Links 10/16/16

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Gillian Tett, FT. Political risk.

ETF News

Bloomberg

Reuters

NYT

FT

Bloomberg

MarketWired. A California political insider: “Nice reward for working with CalSTRS on PE bill.” Ka-ching.

Tax Analysts. “People who request federal records under the Freedom of Information Act may be surprised early next year to find the information they asked for already posted online for all to see.” A panelist says this may scare reporters. I dunno. I plant clover round my garden so the deer eat that and don’t go for the vegetables.

Brexit

BrexitCentral

Politico (JI). “May’s decision to use a cabinet committee — which is at least half the size of a full cabinet — to run Brexit suggests she intends to control the process tightly.”

FT

Telegraph

Reuters

RT (Cold Mountain).

Syraqistan

Chas Freeman, Lobelog. Must-read.

The Nation. Chas Freeman.

WaPo (Furzy Mouse).

The Hill

Foreign Affairs

War Drums

FT. Because John Podesta’s emails are totally worth World War III.

Russia Insider

DuffelBlog

2016

 Wikileaks. Reading these, I’m thinking the $675,000 had nothing to do with the actual content….

The Intercept. Lincolin-esque!

WSJ

International Business Times

WaPo. Reversion to the mean.

2 Pew Research. “[Hispanics’] attitudes about the Republican and Democratic parties – and levels of political engagement – are not much different than they were four years ago.”

McClatchy

Los Angeles Times

ABC. Film at 11! “Based on these emails it is not uncommon for six or seven of Clinton’s senior staff, including Podesta, Mook and three or four members of her communications team to weigh in on, edit and re-edit a single proposed tweet, let alone scrutinize proposed, formal campaign statements.” Good insight into how Clinton will govern.

FT

Counterpunch

Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Doing them a favor, probably. Neither Strickland Portman nor Kasich need Trump. There’s no upside for them at all.

Los Angeles Times

In These Times. “He’s gearing up for a long war. Clinton would do well to do the same.” Depends on how you define the war, and whether you assume good faith.

McClatchy

Democracy Now (GF).

Guillotine Watch

WaPo. “Personalize the space by shopping for vintage pieces, adding art, buying beautiful towels, selecting the right color paint, finding a great rug, placing an orchid in a decorative container, displaying special items on a tray, and adding a beautiful mirror and fabulous sconces.” And don’t forget a powerful fan!

Class Warfare

CEPR

WSJ. Embrace the suck.

Stumbling & Mumbling

David Graeber, Evonomics

Brookings

NYT. Who knew?

WSJ. Education being one proxy for class (though imperfect, as with adjuncts, burger flippers with liberal arts degrees, etc.).

Edward L. Glaeser, Giacomo A.M. Ponzetto, Andrei Shleifer, NBER

The New Yorker

Antidote du jour:

bison

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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.

213 comments

  1. abynormal

    That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you know, everyone you love, everyone you ever heard of every human being who ever was live and died their lives. Every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on the mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. How frequent their misunderstandings, how fervent their hatreds. Our imagined self-importance, the delusions that we have some privileged position in the Universe are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. Like it or not, for the moment, the earth is where we make our stand.There is perhaps no better demonstration of folly of human conceits, than this distant image of our tiny world. It underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known. Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, A Vision of the Human Future in Space

    1. Bev

      I love Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot above all other writings on history and in poetry, because it is true.

      I think that Jill Stein and the Green Party are the only rational, and emotional choice to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot.


      Iraq, Libya, Kissinger, Kagan, Boot, Armitage, and Negroponte agree: @HillaryClinton is the candidate of choice for neocon warhawks.

      NO WORLD WAR 3. NO FALSE FLAG for WORLD WAR 3.


      The Final Act will be World War

      …we are on the brink of war because apparently we have lunatics in Washington (and elsewhere) far more insane than the inmates they oversee.

      This past week has seen the lunacy shift several gears in only days. We see the U.S. pushing Russia for war everywhere. We recently stationed and commissioned live nuclear missiles in both Poland and Romania …along Russia border. I can only imagine the response were Russian missiles stationed in Cuba or even Mexico? Russia has taken this (and other moves) very seriously as their population of 40 million drilled last week for a nuclear attack. They have also stationed their S300 and S400 missiles in Syria, U.S. warplanes will be on suicide missions should they aggress.

      This is not “gut feel” or hunch, my conclusions are a result of actions. Yesterday we learned the RAF (British air force) instructed their pilots to shoot down Russian planes over Syria. We also know the U.S. recently painted several planes in Russian colors. Do you really believe this is for a drill? Or more likely some sort of false flag where eyewitnesses swear they saw MIGs with their own eyes attack some target?
      ………….

      The pale blue dot is ours to protect or destroy during our short time to make a difference for all future life.
      …………..

      Don’t let them take your vote
      Jill Stein
      Newsletters

      Republican legislatures have developed a reputation across the country over the past decade for suppressing voters, particularly minority voters.



      Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka aren’t standing for it.



      These suppression measures include:
      • odious voter ID laws,
      • the reduction of early voting periods,
      • the redlining of polling sites to avoid college campuses and minority communities, and
      • the elimination of same-day registration.

      Recently, investigative journalist Greg Palast spotlighted another blatant voter-suppression program known as “Interstate Crosscheck,” which could target as many as 7.2 million voters for de-registration in the November 2016 election.



      The Crosscheck list contains the names of several hundred thousand voters with last names that skew heavily toward Black, LatinX and Asian populations.



      This is reminiscent of the stolen 2000 election, when Florida electronically purged tens of thousands of overwhelmingly African-American voters from the rolls.

      

Jill and Ajamu call for an immediate halt to all voter suppression tactics, including “Interstate Crosscheck.”

      

They pledge to fight what the Reverend Joseph Lowery calls “Jim Crow all over again.”

      

It’s in our hands!


      The Stein/Baraka Campaign Team

    2. Bev

      shorter
      I love Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot above all other writings on history and in poetry, because it is true. I think that Jill Stein and the Green Party are the only rational, and emotional choice to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot.



      Iraq, Libya, Kissinger, Kagan, Boot, Armitage, and Negroponte agree: @HillaryClinton is the candidate of choice for neocon warhawks.
      ……….

      NO WORLD WAR 3. NO FALSE FLAG for WORLD WAR 3.



      The Final Act will be World War

      …we are on the brink of war because apparently we have lunatics in Washington (and elsewhere) far more insane than the inmates they oversee.

      This past week has seen the lunacy shift several gears in only days. We see the U.S. pushing Russia for war everywhere. We recently stationed and commissioned live nuclear missiles in both Poland and Romania …along Russia border. snip

      Russia has taken this (and other moves) very seriously as their population of 40 million drilled last week for a nuclear attack. snip

      This is not “gut feel” or hunch, my conclusions are a result of actions. Yesterday we learned the RAF (British air force) instructed their pilots to shoot down Russian planes over Syria. We also know the U.S. recently painted several planes in Russian colors. Do you really believe this is for a drill? Or more likely some sort of false flag where eyewitnesses swear they saw MIGs with their own eyes attack some target?
      ………….

      Protect Our Pale Blue Dot:
      Don’t let them take your vote
      Jill Stein
      Recently, investigative journalist Greg Palast spotlighted another blatant voter-suppression program known as “Interstate Crosscheck,” which could target as many as 7.2 million voters for de-registration in the November 2016 election.
      snip
      Jill and Ajamu call for an immediate halt to all voter suppression tactics, including “Interstate Crosscheck.”

      They pledge to fight what the Reverend Joseph Lowery calls “Jim Crow all over again.”


      It’s in our hands!


      1. abynormal

        G A D S im being stalked by a hand holding bold suppressor !

        …it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. ~Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

        1. Bev


          Carl Sagan – The Demon Haunted World: Science As A Candle In the Dark

          Democracy and Election Integrity As A Candle In the Dark

          via email from:
          The Institute of American Democracy and Election Integrity

          Help Make Our Elections Worthy of Our Trust ! A Brilliant, New, Inexpensive Way to Create Trackable, Publicly Verifiable Elections Results!

          A few days ago, we told you about the problem of fractionalizing votes. I mentioned that we would be sending you a letter with a really good solution that has worked once before and could work again. Although votes can be fractionalized while adding them up, the ballot images pictures taken of the ballots) can not be reduced to fractions. The solution is to issue temporary restraining orders in swing state counties so that the ballot images can be preserved. The act of issuing TRO’s will also be a deterrent in itself to fractionalizing votes in an effort to steal the election. This process could apply to all elections, presidential, state and county elections as well as bond issues and propositions. 

          If you are interested in getting involved in making this happen, if you are a lawyer and if you know a lawyer or lawyers who might also be interested in preserving ballot images using TRO’s, please us at TrustVote.org as soon as possible, as we will need to issue these TRO’s for the most part BEFORE the election. And, as you might expect, organizing this effort will require money. So please DONATE WHATEVER YOU CAN to support to fight election fraud in our country.

          THANK YOU SO MUCH on behalf of TrustVote and our challenged democracy!
          snip

          The New Scanning Systems

          Both ES&S and the newer Dominion Voting Systems (formerly Diebold) can take photos of ballots…. Two ES&S (Election Systems & Software) scanners which have excellent audit capabilities have been installed in thousands of precincts throughout the U.S. They are the ES&S DS850, a high speed scanner used for absentee/vote-by-mail and the ES&S DS200, which is used in precincts. Additionally, Dominion Voting Systems’ newer scanners have ballot images as well. They are ImageCast Central and ImageCast Precinct, which have ballot images. Even most DRE’s (Direct Recording Electronic) create ballot images as well. And, they too can be studied to verify election results! 

          Bev Harris has been studying how votes are fractionalized. She call it “Fraction Magic” When adding up votes, the tabulator can fractionalize the votes if it is programmed that way. She has been working with John Brakey on how to PRESERVE BALLOT IMAGES. Bev Harris has happily discovered that images of the ballots CANNOT BE FRACTIONALIZED. That is why they must be preserved. Please read more by clicking on the following link:  http://blackboxvoting.org/fraction-magic-part-6/  
          snip

          Apparently, ES&S realized this was likely a future trend in voting machine software. The company developed its own system based on concepts from software programmers and election integrity activists Harry Hursti, Bev Harris, Mitch Trachtenberg and Larry Moore. Moore developed a voting system called “Clear Ballot,” which is a refined approach to verifying elections using ballot images. Here is a short Video on how the Clear Ballot system works:  http://youtu.be/q3a4xmnfwCM

          snip

          Also here is the analysis by John Brakey of AUDIT-AZ of How the California Presidential Primary was , Stripped and Flipped: http://electionnightmares.com/archives/564

          WHAT CAN VOTERS DO TO RECTIFY THESE PROBLEMS:

          Election activist John Brakey and attorney William Risner assert that destroying ballot images is against Federal law: Federal law 52 U.S.C § 20701 requiring retention of federal election materials, provides a penalty of up to $1,000 fine and one year in jail for premature destruction of that material (was formerly 42 U.S.C § 1974).

          For the November elections, Brakey and Risner recommend the following strategy:
          • File a public record request (ASAP) asking for ballot images for the last and the next election. The request should include other critical documents like the Cast Vote Record (CVR). We can provide a draft of what to request.
          • If ballot images are or have been destroyed then file a special action Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), which is usually easy to request.
          • If they refuse your public records request for “ballot images,” then file another special action in the form of a Mandamus Act. When you win they have to pay all expenses and legal fees.

          Additional efforts that may be necessary and are suggested by AUDIT-AZ member Mickey Duniho, a retired former NSA Cryptologist for 37 years. His recommendations are being added to our TRO. 
          • Do not transfer results from the DS850 to the central count computer until election day; 
          • Print the cast vote record serial number on each ballot so that an audit can link back to the original ballot as per how the system was federal certified by EAC; 
          • Mark every storage box containing ballots with the range of serial numbers contained in the box, so that an audit can easily find the box containing a ballot of interest.
          ……….


          The New Scanning Systems, FRACTION MAGIC and Humboldt Cty, CA
          Richard Charnin

        2. Bev

          shorter

          Carl Sagan – The Demon Haunted World: Science As A Candle In the Dark

          Democracy and Election Integrity As A Candle In the Dark

          via email from:
          The Institute of American Democracy and Election Integrity

          Help Make Our Elections Worthy of Our Trust ! A Brilliant, New, Inexpensive Way to Create Trackable, Publicly Verifiable Elections Results!

          Although votes can be fractionalized while adding them up, the ballot images pictures taken of the ballots) can not be reduced to fractions. The solution is to issue temporary restraining orders in swing state counties so that the ballot images can be preserved. The act of issuing TRO’s will also be a deterrent in itself to fractionalizing votes in an effort to steal the election. This process could apply to all elections, presidential, state and county elections as well as bond issues and propositions.

          If you are interested in getting involved in making this happen, if you are a lawyer and if you know a lawyer or lawyers who might also be interested in preserving ballot images using TRO’s, please us at TrustVote.org as soon as possible, as we will need to issue these TRO’s for the most part BEFORE the election. And, as you might expect, organizing this effort will require money. So please DONATE WHATEVER YOU CAN to support to fight election fraud in our country.
          snip
          Bev Harris has been studying how votes are fractionalized. She call it “Fraction Magic” When adding up votes, the tabulator can fractionalize the votes if it is programmed that way. She has been working with John Brakey on how to PRESERVE BALLOT IMAGES. Bev Harris has happily discovered that images of the ballots CANNOT BE FRACTIONALIZED. That is why they must be preserved. Please read more by clicking on the following link:
          snip
          WHAT CAN VOTERS DO TO RECTIFY THESE PROBLEMS:

          Election activist John Brakey and attorney William Risner assert that destroying ballot images is against Federal law: Federal law 52 U.S.C § 20701 requiring retention of federal election materials, provides a penalty of up to $1,000 fine and one year in jail for premature destruction of that material (was formerly 42 U.S.C § 1974).

          For the November elections, Brakey and Risner recommend the following strategy:
          • File a public record request (ASAP) asking for ballot images for the last and the next election. The request should include other critical documents like the Cast Vote Record (CVR). We can provide a draft of what to request.
          • If ballot images are or have been destroyed then file a special action Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), which is usually easy to request.
          • If they refuse your public records request for “ballot images,” then file another special action in the form of a Mandamus Act. When you win they have to pay all expenses and legal fees.

          Additional efforts that may be necessary and are suggested by AUDIT-AZ member Mickey Duniho, a retired former NSA Cryptologist for 37 years. His recommendations are being added to our TRO.
          • Do not transfer results from the DS850 to the central count computer until election day;
          • Print the cast vote record serial number on each ballot so that an audit can link back to the original ballot as per how the system was federal certified by EAC;
          • Mark every storage box containing ballots with the range of serial numbers contained in the box, so that an audit can easily find the box containing a ballot of interest.

            1. abynormal

              Bevie strawman’d to get at the front of the line…cheap.

              The hype cheapens the hyped, as right things are then made wrong by exaggeration. ~Criss Jami

            2. Bev

              sometimes just the shorter comments post, because I am too long on my posts of what I think are important, helpful articles that can make a difference.

              1. Bev

                To encourage and inspire us to act to help ourselves and others preserve life on our only home is more of Carl Sagan’s The Pale Blue Dot:

                Pale Blue Dot
                by Carl Sagan

                “Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

                The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

                Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

                The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

                It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
                ― Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

  2. Carla

    “Donald Trump campaign denounces, severs ties with Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Doing them a favor, probably. Neither Strickland nor Kasich need Trump. There’s no upside for them at all.”

    Lambert, I think you meant: “Neither Portman nor Kasich need Trump.”

    Trump can only help the Democrat running for the U.S. Senate, Ted Strickland.

    Ohio NC readers: don’t forget, you have another choice this year: Joe DeMare is on the ballot, running for the U.S. Senate as the Green Party candidate. Please consider voting for Joe, and let your friends and neighbors know about his candidacy.

  3. allan

    “Neither Strickland Portman nor Kasich need Trump.”

    Portman is R incumbent.
    Strickland is the DSCC basket case who is losing to Portman by 15%.

    _____________________________________________

    “Clinton Team Ran Highly Scripted Campaign”

    Which focus group of Beltway insiders do you want to answer that 3 a.m. phone call?

  4. DanB

    Re: Freeman’s “The Middle East and the Next Administration.” I could not get past this sentence, “The United States needs Saudi Arabia’s cooperation not so much for its oil – which we once again produce in abundance ourselves – but for other compelling reasons.” As the former ambassador to the Saudis I can understand Freeman’s supine attitude towards them. Nevertheless, my view is that this sentence is wrong on both counts. US conventional extraction peaked in the 1970s and rose slightly with the Alaskan pipeline (it’s in permanent decline); now the shale oil bonanza myth is beginning to unwind. And the implied good -“compelling reason”- the Saudis can do is a particularly fulsome claim. Perhaps his biggest distortion, however, is his unstated premise that the US wants to sow peace in the Middle East.

    1. Tom_Doak

      Keep reading. There’s a ton of good observation in that interview. None more so than his description of the people Hillary Clinton asks about foreign policy:

      “she is surrounded with neocons in much the way that a rotten banana is surrounded by fruit flies.”

      1. tgs

        When Freeman observes:

        Then, too, if we still believe in the rule of law, it should also matter in Syria. There is no authorization for bombing from the international community; we are bombing the enemies of the internationally recognized government of Syria while trying to overthrow that government. By any standard, these are gross violations of international law. Not incidentally, they are also a violation of our constitution, reflecting the unwillingness of this generation of members of our House and Senate to stand up and be counted rather than pass the buck to the president while carping at him.

        Clear thinking like that automatically disqualifies him for a position in the current manifestation of the empire. Of course, he says many more interesting things in the interview.

        1. Montanamaven

          Perhaps this is something we can call to the attention of our Hillary friends. It’s one thing to support her as LOTEs while not altogether happy with her foreign policy and another thing to do nothing. Perhaps an organized push to advance Freeman’s name into a public discussion of the right kind of Secretary of State. Perhaps try to educate our low information Democratic friends of the dangers of Victoria Nuland as SOS instead of somebody sensible. I feel a little powerless right now. All I can do is stick my neck out with my friends. This past week I’ve asked them to stop sending me links to anything in the NY Times reminding them of Judith Miller and WMDs. I am also asking them what they will do –really do– to oppose the first female president when she wants to start a war.

          1. Montanamaven

            By the way, I don’t think Charles Freeman is really the best choice. Still too establishment for me. I’d rather have David Graeber or Prof Stephen Cohen. But that ain’t gonna happen. So it’s a place to at least start the conversation about who would these presidential candidates pick and why?

      2. susan the other

        Agree w you TD; I’m very impressed w Chas Freeman and both articles by/with him. Some of the best stuff on the middle east I have ever read. And his explanation of the Salafis being equivalent to the protestant preformationists in wanting to return to the fundamental goodness of Islam … very salient information and given without any pompous deflections. Thanks for these two articles NC.

        1. Clive

          Sorry if I’m late in saying and just managed to have missed stuff, but it’s so nice to see you again s.t.o !

    2. 3.14e-9

      The Saudis are the biggest importer of U.S. weapons. I don’t have a problem with the “need for cooperation” line, and some of his reasoning is sensible enough. However, I don’t know why the “vital interests” of the United States should include their “continued reliance on conventional rather than nuclear weapons for self-defense,” unless he’s talking about billions of dollars in business for the U.S. defense industry. If that’s the case, it’s a stain on an otherwise restrained approach to U.S. foreign policy in the ME.

      If you can get past the objectionable paragraph, you might find some consolation in his take on the U.S.. relationship with Israel.

      I read his statements on U.S. peace efforts in the ME a little differently than you did. My takeaway wasn’t that he presumes the U.S. wants peace in the ME, but that he thinks the U.S. COULD do a lot to help the cause of peace if it would end its unconditional support of Israel, stop funding anti-Assad forces, end drone strikes, and rethink other bad policies. But in the end, he says that the next administration isn’t likely to do any of these things. To the contrary, he thinks they are going do more and worse. It’s hard to argue with that.

        1. John Zelnicker

          @Dave – There is no way to accurately determine the amount of US Treasuries purchased by Saudi Arabia. Their holdings are included in the category of “Oil-exporting countries” that includes OPEC and some others. The individual country amounts are not broken out. This is a result of an agreement made with the Saudi’s back in the ’70’s as a result of the oil embargo, in order to hide the large amount of petrodollars they were accumulating. However, the total for this category is less than the portion held by China which is about 7% of total Treasuries outstanding, IIRC.

      1. Reify99

        His statement that the burgeoning of the unappointed, unaccountable National Security Council from 6 to over 600 members has led to an autistic government living inside it’s own reality like living in a planetarium is illuminating. Thank you for posting this article.

    3. Isolato

      We need Saudi Arabia for the Petrodollar, that is, the requirement that other nations pay for their oil in USD. This allows us to run an unending stream of trade deficits by creating another demand for our currency. Without the Petrodollar the US would have gone bankrupt decades ago.

      1. oh

        You got that right! The US wants to hook all nations on the US$. Therefore we run trade deficits with almost every nation and ensure that all $ transactions to be cleared thru a NY Bank. Long live the financial sector. NOT!

      2. WJ

        Can you provide a link or book recommendation that explains exactly how this works? This is not a hostile question; I have no idea how trade deficits relate to currency value or how the petrodollar is supposed to interact with both. But also, how could a sovereign nation with immense productive capacity go “bankrupt”? Doesn’t this run contrary to the MMT approach to political economy that seems well-regarded in these parts?

          1. WJ

            Thank you, Yves, for taking the time to intervene. I am embarrassed that my own ignorance about these matters led you to act!

      3. Harry

        So recently I have come to think we need the Saudi Royal Family like the Emperor needed the Harkonen in Dune. KSA is not a great place to occupy with US soldiers cos the locals would accept occupation. So the question is who can you persuade to act as a reasonable proxy for your interests? If not the Royal family then it will be run by some other medievalists, but probably one who won’t owe you big time, and might spend all his time and money causing trouble for you, rather than pissing off the Russians.

        Which ever way you cut it, you need the oil to keep getting pumped. But for sure, the current royals are Israel friendly, they sponsor the right US pols, they accept dollars, and they generally use their proxy forces for US friendly projects.

      4. Yves Smith

        *Sigh*

        That is 100% false. Go to the back of the classroom and wear a dunce cap.

        The US is a sovereign currency issuer. No sovereign currency issuer can ever go bankrupt. The US government can always pay its obligations in its own currency.

        However, the constraint on running government deficits is inflation. You can create too much inflation if you don’t tax enough to tamp down demand.

        Moreover, the reason the dollar is the reserve currency has nada to do with the “petrodollar”. I suspect the DoD loves promoting that myth as part of its excuse for garrisoning the planet.

        To be the reserve currency issue, you need to be willing to run trade deficits on an ongoing basis so there is plenty of your currency in foreign hands. That is equivalent to having your domestic demand support foreign jobs, or exporting jobs.

        Trump is a much bigger threat to the end of dollar hegemony than any change in how oil is invoiced.

        1. Steve H.

          Yves, thank you. That’s a sudden keystone dropping into place in understanding the trade deficit.

          The greatest lie the economists ever told was the assumption of perfect information. That’s the rock on which the environmental/energy understanding of economics has crashed. That the business of Wall Street is inside information.

          But I couldn’t get the twist to understanding trade deficits. So thanks, and thanks again.

        2. Ruben

          You need not be so arrogant, the matter is debatable. MMT is not the gospel, to me it looks more like a collection of platitudes and tautologies, and an eulogy to the power of the State.

          Of course a sovereign currency issuer can go bankrupt, it has happened before, at least through runaway inflation. A sovereign currency issuer may try to pay its obligations by printing its currency but this may work for some time only as the currency is devalued by runaway inflation, or because it has ceased to be the currency demanded by a vital commodity exporter, thereby decreasing demand for the currency, leading to devaluation.

          What seems to be missing in your view is the USD lives in an international system of currencies, an ecosystem of economies, and therefore the autonomous capacity of the US gov’t to print USDs is not sufficient to guarantee its value. Only an economically isolated currency issuer may turn over its currency through spending and taxation only but even in that case, people may choose an alternative currency and the all-powerful currency issuer may go bankrupt.

          I may be wrong in my views above about MMT (I’ve just given it a cursory look) and MMT may in fact be the shining sun that nearly everybody but a selected few fail to see illuminating everything economic but if that is the case don’t send us skeptics to the back of the classroom wearing a dunce cap, that looks a lot like bullying. Of course its your blog but you want it to be an intellectually open environment right?

          1. BecauseTradition

            Of course a sovereign currency issuer can go bankrupt, it has happened before, at least through runaway inflation. Ruben

            I suspect that has more to do with explicit and implicit privileges for depository institutions since these allow the “banks” to front-run price inflation and cause it themselves. And there’s nationally synchronized boom-bust cycles, another consequence of those privileges, to be ameliorated by the sovereign currency issuer too.

            Only an economically isolated currency issuer may turn over its currency through spending and taxation only Ruben

            What other means do you suggest? Positive interest paying sovereign debt – welfare proportional to wealth, not need?

            but even in that case, people may choose an alternative currency and the all-powerful currency issuer may go bankrupt. Ruben

            Taxes can only be paid with fiat and you’re misusing the word bankrupt.

          2. Plenue

            MMT is the only system that can actually explain the accounting of the US government, down to the very last cent. It’s objective fact.

          3. John Zelnicker

            @Ruben – Currency devaluation by runaway inflation (hyperinflation) has occurred due to the impairment of a country’s productive capacity, not money printing. Money printing is a result, not a cause.

            You really should dig deeper than a “cursory look” into MMT. The tautologies you see are based on the facts of double-entry bookkeeping.

        3. Adam Eran

          MMT made simple:

          The U.S (and other sovereign, fiat currency issuers) uses “debt-based” money. Like passing around IOUs as “money things.”

          We’re most familiar with this if we have bank accounts. That account is our asset, but the bank’s liability. We assign the bank’s debt to the payee when we write a check. Currency is simply checks made out to “cash” payable on a Federal Reserve account. The “debt” is the currency.

          So reducing “debt” (in quotes since we make the currency) reduces currency in circulation. If we balanced the budget, our (necessary for a reserve currency) trade imbalance would suck currency out of the economy. Such reductions typically hurt debtors, and favor creditors.

          How have balanced/sur Federal budgets worked out historically? The last significant “debt” reduction was the Clinton sur, the time before that occurred in 1929. Andy Jackson even paid the “debt” off in 1835.

          Each and every time, with 100% correlation, the economy entered a Great Depression. The worst of these: the Panic of 1837. The vulture capitalists get to pick up foreclosed assets on the cheap when these happen, so believe it or not, Pete Peterson, boy sociopath, is promoting “Fiscal Responsibility[tm]” so he can get even richer! One could not make it up.

          See Randall Wray for the footnotes.

  5. David Carl Grimes

    Regarding Goldman Sachs speeches, if it just shows she was sympathetic but nothing really incriminating, then why hide them? Why didn’t she release them? Was she contractually bound not to release them? I haven’t read them yet but I haven’t seen anyone report on anything extraordinary about them.

    1. horace

      That is kind of the issue. The transcripts emphasize that there is nothing she could say that would be worth paying $675,000 to give the speeches, and that the huge speaking fees are really influence buying.

      1. abynormal

        hear here…

        “So it’s something that I, you know, if you’re a realist, you know that people have different roles to play in politics, economics, and this is an important role, but I do think that there has to be an understanding of how what happens here on Wall Street has such broad consequences not just for the domestic but the global economy, so more thought has to be given to the process and transactions and regulations so that we don’t kill or maim what works, but we concentrate on the most effective way of moving forward with the brainpower and the financial power that exists here.” [GS2, 10/24/13] Vampire Deposits Collected & Sealed

      2. Uahsenaa

        Which would play directly into the point Sanders was making about those speeches on the campaign trail. The fact that they are a nothing burger, in terms of content, is actually more damning.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Maybe she winked and otherwise mocked, with her body language, the more sensible parts of the speech, we will never know.

          I think mockery is worse then nothing burger.

    2. Tom_Doak

      This was all they needed to hear:

      “So I’m not interested in, you know, turning the clock back or pointing fingers,”

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        That line will come in very handy next time I commit multi-billion $ crimes. “But your honor, let’s not turn back the clock or point any fingers, doncha know…”. Pathetic.

      2. craazyboy

        She said some words about how Wall Street banks should be “self regulating” – like they should self regulate their million dollar bonuses smaller, I imagine. That’s worth $675K right there, if you’re a comedian. Something about big banks making loans to help out main street too. Some highbrow humor there! Nothing about securitization or what the heck 600 trillion in derivatives are for??? But no one is perfect. Also, Dodd Frank = Bad. But we knew that already. The banks helped write it.

        I bet she was also smiling and waving at the audience – in a carefully rehearsed, Focus Grouped, but still impromptu and bonding[hopefully unisex] way. That doesn’t show up in the scripted speech.

        1. Emma

          Look, it’s the modern-day ‘operational nobility’ of âme damnées at Akeldama moment. In Hillary Clintons’ words to the Goldman Sachs audience: “we’re all in this together” and the “conventional wisdom” of blaming Wall Street banks for the financial crisis was an “oversimplification.”

          1. Alex morfesis

            Neoliberalism is just a computer screen capitalism word for kingdom…cant say the royal court or nobility so directly anymore…so one concocts some drivel by genuflecting words and viola…

            same day new suit

    3. Waldenpond

      I read them…. she comes across as vapid, dismissive of the 90%, not very smart and smarmy. Compare these and other statements, not only does she lie to the peasant class, she tells one group of elites one thing and another group of elites a differing view. It’s just the perpetuation of the reputation that she is so greedy she will say anything to get elected.

  6. mad as hell.

    Breaking: ND Prosecutor Seeks “Riot” Charges Against Amy Goodman For Reporting On Pipeline Protest

    What’s the max on rioting charges?

    If she goes to jail either now or post sentence will all hell break out? I am sure her esteemed colleagues are split 50-50. Which means the likes of Brian Williams who comes from stenography wing of journalism would probaly be saying very little.While the others would probaly be yelling “free Amy”. It would be interesting to see who lines up where and how this would play out! There’s a lot money lurking around those oil fields.

    1. Mark John

      Yes. It is a direct assault on press freedom. . .and that the MSM is largely silent on the matter screams volumes.

      One would think this would be issue #1 for any self-respecting journalist and newsrooms would be demanding her release on top of headline coverage of the story.

      1. Katharine

        Everyone who ever has been or might be a juror anywhere should be telling Erickson he has overreached. There’s a reason freedom of the press was in the first amendment: the founders knew how important it was to the function and survival of a democratic republic.

        But Hamilton had reason when he wrote, “What is the liberty of the press? Who can give it any definition which would not leave the utmost latitude for evasion? I hold it to be impracticable; and from this I infer that its security, whatever fine declarations may be inserted in any constitution respecting it, must altogether depend on public opinion, and on the general spirit of the people and of the government. And here, after all, as is intimated upon another occasion, must we seek for the only solid basis of all our rights.” (Federalist No. 84)

        So people, if your spirit is for freedom, speak out!

      2. JCC

        And then there is this:

        Groups from overseas are weighing in, too. In a picture that looked like it could have been taken at a family reunion in Scandinavian small-town North Dakota, 30 members of Green Cross Sweden posed for a photo and captioned it “Sweden stands with Standing Rock” before posting it on Facebook.

        The photo was liked and shared several hundred times in three days before Facebook removed it, said Tonia Moya, executive director of Green Cross Sweden, a branch of the Green Cross International network, whose goals include resolving conflicts arising from environmental degradation.

        Good to know Facebook is “doing their part”.

  7. allan

    [Reuters]

    An anti-nuclear candidate has won a Japanese regional election on Sunday, according to media projections, a blow to Tokyo Electric Power’s attempts to restart the world’s biggest atomic power station and a challenge to the government’s energy policy.

    Ryuichi Yoneyama, 49, a doctor-lawyer who has never held office and is backed mostly by left-wing parties, won the race for governor of Niigata north of Tokyo, projections said, in a vote dominated by concerns over the future of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station and nuclear safety more than five years after the Fukushima catastrophe of March 2011. …

    Yoneyama promised to continue the policy of the outgoing governor who had long thwarted the ambitions of Tepco, as the company supplying about a third of Japan’s electricity is known, to restart the plant.

    Reviving the seven-reactor giant, with capacity of 8 gigawatts, is key to saving the utility, which was brought low by the Fukushima explosions and meltdowns, and then the repeated admissions of cover-ups and safety lapses after the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. …

    How’s that ice dam coming?

  8. ProNewerDeal

    If I strain the limits of trying optimism, I could say 1 benefit of the Podesta Wikileaks, is it clarifies the right-wing neoliberal warmongerer HClinton is. As Lambert says (my paraphrise) expect HClinton to attempt sign TPP, Grand Bargain/Ripoff Cuts to SS & MC, & start a new war within 100 days.

    A reasonable position for any self-described Progressive or Social Democrat or Sanders Primary voter will either support a non-HClinton candidate like the genuine Social Democrat from non-duopoly party like Dr. Jill Stein, or “hazmat-suit” Lesser Evil Vote for HClinton in a swing state.

    Anyone still insisting HClinton is actually a net Actually Good candidate appears to be delusional, a silly person, or “is being ridiculous” like Sarah Silverman.

    Contrast HClinton with 0bama. It took many people years to realize that 0bama Reagan Jr was an Evil neoliberal – some 0bots STILL claim “0bama is the best Progressive since FD Roosevelt” & other such nonsense. The overall public & the Progressives’ greater skepticism on HClinton will hopefully make it harder for HClinton to do Evil actions.

    The lack of reaction to the Podesta Wikileaks has been disgusting yet enlightening. AFAIK, no prominent D officeholders have called that given the Podesta Wikileaks that either
    1 HClinton to step down
    2 HClinton must hold a speech event with Sanders, publicly reaffirming that the 2016 D platform “public position” is her authentic position, not her private positions in the Podesta Wikileaks that are oppposite of the Platform on key issues like TPP, SS/MC. The D officeholder (Sanders, Warren, etc) should state their endorsement is contingent on fidelity to the platform, & betrayal will generate a 2020 Primary challenge from a Sanders-esque social democratic candidate. Even from a purely selfish perspective, it is bizarre not 1 D Senator or Rep has done this action – doing so would make one the probable next candidate for the Sanders voter cohort in 2020.

    The Podesta Wikileaks have shown the media to be a disgrace, even many non-Big Media orgs & persons like Sam Seder, Thom Hartmann, Cenk Uygur. Most media are exhibiting either corruption, a “play for the D team” sports mindset, or bad judgment in prioritizing Trump’s sexual assault allegations over the Podesta Wikileaks, & either ignoring the latter or proclaiming the latter is “no big deal”.

    The hypocrisy of allegations on Trump making Trump a top-tier moral monster, while allegations of Bill Clinton & Hillary’s bullying of some of these allegators are ignored, is blatant. Both Trump & BClinton may have committed sexual crimes including rape, yet as far as I know, only BClinton has faced any semi-legal punishment, being Impeached & losing his law license. AFAIK neither has been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor related to their alleged sexual crimes. Again, either both Trump & BClinton are moral monsters & HClinton is a moral monster collaborator, or none of them are. Is the “innocent until proven guilty” concept still operative to this cohort?

    It seems only a minority of Indy Media orgs like Nakedcapitalism, The Intercept, IBT/David Sirota, TYT Politics/Jordan Chariton, SecularTalk, Jimmy Dore are treating the Podesta Wikileaks scandal as the serious, top tier importance, news event that it is.

    “If the world were fair” Julian Assange would get a Nobel Peace Prize for the Podesta Wikileaks.

    1. johnnygl

      You make a valid point about dem party unity and discipline. It’s amazing that bernie got about 46% of pledged delegates, yet the party never wavered from clinton’s side and the contest never really seemed in doubt. This scares me more than trump. It means they will stand by her through all of the awful thimgs that she will do.

      I don’t doubt that man of the people you name are genuinely afraid of trump and they may well be right to be. Many commentators on this site see trump as 1) ineffective evil and 2) posing a challnege to important issues that current enjoy consensus support, trade, militaristic interventionist fp.

      It’s hard to know who’s right or if we’re screwed regardless.

      I think if clinton were genuinely seen to be at risk of losing, then more dems would jump ship. That’s why repubs ditched trump in my view.

    2. sleepy

      The media reacts to Trump’s statement that the election is rigged as if he is attacking the essence of democracy. Of course in 2000 half the country thought that the election was rigged, and in 2004 the belief that Ohio was rigged was at least given some respectable note. And of course, Diebold has always been a talking point among certain dems. Beyond that, the belief that Russia is rigging our election has been given wide currency as have the voter registration impediments passed in various states.

      Yet, when Trump makes the rigging claim he gets attacked, not on the basis that the statement may not be true, but on the basis that he is attempting to delegitimize our political process. Same talking points used by the repubs in 2000.

      1. bob

        “Same talking points used by the repubs in 2000”

        2000 was a bi-partisan mess. Gore abdicated.

        Gore was, IMO, much more at fault than the repubs of delegitimizing our political process. He used the same words and framing to delegitimize himself, his voters, and the political process.

        1. sleepy

          From election night up until the SCt ruling a month later Gore disputed the Florida vote count. During that time I heard repub after repub stating that he was delegitimating the process. I don’t recall any dems saying that at all during that period.

          Gore and the dem party didn’t cave until after the SCt ruled, notably in January when the issue was before congress.

          My point is that now dems view any repub claim of vote rigging as unpatriotic, while they push the claim when it suits them.

          1. bob

            Shocking! There are people who might actually fight for the highest office in the land?

            Gore wasn’t one of them.

          2. bob

            You also only seek to bolster the claim that Gore actually *fought*. Sending a few celebrity attorneys to the supreme court does not count as fighting.

            You’ve only got minor differences with the official narrative. That the election was decided by the supreme court. That was where the fight was staged, and decided.

            There were many more battles and places in which to battle, before that fact. Then, you give Gore a pass for– LETTING THE SUPREME COURT DECIDE A FUCKING ELECTION!!!!!

            That is the crux of your argument, correct? It seems to play the only part in your narrative. That *fact* alone should be challenged.

            1. sleepy

              I said Gore caved. Not sure why you equate that to giving him a pass when we are in agreement on that, nor am I sure why you misstate the “crux of my argument” which had little to do with Gore v. Bush.

              No, the crux of my argument is that it’s become apparent in the past few weeks some dems in the msm view the issue of vote rigging as a legitimate issue when it benefits them and view it as not when it doesn’t. I gave 2000, 2004, alleged Russian hacking, and minority voting suppression as examples where dems find the issue useful whereas when Trump claims it they ridicule it.

              Not sure why you seized on that to reargue the 2000 election when it appears to me that we are not in disagreement on that election.

          3. Pat

            Besides his bad campaign choices, Gore made several critical mistakes after the election. Some just off the top of my head:

            1.) Not finding the money and the will to demand a recount in all of Florida – not just selected counties.
            2.) Not slapping down Lieberman immediately when he okayed the ongoing fraud with absentee ballots especially regarding military ballots
            3.) Not going after the obvious illegal minority voter suppression by Jeb using Choice Point, read Greg Palast.

            Would the Supreme Court still have stepped in? Who knows, but it would have made it more difficult.

            One of the things that still pisses me off about our useless Democratic majorities in the later years is that in regard to protecting people’s right to vote, they punted. As the primaries have made abundantly clear, it wasn’t just lack of courage. It was a means to rig the system for both sides that neither was willing to give up. As Lambert says, this election has been very clarifying.

            1. Dave

              His main mistake was putting Eeyore Lieberman on the ticket to begin with.
              Imagine if he had someone real, not connected to the Insurance Finance Industry on his ticket. He could have won easily, harvesting many of the votes that went to Bush simply because he and Cheney looked like the majority of Americans and didn’t have that weird east coast vibe.

            2. bob

              Almost forgot-

              Wasn’t the resolution to that mess that Gore conceded?

              In the end, that’s how the election was decided. Gore bowed out– for the good of the country and his voters, he abdicated.

              COMPLETE HORSESHIT.

              1. Pavel

                Democratic motto:

                “When the going gets tough, or when an election is stolen… WE CAVE”

                — Al Gore (2000) and John Kerry (2004)

              2. Carla

                Much easier to continue blaming Nader and the Green Party. That’s the narrative Democrats prefer.

              3. clarky90

                And now Al “McMansion” Gore owns multiple estates around the World.

                There IS a conspiracy. TPTB obscure IT by disseminating endless fake conspiracies (false flags). There is a Mastodon in the corner of the room. And the party goers are suddenly beginning to notice the stink. That hairy sculpture is alive and wrecking the place!

                Trump is an elephant trainer.

                (I suddenly see, to my utter despair- Taibbi, Sanders, Warren, Chomsky…(my former “heroes”), ALL false flags, all clever distractors, all “reasonable” mollifiers). As we get herded, unwillingly, towards the precipice. Bastards!

      2. hunkerdown

        The essence of liberal, i.e. managed, democracy, is simulated legitimacy: that the people get to think their levers are connected to power when they are, in fact, decoupled toys. Trump’s statement that the election is rigged is, indeed, a direct tilt at the very heart of the power relation they call democracy. To those of more spiritual sensibility, Trump also serves to ruin the spiritual legitimacy of the absolution ceremony a few Tuesdays hence by claiming that there is evil afoot.

        Trump is Pvssy Riot run wild through the Liberal Church desecrating relics.

        1. Ulysses

          “Trump is Pvssy Riot run wild through the Liberal Church desecrating relics.”

          Wow.

          Desecrating relics, indeed. I pity the poor satirists of today– our current reality is far more farcical than even the most brilliant mind could imagine.

    3. ProNewerDeal

      fw Jordan Chariton new report on Podesta Wikileaks

      Apparently J Assange got up on the M-I-C, er the N-E-T, & dropped a new mixtape, Podesta Vol 9 – The Life & Times of the Real Deplorable /sarc – gallows humor

    4. oh

      A reasonable position for any self-described Progressive or Social Democrat or Sanders Primary voter will either support a non-HClinton candidate like the genuine Social Democrat from non-duopoly party like Dr. Jill Stein, or “hazmat-suit” Lesser Evil Vote for HClinton in a swing state.

      A reasonable position is to vote for Jill Stein whether or not one lives in a swing state. I will vote Green Party wherever there’s a candidate or not at all and I live in a swing state.

      1. Carla

        I’m with you, oh! And if your name is your state abbreviation in lower case, that happens to be the abbreviation for my state, too.

      2. different clue

        How do the different Trump as against Clinton paths to 270 look? How many and which swing states must be denied to Clinton to deny her 270? In that scenario, which other states could be denied to Trump to deny him 270?

        Could enough Bitter Voters really throw the election into the House of Reps?

      3. ProNewerDeal

        I wrote multiple positions are reasonable, including the 1 you expressed, voting for Stein in any state, including swing states.

        What is unreasonable is are people still claiming HClinton is actually progressive and a net Actually Good person to vote for. @kylekunlinski had a good quote on this “Both Hillary & Trump have lied so often, about so much, for so long that I think it’s fair to call their ardent die-hard supporters cultists”.

        IMHO the only reasonable vote for the 2 habitual liar Flip Floppers, probable criminals that only have not been prosecuted to their money & power, sociopath duopolists HClinton or Trump, is swing state Lesser Evil Voting for 1 out of fear the other is the Greater Evil or More Effective evil. For instance, HClinton LEVs who fear Trump will nominate Scalia Jr judges as Trump as promised & overturn abortion rights. Or Trump LEVs (some NC commenters in this group) who fear HClinton is more likely to enact TPP or start a hot war with Russia due to her insane Syria policy of wanting to simultaneously regime change/war against Assad Gov & 1SIS.

  9. 3.14e-9

    Lambert, thank you for the link to the Chas Freeman article, “The Middle East and the Next Administration.” Definitely a must-read. The interview with Patrick Lawrence in The Nation is also a must, as it includes a searing evaluation of Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy — which is the real reason Freeman won’t even be considered for secretary of state.

    Contrast his analysis of Syria with this short and sour bit of propaganda by George Soros for The New York Review of Books:

    When I read this, I had a flash of panic. Not that we haven’t known all along that stepping up U.S. involvement in Syria would be one of Clinton’s first priorities, but this article suggests there’s a movement afoot to get a head start.

    BTW, does anyone else think it’s odd that this “statement” was written in February, not submitted until October, held for the November 10 issue even though there will be a publication on November 3, and yet posted online and promoted a month before the publication date? Maybe there’s a logical explanation, but it seems to me like a setup, presumably tied to the elections. Still, why hold it until November 10 and yet make it available online?

    1. JTMcPhee

      For a little more erudite (!) context on whassup in Syria, here is a nicely illustrative piece from one of my favorite sources, “Syria Comment.” The title is “Aleppo and America’s Syria Policy: A Historical and Contemporaneous Context for American Policy on Syria,”

      If one reads that article, one should have no remaining questions on what the “Narrative Consensus” is, and how insane it is…

      One brief reminder from the piece:

      Consequently, the U.S. feared a total Soviet victory in the region. In January 1957, Dulles addressed Congress stressing that “it would be a major disaster for the nations and peoples of the Middle East, and indeed for all the world, including the U.S., if that area were to fall into the grip of international communism.” He added that the U.S. “must do whatever it properly can to assist the nations of the Middle East to maintain their independence.”[ii] The Eisenhower administration had its way when Congress passed the joint resolution in March 1957, henceforth known as the Eisenhower Doctrine, conceding to the administration request that

      The president is authorized to…employ the armed forces of the United States as he deems necessary to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of any such nation or group of nations requesting such aid against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by International Communism.

      Interesting how the Dreadnaught Juggernaut of Imperial “policy” can be moved to the next generation by simply cutting and pasting a couple of words: do a global search and replace of International Communism” with your choice of “Russian Expansionism,” “Chinese Opportunism” and/or “Militant Islam Terrorism…” But “we have progress,” the rocks and clubs have been up-armored to AKs and Hiluxes with “heavy machine guns” and various flavors of guided antitank munitions. “Fortune passes everywhere…” (“POLICY” — how i HATE that smug fokking term, that lends a slick gloss of “intelligent legitimacy” and “centrality” to all those murderous, suicidal behaviors that are killing many now, and potentially the whole species and habitable planet — oh, we are so smart if we can intone “policy,” and think such deep, death-justifying thoughts behind the mantra…)

      Being “erudite” is how you get to stay connected to the Great Game…

      PS: One thing I really liked about “Syria Comment” of a few years ago was that Professor Landis essayed to create a huge and ever-growing aggregation of video from all “sides” of the GWOT war of all against all, lots of really gory and often hilarious segments from GoPros and helmet cams and cell cams and slickly produced propaganda pieces from Al Whatevertheycallthemselvestoday and Al Whatevertheyfractionoffintotomorrow and the various “governments.” For a person who looks for patterns and meaning in human behavior, this trove, cataloged by date and geography, was a real find. It’s since been taken down — apparently Landis sickened of war porn, or repetition, or futility, and as with so much on the ‘net, it was a great source of confirmation bias and a catalyst for ever greater “deviancy,” though given what i have seen of human behavior, NOTHING can be characterized as “deviant” any more. “We” do not have any kind of organizing principle for the 8 billion of us that has a prayer of leading to any kind of “betterment” (as ordinary people might understand the term) for all of us.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Would be great material for historians, and prosecutors in war crimes trials, as if that would ever happen. And of course all those people whose people are shown getting killed and killing and torturing and all that, will have lots of good stuff to keep the cycles of revenge alive…
          There’s a not-very-good book out there with a very good title: “Tribes With Flags.” One of the many features of us human critters’ behaviors…

    2. Jagger

      which is the real reason Freeman won’t even be considered for secretary of state.

      No, here is the real reason Freeman will never be secretary of state:

      Fate arrived in force in 2009, when President Obama named Freeman chairman of the National Intelligence Council. As Ray McGovern, your kindly neighborhood ex-spook and whistleblower, explained on the telephone the other day, “He held the post for six hours.” As reported at the time, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the infamous AIPAC, sank Freeman’s ship because of his clear-eyed view of the Israel–Palestine conflict.

      1. 3.14e-9

        I saw that in the interview before I posted this comment. It doesn’t contradict what I wrote; to the contrary, it’s just another way of saying the same thing. If Clinton’s foreign policy in the ME wasn’t based on unconditional support for Israel, someone on the wrong side of AIPAC might be considered, however briefly.

    3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      The forest, and the trees, I find people make the mistake of trying to find “policy justifications” down in the weeds (to mix a plant metaphor) of oil flows and competing ideologies. But do those make us go to war, or are they simply applied after the fact? The more instructive lens to look through IMO is money: Raytheon wants revenue, so they go to Hilary, Hilary hooks them up with her pals the Saudis. The Saudis write a ginormous check and get their anti-personnel cluster bombs, billionaire Raytheon shareholders get another zero added to their accounts in Panama, they instruct CNN to report on how “strategically important” it all is, and everybody’s happy. Except of course the Yemeni grandmothers and children who get their heads blown off.

      1. 3.14e-9

        I agree and mentioned in an earlier comment that the Saudis are the top importer of U.S. weapons. But a policy that what’s good for Raytheon is good for America still doesn’t explain the timing of the Soros “statement” (which I assume will be a letter to the editor, but who knows) or the rush to start a war with Russia before Clinton even takes office.

  10. Uahsenaa

    re: the Pew study on Latinx voters

    Here is where watching/reading even a little Spanish language media would be helpful. Not to mention to mention they never bothered to ponder why a national candidate who literally spewed racist bilge directly toward them didn’t really move the needle in terms of relative support. That alone is remarkable.

    One thing I noticed watching a bit of Telemundo (Enfoque?) while waiting for my sopes is that they were giving equal coverage to Trump’s and Clinton’s scandals. Trump’s sexist crap and Clinton’s email woes were given equal time, and the Russian hacker paranoia was not entertained even once. It was taken as given that the substance of the emails is true.

    Second, Latinxs are not all that fond of Obama. Immigration is not as big an issue as some might think, but the Obama administration has been even stricter in terms of immigration controls than Bush ever was. When Ramos asked the Dem. candidates about whether they would become the next deporter in chief, he was tapping into that latent anxiety in the broader Latinx community about the immigration situation has gotten much worse with a Democratic administration.

    In other words, running as Obama III likely hurts Clinton’s campaign as much as it helps.

  11. HBE

    Why women’s groups reacted different… article

    A perfect illustration of the irrationality of tribalism, and just another reminder that when a tribalist democrat espouses positive progressive policy, humanitarian rhetoric (and protests), or left sentiment. They only temporarily agree with those things and have no real loyalty to those ideals beyond using them as a club to beat the other tribe.

    Oh and it’s a disposable club, cause those ideals instantly evaporate when it comes time for that club to be used against their own tribe.

    Tribalists don’t have ideals they have parties.

    1. Tom_Doak

      I don’t think it’s just political. I think that from the beginning, many women identified with Hillary and her aspirations, and they knew if they evicted Bill from the tribe that she would have to go with him, so they rationalized letting him off. Whereas none of Mr. Trump’s wives have appealed to that large demographic of professional women, so they treat him differently.

      In the end, Hillary’s supporters have put up with her husband for the exact same reasons she did.

    2. Binky

      The difference is force vs. guile. Trump has to take it and rely on his fortune to smooth over his indiscretions. Trump depends on a clear differential in power and he is a bully in everything he does.

      Bill Clinton is not only smooth talker, he relies on guile and flattery. He is never the nephew of the assistant manager, he is the friend with benefits in the wings. Rainy day people for Gordon Lightfoot fans. His is a lawyerly approach.j

      It is my belief that many of Trump’s supporters are Lumpy Rutherfords looking for an Eddie Haskell to push them towards the darkness they really want in life; clear villains identifiable by skin tone, and toy people to push around and ficken. Clintonites are motivated by the perception of doing good, that they are on the high road. Clinton is a romantic secret in golden halo; Trump is a troll, prison rapist, the boss’ kid who gets away with literal murder and has it covered up. White wealth privilege and arrogance.

      1. pretzelattack

        so in foreign policy hillary is trump? you know, taking it by force (libya, syria, ukraine, iraq) and killing hundreds of thousands in the process? speaking of getting away with literal murder–surely you meant to refer to clinton there and not trump.

  12. cocomaan

    The cashless society nonsense sounds like a techno nightmare. Surveilance of transactions will be sold by banks to marketers.

    Get ready for the you must keep your eyes on this advertisement before you can make this digital purchase.

    As Graeber points out in his book on bureaucracy, unlike trying to sort out things in the digital sphere, with passwords and browser extensions and all that nonsense, have you ever gotten an incorrect amount of cash from an ATM? I haven’t.

    LONG LIVE THE KING, KING CASH!

    1. Katharine

      > have you ever gotten an incorrect amount of cash from an ATM? I haven’t.

      The people who have were welfare clients with EBT cards in Pennsylvania (and possibly other states) after welfare was turned into a block grant deal and states contracted with banks to handle it. The Progressive ran an article over twenty years ago (Robin Cook? I forget) detailing how legal aid lawyers in Philadelphia were swamped with cases of welfare clients who had attempted to withdraw $200 to pay major bills and gotten $20 and a receipt saying their accounts had been debited $200. When they called the 800 number they were told it could be straightened out in six weeks (!), but the lawyers said in their experience if there was no legal action it typically took much longer.

      It was Citibank, by the way, who had the contract, and because it was block-grant welfare it did not fall under normal bank regulation but under state law, and the state did not show much sign of interest in doing anything about it. It was one of the dirtiest deals I ever heard of, defrauding people who had so little already, destroying what little credit they may have had, subjecting them to late fees, maybe eviction, hunger–all the things that can follow when you don’t have money when you need it.

      1. Stephanie

        Something somewhat similar happened to me once when I attempted to make a deposit at an ATM (back when you could still do that). The equipment to to insert the deposit malfunctioned, so I cancelled the transaction. After trying a few more times (and cancelling the transaction each time), I gave up and decided to deposit the check manually after the weekend.

        Much to my surprise, I discovered after I made the deposit that my account was $2000 in the red. Every time I’d cancelled the deposit tranaction at the ATM, it had deducted the amount of the deposit from my account. I was not allowed to draw funds until after I had spoken on the phone with somebody from technical services, which I had to do outside at a pay-phone because the branch did not have an extension available for use. During that conversation I was told it would be a minimum of 48 hours until the money I’d had in the account prior to the deposit would be available to me, and possibly up to two weeks until I had access to the money I had attempted to deposit at the ATM. Amazingly, my absolute refusal to accept this, and the goodwill of the woman I was speaking to got me an “extension” from the bank so I could buy groceries. I don’t know what I would have done if rent had been due.

        I closed that account as soon as they allowed me to withdraw my own money.

    2. temporal

      A big advantage in a cashless society is the ability of the government, or it’s representatives, to simply cut off an offensive character from the ability to purchase anything. Even the most diehard radical or reactionary will quiet down when they can’t buy food or clean water for a few months.

      Real quiet.

      1. bob

        This line of thought is pure and simple nonsense. It’s not the gov that is fucking with most people- It’s the people/corps that buy off pols.

        I can think of many more “disputes” in personal, non-regulated (Hi paypal!) systems, than I can think of money disappearing from a checking account.

        The regulated systems have had some protections built in over time. Having trouble with paypal? Good luck.

        1. temporal

          The only cashless example I know of is block chain like Bitcoin. Plenty of people are still waiting for their lost bitcoins to end up back in their accounts. In a true cashless society bank oversight for transactions would have to be done by regulators and the final judgements made by law enforcement because they decide whether to pass the case on. The same people that currently benefit from forfeiture laws.

          As for examples of the government taking without effective recourse, I offer the aforementioned forfeiture law. All this only needs minor tweeking to work as described.

          Since I doubt there will ever be a cashless society, I know I don’t want to play, so this all remains a thought puzzle. Thinking that the government is completely comprised of people that have only the best of intentions is not a part of my experience.

        2. Vatch

          You’re both correct. The rich oligarchs and giant corporations have excessive influence over the government, but there are also powerful people in the government who are somewhat removed from the influence of oligarchs and corporations. These people constitute a significant portion of what C. Wright Mills called “The Power Elite”. Some of them can be influenced by outsiders with the promise of lucrative revolving door employment, but many are so many years away from leaving government employment that the possibility of the revolving door is essentially meaningless to them. These people are mostly military officers, high ranking civilians in the Defense Department, diplomats, and members of the vast espionage network of agencies. Their motivations often overlap with the rich individuals and giant corporations, but not always.

      2. clarky90

        This is from four years ago. The NWO (the mastodon in the room) DOES (today) use the cashless society to control our minds and our actions.

        WikiLeaks declares war on banking blockade
        Sunday 16th December, 23:00 GMT
        16 December 2012

        “the fight against the two-year-long extra-judicial financial embargo imposed on WikiLeaks by U.S. financial giants including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and the Bank of America…….

        Over the last two years the blockade has stopped 95 per cent of contributions to WikiLeaks, running primary cash reserves down from more than a million dollars in 2010 to under a thousand dollars, as of December 2012. Only an aggressive attack against the blockade will permit WikiLeaks to continue publishing through 2013.”

    3. Dave

      Don’t forget the profit harvesting from every transaction as a “service fee”.
      Those little Square credit card readers that hook to idiotPhones charge .50 cents for every transaction, including tiny transactions, like a pack of gum.
      Think of a business with a 4% profit margin. Someone pays with a credit card and the merchant gets back .96 cents on the dollar from the card company=zero profit.
      This is why the card companies advertise on low education media TV, trying to get prepaid credit cards into the hands of immigrants etc.

      I’m researching what percentage of the cards are lost or never redeemed, think of the profit in that. A restaurant owner confided to me that 5% of their gift cards are never redeemed.

      Get cash and support local small businesses with it.

      1. Pavel

        Hear, hear.

        And I’ve never understood why there has been such a surge of those “gift cards” in convenience and grocery stores and elsewhere — Google, iTunes, Amazon… everything you can think of. Obviously there is an added cost instead of just giving cash as a gift (jeez, imagine that!), and the recipient is locked into one kind of purchase. Or maybe I am wrong and they are actually good deals for the consumer?

  13. Chauncey Gardiner

    So appreciated the insightful article by Chas Freeman: “Candidate Clump”… absolutely the best:

    …”Candidate Clump is on the payroll of the Israel Lobby’s major donors, wants to isolate Iran, and loves sanctions and other forms of economic warfare more than trade and investment. Clump was for the invasion of Iraq before heshe was against it. Heshe is more interested in poking at the Middle East than in understanding it. Clump thinks terrorism is a function of theology rather than a violent response by misfits to humiliation and social marginalization. Heshe is convinced that bombing is the best antidote to what heshe imagines is a religious onslaught. Heshe is not fond of Egypt and wishes Saudi Arabia would go away. When elected, President Clump will give Israel whatever is must have to fend off political tantrums by it. In short, the next president will concentrate on keeping the lid on the explosive mess the last few presidents have made of the Middle East and America’s position in it, not on defusing or dismantling the mess.”

    Of course, this is 180 degrees from a road map to peace yet to be revealed by either candidate, but is most certainly consistent with the views of those who favor the balkanization of the M.E., chaos, massive destruction, continued loss and impairment of lives, and their never-ending “War is a racket”, as Gen. Butler said.

    Would that Chas Freeman’s ideas become policy and Freeman himself be appointed Secretary of State. Instead we’ll likely get another neocon, albeit one “Who is well regarded and well liked in Washington.”

  14. Pepe Aguglia

    And don’t forget a powerful fan!

    Nah, anyone who can afford such lavish accoutrements for they bathrooms, they shit don’t stink

    1. clinicall wasteman

      Then again, an electric fan that falls into the gilded bathtub is a single-use guillotine….

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Perhaps a servant could inhale the fouled air, hold their breath, then go outside and exhale. That’s less practical than a fan, but it’s certainly more fun. Of course, with just one servant the work would go pretty slowly, but… job creators!

    2. Antifa

      I’m quite sure there’s a utility bathroom across the hall for doing one’s daily ablutions. Trophy bathrooms like these shown in the article are utterly undone as a fashion statement by a single stray hair, some dried toothpaste on the edge of the sink, a brown streak under the toilet seat, a diaper pail in the corner, or the sour, dried remains of someone’s late night conversation with Ralph on the Big White Phone.

      There has to be someone on the payroll to clean the entire room after every use, or what’s the point of it?

      1. Skippy

        Butlers pantry’s are the latest… full kitchen through a door off the main show kitchen….

        Disheveled Marsupial… get with the times slow pokes….

  15. English-Fustian dictionary

    In his Capitol Hill speech, Freeman naturally has to adopt the official cognitive-dissonance fallback positions.

    First, the notion that polarization and faction are undercutting legitimacy. No, state failure is undercutting legitimacy. A few straggling simpletons still fall for the trick of blaming on the other party, but everybody hates the US state and wants a new one. State apparatchiks retreat to doublethink even when they look hard at the data: here’s a couple looking directly at the American consensus on state failure. They follow their nose toward universal disgust for this state, then at the last minute, turn away and blame it on polarization. Polarization was the wurlitzer’s excuse for popular revulsion in the 1960s, and it was absurd then. Factional conflict is synthetic, induced by media fixation on escalating partisan vilification; popular disgust with this criminal state is real.

    Freeman also ruminates on conflicting national interests, though chaotic Mideast war and widespread attacks on civilian populations are a cooperative project of three state intelligence apparats: CIA, Mossad, and Saudi intelligence. By conflating the state with the clandestine services and calling it a country, Freeman doesn’t have to think about the real conflict between clandestine services and the peoples they control with grave crimes. He can keep his mouth shut about the only new approach we need: root out the Mideast’s Charles Taylors in Langley, the Farm, Camp Swampy, No Man’s Island and the fusion centers.

    Forget Freeman. You don’t listen to Ri Su Yong on renewal of the Songun endeavor.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Everybody seems to know the answer to a question that seems totally obscure to me, despite a lot of looking around for decades now. Simple question, actually: “What the heck are “our national interests”?” Seven little words…

      But then it’s like “policy.” Anyone who matters, apparently knows what it all means…

      1. Medbh

        I have the same question about the word “growth.” I understand that resources run out, but people don’t. My impression is that the world economy will crash once we stop “growing” and producing more disposable toasters (or whatever).

        People have basic needs, but it seems like we have enough resources for the basics, if resources were shared and not hoarded. Why can’t we just have more farmers, musicians, caregivers, artists, etc. instead? Why does something have to be destroyed or used up for “growth?”

        I understand that endless growth is impossible from a material perspective, but not why that means current civilization is doomed to collapse. Our society has tons of needs, and most of them aren’t material. Why can’t that be the way our economy grows?

  16. temporal

    Recalling past days when three television channels delivered fact-based news that most people trusted, Obama said democracy require (sic) citizens to be able to sift through lies and distortions.

    “We are going to have to rebuild within this flow some sort of curating function that people agree to,” Obama said at an innovation conference in Pittsburgh.

    Because the current lack of trust in what is so clearly a massive overload of MSM propaganda can only be fixed if all non-approved sources of information are curated out. That silly Constitution, what were they thinking of?

    Obama 2.0 platform innovation meets the Constitution 2.0 platform now with even more innovation.

  17. tgs

    The ‘Russia Prepares for War’ piece is a sobering read, presenting the official Russian take on and response to current events. This is so especially in light of the complacent assumption of omnipotence, as Freeman puts it, of our leaders and their lackeys in the media.

    One particularly important point: Russia has moved advanced weapons systems to Syria and has announced to the world that there will be no more air attacks on the Syrian army without a response.

    1. oho

      The US hasn’t not fought against a true peer since 1945. Would be bloodbath (on both sides).

      Sheer idiocy from the Beltway chicken hawks.

      oh wait….What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?

      To Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the 1990s, on Bosnia, recounted in “Madam Secretary” (2003), p. 182

      1. JTMcPhee

        Russians have some experience with actual modern war on their own territory. And a resilience that USians mostly lack, along with our ignorant insouciance about what happens to the Mopery if the shooting actually starts. Guess what, my people? It ain’t gonna be “Call of Duty” with cheats and reset buttons.

        The genocide of the First Peoples, Sherman marching to the sea, Bull Run are our heritage. Russia remembers Stalingrad. Their generals are far more truly patriotic than our poufs with self-awarded medals and stars, and a lot more bloody-minded. There’s a reason the AK-47 is “the true weapon of mass destruction,” simple, robust, cheap. We are a jaded, faded empire, peopled by folks who don’t know how to pull together, who plot to steal water from across the continent so they can use 300 gallons of potable per day and think that is an “entitlement” and “right.”

        Wonder what happens when a couple of hundred millions of us are fighting over the rubble and having to figure out how to flush a slit trench and wipe without Quilted Toilet Paper… no insulin, no antibiotics, no Velveeta or Wonder Bread… will we be as driven to survive as the Russians reduced to eating their dead, to continue fighting the German armies? Who will our enemy be, then? We we get to loot and rape our way to the Imperial capital, to get a bit of our own back? Will we deserve the opportunity, even?

        1. clarky90

          I am certain that battalions of “Social Justice Warriors” will come to our aid, when the chips are down. They will down their iPads, strap on their tool belts, Med kits, Search and Rescue gear, and get to work. Love Trumps hate (sarc)

        2. BecauseTradition

          Great comment except for this:

          We [will?] we get to loot and rape our way to the Imperial capital, to get a bit of our own back?

          Huh? So rape is acceptable in wartime? How did the rape of a German female make up for the rape of a Russian female?

          Will we deserve the opportunity, even?

          Deserve the opportunity to rape?

          1. JTMcPhee

            Do you think I was offering rape and looting as a prescription and policy and eye-for-eye and politically-insensitive-incorrect recommendation? I’ve had a little personal experience with war, looked into the behavior quite a bit. I do not think taking about “rape as an acceptable behavior in war” will do a damn thing about what anomie mostly males, freed from delicate civilized (sic) constraints, will do and currently do and have always done.

            Deserve the opportunity to get some of our own back against the Imperial kleptocracy, was my question.

            Your cavil is noted. Back to the real world…

    2. HBE

      The point is also made about how while the US military spends so much more than Russia, that doesn’t translate into a fighting potential that matches the total spent.

      One F35 costs $100 million, one F16 costs $20 million and outperforms the F35 and F22. The US is spending vastly more and getting a much poorer systems in return, and that excludes all the base costs and other costly endeavors that don’t add or reduce actual fighting potential.

      So yes the US spends more than most of the rest of the world combined on our military, but the vast majority of it is poorly spent subsidies to the MIC.

      The US has deluded itself with the idea it has military supremacy, but it seems obvious our “all powerful military” is a brittle facade suited for R2P’ing developing countries (which it doesn’t even do well) and not much else. That would quickly crumble if we faced another advanced country (Russia).

      If the deluded psychopaths get their war with Russia they very likely, will be unpleasantly surprised how poorly their all powerful military fares against an enemy with even slight parity.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Agreed.

        The u, s. spends far more on “healthcare” per capita than any other nation on the planet and achieves, what, the 49th best results?

        It would seem pretty stupid at this point to judge military capability on the basis of dollars spent, and far more reliable to judge based on results. Which have been pretty dismal for the last 50 or so years.

        They can’t cover it up forever.

        1. craazyboy

          But, but…our MIC enjoys a higher standard of living than the rooskie MIC. Lots higher! The rooskie MIC only earns $55B USD (converted from roosbles – and that’s fake money anyway) whereas our MIC pulls down $550B in budgeted earnings, and also extra wartime “off-budget” income. Plus the new 1 trillion in nuke modernization, maintenance and R&D for some new really good nukes. The old ones could only blow up the Earth 300 times. Let’s put Moore’s Law to work here!

          Numbers don’t lie. We’re winning! And if we still lose the war, it’s because the budget wasn’t big enough! How’s that for covering your downside?

          1. JTMcPhee

            Some top British general (Kitteridge, maybe?) in 1916 was asked by a reporter (remember those) how come he was so sure that the Allies would defeat the Boche. His answer? “Because I have half a million more men under arms than he does.”

            What’s coming is not trench warfare of attrition. It’s a negative-sum game.

              1. JTMcPhee

                Only applies to the cannon fodder and mopes, who don’t have any say on the Game play, or a truly wise AI device like WOPR that apparently was initiated via the Four Laws of Robotics… our Betters are playing an entirely different game, indifferent to us mopes, one that confuses zero-sun and negative-sum…

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      That was more than a sobering read. It was a very frightening read. Trump’s ass-grabbing gets more discussion than Hillary’s emails … while the Russians read the riot act to us warning about how they view our ongoing and planned actions against them which receives little notice or discussion as we enter the last days before the presidential election. Preparing for a hurricane is one thing but I’m not sure how to prepare for what might come next as a consequence of the stupidity(?) arrogance(?) insanity(?) death urge(?) of our Power Elite.

      1. Antifa

        Reading that article was like hearing a door closing behind us. We aren’t going to go back the way we came.

        1. aab

          This has been echoing in my chest since I first read it earlier today. A devastating truth, elegantly expressed.

  18. Jim Haygood

    Lost my legal 420 virginity in cortez colorado

    I DON’T NEED NO DOCTOR

    Drive up is thru navajo lands

    Dine deejay spinning country … song about thank you vets

    Codetalking

    English … numbers, proper nouns

    Dine … verbs, adjectives, stuff like that

    MY DAD CALLED WITH SWEET NEWS IN SHIPROCK NEW MEXICO

    88 92 FM band all christian rock

    But waylon jennings sang to me thru the radio of a main st cafe

    WAYLON IS MY PERSONAL JESUS

    She’s 21

    Deep blues, butch haircut

    CEREBRAL NOT COUCHLOCK

    DO YOU WANT TO KEEP THESE ONE GRAM BOTTLES

    NAW, NAW

    Nam vet arriving in the parking lot

    Stickers on his truck

    NRA

    Keep public lands public

    What shocks is the utah plates

    Like my old southern home

    DEACONS AT THE WET COUNTY LINE

    1. diptherio

      Nam vet arriving in the parking lot

      Stickers on his truck

      NRA

      Keep public lands public

      This is what there is no room for in the mainstream, bi-polar view of politics. NRA is right, Public Lands is left….what is this guy? Answer: a human, with a whole bunch of idiosyncrasies, just like the rest of us — who is, in fact, little more than an amalgamation of these idiosyncrasies, just like the rest of us.

      They say, “if the shoe fits, wear it,” but what if the shoe doesn’t fit? What if the shoes we’re all being offered are all weird and boxy and made of concrete? Maybe we should start making our own shoes…or going barefoot in the grass like a damn-dirty, pot-smoking hippie!

  19. integer

    have been released. Only had a cursory look but here’s a few I found interesting for one reason or another:




    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      As Trump negative news recedes, hers continues to surge.

      Will the latter go exponential as we approach Nov. 8?

      “It goes asymptotic around that date,” as my high school math teacher used to say.

      1. Pavel

        Just imagine if Anonymous actually do drop the 33K “deleted” HRC emails as they threaten to do? It may just be a hoax of course but who knows…? Certainly the DNC, Podesta (he of the “Runner4567” password used in multiple accounts), Blumenthal et al haven’t demonstrated any real security chops. Why should HRC’s own basement server or cloud storage be different?

        They must be having some sleepless nights over at Clinton HQ. Meanwhile, Trump’s polling has gone down a bit but surely his remaining supporters (~40%) are pretty hardcore if they’ve lasted this long.

        1. ggm

          If it is Anonymous threatening, then I am skeptical.

          I do, however, believe that someone is in possession of the emails based on how sloppily the data was handled. People with access to the server had high levels of incompetence. A laptop containing the emails was lost in the mail. I believe a backup containing the emails was sent to the cloud at one time. Hillary’s server guy was asking for advice on altering the emails, while bragging about working for a VIP, and giving out his IP information. Those are just a few of the known security issues.

      2. Waldenpond

        Should mainstream propagandists have held their attacks? Could have continued to refuse to report on Clinton and then slammed Trump the last two weeks.

        Very challenging times for the propagandists. With internet, info flows fast (until the truthiers clamp down even more) versus MSM purposeful neglect. Then there is early voting paper ballots versus traditional timing and machines.

    2. allan

      Hahaha. From the desk of Cheryl Mills, Esq.:

      Can we switch HRC’s email and not tell Anne-Marie? Jeez, she emails her more than the three of us do.

      I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that Ms. Mills won’t be invited
      to the New America Foundation Christmas bash.

      1. integer

        That was actually written by Podesta. Mills responded: “Welcome to the world with ams! cdm”
        (ams is Anne-Marie Slaughter, for those who didnt look at the email)

        1. allan

          Here’s one blowing off an IBT reporter’s request for comment on Bill Clinton’s speaking fees.

          They’re back. I plan to ignore unless someone thinks we should?

          That’s always a winning strategy, especially in the long run.

  20. oho

    Let them eat lobster risotto!

    Who says that the Democratic Party establishment does reflect the working people of America?



  21. anon

    Apologies if this has already been posted

    According to WikiLeaks, Citigroup executives selected Obama’s Cabinet, in Oct 2008, one month BEFORE the election:

    “The most important revelation in the WikiLeaks dump of John Podesta’s emails has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. The messages go all the way back to 2008, when Podesta served as co-chair of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team.

    And a month before the election, the key staffing for that future administration was ALMOST ENTIRELY in place, revealing that some of the most crucial decisions an administration can make occur well before a vote has been cast.

    Michael Froman, who is now U.S. trade representative but at the time was an executive at Citigroup, wrote an email to Podesta on October 6, 2008, with the subject “Lists.” Froman used a Citigroup email address. He attached three documents: a list of women for top administration jobs, a list of non-white candidates, and a sample outline of 31 cabinet-level positions and who would fill them. “The lists will continue to grow,” Froman wrote to Podesta, “but these are the names to date that seem to be coming up as recommended by various sources for senior level jobs.”

    The cabinet list ended up being almost entirely on the money.

    1. TedWa

      When the hell did corporations get so far up our governments ass that they pick the cabinet positions??!! No wonder they make hero’s out of zero’s like Podesta, and Obama – they’re paid to. Chit

    2. PhilU

      I posted this a few days ago but it didn’t get much of a reaction.
      wallstreetonparade.com/2016/10/wikileaks-bombshell-emails-show-citigroup-had-major-role-in-shaping-and-staffing-obamas-first-term/

  22. diptherio

    Best campaign sign I’ve seen so far:

    Ann Collins
    Treasurer
    “I won’t steal”
    “and I know how to count”

  23. OIFVet

    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois will be the only insurer offering PPO health insurance plans on the state’s Obamacare exchange next year, according to information released Friday by the state Department of Insurance.

    But:

    This year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois stopped offering its broadest PPO plan for individuals on the exchange, instead offering a smaller PPO network that didn’t include popular academic medical centers at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago or hospital chain NorthShore University HealthSystem.

    “Smaller PPO network” is an HMO by any other name. Want the real deal?

    Options will be more plentiful for Illinois residents who buy individual insurance off the exchange, but people who buy off-exchange plans aren’t eligible for federal subsidies that offset insurance costs…Five insurers will offer off-exchange PPO plans next year in different parts of the state…Oftentimes, insurers are more inclined to offer plans off the exchange because they may believe they’ll get healthier customers, said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president for special initiatives at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

    So 0bamacare is the ghetto. Not that Lambert hasn’t pointed that out already. But as always, it ain’t cheap living in the ghetto:

    The information was released Friday along with final rates for insurance plans on the exchange, which on average, are largely the same as rates submitted to the federal government in August. Rates will increase by an average of 44 percent for the lowest-priced bronze plans, 45 percent for the lowest-priced silver plans and 55 percent for the lowest-priced gold plans.

    F*ck you 0bama and Democrat party.

    1. GF

      Here in our part of AZ, the same story:

      It seems insurance companies have to make a profit in each marketplace (county) or they take away the football.

      1. Pat

        When the ACA was originally written as the Dole Plan it was merely a distraction from the Clinton plan. When the Democrats decided to co-opt it and save the insurance companies with it, they apparently didn’t bother to really examine the real life national plan and determine the things that made it even remotely work in Switzerland. No instead, since it was being done for their benefit, they just let the insurance companies have their people dismantle that plan and rewrite it for America with a few bargaining changes along the way. Otherwise they would have realized that one of the things that make it work are two requirements for insurance companies: if you offer insurance at all you have to offer a base plan and that base plan is non-profit. IOW, along with an everyone opts in mandate for people there was an everyone opts in mandate for insurance companies.

        Anyone with half a brain would have known from the beginning that the only way to keep base aka bronze plans even remotely affordable was to make them non-profit even though affordable is distinctly remote, AND the only way to be sure that insurance companies did this was to require them to do it to be in business at all. But then I’m a fantasist who believes in unicorns and sparkly ponies, so what do I know.

  24. justanotherprogressive

    You can file this one under the My Mind is Totally Blown category.
    This is from one of Podesta’s latest emails releases where they are discussing whether they should take money from foreign agents for the Hillary Campaign.

    And their answer is……….

    1. Pat

      I surprised they even discussed it.

      Frankly they should make a poster of Hillary rolling around on a bed full of money and a line out the door of her “customers”.

    2. Buttinsky

      When Hillary Clinton Campaign Director of Communications Jennifer “Take the Money!!” Palmieri and campaign manager Robby Mook are deciding in April 2015 that the campaign doesn’t have to worry about no stinkin’ questions of propriety with regard to donations from lobbyists for foreigners who may also have links to the Clinton Foundation, one sees how completely (1) these operatives felt impervious to media scrutiny (either because of collusion with the media or simply because professionals Palmieri and Mook were confident in their own slickness) and (2) ethical decisions were slickly insulated from Hillary Clinton herself even as Clinton “ethics” dominated such decisions.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        It may be more serious than that….it appears that they are purposely trying to violate FEC rules on foreign donations.

        Wonder how much money they took from foreign governments because as they believe (Mark Elias): “It seems odd to say that someone who represents Alberta, Canada can’t give, but a lobbyist for Phillip Morris can.” It’s as though they believe anyone with money, including non-Americans, have some sort of “right” to buy their way into our politics….

        1. Buttinsky

          As I understand the relevant law, I think the difficult question to answer is, Did the foreign client of a lobbyist (who has many clients) give money to the lobbyist with the specific intention of having it passed along to the Hillary Clinton campaign?

          But, of course, the difficulty of answering that question is precisely what makes taking the money a serious ethical breach. It raises the specter of impropriety in and of itself. In and of itself it buys that lobbyist’s access to the candidate, plausibly in specific service to foreign clients.

          In any case, it seems clear from the emails that no one was raising a legal question about the donations — only that there might be a political price to pay for taking the donations… because they were unethical.

      2. montanamaven

        And (3) they were impervious to media scrutiny because the TV media hacks just want to talk about sex. Nothing icky about being in bed with Hilary, lobbyist wise, but very icky to be kissed on the mouth by The Donald. I recommend the movie “Idiocracy” for a picture of where we are now.

  25. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Saudi Arabia hires 10th lobby firm The Hill

    Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said that he spoke to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir last week, according to Bloomberg, and the Saudis are open to tweaking the law [Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act] with new legislation following the November elections.

    So the house of saud gave corker permission to “tweak” the law after the election. If we can just get qatar and israel to give their permission, he and the rest of our “elected representatives” can get to legislatin’.

    And it’s Trump who’s being accused of “undermining our democracy” with his claims that the “election” is “rigged.”

    1. Pavel

      Dems and MSM: It’s an OUTRAGE if Russia is interfering in the US elections!

      Israeli billionaires and the governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, et al give millions to HRC: Nothing to see here, move along.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Undermining democracy…

      A woman is as capable, as any man, of being a strong man.

      And again, a woman is as capable of ordering long knives as any man.

      And maintaining enemy lists.

    1. tony

      CNN: “It’s illegal to possess these stolen documents. … So everything you learn about this, you’re learning from us.”

  26. I Have Strange Dreams

    An interesting comment left on the Russia Insider article:

    “tomo stojanovic Tommy Jensen • 2 days ago
    you are right – I am a serb living in the US – westerners don’t seem to understand Russian mentality – they stupidly assume Russians are weak and because most Westerners often lack courage they assume everyone else does. As I read about Russia I understand how similar they are to Serbs. Americans don’t think deeply about anything – they have been trained to be that way and to blindly cheer-lead and shut up (also to turn the other cheek. to love their psychopathic enemy and to generally never eat from the Tree of Knowledge).
    This is generally very much a psychopath-supporting environment. Power and money are valued above anything else. Most people don’t know any other way – and they generally lack confidence and / or sense of self to do any exploring. They are generally very insecure people – probably the most insecure and mentally weak people I have ever seen anywhere- I think due to lack of any meaningful social interaction (it’s all superficial with a dash of mania- the caricature of happiness). A sad place really.”

    1. Montanamaven

      I saw the same comment and the one above it and have been thinking about it all day. The Russians and this Serb see us as soft and cowardly. But the Russians are like the people in those movies like “Braveheart” and in “Last of the Mohicans”. They are not afraid to die. And they have a sense of place. “A sad place, really”, he says about the US. In June Blue Collar Al wrote a beautiful piece here on the theft of the idea of the great melting pot. In it he mourned the death of the “Third Places”that Oldenberger talks about in his book “The Great Third Places” and is also talked about in “The Revolt of the Elites and the Death of Democracy” by Christopher Lasch. NYC was a bunch of neighborhoods with local “Cheers” type bars. I was so affected by the piece and the comments that I went out and bought and read both books. And then went in search of third places in the Upstate NY town I am living in part time. I found a “Cheers” bar two blocks from my house and have the opportunity after work to talk to contractors, county civil servants, TV directors, artists, chefs and exchange ideas. Those third places are not sad. But they are few and far between. NC is a virtual third place, but it can’t quite take the place of rubbing elbows with real people. That’s why I hope there are more meetups.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      That comment you cited seems sadly inexact and leads to precisely the kind or rationales the neocons prefer to “rationalize” their actions. War is not about courage or weakness or what sort of gonads one side or the other might have and nuclear war is about something beyond the mere killing of thousands or millions.

      Russia has an interest in protecting Russia and Russian interests. If we surround them with weapons, turn our promises into jokes, our diplomacy into stagecraft, embargo trade with them, block their ability to collect debts owed to them and then threaten their soldiers in a country far far away from our country but all to close to Russia and its interests that’s not about having brass ones here or there. Russia has no choice but to protect its own and our neocons have no justifiable reason or justification for what they are doing. They shame the integrity of the United States and threaten the American people with their lust for power.

      1. aab

        I’m migraining today, so maybe I’m missing something. But I don’t see how that comment contradicts your point. If we go to war against Russia, Russia will be fighting for its sovereignty and economic survival (I’m setting aside the nuclear issue for now, but presuming a part of this is the Saudi desire to build a pipeline through Syria to take the European market away from Russia.) Russia will be fighting for important things as a nation. “We” will be fighting for nothing as a nation. The enrichment of the global elite that is facilitated by its use of America’s military and fiat currency has no tangible value to the nation or its citizens; for the nation, it’s lose/lose (loss of people, resources, wasted opportunities, increased corruption, loss of international respect and power — because there is no way we win this — etc., etc.)

        That comment may be overgeneralizing in its brutal assessment of the American character, but I don’t get how it helps neocon rationalizations. It seems to be complementing your argument.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          The notions of weakness or lack or courage have no meaning when applied to nations and decisions of war. I believe U.S. forces are NOT WEAK nor are they lacking in COURAGE. i believe the Russian forces are NOT WEAK nor are they lacking in COURAGE. WEAK … lacking in COURAGE … have NO MEANING! WAR is not a question of courage or weakness — it is insane with today’s weapons … and NUCLEAR is beyond concepts of sanity.

          What you miss in my comment is my concern that questions of human sanity have been lost in questions related to the virility of nations to the brassiness of their nuts. We are talking about WAR — not some stupid bar fight!

  27. Alex morfesis

    Mutti merkel and the 4 (corporate) freedumbs which are the “core” of Europe…

    Guessing fdr has lost his ciggee holder with all that grave spinning…

    Gotta hand it to those krauts…they suppress the speaches of the little clown with his moose stash under the argument they dont want to spread hate…but perhaps the only hate that would spread is how almost to the t post ww2 germany has followed the expected template of the A-O….

    Reality…what a precept…

  28. tgs

    Well, well.

    After once again attacking Houthi targets along the coast, in spite of any evidence that the Houthis fired the missiles at them, officials are now saying they’re not even sure about the missiles, and are looking into the possibility that the USS Mason, which has claimed all the attacks, has a radar malfunction which is generating ghost signals.

  29. 8396

    You picture Manafort woolgathering in the wingback chair at UBCC saying “ABSCAM… [sigh] Good times.”

  30. ewmayer

    “How to achieve the bathroom of your dreams WaPo” —
    Q: What is the Versailles-on-the-Potomac version of a low-flush toilet?
    A: A couple of non-elite deplorables to shit on.

    1. JTMcPhee

      The real Versailles had no bathrooms. The place must have smelled like a subway or parking garage elevator. There were apparently quite a few “untouchables” (as per Indian caste structure) to clean the Blesseds’ crap and urine out of the corners and empty the chamber pots…

  31. allan

    File under An Unfortunate Narrative:

    [AP]

    FBI Director James Comey says the absence of reliable data about how often police use force is fueling a regrettable narrative about law enforcement.

    He says videos of fatal police encounters have contributed to a belief that “biased police are killing black men at epidemic rates.”

    Comey says that story line has formed in the absence of complete and reliable data about police use of force.

    He says that narrative unnecessarily divides the public and law enforcement, creating a “chasm” of mistrust. …

    1. RMO

      If only there were some nationwide government organization dedicated to the law and law enforcement issues that could compile accurate data on such things! But since Comey doesn’t have access to that sort of organization the poor guy is completely helpless in the face of the dastardly propaganda campaign by black Americans to portray the police as killers of black men by the fiendishly clever tactic of… recording the police murdering black men.

      I guess he’s too busy giving out preemptive immunity and closing his eyes, plugging his ears and singing loudly while evidence is being destroyed right now.

  32. Skippy

    The Supreme Court case which supposedly decided to corporations should be treated as human beings never did so, although the Supreme Court clerk who summarized decisions claimed that the court had made such a decision. Not Long ago Frank H. Easterbrook and Daniel R. Fischel, the former a federal judge as well as a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago School of Law, wrote:
    It is not true, however, that there is a legal duty to enforce every legal right
    …. Managers do not have an ethical duty to obey regulatory laws just because
    those laws exist. They must determine the importance of these laws. The
    penalties Congress names for disobedience are a measure of how much it
    wants firms to sacrifice in order to adhere to the rules: the idea of optimal
    sanctions is based on the supposition that managers not only may, but also
    should violate the rules when it is profitable to do so. [Easterbrook and
    Fischel 1982: 1171 and 1177 n]

    Richard Posner, another influential federal judge, who is also a
    prolific author and a senior lecturer at the same University of Chicago
    School of Law as Fischel, made a similar assertion (Posner 1986).
    When Milton Friedman, the University of Chicago colleague of
    these legal scholars, had proposed that the only responsibility that
    corporations have is the duty to maximize profits without taking any
    social concerns into consideration, within the bounds of the law, his
    position was controversial. A few decades later, federal judges, along with Milton Friedman, proposed that the obligation to earn profits overrides the law. – snip

  33. different clue

    In reading the article about “Sanders may win Vermont with write-ins even though he doesn’t want to win Vermont” . . . . I read the following interesting sentence.

    “Only Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Iowa and Oregon allow voters to write in anyone for president.”

    “Only”? ONLY!? How many electoral votes do those seven states contain? How many would need a
    write-in majority of votes for Sanders to deny them to Clinton? And for those people who would have voted Sanders but could never vote Green . . . and those people who could vote Green but NEver vote Sanders NOW ow ow ow . . . well then . . . if all the Greenists voted Green and all the Bitter Berners and Never-Hillaries wrote Sanders in, would those two sets of votes together add up to more than Clinton votes would add up to? Even if the Greenists and the Sanderists voting their separate ways couldn’t get Stein or Sanders elected in a particular “freedom of write-in” state, could they at least add up to deleting enough votes from Clinton so as to throw that state to Trump? Could they at least fuck up Clinton’s sweet little racket to that extent?

    Those seven states may be key to keeping the Clintons and their River of Sewage out of the White House for a Second Engagement.

    Read more here:

    1. TedWa

      That’s not quite true, I can write in and I’m in Washington state. I wonder however, can we all write in? That’s an important question.

      1. aab

        The real question is will your write-in vote be COUNTED. Most of the time, they’re either invalid (you can do it, but it’s pure theater) or not counted unless the total number of write-ins is more than the number between the two leading candidates.

        I strongly suspect — but cannot prove — that this OpDeny stuff is being assisted by the Democrats, because if Stein’s on the bubble of getting the Greens funding, peeling off just enough Sanders people to write-ins helps splinter and weaken the left. I have talked to some big OpDeny people online who don’t seem to understand that the incoming Congress won’t be packed with Berniecrats. It’s kind of sad. They’re misunderstanding pretty basic data, and you can’t get through to them because then you’re a Hillbot. They seem to really think that somehow conservative Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats will vote for Bernie in the House because reasons.

        Having said that, supposedly someone went ahead and made Bernie a viable write-in candidate in California. I’m not paying that much attention until it gets confirmed by the Secretary of State’s office. If it’s true, I’m tempted to do it. I was planning to vote Peace & Freedom unless Stein or Trump had a realistic shot at taking the state. (Note: I am cognizant of the fact that Padilla will create the necessary majority for Clinton regardless. I had been hoping the Republican Party would watch him and limit his ability to manipulate the votes; that seems unlikely now that Trump is at war with his own party.) It seems like the most instrumental use of my vote would be to vote for Stein at this point. But would I be tempted to write Bernie in if it would actually count, even knowing how useless that gesture would be? Yes. Yes, I would. I’m a human, not a logic machine.

        It would be cool if Vermont went for Bernie. But it was looking like it might go to Trump a while back. So it’s not clear to me that this would hurt Clinton. It might help her. Presuming, of course that any vote anywhere actually matters.

      2. different clue

        TedWa,

        I think the quote I ripped from the whole article may have lost a little of the meaning. What the article said is that those 7 states are the 7 states where write-in votes are actually COUNTED towards the candidate being written in, whether that person even wanted to be a candidate or not, or even knew he/she was being written in. THAT’S what was meant by “legal in 7 states.”

        So in those 7 states, people can write-in Sanders, and the vote-counters HAVE TO COUNT those write-in votes.

        The System will try very hard to disqualify every possible write-in vote. One of their methods will be to insist that the desired name can only be written in one very particular way. Any writing in of that name which departs from the one very particular recognized way will be discounted and dismissed. So if the Sanders movement wants to write Sanders in . . . in those 7 particular states where it HAS to be counted BY LAW, then the Sanders movement must make VERY SURE that they know exACTly HOW to write Sanders’s name, down to the very last particular.

        And why does this matter? Because if enough Sander-backers add their write-ins-for-Sanders to the Green Party efforts to get votes for Stein, the two groups together might subtract enough votes from Clinton to deny those states to Clinton. Ideally enough such states would throw the election into the House. But even if such states merely threw the election to Trump, that in itself would be enough to alert the East Coastal OverClass Axis of NY-DC that the natives are restless.
        And it would show the power of the Left to destroy the hopes and dreams of the Catfood Democrats. It would be the sort of demonstration of POWER that Ian Williams keeps pointing out is necessary and useful to attrit and degrade the target.

        1. aab

          The problem is that you have just demonstrated that if the goal is simply to deny a state to Clinton, voting Trump is the optimal choice, and voting for Stein is far more instrumentally effective than writing in Bernie. It will be easier to invalidate write-in votes than Green Party votes, and a lot of voters hearing about this do not understand that there are limited states where their write-in vote will count. You don’t need Bernie write-ins for the left to deny electoral college votes to Clinton, and a Bernie write-in won’t get a leftist party any funding. I understand that there are a LOT of Bernie voters who do not feel Jill Stein has earned their vote. But if you’re voting purely to block Clinton, doing a write-in is the least effective choice. Meanwhile, there may be people whose entire ballots will be invalidated in other states because they do a write-in, not understanding how their state will handle it. Which helps Clinton by reducing the overall number of votes, which makes the flipping and suppression easier to accomplish.

          Meanwhile, a lot of people are saying and believing that flipping a handful of states to Bernie and throwing the election to the House will result in BERNIE winning in the House, which is so unlikely as to be functionally impossible. They’re not promoting this merely as a way to block Clinton — which it might do — but to elect Bernie — which it won’t do.

          1. different clue

            Voting Trump would be the most optimal vote-against-Clinton. But there are many Never-Clinton people who will also NOT vote for Trump.EVer. So they would like to attrit Clinton’s vote totals but the most optimal choice – a vote FOR Trump- is a bridge too far . . . a bridge many people will NEver EVer cross. But they would like to do something more than nothing at all.

            Their weakest choice is to leave the President line blank, at least passively denying their vote to Clinton. Their midstrength choice is to vote for someone totally else. This at least gets a vote known and counted. The more Never-Hillump votes are known to exist, the more heart such people take from eachothers’ proven existence and quite possibly the more upset and confused the System Lords become.

            Now . . . some Never Hillumps will not vote Green. And other Never Hilllumps will never write in Sanders. In those 7 states where a write-in vote actually gets counted, the two different groups of Never Hillumps both get a chance to cast a mid-strength vote against Hillump. in their own separate-group ways. This allows for a greater number of people to actively deny Clinton their votes. So it seems to me that those 7 states could be the most eFFECtive targets of a Never Hillump and especially NEVER Hillary voting campaign.

            Defeating Hillary is a worth goal in itself. Sanders-elected-by-the-House would be just perfect. But even if we accept it will never happen, defeating Hillary is still a victory against the Hillarrhoid Forces. It will destabilize the Great Borg, and allow the populace to launch still more destabilizing brain-war attacks.

            People who think that theory has merit have a month to organize themselves to carry it out in the Seven Freedom-of-Write-In states. Those who support some other theory of action have a month to organize to carry out their theory of action.

            If different things are tried by different groups of people, something might work.

            1. aab

              I agree that defeating Hillary is a worthy goal in and of itself. My concern with the write-in campaign is that rather than denying a state to Hillary, it will merely deny funding to the Greens, while making it easier for Hillary to rig other states by having a lot of invalid write-ins tossed out.

              I interact with a lot of people on Twitter who desperately want change and do not understand or accept the realities of the system. We have Cfdtrade commenters not understanding that having the physical ability to write a name on a ballot does not mean that vote will count — and they are more informed than many of the people this initiative is targeting. There are people saying 50% of Berniecrats won their primaries, so Bernie can win in the House, ignoring that many — in fact, the majority — of those Berniecrat wins were NOT on the federal level and have no impact on the House; also, that those primary wins will not necessarily translate general election wins.

              No one has made a case that I have read that seems persuasive that this can work in any positive way. I wish it could. I don’t even see it working in Vermont, although I’d be happy to be wrong. I have family in the Northeast Kingdom which is a Bernie stronghold. It is also VERY poor. I really doubt many of those voters are politically engaged and/or online enough for this campaign to even reach them. I do not see Bernie taking Vermont without the Northeast Kingdom. So all this is likely to do is move protest votes there away from Trump and Stein to Bernie, handing the state to Clinton, when just a few weeks ago it looked like it might go Trump.

              I completely understand why it’s tempting. As I said, I will be sorely tempted if it turns out they really did qualify him for California. But I say that knowing that my vote will be performative and personal, whatever it is. With the very corrupt Padilla as Secretary of State, I presume not only will Clinton “win” the state, but Stein votes will probably be flipped/shredded/whited away.

  34. dcblogger

    The first point is that the “Trump Effect,” sadly, is not going away after the November election that will, we hope, bring this current ugliness to a merciful end. “The Trump Effect” is the rise of all the negative aspects of Trump’s personality in the American population, especially among young men and boys in our schools. Trump has provided entitlement for these to magnify their bullying, their stalking, their hateful talk, their demeaning of others, and their violence, including sexual violence. He’s a role model, all right, in the worst way, and a lot of victims are going to suffer as a result.

    1. marym

      Unless all the politicians, pundits, media, correctors of the record, etc. for whom this aspect of Trump’s personality and message is the suddenly the most urgent matter of the day don’t abandon the victims and the struggle after the election.

    2. aab

      This is dishonest propaganda. There is plenty of ugly bullying by Clinton supporters. Male Clinton supporters have physically attacked Bernie supporters, in some cases at public Democratic Party meetings. Someone firebombed a GOP office. Clinton represents and enthusiastically supports state violence at home and abroad, and the silencing of dissent. Her “team” regularly demeans and insults those who oppose them. Hillary Clinton has risen to power by facilitating a sexual predator, and by facilitating the murder and starvation of women and children.

      Our ruling class is violent and oppressive. Our citizens are deprived, desperate and angry. None of that is on Trump. None of what is going on is because of the effect of Trump’s “personality” on the population. The Trump effect is a result of Clintonian governance. If a victim is throwing a rock at their oppressor, it is neither the victim nor the rock who is fundamentally at fault.

      1. Ulysses

        “Our ruling class is violent and oppressive. Our citizens are deprived, desperate and angry.”

        Yes. The delusional kleptocrats think that they can placate the people they have abused, for so long, with pie-in-the-sky bs. Not gonna work.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The media (and public) narrative has been ‘it’s inexcusable.’

      The actual impact is falling poll numbers.

      Trump says it’s ‘false smear,’ not ‘I am proud of it and will do it again.

      They don’t add up to providing ‘entitlement,’ and young men and boys have been doing whatever they are doing since there were young men and boys, and thus, the problem is deeper than Trump.

      If I have to point to one factor, and we can argue whether that is correct or not, it”s the biological need to impress girls and women and to brag about it.

      To impress motivates aggression and leads to the desire for political/monetary/intellectual/religious power.

    4. pretzelattack

      how about the neocon effect, is that going away after the november election that will, we hope, bring this current ugliness to an end. cause hundreds of thousands, nay millions, have already died due to this ugliness, and we are looking at the very frightening prospect of a third world war.

  35. JCC

    A little late, but an interesting Michael Polan NYTimes article from last week on “Big Food”:

    A spokesman for the American Council on Science and Health, a chemical-industry front group, called the Obamas “organic limousine liberals,” warning that organic farming would lead to famine and calling on the first lady to use pesticides in her garden — evidently whether she needed them or not. The Mid-America CropLife Association wrote a letter to the president suggesting that, by planting an organic garden, his wife had unfairly impugned conventional agriculture. A minor skirmish, perhaps, but also a shot across the bow.

    1. different clue

      If First Lady Obama cared about these things, which she does not, not really; she could say her garden demonstrates how ordinary and even semi-poor people can grow their very own organic food just like the organic food the Organic Limousine Liberals have.

      She could accuse the American Council on Science and Health of implying that ordinary people are not GOOD enough to deSERVE organic limousine liberal food. She could say that as far as SHE is concerned . . . ordinary people ARE TOO good enough to deSERVE organic limousine liberal food. And then she could DARE the ACoSaH to come right out and SAY that ordinary people are NOT good enough to deSERVE organic limousine liberal food. DARE them to SAY it.

      That’s how you carry the battle to the heart of the enemy. But she won’t do it because she doesn’t care enough to do it. Oh, she “caares”. But she doesn’t really CARE care.

      Maybe someday I will get my very own computer. And then I will create my very own blog . . . the blog I wish First Lady Michelle Obama would have created based on her garden. I will call it My Obama Garden. It would be findable at ( which address I have suggested by registered and used by somebody or other year after year. And which I bet will STILL be unregistered by the time I ever get my own computer).

  36. ewmayer

    Mish piece from yesterday, “Tech Boom Downside: Not Enough Jobs?” (h tee tee pee ess slash slash mishtalk dot com slash 2016 slash 10 slash 15 slash tech-boom-downside-not-enough-jobs):

    Mish: “Technology advancement is price deflationary. It creates huge winners, but who does not benefit from faster computers, better phones, better monitors, better TVs?”

    I’ll tell you who does not benefit: The millions who cannot (at least not without going into debt) afford such products – nor much of anything else – because their jobs have disappeared to ‘progress’, or who are too busy juggling crappy ‘gig economy’ service jobs to have much time to enjoy all the wunnerful low-priced electronics made in Asia. Also, if one looks beyond e-gizmos, one finds plenty of areas where technological advancement has not delivered on its promise of ‘more for less’. For example, healthcare. (Unless by ‘more for less’ one means ‘spend more time and money for less healthcare’.)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Better phones to have more information what we can’t digest but can access from our smartphones now?

      Will better phones better connect you to your alien friends on Mars?

      ET, phone home.

  37. ewmayer

    p.s. to my Mish comment: Another “who does not benefit” — To an appallingly large degree, the Asian sweatshop workers who manufacture all the marvelous price-deflated goodies do not share in the wealth they create. That is of course the whole point of the wage and environmental-rules arbitrage enabled by manufacturing and supply-chain globalization.

  38. Jeremy Grimm

    I would enjoy the use of a means to share strange images I construct using various tools. I know I can post via other apps but still images are too easy for embedding critters. It would be nice to have a critter-free to post images. I greatly enjoy crafting images for political purposes and wouldn’t trust most other sources without some kind of critter-check-critter-free sharing area.

    For grins and giggles and Huh! response I have embedded an image I crafted: /home/joe/Desktop/JoinTheMovementMergedDown.png

  39. BecauseTradition

    A bank deposit, however, grants custody of money to the bank. An account balance is not actually money, but a claim on money. from

    It’s not really a voluntary grant given the lack of a Postal Savings Service or equivalent for the risk-free storage of and transactions with fiat.

    The abolition of physical fiat will make it abundantly clear that citizens are enslaved to a government privileged usury cartel – so there’s that to be said for it.

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