Links 3/2/16

Whales With a Dam Problem – Pacific Standard (Chuck L)

Norway’s Radioactive Reindeer Atlantic (furzy)

Scarce snow complicates Alaskan dog sled race CNBC (furzy)

Dogs will fight alongside us in our war against the robots The Verge

Images of Earth From a Year in Space Atlantic (furzy)

In ‘Half Earth,’ E.O. Wilson Calls for a Grand Retreat New York Times (David L)> “In a new book, the renowned biologist argues that it is time for humans to abandon much of the planet to other species.”

Chick-fil-A: Ditch your phone, get free ice cream CNBC (furzy)


Death and Despair in China’s Rustbelt Bloomberg

Moody’s lowers outlook on China’s credit rating to negative from stable CNBC (furzy)

Euro depression is ‘deliberate’ EU choice, says former Bank of England chief Telegraph

Refugee Crisis

Refugee crisis: European leaders demand urgent support for Greece Guardian

Schengen collapse will wipe €28bn from Europe’s economies Telegraph


NY Times Portrays Islam More Negatively Than Cancer, Major Study Finds Alternet

New bin Laden documents show a suspicious, pressured al Qaeda Reuters

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

More than 11 million HTTPS websites imperiled by new decryption attack ars technica (Bill B)

FBI Admits ‘Mistake’ Made With San Bernardino iPhone Wall Street Journal

Code Is Political Motherboard

Imperial Collapse Watch

Pentagon to tap private industry for background check IT system Reuters. EM: “Like warmongering and terrorism, data breaches are good for business and highly stimulative of GDP! Think of them as digital broken windows.”

Dick Cheney Edited Report on CIA Assassinations, Clandestine Activity Charles Pierce, Esquire

The movement against TTIP/CETA transatlantic agreements is strengthened failed evolution

Supreme Court Trench Warfare

GOP Leaders Tell Obama They Won’t Consider His Court Pick Wall Street Journal

Courting Business New Yorker


Trump and Clinton dominate BBC

Blowback: Donald Trump Is the Price We Pay for the “War on Terror” Truthout

Ryan calls on Trump to reject KKK bigotry Financial Times

Austin radio station flooded with reports of voting machines switching votes from Trump to Rubio Raw Story (furzy)

Trump’s lead sparks Republican panic Financial Times

Neoconservatives Declare War on Donald Trump Intercept

Clinton Wins Leave Diminished Room for a Comeback by Sanders Wall Street Journal

Hillary Clinton’s Dark Drug War Legacy in Mexico Foreign Policy in Focus

Republicans to Target Clinton Aides After Last E-Mail Drop Bloomberg (Li)

Democrats are afraid to speak the truth about Hillary: She’s the embodiment of white privilege, while Sanders has earned his success Salon (Judy B)

South Dakota ‘genital check bill’ vetoed after outcry from trangender supporters Guardian

Police State Watch

San Francisco deputies charged with forcing inmates into ‘fight club’ Guardian

DOJ indicts ex-CEO of Chesapeake Energy on conspiracy charges CNBC (furzy)

It Just Got Even Harder to Trust Financial Advisers Bloomberg

The U.S. Could Use a New Economic Strategy Bloomberg

Atlanta Fed sees sub-2 percent U.S. growth in first quarter CNBC. As we said in comments, the seasonal adjustment in the concurrent calculation, which are based on rolling averages, were too high, since the previous two Januaries were cold and this one was warm.

Class Warfare

Mandatory Self-Reliance Classes for Welfare Recipients? Utah Bill Is Red-State Cruelty at Its Worst Alternet

World’s super rich keep buying up luxury goods in face of wealth decline Guardian

These are the 13 jobs in London where a robot is most likely to steal your job Business Insider

Antidote du jour:

dog and carp links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. wbgonne

    Republicans to Target Clinton Aides After Last E-Mail Drop Bloomberg (Li)

    Team Hillary is probably hoping for this to happen. The moronic Republicans almost always perform the nearly impossible trick of making the Clintons look good.

    1. allan

      Past performance does not guarantee future results.
      One of these days even the congressional Inspectors Clouseau will find something of substance.

      1. wbgonne

        Perhaps, but I can’t remember the last time a Congressional inquiry found anything of substance. Watergate? And even if they unearth some smoking gun — god knows, there are plenty — the idiot Republicans will likely just take the gun and shoot themselves with it. I’d say they’d be better off letting the several judicial and executive investigations proceed, even with the risk that the Obama/Clinton alliance puts its thumb on the scales.

        1. Paul Tioxon

          Here, let me help with what Congress investigated in addition to that Watergate thingy. Iran Contra during the Reagan Administration, to name one. And for you younger folks, a few snippets to give you an idea about The Deep State.

          “Denied funding by Congress, the President turned to third countries and private sources. Between June 1984 and the beginning of 1986, the President, his national security adviser, and the N.S.C. staff secretly raised $34 million for the contras from other countries. An additional $2.7 million was provided for the contras during 1985 and 1986 from private contributors…..

          …… “in July 1985,(Col Oliver) North took control of the funds and – with the support of two national security advisers (Robert McFarlane and John Poindexter) and, according to North, Director Casey – used those funds to run the covert operation to support the contras.

          At the suggestion of Director Casey, North recruited Richard V. Secord, a retired Air Force major general with experience in special operations. Secord set up Swiss bank accounts, and North steered future donations into these accounts. Using these funds, and funds later generated by the Iran arms sales, Secord and his associate, Albert Hakim, created what they called ”the Enterprise,” a private organization designed to engage in covert activities on behalf of the United States.

          The Enterprise, functioning largely at North’s direction, had its own airplanes, pilots, airfield, operatives, ship, secure communications devices, and secret Swiss bank accounts. For 16 months, it served as the secret arm of the N.S.C. staff, carrying out with private and non-appropriated money, and without the accountability or restrictions imposed by law on t C C.I.,., c covt t corara aid program that Congress thought it had prohibited.

          Although the C.I.A. and other agencies involved in intelligence activities knew that the Boland Amendment barred their involvement in covert support for the contras, North’s contra support operation received logistical and tactical support from various personnel in the C.I.A. and other agencies. Certain C.I.A. personnel in Central America gave their assistance. The U.S. Ambassador in Costa Rica, Lewis Tambs, provided his active assistance. North also enlisted the aid of Defense Department personnel in Central America, and obtained secure communications equipment from the National Security Agency. The Assistant Secretary of State with responsibility for the region, Elliott Abrams, professed ignorance of this support. He later stated that he had been ”careful not to ask North lots of questions.”


          1. wbgonne

            Yes, I thought of Iran-Contra after I posed my comment, and Iran-Contra certainly qualifies as a meaningful investigation. But that was in 1987, about 30 years ago, which kind of proves my point about the uselessness of modern Congressional investigations. They have turned into circuses.

            1. Christopher Fay

              Hillary’s Iran-contra is Libya – Syria, didn’t we just have those Congressional Confrontations? Hillary running a war department out of the Sec of State.

              And Ukraine.

              1. wbgonne

                Just what I was thinking of when I stated my warning about Republican Congressional investigations and the Clintons. The Benghazi hearing was a godsend for the then-flailing Clinton campaign and an embarassing disaster for the GOP (even if they aren’t sentient enough to realize it).

            2. ex-PFC Chuck

              Congressional investigations became useless when they stopped using committee chiefs of staff or special counsels as the interrogators executing a pre-planned investigation strategy. Instead the investigations became nothing more than a platform for Congress Critter video-bites that could be shipped off to their districts’ or states’ TV stations. Each individual Congress critter comes up with his own handful of questions, seldom coordinated with peers even of his or her own party, which are designed mainly to make him or her look good before the cameras during the allotted five or ten minutes of fame. Thus it’s no surprise that investigations seldom produce anything worthwhile.

            3. perpetualWAR

              The FCIC investigation under Sen Carl Levin revealed a TON of unlawful activity and information. Levin basically served up fraud case against WaMu and its executives, but under the direction of Obama, the DOJ did nothing.

          2. Ed

            One connection not often made with Iran-Contra is that a very similar operation was responsible for the success of the American war of independence with the UK. The French monarchy set up a very similar system of dummy companies to provide weapons to the Continental Army. The thirteen colonies had no arms manufacturing capability of its own.

            Of course, the United States government is not supposed to operate like the eighteenth century French monarchy, nor is it considered to be a model of governance by historians, and the French themselves put a stop to these antics within twenty years of this operation.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Interesting bit of history that they don’t teach in school.

              I think it’s OK for the right side to use the tactic.

              And often who is right and who is wrong can only be determined afterwards, other than some exceptional cases where they are self-evident, from the start.

          3. alex morfesis

            The enterprise never died and is operating as we speak with 500 to 1000 times more annual funding then the minor details provided to the public in the mid 80’s…
            Congress has provided many useful and informative investigations…but most folks are easily distracted by baywatch and car dashing inns or the taking down of famous black men by the boob tube…and the wapo aint so wapo anymore (wapo in spanish can be translated to stud or aggressive)

    2. Torsten

      Yes. It will distract media attention from the Goldman Sachs speeches, at least until the conventions. Republicans would rather run against Hillary.

      1. wbgonne

        Republicans would rather run against Hillary.

        An interesting point and one that crossed my suspicious mind after the disastrous Benghazi Show. But I’d think that by now the GOP assumes Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. The really suspicious mind wonders whether at least some of Republicans would rather see Clinton win the election, since Trump appears the likely GOP nominee.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Just from today’s Cooler and Links we have the following:
          “Neocons Declare War on Donald”
          “The Trouble with Trump for Bankers”, and
          “The National Security state doesn’t want Donald”
          Add to that his views on the media, his views on so-called “trade” deals, and his willingness to talk plainly about the horrific lie and disaster that is Iraq. Maybe the haters can see why this lifelong Dem will be voting for him? Who cares what he said about Rosie O’Donnell.

        2. Procopius

          They would rather see Hillary win the election than they lose control of the Republican Party. Same way the neoliberals were terrified by Bernie, until they re-learned that a large part of the Democratic base vote against their own best interests. Reliably.

    1. ewmayer

      Not to quibble with your well-spotted bon mot, Llewelyn, but it depends … on whether you consider his chins as part of his face or as an autonomous province.

      [I know – fat jokes, very poor taste … but in CC’s case his corpulence is such an apt, um, embodiment of his personal greed and ambition.]

  2. Jim Haygood

    The Hillary/Cthulhu “evil, great and small” campaign is on a roll, hoovering up souls (and delegates).

    Idealism is futile,” as HRC herself is wont to say.

    You will be assimilated.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Yeah, with the Cheater Delegates awaiting the signal from the Borg, it don’t look great for ole Bernie. But Bernie’s strong states are coming after March 15. And Trump will now start feeding Hellery’s scandals into the Trump-Chipper. Trump may bury her in a shallow grave by June. Hahaha.

      1. cwaltz

        I’m not laboring under the illusion that he’s going to win. At this point, I’m wondering what’s going to happen to all the newly disillusioned voters who now notice that the Democratic Party really isn’t democratic after all?

        It’s my hope that they band together and figure a way around the bad and bat shit crazy paradigm our two party system is offering. It’s a problem that’s going to take more time and energy then one cycle offers.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Even Mark Shields on PBS News Hour last night called the super-delegate system the “Democrats equivalent of the House Of Lords”. He made the same point about it being very Un-Democratic.

          1. RabidGandhi

            Whatever happens with the Sanders campaign, this alone is a sign of success. I doubt a President Sanders would be able to implement a whole lot policy-wise, but what Candidate Sanders himself has repeated to the point of hoarseness is that a change in the whole political game needs to occur– not just the election of a president. The fact that Mark Shields is mentioning this is a sign that there is a political sea change underway (if not a revolution).

            Occupy. Snowden. Sanders. All of them have brought concepts to light that the establishment had for decades fought tooth and nail to keep in the dark. Mass surveilance. Inequality. The flawed ‘democratic’ system. Now they have been pushed so far into the public discourse that even beltway pundits like Mark Shields cannot avoid talking about them.

            1. tegnost

              I see shields as putting himself to the left of the hillarites, hoping to shepard disillusioned sanders supporters into the abattoir with plaintive and understanding mews

              1. RabidGandhi

                Six months ago, in the Acela Bubble in which Shields lives, there was no “to the left of HRC”, so finally the Overton window is being forced open– if ever so slightly.

                1. tegnost

                  point taken, and it is a big country in which I’m lucky to have exposure to multiple regions and demographics so I’ve seen the blinders, and the bag of oats, as it were…I’ve always liked shields so maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh esp. since I apparently can’t spell shepherd

            2. neo-realist

              You’d think that given the increase in consciousness about how the game is rigged for the rich, that Sanders would do better than he did on super Tuesday?:/

              1. RP

                “No one ever went broke betting against the intelligence of the American people.” – Mencken

              2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Very low name recognition, thanks to our presstitute media blackout and whitewash

                1. Gio Bruno

                  Sanders actually did fairly well on Super Tuesday. Had he squeezed past HRC in Massachusetts the state count would have been 6 to 5 (fairly close). The Black vote is not helping him; I’d like to see the voter breakout stats on hispanic vote pattern for STues.

                  If Colorado is any portent then California, Oregon, Washington could go Bernie’s way later this year. He needs to win these states 60/40, or better to get a delegate boost (60/40 in California would gain `200 delegates over HRC). More importantly, it would make it clear that Hillary could NOT win the general election with disaffected Western voters (low turnout).

                  STues. was a Hail Mary pass for Bernie (and the Black vote appears to have intercepted him). Bernie will continue on; that will give HRC time to be either called out for past failings or more likely a “foot-in-mouth” stumble.

                  I would also point out that his campaign is not just about young Americans. It’s about all ages rallying for better leadership and a future focused social betterment.

                  1. JTFaraday

                    I would have liked him to do a bit better, and to have won MA for the sake of psychology. However, I don’t think he did as bad the media is (once again) portraying it.

                    He has a pretty high wall to scale, Clinton negatives notwithstanding.

                    1. MojaveWolf

                      Tuesday was almost a best case scenario for the Sanders campaign. I have thought him likely to win for a while but never thought we would win more than 4 states yesterday. (no I’m not with the campaign but it’s still “we” afaic) As it turns out, they aren’t the 4 I was expecting but we won 3 of those 4 by considerably more than i was expecting. My happy shock at the Oklahoma result offsets my disappoint with Massachusetts.

                      And … Massachusets. Why is no one doing/saying anything about Bill blocking 3 different polling locations for HOURS while he campaigned for Hillary????????? This should be a national outrage (of course, so should the behavior of some other asswipe politicians in Atlanta & South Carolina, but at least their slander was not ILLEGAL & in clear violation of polling regulations). As it is, he’s still won or effectively tied in all the non-GOP states. He is doing very, very well in crucial swing states. Dems should notice that he’s doing this in those states despite the party throwing its full weight behind HRC and against Bernie.

                      Meanwhile, Gaius Publius has a great article at Down With Tyranny, showing how the states are frontloaded with places where Hillary does well, backloaded with places where Bernie does well. I still think we’re looking good. I keep telling people on twitter to wait for the West, he’s going to sweep the coast and maybe the rest. I live in Cali, biggest state & last voting day, and I guarantee if his supporters elsewhere don’t lose heart and keep showing up and keep us in striking distance, California will put him over.

                    2. Steve H.

                      MojaveWolf. Last sentence. Exactly.

                      Reposting this chart. And Clinton’s polls are doing a greater downturn than 2008, so Sanders rise need not be meteoric.


          2. Clive

            I’ve been increasingly coming to the conclusion that America now bears more and more resemblance to a system of power structures which we used to call in England “the landed gentry”. So a natural development is to have a House of Lords-style hereditary (or allocated on a grace-and-favour basis) political class if not actually calling the shots then at least exerting a significant influence.

            Arise Lady Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Duchess of Miami !

            1. rich

              Is that douchness?

              Debbie Wasserman Schultz Shouldn’t Be Welcoming Loan Sharks Into the Democratic Party

              and nothing like breaking the rules in broad daylight?

              Did Bill Clinton violate election rules by going into a polling location? Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been “reminded” not to solicit votes near polling sites after President Bill Clinton ventured into a polling location in Boston on Tuesday, the Secretary of the Commonwealth said. And now it seems her husband Bill is blocking access to polling places.

              Bill Clinton arrived to New Bedford at approximately 1:30 pm according to local media in order to campaign for his wife Hillary Clinton in her bid for the White House; there are 91 delegates up for grabs in Massachusetts.

              But according to Massachusetts native and Bernie Sanders volunteer Angela Grace, Bill Clinton stumped for his wife directly in front of the Buttonwood Park warming house, which served as today’s polling place.

              When Clinton did arrive, the secret service caravan walked him the whole distance down the road to a crowd packed into the parking lot of the park.

              “He completely blocked this poll for a good half hour at least,” Grace told AHTribune.

                1. ilporcupine

                  If that site isn’t satire, it’s the most obvious silly marketing scheme, ever. Check the endorsers photos, and the “about” link. “We are Douchebags and this is our Story” I almost fell out of my chair laughing. Have you actually seen the product?

                  1. Optimader

                    Douche = shower…
                    Very nicely engineered weather resistant gear

                    Just need your kit to spend a few hours in the elements on the roof rack of an econoline van or exposed to wet snow while hiking to understand its bespoke not satire.

                    I was suprised to see they are branding the gear DB, having in the past seen it using the full name…

                    I guess the Provincial N American marketing consultant got back to them?

        2. Kokuanani

          I’m hoping someone steps up and makes the argument to Millennials that they need to vote for “down ticket” candidates, because opposition will be needed to the policies of both Trump AND Clinton.

          Also, such a strategy [as opposed to just staying home] could counter the argument that young folks are “sore losers.” Just don’t vote for the Lesser/Greater Evil at the top of the ticket; vote for “evil blockage” further down.

          1. grayslady

            And just where, precisely, are these wonderful down ticket Dems to be found that we should all vote for (other than Canova in FL)? In my district, the truly awful Brad Schneider–openly “Third Way” (read conservative Repub)–is running in the primary again, with claims that he’s supported by Steny Hoyer and a cast of the worst Dems in Congress. His opponent, a well educated and feisty mayor, is another candidate who predictably will offer undying support for Israel, meaning more ME wars. Again,who are the candidates prepared to stand up to the establishment, pray tell?

            1. Jess

              I agree on the paucity of worthwhile down-ticket Dems. Perhaps the best one can hope for in that area is skipping the House races in favor of concentrating on whatever possibilities there are in state legislative races. Granted, gerrymandering has generally screwed the state district boundaries as bad as it has the Congressional districts but in certain cases there may be opportunities with the right candidate in a vulnerable district.

            2. different clue

              There are some Representatives who voted against NAFTA, WTO, MFN for China who are still in the House, like Marcy Kaptur. If they are running again, they might be worth voting for. If the D party officeholders were eliminated down to the ones who were against Free Trade or younger ones who could be trusted to be against Free Trade now, that might show that D party decontamination might be possible.

          2. Praedor

            Voting “down ticket” is pointless if the candidates up for vote are establishment Hillary asslickers. I’d prefer they stay home and let Trump win than feed ammo into Hillary’s 1% gun.

      2. Jim Haygood

        She’s the queen of the bundled dollar
        She rules her sordid kingdom
        Her sceptre is a broomstick
        And a boardroom is her home

        — adapted from Shel Silverstein’s Queen of the Silver Dollar

      3. John

        Bernie has so far won 3 swing states (based on yahoo list of swing states) with 23 ev, hill 2, with 19. But who’s counting?

      1. Steve H.

        Perhaps the two parties can just exchange bumperstickers and slap them on each others forehead.

        But then, perhaps we shouldn’t get too ahead of ourselves…

      2. Amateur Socialist

        The fun is just getting started. Salon featured an item yesterday saying that Chuck Todd revealed on MSNBC’s coverage yesterday that he was aware of “at least one” GOP Senator who plans to endorse Hillary in the general if Trump gets the nomination. Finally the GOP and DNC establishment can unify behind electing a clinton. An idea whose time has come etc.

        HST you left us too soon…

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Mergers and acquisitions.

          Why not?

          In the name of efficiency and productivity…

      3. RP

        Let the record show that in 2016 the Democratic Party had a choice between Henry Wallace and Richard Nixon.

        And you ungovernable morons chose Nixon.

        You deserve whatever happens to you.

    2. OIFVet

      I don’t know about being assimilated, comrade. I am not to the point where I believe that resistance is futile.

          1. tegnost

            copper 2.17 and betting on a consensus jobs # puts rate hike on the table and even likely considering the 2%ish groaf, but this will be it for the year, no rate hikes when average temp in mid east over 99 degrees,

  3. Robert Callaghan

    E.O. Wilson is way more than right !!!

    We now have less of an attention span than goldfish. That’s why you can never catch them not staring at you when you look away from your video game.

    Oxygen is depleting 10X faster than CO2 is increasing and sea level rise will speed up to 1 meter / 20 years by 2060 and even faster after.
    ( Paul Beckwith, James Hansen )

    ref link:
    From The Shores Of Idiocracy

  4. Steve H.

    NC is occasionally criticized for linking beyond the normed scope of ‘finance, economics, politics and power’ and today you have given a fine crop.

    ‘Images of Earth From a Year in Space’ is a wonderful example of why those limitations in scope ultimately fail. The pictures are beautiful, and provide perspective to the narrower interests of our own species and culture.

    The little pictures are part of a very big picture.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Hey speaking of finance, economics, politics and power, does anyone here know if and how I can plant rosemary from seed in early Fall? In my younger years I remembered it as being seeded exclusively in Spring, but this year the garden has counter-cyclical needs.

      1. nippersdad

        Germinating rosemary from seed is an unnecessarily long process; it would be much faster and easier to root it….Unless you are planting the seed outdoors in a field or something there really isn’t much bang for the buck there.

        1. RabidGandhi

          They’d be going outdoors in the ground cover under our grapevines. One of the main goals is to tighten up the cover crop– we saw this technique in Mendoza.

          1. nippersdad

            What an interesting concept, and rosemary would be good for keeping the bugs off of your grapevines as well. Is your climate too cold for rosemary to grow year ’round? It gets rather large for such a position were it a perennial, and its’ roots might compete with the grapes… of some form might be a good alternative as well.

            If you are sowing indoors, you will want a very porous mix and sunlight; lots of warmth (even if only on top of the refrigerator). It takes months to germinate, so you will want to have some patience. If you have a sufficient amount of seed, it might be an idea to strow some where you want it to come up as well; a plan B, so to speak.

            1. RabidGandhi

              You nailed it. We’ve been getting these giant moths, tonnes of ants and a particularly heavy mosquito season which I would like to mitigate next year. I already have spearmint nearby, which is going pretty well, but in the area under the vines proper the soil is pretty depleted. So my thought was rosemary=rugged for cover soil + bug repellent: what’s not to love. The thing is I got a late start on compost/leaf cover under the vines, so I couldn’t plant in Spring. Still it’s warm enough here in winter (0°C is rare) that sprouting indoors may be the best bet if I can plant around May-June-ish.

              1. Rhondda

                Do you find spearmint efficacious for repelling mosquitos? Lordy the mosquitos have been a problem the last few summers here in KC.

      2. Steve H.

        I sprout indoors. I’ve got some spilanthes that just sprouted a couple of days ago. In direct sun, most plants get what they need in as little as three hours a day.

        The volatile herbs have the best effect/effort ratios. Parsley in particular is spectacular for vitamin C, and I’ve been told natural vitC is really a complex of compounds, so live food is much better than isolate.

        My parsley did best last year when I put it outside underneath my dripping air conditioner. Really liked the water, whereas I generally am most successful with species specialized for benign neglect. Which is why cacti are good in the e/e ratios, with a denominator approaching zero. But I take no harvest from those, whereas, mmm Berries….

        1. Steve H.

          RabidGhandi, I’m now recollecting that your climate specifics may be very different from mine.

          My outdoors oregano was hearty, second only to the alpine strawberries. It may be that the volatiles allow better cold tolerance. Next year I want to lay down an atoll of perlite, which as an R-value of 2.6 and is brilliant white, so it will help with insulation and may help with reflecting lower light. I’ll put a transparent pane on top and see how long the hot box effect lasts.

          1. RabidGandhi

            I just looked up alpine strawberries and they seem like they would be ideal although we hardly ever get snow here (@ alt=1200 m). May be a climate issue (or a problem with the gardener himself), but my oregano always came out rather weak compared to stronger herbs like thyme (and rosemary of course), flagging out around mid-summer. I might try your suggestion of working on their light exposure, though.

            1. Steve H.

              I am at a rather lower altitude than you. Sepp Holzer grows in Austria and is much more familiar with high-altitude conditions. And alpine strawberries are volatilely flavorful.

              1. meeps

                In my neck of the woods at elev 8500 ft/2580 meters, alpine strawberries (Red and Yellow Wonder) are among our most successful and low maintenance perennials. Rosemary is strictly a summer patio pot plant here, but culinary sage, chives, french tarragon, thyme, borage and nasturtium have naturalized. These companions provide ground cover, edible blooms to share with bees and hummingbirds and good pest protection. Boy do I wish we could grow grapes!

        1. RabidGandhi

          In Mendoza they told us that the 2 plants interact with each other. They claim they even affect the flavour of the resulting grapes/herbs. I’m not so sure about the flavour thing, but I always dig the excuse of “well we’ve always grown them together”.

          1. Rhondda

            Re the flavor: I was wondering about that…and about a mix for your purposes of lavender, rosemary, calendula, thyme, Greek oregano (stronger), maybe even basil…I recall seeing a Seeds of Change lawn alternative seed mix that included calendula.

    2. ewmayer

      Steve, the images are indeed wonderful, but I respectfully disagree about the “beyond the scope”-ness — they vividly illustrate what’s at stake as a result of those human innovations of finance, economics, politics and power.

  5. rich

    Clinton wins Massachusetts, but far more towns feel the Bern

    Hillary Clinton only won the majority of votes in yesterday’s primary in about 90 of the state’s 351 cities and towns. But they were the biggest ones.

    As you’ve no doubt heard, Clinton was the big winner on the Democratic side on Super Tuesday, while Donald Trump took the day among Republicans. Both got a majority of votes in seven of the 11 states that held primaries Tuesday, and both won the day here in Massachusetts.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Thank gawd Russia has a free press. Ha.
          The article notes that he set up rallies in front of 4 polling places during the day which effectively shut down each polling places for a couple hours. No one could vote. And the blockage was enforced by Bubba’s secret service detail. He probably fed them extra doughnuts for their service.

      1. rich

        yes…isn’t it funny that most Democrats complain about corruption yet want to hold their nose to vote in more corruption whole heartedly and cheering? A little stupid, no?…Besides, when I hold my nose I think of the Belt Pkwy in my youth stuck in summer traffic passing the heavy mounds of garbage….NO THANKS.

        1. RP

          A lot of Phil Ochs “Love me” liberals in this party.

          This country votes Clinton, they deserve whatever happens to them.

    1. jhallc

      Yup, pretty clear divide of the vote along the lines of income. The wealthy, older suburbs around Boston (i.e.Wellesley) and the lower income urban areas (i.e.Springfield) broke for Clinton by a 15-20% margin. An interesting dichotomy between Cambridge (Clinton +7%), with it’s older establishment boomer base and Somerville next door (Bernie +15%), with it’s younger Hipster contingent.

    2. jhallc

      Yup, pretty clear divide of the vote along the lines of income. The wealthy, older suburbs around Boston (i.e.Wellesley) and the lower income urban areas (i.e.Springfield) broke for Clinton by a 15-20% margin. An interesting dichotomy between Cambridge (Clinton +7%), with it’s older establishment boomer base and Somerville next door (Bernie +15%), with it’s younger Hipster contingent.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Let’s not forget political economy, shall we? Consider crossing out “older establishment boomer” and writing it “tenured and pundit,” and crossing out “younger Hipster” and writing in “adjuncts and precariat.” The cultural and demographic material can come after the economics are clear (at least in exposition).

        1. Steve H.

          – pretty clear divide of the vote along the lines of income.

          3-d chart: Age, Income, % Sanders.

          If you happen to be near a corner made with white walls, please take a moment and look at it, long-gaze. The darker side will have a small band of extra-dark parallel to it, vice-versa for the lighter side. This is a contrast heightening effect just behind the sensory neurons, using mutual inhibition to make the differences pop. It is entirely precognitive, and heightens our sense of ‘a light side’ and ‘a dark side.’

          From a Marxist perspective on class, to NeoClinton identity politics, to the very notion of the Tribe which predates humanity, these distinctions are inherently divisive.

          The chart will be somewhat clearer.

        2. flora

          otherwise I wonder if people who use the ‘boomer’ tag are implying that everyone should vote for Rubio or Cruz because they’re ‘not-boomer’ .

      2. ChrisPacific

        It’s been a while since I lived there. I recall Cambridge used to be quite proletarian but was already divesting itself of its poor 20 years ago due to soaring property prices. Somerville was heading in the same direction but much more slowly, and was still quite culturally diverse and with a shabby Bohemian vibe to it. Not sure how things have changed since then.

        Wellesley belonged to another planet. Every house was a mansion and every garden was immaculate. Poverty was invisible and expected to stay that way. I used to get tracts in the mail from community groups describing how to ‘cure’ your children of homosexuality. I lived there for a year and wasn’t sorry to leave.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I remember being stuck out in Wellesley and lost (this was pre-WiFi/cellphone/online maps days), and trying to find a pay phone so I could call my client. The entire area was devoid of people and even living things, and was eerily, spookily silent. And as a pedestrian, I felt quite vulnerable.

    3. Brooklin Bridge

      Yes, Clinton is winning by “double digits” according to the chattering class, as in, 1.8% (one point eight percent) in MA, two digits in thare me thinks according to the f*ck moi TM counting system, the only non Southern state she, or the friendly folks conning er, counting, the vote, pried out; you know, the Southern states she will never win in the general..

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Sanders, on the other hand won by minuscule margins, such as 10% in Oklahoma or 23% in Minnesota or 18% in Colorado and 72% in his home state (which of course doesn’t count because only Hillary’s home state ((I assume that means that state where she last got 600,000 for a top secret speech on robbing the destitute for fun and profit – or, was it on the laws of divine right in American dynasties, oh well, same thing)) will be considered for wowser effect)

        1. HotFlash

          I was interested to see that Alabama went 77.83% for Clinton, whereas Arkansas, where they presumably know her better, gave her 66.31.

          Stats from, which has a really neat widget election summary on their front page.

            1. nippersdad

              Or Switzerland, for that matter. She is a woman of the world, and she has the Davos vote locked up. I wonder how many superdelegates they have.

    4. HotFlash

      I found that I was focusing on states “won” and “lost”, too, but even in the ‘close’ states, Bernie has picked up delegates. Current standing delegate-wise is 541 Clinton to 347 Sanders, out of 2382. She is not unbeatable.

      BTW, OK was the surprise for me. Bernie head-office folks, find out what your OK supporters did and do more of that!

      1. nippersdad

        Earthquakes and a burst fracking bubble prolly did as much for Sanders as his troops on the ground, but watching the news about next door Kansas during an earthquake is probably not politically transferrable. :)

      2. curlydan

        Yes, according to our good friends at the NYT, Clinton’s non-super-delegate count is 577 and Bernie’s is 386. In other words, Clinton has won 60% of the non-super-delegates to Bernie’s 40%.

        March 5th:
        Kansas Caucus (could be close)
        Louisiana Primary (expect a Clinton tsunami)
        Nebraska Caucus (similar to KS?)

        March 6th
        Maine Caucus (ask Lambert)

        March 8th
        Michigan (I’m doubtful Sanders can win here)
        Mississippi (double yuck)

        March 15th
        Florida (yuck)
        North Carolina

        I think I better drop some more money on Bernie. He’s going to need it before the 15th!

        1. hunkerdown

          I’ve seen all of ONE Keep Right Hillary bumper sticker and all of ONE window sign in Wayne County. Yet I see Bernie stickers on the road almost daily. Even my ex-roomie of upper-middle-class upbringing with her heart in Macomb County has a Bernie sign in her front yard.

          For that matter, I don’t even recall seeing any KRH stickers in limo-lib Oakland County on the occasions I pass through. Are things that different outside the Detroit area?

    5. Vatch

      I’ve lost patience with Elizabeth Warren. She might have been able to make a difference for the Sanders campaign in Massachusetts, but she chose to play coy. As a result, Hillary Clinton, a vassal of the billionaires, won the state by a narrow margin.

      1. Gabe

        Polling showed that if Warren had endorsed Sanders in Iowa, there was a 5-15% contingent of women voters that would have switched to Sanders. Warren’s endorsement could have been pivotal in improving Sanders’s chances.

        Perhaps Warren is not as progressive as people make her out to be. She is certainly more progressive on financial issues, but her stances on other issues do not get much attention. It is easy to forget that Warren was a Republican until 1996. Perhaps Warren actually prefers Hillary on almost all issues except financial ones? Regardless, I think the lack of endorsement of Warren by is an indictment against the majority of the Democratic Party. Too weak or afraid to take a stand and show their real ideals.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Both Reid and Clyburn, key figures in their respective states, were very late endorsers. Perhaps the Clinton campaign does not need Warren’s endorsement yet.

      2. DanB

        As one of her constituents, I share your feelings. As you may know, there was a short discussion in comments yesterday about Warren that more-o-r-less concluded we should just regard her as a centrist. As I noted in that comments thread yesterday, we should not forget that Warren held a private meeting with Hillary last year.

        1. wbgonne

          I’m not voting for Warren again. She stood silent when her help could have been the difference for Sanders in MA. In doing so, Warren may have sent Clinton to the nomination and, possibly, the White House, where she will enact more of the neoliberal policies Warren claims to hate. Same for Markey, who actually endorsed Clinton, yet pretends to care about global warming and the environment, ignoring Clinton’s fracking and continuation of Obama’s ruinous hydrocarbon-drenched and greed-based policies. Same for Mayor Walsh, who can’t get the snow removed or the dope needles out of the parks but has plenty of time suck up to the Clintons while slow-walking marijuana dispensaries and approving every construction project that comes across his desk. I really hope Walsh is challenged next time.

          A bunch of vichy Democrats totally in the tank for Clinton. In fact, I may never vote for another Democrat in my life. (Assuming Sanders doesn’t get the nomination, naturally). I’ve had enough.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            May I suggest an outsider business man on the other side of the playing field. Would you vote for someone who has:
            1. Called out the lies and disaster of the Iraq War in unequivocal and plain terms
            2. Garnered the fierce opposition of the Neo-con Permanent War state
            3. Attracted the extreme ire of the Surveillance State
            4. Attracted the extreme ire of the Banking-Industrial Complex
            5. Stated consistent and clear opposition to so-called “trade” deals that enrich billionaires but devastate American workers
            6. Expressed clear opposition to the lobbyist-based corporo-fascist campaign finance and lawmaking structures
            7. Called out in very clear terms the toxic Media-Industrial Complex and their undue influence on policy

            1. Gio Bruno

              You mean that guy who vilifies immigrants, muslims, and pro-choice women? The guy who will say anything at any time to get a vote? The guy who is as likely to ignore campaign promises in the same vain as Obama?

              Sounds like a craps shoot to me.

      3. Praedor

        She is straddling the odds. She doesn’t want to piss off Shillary by endorsing Bernie, thus terminating any chance she might get at some Cabinet position in a Shillary Admin. She also doesn’t want to damage herself by endorsing someone who MAY not win (Bernie), which would “weaken” her position and eliminate any idea she is a kingmaker.

        She may well have energized the Bernie Base if she endorsed, but it may not be enough to overcome the Apparatus arrayed against Bernie. Consider: the DNC is even now attacking her indirectly by going after her Consumer agency for payday lenders (???!!!!!!)

        1. cwaltz

          A presidential endorsement isn’t a non starter for me even though I agree with Tulsi Gabbard, in some ways this is an important one. It essentially is drawing lines. It feels like those that are willing to endorse Bernie are saying that they understand that we are angry and that we expect the party to BE something more than GOP lite.

    6. Christopher Fay

      Eastern Mass is big Fin, big Med Care, big Uni, big reasons to like status quo, big towns, big status quo

      1. Jim Haygood

        … and Hillary’s former home (Wellesley).

        Surprising that no one remembers how Hillary publicly threw Massachusetts’s black Senator, Edward Brooke, under the bus:

        Hillary was following the day’s main commencement speaker, Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke. Only two years before, Hillary had campaigned for Brooke, a liberal Republican and an African-American, as president of Wellesley’s Young Republicans.

        But Hillary had changed. Dropping her prepared text, she wasted no time lambasting her predecessor at the podium. “Senator Brooke,” she began, “part of the problem for empathy with professed goals is that empathy doesn’t do anything.” What her generation wanted now, she said, was action. She ended with a classmate’s poem that damned “The Hollow Men of anger and bitterness.”

        Brooke, obviously singled out as one of the “Hollow Men,” was stunned, hurt—and convinced that this was no extemporaneous speech. “As far as I could tell, she was not responding to anything I was saying,” he later observed. “She came that day with an agenda, pure and simple.”

        The Politics of Meaning has no room for Hollow Men, comrades.

  6. fresno dan

    FBI Admits ‘Mistake’ Made With San Bernardino iPhone Wall Street Journal

    When there is that an over reliance on technology, plain old thinking is crowded out. What comes to mind is drone technology, that seems almost miraculous – the ability to loiter over disputed areas for hours upon hours, very great accuracy, and total invulnerability of one’s own troops. Yet, despite this great technology, we appear no closer to resolution of our conflicts than if we did not have it. One can even argue that we are in the mess we are in because of an inability to reckon the true costs of the involvement, and our naive belief that the shock and awe of our technology will over whelm our opponents….

    Long before NSA or the FBI had to worry about Apple encryption, Bin Laden declared war on the US. Yet, with an unsuccessful attack on the World Trade Center in the early 90’s as a warning, the US still failed to appreciate the threat. Trillions of dollars spent….to no avail.
    To paraphrase Caesar, the fault lies not in our lack of decryption technology, but in ourselves.
    So….for this obvious screw up at the FBI, who was fired???

  7. fresno dan

    I’ve lately knocked liberals and conservatives alike lately for unrealistic ideas about winning elections by base turnout alone – liberals for clinging to the Static Electorate Fallacy that assumes it will be 2012 forever despite powerful historical evidence that each new set of candidates create their own turnout once an incumbent departs the ballot, conservatives for overstating the number of conservative voters who may have sat out the 2012 and/or 2008 elections in protest over moderate nominees. But a closer look at the two parties’ shares of the total pool of eligible voters reveals where Republicans need to do better in 2016, and where Democrats might be in danger of doing worse.

    In my last piece, I demonstrated why Republican vote totals from 2004, 2008 and 2012 – as well as exit polls on the proportion of voters who self-identified as “conservatives” – illustrate that there’s no magic-bullet solution, no 3 or 4 or 5 million (or more) conservatives who have voted Republican in the past but sat out because Romney and/or McCain were too moderate. In raw numbers, the falloff from George W. Bush in 2004 to Romney in 2012 was only about 1.1 million voters, compared to Obama’s 5 million vote margin of victory in 2012, or Obama’s 10 million vote margin in 2008. Since at least some of those 1.1 million former Bush voters presumably switched sides to Obama (we all know some 1990s liberals who were national-security-first voters after 9/11 but later reverted to form), the actual number of missing Bush voters who thought McCain and Romney were not conservative enough and stayed home could be less than that.

    Some interesting data. And a knock down of the notion that is ACTUALLY believed on the right, that there are millions of conservatives out there who don’t vote cause of those liberals nominated by the republs, like Romney….

    1. GlobalMisanthrope

      I’d say that with approximately 2.5 million people dying each year since 2010, we have a pretty good guess where those missing Republican voters have gone.

      Also, this claim

      …we all know some 1990s liberals who were national-security-first voters after 9/11 but later reverted to form…

      is complete nonsense and also almost certainly just a lie.

      I mean, tell me. What “1990s liberals” (whatever that means in Republican-speak) felt it necessary to vote Republican in 2004 in order to protect the country? Exactly none.

      1. TomD

        I think he means New Democrats. The ones who think it’s gross how the Republicans whip up religious fervor and racial hatred, but would like their investment portfolio to grow quickly thank you.

        1. ilporcupine

          Well, under the last R administration, my meager”portfolio” TWICE lost half of its value.
          (after 9/11 and again in 2008.) Perhaps those two thoughts are not exclusive.

  8. lyman alpha blob

    The cluelessness of online advertising: just read the ‘It Just Got Even Harder to Trust Financial Advisors’ link which lists Oppenheimer as the most ethically challenged and guess what ad keeps trying to pop up on my screen? Yes of course it’s for Oppenheimer Funds. I’m sure everyone in their marketing department will get hefty raise this year.

  9. Carl

    Re: the Raw Story link, claiming an Austin radio station was “flooded” with calls reporting vote switching.

    The story doesn’t even get close to the headline. Even within the narrative, the author keeps trying to pump up the numbers (“around a half a dozen”). The actual number: four calls.

    Just plain old ordinary internet clickbait.

    1. ambrit

      If just one of those allegations can be proved, that entire precincts’ vote tally should be voided.
      We’re reading too many allegations of this nature. Either the ‘plebs’ must be re-educated into quiescence, or the voting system reformed. Paper ballots, all the time, all the way.

      1. flora

        Paper ballots. Yes!
        In the meantime, if you vote at a no-paper electronic voting machine maybe using a smart phone to video your hand making selections and what happens on the screen wouldn’t be a bad idea. Just in case you’re “lucky” enough to have your vote selection flipped. You’d have a video of the event.

        1. Amateur Socialist

          Unfortunately that gambit is prohibited here in TX. Cell Phones are not allowed to be used within polling places. Probably not worth getting arrested (yet anyway).

          1. Praedor

            Cell phones maybe BUT…you can buy simple “glasses” that contain a micro video camera, or a pen. Nothing barring glasses or pens is there?

          2. different clue

            If the voting machine you go vote at is open-air, the watchers would see you use a cell phone. But if is in a little privacy curtained enclosure and the watchers could not see you use the cell phone, why not use the cell phone to record your ballot-casting process?

    2. GlobalMisanthrope

      By the way, I can’t find any reference to this in the local news here in Austin, including at the KLBJ AM website.

  10. fresno dan

    Blowback: Donald Trump Is the Price We Pay for the “War on Terror” Truthout

    The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.—Hermann Göring, in an interview by Gustave Gilbert, April 18, 1946

    The “war on terror” is the longest continuous war in US history. Taxpayers have ponied up over $4 trillion to wage it. Yet the consensus of our intelligence community is that we are more in danger than ever. Did we spend more than $4 trillion to make ourselves less safe? Let us unpack the contradictions.

    Terrorism in the United States is statistically a negligible cause of mortality: One is about as likely to die from being crushed by a flat-screen TV, and more likely to die falling in the bathtub than from terrorism. Imagine if we had spent $4 trillion to cure cancer or heart disease. Nevertheless, nearly every word US government officials have uttered about the matter during the last 15 years has been designed to instill dread of terrorism in the population. And it has worked.
    Voters in the Republican primary in South Carolina declared terrorism to be their foremost concern, eclipsing a stagnant, low-wage economy; deteriorating living standards leading to an actual increase in the death rate of GOP voters’ core demographic; and the most expensive and least available health care in the “developed” world.

    But there was a flaw in their calculation. Those voters who felt most strongly about terrorism chose Donald Trump, who comfortably won the primary. The national security state, which is a subset of the corporate state, doesn’t want Trump. They prefer to maintain the present corporate oligarchy that offers a façade of democratic process by putting forward safe, obedient, pre-programmed candidates. Since the “war of terror” began, this charade has worked rather efficiently: Bush or Kerry, Obama or McCain, Obama or Romney. And this year it was to be Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton. Or, in a pinch, a second-stringer like Marco Rubio.
    Democrats might think they have reason to be excused for being deceived by Obama’s sonorous rhetoric – provided they hadn’t checked his 2008 vote on the FISA Amendments Act, or the fact that John Brennan, who had separated from Bush’s CIA, proceeded to attach himself, limpet-like, as a national security adviser to then-Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
    But as much as the Republican Party created Trump, it shares parentage with the transpartisan national security complex. Politicians, generals, CIA directors, think tank warriors and terrorism “experts” have been dinning a message of fear into our heads for a decade and a half, a fear that works on many voters like catnip on a feline.

    fresnodan’s onion headline:
    Repubs desperately try to understand logic and reality in bid to undermine Trump, fail miserably.

    Top repub says decades of believing that 1 + 1 equals 5, that 14 people killed by guns on one day is far more important than the average of 30 murdered daily, and that Bush was not president on 9/11/2001 has completely atrophied repub brains…
    Truth is, he continues, is most repubs, after decades of indoctrination, are allergic to facts and rationality. The only thing that will work now is accusing Trump of being a transgendered Mexican space alien that wants us for our 1972 Chevy Vega’s…. Rubio is close to getting it, but his lack of experience with Vega’s makes him ill suited for the job…

  11. Dino Reno

    Blow Back: Trump, Truthout

    The author has a good point that the warfare state has created a mindset that led to Trump. Unfortunately, he doesn’t stop there.
    He goes off into the fascist weeds that marks the death knell of every reasoned argument. Although thousands have tried, no one can define fascism so it’s best to not even try, let alone label someone a
    fascist. But the allure is irresistible. It’s the one word more derogatory than evil. It goes to a very dark place where everyone is goose stepping and committing endless atrocities. In today’s world that place is North Korea, although no one ever calls it a fascist state.

    According to the article, Trump is the guy who will uncork fascism because he has a cult of personality, hates minorities and will try to conquer the world.
    The message is clear: Be afraid of Trump and the fascist state he will create. The NYT has also pushed this line for months to no avail. Anyone who is swept up in his movement is called “a drone, a hostile paranoiac, a low information voter, or a gullible cynic.” Nice.

    Missing in the article are the two things Trump really stands for which are the end of endless wars and the end of selling out by special interests of the American people resulting in bad deals. He rejects globalism by saying you either have a country or you don’t. He wants the rest of the world to pay for its own defense. He wants to end the Empire of Chaos. In other words, be very afraid if you are a neocon.

    Oh, and if you go after him, he fights back, something Obama could learn from if he didn’t have a library to build.

    Hillary has now taken to calling herself a fighter in preparation for her battle with Trump. The MSM will scream that Trump is a fascist bully when he points she is the Queen of Chaos who sells us out at every turn. She will give us that Cheshire Cat smile. Being a smiling backstabber is the neocon way. “Liberals” like Lofgren will be horrified by the tone of the campaign. Revolutions are always messy affairs.

    1. Uahsenaa

      Not everything is a media conspiracy. Sure, TPTB don’t want Trump for their own self-interested reasons, but let’s not pretend that he is anything more than an awful human being, a racist, the son of a racist, a man who exploited labor time and again in his construction projects, who would rat fuck the environment if it means he can build a bigger golf course, whose policy pronouncements amount to little more than “the best, the classiest [noun],” who can’t manage to make a simple statement without digressing a dozen times, who preens like a peacock in every single public appearance, and who stokes popular furor by saying all the horrible things Republicans actually think in no uncertain terms.

      In the end, it doesn’t even matter that he’s a con artist, who will say and believe whatever he has to in order to stay in the spotlight, because the racist bilge he foments in others is very real, very palpable, and likely to outlast him.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Then again, Trump hasn’t blown thousands of faraway brown people to pink mist, or set the Middle East on fire, creating the refugee crisis that might stress the EU and the EZ to the breaking point.

        Of course, he might. But he hasn’t.

        1. Uahsenaa

          Well, of course others are bad/worse in different ways, and I’m no one to defend Obama, but I’m not fond of these gleeful pronouncements of “if not Sanders, then Trump” that seem to be so common these days. I also balk at the assumed dichotomy, there are other options besides Ds and Rs, but if we are to make the comparison, Obama was a foreign policy cipher when running for President, and he turned out to be perfectly okay with killing brown people. Trump. on the other hand, while running for President has been openly bellicose (like all the other R candidates, it’s worth noting), so it stands to reason that he might not be all that concerned about the military’s tendency to make things worse in the world at any opportunity.

          I’m actually not as sanguine as some concerning the complete implosion of the Republican party, given the forces it will likely unleash.

    2. Lee

      Based on what I heard from Trump last night, he is expanding his nativist economic nationalism to embrace minority citizens. I don’t know to what extent this will rally minority voters to his cause but if the can get 2/3 of the white vote, which makes up 77% of the electorate, he could win the general. Currently only about 40% of whites are Democrats. In spite of this, there is a lot of triumphal crowing among Dems about the high preference for Clinton among black voters in red states and they steadfastly cling to the belief that identity politics that does not upset the class status quo will assure them victory. I’m not so sure. In any event, the general election may end up as a contest between two of the most hated candidates in history.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Trump doesn’t need minority votes to win. He needs lower turnout, and Hillary will only rally fear based enthusiasm. In 2012, the epic AA turnout was rallying for Obama who upped his rhetoric. The turnout won’t be as good for Hillary. The Clintons don’t have any kind of history of raising turnout. They focus on loyalty and stealing issues to blunt counter movements.

        Even now Democrats are openly praying for GOP crossover voters despite no evidence for this behavior.

    3. James Levy

      I’m glad from all the years of contradictory statements and outright lies that Trump has promulgated you can discern the true and only two principles for which he stands. And I’m sure it was the earpiece and not a tin ear that caused him to fail to disavow Dukes and the Klan not once but three times on national television.

    4. Praedor

      I tend to favor going to the source for definitions. Mussolini himself, THE creator of fascism, tells us exactly what fascism is: the melding of the state and corporations (paraphrasing) with the balance of power being in the hands of the state.

      vs corporatocracy where the balance of power is in the hands of corporations.

    1. jhallc

      Turnout on the Democrat side here in MA was in line with 2008 (1.2M). Republican vote was up from 2008 by about 100K or 20%.

      There was a pretty clear divide of the vote along the lines of income. The wealthy, older suburbs around Boston (i.e.Wellesley) and the lower income urban areas (i.e.Springfield) broke for Clinton by a 15-20% margin. An interesting dichotomy between Cambridge (Clinton +7%), with it’s older establishment boomer base and Somerville next door (Bernie +15%), with it’s younger Hipster contingent.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        One, there isn’t a Democratic race in the media. It’s all Trump all the time.

        Two, the Democrats are a party in decline at the local level. Activation is a problem, and the Democratic Party barely exists in the public space. When I went to vote at a relatively high traffic time, there wasn’t any kind of Team Blue representative there for the city council candidate for the retiring mayor.

        Three, home phone banking isn’t necessarily a good idea. Many volunteers start out completely awful on the phones. Good field organizers make sure to either be on the phones in a prominent the spot or have good volunteers positioned to be seen by other volunteers. People copy each other, picking up good and bad habits. Bad volunteers are often dispatched to wave signs.

        Four. The Democratic contest is between the youthful 68 year old and stroke victim, Hillary Clinton, and the cranky 73 year old with little name recognition. By virtually, any metric this is depressing.

        1. Carolinian

          Well it’s sort of what some of us have been saying forever. No offense to Sanders supporters, but an obscure Senator in his 70s may not be the best standard bearer for reforming the Democratic party. Like it or not American elections are not about “ideas” but about marketing and about combat. Gore Vidal wrote the play The Best Man about a candidate who was a good man unwilling to get his hands dirty versus a no holds barred demagogue with a campaign killing secret. In the fiction version both lose out but in the real world bare knuckles generally succeed.

          Vidal also thought FDR was a sneaky and untruthful character and portrays him unfavorably in his books. His father worked for Roosevelt. But Roosevelt accomplished so much, even while sidling up to Jim Crow allies in a way that would be reviled today. He wasn’t an ideologue at all. When the emergency was at hand he only sought results.

          It’s not over, but Lucy seems to be reaching for that football.

          1. HotFlash

            No offense to Sanders supporters, but an obscure Senator in his 70s may not be the best standard bearer for reforming the Democratic party.

            Who would you suggest, then? And when?

            1. Carolinian

              I have no idea who although Warren seemed like a thing there for awhile.

              When may have to be four years from now at the end of the Trump administration’s first term.

            2. Gio Bruno

              Well, I would think Allan Grayson would have been a option. But you need to remember Bernie has come out of the blue! No one expected his message to grow this quickly. Look, there are very few politicians with the lifelong political commitment to economic and social equality as Sanders.

              Hopefully, he is inspiring a younger (than 70) group of people into action. He’s clear that his campaign is NOT about him, but about others creating a political revolution that changes America for the better. (Otherwise, get use to war and corruption.)

          2. Amateur Socialist

            Yeah I’m just dancing with the one that brung me. If some more prominent person would have come forward fine.

          3. GlobalMisanthrope

            Sorry, but you don’t seem to grasp that what American elections are “about” is precisely what must change, as the support for Trump and Sanders shows. Plus Monday morning quarterbacking.

            1. Carolinian

              Trump may be changing our elections but as I said at the top of the thread Sanders’ “revolution” seems to be a no show at the polls. After all he is being beaten by a truly horrible candidate.

              As for “Monday morning quarterbacking,” my view has been consistent throughout–anyone but Hillary. It looked like Bernie might be getting it done after New Hampshire but apparently not. This isn’t a slam against him. It’s the revolution that isn’t showing up. But I do think a more overtly political left champion is what is needed.

        2. James Levy

          Both parties are in decline but the Republicans have a vestigial local presence through the linkages of Chambers of Commerce, Kiwanis clubs, and country clubs. In short, likely Republican mucky mucks have natural places to flock together, whereas Democrats don’t socialize collectively or coherently. The class element of local political parties favors the Republicans at the town and county level.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Except African Americans have their local churches.

            They are Hillary’s local phalanxes.

            The Democrats are not without counter measures.

          2. Jim Haygood

            ‘Democrats don’t socialize collectively or coherently.’

            Since Republicans dominate the golf links, the remaining dozen or two Democrats might consider croquet.

          1. Lambert Strether

            I think it’s entirely possible that she did; she’s certainly on Coumadin which is, among other things, anti-stroke medication.

            And her entourage would certainly never let word out if she had; the level of sycophancy in the State emails is extraordinary.

      1. Gio Bruno

        Yes. However the math ignores that Texas, Arkansas, and Alabama (if not also Georgia) were so-called fire-wall states. (But states HRC is likely to lose in the General election.) Bernie was not likely to make inroads there (although he tried). In MN and MA Sanders performed much better.

        Texas has a large delegate count, but California’s is even bigger. If Sanders can get a 60/40 delegate split there he’ll gain ~ 200 delegates more than HRC. The key will be the Hispanic vote and youthful turnout in the West.

        It’s clear the MSM is making HRC’s campaign easier (NPR allows her surrogates to pontificate unchallenged, daily. While denigrating Sanders campaign goals, often.)

        Sanders campaign funding is absolutely unheard of in current American political campaigns. Will he win? Don’t know. We’ll all find out when all the delegates are awarded.

        A key point to understand: the Democrat turnout is low because many new (Bernie) voters DO NOT identify with any Party, so often cannot vote in the Democratic primary. They will be eligible to vote (or not) in the general election. HRC may win the Democratic Primary’s and get trounced in the general election.

    1. Jess

      Can’t figure out who the most loathsome DINO pundit is: Wolff? Jonathan Alter? Tweety? Lawrence Odious?

      Nominations are open.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s like choosing the worst Republican. You can’t do it. They will always lower the bar.

      2. RP

        I vote Tweety. Having your wife run for office w/Clinton backer $$$ and no disclosure is bald-faced corrupt and MSNBC (which as far as I can tell stands for Make Sure Nobody Bashes Clinton) should be ashamed. That is, if they had any shame to begin with.

      3. Jess

        Please forgive me but I forgot to include the toxic Ezra Klein in my starter list of lamestream media.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s only over for Sanders if he gives up now…if he doesn’t go down fighting.

      Time to unleash MMT and Income Guarantee (broader than free tuition – free tuition for education that is often not for enlightenment, but as a career stepping stone).

      I also believe a real revolution needs to say something (like rejecting it) about the Democratic Party for the last 25 years, at least.

      Gotta cross the Rubicon.

      Forget about going back to the Senate.

      Focus on the present – what you need to do now.

      Can’t just do the same you have been doing – confining oneself to college students.

      1. James Levy

        More likely he’s waiting for the indictment or the smoking gun that he hopes will sink the Clinton campaign. But like Berlusconi, Clinton knows the best place to fight such trouble is from the top of the heap. Her interests and Trump’s ego are now the decisive determinants in who is going to be the Chief Executive going forward, barring that indictment; as John Oliver showed, no gaff or lie is going to sink Trump, only the collective revulsion of enough people, and I don’t know if there will be a critical mass in time (I have no doubt that the buyer’s remorse if he gets in will be swift and devastating, although as we saw with Dubya and Obama there are always a hefty number of people who will never own up to having voted for a turd).

      2. Steve H.

        Let’s start with this:

        A Living Wage
        Medicare for all
        Tax the Rich
        Job and Income Guarantee

        Maybe we can work our way up to a dozen or so.

        1. Amateur Socialist

          Make it even simpler: “The pay raise you’ve been cheated out of the last 8 (10? 12? 16?) years”

          I know a lot of techie types who would respond to that, even in “tech boomy” Austin.

          1. GlobalMisanthrope

            True depiction of Austin-think to recommend playing to their self-interest. But that’s what makes Austin part of the problem. Techie types getting more of what they think they deserve will not lead to transformative change.

            Without a paradigmatic shift away from capitalism’s grasping ethos toward one that equates self-interest with the common good, we’ll just recreate what we have. Only worse. Because fewer resources.

    3. EmilianoZ

      The Guardian is busy burying Sanders. Here’s another article:

      Nothing could soften the blow of losing like this, though. South Carolina is a state Sanders had visited eight times since announcing he was running for president; where he employed some 200 staffers and spent more than $1m on advertising in a month, including radio commercials by Spike Lee.

      He stood on stage at an event in Orangeburg organised by one of Clinton’s many supporters in the state – a fish fry and oyster roast – and told the largely silent African American crowd that he had stood with Martin Luther King… At best, voters at the fish fry were bemused; at worst they were insulted by what some saw as a naked attempt to hijack one of their most cherished memories for political purposes.

      Sanders appeared to snap in South Carolina when his wife Jane tried to brush dandruff from his suit, urging her to stop and prompting visible tension on stage.

      t is not just that the delegate mathematics becomes impossible if Sanders can only rely on white liberals, it is that his dream of a political revolution only works if he can carry a unified mandate for radical change to Washington and keep the pressure up for far longer than Obama has managed.

      Yep, Obama tried hard to keep the pressure. He failed but he tried his best.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Histories repeat themselves.

      Perhaps histories are like universes – both are cyclic or oscillating.

      If one history is a good boy, it is reborn with a better fortune in the next life.

      The same with universes – you behave, you will have an easier life as an universe the next time

  12. Dave

    China’s Rust Belt?

    We just visited a friend in New Mexico. Interstate 10 parallels the Union Pacific mainline between L.A. and Texas. An amazing site, over a mile long railroad siding south of the freeway just outside of Tucson, with a solid line of large diesel road locomotives, of the current vintage, just sitting unused, coupler to coupler.

      1. cwaltz

        It isn’t uncommon for trains to sit in the yard until they make it to the mechanical shop or for cars to be waiting to be put to together and coupled to engines. Roanoke’s yard probably doesn’t look that different to an observer.

        I will say this though. Norfolk Southern just called 15 of the conductors it furloughed in January(pretty common occurrence) back. It’s still having problems with having enough conductors AND engineers to run trains. The only good part is since they cut so deep they’ve had to give my husband his mandatory FRA days(If you get 6 consecutive starts on trains in six days, taxi to the train don’t count then the railroad is required to give you 48 hours undisturbed rest. If you get seven consecutive starts in seven days then they are required to give you 72 hours of rest.) Normally, when the list has a lot of people his schedule is erratic and he gets reset because being on call, in a hotel, or taxiing to a train doesn’t count as “service performed.” They signed a contract(local not national) this year that has changed the engineering schedule. It’s a big ol’ cluster.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I hate the metaphor of the economy as an airplane (“headwinds”) because it appeals to the sort of person who rides planes a lot, especially in First Class (and probably thinks they ought to be Captain).

          That said, the last two months of the year felt like turbulence to me (in the real economy, not Mr. Market’s Casino). Then suddenly the ride was smoother. And your husband was called back…

    1. Gio Bruno

      Don’t know what’s going on with the locomotives. Maybe they’re being stored in the dry Arizona air to reduce corrosion. Just from a technical standpoint, road locomotives are ~60′ long (about 88 per mile); BNSF that owns that bit of track has over 8000 diesel locomotives. (I own stock in the company.)

  13. Carolinian

    Here’s a good rant

    They’re stupefied. They can’t believe this raging boor is publicly calling bullshit on the con they’ve run forever. He’s selling “anti-politics” or “populism”, riding a typhoon of “incivility”. They mourn bitterly the lost capacity for decent political compromise which they, particularly, never had. They call it everything but what it is: frank exposure of the monumental fraud, that grisly, stinking embodiment of deception–Republicanism–that has raped America so often and so thoroughly.

    Because what he’s doing is yanking open the fly of their threadbare costume and letting the sorry, bare organ of their mendacity hang out for all America to see.

    Meanwhile over at the low energy party mendacity wins again! Oh what a world.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “What has he done to our party?”

      I read that somewhere yesterday.

      “What has the party done to the American workers?”

      Maybe that’s a better question, never mind the answer (I always believe education is about learning to ask questions – ask of oneself, the teacher, the world – and is not about giving answers to the teacher).

    2. GlobalMisanthrope

      What a bunch of Captain Renaults the media are. Anyone paying attention for the last eight years would be hard pressed to muster more than a shrug about Trump or the official GOP response to his candidacy.

      1. Lambert Strether

        It’s astonishing to me that self-identified conservatives think there are conservative principles from which Trump is deviating. Then again, at this point, the same might be said of liberals.

        “Which tentacle of the Vampire Squid do you prefer? See, it’s easy to distinguish them: The suckers are differently shaped, and the skin of each tentacle has different textures and colors.”

  14. GlobalMisanthrope

    Why the reported Texas Democratic delegate count is, at this point, a fabrication:

    Democratic delegates in Texas are not apportioned according to the popular vote. They are apportioned at the conventions. After the polls close on Election Day, each precinct holds a convention. At the convention, attendees divide up by candidate and are counted. That’s how the delegates are apportioned. Then delegates are nominated and allowed to briefly campaign before there is an “election” of delegates to represent the precinct at the county convention.

    Then the same thing happens again at the County/Senatorial District Conventions in March and again at the State Convention June 16th-18th. Delegates can switch candidates at each stage. And the Dem Party will put enormous pressure on delegates as the results of the ongoing primaries in other states produce delegates to the National Convention.

    So we won’t know the composition of the Texas delegation to the National Convention until after the State Convention in June.

    So when 538, say, reports that “[i]t will take a little while to get the exact delegate totals,” they are grossly understating the reality. With 252 delegates in play here and a fervently pro-Clinton state party, things are going to get very, very ugly before this thing is done. So one could safely assume that Clinton will get the most delegates, but how many is still a big question.

    1. katiebird

      I wondered about this! I haven’t heard a word this year about post primary Texas Caucuses. There wasn’t any reporting -at least that I saw – last night.

      Does anyone know how they went? In 2008 they were a famous crap-fest.

      1. Winham

        The caucus that used to be known as the “Texas Two-Step” got scrapped this year, so delegates got directly apportioned. It was done to give Texas more clout in the Super Tuesday primary.

    2. Amateur Socialist

      That’s partly right. I believe 2/3rds of the delegates are actually determined by popular vote and the remaining 1/3 (not counting those sweet SUPERS) determined by caucus at the county conventions. Unfortunately my Bastrop County Democrats decided to hold theirs on the Saturday of sxsw music so no not wasting time on that.

      The conventions in 2008 in Travis county were a total cluster. The hapless Clintonistas were swamped and obviously completely unprepared.

      1. GlobalMisanthrope

        Right! I’ve been doing this process since 1980 and forgot about the change this year. There will be 145 delegates apportioned according to the popular vote, so Clinton can’t walk away with the whole lot. Sanders secured 48 in the primary and Clinton 97. That leaves 107 in play.

        You’re right about 2008. Funny thing is in my precinct it was the Clinton people who tried to flip the delegation at the county level by forcing the nomination of a party operative not present. I lead an insurrection and we prevailed. Just saying that the stuff that happened in 2008 would never have become a scandal if Clinton had prevailed. Business as usual.

  15. Vatch

    Dogs will fight alongside us in our war against the robots

    This makes sense to me. Dogs are dedicated opponents of vacuum cleaners, so it’s consistent for them to fight against robots as well.

    1. OIFVet

      The ‘Terminator’ movies saw into the future… One thing I find disturbing is the research on implantable devices to control mood and emotions in the future generations of soldiers. That’s beyond FUBAR on too many levels…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “Don’t trust yourself.”

        Not your brain.

        Not your mood.

        They control you via the air you breathe, the water you imbibe and the version of the world you see around you.

        You are not you any more.

        1. OIFVet

          Dunno, I have felt more like myself then ever before over the past two months. It has been quite liberating, really. Then again, that’s because my SO and I decided that we are getting outta here this time next year, to the wild wild Balkans. Not everyone has that option… But truly, these implantable devices are effed up. As messed up as I returned from my own deployment, at least I returned as a human being.

          1. Carolinian

            We’ve been wondering where ya been dude. In the Balkans you’ll have a front row seat for Sultan Erdogan’s next move. Assuming he lasts that long….

            1. OIFVet

              Just lurking mostly, taking care of some preparations. Turns out, it is quite complicated to put 25 years worth of US life in order :) Will see about the sultan, I have the feeling that his days are numbered. Seems he is the last one to figure it out though… Anyway, I will be around come what may, NC and you guys are the best way to stay informed :)

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Home made Bulgarian yogurt here we come.

                No need to rely on argument from authority.

                You know it’s good because you made it yourself.

  16. rich

    How the U.S. Government and HSBC Have Teamed Up to Hide the Truth From a Pennsylvania Couple

    The reason both the Democratic and Republican establishments are in full on panic mode about the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is a deep seated fear that the plebs have finally woken up.

    Democrats rail against big corporations, while Republicans rail against big government. This scheme has been used to successfully divide and conquer the public for decades while big government and big business successfully schemed to divert all wealth and power to an ever smaller minuscule segment of the population — themselves.

    It took awhile, but the people are finally starting getting it and they are royally pissed off. One of the primary mechanisms for this historic elite theft has been the creation of a two-tiered justice system in which the rich, powerful and connected are never prosecuted for their criminality. Instead, the government actively protects them by pretending corporate entities commit crimes as opposed to individuals. Of course, this is impossible, but yet it’s how the government handles white collar crime. The Orwellian named “Justice Department” casually utilizes deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs), in which companies pay a little fine and the criminals themselves walk away with not just their freedom, but ill gotten monetary gains as well. The Moores say they believe the report details faulty internal controls like those they encountered when trying to modify their loan.

    If his ruling stands, it would be “the first time we get to see what happens after a bank settles a prosecution,” said Brandon Garrett, a professor at University of Virginia’s law school who has studied the monitor system.

    Which is exactly what the U.S. government doesn’t want people to see.

    HSBC and the Justice Department are still fighting to keep the report private and have appealed Judge Gleeson’s ruling to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. An appeals court ruling could be months away. “I feel like a very small boat in a very large ocean,” Mr. Moore wrote at one point, in a letter responding to some of their arguments.

    1. barrisj

      HSBC…arrrgh. Oh, you mean “Bankster to the Cartels”, don’t you? This outfit prides itself on money-laundering, and the DOJ in the past has treated HSBC rather leniently for its transgressions…a coupla bil here and there – beer money to this crowd…thank you, Lanny Breuer.

      Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke

      If you’ve ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you’ve ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or “drug paraphernalia” in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.

      Breuer this week signed off on a settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who’s ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a “record” financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.


      Lanny Breuer: career Clintonite…look for him in the new regime next Jan.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When a little guy (one of the People in the government of the People, etc) goes before the FBI or the government, it’s about how the applicable law(s) will be dished out.

      When a giant corporation goes up against the FBI or the government, it’s about getting Congress to clarify deficient existing applicable law(s)….two gentlemen having an important money and surveillance conversation…to be worked out most professionally.

      If African Americans don’t trust people whom they perceive to not have shown they can protect them for the Republicans, there is a historical reason there.

      If persons of the People don’t trust the government of the People (that has been captured), perhaps it’s something shown above.

    3. Lord Koos

      I’m guessing that the bank has paid little of the settlement so far, and I’m also guessing that there is little pressure from the DoJ to pay it in a timely fashion.

  17. polecat

    so what’s happening with Tulsi Gabbard since leaving the DNC and throwing her support towards Sanders …anyone know ??……….Beuller?……

    1. Jess

      Positioning herself as Bernie’s successor in leading the movement, and possibly even as his VP if he wins the nom. (Who else? Warren? Grayson? The list isn’t very long.)

  18. ewmayer

    o Re. DOJ indicts ex-CEO of Chesapeake Energy on conspiracy charges CNBC — Who does this guy think he is – a banker?

    UPDATE: Mr. McClendon now moved to ‘just-deceased’ column — oddly fitting that he perished in a fire fueled by oil products, a kind of “bonfire of the unctions”.

    1. barrisj

      Well, reading the po-lice account at the scene-of-accident, it certainly looked like suicide-by-car…and given the DOJ’s proclivity in white-collar crimes for accepting pleas and fines, rather than straight-up criminal prosecution and possible jail time on a guilty verdict, McClendon may have forfeited his life needlessly.

      1. Raj

        If McClendon had played nice with the Obama administration, DoJ doesn’t bring his case to a grand jury. He knew the cards were stacked against him because he didn’t grease up Obama with campaign contributions and sweet whispers of a lavish presidential library. He was about to get the book thrown at him because he didn’t buy a get-out-of-jail-free card in 2008 and 2012.

        1. night-Train

          I believe there is much more to the story. I don’t think the case as described by DOJ after the indictment was a slam-dunk. Especially in Oklahoma where he had home team advantage and plenty of money to fight the charges. Suicide in this case is hard to fathom without other stressors. I’m not a conspiracy kind of guy, but there must be a lot more to the story than we now know.

          1. low integer

            Perhaps someone powerful saw McClendon as too much of a liability.

            Kelley Blue Book analysts say that percentage is a sharp decline in awareness from nearly six months ago, when cyber-security researchers remotely commandeered control of a Jeep Cherokee from halfway across the country. That rattled government leaders and brought the vulnerabilities of cars into the mainstream. The remote nature of that exploit made it a landmark case, and nearly three-quarters of Americans told KBB at the time they were aware of it, but the Jeep hack was only one of several hacks that occurred over the past year. Only last week, Nissan said it would disable a popular app used by Leaf drivers because researchers had found a way to manipulate certain vehicle functions through a security hole.


  19. Cry Shop

    Reindeer: These guys have a very high natural radiation level, as does seal meat, etc. There’s some info (paywall unfortunately) about the dosages here., but most Alaskan Caribou / Nordic Reindeer have never been inside EU limits, only the most southern herds on years with low solar flare activity could reliably beat that standard.

    Still not good, but I feel for the poor Laplanders loosing their market while people are still free to sell cigarettes and bananas. The 3000 Bq limit for Norway is roughly what is got through consuming either 156 bananas, or roughly six cigarettes, the EU limit is roughly 32 bananas or a single coffin nail. Gauloises, anyone?

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