Links Pi Day 2016

Live US Hellfire missiles found on a passenger flight in Serbia Business Insider (!!!)

Ivory Coast attack: Gunmen target 3 hotels CNN

Car bombing in Turkey’s capital Ankara kills dozens Al Jazeera English

Brazilians Take to Streets as Rousseff’s Future in Balance Bloomberg

Tsipras′ future in the balance as Greek crises mount DW.COM

George Osborne defends using disability cuts to fund middle-class tax break The Independent

Merkel’s party suffers drubbing in German state vote CNBC. Major win for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD). We’re not the only country working through these issues.


Here’s What You Need To Know About The March 15 ‘Mega Tuesday’ Contests NPR

Trump’s endorsement of violence reaches new level: He may pay legal fees for assault suspect LA Times

Michelle Fields, Ben Shapiro Resign From Breitbart BuzzFeed News. This is over Breitbart’s refusal to back up their own reporter after she was assaulted by Trump’s campaign manager.

Someone Will Die Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo

This is why the right hates Donald Trump: He doesn’t question their core beliefs, but they still see the danger Corey Robin,

Poll Finds Kasich, Rubio Moving in Opposite Directions Wall Street Journal

John Kasich Boasts of Ohio Recovery, but Reality Is More Nuanced New York Times

Cruz and Rubio think Trump isn’t friendly enough to Israel, but the majority of Israeli Jews disagree Quartz

Which Side Are You On, Hillary? Dan Kaufman, New York Times

Win or Lose, the Sanders Campaign Is Building a Movement in Florida The Nation

For favored Republican vets in Congress, an anxious day looms The Washington Post. Actually no incumbents have lost a primary yet, and few are expected to get much of a challenge Tuesday either. The presidential race has completely sucked the oxygen out of politics, which accompanies the rather large amount of ignorance most Americans have about the political system. These Congressional seats are far more important than the weight we put on them in the political discourse, yet the days when liberals would know the names Tim Canova or Jamie Raskin or other important primary challengers are long past. I wish this weren’t so. Given the state of our democracy, you need to know more than who’s running for President, even more than who your Congressmembers are, if you want to shift the balance of power and get something done.

The liberal war over the Obama legacy has already begun The Washington Post. Review of books by Bill Press and Thomas Frank, latter sounds intriguing.

Asian stocks rise on ECB stimulus effect Financial Times

A $20,000 Self-Driving Vehicle Hits the Road Wall Street Journal

The Rise and Risk of Non-Bank Servicers Eric Mains, Living Lies

Why was no one prosecuted for contributing to the financial crisis? New documents reveal why Bethany McLean, Yahoo Finance

Robert Rubin Was Targeted for DOJ Investigation Fortune. Wow. A much easier way to get at this would have been a Sarbox certification violation, which carried jail time in the statute. But DoJ taking the criminal referrals from FCIC and effectively tossing them in the trash is just so damning.

USA uses TPP-like trade-court to kill massive Indian solar project Boing Boing

The Koch-Fueled Plot to Destroy the VA Kevin Drum, Mother Jones. He was outvoted, but this happened on Sanders’ watch while he chaired the Veterans Affairs Committee in the Senate.

A millennial and a baby boomer trade places: ‘I can’t help but feel a stab of envy’ The Guardian

Momentum to Remove Confederate Symbols Slows or Stops New York Times

Human scores first win over AlphaGo BBC

Holy bat smell: 10 pounds of guano found in office’s ceiling SFGate

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.


    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Great link, Thanks !!! (hope you don’t mind a couple of quotes).

      A brilliant article. It manages to name as well as capture many things one is aware of but can’t pin down regarding the depth and dangers of modern technology created by and for/in the service of our darker nature, or new dimensions of capitalism as referred to by the author with the term, Surveillance Capitalism

      A couple of snippets:

      Unoriginal Sin

      The significance of behavioral surplus [origins of big data – what internet queries say about users (us) – particularly as stored and analyzed by Google] was quickly camouflaged, both at Google and eventually throughout the Internet industry, with labels like “digital exhaust,” “digital breadcrumbs,” and so on. These euphemisms for behavioral surplus operate as ideological filters, in exactly the same way that the earliest maps of the North American continent labeled whole regions with terms like “heathens,” “infidels,” “idolaters,” “primitives,” “vassals,” or “rebels.” On the strength of those labels, native peoples, their places and claims, were erased from the invaders’ moral and legal equations, legitimating their acts of taking and breaking in the name of Church and Monarchy.

      We are the native peoples now whose tacit claims to self-determination have vanished from the maps of our own behavior.


      […] but I offer this thought in summary.

      Surveillance capitalism reaches beyond the conventional institutional terrain of the private firm. It accumulates not only surveillance assets and capital, but also rights. This unilateral redistribution of rights sustains a privately administered compliance regime of rewards and punishments that is largely free from detection or sanction. It operates without meaningful mechanisms of consent either in the traditional form of “exit, voice, or loyalty” associated with markets or in the form of democratic oversight expressed in law and regulation.

      This is one of the few articles I have read that approaches the depth of what is and has been silently going on in tech over the last 15 years (on top of a platform created during the previous 50 years). It is a worthwhile read for anyone, but particularly for optimists who feel technology is going to (vs. a very tenuous “could”) solve all our problems.

      1. fresno dan

        I agree – very eye opening and disturbing
        The very idea of a functional, effective, affordable product as a sufficient basis for economic exchange is dying. The sports apparel company Under Armour is reinventing its products as wearable technologies. The CEO wants to be like Google. He says, “If it all sounds eerily like those ads that, because of your browsing history, follow you around the Internet, that’s exactly the point–except Under Armour is tracking real behavior and the data is more specific… making people better athletes makes them need more of our gear.” The examples of this new logic are endless, from smart vodka bottles to Internet-enabled rectal thermometers and quite literally everything in between. A Goldman Sachs report calls it a “gold rush,” a race to “vast amounts of data.”

        “Internet-enabled rectal thermometers” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        If they know your temperature, it won’t be too long before they know what your eating and/or drinking. Discounts for health insurance will be predicated on the amount of sugar, fats, proteins and alcohol your consuming.

        THE FUTURE:
        Ass beeps!
        Man next to you notes your f*rts sound electronic – have you been eating computer chips?
        You reply no, my ass sends a signal if I exceed my heath insurance discount for low saturated fat….

      2. Rick Cass

        The article on surveillace capital is arguably the most important one of the year. One begins to understand the full impact of the internationalization of the laws concerning data, and some of the effects that the TPP will have on our lives. A transfer of rights indeed.

    2. Ivy

      Jaron Lanier wrote a good book titled Who Owns the Future about topics overlapping somewhat with those in the surveillance capitalism article.

      One theme that runs through such articles and books is the concept of Behavioral Surplus, with the related concept of Consumer Surplus or its eventual outcome, Consumer Deficit. The Marshallian concept of Economic Surplus included consumer and produce components. In the modern life crapification era, it isn’t enough for a producer to be satisfied with maximizing its Producer Surplus only out of the conventional anodyne share. The astute producer will find ways to extract every bit of consumer surplus as part of an ongoing probe of every aspect of an individual’s demand curve for any product, service, time or anything else of potential value that may be pursued. Zero sum and negative sum game opportunities abound.

      Lanier pointed out that consumers willingly, or not so willingly, turned over all that data, so one battle, essentially a tardy rear-guard action, may be regarding further disclosures about data collection and privacy issues.

    3. tongorad

      Interesting article, save for the “capitalism has been hijacked” conclusion. Capitalism’s crises can always be resolved by the eternal return of true, pure capitalism. No true scotsman to the rescue!

    4. sleepy

      Thanks for the link.

      What kind of people dream this stuff up?

      The game is selling access to the real-time flow of your daily life –your reality

    5. TedWa

      Excellent read. Ruled from above where no laws exist to protect mans dignity through uninformed consent to be surveilled at every turn. We need to catch up with technology in our laws. Capitalism is quite the creature isn’t it, it can commoditize our predictive course through life and lay out our destinies and day to day lives like a playbook, reducing us to basically automatons. The outrageous indignity of it all – indeed ! I don’t belong to facebook, don’t buy smart phones, TV’s or appliances, don’t use google as a search engine and that’s still not enough.

    6. curlydan

      definitely an eye opener. Google Fiber is in my city, and I often asked why does Google want to get into the gritty business of cable with all the digging and repairing issues? Of course, now I see it’s the data they can harvest.

      Google cannot be content to know only what we search, but they need to know and sell what we watch (Google Fiber), what we see (Google Glass), what we do at home (Nest), and where we go (Google maps), etc.

      Loved this quote: “We observe capitalism shifting under our gaze: once profits from products and services, then profits from speculation, and now profits from surveillance. This latest mutation may help explain why the explosion of the digital has failed, so far, to decisively impact economic growth, as so many of its capabilities are diverted into a fundamentally parasitic form of profit.”

  1. For The Win

    Re: US blocking Indian solar project, all for naught too. India could and probably would simply import Chinese panels if they were going to import them. This simply forces India into a quandary, cost US technology vendors a chance to sell production equipment, and is a nice example how US industries promote their own interest over even the US national interest via the end-run offered by trade arbitration mechanism. At least NAFTA and some of the older agreements did have some requirements for State input, which in theory could moderate the whoring. Even that’s gone with these new agreements, negotiated in the name of States to cut their own throats.

    Meanwhile, US and EU are desperately attempting to close all the “loop holes” to restrict import of China’s solar panel . Reminds me of Noam Chomsky’s elucidating the real definition of terrorist.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The Dutch in Indonesia and the Brits in India consumed the “foods” of faraway lands. The “Economic hitmen” consumed the “foods” of nearby nations, Venezuela, Iraq. Then they brought it closer and closer to home and started devouring their own appendages, Portugal, Greece. Now they are feasting on the host itself, what happens when a snake eats its own tail?

  2. DorothyT

    Why was no one prosecuted for the financial crisis?

    What happened then? Well, in this case, not nothing. The big banks have paid a lot of shareholders’ money to make this go away. The Wall Street Journal just did a remarkable tally, and found out that the big banks have, to date, paid $110 billion in mortgage-related fines, many stemming from the Justice Department’s investigations. (The Journal’s examination of where the money has gone is a scandal in and of itself, but that’s another story.)

    “That is the question.”

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Eye opening and jaw dropping. It’s like the Wall Street Mob is running the DoJ and SEC. And the public will never hear any of this on the teevee nightly news.

          Covington & Burling is becoming essentially a kind of shadow Justice Department now.

          We’re not allowed to use the term “Deep State” but c’mon what else can you call this cr@p.

      1. TedWa

        Ask no drama Obama and his bailout with no strings attached to protect citizens from the banksters crimes.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          A few quotes:
          “I’m the only one standing between you and the people with pitchforks”. Exactly.

          “I’m really good at killing people”. Exactly. The Hague, looking gaunt in a plexiglas box, wearing a striped jumpsuit. With Hilary Antoinette beside him.

  3. Steve H.

    The following article goes to the content of Clinton’s email cache, and seems damning. Is the narrative about international finance rigorous?

    “Qaddafi had done more than organize an African monetary coup. He had demonstrated that financial independence could be achieved.”

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      One of the greatest frustrations is not only that people generally lack access to this information but perhaps even more so that they lack access to it’s credibility.

    2. For The Win

      In the “City of God,” St. Augustine tells the story of a pirate captured by Alexander the Great. The Emperor angrily demanded of him, “How dare you molest the seas?” To which the pirate replied, “How dare you molest the whole world? Because I do it with a small boat, I am called a pirate and a thief. You, with a great navy, molest the world and are called an emperor.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Alexander should have called his soldiers the masters of his empire, and let the soldiers vote their leader, which would be him.

        Then, he’d be a , charismatic, democratic leader.

        From there, he could molest the world’s finance with his own fiat money (and his great navy), creating as much as he desired.

        And busied himself catching forgery thieves in small boats.

    3. susan the other

      I think the temple is cracking. Last nite at her Ohio town hall Hillary dropped a megaton. She answered a question about jobs by saying bluntly “We are shutting down coal and oil” and we need to find new energy jobs for those workers. I still can’t believe I heard her say it. Because the sacred stock and bond markets if nothing else. But she did. She blew the cover of all 4 horsemen of the republicans who wouldn’t say global warming if they had a mouthful. Not even Trump. That was such a bombshell I can’t believe nobody has commented on it in the news. Maybe she is offering a sample of her power to really cause chaos so they won’t dare indict her.

      1. Steve H.

        – “We are shutting down coal and oil”

        That is an extraordinary statement. From what I understand, Trump did a flat-out infomercial from a campaign vehicle. But if you possibly could create inside information by credibly alleging you have the agency to shut down entire industries, and you were a cold-hearted grifter, why not see if you could move the market. Even short-term blips could make fortunes. Think put options on American Airlines in 2001.

        Well, that’s just conjecture. (Well, not the put options.) I do know of one family member, a true feminist, not young and very much wants to see a woman president in her lifetime, who reluctantly and publicly said she could no longer support HC because of ties to Wall Street. These emails may make explicit her fealty to high-end finance and using American military resources toward those ends. It’s rather a lot like the Downing Street Memo, and it’s hard to assess the deep impact that document has made in undermining confidence of followers.

        1. Steve H.

          On reflection, her statement is the usual bs. There was a previous conversation around here on oil tar trains, which Buffet & Gates were heavy into. Buffet has been in her ear a long time, I do not believe she will shut down his investment.

      2. TedWa

        She also said we looked into it and decided to not take campaign money from the private prison industry because they don’t support them. What does that say about her taking money from Wall St? Sell influence much?

      3. JTMcPhee

        Really, was that “we” a claim of regal anticipatory “agency” on her part, or one of those “we” statements so many of us make, most often in the form of “we ought” or “we need,” or a tribal invocation that gives the ordinary Democrats the ” progressive” frisson that THEY have and are exercising some kind of power over the Rulers, or just a lapsus linguae or throw-away data packet? Or…? Looks like maybe an Obamagraph ( TM) that one can project whatever they want to onto…?

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sounds like Hillary was defending the dollar hegemony, something Obama and the whole government might have been in on.

  4. Uahsenaa

    From The Nation article:

    Though the encampments got busted, and the group itself seemed to melt away, Occupy’s radical critique not just of Wall Street, but of economic inequality itself, has found in Sanders a powerful tribune able to keep that message alive and in public view.

    It’s almost become a meme that Occupy accomplished nothing, and yet here once again we see a concrete example of something that Occupy did that has had a lasting impact: it provided an accessible and appealing critique that couldn’t be destroyed simply by clearing the encampments. Moreover, it created a body of like-minded individuals who, though dormant for some time, were ready for the next fight to come along, once someone picked up the banner. Sanders may not be the perfect critic of capitalism, but he at least recognizes that the critique and the people who supported it never went away.

    1. sleepy

      Yes, just think how many times a day you now hear the term “the 1%”. OWS certainly raised consciousness of economic inequality and the rigged nature of the system.

      1. Dave

        Just move a decimal point one, or better yet, two spaces to the left.



        Focus, not fantasy.

        1. washunate

          And move it the other way, too.

          While extremes are found at the very top, one of the biggest obstacles in our society is the top 20%, and especially the top 10%, of people in positions of influence and responsibility who actively entrench the system or remain silent in the face of what they know (or ought to know) is wrong.

          Most arrests in this country, for example, are handled by local police chiefs, pushed forward by local prosecutors, and tried (or more accurately, plea bargained) in front of local judges. Of course police chiefs, prosecutors, judges, law professors, prison officials, and other highly paid employees in the legal system would be offended if you suggested they be paid the median wage. They deserve more because they’re running such a gosh darn great system that investigates the big criminals while showing mercy to the less fortunate.

          This is one of the many things OWS forced from the margins of the police state into the mainstream public consciousness. They weren’t systematically targeted by evil billionaire Republicans in the .01%. They were targeted by mainstream Democrats whose authoritarian decrees were enforced by local cops and municipal employees. With of course a happy helping of national coordination in the national security state – itself staffed essentially entirely by people outside the .01%.

          1. Dave

            You are mixing benefactors, the .1%, or the .!% as I like to call them,
            with the victims of their policies, who are both the police et al and the establishment.

            1. JTMcPhee

              Yaas, we are all just victims.. Bad behavior, abuse and all under color of law are not anyone’s fault…

            2. Massinissa

              No, he is actually right.

              It is true the .01 percent pull all the real strings. But they do it by providing the .1 percent with a bit less in terms of privileges but still enough to keep them loyal to the .01 percent, with the same thing occurring between the .1 percent and the 1 percent, with the 10 percent being given only a relatively small amount of privilege from the 1 percent, but which most of them choose to defend what little they have from the working class.

              Its not functionally dissimilar to how working class whites were given certain racial privileges during segregation (or even slavery) that they themselves chose to vigorously defend in order to, if nothing else, at least feel superior to working class blacks, even if they didn’t really receive much concrete economic benefit from those systems compared to the whites at the top of the pyramid.

              1. JTMcPhee

                I’m well aware of the dynamic. My question is why the slightly more “privileged” will against all the moral teaching that is out there, still wield the whips and loose the dogs against the Lessers. No need to answer, I think I understand that dynamic too. We are are pretty fokked species.

                1. Uahsenaa

                  I can take a stab at an answer, because what I have seen in academia bears out how this works.

                  The University of Iowa recently hired a corporate stooge handpicked by the regents (who are vassals to the sitting governor, Branstad), meanwhile controverting the established process for vetting candidates and, in this case, going against the almost unanimous opinion of both the faculty and students that he was woefully unqualified for the job. In the immediate aftermath of his hire, there was grumbling, a number of “sternly worded letters,” and then… nothing. Less than a year later the faculty were going along to get along.

                  At no point were they willing to risk their own stability or that of the institution to challenge what they knew to be wrong and had stated publicly to be wrong. You cannot underestimate what I believe Lambert refers to as the iron law of institutions, though I would add that especially among white collar workers I notice a distinct difference in their mindset and that of their blue collar counterparts. Mind you this is not universally true, but white collar workers tend to identify with and desire to become the very people who manage and in all likelihood exploit their labor, the belief being that their suffering in the current moment is simply paying your dues before moving up the totem pole. Blue collar workers rarely if ever make this category mistake, which is why, in general, they remain antagonistic toward those who manage and exploit their labor.

                  1. Skippy

                    Science-Mart: Privatizing American Science
                    by Philip Mirowski

                    This trenchant study analyzes the rise and decline in the quality and format of science in America since World War II.

                    During the Cold War, the U.S. government amply funded basic research in science and medicine. Starting in the 1980s, however, this support began to decline and for-profit corporations became the largest funders of research. Philip Mirowski argues that a powerful neoliberal ideology promoted a radically different view of knowledge and discovery: the fruits of scientific investigation are not a public good that should be freely available to all, but are commodities that could be monetized.

                    Consequently, patent and intellectual property laws were greatly strengthened, universities demanded patents on the discoveries of their faculty, information sharing among researchers was impeded, and the line between universities and corporations began to blur. At the same time, corporations shed their in-house research laboratories, contracting with independent firms both in the States and abroad to supply new products. Among such firms were AT&T and IBM, whose outstanding research laboratories during much of the twentieth century produced Nobel Prize winning work in chemistry and physics, ranging from the transistor to superconductivity.

                    “Science-Mart” offers a provocative, learned, and timely critique, of interest to anyone concerned that American science once the envy of the world must be more than just another way to make money.”


    2. DanB

      In October 2011 I asked my sociology classes if they’d heard of Occupy and no one had at that early moment. However, they all were experiencing directly or had friends and family who were afflicted by debt, loss of homes, unemployment, and so on. I remember telling them during our discussions that fall, as the Occupy movement grew, that no matter what directly tangible or short-term outcomes would issue from Occupy, there was one -in my view- major positive consequence: the idea of the 1% vs the 99% became a way to recognize and label class-conflict in the modern world. That’s not to be dismissed, as both parties are now finding out as they try every trick up their sleeves to make the serfs return to their hovels to endure their exploitation in silence. Giving inequality a name -the 1% vs the 99%- is, in my view, a major and lasting accomplishment of Occupy.

    3. susan the other

      Occupy framed the issue and gave us a coherent way forward. It was a real achievement on so many levels. It probably de-fused violent riots, etc.

      1. MichaelC

        Not to mention Occupy Sandy which saved lives and shamed every govt disaster relief agenct to up their game.

    4. Benedict@Large

      Before OCCUPY, the inequality meme was nowhere (in the press at least). OCCUPY made it a household term and concern. To understand what a major accomplishment this was, think back to the administration’s response; namely, to present individual opportunity as the solution to inequality. This idea came directly from the big banks that own the administration, and was an attempt to diffuse a macroeconomic problem (i.e., a problem people could blame on the banks) by replacing it with the microeconomic solution of more training, which places all the responsibility for inequality on individual failure.

    5. NeqNeq

      From the Morningstar Advocacy Group-

      If the Occupy Movement was efficacious in bringing about anything more than PHISH fan’s self righteous ranting, then where is the evidence? What evidence can those still clinging to the dream point to?

      Certainly they can’t point to broad political change. 2012 was terrible for those wishing to curb capitalism. The Tea Party and establishment candidates cleaned house in local, state, and congressional races. One might claim Sander’s popularity is an indication of the indelible mark Occupy left. But remember, a candidate is no accomplishment. Not only has he not won the nomination (much less the presidency), but, so far, there has been no real threat to incumbent legislators….you know, all those staunch free market capitalists which got voted into office in 2010 and 2012.

      Nor can they point to legislation being passed hich particularly advances thier cause. Dodd-Frank and the CFPB have been watered down, kicked down the road, and generally rendered harmless to those it was meant to reign in (and punish).

      What about individual behavior? Has there been a huge upswell in individuals putting their money where their ideology is? Nope. Occupy’s best hope for anticapitalist movement died with the micro-brew swilling, quinoa munching, hot yoga teaching “Hipster”. Keep in mind that this is the same crowd who flocks to Uber, AirBnB, and Whole Foods…groups that have no problem fleecing suppliers, employees, and customers to increase profits and PE ratios.

      About the only lasting effect of OWS seems to be that the term “1%” has entered vocabulary of American citizens. Sadly, when a slogan is the only evidence of Occupy’s “impact”, it seems that the critics are correct in saying they accomplished nothing.

      1. Yves Smith

        Occupy was never part of the election/campaign process. And I love the airbrushing of the history. It had been going all of two months when it was subjected to a 17 city coordinated paramilitary crackdown. Some local Occupy groups focused on specific issues continued and were very effective, particularly Occupy the SEC, Occupy Sandy, and many local Occupy Homes.

        1. cassandra

          Those spinoffs actually had defined, targeted programs, which the original Occupy carefully avoided. That no-focus “strategy” has always struck me as breathtakingly naive: the organizers should have realized that program-less demonstrations would just dissipate public energy ineffectually, like a pile of gunpowder set off in the open. It was as if they were afraid to wield power. And I do recall the paramilitary suppression: incredibly chilling.

        2. NeqNeq

          Thanks Yves for bringing O-Homes and O-Sandy up. In those instances I think participants brought real value to the community. Its too bad that more people dont fight for THAT being the legacy impact (although maybe this is an information problem). Cassandra also brings up a good point. IMO the Judith Butler’s did more to castrate a larger and more cohesive Movement than anyone but the police force.

          Not to belabor the Morningstar Advocacy line… I might point out that Yves comment re: Occupy not being involved in election/campaign processes is extraordinarily vulnerable to her favorite line about agency. Occupy’s actions/choices are not separable from the people who made it up any more than a corporation or government. It might have been less top-down, but that merely spreads any blame/praise more broadly.

    1. cwaltz

      I feel pretty confident that my husband is not the only “gun nut” that would oppose someone like Donald Trump and his merry band of bullies.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I feel pretty confident that the people in my neighborhood, with their “TRUMP” lawn signs and bumper stickers alongside the “This house/ vehicle protected by Smith&Wesson” and NRA roundels and Confederate battle flags would be happy to suit up for the Drumpfster, to keep us point headed libruls in our place…

        1. cwaltz

          I wish anyone luck who tries that on this liberal. I have a very protective hubby.

          One of the reasons my husband has a gun is he feels very strongly that he should be able to defend himself and our family from someone who might cause us harm.

          He doesn’t ridiculously think he can effectively take on the government but he does feel he has a pretty good shot against someone who comes to our house intent on harm.

          1. ambrit

            Few people stop a moment to consider all of the Leftist movements that found out that “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”
            By ones self, the government wins hands down. United, anything can happen.
            Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more the police who are coming to the house intent on harm.
            I’m beginning to think that 9/11 was Americas’ “Reichstag Fire” event.

            1. cwaltz

              I was heartened to hear(at the last SWAT raid because apparently I can’t get away from neighborhoods that have drug problems) that our law enforcement is getting rid of the MRAP. We also were grateful to hear that we were heard when we criticized the drug task force at their last raid where they threw a flashbang into a house where a toddler resided.

              My husband and I believe in keeping the lines of communication open with our local law enforcement.

              1. frosty zoom

                every neighbourhood has a drug problem. they always have and always will.

                also, i imagine your local law enforcement is keeping your lines of communication open for you.

      2. Massinissa

        Lets assume that that is true for a moment, and lets say that Donald is only able to accumulate 50% of them.

        That is still more than enough to lead to a very threatening and tense situation. If anything, if they are opposed by the other 50% things could get very tense indeed with threats of violence from at least small sections of the two groups. Hell, its not impossible that only having half of them would make violence more likely than just having all of them.

    1. Massinissa

      They probably have known for at least a half year now. But they, along with much of the MSM, thought they could hide it sufficiently that the public wouldn’t notice. They probably realize the jig is up so they have to at least draw attention to it and maybe they can try to downplay it and say “Well she is still better than the Donald!”

  5. pdehaan

    On Brazil, “Brazilians Take to Streets as Rousseff’s Future in Balance”, a rosy pro-democratic picture is being painted by this Bloomberg article. What is happening here in Brazil is nothing but yet another soft coup, old school Latin America style and yes, with the usual US suspects involved (NED, Koch brothers, right-wing neoliberal think tanks, etc.). See this feature from the realnews network providing a better context.

    1. Jim Haygood

      With a 3.8% drop in GDP last year, and inflation over 10%, it’s no wonder Brazilians are upset.

      Brazil’s plight echoes ours in 1974, when economic recession and double-digit inflation forced Nixon out of office on corruption allegations.

      As ol’ James Carville would say if he could speak Portuguese, “é a economia, estúpido!

      1. Skippy

        The corruption is a feature of the “é a economia, estúpido!“ Jim… core tenant of neoliberalism…

        Skippy…. don’t know what your smirking about, your at ground zero…

  6. DakotabornKansan

    Brazilians Take to Streets

    Last night I watched the documentary film “They Killed Sister Dorothy.” Dorothy Stang was the American nun killed in 2005 for speaking out against logging in the Amazon rain forest. Stang spent thirty years in Brasil trying to prevent ranchers from taking the land of poor Amazon settlers. When I was in Amazonia in the late sixties, I saw the beginnings of the trans-Amazonian highway and deforestation of the Amazon. It was shocking and depressing to see the extent of the destruction of the rain forest in the film.

    The stark inequalities I witnessed in Manaus and Northeast Brasil still exist today.

    Images of the former Serra Pelada gold mine by Brasilian photographer Sebastião Salgado in 1986 are still haunting:

    Yet, the Brasilian government spent $300 million to build a soccer stadium in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. The cost for Brasil hosting of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics is in the billions of dollars. No wonder Brasilians are so furious.

    “All politics is rich people screwing poor people.” – Charles Barkley

    1. susan the other

      love charles barkley. my fave quote when the the nba told him to get in shape: “round is a shape.”

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I hope Barkley was not referring to Sanders voting 98% of the time (or whatever the percentage) with the Democratic Party.

      Is there one good person in politics?

      All politics?

      Not (100-98) 2%?

      Not 99%?

      1. James Levy

        Well, if he votes he’s got to either vote for a Democratic bill or a Republican bill. Last time I looked, there weren’t any other parties in the Congress. So I think your complaint was a little disingenuous, unless you want him to vote for Republican bills.

          1. Massinissa

            Im really confused as to what youre saying, and Levy doesn’t seem to understand either. Could you please clarify what youre saying? I cant make heads or tails of it.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Barkley is saying all politics is rich people screwing poor people.

              I say, Sanders have voted so many times, with the Democrats. That’s politics.

              And his politics is not rich people screwing poor people.

  7. Katniss Everdeen

    “Where was he when I was trying to get healthcare in ’93 and ’94?” she asked a crowd of supporters.

    Sanders was a little closer than Clinton may have given him credit. Like, right behind her.

    Whole lotta “misremembering” and “misspeaking” goin’ on.

    First the reagans are AIDS/HIV crusaders, and then Bernie ABSENT from the healthcare debate. Apparently she is just so “exhausted” that she failed to remember Bernie’s absolute, life-long commitment to universal healthcare even as she so clearly and fondly remembers her own.


    1. cwaltz

      I thought his campaign handled it admirably. They tweeted her picture and thank you note to Bernie for his work on health care as well as a picture of him standing right behind her while she was championing universal health care. It made her look like a politician trying to play gotcha or senile. Neither very strong qualities you’d want in a president.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          No one should ever try to disrupt her speeches.

          “Let the person talk.”

          You shut her down, and you will miss a lot.

          1. cwaltz

            She’s had her speech disrupted. She acted dismissive. Her response to a BLM activist who interrupted her was to tell the woman to run for office if she wanted the podium and then to have her escorted out(much like Donald Trump.)

            As far as I can tell the only candidate that actually shared the podium with an activist that wasn’t preplanned has been Bernie Sanders. When BLM activists interrupted him, he handed them to microphone and waited for them to finish speaking. It isn’t surprising since Bernie has said from day one that one of the reasons he wanted to run was to energize and empower people to be part of the political process.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Hillary seems to be the over-confident type who, if given an opportunity to talk, will hurt her own cause.

              The same with Trump, it appears.

              Who knows what other nuggets of wisdom are awaiting us?

              Let her talk (about more women running for office or the Reagans).

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Hillary is a politician with near universal name recognition and unlimited funding. This is her third election, 2006 would be the fourth. She significantly under performed in 2000 against a lunatic, lost, and is terrified of a 73 year old socialist.

      Hillary is an awful candidate who can’t afford scrutiny. Imagine if Obama wasn’t an empty suit. Clinton Inc. is woefully unprepared for the Internet age which is ironic considering the prosperity bubble of the 90’s was built on the introduction of the World wide Web.

    3. James Levy

      My issue is that Trump makes idiotic statements like that on a weekly basis, but it doesn’t seem to hurt him much. I am glad it is hurting Clinton, but cannot fathom why it hasn’t squashed Trump. I understand that Trump has uttered some normally unmentionable truths, but so has Sanders, and he hasn’t caught on in nearly the same way, and Sanders doesn’t act out or say dumb things the way Trump does. I have to chalk it up to my aversion to being led, which seems to animate many of his followers (as it did Obama’s) but which appalls me.

      1. Uahsenaa

        I chalk things like this up to media coverage. SO much prime time media, network and cable, is devoted to talking about, gawking at, or generally wringing soft hands over what Trump “means” as some kind of social movement. Coverage of him, since the primary campaign began, has dwarfed all others combined. CNN broadcast the entirety of his rambling infomercial about Trump steaks, magazine, etc. even as the real story of the night, Sanders’ upset in Michigan, was unfolding.

        Sanders is actively excluded from a great deal of coverage and doesn’t provide the kind of entertainment/shock value the Donald is always ready to dish out. This is TPTB and their media organs playing things as smartly as they can. Downplay the real threat (i.e. Sanders) and play up the political theater. The added advantage of having popular furor linked to Trump rather than Sanders is that it makes the job of shaming “them” for “their” irrational behavior by the hand-wringers all that much easier.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        There aren’t many swing voters, and many Trump supporters are conservative or republican tribalists. Making the jump to Trump isn’t a huge leap especially when Trump is just saying what the other Republicans dog whistle except on a few relevant issues such as trade.

        Unlike Hillary, Trump didn’t start out as the mostest superest candidate in the history of all evers. Hillary has claimed a mantle of competency and experience. Her unscripted public appearances directly undermine her narrative.

        Any flaw with Trump can easily be rationalized away by the state of his competition and that Trump is and always has been a clown and hate monger.

        It’s a repeat of 2000 in many ways. Gore rarely demonstrated the competence his campaign narrative claimed and 43 at least surrounded himself with people who at the time we’rent known for being total monsters. There are still people who respect Colin Powell.

    4. Ping

      In the CNN Town Hall last night HRC was questioned by a dissappointed Obama voter whose family health insurance premiums had unaffordably tripled after being promised they would only rise slightly (I also experienced).

      HRC went on a rambling response, smothering in complexity and basically said the woman should shop around some more. A completly unhelpful either cluelessly incompetent or dishonest response.

      I found many of her responses diversionary and shrowded so as to obscure her actual record and intentions.

      1. Uahsenaa

        I saw that response in what little I watched of the town hall. It was remarkably dissembling even for Clinton, but I guess she had to ramble on like that until everyone forgot what the question was, lest Clinton’s response be turned into a clear talking point against her. It still may be: shrugging my shoulders a bit, lifting both hands in the air, “when Secretary Clinton was asked why your insurance premiums have tripled, the only response she could muster was to do more shopping!”

    5. Dave

      There’s a lot of dislike of Hillary, shared by me and others here revolving around policy financing and her voting record.

      Google and watch the video,

      “Hillary Clinton lying for 13 minutes straight”

      After watching her clearly contradict herself on major policy issues, and deny it on camera, dozens of times, I think it’s fair to say that she is a pathological liar.

      Especially damning are the “We were being shot at as we landed” statements she made in multiple videos when juxtaposed with her shaking hands with soldiers, taking flowers from a little girl and then strolling over to her limo.

      That look she gets on her face when confronted with facts that go against her, or crowds cheering her opposition, is not just a stage managed smile. It’s what you see in psychotic people. It becomes clear when you see it over and over again through decades of video clips. It’s not learned behavior or coaching–it’s her.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Sometimes one got lucky and was able to tell with a first impression…like 25 years ago.

        The not so remarkable thing is that there are many people who are really good liars that we are not even aware when they lie.

  8. craazyman

    I saw Tie Guy in the subway this morning and almost punched him out I was so furious at what Jacob wrote yesterday, but I was able to restrain myself. Tie Guy sure looked arrogant and haughty and he was there with Skirt Woman. Some homeless dude was in the middle of the car, smelling like a moldy mattress after months in the rain and waving his arms around babbling to himself, and Tie Guy didn’t even get up and offer his seat! Can you believe it? Skirt Woman actually held her nose! I’m not sure even Marie Antoinette did that. I mean really.

    A few homies with underwear coming out of their pants were stretched out on the bench taking up 4 or 5 seats each, even they sat up and said “Yo, WTF?”

    Tie Guy didn’t even have the manners to say hello. He just kept reading his iPad. I think it was the Wall Street Journal app but he was looking at an advertisement for expensive shoes — I think they were Edward Green shoes. What an a-hole. I bet he’s a golfer on the weekends too and probably drills Skirt Woman from behind when she’s wearing high heels. I bet they’re both republicans.


    1. Jim Haygood

      Tie Guy likely had market share on his mind:

      Since 2008 … the number of beer SKUs rose from 4,843 to 11,833. Craft beer SKUs alone have soared from 2,274 in 2008 to a whopping 7,400 last year, more than tripling the amount of products that the industry sent into the marketplace.

      While the beer industry’s SKU count has increased 244% since 2008, total U.S. beer output has actually dropped 3.3% during that same span — from 213.3 million barrels to 206.3 million.

      There’s no room for error. He points to the glut of pumpkin beers still lingering from fall and says that poor forecasting by breweries led them to miscalculate the growth of seasonal beers.

      When you’ve got your strategic thinking cap on, grappling with the intractable pumpkin ale glut, you don’t even see the other folks in the subway.

  9. Kurt Sperry

    Must see video of the day: Hillary Clinton flat lying for 13 minutes straight. Wow. Just wow. The lies just pile up and keep piling. Interestingly, when I follow this link google throws up an error message (they, being evil, are all in for HRC obviously), but just wait a few seconds and a fair use message appears and it will play. Share widely please.

  10. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Which Side Are You On, Hillary? Dan Kaufman, New York Times


    Maybe the author should read his own article to find out.

    If there was ever anything that wasn’t rocket science, this is it.

      1. lindaj

        labor’s biggest enemy might be the labor leaders entwined with the Democratic Party, imo.

  11. Kurt Sperry

    I’ll try this again minus the youtube link since the site software seems to be trying to silence it and this is too important to trust to the whims of Skynet and needs to be spread far and wide now.

    Must see video of the day: Hillary Clinton flat lying for 13 minutes straight. Wow. Just wow. The lies just pile up and keep piling. Interestingly, when I follow this link google throws up an error message (they, being evil, are all in for HRC obviously), but just wait a few seconds and a fair use message appears and it will play. Share widely please.

    Enter “Hillary Clinton lying for 13 minutes straight.” in your search engine of choice and watch.

    1. Massinissa

      Oh man. I quit listening after 7 minutes. All the lies started giving me a headache, and I only listened to half of them.

  12. Tertium Squid

    Young and old changing places

    In our youth-worshipping culture the story of Rip Van Winkle sounds like a curse; the prime 20 years of his life taken away by fairies. But it’s not:

    They advance him to a time in life where he is free of his nagging wife and is now old enough for it be respectable for him to take it easy and play with children, working when he wants to instead of when he has to, supported by his loving, grown children.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I suppose we also worship young voters, seemingly assigning more weight to them, when they are excited.

      And perhaps in reality, it is not so. (Just more media hype, as usual).

      At the end, one old vote is as valid as one young vote.

      1. Massinissa

        I don’t remember anyone laughing or hugging at my grandmothers funeral. Was Nancy dying that funny?

    1. Dave

      Better yet if you add a thought bubble to Huma standing in the background.

      “Get your hands off my woman!”

  13. fresno dan

    “E.J. Dionne used his column to argue that it is not just the establishment Republicans who are facing a crisis because of the rise of Donald Trump. He argues that the establishment Democrats also face a crisis:

    “Its ideology was rooted in a belief that capitalism would deliver the economic goods and could be balanced by a ‘competent public sector, providing services of quality to the citizen and social protection for those who are vulnerable.’”

    This is far too generous an account. The Clinton Democrats were actively steering the economy in a direction to redistribute income upward. This was clear in a number of areas.

    First, their trade policy was quite explicitly designed to put U.S. manufacturing workers in direct competition with low paid workers in the developing world, but maintaining or increasing protections for highly paid professionals like doctors and lawyers. The predicted and actual outcome of this policy is a redistribution from ordinary workers to those at the top. This effect of this policy was aggravated by the massive trade deficit that was the predictable result of the high dollar policy promoted by Robert Rubin.

    They also pushed for longer and stronger patent and copyright protection both domestically and internationally in trade pacts. This meant more money for the pharmaceutical, software, and entertainment industry at the expense of the rest of society.

    They pushed deregulation in the financial industry, which allowed for an explosion in the share of national income that went to the financial sector. Again, this upward redistribution came at the expense of the rest of society.

    And, they effectively supported the explosion of CEO pay. Clinton pushed a transparently absurd measure to cap CEO pay. (He pushed a measure that removed the tax deductibility for non-performance related pay in excess of $1 million a year. This green-lighted huge option based packages.)”

    I don’t know why Baker doesn’t mention Obama….

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Obama is the replacement actor at a Broadway play. He imitated Hillary, never making the role his own. In the end, Obama is an inconsequential figure compared to Clinton Inc.

      1. Carolinian

        Obama is every bit as lightweight a figure as the dreaded Trump. He is a lot more “couth.” Perhaps that’s why so many liberals voted for him. It’s all just a reality show and we are living in it. Sanders in the end, sheepdog or no, will quite likely to end up as simply more shadowplay.

        When this very rich country finally falls off the economic cliff in a real way–think the Great Depression–our politics will finally start to get serious.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I get the feeling you’re saying they are just letting us inmates out in the yard to stretch out a bit, before returning to our cells.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Clinton pushed a transparently absurd measure to cap CEO pay. (He pushed a measure that removed the tax deductibility for non-performance related pay in excess of $1 million a year. This green-lighted huge option based packages.)”

      I am certain that is another bad deed by Bill Clinton, but it just doesn’t seem clear from the writing itself (to me anyway. Perhaps I am just slow).

      You can not deduct the pay. So it green lights huge options?

      What was it before? Huge options PLUS deductibility?

    3. James Levy

      The Clinton policies you outline actually add up to a form of economic nationalism with the focus on strengthening our corporate and banking sector globally. I’m not saying it was a good thing, but the result was to give enormous earnings to the Microsofts, Disneys, Monsantos, and Citibanks (and the rich people who own and control them) and to shove the dollar even more forcefully down the world’s gullet. The obvious fact that it hurt millions of Americans (collateral damage) and that the owners and controller of this country could not give a rat’s ass don’t change the fact that it was a way of aggrandizing a certain, and very powerful, subset of American “interests.”

  14. Jim Haygood

    The good Dr Hussman muses about whether adopting a “dog that didn’t bark” stance could provoke a crash:

    Our measures of valuations and market internals remain jointly unfavorable.

    A market retreat of even a few percent, say, below 1975 on the S&P 500, would shift our outlook like a light switch to a steeply negative view.

    Until that point, we’ll ease our table-pounding about crash risk. For contrarians, this at least briefly softens one of the loudest voices on the subject, which might be exactly the thing to get a crash going.

    Were I Dr H’s physician at the high-security psychiatric hospital, I’d calmly point out to him that since crashes have a probability of about 1 in 12,500 using 20th century data, it is a very long shot indeed for a troubled portfolio manager to wager on a crash serving as a deus ex machina.

    And in my case notes, I’d record, “Patient exhibits megalomaniacal thinking. Believes his blog may crash the stock market. Doubled his Zyprexa dosage to 20mg daily.”

  15. rich

    Allergan Vows to Pay Golden Parachute Taxes After Pfizer Deal

    Three days before Allergan Plc announced a $160 billion deal with Pfizer Inc. last year, its board sent a message of reassurance to its executive team: if you’re let go after the acquisition closes, we’ll cover the tax bill for your severance packages.

    As a result, Allergan could end up reimbursing its five top managers as much as $86 million for taxes they’d have to pay on top of ordinary income taxes if they aren’t offered jobs in the combined company, according to a preliminary proxy filing Friday. The payments were outlined in agreements signed on Nov. 20 last year and are specifically tied to the Pfizer deal.

    Several top Allergan executives are slated to take jobs at the merged drug company and wouldn’t get the payouts. That includes Allergan Chief Executive Officer Brent Saunders, who is to be president and chief operating officer of the combined company, and Executive Vice President Bill Meury, who is in line to be group president of global specialty and consumer brands.

    The tax reimbursements would come on top of exit packages worth a combined $300 million for the five executives if they were let go. If Saunders’s situation changed and he was left without a job, he’d receive $140.7 million in severance, bonuses and equity awards that would vest early, based on an Allergan share price of $295.91. He would get reimbursed $55.1 million to cover excise taxes under those circumstances, the filing said.
    Board Decision

    The promise to pay its top managers’ taxes came after the board considered “the significant value delivered” by the executives, according to the filing. It’s a deviation from the previously stated governance practice by the directors at Allergan’s predecessor Actavis Plc, to only provide “limited” excise tax gross-ups.

    no soup for everyone else but we’ll pay exec’s cap gains taxes after we make them wealthy….BUT BERNIE SANDERS IS A SOCIALIST??? lol…wafj!

    1. TedWa

      There is sooo much damn money sloshing around up there it’s ridiculous what they can do with it. Even more egregious, they continue rewarding failure with huge bonuses, no problem – and it goes on and on and is getting worse. Outrageous. Since when is failure is a desireable option?? Not for us, thats for sure.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        This year, we are seeing small donors get into the ring for once…enough new ‘damn money’ to slosh around to challenge old ‘damn money.’

        With money creation from the bottom up, we can always have new ‘damn money’ from the little guys to slosh around to challenge the big people.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I hope to see money creation from the bottom up, but the earliest I can hope for is probably the next election.

  16. TedWa

    Woo hoo – YUUGE takedown of Rahm : In a press conference on Saturday, Bernie went even further, calling Rahm out for siding with Wall Street over his own constituents:

    “The reality is that there wouldn’t be a budget shortfall if the city of Chicago had refused to pay Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America over $500 million for risky financial schemes that were marketed as a way to finance the public school system. This is a disaster for communities in Chicago, for communities of color and for the children of this city.

    Based on his disastrous record as mayor of the City of Chicago, I do not want Mayor Emanuel’s endorsement if I win the nomination. We do not want the support of people who are indebted to Wall Street and big money interests.”

  17. Roland

    Russia announced a drawdown in its Syrian expeditionary force.

    1. Is this a case of, “just declare victory and go home” ?

    2. Sic Semper Tyrannis speculates this could be part of a bigger understanding involving Ukraine.

    3. Or did the heavy Turkish mobilization along the Syrian border give Russia an incentive to try to back down gracefully?

    4. A good gesture to accompany resumption of talks.

    5. Might not be a big deal in any case, since Russia will maintain naval and air bases in Syria. Fighter-bombers can always be moved back.

  18. HotFlash

    Nobody’s mentioned this so far, but DDay, thanks for the vampire bat antidote! They are *so cute* (yes, I am warped, sorry). And they do not kill their hosts.

  19. ewmayer

    Re. the Taibbi piece on Eric Holder for Alternet [h/t ‘Bill’ for the link] — Note again the typically disingenuous, blinkered kind of excuse-making offered by Mr. PlaceHolder in his first quoted snip – It’s not the original pervasive multi-$trillion fraud that is the danger to the economy, it’s any attempt to prosecute said fraud above “token sacrificial little fish” level.

    Also, at least one similarly large exemplar of the revolving door occurs to me in addition to the ones Taibbi notes — Robert Khuzami, GFC-era head of the SEC’s (non)enforcement division, who came to that role from his previous job as Global Head of Litigation and Regulatory Investigations — as in getting such to go away as quietly as possible — for fraud-riddled Deutsche Bank. The linked Wikipage mentions a few-years-old Taibbi article on that topic, but the massive and hagiographic résumé-padding-akin section on Khuzami’s “historic restructuring of the SEC enforcement division” sounds like it was written by his lackeys, which I’m guessing is in fact the case.

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