Links 5/13/16

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Are Insects Conscious? Project Syndicate. More to feel guilty about.

American Indian rock opera shines unflattering light on Calif. pioneer McClatchy (Chuck L)

Zuckerberg wants to meet with conservatives amid Facebook bias allegations CNN (furzy)

Here’s Facebook’s guide to how its ‘Trending Topics’ tool works Recode (EM)

Mossack Fonseca

The world’s hidden wealth Prospect. Richard Smith: “Long form must read primer for global tax havens.”

Offshore centres hit at US ‘hypocrisy’ Financial Times

Oxfam stages protest against tax havens in Trafalgar Square International Business Times (John G)

Panama Papers: How Jennifer Hershon checked out of Hotel California Australian Financial Review. Cathy Odgers was a wee bit more polite to Mossack Fonseca than she was to our Richard Smith.

Asia’s War on Drugs The Diplomat (resilc)


Beijing is setting the stage for war in the South China Sea Quartz (resilc)

Inside the Rebellion: Chinese auto workers are becoming increasingly militant, but lack mass, independent organizations. Jacobin (Sid S)


Bedtime for Democracy … this time in Brazil failed evolution

The triple crises that face Brazil’s new leader

Refugee Crisis

Europe Sells Out Project Syndicate (Sid S)

High Court challenge over Conservative election expenses Channel 4. Richard Smith: They’ve got a QC after them who thinks they broke the law by defying the Commissioners


The Economics Of Brexit: Which Side Should We Believe? Defend Democracy Press

Bank of England says Brexit slowdown could even mean recession Reuters


‘Those Who Engage in Politics Are Not Without Fault’ Handelsblatt. Interview with Schauble.

France’s Socialist Government Survives a Vote, but Remains Fractured New York Times


Scottish firm at centre of global corruption scandal involving family of Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov Herald Scotland. Richard Smith points out this is on the first page.

Rothschild Bank Now Under Criminal Investigation Over Missing $4 Billion in Global Corruption Probe Free Thought (Judy B)


NATO Would Probably Lose a War Against Russia – Russia Insider (Chuck L). From April, still germane.

RS-28 Samrat – Formidable Weapon to Counter US PGS and BMD Plans Strategic Culture Watch. Glenn F:”Things aren’t looking good for Europe, or the rest of the world, with continuing US provocation of Russia.”


New Evidence Points to Saudi-9/11 Link, Battle Lingers Over Redacted Papers Sputnik (Chuck L)

The Israel Defense Forces vs. the People of Israel New York Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

FBI Hid Surveillance Devices Around Alameda County Courthouse East Bay Express (guurst)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Great Leap Backward: America’s Illegal Wars on the World Counterpunch (resilc)

US activates controversial missile shield in Romania euronews

Special forces wage secretive ‘small wars’ on terrorists CNN (resilc)

Clinton E-mail Haiball

Clinton emails: State evolves on when diplomacy is classified Politico (furzy). Translation: “evolves” = fudges.

The Perfect Storm Circling Hillary Clinton Reason (fresno dan). Note the bit re the Russians thinking of leaking sounds pretty improbable….or more accurately, the idea that they’d leak that they were thinking of leaking is unheard of.


Bring Hillary and Bernie Together New York Times. People who write this sort of thing understand neither Clinton nor Sanders.

Purged, Hacked, Switched: On Election Fraud Allegations in Hillary Clinton vs Bernie Sanders Counterpunch (Archie)

Bernie Sanders Goes Off on MSNBC’s Mitchell: ‘Don’t Moan to Me About Hillary’s Problems’ Daily Beast (lyman alpha blob). Go Bernie. Plus I hate to be catty, but she has had a lot of plastic surgery. I thought TV people knew better, that less is more.

As Sanders’s chances vanish, the movement behind him grows Washington Post. More WaPo campaigning against Sanders.

Jon Stewart perfectly diagnosed the problem with Hillary Clinton’s candidacy Washington Post (furzy). At least they are sniping about Clinton a bit…

Top 2 hedge fund managers bankroll Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel, after making $1.7 billion each in 2015 Salon (rich)

Bernie Sanders Supporters Propose ‘Mobilizing Voters’ to Beat Donald Trump New York Times. Note this is an effort of a grand total of “about a dozen current and former Sanders staff members and volunteers.” Note also they are trying to get him to quit after California when Sanders told Andrea Mitchell yesterday that he planned to continue to fight, by implication through the convention.

A Scientific Explanation of How Donald Trump’s Kids Turned Out (Relatively) Normal Vanity Fair

Sen. Sessions: Election offers a simple choice USA Today. Reslic: “I worry when I agree with Sessions.”

Trump Promises Paul Ryan That He’ll Sound Slightly Less Like Hitler New Yorker (furzy)

Judge strikes down Obama health law insurance subsidy in victory for House GOP Washington Post (furzy)

‘Congressman X’ tell-all rattles Washington RT (Wat)

‘Weiner’ Filmmakers on Documenting a Sex Scandal Rolling Stone (resilc)

Dana Milbank swallows his pride and some newsprint CNN (furzy)

Politics is Kayfabe: Oh yeah! TechRepublic

FORMER GREEK FINANCE MINISTER: Why Hillary Clinton is a ‘dangerous person’ Business Insider (heresy 101)

US Congressmen: Drop baggage fees to cut airport congestion BBC

Arson in Texas fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 raises more questions Associated Press. Bob: “That’s gotta be the craziest rube-goldberg device ever. Whomever set it could probably not have seen that it would cause the damage that it did. That story really does suck in its lack of detail.”

Teen with brain tumor barred from prom McClatchy (furzy)

‘Don’t Be a Drama Queen’: Inmate Left To Die From Withdrawal Intercept (martha r)


Online auction for gun George Zimmerman used to kill Trayvon Martin halted Associated Press. Bob is not happy:

“Zimmerman had told Orlando, Florida, TV station WOFL that the pistol was returned to him by the U.S. Justice Department, which took it after he was acquitted in Martin’s 2012 shooting death.”

I think there would be pretty broad based support for not giving him or letting him carry a gun. OK, I’ll even pretend that he might have had a reason to be afraid, but he killed a guy.

No gun after body.

The anti gun people should be paying him, and they still aren’t pointing at shit like-

“the pistol was returned to him by the U.S. Justice Department”

Write him a check for the value of the gun, if you have to, but don’t ever let him carry one again.

His behavior after the arrest, threatening a girlfriend with a gun, would seem to support my argument.

Make those gun fuckers own him.

Trayvon Martin death: Zimmerman’s gun returns to auction BBC


Central banks are about to go to war Charles Hugh Smith

Committee Behavior and the Federal Reserve Conservative Economist

Fed too ‘white and male’, say Democrats Financial Times. I’d take this more seriously if the Dems cared at all about how the Fed failed to see the crisis coming, defended the banks rather than reforming them, and engineered a flagging recovery whose main accomplishment is greatly exacerbating wealth and income inequality. Gender mix is small beer compared to that, but Team Dem cares only about optics and identity politics.

Iran Hits Saudis Where It Hurts, Offers Discounts On Asian Crude OilPrice (resilc)

Equity outflows hit nearly $90bn in 2016 Financial Times

Class Warfare

How to Get More Guest Workers: Abuse the Ones of the Ones You Have BuzzFeed (vlade)

Why Americans Ignore How Luck Affects Everything Science of Us. Reslic: “Like the luck of who your mom and dad are.”

The Privatization of Childhood Play Pacific Standard (Chuck L). Glaring error in dates. Unstructured play was alive and well in the late 1970s.

Apple invests $1bn in China Uber rival Financial Times. Godzilla v. Mothra.

Poor Wages Send A Third Of US Manufacturing Workers To Welfare Lines In Order To Pay For Food, Healthcare, Data Show International Business Times (furzy). Translation: manufacturers are getting massive subsidies so they can pay at below living-wage levels.

Antidote du jour (Kittie Wilson via Lawrence R):

loon links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Robert Callaghan

    Here is what a so-called “progressive” site says about Zimmerman,

    From Common Dreams,

    “The worst news is this loathsome scumbag is still among us.”

    CD is against the death penalty, unless otherwise noted.

    1. pretzelattack

      maybe they mean the loathsome scumbag should be in prison, for killing a kid he stalked.

    2. tony

      We could just assume they mean prison. Because Zimmerman really should have been locked up.

    3. MtnLife

      I’m about as pro gun as you can get without being NRA level MOAR GUNZ and this makes me want to retch. Between Trayvon and his history of domestic abuse, Karma is dragging its feet on this guy. If he gets any money from this I hope it ends up in the hands of Trayvon’s family.

  2. EndOfTheWorld

    “Trump promises Paul Ryan that he’ll sound slightly less like Hitler.” There ya go. The deal-meister begins a long string of “artful” deals.

    1. James Levy

      I don’t think Trump sounds like Hitler or is Hitler. I think he sounds like, and is, a self-dealing ignoramus who wants to be a “winner” in all things and at all times. And the only thing we can know from his track record is that in his wheeling and dealing he’s always in it for himself alone and he’ll sell his partners down the river in order for him to “win.” If anything, he’s a little bit Mussolini and a lot Obama.

      1. hreik

        I don’t think he wants to be president. He just wants to ‘win’ the presidency. He’s too lazy to work that hard

          1. Brindle

            Trump more of a “revenge & change” than “hope & change” candidate, but revenge vs hope is more of a stylistic difference than substantive one in this case.

        1. Bill

          I’ll reiterate my take, that Trump is running his outrageous campaign in order to make another candidate look really good, but I’m now not sure if that would be Ryan, or Clinton. He’ll either drop out and turn it over to Ryan, or become so much more obnoxious that Dems will win.

          Call me crazy, some friends have……

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            He is for himself (per a few posters here) and he’s doing it to turn over to someone else.

            Do we know which?

            I don’t know myself, except he is like other politicians, though he doesn’t sugar coat, but tells it in your face.

          2. Propertius

            I don’t think he ever intended to get this far. I think his whole candidacy was a publicity stunt that spiraled completely out of control when he accidentally tapped into the rage a lot of people feel about the political establishment.

        2. dk

          Ha, that has always been my thought. He’s going to pull a Palin. Which means his VP pick is important.

          And I think Hillary would try to stick it out, but I’m not bullish on her health. So her VP pick is important as well.

          But second thought on Trump, he’d just start televising his daily White House briefings, and resurrect The Apprentice, delegating various tasks of national administration (with an ear for flippancy) to a continuing parade of wannabes. Look for Jeb Bush in season 2 (2018)!.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Hilary should pick Lindsay Graham. As Bill used to say “they have nowhere else to go”, (meaning Dems will have their backs to the wall and will choose the Dem no matter what). So she may as well choose another war monger fascist.

      2. EndOfTheWorld

        Right, he wants to be a winner. How is that defined in the context of the Trump presidency? What’s he want to do ? Suck up to rich people for bribes, a la Clinton and Obama? No, he really wants to be a hero. That’s his game here.

        1. Propertius

          Right, he wants to be a winner. How is that defined in the context of the Trump presidency? What’s he want to do ? Suck up to rich people for bribes, a la Clinton and Obama? No, he really wants to be a hero. That’s his game here.

          Well, you’re certainly not getting an invitation to the Trump House after he’s inaugurated ;-)

  3. James Levy

    I know the guy was just trying to be snarky and score some point or another, but does his attempt to tie Sanders to the KKK imply that he believes Brooklynites are evil, Jews are evil, or only Socialists? Or is it just the combination of all three? I mean, does the “tweeter” understand how anti-Semitic his exercise in guilt by association is? Are the people who nod in approval of his using this against Sanders aware of this obvious connection?

    1. ocop

      I think you’re missing the direction of the snark. I read the tweet as cleverly mocking the demonization of West Virginian voters as bigoted rednecks. The same stereotyping that’s been deployed to try and minimize Sander’s victory there.

      The anti-semitic tone of the description is part of the point.

      1. pretzelattack

        that’s how i read it. and of the whole “bernie is racist where was he during the civil rights movement” trope.

    2. ambrit

      “Guilt by association” is often used to externalize ones’ own moral shortcomings. From personal experience here in the American South I can attest that there is a lot of anti-Semitism in our culture.
      During the 1920’s, the KKK was a ‘legitimate’ political party in America. It even held city and county wide offices; Bakersfield, California is an example. To put the cherry on top of the sundae, both Bernie and the KKK can be viewed as ‘outsider’ political movements, one on the mid-Left, the other on the Right. Both appeal to the ‘disaffected.’ That’s why I mention whenever possible, the strategy of the “United Front.” If H Clinton can so obviously pander to the ‘moderate’ Republican cohort, why not a pairing of the Centre Left and the Tea Partiers?

      1. polecat

        why, you ask? …

        Because the Left/Right divide just HAS to be kept operational…at ALL costs…right??

    3. Waldenpond

      That was a whole group of tweeters. It started with armando -big tent democrat (wasn’t he a walmart lawyer) mocking Sanders supports for being happy to win W VA. Armando said voters were racist to vote against O and they were equally racist to vote for the jewish socialist….. These were the lefty snarks at the neoliberals.

      1. Strangely Enough

        Overpriced spectacle where the spectators choose their sides and have little effect on the outcome of the actual contest.

        And, now sport…

  4. pretzelattack

    apparently it is now super duper important that bernie drops out before he wins oregon and california, cause trump.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Granted that the NYT story sounds like they are trying to make a story out of little or nothing, why exactly should Sanders supporters now dedicate themselves to defeating Trump. This is exactly what the Marxists were complaining about at the start; that Bernie would eventually be used to bring the wayward sheep back into the fold. Don’t these people understand that this is exactly why people get so cynical about politics; that no matter what people try to do to break from the duopoly, the insiders always close ranks to keep the rotten system (and their jobs!) intact?

      1. cwaltz

        I intend to dedicate myself to eating popcorn.

        Karma is a bitch and Hillary and her surrogates are due.

      2. Massinissa

        Sometimes the dogs dont eat the dogfood. According to Surveys about 1/3 of Sanders supporters say they will vote trump, and at least a few more simply wont vote for Hill.

        Of course, that means at least half of Sanders supporters will still vote Shillary in November…

  5. allan

    Not just Macy’s: Nordstrom profit plunges as its mall stores see declining sales

    Nordstrom could not escape the woes bedeviling the apparel retail sector as the company reported first-quarter profit far below both last year’s level and Wall Street’s expectations.

    The company Thursday said profit for the quarter was $46 million, down 64 percent from $128 million a year ago, while revenues were barely ahead of last year’s first quarter. Nordstrom attributed the profit plunge to lower-than-expected sales volume and higher markdowns.

    A major source of the sales falloff was in Nordstrom’s pride and joy: its full-line brick-and-mortar stores. Sales at Nordstrom’s stores open at least a year dropped 7.7 percent compared with a year ago. Its off-price Nordstrom Rack stores held up better, with sales dropping just 0.8 percent.

    It’s almost as if their customers don’t have enough disposable income
    and have maxed out their credit cards or something.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      It’s almost as if their customers don’t have enough disposable income
      and have maxed out their credit cards or something.

      Ha Ha. Exactly what I was thinking.

      I mean, who knew that actually having to pay for all those pretty things in all those pretty stores could be a problem? It’s almost as if that whole supply and demand thing needs a little “income” to make it work.

      1. Steve C

        My credit card was maxed out. I sold my car and paid it off. The American Dream. Car free in DC.

    2. HBE

      This is the kind of thing that happens when long term planning amounts to a year (yes you heard that right in business schools today 1 year is considered loong term) and operationally you never really look further ahead than the next quarter.

      This general lack of any long term analysis and foresight will and is creating blowback. It makes you nimble and adaptable quarter to quarter until there is no longer any options left to adapt to, and then you’re facked.

      This is why most business is against a $15 minimum wage. They see it as hurting their balance sheet this quarter (or they are so leveraged they can’t outlast even the most minor shock), and don’t have the long term ability to see it would be a Boone to future consumption levels after the initial shock.

      Capitalism (socialism for Corporations)is a vampire squid committing suicide by gorging itself on it’s last source of nourishment (consumers).

      1. portia

        you know, by “leveraged”–does that now mean that the investment money has been absconded to some offshore haven? I think yes, that is why nothing is ever delevereged. Whatever happened to the term for unlevereged debt???

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        I asked a business school professor once how long the average executive on the move stays in one position and he said 12-24 months, with most at least starting to look to move on after 12 months. To me, that explained a lot.

        1. Massinissa

          Why care about the company next year if you arnt there next year? And the employees at the bottom who dont have that kind of mobility get screwed by short sightedness. Modern Capitalism is, for whatever reason, currently not working (if it ever did).

    3. jrs

      Also they may not have enough time to shop even if they did have income (thus online shopping takes large chunks of their business). American capitalism has reached the height of absurdity, where you are worked so hard you don’t even have time to be a good little consumer, at least not in actual bricks and mortar.

  6. Bunk McNulty

    The NY Times charts the decline of the middle class, attributes same to “…a mix of technological change and globalization rewarding those people whose jobs can’t be outsourced or automated: high-skilled and low-skilled workers.” Because globalization is just a natural, inevitable development. Or, if you prefer, the hand of God.

      1. ambrit

        Until you hit that pesky iceberg that just wouldn’t get out of the way! Then you’ve turned that shiny, pretty ocean liner into a pile of junk.

        1. nippersdad

          Continuing the metaphor: I have been pretty impressed, this was a pretty well built ocean liner. That it could be rammed into an iceberg, backed up and rammed again, and again, and again and still be afloat in spite of all of the water we have taken on says a lot about those who built it. They just don’t make ’em like they used to.

          We need better captains.

          1. Brindle

            “World is flat” guy expounds on the neoliberal dilemma facing gazelles and lions:

            —“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle, or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better start running.”—

            1. JTMcPhee

              Brindle — Just to expand on your offering:

              Unlike our Ruling Class, lions don’t eat every day, and in the complexity of their ecology, their appetites have many negative feedback regulators.

              And of course lions may not be aware that no matter how fast they run, they can’t outpace a full-metal-jacket 7.62x39mm round zipping along at 2,350 feet per second, from the ubiquitous AK, which among all the other weapons that the shites who spread the tools (and models) of violence, what have been called the “real weapons of mass destruction,” even by some writer for the Washington Post (2006 version): Simple, rugged, cheap to build, a peasant with a few hand tools can build one. Spread all over, everywhere, as part of the global demolition catalyzed by that fraction of us humans that lives for the profit and fun of the Great Game and neoliberalism.

              So “poaching” with assault weapons is extinguishing lions and tigers and bears and elephants and other large mammals, reducing them to bush meat and “marketable trophies,” along with the little polyps in their bleaching shells on the coral reefs that are part of the food chain and chemistry that feeds us and gives us oxygen to breathe.

              (“Poaching” is an interesting term — it implies “illegal taking” of something legally owned by others — but there’s damned little of a legal system or system of government in the places where the “poached” species are being taken, and huge, YOOOGE, demand for tiger testicles and spleens and elephant ivory and the hands and heads of great apes and hides and all the rest — everything but the scream,” and that’s not even true — Great Hunters get off on the death cries of what they kill.)

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              And when a few big banks were near extinction, they ran back to the omnipotent creator of money for protection.

              All that money offered to their god, Mammon, for all those years, had finally paid off.

              When you God had come through like that, more will convert to the faith.

  7. Brooklin Bridge

    HuffPo’s splash shows a Hillary/Warren ticket. I suspect Warren, like Sanders, would have something to say about that, as in – over my dead body, but just the thought of it…


    This is no doubt a shameless effort to float a trial balloon as a way to nudge Warren behind the back.

    Almost certain that the comments section for that story fantasy has been edited to exclude eye roll comments regarding what a hopeless mismatch that would be for Warren.

    1. Jim A

      I could easily see Hillary putting Warren in the warm bucket of spit that is the vice presidency. OTOH I could imagine Bernie giving her real power by appointing her secretary of the treasury, and it is inconceivable that Hillary would do that.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I think this is a massive headfake to undermine Sanders in the upcoming states. I’m really appalled that Ryan Grim is allowing himself to be played this way.

      No way does Clinton want Warren.

      1. Warren has serious negatives for Hillary. She would

      – Scare off Wall Street money which she wants and keeps seeking

      – Be too much of an independent actor

      2. Warren does nothing where Hillary needs to shore up her campaign in the general, which is

      – Swing states, most important the Midwest

      – Hispanics. They are not a unified bloc and a lot of them are not all that liberal

      The whole Clinton/Obama philosophy has been to throw the left under the bus, and that’s been very successful. She figures that she’ll get them by default with Trump. Why does she need to cater to them? The only time is between now and the California primary.

      1. Jim A

        I’m not as sure….close and powerless might be just where Clinton would want Warren. Which is why I can’t see Warren accepting.

          1. Brindle

            Julian Castro HUD Sec is a likely choice. Interesting that he was an intern in the Bill Clinton WH—wonder his views on Bill’s sexual harassment of Monica?

          2. Massinissa

            5$ says she gets an Evangelical Republican to try and get center-right voters from Trump. Or if not an evangelical then someone like Lindsay Graham.

      2. James Levy

        As Senators go I could do a lot worse than Warren, but I think she is at most a regional and Beltway personality and way too many pundits (denizens of the Beltway) overstate her importance (because she can and has touched a nerve among the insiders).

        Clinton needs the equivalent of pre-disgrace Colin Powell if she is to increase her perhaps 50-50 chance of gaining the White House. Such people are in short supply. The only one who springs to mind in perhaps Sonia Sotomayor (if by some miracle she could pry her from the bench). Sotomayor is moderately liberal, has a great backstory, and seems like a nice lady. If Trump attacked her (and he can’t help himself) he’d look like a bully and a jerk to women swing voters already uneasy about his “hell, sure I’ll put an anti-choice guy on the Supreme Court.” But Clinton lacks the imagination to think that far out of the box, and we have no real precedent for anyone leaving the SC to run for office (like Chase, Taft, and Warren, it’s always the other way around).

      3. Brooklin Bridge

        Agreed. I had a visceral reaction and saw it from Warren’s pov, but you’re right, it makes no sense from Hillary’s perspective either. Head fake to steal wind from Sanders? Nudge for Clinton (and Warren)? Your guess makes more sense, but as to Ryan Grim, I’m a little surprised you give him the credit of being appalled.

        Regardless, HuffPo is positively giddy with being able to focus on Hillary.

      4. nippersdad

        I read somewhere that Warren had been in talks early on with Biden about a VP slot in his campaign; an idea which has recently been resurrected with the idea of a Biden parachute drop when Clinton fails to clinch the ticket. As there is little difference between Biden and Clinton, one has to wonder how unlikely the idea of politically neutering her whilst gaining Progressive cred by giving her the VP spot really is. Kind of like letting her build a consumer protection agency but not letting her lead it.

        Sounds plausible to me. The question is why she ever talked to Biden in the first place. Surely she has learned the political dynamics of a veal pen by now.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Biden spoke to her, but Warren by allying with Bankruptcy Biden would only destroy her credibility after railing against credit card companies who were represented in the Senate by Joe Biden. The GOP would crush Warren if she did this.

          1. nippersdad

            Absolutely! Credibility is the coin of the realm for her constituencies, and she would quickly go bankrupt were she to publicly entertain the idea of VP for either of them. Clinton may not want Warren, but she is going to have to have someone that is Warrenesque in order to triangulate the left flank she has lost.

            So who will the Judas be? My money is on Sherrod Brown.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Clinton could hurt but be salvaged by a call for party unity, but Bankruptcy Biden would be such a direct challenge to Warren’s brand Warren couldn’t justify it. Clinton is to Brown what Biden is to Warren. It would destroy Brown’s brand when the GOP attack machine kicked into high gear. Can you trust Brown on trade? He’s failed to stop these agreements while raising millions for free trade supporters.

              Brown’s national standing revolves around opposing Bill Clinton on NAFTA.

              1. nippersdad

                And yet he is standing behind someone he knows perfectly well will find a way to heave TPP, TSIP, TTIP and various assorted other “trade deals” over the finish line if she gets the slightest chance. All of her rhetoric aside, she proved that with the Panama/Columbia and Korean trade deals.

                His credibility is already in question.

              2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Hilary is in a pickle and so needs some pickled strategies to win, she can’t have an anti-NAFTA or anti-Wall St VP since that just exposes and defines the differences with her core positions and votes on those issues (“TPP is the gold standard” etc).
                Political judo would mean it would be smarter to pick Lindsay Graham or somebody like that, use the opponent’s strength. The so-called “Left” is either so hypnotized by “woman-ism” by now (and will vote for her no matter what) or is so cynical about her that choosing a “pander-to-the-Left” VP won’t get many votes. Trump is trying to flank her Left on some issues and she probably needs to try and counter-flank him. Maybe a mis-direction move, like Jeff Bezos or somebody, a crony capitalist who could gain popular adulation while being “the strong voice of business and entrepreneurship”. A nice synthesis of State and Corporation, 2-pronged attack to conquer the world, deflate some of Donald’s “but I’m a good businessman” schtick.

      5. aab

        In the past week or so, Warren has started tweeting out statements that very, very closely align with Clinton campaign talking points. The anti-Trump ones could have been coincidental, as he had attacked her with (of course) those old racist slurs about her ancestry, in addition to general “she’s a crazy librul” ones.

        But then she moved on to stuff I cannot explain in any other way than intentionally buttressing Clinton. She had one claiming that unemployment among whites is low, much higher among blacks and Latinos — only the latter is a problem, according to her. She must know that’s nonsense. Yes, it’s higher among minorities, but this “whites are doing great!” line is false, and designed to herd minorities to Clinton. All the numbers were wrong. She said unemployment among whites was 4%, and a big whopping 9% for minorities. I have never worshiped at the Elizabeth Warren shrine, but I thought she was better than that.

        It’s been a notable change in her messaging. Whatever is going on (I doubt Clinton would offer her VP, and I doubt she would take it; Biden rightly may understand he needs her, but I can’t imagine she’d be that dumb — but then, what she is doing right now seems pretty dumb to me) she seems to be pivoting to helping Clinton.

      6. Waldenpond

        Progressive image of a person that was a republican well into her 40s may help attract the moderate Rs which seem to be Clinton’s target.

    3. polecat

      Since when was the Huffinpuff in any way truly and rationally progressive in it’s reporting and editorializing……and not just a money engine for Arianna and Co. …………..


    4. Benedict@Large

      The late talk on Warren is that if Biden replaces Hillary as the nominee, Warren will be named VP to placate the Sanders crowd. Jeebus, are these people clueless.

  8. Robert Callaghan

    The Perfect Shitstorm

    We are going to elect the most dangerous leaders in world history, while the world is more exposed to the most danger in world history. We are facing interminable war, as well as irreversibly unstoppable runaway climate heating and mass extinction. If you look up “existential threat” in the dictionary, you will see a photo of me.

    Many Christians believe the U.S. government will lock them up in FEMA camps while a New Gay Order is imposed upon the world. The NGO will include carbon taxes and a world currency.

    Believe me, I cut grass in a trailer park so I know all about the perfect confluence of people and shit storms.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I am banning you for link-whoring, You’ve done it twice on this thread alone. And I am ripping out your links. This is as violation of our written policies, and you have been warned in the past.

      1. polecat

        I’m sorry Ives, but I feel compelled to utter my perfunctory response to Mr. C: “WEEEREALLLGONNAADIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      New Gay Order?!!

      I, for one, will welcome these New Gay MOTU with open arms.

  9. Jim A

    I’ve been saying for years that if efficiency was the issue, airlines should charge for carry-ons and not checked baggage. Because it’s the carry-ons that slow aircraft turnaround, not checked bags.

    1. Pavel

      Hear, hear!

      Somehow they manage to do this right in Japan. I’ve seen fully-loaded 747s board in 15-20 minutes out of Tokyo airports and depart promptly on time. This is mainly because the vast majority of Japanese don’t insist on taking large bags on wheels plus one or two other bags and then fight to cram them into limited overhead locker space. There aren’t the extra delays when bags end up needed to be “gate checked” or whatever they call it at the last minute.

      (There is also a wonderful delivery service called YAMATO, along with competitors. At airports and hotels one can arrange delivery of large bags (or small, for that matter) for $20 or $30 to one’s next destination (e.g. another hotel), where they arrive in a day or two. Of course this is much easier to do in a country the size of Japan.)

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      Stating the obvious, it’s not about efficiency. It’s about pleasing business travelers who don’t want to have to check bags or wait at baggage claim and are willing (or their employers are) to pay for their “free” carry-ons in the ticket price. Thus … super long waits at TSA. Another example of rational absurdity. I mean a “collective action problem.”

  10. craazyboy

    “Fed too ‘white and male’, say Democrats Financial Times. I’d take this more seriously if the Dems cared at all about how the Fed failed to see the crisis coming, defended the banks rather than reforming them, and engineered a flagging recovery whose main accomplishment is greatly exacerbating wealth and income inequality. Gender mix is small beer compared to that, but Team Dem cares only about optics and identity politics. ”

    Maybe transgender bathrooms at the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building ?

    1. ambrit

      But, but, how would you know what variety of public servant one would end up with after the twisty, turny foot signal was responded to? Talk about ‘tail risk!’

        1. ambrit

          I earnestly implore forgiveness for the following: Since we are talking about the banking sector, this can be marketed under the rubric of “Buns of Steal.”

      1. polecat

        I think williambanzai7 has a handle on that question….just check out some of his B. Bernake imagery!!

        It’s a hoot!

    2. James Levy

      This is all born out of the stupid idea that a person’s race or gender (or, nota bene, class) somehow MUST influence the way they think in a positive, “progressive” way, so if you just put women in there they are bound to do nice things.

      I like the movie “Lawrence of Arabia” for a bunch of reasons, but mostly because of the way it portrays the Arab characters. They are allowed to be people. Not perfect, sometimes cruel and sometimes good, but people. One of the worst things about the PC Police is their refusal to see people while seeing types. Women are kind and nurturing. Blacks are “authentic’ and “creative.” Native Americans are “noble” and “live in harmony” with their environment.

      Well, some women, blacks, and Indians are those things. And some are just creeps, crooks, and self-serving assholes. So the idea that we need specific individuals committed to specific policies in these jobs, and not generic “women” or “blacks” or some other notion of diversity eludes the people who write crap like “the Fed is too whitey-white.”

      1. Bullwinkle

        Good comment. And I’m picking up more and more anti-white (not to mention ageist) remarks at many of the websites I read.

        1. ambrit

          Agreed. Working from the idea that fear is driving much of the ‘offensive,’ in more ways than one, comments, I see this phenomenon as a sign of societal stress. The worse conditions become, the more urgent and strident the externalization becomes.

          1. Waldenpond

            Agreed also… it’s the angst of the neoliberal elites… the more elites steal, the more the peasants complain, the more the elites pound on identity distractions… round and round it goes.

      2. art yerkes

        as a counterpoint though, a sort of inertia based invisible privilege does exist in our country. sometimes the identity thing is about getting people who see it in a place to fix it.

        1. dk

          But do identity classes actually fix invisible privilege, or do they just re-codify it, without fixing what’s wrong with it?

          What’s wrong with it being its abuse.

          And further, one of the bases of that abuse is that invisibility of privilege, in a supposedly egalitarian culture. When a privileged person claims the me-too protection (“All lives matter!”, “She’s so warm and charming in person!”), they’re dodging the responsibilities that privilege carries with it. Privilege has to be held to account, when it boils down to a free pass for screwing up, it has become fundamentally corrupt.

    3. polecat

      …..Fed too ‘bankster and corrupt’, say Polecat………

      and that goes for ‘Team Dem’ as well……..

  11. allan

    `Bernie Bro’ behavior offends across the board [USA Today]

    (Interestingly, USA Today toned down the headline above, used in print and the USAT main page,
    to `Hillary Clinton, no fan of ‘Bernie Bros,’ could use their energy vs. Trump’ on the article page.)

    They’re the unsanctioned shock troops of Bernie Sanders’ vaunted online army, digital rogues who’ve plagued Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid and embarrassed Sanders’ campaign.

    “Bernie Bros’’ are the frequently misogynist and occasionally obscene Internet denizens who in posts and tweets have relentlessly derided Clinton (“Shillary’’) as too old, too compromised and/or too much of a card-carrying female to be president.

    Stated as reality since, as Prof. K. would say, reality has a well-known center-left bias.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I need to find the report, but this meme is a flat out lie. Clinton supporters have been rated as more aggressive than Sanders’.

      This is pure Clinton authoritarian followership: any challenge to her divine right to rule is by definition abusive.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        “This is pure Clinton authoritarian followership: any challenge to her divine right to rule is by definition abusive

        I second this statement. The only place I regularly read pro-Bernie commenters is the letters section of the New York Times, which is no left coast youth haven. The tone of Sanders’ supporters in that venue is often exuberant, but it is never as supercilious as that of the Clintonistas.

        The sense of exasperated, peevish entitlement that wafts off Clinton’s supporters there is truly amazing. In its scope, and in its blind arrogance. On occasion, after I read a few of their screeds, I think seriously about voting for that painted orange freak with the cornsilk toupee.

        1. Massinissa

          Well, according to the people who write those screeds, not voting or voting 3rd party is voting for Trump too, so you could always do one of those instead, especially the 3rd party one :P

          Remember folks, a vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Trump! *eyeroll*

    2. diptherio

      It’s almost like they have just recently discovered the internet. There are mean, bigoted people on-line with political opinions??? NO!

    3. craazyboy

      Just wait until the Republican Swampland kicks into full gear in the General!

      They’re gonna have fond memories of the Bernie Bros.

    4. nippersmom

      Of course, there was nothing offensive about the Correct the Record mercenaries posting kiddie porn on Sanders-related FB pages to get them shut down. The screaming hypocrisy of these people is amazing to behold.

    5. LMS

      Unless the offensive Bernie Brothers are employed by the Sanders campaign or actively volunteering, or they have given generously enough to Bernie’s campaign to suggest their authenticity, we cannot know for sure that they are truly Bernie supporters. The Clinton team does not ignore them, but rather points out their misogynistic and otherwise inappropriate comments in an effort to discredit Bernie, get sympathy for Hillary, and galvanize women voters for HRC. How do we know that the worst of them aren’t the work of team Clinton?

    6. Lambert Strether

      I’d speculate that a lot of this is 20%-ers, accustomed to deference, venturing online and not getting it (in both senses). That, at a Big Lie propagated by the Clinton campaign.

      You’ll also notice that the sobriquet of choice — “Shillary” — has nothing to do with age or sex, as one might expect from these hypothetical bros, but corruption and untrustworthiness.

  12. MtnLife

    Tying up Russia’s nukes, war games, and Hillarys email leaks: Combine our new, smaller, “more usable” nuclear devices with Hillary’s history of saber rattling towards Russia and it makes sense that they would be considering releasing the hacked emails. For Russia, blackmail once in office wouldn’t be a very effective vehicle but keeping her from ever reaching office would do a lot to secure peace in the region. Any conflict in the region would go badly for NATO for the strategic reasons mentioned in the article, as well as Russia having a much shorter supply line which is what really wins prolonged conflicts, so the probability of those mini nukes getting used in a panic increases exponentially. Russia’s new ICBMs are simply a new deterrent to that possibility.

    1. nowhere

      The last couple of (editorial) lines in the RS-28 article:

      RS-28 is an example testifying to the fact that abandoning the ABM Treaty and implementing programs to gain superiority over Russia has not made America safer. Quite to the contrary, arms control is the best way to keep the threat away. Hopefully, the next US administration adopts more realistic approaches to the problems of nuclear security.

      I guess they aren’t hoping it’s Clinton.

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Teen with brain tumor barred from prom McClatchy (furzy)

    At a press conference Tuesday, Daley said she and her staff are examining how the decision was made, and figuring out how to prevent it in the future.

    Because you never know when you’ll need to face a critical existential educational crisis like “deciding” whether or not a student with a brain tumor who fell out of his wheelchair, broke his hip and had to miss three weeks of school for rehab should be allowed to go to the prom.

    Thank gawd this intrepid superintendent has a staff. No single human person should be required to shoulder such a grave responsibility all alone.

    OTOH, “groupthink” only works when members of the “group” can actually “think.” And the “solution” this particular group came up with tends to suggest that that is not the case here.

    Over the next two days, Frank Springer attempted to reach the district and determine what would be needed to allow Jared to attend prom. He was told it would be too difficult to arrange accommodations, and that if either Frank or Lori Springer wanted to attend to assist their son, they would have to provide a doctor’s note, undergo a TB test and background check, and set up a meeting with the district to develop an individualized education plan for Jared.

    I wonder if the “TB test” was the deal breaker.

    1. n

      Sounds like this jurisdiction may have left themselves open to a lawsuit under the ADA with that “too difficult to make accommodations” excuse.

      1. Waldenpond

        Sued anyway. They didn’t get tickets until just before the prom so were unable to comply with even the basic doctors note. The school would get sued if they provided a waiver and others weren’t given waivers, they would have been sued if anything happened to the injured person etc….

    2. nippersmom

      He was told it would be too difficult to arrange accommodations,
      That feeble-sounding excuse may have left the district open to a lawsuit under the ADA.

    3. cwaltz

      I was reading last week that they barred an autistic teen from attending prom because he was taking his 24 year old sister. She was “too old.” All I could think of was why not consider her a “personal” chaperone to the kid? I mean are we seriously threatened by the idea that a special needs kid having the same type of experience as the kids who get to be “normal” 365 days a year? It wasn’t like she was going to be the ONLY adult there.

  14. portia

    “our Richard Smith”: LOL, good one. that comment sounded drunk to me.

    And, truthfully, I didn’t think “Congressman X” was saying anything new. Is anyone really worried? Or do they just not think the general public is on to them?

  15. DJG

    I with that Brazil had a better destiny than the tender mercies of the New York TImes:

    Today’s e-blast:


    Michel Temer, Brazil’s Interim President, May Herald Shift to the Right
    Mr. Temer’s first pick for science minister was a creationist, and he is the first Brazilian leader in decades to have no women in his cabinet.

    What subtle analysis.

    Does Simon Romero even speak Portuguese? Or is he some all-purpose Latino? (Too bad that the Brazilians don’t consider themselves “Latinos.” Brazil is its own unique planet.)

    Dare I mention that the creationist science minister is an instance of the continuing deleterious influence of U.S. evangelical / fundi sects throughout Latin America, well documented since Penny Lernoux in the late 1970s?

    I wish that Brazil had a better destiny than the tender mercies of U.S. religious insanity.

    1. RWood

      “Mr. Temer’s offer of the science ministry to Marcos Pereira, an evangelical pastor who does not believe in evolution, also fizzled. He named Mr. Pereira trade minister instead. Then, to the dismay of leaders in Brazil’s scientific community, Mr. Temer merged the ministries of science and communications.”

    2. RabidGandhi

      Romero is fluent in Brasilian Portuguese and lived in São Paulo before taking over the NYT bureau there. He is also a total hack: a relentless defender of the Washington Consensus and a stalwart enemy of the governments in LatAm that have varied from it.

    3. Lambert Strether

      I saw a photo pass by on the Twitter of a ginormous rally of agricultural workers from the Northeast.

      Is there any English-language source we can go to for a corrective view of what we’ll see in the Times?

      1. RabidGandhi

        The press is even worse down here than it is up there, so there’s not much.

        That said there is Telesur English, but it’s very limited and definitely sticks to a Chavista narrative. At least theyve been covering the whole drama pretty closely from a different perspective.

        Also, a couple of decent Twitterers in English:
        Alex Cuadros
        Colin Docherty

  16. portia

    and about insect “consciousness”–everything , according to Native American, Toltec, etc, has consciousness, even rocks. humans tend to believe that if something does not operate on their frequency or use what is recognized as “language” by humans, they are not conscious. We miss so much this way. but it does make it easier to kill and dissect to find the answers, which is totally unnecessary, and ultimately tells us nothing about “consciousness” and ability to communicate, and what we could learn about our stupendous and beautiful planet from the point of view of other life forms. It is so bizarre to me to be so anxious to explore beyond Earth when we don’t know the first thing about where we are living now.

    1. craazyboy

      So true. Rocks are the dominant lifeform on Mars and the Moon. The reason we haven’t found any buildings those places is because rocks believe buildings are a form of slavery. Rocks yearn to be free.

        1. RWood

          From Pilgrim At Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard:
          Martin Buber (quoting an old Hasid master)
          When you walk across the fields with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones, and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you.

        2. craazyboy

          Our golems were not so lucky. Man enslaved the golems – using them to be cobblestone roads, buildings and even churches! To a golem, being used in Church construction is like being sent to Guatmo.

          Jeff Bezos has a secret plan to startup Olympus He intends to use Martian Golems as slave warehouse labor. We must protest this planned solar rock abuse by our billionaires. When will they ever have enough???

          1. portia

            the answer is never–however–comfort yourself that Bezos the hooman is mortal. all this fussing is his screaming in protest at his mortality–in vain

    2. Roger Smith

      In the world of religions, Native American practices, to me, the structural atheist (my current term for a complete lack of belief in any of the establish religious structures and all levels of orthodoxy, though having belief in a broader dimensional, ultra-conscious understanding of life) seem to be the closest to what I think “religion” or metaphysics and existence is really about. They seem show a recognition of a multi-perspective and multi-dimensional understanding that larger, more power oriented, patriarchal institutions (as if power was not stated already) completely ignore. The connection and consideration many Native American beliefs seem to have to and for all things is more closely related to my hypothetical framework.

      In light of religious history, it is no wonder humans pine for space exploration. Lower beings be damned, they want to be closer to their savior(s), their creator(s) (ala Pyramids) It is rather pathological. That is not to say I am against space exploration. I think both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial considerations are necessary.

      1. portia

        I happen to believe that if people who think they must build rocket ships to reach other worlds would just open their minds, they would find that everything is “right here”.

          1. JTMcPhee

            “People,” the ones who “matter” because they have the knack of accumulation and ruling others, are not surprisingly pretty much exactly like the alien species one of our Hollywood franchises, “Independence Day,” displays for us — the critters in those huge black interstellar space ships and those insanely quick fighter craft, with their group mind bent on zipping from one planet to another, bent on using it up after killing off all the sentient inhabitants. I missed what those aliens planned to extract from our home planet — oil, maybe? Gold? “Rare Earth elements” that ought to be abundant in asteroid space without the need to face getting killed or out-coded by puny humans and presumably less successfully warlike creatures on other prior conquest-and-loot planets around other stars?

            1. portia

              it’s all people attending the movie would be able to absorb as plausible. oil, precious metals. LOL.

            2. nowhere

              Part of why I’ve had a bit of agreement with the Machines in the Matrix series.

              Agent Smith – “I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.”

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                What makes humans a cancer on this planet, and not, say chimps?

                Chimps are tool users like us.

                Bipedal as well.

                What is it then?

                I suggest its our high IQ.

                Our ability to understand and apply math and physics. While dolphins have large brains, they don’t do linear algebra or quantum mechanics.

                1. portia

                  High IQ? measured by humans, of course. bwahahahaha. we call ourselves smart because we can describe stuff. my head hurts

            3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              Let’s kick the tires and light the fires, Big Daddy!

              – Harry Connick Jr.

              ID4 happens to hold a special place in the formative years of my film watching.

        1. polecat

          They despise that kind of openness………they’ed rather remain closed minded……hence the rockets !!

    3. Elliot

      Or just, you know, pay attention to the insects one meets in daily life: the spider who grabs up her egg sac to get it out of rising water, the mantis who turns his head to gaze at you as you walk by, the ant that flinches and writhes when incompletely stepped upon.

      I mean, why wouldn’t insects have consciousness? Sure, it’s probably not a lot like ours, with our bigger nerve centers & longer time as infants to grow the brain, but the idea that because they are not vertebrates they haven’t got consciousness is down to human arrogance.

      People used to say animals didn’t feel pain; heck, when I was a youngster people said human infants didn’t feel pain, and that was why there wasn’t anesthesia in circumcision. Of course, if you work in a hospital and hear the howling of the baby being circumcised, you know different.

      1. polecat

        I gotta give a big affirmative to that! ………I happen to like, among many non-humans,…… jumping spiders! They are the coooolest (arachnids, I know) things around……Did you know that you can handle one without ever(well …. mostly never)being bitten. If they decide not to play, they just say later…..and hop somewhere else…..fascinating creatures….among a multitude of fascinating living things!

        …..As far as consciousness among insects, much of it I’m sure, relies a lot on pheromone/chemical reactions…….certainly is true regarding honeybee activity, of which I’m most familiar……

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Ryan is a moron and even blander than he is stupid. He would never be this clever. He’s Speaker because the teabagger congressmen feel he is one of them and the blue bloods feel they can control him. Ryan was selected to make Romney look better by comparison.

          This is Trump thumbing his nose at the GOP establishment. Bezos is a major GOP donor. The most anti-Republican activity Bezos has ever done was shoot an elephant.

          1. sleepy

            I had to laugh when I read that Ryan dragged in all sorts of graphs and charts to the meeting in order to sell Trump on austerity and slashing entitlements. Seemed sort of high school and hucksterish to me. I don’t know what Trump knows or doesn’t know, or what his position is on the budget, but I do think he knows an earnestly amateur sales job when he sees it.

            After all, Trump is familiar with the nature of pro formas he’s included on every single deal he’s ever made and knows they’re for consumption by the pigeons.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Trump is like that Japanese folk tale character, Kintaro. From Wiki:

        He was bossy to other children (or there simply were no other children in the forest), so his friends were mainly the animals of Mt. Kintoki and Mt. Ashigara. He was also phenomenally strong, able to smash rocks into pieces, uproot trees, and bend trunks like twigs. His animal friends served him as messengers and mounts, and some legends say that he even learned to speak their language. Several tales tell of Kintarō’s adventures, fighting monsters and demons, beating bears in sumo wrestling, and helping the local woodcutters fell trees.

        1. polecat

          Trump…the Thunder God…. Beating his drum, for all to hear…..whether they want to…or not !!

    1. JohnnyGL

      OMG!!! Trump finds new rules to break!!!

      “This (Washington Post) is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos, who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise. He’s using the Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed,” Trump said.

      “He’s using the Washington Post … for political purposes to save Amazon in terms of taxes and in terms of antitrust,” Trump said.

      “He thinks I’ll go after him for antitrust. Because he’s got a huge antitrust problem because he’s controlling so much, Amazon is controlling so much of what they are doing,” Trump said.

      Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        OMG is right – we don’t know what to say or wonder if it’s all Kabuki.

        We can only wish Sanders could be this, er, aggressive.

        Trump doesn’t just say this or that trade deal is bad, he says he will make this or that company come back from Mexico, and the image is one of greedy corporations, on their knees, begging workers’ forgiveness when they return to towns and need experienced people.

        He also has other billionaire supporters.

        That doesn’t mean they are to be trusted, but it shows division within the 0.01%.

        That, to me, is a good sign.

        1. cwaltz

          It appears in our new feudal future that the jester is perhaps the most effective at delivering the message to the masses.

  17. JohnnyGL

    Sanders picking up steam in the rolling reuters polls again. He’s now flat-out crushing independents and seems to be closing the gap on “likely dem primary voters” and “likely general election voters”, though he’s got some work to do there.

    If Clinton keeps having more weeks like this one….it’s not going to take long.

  18. Vatch

    Jon Stewart perfectly diagnosed the problem with Hillary Clinton’s candidacy

    Part of what Stewart said about Clinton:

    Maybe a real person doesn’t exist underneath there.

    The Anatman (Anatta) Doctrine!

      1. Brindle

        The famous March 13, 1997 UFO sighting around Phoenix, AZ occurred during the Clinton presidency. The activity in AZ was just a feint or diversion—the real action that night took place in Washington, DC,…..

    1. Roger Smith

      It turns out it was not Trump but Cruz who was the Clinton plant! “Make them think he is the lizard person,” they said.

  19. Mav

    Does anyone remember Adam Davidson – the Planet Money hack who whispers sweet lies into our ears on behalf of sponsor Ally Bank?

    Good news is that he is now paired with Adam McKay (Director of “Big Short”). Even more interesting is McKay’s description of Davidson in one of the podcasts :)

    As a bonus, listen to the whole podcast for the history behind Chumbawamba.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        We eventually at some level want our leaders to be sentient human beings…that photo of Hilary does not qualify her in that group.
        The expression on her face is smug, above, everything you’d expect. It shows steely determination, maybe in this case just a determination to do effective shopping. But it’s also lifeless, the kind of gaze you see on JFK’s corpse lying naked with his head back on a stainless steel table. Or the face of some kind of lifeless automaton, with a set of very bad instructions in its operating system.
        Either way, it’s not a human, it’s a monster.

  20. allan

    Bernie Sanders is making Democrats look stupid [Markewatch]

    Senator’s presidential bid jeopardizes 40 years of liberal progress

    Bernie Sanders is stalking the presidential nomination of a party he doesn’t belong to.

    Even as Hillary Clinton grinds out the Democratic bid, it’s now fashionable to congratulate the socialist — for the issues he raises, and the salutary ways he pulls Clinton toward left-leaning millennials, saving the earth and economic justice.

    Well, bull. Sanders’s campaign has been a disaster for Democrats … Democrats have spent 40 years recovering from their 1972 presidential landslide loss, and the last 15 years branding themselves as the “reality-based community” while labeling Republicans the “stupid party.” Yet Democrats just can’t quit a candidate whose immunity to evidence, history, fact, and science rivals former President George W. Bush at his worst. …As Sanders’s campaign undermines liberalism’s hard-won edge, it sets back both the causes and people liberalism wants to help.

    Better concern trolls, please.

    1. Massinissa

      When he says 40 years of Liberal progress, he really means 40 years of Neoliberal progress. So, he is sort of telling half a truth!

      1. cwaltz

        When someone says progress, I always ask myself progress for whom?

        The DNC has helped the 1% amass wealth, the rest of us notsomuch.

    2. Strangely Enough

      As for the banks, Sanders won’t let go of the hobbyhorse that the size of U.S. banks, and letting banks own investment banks, caused 2008’s financial crisis. That was debunked years ago — subprime-mortgage defaults first swamped specialty mortgage banks, even savings and loans. (Say it ain’t so, George Bailey!). No mega-commercial bank was even threatened by its investment-banking arm.


  21. Jim Haygood

    In the developing scandal of the Clinton Foundation’s largesse to a private company owned by Democratic insiders, the NY Post’s cover picks up on a classic Clinton trope that we all remember so well from the Nineties. See for yourself:

    Not that anyone cares about the Clintons’ largely separate lives, united only by business considerations of grifting and the permanent campaign. But their tawdry domestic pathology has been playing out for forty years now. Time to pull the plug on this soap opera series; the viewers are losing interest.

    1. fresno dan

      Ah, the good old days.
      If not for the tawdry entertainment during the poorer times, what will we have for amusement?

  22. Bev

    New Evidence Points to Saudi-9/11 Link, Battle Lingers Over Redacted Papers Sputnik (Chuck L)

    Do you think the papers include the following article from BBC as well as what that implies, which is who’re the conspirators now:

    Hijack ‘suspects’ alive and well

    Another of the men named by the FBI as a hijacker in the suicide attacks on Washington and New York has turned up alive and well.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      One commentator said that “prying open the truth of 9/11 would change the whole world and rewrite history as we know it”.
      The evidence is all there in plain view: I mean just how much irrefutable evidence can you decide to ignore and still have a claim to participating in some form of collective objective reality?
      The “plane crash” at the Pentagon: where’s the plane? The “plane crash” in Pennsylvania, where the coroner arrived within 20 minutes but then left after just 20 minutes because “there were no bodies and there was no plane”.
      But it’s a truth that no one is prepared to admit because it strikes to the very heart of our entire national myth and narrative. Turns out “the home of the brave” is not so brave after all, we prefer the subjective form of reality that lets us all keep feeling good about our country and our leaders over the actual objective one.

      1. petal

        Exactly. They are protecting the incumbents from primary challengers. Heaven forfend! Choke it off at the start so that it can never get going.

  23. fresno dan

    New Evidence Points to Saudi-9/11 Link, Battle Lingers Over Redacted Papers Sputnik (Chuck L)

    This is one of those things that is the best evidence that the US government is captured by money and/or idiocy.

    It is understandable, although reprehensible, that Bush oil ties may be the reason to look the other way at the plethora of evidence implicating Saudi acquiescence, if not active involvement in the 9/11 attack.
    But why Obama??? I think the most reasonable explanation is that the foreign policy deep state cabal just believes, for no reason other than that is what they have believed since time immemorial, that Saudi Arabia is a vital (VITAL I tells ya!) linchpin in our never ending war against the pinko menace. New boss exactly the same as the old boss…

    Its as if we did lend/lease with the Germans during WWII, and we kept telling ourselves that it must be those British submarines that are sinking our ships….

    1. JSM

      Well, Saudi Arabia does wonderful things like: 1) reducing the price of oil to punish Putin for his rationality while destroying the economies of other members of this alleged ‘cartel,’ 2) provides money for phony rebels best known by other names in order to execute regime-change coups: 3) keeps such operations off budget 4) creates menaces for never ending war by financing Wahhabism, etc.

      But why Obama, indeed? Why John Kerry? What happens when they ‘get in there’?

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The answer is that they were always “in there”, remember that an infiltrator always looks for the best disguises, and a young, black “outsider” with a decent jump shot fit the bill very nicely.

      2. JustAnObserver

        5) form ever deeper ties with the Netanyu crazies of Israel since both evince a near psychotic desire to have a go at Iran. Currently only held in check by at least some level of sanity in the IDF

  24. fresno dan

    Dana Milbank swallows his pride and some newsprint CNN (furzy)

    Bernstein of Bloomberg gives some other reasons for getting it wrong:
    Bernstein: “Many other political scientists and I thought parties could affect, or even dominate, the information environment, so that voters would mainly hear good things about the party’s chosen candidate and bad things about the contenders it strongly opposed.

    I believed well into February that the saturation coverage for Donald Trump would give way to normal reporting once the primaries and caucuses began in earnest. That didn’t happen. As a result, voters never heard the cues from the party — information that was drowned out by the continuing focus on Trump. Even when some of that coverage was negative, it was still about Trump, meaning the other candidates never found their potential constituencies.

    Another factor was the Republican dysfunction. I’d long said the Republican Party was broken, but unlike Norman Ornstein, I didn’t think it would affect the nomination. After all, it hadn’t in 2012 and 2008. This time was different, as Ornstein predicted.”

    Well, if merely seeing Trump in media is what got him the votes for the nomination, than why in the hell do these people think Hillary will prevail in the fall?

    Every possible reason can be giving for Trump winning*, except that which cannot be spoken:
    voters are tired of war, rising inequality, and falling income.

    * As well as how well Sanders does, in which case he just isn’t spoken of at ALL. Funny how substantive issues can never be uttered in the MSM…almost like its some big conspiracy or somthin’

  25. fresno dan

    American Indian rock opera shines unflattering light on Calif. pioneer McClatchy (Chuck L)

    So when I moved to Sacramento, my apartment was 4 blocks from Sutter hospital, and across the street from the hospital was a reproduction of the original fort built by Sutter’s group that became Sacramento. Considering the man’s history, kind of amazing that still have a stature of him in front of the hospital – but on the other hand, they are plenty of much more famous but even worse characters in CA history…

    What is on display shows Sutter to be a thoroughly reprehensible character. It is indisputable that he abandoned a wife and children, and that he was a grifter, until he got involved in the more grandiose conquest of native lands. Some Karma, as more lawerly swindlers out swindled him…

  26. Left in Wisconsin

    Poor Wages Send A Third Of US Manufacturing Workers To Welfare Lines In Order To Pay For Food, Healthcare, Data Show International Business Times (furzy). Translation: manufacturers are getting massive subsidies so they can pay at below living-wage levels.

    Appalling of course but some of the numbers made me wonder:

    1. Even including perma-temps, they only came up with 5.8 million US mfg production workers, barely half the total manufacturing workforce. This seems too low.

    2. The study doesn’t provide employment numbers by sector so you can’t tell if there are big differences between sectors within manufacturing. Given that food processing is considered manufacturing, and that the worst offending states are in the south, I’m guessing that a lot of the very poor mfg workers are chicken pluckers and catfish processors. Not that they shouldn’t be paid better, but the overall narrative of the report is “look at how good manufacturing jobs have become crappy,” which AFAIK is not the case for southern food processing jobs.

    3. Wisconsin is listed as one of the states with the fewest percentage of mfg workers also receiving public benefits, even though the mfg sector here has been hollowed out and median mfg wages in the state are I believe less than the overall median and our social benefits, though cut way back in recent years, are still more generous than in the south. Which is to say that here, where on average mfg jobs have become crapified, their data implies otherwise.

    I think the better meme is “Look at how all (ok, most of) the good mfg jobs have left and now all we are left with are the crappy ones.”

  27. Chauncey Gardiner

    OilPrice article about Iran offering price discounts on sales of crude oil to Asian buyers that is damaging the Saudis announces in Big, Bold, Neon Lights that OPEC is Dead! If OPEC is dead, is the petrodollar also dying?… along with secondary implications?

  28. curldyan

    Interesting NYT opinion piece on the IDF–basically scolding the IDF for being too moral and not following the Netan-yahus and his “centrist” (aka right wing) yahoos. That’s right–ignore the guys and gals in the trenches. What do they know?

    1. James Levy

      Well, if you buy the obvious falsehood that Israel faces “existential threats” behind every sand dune it’s a lot easier to throw morality and decency out the window in the name of “national survival.” The fact that Israel holds absolute military predominance in the region has to be ignored/denied in order to keep the myth alive and the Palestinians under the boot-heel of the Jewish State (don’t blame me for that one–that’s what its leaders refer to it as).

  29. Cry Shop

    Texas Size Corruption
    The first criminal act was the politicians who over-rode safety regulations and allowed the plant and school to operate in proximity. Rhetorical question: Any chance those clowns will be investigated, much less convicted?

    The ammonium nitrate in West detonated after the fire had raged for about 20 minutes, investigators previously found. The blast left a crater 90 feet wide and at least 10 feet deep, and sent debris as far as 2 miles away. A federal report noted that the plant was about 550 feet from the closest school, which sustained catastrophic damage but was not in session at the time.

    China sets a trap
    As I’ve written in several earlier posts, the posturing in the South China Seas has much more to do with domestic politics than foreign policy. Xi JP wants 10 more years and to assume the powers of Mao. The only way he’s going to get that from the CCP leadership who are leary and weary is to set off a war with the West/USA and use the war as an excuse to declare war within the party to exterminate the resistance to him (sic: attack on Xi last month over Tibet, one road, one belt, etc).

    Nuclear deterrents means the US can’t possibly use that card, and in any war over body bags, China will always win in the long run. China’s economy is probably going to implode and what better fall guy than the USA.

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