Links 3/11/16

Noam Chomsky Announces Las Vegas Residency Onion (Sherry)

Please Stop Using ‘Neanderthal’ As An Insult, Say Neanderthal Experts Atlas Obscura (furzy)

Penguin swims 5,000 miles every year for reunion with the man who saved his life Metro (Wat). Aaaw…Be sure to watch the clips.

Polar Bears Win Huge Swath of Alaska Atlas Obscura (furzy)

Major League Baseball Manager Saves Swarm from ‘Bee Genocide’ Motherboard (resilc)

How to detect a credit card cloner at the gas pump City Pages (Chuck L). A public service announcement.

Eyeglasses That Can Focus Themselves Are on the Way MIT Technology Review (David L)

Coke’s cash: 14 health experts who’ve taken the soft-drink giant’s money Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Fukushima Anniversary

Fukushima: They Knew Greg Palast. From 2012, still germane.

Fukushima survivors try to rebuild lives Financial Times


China’s shadow-bank boom keeps zombie firms alive Reuters (resilc)

Beijing Moves to Tighten Grip on Trade Route Wall Street Journal

China Car Sales Hit the Brakes in February WSJ China Real Time Report

ECB Goes More Negative

ECB Cuts Rates and Expands Stimulus Wall Street Journal

Euro Strengthens Despite Fresh ECB Stimulus Measures Wall Street Journal. As with Japan, the currency rose when the authorities no doubt wanted it lower. Oops.

Refugee Crisis

EU ignores rights crackdown New York Times (furzy)

Migrant Crisis Fuels Support for German Populist Upstart Wall Street Journal. Previously reported at NC….


Bailout review resumes in Athens but substantial gap remains Macropolis


Video: Meet Ahmad Dawabshe, the five-year-old survivor of the Duma firebombing Mondoweiss (furzy)

To End No Wars Foreign Policy in Focus (resilc)

Living and dying in besieged areas of Syria failed evolution

Seeing no end to power crisis, Gazans turn to the sun Reuters (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Apple and U.S. Bitterly Turn Up Volume in iPhone Privacy Fight New York Times

DOJ to Apple: Start Cooperating or You’ll Get the Lavabit Treatment Marcy Wheeler

Apple Warns FBI Could Make Them Turn On iPhone Cameras and Microphones Next Common Dreams (Judy B)

Federal Judge Admits Existence Of NSA’s PRISM Program Slashdot

Imperial Collapse Watch

Done In by the American Way of War Tom Engelhardt

‘The Obama Doctrine’ Is To Whitewash His Foreign Policy Moon of Alabama. As we wrote in 2010, Obama thinks the solution to every problem is better propaganda.


The 7 Best Moments From the GOP Debate in Miami Mother Jones

Who Won? Substance Over Theater New York Times

Trump calls for Republican unity Financial Times

Why Trump’s rivals can’t catch him Politico

You Won’t Believe How They Rigged Ohio Against Trump: “Intentionally Confusing Ballot” SHTFplan (EM)

How Did This Happen? New York Review of Books. One caveat: political scientist Tom Ferguson says the “gerrymandering greatly favors Republicans” meme is incorrect, it only mildly favors Republicans. The Dems lost many seats in 2010 by two points or less, and better management of the economy could easily have turned many votes around.

A Republican Meltdown Won’t Make the Democrats Better Glen Ford

How Donald Trump Made Millions Off His Biggest Business Failure Fortune. Trump is a looter, not a builder. Whocoulddanode?

Ohio’s ‘dirty little secret’: blue-collar Democrats for Trump Reuters

In Ohio, Boehner’s Legacy Crumbles With Rise of Trump Wall Street Journal

How We Got Trumped by the Media Nation (furzy)

Bernie Sanders Is Actually the Anti-Trump New Republic (resilc)

Hillary Clinton, Stalwart Friend of World’s Worst Despots, Attacks Sanders’ Latin American Activism Glenn Greenwald, Intercept

Bernie Sanders Said Something We Weren’t Ready to Hear Last Night Charles Pierce, Esquire (guurst, martha r)

Clinton Proves Best PR in the World Can’t Sell a Terrible Product Counterpunch. As Lambert has been saying, “The dogs won’t eat the dogfood.”

Sanders Campaign Says This Photo Proves Clinton Broke Rules During Univision Debate Mediaite

Can Sanders Remake the Democratic Party? American Conservative (resilc)

Hillary Clinton’s auto bailout attack on Bernie Sanders obscures a much bigger issue Vox

Clinton is in danger of seizing up in Rust Belt after Michigan result Guardian (resilc)

Shocker: WaPo Investigates Itself for Anti-Sanders Bias, Finds There Was None Common Dreams (Judy B)

It should be over for Hillary: Party elites and MSNBC can’t prop her up after Bernie’s Michigan miracle Salon (Thomas A). But author Bill Curry forgets that great saying by Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it.”

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Is Taking A Ton Of Heat For Helping Payday Lenders Huffington Post (YY)

Christians Flock to Groups That Help Members Pay Medical Bills New York Times. Another indictment of Obamacare.

Self-Protectionist Moment: Paul Krugman Protects Himself and the Establishment Thomas Palley. Confirmation of our post yesterday.

What Crisis? Big Ratings Firms Stronger Than Ever Wall Street Journal

ANALYSIS-Calmer markets, positive data prime Fed to push ahead with rate rises Reuters

Guillotine Watch

The Assets of the Ultrarich Come Closer to Earth New York Times

Class Warfare

Why Has Charter School Violence Spiked at Double the Rate of Public Schools? Nation (resilc)

‘The New Sincerity’: For millennials, how to be good? Chicago Tribune. I’ve seen another play by this writer, and it was good, so if you are in Chicago, consider going.

Antidote du jour. Speaking of penuins, via @AkaravutTV9:

penguin chicks links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. abynormal

    anyone seen the Human documentary? i got thru Vol 1 last night…Powerful.

    “HUMAN is a collection of stories about and images of our world, offering an immersion to the core of what it means to be human. Through these stories full of love and happiness, as well as hatred and violence, HUMAN brings us face to face with the Other, making us reflect on our lives. From stories of everyday experiences to accounts of the most unbelievable lives, these poignant encounters share a rare sincerity and underline who we are – our darker side, but also what is most noble in us, and what is universal. Our Earth is shown at its most sublime through never-before-seen aerial images accompanied by soaring music, resulting in an ode to the beauty of the world, providing a moment to draw breath and for introspection.

    HUMAN is a politically engaged work which allows us to embrace the human condition and to reflect on the meaning of our existence. (free on Utube)

      1. abynormal

        too funnee. just woke up from a cat nap, noticing *the documentary Human* blip. i’m on a heavy heavy drug, goes by the name POLLEN…irregular sleep, lips vibrating & eyes bouncing in sockets.

        Yes Dip, there is a parallel thread with Bakara. Human seems to be picking up speed from people seemingly wanting to connect rather than be torn apart from each other. the interviews are ongoing and the photography suits the theme. worth a see.

      2. EmilianoZ

        Baraka made me think of the Qatsi series: Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, Naqoyqatsi.

        It’s like a long poetic documentary, without any voice over to explain what you see, just some weird music. I thought it was pretty grim and depressing. Just watched the 1st one, I think, a long time ago.

        1. ambrit

          Oh yes. The music is by Philip Glass. Awesome stuff. I have a copy of the first movie somewhere back in the jumble.

        2. different clue

          The first two in the series were very good. The third one seemed like tossed-off derivative junk to me. But perhaps the third one was a kind of meta-joke at a deeper level. Perhaps the third one was made on purpose to be the kind of tossed-off derivative junk which the filmmakers feel modern life itself to be.

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          One gets the feeling that the creation will be destroyed with a mere addition of just one single word.

          It’s a wordless commentary on living in a world with too many words.

        4. JoeK

          Koyaanisqatsi is, to me, a powerful and very deep wordess narrative, and quite revolutionary; Baraka came out about 10 years later and comes across as Koyaanisqatsi-lite, derivative and dumbed-down to appeal to middle-brow tastes. For every person who’s seen K., there must be 20 who’ve seen Baraka and rave about it, which says something. Just my two ¢.
          Another film with that kind of impact that I’ve seen would be Sans Soleil.

      3. Plenue

        Baraka director Ron Fricke also made Samsara, which is more of the same type of thing. I once read a review of it written by someone who couldn’t understand why the film juxtaposed shots of flood destroyed New Orleans with the Palace of Versailles. Gee, seems pretty obvious to me…

    1. JEHR

      abynormal, just finished watching the Human documentary. I loved the contrast of all the garbage being picked through for sustenance and the high rises with thousands of windows and people moving behind the glass. We share so much yet share not at all.

      1. abynormal

        yeah me too. have you seen the other Volumes? i’ll clear the deck for 2 and 3… i don’t want any interruptions.

  2. nobody

    There’s an error in the Upton Sinclair quote: a missing comma. Two errors actually: the sentence should end with an exclamation mark.

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

    God is in the details, and the devil too.

    1. nobody

      The goodreads Quotable Quote cites I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked. I checked it before posting my comment, and there’s an exclamation mark in there. He does say “I used to say to our audiences: ‘It is difficult…” But everywhere I’ve seen it collected as a famous quote, the citation’s to I, Candidate for Governor.

      At any rate, originally I was only going to mention the comma, and the comma’s the important thing. So important that one might work the whole morning putting it in, and the afternoon taking it back out again.

    2. clinical wasteman

      Couldn’t agree more that a comma or the lack of it can turn the sense of a sentence upside down — eg. from a real question to a begged one — but in this case it doesn’t. Strunk’s helicopter commas (or at least those helicopters as piloted by some of the few surviving copy editors) have a lot to answer for. (NB. This has nothing to do with ‘English’ vs. ‘American’ English: parochial anglo-English is worse in all respects including rule-bound allergy to so-called Oxford commas.) End of pedantic outburst.

  3. Ignim Brites

    “How Did This Happen?” Surprising that Elizabeth Drew is still around. Well, she should be able to recognize the parallels between this Presidential campaign and the 1980 one. If the parallels hold, expect a massive Trump victory in November.

    1. neo-realist

      This is a much more vicious extreme absolutist republican apparatus than three plus decades ago. Don’t rule out the possibility that they will broker the nomination away from Trump if they believe that he won’t follow their script.

  4. allan

    The link to the Thomas Palley piece on Krugman is malformed – there shouldn’t be an `a’ in http.
    The correct link is

    And, checking back on the Krugman post, it’s good to see that K’s commenters are having none of what he’s serving.

    1. wbgonne

      From the blog post:

      Krugman’s self-protectionist moment is another example of gattopardo economics, whereby the mainstream economics profession changes to keep things the same. Even as he tries to slip in to a new skin, the politics remains unchanged. Senator Sanders, the longtime opponent of neoliberalism, is described as irresponsible and feckless: Hillary Clinton, the longtime advocate of neoliberalism, is portrayed as a model of trade policy responsibility.

      1. wbgonne

        And from Krugman’s self-protectionist tripe:

        the conventional case for trade liberalization relies on the assertion that the government could redistribute income to ensure that everyone wins — but we now have an ideology utterly opposed to such redistribution in full control of one party, and with blocking power against anything but a minor move in that direction by the other.

        I no longer listen to people who pretend that the Democratic Party wants to be redistributionist but is thwarted by the GOP. Anyone who still says that is either a liar or an idiot and merits nothing but mockery.

        1. fresno dan

          I disagree that repubs are against redistribution….they have been redistributing money from the poorer to the richer for decades. The dems for one less decade than the repubs.
          Like a lot of things with Krugman, he has economist aggregation syndrome – GDP has gone up so everything is hunky dory. Tremendous amount of data for those to care to look that if the profits were distributed at the same ratio as in the 70’s people would have about 20K more and inequality would be no greater than it was than.
          Krugman doesn’t see this because he doesn’t look, and I suspect he doesn’t want to look, and he can’t admit he was wrong.

          Seriously, the rich are just much better at propaganda, and they can hire oodles of shills to advance their cause. I just no longer accept that it is some fair system and someone like Bill Gates got to be as wealthy as he did on pure merit, pluck, and talent as opposed to manipulating the market in direct opposition to ANY interpretation of “free market.”

          We have many, many more laws and rules than we used to have, so I ask spare me the tripe that repubs are for “small government” – the multitude of laws are all carefully crafted to screw us and benefit squillionaires…

          1. MikeNY


            Your first paragraph is really well said. We’ve been giving FREE THINGS! to corporations and oligarchs for 40 years or more.

          2. Vatch

            I just no longer accept that it is some fair system and someone like Bill Gates got to be as wealthy as he did on pure merit, pluck, and talent. . .

            No kidding. His mother was on the board of a charity with the CEO of IBM, and that family connection provided the introduction that led to the money making PC-DOS (MS-DOS) operating system. And that’s not all — Microsoft didn’t create the operating system; it was created by someone named Tim Patterson, and Microsoft paid him a pathetic $50,000 for it. Patterson’s operating system was a clone of the successful CP/M from Gary Kildall’s Digital Research corporation. So Microsoft was far removed from the creativity responsible for their success.

            The hugely successful Microsoft Windows is heavily based on research and products created by Xerox and Apple. Copying rather than creation is what built the Microsoft empire, and allowed Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer to become multi-billionaires.

            1. fresno dan

              Vatch: Your exactly right…but it goes far, far, far beyond that.

              I think I am so obsessed with Microsoft because it so disillusioned me of the “free market” – – or maybe I should be grateful because it exposed me to the total, pervasive bullsh*t of people who tout the market incessantly but the LAST thing they want is a real market of competitors – most of business has precious little to do with making a good product at a good price, but mostly with exploiting loopholes, and nefarious schemes to foist shoddy overpriced products onto the “market”

              Microsoft is a good example of a business that is probably worth 100X more than it should be if we were actually in the land of “free enterprise” It is a very, very good example of how money is transferred from the poorer to the richer…

              For example:
              “Microsoft began requiring all manufacturers installing MS-DOS on any machine to pay a license fee to Microsoft for every machine they sold – whether they installed MS-DOS or not. Essentially, the hardware sellers had to pay for MS-DOS in any case so they refused to pay extra for a competing operating system”

              The above was designed to limit competition, and in my view an OBVIOUS restraint of trade. This went on for years before the government got around to enforcing anti trust. Once the operating system was monopolized, Gates was able to use that to parlay dominance in other office products (e.g., the wonderful WordPerfect was supplanted by Microsoft Word). The literature on how better, more innovative, less expensive product were thwarted because of nefarious Microsoft schemes is overwhelming. Saying this is due to the “market” is equivalent to saying that a Mafia protection racket is the best insurance you are free to buy. In my view Gates is more corrupt and despicable than any of the 1890’s robber barons – Gates dominance in my view has harmed innovation in software, and the fact that his ill gotten wealth can buy him the reputation of a philanthropist makes me want to puke my eyes out.
              The list of Gates’ reprehensible business practices would break the internet.

              1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

                The US system is based on the axiom: “Greed is good”. Those who reveal truths like that will get punished.

              2. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

                P.S. It’s rather unsetlling to me that that the US Department of Justice never admitted to having pilfered the PROMIS software system from Inslaw, Inc. by not paying the full licensing fee, according to the contract. Danny Casolaro was looking into PROMIS/Inslaw around 1990, and then he died.

            2. lyman alpha blob

              He also had the good fortune to have one of the most prominent lawyers in the Pacific Northwest as a father. That might help explain where he came up with the $50k to buy the OS – not many people ‘pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps’ have $50k just lying around.

              Bill Sr. seems like a pretty decent fellow from what I know of him and he has been an outspoken advocate for taxing the rich more.

              1. Lord Koos

                True — and at least Microsoft actually produces a useful product, which is more than you can say for a lot of the wealthy, many of whom are total parasites and middle-men.

        2. Praedor

          Indeed. The Dems have had chances to work up a little redistribution (like during the 1st 2 years of Obama’s reign) but haven’t. Haven’t even thought about it. Fact is, both Dems and Repubs are fully on board with redistribution upward. The basis of both party’s economics is the whole reverse Robin Hood. The only difference is the Dems do it slower (and with a sympathetic smile) while the GOP just nabs the loot, kicks you to the floor, and hands it to their patrons right there in front of you.

          1. wbgonne

            Fact is, both Dems and Repubs are fully on board with redistribution upward.

            Yup. You and FresnoDan nailed this. The Washington Consensus. Bipartisanship! You just watch Empress Hillary get things done. Somehow reminds me of Malcom X:

            We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock; the rock was landed on us.

          2. Lord Koos

            I prefer to say, while both parties screw people, the Dems at least use a little lubricant.

      2. Benedict@Large

        … the conventional case for trade liberalization relies on the assertion that the government could redistribute income …

        No, it does not. It says that whatever jobs are lost in one industry will be gained in another.

        This in fact is exactly what the free trade model shows. It does not require a redistribution of income, BUT … it does require that the government be sufficiently liberal with deficit spending to maintain full employment. As things went, however, our commitment to free trade occurred simultaneously with our retraction of commitment to full employment.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          Isn’t this a contradiction? If whatever jobs are lost in one industry are gained in another, how is there unemployment from trade? My understanding of the model is that it doesn’t ask anything of government – there is no unemployment by definition and by definition there is no trade unless both sides gain.

        2. TomD

          I’ve always had trouble with the fundamental argument behind trade just re-organizes an economy, it doesn’t hurt it.

          So if consumers spend $100 for a TV instead of $200, they can spend $100 on something else that boosts that aspect of the economy.

          However, isn’t the obvious problem here the native consumer is only spending $100 in the local economy instead of $200?

          1. Darthbobber

            Well, you have trouble with it because it makes no sense. Sue, if I spend half as much for a given product I CAN spend the difference on something else. Do we see an automatic mechanism that says the thing I spend the difference on isn’t also made elsewhere?

            The theory, such as it was, behind comparative advantage, was that each nation would specialize in those things in which it held the elusive “comparative advantage”. But if wages and regulatory costs have become the only key determinants of the location of production, then a higher-wage nation which also has relatively strong environmental protection and safety requirements will be at a disadvantage in ALL tradeable goods.

            The idea that wage (and other cost) growth in “developing” countries will eventually equalize with the drop in those things in the “mature” economies, also fails to work (even over the long haul in which we are all dead) if growth does not suffice to absorb the people in those economies into the labor force as rapidly as they are thrown into it.

          2. different clue

            Also the American TV set maker who made the $200 TV set gets disemployed altogether if enough other Americans boycott the American $200 TV sets. When that happens, the American TV set maker goes from having $200 to spend to having zero to spend. Meaning $200 less gets spent laterally into the base of the economy where social-class equivalents of the formerly-employed TV set maker also do their earning and spending.

      1. Light a Candle

        Krugman has really lost it and on so many fronts. On the most important issue facing us, the environmental crisis, global capitalism works AGAINST protecting the environment.

        In her latest book, This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein’s eloquently lays out the facts on how global capitalism is killing the environment. A must-read.

        Plus inspiring & hopeful on how people organizing can change the world. As Bernie Sanders is proving in his political revolution. And if we lose the fight, at least we go down swinging.

      2. willf

        Wait so we can’t back out of TPP, or renegotiate NAFTA, because it would mean that our “trade partners” won’t be able to trust us on Global Warming Agreements?

        Is that really his argument?

        1. GlobalMisanthrope

          Yes. That’s his argument. Setting to one side the fact that the U.S. government reneges on whatever it pleases whenever it pleases (e.g., where was that “red line” again?), the argument could only hold water if the COP21 agreement actually did anything.

          So he’s perpetuating three lies: That the U.S. is trusted, that it’s trusted because it never reneges on promises and that a meaningful climate agreement emerged from the Paris talks.

          Round the bend’s gone Paul.

    2. fresno dan

      March 11, 2016 at 7:56 am
      Thanks for the working link!

      On one hand, Krugman writes “So the elite case for ever-freer trade is largely a scam, which voters probably sense even if they don’t know exactly what form it’s taking. On the other hand, he writes “In this, as in many other things, Sanders currently benefits from the luxury of irresponsibility: he’s never been anywhere close to the levers of power, so he could take principled-sounding but arguably feckless stances in a way that Clinton couldn’t and can’t.”

      Krugman has been a booster of trade and globalization for thirty years: marginally more restrained than other elite economists, but still a booster.

      Now, the political establishment has what it wanted and the effects have been disastrous for those not in the top 20 percent of the income distribution.

      At this stage, as exemplified by Krugman, the economics elite is moving to reinvent itself with a combination of minor backpedaling and its own studies that belatedly acknowledge the damage wrought by globalization.
      free trade economists – always wrong, never in doubt, never contrite.
      “winners and losers” – so economists really, REALLY didn’t know the rich would win and the non-rich would lose? Tell me again – why should I pay any attention to these people???

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        At this stage, as exemplified by Krugman, the economics elite is moving to reinvent itself with a combination of minor backpedaling and its own studies that belatedly acknowledge the damage wrought by globalization.

        That’s the question, isn’t it –

        To work inside the tent or get a new tent?

        Minor backpedaling or a new paradigm

        1. cyclist

          Krugie hasn’t been in Princeton for awhile – he has a new gig in NYC where he can be ‘close to the levers of power’, unlike that silly Senator Sanders.

      2. different clue

        One could phrase that even more simply:

        Free Trade economists – never right, never contrite.

        That simple little rhyme might make a sticky bumper sticker.

        ” Krugman – never right, never contrite.” What if thousands of Princeton bumpers sported thousands of those bumper stickers? So Krughole had to see them every day?

      3. voteforno6

        Krugman’s neoliberal orientation is really on full display in that column. Apparently he feels that his background in economics allows him to venture into topics such as politics and history that are beyond his area of expertise. I think what first raised my hackles was his invocation of American credibility as a reason to not scrap those trade agreements. That was the same argument that people used as a reason for the U.S. to stay in Vietnam.

        Krugman’s magical thinking is all the more galling, considering how he likes to style himself as a serious public intellectual, who makes evidence-based policy assertions. So, all of these trade agreements were used to bind together democracies during the Cold War, and NAFTA was used to reward Mexico. I don’t think it would be too difficult to thoroughly trash those arguments with a class-based critique. Also, for someone who is so sure of his intellectual superiority, he seems blithely unaware of how unpersuasive his argument about NAFTA would be to the Americans that lost their jobs as a result.

        There’s more, I’m sure, that could be said about this column in it’s own post. The way Krugman has been going this year, this site could have a regular “Krugman Watch” feature, at least through the election.

        1. different clue

          His arguments might also be unpersuasive to the millions of Mexicans who lost their agriculture-sector livelihoods in Mexico and were driven into economic exile in the United States because of NAFTA.

      4. TomD

        Sounds like his argument is that free trade might and in fact probably is harmful to the American worker, but the deals are already in place so there’s nothing we can do.

        To quote a recent article:

        “It’s time to give up.

        It’s time to give up. It’s time to give up. It’s time to give up.

        Repeat it 100 times. Find the rhythm in your heart. That’s the sound of our slow procession to national collapse, and the end of a great experiment. Join us, idiots. Join us and perish.”

    3. ekstase

      “Sanders currently benefits from the luxury of irresponsibility: he’s never been anywhere close to the levers of power, ”

      Funny. I just checked and it seems Sanders has served as both a congressman and a senator, for far longer than his opponent. Or is there some other center of power running our country?

  5. Milton

    Re: Honeybees… I’m not an expert but I believe it wasn’t necessary to stuff all the bees in a Hefty after smoking them, rather, all one needs to do is collect the queen and transport her someplace. The rest will follow. It was a nice story nonetheless.

      1. pathman

        No, that’s what a swarm is doing. It is swarming on a new queen that has left the hive with another queen. They are looking for a new place to live.

        1. fresno dan

          “As luck would have it, a 71-year-old retired beekeeper named Lowell Hutchison was in attendance at the game. He offered to help and, along with a stadium worker, collected the bees with his bare hands into a garbage bag and shuttled them out of the stadium. Hutchison later told the Kansas City Star the best part was that he got to shake Yost’s hand on his way to humanely dispose of the buzzing attendees.”

          apparently, bees know better than humans who their friends are…

        2. annie

          the old queen leaves the hive with a swarm. usually they leave behind egg cells for new queens or perhaps a new queen has already hatched.

    1. Jack White

      Swarming bees are quite passive, I use a cardboard box to capture them.The queen is difficult to spot until one’s eyes learn. The old queen usually leads the swarm, the new queen stays with the hive. The old beekeeper did it right.

      1. polecat

        When any one of my hives swarm, if I happen to be home, I can walk right in the middle of the maelstrolm……..honey bees are not agressive at this stage…….and yes swarms contain a new queen…..along with approx. half the honey stores from the old hive for sustenance of the swarm until a new hive site is established!

  6. James Levy

    Obama is not entirely off base by imagining that for the US perspective, propaganda is all. Please forgive the repeat of the theme, but it has been shown to this aging historian’s satisfaction that a key problem for the Roman Empire was not the strength of her enemies, but their weakness. Roman emperors always took the threat of usurpers more seriously than they did the threat of outsiders. This made sense since from The Year of the Four Emperors (68 AD) on the only force that had ever overthrown an emperor was a Roman army. This led to a fragmentation of the army and the administration and a constant withdrawal of troops from the borders in order to either mount a coup or defend against one. This process of endless civil war eventually did wear the Empire down and weaken the West enough to be carved up by bands of outsiders, but the process took centuries and America is not there yet.

    So what? American elites fight their overseas wars with the full knowledge that the outcome is irrelevant save for the propaganda value of “success”. The Taliban or ISIS ain’t marching on Washington and burning it to the ground. The Vietnamese are still in Vietnam and their victory has proven illusory, as they are now back inside the orbit of Washington and the capitalist world system. So in reality these wars are all for show, either for a domestic or a foreign audience (often both). Therefore, how you spin the narrative is all. Winning and losing the way a Wellington or a Marlborough would have understood those terms is almost beside the point.

    1. fresno dan

      James Levy
      March 11, 2016 at 8:14 am
      Your absolutely positively correct.
      Posted many times, but always so true:

      “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
      Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
      Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
      Really, the most eye opening thing I think I have ever read.

    2. Ed

      Just wanted to point out that the view here on the causes of the fall of the Western Roman Empire is the same as the thesis of Adrian Goldsworthy “How Rome Fell”, probably the best single book on the subject.

      1. James Levy

        And that’s where I got it. I’ve cited Goldsworthy before, but like the argument it may be getting stale around here. Nevertheless, you can’t understand American interventionism without understanding that from Washington’s perspective, the stakes are incredibly low. It’s not Nelson off Cadiz or Meade at Gettysburg any more. It isn’t even Taylor at Buena Vista. Our opponents have no chance of scoring a conventional victory of any substance and have no power projection capacity to take the war to the USA. So even a total cock-up like Iraq (or an outright strategic defeat like Vietnam) has no real impact on the United States save its impact on our propaganda. Thus winning the propaganda war and spinning the thing is more important from Washington’s perspective than the thing itself.

        1. jsn

          You might be interested in Peter Turchins book Ultrasociety. It’s thesis is that war imposes cooperation which leads to trust which allows larger societies to reorganize successfully into more costly and complex orders.

          Tainter explains how costly complexity leads to collapse, Turchin how the same phenom leads to scaling efficiencies via a cultural collective learning with war as catalyst.

          This supports the argument that the weakness of Romes enimies, like our own now is implicated in collapse.

        2. tiresoup

          I think it bears repeating that losing a war is still a win from the perspective of profits. Another huge profit center: the national security state. Billions and billions, just staggering sums when you consider the real size of the danger for the average American. But then it isn’t about us, is it?

          1. fresno dan

            Well, that’s just it, isn’t it? Its not a loss or tragedy for everyone – some lose their lives, others gain stock options and huge bonuses….

    3. Elasmo Branch

      War is a celebration of markets. The actual business of fighting is just a footnote in the history books. Where there are troops, there are taxes. Where there are taxes, there are markets [black, grey, white: and everything in between is for sale]. Where there are markets, there are people to service the troops to pay the taxes that create the market that sends the troops.

    4. Adam Eran

      I’d add Peter Heather’s observation that, in addition to the infighting you cite, Roman agriculture was in decline. In the days of the Republic, Roman farmers used something like today’s permaculture. As Romans started using slaves to farm, their soil degraded, since slaves didn’t care whether it depleted or not. Rome fell when the farms in North Africa were cut off from them and they couldn’t feed their own population.

  7. Llewelyn Moss

    re: Trump supporter charged after sucker-punching protester

    I wonder if the Violence at Trump Rallies is a window into the kind of world we’ll get if Trump wins. Trump seems to be basking in the violence. It’s getting a bit scary when a Presidential candidate encourages the violence.

    At a Nevada rally,
    Trump said: “I’d like to punch him in the face.” In Kentucky, he said: “Get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do I’ll defend you in court. … Are Trump rallies the most fun? We’re having a good time.”

    1. Christopher Fay

      “the kind of world we’ll get,” we’re not living it already? I’ll give you a Honduran sucker punch.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Trump is a symptom of a world of terror Tuesdays, mass surveillance, and a terrible economy. If the Muslims aren’t out to get us, why does the government need to spend all that money in domestic surveillance? American exceptionalism blinds people to the obvious answer, but “responsible” Washington is awash in stories of ISIS threats. Tancredo said crazy stuff, but things weren’t as bad for him to take off. No one called Tancredo a driver of events even though he and his ilk were way ahead of Trump. Of course, Rufio and Crud are the craziest people still running.

      Didn’t CNN waffle between lamenting anti-muslim rhetoric at last night’s debate and fear mongering about Islam with no sense of irony? Fear has been pushed for so long it will be rejected or embraced beyond the intent.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        All good points.
        On the Fear Factor…
        The GWOT and Surveillance State spending is a Monument To The Stupidity Of The American People. Mericans bought into all the propaganda that “We’ll Keep You Safe”. Don’t worry it’ll only cost a $Trillion a year (or whatever the cost is that they won’t tell us).

        I bookmarked this dKos diary to remind me that “Odds of Dying by Terrorist Attack: 20,000,000 to 1”. Is that worth spending the country into ruin and giving up our constitutional rights? Insanity.

      2. fresno dan

        March 11, 2016 at 10:28 am

        “Didn’t CNN waffle between lamenting anti-muslim rhetoric at last night’s debate and fear mongering about Islam with no sense of irony? Fear has been pushed for so long it will be rejected or embraced beyond the intent.”

        On the one hand, 14 people killed by gun toting Muslims is unbearable – no cost in treasure or civil liberties cannot be borne. On the other hand, the 33 or so daily killed by good, patriotic American criminals is of no consequence and in no way no how diminish the 2nd amendment. I am seeing some contradictions, but it probably is just me…

        I am beginning to wonder (maybe I should stop) if illogic is a criterion for being a news commentator.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Journalists are products of journalism school and communications majors, not hard or soft sciences.

          I started watching House of Cards, it’s okay, but the best part was Zoey, a political reporter, not recognizing the House majority whip, Kevin Spacey. It wasn’t played as a joke, just an introduction for the characters, but the moment accidentally revealed the problems with journalism. They aren’t educated. Jon Stewart was the best interviewer, when he wasn’t lobbing softballs, for a simple reason he is a history major from William and Mary, and William and Mary had too many famous alums to churn out people ignorant of history. Stewart was prepared to ask questions. Wolf Blitzer finished in the red on Celebrity Jeopardy. The man is stupid or at least knows nothing about the world.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Trump kept saying ‘These people hate us. We have to ask why.’

          The why is right there in front of him.

          Perhaps he will connect the dots. He doesn’t say now.

          And Sanders may buy MMT, but he doesn’t say that publicly either.

          So, we are voting, but the candidates don’t say everything they think.

      3. Penelope Dreadful

        I like Trump, and there is no right to protest inside of a rally. Does anybody go to a James Taylor concert and expect to sing??? These protesters inside the rally are just engaged in disorderly conduct, and if I was there, I might just slap the crap out of one them too.

        Plus, do you see Trump supporters disrupting Hillary’s or Bernie’s rallies? Nope. The disrupters are just mini-Fascists trying to shut down free speech by intimidation.

        And what’s with all this “Don’t be angreeee! Don’t say angreeee things! Hogwash! It is time to get angreeee and get off the darn couch and go vote! Sheeesh, Americans are unemployed while illegal aliens have jobs, and we aren’t supposed to get angreeee??? Fat chance!

    3. DakotabornKansan

      “Men who learn to live this way get used to it and even like it. It is workable, too; good discipline produces, at least in limited areas, the same performance as good self-discipline. The only objection to the scheme is that men who always do as they’re told do not know what to do when they’re not. Without the thoughtful habit of decision, they decide (when they must decide for themselves) thoughtlessly. If they are forbidden to beat Jews, they learn how not to want to, something a free man who wants to beat Jews never learns; then, when they are allowed to, the release of their repressed wish to beat Jews makes maniacs of them.” – Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free, the Germans 1933-45

    4. Tom Denman

      Trump is a lot more overt in how he deals with dissent than Madam Clinton. But in substance, not so much, as Ray McGovern, a retired CIA officer, discovered in 2011. Note that McGovern was not heckling Clinton, he merely turned his back to her. But that’s enough to get you arrested and put on a watch list in Nurse Ratched’s world.

      From Wikipedia [1]:

      During a speech on February 16, 2011, at George Washington University by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton he stood silently with his back turned during her remarks, leading to his arrest for disorderly conduct and inclusion on the State Department’s Diplomatic Security “Be On the Lookout” (BOLO) list of potential threats to Clinton due to his “considerable amount of political activism, primarily anti-war,” with instructions to Law Enforcement to detain and question him. The charges were subsequently dropped, and in 2014 he won an injunction against the BOLO on First and Fourth Amendment grounds.


  8. Steve H.

    This is a fun read:

    I don’t find much to disagree with except the insider perspective which is viewed as a strength. It’s questionable whether voters haven’t woken up to marketing ploys after 8 years of O. But then, I know of three cases where people who already had good institutional insurance think ACA is great, so it’s a matchup of Upton Sinclair v Won’t Get Fooled Again.

    It’s like the Democratic Party has a bad case of osteoporosis. A broken hip is a serious downward turn for an elderly person. They used to think that it was a doddering trip that caused the break. But then they realized that the hip broke first, and that’s what caused the fall. You can strengthen the hollow bones, but it takes hard work.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s actuatly at existing facilities. It’s legacy shopping to keep his supporters, most will scatter, but Obama is now blaming everyone else for his troubled Presidency. I expect him him to blame Baucus for mucking up the health care legislation process in the future.

        In the Atlantic article from yesterday, Obama blamed his appointees and staff for his terrible decisions and tried to claim disarming Syria’s chemical chemical weapons was his idea. No one reported this claim once until yesterday.

        1. RicRadio

          Yes, and Sarkozy and Cameron for not pulling their weight and following through on his misadventure in Libya. The frenchman caught the main flack, and Cameron was handily referred to being somewhat ‘distracted’ as though that was an understandable and perhaps forgivable position. “Obama slates Cameron” all over the front pages in the UK today. Sheesh!

  9. Jim Haygood

    House Speaker Paul Ryan sells out to Wall Street:

    The war over a Labor Department proposal that would raise investment advice standards for retirement accounts is being waged from opposite sides of Pennsylvania Avenue. The highest-profile opponent of the rule has emerged from the U.S. Capitol at the east end of the street, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

    In the latest barrage, an aide to Mr. Ryan, Julia Slingsby, posted a March 7 blog item on Mr. Ryan’s website entitled “Obamacare for financial planning.”

    “When this rule comes down, we will be ready to do what we can to protect the savings of hardworking Americans,” Mr. Ryan said in a March 3 press conference.

    Gawker puts a finer point on the fiduciary rule:

    The effect of this [rule] would be that more advisors like brokers and insurance agents would be unable to rip off consumers (as much). They could still make money just fine; but, if part of their business plan for years has been “steer my unsuspecting clients into higher-priced options they don’t need because I personally will get some sort of kickback,” they would not be allowed to do that any more.

    Better informed, higher income cohorts of the R party base — small business owners, in particular — will have no difficulty discerning that Ryan is selling them out to protect the dying-dinosaur full service brokerage industry.

    Paul Ryan’s preposterous lies on behalf of Wall Street make Hillary look like St Augustine practicing radical honesty. I barf in his general direction.

    1. bob

      His biggest lifetime campaign contributor, until a few years ago, was Credit Suisse. Haven’t looked lately, I’m sure his VP run with admitted money launderer and tax avoidance specialist Mitt Romney, and now speakership have opened up whole new revenue sources for him.

      Betcha can’t find a Credit Suisse branch in WI. Ever.

      He was also all over any TV camera that would get near him in 2008 BEGGING for the bailout. Bankers don’t beg well, that’s why they pay congress people.

    2. fresno dan

      Thanks for that.
      It one of those things, if only we could have a similar law for congresscritters.

      “The effect of this [rule] would be that more representatives like senators and congressmen would be unable to rip off citizens (as much). They could still make money just fine; but, if part of their reelection plan for years has been “steer my unsuspecting voters into laws that screw them because I personally will get some sort of kickback,” they would not be allowed to do that any more.”

      Of course, if it weren’t for corrupt congressmen, there’d be no congressmen at all….

  10. justsayknow

    So Debbie Wasserman Schultz supports 300% interest charges for those trapped in payday loans. Amazing. And she is such an important democrat insider that she is the head of the dnc. Plenty of articles out now discussing the breakup of the republicans but I suspect equal attention should be paid to the democrats. Would Trump support 300% payday loans? Probably not. He’s against shrinking social security after all. Debbie’s bff Hillary is fine with it. The republican front runner is to the left of the dem front runner. Up is down.
    BTW great poster in Debbie article.

    1. alex morfesis

      Trump was in the pickpocketing business known as casinos…has trump ever been found to pay a penny more than he ever had to or not extracted tribute from most of his employees…drumpf looks good because the rest look awful…300 % would be the start…didnt you pay attention when biff was on screen next to the delorean

  11. Theo

    Did you select the piece from The Onion on Chomsky to highlight its destruction now that it is owned by Univision and in the hands of Haim Saban, millionaire financier and Democratic power broker and supporter of Clinton and Israel’s right-wing government? I suppose this is the kind of thing we can expect from The Onion now. Useless. The piece makes no sense even as a piece of so-called humor. Anything to denigrate a critic of Israel and belittle the idea of social justice, I suppose. It deserved some commentary from NC.

    1. Brindle

      I read the piece and there was nothing funny or insightful or even clever about it. It had a “written by a bot” feel to it. Maybe the Onion with its new owner is following a SNL trajectory.

    2. Vatch

      I don’t think the Chomsky piece denigrates him at all. In fact, thanks to this Onion article, some people will be introduced to Noam Chomsky and a few of his books for the first time. As they say in show business, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

      1. Paul Boisvert

        The Onion piece is fair to middling–good for a few chuckles, with the picture as the best part. The Onion often has “high concept” pieces which, after you get the idea in the first sentence, at which you chuckle, are then routinely filled out with fairly obvious examples of the concept, which add little to the one-off, absurd juxtaposition that comprises it. (This is a lot like Saturday Night Live for the last 30 years or so, though the Onion writers are much cleverer than the SNL ones…)

        The Onion’s best, quite funny, pieces are ones that are less high-concept, and that rely much more on well-done mimicry and parody of demotic, popular language and phraseology, particularly that of slackers and millenials–but there isn’t much of that here, as they just quote sound-bite catch-phrases associated with NC (Chomsky, not this site!)

        Re the Knight piece, it’s a bit off base, I think. Chomsky’s political point has always been that we humans are (radically, in all its good senses) free to transcend our own biology, and act morally. So for him, knowing that we have a genetic or evolutionary heritage or given biological framework implies precisely nothing about our political or moral choices–we can choose to behave as we wish, and as we should. Hence it is completely irrelevant whether language is a mental “organ”, or not. He may be wrong in his opinion about what language is, but even if he is, neither his view nor the opposite implies anything about how we should organize a just society.

        Here’s a highly relevant sample: back in the day, he intervened in the “IQ Controversy” discussions, arguing against those who said that “Blacks have genetically lower average IQ’s, and hence we are justified in avoiding social policies that offer them help (i.e., welfare, affirmative action, etc.) to overcome that intellectual deficit.” Such help, said the argument that he opposed, will largely fail, in the face of IQ being a largely “fixed” biological trait.

        Opposing that argument in several ways, as did others, Chomsky gave passing notice and assent to the fact that the “evidence” for the “lower IQ for blacks due to genetics” position was absent–it was either negligible, came from improperly controlled studies, or was provably and deliberately falsified in several of the most famous cases. But, he argued, (unlike others) it might still turn out to be true–it would not be surprising if some race, by happenstance, had lower average intelligence (whatever that meant) than some other race(s), due to heritable genetic factors. [Of course, it might be that whites actually have less than blacks, if/when studies were properly controlled!]

        But he argued that any such “scientific fact” would still have precisely no implications for social policy. Our choice of how to treat people morally and justly need have no reference to any of their genetic features. He pointed out that “swimming ability” is quite likely to be due largely to genetics, yet we don’t treat people differently in society due to that fact. We agree to provide lifeboats for non-swimmers, even though strong swimmers could do without them. We don’t say, “well, no point in trying to help non-swimmers in situations where their biological deficit might yield different (harmful) results for their lives, as compared to the biologically “lucky” strong swimmers. We don’t give vastly more money and power to strong swimmers than weak ones. Why should we do so for “more intelligent” people, than for “less intelligent” ones, even if intelligence turns out to be hereditary?

        So Knight’s take doesn’t seem relevant–and I’ve never been fond of labeling scientific models as “reactionary”. Scientific theories are either better or worse models of truth than competing ones, but regardless, we can choose, independently of them, our own frameworks of morality and justice–those are what are reactionary, progressive, or, in Chomsky’s case, truly “radical”.

    3. ekstase

      Describing Chomsky as wearing sequins and being lowered onstage riding a podium doesn’t denigrate him. It denigrates glitzy crap that masquerades as grandeur.

  12. bob

    “How to detect a credit card cloner at the gas pump City Pages”

    LSS- You can’t. Also, if you use a CREDIT CARD you are not liable for any charges due to the card info being stolen.

    But, in the second picture, they show the real danger- The card reader with a pin pad camera. It sticks out just far enough to be able to get a shot of the pin pad while the person is entering the pin. This is on an ATM machine.

    This would be for DEBIT CARDS. The thieves need both the card info and PIN to be able to steal anything. The DEBIT ACCOUNT holder can also be held liable for “loosing” this info. Much less protection from fraud than with a credit cards.

    If anything, it’s a public service announcement for using CREDIT CARDS vs DEBIT CARDS.

    If the readers are done right, they are nearly impossible to spot. Even the people that make the machines, in some cases, can’t spot the add on equipment.

    Yeah, if the machine has glue on it, stay away. But beyond that little tip, the story doesn’t even call out the debit vs credit difference, or note the more “advanced” reader attached to the ATM machine. It doesn’t just read your card….it reads your mind, or your fingers.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The bad guys were spotted by a human worker.

      Can a robot or an all-automated store catch those guys? I doubt it.

      “Hey, I found a fake, imported robot.”

      “What do you mean a fake robot?”

      “It’s not real. See, across that big, calm ocean, humans are cheaper than robots. And so, they stick a human inside a robot skeleton and try to sell it as a genuine robot.”

      “Interesting. How did you catch it?”

      “Well, in the beginning, it sounded and acted like a real robot. But something wasn’t right, so I passed it through a anti-Turing test, to see if other genuine 100% robots could tell if it was a robot or a human. And the human failed.”

      1. flora

        More bad guy activity spotted by human workers:

        “Unfortunately for the hackers, only four of these transfers, for a total value of about $81 million, went through successfully. Not because the break-in was detected by the Bangladesh Bank or because heavily armed police kicked down the hackers’ doors and arrested them all at gunpoint… but because one of the transfers had a typo. Attempting to transfer $20 million to a Sri Lankan non-governmental organization called the Shalika Foundation, the hackers instead attempted a transfer to the Shalika “Fandation.” Staff at Deutsche Bank spotted this error and got in contact with the Bangladeshis to ask for clarification. The ruse was discovered and the remaining transfers were canceled.”

  13. fresno dan

    It is as if they are proud of clueless punditry

    “Marco Rubio was attempting to repair the damage that he has done to his reputation by baiting Trump with schoolyard taunts.”
    [[Rubio is Jeb! without the dashing, vibrant, commanding presence. The proposition that Rubio is in trouble because of crude language when the front runner is in front because of crude language is kinda hard to square….it is as if it against the law to posit that maybe, just MAYBE nobody liked Jeb! policies, and nobody likes Rubio polices or maybe, Rubio, beloved by all, except the voters, just doesn’t have orange hair]]

    Washington Post: “Trump repeatedly got a pass, as his opponents ducked opportunities to take easy shots. No one spoke up, for example, when he bragged about profiting off loopholes in the U.S. visa program. “I’m a businessman,” he said. “We’re allowed to do it. So I will take advantage of it; they’re the laws. But I’m the one that knows how to change it. Nobody else on this dais knows how to change it like I do, believe me.”

    [[Really Washington Post??? REALLY? Trump characterizes the rule as corrupt. So, people who helped write the rule are going to say what EXACTLY?
    ‘Donald, you evil, evil man – obeying a law duly enacted by congress???’ or maybe ‘We thoroughly incompetent congresscritters had no idea that foreigners would be hired using this law???’ OR ‘So this law has been in effect for years and years and years, and even though we all incessantly yammer about immigration, A – I didn’t know about this law OR B – I was too lazy to do anything about this law???’
    Really Post – what would you have said about that – I am really curious???

    There really is to much nonsense to refute. I used to actually think the collapse of newspapers was a bad thing – now I think it can’t happen fast enough.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You have to hire hackers to catch hackers.

      Or rocket engineers to build rockets.

      “Welcome, Donald to the new country. We will give you a new identity, and we are going to the Moon.”

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Eyeglasses focus themselves.

    Sensors tracking the eyes…how? Does it damage the eyes long term?

    1. bob

      It’s probably the same tech that VR headsets use. They haven’t figured it out either. Just another 10 years…

      One problem, they make a lot of people violently ill. Most complain of at least mild discomfort.

      They are ‘too steady’, ie the human body has lots of little movements, along with the eye itself, that let the eyes get a better view of things. Post processing in the brain smooths it all out. Our built in “gyroscope” requires movement and vision that is out of focus.

      Without those small movements, adjustments and rhythms, the body gets very disoriented. Oculus.

    2. craazyman

      You can’t have Beer Goggles focus themselves or they wouldn’t work anymore.

      They need to be careful where they put this stuff

      1. polecat

        I think ‘Terminator Implants’ would be a far better choice……just think of all those data readouts scrolling along side your new & improved field of vision !!!

  15. Vatch

    You Won’t Believe How They Rigged Ohio Against Trump: “Intentionally Confusing Ballot”

    Yes, it is confusing. But Kasich, Cruz, and Rubio supporters, as well as Trump supporters, will be confused by it. I suppose the Ohioans who support Kasich are slightly more likely to be acquainted with political insiders who will explain the ballot to them in advance, but that’s a pretty tenuous supposition.

    1. Brindle

      The possibility is that the confusing ballot will allow the GOP elite to pick the method of determining ballot viability and voter intent etc. to favor Kasich.

    2. ambrit

      Here Down South, the politicos would get the ministers to explain it to “the faithful” on the Sunday prior to the election. (Some of the more ‘Protestant’ flocks would do it the Wednesday prior.)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In some other places, it can be peer pressure, or who is more popular with the boys this election cycle.

      2. Sam Adams

        That merely requires some ‘walking around money’ in the offering plate to get the congregation to sing hallelulia.

      3. Carolinian

        Somewhat related

        The nut

        Bernie Sanders has made socialism relevant again in this country. But will the U.S. join much of Western Europe in developing a successful socialist political tradition? Short of that, will the Sanders campaign ignite a new movement? Both are unlikely, at least for now, and a big part of the explanation why may lie in religion — religion inhibits socialism’s spread and explains its lack of political mobilization.

        Reading this article I wondered if the unquestioned religiosity of southern blacks might have something to do with their coldness toward Sanders. Which is to say it’s not that Sanders is Jewish but that he is a secular Jew. This is just thinking out loud but there could be something to it.

  16. Matthew Saroff

    While I agree with the thesis that in 2010, losses were driven by factors other than Gerrymandering, specifically Obama crapping on the base, and insisting that the mid-term be a dress rehearsal for 2012, the decennial redistricting that followed made a big difference.

    1. Jess

      Yes, very much so. The loss of seats at the state legislative level paved the way for the gerrymandering that followed and which will negatively impact reform until the next census and another round of redistricting.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        Yes for 2012 but it is important to note that self-sorting (combined with the D elites’ total lack of interest in things rural) is hurting the D’s big time. There is no way to draw reasonably compact districts of the sort that redistricting advocates love without giving the R’s a huge advantage, because D voters are extremely concentrated in urban districts where they routinely win 80-90% of the vote – and, just as importantly though not directly related to the shape of their districts, are virtually never primaried. The geography of R voters is much more dispersed and makes it much easier to draw those 60-65% R districts that are just safe enough to always be reliably R while still allowing the crafting of R majority states.

        1. fresno dan

          I agree.
          I have read a number or articles that the basic reason repubs are so over represented is that consistent repub districts are designed to be 65%, making a sure thing, but not “wasting” repub votes. Dems on the other hand, have a surplus of districts of 90% or more – that is a lot of “wasted” dem votes.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Penguin…5,000 miles.

    Do you think we humans all look alike to a penguin?

    “My brain may be pee-sized. But my heart connects with yours.”

    Unfortunately, the human world values brain size more.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The penguin is what I envision the new human species to look like.

      A smaller brain
      A bigger heart (as shown by this penguin)
      shorter arms (less grabby)
      shorter legs (to cover a smaller hunting area)
      A smaller mouth (less voracious)

      1. savedbyirony

        Maybe over time those humans with the same sized brains and bigger hearts will be the surviving progenitors of the “new human species”, like the retired bricklayer/fisherman in the story. Places like NC on a larger scale level and my local food pantry group sometime gives me some hope in it.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Also, notice today’s antidote.

      The penguins are sharing their GDP.

      They are distributing their wealth.

  18. fresno dan

    Can Sanders Remake the Democratic Party? American Conservative (resilc)

    Sanders’s historic socialist identity is seen as anomalous and exotic by the media and worn as a badge of radical daring by supporters. But does his implicit critique of contemporary liberalism qualify as “socialist”? It seems the term has become as useless an ideological descriptor as “liberal” or “conservative.”

    Yet one can say that Sanders’s critique fits in squarely with the older liberalism typified by the heyday of Americans for Democratic Action, a group that owed much to the historic American Socialist tradition and represented the best civil libertarian qualities of the Cold War era. Sanders is also squarely in the tradition of the Socialist Party politicians elected in the first half of the 20th century in places as far flung as Milwaukee, Schenectady, Butte, Minneapolis, Reading, and Bridgeport: these places saw candidates who succeeded through delivering on core constituency services and clean government. Like them, Sanders’s first election as mayor of Burlington in 1981 was due to a property tax revolt (and the opportunistic support of the police union). What later earned him up to 70 percent of the statewide vote in Vermont were historically favorable ratings from the NRA and zeal in securing veterans benefits.

    Thus it would be a mistake to see Sanders as a mere throwback to the domestic agenda of FDR and Truman. In his unbowed emphasis on blasting away at the plutocratic class, Bernie has been much more like Louisiana populist Huey Long than socialists and progressives such as Norman Thomas or Henry Wallace. And it is equally mistaken to suppose that he would be in the mainstream center-left in Europe—his rise has clearly occurred in parallel with Jeremy Corbyn in Britain’s Labour Party and various anti-EU leftist parties on the continent.

    This reproach from the distant past confronts an American liberalism in which Hillary Clinton represents the once settled principles of the post-Cold War era: deference to the financial elite, an activist foreign policy, a progressive culture war offensive. The Clintonian approach, which largely writes off the white working class, is essentially the platform first forged by the centrist Democratic Leadership Council in the 1980s. But a funny thing happened on Hillary’s way to the White House: suddenly, her party and the country are more concerned with economic inequality, criminal justice reform, climate change, and avoiding new wars in the Middle East.

    It was not necessarily Sanders’s intention to provoke a debate about the future of liberalism, and he has not aggressively pursued it. Critics frequently call out his reliance on vague talk of popular mobilization (“a political revolution”) when asked how he would pass his agenda against Republican opposition. Left unacknowledged is how much the politics of a Democratic primary constrain him from making a clearer argument, a forceful critique of the party’s establishment and its priorities.

    Ironically, or maybe not, surprising positive and objective.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Conservatives respect or fear strength or perceived fighters. Conservatives are basically dogs who don’t like children. Obama and Clinton Inc. are celebrations of brands, not substance or strength. Sanders will fight back. Team Blue types will ask forgiveness from the GOP. Carter didn’t fail because he was liberal. He failed because the GOP recognized he wouldn’t bring the hammer down on them. Trump might be a brand, but he is fighting the other GOP brands which is why Trump is doing well despite questionable past conservative credentials. One can either attack 43 or swear fealty. Anything else is a sign of weakness.

    2. financial matters

      “But a funny thing happened on Hillary’s way to the White House: suddenly, her party and the country are more concerned with economic inequality, criminal justice reform, climate change, and avoiding new wars in the Middle East.”

      Interesting that this could also be seen as an appeal to many traditional conservatives that they may want to consider these issues as being more important than traditional party lines and consider which candidate best represents them.

  19. rich

    Chris Matthews’s “Hardball” Guests Have Given $79,050 to His Wife Kathleen’s Congressional Campaign

    In the ensuing months, Kathleen’s name has rarely come up on Hardball. But many of the guests on the show have become generous donors to her campaign. And the transparency Matthews promised has not extended to mentioning that to his audience.

    Using Federal Election Commission data and Hardball transcripts, The Intercept has identified 48 frequent guests of Matthews’s program who have made donations to the Kathleen Matthews for Congress campaign. These individuals, their spouses, or their political action committees donated $79,050 as of December 31, 2015 — about 5 percent of the $1.5 million Matthews had raised as of that time.

    Some of the guests made the donations after they were on the show — in some cases, long after. But in at least 11 of these cases, the Hardball guests appeared on the program after Kathleen Matthews announced her candidacy, and without any disclosure of the donations. And in at least three of those cases, the donations came within days of the MSNBC appearance.

    Campaign finance experts told The Intercept they do not believe the donations violate FEC guidelines. Payola rules from the Federal Communications Commission would prohibit program hosts from receiving payments in exchange for putting individuals on the air, but they only appear to apply to broadcast stations, not cable, and Chris Matthews didn’t receive the payments; his wife did.

    Chris is a clinton democrat so conflict of interest and shame are not in his vocabulary. Maybe they should rename show…”Hairball” b/c the networks interpretation of payola is hard to swallow.

  20. rich

    Millions Of Voters Are Sending A Message: Our Economic Framework Is Rotten Updated March 11, 2016

    Now, Washington’s cozy cocoon of ideas is getting a violent shaking from Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

    Trump, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, and Sanders who is seeking the Democratic nomination, are very different candidates. One is a billionaire businessman, and the other a democratic socialist.

    But each is appealing to voters who believe that Washington’s economic framework is rotten. The candidates want to tear it down, and millions of working-class Americans agree.
    To understand what’s been happening this presidential primary season, consider Michigan, where voters turned out in huge numbers for Sanders and Trump. According to Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis data, the inflation-adjusted annual median household income in Michigan fell by about $14,000 a year — down to about $52,000 — from 1999 to 2014.

    That same time period played out very differently for corporations. From 1999 to 2014, U.S. annual corporate profits after taxes shot up by about 250 percent, to nearly $1.7 trillion.

    So, yes, businesses did much better, allowing Washington thought-leaders to, in effect, say: “See, we were right! We promoted the ideas that have kept America’s GDP ranked No. 1 in the world, even though China has four times our population.”

    But outside of Washington, millions of Americans are not living in a Big Picture or a Framework. They are living in houses that have lost value, in cities where they don’t trust the water pipes and where companies can suddenly announce they are moving jobs to other countries.

    With their support of Sanders and Trump, those workers have made it clear they want a new paradigm.

    ,,,but will they get it?

    1. fresno dan

      March 11, 2016 at 3:33 pm
      Thanks for another great article – couldn’t agree more
      I think politicians don’t want to get it. As your article shows, and what drives me to distraction, is that GDP is reported as if it were synonymous with per capita GDP is going up. I think the politicians get their swag from the corporations, so they don’t want to know – or more likely, they try to hide what they do know. There is just no money in helping anyone who isn’t at the tippy top, and indeed, helping anyone not at the tippy top probably gets you expelled from the exploitation club…

      There’s that new meme: its the economy, stupid – – no, its the people in the economy, smart guy.

  21. afisher

    RE: the Ohio ballot against DT
    Someone has their hat (tin foil?) way too tight. Every candidate will undergo the same Vote in 2 places to have the ballot count. Serious CT- hilarious.

  22. rich

    Did Novartis and Genentech Get Away with This Big Marketing Scam?

    Sleazy Sales Schemes Charged

    How do you sell a drug too dangerous for children and too dangerous for seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms that costs up to $24,000 a year? A drug that can only be used after corticosteroids have failed and a IgE serum test has been conducted? A drug so linked to anaphylaxis it can only be administered in a medical setting where patients have to remain for two hours of observation? (Amounting to four to eight hours of doctor and patient time a month since the drug is given every two or four weeks.)

    According to whistleblowers who sold Xolair at Novartis and Genentech–with a scheme of kickbacks and bribes, misinformation about Xolair’s approved uses and risks and insurance fraud.

    According to complaints, doctors and medical staff who could boost Xolair prescriptions received American Express travelers checks, expensive tickets to sports and entertainment events, opulent meals and even a trip to the Bahamas. Often payments were disguised to look medically-related such as payments for bogus studies and to “advisory board” members, trips to “speaker” programs at fancy country clubs and casinos, unrestricted grants and honoraria of $1,000 to $3,000 that denoted no work.

    Why no action?

    Many, perhaps most Pharma companies have settled cases pertaining to bribes, kickbacks and off-label marketing. Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Victory Pharma have settled cases in recent years.

    Yet, despite an 11-year legal journey which included deposing Novartis and Genentech reps and even “wiring” one to collect evidence, whistleblower complaints have gone nowhere. Judge William Young of Boston tossed out the main complaint a year ago claiming that “fraud was probable” but an appeal is going nowhere fast.
    Next Page

    Some suggest the reason is Genentech is increasingly enmeshed with government. Robert Califf, M.D., the newly appointed FDA Commissioner, served as “director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee” for Genentech according to Medscape–a fact that has disappeared from both the Medscape and Genentech sites and most of the web. And in 2013, Google created Calico, a semi-secret research and development company, run by the chairman and former CEO of Genentech Art Levinson. Since then, Google life-sciences ventures have lured away Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health last year–a move that shocked many.

    As whistleblower complaints about Xolair sales tactics go nowhere, there is clear evidence of patient harm.

  23. Gaylord

    I think a good replacement for “Neanderthal” in derogatory parlance would be “Troglodyte.”

  24. Jim Haygood

    Two parties, one foreign beneficiary that’s immune from debate:

    Washington (CNN) Americans will see a preview of what could be the general election matchup when the Democratic and Republican front-runners make pitches to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee audience later this month.

    Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are now scheduled to address the conference hosted by AIPAC, the leading pro-Israel lobby in Washington, from March 20 to March 22, the organization said Friday.

    Note which candidates aren’t going there (so far) to sign on to increasing Israel’s tribute to $5 billion a year in 2017, as the Lobby already has demanded.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Grass roots organizing:

      One of the great storylines from the surprise victory for Bernie Sanders in Michigan is that he won the Arab-American vote– and the mainstream media are stunned that Arab Americans would vote for a Jew.

      Sanders won heavily-Arab-American Dearborn, by 7100 votes to Hillary Clinton’s 4700 votes. That’s a 59 to 39 percent Sanders stronghold inside Wayne County, which was a Clinton stronghold.

      The Detroit Free Press’s Niraj Warikoo reports that Sanders’s victory was fueled by young Arab and Muslim voters, and that he put out an Arabic ad at a time when Hillary Clinton wasn’t working that community.

      Naturally the MSM is shocked, shocked, because their authorized party line is that Muslims are haters and antisemites.

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