Links 3/19/16

Dog believed lost at sea turns up on island used by U.S. Navy Reuters (EM)

Death Valley’s ‘super bloom Los Angeles Times (EM). From early this month, still noteworthy.

China?

The world’s biggest polluter is now the global leader in renewable-energy spending Quartz (resilc)

Refugee Crisis

EU agrees stance on Turkey migrant deal Associated Press (Sid S)

Opinion: The EU’s grubby and dangerous deal with Turkey DW

Refugee Shell Game: Deal With Turkey Reached Michael Shedlock (EM)

Revealed: the neo-Nazi manifesto targeting single mothers and mentally ill that AfD doesn’t want you to see Independent (Chuck L). Lordie.

Paris Attacks Suspect Salah Abdeslam Captured In Brussels Huffington Post (furzy)

Brexit?

Would Brexit cost every household £850? BBC

Syraqistan

Pepe Escobar: Did the US and Russia make a bargain over Syria? Sputnik News (Wat)

Putin’s Syria Gamble Has Already Paid Off Bloomberg (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Fearing no punishment, Denver cops abuse crime databases for personal gain ars technica (Chuck L)

Clinton E-mail Hairball

Hillary Has an NSA Problem Observer (bwilli123). A must read. This means the NSA owns her, if she didn’t know that already. But she no doubt assumes she is so untouchable that she probably refuses to believe the NSA could take he down if it wanted to. Also take note of this:

Though few Americans realize it, taking remote control over a handheld device, then using it to record conversations, is surprisingly easy for any competent spy service. Your smartphone is a sophisticated surveillance device—on you, the user—that also happens to provide phone service and Internet access.

I was warned that the last recent “smart” device that could not be turned into a listening device was the first gen iPad. Another reason I am proud user of a stupid phone.

2016

The night the Rolling Stones fired Donald Trump: Keith Richards once pulled a knife to get the GOP-frontrunner out of Atlantic City venue Salon (EM). A must read, although reader Li argues the story is exaggerated.

Suicide of the GOP — or Rebirth? Patrick J. Buchanan (Chuck L)

Ron Paul says GOP deserves convention rule controversyCNN (Dan K)

Mitt Romney: Vote Cruz over ‘Trumpism’ BBC

Republicans face convention meltdown Financial Times

Why Poor White Males Are the Core of Trump’s Support Ian Welsh (Kevin F)

Fox News Slams Donald Trump for ‘Sick Obsession’ With Megyn Kelly New York Times (Dan K)

Big Oil Is Scared of Trump for Terrible Reasons New York Magazine (resilc)

David Brooks Should Sit the Next Few Plays Out Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

Debriefing Mike Murphy Weekly Standard (furzy). As in mastermind of Jeb! Lambert had this in Water Cooler yesterday, but wanted to make sure you did not miss it.

Watch: Elizabeth Warren still won’t endorse Hillary Clinton—and maybe this story is why Quartz (resilc). This is still incomplete. First, the amendments that Clinton uses as her excuse for her 2001 vote were all BS and did not offer any real protection, and Warren and no doubt Clinton knew that full well. Second, whatever opposition Clinton had to the 2005 bill was at best a weak hand wave, and she had a similarly weak excuse (minor surgery on Bill) as her pretext for skipping the vote.

The Devil and Hillary Clinton Counterpunch

Why Bernie Sanders Is Adopting a Nordic-Style Approach Atlantic (furzy)

Sanders and the Left After Super Tuesday The Bullet (Sid S)

NY Times’ ‘Stealth Editing’ to Undermine Sanders Was Unethical, Writes Public Editor Alternet. Lambert covered the NYT story in Water Cooler yesterday, but this sorry episode deserves to be reported widely.

Watch: Frustrated Bernie Sanders walks out on hostile TV news interview Salon

Meet the Socialist Running for President in the Shadow of Bernie Sanders Vice (resilc)

The 2016 Election and Prescription-Drug Plans Atlantic (resilc)

New York state man gets longest-ever sentence for supporting Islamic State Reuters (EM)

Aubrey McClendon Left His Biggest Backer With Billions to Lose Bloomberg (resilc)

Gawker to pay $115m in Hulk Hogan case Financial Times. Award sure to be reduced on appeal.

The CalPERS Soap Opera: Getting Weirder and Weirder Tony Butka, CityWatch

SEC move offers hope on IEX application Financial Times

‘Godfather of smart beta’ defends attack Financial Times

What tools does the Fed have left? Part 1: Negative interest rates Ben Bernanke, Brookings. I will leave this to readers to dissect in comments. Merely reading Bernanke raises my blood pressure to unhealthy levels.

Class Warfare

Why the Poor Get Trapped in Depressed Areas New Republic (furzy). It’s telling that this idea has to be explained to people…

Lawsuit against Uber in name of murder suspect is found to be a hoax Reuters (EM). Too bad. Discovery would have been very entertaining.

Why Global Inequality Matters Branko Milanovic, Social Europe Journal

Antidote du jour (margarita). An Easter/spring theme!

duckings and puppy links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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220 comments

  1. JohnnyGL

    Tried to watch the Salon interview with Bernie, but that website is packed with so many ads that it barely functions! Sounded like the reporter was reading from a list of questions provided by the Clinton campaign.

    1. JaaaaayCeeeee

      That’s not the full interview, which would show you that Bernie Sanders did not just “walk away” from a hostile interviewer. Gawker got the local TV station to post the full interview, where Bernie Sanders explains to the reporter that he had already given more than 4 minutes to him, one of many in line for 4 minute interviews, and told the reporter not to report that Sanders broke off the interview.

      Although the interview of Sanders storming off is labeled “full video” it’s cut.

      It’s a similar strategy to NBC publishing the transcript of MSNBC’s 3/14/16 Town Hall with Clinton within hours, where she mocked Sanders for always having been such a reflexive protectionist and so against anything international at all, including climate mitigation treaties, that he always announces his opposition before anything is even signed.

      Four days later, media is still talking about what a Trumpian protectionist Sanders is, while NBC has still not published the transcript of Sanders’ half of the MSNBC Town Hall, where he spent the most time on how you would have to be crazy not to support free trade (the I am not a protectionist part), what a free trade agreement he’d sign would contain, how we can negotiate free trade treaties that lift millions of people out of poverty without impoverishing our workers, etc.

    2. Benedict@Large

      Frankly, I’m crossing Salon off sites I visit. The last time I got a complete page load out of them, it took over 25 minutes. That’s pure garbage.

    1. Gio Bruno

      Robert. If you have a clear, cogent comment to make, try making it in your own words.

      If you think alternative energy (solar being but one) is a fool’s errand, say so. If you think, as one of your links states: that solar panels turn into toxic waste after 25 years. Then I want you to look at this Energy Conservation Optimized residence built 25 years ago. It’s has operated flawlessly for 25 years and the panels show little degradation (certainly not toxic dust).


      http://land2plan.com/solar-pv-design/

  2. allan

    Seniors Face Higher Drug Costs As Coinsurance Becomes More Common [NPR]

    Medicare beneficiaries may get dinged with higher prescription drug bills this year because more than half of covered drugs in standalone plans require them to pay a percentage of the cost rather than a flat fee, an analysis from consulting group Avalere Health says.

    Fifty-eight percent of covered drugs in Part D drug plans in 2016 are subject to this so-called coinsurance, the Avalere analysis found. That means patients are on the hook for a percentage of the costs, which can be much higher than a traditional copay, which is flat. If a drug costs $200, instead of making a $20 copayment, they may owe 20 percent of the cost, or $40.

    The percentage of drugs requiring coinsurance has climbed steadily, increasing from 35 percent in 2014 to 45 percent last year. That percentage is approaching two-thirds of all covered drugs.

    An innovative approach to incentivize health care consumers to maximize their utility functions.

    1. Carla

      Medicare “Part D” Prescription Drug “coverage” started as crap. And now it has graduated to being crapified crap.

  3. Carolinian

    That Observer story on emailgate is some great inside dope.

    “It was the usual Clinton prima donna stuff,” he explained, “the whole ‘rules are for other people’ act that I remembered from the ’90s.” Why Ms. Clinton would not simply check her personal email on an office computer, like every other government employee less senior than the president, seems a germane question, given what a major scandal email-gate turned out to be. “What did she not want put on a government system, where security people might see it?” the former NSA official asked, adding, “I wonder now, and I sure wish I’d asked about it back in 2009.”

    And here’s why it may not be going away

    In other words, Mr. Blumenthal, a private citizen who had enjoyed no access to U.S. intelligence for over a decade when he sent that email, somehow got hold of SIGINT about the Sudanese leadership and managed to send it, via open, unclassified email, to his friend Ms. Clinton only one day later.

    NSA officials were appalled by the State Department’s release of this email, since it bore all the hallmarks of Agency reporting. Back in early January when I reported this, I was confident that Mr. Blumenthal’s information came from highly classified NSA sources, based on my years of reading and writing such reports myself, and one veteran agency official told me it was NSA information with “at least 90 percent confidence.”

    The article speculates–as have others–that a failure to prosecute could motivate NSA and FBI insiders to leak more details to the press during the election. Indeed it’s surprising that a major MSM inside story on this hasn’t broken already. Trump panic clouding news judgment?

    1. James Levy

      The last and strongest line of defense the Cheneys and Bushs and Clintons have is that the whole Intel Apparat has no interest in letting anyone know what it is really up to, and if you put the Vice President or the Secretary of State in the dock you are not going to get a conviction on “trust us, it was bad.” You will need to show in great detail the what, where, and when, and the Intelligence “community” doesn’t want that to happen. So people at the top like Petraeus or Clinton skate, while nobodies like Manning can be railroaded on innuendo and dark, portentous pronouncements without any evidence to back them up. And you can bet that they know Hillary (or Cheney, or Rumsfeld, or Geithner) will take a whole lot of people down with her before she discovers that orange is the new black.

      1. Kulantan

        I disagree. It looks like Team Clinton was leaking top level intelligence not like a sieve but a fire hose. Team Clinton were routing “burn after reading” type stuff out of the State Department SCIF to uncleared consultants using the infamous private email server. For the deeply paranoid and “information goes in but not out” Intelligence community that is a big problem because it threatens their secrets just as much as the kind of trial that you are taking about.

        On top of that Clinton apparently was rude and dismissive about their precious secrecy measures. This wasn’t someone stuffing up and doing stuff by accident, this account paints it as a deliberate act saying that Clinton convenience was more important than the spook’s secrets.

        Talk about business outside the Family and they’re going to fit you for concrete clogs. That’s omerta.

        1. sandra yolles

          Isn’t the Secretary of State the senior officer? The Secretary of State is third in line to the presidency. We know the NSA has taken all kinds of power but it is outside of the Constitution. They should be subordinate to the Secretary not in a position to dictate to her and prosecute her for not complying. Really, it is completely backwards.

          1. Jess

            No, it’s not completely backwards. In fact, it’s not backwards at all. The issue isn’t the Secretary of State’s power and position; the issue is the security of highly secret intelligence that, if exposed to the public, can endanger the lives of the intelligence communities “working assets” (i.e. real people agents in the field and foreign sources). Not to mention revealing, by reverse engineering and backtracking, what non-human intelligence methods and capabilities were used. And last but not least, it’s about the people who gained unauthorized access to material via the SoS that those people have no right to possess or know.

            You want to talk power and position? How about information revealed from the the SoS’s use of illegal communications ends up imperiling plans and policies of the President?

            1. Kulantan

              the issue is the security of highly secret intelligence that, if exposed to the public, can endanger the lives of the intelligence communities “working assets”

              The danger to “working assets” isn’t the public, its the groups they are spying on. The shockingly poor security on the private email server gave those groups an easy backdoor with no discernible upside except Team Clinton’s convenience.

              I’m jumping on this language because it conflates public interest information exposed by whistle-blowers and the spy equivalent of setting your banking password to “password” because its just so gosh darn difficult to remember anything else.

              1. Antifa

                It was not merely for Team Clinton’s convenience. She was making serious money for her Foundation and campaign by making the State Department a privately held “pay to play” operation. Madame Secretary sold favors and approved sales and assisted in all manner of business, for clients all around the world.

                Which means she’s a crook, and she’s collecting on all those favors in the form of campaign cash whenever she calls for some more.

            2. NeqNeq

              “it’s about the peope who gained unauthorized access to material via the SoS that those people have no right to possess or know”

              I assume that you are referring to release of the email to Judicial Watch? Curious about your thoughts on the unnamed “current NSA officials” (per the article) who proceed to tell a reporter (who has no right to know) that parts of the email were copy and pasted from a highly classified NSA document.

              Seems to me that kind of statement turns a “belief” about the email content into “knowledge”. Exactly what you claim is wrong. I was under the impression confirming the legitimacy of classified material was considered a violation of the laws surrounding classified information for exactly that reason…but I am no legal guru on this topic and would welcome correction.

              1. JD

                If you had read the author’s earlier article, you would have seen that he worked at the NSA. The email that Blumenthal sent was mistakenly released with ‘State Department’ emails. Clearly, that’s not what it was, and somebody missed that for the reason that it wasn’t. The author took the email, which is public, to a former colleague still employed by the NSA, who was able to query a database (more or less, presumably) for the text and confirm that it belonged to ‘his people.’ If the NSA side of that confirmation is ‘illegal’ (I don’t know), that is why it was confirmed anonymously. And yes, it turned the author’s ‘90%’ belief, based on experience at the NSA, into knowledge. Journalism is still capable of doing this.

                1. NeqNeq

                  I think you misunderstood what I was asking. My query was in regards to the argument, common amongst the intel community, that the fundamental principles involved are 1) rights to knowledge (the legalistic tact) and 2) that harm necessarily follows from a leak (utilitarian ethics tact).

                  I wanted to know how purist Jess’s conception of the issue was because both 1 and 2 exist on continuums, and those continuums are involved in the larger surveillance/intelligence discussion.

          2. Kulantan

            First off, just because someone is in the line of succession doesn’t mean they get special powers. Being the eighth in the line of succession doesn’t mean the Secretary of Agriculture can drive a combine harvester over federal employees.

            Secondly, its not the just the NSA dictating to her, its the law. Specifically U.S.C. 798(a)(3): Wilful Communication of Classified Communications Intelligence Information to an Unauthorised Person seems pretty relevant. Amusingly its one of the things that they have charged Snowden with. Regardless of whether you think these are good laws or that the NSA are a bunch of shady bastards, the Secretary of State is not above the law.

            Also, just to be an annoying pedant, the Secretary of State is forth in line (Vice-P, Speaker of the House, Senate pro tempore then Secretary of State).

            1. Andrew Watts

              What did the late Senator Moynihan say about our broken system of classified information… where all is secret nothing is? Nothing has changed. The habit of over-classification and use of the ‘Top Secret’ classification to cover-up blunders and illegal behavior makes this less than scandalous. Nor do I think Hillary is anything other than the poster girl for inept corruption.

              The author of the piece previously worked as a member of NSA counter-intelligence and was a voice among many denouncing Snowden for leaking classified information to the press. With regards to Clinton’s email server he is fine with acting as a conduit from FBI/NSA to the press about privileged information regarding the investigation. Nor does he seem to care about a potential firestorm of insider information that could apparently be released if charges aren’t pending.

              Regardless of whether you think these are good laws or that the NSA are a bunch of shady bastards, the Secretary of State is not above the law.

              There’s a different set of rules for the privileged classes and the rest of us. We don’t live in a nation ruled by law. The difference between John Deutch and David Petraeus compared to Bill Binney, Tom Drake, or Ed Snowden illustrates this simple truth. That’s why I hope Hillary and her goons get away with this. It will hopefully inspire some soul searching among those who want to believe otherwise.

              1. Carolinian

                But Hillary herself has denounced Snowden. Should she also get away with her hypocrisy?

                That said, thanks for the info.

                1. Andrew Watts

                  Hypocrisy is the inevitable result of our imperfect condition. I’m more concerned with the fact everybody has jumped on the national security bandwagon in their opposition to Hillary. They’re blithely accepting their frame of reference in the process.

                  It’s not like there is a shortage of reasons to oppose Hillary.

              2. Salamander

                I have to say I don’t understand your position. You point out that the author condemned Snowden for leaking, and the author is criticizing Clinton for leaking. That seems consistent to me… Are you suggesting that it’s hypocritical? That by drawing attention to the case, he is further compromising intelligence? You then conclude that you hope Clinton gets away with it so that we can reflect on the powerful getting away with it. Weird. And peculiar.

                1. Andrew Watts

                  I am merely appreciating the irony of the whole situation. Nor was I sniping at the author. In fact I have nothing against him and followed him since before the Snowden stuff.

                  You then conclude that you hope Clinton gets away with it so that we can reflect on the powerful getting away with it. Weird. And peculiar.

                  It wouldn’t be the first time somebody has accused me of being weird and/or peculiar.

        2. cwaltz

          If Clinton was the one who leaked the data to him why would he be sending the information back to her in an email to begin with?

          I’m not entirely sure it was Clinton herself who was a sieve although it does seem to suggest that whoever it was is traveling in the same circles as her.

          Mind you I think she should be punished for not treating classified material correctly just like those at the bottom have been treated. We wouldn’t even be having a conversation on “criminal intent” to commit wrongdoing if she wasn’t who she is. The fact that she committed wrongdoing would be enough for anyone who didn’t have her money, power or status.

          1. Kulantan

            My theory is that Clinton didn’t specifically leak this information to Blumenthal, rather that Team Clinton routinely ignored clearance and security concerns when distributing and processing information. The email reads like a briefing version of the original NSA reports. Blumenthal got the original NSA reports because his job was to write intel briefings for Team Clinton.

            1. cwaltz

              That’s kind of my read too. She willfully ignored the fact that information that shouldn’t be getting out was and she did it because she was “friends” with folks who weren’t following protocol. Heck, it appears that SHE wasn’t real fond of following the rules and her convenience trumped national security.

              He behavior comes off really arrogant, sloppy and blatant. In some ways it might finally precipitate a conversation of all the covert crap we do to undermine leadership in other countries we aren’t fond of. On the other hand it really blackens the eye of us when it comes to behavior and being part of a global community.

      1. cwaltz

        This bears repeating since everyone seems to think Sanders supporters are the pie in the sky dreamers. Who here believes that if somehow Clinton becomes the President, that the GOP House is not going to spend it’s time investigating Clinton? They don’t have solutions to problems. Instead what we’re going to get is witch hunt after witch hunt and Clinton apparently is going to provide plenty of fodder.

        1. Uahsenaa

          You’re absolutely correct. But it’s also worth remembering the Prez Clint mk 1 was impeached–admittedly over something incredibly dumb–and that fact doesn’t exactly dog him nowadays.

          It might turn out different this go around. What Clinton did is far more upsetting to the handwringers of official Washington. The massive circlejerk of quae pro quibus only works so long as the parties involved don’t start tossing “whats” about all over the place.

          1. polecat

            So how does that square with people (policy makers) like Robert Kagan and such stating they’ll vote for Clinton over Trump ?? ………THAT doesn’t sound like witch hunt to me !!

            1. polecat

              I think many here still have their ‘partisan’ glasses on…………there is NO difference between red n blue any more….so why pretend?

              It’s the Money/Power Party….and you ain’t in it!

            2. cwaltz

              So you believe that if she wins that the GOP, that right now has lawsuits filed against the State Department for access to her emails, is going to roll over if she is elected and actually govern with her?

              1. hunkerdown

                The business wings of both Parties want more or less the same privileges. With a bit of melodrama, natural agreement can be transformed into “compromise”, and the non-business dissidents can be discounted as “extremists” for implying that America has any other legitimate business than business.

      2. paul

        We now have the satisfaction on being right.

        But, as the krugkod says:

        “and 50 cents will get you a coffee”*

        I do not know where the angry free trader buys his coffee

        *this was krugthulu’s most egregious example of false modesty I have come across, I was young and stupid,time and experience takes care of these problems

    2. Collapsar

      Perhaps if the text of the speeches Ms. Clinton made to vampire squid were on that private server, they may end up getting FOIA’d into the public domain. The thought makes me smile.
      I was reminded of this email scandal while taking the yearly code of conduct training required by my employer. Two things stood out to me: No company business is to be conducted on a personal email account. Also, there was a section on corrupt practices that mentions corporate donations to charities in order to gain favor with a government official/employee. She must truly believe that laws really do apply only to the little people.

    3. nothing but the truth

      the national security apparatus / deep state is fully penetrated and manipulated by the tribe. No one dare say anything against them unless anonymous because they will attack your livelihood.

      The only reason the neocons/tribal operatives hate Trump is because he is not interested in being Israel’s blaster.

    4. voteforno6

      The most benign interpretation of the Clinton email fiasco still makes her and her staff out to be a bunch of entitled narcissists. Was it really that hard for her to check her personal email on a computer while in her office? The use of portable electronic devices in a SCIF is strictly prohibited. Apparently the rule that applies to everyone else across government is too much of a burden for Clinton and her aides.

    5. Antifa

      We can easily see that whatever Hillary Clinton spoke, typed or listened to over her standard issue Blackberry was available to the NSA and to any other interested parties.

      We can also see that anything she spoke or heard while her standard issue Blackberry was in the room was available to the NSA and to any other interested parties.

      If she ever wanted to get serious about keeping something secret, she would have needed to take the battery out of the damn thing. It isn’t enough to simply turn it off. Hackers with any real skill can surreptitiously turn a Blackberry on without alerting you.

      So when I read the sentence, “Hillary has an NSA problem” my first thought was that they already have transcripts of both sides of every conversation she ever had while in office. Including when she talked to herself in the bathroom. They know everything she did, and when, why, and how, and with whom, and what it profited her.

      Which is information that can be served up cold as needed. The NSA owns her.

      If this was her MO while fourth in line for the Presidency, the NSA is unlikely to want her in charge. Look for an indictment in mid-May.

      1. jsn

        Or alternatively, as you said, they do in fact own her. She’s always been very supple with the needs of her real constituents, that is, not The People.

    6. none

      The author of that observer piece seems to be borderline RWNJ, based on a bit of web search. Some of the stuff in the article is interesting but sadly, it will probably dissipate like most other Clinton scandals.

    7. Bubba_Gump

      Loved the Observer story. It has a link to another piece they did about the odious Sid Blumenthal, which is also worth reading. But as I don’t read the Observer I got curious about who runs it and what their typical angle is. The publisher/owner turns out to be a young real estate scion named Jared Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump. The rest of the editorial team looks to be from the NY money-connections set. Kushner and his daddy Charles own a good chunk of NYC apparently, and daddy spent some time in jail for tax evasion. Both Kushners have been significant Democrat donors but appear to be currently working hard to discredit both Clinton and Sanders. There’s an obvious conflict of interest here, with dad-in-law running against them.

  4. DakotabornKansan

    Mitt Romney: Vote Cruz over ‘Trumpism’

    All things atrocious and shameless flock from all parts of the GOP.

    Where have all the once good Republicans gone?

    John Winant was a liberal Republican who stands in marked contrast to Republicans of today. He served three terms as governor of New Hampshire, implementing radical state welfare programs during the Depression that prefigured the New Deal – public works, aid for the elderly, help for dependent mothers and children, and a minimum age act! Winant, whose humanitarian principles transcended party lines, strongly supporter FDR’s New Deal.

    In 1935, FDR appointed Winant chairman of the newly created Social Security board. He became the public face of Social Security. When Social Security became a major issue during the 1936 presidential campaign, he resigned to support Social Security against attacks by Republican presidential candidate Alf Landon and endorsed FDR for re-election.

    FDR appointed Winant US ambassador to Britain after Joseph Kennedy’s resignation. He played a key role in shaping and maintaining the alliance between Britain and the United States in World War II. .

    Where are such Republican models of principled action today?

    1. James Levy

      And Roosevelt brought Knox in as Secretary of the Navy (back when that was a big job) and Hull in as Secretary of State to form a partial coalition government right before Pearl Harbor. Both men did distinguished service during the war, as did Hoover, who volunteered to help when war broke out. Back then you still had a few educated elites who thought that differences between honorable men were just that, differences, not signs of your allegiance to the antichrist. We’re headed back to the 17th century at a rapid rate.

    2. craazyboy

      I don’t know why Mittens is overlooking Kasich! Maybe Kasich! isn’t religious enough, female enough, black enough like Hillary or Hispanic-Canadian enough? You’ve gotta get elected before we delve into policy details nowadays. Electability just gets worse if you talk about your policies first!

      Boring could be another problem for Kasich!, especially compared to Trump. That’s why I think the republican party could resurrect itself if Kasich! started cross dressing as an Evangelical Catholic Warrior Nun (gotta keep all the Christians and Jews happy) and Fox News would discover a black grand parent in the family tree. Then he’d be on the way to getting free media coverage just like Trump. If he still loses in the general election, he’s sure to get a reality show out of it, which ain’t bad – then there’s another run in 2020 to look forward too. Trump just didn’t come outta nowhere, you know.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Kasich could be tolerable enough to win at a brokered convention. Mittens sees a chancen especially against Hillary. Cruz is too loathsome for anyone to vote for.

      1. cwaltz

        Are we 100% certain that it isn’t because Ol’ Jimmy feels Clinton could beat Trump?

        I trust Democratic superdelegates as far as I can throw them these days.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Jimmy is just another citizen, like many of us.

        And his opinion is just as good as your or mine, because we are aware of the logical fallacy of argument from authority.

        I can understand why he said that.

        1. cwaltz

          No actually, he’s NOT just another citizen. As an ex Democratic President he’s a superdelegate. His opinion is weighted, it’s worth several hundreds of thousands of citizens in the Democratic primary. It’s worth less in the Republican primary, which I can pretty much guarantee you he does not get to take part in as a part of the DEMOCRATIC apparatus.

          I wonder if someone will ask him Trump or Hillary?

          I’ll bet he’d say establishment candidate Hillary.

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      Sic Semper Tyrannis has a post up today on Cruz’s foreign policy team under this headline: “The Cruz Team: Abrams, Gaffney, Boykin and Ledeen.” The worst of the worst when it comes to strident neocons. The post summarizes a linked essay at Mondoweiss that contains considerable detail about the subjects’ “qualifications.”
      http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/03/httpmondoweissnet201603new-ted-cruz-national-security-advisors-are-leaders-of-the-islamophobia-industryutm_sourcemo.html

      1. Barmitt O'Bamney

        Wow, all that list needs is John Bolton in the role of Sec. of State to be a complete recipe for a nuclear Apocalypse.

    4. shinola

      Just how much weight does Romney’s opinion carry?
      By his own estimate, at least “47%” of the electorate doesn’t care what he has to say. And, to top it off, he is an “also ran” – ya know a LOSER.

      I don’t think the choir he’s preaching to is very large.

        1. optimader

          George Romney’s son!.. Don’t you remember George?

          He’s the guy that ran against Nixon in the R primary in 1968,,, and lost

          1. frosty zoom

            i bet ol’ george was a gyroscope in his grave to see a commie win the “democratic” primary in his state.

            even better when a bunch of muslims gave a jew the victory!

      1. jrs

        I’m of the 47% that pay taxes. but more importantly I’m of the 99%.

        (and btw you don’t even need to earn much to pay income taxes, minimum wage will suffice if you don’t have much in the way of deductions, I’ve done the math – death and taxes folks, death and taxes, unless you have a bunch of deductions.)

        1. susan the other

          most commonly known as interest on your mortgage or depreciation on your rental unit or losing your shirt in the stock market or at Bellagio; unless you are even better connected and are involved as the private part of private equity like the Mittster.

        2. TomD

          It was a stupid thing to say because even if you don’t pay income tax, everyone who works pays into SS and Medicare. The things we keep being told need to be destroyed.

          1. bob

            “SS and Medicare”

            But, not at the same rate. The percentage is capped at $107k. After that, it’s a regressive tax. Guys like romney are also allowed to call that first 107k non-wages, so he doesn’t even pay that.

            47%? How about his 12%, the false number he put as a label on his yearly taxes. Even 11%…wow, I’m jealous. Add fica to your yearly tax bill and see what your rate is. Unless you are in his earnings bracket, you’re WAY above 11% a year.

  5. mad as hell.

    The 2016 Election and Prescription-Drug Plans.

    A personal note.

    My wife’s medicare plan which originally was $110 a month paid through ss was increased through a supplemental insurance plan, United Health by $25 a month added to the medicare policy two years ago.

    Spiriva which is an inhaler used for breathing difficulties cost $45 for a one month prescription, tier 3. This year that cost is now $150 for a one month plan until deductibles are met. Same insurance, same plan, same old bullshit.

      1. UnhingedBecauseLucid

        What’s with the hour long+ moderation for a comment with no profanity and two short lines in bold ?
        I think you should reset the filtering algo’s….it’s gotten unreasonably heavy handed…. hampering any prospect of ‘live’ discussion. I would have used the bold or italic button to emphasize the word ‘live’ …but my trust in the NC matrix is pretty shaken….

        1. Lambert Strether

          If you want 24/7 near-real time moderation, then you need to cough up large for the coverage; you’ll note that our Policies only guarantee 24-hour turnaround. The PayPal button is to your right.

          Alternatively, the door to Reddit is that way.

          1. susan the other

            well we could solve that with grand plans for free trade, right… just import the health care we want from another country… oh, wait, I forgot… we are the only country on the planet that exports its sovereignty… nevermind

            1. hunkerdown

              We gotta make 3% annual growth forevar somehow, as it is revealed by the LAWD… and if we can’t balance His dividend on the backs o’ our wimmins, we gotta sell the kitchen table, or something.

          2. clinical wasteman

            Applause for Lambert’s answer and for the underlying policy. It’s because NC editors/moderators have repeatedly taken the trouble to explain these things that we sub-commenters don’t need to worry about having caused inadvertent offence when a comment disappears for a while.
            At least provided the comment was in good faith, which in astonishing contrast to … every other site really, is almost always the case here.
            Possible exception re ‘good faith’ comment pages: the wonderful ‘Reading the Maps’ site, run by Aotearoa-NZ/Pasifika historian Scott Hamilton. If you’re interested at all in the South Pacific as part of global history/politics/literature/art (as opposed to The South Seas as Exotic exception), or even if you just appreciate casually lovely prose writing, please read Sikoti H. and his strangely thoughtful commenters.
            NB. all that is not a free ad for a friend’s work: to my regret I left NZ too soon to meet SH, so the praise is honestly ‘objective’.

    1. grayslady

      Unfortunately, the Medicare prescription drug site is down for maintenance right now, so I couldn’t run a side-by-side comparison for you. Nevertheless, have your wife check out Combivent Respimat–it’s identical to Spiriva. I receive a small Medicare subsidy, but, even with that, Combivent costs me about $70 for a 3-month supply. I rejected United Health as an option in favor of Aetna because co-pays were lower with Aetna even though monthly premiums were the same.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Grayslady, is it this information (Combivent Respimat, Spiriva) something one’s doctor can help or we have to all kinds of research on our own?

        1. grayslady

          Depends on the doctor. The manufacturers of these products have heavily lobbied doctors and handed out numerous samples over the years. Consequently, a particular doctor may have a preference based on nothing more than a sales pitch. So, yes, it helps to do your own research and then check with the doctor to see if there are any legitimate reasons to prefer one over the other.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Thanks.

            It’s a scary world where my health depends on my doctor’s decision that may be based on a sales pitch, or, not really better, argument from authority (some famous researcher’s published paper that my doctor read in a journal).

    2. Lee

      I have a document that clearly states my Medicare/Express Scripts, employer supplemented drug plan should be charging me a certain amount for my copays. Instead, I am being charged four times the stated amount as put forth in this written document. The Express Scripts website’s description of my plan differs wildly from the printed document sent by them to me. I am two weeks into engaging with multiple, so far less than enthusiastically responsive bureaucracies trying to straighten this out. Wish me luck.

  6. GlobalMisanthrope

    Re NY Times’ ‘Stealth Editing’ to Undermine Sanders Was Unethical, Writes Public Editor

    At the risk of sounding petty, why did Alternet use such an unflattering picture of Sullivan? The more attention I pay, the more I agree with my wife that misogyny in the media really is rampant and maybe even more so on the “left.”

    A woman does a fine, brave thing so she has to be depicted as a hag or she’s somehow a threat? I mean, I’m just speculating. But it really jumps out as malicious.

    1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

      misogyny in the media really is rampant and maybe even more so on the “left.”

      I’d agree it’s a big problem all over. Saying it’s worse on the “left” is cow manure, though. Watch a day of FAUX Nooze and report back.
      ~

      1. cwaltz

        Fox has been pretty good about actually defending Megyn Kelly.

        I’m not sure I think the problem is misogyny as much it is authoritarian groupthink.

        The right is perfectly okay with women as long as the women are willing to tow the GOP POV(which puts women who don’t have means in second class citizen status.)

    2. flora

      I think using a genuine if unflattering picture (as opposed to a photoshopped image) to illustrate a negative article about some actor’s actions is fair game. Just as using an unflattering pic of Obama to accompany a negative story about his pushing the TPP would be fair game and not racism. And yes, there’s still way too much sexism and misogyny in the culture, but I didn’t see that in this image and story. just my 2¢.

      1. flora

        adding: Sullivan’s role here seems to be one of “cooling the marks” for the NYTimes, whether she knows that or not.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Unflattering pictures.

        Good looking candidates.

        Sweating in a nationally televised debated.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Sweating in a nationally televised debate.

          Badly color coordinated clothes.

          We can enter that realm or we can stay out of it.

  7. Llewelyn Moss

    re: Why Poor White Males Are the Core of Trump’s Support (Ian Welsh)

    Sounds about right…
    When I visit my brother, he spends his off hours hanging at the bar at a local gun club (I know Gun Club + Bar, what could go wrong). This is a white working-class town in MA. All the pickup trucks in the parking lot have Trump stickers. These are all guys working in the construction trades angry about their declining financial situation. And many feeling it is the Poors to blame because they sit around eating bon-bons on the couch living off the taxes paid by workers.

    Then along comes Trump talking curse words on TV — just like working-class people do at the bar. Hey, he’s just like us, let’s vote him in.

    So they think this sh1+ talkin 1%er is telling the truth and he really cares about the working-class? Yeah, I give that a 1% chance of coming to fruition. Hahaha.

    1. Brindle

      I know some working class white men and they are not stupid people—-maybe not very aware of bigger picture, but not stupid. Trump will win this demographic over Clinton by a 90-10 ratio. I don’t know if many liberals realize how universally despised Hillary is by much of the country—including many women.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Agreed. Hellery is worse than Trump — I guess I should have stated the obvious. And who called working class white men stupid? I think Trump is playing them but that doesn’t imply I think they are stupid.

        Go Bernie!!

        1. James Levy

          That is not obvious to me, and I would need a hell of a lot of evidence to make that conclusion. Just because Clinton is awful doesn’t make the opposition good. We’re talking about a nasty billionaire sociopath here, folks. Too much of what I see here is hatred of Clinton plus projection onto Trump so that we can all pretend that he’s “not bad” and adopt the same lesser of two evil logics that people around here normally disdain (and yes, Mr. Moss, this does not necessarily apply to you, as you like me are a Sanders supporter, but the general tone deafness to Trump’s dog whistling racism and misogyny is really making me nuts).

          1. Jess

            Assigning all or even most of Trump’s appeal to racism and misogyny is a big mistake. When you look at the rest of what he says, esp. about SS and jobs and tariffs and that sort of thing, you see that he’s way better — or at least talks a much better game — than Hillary.

            1. Llewelyn Moss

              That’s the problem. Talk is cheap. He made his billions by crapping on his workers and wiping out investors (aka senior’s retirement nesteggs) in his bankruptcies. Just like Hellery, you need to look at their history to know what they will do. As Obama taught the progressives, campaign promises are just things you say to suckers.

              1. Jess

                Not saying that Trump is speaking the truth or will follow through if elected. Just saying that his appeal has a strong economic basis as well as whatever the racism and misogyny quotient is.

          2. jrs

            You know I agree. Who is the lesser evil, gosh who even knows, I’m going to be unpopular and say probably the Hellery actually, but both are so bad it’s hard to be sure, and the whole system is rotten.

            We can get angry with liberals and leftists apologizing for f-ism and make no mistake that’s the Trump followers dynamic regardless of how bad Trump is or is not (he’s a complete wildcard but one that might end up being f-ist, that’s the game being played, a random card with a decent chance of f-ism), but the argument might be mostly between Cass Sunstein sockpuppets for all we know. So might I be. Ok I’m not a sockpuppet, but it can’t actually be proven.

            Anyway I find the “Trump has taken some leftist positions so he’s further left than [Hillary, Obama, take your pick]” misinformed. Those people aren’t left but neither is Drumpf. Take Europe, hard right parties regularly take leftist positions on some things. Take historical f-ism, it often threw bones to the left. But these are generally identified as hard right movements.

            A perspective on Drumpf and his apologist:
            http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/14/dont-believe-the-bullshit-trump-is-not-the-answer/

            And really at a certain point we need to stop talking about Drumpf. It’s some kind of narcissists dream, to have everyone thinking about them everyday, even at this point when we don’t want the personality disordered idiot in our consciousness anymore. If R’s hadn’t completely bungled the election with their clown car of dozens of candidates whom they did not narrow down in time, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

            1. Llewelyn Moss

              There really is no binary answer. You have to think in categories. Neither smells like a rose in any category.

              On Racist, Misogynist, Xenophobic – Trump is clearly worse.
              On more, endless wars – Probably a toss up
              Neoliberal rigging of the system against working-class – Hellery worse (IMO)

              1. Rostale

                I’m going by the effectiveness standard, and how well they will be able to slip crap under the radar.
                Hillary=supported by both media and democratic establishment
                Trump= Hated by both GOP and democratic establishment, media will cover him for ratings, but isn’t going to take his side.
                Hillary will be able to get away with a lot more than Trump ever could, making her the more effective evil

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  Deep research: a long-form interview with Trump and I’m struggling to find anything I really disagree with (he does say he wants to make the military strong but elsewhere he has said he wants the military to be so strong we never have to use it).
                  Warning: the interview is run by Alex Jones (I don’t care if Pee Wee Herman was asking the questions, it’s the responses that matter). My conclusion? He is the lesser evil by a vote-able margin. Bernie first, of course:
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJqLAleEnKw

            2. hunkerdown

              “It’s some kind of narcissist’s dream.” No wonder Democratic Party brass want to battle Trump instead of Sanders. Trump caricatures easily and naturally and makes a very shiny distraction for the easily led. This is Grandma Secretary loading the kids up on sugar and empty calories before sending them home for homework time.

      2. JTFaraday

        I rather like this take over at the Crooked Timber blog:

        “Trump is a middle finger held high to ‘elites’ in both parties. Trump is trolling the political system this season. The reason Trump supporters don’t care is not that they don’t notice – duh, the Mexicans aren’t paying for any wall! – but because they themselves are down for a spot of high-quality trolling. Trump is payback to the Republicans. You disrespect us by not doing what we tell you to, once you are elected. We humiliate you by voting Trump. And they enjoy scandalizing the left by doing and saying anti-PC stuff they aren’t supposed to do and say. For Trump supporters, the carnival pleasure of this unprecedented release is its own catharsis and reward to such an extent that anything more is extra. Policy fixes? That would be the cherry on top. But it’s darn nice without that.

        So Trump isn’t fooling his supporters. He’s giving them the first thing on their wish list. This thing: the campaign. Him, as a token of respect for them, in the form of recreational disdain for others.

        Trump’s supporters are trolling alone … together. And it feels so good. For a change.”

        http://crookedtimber.org/2016/03/18/trolling-alone/

    2. Anon

      More than that, I think it’s just a case of one candidate not taking a dump on them. Liberals overtly show disdain to the white working class and conservatives have the same disdain, but have the (somewhat) decency to not parade it around, only at fundraisers and such. Based on that, they see in Trump someone who isn’t through his words (the actions bear further scrutiny) that isn’t doing that, hence the support.

      That’s one theory, at least.

      1. cwaltz

        My personally theory, the group in question tends to not be risk averse. They are willing to risk a Trump presidency if it means they get to burn the system that lead to their decline down.

        1. Carla

          I have to agree. I think it’s mainly “Blow up the damned political system!” rather than any expectation that “This belligerent billionaire will take care of us.” Or even that the belligerent bastard will thump those “others.”

          And in my view, the political system and those who exemplify it richly deserve to be blown up. But to do it without a legitimate democratic structure to replace it certainly seems very dangerous.

          1. cwaltz

            Oh it’s incredibly dangerous.

            We’ve all see what happens with power vacuums in the ME.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The Middle Class had already been ‘blown up.’

              The government, on the other had, was captured ‘intact’ some time ago (two decades ago? In the early 60s?)

              1. cwaltz

                It CAN get worse and more overt.

                Then again I daresay poor white Christian heterosexual males will be the ones paying the consequences even as they are arguing to blow the whole darn thing up. At least not yet.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  For sure…more ‘free trade deals’ will make the former Middle Class even worse.

                  And more imperial adventures and monitoring will reveal the already captured government to be more overt.

                  The global reserve currency will continue.

        2. Mark P.

          ‘They are willing to risk a Trump presidency if it means they get to burn the system that led to their decline down’

          Absolutely. When MSM outlets have actually, you know, sent out reporters to report and interview Trump supporters — rather than just pearl-clutch and advance the ‘Trump supporters are racist white trash’ narrative — that’s what the more intelligent ones say. Literally: ‘We’re not stupid. We know what Trump is. We’ll use him if that’s what it takes to destroy the Republican party as it is.’

          1. cwaltz

            The problem is I don’t believe they know what Trump is. Heck, I’m not even sure Trump knows what Trump would do as President at this point. Half the blather that comes out of his mouth is antagonistic crap meant to divide the rabble instead of actually problem solve.

        3. Lexington

          That’s pretty condescending. The fact of the matter is that in a Clinton / Trump contest Clinton is offering them nothing but the status quo, while Trump is at least talking like he feels their pain. It is perfectly rational to gamble on the candidate who says he’s going to make public policy work for ordinary Joes in Flyover Country for a change, versus the candidate who is literally telling them to eat cake. And the Republican field is filled with people who are ideologically much closer to Clinton than Trump on bread and butter issues, which is exactly why the Republican establishment hates and fears him.

          Liberals may be convinced that Trump is just playing the yokels like a fiddle but the evidence suggests the brain trust of his own party isn’t nearly as convinced.

          In any case the way many liberals stereotype Trump supporters as clueless tools raging against their own impotence who are too dumb to realize that they are being played is further evidence of the degree to which identity politics balkanizes the political landscape and entrenches the status quo by default.

          1. cwaltz

            Uh, the brain trust of his own party are likely afraid that he’s going to lose control of the yokels once they realize he can’t deliver on the crap he’s promising(and let’s be clear Mexico is NOT going to pay for a wall.)

            I’d be afraid if I were them too.

            1. Lexington

              Again with the condescension.

              Do you really believe that most Trump supporters literally expect him to build a wall across the entire length of the US-Mexican border, AND to make Mexico pay for it, AND that they will become a bloodthirsty mob baying for the blood of the RNC and Congressional Republican leadership if he doesn’t deliver? Because they’re responsible for Trump’s promises? And because for working class Americans a mythical wall is far more important than minor irritants like a lack of employment prospects and a standard of living that is in free fall? There is clearly not even the possibility of constructive dialogue when people hold their fellow citizens in such complete contempt.

              I really don’t think the Republican establishment is afraid of socio-economically marginalized losers with no money, no influence, and no power. Trump didn’t create that constituency and it won’t disappear regardless of what happens to him. But the elite has been beating those people down for four decades and only become stronger and more dominant for doing so. If Joe Sixpack gets too uppity they’ve already laid the foundation for a police state to remind him of his place. Believe me, they’ve got this.

              What they do fear is someone who even half believes what he has said about trade, immigration, the role of money in politics, and economic opportunity gaining a position of power in the system. Unlike the mewing masses of nobodies wallowing in self pity such a person could do real and lasting damage to their interests if they were allowed to gain a position of influence.

              1. Lambert Strether

                I believe there’s a phenomenon in polling or testing whereby the respondents, if they don’t think the poll or test is on the level, respond with the most outrageous choice possible, as a substitute for the upraised middle finger.

                As Shakespeare wrote: “‘Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed.” I don’t want to generalize to all Trump voters, but a dynamic like that may be in play as well.

                1. Lexington

                  I don’t doubt that’s the case. The wall is more about symbolism than anything else – it’s Trump being an in-your-face bad boy and saying outrageous things that send the effete Washington nerdocracy running for their feinting couches. His base loves that.

                  It’s not practical policy, and I think that’s generally understood, but it vicariously provides some emotional payback to people who feel they have been used and abused by the establishment.

          2. Lambert Strether

            If everything’s crap, and candidate A promises more of the same crap (to be fair, with difference textures, proportions of gas, etc.), and candidate B doesn’t, why not gamble on candidate B?

            1. James Levy

              The exact same argument could have been made viz. McCain and Obama. You aren’t very happy how that turned out, so why should I have any basis for imagining that Trump will be any different?

              1. bob

                Hillz is the choice of the GOP. Then we have trump.

                Neither.

                I honestly think that hillz was the GOP choice from the beginning. They didn’t want a candidate.

      2. Uahsenaa

        It’s interesting to me how difficult some, particularly white collar professionals, find it to even be around working class folk. I have an advanced degree in a pretty esoteric field (comparative literature) and write about literature and media, yet I still manage to have a completely normal conversation with the guy fixing my boiler.

        A few years back, I was with a friend of mind whose parents are both professors, while she works as a translator, and her discomfort around the two construction guys in front of us in line was palpable. They were just standing there, and yet she had this visceral reaction of disgust, as if their very presence was an affront to her existence. Bear in mind this is also a person who, in other contexts, will talk your ear off about racial justice, sexism, etc. Maybe it’s because I come from a working class background myself, but the reaction seems completely beyond the pale to me.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          History is written by the victors.

          “Education will make you happier” is claimed by those educated.

          Those illiterate but happy shepherds didn’t leave us any books about how happy they were (happy as anyone could, in this existence called life, where even professors might die of painful, incurable diseases).

          Or the illiterate but happy bee-keepers.

          And a whole bunch of others.

          What we do know is that by being part of the learned, you are with the elites of the All-Nature-Conquering GDP Army and you get the first dibs at the captured mammoth meat.

          Being educated, you may not be happier than otherwise, but you will be among the victors.

          You are less likely to have to ‘retrain yourself,’ and more likely your job is more productive than another worker;s in another country who will have to ‘retrain him/herself.’

          Your education is your weapon, your atlatl.

          It kills without drawing unsightly blood right here in front of you.

          It also conditions you to expect a higher standard of non-material and material life. Some are exceptions of course, but many expect higher pays, and more money to consume.

        2. Lexington

          They were just standing there, and yet she had this visceral reaction of disgust, as if their very presence was an affront to her existence. Bear in mind this is also a person who, in other contexts, will talk your ear off about racial justice, sexism, etc.

          You do realize that one is the obverse of the other? Someone so finely attuned to social injustice doesn’t need to actually interact with the two construction guys in question to realize that they are poorly educated racist homophobes who probably beat their wives. Everything about their appearance and demeanor shouts it.

          It doesn’t help that American society discourages to the maximum extent possible any unnecessary fraternization between people of different socio economic backgrounds, as illustrated by the fact your main interaction with working class people seems to be when they come to your house to fix things.

          1. Uahsenaa

            as illustrated by the fact your main interaction with working class people seems to be when they come to your house to fix things.

            Or, you know, any time I’m with my family…

        3. clinical wasteman

          Completely agree about the ‘interesting’ or plain disgusting nature of that sort of visceral top-down class disgust — you should (but shouldn’t have to) see it running rampant in London. Young working-class people in particular are treated as either a living “eyesore” (hideous anglo-anglicism for anything offending affluent eyes) or an embodied “problem” to be pitied, “mentored”, etc.
          Worth noting though that difficulty with “normal conversation” is something that can afflict all classes. Surely there are other “proles” (the sore-eyed class’s word, not ours) here who can write but can barely speak and will join in confirming that first-hand?

    3. jrs

      blog posts like that (Ian) are really too hot to handle as they too just stir up the demographic hate. In me too, even if it never gets to full blown hate it produces the passing thought: I can not wait for the day coming soon when whites are no longer a majority. I am tired of the black and the brown being on the receiving end of white anger (justifiable anger or not). Of course minorities are also capable of that as it’s a human capability that comes with power.

      Of course (and I don’t necessarily believe this either, at least in the long run) we are told the best minorities can do is Hillary Clinton!!!

      NO WAR BUT THE CLASS WAR (not race war)

      “You have to be real stupid to lose control of your society’s fighting class. You have to be real stupid to degrade them over a period of decades, to employ them en-masse in jobs where they beat up other people.”

      honestly I don’t think cops and stuff are all that disgruntled, they have super plum pensions, and unlike teachers they aren’t constantly threatened with losing their bennies. Or if they are disgruntled, it’s a rather privileged disgruntledness as again they have plum benefits. But anyway society deals with the fear of blacks posing any threat (mostly imagined, but if the threat was just radical organizing …) by locking large percentages of young black males up. It would be funny if it started treating whites that way (no I’m not advocating it, two wrongs don’t make a right, but I’m just saying society has harsher ways of dealing with that threat and it already uses it against some).

      “You have treated these people like shit. You know how you get treated at bad jobs? Like disposable trash who can be ordered to do anything?”

      uh dude that’s almost ALL JOBS. Abolition of work already, anyone? Of course in a white collar workplace some limits to “anything” might be imposed by law, like sexual harassment is illegal and white collar workplaces *might* care about the legal threat whereas other workplaces might not. But other than a few exceptions, yes you are disposable trash who can be ordered to do most anything.

      Yes basically I do expect whites to not take out their anger out on innocent minorities who have even less power than them. I EXPECT THEM NOT TO KICK DOWN. So F you Ian if you won’t hold them to this expectation, just F you. I’m sure lots of racial mass atrocities, genocides even, were committed by justifiably angry people. You know what, so what? Of if you equivocate on being angry and taking this anger out on innocent even more powerless others as if those were the same thing (as opposed to taking it out on Wall Street or something … which may not be the right tactic, but is at least the right target) then screw that.

    4. jrs

      And who is this “we” who has treated poor whites so badly anyway? If you mean educated (only probably at a state college!) coastal white collar whites who are simply appalled by Trumps racism, uh most of them don’t have that power, most of them are NOT EVEN the privileged servants of the elite, much less the elite. Get this straight: the power to tut tut people for liking Trump on the internet is NOT ACTUAL ECONOMIC POWER, it doesn’t even all that often correlate with it except for a few Romneys.

      This is simply a complete misread of power in this society. Now most white collar ‘professionals’ are not your best allies for solidarity in the class war it is true, but they also don’t hold any REAL power (they just have a terminal case of false consciousness). Now if you mean something like the 1%, or the 1% of the 1%, or the people who hold actual power in the Democratic party, well maybe, but why don’t you just say so. And do you think those people care that the proles are having racial fights among themselves? Mostly why would they? They have their gated enclaves, they aren’t even loyal to nations or countries or places and can buy their way into any country they want. Really. They Do Not Care.

      But if the “we” is just a blanket condemnation of anyone who might self-identify as liberal or something regardless of whether they are in a power position in this society, then sheesh, and they wonder what the signs are this society is heading for f-ism … yep that’s one of them! Criticize them for not being leftists if you want, but to sympathize with the hard right over them, yea not a good sign at all …

      1. Ulysses

        I share your indignation at the thought that getting stomped on justifies stomping on those even worse off. Yet I don’t think Walsh is trying to justify anything. He is trying to explain it. Oceans of ink have been spilled trying to explain the rise of authoritarian regimes in the 1930s. Yet when you get down to it, it really is pretty simple– those who are continually screwed over by elites will eventually rally around anyone who promises to bring them down.

        Our word for tyrants, when first used by the ancient Greeks, wasn’t a morally loaded term. Tyrants were simply those who appealed to the masses for help to gain power through supplanting the rule of oligarchs. Franco, Mussolini, Hitler, and now Trump are following a playbook well understood by Pisistratus in 540 B.C..

      2. clinical wasteman

        jrs, please consider a few more zeroes added to that previous “+thousand”.

        Wealth of Negations dictionary definition:

        WE (1.): Aggravated “I”.

  8. MikeNY

    Re Bernanke. Spare your blood pressure. Nothing new here.

    Same two-handed economist, ostensibly sober and considered analysis of the ‘marginal benefit’ of negative interest rates to prop up the economy ‘if necessary’ before rolling out more QE. (More QE, which, as we all know, has worked miracles for the poor.)

    Despite the token and flaccid call for fiscal engagement at the beginning of the piece, it’s the same dogmatic Fed compulsion to prop up the oligarchy. The poodle never strays far from its master’s lap.

    1. Andrew Anderson

      The reason central bankers must cater to the banks* is that the payment system, except for physical fiat, MUST work through them since no one else in the private sector is allowed to have accounts at their central banks.

      The obvious solution then is to allow individual citizen, business, State and local government, etc. accounts at the central bank since these would constitute an alternative payment system to the one consisting of banks**.

      *By which is also meant credit unions and other depository institutions with accounts at the central bank.

      **And to insure that these inherently risk-free accounts at the central bank are used, government-provided deposit insurance should be abolished too.

      1. Uahsenaa

        Perhaps this is why we saw the recent “takedown” of postal banking in the US, because it would create a way into the banking system as a whole that didn’t depend on private, commercial banks and thereby weaken their seeming stranglehold over the Treasury and the Fed.

        1. Andrew Anderson

          Postal banking deserves to be taken down since it is not to be compared with individual, etc. accounts at the central bank itself.

          Specifically, a Postal Bank would be in the charge of the fiat (aka reserves) backing its deposits and could, behind the backs and against the intentions of usury haters like myself, lend them to the enemy, to commercial banks and other members of the usury cartel.

          To be blunt, it’s MY COUNTRY too and I demand to be able to use its fiat without resorting to unsafe, inconvenient physical fiat, same as banks and other members of the usury cartel do. It’s called equal protection under the law and we should not be shy in demanding it wrt money.

          1. Andrew Anderson

            against the intentions of usury haters like myself

            And if I should choose to practice usury, then I’ll decide who to practice it against (not the poor, for sure) and on my terms since my purpose will NOT be a friendly one.

        2. Andrew Anderson

          Apart from the equal protection and alternative payment system arguments, there are sound stability reasons for allowing individual citizen, business, etc. accounts at the central bank (and for the abolition of government-provided deposit insurance) since these would allow reserves to be easily drained from the banking cartel should they attempt to blow a bubble, ie. they would make bank runs as easy as writing a check to one’s inherently risk-free account at the central bank and without endangering the economy since the remaining deposits at commercial banks, etc. would be, by definition, at-risk, not necessarily liquid INVESTMENTS and not essential funds for, say, next week’s bills.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        With today’s technology, it is not that difficult nor too taxing on the Fed bureaucracy to have direct accounts for the Little People.

        Question.

        I can deposit a physical into a locally convenient bank. How do I deposit that into the account at the Fed?

        Do I still maintain an account at a commercial bank/credit union, and then route the money to the Fed?

        1. Andrew Anderson

          Do I still maintain an account at a commercial bank/credit union, and then route the money to the Fed? MLTPB

          That should work but local post offices, ATMs and the Internet could easily provide the services a central bank may properly provide.

          And yes, people could still have deposits at commercial banks, credit unions, etc. but those deposits would no longer be insured but be at-risk, not necessarily liquid INVESTMENTS, not co-mingled with the funds for next week’s groceries (which should be kept at one’s inherently risk-free, and thus non-interest paying, account at the central bank).

  9. Cry Shop

    Ten years ago, Europe saw China as a market for its own green exports, Mabey said. “Today, China is on the verge of dominating the global clean energy economy. The EU must act decisively to stay in the race,” he said.

    Here it is, addressing the greatest threat to humanity is not seen as a chance for cooperation, but an opportunity for competition with the ultimate aim of making one set of workers cut the throat of another set. Nationalism is a tool used by the international capitalist to stop efforts to constrain them, much easier to frame us against them as the poor and middle class of one nation vs another, when it’s the 0.01% who think they can buy their way out of our mass extinction.

    China is building the infrastructure for “cleaner electricity” at the world’s fastest rate.

    Let’s just make that “electricity”. China’s built everything from coal fired power stations, natural gas fired, garbage fired, hydro-electric , nuclear, wind, solar, one and all at a faster pace than the EU or any other economic entity. China’s also building pumped storage power stations, several new technology battery storage power stations, faster than any other economic entity. One reason green is getting such a boost in China is that there is a bottle neck, China has not been able to build and import enough steam turbines fast enough to meet demand, hence the still rapidly deteriorating air quality. The only thing that has bought a tiny slice of breathable air is the recent economic turn-down, which has seen demand for electricity drop by almost 1/4. One other huge negative is much of this power consumption, green or not, is going into producing things that in themselves will grow the carbon and green house foot print, a/c units, refrigerators, freezers, cars, so there is an additional multiplying effect from all of this power consumption.

    The golden goose that keeps humanity alive isn’t just being killed, it’s going to be stewed, and nothing can be done to stop it because of nationalism.

    How will we live in this new world? Not where borders no longer exist,
    but where they have become, ever increasingly, the impediment to
    safety of our health and wealth? This is going to be one of our real
    challenges in the future!

      1. Cry Shop

        Did you even read what I wrote?

        as to meeting goals, only if you slice and dice the numbers of your choosing, and not the whole picture, which is China’s still putting in more coal fired plants than the rest of the world combined, including India, and it’s exporting coal fired stations to all those places that are putting them in, which fits what I wrote, and what you ignored.
        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/23/world/asia/china-coal-power-water-shortage-greenpeace.html?_r=0
        http://qz.com/643744/coal-expansion-plans-in-china-and-india-are-severely-flawed-greenpeace-says/

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Green (or not) power generation and growing carbon and green house gas foot print.

      Why don’t we give less consumption a chance?

      You build more roads, they just get filled up. You build more public transportation, companies can hire workers from further away.

      “Thanks to the new rapid transportation, I can commute from LA to San Francisco now faster than from San Bernardino to downtown LA. That hundreds of billions dollars-worth increase in sales tax, even the poor had to chip in, really helped.”

      1. Vatch

        Why don’t we give less consumption a chance?

        It won’t happen while the world’s population keeps growing. Sure, individual people will reduce their consumption, but every year there will be more consumers — actually, every day there are about a fifth of a million more consumers. And the billions of poor people in the world are entitled to a more comfortable life style, and that means that they will consume more. Let’s hope their increased consumption is based on renewable resources.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I am pessimistic on that.

          No renewable resources can overcome the compound human population growth.

          But you are right, less consumption PLUS population stabilization.

          1. frosty zoom

            no, but non-renewable resources will overcome compound population growth.

            and that, as we are starting to see, is not a pretty sight.

            1. polecat

              It’s been about 100 years since the ‘Spanish Influenza’ killed off millions. Don’t think that humanity will continue to grow exponentially without some biological blowback!

              hubris only goes so far…….eventually one (or many) will hit a wall !!

              1. frosty zoom

                perhaps i was not clear. the running dry of this planet will definitely have negative effects on human ability to continue populating this planet so heavily.

                and yes, there are plenty of buggies just waiting to chomp us up.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  If I understand this correctly:

                  1. Population stabilization will not be up to us.
                  2. We can control less consumption (per capita).

                  So, it’s back to ‘let’s try less consumption.’

                  1. frosty zoom

                    i usually stick to one and half liners, otherwise, as my dear wife will attest, i get all muddled!

                    of course we can stabilize our population (or it will be done for us). in the seventies the birth rate in méxico was almost 8 kids per lady. now it’s less than two and will soon be lower than in the u.s.

                    and of course we need to very greatly dimish our consumption. there is only one country on this planet that meets u.n. standards for human development AND ecological footprint.

                    any guesses?

                    the proud frostians chez nous can say that we basically meet those standards as well.

                    can’t say my neighbours do, though…

    2. For The Win

      Don’t expect most people to understand your point, it’s too depressing so cognitive dissonance must protect the id & ego.

      Nationalism, tribalism can’t be separated from capitalism. There has to be competition, which creates an ever growing trail of losers and an ever smaller team of winners till everyone falls away. Communism failed so that only the equally destructive force of total war and nature has slowed it. The UN’s putting a restraint on total war just builds a faster concentration, and by capitalism’s now international reach it’s only nature that will eventually impose the final restraint.

      This is all by capitalism’s very nature. It’s the destructive power of capitalism that makes it so overwhelming against any other system. “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

  10. Ignim Brites

    “Pepe Escobar: Did the US and Russia make a bargain over Syria?” Obama knows the US has no national interest in the Middle East but doesn’t want to spend the political capital to make this explicit policy. The path of least resistsnce is to continue all his desultory wars in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya. This presents a big fat target for The Donald who is likely to be able to run to the left of Hillary without even articulating a coherent policy. Hillary’s best hope is a bewildered Washington press corp that cannot believe that the US has become irrelevant to world history and will therefore be unable to make foreign affairs an issue in the election.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Obama was forced into an arrangement. He never had to join the “friends of syria,” lavish money, guns, and training on whatever thugs he could find, or actively campaign for regime change. Obama is colonial master and little else.

      Obama was actively working to keep up the Iraq Occupation which Maliki wouldn’t agree to. Then he moved to get rid of Maliki. Obama has been spending political capital to keep he empire.

      He’s approved of every Israeli action, and Bibi has treated him with contempt in response. Personally, I find this amusing.

      1. Jim Haygood

        You could call the Lobby “Obama’s colonial master,” though Obama delivered it a stinging defeat when he crushed the Lobby’s plans to derail the Iran deal.

        With similar hubris, the Lobby thought it had the R-party presidential candidacy wired when it obliged all the establishment candidates to perform a demeaning trained-seals-with-beach-balls routine in front of “Sheldon” [Adelman, the casino magnate].

        But to their horror, Trump has rudely intruded on the Lobby’s well-laid plans to hike Israel’s exorbitant tribute to $5 billion starting next year. Trump’s speech to AIPAC on Monday could be a turning point in U.S. history, if he declares that America isn’t going to be pwned by a foreign lobby no more.

        1. MikeNY

          How many sticks has Shelly burned trying to light a fire under damp squibs this cycle? Thinking about it makes me happy.

        2. James Levy

          I agree that the AIPAC talk is a big deal. Expect Trump to talk out of both sides of his mouth (at best), or roll over and play dead (more likely). We’ll see the degree to which the “Lone wolf” personal fits after that speech.

        3. Pavel

          I am indeed looking forward to seeing what Trump says to AIPAC. I suspect he’ll kiss ass along with just about every other frigging politician in the US. Small kudos to Sanders for not attending, but his excuse was only that he was too busy rather than anything of principle.

          But Israel is only one of the USA’s Mideast masters. The other is Saudi Arabia, which has gotten special treatment (flights home the day after 9/11, anyone?) from the US for decades. Remember the humiliating displays of fealty at the last Saudi funeral? In the UK they put the Union Jack at half mast, FFS!

          The MSM is outraged at Trump’s racism and belligerence (“I’ll kill the terrorists and their families”) while they ignore the US support of Saudi genocide in Yemen.

          And back to Israel: their ambassador is on record as saying they prefer ISIS and Al Qaida to Syria’s Assad and Iran. What a great ally.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s not an improvement to go from ‘killing bad guys and innocent bystanders’ to killing bad guys and their families.”

            Psychologically, talking out loud is the first step to treatment.

            Before, it’s all hush-hush. But just ‘watch what we can do.” The ‘silent man/quite man’ type.

            Now, we are confronting what we are doing.

  11. Jim Haygood

    After Rob Arnott’s takedown of smart beta, it’s time for an update of our “dumb beta” Craazyman Fund consisting of 50% junk bonds (SPHIX), 30% emerging markets (EEM) and 20% gold bullion (IAU).

    Since inception at Mar 2nd closing prices, Craazyman Fund is up 3.77%, versus a 1.69% gain in its benchmark (50% SPY, 50% AGG).

    Emerging markets led the way, with a neck-snapping 6.95% pop in 2-1/2 weeks. Brazil (one component) rallied this week on prospects of regime change via impeachment.

    At end of the month, we’ll take a look at volatility of Craazyman Fund compared to its sedate 50/50 benchmark.

    1. craazyman

      We need to leverage that sucker up at least 5 or 6 to 1.

      You can take 3.77% and make it 15% or 20%!

      It’s time for sex on the beach in the Hampton’s, now that houses there are down to $1.12 million on average according to yesterday’s latest Wolf Richter Asteroid sighting. 15% to 20% per month for just 8 or 9 straight months and you could put cash down and buy the whole house!

      What’s not to like? Who doesn’t want a 10-bagger? C’mon now. Everybody wants a 10-bagger. That’s why I’m voting for Trump if Sanders for some reason doesn’t want to run. At least Trump is a guy who can understand why a man wants a 10-bagger. I may not want the Palm Beach mansion or the Trump Tower penthouse. I may not even want the Love Boat outfit and white shoes. I may want the Edward Green Beaulius. I may want to have my money talk quietly in WASPY whispers. But when I need it, that’s when I want it. I don’t want it to say anything. I just want it to sit there and say “Fuck You”. So I can. (Actually I do anyway, hahahahaha.) LIfe is short. Live large.

  12. Ray Phenicie

    The Clinton email story is more like you or I discovering there is a front end problem with our car’s steering.
    Repairs done by a ‘friend’ in the backyard at one point in the recent past caused more problems later on. Now the steering is so bad that occasionally the car has to be pulled over to the side of the road. Secretary Clinton as a candidate for President of the United States may have to pull her own campaign over to the side of the road.
    Mrs. Clinton, as a former Secretary of State could be forced to appear in court (an indictment is an order to appear before a magistrate) in a dfferent venue as a case headed by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan goes through various stages of discovery. There’s a real time bomb here:

    Sullivan set an April 12 deadline for parties to litigate a detailed investigative plan–subject to court approval–that would reach well beyond the limited and carefully worded explanations of the use of the private server that department and Clinton officials have given.

    If readers want to look carefully at the Secretary’s face when she last answered questions about a possible indictment on this issue -in front of millions of potential voters during the March 9 debate-the fear coursing throughout her body is palpable. Everyone is thinking of the ongoing FBI investigation but the case before Judge Sullivan might be the scene where the front wheels finally fall off the Clinton campaign.

      1. James Levy

        I’m not so sure. Sanders may not reap the benefits of an indictment at this stage of the race. The normal response in American politics is to circle the wagons in such situations. Self-identifying Democrats (and certainly a whole generation of feminists) will see this as a political witch-hunt designed to steal the nomination from Clinton. And many in Washington still think that Petraeus was a valuable and able servant of the state thrown overboard for an insufficient reason. In short, it will add one more layer of ugly on what is looking like the ugliest election since 1968.

        1. voteforno6

          Agreed. The Clintonistas are already rationalizing away every objection that’s been raised so far. The tribal identification is extremely strong with that group. Which makes sense, since so much of identifying with the Democratic Party in the ’90s involved defending the Clintons against every attack thrown at them.

          1. Ray Phenicie

            Agreed about the tribal connection and even the Washington Post article I cited above displays plenty of that if it is read carefully in its entirety. What is really interesting about all of this is the support the POTUS has displayed. He should not really have been speaking about a criminal case that was being worked by the FBI but if you search the internet archives you will see him and his press secretary pushing for everyone to look away (pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain) from the whole thing.
            Adds to the flavor of the fight here but I would say Mrs. Clinton will have her day in court and it will not go so well. Pam Martens is doing quite a job over at Wall Street on Parade.

            One can only hope, for the future of this country and for our own well being, that Mrs. Clinton, who stands a very good chance of losing to Donald Trump on Nov. 8, does not get the nomination and that she gets to go sit out the next four years at her lovely 100-year-old Dutch colonial at 15 Old House Lane, Chappaqua, NY. She can make sure any servers there are wiped off very well.

    1. Benedict@Large

      And this woman has the sack to criticize Ed Snowden. At least he had the brains to check his releases for potential harm. [BTW: Sanders too. He criticizes Snowden, but wants hands off with Clinton? A little selective justice there, Senator.]

      1. Titus Pullo

        Snowden has admitted to his “crimes.”

        Hillary, not so much. Mistakes yes, but no admissions of guilt.

      2. Ray Phenicie

        Good point and it really makes you wonder if there was not someone sent from the Oval Office to speak with someone from the Senator’s office. Like as in, ‘lay off the email subject if you wish all to be well with your family and friends.’
        I am serious about this. The Obama administration has a fierce determination (linked to buddies in the armaments industry I presume?) to cover lots of sins with the cloak of ‘National Security-hands off’

  13. JoeK

    I spend too much time in cities over-run (over-ambled?)* with smart-phone zombies oblivious to the world outside their little screens. It seems the smarter the phone, the dumber the user (if not at first, then…). I got hooked in briefly, mainly not to look too out of it while doing business, but before long gave mine away, went back to a Nokia stick and couldn’t be happier. I say throw your smartphone through your TV’s screen and kill two vampires with one stake.

    *I wonder if a verb exists, yet, in English to describe that slo-mo lost-in-inner-space foot-traffic-obstructing walk of these screen addicts.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Though few Americans realize it, taking remote control over a handheld device, then using it to record conversations, is surprisingly easy for any competent spy service. Your smartphone is a sophisticated surveillance device—on you, the user—that also happens to provide phone service and Internet access.

      That seems to suggest it’s all Kabuki between Apple and the government now.

      No need to unlock anything if everything has already been monitored and recorded.

  14. JoeK

    The story re China’s “clean” energy investment offers little in the way of breakdown by type; the linked article only offers “renewables.” How much of this is hydro power? China’s massive dam-building projects (tellingly, the linked-to article’s main photo is of a huge dam) are environmental disasters, like virtually all dams. Their plans for the Mekong are being vigorously opposed (with little hope of success) by, needless to say, every country down-stream…aside from the strong-men governments, that is.
    Nuclear is a relatively small component, but not in absolute terms, China plans to have something like 400 (!) reactors online within the next few decades. Considering the prevalence of “barely good enough” construction practices throughout the mainland, how many Fukushimas will we be subjected to in the next 20-30 years if these plans are realized? Possibly enough to cause major decreases in energy use but not in the way intended.

  15. Paul Tioxon

    Dave Dayen’s breakdown of poverty and its consequences for the people who do not have enough money to NOT be poor, shows that the normal activities of those WITH enough money of the working middle class is unaffordable as a strategy to leave impoverishment. The first step to leaving poverty is to have more money given to you so you can stop being poor and start affording the bounty of the economy that other people with money have. To expect someone without a credit card or thousands of dollars in cash to just pick up and move is to project your non impoverished status onto people with little money at all.

    The unwillingness to accept the systematic denial of the critical item of money as the sole cause of poverty is part of the systemic political oppression of the reigning social order. If only people could magically understand that picking up and moving to a better place with abundant jobs would change their lives, then the world be free of the poor and their complaints. Can I opt to move to a yacht docked in Monaco? Or maybe to a booming neighborhood in downtown San Francisco’s tech territory. If only I could move, then I could get money, by going where the jobs are? But without the money and credit card to move in the first place, you would be going nowhere, fast. Don’t forget, nobody is renting you anything without a credit card, with a big enough limit to put on hold by the way. So, access to credit, banking services, is mandatory.

    This pernicious heartlessness towards the poor which never seems to go away has a causality that can best be characterized as a culture of domination, assumed by the wealthy to retain their wealth and passed onto the next generation, culturally transmitted, by various institution frequented by the wealthy and of course, their slobbering fans in the middle class who simply adore them as aspirational role models. Take the Koch brothers, whose father was a founder and main bank of the John Birch Society, a rabid right wing hate group that dispensed anti-communist, anti-civil rights, anti-government, and anti-just about anything they deemed un-American, militant Blacks, nearly all of them, Liberal cry babies, all of them, long haired commie pinko fags, ditto, college professors, commie front men, etc etc etc.

    From one generation to the next, the culture of domination ensures the political and economic oppression along side the expansion of wealth of its promoters, all at the expense of inequality in all of its manifestations. The National Review, back when Goldwater ran for president saw the danger of virulent hate as the driving force of political power, as opposed to the cooler, more cerebral adherence to classical enlightenment ideals, the market economics of Adam Smith the promise of America as the land of milk and honey, jobs and prosperity, due to its capitalist market economy. William F Buckley rejected the Bircher mentality and banned them and their ideas from the conservative movement in general, relegated to a back water equivalent of a red neck trailer camp.

    Of course, the National Review was transmitting its own brand of pernicious heartlessness against the failures, the losers, the lazy… the POOR! It was just not biologically based hatred of inferiors animals, but culturally inferior ideas, none worse than the absolute causation of unyielding poverty in the form of a CULTURE OF POVERTY. Of course this is a lie, there is no such thing. Who would transmit a culture by teaching their young to pursue poverty? Here son, as soon as we get some money, let’s fold it into paper planes and throw it out the window, ensuring you will stay in this disease ridden, crime infested high rise housing projected that I grew up in, that my mother grew up in and someday your children will grow up in!! Pop educational wealth destruction strategies would be broadcast on PBS, featuring noted financial planners like Suze Orman explaining 99 ways to waste money, living in the eternal now and avoiding all plans for a future that you’ll just be too damn poor to afford anyway!!

    All of the capitalist mumbo jumbo to blame the victims of poverty on their own lifestyles, their own choices, keeping them from all of jobs, with all of the money that is just waiting for them to take it, if they are man and woman enough, of course. And of course, in the cruel vision of the successful, the losers are less than man or woman, less than human and the system that keeps them poor is a necessary perquisite to maintaining the comfortable affluence of those that have, carved out of the hide of those that don’t. The necessary structural feature of inequality, systemically withholding money in the form of suppressed low scale wages that creates poverty and ensures more and more wealth the more stratified the social order becomes.

    1. jsn

      This is one of the best comments I’ve read. Thank you.

      The reality of poverty is very hard to imagine for those who have not lived it.

      Because infrastructures that work become invisible, like the air we breathe and pollute, the coercive force of our system of dispossession is very hard for the possessed to see, it springs like a trap when its too late to escape.

      1. Ulysses

        “The reality of poverty is very hard to imagine for those who have not lived it.”

        The constant struggle to find clothing, shelter, food and drink– in a society that sneers at those who can’t afford to look “respectable”. The most heartbreaking conversation that I ever heard was between two homeless people in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. They were bitterly blaming each other for having attracted the attention of the police, to the fact that they were sleeping in an old junk car on an abandoned lot. This old station wagon was the closest thing to a home that either had enjoyed for years. Their lives were punctuated by brief respites of tolerable comfort against the more normal state of grinding misery.

        Ira McKinley has made a powerful film that does a fantastic job of showing poverty in the U.S. It works, because it is not made by bourgeois people exploring how “the other half” lives. No, Ira, an ex-convict, has been poor all of his life. Ira, through sheer will and relentless effort, manages to acquire enough skills and equipment to make his own honest documentary:
        http://throwawaysmovie.com/

        1. windsock

          A line from a play I saw on Friday:

          “It’s not wrong to be poor, but it’s a crime to dress like you are.”

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Nazi manifesto to target single mothers and mentally ill.

    It’s a slippery slope.

    They first call you mentally challenged.

    Then, low information or stupid partisan voters.

    “The other side is just too idiotic to avoid indoctrination.”

    It’s all about how those in power define what they want…and the prisons and camps are soon overfilled…

    Maybe they will be denied the right to vote.

    Or shamed into not voting or voting the ‘smart way.’ – that’s the more subtle way for control.

  17. Benedict@Large

    Salon is pretty much useless, buried under tons of video ads that never finish loading, and freeze out access to the content you actually go there to get.

    1. JoeK

      Salon is like the propaganda arm of the Volvo-Democrat wing of the so-called Democratic party. It’s used to be a splash page showing, invariably, and ad for the SUV. I stopped patronizing the site about ten years ago due to those. Check it only when there’s a tasty link posted here; yes it’s now worse, you stop the video ad, but if you leave the page open within minutes another one is interrupting your peace of mind. I’ll make every effort to never go to that ever-more-odious website again.

  18. reify99

    Explosive allegation of high level infiltration of the Sanders campaign by DNC/Hillary. At the State Director level so in charge of hires. Names names. Needs corroboration by others.

    The following link still works.
    Earlier today it was hard to get to with the error message of “too many re-directs.” Just got there

    Video:
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017340584

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      YIKES. DNC Mobsters knee capping Bernie’s campaign. The video sounds credible. I had no idea Bernie’s campaign relies on DNC personnel to run. Definitely foxes in the hen house scenario if this all turns to be out true.

      Thanks for that link.

      1. TedWa

        “I had no idea Bernie’s campaign relies on DNC personnel to run”

        I didn’t either, they seriously depend on them. No wonder 3rd party candidates don’t stand a chance.

    2. TedWa

      Wow! The DNC is despicable in every sense of the word and will sell their souls to get Hellery elected. Republicans might be bad outwardly in trying to rid themselves of Trump, but the democrats are just as bad in secret to get rid of Bernie. Morally reprehensible all.

  19. Jim

    As the Saturday protests and rallies continue we have a new alliance forming:

    The Republican establishment and the Left unite to stop Trump.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Donald could stop himself Monday (I think Monday), depending on what he says before the lobby.

      No one needs to interrupt him, as he is capable of that himself.

    2. Jim

      I guess to more accurate the new emerging alliance is the neo-liberal Republican and Democratic party professional managerial apparatus, their respective candidates, and the Left.

      Way to shake the status quo!

      1. Carolinian

        Think I would quarrel with the word “new.” Also “the Left.” Also “stop.” True they did stop him in Illinois. Oh wait, Trump won that primary.

        Today some protestors blocked the road into Fountain Hills, AZ–a kind of Beverly Hills in the desert–until the ever classy Sheriff Arpaio hauled them off to his Maricopa detention camp. The delayed rally carried on and news of the arrest was greeted with cheers. All part of the reality show.

        http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/03/19/anti-trump-protesters-block-road-in-arizona-and-clash-with-police-in-new-york/

        1. ekstase

          I like the part where a giant fountain behind him spit water into the air while he talked. I bet he liked it, too.

    3. TedWa

      I don’t get it. If he has the popular vote, why shouldn’t he win? Why should we get in the way and do the Republicans and democrats a favor??? What have they done for you lately? Seriously

      1. TedWa

        What I mean is are you trying to insure that it’s Hillary vs Cruz? How does that help anyone? Hillary could probably beat Cruz but she can’t beat Trump. Only Sanders can. The democrats would seriously have to consider that if they make her the nominee. Just let democracy run it’s course, don’t try to control elections, like the other sides do in this faux democracy. To have democracy we have to let it run it’s course, always. The last 12 years were not driven by democracy, and it’s time it did.

  20. DJG

    Springlike antidote: Ducklings, puppies, and pillows. What’s not to like. And today is Saint Joseph’s Day, which is the Much More Serious saint’s day this week. May you all find a decent Saint Joseph’s table this evening, because he is a divinity who knows his divine priorities: Food.

    Meanwhile, it is the eve of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. I post this with some trepidation, as the surveillance state will interpret interest in Nowruz as an attempt to join Daesh or something. Yet Nowruz brings its own beautiful table bearing the Haft Sin, including the miraculous dish of sprouting wheat.

    We have never stopped being pagans. (Don’t tell Ted Cruz, the representative of the Daesh of Christianity.)

  21. frosty zoom

    it’s just amazing how we’ve been herded into arguing who is less worse, mr. trump or ms. clinton.

    we don’t even get to choose between coke and pepsi anymore.

    now all we get is a choice between over-cooked brussel sprouts and under-cooked eggs.

    yum. demockracy in action!

  22. susan the other

    Pepe Escobar sounded about right… we need Russia as much as Europe does – mostly to save face… but also to return to a more sane policy. Russia has been with some of us for years. The proposed Kurdish Federation is the most interesting thing… their land will include Aleppo. Which has been contested since WW1 for oil transportation to Europe. Something about the geography. It also forms a border with Turkey and Iran just south of the Caspian which is guaranteed to be the Catbird seat overseeing Caspian oil. The Kurds are Russian allies – and they have always been ours. Either the neocons lost or they were just playing the bad guys for drama. And Erdogan seems to be the mark.

  23. ekstase

    Why Bernie Sanders Is Adopting a Nordic-Style Approach Atlantic

    This was refreshing. These people, (and 19th century German immigrants), brought social democracy to the Upper Midwest. As an immigrant group, they’ve now largely dissolved into the great big pot, but you can still see how they were portrayed in tv and movies: silly, nice, not too important. And right wingers love to belittle them in the same way now. As if nice is weak. Makes me think of, “First they ignore you…” quote.

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