Links 2/16/16

Obama Compiles Shortlist Of Gay, Transsexual Abortion Doctors To Replace Scalia Onion m(David L)

Scientists have discovered how to ‘delete’ unwanted memories Telegraph (Chuck L). A major plot device in Vernor Vinge’s A Deepness in the Sky.


How to think about the Capital of China George Magnus, FT Alphaville. Important. But not clear how much China can clamp down.

Chinese Banks May Need All the Help They Can Get Wall Street Journal. “Beware, China has cocos too.”

China trade fares worse than expected Taipei Times

The Yuan Leaps as Beijing Adjusts Wall Street Journal

Draghi has financial markets hoping bad news is really good news Guardian

The European circus continues Bill Mitchell

Criminals’ ‘currency of choice’ for chop Financial Times. ECB using crooks as the excuse for eliminating the €500 note when terrorists and money launderers are hardly a new thing. This is PR for a negative rates measure.

European Steel Workers Protest Cheap Chinese Imports Reuters


Risk of EU breakup is real, Tusk warns ahead of crucial summit Guardian

Why the big banks really hate ‘Brexit’ CNN

Bank of England rebuffs Vickers criticism Financial Times


We Met the Angry Young Farmers Protesting Pension Reforms in Greece Vice

Refugee Crisis

European Countries Weigh New Barriers Along Migrant Path Wall Street Journal

Nouvel An à Cologne: 55 des 58 agresseurs n’étaient pas des réfugiés RTBF


Syria crisis: Strikes on hospitals ‘war crimes’ BBC. By contrast, the US attack on the MSF hospital did not lead story coverage at the BBC nor did they quickly (ever?) call it a war crime. At least 42 died.

Imperial Collapse Watch

A Robotic 9/11 Global Guerrillas (resilc)

Russia hit 1,888 targets in Syria in a week; U.S. count? Just 16 McClatchy

The GOP Is Finally Debating Bush-Era Failures American Conservative (resilc)

Supreme Court Trench Warfare

Nobody Seems to Know How Exactly Antonin Scalia Ended Up Dead Underneath a Pillow Gawker (resilc)

A Solution to the Chaos Surrounding the Next Supreme Court Nominee Charles Pierce, Esquire

A Question for Democratic Senate Judiciary Committee Members to Ask Sri Srinivasan if Obama Nominates Him to Fill Scalia’s Seat Angry Bear (Melody)

We Already Had an Election to Decide Who Gets to Appoint the Next Supreme Court Justice Nation

SCOTUS Analyst: Loretta Lynch ‘Most Likely Candidate’ to Replace Scalia – NBC (resilc). Claw my eyeballs out.

Trade Traitors

The TPP would be the final death blow to American manufacturing – Salon (resilc)


Ben Carson cites fake Stalin quote, the crowd goes wild Boing Boing

Donald Trump Wasn’t Wrong When He Accused the RNC of Stacking the Debate Audience Gawker (resilc)

Bernie Sanders closing in on Hillary Clinton in Nevada Business Insider (resilc)

The Pragmatic Case for Bernie Sanders Atlantic

Photographer: That’s Bernie Sanders in Those Civil Rights Images. The Media Is Lying. US UnCut (Kevin C)

In Nevada, a tightening race threatens Clinton’s post-New Hampshire ‘firewall’ Washington Post. Lambert reports that the pro-Clinton twittersphere went nuts when this article went up. The reality is that Nevada is now deep in the fog of campaigning. There aren’t reliable polls, particularly for a caucus. But Sanders does not have to win to dent Clinton in a big way. A relatively narrow loss (I’d hazard anything under 7 points given her previous 25 point margin) and say over 40% votes from Hispanics would smash her firewall, particularly since Sanders was late to campaign in Nevada.

Ralston Reports: Team Clinton growing nervous about Nevada Reno Gazette-Journal. But they expect the powerful Culinary Union to endorse Clinton late in the game.

Woodward and Bernstein Can’t Stop Comparing Hillary Clinton to Richard Nixon Mother Jones (resilc)

Congress Finally Gives A Damn About Heroin Addiction Huffington Post. Only because is is now seen as a problem affecting white people.


There is worse to come as QE loses its impact Financial Times. Duh.


Saudi and Russian oil ministers to meet Financial Times

Goldman Channels FDR’s `Nothing to Fear’ With Sell Gold Call Bloomberg. Given that they’ve gotten 5 of their 6 beginning of year calls wrong so far, Goldman ‘s credibility isn’t great. But in 2007, there was a bounce in subprime from March to May, and in 2008, the self-congratulatory “Mission Accomplished” post-Bear phase, which lasted till about July. So near-term moves are anyone’s guess.

Victims of the Mexican Drug War Are Suing the Banks that Handled the Cartel’s Money Mother Jones

Class Warfare

Why Pay Employees to Exercise When You Can Threaten Them? Bloomberg

Wenatchee man dies after refusing to leave foreclosed home Wenatchee World (Steve M)

Antidote du jour. Times of India, Monkey Adopts A Puppy And Takes Better Care Of It Than Most Humans Would, hat tip Maulik:

Monkey & Pup 2 links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Paul Tioxon

    New York Times and Washington Post both confirm official White House Press Release that President Obama has nominated Mumia abu Jamal for the vacant US Supreme Court Justice position. Mumia was contacted at a pay phone in prison, barely audible through the choked up voice: “It’s a dream come true!”. The White House was all slapping high fives and shit over that mother fuckin jawn, saying”Yeah, Black Panther, cop killer, real long dread locks hair, suck on it McConnel. Can you even pronounce his name?”.
    No comments from Kanye, yet.

    1. jgordon

      The basics of good humor apparently escape you. Are you autistic by chance?

      But regardless this guy would still be a better choice than Loretta Lynch or Eric Holder or anyone else Obama is liable to nominate. I’ll take an incompetent or crazy politician/judge over one who is rampantly malignant any day. It’s why I’m supporting Trump!

        1. Vatch

          I think his point is that Holder and Lynch are obsequious right wing servants of the plutocrats. Neither Attorney General has done anything to enable the prosecution of the criminal financiers who caused the Great Financial Collapse.

          But I don’t understand why one would support Trump when Sanders is available….

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Trump has rejected Bush openly…in South Carolina, no less.

            And Sanders will do so likewise with Obama, hopefully.

            Our day will come…the dawning of a new age.

          2. jgordon

            That’s easy: because I don’t trust Sanders. Sure he’s a nice guy, but I strongly doubt that he has the spine and killer instinct to get anything useful done in Washington. Trump is completely willing to bad mouth and burn whatever bridges with GOP establishment that he needs to. Sanders isn’t. And that’s my non-negtiable litmus test.

              1. jgordon

                Well that makes you smart. Trump is certain to be more entertaining and ruthless though whether trustworthy or not. With Sanders I’m expecting limp, Obama-style cave ins and equivocations–perhaps with a tinge more honesty and regret. And since I’m completely sick of Obama-style “leadership” that makes Trump #1 in my book.

                1. Tony S

                  If Sanders happens to get elected, I don’t expect him to squander his political capital even before his inauguration (as Obama did with his Summers and Emanuel appointments, his cozying up to Lieberman, and selecting Rick Warren to his inauguration). I do have concerns about his ability to work with Congress, but I figure he’ll have much better coattails than Hillary, given the number of new voters that would come into the system (which is a necessity for his election).

                  I’m willing to take my chances with Bernie. It’s not like the alternatives are any rosier.

                  Trump is a non-starter for me. Too dangerous in a bad way — demagogues do not usually lead their countries to good places.

              2. jrs

                That’s wise, but while I don’t absolutely Trust either, I think with Sanders the possibility for some good coming of it exists (as does the possibility of betrayal and Dem co-option), and with Trump the possibility of good coming of it really doesn’t exist at all, he’s just harmful.

                And while Sanders might if nothing else at all move the discourse to somewhere better (which is not at all sufficient of course). Trump will just make people stupidier, and make the country a more viscous place to live with all the Muslim hate and cr@p.

              3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                We only have ourselves to trust, and we have to empower ourselves.

                Spell out what popular sovereignty means – new money belongs to the people, no one else to trust with that.

                1. Carla

                  Very well said, MLTPB!

                  The first three words of the Constitution amazingly enough, are not “We the Corporations” or “We the Political Parties” or even “We the Elected Leaders,” but “We the People.”

            1. Vatch

              I think a President needs a balance between:

              1. Strength (killer instinct, spine, etc.)


              2. The ability to get along with other members of the government, as well as leaders of foreign governments.

              The consistency that Sanders has displayed over the decades indicates that he does have some of the first characteristic. I think most of us would agree that he also has the second characteristic.

              I wonder whether Trump has any of the second, equally important, characteristic.

              1. jgordon

                Yes. Trump has thumbed his nose at the GOP establishment and said that he has no problem working with Putin, doesn’t mind Assad in Syria, and thinks that America would be far better off just getting the hell out of the middle east altogether and let Putin take care of it.

                On foreign policy, Trump is even saner and to the left of Sanders. It’s the insane and entrenched Democratic and Republican establishments typified by Bush and Clinton that must be battled and vanquished at all costs–and it’s these people that Bernie is still handling with kid gloves even as Trump is directly telling them to F off. That more than anything else is what’s making me admire and respect Trump.

                1. Skippy

                  Trumps long business record invalidates your feelings about what he – says – about stuff….

                  Skippy…. concurrently… the political enviroment is strangely similar to that of the council of nicea… where the debate is about worshiping flesh and blood as a deity or not…. pick your poison?

            2. Yves Smith Post author

              You trust carnival barker Trump, who has been bankrupt four times and regularly screws his business partners? See his Irish golf course fiasco, which was one of the few times the locals took advantage of him.

              People in Vermont say any time there is someone being abused, even very small numbers of people, Sanders has always been there to do something about it.

              And Sanders knows DC. Trump has NO idea what it means to be president. If he understood, he wouldn’t want the job. You don’t get to boss people around. You have to kiss a lot of ass. You are basically a prisoner of the Secret Service. And you can’t fire people easily or necessarily “hire” the ones you want.

              This was a self-promotion stunt that has gotten completely out of hand because it fed Trump’s already massive ego and the Republicans were caught flat footed because they thought Jeb was their answer and when he imploded, they didn’t have a backup plan.

              1. Aumua

                Yes, I can see that many people give Trump credit because, in a field of crooks, Trump is at least a different kind of crook. He goes off script and sometimes even tells the truth, and that much is indeed refreshing.

                But we have a candidate right now, the first in a long time, who actually isn’t a crook.

                What I see when I look at Trump anymore, and once you see it, it’s very hard to unsee, is a spoiled rich kid who never grew up. He’s this little boy, often on the verge of throwing a tantrum, in a man’s body. He’s basically Biff in real life.

                In contrast, Sanders is a man, an actual leader, which makes it ironic to hear otherwise intelligent people draw the distinction of Trump stronk! Bernie weak. It shows how easily people are suckered into believing a narrative that doesn’t describe reality, but instead offers a false dichotomy or some other misdirection in place of the truth.

  2. allan

    U.S. Closing a Loophole on Products Tied to Slaves

    President Obama will sign legislation this week that effectively bans American imports of fish caught by forced labor in Southeast Asia, part of a flurry of recent actions by the White House, federal agencies, international trade unions and foreign governments to address lawlessness at sea and to better protect offshore workers and the marine environment.

    File under Tarting Up Trade to Advance the TPP

    1. Christopher Fay

      Clever move. Malaysia gets to sue us for blocking oligarchs’ rights to profit from slave labor. Our country loses, we pay. Money goes directly to the PM of Malaysia’s personnel bank account in Switzerland. I count that as multi Win / Win.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s more that all seafood from the Pacific than fish caught by slave labor.

      But it’s hard to get Atlantic fish in the west coast.

  3. DakotabornKansan

    We are living in a new Gilded Age, growing disparity between the wealthiest and the poorest, with gilded hospital systems and health care practices.

    Don McCanne @PNHP on concierge hospital Mass General, “Let the money in first!”

    Robert Frank, Richistan, looking at how the rich live, wrote:

    “They had built a self-contained world unto themselves, complete with their own health-care system (concierge doctors), travel network (Net Jets, destination clubs), separate economy…The rich weren’t just getting richer; they were…creating their own country within a country, their own society within a society, and their own economy within an economy.”

    Despite Obamacare, a very large proportion of our population is still deprived of basic medical care.

    “Meanwhile, here we are, American riders on the short bus, barreling into the Grand Canyon. With typical American gunpoint optimism, we’ve convinced ourselves we’re in an airplane. A few smarter kids in the back whisper about hijacking and turning the bus around. But the security cop riding shotgun just strokes his taser and smiles” – Joe Bageant

    1. rich

      AUDIO: Robert Scheer Speaks With Nomi Prins About the Connection Between Washington and Wall Street
      . It’s illogical—and Bernie Sanders pointed this out, as do many people in America see this—to assume she is not connected to this infrastructure. Not simply because she is funded by it, not simply because her husband was funded by it, but because these are associations that exist for the purpose of maintaining that financial and political power structure.

      And yeah, we can talk about this on public radio, and we should;
      these people don’t have the accountability gene that would behoove the positions of the power that they have in, I don’t know, a sort of normally just society. Which, our society is quite unequal by definition of these people going around getting all of the accolades and the positions and the media coverage and everything else. They also don’t have a sense of being in touch with actual people, and this is also a definite problem; Robert Rubin does not live in a world of real people, Hank Paulson does not live in a world of real people. This does not mean they don’t contribute charitably to good causes, but the idea of actually being an empathizer with what is happening in the world is not something that their level of behavior dictates they are doing at all. And this is part of the problem; when they do have the ear of, whether it’s candidates or presidents—and again, it’s a collective, collusive group of individuals who validate each other’s opinions as to what should be done and how it should be done, and they’re simply wrong in their thinking. Because to, for example, have an entire multitrillion-dollar business that is opaque and that is not subject to regulation in and of itself is illogical; it does not create systemic stability in any way. So even from a logical thinking perspective, they are outside of the realm of what they should be doing. And we see this in that, you know, many of the institutions that were involved in many trades that were not transparent have had to pay fines; the U.S. banking system in particular, the biggest six banks that paid over $130, $140 billion in fines and settlements since the financial crisis, on crimes from everything from rigging libor, rigging interest rates, to rigging foreign exchange rates, to things that they did evilly with subprime related loans and securities that were associated with those loans. And they still function. No one said ‘I’m sorry.’ No one has said ‘I’m going to leave because this is completely screwed up, and I will forgo the money.’ I mean, when I talk about this stuff, and I think I’m more enraged more recently because it’s become such—I see this global crisis happening again—I’m not talking from a position of being holier than thou. I did leave that money, and I did decide to talk about it from the other side; it can be done.

      RS: We never really talk about the consequence. And it’s interesting, in the debate between, where Hillary blasted Bernie Sanders, was in South Carolina; it was in preparation—and you know, states where there’s a large number of black people and brown people and so forth. And you know, we had the Federal Reserve of St. Louis had a study that black and brown people who graduated from college lost, in the case of African-Americans, 70 percent of their net worth because of this Great Recession. Brown people closer to 60, or between 55 and 60 percent. That’s the people who graduated from college. If we look across the board, yes, there were a lot of whites got hurt; but it particularly wiped out the civil rights gains for minority communities, OK? And here was a thing where the Black Caucus was sponsoring it, and there was not one moment to address the cost of the Great Recession in terms of the growing inequality in America, the loss of real wages—I mean, the human misery. And in this country, let alone throughout the world. What happens when you are in these panels, you’re in these debates, you are being interviewed and you meet some of these folks? Do they have any angst about it? Do they have any feelings?

      good interview…send it to a clinton supporter.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        One could say wealth inequality is the source of all inequalities, including gender and racial inequalities.

        But, I think, and let’s take African Americans for example, for a long time, when wealth inequality was not as transparent as it is now, racial inequality was always there.

        And, it was clever of Hilary to switch to that in her last debate when confronted with her connection to Wall Street and today’s wealth inequality, To many voters in South Carolina, it is still racial inequality.

      2. John Merryman

        I think this is where the black/white narrative is very wrong. Its like saying the lions are not real because they don’t socialize with the wildebeest. The power structure is just an abstracted food chain. The argument which should be used and understood, is that it is stupid for the apex predators to crush the very ecosystem on which they feed. As my father, an old time cattle dealer, who visited farms all over the country put it, “You can’t starve a profit.” You cannot take out more than you create, over the long term, or the system collapses. Even parasites need a healthy host. The only way they are not real, is that they are as delusional as to their mortality as any teenager.

    2. Bev

      Bernie Sanders would approve this message: Michael Moore’s new Documentary, Where to Invade Next.

      Where to Invade Next

      Michael Moore’s New Movie Tries to Restore the American Dream by Showing Us What We’ve Lost
      By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 15, 2016

      Millions of Americans would have trouble defining even one of the amendments to the U.S. Constitution known as the Bill of Rights — which set forth the individual freedoms we gained through bloody street protests and wars waged by our ancestors. Millions of Americans have never participated in a street protest or marched for a cause they care about passionately. Many Americans have lost the ability to even care – believing the system is hopelessly corrupted beyond cure.

      The title, “Where to Invade Next,” is a subtle reminder of how America has practiced its diplomacy in recent years: through bombs and drone strikes on civilians. But there are only fleeting references to war in the movie. The actual story line is to send Michael Moore on a fact-finding mission (our “invader”) to European countries and bring back their best ideas to restore American democracy and the humane treatment of our citizens.

      The movie is a powerful visual triumph that shakes us out of our denial of the statistics we’ve been reading for years: The decline in our educational standing in the world; the brutality of our police and prisons; the poverty level and food insecurity of more than 46 million Americans; the lack of affordable health care; the longest working hours in the industrialized world; and crippling college debt. Clearly, it doesn’t have to be this way and Moore shows us, in country after country, just how lagging America has become in the developed world.

      By ignoring the rights of human beings and, instead, bestowing ever greater rights on corporations (to ban workers from the nation’s courts, to reap profit windfalls from worker deaths, to effectively steal from workers’ 401(k) plans and create new slave labor in corporate prisons), America has unleashed a far worse tyranny than it ever experienced under King George III – for which the Declaration of Independence was drafted.

      There are basic human programs – like free higher education and universal health care and retirement security and food security — that differentiate a compassionate country from one under corporate dictatorship. That’s not socialism. These are basic human rights. The only reason these rights do not currently co-exist alongside America’s brand of capitalism is that the brand has evolved into an orgy of greed, political corruption and rule by the one percent.

      Glancing at the baby boomers and elderly in the theatre on Saturday, there were many tears streaming down their faces. It’s one thing to know how far down the ladder of humanity we’ve come as a nation; it’s exponentially more painful to know it happened on your watch; that this is the legacy we leave to our children and grandchildren.

  4. Pavel

    If the best that Obama thinks he can come up with for SCOTUS is Loretta Lynch, I officially don’t give a fsck if it goes through or not.

    He has one chance to do something exciting and positive and he chooses a damp squib like her? The only people worse would be Eric Holder or crypto-nazi Cass Sunstein.

    The weakness of the Dems is summed up by the Supreme Court — time and again (with the exception of Bork) the Repubs manage to get extreme right wingers approved (Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts) whilst the Democrats put up moderates and barely get them through the process.

    And don’t get me started on Biden and the Anita Hill testimony.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Might put an uncomfortable crimp in plans to have biden swoop in at the end and take the nomination away from Sanders, in a last ditch effort to service the establishment, after he dispatches once and for all with hillary.

    2. DJG

      Agreed. How the Democrats ever got away with publicly humiliating Anita Hill in an attempt at high-school politics is beyond me. Thomas never was competent, as events have proven. So they had plenty of evidence to stop his nomination without the grotesqueries.

    3. Steven D.

      I like the term squib to refer to corporate centrists. You also could use it to refer to people who work in a union workplace but won’t join the union.

      I’m fully expecting Sunstein as a last, glorious, craptacularly wrongheaded and damaging kumbaya gesture by Obama. Incredibly, still wants bipartisan harmony to be his main legacy. Unless it always was just a ruse to cover his own billionaire’s agenda.

      Pundits talk about originaliam being Scalia’s judicial philosophy. That was just cover. His real philosophy was political and it was YOLO–You only live once. If not now, when is a better time to enthrone the billionaires and get back at uppity minorities? The law didn’t matter to Scalia. Just the politics.

      Scalia’s “brilliant” opinions read like NRO screeds, written feverishly in the small hours in his mother’s basement. Throw in some Latin and a few legal cites and there you are. Kulturkampf came straight out of the WSJ editorial page, whose editor he was better suited to be than a Supreme Court justice.

    4. El Guapo

      The weakness of the Dems is summed up by the Supreme Court

      There is nothing “weak” about the Democrats. They are a corporatist party and they are very successful in carrying out their owners agenda.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            In that case, Bernie missed an even fatter pitch when Hilary said he called Obama weak and a disappointment.

            “He is not weak. He is doing what his masters tell him to do.”

            1. different clue

              If Sanders said that he would lose every Black Racist Tribal-Loyalist Obama-Sucker vote in South Carolina and beyond. And Sanders and Clinton both knew it. Sanders knew exactly the trap Clinton was setting for Sanders. And Sanders has a very challenging mission to somehow dance around that trap.

            2. jrs

              However Rubio keeps trying and trying and trying …. in some misguided manner of course, to make the point Obama is not weak or a failure.

              Obama’s motives I wouldn’t presume to know. But I judge him by his actions.

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            Agree with Massina. Obama gets what he wants. He’s a center-right neoliberal who is leftist only on decoration (rainbow appointments) and social justice issues when pressured (gay rights)

            1. polecat

              the Obama Shield : upper left diagonal- a raised black unicorn on a rainbow background
              : lower right diagonal- silver skittles on a black background raining down into a red cauldron /w the capital letters GS emblazoned on the front in gold…

              on the upper curved edge: you are chumps!
              on the lower curved edge: we do gods’ work!

            2. Pavel

              Obama after 7 years:

              * Prosecuting Wall St banksters: NO
              * Prosecuting self-confessed torturers: NO
              * Closing Gitmo: NO
              * Conducting health care negotiations openly on C-SPAN: NO
              * Clamping down on NSA spying: NO
              * Troops out of Iraq: NO
              * Troops out of Afghanistan: NO
              * Progress on Palestine: NO
              * Cutting the obscene “defence” budget: NO

              But it’s not all NO!
              * Going all-out for TPP: YES
              * Allowing Arctic oil drilling: YES
              * Supply the Saudis with billions of dollars and aiding Yemen genocide: YES

              Well, he did manage the Iran deal. That’s about it IMHO.

              (Do I sound bitter?)

        1. cwaltz

          Reread what he wrote.

          Obama and the Democrats aren’t weak, they’re bought.

          They’re making the choices their owners have told them to.

          DC is like Vegas. The rich own the WH, and Congress. The rich essentially are the house and the house ALWAYS wins. Oh they might let you THINK you can win, but that’s usually right before they take all your money. Red(Democrat) or black(Republican) you aren’t winning in a crooked casino.

            1. The Cleaner

              Having lost more arguments than I can count over the “progressive” credentials of Obama, I think that Bernie is being smart by not making that statement — at least not explicitly. People don’t like admitting they are wrong — so it is better to offer the choice to be right about the future.

    5. GlobalMisanthrope

      True, only terrible prospects ahead. But we aren’t surprised, are we? The Democrats are cynical, corrupt, incompetent and, arguably, stupid. So can we please stop calling the them weak?

          1. polecat

            de-mon-i-crats: a species of slug, known for its’ rapacious appetite, eating everything in sight, whilst giving nothing back…….except false platitudes, to those who were lured into its’ careless embrace.

        1. fresno dan

          February 16, 2016 at 11:33 am

          What an idealist!!!!!!
          Someone as virtuous as a demon could never be elected – your WASTING your vote!!!! (Sarc)

          I am certain the Devil would not allow anybody to run under the Demon banner, as it would make the Devil look like a pansy – none of the demon candidates could possibly be as wicked and evil as Hillary and the repub candidate slate….

  5. Llewelyn Moss

    My faith in Robert Reich has been restored. In the past coupled months, he’s been defending Bernie from the pervasive MSM smear campaign and from Hellery’s outright lies.

    Reich on the NYT BS about Bernie’s Health care plan and its cost…

    Anther major story in the New York Times today blasting Bernie’s economics, claiming that “liberal-leaning economists” share his goals but “question his numbers and political realism.” Put to one side whether economists have anything valuable to say about political realism. It’s not clear they even understand public policy.The article quotes “some economists” as suggesting his agenda would increase the size of the federal government by 50 percent, and quotes Austan Goolsbee, formerly chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, as saying Bernie’s number are “flying puppies with winning Lotto ticket tied to their collars.”

    P-l-e-a-s-e. Bernie’s single-payer plan accounts for most of his proposed tax increases. And under his healthcare plan most Americans would pay so much less for health insurance (including soaring co-pays and deductibles) that they’d come out way ahead. That’s the lesson from other advanced nations, almost all of which have single-payer plans.

    So why is Austan Goolsbee badmouthing Bernie? Why is the New York Times writing the same story over and over, attacking Bernie’s plan? Do they really believe that our current system – based on private for-profit insurance companies, whose market power continues to rise as they merge, whose executive pay continues to soar, and whose advertising and marketing and billing expenses continue to go through the roof – is better than a single payer? Do they honestly think Medicare-for-all – essentially, a public option of the sort that Obama couldn’t or wouldn’t try for – would threaten the Affordable Care Act? Are they really convinced we can’t do better than we’re now doing?

    What do you think?

  6. timbers

    Syraqistan – “Syria crisis: Strikes on hospitals ‘war crimes’ BBC.”

    Also, keep in mind it might have been the U.S. that bombed the hospital….

    “A hospital backed by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Syrian Idlib province was destroyed in US airstrikes, not by Russian warplanes, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad told Rossiya 24 television on Monday.”

    “The Russian Aerospace Forces have nothing to do with this,” he said citing intelligence data.

    The article is from Russia Insider which is copied from TASS. Lately I’m thinking any news source from Russia is more trustworthy than a U.S. source. Judge for yourself.

  7. Brindle


    Bernie Sanders speaking at a UAW hall in Dearborn, MI yesterday (Detroit Free Press):

    —“If we can rebuild villages in Iraq and Afghanistan, we can damn well rebuild Flint, Michigan,” he said as the crowd erupted in loud cheers.”—

    Hillary could not make a statement like this with any credibility as she is an architect of U.S. foreign policy in the region.

    1. allan

      In the next debate, Sanders should ask Clinton why she hired Victoria Nuland,
      who was principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Dick Cheney, to be her spokesperson.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Meanwhile, Sanders should ask Obama why he hasn’t fired Victoria Nuland.

        Running against Obama is as apple pie as running against Osama.

          1. cwaltz

            It would be a good question though. Nuland has been in DC since the Clinton administration serving under BOTH parties. Why in the world do we have someone who served as a foreign policy adviser to Cheney making decisions in the State Department at this date? I mean last I heard the last administration before this one was responsible for a needless, expensive war that destabilized the ME. Why is she still working?

        1. different clue

          The Black Racist Pig vote would turn savagely against Sanders for daring to ask such a question.

        2. Andrew Watts

          If Nuland was fired nothing would change. The State Department is infested with neocons and the R2P crowd.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Speaking of victoria nuland:

        Nearly two years after Victoria Nuland decided that “Yats” should be her puppet prime minister in Ukraine as part of the CIA-organized presidential coup, the latest embarrassment for the U.S. State Department is about to become a fact when moments ago Ukrainian billionaire president Petro Poroshenko called on Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to resign and urged the formation of a technocratic government to end a political crisis and reignite an overhaul of the economy.

        Copied and pasted from article on ZH.

      1. Massinissa

        If the story that there were army exercises in Flint is true, then we have already ‘rebuilt’ parts of Flint like we have rebuilt villages in Afghanistan.

        We rebuild villages in Afghanistan by bombing them to the stone age.

      2. jrs

        It does on some level feed into a lie narrative, that the U.S. military is in those countries to help them (that is rebuilt their villages). Of course whatever the U.S. is there for, it’s not that.

        sarc Such a white man’s burden to have to rebuild the world that way, but such are the burdens of American exceptionalism at such sacrifice to ourselves, it’s not easy being a saint. /sarc

        1. Skippy

          Neoliberal = selflickingicecreamcone – bomb to rubble… hire contractors to rebuild at exorbitant price… radicalized let off leash due to bombing [and those nice school books provided by conservatives], blow it up again… rinse and repeat….

          Skippy…. I think their starting to use an abridged version in Texas now days…..

      1. thoughtful person

        You missed Michael Moore’s piece something like “ten things that they won’t tell you about Flint but I will”.

        One of which was the military staging fire fights in “abandoned” buildings – training excercises I guess. So they were bombed a bit.

    2. Mark S.

      When Hillary and Bernie tussled about Kissinger, I wish Bernie had said, “Well, if you’re planning on doing war crimes, you should definitely consult Mr. Kissinger!”

  8. Jagger

    Scientists have discovered how to ‘delete’ unwanted memories Telegraph

    Here are the three money quotes from the article:

    Forgetting is probably one of the most important things that brains will do,” says André Fenton, a prominent neuroscientist who is currently working on a technique to erase painful memories. “We understand only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to human memory.”

    Other interviewees include Julia Shaw, psychology professor at London South Bank University, who has designed a system for implanting false memories, and has successfully convinced subjects they’ve committed crimes that never took place – research that has potentially troubling ramifications for the criminal justice system.

    The film’s makers also speak to clinical psychologist Merel Kindt, who has discovered that medication can be used to remove the negative associations of some memories – through which she has managed to ‘cure’ patients of arachnophobia.

    Note the closest to removing unwanted memories is Fenton working on a technique to erase unwanted memories. However he hasn’t actually accomplished the deed. And considering his remark that ‘we understand only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to human memory’, he may not be even close to success. Merel Kindt has not erased memories but removed connected emotions via medication. Julia Shaw has not removed memories but introduced false memories. Dependent on her actual process, that may or may not be impressive.

    So no, Scientists have not discovered how to delete unwanted memories as stated by the title.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s easier to learn than to unlearn.

      How does one learn to unlearn so he/she can unlearn what he/she has learned?

      “I know quantum mechanics.”

      ‘I am smarter than you. I have completely forgotten that.”

      “Not so fast. I have completely forgotten Hillary’s broken promises. Can you say that? You are still angry over that. I am smarter.”

      World War II never happened…soon we will all know that…welcome to your new memories…

      1. Optimader

        The issue of unlearning…More of an issue than you might think
        Ive posted this link before .. Really is an interesting book on human behavior. The inability to forget things , particularly under stress, is big issue when it comes to human factors as a mechanism of failure due to inappropriate response.
        In my case i cant tell you the number of times i will go for a manual shifter knob that doesnt exist in a vehicle im driving. Even more laughably having owed a number of Peugeots when i was younger, i will still occasionally press a windshield wiper stalk when i am going for a high beam switch!

    2. Jagger

      Here is Julia Shaws method for introducing false memories. Interesting but nothing ground breaking in terms of brain function.

      The technique I use in my research is essentially a combination of what’s called “mis-information” (telling people convincingly that something happened that didn’t) and an imagination exercise which makes a participant picture the event happening. The goal is to get my participants to confuse their imagination with their memory. I find, as do many other scientists who study memory, that it is often surprisingly easy to implant memories.

      1. sd

        Has anyone ever deal th with a sociopath? I have, extensively. This is exactly one of the things they do, insist an event happened in a certain way that is simply not true. It takes enormous energy to maintain ‘reality’ in the face of a constant onslaught of lies.

        At its simplest, it’s mindf*cking.

        1. Jagger

          No sociopaths but father has Alzheimers. My father has his “reality” and he will not budge from that reality an inch. Of course, if your mind tells you one thing and someone else contradicts, who are you going to believe? It can be very difficult. Maintaining reality is not a problem though because I know his reality is false.

    3. inhibi

      Yeah, its a pure clickbait article unfortunately.

      We don’t even fully understand the mechanism behind memory, let alone “erasing” memories.

      And the part about “designed a system for implanting memories” is ridiculous. Its called pressuring someone into believing something they didn’t do. It happens ALLTHE TIME, especially in law enforcement and with children. There was a huge case the name of which escapes me at the moment about a couple who ran a day care center where a kid went missing. The interrogations of the other children lead the police to believe (or falsely implant) the idea that the couple was into satanic rituals, beheadings, etc. even though the events never happened.

      Also, no mention of how one would “target” a specific memory. Our brain is one huge complex structure of wires and nodes. I find it crazy that people think it would somehow be possible with todays technology. We don’t even know the mechanism for Alzheimers (though we have good theories)!

      People always jump the gun about 100 years when it comes to neuroscience.

      1. fresno dan

        It was the McMartin case. An absolute travesty of justice. As you note, the problem wasn’t bad or incorrect memories – it was self aggrandizing authorities who didn’t want to acknowledge reality.

    4. Praedor

      It’s still a big boon. To correct PTSD all that is needed is to remove the strong emotional connection felt in connection to painful, persistent memories. Using a drug is only a temporary thing too, it isn’t like the patient has to take pills for the rest of their lives to kill the emotional component of a traumatic memory. Come in with PTSD, go through a course of meds and retrieval (to get the meds working on the memory) and you’re done. No more PTSD. What’s not to love?

      1. cwaltz

        The side effects as a result of the meds?

        I don’t think I’d be volunteering for the clinical trials.

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        Think of it, they could get folks to keep signing up for slaughter duty (ME. wedding brigades slaughtering those rushing in to help after a drone attack) without so much as a peep.

      3. Jagger

        I have some pretty horrific memories from many, many years ago. Even today, sometimes they will pop up again just as fresh as if they happened yesterday. Very painful. For many years, I would obsess over them but I discovered that the best solution is to simply force my mind to think of something else. Change the subject. In the past, if you asked me if I could erase the memories, I think I would probably say yes but now, today, I am not sure that is the best thing. Those memories change you. Sometimes for the worse and sometimes for the better. They force you to face reality. That is important. Difficult question.

      4. norm de plume

        ‘To correct PTSD all that is needed is to remove the strong emotional connection felt in connection to painful, persistent memories’

        DARPA are developing an implant for that. What could go wrong?

    5. notabanker

      “How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
      The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
      Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
      Each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned.”

  9. mk

    Why Pay Employees to Exercise When You Can Threaten Them? Bloomberg
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Maybe the reason that the carrots aren’t working as well as sticks is that they’re not offering enough carrots. Offer substantially more carrots – like how many people would stay focused on maintaining better habits if they were paid an additional $50K/annual for it rather than $1.40/day (etc.) If they got extra time off with the additional $$, they could afford to take great vacations with their family and all kinds of other healthy activities. Yeah, I know, not realistic, blah, blah, blah…. If we can send people to the moon, surely we can do something as simple as pay people lots more money for their work so they can live better lives.

    1. reslez

      If an employer is requiring me to do something in my personal time, they should be required to compensate me. Either pay an hourly wage count it toward 40 hrs/week for exempt employees.

      1. allan

        Antonin Scalia begs to differ:

        No Pay for Donning/Doffing Safety Gear, Supreme Court Says

        The time steelworkers spend putting on and taking off protective gear falls within the scope of a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provision denying compensation for “changing clothes,” the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Jan. 27, 2014 (Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp., No. 12-417).

        Writing for a unanimous court, Justice Antonin Scalia upheld a 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that, under Section 203(o) of the FLSA, U.S. Steel did not have to pay its unionized employees for the time they spent before and after their shifts putting on and taking off safety clothing and related items.

        His opinion dripped with contempt for working men and women.

        1. Darthbobber

          But note that he was writing for a UNANIMOUS court. Labor issues are one of those things that “liberal” and “conservative” justices often find that common ground on.

    1. flora

      Most $100 bills live outside the US. It’s part of the dollar being the world reserve currency. Savers in Russia, for example, might prefer having $100 bills to holding gold or another currency.

      Larry Summers advice crashed Harvard’s endowment funds. Now he wants to ‘help’ the US dollar. yippee…

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘Harvard’s Mossavar Rahmani Center for Business and Government … has just issued an important paper … [which] makes a compelling case for stopping the issuance of high denomination notes like the 500 euro note and $100 bill or even withdrawing them from circulation.’ — Larry Summers

        Sharmin Mossavar Rahmani is Chief Investment Officer of Goldman Sachs’ Private Wealth Management Group. She serves people who don’t even carry money on their persons, not wanting to soil their hands with the common bacteria of the hoi polloi.

        You’d think with its Kennedy School o’ Gubmint — which excreted Sharmin’s husband Bijan, as well as our current DefSec Asshat Carter — that Harvard would have enough ‘ministry mills.’

        But no. Besides keeping us at permanent war, now Harvard wants to take away our money. If elected president, I will fill Harvard’s hallowed halls three feet deep with slop and transform it into an experimental swine farm.

      2. optimader

        Larry Summers= Wong Way Corrigan
        at a certain point, is it possible Summer”s inexplicably bad calls are by some design?

        …Douglas Corrigan (January 22, 1907 – December 9, 1995) was an American aviator born in Galveston, Texas. He was nicknamed “Wrong Way” in 1938. After a transcontinental flight from Long Beach, California, to New York, he flew from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York, to Ireland, though his flight plan was filed to return to Long Beach. He claimed his unauthorized flight was due to a navigational error, caused by heavy cloud cover that obscured landmarks and low-light conditions, causing him to misread his compass. However, he was a skilled aircraft mechanic (he was one of the builders of Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis) and had made several modifications to his own plane, preparing it for his transatlantic flight. He had been denied permission to make a nonstop flight from New York to Ireland, and his “navigational error” was seen as deliberate. Nevertheless, he never publicly admitted to having flown to Ireland intentionally.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Don’t know if it’s NIRP as much as it is a move to a cashless society. With no cash, the control is pretty much complete.

      1. Dr. Robert

        People really underestimate how much of the economy depends on cash transactions. There are vast grey and black markets that marginalized people in this country depend on for their livelihoods. Most small businesses use cash transactions in some capacity to avoid taxes. Actually banning cash would be an economic disaster for tens of millions of Americans.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          There are plenty of people who know exactly how much of the economy depends on cash transactions and would like to get their grubby paws on it.

          I’m thinking Craiglist for starters.

          1. Jim Haygood

            In a club last Saturday night, the lead singer of the headliner band starts talkin’ about fire.Then he whips out a gallon jug of fuel, pours it on the concrete dance floor, and lights it off.

            BOOM — six foot flames! Then the sprinklers kick in, and we’re in a dark, misty rain forest before being herded out into the parking lot.

            Trouble is, Larry Summers don’t dance, and the Fed don’t rock ‘n roll.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        When one does not have money, it does not matter whether we go cashless or not.

        “We don’t need $100 bills. Most of them serfs can’t afford it anyway.”

    3. cnchal

      Wall Street can steal trillions, but Larry is on the job as a crime fighter of the little people.

      Sands’ extensive analysis is totally convincing on the linkage between high denomination notes and crime. He is surely right that illicit activities are facilitated when a million dollars weighs 2.2 pounds as with the 500 euro note rather than more than 50 pounds as would be the case if the $20 bill was the high denomination note.

      How much did Wall Street’s loot weigh? Zero. Electronic bits weigh nothing.

      Furthermore, NIRP is theft by the criminal gang that call themselves “the authorities”.

      1. fresno dan

        The best way to rob a bank is to own one
        Bill Black

        The fact that the government worries about a million when squillions are stolen shows they that don’t really care about the theft….of YOUR money.

        1. rich

          Putting John Paulson on AIG’s Board Is an Insult to Every Law-Abiding Citizen By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 16, 2016

          If you are not yet sufficiently repulsed by the billionaire class in New York City riding roughshod over the most basic rules of ethical conduct, consider what just happened at AIG – the too-big-to-fail insurance company that was bailed out by the taxpayer during the 2008 crisis to the eventual tune of a $182 billion commitment, while its Board had the gall to pay multi-million dollar bonuses to its disgraced executives. AIG also used its bailout money to make multi-billion dollar backdoor payments to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street banks for credit default swap bets they had made, which AIG had insured, on dodgy subprime mortgage products.

          AIG’s Board of Directors just appointed hedge fund titan, John Paulson of Paulson & Company, to its Board – despite the fact that he is named in a SEC complaint as a willful participant in the disgraceful Goldman Sachs deal that was designed to rip off investors while financially lining the pockets of Paulson and Goldman Sachs. While Paulson was not charged by the SEC, its complaint made clear he played a key role and profited greatly to the detriment of misled investors.

          Adding to the outrage of this AIG Board appointment, not one major newspaper that we could find thought it was relevant to mention Paulson’s past transgressions in reporting on his Board appointment.

          is it board of destruction or directors?

  10. ChrisFromGeorgia

    It is important not to take blatantly unobjective pro-western media sources like the BBC at face value. The truth is we don’t know who bombed the “hospitals” in Azaz. Or whether they were even really hospitals at all. It might have been an errant shell launched from Turkey, who recently shelled the area to try and stop the Kurds from advancing near their border.

    Or it could have been an errant Russian or US bomb. The point is, war is hell and these incidents will be used as propaganda by both sides.

    1. timbers

      Yes. And meanwhile there are reports the Syrian army has seized a large cache of US and Israeli made weapons that were headed to terrorists (“moderate rebels” per Western media) in eastern Syria.

      1. Jagger

        And to think my taxes go to pay for arms going to both the Syrian Army and moderate rebels. I truly suspect I could make more productive use of my money.

        1. aet

          As no person ought to be trusted to judge well the merits of their own cause, I think that your suspicion may be unfounded.

          After all, you do pay your taxes using currency issued by the US Government – currency which you are and have always been forbidden by law from destroying – so you are not really using your money, are you?

  11. flora

    re: Why Pay Employees to Exercise When You Can Threaten Them? – Bloomberg

    ” “We know from a lot of research that people are irrational, but they’re predictably irrational. They tend to be more motivated by losses than gains,” Patel said. So, the stick.”

    That’s Hillary’s campaign: vote for me or the GOP will take it all away.

    Although it’s funny to hear her suddenly profess to believe the same things Bernie believes: she believes in lower college costs, she believes in improving the ACA, she believes in regulating Wall St. and reforming campaign finance – cross her heart and hope to die, she believes in these things. /s

    1. jrs

      Yes employees are “irrational” but spending more than the rest of the world on a medical system where we need to threaten employees with the loss of health care “coverage” isn’t irrational at all, not at all!

      And all this blah blah about employees motivated by losses or gains, what if they are motivated by NEITHER of them near as strongly as they are motivated by PRIVACY. I mean I do realize the NSA is reading this, but I refuse to use store cards and lots of other things like that for that reason, and I don’t want my employer monitoring me on non-work time (and how many steps I take) for the same reason. Even if it costs me more.

    1. cnchal

      On the news tonight, we find out more.

      His initial student loan debt was around $1500, but with interest plus the $1300 US Marshal’s arrest fee, the total comes to $7300

      It costs money to have six Marshals come over and arrest you.

  12. Vatch

    Photographer: That’s Bernie Sanders in Those Civil Rights Images. The Media Is Lying

    Maybe the Clinton campaign will deny that Sanders is in those photos. It’s obvious: the person in the photos has dark hair, and everybody knows that Sanders has white hair! :-)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      “Will working for housing equality in the 1960s lead to Sanders inventing a time machine and stopping slavery? No, it won’t. “

  13. EmilianoZ

    Chris Hedges’ searing attack on Bernie:

    Sanders is, in all but title, a Democrat. He is a member of the Democratic caucus. He votes 98 percent of the time with the Democrats. He routinely backs appropriations for imperial wars, the corporate scam of Obamacare, wholesale surveillance and bloated defense budgets. He campaigned for Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential race and again in 1996—after Clinton had rammed through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), vastly expanded the system of mass incarceration and destroyed welfare—and for John Kerry in 2004. He called on Ralph Nader in 2004 to abandon his presidential campaign. The Democrats recognize his value. They have long rewarded Sanders for his role as a sheepherder.

    The Democratic power structure made a quid pro quo arrangement with Sanders. It does not run a serious candidate against him in Vermont for his U.S. Senate seat. Sanders, as part of this Faustian deal, serves one of the main impediments to building a viable third party in Vermont. If Sanders defies the Democratic Party he will be stripped of his seniority in the Senate. He will lose his committee chairmanships. The party machine will turn him, as it did Nader, into a pariah.


    1. Vatch

      He routinely backs appropriations for imperial wars, the corporate scam of Obamacare, wholesale surveillance and bloated defense budgets.

      This is mostly nonsense, with the possible exception of Obamacare, although even there, Sanders has advocated in favor of a single payer system. More than once I’ve posted links to some important Congressional votes where Sanders voted against the military / surveillance establishment. I guess I’ll have to do that again.

      1. Vatch

        For the record, here are some facts about votes by Bernie Sanders. Note that he was in the House of Representatives for many years before he became a Senator.

        His vote against the Patriot Act:

        His vote against the Iraq war resolution:

        Some of his criticism of the Israeli treatment of Palestinians:

        His votes against the insidious bankruptcy reform act (a separate topic, but it’s nice having a lot of this information in one place):

        Against the original Homeland Security Act:

        His votes against the Patriot Act reauthorization of 2005:

        His vote against the USA “Freedom” Act of 2015 (really just more Patriot Act stuff):

        His vote against the Gramm Leach Bliley Act of 1999, which repealed the Glass Steagall separation of banking functions.

        This bill never came up for a vote, but in 2013, he introduced the American Health Security Act of 2013, which includes the enactment of a Medicare-for-All Single Payer Health Care System.

      2. perpetualWAR

        Perhaps you should post these links to the Truthdig article for all to see your take-down of Hedges’ take-down.

        1. Vatch

          I’ll let someone else post this to TruthDig, if anyone wants to do so. Maybe someone here who has posted there before can do it.

      3. RP

        I like Hedges…”War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” is important and should be read. But he’s kneecapping whatever slim chance we have for a non-corporate person (or even semi-non-corporate) to have a chance at the presidency.

        Truthdig prints Eugene Robinson right alongside Hedges. That site is a shadow of its former self and is overrun with trolls. Too bad.

    2. GlobalMisanthrope

      No. I think Hedges sometimes makes important observations, but this is going too far. Attempting to discredit Sanders by portraying him as a fraud because he doesn’t adopt the agenda Hedges thinks he should is a slanderous abuse of his public stage. (By the way, I don’t get the “ouch.” Hedges sounds like a little tattle-tale to me: But, but, Bernie, he did politics! Yes, Chrissy, we grown-ups all know how the Senate works.)

      It is completely irresponsible, dishonest and opportunistic to use the Sanders candidacy to attempt to advance his one-man litmus test for sincerity: demanding the end of Empire. (As if it were not already nigh…) The U.S. Left has not adopted the Hedges Doctrine as its Programme. And surely even if it had, it would realize that there would be, you know, steps involved.

      But what really irks me is that as a man of the cloth, Hedges should support ameliorative efforts. Efforts to relieve suffering, even by half measures, even if such measures prove to be temporary, are always and utterly to be encouraged.

      Hedges has lost his way. He needs to go to his room and not come out until he can explain why what he did is wrong.

      1. polecat

        I get the feeling that Hedges cares most about the Hedges Megaphone…with a sprinkling of ‘Holier than Thou’,than actual, meaningful change.

        1. GlobalMisanthrope

          I know. Too bad, too, because he has made some important contributions to the conversation about what the hell happened to the country.

          He seems to be coming a little unhinged. Maybe instead of going to his room he needs to have a few frozen drinks on a beach somewhere. I know I do!

        2. Massinissa

          I agree. Ive always felt that Hedges might not even vote for the second coming of Jesus for Mayor, because he wouldn’t be far left enough.

      2. jrs

        I think what Hedges is attacking is a kind of Myth (that even some Sanders critics seem to believe – and view as a bad bad thing!) that Sanders is some complete wild outsider. And that does not appear to be so. So though the tone of Hedges rhetoric is pretty much always over the top (though occasionally that’s what is needed – sometimes the target deserves to be hit), the point being made is a factual one, Sanders allies with the Dem party to get elected (until now maybe).

        And that point: well so what? Yes it’s not enough to make one vote for Sanders or not, it’s a point to be taken into consideration when painting an accurate picture of reality is all.

        1. GlobalMisanthrope

          I don’t see how you come to that conclusion. From the article:

          If Sanders is denied the nomination—the Clinton machine and the Democratic Party establishment, along with their corporate puppet masters, will use every dirty trick to ensure he loses—his so-called movement and political revolution will evaporate. His mobilized base, as was true with the Obama campaign, will be fossilized into donor and volunteer lists. The curtain will come down with a thunderclap until the next election carnival.

          The Democratic Party is a full partner in the corporate state. Yet Sanders, while critical of Hillary Clinton’s exorbitant speaking fees from firms such as Goldman Sachs, refuses to call out the party and—as Robert Scheer pointed out in a column in October—the Clintons for their role as handmaidens of Wall Street. For Sanders, it is a lie of omission, which is still a lie. And it is a lie that makes the Vermont senator complicit in the con game being played on the American electorate by the Democratic Party establishment.

          He’s not slaying a myth. He’s accusing Sanders of pretending to try to build a movement for change while really he’s just another corporatist stooge. And that is complete baloney.

        1. GlobalMisanthrope

          He was accused. The case was publicly closed in Hedges’ favor when all of his publishers stood behind him.

      3. Darthbobber

        Hedges’ problem is a variant of the problem my Leninist/Trotskyist friends have. The level of breakdown needed for this to be addressed in his preferred way is one I would frankly hope not to live through, and which also would by no means guarantee that the crisis would be resolved in a humanly acceptable rather than horrifying fashion.

        When people get up off the ground and start trying to demand action, they will first move within existing channels to the extent that they can. To demand that they begin at some ideologically correct point is to demand that they should be at the end, rather than the beginning, of a radicalizing process.

        And in the present environment, where the idea that There Is No Alternative is the main obstacle, to say “TINA, except to storm the winter palace” is PRACTICALLY the same thing as to just say “TINA” and stop there.

    3. Llewelyn Moss

      Well i guess it’s time for us all to put on our home-spun robes and follow Hedges to the sea to make salt. That’ll work, oh yeah.

    4. Raj

      Can’t let perfection be the enemy of good (or improvement). Heaven forbid, through incremental change, society achieves Hedges’ vision without the death toll of a real revolution.

      1. Mark S.

        The thing, for me, about Hedges is that more than any other writer from the left, he hurts my heart to read. Lots of important news/thought is a downer, but Hedges truly makes me want to go find a puppy to hug. Like he relishes the misery or something and it comes through in his writing.

  14. Peter Pan

    Nobody Seems to Know How Exactly Antonin Scalia Ended Up Dead Underneath a Pillow Gawker (resilc)

    When I told my 82 year old mother about Scalia being pronounced dead over the telephone & that no autopsy would be performed, she wondered aloud to me as to whether this exclusive private hunting ranch had an in-house escort service that specializes in BDSM.

    Mom! BDSM? She said she’s seen it depicted in many of the police based TV shows she watches. Hmm.

    1. curlydan

      The ranch’s owner, John Poindexter, was quoted in a Texas Monthly profile stating:
      ““I never married,” he said, “because when I was younger, I took enormous risks, personal risks in the military and financial risks later, that wouldn’t have worked for a family. I worried as well, at least in my younger years, that I would have had difficulty honoring my marriage vows. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the ladies enough; it’s that I liked them too much.” –

      After reading the profile of this fastidious man, I had some similar thoughts.

  15. Dave

    Damn Donald Trump!

    This debate is bringing back my fear of skyscrapers.
    What if there is a fire on the lower floors?After watching Building 7 of the World Trade Center, a 50 story building not hit by a plane, a building with a couple of fires burning in its lower floors, collapse into its own footprint at free-fall speed, I am terrified up going up in any skyscraper.

    Is my fear irrational?

  16. fresno dan

    The GOP Is Finally Debating Bush-Era Failures American Conservative (resilc)

    “The fantasy that the “surge” was a great success was another way to avoid thinking about how disastrous and costly the war had been. Many Republicans took for granted that Bush had “won” the war by the end of his presidency, which was even more absurd but extremely convenient for the war’s supporters. Midterm victories in 2010 and 2014 helped the party to avoid reckoning with the toxic Bush legacy a little longer. The last two presidential nominees were either identified closely with major parts of Bush’s agenda or had no substantial disagreements with most of it. Each time the GOP could have repudiated Bush, it mostly chose to reaffirm support for him and what he had done. That they chose to do this year after year is all the more bizarre when one remembers that Bush left office with one of the lowest approval ratings of all time. The more that the country rejected Bush, the more desperately party and movement leaders clung to him and ensured that his toxicity would continue to poison the party for many more years.”

  17. alex morfesis

    No no to sri sri…the first asian justice should be a filipino woman…the forgotten asians in america…

  18. Vatch

    In relatively low-profile procedural cases, however, Scalia did get opportunities to lead majorities. Conservatives herald his efforts in this regard. “He did more to clarify and limit the bounds and scope of judicial power than any Supreme Court justice in history, particularly in the area of standing and class actions,” says David Rifkin, a partner with the Washington office of the law firm Baker Hostetler and a former legal official in the Reagan and elder Bush administrations. “Federal courts’ casebooks will be stuffed with his decisions on those topics for decades to come.” (Translating into liberal argot: Scalia changed the rules for who could sue—and not in a way that helped the little guy.)

    Further translation: corporations are people, but people are not people.

  19. Watt4Bob

    Uber admits it intends to do away with drivers altogether.

    I’ve commented previously that driver-less cars are being developed so the 1% can do away with more of those pesky employees.

    I’m telling you folks, we’ll soon be hearing about Wal-Mart introducing driverless semi trucks, probably touting increased safety.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Science and technology for a better tomorrow.

      All college engineering education will be free.

      But doubtful for beauty schools. Don’t drop out, lest you lose that investment.

    2. bob

      Point to one example of autonomous trains. Trains have reserved corridors, no pedestrians or cross traffic. The driver there has only 2 choices, faster or slower, no steering wheel.

      Should be much simpler right?

      Where are the examples of this? Why are they *wasting* so much money on train drivers?

      Anything that comes out of Uber is complete nonsense. Remember, they bill themselves as a ride sharing service.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That’s a good question.

        Why haven’t they automated train driving?

        Not enough train drivers to invest in that technology…for now?

        First, go after car and truck drivers, then replacing train drivers will be cake walk???

        1. sleepy

          Not that unions seem to be much of an impediment to mass unemployment nowadays, but train transport has traditionally had a strongly unionized base. Perhaps that’s a reason. Go for the low hanging fruit first.

          1. bob

            The ‘low hanging fruit’, technically, is trains.

            Many less variables and possible obstacles.

            But, we’re going to automate almost 300 million cars, when we can’t do it with 1% of that number of trains.

            It’s whatever the techno-fascists say. They dictate reality. It’s just 10 years down the road.

            BS, on all of it.

            1. cwaltz

              Have you ever actually operated a train?

              I notice you don’t actually calculate the “variables” correctly. A train, unlike a car, isn’t one size fits all. They vary in size throughout their route. The fact that they vary in size actually effects how an operator “drives” a train.

                1. cwaltz

                  Car sizes are somewhat standard and if you get in an accident with one you’ve got a chance of walking away alive.

                  Train sizes depend upon the freight being transported and how many cars it involves. Or in short, it’s mass.

                  I’ll ask again, have you ever actually DRIVEN a train?

                  My spouse is an engineer, he actually has. And I assure you it is far from “simple.”

                  1. bob

                    Ya, truck drivers don’t have to worry about any of that….and THEN, ALSO steering, and pedestrians, merging, yielding, lane changes….

                    You completely miss the point. But you do know someone who drives trains, or so you claim.

                    This makes you an expert, by osmosis.

                    It also continues to miss the point of the argument.

                    1. cwaltz

                      Truck drivers don’t have to worry about that- the technology being developed is being developed for CARS.

                      I actually also happen to live near the smart road where many of the safety features for cars are developed.


                      My husband works for Norfolk Southern as an ENGINEER (which means he actually DRIVES trains)and a conductor( the guy who rides with the engineer to ensure the safety of the train. He’s a member of the UTU and his contract when he runs as an engineer is with the BLE. He presently makes trips from Roanoke to Bristol or Roanoke to Bluefield when he runs. I was around when he had to go to school for BOTH and I’ve been around for all the safety classes and recertification that is required for his job. I get to hear all about LEADER(the computer that assists engineers.) But hey, I guess in imaginary land you can believe I made this up to impress you(because everyone knows how important it is to impress random individuals on the internet.) As my young adults would say, whatevs

                      You instead can pretend you have expertise on the subject after how much experience with an actual railroad again?

                    2. Lambert Strether

                      I keep reading rail traffic is flat-lined (when you leave out coal and grain). Would your husband have thoughts on that, and the changing composition (if it is changing) of rail traffic?

                    3. bob

                      How much experience do you have with an actual railroad?

                      You are still missing the argument, and now taking it personally.

                      “I’m telling you folks, we’ll soon be hearing about Wal-Mart introducing driverless semi trucks, probably touting increased safety.”

                      From the first comment in the string.

                      “I actually also happen to live near the smart road where many of the safety features for cars are developed.”

                      So, is it the road or the car that’s smart? I’m confused.

                      And where are these safety features for a product “smart car” that doesn’t yet exist? Not much development.
                      In order to call it development, they actually have to develop *something*.

        2. cwaltz

          They have remotely operated trains but they aren’t driverless. They are operated remotely in railyards by conductors/engineers(who actually have been trained to operate them.)

          It isn’t nearly as simple as bob makes it sound. Notching a train and knowing how much air you need to let up on a train can be complicated and it definitely changes based on train size and the terrain. Additionally, freight service can and does carry chemicals, that if the train were to crash, that can take out entire towns(chlorine gas springs to mind.)

          I’m pretty sure I know why they don’t start remotely with something that might have the ability to take out entire towns if they don’t actually work. It would make the idea harder to sell for use on a highway were it to fail.

            1. cwaltz

              And once again, car size is somewhat standard, you aren’t routinely adding weight and deleting weight at each stop as you drop off train cars at their destinations or add them to the train in order to take them to their destinations and with a car you aren’t allowed to transport enough hazardous chemicals to wipe out entire towns.

              I don’t know how I can make it any simpler for you.

              Seriously dude, if you don’t know what you are talking about then you should quit while you are ahead.

            2. cwaltz

              Posting this because you seem to be under the impression that a train crash would be similar to a car crash.



              But hey, what do I know my husband only works as a freight engineer and actually operates trains( for the record they do have a computer that is supposed to “aid” the engineer but it doesn’t work very well in the blue ridge mountains where if you followed the computer you’d end up stalling or going above track speed.)

              1. bob

                You clearly have no idea what the argument is about.

                But, you do know someone that drives trains. Good for you.

                I don’t think it would be easy to automate trains. Experience tells us that.

                But, 300 million cars, driving, NOT ON RAILS, is going to be a hell of a lot harder to ‘automate’ than trains would be, if that were even possible.

                It’s not.

                1. aet

                  How about automated ships? Any problem with those? Lots of space out there on the waves for shippy robots to safely run amok…

                  I think that automated cars and trucks, to be fully effective, need people as drivers to be completely off the roads : for it is people with all their quirks and faults who make the unpredictable mistakes whilst driving, and the machines then have a deuce of a time adapting to the unpredictable flaws in the courses of those human drivers with whom they must share the road. And with the continuing drop in cost of computing power, the day that human drivers are kept off our highways may come sooner than some people would credit.

        1. bob

          State of the art in automation–

          34 cars total. 2/3 running at once? 25 total movers?

          Scale that to 300 milliion, or even 1 million. Not gonna happen.


          I do believe that much more money should go into light rail and mass transport. It is, essentially, what “autonomous cars” are. Cars you don’t have to drive.

    3. craazyboy

      Truly self driving cars and trucks are a fantasy – same as chess playing computers running the world.

    4. jrs

      Remember that article posted here awhile ago about how some no doubt influential idiot was floating the idea of reforming the unemployment system by making not just looking for real work, but taking gig jobs like Uber something one must do as a condition for getting unemployment insurance.

      And how will that work when the gig economy gives up the ghost? When the cars are self-driving, when there is neither sufficient jobs, nor unemployment insurance, nor even @#$# gigs left.

      1. bob


        Maybe, in 20-30 years, if they start building heavily now (trillions), they might get to the point where the roads would be capable of something like autonomous driving.

        You would have to re-work every single road, and make any pedestrian use of those roads illegal, to begin with. Then, weather. Roof over it? Climate control?

        It’s straight up fantasy. But, it makes great PR.

        1. craazyboy

          At which point, it would be cheaper and also possible to put in a train on the dedicated “roadway”, with a train driver, if we must.

        2. Steve Gunderson

          Having watched the video of the Tesla that can park itself in a garage, i have no doubt within 10 years the technology will be common place.

          1. bob

            Well, your very ill informed opinion, by a guy who is trying to sell you a gov subsidized very expensive car, and a completely government funded space program, is complete PR vaporware.

            What did the great and wonderful Elon do to secure such blind trust from his cultists? Is it simply the fact that he’s a billionaire, and he can and does manage his brand to appeal to puckered assholes like you?

            1. Kurt Sperry

              If autonomous vehicles are safer than human driven ones, they should probably be adopted. They needn’t be safe to be worthwhile; just safer than human driven vehicles. I think that bar is set lower than most people think.

              1. bob

                Safer for who?

                That’s one of the questions “they” have to answer.

                If, than…with no “if” in sight. Lotsa PR though.

                1. polecat

                  we’ll all be toodleling around, in little bubble shaped cars, like in the movie ‘Sleeper’………….and contrary to popular belief, it will be known that smoking is…. good for you!

            2. cwaltz

              I can’t wait to see how much these driverless cars cost and how the government expects people to afford them on their $10 an hour salary.

              I’m sure the technology will exist. I doubt it will be commonplace though considering technology isn’t free.

              It’s kind of like the whole “robots are coming to take your jobs” argument. Eventually they may take jobs but it will only be when it makes fiscal sense for businesses to actually purchase them(and it really doesn’t if you are replacing a human making burgers with a machine making burgers that must be fed ingredients by a human and the machine has 4 times the cost and not nearly the flexibility of the human- it can only make burgers, not fries, chicken, etc, etc)

  20. fresno dan

    “A legislature is thwarted when a judge refuses to apply its handiwork to an unforeseen situation that is encompassed by the statute’s aim but is not a good fit with its text. Ignoring the limitations of foresight, and also the fact that a statute is a collective product that often leaves many questions of interpretation to be answered by the courts because the legislators cannot agree on the answers, the textual originalist demands that the legislature think through myriad hypothetical scenarios and provide for all of them explicitly rather than rely on courts to be sensible. In this way, textualism hobbles legislation—and thereby tilts toward “small government” and away from “big government,” which in modern America is a conservative preference.

    So, in a preemptive defense against accusations that textual originalism is political, the book gives examples of liberal decisions that Scalia has written or joined, and there are indeed a number of them (not much of a surprise, though, since he must have voted in at least two thousand cases as a justice of the Supreme Court). In United States v. Eichman, for example, he voted to hold a federal statute forbidding the burning of the American flag unconstitutional, and it was certainly a vote against his ideological grain. But it is a curious example for a textual originalist to give. The relevant constitutional provision—“Congress shall make no law abridging … the freedom of speech”—does not mention non-verbal forms of political protest, and Scalia and Garner insist that legal terms be given their original meaning lest the intent of the legislators or the constitution-makers be subverted by unforeseen linguistic changes. “In their full context,” they assert, “words mean what they conveyed to reasonable people at the time they were written—with the understanding that general terms may embrace later technological innovations.” That approach is inconsistent with interpreting “freedom of speech” to include freedom to burn flags, since the eighteenth-century concept of freedom of speech was much narrower than the modern concept, and burning cloth is not a modern technological innovation.”
    Scalia is a pertinacious critic of the use of legislative history to illuminate statutory meaning; and one reason for his criticism is that a legislature is a hydra-headed body whose members may not share a common view of the interpretive issues likely to be engendered by a statute that they are considering enacting. But when he looks for the original meaning of eighteenth-century constitutional provisions—as he did in his opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, holding that an ordinance forbidding people to own handguns even for the defense of their homes violated the Second Amendment—Scalia is doing legislative history.
    On such grounds (which surprisingly the authors embrace as well) a sign that says “No dogs, cats, and other animals allowed” must be read to include totally unrelated animals (contrary to the principle of eiusdem generis—the “canon,” which they also approve, that a last general term in a series is assumed to be of the same type as the earlier, specific terms) because “no one would think that only domestic pets were excluded, and that farm animals or wild animals were welcome.” Right again! But right because textualism is wrong. Similarly, although a human being is an animal, a sign forbidding animals in a restaurant should not be interpreted to ban humans from the restaurant. It is the purpose of the sign, not anything in the sign, that tells you what meaning to attach to the word “animals” among its possible meanings.

    Note: article is from 2012

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think they burned British flags at that time and they must have thought that was OK, that Americans were free to express how they felt, to exercise that right. If one flag was ok, so was another one – they were in the same category.

      Scalia must have made a mistake or perhaps he tried too hard, just this one time, to appear not political.

      1. aet

        “State laws prohibiting flag desecration date back to 1897, but the federal government passed its first flag desecration law in 1968 (36-37). Interestingly, Mittlebeeler suggests that the first anti-desecration laws were due to “popular outcries against the use of the flag for advertising” (888) and its common use as clothing for black face minstrels, prize fighters, and circus clowns.”


        An interesting question: whence this 20th Century American flag fetishism arose? Why?

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Ralston Reports: Team Clinton Growing Nervous About Nevada.

    You know, nobody ever worries that Satan ever gets sick and can’t do his job.

    That is, we are all more worried about the players on our team not being able to play. The players on the other team are always healthy or we minimize their impact.

    Are we seeing this here with this headline – the writer wants to make sure Team Clinton wins, that any possible doubt draws immediate attention?

    1. craazyboy

      I’m sure Hillary! will once again draw deep down from her Lake Mead sized reservoir of strengths. After her side trip to Flint, MI, I’m sure she has plenty of yard signs and bumper stickers left over. “Vote for Hillary and you can drink the water!”

      Obviously these can be recycled in Nevada and send a powerful message to the Hispanic vote.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Think she will do a rain dance in Nevada?

        Apres danse, deluge.

        And she will be honored as a real saint.

    1. craazyboy

      If they are “freezing output” at current levels of over production and we are supposedly mere months away from filling all above ground storage, I’d say it’s just another clown car.

  22. Glen

    Scientists have discovered how to ‘delete’ unwanted memories

    Republicans have already done this for years. Ask any of them about Reagan raising taxes, or Bush declaring war on a lie.

    1. Massinissa

      The funny thing about Reagan raising taxes, is that if you tell someone, they assume it only happened like one time, even though it happened several times.

      Still, though, IIRC, every time he raised taxes it was because he had previously lowered them but lowered them too much.

  23. Carolinian

    Sanders and the Art of the (New) Deal.

    Bernie Sanders, like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter before him, wants to use mass appeal audience effects to renegotiate the country’s political and economic contract…..

    These movements operate by forcing conflict out into the open, on favorable terms and on favorable ground. Make the malignancy of power show its face in daylight. Gandhi and the salt march. MLK and the Selma to Montgomery marches. FDR picking fights and catalyzing popular support throughout the New Deal era, starting with the first 100 days. OWS changed American language and political consciousness by cementing the frame of the 1% into the lexicon. BLM reminded America who it has been and still is on the streets of Ferguson……

    One FDR snippet is instructive to consider in light all these discussions – and dismissals – of Sanders’ “theory of change.” As FDR watched progressive legislation be struck down by a majority conservative court, he famously proposed legislation that would have allowed him to add another justice. He failed, but:

    In one sense, however, it succeeded: Justice Owen Roberts switched positions and began voting to uphold New Deal measures, effectively creating a liberal majority in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish and National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation, thus departing from the Lochner v. New York era and giving the government more power in questions of economic policies. Journalists called this change “the switch in time that saved nine“.

    Of course these appeals to historic examples assume that an “audience” can be created in an era when mass media is closely owned by the plutocrats. But the Presidency is a pretty big bully pulpit even for someone who, unlike FDR, is unlikely to be elected by a landslide (if at all).

    Meanwhile Hillary’s negotiating strategy with our many malefactors is more likely to be “you had me at hello.”

    1. ekstase

      This is a great piece. The “you’re so naive,” line has been used for decades now, since the 60’s, to silence and belittle leftists. But it isn’t working anymore. Because media has changed, the silencing isn’t possible anymore.

      1. Carolinian

        I believe the author, Pachacutec, used to write at the late great Firedoglake. Obama is a prime example of the “surrender in advance” style of negotiating. Perhaps that old salesman adage applies: to be an effective salesman you have to believe in your own product.

    1. polecat

      Does Mr. Kashkari not spend the bengamins???………just as I thought……

      just another lying ,hypocritical, pos———————————–

  24. optimader

    This Video Shows Cluster Bombs Detonating In The Dense Syrian City Of Aleppo

    Russian bombing of battle scarred Syrian city of Aleppo has hit an all time high as Assad regime forces make big gains on the ground. Now even cluster bombs, meant to attack large formations of troops in the open, are being dropped on the sprawling metropolis that two million Syrians once called home.
    The international community has wised up to Russia’s dumb bombing campaign in Syria and the toll it has taken on civilians. Yet Russia says it knows of not one civilian killed by its archaic bombing tactics. They must have magic vodka that they pour on their munitions so that they only kill “terrorists”—as in anyone who apposes the Assad regime, during their hourly dumb bombing, carpet bombing and cluster bomb slinging operations.

    As far as what weapon was used during the pictured attack, it remains unclear, but it looks as if it is just a standard high-capacity cluster bomb, probably of the 500kg to 750kg variety, such as the RBK-500/750. Russia was also seen testing its own version of the Sensor Fused Weapon months ago, but its effects are far more focused, and used primarily for attacking vehicles in the field than the indiscriminate area bombardment that is seen in the video above. This weapon is called the RBK-500 SPBE-D and you can see it in action below

    Within the last 24 hours a Doctors Without Borders hospital was hit by an air strike, killing six that were working and being treated there. This is one of a series of airstrikes on hospitals and aid facilities in recent days, with two happening last week, and four others happening today. Clearly these facilities have found themselves on someone’s targeting list.

    Meanwhile Russia and Syria have blamed the U.S for all of these attacks., claiming last week that American A-10s crossed into Aleppo from Turkey to carry out attacks on hospitals. The U.S. flatly denies they or any coalition aircraft had anything to do with the airstrikes and were nowhere near the area where the attacks occurred.

    This makes sense as northeast Syria is a place where coalition aircraft seldom roam these days, not to mention the U.S. only hurts its cause by attacking these facilities yet alone the moral issues surrounding such miserable tactics.

    As for that supposed ceasefire coming in days, nobody seems to have put much faith in it. Both Syrian rebels and Russian forces have hinted that they will fight through it. Maybe the best barometer as to the chances that a ceasefire will actual be adhered to are the aid workers doing their jobs in the Syrian war zone, and their outlook remains very bleak.

    Contact the author at

  25. optimader

    Ok, you’all deserve one more, even if shynet doesn’t want to share..
    Patrice Quinn – Summertime (arr. Kamasi Washington) 2015-06-16 Blue Whale

    Patrice Quinn and the West Coast Get Down
    on Tuesday, June 16, 2015
    at the Blue Whale in DTLA

    Kamasi Washington – Saxophone
    Brandon Coleman – Keyboard & Piano
    Ryan Porter – Trombone
    Tony Austin – Drums
    Dale Black – Bass
    Justin Sky – Spoken Word Flow

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