Links 3/18/16

Your humble blogger feels like death warmed over, so forgive the thin ration of links and original posts.

GOP Leaders Assure Sobbing Rubio It Not His Fault Party Splitting Up Onion (David L)

Attempt to recreate Kon-Tiki voyage ends with rescue BBC (David L)

Biomimetic Robotic Design: Six Ant-Bots Work Together to Tow a 4,000-Pound Car Core77 (resilc)

Meditation Plus Running as a Treatment for Depression New York Times (David L). I’m not sure what is new about this. Exercise is long recognized as an effective treatment for mild depression.

Can Someone Please Convince Cops That Most Rape Allegations Are Not False Already? Pacific Standard (Chuck L)

Turmoil in Brazil

Brazil judge blocks Lula appointment to government BBC (Ryan R)

‘Prime Minister’ Lula: The Brazilian Game-Changer Pepe Escobar, Counterpunch (Chuck L)

Brazilians get that sinking feeling as crisis deepens BBC (Ryan R)

Banks cast doubt on ECB giveaway Financial Times

Amount of Negative Interest Rates in the World Barry Ritholtz

Refugee Crisis

A refugee deal hinges on freedom of travel for Turks Financial Times. Margarita: “Not at all clear how Merkel could possibly pull Turkish visa-free travel out of the hat”

A Journey Across Greece, a Bankrupt Land at Risk of Becoming a Refugee Prison New York Times


This is Why Putin is the Most Unpredictable Politician in the World Sputnik News (Wat)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

‘Chilling Effect’ of Mass Surveillance Is Silencing Dissent Online, Study Says Motherboard (Dr. Kevin)

Here’s the Full Transcript of TIME’s Interview With Apple CEO Tim Cook TIME (Dr. Kevin)

US government pushed tech firms to hand over source code ZDNet (guurst)

US Secretly Acting Like China Does in Public Marcy Wheeler

5 Major Hospital Hacks: Horror Stories from the Cybersecurity Frontlines IEEE Spectrum (Chuck L)

One boy, two girls win Intel U.S. Talent Search Reuters (EM)

Imperial Collapse Watch



How Trump Rebranded the GOP Michael Hirsh, Politico

The gangster candidate: Donald Trump and his supporters behave like the mafia, with veiled threats and acting above the law Salon (Kevin C)

US military chief rejects Trump rhetoric Financial Times

Lindsey Graham, Who Said He Would Rather Be Shot or Poisoned Than Endorse Ted Cruz, Is Endorsing Ted Cruz Gawker (resilc)

Ted Cruz’s Foreign Policy Team Is Crazy Charles Pierce, Esquire. Resilc: “Not that Clintoon’s neoconzzzz r better.”

Secret Service manpower shortage as campaigns ramp up Reuters (EM)

Blackout Tuesday: The Bernie Sanders Speech Corporate Media Chose Not To Air Common Dreams (Judy B)

How the Sanders Campaign Is Reinventing the Use of Tech in Politics Nation (martha r)

US presidential candidates’ focus on trade deals is misleading Financial Times

Nominee Visits Tense Capitol as G.O.P. Digs In Against Vote New York Times

House Republicans Propose Steep Cuts to Essential Health Care Programs Medicare Rights (Glenn F)

Big pharmacies are dismantling the industry that keeps US drug costs even sort-of under control Quartz (resilc)

10 of the Worst Big Pharma Company Rip-Offs — and Their Plan to Keep the Gravy Train Rolling The Influence

Cheap Federal Coal Supports Largest U.S. Producers Inside Climate (Glenn F)

Graphic account of Hulk Hogan sex tape read in Florida court Reuters (EM)


The Fed’s Credibility Conundrum WSJ Moneybeat

Market and the Fed not on the same page CNBC

Heavy Recruitment of Chinese Students Sows Discord on U.S. Campuses Wall Street Journal

The Terrible Oil News Nobody Noticed Wolf Street

Koch Fronted Regulatory Hit Woman Edges Closer to Seat on SEC Pam Martens and Russ Martens (Glenn F)

Hedge fund closures return to crisis highs Financial Times

Class Warfare

7 Things You Didn’t Know About the Ultra Rich

Globalization, Skills & Inequality IMFDirect

Antidote du jour (furzy):

peacock antics links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Cry Shop

    The gangster candidate: Donald Trump and his supporters behave like the mafia, with veiled threats and acting above the law

    Sounds very American, certainly very presidential.

    1. jgordon

      As vicious as Trump is, it looks like the next few months are going to be fairly unpleasant for Clinton. If nothing else, this is going to be a fun campaign. Like two super villains battling each other in a cage match for the prize of who gets to loot America as it’s going down the drain! My money’s on Trump.

      Here is a preview: Hillary Clinton has been involved in corruption for most of her professional life!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think one magazine rates a Trump presidency among the top 10 risks to the world.

        He must have beaten out financial derivatives, surveillance, drones, South China Sea, wealth inequality, negative interest rates, blockbuster movies from Hollywood, the Zika Virus, fracking, Franken foods, poisonous municipal water all over the world, the trade deals, etc.

        1. jgordon

          Top 10 threats? I heard something like that too. My first thought: as dangerous as Trump is (?), Hillary is about 10X worse. All you have to do is look at precisely who is fleeing the GOP and Trump to support Hillary. Hint: these aren’t people you’d want living next door to you.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            To some people, Trump is the only serious or genuine threat, from their perspective.

            For a lot of people, danger lurks everywhere, and survival is a 24/7 adventure.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Trump is scaring the people that count.

          Plenty of us not important little people are also scared by him. But we don’t count.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I agree we should all be afraid, very afraid, but Hilary scares me much more than Donald.
            Schoolyard bullies like Donald are all bark and no bite, and I think the bark, coupled with the willingness to change the game (neutral between Israel and Palestine, the only one to say how monumentally stupid the Iraq War was, get troops out of Europe and S. Korea, etc) would be an effective deterrent, especially when handcuffed by the usual institutional limits on power.
            Hilary on the other hand will be under intense pressure to show she can be as “macho” as someone with a different anatomical configuration in their undies. And she has a multi-decade proven track record as a bona fide Neo-con war maker of the highest order, with the likes of Kissinger, Kagan, and Rupert egging her on. I’ll take the “unknown” versus that “known” any day
            And as Taibbi points out, it’s not as though we have never before had a stupid theatrical buffoon as president, and at least this one would know how to fire someone when they f*cked up, not promote them.

  2. michael tregaron

    Guess it’s a virus, mm?
    If so…
    GELSEMIUM (the go to for getting rid of the start of something cold or flue or shortening it)

    PULSATILLA (will stop a runny nose in its tracks, this is also a go to cold remedy when gelsemium doesnt seem to do anything)

    HEPAR SULPH CALC (cough, colds and spots – this sometimes works better than pulsatilla, it all depends on the cold)

    You may know these already but just in case.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Let’s face it – the propaganda work during the Cultural Revolution was spectacular, just superb.

      The youth were properly ‘excited.’

      In fact, the youth of China have not been that ‘excited’ since.

  3. craazyman

    Bird ghost who haunts pond terrifies peacock out for stroll. Peacock’s entire world is shattered by experience. Goes home and takes 2 mg. Xanax then seeks therapy. Refuses to go outdoors for weeks.

  4. allan

    “Koch Fronted Regulatory Hit Woman Edges Closer to Seat on SEC ”

    This is exactly why it’s so important that we elect a centrist Democrat in November –
    so we can get center-right judicial appointments and far-right regulatory appointments.

  5. James Levy

    Concerning the 7 things about the rich, one thing I’d like to know is at what point does income start translating into wealth. On average, at what income level do you start to see a massive increase in the wealth of the individual? It seems to me that you reach a runaway point where income starts being transferred into capital gains earning investments and from that point forward people start to accumulate vast amounts of wealth. But the approximate starting point of that process, and how many people have access to such incomes in this society, would be illuminating.

    1. Steve H.

      Not finding the quote, but a few years ago I made a calculation based on ‘rich is when you can live off the interest on the interest.’ Possibly pre-crisis and zirp, but at the time I ballparked $17 mill. Probably needs recalculating.

      1. James Levy

        That sounds very interesting and is a good thing to know but what I was thinking about was how you get to $17 million, and it is very rarely through salary. Most of us in the 99% think of income in terms of salary. I’m curious what salary you would have to pull in in order to have the disposable income in order to invest and then see your wealth take off. I know that the easiest way to get rich is to be born rich (like Donald Trump). But let’s image you don’t have what C. Wright Mills called “a stake” (like the $85,000 that Herbert Walking gave a certain nephew in 1946 to go into the oil business). How much on average would you have to make in salary in order to garner such a stake and reach wealth takeoff velocity?

        1. Steve H.

          First, I come here to try to understand finance. With that caveat, if you wanted $50k per year you’d need $20 million. To get (about) there, earning 5%, around $150k per year for about 40 years. Whole lotta assumptions (no inflation, for one) and double-check my math before bespeaking this.

          1. bob


            I’ve heard it discussed in other forums, not so much math, but more class division among the upper classes.

            20 million is ‘you don’t have to work anymore’, but you’ll gladly take a six figure job from a non-profit.

            100 million- anything over 20 is all about power, and people with over 100 million have it, or the beginning of it, that old money feel…

            Explosive growth potential seems to be over 100 million but closer to 200.

            Once you attain that sort of mass, it’s pretty hard not to make money, no matter what you do. This is where you begin trying to “not” make money, at least on paper anyway. Legacy territory.

            I think I saw a breakdown of political contributors and something like 85% of political contributions came from people with over 100 million. Not sure on that point and can’t find the link to the study at the moment. It was a very interesting breakdown, wish I could find it to confirm the numbers now…

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Sometimes, there are exceptions.

              With 0.05% interest, $20 million will get you $100,000 a year in retirement.

              A good pension, properly spiked, for a lucky few, can top that easily.

              But many are not so fortunate.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            $20 million – that’s 0.05%.

            $100 million – that puts you in the 0.01%, I think.

            The 1% – I think the really mega/super rich just laugh at you as wannabee’s.

        2. Alejandro

          If you’re on the receiving side of “compounding interest”, then it really doesn’t matter…but if you’re not on the receiving side, by default you’re on the sustaining side…

          Michael Hudson has given this example –“If a single saver, on the day of the Nativity, saved a single penny at 5% compound interest. Today, it would be worth the equivalent of a solid sphere of gold, the size of our solar system (if it were possible)”…the “magical” world of financial math…but don’t believe him, DO the math…eventually conclude that there’s not enough of anything to sustain the accumulation of claims, so it devolves into a surreal world of abstractions but have real world effects.

          There’s a similar observation in (Mat 25:29), about the effects of the unrestrained (sociopathic) desire to reap without sowing.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Unrestrained reaping with and without sowing.

                We sow when we try to reproduce…we reap when we reproduce successfully.

                The human population has been compounding (my guess is around 1%), like compound interest, since before the Nativity.

              2. polecat

                the ‘context’ I present is that life does NOT have to revolve around the ALL-MIGHTY-BUCK…comprendo?!!

                1. Alejandro

                  Thanks for the feedback and I agree…yet ‘we’ are where ‘we’ are with the obsession to accumulate…¿Comprendés?

                  1. polecat

                    Ok… that’s true for much of society. Personally, I’m trying to create, and maintain as much for lifeforms other than human, to the best of my ability, on our small lot, in an urban/suburban setting, while doing w/ less STUFF!………It’s the best I can do, short of giving away everything and living like an ascetic.

                    By the way, I don’t sell whatever honey the bees produce…..any that I take off we use or give away……

      2. Lambert Strether

        “rich is when you can live off the interest on the interest.’” That’s very meta.

        So real wealth is a derivative?

        Adding, perhaps this accounts for the power curve in income distribution?

        And is there a reason this should stop? Interest1 on the interest2 on the interest3… on the interest n would steepen the power curve pretty fast.

        1. Steve H.

          “Wealth is passed down from generation to generation. You can’t get rid of wealth.”

          Chris Rock: I ain’t talkin’ ’bout rich, I’m talkin’ ’bout wealthy!

    2. Ulysses

      Interesting question! People can have pretty high incomes without accumulating much long-term wealth if they are spending a lot on fancy cars, homes, etc. Many times the transformation from comfortably rich to accumulating big wealth doesn’t happen until the mortgage, college tuitions for the kids, and other such expenses have been paid off. If there are a few million dollars left to play with in retirement, after other expenses, then a merely rich person can begin to build a fortune.

      1. Ulysses

        A couple who each make at least a million/year, and don’t have a lot of kids could “take off.” Yet they won’t do so if they feel the need to live very flashy lives, take a lot of expensive vacations, or live in San Francisco or New York.

        1. Lord Koos

          The whole thing is mind-boggling to me, as I could live like a king on $60k. But I have no debt and don’t need the latest everything… “living like a king” to me is the ability to eat well and travel a bit.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            You’re not do enough to ‘stimulate the economy.’

            Luckily, you’re in the ‘democratic’ West, where there is no ‘Sesame index’ to track conformance, and not another index to track your patriotic consumption.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Some are lucky – they are born with wealth accumulated already for them.

        Among the rich, it does a great deal of difference whether you are worth $5 million at the age of 1 or at the age of 65.

        The latter is just a pretender.

        To them, wealth has to be age-adjusted.

    3. Goyo Marquez

      I wonder if that’s not the wrong way to think about it, i.e. as some sort of natural, predictable, progression. Maybe it’s just you had enough to gamble and the gamble paid off big. We miss this because the stories of those who gambled and lost, which I assume are the vast majority, are ignored.

      We had a shirttail relative out here, my grandmothers cousin, farmed his whole life. One year he farmed tomatoes and there was a freeze or something, he was the only guy with tomatoes. At least as I’ve heard the story, he made many, many millions. This was after a lifetime of barely scratching out an existence as a farmer.

      Of course afterwards the story turns into what a great farmer he was. As Tevye said, “If I were rich the most important men in town would come to call on me. They’d ask me to advise them, like a Solomon the wise…”

      1. vidimi

        i think this has a strong ring of truth to it.

        take a thousand potential warren buffets. 500 of them will lose their shirts, 400 will break even, 90 will make some small to moderate gains, 9 will win a lot and 1 will win spectacularly. you’ll hear about the genius of the one buffett all the time without ever hearing about the 990-999 others, but in the end, it’s just random luck, not genius. you’d probably achieve similar results with 1000 monkeys randomly picking stocks.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Every March, the NCAA basketball tournament starts with 64 teams.

          And there is always one team that invariably wins 6 straight.

          There is always that ‘genius’ team every year.

          But stock picking is a little different. You are not playing against another player.

        2. fresno dan

          March 18, 2016 at 12:09 pm

          “you’d probably achieve similar results with 1000 monkeys randomly picking stocks.”

          They have done the experiments – the monkeys do better…
          Now, they doesn’t mean the monkeys are smarter – they just have the emotional maturity to accept market (i.e., average) returns. Ever notice in Planet of the Apes that there were no poor monkeys?

  6. Steve H.

    – Biomimetic Robotic Design: Six Ant-Bots Work Together to Tow a 4,000-Pound Car

    That is AWESOME!

    we are doomed

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What is ‘Job Guarantee’ in the Age of Robots?

      Income Guarantee immunizes the serfs from that threat.

      1. Andrew Anderson

        What is ‘Job Guarantee’ in the Age of Robots?

        Excellent question!

        A JG’s purpose, similar to milk dumping in the 1930’s, is to destroy a commodity so as to raise the price of it. But what if there is very little demand for labor in the first place? Because of robots?

        1. Lambert Strether

          What kind of stupidity is this?

          1) What the JG does is set the baseline for all jobs, to some extent decrapifying them. If the commodity is labor power no, it doesn’t.

          2) “Industry” as Veblen points out is something that humans naturally do, often for the sheer pleasure of performance. I don’t see any reason why robots shouldn’t do stupid stuff and humans do interesting stuff and be well paid for it.

          That depends on who owns the robots, of course.

          1. Andrew Anderson

            I don’t see any reason why robots shouldn’t do stupid stuff and humans do interesting stuff and be well paid for it. Lambert Strether

            We certainly agree here but apparently disagree on the how of it. I can’t see how a BIG + generous minimum wage laws doesn’t help people much more that a JG and without subsidizing employers wrt labor costs. So what other reason(s) is/are there for favoring a JG over a BIG + generous minimum wage laws? What am I missing, if you please?

            This isn’t to say we shouldn’t spend generously on infrastructure; we should, but the goal should be accomplishing useful work rather than simply “employing” people, ie. let’s use bulldozers rather than teaspoons as Milton Freedman once quipped to the Red Chinese.

            That depends on who owns the robots, of course. Lambert Strether

            And thus the need for asset redistribution and fundamental money/banking reform to prevent or at least delay gross wealth inequality from occurring again.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Take care. I am still recovering after almost 3 weeks from a particularly nasty bout of flu.

  7. Victoria

    Re: FT article on misleading trade rhetoric in the campaign:

    Irked at the emphasis on worker retraining, which assumes that there is some kind of labor-intensive industry out there for workers to take part in. Instead, assume for a moment that our industrialized economy is on the way out, and will find its way into low-wage refuges for the foreseeable future, regardless of government policy. If this is true, what should workers be re-trained in? The only labor-intensive industry left with any staying power is homestead-level agriculture, which is not really an option except for people who have the money to buy and fix up a patch of land. Instead, most of the growth in decent work is in “healthcare” (i.e., caring for the old, who at least have the pensions to pay for the service) and in “policing” (crushing all potential resistance). The former is going to tap out in the not-too-distant future; the latter? we’ll have to see how much crushing people are prepared to put up with.

    1. Antifa

      “Crushing all resistance” isn’t straight forward all the way. You need some significant degree of social separation between those swinging the batons and those getting their heads cracked. If a policeman in the front row finds he’s beating on his neighbors, his children, or his mutinous peers, all enthusiasm for the work goes right out the window:

      “Aunt Edna!?? You’re here? You want Medicare for all?? How’s Uncle Ted doing, by the way?”

      The powers that be may need to bring in some mercenaries from, I dunno, Serbia or Nepal. Gurkhas are good at this sort of thing, aren’t they?

  8. Sam Adams

    RE: Lindsay Graham endorses Cruz.
    I love the perfume Miss Lindsay is wearing: Hypocrisy.

    1. flora

      Trump is a blowhard who doesn’t really scare me. “God’s-annointed” Ted is another matter.
      The DNC and the RNC will do anything to prevent a non-neoliberal, anti-TPP from becoming the candidate.

    1. Steve H.

      There is no compromise in Russia for jihadi incursion. Nor loss of the naval base. Democratic elections split along religious lines would mean Assad is out, and who guarantees the naval base?

      Two communication leaks highlight the issues:

      : The tape of Bandar threatening to unleash Chechen jihadis on the Sochi olympics.
      : Erdogan and his son moving $log7+ between dwellings.

      Until the Russian coast is logistically relevant for its navy, Istanbul is one bad choke point. To me, this feels more like drawing the bow back to aim at Erdogan for his complicity in Syria and the Ukraine.

      1. Gaianne

        About that Guardian article on Putin:

        English-language articles view everything from the point of view of force, bluff, and posturing. They never talk about goals and purposes.

        In contrast, the Russians–at least in this point in their history–think about goals and purposes all the time. Force, bluff, and posture do not matter at all except as they promote goals and purposes. (And then they do matter. Notice the Russians do not fight a war without intending to win it, and without knowing very precisely what winning consists of.)

        In short, the English-speaking world is unable to understand the simplest things.

        Nor is this just Feed for the Proles (TM). The oligarchs have been believing their own bullshit.


  9. Carla

    Spectacular antidote. May that pristine angel hover over you, Yves, and speed your recovery!

  10. TMoney

    Combat negative interest rates with 0% coupon bearer bonds or as most people know them – cash !

    1. Goyo Marquez

      Those 0% bearer bonds increase in value during a deflation. 0% means growth when the natural rate of interest is negative 5%. Ha ha.

      Questions economist never answer: Who profits from deflation?

        1. Dave

          If they are sitting on accessible cash savings, real assets and those that are debt free.

          If you owe money, it’s harder and harder to pay.

          The working Middle Class, covered by cost of living increases, thanks to unions, kept pace with inflation and easily paid off whatever fixed mortgages they still had. Yeah, I’m talking the 1960s/70s.

        2. vidimi

          the cash holders (ie the rich) profit. wage workers profit more from inflation as inflation reduces the value of cash and thus affects the rich much more.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘Who profits from deflation?’

        Bond holders. Here are real returns (adjusted for inflation and deflation) on the 10-year T-note:

        1929 ….. 3.6%
        1930 … 10.9%
        1931 ….. 6.7%
        1932 … 19.0%
        1933 ….. 1.1%

        For Uncle Sam’s coupon clippers, there was no bear market. For their benefit, Cadillac introduced a fine V-16 motor car in 1930.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It was miraculous that the evil bondholders weren’t able to make deflation permanent.

          But for those cash-hoarding geezers whose last remaining years in this world ended in 1933, they made out like bandits.

  11. Dino Reno

    The Fed’s latest meeting announcement on rates was a declaration of war on the dollar. It represents the biggest policy shift in the last two years and went largely unnoticed in the press. This is now a full on currency war. The Fed was defeated by European and Japanese policies to debase their currencies. The Fed’s previously stated
    plans to raise interest rates gradually is over. A new easing has begun. Free money is on loan again to stimulate more overcapacity. The one-time interest rate rise of a quarter of a point is all they are going to pull off.
    The got their nominal “normalization,” and crashed the market in the process. That won’t happen again.

    1. Jim Haygood

      One theory is that to stave off a threatened Chinese devaluation, the Yellenites agreed to back off on the rate hikes which were pressuring the yuan.

      If that theory is correct, then what we have now is a truce in the currency war.

      A second implication is that since Treasury rather than the Fed is officially responsible for exchange rates, some political arm-twisting of the ‘independent’ Fed may have occurred.

      One imagines J-Lew spelling out the facts of life to J-Yel, as her sidekick Stanley Mellon Fischer pouts in the corner.

        1. susan the other

          funny and such a masochistic currency war – we raise interest, the dollar soars, exports crash; China panics bec. capital flight, agrees to support yuan; we say OK we won’t hurt ourselves anymore…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            When nations trade, unless it is barter, the foreigners will always have more say than the people, the ‘supposed’ masters of the sovereign nation, when it comes to its currency and monetary policy.

            Foreigners are free not to take the currency, unless it’s the Hegemon’s Money, backed by force or backed by gold (many options).

            The people, whom the public servants serve, are required, by fiat, to take and use that money.

            Ask not, what the country can do for you. Ask what you can do for the economy.

            High Ideal.

            Another high ideal: Ask not what the economy can do for you, ask what you can do for the economy.

            The economy is not here to provide you with guarantee income or survival. You are here to make the economy strong.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              To me it’s the foundational logic behind competitive devaluations that make no sense at all: “let’s make our nation richer by making its citizens poorer”.
              (Sure. mercantilism, so how’s that working out for ya, aside from the shareholder class, that is).
              And since the rest of the world must buy a dollar before they can buy a barrel of oil or a bushel of wheat it seems really stupid.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If everyone is guaranteed income, what does it matter if the GDP contracts 1%?

      Or 3% (more guaranteed income)?

      Or 5% (more and more you know what)?

      Thus, we free ourselves of tolerating the Fed blowing more bubbles…because the economy.

      Right now, the way it is, the status quo, is for the serfs to pray to the omnipotent government (ONE MASTER TO SERVE NOW, because merger, you know) for EZ money.

    3. cwaltz

      Let’s hear it for global economies!

      Frankly, the market is overvalued and labor is undervalued, until there is more parity I suspect our economy will continue to struggle and be like a big ol rolle coaster. I suspect we’d be more stable if it were the other way around(labor overvalued and investment undervalued) but figure the odds of anyone ever telling the “jahb creators” that their contribution to the economy should be valued at smaller amounts than the little people who actually provide goods and services.

  12. Benedict@Large

    Another lame joke from the Onion (which was bought out by pro-Hillary forces). Oh sure, it’s cute, but not in the Onion’s style, where the headlines were often believable or at least close. Since the buyout, someone is being really careful that the treasure trove of headlines that Hillary is will not be disturbed. It is really pitiful when the elites won’t even let us have our humor.

    1. paul

      Will the former owner’s have a no compete clause in the buy-out?

      Will ‘satire’ methods and implementation fall under the ISDS,TTIP or TISA?

      Clearly, more research is needed, and all snark and smirk should be withheld until the treaties are finalised and made clear.

      But, as the most important vote since the last one, and until the next one, we should:


  13. DakotabornKansan

    Hillary is the lesser evil?

    “The National Endowment for Democracy, an agency created by the Reagan administration in 1983 to promote political action and psychological warfare against states not in love with US foreign policy, is Washington’s foremost non-military tool for effecting regime change.” – William Blum, America’s Deadliest Export

    Clinton’s with Reagan and the NED: “More than a quarter-century old, NDI and its siblings in the National Endowment for Democracy family have become vital elements of America’s engagement with the world.” Read this in its entirety to appreciate the following quote:

    “Common hypocrites pass themselves off as doves; political and literary hypocrites pose as eagles. But don’t be fooled by their eagle-like appearance. These are not eagles, but rats or dogs.” – Anton Chekhov

    1. vidimi

      i’m also leaning (more and more heavily) towards the argument that hillary is the greater evil. on foreign policy, she is about as bad as it gets. that is, she allows the worst of the establishment to do what they please. on economic issues and white collar crime, trump can’t possibly be as bad as hillary. the worst he can do is match her depravity. on domestic civil rights, arguably trump is worse but, as someone living abroad in the empire’s periphery, fp and economics are much bigger issues for me although america’s domestic policies often trickle through as well. everything else (eg climate change) is probably a push.

      furthermore, trump at his most outrageous, would face a lot of resistance from dem legislators who suddenly find their conscience when the president is a republican. hillary, at her worst, would get the gop’s full support. war on iran (thereby triggering world war)? don’t mind if we do. that sort of thing. when both options are evil, the less they are able to do the better.

      furthermore, hillary, while trying to appeal to republican voters, will shift ever more right. but this also means that she will push the gop even further right in an effort to differentiate themselves and paint her as a liberal. the entire overton window will thus shift right again. a clinton defeat has the chance of putting an end to the clinton/blair project and thereby shifting the overton window even a tiny bit to the left.

      1. paul

        The MIC post further down the page shows that is a distinction w/o a difference.
        The donald (if sincere) will have the same medical/military/intelectual/financial/wealth complex(as expressed through congress and senate) to deal with.
        If, the candidate the establishment quite clearly wants, mrs clinton does not win the hearts of the american minds, they’ll work with him.
        Cooking temperature, don’t burn yourself.

  14. JohnnyGL

    Dem party elites can’t wait to bury the Sanders campaign, with an assist from the gray lady, of course. Looks like Obama pronounced the race over to big donors even before 3/15.

    My question is how angry and bitter is Bernie Sanders getting about how he and his campaign have been treated by the party? I know a lot of us hold out hope that he’ll go for a more public split with the party. Is he both motivated enough and confident enough to go for a longer term split? After all, he doesn’t need their money and he already doesn’t have their support. What’s left for him to lose?

    1. JohnnyGL

      I’m not sure how to read into stuff like this. Is this a real knife in the back for Bernie? Or maybe isn’t that big of a deal?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Obama is a Republican. Sanders is a threat to his policies and dreams of a legacy. Obama set such a low bar for a Democratic President, overshadowing Obama should be easy. For a guy obsessed with his image, Hillary is the obvious choice. She might even lose and do what Gore did for Bill’s image.

      2. Alejandro

        IMO, the “value” of the NYT, WaPo etc. is in the so-called “meta-data” of the status quo. Skimmed the piece yesterday, and what jumped for me was the timing and wording of the title, plus who was assigned to “interpret” the Presidents POV…the “fait accompli” argument is only effective if unchallenged, and as pointed out by others, it’s only half-time.

    2. Lambert strethet

      Donors can’t influence Sanders, because he doesn’t need them. And maxed out donors (of whom I think there are many) can’t help Clinton. So an appeal for dark money, I guess?

    3. cwaltz

      Sanders has been dealing with the Democratic party for several decades. He’s probably not angry or bitter. His voters are probably another story.

      1. Vatch

        His voters are probably another story.

        No kidding! There’s no way in perdition that I will vote in the general election for the world’s greatest commodities trader for President. (Hat tip to Jim Haygood)

        I still hope that states like California will provide Sanders with the delegates that he needs, although I realize it’s a slim hope.

        1. JohnnyGL

          The gap’s just too big at this point for him to win the majority of pledged delegates. The south really killed him. If he could have kept his losses to 60-40 instead of 70-30 and even 80-20 in some states like Alabama and Mississippi, then he’d have stayed within striking distance. Now, the mountain to climb is just too big.

          I still think he should stay in and try to win more states and keep the gap as close as possible. There’s real value in doing that. If he only loses by, say, 100 pledged delegates and wins a couple of big states like CA, PA or NY, then he’s in a stronger position for whatever he wants to do next.

          1. Vatch

            I still think he should stay in and try to win more states and keep the gap as close as possible.

            I strongly agree! People who live in states with upcoming primaries or caucuses should vote for Sanders. Anyone who has friends or relatives in any of those states should let them know just how bad Hillary Clinton is, and should emphasize the importance of voting for Sanders.

          2. cwaltz

            I’m sure he’ll stay in as long as he feels he can bring attention and enthusiasm to issues like income inequality.

            I do suspect the DNC is going to be mighty disappointed though when he leaves the race and they find that his small donors could care less whether Secretary Clinton wins or loses or for that matter whether the DNC wins or loses.

            They’re gambling big because if Hillary loses the final branch of government control they have they become pretty darn irrelevant.

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            If he can’t project, at this point in time, winning the nomination, then, it becomes ‘sending a message.’

            In that regard, Jill Stein enters into consideration…even more preferable for some or many.

            And the message for the future, the next election cycle, is Obama has been more than weak, among other messages.

        2. Ed S.


          Thanks for the reminder — California is a semi-CLOSED primary state for Presidential Nomination. So if you are a “decline to state” party preference registered CA voter, you need to re-register and state your party preference to vote for the presidential candidate.

          From the League of Women Voters:

          Presidential Primary
          If you are registered to vote with a political party, you will be given a ballot for that party in a Presidential primary election.

          If you are unaffiliated with any party (sometimes called “no party preference” or “decline to state”), you will be given a nonpartisan ballot, containing only the names of all candidates for nonpartisan offices and any ballot measures to be voted upon at the primary election.

          Or, you may be able to request the ballot of one of the political parties at the polls or on your vote-by-mail ballot request form. Each political party has the option of allowing decline-to-state voters to vote in their Presidential primary.

          If you’re registered, you can ‘re-register’ online:

          registertovote dot ca dot gov

          1. jrs

            By the way the parties you are allowed to state if you are not registered with a party in CALIFORNIA (only speaking about California here) are: Democratic, Libertarian and one obscure 3rd party (it’s not the Greens).

            Ok so for Bernie Sander’s independents, fill it out for Democrat ASAP and vote the Bern. But it is interesting to note that only registered Republicans will vote in the Republican primary here not independents no matter how much they want to. And independents will only vote in the Democratic primary if they go through the extra steps of requesting a Dem ballot (I have by mail, I don’t trust anything left to the last day). Like much else about California I don’t think this portends well for Bernie in California . But I could be wrong.

          2. Vatch

            Thanks for the useful information. You got me wondering about the New York primary, and it’s a closed primary.


            To vote in the upcoming Presidential Primary, you must be a registered Republican or Democrat. For already registered voters, any change to party enrollment was to have been requested by October 9th, 2015 in order for it to have gone into effect and be applicable for any primary election occurring in 2016 or beyond. The deadline for new voter registrations is March 25th.

            It looks like several other populous states, such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey, will also have closed primaries. Wisconsin will have an open primary, and Washington state will have an open caucus.

          3. Jeff W

            So if you are a “decline to state” party preference registered CA voter, you need to re-register and state your party preference to vote for the presidential candidate.

            That’s not right. If you want to vote in the Democratic primary in California, you can be registered either as a Democrat or as having “No Party Preference” (which used to be called “decline to state”). If you are registered as having “No Party Preference,” you can—and must—request a Democratic ballot (at the polls or on your vote-by-mail ballot request form) to vote for one of the Democratic candidates (e.g., Bernie Sanders).

            If you are registered as something else—Republican, Green, Peace & Justice, etc.—you cannot vote in the Democratic primary (that’s what makes the Democratic primary “semi-closed”), you have to be registered as either Democratic or “No Party Preference.”

            If you want to change your affiliation to Democratic or No Party Preference, you can do so easily online.

            The deadline to register or change your registration (which is the same thing in California—you change your registration by registering again) is 23 May 2016.

      2. TomD

        If anything Sanders should be hearted by how close he came with all the forces at work against him.

        1. cwaltz

          I doubt that’s the case either. As it stands he’s already said one of the reasons he ran is because time is running out for American citizens to turn this around and give the government process back to the people. This cycle has pretty much confirmed what he already knew, a select group of people have a stranglehold on democracy. As it stands when you look at Trump supporters you see that the political revolution that results from the stranglehold may very well NOT be peaceful or nearly as painless.

          1. jrs

            Time is running out on that just because of the trade deals alone that establish corporate oligarchy in law, not just in fact. So much for democracy such as it is.

    4. Lord Koos

      Sanders was never really “one of them” in the first place, so I doubt he’s bitter over how he’s treated by the Democrats. How he’s been treated/ignored in the media is another story.

      A friend of mine was substitute teaching some ninth graders yesterday, when he asked the class about Bernie Sanders only one kid had even heard of him.

      1. James Levy

        Elizabeth Drew’s latest in the NY Review of Books states that Sanders is disliked in the Senate and no one there wants to hear his “holier than thou” speeches about this being a corrupt political system. Drew herself seems completely lost as she obviously holds Sanders in contempt and hates Trump, yet acknowledges that they are speaking some awful truths to a lot of people who have gotten shafted in this society. It’s just that Drew cannot imagine doing anything to redress those grievances or comprehend that Clinton’s resume does not equal talent.

        1. cwaltz

          Commentary I have read says the opposite. People from the other side of the aisle seem to respect him even though they disagree with him because he’s genuine and passionate about what he believes. *shrugs*

          Personally, I tend to look at things from a result perspective and from a result perspective it’s Clinton who won’t be able to get anything done. I’m pretty sure if by some miracle she manages to win that from day 1 a Republican Congress is going to be investigating her and her numerous dealings that appear to be less than aboveboard. I’d be amazed if she lasts 4 years without being impeached by the House.

        2. myshkin

          I remember watching a Senate hearing a few years back, Bernie had the floor and was angrily remonstrating while a couple of Republicans in the wings were sniggering contemptuously.
          My impression is sincerity regarding the people’s business is treated largely as a joke in the US congress, the Mr.Smith does DC syndrome.

        3. myshkin

          Drew can be annoying but she’s been watching the slap stick routines for a good long while and I think she’s got the hang of it. She does have her prejudices but she has a decent grasp of the recent (last fifty years) history.

          I find this description from the NYRB article fair,
          “One cause for the populist movements is that the Democratic Party has moved away from its previous identity as champion of the working class to representing the creators of high tech industries and of derivatives and sub-prime mortgages. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton famously “triangulated,” seeking a “third way,” racing to the center. Sanders calls himself a Democratic-Socialist but from what he says he’s a New Dealer in an age where New Deal impulses have long since been abandoned. Obama, whose Treasury secretaries and top economic advisor, like Bill Clinton’s, came from Wall Street or were highly sympathetic toward it, stopped short of punishing the executives of the financial institutions whose practices led to the great recession of 2007-2008. The banks were bailed out, but not the workers. The fact that no leading bankers were prosecuted for economic crimes is a source of great anger among the working class.”

          In the next paragraph she betrays her inside the beltway cynics bias and purposefully misconstrues Sanders,
          “His demand that Hillary Clinton release transcripts of her speeches to the firm are disingenuous. Certainly she made some complementary remarks to her well-paying hosts, but Sanders knows full well that deals wouldn’t be made in the course of such appearances.”

          I think what Sanders understands and the Clintons are smart enough to obfuscate is the perception of corruption. Better to be the majorette out in front of the parade, anticipating the banksters wildest ‘market solution’ enthusiasms and thereby sidestepping attacks on quid pro quo dealings and vulnerability.

          By his charismatic electability and talent for equivocation, Bill essentially destroyed the Democratic Party and knocked the political spectrum in the country right, off-center-right when it had an opportunity to go another way. Just what Hillary is up to after Bill’s gambit is cause for great distress. The recent events in Honduras are telling along with the smoudering ruins of the Arab Spring and the rest of her work as SOS.

  15. roadrider

    Re: Blackout Tuesday

    I listened to this speech. Very powerful and he does call out Clinton on the Iraq War vote and Wall St ties but somehow not on her WalMart ties when he discusses how their low-wage work force relies on Medicaid and Food Stamps.

    Yeah, it was WAY more important to air every verbal fart that carnival barker Trump emits than Sanders’ speech. After all, he’s already been declared the loser (which, incidentally, never kept them from devoting oodles of air time to Marco Rubio).

    1. PQS

      As I pointed out to a friend yesterday, I want to send a 50 foot banner to every single MSM outlet that says, “This is all your fault, you idiots” because their non-stop, wall-to-wall, totally uncritical coverage of Trumpolini has truly been a vector to bring us to where we are.

      He is such a public person with a long career in front of the cameras, that it is very, very hard to believe that if they had done THEIR JOBS that he would have gotten so far. Some well placed, even remotely critical questions and clips of his more outrageous behavior over the years might have slowed his ascent. But no, they just couldn’t stop being greedy for even one second.

      1. jrs

        Yes in all the (usually poorly substantiated) analysis of what motivates people to vote for Trump the most obvious thing is just exposure. Of course exposure alone may not be sufficient but it’s a large part of it. It’s an explanation that people don’t like to hear because it denies not only that people are rational actors but even that people are irrational *actors* (say voting for Trump because they are full of hate of minorities or overly fearful of terrorism or etc.) as it has them to a large degree not actors AT ALL but acted upon by the media. But it’s very very true. If all the Trump exposure doesn’t help then every penny spent on advertising ever was a waste of money.

    2. JaaaaayCeeeee

      I wish I knew how to contact the Sanders campaign, because they would benefit greatly from pointing out that another media black out of another Bernie Sanders speech this week, is arguably much worse than blacking out his Tuesday speech, and it would be as useful as the Sanders’ campaign tweeting out that Bernie Sanders was standing right behind Hillary.

      NBC published within hours the Clinton transcript of the Monday, 3/14/16 MSNBC Clinton Town Hall.

      NBC did NOT publish video or the transcript of their same day MSNBC Sanders Town Hall.

      Clinton did her usual, calling Bernie Sanders a reflexive protectionist, who is so against anything international at all that he announces his opposition to trade or climate treaties before anything is even signed.

      The longest segment of the Sanders MSNBC Town Hall (over 5 minutes taking multiple questions from the audience and Chuck Todd, starting about 20 minutes in) was on free trade. Sanders explained how he is not a protectionist, is for free trade, how we can negotiate free trade treaties he would sign, how we can negotiate free trade treaties that help lift millions out of poverty without impoverishing our own workers.

      Daily, news media tells voters that Bernie Sanders is a protectionist like Donald Trump.

      If NBC published the transcript of Bernie Sander’s MSNBC Town Hall, as it did Clinton’s, news media and the Clinton campaign would lose one of their better smears against Bernie Sanders. Voters eventually get blamed for being misinformed, but this misinformation debunking could really help Sanders when he needs it.

      People at Naked Capitalism know that Clinton is campaigning by proxy against Elizabeth Warren’s signature reform, which pundits regularly obsfucate, by advising Clinton to select Warren for VP. People here know that campaigning on Sanders being a dangerous, leftie radical whose agenda is DOA and has exactly the same goals that Hillary Clinton has for voters, is a crock.

      But there is now a way for the Sanders campaign to make it more difficult for NBC and the rest of media to misrepresent Sanders on free trade. It would be as obvious as that video the Sanders campaign sent out immediately, telling Clinton exactly where Sanders was, when she was fighting for health care in 1992 and 1993. My problem is that I can’t create the text tweet without the transcript, or make the vine or whatever, but the Sanders campaign or his young supporters could.

  16. inhibi

    RE: Heavy Recruitment of Chinese Students Sows Discord on U.S. Campuses

    I had a lot of Chinese friends in college, and yes many of them were from super wealthy families in Hong Kong or Beijing, though you can’t really blame them for not “integrating” into the American way of life (fraternities, binge drinking, etc). They are ill equipped compared to the Indians who all speak extremely good English, and because most top US schools have a large percentage of Chinese students, they find each other and congregate.

    What I do blame are the school administrations hell bent on extracting as much wealth as possible from wealthy Chinese to the detriment of US students. There should be a cap on how many foreign students are allowed. While its great to promote diversity, the #1 focus of American universities should be to EDUCATE the AMERICAN populace. Not extract wealth and forge connections with the 0.01%.

    And yes, it does sow discord to see ones family go bankrupt sending you to college, and then to see a Chinese student driving a Mercedes E550 to class. But the anger should be towards the years of offshoring jobs by American Mega Corporations, and the school administrations for supporting such a trend.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sadly, college education is not about enlightenment anymore.

      It’s about meeting potential mates and other rich children from around the world, for those who are smart enough to realize that.

      The rest just hope to get certified that they are competent enough to serve the rich and their transnational corporations. And hopefully, the government can make that preparation tuition free.

    2. DJG

      All of the Indian students speak good English? You mean that the colleges aren’t recruiting from small towns in Kerala state? Sounds as though the Chinese and Indian upper classes are both providing students, and the universities label them as “international students” (my alma mater does): Who are here to provide diversity. Because nothing is more diverse than mixing the ruling class.

    3. petal

      I agree with you, inhibi. I was hesitant to write anything out of fear of retribution but I have had a front row seat for this topic. Don’t know where to start, though. I don’t usually dig the WSJ articles, but this one was pretty spot on. The Chinese business students (of which I see the most of because a lot of them live in my apartment complex) drive very flash cars(very high end BMWs, mostly) and wear the $900+ Canada Goose coats. You can see them coming from a mile away. A certain number(say around 20%) of graduate student spots (at least in certain programs) are set aside for Chinese students. The pipeline was set up and maintained by a couple of elder professors originally from that country. Don’t even try to tell me there is an American STEM shortage. It’s BS. American kids that want to get PhD’s in the sciences are being displaced in the name of “diversity” and “international cooperation”. Their lab skills don’t match up to what their CV and/or publishing record says(one supposedly had an MS from the same uni I graduated from but didn’t know what pH or acids were, and two other students couldn’t do assays they had supposedly used to publish a paper), they tend to be very arrogant, think rules don’t apply to them, but have difficulty surviving classes and some get culled out by quals in year 2. There’s known fraud in the application process(this has been written about in the past). Sexism is a problem-the male students get put under the supervision of female post docs but refuse to listen to them and talk down to them, and they run to the (male) PI. It’s so blatant. Some PI’s have labs that are nearly(or) all Chinese and seem to only recruit from China. It benefits the PI in multiple ways-the workers/students are then isolated and easier to control due to language, they get pressed into working longer hours, and are not always given benefits in order to save money. Think sweatshops. These PI’s have large grants from the US government but still have strong ties to China. The college sees the rich Chinese students as goldmines, especially the undergraduates, and has taken steps to funnel the rich ones in and screen out the poorer ones(that World Bank guy took steps when he was in charge). I had better stop here. Sorry for the rant, but I see this on a daily basis. I am angry at the administrators that let this go on and actively encourage it, and I’m disgusted with our government, and the corps that support it on the back end after these students graduate.

      1. bob

        “American kids that want to get PhD’s in the sciences are being displaced in the name of “diversity” and “international cooperation”.”

        I think it’s more simple than that. One of the only ways for these students to stay stateside is to be students. These kids can afford to be students, for a long time. They pay for the privilege.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The current focus is on producing genius and super-genius babies, so that, in the future, they don’t have to be students for a long time.

          Faster turnout means more rich foreign students can come in to get certified and make friends with other rich students of the world.

        1. Jess

          Boy, you’re not kidding. UC San Diego is something like 50% Oriental. UCLA is now said to stand for “University of California Lots of Asians”. But it’s not just foreign nationals, it’s the emphasis on out-of-state students who pay about $22K a year additional tuition.

    4. NeqNeq

      Its important not to get too carried away by wsj fluff work. To get a sense of the scope of the actual situation:

      There are 975k “International Students” in the US (wsj stats)
      About 30% are Chinese (wsj stats)
      There are 17.4 Million students enrolled at degree granting institution (NCES stats)
      10.9 Million are full time students (NCES)

      International students account for 5.6% of all students or 8.9% of full timers
      Chinese students account for 1.8% to 2.9% of students.

      Even at Oregon State,international students only make up 12% of the student body. And 1\2 of the chinese students are majoring in something few American students go for…so not much competition.

      This story is the white collar version of the “Damn Mexicans r takin muh jahbs” schtick.

      1. petal

        Every little bit adds up. That post doc and then scientist position at a pharma in Cambridge that could have gone to an American? Gone to a Chinese national. The 5 student positions (funded by American tax dollars) each year given to Chinese nationals instead of American kids? Yeah. It adds up. What should we call it? Soft outsourcing? It’s some great hollowing out going on there. Drip drip drip.

  17. Matthew Saroff

    The EU needs to get tough on negotiations with the Turks over refugees, because the Turks keep escalating.

    Getting tough would mean:
    * Make it more difficult for Turks to send remittances back home.
    * Start sending Turks working in the EU (mostly Germany) home to, “Make space for the Refugees”.

    Because the pattern now is:
    * Negotiate a deal.
    * Find that the Turks have new demands when the it is time to sign.
    * Rinse, lather, repeat.

    It would have the advantage of cutting into Erdogan’s political support, and it would make him look weak, and I think that Erdogan is a disaster for everyone not named Erdogan.

  18. TedWa

    Thanks for the banned from TV Bernie consolation speech, not covered in favor of waiting on Trump to speak. You’d almost think they (the MSM) want Trump to win.

  19. TedWa

    The blackout’d Bernie consolation speech. He told Wal-mart to get off welfare and pay their workers a living wage. Luv it! My bumper sticker says “No more corporate welfare”. Thanks for posting this since everyone seems to have not seen it.

    1. Vatch

      Turmeric (especially when mixed with black pepper or lecithin) is quite beneficial (according to many sources). Saffron is very expensive, and might be financially out of reach for many people.

      1. polecat

        I grow saffron crocus…very easy to do so! You just have to remember to cut off any irrigation by early/mid summer, as the bulbs’ foliage dies back, do to approaching dormancy. Also…the bulbs need to be divided approx. every couple of years, and replanted in late summer/early fall to increase vigor……sure, you won’t be harvesting a lot of stigmas from any one flower, but remember…a little goes a long way!

        …and remember also: more bulbs = more saffron!

  20. EmilianoZ

    It looks like people here are starting to lose hope in Sanders. If we throw in the towel now, it means we are allowing the system to beat us, the DNC which has scheduled all most unfavorable states in the 1st half, the media which has ignored then dismissed Sanders.

    It’s time we remind ourselves of the quote, which I found somewhere in William K Black’s book “The best way to rob a bank”.

    It is not necessary to hope in order to act, nor to succeed in order to persevere.

    William of Orange

    1. cwaltz

      I was always realistic about his chances. Those with power aren’t going to just hand it back to the people it belongs to. People are going to have to take it back and it may take more than one cycle for them to work past the two party obstacle.

      I almost hope the GOP kneecaps Trump. I want those that are like us on the right to also acknowledge the system is rigged against them.

      It IS the one thing we have in common.

    2. Steve H.

      Internecine politics can produce odd results. There are indictments floating in the aether.

      “Let all the poison that lurks in the mud, hatch out.”

    3. tegnost

      why does it look like people are losing hope? I don’t see that. If you waste any time watching televised media, in that case I can see how one might think that. I went over all the comments and saw no lost hope anywhere (until yours). Losing hope and expressing justifiable dissatisfaction are two different things. Despite all the attempts to paint inevitability I still believe dems better get behind bernie if they really don’t want prezzie trump.

    1. PhilK

      I just watched The Veneer of Justice in a Kingdom of Crime. Very impressive, and I highly recommend it to all. Thanks!

  21. Jim Haygood

    Veteran journo Eric Margolis reports from the Trump mansion:

    Trump is right on target when he calls for an even-handed approach to resolving the Arab-Israeli struggle. By daring to utter the term “even-handed,” Trump sent the US Israel lobby into a fury, touching the third rail of US politics. Compare Trump’s sensible Mideast position to that of Rubio, Cruz, Kasich and Clinton, who got on their knees to pledge allegiance to Israel.

    After investing tens of millions in buying up the US Congress and influencing media, the pro-Israel neocon war party now sees its huge investment jeopardized and its power under attack. If Trump has his way, US Mideast policy will be written in Washington, not Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Billions in overt and secret US aid to Israel could be jeopardized.

    We’ll see how accurate Margolis’s perceptions are, when Trump addresses the AIPAC convention on Monday. A group of rabbis is planning to protest:

    Come Together Against Hate’s plan is to either skip the speech altogether or silently walk out after Trump is introduced, then assemble outside and study Jewish scripture about what Rabbi David Paskin called the “opposite” of Trump — love and decency.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s like the marriage annulment – it never existed.

      It’s also like removing the images of Akhenaten – he never existed.

      If you don’t exist, we don’t have to deal with you. We walk out. To talk about ‘even-handedness’ is beneath us.

    2. Carolinian

      Last time Trump appeared before AIPAC (I think it was AIPAC) he said he thought Netanyahu was a great guy but that the attendees shouldn’t expect him to be swayed by money and contributions since he already had plenty. This may have been greeted by stunned silence. Bibi could dye his hair orange to get in solid with the Trumpster although he can’t borrow Trump’s hair stylist since Trump does it himself (according to his butler). At any rate Trump unlikely to deploy the kid gloves Obama uses while dealing with a man he by all accounts despises.

  22. bob

    I dunno, I think it’s photoshopped.

    Either of the birds could be the trump. Spin it, you’ll see…..

  23. Synoia

    Lindsey Graham, Who Said He Would Rather Be Shot or Poisoned Than Endorse Ted Cruz, Is Endorsing Ted Cruz

    When will Lindsey Graham fulfill his original offer? Will it be televised?

  24. barrisj

    I noticed that in today’s “Links” that there were a couple of more unflattering “Big Pharma” articles, to add to the hundreds that have appeared over the past two decades or so. I can remember when the drug industry was always considered one of the most admired in public polling data, but has now fallen to levels “enjoyed” by Big Tobacco. Here is a first-rate article published in Nature Biotechnology in 2014 which goes into extensive detail on how Big Pharma has declined in public status, and how it can win back the public trust it once enjoyed…extremely well-written, and well-researched, and authored by Mark Kessel, who is is chairman of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), counsel to Shearman and Sterling LLP and a founding partner of Symphony Capital LLP. Not someone you would consider a “disaster capitalism” advocate!

    Restoring the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation

    Mark Kessel

    Nature Biotechnology

    Published online
    09 October 2014

    Too lengthly to quote extensively, but Kessel holds nothing back, a flaying critique of an industry who now flaunts its misdeeds as “best practices”.

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Second Kon-Tiki rescued.

    I watched the film of the first one, and it appeared that they were lucky to have made.

    So, explorations are not risk-free.

    So far, the success rate is 50%. We need bigger a bigger sample size (bigger than 2 – and that goes for all scientific replication experiments).

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Meditation plus running to treat depression.

    There is your ‘economic’ value right there.

    People to be paid income for meditation and running…because that is a job and also an adventure.

    And we know that’s one ‘job’ robots can’t replace humans.

  27. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Greek refugees: the Grey Lady ogles the misery from her ivory tower, lamenting the squalid state of affairs in that “other place” with no hint of the COMPLICITY AND RESPONSIBILITY AMERICA HAS BY RAINING BOMBS FOR THE LAST 15 YEARS ON THE COUNTRIES THESE PEOPLE CAME FROM IN THE FIRST PLACE.
    (Sorry for shouting)

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