Links 3/12/16

Christian ‘Prophet’ Loses His Buttocks to a Hungry Lion While Trying to Prove God Would Save Him Alternet

Hillary Clinton Appears Before Rally Completely Nude In Bid For Authenticity Onion (David L)

Keith Emerson has died aged 71 Telegraph. Revealing my age and tastes in posting this, but the story was first page of the Torygraph, above the fold.

Surprise nuclear strike? Here’s how we’ll figure out who did it Science (Chuck L)

Newly discovered bacteria can eat plastic bottles Raw Story (furzy)

Spray-on coating could ice-proof airplanes, power lines, windshields PhysOrg (Chuck L)


China Banks: Careful What You Swap Into WSJ MoneyBeat

China’s February New Credit Plunged From Prior Month Bloomberg

Euro Bears Get Sore Heads as ECB Sparks Surprise Rally Reuters

Refugee Crisis

Germans’ Welcome for Migrants Cools Wall Street Journal

German minister calls for ‘travel registry‘ DW


Source: How a BREXIT Could Save Europe From Itself Telegraph (Chuck L)

Justice minister: David Cameron can only deliver promise to cut migration by leaving the EU Telegraph

What would Brexit mean for science? (+video) Christian Science Monitor

Moody’s withdrawal of Russia’s local credit ratings could start exodus Globe and Mail


US Judge Orders Iran to Pay $10.5 Billion to 9/11 Victims and Insurers Inquisitr (guurst)

The Middle East Is Unraveling—and Obama Offers Words Atlantic

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

NSA Data Soon To Be Used in Routine Policing Washington Post

Government Can’t Let Smartphones Be `Black Boxes,’ Obama Says Bloomberg (David L)

Barack Obama warns over ‘fetishising our phones’ Financial Times. Conveniently ignores that more than anything, smartphones provide a blueprint of your life.

Boy, 4, threatened with counter-terrorism measures after he mispronounced ‘cucumber’ as ‘cooker bomb’ Telegraph

CommInsure: How insurers stepped up the spying Sydney Morning Herald. EM: “From Oz, relevant all over the ‘developed’ world.”


Fights Break Out After Donald Trump Scraps Rally in Chicago Wall Street Journal. Over 600 comments in the first 30 minutes, and they are nasty. The few who criticize Trump are shouted down. Sanders,, Clinton, Obama, and the fact that the police is not tough enough on leftie protestors all are cited as causes.

Trump Rally Cancelled After Thousands Show Up to Protest Alternet

Trump: “I Hope That My Tone Is Not That Of Causing Violence” Gawker

Breitbart Journalist Alleges Battery at Trump Event New York Times

Trump Has an Anti-Protester Intelligence Squad New York Magazine (furzy)

Trump’s Voters Are More Sophisticated Than You Think New Republic

At Trump U., Students Were Pressured for Praise New York Times

G.O.P. Debate: The “Never Trump” Movement Gives Up New Yorker (furzy)

How Donald Trump Could Beat Hillary Clinton Bill Greider, Nation

Why Trump’s Endorsements Should Scare Your Pants Off Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

Ted Cruz’s Father: Ted Has Been ‘Called and Anointed’ by God to Be the Next President (Video) Alternet (furzy)

Exclusive: U.S. labor powerhouse to launch anti-Trump ad campaign Reuters. Resilc: “Clintoon has done so much for unions.”

American Exceptionalism and the Election Made in Hell (Or Why I’d Vote for Trump Over Hillary) Counterpunch. Chuck L: “The author, William Blum, was on the president’s national security staff in the Kennedy administration. During the Cuban Missile Crisis he was one of three men assigned to manage the staff work supporting the decisions of the president and his advisers, a responsibility that rotated among them 24/7 for the duration.”

Ohio Judge Lets 17-Year-Olds Vote in Primary in Sanders Win Bloomberg

Rigged Democracy – Nearly 10% of Democratic Party Superdelegates are Lobbyists Mike Krieger (EM)

Hillary Clinton says she misspoke about how Reagans dealt with Aids crisis Guardian

The Most Important 2016 Issue You Don’t Know About Dave Dayen, New Republic

Bernie Sanders, the Socialist Mayor Atlantic (Deontos). From 2015, still germane.

The Most Horrendous Lie on Wall Street Forbes (JustAnObserver)

Is the White House Putting Its Finger on the Scale in the Clinton Email Investigation? Pam Martens and Russ Martens (Carolinian). But Li, who is an attorney, points out, “You don’t offer immunity if you’re not gonna indict someone hiigher up.”

Source: Clinton IT specialist revealing server details to FBI, ‘devastating witness’ Fox News. Resilc: “How great will this be if near true.”

Clinton Email Probe Enters Tricky Phase as Election Intensifies Wall Street Journal

Down the Tube: Television, turnout, and the election-industrial complex Andrew Cockburn, Harpers (Chuck L)

Fink warns on threat of protectionism Financial Times. Remember, Fink really wants to be Clinton’s Treasury Secretary.

Obamacare: Little-known provision allows Californians stuck in bad plans to switch San Jose Mercury News. Monica S: “This may only be in California, and they may have closed the loophole, but people who didn’t have access to the hospitals and doctors promised when they signed up were able to use that as a qualifying life event and switch plans.”

GOP congressman furious after Obama thwarts plan to sell sacred Apache land to foreign mining firm Raw Story (furzy)

States Move to Control How Painkillers Are Prescribed New York Times

The US cities luring millennials with promises to pay off their student debts Guardian

Memo’s Advice: Let Schools’ Water Run to Lower Lead Risk New York Times. Newwark, not Flint.


Oil Pay Packages Spur CEOs to Keep Pumping Wall Street Journal

Oil prices may have bottomed, says IEA Financial Times

Why the worst is not necessarily over for oil: IEA CNBC

Saving a Mixed-Income New York New York Times. Editorial. A little late.

Class Warfare

Rebirth of the real left Le Monde Diplomatique (Sid S)

Income Inequality May Cause Boys to Drop Out of High School More Often WSJ Economics

What if robots could replace consumers too? failed evolution

Antidote du jour (Kittie Wilson via Lawrence R):

chimpmunk links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. YY

    HRC misspeaks because she is an opportunistic careless story teller, not so much a liar as she is often mistakenly (although justifiably) criticized.. Had she rifled through her mental rolodex or accessed historical regions of her mental private server, rather than making the quick simple political calculation of praising Mrs St Reagan, she would have avoided eating her shoe. She’s as bad as Joe Biden in this respect but does not get a pass because of higher expectations. Had she not been called out immediately it would have become another Sarajevo gun fire ducking story. But applying her own standards, does one really trust this deep thinker when the phone rings at 3 AM.

    1. allan

      Oh, come on. AIDS, Alzheimer’s … what’s a little slip of the tongue between pragmatic policy wonks?

      A twofer: reminding us of how horrible the Reagans were, and showing how Clinton panders to her true base.

      1. Gio Bruno

        The ‘I meant Alzheimer’s’ misdirection by HRC’s handlers is so patently weak that it’s laughable.

        Foot-in-Mouth disease will end this 2016 Campaign.

    2. Dave

      Maybe it’s that anti-seizure medication she’s on. Head injury from plane crash.

      Do we want someone searching for their pills before taking that 3 A.M. call?

    3. Pelham

      I’m no Clinton fan, in fact I despise the Clintons and support Sanders. But I think this thing — just as the kerfuffle over Sanders’ recent remark about African-Americans — is just way overblown. She misspoke, she apologized and clarified, and that should be the end of it.

      1. Gio Bruno


        The Hill was trying to endear herself to voters while being totally unaware of the reality of the 80’s. This is a pattern for her. Bernie talks about events he experienced, not revisionist history.

        1. DJG

          Grazie, Gio. Further, Pelham, HRC was there when these events were happening. How could she forget? Or is she just willing to say anything to get elected?

          She is the same candidate who thinks that the TPP is the gold standard except when on Tuesdays she doesn’t think that.

          And as this blog points out regularly, she is a wizard at cattle futures trading. She just can’t seem to recall how she did that either.

          1. GlobalMisanthrope

            HRC was there when these events were happening. How could she forget?

            Honestly. Act Up and its Queer Nation off-shoot, the die-ins, the 1986 March on Washington, the AIDS quilt, Ryan White and the ADA. That’s just off the top of my head.

            How does a politician from the era forget all that? By never really being engaged by it. I think what we’re dealing with in HRC is a bonafide sociopath.

      2. sd

        Had she included in her apology that her words hurt people, then yes, I would agree with you. But that’s not what was written in her ‘tweeted’ apology. The fact the apology was tweeted also did not help matters.

        The inaction from Washington and the Reagans in particular in the 1980s was horrific. Silence = Death became a slogan because that is exactly what was actually happening.

        1. allan

          It should not go unmentioned that William F. Buckley was more than happy
          to play a part in the horror show:

          Throughout all of this Ronald Reagan did nothing. When Rock Hudson, a friend
          and colleague of the Reagan’s, was diagnosed and died in 1985 (one of the 20,740 cases reported that year), Reagan still did not speak out. When family friend William F. Buckley, in a March 18, 1986 New York Times article, called for mandatory testing of HIV and said that HIV+ gay men should have this information forcibly tattooed on their buttocks (and IV drug users on their arms), Reagan said nothing. In 1986 (after five years of complete silence) when Surgeon General C. Everett Koop released a report calling for AIDS education in schools, Bennett and Bauer did everything possible to undercut and prevent funding for Koop’s too-little too-late initiative. By the end of 1986, 37,061 AIDS cases had been reported; 16,301 people had died.

          Something to keep in mind (along with Buckley writing his out-of-wedlock grandson out of his will) when people fawningly refer to Buckley as a `serious conservative’.

      3. Jeff W

        Clinton did not “misspeak.” Misspeaking is when you, say, call a “cucumber” a “cooker bomb.”

        She paid what she thought was a respectful encomium to Nancy Reagan which turned out to be flatly wrong. She was pandering to conservatives, on the one hand, and blithely oblivious on the other. (Anyone who lived through the time of AIDS in the 1980s remembers the silence and the callousness of the Reagans, with Reagan’s press briefing laughing over the disease—somehow Clinton did not.) It is indeed a twofer—reminding us, appropriately, on Nancy’s death, how awful the Reagans were and calling attention to how oblivious and “political” Clinton is when she speaks.

  2. Mark Alexander

    Sad news about the death of Keith Emerson. I am also revealing my age by saying that I was a huge (yuge?) fan of his in my high school and college years. I wasn’t impressed by the goofy stage stunts, but always thought he was a very fine pianist and composer.

  3. DakotabornKansan

    HRC’s “misspoken” political calculation of praising Mrs St Reagan …

    No doubt another of her initial steps toward repositioning the Democratic Party to the right to absorb white “moderate” exiles from the Republican rubble.

  4. Llewelyn Moss

    re: NSA Data Soon To Be Used in Routine Policing

    On the one hand, I guess it’s better that this new data-sharing policy is acknowledged in the open instead of carried out surreptitiously. On the other hand, there’s something even more ominous about the fact that they no longer feel as though they need to hide it.

    What Constitution? National Stasi Agency literally is now a Stasi clearing house to all of law enforcement for all your private information.
    Orwell is spinning in his grave laughing and yelling “I told you so”.

    1. ambrit

      Even better is the low reliability of much of the ‘information’ being handed about. This is classic ‘professional informant’ territory.
      Orwell is having a heart to heart with that elephant he shot . “I thought I knew how you felt. Now I know even more, brother in flesh.”

  5. cwaltz

    That ruling against Iran is troubling. It sounds as if ANYONE could be accused of ANYTHING in a court and if they don’t show up, even if there is zero evidence, that you can have everything taken from you.

    1. ambrit

      True. The unemployment system works that way as well. As I discovered once in a conversation with a retired State Judge who was moonlighting as an Unemployment arbiter in her retirement. Employers will often oppose unemployment pay requests simply because many people cannot afford to show up for the series of ‘hearings’ concerning unemployment claims. One ‘no show’ and the employer wins, irrespective of the actual merits. For me, the opposite occurred. (Some people assume too much.)

    2. Jim Haygood

      “A New York City judge has ordered Iran to pay more than $10.5 billion to victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

      “Judge Daniels’ latest judgment comes after he cleared Saudi Arabia of liability last year. Daniels ruled that Saudi Arabia had sovereign immunity.”


      WHUT? I thought Iraq did it! /sarc

      More seriously, if Saudi Arabia has sovereign immunity [despite probably being ‘the real killer’], then so does Iran. It wasn’t bloody likely that Iran would show up in a U.S. district court to defend itself, having no diplomatic relations with the U.S.

      This comical scene of a no-account district judge trying to play Secretary of State with numbers bigger than he can count, reminds me of a rich quote from a legislative debate in the great state of Montana, circa 1929:

      “When some beet field peon takes a puff of this [loco weed],” explained Dr. Fred Fulsher of Mineral County, “he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico.”

      1. diptherio

        Ah, yes…life under the wild Montana skies…

        I wish I could say things have improved, but this just went down the other day (by the inimical Dan Brooks):

        Ask anyone who knows me how I feel about marijuana and they will tell you I’ve never tried it. Then they will tell you to be cool. The Montana Supreme Court was manifestly uncool last week, when it limited the state’s medical marijuana providers to three patients apiece. Three patients is not a viable business model. The ruling will effectively close the few dispensaries that survived the legislature’s attempt to roll back legalization of medical marijuana in 2011.

        This news means nothing to me because, like I said, I have never tried marijuana. But my friends sometimes smoke it, which is why my jacket, scarf, apartment or position behind the movie theater occasionally smells like “grass.”

        When I got to Missoula in 2009, pretty much everything else smelled like this, too. Montana voters passed a ballot initiative that legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes in 2004, but the industry really took off five years later, when the U.S. Department of Justice released a memo suggesting it would not prosecute medical providers. In the year that followed, the number of growers and dispensaries in Montana grew rapidly.


        Realizing that Montana had a growth industry for the first time in decades, the legislature moved quickly to stop it. Gov. Brian Schweitzer vetoed a bill outlawing medical marijuana during the 2011 session, but the legislature passed another one prohibiting providers from accepting money for their products. That bill was declared unconstitutional by District Judge James Reynolds in 2012, but the Montana Supreme Court mostly upheld it last week. Limiting providers to three patients effectively prevents them from operating as businesses.

      2. Procopius

        I am not a lawyer, so forgive me if I misunderstand, but I thought there was something called “service of process.” I thought there had to be some evidence that the plaintiff had notified the defendant of the date, time, and place of the hearing. Of course, as we all remember from the tsunami of foreclosure forgeries, judges rarely pay attention to this. I’m not sure what their reason is for ignoring the fact that, if a party doesn’t know there’s a legal process going on, of course they’re not going to show up for an event. Hasn’t it been shown time and again that regular plaintiffs in cases like this routinely fail to notify the defendants?

    3. perpetualWAR

      Ever witnessed a foreclosure kangaroo court? They can be witnessed in every major city now. I suggest everyone fo witness “justice” occurring in your city.

    4. Brian

      First time I have heard of Iran being blamed for what we now know was done by the wahabi’s? Why would there have been no news coverage of Iran being accused?

      1. RMO

        I think it was just mediocre satire. I hope it is anyways. It’s become almost impossible to tell lately. Just think of all the things you’ve heard, offered in dead earnest, that come within a gnat’s eyelash of being identical to Swift’s modest proposal.

    5. RabidGandhi

      No it’s not satire; read the linked Bloomberg article.

      Very reminiscent of the Argentina vulture fund case. Get some senile judge to issue a ruling based on 0 facts, all roundly rejected by the international community. Then wait till the government changes in Iran someday. Then internally some tool politician in Iran will argue that if we want to get back in the ‘international community’ we have to bite the bullet and pay this judgment.

      It’s the standard legal shotgun MO: throw a bunch of endless crap on the wall and something will eventually stick.

      1. Felix_47

        Good comment. Picking a judge is more important than the merits of the case. The US is run and being ruined by lawyers. That’s why we need Sanders and failing that anyone but an Ivy League lawyer lobbyist.

  6. Andrew Anderson

    “One explanation for the apparently perverse euro move is that the ECB’s measures on Thursday weren’t aimed at lowering the exchange rate specifically, but at boosting bank lending and getting liquidity flowing through the corporate world.

    In theory, this would support growth, economic activity and demand, thereby lifting inflation and inflation expectations. In effect, the transmission of monetary policy would come via the banking system, not from debasing the currency and hoping for an export-led recovery.” from Euro Bears Get Sore Heads as ECB Sparks Surprise Rally

    From another article I’ve read, this was accomplished by the ECB PAYING banks to lend, which is, of course, naked corporate welfare.

      1. diptherio

        Wow. We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore.

        The European Central Bank will offer to pay banks that borrow money from it in what is the most radical scheme anywhere in the world to boost lending to consumers and companies.

        The project would mean that banks qualify for billions of euros of initially free loans from the ECB and would get paid up to 0.4 percent of what they borrow on condition that they lend more to companies or consumers.

        The conventional wisdom seems to be that they’re still pushing on a string and even this radical measure won’t do much.

        “The ECB cannot force the private sector to go to the bank to get money. Loans are already cheap. Have we seen a take-up in credit growth? No.”

        For the real economy, this is, no doubt, correct. However, what is to stop banks from making a deal with a customer to borrow money at, say, -0.1%?

        Consider, Bank A borrows money from ECB for 0% and lends it to Company B for 0%. Company B then uses the loan funds to repay the loan, and Bank A repays the ECB. The ECB pays Bank A 0.4% of the loan amount, who then gives part of the proceeds to Company B.

        Everybody makes money for doing nothing but moving money around (well, numbers on a screen, but whatevs). That would seem to be the big difference between very low rates and negative ones. Even at 0.1%, the above scheme doesn’t work, since you’re still having to pay to borrow money. But negative rates mean that the act of borrowing itself pays, which flips the whole dynamics of the system.

        I am ready and willing to take out any amount of loans at -.1%, or even -0.01%, btw, for any Euro-banksters out there who are reading.

        1. Andrew Anderson

          I am ready and willing to take out any amount of loans at -.1%, or even -0.01%, btw, for any Euro-banksters out there who are reading diptherio

          Of course, equal protection under the law dictates that you too should be able to have an account at the central bank and skip the bankster middlemen.

          This will become blindingly obvious if/when physical fiat is abolished and negative interest rates passed on to depositors who’ll then have nowhere to flee with their deposits, not even the mattress.

      2. timbers

        “Here’s that other link: ECB pays banks to take its money”

        Now all the rich who’ve been struggling to make ends meet will finally have some extra cash to buy food and clothing to drive up inflation and the ECB policy will be an official success.

      3. HotFlash

        Jeez, times have changed. Back in the day, the best deal I could get was 6% and a free toaster oven.

        1. Andrew Anderson

          What ever you were able to borrow at was likely a steal – at the expense of the less so-called creditworthy which always includes the poorer and until not so long ago, the darker.

          But in turn, the richer were stealing from you too since they qualified for lower interest rates.

          That’s the way government subsidized private credit creation works – it turns a Nation into thieves.

  7. nycTerrierist

    I’ll reveal my age and tastes too. Very strange, I woke up today with ELP’s gorgeous rendition of
    Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’ in my head. After all these years, beautiful haunting music. RIP Keith Emerson.

    “And did the countenance divine
    Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
    And was Jerusalem builded here
    Among these dark satanic mills?”

    1. Mark P.

      I will not cease from mental fight,
      nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
      till we have built Jerusalem
      In England’s green and pleasant Land.

      It’s beautiful, haunting music, certainly. But the power and beauty — and the strange majesty — are already all there in the musical setting by Hubert Parry — a contemporary of Elgar’s — and in Blake’s words. The ELP version is a very straightforward arrangement of a piece that every British — or at least English — schoolchild becomes familiar with at an early age. (I did). The song is the unofficial national anthem, in fact.

      The old British Labour party used to sing “Jerusalem” alongside “The Red Flag” at their annual conferences — perhaps they still do, even after Blair — and it’s sung on the Last Night of the Proms and when the British cricket and rugby teams play. There are even Billy Bragg and Jeff Beck versions.

      Critics sometimes talk about the ‘old, weird, secret America,’ meaning that there are (or there used to be) certain things about American culture that don’t travel well or that non-Americans will generally never get. “Jerusalem” represents a whole complex of cultural ideas and aspirations that — though there’s nothing secret given that “Jerusalem” is the country’s unofficial national anthem — will not necessarily be grasped by those who aren’t English/British.

  8. Kokuanani

    Wow, those comments to the WSJ Trump article are SCARY!!!

    You know when folks are calling the WSJ a “tool of the left” things are really getting unhinged.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The vast conspiracies of the left are as real as the vast conspiracies of the right, once one dons the tin foil hat.

      1. Michael

        If only people realized the real vast conspiracies are combinations of the “right” (kinda) and the “left” (not really much at all).

  9. Swedish Lex

    Regarding the Onion’s nude “picture” of Hillary Clinton.

    Supposed to be funny, I presume.

    Would the Onion consider doing the same kind of piece for any of the male candidates? Would that be “funny” too? If not, why not so?

    1. SumiDreamer

      Salon already did so. During the Canadian election it was done to Harper.

      And the “portraits” were done by women, in each case.

      Funny? Maybe not, but it did offer some exposure. LOL

      1. ambrit

        As Clintons’ ‘handlers’ are frantically telling her now; “There is no ‘bad’ publicity.”
        OTOH, are the Onions’ new owners heading to “Page Three Bods” territory? Now that Playboy is getting out of the ‘nudie’ business, someone has to ‘fill the void,’ so to speak.

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      Clinton has already been thru this. Spy magazine did it to her ~20 years ago. They grafted her head onto a busty, leather strap clad young body, and put it on their front cover, c. 1992-1993.

      Not that there isn’t something speshul about what’s being done right now. Coarse sexism is way fashionable now, and not just because of the Donald and his snarling, sniveling Twitterbots.

      Even I can see it, and I despise Clinton.

            1. polecat

              williambanzai 7 blows all other competitors out of the lagoon !! …puts the Onion to shame.

        1. lightningclap

          Bernie w/ “Bruno”‘s thong-clad body. Oops, don’t want to give that dude at ZH any ideas.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s tough being a female candidate.

      They talk about your make up, your choice of clothes, etc.

      And until you are a young Bill Clinton or John F Kennedy, nude photos don’t help and are to be avoided.

      Young, handsome candidates are exceptional.

      And it’s OK to vote for them based on physical beauty…not superficial at all…just don’t faint in the public.

    4. GlobalMisanthrope

      The headline is hilarious, but the image is gratuitous misogyny. We live in a world that is horrified by the ageing female body. It’s not funny and I would argue that it isn’t even humor. Humor would have been her head on an outrageously sexy body in a press release from the campaign.

    5. low integer

      I agree that it is in poor taste, though seeing as the Onion is now owned by one of Hillary’s biggest financial backers, perhaps this piece was meant to evoke precisely the reaction you are now voicing.

      1. aumua

        Agreed. If you look at it closely, the whole story is a defense of Hillary.

        The Onion has been compromised, and is no longer funny, relevant or poignant. It’s a sad day, but I urge the moderators here to carefully screen future Onion submissions before adding them.

    1. abynormal

      “[Fanfare for the Common Man] This is an adaptation of a Classical piece written in 1942 by the American composer Aaron Copland. It was ELP keyboard player Keith Emerson who initiated the idea, transposing the song so the keyboard was the main instrument. According to Greg Lake, the recording came together spontaneously in the studio – as Emerson was playing the piece, Lake came in with a shuffle pattern on bass, and Carl Palmer added his drums. The engineer was rolling tape, and this first time the band played the song through is what made the album. fuckingTalent

  10. Watt4Bob

    It was truly inspiring to watch the people of Chicago tell Trump to take a hike.

    As much as anything, I credit the ignorant hick who punched the protester earlier in the week.

    History being the guide, and hind-sight being 20-20, the time to fight the brown-shirts is the moment you see them.

    I’m proud of my home-town.

    PS: Did anybody else notice the fact that the air-borne cameras showed an overwhelmingly peaceful situation, confirmed by their reporter on the ground, who kept saying how well-mannered the crowd was.

    Meanwhile Faux Noise cameras zoomed in on a couple of arrests, and played them over and over while Greta Van Suspect kept asking her colleague to get over there to cover the violence!

    1. Eureka Springs

      In my experience it is more likely rather than just a possibility paid provocateurs were involved (aside from the obvious – all major media). It’s who we are and what we do at home and abroad.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Agreed. It had a WTO/Seattle feel to it.

        Especially given the reported secret “Stop Trump” meeting this past weekend at Sea Island, Georgia.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It is not without precedents…like the staged attack on a Polish radio station.

          The question is whether it’s as easy to pick a fight at a Sanders rally – the volunteer would have to brave personally, individually going into a crowd of people to be beaten up, by provoking it somehow.

      2. tegnost

        I hate to be tin foily but yes, has all the hallmarks, comes right on the heels of sea island meet up where the ultras got together to figure out how to get their girl hillary to win (you know thats who they want), I recall during the iran contra days how during some protests people no one had ever seen before showing up and inciting the crowd to violence, no better or easier way to paint the crowd as fringe looneys, also detailed in the cia manual on disrupting movements from that time period…can’t teach an old dog new tricks i guess

        1. tegnost

          and oddly, or not, the hillarites among whom i toil claim this is why we need to get behind hillary, because bernie is the problem? The problem for whom i guess….not buying

        2. Watt4Bob

          Timing does look bad don’t it.

          And those ultras do do stupid things that back-fire don’t they.

          1. tegnost

            could be i’m just at peak cynicism, haven’t read a good book since xmas, haven’t cracked the one on the bedside table for weeks (real life narcorrido thing, meh…too real i guess), no place to plant a seed right now, and nothing good happened in the last week even schaudenfreudically. The provocateur angle while within the realm of possibility i think is overridden by MLTPB’s comment that what all of these things together, the lack of trust, the hostility, is a sign that things are not going very well. I happen to currently be around people who think it’s all good, and the mental conflict is wearing on me in much the same way as it did in the ’80’s and I worry about myself and others who are investing once again in “hope” which is not a plan, and rarely succeeds. Troubling…better finish here and get back up north and do that seed thing, go for peak tomato instead…the world will never be perfect so a good life is an attainable goal that may be better, contrasted with the way for evil to succeed is for good to do nothing…

      3. Watt4Bob

        I disagree, having seen agent-provocateurs up close and personal, in Chicago 1968 and Honeywell Project protests in Minneapolis in the 1980s, I’d point out that there was very little inflammatory action or footage.

        Both the people and the cops seemed on good behavior, very sparse physical contact considering the size of the crowds.

        Watch the over-head footage, cops needed very little effort to keep the protesters and Trump people separated, for the most part the police stood calmly in the street between the two groups.

        Faux Noise had to zoom in very close to achieve a picture framed to portray otherwise.

        And their own man on the ground kept commenting, very clearly that the situation was impressive for it’s peaceful tone.

        IMHO, when using agent-provocateurs to influence public opinion, they never fail to do a good job, and the footage is always near perfect.

        In this case, Faux Noise was clearly unprepared to reinforce any false narrative and Greta Van Suspect’s efforts to improvise came off as pathetic.

        Actual, on the ground interviews showed disappointed, but not crazy Trump supporters, and a very diverse, and peaceful opposition.

        1. tegnost

          i disagree, it doesn’t have to be effective on the ground to work wonders echoing through the PBS-osphere

          1. Watt4Bob

            I agree that is still possible, we’ll have to wait ands see.

            But I don’t believe it was planned, and what you’re describing, and I understand is possible, would be spin as opposed to manufactured.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                They should protest outside all the propaganda studios, FoxNews, CNN, CNBC, NYT, etc.

                Lots of hateful speeches, or rather, seductive speeches, that are guaranteed to make you support neoconservative adventures.

                It’s not hateful, it’s easy listening…and many people paid with their lives…many foreigners…their lives are cheaper (Oh My God, 3 local kids shot!!!…what? More drone bombing, hundreds died? Hohum…Let them fight it out…”)

                “Can I have more EZ listening news? I can’t get enough.”

        2. marym

          +++ to you and DJG – last night’s protest was very consistent with Chicago activism right now.

          The initial organizing for the event was at UIC. There’s a letter dated 3/5 posted on-line from the Chancellor responding to student concern, so the response on campus must pre-date that response. Thousands signed up for the Stop Trump facebook event. According to the twitter account of @plussone, who is a reliable focal point for reporting on Chicago activism, there was organizing by elected officials, 60+ community groups, student organizers at UIC, and people spontaneously joining the protest. At one point she posted a list of 20 twitter accounts she was following to track the protest.

          For those of us who think Trump and his followers represent a dangerous direction in our country, we ought to hope that this wasn’t organized at Sea Island, and that the activist movement in Chicago which is multi-faceted, and in many instances provides mutual support across different issues, is something real and that more people will be responding strongly to demagoguery and violent divisiveness.

            1. marym

              People taking punches at non-violent protesters, and politicians offering to pay the legal bills of violent protesters isn’t “kewl” just because you call it free speech. Trump, whatever anyone thinks of his maybe saying something useful against free trade or exploitative visa policies, is appealing to the most divisive, violence-prone, hateful aspects of our current political environment. There’s nowhere good that this can go. If we were reading a story about a protest similar to last night’s in Germany in the early days before it was incontrovertibly clear where it was going, we would call those protesters brave and heroic.

              1. Penelope Dreadful

                It is only “clear where this is going” in the Special Snowflake Land inside your head. In the real world, in America, there is a right to free speech and free assembly.When protesters deny those rights to other people, they are fascists. They may not think they are either very bad people, or fascists, but they are both, nonetheless.

                I do not know you from Adam, but I assure you that I do NOT accept your implied right to decide what speech I can hear, or whose rally I can go to. I am probably safe in saying you would not accept that from me, either.

                I suggest that you go online, order yourself a Brown shirt and some jack boots. Go to youtube, and learn to goosestep, and learn the whole Heil Hitler schtick. Because whether you accept it or not, you already have the fascist mindset. That superior people can dictate to others where they can go, and who they can listen to.

                It is only a matter of time before you will be needing the fascist regalia, sooo shop early and beat the rush!

                1. marym

                  You seem to be confusing people’s right to assemble and listen to speech with Trump’s right to speak hateful speech and incite hateful behavior without being interrupted. The first amendment doesn’t protect him from being interrupted, so instead he chose to cancel the rally.

                  1. Penelope Dreadful

                    YES IT DOES!

                    Do you go to a James Taylor concert, and insist that you have the right to get up and sing???

                    If the First Amendment protected the interruptions, then why are the police arresting them for disorderly conduct? Because they don’t have that right INSIDE the rally!

                    If you are delusional enough to think you have a First Amendment right to interrupt a speech, go to a Bernie or Hillary rally and try it! Because you will be escorted out, and probably arrested. Go to the aforesaid concert, and insist you have a “right” to sing, too.

                    You don’t get to exercise your rights wherever you want. Geeesh. Why do you think abortion protesters don’t get to come inside the clinics and protest??? You need to face up to your own fascist beliefs and either own them, or change those beliefs.

                    1. aumua

                      In fact, protesters did interrupt Sanders, and he let them do it. That, by the way, is a credit to Sanders’ strength, not a weakness.

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      Not for long, I imagine.

                      And Sanders was smart not to let Hillary interrupt him in the last debate.

                      “Can I finish? Can I finish? You’re interrupting me.”

                    3. Penelope Dreadful

                      I disagree that Bernie did a good thing—but, it was HIS speech, and if he wanted to let protesters speak, then that it his business, and nobody else’s.

                      However, Trump usually does not allow this INSIDE the rally, and that is HIS business.

                      Continuing the James Taylor analogy from above, if James wants to let you sing, that is his call. But there is no “But I didn’t like the song he was singing!” First Amendment defense, which would trump James Taylor’s right as the person who rented the venue. As some people here seem to think.

                    4. Yves Smith Post author

                      The inability to handle dissent prima facie disqualifies him as fit to be President, or for that matter, to be in politics at all. You need to have a thick skin and Trump is hypersensitive.

                    5. bob

                      “You don’t get to exercise your rights wherever you want. ”

                      That’s just brilliant. speaking of fascism….

                      The whole point of a protest is to “interrupt”. It can be accomplished legally, or illegally.

                      I smell libertarian. Another rotary club anarchist.

                    6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      The challenge is to interrupt official propaganda.

                      It’s there 24/7 for that last 100 years now, at least.

                      And it will go on tonight, tomorrow night, and the night after that…

                    7. Yves Smith Post author

                      Sorry, this is not at all analogous. Trump is running for public office. If he is so afraid of dissent that he has to whip his followers up to threaten or engage in violence, and then can’t handle it when that produces a backlash (so many protestors that if the thuggish members of his crowd might meet with real resistance if they were to resort to their usual tactics), he’s got not business running. Chicago is proving that his condoning of violence means he is unfit to run for any elected office.

                    8. Penelope Dreadful

                      Whether you like Trump or not, the only thing that Chicago proves is that you still have fascists in this country who think it acceptable to shut down somebody’s political speech.

                      As to whether Trumps “riles” up his crowds with angreeee rhetoric, as some pundits claim, is just some of the elite getting their own ox’s gored. Nothing Trump has said is any worse/different from numerous statements made by Obama, to wit:

                      Keep in mind that this is the exact same media that ensured President Obama paid no political price after his team accused Mitt Romney of murder in 2012; the exact same media that looked the other way when Obama said, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun” and “argue with neighbors, get in their face“; the exact same media that downplayed the beating Kenneth Gladney just hours after a top Obama official called on supporters to “Hit back twice as hard.”

                      The difference is, that the left wants to paint Trump that way.

                      And as far as Trump having a temper, GOOD! It’s about time somebody got mad about the crap that has been going on in America. Are you going to tell me you don’t get mad when you post some of the mortgage foreclosure stuff here, for example? Or, the debtor’s prisons? I have been reading here daily for years, and me, and I think most people here, have the exact same kind of anger that Trump expresses. So maybe it is time for a President with a pulse!

                    9. aumua

                      No.. I’m pretty sure that we’re not on the same page at all. Your words, they ring very hollow to me. It’s common knowledge that Trump incites his followers to violence. It’s front page news. So when you use the word fascist to try and describe the protesters, for example, I’m reminded of a little kid who says “No I’m not. You are!” Scientologists do that too. They call it ‘Attack the attacker’. Constantly be on the offensive. And Trump and his followers are similar like that. It’s Trump who is dragging the national attitude towards bullying and mob mentality.

                      I think plenty of people give Trump some kind of pass simply because he’s a different kind of crook than what we’re used to. A different kind of crook than all the rest. Except we have one candidate who’s not a crook. For the first time in how long?

                  2. Katniss Everdeen

                    No “reply” button for Penelope D. so this is for her:

                    I heart you, girl.

                    If you’ve read this site for any length of time, you know that there have been plenty of calls for “torches and pitchforks,” “lampposts and nooses” and “guillotines.”

                    And then, when push comes to shove, all you get is cold feet.

                    If you can’t stand the heat, get the eff out of the kitchen.

                    The time is NOW.

                    This was always going to be messy.

                    1. Ulysses

                      “It’s about time somebody got mad about the crap that has been going on in America.”

                      I agree with that sentiment 1000%!! I’m pretty pissed off about the millions of good jobs outsourced by greedy rich people! Think I should buy a Trump tie and wear it proudly to show my discontent? Good idea, right? Except for the inconvenient little fact that all Trump ties are made in China! Anyone moronic enough to believe that Trump gives a rat’s $##^ about people that aren’t filthy rich already deserves to live under his dictatorship.


                    2. Penelope Dreadful

                      LOL! Yes, I forgot about all those guillotine statements here! I remember that one series about the crooked bill collectors, and frankly, I would have sharpened the blade for those guys.

                      But, yes, it’s only angreee rhetoric when Trump does it.

                    3. myshkin

                      So people are fed up and not going to take it anymore. Maybe we can have an Arab Spring event; you know, like how it has worked out in Egypt and Syria and Libya. We’ll hit the streets and hang them from the lamposts.

                      Just who do you have in mind and where will it end? It sounds so easy. The elusive, glib scenarios you and Penelope envision don’t bother to distinguish metaphor from reality or even the clearly farcical from the obviously tragic.

                2. Kulantan

                  in America, there is a right to free speech and free assembly.When protesters deny those rights to other people, they are fascists.

                  Are you making a legal claim here? Do you think the protesters violated the Trumpeters constitutional rights? If so then the police should arrest any protesters at any rally for attempting to violate the rally’s constitutional rights. No more protests at Klan rallies, no more protests at the G20, no more protests at council meetings.

                  The same legal principle would also mean that booing a comedian off the stage was a violation of their constitutional rights and that people can be imprisoned for booing.

                  If you aren’t making a legal claim then all you are saying is that the protesters were rude and mean to Trumpeters, that the protesters weren’t well behaved enough for your tastes.

                  1. sleepy

                    The only time the bill of rights comes into play is if there is suppression of those rights by government officials or government actors. It simply does not regulate actions between private individuals.

                    Individuals interrupting someone’s speech may be guilty of assault, trespassing, disturbing the peace, or whatever other laws protect the speaker, but there is no violation of that person’s free speech rights under the Constitution without some government involvement.

              2. Lexington

                If we were reading a story about a protest similar to last night’s in Germany in the early days before it was incontrovertibly clear where it was going, we would call those protesters brave and heroic.

                Of course we would be doing that with the benefit of hindsight and the enormous weight of a cultural legacy that regards Nazism as one of history’s great irredeemable evils.

                If Germany had won the war we would call them treasonous betrayers of the national community, and probably also Bolsheviks.

                So your attempt to use historical analogy to link Trump to Hitler only really serves to illustrate your insensitivity to historical context.

            2. Darthbobber

              This word-fascism-gets tossed around quite loosely on all sides these days. Let us not forget that the ACTUAL fascists went vastly beyond anything you’ve seen a hint of from Trumpites or counterdemonstrators. And they did that from the very beginning. In both Italian and German variants they utilized disciplined paramilitary groups as a core element from their very inception. And they didn’t shout at opponents and engage in occasional scuffles with them. They attacked them in an organized manner and attempted to kill or maim them. They destroyed opponent’s offices and presses and engaged in assassinations. (And the Nazis were involved in an attempt at the direct armed overthrow of the government when they were still a tiny force.)
              If we’re going to throw “fascist” at all political tendencies that chant and shout loud and engage in confrontations that lead to scuffles on the margins, then we’re going to have to stigmatize most movements of any significance in American history as fascist.

              1. Ulysses

                “If we’re going to throw “fascist” at all political tendencies that chant and shout loud and engage in confrontations that lead to scuffles on the margins, then we’re going to have to stigmatize most movements of any significance in American history as fascist.”


        3. Lexington

          This is a definite sign that the situation is becoming more polarized and volatile, which is NOT a positive development. Encouraging people who are instigating confrontations and disrupting opponents’ meetings, which btw is exactly what the Brownshirts did in Weimar Germany, is creating a dynamic that is poisonous to democratic politics. You can say the protestors were peaceful but their very presence inside the venue was enormously provocative, and was intended to be so.

          Attacking Trump his supporters -and please note that the protestors have no positive program of their own to advance- shifts the focus of the debate from substantive questions of policy to a fight over personalities that is going to divide the electorate into mutually hostile camps and destroy the opportunity to build a broad coalition capable of challenging the status quo. Think carefully about whose interests that really serves. Furthermore it’s identity politics taken to its logical conclusion, and provides the perfect growth media for the cultivation of extremism on both sides.

          This is very much a situation in which the adage about being careful about what you wish for applies.

      4. Brindle

        I have watched some video and first person accounts and definitely heard and saw a protestor saying “f**k Trump” and saw f**k Trump signs. The effect of the protest, in the short term, likely cemented Trump victories in Ohio and Florida. I like to see young people motivated to protest but also what happened will likely help Trump in the primaries.

        1. Watt4Bob

          Trump doesn’t seem to need much help from where I stand, he’s got the GOP folding like a cheap suit.

          As for the signs, that’s understandable considering recent footage of Trump supporter violence and that quote;

          “Maybe next time we’ll have to kill him.”

          The time to stop the brown-shirts is the first time you see them.

        2. Dave

          Saw interesting home made signs on the back of a workman’s truck.

          (written on duct tape)

          “Only Bernie or Trump–get our votes”

        3. Darthbobber

          I don’t think many of the protesters were from a point on the political spectrum that greatly concerns itself with who the Republican party nominates as its presidential candidate.

        1. flora

          Chicago. Nabisco’s parent company Mondelez just announced its plans to lay off hundreds of workers, makers of Oreo cookies, in its Chicago plant. It will move production to Salinas, Mexico. Trump has been criticizing that decision for months, and has vowed to boycott the cookie because of the company’s decision.

          1. Brindle

            I just watched some of a live video feed of a Trump rally in Vandalia (Dayton) Ohio. Trump hammered TPP hard, twice saying it was a disaster.. Sanders and Trump are the only two who come out strong against the “trade deals”. Trump also brought up Carrier Air Con moving to Mexico.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Trump is more aggressive about H1B visas, not just on trade deals.

              It’s a two front war – the free trade front, and the H1B front.

      5. lyman alpha blob

        Agreed – another ‘ Brooks Brothers riot’ wouldn’t surprise me at all. Didn’t we just recently have a link about Roger Stone breaking with Trump’s campaign? Maybe Stone got a better offer…

      6. HotFlash

        Umm, yes. IIRC (and I do) you had time on the front lines in Chi. And in other places. I suspect believe you are right. Namaste.

    2. Ulysses

      “The time to fight the brown-shirts is the moment you see them”

      Yep. I was encouraged to see a few OIF veterans staring down some racist Trumpheads the other day trying to harass a shopkeeper out here in Queens.

    3. Penelope Dreadful

      Yeah, I bet the Fascist behavior of shutting down a political rally really is inspiring to a. . .to a. . .well, a Fascist! Sadly, the fact that a liberal American also finds it inspiring is both troubling and par for the course.

      But of course there are some supercilious twits who find the very thought of doing the obvious to be sooo totally declasse’—you know like when millions of Americans are unemployed, while millions of illegal aliens have jobs, proposing that the millions of illegal aliens be sent packing.

      Yeah. You wanna see an elitist? Go look in the mirror.

      1. abynormal

        trump Chose to when like call off the rally, Dreamy Dreadful.

        most unfortunately…the trump base will be left hanging out to dry when the deep pockets crush him. war crime indictments should be drawn and filed against him NOW…the likes of you are going to take the rest of us down in a bloody mess.

        1. Jess

          Yes, I’m really troubled by this, “The time to fight the brown-shirts is the moment you see them”. Brown shirts doing what? Marching? Chanting? Expressing support for a candidate or policies? Now, if they’re engaging in mob violence, okay, fight back, kick their asses, etc. (In the case of the guy who got sucker-punched, the time and place to respond was at that rally, to the guy who threw the punch. Speaking of which, wasn’t it telling that the first instinct of the cops was to tackle and handcuff the guy who got hit?)

          But the rest of this stuff is called “free speech” and “participating in the political process”. How would people feel if racists caused Bernie Sanders events to be cancelled by the threat of violence? Shoe on the other foot often turns out to be painful.

          1. Kulantan

            “The time to fight the brown-shirts is the moment you see them” doesn’t mean beat up the brown-shirts any more than “the fight against child poverty” means beating up poor children.

            How would people feel if racists caused Bernie Sanders events to be cancelled by the threat of violence?

            Threats of violence? The protesters weren’t threatening to bomb the place or beat up anyone. What there were doing is called “free speech” and “participating in the political process”.

      2. Carolinian

        Agreed. In America legitimacy is conferred by voting. So if Chicagoans want to stop Trump they should start knocking on doors (see the Harper’s story in links) and getting people to vote against him. This tactic of trying to disrupt opposition campaign rallies–if that is in fact what this was–has the flavor of the Third Reich about it itself. Of course maybe the whole voting thing is what the protestors have a problem with.

        Worth pointing out yet again that Sanders has also become quite testy with protestors disrupting his events. Could be the provocateurs shouldn’t be so surprised when they do, in fact, provoke. Also protest is a lot more defensible when you are dealing with candidates like Hillary or Dubya who have an actual record of government misconduct.

        In any case the brainiacs who thought this up have probably done Trump more good than harm with GOP primary voters. But like Watt4Bob above I’m sure they feel good about themselves.

        1. Brindle

          I support protesting Trump or Hillary or Sanders or Cruz……It’s good theater and stirring up the muck brings out “reality” quicker.

      3. myshkin

        I agree with your position regarding actions that disrupt free speech, not the snarkiness.

        What would your position be regarding silent protests at a Trump rally that question his characterization of Mexicans and Muslims as criminals (similar in style to Ray McGovern’s protest at a speech by sec of state Clinton; i.e. standing in silent witness.)

        And what are your thoughts on Trump’s history of incitements to violence, he is on record with statements about protesters like, “See, in the good old days this didn’t use to happen, because they used to treat them very rough. We’ve become very weak.” Or, “I’d like to punch him in the face.”

        Trump is providing an organizational focus and a re-entry point into MS politics for the lynch mob mentality that the country had finally tabooed in the sixties; providing a validating movement for racism and torture. Does any part of the Trump phenomenon disturb your finely tuned sensibilities regarding civil liberties other than disruptive protesters at Trump rallies?

        1. Carolinian

          Ray McGovern was roughed up and thrown out of that meeting. Funny that didn’t seem to make the front page of the Times.

          And a WaPo story today says that one third of the crowd in the Chicago arena were protestors, many of them students. They told the reporter they were planning to rush the stage, presumably overpower the Secret Service agents and take the mike from Trump.

          1. myshkin

            One of the last protests I attended was the march around the Bush White House just before the Iraq War began. I wound up hating it because the dignity that I thought it deserved was usurped by kids doing what I took to be silly choreographed pantomimes in marching formation, trivializing what I thougth was a very grave moment.

            When you join a protest you can’t choose the exact company you keep or the pecise message evoked. So wirth some reservations and I have serious ones about tactics that shut down speech, there must be some resistance, some calling out of Trump’s appeal to the sweetspot of American race hatred and xenophobia that he is effectively tapping into.

            Obviously he has a righteous appeal to the rage sparked by the barely comprehended crimes perpetrated by the duplicitous ruling elite against the working class. My concern is he’s giving an establishment voice and platform to those qualities of America’s nightmarish chapters of race hatred and intolerance that were passing from the once commonplace and acceptable to the rightly unthinkable. Whether Trump is a racist, xenophobe is not the point; the point is he is concentrating forces of violent hatred that had finally begun to dissipate somewhat from the American scene.

    4. DJG

      Watt4Bob: I’m amazed that the comments below start to bring up agents provocateurs. We are talking about Chicago, and from the signs, I see dozens of different groups, many of which are now being revived by protests against Rahm, against school closings, and against the police rampages and torture centers. Agents provocateurs? Gay Liberation Net?

      1. neo-realist

        Agents Provocateurs shouldn’t be surprising in the least. If TPTB don’t consider Trump to be a dependable enough candidate on issues that are important to them–SS, health care, outsourcing, TPP, and other trade deals that screw american workers—it’s only to be expected that they would pour gasoline into those rally situations to discredit his brand.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s a story about a mainstream media that cried wolf three times.

          And now, no one trusts another.

          That’s the real end of democracy.

        2. DJG

          Agents provocateurs? Here is a link that is fairly typical (even too typical in saying silly stuff about Chicago as a city founded on love and respect):

          I don’t want to pull rank. I live in Chicago. I live in a “dissident” neighborhood. The groups involved are local, organic, vocal. I wouldn’t characterize shutting down his rally as a fascistic tactic. Further, these group are deft enough that they will have take a positive step. I went to the NATO demonstrations when we tried to disrupt that meeting. They are one of the seeds of this event.

          A whole bunch of people are now in trouble who deserve some trouble caused by us groundlings: Trump, Cruz, Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel.

          Maybe what you are seeing is the power of the powerless, a concept from Vaclav Havel.

          1. Watt4Bob

            Rham puts Chicago right at the front lines where it’s always been.

            From what I hear his only purpose is to put stake through CPS system and its teachers, the rest is frosting on the cake as they say.

            Only problem with the plan is the people of Chicago have gotten to the end of their rope as concerns fools messing with them and their kids.

            Trump should reconsider his “let’s you and him fight” thing, it’s obviously wearing thin.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            On the one hand, we have those wanting a new start in life, leaving the old fights (in the Old World Europe, the home in the Near East, etc.

            We want to judge things for ourselves…let people on the campus speak, etc.

            On the other hand, there is the “If you don’t know history, you’re doomed to repeat it.”

            “I have seen it, I know. Trust me. And don’t complain one day, when I say ‘I told you so,’ Consider this a warning.”

            The trick is to balance one against the other…walk the middle gingerly.

    5. Pelham

      At first I thought it was incredibly dumb of Trump to schedule an Illinois event in Chicago at a supremely PC and minority-heavy school like UIC. Some type of protest could be expected — not necessarily violent — that would draw more embarrassing media attention than the event itself. And maybe it was just that dumb.

      Then again, maybe not. It may have been calculated. An ordinary Trump event at this stage might simply go unnoticed in the media or, if it drew any attention at all, it might do so as a few elements in the crowd get rowdy with a few protesters. Not nice, as the Donald would say.

      But an event in which protesters could be expected to outnumber and bully supporters — as was the case at UIC — could do much to cancel the recent media coverage of the reverse situation, with a majority of Trumpistas clobbering protesters. Plus, it would get massive publicity (any kind of publicity is good) and generate sympathy and enthusiasm among Trump voters.

      If that’s the case, then the UIC protesters were dupes.

  11. Doug

    In Rebirth of the real left, we find this quote from a card carrying member of the 1% who shall rule them all:

    “According to Jean-Claude Trichet, former governor of the Banque de France and the European Central Bank, “today, we have a virtual consensus across the political spectrum in government on at least three points: our public spending must diminish, our economy still has too much inflexibility and we aren’t competitive enough”

    This is: more austerity, more deregulation, more globalization, more tax cutting and tax havens and on and on.

    Here, though, is the obvious yet paramount point in what Trichet says: “….virtual consensus across the political spectrum in government..”

    The political spectrum IN GOVERNMENT today is a very narrow — and narrowing – part of the political spectrum as a whole

    Trichet hangs with this spectrum. He sees/hears ‘virtual consensus’. And he somehow believes that is reflective of the body politic itself.

    He’s insane — and a danger to himself and others.

    1. flora

      from the article:
      “The divorce between such leaders and the left is complete, and that is clear at the ballot box and on the streets. The status quo and its defenders have been rejected, their political base is shrinking.”

      That’s true on both sides of the Atlantic.

      1. Debra D.

        I agree with your comment completely. I live in Chicago, and there is a growing vocal, persistent and politicized youth activism. I don’t know whether it will penetrate into the current, structured electoral process during 2016, but I don’t think the Democratic or Republican parties and their current leadership will be able to co-opt it.

        1. Michael

          I hope you are right, but they’re really good at co-opting. Some of the leaders get a sniff of political or social power and almost immediately transform into those they were protesting.

      2. fosforos

        Maybe it’s time to take Marine and her “Patriote” (a revolutionary term dating from 1789) Party a little more seriously. Her bad legacy policies from the FN days are still there, but that leaves her no different from the Hollandes, Vallses, Macrons, Sarkozys, Juppés et tutti quanti. But on every issue relevant to French workers and farmers she is far to their left. And it is already conceded that she will win a plurality in the first round of next year’s election. Against all of the aforementioned neoliberal swindlers she is starting to look like a very positive choice, not even a “lesser evil” (which itself would suffice for a second-round vote),

  12. Ivy

    Thought-provoking article by David Dayen about antitrust.

    I suggest a follow-up that leads off with graphics that show the trends by industry to get more reader attention to the issues.

    1. abynormal

      you know better than that…trip over to the tip jar or do the homework yourself…then share it : ))

  13. DakotabornKansan

    After the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, I was stationed for two years in Germany as an Air Force Russian linguist. During that time, I attended the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp. Listening to survivors tell their stories, I asked myself, what conditions caused an entire nation to become as Germany became? What were the odds a great nation like Germany would look to a demented street bum and former corporal to be its heroic leader? How did the German people allow that to happen?

    Today, older and wiser, I realize that the Germans then were no different than us today. All the poisons that lurk in our mud are hatching out … the increasing violence at Trumps political events, corrupt politicians and political parties, etc., etc.

    Principiis obsta and Finem respice – “Resist the beginnings” and “Consider the end.” But how is this to be done, by ordinary men or even by extraordinary men?

    “The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about – we were decent people – and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?” – Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1933-45

    1. Watt4Bob

      I once met a very old man while riding the bus, he was carrying an old sewing machine.

      I struck up a conversation, and somewhere along the line he explained that he learned to repair sewing machines in Germany.

      He said things were very bad in the period between the wars, and that when Hitler came to power he put people back to work;

      “If you worked in a factory, things were very good at first, but it all turned out very bad.”

    2. GlobalMisanthrope

      Oof. The Mayer quote is so chilling.

      I’m surrounded by people in this supposed progressive stronghold (Austin, Texas) who absolutely refuse to think or talk politics with any coherence. The superficiality is breathtaking.

      My neighbor across the street is a Sanders supporter who loves Obama. He was so excited that the President was keynoting SXSW yesterday. He was swelling with pride as he talked about it. It was appalling.

      When I walked the dog this morning I stopped to talk to another neighbor, a gay man, and I asked him about the Clinton-Reagan thing. His response? “I think a lot of people have forgotten about that.” Ok. Wow. I asked him if he was a Clinton supporter. He said he didn’t vote in the primary, but would definitely vote for whoever got the Dem nomination.

      He’s a really nice guy and a great conversationalist. I switched gears and asked him about the local scuffle over requiring Uber and Lyft drivers to adhere to the same fingerprinting requirement as cab drivers. He loves Uber. Uses it all the time to get home at night after drinking. He thinks the requirement would make them leave, so he’s against it.

      My former boss, another Sanders supporter who loves Obama, thinks that “all this privacy stuff” is “paranoid conspiracy theories” and that law enforcement should basically have access to whatever it “needs” to do “its job.”

      1. JCC

        I couldn’t agree more, particularly after a short involvement in a conversation with mid-level managers at my workplace. They were all promoting D. Trump, talking about Iraq’s attack on the WTC and how the Govt was hiding the fact that WMDs, nukes included, were found in Iraq, etc., and it got worse from there, including calling Obama a monkey.

        College “educated”, supposedly, 40-something, mid-level managers, and, I’m afraid, an example of too many typical voters.

        After about 10 minutes I started getting a definite physical flight-or-fight reaction (partially due to a too-light breakfast) thinking, “my god, these are the voters.”, (and my bosses) and so I chose a fast and diplomatic flight… but Wow!, did I have a tough time trying to erase that strong disappointed feeling the rest of that day.

        This election cycle is the worst I’ve seen,and to me it is a little frightening… it may be time to take up serious Buddhist Meditation practices. :)

        1. GlobalMisanthrope

          Seriously. Let me know if it works. I’m 55. I don’t know how much more my blood pressure can take.

          1. JCC

            63 here, I agree and I will :)

            A short followup to the above, one of the above, over 40-year-old, managers, during my (as it turned out, feeble) attempt to relay some actual recent history, was surprised to learn that George W Bush’s father was president between St.Ronald and Billy C. Yikes! Was it really that long ago?

            That small piece of ignorance of this particular voter contributed greatly to the “flight or fight” rush I had that morning.

          2. tegnost

            same age and totally with you on that, don’t need the stress of talking to people who are spoon fed pablum yet think that it’s prime rib. I was, until recently, using a less aggressive communication that I had felt i learned here at NC, but I still get overcome with the emotions once in a while and it just doesn’t work, people can’t take too much light all at once, darkness is very comfy and ignorance is bliss so they say…i’ll meditate on that one, JCC, and try to avoid fight/flight angst

        2. optimader

          It’s not worth engaging, I think best to observe with a clinical perspective.
          Had lunch today with six relatives all 77-92. This election cycle has everyone of them disappointed, quiet and circumspect.
          These are historically engaged oldschool D party people when it came to politics and all things public policy.. The 92 yo was one of the few (if not only?) D party appointees in the RR admin due to his competence. Brilliant compassionate guy. Another one speculated on how few voters these days could even put some points on the board taking a US citizenship test.
          Sad to watch the wind go out of their sails.

        1. GlobalMisanthrope

          I know. But what to do?

          The snippets of conversation I gave above came out of attempts on my part to engage people. They’re not engageable. As soon as I say anything critical, they answer with platitudes, change the subject or act like I’m some kind of freak.

          My former boss, one of the Obama-loving Sanders supporters above, was relieved when I quit because he had long complained that I wasn’t exactly a “team player” because of my lobbying for raises, paid sick days, paid vacations and other benefits for the kitchen workers I managed. They still don’t get any paid time off of any kind.

          My gay neighbor will probably avoid me in future because, although he freely expressed his support for Uber, I very politely countered with an opposing view. His tight smile told me it was unwelcome.

          Believe me, this is not an argument I want to win. If you have some advice, I’d love to hear it.

          1. lightningclap

            Same here in my supposedly-liberal area. They love O, support Sanders but will go with Hill because she’s the D “progressive” if she is anointed. Not even a question of “lesser evil”. The masses of low-information voters across the political spectrum is dangerous. It’s very hard to explain why they should tune out NPR. For years I have privately used the term “Obama-Prius-Ipad-Chunky Glasses” as I cruise around town.

            Friendly disagreement or actual discussion of issues? You crazy curmudgeon, get with the program.

            1. GlobalMisanthrope

              I really wonder if between the chemicals we eat, drink and breath and the constant stimulation from all of the technologies we interact with, people have become totally addled from neurosystemic overload. It does seem to be worse in younger people.

              However, I was talking to a friend recently about Fukushima and she said, “I don’t want to think about it. It’s too depressing.” A friend. Someone who holds largely the same views as I do and has most of the same values that I have. Now, that’s depressing.

              Yikes! Let’s all go watch the Southpark episode “Smug Alert” as a salve…

              1. ambrit

                One of our sons in law, who has a very good job, and a four year degree, knows almost nothing about history. Not from choice, he avers, but because it was not required in school. He is a product of the ‘train for success’ model of education now dominating the educational sphere.
                Alas, the educated citizen is no more. Was it always thus?

                1. GlobalMisanthrope

                  Was it always thus?

                  No. Emphatically not. I grew up in Houston in the ’60s and ’70s. It was not what anyone would call an intellectual hub.

                  Nevertheless, in 4th grade we learned about the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere’s ride and in 5th grade we were required to read a book every two weeks and write and present a book report.

                  In junior high (middle school) band we were taught music theory. In junior high English we were introduced to poetry and prose as concepts and had to write both. We learned how a bill becomes a law. (Schoolhouse Rock!, baby.) We ran mock political campaigns for the ’72 Presidential election.

                  In high school my World History teacher dressed in ethnic and period costumes (!) that corresponded to what we were learning and held a mock UN summit. My Government teacher had us compare and contrast capitalism, socialism and communism; and she explained the Texas caucus system to us, saying that if we weren’t going to show up at our precinct conventions, then we might as well not vote in the primaries.

                  True that my high school American History teacher portrayed unions as being a good idea when they started but unnecessary and corrupt in the end and the ERA (it was 1976) as ridiculous, but he nevertheless covered both subjects in detail.

                  By contrast, my son, who is graduating from a competitive public high school in May—meaning he had to apply, have the grades, write an essay and audition to get in—can’t tell me how a bill becomes a law. I just asked him. He knows some of it, but only has a vague idea about the process over all and really no idea about the relationships between the different branches of government. He’s a music major and they have only one semester of theory.

                  His middle school Intro to Algebra teacher knew so little English and spoke with such a thick Thai accent that I could barely understand her. How were all those kids supposed to learn anything? I complained to the Principal and was told that the teacher had a Masters in math and that it wasn’t a “lecture class.”

                  He can name the presidents back to FDR, but he asked the other day what’s considered the Middle East. The other night he was working on his Astronomy homework when I got home. It was connecting stars to form constellations and coloring them. He’s a Senior. I voiced my shock at the elementary-school level of the work.

                  He said, “I know. They’re not even preparing us for college. Everybody I know is going to have to take prep classes at community college before they can even start college level work. High school is just a waste of time.” As Lambert would say, ka-ching.

                    1. polecat

                      Slow-mo Idiocracy…….what’s old will become new again eventually…….by necessity,…..not by choice, and certainly NOT by the current industrial educational drive/motivation killing complex,

                  1. ambrit

                    I attended school roughly parallel with you. I went to public schools in South Florida, not exactly the “bright and shining centre of the firmament.” Bet we too had the American History curricula in ‘middle school.’ Then Civics, the mock UN, school politics, speech and debate class and extra curricular meets. AP History, American and European, in High School. Our AP European History teacher was a working artist who knew some of the Mexican ‘muralistas’ and knew what he was talking about. He could do it himself. He used to tell us that dates and places were only one aspect of history. “Culture drives history kids. Nothing happens in a vacuum.”
                    What is important here is that we were offered more than the basics. If we could do the work, we were encouraged to buckle down and learn. Now all I hear about is ‘teach to the test.’ That’s fine for turning out robots, in the original Karel Capek meaning, “grunt labour.” That’s nowhere near enough to sustain a healthy society.

              2. optimader

                stimulation from all of the technologies we interact with, people have become totally addled from neurosystemic overload. It does seem to be worse in younger people.
                All the diversions compromise focus. Talent and creativity seem inverse to the technology available.
                This is apparent to me w/ the canaries in the coalmine of our culture….what passes as music, film media… All three are mostly pathetic.

                Case in point a friend of mine recently telling me about his gradschool age daughter and friends raiding albums from in his extensive LP collection fromour youthand ripping into digital format. … Hungry for real music and high fidelity instead of the overproduced, poor fidelity, recorded too loud shit Frankensteined from legacy talent. So much contemporary popular music is a desert of talent and quality.

                I wont even digress on the big budget crap that is spewed from Hollywood

                Actually this past Friday I was cringing inside listening to a fantastic resuscitation of what I consider recent history (1980’s) from an allegedly well educated 25yo.

          2. DJG

            GlobalMisanthropist: You are planting seeds. For extra fun, ask people what they mean by “spiritual but not religious.” Be prepared for an intellectual laff riot.

            The antidote: You do need that copy of Honey from a Weed by Patience Gray, what with the essay on farts in literature (under beans), anarchism, the guardian of the temple, feasting and fasting and their meanings, and the perils of modernization.

            We are in a time when some people are becoming shaky in their beliefs, if they even have beliefs. Do some shaking.

            Team player? Who cares? Nor am I.

            1. GlobalMisanthrope

              I don’t care one whit. Never in my life been a joiner. Hence the handle.

              It’s just to say that there is a large and growing contingent of self-described progressives who are completely detached from and even disdain politics. Their progressivism is a fashion statement. Bernie and Obama are hip accessories. I doubt that many Austinites who will vote and have voted for Sanders would actually support implementation of his policies. Once the excitement of the contest is over, they’ll want to get back to their apps, er, naps.

              But, you’re right. Shake and shift. I am absolutely getting that book, btw.


            2. GlobalMisanthrope

              I would like to enter into evidence that there are more “Bernie” yard signs up in my area since the Michigan upset than there were before Super Tuesday, our primary.

          3. TomD

            It’s a very tricky thing, but trying to convince someone of a political idea you can almost never tell them they’re wrong.

            You have to go about it circumspect. As an example, the finger printing of Uber drivers. You can’t bring that up at first. You’d have to steer the conversation into how dangerous deregulation or non-regulation of taxi drivers would be/is. Then slowly bring it around to “the government really needs to do something about Uber. Someone is going to do something awful one of these days”.

            Regarding your former boss. He may have a legitimate stance. Everyone should get paid leave and benefits, but until all his competitors are forced to do so, he can’t provide that support unilaterally and compete. I may be giving him too much credit, since I don’t know the guy.

        2. Dave

          On the other hand,

          “Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society”


          Constant interactions where we live with pious old women who demand we vote for Hillary. They like to throw out liberal nostrums but when asked to really discuss issues, like trade, jobs, corruption etc, they always say

          “I don’t want to get into all that negativity”.

          The shit disturber in me wants to find a Trump campaign button just to detonate them.

          1. GlobalMisanthrope

            [They} throw out liberal nostrums but when asked to really discuss issues, like trade, jobs, corruption etc, they always say, “I don’t want to get into all that negativity”.

            Exactly that!

          2. polecat

            maybe a Vote Cthulhu button would work better……..they might feel compelled to inquire about THAT candidate………BEFORE their heads explode!

            1. ambrit

              How about a Clinton/Cthulhu button?
              Similarly, a Trump/Dagon button. “Deal with the real Devils.”

              1. polecat

                I really think Cthulhu would be mortally offended to be paired with the Grating Yellow Pantsuit….

                1. ambrit

                  Aieee! A “Queen in Yellow” allusion! “Have you found the Yellow Sign?”
                  The Dread Lord would accede to a pairing with the matriarchal meritocrat.
                  Is there a Lake Hali in Arkansas?

          3. Antifa

            There is a latter, fully developed stage for budding brownshirts.

            My father got over to Western Europe for the last six months of WWII, and later reenlisted to be part of the occupation army. The only combat story he ever told me was about how goddamn mad it made the dogfaces in his outfit whenever they had to shoot boys age 10, 11, 12 in order to get past them defending some stupid bridge or warehouse or hill. Hitler Youth. They wouldn’t surrender, so they died, but it made the American troops unspeakably angry that they had to do this sometimes. What the hell were little boys doing out there? What kind of asshole sends boys out there? He said you never get over doing that, seeing that, walking past them lying there and knowing you did that. Nobody should have the right to make you do such a thing. It shouldn’t even be possible. It shouldn’t happen.

            Right after the war, because he spoke German, he was assigned to interview and profile former Wehrmacht troops, and some rank and file SS. Ex-soldiers heading back to whatever was left of their homes. His job was to interview them and get a record of where they’d been, what they’d done. Some were held for further questioning by higher ups. Most were just routine and release.

            He said most of the German troops were just sorry s.o.b.’s like himself whose young lives got carried off to an insane war, and they wanted nothing more to do with any of it. But there were always the few for whom the war would never end, could never end, and who soulfully regretted that they hadn’t been able to shoot all the Jews, all the Russians, all the Americans and British and French, and to save the Reich. They complained that they just couldn’t get enough bullets and tanks and troops and gasoline, and besides, there were always way too many enemy soldiers, and too little time to kill them all.

            These men were Nazis to the core of their souls. These men would have happily started the whole thing up again if they could get some troops and equipment together. They swore they’d done nothing wrong by killing the enemy or by invading other nations. That was their right and their destiny as Germans. It always would be.

            My father sat across an old oak desk from these individuals, knowing that these were the very men who sent little boys into combat, and he wondered if the right thing to do was to release them back into a society that had just survived their crazy ideology. Wondered if it wasn’t better for them and for every civilized person out there to just shoot them where they sat. They weren’t going to change.

            But orders were to send them home.

            1. Penelope Dreadful

              If you are interested in the German mindset in those years, there is a book, Der Fragebogen by Ernst von Salomon. I am about 1/4 of the way through it, and it is interesting, to say the least.

              If you wish to be utterly confused about the German Mindset, try Male Fantasies, vols. 1 and 2, by Klaus Theweleit. This is sort of a Jungian analysis cum Nazi art book amalgam. I have skimmed through both a few times, and I think I now know that bayonets are a phallic symbols, but I am not sure I know that. I could be wrong. I may have to read the books a few more times. It is a lot like Sexual Personnae by Camille Paglia in that there are so many ideas and connections thrown at you, that by the time you finish a chapter, you forgot all the stuff you learned five minutes ago. But the artwork is fascinating.

            2. flora

              Thanks much for this story. I’ve often wondered if the American “golden age” 50s-70’s was as much a product of a generation experiencing what your father experienced, (not economic theories or even partisan politics),and deciding on some unspoken level that there were lines that were not to be crossed, ever, for any reason. They saw the costs. How much of the civil rights work in the 50s and 60s was helped by all people across the country knowing the awful implication of saying some people were sub-human, fit only for elimination?
              God knows the Clintons and W.Bush and Cheney and Obamba (torture, wars of choice, etc.) don’t recognize those lines or the reason the lines are important.

              1. flora

                Lest anyone misunderstand my above comment, the ‘lines’ I reference refer to decent human behavior toward all people, making all human individuals ends and not means, and not excluding any human being.
                Neoliberalism makes people means, not ends, for the financial gain of a few.

            3. optimader

              Very good movie about those times..

              The Bridge (1959)

              Die Brücke (original title)

              A group of German boys is ordered to protect a small bridge in their home village during the waning months of the second world war. Truckloads of defeated, cynical Wehrmacht soldiers flee the approaching American troops, but the boys, full of enthusiasm for the “blood and honor” Nazi ideology, stay to defend the useless bridge. Written by Miranda Callahan

          4. HotFlash

            “where we live with pious old women who demand we vote for Hillary”

            As a pious old (66) women, I have to say you are working this right. Hillary’s baggage should suck her to the earth’s core.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “…not different than us today.’

      For many, it started in 2001…they started thinking.

      Fundamental stuff to thinking about, in 2002, 2003, 2004, etc.

      Crises within…crises without…non-national enemies…national enemies…their machinations…

      Fascinating stuff…one alert after another.

      Camps in Central Asia…camps in Mesopotamia.

      We drone ghettos. We drone hospitals.

      Neocons seized power.

      It was right there in front of everyone, for all to see.

      Violence has been everywhere…maybe new at political events…shielding us banal people, until now…now that neocons have been notified that the people are on to their game….Iraq was a mistake.

      1. notjonathon

        Neocons (or their predecessors, “the military-industrial complex”) seized power on November 22, 1963.

    4. Norb

      The elite are so busy making money and rigging the system, they don’t see the dangerous and toxic elements they are creating in the process. When this toxic mess explodes, we will suffer their shocked expressions of disbelief at the wreckage. Leadership is not their concern.

    5. Carolinian

      Were Germans with their traditions of Prussian militarism really just like Americans circa 2016? One should remind: America is the place people came to get away from Europe with its long tradition of social hierarchy. We are in fact a far more anti -authoritarian country.

      If you want a far better example of the fascist impulse it would be the W. Bush administration. Some even said he wouldn’t step down. And yet here we are. But many on the left still live in fear…lack of faith in their own ideas?

  14. participant-observer-observed

    RE California Obamacare:

    There is also protection against forcing a woman to see a male gynecologist if she wishes otherwise (on religious grounds, etc.); the provision must be within 50 miles last i checked (which is not considered very far in Cali).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        What a male doctor who likes men or a woman doctor who likes women?

        Is it all coming down to that subjective “I feel something is funny here?”

        Or do we trust our doctors to be professional, but just have a nurse there, as witness, just in case???

  15. GlobalMisanthrope

    Re Hillary Clinton says she misspoke about how Reagans dealt with Aids crisis

    This is really stuck in my teeth. Why isn’t she being exposed as the total fraud that this makes her. How is she being let off the hook as misspeaking? This is…I mean, George Wallace started a conversation about race. Oops, I misspoke. No. That’s not misspeaking.

    It means she was unaware at the time and since that the Reagans were notorious homophobes who caused the unnecessary suffering of millions of families while stoking anti-gay hysteria.

    What the hell kind of liberal, let alone progressive, cred does she have if as the First Lady of Arkansas she was so out of touch or unconcerned about the AIDS crisis that she didn’t bother to familiarize herself with the politics around it?

    How is it credible that healthcare was her issue in ’93? No! She is a total fraud.

    Ok, I’m going to stop before I give myself a stroke. Agh. Help me.

    1. nippersdad

      She just about cannot get through the day without saying something that angers some demographic or other; the most recent one for me was her red scare over Sanders’ in Nicaragua and Cuba. It’s like she doesn’t realize that she is now taking up for Ollie North. One would think that she would have gotten a taste of what standing up for notorious war criminals would be like after her praise for Kissinger, but, apparently, she just really isn’t all that smart.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You don’t need to interrupt her.

        And you don’t need to interrupt Trump.

        They beat themselves when they talk.

        Why interrupt?

  16. Milton

    An interesting, if not slightly alarming, article regarding a Google collaboration with the Rheinisch­Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen University The consortium has developed “an artificial intelligence system capable of identifying locations more consistently accurately than a human is able to do. The system, PlaNet, draws upon a large database of geotagged images and seeks recognizable clues in environment to determine the probability that a photo was taken in any area.” I can imagine a database that supercedes the need for GPS as any image taken will immediately be recognized and added to the mix.


    1. ambrit

      Also an excellent way of tracking down live feed webcams during ‘disturbances’ and anti something or other events. The Revolution cannot be allowed to be televised.

  17. Jim Haygood

    Time to check in on the Craazyman Fund, consisting of 50% junk bonds (SPHIX), 30% emerging market stocks (EEM) and 20% gold bullion (IAU).

    Since formation at Mar 2nd closing prices, Craazyman Fund is up 2.42%, versus an 0.94% gain in a balanced benchmark (50% SPY, 50% AGG).

    All three components show gains. Emerging markets lead, with a 4.15% rise in seven trading days.

    Not an investment recommendation, this junky portfolio is a real-time test of a couple of theses: (1) gold is a sensitive leading indicator of reinflation; and (2) risky asset classes such as junk bonds and emerging markets will benefit from the end of the five-year commodity depression.

    1. MikeNY

      Interesting Jim. Jeff Gundlach has said that either a Trump or a Sanders victory would mean more fiscal stimulus / bigger deficits, which would help support the thesis. Could be part of what the market is smelling?

    2. threeskies

      and thinkin’ craazyman, how’r we all doin’ with our mantra numbers?
      Bernie! Bernie!
      Bernie! Bernie!

      Yep, a donation recommendation.

    3. craazyman

      I almost bought some more GLD this week, but then it went down 1% the day i was about to put in the buy and I freaked out and didn’t do anything. If it goes up I freak out kicking myself for not buying it already. Then if it goes down I freak out cause I see in my mind it going to $90 or even $80.

      Losing money in 2014 in GLD and in SLV traumatized me and I haven’t made a trade in well over a year. It’s a lot easier emotionally to look at Edward Green shoes online or Gaziano and Girling or John Lobb shoes or even Chelsea boots or just surf YouTube for Ali G interviews. How did I miss those when they first came out? I don’t know. I’m at the point I can’t invest any money in any thing because if it goes down even half of 1% I freak out.

      This is getting bad. Every day you see 1 or 2 baggers in stocks that jumped over the past month or two that could have been plucked like peaches from a tree if only you’d been a player — or if only I’d been a player, I’m using the universal “you” to avoid overly stigmatizing myself. If GLD goes to $180 that’s actually not very much from here, it’s only about 50%. That’s only a 1/2 bagger. I’d need to use leverage there to avoid excessive conservatism. It could be this week that we let it rip.

      1. Skippy

        Fear trades are not rational, volatility out the wazoo usually made manifold by being small to begin with.

        Skippy…. Ahhh see you noted Lobb, now that’s a great investment… last a life time with proper care… can’t say the same about GLD…

      2. Jim Haygood

        If it’s any comfort to you, IAU (the poor man’s GLD) is the laggard in the Craazyman Fund, up only 0.75% since purchase.

        Nevertheless, one has to respect the exquisitely sensitive nose of the old yellow dog, which far surpasses human abilities.

        Gold is off to its best start since 1974, suggesting that (pace Gerry Ford) our long national nightmare of commodity deflation is over.

  18. grayslady

    If Apple and the owners of iPhones want to shift public opinion to favoring encryption, a new term should be developed to describe the device. This mobile unit seems to be, only coincidentally, a telephone. For those who use it, the device is more of a mobile file drawer, containing agendas, financial transactions, medical records, reading history, and assorted other pieces of highly personal information. Apple may have thought itself extremely clever to call the unit a “smartphone,” but now that term is coming back to bite them.

    1. Gio Bruno

      The iphone is a hand-held computer. It’s core processor has more computing power (and dedicated RAM) than the original Apple desktop computer. (And the GPS satellite network was a military secret.)

    2. Antifa

      This is my . . .

      …Fourth Amendment Fone?

      …Encrypted Assistant?

      …Digital Dungeon?

      Or start a new religion in which people sincerely believe that breaking into their phone violates their conscience. “My data is my soul.”

    3. hunkerdown

      A couple of ProPublica reporters made a good case (Pravda-on-the-Hudson) for calling it a tracker: “It’s a neutral term, because it covers positive activities — monitoring appointments, bank balances, friends — and problematic ones, like the government and advertisers watching us.”

  19. Jagger

    Surprise nuclear strike? Here’s how we’ll figure out who did it

    It is pretty clear it doesn’t really matter who might in the future launch an attack against the US. Using 9/11 as a guide, a new attack would most likely be used to justify an invasion of whatever nation happens to be next on the Neocon agenda for destruction. And the ruling elite would also finally have the cover to implement whatever remaining police state policies not yet acceptable by the populace. So why waste time and resources determining who actually attacked us?

    1. Synoia

      How do we protect ourselves from this form of Terrorism:

      1. Talk to others on a cell phone about hypothetical plots with no foundation in reality, where the callers have no means to, nor intention, of carrying out their “plans”. The US would them spend millions of dollars trying to prevent things which will not be done.

      2. Sit on some deckchair on some beacon or tavern and make said phone calls, and watch the hurry and scurry from a safe distance.

      There are many people who would happily build a huge government department, with thousands of staff, spread alarm and amplify terror threats, receive high salaries and let huge and expensive contracts to future post retirement employers, and claim to have “kept America safe, ” which is only partly true.

      They have not kept America safe from their predation.

      1. Dave

        Remember that the positive side of all this snooping is that should a French Revolution like event happen in the U.S., after some unforeseen president is elected/selected, the neo-guillotines can be fed based on all that data the NSA has amassed on the wealthiest and the most corrupt, along with everyone else.

        All those tax avoidance schemes, slippery alliances, political donations, corporate raids, mass firings, sellouts of the Middle Class, is all there in the headers and metadata.

        Just imagine the Dimons, Buffets, Singers, Greenbergs, Rubins, Rockefellers, Romneys, Waltons, and others, plus their families and business associates, being taken in the neo-tumbrels to their unexpected end?

        Perhaps the .01% could be made into our greatest allies in favor of the Bill of Rights being restored? They have the most to lose monetarily and the most potential wrath from more people than anyone.

        1. Carla

          Do you really think their information is being collected? If so, I imagine there’s a program to immediately delete it.

    2. Gaianne



      And besides, knowing who did it would just be really . . . embarrassing.

      Any investigators foolish enough to do any investigating would have to flee the country–and hope the Russians still take political refugees!


  20. vidimi

    this is brilliant. it crescendos slowly but the finish is devastating.

    Fear of success. Some of those of us on the left, rather than a fear of failure, have always possessed a much greater fear of success.

    I am particularly keen on ideological purity, and am reluctant to see my ideas tested by exposure to the real world. Now, however (even though all the massive forces of the right, the manufactured outrage, the lies in the press, the reactionary bias of the political correspondents on TV have been focused on destroying the “New Politics”), there is an outside chance that a socialist Labour party might attain some kind of power.

    I do not wish to see this or any of the other things I’ve mentioned happen, so I will do what many other middle-class media people have done: write an anguished article about why with an almost unbearable pain in my heart I am leaving the Labour party. I just have to join it first.

    1. RMO

      Thanks for posting that, I haven’t checked up on what Alexei Sayle has been doing recently. I’ve enjoyed a lot of his work but somehow it slipped my mind to check up and see if he had anything new out.

  21. diptherio

    from Bernie Sanders, Socialist Mayor:

    It’s a badly used, gray Datsun station wagon cluttered inside with month-old newspapers, McDonald’s wrappers, Coke cans, milkshake containers, a basketball. It’s a vehicle more like the second car of harried suburban parents than the only car of an extremely successful young politician, the unmarried, 44-year-old, three-time mayor of the state’s largest and most cosmopolitan city.

    McDonald’s and Coke? I’ve read enough. Taking a “let’s you and him fight while we supply you with the weapons” approach to ME foreign policy is one thing, but this is a bridge too far. Bernie, you just lost my vote.

      1. diptherio

        That bit was sarcasm, actually. I thought it would be obvious. ambrit caught it.

        As for the foreign policy bit…well, no one’s perfect…

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The lesson for us here is that we evolve.

          When we evolve for better today, some of us immediately condemn those are a a day late in evolving.

          “You treat women horribly in this country. I will never visit again!”

          A day late…a decade late…a century late.

          “You are not smart enough to evolve on your own. I just know it.”

    1. Jim Haygood

      Those were primitive times, when Coke and a Big Mac were regarded as health foods (at least in relation to the conventional three-martini lunch) and more doctors smoked Winstons than any other brand.

      1. ambrit

        I wasn’t a doctor, so I preferred Chesterfields.
        Speaking of three martini lunches, are contracts signed in soy sauce with a chopstick still considered legal and binding now?

          1. ambrit

            Ouch!!! Now I must go out and overdose on Laudanum. It’s the only honourable thing to do. : )>

              1. ambrit

                Stopped over twenty years ago. However, whenever I pass a smoke filled bar, and they cling to life like limpets, they do, I immediately want a beer to go with the smoke smell. Addictions are funny that way.
                Forgiven maybe, forgotten, never.

    2. ambrit

      My snark detector has had an overload. C’mon diptherio, that was thirty years ago. Bernie was still believing that he was going to live forever. Plus, look at the political aspect of the cars’ contents. What else could say, “solidarity with the common people” more than Mickey D’s, Coke, and milk shakes??? Anything else would appear as, er, elitist. Besides, back then, I’m glad to see that he wasn’t carrying the other kind of ‘coke’ product.

      1. diptherio

        Guilty as charged ;-) teeheehee…And I’m probably at least as bad as ol’ Bernie, although my personal vice is Necafe instant coffee with lots of sugar and half&half.

        I’m still no fan of his foreign policy proposals, although his are better than any other Dems…but on the assumption that the squeaky wheel gets the grease I’m going to keep bitching about it. It would be mighty refreshing to see him own up to the face that “our allies in the Gulf” are at nearly/at least as bad as those we’re ostensibly fighting. How long we gonna support the head-choppers and crucifiers in Riyadh? I’d like to know.

    3. craazyman

      maybe it was a lobbyist’s lunch and Bernie was just giving the dude a lift as a favor

      whoa. If your car’s a bit messy you wouldn’t even notice something like that.

      Bernie! Bernie!
      Bernie Bernie!

      it’s still going! It’ll be weird having a Jewish president. At least for the first Christmas. No Christmas ham dinner probably. I had a few Jewish girlfriends and I remember their families had Chinese food on Christmas. Like Jesus was from China or something! Whoa. No way, Jesus was a Christian and they didn’t have Christians in China back then. Duh. Oh well. As soon as Professor Kelton gets her hands on the budge it’ll be Christmas all year round. And why not? It’s Christmas all year round for the Big Banks. Why not share a little bit?

      1. diptherio

        And no First Lady…which I guess is alright, since the concept of a Second, Third, Fourth, etc. Lady, which a first seems to imply, never sat all that well with me.

        1. craazyman

          just as long as there’s no first man hiding under the bed. whoa. we’re not ready for that yet. he may have to invite some strippers to come over to the White House to reassure us. Maybe that’s what he could do for Christmas!!

          1. ambrit

            I’ve quoted Louisianas’ inimitable ex-governor Edwin Edwards on this before. “The only way I would lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.”
            Besides. It would be nice to see Bernie light the seventy foot tall White House Menorah for Kwanzaa.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s cucumber, not cooker **mb.

        It’s Bernie, not burn-it.

        “The tent is still good.”

  22. abynormal

    last night aljazeera dug a wee bit further into the So. Sudan genocide/cleansing…they at least slightly mentioned the OIL under the southies. obvious pattern… let another dictator thin the crowd for the resource vampires.
    …and this piece doesn’t even cover the rapes and sex trade gifted the army for its services rendered. 1,500 women gang raped so far this year…some tied to trees and forced to watch their children gang raped by sudan army. i’m so tired of moving along…

  23. fresno dan

    Christian ‘Prophet’ Loses His Buttocks to a Hungry Lion While Trying to Prove God Would Save Him Alternet

    I am trying to fathom why it just doesn’t say “lose his ass” – did it happen next to a donkey farm and there was some possibility of confusion???

    1. ambrit

      Since it was a “Christian ‘Prophet'” in play, the hagiographer didn’t want this to be confused with Balaam and the other ‘ass.’

    2. Eclair

      A thousand thanks, fresno dan, for giving me my first (and, maybe, only) laugh of the day, after one and one half hours spent catching up on today’s … and yesterday’s …. NC posts and comments. I am ‘refreshed’ and can continue on with the struggle. Better than a vacation!

    3. lyman alpha blob

      And supposedly god called Ted Cruz to run for president. Perhaps Cruz willl get results similar to those of this other charlatan. One can only hope…

      1. polecat

        well….it IS a well known fact that trumplions have nice, big, shiny canines… I right !?

        1. fresno dan

          March 12, 2016 at 1:47 pm

          True enough, but they’re most famous for their magnificent lustrous flowing ginger manes designating that as the Alpha cat…

          (I am going to Hell….)

                    1. ambrit

                      I’m quite sure you get the point, but, I would need to ask, what would constitute an ‘authentic’ TTP claim?
                      (It would get quite confusing to try and do a Venn Diagram of ‘authentic’ and ‘spurious’ TTP claims.)

    4. Dave

      No, you don’t understand, he was
      “putting his ass on the line”
      for his religious hallucinations.

    1. Skippy

      Wow… Did the interviewer actually say – “I” ***believe*** socialism “is” – bloody wow…..

      I mean how Goebbel-esque is it to change the meaning of reality just to suit the personal biases one holds…

      Skippy…. I guess this is the results of atomatistic individualism which gave us over 40K denominations in Christendom… Wheeeeeeeeeee….

      1. ambrit

        Good idea Skippy! A tome of Nazirite Eldritch lore; the Christonomicon! Copies of this rare and shunned work are kept in the Restricted sections of the libraries of Christian Universities.

    2. ambrit

      This was fun to watch. Didn’t anyone at Fox News figure out that a well dressed man named Thor might just possibly be from, or related to those dreaded ‘Socialist’ Nordic countries?

  24. fresno dan

    Turnout in the GOP race this year has soared, compared to 2012, as Trump has frequently noted. In the states that have voted so far, turnout is up by 4.5 million in the Republican contests compared to 2012, or 61 percent, according to a compilation by Public Opinion Strategies, a GOP public-opinion firm.

    But while turnout has increased, the composition of the vote has not significantly changed, exit polls have found.

    61% !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Some diehard repubs were claiming that Trump had gotten all these cross over votes. These are the true believers (dare I say “deadenders”???) who can’t believe that the repub base doesn’t thing Bush “kept us safe” that Iraq would have been fine save Obama withdrawing (yes, that was a Bush agreement), that the economy can be cured if only, only we would stop besmirching the rich, and lower taxes, and that the police and war are always right, but every other aspect of government is always wrong…

    So, Bernie and The Donald – who will have the more lasting effect on substantially changing the character of their respective parties?
    Ask me after the election – but it seems like REAL change is coming, whether for good or ill….

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think the Democrats would be forced to change by the voters or disappear. Hillary is a bulwark against the younger voters, but change is inevitable. Obama got away with a lot, but I’m not certain a second Obama would fly.

      Trump has really hit Republican myths hard. Of course, 43 was stopped on Social Security and Harriet Miers by Republican voters not Democrats. I think the elite and patronage types definitely closed ranks around 43, but I’m not certain Trump isn’t just speaking to a sentiment that is already there.

      1. fresno dan

        ” but I’m not certain Trump isn’t just speaking to a sentiment that is already there.”

        I agree 1,000% – but if there was no voice for the sentiment, the repubs were able to maintain the illusions for those sentiments an inordinately long period of time – I’m sure they thought they could keep that neocon view forever. But if you have a screening process that meticulously eliminates any other than the MOST REPUB politically correct sentiments, than there isn’t even the possibility of showing that people don’t agree. Who ever would have guessed that a whacko like The Donald would have been the one to do it????? Seems incredible to me.

        Bernie’s uprising is quite remarkable, but it still seems within normal realm of politics (dems had Gene McCarthy, McGovern, Carter).

  25. Mbuna

    Dave Dayen, Monopoly… A question for NC readers, Yves, etc. My first thoughts on this hearing is that Congress can’t be really be serious and the only reason this came up is because it is an election year and Sanders is raising the general issue. So I think this pure kabuki. Congress is bought and paid for by the very forces they say they are concerned about and I don’t buy it. They are bought and paid for, period.
    But then I thought maybe they are just really incompetent… What do you think?

    1. diptherio

      I think your first instinct was the correct one. Everybody agreed about the need for Wall Street reform too, and you see what that got us.

    2. Lexington

      That was my first reaction as well.

      Of course I would be delighted to be proved wrong, but it’s hard to ignore the history. OTOH even if this is largely an exercise in public relations the ground is clearly shifting on many of these issues. Positions that ten years ago would have been regarded as well outside the mainstream, and hence “unserious”, are becoming the new normal.

  26. Brian

    The music and technology thereof, created by Keith Emerson and ELP is timeless. It is “primitive” by todays standards, and it is organic because the sounds weren’t used like that before. Perhaps, they were never heard like that before. Stevie Wonder used an ARP to great effect, but Keith made it his own. A pioneer like Bach? Yes, because it was unique.

  27. tony

    “You’d vote for her in a heartbeat. Except there’s one little thing: She’s just not really into people of Finnish descent. At all. She thinks they’re too blond; and also, Finland’s kind of close to Russia. “Helsinki” sounds like it begins with ‘hell’! No, there’s no good reason for her prejudice. It’s just her thing.”

    I’m Finnish, but if you people need to hate Finns to not destroy the world, it’s cool.

  28. RMO

    I always picture Emerson with either the huge modular Moog, coaxing sounds out of it like some sort of electronic sorcerer or at the helm of that Yamaha GX-1, the only organ/synth that looked like it belonged on the bridge of a starship.

  29. grayslady

    Marcy Kaptur has endorsed Bernie for President! Kaptur, who is not a member of the Progressive Caucus, has been outspoken against TPP and Fast Track.

    1. Vatch

      Great news! It’s nice that she’s doing this prior to the Ohio primary. Too bad Elizabeth Warren didn’t do the same prior to the Massachusetts primary; as has been discussed here before, a lot of us are disillusioned by Sen. Warren.

      A surprise introduction was given this afternoon by U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) — the only member of the Ohio Democratic Congressional delegation to not endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

      Miss Kaptur thanked the crowd for “coming to build a stronger a better America. We love you and we desperately love this country and want it to be a country for all, not just the privileged few.”

      “I come here to introduce the next president of the United States,” she said.

    2. Carla

      Yes, I was really surprised by Kaptur’s endorsement. Didn’t think she had it in her.

      And it’s being kept a big secret in Ohio as far as I can tell. It was buried in the Toledo Blade story, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer had not mentioned it last I checked a few hours ago.

      Secret endorsements do not help a lot. I believe this is Bernie’s 6th Congressional endorsement. Hillary has 208.

    3. different clue

      She was already in the House in time to vote against NAFTA/MFN for China/WTO I bellieve. Perhaps she and a few other legacy Housemembers who were against Free Trade when Free Trade was cool could form a Trade Patriot Caucus. It would be open to Trade Patriots from either party . . . in case there were any Republican Housemembers who voted against Free Trade Agreements. Senator Sessions reached the Senate after the Clinton Trade Agreement votes, I believe, but he seems to be against the Obamatrade Agreements for real. Perhaps he could join such a Trade Patriot Caucus if it were single survival issue focused.

  30. allan

    Big Health gets bigger: Seattle’s Group Health approves acquisition by Kaiser

    Refuting critics and community concern, voting members of Seattle’s Group Health Cooperative overwhelmingly agreed on Saturday to join with the California health-care giant, Kaiser Permanente.

    Voting 8,824 to 1,586, the members approved the move that essentially dissolves the iconic, home-grown cooperative, founded nearly 70 years ago with the mission of providing integrated health care and health coverage to Northwest consumers. …

    The plan, announced in December, allows Kaiser, with annual revenues of $60 billion, to acquire Group Health, with $3.5 billion in annual income.

    Proponents of the proposal — which is backed by Group Health doctors and local union members — said the acquisition is necessary to ensure the future of the co-op in an era of growing hospital and health system mergers.

    Critics of the proposal said the Group Health officials conducted negotiations in secret and actively worked to exclude most of the co-op’s members from weighing in on the decision. …

    Whenever hearing the words `acquisition is necessary’, please run, not walk, to the nearest exit.

    1. diptherio

      That’s sad news. Better Kaiser than BCBS, but de-mutualization is never a good thing.

    2. barrisj

      GHC has ca. 600K members in the PNW – of that 27K were eligible to vote on the Kaiser proposal; of the 27K eligible, only 10K or so actually voted. So, we have round 1.6% of the membership participating in this momentous vote, with a bit more than 8K voting in favour…very “democratic”, indeed! The chances of WA State Dept. of Insurance will do anything other than rubber-stamp the deal are extremely high. Huge amount of pro-merger propaganda had inundated our post before the vote…now, which direction do you reckon our monthly rates will go after the merger is completed, hmmm? “Non-profit” my bleeding haemorrhoids…Kaiser-Permanente is a huge bureaucracy that continues to need nourishment, 35+% of member rates go to support it…MEDICARE FOR ALL, sez us.

  31. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Bacteria eat plastic bottles.

    What about plastic CD cases or car parts?

    Will they eat laptop cases?

    1. polecat

      ‘Andromeda Strain’ 2.0 ?

      better have some aspirin handy….

      ……and maybe some cheap hooch.

      1. polecat

        Can just imagine, driving to that shitty day job…and suddenly becoming aware that all the plastic components of your car are disintegrating before your very eyes… rush-hour traffic!

  32. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Robots to replace consumers.

    Yes, yes, that’s easy and the thought already scared a lot of people at NC a while ago. “We are easily scared years before anyone is.”

    Can robots replace taxpayers?

    That’s the current bogeyman.

  33. Plenue

    People of Europe! The refugee crisis has mostly impacted, and will continue to mostly impact, you. I just want you to know that your misfortune is a sacrifice the United States is willing to make. CIA operations and bombing will continue.

  34. Pelham

    I recommend The New Republic article on Trump supporters.

    I would only add that the judgment that Trump is a bigot is just that, a judgment. I submit that a very large segment of the American public wouldn’t necessarily classify Trump as bigoted, racist or even sexist.

    While he says, for instance, that he wants to build a wall and that many coming across the southern border are criminals, he also says Latino citizens are terrific people. That combination, in the minds of many, is not racist.

    While he objectifies women and comments on and even rates their appearance, he also says women are incredibly smart and savvy. That combination, in the minds of many, is not sexist (especially among watchers of Fox News, where the women commentators tend to be gorgeous and sharp-witted).

    It’s fair to accuse Trump of harboring a whole range of distasteful prejudices. And there’d be no argument at all if he simply tarred a whole group or gender with one grimy brush as bimbos or bums. But he doesn’t do that. He makes distinctions. And while it’s legitimate to object that that’s not enough and assert forcefully that he’s a bigot regardless, it’s also legitimate in the minds of many to make the opposite case.

    1. bob

      Sorry dude. Look at the facts on the ground, and at the tightly controlled campaign events. He can keep the cameras and journalists mostly out, or out of view of anything, but let in the white hate groups?

      He also, by penning up the press, doesn’t allow the supporters to be interviewed. Not that many reporters would probably survive- The number one hate of trump followers is “the media”…which in and of itself is farce.

    2. fresno dan

      March 12, 2016 at 3:32 pm
      I see your point and I don’t entirely disagree. I explain my view with Rahm Emanuel – is he bigoted? Probably not. Has his policies and administration been positive for blacks? Probably not….

      I have no doubt that the mainstream republicans are far, far less bigoted and prejudicial than Trump – they ignore poor exploited people with no regard to race*, religion, national origin,

      ((((sure, they use dog whistles, southern strategy, and terrorism fears to get ELECTED, but that is just to get at the money making machinery – Bush made a big show of saying “Islam is a religion of peace” – and although mainstream repubs incessantly use terrorism to advance themselves, if your a Saudi Muslim with OIL, they quite like you and sure seem to turn a blind eye to Saudi terrorism support…))))

      – as long as all the profit can be harvested, and NONE, none whatsoever of the costs of humans are borne by the 0.1%, than most mainstream repubs really are uninterested in people of different races – they are quite progressive in taking advantage of people…
      They don’t hate brown people as much as they hate poor people….or you could say they just really, really, REALLY love rich people and ignore everybody else…

      with apologies to Anatole France
      The repubs, in their majestic law view, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges

      1. polecat

        Fresno Dan….. Couldn’t you say the same about, say, the DNC…or any number of feckless twits on the left..

        I’m not trying to be snarky here……I’m just tired of having the dem estab. shove a corn cob up my ass….. and always telling me how Much better it is than the red one!

        I left the left in 06′, after realizing how much of a con they’ve become.

        1. Carla

          Why would anyone call Democrats “the left”?

          They’re not. Anybody really on the left LEFT the Dems years ago.

        2. Massinissa

          Is this a joke? The Democratic party hasn’t been on the ‘left’ since at least before Bill Clinton got the presidency.

          Vote for the Greens or stay home. The Democrats are just blue republicans.

          1. Tomd

            You are right and you’re wrong.

            Dems are essentially pre-Clinton republicans or maybe pre-Reagan at this point, but the Republicans have also gone just as far to the right. So a vote for Dems is a vote for center-right polices, but a vote for Repubs is a vote for far right policies.

            It’s all shit.

        3. fresno dan

          March 12, 2016 at 8:10 pm

          Oh I agree 1000% – I note the repubs more often because I started out kinda libertarian, free trader and came to see the error of my ways. Plus their hypocrisy on so much is just so galling to me.
          As a lot of NC commenters say about dems, “the more effective evil”
          The dems talk ever so nicely, but are so expert at the shiv…

  35. fresno dan

    Boy, 4, threatened with counter-terrorism measures after he mispronounced ‘cucumber’ as ‘cooker bomb’ Telegraph

    (with apologies to the 6th sense):

    Cole Sear: I see stupid people.
    Malcolm Crowe: In your dreams?
    [Cole shakes his head no]
    Malcolm Crowe: While you’re awake?
    [Cole nods]
    Malcolm Crowe: Dead people like, in government? In schools?
    Cole Sear: Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re stupid.
    Malcolm Crowe: How often do you see them?
    Cole Sear: All the time. They’re everywhere.

  36. aumua

    Let’s see, pop quiz! Whose supporters are more hateful?

    a) Sanders’
    b) Trump’s

    But let’s look at the silver lining here. The MSM is mentioning Sanders now, BY NAME! No bad publicity, right? Not only that, but Donald Trump himself, the man who never gives credit to anyone but Donald Trump, the headline story 9 times out of ten, is POINTING BERNIE SANDERS out.

    That’s awesome.

    1. mwowm

      In addition, how about Sander’s calling Trump (rightfully) a pathological liar(!!)

      You can’t put a price on that.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We all have our racial blind-spots.

      Some are hateful.

      Others are more hateful.

      And we come back to the lesser of two evils…as we always have.

    3. NoOne

      You think that having Sanders’ supporters blamed for the cancellation of a rival’s campaign event is a positive for the Sander’s campaign? Really?

    4. aumua

      I’m not saying it’s good what happened, or that it’s good that Trump is (falsely) attributing the whole mess to Sanders. Just that it may have some positive aspects.

      The truth, not that most people are even interested in it, is that Bernie’s campaign obviously had nothing to do with the protests. Whereas Trump has directly and deliberately encouraged his minions to violently attack anyone who fits the description, and has been looking for a fight. Win or lose, Trump is legitimizing racism, bigotry, hated, and mob mentality, and it’s getting a little bit scary to be honest, to see just how willing the average american seems to be to embrace it.

      That’s why any defense of Trump here just rings so hollow.

  37. fresno dan

    Down the Tube: Television, turnout, and the election-industrial complex Andrew Cockburn, Harpers (Chuck L)

    “Green and Gerber divided a homogeneous pool of voters in two. One group was subjected to a specific method of persuasion — a mailing, say, or a phone call. The other group, the control, was left alone. Over time, the researchers broadened their experiment, overseeing hundreds of such studies across the country. Their conclusions about turnout echoed what Herbert Simon had demonstrated more than four decades before: TV, partisan mail, and robocalls had no effect at all.

    Back in the nineteenth century, elections were festive, raucous affairs, often accompanied by free booze and entertainment supplied by the political parties, with saloons doubling as polling places. Turnout by the (all-male) electorate was consequently high.”
    The secret of Trumps success….

  38. Kim Kaufman

    re Hillary Clinton says she misspoke about how Reagans dealt with Aids crisis Guardian

    and here’s what Dan Savage says: “That is a fucking lie. You could only say the Reagans started “a national conversation” about AIDS if terrified, desperate, and dying people screaming “WHY AREN’T YOU SAYING OR DOING ANYTHING ABOUT AIDS!” at the Reagans counts. It does not count.”

    1. ambrit

      I find it defining of Hillary that she babbles complimentary things about the Reagans. A real old tyme Democrat would hold his hat over his or her heart and keep silent. C’mon now, the Reagans were, if not the Antichrist and consort, at the least those who made crooked the way of the Dread Lord. Let the dead bury the dead.

  39. fresno dan

     But Democrats should resist the temptation to indulge in schadenfreude, because they’re flirting with their own version of crack-up. The Dems are stalked by very similar contradictions, and face the same storm of popular disgust among once-loyal constituencies.

    The 2016 election is shaping up as payback time in our crippled democracy. The people have discovered ways to express their long-smoldering contempt for the regular order. Power politics, they discover, can be both mischievously fun and also purposeful.

    Bernie Sanders delivered that uplifting message again with his upset victory in the Michigan primary. The press had been hinting crudely that Senator Sanders should really give it up, so Hillary Clinton could proceed unblemished to the nomination. Bernie wisely ignored the media dopesters.

     As I wrote a few months ago, Donald Trump has taken the low road to political upheaval, while Senator Sanders has taken the high road to peaceful revolution. But both candidates are addressing many of the same fundamental wounds and inequities that working Americans have experienced for a generation. Trump is foul and unfair, a shrewd demagogue. Bernie is the honest visionary, urging young people to take themselves seriously as citizens and claim their role in a “political revolution.”

    Trump and Sanders are forcing the political system to confront some malignant deformities in American life that both parties have tried to ignore, because, in their different ways, both are to blame. People feel betrayed, abandoned by representative democracy in favor of powerful interests.

    heighten the contradictions…

    1. voteforno6

      The Democrats are more than flirting with their own crack-up. They’re rushing into it head-on. The Democratic Party, at least in its current form, will not be able to survive the implosion of the Republican Party. Donald Trump may very well be the agent of destruction for both parties.

  40. bob

    “I hate Illinois Nazis”

    The local politics of Chicago are looking up. Even the “clash” wasn’t much. Everyone seemed very disciplined. CTA and Rahm have probably helped to galvanize people.

    Keep it up!

    Trump running away from any sort of confrontation says all you need– Leaving his troops behind. So sad. Loser.

  41. different clue

    I am reading the Hisham Melhem piece on Goldberg’s article/interview with Obama about Obama’s Middle East policy. I gather that Melhem is Lebanese. I don’t know if Melhem is Sunni or not. His article is so far reading like a pile of Sunni sectarian crap.

    He obviously wanted a No Fly Zone against Syria in order to help the Sunni jihadi rebels overthrow the Secular non-Sectarian Assad dictatorship. He offers no evidence for his claim that “Putin” is manipulation the refugee crisis in Europe. Let’s see if he mentions Erdogan’s manipulation and extension of the refugee crisis in Europe. (He never did). He lies about alleged Russian “depredations” in Ukraine. The criminal outlaw MaidaNazi regime in KiEV is the only one depredating in Ukraine.

    Further down I see that Melhem re-peddles the stale lie that the Syrian Arab Republic government ( Assad) conducted the sarin attack. All non-fake evidence indicates that the kitchen-sarin attack was a joint Erdogan-Saudi false-flag attack by local jihadi proxies to get Assad targeted for removal. Is Melhem really too stupid to know this? Or more likely, too dishonest to admit he knows this very well? I am sure his disappointment that we did not take the bait is shared by the pro-cannibal pro-livereater pro-jihadi pro-ISIS forces in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

    Well, fear not, Mr. Melhem. The R + 6 looks well on the road to getting all traces of rebellion in Syria either contained or won-over or exterminated. Little thanks to Obama of course. But no thanks to you or those who think like you either.

    Colonel Lang at Sic Semper Tyrannis offers a more reality-based view of these societies. They are multi-confessional muti-sectarian often multi-ethnic societies where order can only be kept by a strong dictatorial government ready to keep all the different groups away from eachother’s throats . . . . and especially to shelter and protect the most vulnerable and scapegoatable of the minority groups in these countries. Jihaddery is the inevitable outcome of revolutions or rebellions or foreign regime-change operations in these countries unless such revolutions or rebellions or regime change operations are crushed and kept crushed and the ground for future such outbreaks kept sterile.

    So America didn’t in the end go all out to fight the jihadistas’ war for them against Assad? Cry me a river. Or don’t cry me anything. I don’t care.

    1. Vatch

      I don’t know if Melhem is Sunni or not.

      According to what little I’ve seen on the internet, Hisham Melhem is a Maronite Christian.

      1. different clue

        Then why would he support a rebellion in Syria which would expel or dhimify or exterminate all the Christians in Syria? Why would he support the Turko-Saudi LIE that Assad “used chemical weapons” ? What exactly does he think will happen if his beloved jihadis were to win such a rebellion? If he is so Christian, why would he object to Putin helping save the Christians of Syria?

        1. Vatch

          I can’t explain his behavior, although I can speculate. He’s Lebanese, and he objects to the way that Syria has meddled in Lebanon over the past several decades. So he’s opposed to the government of Syria; unfortunately, one of the main opponents of the Syrian government turns out to be even worse than the Syrian government. Oops.

          Your comment below about his employer makes sense, too.

      2. different clue

        Your information about Mr. Melhem raised in my mind an interesting question. If he is Maronite Christian, why would he support the radical Sunni Wahabbi Jihadi agenda in Syria? So I looked him up.

        He works for al Arabiya. Al Arabiya is a propaganda mill-outlet owned by the Saudi Family government and operated to advance their views and goals. So of course he would support Saudi jihaddery against Syria. Here is the link.

        ” Whose bread he eats, their song he sings.”

        1. different clue

          And do I recommend regime-changing Saudi Arabia? No I don’t. Sensible people by now understand that any different government there would be even worse. How much worse? Probably ISIS would take over and wire up all the oil wells in Saudi Arabia with all kinds of bombs and explosives just like their Baathist thinking-brain dogs wired up all the oil wells in Kuwait so many years ago. And blow them all up and set them all on fire while staying behind to kill anyone attempting to put them out . . . if the outside world were to boycott the ISIS Arabia oil wells to cut off ISIS Arabia’s revenue. People have no idea just how much “worse” worse can be.

          The proper approach to Saudi Arabia would be to do everything possible to keep the price of oil low enough to where the Saudis spend their reserves down to zero and then have to spend every oil dollar keeping peace within the Kingdom. But not so low that the Saudis get overthrown.

          When a Strong Zookeeper is the only way to keep the animals in their cages, don’t topple the Strong Zookeeper. We should have learned that from Iraq and Libya.

    2. Darthbobber

      Just what I’d expect from the Atlantic. The problem with Obama is insufficient bellicosity, and their preferred candidate for president is pretty clear about intending to fix that. For almost everybody who writes these articles, and this one differs only in minute detail from dozens of others hawking the same theme, the problem in Syria began when Obama arranged to be backed off from the more lunatic aspects of the regime change operation, NOT when we embarked on it in the first place. And tellingly, in what purports to be a chronicle of failures the words Libya and Yemen don’t occur at all. More resoluteness marching down the tunnel. That’ll magically “fix” everything. Like Pete Seeger sang, “We’re waist-deep in the Big Muddy, and the big fool says to push on.”

  42. barrisj

    A NewYorker piece on VP Biden in Jerusalem, hat-in-hand, “negotiating” with Bibi Netanyahu over increasing US “military assistance” to Israel:

    March 11, 2016
    Joe Biden in Jerusalem
    By Bernard Avishai

    Now, for several years, Bibi and his Repub abettors have been insulting, humiliating, and backstabbing Obama as “not a true friend of Israel”…and here is the spectacle of Bibi, a better-dressed Meyer Lansky, shaking down the US to up its blood money from $3bil to $5bi p.a., with absolutely no conditions. And Hillary, off-stage, loudly whispering…”Pssst, Bibi, I’m the best friend of Israel amongst all the cadidates running for Prez, …when I’m elected, if you feel threatened by the Ayatollahs or Hezbollah, you just give me a quiet nod, and I’ll have an Air Force wing of B-52s and the 6th Fleet at DefCon1 quicksmart!”
    Why in God’s name does Obama even indulge this daft cunt, one wonders. Let him be content with $3bil until a new administration takes office…geez Louise.

    1. fresno dan

      the 51st state gets all the shoes, and all the other states are treated like stepchildren…
      if the 99% was treated 1/100 as well as Israel, we would all be about 50K richer…

    2. Jim Haygood

      Both Hillary and Trump are set to address the AIPAC conference later this month.

      Hillary’s speech is expected to feature abject pandering, whereas Trump’s by contrast is more likely to adopt obsequious groveling.

      Five billion or bust!

  43. Praedor

    I grow so tired of crap articles like the “Mideast is unraveling” from the Atlantic. They speak typical empty western propaganda about “Russian depredations in Ukraine”, as if Putin started the troubles there rather than the US. Putin didn’t push a coup against an internationally recognized elected government in Ukraine so he could install puppet Nazis. That was the US government. The US government simply couldn’t wait a few more months for the then-upcoming Ukrainian election and simply let the Ukrainians elect their next leader themselves. Instead they pushed coup (regime change) and got what the US ALWAYS gets out of regime change: a big pile of bloody stool.

    The article pushing that empty meme rendered it unreadable for me and totally unbelievable. They’ll yammer about Russia taking Crimea, ignoring the facts that eastern Ukraine is STRONGLY ethnically Russian and STRONGLY seek close ties with Russia, not the EU. They also ignore the factual history of Crimea. Crimea was ALWAYS Russia. The entire history of Russia contains Crimea as organic to it. It was only in the 50s that Kruschev GIFTED Crimea to Ukraine in a manner that would be totally unaccepted by the UN or US if done today. What Russia did was RECLAIM Crimea, not invade Ukraine and take organically Ukrainian territory.

    1. different clue

      Well . . . . noooo . . . . not alllllwayzzzz. . . . . I think Crimea was conquered from the Ottoman Empire by the Russian forces of Empress Catherine the Great sometime in the 1700’s. Which is not forever, but IS a good long time. And that, plus Russia’s ferocious defense of Crimea in the Crimean War, makes it more Russia’s than anyone else’s. Certainly NOT Ukraine’s.

    2. Tomd

      Crimea was a completely pragmatic decision. No one else than Kissinger pointed out Russia is not going to give up it’s only warm water port without a war.

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