill].

      Both lists include several people I have never heard of.

        1. polecat

          well, he’s got the cuff links … so that must mean he’s all presidential n shit !

    1. Huey Long


      Have we as a people gotten so lazy that we can’t be bothered to go to the store and buy more paper towels when we run out?

      Secondly, what happens when these sensors get hacked, or somebody’s three year old starts playing with one of them and an entire tractor trailer load of paper towels gets delivered to somebody’s house in error?

      Is the customer on the hook for the bill or is WalMart?

      Ugh, well I guess there is a reason Lambert refers to such devices as the “internet of s!@#.”

      1. jrs

        a lot of it is lazy, but people also work long hours (and both parents work), have long commutes, live in a country without paid vacation, sick time, or enforced overtime laws.

        So they look for hacks. Weight the hacks against the downside (downside of having your paper towels tracked is lack of privacy, downside of automatic bill pay is they may charge you before you’ve seen the bill (!), downside of having all your meals in restaurants and ready made is health and maybe costs, downside of buying online is it doesn’t support local employment). But people WILL take a least some hacks, because they HAVE to.

        1. Huey Long

          True, I did neglect the hack end of the deal, especially with so many folks working multiple jobs and those folks on the while collar side of the house being forced to work 60+ hour weeks with no OT.

          Thanks JRS.

    2. mirjonray

      Outside of the obvious creep factor, I also wonder how good a job they’d do keeping their items in stock. When you have a cranky old cat like I do, it’s very important to get the correct kitty litter and flavors of cat food delivered Just In Time.

    3. different clue

      I couldn’t be sure the headline matched the story. Was the story actually saying these sensors would be used to “inform” Walmart that it needed to order another such item to restock the store shelf from wherever the item had been bought from?

      Or did the article literally say that Walmart hopes to create a racket whereby an item in your own home send in an order for another such item to Walmart without you knowing? And that Walmart then sends it to you and bills you or drains your credit card or garnishes your paycheck for it?

  7. Quentin

    Clinton is just so full of BS. No, her DNC didn’t interfere with democracy? Yes, she most surely can talk about that…but she won’t. Instead she pontificates about the WORLD: my goodness! Then tell us about how your democracy bypassed Libya, for instance. Once again Clinton is the victim: now the media is the culprit as she stands tall smiling as the barbs bounce of her. I happy to see she is tech savvy enough to twitter, just like her president.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Part of me wonders if people in her circle and the media have realized she really is stupid and are simply pleading with her not to speak in public because Hillary will only serve to embarrass herself and her circle.

      1. different clue

        If that is true, then setting Hillary free to say everything she wants to say might lead her to self-destruct in public.

        Her millions of supporters should start a movement to Unchain the Warrior Woman. Let Hillary Be Hillary!

  8. clarky90

    Features of a successful therapeutic fast of 382 days’ duration

    “A 27-year-old male patient fasted under supervision for 382 days and has subsequently maintained his normal weight. Blood glucose concentrations around 30 mg/100 ml were recorded consistently during the last 8 months, although the patient was ambulant and attending as an out-patient………Prolonged fasting in this patient had no ill-effects”.


    Re, Health Care. We have inexpensive, universal health care here in NZ. It is a Godsend in the case of accidents, trauma, infections, childbirth, stroke…. event based. However, when I look at my fellow Kiwis, we are not a very healthy community, in spite of easy access to modern health care? Overweight, diabetic, cancer, autoimmune problems, depression……

    Fasting is an “amazing” and “normal” ability of our nomadic, hunter gathering forebears. (ALL of our forebears). Sometimes there was plenty of food, sometimes, a scarcity of food, sometimes, there was no food at all. The “no food at all” lasted until there was food again.


    I am passing this on to anyone feeling overwhelmed by the hideous USA health care machinations. (IMHO of course!)

    1. Jeotsu

      An anecdote from a farmer (who also happens to be in NZ) —

      Camelids evolved in a situation of food scarcity, and seasonal variation in food abundance and nutritive quality. NZ pastoral conditions are essentially permanent “club med” for these scarcity-adapted animals, so overweight and obese animals are very common. On our farm we happen to run them on (rather steep) hill country, so we end up with animals that are both very fit, and very fat.

      We’ve had female animals come onto our place from flat paddocks who were suffering from endocrine disruptions – upshot meaning they couldn’t get pregnant. Leave them on the hills for 6-12 months and they would still be fat-to-obese (though no longer morbidly obese, with fat rolls down the flanks) and their endocrine system would get back in line and they’d have no problem with pregnancies.

      Yes, they are camels and we are humans, but I can’t help but look at that experience and then decide maybe I should go out for a long walk today. We have become far too sedentary.

      1. Huey Long

        We have become far too sedentary.


        This is so true, and it is a huge part of why I have been commuting to work on a bike for the past year or so.

        May is National Bike Month, May 19th is National Bike to Work Day, and I encourage the entire commenteriat to give it a shot if feasible.

        1. AbateMagicThinking but Not money

          I used to commute to work on my bike – even through the wet and murky English winters. I found it the best way to flush the Dilbert-esque madness out at the end of the day. Through doing that, I went cycle touring in France, Spain and Thailand for months, but mostly as a fair-weather cyclist – spending days in my tent trying to learn French when it rained solidly.

          During the many hours in the saddle, the best alternative name I could come up with for cars was:


          Any other suggestions ,anyone?


    2. Huey Long

      RE: 382 Day Fast

      I couldn’t tell from reading the abstract, but did this fellow go without food for 382 days?

      The reason I ask is that fasting has various meanings, like during Ramadan when fasting consists of abstaining from food and drink during the daytime hours only.

      Commenteriat, please advise!

      1. clarky90

        Hi HL

        It was a complete fast! Scroll down from the abstract and the entire paper is there as pdfs.

        Here is a before and after photo.


        “This patient weighted in 456 pounds (~207 kg) and weighted out 180 pounds (~82 kg). So, he lost 276 pounds (~125kg) during his fast. Five years after the fast ended, the patient’s weight has been constantly around the values of 196 pounds. A.B. had no ill symptoms during and after the fast.

        Throughout the entire period of 382 days, patient A.B. consumed water and had taken vitamin supplements, yeast for the first 10 months, potassium supplements (Day 93 to Day 162), and sodium supplements (Day 345 to Day 355). Urine and blood collections were taken throughout the whole period of fasting. Fecal evacuations were infrequent in the later period of the fasting, as the time between stools was averaging from 37-48 days, as the researchers claim”.

        The things that we humans are capable of doing. wow

        1. Bugs Bunny

          This case report is from 1973. Perhaps nutritional science has advanced since then?

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s a life style…fasting.

      But not all pre-conditions, like diabetic, are related to life style.

      Only one particular life style I can think of that guarantees pre-conditions – GM food diet. Almost all of us are forced to live that style, unfortunately.

  9. craazyboy

    “Cutting nearly $1 trillion from Medicaid will give states the freedom to tailor the program to suit their needs, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Sunday, as he defended a narrowly passed House bill that aims to undo parts of the health care law enacted by the previous administration”

    OMG. It’s trwu, it’s trwu. They don’t teach Docs math in school!

    Well, some stat fodder then

    Total state government expenditures

    Between fiscal years 2014 and 2015, total state spending (including both state and federal funds and excluding bonds) was estimated to have increased by about 7.65 percent, from $1.7 trillion in fiscal year 2014 to an estimated $1.83 trillion in fiscal year 2015.[2]


    Total debt by state
    As of January 2014, total debt in the states equaled approximately $5.1 trillion. This equaled approximately $16,178 per capita. Alaska had the highest total state debt per capita at $40,714 ($29.8 billion total).


    That explains no math.

  10. allan

    Is methane slowing global warming in the Arctic? [Science(!)]

    Good news about climate change is especially rare in the Arctic. But now comes news that increases in one greenhouse gas—methane—lead to the dramatic decline of another. Research off the coast of Norway’s Svalbard archipelago suggests that where methane gas bubbles up from seafloor seeps, surface waters directly above absorb twice as much carbon dioxide as surrounding waters. The findings suggest that—in isolated spots in the Arctic—methane seeps could lessen the impact of climate change.

    “This is … totally unexpected,” says Brett Thornton, a geochemist at Stockholm University who was not involved in the research. These new findings challenge the popular assumption that methane seeps inevitably increase the global greenhouse gas burden. …

    Surely there’s a way to monetize this.

    1. craazyboy

      I think it’s in a still shot, nicely framed. But we have the talkies now.

      So, Norway???

        1. HopeLB

          Yes, you might be really onto something there (!) unless my wanton oogling of the tubes has tricked me into a prokaryotes vs eukaryotes vs urchin battle story . Kelp seems to thrive in acidified waters. They are using it to remove carbonic acid (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11120-015-0138-5 ) but in warmer, acidic waters kelp can be wiped out by sea urchins switching from passive cold water bacteria/algae feeding to active kelp eatting. (http://what-when-how.com/water-science/kelp-and-seaweed-water-science/ ) Sea urchins can adapt to both acidification and warming. (https://phys.org/news/2014-12-sea-urchins-antarctica-ocean-acidification.html )(Could be the water equivalent to cockroaches though their spikeless, toxicless starfish brethren don’t fare so well ? ) Not sure where the toxic cyanobacteria tides fit in here. Maybe, they will ultimately win out (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Oxygenation_Event ) liking heat, sunlight, acid and farm runoff (phosporous and nitrogen).
          Anyway, the whole thing, from methane plumes to human die off and back to the cyanobacteria oxygenating is just crying out for a comic book depiction or a fine melodic song.

              1. craazyboy

                Maybe. But in a slightly different vein, we did the Beatles already. Maybe pop culture is ready for The Blues & Greens punk blues band?

                Where’s Ed Sullivan when you need him?

                The pop movement would be called “The Atlantic Surge”, because it’s what we do nowadays.

    2. Deadl E Cheese

      Now that Mechagodzilla has killed King Kong, looks like we are safe forever.

  11. WobblyTelomeres

    “Even if California does pass single payer — and with an economy the size of France, they have the scale Vermont didn’t — what happens in a downtown? California is not a currency issuer… ”

    Neither is France. Or Greece.

    1. jrs

      or the whole of Europe mostly, most of which have decent healthcare systems.

      So it’s probably all much less of a problem than everyone else from the entire U.S. coming to California to get healthcare if we got single payer. Because really whether or not it is funded by taxes, California CAN (oh yes most definitely CAN) afford it, but not if the entire country starts to see California as their option for free healthcare the day they decide to move here.

      1. craazyboy

        The really annoying part being “immigrants” from Mexicao are dumping their $250/yr state plan and getting it somehow in CA. Weird thing about OCare at the low end of the scale is a gold or silver plan nets out the same price after rebate, if you are at poverty level. So a family of 6 can get gold plan coverage worth 100K a year with low co-pay and deductibles.

        No wonder the Rs are tweaked over that. Too bad they are about as creative as empty oil barrels beaten with a drumstick when it comes to creating functional alternatives.

        1. Huey Long

          Too bad they are about as creative as empty oil barrels beaten with a drumstick when it comes to creating functional alternatives.

          I think this lack of creativity you speak of is a feature, not a bug.

          This way, whatever program they create will end up sucking, then they can rail against gov’t programs to the base, then laud the benefits of privatization to the donors, and finally either kill the aforementioned sucking program or privatize it for the benefit of a donor crony.

          You know, the whole ‘because markets, go die’ thing…

          1. craazyboy

            Kill it with lack of funding, or monetize it for cronies seems to be the modus operandi of the R’s and now the Ds. “The Bad Drive Out The Good”. QED

            I keep thinking it has to end, but how. The thought process keeps leading me to some kind of military coup. But those haven’t been great historically either.

            Plus, I be getting old and just wanted to golf a drink some beers.

            The past 10 years I’ve read 200 sci-fi and fantasy books. They all have political economy structures. I figure with 200 smart old humans exercising their speculative fiction powers, someone would have come up with a nice universe. But no:)

            1. Another Anon

              Just finished reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest novel
              “New York 2140”. Worth reading, and it is comforting to know
              that in the 22nd century, New York is still all about finance
              and real estate as that is mostly what the plot is about.

              1. craazyboy

                Haven’t got to that one yet. But soon.

                Just finished the Mistborn fantasy series by Brandon Sanderson. 3 novels, 700 pages a piece. Great too.

                It’s kinda like the 1st Testament 6 or 7 civilization collapses in the Future. Really.

                Tied my fantasy list for 1st place along with The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. GOT ties for best film series.

                Reading The End Of All Things by John Scalzi. It’s the 4th novel in the Old Man’s War series ,one of my favs in the sci-fy category. It’s really getting good too. The political scamming among 400 Alien Races beats GOT! It starts –

                “It’s dark. I’m a disembodied brain in box. This is my story…”

                How can you not luv that?!

                So much made up stuff – so little time.

      2. john k

        They pay less and get better care. How can that be a problem, financial or otherwise?
        Oh right, a political problem. How to craft a reasonably fair tax burden… taxing the companies, the employed, plus maybe consumers, in place of former insurance payments. Bearing in mind that the sickest and costliest of all, the over 65 group, are already covered.
        Oh right, the insurance companies might not like it. I think I found the problem!

        But wait… aren’t politicians elected to serve the people, not insurance companies?

        1. Dandelion

          Self employed nearing 60, not eligible for subsidies, the bronze plan for me priced out at $600/mo for a $6000 deductible and, I believe, 70/30 for in-network, 60/40 for out of network. One surgery could leave me with a $25k bill and that’s on top that of paying $7200 annually in premiums and assuming no out of network anesthesiologist showed up in the OR that day. I could be wrong about the split, but I do not think so — I do remember I was shocked it wasn’t the standard 80/20. I used to be a health insurance broker, so I was paying attention. Not at all impressed by Obamacare’s design. I’ve wondered if it could survive a 14th Amendment challenge because it treats citizens so very unequally based on geography alone. Medicare doesn’t ding you for traveling out of state to a place like the MD Andersen Center in Texas to see a specialist. Obamacare does.

      3. Liberal Mole

        The housing prices will stop them. I expect should this pass there will be a year or more long residency requirement before the healthcare kicks in. You should see the hurdles required by the UC system to prove you’ve actually moved to CA and can pay the in-state tuition.

    2. Ronald Pires

      I assume that was supposed to be

      “. . . — what happens in a downturn?

      Exactly. Medical expenses typically go up in a downturm. California could go bankrupt.

      But additionally, California isn’t a closed pool. No state (except possibly Hawaii and Alaska) could be considered a closed pool. That means that if California did get single payer, sick people would flock to it. Wouldn’t you? Life and death? And there goes your budget; right out of control.

      Too many people talk insurance with nothing more than the experience with it of buying a few policies. Sorry, but state-based single payer — forget about Canada; we are not Canada — is a BAD IDEA. One state level failure, and we lose the argument for national single payer; the only single payer that will work.

      1. Another Anon

        You raise a valid point, but couldn’t it still be financed by
        state taxes ?

      2. Anonymous

        This is another version of the argument that you cannot have universal healthcare *without* a border wall. If the entire planet wants to live in the US, the US system becomes unsustainable.

  12. LT

    Re: The Bezzle: Wall-Mart Sensors

    I call it the “Desperation of the Internet of Things.”
    Stores following throughout your waking dys and maybe sleeping nights, desperate to keep spending on your mind.
    It really is a type of desperation.

    1. pricklyone

      I’m still partial to the Amazon button things. When I go to relatives houses, I walk around and press all the buttons. They are well stocked with laundry soap, TP and the like.
      Just helping them be proactive, instead of reactive.
      Kidding, only kidding. Maybe.

  13. Loblolly

    Why should I care about any issue other than the fact that I can’t pay my mortgage?

    Bring on MMT and throw the TPP right back into the trash. Out with the neo-libs, the neo-cons and the rest of the neo-feudalists. Defend the borders and no more foreign wars.

    We don’t need trade deals that export jobs or the oligarch backed politicians that support them.

    It’s less about making America great again, and more about what made America great in the first place:The idea that a nation and its government exists to serve all its people, not the ruling class.

    The number one problem in America is that Americans are being denied prosperity by the cancer that is cronyism. Climate change, immigration, trade, social justice and health care are all secondary issue and a distraction.

    1. Huey Long

      It’s less about making America great again, and more about what made America great in the first place:The idea that a nation and its government exists to serve all its people, not the ruling class.

      I disagree and think the US propaganda machine has gotten the better of you here. The franchise was originally restricted to white male property owners, and excluded women, slaves, American Indians, those without property, and freed slaves in a number of states. Ergo, our government was formed by the ruling class and has been acting in their interest since its inception.

      The number one problem in America is that Americans are being denied prosperity by the cancer that is cronyism.

      While I agree with you wholeheartedly that this is a huge problem, I think the larger problem is that the average American perceives his or her self to be a “temporarily disgraced millionaire” as Steinbeck put it.

      Americans will not band together and admonish the rampant cronyism in this country because in their heart of hearts the average American really wants to be one of the landed gentry, and thinks that he/she will get there if they only work harder and save more.

      i.e. Americans won’t demand an excise tax on netjets memberships because they don’t wanna screw their future selves when they someday become affluent enough to afford fractional private jet ownership.

      1. Dead Dog

        Americans will not band together and admonish the rampant cronyism in this country because in their heart of hearts the average American really wants to be one of the landed gentry, and thinks that he/she will get there if they only work harder and save more.

        Some truth in that. I also think we don’t band together when we are continually wedged by politicians. We are not encouraged to think that this a war against the working people. And, humans are tribal and can’t see our common cause

        1. Huey Long

          Dead Dog,

          You touch on some good stuff there!

          We aren’t encouraged to think in class terms; in fact our major propaganda organs have been very successful at convincing Americans of all classes that they’re part of the middle class.

          We’re also fed a steady diet of propaganda admonishing socialism and communism, and those espousing socialist and communist views have been at best marginalized by our society, and at worst jailed, blacklisted, beaten, or shot.

          As for human tribalistic tendencies, that is a reality I don’t have a solution for, especially in an ethnically, culturally, religiously, economically, and geographically diverse country like the United States.

          1. Loblolly

            As for human tribalistic tendencies, that is a reality I don’t have a solution for,

            The answer is nationalism. A constructed meta-tribe to unite the disparate elements that make up a modern nation.

            1. hunkerdown

              The breakdown of which is basically what the USA and other Western nations guilt-tripped into accepting migrant labor are dealing with right now. Smaller countries would work out much better, giving plutocracy less to lord over and the people a better ability to remove offensive leaders (like that “nobody ever died from not having access to health care” guy) from their power and from their midst, another problem with which the USA and other Western nations browbeaten into neoliberal globalism are dealing with right now. Even Athens had ōstrakon.

          2. AbateMagicThinking but Not money

            Re: American Class Consciousness

            It is simply fascinating that Americans don’t understand the class thing in the same way as us Alt-Europeans. I’m a Brit who knows what “Ivy League” means, and I have sat in the back US airliners which had demarcated seating arrangements, so the class thing is hardly hidden. I think that I heard that at some larger airports, the occupants of private jets are paying big bucks for accelerated passage through those inconvenient formalities (and who can blame them). If I ever get to fly first class again, I’ll have to contend with the fact that relatively, I’m still slumming it.

            I suppose that in a country with its feet so firmly planted in slavery, the civil war and its after-effects, the only classification that really counts in the polity is skin-colour. The rest – private education, wealth, etc counts for little in the minds of the majority.

            I would like to be absolutely in error on this! Give me some good arguments to the contrary someone!

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The average American doesn’t demand anything (from the government) – we demand a lot from our waitresses (“Ms, this soup is too cold.”), truck drivers (“a robot could have done your job.”), etc – we merely pick one of the pre-selected candidates or issues (“Do I vote Bush or Obama?”).

      3. Loblolly

        I’m no longer buying the Menken quote and it’s variants as a blanket dismissal of anyone who is not on board with everything the left has to say.

        I am not a temporarily embarrassed millionaire. I’m just a guy who wants to be able to make payments on my four acres and a Mazda without feeling like the rug’s being pulled out from under me. Maybe take a nice trip once in a while. That may put me in the wealthiest globally, but has absolutely no bearing on the arguments I make, however it keeps getting brought up and I’d like to nip it in the bud.

        The completely distorted costs of health care, education, housing and imported goods are to me not a rebuttal of capitalism but a a giant red flag that we need address what the sovereignity of a nation and its responsibility to it’s citizens really is. Frankly we’ve been paying lip service to that for a while now and austerity and recrimination are transparently self-serving excuses for bad governance from both parties.

        These are global problems and pointing out that the Founders were self-interested rich white men does not discount the greatness of the American experiment and it’s continued potential if we can find our way.

      4. Loblolly

        i.e. Americans won’t demand an excise tax on netjets memberships because ….

        Why is another tax the only answer ever? I think most people rather than imagine themselves squillionaires, see how fast they can fall right to the bottom and would prefer not to empower the state any further. Many abhor the idea of yet another rapacious bureaucracy to justify higher taxation, which will do nothing to the rich who have clever accountants and the aforementioned Netjets to flee in.

        Our economy is basically centrally planned by greedy idiots enabled by the vassel class and the people are sick of it.

        1. Huey Long

          Reforming the tax system was a nice simple Overton-window friendly way of making my point.

          I agree that the rich and their mandarins would simply game the net jets tax, and we’d end up creating a whole new bureaucracy just to enforce the darn thing.

          My ‘brass tacks’ solution to dealing with the net jets crowd isn’t really suitable for publication here on NC, and I’ll leave it at that.

  14. Huey Long

    RE: Pig Bank

    Thanks for posting this story!

    Reading the daily links and water cooler can get depressing at times. Reading stories like that gives me hope for our impending post-imperial future.

  15. LT

    Re: NY Times…subsidizing healthcare

    Like sports related injuries? Many that have effects later in life for even non-professionals?

  16. anon

    Re Spiva: pt one free speech and association. pt two, there are no state interests in the ‘primaries’ of private clubs and the state only has an interest once the candidate is selected for the ‘general’….. seems consistent with Spiva’s position.

  17. 3.14e-9

    Re: Trump Hotel

    > Key fact buried in the story: The building was once a United States Post Office, so this is not only a uglification story, it’s a privatization story. That is, a neoliberalism story. (Democrat Diane Feinstein’s squillionaire husband, Richard Bloom, is in the same racket.)

    The Trump Organization isn’t the first private company to lease the Old Post Office from the federal government, which in any case has always owned the land.

    The Old Post Office actually was going to be torn down in the 1970s, but it ended up being redeveloped in the 1980s as part of a revitalization project to do something with Pennsylvania Avenue, which at the time was one big, ugly construction/demolition site, unsafe to walk through at night. The restoration of the old Willard Hotel also was part of that plan.

    I was interning with The Associated Press when the PO reopened as the Old Post Office Pavilion, a mix of retail and office space developed by Hill Partners, which specialized in shopping malls. Although the pre-opening press event included free food – a surefire way to attract reporters and get good coverage – it was after normal work hours, and anyway, it was just a fluff piece, so the assignment went to the intern. The only thing I remember is the example the food court chef used to demonstrate how to visually appeal to customers: always make sure, she said, that strawberries are displayed with the tips pointing up.

    When I read that Trump took it over, I wondered what happened to the Old PO Pavilion, but didn’t bother to look it up until now. Apparently, the developer was losing money and ended the contract. GSA tried to get someone else to take it over, but there were so many restrictions on development due to the building being on the Historic Register that few would touch it. To get the contract, Trump had to agree to several provisions, including maintaining access to the tower for Park Service tours.

    Ironically, the building is right next door the national headquarters of the IRS. Speaking of which …

    As far as I can tell, the enterprise of the Feinstein-Blooms is something else altogether, although it does indeed appear to be a racket. I always wondered what the USPS was doing building all those new buildings, when the old ones were perfectly serviceable.

    1. Optimader

      Craazyboy–I feel zero guilt about being an “old white male professional” … Muddy Waters was my neighbor and he accepted me for these “flaws”, so that counts for something, right?

      1. craazyboy

        Muddy!!! He be my Grandpappy! I been to the prof white blues bars on the near north side and did seen Muddy and Koko Taylor do the Wang Dang Doodle a bunch of times! Even a John Travolta Disco Bump version that had everyone busting a gut.

        Been to Eddie Shaw’s Place down in de soud si too. That be scaryier, but fun once we got settled in. Hubert Sumlin invited us to play. Said the last white folk he’d seen be the Rolling Stones. Said he had to show Keith the right way to play guitar. Keith done learned good!


          1. Optimader

            Good stuff CB–
            Take the time to watch this, an outake from a (great) dvd of an evening at Buddy Guy’s Checkerboard lounge. Fantastic grit.

            Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones – Baby Please Don’t Go – Live At Checkerboard Lounge

            This is when i knew him, freshly minted out of college and none of us had two nickels to rub together – late nights and cheap beer -the blues and punk scene in Chicago. Great times

            What blows me away is how long ago it was! Probably the majority of posters here weren’t even born yet

            1. craazyboy

              Wow! The Stones traveled with eye candy!

              That be ’75 and ’76 ! Then at bar closing, over to Greek Town for gyros at the Parthenon. Or just about anywhere for Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. About $20 for 5Lbs – mostly real cheese!

              Then, finally sneak your way past Cabrini-Green and slowly make your way back to the NW suburbs.

                1. craazyboy

                  Main stomping ground here too. Clark St. was like a open air party back then – and the hotties came out in summertime! Hot pants and halter tops everywhere. Like visiting The House of the Rising Son!

                  Ya, Cabrini-Green was a bummer. I have a theory that cigars are a gateway drug to guns. All being a testosterone thing, dontcha know. I’m sure Obama knew this too and that explains why he is adamant about charging smokers 50% more for OCare. They’ll just transition to guns and premiums go up even more!

                  Some people claim ammo cartridges aren’t guns, then try and make a similar silly argument for penises. But why do they always make things so complicated??

                  Whenever I mull around this line of thinking, I just decide to run all the stop signs, too!

                  1. Optimader

                    Gateway drug: Menthol Cools and a pint of Night Train. To. be fair a gyros at 2:30am might be one too? Oh well, correlation is not causation… “are those fireworks? No thats a clip of .22 shorts.”
                    Those were unique times before ccd cameras and militarized police most people wete allowed to just shamble home after another lesson or two learned

            2. ChiGal in Carolina

              Thanks for the blast from the past, I remember the place well, guy wearing a fedora at the door greeting everyone at the door, dis da place – but that’s the real Checkerboard Lounge, on 43rd St in the ‘hood. Nothing to do with the cleaned up South Loop club opened up years after the original closed by Buddy Guy.

              Was lucky enough to see Muddy back in the day, and Sunnyland Slim had a gig every Saturday night at the Cornell on 53rd, no cover. Those were the days…

              1. Optimader

                Chigal–Get a copy of this, you will enjoy it

                On November 22nd, 1981, in the middle of their mammoth American tour, the Rolling Stones arrived in Chicago prior to playing 3 nights at the Rosemont Horizon. Long influenced by the Chicago blues, the band paid a visit to Muddy Waters club the Checkerboard Lounge to see the legendary bluesman perform. It didn t take long before Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart were joining in on stage and later Buddy Guy and Lefty Dizz also played their part. It was a unique occasion that was fortunately captured on camera. Now, restored from the original footage and with sound mixed and mastered by Bob Clearmountain, this amazing blues night is being made available in an official release for the first time. / Performers: Muddy Waters (vocals, guitar); Mick Jagger (vocals); Keith Richards (guitar); Ronnie Wood (guitar); Ian Stewart (piano); Buddy Guy (vocals, guitar); Lefty Dizz (vocals, guitar); Junior Wells (harmonica, vocals); George Mojo Buford (harmonica); Lovie Lee (piano); Earnest Johnson (bass); Ray Allison (drums); John Primer (guitar); Rick Kreher (guitar); Nick Charles (bass) / Track Listing:
                1) Sweet Little Angel 2) Flip Flop And Fly 3) Muddy Waters Introduction 4) You Don t Have To Go 5) Country Boy 6) Baby Please Don’t Go 7) Hoochie Coochie Man 8) Long Distance Call 9) Mannish Boy 10) Got My Mojo Working 11) Next Time You See Me 12) One Eyed Woman 13) Baby Please Don’t Go (Instrumental) 14) Blow Wind Blow 15) Champagne & Reefer

                To the RS merit, they all showed up to his home to pay respects at his funeral.. as did eric clapton and others. MW was a good guy in a tough as in easily unhealthy “business”

      1. 3.14e-9

        Not odd to me, Optimader. In fact, there are some parallels with the Old Post Office in Washington, which was finished in 1899 and used as a PO for only 15 years. It took almost 70 years before it got a makeover, and even then, it didn’t work out.

        It seems to have been doomed from the very beginning, both for its ugliness — it was called “a cross between a cathedral and a cotton mill — and its hi-tech (for the time) features gone wrong. The first postmaster died after falling 90 feet into an open elevator shaft.

        At least the Chicago building isn’t being overrun by Russians. Clever, that Bloomberg writer, to find so many ways to work in references to Russia.

  18. ewmayer

    Re. Trade: “Economists have started modeling” — am I the only one here who thinks those four words, thusly arranged, may well be the most dangerous in the English lexicon? Though “America is already great” is right up there, too.

    [Joy Reid’s “We need a global conversation” a few column-inches further down is surely on the short list for the 5-word version of the Most Dangerous list.]

  19. LT

    On France’s election:

    They should have voted Melanchon.
    1) The hissy fit from the establishment would have really revealed a lot
    2) When he backtracked on his platform, they could have said: “You really got me there. Didn’t see that coming.” At least get screwed in a new way.

    1. Massinissa

      Melenchon couldn’t get in the 2nd round because the so-called ‘Socialist’ center left Benoit Hamon wouldn’t drop out of the damn race even though he was in fifth place. Pretty sure Hamon only stayed in the race because he knew he could stop the anti-establishment Melenchon from facing Macron in the second round. Melenchon might not have been able to beat Macron either, but I bet it would have been closer than the landslide he won against Le Pen.

      1. vidimi

        i think that’s BS. hamon didn’t cause mélonchon’s loss any more than jill stein caused hillary clinton’s.
        most of hamon’s voters were socialist party loyalists from the bourgeoisie who hate mélonchon and would have just voted for macron, and not mélonchon, instead.

        i do think that hamon is a patsy candidate, though, and manuel valls is waiting in the wings to take over.

  20. Murph

    Since there’s some MMT discussion today I thought I’d take the opportunity to ask about something that has bugged me for a while. Can anyone explain or link to something explaining bank credit creation in relation the the sectoral balances? I’m realizing I do not have a handle on that at all. Do the newly created deposits show up in the private sector balance, ultimately flowing into p.s. savings and leaking to foreign sector/Tax payments? Does private credit creation even have a place in the sectoral balances framework, or am I confusing stocks and flows here? Any insight would be very much appreciated!

    1. Mel

      I’m still puzzling this out; my guess is that borrowed money is totally versatile, and until the borrower does something with it, it doesn’t belong to any sectoral balance at all. If they pay taxes with it, it increases T. If they buy imported goods, it increases M. If they just spend it locally, as they often do, it increases C, and that drops out of the sectoral balances equation altogether.
      Take this with a grain of salt.

      1. craazyboy

        Now that everything is collateral, flow never stops until it’s captured in a coffee can, butterfly net, or tax haven. Seriously.

      2. José

        A useful framework for analyzing the effects of bank credit creation is the Krugman cross diagram as interpreted and completed by Scott Fullwiler.

        If that new credit is spent into the economy (more consumption or investment) then GDP will rise and this will likely result in a lower government deficit (higher tax receipts and lower transfers on items such as unemployment subsidies), a higher current account deficit (more net imports) and a decrease in net private sector saving.

        As an illustration, if the starting point was a government deficit of – say – 20, with 15 of net private sector saving and a current account deficit of 5 then in the end we might see the government deficit decrease to (say) 10, the current account deficit rise to 6 and the net saving of the private sector go down to 4.

        See here for a summing up by Scott Fullwiler: http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2009/07/sector-financial-balances-model-of-aggregate-demand.html

        1. Mel

          Thanks. I’ll get onto this, but no guarantee that I’ll understand it this month. JKH has some interesting comments in there that may clarify what the sectoral balances approach uses for the definition of I-for-investment.

      3. Mel

        Thinking about it overnight, it seems to me that if money flows into the government sector via Taxation or into the foreign sector via eXports, then the complementary flow from the private sector would have to be called Investment, because that is the only flow that does that.

        1. Murph

          That definitely makes sense. I might really just be over thinking this and confusing myself.

          1. José

            In the sectoral balances approach what we have is net private sector savings – meaning private sector savings minus private investment.

    2. UserFriendly

      Some people already touched on this but the sectoral balance equation is:
      Government Sector + Private Sector + Trade Balance = 0.

      Households and banks are both in the private sector so they don’t figure in to that equation. So when a private bank makes a loan it does create money, but as soon as that money is paid back it disappears. So technically that is money creation. Every time a loan gets taken out, (by the government or by the private sector) that creates money. Every time the government monetizes it’s debt (Spends more than it takes in without bonding) it also creates money.

      That one took me a while to get my head around too.

  21. LT

    Re: Medium…Integrity: Dividing the left

    Things the Democratic Party true believers refuse to understand:
    1) The oligarchs aren’t going to let their politician servants impeach and embarras another oligarch. It would hurt their image and their desire to see the country continue worshipping oligarchs and wealth
    2) The Russiophobia is one of the best distractions they have going while the grand theft continues
    3) The Democratic Party is using it as a fundraiser
    4) The faux left thinks it’s a good enough trick to roll it out internationally

  22. different clue

    I scanned that list of possible PrezRunners for the DemParty side. Some of them, if nominated, would make me vote for Trump all over again.

    Trump v. Biden? McCaulliffe? Zuckerberg? Booker? Cuomo? Some other names I can’t remember this far downthread?

    Trump all the way.

  23. JTMcPhee

    Re Kos: All those redundant, repetitive slams and takedowns ( love the wrestling allusions) of Kos and dkos. And Hillary. Our pejorative is miles better than theirs, I guess.

    How about a few words of longing for the America I grew up in, learned to love and enlisted to go fight for? Captured, in its essential, quintessential essence, in this bit of YouTube-ery:


    I laugh, that I shall not weep…

  24. Dontknowitall

    Re Lambert’s “A “global conversation” instead of a “national conversation.” (I’m starting to see the word “global” in liberal catchphrases in places I’m not used to seeing it.)”

    Thinking of the recent Obama interference in the French election for Macron (after he had acquired a comfortable lead) and the shenanigans with his library I suspect this global conversation stuff is the laying of the land for either an Obama foundation business line to collect from banksters or the restart of the Clinton foundation business with an eye to 2020

  25. Elizabeth Burton

    I don’t pretend to be an economist, nor do I play one on TV. Indeed, I actively avoided taking economics in college. So, I sincerely ask those who do know what they’re talking about if the following is a reasonable way to explain how governments work.
    What most people believe

    You are a baker.
    You have run out of bread.
    In order to have more bread, you must either buy or borrow it from other bakers.

    How it actually works
    You are a baker.
    You run out of bread.
    You bake more bread.

    I understand that’s probably way overly simplified. I’m mainly just fishing to see whether I understand how it works.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Add one line to your “what people believe:”

      “Or steal it from other bakers, or defraud them out of it.” Or add a regulation to the Code of Federal Regulations that defines a brick of certain dimensions and composition to be a loaf of bread. (Note to all you libertarians and other selfish people: taxation is not (supposed to be) theft. Caveat for corruption and regulatory and legislative capture.

      And hold up your hands — how many of you, in your heart of hearts, applaud the use of taxation to “kill your neighbor’s cow,” in Lambert’s re-telling of the peasant and genie folk tale? Especially if you get a side of the beef out of it? And mean(s) testing indigents, and “workfare?”

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