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Links 2/11/16

Gravitational waves discovery would open up new world of science Sydney Morning Herald. Andrew F: “Tomorrow, it is widely expected that the LIGO collaboration will announce the detection of gravitational waves. For an opinion on significance, I was once a particle physicist (teaching at Harvard) and I’d put it at a par or perhaps above the significance of the Higgs discovery.” SMH is the layperson treatment.

Everything you need to know about gravitational waves BackReaction (Andrew F)

On unicorn imperialism FT Alphaville. Interesting.

Slovenia town plans public beer fountain UPI

U.S. to study Zika link to Guillain-Barre in Puerto Rico Reuters (EM)

Walgreens Threatens to End Theranos Agreement Wall Street Journal

US is ramping up military spending to counter ‘Russian aggression’. What does that mean for Europe? Guardian (Sid S)

Mr. Market is Upset Again

Turbulent Exit Redux Perry Merhling

Global Stocks Swoon, Investors Seek Havens Wall Street Journal

This is a global stock market rout worth celebrating Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. I agree that stock market declines are not systemically serious events unless the stock market in question has a lot of purchases made with margin debt. But I do not like the state of Eurozone banks or the Eurozone generally.

Refugee Crisis

Hello Europe MT @MSF_Sea People of #Lesvos made new cemetery:those who wash up on shore have a final moment of peace pic.twitter.com/0ag5QJxYpF @stratosathens (guurst) :-(

Israel: Friedman of the NY Times surrenders to One-State Solution, sees ME Apocalypse Juan Cole (resilc)

Turkey dismisses EU plan to resettle refugees in return for sealing sea route Guardian

Nato deploys Aegean people-smuggling patrols BBC

Syraqistan

ISIS Forced To Cut Wages As Oil Revenues Tank OilPrice

Russia offers ceasefire in Syria but US suspects ploy to crush rebels Guardian

Hezbollah Devours Lebanon World Affairs Journal

Obama Proposes Removing Human Rights Conditions on Aid to Egypt Intercept

Putin is No Ally Against ISIS George Soros, Project Syndicate (David L). I am sure readers will have fun with this

.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

CIA Director Melts Down After Being Asked to Apologize for Spying on the Senate District Sentinel

AT&T Does Not Care about Your Privacy Bruce Schneier. In case you had any doubt…

Imperial Collapse Watch

Interview With Laurie Calhoun: Author of, ‘We Kill Because We Can: From Soldiering to Assassination in the Drone Age’ Desert Astralian

2016

Bernie Sanders raises $5.2 million off big New Hampshire win/usa today USA Today

Sanders victory in New Hampshire forces another Clinton rethink Financial Times. Sanders raised more money in January than Clinton.

Congressional Black Caucus to formally endorse Clinton on Thursday Washington Post (resilc)

Slowly but Surely, Bernie Is Securing the Black Vote Alternet. A tad optimistic but this is a work in progress. And what about the Hispanic vote?

For Hillary to Survive, Clintonism Had to Die Bloomberg. But it hasn’t died and that’s why she’s in trouble!

Only Bernie Sanders could raise $5.2 million off a speech bashing money in politics Vox. It was actually $5.2 million in 18 hours.

How Elizabeth Warren Helped Sanders Deflate Clinton’s Massive Political Apparatus Huffington Post. Some of the linked stories are devastating.

Superdelegates: Don’t Deny Democracy MoveOn. Please sign. Someone needs to find names so unhappy citizens can barrage them with mail. Snail mail.

Why losing the presidential race is good business – video Guardian (JTM)

Republicans seek mainstream rival to Trump Financial Times. This headline is comical. They’ve been seeking one for months. They thought they had that solved with Jeb but he’s flamed out. Trump would not be where he is if they had succeeded in this effort.

Rubio’s Bad Foreign Policy Judgment American Conservative

Trump’s Support Keeps Growing American Conservative (resilc)

Do Canadians and Scandinavians Really Not Work and Really Have No Children? (This is a rhetorical question for Kathleen Parker. Or maybe not rhetorical; you decide.) Beverly Mann, Angry Bear

Obama Celebrates Nine Years of Doing Nothing About Money in Politics Intercept

Trump’s Lawyers Argue That Univision Should Have Known He Was a Horrible Racist Xenophobe Gawker

Insurers Flag Rising Health-Plan Losses Wall Street Journal

Uninsured Rate Ticks Up a Bit at End of 2015 Mother Jones

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Cleveland wants Tamir Rice’s family to pay the EMS bill generated by killing him Boing Boing (resilc)

The Surprising Racial Disparity in De-Incarceration Washington Monthly

Global Misery Index Big Picture

Michigan governor says to request another $195 million for Flint water Reuters (EM)

Oil

Today, it begins Behavioral Macro (Chuck L)

‘Fixers’: A financial thriller with cameos by Hillary Clinton and Obama Washington Post

Class Warfare

How Airbnb Misled the Public and the Press Alternet

I sold beer and hot dogs at the Super Bowl and got paid a pittance. Slate

Antidote du jour (The Dodo, via Richard Smith):

swimming polar bears links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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171 comments

  1. Pavel

    I just stumbled across this on The Register, a UK-based IT web publication (known for its cynicism it must be said), regarding a German MP who was (gasp!) allowed to read the draft of the TTIP:

    Katja Kipping has written a personal account of her visit to a special reading room at the German Ministry of Economics that was set up after Parliamentarians fought and won the right to see the text being negotiated on their behalf by bureaucrats.

    In it, she describes the extraordinary lengths that the German government has gone to in order to prevent any useful information on the trade deal being made public.

    First, Kipping was required to book the room for a given period and was allowed only two hours to review the 300+ pages of the current deal (or 25 seconds per page).

    Then she was only permitted to enter the specific room at the Economic Ministry by herself. She was required to leave her jacket, her bag and her phone outside the room so she was not able to take notes or otherwise record or picture the text.

    That text was made available on one of a number of computers in the rooms. She was assigned a specific computer which did not have an internet connection. Before being allowed to sit down in front of the terminal, however, she was required to sign up to the “visitors’ rules” – one of which is that she is not allowed to discuss the content of anything that she has seen.

    TTIP: A locked room, no internet access, two hours, 300 pages and lots of typos

    Nothing like Obama’s Transparency™ in action!

    1. mad as hell.

      She broke the visitor’s rule by discussing. I wonder what the punishment will be?
      Monetary? Censure? Jail perhaps?
      Let’s get this party started!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One would need a min. wage of $30, or more perhaps, an hour to afford living in San Francisco, unless you’re accepted at the Zen Center as a novice monk.

  2. Cry Shop

    “Within months, Mrs. Clinton announced a tentative legal settlement—an unusual intervention by the top U.S. diplomat. UBS ultimately turned over information on 4,450 accounts, a fraction of the 52,000 sought by the IRS.”

    One wonders how those 4,450 accounts were selected, enemies of the Clinton machine perhaps. And how much it cost each of those balance of the 52,000 accounts to be left out, and where the Clinton parked the fees. Speculation, but it would be negligent not to make it.

    1. Strangely Enough

      Well, we don’t have to speculate on how much more interested UBS was in working with the Clinton Foudation, and in paying Bill to speak, post settlement.

  3. Steve H.

    Antidote gave me a shiver down the spine.

    But then the one time I went snorkeling, I was in about fifteen feet of water, I turned around and a half dozen barracudas were arrayed behind me. Absolutely still. Fisheying me.

    I’m told I was in no danger. Yeah whatever. I did a ‘come at me bro.’ They just laughed and swam away.

    1. financial matters

      I had the same experience scuba diving at about 90 feet. 3 of them were right next to me staring at me. They don’t scare away like most other fish.

    2. JEHR

      The polar bear is one of the world’s most majestic creatures. Those paws are like huge paddles and they can swim for hours and hours. Canada has recently protected 85% of The Great Bear Rain Forest along the west coast of BC which houses the “Spirit Bear” which is white but really a cousin of the black bear.

  4. wbgonne

    Slowly but Surely, Bernie Is Securing the Black Vote Alternet. A tad optimistic but this is a work in progress. And what about the Hispanic vote?

    The Hispanic outreach is going quite well:

    BERNIE SANDERS GETS MORE ENDORSEMENTS FROM ARIZONA LATINO LEADERS

    I believe Sanders is now competitive in the Nevada caucus. One caveat: the Clinton Team has clearly learned from Obama 2008 and is now manipulating the caucus voting to the point of outright voter fraud. Bernie better have some election lawyers on staff and on site.

  5. wbgonne

    How Elizabeth Warren Helped Sanders Deflate Clinton’s Massive Political Apparatus Huffington Post.

    Warren could help Sanders a lot more with an endorsement. Ahem.

    1. Cry Shop

      Look up Fleet in Being.

      Warren may have other reasons as well, Sanders as president is still an unknown. It would be a lot easier for her to apply pressure on him from the outside than from inside.

      1. wbgonne

        The issue is whether “Sanders as president” becomes a reality. If not, it’s Clinton or a Republican. How much will Warren like that? What good will her “pressure” do then? First thing first. Get Sanders elected.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          After the recent spate of women who don’t support Hillary are going to hell arguments and the bourgeois support for Hillary, it’s definitely time for Warren to endorse Sanders. Warren will be sidelined under a Clinton Presidency.

          1. wbgonne

            Agreed. I think it was commenter James Levy who suggested that Warren’s endorsement would have maximum impact if made before Super Tuesday (which includes Massachusetts). I agree.

            Sanders has almost singlehandedly made his campaign viable but he could use a little help. Bernie could really use a Democratic senator coming out for him. And no Democratic senator is more valuable as an endorser or more simpatico to Sanders’ views than Warren. I don’t know what she is waiting for.

            1. Lord Koos

              What are any of the so-called “liberal” senators waiting for? Fear of retaliation for not toeing the party line (especially if Hillary should win)?

        2. DanB

          The longer Warren -my senator- waits, the more she looks like a typical politician with her wet finger in the wind rather than a three dimensional chess player who is seeking the maximum impact moment to endorse Bernie. This is especially so after the recent eruptions of viciousness by Steinem and Albright.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s quite possible that very few come out of this looking good at all.

            Perhaps none.

            And there are those who say, enough with the status quo, lets get a new start – they would not have any problems at all.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I disagree vehemently. Warren has made her views amply clear. Her refusal to endorse Clinton says she does not endorse her.

      And I think you way overestimate the value of her endorsement. Everyone in the Warren camp is already not on Team Clinton and therefore either voting for Sanders or not voting at all.

      She has way more power in pressuring Clinton, who is delusional enough to think that Warren might endorse her before Clinton wins the nomination. by staying silent than by endorsing Sanders.

      In addition, you forget that with the superdelegates that Clinton has locked up, Sanders has zero chance of wining. He needs to win 62% of the other delegates to beat her. He couldn’t do that even in New Hampshire. I’ve been loath to say that but that’s how it breaks.

      So Warren also has good reason not to cross Clinton so overtly. The Clintons are far more vicious in how they deal with opponents than Obama.

      1. Darthbobber

        I agree with this take. She also seems to be amplifying Sanders points or breaking up Clintonian counterattacks in almost exactly the same way she would if she WERE a surrogate. Except that its more effective at present precisely BECAUSE there’s no endorsement. Once you formally endorse, a substantial discount gets applied to your interventions on the grounds that they are then assumed to be partisan.

      2. Kurt Sperry

        In addition, you forget that with the superdelegates that Clinton has locked up, Sanders has zero chance of win[n]ing. He needs to win 62% of the other delegates to beat her. He couldn’t do that even in New Hampshire. I’ve been loath to say that but that’s how it breaks.

        We’ll see.

        I’m certain the zero is wrong, there is an ongoing FBI investigation. Also, if she were to use the superdelegate fix to overpower a significant popular vote discrepancy, not only would she likely lose the general as a result but she would do grave damage to the reputations of both herself and the party, and even if she won the general she’d be a bobbing piece of bloody meat in a tank full of sharks with little or no support either within or outside her party.

        Now I guess that prospect wouldn’t deter her neoliberal Wall St. and corporate backers much–they probably don’t give two s**ts what happens to either Hillary or the DP as long as they have a puppet from either party in place for a little while longer. They I’m sure could literally not care less if the electee is a D or an R as long as they’ve been bribed off in advance, but a nakedly anti-democratic Hillary coup d’etat would precipitate a deep political crisis that would resonate and be talked about as a watershed event for decades to come if not even longer. The party and her presidency (in the extremely unlikely event she went on to win the general in this scenario) would no longer have any legitimacy, either at home or on the world stage. A Sanders nomination, as bad as that would be, could probably be effectively managed or obstructed and subverted from getting much of his platform actually into place; a bald faced subversion of the democratic electoral process would be an existential threat to the Democratic Party and indeed entire American global imperial project. Nobody would take American democracy seriously again. The brand, America’s reputation, would be destroyed beyond any repair.

        Anyway, I kind of like the sound of that, so here’s hoping you are right and that Hillary uses the superdelegates to nakedly subvert democracy. That would rip the mask off and nicely bring things to a head in a way they probably should be sooner rather than later and the framing would be perfect for putting the ugly reality into high relief and even destroying her mud splattered high profile neoliberal backers as part of the political process going forwards. I think it would in fact be likely to bring change even more effectively than a Sanders administration facing total hard line legislative obstructionism.

        Personally, I think it entirely possible she’ll be indicted, forced to withdraw her candidacy and won’t even be a candidate any longer by November.

        We’ll see.

  6. fresno dan

    Cleveland wants Tamir Rice’s family to pay the EMS bill generated by killing him Boing Boing (resilc)

    The city filed a creditor’s notice against the estate of Tamir Rice looking for a past due amount of $500. What’s that $500 for? It’s “owing for emergency medical services rendered as the decedent’s last dying expense under Ohio Revised Code.”

    “That the city would submit a bill and call itself a creditor after having had its own police officers slay 12-year-old Tamir displays a new pinnacle of callousness and insensitivity,” one of Rice’s family attorneys, Subodh Chandra, told Scene this afternoon. “The kind of poor judgment that it takes to do such a thing is nothing short of breathtaking. Who on earth would think this was a good idea and file this on behalf of the city? This adds insult to homicide.

    $50 of the bill is for gas, but they didn’t charge him for the bullet.

    That old adage about not assuming malice where stupidity is possible? Hard to believe, given the relentless media scrutiny and the obvious PR repercussions of doing this. This looks like someone making a very nasty point.

    =========================================
    When the Chinese execute you, do they JUST charge for the bullet? (is it actually true?)
    So I looked up the political party of the Mayor and the city council. All blue. So do they agree with this, or do they just not pay any attention to what their functionaries do???

    Does Cleveland charge homicide victims to pick up the body?

    1. Vatch

      Martin Shkreli gets a lot of attention because he’s so wildly over the top. But there are plenty of people who are only slightly less severe versions of Shkreli, and a lot of them are servants of the oligarchy. Cleveland city employees, for example. It’s not just Cleveland, of course. Bigger cities, such as Chicago, and smaller ones, such as Ferguson, Missouri, also do their part in abusively protecting the interests of the richest 0.01%.

  7. Synoia

    Gravitational waves discovery would open up new world of science

    Hmm, yes and no. One barrier to their effective us is the Nyquist limit.

    1. susan the other

      The longer article made it sound like the “fabric” of space is gravitational waves and space is just the area. ‘Gravitational waves don’t move thru space but are a disturbance of space itself.’

  8. Brindle

    re: Congressional Black Caucus / Clinton….

    Classic Black Misleadership Class behavior; settle for crumbs, don’t rock the boat. Clinton may very well win SC but her percentage of the Black vote will be less than expected.

    —“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.”—

    1. timbers

      “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.”—

      Obama 2008: “Hope”
      Clinton 2016: “Give up”

      1. Jim Haygood

        Clinton’s delegate strategist Jeff Berman used to lobby for Geo Group, “the world’s leading provider of correctional, detention, and community reentry services.”

        http://www.geogroup.com/

        Young Jeff looks at that sea of shiny, happy African-American faces and sees … REVENUES!

    1. James Levy

      Although I find his politics and tactics repellent, I don’t want him to go to jail so much as I want him to be forced to pay fair market prices for the public goods he consumes. As a taxpayer, supporting this jerk in jail is way less important to me than getting him to pay his grazing fees.

      1. susan the other

        Cliven needs his day in court because the contracts he argues are so old it is possible he does have grazing rights in perpetuity and at a grandfathered price. If there are no documents to the contrary Cliven will probably prevail. Most of the documents no longer exist – if they ever did. It’s easy to dislike these goofballs, accidentally shooting themselves and all, but this is a question that the government avoided which makes me wonder that the legal rights being argued are real.

        1. nobody

          If Cliven won in court, his victory would be overturned on appeal, as happened with the Hage family.

          To understand where these people are coming from, the book to read is Wayne Hage’s Storm over Rangelands: Private Rights in Federal Lands (1994). For a more cursory exploration, one could start with the wikipedia entry for “Sagebrush Rebellion” and then click through on a few of the links.

          For the curious, here is an interesting blog post on Cliven Bundy (“Cliven Bundy – Folk Hero or Scapegoat?: Media Manipulation in the Age of Instant Messaging”). It’s not fantastic but the author did bother to do a bit of research and apply some critical thinking to some of the basic real or supposed facts, two features that are notably absent from almost all commentary and reporting on this incident.

          Unfortunately…there seem to be only two camps, each propagating an extremist view of Bundy, with no middle ground, no subtlety, no shades of gray. Dubya Bush famously declared, “You’re either with us or against us”, and both the Left and the Right seem to ascribe to this simplistic, dualistic and antagonistic mindset.

          It’s a sad state of affairs when the mainstream media and pundit coverage and discussion of Bundy’s resistance offers so little nuance or philosophical reflection on the real issues involved, but instead seeks only to either lionize or demonize the protagonist.

          https://riversong.wordpress.com/the-2014-range-war-cliven-bundy-v-dc/

          1. susan the other

            I just read wiki. Bundy’s 1877 rights are too young to prevail as the US owned the territory by then. If his claim had predated our war with Mexico he might have had some wiggle room. Too bad he didn’t hire a lawyer. I’m more sympathetic with the Paiutes from whom settlers took the land c. 1850. Bundy might never have had a case at all.

            1. john

              Vincent Price’s best work was “The Baron of Arizona”

              He plays a fake monk who goes undercover to forge a Spanish land grant to secure a mexican town’s land rights.

              Fascinating movie.

              1. fresno dan

                Saw that – it was a great movie.
                Based on a true story, you have to admire how much thought and effort went into the grift. And a good example of early CSI work, disproving the claim by examining the ink!

        2. Carolinian

          They have already had their day in court on the land rights question and lost. They still cling to a legal justification based on the Magna Carta or some such.

          As for “goofy,” threatening people’s children is quite ugly. You are dealing with bullies who need to be slapped down.

            1. Carolinian

              Counterpunch has had several stories on this…you can google them. But if I understand it right they are claiming common law takes precedent over US law. These claims have not held up in US courts–the place where we live–and therefore they are lawbreakers. In effect they are secessionists who want to live in their own country by their own laws.

              To which I say fine, please go live somewhere else. However don’t pretend this has anything to do with the Constitution. And per your comment below, just because I feel critical toward our government doesn’t mean I want to secede and declare my yard sovereign. The Bundys are wackos with assault rifles. You don’t get to go around threatening people and pretend that you are nice.

      2. Carolinian

        I say put him in jail and make him pay up. These ranchers are engaged in armed insurrection against the US government. Leniency only encourages them. I saw a story recently that said a major reason why the BLM turns a blind eye to the environmental destruction caused by the welfare ranchers is that the land managers live in these communities and are intimidated by all the threats made to them and their families. It’s time these spoiled brat cattle people learned that actions have consequences.

        1. polecat

          a US government that you often claim to engage in bad practices, which lead to equally bad outcomes for many !! ………and as for environmental destruction, you, I , and virtually everyone living contributes to it in some fashion, unwitting or otherwise, bad as that may be.

        2. Gio Bruno

          Many of these BLM, and USF&W folks (or their parents) are personal friends of mine. It’s not words they fear. It’s the bullets. The Bundy Bozo’s and their kindred spirits are wacko’s.

  9. Auntienene

    Re CBC to endorse Clinton. It’s telling that Clyburn was in discussions with his family instead of his constituents. Is it a good or bad career move for me me me???

  10. MartyH

    On Soros: if Valdimir Putin gave gold coins to everyone in Europe, Soros would find some way to blame it on some conspiracy to break up the EU or destroy civilization or maybe even the universe. This time, George The Genius decides that The Evil Vlad is going to destroy the EU with the refugees he creates by his actions in Syria. I wonder if anyone will bother to point out that the refugee flow started MONTHS (years?) before Russia got involved?

    It would be interesting to see if George or any of his spokespersons or NGOs supported the jihadi mercenaries funded by the Saudi and/or the CIA. That would make the hypocrisy complete.

  11. GlobalMisanthrope

    Re Congressional Black Caucus to formally endorse Clinton on Thursday

    What was that about a special place in Hell?

    1. polecat

      Shepard: “If you even try to take advantage of that innocent kind young woman,you will go to a special place in Hell…..reserved only for child molesters………and people who shout in theaters!”

  12. allan

    Horrible NPR story on Flint and its fallout: Flint Residents’ Broken Faith: ‘The People We Trusted Failed Us’

    In Flint, Mich., government officials allowed water from the Flint River to corrode the city’s pipes, leaching lead and other toxins into the tap water. … It could take even longer to rebuild something more abstract: trust, between citizens and their government. … The fundamental relationship between the people and their elected leaders has been damaged. Emails show that government officials knew about problems with Flint’s water even while they publicly encouraged people to keep drinking from the tap…..

    The reporter uses the phrase `elected leaders’.
    But not `emergency manager’.
    The mayor is named but there is no mention of the fact that she took office long after the decisions had been made, and in fact ran on a platform of trying to fix a problem that the state was still in denial about.
    A listener who had never heard about the situation would have no idea
    of how the disaster happened and who is responsible.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Broken faith.” :People we ‘trusted’.” All these crocodile tears make for some pretty “compelling” “journalism.”

      Michael Moore’s Roger & Me was released on DECEMBER 20, 1989. According to wikipedia, at the time, “Film critic Pauline Kael felt the film exaggerated the social impact of GM’s closing of the plant and depicted the actual events of Flint’s troubles out of chronological order. Kael called the film “shallow and facetious, a piece of gonzo demagoguery that made me feel cheap for laughing”.

      Since then the economy has “grown” “robustly” under clinton, joblessly under bush, and “ersatzly” under obama. Everybody says so. The stock market is going up.

      But the real story of Flint, and hundreds of other communities like it, is that this is how you gut a nation for the profit and glory of a few. This is how you cut taxes on those who have all the money. How you “compete” “globally.” You just let those communities go and don’t talk about them or make fun of them or blame them or “manage” them.

      When the inevitable fire flares up, you take “responsibility,” “apologize,” and make a show of asking for money for “programs” to “help” like the good little public servant that you are. The “public” is saddened or outraged or aghast.

      All the hand-wringing and head-shaking in the world cannot change the fact that what “can’t happen here” IS happening here. Michael Moore saw it 30 years ago when Flint, MI was sacrificed on the altar of GM. And today, GM gets the clean water and Flint, because it refuses to die quietly, gets the lead.

      It’s how you gut a country one useless community at a time. There’s a price to pay for all this economic growth, and Flint won’t be the only one paying it.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        There is exquisite irony in the fact that william jefferson clinton became president in 1992, two years after Roger & Me was released, and nearly 30 years and $150 million later his wife is grandstanding in poor, beleaguered Flint in an effort to get HERSELF elected president.

        Well played.

        1. James Levy

          Kael’s subjective theory of film reviewing went from egocentrism to solipsism in my opinion. I’d bet my ass she was never in Flint and simply found the movie an annoyance. At times she liked to put on her “I’m from the sticks, not some city-slicker” hat and complain about East Coast sophisticates. At other times, she could be a staggering snob with no time or interest in blacks or the grubby masses. In the end, she was a superior stylist caught up in her own personal and emotional reaction to things with little or no reference to anything but her own thoughts and feelings.

          1. Carolinian

            The role of the film critic is to judge the movie as a movie, not as a piece of political argument. While I disagreed with her about Roger and Me at the time, I now think that Kael had a point. All these years later Moore is still doing exactly the same schtick and his jokey agitprop becomes more labored with each successive film. After awhile you just go “OK, we get it.” Do we have to put up with all that mugging just to get some information?

            Of course it’s a good thing that Moore has brought attention to Flint. But I’d say as a force for the left he’s a very mixed bag. Just being right about something doesn’t necessarily make you a hero.

    1. August West

      I am almost 100 % sure this video has been linked here already. I seem to recall last summer but that may be wrong. This vid is important and should not be overlooked, circulate widely!!

    1. griffen

      No admission of well, anything. Bet a few emails helped bust the investigation open a little wider. I need to research this one further, along with the Goldman settlement last month.

  13. DJG

    Articles (and many many postings in FB) about how Hillary Clinton’s plans are pragmatic and Bernie Sanders is pie-in-the-sky George-McGovernism. First, it amazes me to read postings from people who weren’t even born in 1972 pontificating about George McGovern. Second, these are the same people who have spent that last eight years telling us that Mitch McConnell is evil incarnate, that the ACA isn’t perfect because Obama didn’t have enough lunches with Olympia Snowe, and that the Republicans are all insane. But somehow when the Republicans (and the Democrats appear to have no plan to take back either house of the Congress) see Hillary “Inevitable + Practical” Clinton, they will cave in and pass her legislative program. Like Obama, Clinton doesn’t have much of a history of passing legislation. Sanders has been in Congress since 1991. He may know a thing or two about passing legislation.

      1. marym

        In at least some states for a write-in vote to be counted the candidate still has to file some paperwork (in IL it’s called a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate). Here’s a link to a NH primary sample ballot where Sanders is listed as “Bernie.” Probably most ballot counting procedures would claim to accept any vote where the intention was clear (Bernie, Bernard, B. Sanders) but who knows? Probably best to try to be as close to the name under which the candidate filed.

        http://sos.nh.gov/DemBal16PP.aspx?id=8589953325

        (scroll to the bottom for the ballot)

  14. dale

    This must sound naïve, but what’s the point of a primary if the delegates are awarded by the Party? New Hampshire’s delegates are split more or less evenly between Clinton and Sanders despite the fact that Sanders garnered 22% more votes. How odd.

    1. vidimi

      in one of the many ironies of american political life, the republican nomination process is far more democratic than the democrat one

      1. Jerry

        Republicans switch to winner-take-all rules part way through their string of primaries. Democrats never do.

    2. GlobalMisanthrope

      The point of the primaries is to provide cover for a completely undemocratic and corrupt process.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s when an event like this happens that we look at the discrepancies.

      And the claim will be there (made, or not made, in the realm of claims), that we do this only because it benefits us, ourselves.

      It was the same in 2000, when people started to look into the difference between the electoral vote and the popular. The same claim was there – that we looked into that because only it would be to our advantage. There were, however, some who had thought about the difference before that. And they could document that. But not all were so fortunate.

      So, here is our chance to get it on record, before it matters – The United Nations is the worst example of the poplar vote being denied.

      A nation of a billion plus, and still increasing, gets one vote, the same as, say, Japan with declining population, or say, Lativa, population 2 million or so.

      And not only that, but 5 guys, and any one of the five can do it alone, have veto power.

      1. Gio Bruno

        That’s the Connecticut Compromise: Wyoming, pop. 500,000 gets 2 Senators; California, pop 38 million gets 2 Senators.

    4. hunkerdown

      The point of elections in the USA is giving the children something to do to burn off excess energy so they won’t interrupt mommy and daddy doing very important business and turning the house into a high-security dormitory.

  15. GlobalMisanthrope

    Re Superdelegates: Don’t Deny Democracy Someone needs to find names so unhappy citizens can barrage them with mail. Snail mail.

    I posted the link to the 2016 Dem Superdelegate list and got thrown into moderation. It’s at Wikipedia: List of Democratic Party superdelegates 2016

    1. Auntienene

      I saw that, and virtually every superdelegate is already committed to Clinton, not that that can’t change.

      1. GlobalMisanthrope

        I’m writing letters to the 15 from my state. If you’re in the US, I humbly suggest you do the same.

        1. Peter Pan

          I have emailed Rep. Kilmer & Sen. Murray (WA) the following:

          I believe that that the Democratic Party needs to reform it’s selection process for Presidential nominee. Specifically, I believe that super-delegates, such as yourself, should withhold any endorsement until after the state’s caucus or primary, and afterward endorse the candidate selected by citizens of the Democratic Party.

          Needless to say, I’m deeply disappointed that you have taken this route by endorsing Hillary Clinton. Although I have always voted for you in every election, both at the state and national level, you can trust that I will not be voting for you in the 2016 election.

          Borrowing from one the “important people” supporting Hillary Clinton, there is a special a special place in hell for you.

            1. polecat

              and cake flingers have an impenetrable layer of political frosting, hence making them untouchable……….

    2. DakotabornKansan

      Re: Wikipedia List of Democratic Party superdelegates, 2016

      That list only includes those, among approximately 712 unpledged delegates, who have endorsed a candidate.

      1. GlobalMisanthrope

        Yeah, but those who have pledged a candidate before the primaries are the ones we really need to target as flouting democracy.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The idea of indirect democracy, and I did not totally buy it then (still don’t), is that sometimes, you need a middle person to vote what he/she believes in, not necessarily the will of the Little People.

          So, the problem has always been there, not just today.

          He or she might have decided when he or she decided, before, during or after the primary.

          And maybe we can address the problem one day…with direct democracy.

  16. MikeNY

    Re Friedman on Bibi and Adelson.

    Wow, if you’ve lost Tom Friedman…

    What a horrible, unholy mess we’ve made.

    1. craazyman

      I thought I felt a gravity wave hit me yesterday. Maybe I was just tired, but I swore I felt heavier for a few seconds.

      Is that a coincidence?

      Maybe that’s why the market is falling, because it’s getting hit by gravity waves. If we can get the machine up and running, maybe we can see the waves coming and go short and get a 10-bagger. Speaking personally, I got so beaten up trying to short I gave up. And then it all fell apart.

      If I’d had a gravity wave machine in my apartment, I could have seen this coming. I could have either bought or leased the machine and then made enough money to pay for it and have a nice profit. Maybe science can be put to good use after all.

      1. Jim Haygood

        What you have to be alert for are gravity reversals, when everything turns upside down without warning.

        Today a notable inversion has been achieved, with the VIX volatility index (whose long-term average is around 15) at 28.62 (= extreme fear), while crude oil (CLH6) fetches a pitiful $26.30 a barrel (another 13-year low). Your target of $18 mentioned last week is happening faster than anyone could have imagined.

        Looks like the world’s going ‘full venezuela’ … with all the ten-baggers on the short side.

      2. craazyboy

        I think we’ll have Led Zeppelins and Iron Butterflies again. Self driving too, and they will be artificially smart. Facebook and Twitter accounts as well, like my gas pump at the gas station here.

      1. Optimader

        Gravywaves dude…gravywaves. Must be dinner time, my thoughts are awash in gravywaves
        (How could that possibly not be a sprllcheck word? )

        1. abynormal

          wrong link & can’t find it but basically i posted my respects to the death of one of our own NC family members: ‘We are here among Genitalia Giants’…deptheiro coined it best typo eva. rock/crawl

        2. polecat

          Jerry; What is that!……. Dr. Jonas: gravy for the brain…….. Jerry: “Gravy!” ……”.Nooooo… not gravy……PLEASE!……don’t give me gravy……………….. Dr. Jonas: ok Jerry….to whom have you been talking …….??

  17. Roquentin

    Re: US Ramping Up Military Spending

    I can’t tell you how glad the contractors and executives in the defense industry must be about this. They’ve been itching for a reason to squeeze extra money out of congress since the Cold War ended. Don’t fool yourself, the real winner of the Cold War was the military-industrial complex, who used a communist boogieman and endless amounts of paranoia for massive financial gain. Now that the USSR has ceased to exist, it’s more obvious than ever that this was all it was really about from the beginning. The same goes for ISIS, really, who while terrible are nowhere near the threat they are made out to be, nor would a conventional military do much good against any kind of terrorist attacks here or in Europe.

    The military doesn’t exist to fight wars, at least not for many years now, it exists to make a handful of people very, very rich. This is why we “lose” wars like Iraq. It was never about the mission or winning, it was about putting money in someone’s pocket.

    1. Jim Haygood

      All true. Moreover, since the tragic events of 2001, the Military Intelligence Complex appears to be functioning as a full-fledged shadow government.

      They dictate the expansionist policy of global domination. Congress and a figurehead “president” duly apply their rubber stamps. Partisan affiliation is irrelevant, as there’s only one War Party.

      History affords no example of a globally dominant empire that didn’t end up collapsing from internal rot. Imperial decline is eating America’s lunch, and its pace is accelerating.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And that War Party like nothing more than ‘unlimited government budget.’

        We do all the work to develop the theory, and they will reap the benefits.

        1. Peter Pan

          Funding of the MIC, MNC welfare benefits and bankster accounting fraud are key to the neoliberal economic policy of the USA. Surely, without these policies the USA would be economically doomed. [sarc-off]

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            And they are close to getting the key to their Nirvana, no worries about any pending doom.

            “We control the faucet. Thanks for plugging it into an infinite reservoir.”

    1. Auntienene

      Ugh, that is one ugly hairball of a story. Disaster capitalism, Cayman Islands, aides working for his campaign as well as his fund. Perfect illustration of using public office for private gain. Loses money but gets management fees. Plus now the DNC gets its preferred candidate, not that it matters when these are the only choices: bad vs bad.

      1. polecat

        Remember what I said a day or so ago, about so-called progressive candidates, and how they change their book once in office?!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We can only rely on ourselves, by empowering ourselves.

          That means new money (and thus more power) belongs to the Little People.

          If the government is short on money, perhaps the Little People can be charitable.

          Between the choices of giving or receiving, always take the option of being the one able to give.

  18. mk

    Bernie Sanders raises $5.2 million off big New Hampshire win/usa today USA Today —
    I received an email from the Bernie campaign that says they raised $7, 433, 312 as of just now.

  19. Jim Haygood

    Deutsche Bank, comrades: its NYSE-traded shares (symbol DB) are down a hair-raising 55% since last August, as risk indicators pertaining to its debt soar to Lehman-like levels. Chart:

    http://tinyurl.com/hzxtye6

    A spectre is haunting Europe …

    1. susan the other

      If the ECB aka the Bundesbank buys DB’s bunds (bad debts) that will be very unfair to the other EU “sovereign” debt issuers who have been told to tighten their belts… and it will also suck every last pfennig out of the ECB fund, or whatever they are gonna use) so that EU contributions will have to rise to replenish it, no?

  20. alex morfesis

    Pragmatic billary must still really hate women…while in the middle of asking women with children on public assistance to just go get a job, the clintons in 1996 then turned around and adjusted down minimum wage for waitresses…for 30 years from 1966 to 1996, tip wages were mandated to be no less than 50% of regular minimum wage…hillary stood by and watched hubby bill freeze it and now it is at around 25% of minimum wages with almost zero enforcement of the rampent misogyny and wage rape of not matching missing tips or mixing tips (which negates the loophole allowance)…because america so loved women they took away their reproductive rights and then left them to the mercy of stavros the diner owner…because america…

    1. susan the other

      This is just the tip of the iceberg I’m sure. Her NH defeat speech was nothing if not bizarre. Like she got pissed, popped speed and washed it down with tequilla and came out swinging. Touting her progressive vita like she had accomplished anything except a slick PR persona. Hillary’s accomplishments with women and minorities have gotten us exactly nowhere we wouldn’t have gotten without her (and probably faster) and the speech is almost 30 years old. It’s time for Hillary to be gracious and buzz off.

      1. Optimader

        She mistakes the trajectory of her own political body surfing as advancement for women.
        The diconnect is that it’s all about her, and her campaign rhetoric is infused with that.

        She really, sincerly doesnt get what is obvious to many people. Her: me me me/ I I I pitch is as stale as the day before yesterdays bread.

        Why should anyone have any confidence she can twist the knobs wisely to administrate a large complex system without blowing it up? Thats what she needs to pitch to be a closer, and I dont think she has any basis to pull that off.

        Her history haunts her, and she thinks it’s people iyt to get her. A bit of a Nixon streak but with a less warm personality! Hahaha

    1. ambrit

      Thank you optimader. I’m suffering through a mild flu I caught from one of the grandkids last week. This is just the panacea I need.

    2. Skippy

      Its to early in the morning to bust a gut….

      “Flotsam of War: Displaced Civilians”

      Skippy…. Will McNamara please pick up the courtesy white phone…. gags on coffee…

      1. optimader

        McNamara was out of the US Army Air Corp and in Ford within months of VJ day.. It’s too bad he didn’t stay there.

        The postwar reorganization of Japan / repatriation of people was an amazing logistic feat done with white red and blue steno copies.. No Xerox machines, no computers to speak of.
        Long hand linear/dynamic programming was the state of the art for optimization.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Dantzig
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonid_Kantorovich

        1. Skippy

          Ugh…. paranoid filled game theory… see Nash…

          NC unpacked this quite thoroughly back in the day opti…

          Skippy… MacArthur’s deal with the Emperor had more to do with it than anything else imo… not to mention how the whole thing was set up before hostility began.. sorta takes the umph out of the chest beating…

          1. Optimader

            Im no MacAurther fan.. otoh i read this and see Huge philosophical difference of the occupation forces in the treatment of postwar combatants and civilians compared to contemporary examples
            Obviously some elements need a historical lens, but considering the incredible shtstorm that went on in the Pacific, i find it pretty amazing how the equivalent of a switch was flipped and a relatively humane followon reorganizartion and reconstruction program ensued.
            Lets compare to Iraq, a country that really was just doing its own thing when we decided it would be a good idea to destroy it and all it’s institutions.
            Frankly, doing a deal with the Emperor was enlightened IMO

            1. Skippy

              I think your observation wrt the Japaneses example and how you might use it wrt the ME is an example of what I pointed out. Its a case by case deal.

              Japan has a completely different socio ethic history and as such mathematized one size fits all templates not only do not work, worse they end up with path dependency, which ends up as case of the solution looking for an answer.

              We have neoclassical economics for that action lmmao…

              Skippy… as we know MacArthur was bit of a deity unto himself and as such got on like a house on fire with the Emperor, hence the deal….

  21. Peter Pan

    Global Misery Index Big Picture

    While I understand that this is a projection (conjecture) for 2016, I have serious doubts where it comes to Ukraine.

    Looking at year over year data from 12/2014 to 12/2015, Ukraine had an inflation rate of about 43% and an unemployment rate of over 9%. It’s difficult for me to imagine that these rates will improve, since many Ukrainian migrants are being forced back to Ukraine by EU countries and corruption through theft of IMF payments is going to continue. If the previous inflation & unemployment rates hold then Ukraine would rank second on the Global Misery Index.

  22. Jess

    Last two days I’ve had a couple of disconcerting encounters with the surveillance state, private edition.

    Had to get some blood work done for my doc, who sent me to Quest Labs. Arrive to see a sign saying “Scan your bar code” and then sign in on the electronic pad. Fine, except I don’t have a bar code on the paperwork from the doctor. Give a shout out for a real person to come to the desk. One finally does and informs me that the bar code in question is the one on the back of my CA driver’s license. This is definitely a first, and not one I’m happy about. State issued ID database linked to private for-profit enterprise.

    Today I drop my car off for some work. Call a cab. Get a recording saying that if I don’t have any special requests, I can have a car sent to my location by pressing 1. And it gives me my address at the repair shop. Geo-location, much?

    God help us, because we’re gonna need it.

      1. ambrit

        I’ve been in situations where there is no alternate route extant. To set up an ‘account’ in Mississippis’ State “Employment” System, one needs an original Social Security Card. A paper card, not laminated in plastic. When I showed up with the SS card I received at school during the seventh grade, which had been laminated in plastic by the school functionaries for the recipients, I was met with disbelief. “Why did you do this?” was the immediate question. I had to visit the SS office and wait a week for a ‘new’ replacement card to be mailed to my address. When I divulged my overseas birth, oh boy! Luckily, I already had a copy of my London birth certificate from when we had obtained Passports.
        “Papers please!”

    1. hunkerdown

      Landline? Not such a worry — they could have done the same thing with a paper reverse directory, if it were worth the added effort.

      Cell? Creepy.

    2. Ulysses

      It is becoming very hard to pay cash for bridge and tunnel tolls around here. “No EZ pass? No problem! We’ll take a picture of your license plate and bill you by mail.” This is a twofer for the neoliberal surveillance state totalitarians– throw a unionized toll-collector out of work, and get one step closer to total information awareness on our movements.

      Robocop here we come!

  23. Jerry Denim

    AirBnB’s behavior towards illegal hotel operators goes beyond turning a blind eye and fake purges, they give preferential treatment to illegal hotel operators rewarding the behavior. I used to rent out my apartment in New York with AirBnB when I went out of town. Not only are there illegal hotel operators that are super-obvious to the untrained eye (If you’re not stupid; people who have been active on Air BnB for less than a year but have 400 positive reviews, people who rent “their apartment” for 365 days a year, etc.) but AirBnB favors these individuals with the search result algorithms. An illegal hotel baron makes a lot more money for AirBnB than a regular New Yorker who sometimes lists their apartment when they leave town on a vacation. AirBnb rewards those who make them the most money. They have brought bad press and legal scrutiny on themselves with their greedy policies. People who are actually renting their own personal living space furnished with their personal stuff will normally be extremely careful with who they rent to. I only rented to well-reviewed, established, over thirty professionals that seemed very responsible. I turned down a lot of people making inquiries that sounded like potential trouble makers. I imagine most of them found accommodation with one of the illegal hotel operators. The distinction is not lost on most AirBnB users and I think most try to avoid the less personal, poorly furnished, frequently shady, illegal hotel listings. I know I avoid them when I am looking abroad.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Interesting, how we can rationalize, adapt, and swim in the cesspool, without inhaling a gag-inducing ration of sh!t…

  24. ewmayer

    Re. first direct observation of gravitational waves: 3 solar masses – roughly 5% of the total mass of the black hole pair – emitted as pure energy in a fraction of a second – wow! Also this eye-popping sensitivity description – just imagine the task of holding a macroscopic-sized mirror steady enough to permit what is described:

    A change in the lengths of the [LIGO 4km-long detector] arms smaller than one-ten-thousandth the diameter of a proton (10e-19 meter) can be detected.

    During my days on the faculty at CWRU in the mid-90s I attended a talk by Joseph Taylor, mentioned in the article, who proved (by inference rather than direct observation) the existence of g-waves by computing the expected orbital decay of millisecond binary pulsar systems due to emission of such waves. He represents my favorite kind of physicist – high-flown theory, yes, but with a humility born of being grounded in experimental/observational work.

  25. gordon

    I found Laurie Calhoun’s piece about assassination by drone pretty old-fashioned – “just war” and all that. We need to move into the 21st Century with this stuff. Why not have a smartphone app which enables anybody to control a drone and bomb some towelhead or other whenever they’re feeling a bit down. Lead in the water? Log in with your app and use your phone to bomb somebody in Syria. Doesn’t matter who, they’re all Islamofascists, right? Can’t feed your family because even working two jobs doesn’t pay enough? Log in and bomb Damascus! Can’t afford to send your kids to college? Log in and bomb Mosul! Everybody will feel better, the shortage of drone pilots will be instantly solved and we could even have kill competitions, sort of like bowling leagues. Gotta move with the times here, man!

  26. Plenue

    “CIA Director Melts Down After Being Asked to Apologize for Spying on the Senate”

    Watching the video of the hearing, I’m irritated by how the committee members feel obliged to essentially fellate the intelligence directors before launching into any criticism. Wyden literally says they ‘protect our freedoms’! It’s just so vacuous and inane.

    1. polecat

      Vig for Vig !!!!!! We get the funding we’ve requested/You get to do insider trading unencumbered…..what’s not to like!

      1. polecat

        oh…jeeze….these photos just happened to slip out of your dossier…………sorry about that! …..

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