2:00PM Water Cooler 6/1/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Thanks to the many readers who came to last night’s NC Meetup at The Gray Mare. I’m sorry I was late, due to a cascading series of delays that ended in the Third World hell-hole of JFK’s international terminal. On the bright side, New Yorkers were even kinder and more helpful — really! — than usual. A young criminal defense lawyer who had, that day, left his old firm to start his own actually guided me to the proper platform — and carried one of my (quite heavy) bags!

This is partly a travel day for me, partly a recovery day, so I’m going to relax by looking at domestic politics, mostly. –lambert



“[Ivanka Trump] and her husband, Jared Kushner, had bundled $41,000 for Booker’s Senate campaign as of May. Booker has raised raised $6.5 million so far this year” [Politico]. Booker’s refreshingly open to contributions from all sources, isn’t he? Then again, now that he’s obviously a Russian stooge, he’ll pay the political price.

2016 Post Mortem

“‘I take responsibility for every decision I make — but that’s not why I lost,’ Clinton said” [Newsweek]. Help me.

“Hillary Clinton blames everyone but herself for her 2016 loss” [Vox (Re Silc)]. A Vox explainer! Vox unpacks Clinton’s “1,000 agents” claim. And am I the only one who thinks that “1,000 agents” exhibits faux precision and focus-grouped virality in equal measure? (“I have in my hand…”). Anyhow:

At the top of the list is the Russian government, which she believes orchestrated a vast campaign of fake news to discredit her candidacy.

‘If you look at Facebook, the vast majority of the news items posted were fake,’ Clinton told Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, editors of the Vox Media site Recode, which sponsors the conference. ‘They were connected to — as we now know — the 1,000 Russian agents who were involved in delivering those messages. They were connected to the bots that are just out of control.’

It’s not actually clear that ‘we now know’ any of this. There was a lot of fake news swirling around Facebook in the closing weeks of the campaign, but I haven’t seen any evidence that it was the ‘vast majority.’ The claim that there were 1,000 Russian agents spreading fake news comes from a March statement by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), but he described these as unconfirmed reports, not proven facts.

It’s not actually clear to me whether the “agents” are former KGB operatives, complete with trenchcoats and drool-coated fangs, or whether they’re only Macedonian teen-agers. Perhaps Clinton — or some anonymous “officials” from the “intelligence community” — will enlighten us at some future date. What I do know is that there were several projects to interview voters post-election, and many news stories as well, and I can’t recall a single voter saying their vote was swayed by something they saw on social media — Let alone those in the districts that “flipped” from Obama to Trump and (in part) cost Clinton the election. Can you? It’s also interesting how this story?, narrative?, myth? of Facebook’s vast power (a) plays into the hands of consultants and strategists in the political class (like Brock) who claim the ability to sway the chtonic powers of social media, for a price and (b) clears the ground for Zuckerberg, no matter which party line he runs on.

Pelosi’s opponent:

“DNC host committee spends more in salaries, bonuses than previous conventions” [Philadelphia Inquirer]. Grifters gotta grift. Ka-ching.



Clinton loyalists now smearing Sanders supporters as traitors:

A lovely, lovely tweet on several levels. The McCarthy-ite language of “I question why” and “so should you” is quite, er, artful. And in the ever-shifting pecking order of liberal Democrat identity politics, we now learn that failure to support Putin Derangement Syndrome tops both womanhood and color (Sanders supporter Nina Turner being both black and a woman). My head is spinning! Honestly, I think forcing Turner into the #BernieBro frame is more effective — no true Scotsman, after all, would support Sanders — but what do I know?

GA-06: “Georgia 6th: Handel agrees to four debates with Ossoff” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]. The campaigns are still fighting about schedule, though, so it might not be four.

GA-06: Let the attack ads begin! “‘Ossoff is a liberal. And immature. And he lied to us about his national security experience,’ said Rowe, who served as a nurse in Saigon during the Vietnam war. “Ossoff would vote with Nancy Pelosi to put our soldiers and our dear country at risk.'” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]. “The ad is part of the [Congressional Leadership Fund] super PAC’s $6.7 million campaign to sway Georgia’s 6th District. The group, which has ties to Ryan, now has 135 door knockers targeting 300,000 households ahead of the June 20 runoff.”

MT-AL: “Those [Republican] outside groups spent big on early attack ads to define Quist, during a vulnerable period in mid-April when the Democrat was not able to defend himself; Quist was still catching on with Democratic grassroots donors, and the DCCC was silent on the sidelines. A GOP operative bragged to the Washington Post, “We knew that because Rob Quist was an unknown quantity with voters, we had the ability to define him negatively out of the gates.” Those early attacks – some of them substantive, targeting Quist’s past tax and debt troubles and highlighting a rare gaffe in which Quist seemed to back a gun registry – put Quist at an early disadvantage that he never fully recovered from” [Rolling Stone]. In other words, the DCCC prophesied defeat, and then, by failing to give Quist early money, created it, and then congratulated themselves. Well played, all.

“Democrats have taken heart from three recent special elections, where a troika of candidates fell short of victory but still racked up votes in longtime Republicans districts” [McClatchy]. Dear Lord. First, one tires of moral victories. Second, even assuming good faith, the DCCC congratulated itself, as we have seen, on not falling for Quist “hype,” and only funding him late, when they were called out for not doing so. That’s hardly “taking heart,” and I’ll speculate irresponsibly that they were very happy with Quist’s loss; it’s Ossoff they want, because he’s running Clinton’s 2016 campaign all over again (vacuous centrism plus appeal to suburban Republicans plus enormous media coverage plus enormous amounts of cash. “The real problem with the Maginot Line is that we didn’t make it linear enough.”)

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Democrats Are Launching a Commission to Protect American Democracy From Trump” [The Nation]. I don’t think much of Trump’s election integirty commission, as readers know, but stacking a counter-commission with Clinton operatives to counter it looks suspiciously like grifting.

Stats Watch

ADP Employment Report, May 2017: “On the strong side this year, ADP is calling for a resumption of outsized employment gains” [Econoday]. “ADP has been hitting and missing this year, making remarkably good calls for oversized strength in January and February followed by a very bad call for a third month of strength in March, a month that came up well short. ADP’s call for April was respectably accurate.” But: “This month the rate of ADPs private employment year-over-year growth remained in the tight range seen over the last year” [Econintersect]. “ADP employment has not been a good predictor of BLS non-farm private job growth.”

Challenger Job-Cut Report, May 2017: “A big layoff announcement at Ford sent Challenger’s May count to 51,692 vs 36,602 in April. This is the highest monthly total since April last year but won’t be affecting May payrolls as actual layoffs at Ford have yet to begin” [Econoday]. ” Outside of autos, layoff announcements were limited in May.”

Jobless Claims, week of May 27, 2017: “A holiday shortened reporting week led to 9 states, including California, having to be estimated for the May 27 week, a fact that raises the risk of a large revision and lowers the impact of an outsized 13,000 rise in initial claims to a higher-than-expected 248,000” [Econoday]. “Jobless claims are at 40-year lows and pointing to unusually strong demand for labor.”

Construction Spending, April 2017: “Volatility once again hits the construction spending report where an unexpected sharp decline in April, at minus 1.4 percent, is offset by a giant upward revision to March which now stands at plus 1.1 percent vs an initial 0.2 percent dip” [Econoday]. “This report is yet another bad result for April as the upward revision to March pulled spending out of the second quarter and into the first. And it’s the second quarter that is in focus right now and housing, including sales and starts and now construction, have all been disappointing.” But: “The reason the headline numbers look bad is because of the significant upward revision in last month’s data. The rolling averages did improve. Also note that inflation is grabbing hold – and the inflation adjusted numbers are worse than the headlines – but still better growth than real GDP” [Econintersect]. “The employment gains year-over-year are now better than the year-over-year improvement in construction spending.”

Purchasing Managers’ Manufacturing Index, May 2017: “Growth in Markit’s U.S. manufacturing sample is as slow as it has been in 8 months” [Econoday]. “This report, of all the private manufacturing reports, has been signaling the weakest conditions for a factory sector that opened the year with promise which it has yet to fulfill.”

Institute For Supply Management Manufacturing Index, May 2017: “May’s composite of 54.9 doesn’t look that strong but the details are very healthy. New orders keep coming in at a very strong rate (59.5), including for exports (57.5), and backlogs are building (55.0). Production is strong, import orders continue to rise, and deliveries are slowing which are all signs of strength” [Econoday]. “Strength in the government’s factory data has been uneven, unlike the strength of ISM’s sample which is steady and impressive.” And: Above consenus” [Economic Calendar]. But: “ISM manufacturing index movements have correlated with Industrial Production Manufacturing index only half the time in the last 12 months. Based on this survey and the weak district Federal Reserve Surveys, one would expect the Fed’s Industrial Production index to beunchanged in May. Overall, surveys do not have a high correlation to the movement of industrial production (manufacturing) since the Great Recession” [Econintersect].

Chain Store Sales, May 2017: “Chain stores are reporting mostly weaker rates of sales growth in May than in April. This is an unfavorable indication for the ex-auto ex-gas reading of the retail sales report which posted moderate showings in both April and March” [Econoday].

Rapture Index: Closes up 1 on Oil Supply/Price. “The price of oil has rebounded” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 183.

Five Horsemen: “Amazon’s doing the “dance of the round number” as it attempts to pole vault over 1,000″ [Hat tip, Jim Haygood].

Five Horsemen Jun1

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 56 Greed (previous close: 50, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 57 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed. Last updated Jun 1 at 12:51pm

Our Famously Free Press

“New York Times public editor Liz Spayd on decision to eliminate her position” [Columbia Journalism Review]. Spayd’s ridiculous tenure ends with her job abolished. She comments: “The Times is reimagining itself in all sorts of ways, and the decision to eliminate the public editor’s role is just one part of that.” Corporate drivel. Too bad the Times could never bring itself to create a real ombudsman, instead of the flaccid Public Editor position: “Serving as a liaison between readers and the newsroom.” Oh. A liasison. So no authority, right?

News of the Wired

“Did Thomas Kuhn Help Elect Donald Trump?” [Scientific American]. More interesting than the headline. The ubiquitous “paradigm shfit” comes from Kuhn.

* * *

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 (Lee):

Lee comments: “The cactus below the flowers is about the size and shape of a soft ball. When we bought it years ago it was the size of a golf ball. It survived years of neglect. My son rescued it and brought it gradually to its current state of florescence.”

* * *

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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. Vatch

    In other words, the DCCC prophesied defeat, and then, by failing to give Quist early money, created it, and then congratulated themselves. Well played, all.

    So very true. +1000!

    1. RUKidding

      I really don’t get the purpose of the DCCC other than to GRIFT money from unsuspecting rubes.

      The DCCC certainly appears to it’s ever-loving damndest to do sweet FA about getting D candidates elected anywhere, other than, possibly Hilbot (and I’m not even sure about that).

      I have never ever donated to them. Worse than worthless, they appear to be actively engaged in making sure that D candidates do not get elected.

      1. Pat

        I am sure at one point it was not a bad idea. They should be in a position to know their opponents weak points and who might be vulnerable. But somewhere along the line both the DCCC and DSCC were taken over by third way/DLC/Clintonite power brokers who were there to close the gates to Congress as much as try to open them.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I think organizations such as the DSCC and DCCC ultimately serve as negative incumbent protection rackets as they are too focused on incumbents, especially bad ones.

          Since they work for the members instead of the party at large, the organizations won’t change because long term they are dominated by members with longer political careers and safer seats than Politburo members.

          The DNC is at least theoretically answerable to the party at large.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Not a problem for Yours Truly. I use a WiFi-based phone service and pay around $12.50 a month.

      The downside? You have to be in a place that actually has WiFi. For me, that’s at home or at work. I don’t hear well enough to carry on phone conversations in other places like bars or restaurants.

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      But the post doesn’t answer the question. The post notes that if we paid the same rates as Germans or Danes for the same quality service, we could save $65 billion a year. But the post says nothing beyond vague generalities (“political determinants”) about why people pay less there. More virtuous corporations? Regulated prices? Can someone who knows clue us in?

      My guess is that prices are regulated but the UChicago authors are reluctant to come out and directly say that.

      1. Pat

        I’m pretty sure that prices are regulated AND actual service is regulated. Of course that might just be because I understand how our vaunted business leaders think. Without both being regulated, they would find a means to either hike prices with unavoidable fees for expansion and equipment for more reliable service or lower prices but less reliable service because they can’t upkeep their system. Neither of which is actually true, but hey lets not quibble.

      2. Not_TheAccountant

        As the article hints, in passing, I’m sure regulation has something to do with the price difference. That said, I do imagine some of the differences in revenue can be blamed on the comparatively large geographical footprint of US cell coverage, especially in relation to population. The US cell network is significantly larger than Germany’s ( and esp. Denmark’s) and the population density is lower; more cell towers spread out among fewer customers, presumably.

        But, at the end of the article the author mentions that US cell companies’ stock prices are higher, that would imply they are simply more profitable. It stands to reason then, that revenue differences are greater than the expense differences, which would suggest economic rents, or that the stock market is pricing in a higher growth forecast for US cell comp’s than their German/Danish counterparts.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I deprecate tropes that compare (establishment party) politicians to Ladies of Negotiable Affection.

      Such tropes are insulting to the Ladies.

    1. sid_finster

      How much you want to bet that the quote was a hypothetical taken out of context?

    2. darthbobber

      “Is that possible? Theoretically, that’s possible,” he said. [from the Guardian’s writeup, which uses a tad more direct quotation than the NYT] Wow! What an admission! Of course, the whole interview went in the other direction.

      And from the same Guardian article. Looks like the French investigation of the Macron hacking has wraped up.
      “on Thursday, the head of France’s cybersecurity agency said it found no sign that the Russian hacking group APT28, also known as FancyBear, was behind a large-scale hack of emails and data from Macron’s campaign.”

      “Guillaume Poupard, director general of the ANSSI agency, told the Associated Press on Thursday that the Macron campaign hack “was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone”.”

      “ANSSI experts investigated the hack, which resulted in about 9GB of data being dumped on the internet less than 48 hours before the second round run-off between Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.”

      “Poupard said the investigation had uncovered no trace of APT28, adding that the attack’s simplicity “means we can imagine it was a person who did this alone. They could be in any country”.”

      Haven’t seen THAT picked up by any American outlet yet, unsurprisingly.

  2. lyman alpha blob

    Hope I’m not breaking with site etiquette here, but I do have a non-rhetorical question regarding one of the stories from today’s links and though it might be noticed more here.

    RE: CEO And President Of Premium Ticket Resale Business Charged With Engaging In A Multimillion-Dollar Ponzi Scheme Resulting In Losses Of At Least $70 Million

    So that’s great and all, catching a grifter. But why is he only being arrested for running a Ponzi scheme and not for the resale of all these tickets in the first place? Friend of mine recently purchased a ticket online for $80 only to find out later the going rate was $40. She had clicked on the first website she saw and purchased through them, not realizing she wasn’t purchasing directly from the venue. By the time she realized her error she was SOL.

    My understanding is that it’s still illegal to sell tickets to an event for more than face value outside the event itself. So why is it legal to scalp them online? It really chaps my rear end that people are making big money doing this now and they don’t even incur the risk of incarceration that old-fashioned scalpers do.

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      I think you are living in the past. Scalping may still be illegal outside some venues but that would be due to local or state laws that IIRC have mostly to do with location. Not only is online “ticket reselling” legal, StubHub is a huge advertiser at sporting and other events.

    2. nowhere

      I did just a little bit of research. This isn’t the complete answer, I’m sure.

      StubHub, like its competitors, emphasizes that it is a not a seller but an open marketplace that protects buyers and sellers, “ensuring everything is authentic,” the company told CNBC. There is no federal law regarding ticket scalping in the United States, and StubHub encourages sellers to adhere to local state regulations in its terms of service.

      Those state laws vary a great deal, and they’re often only loosely enforced or haven’t been updated for years. (According to Indiana law, for example, it is illegal to charge above face value for tickets to any “sparring match” or “semiprofessional elimination contest.”)

      Some states have laws restricting resale only on the physical grounds of an event. And other laws have been discarded. Minnesota, for instance, repealed its scalping law from 1963, making all ticket reselling legal in 2006.
      “Ticket legislation is a complicated issue,” said professor Gregory Stein, associate dean at University of Tennessee College of Law. “Laws tend to get support when they protect the consumer. Here the issue is much cloudier. Consumers could be on both sides, because one day you might need to sell tickets and others you might want to buy them.”

      Seems that, like many things, this falls under either a gray area or an under-regulated area.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Thanks for that. My bul**it detector just started screaming. StubHub ‘encourages’ people to obey state laws – that’s mighty nice of them. I guess they can’t be bothered to actually find out what those laws are and enforce them by not allowing any tickets for sale above face value for events in states where that’s illegal. I looked on Stubhub before and not all of their tickets are sold above face value – some are really just people looking to get rid of tickets they can’t use for whatever reason rather than having them go to waste. But plenty of them are sold by scalpers. Try getting a face value ticket for a Red Sox -Yankees game through a reseller.

        I recently tried to look up the ticket prices of a show I wanted to see and ran into one of those reseller websites. My suspicion is that they had not pre-purchased tickets themselves yet and if I had purchased through them, they would have simply had a bot purchase a ticket through the venue and resell it to me immediately. Instead I went to the box office and paid cash.

        Really sick and tired of this idea that if you do it on the internet, then’s it’s not illegal. You can rip somebody’s face right off as long as it’s all done digitally. Uber, Amazon, StubHub etc. all doing huge business due to the lax or complete non- enforcement of the law.

        1. reslez

          > My suspicion is that they had not pre-purchased tickets themselves yet and if I had purchased through them, they would have simply had a bot purchase a ticket through the venue and resell it to me immediately.

          You describe an optimistic scenario. What I see more frequently is that resellers purchase all lower level/desirable tickets in the first 5 minutes, which leaves you no option except to buy from them unless you don’t mind bringing binoculars. They do this through bots. Some artists now require photo ID to pick up tickets, which creates some issues in itself but limits some of the gouging since they’re able to enforce a limit on ticket purchases.

          Maybe it only happens for more desirable shows or seats, but gouging/exorbitant reselling is pretty universal and widespread in my experience.

          1. bob

            There’s quite the software or software as a service market for just this set up already. It takes a bit of digging, but it’s a HUGE market.

            Normally it’s a few servers or “bots” running on well known (amazon) servers, and then operating through proxies for the actual ordering.

            The ticket companies try to limit it, or so they claim, by running scripts that allow the ticket co to determine if an order is “real”. As usual, the one off real orders, not the scalpers, get screwed. “that computer never orders tickets!”


    Yves (or anyone else who was there yesterday): You brought up at the meet-up an economist who had predicted negative interest rates and guaranteed income, but I couldn’t make the name over the noise. What was their name?

    1. Jean

      I think Yves said the idea dated to 1948 and I think the name began with a K sound. Def not Keynes. Someone I’d not heard of… poor education… still trying to recover….
      What a lovely evening.

      1. human

        Friedman and Stigler advocated for a negative income tax, which would have effectively become a guaranteed income, in the ’40’s. James P. Kaletta was also mentioned, but, he is current and an advocate and analyst for workplace equality and disability rights.

        Kaletta is very interesting. We need more like him.

  4. Pat

    I’d have more respect for Spayd, if she had told the truth. “The New York Times is so sure it no longer has to pretend to respect its readers or consider their input or more importantly their well thought out criticisms of New York Time reporting that they have eliminated their token position to accountability – the Public Editor. As the last Public Editor I can tell you that the public really isn’t losing much. It was always a farce.”

    But I suppose she would have to have won the lottery to do that, or be willing to find another career. Still would be the right thing to do.

  5. Left in Wisconsin

    A bit of news from flyover:

    1. A dark money attack ad against Tammy Baldwin started running here a couple of weeks ago, with election still 1.5 years off. The Rs definitely smell blood. Impressively (in one way, at least) Baldwin had a response ad up and running within a week or so. (Issue revolves around scandal at VA hospital mostly involving overprescription of opioids, whistle-blower contacting various politicians including Baldwin and her lack of response until SHF several months later, and thus she is “against our vets.” Her ad is a number of vets saying that charge in BS and she stands with our vets like no other.) I can’t say she pulls her weight as a legislator, and she lost a lot of progressive cred around here with her early HRC endorsement, but she sure does know how to run a campaign.

    2. The state D Party convention is this weekend – no I am not going. But a bunch of other Our Wisconsin Revolution-ites are trying to infiltrate the party. Contested election for state party chair – 4 candidates but real battle is between current head – only in office for one year, only a D since 2014 when she self-funded a race for state (senate/assembly I forget), former Target hr exec. lots of excuses/explaining to do for complete wipeout here in Nov but still newish on the job – and former head of state AFT branch who is now mayor of a small Milwaukee suburb who I think is running to her left, but that isn’t entirely clear. Some people say current state D party only supports projected winners, other say this was the first year they ever supported some underdogs, though there were many underdogs that they clearly chose not to help at all.

    Maybe more interesting is the financial statement for 2016 included in the convention packet.
    Income for 2016:
    $8.596 mm in Unity income – this is the combined effort with DNC
    1.560 mm Fundraising income
    .435 mm Membership income
    .388 mm Misc income
    .067 mm Partner/Tenant income
    = $10.997 mm
    $8.591 mm Unity Expenses
    .282 mm DPW contributions to Unity
    2.173 mm everything else
    = $11.046 mm

    So, as indicated elsewhere, the vaunted Clinton effort to run fundraising through state DPs did not in fact lead to any state resources here and when one adds in the DPW contribution to Unity, the net result is negative.

    Other than Unity, is appears that fundraising covers about 2/3 of normal expenses. Would be very interested to see a breakdown of small vs. big money contributions and where they come from. My guess is union money is way down, corporate probably up.
    Miscellaneous may well be mostly money they get from selling VAN to candidates.

    1. Pat

      I really do wish we could get a few state Democratic Party officials to come flat out and say what most of us who have looked at it know. Unity was largely a money laundering procedure to allow maxed out investors to donate further to Clinton’s campaign so she could burn through those donations gaining nothing.

      The Democratic Party has been starving the local parties, overpaying its incompetent usual suspects and frankly wasting their donations left right and center.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Many state party officials are kings of molehills. They are/were protected by the “Rah rah Team Blue” crowd, but turning on Hillary will make them public enemy number one with the same crowd. Look at the Dems who blame Bernie for Hillary’s loss. The same thing would happen to the first negative nancy, and I don’t believe many of the state party chairs would keep their position for very long given the divide between Clinton and non-Clinton types.

  6. Carolinian

    Had to look up chtonic. NC builds vocabularies.

    And the weak on defense line may work against Ossoff in Ga-6. Like I say, air base, Lockheed plant.

    1. nowhere

      Interesting to search under Chthonic Law:

      Although chthonic law appears susceptible to confusion, any potential confusion is removed by preserving what is important to the law over thousands of years, based on cultural norms and mores. Transmission of the law takes place with oral tradition and memory over the ages. It has a communal basis and aims to promote consensus. When dissent arises, new rules and traditions are generated.

      Although chthonic law does not lend itself to complexity, complex institutions such as councils of elders are present and serve as the highest authority under the chthonic legal system.

      Dispute resolution is believed to be neither confusing nor alienating. The importance of an individual in this law depends on his or her knowledge of traditions and culture and hence elders are valued due to their enhanced level of wisdom. Land for example, is a communal property, and hence its ownership and usage was determined at the level of community, avoiding any alienation.

      Ultimately chthonic law is tied to tradition and hence cannot be understood without understanding the traditions and culture of the people. By some accounts, women — in their capacity as elders — played a more important role in Chthonic laws.

      1. Carolinian

        Here’s the definititon from Encarta dictionary, Webster similar

        chthon·ic [thónnik]
        or chtho·ni·an [thṓnee ən]
        of underworld: relating to the underworld as described in Greek mythology

        [Late 19th century. < Greek khthōn "earth"]

        1. nowhere

          Yes, it’s very similar to the Wikipedia page definition; at the bottom of the page there is a link to chthonic law.

    2. nippersdad

      The Lockheed plant and Dobbins AFB are in Ga 11, next door to Ga 06. While some of their workers may live in 06, it prolly wouldn’t be many of them. As they say, “you just can’t get there from here.” Atlanta traffic is pretty forbidding these days.

      1. Carolinian

        Pardon my confusion. It’s been awhile since I lived there. I did live in the 6th with Gingrich as my congressman but across I-75 from Dobbins, Lockheed and assumed they were part of it. It wasn’t that hard to get there as my SO lived in Smyrna.

        1. Dale

          I’ve made the drive up I-75 N countless times and incorrectly assumed Dobbins was within Ga. 6th. I’m still inclined to think that the base and Lockheed Martin (Marietta) are very important financially to the 6th although I cannot point to any employment numbers.

  7. RUKidding

    Never a fan of Clinton, but anymore she’s really turning into a giant embarressment – as in, she should be mortally embarressed for carrying on the way she is. It’s just horrid.

    The Democratic Pary and the Annointed One have never ever once issued any kind of apology or statement about about how they screwed Sanders out of votes during the primary. It’s written there in black and white.

    Even if Vladimir Putin hacked/phished that information himself, personally, and he personally sent to it WikiLeaks, and then Putin, personally, made sure that WikiLeaks broke the story… the FACT remains that the Democratic party engaged in very dirty politics to ensure that Sanders didn’t get his votes.

    They are scum. Verifiable scum for all the world to see.

    And now the USA is wasting million$ upon million$ on these investigations which have yet to prove one damn thing.

    All while the Red Queen snarls and snaps about how it’s Not. Her. Fault.

    Those former Obama voters who voted for Trump this time? They did it because: 1) they were desparate, and 2) they clearly SAW that Clinton wasn’t going to do one damn thing to help them. She NEVER campaigned in their states because she was far too busy partying with rich pop/movie stars and atheletes, or campaiging for Republican votes in wealthy areas. That was OBVIOUS.

    GAH. Will no one rid the world of this blighted pestilance??? Go AWAY. FAR AWAY. Do yourself a favor and STFU.

    1. dontknowitall

      Yes, good comment. I suspect Hillary must be wasting huge amounts of money out of whatever sources she controls to keep this frenzied fiction going. After all, the PR doesn’t write itself and the focus groups need running so where is the money coming from and who has their hands out? Eventually it will fizzle because she will be broke, unless her family drag her off someplace with padded walls where she can do no harm.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The Democratic Pary and the Annointed One have never ever once issued any kind

      AFAIK, they have also never issued any kind of post mortem on 2016. Clinton’s got her theories, but again AFAIK she doesn’t speak for the party, at least in any official capacity.

      1. RUKidding

        What you say is true, but OTOH, I feel like Clinton and the D Party are pretty much saying that their post mortem on 2016 is that Vladimir Putin STOLE the election for his best buddy Trump.

        Isn’t that IT?

        That’s what my now brain-dead die-hard Clinton/Democratic Party fan friends say. That’s ALL they say. It’s ALL about how RUSSIA STOLE the election from the Anointed One.

        Clearly this Fiction has worked some sort of magic bc some rubes have drunk the Kool Aid and are very very satisfied. Talking to them is pretty much like attempting to talk to my super religious rightwing family members. They are brainwashed somehow.

        1. Waking Up

          Based upon her statement at the Recode – Code conference on May 31, 2017, it appears Hillary blames former FBI Director James Comey for her loss. In regards to her e-mail account, she states:

          “…doing something that others had done before was no longer acceptable in the new environment in which we found ourselves. And… there was no law against it. There was no rule, nothing of that sort, so I didn’t break any rule. Nobody said don’t do this and I was very responsible and not at all careless. So you end up with a situation that is exploited and very effectively for adverse political reasons. And, it was maddening because in the middle of a hard fought campaign, it’s hard to stop and say, wait a minute, what you think you know about this is not accurate. Let me tell you, you can still judge me, you can hold me accountable. That’s fair game…um, but there was so much else going on at that time and the investigation they conducted ended in July. It was over and I have my complaints about former Director Comey but it was DONE. Then it was reignited and it became the major reason toward the end based on the best analysis that I could find that I lost ground and ended up losing. So, obviously, turning the clock back, what was done…and I know you had Dean Baquet here from the New York Times here yesterday, and they covered it like it was Pearl Harbor. And then, in their endorsement of me they said, “this female thing, it’s like a help desk issue”. So, it was always a hard issue to put to bed but we put it to bed in July, then it rose up again.”

    3. David, by the lake

      I’m wondering if we’re not approaching that point in the cycle when the arthritic mechanics of the current system of power finally seize up. The next decade or so could get quite interesting.

      For my own part, I’ve more or less written off national politics, particularly the establishment parties. Still keeping an eye on the con con possibility (only five more states needed), as then we just might be able to cut federal power back down to size and deconstruct this empire of ours before it collapses on top of us. Not holding my breath, however.

      1. HotFlash

        Just for balance, imagine how your con-con could possibly go wrong. Me, I am very afraid.

        1. David, by the lake

          Still takes 38 states to ratify anything. I’m willing to take the risk and have the debate. The federal government will never willingly relinquish power; the only way to restrict its power is to alter its authorization from the outside, which means constitutional amendments not originating in Congress, which means a convention.

    4. Knot Galt

      Every post election article on Clinton only reinforces the perception of what a loser she is. The reasons (any reason), are no longer relevant to how people she her.

      Everyone sees her as a LOSER now because every time her name is in PRINT it is associated with “she LOST . . . . AND, she still isn’t offering anything new or addressing issues that WE THE PEOPLE are concerned about or fighting for.

      I think the real fight is to get REPRESENTATION back into Congress. The longer Hillary is out there crying the less time the MSM has to cover REAL issues that might inform a disillusioned, intolerant voting populace.

      1. RUKidding

        Good point.

        Really I now have infinitely more admiration for Al Gore, who I feel truly did have the election stolen from him by BushCo and the Roberts Supreme Court.

        Gore, IMO, should have fought a bit harder, but in the end, he took his lumps and went quietly. I have my issues with Gore, but especially given Clinton’s horrendous “performance” post 2016, I have to give props to Al for behaving like a gentleman and an adult and walking away with his head held high, while maintaining his dignity.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Even Nixon had the good sense to avoid acting like a sore loser after the 1960 election. Likewise, Jimmy Carter in 1980. And look at what he went on to do.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            In both cases, they had elements of leadership.

            Carter from his sweater lectures about turning off the lights when we left the room to Nixon’s NAACP membership. I don’t like either of these men, but they both had points to their candidacies or felt they did beyond “being President would be really neat.”

            Hillary is a sore loser because she didn’t belong on this stage. She’s never led on an issue.

      2. katiebird

        This recording (Jack Tapper’s CNN show) of HRC insulting the DNC so coldly is disgusting. It is bizarre that someone who thinks they can/should lead could talk about her friends this way…

        Here’s CNN’s interpretation:

        “I take responsibility for every decision I make — but that’s not why I lost,” Clinton said.

        Perhaps Clinton’s most fresh and savage criticism on Wednesday was directed at the Democratic National Committee. She went as far as to say that when she became her party’s presidential nominee, she inherited “nothing” from the committee.

        “I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party,” Clinton said. “It was bankrupt, it was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, non-existent, wrong. I had to inject money into it — the DNC — to keep it going.”

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I wonder if Hillary is aware the previous two DNC chairs were her 2008 campaign chair and her VP nominee.

          1. katiebird

            People with that level of rage are totally oblivious to the impact of what they are saying. If she remembers, it wouldn’t matter at all to her…

        2. different clue

          Didn’t this blog a little while ago run articles about how the Clinton Campaign ran a money-laundry/ pass-through operation against the state-level Democratic Parties . . . allowing them to believe and tell their supporters that they were raising money for their State-level Democratic operations but then turning around and laundering all that money to the Clinton campaign?

          Did she do something similar to money that should have been going to the DNC? Instead diverting it to her own campaign? Was some of the State-Democratic-Party-raised money supposed to have gone to DNC?

          If the answer to those questions is ‘yes”, then the reason DNC had no money is because Hillary stole all the money. To paraphrase Thomas Nast . . . ” Who stole the peoples’ money? ‘Twas her.”

          Millions of her followers will remain her followers. They will believe and advance every word she says. I said several months ago that the millions of Klinton Koolaid Kultists in the field would become a threat and a menace to American society, and so far it looks like I am right. They are irredeemable and they will remain irredeemable for the rest of their filthy little natural lives.

      3. darthbobber

        But the number of the deluded among the self-described “knowledgeable” donkeys is really quite remarkable.

        Daily Kos is useful largely for checking in on what life in that echo chamber produces.

        The periodic tearful diaries whenever queenie makes another platitudinous speech are remarkable in and of themselves, but the comment threads are filled with people engaging in what I can only describe as devotional hagiography. That sort of thing is silly enough when it comes from the more starry-eyed Sanders supporters, but at least the Sanders campaign was actually about something, so its understandable. To see that level of cringe-inducing idol worship directed at a robotic spouter of barely coherent talking points like Clinton is mind-boggling.

    5. Alex Morfesis

      Next $hillary will be asking folks to help fund post production work for her semi biographical documentary…

      iron sky 2: return of the vrilz…

    6. clarky90

      “Men in dark suits” rule the US – Putin on Deep State


      Published on May 31, 2017

      ““Presidents come and go, but the politics remains the same.” As such, an individual, who may have his own genuine ideas, is elected into the White House only to satisfy the illusion of a democratic process taking place. In reality, “men in dark suits”, who remain anonymous to the voting public, continue to pursue the well-established interests of the US elite with each incoming administration.”

  8. xformbykr

    “Did Thomas Kuhn Help Elect Donald Trump?” [Scientific American]. More interesting than the headline. The ubiquitous “paradigm shfit” comes from Kuhn.

    thanks for the link!
    fascinating about Kuhn the person and professor. He believed and dogmatized his own theory.

    However, it’s good to continually reality-test both scientific theories and observations. The observations need to be repeatable, instruments reliable, etc. Kuhn “went out way over his skis” to claim that theories couldn’t be falsified (because observations could not be perfectly reliable.

    Confidence in theories grow when they succeed in explaining more and more observations. Confidence in a theory can falter when it can’t explain observations. So we make more observations, critically examine the theory, and repeat.

    But yes the force of political and personal power has a big say-so in science. Even so, I would like to know where the insurance companies place their “bets” with regard to climate change and pollution.

    1. dontknowitall

      “Confidence in theories grow when they succeed in explaining more and more observations. Confidence in a theory can falter when it can’t explain observations. So we make more observations, critically examine the theory, and repeat.”

      Yes, very true, but then there is the whole thing going on economics where unphysical theories having nothing to do with reality have ruled the century and drive a humanitarian disaster of historic proportions. While the basic sciences are mainly resistant to such behavior, economics, sociology and psychology and surprisingly, theoretical physics seem to fall prey to ‘sects’ of various types and only generational change leads to progress.

      For an interesting take on the crazinesses that have afflicted the theoretical physics community I recommend Peter Woit’s blog:


      1. HotFlash

        And for non-mathematicians, consider (organized) religion. The theory/theology is adjusted as necessary to match the observations, and if all else fails, bring in the “needs moar faith!” and “mysterious ways!” arguments.

  9. allan

    Massive blow-out craters formed by hydrate-controlled methane expulsion from the Arctic seafloor
    [Science, subscript. req.]

    Abstract: Accounting for all the sources and sinks of methane is important for determining its concentration in the atmosphere. Andreassen et al. found evidence of large craters embedded within methane-leaking subglacial sediments in the Barents Sea, Norway. They propose that the thinning of the ice sheet at the end of recent glacial cycles decreased the pressure on pockets of hydrates buried in the seafloor, resulting in explosive blow-outs. This created the giant craters and released large quantities of methane into the water above.

        1. Barmitt O'Bamney

          Giant Meteor is great on the issues -no arguments here- and it has a very attractive “vision thing” overall, but I maintain that Trump offers 85-90% of what GM is selling while boasting a 90% chance or better of actually delivering the goods in our lifetimes. You could be waiting on Giant Meteor for millennia. Trump is already in the White House. Is Giant Meteor even in the Solar System – who knows?? Trump 2020! (if there is a 2020)

    1. LT

      One way LA County could slow the rent increasing tide is to immediately (like yesterday) change the rule that only apartments built before 1979 (or is it 1980?) are limited to no more than a 10% rent increase and make leases 1 to 2 year minimum mandatory. Make the rule go for any apartments built before 2000 to account for how renters were screwed by brain-dead lending and borrowing during housing mania years. I want to say date the controls at 2008 – year of the crash.

      1. Wmkohler

        This would require the repeal of Costa-Hawkins, a statewide law passed in the mid-nineties that restricts the types of rent control laws cities can pass. A bill to do so was introduced this year, but a vote to bring it out of committee was delayed until next year due to the high level of opposition by landlord lobby groups.

      2. jrs

        “and make leases 1 to 2 year minimum mandatory”

        ugh no, no thank you, no. I rent in the L.A. area, I don’t want to be locked into a long lease. Many people’s JOBS aren’t even that stable (and really you don’t want a long commute in L.A. if you can help it, it’s a serious quality of life drain – although almost unavoidable, but ability to move easily helps).

        I want to be able to rent without a long commitment. Leases seem to have been getting longer as it is, I miss back when, when there were 6 month leases, and apartments with no leases at all etc..

        1. LT

          Why would anyone want to move every six months when you’re working in the same city?
          That’s moving costs, time (the hunt for a new place), and stress in it’s own way.

          1. jrs

            Well I don’t know what does and doesn’t void the lease (and at that point it might be a matter of hiring a lawyer), but have you ever ended up living in a roach infested apartment that leaked when it rained? I have and I’m afraid of getting stuck in a living situation like that or owing as much as all the unpaid months of the lease in payment to get out (I don’t think rental contracts like that are prohibited in L.A.). There are plenty of other things to fear, the neighbors who party at 3am on weeknights etc.. Renting is scary in some ways of course. You try to, but you really don’t know how bad things might actually be when you sign the dotted line.

            Are in you in L.A? I realize there are other much worse places now as far as commuting (I hear Atlanta is worse), but a 16 mile drive here can take an hour, so either you drastically limit your job search or you move for jobs or your stuck commuting 2-3 hours a day. Those are the choices if you want to live here. Oh staying at jobs a long time is sometimes a choice (only if the company is stable), but we’ve all probably taken less than ideal jobs in hard times.

    1. nowhere

      Richard Hendricks: You listen to me, you muscle-bound handsome Adonis: tech is reserved for people like me, okay? The freaks, the weirdos, the misfits, the geeks, the dweebs, the dorks! Not you!

    2. Scott

      Every time, I read stories about this idea, I can’t help but think of Mr. Burns’ comment after getting a blood transfusion from Bart. “You know, it’s funny, Smithers. I tried every tincture and poultice and tonic and patent medicine there is, and all I really needed was the blood of a young boy.”

        1. RMO

          Remember those great days at the Orphanarium when Rusty the Organ Harvesting Clown visited? All us kids got a free mini chocolate bar when the anesthetic wore off!

  10. Pat

    While I don’t want to build on anything that might end gridlock in DC, I cannot tell you how much I want Ossoff to complete the Clinton campaign analogy and lose big. A loss that shows absolutely no progress in a traditional Republican stronghold at all, and maybe even some lost ground. I’m still pretty sure he is going to lose, but they might actually manage to get it closer than I originally expected. Closer allows a little face saving and after Clinton and their lack of action for more Democratic leaning candidates in Kansas and Montana that should never happen. It just allows them to think it can remain situation normal.

    1. different clue

      If an Ossoff defeat can be leveraged to quicken the pace of mass Clintocide against every Clintonite everywhere within the Democratic Party, then it will be worth the loss of some gridlock in the meantime.
      But only if it can indeed be leveraged to begin and quicken the declintamination process.

      Otherwise it will have all been for nothing. Just as the election of Trump itself will have all been for nothing if it doesn’t lead to the systematic “extermination” of all Clintonites from every level of the Democratic Party.

    1. nowhere

      So Trump is just trolling? I’m glad the President has nothing better to do than troll the internet.

    2. lambert strether

      So Trump is telling the House of Saud he’s a stand-up guy?

      Or somebody?


      Earlier on Wednesday while speaking at the Code Conference in Los Angeles, Hillary Clinton joked about the mystery tweet, saying, “I thought it was a hidden message to the Russians.”

      Clinton showing the gentle wit and strategic acumen that make her such a well-loved political figure…

      Although to be fair, Perez Hilton immediately took her seriously. How it spreads….

  11. DJG

    “And am I the only one who thinks that “1,000 agents” exhibits faux precision and focus-grouped virality in equal measure?”

    Well, Bunky, what springs to my mind is Bush Daddy’s “thousand points of light.” In short, any tired metaphor will work when a politician is slinging bullshit. The “1,000 agents” metaphor, by its knowingness, also shores up Clinton’s enviable reputation as purest of policy wonks. Unfortunately, I also recall her “vast rightwing conspiracy.”

    But what do I know? On my FB feed, so-called grownups have spent the last four days on “convfefe.” And as always, I think that she should spend more time doing yoga, what with 30,000 e-mail messages about yoga to rely on.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > so-called grownups have spent the last four days on “covfefe.”

      I think the word for this is febrile, feverish. (Unlike feverish, febrile has sound associations with feeble, tremble, weakness and shakiness generally, IMNSHO.)

      OED’s usage example: “[Their] continued febrile chatter about the evening obscurely troubled Roy.”

    2. Darius

      1,000 Russian agents sounds like a meme to me. It doesn’t sound like anything grounded in any fact, or even evolving from facts. It’s origin probably is, “I bet that…” It probably sweeps in manufactured smears like propornot, which includes you and me, and is entirely notional. As much validity as chair-throwing Bernie Bros.

    3. DanB

      Going from memory, I recall Robert Mueller, then FBI director testifying after 9/11, that there were 5,000 sleeper terrorists in the USA.

    4. LT

      “And am I the only one who thinks that “1,000 agents” exhibits faux precision and focus-grouped virality in equal measure?”

      Add “unhinged” to the measure…

        1. LT

          The bigger error is giving Facebook journalism or journalism watchdog satus…
          even if it were more secure.

  12. Jim Haygood

    Calling Goldman Sachs:

    Illinois had its bond rating downgraded to one step above junk by Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings, the lowest ranking on record for a U.S. state, as the long-running political stalemate over the budget shows no signs of ending.

    S&P warned that Illinois will likely losing its investment-grade status, an unprecedented step for a state, around July 1 if leaders haven’t agreed on a budget that chips away at the government’s chronic deficits. Moody’s followed S&P’s downgrade Thursday, citing Illinois’s underfunded pensions and the record backlog of bills that are equivalent to about 40 percent of its operating budget.

    Illinois’s 10-year bonds yield 4.4 percent, or 2.5 percentage points more than those on top-rated debt. That spread — a measure of the perceived risk — is the highest since at least January 2013 and more than any of the other 19 states tracked by Bloomberg.


    Here’s a chance for the Squid to scoop up some distressed debt cheaply, slot in its own people, and turn the festering mess around for a quick buck. Should be easier than fixing Venezuela.

    Is the possessive “Illinois’s” pronounced “Illinoises”? :-0

    1. Vatch

      Illinois may become a pioneer in the fight against the carried interest loophole, and in the process they would raise some needed revenue:


      Legislation addressing the so-called “carried interest loophole” is gaining momentum in Illinois after the release of data finding the measure would generate $473 million for the cash-starved state.

      Grassroots Collaborative, a coalition of labor unions and human service organizations, April 19 touted passage of a new privilege tax on private equity firms, hedge funds and other financial organizations with the release of “ Illinois Billionaires and Their Lucrative Loophole.” The report, released in conjunction with Hedge Clippers, a similar coalition, blasts a small group of wealthy investment managers for failing to pay their fair share of state taxes. The report calls on the Illinois General Assembly to close the loophole and fund state programs hampered by a budget crisis that has dragged on for almost two years.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Not that I’m any fan of the carried interest loophole … but the more likely result when a state turns hostile (e.g. “Hedge Clippers”) is that hedge funds decamp to friendlier climes such as Florida.

        Connecticut, whose leafy suburbs around Greenwich used to be Hedge Fund Heaven, is getting worried after running off GE to Massachusetts. Hedge funds’ poor investment returns over the past year are starving struggling CT of tax revenue. It’s looking like the “next Illinois.”

        The Connecticut Hedge Fund Association is mounting a fierce resistance, though, with the help of Rudy Giuliani and Larry Summers [banner photos on home page]:


        If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow
        Don’t be alarmed now
        It’s just a spring clean for the May queen

        — Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven

        1. Vatch

          hedge funds decamp to friendlier climes

          Would that be bad? Housing might become more affordable for many people.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            As Jim Haygood noted GE absconded to Boston as the poorly installed infrastructure of the McMansions of Connecticut are reaching the point where they need to be replaced. It might be affordable housing, but its not livable. The costs of replacing poorly designed infrastructure is much higher than replacing well designed infrastructure. With any changes, there will be winners and losers, but the problem was the original race to the bottom to set Connecticut up as a tax haven in the first place.

            I believe this was a topic in these parts during the Boston School walkout.

            States and localities still have to operate on budgets, and they don’t really have that much money. The state government is eyeing the potential tax revenue, but its kind of ignoring the people they are targeting are the people who can skip town which is a problem for states. A farm, a mine, and even a factory can’t simply up and leave, but a hedge fund just needs phones and office space.

            1. bob

              Why do they need money?

              They can borrow at under 3% for 30 years.

              The *rational* business answer is to borrow a lot. Tax optimization, they normally call it. Funny how that part of running gov like a business gets dropped.

              Agree on the infrastructure. It’s very bad, and getting worse. The answer is duct tape and bailing wire, and pray you get a higher office before someone does some math when a major problem hits.

              “Can’t see it from my office”

            2. UserFriendly

              Parts of CT this may be true, but there are PLENTY of very very nice houses in and around Fairfield, Westport, Easton and Redding. The real reason for the move is millenials are not big fans of suburbs. Especially ones that are over an hour outside a big cities.

    1. Annotherone

      I’ve just listened to Trump’s speech in full – went to HuffPost at the end of it and and saw the headline “Trump to Planet: Drop Dead”. That is 100% unfair – was not the tenor of his speech at all – but what else would we expect from HuffPo these days? I’m probably punch drunk (or something) but I thought his speech was at least reasonable, if not ideal, that is if the figures he gave were near enough factual – of course.

      1. jrs

        Who cares? Speeches are meaningless anyway. Ok read transcripts if you want, but speeches are meaningless anyway. It’s policy that matters.

        At best once in awhile (like the state of the union for example), speeches can give one an idea of policies that will follow. What good environmental policies does Trump propose?

      2. Roger Smith

        Totally agree. His speech (or the bulk of it I saw) cited specific examples, summarized the framing of how the deal works against us, and was logically consistent with his MAGA thesis. Theoretically he wants the net pollution caps (or whatever measures present here are) to stay the same and just be reapportioned. Real reporting would emphasize his want to renegotiate or form a new deal, solid analytical reporting would test his examples and go further, we are unlikely to see either (at least where a lot of people will see them). Twitter quips and memes here we come!

        1. Darius

          Is he actually going to do this? Does he have a negotiating strategy? For someone so PR conscious, he has a striking inability to get his point across.

          1. jrs

            I’ll take twitter quips and memes that have some accuracy any day over vague hypothetical promises (I know the Paris climate deal had some of that already, but that’s all Trump has got as far as I can tell).

      3. L.M. Dorsey

        In the beginning, there was the 1975 Daily News headline (see Infamous ‘Drop Dead’ Was Never Said by Ford). Gerald Ford’s and DT’s speeches do both try to justify their respective commitments to inaction by the demands of “economics” — plus ça change… (And of course, 1975 is also, and not uncoincidentally, a very important year in young DT’s budding career.) But, anyway, the headlines simply insist that the economics is bullshit, that the motive is spleen. Fair comment, arguably, in both cases.

        Mr. Ford, on Oct. 29, 1975, gave a speech denying federal assistance to spare New York from bankruptcy. The front page of The Daily News the next day read: “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.”

        Mr. Ford never explicitly said “drop dead.” Yet those two words, arguably the essence of his remarks as encapsulated in the immortal headline, would, as he later acknowledged, cost him the presidency the following year, after Jimmy Carter, nominated by the Democrats in New York, narrowly carried the state.

        “It more than annoyed me because it wasn’t accurate,” he recalled years later. “It was very unfair.”

        That view is echoed in an evolving version of historical revisionism. Only two months after saying or meaning or merely implying “drop dead” — or, perhaps, resorting to tough love by holding the city’s feet to the fire — Mr. Ford signed legislation to provide federal loans to the city, which were repaid with interest.

        1. Alex Morfesis

          Nyc was not bankrupt nor near bankruptcy…the klowns that be wanted to crush the city unions &
          have a cheap excuse to “leave behind” certain neighborhoods to reconfigure the “demographics” of the city…they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams…

    2. Dead Dog

      Thank you, Lambert.

      Another poor decision by the man. Ah well, he did promise to change things

      1. PhilM

        It’s so hard tell, though. The initial reaction from Blankfein, Tim Cook, Exxon, and the major investment banks to the move was, Oh, noes!

        My feeling is, If those hateful bastards disapprove, it can’t be a bad thing. And it’s what the guy was elected to do: spit in the face of the system. Break expectations. Cost the entrenched interests money by rendering their purchase of the system null and void. Create volatility at the expense of the elite.

        And that’s exactly what he is doing.

        It will all end badly, but it was going to end badly anyway.

        1. jrs

          The same Exxon and investment banks etc. that make up Trumps administration, oh yea he’s sure spitting in the face of them …

          Tell me when he ACTUALLY costs the entrenched interests money, when they actually experience any real loss there.

          1. PhilM

            Yes, what is said to the press, or reported by them, is certainly a deception.

            I withdraw my comment, which was shamefully naive.

            And just when I thought my disbelief of public discourse had become instinctual!

    1. Altandmain

      Sadly the neoliberals will insist that these are the “job creators” and “innovative entrepreneurs” rather than parasites.

  13. LT

    Re: Commission to Protect Democracy From Trump…
    “…document the impact of voter suppression efforts in the 2016 election, and propose solutions to expand voting rights….”

    By focusing on Trump and 2016, the entire plan screams “Clintonites at work!”

    But that’s the bubble for you…they don’t see that and will make it harder than it needs to be to expand voting rights.

    Now we know why the Clintons worked so hard to make hundreds of millions after Bill’s Presidency…buying that loyalty.

    1. LT

      Come to think of it, there are probably higher turnout elections that would be better suited to proving the need for expanding voter rates. Pick the years where people were clamoring to get into vote and had problems. If your opposition can pick apart the reasons for low-turnout, the case is harder.

    1. clarky90

      The Bilderberg Group meeting in Chantilly, Virginia


      “They will discuss transatlantic relations, the future of the European Union and ‘a progress report’ on the Trump administration behind closed doors at the four-day meeting….

      But per tradition, news outlets are not invited to cover the event.
      ‘There is no desired outcome, no minutes are taken and no report is written,’ the group stated.

      ‘Furthermore, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.'”

      Maybe “the Neo-Wannsee Conference?”

      “At the conclusion of the meeting Heydrich gave Eichmann firm instructions about what was to appear in the minutes. They were not to be verbatim: Eichmann ensured that nothing too explicit appeared in them. He said at his trial: “How shall I put it — certain over-plain talk and jargon expressions had to be rendered into office language by me”.

      The Bilderbergers are meeting 30 miles from the White House. No mention of these meetings in The Washington Post

  14. Tom Stone

    In the old days you had to wait for the fair to come to town and then pay good money to watch the geek bite the head off a chicken.
    These days you can watch Hillary every day for free.

    1. RenoDino

      It’s becoming clearer to me everyday that NC is a back channel for non-Facebook users who weren’t exposed to endless Russian propaganda and thus have no idea what HC is talking about.

      1. Octopii

        Ha! I’d love to see a poll of NC readers/contributors who aren’t on FB [raises hand]. But the propaganda was/is impossible to avoid no matter one’s media outlet of choice.

      2. Lynne

        I am a casual Facebook user and saw very little Russian propaganda. What I did see were constant (as in at least 3-4 per day) posts linking to purported news articles scurrilously going after Republicans. Almost without fail, if someone objected, the poster would either tell the objecter that it was satire and they needed to get a sense of humour, or go on a rant about their right to say what they wanted and if anyone didn’t like it, they were obviously a bigot. I believe approximately 90% of my flist voted for Hillary.

  15. ewmayer

    Trial kicks off in U.S. case over Iran-linked New York office tower | Reuters

    ‘Manhattan office tower built for the shah of Iran’ — You mean the same brutal despot installed by the U.S. after the 1953 CIA coup which overturned the results of the democratic election in Iran? No irony there! Thankfully, any such properties linked to our progressive non-terror-sponsoring allies in the ME, Saudi Arabia and Israel, are safe from such property seizures.

  16. OIFVet

    “[Ivanka Trump] and her husband, Jared Kushner, had bundled $41,000 for Booker’s Senate campaign as of May. Booker has raised raised $6.5 million so far this year” [Politico]. Booker’s refreshingly open to contributions from all sources, isn’t he? Then again, now that he’s obviously a Russian stooge, he’ll pay the political price.
    CORY BOOKER: Russia is trying to ‘undermine democracy’ around the world. Priceless! Thank goodness Booker is such a stand-up dude and besides, as we all know, money does not buy influence. Frankly, I am really concerned about the Zuck torpedoing Booker in 2020 over the hundreds of millions of Zuck’s money that Booker took to crapify reform Newark’s school system. If Booker 2020 goes down in flames over this little graft failure, who the heck will protect us from the Putin???

  17. Octopii

    Just happened on a clip of Tom Perez trying to stir folks up at the WH climate protest group today… He had to read from notes as he shouted, and the crowd didn’t seem too impressed. Who pauses to check notes when in the middle of a crowd???

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