2:00PM Water Cooler 11/3/2016

By Lambert Strether of .

2016

Days until: 4. Now you can count the days on the fingers of one hand!

Corruption

“Hillary Clinton Economic Team Planned Secret Meeting With Wall Street Mogul Pushing To Shift Retiree Savings To Financial Firms” [David Sirota, ]. And Sirota is a busy lad–

“How Donald Trump Used Fine Print To Make It Harder To Sue Wall Street For Fraud” [David Sirota, ]. In Links this morning, but amplifying:

According to hundreds of pages of court documents reviewed by International Business Times, Trump notched a victory for himself and the financial industry by convincing judges that his own fine print warnings meant he had not deceived investors when he lured them to bet — and ultimately lose — hundreds of millions of dollars on one of his riskiest development projects. The real estate mogul known for his litigiousness helped Corporate America secure a ruling making it harder for investors to file lawsuits. Unlike his other past business moves that appeared to affect only Trump’s business partners, vendors and customers, this Trump case helped set a court precedent that was soon codified into law.

Trump, in essence, argued “it’s my nature”:

Trump did not explicitly challenge the plaintiffs’ allegations that his prospectus contained misleading or inaccurate information. Instead, his lawyer argued that “the cautionary language in this prospectus was so complete, so repetitive, so obvious and so well designed” that it could not have misled investors. The court concurred.

“Let’s set aside Hillary Clinton as an individual and consider her as the perfection of a corrupt political system. As I noted yesterday, Politics As Usual Is Dead, and Hillary Clinton is the ultimate product of the political system that is disintegrating before our eyes” []. “All the Clintons did is assemble the parts more effectively than anyone else. Now that the machine has scooped up hundreds of millions of dollars in ‘contributions’ and other loot, vested interests and corrupted loyalists within the federal government will do anything to protect the machine and its vast flow of funds.” Which is why Clinton’s public promises on policy are meaningless; we don’t know who her silent partners are. And that ties rather neatly into her incrementalism, which she frames as “I don’t want to promise what I can’t deliver” (but to whom were the promises really made?) More: “Cobble together a multi-million dollar private foundation, millions of dollars in speaking fees from big-money contributors, conflicts of interest, the secrecy of private email servers, pay-to-play schemes and corrupted loyalists planted in the Department of Justice, and the inevitable result is a politics as usual money-harvesting machine that lays waste to the nation, supporters and critics alike.”

The Voters

“The Daily 202: College-educated white women are Hillary Clinton’s firewall” []. “If the Republican nominee was anywhere close to Romney’s 52 percent support level among this traditionally Republican-leaning constituency, he would likely win the election.” From what I read on the Twitter — admittedly an idiosyncratic sample — Clinton’s previous firewall feels like she used and abandoned them. So…

“The End of Black-Checking for Hillary” []. “Michelle Alexander [author of The New Jim Crow went on MSNBC with Chris Hayes to discuss her concerns about the Clintons. She spoke her truth, our truth. Many in America turned on her. They lined up to tell her she was wrong about the very same things we applauded just a year ago.” Predictably, the Democrat nomenklatura went nuts. One Kossack:

And now Michelle Alexander comes to lecture other black folks abt voting for Hillary. Ugh what an awful show from Hayes tonight. Just awful.

— Armando (@armandodkos)

(I think “black folks” is a particularly nice touch.) The writer concludes: “Throwing Michelle Alexander to the wolves to defend the Clintons, of all couples, was far too much for me.”

“Black voters sue North Carolina over last-minute purges” []. In a last-minute lawsuit. As I keep saying, if the Democrats saw voter registration as a core party function, we wouldn’t be seeing shenanigains like this in the first place.

“Identity and the Election: How Groups of Voters Have Changed Their Minds” []. Here is a breakdown of Clinton’s margin before and after the Comey bombshell:

identity

Clinton support among white college voters increased the most. I suppose they actually bought the idea that Comey, like Trump, is a Russian agent of influence? Who are the “stupid” voters now, pray tell?

Policy

“Memo to the Next President: Avoid the ‘Vision Thing’ in the Mideast” []. Internal disagreements in The Blob! And looks pretty good compared to crazypants neo-con adventurism (or Clinton’s debacle in Libya).

“Marijuana ballot initiatives 2016: Five more states may make pot legal” []. “The vote to watch is in California, where polls suggest the “Adult Use of Marijuana” referendum has a substantial lead.” I just hope marijuana doesn’t go corporate…

“Younger voters overwhelmingly favor marijuana measure, which is likely to pass, poll finds” [].

Downballot

“Democrats have a good chance to take control of the Senate just two years after losing it. A friendly map with seven Republican-held seats in states President Obama won has opened the door, and now Republicans are hoping Donald Trump doesn’t drag them down in the many tough states they have to defend” []. Thing is, if you look at the chart, “50” is smack dab in middle of “toss-up.” , with 46 Democrats, 46 Republicans, and 8 toss-ups. These are RCP’s toss-ups: PA: Toomey (R), IN: Open (R), WI: Johnson (R), NV: Open (D), MO: Blunt (R), NH: Ayotte (R), FL: Rubio (R), NC: Burr (R). Note that WI, NH, FL, and NC are swing states, too!

The Trail

“‘We’ve got to be nice and cool, nice and calm. All right, stay on point Donald, stay on point,’ Trump said in Pensacola, Fla” []. “‘No sidetracks, Donald. Nice and easy,’ Trump said.” So Conway is doing her job.

“Put another way, as Clinton has focused her time and money primarily on swing and Republican-leaning states, the question looming over her campaign is whether she has left herself open to a flanking maneuver from Trump in any of the seemingly safe Democratic states that he is now targeting—key among them Colorado, Michigan, and Wisconsin” [Ron Brownstein, ]. “Clinton and her allies are responding with a new wave of advertising and more surrogate appearances in those blue-leaning states, and most dramatically, a visit by Clinton herself to Detroit on Friday. But overall they see Trump’s late push into these Democratic-leaning places as a sign of weakness, not strength—an admission that at this late date he needs new options for reaching an Electoral College majority because he cannot feel secure of capturing enough of the states both sides consider true battlegrounds.”

“A tightening race nationally has also translated into tightening at the state level. States that were trending Trump’s way in September started to slip away from him in early October. Now, with the focus more on Clinton’s emails than on Trump’s debate performances or his Twitter spats, states like Iowa and Ohio are moving back in Trump’s direction” []. Republicans “coming home.”

“Two things to look for in the exits: First, how is Mr. Trump doing among white voters? His strategy requires grabbing a higher percentage of whites than Mitt Romney’s 59% and boosting their share of the turnout above 2012’s 72%. College-educated whites traditionally vote Republican, but Mr. Trump has struggled with them. Will he match Mr. Romney’s 51% among all college grads?” [Karl Rove, , “What to Watch for on Election Night”]. “Second, how is Mrs. Clinton doing among minorities and millennials? Her strategy calls for replicating President Obama’s 2012 coalition. That year African-Americans were 13% of turnout, and 93% went for Mr. Obama; Hispanics were 10% of turnout, and 71% voted for him; and millennials were 19% of turnout, 60% of whom supported the president.”

“Only voters in six states: Connecticut, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are allowed to void their early or absentee ballots and cast a new vote” [].

Democrat Email Hairball

“Here’s the updated list of all Podesta docs published by @WikiLeaks that have been proven, or claimed, to be fake” [].

greenwald

Stats Watch

Big stats day today! Incidentally, I quote Econoday first, but — and this is one Maine bear’s purely subjective opinion — the tone of the Econoday blurbs is noticeably happier than other commentary. I wouldn’t go so far as to say “happy talk,” but…

Productivity and Costs, Q3 2016: “Productivity has burst out of its slump, rising at a better-than-expected annualized pace of 3.1 percent in the third quarter” []. “The third-quarter breakdown shows a surge in output, more than doubling to a 3.4 percent growth rate at the same time that growth in hours worked slowed sharply, to a 0.3 percent rate vs the second-quarter’s 1.7 percent. Greater efficiency between output and hours worked holds down labor costs which rose only 0.3 percent which is much better than expectations.” And: “The driving force for third-quarter productivity was a surge in output coupled by the lower labor cost gain” []. But: “Although many times the data is significantly revised between releases – it did not happen in this release. But IF I believed this data, costs are rising significantly whilst productivity is in the toilet (as I only look at year-over-year data – the headline compounding distorts the view)” []. “If data is analyzed in year-over-year fashion, non-farm business productivity was unchanged year-over-year, and unit labor costs were up 2.3 % year-over-year. Bottom line: the year-over-year data is saying that costs are rising faster than productivity.” And but: “[T]he broader trend remains consistent with a decade-long decline” [, “U.S. Productivity Jumps in Third Quarter, Trend Remains Soft”].

Jobless Claims, week of October 29, 2016: “[H]olding at or near record lows” []. “[S]trength in the labor market and suggest that employers are holding tightly onto their employees.” Or jobless claims are hard to file and/or people are terrified of leaving. But: “The trend of the 4 week moving average is continuing to marginally worsened – and catch up to the rolling averages of a year ago – and this trend historically indicates a weakening GDP” [].

Challenger Job-Cut Report, October 2016: “Challenger’s October layoff count is low,” and lower than the third quarter average []. “[A] positive signal for tomorrow’s employment report.”

Factory Orders, September 2016: “Good news is hard to find in the September factory orders report which is best described as flat” []. And: “[T]he data in this series is noisy so I would rely on the unadjusted 3 month rolling averages which say there was a moderate improvement this month – but this series remains in contraction year-over-year” [].

Gallup Good Jobs Rate, October 2016: Up, in a typical seasonal pattern, and “higher than any GGJ rate recorded for the month of October since Gallup began tracking this measure in 2010” []. “The percentage of U.S. adults who participated in the workforce in October in any capacity — by working full time, working part time or not working but actively seeking and being available for work — was 68.4 percent, up almost a full percentage point from 67.5 percent in September.”

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index, October 2016: “Much of the ISM non-manufacturing report, at a composite of 54.8, is strong with employment, however, an exception,” []. “Employment growth may be down, but this report, like the services PMI earlier this morning, is pointing to a solid fourth-quarter start for the bulk of the economy.” But: ” This was below the consensus forecast of 56.1, and suggests slower expansion in October than in September” []. And but: “New orders were solid at 57.7 in October, but while they were above the net reading they were still down from September’s 60.6 reading” []. “Business activity was the same reading at a strong 57.7. But like the new orders component, the net business activity was slower growth than what was seen in September.”

Purchasing Managers’ Index Service Index, October 2016 (final): “Growth in the nation’s service sector accelerated sharply in October based on Markit Economics’ U.S. sample” []. “Strength in consumer spending is what respondents reported as well as a rise in both input costs and selling prices. New orders are at an 11-month high as is business activity while year-ahead expectations are at their best level in a year-and-a-half. Backlogs are also piling up. This report points to a very solid fourth-quarter start for the bulk of the economy.”

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, October 20, 2016: “The sharp gain in the prior week was no fluke for the consumer comfort index which, unlike other readings on confidence, has been picking up steam going into next week’s presidential election” [].

Chain Store Sales, October 2016: “Chain stores are reporting mixed sales in October, results that offer little guidance for monthly change in core retail sales (ex-food ex-gas)” [].

Shipping: “Top North America TEU negative performance worsened through September” [James Sands, ]. “The marginal decline was impacted by top ten North America seaport laden imports, while laden exports improved. The Hanjin bankruptcy impacted seaports broadly, most notably the Port of Long Beach. Class I rail container traffic has continued to mirror these trends with mixed results.”

Shipping: “[Freignt forwarder] Panalpina has reported signs of an earlier-than-normal start to the end-of-year peak season in air freight partly as a result of the disruption to supply chains caused by the collapse of Korean container carrier Hanjin Shipping []. “‘Obviously, not all of the Hanjin ships have arrived at port and there is cargo meant to reach stores for Christmas is still ‘floating’,’ said CEO Stefan Karlen. ‘So some customers are getting concerned and because of that switching containers to air freight, and that’s where the pick-up (in demand) is coming from.'”

Shipping: “With the ocean cargo sector effectively going from 4 alliances to 3, when the Ocean Alliance takes effect in April 2017, the further concentration should enable the alliances, within themselves, to better control capacity as a means to improving revenue” []. One thing cartels are for…

Shipping: “We will behave ourselves, say Ocean Alliance members” []. “Ocean Alliance members have vowed to be more disciplined in the area of new tonnage in an effort to tackle the overcapacity that has depressed the container shipping market.”

Shipping: “Dire safety conditions revealed in wake of Gadani fire as death toll feared to surpass 100” []. “A fire, which has now killed at least 21 people, is still raging at Pakistan’s Gadani ship recycling area with fears the eventual death toll could hit triple figures. An explosion occurred on Tuesday as a welder worked on a gas cylinder in a beached oil tanker. The explosion rapidly became an inferno with many workers trapped in the ship.” That is like a war, isn’t it? From John Keegan’s description, in The Price of Admiralty, of (“the last major battle fought primarily by battleships in world history”):

jutland

Although not a war between states:

Nasir Mansoor, deputy-general secretary of the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), hit out at the absence of safety procedures at Gadani yesterday, saying the Indonesian ship’s tanks had not been cleaned ahead of the scrapping starting. Moreover, Mansoor alleged the yard had just one ambulance, which was being actually used for transporting the officials’ children to and from school. Mansoor said a total of 250 workers were working on the tanker when the explosion occurred.

“We demand that a murder case be registered right away against the Ship Breakers’ Association,” he said, calling for Rs3m compensation for each of the dead victims’ families.

Of course, given the givens, the explosion and the deaths follow from as the night the day. And it’s not as if the conditions at Gadani weren’t common knowledge among elites. I remember reading this article in in 2014, and here’s an image from it:

main_900

So, in the beached tanker, ka-boom! Whenever you hear the word “accident,” think to yourself: “What do you mean, ‘accident’?” Oh, and there’s this little detail:

The floating oil production tanker, ACES (IMO # 8021830), was sold to the Gadani shipbreaker by Jakarta-based PT Sinar Mentari Prima and was used in the Jabung Batanghari terminal owned by the Indonesian government company BPMIGAS and operated by PetroChina. The change of flag and name of the ship happened just weeks before it reached the beach of Gadani, which strongly point towards the use of a cash buyer for the sale of the end-of-life vessel.

Hmm. An unnamed “cash buyer.” Seems like Richard Smith territory…

Rail: “U.S. rail traffic slump continued in October” []. “U.S. railroads logged a 3.2 percent decrease in carload and intermodal traffic last month compared with October 2015, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday… Excluding coal, carloads fell 3.8 percent last month compared with a year ago.”

Commodities: “Cobalt is the element found within lithium-ion batteries that allows them to generate more power over a longer time-period than normal batteries and it has already powered a consumer tech revolution over the last decade. It is the catalyst for the imminent commercialisation of electric cars, the reason your smartphone doesn’t need charging every half hour, and the reason you can read your kindle cable free during that long plane journey” []. “But cobalt raises several compliance challenges. it is overwhelmingly found in one country — the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Around 60% of global supply of cobalt comes from the DRC. Cobalt doesn’t currently fall under the SEC’s Dodd-Frank section 1502 covering conflict minerals and there is no specific compliance regulations attached to the sourcing of the mineral. But the lack of scrutiny by regulators seems likely to change in the near future as demand for cobalt and understanding of its sourcing increases.”

ETFs: “This Year’s Most Innovative New ETFs” [ETFs.com]. “Innovative”? Uh-oh…. “Some of this year’s most innovative exchange-traded funds are ones that look at gender diversity as a way to boost corporate performance, generic drugs and even using crowdsourcing to make bets on which stocks will outperform from month to month.” Seems frothy.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 17 Fear (previous close: 18, Fear) []. One week ago: 46 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 3 at 11:31am. Still waiting for single digits.

Gaia

“Michael Pollan Explains Why Psychedelic Drugs Are the Ultimate Meal for Your Mind” []. News you can use!

Imperial Collapse Watch

“Today’s understanding of the British Empire has been shaped by state secrecy and the destruction of historical records” []. “There was no moment of reckoning — unless you dig a little deeper, it appears if Britain simply handed official control over the governance of its colonies to locals. As a result, not only does British imperialism receive exaltation and eulogy, but the postcolonial melancholia that afflicts public political culture is premised on the idea it was built on virtue and the diligence, strength, and courage of British people.”

Class Warfare

“‘I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK'” []. Here’s the British variant of the Acela-rider’s “Trump voters are stupid” meme:

Shortly after the referendum, a meme began to trend. Following the Leave vote there had been a spike in people googling ‘What is the EU?’. Many Remainers took this to be proof of the ignorance of those voting Leave. In fact fewer than 1000 people googled ‘What is the EU?’ and there was no evidence that that a single person who had googled the question had voted Leave. Yet supporters of the EU continued to propagate this as evidence of the ignorance of Leave voters. If it was evidence of anything it was, perhaps, that an education is no insurance against cognitive bias, no protection against a willingness to be swayed by one’s prejudices, no shield against a tendency to jump to conclusions not warranted by the facts.

Well worth a read.

Handy chart:

Relative change in the costs of products in the US (2005 to 2014).
(Source )

— Max Roser (@MaxCRoser)

Hmm…

News of the Wired

“The Meaning of the Bones” []. On dead white make, Shakespeare. Unclear where to file this, but well worth a read. (“Shakespeare was being acted off the Swahili coast even as Shakespeare was still alive and writing plays.”)

“This Blue Alien Planet Is Not At All Earth-Like” []. “[S]cientists think the rain on this world is made not of water, but of molten glass.”

“Researchers report in a paper to be made public on Thursday that they have uncovered a flaw in a wireless technology that is often included in smart home devices like lights, switches, locks, thermostats and many of the components of the much-ballyhooed ‘smart home’ of the future” []. “The researchers focused on the Philips Hue smart light bulb and found that the wireless flaw could allow hackers to take control of the light bulbs… That may not sound like a big deal. But imagine thousands or even hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices in close proximity. Malware created by hackers could be spread like a pathogen among the devices by compromising just one of them…. And they wouldn’t have to have direct access to the devices to infect them: The researchers were able to spread infection in a network inside a building by driving a car 229 feet away.” “Dumb” means sane.

And congratulations again, Cubs fans!

Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs. No congrats to Rahm Emanuel.

— Jacobin (@jacobinmag)

* * *

Readers, feel free to me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (MF):

poppies

MF writes: “Have been wanting to send these poppies from my father’s garden in Central Europe.” Poppies are hard to photograph. Why, it’s almost as if they’d been designed to catch the slightest breeze!

Readers, Water Cooler is a standalone entity, not supported by the very successful Cfdtrade fundraiser just past. Now, I understand you may feel tapped out, but when and if you are able, please use the dropdown to choose your contribution, and then click the hat! Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. Water Cooler will not exist without your continued help.

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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.

189 comments

    1. Stelios Theoharidis

      I have a question for the finance folks in here. If Trump borrowed a significant portion of his project finance capital from Russian lenders, would it be likely that his creditors would have any mechanisms in place to hedge against the downturn in the Russian economy due to sanctions. Would interest rates be like a LIBOR+ or could they be CBR+? Would they have any mechanisms pressure Trump financially, if their own solvency was at issue or if his projects weren’t performing, like options to call the loans back, or ask for full repayment? Or would it generally be a toss up based on how the loan agreements were structured? In general, does his exposure to Russian loans increase his vulnerability if sanctions against the Russian state continue?

    2. Anne

      I had that EXACT same reaction, except I rolled my eyes, too. Nothing quite so amusing as someone trying the be the smartest person in the room. And failing.

  1. jo6pac

    Poppies? They look like the ones Amerikas troops protect in Afghanistan;-)

    4 days, just how many days is that in politics world?

    Time for a nap.

  2. craazyman

    You can actually count to 20 on one hand.

    beginning with your thumb, count to 5, then you’re little finger is “5”
    start with your thumb and count to 4, then your second finger is “4” — that’s 4 + 5 = 9
    start with your thumb and count to 3, then your third finger is “3” — that’s 9+3 = 12
    start with your thumb and count to 2, then your fourth fnger is “2” — that’s 14
    start with your thumb and count to 1, that’s 15 with all fingers and thumb outstretched

    if you want to get clever you can close your fist, that’s 16

    a 4 finger fist is 17
    a 3 finger fist is 18
    a 2 finger fist is 19
    an open hand/palm is 20

    you can count to 40 on two hands this way — if you can remember what’s what

    of course you can even count higher if you want to get more creative

    it’s easier to use two hands to 10 and then a calculator for numbers higher than 10

      1. Mjc

        Actually using binary code where each finger is valued as 2 raised to a different power will get you to 31 on one hand and 1,023 with two hands. 2^0 +2^1 … 2^9=1023

    1. JustAnObserver

      Or you could just use them as binary & count to 2**5-1 = 31 on one hand or 1023 using both.

      Crazy isn’t it.

      1. craazyman

        If somebody can do that they’re probably smart enough to build their own computer that counts to a million.

        Either that or get 100 friends.

        That’s pretty funny — getting 100 people together to count to 1 million using their hands. Wow. That could go into the Guiness Book of World records as the biggest waste of time ever in history!

        Of course, when the billionaires get to Mars, that will be the indisputable new world record moment in humanity’s wasting of time contest. hahahahah

        1. JeffC

          Counting to a million only takes two people. One counts 0 to 1023 over and over, and the other counts how many times that first count has “rolled the odometer” over to zero. Between the two people (or one person with talented toes), counting from 0 to 1,048,575 is no problem.

      1. different clue

        Pardon my picky-poo pedantry, but . . .

        Would that read better as ” I have no hand . . . and I must vote!” . . .
        taken from ” I have no mouth . . . and I must scream!” ?

    2. reslez

      Some cultures count to 12 on one hand by counting the bones or joints of each finger.

      Fingertips of four fingers: 1 2 3 4
      Middle bones of four fingers: 5 6 7 8
      Lower bones of four fingers: 9 10 11 12

        1. Optimader

          Ha!
          Mark to Market. A quaint anachronism allowed to quietly go extinct that is not spoken of in polite company anymore Sir!

  3. diptherio

    Remember: set, setting and dosage. Have a good mental state of mind, make sure you are in a safe physical space, and take the appropriate amount. Also, ritualize it in some way that feels appropriate to you. Also, do a little study beforehand — read some trip reports so you know what to expect. Also, don’t worry, you will come back down ;-) Safe travels*.

    *This comment should not be taken as an encouragement to consume illegal substances. Drugs are bad! See your local Pharmacist for a list of drugs approved by the State.

    1. ambrit

      We already have medicinal mushrooms for prosaic physical ailments. Now the Psychotropic mushrooms can be classified as mental health ‘supplements.’
      After all, the newly synthesized compound LSD was used in ‘official’ psychology at the beginning.

      1. UserFriendly

        Someone I know says that hallucinogens can be very helpful in kicking addiction and ketamine can be very helpful for deep depression. Someone…

    2. polecat

      I say give All of CONgress tabs ….. and then lock them in chambers … and then watch the sparks … not fly!

      ..that ought to prove to us of their uselessness ! …. ‘;]

  4. Timmy

    ETFs: “This Year’s Most Innovative New ETFs” [ETFs.com]. “Innovative”? Uh-oh…

    Here’s one way to think about the launch of these new ETF’s….

    Imagine an investment firm that starts nine investment newsletters forecasting the general direction of stocks. Each will operate for three years and each will predict market outcomes on one of nine predetermined market paths across the three years (simplified: “bull, bull, bull; or bear, bull, bear”, etc.). At the end of the three years, one of the newsletters is guaranteed to have perfectly called the sequence of bull and bear markets over three years. A winner! And, as we know, assets will flow to the winner. The losers will be euthanized. (This is a known, and illegal, scheme)

    Many (not all, but many) of these new ETF’s are nothing more than one of those newsletters operating on one of those nine paths. No one knows if they will work in advance. But the random turn of political and market events will make one or two of those ETF’s big winners and the asset flows will reward the folks that guessed correctly. The others will be euthanized.

    1. Synoia

      The major qualifying questions for EFTs is:

      1. Who supplied your Chrystal balls?
      2. How big are your Chrystal Balls?

      Question 2 is relevant, because one wants to know how many can peek into the Chrystal Balls at the simultaneously (ass-ess the competition).

      No one knows if they will work in advance. True.

      And there is always an expert, indistinguishable from the crowd at the start, who proclaims they were correct all along, ignoring the crowd minus 1 who were wrong.

    2. MyLessPrimeBeef

      Can a politician incorporate him/herself and let the Little People profit by investing in an ETF set up to track the worth of that politician-corporate-personhood?

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Makes me wonder — tinfoil hat alert — if the pollsters have formed a cartel and used this method.

      Does this “known, and illegal, scheme” have a name?

      1. ambrit

        For the ‘pollsters’ to form a cartel. they must first know how to find a “representative sample.” (It’s all in the methodology.)

  5. cocomaan

    Regarding marijuana and corporate crapification, I think that there’s a good future in the mom and pop cultivation business. In states that have legalized, it’s gone much more “craft brewery” direction than the phillip morris direction. The states with the personal cultivation, especially.

    Of course, plenty of chances for a coup and a few companies trying to corner the market, but the model of craft brewing beer is just too lucrative for too many people, and far too much in the zeitgeist for it to die easily.

    Now, HRC is totally opposed to legalization and has said as much. So if she is elected, I expect the feds to fight it all the way to the end. Trump is probably the more liberal on it. Go figure.

    1. Paid Minion

      As I understand it, the people in Colorado who sell marijuana have a money problem.

      Because the Feds still view it as an illegal drug, you can’t deposit your profits/proceeds in banks, lest it become subject to Federal confiscation.

      So it has become pretty much a cash business. One of the requirements being a secure vault to store your cash, since you can’t deposit money in a “safe” bank.

      1. fajensen

        Can’t one just open an account with HSBC? I believe they have facilties in place for handling and laundering drug money, they even paid the US government a 3.5 % cut of the profits as a courtesy, so everything should be in order.

    2. Stephen V.

      Slow down Coco. Astonishingly, OHio voted down a cartel driven version of Med MJ which was voted down in 2014 IIRC.
      From Ballotpedia:
      Multiple versions of medical marijuana measures have circulated in the state over the years. One ballot initiative was backed by what organizers said was a “core group of patients” advocating for the use of medical marijuana. The 2012 proposal was known as the Ohio Medical Cannabis Act of 2012.[3] Under the act, a regulatory system modeled after the Ohio State Liquor Control system would have been established. An Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control would have also been implemented. A doctor’s prescription would have been needed to buy the drug, and it would have been taxed.[4] Another, more restrictive amendment, was known as the Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment.[5]
      SAME scam is being perpetrated in AR which had BOTH a Cartel driven AND a mom-and-pop version on the Ballot. The State Supremes axed the mom pop version a week ago: quite late in the game obviously.
      Liquor is highly regulated in AR and therefore, has been highly profitable for certain families, er, *distributors.* The Cartel version is a Constitutional Amendment. And now with the Supremes’ *endorsement*, I can only say wow man!

    3. Adrienne

      Don’t get your hopes up. States want legal weed so they can exercise their monopoly taxing powers: home-grown cannabis can’t be taxed, so even in those states that currently allow home grows I would expect to see that abolished as soon as possible.

      Washington State did a fine job of destroying its Mom & Pop medical cannabis industry when it “legalized” pot. Corporate growers and retailers pushed hard for this and were major funders of I-502.

      1. Waldenpond

        The proposed CA state law does not override cities and counties. Cities and counties have already banned outdoor growing.

  6. Synoia

    IOT – IdIOts or $urveillance?

    Researchers report in a paper to be made public on Thursday that they have uncovered a flaw in a wireless technology that is often included in smart home devices like lights, switches, locks, thermostats and many of the components of the much-ballyhooed ‘smart home’ of the future

    They were warned. Repeatedly. At this point it is either negligence (stupidity) or malicious ($urveillance).

    My money is on $urveillance, due to Google’s and Facebook’s huge cash flows from $urveillance.

    1. ambrit

      I bow down and give praise that we did not fall for the ‘automated house’ fad.
      Phyllis says that IoT stands for “Internet of Thugs.”

      1. clarky90

        How LED Lighting May Compromise Your Health
        October 23, 2016

        “Near-infrared is important as it primes the cells in your retina for repair and regeneration, which explains why LEDs — which is devoid of infrared — are so harmful for your eyes and health
        One-third of the energy your body consumes comes from the food you eat. The vast majority of the energy your body needs to maintain the systemic equilibrium comes from environmental infrared light exposure
        LEDs sabotage health and promote blindness. Limit your exposure to blue light during the daytime and at night. Swap out LEDs for incandescents or low-voltage incandescent halogen lights”

        LED is fake light. They have stripped out the full spectrum , just as a MP3 has stripped out the full spectrum of sound (the sounds we cannot hear, but sense). There has been a huge upsurge in degenerative eye disease in NZ in the last few years.

        1. hunkerdown

          Cool story, Doc! “Infrared hormesis” wasn’t the hypothesis I was expecting! Or to be instructed to limit exposure to blue light (sky light?! oh ffs) during the day when those specialized blue-light receptors in the eye allegedly evolved to synchronize humans’ activity cycle to the natural day cycle. Which explains why those Zeiss blu-blockers are so popular with the vampire (squid) set, but I digress.

          If there is in fact a hazard here, I expect it would be an imbalance between UV and IR, on the theory that older “white” LEDs are near-UV radiators exciting a yellow phosphor, much like fluorescent lamps, and so damaging eyes by leaked UV without stimulating repair by IR. Which imbalance would be easily solved by adding near-IR LEDs to one’s indoor lamps. But, which inbalance would also be expected to be found in data for indoor fluorescent lamps. And which would be observably reduced by more recent LEDs based on a royal blue (450nm, well away from UV) emitter and yellow phosphor.

          Sounds like “We don’t” Biblical abstinence to me.

        2. clarky90

          My understanding- It is sort of like traffic lights. Green means go, yellow means get ready to stop, red means stop. simple

          The intense blue light of the sunrise and during the day releases cortisol and revs us up. The yellow/orange/red of the sunset tells our body to release melatonin and to start winding down. When it gets dark, we go to sleep. Its been like that for millions of years.

          Now, we are getting intense blue light in the middle of the night! cortisol production! melatonin suppression!…..

          When driving at night, the bright blue of a modern headlight makes me jump.

          I use halogen and incandescent (clear bulbs) in the living room kitchen and bedroom. Everywhere else I use the energy saving bulbs. You can feel the difference.

          IMO, it is another example of a “miracle innovation”, like CFCs, asbestos, DDT and Roundup that are not “actually” miraculous.

          I sunbathe for about 60 minutes, when the sun is highest (1 pmish), if the sun is out. The sun is a real, time-tested, genuine God/dess-like miracle. Ask most plants and they will confirm.

      2. hunkerdown

        Smart homes weren’t so bad when they were air-gapped from the Internet; they might even have been a net good if they were left self-contained. With all that stuff being off-patent, or as the creative class puts it, “obsolete”, and hobbyist physical computing a thriving cottage industry, all IoT has left to sell is to bridge that air gap and try to establish a beach-head of remote management as a norm.

        1. RMO

          There’s a reason why, in the book and the film versions of 2010 the Russians didn’t put everything, including the hibernation pods under the control of a HAL9000 type AI when they built the Alexei Leonov to go to Jupiter… Of course we’re so smart in our real post 2001 world that several car makers have allowed communication between the net connected infotainment systems and the safety critical electronic brake throttle and steering controls of their cars.

          I’ve not yet heard a single compelling reason to buy and use any of the wifi and internet connected “smart” home devices.

  7. m

    Just like there was no medicare buy in, Hillary will create a wall street high fee obamacare style forced retirement plan for her wall street buddies. DHS will steal the election by installing software, rather protecting systems from “russian” hacking. Hill will pass tpp, go to war in syria so the sauds can get their pipeline and we are forced into another pickpocket plan, yeah.
    Putin for president.

  8. Kurt Sperry

    “Marijuana ballot initiatives 2016: Five more states may make pot legal” [Yahoo News]. “The vote to watch is in California, where polls suggest the “Adult Use of Marijuana” referendum has a substantial lead.” I just hope marijuana doesn’t go corporate…

    Here in Washington State, the market for cannabis is being served by a constellation of small businesses, and the corporate vampires have thus far been held at bay. We have less protection than other states with rec cannabis laws as we uniquely don’t allow citizens to grow their own. California’s measure at least enshrines that , which is a bulwark against being forced into a corporate veal pen. You might wind up there, but at least you’ll have had an alternative.

    1. Adrienne

      @Kurt, I disagree with your statement that “the corporate vampires have thus far been held at bay.” Corporate control of the cannabis business in Washington State is strong and increasing. Small growers and retailers can’t compete due to onerous and ever-changing demands by the WA Liquor and Cannabis Control Board. Disallowing home grows ensures that the State will keep a firm grip on all production, favoring deep-pocket large operations. There’s enormous pressure to produce in short, high-volume cycles so pesticide use is pretty much assumed in all “legal” products—including banned pesticides. Washington State has the worst implementation of cannabis laws of the liberal states, by far.

    2. polecat

      I’m thinking we in Washington State need an initiative to allow for home growing …..

      So out of the three ‘States of Cascadia’ ….. leave it to the idiots in Olympia to be the f#ckin outlier!

  9. Portia

    Re Shakespeare universality: the article says that the texts were unpopular, but when acted out came alive and became as popular as they have been for centuries. It is like fictional history, to me, all of the human vagaries recognizable, and instructional, and entertaining. There was a link earlier to an article that said historians would not be good policy-makers–Shakespeare is a kind of historian, intentionally or not helping us to see, wake up, without an intrusive personal presence. I wish to the Goddess I had read and seen his plays when I was a teenager and young adult, it would have helped me immensely.

  10. Paid Minion

    “…….last major battle fought by battleships……”

    I guess it depends on what your definition of “major” is. The Brits evidently think it couldn’t have been “major” unless the Royal Navy was part of it.

    Try this list:
    – Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
    – Scharnhorst v HMS Duke of York / Battle of the North Cape
    – Surigao Strait

    As far as the actual shipbreaking accident, the usual kabuki by the PTB will begin. “Nobody knew how bad it was”. A public search for scapegoats to placate the wretched refuse. The guy running the operation will be hung out to dry. The money men behind the operation will be shielded.

    And life (such as it is) goes on.

  11. MyLessPrimeBeef

    After the Comey letter last Friday, “

    Clinton support among white college voters increased the most. I suppose they actually bought the idea that Comey, like Trump, is a Russian agent of influence? Who are the “stupid” voters now, pray tell?”

    Makes one wonder the value of college education.

    Too much beer or college football to?

  12. cm

    11 Oregon counties sue

    The counties are following the lead of Multnomah County, and they’re represented by the same law firm, D’Amore Law Group.

    In its 2012 lawsuit, Multnomah County said MERS was illegal under Oregon law. The county and MERS, as well as several banking institutions, settled last year. MERS, which agreed to pay $9 million to the county, is no longer listed as the beneficiary of a mortgage in public records.

      1. hunkerdown

        A 2TB drive gone missing from the National Archives in the first few months of Obama’s Presidency, potentially containing all manner of Clinton dish and names, is kinda a big deal.

        1. hunkerdown

          Also, one Joel Johnson from Glover offering attack zones for (as Podesta puts it) to Sanders. Which message is not DKIM-verifiable, unfortunately, so not much of evidence for anything.

          All the same, if through some good fortune Joel Johnson or any other PR mercenary should find themselves strapped to a table in a basement somewhere, all of the forensic evidence that might implicate me is hereby declared fraudulent.

    1. JohnnyGL

      I don’t think there’s much there. People can be hired as employees or employed as contractors. I’ve been paid via 1099, and I’ve been hired as an employee and paid via W-2. Unless I’m missing something.

      The use of the term “structure” is a money-laundering term, but I don’t think Podesta is using it in that sense.

  13. Knifecatcher

    I can confirm that Trump is running a ton of ads in Colorado. Depressingly on point, I might add.

    1. MyLessPrimeBeef

      And Colorado is considered a swing state, as is New Hampshire where Trump is slightly ahead, according to a recent poll that is being reported on Marketwatch.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Hoo boy. *, **:

        hoo_boy

        All Trump had to do was STFU for a week, and he pulled even with Clinton. Extraordinary.

        NOTE * The odds still favor Clinton in the remaining states, but wowsers. What a weak candidate.

        NOTE ** New Hampshire, where Sanders whipping Clinton by 76% or something.

  14. Paid Minion

    The two Sirota stories are really related, when you think about it.

    Most normal people will avoid doing business with anyone who has screwed them over.

    The criminal overclass response is not “cleaning up your act”. Their response is to lobby government to MANDATE participation in their money skimming operation. Also see ACA/”Obamacare”.

    The best way to steal from people, is owning the government

  15. Paid Minion

    I can’t wait until the election countdown gets to one finger.

    Any guesses on which finger I plan on using? :)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The biggest loser, I think, is MSM.

      Probably negative credibility as a result of swearing an oath of loyalty to their Leader.

      Now, that’s self-destruction.

    2. curlydan

      Charles Pierce: ” The important thing to remember is that one portion of the FBI seems to be at war with another portion of the FBI and that almost everybody has a gun. But, by far, the most astonishing revelation has been that, in launching their probe into the Clinton Foundation, the Feebs in charge relied for source material on Clinton Cash, the meretricious hit job by veteran GOP ratfcker Peter Schweizer.”

      If all the above is true, I’d say the most astonishing revelation and thing to remember is the FBI is at war with itself, leading to the key question “Why?”. But Pierce would rather check footnotes while the guns apparently are blazing? I’d either run for cover or tap a guy on the shoulder and ask him why he’s firing.

      1. JTMcPhee

        …it’s like that wonderful scene in the original “Men in Black” —

        “The Best of the Best of the Best, SIR!”

        “You gentlemen are truly what we have come to expect from the government services…”

        1. clarky90

          Hollywood has been preparing me for this moment for my entire life. It is like the “verry intelligent” psychopath who talks endlessly about crime, somehow believing that they are creating a cover for their real crimes- the “stupid marks” ha ha ha

          What is happening (as we speak) is that fantasies (FBI movies) are becoming manifest (corporeal).

          The brave FBI rank and file, will rise up and save the Republic- in real time and real life! The puppet masters are have perturbations! Pinocchio has become a real boy, and there will be sh*t to pay!

        2. OIFVet

          LOL, I remember these officers and gents from my time in. Highly promotable critters, too, even if they couldn’t find their way to chow hall without reading the relevant AR booklet first. Good times!

      2. Adamski

        The Foundation story was apparently also covered by the NYT and AP. Can’t be bothered to find links for you due to newer ones on the topic getting in the way. Also, Clinton Cash covered the Uranium One affair but so did the NYT.

    3. Katharine

      Here’s what the Guardian has on it:

      “Deep antipathy to Hillary Clinton exists within the FBI, multiple bureau sources have told the Guardian, spurring a rapid series of leaks damaging to her campaign just days before the election.”

      If the antipathy is based on knowledge of criminal activity, then rebellion against non-indictment might make some kind of sense, but on the whole it looks like a lot of people going rogue. If they had problems with what was decided months ago, they should have acted months ago. Doing it now is irresponsible to the point of being dangerous, and surely grossly illegal.

      1. reslez

        “Deep antipathy to Hillary Clinton exists within the FBI, multiple bureau sources have told the Guardian, spurring a rapid series of leaks damaging to her campaign just days before the election.”

        This sounds like something Hillary supporters would have to say. Therefore of dubious value in determining the actual state of play.

      2. pretzelattack

        i don’t trust the guardian on the issue of the us election. too many shills given platforms, too many accusations and implications of putin and the fsb hacking the dnc, too many lies about sanders.

      3. uncle tungsten

        Their action timing is purely tactical. Loretta Lynch is flawed and blatantly conflicted with her tarmac rendezvous. Comey ‘has form’ in his past. And the two of them have tried to flaw a legitimate investigation of an extraordinary crime. The old guard and true believers are at least one group of FBI (then there are Clinton haters or Trump believers) who would carefully set up a retaliatory action. It all takes time especially if there was a clandestine examination of the new server discovered at Wiener and Abedin’s home.

        The FBI action may be illegal or irresponsible, but that behavior is stock in trade for law enforcement when they are sure they can get away with it. They are badass people when they have to be. Its the culture, its deplorable, but it gets these people the results they want. Comey is likely captive to the agency now and pretty much useless to Clinton although he will give an interesting performance next time he gets before a house committee.

      4. redleg

        Have you seen what this administration does to whistleblowers?
        There is no way any agent would offer dissent through formal channels, for fear that they would end up jailed and/or ruined.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      A paragraph from :

      But, by far, the most astonishing revelation has been that, in launching their probe into the Clinton Foundation, the Feebs in charge relied for source material on Clinton Cash, the meretricious hit job by veteran GOP ratfcker Peter Schweizer, as The New York Times tells us.

      That’s what the Times tells us now. when the book was released:

      [Schweizer] writes mainly in the voice of a neutral journalist and meticulously documents his sources, including tax records and government documents, while leaving little doubt about his view of the Clintons.

      His reporting largely focuses on payments made to Mr. Clinton for speeches, which increased while his wife served as secretary of state, writing that “of the 13 Clinton speeches that fetched $500,000 or more, only two occurred during the years his wife was not secretary of state.”

      And :

      The Clintons, a luxury jet and their $100 million donor from Canada

      Still, Giustra and Telfer are a focus of the soon-to-be-released book “Clinton Cash” because of their role in the firm, which several years later was sold to a Russian state-owned company….

      Aspects of Giustra’s ties to Colombia are discussed in “Clinton Cash,” the book by conservative author Peter Schweizer due out this week, and were reported last month by the International Business Times. Some information from those accounts and additional details of Giustra’s activities were confirmed through independent reporting by The Post.

      So Pierce’s position seems to be that the FBI should never use open source information from a book with favorable mentions in both the Times and the Post to develop leads because… because… Well, because it might hurt his candidate, is the only reason I can come up with.

      Oh, and tactically this is just really stupid. The FBI, from years of propaganda and many television shows, has a good reputation with the American people, however unfortunate that may be. They are also a powerful institution in Washington. If you’re going to take an institution like that down, you’ve got to set the table. You can’t do that four days before an election! That’s a Hail Mary play, trying to be a substitute for basic blocking and tacking that was never done.

      As I keep saying, this has been a wonderfully clarifying election.

      NOTE And :

      It would be easy to dismiss an hour-long film adaptation of Peter Schweizer’s book about the charitable-political-nonprofit complex of Bill and Hillary Clinton as nothing more than conservative propaganda. But sitting in a Manhattan screening room late Wednesday, it quickly became clear that conservatives weren’t the intended audience for Clinton Cash.

      Environmentalists. Anti-nuke activists. Gay-rights advocates. Good-government folks. They’re all going to find themselves increasingly uncomfortable over claims that the likely Democratic nominee, in the film’s words, takes cash from the “darkest, worst corners of the world.”

      The 60-minute indictment of the Clintons will soon find its way to an awful lot of televisions ahead of November’s elections. Based on a heavily researched book by the same name, Clinton Cash is careful in laying out a series of facts that are mostly true, though both the book and the movie sometimes draws connections and conclusions that aren’t as solid as their evidence.

      1. Marco

        Great catch Lambert. Perhaps a special post on formerly respectable revered-by-the-left journalists / bloggers one thought one could trust. The list is getting long.

  16. Portia

    Al Stone Allen ‏@truthinthings 21h21 hours ago Sydney, New South Wales
    @MaxCRoser that’s clearly a drawing of a breast

    That was clear to me too. I was keeping it in the thought bubble tho

    1. Oregoncharles

      OK, now I get it. They might have been having some fun with their graph.

      The shape is right, but breasts don’t have such a rough surface.

  17. Oregoncharles

    “I just hope marijuana doesn’t go corporate…”

    Personal observation: marijuana is easy to grow, about like corn or tomatoes, certainly in the Corn Belt or the southern tier. (Here, the rain starts about the time some strains are trying to mature, complicating the task – as with field corn.) The hard part, as with tea, is the processing, especially for high-quality weed. . So there’ll always be room for professionals who hire help.

    But the ease of cultivation should limit corporate control.

  18. Tim

    Regarding the chart… In the 70s one of the repeated sayings was the definition of stagflation was when everything you want is really cheap but everything you need is really expensive.

    It seems like we have a quasi-stagflation situation where instead of simple inflation due to money wage pressures relative to interest rates, we have inflation due to financialization of things. Either way there is a massive wealth transfer going on, it’s just a different mechanism now.

    Stagflation 2.0?

    1. reslez

      As I keep telling my dad’s goldbug friends, you can’t have inflation without an increase in wages. You can call it stagflation; I call it poverty.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I mentally put a column to the right and started filling in “cui bono.” For example, it’s clear that universities — Hellooooo, Clinton’s educated credentialed base — are doing very well (though of course the income distribution is awful, with administrators and star professors making out like the bandits they are, and adjuncts getting screwed). Same dynamic with health.

      Then we have all the cheap and increasingly crapified consumer goods, where we can’t afford to buy anything better because wages are flat and education and health care are rising. I’m trying to come up with the capitalist equivalent of the old USSR joke that “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us,” but can’t, quite. Maybe a reader will do better.

      All of which goes to show why I filed this under class warfare.

  19. pmorrisonfl

    Is it just me, or does the trend chart of ‘Costs for Americans’ look like ‘things made in the US’ (above the x axis) vs. ‘thing made elsewhere’ (below)?

    1. dk

      Yes.. also omits things like electric/gas/water utilities costs (part of net housing costs) and computer software (part of computer ownership, although subscription pricing makes this a little tricky to factor), and declines in product quality accompanying some of the declining cost items (newer vehicles = less metal / more plastic parts).

      1. hunkerdown

        FOSS replacing COTS, the resultant disruption of the upgrade entitlement to which you alluded and to which people in the industry fancy themselves entitled, and the non-rival and weakly-enforceable nature of the exchange also confounds the measurement of software (or, in general, consumer IP licenses) by the official market economy.

    2. Beans

      Yes it does. I thought the same thing when I saw it and was surprised that wasn’t pointed out. The massive inflation in our service economy shows where the US jobs are. The consumer savings for cheap foreign made goods was not worth it, IMO.

          1. JohnnyGL

            Agro-chem veggies are cheap.

            Have you see the price of a decent cut of grass-fed, domestically produced organic beef?!?!?!

            1. polecat

              Once you’ve raised laying hens …and partake in fresh eggs ….. you’ll never what to by commercial ones ……

              the only downside is ’bout this time of year … when they quit laying …soooo, have to buy eggs until they start laying again! …… Damn !

              and yes, domestic organic beef is spendy, but tasty too !

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              All I know is that radioactive (OK, maybe just slightly) Pacific seafood is not cheap.

              And my mother insists on sashimi. If I let her. it would be for every dinner.

              1. polecat

                umm … Hot Tuna Sushi sprinkled /w glowing roe …..

                Yuuuuuuuummm !

                Hey! …. you only live once …. Lets Mutate!!

            3. redleg

              I’m getting a quarter of grass fed beef delivered on Saturday. The cost per pound is about $2.80. We had the option of meeting the meat too, but declined this time.
              Still the kids named this cow “dinner”. Last one was “Daisy”.

            4. Sandy

              USDA no longer regulates use of grass fed label, so I won’t buy US beef anymore unless I know the farm well. Australian grass fed for me (expensive)

            5. fajensen

              Well, proper meat should be expensive. It’s a complicated product to make and we are killing animals also to produce it.

              If one wants Cheap, one can right now buy Danish pork form the pork-factories for about *half* the kilo price of Haribo’s Wine Gums – The latter is a 100% synthetic product, just mix the ingredients and let them set in forms, basically. The former was once a living animal, which never saw the sun or ate anything natural. It also comes with MRSA, honed and tuned to the latest antibiotics maybe to return the favor.

              We have totally stopped buying factory farmed meat, mostly for moral but also for quality reasons. I find that one absolutely don’t need cheap shit in volume to have a good life, it’s rather the opposite way.

              We buy the local stuff instead, there are 3 local farm shops nearby and we can even buy wild boar, deer and elk even in the supermarket – these are animals that were walking along quietly and then got shot, they never had the stress of growing up in an industrial farm.

              We don’t eat meat every day either, I think it is unhealthy and boring to have a uniform diet. We have 2-3 meat days a week, then some fish or beans or lentils. Some Indian, Italian or Chinese cooking is good for cutting down on meat. Soups are good for using the same meat twice. Stews are good for getting rid of old-ish vegetables, using a cheaper cut of meat and “cosy” to make, now with the cold coming.

              Now, with the change to expensive meat, we actually are spending about 30% less on food. This, I believe, is because when one buys an expensive piece of good lamb or similar, one takes care to make the best of it, with roast potatoes and everything, so it lasts longer. Better prepared food taste better and is more filling, so one doesn’t just wolf a big lump of it down in from of the TV.

              So, go ahead and buy the good stuff. Compensate the hight costs by more vegetables, more lentils, beans, noodles and planning of the meals. In the long run, I bet it will be cheaper.

    3. DJG

      pmorrisonfl: I just noticed that the chart seems to give the same weight to necessities (the bulk of our purchases), which are above Clothing. And discretionary, which are minor. The chart seems to give the same weight to health care as to TVs.

      So the expenses should be related to the typical family’s income and typical spending on necessities. All in all, it seems that those things that take up most of our spending are going up, and rather quickly.

      As to the price of TVs dropping negative 100 percent? Are they giving TVs away now?

      Edward Tufte would not be happy.

      1. hunkerdown

        DJG, note “relative to a 23% increase in all items”… my eyeball says -87%, which does not seem unreasonable in light of three factors:

        * the obsolescence of the CRT in favor of the safer, lighter, thinner, less materials-intensive LCD set, forced in part by the digital transition;
        * large-panel yield improvements from some 10% in the beginning to 80% or better of late, through 10 years of process tuning and test/rework improvements (); and
        * yes, surely there are subsidies from producers of what the set is meant to consume: Google and Netflix and Pandora and trade associations etc.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > the price of TVs dropping negative 100 percent

        It’s important that the opium of the people be cheap and readily available.

        And if TVs were more expensive, they wouldn’t be effing everywhere, especially not blaring into every public space conceivable

  20. tony

    Wikileaks linked this stuff. The Clintons allegedly helped some child traffickers escape justice in Haiti 2010.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I looked at that. Laura Silsby is the one to watch I think. On a quick reading, I think that “trafficking” is over the top; suggests she was going to hand them over the Jeffrey Epstein or something (interesting, if true).

      That said, Silsby was taking a large number of Haitian children out of the country without the proper authorizations, and so what if the motive was liberal do-gooding colonialism. The Clinton Dynasty should lose every vote in Miami’s Little Haiti over this, if they have any remaining after their Haitian cluster**** generally.

      1. apber

        The Haitians I know, both educated and not are virulently anti-Clinton. They don’t wear MAGA hats, or have Trump bumper stickers or yard signs. The are fully aware of the Clinton rape of their country. In south Florida they mingle well with local Blacks; perhaps a reason for the low turnouts among Blacks for Clinton?

  21. Fiver

    Further to throwing Comey under the bus yesterday, Obama had this to say:

    “I trust her,” Obama said. “I know her. And I wouldn’t be supporting her if I didn’t have absolute confidence in her integrity.”

    No amount of Bleach-bit can remove that yellow streak running down his back and straight through the entirety of his ‘legacy’. Not once did he come down on the side opposite entrenched power – in fact, we can now add major ‘obstruction of justice’ to his prior litany of failures to prosecute white collar criminals as the basis for its own section, splitting criminal activity into two parts, one domestic, the other for a raft of war crimes.

  22. Ajay

    I am so stupid, dear Lambert. I have a PhD in theoretical Physics (though I guess college educated brown men are not a category). I guess I am really really stupid because I think Comey is corrupt. No, only Clinton is allowed to be corrupt, I forgot, in Lambert & Yves’ world.

      1. aab

        To be fair, he included “theoretical Physics,” which is the cue that he’s actual smart, not Chelsea Clinton level smart.

        Is there a Physics PhD program anywhere that takes actual dullards? I honestly have no idea. My family and friends with those degrees got them from places like Harvard and Cambridge. And despite how little I now think of my alma mater in many ways, I do think if you get a physics degree from there, you’re still likely to be fairly intelligent, by any reasonable meaning of that term.

        Of course, being good with equations does not necessarily translate to verbal reasoning based critical thinking. And all of us are vulnerable to motivated reasoning and other biases.

        I do feel compelled to point out that his parenthetical clause functions as a non-sequitur. Is he trying to suggest that there’s a PhD program somewhere in “college educated brown men”?

      2. fajensen

        Well, due to my work, I get to meet a lot of “Intelligent but Stupid” people.

        People who strongly believe that because they are the leaders amongst their peers within their specialty, they are also equally clever when they are investing in Bulgarian real estate, time shares or lately buying binary options.

        If someone like me, a mere engineer (MsC), tells them “it’s probably a con” then they will get very offended because it simply is not conceivable that their great minds are being mislead by the primitive “Bulgarian high-pressure sales Rat”. So, I don’t.

        What is stupid in this case, is a PhD believing that the corruption of Comey depends on tribal loyalties –

        Hillary is Clean means Comey is not corrupt, Hillary is Dirty means Comey is now corrupt.

        This is Democrat thinking like a 5-year old and believing this is a strategy at it’s finest. Group narcissism and tribalism is something we already have in great abundance this election. It seems that there are no “Americans” or even “People” left on earth to pander to. Just tribes: wogs, rag-heads and deplorables. How nice to belong, eh!?

    1. Pat

      I don’t think you have read everything that has been posted here regarding Comey is including his incredible truly unprecedented declaration that Clinton had clearly lied, been at best careless and if a lesser human would be facing consequences but no she shouldn’t be indicted. No one here, including Yves or Lambert, has stated that Comey is some epitome of ethics.
      But whether he is corrupt or not does not mean that Clinton is anything remotely resembling ethical. Similar to this notion that Trump being unfit for office in some manner means that Clinton is. Neither of these things are either/or, in both cases it is truly where every one can be unfit, unethical, corrupt…

      1. OIFVet

        These days, there seems to be a strong positive correlation between binary thinking and credentials. Our system of higher mislearning is doing great!

    2. pretzelattack

      i promise i won’t vote for comey for president. but then, i didn’t appoint him, or applaud him for saying clinton shouldn’t be charged in the first place, either.
      meanwhile, what do you think about clinton’s corruption?

    3. Vatch

      Comey is corrupt

      Did his corruption manifest itself when he refused to seek an indictment a few months ago, or last week when he decided that further investigation is warranted?

        1. aab

          Methinks the Obamamometer is having the same problem as those computers Kirk used to argue into self-destructing on original Star Trek.

    4. Oregoncharles

      Fortunately or not, theoretical physics is a long, long way from politics, ethics, or even daily life.

      No one here thinks Comey is not corrupt.

    5. aab

      Who is disputing that Comey is corrupt? OF COURSE he’s corrupt. That’s why he conspired to weaken, constrict, slow and otherwise disable the original Clinton email investigation.

    6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In Chado, that is, the Way of Tea, when you enter a tea house, you leave your samurai sword outside the hut.

      Inside, no body talks about one’s rank in the secular world.

      It’s the same when one enters into a productive discussion – one leaves one’s titles behind.

      “I don’t care if you were drafted in the 1st round by the Chicago Cubs. In this ring, it’s just you and me for the wrestling or boxing title.”

    7. Massinissa

      Comey IS corrupt, but if you think its because hes corrupt for tackling Clinton, youre wrong. Hes corrupt for not tacking Clinton HARD ENOUGH.

      Also i dont see how it was necessary to include your credentials or your race.

      1. aab

        But that’s Democratic Party values in a nutshell. If he has an advanced degree, and comes from a marginalized community, he is more wise and virtuous than you. But only if he supports the Democratic Party.

        Nothing matters, unless you support the Democratic Party. And by the Democratic Party, I mean Clintonland.

    8. craazyman

      Have you ever heard of George Hamilton? He was a brown white man.

      Being brown is not a state of being, it’s a circumstance.

      I don’t think he had a PhD in theoretical physics, but if it’s only theoretical what difference does it make.

      bowahhahah ahahhaahhahaha . . . . sorry, just cracking myself up

      Just a few more days until the Election. I’ve ignored it completely so far, YouTube has been great . . . as has the red red wine. The Eagles are there just like it was yesterday. They even had a song lyric “I like the way sparkling earrings lay / against your skin so brown / and I want to sleep with you in the desert tonight / with a billion stars all around. ” They meant a girl, just to be clear. I think she was a brown white girl.

      Do you remember Stokes’ Theorem from memory at this point? Or is that like something learned and then immediately forgotten? I honestly have no idea.

      1. pretzelattack

        but was she a theoretical physicist?

        I don’t think he had a PhD in theoretical physics, but if it’s only theoretical what difference does it make

        that cracked me up.

      2. craazyboy

        The Eagles ( not the football team, to be clear) are from CA, so I think you’re right there. Tan lines. Unless they go to a tanning booth. Then they’re all brown.

        But I hear ya about theoretical. What’s that got to do with anything?

  23. Waldenpond

    [I just hope marijuana doesn’t go corporate…]

    You’re way too late. Localities have banned or regulated (strict land use, taxes and penalties) ahead of this bill. To get legal requires consultants etc. Even when complying, they are still raided and wiped out financially even when it doesn’t result in arrest. The intent was always to ensure corporations are favored. There is a section that blocks large corporations for a few years but land use is restricted to one large parcel in a county that small farmers will never have access to unless they lease (grow, harvest, and process) from a corporate owner. The put out the pretense that this is supporting ‘small farmers’. It is in actuality barring small farmers and giving large corporations the time to put together the financing, processing equipment and distribution.

  24. Katharine

    Thanks, by the way, to whoever mentioned Veblen’s Higher Learning in America a week or so ago. I have been enjoying it, occasionally astounded by the relevance of his analysis and criticism a century after they were written. These remarks from the chapter on “vocational” training and its incompatibility with the ostensible purpose of the university might have saved us some trouble if we’d noticed:
    “A college of commerce is designed to serve an emulative purpose only — individual gain regardless of, or at the cost of, the community at large — and it is, therefore, peculiarly incompatible with the collective cultural purpose of the university….

    “It will also be found true that both the schools of law and those of commerce, and in a less degree the other vocational schools, serve the advantage of one class as against another. In the measure in which these schools accomplish what they aim at, they increase the advantage of such men as already have some advantage over the common run.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The tuition to obtain those degrees (helping to ‘increase the advantage of such men as already have some advantage over the common run) the should not be free.

      “…individual gain regardless of, or at the cost of, community at large…”

  25. Oregoncharles

    Update:

    Pro-Clinton source; clarification is near the end of the article. the headline is also inflated – he’s saying it takes a prosecutor; of course, at the moment those are controlled by Democrats.

    We can look forward to the leaks, probably AFTER she’s elected. Should be interesting. I don’t believe a President-elect has ever faced impeachment BEFORE inauguration.

  26. ginnie nyc

    May I rant:

    I am really, really sick’n’tired of this meme “college-educated white women are for Hillary”! Hell, no, I am most decidedly NOT. Must I add I am one of those (Ivy grad and worse). Perhaps this phrase is merely code for ‘bourgeois lobotomized white females who attended college for their Mrs. Degree.’ Aaargh.

    Rant over.

    1. Oregoncharles

      It’s code for “credentialed 10%”. Of course, Jill Stein is, too. There are exceptions, and they deserve full credit.

    2. craazyman

      how could you be worse than an Ivy grad?

      wow. maybe an advanced degree at Oxford or Cambridge?

      That would be going from bad to worse. I’m not sure but I think those are what Blake called “Satanic Mills”. Blake went to the University of Magonia, which has been around forever but very few people know about it, and it’s free!

      but at least you’re honest, which is redeeming and valorous.

    3. craazyboy

      I’ve figured it out. It’s fear of being a redneck. Redneckphobia. It’s probably even worse for females, because they could be married to a redneck which is even worse.

      Jeff Foxworthy – You may be a Redneck.

      Point 34 is relevant: You think a subdivision is part of a math problem.

      1. ginnie nyc

        That’s funny, because I AM of redneck-origin (western PA) – I got into the Ivy on the ‘redneck quota’ aka ‘Rural Pennsylvania’ program. The state funded (and continues to fund) the vet school, and was getting pissed that most of the undergrad student body was from the Main Line (Philly suburbs) and Long Island. So they invented the redneck quota. My year’s intake was about 25 people.

      2. HopeLB

        I love you and your comments. Thanks for all of the creatively inspired laughs. There is nothing better than that!

  27. dk

    “Identity and the Election: How Groups of Voters Have Changed Their Minds” [Bloomberg].

    Clinton support among white college voters increased the most.

    They’re not only heavily invested, they’re leveraged, they went into debt to be part of the game!

    Considering that, it’s a very small (averaged) swing, and only for the whites. Take the whites out of the College group, and that swing grows to least above a point.

  28. LT

    The Atlantic piece on the electoral math is what should’ve been expected.
    She simply values the votes of Republicans more be because, at root, this is the former Goldwater girl.
    I expected this from the beginning: once she won the primary,she would move to the right. Anything the Sanders people negotiated into the platform is just words on paper.
    A year ago, I said to folks…not even a tightening Presidential race will make Hillary “move left.” She and everyone in the campaign have a comfort zone in the right wing.

    Again, anyone not a warmongering neocon or wall st worshipping neoliberal is also in her camp’s “basket of deplorables.”

  29. Rosario

    Re: The End of Black-Checking for Hillary

    Black misleadership is a difficult nut to crack. Increasingly being an obedient operative is a viable path to professional success (one that is difficult enough as it is being black in America), yet the tokenism is palpable with organizations like the Democratic party, particularly at the federal level. Kentucky is fortunate to have Attica Scott, she has found a way to get into the system without kissing white ass. I hope it stays that way.

  30. LT

    Of course education is now stictly a money grab. Who you know and not what you know means more to upward mobility.

    Hypothetically, you could take the same course loads and same teachers from a school like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton and give them to your local community college. And, hypothetically, then say those students made the same grades on the same level as the Ivy attenders. Then dispatch those community college students to DC or Wall St or major law firms (especially on the East Coast) …they still would not be hired over an Ivy grad with LOWER marks.

    1. dk

      The worst part is that hiring pattern reduces the competence in the workplace, and replaces it with the strategy of posturing. Hence masters of the universe that are not only incompetent, but whose fallback strategy is posturing; which in the real world rapidly evolves into systemic fraud.

  31. nippersdad

    The war drums are getting louder:

    I know I will sleep better knowing that Victoria Nuland is giving out missile launch capable ships to her neo-nazi buddies. As is now routinely said, what could possibly go wrong?

    And here is one for Jerri-Lynn; the weather balloons are up for a Clinton pardon:

      1. ambrit

        Then, set up a “police action” to pacify the Donbass Separatists and Crimean Pirates. Who wants to bet that most of the NATO countries will get as far from this poisoned chalice as can be? The God Fearing Anglo American Alliance will have to soldier on alone.

        1. fajensen

          I have a bottle of single malt here that says: Denmark will be part of this “police action”. A true whore never refuses a customer no matter how smelly he is or perverted the service required.

          1. ambrit

            Oh my. Is it a square bottle with a “true” quart in it? You are tempting me with some of the good stuff, no doubt.
            Also, would this be an example of “vikings” going a reaving? Sometimes I think that the Dane Mark should be given back to the King of Norway. (We can settle the question of Schleswig and Holstein later.)
            Tinfoil Hat Man ponders if the “Police Action” will be populated by nations whose former and present royal families are connected by marriage to the Hanoverians. (Since that would include Russia, this would end up a typically incestuous European War.)

    1. Praedor

      A pardon by Obama cannot stop impeachment, even regarding the same charges he pardoned her for. He has no power to effect impeachment proceedings in the House. Remember, high crimes and misdemeanors are whatever the House says they are and they can impeach for them.

      I REALLY want her impeached shortly after becoming Prez. Or to face impeachment threats again and again and again to the point she’s hamstrung on anything she hopes to (loot) do to the Murican people.

  32. Waldenpond

    Shhh… don’t tell anyone. Ron Wyden has secrets and you aren’t supposed to tell.
    WL 45222.

    [This is what I got. He asked her not to share details of their conversation and she promised she wouldn’t but see readout below: >> Wyden Ready to support and to tell him what she needs and when she needs it. HRC said that it means a lot to her.]
    [Wyden prefaced by saying he was for HRC under any circumstance. A number of senators that HRC and he like, that are sitting on the fence, but want to be for TPP.]
    [Wyden said to Trumka that this means we’re going to start having a fair fight, Trumka thought the fight was rigged. Wyden said he is a progressive democrat, basic proposition that trade opponents have a lot of good points. Wyden said that at the end of the day, it’s going to be a fair fight – not just Baucus, Camp, Ryan where it all goes through too easily. Labor will still be opposed but it will look different than what Baucus was talking about.]
    [ Please don’t share details of this call. HRC agreed to keep private. >> ]

  33. dk

    From ‘reset’ to ‘pause’: The real story behind Hillary Clinton’s feud with Vladimir Putin


     

    Within a little more than a year, the two governments had notched historic agreements, including a new treaty on reducing nuclear stockpiles and a pact allowing U.S. military planes to use Russian airspace in delivering supplies to troops in Afghanistan.

    Americans and Russians, working in unusual accord, achieved striking progress on some of the thorniest disputes before the United Nations. In 2010, Washington and Moscow cooperated on a package of unprecedented U.N. economic sanctions that ultimately drove Iran to negotiations about limiting its nuclear program. The administration worked with Moscow to overcome U.S. objections to Russia’s long-standing effort to join the World Trade Organization.

    In 2011, Russia withheld its veto on the U.S.-led effort to authorize the international military campaign to stop Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi from slaughtering thousands of his own citizens — an act of diplomatic restraint that many U.S. officials regard as the “reset” era’s high-water mark.

    Russian officials began publicly ruing their tacit support for U.N.-approved military action in Libya, after the intervention expanded from a simple civilian-protection mission to a sustained bombing campaign that led to the overthrow and assassination of Gaddafi. The Kremlin now believed it had been tricked into allowing the U.N. resolution to move forward.

    Putin, according to U.S. officials who met with him at the time, concluded that the Americans were most interested in pursuing regime change for governments they disliked, first in Baghdad and Tripoli, and later in Damascus. Eventually he became convinced that it was the Kremlin that the United States most wanted to change. Logically, Clinton, a strong proponent of U.S. military action in Libya and Syria, would be on the side of those seeking new leadership in Moscow, he believed.

    Suddenly, the Russians were casting skeptical looks at joint programs that had received strong support in both capitals. One casualty was the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which funded the dismantling of Soviet-era nuclear, chemical and biological weapons systems to prevent them from being stolen by terrorists or purchased by rogue states.

    1. Carolinian

      The article is the usual WaPo crap–bending over backwards to Putin as the paranoid, unreasonable one while letting such quotes as this slip through

      “He was a KGB agent — by definition he doesn’t have a soul,” Clinton said.

      At the end we get to the probable real reason for the article: that is Putey hates Hill and therefore is a likely suspect for hacking her mail. The Posties have to provide backup for their previous bad reporting on the email story.

      1. dk

        Sure but the first half is like keystone cops, and I don’t mean the russians. Libya was a tragic bridge too far in so many ways. And of course her partisans still refuse to see that.

        Clinton was a child during the cold war bomb scares, and the profoundly asymmetrical Red Soviet Menace global view. waking nightmare, That also goes towards her almost uncomprehending revulsion at the “socialist” Bernie, and knee-jerk condescension to the millennials looking beyond capitalism.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        The quote’s from 2008, so I imagine “he doesn’t have a soul” was a riposte to that “I looked the man in the eye. I found him very straight-forward and trustworthy – I was able to get a sense of his soul.”

        The ironies abound on this one. Clinton could have been joking, but it’s not the sort of joke that friends of war criminal Henry Kissinger should make. And this also shows a continuity (realism) on Putin that extends from Bush to Trump. Of course, Bush and the Bushies are the sane, good Republicans to whom Clinton wishes to appeal (and many of whom joined her campaign), and Trump is history’s worst monster. So go figure.

  34. ProNewerDeal

    Some 2016 anecdotes from talking to “typical” people, not consuming quality media like nakedcapitalism, in my blue safe state. A few White guys + 1 Latino guy, the responses were similar as if race or college/noncollege were irrelevant to the response.

    They are voting for HClinton out of being anti-Trump. The “grab em by the p*ssy” audio, & their fear that Trump lacks impulse control that could lead to a war based off of personal insult from a foreign leader, are seemingly sufficient reasons for them to vote HClinton. They were not even aware of Podesta Wikileaks news.

    I argued for voting for Stein given being in a safe state, I persuaded one, but the others were so anti-Trump that they “did not want to risk it”.

  35. Jay M

    Well on the west coast ivy is considered a pest, an invasive.
    But I guess in the febrile swamp of DC a deeply inbred brahmin from one of the northern 13, ivy true and through, captivates the hoosiers and former slave owners legislating for the property class.
    Would we had a contemporary Tarkington to celebrate the magnificence.

  36. allan

    In a letter sent today to Wells Fargo’s new CEO, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) raised questions about the accuracy of Wells Fargo’s filings with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) relating to the termination of employees for creating more than two million unauthorized checking and credit card accounts.

    As a major securities industry regulator, FINRA is responsible for “writing and enforcing rules governing … securities firms (and)…examining firms for compliance with those rules.” With five of its subsidiaries regulated by FINRA, Wells Fargo is required to file a Form U5 when an employee is terminated or otherwise leaves the firm. The senators noted that new information obtained from FINRA revealed that from 2011 to 2015, Wells Fargo filed over 200 U5 reports with FINRA for employees who were fired for actions related to the unauthorized accounts scandal. …

    Additionally, recent public news reports suggest that Wells Fargo may have violated FINRA rules by filing incomplete or inaccurate U5s for many fired employees, raising questions about whether the company took retaliatory action by reporting defamatory information on whistleblowers. …

    Hard to believe, I know.

  37. Carolinian

    Glen Ford says Hillary Grand Bargain on the way (should she win).

    But in the interim, Clinton will have a unique opportunity to cut grand austerity deals with all the “big elements” of Simpson-Bowles, to renege on her corporate trade promises, and to wage war with great gusto in the name of a “united” country. Ever since the Democratic National Convention it has been clear that the Clintonites are encouraged to consider everyone outside of their grand circle to be suspect, subversive, or depraved. Their inclusive rhetoric is really an invocation of a ruling class consensus, now that Trump has supposedly brought the ruling class together under one banner. In Hillary’s tent, the boardrooms are always in session.

  38. Otis B Driftwood

    Yes, the Cubs win was grand. One of my earliest memories is the epic collapse of the Cubbies in ’69. The Year of the Miracle Mets (courtesy of Leo Durocher). And although I was raised on the far far south side and have never set foot in Wrigley field, for a very brief time I lived just a few blocks away from Wrigley on Cornelia street. I remember Ron Santo clicking his heels, the bitter loss of Lou Brock and later, Greg Maddox, the shame of Kenny Holtzman. I remember the non-partisan greatness of Ernie Banks (sorry he just missed this). I remember Larry Bittner and the sleepy afternoons when day baseball was the only deal at Wrigley with Jack Brickhouse. And I was actually in Chicago involuntarily for Game 7. Who would have thunk it? On the south side, however. But nevertheless as happy for all those long-suffering Cubs fans I have known and loved over these many, many years of my life that has spanned just about half of that great expanse of baseball’s ultimate futility. Never a Cubs fan myself, but for them I am very, very happy today.

  39. Lee

    “I just hope marijuana doesn’t go corporate.”

    They call marijuana “weed” for good reason. It is quite easy and inexpensive to grow. I have a friend who grew six plants last year in a CA suburban back yard. The plants were in full view of his neighbor’s second floor windows from day one and they got tall enough that their tops could be seen from a street well traveled by cars and pedestrians.

  40. Geoff

    RE: Clinton and privatizing retirement.

    Her words in 2007: “And through the discipline of good planning and the miracle of compound interest, you should be able to build wealth for yourself and a better future for your family and a secure retirement.”

    She also campaigned with Bob Johnson (BET CEO and big Bush donor/advocate of privatizing Social Security) during that time.

    Here’s some links for reference:

    PRESS RELEASE: Today, Hillary Clinton announced a bold new Universal 401(k) retirement savings plan – through the discipline of good planning and the miracle of compound interest, you should be able to build wealth for yourself, a better future for your family, and a secure retirement.

    Clinton’s October 9, 2007 speech on retirement security

    Hillary Clinton’s American Retirement Accounts Plan: A 401(k) Plan For All Americans

    Bob Johnson & Hillary Clinton

    Bob Johnson & GW Bush (i.e. Soc Sec privatization

  41. mk

    “I just hope marijuana doesn’t go corporate… ”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~HAHAHAHA!!!!! Heard a report on the KABC radio yesterday morning about how wall st. and corporate money is already lined up and ready to take over mary jane if the prop passes here in CA.

    1. Pespi

      It would be nice if there was a limit of plants per grower and maximum non renewable energy expenditure. Otherwise we’re just mainstreaming the waste of hydroponic growing then adding a layer of industrial pesticide,herbicide, fungicide into the consumption chain.

  42. Pespi

    Two points Lambert: Working conditions of the sort are de rigueur at Gadani. Prayers to the families of all those killed. And flag change just before a ship is towed to the breakers isn’t universal, but it’s close.

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