Links 4/26/16

Meet the Cat Running for President New York Times. Guaranteed to be smarter than Caligula’s horse, and more honest than either of the front-runners. And he even has the core members of a team!

Ruined Chernobyl nuclear plant will remain a threat for 3,000 years McClatchy (EM)

The rise of mostly-autonomous systems Foretellix (resilc)

Psychologists Who Designed the CIA Torture Program Can Be Sued by Victims, Federal Judge Rules Alternet

Big Food in health drive to keep share Financial Times. Problem is consumers know Corporate America’s “healthy food” falls short of what health-conscious types deem acceptable. They’ve seen them buy small producers with good products and degrade them. But making mass market foods less unhealthy is a step in the right direction.

Mossack Fonseca

Panama Papers: Süddeutsche Zeitung’s (SZ) Claims “National Security,” Press Plays Dead Tim Durusau. Important.


Inside Apple’s top secret iPhone factory: Tech giant provides a glimpse of huge Chinese plant where 50,000 pink-jacketed staff are subjected to facial recognition, metal detectors and daily roll calls DailyMail

Bank of Japan Owns Over Half of Japanese ETFs; Why Stop There? MishTalk


Britain’s trade options after Brexit – no easy way out Reuters

Brexit debate is too black and white, former Bank of England governor says Globe and Mail

UK factories brave Brexit fears Telegraph

Brexit Is No Business of U.S. New York Times. Letter to the editor./blockquote>

Junior doctors told to ignore pleas to return to work as unions accused of ‘trying to topple government’ with first all out strike in NHS history Telegraph


Saudi Prince Shares Plan to Cut Oil Dependency and Energize the Economy New York Times. They should have started on that plan at least 25 years ago.

Decades-Old Oil Dependency May Stymie Saudi Prince’s ‘Vision’ Bloomberg (resilc)

ISIL Endgame: Obama to send 250 more US Troops into Syria Juan Cole (resilc)

rel=”nofollow”>Andrew Bacevich and America’s Long Misguided War to Control the Greater Middle East Intercept

Imperial Collapse Watch

Military killer robots create a moral dilemma Financial Times. Good comments.

Clinton and the Immorality of ‘Get Caught Trying’ Foreign Policy American Conservative (resilc)

Trade Traitors

EU-US trade: Five reasons why a deal looks difficult Financial Times

The Washington Post Says Doctors Without Borders Is Silly to Worry About the Impact of the TPP on Drug Prices Dean Baker


Bernie Sanders Won’t Drop Out, Here’s Why Counterpunch. Li: “See reference to medical stuff.”

My Frustrating Primary Day as a New York Poll Worker Counterpunch

Democrats move to shut down criticism of Clinton’s Wall Street ties WSWS (Judy B). Wow, as if the Republicans will go easy one her?

The Real Hillary Clinton Truthdig

Are Hillary Clinton and the DNC Skirting Election Law? Pam Martens and Russ Martens (Wat)

Charles Koch Interview on ABC with Jonathan Karl Esquire

Trump and Clinton share Delaware tax ‘loophole’ address with 285,000 firms Guardian

Ted Cruz-John Kasich Alliance Against Donald Trump Quickly Weakens New York Times. That was fast.

Trump’s ‘System Is Rigged’ Argument Is Working FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

What the media will never understand about Trump supporters Medium

Coordinated Desperation: Kasich Suspends Campaign in Indiana, Cruz Suspends Campaign in Oregon, New Mexico; Too Late to Matter? MishTalk (EM)

What’s up with U.S. black voters? Japan Times

Students Rally To Save Program That Produces Primary Care Doctors NPR

Ammon Bundy’s lawyers take his anti-government land use claim to court Guardian

US ex-Senator Wofford, 90, to remarry to a man BBC

Pennsylvania voters torn over calls for a fracking ban Reuters (EM)

How Oklahoma police took $53,000 from a Burmese Christian band, a church in Omaha and an orphanage in Thailand Washington Post

North Carolina LGBT law fuels demonstrations for and against BBC

Hearing Report Raises Serious Questions about Super PAC Tied to Rauner Chicago Now

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Cleveland agrees to pay Tamir Rice family $6m over police shooting Guardian

Next Economy: The Coming ‘Age of Stagnation’ The Tyee (Sid S)

John Oliver just made the Puerto Rico crisis make sense Salon (Teejay)


Oil Producers Lock In Once-Snubbed Prices Wall Street Journal

The end of oil as we know it Business Insider

Soft growth and inflation weigh on Fed Financial Times

These 4 Charts Give A Bird’s-Eye View Of How The US Economy Is Falling Apart Mauldin Economics

Guillotine Watch

The millionaires leave cities, build fortresses failed evolution

Class Warfare

Studies Show Austerity Policies Exacerbate US Suicide Epidemic Truthout

How the Banks Stole Higher Education Vice (resilc)

Goldman Sachs opens to the masses Financial Times. Resilc: “You know the end must be near.”

Antidote du jour (martha r):

standing cubs links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Pavel

    Re: the Delaware shell companies for Trump and HRC — I read the Guardian piece earlier:

    Both the leading candidates for president – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – have companies registered at 1209 North Orange, and have refused to explain why.

    Clinton, who has repeatedly promised that as president she will crack down on “outrageous tax havens and loopholes that super-rich people across the world are exploiting in Panama and elsewhere”, collected more than $16m in public speaking fees and book royalties in 2014 through the doors of 1209, according to the Clintons’ tax return.

    Just eight days after stepping down as secretary of state in February 2013, Clinton registered ZFS Holdings LLC at CTC’s offices. Bill Clinton set up WJC LLC, a vehicle to collect his consultation fees, at the same address in 2008.

    Perhaps Hillary only means that she will crack down on offshore tax havens?

    Here is some related info from Bloomberg:

    Among the nuggets in the Clintons’ tax forms: The couple has his-and-hers LLCs, a corporate entity created by independent earners for tax advantages. Hillary Clinton’s post-State Department income from speeches and her book, Hard Choices, was paid to ZFS Holdings LLC, established in Delaware a week after she left the job. Her husband uses a similar entity, WJC LLC, to take in speech and consulting income. The existence of WJC became public earlier this year, and the Clinton campaign did not respond to questions about why the candidate’s LLC had not been previously disclosed.
    Since 2010, Bill Clinton brought in just short of $16.5 million for his role as honorary chancellor of Laureate Education, a for-profit college company. He left the position earlier this year weeks after his wife launched her campaign.
    In 2014, Bill Clinton made $9 million off of paid speeches and $6.4 million in consulting fees. Of that, $4.3 million came from Laureate and another $2.1 million from GEMS Education, a Dubai-based company that runs preschool and K-12 programs. He made less from those two gigs in previous years – $5.6 million in 2013 and $4.7 million in 2012. In 2011, the former president was paid $2.5 million by Laureate, $500,000 by GEMS and $100,000 by Teneo Holdings, a firm co-founded by former Clinton aide Doug Band.

    Note that most of their charitable deductions went to… (drumroll please): The Clinton Family Foundation!

    And if further evidence is needed that Bill Clinton will do virtually anything for money (“Gotta pay those bills!”), he received $16M from one of those for-profit colleges:

    Since 2010, Bill Clinton brought in just short of $16.5 million for his role as honorary chancellor of Laureate Education, a for-profit college company. He left the position earlier this year weeks after his wife launched her campaign.

    Hillary and Bill Clinton Made $139 Million in Eight Years

    Nice work if you can get it — and if you have absolutely no ethics or morals.

    1. allan

      From wiki:

      In January 2013, the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, made a $150 million equity investment in Laureate to expand access to quality higher education in emerging markets.[10][11]

      Coursera, a provider of massive online open courses, announced in July 2013 that it raised $43 million in investments from a group that included Laureate Education, Inc., the World Bank’s investment arm, LearnCapital Venture Partners, GSV Capital and venture capitalist Yuri Milner. [12]

      What a tawdry mess. But not a quid pro quo in sight :)

      And I’m sure that the adjuncts who Laureate employs uses as independent contractors are happy to know that their honorary chancellor was paid 16 very large ones.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Where is the Bernie Sanders campaign on this issue? They should be all over it. Just like the Panama Papers.

      Bernie, I love ya, but you’re pulling way too many punches. (And, yes, I voted for Bernie in the AZ primary.)

      1. HopeLB

        Cousera has some great courses. I took Logic 1 and 2 from the Univ. of Sydney. Fantastic course! You even got to learn some Prolog.

      2. Brindle

        Yes, Bernie should be pounding on Clinton’s Wall St speeches and bringing up Clinton’s use of tax havens. Maybe he is and media is not reporting it—but my sense is Bernie will not go to the obvious and factual “Hillary is corrupt” meme. Too bad.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Not to mention the clinton foundation which is corrupt to its core, and proudly advertises who is responsible.

          That lack of ambiguity could be the reason it is never mentioned.

        2. ScottW

          You either get that the Clinton’s special interest money is corrupting, or you don’t. I have read and written many comments on the NYT’s articles/columns highlighting their taking hundreds of millions through the Foundation, personally and campaign. The responses range from disbelief to “show many one decision Hillary made that was influenced by money.” Point out the Saudi government & Boeing donating to the Foundation as she approved tens of billions in arms sales–crickets.

          It is a good case study in how pointing out facts to someone who believes in a position only hardens them in that position. The only strategy that has a chance of swaying any Hillary supporters is pointing out how special interests of every stripe love her, as evidenced by them paying the Clintons hundreds of millions. The supporters response–“Do you want to see Trump elected,” or “you must be reading all of the conservative websites.”

          Low information voters are not only Republicans.

          1. Toske

            This is what happens when you divide people into two “tribes” and make them believe the other side is out to get them. Their brains go into a mode where they assume anything that doesn’t go along with their current narrative must be an attempt at malicious subversion, constructing a top-down rationale for why their original belief must have been right all along. We probably evolved this tendency because it helped us avoid disorganization and infighting during tribal wars, but it’s outlived its utility.

        1. sleepy

          He made one point last night–that it wasn’t up to him to deliver his supporters to Hillary, that it was up to Hillary to deliver policy positions that his voters would support.

          Immediately after that Town Hall talk, Hillary was on saying she was the winner and losers don’t get to dictate policy.

          I think Sanders will endorse her to this extent with this statement: “I endorse Hillary Clinton for president.” Period.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            Bernie couldn’t “deliver” his supporters if his life depended on it. They are a pretty anti-authority- figure lot.

            1. Waldenpond

              Polls simply do not reflect the position that supporters won’t get behind Clinton. Earlier, an impactful % of Sanders supporters would not support Clinton (I believe it hit 30% in a couple of states/polls) but after NY it dropped below the % of Clinton supporters who would not support Sanders. Although Clinton does worse than Sanders in national polls against the Rs, the ‘supporters won’t fall in line’ has historically been a myth and according to current polling still is. Clinton supporters were more entrenched in 2008 and still are in 2016 because it is not about policy, it’s nothing but a sporting event their team must win.

              1. laughingsong

                Dunno, but I am a Bernie Supporter and I have been lightly involved with volunteering. None of the people I have talked to in that context are planning to vote for her. I know I won’t. I would cross the street to avoid her.

          2. Pavel

            The last Sanders comment I saw (may not have been his most recent) was along the lines “I want to make sure no Republican is elected”. That’s a bit nuanced… leaving room for a third party run if the DNC continues to treat him like sh!t?

            But when faced with a follow-up question about the political implications of not supporting Clinton, Sanders immediately suggested he wasn’t ruling anything out.

            “I will do everything in my power to make sure that no Republican gets into the White House in this election,” he told moderator Chris Hayes at an MSNBC town hall event in Philadelphia.

            –Politico: Sanders: It’s Clinton’s job to ask my backers to support her

            1. MtnLife

              Is is nuanced.

              “I want to make sure no Republican is elected” …

              Left unsaid: “and as we all know, Hillary is a Republican.”

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Hillary: “I’m a closet Republican. He’s talking about openly Republican Republican.”

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    Just based on what I know that she is not registered as Republican, that kind of closet.

        2. Waldenpond

          I think his reign will be over anyways. It is this late in the process and still I do not see a reason for him to run. He could not have ever thought he would win although it must be personally satisfying to get the attention he has. If he was serious about the issues he discusses, to have made a difference, he had to win. His supporters seem to take this more seriously than he does. He adheres to deals he made w/Ds. He has never adjusted his stump speech after all of this time despite pleas from his supporters. By refusing to attack Clinton and the Ds he actively demonstrates he simply isn’t a serious candidate.

          I guess it’s better than O setting up a group and then cutting it off at the knees, but once people reflect, they will see it was just another act in the show.

          1. Arizona Slim

            I agree with you, Waldenpond. I heard three Bernie speeches here in AZ. Little change between Phoenix last July and Tucson before our March primary.

              1. Waldenpond

                I can not find any info on throwing out results after the fact. Yes, charges are filed and people are fined but that’s after certification.

                It looks like there is a legal loop. It isn’t enough to prove fraud. It must be proved that the end result would be changed and it seems there is no legally acceptable way to prove that. You can’t count ballots that were denied. You can’t count hacked machines.

                Even if thrown out, it would be a small shift in delegates and the Ds will just make up a way to select delegates after the fact. The state can’t bar delegates from traveling and going to a private party.

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  I’m left wondering when the scale will tip, when the actual people in this great country will finally throw in the towel and decide “enough is enough”. I think it’s Stockholm Syndrome, the captive 99% are in love with the 1%. “Yeah if I was a billionaire, I would be pillaging the serfs too”.
                  Thomas Jefferson: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be”.

    3. EndOfTheWorld

      Re the antidote du jour—Are those bear cubs? If so, that photographer was in dangerous territory. If Big Mama was on the opposite side, the photo-clicker might get a rude awakening.

      1. Lee

        Hopefully shot with a telephoto lens. I was once treed by a mama black bear when I got too close to her cubs. Fortunately, it was an apple tree in an orchard planted over a century ago in Yosemite Valley’s Camp Curry, so I was able to induced her to not climb after me by throwing her and the cubs apples. They filled up and moved on.

      2. meeps

        EndOfTheWorld @ 11:03 am

        They look just like the bear cubs that visit my house this time of year, getting into everything. They’re smart and capable of toppling 55 gallon rain barrels and unscrewing hummingbird feeders with their dextrous hands. Wouldn’t want a slap upside the face from mama, for sure. I love this antidote. Bears are among my most beloved and entertaining neighbors.

  2. Mike McCartney

    I love your site and am a big supporter, but John Mauldin’s stuff should not be encouraged. He is all that is wrong with finance and economics.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      This is the only time I have ever linked to his site and the charts in that post are informative. And the piece was not written by Mauldin. I’ve even linked to the Peterson Institute on those rare occasions when they have something that is sound.

      1. fresno dan

        These 4 Charts Give A Bird’s-Eye View Of How The US Economy Is Falling Apart Mauldin Economics

        “My college-aged kids love him. I’m not talking about Stephen Curry or Justin Bieber (although they love them too); I’m talking about Bernie Sanders.

        Whether you support him or not, my guess is that most Americans my age are very surprised about his popularity. However, it shouldn’t be a surprise given the economic stress many Americans face.”

        Sadly, roughly 50 million Americans live below the poverty line—the largest number in our nation’s history—and the poorest 40% of all Americans now spend more than 50% of their incomes just on food and housing.
        I suspect the root of the issue is wages… or lack thereof. The reality is that inflation-adjusted wages—despite the recent minimum wage increase in several states—have been shrinking.

        A recent report concluded, “In real terms, the average wage peaked more than 40 years ago.”

        I think the article doesn’t reveal anything that most NC readers don’t already know – but it just reaffirms that the Sanders (and Trump) phenomenon is real – people are frustrated for REAL reasons. Happy talk from the dems and talk from repubs that tax cuts will solve our problems is seen as the total ineffective bullsh*t that has been pedaled for years.

        To the extent the Mauldin site provides factual information to their readers about the Sanders phenomenon, I think it is very helpful.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          I suspect the root of the issue is wages… or lack thereof.

          This guy must be a genius. There is no other way to explain such economic insight. Because “charts.”

          1. Jef

            “I suspect the root of the issue is wages… or lack thereof.”

            As E Warren has hammered in over and over for years now that only a part of the picture. It is all of the ways that the leeches are increasing their suction on the average Americans pocketbook that is the bigger problem.

            Increasing wages or guaranteed minimum income only serves to fatten the leeches unless it is combined with their removal.

            1. Lambert Strether

              Yep. The BIG check arrives. And then it circulates right back out in the form of rental extraction (which will increase to suck out as much of the BIG as possible or necessarty). Surprise! Consumption is not empowering!

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The first chart – the shrinking middle class chart.

          It shows not how much the rich own, over the years covered, but how many people are in the upper class, over time.

          The question of do-you-believe-the-chart-or-yourself is that: Are there more people in the upper class, absolute number and percentage-wise, now than 1971?

          Today, 21% of us are upper class, when only 14% were in 1971.

          Is that where all the middle class people have gone – they moved up?

      2. John k

        The shrinking middle class explains Bernie/trump support, but the last chart looks really alarming… Not a good time to be long.

    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      I appreciated the content of the article and choose to take it as a dawning recognition by the cognoscenti of the stark evidence of massive long-term public policy failure by those who have adopted exclusive reliance on central bankers’ QE-NIRP monetary and markets policies, encouraged speculation, suppressed incomes, ignored the rule of law, and imposed general austerity on the People that have so advantaged a small subset of the population and concentrated wealth.

      Hopefully the article is indicative of a broader and deeper shift in the view toward an ideologically driven policy set that has embodied the very essence of Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

  3. Steve

    Goldman Sachs
    Just what we need for a better life.

    I think it was NBC that referred to it as ‘making achieving the American Way that much easier’ (not an exact quote).


  4. Nick

    Re the Counterpunch story on why Bernie won’t drop out

    Aside from the health thing, the other stories are all operating under the assumption that these stories would make headlines and I doubt they would. Not because of some sort of cover-up or conspiracy, but as Chomsky/Zinn et al. remind us, the media doesn’t have to be suppressed to keep these stories from being told, the journalists already know not to write them because it just wouldn’t do to say. They may very well get published somewhere and go viral, but so what? As long as the major outlets ignore them, the stories will go away. Just like the Panama Papers are slowly disappearing from the papers.

    Fingers crossed today for Bernie, but what does that matter when the process is undemocratic. If I were Bernie, I would use the massive movement that backs him to galvanize a structured and coordinated effort to change the primary system from closed to open as a first order of business. This would show the movement that things get done when people work together and give it energy and momentum to acheive other goals. After all, what do good candidates matter if there is no way of electing them?

    1. Anne

      What I expect is that pretty much nothing is going to get in the way of Clinton getting the nomination in July; the bombs – and there are many of them – will not drop/explode until after Labor Day.

      It will throw the Democratic Party into disarray the likes of which most of us have never seen, with Clinton’s jaws having to be pried from the carcass of her nomination, likely too late for Dems to pull out a win.

      And lest anyone think that somehow the Dem establishment would allow Bernie Sanders to step in as the nominee, get a grip: that will never happen. They will saddle up someone like Joe Biden – or a Tim Kaine-type – on a horse that looks like it’s on its way to the glue factory.

      It will be a horror show orders of magnitude worse than anyone ever contemplated.

      1. Waldenpond

        Sanders can take it to the convention if he wants but he will never get a vote. First vote to Clinton, superdelegates tap in and it’s over. I feel for the Sanders delegates who are forced to be Clinton delegates because she didn’t have enough. They are required by the party to vote for Clinton. ha! No one could get me to do that.

        1. pretzelattack

          it’s the old saw “voters will vote for a real giant bloodsucking vampire squid before they will vote for a fake gbvs”.

    2. Dave

      Comment lines on stories, Facebook, Next Door Neighbor, local papers…there are so many means of disseminating these articles that reliance on media is a foolish dream.

      You have more power to spread news at your fingertips than any king in Europe ever had, or any U.S. President for that matter until the invention of TV.

      Sites like Naked Capitalism are way above the head of most Americans but that’s the exact reason why you should broadcast them, for education and information.

      If you can’t stomach voting for Trump, and thus helping to destroy the GOP, then write Bernie in November.

      1. marym

        Even under the best of vote counting procedures, unless a candidate files paperwork declaring they are a write-in candidate, election officials are under no obligation to count the vote. In some states write-in votes aren’t legal all. If people want to use their vote to register a protest, they should vote for a candidate on the ballot from a third party (this also helps build the third party in terms of campaign finance funds and future ballot access); a candidate who has qualified on the ballot as an independent; or one who has actually filed as an independent. After that they need to decide what’s next – whether the electoral process or some other political or social movement organizing and participation presents a way forward.

      2. Waldenpond

        Those entities are run by the 1%. Twitter kills anything trending as a negative against Clinton and sinks anything positive about Sanders. Facebook was shutting down Sanders sites last night. They don’t have to kill the message, they just have to demoralize the campaign. They have been successful, the online followers have reduced, phonebanking dropped, etc. Let’s see how turnout looks today. I expect Sanders to get his behind kicked in PA but I am more interested to see if people just give up and don’t turn out. I am hopeful a ground game has made up for the online shrinkage.

        1. Dave

          What both of you say is true. The write-in of Bernie is merely a protest.

          Sneak through whenever you can, there are many newspaper comment lines outside of the censorship that you mention.

      3. mk

        I’m writing Bernie in, could never support HRC, nothing personal, just know she’s going hard right after election. (used to say I would vote trump, but can’t support his racism)

    1. Arizona Slim

      Yup. That’s all over Facebook this morning.

      Recall that the Nixon people had a word for this sort of thing. Since this is a family blog, I’ll simply refer to it as rat-effing.

      1. hreik

        Honestly, a sore winner is viscerally repugnant. No redeeming qualities. She’s desperate 100% of the time. We are being subjected to a bid for (and likely actual) presidency under-pined by a filthy, toxic though enabled marital mistake which she should’ve corrected 3 decades ago.

        1. HopeLB

          I think this behavior is more the case of someone who knows they have to steal the election to “win” and the realization that the plebs don’t really want her to be their Presidential Representative.

      2. Brindle

        Nixon is the candidate who reminds me most of HRC. The ugliness of many of Nixon backers/ voters has a counterpart in the behavior of many of Hillary’s cadre.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Nixon had an election stolen, sorry, he lost bitterly in 1960.

          Perhaps Hillary is thinking, that guy in 2008, he out-Nixoned me in exploiting the system, and during the campaign, no one called him out, because gender inequality. Rubbing salt into the wound, he was proclaimed the Messiah.

          “Not this time, mister. Once is enough to be 1960-Nixoned. “

    2. MtnLife

      Couldn’t some Syrians (and Libyans, Iranians, etc) shut down Hillary sites on a “credible threat of violence” from HRC?

      1. RP

        What’s to keep Sanders supporters from mass-reporting every HRC facebook page on the credible threat of violence that they support pro-war candidate {“we came, we saw, he died (cackle)”}?

        1. different clue

          Or if it is oh-so-exquisitely legal to possess child pornography for just long enough to send it to Hillary sites for ratfucking purposes . . . then why don’t a few self-propelled plausibly-deniable Sanders supporters pull a Clinton and do that very thing? And then other hordes of Clinton site readers-of-coincidence can start flagging flagging flagging.

          A taste of her own medicine.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Of course, if I were Roger Stone, this is a classic “Let’s you and her fight” maneuver. Of course, from one’s armchair at 30,000 feet, the Clinton campaign and the Trump campaign might look like two tentacles of the same entity, so it wouldn’t really matter which one did the instigating.

    3. afisher

      Seeing as how FB is giving blanket coverage, do we need to consider this as a GOP dirty trick? Koch certainly has the resources. TBS: the comments on the page are really bad for HRC.

    4. katiebird

      The Facebook group People for Bernie Sanders, posted a note this morning that the groups are back and that it was a database error.

      1. hunkerdown

        Funny how all these “database errors” keep breaking in the same direction and at such inconvenient times, innit?

  5. Carolinian

    The Medium link on Trump versus Hillary is pretty good.

    The Trump campaign has based its success on metaphors and abstractions and on being able to listen to the un-embodied hopes and fears of his potential supporters. You cannot defeat a metaphor with an in-depth policy analysis. Not in our age of keywords, tweets, and emoji’s. Media writers, such as Mr. Borchers, are writing to a thinking audience. Mr. Trump is campaigning to an emotional audience. Crowd effects seldom happen to the thinking (group-think aside), while they often happen to the emotional.

    The author says that candidates like Hillary are selling themselves–their resume–whereas candidates like Trump or Obama are selling their followers a feeling of empowerment. Hillary pretends to know all the answers while Trump says to his audience “just tell me what to do.”

    Of course both pitches may be false since Hillary clearly doesn’t know what she’s doing and Trump may be about as sincere as a used car salesman. But one has to believe that the Trump version is closer to what our democracy is supposed to be about. Perhaps some day we’ll have a candidate who both listens to the public and knows what they are doing….

    1. fresno dan

      I agree – the article is good.
      ” Hillary pretends to know all the answers while Trump says to his audience “just tell me what to do.”
      Exactly – we can have single payer if we want single payer – Europe does is easily and cheaply. The lying that we can’t, (well designed and well crafted, as well as well funded) is worse in my view than Trump whoppers…

      You know, they used to say that the Clintons were lucky in their enemies.
      I am thinking Trump is lucky in his democratic (Hillary) opponent.

      Now, I really don’t think Trump can prevail, but I can imagine (i.e., hope) that a discombobulated repub party and a Sanderdized dem party will oppose Hillary more from the anti corporatist anti corruption position than from the “right” pro corruptist position – after all, Hillary already embodies the repub/dem consensus on not prosecuting bankers and coddling them, trade, etc.
      The question is: has something really fundamental changed, instead of the typical if only we elect “a man on a white horse to save us” mentality?
      In the new congress, how many dems will view Hillary as the enemy?

      1. Brindle

        “a Sanderdized dem party” …ain’t gonna happen. The Dem party would rather purge the Sandernistas than accommodate them. They think by appealing to GOP moderates they can win. Hippy punching is a favorite Dem elite gym workout.

        1. Waldenpond

          But Sanders has been successful in signing up the yuuths !! There is no need to purge them, once people sign up they rarely move on. It is going to be odd watching all the youths who sneer about the loser boomers screwing everything up by voting in lockstep, getting on board. So Sanders has created the next generation of nose holders.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The customer decides what he/she wants.

        “Tell me what to do.”

        The factotum delivers, knowing all the answers, all the details of the machine.

        “Your wish is my command, Mr. and Mrs. Sovereignty Smith.”

    1. tegnost

      google def of mercenary…-“(of a person or their behavior) primarily concerned with making money at the expense of ethics.”

    2. YankeeFrank

      So I guess Uber’s not getting his “best work” then.

      On a related note, my fave pop-culture reference to David Plouffe was in Mr. Robot season 1, where there was a character with the uncommon surname Plouffe who was a high level executive for “E Corp” a/k/a “Evil Corp” and blew his brains out on camera after admitting all the lies he and firm constantly told.

      And on another related note, Mr. Robot itself is something NC should maybe have a discussion about given the main plot hinges on hackers in the vein of Anonymous or Lulzsec taking out E Corp’s databases where 70% of the world’s consumer debt is recorded. Its a great show on many levels and a breakout hit for the USA Network. Season 2 starts in July.

      1. meeps

        YankeeFrank @ 11:10 am

        I implore Mr. Robot to rise up and aid society as was done in this thought-provoking and temporally relevant series.

        With the focus this election on destroying the old parties and forming new coalitions, people have asked what to name the replacement/s. I suggest f*society. There’s tons of potential in such a name.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Stood once as a party outsider?

      Only in our imagination.

      It was mass hypnosis or too much feel-good pot at his rallies.

  6. Keith in Modesto

    Here’s a quote from the WSWS article “Democrats move to shut down criticism of Clinton’s Wall Street ties”:

    Sanders, for his part, is a long-time ally of the party establishment and has repeatedly said he will support the eventual Democratic nominee.

    Sanders says he is campaigning for a political revolution. A real political revolution would require, at a minimum, overthrowing the Democratic Party establishment. You cannot be an ally of the establishment at the same time you are really trying to overthrow them. I hope he plans on betraying them, and not us.

  7. fresno dan

    Psychologists Who Designed the CIA Torture Program Can Be Sued by Victims, Federal Judge Rules Alternet

    “This is a historic win in the fight to hold the people responsible for torture accountable for their despicable and unlawful actions,” said ACLU staff attorney Dror Ladin, who argued in court today. “Thanks to this unprecedented ruling, CIA victims will be able to call their torturers to account in court for the first time.”

    Well, I guess something is better than nothing – but I find it hard to square with how the judiciary has accepted every government excuse in the past for the CIA program, and the high government officials who solicited such “techniques,” and implemented such techniques, are, as usual, not in any way held to account.
    Nixon was born too soon…

    1. afisher

      Sadly, it is only a Civil Suit, so the idea that they will tell the real history of torture via reverse-engineering is probably not going to happen. Because one of them has admitted on video that he approved of torture is probably not going to help their cause. One has to wonder if they both have BVI accounts.

    2. sleepy

      I wonder what, if anything, have the psychologists’ various state licensing agencies done about their violations of professional ethics?

      1. hunkerdown

        I wonder what, if anything, professional sanctions would accomplish against consultants, researchers and professors, who are not necessarily involved in clinical practice or other regulated activities.

    1. JohnnyGL

      She’s pretty much yelling at him to “say uncle”! :)

      Imagine the reaction if he comes back from the dead and wins a few states tonight. She thought she had him dead and buried after Nevada….then again on Super Tuesday….then again on 3/15….and now again after NY.

      Rise from the dead again, Bernie!

      1. nycTerrierist

        I donated to Bernie again yesterday to show support.

        They can suppress votes, but we can keep him funded until the fat lady sings —
        and it ain’t over.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          I don’t know if many here paid much attention to the recently concluded NCAA basketball tournament, but it featured one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.

          With 35 seconds left, Northern Iowa led Texas A & M by 12 points. Fans were heading for the exits. At the end of regulation play plus two overtimes, Texas A & M was the winner due to an unbelievable combination of Northern Iowa mistakes and bad “luck.”

          It’s worth noting that Northern Iowa had advanced to this game due to a spectacular shot from beyond half court for the win in its previous game.

          For the wonks, this from the dubious

          In cases like this, it’s difficult to estimate the exact probability of a comeback, just because the model is verging on the realm of hypothetical possibilities instead of observed realities…….. But based on all of the things our model does take into account, we assigned Texas A&M a 1-in-3,333 chance of winning when its deficit was 12 with 35 seconds left.

          It’s best to never say never, even when that’s what tptb want you to not only say, but believe.

      2. sleepy

        She told Sanders’ supporters to suck it, that she’s the winner and he’s the loser and losers don’t get to dictate policy.

        1. nycTerrierist

          All the msm fluffing can’t hide the more we see of Hell the nastier she looks.

          Who can even argue Trump would be worse?

          Hell is by far the more effective and dangerous evil.

          1. Pavel

            And HRC must be losing sleep at night wondering what the FBI have come up with re: her email server. As Sen. Grassley mused, some angry FBI agent might leak the details if the DoJ doesn’t pursue the evidence.

            One might say, “Well, perhaps there’s nothing there to prosecute” but where there are Clintons and money and donors there seem always to be issues!

            1. Arizona Slim

              Yup. Angry FBI agents.

              ISTR that one named Mark Felt created quite a stir during the Watergate era. Something about his alter ego, Deep Throat.

            2. YankeeFrank

              There IS absolutely something there to prosecute. As just one smoking gun example, the FBI has emails from Hillary instructing her top lackeys (Abedin, Mills and some guy I can’t remember) to copy info from the secret and top secret internal government email systems to the internet/non-secure email system, remove any confidentiality markings, and email out to the world. Those are serious breaches of criminal law right there. And that is just one example, there are many others including setting up the server in the first place. If they don’t indict it is clear political suppression, and the FBI will leak and it will be a firestorm either way.

              1. RP

                Obama Administration:

                Credibility of the FBI
                Viability of Clinton as a Presidential Candidate

                You can keep one

        2. pretzelattack

          oh so now voters are losers. i guess that’s better than superpredators. this voter is not going to vote for her.

    2. Benedict@Large

      Actually, the clicker stopped right on that, but once I saw Maddow and Clinton together, I thought, “Nothing good can ever come of this,” and moved on.

    3. Strangely Enough

      ‘And I’m winning because of what I stand for and what I’ve done.’

      More like in spite of…

  8. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Democrats move to shut down criticism of Clinton’s Wall Street ties WSWS

    ……. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey scolded him for attacking “Secretary Clinton’s honesty and integrity.”

    There is literally no better defender of clintonian “honesty and integrity” than “senator” robert menendez. There’s a very successful “ophthalmologist” in prison in Florida who can vouch for that.

    Oh, and if you’re on Medicare, he’s got a $1 million pair of bifocals he can sell ya.

    1. Laughingsong

      Clinton’s honesty and integrity?!? In her context, they can only be her imaginary friends.

  9. fresno dan

    Next Economy: The Coming ‘Age of Stagnation’ The Tyee (Sid S)

    If you look at water, consumption is rising at a rate, which is roughly a new Rhine River every year.

    Food production has to increase by roughly 50 per cent by mid-century to feed a larger population but also to meet demand for different types of food. As people get richer, they want more protein. This requires larger scale production facilities. The amount of arable land on the planet, about 3.4 billion acres, has not changed very significantly for decades. It is shrinking because of climate change and other problems.

    The planet is now full of fact-resistant humans and we don’t want to even acknowledge climate change. We’re experiencing extreme weather conditions which impact on the costs of world operations, in terms of insurance, food production, and many other things.

    I imagine it will be an age of decline, but it will be marketed as an age of advancement, and people will buy the bull with a little help from soma*.

    *Brave New World

    1. fresno dan


      QUESTION: … I hear a lot of speakers say growth is going to accelerate in the future as the global human population is heads to nine billion. This is the narrative you hear at the World Economic Forum in Davos. You are saying that we’re heading toward an entirely different world from this one?

      ANSWER I would call this the Davos-man narrative. The Davos-man narrative, in a sort of weird way, believes that growth is a perpetual thing without really examining what drives it. One factor that drives growth is population. People seem to have lost sight that while global population heads toward nine billion, in the 20th century the population of the Earth doubled twice. Despite what economists and business people say, most of [economic] growth actually came from more people. People need shelter, they need food, they need water, they need education, they get married and have children of their own. All of that drives growth. In the 21st century, the world’s population will not double even once.

      1. Vatch

        Periodically, it’s important to recall this insightful quote that’s attributed to the economist Kenneth Boulding:

        Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Even before it stops growing forever, we can ask this:

          “Has economic growth outpaced population growth, and of what quality is the growth or how the fruits of our labor distributed?”

          The Davos Man extracts rents. He is interested in economic growth, in toto, engined by population growth.

          The serfs are more interested in growth per captia.

          Eventually, though, infinite growth becomes finite growth. But, in the meantime, wealth inequality exacts its heavy toll, whether victims see the End of the World or not.

      2. Benedict@Large

        Growth will return when policies that produce growth return, and not a minute sooner. Our economists know what these policies are too. They just won’t advocate for them because they know their funding is contingent upon them not doing so. Everything must be maintained so that the dominant public narrative is that we little people are dependent upon the good humor of our elites for everything we get. They must be treated as royalty, or even the scant flow of crumbs that now fall from their tables will disappear.

        They should be careful. There are other ways in which the masses treat the royals.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          “The Little People should never be given anything free. Who will man the Machine then? We wise plutocrats and our bureaucrat servants are never seduced into indolence by free money, because we are educated and smart. We can be trusted with free money, unlike the Little People.”

    2. Waldenpond

      Won’t capitalism will save us from capitalism? I see all of the marketing and I thought the proposal is our new third industrial revolution of a green economy is going to save us. Once we cut down every tree, remove all top soil, use all water and fossil fuels to get at and mine all of the lead, tin, aluminum, copper and lithium (jobs, jobs, jobs).. send to new shiny factories in poor neighborhoods (public/private rejuvenation) for awesome jobs, jobs, jobs… This new market will put solar panels on every roof, turbines in every yard and battery storage in every garage! Ignore the strip mining pictures, send more bucolic farm images.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The insiders know it’s too late.

        Time to find another hospitable planet to ruin…sorry, as humanity deserves another chance, as Stephen Hawking put it.

        “You snuck that one by me while I was not looking.”

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s possible they can feed 50% more humans.

      The eaters might have to compromise on safety (if not immediately toxic) and quality.

      Just think, Chernobyl is only a threat for 3,000 years. But how long has the Homo Not-So-Sapiens species been a threat to the world?

  10. Simulated Live Burial with insects

    It’s not even the contemptuous old-time gibe, “So sue me.” It’s “So sue the psychologists.” Or disposable contractors like CACI. This is a perfect example of the kind of empty gestures the US will harp on at the Convention Against Torture treaty body plenary. CIA’s impunity was written into municipal law at inception in 1947. They’re beyond the reach of any court whenever they say the magic words. Truman was wrong, CIA is not the president’s Gestapo. The president is CIA’s fall guy.

    The arrangement almost broke down in 2006. Scalia admitted the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over CIA torture. But the Supreme Court knows the Nuremberg Tribunal had tried judges, so the judges mumbled something about the Geneva Conventions in their 2006 Hamdan decision.

    The torturers immediately started twisting their flunkys’ arms and made Congress gut its War Crimes Act by retroactively decriminalizing CIA’s two favorite war crimes, denial of the right to trial and outrages on human dignity. Congress then made it official: federal courts have no jurisdiction over stuff you do to “enemy combatants.” The torturers and courts were off the hook – at least at home.

    Still, someone has to take the rap in universal jurisdiction. To stick the executive with the legal exposure, Congress let advice of counsel justify the torture. After all, if anybody deserved to end up begging for mercy in the Hague, it was CIA tools Bybee and Levin, who dug up Jesse Helms’ old “common-law defenses” for torturers. The lawyers in turn covered their asses by reviving the Nixon dictum: if the President wants you to do it, it’s not illegal. So the buck again stopped where it was meant to stop, with the schnook-in-chief the spooks installed. That’s why Bush stays home painting puppies.

  11. fresno dan

    rel=”nofollow”>Andrew Bacevich and America’s Long Misguided War to Control the Greater Middle East Intercept

    Nothing undermines the American belief in military force. No matter how often its galloping about results in resentment and mayhem, the U.S. gets up again to do good elsewhere. Failure to improve life in Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya stiffens the resolve to get it right next time. This notion prevails among politicized elements of the officer corps; much of the media, whether nominally liberal or conservative; the foreign policy elite recycled quadrennially between corporation-endowed think tanks and government; and most politicians on the national stage. For them and the public they influence, the question is less whether to deploy force than when, where, and how.

    What strikes me about the argument is that it is exactly the same as the argument with regards as to the “market” – failure in wages to keep up with productivity growth, failure of health care to provide affordable care, etc., are met with a profound inability to accept and deal with the world as it is.

    As I’ve said many times, the premise that we are “trying to do good” at some point has to be challenged – the things that appear as failure to the people soaking up the bullets, versus the things that appear as failure to the people who order the people who soak up the bullets, are two different things…

    1. MtnLife

      “Nothing undermines the American belief in military force. No matter how often its galloping about results in resentment and mayhem, the U.S. gets up again to do good elsewhere.”

      Don Quixote’s outfitters have an amazing marketing team that paints very scary faces on the windmills.

    1. diptherio

      I just hope the photographer was far away with a big telephoto when he took that. Bear cubs are cute, but momma bears are mean. And check out the claws on those little guys…adorable but deadly.

  12. Jim Haygood

    Venezuela goes dark:

    Caracas (AFP) – Fridges zapped off in kitchens across Venezuela as the government turned off the electricity supply to help ease a power shortage that is worsening the country’s economic crisis.

    The timing of the switch-off caught Pedro Tarazona by surprise at his shop in the town of Santa Teresa del Tuy southeast of Caracas. The fridge was full of meat when it suddenly stopped working. So did the electric fan. The machine for processing bank card payments wouldn’t work either without power, so at least two customers left without buying anything.

    Research group Capital Economics calculated the power crisis could further cut economic growth this year by about 1.5 percent, deepening the contraction to as much as 10 percent.

    Power cuts are a particular hazard for businesses because the sudden power surge when the current is restored burns out the resistors on electrical appliances.

    Tarazona said he has already lost a fridge and an electric mincer that way. He can no longer make sausages. “We tradespeople suffer from this because the equipment and the merchandise gets damaged,” he said.

    A ten percent drop in GDP is a depression by any standard. Meanwhile, inflation measured 181% during 2015.

    Inflation in Venezuela has averaged nearly 30% since 1973, indicating that the country has been badly managed for decades. No serious country tolerates double-digit inflation for that long.

    Looks like Venezuela will join formerly hyperinflationary Zimbabwe as an economic cautionary tale. Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation stopped when it simply gave up on its incontinent joke of a currency.

      1. Jim Haygood

        It would take a counterfeiting effort sustained over eight U.S. presidential administrations to produce nearly 30% inflation in Venezuela for 42 years.

        Since Venezuela hasn’t made such a claim, one could conclude that Venezuela’s severe monetary disorder is self-inflicted.

        1. Raj

          The monetary disorder may be self-inflicted, but that doesn’t dispel Lambert’s speculation of economic warfare. The question becomes why has Venezuela gone down this path? There’s plenty of history to sort through to reach a conclusion.

  13. Left in Wisconsin

    From this morning’s Guardian:
    US unions plan attack on Donald Trump in attempt to derail presidential bid

    Key paragraph:

    Working America, the political organizing arm of AFL-CIO, wanted to find out whether Trump’s “rightwing” message appealed to workers outside Cleveland and Pittsburgh. After interviewing about 1,689 working-class Americans living in households earning less than $75,000, they found out that Trump was in fact the favored candidate. Of the 800 voters who had decided on a candidate at the time of the interview, about 300 favored Trump. Combined, the two Democratic candidates appealed to fewer workers – 174 chose Clinton and 95 chose Sanders.


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Reagan already used ‘Morning in America Again.”

      Maybe Trump can say ‘Sunny in America Again.”

    2. polecat

      Am i mistaken that the AFL-CIO supported the ACA into existence………thinking THEIR membership wouldn’t have to sign up for such rotten sausage!!……..THAT AFL-CIO???

      F#ck Trumpka and his ilk!

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        AFLCIO is a toothless (I almost said “tiger”) animal of some sort. Nevertheless, the poll results are devastating.

    3. flora

      That story’s sub-headline says it all:
      “Concerned labor group leaders are organizing ad campaigns and phone banks as Trump’s populist message on trade and jobs draws in union voters”

      So it’s the leaders (the Union equivalent of the 1%) that are organizing ad campaigns while the rank and file union voters (the 99%) are gravitating to Trump. Trump talks anti-NAFTA and anti-TPP. Not really surprising.

  14. nippersmom

    I would definitely vote for Stump the cat over Trump or Clinton. I’m sure he’s got more integrity, and his only “hidden agenda” would be plenty of kibble and head-scratches.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I don’t think even the ancient Egyptian could claim to have the world’s first feline ruler.

      Perhaps historians can prove me wrong.

    2. ChrisPacific

      I remember a cat running for Student Union president when I was at university. His tag line was “The only ass he licks is his own.”

  15. rich

    Judge slams all concerned in Urbancorp bond offeringTel Aviv District Court Judge Eitan Orenstein: I look at the failures, to use judicial understatement, and I thought I’d seen everything…

    The Urbancorp fiasco reached the Tel Aviv District Court today. The court vice-president, Judge Eitan Orenstein, sounded decisive about the position of Canadian construction company Urbancorp, and was spoke his mind unsparingly about those responsible for its debt offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

    “There is unequivocal cause here for repayment,” Orenstein said in the course of the hearing, and throughout it he continued to criticize what had taken place surrounding the company’s bond offering. “I look at the failures, to use judicial understatement, and I thought I’d seen everything…” he remarked on one occasion.

    Deloitte, which prepared Urbancorp’s financial statements in advance of the offering in Tel Aviv in December, did not send representatives to the special hearing convened in the court today despite the Passover holiday. The offering underwriter, Apex Issuances, also did not bother to send a representative, nor was anyone from the Israel Securities Authority present in the courtroom. “Where’s the Authority? The underwriter? The auditors?” Judge Orenstein asked during the hearing. (Deloitte and Apex Issuances said they had not received summonses to appear at the hearing.)

    Asked about the legal proceedings in Canada, Ticho answered, “It’s not, how should I put it? the Wild West.”

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    CIA torture program designers.

    Gun makers.

    Which group can be taken to court and which group can’t?

    1. MtnLife

      I don’t think either should. Now, the people who authorized the use of/carried out the torture program or the people who actually shot other people/ordered others to be shot deserve to be dragged into court. Penalizing businesses for horrible decisions made by their customers involving their product is a terribly destructive idea. Imagine the liability from alcohol alone! Even in the light of the Sandy Hook case where they are suing over the advertising that would be devastating to the auto industry. How many car commercials involve high speed curvy roads, hydro planing, huge skidded turns, and other dangerous behavior? So maybe gun companies just need to put that little disclaimer at the bottom “Professional shooter on a closed course. Do not try this at home. Guns not to be used for murder.”

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Bank of Japan owns half of Japan’s ETFs.

    Please allow it to buy from garage sales as well.

    It will benefit Mr. and Mrs Watanabe directly.

  18. ewmayer

    o Re. Chernobyl: I still recall visiting relatives in central Europe in late summer 1986, and seeing the partially-withered leaves on the grapevines in the surrounding vineyards, a result of being on the edge of the fallout plume.

    o Re. Meet the Cat Running for President | NYT — If said feline manages to claw its way into the oval office, it should consider appointing Gangsta Kitten (movie opens Friday) to a key Cabinet role. The country could use a little gangsta, and a whole lot less banksta, in its governance.

  19. ewmayer

    Correction: The title of the gangsta-kitten film is Keanu … cf. Wikipedia entry Keanu_(film) for details. (Please do not construe this as a film recommendation.)

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