Links 1/24/16

LIVE BLOG: First Storm To Dump 2 Feet of Snow on Both New York City and Baltimore Weather Underground. Make winter great again!

Veteran plows snow with wheelchair WOWT (video). Modded with a snow blade!

Photos From the 2016 East Coast Blizzard Slate

Maine police department offers the best advice for surviving Winter Storm Jonas Daily Dot. From Bangor. Useful advice on snow shoveling!

Chicago school bond sale may attract unusual investors Reuters. Guess who?

A passive response to the match fixers threatens fair play FT. Sports betting.

The World Has Discovered a $1 Trillion Ocean Bloomberg

Silicon Valley braces itself for a fall: ‘There’ll be a lot of blood’ Guardian

Problem drinkers account for most of alcohol industry’s sales, figures reveal Guardian


Leaked memo reveals China central bank’s dilemma in battle to keep yuan stable South China Morning Post

Everyone’s Got a China Call as Markets Grapple With Who’s Right Bloomberg

Kuroda calls for China to tighten capital controls FT

Corbis Images Sold by Bill Gates to Visual China Group Petapixel

China busts 35 restaurants for using opium poppies as seasoning Asian Correspondent

Hiroko Kuniya’s ouster deals another blow to quality journalism in Japan Japan Times


Readers, I’ve got w-a-a-ay too many campaign 2016 links, but the blizzard seems to have brought most other matters to a standstill. –lambert

Hillary Clinton Laughs When Asked if She Will Release Transcripts of Her Goldman Sachs Speeches The Intercept. That’s really bad. Here’s the video:

Just to preempt: This isn’t a gotcha, or is only in a situation where a perfectly rational question is a gotcha. Clinton has proposed to regulate the financial sector in certain ways. Voters, then, are entitled to see the speeches she’s given to that same sector, to make sure she’s not saying one thing to voters in public, and another in interested parties — and big campaign contributors — in private. That’s… .well…. pragmatic, is it not?

How Iowa’s Independent Streak Explains Bernie Sanders’ Meteoric Rise In These Times. “‘The polls are irrelevant at this point,’ says [Dave Nagle, a Waterloo-based lawyer who served as Democratic state chair in the early 1980s and then represented Iowa’s third district in Congress for three terms], who doesn’t endorse candidates. ‘You cannot, unless you’re here, realize what the last week of the caucus is like—the volatility, the pressure’ and the ‘organized pandemonium’ as the campaigns mobilize their bases and undecided voters settle. ‘When that last 20 percent decides to move, it can be mind-boggling,’ Nagle says.” The first comment is important:

I’m a Bernie supporter, but I’m also a former officer of the Democratic party in Des Moines and ALL the media are failing to mention that insurance companies are the largest employers in Iowa. Those folks should be automatic votes for Clinton. That they mostly live in DM means the media will misinterpret Clinton votes in DM as urban votes. No, they will be corporate votes. Bernie’s votes will come from the other seven metro areas and the countryside. Des Moines is a pro-feminist insurance city, and should be a lock for Clinton.

So that was where Clinton’s surrogate, Chelsea, was coming from with her (false) claim that “Sanders wants to dismantle ObamaCare.”

Hillary’s big healthcare con: The cynical myth she keeps repeating about Bernie Sanders and single-payer Salon

As Sanders soars, Clinton goes negative — a bad move The Hill

Sen. Bernie Sanders Speaks to the Issues Ebony

Hillary Clinton and the Northern Strategy Counterpunch. The term “Southern Strategy” has the advantage of having been named, contemporaneously, by political practitioners. But this post is good clean fun.

Endorsement: Hillary Clinton has needed knowledge, experience Des Moines Register

Rubio claims momentum from ‘Register’ endorsement, others skeptical USA Today

Donald Trump Says He ‘Could Shoot Somebody’ and Not Lose Voters Time. The actual quote: “They say I have the most loyal people — did you ever see that? Where I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters. It’s like incredible.”

Grassley introduces Trump at rally: “We have an opportunity once again to make America great again” Bleeding Heartland. Anybody but Cruz!

In Reversal, Campaign Says Ted Cruz Does Have Health Insurance WSJ (and the red meat version).

This is why we’re so f*cked: Our politics are only going to get worse Salon. From last November, but still interesting.

2016 (Bloomberg run?)

Bloomberg, Sensing an Opening, Revisits a Potential White House Run NYT. “[H]e would be willing to spend at least $1 billion of his fortune on it.”

In a three-way race featuring Mr. Sanders and Mr. Bloomberg, [Ed Rendell, a close ally of Mrs. Clinton’s who is also a friend of Mr. Bloomberg’s,] said he might back the former New York mayor.

“Michael Bloomberg decides to hold a gun to the head of American democracy.” The New Republic. Quoting Democrat insider’s insider Neera Tanden:

As to the power dynamics, Lincoln, Cooper Union, 1860: “A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, “Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!'” So Tanden identifies with the highwayman. As does Operative K.

Is it crazy for Michael Bloomberg to run for president? Maybe not. Monkey Cage, WaPo

Is Bloomberg out to ruin Hillary Clinton’s party? Globe

Donald Trump Would ‘Love’ to See Michael Bloomberg Run NYT

What Bloomberg’s entry would do for Trump FT

Bloomberg Presidential Run May Be Just What His Company Needs Most Variety. So does Bloomberg Politics recuse itself?


US forces setting up airbase in northeast Syria: sources AFP

US ‘prepared for military solution’ against Islamic State in Syria Sidney Morning Herald

Exclusive: Saudi-Iranian proxy war over Syria spreads to Davos Reuters

Imperial Collapse Watch

Guantánamo parole board clears Yemeni who was victim of mistaken identity Miami Herald. Mistaken identities were made…

DoD Weapons Tester Concerned about F-35 Software Development Defense News

Flint Water

A ‘man-made disaster’ unfolded in Flint, within plain sight of water regulators LA Times. In the context of: (the Emergency Manager system (paying the bondholders)). This is a finance/Wall Street story, too.

Governor Snyder: You Were Not Hired to Be Jerry Lewis emptywheel

Class Warfare

Your job is about to get ‘taskified’ LA Times (MR).

Desperate in Davos: policymakers struggle for answers Reuters

Lucha Libre, Bolivian style AJ+

How Stories Drive the Stock Market Robert Shiller, NYT

Sincerity – the subjective rationality of markets Magic, Maths, and Money. The secret of success

Why understanding gut reactions is key to building powerful movements Waging Nonviolence

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. craazyboy

    I guess you really can’t run out of Beach Boy tunes…because they’re re-usable!
    Plus, this is more fun than crossword puzzles, especially for snowbound East Coasters.

    For instance, take the “Sloop John B”…

    The HFT

    We’re the Captains of Industry
    My Quantum computer and Me
    Around cyber space we did roam

    Quoting all night
    Got a sell price right
    We feel we can mark up
    Made that stock our own

    So crank up the HFT
    Everyone place their bets
    Call for the Captain’s floor
    Let me quote high, the buy will be nigh
    When we feel we can mark up
    Made that stock our own

    You can’t beat a cyberpunk
    The Captain can deal in junk
    The constable has to come and take him away
    The S E Ceeeeee
    Why don’t you leave me be, yeah yeah
    When we feel we can mark up, that’s liquidity

    So crank up the HFT
    Everyone place their bets
    Call for the Captain’s floor
    Let me quote high, the buy will be nigh
    When we feel we can mark up
    Made that stock our own

    (So crank up the HFT)
    (We’re the Captains of Industry)
    (My Quantum computer and Me)
    [fade to light speed]

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Bloomberg , another neoliberal scumbag who wears a blue shirt. I thought we had Hellery to fill that role.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Are there more billionaire politicians waiting to jump into the ring?

        That’ will be sight to behold when the lucky one gets to run the more-than-thrice magic-lantern money spending machine…to help the tired, the poor and the huddled masses, of course.

        “My initial $1 billion bet, sorry, investment was money wisely spent.”

        And what makes it valuable is that there is only one such universally powerful machine in the world.

  2. Torsten

    From: the Trillion Dollar Ocean:

    ” . . . perhaps there’s a chance to develop the Arctic without destroying it.” WTF??

      1. andyb

        I remember when massage pervert Al Gore declared in 2006 that the Arctic would be ice free in 10 years and the polar bears would disappear. The reality in 2016 is that the only danger to polar bears is Fukushima radiation and that the ice mass of the Arctic has increased by one-third (see NOAA satellite overlays).

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Skeptic arguments that Antarctica is gaining ice frequently hinge on an error of omission, namely ignoring the difference between land ice and sea ice.

          In glaciology and particularly with respect to Antarctic ice, not all things are created equal. Let us consider the following differences. Antarctic land ice is the ice which has accumulated over thousands of years on the Antarctica landmass itself through snowfall. This land ice therefore is actually stored ocean water that once fell as precipitation. Sea ice in Antarctica is quite different as it is ice which forms in salt water primarily during the winter months. When land ice melts and flows into the oceans global sea levels rise on average; when sea ice melts sea levels do not change measurably.

          In Antarctica, sea ice grows quite extensively during winter but nearly completely melts away during the summer (Figure 1). That is where the important difference between Antarctic and Arctic sea ice exists as much of the Arctic’s sea ice lasts all the year round. During the winter months it increases and before decreasing during the summer months, but an ice cover does in fact remain in the North which includes quite a bit of ice from previous years (Figure 1). Essentially Arctic sea ice is more important for the earth’s energy balance because when it increasingly melts, more sunlight is absorbed by the oceans whereas Antarctic sea ice normally melts each summer leaving the earth’s energy balance largely unchanged.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Comparing ‘apple months’ and ‘apple seasons’ to ‘apple months’ and ‘apple seasons’ seems naturally intuitive.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              I have a link regarding the Artic waiting in moderation. Essentially the same thing, the ice is vanishing, but with slightly different causes and effects.

              Have had bad luck with the moderator recently – I must be an immoderate kind of guy… but I’m going to try putting one more quote regarding the arctic (the article discusses both). The gist of it all is that nature is hard to predict – especially when you want to make it say one thing – but that it is becoming harder and harder to argue that these ice masses are not disappearing. By the time it’s too late to worry about it, much like smoking only for the human race rather than a tragic but relatively small number of individuals, we will all be able to agree it occurred.

              1. perpetualWAR

                When I was in college, I worked in the Teton National Park. I took lots of pictures of Mount Moran, which was my daily view. Mount Moran had a glacier that they used to call the skillet glacier because it looked like a round skillet with an egg inside it.

                I went back two summers ago. The “skillet” glacier looked like a guitar glacier because the round skillet had melted and lost both sides of the former skillet.

                It was obvious that the glacier was melting. Very obvious. And sad.

          2. Brooklin Bridge

            Arctic sea ice decline is the sea ice loss observed in recent decades in the Arctic Ocean. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report states that greenhouse gas forcing is largely, but not wholly, responsible for the decline in Arctic sea ice extent. A study from 2011 found the decline to be “faster than forecasted” by model simulations.[1] The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report concluded with high confidence that sea ice continues to decrease in extent, and that there is robust evidence for the downward trend in Arctic summer sea ice extent since 1979.[2] It has been established that the region is at its warmest for at least 40,000 years and the Arctic-wide melt season has lengthened at a rate of 5 days per decade (from 1979 to 2013), dominated by a later autumn freezeup.[3] Sea ice changes have been identified as a mechanism for polar amplification.


        2. Brooklin Bridge

          2015 in review

          The year will be remembered for three major events in sea ice extent: the lowest Arctic maximum in the satellite record, the fourth lowest Arctic minimum in the satellite record, and a return to average levels for Antarctic sea ice extent after more than two years of record and near-record highs.

          The record-low Arctic maximum occurred on February 25, 2015 and was among the earliest seasonal maxima in the 37-year satellite record. It was likely a result of very warm conditions in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Barents Sea (4 degrees Celsius or 7 degrees Fahrenheit above average), and low ice extent in the Bering Sea in March (when the maximum would more typically occur). These climate conditions were related to an unusual jet stream pattern as discussed in our April 7, 2015 post.

          The fourth lowest Arctic minimum occurred on September 11, 2015 and was likely a consequence of very warm conditions in July and an increasingly young and thin ice cover. The thinner ice is consistent with a tendency in recent years for large polynyas that appear in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in late summer. Although measurements by the CryoSat-2 satellite indicated that Arctic sea ice was thicker in 2015 compared to pre-2012 thicknesses, the ice behaved as though it was still quite thin.

        3. legendary bigfoot

          The funny thing about memory and cognition is that it isn’t etched in stone nor is it necessarily accurate or precise. Scientific instruments can make measurements and provide data that is more difficult to refute if one limits oneself to facts and reason. In this case we know that the Arctic sea ice is thinner than ever, more easily broken up, and less likely to contain multi-year ice. All of these are measured things, done by instruments.
          For some people, this fact means the ice extent is the same. In reality, it is not at all the same, and it is dishonest to argue that it is.
          However given an opportunity to join in the joyful process of smearing and abusing your betters with lies that some cliques of willful dupes have agreed upon is popular in some quarters. This makes you a Lumpy Rutherford, the submissive, vindictive sidekick to Eddie Haskell, the sociopath who knows what is right but chooses wrong as a Pyrrhic protest of some sort. In the meantime we can look at reality as measured and wonder that there are so many Eddies with so many subordinate, craven Lumpies behind them.

        4. different clue

          Over what time frame has the arctic ice mass increased by one third? On what date was the arctic ice mass a third smaller than it now is?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The LA Times article reminds us that there is another man-made disaster here in California – the gas leak north of Los Angeles.

      Hopefully, the blame doesn’t stop at low level munchkins.

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

    Here’s another Counterpunch article, re: Clinton v. Sanders

    Clinton Now Red-Baiting Sanders

    With the latest batch of polls showing Bernie Sanders, in the wake of his feisty showing in Sunday’s debate against Clinton in Charleston, SC, gaining on her in both early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, and nationally, the Clinton campaign and the leadership in the Democratic Party seem to have lost both their minds and whatever principles they may have had.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      If Sanders wins the nomination, he will be President. The punditocracy and the rest of Team Blue elite are so in the tank with Clinton they won’t be able to claim to be independent observers, and a Sanders win will be representative of the third clear defeat of Clinton Inc. in eleven years starting with Dean’s chairmanship. Obama handed over power willingly, but even if Sanders did, there wont be a Obot cult to protect him or Team Blue.Without Hillary’s celebrity patronage, who will want the punditocracy and countless Team Blue strategists? Not voters, and by extension not corporate America. What good is Krugthullu if he has no advertising reach or opportunity to be proven correct? Automation would achieve the same effect.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There are still many months till November and an increasingly tired stock-market bull.

        My always bad reception crystal ball just got even worse.

      2. Jim Haygood

        ‘If Sanders wins the nomination, he will be President.’

        Knowing nothing about candidates, from the eight-year partisan alternation pattern one would predict about a 10% probability of the D party winning a third term after the unpopular 0bama slithers back under a pumice rock in Hawaii, hopefully never to be heard from again.

        Bringing individual candidates to bear, Hillary tilts the D party’s 10% default probability toward zero, while Bernie Sanders tilts it decisively higher.

        Still, it is hard to imagine Sanders besting George McGovern’s 37% of the vote in the 1972 election. Some serious thinking out of the box would be required to overcome this dynamic.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Speaking of the late George McGovern, when was the last time you heard a presidential candidate say this:

          “I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”

          Not something you’re gonna hear from the phony-a$$, mil-puppet ‘peace laureate’ currently impersonating the president. And prolly not from the Bern neither (with all respect).

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              It also didn’t help McGovern, who was definitely to the left of many, that the economy for the middle class was far better off in 1972 than it is today, nor that some of McGovern’s proposed policies – such as effectively eliminating inheritance (no matter the merits) – were simply unpopular to a relatively well off society with, again, a relatively healthy industrial sector and far stronger unions than today, but indeed Eagleton finished up any possibility of even a modestly good showing.

              There is little comparison between ’72 and now other than “incumbent party fatigue” (the term from: Larry Bartels of Vanderbilt University), which I doubt is anywhere near as hard right now as it might possibly have been in ’72 had other things been equal.

              But not everyone agrees that the “rule” is reliable. Lynn Vavreck of UCLA, coauthor of “The Gamble,” thinks the pattern may be partly coincidental. If you look more closely at those elections, she notes, the incumbent party often performed quite well. In 2000, Al Gore actually won the popular vote, but he lost the electoral vote (and the presidency) in the Supreme Court. In 1960 and 1968, the incumbent party lost but by a margin smaller than 1 percentage point. “Those were almost ties,” Vavreck notes. Take those three examples away, and the pattern isn’t so impressive anymore.


              True, Obama is not leaving a good economy which may be more important than incumbent party patterns, but people are waking up to the fact that the economy has less to do with party and more to do with corporate control of both parties – which is largely what Sander’s run is all about.

              1. Brooklin Bridge

                I meant to say, “There is little comparison between ’72 and now including ‘incumbent party fatigue'” (since Tricky Dick was president).

              2. Oregoncharles

                “In 2000, Al Gore actually won the popular vote, but he lost the electoral vote (and the presidency) in the Supreme Court. ”

                Yes, and the Dems visibly colluded with his “loss.” No wonder he left politics. This is the best single evidence of collusion to maintain the 2-term tradeoff, followed closely by Kerry’s bizarrely bad campaign in 2004 (he lost the debates to W – how can I emphasize that enough?). There is also the nomination of Romney, unpopular in his own party, in 2012, followed by HIS “incompetent” campaign. Excuse me while I go back and put scare quotes on “incompetent.”

                I know Lambert has questioned this theory, but I think it’s the only plausible explanation for some very strange political behavior.

                Remember. if the Republicans can cheat in elections, so can the Democrats – they aren’t actually dumber.

            2. different clue

              It also didn’t help that McGovern sought to appease the same garbage shit filth DemParty leadership which he had just defeated for the nomination. Picking shit-turd Eagleton for his Vice Pres was part of that appeasment process. That appeasement of his enemies AFter deFEATing them also cost him respect and votes.

          1. fresno dan

            It is remarkable to me how there is not one serious “peace” candidate or platform even advocated. Indeed, it doesn’t even have to be “peace” – just, no more foreign involvements unless we are really in danger of attack by a nation.

            1. andyb

              Speaking of “peace” visions, where the hell has Code Pink been since the start of the neocon rampage over the Middle East?

              1. SumiDreamer

                They are very active — just got back from LV aggravating Trump. (Medea lost her coat.)

                Subscribe to their emails; and they always love donations. : )

                1. montanmaven

                  Have they been aggravating Hillary and Bernie as well? Hillary, of course, but Bernie funded the Iraq war and said something odd about getting Saudi Arabia to help out in Syria. So shouldn’t they be targeted as well? At least Trump said he can get along with Putin. So sounds like he doesn’t want to start WWIII or continue the new cold WAR that the present administration is doing.

            2. Torsten

              But that’s the unifying position–“no more foreign involvements unless we are really in danger of attack by a nation.” Kudos, really, to both Trump and Sanders for taking this most fundamental “peace” position! None of the other possible nominees comes close to even this low bar.

            3. TedWa

              Hi Fresno dan : Went to a Bernie meeting yesterday and they handed out cards and on the back of 1 was : “Support International Conflicts – Don’t start them”. I think that’s far removed from the Imperialist America mindset to set some minds here at ease over voting for him. ObamaBush have had more than their share of starting conflicts with no end in sight, HRC promises to do the same, Bernie, very doubtful according to this statement.

              1. lindaj

                Repeat reply to a repeat comment from Ted WA (on the political ad post from Lambert)

                Bernie sez: “Support International Conflicts – Don’t start them.”

                Huh? Keep supplying arms to the Saudis to decimate Yemen? Keep supplying arms and $$ to Israel to demolish Palestine? Keep supplying Al Qaeda in Syria to get rid of Asad and in the process killing of Syrians or causing them to flood into Europe? Keep sending troops to Iraq?

                Bernie has no problem with militarism and the above message embodies Imperialist America and this is why I will never vote for Bernie.

                Jill Stein of the Green Party has principled positions on policies, both foreign and domestic. Or do Americans really not want peace and justice in this world?

                If voting for someone like Stein is not viable, then we better quit pretending that voting will get us anywhere and think of something else.

            4. TedWa

              Hi fresno dan : I Went to a Bernie national address meeting here yesterday and they handed out cards and on the back of 1 was : “Support International Conflicts – Don’t start them”. I think that statement is far enough removed from the Imperialist America mindset to set some minds here at ease over voting for him. He’s always been for peace unless there were actually threats to this nation.

            5. Oregoncharles

              You aren’t actually serious about that statement, are you? I know of at least one – heard her speak the other night, to 120 people in a small city. The natives are restless.

              (I was responsible for this event, so it’s a point of pride. But no pom-poms.)

              1. Montanamaven

                You are right. Mispoke. Jill stein is a peace candidate and I voted for her actually. I meant of the people getting the attention, Trump seems the only non interventionist. Rand Paul has that position too, but he has disappeared. It’s all very discouraging. I’ve been trying to avoid electoral politics but keep being drawn in. Still doubt I will vote. Sigh.

              1. Yves Smith

                You’ve got your dates a bit wrong. Hitler did not assume power until 1933 and the war-mongering didn’t start in even a serious way until Hitler had gone full bore for military Keynesianism for a bit. Bruning engaged in austerity and used the idea of a customs union with Austria and building IIRC some pocket ships to make it go down better. Remarkably, Germany was initially able to re-enter the bond market but when Bruning started pushing the low-grade rearmament to garner domestic support for the continued pain (IIRC, this was May 1031), France, Germany’s biggest source of loans, balked, precipitating the Creditanstalt crisis.

                And in fact, Sanders is the one candidate who is surging and is not selling war. Trump is loudly anti-war and is not suffering for taking that position either. So the media is trying hard to sell war, but the dog is not eating the dog food.

        2. neo-realist

          Flukes happen occasionally—Poppy Bush got elected after 2 terms of Reagan, with a little help from some old time SOP republican party racism, e.g., Willie Horton. Dukakis didn’t help himself either looking like a little kid playing soldier posturing in a tank.

          Trump might be hard to beat imo because of a personal likability factor among low information voters, which our country, unfortunately, has many, but an entry into the race of a corporatist such as Bloomberg may help siphon votes from Trump and isolate a Sanders as a potential winner of the national election.

        3. Yves Smith

          Bernie is such an outsider that he does not carry Democratic party baggage. He has as much to do with current Dem policies as Bloomberg, previously a Democrat and a very big anonymous donor to big name charities (the usual arty ones plus leftie ones including Emily’s List) did with the Republican party when he ran as a Republican for mayor. Bernie’s politics are middle-of-the-road Democrat of the Democratic party of the 1960s and early 1970s, so hoary and ancient as to have almost no relationship to current politics.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I hope he doesn’t take it for granted, even though the university has spoken.

          Stay focuses and forget the oracle.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          270 is the only reality in Presidential elections. The Democratic candidate has every Kerry state plus Iowa and Ohio locked. Republicans need to dig deep to win Florida, Virginia, and Colorado which still means they lose. If Hillary’s operation is done, plenty of low information Hillary supporters won’t show up, and a plea from a random celebrity* won’t motivate “supporters” to vote.

          *I can’t think of anyone except Warren who would shake up the democratic race in any way. A 70 year old from Vermont is drawing crowds as large as Obama did until he was more or less the nominee without Oprah. Hillary is stumbling despite countless endorsements. Of course the strength of Oprah was more about energizing voters who were close to choosing Obama.

          1. Vatch

            Bernie will be ObamaRama Part 2.

            If Bernie Sanders is elected President, it’s not likely he will be another Obama. We have 25 years of voting records in the House and Senate for Sanders, and those records indicate a remarkable consistency by Sanders in opposition to the oligarchy.

            What did we have for Obama in 2008? 4 undistinguished years as a back bench U.S. Senator, and some skill as a public speaker. A lot of people, myself included, made some incorrect assumptions about candidate Obama. Long before 2012, we knew what a fraud he was.

            If you are really concerned that Sanders might be an Obama style fraud, you ought to be able to find hundreds of smoking guns in his Congressional voting record. So far, nobody has found such evidence, probably because he’s not a fraud.

      3. Oregoncharles

        Don’t forget McGovern, the last insurgent candidate actually nominated (1972 – a long time ago). The party apparatus sabotaged him, along with the media. That would happen again, and a Sanders campaign has to provide for it. That is, it has to be almost entirely independent of the party. but I guess he’s used to that.

        Don’t forget Ted Kennedy, either: 1968. The last insurgent candidate to win against an incumbent or anointed candidate (Hubert Humphrey, last of the old-time liberals.)

        1. Yves Smith

          The party apparatus is already trying to sabotage Sanders, with not much effect. I think the fragmentation of media is working to his advantage. In 1968, you had all of 5 vehicles that shaped mass opinion in the US, and there was not a lot of breadth of opinion among them: CBS, NBC, ABC, Time and Newsweek. TPTB can’t control the messaging, as hard as they are trying. Look at how Bernie has surged despite the MSM first ignoring him and/or mentioning him only dismissively, and increasingly going on the attack.

    2. Benedict@Large

      RE: “Hillary Clinton Laughs When Asked if She Will Release Transcripts of Her Goldman Sachs Speeches” || The Intercept”

      This needs to be viewed in the context of Clinton’s e-mail problem. Namely, that this woman is very selective about who gets to hear what about what she’s thinking.

    3. jrs

      Oh for heavens sake he’s not a socialist. And why does it even matter. Because some form of socialism (ie worker control of the means of production) would be a GOOD IDEA. But instead a candidate that may run on watered down social democracy probably won’t of course even be able to actually implement that, although mostly due to the political system of course.

      There’s lots of things I wonder about Sanders, like if we wants single payer why did he invent his plan out of whole cloth (not the single payer idea of course, but the means of paying for it) when a single payer bill already exists in the house? Why didn’t he just say: I support that. It’s fishy, like he’s not really serious about it. But whether he’s a socialist no.

      1. Carla

        Agree re: Bernie. If he so wanted single payer, as a Senator he could have sponsored companion legislation to HR 676, the Medicare for All bill in the House. However, unfortunately HR 676 has not been re-introduced in the 214th Congress. Don’t know what’s up with that. All of a sudden the 63 co-sponsors in the 213th Congress decided it’s not a good idea after all?

        I support and will vote for Jill Stein.

        1. Vatch

          Jill Stein isn’t the only Green Party Presidential candidate. I’m aware of two others: Kent Mesplay and Joe Demare, and there may be more. The candidate won’t be decided until the August convention in Houston. The Democratic convention is scheduled for July 25-28 in Philadelphia, so we’ll know whether Bernie Sanders is the Democratic candidate before the Green convention. I intend to wait until we know whether or not Sanders is the Democratic candidate before I even consider which third party candidate to support.

        2. Vatch

          A little research showed that Sanders introduced a Medicare for All Senate bill in the 113th Congress, but nobody bothered to co-sponsor it:

          He’s been rather busy during the 114th Congress, and it’s unfair to blame him for failing to perform the jobs of the entire Senate. If someone else would introduce the bill, I’m sure he would co-sponsor it. As for HR 676, it was reintroduced in the 114th Congress, and if it passes the House (not bloody likely), I’m sure Sanders will support it in the Senate:

        3. 3.14e-9

          S. 1782, “American Health Security Act of 2013.

          I haven’t read it in its entirely and compared it to H.R. 676, but it includes Medicare for all, single payer.

          1. marym

            “Those of us at Physicians for a National Health Program support John Conyers’ H.R.676, which would establish a national single payer program (after all, “national” is in our name). Those who believe that we should follow the lead of Saskatchewan and first establish single payer on a state level may prefer H.R.1200/S.1782. Regardless, since these bills will not receive a vote in the current Congress, they should be used as advocacy pieces as we explain to the public why single payer is an imperative.
            State versus federal is a secondary issue. We’ll have neither unless the people understand and start demanding single payer…”


            1. 3.14e-9

              Good find.

              McDermott is my congressman. Even though it had zero chance of passage, I still supported McDermott for introducing this and other legislation that truly was progressive. Sadly, he endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, which shocked and disappointed many of his supporters. He recently announced that he’s not going to run again, but if he were, his support for Clinton shows that he’s not serious about working for any meaningful change.

      2. cwaltz

        All that Bernie needs to do I point out that our form of capitalism isn’t exactly working. Jobs are being offshored to countries where workers are allowed to be exploited. Jamie Dimon just got a large raise for laying off 6700 workers. People are cobbling together jobs and still unable to cover their high deductible for health care that DC gave us. It’s not capitalism is proving to be a healthy model that shows the majority of us getting ahead.

      3. Rhondda

        Well, it doesn’t matter to you and me, but — for example — my husband and I took his mother (78, lifelong Team D blueshirter from Independence, MO) to brunch today. We were talking politics and she said, “But Bernie’s a…socialist.” She really said it that way, with a kind of aghast pause. I said The Things I Should’ve but I could see from the flinty look in her eye that none of it mitigated that word. TPTB have spent a couple generations and a lot of money and energy making sure she’d have just that reaction. Hard to undo.

        1. Vatch

          That conditioning is hard to overcome. Perhaps one could say that he is really only a semi-socialist, because he supports people’s private property rights. And one could also say that he’s definitely not a communist. Saying things like that might work with some people, but not all, unfortunately.

  4. Dino Reno


    The answer is to watch the capital flight as it accelerates.
    Phony invoicing is boosting transfer payments overseas making GDP numbers questionable.

    “Now, with the government placing limits on the purchase of foreign currency, there is suspicion that over-invoicing on imports may be allowing some Chinese investors to move money in the other direction. They point to a very surprising 64.5 percent spike in imports from Hong Kong as a possible smoking gun.

    ‘As both imports and exports to Hong Kong broke with trends in a major way, it suggests the figures are likely driven by capital flight,’ wrote Oliver Barron, head of research in the Beijing offices of brokerage North Square Blue Oak.” —Fiscal Times

    “The worst thing China’s leaders could do now would be to fall back on the tired old trick of supporting employment by building roads, bridges, and apartments. Gunther Schnabl, a professor at the University of Leipzig, says that lax lending merely keeps zombie enterprises on their feet: “If you do not have a hard budget constraint, you do not have an incentive to put forward dynamic, innovative investment.” Judging from the amount of capital flight that China is experiencing, a lot of people in the Middle Kingdom are worried about precisely that.” —Bloomberg

    Panic has set in as the debt bomb appears ready to go off.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Kuroda calls for China to tighten capital controls.

      Sounds like he is meddling in China’s internal affairs by calling for a new anti-corruption mandarin-czar.

    2. Banana Breakfast

      On the small scale end of Chinese currency purchases, banks near Chinese universities will often have speculators standing in the lobby offering to buy foreign (especially US) currency for cash from foreign students who are there to convert their cash and don’t want to bother filling out forms and talking to the bank tellers in Chinese. Personally, I’ve never even had to convert my cash because these guys generally offer the same or better rates as the banks and just hand you the money then and there, no questions asked.

  5. Unorthodoxmarxist

    Bloomberg is clearly going to run as the candidate of the majority of the ruling class if Hillary loses. That being said, why can’t we use the spectre of Bloomberg as another reason to beat the drum for electoral reform: abolition of the electoral college, a popular vote for president, and IRV/proportional representation in Congress?

    I’m a Jill Stein supporter but it makes me quite angry to see the hysteria every 4 years on the part of Dems and Republicans that someone else might run who isn’t on the duopoly’s lines.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A popular vote for president and a popular at the United Nations.

      All voters of the nation (and the world) count.

    2. Propertius

      abolition of the electoral college

      Just as a practical matter, I think that any amendment to do this would fail ratification by a pretty large margin. There’s no way that less populous states will ratify an amendment that effectively strips them of any role in Presidential elections and the ratification process gives every state equal influence, regardless of population.

      1. Steven D.

        Popular vote state compact has more than half the electoral votes needed to become operative. Needs 271.

  6. Marc Andelman

    The world is facing an increasing water quality crisis, commensurate with the water quantity crisis, as people are driven to use water of worse quality. Yet, water technologies tend to be few, insufficient, and often older than the alphabet. For example, there is only one method widely used to treat dissolved ions and other salts; reverse osmosis. That is a poor choice where the volume of waste water is important, which is always with inland feed streams, or, for some difficult to treat yet common contaminants, such as Nitrate. A new technology for treating dissolved ions and salts, with many applications and many as yet not fully unexplored possibilities, is capacitive deionization. Published studies indicate that capacitive deionization has better energy performance than reverse osmosis, better water recovery, and less need for maintenance and up stream “pre-treatments”. This can be a keystone technology that enables energy and water savings in the many ubiquitous water and energy using technologies where progress has stalled. This includes cooling towers, the largest industrial use of water, appliances, and water heaters. Capacitive deionization, at least in its modern form, was developed by a private inventor, and has attracted ever increasing interest among technology practitioners worldwide.- Marc

    1. efschumacher

      If the Twitter image doesn’t show up below here is what it says:

      “In wine there is wisdom.

      In beer there is freedom.

      In water there is bacteria.”

      Not a sentiment I would have expected in leafy Gloucestershire.

      Hannah Randall ‏@Hannarri 2h2 hours ago
      Dry January: not a thing in Gloucestershire
      Embedded image permalink

  7. cnchal

    Re :Silicon Valley braces itself for a fall: ‘There’ll be a lot of blood’ Guardian

    And then another that works as a middleman with bail bondsmen, referring to them as an “underserved industry”. “They’ve been a little demonized because they’re viewed as predatory – the payday loans, bail bonds guys”, the founder Jordan Kelley says. “We make high risk much lower risk but introducing a familiar, friendly brand: Romit.”


    1. MikeNY

      “Disrupting” the payday loans and bail bonds industry! Wow, SV really is changing the world.

      My instinct tells me that SV will crash when the torrent of residential construction hits the market in SF. The four 100+ unit buildings within 5 minutes walk of me all come online in late 2016.

      1. low_integer

        The fact that Silicon Valley CEO’s are concerned with obtaining a status symbol portrait of themselves, taken by Kevin Abosch (with signature black background) for the meager sum of $150 000 tells me all I need to know about the creativity in Silicon Valley’s higher echelons. Yes, I’m sure there are exceptions.

        Btw I finally figured out the raison d’etre for the one million Euro potato photo: Abosch is Irish, and so was the potato famine. Others here probably drew this connection earlier. It’s still just a photo of a potato (with signature black background) though.

      2. cnchal

        Ka Ching

        There’s Yodder, an on-demand acne prescription service: “Upload a photo, download a prescription. Remember, life’s already bumpy so keep your skin smooth.”

        Ka Ching

        And finally an earnest guy in a dress shirt gets up to pitch Halolife, an e-commerce site for burial services.

        “It’s a $20bn industry,” he says. “Everyone dies.”

        The gig is up!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          With public funded gene research (think leverage, with other people’s…meaning yours and ours…money) and their own billions for the anticipated pricey annual maintenance and needed serene lifestyle, it’s possible our demigod billionaires (some of them, at least…that is, the ones who are both rich and smart) ascent to become gods in heaven, living in mansions in the sky.

          That’s why we need science…or today’s version of science, i.e. rich people’s science.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Will Silicon Valley’s bracing for a fall be, in itself, an act that will worsen the fall or, who knows, actually precipitate the fall?

      1. Ron

        My son in laws startup company was purchased late last year making millions for shareholders the issue with SV may not be startups which has always been very high risk but large returns but instead the giants such as Apple, HP and others face lower demand and more competitors.

  8. Steve H.

    – insurance companies are the largest employers in Iowa.

    oh. wow.

    This helps me realize just how susceptible I am to caricature.

    1. Uahsenaa

      Um, according to the report put out by the state of Iowa itself in 2012, government is the largest employer, followed by manufacturing (John Deere, Rockwell-Collins, et al.), followed by education and health, followed by retail, followed by hospitality, followed by business services, followed by FIRE, which would put insurance in the seventh largest category. If you split out education from health, it would bump FIRE up to 6th.

      Now, as a Dem operative, he is right in noting that insurance companies have an outsized influence on politics here (and in showing that Des Moines is an island unto itself), but it’s not like the disappearance of health insurers from the economy would have any more impact than it would on other states. It’s no surprise the Register backed Hillary.

      Again, as someone living in Eastern Iowa, I’ll reserve judgment until I see what happens in the gym a week from tomorrow.

      1. Steve H.

        Thank you, took a closer look. It looks like he’s not talking sectors, that ‘biggest’ refers to the individual organization. Principal Financial Services/Life Insurance is the top single employer in Des Moines, third in the state after a citigov and a hospital.

        Which gives some insight into his thinking. He’s a political operative, and you can’t get a tax-deductible donation from a sector, only from a ‘citizen’ exercising free speech.

        Like you, I assumed he was referring to health insurers, but I’m not sure that is the case. Hospitals / medical providers dominate the list of top employers in terms of number listed, so perhaps that influenced the thinking. But he does seem to be Des Moines-centric.

        1. Rhondda

          Lotta property insurance firms up there in the Des Moines area, as well. Maybe he was slinging “insurance” around rather loosely…?

    2. Carla

      Uhm, Steve H. and Uahsenaa, the quote said that the insurance industry was the biggest employer in Des Moine, not in Iowa.

      1. Steve H.

        ?? “… insurance companies are the largest employers in Iowa.”

        We must note, though, that the quote is from a comment, not the body of the article, and isn’t subject to journalistic standards. Uahsenaa did good calling attention to the bias in the statement.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          From the Greater Desmoines partnership (Wall Street underlined, insurance in bold (and I’m adding the health companies because from a voter/employee standpoint, they’re very near neighbors):

          Greater Des Moines regional industries include financial services, insurance, government, manufacturing, trade and service. The metro area’s finance-insurance sector has a $3 billion annual payroll.

          A selection of the largest private employers in our service area is shown below,

          Wells Fargo & Co. – Financial services and home mortgage
          Principal Financial Group – Financial services
          UnityPoint Health – Des Moines – Healthcare
          Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines – Healthcare
          Nationwide – Insurance
          DuPont Pioneer – Crop inputs for worldwide agribusiness
          Mercer – Insurance
          Meredith Corporation – Magazine, book publishing, TV, integrated marketing, and interactive media
          John Deere companies – Agricultural machinery, GPS, consumer financial services
          Hy-Vee Food Stores Inc. – Retail grocery and drugstore chain
          Wellmark Inc. – Health insurance
          UPS – Logistics, distribution, transportation, freight, customers brokerage
          Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations – Global distribution center for ag tires
          Emerson Process Management Fisher Division – Control valves and systems, divisional headquarters
          JBS USA, LLC – Pork processing and packaging
          Lennox Manufacturing – Heating and air conditioners
          Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company – Reinsurance
          Vermeer Manufacturing Company

          1. Steve H.

            I had looked at a source that had Principal with 6 times the employment of Wells, but I’d like to pull things back to the underlying point, if I could.

            BLS has total employment (thousands) at 1,647.5, and total nonfarm at 1,584.7.

            For me, that upends my assumptions about the Iowa economy, and reinforces what the commenter was trying to get across, that the article reinforces false stereotypes about voters in Iowa. For example, the article contains this phrase: “the taciturn character of Midwestern farmers,” when it’s clear from the numbers that farmers aren’t particularly relevant in terms of numbers of voters.

            BLS link:

          2. Uahsenaa

            There seem to be mixed signals here. I wasn’t actually doubting that insurance has outsized influence (which I said) or even that in some areas insurance companies aren’t the largest employers. I was responding to the quote, which was making claims for the entire state. In CR, for instance, Rockwell is the largest employer BY FAR, the University in Iowa City (where it’s highly problematic to separate out the hospital as distinct or akin to insurance), until very recently cities like Waterloo, the Quad Cities, Mason City, etc. were large manufacturing bases and, though diminished, remain somewhat so to this day. Then there’s meatpacking in the NE and Marshalltown. Pella still employs a large number of people (and their business is highly localized), trucking (CRST mostly but there are other players) has become big business in the IC-CR corridor, and then there’s companies like Cargill and General Mills who run a little under the radar, but you can smell them from miles away.

            However, setting aside the issue of mere size of businesses and focusing on political influence, you have to think about testing companies like Pearson and ACT who certainly have outsized influence on national politics and have profited handsomely from education “reform.”

            I can provide links, but since doing so generally gets me into moderation purgatory, I decided it was better to make the claim without them.

  9. hidflect

    People are inevitably comparing Hillary’s run with 2008 but I would say it’s worse than that. A souffle does not rise twice and people aren’t as excited this time around as well as having had more time to see her hackery. She was the dreary inevitable of ’16 until Sanders rode into town and now people are overcoming their fear of change and switching horses. I think this email scandal is a pretext for people to abandon her. Most probably don’t give a damn about the deed itself.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Hillary lost women 30 (maybe 35) and under in 2008. It matched who was 18 in November 1996. The 17 year olds who couldn’t vote in 2008 weren’t going to vote for Hillary, and basically Hillary has seen a birth death model of eight years that is going to crush her. She did nothing since 2008 except briefly appearing as a team player to alter perceptions of Clinton Inc, and Clinton Inc.’s record is what it is. Time will only increase the number of her former supporters as they review the Clinton era and Hillary’s resume.

      1. cwaltz

        Her “team playing” was to her detriment. Essentially what it told me is that Team Clinton is a status quo candidate that will do exactly what the DNC and the monied interests want her to do and to hell with the voters themselves.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Hillary: the charisma of Claire McCaskill with the ethics of Bernie Madoff.

        What’s not to like?

        1. Rhondda

          My senator.
          Extremely vile. Ms. McCaskill is a poster child for everything that’s wrong with the D’s, imho.

    1. petal

      And I did see a giant Hillary sign in West Lebanon, NH yesterday. It had fallen over in the afternoon but was upright again when I drove through at night. I think it is the only one I have seen yet (of any size).

      1. perpetualWAR

        The only bumper sticker I have seen for Hillary in Seattle was hysterical. It was on a brand new Corolla that was delivering for Domino’s. *laugh

  10. alex morfesis

    Bloomberg to bernaze his brand by “failed” last minute run…seeing how el donaldo has been able to create a multibillion dollar increase in global brand value for his trump organization…bloomberg wants some of that free pr globally to help sell more terminals…a billion dollar presidential campaign failure would get a much higher roi than a simple bloomberg corp media campaign…smart move on the choice of spicy bernaze glaze to go with the salmon…might i suggest the ionian retsina with it…

    1. Dr. Roberts

      Keeping Sanders out of the white house is probably worth a hell of a lot more than the advertising opportunity. If he can take New York he’ll totally screw the Democrats’ electoral calculus. He could potentially win a couple other northeast states, say Connecticut and Rhode Island, and he might be competitive in Florida. Elsewhere his presence would prevent Sanders from capitalizing on Trump’s weakness. Maybe I’ll go work up a map. If he takes New York and Florida, and Sanders is able to dominate the mid-West, maybe Sanders has a chance anyway.

      1. alex morfesis

        bloomberg wont even get new york…he was the mayor of 97th street down to the battery…the rest of the city…he did nothing of any consequence that would not have happened on its own…new york city is the only major city that has 5 legal jurisdictions in it (the merger was done to prevent chicago from claiming at the time to be the largest city in america)…he made life manageable for the one million people who he thought were important for the image of new york city(the battery 2 97th)…nothing he did for new york city bled into upstate new york…or the island…in fact, he helped rebuild jersey city with his policies…there is no one I communicate with in the nyc metro area who had a sadee that “bloomie” was gone…

        he will do a john connally…(emphasis on the con…)
        (useless factoid…connally translate in greek to channel…kanali)

        he is a fragment of his infatuation…or was that a figment of his…

        slogan for campaign…why is he running…

        because he can…

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          “When the Republicans were popular, Bloomberg led the parade, and when the GOP brand was toxic compared to Team Blue, Bloomberg jumped ship to independent status showing a kind of leadership very few show in today’s society. Vote Bloomberg. He’ll claim to like you if he perceives you as popular with the right sorts.” -paid for the Super Committee to restore Victorian values

        2. Propertius

          In a three-way race Bloomberg doesn’t have to “take” New York – all he has to do is split the “blue” vote sufficiently for the Republicans to get a plurality (and hence all the electoral votes). In fact, he doesn’t have to win a single state to disrupt the Democratic electoral calculus.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Does Bloomberg like Trump’s wealth tax on assets over $10 million (hat tip to fresnoda below)?

          2. cwaltz

            He also has to actually get on the ballot and get the signatures by each state’s deadline.

            He better get crackin’. South Dakota’s deadline is in April and requires him to get 2775 signatures. And I’d say based on his name recognition in Iowa that he has a some pretty heavy inroads. I’m also interested to see how the mainstream media intends to justify allowing this third party candidate to take part in debates when just last year they were arguing that third party candidates weren’t allowed.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              I think if he had announced much earlier a billionaire could have made noise (as Nader predicted and Trump is demonstrating), but at this point, it’s a tad presumptuous. The message is the voters aren’t behaving therefore I have to put them in their place. Perot was at least interesting. Trump is already running on the “hey, I’m a rich guy from New York City. ”

              Bloomberg isn’t discussed outside of Versailles and Manhattan. Washington, Jefferson, Hoover, Kennedy, and the Roosevelts had careers where they were natural candidates to aspire to high office such as the President, but Bloomberg would just be running to be first in his class.

      2. Steven D.

        Bloomberg won’t get a single state. The question is who he tips different states to, Bernie or Sideshow Don, or Hillary if she turns things around. My guess is Bloomberg knocks Hillary’s legs out giving Trump a clear shot. Bernie could turn it into a battle against the billionaires.

        My guess is Bloomberg goes heavy on the gun issue, and makes a play for the gay vote and the NPR demographic, seeking to peel just enough votes from Bernie to tilt it to the Donald. Bloomberg also is going to bring in the phony centrist No Labels corporate lobbyists. Now we know why the Commission on Presidential Debates said they would make provisions for a third party candidate. They were talking with No Labels and Bloomberg. The fix is in. Lambert called it at the time. I think Bernie just needs to keep playing his game.

        Bloomberg doesn’t dislike Hillary or even Trump, so much. He’s getting in because he thinks Hillary is toast and he wants to keep Bernie out at all costs.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Bloomberg would be a complete non entity. He sank almost $100 million in a reelection effort for a 5 point win over a nothing candidate.

        2. Yves Smith

          Bloomberg is actually vulnerable on the gun issue because he was also the biggest perpetrator of over the top militarized policing. He bragged about having the seventh biggest arm in the world, and with real up-to-date combat hardware and training. He was determined to make NYC safe for all those foreign flight investors. He’s responsible for turning NY into a London wannabe.

          Someone clever could position it that his being anti-guns is not at all benign when you pair it with his authoritarian policing.

  11. timbers

    I’m starting to connect some dots to form a pattern.

    Bill has female companions and the press is pretty quite about it which is odd given it might hurt Hillary and change the outcome of primaries, and they wouldn’t shut up about Bill’s affairs when he was in the WH.

    So why is that?

    Maybe that is what Hillary’s base wants, to hold their powder dry until they need it to blackmail her. Suppose she strays and dares lift a finger on the people’s behalf once in the WH? Then out comes the press with Bill’s affairs and it’s Monica Lewinsky (change the names and dates) 24/7 for eight years to distract the public and Democrats. So Team Blue does for Hillary what they did for Bill – another springs up to defend the victimized Democrat and declare “victory’ for avoiding Bill’s impeachment (sucking the energy out of any progressive policy push), as Bill rams thru the biggest give-a-way to Wall Street under the radar (repealing Glass-Stengel, etc).

    Same playbook, different spouse. They won’t even have to change “President Clinton” in the script. Dems think they “won” for protecting their team as she gives away the store to Wall Street.

  12. Uahsenaa

    I suppose Bloomberg would be the plutocrats next choice, since Hillary is bombing out, and the Repubs can’t get their !@#$ together enough to push one of their golden boys far enough into the running to compete. I am a little mystified by the implication that Mike would take more votes from Bernie than the Donald, seeing as Bloomberg actually is the very cartoon plutocrat that Sanders rails against.

    1. ambrit

      I’m guessing that this is an example of just how far out of touch with the Nation Bloombergs’ crowd is.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Bloomberg is more of a great white hope among the elites who failed to grasp how limited Clinton Inc.’s popularity was. I imagine the thought is Hillary, herself, is deeply unpopular and that by switching candidates they can save America from Sanders. They will even meet us half way by offering a 70+ Jew, just like Bernie.

      It’s basically a repeat of the Biden speculation which will cease once his record is made known. An architect of police brutality isn’t going anywhere.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          If you mean Gillibrand and not my college lady friend, I think she would make a great VP candidate* since Tulsi Gabbard won’t be 35 until April.

          *As good as any Senator can be which is a low bar, but there aren’t many Team Blue governors or people with legislative records. She has not been awful as a Senator and fought the good fight over mass rape in the military against the usual Team Blue villains. As Senator she can easily be replaced in New York.

          1. neo-realist

            Gillibrand opposed TPP–potential to hurt upstate NY manufacturing jobs. While she would be a fine VP choice, I believe she is going to keep her powder dry for 2020 or 2024.

      1. cwaltz

        The key word here is “elites.”

        If it’s elite it isn’t going to be stealing from Bernie’s base much. No matter how much they might wish differently.

        Personally I think it will be fun to see Bloomberg TRY to qualify in all 50 states for the ballot running as an independent. He might be able to get on the ballot in NY but I think some other states may present a problem for him.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          His only chance would be to bankroll the libertarian candidate and get them to do signatures.

          Can you imagine a Bloomberg supporter trying to explain why Wal-Mart shoppers should sign a ballot petition? I hated petition drives for popular people.

        2. Oregoncharles

          I’d sign his petition (not sure it works that way in Oregon). Who’s he going to take votes from?

          The more the merrier, I say. Lowers the bar.

          1. Yves Smith

            1. The Greens will not get over 1% in any scenario

            2. While Bloomberg in the mix increases the odds of Sanders winning the Dem nomination by presenting a more appealing option to Wall Street big $, he would suck away the Hillary voters who would hold their noses and vote for Sanders in the general election out of a loathing for Trump or Cruz. So you as a professed far leftie by US standards (which is center to center-left by world standards) are willing to undercut your best chance this cycle for real political change. Sanders with a big margin over Trump or Cruz could shift the political center of gravity in the US in a lasting manner. The 2010 Dem rout had a very high % of seats lost by only 1-2%. Tom Ferguson’s county by county analysis of the Scott Brown vote in MA showed a very high correlation between house price declines and propensity to vote for Brown. If Obama had been less inept in how he managed the economy, the results would have bee very different. Sanders is repudiating the Obama/status quo strategy and he’ll boost progressive Dems (like Alan Grayson for Senate and Tim Canova) and anyone who is smart enough to engage in anti-Wall Street messaging.

            I’m mystified that you would effectively help Trump or Cruz out of a fondness for disruption. Bloomberg is not going to win. He’s just going to fuck up the Dems. Now if Hillary looks like she will win, that might be an outcome sorely to be wished, but I would tend to hold my decision in abeyance until it’s clear whether she rallies and holds off Sanders or continues to flounder. Given the political views you have repeatedly expressed, Sanders is the best fit with your positions of anyone who has any hope of being elected. I’m worried about his ability to govern, since he’s never run anything bigger than a town of 40,000 people. but he did that well and (unlike Carter, who was a total outsider and didn’t get any seasoned DC types on his team) he know very well how Congress works. By contrast, Hillary despite being nominally more seasoned, had made a mess of her two big projects: the Clinton healthcare plan and her time at State. As a New York citizen, I can’t name a single thing she did for the state as Senator. And I can’t take Jill Stein seriously. She does not remotely have the background to be a credible candidate. If you want the Greens to be seen as credible alternatives, you and your allies need to get a much better bench.

  13. allan

    Rancher renounces his federal grazing contract at Ammon Bundy event in Oregon

    A rancher from New Mexico renounced his U.S. Forest Service grazing contract at an event held by an armed group occupying a national wildlife refuge in Oregon to protest federal land-use policies.

    Adrian Sewell, of Grant County, New Mexico, took the action at the event attended by about 120 people at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. A group led by Ammon Bundy began occupying the area in eastern Oregon’s high desert Jan. 2.

    Bundy has said the federal government has no authority to enforce federal grazing contracts with ranchers. …

    For the BLM and Forest Service, grazing fees are based on something called an animal unit month, or AUM. That’s defined as the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.

    That’s set through a congressionally mandated formula. Currently, the cost is $1.69 per AUM. Grazing contracts typically run 10 years. The BLM said that in fiscal year 2014, it spent $34.3 million on livestock grazing administration and collected $12.1 million in grazing fees.

    Apparently internet radicalization of ranchers by the Cowliphate is of no concern to the feds.

    1. Antifa

      One New Mexico rancher tore up his BLM permit to graze 85 cows on 34,000 acres of public land, claiming those acres “historically” handled 600 head. Whether that means he won’t graze his 85 any more, or will graze them without paying, or will now graze 600 cows isn’t clear. Nor is it clear whether the BLM considers his renunciation real if it isn’t canceled in writing. It’s a legal contract, after all. Shoot, you can tear up your home mortgage any time you please, and it won’t impress the bank in the least. A contract is in effect until you cancel it in writing or violate its terms, pardner. Stand over here, and the judge will explain it all to you.

      This cowboy will make his move when he gets home, but unless he and some friends take over a local building, the BLM will deal with him as a lone offender should he do anything frisky.

      I’ll hazard a guess that “historically” there used to be a whole hell of a lot more water available on those 34,000 acres than there is now. That’s true for all of New Mexico, and for the Southwest in general. So this renunciate rancher’s claim that 600 cows can live out there is unlikely to be current. Most of New Mexico runs at about 85 acres per cow, but there are whole chunks of the state where 34,000 acres will barely keep one skinny goat alive. Grazing plants need water just like critters do, and they need it first. New Mexico is drying up at a ridiculous rate.

      Since the gummint is clearly subsidizing all these ranchers anyway, perhaps the most elegant solution is to triple their pay if they’ll go to college and earn a Ph.D. in biology, ecology or a similar environmental field. Whatever they’re making off beef cows right now, triple it for as long as they stay in school.

      If they ever do get their degree, they can write up a world class environmental plan for taking care of all the hundreds of plant and animal species native to the Malheur ecosystem. If their proposal wins peer approval, they can start right in managing the preserve.

      Along the way they will have discovered that beef cattle are not natural or beneficial to that environment. Nor are sheep, goats or horses. Even bison never prospered there. They will have learned that most of the animal, plant, and fish species native to that land must die if anyone brings beef cows in there at all. That cows destroy that environment in every direction.

      Or, they can ignore all that free money and education, and keep going with what they’re doing. Hey, Federal penitentiaries have decent libraries. These cowboys can get started right there. One way or t’other, they’re going to learn the facts of life at some point.

      1. perpetualWAR

        Or perhaps every single one of you complaining about the ranchers can just STOP EATING BURGERS, eh?

        1. different clue

          What percent of the beef cattle in America begin their lives on Public Lands to the benefit of welfare ranchers?

          What percent of the beef cattle in America begin their lives on land which is privately owned to begin with?

          How will boycotting hamburger which began its life on privately owned land to begin with affect the deployment of welfare cattle on our public land by welfare ranchers?

          If one wants to stop welfare ranching on our public lands, perhaps one should figure out specifically which meat-makers buy the welfare cattle to turn into hamburger, and boycott those parTICular meat-makers until they stop buying welfare cattle from public lands. That would be more specifically targetting the problem.

          1. perpetualWAR

            Okay, let’s see how many of you complaining about the ranchers actually do any of the above. Or if you will just blog about how much you hate the ranchers, continue to order burgers for lunch and sleep well at night.

          2. perpetualWAR

            Personally, I’m just glad someone is taking on the stupid federal government and winning. Very effing glad.

    2. Elliot

      The media is missing the fact that this is being instigated and supported financially by some very large mining and development corps, and mega-lease holders (Koch is a name that should ring a bell). And then supported by a few in-pocket legislators… this is a drive to privatize all national lands and to basically make a separate, corporate owned country of the west. Drilling in the national parks, log all the forests, then sell off the lands to developers.. that is what they have in mind. The militia doofuses are useful idiots.

      From a family of western farmers and ranchers, I can tell you that their claims of BLM taking land are bogus; of overreach, bogus too; and that just because they want to ranch and have us pay them, or they live near a national forest, doesn’t mean it is theirs.

      Why the backers aren’t being charged with sedition (which is what this is), I don’t know but it is alarming. This especially as the backers are brazen enough to say that if Bundy is arrested there are lots more groups to come forward and they are well armed.

      Add in very insane, bass-ackwards construing of the Constitution, which they think entitles them to shoot the police if they try to arrest them, and to pass death sentences on people who disagree with them, and we are sitting on a powder keg.

      1. different clue

        How many armed Westerners agree with your position? Does such an overwhelmingly preponderant supermajority of armed westerners reject the actions of the Malheur squatting carpetbaggers that the few-and-far-between armed governmental law enforcers would feel confident in having Western public support if they decided to enforce law against these carpetbaggers?

  14. Andrew

    Re : problem drinkers account for a large % of booze sales.

    File under : no shit, Sherlock !

    It’s not frequently questioned as to why so many feel the need to drink so much (often to excess), and why the amount of people admitted to the NHS for alcohol related problems has risen in the last ten years. Like the recent report here on the rise of poorer whites in the USA succumbing to the crapification of life by hitting the bottle, so it seems a similiar dynamic is underway here in the UK (which has always had a fairly big drinking culture anyway).

    1. perpetualWAR

      Why are people drinking more?
      I can tell you: watching the government and the big banks collude to steal everything you have managed to set aside for your whole goddamn life. Watching your neighbors get kicked from their homes unlawfully and not a goddamn elected official even giving a shit. Watching this effing country go down the drain, a country I used to respect, a country I used to believe in. NO F*CKING MORE.

      And I stopped drinking because I was one of the people who were a problem drinker due to all the crapification of this damn stupid country. F*CK THAT.

  15. ProNewerDeal

    I happened to listen to Meet The Presstitutes with Chief Incompetent “Journalist” Chuck Todd today. At the show beginning, they played a clip from H Clinton at a campaign event “I’m not interested in ideas that sound great on paper, but would never work in The Real World”

    The nations with Social Democracy dominate the top of various lists of nations, on social mobility (which I alternatively label “the likelihood of hard work actually paying off”), on health measures like life expectancy & infant mortality, etc. Sanders in particular references Denmark as a nation whose social democratic policies he approves of.

    On health care, a Canada-style MedicareForAll system has 3 yrs higher life expectancy than the US, 100% CANs coverage compared to the ~85?% USian coverage, contributes to CAN’s median adult net worth being over double than of USians (US$80K v US$37K), & costs much less than the US (iirc 12% of CAN GDP vs 17% of US GDP is the total healthcare costs). Other nations like Denmark have a MedicareForAll type system as well, they provide better or equivalent health outcomes at far lower cost than the USian Barbaric Sickcare System.

    OTOH, the US ACA system is unique, as in uniquely a ripoff for median or crappy quality compared to other nations.

    I could go on with other proven Sanders policies.

    So which is it H Clinton?
    1 Is H Clinton low IQ, low intellectual curiosity lightweight ignoramus like a Sarah Palin (“I read all da papaz!”) to be unaware of MedicareForAll’s success in Canada & other nations, & Medicare in the US for the 65+ cohort? BTW, “journalist” Chuck Todd, perhaps you want to mention what H Clinton thinks of CAN-style MedicareForAll, & how Hillary can label it a system “that never works in a real world”. Hillary & C Todd, a pair of Doucheus Maximi.

    2 Or is H Clinton insulting the USian voters’ intelligence with her comments, believing a majority of US are so stupid as to buy the bovine feces that she is selling?

    I have a feeling a lot of us voters are not going to eat this feces sandwich Hillary is offering, & will vote for Dr. Jill Stein if H Clinton wins the D nomination.

    1. cwaltz

      It’s not that Hillary is a low IQ, low intellectual curiousity lightweight ignoramus. It’s that she thinks WE, the voters are(and in some instances she would not be wrong. When you are holding down 2 jobs to pay the bills you tend to not have time to burn on discovering things about the world you live in.)

      She IS running as Mommy in Chief after all. She’s going to protect us from the horrible, terrible, awful dangerous world because as a liberal elite she considers us incapable.

      1. montanmaven

        Also most people are too busy working to do research when some politician makes a statement. So they listen to the news and people like Todd or Maddow and get misinformation or downright lies. I remember that before 2005 I just took what people like Krugman or the people on “The News Hour” said as truth. I really didn’t take the time to check. Once I was awakened, like a free range chicken set free , I never looked back. Now I question everything much to the annoyance of my friends.

    2. different clue

      It would be an interesting experiment to see how many vote for Stein as against how many vote for Trump if Clinton or Biden is the D nominee.

      1. Pavel

        I heard Jill Stein do a 30 minute interview on the Scott Horton Show a few months back. She was intelligent, clear, straight-talking, and had great views on foreign policy (pacifist) as well as the economy. I was very impressed indeed.

  16. efschumacher

    On Taskified Work:

    You ever been to Athens and seen the Acropolis? When they rebuilt the Acropolis 2400 odd years ago, it was exactly with taskified work, thousands and thousands of quite small jobs.


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The same with cross-bow manufacturing in China at around nearly the same time…assembly production.

    2. JTFaraday

      Taskified work isn’t new. It also works for some things and not for others. It also takes work to turn work into a “task” to be completed by some other person of whose capacities you’re not entirely certain, which is to say “taskifying” itself is work.

      So, who are the taskifyers?

  17. optimader

    I looked at the weather live blog, what’s the big deal??
    Don’t tell me w/ the bajillions spent on the DC”security apparatus” and they forgot to buy snow removal equipment…or what? Just looks nice a nice also-ran midwest snow event
    –love the Panda vid.. S/he keeps smelling the rear footpads; cant believe the good fortune, yeeeaaaa!.

    Further down the street shots look basically like a nonevent, Two snow plows going down the expressway with the blades up next to a UPS truck doing biz as usual???

    1. cwaltz

      I don’t know who our area subcontracted out to but while the main roads are drivable they haven’t touched any of the side roads that feed the main roads.

      1. optimader

        even if you look at the side road pics on that link, by my local standards, quite passable.

        I think the deferring of side roads, at least while its still snowing and/or the arterial roads have issues, is pretty normal and sensible plowing protocol.
        If they leave them unplowed for a protracted period, then that is municipal government political suicide.

        1. cwaltz

          A 4 wheel drive got stuck on the road adjacent to us yesterday. Mind you no one here has chains on their car but when you have vehicles meant to conquer different terrains getting stuck it is problematic.

          We’re not super elderly and we live in an area where we can walk to a store so it isn’t super horrible but it is inconvenient.

          1. optimader

            Counterintuitive, but in snowstorms around these parts most of the passenger vehicles in the ditch I see are 4wd SUVs driven by idiots that don’t realize their vehicle doesn’t stop (or handle any better) than 2wd vehicles w/ similar quality tires, once they exceed the coefficient of sliding friction of said tires
            . They invariably are the ones driving at speeds that exceed conditions — I guess to “get their monies worth” on the 4wd option(?) which ironically is inferior 99.9% of the rest of the time when considering mileage, noise, turning radius and relative complexity/cost of repair.

          2. Uahsenaa

            4WD or AWD will help you in muddy or rough terrain (i.e. offroad, where one or more tires might momentarily lose contact) but is no advantage whatsoever in slippery conditions caused by water, ice, and snow. For that, any car with chains or snow tires is infinitely better than a standard 4WD truck or SUV.

    1. Lord Koos

      A lot of people are thinking that way. I wonder what the reaction of the populace would be should Bernie meet with an “accident”.

        1. ambrit

          More probably, a slow motion dissolution of the society. A revolution supposes some coherent ideology replacing the previous status quo. I don’t see one yet. As Lambert is constantly reminding us, unplanned actions are anarchy, not governance.

          1. Steven D.

            I’m just expressing my own feelings. That would be the last nail in the coffin of the social compact as far as I am concerned.

            1. perpetualWAR

              I’m already building the guillotine, I’ve already had the last nail in the coffin of my social contract. And I’m not kidding.

      1. HotFlash

        Presidents have veeps to take over, Bernie is not young and I am sure that he has anticipated the possibility of dying naturally or of being Wellstoned (or Bobby Kennedy-ed). In his shoes I would have a second ready to pick up the torch.

        Perhaps I expect too much.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Going by what happened in 2008 when they lost control, all they have to do this time is to make sure to have control and move the stock market up or down, which ever is needed, to put their favored guy or gal in.

      1. Propertius

        What makes you think they “lost control” in 2008? They managed to get a blank check from the U.S. Treasury – that’s pretty far from losing control in my book.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Well, I do under-estimate the powers that be at my own peril.

          Will have to be more vigilant always.

  18. low_integer

    Re: US ‘prepared for military solution’ against Islamic State in Syria S[y]dney Morning Herald

    “We do know it would be better if we can reach a political solution but we are prepared …, if that’s not possible, to have a military solution to this operation in taking out [IS],” Mr Biden said after a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

    A US official later clarified that Mr Biden was talking about a military solution to the problem of Islamic State, not Syria as a whole.

    Obviously Biden has come straight out and said: “taking out Syria“. I wonder if the clarification from the US official will be included in, say, the Erdogan supporting Turkish press?

    All in all, this article is a pretty good example of the type of US-centric propaganda we get here in Australia.

  19. fresno dan

    Hillary Clinton Laughs When Asked if She Will Release Transcripts of Her Goldman Sachs Speeches The Intercept. That’s really bad. Here’s the video:

    I have a difficult time believing that the speeches to Goldman would be very elucidating or would reveal anything that could be construed as pro wall street – indeed, I imagine they actually are quite pro consumer – not immediately releasing them merely enhances their supposed insider status and propaganda value.

    I am sure at charity events, social events, and various other one on one conversations that the body language and “dog whistles” adequately convey that no body in Clintonville is going to upset the apple cart. And I’m sure all the quid pro quo’s are hammered out by minions who are….expendable, should the need arise.

    And Hell, how in the world could anybody possibly believe that if Hillary Clinton says she is going to be tough on Wall street…..that Hillary Clinton is going TO BE tough on Wall Street??????????????????

    1. Pavel

      I saw a comment on a blog or twitter re the Intercept’s querying of Hillary and her laugh “response” — this is her tell: when she gets asked an awkward question she gives that laugh or makes a joke (“You mean, like wipe it with a cloth?”). I just wonder how anyone can tolerate that woman and her evasiveness and disingenuous responses.

  20. craazyboy

    Plea For A Public Service (Shock the Monkey – Peter Gabriel)

    Shock the trader tonight
    Shock the trader tonight

    Cover me, when I’m long
    Cover me, Mayor NYC
    Mayor grounded me in my tree
    Now I’m on my knee
    Cover me, Mayor please
    Market, market, market
    Don’t you know when you had better… close the market!

    Close the Dow
    Close the Naz
    You can close S&P
    Don’t be an ass
    There is one thing you can be sure of
    There are some more
    Mayor, find the markets, close the markets!
    Markets, markets, markets
    Don’t you know when you had better… close the markets!

    Markets keep churning
    Money’s burning
    Wanna be Mayor better start learning

    Shock! Watch the trader get hurt, Mayor

    Cover me, when I sleep
    Cover me, I can’t leave
    The cops will bust me (for the first time)
    Make the markets benign
    Cover me, Mayor please
    Markets, markets, markets
    Don’t you know when you had better… close the markets!

    Too much at stake
    Grounded in my place
    And the news is breaking

    Shock! Watch the trader get hurt, Mayor

    Close the markets!
    Close the markets!
    Close the markets tonight!

    1. craazyman

      it’s a good thing to get some more modern songs. At least this one gets into the 1980s.

      if we do too many from the 60s it makes it seem like we’re living in the past. hahaha. We don’t want that little “50+” symbol up in the corner of the SONGS FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY album on Youtube. We won’t get all the hot women to come to the parties if they think it’s a 50+ crowd (unless we can show the money).

      I don’t know many songs after about 1990, that’s the problem.

      Except Adele! I’ll to do one of hers soon (reverentially). Also that Australian dude, who did Somebody That I Used to Know, Gotye. I did his to the lyrics of “Just some banksters that I used to know.”

      1. craazyboy

        I don’t wanna start listening to rap, so the 80s will have to do.

        Denver lookin’ real good. On defense and offense.

  21. ambrit

    Lambert, I see by the Youtube mix that comes up after the Sanders ad terminates that someone shares my tastes in ‘exploratory information gathering.’ Hancock has something going on. The Bosnia stuff is both stranger and, at the same time, less ‘mysterious’ than hyped. I’m reading a book about the evidence for a pre Younger Dryas Sunda Plain culture, the book being “Eden in the East.” Sometimes it feels like that Vonnegut character slipping forward and backward in time is all of us.

      1. ambrit

        I think so. It has been literally decades since I read Vonnegut. (Check out Niven and Pournelles send up of Vonnegut in their book “Inferno.”)

    1. Rhondda

      Thanks for turning me on to Eden in the East and it’s publisher, the Bradshaw Foundation. I’d like to hear your view of the book when you’re finished. Good evidence?

      1. ambrit

        I’m half way through the book. It’s a solid bit of work, not New Age or Conspiracy at all. The author makes theories based on the evolution and distribution of languages one of the main supports of his version of the theory; human ‘civilization’ is far older than currently admitted. (The author did field work in the East, and this idea took shape.) Another ‘link’ in the youtube ‘coming soon’ matrix that pops up after a video finishes, the Bernie Sanders ‘America’ ad showcased in another post, is Graham Hancocks “Magicians of the Gods.” If you don’t already know, the theory behind that is based on Catastrophism, insofar as something, which the evidence so far says was cometary impacts in the North American Ice Sheet at roughly 12,900 years ago and 11,600 years ago caused major rises in world ocean levels over a very short period of time.

  22. fresno dan

    It’s like something out of a Marvel movie. Rich Lowry, the editor of the conservative National Review, assembles a squadron of writers from all over the world of conservatism — religious figures, radio personalities, President Reagan’s former aides. True, they might have had their differences in the past, but this time, they have all come together in one final effort to stop a powerful villain from destroying liberty and freedom before the Iowa caucuses in just over a week.

    That villain, of course, is Donald Trump, the favorite to win the GOP presidential primary.

    A good comic-book villain has a weakness. For Trump, many people think it’s that he is far too extreme to run as the nominee of a major political party — his opponents have called him a fascist, for example. And many think he is certainly too extreme to win a general election. They compare him to a stalwart conservative such as Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee whom President Johnson trounced in 1964.

    Our heroes in the National Review don’t attack Trump by trying to exploit his extremism. On the contrary, in their view, Trump’s flaw is that he doesn’t go far enough. The refrain of the special issue that Lowry published this week is that Trump is not ideological, that he is willing to compromise, that he is not a true conservative.

    In 1999, Trump proposed a substantial levy of 14.25 percent on the net worth of taxpayers with more than $10 million in assets. That tax, he said, he would raise a whopping $5.7 trillion. It would have been a tax along the lines of what Thomas Piketty, the French economist and liberal darling, argues is necessary to restrict global economic inequality.

    Conservatives haven’t forgiven Trump. McIntosh dismisses his wealth tax as “the largest tax increase in American history.”

    The tax plan that Trump put forward last year is a much more conventionally conservative proposal, yet Trump hasn’t abandoned his rhetoric of making the rich pay more.
    On the other side of the federal government’s ledger is the money it spends, and on this question as well, Trump is violating the principles of conservatism. The National Review’s writers are frustrated by his promises to defend Social Security and Medicare, which they argue must be reformed (i.e., DIMINISHED) if they are to remain solvent.
    INCONCEIVABLE – but the people at National Review actually believe that capturing 100% of the 0.1% will lead to an electoral college landslide….because the country is TOO DAMN EQUAL!!!!!!!!! If only Wall Street was UNLEASHED!!!!!!!!
    OK, you go with that guys. I’m sure the post mortem will conclude that not committing to three invasions in the mid east on inauguration day led to the electoral debacle…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Taxing anyone worth more than $10 million?

      Sounds like he’s a true socialist and a serious candidate, at least in 1999.

      And we should all be impressed he correctly was going after wealth, not income.
      It takes ‘the rich guy’ making $200,000 a year 50 healthy years to accumulate $10 million…pre-tax.

      1. Synoia

        Good luck with that “accumulate $10 million…pre-tax”. Program :-)

        Cayman Islands Bank Account anyone?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It never ceases to amaze that people (some) making $200K a year and acting arrogantly like they are rich.

          They have a long way to go to get to $10 million, much less to be considered for membership in the club.

          1. ambrit

            A man I knew and occasionally worked for was a carpenter who dealt with exactly this demographic. His name for them was “Hundredthousandaires.”

    2. Synoia

      I put some phrases through my Conservative to English Translator (aka: ConLish).

      Input->: For Trump, many people think it’s that he is far too extreme
      Output: The 0.1% think he is too independent of them

      Input->: the largest tax increase in American history.
      Output: Any Tax Increase

      The out of spite I put the machine to a really difficult test:

      Input-> Conservative Ideals
      Output: Reintroduction of Indenture Servitude and Slavery

      and then the machine died…

  23. fresno dan

    Now, be honest. Have a friend show you both skits….without telling you which is Sarah Palin and which is Tina Fey….and than decide which is funnier …or terrifying (all great comedy is terrifying)
    There are some things done so exquisitely well, that you just can’t parody them…

    for some reason, I keep thinking of the movie “Failsafe”

  24. Banana Breakfast

    hahaha Bloomberg c’mon man. What constituency does he think he represents? The low-info Democratic loyalists will never abandon the glorious Party even if it means having to choke down Sanders, and obviously he’s not running to Bernie’s left. He’s more likely to poach scared center-right Republicans. Go for it.

    1. Synoia

      What constituency does he think he represents?

      The kind and gentle side of Money, as demonstrated by the NYPD..

      1. Banana Breakfast

        Yeah, a friend of mine responded to a similar question with “He can’t possibly think that there are that many rich people.” We all know who he’d “represent”, I suppose what I mean is who in the world does he think he can realistically pretend to represent and get votes from?

        1. Steven D.

          Wouldn’t put it past the “high-minded, serious” Obama to remain neutral or offer Bloomberg tacit support.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Supposedly, losing both houses of Congress has dealt a blow to Obama’s ego. Even Obama can’t ignore his poor legacy when it comes to party building. He won’t risk losing the White House for a Bloomberg style candidate.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think people who say, “I’d vote Democrat but they are just too mean to bug business,” when they try to fit in at chamber of commerce events.

  25. Synoia

    US ‘prepared for military solution’ against Islamic State in Syria

    Quelle Surprise!

    Best definition of a one trick pony I’ve seen.

    How about a financial solution to IS, destroy their oil revenue, and state sponsored revenues (Saudi Arabia and Turkey), Logistic support (Turkey), Wahhabi Support (Saudi Arabia), and the ever present Keep Muslim Resentment Hot Pot (Israel).

    I’m positive they will all spring into action to Help the US, they are the US’ bestest allies ever,,,

    Or is this another Best Definition Ever – of cross purposes?

  26. Oregoncharles

    From “”This is why we’re so f*cked: Our politics are only going to get worse”:

    Turchin argues that what we’re seeing now represents an unraveling of what makes civilization possible.”

    Confirmation for the Archdruid – and for the notion that civilizations and empires have a life cycle. (Nations do not: Italians are still there, though the Roman empire long since expired.)

  27. allan

    Hong Kong property on track for worst month ever recorded

    As the colder weather sets in, Hong Kong property appears to be caught in a frosty market of its own, with monthly sales volume on track for a historical low, property agents say.

    Centaline Property Agency expects the number of property transactions, includes apartments, shop units and car parks, of around 3,500 for January, the lowest in volume terms ever recorded in a data set dating back to January 1991….

  28. flora

    Ebony interview with Sanders.

    Great interview. And loved the interviewer’s t-shirt – “Chisholm for President ” . Dem. Shirley Chisholm’s ’72 run for president.

  29. Tulsatime

    The world could inflict a multi trillion dollar wound upon itself with the plans it is making for the rape of the artic. Has anyone else seen Nova this weekend, with the story of the Antarctic Krill, and the curtailed ice season? While the Arctic Ocean is another set of circumstances, the hole we will put in biosphere when we destroy the environs of the north has attracted no attention. The enlightened plutocrats snicker in their imagined isolation from ‘gore’s-maggedon’, but they will only have purchased the time to watch the world burn.

  30. JaaaaayCeeeee

    Bloomberg is mostly taking the press hostage, not our democracy, saying it’s to make sure Sanders and Trump don’t get to the general election.

    The press for Bernie Sanders has changed in two ways since giving him “the win” on the most recent debate. First, Bernie Sanders gets more press and you often see “Democratic Socialist” instead of just Socialist, now.

    The press has gotten much more critical of Bernie Sanders, while favorable to Clinton in primary coverage, although still producing plenty of pure red meat Clinton in disarray or Dems in disarray stories.

    The opining in news is really bad, but not limited to this example, headlined “2 Dem Candidates and Their Striking Differences in 1 Iowa Town” by Philip Rucker in WaPo. This filters through to TV, which is Clinton’s real fire wall, not the South:

    Philip Rucker reports that Hillary Clinton is friendly, polished, warm, knowledgeable, realistic, and wonky.

    Sanders is angry, rumpled, pie in the sky, idealistic, utopian, villanizes the Walton family,singles out Goldman Sachs, and denounces executives, the rigged economy, etc.

    Rucker then reports, as favorable, one of Hillary Clinton’s most blatant lies yet, about how she will lower prescription drug prices by asking pharma to figure out how to voluntarily meet caps, with Medicare bulk purchase negotiation only as a backstop, and only if necessary (Clinton aims to get pharma through until TPP by hook or crook, without Sanders’ data gathering and monopoly regulation). Here’s the part of the long favorable quote from her stump speech:

    “She shared local stories, too — about the Iowa toddlers who shot themselves with a loaded gun, about the Mississippi River’s potential to generate hydro-energy, and about an Iowa woman named Ellen Mayberry who wrote her a letter complaining that the pharmacy charged her $14,729.99 last year to refill her prescription.

    “I’m going after them,” Clinton vowed. “We are going to stop this. This is predatory pricing. It is unjustified. It is wrong. And we’re going to make sure it is stopped.”

    1. Yves Smith

      What is wrong with angry when it’s angry about people getting hurt?

      And as for Bloomberg, you’ve got it wrong. He hurts Clinton first and foremost. He appeals most to the upper income, pro-status quo but socially liberal sort. Some of them worry that Clinton has gone a bit soft on supporting Wall Street due to the Sanders challenge (not that there’s any doubt as to how she’ll govern). Bloomberg will firmly back Wall Street, and TPTB don’t even like anti-Wall Street messaging.

      1. JaaaaayCeeeee

        I live for Bernie Sanders’ anger!

        As for Bloomberg, would he be floating an independent run, if he weren’t worried Hillary Clinton could go down? I still think Bloomberg is taking the press, not democracy, hostage since the press has kept that demographic of Clinton’s from falling as fast.

        I assume that Thomas Friedman was just channeling the fears of the donor class, when he wrote this week that no presidential candidate is talking about how we generate growth, jobs, security and resilience, and the fear that, “our 2016 election ends up being between a socialist and a borderline fascist — ideas that died in 1989 and 1945 respectively”.

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