Links Leap Day 2016

Oscars 2016: Spotlight wins Best Picture The Verge. Spotlight was the best American film I saw in 2015, precisely because it just wanted to tell the story it was telling, with a modicum of frills or bombast. The best film I saw overall was A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, which is almost indescribable.

FCC Probes Cable’s Influence on Web TV Wall Street Journal

Puerto Rico braces for wave of mosquito-borne Zika virus Washington Post

New Alzheimer’s treatment fully restores memory function ScienceAlert

2016-O-Rama

How We Fooled Donald Trump Into Retweeting Benito Mussolini Gawker. This makes me miss Racket, which never even existed.

Donald Trump Is Afraid to Denounce the Ku Klux Klan Mother Jones

Trump Repudiated David Duke in August Blooomberg

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions Endorses Trump: “It Is Time To Make America Great Again” RealClearPolitics

Sen. Sasse Says He Won’t Back Trump if He Wins Party Nomination Bloomberg Politics

Inside the Republican Party’s Desperate Mission to Stop Donald Trump New York Times

Why Trump and Sanders Were Inevitable Michael Hirsh, Politico Magazine

Media Blackout As Thousands of Bernie Sanders Supporters March in 45 Cities US Uncut

DNC Vice Chair Resigns To Endorse Sanders: ‘I Cannot Remain Neutral Any Longer’ Gawker

Labor seeks revenge on free-trade Dems Politico

In wealthy Montgomery, some high-earning congressional candidates Washington Post. Versailles’ representative.

Who is right on US financial reform? Sanders, Clinton, or the Republicans? Jeffrey Frankel’s Blog. Petpetuates the myth that only people who worked on Wall Street can possibly be experts. I can give you about 100 names of people who have far more granular expertise than a trader or executive without ever setting foot there. And there’s not even a mention of tight coupling and interconnection, or over-financialization for that matter.

Mervyn King: new financial crisis is ‘certain’ without reform of banks The Guardian

When to be optimistic on growth Simon Wren-Lewis, Mainly Macro

China shares tumble; Nikkei gives up gains to close down 1% CNBC

Arab States Face $94 Billion Debt Crunch on Oil Slump, HSBC Says Bloomberg

States reduce jobless checks, adding pressure to unemployed Associated Press

Watchdog Asks for Probe in Mortgage Lending ‘Revolving Door’ Case National Legal and Policy Center

The fuzzy math of mortgage bankers Josh Rosner, Housing Wire

One Way to Make Mortgages Easier to Get Wall Street Journal. Wow, the government’s still peddling subprime MBS. Fortunately investors aren’t that dumb.

Keeping Investors on a Need-to-Know Basis Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Tim Geithner’s Class on Financial Crisis Real Estate Decoded. Forget the somewhat naive review. This Coursera course Geithner is teaching on the financial crisis is appalling. For example, he claims that his “top non-approved proposal” was to institute cram-down for mortgage borrowers, when his Treasury Department openly lobbied Congressional offices against it, and when he said explicitly in his own book “I didn’t think cram-down was a particularly wise or effective strategy.” It’s almost sociopathic to so nonchalantly tell bold-faced lies under the guise of a lecture to students. And that’s just one of many in this CYA bullshit, where Geithner tries to blame everyone but himself for valuing bank balance sheets over homeowners.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

San Bernardino police: Reasonably good chance nothing of value on shooter’s iPhone Business Insider

Norway Makes It Official, Accuses China of Hacking and Stealing Military Secrets Softpedia

For some D.C.-area companies, encryption is big business Washington Post

Chicago, after nearly 500 homicides last year, logs more than 100 killings so far in 2016 Los Angeles Times

Twin bombing attacks in Baghdad market kill at least 59 Associated Press

A New Libya, With ‘Very Little Time Left’ New York Times. Just brutal. The elites have plenty of explaining to do on all manner of subjects, but for some reason they’re never made to explain this one.

North Korea presents detained American to media Washington Post

Remember the war in Yemen? The U.S. Air Force is there Air Force Times

Germany’s Merkel blasts ‘repulsive’ mob who screamed at migrants Belfast Telegraph

This video shows what Ancient Rome actually looked like Vox

Antidote Du Jour:

Microcebus_rufus_001b links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to Salon.com. He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.

186 comments

    1. HotFlash

      Unmentioned in the article (unmentionable?) is the lack of start-up money. When we started up in the early 90’s, the usual sources of start up $$ were personal savings, personal credit (line of credit and/or credit cards) and ‘love money’ — loans from relatives. Neighbourhood bank managers would extend a small business line of credit/ overdraft to smooth out the bumps in day-to-day cash management. That’s not available anymore — nobody has savings to use or lend to relatives, everybody’s credit cards are maxed out, not that 22% interest is sustainable for a new business anyway, and banks are not lending to SME’s at all anymore. Several of my fellow small biz owner friends are retiring, or at least trying to. They can’t find buyers so when they finally can’t drag themselves in to work one more day, the doors just close and that’s that.

        1. HotFlash

          I have, but the obstacles are huge. Some owners have expressed interest but don’t know how to do it. I was talking about co-ops to a young man who is in biz admin at a community college here, he refused to believe they existed. “Single proprietor, partnership, corporation, that’s all there are.”

          Stephen Harper repurposed the Canadian Cooperative Association, which originally provided templates and legal advice for establishing Canadian cooperatives as an agency to “focus on developing international coops” The new incarnation, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada, is a shadow of the former organization and has a tiny budget.

          We do have coops here, I belong to two. And the $$ problem remains. The employees don’t have the money, and lender5s are reluctant to deal with any small business, let along coops, which they consider just too weird. Even some credit unions, ostensibly coops, won’t. And as to credit unions, the ones I know here are very different than they were 40 yrs ago, they are now run by MBA’s and the members, just like shareholders, get to vote on a couple of issues once a year.

          1. TomD

            Couldn’t they sell the business to the co-op on contract? There’s no need to involve lending institutions at all.

          2. diptherio

            There are lenders who focus on co-ops. The Working World, The Northwest Cooperative Development Center, the Northcountry Fund (recently rebranded to I forget what), The New England Cooperative Development Fund, etc. The Cooperative Development Institute is a good resource as well.

            There are lots of people who work professionally in this field. If you have a functioning business to convert, there are lenders who will finance a worker buy-out and do it in a non-exploitative way. Don’t worry about talking co-ops to people who don’t know them (or don’t believe in them) – find people who are already doing the work, you’ll be happy you did.

            And, for the record, most worker co-ops in the US are incorporated as LLCs, with the workers each owning one voting share.

            http://www.cdi.coop/coop-llc-retain-earnings/

  1. Llewelyn Moss

    re: DNC Vice Chair Resigns To Endorse Sanders

    Makes perfect sense. Hellery tastes blood in the water after SC. She figures she has a lock on the nomination now as long as the rest of the South falls in line. But how to get those pesky Sanders supporters to forgive and forget, and vote for her. If only there was someone who has endorsed Sanders who accept the VP spot on her ticket. It would be extra progressively historical if the VP turned out to be a woman too. Bonus feature: Young and photogenic.

    I’m betting my Ant Farm on this one. Man this tinfoil really scratches my ears.

    1. Tips

      You should read up on ms Gabbard, especially her views on Syria. I think you’d take this back if you knew something about her.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        You are right. I know nothing about Gabbard. My hard-earned cynicism often gets the best of me. With Hellery I always take the most cynical view possible to avoid disappointment.

      2. rusti

        I must be missing something, I did some searching and all I could find from her regarding Syria was this:

        “As a soldier, I understand that before taking any military action, our nation must have a clear tactical objective, a realistic strategy, the necessary resources to execute that strategy—including the support of the American people—and an exit plan. The proposed military action against Syria fails to meet any of these criteria.

        That sounds… totally reasonable? I’d be curious to hear from people who have more insight than the little that I’ve gathered from Wikipedia and a few news articles. The only thing that jumped out at me was that being a 34-year-old opponent of gay marriage could put a damper on her street cred as a force of progressive change among a certain subset of the Democratic base.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Re Ms. Gabbard and “reasonable:” Well, that’s a nice statement of the military field commander’s and the Troops’ wish list. But as with all this Warsh!t, it skips right over the first questions, the ones that are up at the front of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War:” Is this trip necessary? is it wise? does it have the support of the people? is “heaven” (righteousness) behind it? will it bankrupt the “peasants” and the nation? And of course all this WARsh!t is, for the mopes in our Great Nation, a totally losing proposition. Just a circle jark for the MIC and its tentacles, which grow longer and stickier every day…

          And how about that advice from all those dead presidents, about the risks of Empire and entangling ourselves in foreign-soil-wars-of-choice idiocy?

          Zero points to Ms. Former Officer Gabbard for not applying the wisdom of the ages to “the military problem” and just parroting the stuff one apparently learns at West Point (on the way to the Military MBA that is about GROAF and career), and “security?” What the fokk is that, when THERE’S A WAR ON, EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME, and one can take one’s well-paid, personally secure spot in the lineup of procurement and logistics and the rest of the Pentagrammaton… (not speaking about Troops that go to foreign places, go out to kill people they don’t know, patrol and kick in doors and call in Hellfire and depleted-uranium and HE cannon fire, trigger ambushes and IEDs, and then get all weepy about their comrades in arms who are killed and blasted doing WHAT, again? What is the fokking Mission, folks? It’s just a game, like the ever-popular “Call of Duty,” a shoot-em-up at the squad level… accomplishing NOTHING that “makes America more secure,” but sure does look like one giant RACKET…

          Not that anything can be or is likely to be done to change the direction or momentum of the Juggernaut, as it rolls on, gathering mass and “kinetic energy” and crushing ever more humans…

          1. thoughtful person

            I don’t claim to know much about Gabbard, but I did see a short clip on cnn where she said one needs to ask just what you are saying, “Sun Tzu’s “Art of War:” Is this trip necessary? is it wise?” Before the rant section of your post began.

        2. ex-PFC Chuck

          If you want to keep up with how things are going in Syria don’t bother with the MSM. Instead, visit the blog Sic Semper Tyrannis regularly. It’s hosted by retired US Army Col. Patrick Lang who in his career in military intelligence specialized in the Middle East. He took the trouble to learn the languages and cultures of countries there during his postings in Yemen, KSA, etc., served 7 years as head of the ME desk at the DIA. On the home page you’ll find the most recent posts by scrolling down past the description and ordering info for his novel trilogy set in the War Between the States, as he refers to it. Many of the visitors are old Middle East hands from both the US and abroad, so the comments are very informative as well.

          1. JTMcPhee

            I do look at SST, and military.com, and Jane’s, and FP and Mondoweiss and other stuff. I also can’t help but look at the “outcomes” that the military, writ large, has managed to create. Looks like the correspondence between the PR facade and the ground truth approaches ZERO. 15,000 nuclear weapons “needing targeting.” ever more uncontrollable Terminator-type weaponry, F-35s, Humvees, one Troop uniform after another at huge cost, on and on, a Pentagram of which the “budget” is completely impossible to audit, trillions of dollars disappearing into waste, fraud,corruption, Milbabble and futility. Everything measured against its potential for weaponization and destruction. One formerly somewhat or very functional nation after another reduced to rubble or dissolution, in service of corporate interests that include the profits of war profiteers and of course the Bigs — Banking, Oil, various Techs, etc.

            No doubt there are serious studious dedicated people in uniform. But now the Global War on Terror is the new frame, suspended in the Global Network-Centric Interoperable Battlespace that divvies up the whole planet into what, nine warfighting jurisdictions, with the myth of control sketched into the machinery, all built over all that stuff that Smedley Butler called out in his observation that “war is nothing but a racket.”

            And how about the whole maybe majority of the Pentagon family, busily churning out doctrine and definitions and F-35s and now we have number for the next unnecessary idiotic pseudostealth bomber, the B-21, and Madame Secretary has set up a contest to come up with a really cool name for it? What are the Big Picture aims of those serious, studious, dedicated, decorated people? My bet is “victory for the global hegemon,” and as my drill instructor said, “We don’t want you to die for your country — we want you to make the other guy die for HIS country.”

            Yes, participants in wars of choice and destabilizations and invasions past and present no doubt have lots of insight into the details of what went and goes wrong at smaller scales. But militarization may be “inevitable” and engrained into capitalism and imperialism, but then our DNA strands have little end fittings that count up the errors in our inherited material and tell our cells when it is time to die. Not too many of the participants are saying “find a better way of living, of interacting, and aim at some better outcomes than ‘body counts’ and ‘increased lethality’ and ‘global interoperability of all military and police forces.'” David Petraeus and Stan McChrystal are “military geniuses,” right?

            So comforting, the notion and the reality that humans are all about war (a word that does not even get defined in the DoD “Dictionary of Military Terms and Abbreviations” — Nor does the word “victory,” or “success,” or anything having to do with endpoints of conflict as opposed to managing, and micro-managing, the grand enterprise that is “war.”) So comforting, that one’s career is “in service” to rather inchoate grand aims and efforts that mean “we” have not “won” a “war” since way back when. And have started and continued a constant flood of conflicts to the point that what, the CIA and Military are now once again (see, e.g., Angola) fighting on opposite sides of yet another conflict (Syria and its environs). And it’s all just fine, because “the paperwork is in order…”

            Yah, just a rant. Nothing to do with whether a person steeped in the mind set of the military can be expected to try to see through to a different, maybe survivable way of working out human interactions. This is what she is reported to have said:

            “There is a clear contrast between our two candidates with regard to my strong belief that we must end the interventionist, regime change policies that have cost us so much. This is not just another ‘issue.’ This is THE issue, and it’s deeply personal to me. This is why I’ve decided to resign as Vice Chair of the DNC so that I can support Bernie Sanders in his efforts to earn the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential race.”

            The move was first announced on “Meet the Press,” where Gabbard told moderator Chuck Todd, “As a veteran and as a soldier I’ve seen firsthand the true cost of war. I served in a medical unit during my first deployment, where every single day I saw firsthand the very high human cost of that war,” said Gabbard, a veteran of the Gulf War.

            “I think it’s most important for us, as we look at our choices as to who our next commander in chief will be, is to recognize the necessity to have a commander in chief who has foresight, exercises good judgment, who looks beyond the consequences, looks at the consequences of the actions they’re looking to take, before they take those actions, so we don’t continue to find ourselves in these failures that have resulted in chaos in the Middle East and so much loss of life.” http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/tulsi-gabbard-backs-sanders-219928

            I don’t read that as anything more than wishing for a “more enlightened” chain of command that won’t produce ‘failures.’ And a small point — if she was doing battlefield medicine, did her concern about “loss of life” extend to the millions of people who lived in nations that the Empire decided to attack, invade, destabilize and dismember? Work done by the admirable “band of brothers” on the ground, in the air, and at sea, who cheer the launches and drops of weapons with natty slogans drawn on them?

            What outcomes do “we,” whoever “we” is, want from “our” political economy?

        3. HotFlash

          Do you have a link for Gabbard being an “opponent of gay marriage”? I privateleed and got this from her website:

          Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Statement on Same-Sex Marriage

          January 30, 2013

          Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released the following statement on her position on same-sex marriage:

          “I strongly disagree with a two-tiered, discriminatory government policy of ‘marriage’ and ‘civil unions.’ Government officials, judges, and bureaucrats should not have the power to declare one relationship ‘morally’ superior to another.

          “However, as long as government is involved in the marriage business, it must recognize and treat all Americans as equal. I fully support equal rights, benefits, and privileges for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation. Those in same-sex relationships should not be denied by the government the right to marry and enjoy the same benefits, rights, and responsibilities as heterosexual married couples.

          “In a step toward marriage equality, I will be an original co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In addition, I encourage Hawai`i state lawmakers to pass legislation that will ensure fair and equal treatment for all of Hawaii’s citizens.”

          1. rusti

            Oops, it seems I was wrong. Search for “Tulsi Gabbard’s Leftward Journey” from the Honolulu Civil Beat.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Gabbard does come across as Sincere in that interview. And what puss on Wolf Blisters face when she disses Wasserman. Hahaha.

      3. Procopius

        When I saw the announcement of her resigning from the DNC I thought I vaguely remembered something about her record that made her even worse than Hillary in my eyes, but after two days I still haven’t been able to remember what it was. Is she a fanatic proponent of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top? Does she have a lot of money invested in charter school chains? Something … Anyway, she is photogenic.

        1. Steve H.

          She is Hindu & has culty parents.

          But charismatic and superb on her feet. Iraq vet who smiles when she talks about Freedom and Democracy and not fighting wars we can’t win.

          So, I used to work at Booksellers Row, a superb used bookstore, no longer extant. Found a book from 1945, called ‘Hawaiian Types’ of photos of lovely women. Scotch-English-Japanese. Indian-Puerto Rican-Spanish. Korean-German-Scotch. English-Hawaiian-Spanish-Chinese-Portuguese. etc.

          Hawaii is an international mixing pot. It is the logistic fulcrum of the the ‘Pivot to Asia.’ The problems of the 21st century are global. There are many who predict isolated enclaves, increased nationalism, race to the bottom. See Ukraine. But if there is to be an alternative, it won’t be clever demagogues or neoliberal grifters who will be effective leaders. So we shall see.

    2. Amateur Socialist

      Yes she was too focused on Sanders foreign policy credibility to discount as kabuki. She’s a veteran of two tours in the middle east and a military officer who was sharply critical of Madame Secretary’s views.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Things didn’t work out for the last Clinton Vice President, and Bill left office relatively popular. 43 was an obvious nitwit and fundamentalist. The election should not have been close but Democrats.

      1. different clue

        Would Gore have done better if he ran on ” all the peace and prosperity, none of the cigars” ? We will never know.

        1. Jess

          Defeating Bill Clinton’s impeachment was the huge mistake Dems made. If he had been impeached, Gore could have assumed the presidency for what, most of a year? This would have let him run as an incumbent, have the prestige of the office, be seen to be presidential, etc. Hell, he might have even managed to win his home state, thus making the chaos and chicanery in FL irrelevant.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Someday a history book will zero in on Hariett Nyborg, sitting quietly at a table in Florida examining a paper ballot with a magnifying lens to judge whether the chad was “hanging” or not. (Spielberg would show us a close-up of the little bit of paper as it detaches and flutters to the ground).
            A butterfly flaps its wings and we end up with WW III.

    4. Steve H.

      MyLessThanPrimeBeef yesterday:

      “VP candidates are going to be more crucial than ever.

      One potential voluntary or involuntary resignation away…”

      Her background makes her a viable VP candidate, regardless of the headliner.

        1. Steve H.

          Ouch! I wasn’t really going that far, I just…

          Wait, your concession just put you in first place.

            1. fresno dan

              I’m thinking Hillary learns she will be trumped by Trump, and resigns as the dem nominee to run as Trumps’ vice president…in a unity and greatness ticket.
              Sanders picks Bill as his VP, as he knows where all the bodies are buried…

              1. EGrise

                Ordinarily I’d laugh, but with this strange election my first reaction was “yeah, I could see that happening…”

              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                My vote goes to FresnoDan.

                According to Zhuangzi, it’s always better to come in second (or worse). Avoid first place at all cost.

              3. Lambert Strether

                You jest, but that makes me wonder if Clinton would pick a Republican VP and run on a unity ticket. Ideally Hispanic, definitely moderate, hence obviously not Cruz or… Dammit. What’s the name of that guy with the funny shoes?

                Maybe that’s what that Sandoval trial balloon for the Supreme Court was all about?

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Wait, I wasn’t being cynical.

          Actually, I was professing my faith, my trust, my optimism in miracles.

    5. Joe

      HRC is an identity politician first and foremost, and will pick either Julian Castro or someone else that she thinks will fit the right profiles while having odious policies. It is unlikely Gabbard is positioning herself as a VP candidate, and she will probably receive serious retaliation from the Clinton Camp for her endorsement of Sanders.

      Gabbard is young! She is only 34 years old. I think she is making a gamble that HRC will lose the general election, and is working to positioning herself as the continuation of the Sanders coalition. It is not clear how close her policies are to Sanders, but the mere fact of taking the risk to endorse him has endeared her to many of Sanders’s supporters

      1. Lambert Strether

        Cory Booker seems to be angling for the job, and he likes private equity a lot, so he’s sufficiently odious. I’d go with Castro, however. In 2024 they’ll be wanting to run a Hispanic.

      2. Light a Candle

        I agree, it’s a smart move by Gabbard. She is supporting Sanders at a critical time. And she is positioning herself to lead Sanders’ supporters if Sanders is unsuccessful in the nomination.

      3. HotFlash

        Tulsi is perhaps playing a long game? At 34 she can expect to outlive both Clinton and Sanders. If Bernie doesn’t get the nom this time, there’s 2020.

              1. cwaltz

                I’m glad that there are some individuals that might be able to take up the mantle should Bernie fail this time.

    6. Anon

      From yesterday, but still germane:

      H O P

      It’ll be a cold day in hell before she turns around. Granted, just from that LRB article, she seems quite knowledgeable in her understanding of ME Policy (in short, don’t!)

    7. Darthbobber

      Gabbard’s attitude has seemed pretty consistent to me, from the beginning.

      If it needs to be framed in terms of self-interest, I would look past a VP (“warm bucket of spit”) nomination, and see it as positioning to be one of the younger leaders of whatever the opposition turns into if Sanders does not get the nomination. After all, if you were looking at Presidential, Cabinet or Senatorial ambitions, Sanders himself would probably be out of the mix for a run a the top by 2020, and certainly by 2024. Due to the deplorable recruitment practices of the Democratic leadership, there’s a shortage of reasonably high profile claimants to this mantle once you get past the age group of Elizabeth Warren and (probably back in the Senate this November) Russ Feingold.

      What she has just done, and at a time where the momentum APPEARS to be swinging Clinton’s way, will increase her visibility and will also be remembered by quite a few people. If she thinks the leadership is as hollow and declining as she seems to believe, this can only be seen as a plus in terms of positioning if discontent continues to spread. (And there’s damn little reason to think it won’t.)

      1. Lambert Strether

        It could be, of course that Gabbard’s doing the right thing for the right reasons (which include self-interest; I want a politician who’s self-interested for the same reason I want a salesperson who’s focused on their commission). If she keeps doing the right thing for the right reason at the right time we will hear a lot more from her.

        What she did also took courage, which is in short supply.

        Does anybody know anything about her district?

  2. CS

    I’m not buying this line that the Republican establishment is worried about Trump being the nominee. They have spent basically zero money attacking him. I think the establishment is fine with Trump being the nominee, but they don’t want to be painted as racists themselves. Plus, they want cover in case Trump loses the general election. Thus, they plant stories saying how worried they are about Trump when in reality all they care about is winning.

    1. PhiK

      I see the zero-money-against-Trump as a recognition by big-bucks Republican donors that he’s probably unstoppable, and that, to protect their interests, they’ll need to divert that money to HRC.

        1. thoughtful person

          True, but I suspect they’d prefer Trump to Sanders. Of course first choice is Rubio at the moment, but looking like HRC is ahead of Trump or Cruz.

          1. HotFlash

            Totally. Neither party’s establishment wants either Trump or Sanders, and I would think that they understand that Sanders will be, from their point, the more effective ‘evil’.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              I’m with Yves, who thinks The Donald may meet with an unfortunate small plane accident. Or a guy on the Grassy Knoll.

              1. neo-realist

                It is rather curious that Trump continues, I believe, to fly a private plane. Does he have some sort of insurance against “pilot error”?

    2. Carolinian

      Antiwar’s Raimondo suggests that at least one branch of the Republican establishment–the neocon branch–could be very worried indeed.

      If Trump gets the Republican nomination the neocons are through as a viable political force on the Right. That’s why National Review devoted a whole issue of their magazine to the theme “Against Trump.” That’s why the neocons’ allies in the media are going after him hammer and tongs. That’s why neocons like Robert Kagan are openly declaring they will support Hillary Clinton, while others – including the formerly libertarian network of organizations funded by Charles and David Koch – are financing a “Stop Trump” campaign. There is even talk of the (impractical) idea of running a third party candidate in order to take votes away from Trump.

      http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/02/28/the-lion-and-the-sheep/

      1. diptherio

        Did you happen to see this about Raimondo (it’s a follow-up to the Trump/Stone piece):

        pando.com/2015/08/13/when-roger-stone-met-antiwarcom/

        Antiwar.com’s little contribution to this GOP dirty tricks operation to put Bush in power was Justin Raimondo’s role as Buchanan’s leading alt-media propagandist. Indeed, at the Reform Party convention officially nominating Buchanan for president, Justin Raimondo gave the nominating speech.

        Raimondo is antiwar but also, apparently, pro-Buchanan…yuck!

        1. Carolinian

          Raimondo is a self described libertarian but writes interesting columns. It’s true that when he lets his freak flag fly he can be a bit much (he defended the Bundys). But in the spirit of open mindedness I’d say he’s always worth a read. He lives in San Francisco and once ran against Pelosi for Congress. I’m sure we all can applaud that.

      2. andyb

        History is wonderful, especially that learned away from the propaganda, disinformation and misinformation fog. From the Dulles Brothers who controlled the JFK assassination to the dual citizen Israeli policy makers who took power in the 70’s, to PNAC, to 7 countries in 7 years, to the attempt on Reagan, the whole agenda is for Israel’s hegemony throughout the entire ME, the debt enslavement of the West and global incremental genocide. Neocons are such interesting psychopaths.

  3. Torsten

    Re: Ultrasound for Alzheimer’s

    So it turns out that muteness is not a symptom of Alzheimer’s, but a cause! Most studies of bone conduction hearing focus on the range of sound audible via air conduction, but the skull transmits speech resonances well into the ultrasound range ( http://www.tinnitus.vcu.edu/Pages/Human%20Skull%20Response.PDF ) . This explains how a friend of mine, who became profoundly deaf from measles as a teenager, can still fluently speak Greek, English, French, and Dutch, apparently hearing herself clearly.

    Keep talking, folks! Stimulate those glial cells!
    (Mice, keep squeaking!)

    1. Torsten

      Well, for the miracle I describe to be real, she would need to have proprioreceptors other than her dead hair cells, but maybe she does! The brain is an amazing place.

    2. Steve H.

      My ex-mother-in-law talked a lot, and it didn’t help her.

      The original research, from what I can gather, has nothing to do with proprioceptors, but rather a combination of opening the blood-brain barrier, and stimulating microglial cells. If vocalization opened the blood-brain barrier, there would’ve been a lot more brain inflammation and disease, and would’ve likely been selected out.

      I am sorry for not having much of a sense of humor on this. Having loved ones identity destroyed is horrible. Horrible. An inevitable consideration of whether they’d be better off dead. So my emotions concerning what should be funded versus what is get jammed up.

      1. charger01

        We’ve had two close family friends destroyed by nearly onset Alzheimers and ALS. I would prefer running the car in the garage compared to those outcomes. Ghastly.

      2. Torsten

        I’m not making jokes. My mother is in an Alzheimer’s ward. She was fine until she broke her hip and went into assisted living. She talked plenty until then, but then she found herself with nobody to talk to.

        I’m not saying there aren’t things like genetic predispositions, and I no longer have access through the scientific paywalls, but unless the experimental ultrasound was *really* intense, and the peak amplitude (rather than the time integral of intensity) is the critical therapy, there is plenty of ultrasound in the bone conduction from everyday speech.

        1. Steve H.

          All the best, Torsten. Sympatico. We’ll both be following this research, I’m sure.

          There are correlations between osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s, so the two conditions may have been part of a whole. There is some research on the causal level, but none I can find that I’m comfortable linking to. I am right there with you on the paywall issue.

          What I’d really like to see is pushing the testing protocols forward on humanitarian grounds. It is plausible that public opinion could drive that. I’m game if you are.

          1. inhibi

            The connection is there for sure.

            Essentially, Alzheimers is partly caused by any decreased brain activity, whether from decreased muscle movement, speech, reading (eye-sight), etc. and an inherent genetic or epigenetic disposition. When looked at, Alzheimers is the systemic unraveling of various portions of the brain, and once begun has a synergistic effect, that is, as the brain unravels, the patient cannot use that area and thus it further deteriorates.

            That’s why it is absolutely vital to maintain decent exercise, reading, and other activities that promote healthy brain function.

            The brain, afterall, is like any other part of the body: disuse will lead to deterioration.

            However, it is very hard to deduce if osteoporosis is the primary cause, and not the secondary cause. I would assume it has a more secondary cause, that is, decreased muscle movement due to intense joint pain.

          2. Torsten

            I’d be game, but I think the progress on this front is more likely to come from Oz. See my comment on the main thread when it emerges from moderation limbo.

          3. vidimi

            interesting. my grandmother has advanced alzheimers, osteoporosis and hearing loss. I’ve never thought of them as being potentially interconnected before, though it does seem likely in hindsight. she still talks, though.

            those saying that it’s a fate worse than death are mostly coming from the perspective of the carers. they have a hard time. the alzheimer’s patient merely lives in the now.

      3. Vatch

        Having loved ones identity destroyed is horrible.

        I’ve been there. I will never fully recover from my family member’s Alzheimer’s disease.

    3. For The Win

      The list of most popular search terms that Bing associated with ScienceAlert included “Is ScienceAlert reliable?”. It may be a clue.

      1. ambrit

        I don’t do Bing, but I do suffer with Google.
        The “Is So and So Reliable…” thread is often some competitor or debunker playing ‘dirty pool.’ Skewing the search thread rankings is apparently an old game on the internet. I have found that Google is suddenly no longer showing many if any “Why is so and so terrible..” results, especially about Microsoft products. It’s almost as if tech heavy sites that analyzed software and other computer related items have fallen off of the edge of the Flat Earth.
        In doing searches about certain afflictions on the internet, we have found all sorts of anti non mainstream ideas trends. Wikipedia is the worst. The conformist medical establishment has that resource in their back pocket. I almost automatically skip to page three on any medical search now.

        1. For The Win

          Your not going to get an alternative to Google if you don’t use the other search engines, Yahoo and a few other sites just repackage Google. I put Bing, DuckDuckGo on my tool bar, and use Google only after trying the others first and not having satisfaction.

          Also, I will when time allows, try out other alternatives for specialized searches.

    4. fresno dan

      Torsten
      February 29, 2016 at 7:49 am

      I’m constantly talking to myself, but despite my brilliant insights I refuse to adopt any of the good advice I’m given…

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Some people talk to themselves.

      I wonder if that’s an intuitive defense by the brain to resist Alzheimer’s…our brain and body know so much, and yet we do not appreciate their greatness.

      Why doesn’t the brain tell us everything?

      Does your brain not trust you?

    6. Torsten

      It turns out the Leinenga and Götz study was published in Science almost exactly one year ago. Googling ultrasound alz.org and ultrasound alzfdn.org shows that neither the Alzheimer’s Association nor the Alzheimer’s Foundation has paid much attention to the study. The Alzheimer’s Association did post a 90-second “Ask the [Condescending] Expert” video which said [I paraphrase]:

      This is a very exciting study, but it was done, as I recall with rodents. It takes a long, long time for therapies to pass from animal models to human use, and it costs very, very much money. Good luck to the researchers getting together all that money.”

      Neither has the MSM given the study much attention in the past year. Fair enough, perhaps. The results warrant “further research”. But I bet Big Pharma had completed replications of the study within months, and I bet that if they failed to replicate, they would have trumpeted it.

      What would be particularly galling for Big Pharma is the fact that researchers started using ultrasound to open up the blood brain barrier so they could deliver (wait for it) drugs.

      The good news is that the Leinenga and Götz study was funded by the Australian government, so (maybe) it will be harder for Big Pharma to quash further study. Here’s a link with comments by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Dr. Götz.

    7. Cry Shop

      Certainly has implications for the popular and cruel practice of solitary confinement. As it’s been show to produce organic changes that bring on psychosis, it would not be that surprising to me that it also gives rise to Alzheimer’s syndrome.

      Getting real human data would be extremely difficult; and possibly immoral. Per the above, one way would be to use the mass incarceration system in the USA. Such a study could have a number of items under control, including diet. The problem then becomes would the for profit industry try to crush any such study which might threaten their profitable business of locking people up alone and making them repeat offenders.

  4. Jim A

    Anybody who thinks that they know what Trump would do in the Whitehouse is basing that on hope or fear. I don’t think that man believes in anything but himself.

    1. Watt4Bob

      I think you’re quite right.

      I also think that a lot of Trump supporters don’t care about that considering what rule by supposed ‘believers’ has done to our country.

      It’s a short-sighted attitude, but understandable.

      1. different clue

        A lot of Trump supporters hope a President Trump will be a piece of glass in the establishment’s shoe. If Trump can be that, they will be well pleased. If Trump leads to any actual improvements in their life, they will be even more pleased, of course.

    2. Romancing the Loan

      Sure, but that latter sentence is true for everyone running. Between the gleeful thought of Trump/Hillary debates and the assumption that Congress will impeach or the MIC will just assassinate Trump if he oversteps himself though I think many, many people are willing to take the risk in exchange for something other than business as usual.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The last three elections have been two sides shouting “fear the other team” while remaining pals with the other side. People are afraid of the climate, their economic concerns (record poverty isn’t a recovery), the police, blowback from our foreign misadventures, personal debt, healthcare and so forth. The bipartisan leadership isn’t addressing these issues. Trump is despised by bipartisan leaders. It’s no different than Le Pen’s rise in France.

        Since the Democrats are a classist party, Hillary supporters won’t register youth and minority voters or organize outside of black churches. On a practical level, all the effort expended in S.C. is a waste for the general. Even if Clintonistas can scare liberals into voting, in 2010 and 2014 Democratic support remained similar to 2006 levels outside of urban and college areas, they won’t register voters and will bleed labor support to Trump on trade.

        Democrats from Hispanic heavy states voted against the 2007 immigration reform act because Hispanic voter recognized what a fraud it was. Running on a bill supported by W will not win votes.

        Trump’s rise isn’t shocking. His commitment is.

        1. Jim Haygood

          ‘Trump is despised by bipartisan leaders. It’s no different than Le Pen’s rise in France.’

          Or Ross Perot’s rise in 1992, when he constituted a serious threat to the Depublicrat duopoly. Then Perot abruptly withdrew in July 1992, bizarrely claiming that the Bushes were going to disrupt his daughter’s wedding.

          Somehow the duopoly (or Fate, if lack of agency is preferred) always finds a way to exclude any serious third party threat, either by persuasion or by force.

          They didn’t take out George Wallace in 1968 when he won 13.5% of the popular vote and 45 electoral votes — almost enough to throw the election into the House of Representatives. But in 1972, when Wallace ran again as a Democrat, someone (or Fate) had had enough.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Perot claimed the New Black Panthers were going to disrupt his daughters wedding.

            I don’t want to compare Trump and Perot too much, but Perot tried to please too many people, wanted to be liked, and didn’t like being given criticized. Trump doesn’t care what people think of him. To be more accurate, Trump wants to destroy people who don’t like him.

            1. vidimi

              really? trump is exceptionally thin-skinned. sure, he ignores some forms of criticism, but others, like the short-fingered jibe, hit a nerve

      2. Brindle

        Trump’s recent clumsy remarks about David Duke and the KKK are a big gift to the Dems. One can imagine the ads being designed to showcase Trump’s racial insensitivity regarding the hate group.
        This Trump blunder is grist for the Hillary mill to motivate the black electorate. I was of the view that Trump could well defeat Clinton but now I think Trump’s negatives will ensure high turnout for the Dem candidate.

        1. RabidGandhi

          But to amplify the point not made by Timothy Geithner: are the 250,000 votes HRC organised in SC going to be of any value in the general election? No. HRC will use the black vote to win the primaries and then ever-so-gently place her black constituency right back under the bus.

          An HRC candidacy would try to make the general election about identity politics (the only note the DNC pipe organ knows how to play), and given the electoral college map, that helps Trump. The “David Duke blunder” seems like yet another MSM attempt to show how Trump is doomed, but every time they stick a fork in him, he just gets fluffier and fluffier.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Considering the low turnout, she didn’t really organize beyond trying to make Sanders unelectable.

          2. Brindle

            Trump’s “David Duke blunder” was entirely self-inflicted. At some point a critical mass of Trump’s bigoted and clueless remarks regarding various ethnic groups will tip the scale towards a high turnout for the Dem candidate (likely HRC). I I do not like identity politics, but Trump will give it a big boost with his current trajectory.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Turnout requires organization, and organization requires enthusiastic volunteers. Most people don’t pay attention until mid-October. Registration deadlines are early October. Hillary had less votes in South Carolina than she had in 2008. If Team Blue wasn’t run by idiots like DWS, they would be in full meltdown mode. Hillary’s campaign has spent much of their time attacking young liberals who are necessary for registering young people. Plenty of people who don’t like Trump won’t be able to vote in November.

              Considering the crap spewed about Obama, nothing will shame Republican voters. Their turnout won’t be depressed except due to age.

              Actions speak louder than words. Hillary has a record, and Trump doesn’t. Hillary had a record in 2008, and Obama didn’t. Expecting Trump’s words to change anything is a poor strategy.

              1. Brindle

                Yes, GOP and independent turnout will be high. I just think that we will see Dem enthusiasm rise as the spectre of President Trump (think Dracula w/ orange hair) blankets the airwaves. I can’t stand HRC but I do see a reverse WIllie Horton type scenario with Trump as GOP nominee.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  The enthusiasm has to come in the Summer to get to work in September. A campaign dependent on fear is doomed regardless of energy. Hillary Democrats won’t stand in front to of a Wal Mart and register voters because they fear Trump. Hillary Democrats won’t sneak I not public housing because they fear Trump. Hillary Democrats won’t pick up extra canvass shifts because they fear Trump.

                  It didn’t work in 2004. It won’t work in 2016. Shrub was awful. It didn’t work for Kerry, and he was way better than Hillary.

                  Again people under 35 are transient. They need to be registered. If they aren’t registered on October 1st. They won’t be registered for the election. The late October ads won’t matter.

                  http://www.rockthevote.com/get-informed/elections/voter-registration-deadlines.html

                  Team Blue cheerleaders push the same crap every two years about the GOP being worse than ever. The Democrats lost the Senate and House with that attitude despite demographics which should favor them.

                  People barely listed to candidates anyway. Obama says nothing but word salad and occasional reminder dens he considers himself as our pater familias and people I am certain can read hailed him as a visionary.

                  Hillary can support the destruction of black America and use barely disguised racist terms and still win black votes because she is the establishment Democrat.

              2. Optimader


                Hillary’s campaign has spent much of their time attacking young liberals who are necessary for registering young people.

                “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”
                Read that somewhere….

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  South Carolina is a state where Team Blue doesn’t exist except for essentially a minority majority district. The 50 state strategy ran from mid 2005 to 2008. Did Obama have offices in SC in 2008?

                  Clyburn is the only Democrat in the state, and he wins by 20 every year. He doesn’t have an interest in working to build a party. His seat is safe. Safe democrats who stopped party building were largely responsible for the 1994 loss. Turnout in 2014 was the lowest turnout in 40 years, and the lowest turnout since 2006 when Mark Sanford won statewide.

                  The imagery is a problem, but I don’t believe there is a history of political involvement which would lead people to become active enough to participate in a primary without a long term effort. The people who vote are Democratic establishment loyalists. One of the House seats won in 2008 was only a possible pickup because there was a network which had been established over several cycles. The relatively unknown candidate wasn’t starting from zero, and he was up against a guy who had a tree stump for a desk chair who was very popular with black farmers.

                  Obama v Hillary had the news coverage that Trump gets on his own.

                2. curlydan

                  that was a great segment. good “tough love” critique for Sanders–even Amy Goodman got schooled. He has to start walking the streets more in black neighborhoods. Heading to MN and OKC (with the !Flaming Lips! no less) may draw better crowds, but he needs got to start flipping some votes in heavy black areas. HRC is hitting the identity politics mainline right now.

          1. Steve H.

            “”The Post’s analysis found several qualities to Trump’s approach. First is a pattern of experimentation that suggests that he is testing his insults and attacks as he goes along. Like a team of corporate marketers, Trump understands the value of message-testing — but he appears to do it spontaneously, behind the lectern and on live television.” Good reporting.”

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Trump has that strong personality.

              We don’t know the rest of his team.

              The plus is that he doesn’t owe a lot of people.

              The negative is that he doesn’t owe a lot of people. Very little checks and balances (not that they have done much good up to now).

              I believe we have strong institutions to withstand any cult of personality.

              I hope so.

              1. Rhondda

                I read that the despicable John Bolton is Trump’s foreign policy team. And some ex-AIPAC guy is running the campaign…so we do know some of his team. Those two are hideous enough to count extra.

        2. HotFlash

          No, it’s not a ‘gift to the Dems’, but it will consolidate support among Trump voters who are of the racist persuasion. And in the US, both north and south, that’s a big demographic.

          1. Lambert Strether

            And/or those who are sick of being beaten over the head with the racism club, racist or not. I was a Clinton supporter in 2008 (since she was slightly to the left of Obama, domestically) and I know what that’s like. (And I blame the Democrats for making racism a personal sin and a tool of dismissal, instead of enabling us to think and talk systemically about it, which the country desperately needs to do, and very much will not happen this election, since now it’s just a campaign talking point. Everybody who isn’t 200% for Clinton will be a racist in 2016, exactly as everybody who wasn’t 200% for Obama was a racist in 2009, the irony being that the same operatives were propagating the same trope then as now.

  5. griffen

    Making mortgages easier to get. Yeah, let’s do that again. Since you can definitely trust the privately owned mortgage companies who indirectly benefit from a distorted housing policy in the US. They’ll only make responsible loans.

    IT’ll be different…it’ll be different…just turn the machine back on…

  6. cripes

    We must consider the possibility that Trump is an idiot savant, not the eleventy-dimensional chess player some wish he were.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Most politicos don’t seem to recognize 41 and 43 held very different positions with the GOP electorate. Part of 43’s appeal was his story of overcoming drug and alcohol addiction to become a Christian addict. W was also the idiot brother compared to Jeb who was beloved by the village going way back.

      43 covered the disparity between GOP elites and the GOP electorate. Palin’s unusual story helped McCain who was largely written off before the GOP primaries started keep people at the polls. McCain became the default candidate over Huckleberry, Giuliani, and Fred Thompson with his commanding but less than enthusiastic win in New Hampshire, which was remarkable because there were so many registered independents who voted in the Democratic primary. In 2008, Romney had tons of money and was rejected. In 2012, the whole GOP primary was finding a candidate to stop Mittens who was even more prepared than he was in 2008. They shopped. Bachman, Cain, Santorum, and Newt had their moment in the sun. Huckleberry sniffed around for a time.

      Jeb is basically Mittens without the intelligence and warmth, but Jeb is a favorite son of the blue bloods but is clearly not popular. They lined up sheepdogs much like they did in 2012 for Romney to prevent a single anti Jeb candidate. When Trump entered, he became the anti-Jeb placeholder. As Jeb couldn’t emerge from the pack, the sheepdogs and GOP blue bloods began to attack Trump, but Trump wasn’t as popular as the establishment is unpopular. When Fiorina and Carson turned out to be weirdos or losers, Trump was still there, and I think Trump took the criticism personally. He does the just want to beat Jeb. He wants to beat the whole establishment. Trump can say what he wants because it’s not about Trump but everyone else. It’s the 41 and 43 divide.

      Christie is still fat. This won’t fly. An ardent evangelical would take go over well which is Cruz’s problem.

        1. fresno dan

          Steve H.
          February 29, 2016 at 9:54 am

          I choked on my coffee the first time I saw it – its a great, great line. I would slightly amend it to read: Jeb is basically Mittens without the intelligence, good looks, and warmth

      1. Carolinian

        There’s a web rumor going around that Romney will get in if Rubio crashes this week–a desperate hail Mary to stop the Trumpenator. Probably nothing to it.

        I agree with the idea that Trump is succeeding because his competitors are even worse than he is. And frankly none of the Dem choices do much for me either. Events will have to take the saddle before we get disaster socialism.

      2. diptherio

        “I used to be all messed up on drugs. But since I found the Lord, now I’m all messed up on the Lord!” ~Cheech & Chong

      3. Brindle

        If Trump wins nomination don’t be surprised of John Kasich, Gov. of Ohio, is his V.P. choice. Kasich has a veneer of moderation but he is a typical ruthless Republican. I expect the election to be decided by Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Trump will pick a candidate the blue bloods can’t abide. Cruz has a better shot. Considering a Yale cheerleader could be seen as a cowboy and share a ticket with Dick Cheney, Trump will look for someone who is Insurance. Kasich is a pick for Jeb, Cruz, or Rubio.

          1. fresno dan

            NotTimothyGeithner
            February 29, 2016 at 11:09 am

            I’d be curious who you think Trump would pick.
            And if you had to make the decision, and actually wanted him to win, who would you pick as Trump’s VP?

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Tim Scott. He’s a black tea bagger from South Carolina. He solves many of Trump’s problems if Team Blue continues their social identification politics. He doesn’t need to win black votes. He needs to depress the black vote and disarm the outrage machine.

              Republican elites can handle a certain amount of token blacks, but they won’t tolerate a black man in power. Michael Steele understood the GOP’s political problems which haven’t hurt because of Team Blue, but the GOP moved to get rid of him because he’s black. All he did was win the House and devastate the Democratic Party at the state and local level. Scott would protect Trump from GOP bluebloods. They can get rid of Tim Scott at a later time.

              Trump went to Giuliani, and I think it’s too late to be from different states. I could see any New Yorker gravitating to this idea.

              Oh wow. Boom! J.C. Watts. He endorsed Rand Paul.

              Unless one of the Hispanic Republicans has a solid record against H1B1 visas, I don’t think he wants to go that route.

              1. fresno dan

                I’m not familiar with Tim Scott, but he could bring up a question to blacks and white liberals like why do you support whites who have the police shoot you???? Unless he is so deep in the repub ethos that he believes every black man shot by a cop deserved it. (cough, cough,Rahm, good friend of Hillary, cough, cough, coughs lung out)

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  He’s a Tea Party loon, but as long as he doesn’t say stuff that is too nutty and can avoid going full Palin, a Tim Scott can make identity politics race difficult for Team Blue. 86% black turnout helped Obama win, but with 70% turnout and the other numbers, that could be a problem. Two, Scott undermines the GOP elites who are terrified Trump might turn on them who could stomach Hillary and controlling Congress.

                  Palin didn’t hurt Obama because the Dems at least seemed like they had a general set of goals. Palin’s line about Hillary and the glass ceiling was an outstanding sound bite.

                  1. fresno dan

                    “full Palin”
                    +++++++++++++++++++++++++!!!!!
                    But …the problem with using the Full Palin is….what do you call Bachmann??? That must be to insanity and beyond….

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Does the VP have to be natural born?

            What if he/she is not natural born, and the POTUS has to renounce the throne?

      4. Optimader

        lPart of 43’s appeal was his story of overcoming drug and alcohol addiction to become a Christian addict.

        Im confident you can add all three times to his list of failures

      1. Cry Shop

        Obama is good at playing with himself. The game is rather someone or some people who are very good at playing 11-dimensional chess through Obama, as if he was The Turk. Brezinski and his masters, the banksters, are pulling some of Obama’s strings, particularly regarding finance, trade and foreign affairs.

        Valery Jarrett, by manipulating Obama’s ego, has been helping direct Obama on their behalf, along with a host of advisers and consultants that they threw on his team. Don’t forget how relatively in-experienced and relatively naive Obama was.

        Gack, Moderation Hell again for having a link to Wikipedia.

    2. HotFlash

      I don’t think Trump is an ‘idiot-savant’. I would call him a ‘natural’. He has an instinct for the jugular, and he would reduce Mme Secretary, ex-First Lady to tears by the second debate, if not the first. Everyone knows someone like this, a “Jungian feeler type” with no scruples. There was one in my gradeschool class, could put one poor teacher in tears in minutes. Perhaps you have a relative like this, or even been married to one?

      Hillary pulls rank, does the schoolmarm bit — see the “I am not a superpredator” confrontation. If she tries this with The Donald he will have her *on toast*. And I will be my ant-farm on that.

  7. Carolinian

    Poor babies! From Politico TPP in links

    An exasperated Earl Blumenauer slammed a notepad down on a table during a meeting with labor and trade activists at the height of the debate, telling the group he was frustrated with the constant calls and picketing outside his home and district office.

    People actually objecting when you sell them out–the horror. It’s not hard to see why Dems like this make people want to vote for Trump.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Neoliberals are such whiners. Tony Blair whines how he can’t walk down the street with his kids without being yelled at, Blair, the most unpopular person in the UK.

      1. Jim Haygood

        You’d think folks would admire a man of the cloth like Tony, who started his own “Faith Foundation”:

        http://tonyblairfaithfoundation.org/

        Probably he needs to line up more TV time, in a large venue with a devoted congregation.

        Tony could raise a lot of money “for the Iraqi orphans.”

        1. Clive

          Maybe like the pretend peasant farm Marie Antoinette had, we could build him a bucolic faux Iraq — complete with gilt-embossed ballot papers which he could put into Faberge recreation ballot boxes in voting booths lit by chandeliers. He could then, in the afternoons, take High Tea and repose in the salon, discussing constitutional reforms with loyal clerics.

          1. Carolinian

            Blair should get the Marie Antoinette treatment alright. The French probably have some of the necessary devices in storage.

              1. Lambert Strether

                On the “Let them eat brioche!” which is what she said–

                1) It’s less heartless than the story books, because brioche was indeed cheaper than bread (IIRC the eggs used to make it were subsidized);

                2) It’s more heartless because she didn’t know there wasn’t any brioche, either

                So her suggestion should have worked; but she was ignorant that the entire system had broken down, ignorance caused no doubt because of the Versailles bubble in which she lived.

                Perhaps there is a lesson here for present day elites?

  8. diptherio

    The “Watchdog Asks For Probe in Mortgage Lending Revolving Door Case” link has, apparently, been removed by NLPC. Here’s a cross-post of the article from Before It’s News:

    On Monday, a watchdog group will ask for an investigation of David H. Stevens, a former Federal Housing Administration (FHA) official, who currently serves as President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

    The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) will ask in dual requests to the U.S. Attorney for District of Columbia, and the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, that Stevens be investigated for possibly violating the statutory one-year ban on having contact with his former agency, as well as the lifetime ban on having contact with officials on matters on which he worked while in government.

    At issue is Stevens’ apparent quarterbacking of a campaign by the big banks to win mortgage lending business from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the wake of the financial crisis, and the placement of the two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) in conservatorship.

    Stevens’ actions first came under scrutiny on December 7, 2015 by the New York Times in a front-page article describing how “a behind-the-scenes effort of Wall Street banks to take over the mortgage market is driven by advocates switch between roles in Washington and the private sector.” The NLPC requests allege that there appear to be “over 25 instances in which Mr. Stevens may have violated the law.”

    beforeitsnews.com/politics/2016/02/watchdog-asks-for-probe-in-mortgage-lending-revolving-door-case-2782464.html

      1. diptherio

        Weird. The link didn’t work for me so I searched for the headline, but when I clicked on the NLPC article link from DuckDuckGo , got a 404. Maybe it was un-published for a few minutes when I was trying to find it for typo fixing or something.

  9. JohnnyGL

    Can we talk about how the polls are shifting towards Clinton in the last couple of weeks? I have been watching fairly closely and noting how Sanders was closing in and was within striking distance in some of the national polls. Now, all of a sudden, she seems to be opening up some space? What happened???

    The answer finally dawned on me. Dem primary voters, at least in the south, are clearly terrified of Trump’s imminent victory and are flocking back to Clinton in hopes of keeping him out of the White House. He was within around 15-20 points of her in SC a few weeks ago. Now, suddenly, she stomps him by 50 points?!?!?!

    My best guess right now is that Trump is inadvertently saving Clinton’s bacon!

    1. Lee

      Agreed. It looks like it will be a battle between the unfavorables: Clinton -11, Trump -25.

      I don’t know to what extent Daily Kos is representative of the Democratic electorate but the site’s founder has today declared the primary essentially over and that it’s time to unite behind Hillary. But the Sanders/Clinton fight there has been so vituperative that I wouldn’t be surprised if a considerable number on the left found it impossible to vote for Clinton and that she will indeed need to rely heavily on the fear of Trump to win the general election. Not living in a swing state, I will cheerfully not vote for her. I am heartened at the thought that an electorally viable populist left is out there trying to get its shit together.

      1. Brindle

        I doubt I will visit Daily Kos more than 3-4 times between now and election day. The site functions as an arm of the Dem party, allowing the left-ish wing to express themselves but all the front pagers are pretty much Dem centrists. I was a regular commenter with an occasional diary (mostly music) through 2011.

        1. cwaltz

          I left during the 2008 primaries when it became clear there was definitely a narrative being pushed there even if it meant using nebulous information to push that narrative. Many who dissented and pushed back against that status were given second class citizen status(lost trusted user rating ability which resulted in many goodbye cruel world diaries). Additionally, I vehemently disagree with kos on third parties and was told by kos himself that he would not allow discussion of third parties as a viable alternative to the Democrats, despite all the whining and hand wringing about keeping powder dry and the obvious manipulations by the party machine to thwart activists with the whole Ned Lamont/Lieberman debacle he was not willing to entertain the discussion. It IS a little ironic that Sanders, a third party individual, used the Democratic Party that’s been using him for years to try and “crash the gate.”

    2. Jim A

      And that seems strange to me. Clinton generally has more negatives than Sanders. Part of that is because the Republicans have been banging the anti-Hillary Drum for a decade, and Bernie came out of (far) left field. And I don’t know many people who are energized by Clinton the way that people are for Sanders. And that is despite the fact that some of his proposals are almost as unlikely as Trump’s wall. The Republicans aren’t the only ones tired of the same politics as before.

  10. jjmaccjohnson

    So ancient Rome “actually” looked like low quality animation al the opening credits to “You’ve Got Mail”?

    The term actually should not be used.

    1. Steve H.

      “One verbal tell of insincere behavior is the over-use of clichés. Clichés morph and change with the years. These verbal clichés may be more typical such and multi-worded such “All is fair in love and war” or they may be but a single word such as the extremely over-used, “Actually”.”

      “‘Surprisingly, they find that hedging – using language like “it could be the case” – is actually associated with more persuasive arguments.”

      “Actually, I was professing my faith, my trust, my optimism in miracles.”
      .
      .
      bodylanguagesuccess.com/2016/02/nonverbal-communication-analysis-no_11.html

      washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/10/how-to-change-someones-mind-according-to-science/?tid=pm_pop_b

      nakedcapitalism.com/2016/02/links-leap-day-2016.html#comment-2556208

  11. barrisj

    Re: NYT on Hills and the horridly-conceived and executed “humanitarian intervention” in Libya…MofA does a complete schooling of the Times and Hills here:

    On The NYT’s Sorry Whitewash Of Clinton And Her War On Libya

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/02/a-whitewash-of-clinton-and-her-war-on-libya.html

    All one needs to know about HRC and her potential “foreign policy” predilections is in her own words:

    “We came, we saw, he died”
    . No, it’s really, “We came, we saw, thousands died”…everywhere the US has landed its military, thousands hundreds of thousands have died, and one is firmly assured that there will be complete continuity with the Cheney/Bush/Obama modality of dealing with fractious foreign populations if she is nominated and elected…lawd have mercy.

    1. Percy

      The Times stories on Ms. Clinton and Libya are absolutely chilling. Frightening. Cannot understand why they have drawn so little reaction (indeed, no reaction at all, really) in this blog.

  12. Brooklin Bridge

    If Trump is still doing this for Hillary (assuming he ever was in the first place – a pet theory of mine) , and if I’m not able to create a national upset by my vote for Sanders in the MA primaries tomorrow (hopefully with some others) or Sanders doesn’t make a comeback in subsequent primaries, then Trump may really disappoint in the intensely awaited debates where he is supposed to pulverize Hillary with TrumpMixers in the general. It wouldn’t surprise me if he suddenly just jumped up in a debate and said, “you’re all fired out there, I’m bored and wouldn’t be your president if you begged me, so you might as well vote for the lady…” and stomped off the stage.

    1. Steve H.

      I just figured out Trump’s play. He gets his portrait on the White House wall foreverafter. He immediately resigns. The VP pick will be virtually guaranteed the POTUS position in enough time to pay off Trump before Trump resigns, ensuring Trump that he won’t be betrayed. Trump goes on winning in whatever game he wants to play.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Ha, ha,ha! And if you think we’re bad, check out the MSM. The knives are truly out there and well run back and forth across the leather strap, glistening razors!. Every picture makes Trump look more and more Annimal Farm. Pig or Human? It’s uncanny.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I wonder if he looks more avuncular with a mustache?

          Introducing my VP candidate: Ms. Duck Card.

          Vote for “Donald and Duck”

          We are the Trump-Card ticket!!!1

    1. nycTerrierist

      Considering the Sanders blackout in the msm media, a strong showing of support seems like a good thing.

      Esp when the myth of Hellary’s ‘inevitability’ is playing 24/7.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Working a phone bank. Don’t get me started on that one.

      Up until a few months ago, there were all kinds of different events promoting Sanders. And then Word Came Down From Vermont. We, the dedicated volunteers, were exhorted to become a phone banking army for Bernie.

      And, yes, I did my part.

      But then I started to notice something. A lot of the calls were going to 50-and-over folks with landlines. A lot of Hillary supporters in that crowd.

      Then there were the people who weren’t too happy about being called by a campaign. I got a lot of those too.

      So, when it comes to phone banking, I’m feeling the Bern-out. And I’m puzzled as to why the campaign HQ thinks that this is the way to win.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Because its the way to win. When there is no phone banking and canvassing, Democrats lose. How else would you reach people? Prayer? Sign waving? Parades?

      2. Optimader

        For someone to phonestump for Sanders, arent the HRC supporters the one you want to spend the time pursuading??

        Why call someone to have the self reinforcing conversation?

      3. cwaltz

        It seems like it wouldn’t be horrible to speak to people who are for Clinton. A lot 0f her support seems to hinge upon this idea she’s more electable. She isn’t when you consider all the damage control on everything from e mails to Benghazi is going to be thrown at her. Someone should point that out to them.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Good points, cwaltz and Optimader.

          However, our phone scripts said nothing about e-mails or Benghazi. So, we phone bankers had no idea how to address those issues.

  13. susan the other

    thanks for the nyt piece on hillary at state and libya. Obama was right all along to avoid the quagmire that is the ME. As bad as it has turned out to be, at least O. managed to make France and the UK colonialists stop asking us to do their dirty work and then their nation building. It’s certainly a mess,, but the Europeans are the ones who dropped the ball, first in Libya and now in Syria. Hillary didn’t sound as bad as I expected but she still comes off as a meddling war monger. Curiously it made me remember Wesley Clark’s revealing comment about Bush’s Pentagon telling him that the plan was to overthrow 7 ME countries. And leave the mess for the next president? Which raises the question: Was our State dept was doing France and the UK’s bidding (Vietnam comes to mind) in Libya by instigating the killing of Kadafi on their promise to take over the running of the country afterward? Why don’t we just turn State into a profit center and call it the US Department of Neocolonial Assistance?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Washington was terrified a France Italy coalition could knock out Gaddafi. Why buy overpriced American weapons when France is available? Or why do we have all these bases world wide? Europe can police Europe. There is no Soviet menace. The 500 million citizens of the EU have nothing to fear from even a reborn Soviet Union.

      Syria was a different nut for the Pentagon. Losing wunder weapons and risking retaliation, missiles being launched at ships was a gamble. Right now, Syria is a gigantic ad for Russian and even Iranian arms. Cheap Iranian drones are be great used. Why pay for a system to expensive to use and designed by people surrounded by water, Canada, and lower populated areas of Mexico unless your goal is invasion?

  14. Darthbobber

    The Times piece on Libya is one of those “show signs of rethinking without actually admitting the central mistakes” pieces. Its also rife with stenography from State Dept. Clintonites who are at pains to disassociate her from the worst of it to the extent possible. (And all of those little snippets are just people pushing “recollections” that nobody is in a position to check. How convenient.)

    “Don’t do stupid stuff” may not be a policy, but its significantly better than “go ahead and do the stupid stuff, cross your fingers and hope for a soft landing.”

    Shorter version: There was no problem with the central idea, but for some inexplicable reason embedded in the details we failed to get the soup quite right this time. “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
    We’ll have it tweaked just right for the next one.

    They also don’t deal at all with the hijacking of a Security Council resolution limited to protecting civilians into a clearcut regime change operation. This was the first in a trifecta of doublecrosses that persuaded the Russians, and to some extent the Chinese, that agreements with us were of no value.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Today’s antidote.

    I believe it is staring at the South Carolina primary result from Saturday.

  16. ewmayer

    Re. Trump tricked Into “Retweeting Wike Mussowini” [/fudd] — Which worries you more, the candidate who gets fooled into approvingly tweeting a Mussolini quote, or the ones who actually embody Mussolini-style corporate/state-fascim by way of being ‘robo-babbling representatives of unseen corporate donors”? (To quote/paraphrase Matt Taibbi). I know which concerns me more, and let’s just say it’s not the one with the orange-glo facial tan and the series of Eastern European catalog brides.

    [But still a funny prank – I wholeheartedly approve of such exploits, don’t get me wrong.]

    1. Carolinian

      It’s not a Mussolini quote. The whole thing is fake like Gawker itself.

      http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/02/28/the-lion-and-the-sheep/

      On June 14, 1918, a nineteen year old Italian soldier by the name of Bernardo Vicario was ordered by his commander, Carl Rigoli, to carry out a curious task. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Italian forces would soon be hit with a furious bombardment that would mean the death of most of them. Rigoli clearly knew this, which is why he told young Bernardo to write an inscription on the ruined wall of a home in the village of Fagare, where they were holed up:

      “Better to live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a sheep.”

      Rigoli perished in the battle: Bernardo lived to tell the tale. And almost a hundred years later, a researcher looking for ways to smear GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump stumbled across a reference to it and attributed it to Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator.

      A reporter for Gawker, the notorious gossip site that’s been sued for libel more times than I care to discover, had set up a parody Twitter account named “Il Duce,” and the reporter, one Ashley Feinberg, tweeted the not-said-by-Mussolini quote at Trump, who promptly retweeted it. Shortly afterward, Trump was confronted by reporter Chuck Todd, who wanted to know why he was retweeting something said by Mussolini. Trump wouldn’t back down: “It’s a great quote,” he said, quite correctly. That refusal, and the content of the quote itself, underscores and explains why he is wining and why the hysterical smear campaign directed at him and his campaign is failing big-time.

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