2:00PM Water Cooler 10/16/2017

Readers, I had an extremely silly scheduling kerfuffle, and so today’s Water Cooler will be severely truncated.

However, I cannot forbear from posting this, which is a quote from Hillary Clinton at her Gloucestershire event in the UK (complete with black vans and everything), as linked to this morning:

Is Clinton really saying what I think she’s saying? That she wants to be at the head of a “movement”?

But then there’s this:

So Clinton won’t ever run again, but will be at the head of a movement? Grifters gotta grift, I know, but how does that work? At some point, the cameras are gonna pull back and show how small the crowds really are….

So talk amongst yourselves, and be excellent to each other!

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please put it in the subject line. Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (MF):

I’m not sure what this is, but it’s certainly pretty!

* * *

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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

      Ha! NHS should stick her with bill (no not a “Bill, she’s already got one of of those) for her “never, ever” comment.

    2. Bill

      “after ‘falling over and hurting her foot’ during London book tour


      At the South Bank Centre, Clinton told the audience she believed Trump was a sex offender and that she felt she had been a champion of women’s rights in her career.

      ‘I was part of a revolution for women’s rights that’s began in the Sixties with real intensity. I became a leader of that movement.’

      In between she was joined by her confidant and aide Huma Abedin, who she collected from the Claridges Hotel.


      1. Arizona Slim

        In Tom DeFrank’s book, Write It When I’m Gone, former President Gerald Ford said that he thought that Bill Clinton was a sex addict. ISTR reading that Betty chimed in and said that Clinton needed to get help.

        1. Wukchumni

          The Hash House Harriers (a drinking club with a running problem) hold an annual Hash in Palm Springs devoted to Betty…

        2. John D.

          I read years ago (at Counterpunch, I think) a quote from Jesse Jackson, when he first became aware of Bill Clinton’s standard behavior: “That man’s nothing but an appetite.”

      2. Randy

        Running down stairs in heels with a cup of coffee in her hand? She may be intelligent but she aint too smart. Maybe that’s the same decision making process involved in Libyan regime change?

        She was so bad we got Rump.

        1. wilroncanada

          Didn’t she know that Cinderella in her glass slippers wasn’t supposed to be chasing the handsome prince?

      3. Darthbobber

        That line about women’s rights. I really fail to get it. Maybe my ideas of a feminist leader in electoral politics were set by people like Bella Abzug and Shirley Chisolm, before the remains of what had been a movement became completely uncoupled from a more general radical critique.

        I know plenty of people who regard themselves as feminists, mainly white, professional and upper-middle class, who see her this way. But as far as I’m able to discern, her main connection to the “movement” was to benefit from it.

    3. HotFlash

      Clinton’s praise of the NHS, a publicly funded healthcare system, is in sharp contrast to Donald Trump, who has spent much of his presidency unsuccessfully attempting to dismantle the insurance subsidy programme known as Obamacare.

      OK, this is the same ‘never, ever‘ Ms (um, I think she is going by ‘Mrs.’ now?) Clinton

      1. Elizabeth

        I’ll bet she didn’t have a co-pay either for the treatment she received, and probably didn’t have to wait 8-9 hrs in the ER for someone to see her. I’m beyond the point that I’m sick and tired of seeing/hearing her. Perhaps the NHS has a mental health program referral for her.

        1. audrey jr

          Yes. It will fall under the rubric of: Virgin Mental Health Svcs., c/o your bud, and mine, Sir Richard Branson. Surely he’d do that much for Hillary.

      2. Basil Pesto

        Not sure how dangerous it is playing devil’s advocate in these parts but I think there’s a slight rhetorical distinction to be made here. The “never, ever” remark, in context, doesn’t necessarily contain an implicit negative criticism of an NHS-style system in itself.

        It is, however, indicative of a kind of defeatism (fatalism?), that helped make her such an insipid presidential candidate. The fact that, in that speech, she chose to enunciate on the “never, ever” part as some kind of rallying cry is also mystifying/indicative of a lack of general political acumen.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      So maybe she’s not going to run again in the US, but is gunning for Prime Minister of whatever’s left of the UK once they get done with Brexit. She could start a new party whose main platform plank is constant qvetching about Russia (the Belaboring Party) and lead a movement (right over the Cliffs of Dover if we’re lucky).

      Please let it be true.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Hey, lyman, be nice. She has a chronic inability to stay out of the public eye. Poor lady can’t help herself!

        [Sarcasm off.]

      2. HotFlash

        Hear, hear! Where/when can we vote for that? Where do we send $$ — or should we send pounds?

        Seriously, the UK doesn’t deserve her; actually, nobody does.

      3. JustAnObserver

        V. close but no cherry. Methinks she sees the opportunity to be Governor in the Johnson/Gove/Redwood/Lilley/Etc dream of becoming the 51st state.

        On a side note: Wonder if she dropped in to GCHQ (based in Cheltenham) to check on how many of her “yoga emails” they managed to recover.

    1. Huey Long


      I submitted this link last week to the NC staff for either WC or links. I can’t believe that we have reps & senators taking Alzheimer’s meds!

      Only in America…

      1. UserFriendly

        They didn’t run it because that is not exactly a reputable source. Pharmacists are still bound by HIPAA. It is totally illegal for him to admit that to the press. They can’t even mention a piece of information that may allow patient identification” like that they work on the hill. The piece is garbage. There is zero chance any of them would be so careless with such potentially explosive information anyways.

  1. IHateBanks

    she wants to be at the head of a “movement”?

    If she sticks to bowel movements, I am OK with it. Anything else, not so much. Sorry, folks, but that was low hanging fruit that needed to be picked.

    1. Tom

      After being wiped out in the last election and coming in at number 2, she’s circling the drain now with her popularity still plunging.
      (Hey, you started it.)

      1. nippersdad

        I’m glad you stopped with the plunging and didn’t go on to describe the ensuing overflow that she had to go all the way to England to avoid. She and her effluential friends just need to stay there until the brain bleach can take effect.

      1. Wukchumni

        I much prefer doing vowel movements, and there’s always some other punslinger in town, trying to out drawl me.

    1. grayslady

      There can never be too many photos of burrowing owls! Thanks for linking to a story with such a happy ending.

        1. Edward E

          I vaguely remember some big shots at Wal~Mart back in the eighties used to talk about her. BPD Borderline Personality Disorder and they said it may have had something to do with wild Bill.

          That may be all she’s known since getting out of her teens.

          1. Edward E

            Abe, after meeting Trump, quickly announced peace negotiations with Russia. Our best allies, Saudi Arabia and now Japan are fast courting Russia and China. So they’re probably figuring out our leaders are all going mad.

  2. Makkachin

    And I cannot forbear to mention that although it is true that she had some 4 million more votes than Bernie, is is also true that when you run the state results individually, you find that about 3.5 million of them came from states where no Democrat is going to win the general election in our lifetimes — i.e., they are 3.5 million votes that do not count for purposes of actually electing a president. And that’s before you try to adjust for the huge Sanders margins in a bunch of caucus states.

    We know that she ruled in closed primaries in the old Confederacy, but what good does that do anyone? Besides the twitter warriors who keep repeating the primary vote count as though it meant something?

  3. John k

    Just how small the crowds really are… she could fill large living rooms in her prime, not so much now…
    Course she’ll support neolib Harris, or even that lovable goofball, credit card smilin’ Joe, but…
    Would she pull the handle for Bernie vs trump? And… does it matter?

  4. John k

    Looks like de Leon is challenging neolib Feinstein. Seems progressive, fab if true. But no money… we’ll see if little guys step up…

      1. HotFlash

        Interesting. “He hopes to peel off Sanders fans through his backing of a single-payer, “Medicare for all” health care system, something Feinstein opposes.” So, ‘concrete material benefits.’

        This is what he says about himself, an CA-ians know the actual?

        OTOH, Kos likes him (sorry, unbubble won’t give me that link again) — I would take that as a warning sign. For instance, one could suppose that Senator Feinstein at 84 is not long for this world, or might want to spend more time in Monaco or wherever, in which case, the Establishment might feel that installing a reliable successor would be prudent.

        Any Cali-ans out there know what his record it or who he really is? I have searched a little, but don’t know the CA issues so it’s kinda Greek to me.

        1. nippersdad

          I have been waiting on Justice Democrats or Our Revolution to weigh in on him. No endorsements no $.

      2. audrey jr

        Kevin DeLeon is going to run against DiFi? Eeeww. Guess I’ll have to vote for the Giant
        Meteor again. Or vote Rethug if they don’t run a total tool.
        DeLeon is giving college education and healthcare, for free, to illegal immigrants leaving us CA taxpayers to foot these bills and, of course, we still have to pay top dollar for our resident kids to attend the state institutions of higher learning.
        Gotta love the neo-libcon times in which we live!

        1. RUKidding

          Do you have a link that shows how/where DeLeon is giving away free health care and free college to illegal immigrants? It would be helpful to read more about that.

          Thanks for your input.

        2. HotFlash

          Thank you, Ms Audrey,

          DeLeon is giving college education and healthcare, for free, to illegal immigrants leaving us CA taxpayers to foot these bills and, of course, we still have to pay top dollar for our resident kids to attend the state institutions of higher learning.

          Can’t find this on his website, and my searches (unbubble.de) turn up nada. Do you have a link or two w/details? Thanks in advance,

          1. David

            Maybe this, from his website,

            With President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, Senator de León was instrumental in negotiating $30 million to assist the nearly 250,000 Dreamers in California with legal services as well as “safety net” funding to help DACA students stay in school should they become unable to work to support their education.

            In 2015, Senator de León led a bicameral coalition to sponsor legislation that addresses lapses in our justice and labor systems creating serious challenges for the California’s immigrant community, including stronger wage theft laws, securing u-visas from law enforcement, and providing healthcare for undocumented children. In 2013, he brokered a compromise with Governor Jerry Brown to ensure signage of a law which allowed undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses, gain access to insurance, and step out of the shadow economy.

            $30M for 250,000 illegals? That’s $120 each. That won’t buy many legal services, nor tuition hours.

            1. HotFlash

              And it’s a long, long way from free medical and tuition for anyone. Perhaps he means for *everyone*? Pro’ly not, or it would, I should think, be mentioned on his website.

        3. Lee

          I heard him interviewed on NPR. IIRC, he’s all for CA being a sanctuary state. I am definitely not a fan of this idea. We’ve already got one of the highest poverty rates in the country as well as one of the highest state tax rates. Hate to sound mean spirited but I have family in the construction trades and the race to the bottom in terms of wages and working conditions is brutal and to my eye largely driven by immigrant labor.

          1. HotFlash

            I agree about the race to the bottom. Perchance the cure would be a livable minimum wage and benefits?

          2. MichaelSF

            the race to the bottom in terms of wages and working conditions is brutal and to my eye largely driven by immigrant labor.

            Might it possibly instead be largely driven by the ownership/management being quite willing to exploit illegal immigrant labor? If they are here legally then they should get to work with the same protections as anyone else.

    1. Ivy

      My California voter position is that while I find De Léon less worse than Feinstein, I await someone even slightly palatable. Now, if only Hillary would drag Diane off the stage, too, or someone push them both off, I could breathe a sigh of relief.

    2. David

      Seems progressive, fab if true.

      He’s participated in several interviews over at Democracy Now!. This one might answer your question:

      AMY GOODMAN: …Kevin de León, let me ask you something. You have RoseAnn DeMoro and Larry Cohen, who were very strong supporters of Bernie Sanders all along. You supported Hillary Clinton. In fact, the WikiLeaks emails even suggested she was considering you for vice-presidential running mate. Do you think the Democrats chose the wrong candidate in this year?

      SEN. KEVIN DE LEÓN: I actually don’t think the Democrats chose the wrong candidate. I have a lot of respect for Ms. DeMoro as well as Mr. Cohen. Obviously, it was a very spirited and diverse debate with regards to choosing the Democratic nominee. I have a lot of respect for Bernie Sanders and what he has done and how he has galvanized so many young folks. I think he has a very strong message. I have a lot of respect for him. But that being said, ultimately, at the end of the day, it was a democratic process, and she was selected to become the candidate. It was—

      AMY GOODMAN: And your thoughts on him becoming the most powerful—well, I was going to say Democrat, but really non-Democrat? He caucuses with the Democratic Party. But, clearly now, we’re talking about a revolution from the base at this point.

      SEN. KEVIN DE LEÓN: Well, I can say this, is I wish him, as well as other leaders, the very best to be a voice, a strong voice, in Washington, D.C. But I also believe that the best policies are—the national laboratory for policies are coming out of the states and the state of California. So, as opposed to progressive pontification, what we’ve done in California is we actually have raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour. We have actually given women equal pay for equal work. We have actually provided healthcare for undocumented children and dealt with the issue of climate change…

      This was back in November 2016. Progressive pontification…

      1. MichaelSF

        she was selected to become the candidate

        that selection was part of the problem many people had with HRC.

  5. lyman alpha blob

    For anybody still looking for shovel-ready infrastructure projects, how about burying the damn power lines so we don’t keep setting crap on fire and leaving people without any energy.

    A quick search shows the reason we don’t do this is because it’s expensive. Boo fricking hoo. How damn expensive is it to rebuild half of California?

    And I wanted to comment on Lambert’s longer piece on PG&E from earlier but missed it yesterday so I’ll just drop this quote from CA state Senator Jerry Hill here –

    “If it turns out that PG&E is responsible for this fire and negligent for not putting in the resources or for diverting the resources then I will be the first one to stand up and say we need to dissolve PG&E as a private company and form a public utility.”

    Question for the senator – why wait to see if PG&E were responsible first?

    1. HotFlash

      For anybody still looking for shovel-ready infrastructure projects, how about burying the damn power lines so we don’t keep setting crap on fire and leaving people without any energy.

      Well, this is a question from a person who does *not* live in earthquake country, so pls bear with me. How well do underground power lines withstand the kind of earthquakes they/you have in Cali? IIRC, gas lines do not do so well.

      1. John k

        Elevated gas lines would be better?
        Buried power lines wouldn’t start fires, earthquake or no.
        Reason for not burying them is because cheaper, not because better or safer.

    2. Bugs Bunny

      We did that in France in the 60s and 70s but the war made it easier to rebuild the electrical transmission network :(

      1. Wukchumni

        When I was in the UK quite a bit on the 80’s, in order to open the door on a circa 1953 train, you had to roll down the window and open it from the outside, and then when I was in Germany, all of the trains had electric push buttons that did it for you effortlessly.

        You kind of wonder who won, in retrospect?

  6. Hana M

    Today’s Plantidote is a beauty. It’s Camassia quamash (common camas)

    Site Rehabilitation:

    Useful for prairie restoration (USDA, 2006).

    A good bee plant (PFF, 2006). Ungulates eat Camassia and gophers may even transport bulbs into new areas (Beckwith, 2004).

    Use in meadows, grassy slopes and banks. Showy bloom with attractive seed heads. Excellent in borders, mixed borders and bulb beds. Very tough plant for exposed, hot dry sites once established (S. Bastin, personal communication).
    First Nations:

    Staple root crop pre-European contact. Prolonged pit cooking converts the high levels of inulin inherent in Camassia to digestible sugars. Hence, Camassia was a sweetener as well as an important trade item. The gathering of Camassia illustrates local systems of land management: family plots were well tended throughout generations and kept clear of weeds and rocks, actively maintained by hand and controlled burns for long-term harvest (Turner, 1995). Cakes have been formed, cooked and dried for storage and trade (Pojar & MacKinnon, 1994).


  7. Wukchumni

    Hillary Dickory Dock,
    The time ran out on her clock.
    Although she did persist,
    It’s not as if she was missed!
    Hillary Dickory Dock.

    1. Wukchumni

      Is this a missed opportunity which I see before me,
      Another chance at hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
      I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
      Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
      To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but
      A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
      Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?

    2. The Rev Kev

      Hmmm. More like the Ghost in Hamlet demanding America avenge her defeat

      ‘Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
      Are burnt and purged away’.

  8. John D.

    I’ve already said this in the comment section for today’s links, but I’m not so sure I’d rule out HRC being deluded enough to attempt another run at the Presidency. I know, I know: She keeps saying she won’t, and here we also have a quote from one of her chief bootlicks, Neera Tanden, making the same denial.

    I suppose that’s fine as far as it goes, but, uh, does it really go that far? Are we honestly taking Hillary and her underlings at their word here? Why? Because they’re so trustworthy? Because they’d never dream of lying about such a thing?

    1. Yves Smith

      1. Because she keeps acting like she is going to run.

      2. Because she denied she was interested in running in 2016 until she was.

      3. Because Neera Tanden is one of the most untrustworthy and vile people on this planet, and I have that on good authority from people in DC who have met her in person.

      1. John k

        I think she’d rather be dead than not have the power and glory that has always been rightfully hers.

    2. BoycottAmazon

      It’s also extremely profitable. 60 Minutes did a cover about how the system pretty much allows Candidates to spend left over campaign money anyway they want, and then there are the perks earned (just like airline mileage**, but in this case including private jets, limo rides, hotel stays, expensive gifts, etc, not to mention pretty girls for Bill (and may Hillary if rumors are true)) for spending huge sums of donors money on media.

      separately, it irks me: airline mileage is mostly a scheme to transfer corporate money to business travelers, mostly tax free,

    3. Alex Morfesis

      $hillary grew up in a republican household in chicagoland watching adlai Stevenson insist it was “his turn” three times after being elected once as governor…her dad probably railed about it endlessly…

      it’s on her bucket list to fail like a man…

      pass the remote…

  9. Adrienne

    The lovely flower is one of the Camas species. Camas lilies were a primary food source for native peoples wherever they grew… The Coast Salish people practiced a sort of wild agriculture with them: improving the soils, weeding out poison camas, and maintaining optimal meadow conditions.


  10. Livius Drusus

    Dean Baker has been on fire on the trade issue lately. Here is just one of his articles.


    A lot of people realize that trade agreements like NAFTA have hurt them but the establishment narrative is that these people are just confused or stupid or worse (for example trying to explain their anti-trade views by suggesting such views are a cover for racism, sexism and xenophobia). I think it is hard for some people to understand just how much anger there is over these trade deals especially in areas like the Midwest.

    1. flora

      And yet Obama won the Iowa primary in 2008, and won the upper Midwest in the general election in 2008 and 2012.

      Neoliberal trade and economic policies have hurt the Midwest. Interesting to me that so many neoliberals’ first response to legitimate criticism is declaring the critics not simply mistaken but guilty of moral turpitude: racism, xenophobia, etc. Liberals calling the critics of neoliberal trade policies bad bad people, “deplorable people”, implies the critics’ economic suffering is earned and just. Liberals engaging in blaming their victims instead of examining what is happening in the Midwest economies is, uh, clarifying.

      1. flora

        Me, too.
        My point is much of the pronouncements by the Liberal East/West Coast elites and media about the Midwest have an all-or-nothing quality. If Midwestern voters vote their own economic interests and those interests conflict with the desired outcomes by the Coastal elites, suddenly there’s a barrage of all-or-nothing condemnation, especially moral condemnation of an entire region and it populace. Suddenly the vote is explained as “those people are bad.” In the context of a false all-or-nothing claim about Iowa voters or Midwestern voters (some are x, some aren’t x, but it isn’t all-or-nothing, and probably doesn’t explain the vote results) I have to push back against this sort of all-or-nothing bigotry used to incorrectly explain a situation.

        So, your comment is correct about individuals as individuals. However, the context of so much of the Liberal media and NYTimes reporting about Iowa and the Midwest is all-or-nothing about everyone;
        blaming election losses on “those terrible people” instead of terrible campaigns and economically harmful policies.

  11. GlobalMisanthrope

    I read her movement comment differently. I read it as a sort of eye-rolling jab at Sanders. Like “Yeah, so what if he was at the head of a movement? I still beat him by 4million votes.”

    1. nippersdad

      I read it the same way, but those “four million votes”, always stick in my craw. The California Primaries were particularly noted for electoral irregularities that, to date, I have not seen any clarification of.

    2. False Solace

      I recognize that she was probably asked about Bernie in context, but it’s disappointing how much time she spends bashing Bernie. Isn’t the “resistance” about Trump? Why do they spend so much time attacking the Left? If they’re not resisting Trump, doesn’t that make them a failure in their own terms?

      1. John k

        No. They’re not being truthful re what their own terms really are.
        Corps direct dem elites to keep progressives from power at all costs, including the continuing demise of the dem party. Kicking the left, and especially Bernie, is the very well paid job 1.
        Course, the rod is particularly happy to lend her boot.

        So she’s not going away, so long as she breathes she will kick Bernie and any other progressive. A loyal lackey to all the corp bosses, even as they stop taking her calls.

    3. Jeff W

      Yeah, and one could easily retort “Yeah, so what if you beat him by 4 million votes? He’s still at the head of a movement. (And where exactly are you?)”

  12. Adrienne

    This story came up in Links a couple of days ago.. The author expends a great deal of energy speculating that killing cost-sharing on Silver plans will somehow make Bronze and Gold plans free, thus health care will be “free.” He completely ignores the fact that it’s the cost of the deductible (over $7,000 for 2018) that is preventing people from being able to afford to get care. Insurance you can’t afford to use is worse than worthless.


    1. Joel

      It is worse than worthless, its even worse than being uninsured. What I get charged these days if I bother to use the fake insurance at all is more than the cash price. And of course “there is no way to tell you that” up front. Or once they find out you have the fake insurance, they refuse to switch you to self pay. Its all a very sick perverse joke. That article made no sense at all just someone making silly noise.

  13. Wukchumni

    Friends in San Rosario, by O. Henry

    The west-bound train stopped at San Rosario on time at 8.20 A.M. A man with a thick black-leather wallet under his arm left the train and walked rapidly up the main street of the town. There were other passengers who also got off at San Rosario, but they either slouched limberly over to the railroad eating-house or the Silver Dollar saloon, or joined the groups of idlers about the station.

    Indecision had no part in the movements of the man with the wallet. He was short in stature, but strongly built, with very light, closely- trimmed hair, smooth, determined face, and aggressive, gold-rimmed nose glasses. He was well dressed in the prevailing Eastern style. His air denoted a quiet but conscious reserve force, if not actual authority.

    After walking a distance of three squares he came to the centre of the town’s business area. Here another street of importance crossed the main one, forming the hub of San Rosario’s life and commerce. Upon one corner stood the post-office. Upon another Rubensky’s Clothing Emporium. The other two diagonally opposing corners were occupied by the town’s two banks, the First National and the Stockmen’s National. Into the First National Bank of San Rosario the newcomer walked, never slowing his brisk step until he stood at the cashier’s window. The bank opened for business at nine, and the working force was already assembled, each member preparing his department for the day’s business. The cashier was examining the mail when he noticed the stranger standing at his window.

    “Bank doesn’t open ’til nine,” he remarked curtly, but without feeling. He had had to make that statement so often to early birds since San Rosario adopted city banking hours.

    “I am well aware of that,” said the other man, in cool, brittle tones. “Will you kindly receive my card?”

    The cashier drew the small, spotless parallelogram inside the bars of his wicket, and read:

    J.F.C Nettlewick National Bank Examiner…


  14. Jim Haygood

    On Dec 5, 2016 at 8:18 am in Links, I posted a Fibonacci ratio analysis which projected the Dow Industrials to reach 22,942 in 2017. Today, with a dozen points to spare, this forecast was fulfilled:


    Does this mean today’s the top, Jim? readers cry anxiously. Probably not. It feels like the market has some juice left, as the popular mood seems cautiously upbeat but far from the heedless, glue-sniffing, goofball euphoria needed to cap a monster bubble.

    So where do Fibo ratios take us from here? Recall that our Dow 22,942 forecast was derived from the 3.504X multiple achieved in Wave I, when the Dow rose from 777 in Aug 1982 to 2,722 in Aug 1987. Applying this 3.504X multiple to the Dow 6,547 level at the Wave IV bottom in Mar 2009 projected Dow 22,942 in 2017.

    Another Fibo multiple at our disposal is Wave III’s 6.742X climb from Dow 1,739 in Oct 1987 to Dow 11,723 in Jan 2000. When Wave V (where we are now) exceeds Wave I’s multiple, an alternate measure is to use a Golden Ratio 61.8% of Wave III’s multiple — that is, 0.618 * 6.742X or 4.167X.

    Applying the 4.167X multiple to Wave V’s Mar 2009 launching point of Dow 6,547 forecasts a Wave V top at Dow 27,282. Such a big number sounds pretty crazy when we’re under 23,000 now. But in fact it constitutes a 19 percent gain from here — quite aggressive, yet within the historical range of annual changes.

    I don’t invest based on Fibo ratios and you shouldn’t either. But they can be a useful exercise for defining the outer limits of what’s possible in the reddening sunset splendour of Bubble III, as the collective dreams of 7.6 billion souls turn from gloomy FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) to ecstatic visions of QE4EVAH.

    1. Wukchumni

      “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country…. corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”~

      John Kenneth Galbraith

      1. Wukchumni

        Manifest Debtiny:

        The belief or doctrine, held chiefly in the early part of the 21st century, that vis a vis using the debt of the U.S. to expand its territory over the whole world and to extend and enhance its political, social, and economic influences.

  15. dcblogger

    Hillary won the majority of the pledged delegates, she won the popular vote. That means that there will be no single payer healthare, no free university, no increased social security benefits, etc. w/out the active support of Clinton’s supporters. So it behooves the rest of us to win them over. We do not need to rise to every anti-Bernie bait that is put out there. It might be advisable to look at the 2017 elections, the labor actions, the anti-pipeline protests, etc. and support whatever looks promising.

    1. Yves Smith

      That is based on a lot of assumptions. First, that people who vote for the Democrats are the same as in 2016. Younger voters overwhelmingly support Sanders, so the mere passage of time dilutes the importance of Clintonistas. Second, the media overwhelmingly supported her in 2016 to the degree that they ignored Sanders and when they finally had to pay attention to him, downplayed his successes. He is now the most popular politician in America despite that. Third, the press has now to a significant degree turned on Hillary. The message is that her time is over and she needs to retire. Her not giving back the money she got from Weinstein is not going to help her. Fourth. every 1:1 poll showed Sanders would have beaten Trump by a bare minimum of 12 points, most more like 20, and that was despite the media campaign v. Sanders. I could go on and I am sure readers will.

      1. Lunker Walleye

        Not sure if all the Bernie supporters who were registered as democrats in 2016 will vote democrat again. I’ve been voting for D’s all my long life and they will be hard-pressed to get any vote from me evah.

      2. Bunk McNulty

        Speaking of Weinstein: I thought his scandal would make him an unintentional savior of the Republic, by making Trump’s sexist bullsh!t totally unacceptable to the point of forcing him from office. What did I know? Instead it looks like we’re going to have a gender war. And I’m going to get pilloried for what I am rather than who I am. I’ve already been lectured by a friend (!) who tells me that by virtue of being white and male, I am a de facto racist and sexist, complicit in the practice of “toxic masculinity.” Oh, well. The flip side of Identity Politics…

        1. Yves Smith

          Yes, I’ve chewed out women who ganged up on a guy on a listerv who suffered no fools, male or female. The women claimed he “made the space unsafe for them”. I spent the next three days (obviously intermittently) arguing with them, and one came off the listserv and got vicious with me, as if I could be intimidated (Honey, I don’t need you or your hothouse friends in the Beltway, so play harpie all you want).

          What I learned was:

          1. These women really want a double standard. They say they want equality but demand to be treated like fragile hothouse flowers

          2. Their insistence on being coddled makes them crappy at argumentation and debate, which will make it very difficult for them to get and function in leadership positions

          3. To your point (and basically the justification for 1), their position seems to be that every encounter with a man brings with it the entire history of male oppression of women and an implicit threat of abuse, and therefore men need to heavily self censor all the time.

      3. johnnygl

        There was a large block of voters who stuck with Clinton because of perceived ‘electability’. The ability of the political and media elite to manufacture consent around who is ‘electable’ has been seriously damaged.

        This factor BY ITSELF will mean that the 2020 nomination race is wide open. The party can’t/won’t be able to coalesce as they did in 2016.

    2. Fiery Hunt

      Truth be told we don’t need a single Clinton voter.
      All you need is Bernie’s supporters plus a couple of million voters who did not vote in 2016.

      Believing the Clintonista Third-Wayers will come around is a long wait for a train that won’t come.

      1. dcblogger

        that is right up there w/ we don’t need Trump voters. We need to be ready to reach out to anyone and everyone. And campaigning for single payer is different from campaigning for a candidate. We need Hillary supporters. We don’t need to unsay anything we have said about her, we just need to concentrate on the future, which does not include Hillary. Whatever Hillary thinks, her donors have moved on to other candidates, so no, she is not running any more than Biden is.

  16. Wukchumni

    Needless to say a couple of World Wars were set in motion by Austrians, and The Panic of 1873 was set in motion by the Vienna Stock Exchange crashing, which in turn took out Austrian banks and so on. Creditanstalt Bank went bust in 1931, setting off a similar global financial crisis.

    Now, with a new young emperor @ the helm, I wonder if they have anything left in the tank, in terms of bad stuff happening on account of them?

  17. Wukchumni

    Had to give this guy a dollar on the weekend in SD, as his sign he was holding inbetween traffic lanes on his very own island read:

    “Will Work For A Median Wage Income”

    1. Wukchumni


      I think San Diegans set the tone for being a weird place when after the GOPhovah Witnesses turned them down for the convention in 1972, they retaliated by proclaiming the place to be “America’s Finest City” not unlike how a divorced father might proclaim himself to be “America’s Finest Father”.

  18. Jeremy Grimm

    The right-hand — a dazzling two-ring circus of Trump and Hillery doing tricks. But I don’t see the left-hand! What is the left-hand doing? Attention drifts.

  19. wilroncanada

    Re picture and @Hilarycomment
    I believe she was looking for a washroom.
    Hostesses kept talking about the loo, but she didn’t understand. She only speaks one language.

  20. The Rev Kev

    Just to help out here, Newsweek has an article up that lists all the groups that Hillary blames for her losing at http://www.newsweek.com/hillary-clinton-blames-sexism-russia-and-bernie-sanders-her-election-loss-685971 and not being able to sit in the Oval Office.
    I did the maths by adding up the actual numbers of Americans that Hillary blamed for her defeat in that article and as far as I can reckon it, it comes out as 258 million Americans.To be honest, I took the population of the United States and subtracted the actual number of people that voted for Hillary in 2016 but I suspect that this number is of the same order of magnitude as the correct one.

  21. Wukchumni

    Clippers and whippers they are called
    And thought to show great intelligence
    Although it is but the devil’s trick
    They think that it’s a masterpiece
    Whereby, beneath the guise of right
    Not heeding the ancients’ punishments
    but rather letting the devil rule.
    They say: We act just as we please
    Just as we can and as we should.

    ~ from a contemporary German broadsheet, circa 1620

  22. ewmayer

    Hillary’s latest exhibition of late-stage Putin Derangement Syndrome prompts me to suggest adding a name to that to better capture the origins of said malady.

    How about “Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome”, with the resulting initialism, which happens – no coincidence, that – to be a 2-letter-transposed version of a common post-service affliction of the proles sent to fight HRC and her ilk’s imperial wars. E.g.

    “In the wake of her traumatic loss in 2016’s presidential election, Hillary Clinton is showing clear and worsening symptoms of PTDS.”

  23. BoycottAmazon

    So Clinton won’t ever run again, but will be at the head of a movement? Grifters gotta grift, I know, but how does that work? At some point, the cameras are gonna pull back and show how small the crowds really are….

    exactly, but not appearing at a Hillary campaign, but instead by appearing in front of large crowds coming together for other reasons, Hillary can borrow the crowd to make her appeal seem larger than it is.

    The Fox Borrows The Tiger’s Aura.

  24. ChrisPacific

    Anyone seeking an independence-themed antidote should search for the Independent Republic of Whangamomona. They declared ‘independence’ from New Zealand in 1988 and now hold an (enthusiastically corrupt) presidential election every 2 years, which has become a tourist attraction.

  25. Michael C

    Hillary is intent on keeping the Democratic Party and she and her husband’s (right-wing turn of the party and neoliberal/neocon) legacy alive. She cannot go away quietly. She represents elite interests that are far removed from the working class and poor and will fight to the bitter end to make it appear that she lost the election due to others and not the failed policies she represents.

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