Links 5/12/16

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Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, The Art of Translation No. 4 Paris Review (guurst)

Biologists Discover Billions Of Missing Bees Living Anonymously In Sacramento Onion (David L)

Behind The Leather: PETA Surprises Shoppers With Fake Leather Accessories Bored Panda. Furzy gives gore warning.

Hollow installation by Zeller & Moye uses 10,000 tree species Dezeen (David L)

These beautiful cardboard electronics are touch-activated SpringWise. I had Frank Gehry cardboard furniture a long time ago…got it super discounted on sale.

20-year review shows 90% of disasters are weather-related; US, China, India, Philippines and Indonesia record the most UNISDR

Pentagon Turns to Silicon Valley for Edge in Artificial Intelligence New York Times

Mossack Fonseca

Dark money: London’s dirty secret Financial Times. As Richard Smith says, “a nice deep dive,” but this is still relatively small fry: average account size only $800,000.

Panama Papers: Malcolm Turnbull named Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Corruption: Cameron points finger at Nigeria, Nigeria points back at UK The Canary. Chris g: “Smoothie Cameron is ignoring Panama Papers etc, other countries aren’t!”


Chinese state entities argue they have ‘sovereign immunity’ in U.S. courts Reuters. EM: “Imagine the toxicity such legal stratagems could cause if coupled with the TPP’s ISDS provision. ‘We can devastate your environment and abuse your workers, enjoy sovereign legal immunity for doing so, and sue you for lost profits if you try to say otherwise’.”

The Queen has expressed the uncomfortable truth about power Financial Times. Shorter: “The Chinese were rude.”

Obama to Make History With Hiroshima Visit as U.S. Quietly Upgrades Nuclear Arsenal (Video) Democracy Now!

Japanese hail Hiroshima visit, say apology not needed Japan Times. Calling Clive for calibration re what he sees in the Japanese language press. Japanese are very respectful of authority and some might be loath to be seen criticizing a US president to a reporter (as in the in-personl poll method may have biased the results). This may indeed be a valid sample, but Japan Times’ role is cheery reporting on Japan to gaijin. YY points out:

NHK 7:00 O’clock News, which I regularly watch, is actually a good barometer of median point of Japanese reactions. What is notable is that there is more coverage of the coverage of the issue of apology than whether or not such sentiment is actually sought. What was more interesting is the reporting of the immediate reactions of the Chinese and Korean governments, just to check how they would react. The Chinese spokesbody did take the opportunity to snipe at the Japanese re-militarization concerns. The Korean reaction was a bit more bland.

As long as the Enola Gay is enshrined at the air and space museum, and with a shine that it never possessed as an active aircraft, apologies are pretty useless anyway. Besides the conventional fire bombings were just as horrific and more lethal.

Malaysian Leader’s Stepson Allegedly Funded U.S. Property Deals With 1MDB Money Wall Street Street

Brazil Senate Votes in Favor of Rousseff Impeachment Trial Wall Street Journal

Impeachment trial for Brazil’s Rousseff BBC

Brexit? How can you Brits take all the scaremongering? It’s enough to make someone vote for Brexit out of contrariness.

Economists say no to Brexit Mainly Macro

Could A “Brexit” Enhance British Energy Security? OilPrice

George Osborne says Treasury is planning for Brexit Guardian

Left – moral collapse in Greece, strategic confusion in Europe Defend Democracy

Latvian Activist Arrested Over Petition to Join Russia Appeals Verdict Sputnik News (Wat)`

Imperial Collapse Watch

US foreign policy (Wat)

Edward Snowden: The Media Isn’t Doing Its Job Columbia Journalism Review (furzy). Important.

Clinton E-mail Hairball

FBI head challenges Clinton’s description of email probe The Hill (furzy)


Why Sanders won in West Virginia WSWS (Judy B)

Washington Post Squeezes Four Anti-Sanders Stories Out of One Tax Study Over Seven Hours FAIR (Lee Fang)

Democratic Convention Hosted by Republican Donors, Anti-Obamacare Lobbyists Intercept (resilc)

Clinton strikes distrust in coal country Financial Times

Clinton attacking Trump on taxes, economy as polls tighten. Slate

Trump’s Miss Universe Foreign Policy New York Times

With Donald Trump as nominee, delegate spots lose appeal CNN (furzy)

Trump won’t release tax returns before election The Hill (furzy). He can’t carry on about “Crooked Clinton” (effectively) and not release his returns.

Romney to Trump: Not releasing tax returns is ‘disqualifying’ The Hill

Trump softens stance on Muslim ban BBC

Donald Trump Is Considering Newt Gingrich for Vice Presidential Role Bloomberg. This reads like a bad joke but it isn’t. Trump’s mopping-up operation in the Republican party seems to be working against what would make him viable with the general electorate.

Donald Trump asks Stephen Moore and Larry Kudlow to rewrite his tax plan. Slate

Trump Says He Would Appoint Anti-Choice Justice to Supreme Court (Video) Alternet. Ugh. Looks like he’s decided that he’s alienated so many women he might as well double down and go for evangelicals. This may cost him the election. He could get away with positioning himself a mere lout, particularly if he got a woman VP, if he held to at least OK positions on women’s issues. But this will drive a lot of women who might have stayed home out of ambivalence over Hillary to the polls.

Trump needs cash, but GOP donors not opening their wallets CNN (furzy)

Gay Marriage Won, But Other Liberal Causes Will Probably Struggle To Copy Its Success FiveThirtyEight (resilc). Wrong conclusion. Gays has $ (making them a desired voter group), were good at messaging, and were willing to withhold their support from the Dems. They also shifted prevailing views enough to make the change seem less radical. Other “liberal causes” lack the guts. And ignores that the generational trend heavily favors “liberal causes”.

Suite of 18 bills to combat opioid scourge set to sail through House Christian Science Monitor

Texas Republicans Inch Closer to Secession Mother Jones Resilc: “Please go, vote yes. The other 49 would support it.

Anti-Trans discrimination is Sex Discrimination Atlantic (Selva T)

Maker of painkiller OxyContin loses legal battle to keep lawsuit records secret Los Angeles Times

Harvard’s clueless illiberalism Washington Post (furzy). FWIW, Harvard had not allowed sororities or fraternities until pretty recently, a fact this article omits.

OPEC Is Dead, What’s Next? OilPrice

Oil markets ‘heading towards balance’: IEA CNBC

Ambac sues Puerto Rico highway agency over toll road deal Reuters (EM)

11 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Rapidly Deteriorating Even As The Stock Market Soars Economics Collapse (RR). Needless to say, this is a perma-bear blog, but the list does have some not-well-known factoids.

Jobs: How Good are the Jobs the Economy is Creating? Michael Shedlock

Macy’s joins American retail descent Financial Times. How about, per Class Warfare below, “Macy’s joins American middle class descent”?

Google bans payday lender advertising Financial Times

Are Newspapers Captured by Banks? Evidence from Italy ProMarket

Guillotine Watch

Chelsea Clinton’s Husband Closing Hedge Fund After Losing 90 Percent Of Its Money Daily Caller. You have to work to lose 90%. And have long lockups so the investors can’t run away. But he bet that austerity would work!

Class Warfare

Pew study sees a shrinking middle class in major US cities Associated Press (allan). The FT has this study as its lead story.

The middle class is shrinking just about everywhere in America Washington Post (resilc)

Portland gave its minimum wage workers a raise. Here’s what happened next. Christian Science Monitor

Top Shell investor vents anger at boss pay Telegraph

Billionaire Ken Griffin: ‘We are more and more in a winner-take-all world’ Business Insider (David L)

Corporate Branding of National Parks: The Disturbing Link between Philanthropy and Privatization NonProfit News

Unnecessariat More Crows than Eagles (martha r). Today’s must read

Antidote du jour (Christian Science Monitor via Furzy): “WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange holds up his new kitten at the Ecuadorian Embassy in central London, Britain, in this undated photograph released on Monday. The kitten is a gift from Assange’s young children to keep him company.” Sporting of the embassy to let him have a pet.

Assange with kitten links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. diptherio

      Assange better make sure that little thing doesn’t leak all over the embassy carpets!

    2. EmilianoZ

      Assange shouldnt be allowed to have a cat. While living with Daniel Domscheit-Berg, he abused Berg’s cat with the utmost cruelty:

      Julian was engaged in a constant battle for dominance—even with my cat, Mr. Schmitt. Mr. Schmitt is a lovable, lazy creature, a bit shy, with gray-and-white fur and an extremely laid-back way of walking. Unfortunately he also has a neurosis stemming from the time when Julian lived with me in Wiesbaden. Julian was always attacking the poor animal. He would spread his fingers into a fork shape and pounce on the cat’s neck. It was a game to see who was quicker. Either Julian would succeed in getting his fingers around the cat and pinning it to the floor, or the cat would drive Julian off with a swipe of its claws.

      1. vidimi

        i would take anything DDB says about JA with a grain of salt.

        he’s the one, after all, who got paid or intimidated to betray WL and kill the BofA leaks they were touting were going to collapse the giant. very slimey.

        1. nippersmom

          Not to mention that. from the description given, it sounds like it could be a game many cats would enjoy. There is nothing to suggest the cat was in any pain, or that it was pinned in place for a prolonged period.

        2. Lumpenproletariat

          DDB–Quisling of Wiki leaks.

          The fact that Assange’s detractors resorted to Assange vs. a cat and some idiotic busted-condom = sex assault means they’re desperate to silence him.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It would seem that Assange liked to live dangerously, trying to out-quick a cat’s swipes.

        1. Charles Peterson

          Cats love to have humans play like cats with them. Playing is what being a cat is all about. It’s humans who should resist get sucked in, because eventually it hurts us more than it hurts them. Cat adopters are advised to get their cats to play with cat toys, not with people. I have not yet been entirely successful with my own adopted stray in this regards. The described “battle for dominance” sounds just like ordinary cat play and NOT cruelty at all.

  1. allan

    File under Cuomo Economic Development Hairball:

    Ex-Cuomo aide drew income from Columbia University [Gannett]

    A former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo received outside income to teach classes in a Columbia University program run by a professor with deep ties to key players in an ongoing federal corruption investigation.

    Howard Glaser, Cuomo’s former director of state operations, received between $25,000 and $70,000 total from Columbia for his work as an adjunct professor in the university’s executive MPA program while he was still on the state payroll in 2012 and 2013, according to his financial disclosure forms.

    At the same time, William Eimicke – director of Columbia’s Picker Center for Executive Education, which runs the executive MPA program – was working as a paid consultant for a central New York racetrack project and Syracuse-area builder COR Development, both of which had business before the state.

    This mess is beginning to seriously resemble the Sheldon Silver – law firm – mesothelioma researcher scam.
    Oddly enough, or not, the mesothelioma researcher was also at Columbia.
    And we know how that movie ended.

  2. Ignim Brites

    “Texas Republicans Inch Closer to Secession”

    If Trump wins expect moves for California seccession to pick up steam.

    1. Jim Haygood

      California’s economy is about the size of France’s. The Texas economy is slightly larger than Canada’s.

      Having a Texas ambassador in Washington again (as in 1836 to 1845) = R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

      There’s a reason why the founders called it “United States” instead of “United Provinces” or (more appropriate for today) “United Doormats.” Then their successor A. Lincoln threw out their own rule book, swiped all the chips, overturned the table, announced “This my garden now,” and set part of it on fire to celebrate.

      1. Skippy

        What the state that constantly walks into the wall and then starts all over again…. home of the dog box, marginal taxes, deregulated land development for 20 odd years, now facing rolling drought and flooding of new dog box developments, buy politicians off in the foyer of the state assembly in broad day light, illegal labor base since inception, and now even Austin gives Uber the flick….

        Disheveled Marsupial… oh and the school system… Gary North is not a good look nor a strong indicator of future graduates…

      2. Carolinian

        Speaking as a potential citizen of the CSA I’m glad he did although I realize there are some up North these days who speak dreamily of how great things would be if Jeff Davis had succeeded. Bottom line: you’re stuck with us.

      3. cwaltz

        Just because you don’t particularly like the rule book he used doesn’t mean it was “thrown out.”

        As I remember it from my history books the secessation was a temper tantrum because it became apparent with the election of Mr Lincoln by THE MAJORITY that the slave states were no longer going to be allowed to add more to their numbers.

        I do think it’s rich that states that counted slaves as three fifths of a person, in order to boost their political clout, while insisting those same persons were property, not people, in their home states, would argue, “it’s not fair Mr Lincoln tossed out our rigged rule book.”

        1. Carolinian

          Blame it on our corn fed Southern oligarchs. Also Mark Twain blamed Walter Scott who brainwashed those oligarchs with romantic tales of feudalism.

      4. jrs

        To not have to pay taxes to kill people in illegal wars in the name of empire anymore would be kind of nice, whatever the cost.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Resilc: “Please go, vote yes. The other 49 would support it.

      Had Lincoln not supported ‘preserving the union,’ it would not have been ‘fighting the rebels’ but another nation in the 1800s.

      And post-victory, that nation would have received their equivalent Marshall Plan to help our great nation defend the ‘menace from down south.’

      Looking at the world today, I think, with Realpolitik, the bigger the nation, the more powerful.

      Thus, big China >>>> little Denmark.

      1. ProNewerDeal

        perhaps it is better to be a citizen of a non-huge nation like Denmark. The likes of Denmark, New Zealand, or even “medium-sized” Canada don’t have an MIC/Empire nor 2B2F bank oligopoly to waste money on, & seem more likely to spend taxpayer money on services that actually benefit taxpayers, like MedicareForAll.

        1. Lumpenproletariat

          While it’s true that the US will inevitably out spend (aka piss away) more money on weapons than anyone else, smaller nations are trying to gut their social safety nets and have TBTF banks as well.

          I can’t speak for Denmark, but both New Zealand and Canada have weakened their welfare states and have venal, politically dominant banks. Think of their real estate costs, who benefits from them, and who will be bailed out when it all comes down.

          The US’s neoliberal gutting of the welfare state is still more extreme though. I think it is because the domestic political demagogues have been more successful at scapegoating minorities as unworthy recipients of governed largesse.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Capital is so very mobile. So is the set of creatures that make up the militaries of all the nations, large and small, including contractors and related politicians. The corporations that drive and feed the infinitely growing mass of ever more lethal and out-of-human-control weaponry are pure post-trans-supranational entities, and the scum that lead them and the sad creeps that staff them are happy to gather together at many venues to show off the size of their diKKs and the neat range of destructive toys their latest “visions” of “battlespace superiority” have conjured up. Bland stuff like this little aggregation,, or an interesting article with a snippet from an F-35 advertising photo,

            The “thing,” the military vampire squid, has a huge range and is present everywhere. The mindset that drives the military types infiltrates every place, aided by busy little marketing types and cadres of officers who in the US case, hope to bring all the world’s militaries and “national police forces” together in one gynormous glorious singularity of “interoperability” under the command of “our” (sic, they own us, not the other way around — we just staff and feed the thing) “battlespace management.”

            So the neolibs see their opportunities, and are taking them –everywhere, all the time, full spectrum, globally. And the bleeding of the wealth of mopes into military cadres and hardware (and code, let us not forget code, the absence of which keeps the F-35 from its awesome potential…) is just part of the “One Ring To Rule Them All” strategy. Impoverish, harden the surveillance, crush any organization, manufacture consent to be ruled, breed a “hard men (and women, Hillary) caste” to make it all permanent — up to the point of collapse, that is, but then the Few plan to be out of range by then. One way or another…

            1. aet

              “Capital is so very mobile”…yeah, productive farmland, mines and quarries, hydroelectric dams, oilfields and developed residential and commercial real estate, as well as roads, canals, airports, bridges and highways are so very easy to move around.

              I think you are forgetting that the greater part of all capital goods does not consist of portable property, like machines or money.

              1. JTMcPhee

                …might I dare to ask who owns the legal title to all those items, and hence the ability to collect rents on them? And might I also ask if the notional value of all the financial instruments floating around, derivatives and bonds and such, is of any worth, and how tightly those items are tied to the immeubles you lecture about? And where the “capital,” extracted from those immeubles, ends up? How about “code?” And military “goods,” actually pretty “bads,” that seem to migrate via massive cloacas of logistics and distribution, everywhere on the planet?

                You have what seems to me a very narrow definition of “capital.” Almost Marxist…

                And of course is it not convenient for the “LEGAL OWNERS” of so much, who by suborning and taking effective title to the legislative, judicial and executive functions of that “government” thing so many of us so poignantly still believe in and feel to be necessary and potentially “just’ and “fair,” can “take title to” so much more, “all nice and legal”?

                Which of course results in assisting those Few, who with their passwords and account numbers and tablets and personal security bubbles are so very mobile, to continue to leverage their amassed “wealth” to steal (sorry, “acquire”) so much more of the “legal title” to everything, including your DNA and mine? Or by various kinds of violence, get to apply what we learn in grade school, that bit about “possession being nine tenths of the law? Those folks and their little groups and their “capital” are mobile, while the vast majority of us mopes are pretty much nailed to the ground, no? And mirable dictu, the Elites and their People are working hard, every day, to nail the other foot to the ground too?

                I wonder what the ratio of “value” of those immeubles you mention is, to the “value” of all that other kind of “capital?”

        2. Praedor

          Maybe, but you do NOT want to be a citizen of an independent Texas. Christian conservative where abortion, birthcontrol illegal (and felonies), pollution is celebrated and required, wiping out all wildlife a sport, NO safety net of any kind whatsoever.

          The leadership of the state of Texas are pure, greedy, evil.

      2. Lumpenproletariat

        The best examples would be the state let’s of the former USSR and Yugoslavia. They can now bask in ethno-centric freedom. But every one of them has less power to resist the financial industry and both foreign and domestic oligarchs.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The Texas panhandle has some nice straight lines, it would be easier to run the wall along them instead of the wiggly and mountainous Mexican border.
        Show your Texas passport if you want to come through the gates

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In China, there is an inner Great Wall and an outer Great Wall.

        It can be done here, I suppose. The inner wall along the Mason-Dixon line.

    3. another

      Texas should not secede. Texas should be expelled. Then President Trump can put up a wall between the United States and Texas, where it will do some good.

  3. Carla

    “Gay Marriage Won, But Other Liberal Causes Will Probably Struggle To Copy Its Success FiveThirtyEight (resilc). Wrong conclusion. Gays has $ (making them a desired voter group), were good at messaging, and were willing to withhold their support from the Dems. They also shifted prevailing views enough to make the change seem less radical. Other “liberal causes” lack the guts. And ignores that the generational trend heavily favors “liberal causes”. ”

    Yves, please consider: other liberal causes may lack $ and “desired voter” status more than guts. For example, I certainly wouldn’t think that Black Lives Matter activists lack guts. But “desired voter” status? Uhm, overall, yeah.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Another thing that article left out was corporate support. For whatever reason (possibly a strong representation of gay men and women at senior levels?), its a cause with a lot of money and influence behind it. In the gay marriage referendum in Ireland serious money from mostly US companies and associated charitable foundations went into the pro-referendum vote (illegally, as it happens) – some companies were happy to suggest that they might pull out of Ireland if it was lost.

    2. j84ustin

      Not only that, but look at who was championing gay marriage. Generally wealthier, white, cisgender dudes who saw marriage as the one hurdle to full acceptance and assimilation into society.

    3. ChiGal

      Gay marriage doesn’t challenge class/power structures the way other movements do. Its success is the exception that proves the rule. Greenwald wrote a good piece on this back when he was still writing for the Guardian (sorry don’t know how to post links). Kinda depressing that apparently the 538 “journo” isn’t aware of it. Always reinventing (crapifying) the wheel…

  4. timotheus

    Snowden: “The Media Is Not . . . ”

    Aaargh! Despite the justified annoyance one may feel about our undistinguished news-making entities, they are not a monolith. Using the singular verb attached to this plural noun reinforces an erroneous notion; Schoolmarm red-pencils it. All together now: “The media are.”

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Ugh on WaPo, Hilary probably promised Bezos the Ambassador to France post. George Clooney probably got Italy.
        While he’s there Bezos can arrange the hostile takeover of the last bouquinistes on the Seine and shut down that pesky Shakespeare and Company shop.

  5. EndOfTheWorld

    –Trump will appoint anti-choice justice to Supreme Court. Is it just me, or is the whole abortion thing really a non-issue. There was abortion before Roe v Wade–it was just harder to get one if you lived in the wrong state. Then when W was prez with a repug Congress nothing changed. I don’t think Roe v Wade will ever be overturned no matter who Trump puts in the Supremes. If it is overturned, then OK, if you live in Alabama you’ll have to take a trip somewhere to get your abortion. It’s not like you’ll be getting one annually. Besides Trump can and probably will forget all his campaign promises if elected. He’s a lovable buffoon. The voters like him, just as they liked Rob Ford and Marion Berry.

    1. Anne

      The whole “abortion thing” is most definitely not a non-issue, but based on the rest of your comment, I don’t expect there’s much point in taking the time to educate you on why it is an issue, why it matters and the consequences that would ripple from further restricting women’s rights to autonomous control over their own bodies.

      “It’s not like you’ll be getting one annually.”

      Jesus…I can’t even.

      1. Praedor

        It kind of IS a non-issue. Abortion providers in red states are being shut down left and right AND laws are going into effect to make it nearly impossible anyway. But wait! There’s more! Even in BLUE states abortion providers are being shuttered.

        Women may, technically, have a right to abortion but they just can’t get them. Unless they’re rich. The rich have ALWAYS had access to abortion and other banned items. So, want to not only have the right to abortion but also the actual ability to get one? Be rich.

        1. JTMcPheej

          “the RICH…” And of course, that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Rules for you, but not for me…

      2. cwaltz

        I’m going to guess this person is not a parent.

        Anyone who blithely suggests “its not like you’ll be getting one annually” couldn’t possibly understand the repercussions of a pregnancy for most people is eighteen years, not one. That, of course, discludes the parents of kids who have special needs, then the repercussions extend beyond the eighteen years since some of these kids never have the means to be self sufficient in entirety(and when we eliminate abortion then these numbers go up.).

        *shakes head*

        I can’t even imagine(nor do I want to) being FORCED to parent a child I did not want and was not prepared for. Furthermore, I can imagine that this planet becomes Hades for any child that has to live daily with a parent that wasn’t prepared for them, didn’t want them and resents their existence.

        I’m of an age where my child bearing days are all but over, I don’t envy my daughter and her peers though. They’ve got a battle ahead of them for body autonomy and the notion that while you can never quite prepare yourself for the rigors of childrearing that when you do bring a child into the world it should be considered a gift, not something that is resented throughout it’s formative years.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Lordie. You are utterly clueless.

      Before Roe v. Wade, you had to be very well off to get an abortion. You needed connections to doctors who would do it under the radar and then it was only a few states like Connecticut where you could get it done. And even then, the most common route was to go to Canada.

      Go watch this movie to get a better picture of what it was like to get an abortion before it was legal. Admittedly dated and a UK story, but the issues and difficulty are germane. Self-abortions via coathangers were not uncommon, with the attendant risk of infertility and death via internal bleeding.

      The US is really retrograde on this issue by leaving it to the vagaries of the courts, which can and do blow with the wind. In pretty much all of the the rest of the advanced world, abortion is a right protected by statute. No ambiguity, no fooling around.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        And with the way abortion clinics are being closed through zoning regulations, those days are more common for more Americans.

        The article by Anis Shivani could have used Hillary’s own willingness to compromise with the right wing and support a constitutional ammendment against abortion as another example.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Yes, despite abortions being technically legal in the first trimester, states not prosecuting people who threaten and shoot abortion doctors is tantamount to denying access. You pretty much can’t get an abortion in the corn belt states.

      2. Jim Haygood

        ‘The most common route was to go to Canada.’

        Or Mexico (where abortion was illegal but available), if you lived in the South. Dr. Bruno in Piedras Negras, Coahuila was said to be good.

        EOW’s comment overlooks that pre-Roe v. Wade, states had sole authority over abortion. Some chose to liberalize. More would have, on their own. But tactical supporters of the pyrrhic victory of Roe. v. Wade inadvertently handed the fedgov the power to ban abortion nationwide.

        There’s nothing inherently liberal about federal power. The Washington D.C. entity is now on the retrograde side of many issues: abortion rights; health insurance; the Drug War; etc. Those who hold other views on these matters should work to starve the reactionary fedgov of funding and strip its usurped, dictatorial powers. One size does not fit all.

        1. sleepy

          Absent a constitutional amendment completely banning the procedure, the federal government doen’t have the power to ban abortion.

          The feds’ jurisdiction over abortion only stems from a right found in the US constitution according to Roe. If Roe were overturned the federal government would lose its jurisdiction. If the federally protected right goes away, so does federal jurisdiction.

          1. JTMcPheej

            …and remind me again how marijuana can be banned by the Federal Government… Oh, yeah, the “Commerce Clause…”

        2. CRLaRue

          If you see the after effect of a failed abortion via massage/manipulation you might
          change your mind. I personally know of and witnessed this horrid event take place in the Philippines. The effect on the poor little sole that survived haunts me to this day.

        3. James Levy

          Perhaps, but given the history or oh, say, anti-miscegenation laws et al., STATE laws in many places are guaranteed to be retrograde, borderline Sharia. I’ll risk a little federal overreach to defend fundamental rights for all citizens, rights which way too many states would throw out the window tomorrow if they could.

      3. EndOfTheWorld

        I am in favor of legal abortion. Yes, you had to have some money to get one in the old days, but it could be done. But when the repugs got control of the whole shebang for a while, still nothing changed re abortion. Looks like it’s found its equilibrium.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          What I’m saying is abortion is an issue the politicians can take positions about, and pose, and act like they care about it, but nobody ever DOES anything to change the abortion laws significantly. This is the kind of issue politicians love—all talk, no action.

          1. James Levy

            Um, do you follow the news? Many states are moving to make abortion de facto illegal, and a few would love to make it de jure illegal. And abortion clinics have been bombed and abortion doctors shot down in the street. Yet the bombers and the shooters are never called, or treated like, “terrorists.” Perhaps you misses all that.

          2. meeps

            That abortion is legal has not changed. That doesn’t mean nothing changed re abortion access:

            “In an attempt to sneak around the Constitution and four decades of Supreme Court precedent, anti-choice politicians in Texas passed a law known as HB2 in 2013. Under the pretext of protecting women’s health and safety, HB2 buries clinics under medically unnecessary regulations so burdensome as to make it vastly more difficult, if not impossible, to obtain safe and legal abortion care.”


            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Remind me why The State needs domain over what I do with my body? Puritanical Americans made sure that expanding my consciousness with a substance was made illegal, even though we had the very large-scale failed experiment called Prohibition. The War on Some Drugs: yet another one of America’s hyper-scale failures rammed through by ideologues, like Iraq etc etc.
              I would like to think that there is a cause other than just blind war profiteering greed behind any of this…but I’m struggling.

              1. meeps

                The War on Drugs, The War on Women, The War on Everyone OUTSIDE of the womb…it appears the intention is to send us to some fabled ‘better place’ as quickly as possible.

            2. Beth

              Wasn’t there a short period of time(in years) that the Supreme Court would have knocked down HB2 in a matter of months. I have difficulty understanding why this is still an issue. If abortion is legal then you can’t pass state laws that essentially prevent it from happening.

          3. lindaj

            Henry Hyde (may he rot in hell) DID something about it. Have you seen any female senators, politicians of any gender, try to get rid of the Hyde amendment lately?

            When one does, then I’ll know we’ve turned a corner going toward full equal rights for women.

    3. Alex morfesis

      And then they came 4 me…miranda warnings…abortions…gun loving blowhards will wake up one morning and wonder where the constitution went…two private corporate partnerships masked as political parties…

      Fighting for womens absolute rights is about preserving america…

      This 9 month warranty crap has got to go…

      The he-man women haters club is anti-motherhood…if all these “right to lifers” were prepared to fully fund motherhood, they “might” begin to have a “moral” leg to attempt to stand on…but none advocate guaranteed peaceful childhood…

      good luck human, your 9 month warranty is up…

      And all this in the name of some “higher power”…

      Nonsense…we have interfered with the historical natural biology of our child bearing processes through medical interventions these past 100 years…mankind has been playing god through medicine and science…

      These nonsensical “protesters” are having selective annesia…

      And as for el donaldo…well…it is bernie or bust at this point…had very slight possibility of voting for the germanic casino orange skin dude if $hillary prevailed in philly…now it is onto 2018 if she does…

      bye bye donald….

    4. RabidGandhi

      Not sure how much sticking power this will have. From a distance it often seems that there is a sort of abortion fatigue in the US. After both parties having made Roe the rallying cry for their bases, the progress in either direction has been a slow moving war of attrition, with both armies focusing more on jointly neoliberalising the economy than on the abortion flag around which they had rallied their bases. (which when you think about it is even more anti-choice than overturning Roe: if the Democrats get their way abortion will be fully legal and available… to the 1% who can afford health insurance).

      This election is about people taking part in the political process who had previously (very correctly) understood that the Blue/Red culture wars had minimal effect on their everyday lives, and thus did not participate in electoral politics. Yves is right to say that Trump’s statement would alienate potential women cross-overs, but the fact remains that it is not disaffected D/R partisans but rather non-affiliated independents who are making this election singular. This makes me think that taking a stance on either side of the abortion issue will be very unlikely to affect Trump in November.

      1. nippersmom

        This: if the Democrats get their way abortion will be fully legal and available… to the 1% who can afford health insurance).

        I have repeatedly tried to make the point to the “vote blue no matter who” contingent, who always use women’s reproductive rights (sometimes under the banner of “But the SCOTUS!”) as their argument, that once we have all been made serfs of the oligarchy, our other “rights” will be meaningless, since we will not have the financial wherewithal to exercise them.

        1. Praedor

          It’s Democraps (along with their besty GOPers) who perpetuate/agree with the Hyde Amendment. I hear NONE of them so much as trying to undo that atrocity.

          I want the Hyde Amendment taken to its logical conclusion: no taxpayer dollars to support wars of choice, no taxpayer dollars to support CIA operations. That is MY tax dollars going to something I am strongly, morally opposed to. If anti-abortion clowns can do it, then EVERYONE can do it.

        2. cwaltz

          That’s the funny thing. The gutting of abortion gets laid at the feet of the GOP, like there was not supposed to be an opposition party that stood up for women and body autonomy.

          The Democrats are just as responsible for women’s access. They may not have written the laws but for years they were the ones who stood silent because they didn’t want to get called “baby killer.”

          It wasn’t the GOP party that codified Hyde into law, it was the Democratic Party. It was a gang of 12 ANTI CHOICE DEMOCRATS, Democrats I might add that were elected for pragmatism and expediency to appeal to red state voters.

          I’m really tired of the Democratic Party getting away with revising history, they haven’t been the white knights for women on this issue.

      2. marym


        Again, I am where I have been, which is that if there’s a way to structure some kind of constitutional restriction that take into account the life of the mother and her health, then I’m open to that. But I have yet to see the Republicans willing to actually do that, and that would be an area, where if they included health, you could see constitutional action.


        As part of an agreement between Rep. Stupak and President Obama to secure Stupak’s vote, the President issued Executive Order 13535 on March 24, 2010 affirming that the Hyde Amendment would extend to the new bill [ACA]

        1. cwaltz


          Somewhere along the line the “pragmatic” Democrats decided fighting for women and their right to body autonomy was a losing issue. They may not have written the laws restricting women’s access but they most certainly have gone along with them and some have even joined in helping restrictions become “the law of the land.”

    1. Benedict@Large

      And don’t you just know it. As soon as he said that, Hillary’s chorus jumped right up and start wailing about what a bad (sexist) guy he is. They really do love their “woman card”, don’t they?

      1. JohnnyGL

        I must have missed when MSHRC told Kasich and Cruz and Rubio and all the other no-hopers in the GOP primary that they should stop attacking Trump and talking about Trump university because it would only damage their candidate in the general election.

    2. portia

      and wouldn’t you know, it’s the Daily Beast, Chelsea’s baby

      Oh, I love this

      “When Mitchell continued to argue that Clinton is being forced to take on two candidates when he only has to challenge one, Sanders let out a sharp laugh and replied, “Oh, really? Really? In every state that we have won, in 19 states, we have had to take on the entire Democratic establishment. We’ve had to take on senators and governors and mayors and members of Congress. That’s what we have taken on, so please do not moan to me about Hillary Clinton’s problems.”

  6. Steve H.

    – Chelsea Clinton’s Husband Closing Hedge Fund After Losing 90 Percent Of Its Money

    “Eaglevale Hellenic Opportunity specialized in buying up Greek stocks and government debt, betting the country would finally get its house in order and come roaring back.”

    I guess the Eurozone didn’t get the memo…

    1. Harry

      It’s worse than that. The bonds have rallied big time. This Muppet must have bought bank stocks.

      But it’s OK. I hear his wife’s family have lots of money.

      1. Mark P.

        Muppet he is. In the continuing ‘evil vs. stupid’ debate — as regards characterizing our elites — this guy and his investors are substantial evidence for ‘stupid.’

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Um wait, the guy is not stupid in the least, he’s the only one connected with this adventure who made money from it. 2 and 20, even if he didn’t get the 20 he definitely got the 2 (2% commission)

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is that because there is no hope of ‘American help’ with a new, sympathetic US president on the way?

      Is the manager making a call on the Nov. election?

    3. optimader

      Eaglevale Hellenic Opportunity specialized in buying up Greek stocks and government debt, betting the country would finally get its house in order and come roaring back

      looks like he too” tried to care about money but couldn’t “

      It’s funny they drained it all the way down to 90%. At 75%, he didn’t really see the merit of the strategy? Maybe the 10% covers his salary through end of year, some paperwork to tidy up and the office furniture lease?

      As ill considered (unless you have insider information) as the funds premise sounds to me, It would be fun to see who the investors were!

  7. Jim A.

    “Besides the conventional fire bombings were just as horrific and more lethal.”
    –which has always been one of my points. From a military standpoint, the atom bombs just saved a few 1,000 gallons of aviation fuel…at the cost of more than a Trillion dollars, back when that was a LOT of money. The systematic destruction of every urbanized square mile of Japan was well in hand by mid 1945. It is difficult to judge how significant the “shock and awe” of nuclear weapons was in shifting the war cabinet to accept surrender. Was that more or less important than the declaration of war by the Soviet Union? Certainly several members of the cabinet were unmoved by either event, and anticipated a long bloody to the last man and woman defense. At that point the terms that Japan was willing to accept included no occupation, Japanese run courts for war crimes, and no change in the imperial court.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What prompted the decision to surrender?

      Has anyone involved in that decision ever said why or gave the reason(s)?

      1. optimader

        We’ll probably never know, but the threat that Tokyo would be the third target –the palace, emperor and all the decision makers would be incinerated probably brought some focus to the merit of surrender in the military class.

        excerpt from a well footnoted and nuanced review that I posted previously

        Later during the morning of August 9th, an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Word of the second nuclear attack was relayed that day to the Japanese government (Leon Sigal, Fighting To a Finish, pg. 240).

        Bringing the nuclear threat closer to home, rumors were reported to the Japanese military that the next atomic bomb would be dropped on Tokyo, where the government war planners were meeting (William Craig, The Fall of Japan, pg. 116). Japan was militarily defeated. It still remained, however, for defeat to be translated into surrender.

        After the Hiroshima atomic bombing, the Japanese Army and Navy had sent separate teams of scientists to determine what type of bomb had destroyed the city. By August 11th, both teams had reported to Tokyo that the bomb was, indeed, atomic (FTAF, pg. 236).

        No Surrender

        Japan had received what would seem to have been overwhelming shocks. Yet, after two atomic bombings and the Soviet invasion, the Japanese government still refused to surrender.

        The Potsdam Proclamation had called for “Japan to decide whether she will continue to be controlled by those self-willed militaristic advisers” (Potsdam 2, pg. 1475). On the 13th, the Supreme Council For the Direction of the War (known as the “Big 6”) met to address the Potsdam Proclamation’s call for surrender. Three members of the Big 6 favored immediate surrender; but the other three – War Minister Anami, Army Chief of Staff Umezu, and Navy Chief of Staff Toyoda – adamantly refused. The meeting adjourned in a deadlock, with no decision to surrender (JDTS, pg. 200-202).

        Later that day the Japanese Cabinet met. It was only this body – not the Big 6, not even the Emperor – that could rule as to whether Japan would surrender. And a unanimous decision was required (JDTS, pg. 176-177, 208(43n)). But again War Minister Anami led the opponents of surrender, resulting in a vote of 12 in favor of surrender, 3 against, and 1 undecided. Having failed to reach a decision to surrender, the Cabinet adjourned (FTAF, pg. 265-267).

        The Emperor’s Desire
        On the following day, August 14, Anami, Umezu, and Toyoda were still arguing that there was a chance for victory (John Toland, The Rising Sun, pg. 936). But then that same day, the Cabinet unanimously agreed to surrender (RS, pg. 939). Where none of the previous events had succeeded in bringing the Japanese military leaders to surrender, surrender came at Emperor Hirohito’s request: “It is my desire that you, my Ministers of State, accede to my wishes and forthwith accept the Allied reply” (JDTS, pg. 207-208).

        What made the Emperor’s “desire” more powerful than the revulsion the military leaders felt toward surrender? The Emperor was believed to be a God by the Japanese. The dean of historians on Japan’s surrender, Robert Butow, notes in regard to the military leaders in Japan’s government, “To have acted against the express wishes of an Emperor whom they had unceasingly extolled as sacred and inviolable and around whom they had woven a fabric of individual loyalty and national unity would have been to destroy the very polity in perpetuation of which they had persistently declared they were fighting” (JDTS, pg. 224). Or as War Minister Anami said after he agreed to surrender, “As a Japanese soldier, I must obey my Emperor” (JLD, pg. 87-88).

        Surrender was so repugnant to Anami that he committed hara-kiri the day after he signed the surrender document (JDTS, pg. 219-220). Where fear and reason had failed, religious devotion to the Emperor enabled the military leaders to overcome their samurai resistance to surrender.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s interesting that a mere century earlier, the Shogunate samurai were fighting the emperor’s soldiers.

          He was not really God then. Who would fight God’s soldiers?

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          I rebutted this yesterday, as did many in that thread. The US was negotiating with the Japanese MONTHS before that, and we’d cracked their codes so we could also tell they wanted to end the war, that this was not a feint:

          Months before the end of the war, Japan’s leaders recognized that defeat was inevitable. In April 1945 a new government headed by Kantaro Suzuki took office with the mission of ending the war. When Germany capitulated in early May, the Japanese understood that the British and Americans would now direct the full fury of their awesome military power exclusively against them.

          American officials, having long since broken Japan’s secret codes, knew from intercepted messages that the country’s leaders were seeking to end the war on terms as favorable as possible. Details of these efforts were known from decoded secret communications between the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo and Japanese diplomats abroad.

          In his 1965 study, Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam (pp. 107, 108), historian Gar Alperovitz writes:

          Although Japanese peace feelers had been sent out as early as September 1944 (and [China’s] Chiang Kai-shek had been approached regarding surrender possibilities in December 1944), the real effort to end the war began in the spring of 1945. This effort stressed the role of the Soviet Union …

          In mid-April [1945] the [US] Joint Intelligence Committee reported that Japanese leaders were looking for a way to modify the surrender terms to end the war. The State Department was convinced the Emperor was actively seeking a way to stop the fighting.

          “Looking for a way to modify surrender terms” means negotiations were underway and pretty advanced. And any report to the Joint Intelligence Committee would be in arrears of events.

          In addition, Pleune pointed out: “The statements of Marshall, Nimitz, Eisenhower, LeMay, Leahy and others concur that Japan was ready to surrender and the bombs were not necessary.”

          myshkin even provided the Eisenhower quote from his memoirs:

          Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. …the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

          During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face’. “

          Please desist with this victor’s propaganda.

          1. Optimader

            Which footnoted items in this excellent link constitute propaganda?
            Maybe i misunderstand the definition of the word, unless it means a dissenting fact basedPOV ?

            That thread contains a boat load of opinion stated as facts, some of which was utterly inaccurate and remains uncorrected. Had Hiroshima been essentailly destroyed before the uranium bomb was dropped?

            The leadership of imperial Japan had no consensus about surrender and was making war plans literally to the day they surrendered, this is a fact.

            A palace coup was attempted by elements of the IJ Military to capture and destroy the Emporers recorded surrender, this was after the bombing, this is a fact.

            This is all known in part precisely because the japanse code had been broken.

            Estimates of follow on civilian amd military deaths were developed based using that intelligence. Even the most optimistic were comparatively fantastic, further mitigated by the 1945 rice crop failure that eould have killed people already on the brink of starvation. How would that have played out?

            You dont have to go further than Wikipedia


            I would challege anyone to find a post i have ever made that supports war short of a defense in response to a direct attack. As well, any post i have ever made that supports inventorying and use of nuclear weapons,

            It is with some chagrin that i feel obliged to fact check OPINIONS offered in hindsight though the lens of present knowledge and sensibilities about decisions made during wartime +70 years ago that were undertaken with the best available information at the time.

            Sure there were alternatives to dropping the bombs, but no one here can objectively state what alternative courses of action would have created, or in all honesty what their decision would have been at the time, knowing just the facts avilable at the time.

            Thats not the way history works.

            I would suggest anyone serious sbout the subject read richard rhodes

            The Making of the Atomic Bomb

            A very well disipkined and footnoted book.

            That what i have to say on the matter.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I can’t recall the name of the book, but at least one military historian has argued that the main reason for the atomic bombings was that the secrecy around the Manhattan Project meant there was little scope for strategic discussions for its use. So it was given to the USAF who just treated it like a more efficient fire bomb – that it was a fundamentally different sort of weapon was only appreciated after its use.

      As to the precise hows and why’s of the surrender, I think that is lost to the murk of history. One complexity is that the Japanese government didn’t really have a clear decision structure (at least, not one clear to outsiders). Like many Japanese bodies, decisions were reached by a form of consensus, with people nominally in control (such as Prime Minister Toho) really more like facilitators than real decision makers. In many ways, the Japanese junta was amazingly decentralised – even the decision to invade Manchuria was made by a specific faction, not the government itself.

      So essentially, it would seem that a significant section of the Japanese ruling government – lets call them the realists – had been fighting for a surrender for at least a year (they greatly feared a Soviet Invasion). There were also plenty of ‘lets fight to the last man’ types. The atomic bombs tipped the balance, although it seems highly probable that it would have been tipped over sometime without the need for an invasion.

      Interestingly, accounts I’ve read indicate that a lot of ordinary Japanese expressed huge relief at the Emperors speech, some even celebrated – that seems to indicate that there was a feeling through the country that a surrender was only a matter of time. There may also have been relief at the notion that the US would be in charge, not Stalin.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If the actors involved have not come forth so far, can we really know what happened?

        1. Jim A.

          We will never know. And part of the reason for that murkiness of our view of the decision process was the decision by MacArthur to popularize the idea that the emperor was an almost powerless figurehead in the decision making process because MacArthur thought that maintaining the emperor would be useful in the occupation. So the decision making process of the war council was shrouded in mystery to prevent there being any hint that he was complicit in the conduct of the war and therefore subject to prosecution for war-crimes. Instead we have the legend that he never played an active part in deliberations UNTIL the moment he decided to accept surrender.

        2. Propertius

          It would have been difficult for Tojo to come forth since we hanged him as a war criminal in 1948.

        3. Another Anon

          Actually, they have come forward. The
          book “Japan’s Longest Day” is based on
          interviews of almost all the main protagonists
          involved in the surrender. The book
          was a project of the Pacific War Research Society
          which is an organization of Japanese historians.
          It is well worth reading.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I watched that movie, can’t remember at this moment anything about why the emperor decided to capitulate and tape the speech to surrender.

            Maybe I have to read the book or re-watch the movie.

      2. Jim A.

        I would argue that the solidification of the view that nuclear weapons are something apart and beyond even the normal level of horror that is war dates to Truman’s decision to NOT use them in the Korean War. That was a big part of his fight with General MacArthur.

        1. optimader

          bingo, it was the next big thing in the military arsenal at the time (WWII). By the Korean war and some prudent reflection of consequences and as yields increased they nukes justifiably became a pariah.

      1. Jim A

        oops. I stand corrected. Still a big hunk of change. I often wonder whether the war would have been shorter if that money had been spent elsewhere.. Instead of building Hanford and Oak Ridge, they could have built more graving docks for the construction of capital ships. Or a few more plants for the manufacture of large, radial engines, which was a choke point in the manufacture of aircraft AND tanks.

  8. Carolinian

    Re the National Park Service turning to philanthropists–will be looking forward to visiting the newly branded “David Geffen’s Grand Canyon Experience.” But maybe he’s not into nature.

    Of course previous plutocrats such as the Rockefellers made tremendous contributions to the National Park system but back then the rich were quaintly patriotic. These days it’s all about seeing your name plastered across public institutions. It’s a squillionaire form of “tagging.”

    1. perpetualWAR

      I was going to mention that I worked in a national park going to college. I learned that the Rockefellers dumped quite a bit of cash into the parks, yet no advertising of their family or their companies were in sight. I have no objections to corporate influx of money into our parks, as long as there is no advertising and as long as the parks remain public.

  9. allan

    Saudi officials were ‘supporting’ 9/11 hijackers, commission member says [Guardian]

    A former Republican member of the 9/11 commission, breaking dramatically with the commission’s leaders, said Wednesday he believes there was clear evidence that Saudi government employees were part of a support network for the 9/11 hijackers and that the Obama administration should move quickly to declassify a long-secret congressional report on Saudi ties to the 2001 terrorist attack.

    The comments by John F Lehman, an investment banker in New York who was Navy secretary in the Reagan administration, signal the first serious public split among the 10 commissioners since they issued a 2004 final report that was largely read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia, which was home to 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11. …

    He was critical of a statement released late last month by the former chairman and vice chairman of the commission, who urged the Obama administration to be cautious about releasing the full congressional report on the Saudis and 9/11 – “the 28 pages”, as they are widely known in Washington – because they contained “raw, unvetted” material that might smear innocent people.

    1. Dugh

      “There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government,” Lehman said in an interview, suggesting that the commission may have made a mistake by not stating that explicitly in its final report. “Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia.”


      Lehman and another commissioner, former Democratic senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, filed affidavits last year in support of a lawsuit brought against the Saudi government by the families of 9/11 victims. “Significant questions remain unanswered concerning possible involvement of Saudi government institutions and actors,” Kerrey said. Lehman agreed: “Contrary to the argument advocated by the Kingdom, the 9/11 commission did not exonerate Saudi Arabia of culpability for the events of 11 September 2001 or the financing of al-Qaida.” He said he was “deeply troubled” by the evidence gathered about a hijackers’ support network in California.

    2. Praedor

      That story claims no evidence that the Saudi royal family or core government officials supported the 9/11 hijackers. Sure, no evidence of DIRECT support but they all did, and still do, support all such terrorists. Every single madrassa paid for and built by Saudi Arabia is a islamist terrorist training school. The Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Al Nusra, Boko Haram, etc, etc, etc, are ALL graduates of Saudi madrassas and ALL benefit from financial and weapons support from all levels of the Saudi government. None of these terrorist groups would exist with the size and power that they do without Saudi Arabian OFFICIAL and unofficial backing.

    3. Tom Denman

      Hellary, who defended taking Wall Street money because 9/11, saw no problem with Saudi contributions to the Clinton Foundation when she was Secretary of State and the Saudis had business before her department. [1]

      Betcha the mainstream news media, preoccupied as it is with important topics like celebrity gossip and unisex bathrooms, won’t see a problem either.


  10. Anne

    After weeks of listening to my local news station – an NBC affiliate – fail to ever distinguish between pledged and unpledged delegates, and to continue to present delegate counts as a total of both, I decided to send one of the morning news anchors an e-mail about it.

    She responded by telling me she would pass it along to one of the news managers. Okay, fine.

    Next day – yesterday – they did it again. So, I sent a follow-up e-mail, in which I said: “I guess the news managers are opting for lazy and inaccurate, based on this morning’s reporting of the delegate count.”

    That got me a response from one of the news managers, who said, in part:

    Regarding the delegate counts you’ve mentioned to ________, we use MSNBC as our source. They, along with a lot of other publications and sources, group the Democratic delegates into a total figure (both pledged and unpledged combined). We definitely understand that there is a difference between pledged delegates and superdelegates, but when reporting on the presidential races in the morning we try to keep our reporting as concise and clear as possible. To that end, we feel reporting just the total delegate count suffices, since the total number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination combines the two. We are not lumping superdelegates in with pledged delegates, we are only reporting the total number. I do not believe that is lazy or inaccurate. We are reporting the total number of delegates, and we do not claim to be doing anything to the contrary. I also understand what you are saying about the viewing audience deserving to know the difference between the two, and exactly how superdelegates work, but that would entail us spending so much time each morning, every time we air one of these stories, to explain the difference. That isn’t realistic in a newscast.

    So, I responded, in part:

    Just because MSNBC and a lot of other media outlets combine the pledged and unpledged delegate counts doesn’t make it accurate – it’s not. There are 4,051 pledged delegates to be won, and 712 super-delegates. Only 2,382 delegates are needed to secure the nomination, so it’s possible for a candidate to reach that number and secure the nomination without one single super-delegate commitment. And that is why it is inaccurate to combine the two numbers. And I’m sorry, but you actually are lumping the two numbers together – isn’t that what a total is?

    For what it’s worth, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the current head of the Democratic National Committee, has repeatedly asked the media not to combine these two numbers.

    I do not believe that providing accurate numbers is anywhere near as laborious and time-consuming as you’re sort of whining it would be. “The current count of pledged delegates stands at 1,716 for Clinton and 1,430 for Sanders. 2,382 delegates are needed to secure the nomination. There are currently 905 pledged delegates to be awarded in the remaining contests. In addition, there are 712 unpledged delegates – the super-delegates – who will vote at the convention for whichever candidate they choose.” What was that – 15 seconds? For that matter, a graphic could do all the explaining you need, couldn’t it?


    This is a national election with a lot at stake; it just seems to me that it ought to be important enough to spend an additional 15 seconds explaining one of the important parts of the process. Maybe some of the extraordinary amounts of time that are being devoted to Donald Trump could be shifted to providing accurate information about the Democratic primary and nominating process.

    So, there you have it: it’s just too hard, and it takes too long, to provide the viewing public with accurate information. And it’s at all levels of the media, national to local. Not that I didn’t know this already, but there was something about seeing it in black and white and presented as a credible explanation I should be willing to accept that just kind of got to me.

    Apologies if this is too long a comment.

    1. diptherio

      Too long a comment??? You must be new around here… :-)

      Good for you, holding your local newsies to account. Remember, if anything, these guys have a degree in broadcast journalism, which basically entails learning how to read from a teleprompter and how to switch seamlessly from reporting on a major human tragedy to cheerily giving the local high-school basketball scores. Understanding that which you report on is nowhere in the requirement list. And if they’re in management, they’ve probably got an MBA, Goddess help us all.

      If it were me, next I’d accuse them of flat-out lying, since a lie by omission is still a lie. Lying to make it look like Bernie doesn’t have a chance…just like MSNBC. Lies, lies, lies…

    2. JohnnyGL

      Good stuff, keep the heat on. Even the WaPo got a little self-conscious for about 5 minutes or so. Then, they went right back to their usual agenda of writing hit-piece after hit-piece in an attempt to stomp Bernie into the ground.

      This election cycle has done a LOT to really shred corp media credibility for a lot of voters that may not have realized quite how bad they are.

    3. Harry

      On the basis your news station used, Obama must have lost the first election cos all those pledged superdelegates were for Clinton back then too.

  11. DJG

    The lead story: The interview with translators Volokhonsky and Pevear. Great. As a translator and a member of a translators’ association, I get the journal. Yikes. All of that absurd translation theory about crossing boundaries and transgressiveness and incommensurability–the usual postmodern word salad. Which is ironic, coming from translators. So the interview is refreshing for its discussion of wit, style, viability of the work in the target language, and love of literature.

    Another writer who suffers from her translators is Colette. In French, she is witty, sensual, a master at choosing the slighly jarring word that wakes up the reader. Her book The Pure and the Impure is a classic on sensuality and sexuality.

    Yet her translators in English make her sound like Dickens. You can’t understand what the fuss was about with regard to Cheri or the Vagabond. There is a better translation of Cheri by Janet Flanner, but it seems as if the rights have been tied up. I’ve worked on Colette–but so many of the rights indeed are tied up. Another problem with translation–permission to translate.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Another translator here. I too enjoyed the interview (and their trans of Brothers K was watershed), but it made me realise (again) how literary translators are in another universe from the rest of us. For example:

      At that point, we can sometimes spend an hour on one word. Then I take this mass of paper and produce the third complete version.

      …which is really great and romantic but would put me amongst the Poor Folk pronto.

      Also telling was their dismissal of machine translation, which I agree is utterly useless… for their purposes, but this site has proven time and again how valuable Google Translator can be when what you need is a cheap, quick way to get a minimal idea of the content of a text.

      Ultimately they are excellent translators, but same planet, different universe.

      1. dbk

        Agreed. The interview was really excellent. I found the couple’s long-term style of collaboration especially revealing. But it’s important to note that literary translation, while high-profile, constitutes only a small fraction of the actual body of translation produced by professionals. It would be useful someday for a non-literary translator to produce a piece entitled “The Craft of Translation”. It is hard, lonely work, requiring constant practice – like any craft – and accuracy, content-meaning, and legibility for the foreign reader are its goals. Recreating the style of the original is for the most part a happy coincidence; rather, one seeks to convey the style of the scholarly discipline in which it was written.

        Regarding Google Translate: it has good days and (very) bad days, frankly. When friends ask me about using it, I tell them it’s helpful, primarily, for professionals who are in a position to evaluate the quality of each translation generated.

        1. juliania

          I’m late, but thank you very much for the translation article – The style of collaboration bringing joy into the texts with dedication to the author’s intent (whoever that may be) plus respect for other translators – a real delight, especially when finally Bulgakov was discussed. Yay, team!

  12. DJG

    From today’s NYTimes e-blast:

    Lack of Plan for ISIS Detainees Raises Human Rights Concerns
    The United States, determined not to get back into detention operations, has no strategy in place for handling potentially thousands of war prisoners.

    Let me see. If the U S of A can’t abuse prisoners of war, there is no precedent for how to treat prisoners of war? The Geneva Conventions are so twentieth century. Yes, ISIS is a guerilla movement, but the laws about prisoners of war apply. In fact, treating ISIS combatants properly would help to de-fang ISIS.

    1. Praedor

      Geneva Shmeva. There is an overarching convention that is broader, allowing NO exceptions, than the Geneva Conventions. The Convention Against Torture, Abuse, and Inhumane Treatment makes NO distinctions between uniformed or nonuniformed combatants. It applies to ALL prisoners regardless of where they were acquired, what they were doing. It offers no wiggle room.

  13. jgordon

    The unnecessariat post was really good, and I have complete sympathy with it. Supporting Trump isn’t so much about making America better as it is about grabbing the elites by their collars and rubbing their noses in what they did.

    1. MtnLife

      Agreed. This post hit really close to home. The memorial wall for my high school graduating class is longer than the one ten years our senior. I view this country as an old broken down mansion with holes in the roof, shorted wiring, leaky plumbing, mold behind the walls, and rats/roaches everywhere. A vote for Bernie is a vote to call in some contractors and start to restore the house to its former beauty. A vote for Trump is a vote for a match and a bulldozer. Either way, I’m sick of living in this house as it is.

      “Fuck it. Give me the fascists, I’ll know where I stand…”

      Amen. I’m sick of politicians who pretend to be on your side *cough*Hillary*cough*Obama*cough*nearly all Dems and Repubs*cough* who then stab you in the back for their corporate overlords.

      1. James Levy

        Yes, and a man who named Chris Christie as his transition manager, is seriously considering Newt as his VP, and wants Larry Kudlow to re-write his tax plan is going to “stick it to our corporate overlords.”

        And Obama is going to bring us “hope and change.”

        Please, if you are going to indulge your own nihilistic impulses, do so in private. Idiocy we don’t need.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Obama fools once.

          When Trump fools again, real change could be fast.

          With Trump, ‘there’ is arrived faster’ than, say, with Sanders.

        2. jgordon

          Yeah you’re right–but it doesn’t matter anymore. If the mansion is that rotten the only thing left to do is to burn it down and build something else in it’s place. That is already inevitable so trying to fight it is misguided. And that’s not nihilism; it’s realism. Also when Trump ultimately betrays everyone, as Bernie would have, that’s fine too. It just means that the tinder is that much higher for a bigger conflagration next time around.

          1. Praedor

            We’re talking about a necessary “controlled burn”. We go with Trump and get a controlled burn on the system now rather than putting out the fires here and there, letting the detritus build up so that some random stroke of lightening finally lights off the mess and it creates a totally out-of-control conflagration.

            If Hillary wins, it is putting out the fires and letting the corruption/looting detritus build up to dangerous levels. If Trump wins then we get a controlled burn sooner, before it gets to the point of outright conflagration.

        3. MtnLife

          Shorter James Levy: nuclear Armageddon with Hillary when she shows how big her cajones are with Putin is far preferable to civil unrest with Trump when he betrays his brown shirts. I think I chose my nihilism wisely. Destroy and Rebuild beats Hunker Down and Wait Out the Nuclear Winter any day.

          1. James Levy

            Heard the same scaremongering viz. Reagan and Bush II: no nukes. And the idea that Trump could never go off half-cocked after Putin humiliates him on the international stage (and he will) is no more ridiculous than Hillary starting a nuclear war.

        4. craazyboy

          In the news this morning, Trump’s new GS finance minister is meeting with hedge funds. Then the other VP candidates were Rubio and Christie. I read Ben Carson gave Trump the Newt tip.
          About noon news came out Trump and Ryan are “pledging to re-unite the Republican Party”.

          The only thing that hasn’t happened yet is Trump has not sent a dozen roses to Megan Kelly.

          I don’t know how the country gets in this mess all the time. Bernie would have been so simple.

          Yesterday the FBI said they had no time table on Hillary’s investigation.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Bumper stickers and hashtag:

        “If Not Bernie, then…” in calm woodland colors.

        “TRUMP!! ‘CUZ HE’S GONNA DO SOME REALLY CRAZY SH!T!!!”, flaming red and olive drab, with the hashtag #SHAKEITALLUP!

    2. Goyo Marquez

      Here’s an apt quote from a review of Listen Liberal, at Inc. Magazine, titled, The #1 Book Every Entrepreneur Should Read:
      “As Frank sees it (and I’ve come to agree), both political parties have screwed the working class and the middle class, which is why so many have embraced Trump and Sanders. Of all the candidates, only Trump and Sanders are willing to question the economic policy status-quo that’s enriched the 1 percent and gutted the rest of the country.

      Since Sanders’s attempt to return the Democratic party to its roots as the “party of the people” has apparently failed, voting for Trump now becomes the only way for blue collar workers, (nonprofessional) white collar workers, and small-business owners to wrest control of the country from big business and Wall Street.”

      1. James Levy

        What evidence do you have that Trump can, will, or even wants to, displace the rich from power? Where are his bona fides?

        Didn’t you people learn from Obama that this is branding?

        1. Goyo Marquez

          As opposed to what?


          The evidence cuts the other way. The Clintons are the authors of this neoliberal nightmare.

          Maybe there is no difference between Hillary and Trump, so what? Why would I vote for the mother of the policy to loot the poor and give it to the rich, the mother of the carcel state, the mother of NAFTA, the mother of bank deregulation, the mother of the death of antitrust enforcement?

          Why should I vote for Hillary, because she waves her hand about social issues while her friends loot our wealth, destroy our families, pillage our communities, rape our women and kill our children?

          1. aumua

            I guess if we want to feel like we’re making any difference at all, then we have to vote for one or the other, but once again if that’s the choice: Trump or Hillary, then I’m just not going to vote for either. I can’t convince myself to do it.

          1. James Levy

            If you read this thing even shoddily you will see that I have repeatedly attacked and condemned Hillary Clinton. Saying Hillary is awful does nothing to make Trump good. And you–yes, you people, people trying to sell a con man and crook as not just the lesser of two evils but something positive–didn’t answer the question: what has Trump DONE, in his entire career, to convince me that he intends to “displace the rich from power”? How can this even be possible, as he is one of the rich you are railing against?

            1. Goyo Marquez

              The choice is between Might Be Satan and Definitely Satan. Even if it was between Probably Satan and Demonstrably Satan, the choice would still be clear.

              1. Plenue

                “Evil is Evil. Lesser, greater, middling… Makes no difference. The degree is arbitrary. The definition’s blurred. If I’m to choose between one evil and another… I’d rather not choose at all.” – Andrzej Sapkowski, The Last Wish

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Not choosing is a choice…or something like that.

                  Philosophers loves to confound with ideas like ‘when good men do nothing, choose nothing, evil triumphs.’

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      I think they are saying we must choose, we must do.

                      That is we must do this or do that, choose X or choose Y.

                      Other philosophers might say, not choosing is choosing….that they disagree with Sapkowski, when he says he would rather not choose. They would argue he is in fact choosing.

                      Then, we can go back to the first set of philosophers and explain to them, no choosing, not doing, is in fact choosing, is in fact doing, choosing not to choose, doing something. That is, it is not a case of doing nothing.

                  1. Sammy Maudlin

                    Neil, Geddy, Alex, what sayeth thee?

                    There are those who think that life has nothing left to chance
                    A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance

                    A planet of play things
                    We dance on the strings
                    Of powers we cannot perceive
                    ‘The stars aren’t aligned
                    Or the gods are malign…’
                    Blame is better to give than receive

                    You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
                    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
                    You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
                    I will choose a path that’s clear
                    I will choose freewill

            2. jrs

              It’s some kind of will to believe, and it is probably quite immune from reason.

              “I’ve been looking for a savior in these dirty streets, looking for a savior beneath these dirty sheets”

              Trump has his health plan on his website people still believe he must at least be for a public option (he’s not). His tax plan is on his website. He’s not even for a federal minimum wage is the latest flip. He’s the working class champion by those who wish to hallucinate such.

        2. Waldenpond

          Don’t you count his firing his US employees and replacing them with visa workers…

          A vote for Trump is a kick in the teeth with a steel boot for the Ds, and the benefit is Trump can be used to burn the R and D parties so the benefit might be accrued to 2020… but he only upsets the oligarchs as there will be a shuffle of the chairs on the Titanic and he’s ruuuuude. He makes them purse their lips, tut tut.

          Trump is useful to weaken control of the parties but the argument he is on side of the 99%, is bizarre. He’s the epitome of parasitism, corruption and greed yet marketed as a ‘political’ outsider.

          1. mk

            saw a program on viceland about the labor imported from other countries to build a trump hotel and golf course in Dubai (or somewhere similar). The people who are providing the labor were lied to about how much money they would make. As soon as they arrive their passports are taken and they are taken to their barracks which are located far from the city (makes it hard to leave if you don’t have your own vehicle). They are told that they are not going to be making the money they were promised, (maybe they make $200/$500 per month?) and they have to pay rent and other expenses and they arrive owing their employer money.

            Trump’s people say that they don’t hire anyone, everything is done by third parties, so Trump and his org are not responsible. They only license the Trump name.

            I hope someone asks Trump about this during the campaign.

        3. vidimi

          you’re right that a vote for trump is a hail mary vote against the establishment as trump doesn’t have any bona fides. the only evidence he has in his support is that he has a lot of despicable people the public wants to vote against grasping for their fainting salts.

    3. Mike Mc

      ^x1000. The polling that shows many Trump supporters are far from the trailer trash stereotype is vital to understanding Teh Donald’s appeal; this blog post is equally vital for the largely unaware Precariat to understand 1) just how bad life for the working poor and about-to-be-working-poor is and 2) how supporting Trump is actually a positive act compared to shooting smack or drinking yourself to death or eating a bullet.

      Being only a generation away from poor white (farm) trash myself, I’m posting the Unnecssariat blog link everywhere possible. Share the **** out of it, please. There’s a fair amount of consciousness raising going on this year so let’s include these folks, who’ve been excluded out of nearly everything else.

        1. nippersmom

          Evidently you’ve never committed the very serious offense of failing to catch a typo before the “edit” period expired.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If one looks at how many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and with bubbles everywhere ready to burst, we need someone who

        1. knows what he/she is doing.
        2. can act fast.

        Incrementalism is not going to do much when the next crisis arrives.

        We are fortunate Romans are no longer in charge. In ancient Rome, they would vote a dictator, and give him a fasces. If they were lucky, they got a good dictator. If not, tough luck.

  14. DJG

    Clive and Yves: Now, if we go with a corollary to Yves Smith’s Law, That every challenge to the Obama Administration is met with more propaganda, is it possible that this whole Hiroshima visit is to get Obama’s “legacy” of the TTIP through the Japanese Diet? I have had doubts for some time that Obama has a moral compass, but I’m starting to get a whiff of Great Moral Leader wants trade deal so he heads to an area of Japanese emotional vulnerability.

    Next, he’ll be attempting to quote Murasaki Shikibu.

    1. Clive

      I think this may have been the intention (getting the TPP some positive “transformative” vibe). But if that was ever the idea, Obama chickened out and blew it.

    2. Cry Shop

      PM Abe, just as nearly every Japan JP, is just a figurehead for a complex faction of behind the curtain rainmakers, sitting down with Abe over any issue that has not been decided in advance will achieve nothing. Obama may be self-absorbed, but he must have cottoned on to this truth by now.

      Abe’s faction will be jumping for joy if Obama visits Hiroshima and does not apologize, fits right in with their own agenda regarding not apologizing for atrocities committed by Japan in WWII.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Abe may not want to visit Pearl Harbor because it’s too far, but Nanjing is pretty close.

        Ex-Prime Minister Hatoyama went but was rudely slammed as a ‘traitor.’

  15. Clive

    The Japanese language press is being quite pointed in making it clear that Obama is refusing to move the U.S.’s established position on the nuclear weapons use in Japan at the end of WWII. The Asahi Shimbun’s coverage has a perceptible sneer in it’s tone in describing Obama’s “address” at Hiroshima (the article used the Japanese language equivalent of inverted commas) in the headline.

    It doesn’t quite say “Obama’s coming to Hiroshima and bringing nothing other than tea and sympathy” but this is what a reader in Japan is most likely to take away from reading the piece. No major speech and — this was drawn attention to specifically — no meeting with the hibaku-sha (Japanese A-bomb survivors). Just some flowers and a “looking back” (according to White House Press Spokesman Josh Earnest) at the events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    The feature goes on to say that Obama was unable to make any statement which might be construed as an apology because of “deep rooted” domestic U.S. opinion on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. I can’t quite tell whether the Asahi article is doing one of two things. Either it is trying to paint Obama as a feeble spent force, lacking leadership in his failure to even try to move U.S. public opinion (the Japanese would then see Obama as being a weak figure, not possessing any authority to be able to even try to change the U.S. population’s viewpoint). Or, the Asahi is conjuring up the well-worn (in Japan, anyway) cliché that Americans are a bunch of entrenched thoughtless ignoramuses incapable of entertaining any ideas which challenge preconceptions. A kind-of burger-eating Dothraki, Cadillac-driving rather than horse-riding who cling to unsubstantiated thought forms needing no more justification than adding “it is known” after uttering them.

    Perhaps it’s a bit of both. Whichever, neither Obama nor the U.S. comes out well from this debacle. If it’s just Obama whose reputation is being trashed, well, who cares. It’s about time the world saw through his flimflam. The people of the U.S. though, when taken as a whole, deserve a bit better than that.

    Perhaps I’ll reserve judgement until after the event, but so far, Obama’s Hiroshima visit is shaping up to be a PR disaster, at least as far as the Japanese language media is concerned. He’s managed to underwhelm fairly conservative outlets like the Asahi. Less restrained media will be even more critical. If he can’t do any better than this, Obama would serve both his own — and U.S. — interests better by staying at home.

    And isn’t this just so typical of Obama ? Wanting to make the big gesture, play the master statesman, getting everyone to seriously think he’ll do something radical — but in the final analysis ending up nothing more than doing a tacky photo-op. Hello Kitty does the nuclear holocaust legacy tourist trail.

    1. grayslady

      Thanks for the analysis from Japan. Unfortunately, it’s every bit as disappointing as I expected.

    2. flora

      Thanks much for this closer reading of the Japanese press and Obama’s Hiroshima visit.

      Considering that the US recently sent the US Navy into the South China Sea and sailed within 12 nautical miles of a disputed reef, I wonder if the Hiroshima visit was intended as a bit of stage-craft meant for a non-Japanese audience.

      1. Clive

        I also wonder if it intended to try to do several things (the old favourite, goading China, as you rightly mentioned plus TPP boosterism as DJG said earlier plus maybe some “legacy” building (barf)) all at once but ended up doing none of them well. Or, even, doing none of them at all.

        1. Phiw13

          And Obama will go there with in tow a little soldier carrying a briefcase with the nuclear “football”. I hope some photographer manages to catch some image of that. Nasty symbolism for the Obama’s legacy…

    3. Jim Haygood

      ‘no meeting with the hibaku-sha (Japanese A-bomb survivors)’

      Obama’s had plenty of meetings with survivors of Germany’s WW II Holocaust. The US government even built a museum about their experience, and funds it lavishly.

      But he can’t find time to meet with A-bomb survivors. Same attitude the Japanese gov’t took toward WW II ‘comfort women’ — ignore them and they’ll go away.

      Among the images I recall from visiting the Hiroshima museum are the lunch boxes of school children, with their clothes melted onto the surface by the atomic blast.

      1. Brian

        Only real people would talk about that kind of bloodshed and barbarism and try to prevent it from occurring again. Abe’s side of government wants no apology, because it is their platform to gain angry votes. No politician ever apologizes for personally ordering a killing or for their predecessor’s acts.
        Only people care about that.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Did Obama also apologize for, say (just to name one), the Trail of Tears?

        Maybe he did and I missed that.

        What we need is a World Apology Day.

        1. Tom Allen

          FWIW, Obama signed the Native American Apology Resolution in December 2009. It was part of the 2010 defense bill, and was sponsored by Sam Brownback (R-KS). However, the resolution omitted Brownback’s original preamble, which cited several specific horrors including the Trail of Tears.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


            We apology for fire bombing civilians.
            Japan apologizes for Nanjing
            China apologizes to Tibet
            Turkey apologizes to Armenia,
            Germany apologies to Israel (Maybe they did, but never hurts to do again and again).
            Israel and Palestinians apologize to each other
            Everyone to everyone else

            The list is very long…

            1. Optimader

              Interesting.. International apology day
              Run it like carbon trading
              Ill Trade you a Yokohama firebombing apology for one Bataan Death march.
              Ok, next on the block, Argentine Desert Campaign, do i hear any bids for the Argentine Desert Campaign?
              Do i see a British Falkland bidder in the back there at the bar?

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            At the UN site, a Wall of Apologies.

            “We are sorry to have desecrated you, Nature. It’s just we humans are very smart with many interesting ideas to try…on you.”

    4. Knifecatcher

      Americans are a bunch of entrenched thoughtless ignoramuses incapable of entertaining any ideas which challenge preconceptions. A kind-of burger-eating Dothraki, Cadillac-driving rather than horse-riding who cling to unsubstantiated thought forms needing no more justification than adding “it is known” after uttering them.

      This is the best thing I’ve read in a while. Thank you.

      1. Lumpenproletariat

        Obama, just like every other successful US politician over the past generation has been an effective spokesperson for his patrons. Why would he apologize for nuking two civilian cities when that would just lead to unnecessary further questions? The atomic bombs were dropped because we saw the enemy as little more than ants under a magnifying glass. Ditto for the fire bombing of Dresden, Tokyo, gutting Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.

        Abe is the product of a very ineffective US occupation of Japan. The US literally had a free hand to rid itself of the corporate fascist class, but chose to coddle them while waging war on Japanese leftists. In many ways, the postwar occupation of Germany was much more successful. There, the previous regime’s victims wielded more power, and Germany was divided between 4 powers, 2 of which were victimized by brutal land invasions.

      2. Optimader

        Actually as an individual American i can say go fuck yourself.
        At a higher level i can say yeah, ok but distinction without a differnce re: a very long list of other countries.
        So where are you from again Clive? England?

        My Irish and scottish ancestors await a heartfrlt apology from you representing some long dead relative of yours..
        Otoh, i should also be thanking you, or your long dead relatives for forcing my long dead relatives to emmigrate to canada and the us!

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Keep this up and you will be blacklisted. This is pure ad hominem and a violation of our written comments policies. And you have no idea what Clive’s ancestry is on top of that.

          Either get your bigotry under control or leave.

          1. optimader

            Bigot: person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.
            Me a bigot?? how so?

            With regard to my reply to Clive, does the sweeping characterization describe you as an American Yves? It certainly does not describe me.

            If this meant merely as veiled sarcasm about some Japanese opinion, then whomever Clive is attributing it to are incredible bigots and I of course apologize to Clive if it is not his own observation..
            Based on context and lack of disclaimer, I did not read it as being sarcasm or merely a 3rd person attribution,, in which case I stand by my comment and consider this a most remarkable piece of ad hominem & bigotry.

            What’s the saying? Punch up not down..

            “Americans are a bunch of entrenched thoughtless ignoramuses incapable of entertaining any ideas which challenge preconceptions. A kind-of burger-eating Dothraki, Cadillac-driving rather than horse-riding who cling to unsubstantiated thought forms needing no more justification than adding “it is known” after uttering them.”

            If you prefer I not post here, that would be unfortunate, but it certainly is your prerogative of course.

            As well, I reiterate, I feel your referring to me as a bigot is remarkably uncalled for. Nothing could be further from the truth. I live by the Golden Rule and your using that characterization disappoints me.

            1. Clive

              In their own language press the Japanese are calling out the fact that — from what they can tell from Obama’s press secretary’s comments — Obama cannot do anything which gives even the merest hint that the U.S. had, as a minimum mixed motives in nuclear weapons use in Japan. Obama cannot even offer, according to the Asahi Shimbun article, condolences because that would be taken as an apology in the U.S.

              It is very difficult for the Japanese to decipher whether what they are hearing (or, more to the point, what they are not hearing) as symptomatic of being a failure of U.S. political leadership — in that Obama could start to move the U.S. established position vis-à-vis the use of nuclear weapons in WWII but does not do so because he’s just a weak leader — or that the U.S. population as a whole is unwilling to be led into reconsidering the conventional thinking about the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and that Obama isn’t bothering to do so because it wouldn’t have any effect.

              If the Japanese nation — taken in aggregate — looks across to the U.S. and determines that, despite a pretty hefty weight of evidence to contradict the unwavering resolve of successive U.S. government administrations and to even begin to start the process of revising the tried-and-trusted U.S. position that the only rationale for using nuclear weapons was simply to shorten the war then the Japanese are, surely, entitled to form an opinion of U.S. citizens, taken as a group.

              If you had made the statement that your government is letting its people down, that while some Americans refuse to countenance anything other than convenient simplifications, many don’t and you dearly wish that your government wouldn’t be so intransigent, that would be different.

              But you didn’t do that.

              Instead, you told any Japanese who are frustrated by the U.S. government’s holding out against anything resembling an apology and whom may as a result either start to think, or else already think and are even more convinced than they already were, that the U.S. is reactionary and bone-headed to f— off. You should reconsider what you wrote.

              Reading your comment, you also said:

              My Irish and scottish ancestors await a heartfrlt apology from you representing some long dead relative of yours..

              In doing so, you accused me, by name, of not making an apology for historic crimes committed against ethnic groups in Britain. May I remind you that bigotry is not just ” (a) person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions”. It is synonymous with prejudice and sectarianism. To say that I am required to be apologising for crimes committed by English people just because I too am English is — no question — guilt by association. It demonstrates prejudice against a particular group based on nationality. Or, if you like, bigotry.

              You cannot expect that to go unchallenged.

              1. optimader

                My Irish and scottish ancestors await a heartfrlt apology from you representing some long dead relative of yours..

                meant as sarc/ Clive, no I don’t expect any apologies for unfair treatment of any of my ancestors.

                I understand part of my lineage traces back to a Germanic warship that foundered off the coast if Ireland in fact. Rewinding the tape, no telling who I would need to apologize for whatever the hell he did. Sins of the father as it goes..

                Characterizing all Americans with one stereotype is as ridiculous as any.

                W/regard to BHO, I have my opinion on why he is visiting I don’t believe his visit has much to do with moral or otherwise reflection on historical events.

                BHO could certainly express sympathy for the killed and maimed, which has a living generational aspect as has been revealed over the course of time. That is only humane.
                As well I think it impolite for the POTUS to avoid going to a museum that presents the historical events that occurred.

                Apologizing for those actions taken 70 years ago during a war? Not his call, and when it comes to that, there is a whole lot of apologizing to go around for what occurred leading up to and during WWII

        2. Clive

          My mother’s maiden name was O’Rouke and her maternal grandmother and her father were forced to leave Ireland to settle in Wales due to what amounted to an economic pogrom conducted by the English ruling elite in what is now the Republic. And let me tell you, the Wales her family settled in and which my mother grew up in was not exactly a land flowing with milk and honey. A scrap of marginal agricultural land, a cottage with a dirt floor in not good repair and no electricity until my mother was out of childhood. Hardly unheard of, but this was in Britian in the 1950’s so my mother’s family’s forced migration from Ireland resulted in multi-generation poverty.

          Yes, she and the thousands like her deserved an apology too.

          I’m not about to get into playing “best worst” with you, suffice to say that I’d appreciate it if you’d take your unfounded judgemental attitude towards me and shove it.

          1. optimader

            I’m not about to get into playing “best worst” with you
            You already did.
            If you don’t get my use of a rhetorical device, I wont diagram it out for you.

            But rest assured Clive, no, I am not looking for any apologies for hardships brought to bear on my ancestors.

      1. Clive

        I like the Dothraki !

        I think George R.R. Martin was having a bit of fun (I’ve not read the books, so this could be attributed to the TV show writers) with the Dothraki catchphrase. It’s a nice parody of groupthink and it always makes me laugh when a Dothraki character says something (the “somethings” are sometimes correct, sometimes laughably wrong — this is a touch of genius and stops it from being a straight parody), there’s a ripple of dissenting voices, but then another thing is stated to “back up” the original statement but is usually a screaming logical fallacy, says “it is known” then everyone nods sagely and agrees with the original statement (even if it is daft). Great stuff and a good way of building the character of the Dothraki.

        And in that way, the Dothraki remind me a tad of the Japanese.

        1. Plenue

          I was going to say something about how hilarious it is for the Japanese to disparage someone else on those grounds. They aren’t wrong about Americans, but have they ever looked in a mirror? Because a lot of those things seem to fit them to a T, at least from my position on the outside looking in.

    5. Qrys

      What is the procedure for The US President to be authorized to offer an “official” apology for acts of war? Precedents such as the Apology Resolution to the people of Hawaii would seem to call on Congress to act in that capacity. So I’m not clear on this being within the authority of the President to do. Anyone able to point to other cases?

      1. Clive

        A full-on apology isn’t what’s required here (I think there are legal implications in doing that). What some Japanese are looking for is a demonstrable move away from the established position of “we used nuclear weapons against Japan only because it shortened the war” (add in the optional “it is known” here — see above).

        1. Lumpenproletariat

          The continuing American mealy-mouthed non-apologies just add more fuel to Japanese disillusionment and play into the hands of the loud mout he’d sound truck right wingers. The former constitutes the majority. The latter’s sentiments are manipulated by the elite to piss away money on weapons, to stoke xenophobia (largely against the former victims of Imperial Japan), and to distract from further neoliberal policies that benefit only the Japanese 0.1%.

          1. Qrys

            While I agree, I think that the non-apology plays little-to-no role in the “day to day” concerns of the Japanese people. The presence of 23 American bases in Japan and Okinawa however is a totally different matter and one that much more clearly divides public opinion.

        2. Optimader

          In the realm of outcomes derived from infinite but unpursued alternatives, can you objectively state as a fact that they did not shorten the war? Or Is this actually more of an i feel kinda claim framed as fact?

          Neither you, I, a resident blog historian, or anyone else can more than speculate on that any more than claiming as fact that if Japan had not pursued imperial conquest in the Pacific Rim nuclear weapons would have remained a theoretical exercise in a physics blog

          Bumping into epistemological limits.

          It would be valid to say i dont feel those two bombings had a material effect on the duration of the war, or if they did it wasnt worth it.

    6. Alex morfesis

      The eloquent ignorance of the nipponese…and the rest of the world…
      growing up on the edge of the one percent, the words venturing from my lips were often met with…

      you sound like a goddang communist…

      and then I would get off the olympic air flight and be called a “goddang thieving capitalist dog” within a day of landing in athens without changing one speck of my thoughts…

      Square watermelons are an interesting art and for all practical purposes…has no practical purpose…

      Eloquent ignorance…our stupidities have veritas because we have been doing it for hundreds of years, while you americans have not been around long enough to repeat really stupid acts for centuries…thus our stupidities are superior to yours…

    7. RabidGandhi

      RG Jr has learned the [equivalent of the] phrase “I beg your pardon” and has taken to employing it whenever possible. So we had a conversation yesterday as to what “pardon” means, with me stressing the point that the key element is making every effort not to commit the action in question again. It seems Jr had learned elsewhere that apologising has a different meaning: don’t scold/reprimand/punish me, and it was my hope to provide the opposite perspective.

      Thomas Frank speaks of having made a list of Bill Clinton’s apologies and how rancid they were. This is very (D) of course. They drive the RWNJs bonkers, but these apologies (eg, Rahm “owns it”) are extremely reactionary in and of themselves, ultimately serving not to forward tangible repentance but rather to forestall scolding/reprimands/punishment. Thus even if Obama were to “apologise” it would be better if he would not do so, so long as he is increasing the US nuclear arsenal and taking concrete actions to hasten WWIII.

      RG Jr understands this; Team Blue, not so much.

      My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
      Can serve my turn? ‘Forgive me my foul murder’?
      That cannot be; since I am still possess’d
      Of those effects for which I did the murder,
      My crown, mine own ambition and my queen.
      May one be pardon’d and retain the offence?

      1. Tertium Squid

        I always noticed a tendency in Bill Clinton, Rod Blagojevich and others to apologize profusely for other things, trivial things, things they were not being held in contempt for doing. Thus people would hear their public contrition and feel satisfied, and the miscreant would be off the hook without admitting any wrongdoing.

        Rod B. for example I remember hearing him wallow in self-serving remorse that his public-spirited passion for his wonderful state had moved him to use such profane language, during those taped conversations where his corruption was on full display.

        1. RabidGandhi

          The most common one I see is to apologise for something I didn’t do while doing something equally horrid or far worse. Bill Clinton apologising in Haiti comes to mind, or for Rwanda (in the wrong direction).

          My recent favourite is certainly Rahm’s “I own it” WTF does that even mean? What are the consequences?

          Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers…

    8. ckimball

      Could it be that the justification that hundreds of thousands of lives were saved by using the atomic bomb to end the war with Japan has set the American populace up through guilt and then desensitization to dismiss the overwhelming suffering caused by decisions made for them.
      Many years ago, in preparation for returning to work, I hired a young Japanese art student to live-in and help me with my young daughter. (I hired her immediately when I saw that her eyes looked at my daughter with love. A moment of intuition that so right) I was surprised how fast her spoken English expanded and that she loved to listen to Janis Joplin. One day our conversation led to her mentioning that her grandfather died of radiation sickness. I was struck dumb with sickness that I could feel move all through my body. I was so
      upset I apologized to her not knowing what to do with myself. I was born in 1943
      I had no idea of my guilt until that moment. Before that moment the rationalizations and justifications had floated around me like the air we breathe.
      She tried to comfort me. She said, “it was my country that started the wars
      and wouldn’t stop”. Somehow this was wrong. I did not no how to take in
      that she felt responsible for the history and I felt guilt. Maybe we could put
      the bomb and those things in that catagory on trial.

      1. ckimball

        I just need to add one more thing.
        I can see how the decisions got made but the fact that we are still
        justifying them compounds the scariness.

      2. VietnamVet

        I too was born in 1943. But, I know the relief that the combat troops felt when they heard their war was over and they were going home. The atomic bombs were dropped; the war ended; if not, millions more would have died. Today, Americans are divorced from the military and the consequences of war. How else to explain the ongoing support for the proxy mini world war in the Middle East or the restart of the Cold War 2.0 with Russia and China. All of which threatens the nuclear extinction of mankind.

    9. flora

      Here’s the text of Emperor Hirohito’s acceptance of surrender speech.
      It specifically mentions “…a new and most cruel bomb, ….”

      So, for argument’s sake, I’ll reverse the usual line of question and ask:
      Did the Emperor and senior military staff wait so long to surrender because they needed an event that would allow them to surrender without losing face to their subjects?
      It’s a moot point.

      1. RabidGandhi

        The Japanese command delayed because they did not want to surrender without conditions, which would have left them open to war crimes prosecution, i.e., to save their own skin. Both governments, Japan and the US dragged the war out on purpose, with psychopathic disregard for the masses who were killed.

    10. JustAnObserver

      Clive: One would think that there’d be someone somewhere in the government who could “read between the lines” of the Japanese media – press & TV – in the same way you can.

      Maybe the State Dept. has been crappified like so much else, probably starting in SoS Clinton’s tenure, with any 1/2-way good Japanese speaker heading out the revolving door along with all the others.

    1. DJG

      so: Yes. Definitely today’s must-read. Moral authority. Polemic. Hard to read because of the waste of human lives that he describes. Much praise to the writer.

      1. diptherio

        Whoever figures out to run on a Job Guarantee first wins in a landslide. I’ve been saying it for awhile, but this piece really puts a fine point on why it needs to be the go-to strategy. The usual arguments against it won’t work anymore.

        It will create useless jobs!
        What’s new? Does it pay money? I’ll take it.

        We’ll have to raise taxes to pay for it!
        BS, even Trump knows that’s a lie and has said as much. Call it a “Bailout for the Working Class,” we always have money for bailouts.

        It will be bad for private employers!
        You mean the ones who don’t give a sh*t about us? The ones who abandoned our towns and moved shop to China? This will be bad for them? Good.

  16. grayslady

    A great and decent human being has died, Michael Ratner. Mr. Ratner was responsible for obtaining legal rights of habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees, and was the U.S. attorney for Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

  17. SufferinSuccotash

    I also understand what you are saying about the viewing audience deserving to know the difference between the two, and exactly how superdelegates work, but that would entail us spending so much time each morning, every time we air one of these stories, to explain the difference. That isn’t realistic in a newscast.

    Having been in the business (writer and producer) I can testify that you absolutely can’t have the camera on the same news anchor for more than 30 seconds at a time. Otherwise, the viewers start changing the channel. That at least is the assumption behind deciding what’s “realistic” or “non-realistic” in a newscast. And considering the nature of the medium, it makes sense. As the late Roon Arledge never ceased to argue, television is about pictures, moving pictures on a screen. It is not and it never has been about words. Problem is, we can’t comprehend the world we live in without the appropriate words.

    The answer? Don’t. Watch. Television. News.

    1. Anne

      That’s why I suggested a graphic – but I have yet to see one on the screen when they discuss the state of the race. I haven’t even heard them say, “for an in-depth explanation, please go to our website, or check it out on our mobile app.”

      I guess what galled me was his identification of MSNBC as their source, and his “that’s the way everyone else is doing it” justification – not to mention that he really doesn’t understand how the pledged/unpledged delegate thing works.

      In the morning, I have the TV on in the background, mostly for traffic, weather and sports – the rest of it is just so shallow as to be useless.

    2. Jagger

      The answer? Don’t. Watch. Television. News.

      Yes, but definitely watch your local TV weather broadcaster. I have completely given up on internet Weather Underground, FastWeather, etc, for accurate and reliable local weather forecasts-particularly for precipitation. Any of the local human TV forecasters are far superior to anything computer generated on the internet.

      A little off topic but it has been on mind recently and you offered the perfect hook.

      1. curlydan

        I hear ya. The Weather Channel, etc change their local models so quickly that one second I’m (generally doing this on my “smart phone”) looking at a zero percent chance of rain at 6PM, and one hour later it can bump up to a 60%!

        I think the reason the human weather-person is better is that he or she is giving you a general forecast for upcoming days and not having to tie it to the minute and update it constantly like your “phone forecast” tries to do. I coach soccer multiple times a week. After getting burned by WeatherChannel forecasting too often, my new policy is if it’s not raining/lightning/tornado at the start of practice, we’re practicing–phone forecast be damned.

      2. Mike Mc

        Living in great state of Nebraska – with a 50 mile daily commute between Omaha and the state capitol of Lincoln – I literally trust the AM radio stations and their weather coverage with my life.

        We’ve already had record-setting hailstorms and early season twisters in the past few days. Weather is so ‘local’ in the Midwest/Tornado Alley that several INCHES of hail fell about 20 blocks away… while we got only a few brief hailstones.

        If you have young adult friends/relatives/offspring who like science AND media, meteorology is a worth a good hard look. With Mother Nature being all climate changey, it seems like a growth industry… though you may end up someplace like Nebraska, which has more weather than people, oceans or mountains.

        1. JustAnObserver

          … or are heavily into ultra high performance computing. The biggest multi-petaflop supercomputers are basically used in either weather forecasting (good) or nuclear weapon modelling (less good); with protein folding coming up the outside.

    3. Brooklin Bridge

      I find it hard to believe media can’t get the super vs. pledged distinction (already widely known) clear within the 30 second time frame. I’ve heard it done by other local news stations quite easily and clearly, sometimes even including the bit that many voters find this situation undemocratic to say the least. All within that perceived American attention span limit, 30 secs, sometimes in as little as 15.

      I admire Anne for taking the time and energy to communicate “rationally” with these people.

    4. mk

      We record television news at 5pm, then watch it later so we can fast forward through the commercials, including the commercials during the “newscast”. Out of an hour, there is probably no more than 5 minutes of information that is useful, helpful, interesting, the rest is trash.

  18. rich

    Chinese student buys $30 million Point Grey mansion

    NDP housing critic David Eby said the fact that a student was able to buy one of the most expensive homes in the city contradicts the government’s messaging that “everything is under control in the Vancouver real estate market.”

    Eby said it also links to a theme uncovered in a 2015 study by Andy Yan, an adjunct professor at the University of B.C., which found homemakers and, to a lesser extent, students, are often the listed occupations of the owners of many newly purchased multi-million dollar Vancouver properties.

    “It’s incredibly strange that a student would be able to afford such a luxurious and multi-million-dollar property,” said Eby. “This is part of a trend of homemakers and students mass-buying property. I don’t know how that can be possible with the income of homemakers and students typically have, which is close to zero.”

    Mortgage documents attached to the land title papers show that a mortgage of $9.9 million was taken out by Zhou and Feng from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on April 28. The bi-weekly payments are listed as $17,079.41.

    Eby said the government’s messaging and slow response to the housing crisis in Metro Vancouver could be because party donors, like Brown, are directly benefiting from the red-hot market.

    According to financial records, Brown has donated $62,500 to the B.C. Liberal Party in the past two years, and Eby further noted that Brown is a longtime Liberal fundraiser.

    “I think we shouldn’t underestimate the connection between the government saying there is no issue with the real estate market in Vancouver at the same time one of their major fundraisers is selling his home to a student for $31 million and significantly over the assessed value,” said Eby. “The government’s donors are directly profiting from this crazy real estate market while a lot of hard-working families are suffering.”

    1. cnchal

      Bluntly put, this is money laundering by the leaders of the CPC, Criminal Party of China.

      No price is too high when paying with loot.

      1. Dave

        Yes, but the property can be sized, nationalized, eminently domained, etc when the Canadians wake up and elect politicians with cajones.

        1. Lumpenproletariat

          Not gonna happen.

          The FIRE industry and local oligarchs are the biggest players in politics, and they both have vested interests in keeping the Ponzi scheme humming along.

          It is hypocritical to cite one ethnic/national demographic when one should cite class and a tax code which encourages and rewards speculation and rent-seeking.

        2. cnchal

          I have to agree with Lumpenproletariat, and when one considers the whole picture, it becomes impossible to predict when this gusher of money from China slows down.

          At the moment, China’s central bank is flooding their system with ever increasing amounts of debt to keep their government owned companies alive and enough of this money seems to be diverted to their .01% that it looks like a never ending supply. And when it’s being created out of thin air and used to buy real property in a location outside of China, a speculative bubble is blown. It’s Vancouver and Toronto where most of the Canadian action takes place, and it’s either the greatest or the worst that can happen depending on one’s particular situation.

          It is not possible for someone earning an average wage to buy in these markets, but for someone that bought 20 or 30 years ago, it’s like winning a Canadian lottery in that the price appreciation is not taxed, if it was your principle residence. Canadian politicians are entirely in the latter cohort and benefit tremendously from this stolen hot money from China.

          To put it another way, it’s as if the head of the space agency NASA had a relative at the FED that could direct $10 billion of thin air money to the agency and then divert $1 or $2 billion of that into his personal account, which is then spirited out of the country to buy real assets.

          No price is too high when paying with loot.

    2. JEHR

      When I was attending the University of BC in the early 1960s, I used to babysit for a family that lived in Point Grey. I remember that they had a pure white living room with white rugs, curtains, walls and piano. I thought I had died and gone to heaven!

      Soon the West Coast will be Chinese! Interesting!

    3. PlutoniumKun

      They gave a student a mortgage? Almost all the Chinese foreign buyers I know pay in cash only.

      That sounds very odd – you’d have to wonder what sort of security that student put up to justify a $9.9 million dollar mortgage.

  19. Sammy Maudlin

    [Trump] can’t carry on about “Crooked Clinton” (effectively) and not release his returns.

    Yves, I believe you’re missing the line of demarcation drawn by the American public regarding greed and corruption.

    I think Trump will be just fine not releasing his tax returns because, generally, people who may otherwise be inclined to vote for him care about it. Heck, he could be an Al Capone-level tax cheat (GE level?) and it’s not a factor because it’s his money he “earned” (and inherited) himself. His interest? Trump! That’s OK these days. You don’t need to have the public good in mind, it’s winner-take-all (see Ken Griffin’s comments).

    Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is corrupt in the people’s minds because she is getting money from other people for the purpose of influencing the law in their favor. If she was independently wealthy via family or business interests outside politics to start with she’d be teflon like Trump on the issue because he can’t be bought. She is openly for sale and that’s the difference.

    This is how Trump dispensed with the entire Republican field so easily. They were all viewed as waterboys for other, more powerful people. Sanders, of course has the same appeal, but in a different (and in my view better) way. He would be dispensing with Hillary Clinton as a candidate if the system in which they were operating weren’t so heavily “weighted” in her favor.

    1. Jason

      While that’s the perception of Trump’s supporters, I think the reality is that Trump is far more heavily indebted (including to the same people as Clinton) than he likes to acknowledge. And he isn’t nearly as wealthy as he pretends, either. Which is why he doesn’t want to release his tax returns.

      That’s in addition to all his other problems.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Trump will, or will try to, raise money from donors now.

        He will ‘owe’ them.

        But, but, he is also the king of debt ‘renegotiation.’

        “I owe you less now. Debt discount. Take or leave.”

      2. jgordon

        If I were Trump the next time Hillary brings up the issue in a debate with him I’d say this: “time to put up or shut up Hillary. My tax returns for your Goldman Sachs speeches.”

      3. Sammy Maudlin

        I agree that Trump’s main concern isn’t revealing he’s a tax cheat, but perhaps having to go on the record that the Trump stash of wealth may not be as yuge as it is marketed to be. His whole “brand” is being a fabulously wealthy guy. If that armor is pierced, he loses both political and business goodwill.

        But I’m thinking HRC can’t call him out on that. Maybe she could sneer and say “you’re not as rich as you make yourself out to be” and it could score some points. But it seems her strategy is the high road and avoid validating the “mean, nasty” HRC characterization. She has to stick to the “he’s a tax cheat” implication to do so.

  20. Louis

    I think the key takeaway point from the Christian Science Monitor piece on raising the minimum wage is that the vast majority of workers making minimum-wage are adults—those opposed to raising the minimum-wage would have you believe otherwise—so impacts on teenagers seeking employment are minor.

    The bottom line: the sky isn’t necessarily going to necessarily come crashing down if you raise the minimum-wage.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It is also said that if you give the little people free money, they will be less likely to want a serf job.

      1. Louis

        That’s probably true, though I still think the demographics are key. Every time the minimum-wage gets discussed, those opposed to claim that it will make it harder for teenagers to find a job–heck there are some who seem to genuinely think teenagers are the only ones working those jobs.

        Emphasizing the fact that the majority of those earning the minimum-wage are adults makes it a bit harder to defend allowing people to be paid less than a livable wage. The emphasis is on a “bit”, as more than a few of those opposed to raising the minimum-wage, after being presented with the fact that most workers in these jobs are adults, will throw out the straw man of how minimum-wage jobs weren’t meant to provide a living.

        The most aggravating thing when it comes to the minimum-wage is the hypocrisy of opposing raising the minimum-wage while simultaneously railing against too many people being dependent on government assistance.

        It’s really a pay now or pay later proposition: i.e. either guarantee that everyone who works makes enough to live on, or force taxpayers to make up the difference for those who work but don’t make enough to get by.

    2. JustAnObserver

      But, but Louis … that’s a *fact* and everyone knows only losers use *facts*. Winners make their own reality ((C) D. Cheney or was it Rumsfeld, they’re all a little interchangable)\s

  21. portia

    Does anyone know why the D.C. 2016 Dem primary results are still not available, but the Repub results are?

      1. portia

        oh, the site I looked had the wrong primary date as in happening in april. oops, should have checked more, thx.

  22. abynormal

    Trump could appoint NEWT GINGRICH vp………………..KILL ME NOW
    it gets worse…. “Oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens, meanwhile, also said on Wednesday at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas that he was endorsing Trump and supported his Muslim entry ban proposal. He is planning to host a fundraiser for a pro-Trump super PAC next month, according to The Wall Street Journal.”
    …Pickens has been hoarding water, and needs to unload it at aFair Market Value, only a dehydrated mother & child could appreciate!

    1. abynormal

      HT RJS (6 wks ago)
      “There are points when your candidate can be so delusional, that you need to get them psychiatric help,” the ex-White House hopeful told a crowd of 500 on Thursday during an event hosted by East Tennessee State University’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter.

      “I think that would be one of them,” Gingrich said, responding to a student who asked whether he would accept if Trump tapped him to be his running mate.

  23. Michael

    One of the great truths of helping people is: you can’t help the entitled and abusive.

    If they get any resources, they won’t put them into making their own lives better; they’ll put them into making others’ lives worse.

    On a fundamental level, the Unnecessariat live that way because they’ve been desperately chasing that way of life for three decades, in the hopes that women* and African-Americans will have it worse. I’m related to 30 of them; I know.

    Yes, there are good people. But the solution is to help them form self-sufficiency societies and send buses to bring them to the coasts. Wait until one of the billionaires gives one of these towns a real shot; you’ll see what they do with the money. There’s always money for the next big pickup truck, the next high school football stadium, the next massive tax break for the chicken packing plant. The money exists. It’s being spent how the residents want it spent.

    TL;DR: Put your energy somewhere else. Anywhere else.

    cf: Cairo, IL

    *yes, even the women buy into this. I don’t even.

  24. financial matters

    Pavlina Tcherneva is thinking large with a suggestion of a Global Marshall Plan for Joblessness. She envisions international organizations with this as their goal. As Michael Hudson and Bill Mitchell have described the IMF and World Bank have re-invented themselves largely at the behest of the US in favor of creditors. They could re-invent themselves in a more positive manner.

    She reflects on the cavalier manner in which modern economics treats unemployment as natural and ignoring its immense social and economic costs and that literally unemployment kills and leads to increased crime.

    “”Whether by deliberate policy design or by necessity, governments will have to respond to the looming economic, social, political and environmental challenges by using their fiscal powers. Preferably, this would happen by design. Otherwise, it will arrive in the form of inadequate ad hoc emergency measures.

    As the world faces the consequences of climate change, the Marshall Plan can be the big-push policy that puts the unemployed to work in a Global Green New Deal program. Whether it involves green projects, infrastructure projects, community projects, or care projects, there is no shortage of projects that need doing.

    The private sector will continue to serve as the engine of growth, but the capital development of the economy depends both on the private and public sectors. And the Global Marshall Plan will serve as a global employment safety-net for anyone who has been left behind and is looking for work.””

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The Queen: “Chinese rude.”

    “Clinton polite.”

    “Trump rude.”

    “Obama well-mannered.”

  26. Alex morfesis

    Trump and his taxes…as to the underfunded investigative journalists of the world…he has had public filings with his casinos and decades of lawsuits…so how he operates should not be impossible to reverse engineer…he probably has thousands of victor posner style land lease type deals…which have limited current value but are basically long term purchase options…he probably controls all types of family limited partnership structures where his family and associates own the assets but he gets to play with them…much like the pritzgers in chitown…

  27. Jeff N

    Kittens or other pets should never be given as “gifts”, hopefully Assange previously indicated his desire for one.

  28. flora

    re: The Unnecessariat
    my god. what a hard and necessary read. Thanks for the link.
    I came away thinking about how Hillary styles herself as a moral heir to Eleanor Roosevelt. I’m trying to imaging Eleanor going out to visit coal miners and farm workers, then reporting back to FDR that those voters could be fooled with sweet talk a while longer, so forget ’em. Can’t imagine it. Hillary’s neoliberalism is destroying middle America. Hillary styles herself as a respectable, even admirable humanitarian, while promoting economic programs crushing working peoples’ lives. The Dem party is still styling themselves as the party of the working class while promoting policies that destroy the future of working class people.
    There isn’t a descriptive word that encompasses this perfidy.
    “We Dems are fighting for you! Vote for us! Now go die.”

  29. meeps

    re Wapo: The middle class is shrinking just about everywhere in America

    “The fact that median incomes have declined over this same time frame also means that the bar to get into the middle class is actually lower now than it was in 2000.”

    There’s that dangerous, shifting baseline.

    As for the PETA surprise, I remain unconvinced that gore evokes compassion in the face of cruelty. None of the vegans I know [including me] changed diet in response to an animal viscera ad. Animal cruelty is only one of a long list of reasons to avoid eating animals. IMO, Cowspiracy is more effective with its gentle, straightforward, fact-based approach (to the extent it reaches that portion of the population that isn’t fact-resistant).

  30. John Morrison

    About Hiroshima and President Obama’s visit: I expect close to zero agreement with my position, but it is a serious position. It also moves the Overton Window in the right direction. But like the Doomsday Machine, it only works if it’s announced to the world. Hopefully, it would never occur.

    The basic idea is to let bygones be bygones regarding Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but establish an appropriate penalty for the first use of nuclear weapons in the future. A first use of nuclear weapons by anyone, the US in particular, at best will open the door to a terrorist use of nukes, and at worst result in a nuclear holocaust leaving a large fraction dead immediately, another large fraction dying prolonged agonizing deaths, and the survivors wishing they were dead.

    See, for example, Scott Ritter on Iran. It would be highly ironic to use nuclear weapons against Iran to remove the threat of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, but we’ve already gone beyond irony.

    The penalty for a first nuclear attack: the authorities responsible for the decision have to sit with eyes and ears wide open, watching their loved ones — spouses, parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, etc. — slowly fed through the grinder or otherwise tortured to death.

    I’d exempt attacks over sparsely populated areas, such as open spaces without villages and seas. I’d require an actual nuclear explosion. Depleted Uranium is outside the scope. Of course, using a nuclear bomb to plug up something like the BP oil gusher, debatable as it may be, would also be outside the scope.

    In the 1960s, a movie “Fail-Safe” was released. Moscow was inadvertently nuked, and the President had to nuke NYC to avoid retaliation that would lead to nuclear holocaust.

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