Links 5/22/16

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Disproving Our Preconceived Notions of Animal Intelligence Truthout (furzy)

This Genius Made A Cheese Ball Machine Gun Huffington Post (furzy)

Scientists Say Nuclear Fuel Pools Pose Safety, Health Risks Slashdot (resilc)

Nuclear Shutdowns Could Ramp Up U.S. Carbon Emissions MIT Technology Review

Portugal runs for four days straight on renewable energy alone Guardian (resilc)

AI will create ‘useless class’ of human, predicts bestselling historian Guardian (Chuck L)

Google appeals French order for global ‘right to be forgotten’ Reuters (furzy)


Chinese officials ‘create 488m bogus social media posts a year’ Guardian (furzy)

In China’s New Austerity, Ghosts Now Haunt Government Offices WSJ China Real Time

Brazil: Temer Orders Military to Surround Residence of Dilma Rousseff teleSUR

France’s Guillotining of Global Free Speech Continues Lauren Weinstein’ (Chuck L)

Pensions crisis: millions of German must expect to face losses Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (German original here). Guurst: “Here in Holland practically the same situation>”


Treasury prepares to unleash final salvo in Brexit debate Telegraph

Osborne’s Nonsense Suggestion That Brexit Will Topple UK House Prices By 18% Forbes


IMF Lays Out Bleak Prospects for Greek Debt Without Restructuring Wall Street Journal

Greece: Creditors out to crush any trace of Syriza disobedience Defend Democracy

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

FBI Whistleblower Reveals Agency’s Use Of Hidden Microphones In Public Spaces Mint Express (Wat)

Imperial Collapse Watch

LBJ, Vietnam and the Political Costs of Fighting a Hopeless War World Politics Review (resilc)

The Vietnam War Is Still Killing People New Yorker (resilc)

Pentagon Official Once Told Morley Safer That Reporters Who Believe the Government Are “Stupid” Intercept

Trade Traitors

The TPP Is ‘Disastrous for Working Families’ and Central to the 2016 Campaign Nation


Reminder: Hillary’s promise to have a debate in May was part of a BARGAIN. She’s not holding up her end of the deal Reddit (martha r)

They Lit The Bern, What Comes Next? Popular Resistance (martha r)

State delegates turn backs on congressional rep rick larsen in silent protest at WA congressional district caucus Twitter. Martha r: “Photo. Small room, but very cool.”

These 3 people just tore apart the Democratic Party Medium. Martha r: “NV Dem convention 2016: The awakening of a generation. So many of them do not yet grasp the full enormity of what they are up against. but they are learning fast.”

Key Sanders backer: DNC chair must apologize The Hill (martha r)

Democrats Can’t Unite Unless Wasserman Schultz Goes Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Sanders throws support behind primary opponent of DNC head Wasserman Schultz Raw Story (furzy)

Why won’t Bernie Sanders step down for the sake of the American Left? Independent. “For the sake of the American left”? As if Clinton has any intention of doing anything for them? Jeff W:

It’s kind of a compendium of Clinton talking points. (My favorite is the popular “Clinton has won x million more popular votes” which ignores the caucus states, no matter who won them. I guess the other thing is, even if you win 100% of the votes among one-third of the people who are likely to vote—and none of the other two-thirds of the people are willing to vote for you—you are not a winning candidate.)

The commenters are taking none of it lying down

Sanders supporters have secured protest permits for DNC Business Insider (martha r)

The Most Reliably Democratic County in America Just Sent Hillary Clinton a Signal The Nation (martha r)

Why Hillary Clinton’s 90s nostalgia is so dangerous Thomas Frank, Guardian (resilc)

Race Talk and the New Deal Corey Robin. Important.

‘Tom Perez has guts’: US labor secretary being eyed as Clinton’s running mate Guardian (resilc)

I asked 5 fascism experts whether Donald Trump is a fascist. Here’s what they said. Vox (Bob W) The only problem with debunking an idea is that the effort has the effect of reinforcing the connection by putting the key words in close proximity.

Trump once revealed his income tax returns. They showed he didn’t pay a cent. Washington Post (furzy)

Donald Trump Doesn’t Have the Juice to Change the G.O.P. Vanity Fair (furzy). The argument is incoherent. It basically tries saying if Trump wins, by the time the party comes around, his issues will be stale. That is not at all the same as saying he can’t change the GOP.

BUSTED: Trump-loving comment trolls pose as Sanders and Clinton supporters to divide Democrats Raw Story (furzy)

People Are Soooo Convinced Trump Can’t Win the Presidency Ian Welsh (Tony Wikrent). Lambert: “From May 5 but still interesting.”

Experts are quietly assessing what a Trump presidency might actually look like in practice New York Times

Vets blast ‘fraud’ Trump over claim he raised $6 million: ‘His mouth writes checks no one can cash’ Raw Story (furzy)

And the Surge Goes On Political Data (martha r). California. From 5/17.

Movie Review: Weiner Vulture. Resilc: “Mr. Future Chief of Staff by marriage.”

We must weed out ignorant Americans from the electorate Washington Post. Another way to limit ballot access. People who are ignorant breed too. Are WaPo pundits next going to try to stop that?

Why the sugar industry hates the FDA’s new Nutrition Facts label Washington Post (furzy).

Chicago principals send Mayor Emanuel a strong message with the election of Troy LaRaviere Chicago Reader (MCC)

Taxpayers pony up for counties’ private lawyers LoHud (MCC)

Police State Watch

Real-life Robocop guards shopping centre in California Metro News (Chuck L)

How We Got the Tanks and M-16s Out of LA Schools Counterpunch (Robert H)

Despite June Hike Talk, Treasury Yields Barely Moved Michael Shedlock

Class Warfare

Elderly man kills wife because they couldn’t afford her medicine Boing Boing (resilc)

The Un-PC Truth About Beyonce’s ‘Sweatshop’ Daily Beast. Sorry, still looks like exploitation to me…hard to justify the working conditions even if the pay levels are arguable.

Airbnb stealth-updates terms of service, says it’s not an insurer and requires binding arbitration / Boing Boing (resilc)

Monopoly Power Is on the Rise in the US. Here’s How to Fix That. Nation

Antidote du jour (Kittie Wilson via Lawrence R):

loon closeup links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Nick

    Very pleased at the way the NV thing turned into a “fight” with the DNC and even more so that Sanders isn’t backing down and thus getting more coverage. This row with Debbie is also quite the gift, since she’s such a divisive figure, not to mention the fact that her opponent in Florida is getting free coverage because of it.

    And unlike the “qualified” fight, this one is far more clear cut in terms of public perception: the DNC were clearly in the wrong and luckily the chair throwing nonsense was unquestionably regurgitated to the point where the MSM was actually forced to acknowledge fault (albeit buried in the back pages). Very helpful for Sanders. This works just as strongly in his favor as the media’s Trump bashing did for him.

    I’m glad this fundraising thing is getting coverage too and I suspect he will outraise her in May, leading to more coverage.

    That piece in the Independent, and in fact all of these “inevitable” articles that make Bernie out to be a nuisance, will surely be an embarrasment after California. That said, I now truly hope that all of this keeps up because it can’t be working to Clinton’s favor in getting her voters to the polls. They will either (a) take her at her word that she has it wrapped up and not be overly concerned about making it to the polls, or (b) actually be somewhat/quite offput and then also not be overly concerned about making it to the polls.
    Either way, I’m far more pumped about his chances.

  2. Pavel

    Re: Big Sugar and the new nutrition labelling (especially the new “Included Sugars” category)… Not remotely a fan of the Obama administration, but this is actually a big f*cking deal™ (as Joseph Biden would say). It’s not perfect but the fact that the big food, snack, and drinks companies fought this so hard says something. Kudos to Michelle Obama for her diligent work on this. Too bad she’s not the president.

    Changing the American people’s diets will do far more for public health than anything in ObamaCare.

    1. abynormal

      “Sugar gave rise to the slave trade; now sugar has enslaved us.”
      O’Connell, Sugar Nation (life…what a ride)

        1. Pat

          And I bet if you took a look at the money from the sugar industry, you would probably find that it is not one of Obama’s biggies.

          I had an argument the other day where I flat out said that Nixon has a better record than Obama. The person disagreed with me. But most of his ‘achievements’ have been these minor things that will not necessarily last or be enforced because they are not encoded in law. The usual suspects had to work really hard to hurt the EPA. And a whole lot of the world has changed because of Title 9… Obama has ACA, and I personally believe that will collapse in less than ten years.

          1. fresno dan

            May 22, 2016 at 11:25 am

            I think your correct. (re Nixon versus Obama)
            And of course, so much of the conservative/liberal nonsense is just corporate – whoops!!!! – I meant political branding that is meant to obfuscate true policy positions (True policy position – either party – we want to get elected so that we can get the most grift, and we do this by making the rich ever richer)

            1. James Levy

              38,000 Americans and, you guess, 700,000 to perhaps over 1 million Southeast Asians died while Nixon was busily fighting a war he knew he could not win THE DAY HE ENTERED OFFICE. And it was Nixon who cut the deal with the Saudis that made them our perpetual partners in crime viz. oil and the dollar.

              Obama is a bad president. the record shows Nixon cannot be considered any better.

              1. fresno dan


                Unfortunately, most articles in a very quick search emphasize US casualties under Obama being greater than under Bush, and neglect to address casualties in Iraq or Afghanistan. One could also wonder how many have died in the mideast under the behest of US allies. Is Libya Obama or Clinton’s fault?

                Did Obama know he would win in Iraq and/or Afghanistan?
                And do you know of any sites that provide data on Iraq/Afghani causalities under Bush and than Obama?

                And as far as things like EPA and actually trying to advance a health care plan, I think Nixon surpasses Obama.
                And as far as enhancing and legitimizing the security state, I would say Obama is the more effective evil.

                1. marym

                  This site for Iraq has a lot of information, and provides their methodology.

                  From one report for 2003-2013

                  Annual civilian deaths since 2003 (counting from 20 March–19 March each year):
                  14,007 in year one
                  12,001 in year two
                  17,026 in year three
                  31,418 in year four
                  20,930 in year five
                  7,829 in year six
                  4,747 in year seven
                  4,133 in year eight
                  4,433 in year nine
                  ~4250 in year ten 1

                  1. jawbone

                    IIRC, Iraq Body Count required that the civilian deaths had to be reported in some concrete form — news reports, death certificates, or something tangible, US military reports (?). Documented deaths, as Wiki lists them.

                    Estimated deaths were based on other methods of counting and Wiki has a fairly easy to follow table of counts. Limited to 2003-2007.


                    Drone kills are much harder to enumerate, as the US does no further investigation unless the number of dead exceeds 29 (again, iirc).

                    Some include the deaths from illnesses untreated or caused by conditions of war. I imagine the number of deaths caused by use of depleted uranium on US weapons is not well counted, but I don’t know. And the DU deaths began with the Bush I first war against Iraq. Deaths due to sanctions continued unabated under Clinton.

                    Just typing this up is making me so sad and also so angry. And feeling that doing anything about this is so difficult in this Neolib Coporatized nation.

                    1. marym

                      Thank you for this comment. Iraq Body Count is a conservative approach. If I cite it in the future I’ll include the other considerations you have mentioned.

                2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  Obama IS winning in Afghanistan, the hundreds of millions of dollars are flowing to private contractors (ka-ching), the opium crop is at all-time highs (ka-ching), the region is more unstable than ever (ka-ching), the people across the region hate us and our drones more than ever (ka-ching), and the work on the $750 M embassy building that will never open continues (ka-ching).
                  It’s like Charlie Sheen said: #winning

              2. Pat

                No, I am not being nostalgic for Nixon or Reagan or even Bush 2 although I can name things about all their administrations which were better than with Obama. The Nixon administration was a real failure, and the country missed out not electing Humphrey. Which does give you one thing in Obama’s list – I honestly cannot say that the country missed out not electing McCain.

                But as for your count for Southeast Asians, are they more important than the dead in the Middle East? And while you are looking at that you might consider the dead in the Ukraine and Honduras who would not be if it were not for American meddling. On the other hand I can name real lasting good that came as a direct result of Nixon policies, if you can name anything that Obama and his administration have advanced that will even be remotely as game changing as even Title IX, I’m willing to change to a tie as to who was worse.

          2. neo-realist

            Nixon may have a better record, but did that make him a good President? He put that Nazi, Rehnquist, on the SC. Arguably, one of the OG Presidents who supporting using wiretaps against political enemies, and using police state power to destroy black political militancy and the left. This is not to say that Obama is a fine President, but we shouldn’t get into a “those were the days” nostalgia over monsters of a different kind.

            1. sleepy

              Yeah, I agree the past can look better from a great distance.

              Otoh, I think Nixon’s use of wiretaps and police state power pales compared to the bipartisan universal surveillance coupled with our militarized, and militant, police.

              I can point though to one thing that might be considered better back then: at least to some extent there was some organized resistence from chunks of the political establishment, including some in congress, to many of Nixon’s policies, including the lawless CIA and surveillance.

              You bring up Nixon’s spying on political enemies. I can’t imagine Obama spying on the RNC like Nixon did on the DNC, for the simple fact there is no real opposition to the bipartisan consensus, and no real enemies in the establishment except for the kabuki type.

              1. jawbone

                Re: Nixon’s spying and enemies list

                The NSA probably has all the info any politician with the power to access it could want. No private spying necessary…eh?

                1. jawbone

                  Also, the heavy handed prosecutions of whistle blowers under Obama cannot be forgotten. That may be one of Barry’s most injurious action to the well-being of the nation and its citizenry.

                  Has Hillary declared she will not pursue whistle blowers the same way Obama has?

      1. cwaltz

        Not really. I do think though that it’s just as important to acknowledge when leadership gets something right as it is to condemn them when they do wrong.

        Obama’s done probably done a half a dozen things right, Not nearly enough for me to back the DNC or his heir apparent, Clinton.

    2. diptherio

      Not trying to disagree, but the WHO and Dr. Robert Sapolsky (and other primatologists) have found that stress coupled with lack of control over one’s environment is the most unhealthy aspect of our (and most primate) societies. Things like hypertension and excessive amounts of belly fat have been directly linked to position in the social hierarchy in baboons and monkeys, who all eat the same diet and get the same amount of exercise. And it does appear to be causation, and not just correlation. I wrote an article about it some time ago, that contains links to some good references (the WHO calls social stressors “the causes of the causes of disease.”)

      1. Pavel

        diptherio, thank you for this and it recalled to me my interest (in a previous lifetime) in the “locus of control”. I agree completely that this supersedes the dietary issues (and smoking issues and others).

        Wiki (for what it’s worth on these issues):

        In personality psychology, locus of control refers to the extent to which individuals believe they can control events affecting them. Understanding of the concept was developed by Julian B. Rotter in 1954, and has since become an aspect of personality studies. A person’s “locus” (Latin for “place” or “location”) is conceptualized as either internal (the person believes they can control their life) or external (meaning they believe their decisions and life are controlled by environmental factors which they cannot influence, or by chance or fate).[1]

        Individuals with a strong internal locus of control believe events in their life derive primarily from their own actions: for example, when receiving exam results, people with an internal locus of control tend to praise or blame themselves and their abilities. People with a strong external locus of control tend to praise or blame external factors such as the teacher or the exam.[2]

        Locus of control generated much research in a variety of areas in psychology. The construct is applicable to such fields as educational psychology, health psychology and clinical psychology. Debate continues whether specific or more global measures of locus of control will prove to be more useful in practical application. Careful distinctions should also be made between locus of control (a concept linked with expectancies about the future) and attributional style (a concept linked with explanations for past outcomes), or between locus of control and concepts such as self-efficacy.

        Locus of control is one of the four dimensions of core self-evaluations – one’s fundamental appraisal of oneself – along with neuroticism, self-efficacy, and self-esteem.[3] The concept of core self-evaluations was first examined by Judge, Locke, and Durham (1997), and since has proven to have the ability to predict several work outcomes, specifically, job satisfaction and job performance.[4] In a follow-up study, Judge et al. (2002) argued the concepts of locus of control, neuroticism, self-efficacy and self-esteem measured the same, single factor.[5]

        Wiki: Locus of control

        Thanks again. This is a critical issue in public health and other matters.

      2. perpetualWAR

        Cortisol, the stressor hormone, is the cause of my weight problem. When stress is lessened, so is weight.

  3. Jim Haygood

    Lame duck president vaporizes some brown folks to prove his relevance:

    The leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mansoor, has been killed by a US drone strike in an area of Pakistan hitherto off-limits for the remote-controlled aircraft, sources confirmed on Sunday.

    The US secretary of state, John Kerry, speaking in Myanmar on Sunday, said Mansoor “posed a continuing imminent threat to US personnel in Afghanistan, Afghan civilians, Afghan security forces” and members of the US and Nato coalition.

    He said the air strike on Mansoor sent “a clear message to the world that we will continue to stand with our Afghan partners”.

    Saturday’s strike, on an open road at 3.45pm local time, was the first known strike in Balochistan, the vast southern province that is home to many senior Taliban leaders. Some analysts and diplomats think Pakistan might have agreed to the strike, even if it would never dare say so publicly.

    Nothing undermines the rule of law like cross-border summary executions carried out by superpowers inside poor countries.

    You’d think 0zero, with his Kenyan father, might be sensitive to this issue.

    But no-o-o-o-o … he’s a special-snowflake American, raised from birth on the doctrine of exceptionalism, which was then honed to a lethal gleam at Harvard’s elite School of Sociopathy.

    And so the permanent war on the other side of the globe, which constitutes a “threat” to our illegal occupation troops, carries on, with occasional explosions of pink mist on the horizon.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its reported here on the TV news in Ireland that the strike also killed the driver – the car was a taxi. It seems Mullah Mansoor was travelling using false papers, and just hired a local taxi. But I guess the driver just doesn’t matter, just another notch on Obama’s presidential library.

  4. Harry

    Was very impressed by Bernie’s latest speech arguing the American people will not vote for Trump. Looks like he is a team player but undercuts the argument for Clinton. And appeals to those who hate Trump. Nice work!

    1. jgordon

      Bernie said that the American people will not vote for Trump? This would be a very odd statement considering that Trump has a couple million more popular votes going for him than Bernie at this point.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Maybe they won’t “for” Trump. They will vote against Clinton or choose not to vote. Regardless of outcome, the Democrats with Clinton on the ballot will have left millions of voters on the sideline with their appeal to non-existent multicultural Republicans.

        If all Hillary discusses is guns, she won’t be President. The problem with gun control as an issue is on the right guns are a tribal identifier and the center left voters simply don’t care.

        1. Jerry Denim

          Agreed concerning guns. Gun control isn’t the fantastic winning issue that those who get excited about guns (either for or against) think that it is. There’s plenty of Americans that vote both Republican and Democrat that prefer a middle of the road approach that respects the 2nd amendment while not engaging in silly slippery arguments that seek to justify military grade weapons for the general populace and insist a toddler with a gun is safer than a toddler without a gun. Michael Render a.k.a. “Killer Mike” a very early and vocal Sanders booster took Sanders to task for being too tough on guns in a Vice TV interview. Why? Not because Killer Mike wants a bunch of Scarface style weaponry to protect his gold chains and pharmaceuticals as some might guess about a rapper with a name like “Killer” but simply because Killer Mike is actually a good ole’ Georgia Country boy that likes to deer hunt. Go figure, Killer Mike is a little bit of a redneck.
          My point being Americans have complicated and nuanced views about guns that don’t always neatly match political party preferences and prevailing stereotypes. Guns are a polarizing issue, but it only motivates the fringes. Clinton will alienate at least as many potential voters as she will gain with strong anti-gun rhetoric. I suspect the same is true for Trump if he goes overboard with pro-NRA noises on the right.

            1. ambrit

              The biggest ‘problem’ I can see with “gun control” is that its’ basic prerequisite is the existence of a “Civil Society” within which one can live. Since most of Americas’ populace lives in urban zones, the degree of perceived safety will strongly influence ones’ “need” for a firearm. If the small city I live in is any guide, urban society is becoming increasingly militarized and violent. The next step in this process is discovering what is the basis for a ‘safe’ urban social environment. I will venture a guess and say, economic ‘safety’ determines ones’ perceptions of the quality of life. If legal methods of economic engagement are no longer supplying the means of existence, then either the legal means must be adjusted, or illegal means adopted. With the ‘legal’ means supplied by the present system of governance becoming obviously corrupt, and the increasing perceived futility of civic political engagements’ ability to effect useful change, alienation from the society in general results. If one can no longer trust the agents of the State to keep one safe, one needs must trust oneself. In general, perceived fear will require a “power fetish” to overcome said fear. Sure, it is a fetish, but, human society has run quite well over the last hundred thousand years with such fetishes incorporated in it.

              1. different clue

                “Killer Mike” may be “urban”. But he lives in Atlanta, which makes him SOUTHern urban. And if he has extended family living in Country Georgia out beyond Greater Atlanta Metropolitan Area, then that is twice as true.

                So maybe SOUTHern “urban” is a part of Southern Culture.

            2. aab

              Well, it fires up the preferred Clintonian Democratic base: wealthy and comfortable suburbanites and professionals. I would have thought it also fires up urban black communities, but Killer Mike’s attitude gives me pause.

              I’m personally passionately in favor of gun control and think the 2nd Amendment only refers to an actual state militia. But having said that, I grew up in Vermont, and had friends whose families survived the winter on deer meat they shot themselves. You could do a tremendous amount of helpful gun regulation that would not prevent people from continuing to do that. But the discourse around it has been so contaminated by Republican elite exploitation and Democratic elite condescension that no real progress is possible until we make class-based change bringing working class and rural voters into a progressive Democratic Party, or into some other kind of coalition where cultural issues aren’t used as a wedge for economic suppression. Sanders shows how that’s possible.

              Whether it will happen any time soon is another question.

      2. Pat

        While I think Bernie has a better grasp of reality than Clinton, he also lives in a bubble. One where someone with Trump’s negatives will never become President. That insulting and vilifying millions of people would destroy your chances not advance them. And in a sane society that would be true. But we do not live in a sane society. But in a sane society Hillary Clinton’s Presidential aspirations would have been killed back in 2008, if not earlier as she was rejected by voters everywhere.

        It is funny how deluded so many of our pundits and political operatives are. Conventional wisdom may be turned on its ear by reality and frankly logical behavior on the part of the voters. While Bernie may have a clue regarding how angry and depressed the majority of the American public is, I don’t know that he has translated that into an understanding that many Americans will pick the carnival barker over the known entity that clearly does not represent them. Much of the certainty that Clinton will win is the idea the electoral college map favors her and that Blacks, Latinos and women will come out for her. The fact that there is little evidence she really is all that much better for any of them and that the last two groups largely don’t like her and are not necessarily going to hold their nose for her is ignored. Mostly because they aren’t processing that without a reason to vote for her and eagerness to do so, all of those groups may just stay home. And there is no reason to vote for her in the battleground states, which turns the electoral map argument on its ear.

        But you have to drop the preconceived notions to get there. And while I fully expect Bernie to see the writing on the wall before the usual suspects, he hasn’t gotten there yet.

        1. sleepy

          I wouldn’t put that much stock in the speech.

          It was a campaign speech against his possible opponent in November, not a studied analysis of the electorate, nor a statement on some policy. What else would you have Sanders say, that most Americans would choose Trump over him?

          1. Harry

            Well exactly. I assumed he was suggesting that Dem voters should not back HRC out of feat of Trump, and he and his supporters should not be silenced from some silly idea about him giving comfort to the enemy.

            Which were the frail old neoconservatives talking points this morning.

            I think her new catch phrase is “I am richer together” or something like that.

            1. polecat

              more like “I am , together with Bill, richer than you! …”

              ….pass the cuff links….

          2. Pat

            Oh, I also think some of it was an answer to the ‘you’re weakening her against Trump’ thing. He also just reiterated that he would fight against Trump whether he was the nominee or not. But I’m not so sure he gets it really is a fight. He may. He may not.

            But I do think there is a delusion among Democrats that Trump is not a threat. Some are beginning to get that yes, he is, but most have failed to learn from recent history.

            1. Pavel

              My feeling today after the latest poll results (for what they are worth this insane year) is that with 55% of the public wanting a third party candidate, this is Bernie’s one last great chance — a Hail Mary pass — to save the country. He’d have to do a deal with the Greens to get on the ballots, I suspect, and no doubt easier said than done… but in a Trump v HRC v Sanders contest, and if he got into the debates, there is a sliver (5%?) chance he’d win, and in any case he’d destroy the two party duopoly.

              Presumably Trump would win a three-way race (esp. if it went to the House) but blowing the whole thing to shreds might be worth 4 years of Trump pain. His foreign policy does after all seem more moderate than Hillary’s.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                No more appeasement.

                You thought you had a deal, a bargain, then the other side breaks it, by invading a neighboring country…sorry, by not having one more debate, well, don’t say there is no lesson you can learn from history.

                “The other side broke the treaty. You are free to do what you should now.”

                Let the Democratic convention be the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end of (your struggle).

              2. nycTerrierist

                Agreed re: the Green ‘Hail Mary’ pass for Bernie — if he isn’t the Dem nom.

                I’m sure I’m not the only Berner who would rather see him do that than (gag)
                support Hellary in any way. The DNC has pretty much indicated they
                will continue to give him the shaft – so what is there to lose?

                Yes, he agreed to support the Dem candidate, but has the DNC treated him at all fairly? (rhetorical question)

                I’d never vote for Trump, but I believe Hellary will be a far more destructive prez.

              3. Bev

                All along Bernie has polled at higher numbers against Trump in a general election. Only recently have polls shown a even draw, and then slight wins over Trump by Hillary. Bernie beats them both.

                Another poll is very important.
                In comments:
                Exclusive: Half of Americans think presidential nominating system ‘rigged’ – poll

                NEW YORK | By Chris Kahn

                More than half of American voters believe that the system U.S. political parties use to pick their candidates for the White House is “rigged” and more than two-thirds want to see the process changed, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.


                Just Me 
May 10, 2016 at 3:35 pm 

                Bev, I was happy to read that so many Americans are convinced the system is rigged. Half of us think it’s rigged. Only a quarter of us think it isn’t (and another quarter are undecided). 

                But there wasn’t any mention in either of those articles about the corruption caused by computerized election machines (that make recounts impossible). That’s Richard Charnin’s specialty, and I love the way he has proved that this cheating is so widespread as to seem “normal,” and the way all exit polls are now “adjusted.”


                So,if more people understood the rigging by the voting machines that majority of people would be an even bigger majority who think the system is rigged. Here is to adding more people with the truth:


                Big Networks CANCEL Exit Polls in Remaining Primaries
                Posted on May 17, 2016 by truthfirst12013
                The exit polls have not matched the official results OUTSIDE the margin of error in many states in the Democratic primary election.  It has been a red flag for fraud.  WHY are the networks canceling exit polls in the remaining upcoming primaries?  Simple.  They do not want to provide a means of evidence to document the theft.


                Fraction Magic – Part 1: Votes are being counted as fractions instead of as whole numbers
                By Bev Harris May 12, 2016

                1 – Summary –
                This report summarizes the results of our review of the GEMS election management system, which counts approximately 25 percent of all votes in the United States. The results of this study demonstrate that a fractional vote feature is embedded in each GEMS application which can be used to invisibly, yet radically, alter election outcomes by pre-setting desired vote percentages to redistribute votes. This tampering is not visible to election observers, even if they are standing in the room and watching the computer. Use of the decimalized vote feature is unlikely to be detected by auditing or canvass procedures, and can be applied across large jurisdictions in less than 60 seconds.

                GEMS vote-counting systems are and have been operated under five trade names: Global Election Systems, Diebold Election Systems, Premier Election Systems, Dominion Voting Systems, and Election Systems & Software, in addition to a number of private regional subcontractors. At the time of this writing, this system is used statewide in Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Utah and Vermont, and for counties in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. It is also used in Canada.

                It is important that culturally this is becoming widely known.

                The Saturday Night Live skit last night showed both Bernie and Hillary actors saying the Primaries are Rigged.

                Dilbert says it is rigged:

                Dilbert – May 1, 2016
                Today’s Dilbert was just to wonderfully appropriate to ignore.



                Op Eds 5/21/2016 at 21:03:43
                Sanders Scolded For Calling Attention To Rigged Primary
                By Kevin Gosztola
                Reprinted from by Kevin Gosztola

                Democratic Party leaders accuse Bernie Sanders and his presidential campaign of inciting “violence” among supporters by promoting allegations that the primary process is rigged in favor of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Surrogates for Clinton and pundits, who favor Clinton, have ramped up their attacks on Sanders for maintaining a robust campaign, even though the last votes have yet to be cast in the primary.
                Fraud has occurred which was found with Unadjusted Exit Polling analysis by Richard Charnin. Fraud was found by Bev Harris within the voting machine code that fictionalizing votes. We need to get back our evidence, hand counted paper ballots in precinct and posted publicly in precinct to make sure votes match precinct to state tallies. Now, no more machine rigging…for the rest of the primaries.

                And, Bernie RECOUNT KENTUCKY. Other politicians who Supported Bernie who ran but lost, RECOUNT YOUR STATES.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  No. 1 – there is a media blackout on Sanders.

                  No. 2 – Bernie has to beat rigged elections in order to capture the nomination and benefit from those polls.

                  Without that nomination, we are back to the summer of 2015. At the time, the questions were:

                  Should he run as an Independent? What about media coverage? See No. 1. (That is, you have reached millions even with a media blackout).

                  What about getting on all 50 states? See No. 2 (that is, without nomination, you are on 0, that is, zero, states).

                  1. Bev

                    I think if Bernie decides to Recount Kentucky which has those machines described by Bev Harris as committing fraud with code that fractionalizes Bernie’s voters, we will see change. If we can get rid of those machines committing fraud and replace with evidence of paper ballots hand counted, the Democratic party will have saved itself and democracy. And, the Democracy party candidates will do much better in the General election.

                2. Bev

                  I left out the best quote from above article:

                  Sanders Scolded For Calling Attention To Rigged Primary
                  By Kevin Gosztola
Reprinted from by Kevin Gosztola

                  But the story is not that Sanders supporters are unruly because Sanders has whipped them into a frenzy over “allegations” of a rigged primary process. It is not that they lack education about the process. Sanders supporters understand very well how the process works and what kind of candidate is supposed to make it to the end. Real and actual evidence of a rigged primary is what fuels such discontent.

              4. aletheia33

                bernie even if he were to get elected cannot and will not “save the country”. important to bear in mind. the country will have to save itself. at this point down the road that the country has come, it is not a question of can the situation be turned around. it is a question of how bad can we keep it from getting.

              5. aletheia33

                bernie even if he were to get elected cannot and will not “save the country”. important to bear in mind. bernie and his movement is hugely important. and the country will have to save itself.

                at this point down the road that the country has come, it is not a question of can the situation be turned around. it is a question of how bad can we keep it from getting.

                how many with flooded homes will still have some kind of livable life. how far total deprivation of the majority can be staved off. hopefully enough to prevent complete cultural breakdown and the takeover of gov’t by a totalitarian force. our society has already broken loose so far from compassionate humanity that politics is just one realm in which action is needed. the larger revolution/preparation that is building is addressing far more than that.

              6. hidflect

                DWS, Reid, et. al. have created a system of peonage down the party line where opponents of the corporate mantra are ruthlessly purged, defunded and/or ignored. I’ve seen it happen in companies gone sour and the only way it’s corrected is by replacing the heads of the organisation which is nearly impossible since they make all the decisions. There is no outside agency that can step in and correct the rot. The party has, in effect, been hijacked. The result is a remorseless spiral downwards in “customers” (members) until losses force change a la creative destruction. Bernie is like some irate, activist shareholder trying to wrest control from the malignant hierarchy at an annual meeting. But, as always, the agenda is pre-rigged to stifle dissent.

              7. different clue

                Given that the Green Party appears to be a vanity project of poseurs and dilettantes, why would Sanders want to be involved with it? If he were to go “third party”, why wouldn’t he go “Socialist Workers Party” or some such thing?

      3. Vatch

        Trump has a couple million more popular votes going for him than Bernie at this point.

        Trump has more popular votes than Sanders, but not by a couple million (assuming Wikipedia is correct for the current date).,_2016

        after the May 17 primary in Oregon, he [Trump] currently stands at 11,271,090.,_2016


        Footnote b says: Does not include popular vote totals from Iowa, Maine, Nevada, Washington, Wyoming, or non-binding primaries

        I don’t know whether the Trump popular vote total excludes any states as the Sanders total does.

        Anyhow, Trump and Sanders are very close, especially since Trump no longer has active opposition. In the recent primaries most people just vote for him because he’s the only candidate who hasn’t suspended his campaign.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Most people voted for him as he was the one candidate in the recent primaries.

          That’s true. On the other hand, he had to compete with many more in the early ones.

          1. Vatch

            Trump has had huge name recognition in every primary. Aside from Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders lacked name recognition in most of the early primaries.

        2. jgordon

          The numbers were a bit behind on me source:

          Regardless though–Trump started out the primary season with almost 20 competitors, and a couple of strong ones stayed in the race against him right up until the last minute. I think a better predictive number to look at here would be the total number of Republican primary voters vs. the total number of Democratic primary voters. This is considering the various angry people from both parties who will be staying home or crossing over. My feeling is that Republicans will have far less, simply because of the elite vs. populist theme this year.

        3. AnEducatedFool

          Caucus states are not included. You are stuck in the cave arguing over shadows.

          Sanders would destroy Trump in a general election. The polls show that already. Sanders and Trump go after the same white working class voters that Trump can capture because no Republican or Clinton will talk about their economic issues. (Shallow, I know since the economic issues faced by white working class voters are the same issues that are driving the problems faced by the vast majority of voters. Mexican and Latino immigration is inexorably linked to these issues.) Bernie talks about those issues but can also honestly connect on that issue where Trump’s stance is shallow.

          If exit polls were accurate Sanders is with in ~150 delegates which he would make up on June 7. If independents could vote in every state he would have embarrassed Clinton.

          1. Vatch

            I agree that Sanders would have the advantage in a contest against Trump, whereas Clinton versus Trump would be a spin of the roulette wheel. Millions of people hate Trump, millions hate Clinton, but few hate Sanders (although many might disagree with him).

            I was merely pointing out that Trump isn’t a couple of million votes ahead of Sanders in the primaries.

            1. jgordon

              Ok–so Trump is only a large fraction of a couple of million votes ahead of Sanders. Granted. Maybe I should have said, “hundreds of thousands” of votes ahead of Sanders instead? That’s with Trump having more than a dozen strong opponents who took their time getting out of the race whereas Sanders basically only has one.

              Anyway, I too think Sanders could win against Trump. The problem is that it’s not going to happen. Sanders is threatening to break too many liberal elite rice bowls, and that’s a far more serious offense than merely being unpopular and unwanted by the voting public. If by some chance Hillary is indicted or otherwise yanked out of the race by the Party mandarins, then the contest will be Trump vs. Biden. One of the incredibly pleasant things I’m looking forwards to seeing in the future is just how the Sander’s supporters are going to take having Biden foisted on them. I don’t think these people are disillusioned enough yet; it’ll be a good experience for them.

      4. Benedict@Large

        A bit of Trump Derangement Syndrome has taken hold. People on both sides of the aisle are gnashing their teeth, declaring him to be anything and everything bad up to and including the Second Coming of Hitler. Here’s the reality.

        Trump is a cad. Half of the times he opens his mouth, he gives himself away as an asshole. This is his biggest flaw.

        Trump has almost zero political background to speak of or criticize. There’s no record that anything he’s done has killed people. Some have criticized him as a boss, but others have no complaint. That’s it, and it’s a million miles from what those with Trump Derangement Syndrome are claiming.

        Now what is there in all of that that says Trump can’t win a contest over the very flawed Clinton?


        1. oh

          Good points, all. Too many people bash Trump for what he says but too many people ignore HRC’s prior actions. However, we do know we have two people who are totally undeserving of being nominees. Some say that if Trump is elected, the Supreme Court of the future will be all right wing. Huh? Am I supposed to believe that the Dems will not filibuster his nominees? I guess so considering that the gang of 14 let in Alito and Roberts without a fight but with a lot of Kabuki!

    2. Lambert Strether

      One imagines the many ways that Sanders support might prove a poisoned chalice for Clinton. Jockeying for post-truce power is fair!

      NOTE This is Sanders version of Obama’s “You’re likeable enough.”

      1. different clue

        I remember thinking that Obama would leave the American political and economic scene such a radioactive junkyard that Clinton would not want to pick her way across it. I remember using the phrase “poisoned chalice” in describing how Clinton would view the Presidency after Obama got done with it.

        Why was I so wrong? Why might Clinton want to be President of an America with whole new sets of problems festering? Aside from the emotional motivations which political psychiatrists can perhaps analyse, it occurs to me that the Clinton Foundation can still raise a lot of money from seekers of favorable treatment if Clinton is President. But if she isn’t, and clearly never will be, then why would anyone give the Clinton Global Initiative any major money? So perhaps part of her motive ( and especially her motive for deciding Bill would be the “economy czar”) would be to keep the global grift grifting, and the global con rolling.

  5. Tony S

    The Democratic Party establishment is lost at sea.

    In a recent statewide party meeting (an eastern state), the Dem elected officials all paraded up to the podium and declared, “Trump bad. Trump racist. Trump misogynist. Trump dangerous.” Nary a word about what positive reasons there might be for a voter to cast his lot with the Democratic Party this fall.

    They really do believe that if they just accentuate Trumps’ racism and such, America’s voters will be alarmed enough to vote for the Dems. They completely do not get what Trump’s candidacy is about, and that the one weapon they DO have to counteract Trump is they one they’ve been gleefully burying and marginalizing.

    If this is indicative of the national party’s thinking, November’s going to be butt-ugly.

    1. Pavel

      This thinking is manifest in the increasingly ludicrous Daily Kos web site. Their “front page” has for months highlighted the various gaffes and outrageous comments of Trump and the other (now failed) Republican candidates. Very rarely do they mention HRC on the front page — what’s the point?

      1. Tony S

        I used to visit and post there pretty regularly, but Kos is pretty much out of my rotation now — the Hillary shilling just got too much to bear. I repeatedly challenged Hillbots to give me ISSUES-based reasons to support her over Bernie, and instead repeatedly got mushpoop like “she’s a fighter” or “she’s more electable”, or “she’s got the experience” and other similar flaccid arguments.

        It’s sad, really. That site was a major player in the (temporary, alas) booting of the execrable Joe Lieberman. Noiw it’s rallied behind a candidate who’s basically Lieberman without the Y chromosome.

      2. portia

        IMO, they are reluctant to bring HRC up now because she will have her ass gnawed on in the comments–there are still people there who have escaped that ban hammer– and it will end up in a monster pie fight and get shared all over the place. yeah, what’s the point? it’s a propaganda machine for the DNC, keep it simple, concentrate on the common enemy.

    2. different clue

      The stories planted here and there about Sanders’ run “merely hurting Hillary” going forward is pre-laying the groundwork for scapegoating Sanders if Hillary loses.

  6. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: “Movie Review: Weiner”—I’m not an avid movie watcher, but I might have to check this one out. Since Huma is also being questioned in the FBI debacle, one wonders whether Hill will throw her good friend (and lover?) under the bus rather than have this one more juicy issue for Trump and Co. to work during the campaign. Are they still married?

    1. different clue

      Is Huma so very dumm as to not know whether she is being thrown under the bus or not? And if she is smart enough to know it ( if it happens), would she be so very loyal that she wouldn’t drag Hillary under the very same bus as a reward for such treachery?

  7. timbers

    “And the Surge Goes On Political Data (martha r). California. From 5/17.”

    The breakdown of that surge in voter registering in California is coming heavily from the young and latinos. Those are Bernie voters and anti-Trump voters, with the anti-Trump voters overlapping into Bernie voters. Should be a good sign for Bernie in California.

  8. portia

    Homo sapiens already has had a “useless class” for hundreds of years, and it destroyed the planet through its relentless greed. And that is the “political agenda”.

    “Harari calls it “the rise of the useless class” and ranks it as one of the most dire threats of the 21st century.
    …All of which leads to the question: what should we do? “First of all, take it very seriously,” Harari says. “And make it a part of the political agenda, not only the scientific agenda. This is something that shouldn’t be left to scientists and private corporations. They know a lot about the technical stuff, the engineering, but they don’t necessarily have the vision and the legitimacy to decide the future course of humankind.” ”

    I really had planned to take a break from the interwebz, and I had better do it now, before my head explodes from reading clueless bullcrap like this. Plenty of gardening to do now that it has warmed up finally. Thanks, Ives and Lambert, for all you do, nothing personal!

    1. Antifa

      How can a human be useless? If you are merely sitting under a tree considering life or nature or the world of mankind, or composing a haiku, you are still the most complex and capable organism on the planet. An AI-driven system can grow 600,000 acres of corn with perfect efficiency, but can it appreciate why 40 years of time and care growing a bonsai maple tree is a bigger contribution to humanity than all that corn?

      “Useless humans” in fact means “humans not able or amenable to being exploited for their time, talents, or labor to make me richer and more powerful than them.” You were not born to make Acme, Inc. the largest holding company in the world.

      Another factor to consider is that this planet does not have the capacity to carry 9 to 12 billion of us into a high tech future. Some say half a billion is nature’s limit. Some say more. No one says 12 billion of us can live like suburban Americans. Things like disappearing soil and water, rising atmospheric temperature, shortage of lithium, abundance of plutonium, acidified oceans, and so forth put hard biological limits on how many of us can be here.

      My personal favorite AI future is one where world government functions are computerized, and decisions for the entire planet are based on Big Data. No politicians or other gangsters involved, just raw data. The Amazon forest is weighed equally with your need for strawberries flown in from New Zealand.

      A human politician is useless for governing, since he or she spends their career representing only a small group of humans, say, the citizens of East Overshoe, Oklahoma. What do the citizens of East Overshoe really know or care about the effects their consumption habits have on any other group on the planet? If their political representative comes to them with concerns about climate change affecting the water tables in the Punjab, they know they’ll be voted out of office, so they never really think outside of East Overshoe. In fact, they scheme and plan to bring more wealth and jobs to East Overshoe, and to hell with everyone else. A politician is like the boss of a street gang, always looking after his turf, and doesn’t give a working damn about anyone else’s neighborhood.

      “To hell with the Punjab,” the East Overshoers shout. And “to hell with East Overshoe” the Punjabis shout. Which is how we got to where we are all living today — a planet where everyone shuts, “To hell with the planet!” and then wonders why we do this. It’s because we are not organized as a planet; we are organized as competing street gangs, troops of exceptionally bright chimps fighting over who owns particular pieces of jungle.

      But a computer accepting and analyzing data from all over the planet will have to work out the competing demands of all humans, all over the globe, and come up with a way to give them each what is possible. The East Overshoers are accustomed long, hot showers, two chickens in every pot, and two cars in every garage. The Punjabis hope to see a chicken at least once in their lifetime, and they bathe with a rag and a bucket of dirty river water twice a week.

      And neither the Punjabis nor the East Overshoers are aware that with every economic transaction in their lives, they are feeding monopolistic business entities which siphon off all the wealth of their communities to become the personal property of a very, very few wealthy individuals, who hoard it to create shortages and poverty. Only poor people work, and poor people have to be made poor to get them to work.

      If a computer were given the planet to govern, its first instruction would be to end the hoarding of wealth in the form of currency and assets. Both products should be working to benefit the lives of humans at all times. Factories should not be shuttered, and currency should not be stacked up in the trillions in private accounts.

      The productivity of humans and their AI machines is denoted in assets and currency. Both things need to circulate constantly, flowing back into more productivity, and a healthier planet. That will make both poverty and wealth ridiculous concepts in our AI future.

      1. Massinissa

        Did you actually read the article dude? He clarified that he only meant useless in an economic and political sense. He didnt mean useless in the way youre describing.

        Sitting under a tree is probably very useful, but economically and politically it is ‘useless’. That is what he was saying.

        1. Antifa

          Which is why I went on about wishing the planetary environment was included in economics, and the entire homo sapiens species included in politics — something only a supercomputer could begin to accomplish. The frame the author was arguing within is outdated, and it is killing us all. I stepped out of it to illustrate this.

          Sitting unto yourself is not useless, not in any sense. It is the most precious, most valuable human accomplishment. Alexander knew this much when he met Diogenes. He well understood which one of them was actually wealthy.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      This is something that shouldn’t be left to scientists and private corporations. They know a lot about the technical stuff, the engineering, but they don’t necessarily have the vision and the legitimacy to decide the future course of humankind.”

      It all goes back to education.

      No wisdom, no enlightenment there.

      Just technical stuff.

    3. Praedor

      The story is bogus because it defines human value on work. If you work you have value, if you don’t you are “useless”. I see the story as a positive. It is an impetus to kill off the puritan work ethic once and for all. Guaranteed basic income, work only if you WANT to and if the employers are offering enough pay to make it worthwhile, otherwise do whatever strikes your fancy. Work is NOT the determinant of human value, it is something you do to put a roof overhead or food on the table. The future envisioned in the article is one where you DON’T have to work to put a roof overhead or food on the table. A good thing.

  9. Jim Haygood

    Doug Casey talks Zimbabwe with his Argentine neighbors in Salta province:

    Argentina, of all the countries in the world, most resembles ancient Rome. The whole country revolves around Buenos Aires, the way the early Roman Empire revolved around Rome. Successful people all have a place in the capital, one in the country, and another on the ocean for when it’s hot in the summer. And they socialize like the Romans, with dinner parties that last well into the wee hours, as a matter of course.

    [My neighbors in Cafayate] wanted to hear about my week in Zimbabwe.

    I still carry a 100 trillion dollar bill in my wallet as a conversation piece. It’s signed by Gideon Gono, who was the chairman of their Reserve Bank at the time.

    You may be asking yourself: What kind of man could Mr. Gono be that he’d print a 100 trillion dollar bill? As it turned out, I spent a fair amount of time with Gideon, and not only is he highly intelligent, not only does he actually understand economics, but—and I kid you not—he quotes Ludwig von Mises and follows Austrian economics.

    My Argentine dinner companions’ ears perked up when I mentioned that while I was in Zim, there was a polo tournament (Argentina being the world’s polo capital, one of the reasons I moved there) outside Harare with eight teams—which means 32 players and somewhere between 120 and 200 horses. It’s amazing to think this is happening while about 80% of the country’s 12 million people are on the ragged edge of starvation. But that’s par for the course in a centrally planned, hyperinflationary economy. Argentines understand that perfectly.

    And Americans will get some firsthand reality on it, too, over the next few years, I promise.

    Every worker a trillionaire! :)

    1. craazyboy

      All I want outta the Fed is 4% interest. They can keep their trillion dollar bills.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Just give me rice on my chessboard, 2 times as many for each successive square.

      2. JustAnObserver

        Dunno about that. A $4,000,000,000,000 platinum coin would look really nice on my wall next to those synthetic mezzanine CDO squared certificates.

    2. Benedict@Large

      “… he highly intelligent, … he quotes Ludwig von Mises and follows Austrian economics.

      But aren’t the Austrians the ones who are always yelling, “You’ll turn into Zimbabwe! You’ll turn into Zimbabwe!”

      Looks like it was the Austrians themselves who turned Zimbabwe into Zimbabwe.

  10. Pat

    I’m amazed that Sanders has now made the Lesser of Two Evils argument. I’m pretty damn sure that must have a whole bunch of regulars clutching their pearls. It may not be just as big as Trump saying out loud the racist statements that had only been dog whistled, but it is pretty close. To finally admit that the candidate that your party has nominated, or in this case intends to nominate, is not going to represent the party but just be slightly less bad than their opponent, whoa.

    I don’t think the Clintons and the DNC should have pissed the old guy off.

    1. Emma

      “I don’t think the Clintons and the DNC should have pissed the old guy off.”
      Or all those Little Belves (Bernie Elves!) with magical powers helping Sanders Claus!

  11. David s

    I hope Thomas Frank never stops writing about how corrosive the Bill Clinton administration was.

    1. JustAnObserver

      Has anyone else noticed that they’ve changed the photo at the top of the Frank piece.

      When I read it yesterday it had a picture of Bill and Hillary together and the expression on Bill’s face was something to see. Totally empty with this weird vacant stare and his head bowed down. Contrasting with the picture of them campaigning in 1992 further down the page. The second picture has been removed in the current online post.

    2. Mike Mc

      Exactly. I voted for Bill twice but he really was the lesser of two weasels. However, the Clinton years were simply Reagan/Bush Lite with slight amounts of social justice kabuki on top. His vaunted economic achievements were fking bubbles that collapsed.

      Gore would have probably been a better President – certainly better than Bush – but both Clinton and Obama are corporate bootlickers who did as much to corrupt the political process in the Democratic Party as Nixon and Reagan/Bush did to the GOP. A pox on both houses!

  12. Kurt Sperry

    “AI will create ‘useless class’ of human, predicts bestselling historian”- I’m really not seeing the problem here. If the work is getting done more efficiently using AI, that should mean more for everyone. If there are distributional problems, that’s not AI’s fault, but the fault of whomever designed the system to output those problems. Heck, AI could probably eventually figure that out too better than we can or rather than we actually will.

    In any case, any job that AI can do better than a human is under its trappings a mechanical rote job anyway. Humans should instead be engaged in stuff that AI intrinsically cannot do.

    1. wbgonne

      To defeat neoliberal capitalism there must be an alternative that is viable in the post-modern anthropocene world. It would be helpful if our public intellectuals began wrestling with the fact that human labor is becoming increasingly obsolete and the significance of this fact in a rabidly capitalist world. So far, the societal response has been to demonize and dehumanize those whose contributions have been devalued by technological advance. This anti-humanistic response, reinforced by neoliberal dogma that decries all government-financed labor other than authoritarianism, causes accelerating growth in the number of these increasingly marginalized people, where they will be soon become a systemic, anomic strain on society. It is already happening, in fact; it’s just that large-scale recognition has not yet pierced the heavy veil of propaganda and hubris manufactured by the oligarchs. Deeper recognition will probably await more florid diplays of societal breakdown, and those are surely coming, ushered in on a heat wave as we bake our own planet. But the change is already here, albeit in its incipient stages. And it is time to think anew about everything.

      1. portia

        employers have been treating people like robots since there was “employment” and before, it was serfdom. worker humans are denigrated because they are not as durable and tireless as machines, and are too needy–they need food, housing, a life outside of work. they are considered a drain on profits. the HB2 Visas are even more of a step backward in the U.S. for worker’s rights. in mgmt’s mind, labor needs to fuck off and die and quit leeching. if you think I am exaggerating, I have heard these words spoken. the Parasite is in charge, and machines don’t compete with its needs, therefore are preferred.

        1. diptherio

          See Taylorism and Time and Motion studies. The birth of business consulting [shudder].

          “You are not a human. You are a pig-iron moving machine”…..

          I think there’s a song about what happens when you treat a person like a machine…something about steel-driving….

            1. diptherio

              Listened to a bunch of different versions after I posted that comment, but I hadn’t come acoss this one yet. I love how everyone has their own version. I really like Johnny Cash’s version. His is very big on the whole capitalist vs. working class angle. Could practically be a communist anthem! And the guys at Fulsome LOVED it.

    2. portia
      “In Frank Belknap Long’s The Robot Empire (1934), the robots have won and subjugated the human race, which they keep around for amusement and unskilled labor”

      thanks, I’ll just take care of my own busywork, if it’s all the same to you. I’m lean and mean these days. the mundane has its place in human life, it keeps us humble. more and better machines to do things that can be done without are an abomination.

    3. DWBartoo

      Kurt, the essential questions are; who controls AI, what are the purposes of those who control the technology, and what are the end results desired by those who control AI?

      Were AI in the actual service of humanity, as a whole, then the realization of the importance and value of human potential, that is everyone’s capacity for genius and important, tranformative insight, to everyone, would be understood as fundamentallycritical to the survivial and well-being of all life on this planet.

      Yet the spoiled brats who would destroy everything, for wealth and power, and “history is the record, ongoing, of that destruction, are still able to convince many that “human nature” is nasty, brutish, self-centered and greedy … which does, indeed, reflect the excuse and operant “philosophy” from which those spoiled brats act, as well as their “excuse” for their behavior.

      A revolution of human and humane consciousness is quite necessary to any political revolution, if it is to actually succeed.

      A pleasure to “see” you again, as your comments and perspectives are always much appreciated.


      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Agree with both of you.

        It’s ‘distribution’ with Kurt and ‘who controls AI’ for you.

        My idea is a government issued AI robot for everyone.

        My G.I. A.I. robot can get a job and put food on the table for me.

      1. Antifa

        From Nature’s point of view, that problem might be the solution. The planet cannot support 12 billion of us if we all plan to play polo on the weekends.

  13. Carla

    From “These 3 people…”
    “A snowball effect led news organizations across the country to report that Sanders supporters were violent and/or threw chairs. This was reported by the AP, LA Times, NY Times, ABC News, CBS News, MSNBC, Fox News, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, USA Today, Reuters, The Guardian, Daily Kos, Vox, and NPR. (NPR later apologized. Kudos to them, and shame on all the rest of these sources.)”

    I just heard the chair-throwing “incident” repeated as fact by some pundit on NPR yesterday; the NPR host, to my disgust, did not in any way contradict or call the speaker on the lie. Sorry, I’m not positive which program and host it was but I think it may have Michel Martin on All Things Considered Weekend. So forget giving Kudos to NPR.

    1. katiebird

      The Sander’s campaign now specifically lists “chairs” as weapons that are banned from events:
      A Future to Believe in Santa Monica

      For security reasons, please do not bring bags and limit what you bring to small, personal items like keys and cell phones. Weapons, sharp objects, chairs, and signs or banners will not be allowed through security. Cash-only parking is available at the Civic parking lot off of 4th St and Pico Blvd. Use the Santa Monica stop on the metro or take the Santa Monica High School stop on the Big Blue Bus route 7 or 3.

        1. aab

          I don’t think so. Most know the chair throwing was a lie. I found it funny. He’s going “See, elites? We are telling them not to do it!” If they do it anyway, then it would now just be more proof that they can’t be herded to Clinton.

          But since no one ever DID throw any chairs…

        2. katiebird

          I took it as a cute thing … But Someone farther down said it’s been in the list for at least a month. Maybe a space issue?

    2. diptherio

      NPR is good for a couple of things — news and commentary on said news are not among them.

      1. Carla

        I know. The question is, do we have to wait as long for the truth to come out about this as we did for the truth that G.I.’s returning from the Vietnam War were not spat upon by American lefties to come out? And if we do (have to wait that long) SHAME on us.

        1. JTMcPhee

          RE: Viet vets getting spat on: I “DEROS’d” from Vietnam August 26, 1968. Had more than 60 days left on my enlistment so unlike the many who had less and the Army got rid of to avoid “discipline issues,” by granting them “early outs,” I was stuck at Fort Hood, TX until June 6, 1969. Went back to my hometown after that, and on a needy whim, went to the local American Legion. Members were parents of kids I grew up with, was in Cub and Boy Scouts with, people I delivered newspapers to, took part in town parades with, went to school with, many were (I thought) family friends.

          For my trouble, I was given to understand via silence and stink-eye, and the kind of murmuring that goes on in Horse Opera bar scenes, that I was not welcome. These were veterans of WW II, Korea, some Marine expeditionary types from other less notable “police actions” by “the World’s Policeman,,,” a pretty corrupt beat cop by my lights. Lots of them spent their war years at places like Fort Ord and Fort Sheridan, doing supply work and bureaucracy. I was a loser from a losing war, and my neatly trimmed beard was a “tell.”

          On the other hand, in the fall of ’69, I went back to what was then a very hippy-dippy drug-suffused “anti-war” liberal arts school, Lake Forest College, now mostly a business-degree mill. In the Purple Haze days, I was very popular as a token veteran with a popular attitude toward authority: :”Fokk the Army!” active in the mostly ineffectual “anti-war” behaviors. Good way to meet passionate women.

          So my anecdotal contribution is that it was for sure not :lefties: that were the problem for returning vets — but it did let a lot of us focus our anger at the “nation” that we idiotically thought had failed US in not completely loosing the dogs of war and letting us “win.”

          Are these “wars,” these rackets, these giant wealth-transfer motions across space and time directed by the few who benefit from them? Or do they just happen because of who we are as a species, with a few who see the 10-Bagger “opportunities” and grab them? Or something else, or all of the above?

    3. JCC

      On “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me” this morning on NPR, multiple jokes were made of the “fact” that Sanders’ supporters got into fist fights and threw chairs… no rebuttal from any of the “guests”.

      The show was never that entertaining in the first place and has gotten decidedly worse over time.

      1. ambrit

        Poor Carl Kasell. He’s been around long enough to have seen the degradation of NPR first hand. Then, what can one expect? NPR is a public/private hybrid, with a decent endowment that got a lot of money in one fell swoop from the estate of Joan Kroc, widow of the founder of McDonalds. Tellingly, NPR is headquartered inside the Beltway.
        There was ‘violence’ at the Nevada state Dem caucus? What do ‘they’ think this is, a functioning democracy or something? Like the Diet of South Korea, or Question time in the House of Commons?

      2. Lambert Strether

        We can look at the “chair throwing” meme as an analog radioactive tracing.

        In the same way that scientists will use a radio-isotope to trace the distribution of a substance within a natural system, so we can trace the acceptance and propagation of the “chair-throwing” meme through the political class and the body politic.

        So, if you hold your Memic Geiger Counter up to a media figure, and it clicks, you can cross them off your list of credible sources.

        That includes, as we see here, the entire cast of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” But then you knew that.

  14. fresno dan

    This Genius Made A Cheese Ball Machine Gun Huffington Post (furzy)

    If a lactose intolerant Godzilla attacks, we are prepared.

      1. ambrit

        ‘Genius’, see Wile E Coyote, the Brain, or the Patrick Dennis book of the same name. Perhaps also the Neoliberal ‘elites.’

        1. polecat

          …..”BLEEP BLEEP !!”………… **

          ** …road runnereeze for “I’m in whole-hearted agreement”

          1. ambrit

            …”BLEEP BLEEP !!”…
            LOL! That’s supposed to be the Coyotes’ line!
            The Coyote is a perfect exemplar of ‘elite’ “magical” thinking; overly complex and delusional plans that always backfire.

              1. ambrit

                And “Gallipoli,” and Dien Bien Phu, and MOMA, and all of the myriad battles of “self against self.”
                (Shouldn’t that be Munch, as in Edvard?)

                1. ambrit

                  I’ll check it out this week. I’d add: “Paths of Glory,” “Hells Angels,” “Go Tell the Spartans,” “The Grand Illusion,” “Hell in the Pacific,” and the list goes on and on.
                  If we don’t blow everything up, humanity might eventually amount to something good.

  15. DJG

    The five experts defining fascism. I’m skeptical of an article that includes “perhaps Francoist Spain.” Perhaps? Considering the million dead, the religious fanaticism, the repression of minority languages, the idea that Spain had to be cleansed, “perhaps”?

    Also, Estado Novo in Portugal was clearly fascist. (And then there were the imitation-fascist movements in Hungary, Romania, and Ukraine that those countries seem not to have overcome even to this day.)

    The role of religion is peculiar but has to do with defining the “nation.” In Spain, a Spaniard had to be Catholic, because the Spanish nation was not Jewish or Muslim–one of the uses of the Inquisition. Franco carried on this exclusionary definition, expanding it so that a Spaniard didn’t speak Catalan, Basque, or Galician. Italian fascism was not as interested in religion, because Italians define themselves by culture (and Italian Catholicism tends to be Franciscan in tone). There were a number of prominent Jewish fascists, till Mussolini gave in and passed the racial laws in the late 1930s.

    How does this apply to Trump and the U S of A? There is a strong trace in U.S. culture that religion has guided and saved the country–this goes back to the First and Second Great Awakenings. So if you are looking for U.S. fascists, you have to note that Trump is irreligious. But then there is Ted Cruz, scion of Rebirth theology. So watch Ted. Other fascists with the religious tinge include Sarah Palin (the groovy fascist) and Ann Coulter (the blond fascist). I notice in their religious biographies that both Palin and Coulter came from families that were originally Catholic but that converted to evangelicalism: Doubt is inherent in Catholicism, which means that the cleansing of evangelicalism makes them sure and pure.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Fascism is country specific and relies on ancient tradition and appropriation of heroes of the past regardless of the distance between modern fascists and the heroes they appropriate. Upton Sinclair used the cross and flag line, but what would 21st century, U.S. fascism look like? At one time, they wore sheets, but the KKK eventually was derided as villains. A sympathizer of the KKK’s less racist views (it varied by state) would never dream of wearing a hooded sheet, but could they find what they wanted to find in the words of Patrick Henry? Or stories about Valley Forge? Of course, they could.

      America has a secular religion. Christians have glommed on over the years, but there is an America Platonic religion. American fascists have to be restrained because the country isn’t homogeneous even white people aren’t homogenous, and they can’t work together.

      Reagan pushed it with his appropriation of Johnathan Edward’s appropriation of the “city on the hill” and Obama has used it with his “American Exceptionalsim” garbage to justify his writing against the other.

    2. Carolinian

      The 20th century fascists were all militarists. There’s little indication that Trump has much interest in that although I believe he did attend some sort of halfhearted military school. Arguably there was far more of a fascist tinge to the Dubya/Cheney philosophy of creating a new American empire using our giant military.

      These days fascist is just a term some people like to throw around against those they don’t like. Liberals use it just as loosely as righties scream (or used to scream) commie.

      1. Harry

        Military industrial complex? Bloated military spending? Corporatism and corporate personhood?

        I don’t know but it seems to me that the differences ant that big and the similarities are striking.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think when people use the term ‘fascist,’ they mean someone who is forcing the speaker to do things he or she doesn’t want to do.

        So, a kid might say his/her father or mother is a fascist.

        “We must have order in the house. Go clean your room.”

        “You’re a fascist.”

        1. inode_buddha

          much in the same way that I hear Conservatives go on about “socialists” and “communists”

    3. Ignim Brites

      All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state. – Benito Mussolini.

      It will be interesting to see how far the Trump as fascist meme (or more accurately shibboleth) goes. Typically this charge marks the accuser as one of the left. But that emenates from the discredited historical materialist (scientific socialist) perspective. Does that make Robert Kagan a man of the left? Insofar as neo-conservatism tends to advocate international democratic revolution it can certainly be conceived as leftist, even radically Left. Remember all those weird articles drawing parallels between the Arab Spring and the Revolution(s) of 1848? Where did those come from? Was Franco’s Spain fascist? Is Khomenini’s Iran fascist? Insofar as these states attempt to subordinate religion to the State they are fascist in inspiration but it is pretty difficult overtime to subordinate universalist religions to the State. Which points to a peculiar weakness in fascist theory, namely that the State itself can never command the kind of loyalty and submission that the fascist demands. It is always reliant on alliance with a cultural force, religion, racism, proletarianism, scientism, etc.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        IMHO HRC is more of a fascist than Trump. The disastrous trade agreements are all fascist in that they benefit the corporations at the expense of the citizens. HRC is a devout warmonger. Trump may do anything when he gets elected—he’s an unpredictable wild card—but at least right now he’s speaking out against the trade agreements and the Iraq war.

  16. Peter Bernhardt

    I very much like the response of Sanders supporters to Rick Larsen. In CA, not a single establishment Democrat has come out in support of Sanders. Barbara Lee is by far the most conspicuous in her lack of support. I am hopeful we can take a cue from this form of protest and do the same as the June 7th primary draws closer.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It reminds of those WWI movies, where officer prisoners were treated as the captors’ class equals, but not the soldier prisoners.

      Will Sanders turn his back on Hillary in silent protest?

      Which one, Larsen or Clinton, deserves more (of that treatment)?

      The same question to all those who are demanding that Wasserman should go for party unity.

      “Hillary should go so the party can unite!!!”

      Do you go after the head of a big bank or a substitute underling???

    2. Light a Candle

      That was a very powerful photo—all the Bernie supporters silently turning their backs on the Democratic elite in the Washington State convention.

      1. Isolato

        Best thing I saw today. Rick Larsen is my “representative” here in the San Juans. He is a mush-mouthed toady for Boeing and the MIC. One of the Dems swing votes for the TPP, never met a military base he didn’t worship, ignores the 70% vote (higher in my county!) for Bernie to assure his overlord that he will do her bidding. I offered $50k to jumpstart a primary challenge to him from the left…no takers.

        1. neo-realist

          I’m sorry about the lack of interest in the primary challenge to Larson, but the cocooned bourgeois in that peninsula couldn’t care less—many probably have relatives that work for that 800 pound airplane gorilla.

          1. Isolato

            Yes and no. San Juan County is, indeed, the richest county in the State of WA, but also one of the most educated and the most liberal. Caucuses here for the DEMs overwhelmingly supported Bernie Sanders. It IS possible to vote against one’s own economic self-interest. I do it all the time. I advocate for treating earned and unearned income the same way, for abolishing the cap on SS taxes, for a state income tax, for many other things that are directly contrary to my own interests because I believe they are outweighed by the common one. We are NOT simply the sum of our self interests.

        2. aletheia33

          rick larsen is being challenged by mike lapointe. see facebook page “mike lapointe for congress.” he is an environmentalist and berner.

          1. Kurt Sperry

            Please get that 50k and the challenger together so I have someone to vote for to rid us of Rick Larsen once and forever! Larsen is an embarrassment to the state. Murray, Cantwell and most of the rest of the DNC-bots need to go find real jobs as well. The WA State DP is for all intents and purposes Republican, they just pitch to a slightly different demographic.

  17. fresno dan

    I very much agree.
    Not only is adding sugar and salt a cheap way to appeal to taste preferences, a lot of it is done for mass production purposes as well. And it is hard for me to believe that a human would actually prefer coke with 40 grams of sugar as opposed to say 20 or even 10, if not for the degrading of taste preferences by the constant battering of taste buds by the ubiquitous presence of sugar in EVERYTHING.

    1. portia

      sugar and salt and myriad other additives have been added for a long time in processed meats like bologna, salami, spam, hot dogs, and other mystery meats to camouflage possible tainted ingredients and not support bacterial life. so these foods do not support life, so why eat them? it’s not like we live in times now where there is no refrigeration and salt is necessary for preservation.

      and the only salt I can tolerate these days is Redmond Real Salt, I don’t know the reason.

      1. diptherio

        If you have an Asian specialty grocery store around, you should see if you can find some Black Himalayan salt*. It’s very sulphur-y. Take a small amount after dinner as a digestive aide or use a pinch in the food itself.

        I love the stuff for some reason, ever since I got given some by Kali Baba in Nepal….for the record, Baba only uses pink and black Himalayan salt in his cooking, both of which are available on-line if you don’t have a SEAsian grocery nearby.

        * I mean, if you want to try other types of salt…

  18. Eureka Springs

    We must weed out ignorant Americans from the electorate Washington Post. Another way to limit ballot access. People who are ignorant breed too. Are WaPo pundits next going to try to stop that?

    Not to fail to mention just how hard today’s media (and government) works to keep anyone and everyone misinformed, no matter their capacities.

    1. Alex morfesis

      We must weed out foreign born idiots who rise up in the food chain to make comments about a process they have never bought into…harsanyi should consider another country for his noise about “us”…his choices are many…if he does not want to return to budapest, perhaps he can go manage a factory for beyonce in sri lanka…and on your way out the door, take that korean born genius who signed off for dick chaney on waterboarding, et al…(sorry mr arnett, you might have to travel to visit your grandkids)

      TR talked about people coming to america to absorb american mindsets, not bleed their foreign agendas and histories into americas as soon as they arrive…they must invest a few generations and pass through the american crucible…not allow their non democratic histories to besmirch our admittedly imperfect constitution…

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Um perhaps people need to recall this was the very reason the Electoral College was created,
      Americans being “ignorant” locals too busy with agriculture and keeping their scalps to study the big issues, so elect wise men who go to DC and select the right president on their behalf.
      But for voter education you can’t beat Andrew Jackson, he made “central banking” the keystone and number one point of his campaign and was determined to whistlestop around America and get the citizens educated about it. He even founded a new political party based on his platform…I wonder what he would think about how that party was finally destroyed in places like Chappaqua and Nevada.

    3. gordon

      Does the removal of the ignorant from the electorate mean they no longer have to pay taxes? No taxation without representation, remember.

      Gee, I seem to have forgotten who is President. What is a “Congress”?

      No taxes for me!

  19. August West

    HRC’s hipocracy is on full display this morning on meet the presstitutes. When asked about Bill playing a role on economic development she basically said that every presidential spouse has a role to play and has special projects why shouldn’t Bill? Hasn’t she denied responsibility in any of her husbands disastrous policies on several occasions? She is clearly in panic/defensive mode!! there was much more but I haven’t even finish my morning caffeine ritual yet.I will try and post the full interview if I can find it.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Not sure if she is panicking.

        All I know is, it’s better when she is complacent.

        In any case, you can’t appease.

        Trump will do the exact opposite of appeasement. Your campaign should take full spectrum advantage when anyone brings Bill into the picture. Stick with Bill. Don’t switch back to Hillary.

        Time is running out, unless he takes it (not all the way to, but) beyond the convention – hey, that’s commitment – but still not too late for Truth about Neoliberalism and Reconciliation.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s not just her current polling, but I think Hillary is being questioned about economic policies by Congressional types who need a platform. For Hillary, it might be the first time she has been exposed to the reality of how crummy the economy is. I think Hillary really believed the economy was in a great place. ACA would be super popular, and the country would want a steady hand. I doubt she’s had one serious policy meeting.

      1. Pat

        I don’t know if she didn’t know that the economy is crummy. I consider her a psychopath but not stupid. I think she, and the Democratic Party thought that Warren was an outlier not indicative of greater dissatisfaction, that the Occupy folk were either penned or neutered. They fully expected that the American sheep had accepted their position as sacrificial lambs to their and their backers greater good.

        And I do disagree that she has not had one serious policy meeting. She has had plenty, it is just they can’t talk about them because they include policies like TPP and trade support, more stringent bankruptcy rules for individuals, more ways of making insurance companies whole in ACA, and yes theft of Americans Social Security and Medicare. You have to remember that her entire economic agenda is and always will be toxic for most Americans.

        1. Uahsenaa

          I don’t know, each time Obama has addressed the economy in recent speeches, the line he always takes is “the economy has improved, but people don’t feel like it has,” in other words, the problem is not that economy is terrible for most people (i.e. the truth) but that people need to be made to believe that the economy is good again (i.e. spin).

          If this is the consensus among establishment Dems, then she may very well believe the economy is in a fine place atm.

          1. Pat

            I will still respectfully disagree. I think they do know it is bad for a majority of Americans. Think about it this is still part of the group that talked about how most Americans had to accept a lower standard of living because China. They know the jobs that have been created are largely not middle class in the traditional sense – lower pay, less benefits if any etc. They know the median income has dropped (and understand ‘median’) They truly believe that the small percentage of Americans who are not going to be economically insecure or flat out living in poverty deserve all the benefits of life in America and the rest little or nothing. They also believe that sheeple all just need to be told this is ‘good’ over and over for them to accept it.

    2. Harry

      Hippo-cracy is an unacceptably cruel phrase for the “Pantsuit Panderer”.

      You should be ashamed.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Inspired by Hillary’s courageous example, sufferers of steatopygia can finally come out of the closet and seek the help they need. :-)

          1. Harry

            Definitely hippo-critical on my part. I’m hardly the thinnest either. But just like that California breakfast bun this morning, I just couldn’t resist.

            1. Praedor

              Any weapon in a fight. Hippo works, cankle queen, pantsuit panderer, cow, psychopath, sociopath, whatever. I don’t give a crap for her feelies.

              1. Lambert Strether

                No, but I care about polluting my brain and heart with sexist garbage, even pragmatism aside. Your mileage may vary, and apparently does. If you want to use “any weapon in a fight,” this is not the blog for you; see the moderation policies, where “any stick to beat a dog” is a good faith violation.

      2. ambrit

        This is American politics. Nothing, no matter how low, is ‘unacceptable.’
        Whoever is responsible for H Clintons’ wardrobe and makeup is doing a good job. I never once, really, looked at her posterior. Do women place more importance on such? Except for the “Womens’ Card,” how much of our perception of H Clinton is gender bias based?
        (Yes, I do get /sarc/. But /sarc/ is often a way of raising issues that otherwise would be suppressed for ‘P.C.’ reasons.)

    3. Lambert Strether

      Hipocras is a spiced wine popular among the Romans.

      (I’m saying this because a reader said recently — too lazy to find the link — that they were always learning new words in the NC comment section.)

  20. wbgonne

    This seems noteworthy:

    Clinton’s Lead Over Trump Shrinks to 3 Points: New NBC News/WSJ Poll

    Hillary Clinton’s advantage over Donald Trump has narrowed to just three points — resulting in a dead-heat general-election contest with more than five months to go until November, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Clinton, who remains a heavy favorite to win the Democrat nomination, leads the presumptive GOP nominee 46 percent to 43 percent among registered voters, a difference that is within the poll’s margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.1 percentage points. In April, Clinton held an 11-point advantage over Trump, 50 percent to 39 percent, and had led him consistently by double digits since December. In a more hypothetical matchup, Democrat Bernie Sanders leads Trump by 15 points, 54 percent to 39 percent.

    So Sanders wins by 15 and Clinton is basically tied but the Democratic Establishment is 100% Clinton. Hmmm.

    I guess the moderate Republicans aren’t flocking to Clinton after all. Perhaps we’ll now see some nominal outreach to the effing retards on the Left. Good luck with that, Hillary!

    1. allan

      You mean inevitability is past its sell-by date? As someone once said, with a different intended meaning,

      I feel sorry for all the genuinely idealistic, well-meaning people who got caught up in this terrible mess.

    2. polecat

      It would be a hoot if most moderate Republicans had sights on Trump, or Sanders……..leaving the much smaller group of hard-core Kaganites to twist in the blowing wind having thrown their support for the failed Imperial Warhag……

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A less unfavorable Third Party or Green Party candidate, it seems with that poll, can stop Hillary.

      “The Mission is Possible.”

    4. jhallc

      There has been a lot of talk about the Sanders peole not supporting HIllary, either voting for Trump, Third party, or just staying home. I’m pretty sure there is a sizable number of Republicans that are in the same predicament and will not vote for either Trump or Hillary.. My brother is a local Republican committee member in the Rochester, NY area and he loaths both of them. He’ll vote for the local races on the ballot but, may just leave the presidential box blank. I’m not so sure that HIllary will be the recipient of votes from disaffected Republicans.

      1. Marco

        You would be surprised. My 75 year old born-again speaking-in-tongues mother was absolutely against Trump six months ago. She’s for him now…and surprisingly tired of Fox News and open to Medicare For All. Strange world indeed.

    5. cwaltz

      I posted this early this AM in last night’s thread.

      This is the third poll that shows her losing.

      Rass and Fox were the first 2. The poll even states that over half of his supporters are willing to vote for him because they oppose her. The only candidate with a positive favorable rating is Sanders. Not that it seems to matter to the DNC.

        1. Waldenpond

          Oh good grief…. you haven’t even given her time to have a bounce. She’ll bounce when she seals the deal and she’ll have a convention bounce.

          I can’t wait until the TPP bounce or the grand bargain bounce.

  21. mark

    Re cluster bombs around Vietnam.

    also Cambodia and Laos

    “The United States, during the nine year Secret War, executed more than 580,000 bombing missions over Laos, and released over two tons of bombs per person. According to one Lao official, clearing the ordnance will take 100 years as compared to a mere nine years of warfare. The munitions include explosive items such as cluster bomb units, rockets, artillery shells, mortars and anti-aircraft rounds.”

    (Plain of

    New York Times “From 1964 to 1973, American warplanes conducted 580,000 bombing missions over Laos, one of the most intensive air campaigns in the history of warfare. The campaign is often called the Secret War because the United States did not publicly acknowledge waging it.”

    “why do they hate us.”

    1. fresno dan

      Pentagon Official Once Told Morley Safer That Reporters Who Believe the Government Are “Stupid” Intercept

      “I can’t understand how you fellows can write what you do while American boys are dying out here,” he began. Then he went on to the effect that American correspondents had a patriotic duty to disseminate only information that made the United States look good.

      A network television correspondent said, “Surely, Arthur, you don’t expect the American press to be the handmaidens of government.”

      “That’s exactly what I expect,” came the reply.

      An agency man raised the problem that had preoccupied Ambassador Maxwell Taylor and [U.S. spokesman] Barry Zorthian — about the credibility of American officials. Responded the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs:

      “Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? — stupid.””

      Ah, the good old days – when everybody in the government knew it lied, the reporters knew it lied, and everybody in the whole damn country knew it lied.

      “I can’t understand how you fellows can write what you do while American boys are dying out here,”
      Nowadays, no government official would say such a thing…..BECAUSE they wouldn’t have to…

      We no longer need “government” propaganda – the private sector “press” supplies all the low cost government bullsh*t the country needs or wants…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Including when the government says “it needs to spend more to help the 99%?”

        “Let me spend more, so I can help you.”

        Have we become so cynical?

    2. Isolato

      In the late 1990s I traveled to Angola to document the de-mining efforts there, the nation w/the highest rate of casualties from these horrible weapons (at least at the time). The photographs became part of a world wide effort to ban this particular scourge and, indeed, in 1997 it was signed in Ottawa representing 160+ nations except for…yes, of course, the US. Two facts still haunt me. A land mine costs on average $3 to plant and $1000 to dig up. Most land mines are sized to maim, not kill, on the “theory” that you will be much more trouble to your fellows as a casualty and a lifelong reminder of fear. Kudos to Sen Leahy for trying to make modest amends. Signing the treaty would be a step…

      1. Lambert Strether

        “A land mine costs on average $3 to plant and $1000 to dig up. ”

        Rather like each and every fraudulent foreclosure document. (I wish I had a word for this form of asymmetry.)

          1. Lambert Strether

            That’s awesome, and connects directly to the class basis of the Democrat Party under Clinton; the eligibility tests of ObamaCare are (a) costly state verifications, (b) designed and implemented by highly paid, credentialed professionals, and (c) completely useless and parasitical, given single payer systems round the world. I think we have a winner. Any more words like that?

            Adding…. I read “state” as a programming concept, not a legal concept in contract law. Of course, the two overlap these days….

            1. August West

              @Lambert your on a role(your post from yesterday)

              IPolitics = Credentialism + Clientelism + Corruption + Class Interest

              + Costly state varifications

        1. cnchal

          Or from Cryshop‘s comment yesterday.

          . . . One of those problems they “intend” to solve later is the huge environmental damage inflicted, particularly by rare-earth extraction, metal refining and semi-conductor assembly. The old truth that a mistake costs 1 dollar to fix at the design stage for every 1000 it costs to fix it only the assembly line doesn’t reflect the scale up of costs to fix what’s been done to the environment, which is something like 10×7 power (if not much higher). . .

          Different type of land mine, but a similar effect on a vastly larger scale.

  22. Franky

    Regarding the former Google consultant’s attack on the Right to be Forgotten: imagine if the credit bureaus used that logic when the Fair Credit Reporting Act came out. “How dare you censor our efforts to report on bankruptcies 11 years after they happened! This violates our free speech rights!”

    The First Amendment has long been a Lochnerist tool (Citizens United, anyone?). Amazing to see a contributor here embrace this techno-libertarian claptrap.

  23. Jim Haygood

    Yet another triumph of U.S. foreign policy:

    PRISTINA, Kosovo — Every Friday, just yards from a statue of Bill Clinton with arm aloft in a cheery wave, hundreds of young bearded men make a show of kneeling to pray on the sidewalk outside an improvised mosque in a former furniture store.

    The mosque is one of scores built here with Saudi government money and blamed for spreading Wahhabism — the conservative ideology dominant in Saudi Arabia — in the 17 years since an American-led intervention wrested tiny Kosovo from Serbian oppression.

    Since then — much of that time under the watch of American officials — Saudi money and influence have transformed this once-tolerant Muslim society at the hem of Europe into a font of Islamic extremism and a pipeline for jihadists.

    It is a stunning turnabout for a land of 1.8 million people that not long ago was among the most pro-American Muslim societies in the world. Americans were welcomed as liberators after leading months of NATO bombing in 1999 that spawned an independent Kosovo.

    “Liberators” — ah ha ha ha; AH HA HA HA!

    1. Harry

      If it wasn’t for the Kosovans, who would be importing Ukrainian women into western Europe? When you think about it, its ironic that we have Bill to thank for that.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      It confirms my long term suspicion that the US Military has been hijacked by the Gulf States, like one of those brain parasites that take over predators. Virtually every military action in the last 20 years did more to benefit one or all of the Gulf States and Wahabbianism than the US or anyone else. And its now aiding SA’s own war in Yemen, which has no conceivable military or strategic value to the US.

      1. JTMcPhee

        RE: Utility of US participation in Yemen destruction: “Practice, practice practice!” “There is no ‘I’ in Team!” Inventory turnover. Replenishing the agar substrate in the giant Petri dish of GWOT, to keep the pathogens healthy.

  24. afisher

    Best of the web this AM was that Climate Change folks are being much more aggressive after the reveal that Exxon have known for years about the problem and actively worked to suppress their own work.

    Desmogblog and others ( I assume) are all posting links to Smoke and Fumes which is the website that has all the documentation history now available for readers to search.

  25. Ignim Brites

    The Most Reliably Democratic County in America Just Sent Hillary Clinton a Signal

    Elliot County, KT pop. 8000 61% Obama 2012. LA County, CA 69% Obama. SF County, CA 83% Obama. If there is asignal to be sent, it will come from CA.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There is a good chance when Clinton loses in November, the party will break apart.

      The wise thing to do now is to stay away, far away.

      Let her fall on her own, and do not hand her any excuses.

      That may not be the instinctive reaction, the visceral thing to do (because it’s less emotionally satisfying than to stick to this fatal attraction of taking it to the convention against the numbers), but your opponent is always planning at least 2 or 3, or more moves ahead.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        I’m telling anyone who’ll listen now that choosing Hillary will put Trump in the White House and I’m assigning blame now preemptively before the Hillbots even get started unjustly blaming people like me. I’m even blaming them now for the extreme right Supreme Court justices their irrational attachment to Hillary is likely to directly be the cause of. They can take their “but the Supreme Court” bullsh*t they’ve used for years to veal pen progressives into supporting right wing DNC tools and they can choke on it.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          There is a disconnect between some (maybe even most) Bernie supporters and Sanders himself. I refer to those Bernie or Bust voters.

          To them, it’s better to come out, confront Clinton directly, and stop her, even in November.

          In that case, we don’t deal with the blame issue.

          “Why blame me for your loss? It was my goal. It’s like McCain blaming Obama for losing.”

  26. Brooklin Bridge

    These 3 people just tore apart the Democratic Party – I. Kahan

    An excellent review of what happened and a prescient argument about what it means. While Kahan didn’t specifically bring it up, the image of those “brown shirt” cops standing in front of the podium is a perfect symbol of the grim burlesque of what the Democratic party has become. The event as a whole – exactly as I. Kahan describes – with the attendant shameless groveling of the main stream media in it’s willingness to perpetuate any lie favoring Clinton and the status quo no matter how grotesquely false, sounds what will likely come to be remembered as the death knell of the party. Kahan does a superb job of giving credit where it is due.

    Unfortunately, a lot will be lost in the encapsulating nature of such a powerful event. Be that as it may – the Nevada Caucus is going to resonate for a long time to come.

    1. Lambert Strether

      IMNSHO, the Nevada Caucus was also the Dem Establishment signalling it was open season on the left.

    2. ambrit

      It might be the “death knell” of the Democratic Party as a broad based popular party, but not necessarily as a party per se. As recent history shows, public popularity and power do not have to correlate.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Could they be Trump supporters taking time off from their Democrats-dividing internet trolling, so they can be welcomed into the party to vote the weaker candidate?

  27. Lambert Strether

    Re: “These 3 people just tore apart the Democratic [sic] Party”

    The Cossacks work for the Czar.

    Therefore, it’s not three people — “Nevada Democratic Party Chairwoman Roberta Lange, journalist Jon Ralston, and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz” — but two: Harry Reid, who owns Nevada, and Hillary Clinton, who owns the Democrat Party (or at least manages it for its actual owners).

  28. Bunk McNulty

    “Has Convenience Turned You Into A Monster?” (Guardian)

    “If being a progressive required ideological purism, I would have to abscond to a yurt in nature, grow my own crops, make my own clothes, and never list that yurt on Airbnb as a romantic getaway in the woods.

    So, yes, convenience has turned many of us into monsters. We are choosing our desire for ease over justice for Uber drivers. But every progressive could delete their app tomorrow, and it wouldn’t radically shift the tectonic plates that thrust Uber to prominence in the first place.

    Trading ethics for comfort is par for the course in America. We can aspire to become conscious participants in the system. We can understand where our money is going before we give it out, and be aware of how our actions collude with economic oppression and exploitation. But I can’t help feeling that more is required. What could stop the march of convenience? It’s a question my generation may one day have to answer. But by then, will the luckier ones among us have become too comfortable to care?”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What could stop the march of convenience?

      Global warming, resource depletion, over-population or maybe the Zika virus (if not, then some other ones).

      The lucky ones, beside those with lucky genes, will likely be those who stay in shape, weight lift and are on a low caloric intake diet…i.e. not over indulging in too many modern conveniences.

  29. Take the Fork

    Didn’t see any Black Injustice Tipping Point links today, but where does this article by Michael Barone (there have been others over the past couple of weeks) fit in to the NC Weltanschaung?

    The basic point: Criminologist Richard Rosenfeld reverses himself on the Fegurson Effect, essentially arguing that there is no other explanation for large jumps (17 & 33% depending on data set) in urban homicides in 2015.

    The folks on this site understand statistics and logical fallacies better than I am ever going to. Is there something to this? If not, why not (beyond the fact that is it inconvenient for the narrative)?

  30. Elliot

    @ katiebird: Sanders’ campaign disallowed chairs over a month ago, at least. That’s the same list from March.

  31. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Real life robocop in California shopping mall.

    At $7/hour to hire,…er, to rent.

    Another job lost to companies undercutting the min. wage law.

    You think desperate thieves might steal or kidnap this robot?

  32. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Tanks and M-16s out of LA schools.

    Where you find them, you are likely to see security agency assets and drones.

  33. Jerry Denim

    Beyonce and sweatshops-

    Yeah, I guess sweatshop labor in the third world is a bit complicated but Beyonce’s choice to manufacture in the third world and import to the first is not. It’s a simple matter of maximizing profits. The dynamics of an Indian peasant worker choosing between the village rice paddy and the big city sweetshop is a complicated one, but Beyonce not making her clothes in the US is very straight forward. Beyonce is rich enough and and could charge enough for her garments that she could easily elect to employ young black women in depressed urban American (like the ones whose faces adorn her videos) She could choose to pay them a living wage and even provide them with a union job and benefits, but no- Beyonce is not interested in doing that because: 1.) It’s difficult and (2.) there’s not a fat profit margin involved with that kind of arrangement. Beyonce can attempt to appropriate as many images of Black Panthers , Che Guevara and Steve Biko as she wants but she’s just another filthy rich capitalist oppressor just like the long line white men that came before her. We can all celebrate that she’s a black woman who was clever, lucky and talented enough to “get her’s” or we could expect something more from a person who frequently attempts to portray themselves as some kind of socialist/civil rights revolutionary. Beyonce’s music and her videos are entertaining . Beyonce the business woman is pretty “meh”.

    1. cnchal

      It’s the same old story. They are exploited for their own good.

      “We have to ask ourselves: what would these women be doing if they didn’t work in a garment factory? Would their lives be better? Absolutely not,” said Mushfiq Mobarak, Professor of Economics at Yale University

      There is the economics professor weighing in with moral certainty.

      The truth is, if Beyonce made her stuff in a place that was only marginally more expensive and cost a dollar more on the rack, almost no one would buy it. Even the sweatshop owners understand that.

      These are all important indirect benefits to working in factories, but they don’t preclude the need to address slave-like conditions where workers who attempt to organize unions and establish collective bargaining rights are fired by their managers.

      The most brutal factory managers have been known to sexually exploit female workers, house them in crumbling buildings or fire traps, refuse them bathroom breaks, expose young children to poisonous chemicals, and enforce double shifts.

      “We need to figure out how to incentivize buyers and retailers from the U.S. and the U.K. to invest in factory safety,” said Mobarak.

      But it’s not as simple as it sounds. If a company like Walmart invests in factory safety and its competitors don’t, the competitors will do better. “Retailers need to collaborate and jointly invest,” Mobarak said, “so that not everyone who is investing is at a competitive disadvantage of having to sell more expensive clothes.”

      I suppose the professor hasn’t come to the conclusion that raping, maiming and killing your workers is counter productive after educating them to follow orders on the factory floor.

      Another reason for Beyonce to use sweatshop labor is because that’s all that is available in Sri Lanka and elsewhere in Asia. All the celebrity clothes designers that slap their name on a garment do it.

      A further reason is the Apple effect. Beyonce can use the same tax avoidance scheme that Apple uses to keep the profits aloft. Indeed it appears that exploiting labor in the third world goes hand in hand with this strategy, and is one of the main “selling points”. Cheap labor had a shotgun wedding to this tax avoidance strategy, and all day and all night cheap labor get’s screwed.

      1. different clue

        Considering how much Nike shoe-buyers were/are prepared to pay for Nike shoes, I suspect Beyonce’ could very well pay an American wage to Americans to make Beyonce’ clothes and then sell those clothes to Americans at an American price . . . and would find many customers willing to pay for the Beyonce’ name.

  34. Bunk McNulty

    I’m not sure why, but I transcribed the Chewbacca Mask Lady’s famously viral vid. I think she’s saying something about ownership, more to the point, the desire for ownership. Yea, even unto the purchase of a product licensed by Disney.

    The transcript is doubtless poorly done, so editing comments are welcomed.

    Hey, I’m really excited to share with you something I got. Okay, I went to Kohls today, I had make a couple returns, surprisingly, it was a little too big. Thank you. I know some ‘a you are maybe thinking the opposite. Shame. No, no shame. It’s all love, it’s all love. Okay. So. Here’s what I found when I was at Kohl’s and I’d like to say that I bought this for my son, that would really really want it. And let’s be honest, he’ll probably confinscate it from me. Con-fis-cate, that’s a word, right? So okay, he’ll probably take it from me. However, this is mine. Like, when it’s said and done, at the end of the day, this is mine, that I bought. I’m gonna keep it for my own. You can see it kinda has Star Wars on’t! You’re gettin’ a little hint! So you wanna see what I got? It’s so great! I can’t wait to show you! Okay. Amm, this is part of my birthday joy., still rejoicing in my birthday. And so here’s what I got I’m gonna take it out of the box! And I can’t wait to show you!

    Okay, I’m in a parking lot, and people are looking at me literally lookin’ at me like crazy, I don’t even care. Okay. So, here it is, ho-hol-hold on a moment, it may be a little tight, may be tight on me, I gotta undo it, jus’ a little, hold it, hold it–stay patient, people. Stay patient. This is gonna be worth it I promise. Maybe not, maybe not! But heh-heh-hoo-ah! It’s worth it to me! And I had to share with my friends on the internet webs! So, here’s wha-hi-hih-ha-ha I’m havin’ trouble gettin’ it! Okay. Patient, patient. All right. We’re doin’ good. Doin’ good. Okay so this is what I got, once again this is for me, not for Duncan, not for Cadance, I mean, I’ll let them play with it, I’m not a bad mom, I’m not a…jerk. In all honesty, at the end of the day, it doesn’t go in their toybox, it goes in my room.

    So, here we go. I gotta take off my glasses for it. [Laughter] Okay, naturally, here we go. So. YES! Now watch where my mouth actually moves. [Shakes head] That’s not me that’s making that noise! It’s the MASK! Here listen! [Mask makes sound] Dissolves into laughter.

  35. TheCatSaid

    “Neither the European creditors nor the IMF are fundamentally interested in restoring Greece. What they disagree over is how much sustenance Greece needs to stay alive enough to pay them back. They are all vampires.”

    Great quote.

  36. rich

    A $1 Billion Central Bank Guide for Enriching Friends and Family

    Governor funnels at least $72 million into cousin’s lender
    ‘This goes beyond your usual allegation of crony capitalism’

    Gyorgy Matolcsy is rewriting the rules for central banking inside the European Union to include family and friends.

    Since being tapped to run the National Bank of Hungary by Prime Minister Viktor Orban three years ago, the former economy czar has funneled the equivalent of almost $1 billion to six foundations he set up over the objections of his supervisory board and to the irritation of EU officials.

  37. Cry Shop

    Further to Guardian’s article on Portugal’s grid, on page 17 of Energy Policies of IEA Countries – Portugal

    Fossil fuels accounted for 74.3% of TPES in 2014, including oil (45.1%), natural gas
    (16.4%) and coal (12.7%). Renewables accounted for 25.4%, including biofuels and waste
    12.6%, hydro 6.4%, wind 4.9%, geothermal 0.8% and solar 0.6%.The remaining 0.4% was
    accounted for by net electricity imports. In the ten years to 2014, the use of oil and coal
    has contracted by 35.3% and 20.4%, while natural gas supply grew by 5%. Gas supply
    boomed in the ten years to 2010 when it peaked at 4.5 Mtoe (120% higher than in
    2000). The boom in wind power has led to an increase in its share in TPES, up from less
    than 0.1% in 2004 to 4.9% in 2014.

    First, we’ve got a long way to go.

    Biofuel/agricultural waste (powering conventional steam turbine generators) makes up 12.6% of TPES (and is bigger than hydro (wow, talk about agrarian)), while solar only makes up 0.4% of TPES. This says probably more about the nature of Portugal’s agrarian economy than how things have moved in general. It also relates back to discussions early this week about the difficulty of integrating solar energy into an electric grid. Portugal is continuing to emphasize wind over solar, in no small part because of this difficulty. To put it in a layman’s terms, integrating wind is a headache, but integrating any significant solar without massive spending on supporting infrastructure can be a debilitating migraine.

    This supports the point that Arizona’s grid operator has a legitimate complaint about the high cost of safely integrating desperate highly unstructured and non-dispatch-able home solar into it’s grid, a topic discussed at the beginning of May.

  38. JTFaraday

    re: “Race Talk and the New Deal,” Corey Robin. “Important.”

    I understand what Henwood is trying to say here, but he’s never going to win this one with respect to either the history or getting black people to shut up about it.

    Basically, the upshot of the New Deal is that they did their level best to block black people from good (or any) employment opportunities– which the New Deal entirely revolves around, there’s nothing “universal” about it– and then bashed them with it for 80 years, with tremendous implications for policy making with respect to all of us.

    You can’t lean on the New Deal as proof of a universal good and the truth is that future policy making shouldn’t have to lean on the New Deal.

    Henwood loses, through no fault of his own. The sooner he realizes it, the more effective he’ll learn to be.

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