2:00PM Water Cooler 11/1/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“In the same White House briefing where a senior Trump official discussed the Section 232 investigation, the administration criticized China for what it called “a trajectory of moving away from market-based principles” [Politico]. “”Progress on a range of bilateral economic issues [with China] has become increasingly difficult,’ the official told reporters. ‘We believe this reflects a slowdown and even a retreat in China’s move toward a market-oriented economy. China is now so large that its distortionary practices not only have effects within the U.S. market, but in markets around the world.'”

“Across the Political Spectrum, Trade and Legal Experts Agree: ISDS Must Be Eliminated From NAFTA, Revealing Unusual Consensus” [Public Citizen]. “Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and long-time progressive critic of U.S. trade policy, noted: ‘The corporate lobby’s crazed campaign to protect the expansive privileges they slunk into NAFTA is unsurprising, but the more they scream about the administration proposals to limit their use of ISDS tribunals to grab millions in taxpayer funds and grease the skids to outsource American jobs, the more the public realizes NAFTA’s rigged rules need replacing.'”


2016 Post Mortem

From the circus hearings on Facebook, Google, Twitter, and “Russian meddling”: “Not a single one of the three tech giants would commit to supporting Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.)’s Honest Ads Act, which would require disclosures about political advertising on their platforms” [Politico]. That doesn’t seem too hard. Unless, that is, your whole business model consists of confusing organic content with “organic content.

“Thousands attended protest organized by Russians on Facebook” [The Hill]. The lead:

Thousands of Americans attended a march last November organized by a Russian group that used social media to interfere in the 2016 election.

The demonstration in New York City, which took place a few days after the election, appears to be the largest and most successful known effort to date pulled off by Russian-linked groups intent on using social media platforms to influence American politics.

Sixteen thousand Facebook users said that they planned to attend a Trump protest on Nov. 12, 2016, organized by the Facebook page for BlackMattersUS, a Russian-linked group that sought to capitalize on racial tensions between black and white Americans. The event was shared with 61,000 users.

So scrutinize those “divisive” protest groups very carefully! (And if the Russkis had a millionth of the influence on US elections that AIPAC has….)



“The only way out is through.” I like it, but will Democrats listen?

Rehabilitation of George W. Bush by Liberal Democrats Now Officially Complete:

Could there be a reason Schumer is taking this line? Why, yes. Yes there could. Senator Schumer again:

‘For every blue-collar democrat we lose, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs of Philadelphia and you can repeat that in Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin’

Can’t win over those suburban Republicans if you keep harping on torture, Iraq, and warrantless surveillance. After all, Obama didn’t, and who are we not to follow his example?

New Cold War

“[T]hese indictments convey important information about the path forward for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team. Early indictments send signals about the course of the investigation. The indictments against Manafort and Gates suggest this investigation is broad, encompassing more than an immediate interest in ‘collusion’ during the campaign. This could indicate that the investigation has a long way to go” [The Conversation]. But not, one would hope, as broad as a fishing expedition. Recall that “collusion” is already much more broad than Clinton’s original accusation that Trump is a Russian “puppet.”

“Russia Inquiry Fails to Unite a Nation” [New York Times]. Merits of the issue aside, we see Liberal Democrats furiously turning the crank, which no longer seems to be connected to anything. More: “And while skepticism is a virtue in all journalistic endeavors, there is no evidence to support the assertion that the Democrats hired Fusion GPS with the purpose of getting Russians to spread “wild allegations” about Mr. Trump.” Holy moley. That’s what oppo is, and oppo is what Steele was peddling (modulo the semantics of “wild”).

“Rich people like Manafort and Trump have learned that they can get away with just about anything. Why even bother trying to hide things, if nobody will even try to catch you?” [The Week]. “If nothing else, perhaps the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller will put some long-overdue fear into the huge population of upper-class American criminals.” Look on the bright side! More: “[E]lites have lately gotten away with a staggering amount of lawbreaking. This is the result: an absolute plague of dimwitted swindlers, liars, and two-bit cheats in the highest circles of government.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Why the Minneapolis Political Establishment Is Scared of Ginger Jentzen” [In These Times]. “Despite refusing to accept corporate money, Jentzen has outraised her three opponents—two Democrats and a Green Party candidate—by historic numbers, raking in over $140,000 as of mid-October, and is now the target of an outside spending spree by business interests. These corporate interests are seeking to combat her efforts to fight for affordable housing in a working-class district that in recent years has seen a dramatic shift from homeowners to renters.”

“Americans Are Officially Freaking Out” [Bloomberg]. “Almost two-thirds of Americans, or 63 percent, report being stressed about the future of the nation, according to the American Psychological Association’s Eleventh Stress in America survey, conducted in August and released on Wednesday. This worry about the fate of the union tops longstanding stressors such as money (62 percent) and work (61 percent) and also cuts across political proclivities. However, a significantly larger proportion of Democrats (73 percent) reported feeling stress than independents (59 percent) and Republicans (56 percent).” Gaslighting works! I’d go long anti-anxiety remedies…

Stats Watch

ADP Employment Report, October 2017: “ADP is calling for a limited snap back in the October employment report” [Econoday]. Whatever the heck “limited snapback” means. Who the heck invented that one? More: “ADP sees private payrolls rising 235,000 which is just on the high side of ADP’s usual estimates.” But: “When the goods sector of the economy is gaining more workers than historically – it is a warning that something is wrong. This is the third month in a row of the service sector weakness” [Econintersect]. “ADP employment has not been a good predictor of BLS non-farm private job growth.”

Purchasing Managers’ Manufacturing Index, October 2017: “The manufacturing PMI had been lagging other private and regional data but is now signaling solid and accelerating growth for the sector” [Econoday]. “Production is up, inventories are up, costs remain elevated, and selling prices are showing traction. Hurricane effects haven’t yet passed and are still working through the supply chain with delivery times still slowing. The past two durable goods reports out of Washington have been very strong and gains among the softer data, like today’s report, hint perhaps at substantial acceleration for the factory sector going into year end.”

Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Index, October 2017: “ISM manufacturing’s sample reports only slight cooling, at a still unusually strong composite of 58.7 in October vs September’s 13-year high of 60.8” [Econoday]. “New orders remain the stand-out positive in the report…. Export orders, like those in this morning’s earlier PMI manufacturing report, are a strong positive. Employment is also unusually strong.” But: “Based on these surveys and the district Federal Reserve Surveys, one would expect the Fed’s Industrial Production index to be modestly improved. Overall, surveys do not have a high correlation to the movement of industrial production (manufacturing) since the Great Recession” [Econintersect]. And: “While we have used 50.0 as a metric to define growth or contraction — above being growth and below being contraction — the ISM’s report now shows that a PMI reading above 43.3%, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Based on that observation, the October PMI represented growth for 101 consecutive months in the overall economy, and it was the 14th straight month of growth in the manufacturing sector” [247 Wall Street]. Hmm.

Construction Spending, September 2017: “Year-on-year, this reading is down 3.8 percent with weakness most evident in manufacturing and office building that offsets gains for commercial building” [Econoday]. “The residential side, though unchanged in September, shows much more strength with a year-on-year rise of 9.6 percent. … Public spending improved in the month led by a 5.2 percent gain for educational building.” And but: “Private residential spending has been increasing, but is still 24% below the bubble peak. Non-residential spending is now 3% above the previous peak in January 2008 (nominal dollars). Public construction spending is now 15% below the peak in March 2009, and 5% above the austerity low in February 2014” [Calculated Risk].

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of October 27, 2017: “Purchase applications for home mortgages fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent in the October 27 week, posting the second weekly decline in what may be a reaction to another uptick in mortgage rates” [Econoday]. “Despite the weekly decline, purchase applications remain a very solid 10 percent above the year ago level and give a positive signal for underlying home sales.”

Commodities: “Gold demand from China picks up again” [Mining.com]. “Total gold consumption, including jewellery and bullions but excluding the central bank’s purchases, went up 16% to 815.9 tonnes in the period, the association reported Wednesday according to Xinhua news agency. That’s a positive turnaround from the same period last year, when demand dropped by almost 13%.” China watchers?

Real Estate: “Paying For Dirt: Where Have Home Values Detached From Construction Costs?” [BuildZoom]. “This study illustrates the disparity between the appearance and price tag of homes, identifying the places in which home buyers pay mostly for the dirt. For each of the largest U.S. metros – and for each zip code area therein – it estimates average home values and replacement costs: the cost of building existing homes anew at current quality standards and construction costs. The estimates help infer the breakdown of home value between the value of improvements – primarily the structure – and the value of the land.”

Real Estate: “Smallest home in Los Angeles: 264 square foot studio selling for $550,000 highlights collective insanity.” [Dr. Housing Bubble]. “People have once again lost their collective marbles when it comes to real estate. There is now a massive trend with momentum for non-stop housing appreciation. In other words, our housing bubble sins are now fully washed away making way for more aggressive risk taking. I’ve been traveling and seeing real estate from many different locations and thanks to ubiquitous sites like Zillow, virtually every large metro area is seeing massive housing appreciation detached from income growth and people are tracking real estate down like starving hyenas after an injured wildebeest.” What could go wrong?

Retail: “The letter sent to Amazon [from the city of Chicagp] was signed by Emanuel, Rauner, Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle, and the four Republican and Democratic leaders of the statehouse, among them house speaker Michael Madigan and senate president John Cullerton. Apparently, the only thing this bunch agrees on is that it’s a good idea to give away prime real estate and at least a couple of billion dollars in tax breaks, grants, and other incentives to one of the world’s richest corporations” [Chicago Reader (DG)]. The whole piece is well worth a read.

Retail: “The era of easily faked, AI-generated photos is quickly emerging” [Quartz]. “Last week research released by Nvidia, a manufacturer of graphics processing units that has cornered the market on deep learning hardware, shows that [Generated Adversarial Networks (GANs)] can now be used to generate high-resolution, believable images of celebrities, scenery, and objects. GAN-created images are also already being sold as replacements for fashion photographers—a startup called Mad Street Den told Quartz earlier this month it’s working with North American retailers to replace clothing images on websites with generated images.” Over one hundred household uses…

Retail: “Bleeding cash and losing customers, Sears is scrambling to keep the companies that provide its products from bolting, even as the suppliers cut off credit lines, toughen payment terms and withhold shipments…. Sears is paying some companies including LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. in cash to guarantee shipments, signaling the declining confidence suppliers have in a retailer that once accounted for nearly a full percentage point of U.S. economic output” [Wall Street Journal]. The lone and level sands stretch far away…

Retail: “Inside the Anything-Goes World of Instagram Fast-Fashion” [GQ]. Big supply chain issues, and IIRC Amazon wants to get into this business….

Shipping: “Cass Freight Index turns in another solid performance in September” [Logistics Management]. “Freight shipments and expenditures in September each saw annual increases, according to the most recent edition of the Cass Freight Index Report from Cass Information Systems, which was released today…. Throughout the U.S. economy, we are continuing to see a growing number of data points suggesting that the economy continues to get incrementally better. The 3.2% YoY increase in the September Cass Shipments Index is yet another data point which confirms that the first positive indication in October (before the election) was a change in trend.” And but: “It should be pointed out that although the data seems to be improving, it is nothing to write home about” [Econintersect]. “It is also interesting that the current trucking employment pattern shows little growth over the last few years.”

Shipping: “UPS to outfit 5,700 trucks with collision-avoidance technology” [DC Velocity]. “Transport and logistics giant UPS Inc. will equip more than 60 percent of its tractor-trailer fleet with a suite of collision-warning sensors and technologies that could help drivers avoid accidents, the company said Tuesday. The company plans to add the systems to more than 5,700 of its fleet of 11,000 trucks.” So they’re not expecting robot trucks to happen before this equipment has been amortized?

Shipping: “50% of ships due for 2017 delivery have yet to hit the water” [Splash 247]. “‘Vessel deliveries typically slow down towards the end of the year. If the owners wait a few weeks, allowing the delivery to slip into the new year, the vessel is considered a whole year younger. Many sectors can expect a high proportion of the orderbook to hit the water in future years,’ VesselsValue observed in a release.”

Tech: “Snap Maps offered real-time coverage of Tuesday’s terror attacks in Manhattan (plus a lot of emoji)” [Neiman Labs]. Interesting, especially the passing mention of the Algo.

The Bezzle: “Tesla Inc.’s bid to crank up production of a mass-market electric car is hitting a critical hurdle in the company’s supply chain: labor” [Wall Street Journal]. At last! They said it! ” [Tesla] is wrestling with mounting signs of labor unrest…There have already been disputes between the UAW and Tesla, raising questions of whether the factory will struggle with the demands of a leader whose vision of Tesla bucks tradition and who sees the business more as a Silicon Valley software pioneer than as manager of auto plants.”

The Bezzle: “Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga gave everyone a better understanding of why Tesla missed its target for Model 3 production in the third quarter” [Business Insider]. “Tsuga said during an earnings briefing that there have been delays to automating the battery production line at Tesla’s Gigafactory, which has slowed Model 3 output, Reuters’ first reported. Some of the battery packs have had to be assembled by hand, according to the report.” No. Tesla assembled 260 — that right, three (3) digits — Model 3s manually, via metal-bashing. Now we learn, which is new, that the batteries were assembled by hand. Wouldn’t it be simpler for Mush to be open about this, and move the whole shebang to Bangla Desh, were “hands” are cheap?

The Bezzle: “A bad year for Japan Inc. got worse last week after Subaru Corp. joined Nissan Motor Co. in saying it was recalling cars that were signed off by uncertified vehicle inspectors. The revelations follow Kobe Steel Ltd.’s admission that it cheated on quality control tests and Takata Corp.’s bankruptcy filing following its airbag debacle” [Bloomberg]. I’m not sure whether this is a tempest in a teapot or not. Didn’t Deming say that you can’t inspect quality in?

Five Horsemen: “Microsoft and Facebook jockey for the lead” [Hat tip, Jim Haygood].

Five Horsemen Nov 1

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 67 Greed (previous close: 65, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 86 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed. Last updated Oct 30 at 8:00pm. Gradually deflating…

Health Care

“Are Payers the Leading Cause of Death in the United States?” [MedPage Today]. Rather remarkable that a medical news service would run such material. It concludes: “Are payers the leading cause of death in the United States? If you think this is a crazy question, please think again.”

Our Famously Free Press

“Facebook Vice-President and General Counsel Colin Stretch told the hearing that the company plans to double its current staff of 10,000 people working on security issues by the end of next year. For a company that reported 20,658 employees at the end of June, that’s a big commitment” [247 Wall Street]. Imagine the difference 10,000 reporters could make…

Class Warfare

“The U.S. Isn’t Prepared for the Next Recession” [The Atlantic]. Sure it is! The next recession will be handled exactly as Puerto Rico was handled after Hurrricane Maria! Kidding….

News of the Wired

“China Just Unveiled The Most Futuristic Library Ever” [NextShark (TF)]. The photos look intriguing, but I’m almost as suspicious of “sleek and futuristic design” as I am of squillionaires with bright ideas. See the second comment: “Looks beautiful, but how do they shelve and retrieve items from those insanely high shelves on a regular basis?” Many of the comments are interesting, moreso than the article.

“Daylight saving time ends on the first Sunday in November, when clocks are moved back an hour at 2 a.m. local daylight time (so they will then read 1 a.m. local standard time)” [LiveScience]. First Sunday, not first of the month. Oh-kaay…

“Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania say the number of assaults go up by nearly three percent right after the country sets their clocks back one hour” [CBSPhilly]. I’m surprised it’s that low.

‘”Without End: Documents of Research” [London School of Economics Review of Books]. “At my present point in the process, there has been a return, a recall to one site of interaction I know well. This site is my desk. Notwithstanding their standard stock build, there is something specific about a desk and its ancillary components. Bruised with ink, blemished with coffee rings, this desk bears witness to scuffles with the new. This computer has played upon all vulnerability, participating in both the feat and folly of searching. This chair, with its peeling arms, has been a support through nights of angst and labour, of toil. There have been so many times that I have been lost into these objects and these activities that our difference has blurred. To enter this site, I feel my constitution shift; I exist somewhere between these objects. The return to this interaction is awash with histories that recall their loves, desires and ambitions to the present and inform what I am here to do.” PoMo, but fun. Dr. Hunter Thompson’s National Affairs Desk was a lot smaller. And, no doubt, differently blemished.

“The Upside of Being Ruled by the Five Tech Giants” [New York Times]. “Ever since I started writing about what I call the Frightful Five, some have said my very premise is off base. I have argued that the companies’ size and influence poses a danger. But another argument suggests the opposite — that it’s better to be ruled by a handful of responsive companies capable of bowing to political and legal pressure. In other words, wouldn’t you rather deal with five horse-sized Zucks than 100 duck-sized technoforces?”

“The Web began dying in 2014, here’s how” [André Staltz]. “The War for Net Neutrality in the USA won a battle in 2014, but in 2017 we are seeing a second battle which is more likely to be lost. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are probably soon going to dictate what traffic can or cannot arrive at people’s end devices. GOOG-FB-AMZN traffic would be the most common, due to their popularity among internet users. Because of this market demand, ISPs will likely provide cheap plans with access to GOOG-FB-AMZN, while offering more expensive plans with full internet access.”

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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 (PH):

Corallorhiza maculata, Spotted Coralroot Orchid. I don’t know if orchids flower in the Fall, but the colors are certainly appropriate!

Also, it would be nice to have more pictures of people’s gardens buttoned up for the winter, for those of you for whom winter is coming. And fall foliage, ditto.

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the NC fundraiser. So do feel free to use the dropdown and click the hat to make a contribution today or any day. Here is why: Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of small donations helps me with expenses, and I factor that trickle in when setting fundraising goals. So if you see something you especially appreciate, do feel free to click the hat!


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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. WobblyTelomeres

    Re: China and Trade

    China is now so large that its distortionary practices not only have effects within the U.S. market, but in markets around the world.

    Translation: For years China sent their best and brightest to the best US business schools to learn capitalism and now, AND NOW, they are really good at it, damitall.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We should send our best and brightest over there to learn from them now.

      Each should be offered a free copy of The Thoughts of Chairman Xi.

      1. clarky90

        Governments Are Turning Citizen Obedience Into a Game- Spooky Halloween Episode


        China is actually implementing a “Black Mirror, Nosedive” social control app! (I learned about this prescient show, here at NC)

        “The Truth Cat” has dressed up as Deborah Wasserman Schultz for her Halloween presentation.

  2. Bill Smith

    “[T]hese indictments convey important information

    Heard a lawyer on the radio from some well know law school who routinely discusses legal issues of prominent cases say about the Manafort indictments 1) Muller charged things that where almost never heard of 2) he pierced the client lawyer privilege thing in getting a former lawyer of Manaforts’ to turn over some information.

    In regard to 1) if that is the failing to register as a foreign agents… seems long overdue. But does anyone understand the second issue?

    1. Alex Morfesis

      Attorney client and work product protections do not apply when an attorney is filing a public document for the client…also if your attorney does not keep a privilege log (in many states) that kills the attorney client protections…

      tall building law firms and the government have used that to push little folks around for decades…

      Just had that conversation this afternoon with an attorney for whom me will be doing legal support work for in his foreclosure defense work in tampa bay…back in the saddle…

      What…you folks up in Jacksonville think me gave up every card in the first round…???

      Its elmer season…

    2. Byron the Light Bulb

      “(H)e pierced the client lawyer privilege thing […].” Essentially, after dropping some hammers, USG maintains that Manafort sought criminal assistance from his counsel, rather than criminal defense. The basic allegation follows a form, in that Manafort allegedly asked his lawyer, “How do I get rid of a body?” instead of “How do I defend myself against homicide charges?” It’s “the crime-fraud exception” and it waives attorney-client privilege, as the lawyer becomes an accomplice. More accurately, Manafort’s question was phrased, “How do I launder my foreign paycheck and bag funds so that I can penetrate a confederacy of dunces?” instead of, “How do I defend myself against criminal charges without you getting in on the action?”

      Mr. Wolf’s body-in-the-backseat disposal talk with Jules at Jimmie’s house is not considered privileged legal advice.

      1. ChrisPacific

        So what happens if the information gained through overturning of attorney-client privilege on this basis is insufficient to establish a client-fraud case against the lawyer, but does reveal some unambiguously illegal things that Manafort was up to on his own? Would the evidence gained be inadmissible for a charge of that type? What if it provided leads to other evidence, not protected by attorney-client privilege, that the USG would have had no way of knowing about otherwise?

        Plenty of fertile material for lawyers to argue about, I would imagine.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Here is a link from LawNews on piercing attorney-client privilege:

      At this point, we don’t know exactly upon which evidence the court relied; however, we do know that at least some of that evidence hasn’t yet been seen by the defendants. The court’s Memorandum explained that the court had “approved the use of ‘in camera, ex parte proceedings to determine the propriety of a grand jury subpoena or the existence of a crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege.’”After those in camera (privately, with the judge), ex parte proceedings (outside the presence of Manafort, Gates, and their counsel), Judge Howell specifically found:

      “…witness testimony and documentary evidence to show that these statements are false, contain half-truths, or are misleading by omission…”

      The court’s memorandum was heavily redacted, so at this point, it’s unclear which statements the judge meant, but this portion of the document sure sounds bad for the defendants:

  3. Wukchumni

    “The Upside of Being Ruled by the Five Tech Giants” [New York Times]. “Ever since I started writing about what I call the Frightful Five, some have said my very premise is off base. I have argued that the companies’ size and influence poses a danger. But another argument suggests the opposite — that it’s better to be ruled by a handful of responsive companies capable of bowing to political and legal pressure. In other words, wouldn’t you rather deal with five horse-sized Zucks than 100 duck-sized technoforces?”

    I say bundle them into one and include Harley Davidson & bowling alleys etc., and call it AMF

      1. MichaelSF

        Two of the big BMW m/c clubs in the US are the BMW Owners of America and the BMW RIders Association. I think there was a similar distinction in the UK, with there being a Rolls Royce Owners club and a Bentley Drivers club. Presumably the RR folks let the help do the driving.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Whatever. :)

          In the BMWOA, everyone is also President, so there is that allure.

          Note: the only vehicle I own is a DR650 (in need of new shoes at the moment), insurance is $28/year.

          1. MichaelSF

            So in the USA everyone can aspire to growing up and becoming President of the BMWOA? What a great country this is.

            This year I’m in the process of selling all of my vintage bikes and parts. About 10 bikes down, 4 to go, along with a lot of assorted vintage dirt spares/parts. I want to get down to just a couple of modern pavement projects at home and NO remote storage full of stuff that gets re-purchased by rent payments every couple of years it sits out there. That will be a big change from the practice of the last 40 years.

        2. Wukchumni

          We were in the South Island of NZ for a few months, a dozen years ago, when the Bentley Drivers Club was on tour, and I remember stopping at this little airport, and there was 60-65 Bentleys almost all pre WW2. Just seeing one 1924 something or another model would’ve been sweet, but by the 5th one, ho hum.

          No, not really. It was a movable feast for the eyes~

      2. Wukchumni

        Maybe lost in translation?

        “American Machine and Foundry (known after 1970 as AMF, Inc.) is an operator of bowling centers, with over 240 in the United States. It was once one of the nation’s largest recreational equipment companies, and diversified into products as disparate as garden equipment, atomic reactors, and yachts.”


        AMF tried to be everything, to everybody. The idea that you’ve never heard of them is indicative of how badly things went.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Nope. Am well aware of the AMF/HD fiasco. Figured the only person who would bring that up on a finance-and-economics blog is a beemer boy. So, I thought I’d pull that chain. MichaelSF answered. Would love to discuss bonafides with you guys one day.

  4. Huey Long

    There have already been disputes between the UAW and Tesla, raising questions of whether the factory will struggle with the demands of a leader whose vision of Tesla bucks tradition and who sees the business more as a Silicon Valley software pioneer than as manager of auto plants.”

    Earth to Elon!

    Your are not a Silicon Valley start-up! You are running a factory that builds electric cars, a 19th century invention. The sooner you realize this and stop your “but Telsa’s a disruptive super-duper-techno-pony” crap the quicker you’ll stop having labor trouble. Just ask some of the ex-NUMMI managers and employees on your staff…

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Apparently, Musk is sleeping in the factory. Again.

      Musk posted a photo to Instagram of himself and five others sat in camp chairs around a fire on the roof* of the factory. This was followed by a video of Musk singing along to Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire, drinking whisky and holding marshmallows over the fire.

      A follow-up tweet read: “By the way, just want to express a word of appreciation for the hard work of the Tesla Gigafactory team. Reason I camped on the roof was because it was less time than driving to a hotel room in Reno. Production hell, ~8th circle…”

      That should go over well with the workers on the line.

      NOTE * Luxury! You had a roof!

    1. Sid Finster

      You must be a commie!

      Seriously, I would think that Wall Street would love the 401(k) subsidy and want to expand it, not reduce it.

        1. Huey Long

          The trust fund you speak of, the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, is an odd duck. SS benefits are normally paid out from SS taxes and the surplus ends up in the aforementioned “trust fund.”

          The SS trust fund dollars are then put into special non-marketable gov’t bonds which go towards funding deficit spending. It’s essentially an accounting construct so far as I can see.

          That being said, I could totally see the Wall Streeters colluding with the Feds to get all that surplus SS money out of Treasury securities and into junk bonds, to “save social security.” This junk would then be used to fund stock buybacks, juicero/uber-style money pits, and of course bonuses & fees.

          Grifter’s gotta grift, ya hear?

  5. JTMcPhee

    I’m looking forward to the GAN images of Boehner in bed with Schumer, and the possibilities are just wonderfully endless…

    I recall a sci-fi novella from Analog over 40 years ago. Protagonist was a young woman who did forensics on images to differentiate “real” from “not real,” a dangerous art. I also recall another where the story involved the deadly “prank” use of holographic projections one was to stall the actual elevator at the top floor, and set little projectors inside the shaft at each floor to show an exact image of the inside of the elevator car inside the open shaft. A simple hack to bypass the switches that keep the doors from opening with no car there, and Bobs your uncle — lots of cheap thrills listening to the screams and video-ing the falls and resulting abattoir at the bottom… Nah, could never happen… http://m.nydailynews.com/news/crime/man-killed-teens-throw-rocks-traffic-overpass-article-1.3576724

      1. John k

        But there’s no right party.
        On the plus side, she is not by nature a progressive, but sees Bernie’s positions as the best way forward. Vp timber if he runs, not clear she has a big enough support base if he doesn’t… though his positions are battle tested, we will see more budding pols adopt them. Too late for the establishment, they are wedded, or welded, to corps.

  6. Tim

    I’m not sure whether this is a tempest in a teapot or not. Didn’t Deming say that you can’t inspect quality in?

    Yes, but it’s the liability side of not meeting customers understanding (expectations) of the level of quality and conformance to regulations. Anything that goes wrong that could be attributable to substandard inspection will lead to massive lawsuits.

    I still don’t know how the Kobe steel thing will end up. It should result in some airframes of very new aircraft being scrapped, but that harm is too severe for the market to bear, so they will likely find a way to sweep it under the rug. But again should one of those airplanes with the uninspected aluminum crash and it be attributed to a structural problem it will take down the airline and the prime manufacturer into a world of hurt.

    1. David

      IMO, you’re getting a little ahead of the tide. They still need to investigate where the material went and how it was non-compliant. On the automotive side, it appears as though the materials non-compliance is not severe.

      Toyota Motor, Honda Motor, Nissan Motor and Mazda Motor have said that hoods and other exterior parts used in their cars which were made from aluminum directly supplied by Kobe Steel were safe.

      Although this is interesting (emphasis added),

      Some of the data tampering was an abuse of an industry practice known as “tokusai,” a kind of special waiver, that is agreed between buyer and supplier, the executive said.

      Buyers will accept products or materials that do not quite meet agreed specifications, the executive explained. The problems occurred where products were falsely labelled or where the specifications were outside those agreed with the customer but labelled as within specifications, he said.

      If Kobe’s customers have already agreed to accept non-compliant material, even if the data reviewed is false, can they pursue Kobe for shipping non-compliant material?

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      The Kobe thing seems to affect the actual material.

      The auto thing seems to be a compliance issue. IFF the production system is as a Deming would wish it to be, then the material is not affected. I don’t think lack of compliance is great, but the cases are distinct.


    1. HopeLB

      Speaking of farmland, PE shows up as the culprit here;


      Here’s the Food Atlas (pdf);


      Maybe the best thing to do is stockpile/compost rich soil and heirloom seeds, particularly those from warmer climate zones?

      Here’s a visualization of all the worlds money.


      (You could glance at this chart as you fill your spare spaces with soil and nestle your seeds in a solar powered seed vault knowing you’ve prepared. )

      1. JTMcPhee

        …and if you happen to survive the Principal Apocalypse, along will come the warbands and warlords, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comitatus_(classical_meaning), to take whatever you have stored up, enslave you to work that soil and plant those seeds, harvest the “take,” and maybe just kill you and your nearest and dearest “pour encourager les autres…” Not that such a thing that has happened many times in the past would ever happen again, in this best of all possible worlds…

    2. cnchal

      I pity Wisconsinites. Chinese villages, H1B visas, poisoned earth and water, no actual jawbs.

      No doubt living like broiler chickens in a Chinese Foxconn dorm has potential here too.

      Only $3 billion for this example of self mutilation.

      . . .“It isn’t an issue of whether the Foxconn operation will affect Apple Holler, it’s a question of when,” says Doetch. “Once they begin production, they will be releasing heavy metals into the watershed. What a lot of people don’t understand is why this project needs so much water.” Estimates place Foxconn’s usage at approximately equal to the entire city of Racine’s current daily pull from Lake Michigan. “It’s not so much to wash the glass, but to dilute the heavy metal pollutants down to the currently acceptable parts per million level.” This does nothing to mitigate the pollutants’ effects.

      “Apple Holler will begin to pump heavy metal onto their land within months of the plant’s operation,” Doetch continues. “The first thing they will see is plant health issues. The heavy metals discharged by the plant will leach into the groundwater, Apple Holler will pump the water onto their land, and the farm’s soil will filter them out. The second stage will be a loss of production as the trees suffer. The third stage will be health issues associated with consuming the apples themselves.”

      How does one expense that?

  7. clarky90

    The last month has been tough for miserable, bloody “Remembrances”. Ypres, Beersheba. Passchendaele. The centenary of the Bolshevik “Revolution”.

    However, October 31, 2017 (yesterday) was the 500 year anniversary of the Martin Luther inspired, Protestant Reformation.

    I am watching our 2017 culture, rapidly descend into the Neo-Dark Ages. It is increasingly dominated by a Neo-Catholic (All-embracing, globalist) Cabal: Pope George Soros, supported by Bishops Bezos, Zuckerberg, Gates, Page….. They have seized the position of Mediator, between the citizenry (Us) and Our God (aka, “Our Truth”, “Our Light” as we experience It).

    It is heartening to me, that 500 years ago yesterday, a powerless, solitary monk, Martin Luther, began the unwinding of a corrupt power elite!! Hurrah for ML.

    Reformation’s 500th anniversary—remember Martin Luther, America’s first Founding Father


    “…why I say Luther was America’s first Founding Father….

    In Luther’s Europe, kings and emperors dominated the politics of the day, and most only did so with the blessing of the Roman Catholic papacy. It was commonly believed that kings were chosen by God and had a “divine right” to rule. It was also widely held that the papacy had total authority over all spiritual matters. It’s not hard to imagine then how utterly improbable the American Revolution would have been in such a world. To defy a king backed by the papacy was to defy God Himself. Certainly, two divinely established kings could war with one another, but what right did peasants, merchants, and other commoners have to stand against their rulers?…”

    1. PhilM

      Seems a bit anachronistic. In any case, that author should read what Luther had to say during the Peasants’ Revolt of 1525.

  8. McWatt

    This Foxconn thing is a mess. It is illegal to use eminent domain to take land from a private citizen and turn it over to a corporation. Eminent domain can only be used for a public purpose in perpetuity. A road, a park, a school.

    Otherwise we are just holding the land and paying the taxes for the next corporation who comes along and wants to take it.

    1. Huey Long

      Eminent domain can only be used for a public purpose in perpetuity. A road, a park, a school.

      Nope! Apparently the government is free to take your land and give it to developers according to our Famously Fair Judicial System:


      From the Wikipedia article:

      the Court held that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified private redevelopment plans as a permissible “public use” under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

      1. pictboy3

        One of the worse Supreme Court decisions in modern times. Luckily, a lot of state legislatures have stepped into the breach to prevent this kind of thing from happening. I have no idea if California is one of those states though.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      You might be right in an ideal world, but the majority view in condemnation law is that a “public benefit” is sufficient, and that burden of proof has never been too difficult to meet. Even the more narrow “public use” requirement is satisfied by a demonstration that the “public” has some enforceable right to use an “improvement” when “public” means anyone other than the owner of the improvement.

    3. Massinissa

      Apparently, creating one or two jobs is considered a ‘public benefit’ now. How magnanimous of our corporate overlords.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Why do we mopes still have this touching remnant faith and belief that ‘the law” offers any kind of shield against brute looting? I guess we neeeed to have some kind of faith, in a faithless world…

        I went off to law school with one of my serial sets of blinders in place (first and maybe worst was enlisting in the Army in 1966 to go fight evil Commies before they came to my home town). The “law” blinder was thanks to good professors (those who “profess” a set of supposed truths and selected volumes of organized and justified knowledge) who taught that there was such a thing as “rule of law,” and laid out the bits and pieces of a coherent parsing of Constitution, Civics and the various progresses of “rules of decision” in the courts, especially the Supreme Court, with all those categories of standard and scope of review that “protected” against looting and arbitrary power. I got it into my history-besotted head that ‘the law,” and belief therein, was one of the few substantive adhesives that held together the many bits of that “Republic” we were supposedly “given” by those foresighted gentlemen of yore.

        Imagine my surprise…

        “Get me a lawyer, dawg…” “If the President does it, it’s not illegal…” At least so far, I have not gotten a stern letter from McDonalds’ attorneys, telling me to forthwith cease and desist the use of the copyrighted and trademarked business identifier and intellectual property couplet “Mc” published in the family name I was born with, with a demand for royalties for each use by me of that couplet for the last 70-odd years on accounta the corporation OWNS it and has removed it from the public domain…

        1. HotFlash

          Yup. My first name is a trademarked dish detergent, my surname is a trademarked tea. What am I to do?

          1. JBird

            I vaguely remember McDonald’s Restaurant getting into a tiff with the Clan McDonald a few decades back. I believe the company lost.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In addition to the legal issue of eminent domain, the other question is, why should huge corporations have this kind of advantage over governments at various levels (state, county, city)? Or asked in another way, why should we tolerate that, as a country?

      If the jobs are going to be here, in America, governments competing to give away money to companies for their second HQs or new factories involves no net gains, but net losses (jobs will be somewhere in the 50 states) for there country.

  9. Chauncey Gardiner

    Re Kobe Steel, Takata Airbags et al vs. Deming on manufacturing quality… Yeah, but look at the Nikkei: 22,420!… Hasn’t been this high since… well, about 1996?… Neoliberalism is Global now, Baby!… Markets!!!

    As Bill Murray and the campers chanted in the greatest summer camp movie ever made (“Meatballs”): “It just doesn’t matter!”… esp. when Kuroda-san & The Central Bankers are completing their task of buying up the index.

    Plus, might be some passive-aggressive behavior underlying it all regarding mutual respect, the global supply chain, and the location. location, location of key customers. Just a possibility for one’s consideration.

  10. Pete

    I have no idea how long UPS keeps their trucks but it is not uncommon for a company to buy new trucks and then sell them after 3 or 4 years. I would be surprised if UPS kept their trucks for more than 8 years or so. So I dont really see their upgrades in relation to self driving trucks.

    1. autoagri

      Agreed, though in the near term they could allow for truck platooning.

      So they’re not expecting robot trucks to happen before this equipment has been amortized?

      This equipment is actually foundational for robotrucks, as in they’re a pre-requisite. The two main products are Bendix Wingman and WABCO OngGuard, so UPS probably bought one, the other or a mix. All of the prototype highly-automated trucks from Embark, (formerly) Otto and others use them, as do platooning system developers including Daimler (Freightliner brand) and Peloton.

      Therefore, no. If anything adoption of this equipment suggests greater likelihood of more highly automated driving systems, either on the same trucks if and when aftermarket robotruck technology is available (though for reasons Pete points out that’s unlikely ), or on a next-generation of trucks for fleets impressed by the safety performance of the L1 radar-based systems they’re buying now. That’s not to say those trucks will be “driverless”; think of the work that UPS drivers do, not to mention that UPS drivers have the strength of unionization (Teamsters), though only about 6% of truck drivers overall are in a union.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > If anything adoption of this equipment suggests greater likelihood of more highly automated driving systems, either on the same trucks if and when aftermarket robotruck technology is available

        Great comment, thanks. Still no level 5, though!

  11. Dr. Roberts

    Looking at the implications of the end of net neutrality, limiting traffic to Amazon or Facebook might work, but Google is pretty useless without access to the entirety of the internet. The implications for any kind of workaround to that are pretty terrible.

    1. Arizona Slim

      So, could we go back to the Internet of, say, the 1990s, which had listservs, Usenet discussion groups, and, heaven forfend, a sense of community? Where people helped each other learn new things?

      1. Arizona Slim

        Why do I like NC so much? Because it reminds me of that 1990s Internet. Respectful discussion of issues, with the overall goal of helping each other understand them.

  12. Heliopause

    “If nothing else, perhaps the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller will put some long-overdue fear into the huge population of upper-class American criminals.”

    What laughable nonsense. Clearing the DC sewer of all the Manafort-type vermin would require an army of new federal agents, a phalanx of new federal courts tasked with nothing else than processing these cases, and hundreds of millions of dollars. A couple of show trials would be for the benefit of the masses, not the criminals who will regard them as little more than a speed bump.

    I see this headed in one of two directions:
    1. Mueller is leading a partisan housecleaning mission, rooting out the Trumpers at the behest of elites who despise them.
    2. Mueller is conducting what amounts to a show; he’ll get Manafort and a few others, also a few folks in the Podesta circle, which will demonstrate his non-partisan bona fides.

    I seriously doubt he’s conducting a general housecleaning, which would be an enormous investment of time, hard work, and money.

  13. Chris

    “Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania say the number of assaults go up by nearly three percent right after the country sets their clocks back one hour” [CBSPhilly].

    Couldn’t possibly be because there’s 25 hours of mayhem between midnight and midnight, instead of the usual 24? (The linked press release was frustratingly vague about the details.)

  14. clarky90

    Some schadenfreude:

    How House of Cards Plays Out in Trump’s America


    “… And how might fictional president Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, mirror America’s real (or reality TV) president?

    Surely there is nothing that Underwood could do on screen that would shock or surprise audiences, given the current political climate. This is an America where morality is deeply subjective…”

    “‘He grabbed my whole package’: Kevin Spacey is accused by a second Hollywood figure who claims House of Cards star groped him in a Los Angeles pub in 2003:”

    This is salacious, BUT also, indicative of our sanctimonious, holier-than-thou “Lecturing Classes”, being undone. (IMO)

  15. MichaelSF

    Corallorhiza maculata, Spotted Coralroot Orchid. I don’t know if orchids flower in the Fall, but the colors are certainly appropriate!

    There’s an orchid blooming somewhere most every day, no matter what the season is. We’ve got 100+ orchids (colloquially known at our place as “triffids”) both in and outside of the house here in the SF fog belt. My wife has been pointing out for some years that as our climate/weather is slowly but noticeably changing the orchids are getting very confused and she can no longer count on them to bloom when she expects them to do so.

  16. ChrisPacific

    “…the company plans to double its current staff of 10,000 people working on security issues by the end of next year. For a company that reported 20,658 employees at the end of June, that’s a big commitment”

    Haha. Let me parse this for you.

    “Security is everybody’s responsibility!”


  17. The Rev Kev

    Re From the hearings on Facebook, Google, Twitter, and “Russian meddling”
    Don’t worry guys – I have this covered. After spending an exhausting five minutes of research on the net I have managed to uncover the Russians influence in the US 2016 elections. It seems that all Boris and Natasha did was to use the same blueprint that the US used to give victory in the 1996 Russian elections to Boris Yeltsin and turn it around. You know – the one that they gloated over by turning it into a Hollywood film (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nm-50K-XELY) to put the boot in.
    In addition, they had the L.L.P.H. program which is short for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness program. This is where it gets ingenious. The Russkies decided that they best way to undermine modern America was to promote traditional America and its values. You know – competition and free enterprise, hard work, justice, self-reliance for one’s life, equality for all, individual freedom, equality of opportunity and others all culminating in the American Dream. They figured that the contradictions between the two would allow for a break-out candidate to win the election against one that was fully and totally aligned with the “modern America”. For that candidate it was all a matter of Game Over, Player One.

  18. Plenue

    “I’d go long anti-anxiety remedies… ”

    There’s a reason ASMR videos have exploded over the last few years.

      1. Plenue

        Plenty of people insist they feel tingles. I’m dubious. But regardless, plenty more simply find calm and comfort in various forms of uh, ‘aural minutia’. It’s exploded into a giant thing on YouTube, with hundreds of thousands of views on videos being quite common and more than a few people apparently able to live just off the ad revenue of such videos.

  19. Wukchumni

    “The U.S. Isn’t Prepared for the Next Recession” [The Atlantic]. Sure it is! The next recession will be handled exactly as Puerto Rico was handled after Hurrricane Maria! Kidding….
    When we’re kids we long for recess, but when we’re all grown up, fear recession…

  20. allan

    Wyden and Merkley still in the dark on plan to shrink Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument [Oregonian]

    More than a month after a draft plan from the Trump administration to shrink the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument leaked, Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said they have yet to be briefed about the plan. …

    Wyden and Merkley addressed a letter to President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, on Tuesday expressing their frustration with the process.

    Among the inaccuracies they cited: Zinke’s 19-page draft falsely stated that the 113,000-acre protected area where the Cascade, Klamath and Siskiyou mountains converge prohibits motorized travel …

    “Neither the original designation nor the expansion,” the senators said, citing the 2017 expansion approved by then-President Barack Obama, “prohibits the use of motorized transportation in the monument.” The senators said, “hundreds of miles of roads” are open and usable in the monument.

    Zinke also suggested the administration would protect hunting and fishing rights in the area, which Wyden and Merkley said are not currently under threat. “Neither the original nor the expanded monument proclamation reduce hunting and fishing rights,” the senators said. …

    Nothing says local input like flipping the bird to the state’s U.S. senators.

  21. Louis

    The Dr. Housing Bubble piece could have been written about a lot of cities.

    Denver, Colorado was a relatively affordable place to live up until about 4-5 years ago but not anymore. Prices of rents and housing, in sheer dollar amounts, might be seem like a bargain when compared to say Silicon Valley or Manhattan.

    However, when wagems are factored in, the real-estate prices don’t make a lot more sense than they do in a lot of other cities. Yet the local ruling class continues to be perplexed why the masses aren’t welcoming the possibility of a second Amazon headquarters with open arms.

  22. dcblogger

    Trump reminds me of that Charles Dickens story, The Way We Live Now.

    The Republicans are about to get pounded next Tuesday in Virginia, NJ, and in municipal elections across the country and the conversation will shift. Much more impact than indictments.

    The Republican’s dilemma has always been is it worse to leave Trump in or force him to resign. There is no question of impeachment. Trump could leave in exchange for a pardon. Pence would be much worse.

    So the best way out will be through.

      1. begob

        Trollope is the most relevant novelist of the lot! He also wrote a brilliant tale of corruption in parliament and the rent-seeking hierarchy, Phineas Finn: The Irish Member.

        Trump would be a wonderful subject for the old post-master.

  23. Veri

    Regarding Russia and Russian interference in American elections. What Democrats and Republicans are alleging as both sides point fingers at each other and calling each other, “Russian collaborators”?

    Is not even remotely close to the truth except in actions.

    Russia played both sides.

    Trump, with The Kremlin lawyer.

    And Hillary with The Steele Dossier.

    Against each other. And succeeded beyond their wildest imaginings. Most of it wasn’t even planned, relying upon an initial act, fortuitous happenings, and sudden opportunities. Where human nature was allowed to take a predictable course.

    Russia, blindfolded, threw a dart at a dart board that was 30 feet away? And hit the bullseye. Even they are still stunned and in disbelief, a year later.

    The result is political paralysis, societal division, and confusion.

    Which works to Russian and Chinese advantage, among others.

    What is interesting? Most of it was accidental and circumstances and human nature.

    The threw a pebble down an mountainside and caused a devastating avalanche.

    1. Yves Smith

      I cannot believe the level of inaccurate information people are serving up as fact. You appear to be new. Please read our Policies before commenting again. We are VERY serious about cracking down on agnotology, which we call more informally “making stuff up”.

      The Russian lawyer Trump Jr. met with was NOT a “Kremlin lawyer.” That is utter bullshit. She was a Moscow prosecutor from a secondary area of Moscow (in NYC, it would be like being a Bronx prosecutor). In other words, for Moscow the city, not Moscow as national capital. Further, as various reports made clear, she was bullshitting about the reason for the meeting. She pretended to have oppo but didn’t and was there to try to get Trump et al on board re her campaign re follow up to the Magnitsky Act.


      Bershidsky actually knows something about Russia and is a Putin critic.

  24. XXYY

    Sixteen thousand Facebook users said that they planned to attend a Trump protest on Nov. 12, 2016, organized by the Facebook page for BlackMattersUS, a Russian-linked group that sought to capitalize on racial tensions between black and white Americans.

    Wait. I thought the Russkies were helping Trump! Now it seems they were organizing protests against Trump!

    Sounds eerily like the Dems were working hand in hand with the godless communists! I mean capitalists! I mean oligarchs!


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