Links 3/27/17

Accidental therapists: For insect detectives, the trickiest cases involve the bugs that aren’t really there Stat

The world needs more toilets – but not ones that flush The Conversation

This Beekeeper Wants You to Stop Eating Counterfeit Honey Vice (resilc)

Astronomers to peer into a black hole for first time with new Event Horizon Telescope The Conversation (David L)

I overhear some local women gossip about me and decide to act Guardian

New self-help mantra: Don’t give a f*** about anything. Here’s how not to Scroll.in. Trigger warning: Skip this if the f-word bothers you. Not surprised this is an NYT bestseller….

2016 Post Mortem

Biden: I regret not being president Oh god. I don’t know how much of this nonsense I can stand. Say it ain’t so, Joe! Bernie would have won.

Inauguration of the Trumpian Beauty Contest The Baffler

The DLC Lives: “Third Way” Democrats Are Trying to Push the Party Rightward Truth-out.

Against Chelsea Clinton Devastating. Jacobin

Let’s Not Call Obama Stylish Just Yet New York. The hagiography continues. Can’t decide which is worse: This or the Chelsea Clinton trial balloons. Readers?

Obamacare

Where’s the Best Place to Live Under the American Health Care Act? The Atlantic (resilc)

Trump tried to burn down Obamacare. He set his hair on fire instead Guardian (resilc)

Stop Blaming. Start Governing. Bloomberg. Michael Bloomberg weighs in.

Angry over U.S. healthcare fail, Trump voters spare him blame Reuters (resilc). Teflon Trump?

Computer program developed to diagnose and locate cancer from a blood sample Science Daily (Chuck L)

Telehealth Doctor Visits May Be Handy, But Aren’t Cheaper Overall NPR (David L)

Israeli Cyber Police Arrest Israeli-American Teen for ‘Hundreds’ of Bomb Threats Against Jewish Centers Worldwide Haaretz. furzy: “another clueless kid?”

Gambling is a feature of capitalism—not a bug Prospect

Guillotine Watch

One CEO Got Paid $46M in a Month, but the Rest of the Year Is a Mystery WSJ

Another article asks us to feel sorry for a couple earning $500,000 a year LA Times (resilc)

‘People aren’t spending’: stores close doors in ‘oversaturated’ US retail market Guardian. bob k: “gee, it’s an underconsumption crisis. can’t wall st put out some low interest home equity loans so people can have some real money to spend?”

For U.S. Grad Students, Overseas Schools Beckon WSJ

Is Australia on the brink of becoming a completely cashless society? ABC.net (Paul R)

India

Hello Aadhaar, Goodbye Privacy The Wire

Jobs at risk: Is India prepared for huge unemployment or is it blissfully sleeping? FirstPost

Class Warfare

Test scores go up with healthy school lunches Treehugger

The Feuding Kleptocrats Truthdig

Cameron aide’s uber ‘cover up’: Downing Street accused of withholding emails about its secret campaign to help online taxi firm Daily Mail. Yes, I know it’s the Daily Mail.

Skilled immigrants often struggle to put degrees, credentials to use in U.S. Chicago Tribune

Silicon Valley sends ambassador to Trump’s coal country Politico

United Airlines caught up in leggings row BBC

THE DARK SIDE OF GENDER SEGREGATION IN THE MILITARY War on the Rocks

My former office in the US Senate found out I was writing an essay about workplace sexism. Here’s what happened next. Medium (Chuck L).

Brexit

EU looks at revealing negotiating positions for Brexit FT

No IndyRef2 before Brexit: Theresa May tells Nicola Sturgeon Britain will be a ‘more united nation’ outside EU Daily Telegraph

The negotiator: Brexit talks to be Theresa May’s toughest test FT

Russia

Magnitsky family lawyer falls from fourth floor window FCPAblog.com

China?

China’s central bank chief sees end of monetary road in reforms

Syraqistan

Isis’s losses in Syria and Iraq will make it harder for it to recruit another Khalid Masood Independent. Patrick Cockburn’s latest.

Daesh, Creature of the West Sputnik News (RR)

Mossad Reportedly Turned French Spies Into Double Agents After Joint Syria Op Haaretz (furzy)

Trump Transition

Trump’s War on Terror Has Quickly Become as Barbaric and Savage as He Promised The Intercept. Glenn Greenwald’s latest.

Gas From Israel And The Flynn Wiretapping – Behind The Deep-State Infighting Over The Trump Election Moon of Alabama (Chuck L).

Trump taps Kushner to lead a SWAT team to fix government with business ideas WaPo (furzy)

The Jordanian Airline Making Money Off the Laptop Ban The Atlantic (resilc)

Donald Trump voters: We like the president’s lies Toronto Star. Dan K: “Confirmation bias of course, but people are pissed at DC.”

Here’s how Trump is using a special law to do away with Obama regulations The Hill. Update on use of the Congressional Review Act  to repeal regs.

Trump Reportedly Handed Merkel a $374 Billion Invoice for NATO Slate (resilc). No wonder she looked so stunned in those photos.

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

New WikiLeaks dump: The CIA built Thunderbolt exploit, implants to target Macs Ars Technica

Blissful bathrooms: smart showers, magic mirrors and fun loos keep you connected at all times SCMP. Creepy– even absent a mention of a camera-containing microwave.

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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146 comments

  1. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: “People aren’t spending’–Guardian–One major reason for retail stores boarding up is Amazon and the like. It’s so easy to click on the computer and get your stuff delivered. Saves time, gas, wear and tear on the car, etc. Especially if you never thought shopping was that much fun anyway.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Many parcel-delivery truck drivers seem like well-trained NASCAR professionals.

      At least one of the corporations is also self-insured. How does that work and how do their own underwriters determine who is at fault in an accident?

      Googling, I also came across self-insured health plans. Self-service gas is daunting enough…I am not sure I know anyone with enough money to self-insure

      1. justanotherprogressive

        My daughter works for a large company that self-insures (for health insurance). They have figured out it is far cheaper to put a wad of money together for claims and run their own admin than it is to work with insurance companies. Workers pay in for their insurance at a cheaper rate than they can get from ACA and they get the same coverage so it is a win-win for both sides. And those companies that self-insure are not opposed to universal coverage – for obvious reasons.

        As for getting into a crash with a company that self-insures? Your insurance will work with their admin just as if it were another insurance company……with all the same attitudes and behavior that we hate from insurance companies…..

        1. DJPS

          This works till it doesn’t. A couple of terminal cancer cases that drag on, and that company is toast.

          1. justanotherprogressive

            Actually most companies that do self-insure also buy catastrophic insurance just for that reason…….

            1. lyman alpha blob

              My company does this. I have asked how it works a few times and still can’t comprehend it – all I know is I go to the doctor and don’t have to pay anything out of pocket and the annual premium I have deducted from my paycheck is very reasonable. Low enough that when starting the job I asked them if it was the monthly premium and was told it was the annual rate.

              1. kareninca

                That’s because almost all actual health care (as opposed to insurance) can be very cheap. From Denninger (https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=231941):

                “Why would you need health insurance if the following pricing was commonplace for the following routine medical things — and remember to extend these representative samples to everything else in the medical field:

                MRI: $275
                CT scan: $167
                X-Ray: $37
                Mammogram: $142
                Ultrasound (pregnancy-related primarily, I suspect): $94
                A1c test (common for diabetics): $4
                CBC (complete blood count; common for a lot of diagnostics): $3.13
                Metabolic panel (common diagnostic as well): $3.50
                PSA screening (common for men over 50): $7
                3-Panel cholesterol (the cheap and common one): $3.94
                Tetanus booster: $20
                90 Prozacs: $1.98
                30 Prilosecs: $1.44
                30 Plavix (blood thinner; newer generation of Warfarin): $2.76
                90 Zocors (which I’d argue you probably ought not take at all!): $2.16

                These are not fantasy prices — they’re real. They’re what you could have today, or darn close to them if we had a conversation about competitive markets in medicine. I didn’t pull these numbers out of my ass; they’re on a “concierge” site for a “direct care” practice in Michigan and none of them are being provided at a loss.”

                It’s the scams that make the costs so high. Not the drugs and procedures themselves; much of it is very old technology. Apparently comparably low prices are available for surgeries (e.g. at the Surgery Center of OK). Denninger’s conclusion (cash system) wouldn’t appeal to readers here, but he is not stupid and a lot of his numbers are good. To the extent that people’s insurance doesn’t actually work for them (or they can’t afford insurance), they will be looking for services for cash in the future, a la Denninger.

                Of course the obvious response is that a government-run program could pay these low prices and provide good cheap care. That would require a system that was less corrupt.

          2. DDTea

            Companies/businesses that self fund can buy what’s called “stop loss” insurance for large claims…

      2. Tom

        Please note the difference between the green “EX” in Fedex and the orange “EX” in Fedex.
        Orange ‘exs are on trucks driven by employees who are insured, paid and benefited by Fedex.
        Green ‘exs are independent contractors who pay for everything them self and thus make more money by driving faster and delivering more packages.

        People not spending in retail? Another reason is because of stores hiring young Spanish bilingual staff who while they speak both languages, cannot function as well as a native speaker of English would. Tired of dealing with retail clerks who don’t understand basic English and have no appreciation for nuance.

        Also, age discrimination. As an older white man my attitude is “if we are not good enough to work here, then I guess we are not good enough to spend here.”

        Easier to to go Amazon.

        1. mad as hell

          I was in an airport last month and stopped in a book store to pick up magazine since I packed both my pad and a book and checked it in. I came up to pay and there was a smart#$$ clerk probably in her forties and sounded and looked Korean. She gave the woman in front of me a cold stare when she said something to her and then turned to another worker and said something in Korean. It had to be derogatory because the other clerk smiled and shook her head.

          I was up next to pay and deal with Madame Un. Alright I will head her off at the pass. I handed her the magazine and just said “five bucks?” She looked at me lost. “Five bucks” I repeated. Clearly she was not up to American slang and I’ll be damned after that encounter with the previous customer that I was gonna interpret for her. So once again she turned to her audience with a dumbfounded look this time and her colleague said “dollars”

          I don’t care who waits on me at a retail joint but damn it be civil or work some where else where your exposure to people are minimal. I’m finding more and more of that at the brick and mortar stores.

    2. perpetualWAR

      People aren’t spending.
      Why? Because perhaps people like me, have been devastated by the financial crisis and still never recovered.

      Some of you reading and posting here appear quite well-to-do. But, there are millions of Americans who wait in food bank lines and rent out extra bedrooms to make ends meet.

      We ain’t got no money. That’s why we ain’t spending.

      1. Lord Koos

        Amen to that. Of course I’ve always hated going to malls, anyway. I buy almost everything from ebay, including clothing. It’s a much better shopping experience than Amazon in every way, although sometimes I double check as sometimes Amazon’s prices on brand-new items are better. I make extra money buying and selling musical gear and collectibles online, and I can tell you that the average person is not spending money on that kind of stuff anymore unless it’s a rock-bottom deal. Business is slow even compared to a few years ago.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Every time I read an article about millennial “preferences”, that they don’t want to own things and prefer to rent and have “experiences” I just want to retch.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you.

          Your comment about a German connection to Mauritius did not have a reply button, so I am replying here.

          I am not aware of formal connections, say, with the German government, colonial ventures etc. However, going back to the mid-18th century, there have been settlers from Germany, e.g. the Koenig (who to this day own some of the west coast, having arrived from Miltenberg in 1780), Ritter and von Arnim families. There were also settlers from Alsace and Lorraine, e.g. the Staub (from Forbach, Lorraine) and Schmitt (my ancestors) families.

      3. crittermom

        perpetualWAR, you said it soundly. (It’s good to see your presence on here again. Hoping you’re still in your home)

        This is the poorest I’ve ever been in my life. I’m 65. (I know we’ve both been affected by the banksters)

        I must travel 60 miles to the nearest ‘real’ grocery store, so I go as little as possible & try to stock up on things when I can. I basically just buy my perishables at the grocery store.

        I also find that I spend MUCH less that way, as it greatly reduces any ‘impulse buys’. Going a couple times a week for ‘just one or two items’ usually results in a ‘couple more’ items that are impulse buys, I believe, & they can really add up. Especially if you have close access to stores.
        Living rural saves me a lot of money in that way, I suppose.

        The rest I buy online, as it’s delivered (saving miles on my now 30 yr old vehicle, plus gas), I can shop at leisure for the best buys, & once again, it eliminates any ‘impulse buys’. No ‘surprises’ when it comes to checking out, either, as I know exactly how much I’m spending before I purchase (usually having to whittle it down to meet my tiny budget).

        While I do hate supporting large chain stores, I’m now poor so must go for the best bargains.
        But then, that’s just ‘part of the overall plan’, isn’t it?

        I only buy ‘new’ clothes when I can splurge a few dollars at the thrift store, not even going online for those as I like to try things on even if they only cost $1. I must ‘squeeze a buffalo nickel so tight it sh*ts’, as the saying goes.

        1. perpetualWAR

          Thanks, crittermom…..
          Still in my house, eight years fighting in the courts….but lately the courts are basically telegraphing to me that they know the bank’s docs and evidence is all f***ed up, but they don’t care and they will rule for the bank and take away my home. It is amazing the attitude change of our corrupt judiciary. When the guillotines come out, I will shove the black robes to the front of the line. Their heads need to be first to be chopped.

          On a brighter note…….it is spring.

  2. Paid Minion

    “Workplace sexism”

    Gee, whodathunk that word getting out that you were secretly writing about it might have some negative reaction from male co-workers?

    Or put two plus two together, and discover that women who write secretly about workplace sexism aren’t considered trustworthy enough for “senior management positions”.

    Stories like this cause problems for all the men remotely associated with mixed gender offices, because it makes us all guilty of something. Hence, a lack of enthusiasm.

    Try this idea for a change. Interview a bunch of guys who have worked around offices or jobsites full of bitchy, manipulative, back stabbing women, and let them tell you a few stories.

    I used to think Jerry Springer was BS. Then I was promoted into supervision. Springer doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of dysfunction.

    1. MoiAussie

      Or put two plus two together, and discover that women who write secretly about workplace sexism aren’t considered trustworthy enough for “senior management positions”.

      Except that the women … weren’t considered for “senior management positions” happened well before the writing secretly about workplace sexism, so clearly didn’t cause it.

      And the fact that there are some “bitchy, manipulative, back stabbing women” in some workplaces doesn’t excuse systematic discrimination against women in the workplace or elsewhere.

      Stories like this cause problems for all the men remotely associated with mixed gender offices, because it makes us all guilty of something.

      You personally are guilty of whatever you are guilty of, as am I, as is every other individual. You are guilty precisely if you took part, or were complicit, or tried to cover it, or laugh it off.

      Stories don’t make everyone guilty, and this one doesn’t try to.

  3. ArkansasAngie

    Re — “Confirmation bias of course, but people are pissed at DC.”

    Most, IMO, did not vote for Trump but against Clinton et al.

    For those same et al’s to be leading a campaign to discredit Trump just doesn’t resonate. Actually, I don’t believe a word out of those status quo yahoos’ mouths.

    Is Trump doing a great job? Nope. He’s acting like he’s got a mandate … he doesn’t.

    But … should the Russian crap be proven to be nothing more than a cover for incidental surveillance … well … we’re gonna have a problem.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Don’t believe…propaganda is a never-ending 24/7 job.

      He is said to have made a rookie mistake doing health care first.

      With the jam-tomorrow never-jam-today crowd, heaven (or paradise, or wonderland) is always in the next political electoral-cycle life.

      Wall Street Journal this morning: White House opened door to Democrats in wake of health care defeat. And in NYT, this morning: Dems, no need to offer help, buoyed by GOP health care defeat.

      What you will get from D dogs, and those who get fleas from lying with D-dogs will be this when the ‘heaven’ arrives in the next political life: ‘Let’s do health care later. We are not rookies.’

  4. Paid Minion

    “Skilled immigrants struggle…….”

    “Welcome to the party, pal……..”.
    Sounds just like the problems US Americans are having, even without the language or certification barriers. A 40 year old immigrant? With rampant defacto age discrimination? LOL. Good luck with that, skilled or not.

  5. Colonel Smithers

    Chelsea Clinton? For public office? I know that I don’t live in the US and should probably not comment on the affairs of another country, but please shoot me now!

    1. ambrit

      The way things are going right now in America, we will all be put up against the wall sooner or later. As an alternative for England; internal exile? A winter in the Hebridies perhaps. Mayhaps the City could be relocated to the Channel Islands. (I can hear the ‘Cash Cow’ jokes now.)

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Ambrit.

        I may go to Mauritius when my parents return in the next couple of years. My German TBTF, the one that has lost its passion to perform, has an office near home.

        On another note and as you are interested in horse racing, the flat begins in earnest in Europe this week and did in Mauritius last Saturday.

        1. ambrit

          I just looked at a youtube video of the Turf Club there. It’s right in the middle of town, eh. Sitting on some of those apartment balconies with drink in hand watching the gee-gees run would be fun. I understand that Mauritius is tropical, and Europe is not, but, why the small divergence in racing schedules? The palm trees and sunshine remind me of Miami a bit. So, oddly enough, does the boxy architecture of the buildings. Form truly follows function.
          I hope that you do get back to Paradise. (And no, I do not mean the TBTF office towers on Jersey and Guernsey.)

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Ambrit.

            Yes, Champ de Mars is in the middle of Port-Louis. The Brits captured the island in December 1810, four months after another invasion was repulsed. The French army’s base, Champ de Mars and named after the park in front of the Ecole Militaire in Paris (where the Eiffel Tower stands), was converted from parade ground to racecourse in 1812. Therefore, this is one of the oldest racecourses in the world, especially outside the British Isles.

            There were wooden colonial design stands, but they were replaced by now dated brick stands. Proposals are made from time to time for a new racecourse, but that would mean the end of Champ de Mars. The land is too valuable and the island is run by kleptocrats.

            The Mauritian season used to begin on the first week-end of May, so the same as the Guineas, and with a classic over 7f, the Duchess of York Cup (Queem Mum), but the season opens at the end of March now. The classic has moved to opening day again. The season closes on the first week-end of December. Jockeys from around the world are invited to compete on local horses. Turn out is good for that shindig in the sun. I don’t know why the divergence in schedule.

            I live in mid-Buckinghamshire, so attend the races at Ascot, the Surrey tracks and Newmarket often. I often drive to Deauville and Chantilly and go by Eurostar to Longchamp.

            Let me know when you next return to Blighty or want to visit the tropics.

            1. ambrit

              I supposedly have an ancestor, which fact proves nothing, I agree, who had some money. That part is true. The family in England claim to have a photo of him standing next to a circa WW1 aircraft preparatory to flying the channel to Calais in order to catch the train to Longchamp or Deauville. True or not, it makes a good family story. He made the fortune quickly during the Boer War and lost it almost as quickly during the Edwardian Era. (Kleptocracy goes way back in human history.)
              Thanks for the kind words. With global warming we fear that the tropics will soon come up to Mississippi to visit us.

              1. Colonel Smithers

                Thank you, Ambrit.

                I can believe that about your ancestor. You may remember Ted Dexter (Lord Ted), former (gentleman and amateur) captain of the cricket team. There was no cricket on Sundays until the 1980s, so he used to fly his private plane to Deauville (St Gatien aerodrome).

                I visit the delta often and have friends who own and manage Laura plantation (Vacherie, LA). They have cousins in Mauritius. Their cousins are my cousins.

                The clocks went forward yesterday morning. Evening racing (without floodlights) will start soon. A nice evening is by boat from SW London to Windsor races.

                1. Montanamaven

                  Ha, my husband loves horse racing. But not much in Montana, so bought a retirement place in upstate NY and will spend August watching the ponies at Saratoga Springs. I will tell him about Mauritius. Hard to get him off the ranch, but horse racing helps.

                    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                      The German connection to Mauritius intrigues me, I assume it dates from the colonial era when Germany sought island possessions? Like Yap, where they painted the giant money stones with an Iron Cross in order to get the locals to do some work for them?

      1. Arizona Slim

        She hit the triple lemons on the genetic slot machine. That’s quite the accomplishment.

        1. ambrit

          She is using a tried and true formula for success. When life gives you lemons, set up a “Lemon Aid Foundation.” All else flows from that.

      2. voteforno6

        Actually, it was an achievement award, from Lifetime…sometimes capitalization is important.

      3. visitor

        From the Jacobin article:

        Chelsea somehow managed to get a job at NBC as a “special correspondent.” For this job, she got paid $600,000 despite producing less than 23 minutes of aired content.

        In France, Penelope Fillon, the wife of former prime minister and presidential candidate François Fillon, is, with her husband, under judicial investigation for several cases of “fictitious employment”. Among the diciest charges (partly from Wikipedia):

        [Penelope Fillon was hired] as a “literary adviser” of “Revue des deux Mondes” […], with a monthly salary of €5,000, amounting to a total of another €100,000.

        According to the director of the magazine himself, she only produces two or three brief notices in all.

        Interesting differences.

      1. sleepy

        It’s sad to see, but not at all unexpected, that in the comments to the article the blue/red partisans argue whether Ivanka or Malia is more privileged and who really, really deserves her success.

        At least the British royals once had the PR good sense to put Prince Andrew in a frontline military unit.

        1. KurtisMayfield

          When both of them started two steps from home base, then neither hits a home run. The tribalistic argument on who is better misses the point.

        2. David Carl Grimes

          If find it fitting that she winds up in Hollywood. After all, for eight years, her father was able to convince the liberal elites that all is well in the Democratic Party, despite massive losses in the polls in 2010 and 2014. Only the election of Trump snapped them out of the trance they were in. Maybe some of Obama’s persuasion skills rubbed off on Malia to make her an asset in the land of make believe.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Oh how I wish there was any evidence at all of “trance-snapping”. None that I can see.

      2. Enquiring Mind

        Intern for Lena Dunham, ugh. Then Weinstein. With that extracurricular media major, how soon before we hear about pending starlet Malia being held down by evildoers or some such? At least there are no apparent political aspirations, for now.

        1. neo-realist

          Dunham and Weinstein. More like Malia may have entertainment/acting aspirations and is making the connections that privileged people do in order to fulfill such goals.

      3. justanotherprogressive

        It does show how tone deaf the Clintons and their “class” are, though. If they had the least inkling of what is going on in this country and they really wanted Chelsea to take over the reins, they’d have Chelsea doing her “Princess Diana” act starting about now….anyone ever see her hug a starving child?

        1. Propertius

          Or, better yet, they could have her do a Princess Elizabeth act and get an honest job in the Army as a truck driver and mechanic.

      4. ExiledinBaltimore

        I don’t know if anyone has linked to this before; it’s over two years old.

        How bad is America’s nepotism problem? . . .

        . . . Let’s start with the presidency. Thirteen sons of presidents were born during America’s baby boom. One of the 13 became president himself, of course, and Jeb would make a second. Of the roughly 37 million boomer males who weren’t born to a president, two won the White House. Maybe it’s an anomaly that George W. Bush became president in 2001, but his advent means that in our era a son of a president was roughly 1.4 million times more likely to become president than his supposed peers. . . .

        . . . Here is the estimated parental edge for other big American prizes and positions. An American male is 4,582 times more likely to become an Army general if his father was one; 1,895 times more likely to become a famous C.E.O.; 1,639 times more likely to win a Pulitzer Prize; 1,497 times more likely to win a Grammy; and 1,361 times more likely to win an Academy Award. Those are pretty decent odds, but they do not come close to the 8,500 times more likely a senator’s son is to find himself chatting with John McCain or Dianne Feinstein in the Senate cloakroom

    2. John Wright

      Perhaps the Chelsea Clinton for office campaign is more evidence of the bubble that surrounds the Clintons.

      The Clintons may truly believe their political efforts are appreciated by the population.

      And the Clintons may be surrounded by like minded people chanting “HRC won the popular vote”..

      If the Democrats promote Chelsea for office, she actually might win in a properly selected district.

      But I suspect the symbolism of “Gee, I had nothing better to do, so I ran for office” Chelsea Clinton will damage the Democrats elsewhere in the country.

      Even the lesser Democratic insiders, who are having issues getting jobs for their kids, might be displeased, as we have the Podesta email of Berkeley economist Brad DeLong pleading, and failing, for his son to be chosen for a job at the Centers for American Progress.

      If Chelsea runs, maybe then we can ask the candidate to comment about her parents prior actions that were not exactly beneficial to the country (botched healthcare reform, almost grand bargain SS sellout to Gingrich, NAFTA, welfare reform, prison expansion, financial de-regulation, NATO expansion, Iraq war vote, push for Syrian, Ukrainian, Libyan, Bosnia military actions).

      Chelsea might have to campaign as “This time my family will get it right.”

      So I want the Democrats to promote candidate Chelsea Clinton, as I want the current Democratic party to be destroyed and re-born.

      “Run Chelsea, Run”.

      1. flora

        “…she actually might win in a properly selected district.”

        The US has rotten boroughs? Who knew? ;)

        1. Pat

          I wouldn’t call them rotten, but deluded. A lot of California and in this case NY is so deep into Trump derangement syndrome that even those that who fully admit that Clinton was a horrible candidate (and there were even some who fully believed that Clinton was a feminist liberal warrior, like I said deluded) could very well embrace Chelsea. Sure that isn’t going to happen on Long Island or upstate anywhere above the middle of the Metro North route, but that bubble of Westchester, Manhattan, etc… you bet it is possible. (The California thing is important because of the donations you know they will be soliciting if she does run.)

        2. Bugs Bunny

          Like the properly selected state that elected HRC senator.

          Hook ol’ Chelsea up with a parachute and drop her where the data speaks Clinton.

      2. Katharine

        If she were anyone else she would be advised to start at the state or local level. Regardless of her family background, her own legislative experience is nil.

        Still, if she can start with federal office, there is less justification for saying that to candidates found by Brand New Congress or others.

      3. sd

        Wasn’t there news recently Clesea Clinton had moved out of her Manhattan apartment to some place else clearly positioning for residency in a new district?

        1. Pat

          Supposedly near her mother in Chappaqua. All in order to be Nita Lowey’s successor in NY 17.

          As per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York%27s_17th_congressional_district

          From 2003-2013, the 17th district encompassed portions of the Bronx, Westchester County, and Rockland County. It included the neighborhoods of Norwood, Riverdale, Wakefield, Williamsbridge, and Woodlawn in the Bronx, the city of Mount Vernon and parts of Yonkers in Westchester, as well as Monsey, Nanuet, Pearl River, and Suffern in Rockland County.

          1. George B.

            Ugh. Though it’s not really surprising.
            The Clinton cheerleaders here in Westchester will be able to bring all of those “I’m With Her” signs, pins, bumper stickers, etc. out of retirement by 2020 I guess. Probably won’t be able to reuse all of the Hillary figurines though…

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          Poor Chelsea. Being the only basket available in which bill and hill can put their eggs, figuratively as well as literally, must be a pretty heavy burden. I’d imagine she’s wishing for a more catholic family right about now, in the vein of, oh I don’t know, the Kennedys? Many, many available baskets in that Camelot.

          At any rate, I notice she’s not relying on the name “mezvinsky” to help her tote that barge and lift that bale.

          1. oh

            The eggs were already used up in bearing Chelsea – was Bill the sperm donor or was it a birth mother We’ll never know.

      4. crittermom

        I think the last line in the article, under “Rethink This” says it best:
        “You could not put together a more unappealing force in the world than what Chelsea Clinton represents, personally or politically.”

        And just think–she already has offspring to continue the Clinton legacy after her run!
        I wanna puke.
        Chelsea? Aw, hell no!
        It appears from her ‘earnings’ she’s even farther removed from ‘real life’ than her parents.

        I now consider ‘Clinton’ among the worst words, along with ‘settlement’ & ‘the great recession’ (which I think should be called for what it really was. ‘The greatest financial fraud in human history’).

    3. Antifa

      Chelsea even comes to the national political stage with a ready-made Clintonesque scandal straight outta Hope, Arkansas. It’s the old “who’s your daddy?” Arkansas two-step. The answer, for Chelsea Clinton, is Webster Hubbell.

      In the coming decade, every citizen will have ready access to their DNA profile, as will their family doctor. It’s just good medicine to know in advance what infirmities you are prone to from birth so you can take steps to avoid them. This means, though, that Chelsea’s going to have constant crowds of people waving signs saying, “Release your DNA file!” the closer she gets to the White House.

      Yes, the White House. Clintons don’t run for anything less, ultimately. Even if they have to run for dogcatcher to get there, the White House is where they’re headed.

      Is a scandal about her parentage going to stop Chelsea from a political career? Nah. Clintons don’t stop for anyone or anything. Not even for each other.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        Actually I don’t really care who Chelsea’s daddy is, but knowing how feral Bill is, it wouldn’t surprise me if Hillary had him fixed before taking him home…..

      2. Lee

        I’ve always been struck by how unlike either parent, or combination of same, that she looks. Also puzzling is the absence of Clinton love children coming to light.

  6. Don Midwest USA

    A blogger wrote a long blog with tons of links on the subject of the democratic party and their attempt to use the Russia card to fight the republicans. Many links with short intro on how DNC went after Bernie.

    Readers here, like the readers on the blog where is was posted, most of us are aware of these stories. But if someone wanted a refresher or was doing an article, this might be useful.

    https://caucus99percent.com/content/arent-i-bothered-why-yes-yes-i-am-just-different-way-then-you-think-rant-day

  7. JTMcPhee

    So Jared Kushner is going to apply “business concepts” to Evil Government Regulation. Wonder which ones?

    Maybe some readers will find some inspiration (or wry humor, or targets to shoot at) in this edition of a defunct EPA publication, issued in 1988, as the Reagan destruction was winding down (and new and more subtle forms ramping up.) I started with EPA in August 1978, and left the Agency in January 1990 to take a job with a large law firm — big mistake. So I got to participate in the struggle against the crap that the earlier Neoliberal waves injected into the “regulatory process.” Hard to regulate, when the Rulers remove all the teeth, and tell industry that it’s the Agency’s job, now, to treat them as valued customers…

    The collection of articles gives a pretty good picture of the complex functioning, across many, many different programs, of a federal regulatory agency, in all its parts and provinces — lots of people, working hard on a daunting and baffling array of tasks and directives, and under attack from all sides. Mostly, at the lower staff levesl, in search of the Golden Mean, that can survive the assaults of Regulatory Capture and lobbying, and still promote the general welfare. With some, of course, working as Fifth Columnists for the looters, worming away from within, and yes, with a visible amount of waste, fraud and featherbedding, but still…

    As a nice bonus, there’s an Antidote-worthy image on the last page, too…

    https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi/93000F0K.PDF?Dockey=93000F0K.PDF

    It takes a while to load it as a .pdf . This seems to get to the full text quicker than downloading the .pdf: https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe/93000F0K.txt?ZyActionD=ZyDocument&Client=EPA&Index=1986%20Thru%201990&Docs=&Query=&Time=&EndTime=&SearchMethod=1&TocRestrict=n&Toc=&TocEntry=&QField=&QFieldYear=&QFieldMonth=&QFieldDay=&UseQField=&IntQFieldOp=0&ExtQFieldOp=0&XmlQuery=&File=D%3A%5CZYFILES%5CINDEX%20DATA%5C86THRU90%5CTXT%5C00000029%5C93000F0K.txt&User=ANONYMOUS&Password=anonymous&SortMethod=h%7C-&MaximumDocuments=1&FuzzyDegree=0&ImageQuality=r75g8/r75g8/x150y150g16/i425&Display=hpfr&DefSeekPage=x&SearchBack=ZyActionL&Back=ZyActionS&BackDesc=Results%20page&MaximumPages=1&ZyEntry=1&slide

    I’d make the pitch that this “curated” collection, from many different contributors, shows how a well-functioning regulatory agency can work toward the general good, in the complexity of greedy and competing interests — until, of course, overwhelmed, over time and constant greed-driven pressure, by regulatory capture and de-funding and hostile rulers, of course…

    And there’s this, https://archive.epa.gov/epa/aboutepa/guardian-origins-epa.html, a bit of historical material on how Evil Environmentalism got started (in part out of snowflake liberalism, it might seem — got to conserve those wild areas, so the special people with the right perceptions can enjoy them.) Great ideas — though faithless execution, coupled with devious and persistent corruption, gets us to global warming and and a toxic food supply and lots of extinctions and stuff… There was a lot of the old “discredited” notion of public goods and the commons in all this “regulatory activity.”See the article in today’s links on communal economic activity in our northern neighbor…

    Then comes the looting. And we mopes start slashing at each other, and selling ourselves out, for an uberjawb, and fearful, huddled, faux “security…”

    1. sd

      The funny part is that he calls citizens “customers” when the truth is, we are the shareholders. You’d think a business aficionado would understand that.

    2. Vatch

      Maybe Jared can consult businessman extraordinaire Edward Lampert, who’s done such an amazing job with Sears!

  8. Colonel Smithers

    Kushner? I thought he inherited his dosh and his dad paid Harvard to keep him off the streets.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      Yeah. And now he’s going to reconfigure the entire non-defense Executive branch bureaucracy. It’s good to be consigliere, yes? Since he attended Harvard one expects it will all be done in the same humble, deft manner that characterized the Clintons’ efforts back in the day.

      We continue to be ruled be ersatz aristocrats, irrespective of the name of the party in charge.

  9. HBE

    Silicon Valley ambassador.

    This piece reads like a third world Labor exploitation story. Basically the region is being sold for what it has become due to neoliberalism.

    Why go abroad to exploit underdeveloped countries Labor when, you can get the same right here in the US.

  10. KurtisMayfield

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-u-s-grad-students-overseas-schools-beckon-1490278126

    The fear mongering is very strong in this article. I wonder if it was sponsored by the US University system. A few points:.

    #1. Who is the target audience? This is the Wall Street Journal, so I am guessing MBA students. Not many undergrads will read this.

    #2. A US citizen, even with a degree from abroad, would have a much easier time of obtaining licensing for all of the fields measured than a non-citizen. And we bring in health professionals from abroad already.

    #3. What is the point of being a good neoliberal if you can’t take advantage of the cost benefits of doing this. I have been looking into foreign online masters degree programs, and the cost savings are substantial.

    1. sleepy

      Certainly the tuition-free (even for non-EU citizens) German universities might be of interest, particularly if it’s true that some of their lectures and courses are conducted in English as I’ve been led to believe.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Sleepy.

        Dutch universities were first off the mark, offering courses in English. German, Belgian and Spanish are following suit.

        Courses are free or for a small sum for locals. Foreigners have to pay, but it’s rarely more than USD1500 – 2000 pa. On campus accommodation is not that much more. Bachelor courses are three years. The academic year is September – July, so little more than August off.

        I think Arizona Slim attended uni’ in Spain.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “Skilled immigrants struggle…….”

      “Welcome to the party, pal……..”.
      Sounds just like the problems US Americans are having, even without the language or certification barriers.

      From Paid Minion, above.

      It seems the two articles should be looked at together…foreigners with degrees obtained abroad struggling here, and Americans going overseas to get degrees.

  11. Spoiler Alert

    This Australian TV review (The Handmaid’s Tale) smacks down the liberal response to the Trump presidency:

    The more difficult way to think about Trump, or his more extreme European versions including Farage, Le Pen, Wilders, Vona etc., is as having arisen as inside, not outside, a liberal nation-state. It’s unpleasant, of course, to concede that you have, for all your life, inhabited a society that can produce brutal isolationist views that, somehow, a lot of people seem to support. You can say, “this is not my country”. But, the fact is, it is your country and when one of its contradictions reveals itself, maybe the best response is not to say, “this happened very quickly and without my knowledge”. We do not get off as lightly as Atwood would like.

    https://dailyreview.com.au/dont-need-clairvoyant-literary-star-predicted-age-trump/57695/

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      “Brutal, isolationist views”? Oh you mean as opposed to that “level global playing field” paradise where US workers compete mano-a-mano with workers living in mud huts with zero social or environmental protection, just so that the factory owners can “globalize” their increased profits to lovely offshore tax havens? Kumbaya, indeed. Suggest you go to Ghana or Cambodia or China sometime before you fall for the “free trade” claptrap, global GDP growth is +/- 2%, with China et al growing at 6% that means your standard of living is dropping like a rock. You could A.) learn how to assemble a toaster using your feet, or B.) have a rethink about how horrible defending US *national* interests is. You’ll hear lots of economists telling you how awesome “global free trade” is, but you should then ask yourself: when was the last time an economist was right about anything at all?

    2. Plenue

      I fail to see how Trump at all threatens anything remotely like Atwood’s nightmare vision. No doubt Dominionists exist, and they love Trump, but Trump seems to have little interest in them. Even if Trump resigned/was impeached/assassinated and Pence was put in charge, I don’t see our future being some Christian Taliban state. Our future will be bleak, but not in that way.

      I’m exhausted by all the liberal hyperbole. You can’t hope to effectively oppose something if you can’t even correctly identity what it is you’re fighting (or why you lost in the first place).

  12. allan

    NYT:

    The grand plans of lower rates, fewer loopholes and a tax on imports may have to be scaled back to a big corporate tax cut and possibly an individual tax cut.

    And so it starts. Carried interest repeal, we hardly knew you.

  13. Ulysses

    Can’t find much to argue with in Chris H.’s piece (linked above):

    “The kleptocrats… don’t want anything to impede the pillage, even when climate change forces people to confront the reality that they and their children may soon become extinct. They will steal despite the fact that the ecosystem is collapsing, heat waves and droughts are destroying crop yields, the air and water are becoming toxic and the oceans are being transformed into dead zones. There will be hundreds of millions of desperate climate refugees. Civil society will break down. They won’t stop until their own generators have run out of fuel in their gated compounds and their private security forces have deserted them. When the end comes they will greet it with their characteristic blank expression of idiocy and greed….

    The kleptocrats, in the end, have only one real enemy: us. Their goal is to make sure we are mesmerized by their carnival act or, if we wake up, shackled while they do their dirty work. Our goal must be to get rid of them.”

    Chris H. understands that the kleptocracy is a bi-partisan regime, with both Chelsea Clinton (see relevant Jacobin piece linked above) and Ivanka Trump complicit in its atrocities.

    While things are indeed as bleak as they seem, I can’t help but hope– that at least some elements of our militarized police state will refuse orders to mow down their fellow citizens when the SHTF.

    1. Ulysses

      On a far more upbeat note, my brothers and sisters upstate have scored an impressive victory that I intend to help them celebrate tomorrow!

      “The message from the Contingent Faculty in their own words, is below with details of this important victory:

      Today at negotiations we won on everything! A significant pay increase for PT faculty, more stable appointments for FT contingent faculty, and maintaining our voice as one faculty union. We are very pleased to announce that on the eve of our strike, our administration met all our demands. We have tentatively agreed to a collective bargaining agreement that we are extremely proud of. Let us be clear, none of this would have happened without the campus community coming together in overwhelming numbers and demanding justice for our profession, our students and our college.”

      http://www.tcworkerscenter.org/2017/03/ithaca-college-contingent-faculty-get-great-contract/

      1. Pat

        Wonderful! Congratulations to everyone who fought and won this victory!

        It is most certainly the most upbeat thing I have read today. Thank you.

  14. Antifa

    On the toilets and waste issue, another highly useful agricultural product for solid human waste is to make biochar. This essentially means burning it a sealed container, in the absence of oxygen, which releases hydrogen for fuel or to assist the burning process, and leaves behind an utterly sterile product that is high carbon, and ready for admixture into topsoil.

    Biochar has incredible abilities to capture and hold soil nutrients that would otherwise be washed away with rain or irrigation. In tropical climates, it is the only known way to maintain agriculture using sustainable inputs. Tropical soils usually get rinsed almost clean of plant nutrients by heavy and constant rainfall. Biochar prevents this rinsing out of the topsoil.

    Biochar can vastly reduce the amount of fertilizers that currently get washed into the ocean, creating the dead zones and algae blooms bedeviling the Arabian Sea and other places around the planet.

    The best way to make biochar out of any organic material is on a large scale, to best capture and use heat. Making a bucket or barrel full for the family garden is pretty inefficient. In hotter climates, a solar furnace seems the way to go.

    1. Tom

      As far as saving water, why isn’t there a law that every restroom must have a dry urinal in it?
      Our town in California has gone through the ridiculous transition from men’s and women’s rooms to the new blue signs proclaiming men’s room/sexually ambigious, women’s room/sexually amibious to finally just putting up the third round of signs showing a man and a woman in profile.
      Why not just “restroom”, first come, first served?

      To my point, the previous men’s room has a urinal, but the previous women’s room does not, which means when I take a leak, I use 3.5 gallons minimum to flush…even more with the stupid electronic ‘water saving’ automatic flushers that trigger every time you move.

      Make it part of the U.S. plumbing code, along with the ADA requirements, all new restrooms must have a dry urinal. It can be a foot off the ground for the ADA. Maybe even water saving women could use it with practice?

      Another pet peeve, why should one often have to wait in line for a restroom just to wash your hands before handling food in a grocery store or eat in a restaurant? Make it mandatory that a hand washing sink is placed outside the entrance to the restroom(s). That way people exiting the restrooms can wash their hands, and show their virtue in public, as well as people who just want to handwash without waiting in line.

        1. Lord Koos

          Compost toilets work great, they do not smell at all. I was skeptical until we house-sat for some friends in the San Juan Islands (water supply is limited in many places) who had one. However the one we used did depend on coco fiber (coconut waste product) so the importation of that is an issue unless there is a substitute.

  15. Pat

    Because I like to be more honest about things than our fourth estate does, I would probably retitled that article about the use of the Congressional Review Act to the far too long version. “Here’s how the arrogance, double dealing, and stupidity of the Obama Administration set up their regulations to be overturned by the Republicans.”

    The Congressional Review Act is not new. If the Obama administration was so smart, they would have known that to be sure their regulations were safe to challenge, they had to enact them far earlier in the President’s term. But instead they dithered and the regulatory agencies enacted a bunch of regulatory rule changes late in the President’s term. For instance the recent internet privacy regulations that the Senate just voted to scrap were enacted in October. Now maybe they thought a President Clinton would give them cover. Maybe they thought they really would have the Senate, or maybe they just didn’t care and instead of acting in 2015 so they could be sure this would all stand they just procrastinated and cleared off their desks before the end. But just as demanding the resignations of Preet Bharara and others was essentially SOP for new administrations, so is rule changing. But the stupid Bushies were smart enough to leave very little on the table to be overturned because they knew to get it done before the Congressional Review Act applied so there was little the Democrats could do when they first had all three branches of government. Funny about that.

    Once again Trump/the Republicans couldn’t have done this without the Obama administration laying the groundwork, something that could be said about much of what they have done.

    1. Vatch

      Interesting point. I wonder whether that was intentional on the part of Obama? Since many of his regulations were, in effect, designed to be overturned, the oligarchs will be grateful, and he will be eligible for higher speaking and consulting fees from them during his retirement. This could be similar to his refusal to prosecute any of the people whose fraud caused the Great Financial Collapse.

      1. Pat

        I wouldn’t put it past them, especially if he disliked Hillary as was rumored. Puts her in a tough place if a Republican Congress got feisty if she gets elected, and if she doesn’t they are definite goners. So it could be more of the smoke and mirrors/bait and switch propaganda they were so fond of.

        Who knows. I can say that even without knowing about CRA, my reaction to all those excited announcements of rule changes from that last year that made Obama fans so happy was ‘what took so long?’. Makes me look almost prescient.

  16. Darius

    Obama substituted a personality cult for a program. It worked for him. He was reelected. It was disastrous for Democrats as a whole. People’s lives didn’t improve. And it didn’t transfer to Hillary, who had the same vapidly oligarchic tendencies as Obama but not his awesomely awesome awesomeness. That’s why we have Trump.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      We also have Trump because, in one of the more fatal political miscalculations in a dizzying array of political miscalculations, clinton and her “brain” trust decided that he’d be the easiest for her to beat and set out to make it so.

      Of course picking her as the candidate in the first place still takes the cake.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I don’t know about Trump. Trump really just had Republican voters, and Republicans always come home. McCain and Mittens did alright, and Republicans hate them, especially evangelicals. People voted for Santorum to stop Romney after Dan Savage’s Internet efforts to coin a new word.

    2. flora

      I am still getting robo-calls that start with Obama saying “Hey, everybody.” Hint: the campaign is over. Go away.

      1. katiebird

        I get those too. No idea why he’s calling ME of all people. I hang up at the point you quoted.

        1. Eureka Springs

          If for a moment I imagine myself the loneliest human on the planet on the side of a remote hill with my leg caught in a bear trap, I still cannot imagine answering an unknown caller.

          Don’t encourage them.

          1. katiebird

            It was a fake number… Both times I thought it was a sibling. I have 7 siblings living all over the country and my caller ID often only reports the number so I do get fooled.

          2. Katharine

            Not everyone has caller ID, but in any case there are ways of dealing with these nuisances. I get Bridget, Rachel, and Carmen from “Cardmember Services” probably trying to get credit card information. There was a remarkable lull during the holidays, and when “Rachel” called in late January, I exclaimed, “Rachel, darling, it’s so long since I heard from you!” and the recording cut off in the middle. It can be fun scaring them off.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      In the summer of 2012, the attempts by the Republicans to block voting were so brazen they caused a considerable backlash among African Americans to rally for their right to vote. The spectacular black turnout in 2012 coupled with the electoral college difference covered up widespread declines in the Democratic vote tally.

      Even with the cult of personality, Obama’s numbers climbed after he started to make more policy based promises. If the Republicans were less brazen in 2012…Mittens wasn’t that far away in states that mattered.

  17. MtnLife

    The school lunch article gave only two options for improving lunch (ordering in prepared healthier meals or outsourcing lunch production altogether) and ignores the best option – making healthier lunches yourself. Our local public school sources as much of its meat (nearly half) and produce (percentage varies seasonally) as it can locally then creates their own recipes. They also do a vegetable or flavor of the month to expand the eating habits of the students. This benefits the local farmers by giving them a consistent market, creates future demand for healthy products, and reduces inherent carbon costs involved in lunch production.

  18. tracie hall

    Great portrait of the bird–‘wonder if those colorful appendages serve any purpose aside from attracting a mate.

  19. justanotherprogressive

    Re: For U.S. Grad Students, Overseas Schools Beckon WSJ
    Trust WSJ to pooh-pooh the “soft” gains from going to school overseas, like perhaps understanding a different culture, getting a better world view, etc…..nope, it’s all about money for them.
    Members of my family have studied overseas in countries like France, Japan, Morocco, India, etc., and the one thing they’ve all returned with is an understanding that perhaps the US isn’t as “exceptional” as we would like to believe.
    Oh, and BTW, they all went on international fellowships – it didn’t cost them a thing…..

  20. roxy

    “Chelsea Clinton trial balloons” First it was Nita Lowey’s NY 17th District House seat for C.C. as Lowey is said to be retiring. Now it’s Kirsten Gillibrand’s Senate seat “in case she decides” (is pushed) to run for President. Might they just go all in with a Chelsea for President campaign?

    1. Pat

      Okay, that reads as bull. Gillibrand will be up for reelection in the coming midterms. So she can run for President in 2020 without touching her Senate seat. Which means the only way to get her seat until 2024 would be appointment. And that would not work, see the brouhaha over the trial balloons to get Caroline Kennedy the seat that went to Gillibrand, Chelsea will make that look like a mild disagreement among friends. (Clinton is despised in upstate NY, see the deep red map there. Any governor trying to appoint Chelsea would be committing hari kari.) And there is no way that the Clintons are staying on the back burner until 2024.
      I’m not even going to get into the whole Cuomo will be running and whether Gillibrand owes him anything for her appointment.

      Their best bet is still NY 17.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        One can get odds from UK bookies about Chelsea squaring up to George P Bush in the 2020s.

  21. craazyboy

    Breaking News: Chelsea Undecided – NYT Editorial Staff

    It’s daybreak, a new dawn for Chelsea, but, whoa, is Chelsea on board with this whole campaigning for public office thing? The setting is Chelsea’s bedroom walk-in closet. Chelsea is huddled in the back corner, whimpering , and each arm wrapped around a shoe box, apparently trying to comfort herself.

    Occasionally, she glances up at the rows of brightly colored sun dresses, neatly pressed and creased, hanging from the closet poles. Gay floral prints, almost guaranteed to brighten a girl’s sour mood, but to no avail.

    Off in the corner, proudly stands Chelsea’s wedding dress, modeled and filled out by a very immodest, but headless, mannequin. The mannequin was a wedding gift from Daddy, of course. He’s always such an optimist! Chelsea tries to focus on happy memories of the wedding day – the $3 million spending stimulus. The shopping trip to our important ally, Malaysia, to get fitted for the dress. All the wonderful food, a hedge fund to help make ends meet, and the understanding look from Daddy when he gave her the mannequin wedding gift.

    Debbie and Donna helped too, Chelsea recalls – they carried the ends of my wedding gown cape and kept it from touching the floor while I did my queenly walk up the aisle. Mom says it was totally their idea and no coaching or persuasion from Mom was necessary. Mom also added the gown was made of the finest Cambodian silk, produced by deadly jungle Black Widow spiders and spun into silk cloth by underage Cambodian slave boys, held in servitude by ankle chains. Then she gave me a sly wink. Mom and I bond like that all the time.

    But, alas, even thinking of her wedding day wasn’t helping. Chelsea’s mood continued to get darker and darker. Then, a noise at the bedroom door…

    Knock, knock!

    “Who’s there?” , Chelsea croaks, choking back a sob.

    “Boo!”, says the voice on the other side of the bedroom door.

    “Boo who?”, says Chelsea, suppressing another sob, and dabbing at some snot running from her nose. Then, brightening a bit, when she realizes who may be coming for a visit, “Barrick??”

    “No, buttercups, er, I mean, Little Princess. Guess again – I’m the one with the funny southern accent everyone loves.”

    “Daddy!”, Chelsea almost exclaims.

    The voice at the door continues, “Righto Little Princess. Why the dour mood today? Shouldn’t you be out shopping this morning? Hedge funds shouldn’t horde money forever, ya know. [sniggers]

    Chelsea decides to open up and unburden herself of these bad feelings and thoughts. “Daddy, I just got a pre-leak from the NYT saying I may need to run for Mayor of New York City before I can be coronated as President of Washington, DC. Can they make me do that? I’ll be wasting 2 or 3 years pretending to run a city so I can run another city? What kinda nonsense is that? And what if Fox News asks what my track record was in New York when I’m running for coronation in DeeCee? All I see is downside, and there is not that much pay to play in New York to waste a whole 2 or 3 years there?? Daddy, this is depressing beyond belief!”

    But Chelsea’s mood is improving somewhat. Just getting the weight off, and the Big Dog is a sly sumaofbitch.

    “Now, don’t worry your little head off, buttercups, er, I mean, Little Princess. We use people for that. Besides, Fox News isn’t in New York City. We got you the NBC job, remember? You can make your own fake news! Lot’s of people in New York City will help too. Why, by the time they’re finished you’ll be Batman versus Supergirl all wrapped up in one big gorgeous queen size package! Then off to Washington DC straight to inauguration. We don’t need voters anymore ever since the NSA installed self-voting voting machines anywhere that counts. Frick’n deplorables can do whatever they want – just unplug the stoopid voting machine. What was Debbie thinking last time? Sometimes I wonder about that girl. There is Rush Limbaugh, but we know folks who work down at the docks. Rush is way past his sell by date anyway. But one word of caution. Don’t let any reporters find out about the wedding dress mannequin. They may ask questions – like why no head? Just tell ’em mannequins are made that way sometimes. They don’t need to know about Mommy’s temper. MmmKay, buttercups?”

    “Sure, Daddy. My lips are sealed. Botox’d too. Sometimes I can barely speak a word. Haha. I am starting to feel better. Can you tell Donna to send Debbie with the limo? I think I’ll take some shopping with lunch, afterall. So, you’re saying I don’t need to do anything, and our media megaphone will make me Mayor first, and then President of Washington, DC?”

    “Ditto, buttercups. But doing nothing is especially important in your case. Avoid reporters, turn down all TV interviews. Give any excuse, EXCEPT health reasons. That one back fired on Mom. The botox story sounds good. Also, do NOT talk to Jon Stewart or Colbert. We’re investigating Colbert on 17 child pornography counts and fabricating evidence Stewart is a Chinese sleeper agent. He’s really short, you know. But anyway, gotta run. Stay better Princess Dearest and love and kisses. Say hi to Barrick for me but remember, don’t believe anything he says unless he’s speaking in non-public mode AND gives you his “I’m now honestly speaking the truth” look. Politicians have to be sneaky that way. The public demands it. Bye again. buttercups!”

  22. ChrisAtRU

    Scott Adams (Dilbert) has an interesting take on the AHCA failure’s impact on Trump.

    It’s not a totally implausible suggestion, but buying it to various degrees depends IMO on which bubble one happens to inhabit most frequently.

    To those of us not focused on Trump the man, but rather the underlying issues that got us here, how Trump is perceived matters less than who seizes the opportunity to push bold changes to seriously tackle the socio-economic malaise.

    1. Waking Up

      On Saturday, Bernie Sanders tweeted how we need to “improve” the Affordable Care Act with a “public option”. Numerous articles at NC have shown why this is NOT the solution we need. Now Bernie Sanders sounds like the other corporate Democrats who may pretend to want “Medicare for All” but proclaim how it isn’t possible. I’m sorry Yves and Lambert, Bernie may have felt compelled to endorse Hillary Clinton, but this is just a complete sell-out on his part.

      1. Lord Koos

        I think Bernie is about incrementally improving health care with the end goal being single payer. Wasn’t social security implemented this way, with improvements made over time?

        1. Andrew Watts

          Yes, initially social security didn’t cover domestic work and other kinds of work. The expansion took place in a more favorable political climate with Eisenhower extorting the value of the program. I’m not defending Bernie on this though. Medicare-for-all is an easy sell that everybody can understand. The only thing absent is organizing and the public option is used to divide and disrupt that process.

          I need to go back and read all the criticism Murray Bookchin hurled at Sanders back in the day. ‘Cause this doesn’t pass the smell test. Another random thing of note is that Listen, Liberal! might’ve been inspired by a piece written by Bookchin entitled Listen, Marxist!

      2. curlydan

        This article has a few more Sanders details and a promise to introduce a universal health care bill with Rep. Peter Welch. Of course, Welch’s comment on his own bill is classic:

        “Well, you know, it’s a goal. In this Congress, we won’t pass it,” Welch said. “But I think we have to keep the goal out there, because we need in this country, like any industrialized country, a health care system that’s affordable, accessible and universal.”

        Thanks, Peter.

        http://www.newsweek.com/bernie-sanders-sponsor-single-payer-healthcare-bill-574403

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      “…so long as you can keep it”. (B.Franklin) Turns out it was about 230 years, not a bad run, considering

  23. TK421

    You could not put together a more unappealing force in the world than what Chelsea Clinton represents

    Her mother begs to differ.

    1. John k

      Had to lol.

      Hopefully if this goes lots of dems will be turned off… not, of course, making it easier to wrench the party from the overpaid corporatists, but making it easier for the Progressive Greens party to take flight.

  24. s.n.

    Bruce Reidel, today:
    Saudis jump on Trump bandwagon
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/03/saudi-arabia-trump-administration-obama-clinton-salman.html
    “…The enthusiasm for the new US team is a reflection of the deep disappointment with the Obama administration. It’s more than a bit ironic since Obama courted the Saudis avidly his whole term in office. Riyadh was his first destination in the Arab world and he traveled to Saudi Arabia more than any other country in the Middle East, including Israel. He sold more than $110 billion in military equipment to the kingdom, far more than any of his predecessors….”

  25. tgs

    I keep hearing that the Russia obsession is going to go away now that the evidence is crumbling (new revelations about CrowdStrike and so forth). I think that is premature. Anyone who listened to the hearing last Monday couldn’t have failed to notice that the Democrats in particular were completely unhinged. And that, I believe, will continue for the foreseeable future since that’s all they have got.

    Democrats step up calls that Russian hack was act of war

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Well now the Dems have legitimacy. They have Cheney on board, and he did push that Iraq WMD conspiracy.

        1. craazyboy

          They still need to round up Wolfie and Rummey to be at full strength.

          Then GHWB’s, “The crazies we keep locked up downstairs” will be wholly part of the DNC family.

    1. Andrew Watts

      I don’t expect this to end any time soon. The Democrats don’t have any solutions to offer so they gotta keep this racket going. That way they can have a lot of super important meetings and go through the motions of doing something while accomplishing nothing. It’ll keep the donor class happy at least. Although I wonder if they’ve thought through the consequences of inflicting a constant stream of outrage on the body politic. Probably not. I always knew national decline was going to have it’s interesting and/or entertaining moments.

  26. Tom

    Gender segregation in the military?
    Women don’t belong in the military, at least in mixed sex units. It’s ridiculous to put men and women together in confined quarters and not expect sexual tension.

    In combat when a woman starts screaming in pain after being wounded are we supposed to believe that men around her will not abandon an also wounded male in her favor, or, drop everything to rescue her?

    Men can’t get pregnant on a whim and get out of a posting. Legislation cannot reverse 100,000+ years of human evolution, no matter how many demands there are for “cultural change.”

    Bring back the modern equivalent of the WAVs and the WACs so that women can join the military if they so desire.

    Oh and all the pussyhatters can rejoice that under Obama, all young women will required to register with the selective service in a couple of years so that they too can come back in a box from a losing war, or, lose a few limbs or their sanity.

  27. different clue

    Chelsea Clinton is a perfect expression of everything the Clintobamacrat Party stands for. I don’t know the demographics of the district that will be selected for Chelsea to run from, but I suspect it will be full of highly overpaid Frankite Richite liberals. The only way Chelsea can be defeated from such a district is if there are just enough Bitter Berners in that district who are prepared to vote Republican in order to help the Republicans abort Chelsea’s career fast and hard. That would require the Bitter Berners to decide that decontaminating the DemParty from every last trace of Clintonite filth is more important than electing Democrats.

  28. Oregoncharles

    If you read the “Insect Detectives” first link, scroll down to a comment by “Ann.” It’s quite lengthy, but confirms what I thought reading the article: most of these people have a real neurological condition. It’s called “formication” (the sensation of ants crawling on or in your skin) and has a wide range of causes, some of them dangerous. And an equally wide range of treatments, depending on the underlying condition.

    Evidently Dr. Ridge is doing a great deal of good in her job, with remarkable patience, but her “clients” have mostly been let down by their physicians. They likely need more than reassurance. And since chemical exposure is one of the causes of formication, there might be a ready explanation for the recent upsurge in cases.

    I’m especially aware of this because we once had what we thought was scabies but may actually have been chemical exposure. We treated it with highly-toxic lindane, the available treatment for scabies then, and not long after that our son developed a life-threatening disease usually connected with chemical exposure. He survived, but it was a long siege.

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