Links 3/26/16

Our solar system may have a ninth planet after all — but not all evidence is in The Verge (Chuck L)

Blizzard sweeps through the U.S. Midwest, two die in accident Reuters (Chuck L)

Tay: Microsoft issues apology over racist chatbot fiasco BBC

Microsoft blames tweets for Tay outbursts Financial Times. I am waiting for Gawker to publish the transcript.

From daredevil to chicken: Scientists find off-switch for risky behavior ars technica. Chuck L: “There could be a big payoff from this research if it’s applied to Wall Street traders and keeps them from blowing up the economy.”

“It’s Not the Zika Virus” — Doctors Expose Monsanto Linked Pesticide as Cause of Birth Defects Tree Thought Project (Wat)

Refugee Crisis

The Writing Is on the Wall for the European Union The Saker, Unz Review (Chuck L)

Frauke Petry’s AfD: Worried or xenophobic citizens? DW

Podemos and the Crisis of the Spanish State Socialist Project (Sid S)

Switzerland to hand Venezuela oil firm bank records to U.S. Reuters (EM)

Tainted elite leaves Brazil few options Financial Times

Syraqistan

‘We are trapped in war’: one year on and still no end in sight for Yemen Guardian

The Middle East Correspondent Who Predicted the Rise of ISIS Tells Us About His 30-Year Career Vice (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Google Maps error allegedly leads to demolition of wrong house CNET

Terrorism by association: FBI files on Food Not Bombs MuckRock (Chuck L)

Web of agencies at U.S. airports could hinder security overhauls Reuters (EM)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Controlled chaos: How the U.S. empire infects other nations in its pursuit for total control South Front (Wat)

2016

New Details Reveal Possible Voter Suppression in Illinois Primary USUncut (martha r)

Seattle’s progressives see a Sanders win in Washington as a way to send a message to Democrats Los Angeles Times (martha r)

Ralph Nader: Why Bernie Sanders was right to run as a Democrat Washington Post (martha r)

These Are The Phrases That Sanders And Clinton Repeat Most FiveThirtyEight (dk)

Why Young People Are Right About Hillary Clinton Rolling Stone (martha r, resilc)

‘Women in Politics’ Doesn’t Just Mean Hillary New York Magazine (resilc)

Trump’s Weakness Among Women Has G.O.P. Worried New York Times

Mexican wave plans to turn the tide on Trump BBC

The Republican Civil War Has Begun Rolling Stone (resilc)

Lose With Cruz: A Love Story New York Times (resilc)

Federal judge strikes down anti-abortion Alabama law Reuters

Black Injustice Tipping Point

A Mailman Handcuffed in Brooklyn, Caught on Video New York Times (guurst)

Fresno Bar Kicks out Two Black Women—and It Turns out They Are ACLU Attorneys Alternet

Police State Watch

Video Shows NYPD Zipping Live Man in Body Bag, Which Is a Normal Thing They Do All the Time Gawker

Calif. deputies say they pummeled unarmed suspect with batons ‘to gain his compliance’ Raw Story

Radical economic ideas grab attention amid low-inflation torpor Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Rent Extraction Watch

Scope maker Olympus sought price hike amid superbug outbreak Los Angeles Times

Guillotine Watch

Clinton Asks For $353K To Sit With The Clooneys Politico (Kim Kaufman)

Class Warfare

U.S. Marshals Service Sending SWAT Teams Out to Arrest People for Unpaid Student Loans Free Thought Project (Wat). Get the bit about a debt collector being presented as a prosecutor. Appalling.

Man Rents VHS Tape. Doesn’t Return It. Ends Up in Handcuffs. New York Times

Is democratic socialism the American Dream? Washington Post (Sid S)

Antidote du jour (Kittie Wilson via Lawrence R):

chipmunk links

And a bonus video:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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306 comments

  1. James Levy

    About the latest pronouncement on the end of the Eurozone: systems have much greater inertia than most people think. If they are vulnerable to sudden unexpected jolts, they can also cruise along for long periods of time if no single powerful blow is administered. If the people at the top want to hold things together, and have access to enough resources, they can. The Ottoman Empire was the “sick man of Europe” for over a century, and it took WWI to finally make the illness terminal. I know the whole neoliberal order is teetering, but it could go on teetering for decades. Or it could collapse in the next six weeks. Such is the nature of things.

    1. craazyman

      I bet there were people who thought the 100 years war would be over within 30 or 40 years, tops.

      It’s always hard to make predictions, especially about the future.

        1. craazyman

          I was thinking about that too and I almost went there, but then decided not to. But you’re right. The past is almost as indeterminate as the future in terms of assessing causation. But what isn’t indeterminate is the physical reality.

            1. TomD

              I’m not so sure. Quantum physics tells us there is no concrete reality, reality is just more likely to be than not.

              1. John Merryman

                The problem is we keep looking for material reality, from atoms, to quanta and now strings. If we considered waves as the most essential expression of nature, the conceptual paradigm would be that reality is more of a hologram, than material. Matter is just a stage of energy.

                The other problem is that we are very linear, as well as object oriented, so not only do we focus on the structure and pattern, rather than the energy expressing them, we think of the passage of time as fundamental, but it is an effect of action, that we perceive in the mirror. Rather than the point of the present moving past to future, which physics codifies as measures of duration, it is change turning future into past. Tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth turns. Duration is not external to the present, but is the state of the present as events form and dissolve.

                Which means time is an effect of action and what is measured is frequency, which makes it similar to temperature(frequency and amplitude) and what is more basic to our reality is thermodynamics. These cyclical feedback loops in which we evolved and exist. We are not rushing toward some goal, but pushing up waves of energy, until they collapse.

                Our sequential sense of time is similar to thinking the earth is flat, because we experience it as such. The energy is conserved, so the past is being consumed by the present, rather than determining it.

                Alan Watts used the example of a boat and its wake to illustrate this, in that the wake doesn’t guide the boat, the boat creates the wake. Events have to occur, in order to be determined.

                So once you really try to comprehend reality as an eternal present, largely processing at the speed of light, it is quite illusionary.

                We just happen to be especially illusionary.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Animals are smarter in many ways.

                  For example, they don’t even try to comprehend reality, either as an eternal present or otherwise.

                  1. John Merryman

                    I train race horses and they tend to be much more aware, rather than analytical. Their cognitive function is much more concerned with the monsters in the bushes, than all the infinity of detail.

                    Riding them is a function of plugging into their physical network and directing it, not trying to control their consciousness.

                    We function much more as holistic assemblages, but the human consciousness is evolved to distinguish and decide, which collapses the wave to points of focus.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      Interesting.

                      We practice collapsing quite a lot.

                      We collapse this and we collapse that.

                    2. John Merryman

                      Extracting the signal from the noise.
                      Abstraction. Distillation. Induction. Concentrate.

                      Nature works in cycles. Dispersion. Expansion. Dissemination.

                      Even galaxies are cycles of collapsing mass and expanding radiation.

                2. susan the other

                  so nice I read it twice… reminds me of the young physicist at MIT(?) who is proving that life is part of the entropy process and it is natural to assume it happens spontaneously without a divinity, just to absorb the dissipating energy and in the process it dissipates the energy…

              2. Ruben

                I don’t mean to be pedantic: the widespread conception that quantum physics denies concrete reality is not true; there is one interpretation of the underlying mathematics (the wave pilot theory, aka hidden variable, aka de Broglie-Bohm) that is perfectly deterministic. FYI.

      1. cwaltz

        It all depends on how far out you want to predict. For example, I can pretty much predict 100 years from now I will be dead.

    2. ChrisFromGeorgia

      It does seem that all the levers of power, all the machinery of our current arrangements of life are geared to maintain the status quo. Just look at foreign policy, to take one example. There are myriad think tanks, academic departments and various bureaucratic constructs like NATO that all owe their existence to a perpetual state of war and empire building by the US. There are probably thousands of folks around the beltway who make their living writing papers to justify more insane war policies that succeed only in enriching a few, while killing tens of thousands and leading to refugee crises that destabilize entire continents.

      Just this morning on NPR I listened to an interview with a woman from one of these think tanks. She dutifully made the case for US troops in Syria, despite decades of failure in our attempts to nation-build in Afghanistan and Iraq. Not to mention the fact that the Syrian Arab Army just retook Palmyra and seems on its way to defeating ISIS themselves, or the little detail of Russia having recently installed military bases and advanced anti-aircraft weapons there.

      These people seem almost immune to failure or the stupidity of their rhetoric. The Eurozone has taken multiple blows, probably fatal ones. But it will likely continue to sputter along, in a slow motion collapse, for years until something tips the scales into a phase transition.

      1. Ulysses

        “It does seem that all the levers of power, all the machinery of our current arrangements of life are geared to maintain the status quo.”

        I think it’s even worse than that. The status quo is maintained to the degree that it favors those who are most powerful. Yet the elites support “creative destruction,” and “entrepreneurial innovation,” whenever any aspect of the status quo is seen as hindering the massive upwards wealth transfer program of the transnational kleptocracy.

        An excellent example would be the rise of Uber– which could only happen because the elites weren’t interested in upholding the status quo that allowed licensed, professional taxi drivers to maintain safety standards and a decent, secure living.

      2. Procopius

        These people seem almost immune to failure or the stupidity of their rhetoric

        Could it be because their paycheck does not depend on the success of their rhetoric in practice (i.e., on the battlefield) but in shaping policy (i.e., practices that lead to issueing “defense” contracts)?

    3. Alex morfesis

      The othmans were taken out when uk & france decided that mr 5%(the armenian) could help them take the oil from the turx…

    4. Lexington

      You forgot to mention the prediction was made by Saker, a Russian nationalist blogger who sees the EU as an annoying rival to Russian power on the continent.

      Saker messed himself repeatedly anticipating Russia’s glorious victory over the Ukrainian “neo Nazis” (not that Russia was directly involved, or anything).

      Nuff said.

      1. different clue

        I read some Saker for a while before the granularity of detail became boring to me and the oft-repeated anglozionist this and anglozionist that became tiresome.

        The Saker I read was from somewhat before to somewhat after the restoration of Crimea to Russian Rule and the Uprising in East Ukraine. I remember Saker writing very early on that Russia-Putin would NOT overtly assist East Ukraine to the point of conquering it and re-joining it to Russia. Saker overtly claimed that Putin would spend many months watching and assessing the East Ukraine rebels for their combat worthiness and durability of commitment to their cause. Saker scholars can go back and read all those posts in slow careful detail and see if my memory is wrong.

        1. Lexington

          Not sure if this is intended as an underhanded challenge to my characterization of Saker. If it is your recollection seems to be highly partial – see for example here and here.

          Like you say, it’s all in the archives for anyone interested to see.

          My favorite is the one in which he posted a map from Russian TV supposedly showing how the Ukrainians were being annihilated in the “Novorussian cauldrons” and predicting final victory was imminent. Unfortunately can’t find it just now.

    5. Andrew Watts

      European history is full of free-trade zones which dissolve over time or collapse. The EU is more accurately compared to the Hanseatic League. The League was also dominated by German hegemony over the continent. It remains to be seen how long that position can be maintained.

      The mishandling of the refugee crisis and the prospect of another round of mass migration from Mesopotamia, or a war-torn Libya incubating and spreading jihadists into neighboring countries, is not a source of historical optimism. Tunisia was one of the North African countries which supplied a lot of foreign recruits to the Islamic State at any rate.

  2. James Levy

    America’s sense of the world and its place in the world came over here with the Mayflower. It was already running amok in England when you read an otherwise capable and intelligent man like Francis Drake blathering on and on about how the Pope and Philip II were both the anti-Christ and how everything was about the struggle of “true religion” against Satan. Our elites have modified this but never changed it. We know the way, the truth, and have access to the good life. Anyone who stands in our way is not wrong–they are evil. No other way is the right way, and any foreigner who would love their country more than they love us is stupid, deluded, and/or evil. We must spread the gospel of our good and proper way of life in order, as its last best hope (thanks, Lincoln) to save mankind from The Darkness. Our elites are simply playing out the chiliastic mythos of the Puritans with a modified set of ideals and goals. This isn’t some new Grand Plan.

    1. nobody

      “Consider the claims of Puritan origins. By comparison, myths of other national beginnings were plausible at least. The mists of antiquity cover the claims of Siegfried and King Arthur and the exiled Trojan heroes who sired Virgil’s Rome. Scripture itself authorizes Joshua’s claims to Canaan. But we know that the Puritans did not found the United States. In fact, we know that by 1690, 60 years after the Great Migration and a century before independence, not even the colony of Massachusetts was Puritan. Nonetheless, the belief in America’s Puritan ur-fathers was evident everywhere three centuries later, at every ritual occasion, from Thanksgiving Day to July Fourth, throughout the literature, from Harriet Beecher Stowe to Thomas Pynchon, and in every form of literature, including endless debates about whether or not the Puritan legacy was a good thing.

      “My study of Puritanism started out as an investigation of what appeared to me a cultural secret. I expected to discover the creation of a national past, the invention of a Puritan tradition commensurate with the needs of a modern republic. Instead, as I traced the act of creation back through the nineteenth into eighteenth and seventeenth centuries, I found that its roots lay with the Puritans after all. The tradition had been made up, as suspected, but it was built out of historical materials, selected for historical reasons. The fantasy of Puritan origins had worked because these Puritans represented (among other things) the movement toward modernity, because they associated that movement with their prospects in the New World, and because they developed a rhetoric that joined both these aspects of their venture, cultural and territorial, in a vision that was simultaneously distinctive, expansive, spiritual, and secular. Their major legacy was neither religious nor institutional. The Puritans are not particularly responsible for the Calvinist strain in the United States, or for civil religion, or for any particular democratic forms, not even the town meeting. They did not invent guilt, or the Protestant work ethic, or individualism, or contract society. All of these were in varying degrees part of the New England Way, and together they might be said to express its movement into modernity. But the distinctive contribution, it seemed to me, lay in the realm of symbology. The Puritans provided their heirs, in New England first and then the United States, with a useful, flexible, durable, and compelling fantasy of American identity.”

      Sacvan Bercovitch, “Discovering America: A Cross-Cultural Perspective”

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The key is to our present power is the ability to create unlimited global money.

      Yet, we can’t do a Marshall Plan for those who lost their homes and countries when we made a mistake on the map.

      And our current trickle-down default-setting mentality probably came over from manorial England with the Mayflower passengers too.

      1. polecat

        hence the continued application of ‘lawns’ to every new ‘manor’ built…..from the founding of this country to the present !!

  3. Dino Reno

    Much has been made of Clintons’ support of mass incarceration in the 90s, but I’ve seen nothing about their legalist evasion of the black on black crime of genocide in Rwanda. Sure, Bill said later “my bad” on the call, but that sure sounds like Hillary’s excuse for her Iraq War vote. Meanwhile, they didn’t hesitate to stop the white genocide in Serbia a few years later. All I’m saying is why does HRC have any claim to the black vote with such a despicable record? Unfortunately, we know Bernie will never raise the question.

    1. NoOne

      In the last week, the woman who took Bernie to the woodshed for daring to criticize Obama has had her husband rail against “the last awful 8 years” while her daughter advised her audiences that Hillary would fix the ObamaCare “disaster.”

      Looks like the Southern primaries are over – back up the bus, rev up the engine and run those black folks over.

      I can hardly wait till November 8th when she starts in earnest

      1. Tony S

        I don’t think you have anything to worry about. There will be no Hillary administration — Trump’s going to demolish her.

        Not that a Trump administration would be any better for black people, of course…

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There have been suggestions here that Bernie should do what you say Hillary is doing, post-Southern primaries.

        The last 8 weak years of leadership.

        1. TomD

          The real politician’s move to do now would actually be for Bernie to double down on how much he admires Obama. Paint Hillary as a two-faced liar, and paint himself as a true friend of Obama who just wanted him to push harder.

    2. tgs

      The Nato attack on Yugoslavia had nothing to do with preventing ‘white on white’ genocide. To the extent that the alleged genocidal acts occurred, they happened AFTER Nato began the bombing. The final offer to Milosevic was to a) allow Nato to occupy Yugoslavia (at Yugoslavia’s cost) and b) create a ‘free market economy’ ie., sell off the states assets. Hillary’s friend Albright knew that the Yugoslavian government would never accept those conditions. There are many parallels between the case of Yugoslavia and Syria.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        This time, in Syria. we may get a chance to use the F-35 jets.

        More jobs for those states involved.

        1. Andrew Watts

          I don’t think the F-35s are fully operational. Snoopy and his flying doghouse are more capable of flying missions over Syria. If only the Red Baron was flying for the Islamic State!

          1. Procopius

            I believe there are now about twenty F-35s actually in service, but they are problematic because (a) they don’t have capacity for much fuei, so they can’t fly far (b) they can’t carry many munitions, so they can’t do much when they do fly, (c) they can’t fly if the weather is not perfect, (d) if they do manage to fly, it takes the better part of a week to repair them so they can try to fly again. We would be much better off regarding the whole program as “sunk costs” and just closing it down, except that would cost a couple hundred jobs in each of at least 45 Congressional districts. Including Bernie’s (for which I do not blame him, but still …).

      2. Plenue

        “alleged genocidal acts”

        Ah, here’s one of those weird Yugoslavia revisionist leftists right here.

        1. clinical wasteman

          This is one old wormhole of all-sides spite that I hope we won’t all go much further down. Yes, those people you mention, Plenue, do exist, although the label ‘leftist’ is doubtful in most cases. The lower-case national-socialists (the usage comes from CLR James) are more than welcome to the likes of the Saker. (Check out those raptor graphics on the site!)
          To put it mildly though, there’s a case to be made that in the Bosnia-Herzegovina war, where slaughter that might really be called ‘genocidal’ (as if the word made it worse!), ‘hesitate’ was precisely what NATO did. Then at the most convenient moment they offered Milosevic a deal he wouldn’t want to refuse, sewing up the ruin of Yugoslavia but leaving SM as short-term proprietor of a Lesser Greater Serbia. So that a few years later they could use the ongoing, disgusting — but even murkier ‘side’-wise and much smaller-scale — violence in Kosovo to present that pig (i.e. their pig, or Dayton ‘treaty partner’) with an truly impossible ultimatum, which officials have since admitted was designed to be refused. In other words the excuse to finish the job by killing many thousands more in Belgrade (the main local centre of pro-Yugoslavian opposition to Milosevic-type petty Serbism then and now). To which Milosevic despicably but unsurprisingly responded by upgrading a two-way dirty provincial war into wholesale slaughter, trying and failing to match the bombers body-for-body.
          All this stuff is both documented and still disputed, and as Plenue said, some ugly nationalists and a few ‘left’-nationalists would probably agree with most of the above whether it were true or not. Personally I’d take Alex Cockburn and Chomsky any time over, say Ed Vuillamy as a source, whoever else happened to jump on either bandwagon, but the point is not so much the narrative here as the fact that it IS possible to make that sort of case without being a ‘left-revisionist’ spouter of Serbian — or Russian — irredentism.
          Come to think of it, why don’t Vuillamy, Samantha Power (as journalist), et al get called pro-Ustaše (or maybe pro-Habsburg?) revisionists? Not suggesting that should happen, only that “look at the monsters who agrees with you, you must be just the same!” is not the most profound critique of any argument.

      1. tgs

        There was no genocide in the technical sense. There were war crimes committed by all sides, including NATO. The claims of impending genocide were used to drum up support for a humanitarian intervention. That is now an important part of the humanitarian playbook for regime change.

      2. Plenue

        Oh, so now Chomsky at least acknowledges mass killing at Srebrenica? That’s an improvement I guess. The man has a very…dubious record when it comes to atrocities. I know all about Hitchens supposed debunking of Chomskys ‘alleged’ Khmer Rouge genocide denialism, but going back to Chomskys books and articles on Cambodia from the 1970s (the type of primary documentation he loves so much), he doesn’t come off well at all. He does things like cite official Khmer Rouge statements and falsely claim they constitute a ‘wide variety of sources’, while simultaneously criticizing journalists Barron and Paul for supposedly just regurgitating US State Department claims, when in fact they interviewed scores of refugees while also citing a handful of US government sources.

          1. Plenue

            Read his books. He comes across like the diehard Maoists who refused to believe China was starving tens of millions of its own people to death.

    3. polecat

      Many Americans don’t know their geography…….either country or world, hence the voters’ general ignorance of geo-politics !!

  4. grayslady

    Loved the “Birdie Sanders” clip. That was a male goldfinch, still in its winter plumage. Goldfinches are usually more skittish around people. I’d like to think that the bird was sent by Mother Nature so Bernie could finally receive the press coverage he and his ideas deserve.

    1. NoOne

      I am sure that the MSM, Bill Clinton and Hillary.com will be out with a message later today telling us “how unrealistic” that bird’s search for world peace is. Besides, how do they think that bird is going to pay for it?

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The contrast between the cheering crowds in this video and the image of hillary clinton demanding $353,000 to sit with her at the “head table” for dinner with the clooneys is simply bizarre.

      It’s like we’re living in the movie Braveheart.

        1. Emma

          Why, oh why is Hillary simply willing to escalate wars and big bucks for herself?
          Why isn’t she “fighting for us” for a $15 minimum wage?
          Like the leaders of 14 cities, counties and states did in 2015.
          Like Bernie Sanders does for all of America.
          Why isn’t Hillary, or Trump & Cruz even following the lead on this?
          Why do Hillary, Trump & Cruz need ‘SUPPERPAC’ money and wars to be POTUS?
          I personally believe Americans should NOT bleed themselves dry for any POTUS.
          Americans deserve a future to believe in…..to LIVE and to PROSPER in.

          1. optimader

            OK Emma, here’s the deal…,
            Killary is fighting for you, and stuff!

            Hotels, transportation breakastlunchdinner perdiem, IVs of virgin bood…that all cost real money!

      1. Tony S

        Sad to say, Democratic primary voters seem to prefer Hillary’s style.

        Anyone who supports Hillary, of course, has abdicated any right to complain about corruption.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          What I think you meant to say, is that democratic primary voters who have been permitted to vote seem to prefer hillary’s style.

          1. Tony S

            True, but that’s still a too-large number of them.

            When Hillary loses to Trump, their excuses will give the election aftermath a small spark of comic relief in the face of the horrors to follow.

      2. participant-observer-observed

        There is a cartoon circulating on the extraordinarily creative Sanders facebook pages:

        A young boy is answering the front door, and announcing the visitor (HRC) by calling up the stairs,

        “A lady with a $900 pantsuit and a chauffeur is here to let us know she is one of us.”

      3. hemeantwell

        x2 for good catch. The way that HRC supporters shovel aside snow banks of contrasts like this to assert their faith is boggling. Conversations with them are a choice of ruts, either pseudofeminist entitlement spews or the claim that history stopped in 1972.

      1. JEHR

        Yes, Bernie’s smile gave me such pleasure. Sanders’ response is so warm and pleasant as opposed to every other candidate running for president. And he immediately called for World Peace. He may just win!

      2. aumua

        How long has it been since we’ve seen a candidate who’s so genuine, with such heart? And how long will it be before we see such a thing again.

        It’s all the more heartbreaking that’s its actually close. I mean it’s a positive thing, but it’s also just heartwrenching that tptb will most likely cheat, lie, and steal the victory right out from under him. Sometimes I just wish it was over and I didn’t have to hope anymore. But that’s selfish, of course.

    3. Dave

      Animals pick up the vibes of people far better than people do.

      When an animal, or a small child approaches someone, it’s because they put out safe positive energy that adults no longer recognize.

      Remember the picture of Bush Jr. holding the screaming baby that couldn’t wait to get away from him?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And many times, words get in the way.

        We become distracted, while the droning continues.

        The doer is lauded as a peace man, while the one who says, post facto, sets off alarms all over.

        It’s like, it’s better if the world is, or rather, people in the world are, less verbose.

    4. nippersdad

      I love the proliferation of “birdie” memes that I have seen this morning; the little finch in juxtaposition to the usual donkey and elephant, the finch with the glasses and wild white hair…This is all representative of something that I WANT to vote for, and it makes for such a pleasant change.

    5. Llewelyn Moss

      Hellery has called an emergency meeting of her campaign staff, demanding that they get a bird to land on HER podium.

      PS. Bernie is going to Crush It in todays primaries. A little birdie told me so.

      1. NoOne

        Not just any bird – The Clintons want Big Bird to land on her podium, and he better be bringing endorsements and maxed out campaign contributions from Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch.

    6. DJG

      grayslady: Thanks for your identification (and the comments below are funny and witty, too). I know that you are from Illinois, and our local goldfinches are bold enough to live in urban areas. I once read that goldfinches don’t live in built up areas–that writer hasn’t been to Illinois or Portland.

      My reaction is atavistic. The video is charming (in the broad sense of a charm as a magic spell). Goldfinches are charismatic–busy, elegant, with a beautiful song, as Vivaldi knew in his composition Il Cardellino.

      I am feeling vaguely like an augur. (Those Italian genes just never wear out, even if my grandparents emigrated.) And I’m reminded of Saint Francis, who spoke to the birds and caused a revolution in Catholicism that saved it from its worst tendencies, believe it or not, and I’m not much of a believer.

      And the crowd is war-weary. War-weariness keeps coming up. The elites keep having seminars on privatization and the glories of capital. What could go wrong?

    7. Paul Tioxon

      Now if only a cute little puttie kat would get in front of him while he was making a national speech in front of thousands at a rally, that would be internet viral gold! Cats and Bernie, yeah, that’s the PR ticket! Who would think that’s all it would take to pick up state power, just lying around on the ground of the electronic highway, birds, cats, what a world!

    8. Lambert Strether

      Trump birdie: “My birdie is gonna be huuuuuuge!”

      Clinton birdie: “I have a plan for that bird.” MR SUBLIMINAL I’ll bet!

      Cruz birdie: “He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him [pauses]. Oh, wait… ” (Matthew 3:16)

  5. nycTerrierist

    re: Usuncut on Possible Voting Suppression in Illinois Primary

    damn! this pattern is unacceptable. Voters were turned away due to shortage of ballots
    and other shenanigans. Whether due to incompetence, fuckery or both,
    Illinois and Arizona primary results should be either voided or re-done.
    We are watching the election get stolen right before our eyes.

    typo: link has an extra a upfront

    1. diptherio

      In case you had any misconceptions about the kind of world we’re living in. You think you have the right to vote? Ha! All that’s necessary to deprive you of that “right” is for somebody to short the ballot printing order. Some right…

      1. nycTerrierist

        Indeed. Still, it’s good to state the obvious, if only for the record!

        “There can be nothing more startling than a simple statement of fact, in a certain form.”
        – Philip Guston

        1. diptherio

          Even the headline is misleading though. There is no question of “possible voter suppression.” When people go to vote and are told they can’t, that’s voter suppression by definition. The only question is whether or not it was intentional or sheer incompetence…my question is whether this kind of SNAFU isn’t intentional as a way of forcing electronic voting down the throats of remaining holdouts.

          1. nycTerrierist

            “When people go to vote and are told they can’t, that’s voter suppression by definition.”

            Agreed, 100%.

            What is to be done? i.e. the best method for voting?
            serious question.

            1. diptherio

              Paper ballots, counted in public. You just have a printer on hand at polling stations to make sure you can print out more ballots if you need to…or something like that. Low-tech is superior for voting tech, imho.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It can also be more subtle than that.

            Like voting on a working Tuesday.

            Or in the middle of February, unless your state is near the Equator.

            All with the intention to suppress, or to be able to tell your grandchildren, years later, how tough you were.

            “Grandpa walked 3 miles in freezing weather to vote.”

      1. Lambert Strether

        It’s interesting and indicative that a lot of rich coverage is coming from mass-oriented publications that are not yet mainstream. For Water Cooler, I have to dig about three levels deep in Google News to find anything at all (“789 more stories,” or whatever). And when I get to that level, it’s publications like US Uncut, or Heavy. Good writing, too. News blackout for sure, and I’d love to know whose got control of the News page algorithm at Google, and how the parameters are tweaked.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Can we re-do many elections in the, say, last 100 years?

      Looking back, it was said here that Chicago might do a 1960-encore in this year’s primary. Again, NC was the place for those interested in looking ahead.

    3. Vatch

      From the article:

      In six counties across Illinois — Adams, Champaign, Effingham, Madison, Sangamon, and St. Clair — polling places ran out of ballots amid higher-than-expected voter turnout, meaning thousands of voters were sent home after waiting in line. On March 17, Adams County state attorney Jon Barnard went before Adams County circuit judge Chet Vahle to ask for an injunction that would grant those voters the ability to vote late due to ballot issues.

      The next day, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter who has introduced her at campaign rallies, filed an appeal in Illinois 4th District Appellate Court to prevent late voting. On March 23, the appellate court issued a stay on Judge Vahle’s injunction, meaning those voters won’t get a chance to cast ballots in this primary. Hillary Clinton won Illinois by roughly 35,000 votes, or a slim 1.8 percent margin, effectively splitting delegates with Sanders.

      I don’t know whether it’s relevant or not: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is the daughter of the notorious Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan. I suspect it is very relevant; corrupt machine politics are a way of life in Illinois.

      1. Lambert Strether

        That’s very interesting about Madigan. Note that part of Clinton’s fundraising goes to state organizations. There’s a good deal of whining that Sanders hasn’t devoted his fundraising machine to this purpose, but the only real issue is tactical: Clinton has bribed them, and Sanders has not.

        “Moar walking around money!” (Of course, there’s also the issue that as long as people like Wasserman Schultz are in power, that money would go to candidates who are not merely opponents of Sanders, but enemies.)

    4. Vatch

      Regarding Arizona: one of the White House dot gov petitions has already exceeded 185,000 votes out of 100,000 required to force an official response. It’s very unusual for one of these petitions to reach the 100,000 threshold, and exceeding it by this much is amazing.

      1. Vatch

        Link:

        https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/investigate-voter-fraud-and-voter-suppression-arizona-3222016-democratic-party

        I don’t know whether there’s an Illinois petition yet. A petition must have 150 signatures before it is easily searchable on the web site:

        https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/how-why/terms-participation

        To cross the first threshold and be searchable within WhiteHouse.gov, a petition must reach 150 signatures within 30 days.

        To cross the second threshold and require a response, a petition must reach 100,000 signatures within 30 days.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Revote, not revolt.

          Have we ever done a presidential primary revote before? Any historians around?

          Do we also redo Iowa and Massachusetts?

          1. aletheia33

            i think i read recently that the florida primary results were thrown out at a convention in a prior presidential election because there had been voting problems in that primary. not sure if it was the dem or rep convention.

            can anyone confirm?

            1. Vatch

              That might be the 2008 Democratic convention, when Michigan and Florida delegates had half a vote each. According to Wikipedia:

              The race was further complicated by a controversy over the scheduling of the Michigan and Florida state primaries, which had been scheduled earlier than party rules permitted, affecting the number of delegates that those states sent to the national convention.
              . . .
              Delegates from fifty US states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had a single vote each, while delegates from American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, Guam and Democrats Abroad, as well as the states of Florida and Michigan, which contravened the schedule, had half a vote each.

    5. NeqNeq

      Heh. That petition is going right into the republican ammo clip. “Whats that? You don’t like our new ID/Registration law? We are just protecting the voters from the vote fraud queens at the DNC! Those people rigged the vote within their own party…who KNOWS how far they would go against someone who is republican!”

      1. Vatch

        Actually, in Arizona, it was the Republicans who rigged the elections; Hillary’s people just benefited from the rigging. Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell is in charge of elections in her county, and she is a Republican.

        Even in Illinois, where the rigging was performed by Hillary Democrats, what they did was equivalent to restrictive voter ID laws. They prevented people from voting, which is what Republicans do.

  6. diptherio

    On the Generational analysis tip:

    What you think about Millennials say a lot about you, nothing about them

    boingboing.net/2016/03/26/what-you-think-about-millennia.html

    Ditto “Boomers”, “Gen Xers”, the “Silent Generation” and the “Greatest Generation”

    His people chart really nails it.

  7. Patricia

    The comments under the Nader article are predictable and frustrating. Dems believe they own leftists’ votes. They give more respect to right-wingers.

    It’s another iteration of despising the person next to you, who is not altogether like you. Dems are judgmental about the white working-classes hating on blacks/latinos/gays but “hey, when we do it, it’s different”. Pffft

    Also get weary of those who think having ethical standards is the worst sin evah. According to them, holding to an ideology automatically means that one is a purist fool. Says a lot about their internal compasses, I suppose. I’m never quite sure how to push back on something so messed-up.

    1. Tony S

      Well, I’m not voting for Hillary, so she’s not getting this leftist’s vote. (Not voting for Trump, either. He’s just as vile in a different way.)

      There is one scenario in which Hillary gets my vote. If she’s running against Ted Cruz. He’s THAT bad.

        1. Tony S

          Not optimistic, unfortunately. Story hasn’t really gone much beyond the National Enquirer. Google doesn’t autocomplete “Ted Cruz sex scandal” until you get to “scan”.

          Not that I don’t believe it — a far-right “morality” candidate consorting with mistresses? Shocking, I say! — but right-wingers (and the media) cut their heroes an enormous amount of slack on these things…

          Plus, they’re trying to make it all about Trump.

          Though if Ted Cruz gets permanently removed from the political scene, that would be a good thing. A great thing.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            If we only can depend on the National Enquirer to save us, well, we have come a long way.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          While the “sex scandal” may not sink cruz, his “response” to it just might.

          According to Mediaite, cruz’s “vociferous” denial of the “sex scandal” included this pretty much incoherent utterance: “Donald Trump may be a rat but I have no desire to copulate with him.”

          No polls have yet been conducted evaluating the “electability” of a candidate in a straight-jacket

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It sounds like Cruz has just his Maginot Line, and declared his Paris an Open City.

            “Go ahead, sir. This way to Cleveland. I am your usher. No, no, no. You don’t have to tip me. It’s not allowed.”

          2. Lambert Strether

            Cruz’s response was odd. It’s clearly a reference to “ratfucking,” Bowdlerized.

            But that’s insider jargon, and I doubt the normal voter would get it. So who was he sending a message to? And what was the message?

        3. craazyboy

          I think Kasich has a big opportunity to capitalize on this macho warfare thing between Trump and Cruz. Those guys are scary exposing their wives like that. Wife beating is nothing to run your campaign on, even if you are beating the other guy’s wife.

          I really think Kasich should take my suggestion and start cross dressing so he can position himself as the kinder, gentler, more sensitive wing of the republican party. He could get more media coverage that way too, and hopefully not just from the National Enquirer.

          Maybe he’s a tad shy about the idea. Understandable, but he could start out slow – maybe just order some of those silky underthings the Victoria Secret girls wear and try them on under his suit to get warmed up to the idea. Then make the public move maybe wearing something long, black and conservative (before summer, of course) and then to keep things interesting, move to a summer floral pattern with perhaps a slit up the side showing off some thigh.

          He can show he’s above getting involved in these knock down drag out fights between Trump and Cruz spouses and could be the republican party’s last chance to save some respectability.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s another iteration of despising the person next to you, who is not altogether like you.

      +++1000

      Just because he or she votes for someone whom we deem unredeemable, we don’t despise them.

      Vote and let vote.

    3. SKL

      They’re shameless. They rail against Nader voters but don’t give a crap about the far more numerous Democratic voters who cast votes for Bush. They rail about the horror that was the GWB administration but don’t give a crap when a Dem administration does the same things.

      If they were really half as appalled at GWB as they style themselves you’d think they’d have been given pause by the sight of HRC and GWB yukking it up at Nancy Reagan’s funeral. Nope.

      Gee, it’s almost like they don’t really care about the Bush disaster at all and are just trying to cynically lay a guilt trip on the sort of person who actually does care.

  8. tony

    That Tay-bot fiasco illustrates something I find important. That it is fun to smash the socially dominant discourse. That is why alt-right is succeeding, and they are the people who have made Trump the Republican frontrunner. It’s rebellion and it’s fun.

    There is no such spirit of freedom in the left. There once was, perhaps, with the hippies and such who would terrify their elders with the sex and the drugs and the mixing of races.

  9. Dino Reno

    On the NYT hatchet job on Trump about women.
    Yeah, he does say a lot of nasty things about some women just as he says a lot of nasty things about some men, but I’m going with the visual cues that convey a more powerful subliminal message. On stage, at a rally, all of Trump’s women (wife, daughters, daughters in law) look awfully happy and well taken care of to me. On the other hand, Bill on stage with Hillary looks like the skunk at the party. Now tell me, who would you rather have looking after your princess?

    1. James Levy

      My goodness, how far will you go to defend the indefensible. Trumps remarks about women are not the same as his remarks about men. And the “taken care of” line–can you get any more patronizing or paternalistic? And this is his THIRD wife. We have good evidence he raped the first one.

      Stop the less evil bullshit. Trump is a bully and a cad. Desperate efforts to make him look good only hurt the all too valid case against Clinton.

      1. Carolinian

        “good evidence”…. didn’t she retract that statement? That doesn’t mean it isn’t true but it doesn’t mean it is true or “good” either.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          What would Ted Cruz’s opposition research director do?

          Can he/she make something of it? Why hasn’t he/she? It seems to me that a lot of candidates (on both sides) are not giving their 110%.

        2. cwaltz

          She “softened” her position. Her original statement was in a deposition. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to “lie” in those.

    2. cwaltz

      Your statement is pretty darn offensive.

      Contrary to popular belief among Trump voters, many women don’t want men to “take care of” or “look after” them. They prefer a more equitable world that allows them to care for themselves. That way, God forbid, they don’t have to worry about feeling discarded the way Trump did his FIRST TWO WIVES. Or is it your position that women it’s looking after and taking care of a spouse to CHEAT and LIE to them? I mean seriously. The man has made it pretty clear he considers women ornamental and prefers them submissive instead of heaven forbid, articulate, aggressive and capable of TAKING CARE OF THEMSELVES.

      Also not on stage- Megyn Kelly, Rosie O Donell and a whole host of women that Donald has insulted over the years instead of treating them like princesses because they had the audacity to disagree with him.

      1. Tony S

        I do wonder how Fox News is going to deal with the Megyn Kelly issue once the general election season is underway and they’ll be in the business of selling Trump…

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Fact: Women are capable of taking themselves.

        Just as the working people can empower and take care of themselves, with a trickle up monetary system.

        The people are not some kept women.

      3. heresy101

        You think that is offensive? What until the National Enquirer does a story on Hellery’s wife! All hell will break loose.

        1. cwaltz

          Haha

          Lesbian jokes are sooooooo funny. Not

          I dislike Hillary however, I personally think men that are intimidated and make fun of the fact that she is as aggressive as the male half of the species in pursuing what she wants are pretty lame.

          I give her credit for her big brass balls and I think men that most of the people who make lesbian jokes are jealous because her pair is bigger than theirs.

          1. NoOne

            because her pair is bigger than theirs.

            You know, that statement is just as disgusting as any of the misogynistic statements that preceded it. Maybe we would be better off if we had a president who’s brains were actually bigger than their balls. Hillary included.

            1. cwaltz

              If you can’t consider the context of my statement or the rest of my statements for that matter than I don’t know what to tell you.

              I’m not going to sit quietly by and watch ANY woman, Hillary included, reduced to lesbian jokes simply because she has the balls to admit what she wants and go for it.

              But hey whatever.

              1. frosty zoom

                indeed. if one is to make jokes about ms. clinton, let them be psychopath jokes.

                she ran, she won, we cried. hahahaha..

            2. Massinissa

              Um. He was criticizing people who call Hillary a Lesbian. Im having a hard time understand why youre getting so angry.

              1. cwaltz

                I’m a she. :)

                And indeed I AM criticizing people calling Hillary a lesbian, not that there is anything wrong with being a lesbian……it just irks me to no end when a guy insinuates that women have to be lesbian if they are assertive and aggressive.

                I happen to share those traits with Hill although as someone who was enlisted as a corpsman and has seen the damage war has done I don’t share her desire for warmongering and pillaging for the 1%.

                GO Bernie!

    3. craazyman

      a lot of guys would take Trump’s sloppy seconds. :-)

      If a man won’t be honest about that, he’s not a real man. hahahahahah

      People can criticize the guy but one thing’s for sure, he sure does get the hot women.

      Sanders/Trump in 2016
      “Seize the future by the hips!”

      also, it’s not Bernie’s fault, but all those women in the background of that video look pretty heavy. Is that the size 2 vs. size 12 thing from last week? it looks like deflation but it’s really inflation! It’s weird how that’s manifesting in the economy too. That’s kind of a strange pair of dots to connect.

      1. cwaltz

        Your definition of hot and mine are pretty different.

        Then again I suspect what you’re talking about is the fact that you’d “hit that” rather than, I don’t know, actually have an adult relationship with them. If not, I feel pretty sorry for you. Shallow isn’t going to get you much and if your main criteria for a female is “hot” then I can imagine a real and lasting relationship will never be within your reach. After all, everyone gets old and has their body change. Trade them in for a newer model a la Trump style means you are a cross between Peter Pan and a dog who knows nothing better than to hump the nearest leg or not really much better.

        You might find this odd. However, there are men out there that aren’t intimidated by women or interested in being daddy to the women they are in relationships with. It works out pretty well for them when life throws them curveballs because they can depend on the women they choose to stand beside them instead of expecting their daddy figure to fix it. They don’t mind being challenged because it sometimes is helpful to have more than one perspective. It saves them from making what might be a mistake. They look at women as partners rather than ornaments. Even better, when life gets topsy turvy these women don’t “cut and run” and look for a new, improved wallet to support them in the way they’ve been accustomed(I believe you men lovingly refer to them as gold diggers. I refer to them as “karma”, who indeed is a BITCH.)

      2. dots

        “all those women in the background of that video” are there to hear what Bernie Sanders has to say. They’re not sitting there for your (or anyone else’s) approval.

        1. craazyman

          I probably shouldn’t admit this publicly because it might ruin my character, but I agree with you and cwaltz completely. I’m just trolling you and cracking myself up, while I grind through an energy industry writing project on a Saturday.

          Bernie Bernie!
          QED!
          Bernie Bernie!
          QED!

          It’s Bernie time and I’m on the Bernie Bus. All the way to the White House. When Professor Kelton gets her hands on the budget, even the National Enquirer won’t know what to write. The journalist will be there, in the Treasury Department, with his or her jaw wide open unable to think or write. That’s how confusing it will be. Forget aliens and Bigfoot and underground bases beneath Mt. Shasta — money is really complicated!

          1. dots

            I don’t know anything about trolling. I do think it’s important that people call each other out when they hear/read/see things that are overtly sexist or racist which are unchallenged (and your comment appeared unchallenged at the time I encountered it). It keeps the atmosphere healthy for everyone.

            The only thing it’s really safe to assume about the crowd is that they were at the rally to hear Bernie Sanders speak. One could attempt to say a lot of other things about diversity, gender, bird-affinities, etc but really that just goes into the realm of speculation, inference, and conjecture.

          2. dots

            On the other hand, I’m genetically wired to be a very literal thinker so, if what you mean by trolling is that comments from outsiders aren’t really welcome here, then you really do have to say it more clearly than that.

    4. Dino Reno

      I’m really enjoying your comments, like being taken care of is bad thing. Really? The PC machine really can play havoc with some pretty basic concepts like supporting those you care about and respect. I consider all the women in his family as fine examples of strong independent women whom he has done right by. Anyone who can have such an extended family like his and have them all getting along deserves a lot of credit. I think that example will shine through all the “women hating” attacks. In fact, I think this line of attack is one of the weakest as it pertain to Hillary.

      I’m sure even Wonder Woman’s parents considered her their little princess. Anything wrong with that?

      And for the record, Trump didn’t rape his first wife.

      http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/ivana-trump-denies-accusing-donald-trump-rape-daily-beast-120721

      1. cwaltz

        Respect? Please. The guy is an admitted serial cheater and liar. I doubt he understands what the definition of respect is. You can’t get more disrespectful than to lie to someone.

        As far as being taken care of, it’s stupid for any person to expect another to “take care of” them(with the exception of children who don’t know any better or get a choice in the matter.) It leaves them vulnerable when the universe capriciously decides to take the other person out of the equation or hands you someone who isn’t reliable(and yes there are plenty of single mothers out there that can attest that the reliability of men is not necessarily a sure thing.)

        Ivana says that now. For all we know it was part of her “settlement.” She certainly wasn’t saying that when she was deposed in the 1990s during her divorce trial. You are welcome to believe or disbelieve her. I personally find it very believable. The man is a grade a creeper.

        1. Pavel

          Well not to defend Trump (who is a creep and narcissist etc) but I think “serial cheater and liar” would apply just as much if not more to Bill Clinton. And whatever The Donald’s affairs, I’m not sure he engaged in sexual activity with an intern in his office.

          And there is clear evidence that Hillary conspired with Bill to cover up the various affairs and intimidate the accusers.

          This is one reason Hillary vs Trump would be a disaster for the Dems. Many of his worst aspects and shady dealings (Trump U e.g. — cf Bill’s involvement with a for-profit college) are matched on the Clinton side. Arguably they are far more corrupt.

          1. cwaltz

            Oh absolutely. I have very little respect for Bill Clinton. If he didn’t intend to try to make monogamy work then he should have skipped the whole entire marriage thing and saved poor Hillary the embarrassment.

            However, Hillary was NOT the serial cheater in the relationship so no I don’t think Bill cheating(not the guy running for office) is the same as Trump cheating(the guy actually running for office.)

            Would I have stayed with Bill if I were Hillary after he cheated for the umpteenth time? I’m not sure. However, I certainly am not going to fault a woman for making a decision that I might not have made and that might be made on more than their sex life. *shrugs*

            1. NoOne

              any chance you see a problem with the “woman who is running” trying to defecate all over those woman who came forward to complain? Or is that part of your “sisterhood” too?

              1. cwaltz

                I believe many of those women were being used as political pawns.

                Monica Lewinsky engaged in a consensual relationship. I found the whole entire try Clinton in Congress for it sordid and crappy……and I’m far from a fan of the man.

                1. dots

                  Ms. Lewinsky got the shit-end of that affair and at a very young age. She did a great TED talk called, “The Price of Shame” talking about how she survived it. That’s the sordid part and the price of sexism since they targeted the male President and took down the 22-year-old woman.

                  I think that scandal is well past it’s expiration date either way.

                  1. Lambert Strether

                    The scandal is not about Monica. The scandal is not about marriage vows, et cetera et cetera (since as it turns out, Gingrich, Hastert, and Livingston all had equal or greater problems in that regard). The scandal is not even about the inner mysteries of the Clinton marriage/dynasty.

                    The real scandal (which isn’t how it was framed at the time, by either party) is that Clinton abused a young person to whom he had a duty of care.

                    1. dots

                      Bingo! I was actually thinking the exact same thing last week when re-visiting the subject of Ms. Lewinsky’s talk. You really can’t get much more of an asymmetry of power than a President of the US having a sexual relationship with a 22-year-old intern literally in the office.

                2. aab

                  There is compelling evidence that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted Juanita Broaddrick. She is on social media these days talking about it, and has previously said Hillary directly confronted her and threatened her to keep silent. There is no reason to take the Clintons’ word over Bill’s victims. As Lambert mentions elsewhere in this thread, the power imbalance between Bill and Ms. Lewinsky was appalling — and then Mrs. Clinton was happy to scapegoat the young woman to protect her husband.

                  There’s also the less direct but still suggestive evidence of Bill Clinton’s sexual predation patterns in who he socialized with after leaving the White House — not just Ron Burkle, but also Jeffrey Epstein, IIRC.

                  I think consensual sexual activity shouldn’t be anybody else’s business — unless, like Ted Cruz, you’re trying to win with the votes of those who seek to sexually police the rest of us. Likewise, I strongly doubt all of Bill Clinton’s sexual partners outside his marriage were consensual. Bill AND Hillary have climbed to power by treating rules as only for others, and exploiting people weaker than they. Her trying to claim she’s a feminist absolutely enrages me.

      2. cwaltz

        Oh and for the record, I consider Trump himself a little princess.

        After all, he got his start because “daddy” gave him a million dollar loan.

        Self made man my backside.

        1. TomD

          I believe you are being trolled cwaltz. I mean Wonder Woman is actually a princess in the comics.That she should have once been a little princess is a tautology.

    5. TomD

      Ignoring everything else for the moment, but Hillary looks fine to me. Not sure what you expect someone who is 69 to look like, but she does look energized and engaged. Bill is looking somewhat like a lich that’s running out of magic, but Hillary seems fine.

      1. cwaltz

        The Presidency shouldn’t be reduced to a beauty pageant anyway.

        If someone is going to dislike her, dislike her for her policies and what she’s done, not on what she looks like.

          1. cwaltz

            I think Jane is a very lucky woman.

            Smart, honest, and passionate are all pretty sexy qualities to me.

            I’m a sucker for substance.

    6. I Have Strange Dreams

      “Trump’s women”? Seriously? In the possessive case? Sort your head out, man. That’s bad. Very bad.

  10. JohnB

    If you post a comment, and it doesn’t show up with the ‘awaiting moderation’ message, does that mean it’s been ‘eaten’ entirely, and won’t even make it to moderation?

    1. hunkerdown

      Usually that’s caused by your comment not having circled back to the page yet (a dependency hazard, as computer scientists call it). Try counting to five and reloading the page — your comment just might show up.

  11. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Why Young People Are Right About Hillary Clinton Rolling Stone

    Seems like Jann Wenner had to call in reinforcements to rescue him and his magazine from their aging, overly-comfortable, baby-boomer selves.

    Apparently, one Taibbi mea culpa was not enough. In the sidebar, “related” articles include “The Case for Bernie Sanders,” “There Is No Real Hillary Clinton,” and “How The ‘New York Times’ Sandbagged Bernie Sanders.”

    The blowback must have been fierce.

    BTW, the tag line at the “No Real Hillary Clinton” article is “People aren’t meant to be relaunched as often as phones, but here we are.” Truly.

    1. Barmitt O'Bamney

      Absurd! Of course there is a real Hillary Clinton. Just ask Bob Rubin what that is. I’m sure he could put an exact dollar figure on it too.

      1. ChrisFromGeorgiah

        Yes, and since the GOP seems to fail at anything they attempt, including failing, I would say advantage Hillary.

      1. Carla

        Since the Greens lack ballot access in at least several states, there is no way Jill Stein can win a national election. I am voting for her anyway, in part to try to help the Greens maintain ballot access in Ohio.

    1. Carolinian

      The problem with these polls is that, yes, Bernie Sanders at the head of a party that thinks like him would certainly beat Trump but that is not going to be the case. In the unlikely event Sanders wrests the nomination away from the party poobahs then they are not going to be supporting him. The Republicans, on the other hand, will probably come around on Trump even if the elites and much of the press never will. Therefore I’m not at all sure Sanders would win against Trump. But it would certainly be a better choice than Trump versus the horrible Hillary.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Sanders would win. Kerry was 10,000 votes away from being President. As long as Team Blue doesn’t nominate a candidate who would actively depress turnout 270 and winning the Senate is a cakewalk. The Democratic elite ran the Kerry and Gore campaigns as well as the 2010 and 2014 massacres. Except for lists, they need to be kept as far away as possible.

        1. Tony S

          Sanders would win. Kerry was 10,000 votes away from being President. As long as Team Blue doesn’t nominate a candidate who would actively depress turnout 270 and winning the Senate is a cakewalk. The Democratic elite ran the Kerry and Gore campaigns as well as the 2010 and 2014 massacres. Except for lists, they need to be kept as far away as possible.

          And the Democrats fought SO HARD for Kerry in the face of massive voting irregularities in Ohio…

          If they didn’t lift a finger for Kerry, who’s about as establishment as it gets, they’d probably cut ads for Trump in October, paid for by ‘Democrats For Realistic Peace, Love And Understanding” or somesuch.

          And the Democrats didn’t make a single change to the party infrastructure in the wake of the 2014 debacle.

          They’re making it very hard to counter the argumrent that they’re literally trying to lose.

          1. HotFlash

            One of Sanders’ most disruptive ™ features is that he is demonstrating to the MotU that $$ /= votes. Ad away, DNC, Bernie voters gonna vote Bernie.

      2. Benedict@Large

        The Democrats not supporting Sanders? I suspect that’s an understatement. I would fully expect that Camp Clinton et al would actively work to insure he is beaten. Remember, the parties serve their masters, not some ideological left or right. The masters disapprove of Sanders, and he will not be President.

        1. TomD

          That’s not how someone smart wields the soft power of a political power. They make a show of supporting Sanders while not doing much during campaign, then hamstring him once he’s elected. Then in later election can use Hillary’s argument that you need someone who understands how to get things done in Washington.

          Remember you have to really punish your base, just losing an election isn’t enough.

          1. hunkerdown

            Do they really have the upper hand at that point, though? Seems they’re still in the war of public opinion, and still, to some extent, dependent on their regional parties to market the company while national markets the product. If Sanders puts his finger on just why these things aren’t “possible”, the present Party system is over.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Hillary’s best option is to try again in 2020, against an incumbent (and likely unpopular) Republican, not another 8 years, with a Sanders being in good physical shape.

          1. Carolinian

            Another Hillary run? Just shoot me. What ever happened to “just want to be a grandmother”?

            I still think Hillary was talked into doing this and being the good little worker bee is soldiering away. Surely she couldn’t come back in her seventies after two defeats.

            2016 is like the movie Election with Hillary as the nerdy Reese Witherspoon character running for high school president against the dim bulb football hero. The movie character bakes cookies to make herself popular and ends up suing the faculty adviser after she thinks she has been cheated out of her victory. Wonkdom starts early.

            1. frosty zoom

              none of that matters. by 2020 microsoft’s “tay” will have mastered twitter and will then be capable of ruling us all.

              all hail!

            2. nippersdad

              “I still think Hillary was talked into doing this…”

              You feel that too? I cannot help but reflect upon the fact that it is now the very first action of every Presidency since Ford to effectively pardon their predecessor; Hillary was the natural choice in this case. And, THIS Administration could keep the courts busy until the next millennium if they were to change their modus operandi now.

              Spot on comment.

        3. hemeantwell

          I agree with TomD. I don’t think the Dem party elite will be able to get in the way of most women and minorities thinking, with very good reason, that they must vote against Trump or Cruz. Add a variety of other groups, starting with union members. Sanders vs. either of them is not like McGovern vs. Nixon, and the unending, elite-feeding Fed actions of the past few years is not a fiscally-goosed economy like Nixon managed in 1971-2.

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        No, that is incorrect. All hostile takeovers eventually become friendly. Look at how people on the R side are overtly or quietly starting to support Trump, including ones who’d said “no way”.

        If Bernie were to win the nomination, the calculus for insiders then becomes, “Do I lose out entirely for the next four years, or do I try to find a place in the new order?” Plenty of people have bills to pay.

        And you forget the big reason candidates needed to play nice with the party was fundraising. Sanders has blown up that assumption.

        1. HotFlash

          And you forget the big reason candidates needed to play nice with the party was fundraising. Sanders has blown up that assumption.

          Yes indeedy, and whether Bernie wins or loses, politics will never be the same.

      4. neo-realist

        As much as I like Sanders, I could envision corporate media going into propaganda overdrive on high taxes for the working and middle classes as well as on business and capital flight from the United States causing massive unemployment in a Sanders administration, while Trump takes a so called middle path of tax cuts for business and middle class Americans along with going along with MIC war in the middle east. Trump wins in a landslide due to elite generated fear among Americans of turning into a third world country.

        1. frosty zoom

          i think most americans are realizing they already live in a third world country.

          now, if you threaten to ban rolling coal..

          1. jrs

            Yea people want to live in a 1st world country like oh … Denmark. Or France … France would work, or even Canada on some things. Living in 3rd world America ..

          2. cwaltz

            All that needs to be said about that is Unicef should be running ads for Flint, Michigan

            For 15 cents a day you can sponsor a child and give him or her clean sanitary drinking water……

        2. jrs

          I don’t see it. I can see the media going into propaganda overdrive on that and most of the population saying: meh who cares if my taxes are higher, I want a decent health care system, affordable college, and expanded social security, and if I pay more taxes for it: BIG FAT RASBERRY!!! The only ones who have real money at this point are the Boomers anyway. Even Gen X (getting older but often a long way from Medicare) needs Social Security to be preserved and expanded and healthcare to be affordable at this point more than they need low taxes.

          Of course achieving anything like that depends on Congress, but that is always the case.

          1. neo-realist

            I hope you’re right, but I fear a combination of the usual intellectual laziness and misguided pocketbook selfishness among the majority along w/ electoral fraud if the vote is close will combine to do in Sanders.

    2. NeqNeq

      Assuming anti-trump forces win (outright or via broker convention) curious how people call the following:

      Cruz vs Clinton
      Cruz vs Sanders
      Ryan vs Clinton
      Ryan vs Sanders

      Ryan is a stand-in for any candidate who isnt currently in the running. Given how he has been walking back some of his prior statements, I see him as positioning for the spot should everything get bogged down at the convention. Your milage may vary.

      1. frosty zoom

        nope. hillary is going to get both nominations and run against herself.

        i bet she loses twice.

  12. myshkin

    On the Unz review “The writing is on the wall…” NATO’s ploy to marginalize Russia by creating an oppositional dynamic is delusional policymaking and will prove to be counterproductive. However the idea that “political correctness has shamed and suppressed the truth that, “for decades now the EU has had an absolutely suicidal policy on immigration or, should I maybe say, no real policy at all, unless you consider “let them all in” a policy,” is wrong.

    That, “….Europe has known for decades that immigrants are a major risk, both in terms of petty crime such as drug dealing and in terms of terrorism. ” Is to gloss over a lot of history including the neglected and shunned populations of the banileue.

    Are they really a major risk? Or does any despised minority, (blacks, hispanics, native americans in the US for instance) become a major risk, when neglected, benignly or otherwise (i.e. subjected to disinvestment and a war on drugs) and then conjured by a racist imagination?

    OTH Europe’s demographics show an ageing work force with growing numbers of pensioners and not a high enough birth rate to produce a younger workforce.

    From an article in the Wilson Quarterly about Italian anti immigration sentiment. “Maurizio Ricci wrote this week that foreign labor and foreign families will prove crucial to maintaining the economy of a country whose population is in steep decline. Currently, there are four working Italians for every pensioner; in 2050, if current population trends continue, there will be only two. Europe will need 42 million new workers by 2020, Ricci claims, to maintain the pensions that support an aging continent. Young workers and young families from abroad can provide that new blood.”

    Isn’t a significant part of the problem really karmic blowback from an unsavory era of colonial possesions and current neo colonial aggressions catalyzed by weapons sales and oil and other extractive resources? The illustrative example the article provides of how immigrants present, “A major risk, both in terms of petty crime such as drug dealing and in terms of terrorism” in this case the Albanian drug dealers with Swiss bank accounts suggests nothing so much as the failure of the correctly identified “comprador elite,” to unravel the cold war in the balkans peacefully and the criminal nature of swiss banking.

    1. HotFlash

      If drugs were to be (mostly) legalized, a la Portugal, then what? Will the Swiss have to go back to exporting yodels?

      BTW, took me many decades to even wonder why chocolate was always associated with Switzerland, where cacao cannot grow. It is important to question underlying assumptions, esp those so deep we do not even recognize them as assumptions.

    2. clinical wasteman

      Whatever is the formula for upvoting at compound interest, consider it applied to this ‘comment’. Quote marks because it’s not so much a comment as a corrective that should itself be applied to 90+% of European media coverage. Including if not especially such ‘liberal’ outlets (as in wastewater drainage) as the Guardian, Le Monde, El Pais, Repubblica-Stampa (now merged in the embrace of Olivetti asbestos killer — sorry, alleged asbestos killer while the Statute of Limitations clock ticks — De Benedetti, but that’s another story). And those imprints’ German-language peers are only very rarely any better in Germany, still more rarely in Switzerland & never in Austria.

  13. diptherio

    If you want an inside view of what it was (and is) like to be at the center of what became the Black Lives Matter movement, and to get some answers to questions that have been asked by many here about the movement. Best talk I’ve heard in awhile. A bit slow at the start, but it picks up around the 6 min. mark

    Movements and Moments ~Umi Selah (Dream Defenders) at Fund for Democratic Communities grantee gathering:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu3odVpR5kA

    1. Patricia

      “…This is the year that police revolvers, stove hot,
      blister the fingers of raging cops
      and nightsticks splinter in their palms.

      …This is the year that the hands
      pulling tomatoes from the vines
      uproot the deed to the earth that sprouts the vine…

      …This is the year that dark skinned men lynched a century ago
      return to sip coffee quietly
      with the apologizing descendants of their executioners.

      …This is the year that the food stamps of adolescent mothers
      are auctioned like gold doubloons
      and no coin is given to buy machetes
      for the next bouquet of severed heads
      in coffee plantation country.

      …So may every humiliated mouth,
      teeth like desecrated headstones,
      fill with the angels of bread.”

      (“Imagine the Angels of Bread” Martin Espada)

        1. diptherio

          A recitation of that poem finishes the video. A song starts it. There’s a lot of goodness in between, too.

  14. Doug

    Took a quick look at 538 analysis of words used most by Clinton and Sanders … here’s how the analyst summarizes: “Clinton is the candidate of action, stressing strong verbs and first-person pronouns; Sanders is the protest candidate, listing problems that he thinks need more attention”

    Wow! I encourage folks to go to the link and read the lists of phrases under each candidate.

    Clinton — the candidate of action — has 2 — count them: 2 — items with any specificity whatsoever

    Evidently form triumphs over function at 538. It’s more important to use ‘strong verbs’ and ‘first person pronouns’ than it is to say anything whatsoever at all about the challenges the nation faces.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I am reminded of a story, that, in many ‘primitive cultures,’ where there is no such a thing as private property, the word ‘theft’ does not exist.

      Here, we have to search and look for words that do not exist.

    2. Steve H.

      I count: Clinton: 1 problem, 1 solution. Sanders: 5 problems, 6 solutions. (Some subjectivity to the categorization. And I would call Clinton ‘self-centered’ while Sanders is ‘practical.’)

      1. Strangely Enough

        The first person pronouns do offer a clue as to what the campaign is about. I, me, my…

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          ‘The buck stops with you’ is not as soothing as ‘the buck stops with me.’

          There is a season for everything.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Something tells me that should such a Trump vs. clinton “analysis” be performed, the winner of the “candidate of action, stressing strong verbs and first-person pronouns” sweepstakes would be different.

      Hey, Nate, what are the “odds” of your doing something like that?

      I’m going with zero.

      1. TomD

        Does this mean that Sanders is “losing” in this comparison because of how he refers to himself in 3rd person?

    4. aletheia33

      how about the pronouns?

      HLC: “i am a progressive who likes to get things done.”

      B”Birdie”S: “not me. us.”

  15. Barutanseijin

    The 538 data on Sanders’ & Clinton’s pet phrases is interesting, as is their misinterpretation. Per 538, HRC’s vague nothings are full of “action verbs” proving that she is a politician of action who will Get Things Done. In contrast, Sanders’s concrete and specific language prove to 538 that he is a protest candidate.

    When Nate the Great blew the call on Michigan, he blamed the polls. I blame him for not digging deeper. It’s clear he parroted the polls because they were telling him wanted to hear. What we have in 538 is lazy, biased analysis, just like anywhere else in the mainstream media.

    1. Brian

      538is a bookie. gets paid coming or going. Pimp comes to mind.
      and you poor bastards in NY, what is it going to take to realize the police state begins at home?

  16. JEHR

    RE: Controlled Chaos: This is the scariest article about a pernicious world order that I have ever read!

    1. Foy

      Yep, that article describes the actions of Pat Lang’s (Sic Semper Tyrannis blog) ‘The Borg’ to a T. It’s quite something to see the ‘controlled chaos’ theory so explicitly and openly stated by Steven Mann, the US Foreign Policy wonk. Amazing, scary and at the same time it explains a hell of a lot ie why so many places in the the world have been turned into basket cases.

    1. cwaltz

      LOL

      I think weak is more apt. If you’re going to commit to monogamy, commit to monogamy. If you have to sleep with more than one person at least have the courtesy of stating that up front so people can decide whether or not to pursue a relationship with you fairly. Geez, it’s not that complicated.

      1. hunkerdown

        For real. If only the monogamous could be expected to politely respond to such information with “Okay, thanks for your time and good luck on your search” rather than fire, brimstone, accusations of crimes against their personal property for which we were never even in the same state, and other baggage of their own failed expectations.

        1. cwaltz

          I dated quite a few men with no expectation of anything other than companionship when I was younger. Now mind you not all of those relationships ended up with us in bed.

          More often than not, I had more than my fair share of men professing their undying love in hopes that would get me into bed.

          It personally creeped me out to have someone who knew me for little more than a week insisting that they “loved” me. I don’t consider myself that complex but I’m certainly not one dimensional enough that one week is enough time for anyone to decide on a lifelong relationship.

    2. craazyman

      that is pretty funny.

      It may just be well known men politicians trying to look contrite, not men in general.

      Most of the rest of us would probably just look bewildered and confused by what we did, not believing it and wondering how it possibly could have happened.

  17. DrBob

    Re: Man Rents VHS Tape. Doesn’t Return It. Ends Up in Handcuffs. [New York Times]

    Would’ve been much funnier if it was a VHS copy of “American Psycho”.

    1. Alex morfesis

      A strange case…matters before the court need to be served within a certain time frame or be dismissed…if the arrest is the notice how exactly is this case and matter still an existing case in north carolina…oh wait…its north carolina…about to lose all its hollywood filming due to their brilliance…

  18. rich

    The Cost of War | Bernie Sanders

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QEy0mxfFaM&feature=youtu.be

    A visibly emotional Gabbard chokes up and continues, “These are people and friends who we never forget, and who we strive to honor every day that we are blessed to live and breathe.”
    Gabbard then praises Sanders, noting his vote against the Iraq War and
    his pledge to “take the trillions of dollars that are sent on these interventionist, regime change, unnecessary wars, and invest it here at home.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/25/politics/tulsi-gabbard-bernie-sanders-ad-hawaii/index.html

    or you could go have dinner with Clooney et al….

    1. Pavel

      hi rich,
      thanks for posting this. A friend sent me the link just earlier today in an email, saying it was the best political ad he’d ever seen. Not sure that’s true, but it is very powerful and well done in a very understated way.

      I wish someone would do an anti-Hillary advert: If we stopped all the illegal and pointless foreign interventions and wars, we could save a trillion dollars. Just imagine how many dinners with George Clooney American taxpayers could pay for!

    1. Andrew Watts

      If the rise of Sanders/Trump happened in any other country the media would be reporting that a crisis of political legitimacy was unfolding. If they were honest… and if that country didn’t kowtow to Washington.

      1. frosty zoom

        actually, the trump/sanders thing happens all the time in other countries. however, most of those countries have at least 7 different parties viable at any given time.

        1. Andrew Watts

          The countries you’re probably thinking about kowtow to Washington. They probably possess a healthier political environment where your political opponents aren’t evil incarnate.

          That’s what happens when your country was founded in part by Puritans who thought dancing to music was a mortal sin worthy of eternal damnation.

            1. Andrew Watts

              I’m sure that contemporary historians would agree with that sentiment given their predication for promoting American mythology. The truth is harder to determine compared to the fabricated myths of Colonial America as a bastion of religious freedom or the first Thanksgiving which belong to the pantheon of America’s civic religion.

              The Puritans, who were mostly Calvinists or Lutherans, established a bunch of petty theocracies in early Colonial America. Dissenting sects like the Quakers and other individuals like Mary Dyer faced legal persecution. Dyer was hanged for being a heretic and violating the law that banned Quakers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

              I’ve always thought controversial incidents like the hanging of Dyer inspired the freedom of religion clause in the bill of rights. When a bunch of religious zealots start stoning people for being witches or hanging them for being Quakers you might want some kind of legal guarantee against the tyranny of a theocratic government. Which means even the Founding Fathers didn’t trust the crazy motherf—ers who were their own countrymen.

              1. Andrew Watts

                A plausible example of Puritan/Calvinist’s positive influence on America would be their belief in human cupidity. This belief provided an ideological justification for the eventual establishment of the US government’s system of checks and balances and limitating executive power.

  19. barrisj

    Just returned from our local precinct Demo caucus, where votes were apportioned as 3 delegates for Bernie, and one for Clinton, and given the level of enthusiasm from Sanders partisans, I expect the other precinct votes broke similarly. There is a three-tier process in WA which eventually leads to selection of the state’s 118 delegates to the national nominating convention: precinct-level; county-wide level; state level. At the precinct level, each participant has 1 min. to argue for his/her candidate, then there is an opportunity to change one’s preference. Delegates to the next tier are designated, and caucus adjourned.
    Pro-Hillary sentiment was all about “electability”, with people claiming that Trump/Cruz/whoever will tie the “socialist” albatross around Bernie’s neck, and sink him and the down-ticket as well. Lots of “Sanders, yes, but…” stuff. Hardly anyone spoke on HRC’s “merits”, as it is extremely difficult to argue against a career-long grifter resume, and “lesser-of-two-evils” pleas surfaced. Should be interesting to get final head-count statewide as to how net caucus totals broke out…as mentioned above, one cannot gainsay that Bernie’s got the masses stirred up and passionate for his candidacy.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thanks for the update.

      Three Western states today. According to the augurs, today should be an auspicious one for the victorious birds.

    2. Tony S

      Thanks for the report!

      If one is going to make the “electability” argument for a candidate, said candidate better effing get elected.

      We’ve been down this road with John Kerry. For obvious reasons, it’s a far less effective argument now.

      And even in isolation, have Hillary’s defenders SEEN her net approval ratings in swing states?

      It is interesting, and all too telling, that nobody argues for Hillary on policy.

      The Democratic Party is Greece-level bankrupt.

        1. barrisj

          32% caucus votes in for WA, and it’s Bernie @ 76%, or better than 3:1, networks calling it big this Sat. for Bernie! He is showing great strength outside of Hillary’s Red State A-A vote, probably sweep the Western states (AK, WA, OR, CA, UT, AZ), and competitive in the Midwest and East. Bernie gots da Mo!

        1. Ulysses

          I am also cautiously optimistic, but I think we need to aim for more than just making Bernie the nominee. We need to smash the duopoly, and the good cop/ bad cop scam that they run against Americans every four years:

          “The increased space the left has secured to raise real questions about the character of US society will be wasted if Trump is allowed to scare the left back under the Democratic Party umbrella. The Democratic Party apparatus has been where movements go to die and capitalism turns to stabilize. The true test in the 2016 elections is not whether Trump can be defeated by a united front but whether radical forces in the US can find a way to defeat the plague of lesser evil politics.”

          http://www.thebellforum.com/showthread.php?t=147978

  20. meeps

    Thanks for the stories about the AfD and Podemos, which aren’t unique in their respective responses to human conflict, but which are representative of the divergent coping strategies being adopted around the world. It may be instructive to ask which of these are adaptive.

  21. Pavel

    (More) Capital controls coming to France. Via John Ward’s “Slog” blog:

    Two days ago, I got this email from an expat who, like me, now lives in France – ie, in the eurozone. This is a telling extract from it. On trying to send to ‘Turkish’ Cyprus, he’d been told..

    ‘….a new law had been brought into force prohibiting businesses from transferring any sum in excess of €8,000 out of the country. Apparently, I am now permitted to send €8,000 per month so, in order to pay this bill, my supplier would have to be content with 3 separate payments over a 3 month period.

    Asking my ‘conseillère’ what this bollox was all about, she responded “It’s a new initiative designed to prevent fraud and the finance of arms for terrorists. It’s nothing personal you understand. The same applies to all businesses and it only concerns transfers outside of the European Union.” ‘

    Well, it all sounds like capital controls to me. So, having a daughter in Australia, I popped into a branch yesterday on the pretence of trying to send her the deposit on a flat of “around €12,000″. Ah, they said. Much tooth-sucking. That would be problematic, M’sieur. You see, there’s a new law just been passed…”.

    John Ward: Behind Your Back

    I was in France recently and there seem to be 300 euro limits per day for ATM withdrawals, and I believe 3000 euros maximum per month taken in cash. Scary times. I travel quite a bit (understatement of the year :) and now am making regular ATM withdrawals wherever I go (300 USD/GBP/EUR e.g.)

    Some US friends of mine recently purchased a flat in Paris — I assume for $500K or more. Sounds like it might be difficult to get the money back out of France if they ever want to. Again, scary times.

  22. Kurt Sperry

    Just got back from my Democratic caucus here in Washington State. I couldn’t tough it out through the whole process, the three minute Hillbot speech was bringing on incipient dry heaves, but I got my preference on the record. I’d guesstimate the ratio of voters at my caucus location was four or five to one in Bernie’s favor, I was glad to see it. I would have stayed on to make my arguments but I don’t think anything I or anyone else said would have changed anyone’s opinion at this stage. There was a guy working the line before the doors opened collecting signatures for a petition to raise the state minimum wage to $13.60/hr. or something and require employers to provide one hour of sick leave for every forty clocked. I gladly signed even though i found it to be an ungenerous number to support, but a bitter old crone next to me in line was arguing with the guy saying how she raised seven children on a near minimum wage and how raising it would make everything too expensive. Her daughter with her was bravely trying to talk sense to her, but she wasn’t listening. I imagined trying to convince someone like that to change their mind, but I don’t think any rational argument exists that would penetrate the decades of indoctrination and cognitive decline. I wanted to tell her she should be at the Republican caucus or primary and attitudes like hers have no place in the DP, but it would have been pointless and unpleasant for both of us. I think all we can do about people like that is wait for them to naturally die off and be replaced by better, nicer people.

    1. sd

      My elderly mother is a huge Bernie fan. She will not vote for Hillary. I just want put to rest the idea that only the young support Bernie.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        My grandmother was an unapologetic lefty right up to her 100th birthday but she was also one of those lucky people who was still as sharp as a tack (smarter than most people, even in their prime) even at that age. I wonder why some people’s mental faculties never seem to deteriorate, it suggests that the process isn’t anything near inevitable and there is probably a way to prevent it happening.

    2. NoOne

      I wonder if anyone realizes that – at $13.60 per hour – Hillary would have had to have spoken for 49 632 hours in order to earn her $675,000 from Goldman Sachs. That’s more than 2000 days of non-stop talking 24-7.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Not that hard if she (or her hologram) just lip sync’s with a karaoke machine.

        “Technology for a better tomorrow.”

  23. PQS

    Report from the WA Demo Caucus today:
    Our precinct (which had probably 30 attendees) was initially favorable for Sanders by probably a 50/50 margin between the two. There were a bunch of undecideds.
    After the presentations, the final tally was Bernie 5 delegates to Hillary’s 2.

    Issues raised by Bernie supporters: his unwavering positions on issues, while Hillary has changed her mind on TPP, the Keystone pipeline, and the Iraq war. Her support for the Iraq war drew passionate denunciations. One man brought up the endless scandals of the 90s (he claimed to be a retired government attorney, no less). He said he hoped that Hillary had developed some honesty and integrity (“people can change”), but didn’t hold out much for that. Most people I spoke with didn’t like the fact that she was in the pocket of big business and corporate power. These were largely middle aged or retired people.

    Hillary supporters indicated their support because she “gets things done” and has experience in government. They said that Bernie doesn’t have a plan to pay for all his great ideas, which everybody agreed were very nice, but just couldn’t possibly exist in the real world of Congress…..kind of the usual triangulation. (The doesn’t have a plan to pay was rebutted in oral argument, though.)

    Speaking of which, one Bernie supporter actually brought up and used the term “triangulation” as a negative to Hillary’s record.

    There were a lot of younger Bernie supporters in positions of authority within the Demo caucus machinery….way more than I would have expected in my neighborhood, which is older (I’m way out in the suburbs from Seattle)….maybe that ground game is a real thing, after all!

    I would encourage EVERYONE to get out and caucus. It is heartening, even for an old cynic like me, to see people engaged in the process, interested in the future, and full of great perspectives.

    1. Pavel

      Re: Hillary who “gets things done”. I do wish people would make a list of her real accomplishments. I guess blowing up Libya counts for something, and supplying arms to various Mideast dictatorships, and assisting in the Honduran coup… and she sponsored an anti-flag burning amendment. HillaryCare was DOA. When asked about her accomplishments as SoS I believe she said: “Restoring the good name of the USA abroad” or some such tripe.

      Otherwise? Bueller… anyone?

    2. barrisj

      The Sanders delegates put forth by our precinct caucus were young family people, really jacked about our man, and I look for a super-enthusiastic group representing Bernie and WA at the national convention…simply no passion for Hills out there, believe it.

      1. PQS

        Yes. The support for Hillary was largely of the “this is the best we can hope for” variety. And some people were concerned that the Repubs would tar Bernie with the Commie label.
        As if they don’t have a whole raft of insults to tar Hillary with…

        1. Massinissa

          Some people havnt woken up to the fact that this isnt the McCarthy era anymore: Commie isnt even a dirty word anymore, or at least not the kind that kills careers.

          Its a much less scary word now that the USSR is dead and buried, with Joe McCarthy alongside it.

          1. Lambert Strether

            What the Republicans get for painting a center-right President as a socialist. If they’d called him an anarchist, Kropotkin could have run and made a respectable showing.

  24. ke

    Biology acts like a stack, with differentiation, dedifferentiation, and redifferentiation cell processes. The fact that the majority is being swamped with degenerative disease tells you it is headed back to regeneration, which is neither good nor bad. Biologists are emotional creatures.

    MMT will work just fine, for the consumption. Any religion will do, so long as it is new and accepted by the majority, which cannot sustain development over generations. What the psychologists accept, and why they are in a position to strangle the majority, is that most make group confirming emotional decisions, and most logic is a reaction.

    Increasing the length of that carbon chain keeps H an O from immediate recombination. Where you insert the motor depends upon where you want to go. Take another look at parallel ion pulse prop.

    The psychologists aren’t going to beat DNA at its own game, waves within waves, with or without your fetal tissue.

  25. samhill

    Microsoft issues apology over racist chatbot fiasco

    Looks like MS accidentally invented Trump-bot, it spews a totally mindless or ad-hoc spiel of fascist, misogynist, and racist gobbledygook, feeding on self-reinforcing idiotic self-reference. Begs the question, how come Trump-bot gets immediately pulled and apologized for but the Trump non-bot just keeps going and going? Yes, sadly, no one to pull the plug. Anyway, this little experiment doesn’t so much prove that the MS project is flawed so much as Trump and his followers are mentally on par with an extremely primitive, infant, beta AI. Also rather scary: We make a free roving self controlling AI and immediately, on boot, before it even gets a look around, it goes obtuse shit-head asshole. Sigh, no way to stop the Skynet thing.

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Off switch key for risky behaviors.

    There is only one planet with abundance of the spice that will activate the off switch.

    You control that planet, you control the universe.

    “All citizens, except those from certain exceptional families, are required to drink the potion every day.”

  27. lyman alpha blob

    Anybody catch this framing from the Nader article?

    “I believe that should Clinton overcome Sanders and claim the Democratic nomination…”

    Ha! Makes me glad I voted for him all over again :)

  28. Blurtman

    I went caucusing today in my Eastside of Seattle precinct. Results: Bernie 2/3. Hillary 1/3. Surprising as I live in a very red area. True to what you hear, the pro-Hillary folks were older, and a number of pro-Hillary women brought up her accomplishments in a male dominated world. It looks like Bernie will capture WA state by a convincing margin. It is a bit irritating that our two US Senators and governor are Hillary super delegates, in spite of the state Democrats going 75% Bernie, 25% Clinton. They better get on board.

    1. PQS

      Email or call them. I sent an email to my Representative telling him that not following the votes of the people is undemocratic. They need to know we’re on to them….

      1. Vatch

        Governor Jay Inslee
        http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact
        360-902-4111
        360-753-4110 fax
        – – – – – –
        Murray, Patty – (D – WA)
        154 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
        Toll Free: (866) 481-9186
        (202) 224-2621
        http://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme
        – – – – – –
        Cantwell, Maria – (D – WA)
        511 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
        (202) 224-344

        Seattle
        915 Second Avenue, Suite 3206
        Seattle, WA 98174
        Phone: (206) 220-6400
        Fax: (206) 220-6404

        Spokane
        W. 920 Riverside, Suite 697
        Spokane, WA 99211
        Phone: (509) 353-2507
        Fax: (509) 353-2547

        Tacoma
        950 Pacific Avenue, Suite 615
        Tacoma, WA 98402
        Phone: (253) 572-2281
        Fax: (253) 572-5879

        Everett
        2930 Wetmore Avenue, Suite 9B
        Everett, WA 98201
        Phone: (425) 303-0114
        Fax: (425) 303-8351

        Vancouver
        1313 Officers Row
        Vancouver, WA 98661
        Phone: (360) 696-7838
        Fax: (360) 696-7844

        Richland
        825 Jadwin Avenue, Suite 206
        Richland, WA 99352
        Phone: (509) 946-8106
        Fax: (509) 946-6937

        https://www.cantwell.senate.gov/contact

      2. Blurtman

        Done. But I expect canned response #87 from their interns. I never heard back from Murray when I asked her if she voted to confirm (voice vote) Hank Paulson. I referenced the record $5.1 billion settlement for fraud committed by Goldman Sachs when Hank headed up the company. The “we may be terrible but the other guys are even worse” strategy is losing its punch.

    2. polecat

      irritating, but not surprising, since they’er pro EX-IP Bank, as well as pro TPP, TTIP, etc. !

    3. Mark Alexander

      Here in Vermont, the superdelegate situation is just as shameful, and maybe even more so, since it’s Bernie’s home state. Only one superdelegate (Peter Welch) has endorsed Bernie, who won the primary, as expected, by a yuuge margin.

  29. SLB

    Did my civic duty at the Alaska caucus today (my first one). My district (part of the Fairbanks area) was feeling the Bern by large margins. The Hillary group was clustered against one wall, completely dwarfed. Turnout was apparently MUCH higher than usual. It was empowering to stand among so many Bernie supporters! From what I could see, we seemed to be a good mix of ages, sexes, and ethnicity. Final delegate tally for our district was 16 for Bernie, 3 for Hillary.

    1. armchair

      So, I just ran through the site and there are a ton of reports from Washington, but you’re the only I could find from Alaska, and nothing from Hawaii yet. It is great to hear from Alaska. It is good not to let Washington do all of the talking. Anyway, my report from Washington is that it was a blast to be in a room where Sanders was winning and Clinton people all had long faces.

  30. Peter Pan

    The WA Democratic party was overwhelmed with surrogate affidavits. (That’s how I voted for Bernie.)

    Right now Sanders is body slamming Clinton to the ground by over 50% margin.

    1. Vatch

      Bernie Sanders only has about 72% of the vote, with 62% of the precincts counted. Obviously, it’s time for him to withdraw from the race. /sarc

  31. ke

    Political Science: “What does happen is that it’s opponents gradually die out and that the growing generation is familiarized with the idea from the beginning.”

    Peer review institutions are a sad joke.

  32. mk

    quote from bernie email received today: Our campaign was just declared the winner of two more states: Washington State with 101 delegates, and Alaska with 16 delegates.

  33. Brooklin Bridge

    HuffPo puts Hillary wins as the splash at the top and Sanders wins in small panel below the splash. Oh well, It’s surprising they changed, “Sanders wins” to “Sanders Crushes” and even more surprising they didn’t use white on white for print.

  34. john kissinger

    I wish people promoting Clinton as somebody that get things done would be forced to defend that,
    First on its merits, e.g. She went behind closed doors and produced a health care plan that could not pass even though democrats controlled both houses of congress in 1992, plus what, exactly, beyond more foreign adventures, not all of which Obama approved, did she push/accomplish as SOS? and
    Second, vs the very real accomplishments of Bernie working across the aisle in getting bills modified and/or passed.
    ‘Working for you’ is only effective after ‘you’ have paid your price of access to the Clintons… Imagine getting a seat at the table that also will feed the Clooneys for just 350K! Access for all, indeed.

  35. HotFlash

    I know this delegate stuff is confusing, but if Bernie just got 72.3% of the WA vote and Hillary got 27.6%, then how come he only got 23 delegates to Hillary’s 18? I am sure there must be some rationale, even if it’s irrational, but what?

    1. HotFlash

      And .02% of the vote is “uncommitted” giving 7 delegates to, um, nobody? This system is very odd, if I were running a campaign I think I would put my $$$ on the superdelegates, probably better use of resources.

    2. marym

      As of about 8 p.m. Saturday, Sanders was winning 72 percent of delegates to Clinton’s 28 percent. The Associated Press called the race for Sanders by midafternoon.

      At stake are 101 delegates to the Democratic National Convention, which will be allocated proportionally between the candidates, based on the caucus results.

      LINK

  36. optimader

    How Monsanto Got Stung By a Zika Virus Conspiracy Theory

    by
    Dan Mitchell
    @thefoodeconomy
    February 16, 2016, 3:28 PM EDT
    Fueling a thousand Facebook memes.

    Over the weekend, a new theory arose and went viral, pointing fingers at a pesticide and the Monsanto Corp. in widespread cases of microcephaly in Brazil.

    This happened despite a near-universal consensus among scientists and health officials that the cause is almost certainly the mosquito-borne Zika virus, and despite the fact that even if the pesticide (more precisely, a larvicide) were the cause, Monsanto has nothing to do with that product, and in fact doesn’t even manufacture larvicides.

    An article published Sunday in the online publication Tech Times carried the unwieldy but ominous headline: “Larvicide Manufactured By Sumitomo, Not Zika Virus, True Cause Of Brazil’s Microcephaly Outbreak: Doctors.”

    Those doctors are members of the Argentina-based group PhRed Universitária de Ambiente y Salud (University Network of Environment and Health). But based on the Tech Times article, it appears that group had little hard evidence for its conclusion that the larvicide, Pyriproxyfen, was responsible for microcephaly, which causes malformation of the heads and brains of fetuses. It is “no coincidence,” the doctors’ group asserted, that thousands of the children with the malady live near areas where the larvicide was used…..
    http://fortune.com/2016/02/16/monsanto-zika-virus-conspiracy/

  37. pretzelattack

    what does huffington mean, what did clinton win? unless hawaii got gamed somehow, sanders wins all 3.

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