Links 1/23/16

Storks shun migration for junk food BBC

How Much Snow Has Fallen New York Times. I spent a few years in my childhood in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where blizzards of over 20 inches of snow were common. What I find bizarre is what wimps Manhattanites are about snow. They stock up for days before. The lines in grocery stores are insanely long. Now this behavior makes sense if you live in a house and have to drive to provision. It’s logical to prepare so you are comfortable until things are reasonably plowed out. But NYC? The reason rents are so high is we have a high level of services. I heard the plows grinding away as I am typing. Doormen of big buildings shovel the sidewalks, and owner/managers of townhouses are supposed to. Most people who live in Manhattan are only a few blocks from a grocery store, and they keep regular hours in weather events save when the mayor orders store closures (which IMHO is really inconsiderate to the workers, since some come in on busses, and those are guaranteed to be erratic and late until the plowing is complete). So the point is that NYC is one of the best places to be in a big snowstorm and the natives still panic. And personally, I like putting on my boots and trudging around in the snow when it is fresh and there are pretty much no cars out and about.

Man comes back to life after freezing for one night ZME Science (Chuck L). A more extreme version of the case of a doctor, Beck Weathers, in the disastrous Everest climb documented in Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air. except Beck suffered much more long-term damage. IIRC, Krakauer was one of the ones who’d seen him outside the camp, apparently frozen to death, and was stunned when Beck managed to stagger in hours later,

True Scandal of Deflategate Lies in the N.F.L.’s Behavior New York Times. EM: “A little jock-y by the usual Links standard, but some interesting science, money, power & politics in there, in advance of Sunday’s semifinal games.”

Google paid Apple to maintain search on iPhone, court documents say Christian Science Monitor

FBI “took over world’s biggest child porn website” Telegraph

6 Prescription Drugs That Aren’t as Safe as the Government Claims Alternet. Note these are mainly categories of drugs.


China To The World: This Is Going To Hurt You More Than It Hurts Us Forbes

Fears About China’s Economy Fester at Davos New York Times

China’s banking crisis looms like Banquo’s Ghost in Davos Ambrose Evans-Pricthard, Telegraph

Interview with Chinese Billionaire Zhang Xin Der Speigel (resilc)

Refugee Crisis

Europe’s elites use immigration to reshape it into more a pleasing form Fabius Maximus


This Month Marks 25 Years the U.S. Has Been at War in Iraq Foreign Policy (resilc)

Iraqi Kurdistan president: time has come to redraw Middle East boundaries Guardian

Netanyahu demands more billions from US after Iran Deal, insults US Envoy, Steals more Land Juan Cole

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Pentagon Has No Clue How Many Weapons It Has Lost to ISIS Mother Jones (reslc). That’s a feature if true. It would never want to admit to how bad it is.

American Gripen: The Solution To The F-35 Nightmare Daily Caller (Swedish Lex)

1st of 9 Defendants Sentenced in Massive Navy Bribery Case

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Pentagon to take over control of background investigation information Washington Post (margarita)

The US Will Cede Control of the Internet for the First Time Motherboard (resilc)


Trumpscript: a programming language based on the rhetorical tactics of Donald Trump Boing Boing

Is Donald Trump now unstoppable? BBC

Why Evangelicals Heart Donald Trump American Prospect (resilc)

Trump & The Dreamliner American Conservative (resilc)

Half the Foreign Policy Experts Signing Clinton’s Anti-Sanders Letter Have Ties to Military Contractors Intercept. And that’s the half we know about.

Paul Krugman: Why Obama (and Clinton) Are Like F.D.R. Alternet. RR: “Don’t miss the below extract of random comments from savvy AlterNet readers in re article recounting Paul Krugman’s latest dissing Bernie Sanders by equating Obama and Hillary– with FDR! eg: “Turns out the Paul Krugman of today puts his mouth where the money is.'” Moi: “What is worse its that Krugman isn’t being paid to write this.”

Doctors group welcomes national debate on ‘Medicare for All’ and Is a Single-Payer Health Insurance Program Feasible? PNHP (martha r). PNHP begs to differ with the Grey Lady’s Nobelist.

Bernie Sanders “America” Ad Might Be the Best Political Commercial I’ve Seen Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc). Simon & Garfunkel is almost guaranteed to produce a Pavlovian reaction in those of us old enough to have grown up with their music and remember the 1960s as a time of optimism as well as turmoil. How do those of you under 40 react to the Sanders ad?

What the Liberal Attacks on Bernie Sanders Are Really About Dave Dayen, Fiscal Times. Lambert already featured this in Water Cooler but I urge to read it if you haven’t yet.It describes how critics of Sanders on his bank reform proposals have been straw-manning him. Sanders’ plan, which he makes clear is Warren’s plan, not only constrains major banks, but does more to rein in shadow banking than Clinton’s vague proposals would.

Bile, Bullshit, and Bernie: 17 Notes on a Dismal Campaign Crooked Timber (Phil D)

David Brooks Proposes a Kinder, Gentler Republican Party Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone (EM). Brooks: “”What’s needed is a grass-roots movement that stands for governing conservatism…” You have them already. They are called astroturf.

First They Came For… Corey Robin (martha r)

The grand illusion of empowerment Gillian Tett, Financial Times (David L). She seems to think people have not figured it out. Low voter turnout in the US suggests citizens here have. As I’ve said, the fact that you’d never here the word “elite” used outside Marxist or equivalent or further leftist discourse and now it’s used routinely says that the public is aware of who is in charge.

Exclusive: California gas leak spotlights shoddy regulation of aging storage wells Reuters. EM: “You know you got a major regulatory problem when PG&E ends up looking like a paragon of virtue.”

Oregon governor blasts federal response to refuge standoff Reuters

New York PSC approves fund to invest $5 billion in clean energy Reuters (EM)

Chicago Public Schools Bankruptcy? Credit Slips. ” CPS isn’t quite “bankrupt” in the sense that Chapter 9 might help. Not yet, and maybe not ever.”


Who Poisoned Flint, Michigan? Rolling Stone

The EPA’s Silent, Guilty Role in the Flint Water Crisis New Republic (resilc)

U.S. Court appoints lead counsel in Volkswagen multi-district litigation Reuters


KISD Suspends Student For Leaving Class To Carry Asthmatic Student To Nurse’s Office KCED (Chuck L)

10 Reasons why Sub $30 Oil Is A Major Problem OilPrice

Deep “Freight Recession” Hits Railroads, Trucking, Air Freight Wolf Richter

‘Too Big to Fail’ Banks Thriving a Few Years After Financial Crisis New York Times

Antidote du jour (Rajesh):

pretty lizard

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


        1. Carolinian

          I doubt the people at Bob Jones–where women were once forced to wear calf length dresses–will be endorsing supermodel fancier Trump.

          1. Jason

            That particular flavor of fanaticism isn’t exactly known for their consistency or discernment. So long as Trump pushes their buttons right he’ll be beyond criticism.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            To those kinds of people, women are property. Trump is free to do with his property as he sees fit as long as he doesn’t give their property ideas.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Blast. I was too late to edit.

              The Christian Right has had it out for the Clintons especially Hillary simply because she is Hillary RODHAM Clinton. How dare she suggest she isn’t Bill’s property?

      1. aka

        I used to have your hard-on for believers – but then I was only in my twenties – with time to repent*, one might think.

        How much longer do you have till your YOUR beliefs are proved right** or wrong? At best, that is, since who knows what tomorrow may bring?

        *change one’s mind – not necessarily an easy thing to do.

        **except you’ll never know if right – some victory that, eh?

          1. aka

            No doubt but there’s a place for truth too.

            And where’s Skippy’s kindness toward me – unless flicking me in the head like a school yard bully counts as kindness?

            Let Skippy ignore me and I’ll do the same for him since Romans 12:18.

            But I doubt he can.

            1. aka


              Have your last shot, Skippy, ie you may have the last word as far as I’m concerned.

              Then, leave me alone, if you desire peace.

            2. perpetualWAR

              I see no bullying done by Skippy.

              In addition, by definition, most evangelicals are the “mean, hateful Christians” my post refers to.

              The reason that evangelicals love Trump is he is also mean, hateful and demeaning.

              1. aka

                “The reason that evangelicals love Trump is he is also mean, hateful and demeaning.”

                Sadly, that appears to be the case – contra Scripture, both Old and New Testaments.

                  1. aka

                    Love is just a word without a context including justice, truth, etc. Things that require the mind and not just the warm fuzzies.

                    Many in my generation thought that knocking up a girl and then abandoning her constituted love.

                    1. cwaltz

                      I’m calling BS on that. That’s been known as lust all the way back to biblical times. Heck, it’s one of the reasons the New Testament talks about the hardening of men’s hearts and the belief that “divorce” was essentially adultery if it was done to walk away from your obligations.

                    2. aka

                      Well, “Anyone Who Remembers The 60’s…wasn’t There.”

                      But I didn’t smoke pot till 1968 or so so perhaps my memories aren’t all shot.

        1. Skippy

          Beardo….. there is romanticism and there is historical accuracy, one is a place where the mind can wander whilst concocting abstract optics by which to view reality and the other an un-emotive seeking of reality by contextualizing events through ascertaining facts or the best possible approximate.

          Choose wisely.

          Skippy…. I unpacked the slavery thingy back in the day, that is the reality, one that makes all the romanticism delusional as delusional as concepts like debt and ethical money.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Which Bible? Seems that too many tribal Christians and the false prophets that mislead them “very strongly believe” that the Holly Bibble includes only Genesis-through-Malachi, select portions of the Gospels that have to do with submission to authority and the promise of prosperity, the gag-me sales promotion in Paul’s Epistles, and of course that Revelation of St. John which, like so much of the rest of the Holly Text Written By God Himself supposedly as affirmed by that Strong Belief and True Faith, was included by fortuity. Bibble resources on the web seem almost as immanent as porn, and surveys show a pretty good correlation in consumers of both. Fun example:, and on the porn point,

      And of course there are hundreds of versions and translations, each with their little twists and fillips that advocate subtly for one little sectarian preference or another….… “words matter…”

      1. aka

        … each with their little twists and fillips that advocate subtly for one little sectarian preference or another”

        True dat, with regard to usury, for example; is usury ANY interest or merely “excessively high” interest as Calvin apparently believed?

        But I reckon that nearly any translation is adequate if one will read it in its entirety* – that or discover that the translation is a fraud. But if one is apt to hastily judge …

        *For example, one would eventually learn that “damn” in the KJV does not mean necessarily mean “condemn to Hell”.

          1. Skippy

            Old story, tho percentages of interest is a secondary or more knock on effect…. imo.

            “In “Secret History of the Credit Card,” FRONTLINE® and The New York Times join forces to investigate an industry few Americans fully understand. In this one-hour report, correspondent Lowell Bergman uncovers the techniques used by the industry to earn record profits and get consumers to take on more debt.

            “The almost magical convenience of plastic money is critical to our famously compulsive consumer economy,” Bergman says. “With more than 641 million credit cards in circulation and accounting for an estimated $1.5 trillion of consumer spending, the U.S. economy has clearly gone plastic.”

            Millions of American families use their personal, general-purpose credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover to make ends meet; credit cards have been a discreet lifeline for families in financial straits.

            But other consumers, like actor and author Ben Stein, use plastic purely for convenience. While it would appear that Stein — who says he charges a small fortune every month on his credit cards — is the ideal customer, in reality, he is what some in the industry call a “deadbeat.” That’s because he pays his balance in full every month.

            The industry’s most profitable customers, the ones being sought by creative marketing tactics, are the “revolvers:” the estimated 115 million Americans who carry monthly credit card debt.

            Ed Yingling, incoming president of the American Bankers Association, tells FRONTLINE that revolvers are “the sweet spot” of the banking industry. This “sweet spot” continues to grow as the average credit card debt among American households has more than doubled over the past decade. Today, the average family owes roughly $8,000 on their credit cards. This debt has helped generate record profits for the credit card industry — last year, more than $30 billion before taxes.

            Some experts say the profitability of credit cards really began twenty-five years ago, when the banking industry successfully eliminated a critical restriction: the limit on the interest rate a lender can charge a borrower. Deregulation, coupled with a revolution in technology that enables the almost real-time tracking of personal financial information and the emergence of nationwide banking, has facilitated the widening availability of credit cards across the economic spectrum. But for some, the cost of credit is often far greater than it appears.

            According to Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, the credit card companies are misleading consumers and making up their own rules. “These guys have figured out the best way to compete is to put a smiley face in your commercials, a low introductory rate, and hire a team of MBAs to lay traps in the fine print,” Warren tells FRONTLINE.

            Warren and other critics say that a growing share of the industry’s revenues come from what they call deceptive tactics, such as “default” terms spelled out in the fine print of cardholder agreements — the terms and conditions of which can be changed at any time for any reason with 15 days’ notice.

            Penalty fees and rates are sometimes triggered by just a single lapse — a payment that arrives a couple of days or even hours late, a charge that exceeds the credit line by a few dollars, or a loan from another creditor which renders the cardholder “overextended” as defined by the nation’s three all-powerful credit bureaus. This flurry of unexpected fees and rate hikes come just when consumers can least afford them.

            “[Banks are] raising interest rates, adding new fees, making the due date for your payment a holiday or a Sunday on the hopes that maybe you’ll trip up and get a payment in late,” says Robert McKinley, founder and chairman of and Ram Research, a payment card research firm. “It’s become a very anti-consumer marketplace.”

            Banking Association spokesman Yingling defends industry practices. Because the credit card business is basically unsecured lending, he says, the risks associated with the business must be offset.

            But that’s of little consolation to consumers who may be in trouble. According to the Better Business Bureau, credit card and banking companies are the subject of a record numbers of complaints. “It’s not an accident that the banking and credit card business generates more complaints nationally, across the country, than any other industry…Out of one thousand industries that we track, they are number one,” says Pat Wallace, head of the San Francisco Bay Area Better Business Bureau. “There are irritated, unhappy, dissatisfied customers in this industry.”

            As Professor Warren sees it, the industry is operating without fear of penalty. “There’s no regulator, and there’s no customer who can bring this industry to heel,” Warren says.”


            Skippy…. Now factor in the 60ish% of GDP as consumer spending… enjoy

            1. Carla

              Even though I pay off my credit card in full each month, VISA and the bank make plenty from my purchases. They collect a fee from every merchant at which I charge an item or service.

              That’s why many merchants, especially gas stations, offer a lower price for cash purchases.

          2. aka

            According to the kind hearted Baptists in Alabama, interest should be limited to 36%.

            However, Matthew 7-21.

    2. GlobalMisanthrope

      It’s true that retail christianity is a platitudinous authoritarian creed that infantilizes, dissuades contemplation, celebrates materialism, promotes judgment and instills fear. In other words, the opposite of Christianity. And granted that the Bible and Christianity, as Marilynne Robinson says of history, are ragged beasts. But Stan gets it wrong about Calvin.

      The meaning of the Elect is to dissuade enactments of piety intended to negotiate with God. It has nothing to do with earthly status. And as the Gospel of St Matthew famously tells us, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

      It may be that the rich and the greedy have invoked Calvin to justify their injustices, but that is merely a demonstration of their ruthlessness. It reveals nothing about Calvin. After all, Calvin taught that the Lord manifests His wisdom in every individual on earth. He taught that the human condition was one of total depravity, each one of us equally undeserving of God’s grace. That this idea could be construed as legitimizing advantage is evidence of depravity indeed.

      No. These distortions are only possible because Calvin is not read and the Bible, rich in metaphor, is not understood. The phenomenon of imputing the grasping ethos of capitalism to Puritanism or Calvinism is akin to using The Souls of Black Folk to justify racism. A blasphemy.

        1. GlobalMisanthrope

          Nice try, but wrong. Accuracy and competency are not fallacious logical constructs. One does not become a Scotsman by proclaiming one is a Scotsman any more than one becomes a surgeon by opening a surgical practice. Now, when you’re done boning up on your Calvinism, you may want to read some philosophy.

          Oh, nvm. That would be tl.

          1. aka

            “Now, when you’re done boning up on your Calvinism, you may want to read some philosophy.”

            Then what do you think of Ecclesiastes 12:11-12, friend?

              1. aka

                You talking to me? How did you know I have a beard?

                But I’ve donated in the past and may again unless thrown out for no good reason.

            1. GlobalMisanthrope

              I see your point, if in fact it is your point, that one is being encouraged in the verses that you cite to focus on hermeneutics and admonished against a love of knowledge for its own sake as a distraction. However, I don’t think the admonition is against reading, thinking, logic or knowledge per se, all of which are tools, and as useful in understanding the Commandments and keeping them as in any exploration or contemplation.

              I urge roadrider’s reading of philosophy generally to improve her/his thinking and particularly because the misapplication of the “True Scotsman” fallacy to my comments reveals a misapprehension of the subject.

              1. aka

                My point is that Scripture is adequate if for no other reason than the HS and Scripture’s own testimony that it is adequate.

                Getting a new mail account is a hassle so I dare not continue here.

                1. GlobalMisanthrope

                  Oof. No, sorry. You beg the question. The question, “What is?” is not answerable with “what is.”

                  Or did you mean High School?

                  1. aka

                    If one believes Scripture then one believes Scripture.

                    Now arriving at that belief may involve other books, etc but once arrived at then those other books can be largely (at least) dispensed with according to Scripture.

                    And yes, I don’t mean High School.

                    1. cwaltz

                      I place my faith in God.

                      The Bible may be divinely inspired but it was written by fallible men. Some parts speak to me and some don’t. No surprise. I expect the Lord wants something different from me than he wanted from Paul.

                      In my opinion, it’s always important to remember the fallibility of mankind while reading the Bible. Particularly when you consider it was written thousands of years ago and in a language that is NOT the language most of us speak here in the good ol’ USA. Reading it is like a really large complicated game of telephone that has lasted thousands of years.

                      For the record, I might have been more convinced on the “holiness” of the words had there been a single Chapter written by a female. I find it incredibly difficult that God didn’t spend any time saying anything of consequence to the women of biblical times and that when He did, he needed it to be mansplained by someone other than a woman.

                    2. craazyman

                      “For the record, I might have been more convinced on the “holiness” of the words had there been a single Chapter written by a female”

                      Can we now call you the Church Lady?

                      Look it up!

                      Ruth, Esther and Micha were not men. LOL.

                    3. Skippy

                      Now you have done it Craazyman….

                      The same Hebrew word that is used in Genesis 2:24 to describe how Adam felt about Eve (and how spouses are supposed to feel toward each other) is used in Ruth 1:14 to describe how Ruth felt about Naomi. Her feelings are celebrated, not condemned.

                      And throughout Christian history, Ruth’s vow to Naomi has been used to illustrate the nature of the marriage covenant. These words are often read at Christian wedding ceremonies and used in sermons to illustrate the ideal love that spouses should have for one another. The fact that these words were originally spoken by one woman to another tells us a lot about how God feels about same-gender relationships.

                      Skippy…. runnn aaaaway…..

                  2. cwaltz

                    Is Ruth New Testament? How about Micah? Or Esther?

                    No wait, they AREN’T.

                    I consider myself Christian, not Jewish.

                    Feel free to call me whatever you want, I’ve been called waaaaay worse. You should know though I haven’t attended church for years. If God is everywhere then I don’t need to attend one to speak with Him.

                    1. aka

                      Ruth is a great book, btw. You’ll cry I’m sure.

                      But the OT is part of the Christian Bible too.

                      Don’t be scared, there’s less there to offend than you might have been led to believe.

                    2. cwaltz

                      Oh and by the way, you do realize the Book of Ruth wasn’t actually written by Ruth right?

                      It was mansplained. Most of the Bible was mansplained because women had little to no power in society back then.

                      I’m sure if someone else were to give an account of my life that it would look different were I to give the account myself. Why? Different people aren’t going to see things the same. What I find important, you may not and vice versa.

                    3. aka

                      From wiki:

                      “The book [Ruth] is traditionally ascribed to the prophet Samuel, but does not name its author.”

                      Since women were the only witnesses to some of the events then God must have revealed those to Samuel assuming he wrote Ruth or at least verified the veracity of what Samuel had heard or read.

                    4. cwaltz

                      A lot of the Bible is beautiful. Some of it less so(I’m not a huge OT fan, somewhere between OT and New something appears to have sent God to anger management classes.) However, I prefer to spend most of my time in prayer instead of focusing on what God said to someone else years ago, I focus on trying to figure out what he wants from ME at this moment.

                      I do know my fair share of folks though that seem to think that God gives extra credit for memorization.

                    5. aka

                      “something appears to have sent God to anger management classes.) “

                      Unlike some, and contrary to some who say it’s impossible for God to change His mind, God can and does learn.

                      THAT, I know from reading Scripture.

                    6. cwaltz

                      I’m a parent.

                      I’ve found that instructional in what I believe when it comes to my Creator.

                      When I first started parenting I wanted to treat all my children the same in order to be fair. What I found is that did not work out. Why? They’re all different people and what motivates them and how they respond is different. Additionally, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. My third child has one of the kindest hearts but he’s impulsive, he acts from his heart rather than his head, what I’d counsel him to focus on is different then what I’d tell my fourth who tends to tell me on a regular basis that humanity sucks and tends to act with caution. For the record, I pray to God to fill in the gaps with where I fall short when dealing with BOTH(and I’m totally going to be lobbying for instruction manuals to come with each child when it’s my time to go home.)

                      For me, in my opinion, God’s love is constant. The rest of the stuff notsomuch.

                    1. JTMcPhee

                      The parts I like are in the Pentateuch, where the Israelites are busy, with the help of “their” YWH, sticking it to all those other ‘ites, as in ery kind of sneaky sh!t and the putting them to the sword, raping and burning and enslaving… And the time after time, “falling away” and back… And away. Some things don’t change.

                      But we humans can wonderfully rationalize and mythologize, so hey, it’s all good. God gave us ” Dominion, ” right?

      1. low_integer

        I really wish someone had’ve asked Jesus what a photon is. Or even to reproduce Euclid’s proof of why the set containing all prime numbers is infinite, which as discussed here recently was proven approx. 300 BC.

            1. Optimader

              I like had’ve but i think i like had’v more

              If jesus actually loved us he would have left a nice roller luggage form factor fusion power reactor in the barrowed tomb before the owner evicted him :o(

          1. low_integer

            Surprising to see you nitpick this. Not that I’m against being corrected, however the one word quote with a question mark signifying your disapproval is weak, imo. I’m sorry I wasted my time replying to you below. Good luck with your economics stuff.

            1. diptherio

              Just always on the look out for neologisms. Jeesh…I had’ve kept my trap shut if I knew you would take it so hard.

              1. low_integer

                I notice the comment I’m replying to has been edited. Anyway, I do know you are a good sort and don’t really want to go down this path. I should’ve just left my previous comment at the first sentence.

                1. low_integer

                  I notice the comment I’m replying to has been edited.
                  Or not. Skimmed past the “had’ve” dig but it’s still there. The rest of my comment stands though.

        1. aka

          Yes, raising the dead, etc. is SO unconvincing.

          Actually, some Greeks wanted to question Jesus but He ignored their request.

          1. low_integer

            Yes, raising the dead, etc. is SO unconvincing.

            Well it’s certainly hard to prove on paper.

            1. aka

              It’s designed to test hearts is my understanding, eg. those who strain out gnats while swallowing camels eg those who love money, possessions, eg those who can’t forgive, eg the proud, etc. will have difficulty believing.

              1. low_integer

                How can you reconcile being humble with a refusal to accept that you(r religion) may be wrong?

                1. cwaltz

                  I don’t think I see pride in the words written but it does seem like judgment.

                  It wasn’t like those closest to Jesus weren’t guilty of being human. The term doubting Thomas was created based on an account of an apostle doubting the resurrection. So I don’t think doubt is a reflection of character.

                  Personally, I see faith as a gift. It means I never need to struggle alone. It doesn’t mean I’m never guilty of pride or envy or any of those other things he/she seems to believe non believers engage in.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Fun to speculate on what he “would’ve” said because most of what people think he did say was fabricated 400 years after his death at the First Council of Nicea.
            Maybe there’s someone from 400 years ago we can reinvent and launch a death cult around (G. Vidal’s term, not mine)

            1. cwaltz

              I have enjoyed reading about the Second Council of Orange.

              I particularly enjoy Augustine. As a child I grew up in the Catholic Church and was confirmed. I chose St Monica. Originally when I chose it, it was because I liked her name. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve developed an affinity for my saint. My father was an alcoholic who beat the crap out of my mother. As an adult I married an agnostic who struggles with belief. I suspect if I met her we’d have quite a few things in common. I sometimes wonder if God with his wicked sharp sense of humor chose her for me to help me power through and show the power of faith and prayer. :)

          2. Optimader

            Interesting bias. Is he a he she or it? Or a a he-she?

            On the subject of god-gender stuff, how again does virgin birth work at the chromosomal level? Is that just *poof* genetic material puked into exsistrnce from another dimension, or what? Seriously, never heard a good explainatio of that business. For that matter, why mess around with gestation???

            1. cwaltz

              Since I grew up in the Church I tend to speak in the masculine when referring to God.

              When I need female council I tend to prayer for help from Mary or Monica to help me with strength and wisdom . The God I pray to doesn’t feel slighted if I ask for council from those that have had the same job title as I have today.

      2. fosforos

        “Calvin taught that the Lord manifests His wisdom in every individual on earth.” Except Servetus.

    3. knowbuddhau

      “My favorite definition of mythology is, other peoples’ religion. And my favorite definition of religion is, misunderstood mythology, the misunderstanding resting largely in mistaking metaphors for facts.” Joseph Campbell.

      If ever there was a thread that confirms Campbell’s definitions, this is it.

      Insisting that obvious metaphors, such as virgin birth, actually, physically happened, completely drains the meaning from them. VB was a metaphor for unadulterated, immediate realization of the identity of the profane and the divine, worshipper and worshipped, time and eternity, and other indivisible pairs of opposites that shatter the illusion of separateness, long, long before the Bible was cobbled together.

      Mistaking metaphors for facts is the same kind of mistake as reading poetry as prose. It’d be hilarious if it wasn’t responsible for so much tragedy.

      If one’s spirituality rests on the historicity of the fables, that’s not faith, that’s belief, and largely make believe. It says there is no choice but to believe, making it the very opposite of faith. And when it’s shown that the story of Adam and Eve can’t possibly be true, what then?

      How more obvious could it be that these are metaphors, written as poetry, not facts written like today’s newspaper?

      There are undying lessons to be learned in the mythologies of the world, but will ever be overlooked by those reducing metaphors to facts, as well as by those pointing out their factual impossibility.

      “What use, Gabriel, your message to Marie, if you can’t now deliver the same message to me?” Angelus Silesius, according to Campbell.

  1. Skippy

    Ref… Chicago schools…

    Teacher support of Common Core has slipped from 76 percent in 2013 to 40 percent this year, according to the Education Next and Harvard Kennedy School poll.

    What is Common Core… Myth versus Fact

    Common Core is often written by its initials CCSS which stands for Common Core State Standards. The idea of national standards may seem like a good idea. Unfortunately, these national standards have turned into a nightmare for students, parents and teachers. The marketing myth or slogan factory for Common Core is that CCSS is a set of “State led national standards which prepare students to be career and college ready.” In fact, Common Core is Gates led not State led. The standards were hastily written by a few corporate consultants – not by teachers or child development specialists. The Common Core standards were so poorly written that they have been condemned by many educational professionals as being not as good as the prior State standards that CCSS replaced. This is a problem because Common Core standards are patented and do not allow for more than minor changes.

    Worst of all, Common Core Standards do not prepare students for college or careers. For example, even if a student passed all of the math standards by completing the fake common core tests, they would not be ready to take college level courses. Nor would they be ready to get a good paying job. So the whole Common Core program is nothing but a scam based on a series of lies. The real purpose of Common Core is first to create billions of dollars in profit for the Education Industrial Complex and then second to destroy public schools and public school students to such an extent that the general public will demand that public schools be closed and replaced with private for profit schools that are exempt from the Common Core standards.

    Who Owns CCSS?
    The Common Core standards are patented by a couple of fake non-profit groups called the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officials (CCSSO). Both of these groups are unelected, private organizations who get most of their funding (millions of dollars) from Bill Gates through the Gates Foundation. They own the copyright to the Common Core standards. This really means that Bill Gates controls the copyright to Common Core standards.

    Because these two groups are private organizations, there is no public record of how they make decisions.

    Skippy…. love it when a plan comes together….

    1. JCC

      So, uh… what’s the problem?

      Between the public school system getting destroyed in order to promote privatized charter schools (and ignorant peasants) and the prison profit system getting larger by the year (helped along by the creation of an ever larger ignorant peasant population), I’d say things are going pretty well as far as the Free Market and GDP is concerned.

      Clearly our American-style “Unregulated” Free Market Capitalism is a Grand and Wonderful Thing

    2. TheCatSaid

      CCSS is patented? Sheesh. Is that creepy, or what?!

      Relations who are teachers can’t wait to retire. They say the whole push to standardized testing and the new curriculum guidelines that are completely unclear have destroyed any possibility of them being effective as teachers.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Gates has got several law firms helping his “vision” of apparently owning *everything*, loading copyright claims onto great works of art and all the digital images in the world so, apparently, everyone who wants to look at a digital copy of the Mona Lisa (and if he succeeds, I would bet the claim will be extended to the original) would have a few pence deducted from the credit side of their RFID implanted chip data…

        Too bad there apparently ain’t no actual Hell in the hereafter, at least as our more inventive writers and other artists have imagined it with a little help from various “religious” sources.. “Imagine” © that!

      2. Elizabeth Burton

        Teachers need to stop complaining and get involved with one or more of the growing grassroots movements to stop school privatization. If we’re going to save free public education and ensure it’s adequately funded so that all children have equal opportunity, we’re very much in the position of the Continental Congress—if we don’t hang together then we’ll definitely hang separately.

        I realize today’s teachers are stretched thin, but they are the only voices with the skills and experience to lend depth to the fight. The reformers have billions to spend on PR and brainwashing, so the other side needs all the voices it can get to outshout the lies.

        1. TheCatSaid

          Agree. Burnout is a big problem. Ongoing engagement must be found–requiring mobilization of deep inner resources–to prevent capitulation by drip drip drip wearing down.

        2. Jerry Denim

          Great comment. Sadly I think many of the teachers out there are just waking up to the fact that they are up against a vast and deep-pocketed conspiracy, not just a few local bad politicians.
          Many still are blind to the plutocrats who are aligned against the very concept of public schooling who instead to choose to wage war obliquely under the cover of the ‘reform’ banner.

          Being heard over the propaganda and getting people to recognize propaganda as propaganda seems to be the biggest challenges of the moment.

  2. grew up on the lower east side

    Manhattan is now occupied by wanna be new yorkers, come from somewhere else and don’t know anything

    1. cwaltz

      Uh if they live in Manhattan they ARE NYers. What’s there to know? NY is not nearly as complicated as you think it is. (I say that as someone who spent my first 12 years in Baldwin, NY)

  3. bob

    The only safe course of action for flint is to start planning relocation.

    The system is completely broken, it can’t be fixed.

    Building a new system would take years, at a minimum.

    Without any sort of publc water supply, that many people can’t live there.

    Water systems are also completely necessary for fire fighting.

    It’s a public health wasteland.

    1. katiebird

      Unless the plan is to turn us into the sort of third world country where tap water isn’t potable. Where we have gigantic tanker tru ks stopping in neighborhoods to dispense water to the villagers.

      Hey! Why aren’t those trucks in Flint? Those tiny bottles are stupid for daily life. And where are they all going to go?

    2. Steven D.

      Corrosion control, as mandated by law, would have prevented the lead crisis. Once they do that and switch to Lake Huron as the water source, not the polluted Flint River, they will be fine. That was Gov. Snyder being callous, penny wise and pound foolish. Also, EPA is supposed to backstop this stuff.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Additive is orthophosphate, aka phosphoric acid, Winnipeg gov’t, which started adding phosphoric acid to public water in 2000, points out that “You would need to drink more than 100 glasses of tap water to get the same amount of phosphoric acid that you would get in one glass of most colas.” So we should all go out and buy cases of Coke ™ and Diet Pepsi ™ and swill away…

          Here’s the “material safety data sheet” for highly concentrated phosphoric acid, 85% in water, It’s a relatively cheap way to “fix” one of the many basic-infrastructure problems and hidden horrors that stuff like neoliberalism and ignorance now weigh us mopes down. You know all the fokking Elites don’t have to worry their pretty little heads about shit like this. But us mopes, us cattle, way too many of us just go along with no-taxes, it’s-too-expensive (but trillions for WAR) sucker bait…

          1. bob

            Again, that’s preventative, not restorative. More detail below.

            From the reports I’ve read, they are still pushing huge piles of scale around in those pipes. The pipes are being/have been destroyed both chemically (flint river water), and mechanically (tons of scale moving about within the system).

            it’s toast. Done for.

            Worse than that even, is that it hasn’t stopped working, so people can still get toxic water out of it.

            It should be turned off, but– fire hydrants. Fire control/prevention. Even if it is toxic, the water can still be used to fight fires and save lives of people in imminent danger.

            No way to isolate the fire hydrants from the drinking water system. Both are either on or off.

            Evacuation. That’s it. Everyone out.

            It’s a great demonstration of the complete daisy-chain, worst case scenario breakdown of the BASIS of public health.

            No water, no live.

      1. Carla

        Steven D., it’s my understanding that the underground pipes have been permanently damaged by the lack of corrosion control, and so anti-corrosives will no longer work in them; they will have to be replaced. Am I mistaken?

        1. Debra D.

          During the Great Depression there were several monumental public works projects undertaken. It’s not unheard of. The Marshall Plan is another example.

          It’s all about protecting the ideology of neoliberal capitalism. The target is on all of us.

          1. Carla

            I completely concur. But does anyone know if my understanding that the water infrastructure in Flint must be completely replaced is correct? Steven D. implied that it is not too late for anticorrosive treatment to work even given the old pipes.

            1. JTMcPhee

              Adding the orthophosphate will let the scale that deposits out of mineral constituents in your water to slowly re-form. No link I can find on how to anticipate rate, and of course that is a slim bandaid ™ (gotta watch those IP claims, the fokking ISDS police are watching…) since One can anticipate that a certain amount, likely pretty small, of lead will continue to migrate via solution and other mechanisms through the scale. And of course a thick layer of scale reduces the volume of flow that can pass through the pipe. Another problem, for another day…

              And hey! All is well! The EPA Regional Administrator has resigned (to go where next, I wonder?) and the evil Emergency Manager has gone to his reward and Snyder has issued the perfunctory meaningless apology and the “press” is all a-twitter with this latest distraction from the really big issues, like climate change and Monsanto and the rest who are messing with the genetic stuff that can go so very badly wrong…

              1. bob

                That’s a preventive measure. Not restorative.

                Yes, you can get years out of a car as long as you change the oil.

                Dumping oil on a dead car doesn’t help the car. It just wastes oil.

            2. bob

              I know water infrastructure. Its ruined.

              But, there is a bit of a self-licking ice cream cone here too.

              I’m sure they’ll come up with less costly, “fixes” that won’t fix it.

              Of course, the less costly solutions will add up to more time and money than replacing the system.

              Lots of fat on that lamb still.

          2. Oregoncharles

            Maybe take the enormous cost of a complete rebuild out of Gov Snyder’s personal pockets? I hear the former “emergencymanager” has a pretty nice salary, too, running the Detroit school system.

            What could go wrong?

      2. Michael

        Too late, pipes are perma-screwed. Flint does, in fact, literally need to be evacuated and torn down.

          1. bob

            And lots of money for contractors!

            “a billion dollar projected project cost? We can go in at 200 million and look good, then go back every 6 months for another 200 million. Before you know it, we’ve gotten more than the original billion, and it still isn’t fixed!”

        1. jhallc

          Most underground water /sewer pipes in the street can be re-lined without having to dig them up. They must be structurally sound. A company here in Massachusetts does this all over the world. It’s not cheap, but it’s faster and less expensive than replacing the whole system.

            1. bob

              Also adding that I am very familiar with this process, and that it’s not applicable everywhere, even in most places.

              It’s a band-aid approach that can work, if applied properly.

              It’s not the way to re-build an entire water system.

              Honestly, the simplicity with which people believe that things can be done on this scale is an insult to people who know anything about this stuff.

              There’s an app for that….

              I think they might need more electrolytes….

      3. zapster

        That’s not the only problem with the river tho. Dow chemical is upstream, and dumped dioxins and other chemical waste into it for decades. The biota that lives on the bottom of the river keeps most of it trapped and out of the water, but it doesn’t take much of a disturbance to release it, either. It also has high levels of farm waste runoff, etc. Nobody wanted to take it from the river. Snyder’s claim that the city council did it is an outright lie. They never even discussed it. This wall *all* the EM and DEQs decision.

        1. Brian

          How many rivers have levels and deposits of toxins they were allowed to dump because no one told them no?
          Every damn one fellow humans. When will you do something?

        2. bob

          The root cause of the lead problem is the lead in the pipes.

          The corrosive river water didn’t help, but to call that the ’cause’ is more than a bit simplistic.

          The lead water system should have been replaced years ago.

          The river water, while toxic, wouldn’t have ruined a water system built within the last 40 years.

          1. Carla

            And who has one of those? Probably a “community” built within the last 40 years.

            Really, how many cities in this country have re-built their original water infrastructure? Not Los Angeles. Not Cleveland. I think NYC may be in the process. Maybe. Anybody else? Anyone know?

            1. bob

              Bigger munis have replaced the systems over time. Parts of the system are still bad, but major sections have been replaced, and there is usually a long term plan in place to get everything done.

              It’s the best long term solution to replacing these systems entirely- little bits at a time, over a longer time frame- 10-20-30 years.

              But, munis like flint, who are loosing population, and tax base, can’t afford maintenance, let alone upgrades. Even coming up with a longer term plan costs money they don’t have.

              NYC, for example, is in the middle of several 50+ year long projects. Time frames really stretch out in this area. Much longer than a twitter outrage email scandal lasts.

              1. Carla

                Bob, basically every American city between New York and San Francisco, except those in Texas and the ones that are going to drown in Florida, is losing population and tax base. Okay, there may be a few isolated exceptions like Denver, I’m not sure. But you get my drift. Without a federal infrastructure project, pronto, we’re losing everything between the East and West coasts.

                I understand that TPTB don’t necessarily care, but do they really want to see tens of millions of people dying horrible deaths on their watch?

                1. bob

                  With lead poising, it not on their watch.

                  Yes, infrastructure is badly needed. But, even at the NYS level, they don’t give a fuck.

                  We had cuomo come to town and offer, without being asked, to build a 500 million stadium for SU.

                  The city that stadium would be in, syracuse, has been pleading for decades for money to rebuild it’s water infrastructure. It’s even possible that the infrastructure present wouldn’t support the half billion dollar privately owned, but tax free stadium. More than possible– probable. More costs for the city to absorb.

                  When the Feds were giving money out, for sewer work (CSO) in the 90’s, it was usually wasted on short term fixes- bigger plants using more electricity. Instead of the proper way- replace the pipes!

                  That big chemical companies, and the firms that build those installations, are big donors in DC had a lot to do with that. It was easier, both bureaucratically, as well as practically, to build more plants. Who wants to dig all that up? We just need a BIGGER pony!

                  1. bob

                    CSO Combined sewer overflow

                    Both the sanitary sewer and the drainage of a city are using the same pipes. Water from rain storms, which doesn’t need to be treated, or treated as much as raw sewage, is shoved into the same pipe as raw sewage.


                    So, every time it rains, the plant treating the sewage at the bottom is completely overwhelmed. They ended up, and still end up dumping raw sewage– they can’t stop it.

                    They pretended there were different ways to deal with this problem, but there was only one real way to deal with it, get the shit away from the rain. Less to treat. But, this requires digging. A lot of digging. Lifespan- 100+ years, in many instances.

                    They ended up, most of the time, building plants that could handle the peak flows. Huge plants. Lifespan- 15 years. They could also be delivered by truck, getting rid of all that pesky labor.

                    And they still get to claim, for the proles, that they spent XX million! Solution, move on.

      4. bob

        This is the useless blame games, meanwhile, several kids are trying to take a bath.

        Would corrosion control have worked, IN THE PAST? Yes,

        Will it work going forward? No, the system is ruined. Completely done.

        It should have been replaced years ago.

        Petty blame games and gotcha documents are not going to bring potable water to almost 100k people.

        They need water. TODAY. Good water, without lead. In the absence of good water, they’ll drink, wash, bathe and use the bad water, it’s all they have.

        And the idea of trucks is laughable. Merica really has no fucking clue how completely dependent on large amounts of clean water we are. Large being bigger than a tanker truck. By a factor of 10,000? at least.

        1. Carla

          Okay, gotcha. So everybody has to move out of Flint. I know a place that has room: Detroit.

          One problem there: they shut off the water to poor people who are unable to pay their bills, while the rich dudes (Dan Gilbert and other VERY well-heeled “saviors” of the city) don’t pay, but the taps of their enterprises flow freely.

          1. bob

            This is pretty cold logic, but not kicking everyone out is probably the best PR play. Keep sending guys out and show all the water moving for the TV cameras. Maybe a few shots of what looks like a lab.

            Longer term, lead poising is much slower and easier to hide. Also much easier to hide the costs of it.

            Turning off the offending water system would, most probably result in real, immediate illness. Cholera, e coli, dissentary– They look pretty bad on TV.

            But, slow brain eating of a mostly urban population? Way easier to pass off as “their fault”.


            There has been a lot of recent research on lead poising. Very long tail. And I see the PR flacks are already at it. The number 1 “rational-wiki” google result throws lots of smoke around.

            Because of the way that lead use in gasoline was phased out, geographically, it’s possible to study the effects over time, over different populations. It’s stark.

            Lead poising of children means a whole lot of ‘behavioral problems’ further down the road. Their brains are literally being eaten away. But, that’s later….

            1. Carla

              I meant, they’ve already been shutting off the water in Detroit (as far as we know, the water there is better than in Flint, but do we really know?).

              And I was actually talking about a realistic place for people in Flint to go to.

              I can picture refugee lines snaking to Canada, especially when the weather gets a little warmer, but somehow, I don’t think Canada’s going to let Flint refugees in — do you? They’ll probably be about as welcoming to Flintians as we Americans have been to Syrians.

              1. bob

                When you finally get a tally on all the costs of that lead exposure, you could probably send them all to 4 star hotels *anywhere*, and it would still be less expensive in the long run.

                But, we’re trying to save money.

                Canada! I can see the mounties now– redcoats holding the line….

        2. Katiebird

          I agree that the truck thing is laughable.

          But those tiny bottles and grocery store filters are insane. Criminal.

          1. bob


            Trucks- ok, who has 100 gallons of storage capacity, per person, on their roof?

            No? Then double or triple the numbers. And go back to the days where women and children spent most of their day moving water around.

            It’s also not “safe” water at that point, even if it is clean to begin with. You can’t hold water, in a house, without thought of it going bad over time.

            The bottles do allow safe storage.

      5. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        Bet anything Synder gets re-elected. Even if he’s driven from office, he’ll get a plumb job for Koch or Heritage or something. The paladins of medievalism always fail upward.

      1. JTMcPhee

        …trouble is, the sower will be comfortably gone into death, attended by the finest care and comforts, after a life of pleasure and death-dealing, and so not around to reap… that is comfortably left to the mopes…

      2. Justicia

        I’ve re-read that and ‘Parable of the Talents’– often thinking “I hope this is fiction, not prophecy.” Octavia Butler was such a brilliant social analyst she seems prophetic.

  4. allan

    Krugman has become a Very Serious Person. Sad.

    And speaking of 3 Very Serious People, on the PBS Newhour last night, Judy Woodruff, while discussing the campaign with David Brooks and Ruth Marcus, stated as a fact that most Americans oppose single payer.
    Since PBS no longer has an ombudsperson, and I know that Judy is a regular reader of the comments at NC, I’ll just point out that that is not true.

      1. Jason

        Sadly, I know a number of middle age and older, left leaning folks who watch PBS because they think it more honest than the rest of the media.

    1. Steven D.

      As we all know, just like Obama and Clinton, FDR was a risible coward who always pulled his punches like the fight was fixed and folded in a panic when he was holding the high cards like someone was paying him to lose. That’s why he was such a beloved figure who was elected four times, the last time even though he was visibly dying.

      1. dimmsdale

        “Judy Woodruff, while discussing the campaign with David Brooks and Ruth Marcus,…” and THAT is why I no longer watch what used to be the only relatively reliable broadcast news program. Every one of those commentators ought to be sat down & forced to watch Jon Stewart’s takedown of the Paul Begala/Tucker Carlson program back in the day. Daily Caller/News Hour–same-same.

    2. fresno dan

      Krugman believes that Obama was “forced” to support the health care bill as written, forced to support finance “reform” as written, and not prosecute wall street likewise, because he also was forced….by his employees!!! Also, Krugman made a tentative wave at “studying TPP” – not sure where that has gone, but I guess it will be the standard “not everything can be perfect.”
      The question is, what is radical?
      The new deal????
      The civil rights laws?
      Under Krugman, we would never know, because they would never have been tried. Roosevelt and Johnson would just be whining that the bad, bad, bad, bad repubs just won’t let them do anything.

      And maybe Krugman, with his supposed brains, can explain how Hillary is actually going to be able to get ANYTHING done, when the repubs
      1. Hate her because she is Hillary
      2. Hare her because she is a woman
      3. apparently, really do have a breach of super top secret protocol
      4. other scandals

      With Sanders elected, politics will go forth.
      Sanders will have to compromise, JUST as his OPPONENTS WILL.
      Obama offered 10, repubs offered 0, and we got the health care we got – because Obama offered what he WANTED to offer. Sanders offers 200, repubs faint dead over, find out (as they are now finding out that, GASP!!!! they’re supporters do not believe conservatism means always support the rich!) that most of their supporters do not think insurance companies, drug companies, and doctors have a right to a law written in stone that they get to be paid as much as they WANT to get paid.

      As in the discussion about Archdruid’s column yesterday, I don’t know when this idea that “class warfare” is the epitome of unfairness and injustice was propagandized into the zeitgeist. But inequality isn’t rising because God wants it to – it rises because an ARMY of HIGHLY remunerated lobbyists do NOTHING but make sure every action of government highly advantages the rich – that is ALL they do!!!!! every hour of every day!!!!! And they do it well. It is time that we have at LEAST some mere arguments against their viewpoints, instead of “our” supposed representatives with their lips implanted into the hindquarters of the rich, and acting on one, and only one idea – make the rich richer!
      (Krugman – standard economist who looks at greater GDP and can’t even think to ask how it is that 0.1% captures 99% of the increase in productivity – although I suspect that Krugman thinks he is smarter than a million people, so it is only natural that a very, very small sliver captures most of the wealth)

      1. Steven D.

        You compromise after fighting like hell, not precompromising as pioneered by Obama. FDR and LBJ would have loved that.

      2. Llewelyn Moss

        C’mon now, LEAVE OBAMA ALONE!! It was Senator Max Baucus(D-MT) that killed “Single Payer” in his committee.

        I’m sure Obama will never forgive him for that. Oh wait, Obama gifted (aka grifted) him the ambassadorship to China. Never mind.

      3. James Levy

        Is he this stupid? Is he this corrupt? Or has Krugman simply stopped thinking? My guess leans towards the third option. He’s so in deep within this insider nonsense that he’s lost all critical thinking skills and simply starts with an established premise and fakes or ignores the data to get back to his predetermined conclusion. Since honest enquiry can only piss the people who matter to him off (policy and governing elites plus high-end economists) and cut him out of the game, why bother doing the hard work of thinking for yourself? No one will stop inviting you to conferences, taking your phone calls, or having you over for drinks if you just keep repeating the common wisdom.

        1. PWC, Raleigh

          re: Is he this stupid? Is he this corrupt? Or has Krugman simply stopped thinking?

          I don’t presume to know whether it’s stupidity, corruption, or lack of thought — but I stopped reading Krugman in the NY Times (both the columns *and* the blog) about 3 years ago after having been a faithful reader for years and years. Precisely because his arguments and ideas were repeating despite plenty of readily available evidence to the contrary.

          Sorry, but dreck is dreck.

          1. Mel

            This is election campaign water-carrying in action. A commenter at washingtonblog said he isn’t paid for this, so I suppose he’s collecting DNC-miles on his plastic card.

        2. Skippy

          Firstly people have to understand Krugman is a neoclassical and not a Keynesian, more a corporatist with pangs of guilt than socially progressive. After that observation things become a wee bit clearer.

          Skippy…. last media appearance I watched with him here down under he exhibited quite a few ticks and glitches in his mannerisms, almost Ben like in the early days of the GFC.

    3. Carolinian

      I know that Judy is a regular reader of the comments at NC

      Really? Do tell.

      And Alex Cockburn wrote the definitive takedown of the the then MacNeill-Lehrer Newshour many years ago. Not much has changed since, although they no longer use the tag team interview style. The show does have some good segments from time to time and is therefore worth watching with the sound mostly off. Wild horses couldn’t make me watch David Brooks.

      1. MikeNY

        LOL. I like Ruth Marcus, but she always reminds me of Witchiepoo. I think I would laugh if I had to sit there and do an interview with her.

    4. Benedict@Large

      Ever notice how rich liberals always support your causes, but never want to get there so fast that it disrupts the size of their piece of the pie?

  5. craazyboy

    Running out of Beach Boy tunes. Maybe Simon & Garfunkel will be next.

    Fed Governor Girls – Beach Boys

    The NewYork Fed is hip
    I really dig those styles they wear
    And the Altlanta Fed with the way they talk
    G D P is always down there

    The Dallas Fed oilman’s slaughter makes you really feel uptight

    And the Northern Feds with the way they vote
    They keep their bankers warm at night

    I wish they all could be Fed Governor
    I wish they all could be Fed Governor
    I wish they all could be Fed Governor Girls

    Well, Wall Street needs more money
    And the Fed Girls can lend a hand
    They dig a money pit in Manhattan island
    It’s the largest in the land

    Money all around this great big world
    And the Fed Girls make it free
    Yeah, but it’s all a dowry for Wall Street Bankers
    Fed Girls are the cutest in the world

    I wish they all could be Fed Governor
    I wish they all could be Fed Governor
    I wish they all could be Fed Governor Girls
    I wish they all could be Fed Governor
    (Girls, girls, girls yeah I dig the)
    I wish they all could be Fed Governor
    (Girls, girls, girls yeah I dig the)
    I wish they all could be Fed Governor
    (Girls, girls, girls yeah I dig the)
    I wish they all could be Fed Governor
    (Girls, girls, girls yeah I dig the)

    1. craazyman

      Are you saying they’re all Girly Men?

      I’m not sure about the Sanders ad being the better than “Willie Horton.”

      The Goldwater Atomic Bomb ad, although now merely a historical relic, should be considered a legitimate competitor too.

      Maybe somebody will get desperate . . . but it may be too late baby

      Hello Willie my old friend
      It’s time to drag you out again
      While all the country’s softly sleeping
      Let’s whack them hard before they start peeping
      At all the misery, that we’re dragging in our wake
      As we break, the soul of freedom with financial violence

      (that last line really needs some work, it’s pretty bad — poetically speaking, hahaah)

      Can’t believe that Bernie even raised a dime
      One of us is wrong here there can be no denyin’
      our little game is changin, or maybe we’re just not tryin

      Well it’s too late baby now it’s too late
      Though we really did try to make it
      The scare in our threats has died
      and we can’t hide it we just can’t fake it
      Oh No!

      It used to be so easy makin’ money off you
      Though it was kind of sleazy, we knew just what to do
      Now you look so unhappy, you see you’ve been our tool

      Well it’s too late baby now it’s too late
      Though we really did try to make it
      The scare in our threats has died
      and we can’t hide it we just can’t fake it
      Oh No!

    2. Paul Tioxon

      Sloop QE
      We come on the sloop QE
      My Fed Chair and me
      Around Maiden Lane we did roam
      Drinking all night
      Got into a ZIRP
      Well I feel so broke up
      I want to go offshore.

    3. Antifa

      Hillary’s Song
      (“Good Vibrations” — sincere apologies to Brian Wilson)

      I, I love to tell them they’ll take me there
      And promise them I’ll fix Obamacare
      They hear the sound of my gentle words
      And believe I’m here to save them from despair

      I’m pickin’ up Big Donations
      To buy me the nomination
      I’m puttin’ out fabrications (Oom bop, bop, fabrications)
      Based on my calculations (Oom bop, bop, calculations)
      You may doubt my motivation (Oom bop, bop)
      Or who gives to my Foundation (Oom bop, bop, my Foundation)
      Or my campaign violations (Oom bop, bop)
      Or my email revelations (Oom bop, bop, revelations)

      Close my eyes
      Think of money now
      Crisp and clean, in neatly bundled stacks
      B-a-a-a-gs of it under the podium
      For every half hour speech at Goldman Sachs

      I’m pickin’ up Big Donations
      They’ll buy me the nomination
      I’m makin’ my preparations (Oom bop, bop, preparations)
      And sending out invitations (Oom bop, bop, invitations)
      I’m taking on obligations (Oom bop, bop)
      Surrendering to temptation (Oom bop, bop, temptations)
      But don’t come to my coronation (Oom bop, bop)
      Such things are above your station (Oom bop, bop, above your station)

      (Ah my my what elation)

      Some day I’ll sit in Obama’s chair . . .
      (Ah my, my, what a sensation)
      (Ah my, my, what elations)
      (Ah my, my, what)

      Gotta keep those really Big Donations a happenin’ to me
      Gotta keep those really Big Donations a happenin’ to me
      Gotta keep those really Big Donations a happenin’ . . .

      Big Big Big Big Donations (Oom bop, bop, I’m pickin’ up Big Donations)
      I’m going to rule this nation (Oom bop, bop, it’s my nation)
      Big Big Big Big Donations (Oom bop, bop)

      Na, na, na, na, na Na, na, na
      Na, na, na, na, na Na, na, na
      Do, do, do, do, do, Do, do, do
      Do, do, do, do, do, Do, do, do

      1. Jim Haygood

        Vile Thing (to the tune of Wild Thing)

        Vile thing
        You make my heart sting
        You ruin everything
        Vile thing

        Vile thing … I think I loathe ya
        Yeah … I loathe you!

        Vile thing
        You make my heart sting
        You ruin everything
        Vile thing

        1. allan

          (with apologies to Carly Simon)

          You walked into the fundraiser like you were walking onto a yacht
          Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
          Your pant suit it was apricot
          You had one eye in the mirror as Huma watched yourself go by
          And all the New Dems dreamed that they’d be your partner
          They’d be your partner, and…

          You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you
          You’re so vain, I’ll bet you think this song is about you
          Don’t you? don’t you?

          You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive
          Well you said that we made such a pretty public private partnership
          And that you would never leave
          But you gave away the things you loved and one of them was single payer
          I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
          Clouds in my coffee, and…
          You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you …

          Well I hear you went up to the Chicago Merc and your futures naturally won
          Then you flew your Lear jet down to Honduras
          To see the total eclipse of the election
          Well you’re where you should be all the time
          And when you’re not you’re with
          Some third world despot or Dimon or Blankfein
          Dimon or Blankfein, and…

          You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you
          You’re so vain, I’ll bet you think this song is about you
          Don’t you? Don’t You? Don’t You?

    4. craazyman

      It’s a Peanut Gallery version of AMERICA IDOL!

      Songs from the Peanut Gallery! Wow. This could be bigger than Motown! hahahaha

      I just saw Barry Gordy’s Detroit mansion. Maybe it was a link here, I can’t remember. you can get a big mansion in Detroit for like 500G. his was 1.2M but it was like Versailles.

      1. Antifa

        Teh Donald’s Song (Little Deuce Coupe)

        Little Orange Toop (you don’t know what I got)

        Well I’m not bald but I’m way short of hair
        If the wind comes up you’ll see there’s nothing there
        I got a taxidermist friend with a backyard shop
        To glue orangutan fur to a kitchen mop
        Now it’s my Little Orange Toop
        You don’t know what I got
        (my Little Orange Toop; you don’t know what I got)

        Just a Little Orange Toop with some velcro flaps
        And I gotta wear a helmet when I’m swimmin’ laps
        I can take it off at night, ’cause my wife understands
        But I live in total terror of ceiling fans
        She’s my Little Orange Toop
        You don’t know what I got
        (my Little Orange Toop; you don’t know what I got)

        The maid sweeps it out if it falls on the floor
        But now I’ve got a couple dozen in the bathroom drawer
        And if that ain’t enough to make you flip your wig
        Well, there’s one more thing, they’re all Made in China!

        I wear an orange toupe ‘cuz I’m nouveau riche
        It sits upon my head like it needs a leash
        All my get up and go may have got up and went
        But I’ll compensate for that when I’m President
        She’s my Little Orange Toop
        You don’t know what I got
        (my Little Orange Toop; you don’t know what I got)

        She’s my Little Orange Toop
        You don’t know what I got
        (my Little Orange Toop; you don’t know what I got)

        She’s my Little Orange Toop
        You don’t know what I got
        (my Little Orange Toop; you don’t know what I got)

        1. craazyman

          wow. I feel like Simon Cowell when he first heard Susan Boyle belt out I Dream a Dream.

          That’s good!

          I will admit though, I’m getting to kind of like Donald Trump and I’m not sure I buy all the bad things said about him. I’m still hoping a Sanders/Trump ticket forms and takes the White House in a landslide. If Felix and Oscar can do it, so can they.

    5. S M Tenneshaw

      (Sometimes you even don’t need to change the words.)

      Starting all over again is going to be rough
      For us, we’re going to make it
      Starting all over as friends is going be tough
      On us, we gotta face it

      We lost what we had
      That’s what hurt us so bad
      Set us back a thousand years
      But we going to make it up
      Though I know it’s going to be tough
      To erase the hurt and fears

    6. Laughingsong

      There’s always “Surfer Girl” and then you can move on to Jan and Dean. Think what you could do to “Little Old Lady from Pasadena”

  6. MartyH

    SNOW!: Yeah, Yves, the panic is amusing. It is fair for Jordan (the 16 pound dachshund) to panic when he has to plow through snow up to his shoulders but for the rest of us it’s hardly the cataclysm. These people should “enjoy” a winter in Minneapolis (for example.) Do go out all bundled up … I have a book to return to a (closed) library that gives me an excuse to trudge happily later.

    1. fresno dan

      I liked the snow when I was on the east coast cause when I fell down drunk I had something soft to land in…

    2. Free Market Apologist

      There is no such thing as bad weather. There is only inappropriate clothing.

      The NYC snow hysteria has always baffled me — and many of the same people will spend July and August whining about how miserable the summer heat is.

        1. Inverness

          Yeah. New Yorkers aren’t the sturdiest in a storm. Maybe they need more mid- westerners to remind them that storms happen in winter.

          1. inode_buddha

            Dunno, here in the greater Buffalo area we had 7 feet in 2 days last year and we did OK. Most people just partied. And shoveled a lot. Those who were stuck on the interstate for 3 days truly suffered tho.

      1. nigelk

        Maybe that’s what Ted was talking about re: NY values: they are all soft! Not like me, not-Canadian Ted!

    3. Ivy

      NYC residents queuing for food in advance of ominous forecasts are displaying a herd instinct.
      They may also be concerned that the deep and lingering snow would prevent resupplying of those neighborhood grocery stores.
      Here is a look at their thought process, rational or not:
      The typical store is resupplied frequently to allow several inventory turns, so wouldn’t have food to last through extended disruptions. Madge, they’ve run out of rutabagas, what do we do now?
      Combine that with a fear of power disruptions that make people trudge up and down several flights to dark, cold apartments, where there isn’t backup generation.
      Would they risk getting caught in an elevator, or locked in their panic rooms ;)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Modern technology-age civilization is quite fragile.

        The solution is more technology – a fleet of emergency drones to supply a metropolis of 10 million in cases of regular supply disruption.

        Because once you adopt a Pandora’s-box technology, you can’t go back. You must have more Pandora’s-box technologies.

        “We can’t go back. No way we survive. We are addicted, fated for more.”

        1. Antifa

          Nyorkers could stock enough food for months.

          But if they did, then they couldn’t be seen shopping.

          If no one’s watching you, you’re not real.

    4. neo-realist

      New snow fall in NYC makes the city look so clean and picturesque, one of the things that I miss about it. The dynamic of right of way public transportation makes commuting so easy for the most part, even during heavy snowstorms.

      In Seattle, we’ve been fortunate not to have major snowstorms the last few years. When we’ve had them, our state and city departments of transportation have been ill equipped to deal with the problems on the roads created by snow and icy roads compounded by car use and the still predominant form of public transportation of buses using the same pathways as the cars. About 4-5 years ago, a massive snowstorm hit in the middle of the workday causing many spinouts and crashes by cars and buses resulting in closures of roads and highways, car abandonment on highways and buses taking alternative routes stranded in snail paced traffic–my trip home from work took a little over 7 hours:(.

      1. perpetualWAR

        Here’s the difference between NYC snow and Seattle snow, Seattle is a city built in a massively hilly area. In addition, it is ridiculous to think Seattle should invest in the snow plow gear to handle the random snow storms that occur here. When it snows in Seattle, sit back, grab a hot cocoa and enjoy the scenery while staying home.

        1. neo-realist

          At the very least, the Seattle area is starting to invest in more right of way transit (light rail), which will enable commuters to go above or below the snow or the slick ground. Investment which should have started 20 years ago, but the increasingly horrific traffic conditions have finally forced the issue since the hilly city doesn’t leave a lot of room for expanding streets and highways.

    5. Buddy

      It is somewhat amusing (sorry for those hurt). I would not even think twice about going to the grocery store in their weather – but I live in western Michigan.

    6. Mark S.

      Snowed in in DC.

      I think snow hysteria derives from three things:

      1. Media loves it, and hammers away with fear messages in the days leading up to the actual weather.
      2. CYA always pays. No one gets pilloried for not shutting down schools, agencies, etc.
      3. A pathological fear of slowing down and being in the moment. Truly terrifying!

  7. Dave in Ohio

    As a young guy, just 30, that Bernie ad is spot on. I work in the loan mines, junior underwriter in mortgage, in the Cincinnati suburbs. I work with a few good old boys who you might expect to be Trump fans- but they’ve really been turned on to Bernie.

    I don’t think ‘left’ or ‘right’ is what matters to these folks at this point in time- it is based in something more concrete and honest. The fact that he’s not a crook is what matters infinitely more.

    Weirdly enough, a sentiment I’ve heard more than once from folks is “If not Bernie, Trump.” That might confuse the hell out of mainstream pundits but they don’t live in Ohio- they are comfortably ensconced in their coastal enclaves with their domestic staff to deal with the hoi polloi for them. These guys like Bernie because he most directly speaks to their personal issues- but I don’t know all that many pro-immigration folks until you hit well into the upper middle class around here. Trump might be a total con artist but at least he lets them vent their frustration at another of their key concerns in a way Hillary wouldn’t.

    Still, the Bern’ might be the only way for the Dems to beat Trump all else considered. At least that’s the pulse I get from my little slice of Ohio.

    1. Massinissa

      Ive heard the same thing in certain places down here in Georgia, though not everywhere. Kinda Cruz-y in many places. And some of the black neighborhoods are still kinda sorta Hillary but thats changing surprisingly quickly.

      Anyway, I myself think Trump is preferable to Clinton. Not enough that he would get my vote, but I would be relieved if he beat Clinton.

    2. Ulysses

      “I don’t think ‘left’ or ‘right’ is what matters to these folks at this point in time- it is based in something more concrete and honest. The fact that he’s not a crook is what matters infinitely more.”

      Very well said! The simple fact that Bernie has been in D.C. for decades, and hasn’t yet become a millionaire, tells voters of all ideological stripes something that they need to know– he will work for them, not for the people who bought him.

  8. diptherio

    It seems apparent that Bernie is the better strategic option for Dems in the general. Consider: pretty much all of Hillary’s supporters would vote for Bernie in the general, while there are plenty of Bernie supporters who just won’t vote if Hillary is the candidate. A Clinton nomination is likely to throw the race to the Republicans–Hillary is a spoiler candidate, another Nader [/sarc], QED.

    Mathematically, it looks something like this:

    B(G) = B(P) + H(P)

    H(G) = H(P) + .6*B(P)

    B(G) > H(G)

    where B(G) and H(G) represent the vote totals for each candidate in the general election; and B(P) and H(P) their primary vote totals.

    (That’s oversimplifying things, of course, but I have a degree in economics and so feel empowered to analyze complex topics through the use of simplistic faux-mathematics…)

    Hill is a spoiler, tell all your Dem loyalist friends. No matter how much they want to vote for her, they need to swallow their idealism a little and make a tactical decision to vote for the most electable candidate. Imagine a Trump presidency and then vote for Bernie, it’s the only rational thing to do.

    1. craazyman

      What if Bernie has Raoul Castro as his VP?

      If Ted Cruz wins the Repubs it’s hard to know which way the Hispanic Vote would go. There’s a dude named Ted Cruz running right? I don’t follow this stuff very closely. I don’t think it’s Tom Cruise, anyway.

      Too few variables, too many unknowns. But the economists don’t let that stop them. :-)

      1. diptherio

        Does the VP candidate have to be natural-born citizen too, or not? Since he or she is just a bullet away from the oval office, you would think so, right? So I think Raoul is out, even if he could quick get citizenship at Trump’s big, shiny Legal Immigration Door. I think Cruz has the same problem, since he was born in Kenya or something like that…I wasn’t really paying attention. But George Washington wasn’t born in the US either, and that didn’t stop him from being Prez for a couple of terms, so maybe it won’t matter.

        I think Sanders should offer the VP spot to Pat Buchanan, just to mix things up a little. Gotta keep ’em guessing, and anyway, that guy is hilarious!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Our founders are visionaries.

          That term ‘natural born’ was a warning, from over 200 years ago, that one day, robot citizens would seek to replace human citizens.

          Robot citizens are, of course, not natural born.

          They are not natural.

          Note: corporations are not natural born either, thought ‘persons’ or ‘people’ they may be (this, according to the wise men of our land.)

        2. Jess

          Re: George Washington — The Presidential Eligibility provision of the Constitution begins with: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President…” (Emphasis added.)

          Presumably, anyone who was a resident of the original thirteen colonies at the time the new country was formed would be a citizen except if they elected to keep the citizenship of their home country. (Visiting foreigners, diplomats, etc.)

        3. SufferinSuccotash

          “…no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”
          From the 12th Amendment.

      2. craazyboy

        I think Raoul as VP would increase Bernie’s Ted Spread.

        But Donald Trump picked up Palin’s rump
        and Carson support that way will stump.
        The Ted Cruz has hit a bump.

        1. diptherio

          Seriously though, Bernie should tap Cynthia McKinney for veep. She checks off a number of boxes, most importantly the “stick your finger in the establishment’s eye” box that any successful candidate needs to have.

          Sanders/McKinney ’16

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            She can be his ambassador to the Senate, which will be a foreign country to his White House, or his governor-general of Wall Street, a newly government occupied territory.

          2. TedWa

            How about Zephyr Teachout? A woman VP would go a long way in getting the womans vote away from HRC and she is like Warren in many ways, but much younger.

            1. neo-realist

              I would prefer some middle american populist outreach and populism for a Sanders running mate . Sherrod Brown—has supported regulation to break up and regulate banks, supports Glass Steagall, and opposes TPP.

            2. nippersdad

              My first choice as well, my second would be Dr. Jill Stein. Cynthia McKinney, as much as I Iike her, has far too much baggage here in Atlanta, much less the rest of the South.

              1. Antifa

                It would take some serious convincing, but Anita Hill would be a real champion as Vice President. She’ll pick up a huge piece of the evangelical vote, to boot.

            3. Massinissa

              I dunno, wouldnt a Vermonter running with another Vermonter be a bad idea, at least in conventional wisdom? I guess it wouldnt matter as much these days though.

              1. LarryB

                It would be unconstitutional, The president and vice-president have to be from separate states. (Although that didn’t stop Bush-Cheney, the rules don’t apply to Texans, evidently.)

          3. Romancing the Loan

            If I Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t take it I’d try to tap Olympia Snowe to come out of retirement and cross the aisle. Always liked her and if done well she could peel off some Trump supporters.

            McKinney, deserving or not, has the aura of failure that attaches to the Green Party. It would turn off both disappointed older Clinton supporters and moderate Republicans who aren’t quite ready to see a Trump presidency.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Uh, no. Snow is a Republican. I’ll vote for the real thing before I vote for a former Republican turned Democrat for an opportunity.

          4. Yves Smith Post author

            OMG I love Cynthia McKinney! She has balls and is very smart.

            The corporate types would lose their minds.

            But they’d play up that fight she had with the House guards when they tried keeping her out as her thinking she was above the rules…something you can do only if you are rich and white.

            1. Jerry Denim

              Awesome lady and I have no doubts she would be a killer Veep. I loved the work she did discrediting the 9/11 Commission report. I agree her Capitol Hill security flap would seal her fate as being deemed an “angry black uppity female” among those politically agnostic, older, working class, white males who could vote either Trump or Sanders depending on which way the winds were blowing come November.

              Her efforts as a Congresswoman attempting to unravel the “mystery” of rapper Tupac Shakur’s shooting death is a ready made two-word laugh line for a debate and makes her look like a conspiracy nut. It’s a Repug leaning, white voter twofer because not only does it make her appear like a tin-foil-hatter, it also makes her look extra ‘black’ in the bad exaggerated, stereotypical sort of way that racists like to crack jokes about. Investigating who shot Tupac is grape soda and watermelon type material for bigots. I imagine it would prove an irresistible trove of jokes for late-night comedians.

      3. Clive

        I really should learn a lot more about American politics and what is permissible, but would there be anything in the constitution to stop Donald Trump picking Camille Paglia as his VP? Talk about a Rainbow Coalition…

        1. diptherio

          From Camile’s wikipedia page:

          Showalter calls Paglia “unique in the hyperbole and virulence of her hostility to virtually all the prominent feminist activists, public figures, writers and scholars of her generation”, mentioning Carolyn Heilbrun, Judith Butler, Carol Gilligan, Marilyn French, Zoe Baird, Kimba Wood, Susan Thomases, and Hillary Clinton as targets of her criticism.[17]

          Paglia has accused Kate Millett of starting “the repressive, Stalinist style in feminist criticism.”[38] Paglia has repeatedly criticized Patricia Ireland, former president of the National Organization for Women, calling her a “sanctimonious”, unappealing role model for women[39] whose “smug, arrogant” attitude is accompanied by “painfully limited processes of thought”.[40] Paglia contends that under Ireland’s leadership, NOW “damaged and marginalized the women’s movement”.[41]

          Sounds like a perfect fit for the Donald!

      4. ambrit

        If Bernie has Castro as his Veep, it means we have fallen into an alternate reality where the U.S. annexed Cuba after the Spanish American War. That’s why there are fifty five stars on the flag.

  9. PlutoniumKun

    And most importantly of all, Sanders will bring more non-voters into the Dem fold. A Sanders White House may initially face huge problems in getting its way, but he has a far greater chance of giving the Dem a big advantage in subsequent Congressional and Senate elections. Clinton is exactly the opposite, the Dems will shrink down to a core vote.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      I think Bernie scares the DNC as much as Trump scares the RNC. Two rogue candidates who won’t do the bidding of the respective party. Of course one of these two is batsh1t crazy. ahahaha.

      1. allan

        Sanders attracting voters who seek more than protest vote [AP]

        Interviews with more than two dozen Sanders supporters in Iowa and New Hampshire reveal deep antipathy toward Clinton. The longtime front-runner for the presidential nomination is seen by Sanders’ backers as part of the system they want to overhaul. While most Sanders’ supporters seem to view President Barack Obama favorably, some regret that Obama hasn’t been able to achieve more domestic policy goals of the left. …

        “Bernie’s got the gumption and the persistence to win and be a good president,” said Dick Champagne, 74, an independent New Hampshire voter who is backing Sanders and volunteering for his campaign after first favoring Trump.

        Most of Sanders’ supporters who were interviewed backed Obama and remain generally supportive of the president. But there’s frustration over the Asia-Pacific trade deal and the president’s years of dawdling over the Keystone XL oil pipeline. There also is concern that while Wall Street banks have only gotten bigger after the 2008 financial crisis, the economic recovery doesn’t always feel real for the middle class.

        “We definitely want the country to be turned around,” said Lahr, who voted for Obama twice.

        When it comes to Clinton, Sanders’ backers views range from indifferent to disdainful.

        “I have no basis for this, but I don’t like her,” said Carolyn Ferry, a nurse from Eagle Grove, Iowa, who plans to caucus for Sanders.

        The women and elderly. Two foundations of the famous demographic firewall are crumbling.
        How long before, out of desperation, the Clinton campaign starts playing to the third?

        1. katiebird

          My doubts started when she gave up in 2008. She should have pushed the floor fight with her last breath.

          We don’t need a proven quiter.

          Added to that? Her current platform does speak to me at all.

          (I’m not supporting anyone this year but I’m happy as can be that Bernie has an actual platform….. That seems to be whispering my name)

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            She could have fought, but three things spring to mind.

            -the attempt to alter the calendar to get Michigan and Florida so early was a clear naked grab to unseat the process and crush smaller candidates. Voters even her supporters were primed to not buy an argument about fairness from Hillary.
            -the election was underway.
            -Plenty of Obama supporters weren’t fans of Clinton Inc. by then. She would have lost by winning.

            There was not going to be a floor fight while Hillary wanted to maintain a sense of dignity.

      2. Greg T

        No question about it. In fact, Sanders is absolutely unacceptable to the Democratic Party elites. For confirmation, just read Paul Krugman’s recent spate of articles. There is no way they will allow him to win that nomination, even if they have to lie, cheat and steal. Bernie needs massive popular engagement to have a shot.
        Democratic elites would rather lose to a Republican in the general, than countenance a President Sanders.

          1. Greg T

            You’re making my point. Sanders is unacceptable to the Masters. Trump is not ideal for them,but they’d prefer him to Sanders. If they have to wedge Bloomberg into the race to flip the race to Trump, they’ll do it.
            It’s a more nuanced rendition of the Republicans-are-evil,so you have no choice but to vote Hillary.
            Krugman is trying to scare people off supporting Sanders, even though he knows Sanders’ policies are better for them.

            1. allan

              I completely agree. The `Nice try’ was directed at PK, not you!

              One result of the Sanders candidacy will be to clarify who among the Democratic elites (and their media fans) actually still believe in FDR/LBJ-style Democratic values.

          2. JerryDenim

            I think Bloomberg would suck more Trump support than Sanders. Bloomberg is a political shape-shifter who lays claim to being progressive, but he is a bilionaire from Wall Street. Sanders has built a campaign, and is surging, on an anti-billionaire, anti-Wall Street message. I can’t imagine Bernie’s constituency abandoning him for bilionaire Bloomberg.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Does a deep bear market (S&P down 50%) favor Sanders or Trump?

          I am trying work out the outcome of a repeat of 2008 for this November.

        2. neo-realist

          I’m starting to believe that now re the Democratic elites feelings toward a Sanders candidacy. Fight like hell to get him in a position to get elected and hope for the best.

    2. diptherio

      A Sanders White House may initially face huge problems in getting its way…

      And which would you prefer: a (mostly) progressive who has a hard time getting things done, or a neolib who’s good at moving things along?

      Being effective working with Congress is no plus when your policy agenda is detrimental to 80% (at least) of us.

      1. craazyboy

        Things an “ineffective” Sanders can do

        1) Veto, veto, veto
        2) Pick the Cabinet that runs the gubmint
        3) Nominate Fed Chair (maybe just a chair)
        4) Un declare wars
        5) Exec decrees
        6) Pick a few SCOTUS
        7) Decline POTUS Pardons

        After all, that’s where Congressional “gridlock” got us today.

      2. 3.14e-9

        Being effective working with Congress is no plus when your policy agenda is detrimental to 80% (at least) of us.

        The idea that she will have a better chance of working with Congress is not supported by any facts, so why does anyone believe it in the first place? All we’ve got to go on is her Senate record, which Politifact studied and found substantially lacking in bipartisanship. Sanders, meanwhile, worked successfully with John McCain to pass legislation for better healthcare for vets. As a vet, I’m entitled to use the VA system — thank goddess, because my ACA coverage is worse than worthless. After that bill was passed, I saw almost immediate improvement in the amount of time it took to get an appointment, and I started receiving surveys asking whether I was satisfied with the care I was receiving.

        Spot check of Hillary Clinton’s Senate record fails to support bipartisanship claim
        Politifact, Jan. 20, 2016

        Bernie Sanders, the Wide-Eyed Pragmatist
        HuffPo, June 24, 2015

        Congress’s only socialist becomes a bipartisan dealmaker
        MSNBC, June 25, 2014

    1. JCC

      So, what this computer Graphical User Interface designer/consultant is saying is that we need to continue business as usual? And, I assume it’s based on his wide experience developing things like Nissan’s front-facing web page?

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Everyone who hears someone say about Bernie “But..but…Socialism!” needs to respond loud and clear: “We already HAVE Socialism…just not the kind for you and me”. Let’s claw back the $13 trillion in socialist giveaways we made to banks and Wall St, let’s stop the hundreds of billions in socialist Big Oil giveaways, etc etc.
      We need to de-demonize the word “socialism” because Bernie insists on keeping using it and right now it’s a third rail for lots of people.

      1. nycTerrierist

        and let’s not forget our socialist subsidies to parasites like Walmart and McDonald’s, etc.

  10. Uahsenaa

    As an under 40 (not sure this means anything), I too like Simon and Garfunkel, though I grew up with my mother playing her records all the time, which also explains why I loath Neil Diamond.

    As someone who studies media, how soon we forget. The Bernie ad is structurally very similar to this Obama ad from 2008, and its of a piece with “uplifting” political ads where you get successive short clips of decontextualized ideal images of the American public with a loose narrative of “we’re all in this together.” In other words, it’s an ordinary ad at best, one which always invisibilizes that other America, the one where a vet who got both his legs blown off stands on the corner in front of the McDonald’s with a crappy, handmade cardboard sign begging from enough money to eat that day before his hands freeze. I don’t have to look for that America, it comes to me.

    It’s not what turned me onto Sanders way back in the rec center meeting room with 300 other people, when I still bought into the sheepdog argument. It’s his willingness to do that old fashioned form of politicking where you go to the places people already are and you talk to them about the issues that concern them. Frankly, I could do without the hopey changey messaging, but that’s me.

  11. kl

    “How do those of you under 40 react to the Sanders ad?”

    Ads? Like on television?

    People still watch ads?

    People still watch television?

    Or something to that effect. Honestly I am constantly surprised by the fact that things like this matter, even though I know they do.

    1. ScottW

      The Ad has 1,742,000 hits on YouTube. Having two children in their 20’s, I can say most love the music. Young adults are more more in tune with their parents’ music then we were with our parents and vice versa. I agree it was one of the best political ads I have ever seen.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I think sharing ads on social media is just as important as the TV shots today. Of course, we should remember that the type of people who watch TV during the day are the type of people most likely to vote.

      As for the ad, I watched it simply because a mention reminded me of what an amazing song it is. As individuals, Simon and Garfunkel are (according to rumour) terrible jerks, but they made the music of angels. But I for one loved the ad.

      I was wondering though who authorised its use? Is Simon a Sanders supporter, or did they simply buy the license from the record company? I know a lot of song writers from that period lost their publishing rights long term.

      1. diptherio

        They don’t have to clear using the song with the artists. That’s how Romney (or was it McCain) could use that Springsteen tune. At least S&G seem like they might be Bernie supporters.

      2. Eclair

        Watched it once. My initial impression: really really white people portraying the mythic rural America, all hay bales, church potluck suppers, nuclear families, clean air, space. Like a 30 second clip from the Lifetime or Hallmark Channels. No black people, (well, a few in the Bernie crowd shots), no Mexicans, no Asians. Is this a subtle ploy to sooth the fears of racist middle America? Bernie will not force you to live next to immigrants of ‘those people.’ Backwards looking to a nation that, if it ever really existed, certainly no longer resembles the images in this ad.

        1. curlydan

          I’m mid-40s, but I agree. It was very white and unless I was watching a version with bad audio, I didn’t hear his voice until the very end. Killer Mike needs to get on the mike and make an ad.

      3. meme

        According to Variety, Art Garfunkel gave his approval for the Sanders campaign to use the song:

        In comments released through his publicist, Garfunkel said that he “never wanted to gain an influence on the public through my songs, and then use it for my politics. It’s bait and switch.”

        But he also explained how the song is meant to have universal resonance, while it’s also relevant to current issues, including what is being talked about on the campaign trail. He cited xenophobia, and said, “Now I believe the monied interests have gone too far and have rigged the system.” Sanders’ campaign is focused on Wall Street and campaign finance corruption, and he has condemned remarks that Donald Trump has made about Mexicans and Muslims.

    3. diptherio

      I kind of half-way saw the ad while I was cooking (watched it on the youtube) and I don’t get what the big deal is. I mean, it’s just a montage of images with Simon and Garfunkel singing about America, right? And then Bernie says that he approves the message (What message? “counting the cars on the New Jersey turnpike”? I’m confused…). Was there some text (besides the song lyrics) that I missed?

        1. diptherio

          I played the whole thing backward and it sounds like they’re saying “Art is dead”. Wonder what that means?

          1. craazyboy

            You’re overthinking it. It’s visual imagery and an emotional “soundscape” background. The only word you need to make out is “America”.

            Besides, it was only a minute long. You don’t even get the whole song and lyrics.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Sort of like Marlon Brando’s mumbling Godfather.

              All I could make out was, ‘leave my family of American jobs in peace… What guarantee do I have? I will not be the one to break peace…”

            2. flora

              Farms and small towns and lots of people and little kids and even a quick pic of downtown DesMoines. Made me smile. Felt like I’d been sent a Valentine.

            3. jrs

              Yes but at least the last guy to run for president used words: emotional wordscape one syllable words like: hope and change.

              what’s that you said about post-literate ….

      1. aka

        Sounds like a great add but I don’t get TV.

        I do love that song though and Bernie is correct – the US population desires something other than mere money and a gated community to live in with lots of ammo.

      2. low_integer

        I watched it, here in Australia, on youtube yesterday. I liked it, and was left with the impression that a decision had been made to show respect to the viewer. Perhaps it can best be understood by what it did not include, rather than what it did. Just my 2 cents.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I feel many good ads are manipulative.

          The buyers know too much about how the mind works…more than many viewers.

        2. flora

          I’m over the age cut off of 40, so maybe I shouldn’t comment, but my take is the ad shows people from all walks of life coming together and uniting around his issues.

    4. Foy

      From the ‘Master Persuader Hypothesis’ viewpoint I find it very interesting that the Sanders’ Art and Garfunkel TV ad has impressed many people, to the point they are saying it’s “best political commercial I’ve seen”.

      I watched the ad (I’m an Aussie and middle aged) and it seemed like a classic feel good ad to me and generated the pavlovian dog response. But it had zero content, I mean it really said absolutely nothing specific at all, no policies, no plans, no 3 or 4 word slogans on what Sanders is going to do or what he’s going to fix and how he’s going to fix it. Nothing.

      But Scott Adam’s master persuader hypothesis says Identity beats Analogy, Analogy beats Reason and Reason beats nothing (other than maybe a poorer reason) when it comes to persuasion of the masses. This ad is a great example of identity beating analogy and reason. It’s all identity (“They all come to look for America“). There’s zero reason and zero analogy content in it. Zero. And now some say it’s the ‘best political commercial’ they’ve seen. Rather amazing when you look at it like that.

      I hate the fact that reason loses so often and gets ‘trumphed’ by wishy washy identity and analogy arguments. It does my head in to think about it. But it does explain a lot methinks.

    5. Yves Smith Post author

      I think this is one thing the pundits have been underestimating. They assume TV ad buys can determine elections. That’s why a presidential campaign now allegedly costs $1 billion. But if those ad buys don’t reach people under 40 (much), what good are they?

      But I am surprised that no one commented on what I think is one of the main points of this ad: to diffuse the regular depiction of Bernie as angry.

      1. 3.14e-9

        I saw that right away, Yves. But I didn’t comment, because I’m way past 40. :-)

        I’ve watched some of the early videos of Bernie, particularly his first C-SPAN interview. There was some of the fire and brimstone, but at times he came off as kind of shy, even charming. I saw that in his smile at the end of the “America” video. There was something unassuming about it, too — like he was truly grateful to have so much support.

        As for the “Americana” and indeed for the choice of the song, I interpret that as a necessary measure to stave off the red-baiting. He needs to reassure middle America. To many, “socialism” means he’s going to raise their taxes and take away their freedom (confusion between “socialism” and “totalitarianism”). He needs people to know that he’s on their side.

        Last thing I noticed, but only by hitting pause and watching one scene at a time, is that there are more blacks than you can see in a rapid succession of two-second clips. A few other minorities, too. But in any case, this ad is targeted to the demographics of Iowa and New Hampshire. He has a lot of ads on his YouTube channel, and many have minorities featured more prominently. And it’s a safe bet he’ll have something completely different for South Carolina.

        BTW, if you watch his other ads, you’ll notice that the video is made up of recycled footage. The windmills at the beginning are from a spot called “Patti and George.” Their farm in Churdan, Iowa, is in the path of the Bakken pipeline, which Bernie came out against.

  12. PlutoniumKun

    Re: The F-35 and the Gripen

    Of course, the huge lobbying power of the F-35 industry (its a whole industrial sector to itself these days) will ensure that common sense will not prevail. Its been obvious for some time that simply buying the Gripen or Rafale would save countless billions of dollars and provide a decent defence for a few decades. The F-35 is nothing but a big, expensive, flying turkey.

    But what might happen is that all the allies who are being strongarmed into buying the F-35 might finally have enough of the delays and rising costs. The UK has no choice as it needs the vertical take-off variant (which is even more militarily useless than the other variants). But Canada, Norway, etc., have a choice, and if they were to turn to the Gripen or Rafale it could start the process of killing the F-35 off.

    Wouldn’t it be a great first act by President Sanders to veto the spending of on more cent on the F-35? All hell would break loose of course.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        We like to say we have found the perfect man. But no one is.

        There will be many other faults or problematic positions, this one if not this one, no doubt, just like with everyone else.

    1. petal

      He has said the F35 is here to stay, and it can either go to another state or to Vermont, so Vermont may as well get a piece of the pie. Hit the google-F35 Sanders.

    2. Steve in Flyover

      I hate to tell everyone this, but the F-35 is too far along to kill. Around 150 have been delivered.

      As far as complaining about the “F-35 Lobby”, here is the deal……….you are either going to have an industrial base to build combat aircraft, or you are not. As it currently stands, the US industrial base is disappearing. Ask my former co-workers at the bizjet OEMs. The business has been in a recession since 2008, and many of their former outside contractors/suppliers are out of business. The ones that are left don’t want to deal with the hassles of building low volume/high PITA parts for airplanes.

      For the uninformed, this is how airplane development goes.
      -Design and build prototypes and pre production aircraft
      -Do flight testing to find and fix all of the problems
      -Start low level production
      -Production airplanes can be significantly different than prototypes. And they are built by guys who are basically doing OJT.
      -Start deliveries to the buyer. Expect a whole new crop of issues to be found/created when the buyer starts operating the airplanes. (To use a military saying, put a pilot out in the middle of the desert with an anvil, leave him three days, and you will find the anvil broken when you go back to pick him up). While at the same time, the buyer’s maintenance people are in the middle of OJT, learning how to fix the airplane. Many of the problems are created because of the lack of skill and/or training of the buyer’s workforce.

      As I understand it, the F-35 is well along into the last step………..USAF pilots finding/creating problems, and airplanes grounded after being damaged by USAF people. This will be addressed with training, and improving thre design to “idiot-proof” it, among other things.

      1. Brian

        Is there enough evidence yet that this plane will not perform as it is claimed, apparently yes. Does its design allow for upgrade, apparently no. Does it replace any of our existing planes, apparently no. Does it function for what it was conceived and sold to do? Apparently not.
        It seems that to continue to run it up the flagpole is but a boondoggle that guarantees a near worthless plane and profits. This was treason once.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Speaking of old problems that never go away,

          Lincoln supposedly had ways of dealing with these trolls. Reading the article, I’m not sure what that was — check the bit about Brooks Brothers and the toilet-paper uniforms.

          And the US military procurement apparatus has gone through what, five revisions of the Troops’ field uniforms since my time in the Army, each changeover coming harder on the heels of its predecessor and of course at a higher cost, billions to re-equip after all that expensive field testing and the other warfare between “providers” who will lie, cheat and sabotage to get “selected” as the successful bidder…

        2. cyclist

          Projects like the F-35 have become insanely inefficient versions of paying people to dig holes and then fill them in.

          1. polecat

            Why don’t we just rename it the F-PH short for the ‘Flying Phallus’……what do ya say…….

            1. Skippy

              I prefer Barbarella in the – Wild Excessive Machine – bringing a new twist in lost in space to Sci Fi….

      2. Plenue

        Seems like you’re engaging in a bit of ‘blame the customer’ (or should I say blaming the victim?). “Oh, well if the pilots/mechanics weren’t such idiots everything would be fine.”

        The reality is that the plane is a sick joke, a complete piece of garbage designed by scattered committees that keep shoehorning in new features without consulting the other teams, and based on an inherently unworkable master-of-all-trades concept to begin with. It’s overweight and slow, can’t carry the next-gen missiles specifically designed for it, and its engines keep spontaneously igniting. It can’t even fire its cannon because no one has gotten around to writing the software driver for that function yet (and that software won’t be ready for at least another four years). Hell, the cockpit isn’t even big enough for the pilot to look backward while wearing the newly designed $400,000 helmet.

        It really is a sign of rapid imperial decay when a warmongering nation can’t even make new weapons properly.

        1. Gaianne

          “It really is a sign of rapid imperial decay when a warmongering nation can’t even make new weapons properly.”


          We are all wasting our breath. Yes the Grippen would be good.

          But decay is what is happening.

          Plan your own life accordingly.


    3. ewmayer

      Re. F-35: So a funny thing happened last night … I almost never go to the cinema anymore, due to progresive schlockification of Hollywood offerings over my lifetime; these days when I do watch a film on Cable or DVD it is more often than not a B&W one from the good old days, when storyline and dialogue still mattered. But I do on occasion ‘treat’ myself to some more recent H-Wood explosion-and-CGI-filled dreck. Late night last night AMC showed the 4th (and please, let it be the final one) one in the series of Bruce Willis Die Hard films, 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard. Not unwatchable if one is in the mood for the genre and has prepared properly by abandoning all hope of plausible storyline, &c. But I found myself bursting out in loud guffaws near the end, when Das Bad Guys, hotly pursued by a vengeful gun-and-AARP-card-brandishing Bruce, realize that Bruce has managed to inform the government agents (mis)managing the Official Pursuit of their present location and heading, and one underling, on overhearing some military chatter on their intercepted-comms feeds, turns to El Supremo Maldito and says in a quavering, terrified-hush voice, “They’re calling in an F-35.” What, you mean, like in parts, on a series of flatbed trucks?

    4. Matthew G. Saroff

      I like the Gripen. I think that it is the Mirage III of this generation: It provides the capabilities of its competitors in a smaller size and lower costs.

      That being said, this the source is the always suspect Daily Caller, and his charts are simply wrong (It would require a warp drive for the Gripen to exceed the sustained turn rate of theF-22,) and his idea about restarting the F-23 assembly line is delusional.

      This guy is not a military expert, he is a not particularly informed weapons buff.

  13. rich

    PEU Schwarzman Shows Davos to be Insular Crowd

    America’s Red and Blue political teams sucked up to the greed and leverage boys, giving them fundraising titles like “pioneer” and “super bundler.” In return PEUs got to keep their preferred carried interest tax treatment, something the general public has opposed for nearly a decade.

    Voters know the system is rigged when nearly every ex-politicians and public servant is now a senior advisor for a Wall Street or private equity firm. We know who’s deal has gotten better and better the last ten to fifteen years. It’s the PEU crowd, the Wall Streeter, the Davos Man. It’s not us.

    Many thought President Obama’s campaign rhetoric would begin to turn this tide. After inauguration his language quickly changed and he steered his boat to the sweet spot in the current and rode it. Voters are grateful there is anyone speaking to our pain, our needs, to our hearts. The Schwarzman’s of the world don’t see us, much less hear or speak to us.

    Asking Bloomberg to investigate the cause of voter anger, as if it’s a sudden surprise, is laughable. I started PEU Report in 2007 because I didn’t see anyone writing about the seismic shifts in how business is done. Someone noticed.

    Readership varies, but that’s not why I write. A record must be kept. The Schwarzman’s can’t be the only ones leaving their take for the world to digest or regurgitate.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Nearly every ex-politician and public servant is now a senior adviser for a Wall Street or private equity firm.

      “The best government money can buy. And a government that can spend freely.”

      It seems, then, that money is no defense against money.

      The government can create money as will, and yet, it is captured by money.

  14. fresno dan

    Leonid Bershidsky: After just a few days into my visit to the U.S., no fewer than 10 people have told me this country will never adopt a European-style health-care system. It’s incomprehensible to me. I live in Germany and, like 85 percent of all German residents, I’m covered by what’s known as statutory health insurance. It’s financed by mandatory contributions of 14.6 percent of income, shared 50/50 between employer and employee. The earner of the average German annual wage of $43,300 pays $263 per month, and any children he or she has — plus a spouse or partner who doesn’t work — are covered by this amount.

    In the U.S., the average Obamacare premium is $408 per person.

    In general, per-capita health-care spending is almost twice as high in the U.S. as it is in Germany, but Germans receive better service with better results. They enjoy shorter waiting times for surgery and specialist appointments, as well as better health outcomes.

    For the smaller amount of money we pay, we get full coverage of our medical needs. We don’t have to worry about deductibles. The co-payments we are sometimes expected to make for medicines and some special kinds of hospital care are far smaller than our grocery bills and we don’t have to deal with any paperwork — we just hand our insurance card to the doctor and everything is taken care of. Pregnancies, chronic diseases, dental care — they’re all covered under statutory insurance. Medical debt? Never heard of it.

    The remaining 15 percent of Germans are covered by private insurance, either because they’re self-employed or because they want an even higher level of service, shorter waiting times and coverage beyond medical necessity. For many corporate employees, including myself, personal contributions to statutory or private plans are covered by employers.

    My question is, What’s not to like? Why don’t Americans want to pay less so that they could, on average, get more? Is this just insularity and resistance to change, or is Bernie Sanders right about certain special interests preventing the creation of a comparable system in the U.S.?

    Megan McArdle: You’re raising the perennial questions in the health-care debate in this country: Why can’t America be more like Europe? Why can’t we have a system that is both cheaper and covers more people? (And also, advocates argue, produces lower mortality rates.) Conservatives who try to answer that often end up spinning dystopian fantasies of a world where you have to wait 11 months to get your torn jugular patched up.

    These fantasies have the same grain of truth — and the same shaky relationship to reality — as Europeans’ imaginings that Americans routinely die on the streets waiting for health care. The more intensively governments manage their systems, the more they are tempted to resort to rationing by queue, or rationing by not mentioning that that expensive, uncovered treatment exists. But most Europeans — like most Americans — are quite satisfied with their health-care coverage.

    So given that every European system is cheaper, and covers more people, and the uninsured in America are quite a bit less satisfied with the system than others, why doesn’t America sensibly follow its colleagues in the industrialized world? This question is actually two questions: “Shouldn’t we?” and “Why don’t we?”

    Start with “shouldn’t we.” I’ve long opposed a comprehensive national health-care system for America, and my firm belief is that if Europeans were sensible, they’d oppose one, too. Why? Because the profligate, practically unmanaged, wildly uneven U.S. health-care system is subsidizing innovation for everyone else, especially in drugs. Innovative products have two cost components: development of the original product, and production of same. Someone has to pay that development cost, and if Europe bargains hard to get prices down to something like a cost-plus-modest-profit basis, then another country has to pick up the tab. That country is us, because the drab task of turning likely targets into drugs that can be made and dispensed at commercial scale still largely falls to the pharmaceutical companies. If Europe wants to keep its cheap systems yet continue to enjoy new lifesaving advances, they ought to be saying, “Oh, no, it’s dreadful here. You’d hate it, really” instead of sneering across the Atlantic.

    The corporatist system of negotiations, of course, also drives down the incomes of medical professionals. A general practitioner in Germany makes an average of $52,000 a year, or 20 percent more than the national average. A U.S. general practitioner makes almost $142,000, or 250 percent of the national average. Reducing that disparity is a matter of competition and negotiation; besides, German doctors aren’t burdened with student debt (higher education is free).

    Call me insane, but I have a soft spot for McArdle. I can see her point of view because I also had an ideology – the difference being that being a scientist by training, theories have to fit the facts, and not the facts are twisted to fit the theories.
    As Bernie points out, we used to have 90% taxes – now I happen to think that is too high, but we had car companies, TV networks, airplane companies, crops were planted, food grown, and bought and eaten. Indeed, many would argue it was better for more than than it is now for most.
    We also had drug research (only a few years prior to the idea of the double blind placebo trial caught on) – so the idea that only a squillion dollars is enough to encourage anything – well not true – but if people fall for it and your the one getting a squillion, hey, you go for it. The only question is why we are stupid enough to believe it?

    Now, its nice to believe in the market…..if what you believe is factually true. I put the last snippet at the end of the initial quote because most people don’t know how specialists in the USA actually get paid so much. It has NOTHING to do with the market. (its actually a plausible argument against government intervention as the government is defacto setting specialists salaries, but is setting them FAR too high – but I would argue that just shows the government needs reform as well)

    Specialists set their rates to be in sync with medicare. The medical committee that sets rates is completely in the tanks for specialists, who make sure specialists are well taken care of. As general practitioners are not represented as well, their remuneration is much, much less.
    SO MUCH FOR THE “MARKET” BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HIGH PRICE OF SPECIALISTS. It is much, much more accurate to say the market manipulation sets specialists salaries. And one other thing, diminishing the influence of general practitioners is like going to only one investment adviser. A general practitioner is the only individual most people will ever come in that can give a learned and critical assessment of whether that back surgery or knee replacement is actually good for you, without financial reasons.

    The theory of the market, like the theory of communism, works perfectly – except for all those damn humans who manipulate it for their own nefarious purposes…and porpoises….

    1. zapster

      First–we’ve *never* had “90% taxes.” Google “top marginal rates” to see why.

      Second, the companies don’t fund new research. They fund tiny changes to existing drugs to extend patents. New research is done by government-funded universities, mainly.

    2. TedWa

      To add to zapsters comments, Megan McArdle: “These fantasies have the same grain of truth — and the same shaky relationship to reality — as Europeans’ imaginings that Americans routinely die on the streets waiting for health care.”

      They actually are dying on the streets daily in large numbers. A homeless person can expect to die 30 years earlier than an average person. How many die daily as a result of not having health care coverage even when they aren’t homeless? My guess would be 30% +/- of the total average, 6,775 daily (2008 records – the most recent available)

    3. grayslady

      Sorry, but no doctor I know sets her/his rates to be “in sync” with Medicare–and Medicare is my only health insurance. Most doctors set their rates based on what they think the private insurance market will bear. Which means, with a 20% deductible for Medicare, plus annual Medicare Parts B and D deductibles, I frequently forgo care unless it’s a crisis or a free annual “wellness” visit.

      Even with Medicare, I know one doctor who is gaming the system by rating every Medicare patient a Level 5 consultation (meaning highly complex), even though he doesn’t spend more than 5-10 minutes with a patient. When I explained this to my primary care doctor, she was appalled and asked how he could get away with it. I asked her when Medicare had ever audited her work. She was silent. Even Medicare needs greater oversight.

      1. Rhondda

        I think there’s a confusion here, between the “price patients pay” and official “rates of reimbursement” — which are based on ICD codes and set by a committee dominated by the guildmasters of the AMA. The American Academy of Family Physicians only recently secured a seat for “primary care” at that table full of specialists busy buttering their bread, but they can’t even vote! (It’s an utterly reprehensible system that thrives in the shadows — sunlight would help disinfect.)

  15. edmondo

    Am I living in Bizzarro World or is this just another feint to help Hillary?

    Michael R. Bloomberg has instructed advisers to draw up plans for a potential independent campaign in this year’s presidential race….

    …Mr. Bloomberg has lamented what he considers Mrs. Clinton’s lurch to the left in her contest against Mr. Sanders, WTF!

    Edward G. Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania and a past Democratic National Committee chairman, said he believed Mr. Bloomberg could compete in the race if activist candidates on the left and right prevailed in the party primaries.

    Mr. Rendell, a close ally of Mrs. Clinton’s who is also a friend of Mr. Bloomberg’s. “If Hillary wins the nomination, Hillary is mainstream enough that Mike would have no chance, and Mike’s not going to go on a suicide mission.”

    In a three-way race featuring Mr. Sanders and Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Rendell said he might back the moderate former New York mayor.

    “As a lifelong Democrat, as a former party chairman, it would be very hard for me to do that,” he said. “But I would certainly take a look at it — absolutely.”

    1. Jason

      Please let them run not one but TWO billionaires against Sanders. The public is ignorant and bad at critical thinking (by design) but even Americans ought to be able to figure that one out.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Ed Rendell is a world class thug who went on TV and whined because the NFL was urging people to not go to a game in Philadelphia a few years ago during a huge storm. He said it was a sign we were soft as a country.

      1. allan

        Ed `Public Private Partnership’ Rendell was also deeply involved in the hijacking of the Barnes Foundation and its priceless collection, as described in The Art of the Steal.

      2. edmondo

        Also: Mrs. Ed Rendell was given a lifetime appointment to federal appeals court by none other than President Bill Clinton almost 25 years ago. Incestuous much?

    3. Carolinian

      Who would possibly vote for him? Other rich people? This isn’t exactly the year of the establishment candidate. Was he even very popular in NY? Seems like I heard he had to carpet bomb the airwaves to get reelected.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        In 2009, Bloomberg out spent an unknown councilman 14 to 1 despite the national Team Blue hailing noted Bush Republican Bloomberg as their guy to win 51 to 46 percent.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      No, this would hurt Hillary big time. He’d draw away her Wall Street donors.

      He probably hates her. She did jack for the city when she was Senator.

      1. Pavel

        How DARE you, Yves!

        Everyone knows (because, er, she said it in a debate) that Hillary did so much for NYC after 9/11 that Goldman Sachs and the other Wall Street firms showered her with money out of gratitude and respect. (Even though they started doing it before 9/11.)

        Not a huge Bloomberg fan — he basically suspended basic civil rights during protests at the NYC Republican convention — and he is filthy rich with all that implies, but he is a damn sight better than HRC and has a good record on public health issues. At this stage I’d like to see him join just to spite Hillary.

  16. allan

    David Dayen:
    Responding to Konczal & Krugman About Financial Reform and the Role of Segregating Asset Streams

    Well, I seem to have stirred up a hornet’s nest with my story about how attacks on Bernie Sanders’ financial reform plans are better seen as attacks on Elizabeth Warren. It appears Mike Konczal and Paul Krugman have hurt feelings.

    Both of them rather ungenerously don’t link to my actual argument, which is what one does on the Internet when they want to marginalize their opponent. I’ll take the higher road. …

    1. mark

      Dave Dayen is definitely top notch.

      He explains the seemingly complex in ways that I (I’m on the simpler side of things) can understand, and does it in a way that’s interesting. The article he wrote on Puerto Rico a few weeks ago was outstanding.

      And he’s not afraid to go into a lot of detail. Without being dull in any way.

      Or He’ll just drive down to Porter Ranch to see what’s happening with the huge methane release.

      He’s my favourite American political/economic writer of the last ten years.

  17. cripes

    I remember monster storms growing up as a kid on the once-grubby upper west side, and I can tell you it was an occasion for romping and igloo building in hayden planetarium park, throwing snowballs at city buses and celebrating no school. Maybe the tenderfoots on Park Ave were overwhelmed when their doormen had trouble getting them a cab, but we weren’t. The ’67 blizzard, ’65 and ’77 blackouts ended to bring neighbors together, sharing food, sipping wine and keeping vigil with flashlights during the hot summer blackout in 1977.
    Mostly, i remember it as an exercise in community-building. Now, led by the hysterical media, people panic at an inch of snow.
    Sandy, however was a bonafide disaster for some, but not on park ave.

    1. cwaltz


      I have fond memories of sitting it front of the radio waiting for it to tell us we got a snow day. My brother was incredibly enterprising and he’d clean up when it snowed. He’d shovel sidewalks and driveways for neighbors all day and end up with a decent wad of cash.

      Yesterday before my kids went out shoveling OUR driveway I showed them how to line their boots with plastic bags to keep their socks dry. Funny the little memories that come back to you.

  18. Pelham

    Wow! The article on low oil prices is tremendous. For the first time I feel I have some understanding of why this is problematic, and I urge everyone to read it.

    The “American Gripen” item is also quite good. Fascinating stuff.

  19. Angry Panda

    How do those of you under 40 react to the Sanders ad?

    Never heard slash listened to a single song by Simon & Garfunkel, or whatever the group’s name is. Am under 40. The ad looked like your standard – I stress that, standard – positive ad. Show lots of different people (“I appeal to everybody!”) either smiling or excited, show candidate either smiling or excited, lather, rinse, repeat. I stand for America and America stands for me, or something.

    Which is not a bad thing. You could literally keep everything in the ad the same and plug in Obama circa 2008 and end up with a similar effect. What I don’t know is if this ad is enough to counter whatever advertising and turnout efforts Clinton is doing on the ground (and I don’t live in the first primary states so no idea). But on the whole, a nice positive ad whose weakness, if anything, is that if I had know nothing about Sanders the candidate, my reaction would have been – who is this guy and why is everybody so bloody cheerful?

    She seems to think people have not figured it out. Low voter turnout in the US suggests citizens here have.

    Yeah. Let’s totally and utterly simplify the issue, why don’t we. While assuming informed and rational voters.

    One. U.S. elections are on a Tuesday. This is, on the one hand, mindbogglingly stupid, but on the other hand, works very well to limit turnout. People who work for a living might not go the extra mile to either take off work during the day or stop by a polling place in the evening hours. Compare and contrast with countries where elections are held, say, on Sundays.

    Two. In every election cycle there are documented efforts from, shall we say, interested parties, to reduce turnout in key areas via exclusion. Identity checks, purged voter rolls, etc. Even if that adds a few percentage points, that’s still significant.

    Three. Presidential elections in particular are idiotic because 40 out of 50 states in a given cycle (plus or minus) are “true blue” or “true red”. A common refrain in, for example, a “true blue” state (from either side of the political spectrum) is – why should I bother voting if the state is going Democratic anyway. Especially since it’s on a Tuesday and I’m working and then I have to pick up the kids and buy groceries and on and on and on.

    Four. Rational voters are rational. And make rational choices. Always. Rationally. Based on a high level of information about how the political system works, of course.

    Five. No penalties for not voting (legal or socio-cultural). Such things actually exist (or used to) in places, ensuring pretty bloody high turnout, not that this fact alone changes anything.

    The basic idea being – before making a blanket statement about voters, turnout and choices, there are a whole bunch of qualifiers, to put it mildly.

    1. Anon

      I thought workplaces had to legally allow their workers to go and vote, like up to 3 hours or something. Then again, I could be remembering wrong and chalking up the last time I voted to a perfectly-timed day off, but I could’ve swore. Also, what’s to stop people from using FMLA to go and vote?

      1. savedbyirony

        They do. For example, in Ohio an employer must allow for a “reasonable amount of time off” to vote but does not have to pay for the time off.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Presidential elections are portrayed and accepted by many, as two medieval knights jousting each other.

      Maybe we can progress it to a team competition.

      The other thing I will add is the proposal that we give money to those who vote (a positive feedback and it actually allows citizens to buy grocery or make a long-delayed medical appointment).

  20. DJG

    Gosztola gets it right:

    This is why falling for ideas of post-partisanship and even bipartisanship is so deleterious. Obama’s administration has relied on oooshy liberalism that expects no results and oooshy moderate voters who demand no change. The old left/right spectrum is still a good way of analyzing behaviors and of synthesizing one’s own politics. U.S. liberals are wonderful at undermining the left. And if we go by Noberto Bobbio’s characterization of the left as being animated by liberty, equality, and solidarity (those ideas of the French Revolution), then how are Hillary Clinton and claque in any way progressive? A few touchstones: The idea that Edward Manning should be tried in U.S. courts. The Libya comment about “he died” Ghaddafi. The vague plans to attempt to privatize Social Security. The lack of commitment to a regulatory state that is effective. Oh, and the misappropriation of government property, the famous e-mail msgs.

  21. Pat

    I have a standard rant I use for the current attitude for snow in NYC. For years the Citibank commercial had a shot of a NYer cross country skiing up Park Avenue that was filmed one of the first years I lived in NY. Broadway didn’t shut down. Public Transportation didn’t shut down. We may have always put more media on snow than should have happened, but short of electrical lines going down, NYers were assumed to be able to get through it all. And then there was Sandy. Not a snowstorm but a hurricane, and now any big weather event has our leaders going bananas. At least this time they did not shut down the subways, utterly ridiculous. I may cut them a break on the buses because these new articulated buses are lightweights and hard to handle in standard weather. But there is no reason to shut down bus service, just pull those buses. Single buses with chains can handle all of this.
    I do not think NYers are wimps. Our leadership want to appear to be doing something and do press conferences rather than admitting their government workers can handle it and would be better off if THEY stayed home like they urge everyone else to do.

    1. GlobalMisanthrope

      Infeartainment. It’s a phenomenon.

      Sandy may have been the foot in the door locally, but this is going on here in Texas, too. Brazen misreporting of weather conditions have become the norm, as if we can’t just look outside and see for ourselves.

      As I think I’ve said here before, our local school district shut down last winter because temperatures were in the low 30s and there was a 30% or some such chance of precipitation! Whole city upended over nothing. And this is the response of our education system we’re talking about here. Unbelievable.

    2. fresno dan

      My theory of everything that everything is hype in the modern media age – -you have GOT TO fill up those 600 channels – doesn’t matter if its true, or good, or useful….
      I can remember when they didn’t name snowstorms. I remember prior to the weather channel, the weather forcast was about 30 seconds.
      Now 10% more accurate but 900% more yammering about it.

    3. Synapsid


      I agree about the articulated buses. I don’t know if it’s true for all of them but where I live, in the central Puget Lowland in western Washington, the artics have an engine cut-out if they bend too far. The only way to re-start the engine is to straighten the bus out first–the bus can’t re-start the engine without outside help.

      Last time there was a heavy snow there were artics abandoned all over town. I was on one when it happened, and the driver just said “We walk from here, folks.” I did, about five miles through snow a foot or more deep and over steep hills (that’s why a foot of snow can be a problem) but I was dressed for it. A beautiful walk, it was.

  22. Paul

    Bill Clinton, David Brooks, Astroturf & El Camino…. A R-DLC love story

    No wonder Michael Bloomberg is going to run

  23. TedWa

    I just saw that Ripley TV (RT) is hiring Ed Schultz, you know, the one that was fired from MSNBC for railing against the TPP and other trade deals too much. MSM has lost it, if it ever had it….

    1. nigelk

      I felt bad for Ed. It’s like he really thought MSNBC was progressive in any way. Rachel’s absurd posturing for HRC at every turn suggests otherwise

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Donahue and Olbermann were fired despite leading MSNBC’s ratings. It’s really a mark of honor.

  24. fresno dan

    “Jeb Bush said in a radio interview on Thursday that it wasn’t appropriate for Sarah Palin to blame President Obama for her son’s actions.
    Palin’s son, Track, was arrested on domestic violence charges earlier this week stemming from altercation in which he allegedly hit his girlfriend while drunk. The former Alaska governor in a speech on Wednesday said President Obama didn’t do enough for veterans, citing her son.”

    I actually agree with Jebbie…….halfways….its his brother’s fault.

    Palin – could she find it in her heart to blame a republican if a republican got elected and than “Track” did something awful????………………………….Hmmmmm – I think she could – but never herself…

  25. TedWa

    Thanks for the article – Bile, Bullshit, and Bernie: 17 Notes on a Dismal Campaign – quite good.

  26. makedoanmend

    Non-US based person over 50 yo. About Bernie’s TV ad

    Nice music segment. But.

    Obama. Glam messages are meaningless.

    I want my candidate to have two or three issues and a plan of action for each.

    Basic health, wages and disciplined-decent education offered. (On the short, medium and long term an economy that has to stop soiling its only doorstep).

    I want a candidate who is willing to work hard, work smart and fight for the wage slave. I want them to fight dirty when necessary, give blood and if they fail let us know why and who we have to fight in order to win.

    Media is not the message. I don’t need no love letter.

    Show me sweat.

    (Nothing against Bernie nor his ad. Seems the best of the bunch from where I sit.)

    1. nigelk

      I agree. Bernie resonates because he’s meat-and-potatoes and hates the Plutocracy. None present here.

  27. Jess

    Regarding the F-35 versus Gripen story: It mentions the superiority of the latest version of the Russian SU-27 Flanker, the SU-35. Back in 1991 I was researching a Top Gun-type screenplay and the much-decorated retired Navy F-14 pilot who acted as our tech adviser told me flat out, “If you come up against an SU-27 one-on-one, you’re pretty much dead meat. At a minimum you’re in a heap of trouble.”

    1. JTMcPhee

      Hey, since the Global War Industry has no trouble selling parts and assemblies and whole systems across those TPP-meaningless national boundaries, TO WHAT THEY TELL US ARE OUR ENEMIES, why can’t the a$$hotes in charge just go buy a bunch of SU-35s? If the idea is to keep the Knights of the Air riding the best of steeds, while they maneuver at brain-gelling G loads that a computer would not feel, just to get into position to shoot a high-explosive or full metal jacket load up the a$$ of a Knight sporting another lady’s colors? “We” or our Pentagrammatoners sell/give F-16s to pretty much anyone, use the vast mechanisms of Imperial logistics to deploy weapons in large quantities where “terrorists” can just pick them up when the National Armies and Police Forces they were gifted to just drop them and run?

      Rhetorical silly question, of course…

      1. Jess

        Regarding our allies leaving behind weapons when they flee the onslaught of enemy forces: Completely true for land-based systems, everything from small arms to tanks and SAM units. However, in most cases that I’m aware of, the fighter jocks will scramble their planes and fly to a neighboring safe haven. Gets them out of Dodge with a handy gift for the powers at their new home.

  28. savedbyirony

    I’m a bit over the forty year old cut off for the Bernie ad, but i consulted with a niece and two nephews who are all college age midwesterners. We varied on the music choice but all liked the upbeat messaging and also 3 of the 4 agreed it’s too white and rural for the most part. However, we are all also Sanders supports and commercial campaigns are not likely to make much of a difference in our views.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s probably an ad reflective of the general population of Iowa and New Hampshire, and it’s a closing ad to balance the Clinton fear mongering. Strong Sanders supporters are on their own ad wise. It’s an ad for the people who might buy the Clinton attacks. It sounds like Hillary has no operation outside of Iowa and New York. This a huge deal because people don’t vote without being dragged by campaigns to the polls.

      It’s not as white as a Papa Johns ad. 3 NFL players and not one of them is black. Really?

      1. savedbyirony

        I don’t know that this ad does much to counter the Clinton “he’s a SOCIALIST!!” fear mongering but i can see how it could be a good ad for Iowa and New Hampshire except that my family lives in a rural mostly white area of Ohio but we are still acutely aware of a much wider and diverse society and its many needs.

        It’s a good ad, but i’d like to see Bernie make a pilgrimage to Flint not to drink the water but to speak to the people there and further publicly and campaign-wise link their plight to our economic and political blight.

        (Those Papa John’s ads, i agree and so cheesy.)

    2. TedWa

      I admired the ad because not 1 swipe was taken at HRC, as if she didn’t matter – which is true to Bernie voters. The “we’ve all come looking for America” was a nice touch too though.

  29. Defending our Human Right to Blumpkins

    Great catch by Corey Robin article, the Human Rights Campaign, a hilariously fake human rights organization. Their material says nothing, zip, zilch, nada, not a word about human rights. They don’t cite any human rights instruments as authorities. In fact, the first page of their mission statement is a correction: Human Rights Campaign is a ‘civil rights’ organization. That tells you all you need to know: civil rights is nothing but anti-discrimination focused on teeny tiny scattershot beefs. A Dem apparatchik took over some guy’s advocacy group and turned it into a PAC, and gave it the acronym HRC.

    At least now we knew what the Clintons did with their bank bribes.

    1. savedbyirony

      It’s also ironic because HRC is quite misogynistic in both its institutional make-up and advocacy.

  30. ex-PFC Chuck

    At the Corey Robin link “First They Came For… ” the comment by “Roquentin” deserves attention:

    An organization runs like a machine, and the ideas produced serve to allow it to reproduce itself. It is important to think of ideas as produced, in the same way as cans of soup or bottles of beer. The Democratic Party will produce whatever ideas allow it to reproduce the conditions which allow it to continue to exist whether good, bad, or ugly. This is similar to how, say the Communist Party in the People’s Republic of China has next to nothing to do with Marxism or Communism anymore. Even the Democratic Party itself was once the party of the South and all the racism which went along with it after reconstruction. You can think of the ideas such organizations coat themselves in sort of like paint. The ideological paint covers the inner workings of the machine itself.

    The primary mechanism of he Democratic Party is to solicit large donations from big corporate donors and then to transform these donations into mass media barrages which convince certain sectors of the US population to support it. This money is then used by those same major corporate patrons to get the kind of legislation which benefits them and allows them to continue to accumulate capital. There are many secondary mechanisms at work, but one of the biggest is to enrich its politicians before, during, and after they are in office and there are a myriad of ways to do so. I know I’m stating the obvious at this point so I’ll stop.

    Sanders has to win this thing though. He’s the only viable option I can see which doesn’t seem catastrophic for the future of the US.

    1. different clue

      Sanders can’t win it alone here. Enough primary voters have to want to win it “through Sanders” to donate and vote heavily enough to drown the Clintonite forces. It depends on enough people deciding that Sanders is the best tire iron they can find to swing into the mouth and teeth of the elite.

  31. Jim Haygood

    “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Iowa.

    Who’s he channeling? Edwin Edwards, ex-Governor of Louisiana:

    “The only way I can lose this [1983] election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.”

    And he won.

  32. Jay M

    I woke up under the overpass. Don’t laugh, this is Frisco and at $950 per square, my cardboard box landed for $57,000. I sold the last of my Twitter options, finally I’m in the middle class. Dry shaving is a drag, but the line-up at Glide was slender–a 747 from Colombia landed recently at SFO. Hard to get a Bic lighter around here after one of those glides in. Grabbed some cardboard from a corner store and stuffed it in my Chuck Taylors and applied a little shoe polish where my toes were showing and set out to consume some health care. Went to the Medical Center and showed my proof of coverage, they said there are free samples over there. Extended release and I made it back to my hut because they put me out for the remainder of the day. Putting myself in the hands of a higher power, I am.

  33. Pespi

    I’m ann under 40, the Bernie ad sent me into a waking slumber. I appreciate the message, communities come together, things can be alright, but the music and the style don’t do anything for me. Give me big letters promising the nationalization of banks, arrest of bankers, imposition of tariffs, etc etc.

  34. different clue

    Lambert Strether and Yves Smith,

    Is “aka” up at the top of this thread just simply F. Beard yet again under yet another new name?

Comments are closed.