Links 3/22/16

New Zealand ‘cat burglar’ caught stealing men’s underwear BBC (Richard Smith). She looks so proud of her cache!

India’s red tape causes trouble for exporting cats Financial Times. Try bringing a pet to Australia. The Aussies can out-do any other Commonwealth bureaucrats on those rare occasions when they put their minds to it. Ditto when I tried bringing my garden variety dietary supplements in when the Olympics were on.

Andy Grove, Valley Veteran Who Founded Intel, Dies at 79 Bloomberg

Warmer Winter Brings Forest-Threatening Beetles North New York Times (David L)

The exhausting uber-violence of Netflix’s superhero shows Washington Post (furzy)

Brussels

Many dead in Brussels terror attacks BBC

Brussels airport explosions – live blog Politico

Terrorist Attacks in Brussels Kill at Least 27 Wall Street Journal

Paris terrorists used disposable burner phones to hide plans. No evidence of encryption. Boing Boing

These 25 Companies Are More Powerful Than Many Countries Foreign Policy (resilc). Amazon is ranked higher than Google, now Alphabet? Ditto Nestle? I think readers will have a party with this list…

Brexit?

Is Britain better off outside the EU? Financial Times

Could Brexit lead to an end to austerity? BBC

Grexit?

The ‘SYRIZA experience’: lessons and adaptations Open Democracy

One million and counting: EU migrant deal has little effect on Greece euronews

Deal Appears to Curb Migrant Flow, but Greece Still Faces ‘Uphill Effort’ New York Times

Last Chance, Amigo? You Can Never Be Too Late in Havana Der Spiegel. Glenn F: “This article by a former East German is very interesting and provides a perspective on Cuba not available through the MSM.”

By rejecting $1bn for a pipeline, a First Nation has put Trudeau’s climate plan on trial Guaridan (Glenn F)

Syraquistan

Saudi Arabia Continues Hiring Spree of Lobbyists, Retains Former Washington Post Reporter Intercept (resilc)

Obama has risked US credibility in Middle East Financial Times. Very hawkish subtext. Is this becoming the new conventional wisdom?

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

3andMe to Share DNA Data with Researchers Using Apple iPhone MIT Technology Review (David L). Are these people nuts?

Radio Attack Lets Hackers Steal 24 Different Car Models Wired (resilc)

FBI may not need Apple to unlock San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone Washington Post (furzy). Timing awfully convenient, when the Feds were at risk of a loss in court, Apple’s products have so much support that it isn’t being dented by the government’s criticism, and the actual data is unlikely to be worth anything.

U.S. Says It May Not Need Apple’s Help to Unlock iPhone New York Times. Bill B:

It’s highly likely the NSA already has a bypass mechanism. This kind of tech filters down into the underworld because government spies like to outsource work to criminal freelancers. Helps to enable plausible deniability.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Is Putin Weaponising Stupidity? BlogMire (John Helmer)

ISIS and Endlessly Expanding War National Interest (resilc)

Non-Interventionists Don’t Want an “Aggressive U.S. Posture in the World” American Conservative (resilc)

2016

Bernie Slanders: How The Democratic Party Establishment Suffocates Progressive Change Social Europe (Sid S)

Hillary Clinton Lays Out Her Own Middle East Approach — And It’s Not Obama’s Huffington Post. Hillary kisses the AIPAC ring. And then some.

Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC speech was a symphony of craven, delusional pandering. Slate (resilc)

If Hillary Isn’t Indicted, the Rule of Law and the Republic Are Dead Of Two Minds (Chuck L). I think we passed that event horizon a while ago.

Warren steps into 2016 fray, calls Trump a ‘loser’ The Hill (furzy)

Trump questions need for NATO, outlines non-interventionist foreign policy Washington Post (resilc, furzy). Even with doubts about whether Trump really means it, heads will be exploding. Also lists who his advisors are.

Donald Trump will (almost certainly) never be elected president. Here’s why. Washington Post. Furzy has doubts.

Donald Trump, Republican Establishment Start Getting Along at His Rally in Washington, D.C. Charles Pierce, Esquire. As I said, hostile takeovers eventually become friendly.

The Real Reason Republicans Won’t Rally Around Ted Cruz Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

Mitt Romney Stabs John Kasich in the Back Vanity Fair

The Republican Party is old and getting older. That’s a huge problem for the GOP. Slate (resilc)

It’s Hard to Find America Inside of Pulitzer Bait Gawker

Illinois College Students Say They Were Threatened With Arrest And Turned Away From The Polls ThinkProgress (martha r)

Lufthansa reports near miss with drone over Los Angeles Reuters (EM)

Kaleidoscope Eyes Michael Shedlock. Dissing Fed rate hike talk.

US Home Sales Slump in February; Supply Shortage Hits Market ABC (furzy)

Saudis to freeze oil output without Iran Financial Times

The Current Oil Price Rally Is Reaching Its Limits OilPrice

Class Warfare

Exclusive: Lyft drivers, if employees, owed millions more – court documents Reuters (EM)

Americans think they work harder than everyone else — and they don’t Quartz (resilc). Ahem. 1. Americans do work longer hours than people in just about any advanced economy due to sucky vacations (and that’s before you get into “always on duty” demands of a lot of employers). 2. Whether all that work is useful is a the responsibility of management. The fact that a lot of work is a waste of time (meetings!!!!) does not make work any less hard. 3. Having said that, American love to brag how hard they work and then believe their PR.

How the Legal System in New Orleans Is Screwing the Poor Vice (resilc)

Nixon started the War on Drugs because he couldn’t declare war on black people and hippies Boing Boing

Let the Can Collectors Collect Cans, For Chrissake Gawker

New Rules for the Monetary Game Reghuram Rajan, Project Syndicate. Today’s must read. Rajan was the economist who earned the ire of just about everyone at Greenspan’s last Jackson Hole by delivering his paper, “Has Financial Development Made the World Riskier?” which concluded “Yes”. This article is (as required of someone at his level) coded, but it’s not hard to discern that he is leveling serious criticisms.

Antidote du jour (furzy). @MsWZ: “Caught a family portrait”:

eagles and chicks links

Video and related story via Reuters. Look how the eagles, who are awkward moving around in the nest, are so careful around their chicks.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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215 comments

      1. rusti

        I’ve had something of a sinking feeling in my stomach since watching my middle-class Scandinavian coworkers react after the news broke this morning.

        Okay, no more of this kiddie-glove treatment, don’t these brown people understand how extraordinarily generous we’ve been?

        The NYT comments being upvoted seem to follow a similar pattern.

        1. Pavel

          I’ve been in an NYC airport lounge for hours (delayed flight) watching CNN (ugh!) and its “coverage” of Brussels. Jeez, they love these terror attacks, don’t they? And there is Mr Ex-AIPAC Wolf Blitzer trying to explain it all.

          I wish just once the MSM would try a little bit of historical context and try to figure out why these events keep occurring. Imagine if, say, the United States had been bombed for the last 30 or 40 years, sanctions applied, 500K kids dead (“It was worth it” — M Albright), hospitals & schools destroyed (“harbouring terrorists and human shields!” — Hillary’s BFF Bibi Netanyahu)… well, you all get my drift.

          Let’s all repeat to ourselves what Noam Chomsky said:

          Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.

          Sorry for my rage and frustration. The singer Donovan isn’t quite Chomsky, but remember his lyric: “This is not. the. way. to. put. an. end. to. war.”

  1. financial matters

    Is Putin Weaponising Stupidity? BlogMire (John Helmer)

    Very good explanation of western foreign policy.

  2. Christopher Fay

    “I tried bringing my garden variety dietary supplements in when the Olympics were on”

    Your body is as buff as your mind

  3. YY

    Cat exports out of India.
    When I moved to Sydney from NJ 26 years ago I had to give up the idea of bringing our dog. The Salulki rescue society got really intrusively nervous when we put an ad in the paper to find a new home. The reason was an 11 month quarantine of which 3 months was required to be spent on a designated island, the best suggestion being Hawaii. 11 months is a long time and would also have been very expensive. It does appear though that things have improved quarantine wise here as more recent examples I’ve heard are measured in weeks. The cat export story really does not sound all that extraoridinary.

    1. Steve Gunderson

      Australia is rabies free (along with Hawaii). I imagine they would prefer to stay that way.

    1. Foppe

      Yup. And the Dutch national ‘serious’ (slightly more progressive/critical than WaPo/NYT) newspaper already allowed reporters to say (article title: ‘Terror hits heart of the EU‘) that “this was an not just an attack on Belgium, but also an attack on the Heart of the EU, while offering no argument for that whatsoever beyond ‘Maalbeek (station) is close to a lot of EU bureaucracy buildings’.

      1. David

        Up to a point, but Maelbeek Station is the one you use to reach the European Parliament building. It even says so on the station sign. If you go one stop further you get to Schumann, which is where the European Commission and the other EU institutions are. There is probably no area in the world with a higher density of international officials, missions to the EU, lobbyists and international institutions. Almost anyone traveling on the train at that time would have been going to work in the European area, even if they were only Belgians working in coffee shops. It could just be a coincidence of course, but if I wanted to attack Belgium, I would have chosen a much easier and softer target. Ditto for the airport, where the rich and powerful from all over the world come in, and which is heavily protected. If I just wanted to kill Belgians I would have attacked a suburban train station.

        1. Foppe

          Oh, I have little doubt that it was intentional. Just object to the loaded, melodramatic language. There is no “heart” of the EU, just bureaucratic centers.

  4. Doug

    Thanks for the link to Rajan’s New Rules for the Monetary Game. As you noted, Rajan is willing to call out what’s wrong with neoliberal policies, even if he does so in ‘code’.

    Rajan, though, seems to live in an impossibly idealized world:

    “We could start with background papers from eminent academics and move on to multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the G-20.”

    Eminent academics such as Paul Thugman who are hermetically sealed off from listening to dissent? Look, folks, it’s well documented that neoliberal, orthodox economists like Thugman have used a choke hold on academic publications, hiring, tenure decisions, revolving door government/university fame-and-power building, cognitive capture and ‘tell us what we want to hear’ consulting for decades now.

    It’s a feature not a bug that all this demands ideological purity and obeisance — along with self-fulfilling prophecies called “models” instead of empiricism — to discipline those who would become and wish to stay “eminent academics” while punishing those who dissent (most recent illustration: Thugman plus ’eminent friends’ vs Jerry Friedman.)

    The price is a closed, not an open, mind.

    And, consequently, any convening Rajan might imagine of ’eminent academics’ will double down on failed policies — albeit perhaps in self-deluded language that surely will be called “new economic thinking”. All of which will then be served up to multilateral institutions themselves bereft of empiricism let alone caring, responsibility or accountability.

    1. Steve H.

      I’m jumping in the deep end without my water wings again, so I’m likely to get dunked, again, when I delve into the financial side of things. So…

      I read this a bit differently than you, Doug. “As matters stand, central banks in developed countries find all sorts of ways to justify their policies,” The eminent academics are there to fix the theory around the policy.

      More to the point, the notion we need to create inflation is corrosive. For one thing, we already have inflation. Zirp means I can’t buy a stock for what I could a couple of years ago, but the underlying value of the asset is less than it was. Investment in the companies has dropped while the bubble prices have inflated.

      Food prices haven’t dropped, I see plenty of inflation there. There is an aspect of finance I’m still wrapping my head around, in the relation of inflation to debt, in that inflation seems to practically decrease interest rates by paying off in dollars worth less. But with zirp, any minisculely marginal increase puts you into #DIV/0! From this viewpoint, when we go to nirp, prices could drop and we would still have inflation.

      If we got a helicopter drop in our household, we’d pay off debt due to uncertainty about future wage income. How does that spur inflation? Chuck in the exchange rate and things get complex. The MIT cohort of central bankers has almost sewed up a monopoly by crushing the outliers (search “Wesley Clark central bank”). But that strategy has produced the perverse result of the BRICS bank and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. What happens to the exchange rate if, while the dollar can pay taxes in the U.S., you can’t buy Chinese goods without using a rusmimbi?

      Well, that should be sufficient chum. Have at.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Inflation is not a goal or an illness, it is an indicator. An indicator that, together with other indicators “indicates” where there are problems or health in the economy. In a health analogy, blood pressure is an indicator. If it is out of whack it means there are other problems that need to be solved: just lowering or increasing the patient’s blood pressure will not solve the underlying problem.

        The problem with the US/W.Europe economies is a lack of demand (see today’s Debt Deflation article by M. Hudson). If there were healthy demand, the economy would have healthy inflation. Yet there is no aggregate demand for products because everyone is mired in debt and unemployment –> no increase in median household worth –> no inflation, except, as you noted, in the asset bubbles blown by the central banks (ie, not in the real economy).

        These concepts are not taught in any economics course I ever went to (didn’t study at UMKC): the only way to get healthy inflation is to heal the economy: Peoples QE & debt jubilee. That is why Rajan is making this call for academics to tell the truth, but it’s milquetoast. The people in positions of power at the Fed, Harvard, U of C, the ECB, etc. are there because they sing a tune pleasing to the concentrated powers that control those institutions. Thus even when an alternative paper comes along (like the one in the IMF showing that austerity is counterproductive or Rajan’s Jackson Hole paper) it gets a polite smile and an ignore.

        1. Steve H.

          – median household worth

          Thanks, that’s a revealing stat. The median household net worth numbers are ugly. The median/mean splits are particularly damning.

          federalreserve.gov/pubs/bulletin/2014/pdf/scf14.pdf
          federalreserve.gov/pubs/bulletin/2012/pdf/scf12.pdf

            1. Steve H.

              That chart does have the visual punch.

              Also the Before-Tax Family Income tables:

              2001 48.9 83.3 0.587
              2010 45.8 78.5 0.583

              When the mean is closer to twice the value of the median, than it is to the median, it indicates the mean is being seriously skewed by high-value outliers.
              The rich are making the average look better than it is.

              The ratio only changed by 0.4% from the crash. Status quo maintained.

              1. Steve H.

                I just noted the 2013 data:

                2013 46.7 87.2 0.535

                I apologize, the status quo was not maintained, the rich got significantly richer since the crash. There is an order of magnitude difference in the increases of median and mean from 2010 to 2013.

        2. ewmayer

          “The problem with the US/W.Europe economies is a lack of demand (see today’s Debt Deflation article by M. Hudson). If there were healthy demand, the economy would have healthy inflation. Yet there is no aggregate demand for products because everyone is mired in debt and unemployment.”

          I appreciate the point you are making, but would phrase things a tad differently, as:

          “The problem with the US/W.Europe economies is a lack of the usual gluttonous demand. If there were normally unhealthy demand, the economy would have normally unhealthy exponential groaf in all things except wages. Yet there is no aggregate demand for products because everyone is mired in debt and unemployment as a result of a deliberate decades-long shift in the national economic paradigm to one in which The American Dream™ is only achievable via lifelong debt slavery, a consequence of a financialized economy which is no longer producing real wealth in proportion to its real consumption, and thus requires ever-expanding indebtedness to maintain that differential.”

          1. RabidGandhi

            I respectfully disagree.

            In the case of the US, for example, there are literally trillions that need to be spent in infrastructure, manufacturing, public schools, public health… If these investments were made properly there would be real jobs and real growth— not groaf or jawbs. This would show up in the indicators as higher real household worth, increased inflation, higher aggregate demand and higher GDP.

            The fact that the elites have financialised the economy and made debt peonage widespread is not a reason to give up on growing the real economy.

  5. Llewelyn Moss

    Just changed my party affiliation from Independent to Democrat b/c CT is a closed primary state. I want to know what it feels like to vote for an honest politician. It’s a Bucket List Thing. ;-)

    Fellow CT Berners. Deadline to declare is 4/26 (this Sat). Do it.
    http://voterregistration.ct.gov/

    1. hreik

      Lol, I’m in CT also. Registered as a dem and will switch to Unaffiliated after the primary. Oh and the primary is 4/26, deadline in 4/21. link: http://www.ct.gov/sots/cwp/view.asp?a=3179&q=491324

      The guts:

      VOTER REGISTRATION PROCEDURE

      Registration Cut-off:

      Primary: Application must be postmarked by the 5th day before a primary (OR received by your Registrar of Voters or a voter registration agency by the 5th day before a primary). You may apply in person to your town clerk or registrar until 12:00 noon on the last business day before a primary.

      Election:
      Your application must be postmarked or received by a voter registration agency by the 7th day before an election (OR you may register in person with your Registrar of Voters by the 7th day before an election).

      Privileges attach immediately upon approval of the application by the registrar, unless

      the application is delivered in person to the registrar after the seven day before an election in person voter registration deadline or
      mailed or postmarked to the registrar or a voter registration agency after the 7-day mail in registration deadline before an election, or
      the application is made to a voter registration agency, made other than in person to the registrar, or postmarked, after the fifth day before a primary, or
      made in person to the registrar after 12 noon of the last business day before a primary.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        hreik, Thanks for the correction. FYI to anyone who wants to register/change party, you can also do it in 5 mins via the online registration form I linked above.

        1. hreik

          Switching parties in ct takes 90 days. So a republican in CT could not switch in time to vote for Bernie. Btw, I am planning to do some voter registration here (Hartford area) once I’m notified, trained, etc. Good luck.

          1. Llewelyn Moss

            FYI. The online reg confirmation screen said
            “You should receive a confirmation within 3 weeks. If you do not, contact the registrar of voters in your town hall.”
            So I’m hoping I did it in time.

            1. hreik

              LM, when did you register? I do not trust the democratic party (of which I am a member, though not for long) . If you just sent it in/registered on-line, I’d call the registrar in your town. Just to be sure. Leave nothing to chance this year.

              There are substantial rumors of shenanigans in many states (NC – student voter suppression and actual sabotage of campaign events, ILL- student voter suppression)… so be careful. I’m not paranoid by nature, just w the front runner and her tactics, sycophants and cronies.

              Be well and good luck

    2. Paul Tioxon

      PENNSYLVANIA REGISTER TO VOTE ONLINE

      http://www.votespa.com/portal/server.pt/community/home/13514

      ——————————————————————————————-

      ‘Ditch and switch’: Trump may be behind mass Democratic party exodus in Pa., experts say

      Nearly 46,000 Pennsylvania Democrats have gone Republican since the start of 2016, twice as many as have shifted the other way, as a wild primary fight continues to upend the business of politics as usual and challenge the status quo.

      Needless to say, much of this movement is being attributed to the rise of Donald Trump and the so-called “Ditch and Switch” movement, which leans on lifelong Democrats to abandon the party, register Republican and help ensure Trump’s place in the November general election.

      A website launched by two North Carolina sisters calling on Democrats to switch political parties and embrace Trump says, “For many years the Democratic Party has promoted agendas that most Americans did not agree with. Our country is deeply divided, and the silent majority has been bullied into silence by political posturing and underhanded agendas that favor the few while excluding the majority.”

      http://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/03/ditch_and_switch_trump_may_be.html

      ——————————————————————————————-

      In the article, a political scientist who regularly covers local and state politics in PA says that the Democrats are suffering a 2 to 1 loss of registered voters, which more recent reports put at over 62,000 state wide leaving the party to go to the Rs. While the state is overwhelmingly D in registration, that does not always show up in D domination in the state capital or in the US Senate. With statewide voter registration at over 8,000,000 and presidential participation rate at over 67% in 2012, these are more indications but telling ones. Ds outnumber Rs 4 to 3 with other or independents at 1.1mil registered.

      1. fresno dan

        Paul Tioxon
        March 22, 2016 at 9:08 am
        Thanks for that – very eye opening. No substitute for actual data. Makes me wonder what comparable party switching was in the past…

        You leave the I-95 corridor and the seacost west enclaves, and the media conventional wisdom is so off the mark that I am beginning to believe Trump could prevail. I think just maybe we have reached the point, as the song says, “we aren’t gonna take it anymore”

        I excoriated Trump for going conventional on Israel, but if he really starts going conventional “left” to get working class votes and keeps most of the reflexively anti dem repub base , and really starts hammering Clinton on jobs, social security, and crony capitalism….well, I am starting to believe he could actually take the election. The dems will realize too late the Hillary was their weakest opponent to Trump…

  6. fresno dan

    Paris terrorists used disposable burner phones to hide plans. No evidence of encryption. Boing Boing

    I am not going to say ‘I am not going to say’ I told you so. I said that it was naive and foolish to believe if only, only we could decrypt we would be safe and thwart attacks every minute.

    1. Jerry Denim

      It’s been evident for some time now, many articles appearing in the links section of this blog, supporting the idea that the US government spy-plex is absolutely drowning in data. They’ve been focused on collecting haystacks without a plan to find the needles. You could say “I told you so” but I believe Yves and Lambert probably told you first.

      1. fresno dan

        We were drowning in data when I worked at the NSA as a air force airman back in the mid 1970’s – but it wasn’t the amount of data that thwarted us as much as the fact that for some reason, in a large bureaucracy, the self promoting and least noble rise to the top, usually by shamelessly yes-ing their superiors…

        1. Optimader

          Analog Puzzle Palace days…
          The golden lining to the dark cloud of the massive hoovering of data is the frailty of the human beuracracy in charge of making any sense of it as it geometrically accumulates.
          One they succeed in caputuribg a copy of everything, how to sort it into something practical and meaningful is the real challenge.

          Producing humans is not neccesarily a practical consequence of screwing together the technology neccesary to grind out the human genome. It is certainy an impressive boatlod of data tho.

          Information overload was a cold war strategy. I recall a conversation that Aerospace Leak in Review, which i used to pour through was a tool to disseminate raftloads of disinformation

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You have to be able to decrypt the human mind remotely.

      More research money is needed though.

  7. fresno dan

    Donald Trump will (almost certainly) never be elected president. Here’s why. Washington Post. Furzy has doubts.

    Donald Trump will (almost certainly) never be NOMINATED for president. Here’s why. Washington Post. fresno dan has doubts.

    Really Washington Post???? Tell us why we should believe your oh so brilliant insights after you have made such a hash of the primaries???? Hubris must be transmitted by mosquitoes that inhabit the Washington swamps…

    1. Carolinian

      Transcript of Trump’s interview with Post editors. He rambles in his typical stream of consciousness style. Sounds like he would be big on public-private partnerships (“enterprise zones”) and his comments against NATO have been widely reported. They home in on his complaints of unfair press coverage and hints of broader libel laws. Then look at the headline.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/03/22/donald-trumps-interview-with-the-washington-post-is-totally-bananas/

      It’s gonna be a long next few months.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Trump has a chance, going forward, by being more ‘evenhanded’ when it comes to bankers and workers.

      He just needs to promise that, subject to change in the future

    3. dk

      Transcript of the Trump/WaPo discussion:
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/03/21/a-transcript-of-donald-trumps-meeting-with-the-washington-post-editorial-board/?tid=hybrid_collaborative_2_na

      It’s a difficult read, because the guy is dysfunctionally inarticulate. He has a lot of frustrations with outcomes, frustrations that many share. He has a few ideas about process, ideas that are naive and/or impractical (leave Iraq, but “circle” the oilfields there, to “keep” them). His entire approach assumes and requires complete autocracy, and he believes that unpredictability and withholding commitment increases chances of success.

      Here is WaPo’s take:
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/03/21/the-most-baffling-moments-from-donald-trumps-washington-post-ed-board-interview/

      It strikes me that their dismissiveness is on the principle that parsing for traces of substance is beneath them, not a very good attitude for journalists, notwithstanding the challenge of the material. Their exasperation is unnecessary for their conclusion, and thus self-aggrandizing.

      I now think the guy is completely unelectable. Even stupid pissed off people aren’t that stupid, unless their intent is to actually destroy federal institution (which I myself am sympathetic to, but seriously doubt that a majority, or near-majority, of other citizens are). Which means that Hillary can use Trump as a weapon to justify a complete dismissal of Sanders’ campaign and platform, with practically no risk or losing the election in doing so.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      My political scientist expert who has been tracking campaigns meticulously for nearly 30 years says the only thing that keeps Trump from getting the nomination is Trump, as in some incredible gaffe or revelation that hurts him with his base.

      He’s going to cinch too many votes not to either have a clean majority or be so close (within 100 votes) that throwing the nomination to someone else would tear the Republican party apart.

  8. Dino Reno

    Sad to see Warren flip out and start attacking Trump on Twitter of all places calling him a “loser,” of all things, a word he’s trademarked. The rant came out of nowhere since she’s been pretty silent during the campaign, sitting on her hands as Hillary and Bernie battle it out for the soul of the party. In one fell swoop, she discarded the mantle of gravitas she has earned by engaging in a silly, impetuous outburst that has all the hallmarks of someone in need of elder care.

    Instead of thoughtfully backing Bernie whose policies closely match her own, she sat more or less silent and lost her chance to be the powerful voice of reason and moral clarity at this critical moment in history when the establishment is on the ropes.

    Now this. Cheap shots on Twitter. From national treasure to social media troll. And Trump made her do it. I guess he does have the power to make his enemies self destruct. Hillary, you’re next.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Twitter is not and has never been about gravitas. I doubt you spend much time on it.

      And Warren has proven to be a highly skilled infighter and she is superb on camera. It would be a big mistake to second guess her. She looks to be trying to goad Trump into fighting with her, and she’s one of the few who could best him.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Yes, but……..

        A few days ago Warren was interviewed by Norah O’Donnell on the CBS morning show. She was asked three times whether hillary should release the transcripts of her goldman sachs speeches. Each time she refused to answer, repeating instead that the discussion should be about the “issues.”

        O’Donnell finally concluded the interview with the observation that Warren didn’t want to answer the question. Warren came off as evasive and clumsy.

        The danger for people, even the skilled ones, who get involved in defending the clintons or helping them fight their battles, is that THOSE people wind up stuck in the considerable clintonian mud.

        Lay down with dogs, get up with fleas.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          It definitely has the smell of DNC moving out its big chess pieces. Hellery this week pivoting to general election messaging and totally ignoring Bernie (thinking she has the nomination in the bag). And as you say, Warren shielding Hellery from the Wall St speeches (aka bribe money) fiasco. Now Warren challenging Trump to engage her in schoolyard name calling hoping he’ll get angry and say stupid sh1+. Sad to see Warren playing the ‘Good Democrat’ since the Dem Party are clearly Neoliberals. Hard to figure how she fits in with the Dems.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            She’s getting complacent, believing that her Luftwaffe alone can do that job, without having to transport Wehrmacht boots cross the channel.

        2. DanB

          i would like to see the transcripts of Warren’s last summer meeting with Hillary, which was purportedly about the ’16 campaign. My guess: yes, Warren is goading Trump because Hillary now is campaigning against him. Surrogates get to do the dirty work: enter Liz Warren.

          1. Left in Wisconsin

            MSNBC last night explicitly tied Warren’s anti-Trump burst to HRC’s pivot to Trump. But also, at least Lawrence O’Donnell, portrayed it as a vice presidential audition for the HRC ticket. Very approvingly.

            It all makes sense to me. I don’t think HRC (or Bill) really cares who the VP is. They will fade off into the sunset afterward and it’s hard to predict the future anyway. Selecting Warren will do as much as anything to bring in the Bernie-ites. And Warren and Bernie get to stump for the ticket claiming they got something real in return.

            1. Lambert Strether

              I can’t imagine Warren is auditioning for VP:

              1) Dems want a Hispanic for 2024.

              2) HillaryLand is not notable for having independent figures; Warren isn’t a sycophant.

              3) I don’t think Warren, after being roughed up on “Cherokee” by oppo at the Massachusetts level, has the stomach for a national presidential campaign. She’s got the Senate seat, and a platform, for as long as she wants it.

      2. Steve H.

        11 tweets, 3 dealing with money matters. Of the remainder, only 1 does not involve name calling. Those involve social issues which are out of the bailiwick in which she built her credibility.

        This puts her mostly into Trumps dimension and rules. I hope you’re right, but the tactic worked poorly for Rubio, and her smarts may not work so well in his realm.

        Note that while this has the feel of a play for Clinton, the social issues that she doesn’t have gravitas in are better enunciated by Sanders than by Clinton. Lee Se-dol won a game against a machine that made an inhuman move that he called ‘beautiful.’ Warren has not pruned the decision tree yet.

          1. Steve H.

            I haven’t lost respect for what she’s done calling out financial manipulation, and her work on consumer protection and bankruptcy. Those alone mean she’s not just more of the same.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                She threw Massachusetts for Bernie when she refused to back him. So she does back the most right wing of the remaining candidates with a chance.

                Pay no attention to what these people say, judge them by what they do. Bernie has a proud career of fighting for people. Hilary has the opposite. Oh, I forgot, she improved children’s legal defense in 1997.

            1. so

              Calling someone a loser. Talk about stooping to Trumps level.
              Have to admit that when Trump called her an “Indian”, I couldn’t stop laughing. There’s part of me that wants to see the political establishment punched in the face. The mean streak in me is caused by my resentment towards them. I don’t think I’m the only one.

          2. EndOfTheWorld

            I lost respect for her when she didn’t endorse Bernie from the get-go. What the hell did she have to lose? Oh yeah–her wonderful career as a phony US senator.

          3. Lambert Strether

            11 tweets and you’ve totally lost respect? Wow.

            (Incidentally, the “lost my respect” trope is pretty old, and it also assumes that the person losing respect (a) has good judgment and (b) is worthy of respect themselves. Dangerous assumptions to put in play. For whatever reason, the trope tends to be used in low value-add drive-bys. As here.)

        1. DanB

          Twitter is not Warren’s strong suit, it’s Trump’s. He’ll get good mileage of of his reply to her, you mean “The indian?”

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Someone, in this comments section, once called Warren the wince-worthy “law-squaw.”

            Things CAN get ugly. Best to stay away from name-calling. Sticks and stones and all that.

      3. TomD

        I would suggest that twitter is a great medium to run test attacks too. The electorate at large isn’t going to care about a random tweet in March when November comes around, but it let’s people test to see what attacks stick.

    2. edmondo

      Warren is auditioning for that Sec. of Treasury role that isn’t ever going to come even though Hillary “sort of” promised her “every consideration.”

      1. andyb

        Only a member of the Masters of the Universe Club aka the Rothschild cabal can become Treasury Secretary.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Stop spreading bigoted garbage.

          Bush’s Treasury secretaries up to Hank Paulson were all from industry, not banking. And Paulson was famously a Christian Scientist.

      2. Lambert Strether

        More binary thinking. Warren could be acting solely for her own motives (which could include simply getting hissy-fit Dem loyalists off her back on Trump with 11 Tweets, which wouldn’t be a bad return on investment for the time, would it?)

        If we are in an 1852-like situation where the party coalitions are fracturing, then we are going to get multiple factions acting at cross purposes, with many crosscurrents. (“The enemy of my enemy can also be my enemy.”) This is important, because the fracturing coaltions are precursors to realignment (as in 1860) or more (as in 1789).

        However, imposing a binary focus on a system with multiple power centers can only lead to poor analysis (and possibly missed opportunities). For example, the idea of the Cold Warriors that communism was monolithic, which persisted into the Vietnam War (though of course personally profitable for the Cold Warriors, so every cloud has a silver lining).

    3. hreik

      Maybe Senator Warren is scared of the Clintons. Makes sense to me. Not forgiving it. Just trying to understand it.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Take a glance at the superdelegate count. Have you ever seen such domination? Her fundraising ability as seen in CGI and the ruthlessness of the Clintons shouldn’t be underestimated. She seems to have much stronger control over the party than she did 8 years ago. I feel like there’s more going on than we’re aware of. I’m confident that I don’t understand it.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              We have lost the ability to sabotage since before Watergate, it seems.

              When will it be morning again?

    4. Bubba_Gump

      That was surprising and disappointing. Though it may be a calculated goad it feels to me more like she’s starting down the same path as Little Marco. Trump has much more experience at that level.

  9. fresno dan

    So I read Trump’s AIPAC address. Only noteworthy in how cliche and pandering it was. Trump could have made headlines and sucked all the media attention for days if not weeks if Trump had simply stuck to what he had said about being an evenhanded broker. That may have caused the heads of his most severe critics to explode and decimated the ranks of the neocons….
    Sure, all the talking heads would pontificate about how terrible, horrible, and no good this is (kinda like how repubs thought Bush kept us safe and Iraq was a success) but critical thinking (something of course non existent in America’s mass media) might point out:
    1. America’s has had….10 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, etc of not successfully resolving the Israeli Palestinian problem.
    A. We don’t know how to
    B. The premises of the bargaining are cockeyed
    2. Maybe, just maybe, Americans’ 99% are more concerned about their own ever declining standard of living and wish as much pandering and concern was directed at them as it is to a foreign nation….(speaking of, how many people actually believe we are in an employment boom???)
    3. Trump partisans could point out the unanimity of the talking heads shows how out of touch, indoctrinated, and non thinking political discourse is in this country. The fact remains that on most issues, and none clearer than Israel, is that both parties are in a UNANIMOUS lockstep on policy to Israel.
    There is something very, very wrong when votes on Israeli get more bipartisan unanimity than ANY domestic policy ever.

    1. vidimi

      great points. was this the beginning of the end of the trump candidacy? if so, good riddance, though it was funny for a while.

    2. Dave

      I think that its only fair that Americans could have the ability to check off a box on their 1040 tax form:

      “Do you want to give a 10% portion of your tax refund to ongoing foreign policy spending in the Middle East?”

      “Checking this box will reduce your refund by 10%.”

      On the other hand, NotTimothy, what is the percentage of Republican voters who will vote for nominee Sanders in the general election if Trump is denied the nomination?

    3. Isolato

      I was very disappointed to NOT hear the most important story about AIPAC yesterday, and that was that Bernie DIDN’T show up to pander, an act of political courage so astonishing it should have been the lead. Instead…nada. We get the other three competing on their knees to be the most lickspittle. NPR…never another dime.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Bernie had the guts to say what the Republican and Clintonian panderers don’t dare:

        I join much of the international community, including the U.S. State Department and European Union, in voicing my concern that Israel’s recent expropriation of an additional 579 acres of land in the West Bank undermines the peace process and, ultimately, Israeli security as well.

        It is absurd for elements within the Netanyahu government to suggest that building more settlements in the West Bank is the appropriate response to the most recent violence.

        https://berniesanders.com/sanders-outlines-middle-east-policy/

      2. fresno dan

        Isolato
        March 22, 2016 at 11:59 am

        You are by FAR absolutely correct. Ironic or obvious that only a Jew could stand up to a Jewish lobby???
        But again, its the questions not asked that are the most important…

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Maybe I am too jaded, but it’s a phenomenon that seems to re-occur from time to time, either every 4 years or 8 years, that the battle field intelligence we get appears to be too rosy.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A few times, even Frodo was ready to give up.

        But the only way is to journey to Mordor and confront your tormentor.

        Nothing braver than to say, face to face, “You’re wrong,” or go to the Temple and turn over the tables.

        Someone’s got to do it.

    4. ran

      Pathetic that even a maverick squillionaire who doesn’t need their money feels compelled to cravenly pander to the odious little apartheid state

      1. JohnnyGL

        I think Trump playing nice with the AIPAC crew is about taking some of the air out of the opposition to him in the Republican Party. They’ve been starting to make their peace with him. You want the party elites to fight you all the way to the death? Mess around with their gravy train and they WILL fight to the end.

        For Trump, there’s probably not much that he sees to be gained. He’s already got tons of free publicity and is already seen as a loose cannon and doesn’t need to burnish his anti-establishment credentials. He probably thinks he needs to seem “electable”. Making nice with AIPAC is a way to keep the party more or less on board.

  10. Sam Adams

    Re: Donald trump won’t be elected
    All these type articles have the same flaw: they don’t account for the fact that Hillary Clinton is despised by a vast number of the electorate. “Negatives” and “hate” don’t capture the strength of the emotional loathing of Hillary Clinton I’ve encountered while canvassing.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Mittens/Ryan and McCain/Palin had 61 million and 59 million votes respectively. They were just as loathsome as Trump. Yes, I know Trump is crass and a super fascist, but folks, that’s just the GOP.

      The issue isn’t whether people would vote for Hillary, but how many can? Who will drive the rides to the polls? Who will in the shut ins, especially the ones who weren’t shut in 4 years ago? How many students will forget to register and try to vote with the wrong ID?

      If Hillary is going after suburban Republican women, the strategy of so many losing Democrats, the local Democratic campaigns will be in charge of gotv, and those groups are crypts these days.

      1. Paul Tioxon

        What’s worse for the Rs on a national basis, and that is what we are talking about, is that the last time an R won enough electoral votes to declare victory on election night was 1988. The following analysis by a long time republican insider, Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s top campaign strategist, reveals a problem with the number of untapped White voters, who are waiting in the wings to come out and clobber the democrats if riled up enough. There are none.
        ————————————————————————————

        In 1980, Ronald Reagan won 56 percent of white voters and won a landslide victory of 44 states. In 2012, Mitt Romney won 59 percent of whites and lost with 24 states. But it’s a frequent talking point that white voter enthusiasm was higher for Reagan and turnout down for Romney. Not so. In 1980, 59 percent of whites voted and in 2012, 64 percent of whites voted.
        But still the myth survives that there are these masses of untapped white voters just waiting for the right candidate. Call it the Lost Tribes of the Amazon theory: If only you paddle far enough up the river and bang the drum loud enough, these previously hidden voters will gather to the river’s edge. The simple truth is that there simply aren’t enough white voters in the America of 2016 to win a national election without also getting a substantial share of the non-white vote. Romney won 17 percent of the non-white vote. Depending on white voter turnout, a Republican needs between 25 percent and 35 percent of the non-white vote to win. RealClearPolitics has a handy tool so you can play with the percentages.

        http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/03/links-32216.html#comment-2568353
        ————————————————————————————

        So you can read the whole piece and weep or dismiss it as you choose, but the numbers are there for people to see and make up their own minds, now that you know what these numbers have meant as recently as the 2012 election. With a super majority of the vote, even then, Romney lost. And he is much more favorably viewed by Americans as a whole than DT. Or even Cruz. Like income inequality, a structural problem is very hard to overcome or change, as it is part of the reason that the social order is possible at all. With over 1 million people a year who immigrate to the US using a due process and becoming naturalized citizens and another 11 million who are here without due process and are not citizens, the need for these people to come in as cheap labor has had political consequences for national elections that Rs never intended for themselves. The demographic change in the ethnic makeup of the US is finally having the results on the election politics that make for impossible hurdles to be cleared by candidates that attack immigrants, who are a large factor along with attacks on people who have been here since the founding of the Republic, such as African-Americans, and organized labor and this group and that group, one after after another. Berlin Wall police state politics will not win a enough White people and alienate the majority of the rest who get a target pinned to their backs.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          You are making assumptions they will vote. Where were they in 2010 and 2014? The Republicans were just as loathsome then. Fear is a terrible motivator. Did you know African Americans often voted Republicans until they didn’t, finally becoming captured for Jack over lifelong NAACP member, Nixon.

          In 2012, Obama and his campaign. are promises to be more progressive which they promptly reneged on.

          When Hillary starts in on building a better wall than Trump, how are Hispanic voters going to react? How will AAs react when she turns on the President? Unions? I understand Democrats believe they are entitled to these votes, but results matter. Shrub did pretty well with Muslims and non Cuban Hispanics against Gore despite every dog whistle in the book, and Bill unlike Obama had just rounded up every Hispanic he could get his hands on.

          1. Paul Tioxon

            #1 There is no assumption on my part nor on Stevens part that people who have not voted will vote. The article is base upon voting, voters. The republicans are making the assumption that there are untapped voters, not me. You seem to be asking where are the minorities who vote D, when they did not come out for the House and Senate in 2010 and 2012. So, you did not read much if anything in the piece. It is about WHITE people voting and that there maybe more WHITE voters hidden, untapped, and if only they were brought forward, by say DT, then the Rs would win the WH. It is not about Rs looking for more minorities, or losing minorities, but the failure to stop hoping for more WHITE people to magically appear out of nowhere, like some lost Amazon tribe, hidden by the underbrush, or something fernlike.

            #2 2010 and 2012 House votes are not national, but local district elections based on heavily gerry mandered voting lines that segregate by party, ensuring one party to win a congressional district by stacking it with registered party members. So, that is where the voters are in that matter.

            In my state of PA and plenty of other states, the democrats outvote the republicans in numbers statewide. There are 1 million more registered Ds in PA, yet, we only have 5 of the 18 congressional districts with Ds. You ask where are the voters, the answer is they are suppressed by republican gerrymandering. More votes were cast for D candidates as a whole than for the Rs, yet the Ds get less than 1/3 of the congressional districts.

            #3 Stuart Stevens points out the threshold of voters needed for an R presidential victory. He is not presenting a “when” and “if ” argument, but one based upon % of voters needed to reach goals, which will be based upon the “whens” and “ifs”, but I am not predicting the future, but the voting parameters of the future if the Rs hope to attain the WH.

            For that to happen, “between 25 and 35% of the minority vote” will be needed. Romney only got 17%. If Hillary wins, and that is not certain, I don’t see how it matter to win this election if she builds a Mexican Maginot Line AFTER she is in office. If she does that, she will have lost a lot of support for the 2nd term, assuming she has a first, but I suppose if she cuts more taxes for Wall St/ Hedge Fund/ Corporate America, she would also be in the voters dog house as far a 2nd term goes. You can speculate a lot about what might happen after she gets power, this is about the critical path to get the power. No matter which topic, I like to wait and see.

            I hope I have enlightened you as to the political landscape of congressional American politics, the national level is the president, the House is strictly a local affair. The Republicans, according to a long standing national level Republican strategist, who uses empirical evidence of voting to make statements about voting, hoping for something which the evidence does not support, namely, that there are more WHITE VOTERS WHO SHALL APPEAR WHO PREVIOUSLY HAVE SHOWN NO SIGNS OF EXISTENCE.

            I presented the money shot of Stevens analysis, and even when the Rs gain a larger share of the WHITE vote, that larger share can not over come the numbers of the remaining electorate and the 1/3 of the WHITE vote that will not join in with Rs. A combination of even more WHITE voters, above 66% and more minority voters, more than 17%, will be needed in a national, presidential election. Senate and Congress seats are local and the House, ultra local due to gerrymandering. That is another story for another time.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              I’m discussing Democratic turnout, and pointing out fear has never led to a win. Obama’s numbers we think up after his rhetoric.

              Hillary’s fear mongering and focus on suburban Republicans will lead to a massive decline on the Democratic aside. Not only will it be people just not voting but the effects of not having any kind of Democratic organization to register and re-register voters and do the GOTV work. Trump might have weak support, but he is going to do as well Romney with the GOP base. Most don’t live in Washington or give a hoot about a random neoconservative. Democrats act like Hispanics will show up blindly, but they didn’t rock the vote in 2010, 2012, and 2014. The Republicans haven’t suddenly become a racist party.

              You might not know this, but a lot of field work into the off year wins in 2005, 2006 and 2008. Even in 2012, voter registration drives were huge in the Summer which was key to the black vote. Since the the Democrats have preferred belittling, and outside for Sanders who is doing the work on behalf of Hillary? Who is doing this now?

              1. Paul Tioxon

                As you say, the field work is critical for getting out the vote. Registration drives, rock the vote events to bring the youth into fold of the faithful. Who is doing what for the Dems in general recently and who in particular for Hillary? Well, where I am, Montgomery County PA on the NorthEast PHilly border, the Dems rulte the numbers. In the city, 8 to 1 D to R and in Montco, for the first time, the county government has been take over by the Ds as result of long standing voter registration work finally paying off. Bernie and Hillary are both very big.

                But I think you are getting at the internal division within the Ds as a result of Bernie coming out in public and declaring real issues for real people and stepping all over Hillary’s presumptive status. There is a divide within the party. I am waiting to get my hands on Frank Thomas’ new book, “LISTEN LIBERAL OR WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE PARTY OF THE PEOPLE?”

                The Dems have their own battle over the soul of party and Bernie is the Archangel leading his host of honest to goodness left wing politics!!

                There is the usual overheated conflict demands from the Hillary camp to pledge to fall into line NOW to fight against the donald, and abandoned your Bernie dreams. This used to be the line against Ralph Nader when he ran at the top of the Green Party when Gore lost. Unity or face the fascist American take over. Well, if fascists take over, it won’t be at the ballot box! That will be their last stop on total takeover, first the battles in the streets then the government offices.

                But back to the Dems.

                The Dems hire young eager tech savy college kids, they run them through training camps by throwing them into real campaigns to get hands on experience. The urban and sub-urban machines still operate reasonably well, not juggernauts, but not completely dead asleep. As I said, Montco has Dem, and when I was growing up it was rock ribbed republican through and through. No more. And all of the other counties touching the city are already dem majorities or closing in on outnumbering the Rs. The votes eventually turn into wins and government control and that feeds that national beast. So, to answer who will help Hillary with grunt work, there are a lot who will and a lot working for Bernie as well. I am not sure how many sore losers there will be on either side, but I don’t think enough to make a difference in November’s general election.

                But the civil war inside of the democratic party is a real one right now, just not bloody as what the republicans are going through. Something will give for the Dems. I am working for Bernie policy objectives for the Dems, especially since this is the last hurrah for the Clintons. The party is wide open for new blood to take it down a new path and Bernie is showing the way. Only the people who never quit will take over the party, and if Bernie has shown the world anything, it is that a persistence of vision and not quitting can take you far.

                1. MojaveWolf

                  Re: Dem party civil war.

                  My basic thinking is this–Look around. Take a nice look at all the flowers & trees, birds & bees & fish in the sea. Watch the rabbits & lizards run around the bushes. Do you want all that to keep living? Then vote Bernie.

                  Then, imagine a life size poster of the CEO of Goldman Sachs or ExxonMobile or Monsanto or Halliburton on your wall. Imagine kneeling before it every day and asking “How may I serve you?” If this sounds appealing, vote for anyone else running in the Dem or Rep primary, because that is exactly the life you will be voting for.

        2. fresno dan

          Paul Tioxon
          March 22, 2016 at 9:33 am

          Very insightful – thanks for that.
          One “apparent” outcome, whether intended, or not, is that I never would have believed that a more racially diverse population would actually make the nation more right wing, neocon, call it what you will on ECONOMIC ISSUES. The repubs racial politics seems to be a losing horse….but on the other hand, that seems to be of NO benefit whatsoever for those in the 99% – the dems do nothing economically for anyone but bankers (thanks in part to the bogey man of the repubs – as the church lady would say, “how convenient”).

          It seems to me the 1% won’t let the repub party die, because they need to keep it so that they can split the electorate to prevent people voting their pure economic interests (when the rich f*ck the poor, that is ‘free market’ – when the poor fight back, that is ‘class warfare’). Some form of the repub party remains or is reconstituted that retains racial politics as the ONLY SECOND party – because if you had a fissure in the dems, with a Hillary faction (dems) and a Bernie faction (new dems – who knows what it would eventually be called) as the SECOND America party, eventually the Bernie faction would prevail because it would not have the racial baggage that the repubs carry, while UNAMBIGUOUSLY representing the interests of at least 90% of the population…
          So I don’t think that would happen, because the 1% don’t want it to happen.
          So even though I want Trump to destroy the repubs, even if he is successful, we will just get new “repubs” – there can never be presented unadulterated class interests to the American electorate.

          1. Paul Tioxon

            Fresno Dan
            As they used to say on Johnny’s show: “You are CORRECT sir!!!”.

            Since I started voting back in the 1970s, I can easily recall at least 3 funerals for the dead and ain’t coming back Republican Party, no more so than right after Watergate. That of course was preceded by the doomsday of Goldwater. And now, just to take one example, Robert Reich has RIPd the Rs as of 2016! For a party that keeps dying, it sure has a lot political power across the nation. There may have been some mini-strokes or irregular heart rhythms as well, but like Dick Cheney, the Beast just won’t die!

            I believe many people miss out in the denouncing of both parties as being just the same as far as outcomes for the people are concerned. And there is a major reason for this outlook: both parties are the parties of capitalism. The republicans for the ownership class, and the democrats for the labor needed by the ownership class, as well as organized labor and other organized citizenry. But both parties assumed the capitalist social order and the democrats have twice intervened into the market to save capitalism and restore it. When it is restored, jobs are saved along with. Take the auto bailout for example.

            But no, there has been very little radical political restructuring away from capitalism, always to maintain it. Union leaders like profitable companies because they can afford higher wages. Unions never trusted the government that much, precisely because it was never more than a toy for the rich to play with and would never lift a finger to help the working man under any circumstances. Not until the New Deal, when there was little choice, were some mitigating changes made, but they have been eroded or kept in check for the most part.

            The Republican party has been weakened tremendously for the election cycle. The Democrats have every reason to be hopeful for even more than the WH, for this election cycle. But as the very true adage goes, all politics is local, the spatial dimension must be seen with the temporal, namely all politics is time sensitive. So, all political is local and time sensitive. What happens is critically molded by where and when it happens. Iranian Embassy revolutionary takeovers, October surprises, etc. While I will not disrespect the American public by saying they are stupid for not voting this or that way, I can sincerely say that they are humans, swayed by their feelings, that can commit crimes of passion in their voting at times and stubbornly single minded and ideologically rigid at others.

            This is a period of great change, because the people are different. I am now the old guy, the grandfather with greying hair, hey, at least I have hair!!! The young punks running around with smart phones stuffed up their sinuses that get on my nerves are making all kinds of judgements not colored by fear of communism, nuclear war from 100,000 ICBM all over the world or gurus brainwashing their girlfriend. Good for them, I just wish they would listen to me. The republican party will get cardiac physical and occupational therapy for a year or so and be back to work. For the republicans to go away, all of capitalism will have to have fallen down to the point of not dominating the state, civil society or much anything else. Again, I like to wait and see before I make pronouncements, much less predictions.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              We’re so used to the Repub/Dem opposition paradigm, I wonder if we are shifting to a Billionaire/People paradigm that cuts across all of the old party lines.

              I have already shifted, after votes for McGovern, Dukakis, Mondale, Carter, Clinton (2x) Gore, Kerry, Obama (1x) I will vote for the nearest thing to anti-establishment I can find. 1 clue: it ain’t Hilary.

        3. Darthbobber

          I don’t think the comparison between Romney and Reagan’80 is apt. Largely because of John Anderson and his almost entirely white 6.6% of the popular vote in ’80. This almost certainly reduced Reagan’s share of that demographic, but without giving it to Carter. More apropos as a standard for comparison would be the two-way Reagan-Mondale race of ’84, in which Reagan picked up 66% of the white vote.

      2. divadab

        Further, how many young Sanders supporters (and older ones like me, too!) will be so turned off if dirty tricks beat their candidate that they will just not show up?

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The other conundrum.

              Instead of the lesser of two evils, go with the greater of two saviors.

  11. Jackie

    LOVE Warren, but a major hearty LOL at this from Twitter….

    “America that was built on values like decency, community, and concern for our neighbors.”

    1. Dino Reno

      For the record, America was built on the backs of cheap labor: slaves, indentured servants, sharecroppers, immigrants and the minimum wage. The only group who failed to cooperate were indians who died or ran away. All and all, four hundred years of mass exploitation and under 142 characters.

      1. abynormal

        The only group who failed to cooperate were indians who we killed or corralled onto reservations.

        feex’d 4 ya

    2. cwaltz

      That sounds about right 20 years ago, you know back when people weren’t working 2 jobs to actually own a house.

      Meet the neighbor night in our house is when SWAT comes to do a drug bust. *sigh* So much for decency, community and concern for neighbors

      Warren’s status is showing. At the bottom of the ladder you find America is made of values like survival. You keep your head down, try your best to remember right from wrong and bust your backside. Even then, one mistake(trusting or getting involved with the wrong person, acting out on human emotions, etc etc without carefully considering consequences, picking the wrong priority) can mean you get to start over. It’s a sad reality for a good portion of the population.

      1. Gio Bruno

        Twenty years ago? You sure? It was kinda that way 65 years ago (50″s), but that was because the world war had ended and there were a multitude of manufacturing jobs in a mostly homogenious (white) nation that espoused real institutional racism. The great interstate highway construction was taking off and public schools were relatively well-funded (but segregated). So much for “we”.

        1. cwaltz

          I grew up during the 70s and 80s and my childhood allowed for me to know my neighbor. Heck the neighborhood I grew up in as a young person could have been a prototype for a “Who are the people in your Neighborhood” rendition of Sesame Street. My father was a backhoe operator for LILCO, the guy across the street was a firefighter, next door was a mid level sales executive at a toy company, also across the street a police officer……down the block a pilot…..all living in a relatively middle class neighborhood.

          My kids have never had that. Sadly, I can count on one hand the number of people I’d trust to care for anything of value(and that includes my kids.)

          1. frosty zoom

            i wonder what ms. warren’s neighbourhood is like. she seems nice. i bet she even knows her gardener’s name.

    3. human

      “God Almightie in his most holy and wise providence hath soe disposed the Condition of mankinde, as in all times some must be rich some poore, some highe and eminent in power and dignitie; others meane and in subjection.” ~ Founding prick John WInthrop circa 1630

  12. Knifecatcher

    Did anyone catch Bernie’s segment with Anderson Cooper in yesterday’s “Final Five” event on CNN? I thought he was on point, and seemed to be more comfortable taking (wholly justified) shots at Clinton. Hopefully not too little too late.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Thanks for the link. Bernie’s getting better at doing media as he goes on this run. That was a tight performance. He has to be getting good coaching.

  13. fresno dan

    ISIS and Endlessly Expanding War National Interest (resilc)

    We are seeing some of the impact on policy of such thinking in the American political sphere with an expansion of U.S. military operations, or planning for such expanded operations, against self-declared ISIS elements in Afghanistan and Libya. This is in addition to continuing U.S. military operations directed against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

    Where does such expansion stop? As long as the erroneous patterns of thinking prevail, there is no stopping point. If it’s Afghanistan and Libya today, then tomorrow it’s Cote d’Ivoire or Somalia or someplace else. If the impulse is to go after ISIS wherever we hear that name invoked, then there are no limits to the expansion of military operations.

    And what does such expansion accomplish? A few more bad guys get whacked, but this does not constitute stopping some feared expansion of ISIS. The organizational connections, such as they are, do not work that way. Most of the energy and anger that drive violent radicals who invoke the ISIS name in far-flung places revolve around contests for power in those places. The name is invoked because it currently is the most prominent brand name in the radical Sunni world, invocation makes it appear the local elements are acting on behalf of some larger cause, and this sort of linkage might help bring some sort of external assistance to their fight.

    =========================================
    “Where does such expansion stop?”
    The author says that as if it were a bad thing. I think most NC readers would agree, but not most US government officials, who seem hell bent on all war all the time.
    So who really is more interested in calling an entity “ISIS” – – us (US) or them
    As they say about disfunctional relationships, it takes two to tango.

      1. fresno dan

        I believe we can no more “cure, prevent, or stop” terrorism than we can do the same with regard to murder. Now we have a lot more murder in this country on a daily basis (about 33 a day on average) than Europe, but we pay no attention to the deaths caused daily by murder or automobile accidents.
        If someone proposed reducing the murder rate to 0 it would be universally seen as pie in the sky.

        It reminds me of a Simpsons’s “Treehouse of Terror” episode where advertising mascots come to life and wreck havoc in the town and nothing can stop them….except ignoring them. The whole point of terrorism is very much the same – to publicize one’s cause.

        We play right into the terrorists hands by making them ever more significant than they are.
        It is unfortunate that the profit motive of the mass media and its imperative of “if it bleeds it leads” results in a public policy so detrimental to our true interests and values…

        1. myshkin

          –Brussels Attacks Underscore Vulnerability of an Open Society NYT

          The NYT has rolled out a ‘hop on board the spiral of madness ride’ article that is probably popping up elsewhere. “The attacks have set off a new round of soul-searching about whether Europe’s security services must redouble their efforts, even at the risk of further crimping civil liberties, or whether such attacks have become an unavoidable part of life in an open European society.”
          Damn that unavoidable part of life in an open society!

          Oi, oi! Please queue up in an orderly and polite fashion for the application of the next round of enhanced security and civil liberty restrictions, followed shortly by retaliatory military strikes against suspected terrorists and their concomitantly collaterally damaged civilian populations, who will soon be the next wave of displaced refuge asylum seekers and the despised flotsam and jetsam of the world, followed predictably by more terrorist actions.
          Oi, oi! Please queue up in an orderly and polite…

          Any chance one of these presidential caliber candidates is going to stand up on his or her hind legs and say something like, ‘hey it’s time to abandon our failed policy of military adventurism and intervention? Stop distributing bombs and missiles and instead hand out food and medicine to the wretched of the world. This foreign policy dog just ain’t hunting.

        2. Antifa

          Unfortunately, the core principle of determined resistance, whether it proceeds by non-violent or terroristic means, is to escalate and provoke the establishment until there is no possibility of ignoring the resisters.

          Gandhi knew this, as did Dr. King, as do the leaders of every effective rebellion worldwide. If you don’t make your movement an unbearable nuisance, you need to try harder, that’s all.

  14. Mav

    Rajan practically called Bernanke a thief for his ZIRP in the doco “Money For Nothing”. And he is right, of course, given that Bernanke is now collecting his kickbacks via Clinton style $200k a piece paid speeches.

    1. MikeNY

      Not to mention Ben’s cushy ‘senior advisor’ role at Citadel, home of Ken Griffin, one of America’s most rapacious oligarchs. I bet he gets paid near a stick for that.

      The very cream of selfless public service, Ben is.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s cheaper to hire a robot the next time to chair the Fed.

        In fact, the government can be automated…all solar-powered robot public-servants.

        All government buildings equipped with solar panels, and robots plug themselves in to charge overnight, when they dream of electric sheep.

        1. MikeNY

          Yes, I’d think it would be very easy to write a linear program to maximize the wealth of the plutocracy subject to the constraints of minimizing guillotines and pitchforks…

  15. divadab

    Did anyone else notice how much trouble Sen. Clinton had climbing the stairs at the AIPAC conference, and other debates? It looks like at least weak legs carrying excess weight, and potentially some kind of balance or coordination issue?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Hillary is a 68 year old running for President for all that is made of Sanders age. Her age is as iffy as Sanders.

      1. Dave

        He sank ten baskets in a row in a gym recently.
        The video is on youtube.

        Like to see Hillary try that.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Mao would have challenged them both to swim across the Yangtze and the Mississippi.

          Winner takes all the world.

  16. paul

    Could brexit end austerity?

    No, because we have endogenous austerity, nothing to do with the EU.
    Austerity is the point, not the process.

    I love the BBC providing a “reality check”,.

    They decided they could not bear too much reality soon after alisdair milne was booted and none at all after greg dyke got the tin tack.

  17. Dino Reno

    On new detente with Cuba, this comes suspiciously on the heels of the Russians take over of Crimea.
    Just like the Putin, Obama suddenly realizes that this former “colony” is ripe for the taking and falls conveniently within our sphere of influence. Obama must have reasoned that he had better act quickly or Putin would do to him what he had tried to do to Putin in the Ukraine.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I remember there was speculation that the Pope was going to make ending the Cuba embargo an official position of the Catholic Church with his planned trip to Cuba. Obama has said he was struck by a letter letter from the Pope, and the Kerry flew to Rome to talk to the head virgin. Obama only acts If he’s forced to, and much like Iran was about European companies demanding an end to sanctions with their own government, this was about the Pope becoming involved with U.S. politics.

      Kerry might have helped as he is much smarter than the previous regime at State, but this was about Obama’s image, nothing more.

  18. fresno dan

    New Zealand ‘cat burglar’ caught stealing men’s underwear BBC (Richard Smith). She looks so proud of her cache!

    The cat that owns me has confiscated one of my bath towels. She loves that towel…..(and I mean that near literally….)

    Anyway, I have to be going…to fetch her some cat food….

    1. Jim Haygood

      Conspicuous by his absence at AIPAC was Bernie Sanders, who declined an invitation to attend.

      Presidential candidates have a binary choice. They can appear at AIPAC and dispense the requisite red meat battle cries against the terroristic Iranians and the murderous Palestinians. Or (like Bernie), they can invoke their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

      Actually venturing into the maw of an AIPAC klan rally and confronting their bigotry would result in the candidate being bodily torn limb from limb, and then handed over to the MSM for lynching.

      1. James Levy

        Yea, the Trumpster seems to have lost his bluster when confronted by The Lobby. No more “Dealmaker Donald” marching in there to knock heads together and divvy up the real estate. Ironically, his performance may indicate that Trump actually knows how to keep his mouth shut and the “loose cannon” nonsense is for the marks. This would indicate that he might actually be able to function as President, although one with a boatload of policies I would disdain.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Donald The Dealmaker probably had a deal offered to him that he couldn’t refuse.

      2. Anne

        My understanding was that Sanders did not “decline” to attend; he sent his regrets that campaign commitments out west prevented him from attending. He offered to deliver his remarks remotely, but AIPAC said “no,” even though both Gingrich and Romney had been allowed to do so when they were on the campaign trail.

        Sanders gave a major foreign policy speech in Utah – I believe it was the speech he would have given at AIPAC – but just like so many of Sanders’ appearances, the media treated it as if it didn’t happen. So, once again, Sanders is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t – just the way the media likes it. And it probably doesn’t hurt Hillary’s feelings, either.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          My dear hobbit, you gotta sally forth from the Shire and venture into the very heart.

          And you don’t even need a stealth helicopter or a team of SEALS.

          Another missed opportunity?

        2. NeqNeq

          So Sanders chose to be somewhere other than where all the candidates (and therefore media) would be.

          When they refused his video/skype offer, he had a choice to go to the conference or to Utah. He made his choice knowing all the cameras would not be in Utah. Seems strange to complain about a lack of media coverage on the media (this time).

      3. NeqNeq

        Re: confronting their bigotry… torn limb from limb

        Or he could have gone and repeated the lines of argument advocated by the left of center politicians and thinkers which exist inside Israel. Moreover, he could do so without being able to be dismissed on antisemitic grounds, which then forces opposition to confront the arguments being presented.

        To my mind, he only has one option. He can’t make nice because it risks alienating voters who oppose current Israeli policy, nor can he criticize for fear of alienating voters who support it. Thus, he has to choose silent.

        All of this assumes, however, that he opposes the center/right framing espoused by AIPAC in the first place. Or, to be more precise, his opposition is strong enough to motivate action were it not for an election.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          “This is so important that I have altered my schedule to appear here so I can drop the ring in Mount Doom.”

          Not only just Nixon could go to China.

          Imagine the shock (and more probably excitement) over such a revolutionary frankness.

        2. Robert Dudek

          Being Jewish is not a defense against the charge of antisemitism. Just ask Norman Finklestein. “Self-hating Jew” is quick to be heard when the defenders of Israel feel they are attacked. One of the great ironies is that Arabs are also Semites.

          1. NeqNeq

            Invoking Finklestein is odd, unless you completely ignore the differences between his criticisms and those in the left of center parties.

            Second, even those who were highly critical of Finkelstein denounced the few (like Dershowitz) who said he was not Jewish or “self hating”. NF’s ideas and arguments were discussed and (many) were found wanting. But, they were discussed…and not merely dismissed as hate.

            1. Robertdudek@yahoo.ca

              Listening to Finkelstein, I find his arguments reasonable and extremely well-researched. Only in the context of a radical support for Israel can his views be judged extreme.

    2. kimsarah

      The ring she kissed was in the same location as the ones she kissed in her Wall Street speeches, no doubt.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      On PBS News Hour last night…

      After they talked about Hellery and Trump speaking at AIPAC.

      TAMARA KEITH, NPR: Well, and I will say that Bernie Sanders did give a foreign policy speech tonight in Utah at a gymnasium at a high school.

      She sounded very condesending when she emphasised “at a gymnasium at a high school.”

      Good speech, Bernie scolding Israel about westbank settlements and they must give Palestinians freedom and autonomy.
      Go Bernie!!

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          The treatment of Bernie has been Consistent if nothing else. Would have loved to see the AIPAC attendee faces as he gave his lecture. :-)

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            A white wizard might have kissed the ring.

            To destroy the ring, you have to trek to Mordor, confront the attendees, and drop the ring in Mount Doom.

            You can’t do it from a gym of a high school.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Sanders is a Senator not a Hobbit. He says he doesn’t take big money because it would be corrupting. Going to AIPAC would give them legitimacy when it’s a racist organization with money and reach.

              I bet everyone at AIPAC is just as friendly and as charming as anyone in person. Agents of the enemy often used fair appearances and charming words. After all, Fred and Sam didn’t go to Minas Tirith instead sticking to the forgotten roads.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Not sure if you would give the Temple any more legitimacy than it already had in reality, when you went there to overturn tables (metaphorically speaking).

            2. MojaveWolf

              He wasn’t just in Utah he was also in Arizona yesterday. He gets no media so he’s got a schedule that would kill most people in their 20’s. He needs to win this. Why should he adjust his schedule for AIPAC? Maybe he doesn’t like them and is just too polite to say so. Then he finally gets national air time on the same show as Trump, and he finally gets to go AFTER Hillary. I think that was a 1st. And he was great, far better than any of the others. As long as she didn’t put everyone to sleep during her segment, that helped him a LOT. (and seriously, who is going to vote for him because he was at AIPAC? If he doesn’t want to kiss their ass, he has no reason to schedule them ahead of voters in states. Bernie needs the voters. He doesn’t need a bunch of lobbyists who are gonna hate him anyway and turn on him at the first opportunity).

  19. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC speech was a symphony of craven, delusional pandering. Slate

    “Unlike Obama, Clinton is going to be running against a demagogue with German roots who plays footsie with white supremacists and reportedly kept a volume of Hitler’s speeches beside his bed.”

    Yikes.

    “German roots” and “playing FOOTSIE with white supremacists?”

    Dog whistles out, screaming from the rooftops at the top of your lungs in.

    So, the “oppo research” and overpaid “consultants” suggest that the sarah palin route is the correct course to follow?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Trump’s AIPAC speech was at least as craven and delusional as Hillary’s, repeating the obligatory bromides about “no space between the US and Israel” and “moving our embassy to Israel’s eternal capital Jerusalem.”

      Trump went so far as to claim that Iran has terror cells operating on “five continents,” including some near us. Substitute “communists” for “Iranians,” and we’ve rewound to the 1950s. Iranians are everywhere … under the bed; infiltrating our schools and churches. Soon countries will be falling like dominos to Iranian takeovers. /sarc

      The absurd cherry on top was Trump’s farewell: “My daughter is having a Jewish baby. It might be happening right now, so I’ve gotta go.”

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Yes, but……..

        Poor kasich just don’t get no respect.

        Yochanan kasich recalled the time he visited BETHLEHEM and called his MOTHER on CHRISTMAS NIGHT from JERUSALEM.

        I expected the Three Wise Men to meander out on camels and shower the adoring, wildly applauding crowd with gold, frankincense and myrrh.

        Breathe, Ivanka.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Sorry, the Three Wise Men were refused entry at the Allenby Bridge.

          “Palestinians traveling abroad must use Allenby bridge to exit the Palestinian Authority West Bank region into Jordan and then use the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman to fly abroad, because they are not permitted to use Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allenby_Bridge

          Shared values: no dogs or Palestinians at Ben Gurion. /sarc

      2. Carolinian

        Not so much a speech as an audition? Supposedly this is the first time he has used a teleprompter–Obama’s constant companion–and he read the speech with very few ad libs. Perhaps he was hoping the folks listening out in the dark would say “leave your phone number” and not “next!”

        As Lambert described in his post yesterday, it has become obvious that the elites are gong to be quite rabid in their opposition to Trump and for once he seems to be offering a white flag rather than the usual defiance. This really isn’t a good sign. Plus it’s likely that no matter how hard Trump tries to become a member of the club he will still be blackballed.

        By contrast Hillary’s preening AIPAC appearance suggests no matter which way we turn we are screwed. Trump would do better to keep running against Washington in all its loathsome manifestations. They are never going to accept him.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          For once, a white flag.

          A good businessman never offends customers.

          The customer is always right.

          And the rich customer with money is always right-er and his joke funnier.

      3. kimsarah

        Keep in mind that the biggest opponent of Trump is the establishment GOP, and the idiotic media is doing all it can to carry its fight. It keeps the spotlight off Hillary’s problems.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          No man is an island.

          One’s $4 billion could become much less rather quickly.

          And people become reasonable, if we know how to talk to them.

    2. craazyboy

      I expect this will the start of our “liberal” media going into a full scale, coordinated, furious tirade of anti-bigotry, lasting all the way to November of this year. I suspect we will have record numbers of white guilt suicides between now and then. Sad, but necessary if Hillary is gonna win this thing. Trump himself may even be burned at the stake, tho that’s only likely to occur in the NE region or CA.

      Speaking of our media reporting, I read a little while ago some article where the author was claiming ISIS are Shiites supported by Iran! At least we will miss some bullshit if they fill the media with “white noise” till election day.

      1. kimsarah

        I despise ISIS (or as Hillary’s hero Barry likes to say, ISIL) as much as the next person, but every time there is an attack like the one in Brussels today that ISIS claims responsibility for, it should be prudent for the media to explain what ISIS is, how they were created, and who helped train and fund them from the outset — the good old US of A.

        1. ChrisFromGeorgia

          I wonder if Trump will have the gumption to really go after Hillary on this theme.

          “Tens of thousands of US BGM-71 anti-tank Tow missile systems, Franco-German Milan-2’s and Croatian M 79 Osa rocket-launchers were secretly introduced into Syria by the intelligence services of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France and the United States.”

          Also ISIS was given access to NATO intelligence in Syria. it would be fun to watch Hillary squirm after being confronted on this.

          source – voltairenet.org

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It takes a whole village – the State dept, the Pentagon, MIC, etc.

            And so, it goes to the top, the weak Leader…but no one wants to say he’s weak.

  20. Skippy

    Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive. – Andy Grove

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I have always remembered this Andy Grove article. Although it was published in July, 2010, it is as Links/Water Cooler-worthy now as it was then. If not more so, given the “issues” in the current presidential race.

      It just goes to show that there are people who really DO know what they’re talking about, whether they are allowed to be heard or not.

      Some pithy snips:

      The first task is to rebuild our industrial commons. We should develop a system of financial incentives: Levy an extra tax on the product of offshored labor. (If the result is a trade war, treat it like other wars—fight to win.) Keep that money separate. Deposit it in the coffers of what we might call the Scaling Bank of the U.S. and make these sums available to companies that will scale their American operations. Such a system would be a daily reminder that while pursuing our company goals, all of us in business have a responsibility to maintain the industrial base on which we depend and the society whose adaptability—and stability—we may have taken for granted.

      I fled Hungary as a young man in 1956 to come to the U.S. Growing up in the Soviet bloc, I witnessed first-hand the perils of both government overreach and a stratified population. Most Americans probably aren’t aware that there was a time in this country when tanks and cavalry were massed on Pennsylvania Avenue to chase away the unemployed. It was 1932; thousands of jobless veterans were demonstrating outside the White House. Soldiers with fixed bayonets and live ammunition moved in on them, and herded them away from the White House. In America! Unemployment is corrosive. If what I’m suggesting sounds protectionist, so be it.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2010-07-01/andy-grove-how-america-can-create-jobs

      1. fresno dan

        Katniss Everdeen
        March 22, 2016 at 1:05 pm

        great article.
        In my foolish youth, I thought nationalism was a bad thing – problem is, when you replace countries you don’t get rid of the hierarchy, you just get Davos man, a worse boss than the old boss.

        1. Tony Wikrent

          Nationalism without public virtue IS a bad thing. The classical republicanism on which the USA was founded held that virtue was one of the most important factors in ensuring the survival of a republic. And virtue was understood to be the willingness to set aside one’s own personal interests when they conflicted with the common good.

          This noble idea was particularly strong during the American Revolution. Washington and others had fits over war profiteering. Gordon Wood, in chapter 4 of his The Idea of America (2011, Penguin) argues that it was the drowning of public virtue by selfish men in the state legislatures in the 1780s that drove the Founders to attempt to restore the virtuous republic by creating the Constitution, with its system of checks and balances and state vs federal structure, and its mandate to promote the General Welfare.

          John Lauritz Larson, in Internal Improvement, National Public Works and the Promise of Popular Government in the Early United States (2001, University of North Carolina Press ) writes in his conclusion–following a discussion of the triumph of Jay Gould in seizing control of the USA railroad system–“The tragedy for Americans was not that they had failed to build a national system of roads and canals, or that they lost control of the railroads to the private business sector. The tragedy lay in the subtle substitution, during the long struggle over internal improvements, of economic liberalism for political republicanism at the heart of the American experiment.”

  21. Vatch

    It’s not just the southwestern U.S. that suffers from water shortages. India, with a rapidly growing population is also in trouble, as the amount of water in reservoirs continues to drop:

    http://www.firstpost.com/india/hard-realities-on-world-water-day-india-faces-worst-water-crisis-in-decade-2689610.html

    In many areas people are limited in the amount of water that they can use, and there have been some electrical outages as well, since the generation of electricity from coal or uranium requires large amounts of water. Hydroelectric power generation also requires water (obviously), although the article doesn’t specifically say anything about that (or about uranium).

  22. barrisj

    And the beat goes on:

    As Hillary Clinton bolstered Boeing, company returned the favor
    New emails provide a fuller look into the former secretary of state’s advocacy for Boeing. The company helped her reach a major foreign-policy goal, gave over $1 million to the Clinton Foundation and sponsored speeches that paid former President Clinton six-figure sums.

    As a senator and later secretary of state, Hillary Clinton closely followed the bidding for the U.S. Air Force’s massive $35 billion tanker-refueling contract — a contentious process that pitted Boeing against Airbus, as well as the state of Washington against Alabama.

    In February 2011, a staffer at the State Department emailed Secretary Clinton’s private address with unexpected good news: “Boeing won the contract.”

    “I’m pleased,” she replied.

    Among recent secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton was perhaps the most aggressive booster for big American companies overseas, particularly for Boeing, Washington’s largest private employer.

    So appreciative of her sales efforts, Boeing’s then-president and CEO Jim McNerney once turned to her on stage at a government-business conference and lauded her department for advocating like no other in the past two decades: “It’s like back to the late ’80s and early ’90s all over again.”

    The candidate’s Seattle visit includes a public event at Rainier Beach High School.

    As the unruly presidential campaign unfolds and as Washington voters prepare for Saturday’s Democratic caucuses, Clinton’s ties to Boeing have resurfaced again.

    Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, who campaigned in Seattle on Sunday, criticized her at a recent debate for supporting “corporate welfare” for Boeing and other giant companies. And while Clinton’s work on behalf of Boeing has been explored in other news reports, recently disclosed messages from Clinton’s private email server give new insights into the symbiotic relationship and how much her department reveled in Boeing success.
    […]
    Only weeks into Clinton’s four-year tenure as secretary of state, State Department and Boeing leaders talked about how to open up new business in Russia. Within months, she visited Moscow and made what she described as a “shameless pitch” to a Russian airline to buy Boeing passenger

    “I hope that on a future visit I’ll see a lot of new [Boeing] planes when I land in Moscow,” Clinton said.

    It worked. Months later, in 2010, Boeing got the deal — selling 50 jets valued at $3.7 billion.
    […]
    As Clinton and Boeing were aiding each other’s agendas at the State Department, the company in turn supported the Clintons outside of government.

    In August 2010, soon after the Russian airliner deal, Boeing donated $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation to support Haiti education projects. Boeing said Clinton and Boeing would work together to identify specific projects to help Haiti’s recovery from the earthquake earlier in the year.

    Then in July 2012, just months after the State Department helped it secure major deals in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, Boeing said it wanted to sponsor a speech by Bill Clinton to the Global Business Travel Association.

    A State Department ethics official reviewed the proposed arrangement for conflicts of interest and, finding none, approved it. Bill Clinton was paid $250,000, public records show.

    “The mere fact that an entity has some business before the Department would not necessarily have created a conflict of interest,” said John Kirby, a State Department spokesman, in an email last week.
    […]

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/times-watchdog/as-hillary-clinton-bolstered-boeing-company-returned-the-favor/

    Well-researched article here by the Seattle Times news staff…there can no longer be any doubt that HRC’s State Dept. functioned as a sales arm of major US multinationals, and whenever big scores were achieved, the Clinton Foundation became the beneficiary of generous “gifts” from those same corporations. And, latterly, so has her various election PACs. Perhaps the most egregious of the practices in play during her SecState years was “nudging” Boeing and other companies who benefited from State Dept. hard sells to book Bill Clinton for ridiculously remunerative “speeches”, at almost a quarter-mill per pop. How can it be so difficult to demonstrate quid pro quo in those machinations and mutual back-scratching. The woman has no shame, and, regrettably, neither does her husband…ethically-challenged? Not half.

  23. dcblogger

    Trump’s advisors

    Kellogg, a former Army lieutenant general, is an executive vice president at CACI International, a Virginia-based intelligence and information technology consulting firm with clients around the world. He has experience in national defense and homeland security issues and worked as chief operating officer for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad following the invasion of Iraq.

    CACI was involved in Abu Ghraib scandal.

  24. ke

    The old school 3 Rs are reading, reckoning and wroughting, because there has never been a lack of demand for intuition, which largely begins with your hands, as a child. Those who feel and don’t think are subject to those who simulate thinking and don’t feel, all trapped in a closed system of bipolar behavior, for which drugs is the answer.

    That America is being programmed by hollow derivatives for nothing more than a “free” catered lunch is of no great surprise, to labor. Of course empire believes that manual labor is stupid, but you might not want to bet your life on what you are directed to see. MIT doesn’t have MAS863 by accident.

    Public healthcare, education and law is the counterweight, a disconnected machine busying itself with RE bigotry, not the elevator. I’m quite familiar with the whole Darpa Star Wars electronics warfare game, with plenty of skin in it, as are many other ghost coders. Family Law brought the USSR down, not Ronald Reagan.

    Silicon Valley didn’t fund itself, and the Homeland Nazis had access to the electronic data all along. Those borders are illusions.

  25. Kurt Sperry

    I got this in an email from the Sanders campaign and I thought it was a cool and interesting fact you just know the legacy media will entirely ignore:

    Yesterday afternoon, we received the final results from another Democratic primary contest:

    Democrats Abroad Results – March 21, 2016
    Sanders: 69% (nine delegates)
    Clinton: 31% (four delegates)

    Here’s why this result is important: we netted more delegates from the Democrats Abroad voting than Hillary Clinton netted with her narrow victories in Illinois, Massachusetts, and Missouri combined.

    1. Gio Bruno

      The results of today’s voting in AZ, UT, ID will probably gain Bernie even more delegates than those Democrats Abroad. But his wins need to be decisive to be definitive. (69-31% would be game changing.)

  26. tony

    I can’t believe the US allows foreign governments to lobby the US government. Maybe Russia should hire a lobbying firm. That should improve relations.

  27. bob

    The ‘metanationals’ article seems fairly accurate. Yves, I didnt understand your comment after it.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      As indicated, I don’t buy the rankings. Google with its access to information is more powerful than a mere consumer brands company like Nestle, for starters.

  28. Jay M

    The final conflagration started when the special ops team from Oracle put sand in the gears of Facebook’s foosball machines. Pretty soon rogue Uber drivers were dropping off Netflix employees in insalubrious locations with spotty cellphone coverage. That began the worldwide run on satellite phones. Before you knew it the peninsula was crisscrossed with trenches and your cellphone could mean life or death.
    In the meantime Wells Fargo realized that bombing Bank of America was a lot easier than competing, and with friends in the MIC optimized this strategy. Market share was not to be denied to the consumer products companies, so P&G proceeded to take out Nestle with a combination of guns and butter. The final truce occurred when the toilet paper ran out, and everyone realized how serious the situation was.

  29. Plenue

    Figures it would be Trump who questions the existence of NATO. NATO literally has no reason to exist anymore. Wikipedia is never a good source, but here it suffices to illustrate my point:

    “The Treaty of Brussels, signed on 17 March 1948 by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom, is considered the precursor to the NATO agreement. The treaty and the Soviet Berlin Blockade led to the creation of the Western European Union’s Defence Organization in September 1948.[11] However, participation of the United States was thought necessary both to counter the military power of the USSR and to prevent the revival of nationalist militarism, so talks for a new military alliance began almost immediately resulting in the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in Washington, D.C. on 4 April 1949. It included the five Treaty of Brussels states plus the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.[12] The first NATO Secretary General, Lord Ismay, stated in 1949 that the organization’s goal was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”[13]

    The creation of the Warsaw Pact, specifically to counter NATO, a whole 6 years later solidified justification for NATO (does this count as a self-licking ice cream cone?). The USSR and Warsaw Pact haven’t existed for a quarter century now. There’s literally no reason NATO to still be around. In fact much that has happened since could be viewed as NATO hunting around for things to do to justify its continued existence.

    And then of course there’s the idea that NATO is, (and always was) a defacto American empire given a thin veneer of member state agency. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delian_League

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Figures it would be Trump who questions the Iraq War
      Figures it would be Trump who questions nation-building
      Figures it would be Trump who questions the presstitute press
      Figures it would be Trump who questions campaign finance
      Figures it would be Trump who questions so-called “free trade” deals.
      (Wish he would just lock up Bernie as VP because they seem to question the same things)

Comments are closed.