Links 2/23/16

Undoubtedly Unexpected: A New Goat Cart Record Isidor’s Fugue

Thirteen Bald Eagles Mysteriously Drop Dead in Heavy-Handed Symbolic Performance Gawker (resilc) :-(

Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries New York Times

Terrafugia’s flying cars to be a reality by 2018 Inhabitat (David L). I prefer the Pal-V.

Drinking more coffee may lessen liver damage caused by booze USA Today (Chuck L)

Urging Openness About Superbug Infections, Doctor Omits Cases In Own Hospital Kaiser Health News


China’s ‘trilemma’ makes it vulnerable to more shocks George Magnus, Financial Times

China Appears to Have Built Radar Facilities on South China Sea Islands Wall Street Journal. Not good.

India caste unrest: Ten million without water in Delhi BBC

Negative rates: ECB seeks ways to ease pain for banks Financial Times

What is Missing in Flassbeck & Lapavitsas Servaas Storm, Institute for New Economic Thinking. A bit technical for most NC readers, otherwise I would have cross posted it. But this article nukes the Flassbeck/Lapavitas argument that divergences in labor cost competitiveness caused the European crisis.


Sterling sinks after London mayor joins ‘Brexit’ camp Times of Malta

Mayoral maths: why backing Brexit was the only option for Boris Johnson The Conversation

If I was in Britain I would not want to be in the EU Bill Mitchell


Saudi Arabia leads surge in arms imports by Middle East states Guardian

We Asked an Expert What the ‘Ceasefire’ Between the US and Russia in Syria Really Means Vice (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Why NATO Expected to Lose Most of Europe to Russia National Interest

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Sarah Jeong’s Harvard lecture: “The Internet of Garbage” Boing Boing (resilc)

Apple, FBI, and the Burden of Forensic Methodology Zdziarski’s Blog of Things. From last week. Important.

More Support for Justice Department Than for Apple in Dispute Over Unlocking iPhone Pew Research Center (Chuck L). I have not had time to read the survey instrument. Pew is not as unbiased as its reputation would have you believe. On economic surveys, it often shades the wording of its questions or their order to favor conservative outcomes.

Bill Gates backs FBI iPhone hack request Financial Times

Supreme Court Trench Warfare

Scalia’s absence to be felt as U.S. Supreme Court returns Reuters


Hillary Clinton’s Latest Attack on Bernie Sanders Sounds a Lot Like Mitt Romney Policy.mic (Angry Bear)

The Agony of Hillary Clinton Project Syndicate (David L)

Hillary Clinton Is Backed by Major Republican Donors George Washington

Bernie Sanders’ Populist Movement Is Being Splintered on Racial Lines Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

Bernie’s Army of Coders Politico

Billionaire-Owned Observer Whines About Democratization of Media and Bernie Sanders in 2016’s Worst Op-ed FAIR

Many U.S. Catholics unfazed by pope’s clash with Trump Reuters (EM)

When Will Republicans Start Recognizing How Screwed They Are? New Republic. Not so sure about that. Reslic says: “I am voting bernie in NC primary. I will vote Trump over Clinton LLC.” Other people I regard as very hard core leftists are saying the same thing.

The Election Pileup by Elizabeth Drew New York Review of Books (resilc)

U.S. official never disclosed wife’s Northrop account -documents Reuters (EM)

Virginia’s voter ID law challenged in federal trial Reuters (EM)

MSNBC Cuts Away From Bernie Sanders as He Condemns Trans-Pacific Partnership Intercept (rich)


Who Will Be Left Standing At The End Of The Oil War OilPrice

Opec has failed to stop US shale revolution admits energy watchdog Ambrose Evans-Prictchard, Telegraph

Why crude oil prices keep defying all predictions Vox (resilc). Including this because they manage to write an entire article about pricing and miss the elephant in the room: frackers have to keep pumping to service debt, and oil producing state, to meet national budgets. Wowsers.


Use of Fed’s Foreign Repo Program Grows Wall Street Journal

N.Y. Fed Having A Little Fun At Expense Of Money Managers Dealbreaker

US Treasury Will Ask Governments to Use Fiscal Policy not FX Manipulation at G20 MarketPulse

Class Warfare

Obama advisers see steady economic growth and widening inequality Washington Post

Rockefeller Really Was Way Richer Than You Are Bloomberg (resilc)

I’ll Be So Proud When My Daughter Is President and Runs a Corrupt Oligarchy Guardian

Nor a Lender Be: Hillary Clinton, liberal virtue, and the cult of the microloan Thomas Frank, Harpers. Today’s must read. Brutal.

The flow towards Europe Lucify (Gabriel U). Today’s must watch. An amazing visualization.

Antidote du jour. Kittie Wilson via Lawrence R:

cute squirrel links

And a bonus video: Richmond Zoo via Slate. Martha r: “Famous cheetah and dog pair playing in snow.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. abynormal

    Researchers at UPC have found a way to build structures with biological concrete, which allows biological organisms to grow on it, lowering CO2 in the air.
    The concrete works in layers. The top layer absorbs and stores rainwater and grows the microorganisms underneath. A final layer of the concrete repels water to keep the internal structure safe. The top can also absorb solar radiation, which insulates the building and regulates temperatures for the people inside.

    While concrete has high pH levels that don’t allow plants to grow, this one is made more acidic, which lowers the pH to levels safer for growth.

    1. Synoia

      Aka: a recipe for spalling and consequent structural failure.

      Roots growing into structural material break up the material. Do not underestimate the power of plants and their hydrostatic pressure.

      1. cwaltz

        That’s what I was thinking and even though plants make beautiful accompaniments to houses I’ve always been told to be wary if something like Ivy is growing because it also can hide decay and structural issues.

      2. jonboinAR

        Be interesting to know how long the concrete structure with plants growing out of it can be expected to last. If it’s 50 or 60 years it might be worth it. It does seem somewhat risky though.

    2. Rhondda

      That is very cool. The structure seems sound – because of the layers. And how beautiful the buildings are, all covered in mosses! Moss is one of my favorite plants.

        1. bob

          I can’t image a worse idea. “structural concrete” designed to support less structural weight over time, while at the same time adding weight to the structure.

          Most of the pictures also appear to show panels. Who wants to be standing near those buildings when a even minor earthquake hits?

          People, cars, pancakes….

        2. Rhondda

          Yes, of course that is true. But the material designers describe a layering system that protects the inner, structural layer from the more permeable outer layers that support plant-life. In the article, there are numerous pictures of buildings that looks like they’ve been there rather a while; they have some pretty significant moss-coverings. It could be a real and useful innovation. I have an open mind. Layering is a very interesting functional form.

    3. inhibi

      My wife’s PhD work at Northwestern was on using fungi to fill cracks in concrete.

      To make a long story short, she found that most of the research surrounding organisms growing in concrete was falsified or cherry picked, especially when it claimed that the fungi could grow for extended periods of time in the concrete. Her analysis was that chitin, which is found in the cell walls of fungi, was absorbing the atmosphere and producing the calcium carbonate that was attributed to growing organisms.

      Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but research with micro-organisms is HIGHLY controversial. Many of the experiments can never be duplicated. There are even some very famous papers that have been brought into question over alleged cherry picking of data.

      When testing involves living organisms, you can use any number of methods to “prove” your point.

      One of the points my wife always brought up is that we don’t even understand the speciation and environmental system of soil, let alone building our own microcosm in concrete, which has a very very harsh PH.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s OK we don’t understand (anything).

        Full speed ahead with the today’s best-explanation.

        That’s sufficient.

        That’s what we humans (those with money to fund scientific research projects) do, if there is money to be made or power/fame to be secured.

        “How we destroyed, sorry, re-made, the world with best explanations.”

        1. polecat

          ‘Full speed ahead’—————————————————————WALL ……..’ouch’

      2. myshkin

        The issue of frost others have raised may not be a problem in the Mediterranean climates the article suggests this material is suited.

        Mosses, lichens, fungi may not create the same problems as other more substantial plantings. It is an interesting direction in green building and at least worth pursuing.

        There is indeed a monstrous misunderstanding regarding soil, particularly by agri-industry. But there are people doing spectacular work on how to feed the planet without disastrous monoculture farming, insecticides and fertilizers that have greatly contributed to blowing through topsoil that accumulated naturally over millennia.

        I don’t know if NC has linked to a film called Symphony of the Soil but it suggests some answers to crucial questions for the planet regarding sustainability, food, energy, water etc . Mycorrhizal fungi and the relation of root systems to the soil and other plants and bacteria are explained beautifully.

    4. Cry Shop

      I want to point out another issue besides the concrete usability issue, and that’s the site making this report.

      Typical of these “green blog” websites, they practice a bit of fraud. None of the pictures in the article are from the test site, and most of them are photo-shopped creations, not real. The owners of these blogs prey on the needs of consumerist to feel that everything is going to be made alright by offering up all kids of distortions, exaggerations and other click-bait to drive up their advertisement income, while they divert attention from the real issues.

      That site, and a whole host of these sites, often share-ing linked articles are actually all owned by the same group of sleazeballs. Often the name of the site is a clue, it sounds green but is meaningless and isn’t tied to any organ thats doing real green work. Like the name of the blog that the original post came from: theplaidzebra. Then there are sites like Grist which are barely better, as in not quite 100% profit motive driven sleaze, maybe just 80% so.

      I’ve noticed there are also quite a few websites that “promote” themselves as liberal/progressive, often having Disqus based community exchange, but are also little more than offerings of click bate. I’ve not dug as deep at these sites yet, but a quick clue is the mixng in of articles for things like “yoga that will turn you into a sex machine” with something serious that they simply lifted directly from a far more serious website.

  2. DakotabornKansan

    The flow towards Europe visualization [] is amazing.

    My Irish ancestors were among the many who fled from the Irish potato famine and the neglect of the British government.

    I recognize them in those who are flowing towards Europe today.

    1. Kris

      It was fascinating, but I noticed that all the refugees from Ukraine were headed toward Europe, whereas in truth over a million Ukrainians actually fled to Russia. Political bias in collecting the data?

        1. Kris

          I thought that might be the explanation, too. But when I looked through the whole range of 2014 onward there was no change: all the migration shown was from Ukraine to the EU. That’s what made me question the sources.

      1. vidimi

        russia was excluded from “europe”.

        most syrians actually went to jordan and lebanon, but you won’t see that there either.

  3. allan

    The Thomas Frank article is great. This says it all:

    Sitting there in gilded Manhattan [at a Clinton Foundation event], I thought of all the abandoned factories and postindustrial desolation in the surrounding regions, and I mused on how, in such places, the Democratic establishment was receding into terminal insignificance. It had virtually nothing to say to the people who inhabit that land of waste and futility.

    A party living on fumes.

    1. DJG

      And his analysis of micro-loans (emphasis on micro) as pretty much the Uber of finance. Frank’s on fire in this excerpt.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Particularly liked the bit about hillary and her ilk’s fixation on “no ceilings,” while her electoral “base” can’t seem to find the “floor.”

    3. Jane

      As does this:

      This is modern liberalism in action: an unregulated virtue exchange in which representatives of one class of humanity ritually forgive the sins of another class, all of it convened and facilitated by a vast army of well-credentialed American technocrats, while the objects of their high and noble compassion sink slowly back into a preindustrial state.

      No wonder some think ‘liberal’ is a dirty word :(

      1. Strangely Enough

        Sure once I was young and impulsive
        I wore every conceivable pin
        Even went to the socialist meetings
        Learned all the old union hymns

        Ah, but I’ve grown older and wiser
        And that’s why I’m turning you in
        So love me, love me
        Love me, I’m a liberal

    4. athena1

      In 1997 she cochaired a global Microcredit Summit in Washington, D.C., replete with the usual Third World delegations. Hillary’s own remarks on that occasion were unremarkable, but those of the president of the Citi­corp Foundation were well worth remembering. Here is what he said to the assembled saviors of the Third World: “Everyone in this room is a banker, because everyone here is banking on self-employment to help alleviate poverty around the world.” At the closing session of the summit, bankers joined national leaders in singing “We Shall Overcome.”


  4. Mary

    The Atlantic article on Microfinance is entertaining but not the whole story. Beginning in the late 70s, many new lending organizations were formed in Latin America, Africa and Asia. They provide a small loan to a self employed person which is repaid weekly over the next year. Many well designed academic studies have not demonstrated that these loans make a significant change in the assets of a family or the ability of the family to invest in long term change, like education. But they do provide working capital to the borrower’s business.

    Because the organizations want to reach large numbers of people, they charge an interest rate high enough to cover their costs. Some organizations, not all, earned a high return on assets. Very aggressive venture capitalists moved in and pushed for growth and profits that rightly created scandals.

    To date there are 100 million borrowers served by 100,000 organizations. Not all are high-performing. Several hundred have converted from non profits to regulated bank and non bank financial institutions. Having built one stable loan product, they are today attempting to deliver health insurance or pensions or small business loans.

    I think it is a mistake to ridicule the entire effort. There are plenty of highly responsible and ethical actors and it is not surprising that it takes a long time to effect change.

    1. Steve H.

      – Very aggressive venture capitalists moved in and pushed for growth and profits that rightly created scandals.

      The status quo as a system has very effective mechanisms for capitalizing on and subverting revolutionary change. Thanks for the reminder.

    2. diptherio

      In Nepal I got the impression that most micro-loans were being used to pay labor agents for a job overseas. Land reform does way more to help poor people than micro-finance ever can.

      1. optimader

        On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone is zero
        I believe that’s on the header for zerohedge, haven’t been there in a long time but I use this line w/ some frequency… An excellent high level assessment

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Reader resilc who worked on the ground begs to differ. He sent the link to the Harper’s article (I already had it) and said:

      My first USAID career assignment (1980-84) was to be the project manager for the BKK, rural micro credit in Indonesia. This is spot on.

      Obomb’a mom worked on it too with DAI in Central Java before me.

      World Bank glommed on after. Little ladies getting $12 to start trading in dried fish and hair pieces. Mainly using the “profits” to buy school unis. It was 80-90% women. The rates were high, 60-80% to cover costs of rural banks on motocycles to go out on market days to the borrowers. But way cheaper for the ladies who didnt have to take off a full day and travel to the major town to get a subsidized loan from the GOI, or pay 200-1000% to local moneylenders. We were covering all costs, unlike Bangladesh which was never selfsustainable, but got the Peace Prize.

      1. Steve H.

        I’m confused, resilc seems to be saying his organization was ethical and effective.

        Tiny loans aren’t necessarily tiny to the recipient, and would seem to me to be a way to circulate wealth locally, &/or give financial advantage to get tools for more effective production. Resisting predatory incursion is a given.

        Is this because the article is defining microloans as having a large operating infrastructure, a global logistics chain, and practicing gender discrimination? I can accept that as an operating paradigm for Clinton Inc. But it is not a necessary means of implementation.

        My concern is that the method is like bundling ten small family homes with a McMansion priced at ten times as much, and when the McMansion doesn’t sell the bundle has a 50% failure rate. That’s a flawed means & method. Is that the case on microloans?

  5. mk

    When Will Republicans Start Recognizing How Screwed They Are? | New Republic. Not so sure about that. Reslic says: “I am voting bernie in NC primary. I will vote Trump over Clintoon LLC.” Other people I regard as very hard core leftists are saying the same thing.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~yep. couple of weeks ago my friend said to me “Well if Bernie doesn’t get the nomination, you’ll vote for Hilary then?” I realized I had to block that notion, there had to be consequences for not nominating Sanders, and perhaps incentive for her to vote for Sanders, I said “Nope, I’ll vote for Trump and Hilary can’t beat Trump. Only Sanders can beat Trump.”

    1. Furzy

      I too have come to the sudden realization that I despise Hillary even more than Trump, for all her pseudo liberalism, her coziness with the corps of Wall St., her contempt for the fact that many voters see clearly thru her management and manipulation of consent and opinion, her outright lies, and her claws into the heart and soul of what I only wish were a more functioning democracy, whose media has been completely co opted by the PACs and billionaires. Yes, I may well vote for Trump this fall if Hil is on the ticket….

        1. Antifa

          Having voted multiple times over decades for “the lesser evil”, and been relentlessly disappointed, deceived, and betrayed for doing so, I am only interested in Sanders the plain speaking and un-bought candidate.

          But this is my last dance. Should he not be nominated, I am interested in picking someone who can most effectively burn the whole political system to the ground, for I value none of it.

          1. cwaltz

            I’m not going to burn the whole thing to the ground, however I will NOT be employing voting for the lesser of the evils(which appears for some reason what people seem to think about Trump)strategy. I’ll vote Green. I’d rather be thought of as a dilettante than be responsible for either one of the core party clowns occupying the WH, particularly if they gave me ZERO reason to trust their intentions.

            1. Kris

              This is what I’m struggling with as well. Although part of me feels it’s necessary to defeat Hillary at all costs, I’m also not comfortable with an emotional vote in favor of Trump. Who knows what he would bring us, especially when predicated on what is supposedly “possible” (politically, assuming he brings no political machine with him) among his positions (i.e., assuming the worst, most right-wing, racist, elitist-rewarding policies will be the only ones that pass)? And given the real, existential threat (to humanity and most other mammalian species) of oncoming climate disaster, what is the cost of voting in someone who will “burn everything to the ground” without a clear notion of what needs to replace it?

      1. sleepy

        For anyone such as Hillary to campaign that a continuation of the status-quo will lead to some sort of vague improvement is too clueless to be elected to anything. The American people–a large number of them at least–absolutely ridicule that notion. And this in spite of the most amazingly crooked and demented media completely shilling for the status quo.

        There are too many fissures and cracks in the neoliberal model for it to hold. The result will either be a collapse or, probably more likely, increased controls and repression to deal with the collapse. But aside from Sanders and Trump, no one questions the efficacy of that model, nor has any alternative plans other than to plunge ahead with the same old, same old.

        At least this go around, a good chunk of the electorate has said no to that.

        I’d as soon vote for Ben Carson as Clinton which is never. Trump? Not there yet, but 3 months of hearing Hillary campaigning as the dem nominee might force me over the edge.

        1. rich

          If Bernie Sanders loses, his backers may not be there for Hillary Clinton in November

          Gio Zanecchia is so enamored of Bernie Sanders that he made a five-hour drive with his wife and infant son from South Jersey on Saturday morning to catch a glimpse of the progressive firebrand.

          But what if Sanders loses the Democratic nomination? Asked whether he will be there to vote for the Democrat in November should Sanders falter, the 34-year-old union mechanic reacts as if the question is insane. There is not a chance, he insists, that he would ever support Hillary Clinton.

          “She’s establishment,” Zanecchia said. “Most of the guys I work with think she’s a criminal.”

            1. cwaltz

              Meh. I’m not under the impression Sanders is perfect and I feel no obligation to act on his endorsement.

            2. jsn

              Anyone who’s paying attention know Sanders will back Clinton if her team counts the votes her way. He loses all his seniority and his committee positions if he balks. So what. His endorsement will mean little at that point.

              1. cwaltz

                Bernie, unlike Trump, will be a man of his word. If he told the party that he’d stand down and endorse the candidate who won the primary in order to run as a Democrat, then I expect that is what he’ll do(and no I don’t think it’ll be because he’s worried about losing positions that he got based on seniority.)

                1. jgordon

                  If he wasn’t worried about losing his status in the Senate, he wouldn’t have made that promise in the first place. For whatever reason he feels that being inside the tent is better than being outside. That is why he’s nearly useless.

                  1. cwaltz

                    That’s a BS argument. I’m sure you know that though in the same way you “know” that Sanders is worrying about losing “status” in the Senate.


                    He’s “using” the tent. He stated beforehand that he went with the Democratic Party because launching a third party bid would waste valuable time that he could be spending on educating people on his platform. His deal with the Democrats was pragmatic(much like his vote for ACA to get community centers funded.) I don’t consider launching a conversation on our economy and how it functions(or doesn’t for many) useless. He’s advancing the ball down the field instead of taking his ball and going home.

              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                His endorsement might lead to an exodus of his supporters from the party…permanently.

                That would mean a lot.

      2. Vatch

        I may well vote for Trump this fall if Hil is on the ticket….

        Well, dang! You just contradicted something I said to Eureka Springs a couple of days ago.

        E.S.’s comment:

        My comment:

        If Hillary is nominated, I expect to do what I did in 2012, and vote for a third party candidate. Antifa (11:03 AM) plans to do something similar.

      1. cwaltz

        What makes you think he won’t “make a deal” with the GOP? After all, that’s his claim to fame making deals to benefit himself.

    2. Bunk McNulty

      What reason is there to believe that The Donald would not perform a volte-face on the scale of Obama’s if elected? He’s a guy who likes deals, no? I have to believe that by the time of his inauguration he’ll have a briefcase bursting with special offers from Corporate America. I mean, he makes no secret of his avariciousness, right?

      1. RabidGandhi

        Huge difference.

        With Obama there was no volte-face. He was a blank slate neo-liberal from the get go. You can look at his original campaign website and see this, but for the real proof, just look at how quickly the big money lined up behind him: because it was obvious from the outset that every plank in his platform was for sale and for the bigwigs they knew even before the election that it would business as usual.

        Not so much with Trump. With Trump there is a lot more that is unknown. Most likely he can be manipulated, but maybe not. So the PAC money hasn’t gone his way (yet at least). This is not to say that Trump can’t be persuaded (to use a mafia term); it just means that since the usual one-dollar-one-vote system would be off, no one (not even the Donald) would really know how to get their policies implemented.

        1. James Levy

          Folks, you can ignore this all you want, but this is a man who actively WANTS to torture people and kill their families and is proud of this fact. He is dementedly determined to built a multi-billion dollar wall between us and Mexico. This is a man who has repeatedly said that the minimum wage is TOO HIGH. And he’s a billionaire real estate speculator, i.e. parasite.

          Sure, don’t vote for Clinton–that’s fine. But voting for Trump is not voting for a lesser evil. it is voting for a very great evil.

          1. RabidGandhi

            You’re barking up the wrong tree, Jaime. I’m not even in the right hemisphere to vote for Trump, and at no point did I ever suggest anyone should.

          2. jimmt

            I’ll be waiting to see how far he pivots if he has the nomination before I make up my mind. I have known a few real estate guys that promise a lot more to close a deal than they deliver so it may be the Republican conservative base that is screaming by the fall.

            1. MikeNY


              I made the mistake of badly underestimating the man. He’ll have to pivot for the general. He’ll have to have a ‘platform’. He may be all that JL says he is; the problem is separating for beef from the bluster. I don’t know yet. I do know that the prospect of 4 more years of the Clintons simply makes me despair. When she pivots, it will be to the right.

          3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            After voting for McGovern, Carter, Mondale, Dukakis (!) Clinton, Kerry, and Obomba (once) if Hilary gets the nomination I will be voting for Trump.
            I’m a dual-issue voter. First issue is which candidate is least likely to start WW III. Second issue is which candidate can throw the biggest possible hand grenade into the heart of the country’s political machinery.
            In practice I do not believe there would be any daylight between Trump’s stand on torture and Hilary’s, nor do I feel that is the pivotal issue. That horse is already out of the barn, Bush destroyed America’s reputation in that regard for at least a generation with Abu Ghraib. And Trump is sounding pretty “truthy” about Iraq WMD lies, 9/11, TPP, and a depressingly lengthening list of other comparisons with Hilary.

            1. tgs

              Well said.

              I have the same depressing voter history as you, and I feel the same way. Diana Johnstone in a recent interview at counterpunch said that she wrote her take down book on Hillary in large part because she really believes that Hillary is insane enough (in the ideological sense) to lead us into WW3.

              Trump is an imbecile, but I don’t see him as the horseman of the apocalypse.

            2. cwaltz

              I’m not convinced he’s less likely to start WW3. The guy has absolutely no filter and he’s impulsive. Sure it may not started with Russia but do you sincerely think places like Mexico are going to be bullied when he insists that they must build a wall for our benefit?

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                He makes Mexico address its own inequality problem, that will be half way to a solution.

                The other half is to eradicate neoliberalism coming from abroad.

                1. cwaltz

                  How exactly is he going to make anyone address anything?

                  As far as I know the two options for addressing problems abroad have always been bags of cash or force.

                  I see nothing to suggest that Trump has any other solutions up his sleeve and would love to see how you get a country that is on the record as once telling the US it had a responsibility to find jobs for Mexican citizens to somehow address it’s own problems. It positively flies in the face of logic. We aren’t electing President for the world here.

                    1. andyb

                      Our shadow government needs the status quo in Mexico; the outsourcing of criminals, drug running, and the off-shoring of jobs. How else will the total decimation of the middle class be accomplished. Only Trump has framed this issue. If he makes it through the process without ending up like JFK, and if there isn’t a brokered convention, he may be the only hope a sovereign America has left.

                    2. cwaltz

                      That’s my point in order to get them to show up he’ll either need to use the carrot or the stick. Otherwise, there is positively no way he can seriously FORCE Mexico to pay for a wall and address illegal immigration.

                      If you think he’d use a sharp pointy stick to approach problems then I don’t see how anyone could say “at least he won’t be responsible for WW3” seriously?

              2. jsn

                Look at actions, not words.

                Trump has not done stupid, irrational and destructive things like Hillary has. He will say anything, some non-sensical like the wall idea, but a great deal more uncomfortable truth than anyone but Bernie thus far.

                Trump is a chops busting showman, but no suicidal maniac by the evidence of his actions.

                In addition to dismantling welfare, running her own private state department that apparently had its own private war in Libya and her complete integration into the Wall Street mind set, Hillary considers Kissinger a friend: she actually believes what we are doing in the ME is right. Rational? What more needs saying?

                1. cwaltz

                  I AM looking at actions. The guy is being sued for fraud, wanted to be paid to show up for a job interview, acts like a bully toward anyone who disagrees with him. Sure, he hasn’t caused any problems in the ME yet. Then again he’s not been on the national stage as a player that could cause a war.

                  The idea that a guy who essentially would joke about killing muslims by dipping bullets in pigs blood doesn’t exactly scream that he has a huge problem with what’s going on in the ME to me. On the contrary, it sounds like blustery guy will make a mess because he HATES muslims, all of them, even the ones we’ve traditionally considered “allies.”

                  1. jgordon

                    And even with all that he’s still about 10X better than Hillary. At least that’s why most people are going to vote for him over her.

                    1. cwaltz

                      That’s your opinion.

                      Personally, I believe you are comparing apples to oranges since one actually has a public record because she is a public servant and the other one can hide behind the fact that he works as a private citizen and isn’t subject to the same level of scrutiny until recently.

                      It’s really easy to mistake he hasn’t had the opportunity to start a war like she has with, he wouldn’t start a war. They aren’t the same thing.

                2. hemeantwell

                  Trump seems to prefer his imperialism in largely economic terms and so far has been refreshingly and usefully willing to desacralize the more recent military blunders/crimes of the US. Along with this, he also appears to be willing to question allocations to the military-industrial complex. I don’t know how this would effect my vote, but he’s vastly preferable to HRC in this area. I think it’s wrong to pretend WW3 isn’t a possibility, but what I’m more concerned about with Clinton is that she would be most definitely happy to use military pressure to try to slow, if not reverse, the weakening of US power in the world. Like the Kit Carruthers character in Badlands, we already know she’s a war criminal, it’s just a question of how big of one she will be. And her criminality will not be just a matter of those directly killed, but lives prevented from developing because resources are being wasted on another goddamn arms race.

          4. neo-realist

            Don’t count out the possibility of the GOP elites/associates finding a way to steal the nomination from Trump prior to or at the convention and giving it to Rubio. If the party elites are totally of the mind that he will not be compromised into going along with the script in any way, I’m sure they will resort to whatever options they can use to take him away from the nomination

            I don’t believe Rubio would be a lesser evil compared to Hillary (and I’m no Hillary fan), with his support of total bans on abortion, tax cuts on steroids to the rich, and large increases in military spending.

            1. jsn

              But with Rubio vs Hills there’s no ambiguity, both wholly owned. So sit this one out and organize for whatever comes next.

            2. Rhondda

              Rubio’s little “brand” tag line is a dead giveaway: The New American Century
              Beyond clueless. Overtly evil and proud of it.

          5. different clue

            Obama regularized and normalized torture by refusing to allow prosecution machinery to grind forward against Bush, Cheney, etc. So Obama created the context in which a President Trump could authorise any torture he wants.

            And who is to say that Clinton would authorize any less torture than Trump would? She just has better sense than to proclaim it. And given the fact that Clinton would like to risk a war with Russia whereas Trump would like to risk peace with Russia, which President would be more dangerous to more people?

          6. Lexington

            I’m not American so I won’t have to face the dilemma of whether to vote for Trump if Sanders loses…but I admit my sympathies are with the sentiments Antifa expressed above:

            But this is my last dance. Should he not be nominated, I am interested in picking someone who can most effectively burn the whole political system to the ground, for I value none of it.


          7. jgordon

            Uh, Clinton has a foreign policy platform that is far more aggressive and inhumane than Trumps. I’m just sayin.

            1. cwaltz

              That’s your opinion. Trump also wasn’t heading a State Department where he could fund aggression and inhumanity(other than exploiting labor.)

              He was positively extolling the virtues of soaking bullets in pigs blood to kill Muslims, I’m pretty sure he could meet and possibly exceed her in aggressive and inhumane.

        2. Bunk McNulty

          You are, of course, correct. Pam Martens was on to him early. But I wasn’t, and obviously I was hardly alone. He did run an incredibly deceitful campaign. Trump is not deceiving anyone about what he wants to do, but as I said, he’s a man who advertises his own avarice, and the Presidency will give him opportunties galore to satisfy it. He may believe he is a Populist, but he’s a Tweed Populist. He’ll see his opportunities, and he’ll take ’em.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The first hint for me, was when he said one thing publicly about NAFTA, and another to assure his backers in a private fundraiser.

            1. cwaltz

              In other words, despite all blusters to the contrary, he’s a closet politician. He says what he thinks you want to hear rather than what needs to be said.

    3. Goyo Marquez

      I’ve been a Republican since Ronald Reagan’s election and I’m with Reslic. Assuming Bernies in it by the time the most populous state in the Union gets to vote, I’ll change my registration and vote for Bernie. But if it’s Hillary vs. Trump I’ll probably vote for Trump, in spite of his anti-Hispanic pandering, or not vote at all.

      The elites need to get a message. The countries going up in flames because of the neoliberal economic ideology. Right now they’re acting like Mayor Bradley when he went on TV during the first night of the Rodney King riots to assure us everything was fine, and everybody was like, Mr Mayor you need to turn on your TV.

    4. Rhondda

      That seems to me to be the weakness of 2016 Hillary Dem LOTE campaigning — between Hillary and Trump, the lesser of those two evils seems to many persons (myself included) to be Trump.

    5. jgordon

      Personally I’m going back and forth with myself already whether I’d vote for Trump or not if Sanders was on the ticket. If it’s Hillary–well needless to say I’d vote for Stalin before I vote for Hillary. Voting Trump is a no-brainer.

      1. Vatch

        I’d vote for Stalin before I vote for Hillary

        You might want to tone down your rhetoric just a bit. Stalin murdered millions of people, and is in the same category as his fellow mass murderers Hitler and Mao. Hillary is bad, and I won’t vote for her, but let’s not exaggerate how bad she is.

        1. Titus Pullo

          How many people around the globe have died because of Hillary Clinton’s support for neo-liberal economics and neo-conservative politics. Yes, unlike Stalin, Hitler, or Mao she hasn’t directly ordered the deaths of millions, yet her time at State has created another level of chaos that has led to deaths of many, many thousands by war and by privation and disease (which is a miserable way to die). Of course, there’s her support of the Iraq war, the Iraq sanctions (which led to the deaths of 500,000 children), etc. And how can we forget her leadership and concern during the Rwandan genocide.

          Was she directly responsible, as in she gave the order? No. Regardless, she should be held to account for how her ambition and politics has routinely required various kinds of mass blood sacrifice (you know, a holocaust or three — also notice the uncapitalized ‘h’) to get her to next level on her road to the Presidency.

          While you may not be willing to make the comparison, I imagine historians in the future will.

        2. ambrit

          That’s a quantity versus quality argument, and fallacious. Once you’ve killed the first ‘innocent’ person, you’ve jumped categories completely. Besides, what’s the real difference between the ‘Five Year Plans’ and the neo-liberal medical diktat (ACA)? Both aim to get the job done. One told the ‘victims’ to “go die for the Motherland,” the other says, “go die for private oligarchs.” Either way, you die.
          If H. Clinton works to keep the ACA, then she is roughly equivalent to Stalin, Hitler, or Mao. (With some of the Republican candidates, I’d add Pol Pot.)

        3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I think the opposite is true, it’s time to turn the rhetoric UP, that’s the trouble with the Vichy Left, they still think this is a game of reasonableness and middle path policy formulations. You do not “triangulate” with billionaire class blood-soaked corporo-fascists, you SHOUT THEM DOWN with the same vehemence, exaggeration, hyperbole, and dirty tricks they do not hesitate for a second to use against you.

          1. cwaltz

            I think it’s interesting that voting for what appears to be another corporo-fascist(I see nothing in Trump that suggests he’ll think twice about killing brown people in the ME if the US can profit from it) appears to be the strategy to shout down Hillary Clinton.

            I’m pretty sure you all are being played like a fiddle.

            1. James Levy

              Amen. The complete demonization of Clinton–and I mean that literally, as she is not portrayed here as a bad person but evil incarnate–has got otherwise rational people happily saying they will vote for a 1%er who is a crook who loves torture, violently anti-Moslem and misogynistic, has no respect for the rule of law, and is an equal opportunity panderer. The tenor of the discourse on Clinton is approaching Dinesh D’Sousa talking about Obama: just plain nuts. I expect that soon Dubya will be wheeled out as “misunderstood” and “not such a bad guy” because he couldn’t possibly be as sick, twisted, and evil as Clinton.

              1. lyman alpha blob

                Maybe what’s making people say they’d vote for Trump over sHillary is that they are both perceived as liars.

                We all know plenty of Clinton’s whoppers and we’ve seen her neoliberal record.

                Does anybody actually believe Trump is really going to deport all the Mexicans back to Mexico and build a wall? I sure as hell don’t. Who do you think works in all those hotels that (if you believe his figures) made him a billionaire? You think he’s suddenly going to deport all the cheap labor he’s been exploiting for decades?

                Trump even admitted he just says stuff to see what gets a response and if people like it, he keeps saying it. He’s a classic mountebank who likes to shoot his mouth off and I don’t think most people take what he says seriously. They’re supporting the cult of personality, not the policies because there are none.

                1. jgordon

                  Yes, probably all true! But we already know the other side DOES have policies. Very wicked and underhanded policies. No policies at all beats that any day of the week! Yes, I believe that.

              2. Lexington

                The complete demonization of Clinton…has got otherwise rational people happily saying they will vote for a 1%er who is a crook who loves torture, violently anti-Moslem and misogynistic, has no respect for the rule of law, and is an equal opportunity panderer.

                How do any of these things, with the partial exception of the misogyny, set Trump apart from the American establishment at large? The establishment made torture an accepted part of national policy, has been waging an open ended war against the Muslim world since 9/11, has torn up the Bill of Rights and is rancid with amoral careerists looking out for #1. The difference between Trump and the establishment is that he has the bad taste to actually say what he thinks instead of concealing the essential awfulness of it under a veneer of technocratic authority and competence. At the end of the day it’s only a difference of style rather than substance, and I for one find the candor a refreshing change.

                1. cwaltz

                  I find the candor appalling.

                  I despise the establishment for it’s treatment of humanity and don’t think the problem is that it hasn’t been open about it’s behavior. The problem is with the behavior itself. I don’t how anyone with a conscience can say that killing people in the ME will be better if we’re honest about the fact that we’re going to do so because we can and because we consider them to be scary brown people. Seriously. The end result is the same, dead people.

              3. jgordon

                “We came, we see, he died [raucus laughter]”

                I don’t know what your definition of evil incarnate is, but that sure matches me.

        4. Vatch

          I’ll respond to several people in one message. First of all, let me repeat: I do not support Hillary Clinton, and I won’t vote for her if she’s the Democratic nominee.

          Hitler, Mao, and Stalin were each directly responsible for tens of millions of deaths. They were ruthless psychopaths who caused destruction on a vast scale. To suggest that Hillary Clinton is remotely in the same class is beyond bizarre. Sure, she has supported multiple harmful policies, and people died because of her actions. Thousands of other people have done that. Actually, millions. She had no responsibility for the Rwandan genocide; she wasn’t a public official; it doesn’t matter whether or not she advocated military intervention. She is one of hundreds of legislators who supported the Iraq war. She was not a Senate leader, and she certainly was not part of Bush’s national security team.

          If H. Clinton works to keep the ACA, then she is roughly equivalent to Stalin, Hitler, or Mao.

          That’s the kind of surreal nonsense I would expect from Rush Limbaugh. The ACA is hyper-bureaucratic, and very profitable for the insurance companies, but it is not remotely like the mega crimes of the Monsters of the 20th Century.

          If you’re angry about Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and we all should be, do something positive. Encourage your friends to vote for Sanders. If you can afford it, make a donation to his campaign. At primary or caucus time in your state, be sure to vote for him. But don’t damage your credibility by making weird over-the-top claims about Hillary.

          1. DJG

            Thanks for that, Vatch. I thought that we are here to talk policy. If I want hand-wringing, rumor mongering, goats in pajamas, and recipes for cupcakes, I can go back to my Facebook feed.

    6. RabidGandhi

      That’s as may be, but remember Team Blue is at its best when it can bleat après nous la déluge in the general election. And the left has a sorry history of falling in line when push comes to shove, as may clearly occur if a Trump presidency becomes more of a clear and present possibility.

      Also in this regard it should be noted that should HRC win the dem nomination (gag), taking on a Trump would be right in her wheelhouse (eg: identity politics, pandering to minorities that she treats as a battered spouse, glittering tabula rasa generalisations…). This has obviously not been the case with Sanders, where on questions like her Goldman-Sachs speeches/PAC support she is manifestly off-guard (we went from “because 911!” to “well everybody does it!”). Once an HRC backed by the big money and the MSM makes it a true horserace with Trump, how firm will Camp Sanders hold its line of never voting HRC on principle?

    7. Llewelyn Moss

      I will write in Bernie regardless. Everyone else who is running are neoliberal scum (both parties). And if Bernie is not nominated, I will put my energy behind a write-in campaign if I can find one. I’m an Independent who has always voted Dem in the past, but the Dems have lost their soles (all but a couple IMO). And these caucus forums are Foobar — too easy for the Dem establishment to influence and fudge the numbers.

      1. jgordon

        To be perfectly accurate, Trump also is not a neoliberal scum. The neoliberals loathe Trump. As to why, open borders, “free” trade, and unrestricted capital flows are all sacred cows that neoliberals get together to masturbate over, while Trump poopooed them.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Well Ok, I suppose if you believe all his populist rhetoric (which I ain’t buying). But something tells me Trump is neoliberal WRT building and operating casinos.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            What Trump is doing is taking on a lot (not all) of the major institutions…Bush and the Republican party, the Pope, etc.

            Remove him and Sanders, we can still see the pillars of status quo shaking.

            Will that bring in a new era? We will see.

  6. timbers

    “When Will Republicans Start Recognizing How Screwed They Are? | New Republic. Not so sure about that. Reslic says: “I am voting bernie in NC primary. I will vote Trump over Clintoon LLC.” Other people I regard as very hard core leftists are saying the same thing.”

    This is my experience, too. Have a smart friend who is main stream Dem, well off, and immigrated from Dominica Republic (he got ensnared in paperwork on US citizenship when Reagan changed the rules and it added much time and expense). He is delighted and entertained by Trump, and knows Hillary is corrupt but explains her corruption away as “they all are.” He thinks Hillary will win and doesn’t like Trump but is constantly delighted by what he says.

    I would classify him has a main stream Massachusetts Democrat who thinks the system works on corruption. He does say it’s right but it’s how the system works.

    What I don’t get is, why don’t these people support Bernie? He never brings up Sanders. Only Trump.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Politics is nothing more than team sports for many people. Sanders is the guy from the minors. It makes sense to bring the kid up to replace the aging veteran who once showed some promise, but the average fan bought a jersey and doesn’t want to admit buying jerseys is a stupid idea and has no concept of minor league systems.

        1. cwaltz

          I think status quo elites, for all their fits, believe Trump can be bought. After all, this is a guy who wanted to be paid for showing up at the GOP presidential debates. I suspect they are right. Trump will benefit and the average citizen will be sold down the river- again.

    2. jgordon

      People who appreciate and benefit from corruption will naturally not support Bernie. Why would they when they have Clinton?

    3. jgordon

      Even better: Trump just said in front of a live audience in Nevada that he’d prosecute Clinton as president. I foresee a tide of disaffected Bernie supporters flowing to Trump from that promise alone. Just imagine, Clinton is running against the guy who’s going to prosecute her if she loses. That is just too funny.

      1. James Levy

        What, for taking HIS bribe? That would make an interesting court case.

        Trump is a fixer, a macher, a corrupt real estate speculator (are there any other kind?). To pretend he has any moral superiority to the evil and corrupt Clinton is comical. Just because the person you hate sucks doesn’t make the enemy of your enemy your friend or anyone you’d want to see within a mile of the levers of power.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Compared to the let anything go strategy of Obama, one set of crooks pursuing the other set will be popular.

        2. jgordon

          Like that’s any kind of an argument that would work against Trump. The people Trump is in bed with aren’t the Fascist globalist neoliberals and neocons that Hillary is in bed with. Trump made his fortune by legitimate, if shark-eat-shark, wheeling and dealing. Clinton is a creature of corrupt whose only rhyme and reason is corruption. Suck the corruption out of Clinton and there would be nothing but an empty shell left. Without the wheeling and dealing Trump would still be an entertaining and amiable fellow.

            1. James Levy

              Did he see the contempt he has for women? For a Mexican journalist? Well, jgordon is not one of those lesser breeds, so why worry–Trump will only run over the rights of Moslems and immigrants and anyone who disagrees with him, so why give a shit.

              1. jgordon

                We will return to the same point over and over. Hillary has demonstrated contempt for all human life period. At the absolute best she is only on the same level as Trump with regards to that. And a whole lot lower when it comes to corruption.

                1. cwaltz

                  Stealing money under the guise of “education” seems pretty corrupt to me.

                  Heh, there can be dueling corruption lawsuits since it appears that Clinton AND Trump are going to be deposed for their behavior.

          1. Skippy


            It must be curious to be presented with the drama of being afflicted with both the libertarian love of authority figures [like trump] and yet a druid like aficionado of antiquarian romanticism wrt climatic change.

            “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” – Trump


            Skippy…. the cog dis w/ a side of the meta burns…. hurts my head from half way around the world…

            1. bob

              J’s been a long term fan of ostentatious displays of cognitive dissonance. I can’t remember one comment I’ve seen of theirs that wasn’t at odds with itself.

            2. jgordon

              Not really. I’ve said all along that Trump is silly and ignorant, or at least portrays those qualities. The problem is not Trump, it’s the neocon and neoliberal nut cases he’s competing with.

              1. Skippy

                Mate do you have a bad case of Tourette-esque syndrome wrt rolling contradictions.

                “Trump made his fortune by legitimate, if shark-eat-shark, wheeling and dealing.”

                Which now you say is…

                “I’ve said all along that Trump is silly and ignorant, or at least portrays those qualities.”

                With a side of oh… its not about Trump, but neoliberalcons… shroom reality glitching?

                What if Trump was actuality a neoliberal corporatist of the nationalist right wing strip w/ out the Christian Dominionism baggage.

                The Guardian

                It might be tempting to view the political success of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as something uniquely American. But, argues Gary Younge, rightwing populism and scapegoating of society’s vulnerable is cropping up all across the west. This is what happens when big business has more power than governments.


                Skippy…. what if all your being offered is the – Ghost Busters dilemma – to choose of your – own – free will the destroyer…. that way the blame is on the mob and not the TPTB…

              2. cwaltz

                Again, I think you are mistaking this as an either/or situation.

                Trump can be silly, ignorant AND corrupt while just displaying silliness and arrogance.

  7. Torsten

    I think the Servaas Storm essay warrants a cross-post. The opening arguments are a little technical, but even this utterly untrained noneconomist could see Flassbeck and Lapavitsas trying to pass off pretty graphs of simplistic pairwise comparisons as serious economic analysis. With a brief intro, I’m sure most NC readers could easily get to the second half, where Storm scores a series of excellent points in what seems to me to be an exceptionally clearly written diagnosis of the Euro crisis.

  8. Starveling

    Add me as another Bernie supporter who will vote Trump before I dream of Clinton. Corruption is a far bigger issue in our society than bombast- hell, maybe some of that populist bombast will rub off on the left and we could get real firebrand populists again.

    1. Katniss Everdeen


      The exit of the last weeping bush with his family’s tail between his legs was a sight to behold. And a LONG time coming.

      The prospect of a similar final dispatch of the clintons at Trump’s hand is an opportunity too precious to give up. And the relentless, incremental deconstruction leading up to the final, “hillary, you’re fired?” I can hardly wait.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Weeping – reminding us of the mother of the last Moorish king, as they left Alhambra, beautiful Alhambra, for the last time:

        Don’t weep like a woman (nothing wrong in my opinion, to weep, or to be like a woman, by the way – this commenter’s note), for you could not defend as a man.

        (More note: Women can defend too, but they, the people in the quote, lived in a different age).

        “I am going down fighting. Obama is weak. Hillary might steal the election, but the world must know the truth, or at least how I feel, thought he has been called much worse by commenters at Naked Capitalism.”

        1. cwaltz

          Perhaps Ivanka can run in 2020? The idea that the guy who started his business on a million dollar loan from daddy as anti dynasty is kinda funny.

          1. James Levy

            You mean the daughter he has consistently fantasized in public about having sex with? You mean that amiable dad? But everyone else here don’t worry–he’s not Hilary the Anti-Christ.

            1. cwaltz

              I don’t understand the whole Hillary is untrustworthy, so that must mean Trump is the trustworthy one.

              Uh it is within the realm of reason that we should trust neither(which is typically how these elections seem to work, two untrustworthy people making promises they have no intention of keeping.) Personally, I think the GOP is mad because Trump is in shakedown mode. He’s already tried for payola to show up. What do you figure the odds are he won’t make them pay for his platform. The Art of the Deal indeed.

              1. jgordon

                Of course, that’s like saying that HIV and herpes are equal, because both are viruses that stay with you till the end.

          1. polecat


            smashes keyboard against wall……………………..

    2. Romancing the Loan

      The same. At best for a Trump/Clinton matchup I might be convinced to stay home.

      …The idea that he’d actually get into office and start rounding up Muslims and sending them to death camps is absurd. I have had to challenge several people to explain what fascism is when he is discussed. No one seems to actually know.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        He will probably deport them to Mexico…geographically, Mecca, Mexico…from Manhattan, they all look the same.

    3. fresno dan

      February 23, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Corruption is the more effective evil…
      Maybe terrible, terrible things can happen under Trump, but I know long decline just continues with Clinton.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I will be hoping for ‘the government doesn’t have enough money to fund all those deportations’ to stop Trump.

    4. SeanMPLS

      While I would never in my life vote for that sycophant known as Hilary, I am honestly struggling with the thought “If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination, I’m voting Trump.” Many of my closest friends have expressed this same sentiment and it makes my stomach churn. Not that I don’t enjoy Trump splintering the GOP beyond recognition, and as much as I detest Hilary – I mean, I throw things at my tv when her ads come on – I can’t even fathom voting for Trump, even though my friend recently said I was being “too stubborn in my beliefs” to understand the appeal. There’s always been something off with my ability to grasp the crazy world in which we live, maybe I’m just the weirdo in this situation..

      If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination, instead of weighing the positives (which are very few) and negatives of Trump, I think I am going to just kick the scale over and stay home. Regardless of my activity or inactivity, Clinton loses to Trump, Trump becomes President, and the clown show known as the good ol’ USA gets its mascot.

      Oh Canada, our friendly neighbors to our north, the 8 hour drive to reach you grows more appealing everyday.

      1. James Levy

        I’ll vote Socialist or Green, but there is no way I’m voting for Trump, who is a dangerous narcissist even if too many people around here have assured themselves that the enemy of my enemy must be my friend.

        1. wbgonne

          there is no way I’m voting for Trump, who is a dangerous narcissist

          … and a racist, a global warming denier, a bombastic warmonger, and a neo-fascist. [He’s probably still better than Clinton] but a vote for Trump is out of the question for me.

        2. Lord Koos

          Amen. Unfortunately, voting green or any other party (even writing in Bernie) instead of Clinton is pretty much a vote for Trump. If Bernie isn’t nominated we are screwed. Again.

          1. cwaltz

            I reject that. A vote for another party is a vote for another party. It’s not my responsibility to vote for candidates of major political parties that don’t appeal to my interests in any way except to defeat Trump. It’s the responsibility of the political parties to find candidates that reflect the wishes of the electorate and appeal to them. They need to give me something to vote FOR. I’m not supposed to be voting AGAINST a President, I’m supposed to be voting FOR one.

            1. Rhondda

              I also reject that. No Bernie, then I am voting Green. In fact, I may vote Green even if Bernie does win the nomination. Because I worry about the guy’s foreign policy, or lack thereof. Like OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL, one of my biggest issues is who will not start WW3, who will repudiate and purge the neocons fully. I feel the weight of our government’s murders on my conscience. The “but the Republicans are insane” argument doesn’t work on me anymore. Wolf!

        3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          There’s no question he’s a narcissist, but that just makes him a perfect reflection of the electorate. But I’d quarrel with the “dangerous” part, and the implication that he would be more dangerous than 4-8 more years of blood-soaked billionaire class corporo-fascism and WW III. We KNOW that’s what we get with Hilary but with Donald at least we have a jolt to that machine. We won’t jolt to true brown shirts, not really. So a non-vote for Trump will be a vote for Hilary which in my mind IS the more dangerous path.

          1. cwaltz

            I’m going to ask this again. Why do you think a person who actually runs a corporation and laughs about muslims being shot or jokes disdainfully about Mexicans is less corpora-fascist and likely to start WW3?

            I’ll also so this again, We’re supposed to be voting FOR President, not AGAINST the one you don’t like. So a non vote for Trump is actually a non vote for Trump, nothing more, no matter how many party stooges say otherwise.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              No decent human being can accept either

              1. killing innocent others or leaving them to kill each other when we created the chaos in the first place

              2. laughing at others getting killed.

              The latter is grotesque, but the former is not less outrageous.

              1. cwaltz

                Yep. It’s not an either/or It’s certainly within the realm of reason that if Trump had been running State that he’d have been making “deals” behind closed doors on behalf of corporate America that would have killed thousands.

                Furthermore, we’re not having an anti election, it’s an election. You’re supposed to vote FOR the candidate that best represents you and your viewpoints, not AGAINST the one you like the least.

                I truly wish the progressive activists would stop with eleventy dimensional chess and just choose who best represents them. It doesn’t have to be this hard.

      2. Vatch

        If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination, instead of weighing the positives (which are very few) and negatives of Trump, I think I am going to just kick the scale over and stay home.

        Please don’t do that. Vote for a third party candidate. In some states, the ease or difficulty with which a third party gains ballot access is based on how many people voted for their candidates in the previous election. If you stay at home, you just help maintain the duopoly of the Republican and Democratic parties. Low voter turnout always benefits the oligarchs, because a non-vote is the same as a vote for the status quo.

        1. cwaltz

          Heck for that matter write Bernie Sanders in. Anything is better than telling the elites they got their way and you are now an apathetic voter who will go with whoever they choose for you.

      3. cwaltz

        We are definitely NOT the weirdos.

        Since jgordon appreciates analogies. This one is for him. Voting for Trump, if you are Sanders supporter, is like amputating your hand because you don’t like the fact that the paper cut on your finger hurts. It’s just not a well thought out strategy.

    1. sleepy

      Trump gets 30–40% of the repub vote and the msm declares him the nominee.

      Clinton and Sanders are tied up at 51-51 in pledged delegates, and the msm declares her the nominee.

      Yeah, and I understand all the stuff about superdelegates on the Hillary side, and the fact that it’s a 3 or 4 man race on the repub side, but that still doesn’t explain how the media is more interested in suppressing the mild social democrat as opposed to Trump.

      I mean, Sanders is an LBJ democrat. Most of what he says would be mainstream dem policy a la 1965. Trump on the other hand would seem to be something else entirely, and potentially more problematic.

      I guess the status quo has decided that Hillary is the ultimate firewall for neoliberalism with her mix of identity politics and regressive economics and neocon foreign policy.

        1. sleepy

          Yes, it’s not 1965. And part of my bias is my age. I grew up back then and formed my political landscape. An LBJ dem as a radical socialist?! Hubert Humphrey is a damned Marxist! They were the most mainstream of the mainstream.

          From that admitted bias and perspective, the mainstream could easily accommodate a Bernie Sanders.

          For much of the electorate, 1965 might as well be 1910.

            1. polecat

              My point is there are a host of problems/issues that were not even on the radar back then (climate disruption, energy source depletion,vastly larger global population, advanced surveilance state architecture, etc.) making the comparison kinda iffy. No offence!

              1. ambrit

                None taken.
                My basic point is that all these processes involve human beings. I’m assuming that human nature hasn’t changed significantly in the last hundred thousand years or so. Back in ’65, many of the problems in play were related to forms of degraded existence; the draft, civil rights, economics, pollution, etc. Today, more of the same, just more intensely the same.
                An example of sorts; during the Vietnam War, most middle and lower class young males could be forced to bear arms and get themselves killed overseas. Eventually, this led to protests and rioting. Today, middle and lower class people can be forced to get actually harmful medical insurance policies. Now the deadly results of that policy are coming to light, one funeral at a time. Combine this with austerity policies that penalize the poor, and you have fertile grounds for protests and riots.
                History might not repeat, but it sure does seem to rhyme.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      There’s a transparently obvious huge push right now in the Big Media to reassert the ‘Hillary is Inevitable/Bernie Can’t Win’ narrative, regardless the numbers and their contexts. They dare not attempt to actually argue her merits–she’s clearly selling sh*t sandwiches to the base–only to stomp down on the flames of party revolt. If it fails again, I think that tool will be forever lost from their toolkit. And let’s be honest her whole campaign was constructed on a mythical foundation of inevitability. Hence the overt panic in a press implacably hostile to Sanders’ ideas. Without her cloak of invincibility, from an average voter’s perspective she’s not in any sense an attractive candidate. I’d probably vote for her if a shotgun were held to my head, but even that isn’t a given.

  9. Carolinian

    Re Charlie Pierce in SC. Pierce takes the trouble to journey to a Sanders rally in Greenville but doesn’t bother to journey outside his own preconceptions. There’s no on the ground reporting other than the observation that the Sanders crowd is overwhelmingly white, something he could just as easily have seen on C-Span. There’s the usual mantra that Trump is about nothing other than Mexicans and Muslims and the implication that racism is the fuel of populism and therefore Sanders, a Civil Rights protestor many many years ago,is therefore falling short.

    In truth it isn’t that hard to see why Sanders isn’t appealing to blacks. His gestures in their direction have been perfunctory–the coffee klatch with Sharpton for example–and his notion that America should be like overwhelmingly white and middle class countries such as Denmark doesn’t exactly tag him as a brother. Here’s an article from Jacobin that contrasts Sanders’ insurgency with that of Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow Coalition.

    Jackson established what can best be described as “base areas” in various social movements and spoke out on issues specific to those social movements. As a result, he became an acknowledged champion. Jackson could speak with white farmers in Kansas, Latino activists in California, a racially mixed group of auto workers in Missouri, and an entirely black Christian congregation in Birmingham without missing a beat or failing to speak to the issues with which they were grappling. There was a place in the campaign for activists arising out of the movements of the dispossessed, and the campaign was looking for people ready and willing to work.

    The Sanders campaign, by contrast, has focused almost exclusively on its specific take on economic injustice, and much like the Obama 2008 campaign, gaining entry into the upper or even middle levels of the campaign for supportive activists is far more difficult than in Jackson’s 1988 campaign.

    Sanders also has a laser-like focus and steers most public discussions back to matters of political corruption and economic inequality. While he can and will speak about other issues, such as foreign policy, or more recently race, these are topics with which he seems less comfortable. He treats them almost as a distraction from the key problems plaguing society.

    Pierce might have interviewed some SC blacks and sought insight into why they are unenthused but that would involve actual reporting. Easier to strike attitudes, catch the next plane out.

    1. Lambert Strether

      That’s an excellent article on Jackson v. Sanders. Really rings true. I’d vote for Jackson in a heartbeat today, as opposed to bloodless technocrat Hil– Michael Dukakis.

      And yes, that was lazy reporting from Pierce.

    2. wbgonne

      Valid points. But it appears to me that Sanders is making inroads among the white working class in ways that no Democratic presidential candidate has done in a while. (I’m not sure that held up in NV but I suspect NV was a Harry Reid bag job.) So, theoretically, Sanders could succeed without winning the majority of black votes. So maybe he should stop trying so hard and re-focus on the 99% issues that are his real winners and are bringing the white working class into his camp. I’m not saying Sanders should give up on AAs: he needs some AA support, he has garnered support, and I suspect he may still peel off some younger blacks. But Sanders may well have a ceiling, he might have hit it, and there is little point beating his head against it, especially after SC is over.

      My advice: Go after Clinton hard on her neoliberal policies and her corruption and let the chips fall.

      1. Dr. Robert

        He’ll have to wait until after Super Tuesday to attack Hillary on anything she’s done during the Obama administration for demographic reasons. Then he’ll take the gloves off.

          1. cwaltz

            Well he better get to moving. Hillary is ALREADY running campaign ads here in Virginia. That money isn’t going to help him if he doesn’t start making voters aware of his stance on things like Social Security(it’s a big retiree state.)

      2. jgordon

        Oh but then Bernie would get the cold shoulder from his buds in the Senate. So instead he’ll jump up on the stage and give Clinton a glowing endorsement when the Party instructs him to do it.

        It’s this lack of commitment and guts that’s causing Bernie’s problems right now. It’s not just me who sees it. His blatant refusal to righteously burn down the establishment with incendiary rhetoric is what’s leading plenty of people to be doubtful about him. Trump is doing it with no problems–thereby serving as a foil to illustrate just how tepid and spineless Bernie is being. Bernie has convictions all right, but no damned courage. How is that going to work out if he becomes president?

        1. RabidGandhi

          There’s a lot to this. Note how the conventional wisdom (and apparently the Sanders strategy team) has obviously bought into the idea of don’t attack Obama, play softball with HRC, be nice or you’ll alienate too many voters.

          Meanwhile, in the other alternate universe, Trump went against similar conventional wisdom by attacking Bush and the Iraq War. All the pundits excoriated him, saying it was the wrong move, but as per usual, the pundits have no clue about how voters think,– and it turned out to be a master stroke for Trump.

        2. wbgonne

          Oh but then Bernie would get the cold shoulder from his buds in the Senate.

          Who are these “buds in the Senate”? Sanders has none. Not even Elizabeth Warren has the decency and courage to endorse him (not yet, at least!). That said, I do think Sanders’ pitch must necessarily be more complex than Trump’s. Trump is a classic demagogue and such candidates thrive on unreasoned, typically misdirected anger. Sanders is appealing to better natures and that is more complicated and nuanced. Plus Sanders must recognize that he is (basically) running against a sitting president who happens to share race with a crucial partisan voting bloc. Sanders’ course is tricky and, frankly, he has navigated it pretty well so far. All that said, in the end I agree with you that, if Sanders is serious about actually winning — not just fighting the good fight — then he has to attack Clinton, starting now. There is plenty of ammunition and Sanders has likely already lost most of those who will be offended. Sanders must break through and that means cutting Clinton down. Will he do it? Beats me.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Screw that “appealing to better natures”, did we try that when we stopped the Vietnam War and changed the whole society? HELL NO WE WON’T GO. Bernie’s been in the gentleman’s Senate too long, where artful compromise is the successful strategy. But the time for compromise is LONG passed, he needs to drop the line “I will support Hilary if she is the nominee”, the correct answer is “I will continue to fight for what I believe in as I have done throughout my career”.

          2. cwaltz


            Well he has something like 11 buds(the number of people in Congress who support him and his bid)

            I think it’s funny that people think alienating the people you’ll be expected to work with in Congress is somehow an awesome strategy for a Presidential candidacy. *shrugs*

            1. RabidGandhi

              Well, remember this is a hostile takeover. The point cannot be to get Sanders elected so he can implement good policies: Sanders’ platform is a complete non-starter in Washington. Therefore the only way any type of change would be possible (and Sanders has said as much) is for him to use the bully pulpit to expand the debate to the point were popular support forces the political class to bend, if not break.

              Letting the beltway emperors’ nakedness remain unnamed cannot be part of this strategy.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                That was the point of wbgonne – that ‘Sanders has likely already lost most of those who will be offended.’

                One can agree or disagree, but I believe the point being made was, go ahead, alienate.

              2. cwaltz

                I’m not convinced it IS a complete non starter. Is it a long slog uphill? Absolutely. However, I do believe he has some allies that could move the ball and some people he can shrewdly bargain with.

    3. DJG

      Another question is what the sudden preocccupation with “populism” is all about. One minute the kids are being tested in high school about Jacksonian Democracy (a supposed high point of populism), the next minute great-grandpa is reminiscing about FDR (nothing to fear but fear itself, and fear is what splits populist movements), and the third minute we get lots of bloviating about populist Trump and populist Sanders. It the danger of allowing the voters to make a decision that big?

    4. Felix_47

      I wonder if the relatively poor showing by Sanders in the black community might be similiar to what we see with doctors and lawyers in relatively uneducated areas. We know that black politicians flash fancy clothes and cars etc. and their supporters expect them to. I have often wondered about that and still do. We often hear patients saying that a surgeon is good because his house is huge or he drives a fancy car. No one says he is doing unnecessary surgery or overbilling. Same with lawyers. The connection with lawyers might be more apt. Obviously, having a fancy car has nothing to do with the quality of leadership or surgery but many Americans seem to see a connection…….of course…….in politics having a fancy suit or car or big house means you have been bought. In any event the Clintons with their private jets, hundreds of millions of dollars all earned courtesy of the US taxpayer may embody what many minority voters view as a lot of talent and leadership skill while Bernie, with assets of 410,000 is seen as a loser…….kind of like “if he is so smart why is he not rich?”

    5. Benedict@Large

      So Sanders is losing in black communities because he’s not running his campaign as a series of local elections? That’s like saying these people don’t know the difference between voting for mayor and voting for president. Sorry, I’m not buying it.

      The reason I’ve been given why blacks don’t join populist movements that aren’t explicitly black is that they’ve gotten burned too often in the past when the elites split off the white faction, offering them something tangible, from the black faction, offering them nothing, and the whites have simply agreed to the split to get their spoils.

      1. wbgonne

        The reason I’ve been given why blacks don’t join populist movements that aren’t explicitly black is that they’ve gotten burned too often in the past when the elites split off the white faction, offering them something tangible, from the black faction, offering them nothing, and the whites have simply agreed to the split to get their spoils.

        Fair enough. I think a lot of blacks who signed on for the 60s “revolution” got left high and dry when the tide went out. Still, populist movements by definition are designed to benefit the majority, at least. The 99% movement, the foreshadow of Sanders’ populist insurgency, is explicitly aimed at benefiting everyone other than the tiny minority of plutocrats. This means that African Americans will benefit from Sanders’ economic populism far more than from Clinton’s neoliberalism (you probably know that blacks have been slammed under Obama’s similar neoliberal policies). The decision for AAs is stark: the GOP is out and the only choice is between Sanders’ populism — which helps them — and Clinton’s neoliberalism — which doesn’t. While I don’t pretend there aren’t other reasons, I suspect that the primary reason blacks are aligning with Clinton– against their own best interests — is because of Obama. Let me put it this way: if Obama were progressive and if he supported Sanders over Clinton, then I think we’d see Sanders with 70% of the black vote today.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And Obama knows Sanders called him weak, a disappointment.

          Bernie is better off running his campaign from that basis.

    6. sleepy

      Granted that Sanders hasn’t managed to capture much of the black vote, though I think he’s making inroads. Some of this is no doubt due to his emphasis on class more than race.

      What galls me though is the fact that the Clinton public relations machine has done such a splendid job of erasing Hillary’s anti-black policies such as welfare “reform”. The latest story is Hillary’s toiling away in the civil rights movement in South Carolina 40 yrs. ago. That’s a new one.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Splendid job.

        As I have always said, the other side (of any struggle) may be evil but they are not stupid.

        Don’t under-estimate them.

        I much prefer a complacent Hillary, but apparently, she got nervous and started to work a little bit.

    7. Llewelyn Moss

      It didn’t help when the The Congressional Black Caucus PAC endorsed Hillary. And that idiot, Rep. John Lewis, said he was sure Bernie never, ever marched with blacks.

      “Well, to be very frank, I’m going to cut you off, but I never saw him, I never met him,” Lewis said. “I’m a chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for three years, from 1963 to 1966. I was involved in the sit-ins, the freedom rides, the March on Washington, the march from Selma to Montgomery, and directed their voter education project for six years. But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President Clinton.”

      Gee John, did you happen to know every activist at every march. Freakin’ Idiot.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          From a Ralph Nader Op ed

          But then, considering all the years of Clintonite double talk and corporate contributions going to the Black Caucus PAC (according to FEC reports January through December, 2015), and the Black Caucus conventions, why should anybody be surprised that Black Lives Matter and a growing surge of young African Americans are looking for someone in the White House who is not known for the Clintons’ sweet-talking betrayals?

          1. jonboinAR

            If BLM was looking for an alternative to “Clintons’ sweet-talking betrayals” then why was it Bernie they went after and embarrassed? That makes no sense to me.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        The most disgraceful part of that quote is the “But I met Hillary Clinton,” which clearly tries to suggest he met her in the 60s at civil rights protests, when we know she was campaigning for Goldwater at the time.

  10. wbgonne

    Sanders’ Populist Movement Is Being Splintered on Racial Lines Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

    The author neglects to mention the Obama Effect, which from a political perspective is really the most salient point. Clinton’s “coalition” is old people and African Americans. That might be enough to secure the Democratic nomination but it is unlikely to be sufficient in the general election. More interesting, at least from an intra-partisan perspective, is that this nomination process is driving a thick wedge between blacks and progressives and that is ultimately untenable for the Democratic Party. It appears that Latinos are moving into Sanders’ camp and Sanders is doing fine overall with whites, so — to put a fine point on it — African Americans are now the primary obstacle to progressive reform of the Democratic Party. This still might change, especially among young AAs, but it probably won’t. And Sanders might be able to surmount black opposition with a coalition of his own, but that too looks doubtful.

    Why are blacks so much in Clinton’s camp? Yes, there is the personal history, the Clintons’ victimhood, and their relationship with the Black Misleadership Class, but most of all, IMHO, there is Barack Obama. Clinton is almost openly running now for Obama’s third term ((the Fifth Clinton term, I’d say), while Sanders opposes many of Obama’s policies, overtly or otherwise. Obama has effectively endorsed Clinton and has undoubtedly been sending such messages through the Black Misleadership Class.

    And there is one other point: progressives have harshly criticized Obama’s policies and blacks have taken that very personally. So this is payback. Perhaps Obama has realized his dream of becoming the next Ronald Reagan in that, as Reagan did with the white working class, Obama now has the black working class supporting neoliberal candidates and policies that are inimical to their own self-interest.

    Another interesting question is what happens to the Democratic Party if Sanders loses and it is recognized that blacks were a primary reason. Progressive anger and disgust over Clinton’s nomination will be difficult to contain and may well cause the breakdown of traditional political coalitions.

    1. nippersdad

      “Progressive anger and disgust over Clinton’s nomination will be difficult to contain and may well cause the breakdown of traditional political coalitions.”

      That is an interesting point, and one which was foreshadowed in the reaction to the BLM protests at Sanders’ rally in Arizona. The outrage on both sides was amazing and clearly reflected an almost unbelievable support for an Administration which hasn’t done anything for the AA community. Sanders was a convenient target, but Clinton was never addressed in the same way and Obama was off limits in the debate over how the system got the way it is.

      We are going to see a lot more of this in the future.

      1. TedWa

        It also makes no sense to me why they would target Sanders. They say they need a voice yet don’t appear at the rally’s of HRC?? Why is that? Every attack on Sanders supports HRC who has done nothing for them and promises to do more of the same. Even the author of that article criticizing Sanders for not supporting reparations for blacks says he going to vote for Sanders ! So why write the article? Why is the black coalition against Sanders not requiring the same quid pro quo from HRC? It makes no sense. If they’re doing to dis Sanders they need a balanced approach by asking the same questions to HRC and demanding her answers and then compare them. Making this about Sanders and not HRC is myopic and does no one any good – but it will make sure HRC wins.

        1. nippersdad

          It can only be frustration; making a point; kicking down. I see no other explanation. If Glen Ford’s observation is true, and that the meanest D is seen as the only way to protect them from Republican scapegoating and fearmongering, it makes sense.

          but not in a world where their issues will ever be resolved.

        2. Left in Wisconsin

          You need to separate the black TV personalities that are in the bag for HRC (that is why they get to be on TV!) from black voters. The latter also seem to be breaking strongly for HRC, though I think Sanders is making some progress from a very poor starting position. IMO, only older black voters are susceptible to the exhortations of the in-the-bag TV heads (and their union leadership). To be intersectional for a minute, I am guessing that HRC is running very strongly with older black women, esp church goers, and that they are a disproportionately large % of all AA voters.

          But I will say again it is wrong to view black voters as a monolith. I could see Sanders easily winding up with 30% of the AA vote, and the vast majority of younger AA voters.

      2. polecat

        oh man….., you ain’t seen nothin yet !!…….Just wait a few years, when the country geographically & politically, comes apart………

      3. Lord Koos

        It’s possible that we are seeing the early stages of a thorough reorganization of the American electorate. It could eventually lead to a viable third party, but at any rate, we could be witnessing a major realignment in American politics.

        1. James Levy

          My guess is this will be accompanied by a radical drive by elites to demobilize voters and strike as many off the roles as they can. Political parties want a fixed situation with most groups accounted for and dissent at the margins. What we are seeing, I think, is the outrider of the new politics of radical scarcity. I’ve described this before as Lifeboat Ethics gone wild. The fight is on for who will be “in” and who will be thrown to the wolves. Blacks want a champion who is fierce and will throw them the expected scraps. Trump personifies this approach for disaffected whites, and ruthless Rodham Clinton seems to for blacks. It’s really ugly and I fear the consequences.

    2. Ranger Rick

      Every time I happen to glance at election news it’s about identity politics. How is racism supposed to be dead if the establishment is expected to appeal to what it thinks your identity wants?

    3. Uahsenaa

      One of the interesting side effects of Obama’s presidency is how it’s brought to the surface very real ideological divisions within the AA community, largely along progressive/leftist lines. People like Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Eddie Glaude, Michelle Alexander, to name a few, were vocal Obama supporters, but have now made a very different name for themselves as ardent critics of the very order Obama now represents. To be fair, black intellectual life was never univocal, even if the MSM always made it seem that way, but the fact that this polyphony is growing ever increasingly apparent even within mainstream discourses may very well be a harbinger of things to come. Black folk were, in the main, queasy about publicly taking to task The First Black President. I’m not sure they’ll have similar qualms about tearing down some rich white lady.

      1. wbgonne

        Well said. I agree that there is splintering among the black elites and that may be a harbinger of an electoral shift. Hopefully, it is. In the meantime, unfortunately, blacks are overwhelmingly voting for Clinton and, for now anyway, are the difference between a Sanders and a Clinton nomination. African Americans may rue the choices they are making here.

        Black folk were, in the main, queasy about publicly taking to task The First Black President. I’m not sure they’ll have similar qualms about tearing down some rich white lady.

        You said it. If Clinton gets elected president, the furies will be released in all directions.

    4. Ed

      In other political systems you often seen the most corrupt, ward heelish party get a block vote from the local large visible minority. For example, in India, Congress has been able to rely on the Muslim vote for some decades.

      1. sleepy

        I grew up in Memphis which historically was run by a dem party machine during the early half of the 20th century.

        The machine actively encouraged black voting, which was an anomaly in the South, particularly for the Jim Crow democratic party. How and why did they do this? They supported the poll tax so they could pay it on behalf of black voters and channel the black votes to the democratic party machine. In return? They could champion black voting, name black political kingpins, and coopt any real movement for desegregation–“Hey, you work for a powerful political machine, what more do you want?”

        An aside, Memphis was one of the first southern cities to hire black police officers–no doubt doled out to machine supporters–who were only allowed to work in black neighborhoods and only had arrest powers over black people–“See? We’ve got an integrated police force, aren’t we progressive!”

    5. Steve H.

      – Obama’s third term ((the Fifth Clinton term, I’d say)

      I’d say it’s the seventh Neo term, and I think I’m being conservative.

      Self-describing oneself by a perjorative is a strong declaration of identity. Irving Kristol did this in 1979 for Neoconservative, 1983 for Peters and Neoliberal. The two form a Neo paradigm advised deregulation, allowing greater individual agency. They separately addressed the stick and the carrot which functionally define government: guns and money.

      In 1997, Kristol’s son Bill formed PNAC with Robert Kagan. Kagan’s wife, Victoria Nuland, was chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott under Bill Clinton, principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney in W’s admin, and has maintained continuity to her current position as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. The marriage is a definable flexian link for the Neo phase of American government.

      The PNAC doctrine was openly codified in the National Security Strategy of the United States of 2002. I’m personally not so clear on the journey from perjorative to open law of the land for Neoliberalism. It’s simpler for me to follow the names, the social linkages of those who are the agents (and usually beneficiaries of) implementing strategy. That history must include the central bankers branching off MIT, with Stanley Fischer as an important node linking to the Chicago School.

      To be clear, Neo is a unifying paradigm allowing oracular interpretation of my own regurgitations. The facts on the ground are the people involved.

    6. willf

      My god, Pierce is full of it:

      (parenthetical is my reaction)

      The campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton has been shrewd in turning it around, making Sanders’ record on these issues an odd kind of liability. (How has it done this?) It has been the heart of HRC’s pitch that Sanders is a “one-issue” candidate, a campaign tactic that has worked fairly well, at least so far. (It has? Is there any evidence of this?) It has opened up an improbable gap between Sanders and minority voters that first appeared when he responded badly to the appearance of activists from the Black Lives Matter movement at campaign events before his campaign took off.

      Oh bullshit. Pierce is writing about what he wants to happen, perhaps trying to influence the narrative. He is definitely not writing about what is actually happening.

      This piece reads like propaganda.

      1. nippersdad

        That’s because it is propaganda. I’ve noticed his propensity for sucking up for many years now. He always has to be read with a grain of salt.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        All the shrewd people I know are greedy, corrupt and nasty.

        So, if he says Hillary is shrewd, I won’t complain.

  11. Bethany

    Thomas Frank article was excellent and captures why I have a real hard time supporting Hillary. A lot of smoke and mirrors to mask the neoliberal wizard behind the curtain.

  12. DJG

    Thanks, Yves: The article by Kiese Laymon about the “potential” of her politically corrupt black daughter to run the U.S. of A. is politically delicious. A morning jolt of dark chocolate.

  13. Pat

    I am someone else who is pulling for Bernie but will not vote for Clinton. Swore I would never waste a vote on her during her first Senate term and see no reason to change now. That said I have also been in the same room with Trump and will no more vote for that walking bag of sleaze than I will for Clinton. Both are all about self interest and damn anyone or anything that gets in their way – including the American people. I will write in, or vote third party.

    Right now the Democratic leadership needs to get over their myopia and understand something – Hillary Clinton is not a winning candidate. Sanders might not be, but Clinton is not. And thinking she will get the run off from Trump is NOT a campaign strategy.

    That said, I really do think they would actively work to make sure that Sanders loses even if he were to pull it out and win the nomination. Too many people see their jobs and their future going away in a post President Sanders world. And if anything rules the Democratic Leadership and campaign management class it is self interest.

    I don’t get why the African American community think the world of the Clinton. Oh, I get why their elected representatives do, the Clintons have been bribing them for years. But everyone else, not so much. But I am not them, do not live their lives and probably only get a small portion of their concerns. And speaking as a life long woman who should be a Clinton supporter considering the demographics, I have a real blindspot on the subject. WTF are they thinking? But the point that wbgonne makes that the fallout of this election is going to have long term ramifications for traditional groups is on the money.

    My point is that it isn’t just the Republican Party that is splintering. The Democrats are more likely to get through this without a clear split, at least if they manage to pull out the Presidency. But either way, I think we have seen the beginning of the end of the two parties, both of them. I never thought I would be here, but I honestly do not see any way either of them survive much longer. Both establishments have failed to see that the majority of their party is getting desperate, and failing to address has doomed them long term.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And gentlemen in England now a-bed
          Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
          And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
          That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

          “We were there when it happened…just like that. The two parties were no more.”

    1. Benedict@Large

      The Clintons have always found it cheaper to bribe their political shills than to give “free stuff” to their voters. In a just world, this would have caught up to them by now. Maybe it will this time.

  14. Romancing the Loan

    That Bloomberg article is nonsensical. It starts out by asking how much money you’d ask for to live as John D. Rockefeller did in 1916. My first thought even before thinking that of course anyone would be overjoyed to live like that is that the money reward is kind of pointless if you say yes, isn’t it?

    Then it goes on to talk about iPhones and medical care (I bet John D. had better care than most of us routinely get – at least the drugs were cheap and legal) and sort of degrades into a screed that seems to amount to apologizing for technological progress not living up to the “shiny future where even the poorest is so much better off than everyone ever was in the past” nonsense and then saying it’s all the fault of anti-vaccinators etc. and we’re just not worthy of our glorious future among the stars.

    …The Archdruid is making more and more sense every day.

    1. Ed

      I didn’t read the article, but the first John D. Rockefeller lived until he was 98. I don’t think medical care was a problem for him.

  15. JTMcPhee

    Regarding Celebrity Squillioinaires of the Gates flavor, a couple of items from Bloomberg:

    Maybe Bill does NOT altogether “back the FBI” in US v. Apple:

    Bill must be concerned about the value of his waterfront properties and the size of his corporate market:

    Bill Gates Q&A On Climate Change: “We Need A Miracle”

    All we need is an energy miracle. No pressure, kids.

    So came the call from Bill Gates on Monday evening with the release of his annual letter. It tackles heady subjects with the billionaire’s usual optimistically sober tone. Unlike letters past, Gates aimed this year’s missive at teenagers instead of adults, arguing they’re our best shot at solving the world’s energy crisis.

    The genesis of the note was a conversation the Microsoft co-founder and his wife Melinda had with a group of high school students in Kentucky. The students wanted to know what cereals the Gates family preferred and if Bill knows how to dance the Nae Nae. They also wanted to know which superpower Bill and Melinda would pick, and that question struck a particular chord.

    The answers to the superpower question—Bill chose more energy, and Melinda chose more time—seem straightforward at first blush. They were the kinds of things that any adult desires. In the letter, however, Gates focuses not on being peppy for a tennis match but instead on the world’s mounting energy crisis. Melinda likewise issues a global call for improvements in gender equality that would give women more time to pursue those things they care about most.

    On the energy front, the most crucial part of the letter centers on an equation cooked up by Gates: P x S x E x C = carbon dioxide. He shows that changes to P (the world’s population), S (services used by each person) and E (energy) will not be dramatic enough to get carbon dioxide production down to zero—something that has to happen, according to Gates, to avoid catastrophic consequences from global warming. The factor that matters most is C (carbon dioxide produced by energy).

    Gates has talked quite a bit in the past about the need to come up with new energy technology beyond solar, wind, nuclear and all the rest. We’ll need a major development if the world is really going to change its energy equation. In the letter, though, he puts a very fine point on the idea. “In short, we need a miracle,” Gates writes.

    And Melinda needs to get out of the house more: Melinda Gates: Life Is Getting Better for Most People,

    1. allan

      “Bill must be concerned about the value of his waterfront properties…”

      Well, Lake Washington is 16 ft above sea level and separated from Puget Sound by two sets of locks,
      so his Medina estate is good for a couple of centuries.

      1. polecat

        yeah…no massive carbon footprint there, am I right Bill !!! ……..just another ungodly rich and conceited mofo….among a host of ungodly rich and conceited mofos.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I can’t for the life of me understand why the robber barons were vilified for concentrating wealth and power in a very few hands and yet Bill, Sergey, Jeff, Tim, Travis, and Elon are lionized and given a free pass because they wear black turtlenecks or something

    2. different clue

      I don’t know if Bill Gates supported WTO and/or MFN for China. But if he did, then he deserves to have a rising ocean wash his house away. Also, if he did, then he has an obligation to eat as much tuna as he can possibly eat. Pacific tuna is full of natural organic mercury from China burning all that natural organic coal.

      1. polecat

        don’t forget that special Fucushima Sauce……….give the sushi a nice afterglow*

        substitute for a barium enema……..double plus good!.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s very hard to find Atlantic seafood here in the west coast that is not in some kind of metal can of unknown materials (lined with some unhealthy chemicals).

            I found a small glass jar of tuna from Italy and it was over $12.

    3. ewmayer

      Re. “Bill Gates backs FBI iPhone hack request | Financial Times” — More accurate headline would be “Bill Gates jumps on free-PR bandwagon in desperate attempt to maintain appearance of relevancy.”

      Regarding The Mr. Bill Equation – the maths is fine but Bill’s subjective conclusion is not: Being a strictly multiplicative expression, all terms are equally important – double any one by itself and you double the result. Now sure, doing things more energy-efficiently [E] is a laudable goal, but the “green solutions” offered up by techno-squillionaires seem to have rather the opposite effect – especially when you factor in the costs-of-producing-the-needed-gizmos – a distressingly high fraction of the time. If I didn’t know that was a bug, I might almost be tempted to conclude that it’s in fact a feature. And of course Bill – like mainstream economics – says nothing about curbing the growth of P or S, because that would be bad for business. Fewer people consuming similar per-capita amounts of goods & services? Not an option. People in the resource-hoggish developed world opting to consume fewer goods & services? Again, not an option — that might incline them to buy fewer Microsoft products, after all! Fewer people consuming fewer per-capita goods & services? Instant global economic collapse!

  16. fresno dan

    I am a giant “The Simpsons” fan, and I am catching up on the seasons I missed when I didn’t have a TV.
    Anyway, I thought this line was something the NC commentariat would find amusing…or maybe all too real

    Season 25, episode 18, Days of future future

    Nelson: Cheer up, Bart. You’re working with dinosaurs.
    Bart: (sighs) I miss my kids.
    Nelson: Come on.You’re free and sleazy. I know some adult dancers that work with my mom.
    Bart: Isn’t your mom 87?
    Nelson: With social security a thing of the past, she can’t afford to retire. I don’t know how that happened in a senate with 99 Democrats.
    Bart: That one Republican is great at getting his way.

    1. diptherio

      Unsurprisingly, political commentary on the Simpsons is far more astute than that found in the NYT or the Atlantic…

    1. fresno dan

      When I worked at the government, a good portion of my job was evaluating “validation”
      Validation not just of laboratory tests, but manufacturing processes of pharmaceuticals as well.

      To try and understand what that means, say Apple had to come up with a test for blood sugar. It is easy enough for a company that does such things to come up with such a test – validating such a test, i.e., proving that it gives “valid” (i.e., TRUE) results is no easy or inexpensive task – and it is ALWAYS with the caveat that the results are accurate to within certain tolerances – and such tolerances are never 100% perfect. NO test or process is 100% perfect. If someone asserts that, it merely means that they don’t know what they are talking about.

      Now computers were not my forte, but the idea that what you put into a computer will always match what you get out of a computer, is extremely naive. For example, I have seen products that cost millions of dollars per production batch fail because an updated software algorithm that used 17 significant figures replace one that used 15 significant figures (or more accurately, one version only considered significant figure after the decimal…that change wasn’t caught in the validation protocol)

      Now DNA testing is somewhat analogous. But it has had years of testing under myriads of circumstances, under various validation protocols. So the exactitude of the test results of the protocols of biological specimens have quite a bit of analysis verifying them, and knowing what the LIMITATIONS of the tests are.

      Now, human DNA is mutable – but the chemical building blocks remain constant. The problem for Apple and/or the government is that the electronics and codes used in cell phones is changing, and I suspect that Apples’ will be of limited value in a very short period of time.
      So who is going to pay for the validation of this technique, and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for it being a VALID validation?

      You know, the San Bernardino terrorists may have thrown in the garbage their attack plans. Why isn’t the FBI digging through the San Bernardino landfill looking for them????
      (did they do that? How many days? How many men? Who decided if they didn’t find anything to stop? if they did find something, how did they determine if they found it all, or only part of it?)

      1. Rhondda

        Yours is POV I have yet to hear anyone express. And it is a very interesting perspective. Would software makers then essentially be biz partners with the national security state? Working on and validating every new update together? Also, re your “landfill” question — how and why does the govt just assume that what’s on this cellphone is “the evidentiary sh*t”? I am not the first to suspect that it’s just an excuse.

  17. elboku

    No difference between Trump and Clinton? Trump will be okay in the White House? I can see writing in Sanders but actually voting for someone who is a racist xenophobe- basically a modern George Wallace- has got to be the stupidest, most childish, whiniest, most ridiculous thought on the Internet today. As if there would be NO difference between his SCOTUS pick and Clinton’s?

    Really? Y’all truly believe that? That is the essence of infantile delusion. I am no fan of Clinton but SCOTUS is WAY too important to throw to the repubs. We made that mistake with Nader and Bush and it has cost us all dearly.

    1. DJG

      Extra points for the Dem SCOTUS yodel: Line up, line up, to save the court that gave us Dred Scott and Plessy and can barely maintain Roe. Please: Let’s have politics instead of a series of lawsuits punctuated by gasping.

    1. polecat

      Just HOW does Billy G spend his benjamins,…you know, those horribly large notes the NYT just editorialized about yesterday, giving it’s blessing in banning said notes for the greater good????

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I don’t know how many share this, but I hope this inspires Sanders to ‘go for it,’

      Have a clean break with Obama.

  18. JohnnyGL

    I saw this article in Fortune and it irked me greatly as a Sanders supporter. So I’ve decided to provide commentary. I think what follows reveals that at least some members of the elite in our society feel like they’re under attack by Sanders’ campaign when there’s just no reason to think so. My comments in bold.

    I agree with Bernie Sanders. The economy is rigged. In fact, it’s what my father, who is very conservative, taught me about life. Some find it surprising because the general position of liberals seems to be that conservatives don’t realize, or won’t acknowledge, this rigged economy. But my dad’s advice to me time and time again was that the world was rigged and the only way I could make it was to work harder than the people who were in charge of the rigging.

    That’s good that you have managed to achieve so much in spite of having the game rigged against you, but wouldn’t you like a fairer society? How many entrepreneurs like yourself failed to overcome the rigging and gave up? What are we as a society losing out on, because we closed off opportunities to them and failed them as a society?

    A few years ago I was walking through Harvard Square when a woman holding flyers for Elizabeth Warren stepped in front of me. She asked if I thought the government should pay off student’s debts. I don’t think the government should, but, then again I never had student loans. No, it wasn’t because I was from a wealthy family. I never had student loans because I worked every semester I was in college, and during some summers, I worked two jobs. I did this because I thought the world was rigged against me.

    You obviously take pride in this, and you’re right to do so. Staying debt-free is a real challenge in America. However, a brief look on the internet reveals that you went to University of Kentucky in 1994, it appears that the cost was under $3,000 a year then. Now it’s around $10,000 per year. I’m going to guess wages have lagged behind the rise in tuition costs, in Kentucky, like they have in the rest of the country for many years. So, it seems like it’s a little harder to pull off the trick that you managed, don’t you think? Free in-state tuition would help make that possible again. Perhaps the Sanders proposal for a $15/hr minimum wage will help, too? It seems like something you maybe could support?

    I missed out on a lot, because I worked so much. I didn’t have the life like many of the college students I’ve hired in the last few years. They study what they love — philosophy, political science, art, regardless of whether or not they have good job prospects. They travel. Mostly they seem to go to Vietnam and Cambodia. They eat out a lot more than I did at their age. They know all the trendy restaurants and hot bars.

    I see that your business is based in the Boston area, which I’m familiar with. I can tell you that the student population there consists of a lot of students, often foreigners, from very wealthy families who can afford to pay for the elite, private schools in the area. It’s a very different crowd than you probably encountered at U of K in the mid 1990s. I’d like to point out that Sanders isn’t proposing to give any of these kids you hire free tuition to attend these elite private schools. He’s not funding their expensive tastes in travel or leisure activities with your tax money.

    When I got out of college, I lived well below my means, saving $25,000 so I could start my first business. That business failed miserably. I ended up losing over $50,000 total. It took three years to pay off the credit card debt I wracked up.
    Over the next decade, I started three more businesses. Two of which failed. For one of them, a video yellow pages product I built with a friend in 2007, I used to take my vacation days from my “real” job and go door to door, selling video listings to small businesses. I lost a lot of my own money, as my disposable income never went to travel or luxury goods of any kind. It went to business ideas.
    I kept at it because I believe, much like Bernie, that the world was rigged against me. I spent every evening after my day job working on side projects, learning new skills, reading. I didn’t own a TV for a long time and, even to this day, I’ve never seen any of the classic shows people like to discuss: The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Game Of Thrones. I was working while they were on.

    I’ve got to shake my head at the moral superiority of not watching television shows. If skipping TV shows made you rich, then there’d be a lot more people doing just that.

    When I finally had a company that was successful, the experience of running it was more stressful than you could ever imagine. I had to deal with some really rough things. There was the time when, on the day we were supposed to close our Series C funding round, the lead investor called and said they weren’t going to wire the money. We had six weeks of cash left, and now I had to figure out what to do. There was the time when two of my executives quit within 10 days of each other, making my board and employees all wonder what was going on, and if there was something detrimental going on at the company that I wasn’t telling them.
    There was a board meeting where, I took so many rapid fire shots from board members that one of my executives told me afterwards that he would never want to be a CEO and go through something like that. There were things that I can’t write about publicly, but that, if you have ever run a company, you know what I’m talking about. It really sucks to be in charge sometimes.

    I don’t doubt for a minute that it’s hard to be a top level executive, you don’t need to prove it to us. But there are millions of Americans who work hard, often at multiple jobs (just like you did) that are stuck making low wages and trying to pay for expensive prescription drugs that would jump at the chance to face the difficulties you’ve described above. Yes, it sucks to be in charge, but with great expectations come great rewards, right?

    Despite the strain that entrepreneurship put on my finances, my health, and my personal relationships, I kept at it because I wanted to be successful. And eventually, yes, I became a millionaire. It only took 15 years.
    Along the way, I learned a lot. I created over 100 jobs. And in the end I helped build something useful for thousands of companies around the world. But when I hear Bernie speak, I feel like I’m the problem with America. I’m one of those millionaires he mentions who should pay more taxes. I’m the bad guy. I’m the white male who is only successful because everything was handed to me. I don’t deserve the money I made. All the things I sacrificed don’t matter. The additional stress I was under doesn’t matter. The risks I took don’t matter. According to Bernie, the world needs fewer people like me, and more people like the smart Yale student who majors in something useless, travels the world, and then graduates with $100,000 in debt that people like me should pay off via higher taxes.

    Okay, at the risk of being rude, Sanders hasn’t said ANY of those things you just listed above. If you FEEL that way, then it’s a problem with the way you feel, not with what he’s said. Sanders has pointed most of his vitriol against billionaires who buy politicians to get unfair tax breaks, subsidies (at YOUR expense). He’s pointed out that the big banks, — which you likely have to do business with, are too powerful and have formed a cartel and put the entire country at risk with their criminal behavior. In fact, their reprehensible behavior should offend people like you who are genuinely trying to innovate and develop products and services that are useful to people. Large banks are just ripping people off and grabbing money from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury to help them do it. You should be as mad at them as anyone.

    Yes, the economy is rigged. Any economic structure will favor some at the expense of others. But the wonderful thing about America is that if you are willing to make the right sacrifices, you can achieve whatever you want. Unfortunately, we’ve come to believe that achievement should be easy. Changing that attitude is the first step towards making yourself more successful.

    None of what Sanders has said is a criticism of anything you’ve achieved. Yes, he’s asking people like you to pay a bit more in taxes, but is that really so horrible? He’s proposing to provide health care to all your employees which would relieve you of a lot of HR-related hassle that stems from shopping around for health insurance providers every year. Does this not help create an environment where small businesses can thrive? Does this hold no appeal for you?

    Rob May is the co-founder and CEO of Talla, a Massachusetts-based developer of an intelligent virtual assistant for recruiting teams.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Thanks for bothering to read it. I felt like giving someone an earful. Friends and family have heard enough. That’s what Nakedcap is for, right?

        1. fresno dan

          I know how you feel. You read some stuff, and its mildly clever, but even a minimum of thinking debunks the author’s points.
          I especially liked:
          “You obviously take pride in this, and you’re right to do so. Staying debt-free is a real challenge in America. However, a brief look on the internet reveals that you went to University of Kentucky in 1994, it appears that the cost was under $3,000 a year then. Now it’s around $10,000 per year.”

          I remember when I went to college in CA in he early 80’s, and it was essentially free.
          And now its not. And I ask, “why not? Why did it change? Who changed it and for whose benefit???” And you get a lot of excuses. Professor salaries? How does that square with all the adjunct professors who get paid a pittance?

          O! and my response to “everything is rigged” is, no its not – that’s the problem!
          Its rigged by the few for the few.

          Its time it was as rigged for the poor students as much as its rigged for the tenured professors and the administrators. Yeah – in real terms, those guys will lose a little. Its all about who gets to rig the system for whose benefit…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think the confusion lies in mistaking career training with enlightenment.

            A certificate, as a career steppingstone, is not essential like health care or enlightenment.

            When we separate two, the demand will recede, and colleges (for enlightenment, for learning) can be smaller and should be supported by the government.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Some questions we might ask about our higher education.

      Why should you pay $10,000 a year for 4 years so you can get a degree, uncertain of any employment to get any return on your investment?

      Why should the government pay?

      Why should’t the corporation who will benefit from a trained wage-serf pay for that? In that case, there is not unnecessary training. That trainee will work for the corporation who paid for the training.

      Those seeking enlightenment will be supported by the government, but no training to benefit corporations.

      That will cut down a lot of redundant training. And young people don’t waste the best four (or more) years of their lives training to be the reserve work force of the economy.

      1. Gio Bruno

        Why should the government (taxpayers) pay for educating it’s citizenry?

        Partly because of the Horatio Alger Myth, partly because a complex society needs intelligent/skilled people to function, partly because it’s a stated policy, partly because it abets civilization, partly because it’s a good idea . . .

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And those seeking enlightenment, not a career stepping stone certificate, should be supported by the government.

    2. Vatch

      Thanks for your stimulating commentary on this article. I have one tiny point to add:

      In the article, Rob May said ” I created over 100 jobs”. Not true. Rob May’s customers created those jobs. We really need to put an end to the notion that employers are job creators. Without customers, the employers are nothing.

  19. Eureka Springs

    Walked out of jury duty this morning right past the early voting booth and I knew what I had to do… I’m with the super majority of my fellow Americans who will not participate in this ongoing criminal R v D anti-democratic sham with MIC on top. The very same super majority (at its smallest, super plurality in Nov.) who gets least attention in this so-called democracy.

    Die R v D, die!

    1. fresno dan

      THANKS for that!!!!!
      I am really a rotten, evil human being for enjoying so, so, so, so, much (did I say SOOOOOO much?) the humiliation of Jeb!

      It seems to me we have posted nearly enough stuff on NC about the downfall of JEB!!! Maybe that is just me….

      It really is wrong of me……and I will stop……in a few months…….or maybe years……

      1. ambrit

        Oh, heavens, the ‘feeling’ of that pastiche was too perfect.
        Will we one day see an end of the dream themed film named “The Situation Room?”

  20. Daryl

    > Bernie’s Army of Coders Politico

    I have to say, regardless of the election outcome, I am impressed with how Bernie’s tech campaign has been run, and encouraged that there is a sizable platoon out there of fellow programmers who haven’t bought into the techno-libertarian religion of SV.

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    First, missiles, now, radar facilities in South China Sea.

    They also ban foreign firms from publishing directly online.

    And Vietnam is buying more weapons, accounting for 3% of world’s arms purchases between 2011 and 2015.

  22. fresno dan

    Mr. Lewis, 63, a broad-chested former military man, has helped turn Crickhowell into ground zero for a revolt by small-business owners in Britain against a tax system they see as rigged against them in favor of multinational corporations like Facebook, Google and Starbucks. The town, population 2,063, has become famous for being one of Britain’s last holdouts against the encroachment of big retail chains.

    Continue reading the main story

    Mr. Lewis said he paid the 21 percent corporate tax rate on his profits last year, equivalent to 31,000 pounds, or $45,200. By contrast, Facebook — which is based in the United States but does business in Britain and is therefore subject to British taxes — paid just £4,327, or $6,274, in corporate tax in 2014, or about one-seventh of what Mr. Lewis paid.

    Facebook’s bill was also less than the average personal income tax payment and the national insurance contributions that individual British employees pay, which amount to about $7,800 a year for someone making the median income of $40,000.

    That is just one glaring example, Mr. Lewis and his fellow shopkeepers in Crickhowell said, of what amounts to multinational tax dodging on a gargantuan scale, leaving the little guy to pick up the tab. And their protest is one small case study of how economic populism is playing out around the world, rallying grass-roots support to challenge governments and corporate interests alike.

    Mr. Lewis, who retired from the army as a major and fought in Northern Ireland and the Middle East, is working with his regiment of shopkeepers to stoke public indignation across Britain so that consumers, and ultimately shareholders, will pressure company executives to change the way they do business. He plans to use social media and doorstep protests to “name and shame” corporate chiefs and those who support them, right down to their tax accountants.

    I have no idea what Facebook profits are in Britain, (outstanding reporting, NYT -SARC!!!). But it is hard to imagine that the cause could be anything other than that well heeled, sophisticated, Davos-Man corruption that saying have rich technocrats does so, so, so much for your society…

    Say you taxed Facef*ck profits at 99% – would Zuckerberg quit and get a REAL job?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We have been indoctrinated since kindergarten that we must admire smart, high IQ people.

      And tax accountants are very smart.

      “No one in the world can find loopholes like him/her. He/She is such a genius.”

  23. flora

    FBI vs. Apple

    So Microsoft (erm… Bill Gates) thinks Apple should comply with the FBI (and hurt Apple’s brand name).
    And Gen. Hayden (former chief of the CIA) thinks Apple should not comply with the FBI (and hurt FBI’s intelligence gathering claims).

    Turf wars.

  24. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thanks for the Market Pulse link. Reported new US government policy proposal at the G20 is a clear acknowledgement that central banks force feeding massive amounts of QE Cash into the primary dealers, related negative real interest rates, and increases in private sector debt at rates that are multiples of nations’ GDP growth rates are not good for the real economy. Golly, Whodathunk? Now will somebody please tell Abe and Kuroda-san. Cui bono?

  25. flora

    re: Apple, FBI, and the Burden of Forensic Methodology – Zdziarski’s Blog of Things.

    Very good article about digital forensics. Also highlights the wide gulf between what is “commonly (mis)understood about computing” and reality. See the judge’s order which has a naive quality about both the difficulty and the effects.

    1. flora

      adding: a member of Congress who does have a computer science background has written the FBI requesting they step back from compelling Apple until Congress can address the larger issues.

      ” “Using the court process and an antiquated law to coerce a private sector technology company is especially inappropriate in this situation because Congress has been actively debating the very issue of the appropriateness of mandating ‘backdoors’ and other ways to weaken encryption,” Lieu added.

      “Lieu, one of just four computer science majors in Congress, said he has seen “far-reaching unintended consequences” when applying outmoded concepts to modern technology.”

  26. Plenue

    “Why NATO Expected to Lose Most of Europe to Russia”

    Good thing Russia has no desire to invade the Baltic then. And in fact, I’ll go one further: the old Soviet Union never had any desire to invade Western Europe either. Declassified Soviet block strategic planning documents have made it abundantly clear that the doctrine of the USSR was entirely defensive, it was based on the assumption of NATO striking the first blow. This goes for both conventional and nuclear weapons; the Russian doctrine was that any use of nukes would be immediately met with full-scale retaliation, whereas Washington believed it could get away with a gradual escalation from tactical nukes up to ICBMs. Western Europe may have lived with nightmare visions of Soviet armor pouring through the Fulda Gap, but Soviet planning was clear that the only reason this would ever happen was as part of the swift, sharp counterattacks pre-planned as a response to Western invasion.

    Hell, one needs only look at the historical timeline: NATO existed for a full 6 years before the Warsaw Pact was formed. Stalin’s focus was ‘socialism in one country’, and that philosophy remained engrained long after his death. The Cold War was a Western creation, not some sort of monumental inevitability. I really, really wish Truman had never been president…

    Back to the subject of modern Russia’s supposed ‘neo-imperialism’, I will never cease being amazed by the power of propaganda. The United States has destroyed no less than three countries in the last fifteen years, is directly supporting the attempted destruction of a fourth and the blockade and bombardment of yet another (Yemen), and has engaged in illegal assassinations and bombings of several others besides. But no, it’s Russia that is the great expansionist, warmongering threat to world peace. Of course.

  27. MichaelC

    The Ds need to keep Bernie’s base in the tent or Hillary loses.

    All the hand wringing I’m reading in today’s comments about voting for Trump sounds to me like lazy crazy simplistic conventional thinking.

    Hillary’s going to need to form (or at least appear to) make a grand bargain with Bernie. He’ll have the leverage going into the convention, if his momentum holds, to exact some meaningful concessions for his team in the next admin. (Think Hillary’s trade in 08- Her acquiescence in exchange for O’s Secretary of State).

    That served as her platform for continuing her uninterupted WH run. I believe she’s a one termer at best.
    If Bernie is playing the long game there’s Plenty of time for Bernie and his wing to dominate the next mid terms and set the stage for Warren in 2020.

    1. cwaltz

      I trust Hillary as far as I can throw her in terms of what deals she would make behind closed doors with Bernie. And I wouldn’t be surprised if most of Bernie’s base is exactly where I am. We’ve been playing the punch the hippy game for a long, long time. I am pretty sure the Democrats lose if Hillary is the nominee.

      If the Democrats were smart they’d let Bernie win and compromise with him while in Congress to maintain relevance(and potentially keep the payola going.) I suspect they aren’t though. It’s going to be a long and bleak 4 years for them with no WH or Congress(and little reason for those corporations to buy them off). My personal hope is during those 4 years that grassroots activists find a vehicle to compete with the moneyed interests of the Democratic Party that insists that it has the right to coronate their candidate of choice.

      1. MichaelC

        At best, she’s a lame duck if she wins.

        If we’ve learned nothing else from Bernie’s challenge its that Hillary’s brand is running on Bill’s evaporating fumes. And Hillary is clearly no Bill. That’s giving the party elite some pause.

        If the party wants to survive post 16, they’ll need to cut a deal with Bernie’s voter base.

        I can imagine a scenario where she is forced to throw her support behind Bernie to keep the party intact. (low probablility, but fun to think about)

        1. cwaltz

          If she wins I think she’ll be fine. She is shrewd. I don’t think she’ll win though. She doesn’t appeal to the ever growing Independent ranks and she’s got baggage that makes her appear untrustworthy and above the rules(and I say that as someone who supported her in 2008.) It also won’t help that how she appears to be winning is by buying off the superdelegates and insulting the supporters of her opponent(as pie in the sky idealists.)

  28. ambrit

    I can’t help myself department.
    I just read a seriously unintended double entendre blurb on Yahoo news: “Woman Found Dead in Laundry Shoot at Las Vegas Hotel.” Hmmm… Four years of college for this?
    The other howler is: “Obama Signs Executive Order Relocating Congress to Guantanamo.” If only it were true!
    What’s with the Internet companies? Do they not care anymore?

      1. polecat

        I mean…look at Yahoos’ home page………’s all garbage, all the time…same w/ the H post.

        what dreck!!!!!!!

  29. Darthbobber

    Thanks for linking to the Thomas Frank piece in Harper’s. An excellent synopsis of So much that is deeply wrong. For some reason it put me in mind of the Grapes of Wrath, and specifically the passage in chapter 25:
    “There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. The fertile earth, the straight tree rows, the sturdy trunks, and the ripe fruit. And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificate—died of malnutrition—because the food must rot, must be forced to rot.”

    “The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but the kerosene is sprayed. And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quick-lime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”

    They just need an interest-bearing leg up in the entrepreneurship game.

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