Links 3/27/16

An Amazing Collection of Over 550 Coffee Lids and an Exploration of the Challenges Designers Faced When Making Them Laughing Squid

Argentine cleaner Enrique Ferrari’s double life as prize-winning writer Art of Kenya

A Cambridge professor on how to stop being so easily manipulated by misleading statistics Quartz (resilc)

Logical fallacies – tools to debunk pseudoscience Skeptical Raptor (furzy)

Tay Exposes the Fairy Tales We Tell Ourselves About Racists New Republic

As The Independent launches its next chapter, my thanks to our most important allies – that’s you Independent. Chuck L: “The Independent goes 100% digital.”

Robert De Niro pulls anti-vaccination film from Tribeca film festival Guardian

Toxic Chocolate As You Sow (Judy B)

Look out Cuba, here we come The Conversation. Glenn F: “Aaahh!! Nothing like the smell of Roundup in the morning.”

Djibouti: How a Forgotten Country Became a Hub of International Power Games Bloomberg (resilc)

Refugee Crisis

The Blaster: Grand Strategic Blowback for Neo-Imperial War Consortium News. Chuck L: “I’m sending the link to this re-post of John Marshall’s piece at Consortium News instead of the CN link itself because I think Chuck Spinney’s brief introduction makes more explicit the strategic gravity of the threat that the current wave of uncontrolled immigration presents to Europe.”

Refugee Crisis Update: Greece Begins Emptying Idomeni Refugee Camp On Border With Macedonia International Business Times


In Brussels Bombing Plot, a Trail of Dots Not Connected New York Times

Brussels attacks: Man charged with terrorist offences BBC


Brexit Campaign Gathers 250 Business Executives Including Former HSBC CEO; Project Fear Michael Shedlock (furzy)

NHS would be put under threat by Brexit, says Jeremy Hunt Guardian

Would Britain face break-up after Brexit? Telegraph


Unlikely partners? How Western media largely ignored State Dept-Google-Al Jazeera plot against Assad RT

Iran’s ‘Suez Canal’: Tehran Could Connect Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf Sputnik. Chuck L: “Follow up comment: A quick look at online maps of Iran suggest to me that the listed projected cost of $7B is ridiculously low, probably by an order of magnitude or more. There are mountains to be traversed or moved, and the crow-fly distance is about 500 miles!”

Imperial Collapse Watch

“Despite the Handicap of Her Sex”: Dr. Cora Du Bois, American Bad-Ass of the OSS in Southeast Asia War on the Rocks. I’m putting it here so you can see the difference between how the US approached intelligence not all that long ago v. now. Even if you know about the OSS, this gives some illuminating detail.

30 Americans die worldwide from Terrorism annually, while 130,000 die by accident Juan Cole

Empty American promises and the lives they can cost Reuters

Highlighting Western Victims While Ignoring Victims of Western Violence Intercept

The US has become a “muffled zone.” Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The FAA logged more than 500 drone incidents in six months The Verge (resilc)

Law enforcement investigators seek out private DNA databases WTOP. Readers may recall that I deemed people who turned over their DNA to vendors who tied it to their health apps to be nuts. And more generally, I’ve also been of the school that unless you are in a gene pool which has a strong tendency to certain specific and nasty genetic risks, that you were similarly nuts to have you DNA collected and tested. This confirms my reading of where this was going to wind up. Chuck L: “It’s because of news stories like this that we need an emoji for disgust.”

A new bill would force prepaid phone buyers to register themselves The Verge

Police State Watch

Why Are Educators Learning How to Interrogate Their Students? New Yorker (furzy)


Sanders wins Democratic caucuses in trio of Western states Washington Post

Sanders crushes Clinton in Alaska and Washington Democratic caucuses Guardian

Seattle Money Loves Hillary, But Bernie Raises More In WA Overall KUOW. Martha r: “With color map showing where candidates $$ is coming from (including Repub) in WA.”

Bernie Sanders pulls even with Hillary Clinton in a new poll. Because it’s the economy, stupid. Washington Post (furzy)

A Dozen Reasons Sanders Voters Are Justifiably Angry at the Media Right Now Huffington Post


Sanders sharpens attacks for N.Y. showdown that may dash Clinton’s unity hopes Washington Post (furzy). Translation: Clinton tries to blame lack of receptivity among most Sanders voters on Sander’s (finally) taking aim at her, as opposed to their existing antipathy for her.

6 Ways Elizabeth Warren Trashed Trump This Week—And Stood by Bernie Alternet. Note the contrast between this article and the comments in the Post story immediately above re Warren. The Clinton camp seems to be messaging that Warren’s attacks on Trump were pro-Clinton, as opposed to attacks on Trump. In other words, “not A” is not necessarily the same as “B”.

Bernie Sanders Would Now Outraise Clinton Almost 2-to-1 With Small Donor Matching Fund Intercept (furzy)

The Remarkable Bernie Sanders Journey That Will Overcome the Crowning of Clinton Common Dreams (martha r)

Sample Questions from the Trump University Final Exam New Yorker (furzy)

Donald Trump Wants the United States to Run a Global Protection Racket Gawker

Trump and the Tea Party Jacobin (resilc)

Does Trump Have a Foreign Policy? National Interest Blog. Resilc: “Better than Clintoon LLC and her neoconzzz.”

In Donald Trump’s Worldview, America Comes First, and Everybody Else Pays New York Times

John McCain: Salute to a Communist New York Times (Kevin F)

The $2.5 Billion U.S. Power Line That No State Can Stop Bloomberg (resilc)

The Business Backlash to North Carolina’s LGBT Law Atlantic

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Queens Drive-Thru: The Negro Motorist Green Book Culinary Backstreets

In Yahoo, Another Example of the Buyback Mirage Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times. Remember that Yahoo also turned down a buyout offer from Microsoft in 2008 of $45 billion, and Microsoft was considering going as high as $50 billion?

Rent Extraction Watch

Health Insurance Premiums Rising Faster Than Wages Free Beacon (Chuck L)

Class Warfare

Meet Concierge Connie; Sophia, Your Medical Robot; “Joy for All” Robotic Pets; DC Delivery Bots Michael Shedlock. EM:

Mish busy shopping online for his newest robo-bride. Prediction: those sidewalk-scurrying giant-cockroach delivery bots are gonna be a huge target for vandalism, quite possibly from the human workers they displace, or an emergent neo-Luddite ‘disappeared by robots’ movement – much of the same demographic behind Trump’s rise. The techno ‘solution’, obviously, will be to equip the next-gen robots with ‘enhanced surveillance tech’ and defense mechanisms like pepper spray, blaring sirens, etc. Robots vs humans warring in what once were public sidewalks and spaces. Gotta get those 4am pizzas to the pudgy fast-fingered code monkeys welded into their office chairs and to the government types who rarely see the light of day on time!

Winter in the Hamptons: food pantries, poverty and homelessness Guardian

What the Clinton Library Says About Welfare Reform Atlantic

Robert Reich: We’re talking about the largest redistribution of wealth to the rich in American history Salon

Antidote du jour. Via JessM, a story at The Dodo about a lion named Lambert who loves blankets. Here are photos as a cub and as a young adult. The story has lots of pix and videos too.

lambert as cub

Lambert as adult links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Vatch

      Excellent news! I guess people can now learn the extent of the damage to the historical monuments.

    1. farrokh bulsara

      That was an excellent segment on TYT and really should be watched from the beginning of the interview. It explains the whole “Feel The Bern” phenomena.

      1. Cry Shop

        Yes, I thought it was good too, but that statement from Sanders was the best news I’ve heard in ages. It would be a painful blow to the reform movement if he both did fail to win the nomination and then stood behind that crooked, lying, neo-liberal snake.

  1. pretzelattack

    a commenter at the guardian said sanders was awarded only 20 something delegates (clinton 8) so far in washington, that there was further caucusing to do? anybody know precisely how many delegates he won?

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      It’s weird. I hope it is just a time delay for official counts to be signed off/registered. But who knows with the Dem Party cheating that has occurred at every turn.

      Here’s the WA tally from politico.
      Delegates Allocated: 48 of 118

      B. Sanders 72.7% 19,159 Delegates 23
      H. Clinton 27.1% 7,140 Delegates 18
      Uncommitted 0.2% 46 Delegates 7

      1. diptherio


        Clinton wins 27% of the vote but takes home 44% of the delegates?!? Surely, you must be joking….please, tell me you’re joking….

        1. Tony S

          Have there been any primaries in which Bernie Sanders happened to be the beneficiary of a disproportionate delegate allocation?

          Funny how all the aberrations seem to redound to Hillary’s advantage. Even the coin flips in Iowa…

        2. EndOfTheWorld

          What is the deal in WA? It can’t be that complicated—but I have yet to see an explanation of how the delegates are parceled out in the state. I assume it’s the same as the other states, but the way it’s being reported is a lot of the delegates are up for grabs despite the election. Then why have an election?

          1. Lord Koos

            I’m in WA state and had never caucused before so I don’t know why it works that way. In our small precinct caucus group, we had 38 people, 10 went for HIllary, 28 for Bernie. But the delegate split was one for Bernie, one for Hillary. If we could have turned just one person to switch their vote for Sanders, he would have gotten both delegates. But people’s minds were made up and no one flipped.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Is that like a baseball game, where one teams gets 9 singles, one per inning, and zero walks?

              The other team gets 5 singles and zero walks, but all in one inning, and actually scores some runs.

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Over at the Republican show, from time to time, they have winner-take-all.

          Zero proportionality.

          That favors the candidate who loses often 70% to 30%, but wins 51%-48% in the remaining states – his/her 51% becomes 100%, while the other’s 70% also becomes 100%.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Sanders was not a Democrat until recently.

          He, of course, probably employs many Democrats, but if they are aware of the rules, and if they know any funny business, they should and would make them known.

          Rules like how super-delegates are assigned and how they can vote. If you go into a game, you agree to the rules beforehand. You don’t ask to review the rules in the middle of the game.

          Of course, rules are made to be broken. And the customer is always right, so people (but not basketball players in the NCAA finals tournament) can ask that rules be changed (now, not next season). They can change them, or they can refuse

          The customer then has the choice of staying put or going to another establishment.

          And we know where this is going…after the season is over.

          1. pretzelattack

            i’m sure they knew the process would be disadvantageous to his campaign in many respects, going in. i don’t know when he made the decision to run, but i don’t get the feeling he is doing it out of narcissism, but rather out of duty–so he wasn’t going to be as well prepared as he might have been if he had been running for 4 years like many of the others (if only informally).

      2. Patricia

        It’s a byzantine process.

        At Reddit (SandersForPresident, bernie_sanders_wins_washington), Rufus Threepwood wrote:

        “The final delegates won’t be known for months. Precinct-level delegates were elected today. Next month they will caucus and elect legislative district delegates, who will later elect congressional district delegates, who will go to the state convention in June and elect the delegates to the national convention.”

        Beneath that, Sikhkid47 wrote: “The schedule in Washington from now is thus:
        3/26 – Precinct Caucuses
        4/17 – Legislative District Caucuses
        5/1 – County Convention
        5/21 – Congressional District Caucuses
        6/17 – State Convention (when the delegates for WA will be nailed down)
        7/25 – National Convention

      3. Patrice

        …see if I can get around skynet.

        The schedule in Washington, for choosing delegate numbers:

        March 26 Precinct Caucuses
        April 17 Legislative District Caucuses
        May 1 County Convention
        May 21 Congressional District Caucuses
        June 17 State Convention (when the delegates for WA will be nailed down)
        June 25 National Convention

            1. norm de plume

              As a visiting Martian, I find it incredible that an historically progressive party in the land of the free (that indispensable one, with the light on the hill) which calls itself ‘the ‘Democrats’ can possibly have such baldly undemocratic processes.

              But then, this is in a country with an electoral college as populist prophylactic, unlimited plutocrat campaign funding, working Tuesday election days, and, just to be sure, eminently riggable electronic voting machines in key areas. Not to mention the utterly bizarre idea that citizens have to register as a voter for a particular party in order to take part in elections.

              Super-delegates are just another layer of elite-protection for a genuinely progressive candidate to deal with. Or Bern through.

              It’s great that President Sanders would tackle Citizens United head-on and take steps toward publicly funding elections, but it would be disappointing if he didn’t also make moves to simplify and make more transparent the nuts and bolts machinery of American democracy in general and the Democratic Party in particular.

              1. inhibi

                Can you take me back on your return-to-home trip?

                Always wanted to see the Red Planet up close.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Gotta have good staff to study the rules – arcane or otherwise – and the process (in order to win the ‘off-the-field’ battles).

          2. HotFlash

            Pro’ly made some kind of sense back in the day of slow communications (Pony Express? Or whatever snail-mail in that part of the world back then), but seems kinda kludgey nowadays. Like the US govt like the school year which breaks for plowing, planting and harvest. Or in Michigan, my old stomping grounds, school holidays for opening of huntin’ season.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Proles could not comprehend the DNC Sausage Making Process. Best to keep them in the dark until the Anointed One emerges from her Cocoon For Coronation. Hahaha.

        2. neo-realist

          For christsakes, I wish we here in WA state could simply get mail in ballots for the primary just like we do for other elections instead of the caucusing. A lot of working people who want to participate in democracy don’t have the time or energy to spend hours and hours standing up and jabbering with other caucus people.

          1. Lord Koos

            In a caucus you have the opportunity to change people’s minds or educate them — it is a completely different thing than simply mailing in a ballot. In mine, we were only there for two hours on a Saturday morning, it was easy. I wouldn’t dismiss the caucus process, it is truly democracy in action. There was a lot of respectful discussion in my bunch and it felt good to see citizens participating at that level. Thanks to Bernie we had a good turnout. If you can’t take just a little bit of time in your life for democratic processes like this then you can’t complain when things don’t go your way.

              1. barrisj

                Remember that there are 17 “superdelegates”, all of whom have endorsed HRC; however, if final delegate count shows a huge edge to Sanders, it would be the height of arrogance if the “supers” ignore popular will…not to say it won’t happen, of course.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Popular will is also distorted (and thus often disregarded) when a small state like Vermont gets 2 senators, the same as, say, California.

                  Add all of them to the List of Grievances.

              2. Montanamaven

                I participated in tow caucuses in Iowa, one in 2004 and one in 2008. I found both appeared to be democratic in that you got to give a speech, but there were impediments to it too. ( I was there as an Edwards representative so they could ask me questions on policy etc.), Introverts didn’t fair very well if they showed up at all. There was peer pressure and spouse pressure and misinformation. And Iowa night shift factory workers couldn’t caucus on a Monday night. A secret paper ballot primary seems more fair. I wonder if there could be caucuses i.e. discussions and arm pulling, but then you cast a secret ballot?

            1. Carla

              I agree — democracy is not supposed to be easy. And if we ever achieve one, it will not be easy to make it function. It is not a political system designed for people who are busy with more important things.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Busy trying to work on a Tuesday so one can avoid starvation.

                Maybe the people should be reimbursed for voting.

                1. polecat

                  I think we Americans need to start from scratch !! Arcane and chaotic rules do nothing to advance governance for the commons……and yes, the public is stretched very thin, trying to make ends meet and just get by…….rules need to be simplified and transparent !!

                2. HotFlash

                  In my country, Canada, employers are required to allow every employee 4 hours off (not paid, but as ‘excused absence’ to vote. Better still would be a paid holiday? But the help America Vote Act didn’t do that it just subsidized voting machines. If only, if only, there was an honest politician with a track record to vote for!

                  1. neo-realist

                    Even if the hours off were unpaid, such an allowance would certainly help many more Americans get involved in the “work intensive” forms of democracy.

                    Business would totally scoff at such a proposal. Workers would abuse it to actually create more democracy:/.

                  2. norm de plume

                    In Australia the federal election is always held on a Saturday. Every locale has schools, churches, town halls, etc made available for the purpose so that country folk can vote and so that city folk have several choices of polling booth. I am 53 and have voted since I was 18 and have never waited more than 10 minutes to vote.

                    It is paper based and the booths are manned by Electoral Commission staff and volunteers from the parties. You have your name ticked off the Electoral Roll (you will be fined if you fail to show up) and are given your voting papers, which after marking you fold up and place in the boxes.

                    The counting is supervised by party scrutineers who ensure integrity in results. The only inroads e-voting has made has been into remote defence force or Antarctic postings or severe disability.

                    The votes themselves decide the winner; there are no delegates, super or otherwise, with any power to alter the will of the people.

              2. jimmt

                “A man who takes no interest in politics is not a harmless man, but a useless man.” Pericles. Apparently this discussion has been going on for some time.

                1. norm de plume

                  ‘Idiotae’ was the word the old Greeks used for such a man.

                  We have no shortage of them now and I would contend that en masse they can indeed be harmful.

      4. Uahsenaa

        Not necessarily a conspiracy, because caucuses are weird. I don’t know the specific rules in WA, but when you go to a caucus meeting, you’re technically choosing delegates to go to the county meeting, where they choose delegates for the state meeting. The state meeting then chooses delegates for the national convention, so it’s not until then that what registers as delegates for primary purposes come into play. I also know that in some states, delegates are apportioned outright based on certain extremely arcane rules, but the rest go proportionally.

        This looks more like reporting shenanigans, a la superdelegate counts in the NYT et al., i.e. withholding the full counts until its “official” in order to make Clinton look better, because, you’ll notice 23 + 18 + 7 =/= 118, which is the total number of WA national delegates.

        1. Light a Candle

          I agree, reporting shenanigans. Iowa also caucusses and has a series of state conventions prior to actually choosing delegates to send to Philadelphia. And the MSM had no problem in figuring out the proportional split.

          More wilful misrepresentation from M$M. My eyes have really been opened in this primary.

        2. diptherio

          Ah ha! They’re counting the supers as settled for Hillary…I didn’t get that. Thanks for the pointer.

        3. polecat

          This probably worked better when the country was made-up of the original colonies…..smaller population and less complex society…… Today there’s too much complexity and diffusion of society. Perhaps the country would be better splitting into smaller, autonomous entities……life just might be better for all concerned !

      5. lyman alpha blob

        And check out this from the WAPO article:

        “The rally Friday was the independent senator’s sixth such large rally in the state [WA], which offers 101 delegates. Hawaii offers 25 delegates and Alaska 16.

        In all cases delegates are awarded proportionally, so Clinton will still pick up delegates in contests she loses. Overall, however, her roughly 300-delegate lead over Sanders may be reduced.”

        So when Clinton wins big in the south we’re told that because delegates are awarded proportionally it will be hard for Sanders to overcome the lead she’s amassed unless he wins by very large margins. Then when he does exactly that, the narrative suddenly becomes that her lead may be reduced. May be!?!?!?!?! Nothing that happens in this race is ever a definite negative for Clinton according to these hacks.

        1. Brian

          Our elections in the US are not about voting. They are about who can be prevented from voting first. 2nd, who gets to see and touch the computer first.
          I live in a state where the vote is by paper ballot, counted by human beings. Why would any of you accept less?
          I feel for you not ever knowing your vote will even be counted.
          But you don’t care do you?

          1. Ian

            I think it can be said resoundingly that we do care. These primary’s have been rife with overwhelming bias, voter suppression and all sorts of improper machinations (much of which is the illegal variation) and people see that, and are coming out even stronger for Bernie watching far more closely.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Creating confusion around some byzantine system for awarding “delegates,” including “superdelegates” or not, (who knows?) would seem to be the dnc’s preferred method for obscuring results like Sanders: 72.7%, Clinton: 27.1%.

      2. Llewelyn Moss

        Thanks, Nice resource to see results without cheater delegates (aka super delegates).

        It still does not explain why only 34 of the total 101 delegates were assigned after the Washington elections. I smell burnt sulfur and a whiff of wasserman-shultz voodoo dust.

        1. Light a Candle

          Washington has a complicated delegate system. Thirty-four of the 101 delegates are state wide and immediately awarded. The rest aren’t formally assigned until mid-June after a lengthy series of local conventions and then finally a state convention.

          Iowa has the same system although M$M had no problem in figuring out the delegate split and assigning proxy numbers.

          1. Llewelyn Moss

            Ha. So my take away is that these Primaries and Caucuses are just Bread and Circuses for the Commoners. And the ultimate nominee is SELECTED by the DNC, NOT ELECTED by the VOTERS. Got it.

            1. Light a Candle

              Yes, it has been surprising to me (and I’m in my 50s! and a political junkie to boot) just how much the political process is manipulated.

              Reminds me of that Ken Livingstone quote (he was the former Labour mayor of London)

              “If voting changed anything, they’d abolish it”.

            2. hreik

              so that’s 2 of us in CT. hubby won’t vote for her in primary, tfg, but i’m afraid to ask him about the GE

            3. Doug

              The wife and I have both changed our registration from Independent to Democrat just so we can cast votes against her.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          101 delegates.

          From your Politico link comment above:

          Here’s the WA tally from politico.
          Delegates Allocated: 48 of 118

          Can’t even seem to agree on the total number of delegates at stake.

    2. armchair

      As to the further caucusing, everyone needs to understand that Sanders delegates are going to show up in large numbers. In Washington, the next event is on April 17th. The people who will attend were chosen yesterday, so at the April 17th district level event, the proportion of people in the room will be more than 70% Sanders delegates. The simple fact is that Sanders people are going to show up in large numbers.

      Yesterday, at the caucus I attended, the Sanders people were quick to hand out their own paperwork to gather their own data on the counts and to get good contact information for the chosen delegates and their alternates. The Clinton person had no one to help her gather this information. In other words, Sanders delegates will be at full strength on April 17th, so outside of the superdelegates, I don’t think the Clinton organization has any hope in Washington.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > everyone needs to understand that Sanders delegates are going to show up in large numbers

        “So be sure to reserve a venue that’s too small, make sure there’s inadequate staffing, and print fewer ballots than usual” (hypothetical memo from DNC).

    3. Jim Haygood

      To estimate electability in the general election, I made a spreadsheet in which Democratic delegates are counted only in states whose 2012 electoral votes went to Obama. Likewise, Republican delegates are counted only in states whose 2012 electoral votes went to Romney.

      Filtered this way, Clinton currently has 626 pledged delegates to Sanders’ 616 pledged delegates, in states whose electors voted Democratic in 2012. A cumulative 50% of these states (weighted by electoral votes) have selected delegates to date.

      On the Republican side, with the same filtering, Trump has 473 pledged delegates to Cruz’s 370, Rubio’s 80, and Kasich’s 17. Already, a cumulative 85% of 2012 Republican states (weighted by electoral votes) have selected delegates.

      This analysis indicates that Hillary is running neck-and-neck with Sanders in states likely to actually deliver Democratic electoral votes. With two southern Democratic states which favored Hillary — Florida and Virginia — having voted already, Sanders could move into the lead in probable Democratic states as more results arrive.

      Meanwhile, with 85% of 2012 Republican states having awarded delegates, Trump has about half of them. If Rubio’s delegates were awarded to Cruz, Cruz would be only slightly behind Trump in delegates.

      So far, this analysis provides little insight into the general election, as the leading candidates in both parties have about half the delegates in states likely to support their party. That is, no candidate in either party enjoys clear-cut majority support from their base, in states whose electoral votes are likely to go to that party.

      1. B1whois

        Do you have a feel for the odds of any particular states that might switch from the red column to the blue column and the general?

  2. voislav

    RE: Empty American promises and the lives they can cost

    No article about the Bosnian War should be written without the mention of the Lisbon Agreement. It was signed by all three parties, but the Bosniak leader Izetbegovic then withdrew his signature the next day after a meeting with the American ambassador Warren Zimmerman. The war started a week later. American promises indeed.

      1. RabidGandhi

        It’s snail’s progress. A $1 increase per year till 2022 when it reaches $15 (after which point the cost of living will stop increasing?). And companies <25 employees get extra time to comply.

        Of course, Radical Trotskyist gov. Jerry Brown is against such a "steep"(!) increase because it would be costly (to his donors).

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think Basic Income > $15/hr min wage.

          With Basic Income, everyone benefits…college lecturers, those making $16/hr right now, or $17/hr, etc.

          With $15/hr min. wage, we take it from many small business owners and shift it to needy workers, but this re-shuffling doesn’t impact much vampire squids, with many (but not all) bonus-laden 1% workers, and so, they will be all for it.

        2. tegnost

          that’s right, getting in front of a riot and calling it a parade…same thing happened in washington after the vote for 15, made it take 7 yrs to fully implement.

      2. Jim in SC

        Someone put it to me recently in this way: ‘If you can get $15 an hour without having to graduate from high school, why go to high school?’ Not to mention, why go to college, or graduate school? The college lecturer earns about $10 per hour now. Full professors earn about $20 per hour in small liberal arts colleges. Who will endure the years of indentured servitude necessary to obtain a Phd if you can earn more money working the window at McDonalds?

        1. Pat

          Funny how they stop the progress of wage increases when it will cause the lack of supply to force the people who are keeping wages artificially low for the people with the least power doing the most work. Quite obviously said college will have to raise their wages, which have also not kept up with either tuition increases OR more importantly inflation.

          I really hate that many people are too dense to realize that it isn’t just minimum wage workers who have had their wages depressed for artificial and false reasons.

          1. cwaltz

            It’s sloppy thinking and it shows that just because you attend college that you may not necessarily be worth that much more than the entry level work who is not necessarily required to spend more time applying critical thinking to concepts.

        2. JeffC

          Perhaps that’s exactly why our great universities will finally start paying adjunct professors pecans instead of peanuts. (Been there, taught that.) It’s still nuts, but deluxe nuts!

        3. Tony S

          He’s missing a very important point — a high minimum wage is good for ALL wage earners. The small liberal arts colleges will now have to offer more money to professors to pry them away from McDonald’s, and so on until everyone’s wages climb upwards. Pro-one-percenters will argue that inflation then will keep everyone’s standard of living where it was, but that’s assuming that wage increases over the last thirty years have kept up with productivity increases, which they certainly haven’t. There’s plenty of slack foir wages to go up without triggering inflation.

          1. Ulysses

            “There’s plenty of slack foir wages to go up without triggering inflation.”

            This is very true! In Denmark, with a minimum wage that is over $21/hr., prices aren’t much higher, and for some items are even lower, than in the U.S.

        4. cwaltz

          I’m going to guess that the person in question has never actually WORKED at a window in McDonalds.

          It’s always amusing to me to see how many people argue they are going to toss their paraprofessional jobs away so that they can work whatever hours mopping bathrooms, wiping down tables, emptying trash cans, and deal with irate customers. It actually shows me that some of these people really did waste money on college since they think that because a job does not require tons of book knowledge that it can’t possibly be physically or emotionally challenging.

          As someone who has been a paraprofessional and worked entry level positions I can honestly say if they are only looking at wage levels then these people are idiots and perhaps should rethink how much “education” that college they attended really imparted to them. Wasted money indeed!

          1. MikeNY


            Someone needs to explain to me why a plastic surgeon or a derivatives trader contributes more value to society than a bus driver or a waitress. Or has more dignity.

            1. bob

              I saw awhile ago, here probably, a study that showed the value added at a hospital by employee type- Dr’s were the lowest. Janitors were the highest.

              Preventing infection is valuable, invaluable really. Without clean, you can’t have a hospital.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Perhaps time to re-think what we are teaching at our colleges.

            If education is about learning to live a happy life, and if money can’t buy you happiness, then it’s a little bit more nuanced here.

        5. craazyman

          Maybe PhD programs will be created for window working at McDonald’s.

          That’s what they did for the social sciences and they’re making a lot of money at it.

          Theories could be developed about customer satisfaction, shift efficiency, window height and width, arm movement, facial expressions, conflict resolution, temperature preservation for hot and cold meals, boxes vs. bags.

          You could use applied statistics and methods derived from industrial psychology.

          YOu could make this very very complicated. Eventually, only a few people nationwide would be qualified to work the window. A few thought leaders would emerge, and they’d be too smart to even actually work the window. They’d lecture about how to work the window. They’d be on TV. We’d debate their theories, right here in the peanut gallery, without even cracking up in rolling cataclysms of laughter (at least you guys would, but not me. hahahahahaha)

          1. aumua

            I’m pretty sure they had all that stuff and more down to a science a long time ago. No exaggeration.

          2. craazyman

            wow. It showed up! I’m glad all 5 of them didnt show up. that would have been a real embarrasment that i actually wasted all that time writing the same dumb shlt 5 times and tried to post each one, separately. my only excuse is, i was wasting time, which is my favorite thing to do. But nobody would have sympathy for that, so. it would have been worse for me and even more embarrrasing than what i wrote yesterday about guys taking Trump’s sloppy seconds and all the fat women in the Bernie video. Or at least it would have been even more dumb of me.

            I heard a rumor that Bernie won’t support Mrs. Clinton if she somehow doesn’t embrace her inner socialist! I mean really. These people will say and do anything to get elected and then once they are, who cares? oh, you do? You must be a real loser, to care about politician’s promises. Especially after this last guy. I can’t even remember, who?, I already forgot his name.. Wow. Bernie should just say Fuhggettabboudit. It’s time for prophets. The soul energy needs to be recharged. Anybody can administer the soul energy, but very few can create it.

            Bernie Bernie
            Bernie Bernie

        6. HotFlash

          ‘If you can get $15 an hour without having to graduate from high school, why go to high school?’ Not to mention, why go to college, or graduate school? The college lecturer earns about $10 per hour now. Full professors earn about $20 per hour in small liberal arts colleges. Who will endure the years of indentured servitude necessary to obtain a Phd if you can earn more money working the windo w at McDonalds?’

          Someone who wants to learn something?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Learning for learning’s sake.

            Especially if you are an art major – then, additionally, art for art’s sake…l’art pour l’art.

            1. sd

              Today, daily modern products are conceived, modeled, drawn, designed, prototyped, engineered, manufactured, and marketed by people with arts in their background.

              The idea that arts education serves little purpose is an annoying fallacy that needs a stake driven through its heart.

              1. ambrit

                Sadly, few people know to differentiate between “commercial” art and “pure” art.
                We no longer educate for a “well rounded” personality. Truthfully, we never did. Only the wealthy could subsidize students for this purpose.
                I read an apropos saying about it in the Wayback: “Two occupations. One to feed the body, and one to feed the soul.”

          2. jrs

            Or wants to do something. Self-actualization. I’d rather my doctors actually have an interest in the medicine and/or people than just be doing it for the money. Besides the number of people who want to be professors but can’t at present is great. It’s a rewarding job. Again self-actualization or are we forever only to live on the very bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy because of this economic system? The (#$# this economic system! So it’s such a bad example. There is no shortage.

        7. jrs

          Why should we all have to live our lives by the limited imagination of those who want nothing more out of life than that? Who would never do anything but for money? Why should we all be driven down to their level of poverty of imagination? I want more. I demand more. I want bread and roses.

        8. Lambert Strether

          Ironic, because I did the math on working as a university adjunct, and it worked out about the same as working at McDonalds.

          So, why indeed? I mean, I was only teaching your children how to put their thoughts into written form…

        9. Lambert Strether

          Ironic, because I did the math on working as a university adjunct, and it worked out about the same as working at McDonalds.

          So, why indeed? I mean, I was only teaching your children how to put their thoughts into written form…

          Adding: “Why go to college? Why go to night school?”

      3. andyb

        Raising the minimum wage to $15/hr will largely preclude the employment of teenagers who need a first job as part of the maturation process; understanding following orders, learning a skill (even if it is rudimentary), experiencing interpersonal dynamics and teamwork, etc etc. Today, there are many college graduates working more than one job in the services area that do not earn $15/hr. So how does an inexperienced teenager (like we all were) get a first job?

        1. bob

          “Raising the minimum wage to $15/hr will largely preclude the employment of teenagers who need a first job as part of the maturation process”

          statement, no facts or evidence.

          “Today, there are many college graduates working more than one job in the services area that do not earn $15/hr. So how does an inexperienced teenager (like we all were) get a first job?”

          Today, the sun is out and it’s a little bit cold. how does an inexperienced teenager (like we all were) get a first job?

          1. HotFlash

            It should be a little easier for both when college grads aren’t being driven to take low-paying service jobs by a student loan to pay, or to pay for health care insurance. Perhaps they could work in a coop, start one up even, or a new business. At $15 an hour, perhaps they could even afford to be a college lecturer! They would be free to take a risk or an entry-level position in their field without losing everything.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Teenagers and college grads first

              Next up, senior savers with 0% Social Security inflation adjustment and nearly zero savings account rates.

              How do we buy their votes?

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          Perhaps you should read today’s Link “Logical fallacies – tools to debunk pseudoscience.”

          It’s applicable to the extent, I guess, that “economics” can be considered a “science,” a topic that’s been debated here.

          Anyway, I picked one out for you called “Appeal to Consequences:”


          Appeal to consequences is an attempt to motivate belief with an appeal either to the good consequences of believing or the bad consequences of disbelieving, without respect to the quality of the evidence supporting such an argument. Of course, there may be consequences to a belief, as long as it is supported by evidence.


          Belief in evolution will lead to mass genocide.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            To add to the matter, from Wiki, Argument from Fallacy:

            Argument from fallacy is the formal fallacy of analyzing an argument and inferring that, since it contains a fallacy, its conclusion must be false.[1] It is also called argument to logic (argumentum ad logicam), fallacy fallacy,[2] fallacist’s fallacy,[3] and bad reasons fallacy.[4]
            Fallacious arguments can arrive at true conclusions, so this is an informal fallacy of relevance

            If one’s lucky, one’s fallacy might still lead to a true conclusion.

            That is, to commit a fallacy is not the end of one’s world.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              Fair enough.

              “Fallacious arguments can arrive at true conclusions, so this is an informal fallacy of relevance”

              But, presumably, by definition, a valid conclusion must be supportable by at least one non-fallacious argument. It would seem nonsensical to assert that any valid conclusion would have NO supporting non-fallacious arguments.

              So, my question would be, what is to be inferred from a continued reliance on fallacious arguments in support of a purportedly valid conclusion, such as was done here, when a non-fallacious one MUST exist?

              It suggests that the validity of the conclusion is suspect.

              1. NeqNeq

                The thing to focus on is the ” its conclusion must be false” part.

                What they mean is that employing a fallacy does not mean that the truth-value of a statement is necessarily (always) false.

                Second, just because all the existing arguments for a particular conclusion are “bad arguments” (fallacious, untrue premises, etc) does not mean that the conclusion must be false in the above sense. Rather, it means that the truth value of the conclusion is indeterminate based upon those arguments.

                After some point you may have reason to believe that the probability a good argument can be made is extraordinarily low. But, that is an example of inductive reasoning… which is an entirely different category of argument than the one Argument from Fallacy applies (deductive).

                1. Darthbobber

                  Whether there is an “argument from fallcay” that is a fallacy would depend on context. Within the context of a debate between two parties, where the only evidence that counts is what the parties introduce, than if one party’s only argument for something embodies a fallacy, then they have made no actual argument for their case, and if their conclusion IS true, it is true for reasons that they haven’t introduced and therefore are not on record.

              2. NeqNeq

                Just to add more generally: If anyone is interested in logical fallacies, the blog in the links is kind of meh. Not to be unkind, but it is the equivalent of looking at a google map Arizona and proclaiming one knows what a desert is.

                For a really good read (albeit very long and dry) try:

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          For those who are not working, but staying home to take care of children or elder parents, Basic Income is better (and all other workers and non-workers will benefit too)

        4. Carla

          Inexperienced teenagers cannot get jobs now, with the minimum wage at $8 or $9 per hour, so this is a non-issue. Unpaid “internships” (otherwise known as slave labor) seem to be the only positions open to teenagers these days.

      4. allan

        From the story:

        Leno said if an agreement is finalized, it would go before the Legislature as part of his minimum-wage bill that stalled last year.

        If the Legislature approves a minimum-wage package, it would avoid taking the issue to the ballot. One union-backed initiative has already qualified for the ballot, and a second, competing measure is also trying to qualify.

        That second initiative is an attempt to blow up the first by confusing voters and splitting the vote.
        Since that hasn’t worked out as planned, the opponents of $15 have gone to Plan B.
        Delay and water down. Because centrism.

        1. Paul Tioxon

          I am not a labor lawyer or CA legal eagle. But I did look up what is going on with this $15/hr deal. It is part of a national union effort to raise wages to $15/hr largely ramrodded by organized labor. And that is the case in CA.

          There are 2 tracks in CA to raise the wage from the current min-wage level of $10/hr to $15.

          SEIU-UHW has worked hard to get a voter initiative certified on the Nov 8th Ballot in CA to raise the min-wage to $15/hr. By collecting over 500,000 signatures and getting enough of them certified as valid, on March 22nd 2016, 5 days ago, the certification was complete and this will be on the Nov 8 ballot.

          The SEIU-UHW negotiating with the state legislature got a deal on the 2nd track to approval, by legal statute by elected pols. It seems to me, that the validation on the ballot pushed the legislature to get back on track to push the $15/hr deal through. This bill has been stalled for the past 2 years according to news reports tracking the increase of the min-wage in CA. And if you are making $10or$11/hr, getting a $1/hr raise every year til it gets to $15 is not snails pace, its constant improvement. What’s more, the SEIU CAN start the campaign for $20/hr or more for that matter, there is no reason to stop the pressure to get more money into people’s pockets once they get $15/hr. Compared to actual min-wage set by the federal gov of $7.25/hr in 2016 and only $5.15/hr in 2000, $15/hr is material progress that speaks for itself.

          Voters confused or not, if the wages are raised to the stated goal, what difference does it make if the ballot box initiative was leveraged to get the law passed without risking the chance of a loss at the ballot by dealing with the legislature. It seems the unions put a rarely seen squeeze play to obtain the desired outcome. That is smart politics. Either vote it into law or the people will vote it in to law, your choice. As to the snail’s pace, both the union and the legislature have phase in over a few years. Again, what’s wrong with that? And, as compared to what? Exactly what form of instantaneous teleportation politics have you seen get anything completely done in a nano second? If you’ve got that in your wallet, let me know where I can get some, bottle it up and sell it, I’ll take a case!

          There is also a 2nd ballot initiative that has not yet qualified to be on the ballot in Nov. It is also a union led proposal with wage increases to $15/hr phased in, but in just 4 years instead of 6. It also has other work conditions as part of a package larger than just wage demands. This 2nd, competing proposal also includes 6 paid sick days per year. It has not yet been certified to be on the ballot. If it does get on the ballot, which ever of the 2 competing proposals gets the most yes votes will the only one that becomes law by voter initiative. It is a competing proposal by the state council of the SEIU. That may cause more confusion but its the good kind of problem to have, too many unions pushing for more money and benefits.

          The state legislature will still be trying to pass the legislation into law that then must be signed by Gov Brown, who may not like what is in the bill presented to him. The union with the proposal on the ballot is not about to take it off of the ballot without seeing a bill signed into law with their stated goal of $15/hr phased in by 2021.

          If the union polling holds up, it looks like there will a raise in CA future when Nov 9th rolls around or the state legislature will pass its own similar law. One way or the other, it looks like more money is coming, which puts them ahead of the bulk of the states in the nation.

    1. NoOne

      “Chelsea, Darling. Let’s play a game of cards. When we get to the queen of diamonds, I want you to climb up into the rafters of the convention center in Philadelphia and wait to Senator Sanders to speak….”

      1. Pat

        Oh, no, it will never be Chelsea sent to the rafters – she might fall. And we can’t have the second generation of the Grifter dynasty lost so. I’m not sure which of her acolytes will be sent, but it won’t be the fruit of her loins.

        1. optimader

          Huma’s husband is the disposable cutout. That hasn’t been a Urdu Berlitz Course he’s been listening to on the headphones she puts on him after he falls asleep.

        2. bob

          There’s a lot of talk that bill might be dying. Would Hillz then have to take a new husband?

          Can you imagine the royal wedding of the US’s first queen?

          Oh the options! Who would her consort be? Has she frozen eggs? Could there be another clinton, to continue the line?

          If I get a vote on that — make her the 39th wife of prince Al, finalize the regime.

          Easter sunday horror, I know…but it has endless possibilities. Too good to wait for.

              1. ambrit

                Who actually gets to choose the hour of their death?
                Self murder has a justifiably bad reputation. Many suicide decisions are made under stress. Those times when such decisions are made in a rational manner are so rare as to make them wonders in and of themselves. Then there are those cases where inaction does the job; not taking the medicine, not going to the doctor, not enslaving oneself to the World. It almost makes me believe in Humours.

          1. Lambert Strether

            > a lot of talk that bill might be dying

            Got a link on that? I do think he looks awful on the trail; cadaverous. But that doesn’t mean he’s got a diagnosis.

  3. no one

    Trump as demagogue? I refer you to Henry Frankfurt and Laura Penny, who in their separate books (“On Bullshit” and “Your Call is Important to Us,” respectively) examine the art of claptrap, balderdash, poppycock, bullsh*t, or call it what you will. Trump is a classic practitioner in this category.

    As Penny defines the concept, bullsh*t connotes the “stream of crapulence that courses over us all, filling our eyes, ears, and thoughts with cliches, euphemisms, evasions and fabulations” launched from people like Trump who “have taken to saying not necessarily what they believe to be true but what they want others to believe.”

    Frankfurt draws a distinction between “lying” and “bullsh*t,” which to my mind distinguishes Clinton and Trump. Penny describes the difference as follows: “The liar still cares about the truth. The bullshitter is unconcerned. … The truth is totally beside the point.”

    One could argue that Stephen Colbert’s term “truthiness” covers this type of rhetoric, but what do you call the practitioner? “Demagogue,” which suggests sinister Un-American totalitarianism, or “bullshitter,” just another toiler in the vineyards of our vast American public relations-advertising complex?

    No wonder Sanders is commanding such huge crowds this year.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      BSers and liars are everywhere.

      And many double-major in both…just because they are smarter than us.

      The really great BSers and liars relax us and make us feel safe, secure and very comfortable.

  4. Eduardo Quince

    I wish my health insurance premium rose only 28% over the past 5 years. In reality, it nearly quadrupled.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Unless one is a very nimble housing flipper, one is hard pressed to increase one’s income that much.

  5. Alex morfesis

    Is the clinton fundation the new c.r.e.e.p. ?? Is billery stealing the election watergate style ???
    Will her pyrate krew support sanders when he wins ?? Has anyone asked her if she would support the bern when she loses…?? Seems like she and el donaldo made a pact to play scorched earth with the two party system…

    as rome burned…

    1. optimader

      I don’t think nixion’s reelection was stolen. The irony of Watergate is did nothing productive for him.

      1. Alex morfesis

        The canuck letter…nixon was expected to lose in 72…to the victor go the history books…
        Mcgovern got less votes than humphrey and george wallace almost had more votes…mcg man got nomination with less than 30% of the actual votes…

        1. optimader

          My recollection (as a kid) was that after the shredded DNC convention, the only question was by how large a margin Nixon was gong to win with. That was the paranoid absurdity of it all (the Watergate break-in).

          Month Richard Nixon (R ) % George McGovern (D) %

          May 53% 34%
          June 53% 37%
          July 56% 37%
          August 57% 31%
          64% 30%
          September 61% 33%
          October 60% 34%
          59% 36%
          November 62% 38%
          Actual result 61% 38%
          Difference between actual result and final poll -1%

          Incumbent U.S. President Richard Nixon was always able to maintain a huge lead over Democratic challenger George McGovern due to the economic recovery following the 1969-1970 recession and due to successfully portraying McGovern as a foreign policy lightweight and as a social radical (“amnesty, abortion, and acid”). McGovern’s campaign was also hurt by him having to change Vice Presidential candidates in the middle of the campaign, causing many people to question his judgement.[13]

          1. Alex morfesis

            Creep was designed to disrupt the democrats side because nixon was going to lose to muskie…the canuck letter got rid of muskie…remember…mcgovern helped nixon in 68 by disrupting eugene McA…he smiled as muskie was knocked off his perch and lost the popular vote in the democratic primaries to humphrie and took the nomination knowing he could not beat nixon and was the weakest democrat…only after mcgovern was the nominee did the tide turn to nixon…

            In the beginning of el donaldos run there were whispers billary had put him up to it and was secretly backing him…

            my curious mind did not see that then…but my critical eye is now beginning to wonder…

            1. optimader

              because nixon was going to lose to muskie
              I don’t believe in the notion of predestiny, particularly failed ones, nor am I aware of any objective facts that support that claim.

              Based on how easily Musky self destructed, I don’t believe he had a chance of surviving a POTUS campaign, let alone winning.
              Nixon had the advantage of incumbency and the ability to jigger the economy. To say Nixon was paranoid and insecure would be an understatement, but I don’t think any political gaming was necessary to beat Musky.


    1. griffen

      That gets a thumbs up this morning, just for dropping the reference.

      It’s been too long, so I had to relearn the definition..

        1. optimader

          Well…the body and blood thing always creeped me out as a kid.. still does.

          And they were the savages?

          Then there was the thinly guised sadomasochist stations of the cross– what was the bit about dying for my sins all about?? Refer to logical fallacies article…

          1. ambrit

            I’ve mentioned this book before, but a little repetition can’t hurt; “King Jesus” by Robert Graves.
            As for the ‘Stations,’ well, life in general was exyremely more violent than today.

  6. bob

    “There are mountains to be traversed or moved…”

    And Kurds, although that might be the ultimate goal, not a canal.

    1. bob

      The Karun River, along with it’s tributary, the Dez, are both headed in the right direction from the Gulf, and at some points, north of the rivers that flow into the Caspian.

      Not an easy project, or cheap, but the landscape, meaning existing rivers, show it’s not impossible. Lots of locks would be required.

      This is a possibility for where the jump from one watershed to another could happen.

      That general area, anyway.

    2. RabidGandhi

      If they’re running into Kurds, then the project will be even more ridiculously over-budget: because it would mean they are digging west instead of south. Then again, with that absurdly low budget maybe there won’t be enough for a compass.

      1. bob

        I posted another longer comment, but shorter- Dez river.

        Probably not far enough north for kurds, but then who ever counts them anyway?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Qanats are quite ingenious.

          They have them as far east as in Chinese Turkmenstan or Xingjiang Automonous Region.

          Another interesting structure in Central Asia is the yakhchal.

          1. bob

            Very neat, depending on the qanat for cool air. Ice making and storage were also possible. The romans get all the credit…

            I stumbled across qanats years ago. They were a major part of the conspiracy theory surrounding the earthquakes that would supposedly happen when the space shuttle was in space. Space lasers!

            This hits some of the key points. Entertaining, if not completely nuts. But, that may be what they want you to think…..


        2. Kurt Sperry

          I discovered qanats in g**gle earth, looking for a drone base in Baluchistan mentioned in the news. I was flying around the area, and thought, “what are those weird crater things all in a line?” Awesome infrastructure technology.

        3. Lambert Strether

          Please do not encourage the degradation of the comments section by discouraging links; we don’t specialize in agnotology here. If instant gratification is your baseline, I would suggest 4Chan.

  7. Carolinian

    Trump–man of the people’s food.

    The front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination eats like a teenage boy, inhaling Filets-o-Fish and Big Macs. “It’s great stuff,” he says of his fast-food habit.[…]

    The craziest thing he says he has eaten on the road? Oreos. His go-to drink? The teetotaler washes meals back with Diet Coke, an ironic choice given that the vain billionaire once tweeted, “I have never seen a thin person drink Diet Coke.” […]

    Meatloaf seems to be the mogul’s ambrosia. The dish, based on a family recipe, appears on the menu at his club at Mar-a-Lago. And his sister, federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry, has baked meatloaf for him on his birthday.

    So, for those who think it’s all an act his blue collar bona fides are clearly in order.

    1. optimader

      What could be better than the family meatloaf recipe with ( bbq sauce ). Not too much IMO

      Segue to garrison k. joke:

      Son: Dad, Why does the dog lick his butt?
      Father: Son, it’s to get the taste of your Mother’s Meatloaf out of his mouth.

    2. NoOne

      I just saw another hit piece – this one from AP:

      Donald Trump – Echoes of George Wallace?

      Just in case those “dumb black folks” even think about getting off that Hillary bandwagon.

      I’m sure AP will balance out that Trump story with

      Hillary Clinton – Why Won’t Sanders Get Out of her Way and Let Her be the Best President Ever?

      What a joke this election is.

      1. Carolinian

        Is the WaPo food story a hit piece? American elections are about relatability. I think it makes him sound more human.

        A key scene in the Bill Murray movie Hyde Park on the Hudson is where FDR and Eleanor invite the English royals to a hot dog picnic–a press event. Their guests can’t quite decide whether they are being insulted but play along because the Brits need America.

        The point being that FDR understood relatability. Next Trump will be doing fireside chats.

    3. jrs

      And yet his doctor says that he’s the healthiest man ever to live or something like that. Some of the other candidates may be in worse shape (mostly Hillary, Bernie is old but seems healthy even having seen him in person), but I’m kind of doubting the proclamations of Trump being in such good health … Not with that diet, and no longer having a teenage metabolism and resilience. No way. If he really eats like that his health is probably pretty bad.

      1. Ian

        Still hoping that Hillary suddenly becomes incapacitated or has some sort of a heart attack and cannot continue. Imagine what would happen then, boggles the mind.

        1. Emma

          Oh, don’t worry Ian – With a comment like that your mind has so immatured with age that you don’t have a mind to be boggled.

  8. Katiebird

    Has anyone found a reliable delegate count page? One that ISN’T tweeked in Hillary’s favor? Does such a chart exist? My brain hurts from the calculatons I have to make at the various network and polling sites.

    Also, why are so few Washington delegates assigned this morning? It looks like just 34 or so? Why can’t they estimate?

    I am sorry if this sort have list has been linked to before… I either missed it or lost it.

    1. bob

      I’ve heard both politico and the NYT are reputed to have such data. I’ve not had much luck finding it at either place in the past. Piles of pundits to fight your way through.

    2. Ernie

      I’ve found the Wikipedia article titled “Democratic Party Presidential Party Primaries, 2016” (search for it on Wikipedia; I’m not going to chance posting a link), to be both pretty timely and pretty good about keeping the pledged delegate count separate from the super-delegate count. The page currently estimates Washington’s 101 pledged delegates to go Bernie 74, Hillary 27. They also have Bernie besting Hillary for Hawaii’s pledged delegates by a 17 to 8 count and winning pledged delegates in Alaska by 13 to 3.

      1. Ernie

        Oops! The name of the article is actually “Democratic Party presidential primaries, 2016.” I got too much partying in there!

        1. Katiebird

          Thank you! That is very good

          Not wanting to risk a link either, your page led me to This Page: “Results of the Democratic Party presidential primaries, 2016” (Wikipedia search)

          The charts and tables here seem up to date and there isn’t so much info about non-election details.

          1. Lambert Strether

            This “risk a link” stuff is going to degrade the comments section by making it evidence free.

            There has been no change in the links settings on our end. We do not control Skynet. And the tripwires are not necessarily evident — i.e., the behavior of the system cannot be deduced from the end-user perspective which is exactly what you want if you don’t want the system to be over-run with spammers making those deductions).

            So not only are we dealing with insufficient knowledge and confirmation bias, I would hazard a guess that commenters complaining about being queued up for links have already trained Skynet to watch them, by trying to force through one of several similar postings which is exactly what spammers do.

            Since the end result of the complainers’ logic is a death spiral of evidence-freeness, I don’t like the logic much (granted, a fallacy, as explained above).

            1. ambrit

              For what it is worth, my policy now is to send the link out into the great web and let the one posting be it. Anything more smells like a personality “weakness.” One needs a tough skin to post online. (If one needs to communicate a “the sky is falling” sort of information, there are other avenues of access.)
              All this “Skynet” business risks attributing ‘agency’ to an algorithm. Hmmm…

    3. nippersdad

      HuffPo has a good series of charts for the primaries and caucuses (that is searchable by district!). One can click off the superdelegates and get the underlying pledged delegates as well. Go to the elections section, found in the small type under the mast and click through.

      1. NoOne

        The NYT’s delegate count is supposedly “pledged delegates” only. Super-Duper All-Powerful Special as They Get Super Delegates aren’t in the totals – unless it gets closer and then all bets are off.

  9. lyman alpha blob

    RE: A new bill would force prepaid phone buyers to register themselves

    And the new business model coming shortly thereafter: Gunz n Phonz – any purchase of a semiautomic now comes with free prepaid cell phone!!

      1. Jess

        Can you believe what the new underground market in unregistered smuggled disposable cells will be? Just wonder how they’ll get around unregistered phones being blocked by the carriers. Any ideas from those of you here who know way more about this tech stuff than I?

        1. Kurt Sperry

          IMEI spoofing is generally too hot to handle even for black hats, but that’s probably the most likely countermeasure.

        2. ambrit

          Someone will eventually end up taking down the entire wireless network. It can be done, it is just that it takes a higher level of sophistication than ‘most’ people possess.

  10. Queen of the Internets

    A remarkably priggish and dim-witted article on 4chan and the satiric genius of taking a weapon of corporate manipulation and subjecting it to demonic possession. The postmodern intertextual appropriation of The Exorcist went right over her head. The author’s forced to admit it’s funny, that’s how funny it is (the stuff she bowdlerized is even funnier.) But she still has to perform lugubrious outrage at cartoon hate speech from a twee robot. The profundity cascades without surcease.

    1. craazyman

      it’s amazing anybody wastes their time like that on the internet. Isn’t it appalling? ;-0

  11. afisher

    Trump discussion of his foreign policy is incoherent. What is more surprising is the number of comments that seem to agree with his premise. The US will engage in foreign policy only if the other countries pay, well except when he seems to believe that we can invade a country to steal their resources.
    His foreign advisors are currently busy / under contract by Cable News, that should scare everyone.

    1. cwaltz

      So, what you’re saying is his foreign policy looks an awful lot like 90% of his other policy positions?

      Color me shocked!

      It can get filed with his immigration policy or his domestic policy regarding issues like wages…….

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      There really is nothing incoherent about “nato is obsolete, too expensive, and the US pays too much of the freight.”

      Or “what difference does it make to the US what happens in Syria or Ukraine, so why are we are we so involved?”

      Credit where credit is due.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Before, it was Bill and Hillary (men always came first in those dark days).

          Now, for this election cycle, it’s Hill and Billy, Hill-Billy.

            1. ambrit

              Unfortunately, the Hillary Clinton candidature leaves itself open to all sorts of misogynistic slander and invective. I can see her ‘team’ encouraging the more crude and offensive forms of abuse to engender a backlash of sympathy support.
              (I can ‘see’ an Arkansas version of Cockney. I’ve been there, Arkansas, and can recommend that Agee and Evans do a follow up tome to “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.”)

    3. tony

      Isn’t America already running a global protection racket? Whenever some weak country has wanted to use their resources for the benefit of their own population, american diplomats have shown up: “What a nice country you have. It’d be a shame if someone were to invade it.”

      It was mentioned on this very site, several times if memory serves:

      Micheal Hudson has written a few books with about that thesis. Trump being incoherent is nothing new. Hell, a western head of state being incoherent, if you look at their statements closely, is the current standards.

      1. RWood

        Thank you for the link
        and I think this is a current illustration, though without the name of the perp:

        It is the global economic crisis and the iron grip in which it is held by that which causes it – finance capital and its relentless self-destructiveness, which also destroys wealth under the pretext of creating wealth and turns money from a medium of exchange into a prime commodity of the speculation business. The hypertrophy of financial markets is an impediment to economic growth. Instead, it calls for austerity policies under which the poor are invested with the duty of helping the rich to stay rich and, if possible, to get richer. Under these conditions, the frail middle classes created in the previous period find themselves on the brink of sudden poverty.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When a country’s resources are being taken away, or stolen, that country is ‘paying.’

      There is nothing incoherent, or rather, inconsistent, about that.

    1. polecat

      I would accept democratic socialism similar to the Nord countries. I would prefer, however, NOT to eliminate use of cash, nor allow illegal immigration as a condition of such a system!

  12. Jef

    “In Donald Trump’s Worldview, America Comes First, and Everybody Else Pays”

    Sounds to me like he understands the rules to the game as it is and has been played for decades.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand this is willfully ignorant or straight up ignorant.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Mish busy shopping online for his newest robo-bride. Prediction: those sidewalk-scurrying giant-cockroach delivery bots are gonna be a huge target for vandalism, quite possibly from the human workers they displace, or an emergent neo-Luddite ‘disappeared by robots’ movement – much of the same demographic behind Trump’s rise. The techno ‘solution’, obviously, will be to equip the next-gen robots with ‘enhanced surveillance tech’ and defense mechanisms like pepper spray, blaring sirens, etc. Robots vs humans warring in what once were public sidewalks and spaces. Gotta get those 4am pizzas to the pudgy fast-fingered code monkeys welded into their office chairs and to the government types who rarely see the light of day on time!

    Beware of Geeks bearing techno-gifts

    Neo-Luddites of the world, unite!!!

    1. Gareth

      Pedestrians get the right of way in crosswalks, theoretically, but are robots pedestrians? I would be difficult for me to resist running over one of those robot delivery things. What a nice crunching sound it would make! It may become necessary for the Supreme Court to declare robots human in order to stop the carnage.

    2. Plenue

      Isn’t Shedlock the same guy who a few months ago was lamenting minimum wage raises because he claimed they were going to cost people jobs? And now he’s praising robots that will certainly do the same thing. Doesn’t he know he’s exactly the kind of person who will be lined up against a wall and shot when the revolution comes?

    3. kay

      neo-luddites indeed….we are all inside the machine and all efforts direct and indirect must be escalated and continued… other choices are on the table….

  14. ChiGal

    Just testing (been reading daily for a while, thx Yves & Co), time to see how posting works…

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Please don’t put up non-substantive comments. They clutter the thread,and look just like spam, and get treated accordingly by our software.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Thanks for the toxic chocolate link.

    It’s a dangerous world, even without arcane caucus rules or voters-moderating super-delegates.

    I wonder how lead and cadmium got in there.

  16. ke

    Nothing significant until May.

    Physics tells you that matter exists in compliments. Chemistry tells you transformation occurs across quantum circuits. Biology tells you that matter differentiates, dedifferentiates, and redifferentiates. Cancer isn’t something you cure; you avoid degenerative disease by breeding forward, or going back to being a reptile.

    Political Science is about RE control and the distribution of debt, to consume natural resources with make work jobs, not production. If you have socialism, you are going to have capitalism. From the perspective of labor, government is the counterweight, you keep at a distance.

    A placebo is more effective than modern medicine, at 30%, because you are more than the sum of your parts. If you comfort the patient, you move up to 50, and you get 70% effectiveness merely by aligning whatever is misaligned. Regardless, you cannot restore health in a system that replaces the natural antenna which is your body with political TV. The brain is a dumb controller; its the elasticity of those synapses that allows you to change the channel.

    The majority is never prepared to make a decision, and is always fighting over outcomes, never prepared to make a decision, let alone act on it, leaving war as the only possible outcome. All political systems fail; voting is just a means of assigning blame, to scapegoats.

  17. toolate

    Is it just me or does there seem to be a pattern here
    In caucuses versus voting machines?

  18. Teddy

    In Poland recently there’s been proposal to ban anonymous prepaid phones too. As if terrorists, criminals and other assorted bogeymen couldn’t just use fake IDs, pay someone to buy the phones in their name, or bribe a salesperson to write in fake/stolen identity. Not to even mention that in post-communist history there have been like two terrorist attacks – one thwarted (would-be perpetrator boasted about his plans on the internet using his own home computer) and one was an assasination of a politician perpetrated by a lone wolf (which couldn’t be stopped by any electronic surveillance). As always, regular people will suffer.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      How often are phones lost or stolen? A stolen, lost or putatively lost phone would no doubt do the job for a few days. Probably long enough, and there’s always more where those came from.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Another one for the “Just How Stupid and Gullible Are The Public” file
      We have bought the Apple versus the FBI “debate”
      But any idiot could see that a terrorist would just use an anonymous prepaid “burner” phone.
      And of course when asked how many actual attacks were prevented by our new civil rights-free information overlords, they replied “45”. When pressed, that reply became “1”. When pressed further, the response was “well actually, zero”.
      (The “1” was a case where the FBI provided money and bomb supplies to some hapless idiot they met at a mosque and pressured him to create a conspiracy)
      The world’s Bullshit Meter is just pegged, throwing off sparks, and about to explode.

  19. ekstase

    Re: the Argentine writer:
    “There are lots of we laborers who write, paint or play music…
    It is a peculiarity of capitalists and the bourgeoisie to think that we workers have no culture, adds the novelist, whose many tattoos include one of Karl Marx on his left arm.”

    This used to be the stereotype of writers/artists in this country: the individualist who doesn’t give a damn about the “status” of his or her work. When you contrast how this man is probably perceived by most people as he cleans the metrostation, with what he actually is, it kind of puts the viewer in a new, uncomfortable place, which is kind of good.

  20. Plenue

    “Spain became the theater where the three most powerful ideologies of the 20th century — Communism, fascism and self-determination — began the war that would continue, in some form or another, for more than half the century until the advocates of liberty, and their champion, the United States, prevailed.”

    McCain really believes this rot, doesn’t he? Regardless, he completely misrepresents the Republican cause in Spain. It was a left-wing coalition, including everything from radical anarchists to Soviet-style authoritarian state socialists. It was never simply a collection of Communists. It’s discoherent nature meant it was never able to properly organize, and eventually Soviet agents came in an hijacked the entire endeavor, rendering it subservient to Moscow and leading to its collapse. For that matter he’s misrepresenting the other side as well, since the ‘fascists’ were also a coalition, albeit one much better able to organize and cooperate. I also note McCain’s apparent belief that ‘liberty’ is somehow incompatible with Communism. He really has no understanding of the Spanish Civil War.

    It’s also bemusing to see a cowardly shitbird like McCain, who spent his war bombing civilians from the air before capitulating and recording propaganda for his captors, claiming admiration for someone who fought and was injured in the trenches.

    1. Massinissa

      Yeah, Im not sure the Carlists and such would really appreciate being lumped in with Franco’s fascists, even if they were loosely allied and also right wing authoritarians.

      And how has McPain not heard of the anarchists during the war? The Spanish anarchists had the closest thing the world has ever had to working anarchism, even if it was only for a year or so.

    2. clinical wasteman

      Bemusing, probably unsurprising and dismal anyway. Although the two episodes of his Vietnam adventure always offer a chance to remind Patriots (of anywhere) that murder by aerial bombardment really is worse than “treason”. Only curious part is: who or what is the Third Way (International Third Position?) he imagines representing “self-determination”? Not even quite clear which “self” he has in mind. Surely not the Basque & Catalan parties, wouldn’t they all count as Commie Christian Democrats (chronology be damned!) in McCain’s brain?

  21. Plenue

    Pretty much everything about that “Tay Exposes the Fairy Tales We Tell Ourselves About Racists” article is wrong.

    “The people on /pol/ are smart, sophisticated, clever, even funny. They have an incredible felicity of language. Their jokes are complex. They are not sad uneducated rednecks that the service economy has left behind.”

    Uh, no. /pol/ is notoriously a moronic cesspool. moot killed and resurrected the 4chan iteration multiple times, each time foolishly hoping it wouldn’t quickly degenerate into a Stormfront-style Neo-Nazi haven. It always did. It’s largely viewed as a containment board, where it’s idiot users can post their idiotic opinions rather than tainting the other boards with their stupidity. It’s very similar to /b/, the random board that Anonymous emerged from. Only /b/ knows it’s stupid and terrible, that’s part of the joke. The majority of the regular /pol/ posters are complete fools, with no talent or skills. There are a handful that can program or come up with ‘clever’ memes and gags, and then the rest bandwagon the creations. /b/ is a sea of piss that occasionally produces something stupid but amusing, like when a couple users figured out that MTV Europe didn’t have an IP checker on their website to vote for the greatest song ever, so an anon quickly wrote a simple to use script to allow any user to cast dozens of votes a second for Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up. /pol/ is like that, only even dumber. A look at the first page just now revealed two threads complaining about feminists and ‘cucks’, and one asking what ‘redpill’ breeds are suitable for proper Aryans. This is the caliber of /pol/ content, all day, every day.

  22. Cry Shop

    Class warfare: It’s interesting to use what happens in another culture to look at how another has the same problems, but fakes/hides it differently.

    The reasoning behind this partial exemption is that employers enjoy an overwhelmingly powerful economic advantage over employees, who endure a position of subordination, and therefore a cold calculation of the cost of the damage represents too harsh a penalty on the worker. Another perspective is that the employer reaps the benefit of the employee’s labor and therefore should incur a corresponding risk.

  23. B1whois

    More details on the fight for $15 in cali: “The latest proposal would allow a sitting governor to stop the increases in the event of a recession, the Bee reported.” – from a RawStory article

  24. schultzzz

    Yves: I just searched Google for “wealth pumps” and there is nothing. I agree with you that it’s a great catchy useful phrase that should be in widespread use, and it’s a shame it’s not. I know you’re busy but – seeing as how NC doesn’t have a ‘tag’ for that phrase – perhaps a short list of specific “wealth pumps” could help your readers explain to our friends what “wealth pumps” are, and thus boost its use.

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