2:00PM Water Cooler 3/23/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“‘I think we’ll probably get [TPP] through, but it’s shaky,’ Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said in an interview. ‘It will probably have to be after the elections. I think we have a better chance to passing it after, but we’ll see’ what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to do, he said” [Bloomberg].

“Would CETA limit regulatory controls on soft drinks?” [Counsel of Canadians]. Maybe; maybe not.



“Donald Trump endorsed an unabashedly noninterventionist approach to world affairs Monday during a day-long tour of Washington, casting doubt on the need for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and expressing skepticism about a muscular U.S. military presence in Asia” [WaPo]. Which would be why the WaPo editorial board, who have yet to clean Iraqi blood off their lips, call him “bananas.”

“None of Trump’s newly named foreign policy advisors] have spoken to their new boss” [New York Times]. In a way, Trump’s problem mirrors Sanders: It’s hard to find an, er, experienced foreign policy advisor that’s not throbbing with unsatiated bloodlust. I mean, what do we do? Disinter Henry Kissinger?

“The Big Lie About the Libyan War” [Foreign Policy]. “The Obama administration said it was just trying to protect civilians. Its actions reveal it was looking for regime change. … The conclusion is clear: While we should listen to what U.S. and Western officials claim are their military objectives, all that matters is what they authorize their militaries to actually do.”

Arizona, Utah, Idaho

“In Tuesday’s battle for the West, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won lopsided victories in the Utah and Idaho caucuses, but he fell to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton in delegate-rich Arizona” [Seven Days]. ” The race now turns to Washington, Alaska and Hawaii, all of which vote Saturday.”

“On Tuesday afternoon, we figured that Trump needed to win 52.6 percent of all of the unallocated delegates by June 7 to hit the 1,237-delegate mark he needs before the convention” [WaPo]. “Last night, despite losing Utah by near-Romneyian proportions, Trump won about 59.2 percent of the delegates at stake for the entire night.”

Arizonan’s Maricopa County, population 1,250,000, had 60 voting locations. The next highest county, Pima, with 300,000 had 130 locations [Arizona Republic]. That sure looks like voter suppression to me.

“Maricopa County election officials writing off voters? You bet” [Arizona Republic]. “[I]t is no coincidence many poor and predominantly Latino areas didn’t get a polling place. [Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell] and her staff figured few of them vote anyway. She just decided to discount them. Really.”

“‘I was doing homework with my headphones in, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Bernie Sanders was sitting behind me,’ [Hannah Salesman] said, still shaking with adrenaline after her encounter” [Arizona Daily Sun]. “‘I said ‘How am I supposed to study now, Bernie?’ she said. And he said, ‘Don’t use me as an excuse.'” Vintage Sanders.


“Judicial Watch said the internal State Department documents show Clinton’s aides helping orchestrate her public thanks to organizations that had made a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative. Those ‘commitments to action’ involve an organization developing a plan to address a global problem and then carrying it out without the Foundation’s involvement” [The Hill]. That’s the use of public resources for private gain: Corrupt by definition. And I don’t care about the “without the Foundation’s involvement”; that’s lawyerly parsing. The branding is Clinton, all the way.

“[Clinton] should come right out and ask for the resignations of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Democratic National Committee Chair — and Florida congresswoman — Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In one masterstroke, she could separate herself from two of the most prominent of all corporate Democratic elitists” [Bill Moyers, Raw Story].


The one thing the Democratic Establishment never, ever mentions is that line of zeroes under SuperPAC money for Sanders. That’s because they want to stay corrupt. Not only is it personally remunerative for them, it’s fun to service the bigwigs.

The Voters

“The Post found (see how below) that both economic troubles and feelings that whites are losing out have a strong – and independent – impact on Trump’s supporters. Republicans who are worried about maintaining their economic situation are more likely to support Trump, regardless of whether they think that whites losing out to other groups is a big problem. Likewise, those who feel that whites are losing out are more likely to support Trump regardless of their level of economic anxiety” [WaPo]. “Those who voiced concerns about white status appeared to be even more likely to support Trump than those who said they were struggling economically, but the results did not clearly show which concern was more important among Trump’s coalition.”

“Why Sanders Trails Clinton Among Minority Voters” [New York Times]. “A New York Times/CBS News poll conducted last week found that African-Americans rated the economy as good by a ratio of about four to one, versus about two to one for white Democrats and an even narrower margin for white Democrats without a college degree. A Times/CBS News poll in December found that, relative to two years earlier, roughly three times as many African-Americans said their family’s financial situation was better as said it was worse, while Democrats without a college degree were almost evenly split on this question.”

“A generation ago, a post-modern cult now known as ‘identity politics;’ stopped many intelligent, liberal-minded people examining the causes and individuals they supported” [John Pilger, Counterpunch]. “What has happened to the great tradition of popular direct action, unfettered to parties? Where is the courage, imagination and commitment required to begin the long journey to a better, just and peaceful world? Where are the dissidents in art, film, the theatre, literature?” I picked out this paragraph, but the context is important, too. Read the whole thing.

The Trail

“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton viewed unfavorably by majority – CBS/NYT poll” [CBS]. So awesome.

“[In New York, to] vote in the upcoming presidential primary, you must be a registered Republican or Democrat. To change, you would have had to requested it at least 25 days before the general election for it to go into effect the following year. That would have been October 9, 2015” [TWC News]. Oh.

Topless woman with slogans painted on her body refused entry to Trump rally, but not Sanders [The Hill]. Interesting to see Femen-style protesters show up in the States. Not sure what to make of this.

“What makes Sanders special, what drives his huge surge of small donors far in excess of anything achieved by any other candidate of either party, is that he champions a progressive populism with an integrity and clarity that makes him the king of credibility in the campaign with numbers for honesty and trustworthiness that are unmatched by any other candidate in either party” [Brent Budowsky, The Hill].

“So Liberal American, why are you voting for Hillary? You don’t know what she really believes, you don’t know what she really supports, but you can be confident that she is a liar. You can also be confident that when she does decide to support an issue she will support the issue that allows for her continuation of garnering power. In this case she supports those who financially support her. That is not you, Liberal America, who mostly belong to the poor, downtrodden, dwindling middle class” [Counterpunch]. Liberal America isn’t the same as Left America.

“I queued up in the general admission line and entered the massive space just as the national anthem was starting. The assembled crowd of about 5,000 was reverently quiet — a massive flag billowed, police officers and firefighters stood at attention, and the sickly gray sky seemed more like swirling marble than the dull harbinger of rain it had been only moments ago. Something stirred deep beneath my layers of reportorial cynicism; I got chills” [FiveThirtyEight]. “This part of the appeal of Trump rallies is not talked about much. … Along with the fighting, though, something inspirational seems to be happening among the assembled — a sense of collective identity being discovered.” Trump rallies are far too little written about. Just because Trump is a master of kayfabe — in which the audience is part of the action — does not mean that the collection emotions he engineers are not real.

“The main goal of the Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee is to en­sure that Re­pub­lic­ans get elec­ted to of­fice. So it’s re­mark­able how im­mob­il­ized that party lead­er­ship has be­come at the pro­spect of a hos­tile takeover by Don­ald Trump, whose nom­in­a­tion would likely cost Re­pub­lic­ans con­trol of the Sen­ate and put the party’s siz­able House ma­jor­ity in play” [National Journal].

Paul Ryan’s latest speech at AIPAC: He’s running [Charles Pierce, Esquire]. “This was a guy doing more than rattling the saber. He was swinging it around his head until the air whistled. And, yes, this was a guy who’s still thinking about being president, no matter how many non-facts he burbles out on the topic to various interviewers.”

Stats Watch

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of March 18, 2016: “Purchase applications for home mortgages fell back by 1 percent in the March 18 week,” despite year-on-year improvement [Econoday]. “Refinancing applications continued in the decline of recent weeks.”

New Home Sales, February 2016: “A burst of strength in the West supported a roughly as expected 2.0 percent rise in February new home sales” [Econoday]. “Lack of supply has been a problem for both existing home sales and also new home sales, with supply in the latter having been held down by a topping out in permits and also by supply constraints in the construction sector including for labor.”

“The IMF is calling on the Chinese central bank to release more data on its holdings of derivatives such as forwards, which have become the main financial instrument used by the PBOC for currency intervention, the [people familiar with the matter] said” [Wall Street Journal, “IMF Pressing China to Disclose More Data on Currency Operations”]. But here’s the IMF denial the following day.

The Fed: “The Fed has made it quite clear that it does not want to see more rapid job creation. They have expressed concern that if the unemployment rate fell substantially below current levels that it would lead to an inflationary spiral” [CEPR]. “Given the views of FOMC members, any candidate who indicates a desire to substantially lower the unemployment rate without addressing the Fed’s plans is engaged in magical thinking.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 73, Extreme Greed (previous close: 78, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 75 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). LastLast updated Mar 23 at 11:45am. Falling back.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“We are being told that Nina Simone’s face bears no real import on the new eponymous movie about her life, starring Zoe Saldana. “The most important thing,” said Robert Johnson, whose studio is releasing Nina, “is that creativity or quality of performance should never be judged on the basis of color, or ethnicity, or physical likeness.” This is obviously false” [Ta-Nahesi Coates, The Atlantic]. “Saldana could be the greatest thespian of her time, but no one would consider casting her as Marilyn Monroe.”

“But the Mizzou protests were far more complicated, and much more thoughtful, than the narrow caricatures created by national media commentators” (film review, Field of Vision [The Intercept]. Yep. Ferguson, too.

“1. You go to the bank.” [@MsPackyetti]. Useful tweet storm.


“Dramatic Images Show Worst Coral Bleaching Event to Ever Hit Most Pristine Part of Great Barrier Reef” [Ecowatch].

Imperial Collapse Watch

“UEFA cannot rule out the prospect that games at this summer’s European Championship could be played behind closed doors if there are sufficient concerns over terrorism, according to its executive committee vice-president Giancarlo Abete” [ESPN FC]. Well, we can stay indoors and watch it on our cellphones. Sending out for pizza.


“The United States Has Lost the Will and Ability to Prosecute Top Corporate Executives” [Pro-Market]. From the Chicago Booth School of Business. The corollary, which is also the message of The Big Short, is that the rulling class is a criminal class, and not metaphorically.

Guillotine Watch

“[T]he paychecks of the highest-paid executives at the big banks are chump change compared to what top hedge funders take home. All of the money these six C.E.O.s made in 2015 only make up one-tenth of what Ken Griffin, the top-earning hedge-fund manager, took home in 2014. Three of the top five paid managers made more than $1 billion apiece; the other two just barely missed the third comma. These hedge fund men—and they are all men, both on the high end of the hedge-fund and banking sides—likely spent more on vacations and furniture than these banking heads made in a year, and all without the very public shareholder headaches, Wall Street anxiety, Washington scrutiny, and personnel problems that come with running a large corporation” [Vanity Fair]. “The only unambiguous winners here may be the presidential candidates making political hay of it all. A rage monster with two heads is better than one.”

“Not one of the hundreds of foreign correspondents who chronicled the bombing of Madrid looked up at the ominous V-shaped formations of Hitler’s bombers and wondered: Whose fuel is powering those aircraft?” [Tom Dispatch]. “[Texaco CEO Torkild Rieber,] who supplied that fuel would, in fact, prove to be the best American friend a Fascist dictator could have. He would provide the Nationalists not only with oil, but with an astonishing hidden subsidy of money, a generous and elastic line of credit, and a stream of strategic intelligence.”

“Teens are experiencing a major attitude shift, and it’s destroying Tiffany” [Business Insider].

Class Warfare

“Happiness is Political” [Grassroots Economic Organizing]. “William Thompson’s Utilitarian Argument for Democratic Work.” People should be afraid, very afraid, that Silicon Valley squillionaires are taking up the BIG cause. They don’t want people to create. They want people to consume.

“Like many in Silicon Valley, Ross believes in what has become known as the Varian Rule—named after Google’s chief economist, Hal Varian—which states that the kinds of luxuries enjoyed by billionaires today will eventually be provided, albeit in a somewhat modified, heavily technologized form, to the poor and middle classes” [Evgeny Morozov, The Baffler]. “You won’t get a chauffeur, but you will get a self-driving car; you won’t get a secretary, but you’ll get Siri or Google Now. The only benchmark of success is access to goods and services, while the actual terms on which this access is provided—for Google Now to work, for example, you need to let Google monitor you pervasively—are never discussed.” Dear gawd. Who wants to be like a billionaire?

“Investors saw Uber’s success as a template for Ubers for everything.” [New York Times]. “[F]unding distorted on-demand businesses. So many start-ups raised so much cash in 2014 and 2015 that they were freed from the pressure of having to make money on each of their orders. Now that investor appetite for on-demand companies has cooled, companies have been forced to return sanity to their business, sometimes by raising prices.” Bezzle, bezzle, who’s got the bezzle…

“Hollow States and Failed States” [John Robb, Medium]. “The three wealthiest counties in the US aren’t found in California or New York. They are found around Washington DC. These counties aren’t just a little better off than the rest of us, they have an average household income that is twice the national average.”

News of the Wired

“Adobe has figured out a clever way to track people as they switch between devices” [Business Insider]. Great. Just after the Flash debacle was finally put to rest…

“Mobile-phone health apps deliver data bounty” [Nature]. “Some may be wary about the quality of the data collected by mobile apps; in many of the ResearchKit studies, study personnel do not meet participants, raising questions about the quality of the data that these participants provide.”

Don’t be evil:

* * *

Readers, I still need to fix my fershuggeneh contact form! Hopefully noting that fact publicly will serve a lash and a spur to my endeavors. (Meanwhile, thanks to readers, who already have my email address, who sent in images of plants!)

See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (MK):


Pause for reflection…

* * *

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. Water Cooler would not exist without your support.


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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Tertium Squid

    what do we do? Disinter Henry Kissinger?

    I didn’t realize that Henry Kissinger is dead, and neither did he I think.

      1. Tertium Squid

        A deceased body still has enough residual vitality for hair and nails to keep growing, perhaps that also extends to publishing books in Kissinger’s case.

        1. John Zelnicker

          @Tertium Squid – No, that is a myth. The hair and nails don’t continue to grow, the skin around them shrinks since it no longer has blood going through it and the liquid matter in the skin cells dries up.

    1. DakotabornKansan

      Henry Kissinger will be honored April 7th by the Truman Library Institute. He will receive the 2016 Harry S. Truman Legacy of Leadership [sic] Award.

      The only living American who is casually described as a war criminal.

      1. Propertius

        I don’t know about that. It seems to me that plenty of people have casually described Dick Cheney, John Woo, and Barack “Droner in Chief” Obama as war criminals. Well, me at least.

      1. Synoia

        Good Theory.

        I have a stake which could be used for proof (unfortunately it would not be a repeatable experiment).

      2. RUKidding

        I think Henry the K has shriveled black heart that manages to still beat. Don’t forget that he can be noted not only as a War Criminal & BFF to Pinochet, but that he has more recently endorsed both Tundra Trash Palin for VP and Hillary R Clinton for Pres.

        Put that in your pipe and smoke it…

  2. Jim Haygood

    In Arizona, Maricopa County (including Phoenix) has 4 million residents, while Pima County (including Tucson) has about 1 million.

    So they had a satanic 66,666 residents per polling station in Maricopa County, versus 7,700 residents per station in Pima County.

    Until now, there were thought to be only a few dozen Democrats in Maricopa County. :-)

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      I vote AZ be renamed Votey McVoteface.

      My fav AZ story is about all the early mail-in ballots mailed months ago voting for Rubio and the rest of the Quitters (aka Losers). Convenience can be a B__ch sometimes. Hahhaa.

      1. allan

        How’s that Congressional Black Caucus PAC endorsement of HRC working for you, Rep. Lewis?

        I’m deeply troubled by reports of incredibly long lines to vote in Arizona.
        We need to #RestoretheVRA

      2. Jim Haygood

        ‘Votey McVoteface’ — brilliant!

        Although AZ may yet be bested by other contenders in the vote fraud sweepstakes.

        It ain’t over till it’s over.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sounds like lines at Disneyland – the happiest place on Earth.

      “What will you do after winning the title of the oldest Arizonan person to ever cast a vote at 99?

      “I am going to Disneyland to queue up for my favorite ride.”

      1. Steve in Flyover

        I’m throwing the BS flag.

        Nobody in Arizona says “quene up”

        Even fewer know how to spell “quene”.

          1. rich

            Hear this, Sanders supporters — you don’t need to back Hillary: You have every right to say “Bernie or bust”
            Bernie backers want change, not the status quo that Clinton offers, so they have no obligation to her in November

            You can call adopting such a stance naïve. Ultimately, though, it won’t help to tell the Bernie or Busters that they’re wrong. They want change, not the status quo that the Clinton camp more or less offers. The Bernie Sanders campaign is plainly saying “enough is enough” to the way things are; it’s no good for the Democratic establishment to take a position of presumed superiority and urge Sanders supporters to hand their vote to Hillary Clinton despite their misgivings, when this is exactly the kind of attitude that the Bernie or Busters are rebelling against. After Sanders’ stunning defeat last Tuesday, his voters are now being told they can’t possibly refuse Clinton in a general election. In reality, these supporters have every right to say “Bernie or Bust.”

            Firstly, and obviously, they do literally have the right. The right to vote is not also an obligation to vote, despite what some may say. The core principle of democracy is freedom of choice, in who you vote for, and in whether you decide to vote at all. (Just as a side-note, voting numbers have been going down for a long time. It’s not like we can exclusively berate Bernie or Busters for refusing to vote Democrat when for years voters have increasingly been too disillusioned to turn out for either side.) With academics contesting that the US is not really a democracy but an oligarchy, it can be difficult for some to even find the point in voting. Unless, of course, an apparent agent of change offers them a good reason to.


              1. Vatch

                Plan B: vote for the Green Party candidate.

                Plan C (if the Green candidate isn’t on the ballot in your state): vote for anyone who is not a Democrat or a Republican.

                Plan D: vote, but leave the Presidential part of the ballot blank.

                1. Lambert Strether Post author

                  Plan E: Spoil the ballot by defacing it.

                  The nice thing about Plans A-E is that they all get counted, defeating the standard “voter apathy” narrative.

            1. perpetualWAR

              That f*cking b*tch cheater, liar, snake will NEVER get my vote. I’d rather take a hot poker to my eye.

              It’s Bernie or Bust for me.
              Write in, if necessary.

              1. aumua

                I’d say if you left out the f*cking b*tch part, your statement would be more effective. Just an observation.

                  1. Rhondda

                    Serious question: Do you think it’s sexist if I call Ted Cruz a f*ing bstrd? Because I think he is and I don’t think I’m being sexist when I say that. I’m just using a word that indicates his gender. Also, I think Hillary Clinton is a f*cking b*tch cheater, liar, snake, war criminal and she will also never get my vote… I’m a woman. Am I judged as sexist for saying that about Hillary? Sexist against my own sex? Hmmm.

                    I have worked as a sole proprietor for a long time so I really never received the employer-driven PC training that it seems everyone else I talk to has experienced, often yearly. I’m also 55 years old. Maybe that doesn’t explain it and seems lame, but I find the 2 b-words to be one-for-each. I don’t necess read sexism when using them.

      2. sumiDreamer

        Nothing I hate more than people spinning their wheels on an important issue. The kick in the ass should be well aimed; right now it’s flying all over the place on the internet.

        The rePUGs devised the voter suppression vehicle (probably with K-K-Karl’s help). It crosses state lines and AZ was likely a test of the apparatus.


        I also highly recommend The Brennan Center’s great piece of Voting laws. To my surprise, Daily Kos called this one correctly. Time to stop this attack on democracy is now, not in November.

    3. Carolinian

      Maricopa is huge or yuge

      According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 9,224 square miles (23,890 km2), of which 9,200 square miles (24,000 km2) is land and 24 square miles (62 km2) (0.3%) is water.[7] Maricopa County is also one of the largest counties in the United States by area having a land area greater than that of seven states. It is by far Arizona’s most populous county, encompassing well over half of the state’s residents. It is also the largest county in the United States to contain a capital city.


    4. Llewelyn Moss

      Video. A guy shows how long the line was at a Maricopa AZ polling place. A good question is how many people saw the lines and said “Forget it. I have to work today”.

      Low turn out benefits Hellery. Gee I wonder who caused this mess?

  3. Pavel

    I just stumbled on this transcript of a scathing speech by John Pilger over at Counterpunch — highly recommended. Excerpts below:

    In 2009, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make “the world free from nuclear weapons”. People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

    It was all fake. He was lying.

    The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories. Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than $1 trillion.

    A mini nuclear bomb is planned. It is known as the B61 Model 12. There has never been anything like it. General James Cartwright, a former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said, “Going smaller [makes using this nuclear] weapon more thinkable.”


    According to one prodigious liberal commentator, Trump is “unleashing the dark forces of violence” in the United States. Unleashing them?

    This is the country where toddlers shoot their mothers and the police wage a murderous war against black Americans. This is the country that has attacked and sought to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democracies, and bombed from Asia to the Middle East, causing the deaths and dispossession of millions of people.

    No country can equal this systemic record of violence. Most of America’s wars (almost all of them against defenceless countries) have been launched not by Republican presidents but by liberal Democrats: Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.


    In the 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran with nuclear weapons. As Secretary of State under Obama, she participated in the overthrow of the democratic government of Honduras. Her contribution to the destruction of Libya in 2011 was almost gleeful. When the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, was publicly sodomised with a knife – a murder made possible by American logistics – Clinton gloated over his death: “We came, we saw, he died.”

    One of Clinton’s closest allies is Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of State, who has attacked young women for not supporting “Hillary”. This is the same Madeleine Albright who infamously celebrated on TV the death of half a million Iraqi children as “worth it”.

    Among Clinton’s biggest backers are the Israel lobby and the arms companies that fuel the violence in the Middle East. She and her husband have received a fortune from Wall Street. And yet, she is about to be ordained the women’s candidate, to see off the evil Trump, the official demon. Her supporters include distinguished feminists: the likes of Gloria Steinem in the US and Anne Summers in Australia.

    John Pilger: A World War has Begun: Break the Silence

    I confess I am deeply discouraged and depressed. The one positive light is Sanders: not perfect, but exponentially better than any of the other candidates. I was especially pleased that he took a tough line on the Israeli settlements (not as tough as I’d like, but still). Sadly the establishment will no doubt crush him. The pathetic irony of the Dems discarding the most popular of all the candidates (and the one with the greatest fundraising efforts) for the detested and distrusted HRC.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘I was especially pleased that he took a tough line on the Israeli settlements (not as tough as I’d like, but still).’

      In the extremist U.S., it is brave to even mention this subject. Most candidates address it indirectly, by threatening to veto any U.N. action pertaining to Israel (such as enforcing U.N. resolutions condemning occupation and settlements).

      Pursuant to state law, Illinois just banned 11 companies from doing business with the State of Illinois, after they refused to deal in products produced by West Bank settlements.


      Land o’ Rahm, where ethical investment is against the law.

    2. steelhead23

      I am tired of being preached to by the likes of Mr. Pilger – that the path to salvation lies not in participating in a diminished (some might say pseudo) democratic process, but in direct action – protests, boycotts, perhaps even civil war. They believe that accepting gradual change, or compromise is foolish and ineffective. There may be a modicum of truth to the argument – after all, didn’t the blood on the sidewalks at Kent State mobilize U.S. citizens against the war, or the dead in Tienanmen lead to greater freedom in China (?)? I consider such arguments to be not only wrong, but stupid. The hopes and dreams of the dead at Kent State and Tienanmen died with them. Instead, we must accept that lasting change requires broad acceptance among the affected. I admit that the blood on the streets did, to a certain extent, lead to positive change. What I refuse to accept is that “there must be blood.” Instead, if we are to effectuate change in our society we must work to create a demand for that change through the very weapons being arrayed by the status quoians against us – information, media buzz, and education. Direct action may play a role in creating awareness, but DA alone will not create the changes we want – we must inform and convince the public – ironically, something Jeffrey St Clair’s Counterpunch does quite well.

      1. hunkerdown

        If you believe that the police terror spree in Black neighborhoods isn’t one of those very political tools used by the status quoians against us, you might be in denial.

        Forget procedural democracy. It’s shown to be a failure and a sham. What matters is policy, and that the means are acceptable to enough of the public to not legitimize a reactionary crackdown. Pacifist purity serves only those who have the monopoly on righteous violence.

      2. farrokh bulsara


        I don’t think “the likes” of John Pilger are “preaching” to YOU, steelhead. Hereafter you should just not listen to them. Now carry on.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        I might agree with you, but consider this passage from Black Agenda Report:

        Black people are the most left-leaning group in the United States, on issues of war and peace, and social justice. This fact is affirmed by every poll on peace and economic issues over generations, and most dramatically, it is affirmed by Black grassroots movement behavior – when such movements exist. …

        However, in national primary elections, these Black Social Democrats – these pro-peace, pro-social justice, pro-union folks – fail to express their own political sentiments at the polls. …

        The nature of the American duopoly system is that one of the parties will always be the White Man’s Party, with white supremacy as its organizing principle. In this era, it’s the Republicans. In a past era, it was the Democrats. …

        Throughout U.S. history, Blacks have sought protection from the White Man’s Party in the bosom of the other party, the one that is more inclusive of minorities. They want the party that opposes the White Man’s Party to pick the strongest possible candidate. The question of whether that candidate actually agrees with them, ideologically, becomes secondary or even irrelevant. Blacks will vote against their own politics, in order to pick a winner.


        The Democrats ooze like pus from every orifice of the Black body politic. ….

        Democratic Party politics kills Black politics. The two cannot coexist. If you want a real Black grassroots movement, you have to fight the Democratic Party, tooth and claw. …

        Bernie Sanders’ supporters think they can transform the Democratic Party “from below.”* They are wrong.

        Black people ARE the “below” in America, and we make up a quarter of the Democratic Party. But, Blacks haven’t transformed the Democratic Party by our overwhelming presence. Instead, the Party has transformed us – and overwhelmed our radical politics.

        The solution is to throw off the dead weight of that party.

        Bernie Sanders, the Democrat, does not represent some kind of turning point in history, although his supporters seem to think so. The turning point in history comes with masses of people in the streets, fighting BOTH Rich Man’s Parties.

        Read the whole excellent post, written in February.

        NOTE * I’m not so sure that’s true, or that it will continue to be true. The Democratic establishment seems to be coalescing around a quest for moderate Republicans, with a ginormous upraised middle finger to Sanders and Sanders supporters. Needless to say, I think this is contradiction that should, er, be sharpened.

      4. Ché Pasa

        What drivel. Nobody is preaching to you, but maybe they should.

        The electoral process is purpose-designed to prevent progressive change, and it is very efficient at doing so.

        Direct action is the primary means by which the status quo is altered on behalf of the people as opposed to the plutocrats, but even then, results are not guaranteed. Far from it.

        1. steelhead23

          This is where the DA argument leaves me – is the left more interested in authoritarian rule than demos rule? Stalin, or Trotsky? I believe that DA has been effective in creating policy change. Both the Civil Rights Act and the Voters Rights Act would not have occurred without it. But, to effectuate those changes, the standard U.S. law-making process was followed. People were convinced, leading to political change. So yes, let us have direct action, but let us also use the electoral process to put folks in office that espouse such policies. The view that our electoral process is so broken that participation is subjugation (or an expression of white privilege) is downright anti-democratic. I for one, have no interest in living under an authoritarian regime, even if it mostly established policies I would agree with.

          1. Ché Pasa

            You realize you live under an authoritarian system and regime in the USA right now, right? Good.

            It won’t cease being authoritarian because of who you elect to the presidency, in part because presidential elections are not held on the basis of policy, they are based on personalities.

            The Civil Rights Act(s) and Voting Rights Act were a response to the demonstrations and uprisings going on, but they were not politically wise policies enacted because the people voted for them or voted for representatives who would enact them. The people essentially had no say at the level of politics.

            The fact that they were passed and enacted had the effect of destroying Lyndon Johnson’s political career and reversing the polarities of the political parties for generations to come. (Of course protest against that nasty little war in Vietnam had something to do with ending LBJ’s career, too.)

            It was bold action based on doing the right thing. It wouldn’t have happened had there not been serious unrest and passionate struggle in the streets, however. The political/electoral system was not set up to accomplish such ends without the kinds of unrest and protest that took place outside the system, essentially forcing a partial accommodation.

            And that partial accommodation has been paid for many times over through the drug war and mass incarceration of black and brown men.

      5. vidimi

        i’d agree with you if that was what pilger was actually doing. he is praising the turnout for corbyn and sanders, but also pointing out their shortcomings.

  4. Garrett Pace

    I’d never been to a political caucus before attending the Democratic version in Utah yesterday. Not, properly, a full caucus; the presidential candidate was selected primary style and everything else was done in caucus.

    There was a guy dressed up as Trump – funny, but he was too short and he wasn’t colored orange. Though when I looked nobody would stand near him, so I guess it was pretty convincing.

    The Dems in Utah are the not-ready-for-primetime party. No internet voting, no absentee voting. Also ballots were passed around willy nilly. And gigantic lines, computer crashes.

    “Voter fraud” maybe, but it’s a primary so they can do what they want – choose a candidate via stargazing whatever – and the only potential consequence a loss of credibility with voters.

    I think the more interesting observation is that Bernie voters are younger and have no idea qua anything. Anecdotally from observation and hearsay, tons of people showed up without ids and voter registration.

    Disheartening to think that when/if Hillary wraps up the nomination, these young people will not be back at the polls in November.

    1. pretzelattack

      i don’t think voter fraud was alleged in utah, rather in arizona where the gaming was done by the dnc. not supporters so much. yes, it will be disheartening if they don’t show up in november to vote for somebody other than clinton.

      1. Optimader

        Explain how the dnc gamed the AZ primary?
        The person that eliminated 140 of 200 polling places (a cost saving measure!) is a Republican.
        As well Independents were only allowed to vote on provisional ballots =(are not counted)
        I wouldnt attribute competence , even if it is evil ( successful voter suppresion), to the wrong team.

          1. optimader

            I read at least one individual was indicated as an Independent and had to go get his voters registration card, which indicated his Party affiliation (D), for the opportunity to stand in line several hours to exercise his right to vote. Absurd

            If it took me anymore than a few minutes to vote, I would be mailing it in. It seems ridiculous to even have to be preregistered with a party affiliation. I’m not, I was asked which ballot I wanted when I showed up.

    2. curlydan

      Same thing I experienced in the Kansas caucus. It was terrible. A 2.5 hour wait in line, followed by waiting in another line to write my name on a yellow pad of paper that was my official vote, then another 30 minute wait just to leave the facility (an inflatable dome with only 1 entry/exit). Upon leaving, there were still at least 200 people in line outside.

      1. pretzelattack

        i have to admit to a liberal bias, i was only talking about voter fraud by the dem machine. i sort of expect it when it comes to republicans.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Practice makes perfect.

          I think we are looking at the end of the Republican dominance in that dark art field.

        2. optimader

          i was only talking about voter fraud by the dem machine. i sort of expect it when it comes to republicans
          Oh my goodness PA! Voter fraud is a rich (D) tradition.!

      2. bob

        The local report was great! Not only do we learn that he has a son, and that he switched to repub from dem, he went home and got on his computer to complain after…

        “According to The political Insider this is very unusual internet-based voting process. The technology to conduct web-based voting comes from Smartmatic Group, which is based in England. The chairman of Smartmatic is Lord Mark Malloch Brown, who also is on the board of billionaire liberal Geroge Soros’ Open Society Foundation and has personal ties to the billionaire.”


        “Listen, this technology to vote is very specialized. Here’s a link- ”

        Rolling right past the giant hole- what the hell does internet based voting have to do with a local primary election in UT?

        “I’ll go home and google it….”

        What about the actual process? Names? Titles? Machines? Ballots?

        “I’m writing for a 100,000 ‘person’ trump cult on facebook- I don’t have the time for that”

        But, it sounded like you really could have gotten more information from the polling place….

        “I had to get home!”

  5. Vatch

    Liberal America isn’t the same as Left America.

    Most Americans equate the two. Some understand Liberal America to be a proper subset of Left America, because Left America also includes Marxism. But very few Americans consider Liberalism to be anything other than a form of Leftism.

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      But they are not correct.
      Liberal = pro-big business with some kind of residual welfare state.
      Left = anti-big-business, empowering working people to take on business/capital, with no presumption that govt has to defer to business.

      We have a lot of educating to do. (Props to Lambert for continuing to emphasize this distinction.) On the other hand, when I try to make this distinction to people, the ones who really don’t get it are the ones who identify as Democrats. To them, AFSCME is “the left.” Ugh.

  6. hunkerdown

    FEMEN-style protesters in the States? MoveON turning Trump into a media terror phenom and leading provocative marches? Could just possibly be Soros trying his color playbook at counter-revolution — might be worth watching closely what comes out of his corner to see if an upgrade from coincidence to enemy action is warranted.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      People who agree will continue to go to the site (or any site) and those who are not tolerated will leave.

      And the business will re-calibrate itself.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        The March 15 deadline came and went, and the Berners a DailyKos are still writing Bernie diaries (many on the Recommended List). Poor Lil’ Markos. He can’t get no Satisfaction. Hahahaha.

    2. Vatch

      Really, Markos? Really? He writes this on a day when Sanders won more delegates than Hillary won?

      1. hreik

        I know, right? Something’s up there. I no longer give him clicks, but that was published at The Hill, so I was wondering, why?

      2. RUKidding

        That’s WHY Markos CIA wrote it today. Cannot stand to be contradicted by FACTS… when they conflict with HIS narrative.

    3. Llewelyn Moss

      If this were a Just World…
      1) Moulitsas would drop out.
      2) Hellery would be in jail.

      Go Bernie!

  7. Howard Beale IV

    Wow-everyone missed that Calgary Ted selected Phil Gramm as his financial policy advisor? Nothing to see here, I guess…..

  8. diptherio

    We don’t need Femen-style protesting, we need Fremen-style protesting. Bring out the sandworms, people! I am the Quizatsadarack!!! (sp?)

    1. Massinissa

      For some reason the first thing that came to my mind reading your comment was Trump riding a giant worm with Christies face. Not sure where that came from.

      1. RUKidding

        To go old school: ROTFLOL!!! I don’t know where that came from either but it somehow fits! OMG!!

      1. diptherio

        It’s been awhile since I read the book…thanks for the correction. Now, can you help me get into this stillsuit?

  9. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Helmer’s piece (“where is the courage, imagination, and commitment”) raises a mirror that is ugly to contemplate, yes, indeed, where are the dissident voices, are they just numbed by the futility and the awesome scale of control that World Billionaire Fascism wields today? Have they forgotten that “the people should not fear the government, the government should fear the people”?
    I suspect not, and that’s what is so ugly, I suspect the reason is that we have become entirely self-absorbed and inwardly-focused and have lost our capacity to care about a mutual, collective and shared destiny with responsibility and compassion. Those of us waiting for just that new outrage, or just that new set of facts or charismatic leaders to emerge and then the great mass who desperately lack social justice will finally rise from their slumber…should prepare to be disappointed. Yes more facts to more people will help but first we would need a lumpenproletariat that gives a single solitary sh*t about anything other than themselves. In their names their government just blew the arms off a five-year old boy in a hospital and the reaction is …flatline.
    What could be more tragic. Q: can an assemblage of entirely self-interested individuals still be called a “civilization”?

    1. Ulysses

      Who is this “we” you speak of? I think your anger at those less fortunate than you, for not being angry enough, is more than a little unfair. Poor people that I know are not only compassionate and generous to others, they are desperately trying to make the entire world better. My friends who have gone to jail for protesting drones, up at Hancock AFB, certainly don’t fit your hurtful stereotype. They don’t need you to wake them from their “slumber!”

      It is frustrating that even with thousands in the streets, little is done to lessen the power of the kleptocrats.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Every day it is evident that good and excellent people with commitment and compassionate hearts are there
        But I can’t help but recall the last time we managed to stop a war…we had enough critical mass of “good and excellent people” with a functional ability to tell right from wrong who gave a damn to make a difference. I personally lost a job and got my head smashed at Columbia University
        If we mustered 10% or 5% or even 3% of people today then a change could come. So when I said “people” then I guess I was referring to the 97%.

  10. John

    Went to Bernie rally in SD yesterday. Line went around convention center and then around marina, longest line I’ve ever seen. Nearly everybody less than half my age (70), obviously this group does not get their news from Msm… Who were not present at all. And not covered by LA times today, I checked cover to cover. Total blackout… A mystery is why circulation is down…
    And Bernie told wanna come supporters on Monday venue is full.
    Can’t stand that long, so did not stay.
    Go Bernie!
    Go Fbi!

  11. Like Dems but with balls

    In that medium piecelet, Robb’s heart is in the right place with his use of the hollow-state notion, but he flops into the propaganda pismire when he uses Lebanon as an example. Lebanon is a state with exceptionally strong civil society. Hezbollah is not a contractor, Hezbollah is a highly effective programmatic NGO that has spawned a political party.

  12. flora

    “Which would be why the WaPo editorial board, who have yet to clean Iraqi blood off their lips,”…

    – and muttering their lines as Lady Macbeth, “Out, damned spot!”

    – “call him “bananas.””

    1. vidimi

      i think the main difference between the washington psycopaths and lady macbeth is that the former are not bothered at all by all the blood they’re drowning in.

  13. ekstase

    Where are the dissidents in art, film, the theatre, literature?”
    Hmmm. On the internet?

    The film you linked to, “Concerned Student 1950,” about the “Mizzou protests,” is really powerful. If people have a half hour to watch it, it’s well worth it.

  14. DJG

    Sorry, Lambert, but the Pilger article goes way beyond “identity politics.” What Pilger is talking about is corrupt and criminal elites that will do anything to hold on to power. What he is saying is that for Hillary Clinton and Pres. Obama and Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio (keep adding names) the end justifies the means. Fools that they are, they also believe that war is a suitable means of holding on to power by militarizing society and forcing obedience.

    “Identity politics” is a game of who’s in / who’s out. Here’s something lifted from the Wikipedia entry for the election of 1884. Ed ecco! Identity politics. Nothing new. Nothing definitive. Mainly just futile.

    “At a Republican meeting attended by Blaine, a group of New York preachers castigated the Mugwumps. Their spokesman, Reverend Dr. Samuel Burchard, made this fatal statement: “We are Republicans, and don’t propose to leave our party and identify ourselves with the party whose antecedents have been rum, Romanism, and rebellion.” Blaine did not notice Burchard’s anti-Catholic slur, nor did the assembled newspaper reporters, but a Democratic operative did, and Cleveland’s campaign managers made sure that it was widely publicized.”

    Nonetheless, the Pilger aticle on how much we have beshitten ourselves in a culture of voilence is a must read. Thanks.

    1. Massinissa

      I dunno about Romanism, but Rum and Rebellion sounds pretty good to me! Sanders and Trump need to bring out more rum!

      1. bob

        i think a lot changed when they finally did away with pols buying the drinks on election day. They still collect the bribes, mind you, they just don’t pick up the tab. The one day a year you might get something back from those fuckers….

        Effectively, the death of populism, or the urban populism of the early 20th century. Probably the birth of the modern ‘machine’ too.

        Causation, correlation…who knows.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Consider reading the post. DJG:

      Sorry, Lambert, but the Pilger article goes way beyond “identity politics.”


      I assume a sophisticated readership….

  15. ahimsa

    Am reposting my comment from today’s links because I think it’s really worth reiterating:

    *Newsflash* (that you won’t see in the MSM) – Based on the figures available, the folks over at 538 have now chalked Sanders up with the following delegate counts for Mar21/22 (might yet shift a little):

    Dems abroad Win 9/13
    Arizona Loss 30/75 (massive voter suppresion)
    Idaho Win 18/23
    Utah Win 27/33

    3/4 wins with delegate count 83/143 = 58%
    How can you not report this as Sanders winning??

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      On March 8, the day Hillary lost in Michigan, she won the day, collecting 95 delegates vs. Sanders’ 71.

      The news that day, if I recall correctly, was about the shocking loss, not who won the day or who won more delegates that day.

      1. ahimsa

        @MyLessThanPrimeBeef, I take your point, though the “shocking loss” in Michigan had as much to do with the wildly inaccurate polls and thus MSM expectations. In AZ the Sanders loss was not so unexpected and certainly not as shocking as Clinton’s shutout in UT & ID or the craziness of the AZ voting. For me those should have been the newsworthy stories, e.g.:
        Chaos at AZ polls as Clinton claims victory.
        Sanders landslide wins in UT, ID.
        Sanders heavily favoured by expats.

    2. EmilianoZ

      I gave up on the MSM about 8 years ago. I think I started reading NC circa 2009. I particularly like the comments. Commenters here have become my journalists, my many eyes around the world, which I trust more than the MSM propagandists.

      1. Massinissa

        I started reading around the same time, even though I was in High School at the time, lol.

  16. allan

    U.S. moves to block release of Siemens anti-bribery monitor reports

    The U.S. Department of Justice is pushing to block the release of documents detailing how the German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG (SIEGn.DE) improved compliance in the wake of a sweeping bribery case, in the latest battle over how much information about corporate settlement agreements should be made public. …

    A similar debate arose earlier this year after a federal judge ordered the release of a report by the monitor overseeing HSBC Holdings Plc’s (HSBA.L) compliance program to improve anti-money laundering controls as part of a settlement deal. The bank and the Justice Department have opposed the ruling.

    The most transparently opaque administration ever.
    It’s almost as if DOJ were acting as outside counsel for corrupt corporations and banks.

    1. Synoia

      Most transparent administration ever.
      Most transparently dishonest administration ever.

      You need to be a lawyer to understand the first is a disclosure of the second.

  17. Jason

    The problem with “noninterventionist” Trump is that he can be trusted about as far as you can throw his bloated, artfully tanned carcass.

    1. jrs

      Who he plans to appoint is the only clue we’ll ever really have to what a Trump foreign policy might really look like. Though he’s still rather personally unstable.

      But as for what he says he will do, it doesn’t help that he himself answers questions with “I’m not going to tell you” in effect, as in our policies must have surprise, so he can’t say what they will be. Non-interventionist? Nah, this is just non, the null value. Though in a field of mostly warmongers it can sound good.

    2. RUKidding

      I don’t see how anyone can see Trump as “non-interventionist” when just about everything he has said – that can be tabulated as something akin to a policy statement or something that he says he’ll do – is pretty much interventionist on one level or another.

      That’s what makes me more than a little nutty about his fans who aren’t stupid, and there’s many out there who are neither dumb, nor racist. But somehow they believe this buffoon will “save us” and “make America Great again.” I can never get a good definition of what that means, and when I press for examples of HOW the Donald will DO this, I get a lot of waffling… and annoyance… and changed subjects.

      I think Americans have been suitably trained to focus solely and only on the so-called “big picture.” But the devil, as they say, is in the details. Short attention spans avoid details, I guess. Call me old fashioned but I wanna know details.

      1. John

        Trump’s positions are murky. But…
        Clinton’s are not. Would follow Obama; protect bankers, pass Tpp, prosecute whistle blowers, stonewall Foia requests, appoint center right judges, in short, full bore neo-liberalism. And in addition, she has never seen a war she didn’t like, has advocated bombing Iran and confronting Russia.
        Trump at least did say he favored a balanced approach to the Israel Palestinian conflict, only Bernie has been better on this issue. Plus he is against more trade deals.
        Bernie is the right person for many reasons, but if he doesn’t make it I’ll go for the pig in the poke.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          To be fair, Trump hasn’t actually slaughtered tens of thousands of people to no good purpose (if public policy be considered).

          Of course he might, but my point is he hasn’t….

  18. pretzelattack

    anecdotal and all but i’m starting to see a lot of awareness of the vote fraud/voter suppression on comment threads in the guardian. no articles of course.

    1. bob

      It should be becoming obvious, 15 years after hanging chad made his appearance, that the voting system in this country is completely broken.

      Any real reform has to start there. I hope those participating today are taking careful notes. It’s hyper local, and very protected turf that you only really get any good view of once every 4 years, maybe.

      If you’re standing in line for 4 hours, keep your eyes open, ask why? Then try to fix it.

      The machine depends on not being looked at, or questioned.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It has been the hottest field.

        A lot of students started majoring in that after 2000.

          1. nobody

            — The situation is the same.

            — Yes but the problem is different.

            — Ten years is a long time, can be a very long time.

            — Even so, it’s still only ten years.

            — No, I only want to explain, gentlemen, that very often between one historical period and another, uh, ten years certainly might be enough to reveal the… the contradictions of a whole century. And so often we have to realize that our judgments and our interpretations… and even our hopes, may have been wrong. That’s all.


  19. allan

    Let them eat cake crumbs:

    American Airlines to Give Profit Sharing to Employees

    Coming off record earnings, American Airlines says it will make profit-sharing payments to employees.

    American said Wednesday that it will share 5 percent of its pretax earnings with all employees, except top management, starting in early 2017 based on 2016 results. … Some American employees have complained that they don’t get profit sharing like counterparts at other airlines. Delta paid out $1.5 billion last year, and United shared $698 million with employees. … CEO Doug Parker had resisted profit sharing and preferred compensation be set by pay rates. But he told employees Wednesday that there is a team-building benefit to profit sharing. …Last year American Airlines Group Inc., which is based in Fort Worth, Texas, earned $7.6 billion.

    Let’s see … 5 times 6 makes 30, carry the 3 … that $380 million for the peasants.
    Time for another stock buyback.

    1. grayslady

      5 times 6 makes 30, carry the 3 …

      Now you’re talking my kind of arithmetic. Other than multiplying six random digits by another six random digits, I still prefer using my brain and my first-grade skills to using a calculator.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Profit sharing at 100 percent makes everything easy to calculate.

        At 110%, most people would need a slide rule.

  20. Waldenpond

    Sanders on TYT. Same old schtick…. it is the funding system that is the problem, not the politicians. Will he tell his supporters to back Clinton? Blah, blah, blah establishment, movement. Does he believe Clinton will hold off TPP…. blah, blah,…. He will vote for whatever O vomits up for the SC. etc. I will hold my nose to vote for him, but …. a truth teller that finds flaws with many systems but will always pull his punches regarding his friends…. and his political revolution schtick is nothing but a retread of the ‘make me do it’ hold their feet to the fire.

    1. grayslady

      I submit that Bernie is simply speaking the language of a congressional survivor who doesn’t belong to either party. Look at what he fights for, not at what he says in a media interview. Why would he want to give team Hillary oppo material?

      1. Waldenpond

        I’m familiar with his record and platform. I have planned on voting for him since the beginning. I saw people very excited over his speeches so I watched a debate and went.. meh?

        I agree with several of his positions, but when he uses word salad, it dilutes his truth teller message. He uses the words corrupt campaign finance system as a explanation for corrupt politicians as innocent victims. I do not believe Clinton is suitable for many reasons to be president, but he hints and deflects which signals to me he’s a D loyalist first. He just doesn’t come across as serious about winning the presidency.

        1. grayslady

          Bernie is one of the toughest political competitors around. If he truly didn’t want to win the presidency, he would have run as an independent–which, like Ralph Nader, would have made him ineligible in at least 6 states that don’t allow for independent candidates. The Dems have dumped all over him, but he has remained courteous throughout. It would be foolhardy to denigrate the Dems while he’s using their party to pursue his campaign. Besides, if he has any real beefs–and I suspect he does–he needs to leave that to his surrogates until he finally grasps the brass ring, and then he can say what he likes.

        2. TedWa

          He’s got to be careful (and he si which shows how good of a politician he is), the DNC is already screwing him around royally and they’d love to find more of a reason to get rid of him than his being HRC’s opponent. I get you though.

  21. Synoia

    The three wealthiest counties in the US aren’t found in California or New York. They are found around Washington DC.

    Welfare Queens.

  22. Left in Wisconsin

    Tweet storm on privilege is well done but I still have problems with the framing. The overall frame seems to be that anyone who is not actively oppressed is “privileged” in some non-deserving way. While implies, even if it is not said outright, that the solution involves taking from those who have experienced privileged. Shouldn’t the objective be “privilege for everyone”? Like in that great old British drama about the a real socialist takeover in the UK, (quote is from memory): “We don’t want to get rid of first class; we want everyone to fly first class.”

  23. Pookah Harvey

    “Three of the top five paid (hedge-fund) managers made more than $1 billion apiece; the other two just barely missed the third comma” To put this in a context that is just slightly understandable to us plebeians, there are 40 hours per work week and approximately 50 weeks where you actively work. This makes for 2000 hours of work per year. $1 billion is $1000 million. These hedge fund managers then “earn” $500,000 per working hour

    Money is power and power begets power.

    Welcome to our new neocon world where Hillary wants to be a President for the “successful”

    1. TedWa

      And their ventures add nothing to the economy but certainly do take from it. They should be taxed to high heaven.

  24. petal

    Thank you for the TomDispatch article about Adam Hochschild’s new book. To End All Wars blew me away. I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to run out and buy a copy for everyone I knew. Looking forward to catching up on this new one and King Leopold’s Ghost.

  25. MikeNY

    Sheesh, the measly one million I pegged the Bernank at for his ‘work’ at Citadel is really chump change to Ken Griffin. The Bernank must pull down more than a stick… ya know, connections and all.

  26. Jim Haygood

    The Hildaborg speaks to the CFR — spot the mixed metaphors:

    “We need an immediate intelligence surge in the [middle east].”

    “Like President Obama, I do not believe that we should again have 100,000 American troops in combat in the middle east.”

    “To support this campaign, Congress should swiftly pass an updated authorization to use military force.”

    She doesn’t support Obama’s “boots on the ground” surge, then she coins the phrase “intelligence surge.” And calls for another open-ended AUMF to fight a nebulous enemy.

    Blood and soil, comrades. Enlist your children today.

    1. ewmayer

      “Like President Obama, I do not believe that we should again have 100,000 American troops in combat in the middle east.”

      “I am, however, quite open to the idea of once again having 100,000 American private military contractors working to spread democracy™ in the region. Plus a large contingent of special forces, but way short of 100,000.”

  27. Kim Kaufman

    ““The main goal of the Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee is to en­sure that Re­pub­lic­ans get elec­ted to of­fice. So it’s re­mark­able how im­mob­il­ized that party lead­er­ship has be­come at the pro­spect of a hos­tile takeover by Don­ald Trump, whose nom­in­a­tion would likely cost Re­pub­lic­ans con­trol of the Sen­ate and put the party’s siz­able House ma­jor­ity in play” [National Journal].”

    Except that the DNC is doing a much worse job.

  28. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Sorry for the drive by — Lambert, wanted to get this to your attention —

    I stumbled on a very thoughtful, informative interview of Bernie Sanders done by Cenk Uygar (sp?) of The Young Turks, which is a YouTube political program that often has some good analysis. Seems to have been uploaded 3/23.

    This is what political news programming SHOULD look like — 30 uninterrupted minutes, and what Sanders has to say about how frustrating it is to be asked nonsense questions for 6 second sound bites in the MSM would probably resonate with a lot of NCers, to say nothing of millions of Americans. (I always forget that MSNBC is now owned by Comcast-Universal. Ewwwww.)


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