Links 2/26/16

The Radioactive Man Who Returned To Fukushima To Feed The Animals That Everyone Else Left Behind Bored Panda (Chuck L)

Fukushima: Five years after nuclear disaster Imgur (Chuck L)

Damage report reveals LA methane leak is one of the worst disasters in US history Inhabitat :-(

Mark Zuckerberg Asks Racist Facebook Employees to Stop Crossing Out Black Lives Matter Slogans Gizmodo (Dan K). Shows what a hypocrite Zuckerberg is. The statement is well short of “We told you we regard this conduct as unacceptable for FB employees, yet some of you have persisted. When we catch you, you will be fired.” If these employees are being so public as to write on the company wall (as in risk being seen), it’s a no-brainer that those who have the right level of system access are messing with FB pages. Now those two Venn diagrams may not overlap, but what odds do you lay that Zuckerberg has bothered to investigate?

World trade in worst slump since crisis Financial Times

Mark Carney issues stark warning on global growth as storm clouds gather Telegraph

US proposes new sanctions against North Korea to UN Security Council DW


Chinese central bank chief hints at more stimulus for slowing economy Guardian

Michael Pettis: Here Is Why Kyle Bass Is Mistaken On China Value Walk

Refugee Crisis

Austria defies Merkel over migrant crisis Financial Times

Ministers ‘hiding full scale of EU immigration’ Telegraph


Business owners warn of ‘information deficit’ ahead of EU referendum Telegraph

British Airways stops ‘Unaccompanied Minor’ service in bid to cut costs Independent (Chuck L)


Iran votes: Here’s the break down RT

Why Terrorists Aren’t Hitting the U.S. Now Strategic Culture Foundation (Glenn F)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Apple Files Motion Opposing Order to Unlock iPhone Wall Street Journal

Forensic Backdoor Ex Post Facto Burden Zdziarski’s Blog of Things. Guurst: “What about Congress, how could they let FBI?NSA/…make the law? I mean, where is the oversight? What is driving the USA? Scarier and scarier.”

Prosecutors halt vast, likely illegal DEA wiretap operation USA Today

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Hawkish Cult of “Leadership” (II) American Conservative (resilc)

The Disappointments of War in a World of Unintended Consequences TomDispatch

Supreme Court Trench Warfare

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval Removes Himself From Supreme Court Consideration Wall Street Journal. That was fast. Wonder who showed him the horse’s head.

Trade Traitors

Disney offers to deduct contributions to its PAC from employees’ paychecks, to lobby for TPP BoingBoing (Randy K)


Republicans on a mission: Stop Trump BBC. As reader MF said, “It’s as if the Republican establishment woke up in the last 24 hours and realized that Trump is going to be the nominee.” Related BBC story: After Nevada: Five (unlikely) ways Trump can still be stopped

Rubio ambushes Trump at GOP debate Politico

Trump says his tax returns are being audited by the IRS Washington Post

Mrs. Clinton, Show Voters Those Transcripts New York Times (resilc). Editorial.

The Bogus Power of the Black Vote Within the Confines of the Democratic Party Glen Ford. Argues that black voters are convinced Clinton has a better shot versus Republicans than Sanders.

The Decline and Fall of Hillary Clinton Archdruid. Lambert linked to this, but worth not missing.

Bernie Sanders in 1995: A Brutal Assessment of Bill Clinton’s First 2 Years as President In These Times (resilc)

Why an Oscar-win for this documentary could raise questions for the U.S. government Washington Post (resilc)

GOP sheriff unleashes a stunning take down of Republicans—a party of ‘cult leaders’ and ‘idiots’ Raw Story

Federal Court: First Amendment Does Not Generally Protect Public Filming Of Police In Public Jonathan Turley


Four Dead, Including Gunman, 14 Injured in Kansas Shooting Rampage NBC (furzy)

Texas Universities Warn Faculty to ‘Avoid Sensitive Topics’ Due to Insane Gun Laws Alternet


Continental and Whiting halt Bakken wells Financial Times

The Allure Of Shale Is Wearing Off OilPrice

US Treasury pushes Congress to pass Puerto Rico bankruptcy plan Guardian

Class Warfare

San Francisco: Homeless ordered to vacate camp they were pressured into before Super Bowl Guardian

Beijing now has more billionaires than New York Telegraph

There Are Flint-Like Situations in Cities Across the Country Charles Pierce, Esquire

Antidote du jour (Lawrence R):

jay and berries links

jay and berries 1 links

jay and berries 2 links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. financial matters

    As a response to rising inequality and personal debt this book offers articles by 17 young cultural and political critics.

    The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century edited by Sarah Leonard (senior editor at the Nation and contributing editor to Dissent and the New Enquiry) and Bhaskar Sunkara (founding editor of Jacobin) which includes articles by Jesse Myerson and Alyssa Battistoni.

    “Our goal is an economic democracy that produces more freedom than we could ever hope for under our current system.”

    “According to a 2011 Pew poll, a higher percentage of Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 have a more favorable opinion of socialism than capitalism.”

  2. Llewelyn Moss

    If it can be proven that Hellery’s BFF Twitter CEO is behind removing the #WhichHillary tag from the Twitter Trending list, that is Censoring Political Speech. And we just became China.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You let them go the other way.

        When everyone shouts, no one can hear anything.

        Either way, the same result.

  3. fresno dan

    The Decline and Fall of Hillary Clinton Archdruid. Lambert linked to this, but worth not missing.

    Bush is in some ways the perfect poster child for the theme I have in mind just now. When he launched his campaign last year, it was a letter-perfect copy of the successful presidential campaigns of the last three decades. He lined up plenty of big-money sponsors; he assembled a team of ghostwriters, spin doctors, and door-to-door salesmen to run his campaign; he had a PR firm design a catchy logo; he practiced spouting the kind of empty rhetoric that sounds meaningful so long as you don’t think about it for two minutes; he took carefully calculated stands on a handful of hot-button topics, mouthed the conventional wisdom on every other issue, and set out to convince the voters that their interests would be harmed just a little bit less by putting him in the White House than by any of the alternatives.

    That sort of content-free campaign is what got George Bush I, Bill Clinton, George Bush II, and Barack Obama onto the list of US presidents.
    What, after all, does a Clinton presidency offer the majority of American women, other than whatever vicarious thrill they might get from having a president with a vagina? The economic policies Clinton espouses—the current bipartisan consensus, from which she shows no signs of veering in the slightest—have already brought poverty and misery to millions of American women who don’t happen to share her privileged background and more than ample income. Her tenure as Secretary of State was marked by exactly the sort of hamfisted interventions in other people’s countries to which Democrats, once upon a time, used to object: interventions, please note, that have already been responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in Syria, Libya, and elsewhere, and may yet—especially if Clinton takes the same attitudes with her into the White House—treat a good many American women to the experience of watching their kids come home in body bags from yet another brutal and pointless Mideast war.

    The reaction to Albright’s public tantrum is in many ways as instructive as the tantrum itself. A great many American women simply aren’t buying it.

    I don’t know if we have come to the end of the “establishment” – I believe the repubs will find a way to derail Trump, and it will be an election of twiddle dee versus dwiddle dumb in the fall. On what policies of war and economics will the 2 candidates substantially differ???

    But can anyone believe that the next president will in fact make the economic life of the 90% better – that the declining median income will reverse, that the labor participation rate will increase?
    Not yet, but just as the failure of a great dam starts with small cracks, so we are seeing here the beginning of the end.

    1. fresno dan

      And this:
      “None of those veerings matter in any broader sense, because Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have already demonstrated that rejecting the consensus of America’s dominant minority is a ticket to electoral success. It’s possible—indeed, I think it’s likely—that Clinton will manage to squeeze past Sanders and get the Democratic nomination by fair means or foul; it’s considerably less likely that she’ll be able to overcome Trump in the general election; but even if she does, others will follow where Trump and Sanders lead, and sooner or later one of them will triumph.

      The more likely option just now, I think, is that the Clinton campaign will meet a crushing defeat at Trump’s hands, and the decline and fall of Hillary Clinton will also mark the end of the failed consensus that has dominated American politics for decades. That fact alone doesn’t guarantee improvement; no law requires that whatever policies replace the conventional wisdom must be better.”

      1. Clive

        Yes, just to reiterate, Archduid’s piece is a Must Read. I wish I’d read it two days ago; the wisdom that it contains would have then had an additional 48 hours nestled in my consciousness.

        1. fosforos

          The author–and his source, Spengler–is wrong about Caesar and “caesarism.” Caesar was not at all wealthy despite being from the most patrician (descended from Venus-Aeneas-Ascanius [aka Iulius]) of all families. He grew up in the Subura, Rome’s proletarian district, and never met the property qualification for membership in the Senate (he gained his place in the Senate by winning the Civic Crown, Rome’s second-highest military honor, awarded only on the battle field by the soldiers whose legion had been saved from destruction by that soldier’s personal heroism–the irony being that he was the first to qualify for the Senate that way under a law enacted by another impoverished patrician soldier, the Dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who came to power in a civil war against the Marian “populares” faction in which the Julian clan played a leading role). And “caesarism” a la Spengler had nothing to do with his ultimate victory–Pompey fitted the “strongman” image much better. Caesar won because he had a positive program of sweeping reforms, the allegiance of his battle-hardened legionnaires, and above all the overwhelming support of the popular masses (who still and always revered Gaius Marius) which so terrified his plutocratic adversaries that at the first word of his army’s crossing the Rubicon they fled Rome in such a panic that the whole treasury was still there for Caesar to scoop up when he reached Rome. Historic “Caesarism” was not demagogic, it was revolutionary. It was Gaius Octavianus (“Augustus”) who ultimately was to play the role of “Stalin” as false successor to Caesar (his “Lenin.”)

          1. vidimi

            interesting. i’ve made that comparison of lenin-stalin to caesar-augustus before as well. i also view the current setup of putin-medvedev-lavrov as a triumvirate.

      2. no one

        Does anyone else see what I see, namely, that middle-of-the-road Republicans, especially women, will flock to Clinton? This would be the final victory of the Clintonian revolution that eliminated the Democratic party as a platform for Democratic voters. The dollar-signs-in-their-eyes Democrats have completed their party’s transformation into what used to be the Republican party.

        This election is splitting the vote of the 99%, but it will be the last time we will have even an apparent choice.

        1. Pat

          I’m now giving that a 60/40 chance of happening.

          Mostly because I think a Trump/Clinton match will be far more of a squeaker than Democrats think. This is one year I wish the fourth estate was still functional and exit polling were being done on a significant level. Because I think even if Clinton pulls it out (and I’m not sure that will happen) it will be on such a small level. Yet, the usual suspects will blame this on misogyny and racism. And while that is a factor to Trump’s popularity, to anyone paying attention that is not what is really driving it. Behind even that is fear, anger and desperation – and those are general not just limited to the people blaming women, Latinos, Blacks, immigrants, the Chinese and/or the Russians.

          What I will predict with certainty is that if elected, Clinton will hit that 25% approval bottom level before the midterm of her one term Presidency. And those diehards will mistakenly blame misogyny for that.

          1. fosforos

            Between Trumpe-l’oeil (Mr. Deal-Deal) and the Clinton (Ms. War-War) the lesser evil is pretty straightforward, but that doesn’t mean we have to vote Cthulhu. We have a great alternative in Dr. Jill Stein. Go Greens!

              1. marym

                The Green Party nominating convention is Aug 4-7. Ballot access for the party. According to the Green Party website

                As of July 2015, we are on the ballot in 20 states, reaching 55% of the population. In play for 2015 is 9% of the population. In 2016, we’ll be fighting for another 26% of the population. About another 10% of the population lives in states with the most challenging ballot access laws.

              2. cwaltz

                One of the positives for voting for her would be getting the Greens more ballot access in the states they don’t have access to- my state, Virginia, is one of them.

                One of the hurdles ANY third party candidate is going to face is ballot access. That’s one of the reasons Bernie ran as a Democrat.

                I found this-

                There’s a red link in the middle that lists all the parties that automatically have access to each state.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Nope. Crossover voting will only happen if people are voting “for” a certain candidate, and even then, crossover voting is a myth the national media likes. Hillary is widely despised. Those “moderate Republican” women hate immigrants too.

          Hillary will hold on from fear mongering in Hispanic households, but the Midwest will be under siege with her on the ballot.

          1. fresno dan

            Speaking of the media, I get my Google news feed, and the media are UNANIMOUS that Rubio won. He WON, he WON, he Won!!!!!!!!!!!

            Hmmmmm…it sure wasn’t obvious to me that he had some overwhelming victory… or a victory. For the first time, he actually substantively engaged Trump. But merely the unanimity of the pundits tells me – and I’m going full Zero Hedge – it is all a big conspiracy…..

            See for yourself Example:
            RUBIO:You hired some workers from Poland…
            TRUMP: No, no, I’m the only one on the stage that’s hired people. You haven’t hired anybody.
            ((((I would say the applause is telling))))))
            RUBIO: In fact, some of the people…
            TRUMP: And by the way, I’ve hired — and by the way, I’ve hired tens of thousands of people over at my job. You’ve hired nobody.
            RUBIO: Yes, you’ve hired a thousand from another country…
            TRUMP: You’ve had nothing but problems with your credit cards, et cetera. So don’t tell me about that.
            RUBIO: Let me just say — let me finish the statement. This is important.
            TRUMP: You haven’t hired one person, you liar.
            RUBIO: He hired workers from Poland. And he had to pay a million dollars or so in a judgment from…
            TRUMP: That’s wrong. That’s wrong. Totally wrong.
            So when has Trump being wrong on facts hurt him? And yes, Rubio finally actually argues with Trump – – I would judge Rubio – 1 point for Polish workers, and Trump – 2 points for Rubio bad credit cards.
            I didn’t know maryjane was legal in Texas, cause if all those journalists believe Rubio prevailed over Trump, they were smoking some powerful hallucinatory stuff….
            I think they are seeing what they want to see instead of dispassionate analysis…

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              “You married many from abroad,”

              “And you only married American women.”

              “He married only European women and paid a lot in a judgment from…”

              “Wrong, just wrong.”

              “Let me finish.”

              “Your credit cards are no good at Trump Casino.”

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I haven’t watched TV (except a few seconds here and a few minutes there at the gym or someone’s house), but is it like today’s reality shows?

                1. fresno dan

                  Similar, but much more screaming, shouting, wailing – BUT much, much less reality. And no cleavage. Other than that, the same

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    I am trying to visualize what it’s like for Trump to take on Congress…the shouting matches.

                    Hopefully, we don’t find out he secretly wanted to become an artist in his youth.

            2. cnchal

              Total hilarity when Rubio says to Trump “you are repeating yourself”, and Trump shoots back “I am not repeating myself, I am not repeating myself”.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                It’s quite entertaining, if not quite the same as political debates I am used to before.

                If people are watching it, I guess that’s what people want.

                The question is, Have I not evolved with people of my age, or are younger voters more used to watching it?

                1. cnchal

                  Yes. In all seriousness, it was comical.

                  Wolf Blitzer at several points looked like my old French teacher that walked around with a thick wooden yardstick, whacking your knuckles if you weren’t paying attention. Beside himself, shocked at the boorishness.

                  Trump got his punches in at CNN and the media, and served notice on the health insurance ripoff artists that they were going to have to compete with each other by removing state barriers. Ha Ha.

                  The health care part of the debate ended with Rubio openly mocking Trump, both of them standing there making circles with their pointed fingers, as if circumscribing boobs.

                  A goldmine for comedians.

              1. Carl

                A derivative of it can now be used for medicinal purposes only (not “medical marijuana”), otherwise, possession of the normal (sorry) stuff is still illegal, at least according to my criminal defendant clients.

          2. sleepy

            Yes, I’m not sure how many moderate repubs exist anyway. Who do they support now, Cruz? Rubio? Can’t see any of those supporters switching to Hillary, male or female.

            She’ll probably get a number of independent voters, but I’m not sure that will make up for the dems who stay home.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Jeffords at least at the national level was the last reasonable Republican. There were still a few state and local ones, but they have largely retired or are local politicians which means so they are basically neighbors out to fix potholes.

              It’s why I always shrug when Team Blue types whine about Republicans being mean and not cooperating. The GOP has been nuts for over two decades now. Anyone who wants to work with the GOP has to be questioned.

        3. no one

          Sadly, the notion of Republicans putting Hillary over the top is not pie in the sky:

          “For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”

          Robert Kagan, the conservative writer, in the Washington Post:

            1. Sam Adams

              I wonder how that’ll work out when the limbless, brain damaged and ptsd wounded soldiers come back from one of Hillary’s neocon escapades.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Kagan is a member of the elite, not a rank and file voter. Jeb and Lindsay went no where. Republicans with connections to Team Blue won’t go anywhere.

            59 million people voted for McCain/PALIN. If that wasn’t frightening, nothing is.

            1. fresno dan

              What is truly disconcerting is that the vast majority of the votes for each candidate are merely because they wear a team red or team blue banner.
              Gore Vidal said that if Nixon strangled his wife on national TV, a majority of republicans would be fine with that. I disagree – I believe it would be 90%

              If Trump came out and said he very much was a National Socialist, but still had the team red banner, I doubt even ten per cent of repubs could vote for Hillary (and those only because they think National Socialism is the same as Socialism).
              Which is just …bizarre, because as far as war, bailing out banks, gutting social security, they really are two sides of the same coin. (of course, how much DO Trump and Hillary differ from the National Socialist banner???)
              And likewise, if Hillary said she was in the tank for Goldman Sachs, I doubt even 5% could vote for anything but team blue. (they wouldn’t vote for a 3rd party)

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                59 million people voted for McCain/Palin. I couldn’t believe it. I KNEW the election would result in wide instances of leaving the top blank and voting down ticket, but it didn’t happen. Republicans will never cross over, they will never be reached. They are what they are.

                Maybe Mittens had some leakage, but it wasn’t because he was a warmer and smarter Jeb. If there was leakage it was because he was Mormon, and the Republicans still had 61 million votes.

                I continue to be stunned whenever I see or hear a claim the GOP will be destroyed by Trump.

                I think Team Blue voters are much more “fickle.” Hillary can lose major blocks in the Midwest, anti-war types, and young people.

          2. Mark S.

            Here’s Kagan’s tell:

            “We are supposed to believe that Trump’s legion of “angry” people are angry about wage stagnation. No, they are angry about all the things Republicans have told them to be angry about these past 7½ years, and it has been Trump’s good fortune to be the guy to sweep them up and become their standard-bearer.”

            He doesn’t think it’s about the rigged economy.

    2. Jim Haygood

      No voter today who’s younger than 42 was even an adult when Bill Clinton ran his 1992 campaign.

      For a two-decade cohort of younger voters, the Clinton brand is even less familiar than Oldsmobile, an auto marque which disappeared only a dozen years ago.

      Hillary’s campaign is like a Fleetwood Mac tour — it will appeal to those of a certain age, while most folks under 40 react with a puzzled “Who?”

      At this point, Hillary’s best hope is to issue a boxed set, “The Clintons Remastered,” before fading from the scene for good. Lots of Boomers in nursing homes will be tapping their canes to those jaunty tunes!

      1. ambrit

        And here, all this time, Bill and Hillary thought they were the Masters. Hah!
        (Who are their ‘real’ masters now? The same lot rebranded?)

        1. Jim Haygood

          ‘Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk has been remastered … featuring … previously unreleased performances from the 1979/1980 Tusk Tour.’

          Whoa! Far out!

          This is the remastered hokey oldey I’d like to hear again:

          ‘Where is the goddamn f — -ing flag? I want the goddamn f — -ing flag up every f — -ing morning at f — -ing sunrise.’

          — Hillary to Arkansas state trooper Larry Patterson, Labor Day 1991

      2. Pavel

        Well just think about Harry Shearer’s (hilarious) “Clintonsomething” series on Le Show. It’s been going on for a decade or more, spanning generations and presidents.

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s not “who?” but “who cares? Oh, you mean the people who let Newt takeover Congress.”

      4. polecat

        I could never tolerate the ‘new & improved’

        Fleetwood Mac,…like rainbow unicorns and skittles to the ears of the undiscerning……

        give me Peter Green anyday of the week !!.

        1. polecat

          When FM played at the bash the Clintons gave before Bills’ Inauguration, all I could do was think; Typical Hollywood/ Music industry sellouts !!….just…wanted…to…vomit !!!

    3. voteforno6

      I think that story also talked about Chtulu 2016. “Why choose the lesser evil?” might be my favorite all-time campaign slogan.

      1. fresno dan

        February 26, 2016 at 10:06 am

        Its funny cause its true….
        At the rate we’re going, I imagine the 2020 candidates will be Satan versus Chtulu – – “This time, its personal”

      2. polecat

        I’m ordering the campaign button, so I can wear it just to get the publics’ reaction…….bet it’ll be a hoot !!


        1. ambrit

          Me too! I’m wondering if anyone from ’round heayr’ will even notice. A small scale sociological experiment.

          1. Steve H.

            Well, it looks like the pretty logo and “Why Choose the Lesser Evil” may be separately trademarked.

            This is why we can’t have nice things.


            1. GlobalMisanthrope

              Yep. I just emailed them the suggestion that they go for “Why settle for a lesser evil?”

  4. Nik

    Funny how the NYT article about Clinton’s speeches pins blame on the consultants vetting her for not warning her about this. Clinton doesn’t need a consultant to tell her that’s a liability, but how else was she going to lock up those campaign contributions?

    1. Christopher Fay

      Re: highly paid specialized function consultants. It’s the Stupid Consultants. it’s not me.

  5. allan

    Obama Administration Set to Expand Sharing of Data That N.S.A. Intercepts

    The idea is to let more experts across American intelligence gain direct access to unprocessed information, increasing the chances that they will recognize any possible nuggets of value. That also means more officials will be looking at private messages — not only foreigners’ phone calls and emails that have not yet had irrelevant personal information screened out, but also communications to, from, or about Americans that the N.S.A.’s foreign intelligence programs swept in incidentally.

    Already disappeared from NYT online front page.

    1. fresno dan

      “That also means more officials will be looking at private messages” (and nude selfies and boudoir photos)

      And how much self aggrandizing memos of concern, warnings of impending attack, requests for further investigation will all this generate, making the whole rigmarole self defeating?
      And how much money will be spent investigating the investigators as the inevitable complaints of abuse are leaked???

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          More monitoring officials will lead to –

          Job creation.

          Green jobs, no less.

          Stimulating the economy.

          And trickle down.

    2. Christopher Fay

      Stove pipe it in every direction, let no feel left out, see what creative use the bureaucrats can make of it. We have this powerful tool, shouldn’t we use it?

      1. Chauncey Gardiner

        I agree, Rhondda and so. Poignant photos from Fukushima and of the man who cares for the animals left behind. Like Chernobyl, photos the the abandoned grocery store are reminiscent of a T.C. Boyle short story “After the Plague”.

        Thank you, Yves, for linking to these reminders of reality and our capacity as human beings.

  6. Jim Haygood

    It’s good to be king [from the USA Today article linked above]:

    PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Prosecutors in a Los Angeles suburb say they have dramatically scaled back a vast and legally questionable eavesdropping operation, built by federal drug agents, that once accounted for nearly a fifth of all U.S. wiretaps.

    The wiretapping, authorized by prosecutors and a single state-court judge in Riverside County, alarmed privacy advocates and even some U.S. Justice Department lawyers, who warned that it was likely illegal. The operation almost certainly violated federal wiretapping laws.

    The majority of Riverside’s wiretap surge occurred under the watch of former District Attorney Paul Zellerbach. Zellerbach had been allowing lower-level lawyers in his office to approve wiretap applications, despite a federal law that required him to do it himself.

    “Zellie, you’re doing a heckuva job.”

    As usual, when a conspiracy by government officials [federal DEA agents, a state prosecutor, and a state judge (Helios Hernandez, a former chief narcotics prosecutor)] to break the law on a vast scale with hundreds of serious felony offenses, no one is charged with a crime.

    While MSM stenographers provide cover with carefully chosen adjectives [“likely” illegal, “almost certainly” illegal, legally “questionable”], the behavior is scaled back with admissions that “mistakes were made,” and life goes on.

    If we still had a functioning justice system, someone named Eileen Decker, who claims to be the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, would be issuing dozens of indictments in this outrageous criminal conspiracy to violate wiretap laws.

    But because government officials enjoy de facto impunity, Decker’s inaction just underlines the lesson that “laws are for little people” — and that drug warriors are every bit as corrupt as the traffickers they’ve been fruitlessly pursuing for lo, these 46 years.

  7. fresno dan

    “As usual, when a conspiracy by government officials [federal DEA agents, a state prosecutor, and a state judge (Helios Hernandez, a former chief narcotics prosecutor)] to break the law on a vast scale with hundreds of serious felony offenses, no one is charged with a crime.”

    A nation of laws, not men….
    OUCH!!!! I hurt myself laughing

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The first image…

      When some people hear the word, ‘government,’ they think of the HUD.

      Some think immediately Social Security.

      Or Medicare.

      Some think the police.

      Or the CIA.

      The NSA.

      The legions.

  8. Jim Haygood

    GDP, comrades: in today’s update from the BEA, 4th quarter groaf rose at a 1.0% annual rate, up from 0.7% in last month’s “flash” estimate. It’ll be updated again at the end of March.

    Meanwhile, the Atlanta Fed’s nowcast of 1st quarter GDP is at 2.5%.

    At a certain permabear site that starts with “z,” every other post is headlined with dire recession warnings based on cherry-picked narrow data. Recession risk is certainly present, but we have not gone over the waterfall yet to smash ourselves to bits on the rocks below.

    All in due time, as the Yellenites work their rear view mirror magic.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Q: If 4.5%(ish) growth is “the Great Fall of China”, what is 1%(ish) growth on Planet Yellen?

      A: A great reason to raise interest rates.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I’m told the Atlanta Fed uses moving averages for its seasonal adjustments…which means they’ll strongly reflect last two winters, which had very cold Januarys, v. this year, which was mild. Point being that mean the concurrent estimate is likely high.

  9. Steve H.

    – Why Terrorists Aren’t Hitting the U.S. Now

    “Obama’s top international-affairs priority is actually different in his second Administration than it was in his first. In his second Administration, the top priority has been to war against Russia and its allies (which have included not only Putin but Russia’s allies: Bashar al-Assad, Muammar Gaddafi, and Viktor Yanukovych)… ”

    This does provide a unifying framework that helps explain the perplexing alliances that the U.S. has been forming.

    An internal link of the article goes to:

    “Whereas back at the time of the coup, Obama had wanted the committed Russia-hater Yulia Tymoshenko to win the presidential election that was to be held in Ukraine on May 25th, she was too closely allied with Ukraine’s overt nazis…”

    which recalls this link from yesterday:

    Okay, so these articles seem to be well-documented and framed, enough to require refutation. I hadn’t heard of the sites posted, but the author is Eric Zuesse. The name rang a bell, I goog’d. Got “Wikipedia as Propaganda Not History — MH17 as An Example” which includes this quote:

    “Wikipedia articles are more propaganda than they are historical accounts. And, often, their cited sources are misleading, or even false.”

    Wiki: “The page “Eric Zuesse” does not exist.”

    So that’s the tale, here are some conclusions:

    : Recent posts on NC have been concerned with Google’s degradation as an information source, today we have Twitter removing #WhichHillary… The concerns about false negatives in our information society are well-founded.

    : Zbigniew Brzezinski: “Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?” This will go down in history as one of the worst strategic mistakes ever committed by homo sapiens. In my opinion.

    : That strategic error is now resulting in a dangerous rift in the U.S. chain of command. Moon of Alabama violates Betteridge protocol with “Does this demonstrate a split between CIA and the Pentagon with each supporting opposing sides?”

    : The religious aspects within Christianity that Zuesse documents may be seismic. Russian patriarch Kirill has a long-term relationship with Putin. This moment of Putin caught on video, almost punching a priest for being too subservient, should not be forgot:

  10. August West

    Did anyone watch the MSNBC town hall with Bernie Sanders last night? I had to turn it off. Chris Matthews was so disrespectful to Bernie, it was as if a Clinton operative gave him talking points. It was very confrontational and contentious. I can’t watch MSNBC anymore, it has turned into the Hillary for president campaign cheerleading channel. When I saw this piece, my suspicions were confirmed. How far the msm has fallen……sigh

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Matthews is a Clinton operative. His wife’s campaign is heavily financed by Clinton backers.

      Sanders theory of change goes directly against Matthews career and his book extolling the bipartisan dismantling of the New Deal by Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill.

      1. Steve H.

        Jon Stewart: You don’t listen to anybody! I’m not trashing your book; I’m trashing your philosophy of life. Your book is an excellent recipe –

        Chris Matthews: Do you want to succeed?

        Jon Stewart: I’ve succeeded!

        Chris Matthews: Do you want to have friends?

        Jon Stewart: I have friends! I want real friends! Wait a minute. If you treat life like a campaign, at the end of your life do you give a concession speech?

        Chris Matthews: No.

        Jon Stewart: Well, then, it’s not a campaign.

    2. RUKidding

      Tweety Matthews is a Clinton tool, so you got that loud & clear. Matthews parades around in the guise of pretending to be a “liberal” or something. I’ve never been clear. Matthews is an inside the beltway hack, and believe me, you are better off simply ignoring him. Hoping he’ll just go away is useless, however.

      As stated, he’s part of the Clinton machine. I don’t own a tv and stopped watching MSNBC almost a decade ago. I recommend you do something similar. You’ll feel much better, and you won’t be missing one d*mn thing.

      1. rich

        The Clintons and Wall Street: 24 Years of Enriching Each Other

        by Richard W. Behan

        For twenty four years the Clintons have orchestrated a conjugal relationship with Wall Street, to the immense financial benefit of both parties. They have accepted from the New York banks $68.72 million in campaign contributions for their six political races, and $8.85 million more in speaking fees. The banks have earned hundreds of billions of dollars in practices that were once prohibited—until the Clinton Administration legalized them.

        The extraordinary ambition displayed in the careers of Bill and Hillary Clinton defies description. They have spent much of their adult lives soliciting money from others for their own benefit. A 2014 story in Time magazine said this:

        “Few in American history have collected and benefited from so much money in so many ways over such a long period of time…the Clintons have attracted at least $1.4 billion in contributions…”

        Time failed to dig deeply enough. A more thoroughly researched expose’ in the Washington Post a year later doubles the amount to $3 billion.

        Ruthless ambition put Bill Clinton into the White House twice, sent Hillary Clinton twice to the Senate, and now has her poised on the cusp of the American presidency. It also made the Clintons one of the wealthiest couples in the nation.

        Hillary Clinton’s net worth is forty five million dollars; Bill Clinton’s is eighty million. Measured by family wealth, this puts the couple in the top 1% of American households by a factor of 16 ($7.88 million is the threshold).

        The Clintons’ ambition is reinforced by arrogance.

        Isn’t it amazing how when they criticize the term free (fairer system) as an insult to Sanders, they all (HRC & Repub’s) forget about the term as it applies to scot free (justice) and free money (treasury/bail out/wealth effect). Hypocrisy exemplified thus the revulsion.

      2. barrisj

        A “Clinton tool”…well, his conduct on-air during the early years of the Dubya Presidency was beyond cringeworthy…how Matthews can even look at himself in a mirror without retching, given his history of idolatrous worshipping of Dubya during his “Mission Accomplished” moment, is simply dumbfounding. Honestly, the way Matthews went on about Dubya’s tight-fitting flight suit was a treasured moment of homoeroticism unrivalled by any other commentator in those days.
        Here’s some choice transcripts culled from MediaMatters on the whole revolting made-for-teevee moment aboard the Abraham Lincoln:

        Tried to find a video link, but, of course, none existed. Chris Matthews, cablenews shite.

        1. S M Tenneshaw

          Let’s face it, Chris’s worship of w’s flight suit was a cry for help; more precisely, a cry for cock. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    3. fresno dan

      Just as FOX in no way, shape, or form represents principled conservatism, MSNBC does not represent principled liberalism. Both networks are an accurate reflection of the parties they front for – that is to say an internally inconsistent mouthpiece for the richest, with a philosophy of all war all the time.
      Is MSNBC more jarring because it at least pays lip service to helping the poorer?

    4. Left in Wisconsin

      I saw most of it. Bernie absolutely knew what he was getting into, and I think he came out the winner. Matthews is so used to shouting people down and Bernie was having none of it. Matthews was entirely focused on how Bernie would be able to get anything passed with a presumed Congress that looks just like the current one – he has no use for democracy, only the nuts and bolts of politics. Bernie fell back on his “When Mitch McConnell looks out his window and sees millions of protesters…” Personally, I wish he would say, “If I win in November, that means we take back the Senate” or “If I win in November and Congress still looks like it does now, we may have to spend the first 2 years convincing the American people that we need a better Congress.” But he probably knows better than me to keep his messaging simple.

      The only reason to watch Matthews is that he reveals, usually inadvertently, the concerns of wealthy Democrats. Last week, he admitted that reducing student loan debt would be a good thing, even as he rails against Bernie offering “free stuff.” (No such reveal about jobs policies.) And last night, he offered the view that “everyone who has a 401(k)” either is or should be opposed to Bernie’s plan to tax Wall Street. I thought that was revealing.

      1. fresno dan

        I wish Bernie would point out that a big part of the problem is NOT that legislation is NOT passed, but all the crappy, only for the rich laws that ARE passed.
        The problem was not that congress authorized the Iraq invasion, it was that it did NOT authorize the Iraq invasion.
        If Bernie vetos one war, he will have more than paid for his election by a 1000 fold…

        1. cwaltz

          I disagree. The problem is that legislation for the rich is packaged as for the middle class.

          Example: Mortgage interest deduction- if you own a modest home(we do) then it works out that taking a standard deduction is a better option. However, if you own a McMansion that interest is a great way to get a write off. 529s – If you are a poor BK worker you probably aren’t going to be contributing to your kids college fund because you’ll be too busy using the income for bills. However, if you’re well off the money you sock into Jr’s fund is tax free. Health care gimmee- HSAs- you pick a high deductible plan(because as someone with money you can actually afford the deductible anyway) and you can put money into an account tax free to cover the deductible, the money rolls over but here’s the kicker, you can roll it into an investment fund. Gifting- You can gift money(above the equivalent of a poverty paying entry level job) every year to your kiddies tax free.

          These types of programs are being sold to the middle class. However, dollars to donuts the really rich are the ones benefitting as they get to write off more and more of their money as touchable.

          There are days I almost agree with the conservatives that a flat tax would be better. My only caveat is I think we should exempt the first $25,000 PERIOD(and unlike Trump I don’t think investors should get double that for their investments on top of the $25,000.)

      2. Jess

        “Bernie fell back on his “When Mitch McConnell looks out his window and sees millions of protesters with pitchforks and torches…”

        There, fixed it for Bernie.

    5. RabidGandhi

      Thanks for bringing this up, I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise (crappy youtube video here).

      If I were a Sanders campaign manager, I’d want him to do eight townhalls with Matthews every night. His lame establishment questioning is the perfect backdrop to contrast with Sanders’ message. And just seeing how aghast Matthews was at the upstart youngsters supporting Sanders was more than worth the price of admission.

  11. ProNewerDeal

    I agree with Lambert’s wise take on how the ACA creates, somewhat randomly, winners & losers.

    I had wondered if the Ds would suffer in the 2016 Nov election, due to annoyance/enragement of ACA losers, whose ranks include
    1 those feeling extorted by paying for an ACA policy, that seems an overpriced insecure catastrophic health policy
    2 those refusing due to principle or poverty #1, & paying the ACA Individual Mandate
    3 those that were unable to correctly Nastradamus-guess their next year’s income, in this Murica insecure job market & economy with rampant sudden layoffs, underemployment (Type 1 & Type 2), etc

    However, I may have been sadly naive to assume that shafting the voters necessarily hurts the shafting poli-trick-ian’s party, or candidate in the case of the H Clinton/Sanders primary.

    H Clinton is pro-ACA status quo, anti-MedicareForAll, anti-Medicare Public Option.

    B & H Clintons had many anti-Black USian policies during the Clinton42 Admin, including increasing the felony convictions “Tough on Crime” laws, ending welfare without any Job Guarantee, NAFTA, & killing Glass Steagall.

    Yet many USians of varied races are still supporting H Clinton over Sanders.

    Authoritarianism & Low-info voters: perhaps the D voters are as bad on these 2 attributes as the R voters. At least most R voters around ~2006 stopped supporting horrid Bush43; in contrast many D voters are still rewarding the horrid B & H Clinton, & 0bama.

    Re the ACA, I’m fearful that the ACA status quo abuses the ACA Losers face, may not be addressed anytime soon.

    1. Werty

      The issues with ACA will be addressed soon (maybe during the next presidential cycle). Those with employer-sponsored health insurance are largely insulated from the negative aspects of ACA (like prohibitively expensive premiums and other out of pocket costs, backdoor elimination of individuals with preexisting conditions, poor doctor and network coverage, etc.). However, these issues are creeping into employer-sponsored health insurance plans. If things continue on the current pace, no one will have workable health insurance except for the ultra-wealthy.

      Regarding your broader point, my observation is that what unites these voters is an “I got mine” attitude. For instance, in my interactions with individuals who belong to a particular public sector union, there is little sense of solidarity or of even electoral voting in the interests of the working class. The individuals I know give their electoral support to politicians that promise to maintain their benefits, but not promise to strengthen working class workers. Now that the working class is decimated, powerful interests are working to weaken the quality of benefits for these public sector workers. But there is no one left in the public to help them. They are unaware of what is about to happen to their jobs and benefits, and they strongly support HRC because they think it will be a continuation of the current situation.

      1. polecat

        Exactly…well stated. The public sector unions wear lots of hubris on their jersey sleeves…..No regard for the greater commons……..only their own rank & file !!!

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          The way our labor law works, companies are only required to engage with unions on “wages, hours, and working conditions.” (This is from federal law which covers most private sector workers, but most state-based public-sector labor law follows the same principal.) Unions often try to engage on issues outside this purview (“regard for the greater commons”) but are virtually always rebuffed by management.

          Also, unions are (at least nominally) democratic institutions where leaders, especially at the local level (where most union contracts are negotiated), are elected by and responsive to members. There are very few labor leaders who would take the position that, because private sector workers have had their wages and benefits slashed, we should affirmatively volunteer to do the same, and none who would advocate this position and not suffer the wrath of their members. I would not call failure to take this position hubris.

          The real problem is that we have a labor law/union system that was intentionally designed (not by unions) to silo union members into industry- and employer-specific unions and to limit the ability of unions with leverage to aid unions and workers without leverage. The two main ways this is accomplished: 1) unlike in many countries, it is not legal for union contracts here to be extended to all firms in a sector, which means wage competition within labor markets (i.e. among workers) is virtually always present and 2) sympathy strikes, where unions with leverage strike in order to support demands made by other unions, are illegal.

          This has led to 1) serious difficulty organizing workers in sectors that were not already organized in 1930s and 40s and 2) disunity among workers as different employers and economic sectors have experienced different trajectories over time. I absolutely agree that public sector unions should exert more energy to try to improve the situation for private sector workers. But the fact is, very few workers are activists, those activists generally have their hands full with matters in their own unions, etc. etc. etc.

          We need two more fundamental changes to change this: 1) single-payer, that would remove health insurance from the employment relationship and 2) new forms of union that encourage solidarity across employers and sectors.

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        Employer-sponsored insurance is rapidly crapifying everywhere, though no doubt private-sector is crapifying more rapidly. (I have a sibling with 20+ years with same national employer who now pays $5k in annual premiums for a family policy with a $3K per person deductible. He says the only thing it really gets you is the employer-negotiated discount on pricing.)

        That’s why those polls about how people love their own insurance ought to be redone about every 6 months. I predict the slope of the responses over time would not be flat (or positive).

      3. meeps

        re: Werty at 9:41 am

        The obstacle presented by the “I got mine” attitude musn’t be underestimated, but it can be overcome. I learned this in an encounter with a retiree while collecting signatures to get ColoradoCare on the 2016 ballot. He had questions about how it would affect his Medicare benefit (to which I replied that he would retain it and that ColoradoCare would replace the supplemental/Part D). He wanted to know more before he’d sign so I directed him to the website for information. Whether he did his homework or not I don’t know, but I saw him again on another signature detail. He told me it had occurred to him that, “it’s not just me.”

        That was an instructive moment. Inside I screamed, “Welcome to THIS world! Where the f*ck have you been???” but I also saw his point of view. The people in our society who enjoy adequate accoutrements (Medicare and SS benefits, who no longer have mortgages of impossible scale or crippling educational debt) are truly oblivious to the deprivation surrounding them. ‘They’ have ‘theirs’ and their circumstances are so ‘other’ as to be characterized by a wholly different set of facts.

        This elder demontrated that bubbles can pop. Any effective campaign will employ the requisite needles and jabs until a great rupture occurs. It’s no surprise that Hillary has the support of the bubble brigade, but as long as the world is mostly bathwater and not suds, it’s critical to stop the politicians whose sole policy offering is that of saponification.

    2. fresno dan

      Just to rant about health care
      So I have to get some blood drawn. (BEAR IN MIND – this is a blood draw, NOT the testing of the blood – that is a separate and distinct gauging….) My doctor’s office doesn’t do draw blood (which sure isn’t very efficient and strikes me as kind of bizarre, but it is not uncommon – I am sure there is some kind of scheme involved). So I go to one of these labs.
      So, I have to sign a form authorizing the lab to charge my credit card 100$ in case my insurance doesn’t cover the full price….NOTE there is a caveat that the charges are not limited to 100$…
      I than end up in Kafka land
      frensodan: how much is a blood draw
      Lab: I don’t know – its negotiated with the insurance company
      fresnodan: well, if I want to pay it myself right now, how much does it cost
      Lab: it HAS to be paid through insurance
      (hmmmmm – except the part that isn’t paid by insurance, which I pay – which I can’t know in advance because supposedly the lab doesn’t know how much Blue Cross pays…..)

      I have in fact been through this before, my insurance pays for a blood draw, but not enough to preclude me being charged 100$….as well as some more…

      Now, in our glorious free market, why don’t I shop around???? I have gotten the same answers as above….we could tell you the price, but we’d have to kill you….

      For people who are such market aficionados, where is the outrage at the lack of transparency??? OH, that is just a McGuffin – its really just more 1% screwing of the 99%

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I could get my blood drawn at my doctor’s office, thank the atheist god.

        But he no longer sees patients on Saturday mornings.

        And a few months ago, I ran into one of his former nurses, now working for my mother’s doctor.

        I wonder if he’s mad at me…

    3. RabidGandhi

      The ACA is part of the DNC gag Sanders has willing stuffed in his mouth that prevents him from saying anything bad about Obama. Seemingly this is because he agrees with the beltway pundit diktat that attacking Obama is suicide. Personally, I find it hard to believe that there are that many people thrilled with Obamacare. To me the idea that Sanders can’t run against it seems to be Beltway Bubble snake oil at its purest.

      Meanwhile, in last night’s GOP Debate/Jerry Springer episode, Trump doubled-down on his rejection of the exact same advice from GOP pundits, saying that the Iraq (and Libya) wars were disasters and repeating that Bush [the Younger] should have been impeached.

      Barring some kind of 11-D Sanders Chess here, it would seem Trump gets it, Bernie doesn’t.

      1. sd

        Sanders is running against Clinton, not Obama. His energy is better used attacking Clinton’s record. If he critices Obama, it will just take all of the attention away from Clinton.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          People have suffered the last 8 years under Obama.

          He has to run against that, and against Bush for the earlier 8 years, if we are going to be a different country, if we are not going to go through another same 16 years.

          Past is prologue, in its modern sense.

          1. Mort

            It is a common trope of presidential elections that in the primary the candidates pretend to be far right/left and that during the general the candidate runs towards the center. It strikes me that for Sanders the opposite would hold — that he would be better positioned to run even further to the left during the general than during the primary. Regardless of what Obama’s policy failures have been, he remains personally popular among a large fraction of the Democratic Party. There is simply no benefit for Sanders to publicly rebuke Obama at this point, but the benefit remains in maintaining clear policy differences compared to HRC.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              All roads lead to nomination in Rome.

              That’s an interesting strategy – run center or less than further left in the primary and further left in the November election.


              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Democrats are spineless and consider themselves serious gatekeepers who would think tolerate a rock email boat type for fear of losing the general. Their loyalty will transfer to the nominee, and non-Democratic voters if the hey aren’t under the sway of hate only respect fighters and strength. They will be drawn to leftists before bleeding hearts because they respect strength and people who “mean what they say.” 43’s personal approval far exceeded his job performance.

                Mark Warner’s popularity in Virginia soared because he visited every site on the receiving end of budget cuts. He didn’t hide from the people losing their jobs and services. He didn’t give a lecture on the need for belt tightening. He went and discussed the problems around the state with those hardest hit. Virginia Governors can’t serve consecutive terms. Strength is respected. I hate to use Bill Maher, but Maher has noted Al Gore has droned on about the environment every year but 2000 when he was seen as a wishy washy candidate.

          2. different clue

            If Sanders runs the least bit against Obama, he will lose millions of racial-loyalist-for-Obama black votes and voters. Will he gain 2 or more non-black voters for every black voter he loses by running against Obama? If he can’t be guaranteed of that, then does he dare run against Obama and thereby lose the black vote without gaining any non-black vote to make up that loss?

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              That’s a sensible course of action for a politician.

              When the Republicans run against Obama in the general election, it’s also a bad time for him to run against Obama.

              I don’t think there is ever a good time.

  12. Carolinian

    Re Archdruid–Perhaps part of the problem is not so much that our democracy is getting old as that the people running it are old…literally. Here’s a recent Ian Welsh post that says just that.

    For years it has been clear that real change wouldn’t come until the current generation of politicians and apparatchniks died off or were forced to retire in large numbers due to age.

    One of Machiavelli’s maxims was that people don’t change. They learn whatever lessons they’re going to learn, become who they are, and then act much the same no matter what happens.

    From journalism to big business to the Supreme Court we seem to be governed by an older generation that is determined to cling to power until they drop in the traces. My generations’ mantra–never trust anyone over thirty–may need to be modified for modern times: never trust anyone over eighty. One almost suspects that the nostalgia for the cold war in some circles is because so many of our elites and the people who influence them lived through it. They are still looking for Commies under the bed. Meanwhile the left’s great hope is 74 years old and himself an evocation of the past in a different way–the counter culture of the 60s. At the moment it seems unlikely that this will be enough to defeat “the Borg.”

    So the gerontocracy will rule on–certainly if Hillary is elected. She may even make Kissinger national security adviser again. Eventually nature will do what nature does and the world will move on.

    1. MikeNY

      Never fear. Fresh-faced Chuck Grassley (well, fresh if you call home the La Brea Tar Pits), is running for yet another term in the Senate. Because there’s so much he’s yet to accomplish. If only Di Fi can be convinced to run again in 2018 …

      Then, surely, power will return to the people!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Imagine, an all-centenarian Supreme Court, all grew up watching ‘Leave It to Beaver.’

        The country will remain1950/1960 for a long time.

        Or we add 10 more (all under 40) to make it a 19 member SC…and keep adding as the senior justices keep on adjudicating.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Despite Iowa being a “purple” state, Team Blue would take be funding a challenger to Grassley.

        If Democrats were too take the Senate, they might be expected to do something.

          1. fresno dan

            That is a cruel, cruel insult to all the saurs, lizards, and lizard people who have ever walked the earth…

    2. jrs

      Maybe I’d believe the generational theory of change if it had actually worked for the Boomers, who were going to change everything. All those young Bernie Sanders supporters: maybe they will stay somewhat radical, certainly the economic situation is bad, but that’s not how it tends to work. How it works is people get married, have kids, and then get more and more conservative. Not everyone but the majority. Remember that the Boomers themselves were rebelling against the WWII generation but if that was not a group that should have been radicalized, who was: the WWII generation had lived through the Great Depression as kids! If ever there was a group that should be radicalized. Some actually stayed radicalized, like my father who didn’t have kids and marry until extremely late in life, but most didn’t.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Mao’s Red Guard.

        They were young and radicalized.

        They wanted a better world (they believed it would be), even though they already had free bare-foot doctor health care.

        That generation has since become ‘To get rich is glorious.”

      2. Carolinian

        I don’t think Welsh is supplying an all purpose theory of history so much as talking about our particular point in time when so many of out elites are well past what once was considered retirement age. For example I can remember when Walter Cronkite–once “the most trusted man in America”–was forced by CBS to retire at 65. Now our journos just keep going and going until, like David Broder, they keel over. Perhaps this simply reflects a wider society that is itself sclerotic and bereft of new ideas–America’s empire phase in terminal decline. Are the oldsters keeping new ideas out or is the newer generation failing to push them in?

        1. Andrew Watts

          A good question. I doubt the entry of the younger generation into politics would effectively change the political class. There doesn’t seem to be any room for unconventional thought. Most people in Washington are insecure conformists wedded to their triumphant End of History ideology. They’ve even infected the US military with their neo-colonialism (aka COIN) bullsh–. Their outward looking cluelessness is only matched by their gross ignorance of internal affairs.

          When I read that article though I was kinda reminded of the Soviet Union. Brezhnev clung to power until his death and was mocked as an old fool during his tenure. There’s a decent parallel with our political conditions being similar to the Brezhnev era. We’re living in a declining empire and lorded over by an ossified oligarchy with deep structural issues like the Soviets.

          It’s possible, even likely, that America will end up in the same boat as the Soviet Union. Although it’s not like we are mired in a multi-generational quagmire in the Graveyard of Em… oh sh–!

      3. Massinissa

        Can todays young people even get married, have kids and get more? If the economy gets bad enough, those things will be difficult or impossible.

  13. Jeff Lovejoy

    LA Methane Leak — These kinds of disasters are just the beginning. The oil and gas industry was dangerous enough when the stuff just came up out of the ground all by itself, before all this (so-called) technology and science was present. The good old days of “The bubbling crude. Oil that is. Black gold. Texas T.” are long gone (unless you are listening to some professional politician.

    The Exxon Valdez catastrophe was just the pre-catastrophe that the Deep Water Horizon catastrophe was to the LA Methane Leak catastrophe. Be thankful that the price of oil is too low that the fracking industry to function. Of course, it is probably too early yet. The next, greatest, catastrophic catastrophe of all time is just around the corner.

    And then there is nature. Nobody has really addressed all this sour crude that is replacing depleted supplies of the light sweet crude oil, and how deadly and high in hydrogen sulfide and hard to refine except with diesel this crude is. Nor how levels of hydrogen sulfide are showing up more and more in our stressed supplies of drinking water. The same is true for the “clean coal” industry. Supplies of anthracite, the light sweet coal, are being depleted. And how the industry is relying more and more upon sub-bituminous coal, which is even dirtier than clean coal.

    Technology and Science hates us. Professional politicians that fake and distort reality hate us. Just look at the nuclear energy industry — All those nuclear submarines lying at the bottom of the ocean with their ruptured hulls; Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl, Island, Fukushima.

    With technology and science it is always something; but mankind is the real killer here.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How much GDP per capita, equitably distributed and shared, is needed to lead a truly happy life?

      It seems to me that that is the first question in any economics department.

      Otherwise, it’s always more GDP, more better.

      And with indoctrination, people can be brainwashed to think they need more material goods to be happier.

      If we take all that out, how much GDP per capita, equitably shared, do we need to be happy?

      Keep a stiff upper lip, when they try to scare you with ‘declining global trade,’ or ‘pending recession.’

  14. rusti

    India’s solar plan flouts global trade rules: WTO

    Our dear friend Michal Froman is looking out for us abroad! Can’t allow other nations to act like sovereign entities:

    “This is an important outcome, not just as it applies to this case, but for the message it sends to other countries considering discriminatory ‘localisation’ policies,” USTR Michael Froman said.

    1. different clue

      The Mohdi Hindu Nationalist Party will simply accept that ruling as the price of staying within the Free Trade system. Perhaps the Congress Party could run and win on quitting the WTO, rejecting Free Trade, and thereby regaining the legal ability to reject that anti-India ruling.

  15. allan

    Top Snyder aides urged going back to Detroit water

    Two of Gov. Rick Snyder’s top lawyers privately advocated moving the city of Flint back to the Detroit water system because of quality problems only months after Flint began to draw its drinking water from the Flint River and treat it at its own plant in mid-2014, according to a review of e-mails made public Friday by the governor’s office.

    1. Vatch

      Governor Rick Snyder and former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley deserve the chance to clear their names by being defendants in a criminal prosecution. And if they’re convicted, they can drink prison water.

  16. EmilianoZ

    Re: Scotus
    Obama’s opening move was absolutely brilliant! He’s sowing division among the GOP. Sandoval must be absolutely gutted and thinking hard about switching over to the Dems. Now Obama’s next best move is to double down, pick someone even more conservative than Sandoval. The Reps will continue their blockade and that’ll expose to the world what an extremist preposterous party they have become.

    Damn, I wish Obama would school all the Dem leadership in 11-dimensional chess before he leaves.

    1. fresno dan

      Pre-preemptive strike
      Just nominate the most desired republican candidates….as a method of eliminating them from contention.
      What if the repubs say they will hold hearings?
      Than Obama could say, due to pressure from dem constituents, I am withdrawing the candidate. Or if we really want to give the repubs a taste of their own medicine, he could imply due to the inability to prove that rumors the candidate was found in bed with a live boy and a dead woman, Obama must reluctantly withdrawal the nomination in the name of discretion….

  17. Vatch

    Disney offers to deduct contributions to its PAC from employees’ paychecks, to lobby for TPP

    I’m sure the Disney employees who were fired so that Disney could hire cheaper foreign workers have an interesting perspective on this. And as for current Disney employees who could be fired in the future: should they donate to the PAC to show the company how loyal they are, and as a way of saying “please don’t replace me with a low paid foreign worker”? Or should they keep their money, because management is probably planning to fire them no matter what they do?

    For recent developments, see:

  18. Optimader

    Re: Ckinton transcripts
    I will reiterate my speculation that Clinton, Inc doesnt want to release transcripts because they could be transcribed on a bar napkin, revealing the “speeches” are little more than brief contentless quid pro quo money laundering exercises.

    ” Ahem tap tap. Wow was that a steak or a tire patch we just ate? So folks id like to introduce Huma for those of you who havent met her.. Huma stand up for a sec.. Thanks .. Huma has a canvass bag under her seat, anyone that wants to stretch their legs a little bit are welcome to walk by Huma and place whatever uhhh. “paper waste products” they may want to dispose of in the bag…thanks again”

    On this business of transcripts, i recollect the SofS email HRC has been dribbling out are not actual electronic copies, but just paper transcriptions

    So how does chain of custody work here? Who certifies under oath the accuracy of any transcription?

    1. fresno dan

      I am not so interested in what Clinton said to the bankers, as what the bankers told Clinton to do….

      1. cwaltz

        That isn’t going to be part of the speech transcript though. In order to get that they’d have had to transcribe the meet and greet AFTER the speech where the honoree smoozes with those in attendance.

  19. diptherio

    I’m not old enough to remember Goldwater, but apparently Hillary’s design team is:

    1. GlobalMIsanthrope

      Wow. This ties into the earlier comment by “no one” about Clinton’s vacuuming up moderate Republican women. The Clinton arrow is red for a reason.

      1. diptherio

        Which is a joke that apparently made it into a New Yorker cartoon and something that was being pointed out in these esteemed halls on the very day “the big H” logo dropped. Red arrow pointing to the right, how much more blatant can you get? She’s gone from Goldwater girl to Goldwater Granny (so to speak…I’m looking at you Chelsea…get on it!).

  20. JCC

    Regarding Judge Mark Kearney’s decision on filming police…

    I guess if all you have is a hammer, all problems look like a nail.

    Why aren’t people looking at the obvious and why does not common sense prevail? Instead of putting everything in terms of 1st Amendment Rights wouldn’t it be simpler to just use the same laws that allow Companies to film/monitor their employees at will (whatever they are) in this case?

    The police are supposedly the employees of the People/Taxpayers, legally.

    So… just monitor them.

    1. fresno dan

      The decision is certainly an outlier, as well as being a bizarre example of reasoning. I don’t see where anybody can have an expectation of privacy in public, as well as public employees doing the public business, as well as the pubic utility of the monitoring of police conduct in light of the myriad examples of law breaking. But I get the definite impression of the “Kings guards” are exempt from civil authority.

      Just another judge who defends the legal/judicial police complex…

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Today’s antidote.

    I think the math bird-teacher is trying to teach us the mathematical concept of one.

    Here, it is saying, “from many, comes one.”

    That’s subtly different from ‘From many, we become one.”

    And because it’s ‘From many, comes one,’ that one is a special one, an exceptional one.

    And because this math-bird teacher is not a Latin-bird teacher, the students go home thinking ‘we are exceptional. One selected from many.”

  22. Steve H.

    – China?

    “The secret for the next 10 years, as General Liang framed it, is for China to overhaul its economy (a work in progress) and internationalize the yuan. That also implies striking an Asian-wide free trade pact – which is obviously not the Chinese-deprived American TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), but the Chinese-driven RCEP.

    General Liang directly connects the internationalization of the yuan to something way beyond the New Silk Roads, or One Belt, One Road, according to the official Chinese denomination. He talks in terms of a Northeast Asia free trade agreement, but in fact what’s in play, and what China aims at, is the trans-Asia free trade agreement.

    As a consequence, a “ripple effect” will divide the world:

    “If only a third of the global money is in the hands of the dollar, how can the U.S. currency maintain its leadership? Could a hollowed out United States, left without monetary leadership, still be a global leader?””

    I can’t tell if this is coin-jingling or clarifying plans.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Imagine a future, when, say, Australia has the world reserve currency.

      When America has to work hard to earn that money.

      So, we peg our currency to theirs.

      And we can’t print as much as we want.

      Then, Argentina comes along, demanding reparation, in the new global reserve currency, for overthrowing their government in the 1960s.

      Where do we cut to come up with that money?

      And then, other countries are watching carefully and lining up.

      By then, we already cut military spending to almost nothing.

      Where do we cut?

      1. Steve H.

        – we already cut military spending to almost nothing.

        That’s the part I’m having a hard time visualizing.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s not improbable without the global reserve currency, especially if Australia is responsible for protecting us and has a lot of military bases over here.

      2. RabidGandhi

        February 26, 2016 at 12:50 pm

        Then, Argentina comes along, demanding reparation… for overthrowing their government in the 1960s.


    2. different clue

      The Chinese dream is to create and lead the Greater Afro-EurAsia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Hopefully a much diminished America can avoid being assimilated into that same sphere.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If I understand correctly how campaign contribution works, that is, you give a bundle of cash, check that, make it, if you contribute to a candidate, and he will do what you tell, sorry, he, or she, will be sympathetic to your cause.

        In that case, what is preventing Trump from contributing to Rubio’s campaign, in order to get Rubio to be sympathetic to Trump’s cause?

        “Donald, I see it now, now that you put it (the money) that way. Yes, that way, stacked one on top of another, and not just all over the bag. I agree you are the man for the job.”

        Is it really how it works?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If the institutions have been besmirched by the current and past occupiers, they can’t possibly make it any worse, and we are just getting what we want and deserve…actually reflecting the coarsening of our culture.

          Reality TV show everywhere.

    1. ewmayer

      Yes, but will Christie support The Donald in “heart and soul” fashion? That would be, like, 50 pounds of (red) meat…

  23. Mike

    RE: The Disappointments of War in a World of Unintended Consequences TomDispatch

    What is unremarked upon is that there are real winners in this eternal war – the arms merchants who make and sell the weapons. It is worth noting that too often they end up selling, directly or indirectly, to both sides.

    Remember the Spanish Civil War? What a handy way to test one’s weapons.

    1. gordon

      Agree about the arms merchants, especially if you define them as the MIC. The post-Soviet one-nation arms race Tom Engelhardt writes about showed how completely the US military supremacy has become divorced from events outside the US. Like the foreign policy which enables it, the US military is all about domestic advantage. Foreign events become just fodder for a propaganda machine which twists and misrepresents them to present a “threat” which justifies more military spending and a foreign policy which distracts voters from real issues by frightening them. Millions die in foreign countries not because they represent any real threat to the US, but in order for US millionaires and billionaires to get even richer.

  24. Antifa

    The “Caesarism” Spengler wrote about applied to the populist rise of Sarah Palin, the crazy woman who would be “one heartbeat away from the Presidency.” It also arose quite a bit around Reagan.

    The ripening of Hillary’s email problem, which is actually a mishandling of highly classified documents problem, is smelling worse by the day. If she expects the Convention to be a soiree in her honor, arranged by her superdelegate sycophants, she will find that each of them has a career and reputation to protect, first and foremost. Each superdelegate will decide if associating with a dead skunk will or won’t advance their own self interests. If helping her won’t help them, they won’t help her.

    You really can’t “sew up” a superdelegate. They can express a preference, but it means nothing more than sentiment, for they are creatures of conscience, and realpolitik. Which is to say, their concerns are entirely for the well being of the monstrous money making machine that is the Party. If you look to be bad news for business as usual, they’ll call the bouncers personally.

    Aside from State Department investigations, FBI agents by the score digging into her emails, and Obama offering no cover at all, she is now facing civil lawsuits that will bring even more garbage to the fore. Hillary is treading water in a septic tank of her own making. No one wants to be her lifeguard — the role is not available to anyone. It can’t be done. She can’t be saved.

    She will withdraw from the campaign as soon as she hears that an indictment is pending.

    1. different clue

      But if the Superdelegates’ owners and patrons insist their careers and future wealth depend on denying Sanders the nomination, that would pressure them back to supporting Clinton at the convention no matter how skunky she may smell.

      1. Vatch

        241 of the 697 Democratic super delegates owe their position as delegates to their elective offices. Some of the Democratic National Committee super delegates also hold state office. If voters let their elected super delegate officials know their preference for President, it might convince some of them to abandon Hillary Clinton.

  25. fresno dan

    I can never quite figure out this obsession with more inflation.
    Aren’t we losing ground if inflation is greater than a rise in income?
    If you lose income, aren’t you losing demand?
    Of course, you start asking questions like that, you might ask questions like what percentage of Americans got any income increase, (maybe, just maybe, the top 0.1% got all of it???) what percentage got none, and what percentage lost income???

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The People’s Economics is different from Kings’ and Queens’ Economic.

      Everything hinges on whats-in-a-name.

      A serf by any other name is still a serf.

      So, serfs may be called the masters of the state, but you are still serfs.

      The masters, now called public servants, are still masters.

      They get to spend all the free money.

    2. diptherio

      Aren’t we losing ground if inflation is greater than a rise in income?
      If you lose income, aren’t you losing demand?

      Yes to the first question. Real incomes have declined, by definition (and my econ profs always told me to pay attention to real and not nominal numbers).

      The answer to the second question depends. If real income declines then any individual can purchase fewer goods and services, but if employment numbers are increasing that may be enough to offset the decline in demand on an aggregate basis.

      In college I was dumbfouded that my econ profs maintained that wages are “sticky,” even though they were currently in the middle of a multi-year pay freeze, while price inflation kept right on going. So they were taking yearly pay-cuts, in real terms, while teaching us how hard (nigh on impossible) it is to cut wages…hahahaha! Funny people…

  26. anonymous123

    Speaking of FaceBook…I’ve noticed that in any Bernie Sanders article, the headline above says “Trending: Hillary Clinton”. It NEVER says “Trending: Bernie Sanders”…and it seems like a pro-Hillary person is messing with it.

  27. optimader

    ANL Tour
    There maybe some NC ppl in the Chicago area interested in attending. I would not even be aware of it had they not emailed the invite.
    These events are rare peeks behind the curtain, (last one I believe was 2009) and quite interesting. You do have to preregister.

    Community Open House, May 21
    Save the Date

    Argonne National Laboratory will open its gates to the community on Saturday, May 21, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a day of discovery and family fun.
    The Open House will feature interactive demonstrations, exhibits and tours of world-class, cutting-edge research facilities. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the work Argonne staff and visiting scientists do to tackle some of the greatest global challenges in environmental sustainability, security, energy systems, transportation, and healthcare. Argonne’s international staff is at the forefront of research in areas as diverse as building next-generation supercomputers, devising cheaper and safer nuclear energy and furthering our understanding of the evolution of the universe.

    The Open House is free and open to the public. However, attendance is limited, so advanced registration is required. Registration will open in mid to late March on the Argonne website at

    . A separate email invite will also provide the registration link.

    1. Raj

      I recommend attending. I’ve toured two different national labs, it’s eye opening to get a grasp of the research conducted…much of which will be commercialized by the private sector for pennies on the dollar (if even pennies).

  28. Brooklin Bridge

    The Decline and Fall of Hillary Clinton -Archdruid

    I have a small bone to pick with his last paragraph starting particularly with this sentence:

    …and the decline and fall of Hillary Clinton will also mark the end of the failed consensus that has dominated American politics for decades.

    The idea that the failed consensus, along with Hillary, will go the way of the dodo bird is doubtful. There are many dragons and when one succumbs the others cry, “The Queen is dead, long live the King!” We will still have all our oligarchs and all our military and all our utterly corrupt political system that is no small matter but still only the grotesque face of a much larger and well protected beast; the gargantuan and ubiquitous international complex of financial and corporate interests..

    The Archdruid seems aware of this weakness, for he retreats from his sentence about the death of the failed consensus:

    That fact alone doesn’t guarantee improvement; no law requires that whatever policies replace the conventional wisdom must be better.

    followed by an almost timid conclusion that perhaps some things will change for the better:

    Nonetheless, things will change, and it’s at least possible that some of the changes might remove at least a few of the worst features of the bleak era now stumbling to its end around us.

    I suspect sadly that news of the death of the bleak era now stumbling to its end are somewhat if not very much exaggerated.

  29. Roland

    Japan’s population shrank by over a million from 2010 to 2015:

    “Japan’s population stood at 127.1 million last fall, down 0.7 per cent from 128.1 million in 2010, according to results of the 2015 census, released Friday. The 947,000 decline in the population in the last five years was the first since the once-every-five-years count started in 1920.

    Most of developed E. Asia has a similar demographic trajectory. ROK next, then PRC which is the big one.

    Problem here is not the shrinkage itself, but the distribution geographically and by economic sector. For example, in Japan the agricultural effects of the aging population has not seen any policy response by the authorities there.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Puzzled by your last sentence: […]the agricultural effects of the aging population has not seen any policy response by the authorities there.

      Do you mean less agricultural production due to aging farmers is being ignored by authorities?

  30. ewmayer

    Re. Federal Court: First Amendment Does Not Generally Protect Public Filming Of Police In Public | Jonathan Turley — Next we’ll be legally required to avert our eyes when cops break the law.
    [God from the clouds to abjectly-groveling human] What are you going?

    Human: Averting mine eyes, o Lord!

    God: Well, stop it![/i]

  31. Darthbobber

    I read Glen Ford’s piece (the bogus power of the black vote…) and I always perceive a chicken-and-egg problem with the analysis favored by he and Dixon. In a way, its a mirror image of Reconstruction, when southern blacks uniformly backed the GOP regardless of its numerous failings, because the alternative party was fully committed to the unambiguous restoration of white supremacy.

    But if he correctly summarizes the attitude of African-American voters, then the “Black Misleadership Class” can easily be seen as faithfully reflecting the priorities of its constituency, can it not? In which case the explanations that blame all failings on bad “leadership” miss part of the point. Fear of a frontal confrontation on this is, to me, ONE part of the present refusal of most BLM people to support candidates, as opposed to raising questions. (Its not the only reason, and what they’re doing may be the best option.) After all, to make a rival claim to leadership STICK in a way that electoral politicians care about, you have to show that YOU can move blocs of voters, in a way that your rival claimants cannot. And I think they greatly doubt whether they could in fact do that.

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