Links 3/5/16

GOP Statisticians Develop New Branch Of Math To Formulate Scenarios In Which Trump Doesn’t Win Nomination Onion (Chuck L)

How a Dog’s Brain Processes Human Faces Psychology Today


China Sets Growth Target of 6.5% to 7% for 2016 Wall Street Journal

China fiscal stimulus falls short of estimates Financial Times

As Economy Slows, Experts Call on China to Drop Growth Target New York Times

Protests Rise as China Lays Off Millions of Coal Workers MIT Technology Review (resilc)

China fiscal stimulus falls short of estimates Financial Times

India files trade complaint against U.S. over temporary work visas Reuters (EM)

Refugee Crisis

Migrant Crisis Alters E.U. Calculations for Greece New York Times

Tusk: ‘European consensus’ emerging to tackle migration crisis DW

Why are members of the “liberal” Turkish media so willing to eat their own? Erik Meyersson (guurst)

Turkish police raid critical newspaper BBC

Ending HIV: A Missing Piece in the Health-Care Debate Truthout


Russia’s Lavrov, Kerry call for prompt start to Syria talks Reuters

The rich Al-Qaeda is winning the “hearts and the minds” in Yemen, introducing new names. Elijah J M (guurst)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Apple and the Feds: Folks Have NO Idea! City Watch

U.N. Rights Chief Says Unlocking Gunman’s iPhone Could Open ‘Pandora’s Box’ New York Times

Trump Panic

Republicans in tailspin, group forms to draft Ryan for U.S. president Reuters. EM: “I love the smell of establishment desperation in the morning.”

G.O.P. Faces Rebellion Over Leaders’ Calls to Stop Trump New York Times

Mainstream Republicans struggle for a way to halt rise of Trump Reuters. EM: “Note Reuters uses ‘mainstream’ as a synonym for ‘establishment’, i.e. in reference to the party elites as opposed to the (snicker) Will of the People.”


Death predicts whether people vote for Donald Trump Washington Post. Important. But the last sentence is classic elite denial.

Donald Trump and an Even Cruder G.O.P. Debate New Yorker (furzy)

Donald Trump softens stance on torture after TV outburst BBC

16.9 million viewers for rowdy Republicans debate is 2nd most watched program ever for Fox News Los Angeles Times (furzy)

An appetite for aggression Gillian Tett

Don’t be fooled: Lindsey Graham & GOP Establishment just as Crazy as Trump Juan Cole (Randy K)

Ben Carson ends his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Los Angeles Times (furzy)

Hillary for President? No thanks. BBC

Elizabeth Warren Is Savvy Not to Endorse Clinton or Sanders The Conversation

Fear and Pandering in the Palmetto State Jacobin (Bob K)

‘Bernie Baby’ Died of SIDS, Family Says New York Times (resilc)

Why I’ll never regret my Bernie Sanders tattoo Guardian (resilc)

Texas governor takes aim at ‘caustic’ tweeter who won county GOP race Reuters (EM). Comical.

North Carolina Finally Has A Good Choice For State Treasurer Forbes (MC)

Michigan governor issues appeal over Flint funds denial Reuters (EM)

Investors pile into US junk bond funds Financial Times

242,000 Jobs Added in February: 304,000 of Them Were Part-Time; Average Weekly Earnings Sank Michael Shedlock (EM)

Police State Watch

Federal Judge Says Filming Police Is Not a Constitutional Right, Prompting Appeal Vice (resilc)

How Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon Helped Push Coal to the Brink MIT Technology Review (resilc)


U.S. Has Too Much Oil. So Why Are Imports Rising? OilPrice

New paper examines the details behind stock market ‘flash crash‘ PhysOrg (Chuck L)

$213,000 ’emotional distress’ judgment against lender K5 (Steve M)

Class Warfare

The great land rush – Ethiopia: The billionaire’s farm Financial Times (guurst)

How the 1% Gardens Texas Observer

Antidote du jour. Stephen L, from the Alberta Wildlife FB page:

deer_bounding_fence links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. nobody

    Regarding “Death predicts whether people vote for Donald Trump,” this bit from Mark Ames is à-propos:

    “I really started with the idea that in every age, there is some awful oppression that is not yet recognized and therefore doesn’t exist, but later seems horribly obvious. This became clear to me working in Moscow in the ’90s. No one in the ‘liberal’ Western press corps, academia, world financial aid organizations or Clinton Administration had a shred of sympathy for the millions of Russians suffering from so-called ‘privatization’ programs that we rammed down their throats. Literally millions of Russians went to their graves early in the ’90s, yet many respectable Westerners openly said that the old generation would ‘have to die off’ before the proper mindset set in to allow full Westernization in Russia. Those millions of deaths are still not seen as part of something larger and evil.”,_murder_and_rebellion

    1. fresno dan

      Well, the market it always right, and our market funded media (all the news that’s fit to print) just didn’t find if noteworthy, as well as being an affront to free people in a free economy….(SARC)

    2. Steve H.

      – We still don’t know what exactly is causing middle-aged white death rates to rise,

      Strong similarity to Russia. Much was attributed to ‘toxicology’ there also, type vodka. Some movement associated with regulations, but the poison rate contoured with the suicide rate as well.

      I don’t have the toxicology changes in the U.S. to hand, but the white male (34-45) suicide rate went up over 20% 2004 to 2013.

      Perhaps they are considering ultimate v proximate causes.

  2. Llewelyn Moss

    re: Elizabeth Warren Is Savvy Not to Endorse Clinton or Sanders

    I want a Jay of whatever the author is smoking.

    “Withholding support from Clinton signals that Clinton must meaningfully and substantively go left on economic policy. ”

    When will this insanity over Clinton moving to the left end. She is an exceptional liar and will tell voters what she thinks they want to hear. But come Day 1, the mask will come off to reveal the same old right of center Neoliberal we’ve all come to know and hate. Hahaha.

    1. sleepy

      Exactly. If and when she secures the nomination pundits will immediately stick a mic in her face and raise the question of when she moves to the “center” to capture that great moderate middle in the general election. And that question will be prefaced by you-had-to-move-to-the-left during the primaries because of Sanders, but, but . . . . . .

      The answers to those questions have already been written.

    2. James Levy

      Agreed. The only thing that could force Clinton left would be a Congress dominated by Bernie Sanders clones that put legislation on her desk so obviously to the benefit of Democratic voters that Clinton would be forced to sign at least a few of them in order to stay relevant. But this is not 1932. Congress is dominated by reactionary twit Republicans and bought and paid for Democrats. The only thing that will keep Hillary from doing too much damage is that the Republicans may stonewall her the way they often did Obama, where they could have gotten sweetheart deals but passed them up in their pathological attempt to screw over the Black Kenyan Marxist. Hillary will presumptively be sniggered at as the Lesbo Leninist among the Tea Party Ultras in Congress, I’m sure. Their own venality may save us from the worst of Hillary’s mendacity.

      1. Brindle

        Funny how many right of center men are concerned about Hillary’s sexual orientation. Recently I found myself sharing a ski lift with some guys who started talking about Clinton, one of them claimed to know an ex-secret service agent who was assigned to the Clintons in the 90’s. He recounted how the agent claimed Hillary was a “stone-cold dyke”—which was met by knowing sniggers from the other guys on the lift. I despise Hillary but I could care less about her sexuality—-strange obsession that conservative men have about her.

        1. cwaltz

          The male ego is fragile. Most of them don’t know how to respond to a woman who doesn’t simper, giggle and act deferential. If we’re aggressively pursuing our own wants and needs it must be because we’re lesbians, it couldn’t possibly be because the world does not revolve around them.

          *shakes head* There are a million reasons to dislike Clinton, her sexuality ain’t one of them.

      2. RMO

        The only thing that could move Clinton left and keep her there is a Bussard ramscoop attached nose on the the right side of her body. If she actually were to get nominated and then elected you can be sure she would govern in a very right wing manner and then make some left wing sounding noises during the next election only to drop them, and the electorate immediately after winning a second term. And why not? It’s worked over and over again for the Democrats!

    3. For The Win

      Jay’s just another talking head. No attempt at all to bring a bit of science, via polling, to his “opinions” about people for which he has little in common think about these issues.

      The dope also forgot that Elizabeth Warren’s baby, the consumer credit agency is already under attack from large swaths of the elected officials from both political parties, she has a lot more at stake than just her reputation. One thing that can keep Hillary from throwing her own political weight harder behind castrating it in return fore yet more money, is the downside of really riling Warren, and vice-versa. Fleet-in-Port.

      1. HotFlash

        Sorry, this is twice, but who is “Jay”? No such name in the linked article incl by-line.

    4. wbgonne

      Warren’s silence also preserves her ability to be the “uniter” among the warring wings of the Democratic Party come convention time. Both Clinton and Sanders supporters will be disappointed Warren did not come their way earlier, but this summer in Philadelphia, her alignment with the eventual Democratic nominee will help tell the losing faction, “it’s OK to come home.”

      So Warren’s job will be to round up Sanders’ frustrated supporters (effin retards, professional leftists, pony-lovers) for Hillary’s corporate Democratic Party. The author appears to think this is laudable. I think Warren is being a servant of the corporatists and and a hypocrite extraordinnaire. But it’s alright with me. The Democratic Party is rotten to the core and Warren’s sellout just illustrates how deep the rot is. And good luck sheepdogging, Senator Warren, but be aware that many people are beginning to see through the deceit and manipulation of the Democratic Party.

      1. charger01

        Well done. It reminds me of that old joke, “How’s your wife?” “Compared to what?” Dems and their party don’t have much to compare in the states. A vibrant third (fourth!) party would help in the short term.

      2. Lord Koos

        Time will tell, but I think it’s a bit early to be branding Elizabeth Warren a “sellout”. Although I do get the feeling sometimes that having her around is just the Democratic party’s way of giving a kiss to the lefties in the party without having to actually do anything concrete.

        1. wbgonne

          I think it’s a bit early to be branding Elizabeth Warren a “sellout”.

          I disagree. Warren had two golden opportunities to move the country in the progressive direction she espouses: 1) she could have run against Clinton and, if she had, Warren would now be ahead of Clinton, probably decisively; and 2) she could have endorsed Sanders, who did have the courage to run against Clinton, and for whom it may have made a difference in Massachusetts if not elsewhere. Warren did neither. She sold out. IMNSHO.

          I do get the feeling sometimes that having her around is just the Democratic party’s way of giving a kiss to the lefties in the party without having to actually do anything concrete.

          Elizabeth Warren: the Democratic Party’s progressive hood ornament.

          1. aumua

            Exacly, and going forward from this point I’m going to be a lot less inclined to take what Elizabeth Warren says seriously, and I think most like minded individuals feel the same way.

          2. sd

            Warren holds a historically powerful Senate seat. Getting kicked upstairs doesn’t really help her if her goal is to rein in and regulate financial industries.

              1. Daryl

                Aye. Being in charge of the DOJ would probably be vastly more helpful than that. Despite the constant deregulation, there are still some pretty powerful laws on the books, particularly the trust busting ones, that are simply not exercised.

              2. sd

                Warren is not interested in running for President which leaves only the VP or a cabinet position. Either of which would be getting kicked upstairs.

                1. wbgonne

                  Oh, I agree that VP or cabinet — including AG (per above comment) — would decrease Warren’s power compared to her senate position. I’m sorry that I misunderstood your previous comment to mean that Warren is more powerful in the senate than she would be as president.

                  1. Daryl

                    I meant being president and being able to appoint AG and determine department policy. Being dept. head under Hillary would of course be pointless.

                2. cwaltz

                  Every politician is not interested in running for President- until they actually are.

                  It wasn’t but a few years ago that Clinton proclaimed she wasn’t interested in running either. How’d that go?

            1. HopeLB

              I agree! Watching her unmask the fraudsters and captured “regulators” at hearings is invaluable. She also writes and does TV to get this information out to the public.
              However, as her recent blasting of the Obama administration’s pitiful attempt at justice/lack of prosecutions of Banksters explicates; we need non-Wlall Street/non-Industry/non-revolving doorers to get this justice. If she were VP for Bernie or even helped Bernie win the nomination, she could help chose these agency heads.

            2. Ernie

              OK. So I get why she didn’t want to run for president (and probably won’t accept any VP offer), but why not endorse Bernie and stay in the Senate? Would that significantly diminish her in the Senate (where she already is not any Democratic leadership favorite)? Does she think that holding out the possibility of a later Clinton endorsement will win her any favor from the future queen, or that any policy promises she gets from Hillary in return won’t be promptly forgotten after the election? With or without an endorsement of Bernie, she is never going to be very effective under a neo-liberal Hillary administration, but could be a major legislative force in a Bernie Sanders administration, if she only had the foresight and fortitude that Tulsi Gabbard showed to help get Bernie elected.

      3. participant-observer-observed

        Warren would make a good GOP candidate! Too late for 2016 but what isn’t possible in this game?

      4. RP

        Liz can try, but God himself/herself could rend the sky in two, descend from on high, say “RP, you should vote for Clinton”, and I still wouldn’t do it.

      5. Uahsenaa

        I would guess Warren is also simply trying to protect her own ass/political future. I can only imagine the forces the Dem. party will likely unleash against Sanders for having disrupted Clinton’s coronation, even if he gives her his unwavering support in the general election. I expect the Dem.’s practice of not running anyone against him in Vermont will come to a swift end, for a start.

        1. optimader

          I would guess Warren is also simply trying to protect her own ass/political future.
          Really no rhetorical twisting in the wind beyond this reqd.

          1. cwaltz

            I guess I’m in the minority on the left. I actually don’t mind her looking out for her own interests.

            Sometimes I feel like the left is looking for a proverbial HERO, rather than a leader.

            Did Liz Warren lead on this issue? No. Does this make her a horrible, terrible sellout? No.

            1. myshkin

              I agree.
              Though the political process absolutely requires dissembling and prevarication to the point one might question Churchill’s maxim, “democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.”

            2. JohnnyGL

              I think you’ve got it right on this one. She is what she is, nothing more and nothing less.

              I met her back when she was meeting with the public before her senate run. I got a chance to ask her a couple of questions. I mentioned Yves’ suggestion at the time that she might want to run for president and she seemed to think the idea was kind of over the top. Whereas her Senate run was a more achievable target and got her in the door to have some influence after Obama had left her waiting in the wings for the CFPB head job. She’s now got a very secure seat and can pretty easily raise money for re-election. Dem party leaders might be annoyed with her at times for messing up their fundraising gigs, but she’s useful to them for optics and she’d be almost impossible to dislodge, even with a primary. That means she can continue to have a seat at the table when it comes to legislation drafting and agency rule-making. She seems to be a very effective bureaucratic infighter who’s mostly focused in the financial regulation area (and eagerly jumps in on women’s health issues, too). Like you say, she’s NOT a hero and doesn’t aspire to be. She’s a mild mannered person from Oklahoma that doesn’t want to conquer the world, she just wants to have a positive impact and knows the best way to use her own skill set to do it.

              She may quietly prefer a Sanders presidency, but I don’t think she helps him a ton in the race overall with an explicit endorsement and hitting the road for the campaign. Maybe she could have swung Massachusetts? Like Sanders (at least thus far), she seems to want to make sure she doesn’t burn any bridges with Clinton so that she can maximize her influence later on. I don’t think that’s a terrible approach (Sanders getting money for Community Health Centers in the ACA was a bigger win than it might appear). These are people who know that they probably are going to have to deal with corporate Dems for the rest of their political careers.

              We need the grand-standing rebels who are willing to storm the barricades from the outside, most definitely. But we’re going to have to look elsewhere for those, I’m guessing. Bernie seems like he might be converting himself into one…at least we can hope.

              1. bob

                “she’d be almost impossible to dislodge, even with a primary.”

                Disagree, strongly. She got the seat, on her own, not the MA machine, which has a very long life of its own.

                Mittens, anyone?

                  1. bob

                    She’s been already a republican dog whistle. Probably more name recognition within the R’s than the D’s.

                    She got an election 2 years away.

                    Is she vulnerable? Yes. The R’s in mass love nothing more than to hoist a no name, put millions behind them, and watch.

                    They have no machine there, only the anti-machine vote. Hold her up as the machine candidate, which she clearly is not, and then send in a few PAC. Brown, part 2.

              2. different clue

                “Yves’ suggestion that she run for President” . . . wait, what? I thought I remember Yves Smith arguing aGAINST
                Warren running for President.

                1. JohnnyGL

                  Yves wanted her to primary Obama in 2012, as I recall. Yves was also worried she’d be pigeonholed in the Senate and wouldn’t get much done. Warren’s beaten those worries, I’d say.

            3. optimader

              Agreeing with a self evident observation. She is a politician behaving as such. I have no expectations.

          2. JohnnyGL

            You make her sound craven. I don’t think that’s fair.

            If you play poker, you’ll know there’s a lot of hands that go by where you need to bet, fold, call, raise, etc. Warren seems to have a pretty good nose for what the right move is. It’s a big “raise” for her to endorse Sanders. I’m not sure it’s worth the risk for her. She’d rather live (politically) to fight another day.

            Fear of the Clinton machine is palpable, just look at the superdelegate count!

      6. Brooklin Bridge

        Yes, that paragraph jumped out at me as well. Apparantly, herding the flock to Clinton puts Warren at the top of the Wisdom mountain meditating wisely outside of her oh-so-courageous wisdom cave. Damn, where did I put that plastic b bag?

          1. wbgonne

            From the article:

            Had she endorsed Sanders before the Massachusetts primary, the state’s senior senator would have assured his victory over Hillary Clinton and probably helped him win big. By not endorsing him, she proved that she’s no radical progressive, but just another calculating self-interested political hack.

            1. JohnnyGL

              A win in MA would have swung like 4-5 delegates his way. Kind of a drop in the bucket when he’s down by like 150-200. What Sanders needs to do is find a way to get his % above 40 in the remaining Southern states. That would mostly blunt the growth of her delegate lead and then he can start clawing back ground by winning big in the west, the plains, and the mountain states.

              As badly as he got crushed down south, he showed some real promise with big wins in MN and CO. He may have a much higher ceiling west of the Mississippi river than we all realized.

              1. thoughtful person

                Sanders narrow loss in MA was actually promising. Obama lost to Clinton in MA in ’08 by nearly 200 thousand. Sanders only lost by 17 thousand – and Obama did go on to win.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          There are more and less credible reasons for Warren not to endorse, but herding the flock is definitely not one of them.

          Good reasons or not, I think her endorsement would have made the winning difference in Massachusetts. Whether or not that would justify having done so is another matter, though it seems to me that MA would have been a critical win for Sanders. It would have put a plausible cork in the Hillary momentum Gaius talks about in his post. Gaius remains positive, but I think a Massachusetts win would have been a pivotal stake in the ground. Whether or not Sanders can claw his way back after March 15, it will have been made considerably harder due to Hillary’s spinnable 1.7% in MA.

          1. cwaltz

            I’m pretty sure if she had lost Mass. they’d still be spinning Super Tuesday as a “win.” She’d still have technically won more states and more delegates.

            Heck, I’m not even sure if he won 6 and she won 5 that they wouldn’t figure out a way to spin THAT as a win.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              Yes, that’s true, but such spin would have rung hollow, as in, desperation, and voters in other states would pick up on it. The web would have been absolutely full of the fact that all five Northern states went to Sanders and many more people would have become aware of Lambert’s argument that Hillary is winning primaries only in states that make little difference for Democrats in the general.

              As it stands now, the Massachusetts win is spinnable for Hillary and, rightly or wrongly, Massachusetts is considered a progressive bellwether by other States. This doesn’t mean Sanders can’t get back and Gaius Publius makes a good argument for not loosing hope; that he will gain considerable ground after March 15th; but it will not be made easier by the MA loss.

              1. cwaltz

                I very sincerely doubt the web would have cared less about the fact that he’d won all of the northern states, the spin would have been that he DIDN’T win any of the southern ones and she did.

                The media does not want Bernie Sanders to win. It’s likely he could have won the majority and they’d be figuring out how to make the news be about Bloomberg considering jumping into the race and her superdelegates etc, etc,

                I woke up this morning to the narrative “will Clinton win Sanders again in his own backyard” and was seriously trying to figure out which of the three states voting Kansas, Louisiana, or Nebraska was “his backyard.” I mean last I saw none of those states are in the immediate vicinity of Vermont.

                1. Brooklin Bridge

                  Quick glance at a map lends almost incontrovertible support to your theory that Vermont’s back yard is neither infinite nor infinitely spinnable but as you imply, the MSM information gatekeepers won’t let such tiny inconsistencies interrupt le massage being given to the public.

                  The web has been good to Sanders by comparison to almost every other source of information other than hearing it from Sander’s own mouth. NC is a good example, but hardly the only one. And the comment section of almost every rag or ass licking blog out there is alive with cutting criticism of all the Hillary boot licking.

                  BTW, media or no, this isn’t over and I am constantly surprised by just how aware people are. This would have been impossible in the 90’s when the web was infant.

                  How long it will stay that way is another question.

              2. cwaltz

                Sanders wins TWO out of the THREE contests and what’s the media headline online
                “Clinton wins delegate rich Louisiana.”

                People are just going to have to learn to ignore.

      7. HotFlash

        “So Warren’s job will be to round up Sanders’ frustrated supporters (effin retards, professional leftists, pony-lovers) for Hillary’s corporate Democratic Party. The author appears to think this is laudable.”

        It may turn out to be an impossible job. Really hard to herd pony-lovers, they are not homogenous.

    5. DanB

      Here’s my favorite line from this article: “Warren is the unifying voice for Democrats. She is the trusted arbiter who could make the other side “see the light” and rally around the party’s eventual nominee.”

      See the light, indeed. Hillary and Warren met last year for a private conversation -I would like some light shed on that meeting.

      1. cwaltz

        I think it’s incredibly funny that they think a cult of personality is going to bring people back into the fold.

        I like Elizabeth Warren. However, I won’t be rejoining the Democratic Party on her say so or Bernie’s for that matter.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Ditto. Call it sour grapes or what ever, but I will be very interested in exactly what sort of endorsement Sanders does or doesn’t give Hillary should that come to pass.

          I recognize Sander’s sincerity – which I doubted before his efforts on the campaign trail – but I am still close to believing the Democratic party is simply moribund and that it is time to look for something else.

      2. EGrise

        “Nice little agency you created there, Liz. Be a shame if something happened to it…”

    6. no one

      Umph. Why is it that whenever I see a picture of Clinton I see Margaret Thatcher’s gaping skull grinning back at me?

    7. Pat

      Pretty damning analysis of Clinton at

      “Now of course Clinton has made things considerably worse for herself by the way she’s approached the campaign. She’s got a whopping case of that weird mental blind spot I labeled, in a post that appeared here last year, “the delusion of control”—the notion, as pervasive as it is preposterous, that when a member of America’s privileged classes does something, the rest of the cosmos is obliged to respond to that action in a wholly passive, wholly mechanical manner. For a world-class example, watch the way Clinton’s handlers simply look blank each time they find out that most of the American people loathe and distrust their candidate, and try repeatedly to “reintroduce” her, as though they think they can just hit a reset button on the campaign machinery and start all over again.”

  3. Sam Adams

    Re: the great land rush: Ethiopia
    Control the food resources and the serfs fall into line for thier daily bowl of rice. It’s been the same since time immemorial.

    1. abynormal

      lookie, it’s a mindless posting beer ad.

      You drop your tiny, helpless mind into a bottomless well, crossing your fingers and hoping when you pull it out on its flimsy fishing wire it hasn’t been gnawed to bones by nameless beasts below. Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies

  4. James Levy

    I’ve been following the Ethiopia story for some time and it’s one of the most savage cases of a comprador class selling out its people to foreign interests I’ve ever seen. It’s going to get worse than the plantation system in the New World, because sugar, tobacco, and cotton are nice but rice keeps a couple of billion people from starving to death. As this process continues you can imagine the lengths the owners of these farms will go to in order to hold on to these assets as climate change strides towards catastrophe. And even if the teeming millions grab the land back, it will be set up for a form of agriculture which they can’t manage because of the technology and inputs involved. It will take several years to divvy up the land and get it back into local styles of production, assuming the irrigation is just to boost production and necessary for making production possible. Which means any solidarity bred from overthrowing the latifundistas will evaporate in a war of all against all when the food runs out and the new crops haven’t even been planted. What a future we’re sleepwalking into.

    1. Syoia

      The great land rush – Ethiopia: The billionaire’s farm

      The last land grab in Africa ended so well…

      Those of us who lived there are laughing at the repeat of imperialism.

      1. Massinissa


        Africa is still feeling its effects. Imperialism continues to this day, though under the guise of capitalism. Theres nothing to laugh about.

        1. abynormal

          ‘nothing to laugh about’, Indeed!

          the Syoia’s knowingly laugh to justify their insidious partaking of capital flow glory, and they left enough blood for the next round of vampires.

  5. Benedict@Large

    Why We’re Defending Apple – Eliza Sweren-Becker, ACLU

    “It doesn’t take a constitutional scholar to understand that there is a limit on the government’s power to conscript third parties into the service of law enforcement. That’s the kind of limit that distinguishes a democratic government from a police state. As the ACLU told the court in California today, the government has crossed that limit.”

    1. fresno dan

      thank you for that link!
      (hmmmm…I keep using too many exclamation points! I think its Jeb’s! fault!)

    2. Uahsenaa

      I was once reminded by a lawyer friend of mine, a rare bird, that rarely is your client someone who is perfectly virtuous or even all that pleasant to be around, but if the principle is worth defending, then it’s worth defending no matter how unsavory the party in question might be.

  6. pantaraxia

    Monsanto is throwing a temper tantrum in India over the possibility of having their profits regulated. After manipulating the market at the expense of Indian farmers, who consequently committed suicides in the millions, Monsanto now controls an estimated 90% of the market and seems to have a hard time understanding why it cannot price gouge to its hearts content. Wonder how this would play out under TPP.

    Monsanto threatens to quit Indian GM-cotton market if govt cuts its royalties

    1. participant-observer-observed

      Gujarat(?) Chief Minister told Enron to go screw themselves when Kenny Boy (rip) tried that trick, and we all know how that story ended.

    2. abynormal

      i’m not sure it’s a tantrum as much as desperation…they’re running out of spin-offs to absorb the losses from the tens of thousands of law suits around the world.

      MON’s party song…
      Soy un perdedor
      I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me? ~Beck

  7. craazyman

    how many times did that deer have to jump the fence to get the shot right? is that a dog in a deer suit? c’mon be honest

    1. Jim Haygood

      Hope you don’t mind, but I set up a Craazyman Fund paper-trading portfolio in your honor [see post in Links 3/3/2016]. It’s a “dirty” portfolio: 50% junk bonds (SPHIX); 30% emerging markets (EEM); 20% in the old yellow dog (IAU). These are the outcasts and street people of the securities markets.

      In its first two days (Mar 3-4), Craazyman Fund rose 1.72% vs 0.34% for its benchmark (50% SPY; 50% AGG).

      1. craazyman

        wow. i don’t mind at all, but it looks awfully conservative to me! :-)

        I’m thinking now that gold is about to take off and hit $2000. So I’m thinking of going in really big again, but with put option protection. I lost alot of money doing this two years ago, but now I think it’s time. I also might short the SPY again. I lost money that way too before. I was so traumatized by all this that I haven’t made a trade for almost a year.

        If I hammer myself again by accident, maybe I can tap the Craazyman Fund later this year to pay rent and get a little walking around money? If it comes to that. I hope it doesn’t but It might. I have to be honest.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Half in bonds sounds conservative. But these are not conservative bonds. SPHIX delivered a 51.6% pop in 2009, as it screamed back from an end-of-world “asteroid hit” scenario.

          Today ain’t that bad. But as this FRED chart shows, junk bonds reached a towering 8.87% spread over Treasuries on Feb. 11th. If this spread keeps coming down, it’ll put a turbo boost on junk bond returns:

          And if it don’t, then the doomsters won, and we’ll have to don our coonskin caps and go squirrel hunting in Central Park to put food on our family. :-)

          1. craazyman

            the dumbest thing I did was go big into an out of the money SLV call when SLV was about $22. I was sure it was gona rocket over $$35 and I was gonna make $40 or $50 grand easy! Then SLV went to $12.

            I was completely traumatized. For many months I refused even to log on to my brokerag account, since if i see it down even 0.34%, which i rationally know isn’t a catastrophe, but still I get a panic attack. I was so sure SLV would go to at least $35.

            the only investments I’m comfortable with are ones that go straight up. i don’t mind taking risk, but only that they don’t go straght up. They can’t, under any circumstances, go down. No fancy risk management math for me. It’s either straight up or nothing. It makes it hard, I admit.

            I thought at one point, a few years ago, that if I read all the Posts here and all the macroeconomic articles I’d, for sure, find several 10-baggers that went straight up. I had little doubt about it. i was sure it would be easy. I started seeing asteroidds everywhere, asteroids that my rarefied and erudite analytical acumen, developed from my acquired expert knowledge of macroeconomics from reading all the Links and posts, would allow me to see many hundreds of miles away when they were just a little speck in the sky. This persuaded me to be an investor of action, not a handwringer who just talks about it and finds himself incapable of making money like a seasoned professional. That’s when i went big into SLV calls.

        2. Clive

          You remind me of my father who, after experiencing one of his not-infrequent investment set backs would utter his customary lament: “right with the trends, wrong at both ends”.

        3. hidflect

          Buy gold miners not gold. I’ve doubled my money over this year.

          I am not a financial advisor. DYOR.

  8. ProNewerDeal

    Some conversation at a bar

    Some Dude: “That Malört (alcoholic beverage) tastes so disgusting, I wouldn’t even offer it to IS1S!”

    Me: “Yeah, but would you offer it to Al-Nusra Front though?”

    had to laugh at my own joke on that one, haha. I guess most “IRL” people are not up on the news, or the Syria Civil War in particular

  9. Synoia

    U.S. Has Too Much Oil. So Why Are Imports Rising?

    Remarkably stupid article. NO understand whatsoever that there is not “one” US crude market, completely ignores the large geographical; separation of crude supply and refined product demand, and refinery supply decisions.

    For example: It may be less expensive to import crude in the NE than to ship the crude by rail from t N Dakota. In addition a refineries are dedicated and engineered to may undergo to process crude from a preferred oilfield, and must by modified to process a different crude

    The devil is always in the details.

    1. TomD

      I’ve also heard most of the crude produced in the US is incompatible with US refineries which were built essentially for refining the crude oil the mid-east produces (something about heavy vs light crude). I think NPR did a story on this.

      1. hunkerdown

        Yup. Sour into a sweet refinery poisons catalysts. Heavy into a light refinery doesn’t yield product. So, sour and/or heavy crudes require desulfurization resp. cracking before they can be refined into the usual light products for consumption. Either is an 8- or 9-figure investment for a production refinery and also requires additional inputs, usually natural gas.

        1. HotFlash

          IIRC, that’s why the Koch Bros need Tar Sands oil, their TX refineries are set up for it? So, oil is not actually fungible, after all?

  10. taunger

    Nice of Mish to note that all the added folks to SSDI over the past couple of years must have been fraud. I’ve been working with this population, which is incredibly representative of the disadvantaged white working class we’ve been noting recently: poorly educated, working in menial jobs, either hard labor or thankless service.

    Many, many, many objectively meet SSDI standards for benefits, but are denied by Administrative Law Judges happy to use their discretion to deny benefits based on their personal preferences rather than the validity of a claim. The fraud is that historically benefits were granted at higher rates, but there was no change in law to correspond to the drop in favorable claims. So all these claimants are fraudsters? Anecdote is not data, but when you work in a volume practice, it quickly comes close, and I know of many, many claims that were denied at the whim of an ALJ

    1. Antifa

      Once you know which ALJ will be deciding your application, you can look up their approval rate, their track record. Astonishingly, approval rates vary from 20% up to 70% between individual judges. Almost a lottery situation.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Just going by Mish’s headline alone, that 242,000 jobs created, of which 304,000 were part timers, one can understanding the happy mood of our neoliberal overlords.

      “Another month of successfully converting full timers to part timers. For every 1 full timers we lose, we can claim creation of 3 part timers. Now, everyone is a little hungrier, with fewer hours worked. That will bring competition among the workers and still makes us look great on the next propaganda broadcast.”

      1. Uahsenaa

        Also note how about a year and half ago, they just stopped reporting how many jobs would be needed to cover population growth, so as to pad the figure.

  11. Beans

    RE: Investors pile into US junk bond funds
    This is behind a paywall – can anyone with a FT subscription post the summary?
    In my industry (dentistry), the boatloads of junk bond funded dental offices by PE is wreaking havoc. I’ve been expecting the craziness to end after the interest rates started to climb – but the response from PE has been to step on the gas and buy anything offered. They used to only buy large dental office groups but now are buying small 3-4 office operations. PE new dental office openings are popping up like dandelions too – in markets which are already very saturated.
    The bond rating on many PE dental groups is junk level – from the title of the article it sounds like the craziness will not be ending any time soon.

  12. myshkin

    RE: McClendon Helped Push Coal to the Brink.
    The velvet gloved, chainmailed, invisible, sleight of hand of the all knowing market guides us once again through perilous waters.

    “McClendon’s motivations were hardly pure; he knew that preventing new coal plants meant more demand for his company’s product, natural gas.”

  13. fresno dan

    The repubs are the “mainstream” or establishment of crazy. Understanding that if you repeat a BIG LIE enough, you can give it enough credibility among at least a good portion of the population to sustain it.

    The hypocrisy of the repubs is so voluminous that I would say its impossible to completely document.
    What drives me insane is that there can be discussions about how “beyond the pale” of Trump is on torture (as a future policy) from people who have advocated, designed, and implemented torture! Their hypocrisy never gets challenged or even MENTIONED in the majority of the media!!! And of course, you can have an hours long debate with these lawyerly people about the “definition” of torture and how they simply play word games – again, Orwell’s newspeak (miniluv)…

    I really wish Trump had some knowledge beyond TV so he could give a detailed explanation of all the hypocrisy. But you know what? It would take hours – and for what good??? There are plenty of repub “think” tanks that hide the speciousness and ridiculousness of their budget assumptions, (as well as torture or any other repub issue) and hundreds of shills willing to obfuscate, defend, and flat out lie – and more than 3 minutes on TV would devolve into something that would make your eyes glaze over.

    I read Mittens take down of Trump:

    “His tax plan in combination with his refusal to reform entitlements* and honestly address spending would balloon the deficit and the national debt. ”

    * A very good example of a “mainstream” sentence that is so divorced from reality, but never ever commented upon. There is always money for bank bailouts, military adventures, and repubs never, never ever submitting a balanced budgets, but never enough money for social security. The repubs can’t b*tch and whine about Trump insane economics when their’s is more insane and infinitely more cruel to the poorer. Yet the mainstream cannot point out this obvious and easy repub inconsistency…

    Mittens speech is from the party establishment, that as a carefully crafted policy, LIES about reality – repubs do not care a whit about balanced budgets. That is the BIG LIE. The fact that they never submit balanced budgets, that they want ever diminishing taxes but ever increasing military expenditures, and this is considered within the realm of “mainstream” Every time I hear a repub shill I think of Orwell and “parrot phrases.”

    I don’t think the average person can give an articulate synopsis on why Trump is no worse, and arguably better, than the vast majority of repub politicians, but the difference between what people instinctively know about what politicians are saying, and what they mean to deliver, and that it is not in the interest of the vast majority, is becoming ever clearer to ever more.

    1. Lexington

      The hypocrisy of the repubs is so voluminous that I would say its impossible to completely document.
      What drives me insane is that there can be discussions about how “beyond the pale” of Trump is on torture (as a future policy) from people who have advocated, designed, and implemented torture! Their hypocrisy never gets challenged or even MENTIONED in the majority of the media!!!

      Funny you should mention that because it gives me an opening to plug Glenn Greenwald’s latest, Donald Trump’s Policies Are Not Anathema to U.S. Mainstream, but an Uncomfortable Reflection of It , which addresses this very issue.with his trademark conciseness and clarity of exposition.

      1. fresno dan

        March 5, 2016 at 11:25 am

        Oh yeah, I saw that yesterday and commented upon it quite extensively. I won’t repeat my very long comment – save those pixels for more valuable insights….

        March 4, 2016 at 10:42 am
        A terrific article by Greenwald on the utter and complete hypocrisy of the gop establishment’s foreign policy “experts” slamming Trump on everything from torture to the murder of terrorists’ families.

        Torture propagandist Ari Fleischer takes a special hit.

        Reply ↓
        fresno dan
        March 4, 2016 at 12:15 pm
        March 4, 2016 at 10:42 am
        Great article – documents that we have reached “full Orwell” or full bullsh*t – the hypocrisy has gone beyond being a torrent, it is beyond an ocean, d*mn, its beyond the mass of the planet, and I suspect the solar system.

  14. fresno dan

    Death predicts whether people vote for Donald Trump Washington Post. Important. But the last sentence is classic elite denial.

    A few weeks ago, following the Republican Iowa caucuses, I pointed out an eerie correlation in the voting data. It seems that Donald Trump performed the best in places where middle-aged whites are dying the fastest.

    Economic struggles have likely contributed as well. Case and Deaton also found that the increase in the death rate has been driven by people with less education. For those without a college degree, the economy in recent decades has been increasingly miserable. This may explain why some have turned to self-destructive behaviors, such as drug and alcohol abuse.

    The people I’ve been describing — this distressed, dying demographic slice of America — are similar to the people who tend to vote for Trump, according to phone and exit polls. Trump supporters are mostly white; skew older; and are less likely to have college degrees than other Republicans.

    Perhaps this is no coincidence. As I wrote in December:

    [I]t is nonetheless striking that Trump’s promise to “Make America Great Again” has been most enthusiastically embraced by those who have seen their own life’s prospects diminish the most — not [only] in terms of material wealth, but in terms of literal chances of survival.

    It’s true that life was once better in many parts of America. In the late ’90s, not only was the death rate for middle-aged whites lower, but median wages for non-college workers were higher. Since then, globalization sucked away many more manufacturing jobs, and the Great Recession gave an extra kick to places that were already in decline.****
    Understanding why this part of America is so unhappy — why some white people are literally dying faster — may help explain how Trump became such a powerful force in this election.

    “may help” ???

    **** I mentioned K street in Washington in a comment the other day. I know such information documentation doesn’t exist, but I KNOW that the ratio of meeting between representatives of people who make 30K or less, and those who make 300K or more, is a squillion to one…

    1. diptherio

      Understanding why this part of America is so unhappy — why some white people are literally dying faster — may help explain how Trump became such a powerful force in this election.


      People are “unhappy” because they are dying faster…what’s to understand? And somehow manages to entirely miss that there is a reason (or rather, reasons) for increases in poor, white death-rate.

      Let’s see if we can lay it out, here:

      1) Establishment policies have led to increased mortality for us po’ white folk.

      2) Increased mortality makes us sad :_(

      3) Trump shows up and calls the establishment a bunch of a-holes, which us sad, dying, po’ people can identify with.

      4) Meanwhile the establishment a-holes just tell everybody that they shouldn’t be so unhappy about dying and instead just try working harder.

      5) Establishment pols and media express amazement that po’ people support Trump.

      I wonder if these serious political pundits know how dumb they sound? Maybe somebody should tell ’em…

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Trump may undo the Republican party.

          Let’s see if the Sanders revolution can do the same.

          1. sd

            I mentioned this the other day, I think Trump is purely a revenge vote. That revenge is against the status quo of beltway politics.

            1. wbgonne

              My take, also. Trump supporters don’t know his policies and they don’t care. Yes, he gets some of the nativist/racist element but, mainly, this is just a big FU to DC.

            2. Starveling

              This is accurate. Half the people I work with are already on board with Trump, the other half are Sanders supporters that seem set on Trump if Sanders doesn’t make it.

              Anti-establishment Spite vote.

          1. wbgonne

            Drum. Ygleisias. Benen. Sargent. Tomasky. Marshall. Kos. Klein. Krugman. Feel free to add other names. Courtesans to the oligarchs. The hall of shame.

          2. bob

            A sock puppet can, in theory, entertain children. I wouldn’t even give him that much.

            He’s just crazy, right Annie?

      1. fresno dan

        Trump brings to my mind the Evander Holyfield quote, when he was going to fight Iron Mike Tyson, and Tyson was thought to be invincible. Holyfield said, “He’s never been hit”

        There is this pretend idea that repubs and dems disagree. And it is all pro wrestling scripted.
        Sure, the political system every once in a while has a brief flirtation with a real rebel, e.g., Gene McCarthy, but for the most part in the last 30 years it is all the same.

        Sanders and Trump represent the first time in a long time that the electorate isn’t offered the standard pablum…and have a real chance to say to our political class, “you have failed!”
        And of course, the repubs who thrive on the blood and tears of the working poor, and sow anger, now are being eaten by their own creation – about time.

        I saw Mittens on Bloomberg’s “With all due Respect” talking about his speech and how awful, terrible, horrible, no-good Trump was…..and than the host asked Mittens if he would donate his own money to one (just one!) of the super pacs going against Trump.
        NOW GET THIS!!!!!!!
        Mittens said ….mabe, but he would have to discuss it with his wife….LOL!!! Trump is soooo bad, but I’m not spending any money!!!!! And they just don’t know why people hate them….
        I forget if it was Marx or Lenin who said (debunked, supposedly, but all the good quotes are debunked) capitalists will sell us the ropes we hang them with…

        1. Tony S

          Not to mention that Trump is a creation of the establishment’s beloved supply-side, wealth-concentration, feed-the-rich policies they’ve been pushing for decades…

          Not that Trump is FDR of course, but you only need one charismatic class traitor…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            They’d make fun of FDR’s legs today.

            That’s how far this country has come

        2. Skippy

          Its not what I say but what I have done thingy….

          “Trump attended Fordham University in the Bronx for two years. He entered the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, as Wharton then offered one of the few real estate studies departments in U.S. academia.[26] While there, he worked at his father’s company, Elizabeth Trump & Son.[27] Trump graduated from Wharton in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in economics.[28][29]

          Trump was eligible for the draft lottery during the Vietnam War.[30] “I actually got lucky because I had a very high draft number” he told WNYW in 2011.[31] Selective Service records retrieved by The Smoking Gun website from the National Archives show that, although Trump did eventually receive a high selective service lottery number in 1969, he was not drafted earlier secondary to four student deferments (2-S) while attending college, as well as a medical deferment (1-Y, later converted to 4-F) obtained in 1968 after his college graduation, prior to the lottery being initiated.[32] Trump was deemed fit for service after a military medical examination in 1966 and was briefly classified as 1-A by a local draft board shortly before his 1968 medical disqualification.[33] Trump attributed his medical deferment to “heel spurs” in both feet, according to a 2015 biographer,[25] but told an Iowa campaign audience he suffered from a spur in one foot, although he could not remember which one.[33]
          Business career

          Trump has said that when he graduated from college in 1968, he was worth about US$200,000 (equivalent to $1,021,000 in 2016).[34] He began his career at his father’s real estate company,[35] Elizabeth Trump and Son,[36] which focused on middle-class rental housing in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. During his undergraduate study, one of Trump’s first projects was the revitalization of the foreclosed Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio, which his father had purchased for $5.7 million in 1962.[37] Fred and Donald Trump became involved in the project and, with a $500,000 investment, turned the 1,200-unit complex’s occupancy rate from 34% to 100%. Trump oversaw the company’s 14,000 apartments across Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.[38] In 1972, The Trump Organization sold Swifton Village for $6.75 million.[39][40]

          In 1971, Trump moved to Manhattan, where he became involved in larger construction projects, and used attractive architectural design to win public recognition.[41] Trump initially came to public attention in 1973 when he was accused by the Justice Department of violations of the Fair Housing Act in the operation of 39 buildings, including false “no vacancy” statements, and sham leases presenting higher rents to minority applicants, all to facilitate the denial of housing to racial minorities.[42] Trump in turn accused the Justice Department of targeting his company because it was a large one, and in order to force it to rent to welfare recipients. After an unsuccessful countersuit filed by attorney Roy Cohn,[42] Trump settled the charges in 1975 without admitting guilt, saying he was satisfied that the agreement did not “compel the Trump organization to accept persons on welfare as tenants unless as qualified as any other tenant.”[43] The Trump Organization was again in court several years later for violating terms of the settlement.[42]”

          Skippy….. Yeah…. like having an RE developer in the WH will fix stuff…. absurdly delirious…

      2. James Levy

        I think there is some truth in what you say, but it can be taken too far. I have a feeling, perhaps wrong, but from sitting around getting my oil changed yesterday in Pittsfield a strong feeling, that whereas Sanders hammers away at the billionaire class and the plutocracy every day, this message is lost on Trump voters. They don’t like the “establishment”, but what they identify as the establishment tends to leave out the ownership class (i.e. people like Trump). These people admire the rich and hate the government (which is largely owned and controlled by the rich but they don’t see it that way). The most interesting point two men kept stressing yesterday was their opposition to single payer: they thought that if the government takes the money from them to fund medical care, that was “communism”–and these were white working stiffs in their 30s. So I think the Trump appeal is only partially a rational response to the fact that most Americans without college degrees (and the media always forget that that is most Americans) are getting screwed.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          A college degree helps the degree-holder to offer better service, and thus making him or her more attractive, to the overlords in extracting rent from other degree holders and those without one.

          Without a degree, you are screwed.

          With a degree, you will still be screwed.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            With a degree, you are a screwed screwer whereas without you are not a screwer screwed.

        2. neo-realist

          Those white working stiffs sound like victims of right wing talk/tv media manufactured consent that says that government, not the plutocrats that own it, is bad and inefficient. Chalk it up imo to the Powell doctrine and the concentration of media infrastructure ownership in the hands of conservative money that followed.

        3. fresno dan

          James Levy
          March 5, 2016 at 11:59 am

          I view Trump’s purpose as heightening the contradictions…
          Hopefully, he will actually be able to destroy the repub party.

        4. bob

          “These people admire the rich and hate the government (which is largely owned and controlled by the rich but they don’t see it that way)”

          The best example of this is immigration policy. TPTB love to demonize the mexicans, but they also love that they can then hire them at sub minimum wage and ditch them when they’re done with them.

          Talking about those bad immigrants is very easy. Not using them as cheap, disenfranchinsed labor, much more difficult.

          But these are rich people, the job creators. They don’t lie….

        5. Steven

          The difference is that now they’re close to the end of their ropes, with stagnant income and declining life expectancy, so they’re ready for someone to address that. The Democrats won’t, apparently, unless Bernie pulls it out, so along comes Trump. Medicare, Social Security, no TPP. sounds pretty good.

          1. James Levy

            But they aren’t listening to Bernie’s message and don’t really care about it. You want to turn this into a question of policies. Trump’s are incoherent and he’s proven himself over the decades to be as big a liar as Clinton. It’s his style and money that attract. He’s a “winner” who will “get things done” (make the trains run on time?). It’s a corrupt technocrat with no imagination against a corrupt demagogue with what I fear is a wildly self-aggrandizing imagination. Either way, we are screwed. The pretense I hear that Trump cares enough to lift a finger to help people he has no knowledge of and has spent a lifetime fleecing is about as convincing as the “if we elect Obama for a second term we’ll see his real colors” rhetoric I didn’t buy in 2012.

            1. wbgonne

              Outstanding comment. Good analysis, especially re: Trump. I’m not sure I agree that Sanders’ economic populism isn’t working with the working class. I think it is but it’s taking time, probably too much time for Sanders’ candidacy. And, let’s face it, Sanders has always been an improbable nonimee. Even Trump talks about the corrupt owndership of government by the rich (as an insider!). I don’t know what’s happening but things are changing and where that’s going to lead I don’t know. But the center cannot hold.

              1. Tony S

                Swap around the media coverage Sanders and Trump have received, and it’s Bernie running away with the D nomination, with Trump being the competitive curio.

                Unfortunately, the legacy media still matters. Not as much as it used to, but it’s still a significant factor.

                1. wbgonne

                  Good point. And, let’s face it, Sanders is far more of a threat to the interests served by the corporate media than Trump is. Trump is one of the in-crowd. He’s just not playing hy the rules. So corporate media exploits Trump but ignore Sanders,

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One is more likely to survive a Darwinian struggle with education that prepares the student to fit into the system like a functional cog in the machine.

      One is happier with education that enlightens, though there is no guarantee you will survive in a neoliberal world.

      So, naturally, we need more education of the former kind. This article just subtly reinforces that notion. Never mind basic human rights or dignity.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times.

      Republicans are talking about voting for Hillary should Trump becomes their nominee.

      Democrats are talking about switching to Donald should Clinton becomes their guy.

      It was wife-swapping once, but now the rage seems to be candidate-swapping.

      1. Tony S

        And the white working-class voters who’ve been abandoned by the Dems AND the GOP will come out in force to put Trump in office. Hillary’s been so demonized by the Republicans for so long that I don’t see too many of the rank-and-file defecting to her.

        Dem voters, outside certain identity groups, tend to think more freely, and the Dem establishment has been far, far worse to its base than the other party’s. So I can see Dem voters jumping to Trump, who’s running to the LEFT of Hillary on non-identity issues.

        The Dems do have an active candidate who could counteract that. Who could that be?

        1. RP

          (D) establishment would rather lose with HRC than have Bernie win – and vs Trump he would – because Bernie wouldn’t just upset the apple cart, he’d set it on fire and push it out into traffic.

          I feel all warm inside thinking about an attorney general prosecuting white-collar criminals for the first time EVER…

      2. fresno dan

        Same problem as with wife swapping, i.e., the other guy’s wife appears even worse than your own…

        1. rich

          Hillary Emails Reveal How Crony Elite Got Access to Those Designing Obamacare
          By Lachlan Markay

          Hillary Clinton worked to get a high-dollar donor to the Clinton Foundation access to a top White House health care official during the legislative fight over Obamacare, according to emails that reveal new details about the administration’s role in that fight.
          An administration official regularly briefed Clinton on the status of Obamacare legislation, the emails show. Some of those messages reveal concerns about the law’s unpopularity, its price tag, and its inability to control health care costs that the administration publicly dismissed or downplayed.
          In June 2009, Clinton emailed Neera Tanden, a former Clinton campaign operative, then a top aide to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and now the president of the Center for American Progress.
          Clinton wanted Tanden to arrange a meeting between three doctors and Nancy Ann DeParle, the White House official leading its health care reform efforts.
          “I can arrange it, no worries,” Tanden assured her. “I know Dean Ornish from the Obama campaign,” Tanden said, referring to one of the trio.

          White House Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy Ann DeParle

          all 1 team………..

          1. Pavel

            Yeah I remember these people from those famous “transparent, no smoke-filled rooms” C-SPAN hearing on health care that Obama established.

            Oh wait…

    1. Lambert Strether

      Gopnik, in Paris, simply confirms the prejudices of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. I like Gopnik’s writing, but he’s simply out of his depth here, and it’s quite telling that Herzberg passed it; sadly, the New Yorker does very little political reporting any more (as opposed to advocacy).

      1. Strangely Enough

        But there is no evidence at all that Democrats are, by historical measure, especially angry with their circumstances—or that they are, on the whole, anything but proud of their twice-elected President and prepared to support candidates who declare themselves close to him.

        Wow. The term that immediately comes to mind is insular.

        1. Lord Koos

          Many Democratic voters believe that Obama is the greatest, and they like Hillary too. These are undoubtedly people who have been somewhat insulated from the economic shocks that are hurting so many others… comfortably retired boomers, people with decent jobs, etc. I routinely get into arguments with them… they tend to be people that swallow the party line dispensed by the MSM without asking too many questions.

          I have a crazy (or not) theory about Clinton’s candidacy… with the success of Bernie, and the polls showing Hillary may not beat Trump, the Democratic party elite are formulating plan B. Perhaps the plan is to blow up Clinton’s failing campaign with the email server scandal, and then insert a last-minute alternative. Biden and Bloomberg stand by, ready to serve if called.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            On the R side, the point being stressed is that Trump can’t beat Hillary.

            One candidate after another: “I can beat Clinton. Trump can’t.”

      2. annie

        js wolcott wondered if adam gopnik had been put on earth to annoy people. although after renata adler first demolished gopnik one would have thought he would have slunk back into the hole he emerged out of. many writers–max boot pops to mind–haven’t the shame gene.

      3. Carolinian

        It’s more reasoning by analogy whereas France and the United States are not at all alike. One problem with many of our pundits is that they often know their way around, say, Paris better than the country they live in. The New Yorker itself even once satirized this with their cover cartoon of a giant NY city surrounded by a tiny America.

  15. efschumacher

    From the Onion: At press time, Larson announced the team had devised a new method of abstraction and mathematical induction in which lower numbers have a greater numerical value than their higher counterparts.

    The Onion missed a trick here. Jeb Bush in Florida, corroborated by Saint Antonin, already pioneered this method by transforming higher numbers into lower ones using hanging chads.

    1. Tony S

      And also helped massively by the Democratic establishment, which fought so, so hard for Gore during those Florida follies… /s

      James Baker was on TV every six hours, ranting and raving about how we didn’t need to count the votes for this reason and that reason. The Dems were hiding under their beds.

      I remember writing a letter to my Dem senator asking her if there was any plan for the Dems to begin asserting themselves — after all, it was only the Presidency that was at stake. She (or a staffer) did reply, touting how she would always fight “for a woman’s right to choose”. My letter said nothing about abortion.

      My first direct contact with Dem fecklessness. It would be a few years before I understood it was by design…

      1. Lord Koos

        I can’t count the number of canned responses I get from writing to my Senators. As in your experience, often the replies do not even address the point.

  16. Terez

    BBC Hillary video: not sure what the point of that was. I mean, they asked 4 random people in FL what they thought of Hillary. They don’t like her. Okay?

    (I don’t like her either. But it’s not hard to find 4 people who agree with me, especially when the ability to coherently argue against her candidacy is not required.)

    1. Antifa

      They chose to present us four people who gave immediate, coherent answers, obviously well considered opinions. No doubt there were fifty average Americans who simply shrugged and said, “I dunno, I just don’t like her?”

      The four presented said Hillary was a liar, phony, insincere, corrupt, and had killed a lot of people with her warmongering.

      But the BBC didn’t say that. Those people said it. And now it’s been said.

  17. Jim Haygood

    High political drama in Brazil:

    RIO DE JANEIRO — The colossal graft scandal surrounding Brazil’s national oil company engulfed the country’s most prominent political figure on Friday, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, as the police raided his home and took him into custody.

    More than any other politician, Mr. da Silva embodied Brazil’s rise as a global powerhouse. Universally known as Lula, he helped usher his country onto the international stage as president from 2003 through 2010, winning admiration at home and abroad.

    But as a sweeping corruption scandal rips apart the political establishment, the once towering political figure is coming to symbolize something else: Brazil’s crashing ambitions.

    In an operation that began at 6 a.m., officers from the Federal Police swarmed Mr. da Silva’s home in São Paulo. He was taken to a federal police station, but he was not arrested or charged. He was released after about three hours of questioning, which he later derided as a “media show.”

    Unlike in the U.S. where “professional courtesy” rules within the Depublicrat duopoly, in LatAm ex-presidents are actually subject to the law like ordinary citizens.

    What a concept!

    Brazil is 6.12% of the emerging markets fund EEM, and thus constitutes 1.84% of the Craazyman Fund. Darkest before dawn?

    1. craazyman

      it could be a 4 or 5 bagger from here. How low is low? It’s not like Brazil is going to fall into the Atlantic ocean.

      EWZ has gone from 18 to 25 in only a month!

      I look at something like that and all I can do is kick myself for being asleep at the wheel on ASTEROID WATCH. Nobody on Asteroid Watch ever got rich quick or they’d have something better to do each day, like laying around wasting time rather than yacking it up all day about the latest Asteroid Sighting.

  18. For The Win

    War on science, class warfare, driven through “evidence-based decision making” structured as a Trojan horse for narrow interest decision making.

    Errors riddled 2015 study showing replication crisis in psychology research, scientists say The study was run by Center for Open Science, which is a paid monkey for Laura and John Arnold Foundation

    LJAF says it is committed to supporting “evidence-based decision making by governments, promoting transparency and data-sharing, exploring innovative financing mechanisms for social problem solving, and maximizing overall government performance and efficiencies.”[6] In the period 2011-2013, the foundation awarded grants worth $48,979,934 to this effort.[7]

    In particular, LJAF has looked closely at the issue of public employee benefit reform, specifically pension reform.[6] LJAF’s attempts at pension reform have been met with hostility, and critics have argued that they have bought out groups such as the Pew Charitable Trust, the Public Broadcasting Service, and the Brookings Institution.[13][14][15][16] In March 2014, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that Pensions and Investments had asked the Pew Charitable Trust to stop taking money from the LJAF because of the LJAF’s support for pension reform.[17]

    In July 2014, the Arnold Foundation donated $2.8 million to the Center for Public Integrity to launch a new project focused on state campaign finance. According to the International Business Times, “as CPI was negotiating the Arnold grant, Arnold’s name was absent from a CPI report on pension politics.” Arnold has spent at least $10 million on a campaign to roll back pension benefits for public workers.[18][19]

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not so much war on science, but civil war among scientists, as objective scientists take on bought-and-paid-for scientists who intentionally produce error riddle studies (though they can be done un-intentionally as well by any human scientist).

      This civil war has been going on for a long time, and is likely to continue forever.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          When I saw ‘war on science,’ I thought, you cant’ war on an abstraction, granted, that was nitpicking.

          Then I was reminded of the agents of science, and so, I made the comment about the civil war between scientists.

          Looking back, I think my mind wandered a bit.

          But my mind doesn’t tell me everything it knows. For example, how it works. That’s why, as I have commented before, ‘one can’t trust one’s brain or mind.’

          Like the heart, the mind has its reasons reason knows not.

          And writers claim books write themselves…at some time, they just take over.

          1. Steve H.

            My dear Beef, are you saying you are but an agent of your mind?

            “As though one mind were all?”

            (Robin Williamson)

            1. Steve H.

              and, of course, I butchered Williamson’s lyric.

              which is quite to your point, is it not?

  19. fresno dan

    Texas governor takes aim at ‘caustic’ tweeter who won county GOP race Reuters (EM). Comical.

    Morrow said on his Twitter feed shortly after his win, “I am the face of the Re-Pube-Licking Party,” and posted an idea for a pornographic video involving former first lady Barbara Bush.

    “I put out caustic and inflammatory tweets because I am trying to educate people,” he said in a Reuters interview, adding he provides Internet links to support his arguments.

    Morrow, a Ted Cruz supporter who has also written conspiracy theory books about the Clintons and the John F. Kennedy assassination, has made defamatory remarks about Republican leaders in the state and the current crop of presidential candidates.

    “The reason I ran for chair of the Travis County Republican Party is because I was so disgusted with the involvement of the Bush crime family in national politics and Republican Party politics,” he said.

    I like him.

    1. GlobalMisanthrope

      The pearl clutching is hilarious. The barbarians that brought us campus carry are scandalized by a potty mouth. What a world.

      The bit that jumped out at me was this

      But party officials may be over a barrel in that there is little they can do to remove someone who has been duly elected. Some party leaders have floated the idea of starting a new county organization for the Republican Party and leaving Morrow to preside over an empty operation.

      I guess the Republicans have been reading the Dem’s playbook.

      1. fresno dan

        Obviously, the repubs have to start “dogwhistle” and “washington speak” universities, so as to get all their….”affirmative action skeptic” supporters to understand how you try and get Trump supporters without sounding like Trump.
        Heighten the contradictions!!!

  20. flora

    Big Brother links very good. Thanks.
    Since the govt hangs on to all our data forever should it be called
    ‘Big Brother and the Holding Company’ ? ;)

  21. GlobalMisanthrope

    Re How the 1% Gardens

    So, this guy, Jimmy McWilliams, is a neighbor of mine and I’ve known him for years. He’s a nice guy. I think it would have been better, though, if he had disclosed that he would, indeed, know well how the 1% garden, being a member.

    He’s married to an heiress of the Imperial Sugar fortune with holdings in oil and gas. His run through River Oaks undoubtedly started at the 3+ million dollar home of his inlaws. His own house, here in the Travis Heights neighborhood of Austin, Texas, is worth about a million.

    Just saying.

    1. bob

      The over-writing reeks of jealousy.

      “oligarch discovers that trees can be moved, and can’t afford it, according to his mother, the expert.”

      Walt Whitman wannabe style gone rabid in Texas. Honestly, they can’t even get that nut right down there?

      Trees are a huge business, and have been, for quite some time now.

      Maybe if he were carping for the return of sagebrush….

      I guess it’s just another writerly writer who has absolutely no context beyond his jogging route. Future star of navel gazing for fun and profit.

  22. afisher

    So the Congress increases the number of people who can come to the US on H1B visas, but somehow the Congress increases the cost for these Visas – so the Tech Companies (who love the cheaper labor) are now complaining that they have to spend a small amount more for their cheap labor instead of hiring US computer trained individuals.

    Did I miss something or is this a shining example of what is so wrong – companies only care about profit and don’t give two hoots who suffers from their greed? Anytime someone in tech hierarchy says they are Pro-USA, know you are being lied to.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The end result is likely (my guess anyway) more H1B visa visitors.

      The extra cost will be paid by the imported serfs themselves.

      It’s a Win-Win situation, except for the US workers and their replacement, educated coolies.

      For that reason alone, one is tempted to become a Luddite.

  23. barrisj

    A good followup article here on the murder of Honduran environmental activist Berta Caceres…the military coup in Honduras in June 2009 was an early indicator of Obama/Clinton foreign policy positions in Central America, and in fact the examples set reflected very faithfully those of the Reagan years: supporting a military golpe against a democratically elected government. The consequences of the 2009 overthrow in Honduras – inter alia the highest per capita murder rate in the hemisphere, and a huge wave of emigrants flowing north to escape violence…heck of a job, Hillsey.

    Hillary Clinton Caused the Hell in Honduras
    The murder in Honduras on March 3rd of the global prize-winning environmental activist Berta Cáceres is one of the current achievements (though indirect) of Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s decision in 2009 to allow the newly-installed coup-regime in that country to solidify and remain in power.

    As the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton resisted and ultimately overcame the virtually unanimous efforts of other Western Hemispheric and European leaders to oust the coup-regime. She was backed-up in this retrograde decision by U.S. President Barack Obama. Without her efforts, and President Obama’s passive acceptance of her decision, the coup-installed regime wouldn’t have remained in power, and the freely elected President would have been restored to power to complete his term.

    The results of this for both the U.S. and Honduras have been disastrous: the world’s highest murder-rate, soaring drug-trafficking, and the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Honduran children who don’t want to spend their lives drug-trafficking, and who have left Honduras because the gangs kill children who refuse. Then, U.S. Republicans, whose representatives in Congress were passionate supporters of the coup-installed regime, complain about the influx of those children into the U.S. and demand they be sent back to die there.

    Another variant on, “We came, we saw, he died”…callousness and ignorance as policy.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I hope Sanders will use this to break from Obama, like Trump did with Bush.

      No more burying of his own ‘Obama is weak’ claim.

  24. John

    Did Hillary instruct aides to copy/paste secret info into new emails sent onto private server?
    If so, would that be illegal?
    Did Hillary and aides lose clearance when she left office?
    Whether or not that is so, is it illegal to retain secret info in her basement?
    Did Hillary instruct people without clearance to identify/delete personal emails, presumably providing access to secret info? If so, is this illegal?

    Has all of this annoyed fbi, state, and/ or security agencies that provided the secret info?
    Based on other fbi investigations, what is a reasonable time line? Might we hope charges are brought before convention? Before election?

    And as an aside, how serious is the fbi given they have assigned 100+ agents?

    1. sd

      More importantly, who had access to the information on the server? In theory, anyone with admin privileges could access information. Which raises the question of whether or not they held the appropriate security clearance(s).

  25. sd

    Yesterday, there was a long discussion regarding the dictum handed down at DailyKos regarding unwavering support for Clinton after March 15. Given what’s been found behind various of Clintons endorsements, does anyone know if Markos Moulitsas has received funding from the Clinton Foundation?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      History is written by the victors.

      That seems to be a viable strategy today, as has been the case for many, if not all, victors in history.

      “Gotta make sure we win.”

    2. Brindle

      Markos is a main partner in Vox Media—that might be a good place to look for connections to Clinton.

    3. te

      There are rumors that Bill Clinton put immense pressure on the owners of left-leaning blogs in the aftermath of the 2008 election to either tow the party line or to have their access cut off. Part of the popularity of sites like DailyKos is that high-ranking Democratic Party members occasionally participate in posting content. Additionally, sites like DailyKos now have an ecosystem of monetization that extends outside the internet with events like Netroots Nation.

      There are many rumors regarding the vindictiveness of the Clinton Family, including an article (in the NYTimes?) about how Hillary’s 2008 campaign literally made an enemy list and gave a score to designate the severity of the “betrayal”. Many of those individuals are now strongly backing HRC.

    4. Llewelyn Moss

      At some point it became obvious (IMO) that Kos got tied into the DNC as one of their propaganda outlets. I would not be surprised at all to hear $$$ change hands. I think it was about the time that he announced that anyone stating that they would vote for a third party would get banned. Seriously, say “Green” get banned. Hahaha.

      1. Daryl

        It kinda boggles the mind to me that people care about the Democratic party this much. It’s like a sports team except it makes less sense because at least your sports team of choice doesn’t actively harm you.

  26. fresno dan

    I find it extra delicious when people on the “right” fricassee Romney:
    Bain Capital is a product of the Great Deformation. It has garnered fabulous winnings through leveraged speculation in financial markets that have been perverted and deformed by decades of money printing and Wall Street coddling by the Fed. So Bain’s billions of profits were not rewards for capitalist creation; they were mainly windfalls collected from gambling in markets that were rigged to rise…..

    Except Mitt Romney was not a businessman; he was a master financial speculator who bought, sold, flipped, and stripped businesses. He did not build enterprises the old-fashioned way—out of inspiration, perspiration, and a long slog in the free market fostering a new product, service, or process of production. Instead, he spent his 15 years raising debt in prodigious amounts on Wall Street so that Bain could purchase the pots and pans and castoffs of corporate America, leverage them to the hilt, gussy them up as reborn “roll-ups,” and then deliver them back to Wall Street for resale—the faster the better…
    The lucky part—or perhaps slimy would be a more accurate term—– was especially evident in four of the ten “winner deals”. Bain pulled profits of $600 million from them, but no sooner were the LBO boys from Boston out of Dodge City than these companies filed for bankruptcy.

    For instance, Bain invested $10 million in a woebegone rural department store chain called Stage Stores Inc. that was being eaten for lunch by Wal-Mart. But Romney and his boys managed to pull out a $175 million profit—–18X their investment——just before the hammer came down and the company filed for Chapter Eleven, tossing several thousand employees onto the unemployment lines.

    Likewise, Romney’s LBO outfit plunked down $5 million for American Pad and Paper (Ampad), which was a dying discard spun-out from the Mead Corporation on the eve of the on-line computer age and paperless office. In that case, Bain pulled out a $100 million profit or 20X its money before the company hit the Chapter 11 wall for want of customers for its eponymous “yellow pads”.

    Next there was the Italian Job where Bain made $375 million or 15% of its profits. Bain and some partners bought Italy’s yellow pages monopoly from the Italian government to help gussy-up its budget results when it was seeking admission to the eurozone. This was essentially a “rent-a-balance-sheet” scam—–so when Italy was safely in the eurozone a few years later, and after Romney had attended a single meeting and Bain had done essentially nothing to improve the Yellow Page operations, the government bought back the shares for 22X what Romney and his Wall Street buddies had originally paid.

    I imagine there are some who have manipulated tax law and finance more than Romney, but I doubt any have bragged more than Romney on what great businessmen they are. What is most disturbing and/or sad, is that Romney probably believes what he says about himself…

    1. bob

      They can’t even get that bit right-

      “So Bain’s billions of profits were not rewards for capitalist creation; they were mainly windfalls collected from gambling in markets that were rigged to rise”

      Bain’s billions are a direct result of not paying taxes, and running money in a way that would have put Romney and anyone else in his cartel in jail 20 years ago, next to his mentor, Manuel Noriega.

      1. sd

        His fortune came from tax evasion and asset stripping. There’s absolutely nothing honorable about the man.

  27. Lexington

    does anyone know if Markos Moulitsas has received funding from the Clinton Foundation?

    No, but it’s been obvious for years that Markos has been using Daily Kos from day one as a vehicle to pursue his ambitions to be a mover and shaker in the Democratic party. DK’s main raison d’être is to mobilize the progressive base behind Democratic candidates. The quid pro quo is that Markos gets a seat at the table with the party chieftains. Of course the bargain only holds so long as Markos delivers votes for the right Democratic candidate, and that most definitely is not Bernie.

    I’m a little surprised by the amount of attention this has received considering Markos openly threatened to ban people in 2008 for criticizing Obama because “we have an election to win here”. Mind you in 2008 no one was challenging Obama so maybe it didn’t have the same impact as it does now.

    1. HotFlash

      My memory is different. I remember lots of challenges and l remember Kos cracking down for the party line. There was a term for people who didn’t agree. PUMA’s. Oh, and “firebaggers”.

      Markos has been a bundler for the Dem party, delivering maybe not $, maybe not even votes, but certainly a blogful of “progressive” opinion.

  28. inode_buddha

    Sory, I just need to vent…. I have immediate family who truly believes that “we will all end up like stalinist russia if Sanders gets in”….. I had no words for that one. Where do you even begin with that?

    1. bob

      They should be in favor of gulags, focus on the positives. Same deal here with family and the ones howling the loudest are huge, direct beneficiaries of the medical industrial complex.

    2. hunkerdown

      Determine which sort of kicking-down you are arguing against, proletarian social Darwinism or bourgeois liberalism, and go from there. Are their class interests threatened by Sanders, or is it just their self-chosen role in their overwrought life drama? As a way to shoot across the bow of their need to kick down and to determine whether there is enough common ground to engage, I like “just societies are NOT graded on a curve.” If they disagree with that,

    3. ira

      As Zizek once quipped, ‘the problem with Stalin is that he didn’t kill enough people.’

      1. Massinissa

        I dont really understand what that means, to be honest.

        Edit: And I looked it up. He said that about Hitler, not Stalin. He was talking about the modern appeal of nazism. You must have gotten confused.

  29. bob


    “The government solution to the problem they created is for Apple to build a back door into their phones and give it to them so they can spy on us. Period. If the government prevails in their case, hundreds of millions of people (or however many own Apple products) will become the instant subject of surveillance by law enforcement from here on out. ”

    Where was this guy when BHO retroactively made legal the dragnet of ALL of the telecom companies? It was the first thing he did in office.

    “But, this is apple! This is affecting the people who can afford Privacy®!”

    Fuck him, fuck the whole circus around apple’s outrage. It’s all PR, and it’s probably selling more iphones than it is hurting apple, or it’s customers in any way.

    First, apple said it was un-possible– Math®. Now, it is possible, but they don’t want to do it.

    Apple is lying again, and not called out on it. Because they’re good at tax dodging?

    Completely absurdest.

    I do like that the current case SHOULD either force the gov to announce that they can crack these things, or make apple admit that they aren’t “un-hackable”. Although, we do already know that. They’ve helped the gov do it in the past, over 200 times.

  30. ewmayer

    o Re. How a Dog’s Brain Processes Human Faces | Psychology Today — On first scanning the headline is misread the last word as “feces” and thought Psycho. Today had actually published a research article on the butt-sniffing/poop-eating propensities of our canine companions, and their correlates in doggie brain function. Whew!

    o Re. Texas governor takes aim at ‘caustic’ tweeter who won county GOP race | Reuters — [Disclaimer: Before fwding the link to Yves, I only clicked this story in my Reuters feed because of the ‘Advisory: This story contains content that may offend some readers’ bit.] The porno-video-featuring-Barbara-Bush idea reminds me of the Sasha Baron Cohen (in his Ali G guise) sketch where he pitches his idea for a steamy novel about Bush43’s wife Laura to an actual literary agent, who seems rather bemused by the idea of each copy of said book containing a built-in vibrator, as demonstrated by Ali G while reading aloud a steamy sample page from his demo manuscript.

    o Re. Michigan governor issues appeal over Flint funds denial | Reuters — Denial is not a river in Michigan, governor Snyder!

    o And an additional Reuters link whose inclusion will surely land me in mod-queue limbo: Pentagon chief says 40 LCS ships ‘enough’ for U.S. Navy. I shall spare my fellow NCers the obligatory ‘are Littoral navy ships more expensive than Metaphorical ones?’ quippage – such lowbrow wordplay is beneath even me.

  31. ewmayer

    Holy crap, no mod limbo! Must’ve been those extra-pure thoughts I was thinking when I clicked “post comment.”

  32. Pat

    It takes a lot for people to admit they have been duped. Both parties have been abusing their rank and file members. And both have been training them in bad habits and encouraging stupid obsessions.

    Think about the Democratic Party, how often are we told we should vote for any Democrat because of the courts, especially because women, gays, minorities, etc. And yet look at their record of selling those constituencies out on a regular basis be it immigration, women’s access to reproductive services, or even food stamps. And even more telling, look at who gets the nominations beyond the Supreme Court.

    I tend to rant a little. We had been talking about Trump and his ability to sell snake oil and how few people call his lies lies. And I said one of Obama’s great skills was he sold crap and that he continues to lie regularly and rarely if ever gets called on it. I was told how they didn’t consider Obama a liar, that he believed what he said and that only turned out to be wrong. I finally came flat out and said what I’ve been thinking for a while when people say, he didn’t know or was led astray when you point out that what Obama has said was misleading about policy, unrealistic or flat wrong. “You are going to have to pick a position, he is either a liar and a con man or ignorant and stupid. I didn’t add but may someday “And a terrible judge of character and spineless boss if he picks such awful advisors and he continues to employ them after they make him look like a liar or clueless.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Only a bad liar gets caught lying.

      Good ones are believable.

      Great ones…never any doubt, not even those, who doubt therefore they exist, would doubt them.

      So, when we see a bad liar, we call his lies lies.

      And it’s too kind to just call him weak.

      The minimum would be to confront his weakness , as we would declare his lies lies. We don’t sell snake oil.

    2. Massinissa

      “Think about the Democratic Party, how often are we told we should vote for any Democrat because of the courts,”

      For the next 20 years or so, until Obama fades from memory, I think I will try and bring up Sandoval any time some Democrat tries to play that schtick to me. “You mean like how President Obama’s first choice was a republican? We dont even have a guarantee they will nominate democrats, much less actual leftists”

      1. flora

        adding: at my caucus station the Bernie supporters outnumbered the Hillery supporters by about 3 to 1, judging from the headcount. Not surprising in this town. However, at one point some guy with no connection to the caucus – no identifying wristband showing voter registration confirmation – hopped on the stage and started reading a statement to the effect that “when your candidate loses at the convention, you need to vote for Hillary”. Oh brother. He was hustled off the stage pretty quick for trying to participate and politic without confirmation that he was entitled to participate at this caucus (no confirming D voter wristband). No idea where he came from. Don’t think he was local.

      2. curlydan

        my Kansas caucus was a mess, reflecting the utter dysfunction of the KS Democratic Part (aka Democracy in Inaction). I waited 2.5 hrs in line. About 20 feet from the caucus entrance, we were told that the location had reached its maximum limit, and the normal caucus procedures (i.e. supporters moving to one side of the room to be counted) were being suspended. Caucus attendees wrote their names on a yellow legal pad of paper with their candidate’s name scribbled on top (in my case, “BERNIE”), had their wristbands marked with an ‘X’, and then were allowed to leave.

        Of course, my caucus was held in an inflatable dome, so there was only 1 exit for hundreds if not 1000s of attendees. Eventually, they opened emergency exits every 30 seconds between 5 minute intervals to let us out lest we be crushed by no air pressure for the dome. I got to my car 3.5 hours after I first got in line. I felt like Kurt Russell at the end of “Escape from the Bronx”. Later, I was relieved to hear that Bernie won.

        1. flora

          The caucus turnout this year was larger than in 2008. Seemed to catch the organizers by surprise. Almost 10% more people caucused than in 2008, a wave year. This year lots and lots of newly registered D’s turned out to vote.

    1. Massinissa

      Corporate Democrats ask, “Whats the matter with Kansas?!”

      Its nice to see there are still some real grassroots leftists alive there still. The left is only ‘dead’ in Kansas because the Democrats havnt been real leftists in a few decades now, and as usual the Kansans were the first to get the message.

  33. cripes

    OK. Can someone print a faux NYTimes or hack CBS with “breaking news?”

    Hillary indicted!
    Trump Dies!
    Hillary and Donald found with Live Boy and Dead Woman!

    Just fishin’

      1. Skippy

        AA neoliberals have worked hard to gain equality like their WA counterparts, having forsaken so much just to emulate WA too be proved equals…. must really be a self inflected wound… considering a paradigm change… à la Sanders et al…

      2. Pat

        I almost want to go on twitter so I could ask Simmons if he would make this same assessment of the candidates if this was about entering a business deal with them? I’m pretty damn sure, he wouldn’t touch the Clinton business without an iron clad contract with penalties that bound her to act as she represented to get the ‘deal’.

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