Links 6/10/14

Scientists: Fracking Linked to Groundwater Contamination EcoWatch

Battle Over Fracking Poses Threat to Colorado Democrats NYT

Harry And Landra Reid To Move To Las Vegas Area Harry Reid (press release). House bought by a mining company at well above value.

China cuts reserve ratio for small banks Financial Times

High Yields on Chinese Corporate Bonds Lure Investors WSJ

Video of Mass Sexual Assault Taints Egypt Inauguration NYT

NY Times, Reuters Whitewash US Drone Strike Killing of Mehsud From Taliban Reasons for Karachi Airport Attack Emptywheel

Prosecutor: Trucker in (Tracy) Morgan crash lacked sleep AP. Hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours. This was a workplace tragedy, and wholly expected when you ride workers that hard.

Austerity and the Employment Rate CEPR

Why Do Coal Mining Jobs Matter So Much More Than Jobs Lost to Trade? Dean Baker, Truthout

Venezuela Prostitutes Earn More Selling Dollars Than Sex Bloomberg

Hillary Clinton Defends High-Dollar Speaking Fees Good Morning America

Stress-Testing Stress Test Ashok Rao

Larry Summers Should Keep His Mouth Shut Baseline Scenario. Con artist wing of the Democratic Party taking some hits lately.

Court probes Wells’ foreclosure steps again New York Post

How House Democrats Are Caving On Key Mortgage Rules Huffington Post

Chase Program Honored By National Notary Association National Mortgage Professional. Your “gag me” link for the day.

Nationwide Title Clearing now offers online ordering for property records HousingWire. “According to NTC executives, title defects have ‘become a major cause for concern within the real estate market in recent years.” How could that be?

Class Warfare:

Boris Johnson calls for removal of anti-homeless spikes The Guardian

Where Have All the Missing American Workers Gone? Denver Post (h/t Digby)

“Would have been unconscionable not to”: Bill de Blasio tells Salon why he backed Cuomo

What’s the Source of Soaring Corporate Profits? Stagnant Wages Washington’s Blog

Regular shoppers cite Walmart’s low pay and poor treatment of workers as reasons to stay away Daily Kos

America’s credit card addicts just relapsed Quartz. Or, perhaps, “America’s wage misery puts more people on the debt treadmill.”

U.S. State Department promotes grants to help thwart the NSA David Sirota, PandoDaily

War Gear Flows to Police Departments NYT

High-Speed Traders Face Scrutiny by Levin’s Senate Investigators Bloomberg

Las Vegas shooting: Killers leave swastika, espoused militia views LA Times

Detroit Automakers Pledge $26 Million to Help Save City’s Art NYT

Fukushima creates its own Pharrell Williams HAPPY video and it’s really inspiring RT News

Comedian and actor Rik Mayall dies The Guardian. RIP. I loved The Young Ones growing up.

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. Jake Mudrosti

    Regarding “Scientists: Fracking Linked to Groundwater Contamination EcoWatch”,
    this link may be of interest:
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    May 17, 2011 vol.108 no.20
    “Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing”

    From the abstract:
    In aquifers overlying the Marcellus and Utica shale formations of northeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York, we document systematic evidence for methane contamination of drinking water associated with shale-gas extraction.

    From the Methods section:
    A total of 68 drinking-water samples were collected in Pennsylvania and New York from bedrock aquifers (Lockhaven, 8; Catskill, 47; and Genesee, 13) that overlie the Marcellus or Utica shale formations.

    Figure 3 is particularly interesting

  2. p78

    Business Tax laws make Britain a haven for U.S. firms
    “This means companies can shift profits out of the countries where their employees and customers are based, into tax havens, and then bring the money back to Britain and pay it out to shareholders without paying any tax – something that would not be possible under U.S. or German tax law.
    Rowan Companies, one of the largest operators of drilling rigs in the world…say the shift helped cut the company’s effective tax rate to 3.3 percent in 2013 from 34.6 percent in 2008. […] What attracts companies like Rowan to Britain is not a headline tax rate that is half the U.S. level but the way the UK has effectively stopped taxing profits reported by UK companies’ overseas subsidiaries.”

  3. DakotabornKansan

    Poor, broke, and having to scrimp, Hillary Clinton was just like the rest of us:

    “We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.”

    Notice that she’s talking about paying for the family’s “houses.” Plural!!!

    “Empathy, he once had decided, must be limited to herbivores or anyhow omnivores who could depart from a meat diet. Because, ultimately, the empathic gift blurred the boundaries between hunter and victim, between the successful and the defeated.” – Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

    Deception reigns and all meaningful values have been turned on their head.

    We have ascended to Dick’s covered pasture where electric sheep graze, sophisticated pieces of hardware chomping away in simulated contentment, bamboozling the other tenants of the building. Nothing could be more impolite than to inquire about these electronic circuitry fakes. To say “Is your sheep genuine?” would be a breach of etiquette.

    “Today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups. What is real? We are unceasingly bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives. I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.” – Philip K. Dick

    1. sd

      $12.5 million in legal fees is a pretty hefty debt. That said, $200,000 for a speakers fee for Hilary Clinton seems a bit over the top. Which really raises the question of who/what is paying it and why? If you wanted to channel money to someone and influence their opinion, I can’t think of a better way to cover your tracks than call it a speakers fee.

      1. rich

        hold on I’m tuning my violin…..

        Clinton’s Went from Millionaires to PEU’s

        America’s Blue Team royal family, Bill and Hillary Clinton, left the White House with a mere $1.26 million to $5.7 million in assets. Yet, Bill’s privatization of public services, enabled many private equity underwriters (PEU’s) to get their footing in the 1990’s. They’ve returned the favor many times over.

        The Clintons went on to earn an astonishing $109 million between 2000 and 2007, according to disclosure reports.

        Bill had stints with Yucaipa and Teneo. Recently Hillary spoke to The Carlyle Group, KKR, Teneo and Goldman Sachs. Daughter Chelsea is well on her way, currently being schooled by PEU’s

        Hillary’s “return to the the White House fiction” is the Clinton’s were dead broke when they left public service. The Clinton’s needed to earn such big money to buy houses and send Chelsea to school so she could become a PEU.

        1. fresno dan

          This makes me wonder what has happened to the price of bribery over the years. The Clintons had to give away trillions to get a mere 100 million in payola, and that’s over years. Seems to me when politicians of yore were on the take, the sums were smaller (maybe just inflation makes the current graft seem larger????) and the bribes were less damaging to the economy overall (e.g., the “Big Dig” benefitted certain construction companies, but did not damage the economy overall. Compare and contrast to allowing derivatives to go unregulated)

          1. fresno dan

            Harry And Landra Reid To Move To Las Vegas Area Harry Reid (press release). House bought by a mining company at well above value.

            See, this is the kinda bribery I’m talking about. Good old fashioned local bribes that don’t screw up the entire world with MBS’s, hypothecated collateral raised to the third power etcetera that ends up costing us all trillions….

          2. Skeptic

            Yes indeed the Bang For The Corrupting Buck is astonishing. Why this does not merit serious academic study? For every cent to a Pol, probably $100, $200, your number here, down the Treasury Drain. It is so obvious, yet………….

            One solution is to sequester Pols like Juries. Another is to simply finance all elections, much, much cheaper than the Bribery that is in place.

        2. Emma

          Response to Rich:

          Look, the Clintons are politicians. Plain and simple. Politicians aren’t exactly known for being moralist absolutists are they? They’re never hands-on-dirty either, building people up by putting them down. Private equity does that. Humiliating employees they’re ‘assisting’ by forcing them out of the paid workforce and into deeper poverty.

          You see, above all, fat prospects come over thin ground. The private equity types aren’t even barbarians at the gate. They’re Uberassetlords, in a class of their own since the 1950s, when Doriot the Frog hopped across the transatlantic pond to French Fry America.

          It’s private equity that laps it up in the murky waters of a blood-rimmed infinity pool with a zero edge and a sheltered hedge. The industry is the carefree paean to private gain, private profit, and private wealth accumulation: sex, sea and fun worship with illiquid figures and hidden assets.

          Add the concomitant wave of misery under which people are unmannerly exploited and natural resources stripped off with, and it becomes an aquatic utopia with a plastic fetish.

          Our non-biodegradable standard of living is o.k.-corralled and mushrooms with candy-coated roots through a trapdoor to hell. PE is truly like the package in speedos and clear as mud: not much of a product, but heaps of self-inflationary marketing. This is how private equity marries well with politics.

          Like an atrophy grunt promising little growth but huge returns. Sweet-talk it too by all means; just don’t buy into it. A better sell-out has yet to be devised.

          With a leveraged ‘buoyout’, any distress is livable from afar. Deadly certain. Just like skating on melting ice with no land in sight. You see, liquidation is change we can believe in, isn’t it? Unlike politics.

          So let’s drink to ‘peasantequitry’ on the rocks with a shot of Darwinism.
          And ‘Stay thirsty my friends’.

          1. Mark P.

            “….in a class of their own since the 1950s, when Doriot the Frog hopped across the transatlantic pond….”

            Very good. You’ve named a formative historical player that most people are unaware of. Heck, most people nowadays don’t even know who Lewis Strauss was and why he was important.

            That said, a correction: Doriot arrived in the US after WWI and was already a professor at Harvard Business School by 1926.

      2. DakotabornKansan

        “The weird math that allows the Clintons to claim to be “dead broke” is that they had legal fees from their time in the White House. However, no one seriously expected these Democratic firms to pursue the Clintons for payment and donors quickly worked to pay off that debt. Those bills were entirely paid off by 2004 by donors eager to help the Clintons.” – Jonathan Turley, The Reinvention of Hillary Clinton: Vote For The Iraq War Now A “Mistake” And The Clintons Faced Hard Economic Times After Leaving The White House

        “It is not clear if this will remake Clinton into a new image of a struggling mother and peace advocate, but many in Washington believe that American voters have the memory of a golden retriever puppy.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think everyone has the right to repeat his/her side of the story, again and again, until it becomes music to his/her audience, and all of them start to hum along.

          And if you have friends in the media, so much the better. Yours might just become a popular song.

  4. Carolinian

    Re Hillary’s speaking fees–High profile journalists also make a lot of money from speaking fees. As I recall Cokie Roberts got in a row with ABC over this a few years ago.

    Of course the journalists, if asked, would probably provide the same spiel…mortgage payments, college tuition, other items (hopefully not legal fees!)to pay for.

    One might almost think that the lecture industry was set up to co-opt significant players on the national scene. A crazy, paranoid idea no doubt…

    1. Jim Haygood

      “As a matter of fact, my husband, much to my surprise and his, has made a lot of money since he left the White House, by doing what he loves doing most — talking to people.” — Hillary Clinton, April 2008

      Kim Jong Un’s girlfriend says the same thing.

      Please mind the clap clues.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        ‘One fine day in the future, when I am the former first-female president of this great nation, I will be even more surprised at how much money I will make doing what I truly enjoy, talking to people….my first and only love…’

    2. craazyman


      Why don’t we take up a collection and pay these people to shut up. I’d kick in a few bucks.

      Not that I listen or read what they say now, but just knowing it’s not out there someplace in print or yacking itself on a screen someplace — that would be relaxing!

      Laying back in the grass, the sun warm on your closed eyes, thinking “It’s not out there, anywhere! Wow. They’re showing Star Trek re-runs where it used to be!” Just imagining it makes me smile.

      By the way AbyNormal, do you think Rembrandt painted all those leaves and blades of grass and windmill blades? Or Michaelangelo all those drapery folds? Nada chance. It’s called being a working artist. You pay staff to do the drudgery and when the going gets tough, like when you have to have the light fall just perfectly across the anatomy of an outstretched hand or when the evocation of a gaze has to be just absolutely on target emotionally and metaphorically — well, that’s when the Master picks up the brush and goes to work. That’s how they all did it. Almost all.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Help buy her stuff:

        #HillaryIsSoPoor She stamped a Louis Vuitton logo under each eye and tried to sell the bags on Ebay.

        1. hunkerdown

          If I were a liberal, I would tell you to stop critiquing her appearance because it’s impolite and degrading. But frankly, if there were ever a class whose every public image ought to be, by regulation, sent to the tabloids in Florida for the “you’re supposed to hate this one” retouching job, the political class is that one.

          Instead, I say: Critiquing her appearance serves only to legitimize her power and strengthen her minions. Stop that.

          (Why am I having trouble shaking the baaaad feeling that The Kids know they’re being dishonest and hope to make a profit on it?)

      2. abynormal

        you’ve posted a reply to yesterdays comments under “Why don’t we take up a collection and pay these people to shut up.” from Hillary to Rembrandt/KinKade comparison…ive yet to come across Rembrandt’s use of ‘working artist’ and ive studied art a long time.

        we’re going to have to split the sheets on this one Craazy

        did the grass you were laying back on look like this

    1. ewmayer

      One of my all-time fave regular guest stars in the Blackadder quadrilogy. List of memorable quotes here:

      Lord Flasheart: All right men, let’s do-oo-oo it! The first thing to remember is: always treat your kite
      [Flashheart taps the picture of the Sopwith Camel with his cane]
      Lord Flasheart: like you treat your woman!
      [Flashheart whips the air with his cane]
      Lieutenant George: How, how do you mean, Sir? Do you mean, do you mean take her home at weekends to meet your mother?
      Lord Flasheart: No, I mean get inside her five times a day and take her to heaven and back.

      [I recall the wording “best girl” instead of “woman”, but perhaps my memory is fawlty.]

  5. scott

    WalMart will “take care” of Tracy Morgan, but if it was an average person disabled by a WMT truck, good luck getting anything.

  6. dearieme

    “Prosecutor: Trucker in (Tracy) Morgan crash lacked sleep AP. Hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours. This was a workplace tragedy, and wholly expected when you ride workers that hard.”

    Don’t you use tachographs in the US to try to avoid this sort of thing?

    1. Garrett Pace

      Drivers keep logs of their driving, not to exceed a certain number of hours in a day or a week.

      What can happen is companies pressure drivers to falsify the logs and drive more, then hang the driver out to dry if there’s a wreck. “He lied on his logs! It’s not our fault!”

    2. David Dayen Post author

      Truckers are not supposed to work more than I think 12 hours at a time. Sometimes two truckers will ride together to extend the amount of time on the road, one sleeping while the other drives.

      But the economics of trucking persuades workers to disobey those rules.

    3. DakotabornKansan

      Drivers with untreated sleep disorders are one of the most dangerous threats out on our highways. It is estimated that close to one out of every three OTR truck drivers have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Truck drivers with OSA have up to a 7-fold increased risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.

      OSA is a condition where airways become obstructed while sleeping, typically resulting in low blood oxygen levels at night. The obstruction leads to interruptions in breathing and non-restful sleep, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep attacks, and psychomotor deficits.

      Individuals with OSA are frequently entirely unaware of the condition. Drivers with sleep apnea frequently minimize or underreport symptoms such as snoring and daytime sleepiness.

      In addition to being unrecognized or unreported by drivers, OSA often remains undiagnosed by many primary care clinicians. And many truck drivers do not follow through on physician recommendations for sleep studies and sleep apnea treatment.

      The sleep apnea bill (H.R. 3095), calling on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) to define rules for sleep apnea testing for commercial drivers, was signed into law by President Obama last October. The new law requires the FMCSA to pursue a rule-making process to require that commercial truck and bus drivers be tested for sleep apnea as part of their medical certification. Each state now has its own set of guidelines as to how it screens and tests drivers suspected of having sleep apnea.

      “The rulemaking process allows for medical experts, the regulated community, including professional drivers, to provide valuable data and input for the agency to consider in developing its regulations. A formal rulemaking will also require an analysis of the benefits and costs of regulating sleep apnea, an analysis not required for the issuance of guidance,” said Bill Graves, CEO of the American Trucking Associations.

      Meanwhile, “at this very moment, members of Congress are looking to drop regulations requiring rest periods for drivers,” writes Charlie Pierce. “At present, federal regulations — those onerous shackles that keep The Magic Market from working its wonders on behalf of us all, but especially those of us who buy politicians — mandate that every truck driver rest for 34 consecutive hours between work weeks, and they also mandate that those rest hours include at least two nights on which the driver must rest between 1 and 5 a.m. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the trucking industry is trying to cast off the chains of common sense and it’s found a willing ally in the Congress.

  7. Jim Haygood

    ‘Hillary Clinton defended the millions of dollars she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have earned giving paid speeches since leaving public office.’ — Good Morning America

    Catch the slant here? The NYT reported on April 5, 2008 that ‘Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton released tax data Friday showing they earned $109 million over the last eight years.’

    So the correct order of magnitude for a semantic description would be at least ‘tens of millions,’ and quite likely ‘hundreds of millions’ (as in over $200 million) if the figures were brought up to date.

    Please don’t stereotype Hillary as a one-percenter. That’s a semantic distortion, too. She’s a point-oh-one-percenter:

    ‘The disclosure of the records — which revealed the Clintons to be in the top one-hundredth of 1 percent, or roughly 14,500, of all taxpayers — came on the day that Mrs. Clinton called for the creation of a cabinet-level post to tackle poverty.’

    1. Carolinian

      Didn’t she give a similar “just trying to get by” explanation when asked about those cattle futures long ago? Of course it may be gratuitous to pick on Hillary for what they all do (except maybe Jimmy Carter). But isn’t this process of post-government enriching largely the same as the “revolving door” that so many now believe leads to regulatory capture? Could Obama at this late stage also be thinking about future speaking fees?

      Presidents didn’t always feel such a need to keep up with the plutocrats. NC readers who are ever in south Georgia should check out FDR’s Little White House. It’s a small, wood frame house–classical in architecture–with only a bedroom and the large sitting room where he died. There’s also a kind of hallway kitchen with a wood fired oven. By modern standards it’s amazingly unpretentious and moving. A nearby barn has display cases showing his braces and the special car he used to drive around the Georgia countryside and surprise poor farmers, then stop and talk to them.

      Of course FDR was a moneyed aristocrat with nothing to prove status wise. Still the Dems could go a long way with a little more “common touch.”

      1. Jim Haygood

        Hillary’s explanation for earning over $100,000 in a series of cattle futures day trades with 95% winning trades was, ‘I read the Wall Street Journal.’

        In reality, her broker ‘Red’ Bone at the Springdale, Ark. office of Refco (later bankrupted by Jon Corzine) was doing matched long and short trades, allocating each day’s winner to Hillary’s account and the losing trade to the house account.

        Probably the last humble president was Calvin Coolidge, who returned from the White House to live in his former home, a rented duplex at 21 Massasoit Street in Northhampton, Mass. which is still there. Photo:

        1. Carolinian

          I believe Carter still lives in a modest house in Plains, Ga when he isn’t traveling around the world.

          Which is not to defend his mostly center/right actions as President. Still, he’s pretty humble.

          1. Oregoncharles

            Carter was a terrible President, partly because he was beholden to the Rockefellers; I think he knows it and has done his best to make up for it ever since.

            1. Carolinian

              Carter’s greatest sin was losing to Reagan just as Clinton’s was losing the house to Gingrich. Both disasters could have been prevented and both men bear much of the blame imo.

              That said, the national press can be real high school heathers when it comes to someone they don’t like, and they hated both Carter and Clinton. I lived in NYC during the latter half of Carter’s term and the attitudes toward him were quite vicious.

              David Cay Johnston said in that video the other day that the real beginning of the end for a sane economy began with Reagan. Who can deny it? Carter’s fecklessness helped it to happen.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Apparently there was a “hash tag” (I don’t tweet) started yesterday: #Hillary is so poor that…

      Heard one of the responses this morning: Hillary is so poor that “she holds a sign ‘Will Govern For Food’ on a sidewalk blanket outside Goldman Sachs headquarters.”

      1. fresno dan

        There should be one that reads: Will redistribute, through deregulation, not regulating, tax loopholes and tax expenditures, all the money in the world to the top 0.001% for a mere 50 million in bribes, amortized over 10 years….

  8. diptherio

    That antidote is making my head hurt! It’s like eating a bowl of sugar with a glass of maple syrup…kawaii overload!

    Please tell me those eyes are photoshopped.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      The one on the left has shifty eyes and a greasy smile — he’s the brains. The one on the right is his doofus minion.

      Before it’s over, these two will control the market in Llama wool futures.

      1. craazyman

        the one on the right looks like the young Peter Frampton — “Dew ewe, ewe . . . feel like I do . . .”
        whoa memory lane dude

  9. ambrit

    “Iraq’s Army Retreats as al-Quaeda Seizes Mosul” in the Telegraph. al-Quaeda-seizes-Mosul:html
    The group is the one we were supporting in Syria! This is not the Kurds. But I thought the Kurds had wanted Mosul for their own, with its huge oil fields and refineries. If this works out for al-Quaeda, they’ll have their own revenue base, the Mosul oil fields. Initial reports say the al-Quaeda are driving through the streets telling people they will not molest anyone who doesn’t attack them. It sounds like the kind of thing you do if you are either weak on the ground, and they just pushed the Iraqi Army out, or intend to stay a while.

    1. Banger

      Link is broken.

      I think we need to understand the possibility put forth by some people that Al-qaida is actually the CIA’s Arab Legion. It’s origins are with the CIA, Saudi intel and ISI or Pakistani intel were all working together for many years. Terrorism replaced the USSR as the Orwellian enemy so maybe there’s a connection there? Al-qaida was active in Bosnia (in alliance with U.S.) and is now very active in Libya (thanks to U.S.) and Syria funded by U.S. ally Saudi Arabia and probably black-funds from the U.S. If what I indicate is true it would, at least, be logical.

      1. TimR

        Yes indeed. We need to free ourselves from the hologram. And then free others.

        To that end… Here’s some canny analysis of the Snowden Affair:

        I could quote any given paragraph, it’s terrific, but this is to the point. John Rapoport:

        “Of course, the American people don’t consider all these potential elements of the Snowden affair. …

        Although they watch spy movies and television shows, they don’t believe, when push comes to shove, that intelligence operations have layers and false trails and cover stories and limited hangouts. They don’t believe that deception can run that deep. They don’t stop to realize that all spies are trained to lie. Lying convincingly is the number-one requisite for a spy. Lie to enemies, lie to friends, lie to the press, lie to other agencies of government. If a spy doesn’t wake up every day thinking about what lies he’ll tell from breakfast to dinner, he’s a dud. A washout. A danger to himself and others. Spies live in a labyrinth of deceit. It takes a certain kind of personality to thrive in that atmosphere.”

        But of course, you know, as the Well-programmed will tell you, if that sort of thing happens at all, it’s only being used on Those Others over there… on the Bad Guys. Our gov-corp state would never do psy-ops on the The American People. my god! are you crazy. There might be a few bad apples, but don’t kid yourself. They wouldn’t dream of leading the entire public around by the nose, with false flag operations, media psy-ops, Big Lies, or any other such scurrilous behavior. You can take it to the bank…

        1. Banger

          Who can know what the truth is? Does the black op community run disinformation campaigns? Yes, and they do it constantly as one would suppose. As for Snowden, I don’t know–I suspected from the beginning that he did not act alone but was part of a group within the intel community that has some kind of beef with the status-quo. I know that there are elements in that community that are more “liberal” and I know that there are cliques who have conflicts and take part in various power-plays.

          The only way to know anything is to establish what we know about this community from their ability to misdirect the public in all major political and security-related events starting even before the JFK assassination. Without seeing the pattern and the history of American intel (or even British intel) we will be driving blind. This is a very big issue that even the radical left simply will not touch but the radical right will touch.

      2. Paul Tioxon

        The book made into the movie, “CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR”, tells the story of the largest secretly funded war against the Soviets in American history. While Ronald Reagan was sneaking money to the Contras due to being cut off from Congressional funding and support for his war of choice, the democrats launched their own war, funding it with billions of dollars and training the Afghan Mujadeen against the Soviet Red Army, which invaded in 1979 to shore up a weak client state. The book tells the whole story by one of the greatest American journalists who followed the secret wars of the CIA and KGB and put much on CBS TV news, including many 60 minutes reports. Another reason why I miss the ’70s. Charlie Wilson was a Texas democrat and congressional representative who made this his political cause, the other 2 being drinking himself to death and whoring. Now there’s a Texan I can respect. He got his fellow dems, including the Black Baptist minister from North Philadelphia, William Grey, to fund the secret CIA project, which was called OPERATION CYCLONE. Needless to say, losing Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and giving Osama Bin Laden his military training was not a highlight of the project. But, you just have to live and learn I guess.

        1. Banger

          Yes, what a glorious time that was. Just take a look at Afghanistan was like before the CIA/ISI war in Afghanistan against the USSR–quite a result don’t you think? It may have been amusing from the POV of those like Wilson who enjoyed playing the great game and be part of the CIA’s quest to destroy civilization everywhere they stick their grimy paws on a country but I don’t think the results were worth the misery it caused.

          Seriously take a before and after picture of Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and now Syria. Rah, rah for American imperialism.

          1. Doug Terpstra

            It’s sick and twisted evil that’s taken on a life of its own, run by possessed psychos. Orwellian is an apt description — perpetual war for its own sake waged against a constantly shifting omnipresent enemy, an elusive boogeyman who may be al-Qaeda, Gaddafi, Saddam, Putin, Assad, Maduro, etc., in the ongoing war against Eastasia … or is it Eurasia? It’s so hard to keep straight.

            What a fustercluck. The al-Qaeda we fund against Assad in Syria now takes northern Iraq using American weapons and funding, to seize American fighter planes, blackhawks, and heavy artillery. What an elegant plan. The GWOT is the perfect breeder reactor for eternal war and mass-murder for profit. This is the inglorious essence of disaster capitalism.


  10. MtnLife

    Caught this story on NPR the other day.

    ‘Guns Kept People Alive’ During the Civil Rights Movement

    Main point of the story: trying to obtain political/social goals through non-violent means does not mean one gives up the right to armed self-defense.

    The real question now is will the liberal anti-gun zealots proclaim MLK as some sick individual who needed help or will the conservative (MOAR GUNZ) crowd feel the need to arm Occupy to be “on the right side of history”? I don’t think either will happen but it’s fun to speculate where rampant ideology will take you.

    1. James Levy

      I think this is a false equivalence. Almost no one I know is calling for guns to be confiscated. They want to limit who gets what going forward. They are not the ideological equivalent of the NRA. And I have never heard a remotely convincing argument why anyone needs more than a long gun and a shotgun (one for big game, one for small, the shotgun being a perfect home defense weapon, much better than a pistol, which most people can’t use). One other point: the real hypocrites are the hand gun advocates. Handguns are not a militia weapon; a vastly better case can be made for AR-15s than for handguns. I’d gladly pass a law that said people could own semi-automatic rifles (one, with no more than a 15 round magazine) but only if they all give up their handguns. But really, no one needs more than one or two rifles and/or shotguns, and no case exists for high capacity magazines (other than committing mass murder).

    2. Oregoncharles

      Am I the only one who remembers the (armed) Deacons in (hold your breath) Mississippi? they got away with it, too, unlike the Panthers in the North. Of course, blacks were a majority in Miss.; an actual uprising would have been really lethal.

      1. ambrit

        The racial makeup of Mississippi is still roughly 60% White and 40% Black. There are a lot of small towns where blacks are in the majority; where I live, Hattiesburg, being one of the larger. The capitol, Jackson, is another. The Deacons are for real. So are the Black Baptist Churches in general. In most black run towns you’ll find the local Baptist preachers are the power brokers. H—, in most Mississippi towns, irrespective of racial power balances, the churches control things from behind the scenes. Also, what about the Nation over in Atlanta? Now there’s power for you.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I note the links above about the Vegas shooting and war gear flowing to police departments.

      We need fewer weapons in this world, both the private and public sectors.

      1. MtnLife

        While I am an enthusiast of many liberal/socialist pie-in-the-sky ideals and would happily sign some online petition absolving the world of war if it would actually work, unfortunately, petitions don’t stop bullets coming at you unless they are made of Kevlar. Guns are a useful tool when in dangerous areas far from help. Weapons solely for the purpose of war are another matter. Yet they are an unavoidable consequence of the arms race that will occur between competing groups (nation vs. nation, law enforcement vs criminals, etc) seeking to gain the upper hand. I’m also pretty sure that as soon as the first humanoid could walk upright it grabbed something to beat the crap out of anything that threatened its “interests”, however valid they may be, and this is something that is very ingrained in the human psyche. It all reminds me of the quote (forgot the origins) about not only realizing the dark side exists, but respecting it.

        1. James Levy

          Most Americans do not live in dangerous areas far from help. I happen to live in a not at all dangerous area relatively (by the standards of most Americans) far from help. And no Americans need the kinds of arsenals that I have seen people who can only be called gun nuts possessing. What you need is a nice shotgun with 0 or 00 shot. Works great with birdshot on ducks and turkeys. Then if you are a hunter you can keep your shotgun and load it with deer slugs or buy a bolt action rifle. And that’s all anyone needs. Sure, people might want other things, but they don’t need them. Hunting and home defense are legitimate uses for those tools we call firearms. If those who advocate their possession would stick to defending tools for those uses they’d make a hell of a lot more convincing case than they do.

          1. MtnLife

            I think you misinterpreted my tone, easily done in print. I wasn’t aiming for asshole but for realist. Violence has existed since the first cellular organism consumed the next one for food. Very few animals (humans, raccoons in a frenzy, wolverines) kill for reasons other than food or self defense. Not everyplace in the world is downtown London with security cameras and police everywhere. There are plenty of places where it is stupid to venture without bear spray AND a firearm (wolverines don’t mind bear spray, wolves come in packs). To deny basic realities because it doesn’t fit your worldview is dangerous and does no more to make it true than does repeating a lie (despite govt PR/MSM best propaganda efforts).
            I do, however, live in an area with an avg police response time of over an hour (to violent calls, longer to others) which does place a little more emphasis on taking care of yourself because no one is looking over your shoulder. Maybe instead of random one-liner name calling, write with your next post by possibly countering with facts, reason, experience, or something else relevant that adds to the discussion. I don’t mind discussing differing opinions, but you don’t even put one forth.

  11. Banger

    I recommend, in the light of interest here on the police state tactics of the government, the following recent interview with John Whitehead by Bonnie Faulkner: available here.

    1. MtnLife

      Great link, Banger. While I knew about most of the content there was still some things to file under “even creepier than I realized” (atlas 4 androids, I guess why use bioenhancing exosuit armor with super soldiers when you don’t have to risk anybody) or “faster than I realized”.
      In a lighthearted note, the younger half of society was raised on Terminator/Robocop movies so we are prepared for the coming Robot-pocalypse and will be anxiously awaiting our future-bot savior.

      1. Banger

        The sad part of this historical moment is that the populace, especially the intellectual classes that should know better, is and has been deeper and deeper into denial not just about the police state bur about almost all aspects of politics. I don’t blame anyone because it’s just too painful to fully contemplate our current situation. For example, if we took the full picture developed on this site really seriously we would have to organize ourselves into some sort of revolutionary movement but no such thing is likely. Why that is so is an interesting discussion.

        1. Lord Koos

          Many Americans are still relatively comfortable, is why. And many of the comfortable are baby boomers who are getting a little too long in the tooth for any revolution that might require physical action and/or danger. Having said that, I still know quite a few people who think Obama is the shiznit… many of them women who are die-hard democrats. They can all be counted on to vote for Hilary.

          1. neo-realist

            One could also argue that many of our comfortable are also the so-called millenials who are far too absorbed with self important twitter opinionating, selfie narcissism, facebook chattering, video gaming, comicon kiddie cosplay regression, and youtube famewhore seeking, to expect any kind of revolution out of.

          2. Banger

            I resemble that remark. Indeed I have a friend who got her head bashed in and was a street-fighting gal back in the day and her issue is the Supreme Court end of story.

            I will say this for Hilary Clinton, she is a much more interesting person than the current empty suit in the WH.

        2. ambrit

          Let’s turn this one on its’ head and recognize that we arte faced with a Reactionary Revolutionary Movement. One that has been working full tilt since the ’80s.
          Leftist revolutionaries are something like the Snark; hard to find.

  12. Kokuanani

    That story on Walmart from Daily Kos was thin gruel. Please don’t tempt me to click on such items unless there’s actual substance. I hate giving Kos the traffic.

  13. Oregoncharles

    “Across Colorado, leading Democrats hope to avoid finding out how the public’s views translate at the ballot box.”

    And across the country. Actual democracy is SUCH a nuisance.

    That’s why it’s one of the Green Party’s 4 pillars, the foundations of the party.

    Evidently it has no such status with the ironically-named “Democratic” Party.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    What is the source of soaring corporate profits? Stagnant wages.

    Actually, in polite company, we say, tame inflation.

  15. susan the other

    First a caveat: It is remarkably bold for two American “nazis”, a married couple, to walk into a restaurant and shoot dead 2 cops eating lunch; to then cover their bodies with a Don’t Tread On Me flag, shout “the revolution has begun” and bolt. I don’t buy it. It sounds like terrorist-astroturf; like the Muslims who proclaimed something big was about to happen in a NY bar and shouted stg like ‘All Praise to Allah’, and left a copy of the Koran on the bar.
    Today’s Other Links:
    1.Truthout. Dean Baker. Unemployment caused by the trade deficit. I prefer his second choice for remediation – that of curtailing imports.
    2. Truthout. (not linked) An RNN interview with 2 profs from Duke and Stanford. “Human Activity Driving the Earth Towards Total Extinction.” (Including our own.) Sobering. And neither one mentioned Fukushima due to the iron-fisted blackout on the truth ever coming out on this catastrophe. Today in ENEnews, Arnie Gundersen said Fukushima would continue leaking for 100 years. Gosh, think that might cause a complete collapse of all species in the Pacific?
    3. RT on Fukusima gives us “Happy Fukushima.” Showing us that propaganda actually is satire. Who needs the Onion?

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Sometimes, the truth/reality is simply too terrible to acknowledge, much less contemplate.

      Reminds me of the movie, ‘The Beach’.

  16. Carolinian

    The great Numerian

    Kennesaw, Ga–just north of where I used to live–was cutting edge in that it was, I believe, the first U.S. town with a “must carry” law. That was years ago. Daringly I did sometimes pass through Kennesaw without “packing heat.” Just recently a boy walked into a warehouse in Kennesaw and shot some people.

    As Numerian says, it was an event so routine people no longer pay much attention. I’m not even sure what day it was.

  17. Oregoncharles

    In other words, DeBlasio is a Democrat, not a progressive. And it looks like WFP isn’t much better – though that’s been clear in Oregon for a long time.
    And the article? It’s Joan Walsh, little more than a PR rep. for the Democratic Party. What do you expect?

    1. neo-realist

      Re DeBlasio’s endorsement of Cuomo, it’s really DeBlasio saying to Cuomo “Hey Goombah, remember me when it comes to financial aid for the city”.

  18. kevinearick

    Resilient Villages

    Banal – Compulsory Feudal Service

    The majority breeds love out with arbitrary rules, stranding itself in time and losing the ability to rear its own children, which is why healthcare has a stranglehold on its economy today, why the concentration camps were set up for medical research on humans yesterday, and why the majority must have your children tomorrow, for extortion, to maintain the something for nothing debt ponzi, in vain.

    From the perspective of the majority, all children belong to the State, which is why marriage licenses and Family Law exist. The Fed is just the latest derivative hedge fund printing debt to enslave them.

    A shrinking minority carries the weight of the economy over time, and it’s not the jet set, the Clintons, or Warren Buffet. It takes parents, a husband and a wife, to raise productive children, and build a sustainable community. Democracy is about implicit, not explicit, discovery.

    The stock market is steadily going up on steadily decreasing human participation. Wall Street can essentially write a blank bond to service a bankrupt education system at will. And poverty among a declining population of children is increasing, all driving purchasing power to zero. What does that tell you?

    You were not entrusted with a brain and a conscience simply to hand them over to others, certified to program them according to script. 99% of DNA gets flushed on a regular basis, including legacy, for a reason. The human conscience is not the product of playing last to lose, in peer pressure groups.

    All the Ivory Tower theories on labor markets have been shredded. As many have observed, humanity, with all its brains, has devolved to the level of monkeys again, building social pyramids fueled by duration mismatches between short term peer pressure automation and long term planetary energy cycles, squandering energy on toys, of, by and for morons.

    Rebooting the human economy is the easy part, happens all the time. That’s the joke. What are you going to reboot it to do, keep the Clippers and professional sports alive another day, to suck every last joule out of the system? Are there more couch potatoes to be made? Any TV evangelists without a gold toilet?

    Not everyone was quite so stupid as to walk down the well-trodden path of History, which has led to another die-off, catching all the participants in their own catch-22s, with leverage reversal. Insurance against uncertainty eliminates return on investment, and replacing it with debt inflation only hides the resulting lost purchasing power from those who do not want to see it.

    The old-timers discounting the debt could see all this coming, and they have the entire global population to choose from, to grant productive capital. Why should they choose you, to install the next transformer?

    First, recognize the problem solution, global demographic collapse. If you are single or in a civil marriage, your best bet is to compete for a hole in the wall in San Jose or Seattle, copying the latest and greatest code, so you can drive a GM with a 10-yr lease in and out of a cave, hoping to be chosen by Facebook and move to San Francisco, to drive a Tesla.

    Let’s say a landlord quotes you rent beyond your wage/rent requirement, and is having the unit painted. Paint it yourself and deduct it from the rent. Or better yet, have your friend, a professional painter, paint it on the side and deduct the net. Unfix the system of price and wage control. That’s what the old-timers did.

    If you have a choice between learning to weld, really learning, and learning to swing a hammer, learn to weld, because an average welder is a better carpenter than a good carpenter. You want to be the best at whatever you do, because better on a Bell Curve isn’t good enough.

    That diploma/certificate isn’t worth the paper it is printed on. Develop skills to build your life. The paper pushers are a dime a dozen, and it’s their job to steal your work, to get their next promotion in the ponzi. Empires are always blowing themselves up, while the majority ignores the obvious, expecting History, but hoping it changes course.

    Just because someone is playing a role, as a banker, a governor, a cop or a plumber, as an idiot, doesn’t necessarily mean that person is an idiot. “[W]e are all equal in God’s eyes, but that’s not the way our employers see things.” Equality is not something you fight for; it’s something you recognize. Money, as the means to the end, is the illusion.

    There is still a functioning labor circuit in nearly every community. It is just being swamped by debt at every level, across the empire.

    Corporate policy is to starve you out, circling up to starve itself, always rebooting itself with a bail out/in crisis. Let it do so, until it can’t, but you might want to build your food bank before you need it. If the State were capable of raising productive children, would it be in the boat it’s in now, increasing pressure on decreasing volume?

    Debt, as income, cash or anything else is not wealth, and if you can buy gold with a credit card, it’s not much of a hedge. The percentage of young people capable of discounting debt out of their lives is quite small. Talent with skill is in every circumstance the best currency. Adjust the resistor, the empire, to power your development.

    Love is not an emotion; it’s an action that improves with practice. Resilient monkeys educated in the city produce Ritalin. And making the cut is harder than getting into the Ivy League, because intelligent work is required. The blind always twist the truth, to remain blind. Why would you expect anything different from a drive-by ‘Christian’ empire?

    Most crimes go unsolved, and the majority proposes you as the ultimate scapegoat when all of its experts fail, surprise, surprise. That’s what happens when individuals are blamed for system stupidity. The empire is just background noise, from which and to you recycle the parts.

    Freedom to be stupid, buying and selling ignorance, is not freedom. Choose C. Don’t be alarmed by the snake. That’s what shovels are for.

    1. JohnL

      Missed your poetry Kevin. There are days when you make more sense than the rest of us put together. Be well.

  19. BondsOfSteel

    RE: Las Vegas shooting: Killers leave swastika, espoused militia views

    OK… if the LA Times won’t say it, I will. This couple was obviously heavily influenced by the Tea Party.

    Google “Tea Party Flag”, and all you’ll see is the Gadsden flag… the flag they draped over the cops they killed. How are his radical beliefs different from the Tea Party:

    ‘He opposed gun control; drug control; the police; the government’s handling of the attack in Benghazi, Libya; climate-change science; background checks for buying guns; Obamacare; the IRS; “illegal immigrants”; genetically modified foods; and mortgages’

    1. Garrett Pace

      Today I learned that tea party loons are apparently “the other”.

      I didn’t realize that opposing involvement in Libya is a red flag for incipient violence.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Anti-homeless spikes.

    Are they enough? I think portcullises are also needed. Maybe further fortified by a sewer moat, with sufficient pungency to deter those roaming serfs.

  21. optimader

    Hey at least he was able to open the canopy?
    Russian T-50 fighter plane damaged on the ground.
    On Jun. 10, Russia’s 5th generation stealth fighter plane Sukhoi T-50 (PAK FA – Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii—Future Tactical Air System) which since February has been a subject of state test programme in Zhukovski, caught fire on landing.

    The landing was succesful and Sergey Bogdan, the Russian test pilot who flew the T-50 during the test flight, was unharmed. Sukhoi officials claim that the fire was local, and was quickly extinguished. The fighter is to be repaired.
    Two remaining examples of T-50 are undergoing ground tests and static tests. According to the official stance of the Sukhoi company, the incident will not have an impact on the test program, and the proceedings are to be continued in accordance with the planned schedule
    Why is this man not smiling?
    According to an Air Force power point briefing provided to POGO, earlier this month at 0815 on April 10th, the controls on an F-22A at Langley Air Force Base showed that the aircraft’s canopy wasn’t locking. After several attempts at opening and closing the canopy, on the final try it locked and jammed–trapping the pilot inside. According to the briefing, the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit then “consulted Lockheed Martin and the F-22A System Program Office to determine alternative methods to open the canopy and extract the pilot.”……

    1. skippy

      I seem to remember a test pilot of lore using a shortened broom stick handle, just for some such need.

      Wanna go in together on a patent? Only real issue is coming up with a sexy war machine tech name.

      skippy… I smell money~ Mark up that tool to the moon baby~~~

      1. optimader

        That was Chuck Yeager who cracked his ribs horseback riding the day before taking his rodeo ride.
        I have a signed copy of his book.. An interesting selfmade man, a product of his times.. as we all are I guess?

      2. optimader

        “…determine alternative methods to open the canopy and extract the pilot.”……

        and that was a $6000. hammer

    2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      I wonder if the canopy would have blown away in an ejection scenario.

      1. optimader

        No doubt that same thought would go through your mind sitting there?
        Back in more pragmatic times, there were explosive cord charge cord on the canopy that would shatter the plexiglass in the event the it was not released when an ejection seat was energized.( In this case, I think they cut him inelegantly out w/ a Dewalt grinder).

        The F-22 passed the passive aggressive Turin Test apparently? ” Open the G.D. canopy HAL!?!”

  22. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    What a hoot. Just saw this on craigslist:

    Mexican Dog for Sale (Back alley on nw Washington and 18th)

    condition: salvage

    size / dimensions: Shit by fuck inches

    5 years ago I saved this dog from the streets of Mexico. What I didn’t realize was I’d have to feed this thing every day, take it outside, and pay attention to the fucker. Well folks, I’m fed up. Want an asshole who yells at all your friends even though he’s known them for years? Ever wanted to pick up poop every waking hour of your miserable life? Then this is the shitty animal for you! He’s only been beaten twice.
    do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers

    Wish I owned a farm. I wonder what the penalty is for taking in an illegal alien dog.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Forgot to mention: Cute pic of the dog at DC craigslist.

      I’d consider taking him in, but the description also seems to fit my teen son (except the Mexico part), and one at a time is enough.

  23. skippy

    Turing test –

    “The press is abuzz with the claim that a computer has passed the famous Turing Test for the first time. The University of Reading organized a Turing Test competition, held at the Royal Society in London on Saturday June 7th. The have now announced that a chatbot named Eugene Goostman passed the test by convincing 33% of the judges that it was a human.

    The Turing Test, devised by Alan Turing, was proposed as one method for determining if artificial intelligence has been achieved. The idea is – if a computer can convince a human through normal conversation that it is also a human, then it will have achieved some measure of artificial intelligence (AI).

    The test, while interesting, is really more of a gimmick, however. It cannot discern whether any particular type of AI has been achieved. The current alleged winner is a good example – a chatbot is simply a software program designed to imitate human conversation. There is no actual intelligence behind the algorithm.

    Of course we have to ask what we mean by AI. I think most non-experts think of AI as a self-aware computer, like HAL from 2001. However, the term AI is used by programmers to refer to a variety of expert systems, and potentially any software that uses a knowledge base and a sophisticated algorithm in order to interact adaptively with its user.

    Such systems make no attempt to produce computer awareness or even anything that can be considered thinking. They may simulate conversation, even very well, but they are not made to think.

    In this way Turing’s test has never been considered a true test of AI self-awareness, or true AI. It really is just a test of how well a computer can simulate human conversation.

    Let’s take a look at the current claim – the test itself seems to have been reasonably administered. Thirty judges were used for each entry, judges has 5 minute conversations with both a real person and an AI, and then had to decide which was which. The overall process was refereed to make sure it was carried out well. The threshold for considering that the test was “passed” is convincing over 30% of the judges that the AI is a person, and in this case Eugene achieved 33%.

    Already, however, there is criticism that the test was not fair. Eugene was meant to simulate a 13 year old Ukrainian boy. This means that his knowledge would be limited, and odd answers can be explained by being foreign and perhaps English not being his primary language. Therefore this lowers the bar for fooling the judges, and can explain why Eugene eked over the 30% threshold.

    The press release, and many derivative news reports, are calling this an “historic milestone.” I don’t think so. At best this is an incremental advance in chatbot software. Even that claim is dubious, given that the test was essentially gamed by lowering the bar.”

    Skippy… Lowering the bar seems to be the operative these days…. um from which well spring might this be????

    1. optimader

      The only historic milestone is the first algorithm affirmative action?

      “Already, however, there is criticism that the test was not fair. Eugene was meant to simulate a 13 year old Ukrainian boy. This means that his knowledge would be limited, and odd answers can be explained by being foreign and perhaps English not being his primary language. Therefore this lowers the bar for fooling the judges, and can explain why Eugene eked over the 30% threshold.”

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      I’m in Cantor’s district. His TP-backed opposition is an economics professor (Jesus, help us), at Randolph-Macon College.

      His Democratic opponent, Jack Trammell, is also a professor at the college:

      “In addition to his work as the director of Disability Support Services in R-MC’s Higgins Academic Center, Trammell is also the director of the Honors Program and teaches part-time in the Sociology Department. He earned his M.Ed. and Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University.”

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Wonderful news. Not a TP fan, but a smug establishment conniver like Cantor losing his secure throne, crown, and scepter is a very encouraging upset. So good to see him defeated. I look forward to similar upsets to the DP establishment.

      1. Paul Niemi

        Me too. I would observe that Virginia 7th is not a swing district; it is a safe, GOP majority district that went 60 percent for Romney. So the district offers a good sample of Republican grassroots sentiment. Also, David Brat is not remarkable. Candidates stressing core conservative principles and believing in the free market, with little money to spend and no experience in office, are commonplace. However, Eric Cantor did represent the Republican leadership in Congress as Majority Leader. This election, more than anything else, was a referendum on the performance of the leadership of the party as judged by the grassroots, and the grassroots weren’t happy. We know this, because if Cantor had won the primary, he would have had no problem winning the general election, so the grassroots were trying to send a message. I’m sympathetic to the themes articulated by Brat, that Cantor was a candidate of Wall Street not Main Street, and that he was a crony capitalist. At the same time, Cantor was calling Brat a liberal. Sometimes the grassroots just send the message that it’s time for a change, and that’s all one needs to know.

  24. kareninca

    Several months ago, I read that the vinegar section at Trader Joe’s had a prop. 65 warning label, in re the lead in the vinegars they sell. So I read up on this, and learned that red wine and balsamic vinegars often (legally) contain a dangerous amount of lead: NOT a trivial amount! So I went online and found lists of “safe” vinegars (the SF gate article links to a list). “Google shop” kept showing those vinegars as being for sale at Walmart (one of them was their house brand).

    So I went to Walmart, and their vinegar section. Hey, they had no Prop. 65 warning sign!!! Then I realized – I recognized all of those brands!!! Those were the ones from the safe list!!! Walmart was ONLY selling vinegars, that had no lead. Unlike Costco and TJs.

    I am going to continue buying vinegar from Walmart. I am really mad that TJs is still selling vinegar with lead in it; we’ve been using their balsamic vinegar for years, lots of it, thinking it was healthful!!! I would never have noticed the sign; never thought about it, unless I had read the article.

  25. Chauncey Gardiner

    Google search earlier this evening linked to articles from AP, Reuters, NY Times, BBC and foreign news outlets reporting that the major Iraqi city of Mosul has been captured by insurgents.

    Black Hawk and Kiowa helicopters, along with other weapons and vehicles reportedly also were captured or destroyed by ISIS/ISIL as Iraqi government, police and military personnel have fled the city.

  26. Roland

    Re: ISIS. No conspiracy theories necessary.

    ISIS is strong because it has its origins in the Sunni guerrillas in Anbar province who fought the invading coalition for years. They lost many battles, and suffered heavy losses, but their cadres gained valuable experience in years of desperate combat, virtually unaided, against the world’s most formidable armies.

    They also acquired invaluable prestige during the Iraq War. Their enemies quite literally hurled a trillion dollars’ worth of hell at them, but they endured.

    ISIS can gain its recruits by asking, “why would you ever want to be like them, when you could become one of us?”

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