2:00PM Water Cooler 2/10/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

TTP/TTIP/TiSA

Australia: “Trade Minister Andrew Robb has been slammed for failing to submit the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to an independent economic analysis before asking Parliament to ratify it” [The Age]. “Opponents of the deal have repeatedly asked the government to submit it to an independent analysis before signing it into law.”

“The German Magistrates Association [DRB] rejects the proposal of the European Commission to establish an investment court within the framework of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The DRB sees neither a legal basis nor a need for such a court” [Tech DIrt]. “these are not a bunch of know-nothing hippie activists, but serious establishment figures with a deep knowledge of the law.”

UK: “We Are Making A Difference” (on TTIP) [38 Degrees Manchester]. Quoted in Parliament!

US: “Lawmakers say harsh criticism leveled against President Obama’s Pacific Rim trade agreement from presidential candidates in both parties is further complicating its passage” [The Hill].

US: “Ryan Says TPP Would Not Pass Congress If Voted On Today” [Inside Trade]. Paywall, but that’s the headline.

US: “White House Predicts TTIP Will Not Conclude Under Obama Administration” [Inside Trade]. Ditto.

2016

Policy

I really do wonder if something like this has been going on:


So Obama’s a socialist? Who better to continue his legacy than… A socialist!

“Many of the Vermont senator’s admirers want to see those who helped cause the financial crisis put in jail” [Bloomberg]. This is not limited to Sanders supporters! And I’m amazed that Bloomberg seems to think this is news.

“After New Hampshire victory, Sanders reaffirms single-payer stance” [Modern Healthcare].

Money

“‘We are coming out of here with money and momentum, two commodities pretty valuable in politics,’ said Mark Longabaugh, another top Sanders aide. ‘They are going to hit a wall and we are going to continue to be able to re-fund the campaign. It’s one of those things that people are impressed with what we’ve done, but they don’t understand the strategic import of it.'” [HuffPo]. Sanders gets millions of dollars from small contributers when he wins, and when Clinton attacks him. Mook wants to solve for that with delegate counting (see below), but… I dunno…

“Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders is seeing a surge of financial support from companies in Silicon Valley and is now out-raising presidential rival Hillary Clinton at the largest tech firms there” [Wall Street Journal]. Presumably not the libertarian contingent…

The Voters

“Donald Trump explains American politics in a single sentence [Greg Sargent, WaPo]. This is good:

TRUMP: The only thing he does know, and he’s right about, is that we’re being ripped off; he says that constantly; and I guess he and I are the only two that really say that.”

Sargent comments:

[Both Trump and Sanders] are speaking to people’s sense that our economic and political systems are cheating them, that they are being failed because the underlying rules of those systems have themselves been rigged. … What both Trump and Sanders share is that they treat the problem as one of political economy, in which both the economic and political systems are rigged in intertwined ways, thus speaking directly to people’s understandable intellectual assessment of what is deeply wrong with our system and why it no longer works for them.

Froomkin responds:


Robby Mook, Clinton campaign manager, strategy memo: “The way to win the nomination is to maximize the number of delegates we secure from each primary and caucus. … The campaign is building the type of modern, data-driven operation that it will take to turn voters out and win the most possible delegates” [original]. Fired up! Ready to go! But I’m not sure what Les Amis du peuple will think, if Clinton loses the popular vote, and wins the delegate count.

“Ninety-one percent of contributions to current presidential candidates made by Harvard faculty, instructors, and researchers in 2015 went to former Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton, according to a Crimson analysis of Federal Election Commission filings” [Harvard Crimson]. I don’t think an instructor is an adunct. It would be nice to know what the adjuncts think/

“One of the key principles of protecting the integrity of any election is that officials should always use paper ballots, counted in public, and recounted or audited when necessary, and that a strict regime for ballot “chain of custody” should be applied. This was not followed in the Democratic Iowa caucus, and that’s why mistrust and mystery still shrouds that election a week later” [Truthout].

The Trail

“Security has suddenly tightened around Mike Bloomberg’s first public speech, at an exclusive Bahamas resort, after he confirmed he was considering joining the race for the White House” [New York Post]. “Bloomberg will deliver a lecture to megarich residents of exclusive Caribbean retreat Lyford Cay on Saturday. Residents include Sean Connery, Canadian clothing magnate Peter Nygard, shipping tycoon George Livanos, the Bacardi family and hedge-funder Louis Bacon. Now, a new club bulletin has just been sent out to members saying that no cellphones, recording devices or photographs will be allowed.” Well, I should think not!

Rubio on why people are appearing at his rallies in robot costumes: “‘I did not do well on Saturday night,’ he said. ‘So let me tell you this: That will never happen again'” [Michael Isikofff, et al., Yahoo News].

“George W. Bush cuts South Carolina radio ad for Jeb” [CNN]. That should do the trick.

“Clinton is set to campaign with the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, unarmed African-Americans who died in incidents involving a neighborhood watch representative and law enforcement officers, respectively. And the campaign, sources said, is expected to push a new focus on systematic racism, criminal justice reform, voting rights and gun violence that will mitigate concerns about her lack of an inspirational message” [Politico]. Sounds legit.

“In 1992, the Clintons also ran a campaign with race at the center of it. Only then, the point was to get as far away from African American voters as possible. They did it by talking tough on crime—and then acting tough on crime. And, yes, Hillary Clinton was at the center of it all” [Corey Robin].

“MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) – Bernie Sanders was due to have breakfast with one of America’s most prominent civil rights activists, Al Sharpton, just hours after trouncing Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential nominating contest” [Reuters]. Well, that’s breathtakingly “pragmatic,” given Sharpton’s membership in the Black Misleadership Class.

“This Is How Hillary Clinton Gets the Coverage She Wants” [Gawker]. You have to read the exchange between The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder and Clinton’s Philippe Reines. It’s vile, more than you could imagine.

New Hampshire

Both the Iowa and New Hampshire polls significantly understated Sanders’ strength, IIRC a little under 5% in Iowa, and a little over 5% in New Hampshire. Since I had seen no polling on Clinton’s Manchester and southeastern New Hampshire firewall I assumed Sanders would lose them, as was preparing myself for a “Comeback Kid” speech for anything under a 12% margin (which rounds down to 10%, after all). In the event, Sanders won going away, with over 20% (despite long lines at some polling places). So be prepared for Clinton to suck up vast amounts of oxygen with a campaign shakeup story — the press loves re-arranging their address books — as well as a reverse Sister Souljah moment, besides plenty of oppo (though I don’t know how that works, since oppo on the Clinton dynasty is an embarrassment of riches. Oh, and Bill’s looking cadaverous. So get him out on the trail often.

Oh, and the “Obama Coalition,” supposedly of youth, women, Blacks, Hispanics, and gays (I suppose, though nobody seems to mention them): I never bought that it was a coalition rather than a sintered together collection of identity politics oddments. What kind of coalition has a significant component that ages out, after all? And are all Hispanics really alike? Or all black people, for that matter. Anyhow, if you believe in the “Obama Coalition,” and you think Clinton’s victory depends on it, then you should be very worried: Sanders tore away youth in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Clinton lost women, especially young women, in New Hampshire. (They decided to reserve their places in Hell, I suppose.) And the Black Misleadership Class seems virtually unanimous in its support for Clinton, but that’s not to say that hard-headed voters will be. We’ll see!

Sanders defeated Clinton by winning the southeastern urban areas she carried in 2008. New Hampshire primary results [Los Angeles Times].

Trump’s numbers [Business Insider]. “He came out on top with all income levels, including garnering 39% from voters making less than $50,000 a year.”

“Ben Carson primary party is so quiet bartender knits blanket” [Guardian]. Not a shroud, then?

Stats Watch

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of February 5, 2016: “Week-to-week purchase applications have been swinging wildly so far this year but the trend is definitely higher” [Econoday]. “Purchase applications rose 0.2 percent in the February 5 week but the year-on-year rate is sharply higher, at plus 25 percent. The refinance index has also been moving higher…”

Yellen speaks: “Much like the January FOMC statement, Yellen’s testimony does a fine job of splitting the difference between seeming oblivious to the financial market developments since the turn of the year and hitting the panic button (as market participants have)” [Amherst Pierpont Securities, Across the Curve]. “By failing to push back hard against market expectations that a March rate hike has a virtually zero likelihood, Yellen is implicitly suggesting to markets that the Fed is likely to take a pass in March, though since there is no explicit promise, things could change if the landscape shifts dramatically over the next month.”

“A consortium of Chinese investors that includes billionaire Zhou Hongyi and his cyber security and search company Qihoo 360, has offered to buy Opera Software for $1.2 billion, the Norwegian software maker announced on Tuesday night” [Forbes].

Shipping: “Danish conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk on Wednesday reported an 82-percent drop in annual profit as its shipping unit was hit by lower freight rates and its oil business suffered from lower oil prices” [France24].

Honey for the Bears: “Until recently, companies were able to ride out the slump using hedges to sell their oil for higher than the low market prices. In recent months, however, most of those hedges expired, leaving a number of oil companies low on cash and unable to pay their debt” [D%albook, New York Times]. “The oil industry regularly undergoes booms and busts. But the downside of this cycle may prove more extreme, and the shakeout messier, thanks to the easy money that flooded the industry from hedge funds, private equity firms and tax-advantaged investment structures called business development companies.” Hmm. Anybody know what a “business development companies” is? (Translating for our Texas friends, that’s bidness development companies.”)

Honey for the Bears: “Getting more obvious it’s ‘spreading’ much like during the sub prime days?” [Mosler Economics]. “It’s slowing, whatever it is…”

Honey for the Bears: “The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index is down 9.4 percent this year. The index’s technology components are down about 12 percent, and the closely watched so-called FANG stocks — Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google — are down even further, falling 17 percent on average this year after an 83 percent rise in 2015” [New York Times].

Honey for the Bears, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi: “The EU is like the orchestra playing on the Titanic” [Bloomberg].

“Can an English suit be made in Cambodia?” [BBC]. Apparently…

suit

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 16, Extreme Fear (previous close: 20) [CNN]. One week ago: 25 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 10 at 11:39am

Health Care

“Private-equity backed urgent-care developer taps Dignity Health for California expansion” [Modern Healthcare]. Oh, man. “Dignity Health Care.” Run by private equity. I’m just not getting a good feeling about that. “Never eat at a place called Mom’s”-style of thing.

“Four flawed beliefs have dominated the actions of UK governments on healthcare over the past 25 years: personal responsibility for health supersedes government responsibility; markets drive efficiency; universal healthcare is ultimately unaffordable; and it is entirely legitimate to view healthcare as a business” [Guardian]. “But infants and children cannot exercise personal responsibility – nor have the greatest health gains come from personal choices, but rather from public measures: clean water, clean air, immunisations, affordable good food and housing, and environments that facilitate healthy lifestyles. Good health also comes from the security of a strong social safety net.”

Water

“Special counsel: Manslaughter charge possible in Flint” [Detroit News]. Small fry, I would expect. (Note that Attorney General Bill Schuette, who set up the Special Counse’s team, must also, by virtue of his office, defend Governor Snyder “in a series of lawsuits brought by Flint residents exposed to contaminated drinking water.” So Schuette set up a “firewall” in his office…

“Residents of Flint, Mich., already filtering their tap water to remove toxic lead elements, were advised also to boil it after a water main break” [UPI].

“A Free-Market Plan to Save the American West From Drought” [The Atlantic]. “A maverick investor [hedgie Disque Deane Jr.] is buying up water rights. Will he rescue a region, or just end up hurting the poor?” Water should be managed as a common-pool resource. So Deane will end up hurting many more people than the poor.

Gaia

“This factory-based model of animal production is gaining increased scrutiny at least partially because of its large climate footprint. Much of agriculture’s estimated percent of global greenhouse gas emissions can be linked to the rise of animal agriculture—whether from methane emissions or through the use of synthetic fertilizer to produce the massive amounts of corn and soy needed for animal feed” [Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy]. Good roundup, lots of links.

“Mutant sperm-factories spread in testes” [BBC]. Sounds like epigenetics, to me.


Imperial Collapse Watch

“Syrian Opposition Groups Sense U.S. Support Fading” [New York Times]. “With insurgent groups losing troops and territory, their villages shattered by Russian warplanes, civilians and fighters have in recent days used phrases like ‘no hope,’ ‘it’s finished’ and “it’s over.'” If only we could find some Syrian moderates to give weapons to!

Corruption

“Wimbledon tickets, iPads and Montblanc pens worth £300 were among hundreds of gifts handed to senior civil servants by corporations over a three-year period, raising potential conflicts of interest, the government’s spending watchdog has disclosed.” [Guardian]. “According to the National Audit Office, mandarins accepted perks from bankers during a market manipulation inquiry, and also from the big four accountancy firms who have been criticised for encouraging tax avoidance schemes.” And the chattering classes wonder why the uncouth masses give Corbyn a hearing…

“Report calling for abolition of Network Rail increases fears of privatisation” [Guardian]. I’ll file this under Corruption because Corruption and privatization are generally two words for the same thing.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“History of Baltimore’s racial segregation includes a hard look at newspapers’ role” [Baltimore Brew]. A deep dive into the history of “garden suburbs,” gentrification, segregation, and the role of the newspaper in promoting all these formations. Well worth a read:

Much as I wanted to believe in the innocence of The Sun, I could not after I found a smoking gun. In contending that blacks were the cause of falling property values on McCulloh Street, the newspaper repeatedly printed claims that Hawkins paid only $800 for the three-story McCulloh Street brick rowhouse whose previously accepted value was said to be $2,400.

The Sun’s claims were demonstrably false. I found a court record that proves that Hawkins obtained a $1,900 mortgage on the house from an established white institution. Since substantial down payment was required in those days, it seems likely that he paid close to $2,400, or perhaps even more, for his acquisition.

“How activists got a Black Lives Matter sign into the hands of Beyoncé’s dancers” [Guardian]. “After watching Beyoncé’s performance of Formation from the field, they were able to snag a few seconds with a group of dancers and asked them if they would be willing to make a quick video in support of their cause, a video that quickly went viral.”

“Beyoncé’s capitalism, masquerading as radical change” [Death and Taxes]. “In such moments of contemplation, activist Bobby Seale’s words in “Seize the Time: The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P. Newton” echo in my mind. “The cultural nationalists say that a Black man cannot be the enemy of the Black people, while the Panthers believe that Black capitalists are exploiters and oppressors. Although the Black Panther Party believes in Black nationalism and Black culture, it does not believe that either will lead to Black liberation or the overthrow of the capitalist system, and are therefore ineffective.'” A great artist can be a capitalist; Shakespeare was an excellent businessman. But capitalism it was…

Ferguson City Council unilaterally amends consent decree with DOJ [St Louis Today]. No. That’s not how it works.

Guillotine Watch

“While Noyce and other Valley giants like Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard didn’t have offices and ate lunch with rank and file workers every day, Uber even built a separate headquarters for drivers in San Francisco, because they were sick of having to interact with them” [Pando]. Excellent article on the difference between Silicon Valley in the days of Noyce and today, in the days of Kalanick. Noyce was afraid of unions. Kalanick isn’t. And Ubers valuation depends on breaking the law and screwing workers as hard as possible.

Class Warfare

“Company Specializing In Panic Rooms Sees Steady Increase In Business Since 9/11” [CBS]. I’d go long.*

“Markets Don’t Work as Well as We Thought” [Noah Smith, Bloomberg]. “Deep-rooted economic risks shouldn’t vanish just because economists discover them. Mispricings, however, do vanish when discovered. In other words, this paper is a dramatic confirmation of the predictions of behavioral finance. [T]he existence of mispricings that are so large and persistent that academics — rather than investors — are the first to discover them deals a strong blow to the efficient markets theory.”

“Many people curse the for-profit medicine industry. But few know that the enclosure erected around affordable medicines is both relatively new and artificially imposed. For nearly all of human history, attempting to corner the markets on affordable medicines has been considered both immoral and illegal” [Counterpunch]. “It’s time now to reclaim this commons, and reestablish medicines as a public good.”

“Privatization Is the Atlanticist Strategy to Attack Russia — Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson” [Paul Craig Roberts]. “The excuse being cited by Russian officials for selling these companies at the present time is to finance the domestic budget deficit. … However, Russian economists have been inculcated with the Western belief that only commercial banks should create money and that governments should sell interest-bearing bonds in order to raise funds. The incorrect belief that only private banks should create money by making loans is leading the Russian government down the same path that has led the eurozone into a dead end economy. By privatizing credit creation, Europe has shifted economic planning from democratically elected governments to the banking sector.”

News of the Wired

“Driverless Cars Also Struggle in the Snow” [Bloomberg]. Guess there isn’t a lot of snow in Sunnyvale….

“Google’s self-driving car AI can be the vehicle’s legal driver, US government says” [Ars Technica]. So, corporations are people, the slaves AIs they own are people… What are people? Chopped liver?

NOTE * Until it was time to go short…

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact 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 (margrave):

road

Readers, I could still use more photos of wintry scenes (with plants). I mean, it is the winter, at least in North America. Although I suppose wintry doesn’t necessarily mean snow, any more…

* * *

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About Lambert Strether

Lambert Strether has been blogging, managing online communities, and doing system administration 24/7 since 2003, in Drupal and WordPress. Besides political economy and the political scene, he blogs about rhetoric, software engineering, permaculture, history, literature, local politics, international travel, food, and fixing stuff around the house. The nom de plume “Lambert Strether” comes from Henry James’s The Ambassadors: “Live all you can. It’s a mistake not to.” You can follow him on Twitter at @lambertstrether. http://www.correntewire.com

179 comments

  1. optimader

    So Obama’s a socialist? Who better to continue his legacy than… A socialist!

    Well.. BHO certainly shouldn’t be described as a moderate either!

    1. optimader

      BTW, Social Democrat would seem a more accurate tag for Sanders –if we’re gonna start name call’in here!
      Sanders disavows State ownership of the means of Production, which is the basic benchmark for Socialist, isn’t it?

      1. Unorthodoxmarxist

        Yes, he does – and he’s clearly not a socialist. I think it’s more accurate to call him a standard New Deal Liberal, because his policies are basically consistent with boilerplate liberalism from the 1930s-40s, but given that socialist has been applied by conservatives to anyone who likes social welfare programs Sanders’ New Deal liberalism has been conflated with socialism (along with his own insistence on the squishy term democratic socialism).

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          It’s not just “conservatives.”

          claire mccaskill recently invoked the hammer and sickle in describing Bernie. It fell kind of flat. I think madeline albright and gloria steinem were the only ones to get the reference.

          Probably something to do with common core or STEM or social media. At any rate, the reaction from those younger voters was a collective….. Huh?

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        Democratic socialism means extending democratic governing practices to the private economy. There are lots of little ways to help this along: support for co-ops, local currencies, expanding municipal utilities, etc. but DS has always been pretty quiet about what the plan is for the big corporate players in the private economy. So the suggestion that it is really just Social Democracy doesn’t seem to be far off when talking about Sanders.

        One thing I wish he would stress more is that every (non-trivially-small) employer should have a union. The issue shouldn’t be whether or not you have a union – that’s like telling people they should decide whether or not to be represented in Congress. It should be: do they have active union politics so that union leaders actually represent the people who work there.

        I’m not sure there is any such thing anymore as a “basic benchmark” for Socialism. (Or if there ever was.) Certainly, when looking at Socialist parties around the world, there is no consistency and all the ones anywhere close to power are moderate or right-wing.

        But I’m all for his using the term “socialist.” With HRC now calling herself a “progressive,” that term needs to be retired. In fact, I think the upcoming war for the D party will be between those who want to see the party become more socialist and those who don’t.

        I’ve said this here before but here is my contemporary definition of socialism: Socialism is when the economy operates to the benefit of society, unlike the current situation where the society operates to the benefit of the economy. Nice and succinct. Not hung up on ownership, just on operation.

        1. ekstase

          Wisconsin had a strong tradition of democratic socialism for decades, electing socialist mayors repeatedly. These ideas have been so put down, ignored and vilified for so long in this country. It is great to see people finally being allowed to discuss this.

      3. bdy

        I saw that the Economist had made that point (about Sanders, Socialism and State control). I think they used “Marxist” instead of Socialist.

        Anyways, I always understood that for Marx, Socialism was about workers controlling the means of production, and that the many flavors of Socialism reflected multiple ways of enabling labor with agency (sometimes via the state and sometimes in other ways). I’m curious – anyone well versed in Marx help me out – Does Marx say anywhere that the State must control the means of production in order for the worker to do so? Also, does Bernie believe the worker should control the means of production?

      4. Darthbobber

        State ownership (actually “social” ownership) was for a good chunk of history the benchmark for Marxian socialists, who were never the only ones. (And who owned the state was seen as just as important as whether the state owned the means of production.)
        But in practice it hasn’t been a main component of the platforms of major parties explicitly referring to themselves as socialist(French, Spanish, Italian, et al.) for a long time. At the height of mixed-economy triumphalism most of them became effectively left Keynesians, and sometimes less than that. Most of the member parties that hold membership in the Socialist International do not contest elections on a broad nationalization platform, and generally haven’t for more than 40 years.

        (Social Democrat also has a variable history as a name. Lenin was a Social-Democrat (B). Martov a Social-Democrat(M). Luxemburg a Social-Democrat.)

    2. cwaltz

      I take him at his word when he describes himself as a moderate Republican who aspired to govern like Reagan.

    3. Jim Haygood

      When you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. From a Nov 13, 2015 AP article by Stephen Ohlemacher and Hope Yen:

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press contacted all 712 superdelegates in the past two weeks, and heard back from more than 80 percent. They were asked which candidate they plan to support at the convention next summer.

      The results: Clinton: 359; Sanders: 8; O’Malley: 2; Uncommitted: 210.

      The Clinton campaign has been working for months to secure endorsements from superdelegates, determined to avoid mistakes that cost her the nomination in 2008.

      This time around, Clinton has hired Obama’s top delegate strategist from 2008, lawyer Jeff Berman, an expert on the party’s arcane nomination rules.

      How were those superdelegates recruited? By promising them positions or influence in the next administration? Or by resorting to that old D party cliche, ‘walking-around money’?

      No matter how sleazy you think the Clintons are, you can never keep up with the reality. Need fast cash? Call Jeff!

      1. Jim Haygood

        From The Intercept:

        Jeff Berman, a senior Clinton campaign official who is leading her delegate strategy, previously worked as a lobbyist for the private prison firm Geo Group, seeking to influence the federal budget, as well as working for TransCanada to help secure approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

        https://theintercept.com/2016/02/08/hrc-inner-circle-lobbyists/

        Sounds good … Hillary can promise African-Americans liberalized visiting hours for their family members imprisoned in the for-profit Gulag.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Everyone is trying to influence the federal budget.

          Unless we ward that off, the bigger the budget, the hungrier the predators.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Apparently Hilary got more delegates from NH than Bernie.
        And oh, look, her unprosecuted sexual predator husband is a superdelegate.
        Shades of Hubert Humphrey:
        “Humphrey entered the race too late to participate in any primaries, and relied on “favorite son” candidates to help him win delegates. He also lobbied for endorsements from powerful bosses within the Democratic Party, which provided him with the necessary delegates. This approach was criticized by the other candidates, who hoped to win the nomination from popular support.”

        But somehow I doubt we will have a repeat of Chicago 1968 Days of Rage, anyone “raging” against the Machine these days is easily disappeared to Guantanamo-On-The-Hudson:
        https://theintercept.com/2016/02/05/mahdi-hashi-metropolitan-correctional-center-manhattan-guantanamo-pretrial-solitary-confinement/

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          No, not Chicago in 1968; self-indulgence.

          But at some point the prisons doesn’t scale. To be a broken record, that’s why a Sanders movement is critical, and I wish I were seeing signs of one. Did I not get the memo?

      3. notabanker

        I’ve been reading this blog pretty much since it’s inception. The roller coaster of rage against the machine usually subsides into dread, as the American public’s attention span is short and its ability to absorb complex concepts of synthetic derivatives and monetary policy is limited to minority percentages at best.

        What’s encouraging right now is two things:
        1. Voter turnout is large by any historical standard.
        2. The overwhelming vast majority understand simple democratic concepts

        If HRC does manage to pervert the process with a substantial majority vote against her, it will signal meaningful change. It may be ugly, but it will change. She is far more polarizing than any other candidate, including the Donald. Without populist democratic support, her claim to the throne will be a catalyst. In many ways, it could be a better outcome than handing it over to Sanders, who will have a hell of a time changing anything regardless of his voter mandate.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          1) I don’t see delegitimizing the Democrat establishment as a bad thing. When the Whigs were unable to display adaptabilty in the face of the challenge of their time (slavery), they died as a party. And so should the Democrats, if they don’t display adaptability in the face of today’s challenge (“income inequality”* or as some prefer to call it, class warfare).

          2) “A hell of a time changing anything.” To repeat myself, that’s why a movement is critical. And the pros know how to do this: OFA.

          * Thinking about it, one reason that “income inequality” is such a poor phrase is that it’s siloed, unsystematic, functionless. Not so “class warfare.”

    4. Llewelyn Moss

      Hahaha. C’mon, Obama is a Chicago Skool Neoliberal.

      Bernie Sanders is No Barack Obama — and thank gawd for that.
      Hellery however, yeah she’s Obama II, Yuck.

      1. RUKidding

        Mostly agree w you. Obama’s a NeoLiberal all the way, but a slightly more cautious NeoCon that Hillary. Hillary is a War Hawk’s dream of a War Hawk.

        Obama’s never even been close to being what Sanders is, and Sanders isn’t much of a socialist. New Deal Democrat more closely hits the mark.

  2. allan

    Clinton allies forming group to protect, register voters

    Allies of Hillary Clinton are forming a new $25 million political organization aimed at expanding voter protection efforts and driving turnout and registration among Latino and black voters essential to her Democratic presidential campaign.

    The new group, Every Citizen Counts, is beginning its work as Clinton faces a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose overwhelming victory in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary has set off new worries among Democrats that Sanders may soon cut into Clinton’s advantage with black and Hispanic voters.

    It takes a village to rebuild a firewall.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The empire strikes back.

      I much prefer a complacent Hillary, though that hope is unrealistic.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      If the Dems had any principled commitment to voter registration, there would have been a massive effort starting in 2000.

      The consultants will make out well on this, of course. Ka-ching.

      1. GlobalMisanthrope

        Exactly right. Instead, the Dems used disaffection among the party rank and file after the 2000 debacle and the cover of Repub demagoguery to consolidate power at the top of the institutional party.

        1. RUKidding

          Yes. Agree. And most D voters totally don’t get that. Went right over their heads. Unfortunately.

      1. James Levy

        I’m expecting a serious discussion On High about combining the superdelegates with Hillary’s delegates to form a majority for Biden in a brokered convention. The media types will love it. Millions will feel betrayed but they will be told that “the adults stepped in” to “save” the Democratic Party, even if polls show Sanders leading the Republican nominee. Hillary will get the VP slot with every one of her talking heads insisting that Biden will step aside in 4 years and anoint her his successor. The media will breath a sigh of relieve that the crazy old Jew from Hippieland has been sent back to the diary barn from which he sprang and they can get on with business as usual.

        If Sanders does not have an absolute majority going into the convention he will be bypassed.

        1. Carolinian

          Since the story is about Hollywood I doubt that they are worried about “the crazy old Jew.” More likely they are worried about crazy Trump which is the line pushed in the article (“now we’re stuck with unelectable vs. unlikable vs. Trump,” one Dem-donating studio exec told me after the polls”) .

          My brother is big on the Biden theory but given Biden’s eternal Hamlet stance who knows if he’d even be interested. If Sanders goes into the convention with a majority of the votes then there would be considerable outrage.

          1. Kulantan

            “Unelectable” is a smokescreen. Polling shows that Sanders beats any of the GOP field better than Clinton. Plus Sanders isn’t the anointed heir to the throne with near universal name recognition who just got spanked by an outsider with the establishment deck stack against him. As icing on the cake, Clinton’s apparatus is currently desperately trying to convince people that they can win the delegate race even if they loose the voters.

            Anyone who says that Sanders is the “unelectable” candidate at this point is just saying that they don’t want to vote for him.

      2. Carolinian

        Thanks 4 the link. Here’s a tease

        The Veep has said several times since that he regrets not mounting another presidential run. Right now, 61% of the filing deadlines to get his name on primary state ballots and win delegates have passed for Biden. With another 20% coming by the end of the month, at this point any Biden POTUS effort would have to come out of a brokered Democratic convention – not impossible if Sanders and Clinton have a scorched-earth primary battle that exhausts them and the party for the general election against a GOP-led Donald Trump, sources claim.

        Brokered convention….clearly the moguls are looking for a remake of The Best Man.

        Also, I think Froomkin is being more than a bit glib in his characterization of Trump supporters. It’s likely they know quite well who is screwing them and view illegals as the instrument (with of course lots of irrational emotion thrown in). Which is to say many Trump supporters could very well become Sanders supporters and that may be the only way Sanders could win.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Scorched-earth warfare…it looks like one.

          One side presents the 90’s and the last 8 years, and the other side has to reject that. At the end, it’s quite possible the party is gone.

          1. kj1313

            Fine by me. This is a war for the Democratic Party’s soul and the people are fed up with the status quo.

        2. RUKidding

          Eh? I don’t think Froomkin’s off the mark in terms of whom Trump’s supporters blame for their plight. It’s always and only the blahs, the illegals and other poorz who are ruining the “good life” for all them thar hard working whities. At least the ones I know – and I know quite a few – are very very very loathe to blame the 1% for ripping them off. They much to prefer to vetch and whine about welfare cheats. I got a big old earful of that kind of bellyaching just this weekend.

          Kiss up, punch down is the default for GOPers. Always.

          And I simply cannot ever see any Trump supporter turning to Sanders. Not gonna happen.

          1. Carolinian

            Seems like I saw a poll that said Trump had a non trivial level of support among Hispanics. Which is to say it’s more broadly working class, not just Tobacco Road. Also Trump has had critical things to say about his fellow fat cats and is hardly, at least in his rhetoric, an example of the GOP default.

            I’m sure you are right that many Trump supporters would never ever vote Democrat. But to say that applies to all of them is, like Froomkin, trafficking in stereotypes.

    3. Darthbobber

      I assume she won’t be emphasizing her “I love a border fence” or “Send the children back” stances as part of this?

  3. Vatch

    “Many of the Vermont senator’s admirers want to see those who helped cause the financial crisis put in jail” [Bloomberg]. This is not limited to Sanders supporters! And I’m amazed that Bloomberg seems to think this is news.

    Criminy! Oh well, at least some people in the mainstream media are starting to get a clue. Of course, sending those creeps to prison has been a theme of mine in multiple letters to my Senators, Representative, and local newspaper for several years now. I’m sure the same is true for many other NC readers.

    1. polecat

      I don’t think you go far enough, good sir. I say jail any of the senators, representatives, and, the media moguls who’ve conspired, through treason, who did, and continue to wreck society for their personal gain !! Throw in some vapid economists for extra points.

  4. diptherio

    “Markets Don’t Work as Well as We Thought” ~Noah Smith

    Who is this “we” you speak of, Mr. Smith? Don’t go implicating me in your idiocy! I had enough sense to know EMH was a crock when I was barely old enough to drink. Only you real serious economists ever bought into this nonsense in the first place.

  5. Steve H.

    – What are people? Chopped liver?

    Obviously not. That decreases the value.

    Liver: $157,000

    gizmodo.com/5904129/heres-how-much-body-parts-cost-on-the-black-market

    1. Steve H.

      “Yeah, hey, I’m in a Johnny Cab, I can barely hear you. I dunno, it took a wrong turn, I’m outside of ah… County General. Wha… The doors just locked! Hey, hey. It’s speeding up and heading towards the wall! Let me out! AAH” (Call ended.)

    1. Uahsenaa

      Mong Kok is just another in a series of significant protests both in HK and in mainland China that will get little play in the West. Which is sad, because many of the complaints are the same no matter where you go: oppression and marginalization of racial minorities and lead toxicity leaching from old pipes immediately spring to mind as parallels which indicate the global nature of this struggle.

  6. diptherio

    File Under: Corruption

    Unaccountable: A Conversation with Janine Wedel on how Elite Power Brokers have Corrupted the U.S. System

    http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/en_US/studio/multimedia/20141216b/index.html

    This part was a little unexpected:

    Since 2007, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the number of registered lobbyists has declined by 25 percent. Do we actually think that there is less influencing going on in Washington? No. I think we understand that something else is going on.

    I’m an anthropologist. My job is to chart what that new pattern is. How do the players operate? How do the organizations that they affiliate with operate? How do the networks that the players use—and also, of course, the players are very often bridging the organizations—how does that operate?

    Of course, the revolving door, in a simple way, still exists, but there is also a much more complex pattern. Some of the players go to PR firms. Some go to media. They go to all sorts of different places. Some combine those roles.

  7. Tertium Squid

    providing human occupants of the vehicle with mechanisms to control things like steering, acceleration, braking… could be detrimental to safety because the human occupants could attempt to override the (self-driving system’s) decisions.”

    In the future humans will not be allowed to do anything.

      1. cwaltz

        It should be interesting to see how AI cars that aren’t run by owners or likely serviced by them(because according to the dealerships that would null their culpability) affects the insurance industry. I sure as heck don’t think anyone should have to shell out a hundred a month if they aren’t the ones driving the cars anymore and any accidents are not the result of human behavior but machine malfunction.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          They will find ways to blame the human owner.
          .
          “You should not have entered that destination into the on board computer. You know that’s a dangerous zone, prone to car theft and accidents.”

          Because they are smart or can hire the smartest college graduates.

          1. Optimader

            I just dont see the self driving car thing working out, at least in urban environs.
            How does it move if someone decides to stand in front of it and eat their ham samdwich

            1. abynormal

              the car that brakes for you is a crash looking to happen!

              “If automating everything makes people lazier and lazier, and laziness leads to stupidity, which it does for most people, judging by the current content circulating the social networks everywhere, except North Korea, where they don’t have any internet to speak of – at some point the Japanese robots, for which a market niche is currently being developed, with no concerns on how they should be designed to act in society or outside it – will have no choice, but to take everything over, to preserve us from ourselves…”
              ~Will Advise, Nothing is here…

              1. optimader

                No kidding, stepping out in front of driverless cars would become a new urban sport called How Close?. Cable Driverless Car Fail video shows would be spawned on the concept. Watch the passengers Starbucks & tablet hit the windshield.
                As mentioned elsewhere, I think it’s all about (over the road) trucks on publically financed dedicated lanes for corporate fleets.

                If automating everything makes people lazier and lazier, and laziness leads to stupidity, which it does for most people…

                There are plenty of great young serious musicians, but in general the contemporary excuse for commercially flogged popular music is a perfect surrogate for this inverse relationship of technology and creative talent. The ubiquitous dependence on sampling bears witness.

    1. hunkerdown

      Production without permission of one’s lords is almost criminal as it is. (see also drug patents)

    2. bdy

      Sorry but no person should have the kind of deadly agency that comes with car keys. We kill 50,000 of us a year because we can’t imagine a 25mph speed limit.

      Pedestrian cities are the shit, of course. But given the choice I’ll take a gubment traceable, track-able, monopoly owned, NSA surveilled internet of things, no steering wheel, no accelerator, spin my seat around smoke a blunt with my bros in back (or just take a nap) ’76 Pinto over today’s sharing the road with a gaggle of teenagers tapping away on their phones at 55 in a 40. Hands down.

      End of day all the terrible s*** you can imagine about driverless will be true, and then some. But commutes will be shorter and fewer will die.

  8. Unorthodoxmarxist

    Adjuncts are typically classified as instructors, while lecturers are contract faculty not on a tenure line (a lot of Harvard profs).

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      I think at Harvard “instructors” are what other colleges call “assistant professors” – new, untenured professors. Harvard calls them instructors because their policy is to not give them tenure. (Only once in a blue moon.) Apparently the chance to teach at Harvard for six years is supposed to be enough to get you a tenured job somewhere else.

    2. Yves Smith

      Things may have changed since I was there, but at Harvard, lectures were always lead by faculty members, meaning at least an assistant prof, which means tenure track until proven otherwise.

      However, a great deal of actual instruction is done in “sections” by “tutors” who are grad students.

    3. optimader

      How things have changed indeed!
      It boggles my mind that my physics and integral calculus instructors at a local JC were eccentric and patient scientists from Fermi Lab doing it for grins. Intro engineering classes taught by engineers from the International Harvester R&D center (now long gone replaced w/ tract mcmansions :o/).
      Serious kick ass intellects, I laugh at it now. Classes of no more than 30 kids, and I may be exaggerating even on that head count, probably less.
      Couldn’t buy that educational OPPORTUNITY at any price these days. That experience helped shape the way I think … for better or worse! hahahaha…. was $20 per credit hour? On that order…

      Then on to UofI with utterly inattentive professors, tenure track assnt professors and english as a second language grad students in auditoriums.
      My perspective now is professional instructors paid a decent wage to cull through the undergrad fodder is what makes sense. How complicated is that? Parents and kids that fall on the financial sword to finance undergrad degrees from “halo” Universities are wasting their resources and credit.

      1. ambrit

        Ah! The Good Olde Days!
        My Calculus professor in High School worked on the Manhatten Project at Los Alamos. Strange that, but he was honest enough with me and several other students to tell us we weren’t really Math Whiz material.
        He introduced us to the game the maths boffins played where one would give the punch line of a joke or pun and the ‘game’ part of it was to figure out the Joke Question that applied. The example I remember was “Chicken Teriyaki,” which went with, “The oldest living Kamikaze Pilot.”
        One of our substitute instructors was completely conversant with the works of Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo. He even looked like an old Beat, and had studied the Muralistas down in Mexico, as in at first hand.
        F–k teaching to the test! People have much better things to do with their tender neurons.

        1. optimader

          F–k teaching to the test! People have much better things to do with their tender neurons

          No kidding, the stuff I remember best from school beyond the basics is all relational. tied to clever and interesting stories / object lessons..

          Like a materials properties class that was on the subject of rolling (reduction) of metals..why is it done progressively –not exceeding a certain percentage each pass??.. The object lesson was a grad student at Argonne (ANL) who inexplicably decided to find out the hard way with hunk of enriched Uranium and it disintegrated at the grain boundaries and sprayed out the other end contaminated a building there.
          One of those “I’m leaving the room do not touch the red button “ moments.
          I’m sure you had plenty of those with your dad too. ;o)

          1. ambrit

            Oh yes. An encounter between a very young me and a rear door cigarette lighter in the ’63 Lincoln Continental comes painfully to mind.

  9. flora

    re: Money – HuffPo
    “‘We are coming out of here with money and momentum, two commodities pretty valuable in politics,’ said Mark Longabaugh, another top Sanders aide. ‘They are going to hit a wall and we are going to continue to be able to re-fund the campaign. It’s one of those things that people are impressed with what we’ve done, but they don’t understand the strategic import of it.’”

    I checked Hillary’s facebook page this morning and saw 2 prominent comments requesting people send in donations if possible, even small donations. Wasn’t sure if they’re looking for ‘small donation’ talking point or if they are running into money problems.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s possible both are true.

      SuperPac money is great for ads, not so great for field staff. Hillary doesn’t have the enthusiasm for GOTV. She needs coordinated field organizers. Much was made about Sanders donors only giving little amounts but Hillary donors maxing out. One of the rumors is that Hillary has spent 90% of her resources between Iowa and Brooklyn plus now she has brought back Mark Penn which is pretty much the equivalent of just burning cash.

      Who is going to deliver the absentee ballots , organize shuttles, and make sure renters re-registered? The SuperPacs aren’t set up for this. The Obama primary campaign in 2008 was because they were receiving a constant money flow.

      1. curlydan

        good point. when you’re looking for new or (normally) disaffected voters, Sanders’ strategy of asking for $3 donations is a good way to build out a list of contacts to visit and put stuff on doorknobs.

      2. Amateur Socialist

        Mark Penn? I hadn’t caught that news and can’t find anything about it.

        If true this would be the most perfect contrarian indicator I can imagine about the future of Hillary ’16. The guy is like a Democratic version of Bill Kristol.

      3. Daryl

        Good old Mark Penn. I remember the stories about him burning money in pits, at least that’s what I assume he was doing, while Obama kept thrashing Hillary. Old times, old crimes.

  10. Mav

    Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders is seeing a surge of financial support from companies in Silicon Valley and is now out-raising presidential rival Hillary Clinton at the largest tech firms there” [Wall Street Journal]. Presumably not the libertarian contingent…

    Notice how Google search includes Super delegates in the count for Hillary (& Bernie).. doesn’t do the same for Repubs.

    1. curlydan

      I’ve been noticing that as well and researching who Republican super delegates are. So FYI:
      “Superdelegates make up one-fifth of the delegates at the Democratic National Convention. So, 747 of the 5,083 delegates attending the 2016 Democratic National Convention can choose whichever candidate they prefer.

      Out of 2,470 total delegates at the Republican National Convention in 2016, 437 are unpledged delegates, who play the same role as superdelegates. Of the 437, 168 are members of the Republican National Committee.” from infoplease.com/us/government/superdelegates.html

  11. JohnB

    From the perspective of Dublin in Ireland, where arguably the government is in league with property developers, to squeeze the property market and skyrocket property prices, undermine social housing policies in a way that enriches developers, and attempting to rezone previously public land for residential development – from this perspective, I’ve been rethinking the role of private ownership of land.

    Is it not true, that every single politician has an inherent conflict of interest when it comes to this, simply due to the financial gain they can personally get from increased property prices? How do you mitigate such a huge conflict of interest like this? It seems like something that will inherently corrupt politics all by itself.

    I’ve not read Marx, or socialist/Marxist critiques of private residential land ownership, but there has to be some better alternative than this?

    One thing that is often promoted here on NC is the development of co-operative residential ownership, which I agree sounds like a far more sensible and fair way of doing things, where the financial benefits of community development and associated property value increases, go to the whole community (turning an unearned rent, into a mutual financial benefit for the whole community).

    Is it possible and practical/desirable for a co-operative model like this, to be rolled out on the scale of a whole city like Dublin though? Is there precedent of something like this in the past?
    What about going further than this, and rezoning existing private-property neighbourhoods into co-operative/communal neighbourhoods – forcing property owner to have a stake in the entire neighbourhood? (because you can’t count on development of new property alone, to eventually overtake private property – that would take centuries)

    Co-op based ideas are the most promising alternative I know of at the moment – it would be good to see more discussion of ideas like this, particularly more radical ideas involving removing private ownership of property, and forcing it into co-op/communal groups.

    1. Ed

      There isn’t much of a good argument for private ownership of land except that it already exists and people are used to it (with Hong Kong being a big exception, London is sort of another one because most of the city is actually owned by a few aristocrats).

      You could argue that it gives an incentive to develop land, but if you just assigned people parcels they could still develop them and rent them out. If gives people something to inherit, but if you knew that you would always have a roof over your head no matter what, the inheritance becomes less important. And other things could be used as collateral.

    2. HotFlash

      We are looking into just that in our area, we have recently formed a neighbourhood land trust. The charter goals are to maintain the character of the neighbourhood, mostly single-family, small apartments and rooming houses (!) and a few medium-sized high rise apartments, with a vibrant main street of small shops within walking distance. We are close to downtown and have a nice view, if high enough, so are being targeted for tall condos. The plan is to acquire land that cannot *ever* be turned into condos. We have already had neighbours will their property to the trust — meantime we have a developer wanting to put a honking pair of condo towers in a two-story neighbourhood.

      We sure hope it works.

      The plan is to acquire land in the ‘hood that is

  12. Jim Haygood

    Crude finished at $27.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 49 cents, or 1.8%. “Make it stop!” cry our Venezuelan comrades:

    At the end of this month, Venezuela has to make a $1.5 billion debt payment.

    According to Reuters, the Venezuelan Central Bank has already set to work (with the help of Deutsche Bank) to exchange some of its pile of gold bars for cash. The country has only about $15 billion in the bank, and 64% of that is in bars.

    So maybe it can scrape by this time. But with $9.5 billion in debt payments in the pipeline this year, the country is far from in the clear.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/venezuela-now-in-default-mode-2016-2

    BofAML spells out Venezuela’s grim choices:

    If forced to choose between default or cutting imports, Francisco Rodríguez, analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, reckons Venezuela’s cash strapped government would choose the latter, and take the risk of worsening the country’s shortage of basic goods rather miss a debt repayment.

    “Absent major corrections to relative prices, scarcity could rise to levels that would make 2015 seem like a time of abundance,” he wrote in a note on Tuesday.

    http://www.ft.com/fastft/2016/02/09/venezuela-would-prefer-import-cut-to-default-bofa/

    1. curlydan

      Lordy! Venezuela and Deutsche Bank–a great pairing, like “Desperados Waiting for a Train”

      “I’d play the Red River Valley
      And he’d sit out in the kitchen and cry
      And run his fingers through seventy years of livin’
      And wonder, “Lord, has ever’ well I’ve drilled run dry?”

      We were friends, me and this old man
      Like desperados waitin’ for a train
      Like desperados waitin’ for a train”- Guy Clark

      In this case, though, not enough wells have run dry…

  13. DJG

    Compliments on the use of the verb ‘sinter.’ It sure beats ‘reach out.’

    Gayfolk are disappearing from the unsintering coalition because marriage equality can no longer be used as a litmus test and because there is no Gay SuperDuper PAC that can be used as an ATM by the Democratic Party. From my Chicago-centric standpoint, I’d also say that many have quickly resumed the march leftward. At least one of our gay alderfolk is engaged in unseemly behavior with real-estate developers, and he represents the slice who considers marriage equality the culmination, wants a Cadillac Escalade, and hankers after a chance to have brunch with Rahm. We have a state senator (Steans, not gay) who used marriage as a fig leaf and is now engaged in more charter-school boosting and public-school looting. So you can see how any sensible person would know that disappearance from the moderate-conservative coalition led by Obama and held together by campaign contributions isn’t such a bad thing.

  14. shinola

    “George W. Bush cuts South Carolina radio ad for Jeb” (!?!)

    Just how tone deaf/out-of-touch/oblivious is this Jeb! person?

    I don’t know anyone, including life long R’s, who think Dubya (h/t to Molly Ivans) was a good prez.
    Most refer to the Bush Jr. legacy as somewhere from “unfortunate” to “disastrous”.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is the Democratic party a direct democracy? Do its members directly vote for its chairperson or do the delegates?

  15. Watt4Bob

    When are people going to wake-up to the fact that driver-less cars are not the point.

    Driver-less trucks, and taxis are the eventual goal.

    Driver-less cars don’t make the 1% richer, but driver-less semis and taxi cabs do.

    Same reason Amazon wants to use drones to deliver stuff…

    1. Amateur Socialist

      And same reason GM is buying into Lyft. Building and selling cars to drivers is a lot of bother. They have to be financed, marketed etc. But building “transportation platforms” that provide rent extraction for every ride is evolutionary.

      At some point GM may be able to just quit building the cars altogether. It’s expensive and involves too many cranky unionists. Once the business reverts to pure rent extraction why bother? The cell phone business comes to mind…

  16. cm

    A list of Democratic superdelegates and to whom they’ve committed. Kudos to the Democratic party for corrupting the very word…

  17. Benedict@Large

    Re: Privatization Is the Atlanticist Strategy to Attack Russia

    Private banks do not create money. This is a mistake that undermines all monetarist economic thinking. [The “money multiplier” was created by an accounting error. When that error is rectified, the multiplier disappears.] What private banks actually create is credit, which is not the same as money. (It must be paid back.) Any economy depending on banks to create money will eventually over-leverage and implode. This is what happened in 2008.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Technically, money is not wealth, though it may appear like it in many ways.

      Credit is not money, but it acts like temporary money, instead of ‘permanent money (though permanent can meet destruction when intersected with taxation).’

    2. AJ

      All money is created by credit. By definition. Since it’s just an accounting entry, it has to be on the liabilities side of someone’s balance sheet.

  18. wbgonne

    [WaPo’s Greg] Sargent comments:

    [Both Trump and Sanders] are speaking to people’s sense that our economic and political systems are cheating them, that they are being failed because the underlying rules of those systems have themselves been rigged. … What both Trump and Sanders share is that they treat the problem as one of political economy, in which both the economic and political systems are rigged in intertwined ways, thus speaking directly to people’s understandable intellectual assessment of what is deeply wrong with our system and why it no longer works for them.

    The weather vanes are beginning to turn. I’ve observed it at Daily Kos, too. Clinton is dangerously close to being abandoned by the opinion leaders.

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      I don’t read kos much but a link took me there today and it’s all Bernie on the front page.

      1. RUKidding

        Yeah, the Great Orange Satan is at least acknowledging the tide is turning. I am still seeing a couple of other lefty websites clinging and grasping to their All Hillary All the Time stance and continuing to diss Sanders mostly with standard rightwing talking points. Really makes me want to vote for Hillary, that does! It’s amazing, and then they wonder why “the youth” is turning out for Sanders… all said with absolutely sneering disdane and arrogant condescension towards today’s clearly misguided hippy stoopit youth… yeah, that’ll larn those worthless hippies why they’re stoopit unless they vote for Clinton!! duh

        1. Katiebird

          Yeah. I’ve had a couple of depressing experiences too. All I can say is I’m not turning my back on a guy who’ll TRY for Medicare for Everyone. Call me a fool but that’s where I stand.

          1. Carl

            Damn right. Now we’re supposed to swallow the idea that massive campaign contributions and moneymaking speechifying means nothing. I’ve never ever in my entire life donated to a presidential campaign. Until last Friday. It was the experience of watching the entire “go along to get along” Democratic establishment in full panic mode (hey, Paul Krugman!) trying desperately to put their collective thumbs on the scale that made me cough up. And yes, I can contribute again, and again…

          2. Laughingsong

            Right there with ya. And yeah, I wasn’t effin born yesterday, I very well know the chances of Bernie getting universal health care, free public university tuition, etc. passed, even with a strong grassroots surge. But for me, it’s as much about what he won’t do as about what he will. He won’t cut social security, he won’t succumb to egregious war-hawkery, he won’t support TPP-TTIP. . . Regardless of what HRC says now I completely believe that the Grand Bargain will be alive and well after the first 100 days, and her “concerns” about TPP will be magically “satisfied” . . . As Himself often says, “I wouldn’t believe the Lord’s Prayer out of her mouth.”

            If he doesn’t get the nomination I will write him in. I’m done with voting for the lesser of 2 evils.

        1. wbgonne

          In my view, Meteor Blades is the only DK front page writer who is a righteous dude. Egberto Willies is pretty good on Sanders but is otherwise a decidedly mixed bag. The rest of the front pagers are goddawful and an embarrassment whose continued existence is explianed by the simple fact thst the Great Kos himself, the guy who writes the checks at DK, is so deep in Hillary’s tank he can’t see the sky anymore. The Recommended List is representative of the overall site membership, which is overwhelmingly pro-Sanders. The weather vanes I reference are certain specific DK commenters who I find to be harbingers of shifting winds. Totally un-scientific, of course.

          1. sumiDreamer

            We could start a poll, as I, for one, totally agree with you on the Meteor Blades recommendation.

            It’s very telling to watch the commentors on the liveblog during the primaries. DK is way out of step with its current batch of readers. The hostility to Her Slyness drips out in nearly every comment. (They don’t like Rubio much either.)

  19. bob

    “Bloomberg will deliver a lecture to megarich residents of exclusive Caribbean retreat Lyford Cay on Saturday.”

    I’ll give him a hat tip for honesty. Those are his people, living in an offshore bank haven, under cover of the queen.

    Can we, as people of the US, put him on trial for treason?

    1. RUKidding

      Lyford Key – eh? Wow, collecting the really really really BIG bucks, Bloomberg is. Guess the .0001% is getting nervous. I’d celebrate, except I fear this still doesn’t end well for the rabble, somehow. Never seems to anymore.

  20. C

    US: “Lawmakers say harsh criticism leveled against President Obama’s Pacific Rim trade agreement from presidential candidates in both parties is further complicating its passage” [The Hill].

    Ummm… YAY!

  21. Jim Haygood

    Marketwatch jumps on Bernie’s bandwagon with a scathing opinion piece:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Memo to Hillary Clinton: It’s not just about transcripts of your talks with Goldman Sachs, your emails which may or may not have contained classified information, or even what really happened that dark night of the deadly attack on American diplomats in Benghazi.

    It’s about the perception of deceit, secretiveness, hypocrisy and an overweening sense of entitlement underlying these controversies. That’s what has voters worried.

    Women have already deserted her and Sanders may be right that once African Americans become acquainted with him and his message, they might desert her, too.

    We have had two and a half decades of the Clintons and we’re tired of them. We’re tired of their sophistry (it depends on what the meaning of “is” is), their ambivalences, their greed and their ethical challenges.

    While Bill Clinton is a gifted and charismatic politician, Hillary Clinton has consistently failed to make the grade.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bernie-sanders-rolls-over-a-deeply-mistrusted-hillary-clinton-2016-02-10

    Ouch!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Trust and character…from 24 years ago.

      They are gifts from the past…past Democrat voters…whatever they are, they are we have created ourselves.

    2. Optimader

      , or even what really happened that dark night of the deadly attack on American diplomats in Benghazi

      Make that deadly attack on a CIA safehouse and theagent provocateurs contained therein.
      Lets be honest here.

      1. ambrit

        Really, American “Diplomacy” has now become “War in disguise.”
        Is there anyone left at the State Department who can practice old fashioned Diplomacy? When is the POTUS going to fly out to the ‘secret’ base somewhere in the Pacific and declare, “You work for me! Not the other way around!”

  22. allan

    When Bernie Sanders taught at Binghamton University

    A blast from the past:

    Bernie Sanders was railing against income inequality in Binghamton long before he ever set foot on the presidential campaign trail.

    Sanders, now competing with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, spent the spring 1990 semester teaching college classes in upstate New York, including a masters-level course at Binghamton University.

    And the Sanders of 1990 — then coming off an eight-year stint as mayor of Burlington, Vermont — sounded quite a bit like the Sanders of 2016.

    “The gap between rich and poor is growing wider and wider,” Sanders told a group of BU faculty and students, according to a May 1990 article in the campus’ faculty newspaper. “The richest 1 percent of the population have one-half America’s wealth, while the richest 10 percent control 80 percent of the wealth.” …

    1. 3.14e-9

      Here’s another one, from 1996, when he was running for a second term in Congress. Same speech, but with a bonus: Gloria Steinem made a guest appearance to endorse him. Her opening line:

      “Actually, I’m only here today to make Bernie Sanders an honorary woman.”

      If Bill Clinton was the first black president, maybe Bernie Sanders will be the first woman president?

      YouTube + /watch?v=BgcHk9WpcJo

    2. Jim Haygood

      Hillary sounds about the same too:

      “While Bill talked about social change, I embodied it. I represented a fundamental change in the way women functioned in our society.

      “I was called a “Rorschach test” for the American public, and it was an apt way of conveying the varied and extreme reactions that I provoked. I had been turned into a symbol for women of my generation.”

      — Hillary Rodham Clinton, Living History, pp. 110-111.

      http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Hillary_Clinton_Principles_+_Values.htm

      Hillary: living symbol.

      1. optimader

        And she conceptually mapped out the Internetz to Al Gore as they drained a bottle of Jack Daniels one night while Tipper was upstairs listening to Overnight Sensation as Bill did his Arkansas Snake Dance for her in his floral pattern Speedo..

    3. Jerry Denim

      I spent a half hour the other night watching Bernie Sanders clips from over the years on a You Tube channel. It’s amazing he was the exact same guy, with the exact same talking points, as a Congressional freshman in 1991 as he is on the Presidential campaign trail in 2016! Absolutely incredible how consistently he’s been hammering the same message for such a long time. He’s a prophet and a saint. He’s been the lone voice crying in the wilderness for years regarding income inequality, trade, deregulation etc, but only now has the public conscience caught up to him.

      Even if Sanders isn’t able to win the Democratic nomination or the White House he’s finally got the main-stream of what passes for the left in the United States talking about the complete venality and corruption of the Clintons and the Democratic Party establishment which they embody. That in itself is a victory I’m grateful for. I’m looking forward to seeing a President Sanders in the White House. I believe.

  23. Norm de plume

    “Trade Minister Andrew Robb has been slammed for failing to submit the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to an independent economic analysis before asking Parliament to ratify it”

    Today in the Guardian:

    Robb confirmed on Wednesday that he would bow out of parliament after 12 “fulfilling and eventful” years as the MP for the Victorian seat of Goldstein, but would not force a byelection. His next career would be “in some capacity in the private sector”.

    My work here is done.. Now its payback time!

  24. Jerry Denim

    “Both the Iowa and New Hampshire polls significantly understated Sanders’ strength, IIRC a little under 5% in Iowa, and a little over 5% in New Hampshire.”

    That was one of the first things I looked up last night as the better than expected for Sanders results started coming in. The Real Clear Politics averaged poll of polls predicted Sander winning by 13 points. With the exception of the CNN poll, a slightly overly optimistic outlier, the various polls had Sanders ahead between 7 and 16 points. He crushed Clinton with a 22 point margin of victory exceeding his poll average by almost a full 10 points. Given that poll data from heavily polled Iowa and New Hamsphire radically underestimated Sanders support it’s very likely the very old and thin poll data from South Carolina and Nevada is even more incorrect. Sanders big win in New Hampshire and virtual, coin-toss tie in Iowa has probably done more to bolster Sanders image among voters than weaken Clinton’s. Sanders has been portrayed as the no-name, no-chance, long-shot, “unelectable” candidate by the media. That narrative has been shattered. It has long been shown that performance expectations are one of the biggest drivers of voting behaviors, so the horse race dynamic has just been radically changed.

    1. AJ

      I called this a while back after the “No” vote in Greece came back with an unexpected 10 point swing from polls. Bernie pulls the young crowd hard. These folks are notoriously hard-to-poll. They don’t have land-lines and don’t take unsolicited calls on their cell phones. Whatever the polls show, I think it’s safe to move 5-10 points in Bernie’s direction.

      1. Jen

        It’s not just the young folks, speaking as one solidly in the middle age category. I live in NH. My phone has been ringing 10, 15, 20 times a day since August. I have caller ID, and if I don’t recognize the number, I don’t answer the phone, and neither does anyone else I know. Now that the primary is over I’m relishing the sound of silence, because as soon as the nominees are selected, my phone’s going to be ringing non stop again. Perhaps polls are wildly inaccureate because we are being polled to death.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I don’t know Coates and he doesn’t have decades of work, so it’s difficult to judge his character.

      -Coates was trashed by people he admires. Adolph Reed’s response was not kind. It was polite, but it still was a stern rebuke.
      -Coates is relatively young. There are legions of people ahead of him for Clinton patronage, and he might not have another book in him. With youth support for Sanders, does he really want to separate himself from his future market? Hillary isn’t going on be a pleasant surprise as President. Her numbers will tank. Does Coates want to be part of the borg?
      -Coates might have problems with Bernie and Sanders’ stance on reparations, but Coates might recognize it’s an absurdity to expect Clinton Inc to come around. When Sanders was still just an oddity, Coates could be freer to express his dissatisfaction, but if Sanders has a chance, Coates needs to make a decision.

      1. EmilianoZ

        It looks like Coates has been overly impressed by the events in NH. He seems to be thinking that the ship is sinking. But it is not. It is in difficulty but the Superdelegates can and will save the ship. Then Coates will learn a lesson. What he’s done will not be forgotten. There’s one thing politicians value above everything else: Loyalty.

        1. JTMcPhee

          “value loyalty?” What the hell does that mean? Value submission and cowardice maybe… and take vengeance. But loyalty? really you can say that? I guess it depends on what “loyalty” is defined as…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Everyone expects loyalty.

            The Imperial Japanese Army, The Republican Guard, the Red Army, die Wehrmacht, le Grande Armee, the People’s Liberation Army, the Mafia, Big Business, Big Brother, etc.

            Whether you get it or not, that’s a separate question.

            A lot also expect submission (as in total) and cowar…er, team spirit.

        2. Cry Shop

          Haha, Loyalty is rewarded, a good one. One of Clinton’s elections advisers, Block, is the fellow who outed Bill and Jenepher Flowers. Actually, Loyalty is stepped on, and spit upon.

          Politics by it’s very nature is about getting into bed with strangers, enemies, whom ever servers the immediate purpose. Only those who can change, who have an option are respected and invited into bed. Just watch video of Obama’s team on the last day of the last Democratic Party National Convention. All the union shop stewards used to fill the stadium were squirming in their seats and clapping less and less as each speaker informed them in so many ways that they were screwed, screwed because Obama knew they had to be loyal, they had no option. They all knew they had been sold out by their leadership, but just like the Democratic Party they were members of, they had no way to power, no option, to even challenge their own leadership, much less Obama.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The short term rule for loyalty is, be loyal while still in bed together, when the other person can reach out and grab you.

            Long term loyalty is very rare, as you said.

            Once you are out of reach, you declare your new loyalty.

            New, because new is always better, or so declare our 20th/21st century brain washing masters.

      2. Darthbobber

        Not everything can be viewed entirely through the lens of the Democratic primary. Coates did the Bernie-focused reparations piece, but he also did a quite acerbic takedown of Clinton’s rather warped view of reconstruction.

        I doubt if he’s angling for government patronage, in any case.

        There are aspects of Coates’s worldview I find a bit shallow, other focuses I find impractical, but I don’t think everything he does or says is dictated purely by self-interest in any narrow sense.

        1. JTFaraday

          I think Coates’ decision to go after BS on reparations was a bit quixotic, but I think the attack on him in return has been nothing short of ugly, with people projecting all kinds of crap on him. Basically because he had the temerity to become a successful writer-while-black who in turn questioned a white New Deal nostalgic in exactly way a white New Deal nostalgic should be questioned.

            1. Steve H.

              I’m working on a production of Lysistrata now, and your link reminds me of a moment that has become relevant.

              Halftime at an NBA playoff game, I think in Philly, and Destiny’s Child performed, with a chorus line of “I’m too good for you!” And they finished, and there was a sound that still gives me chills, a vast hum that went through the stadium of agreement, and I thought of gender, and race, and the power of that moment. Lysistrata is over two millenia old, an ancient lady that demands attention to the deepest of drives, and weathers the sneers in the service of Peace.

              The criticisms of capitalist exploitation that are leveled against her, I get their basis. The article quotes Bobby Seale, but the Panthers are done, Huey Newton murdered, and that part of the movement marginalized. The success of Beyonce is what makes her unassailable, and the power of her nonviolent approach is what allows her to give a touch of further legitimacy to Black Lives Matter. It impacts deeply to exactly the demographic in that Philly stadium, in a way that cannot be explained away. Lysistrata is still alive.

          1. Darthbobber

            I think that from some writers (as opposed to campaign fanboys) the disagreement predated the Sanders piece and it only offered an opportunity for a second round.
            Two pieces:
            Dixon, from 2014, when Coates first went the reparations route:
            http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/ta-nehisi-coates-blackwashing-reparations-brand-and-last-refuge-scoundrels

            Adolph Reed’s musings from 2000:
            http://educationright.tripod.com/id266.htm

            And while I wouldn’t be quite as scathing as Dixon, I would say that in his response on reparations Sanders took the cause at least as seriously as its purported backers do, who have resolutely refrained from attempting to advance it to the status of anything beyond a parlor game.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          ” I don’t think everything he does or says is dictated purely by self-interest in any narrow sense.”

          I agree. That said, I’m not sure what Coates’s politics actually are. Good writer, always interesting, often disagree. (I actually got turned on to this writing by a wonderful piece on the quiet car. Which is about as WASP and introverted as you can get, I think!)

    2. Kim Kaufman

      I don’t think Amy was expecting it either. She’s been pushing Hillary and marginalizing Bernie.

      1. RabidGandhi

        I watch/listen to DN! pretty regularly and I have not seen it favouring HRC in any way. Any proof for that claim?

      1. allan

        Let the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Clinton-splain this to Coates:

        “Many of these are first-time voters and Senator Sanders’ message resonates with the younger generation because of the promises that he is making,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), chairman of the CBC. “But Mrs. Clinton and others are going to challenge the message by suggesting that it is unrealistic to believe that we can accomplish all of the things that Senator Sanders proposes.”

        “They need to understand that when a candidate presents a message, you’ve got to pierce the message to determine whether or not it’s realistic, given the political climate that we live in,” Butterfield said. “It’s not a negative, it’s not an aspersion on the new voter. It’s the fact that many of them are inexperienced and have not gone through a presidential election cycle before.”

        1. mk

          or maybe young people believe they can create their own reality by electing Bernie and at least having someone on their side who will not leave them behind once he gets elected. Bernie is someone who I expect will get on the media to let people know when to apply pressure and where to apply it so some of these dreams can be realized, like free college tuition and single payer health care for all. These are not pipe dreams like sending a man to the moon!

  25. Darthbobber

    In the WaPo:

    “As Trump made the rounds on television, Sanders was welcomed in Harlem by the Rev. Al Sharpton, whose backing could potentially boost the Vermont senator’s standing in the Democratic Party’s base. Sharpton embraced Sanders before they headed to a soul food restaurant for breakfast, but afterward he said he would not make an immediate endorsement in the presidential race.”
    Chiseling away at the firewall.

  26. Darthbobber

    Josh Marshall now maintaining radio silence.
    Just checked out the TPM frontpage, and there’s not a single piece on the Dem primaries or the Dem N.H. results on the front page.
    Teehee.

    1. allan

      It’s hard to convince a man of something when his invitation to the White House Correspondents Dinner
      depends on him not understanding it.

      Along the same lines, NPR is still pushing the line that Clinton has a natural advantage with minorities,
      not mentioning that Sanders got 48% (? – I couldn’t find a link) of the (admittedly small) minority vote in NH.

      1. Optimader

        http://www.whca.net/dinner.htm

        Its never really made any sense to me that potus and senior government peeps should be invited to this event.
        It should be White House Correspondents, their guests and invitees from the fourth estate.
        Let the subjects of the ink read about it the next day.

  27. Jim

    Does BlackLivesMatter have a longer political future than the Black Panthers?

    Does BlackLivesMatter believe that violence against black women, trans, gay/lesbians and disabled persons is created by White Privilege?

    How does BlackLivesMatter account for the overwhelming and disproportionate body count of deaths of blacks by other members of the black community who are not police, security guards or vigilantes?

    Does the greatest physical threat to black lives today come from white cops?

    Does the greatest physical threat to black lives today come from other ordinary black residents?

    How does BlackLivesMatter explain the relationship between the unjust killings of blacks by police and the unjust killings that occur by blacks against other blacks in black neighborhoods?

    Could it be that the root cause of this violence lies with local residents’ criminality?

    Does BlackLivesMatter have a political strategy for stopping black violence in black communities?

    1. HotFlash

      I would have to point out that while one expects crime from criminals, one expects law enforcement from law enforcement officers.

    2. Darthbobber

      Shocking. A group that seeks to influence public policy chooses to focus on those ills that emanate from public policy.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Cops get to whack black people with impunity, and do. Whatever that is, it’s not law enforcement.

      My answer is take away their guns, take away their cars, and make them walk the beat. A lot would leave, and that wouldn’t be bad.

    4. ambrit

      Do young men who have nothing to expect from the society around them have to be selfless monks?
      Many young folks in the ‘recreational pharmaceutical trade’ exhibit the characteristics of entrepreneurs. The blowbacks from a social Greshams’ Dynamic can be deadly.
      I’m fully expecting an ‘Uber’ for policing soon.
      If one offers dirt poor wages for ‘armed security personnel,’ do not be surprised to receive dirt poor service. See: http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Armored_Car_Guard_%26_Driver/Hourly_Rate

  28. Mike G

    Dignity Health

    I used to work there. There wasn’t a lot of dignity to be found when they did a dirty deal to sell my hospital to a competitor so they could lay everyone off, demolish the building and turn the site into condos — leaving the competitor a monopoly in town. Now they run sickly-sweet TV commercials about how kind and caring they are.

  29. TedWa

    THIS is interesting. I just got this e-mail from Democracy Now and Michael Moore that this next movie is about how Bernie can get the things other developed countries have. This is not an ad from me:

    My goal: to show millions of Americans what these countries have been hiding from us so we can catch up and be #1 again! Remember “WE’RE #1!!”? Don’t you miss being #1 and waving those big foam #1 fingers at patriotic rallies? In my invasions, I don’t use any weapons, and no one gets droned. Instead, I show:

    How to actually make all universities free (and great)
    How to give all workers five to eight weeks PAID vacation (which increases productivity and betters the economy)
    How simple and easy it is to give mothers (or fathers) up to a year of PAID maternity leave (which in turn benefits the company overall)
    How in the societies where women have achieved true equality and power, everything just seems to get better for everyone
    How to reduce the crime rate by ending the war on drugs and having a humane prison system (our recidivism rate is as high as 80%; theirs is 20%)
    How the economy bounces back faster and is safer when bankers are put in prison
    How students in countries without standardized tests and needless homework perform better than our students (and that countries which have more arts and music in their schools do better in math and science)

    …and on and on and on. By the end of the movie, you’ll want to go live in one of those countries. But instead, I’ll show you how we can make all of that happen right here in the USA, right now.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I hope that is tied in with stopping government spending on over 100+ overseas military bases.

    1. Darthbobber

      Rev. Al has opened the bidding. And while you or I may lament the fact that Al Sharpton has a chunk of influence among a segment of Black Americans, the fact remains that he does. One does not win by reciting “My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.”

    2. sd

      In 2003, Sharpton was one of the Democratic candidates running for the nomination (Kerry, Dean, Edwards, Sharpton, Gephardt, etc). Sharpton was quite good in the early debates. I remember other more experienced candidates sounding stiff and sound bitish and disingenuous in comparison. Just saying. Sharpton does in fact have something to offer a candidate.

      Disclosure: former New Yorker who used to see Sharpton at Juniors back in the day.

    3. Darthbobber

      A couple of years ago, I made a list of “things that made sense to me when I was 19 years old”, and one of those was the belief that I, as a 19 year old whiteboy from a midwestern factory town, was perfectly well-qualified to pass judgement on which claimants for black leadership were “Uncle Toms”, which ones were snakeoil salesmen, and which were righteous warriors for the cause. But I wasn’t.

      And black America’s various leadership choices can’t really be called any more idiosyncratic or self-defeating than those of white America, working-class America, etc. etc. The ruling class have found this task much easier than anyone else.

    4. LZ

      I hope Bernie reaches out to Tavis Smiley. He’s smart, passionate, and a thought leader in the Black community.

  30. ballard

    Given present demographic trends, large swathes of Europe will be Muslim in 20 years time…

    Forget naked capitalism, let’s talk about naked capitulation.

    Put yourself in the skin of a 18 year old kid, or an unemployed working class single European man in his 20s or 30s.

    Thought experiment: you’ve got a gun to your head, you can either surrender to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or to Caitlyn Jenner. What do you do?

    The easy way out, as Houellebecq recently discovered, is to convert to Islam.

    You don’t have to be good Muslims. Just tolerably good ones. Islam sucks in many ways, but on the whole it’s preferable to progressivism.

    A characteristic of Islam is that it requires of the faithful to take power once it has the numbers to achieve it. A 50% Muslim country, let alone a 80% one, wouldn’t remain progressive for long. Eventually the Muslims will take over. The question is who is going to be part of that. You could remain defiant, and be squeezed and bullied forever. Or you can convert early and join the fun.

    Ever seen the pictures of the Ottoman sultans? It’s a much better option than most western whites will admit. Becoming a Muslim requires repeating the shahada in front of a practicing Muslim, and that’s about it.

    All you have to do (in front of a practicing Muslim) is to say the following with conviction, “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur rasoolu Allah.” This saying means “There is no true god (deity) but God (Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God.”

    Converting to Islam does not mean learning to speak Arabic and disappearing into masses of Pakistanis.

    It’s not nearly as painful or constricting as most westerners imagine, and once you’ve converted, progressives will not (or cannot) attack you successfully.

    So think about it, I’d certainly do so if I were 18.

  31. Darthbobber

    The “Can an English suit be made in Cambodia” link reminds me again that the efficiency the globaloney economists speak of is not at all the efficiency that an engineer or physicist might speak of.

  32. Larry Zamora

    I hope Bernie reaches out to Tavis Smiley, a smart and passionate thought leader in the Black community.

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