Links 10/14/15

Bernie Sanders Repeatedly Scolded For Attempting To Unionize Debate Moderators Onion (Daryl)

Clinton Promises To Enact Agenda Whether Or Not She Elected Onion (David L)

Why Zimbabwe won’t charge Walter Palmer for killing Cecil the lion Christian Science Monitor

Wild aurochs-like cattle reintroduced in Czech Republic Associated Press

Better Living Through Venom New Yorker (Chuck L). Gee, I was hoping the article was referring to the sort we dispense here from time to time.

Why Self-Driving Cars Should Never be Fully Autonomous Robotics Trends

If You’re Not Paranoid, You’re Crazy Atlantic (Scott). *Sigh*. You cut down your exposure a lot by not having a Facebook account and having only stupid devices.

How Did Facebook Manage Such a Tiny UK Tax Bill? With Very Big Bonuses Motherboard

Giant, ancient viruses are thawing out in Siberia — and they’re changing everything we thought we knew about them Business Insider. I see the plot of a horror movie….

Goldman Sachs under FBI, DOJ scrutiny over 1MDB probe Business Insider. Greece, now Malaysia…

Ireland, Accused of Giving Tax Breaks to Multinationals, Plans an Even Lower Rate New York (DO)

Labour crisis: Corbyn faces major rebellion as Labour MPs left ‘confused’ by fiscal charter U-turn Telegraph

Refugee Crisis

Only one in three Germans believe in Merkel’s approach to refugee crisis DW


Bribery, Back Room Dealing, And Bullying’ In Ukraine: The Origins of Burisma OilPrice. Weird piece, with no mention of Hunter Biden. Wonder why this is being turned into a story now.

Dutch Report Concludes MH17 Shot Down by Ground-to-Air BUK Missile; Puzzle Still Missing Pieces Michael Shedlock

Are Sanctions Saving Russia? Project Syndicate


Nobody Expects the Islamic State War on the Rocks (resilc)

Putin Says U.S. Fails to Cooperate in Syria New York Times

Obama and Putin Agreed To Screw Erdogan? Moon of Alabama

A mass murder mystery highlights Turkey’s political fragility Al Arabiya News

Syria Analysis: Understanding Putin’s Intervention EA WorldView (resilc)

Obama Dumps Syria’s Rebels World Affairs Journal

While at State, Clinton chief of staff held job negotiating with Abu Dhabi Washington Post

Imperial Collapse Watch

Former prisoners sue architects of CIA’s brutal interrogation program Washington Post

Publics That Don’t Exist and the Intellectuals Who Write For Them Corey Robin

Trade Traitors

Public services under attack through TTIP and CETA failed evolution

TPP requires countries to destroy security-testing tools (and your laptop) Boing Boing


Clinton email server setup risked intrusions Associated Press

Hillary Clinton Turns Up Heat on Bernie Sanders in a Sharp Debate and Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Debate Magic New York Times. In case you had any doubts as to what you were supposed to think.

Grading the Democratic Debate: Hillary Clinton Schools Her Rivals Bloomberg

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders spar on Wall St and gun control Financial Times. We’ll see when we get poll results in the next few days, and the RNC clearly has an axe to grind, but there may be a disconnect between pundit takes on the debate and those of voters. As much as Bernie was too often not as good as he should have been, I found Clinton to be pretty consistently grating and dishonest:

The Republican National Committee pointed to focus groups ​results as evidence that Mr Sanders — a man that Republicans believe cannot be elected because of his socialist views — had the better debate.

“Hillary Clinton may be the strongest debater on the stage — she was in 2008 too — but it was Bernie Sanders that won the hearts and interest of Democrat voters,” said Michael Short, an RNC spokesperson.

Debate: Clinton slams Iran, Putin & supports Syrian Rebels; Sanders rejects Intervention Juan Cole. The discussion of Syria by all was dreadful. Resilc: “But because the CNN reporters framed Syria mainly with regard to Russia, or in some vague way, and did not go into such details as al-Qaeda being an major part of the rebel opposition, we didn’t get to hear where the candidates stand on it.” Well, we sorta did. They all bashed Putin.

Four big differences between the leading Democratic candidates ahead of Tuesday’s debate Washington Post

The wild card at the Democratic debate could be the guy no one’s talking about Washington Post

Making Sense of Ben Carson’s Rise in Politics Atlantic (resilc)

Why Today’s GOP Crackup Is the Final Unraveling of Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy’ William Greider, Nation

‘Ferguson effect’? Chicago crime spike tells local story Christian Science Monitor

The Freedom Caucus is a Minor Third Party and Should Be Treated That Way Washington Monthly

Armed anti-Muslim protests: An opportunity for dialogue? Christian Science Monitor

Anti-Muslim protest is a God-given opportunity for American Muslims Arab Daily News (furzy mouse)


Fed’s Tarullo Doesn’t Favor Raising Interest Rates in 2015 Wall Street Journal

A 2nd Fed Governor Opposes Raising Rates This Year, Breaking With Yellen New York Times

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Georgia indicts Confederate flag backers under state terrorism law Reuters (EM)

Bloody, Strapped to Chair, Video Shows Police Tasering Matthew Ajibade in the Testicles Before Death Alternet

Microfinance is mostly a scam Cathy O’Neil. Hillary was a big booster

Another argument for infrastructure repair Larry Summers, Financial Times

US Freight Shipments Morose, Worst September since 2010 Wolf Richter

U.S. Government Still Aiming The Cash Faucet At Fraudulent For-Profit Colleges Gawker

Don’t Starve the BLS RollCall

NRA Plan for School Security Big Picture

Talk of Criminally Prosecuting Corporations Up, Actual Prosecutions Down Dave Dayen, Intercept

Antidote du jour (@planetepics):

napping duckling links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Bill Smith

    Dutch Report Concludes MH17 Shot Down by Ground-to-Air BUK Missile; Puzzle Still Missing Pieces

    “But where are all the recordings in the black box that show why MH17 was at an altitude that could be hit by a BUK?”

    What is the question here? “recordings in the black box” You could see the altitude readout in real time and many people did look at Flight Aware to see that within a very short time of the reported shoot down.

    1. sid_finster

      The real question here is why did Kiev air traffic control redirect MH17 to the place where it was shot down, and why haven’t transcripts of the radio communications between the Kiev ATC and MH17 crews been made public?


      1. craazyboy

        The “official” explanation was that somehow the plane diverted off it’s path to avoid thunderstorms in the usual route.. But why not take a 500mph plane an extra hundred miles off course to avoid a thunderstorm and a war zone? Penny wise, dollar foolish, methinks.

        1. different clue

          Why . . . its almost as if the Banderazi Regime in Kiev directed the plane INto the War Zone On PURpose.

    2. Chris Williams

      Yes. The flight and data recordings from the (Orange) black box.

      Look at any ATSB report on a commercial plane crash – they are always analysed and the data made public. Usually, they present a prelim report which tells ‘what’ happened. The facts as they know and understand them. Then much later, a year or perhaps two for the more complex investigations, we get the full report, not redacted or made secret just because the findings are sensitive. This second report always seeks to answer the ‘why’. It’s the why question that helps improve aviation systems of safety.

      The DSB seems to only have addressed the what happened, with just criticism for allowing commercial airlines to fly over war zones mind you.

      Just too much secrecy, gagging coroners and so on, for me to believe that we are being told the truth.

      DSB has presented evidence from the cockpit voice recordings, one of the boxes – some 2.3 milliseconds, so where is the stuff from the other box?

    1. craazyman

      holy shlt, the theory of regulating the system is gonna be even more complicated than the system it’s regulating!

      maybe the entire edifice of system & regulation is an expanding universe.

      1. craazyboy

        If you cross an economist with a biologist you get a social scientist. It’s exactly what you’ve been asking for!

        I don’t know why they don’t just watch the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”. That should explain everything well enough.

    2. allan

      “a threshold of complexity where the system is evolving faster than regulators and regulations can keep pace.”

      Nice lack of agency. The words `fraud’, `criminal’ and `revolving door’ do not appear anywhere in the article.

      1. allan

        For example: Uber rules block inspectors from booking drivers to issue fines

        Uber has been blocking the phones of known transport department inspectors in an effort to dodge fines from the Queensland Government, a parliamentary committee has heard. …

        Previously, transport inspectors fined Uber drivers by using the app to book a driver.

        Ms Cerutti said it was no longer that simple.

        “Covert actions of booking an Uber driver have actually been hampered recently by Uber themselves,” she said.

        “They now can, with their technology, recognise not only a sim card, but the handset.

        You don’t need to theorize about `financial-regulatory ecosystems’ to deal with this kind of behavior.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          You’re right.

          No need to theorize about complex systems.

          Just one simple rule.

          “When you see greed, just hammer it!!!!!”

          That will make you a very successful regulator and a very popular presidential candidate.

      2. craazyman

        I’m actually thinking that Ed Bucks, the former MIT mathematical economist who quit the field a few years ago and now sits in a tree watching deer through binoculars may have been a colleague of that dude from MIT. This sounds like the sort of thing Ed was working on before he flipped out. He was intrigued by the mathematical patterns he saw in nature but got frustrated that they never seem to work in economics, then he got so frustrated at himself because he thought “What do I know about nature. All I do is sit in an office all day thinking about math”. Then he decided to move to New Hampshire and sit in a tree all day doing actual field research. He was trying to develop what he called natural field equations but then said fuk it and just watched the animals. It can’t be a cooincidence.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Speaking of mathematical patterns in nature, did you know that the crashes of 1929 and 1987 both occurred three days before a new moon?

          Well, two occurrences isn’t really a pattern, but we are heuristically wired to see it as such.

          If Ed stays out in his deer stand at night, he will have noticed that last night was a new moon … which projects a next (and probably last) 2015 crash window on Nov. 9th. VXN … should we or shouldn’t we?

        2. Brindle

          Watching animals is a great way to see the various social groupings and behavior. The other day I saw a bunch of crows mingling with a bunch of magpies. Both birds are very group oriented, who knows why they chose to hangout together?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The lion shall lie down with the lamb, for the same reason.

            Nature is full of mysteries and miracles we will never understand.

            Be patient with all that is unresolved…learn to love the questions themselves…something like that.

        3. craazyboy

          I think he lost it when he heard about Keynes and his “animal spirits” theory. That’s the sorta thing that would cause a mathematician to flip out.

        4. John Merryman

          As someone who has spent a lot of time working on a family farm and thus reasonably close to nature, there are lots of lessons we could learn. Unfortunately they are not all nice. For instance, there is no happy medium where both the chicken and the fox are satisfied.

          As I say, truth is, while answers are what people will pay to hear. Priests and politicians provide answers, while philosophers seek truths. Consequently there many people making a living as priests and politicians, but very few as philosophers.

          1. craazyman

            I actually thought of you yesterday. I was killing time on Youtube watching a lecture on Einstein’s field equations by an MIT physicist Edmund Bertschinger (disclaimer: I don’t understand all the math but I found it interesting anyway)..

            It was a class video. There’s about 8 people in the class and their all sitting in the back! He introduced his non-negotiable requirements for a gravity theory. First is experimental verification. Then paused and said “I get letters all the time from cranks who tell me “Einstein was wrong” and they tell me their theories.” ahhahahahahah. Show me the evidence, he implied.

            I thought of you! Really. It’s on Youtube (5. Einstein’s Field Equations M.I.T. 8.224 Exploring Black Holes” taught by Professor Edmund Bertschinger. I’m not making htis up!

            1. craazyman

              I actually thought “Wow,. There must be a lot more cranks out there than I thought”. That seems like a lot of work, to write a letter like that to physics professor.

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              My understanding of the philosophy of the Scientific Method is that Herr One Stone, if not wrong today, will be wrong one day.

              In fact, no one is so exceptional as to be exempt from that indignity…frizzy hair or not.

              “Just wait tilltl the next best explanation!!!!’ exclaimed the kid in the play-yard.

            3. John Merryman

              Lots of company.

              Here is a good example of just what is being assumed;

              “The first as a static stage, and the second as something flowing. Despite our intuition, however, the flow of time is an illusion. Einstein taught us that there are two equivalent ways of thinking about our physical reality: Either as a three-dimensional place called space, where things change over time, or as a four-dimensional place called spacetime that simply exists, unchanging, never created, and never destroyed.”

              My argument has been they simply abstract the narrative effect by reducing it to measures of duration, correlate that with measures of distance and assume this mathematical framework is more fundamental than what is actually being measured, i.e. change, by which future becomes past.
              If you want to consider the response, I debate it in the comments section with someone by the name of hypnosifi.

              1. John Merryman

                PS, There was lots of verification for epicycles, in that eclipses, planetary locations, etc. could be predicted years in advance. The math was accurate, but the physical explanation was flawed.

    3. Jef

      Just a couple of guys who have figured out how to tap into the flow of funds that steers the results of analytics.

  2. Steven D.

    But the important thing is that they’re talking about prosecuting corporations. Maybe if they keep talking people will think something’s being done or more likely, they’ll just get exhausted. That will make it he problem go away.

  3. zapster

    It’s not just RNC focus groups. Every online poll I can find, including CNN’s show Bernie blowing out the top. 75% is typical. MSM is just outright lying now.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Lambert noted how debate drinking games from Democratic grouos outside of the beltway revolved around policy and games from the beltway were about personality.

      It’s just the economic inequality disconnect. What is relevant to the country isn’t relevant inside the various bubbles. Could out imagine Hillary a month ago at this debate?

      1. Brindle

        “It’s just the economic inequality disconnect.” The beltway journos are doing very well financially, the real struggles of Americans are just chatter / static to them. Their job is to catapult the propaganda and “Hillary Victorious” is the chosen meme.

        I watched the debate with a group of forty or so at the local branch of the State Univ. It was arranged by the student Democrats. Some were Clinton supporters, some were Sanders. The general vibe was that both did well—but Bernie connected more on the issues & policies area.

        1. Ron

          I watched the debate for about 10 minutes I was not interested in issues but their ability to project personality via TV medium and Clinton was the overwhelming dominate player. I was surprised she was able to project such a strong lively personality which is something she will need in spades running in the Fall.

          1. Left in Wisconsin

            Beltway still doesn’t get Bernie or socialism (even the soft Bernie kind). They keep trying to suggest he’s “more liberal” and dismiss him because more liberal can’t win. They are doing everything they can to keep the s word out of the conversation.

            Hillary last night on regulating Wall Street was embarassing. “I went to them in 2007 and told them to cut it out” (how’d that work out?) and “I’ve thought long and hard about this … my plan is tougher.” Seriously?

            1. Ron

              Beltway doesn’t get socialism? gee its basically been a toxic label in this country for how many years? The reality is that Clinton has a huge margin over Bernie and together they dominate the Democrats side and which shows a significant shift away from the Republican light direction the party has been going. The other issue is that nobody gets elected President in this country running soft on international warfare its a reality something I don’t like but part of American culture. The other issue is that its important Clinton takes the White House next year and the Senate adds more Democrats, the Supreme court both liberal and conservative side will see changes over the next few years and if we have learned anything the Supreme court is a difference maker in our political system.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Really? Obama was elected over Hillary and McCain.

                Kerry ran his stronger America garbage.

                In 2006, Democratic polling didn’t rise until after Murtha came out against the war despite the GOP’s best efforts.

                Do you have any past evidence for your claims beyond garbage spouted by perpetual losers who then blame voters?

              2. Left in Wisconsin

                Wasn’t suggesting they would embrace it (at least not socialism for ordinary people; they don’t seem to have any problem with socialism for defense or big banks), only that they don’t even know how to approach it. You can see the confusion and discomfort any time they get Sanders on camera and have to try to come up with questions for him.

              3. montanamaven

                Ah, the old but tried and true “but, but, but… the Supreme Court which gets trotted out every 4 years as the only real reason to vote for the corporate corupt Democrats. If you look at the history of the court, it has always been an elitist organization. Yeh, sure the liberals are good on the social issues, but Bader Ginsberg is a corporate Dem and most of the pro corporate rulings don’t get any publicity.

            2. abynormal

              yep, tougher…Bailout the Waltons :/
              WMT CFO: 2017 RISE IN WAGES TO COST $1.5B; WMT PLANS REDUCTION IN CAPITAL EXPENDITURES THROUGH FY19; WAL-MART SEES FY2017 EPS DECREASING 6-12% VS FY2016. In other words, the company just slashed its 2017 earnings forecast by up to a whopping 12%: the reason – the recent increase in wages. (for those pesky working po)

              The Walmart Heirs Are Worth More Than Everyone in Your City Combined

              1. JTMcPhee

                Please, attention to the tropes: The Walmart heirs are NOT, REPEAT NOT, “WORTH” more than everyone in any city, anywhere. The have a shutload of mostly unearned moolah that enables them to play Big People games and further warp the loom of what’s left of the social fabric of what used to be “America.” And of course, given Fekking Friedman’s Flat Earth “Globalization” and the various diseases of marketing and Groaf that people working for the heirs bring with them, their minions are riding the magic carpet of Glorious Consumption of Crapified Stuff to a trashing of a much huger piece of the planet.

                They are not “worth” jack-sheee-it…

          2. John Merryman

            Bernie started out rough, but hit his groove as he warmed up. Hillary was steady, but the emotion was more canned.

      2. Nigelk

        Spot on.

        To the chattering class in the Beltway bubble, this is just the next scheduled pageant, and we have to make it *interesting* for *ratings* while maintaining the *acceptable narrative*. Put simply, they treat elections as just part of their job.

        To the citizens, elections are meaningful events in our *LIVES*.

    2. lylo

      I kind of get where they are coming from. I mean, if we are to accept that a vast majority of the media in this country is invested in the Democrats (it is, that’s why the right thinks the media is “liberal,” as they don’t know what that word means) then they would want that party to win as they would have more power and access.
      Hence, yeah push Sanders to the side.
      I mean, I get that he’s cool. Heck, I was one of the few cheering him when he was in the House. If I voted, I’d probably vote for him. (My vote for Obama I view as so odious that I basically took away my own right to vote. If I couldn’t tell he was a conman, I shouldn’t be part of the process.)
      But you guys are aware that he’s really really old, male, and white, right? I mean not to be too much of a cynic, but the Democrats invested a lot in tearing down that image over the past few years, and made a big deal out of how that’s the other guys.
      How are they going to convince the youth and minorities (their only real constituents at this point, as they no longer get the working class white vote) that THEIR old white guy is different? I think the media views Hillary Clinton as safer from this aspect (but I would disagree heartily.)

      I’m not really sure what the Democrats “path to victory” is here, regardless of candidate, and I’m not sure I see one available that doesn’t make some really big assumptions that probably aren’t true. (Like the black vote will be as motivated to vote for a Clinton/Sanders as Obama…)

      1. Romancing the Loan

        The “well he’s cool but he can’t win” narrative is kind of belied by the polls, no?

        Youth and minorities support Sanders over Clinton by a large margin – they’re not fooled by the wrapping like they were in 2008. Women and minorities will gleefully betray their own.

        If Hillary’s the candidate in the general, prepare for a Republican presidency. I myself am convinced this is the DNC’s true goal – winning too much is making it way too clear that they don’t actually support anything their base does, and so they prefer to be whining from the sidelines about how evil the Republicans are and how powerless they are to do anything about it. Anything else would impact their donations from the big money.

        1. curlydan

          I’ve yet to see a poll where Sanders gets more minority support than Clinton.

          For example, “In South Carolina, Clinton’s advantages stem largely from Sanders’ unpopularity with black voters…. In the new poll, 59% of black voters say they back Clinton, 27% say Biden and just 4% for Sanders.”

          If Sanders can start to make inroads in the minority vote, it would be a huge boost for him.

          1. Jerry Denim

            Yep, if Bernie has a weak spot that is it. Imaging him campaigning in South Carolina sounds like a hilarious and uncomfortable episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I grew up in the Carolinas and while reliably Democratic I don’t think people outside the south realize just how conservative the southern Black demographic is. Name recognition is big and people are slow to warm up to little-known, old, white, jewish yankees. Sanders can do it though. He needs to get himself into the pulpits of a few famous black churches with large congregations and crank out a few of his fiery christian socialist jeremiads for the over-40 black voters. Sander’s convictions and his record are real so I see no reason why he couldn’t sell it and steal Clinton’s support. I don’t think every black Democrat down south has forgotten the 2008 “He’s just like Jesse Jackson” bomb that Bill dropped. I heard the record scratch down south when I saw that soundbite aired. The nineties were a long time ago and the formerly exalted Clinton legacy hasn’t aged so well.

            Bernie Sanders and Dr. Rev William Barber would be a policy match made in heaven. They could be a Southern political political power couple. I hope Bernie’s people are working on nailing down an endorsement.

      2. Nigelk

        I think it is a credit to the progress made in the past 10+ years in the democratic party that we can have a 74-year old Jew run for president against a 69-year old woman and and the debate has been remarkably substantive thusfar.

        Quite frankly, if someone can actually rally any signficant % of the working class to start FIGHTING BACK in the class war that is underway, it matters not to me what package he/she comes in.

        When a man has you against the wall with his hands around your throat, do you care about the age/gender/ethnicity of who comes to your aid?

      3. sid_finster

        The real question here is why did Kiev air traffic control redirect MH17 to the place where it was shot down, and why haven’t transcripts of the radio communications between the Kiev ATC and MH17 crews been made public?


      4. sid_finster

        Why do we care whether Sanders is old male and white? So was Roosevelt.

        Unless you are so tied up in identity politics that you’d prefer to vote for an odious differently abled young lesbian of color than an old white man who shares your politics.

        For myself, I care about policies and ability to get policies enacted, not whether a candidate is a member of the appropriate grievance groups.

        Sorry about the double-post above.. I am not trying to spam.

      5. craazyboy

        Well, Hillary put on a good show – and is a polished deliverer of carefully “focus group” constructed answers for everything. If we knew nothing about Hillary, she could slip right into office like a Trojan Horse wearing a pantsuit. Same as Obama.

        I guess the question is is that gonna work again or not?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          She might win the nomination, but down ticket will be a disaster for Team Blue especially in safe states.

    3. ira

      The establishment must be freaking out. All the polls that I’ve seen have given Bernie a humongous lead, (even at dailykos, the latest figures I saw were 56 Bernie – 38 Hillary), and as zapster says all the other ones had Bernie at 75% or greater — but the headlines and content of mainstream outlets say the exact oppposite:

      1) The Guardian clickable link ‘U.S. Democratic Debate Clinton crushes off controversies as Sanders stumbles’

      The article’s first paragraph, ‘Hillary Clinton has cemented her status as the Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting with a commanding and assured performance at the first televised debate of the party’s primary race for the White House.’

      2) Another Guardian article, ‘Hillary Clinton won the Democratic debate, simply by saying ‘no”

      3) The New Yorker, ‘Hillary Clinton Wins Big in Vegas’ (notice the accompanying picture)

      4) CNN pulled their own poll that had Bernie at 81% (the number of total voters at that point was around 40,000)

      @DougHenwood per @ObscureMemory CNN pulled their own poll because it blew the “HRC won” narrative out if the water

      5) And check out this clip of a focus group from the uber-Republican pollster, Frank Luntz — the focus group members sound like they’re in a campaign ad for Bernie

      1. grayslady

        Thanks for the link to the Luntz focus group video. You’re right–the responses from the group did sound like a campaign ad for Bernie. To me, the most interesting reaction was when Luntz asked the group whether Bernie could win. It seemed as though the whole group had been told so many times by their normal news sources that Bernie isn’t electable that they seemed hesitant to respond. Finally, the gentleman in the front row explained to Luntz how truly fed up people are with the system, and that this election is the one in which people aren’t going to be dictated to by the media as to who is or is not electable.

        1. ira

          electable (adj) a candidate for public office who is acceptable to the dominant economic and political powers in a given society

      2. sid_finster

        If they declare Rodham the winner, the 98% of the public that get their news from the msm will think that it must be so.

      3. Nigelk

        They are, and they should be.

        Bubble-living media apparatchiks cannot conceive of a populist rebellion from the untermensch.

        Torches and pitchforks, folks. Rally to Bernie.

      4. Jerry Denim

        Thanks for the links. I only caught a few minutes of the debate in an airport bar with the sound muted and the closed captioning enabled. It was enough to get a good feel for the evening. Sanders is my guy and I was pleased with how he came across. Clinton I thought was good for Clinton, I don’t think a person as unprincipled as her with a long ugly record to match could have done much better. I think Sanders should have dug in a little more with his TPP jabs and trade deal stuff but it’s probably too wonky and confusing for the majority of debate watchers/Hillary supporters. As with all debates viewers are most likely to see the candidate they already support as the winner and this one is no different, except it is kind of. So many democrat voters have a negative impression of the media-crowned establishment ‘front-runner’ Clinton where conversely Sanders is a virtual unknown who has already been tarred and feathered with the “unelectable” label. The bar was very high for Clinton and it was extremely low for the unknown, ‘unelectable’ ‘socialist’ Sanders. Given that backdrop he crushed it. All Bernie needed to do was make a good introduction, and draw a distinction between the slick, polished establishment flip-flopper Clinton and himself; an earnest life-long populist crusader. Mission accomplished for Sanders.

        Although it rang true to me the Fox news focus group seemed a little bit much like anti-Clinton/pro-Bernie propaganda. I think Murdoch and the Republican powers that be are hoping to run their guy against Bernie. They must have a red-baiting, McCarthy-esque strategy all planned out and ready to go. I’m sure they think it will be good for ratings.

  4. RabidGandhi

    Re: Georgia indicts Confederate flag backers under state terrorism law


    This looks a lot like prosecutor over-reach. The statute they are claiming is a god-awful vestige of 90s “tough on crime” hysteria passed because:

    “[Georgia is in a] state of crisis which has been caused by violent criminal street gangs whose members threaten, terrorize and commit a multitude of crimes against the peaceful citizens of their neighborhoods.”

    and it defines a gang as

    “any organization, association, or group of three or more persons associated in fact, whether formal or informal, which engages in criminal gang activity as defined in paragraph (1) of this Code section.”

    So essentially, this is a law that was ostensibly passed in a long tradition of criminalising black life, but it is now being used on the confederate flag supporters. *Irony*

    But that said, it looks like the prosecutors are treading dangerously close to a freedom of speech violation, unless it can be proven that weapons were brandished in an imminent, viable threat. The cited statute protests that it is not in violation of free speech, but “we’re in crisis!” If you have to say it…

    Lastly, while this may be sauce for the gander, wouldn’t it also be grand to see this applied to, say JP Morgan: an

    “organization that engages in… any offense defined as racketeering activity by Code Section 16-14-3”

    1. Carolinian

      Well weapons were brandished according to the many black witnesses who will no doubt appear at the trial. The flag wavers claim that the party goers started it by throwing rocks at them. But even that’s true–and it’s disputed–making violent threats while waving guns is likely illegal.

      Btw this prosecution, like the removal of the Confederate flag here in SC, knocks a bit of a hole in the Greider/Nation theory linked above–the idea that the current GOP disarray is the result of the Southern strategy and its nakedly racist appeal. Indeed the Tea Party is arguably more of a libertarian phenomenon with roots in the West, California tax protests, the Kochs and their public land oil and timber interests. In other words it’s more of a conflict between the business establishment types and the nativist and populist grassroots (egged on by fat cats like the Kochs). The Dems would probably also be torn apart by such a conflict if they actually had any populists.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Prosecute for threatening with weapons? Brilliant. There are plenty of age-old statutes for that. But “terrorism” and “gang activity”? These are prosecutorial tools I would rather see tossed in the dustbin of history because they are inevitably used against poorer, browner people.

        Also, looking at the charges that were filed I would be surprised if the trial you mention ever occurs. The DA is most likely throwing all this at them as a strategy to get them to plea to a lesser charge: a tactic that is just as despicable when used against jerks like these as it is when it is used, as in most cases, against the poor/minorities.

        Otherwise I agree with you that the GOP split is between oligarchs and pleebs with radically different interests.

  5. financial matters

    Labour crisis: Corbyn faces major rebellion as Labour MPs left ‘confused’ by fiscal charter U-turn Telegraph (crisis)

    ““I suggested we vote for it nevertheless in support of the principle of tackling the deficit, but to demonstrate that our approach would not involve austerity measures and we would seek to exclude capital investment from its severe and arbitrary constraints.”

    Osborne said on Monday night: “Labour’s economic policy has lurched from chaos to incredibility. Two weeks ago, ‎they said they were going to vote for a surplus – now we know they want to keep on borrowing forever. That would be a grave threat to the economic security of working people‎.‎””


    It seems like they want to be anti-austerity but can’t quite get there either politically or in their own minds by using such phrases as ‘tackling the deficit’ which are self-defeating. They need to have a new message which would be more consistent with their goals such as we need to ’embrace the deficit’ as using our money to achieve our goals. By spending money wisely the government puts money into the hands of people that need it and will get our economy moving again.

    Eric Tymoigne had an interesting recent tweet. ‘We can have Degrowth + JG on socio-environment needs’ New jobs can focus on social needs rather than increased materialism.

  6. lylo

    My husband hates ducks. Like, I’ll show him this picture, and his response will be, “F* ducks!” Then a small rant about how few people really know ducks…
    I just think it’s too funny that hatred for ducks exists, so had to share. (He’s kind of an imposing and serious guy. For him to freak out about ducks–it’s just the best.)

    1. MLS

      I have to say I chuckled at your comment quite a bit. I too think it’s funny that someone (anyone) would get so worked up about ducks (of all things), and it’s hysterical that you have such a great sense of humor about it.

      Thanks for the laugh.

  7. Benedict@Large

    Labour crisis: Corbyn faces major rebellion as Labour MPs left ‘confused’ by fiscal charter U-turn – Telegraph

    This is an active “Live Updates” link, will pieces of the story scatters throughout. It’s pretty much impossible to follow without a base story to start from, and it’s a critical story for Corbyn’s future, as it seems Corbyn is being led right down to road that Tspiras took to failure. It this is the case, Corbyn is finished. You can’t run a country without cash, and if all you do is take cash from somewhere else, all you do is move the problem. As long as the right wing keeps the left wing tied to balanced budgets, even if only in concept, the left wing, anywhere, is dead.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Balanced budgets are OK, in fact always manageable, if we inject new money from the bottom up.

      1. Just Ice

        Except the new fiat constitutes new borrowing in a technical sense – fiat is a debt* of the monetary sovereign.

        But what is absolutely NOT needed is paying interest for any new fiat issuance. We shouldn’t have to pay rich Peter in order to give to poor Paul.

        *Government must accept the new fiat back for taxes and fees.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          They can supplement that with government issued silver spoons for everyone.

          Silver spoons can be used as money, and also to replace throw-away plastic disposable spoons. Two birds, one stone.

          One silver spoon, you will never have to buy another plastic one.

  8. MikeNY

    Which will happen first: i) we get out of Afghanistan, or ii) the Fed raises rates?

    I wonder if I’ll see either one in my lifetime…

    1. Jim Haygood

      From ‘Keltner Channel Surf’ on another site:

      “Zero” from “Heroes” by David Bowie

      I, I will be Fischer, and you, you will be Yellen
      Though nothing will drive them away
      If we could be them, just for one day
      We could leave Zero, just for one day

      And you, you can be mean; and I, I’ll think all the time
      ‘Cause they’re doves, and that’s a fact; yes they’re doves, and that is that

      Though nothing will spike rates forever
      We could sneak hikes, just for one day
      We can be heroes, forever and ever, what d’you say?

      I, I wish I could spin, like bankers, like central bankers can spin
      Though nothing, nothing could spike rates forever
      No, we can’t beat them, forever and ever
      But we can leave Zero, just for one day

      We can leave Zero, we can be heroes

      Oh-oh-oh-ohh, oh-oh-oh-ohh, just for one day

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘n here’s why we’s stuck on zero — negative numbers (BAD!):

        The Producer Price Index for final demand declined 0.5 percent in September. The final demand
        index fell 1.1 percent for the 12 months ended in September, the eighth straight 12-month
        decline. (See table A.)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          In the Land of the Rising Sun, Zero fighters soared.

          Over here, today, we’re stuck with our Zero.

    2. JCC

      MikeNY, your comment reminds me of a recent link I saw on the “Confounded Interest” blog regarding the Fed’s Theory of Economic Recovery. It could easily apply to the NeoCons’ Theory of Remaking the ME:

      I often think there is only one way out of both of these messes and it won’t be pleasant. I’m hoping I won’t have to see it in my lifetime.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Interest rates are like friction.

      Zero friction goes with perpetual motion…they belong up there with Plato’s perfect circle and Santa Claus.

      In the real world, you get a lot of accidents with zero friction and zero percent interest rate.

      1. Just Ice

        0% loans are OK as long as the amount of new credit is otherwise limited by quantity. For example, how many first time home loans at 0% would a person need? I’d say just one – by definition.

        We need to start treating the public’s credit for what it is and limit its use to the general welfare.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Zero percent loans are passe.

          Today, it’s negative rate loans. To get everyone to spend all they have and many have less than $1,000.

          Alas, you can’t prepay health insurance years in advance. It’s always month to month.

          Basically, you have to speed up buying organic cotton tee-shirts, presumably you did not hold back feeding yourself. So, you have been spending on food already.

          With that $1,000 (or less) gone, you are really now the mercy of your boss…all because you have done your patriotic duty of stimulating the economy (or saving someone’s factory in China).

          “Private Sector Demand Lacking” – that’s an insult to many struggling workers. They have demands, just no money to meet those demands. Give them (newly created) money, so it trickles up to the government.

          1. Just Ice

            Your bank deposit is, by law, your loan* to the bank. For that you may soon have to pay the bank. That’s a negative interest rate.

            As for the banks, you can be sure they will continue to charge positive interest rates for their loans to the public.

            *Isn’t it just swell that we are forced to lend to banks? /sarc That’s what lack of a Postal Savings Service or equivalent means in practice.

              1. Just Ice

                And that’s absurd. A monetary sovereign has a moral duty to provide a risk-free fiat storage and transaction service for its citizens, either for free or at most at cost*. Having to use physical cash as an alternative to private banks is a moral absurdity.

                *And that should be a trifle given modern computers and communications.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Better get a lock than reliance on 24/7 police patrol of the neighborhood

                  A law-and-order sovereign can only do so much.

  9. TedWa

    When they asked each candidate how their administration would differ from Obama’s, HRC was the only one that seemed caught off-guard and perplexed, and of course, her round-about “answer” was no change – just building on the advances made by Obama that were continued from Bush – which would be almost all of them. A true neo-lib to the bone. She also took exception to the introduction of a new Glass-Stegal for the 21st century – as if her husband did the right thing in getting rid of it. Blechhh

    1. Nigelk

      Every time she said some variation of “I have a plan…” or “My plan will…”, I finished her sentence with “…make sure everything stays exactly the same for the people who matter.”

  10. TedWa

    And as long as we’re talking about Clinton it’s obvious her arrogance over-rides her reason – she is way to ready to say she approves something before she knows the facts, ie.. trade deals, keystone etc… After all, it’s only the little people that are going to be affected. Flipflop queen

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s not clear she doesn’t know the facts. She only came out against Keystone and TPP when they were likely dead projects.

      She and Bill were well compensated for their time in the White House.

    2. Nigelk

      Finger in the wind, brother.

      Clintons don’t have convictions or values, they have focus-group tested answers — and only when they’re ready.

  11. Ed

    I generally respect Greider while usually disagreeing with him. His commentary in the Nation, attempting to explain the arguments within the House of Representatives Republican caucus through a deal Nixon supposedly made with Strom Thurmond in 1968, is unfortunately not very enlightening. Its interesting mainly as another example of a tendency of commentators on the blue team to portray the red team as a bunch of rednecks.

    I took the trouble of looking up the districts that the members of the “Freedom Caucus” within the House represented. They were scattered around the country and there was nothing particularly Southern about these districts. In fact, as far as I can tell, white Southerners have been playing the same role that they have been playing for two decades, as a reliable and unquestioning source of votes for the GOP establishment (before that they played the same function for the Democrats, southern populism is greatly overrated).

    It is true that as the more populist and less machine-controlled of the two parties, rank and file Republicans are waking up first to the fact that the politicians who claim to represent them are in fact scam artists, and not even particularly subtle scam artists at that. But this has nothing to do with the South.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        I generally find Greider a pretty good read but this was non-sensical. And it missed the biggest split in the Republican Party, which is the Koch-ish libertarians against those mainstreet busines-as-usual R’s. The libertarians are happy to egg on the Tea Partiers and happy with a non-functional government. Fewer OSHA inspectors and IRS auditors. IF they can win the presidency, so much the better. But goal #1 is making gov’t dysfunctional.

        Also, I don’t know if it’s getting better in the South as Greider suggests but its getting worse in the dying Midwest rustbelt, which is now increasing prime Koch R territory – Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisco, and even Illinois outside Chicago.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It’s getting worse where the Democrats aren’t being saved by demographics or are the firm establishment because the Democratic alternative is a Republican who thinks everyone should March in the KKK rally…er…the St. Patrick’s Day parade then denounces any critics of their conservatism as unserious racists or stupid kids. If you want fascism, the GOP is waiting. The Democrats don’t withstand any kind of scrutiny when the offer a softer fascism.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s a tough question for anyone but maybe Obama to answer at this point because it’s perceived as a tabloid scandal by much of the Democratic base. The Democrats closed ranks around Hillary early, so the only narrative out there out there is there the GOP narrative. The GOP mare just lookin for the “How I killed Vince Foster” e-mail instead of pointing out the connection to Nixon’s missing 17 minutes.

      Benghazi is similar too. There are serious questions about the lead up and what did Hillary know about Gaddafi’s offers to step down and not share for the sake of acquiring a trophy. The GOP isn’t interested In that, and too many Democrats marched to war and bet on Hillary saving the party.

      1. Brindle

        When Benghazi went down I wondered what was the CIA mission there? From what I can tell they were trying to get weapons—such as MANPADS/Stingers from Libyans and get them to Syrian rebels. Of course the GOP has no interest in such matters—only concerned with bludgeoning Clinton.

  12. Vatch

    Wild aurochs-like cattle reintroduced in Czech Republic Associated Press

    Maybe someday mammoths and mastodons will be recreated. Let’s hope that the currently existing elephant species don’t become extinct before then.

    1. ira

      How about creating mythical creatures, such as unicorns, dragons, or ‘moderate’ Jihadis ? Now THAT would be real genetic engineering.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I would like to the next humanoid species to have these following characteristics

        A. Smaller brain (think less)
        B Bigger heart (more compassionate)
        C. Shorter hands (less taking, less grabbing)
        D. Broader shoulders (more people to cry on)
        E. Bigger Ears (listen more)
        F. Smaller mouth (speak less)
        G. Different eyes (preferably colorblind)
        H. Smaller teeth (less scary, I guess) Big, white, beautiful teeth are menacing.

        Someone can draw a picture of the prototype for us all to see.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Smaller teeth? This was discussed y’day in water cooler: the humanoid lifeform V. dentata, as exemplified by Hillary Clinton.

          Mind the gap!

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One step closer to living like a Neanderthal.

      You quasi-cavemen must have bread, it’s possible to get spelt, einkorn and emmer today.

    3. Oregoncharles

      Re: Mammoths and mastodons. I believe they’re working on it. Might not be able to survive in the wild, though, since the world is getting warmer.

      1. Synapsid


        I think it’s a bad idea to try to re-create mammoths and mastodons, but they’d be able to survive in a warmer world. The wooly mammoth (cold-adapted) wasn’t the only mammoth, and when it immigrated from Asia to North America it would have encountered the native Columbian mammoth whose range extended at least as far south as southern Mexico, as did the range of the American mastodon.

        Now that I think about it, though, it’s the wooly mammoth the enthusiasts would try to re-create, that and the American mastodon. The woolies might have more trouble adapting than the mastodons.

        Now, as to how many of either could dance on the head of a pin…

  13. nippersdad

    I was pretty appalled at the responses in the section on foreign policy by all of the contestants. While one can give some slack to most of them for not being in that milieu and not knowing all of the details, Neither Clinton nor the mod had any such excuse. It would have been nice had the mod also mentioned Kiriakou, Manning, Snowden and Assange’s actions as compared to Clinton and Petraeus’; “Their crimes, compare and contrast; Their rationales, compare and contrast; their punishments, compare and contrast”. I would be up for watching a debate that dealt with nothing else.

    Otherwise, it was pretty much as expected. Clinton bamboozled her way through it, Sanders talked about income inequality, O’Malley showed us his nice teeth/gave us an eloquent closing statement, Chafee sounded like Kucinich and Webb must have gotten lost on the way to a Republican debate.

    I’m not clear why they didn’t just go off and have more debates on their own. More individualized topics discussed in depth would have done them all a world of good and we might have gotten another long awaited non-apology from Clinton for her chronic neoconservative tendencies to add to the collection; that further debates would have delegitimized the DNC power grab would have been icing on the cake.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


    There’ll be no sins for which we must atone, / ‘Cause evil only exists when it’s known


    There’ll be no rates which we must raise. /’Cause bubbles only exist when we look.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps it’s a Utopian fantasy, but robots make better politicians, many humans believe.

      Humans don’t trust human politicians.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Is that what he really did – or did he dismiss a serious abuse of power that a lesser figure would be prosecuted for? Because the latter seems to be the consensus here; maybe we should ask Lambert.

      1. financial matters

        Fair claim but I think he just wants to stay on point. He’s not running an anti-Hillary campaign but more of a general anti-neoliberal campaign.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Ancient giant viruses in Siberia.

    We recently chatted with New York Times columnist and “A Planet of Viruses” author Carl Zimmer to see what he thought about the discovery. In terms of its potential risk to people, he said we don’t need to be concerned.

    So far so good. Not a lot of humans in Siberia during or prior to the last warming period for these viruses to invade. Can we be this lucky?

  16. Oregoncharles

    “The Freedom Caucus is a Minor Third Party and Should Be Treated That Way”

    What country is he talking about?

    The “Freedom Caucus” don’t just CALL themselves Republicans; they get nominated as Republicans. In this that’s what parties do. He can say they SHOULD be a minor party, but that matters to exactly one person.

    The one element of reality is the suggestion that less-radical Republicans could form a coalition with Democrats to elect a Speaker. That’s unprecedented here, as far as I know, and would cause an enormous furor, to say nothing of blowing their cover, but it probably is possible. All too possible, given the similarity in their real policies.

    Otherwise, this guy seems not to know what a minor party is, or even what country he’s writing about.

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