Dear Hillary: What your husband can’t tell you

Dear Hillary,

People don’t like you: “Clinton is the only candidate who is about as well-known as Trump, and while she is more well-liked than the developer, her favorability rating is net negative among registered voters nationally: 49% have an unfavorable view while 44% have a positive impression.”[1]

So when your ‘advisors’ point to your and your husband’s record of surviving scandal,[2] they’re forgetting something. People don’t like you. Read more

  1. [1]Jennifer Agiesta, “CNN/ORC poll: GOP voters want more Trump,” July 26, 2015,
  2. [2]Matt Latimer, “Scandals Only Make the Clintons Stronger,” Politico, June 7, 2015,

A journalistic disgrace

Update, July 25, 2015: Kurt Eichenwald at Newsweek argues that the New York Times story may be “wrong in all of its implications and in almost every particular related to the inspector generals’ conclusions.”[1] Eichenwald may be too generous to Hillary Clinton. Apparently, while the Clinton campaign has denied that information in the emails was marked as classified, the inspector general for intelligence agencies “disputed that characterization in a statement late Friday, saying that the information in the emails was classified at the time, even if it wasn’t marked as such, and shouldn’t have been transmitted on a personal email system.” The accusation here is that State Department staffers may have failed to mark the material as classified in order to bypass applicable regulations regarding its handling.[2] If so, this considerably undermines Eichenwald’s premise.

Someone needs to do a much better job of explaining a New York Times correction. The story involves—in the present wording—a request made by two inspectors general that “the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state.”[3] Read more

  1. [1]Kurt Eichenwald, “How ‘The New York Times’ Bungled the Hillary Clinton Emails Story,” Newsweek, July 24, 2015,
  2. [2]Evan Halper, “Federal investigators want Justice Department probe of Hillary Clinton emails,” Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2015,
  3. [3]Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo, “Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account,” New York Times, July 23, 2015,

A most consequential president

Update, December 22, 2019: Links to the original charts in figures 1 and 2 had become broken and so I have substituted charts I made following the end of Barack Obama’s presidency. This elides a context in which labor market participation (figure 2) and the employment participation ratio (figure 1) remain at low levels.

So, we are to understand, because of the Iran deal,[1] re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba,[2] Obamacare, and alleged action on climate change and immigration, “Barack Obama is one of the most consequential presidents in American history — and he will be a particularly towering figure in the history of American progressivism.”[3] Read more

  1. [1]David E. Sanger and Michael R. Gordon, “Iran Nuclear Deal Is Reached After Long Negotiations,” New York Times, July 14, 2015,
  2. [2]Peter Baker, “U.S. to Restore Full Relations With Cuba, Erasing a Last Trace of Cold War Hostility,” New York Times, December 17, 2014,
  3. [3]Dylan Matthews, “Barack Obama is officially one of the most consequential presidents in American history,” Vox, July 14, 2015,

To live in a place that is being destroyed

It has been over six and a half years since I left Lupin Lodge. My thoughts return to the place from time to time partly because a friend includes me on a list of people he forwards news of Lupin, its members, and its former members to. But there is much more to it than that.

We live in an incredibly messed up, insane society. And as I have progressed in my education, I have learned more about just how messed up and insane it is.[1] But even at the time I moved to Lupin, I was looking for someplace different. And Lupin is a place that peels back at one—sadly, only one—of several interrelated layers of oppression in our society, the notion that society has a right to tell you what you may do with your body, that you must wear clothes, and that even though we all have bodies, your body is not presentable unless it is covered in the ways that society demands. Read more

  1. [1]Erich Fromm, The Sane Society (1956; repr., Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2010).

A clarification regarding Lupin’s response to a San Jose Inside article

And here I thought the reporter, Jennifer Wadsworth, had been entirely too generous with the Glyn and Lori Kay Stout, co-owners of Lupin Lodge. Her article[1] includes the substance of Lupin Lodge’s defense stated below:

An overly ambitious reporter wrote a piece about Lupin in a local give away entertainment weekly. The article is inaccurate in many respects including the headline. It drifts back and forth between historical facts and one-sided accounts taken from interviews of a limited number of disgruntled former resident members who had been evicted over a period of many years. The article fails to mention that in every eviction case, Lupin prevailed on the facts. In most cases, the people involved were accepted and given opportunities to live and work in a peaceful setting but later failed to live up to financial commitments or standards of conduct. So management took the legal steps necessary to remove these people from just squatting on the property, not paying rent and thinking they should be cared for by others. Like all employers and people who hire the services of others, Lupin gets its share of hires that don’t measure up to minimum standards.[2]

Read more

  1. [1]Jennifer Wadsworth, “Bad Nudes Bared: Lupin Lodge’s Idyllic Clothing-Free Lifestyle Unravels in Alarming Fashion,” San Jose Inside, July 9, 2015,
  2. [2]Glyn Stout and Lori Kay Stout, “Metro Poster 1,” distributed by third party email, available at Poster 1.pdf

Coincidence? Maybe

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, in the late 1970s and early 1980s to be precise, I was a computer programmer/analyst. It was the wrong career choice for me; I’ve bounced out of high technology three times now, and landed hard—very hard—each time. And I don’t job hunt well.

But one of the lessons I learned was that if something went wrong once, it mightonly might—be a freak occurrence. If it happened twice, I didn’t need to wait for a third time; something was indeed really wrong. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott’s words once, when left in command of the U.S.S. Enterprise on the original Star Trek thus resonate: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!” Read more

Economic malpractice

The news has only gotten worse since my blog post yesterday. Simon Wren-Lewis reports that Germans are apparently willing to project their austerity fantasy on the world. He concludes, “So much easier to pretend that the problems of Greece lie with its people, or culture, or politicians, or its resistance to particular ‘structural reforms’, than to admit that Greece’s real problem is of your [Germany’s (and the troika’s)] making.”[1] Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has admitted that it deeply miscalculated the effect of austerity on Greece’s economy. And that was over two years ago, so Eurozone leaders have had plenty of time to digest the message.[2] Read more

  1. [1]Simon Wren-Lewis, “Why Germany wants rid of Greece,” Mainly Macro, July 7, 2015,
  2. [2]Larry Elliott, Phillip Inman, and Helena Smith, “IMF admits: we failed to realise the damage austerity would do to Greece,” Guardian, May 21, 2014,

Failure is success, austerity is prosperity, and neoliberalism is sound economics

“I can think of no depression, ever,” wrote Joseph Stiglitz, “that has been so deliberate and had such catastrophic consequences.”[1] The economic program imposed on Greece has been (and was forecast to be) disastrous.[2] The disaster, however, is irrelevant: Read more

  1. [1]Joseph Stiglitz, “How I would vote in the Greek referendum,” Guardian, June 29, 2015,
  2. [2]Paul Krugman, “Weimar on the Aegean,” New York Times, February 16, 2015,

Note to self: Do NOT, repeat, do NOT drive on the Fourth of July

Understand that I expect to be fairly oblivious to the carryings-on associated with the Fourth of July. Usually it amounts to hearing the local idiots in the neighborhood taking advantage of the occasion to make some noise. Which is, of course, annoying, but I now understand why the ban on such practices has little practical meaning.

I’m writing my dissertation right now. I’ve made pretty good progress and hope to finish writing it by the end of July. But at about seven-thirty, I ran into a snag with a neoconservative article that I’m analyzing.[1] The author’s solution to what he perceives as a problem with undocumented migration is mandatory E-Verify,[2] which hadn’t cropped up in my literature searches. And for some reason the on line access I had arranged with three—count ’em—three separate libraries was failing. Read more

  1. [1]David Benfell, “Dissertation Proposal: Conservative Views on Undocumented Migrants,” November 10, 2014,
  2. [2]William Chip, “The Folly of Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” First Things, May 12, 2014,