2:00PM Water Cooler 6/12/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


Obama Legacy

“[The cost of Obama’s stimulus package, the ARRA] was equal to 5.7 percent of the nation’s 2008 output. The New Deal, however, was about 40 percent of the nation’s 1929 output” [Econintersect]. “[T]he New Deal programs lasted much longer than ARRA programs. ‘Most of the Recovery Act spending took place over three years, but the New Deal spending stretched over seven years, Fishback and Kachanovskaya reported,’ [St Louis Fed Assistant Vice President and Economist William Dupor] wrote.”

Health Care

“Senate Republicans are on track to finish writing their draft health care bill this evening, but have no plans to publicly release the bill, according to two senior Senate GOP aides” [Axios]. “‘We aren’t stupid,’ said one of the aides. One issue is that Senate Republicans plan to keep talking about it after the draft is done: ‘We are still in discussions about what will be in the final product so it is premature to release any draft absent further member conversations and consensus.'”

“While most of the political media is riveted by Trump’s endless Russia scandal, especially the explosive testimony of former FBI director James Comey, Senate Republicans are stealthily moving forward on dynamiting health care for poor Americans” [The Week]. “It’s unclear exactly what changes Republicans in the Senate have made, because the process — just as in the House — is proceeding under a cloud of total secrecy. There have been no hearings, no committee markups, and no possibility for amendment, and there will be none.” Of course, even a damp squib can explode. Not with a bang, but a whimper.

“EDITORIAL: Democrats becoming more intent on a government takeover of health care” [Las Vegas Review-Journal]. “Single payer” isn’t “socialized medicine” because the providers are still private. That said, there are still conservative talking points (generally adopted by liberals) to answer.

New Cold War

“National Democrats hoping to parlay the latest furor surrounding the Russia investigations into political victory in the Midwest may want to take a different tack” [NBC]. “The party has targeted Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, currently represented by Republican Rod Blum, as a battleground in the 2018 house race. But in the days leading up to former FBI Director James Comey’s blockbuster testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, residents made it clear that while news of the scandal billowing around President Donald Trump’s White House was impossible to avoid, it was far from their biggest concern. Most constituents interviewed by NBC News said that they need to see fire before they come to any conclusions about the Russia investigation and added that they are beginning to tune out news connected to it because of fatigue. Voters here are more concerned about issues like health care, veterans’ benefits, Planned Parenthood and infrastructure.”

“A Shining Comey on a Hill” [Foreign Policy]. Help me.

UPDATE “Virginia governor says Russia was helped by ‘treasonous’ Americans who gave ‘these people a roadmap'” [The Week]. Making it all the more remarkable that some kind soul in the intelligence community hasn’t risked their career to expose the traitors by coming forward with evidence (Reality Winner seems to be a kind soul, and she did risk her career, but the evidence part…) We really do need more than the word of a corrupt Clintonite — sorry for the redundancy — blowhard on this.


Saying [family blog] is a total sign of authenticity, as “foul-mouthed bloggers of the left” proved in 2003-2006:


“Republicans are growing increasingly worried that they will lose the House of Representatives. The pervasive pessimism comes as there continues to be a dearth of legislative victories, and a toxic political environment that appears to be worsening. Of course, the midterm elections are nearly a year and a half away. But more than a dozen Republicans we’ve spoken to in the last few weeks say the prospect for political and legislative wins big and small is dimming. And as much as President Donald Trump has worked to woo over fellow Republicans with dinners at the White House and regular meetings with GOP leadership, it hasn’t had much of an impact on the overall state of play” [Politico]. “The rank and file has been frustrated with the House committees, which have not produced a drumbeat of legislation to tout as victories [Hi, Paul! [waves]]. And the party is deeply split on health-care reform, a tax overhaul and infrastructure spending. Passing a budget to set the groundwork for tax reform is still seen as far off. And the congressional schedule doesn’t leave a lot of time to kick things into high gear.”


GA-06: “Democratic strategists may hate the idea that they must win the June 20 special election in Georgia’s 6th District, but that doesn’t make it any less true” [Stuart Rothenberg, Inside Elections]. “[A]nother special election defeat, in an upscale district that did not embrace Donald Trump the way districts in Kansas and Montana did, would lead to another round of finger-pointing and self-flagellation by Democrats still consumed by their 2016 defeat.” Rothenberg says that like it’s a bad thing! And: “Given the closeness of the 2016 presidential race in this district and President Trump’s controversial behavior since then, Ossoff should have the upper hand in this special election. But the contest looks tight. Democrats need a win, while Republicans can’t afford a loss.”

2016 Post Mortem

“Everybody Needs to Stop Telling Hillary Clinton to Shut Up” [The American Prospect]. Attagirl, Neera! “ClintonEntire books have been written about the myriad ways the backlash against feminism was projected onto Clinton; if you want something more concise, I’d recommend this excellent segment from Samantha Bee, who notes that at every stage of her career Clinton was told to suppress her authentic self (cut your hair, take your husband’s name, apologize for speaking your mind, don’t make it seem like you have a strong role in his administration) until she was finally told that she wasn’t authentic enough to be elected president.” Surely “authentic self” assumes facts not in evidence?

Our Famously Free Press

“And then there’s the dirty little secret that every journalist knows — Trump stories drive ratings and clicks. The word ‘Trump’ in a headline vastly increases its chances of getting attention. (We’re all guilty; see above.)” [Margeret Sullivan, WaPo]. After shredding the notion of “balance,” Sullivan considers what the press should do. For example:

Do news sites give serious, sustained attention to policy issues as well as publishing innumerable hot takes about the ­personality-driven dust-up of the moment?

Harvard professor Thomas E. Patterson, the study’s author, sees trouble on that last point.

“The press is focusing on personality, not substance,” he said recently on public radio’s “On the Media” program. And that reflects “not a partisan bias but a journalistic bias,” the tendency to seek out conflict. (No mystery there — it’s more interesting.)

Trump stories are cheap to produce, because they generally don’t require reporting. Or editing, apparently:

Realignment and Legitimacy

“My Lawyers Got Trump to Admit 30 Lies Under Oath” [Bloomberg]. Which is great, but does rather undercut using Trump’s words against him either in court or in impeachment; Trump’s bullshit would be the political equivalent of commercial puffery, not to be taken seriously.

Stats Watch

No official stats today.

Credit: “The collapse continues. With total bank credit just over $12.5 trillion, it’s about $500 billion less than it would have been had last year’s loan growth continued. If this lower rate of loan growth continues, and isn’t replaced by some other channel that facilitates agents spending more than their incomes, the implication is that GDP could be a full 2% less than last year, as a substantial portion of bank lending finances purchases of real goods and services” [Mosler Economics]. “Looks like another rate hike coming from the Fed next week. Seems to me the Fed models (not mine) tell them rates work through the credit channels, the idea being a rate hike will slow down credit growth and thereby keep the economy from overheating, etc. But with credit growth as it is per the above charts, seems they are already decelerating. So what would be the point of a rate hike? To make credit growth decelerate even faster?”

Housing: “[M]any observers speculated that a slew of [foreclosed upon] “boomerang buyers” [with bad credit] was poised to return to the housing market. Those buyers have been slow to materialize…The housing market is a vital part of the U.S. economy. Increases in residential investment, including new homes and remodeling, generate a lot of jobs – not only in construction, but also in real estate, finance, and transportation, to name just a few industries. Moreover, rising home prices create a wealth effect that enables many households to fund consumption. Some economists and policymakers thus pointed to the sluggishness of the housing market after the recession as a factor contributing to slower-than-desired economic growth. If potential boomerang buyers remain on the sidelines and current trends in homeownership continue, it’s unlikely that housing activity will return to the levels of the boom years – or that it will make as large a contribution to GDP growth” [Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond]. “But to the extent the economy is in the process of adjusting to a sustainable level of housing activity, that may be an unavoidable cost.”

Shipping: “Maersk Line has introduced a new service for supply chain managers seeking to finance their global trade while optimizing carrier service….. Maersk Line is launching Trade Finance for its customers in the United States in five states – New York, Texas, Florida, New Jersey and Georgia – after several successful pilots in Singapore, India, Spain, the Netherlands” [Logistics Management]. “[T]he only collateral required is shipping with Maersk shipping companies.” Hmm.

The Fed: “The consensus is that the Fed will raise the Fed Funds Rate 25 bps following the FOMC meeting this coming week” [Calculated Risk].

The Fed: “The front page Fed-vs-the-financial markets article in today’s WSJ dives into what ought to be the most controversial reason the Fed is raising rates this year: They have decided stocks are overvalued and they can’t stand when long-term interest rates fall when they raise short rates. The paper notes the Goldman Sachs Financial Conditions Index, which has fallen considerably since December, suggesting markets have eased more than the Fed has tightened. The GSFCI is just exactly the sort of thing the Fed loves to watch while tightening because it allows FOMC participants to ignore the economic damage they are doing to real world economic activity” [FTN Financial, Across the Curve]. “The Fed will raise rates on Wednesday, and again in September and/or December, despite a sharp slowdown in credit activity because FOMC participants have a weak spot for indicators like the GSFCI and because they are all-too eager to believe in global savings gluts and the stupidity of rich investors as an alternative to the possibility the fed funds target they arbitrarily chose when they started tightening is too high.” Also too, 2018.

IT: “Video will make up 82 percent of all internet traffic in 2021, according to forecasts released today by Cisco, which sells networking equipment. Video accounted for 73 percent of traffic in 2016” [Recode]. Possibly Cisco talking its book. If true, corporations will have succeeded in turning the internet into network television. Yay.

The Bezzle: “Uber shakeup: Here’s everything that leaked about Eric Holder’s investigation this weekend” [Fast Company]. “Stay tuned for lots more Uber news this week.” And you will wait in vain for news that Uber has become profitable.

The Bezzle: “Uber CEO Kalanick likely to take leave, SVP Michael out -source” [Reuters, 12:49PM].

The Bezzle: “Top Uber exec Emil Michael departs the company as Kalanick’s fate remains in doubt” [WaPo, 1:24PM]. Noting the timestamps, it looks like the situation is still fluid.

The Bezzle: “A corruption scandal engulfing the world’s largest meatpacker Is triggering a backlash from business partners, including some whose codes of conduct extend to their suppliers. The holding company of Brazilian meat giant JBS SA agreed last month to pay a record-setting penalty after admitting to bribing politicians. Now a slew of Brazilian supermarkets and restaurants are backing away from JBS products… as public companies with ethics policies that also apply to suppliers weigh their options. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and McDonald’s Corp. say they are monitoring the investigations closely, while French supermarket chain Carrefour SA seeks “clarifications” regarding JBS” [Wall Street Journal].

The Bezzle: “Manipulation in the VIX?” (PDF) [SSRN]. From the conclusion: “Overall, we find considerable interesting activity in index options around VIX settlement. The most natural explanation for these patterns appears to be attempted manipulation. However, we cannot rule out other possibilities.” I can’t assess this study. But it seems important. Readers?

The Bezzle: “Created to track expectations of volatility, the [VIX] indicator has spawned a giant trading ecosystem that could magnify losses when turbulence hits” [Wall Street Journal].’

Political Risk: “The recent surge in populist politics, [Goldman Sachs Asset Management CIO Jonathan Beinner] said, has widened the range of potential market outcomes, both positive and negative. Giant tax cuts remain possible (if vanishingly so). So does trade war or just, like, war war. But the VIX reflects the opposite: a smaller set of potential market-shaking outcomes. Beinner didn’t offer an explanation for the disconnect. Still, it’s always good to learn that it’s not you but everyone else who’s nuts” [DealBreaker].

Political Risk: “Cost of ‘Black Swan’ bet on falling markets hits pre-crisis low” [Financial Times]. “Months of low market volatility has forced down the price of options allowing hedge funds to place bets that would make them 25 times on their money if the S&P 500 index fell by 7 per cent over the next month…. Last month the Financial Times reported that Ruffer, a $20bn London investment company, had been buying up large amounts of contracts linked to the Vix index priced at half a dollar as part of a hedging strategy for its portfolio, earning it the moniker “50 Cent” among bemused traders. At the same time, low expected volatility also allows traders to make cheap bets using options on the US stock market also rising in value.”

Rapture Index: Closes down 1 on Oil Supply/Price. “The price of oil has been falling on a rebound in shale oil drilling” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 182.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 51 Neutral (previous close: 54, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 58 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed. Last updated Jun 12 at 12:29pm.

Health Care

“America’s Health-Care Crisis Is a Gold Mine for Crowdfunding” [Bloomberg]. “Crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe and YouCaring have turned sympathy for Americans drowning in medical expenses into a cottage industry. Now Republican efforts in Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare could swell the ranks of the uninsured and spur the business of helping people raise donations online to pay for health care. But medical crowdfunding doesn’t have to wait for Congress to act. Business is already booming, and its leaders expect the rapid growth to continue no matter what happens on the Hill.” America is exceptional, alright.

Class Warfare

“”Cook County failed to value homes accurately for years. The result: a property tax system that harmed the poor and helped the rich” [Chicago Tribune]. First of a series. Actual investigative journalism! Well, to an extent… I searched all three stories for “Rahm.” Zero hits.

“Just like capitalism requires the destruction of its constant capital during the cyclical depressions and recessions in order to revitalize the rate of profit, similarly finance laws have gone through their own corresponding cycles of deregulation and discipline. As the rate of profit falls, corporations and especially finance encourage the government to deregulate in order to increase their surplus value to stay above the organic composition of capital. Once a crisis is triggered, the inflamed class struggle and support by institutions that require more market stability allow for the passage of reform legislation. That reform is then chipped away at in the proceeding years until a new deregulation law is passed. Thus there is almost always a deregulation law that corresponds to a discipline law that corresponds to a deregulation law” [Habeas Questus]. Interesting analysis relating the famous “tendency of the rate of profit to fall” to bankruptcy and regulation generally.

News of the Wired

“An Incredibly Clever Lock Design from 1680” [Core77 (Re Silc)]. Fun!

Forget that Fifth Borough nonsense:

Here is a fine example of a kludge:

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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 (JN):

JN writes: “Poppies and organic wheat.”

* * *

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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. Roger Smith

    RE: Clinton Needs to Shut Up (did I read that wrong?)

    I have heard this half baked argument before, but the author has not thought it through. I am supposed to grieve for Clinton because she is a victim of stifling control and influence on her person, historically since she was born? Does that mean I should have been more open and voted for a person (her femininity doesn’t make a lick of difference) who was so easily and readily manipulated their entire life? The problem of manipulation is precisely what the times are not calling for. That is definitely not “most qualified”.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Anyone remember the late, great US Rep. Bella Abzug? I sure do.

      And let me tell you something: There was never one minute when anyone doubted that she was being her real, Authentic Self.

      No one, and I do mean NO ONE, controlled Bella Abzug.

      1. Pat

        Bella Abzug could have swatted Hillary away like a pesky fly. As I remember her, so could Ella Grasso.

        And yes, when she bowed to pressure for norms how was the public to know the authentic Hillary Rodham Clinton. Mind you I would posit that Clinton’s choice was fueled by the fact that she didn’t give a damn about anything but what was in it for Hillary Rodham Clinton, and she knew that her authentic self alone was not a marketable product.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Not to mention Margaret Thatcher. Who did NOT suffer fools gladly. And don’t get me started on Golda Meir …

        2. cyclist

          Let’s have someone like Shirley Chisholm – another authentic, strong woman in the thick of US politics.

          1. Optimader

            She didnt wear stupid looking hats and spoke articulately. Her qualities are missed

      2. Harold

        She was my mother’s divorce lawyer. My mother was a 1940s feminist and made a practice her whole life of seeking out female lawyers, doctors if she happened to need one. At the time she would have been in her early 20s; and Bella, who was just four years older, would have been in her late 20s. My mother used tell me that Abzug’s hyper-combative ways as a lawyer antagonized my father perhaps even more than necessary. Their breakup was extremely bitter, though no doubt it was a salutary experience for him in some ways. He was, ahem, from another, more genteel (though teeming with suppressed — and overt– violence) cultural area of the US than NYC, i.e., the South.
        Another old-time battle-ax of the same mettle, if I may say so, was Betty Friedan. Hats off to them! (Bella always wore one.)

    2. Skip Intro

      Was she a life-long victim of manipulation, and mean people telling her what to do, or did she relentlessly compromise every one of her alleged ideals for whatever short-term political advantage she thought she could get?

      1. Patrick

        Maybe imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but female war monger is an oxymoron. Many years ago my mom said ours would be a different world if women ran things. I still think she was correct and I know she wasn’t referring to women like Hillary.

      2. tempestteacup

        I think you’ll find that every time HRC was ready to reveal to a grateful nation her sterling qualities, her political courage, integrity and radical devotion to achieving socio-economic equality, she was forced to pull on a pant-suit, take a job on the board of Wal-Mart, advocate for “welfare reform”, and vote for criminal foreign military interventions. The problem is not that she isn’t good – it’s that she is too good.

        That American Prospect article really is incredible stuff. We receive links to Samantha Bee for political insight. We get a long quote from Rebecca Traister in which, in classic Clinton-shill fashion, she completely erases a black woman, Shirley Chisholm, in her rush to expedite the beatification of America’s great lost president. But, above all, we get that incredible and uniquely liberal skill for appearing to acknowledge something while at the same time waving it away with all the contempt of someone who long since lost interest in being right or wrong in favour of being popular. That weary nod towards, y’know, all that important stuff that people say but only in order to develop some ex cathedra pronouncements on what it is or is not “ok” to do….

        It is ok, of course, to gloss over Clinton’s actual career as an elected official or her proven failure as a nationwide candidate. It’s ok to nod in the direction of the Clinton Foundation as if the latter word was a Hogwarts enchantment which conjures up Nobel Peace Prizes rather than a squalid front for pay-to-play exchange. It’s ok ascribe misogyny to every criticism of one of the world’s (until recently) most powerful individuals, treating her as some combination of vestal virgin and idiot-savant instead of a ruthless operative with Nixonian abilities with the cloak and dagger.

        But enough. We all know the routine so well I suspect we could, all of us, write our own exculpatory paeans to I’m With Her. What I wonder is whether the people who write this drivel actually believe it – on some level do you think they’ve convinced themselves they’re describing reality or are they consciously currying favour with a still-powerful faction of mephistophelean carpet-baggers? When they engage in their interminable Twitter spats or gin-up smears on the left, do they pause for a moment and look in the proverbial mirror to find their proverbial souls?

        I don’t suppose it matters too much whether they believe what they write or not. But on a human level I do wonder – is constantly lying worth the price of a moderate career in journalism? Or am I just being obtuse – or, more likely, a misogynistic obstacle?

      3. Crazy Horse

        Want to see the authentic Hillary Clinton on display? View the video on line of her chortling as she watches CIA film of Qaddafi being sodomized with a bayonet. Being a sadistic sociopath is not a character flaw that can be whisked under the rug by claiming that she was just a poor woman trying to get ahead in a man’s world.

        She should be wearing an orange jump suit for the rest of her life. Something the Orange Tweeter promised during his campaign and immediately forgot about the minute his con succeeded.

    3. clarky90

      I believe that Hillary Clinton IS being, and broadcasting her authentic self. I support her 100% in this. I am not being snide. The curtains are being pulled aside on The Incompetent, Wizards of Oz (The Corrupt Over-class). Hillary C will be remembered as the Foolish Wizard who could not keep her curtain drawn! We got a glimpse into the innards of the Heath Robinson, Control Booth, Political Contraption. (George Soros playing with himself!)

      I feel utterly betrayed and conned by Barack Obama. He looked, talked and exuded kind, “humanness”. But he was a fraud that STILL evades the grok of huge parts of the World population. People generally find it difficult to accept that this beautiful man (Obama) with the beautiful family, is a tyrannical bastard.(Remember NYT’s, Uncle Joe Stalin?).

      Hillary Clinton, refreshingly (IMO), and bravely, is obviously a crazed maniac. Many noticed her authentic self during the campaign. Now that she is increasingly free to express her inner life, I expect people on both sides of the political divide (The Ups, AND the Downs) to wake up and smell the coffee. We are being lied to about almost everything, and it is not inadvertent.

      References …

      (1) “One-third of world now overweight, with US leading the way”

      1. Tvc15

        Clarky90 said, ” We are being lied to about almost everything, and it is not inadvertent.” Exactly!

        And the only solace I have from the Trump show is that the curtains will be pulled back completely to expose the puppeteers of this charade they call a democracy.

        1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

          Which should make it much easier to generate authentic opposition, doncha think? Trump was The Great Reveal, next up is The Great Reveal for Dems: that they too love War and Billionaire Corporo-Fascism

      1. Arizona Slim


        After she left Congress, she joined the UT faculty. Her classes had waiting lists. Long waiting lists. They were THAT good.

      2. Elizabeth

        Thank you, June. I was trying to remember her name. She was brilliant and her voice was unforgettable.

    4. different clue

      Clinton needs to shut up? Who needs for Clinton to shut up? The Clintonites need for Clinton to shut up before she starts smelling up the place so badly that her stink attaches to all the Clintonites whose stink it also is.

      Therefor, the rest of us need for Clinton to keep talking. We need her to keep talking until she is so loathed and reviled that the loathing and revilement spreads to every piece of sh#t who supported her and spreads to every piece of sh#t who voted for her. And then keeps spreading to every piece of Pink Kitty Cap sh#t which drives and supports the Clinton Restoration project under the false and disleading name of #TheResistance.

      So keep talking, “HanniHill Lecter” Clinton. Talk and talk and talk some more. Keep talking until your truest innermost self ( ” We came. We saw. He died. Cackle cackle.”)
      is too revealed to be deniable. Let your supporters own you. Let them be recognized as the filthy little mini-yous they always were.

  2. WobblyTelomeres

    “Not with a bang, but a whimper.”

    Hmmm. One better. “So this is the way the world ends, not with a whim, but a banker.” – Paul Desmond upon seeing a former girlfriend with a wealthy financier.

      1. Annotherone

        Desmond is a jazz hero of my husband, he has many but PD is at the top of the list….asked him his favourite track, immediate answer….”Emily”….oh.h.h.! -(lump in his throat” ) ;)

        1. Archie

          Big fan of PD here as well. And I completely get the “lump in the throat” feeling but it is Koto Song that does it for me.

      2. Angie Neer

        Desmond didn’t just play Take Five, he wrote it. Pet peeve of mine that it’s so often called a Brubeck tune.

  3. Tim

    Regarding Fed fund rate increases, keep in mind these raises are .25% so while the raise is rather large increase relative to the prior rate, it is an almost trivial increase for the circumstances where loans are made or not made based on the rate.

    Secondly the crowdfunding of healthcare payments. How does that work? I pay somebody’s bills and they offer to pay me back with interest, because the bank won’t? Does this mean a high probability of default? so is the rate, usurious beyond what is allowed by federally sanctioned businesses? SO anybody can be a loan shark?

    1. katiebird

      I think in this case crowdfunding is begging for money to pay medical bills. I don’t think repayment is included. (am I wrong?)

      1. RUKidding

        I think you’re reight katiebird. I think crowdfunding means you agree to a “charitable donation” to whatever “cause” is being asked for funding. Funding could be for any number of things, including helping to defray health care expenses.

        I don’t believe you get anything back, including the fact that it’s not for a “real” charity, so you can’t claim the “donation” on your taxes.

        1. jo6pac

          I would think you would have to pay taxes on the funds you raised. Anyone know the answer?

          1. RUKidding

            Dunno, but seems likely. Sort of like how you have to pay taxes if you win the lottery.

          2. Adam Reilly

            In this case, I feel like the recipient could just say that any funds raised were gifts and then as long as no individual donor gave more than $13,000, it would be tax free (and if it was above $13,000, the donor pays the taxes, IIRC). Of course, I’m only speaking from general tax law and not specifics on the actual legal aspects of crowdsourcing.

            1. John

              How about single payer being the best crowd funding system there is? The government “we the people” pay for it.

        2. craazyboy

          We need a geeky tech name for it. interTuber? Mr. or Mz Tuberhead?

          Then Mattel is awarded free toy rights and can make a kids toy out of it. K-12 schools cancel gym and budget for overpriced Mr. Potatoe Head learning toys? The kids can stick royale purple gummie tentacles where a potatoe head’s chin would be? Bobble eyes that always rest cross eyed poked somewhere at random? Pinochio fake wood nose? Nerdy horn rimed glasses with plastic black and white spiral print? Funny politically correct hats? Donkey ears? Elephant ears? Vote for Paul Ryan campaign button? I’m a American Freedom Fry rally signs?

          Just a thought.

  4. Tim

    Regarding VIX manipulation, ever since the tracked ETFs were related, and even moreso since it became part of quant calculations it has been manipulated.

    It’s always been pretty obvious, but until somebody goes to jail it won’t matter, and I’m not holding my breath.

  5. Alex Morfesis

    Peak real estate & the pricelining of the real estate brokerage business…this is the normal…real estate became “a thing” with the successful convincing of folks to deurbanize via the national highway system…from the magic of returning junkies from their southeast asia vacay to refusal to police and allowing crime to flourish to feed those addictions, urbanites overwhelmed by drug fueled crime ran off to an imagined “better life”, which fed masive growth in imports of oil to feed the new excess miles added to daily life from “growth inducing” zoning rules designed to foster a “commuter life”…

    The 50 year run is over…and the industry will have enormous shakeout as it has spent the last 15 years living and chasing wishes and dreams of a certain mister leach…every developer of size and substance wants to work smart and not hard…why bother building affordable housing to make 50 grand per unit when you can make 125-300 grand with financial engineering…real estate agents chase some mythical industry they imagine they can hold onto much as the travel agents did not see their hold on information via computer databases would soon slip thru their fingers…

    Lifestyle changes which led to individuals needing their own spaces has evolved into families with big enough homes nesting their loved ones and working it out…

    Franchises eating up mom and pop business operations has evolved into bean counters destroying whatever limited unique selling proposition the “new franchise” might have possessed…

    Peak house construction was nixon from 69-72…we have somehow imagined his banking fueled boom was to be the norm…it aint…and as long as the federal reserve allows banks and wall street to only fund robin leach housing development and construction companies, the industry is doomed…time to pasok the dinosaurs of real estate if there is to be any return to real estate as a driver of economic growth…

    otherwise, prepare the mausoleum…

  6. cocomaan

    I could have sworn I’d heard that Philly’s 30th street station was going to get rid of the flippy board.

    Yep, here’s the article from last August. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/real-time/Amtrak-to-replace-flipping-departure-board-30th-Street-Station.html Haven’t been by to look at it but the video in the tweet is recent.

    And I just found out it’s called a “Solari board” after the Italian manufacturer, or a split-flap display. I still remember them in bedside clocks from when I was a kid.

    To me it’s worth preserving. Heck, the rest of SEPTA’s equipment is old as dirt anyway, especially the switching systems.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I’m old enough to remember when SEPTA began. Complete with clever jingles on the radio: “Ri-i-i-ide SEPTA!”

      1. cocomaan

        Well they said in this article that some of SEPTA’s railroad equipment is a century old.


        Hmmm, how old did you say you were? :P Just kidding, that all must be leftovers. Back when Reading terminal was a stop on a train coming from Reading.

        This is the oldest TV advertisement I could find: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnxCisHPhJk The last line is a little threatening, to be honest.

        1. Arizona Slim

          ISTR those radio ads airing on WIP-AM (Mom’s go-to station) in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

          1. ratefink

            ‘ We’d like to be the first to say good morning and to welcome you to WIP! ‘ Geez, no wonder they call it programming

    2. RUKidding

      I always enjoyed the Solari Board, aka Flippy Sign, at 30th Street Station. I hope they don’t get rid of it.

      1. Arizona Slim

        In the fall of 1973, my high school art class went on a field trip to NYC. The teacher promoted it as a “stretch our creativity” kind of trip.

        Oh, was it ever. We went to the Whitney, Chinatown, and all over town on the subway, which still had that great graffiti.

        Okay, back to the point. We had taken the Paoli Local into 30th Street Station. And there were those flippy signs. We were mesmerized by them. All of us. Including our teacher.

        1. Darius

          Dulles airport had a flippy board when I was a kid. And a booming officious male announcer saying things like “Northwest Orient Airlines, fan jet service for Anchorage, Tokyo and Osaka. All aboard.”

  7. McWatt

    The rampant corruption in the Cook County Property Tax System has not yet been exposed. Sure, they are talking now about the poor getting hammered, but it’s just not the poor. The scam is that you have to hire an attorney to get real results in getting your assessment lowered which requires cash, the cash then flows to…
    yep you can guess. The reality is the big breaks are going to the large corporations who are building huge multi-family buildings all over Cook County and to those corporations building office buildings. The local taxing bodies get scammed approving huge developments that they think will lower eveyone tax payer’s property taxes. The reverse happens, the corporation appeals the assessment, huge write down in assessment ensue’s, local people have to pay more.

    1. DJG

      The game you play is that you sue to have your assessment adjusted, just as you sue for zoning variances. Who does the money go to? Well, it is well known that a big slice goes to the law firm of the “Dean” of the City Council, Alderman Edward Burke. You know, the one whose wife is on the state supreme court.

    2. curlydan

      On Friday, the BLS released a ranking of YOY declines in the unemployment rate. Chicago led the pack with a YOY decline of 1.7 pct pnts. Could it be that the poor are getting squeezed out of Chicago? A great migration out of that town? It does not sound like a pleasant place to be lately. I’ve heard (I think here) that Chicago’s black population is declining at a fairly high rate as well.


  8. roxy

    “Everybody Needs to Stop Telling Hillary Clinton to Shut Up”

    Throughout the campaign, culminating in the mindbogglingly stupid “deplorables” remark, Clinton’s contempt for anyone who questioned her was clear. Her post election tour brings more of the same. So yeah, people are sick of hearing it, and have every right to say so.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      She should be grateful that there are still people who bother to tell her to be quiet.

      Me? I have ears but do not hear when it comes to her. Her spells can never penetrate my thick skull.

    2. Art Eclectic

      Well she certainly wasn’t lying about the deplorables part given the makeup of TrumpBase at this point.

      Every one who’s any kind of a decent person has jumped off that sinking ship.

      1. Allegorio

        I am sure you will find a lot of deplorables in the Clinton base. Trump’s base talk racism, Clinton’s base act on their racism murdering millions. Which are more deplorable?

  9. Carla

    Hhmmm, the images in many, if not all plantidotes are oddly elongated. Is there something we can do when we submit photos to keep this from happening?

      1. Chris

        I’m using IOS 8.4 on an iPad 2, and it happens for me, as well.
        Funny thing is, the picture’s elongated in Safari and Chrome, but not in Opera.

      2. Carla

        I’m on Firefox with Windows 7 on a Lenovo Thinkpad.

        Antidotes on NC Links do not usually appear elongated. But Plantidotes on Water Cooler have been for quite a while now.

  10. Quentin

    This Hillary Clinton, she’s very embarrassing…and to think she’s even a Democrat…all the more distressing.

    1. Ian

      She pretty much is representative of the norm with the corporate Dems and the system that enables them and undermines the rest of us. The rejection of her as their figure head was also tantamount to a rejection of the way they operate, due business and whom they actually represent, ergo a systemic existential crisis for them to be battled tooth and nail.

    2. Allegorio

      Hillary Clinton represents a Republican fifth column in the Democratic Party, whose objective is to prevent truly progressive candidates to get on the ballot. Hillary Clinton was actually a Goldwater Republican. They have moved the Democratic Party so far to the right that it is called Republican LIte. They all talk about “entitlements” instead of social insurance. Nancy Pelosi appears at Pete Peterson seminars, you know the Pete Peterson who thinks that social security and other “entitlements” are unaffordable and whose associate regrets that there are no debtor’s prisons.

      Recently a tenured professor, a neighbor, popped his head around the corner to admire my yard work. Knowing that my wife and I were Sanders & Jill Stein supporters he said, “It’s hard work. There’s no free lunch you know.” He was a Hillary Clinton supporter. I guess Senator Sanders’ proposal for free tuition might cut into his 6 figure salary and relaxed work schedule. No free lunch indeed!

      As Upton Sinclair once said: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

  11. oho

    Reality Winner throw away her career and life for nothing—-as that NSA memo wasn’t a smoking gun and added nothing new (and further evidence that the intelligence community would label a Wikipedia article as “Top Secret”)

    And Reality had awful/naive “operational security.” Anyone who read a few John LeCarre/Tom Clancy novels would’ve done better at avoiding detection.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Hey, another gal took a big risk and wound up reasonably comfortable — what was her name, oh yeah, Monica Lewinski or something…

      1. RUKidding

        What? Monica has not had an easy time of it. Yes, her choice, but still.

        I don’t see how you come by comparing what Monica Lewinsky did (which in no way compromised state secrets) with what Reality Winner did (I don’t think she compromised state secrets, but she published what I thought was called a “Top Secret” document).

        Two entirely different things. What’s the connection? That they both have lady parts?

        Seems like weird slut shaming to me.

        1. Alex Morfesis

          Her father was a fairly large bundler of donations for the democratic party and her step dad was former head of voice of america…she did not grow up in a family with any real financial stress and there has been no suggestion anywhere she has had to wait tables…one does not get internships at the wh without some pull…

          1. RUKidding

            What does that have to do with what Reality Winner did? The initiating email in this thread discusses Reality Winner and the issue about her release of a top secret document.

            Somehow that devolves into some weird slut shaming of Monica Lewinsky? WTF?

            Again: why are we even discussing Monica Lewinsky in a thread that is about Reality Winner?

            Very strange vibe going on here, imo.

    2. Skip Intro

      The NSA document was very important. It basically proved, according to Scott Ritter, that the NSA had no real evidence of any Russian involvement, and relied on speculation from a single source: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, which recently had to retract a similar claim about Russian hacking of Ukrainian artillery. The real story behind ‘Reality Winner’ remains, I am sure, unknown. This might well be a ploy to undermine the anti-Russia hype, though the media cartel has trumpeted it uncritically for the short-term rush of goosing the Comey spectacle.

      This makes the refusal of the DNC to let the FBI examine those servers even more suspect. OTOH, one can see the thought processes in the DNC: A breach was discovered. If we blame the Russians not only do we further the neo-con agenda, but we also get to call anyone who publishes or cites the material taken from the servers a Russian tool.

      In fact, if they knew they had internal leakers, it would still be worth claiming to have been hacked by the Russians, so that internally leaked material could be ‘poisoned’ as part of a Russian plot. Talking points to this effect were ubiquitous and apparently well coordinated, turning virtually every MSM discussion of the content of the leaks into a screed about stolen documents and Russian hackers. It also put a nice fresh coat of paint on the target painted on Assange, turning the undiscerning left against a once valuable ally.

      1. Kim Kaufman

        And yet Comey said it was definitely hacked by Russians. Odd. No evidence anywhere yet. Is he lying about this? Why?

        1. uncle tungsten

          He is lying about this and more because he needs a cover to avoid going after Clinton. Comey is a pathetic creature desperate to cover for someone who could have owed him a huuuuuge favor or that he could blackmail.

          He just simply lacked the political and theatrical acumen to pull it off and was undone by the court jester – Gowdey. The shame of it all – to be annihilated by a fool and sacked by a mobsters tool.

        2. YY

          I don’t think he’s lying. It’s worse in that he believes the Russian hacking as presented to him by his subordinates and peers as true. Similar to Colin Powell believing in WMD evidence as found and presented to him. These “rational/reasonable/respected” people by their lack of critical skepticism cause more problems than the obvious and self aware snake oil salesmen.

    3. fajensen

      Reality Winner throw away her career and life for nothing—-as that NSA memo wasn’t a smoking gun and added nothing new

      Maybe a patsy? The leak is something that fits well into the ongoing storyline about the “L33T Russian HaX0rZ controlling Everything” (so “Everything that goes Wrong is Russian Influence”, kinda like the “Protocols of Zion” for Democrats? … …).

      One *could* imagine that Winner was somehow lead to documents “… that would certainly get Donald Trump impeached …” and Winner being young, probably stupid*, definitively naive, and *definitely* the NSA would “have her number” Exactly form Social Media, went straight out and “did the right thing” –

      All Good, Except for the tiny little problem that The Intercept is by now probably infested with TLA-operatives, so off they go and make a “stupid mistake”, essentially ratting out “their” own “Kompromat Operation”. A little “Blue on Blue” incident. Now that Winner is officially known to be the source, with records and stuff, “they” have to run her through the machine to keep operational security. Six years in the slammer, probably.

      *) With Four Million people or so holding “Top Secret” clearance, surely one is scraping the barrel of the talent pool?

  12. kurtismayfield

    Is that a petri plate shaker being used as a mousepad?? That is one expensive fix!

    1. craazyboy

      I can make one from a plastic margarine container, (2) $3 model airplane servos, some popsicle sticks, (1) $1 voltage regulator and a 9V battery and battery connector.

      But first set the screen saver and power management to “off”.

      1. kurtismayfield

        That is a medical office.. there is no way they paid $4 for a plate shaker. :)

        1. petal

          Research lab. You cobble together what you can find. It looked like an older plate rocker at that, not to mention the computer….

        2. craazyboy

          Prolly not, but I’m a miracle worker with my own money!

          Finished the airframe for my Star Wars Imperial Fighter, and the finished, flying, radio controlled model will cost about $35. Hollywood spends 10s of thousands on their models, and they don’t even really fly!

          Stated working on my mini tricopter in parallel. These are really cool. It has black carbon fiber arms for the motors, a white 1/8″ ply narrow body to house electronics, a day-glow orange color on the body top, and bumblebee yellow striped tail arm to the tail motor-servo assembly. And a 300 lumen LED for a headlight. (Sunlight visible)

          That will cost more, because it needs carbon fiber frame parts, 3 motors, 3 speed controller and a flight controller. But I’ve accumulated all the parts as spares already, anyway. But using new cost, it’ll run about $70. A steal!

          When you see a tricopter in flight, especially doing acrobatics, you want one. I did. I’ll have a very cool airforce of 11 planes and copters, mostly flyable at any one time.

  13. Code Name D

    Is it just me, or dose it look like the wall to wall Russia scandals is providing cover for Obamacare Repeal? I note that my e-mail inbox hasn’t been flooded with last minute calls for my senator to oppose the deal.

    Do Democrats secretly want to repeal Obamacare?

    1. Pat

      If I were an elected Democrat, I would.

      But then I can’t imagine anyone being able to miss that it is dying of its own weight, which is why the Republicans actually doing anything that gets their replacement passed is foolish to me. Barring some really really ugly pretzel making and jumping through hoops it is not going to be possible to make the voters AND the campaign donor stakeholders happy and even that won’t last for long. And no, moving everything to the states will NOT work.

      (Disclaimer, I’m of the opinion that the only to make the majority of Americans happy is to go to Medicare for All plus as in highly regulated pharma and private medical not just insurance. And anything outside of that is eventually going to be a big loser for those scrambling to save Pharma, private medical and health insurance companies the pain.)

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      The wall-to-wall Russia ‘scandals’ being flogged by the Herbal Tea Party are providing covera distraction that diverts the attention of the diminishing rump that is the Democratic Party base from demanding a no-holds-barred examination of why so few US citizens vote for its candidates any more.

  14. craazyboy

    Computer Lab Process Data Logging

    Mouse – To Whom It May Concern

    “As long as we’re all connected, we’re good!”

    I used to laugh when I heard someone design an Arduino 16 bit monitoring device and it froze up in exactly 32,767 seconds.

  15. PKMKII

    If true, corporations will have succeeded in turning the internet into network television.

    Aren’t most of those videos less network television, more seedy theaters in Times Square in the 1970’s?

    1. Quentin

      Oh, those Times Square movie theaters war very exciting, offerring experiences of unsurpassed pleasure. Too bad Disney gentrification has destroyed NYC.

  16. JustAnObserver

    Re flippy signs: They were really useful @ London train stations. If I got there early before my train was announced I could sit having a coffee, reading a book, just looking up every now & again when I heard that “flippy sound” to see if it was mine.

    1. lambert strether

      Yes, but now with digital signs there’s no auditory cue so you have to give them your full attention all the time! What an advance!

    1. justanotherprogressive

      Ooops! Sorry, I didn’t see that you had posted first…..need to remember to refresh each time before I post….

    2. RUKidding

      I couldn’t watch (my eyes! my eyes!), but it sounded just horrendous. OMG, indeed.

  17. Plenue

    “especially the explosive testimony of former FBI director James Comey”

    I find this downright amazing. Comey’s testimony actually amounted to saying Trump was correct all those weeks he was insisting the FBI wasn’t investigating him when he fired Comey. But the media is just barreling on ahead as if Trump hasn’t been vindicated.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Trump is no Wanli – the Ming emepror who reigned for over 40 years, the last years of which he never bothered to show up for the daily audience with his ministers.

      He made everyone bow or kowtow to an empty throne, including visiting Jesuit priests.

      Can Trump top that?

      Or this (from Wanli, Wikipedia):

      Ironically, Wanli is considered as one of the worst emperors in Chinese history but he holds high regards in Korea because Wanli strongly demanded to protect Joseon from Japan’s invasion in 1592. Wanli decided to send approximately 43,000 soldiers with 100,000 bags of rice for people in Joseon. During Japan’s invasion from 1592 to 1598, the emperor sent more than 100,000 soldiers and he spent tremendous amount of money for warfare which worth more than 5 years total tax. Many historians assume that this war completely destroyed Ming’s economy and caused rapid downfall of dynasty. After all, Wanli achieved “emperor of Joseon dynasty” as a nickname in China where as Korea holds a ritual for Wanli annually.

      Perhaps there is a Chinese sovereign claim for Korea in there somewhere…

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        Actually, if you read chapter 5 of David Halberstam’s The Coldest Winter, Trump is a dead ringer for Mao Tse-tung.

    2. cnchal

      What those contestants knew is the same thing Trump’s Cabinet has now realized: Flattery will get you everywhere. Donald Trump’s favorite topic of conversation is Donald Trump. The best way to talk about Donald Trump, if you want to keep working for Donald Trump, is to praise Donald Trump. The more over-the-top, the better.

      Getting what it means to be a narcissist? It was delicious watching those plutocrats grovel, the adults in the room squirming hoping not to have to speak, and each speaker trying to outdo the next without trying to be too suck uppy. Trump has the perfect jawb for a narcissist. You can’t ignore him, even if you want to.

  18. Vatch

    Today I got an email message from Daily Kos about Jon Ossoff:

    This is it: Our last, best shot to pick up a seat in Congress this year comes on June 20, the latest polling puts Democrat Jon Ossoff narrowly in the lead for a seat that has been so red for so long that it was represented by Newt Gingrich in the ’90s.

    That we’re able to compete here at all is a victory in and of itself. But if we win it outright? Wow. Republicans will be running away from Trump so far and so fast that they’ll smash elephant-shaped holes through the walls in Congress.

    But we can’t get complacent. Democrats have surged in special elections this year but have so far fallen short in each of them. That’s why Getting Out The Vote is absolutely critical right now.

    Please, sign up to make Get Out The Vote calls for Democrat Jon Ossoff.

    If you really can’t make calls, please chip in $5 to help fuel our Get Out The Vote program.

    “Democrats have surged in special elections this year but have so far fallen short in each of them.” Well, not quite. A Democrat did win the California special election:



    1. John k

      But isn’t this a progressive? If so, doesn’t count as a dem… certainly dem elites don’t want acknowledge any progressive success because their owners see it as a loss.

  19. allan

    It’s hilarious listening to NPR’s wall-to-wall coverage of today’s protests in Moscow
    and then remember that NPR maintained radio silence on Occupy Wall Street for 10 days.

    (The protests began on Sept. 17, 2011. The first mention I can find
    on the All Things Considered archive was Sept. 27.)

    1. JerseyJeffersonian

      Yet sadly, this is not at all surprising. As is always ominously intoned, “Follow the money”.

      This is NPR, No Proletarian Reporting…

  20. Gareth

    I wonder if it has ever occurred to the Democrat party brain trust that once the great Russian/Trump treason snipe-hunt comes up empty that there will be a whole lot of dejected resistance members out there who will finally realize either that they have been fed a load of crap or, if they truly believe the mythology, that the party leadership was too cowardly to get to the truth. Either way, good luck getting those folks all revved up for 2018.

    1. Code Name D

      Worse, what is to keep Trump form going back after the for sedition. And i couldn’t say i would disagree eather.

  21. Knot Galt

    “[The cost of Obama’s stimulus package, the ARRA] was equal to 5.7 percent of the nation’s 2008 output. The New Deal, however, was about 40 percent of the nation’s 1929 output” [Econintersect].

    One legacy of the Roosevelt New Deal were many of the Post Offices and WPA projects.

    One legacy of the Obama ARRA is the Post Offices being sold to Pelosi’s husband’s firm and the Opiate epidemic.

    1. Michael

      I remember driving from SF to Denver at that time on a newly asphalted I-80 across the entire state of Nevada. Smooooth!! When I got to the Utah state line, it abruptly stopped.

    2. EricT

      The post office thing was Barbara Boxer’s husband. As for the Opiate crisis, I’m not aware how that ties to the ARRA. My feeling about the opiate crisis is that it was a cross between big pharma wanting to sell highly addictive painkillers along with the CIA heroin pipeline from Afghanistan. Remember the crack epidemic, that was associated with Raygun’s buddies, the Contras and the CIA.

  22. Democrita

    Maybe if we had to give ppl jobs anyway, we would bring back some of those that were cut in the past — schools could reduce class sizes, and bring back art and music classes, for example. These are not low level jobs!

    There’s a regular here who objects to the JG putting ppl in service jobs because it denigrate those jobs. I get that. My hope or suggestion is that a JG might open up some space to bring back jobs in teaching and in care that ate good full time jobs.

  23. John D.

    What is Hillary’s endgame here, anyway? I had little use for Al Gore back in 2000, but dang if his slinking offstage obediently and meekly and (above all) quietly doesn’t look downright dignified compared to HRC’s refusal to willfully do the same. And I’m beginning to get the feeling there’s more to this than just her ego at work. The possibilities as I see ’em (feel free to add to the list if you wish):

    a.) Is this revenge? She’s so genuinely enraged at Trump for beating her fair-and-square that she’s determined to hang around and cause as much trouble for him as she can?

    b.) Is this truly nothing more than a case of her being so ego-crazed she just can’t willingly step out of the spotlight?

    c.) Are there plans afoot to usher Chelsea in as the next generation of the Clinton Political dynasty to keep the money machine going?

    d.) Or – God help us – is she actually contemplating yet another run at the White House come 2020? I would have thought the notion insane…but I’m beginning to wonder. She’s no spring chicken, but, y’know, Trump’s an old man, Bernie is an old man, that rotten sack of shit Reagan was an old man and senile to boot. I turn my thoughts to Washington, and there’s no shortage of vicious old geezers who refuse to toddle off to their ill-earned retirement. Look at John McCain, fer Chrissakes.

    Hillary doesn’t do anything unless she stands to gain something, so I assume she has her reasons for not riding off into the sunset. What are they?

    1. craazyboy

      I’ve been thinking Paul Ryan should just dump this whole R Care dead end and go out and ride Weiner. But then I remembered he was the wiener truck driver for Oscar Meyer in college, and we may end up with the best bankrolled candidate for Prez in history. hahahahahahaha.

      I wonder how old Caligula’s horse is, in horsey years?

    2. Marilyn Delson

      Ghost-written book sales followed by “speeches” and Her super-pac “forward together” to supplant the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

    3. David Carl Grimes

      I think she has to continue raising her profile and remain in public view. Otherwise her grifting machine grinds to a complete halt. All the people who depend on the Clintons are so numerous, (Podestas, Teneo, all those consultants) that they form their own ecosystem.

    4. Michael

      Has anyone deep dived the failure of Gore-net and Hill-bot to squander a sure thing and chosen a winner?
      Would love to read the entrails of that research.
      It seems that politics and the market have one aim: Max Pain!

      1. fajensen

        Maybe this was linked here already by our distinguished hosts?


        and this:


        Podesta and his marry little band of Brainiacs actually promoted Donald Trump as part of a devious plan the “Pied Piper Candidates(tm)” to make Hillary “palatable”.

        Soo delicious:

        Pied Piper Candidates

        There are two ways to approach the strategies mentioned above. The first is to use the field as a whole to inflict damage on itself similar to what happened to Mitt Romney in 2012. The variety of candidates is a positive here, and many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right. In this scenario, we don’t want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more “Pied Piper” candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party. Pied Piper candidates include, but aren’t limited to:

        • Ted Cruz
        • Donald Trump
        • Ben Carson

        We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously.

        It seems that the Clintons are keeping their failed consultants around so we can expect more of the same clever thinking to astonish and confuse the mere lay-person.

        And more “Russia, Russia, Russia” ….. ’cause otherwise people may question the ROI on having these special advisors around.

        Or These … Precious:


        The DNC are really showing some special organisational talent here in getting everyone involved with whatever failure is currently circling the drain ;)

    5. Jonhoops

      Of course she’s running. They have already co-opted the meme “And yet she persisted!!”. Her daughter just came out with a children’s book on that theme.

      Google “She Persisted” by Chelsea Clinton for a preview.

  24. Jess

    I’m just wondering if a collapse of Uber might trigger the next bubble pop? Sky high silly valuation, lots of debt, lots of venture capital invested, and what about all those car loans so drivers could buy cars? We already know that auto loan defaults have been steadily climbing, so what happens to the car market, the banks and finance companies behind those Uber loans (and the car market in general)? Could this kill the confidence fairy and imperil the stock market first, then the whole financial house of cards?

    1. Elizabeth

      I don’t know about popping the bubble, but there’d be many people out of work (SF Bay). I never understood why vulture capital firms continuously give Uber money. They’ve never made a profit and as of late, the company image is in tatters. What is the VC’s end game? I always thought it was to someday do an IPO, but who in the world would invest in this FAMILY BLOG company?

      1. different clue

        Perhaps the VCs have a deeply ideologically and esthetically rooted desire to see millions of cab drivers put out of work all over the world . . . as part of their devotion to the Great Anti Proletarian Revolution. Perhaps they just want to keep Uber in operation long enough to exterminate every cab driving job there is. And after that happens, they won’t care any more.

        If so, we need a CounterUber movement to exterminate Uber from existence beFORE cab drivers are exterminated from existence.

  25. Buttinsky


    A reminder:

    “I” is the only reality.

    I is the only reality.

  26. Kurt Sperry

    JN writes: “Poppies and organic wheat.”

    I’ve been told that corn poppies can foul harvesters if there are enough. They apparently have tough, cable-like stems that are good at jamming rotating equipment designed for softer more normal edible crops.

  27. Cujo359

    Here’s the corrected URL for the Econintersect story “Which Was Bigger: The 2009 Recovery Act Or FDR’s New Deal?” (first link in this article).

    Here is the article that Econintersect article summarizes.

Comments are closed.